Jamir and Belie ascended the stair after leaving the Delver’s Guild offices and the Undercity. With the notice in hand they made their way though the crowded Square and out onto Center Street. The hustle and bustle continued. Constant criers trying to sell their wares. Tavern Row was just down the way and they turned right to head toward where they were told the Black Swan was.

The sign over the door to the tavern had a faded black swan pained upon it. The inside was dingy, the floor dirty, the tables splintered wood, and the walls were bare. Yet the clientele didn’t seem to mind one bit. On the contrary, as the two neared the tavern they could hear from the street raucous singing and laughter coming from inside. The men entered as themselves and realizes this was a jovial place full of drunk or half-drunk dwarves. The proprietor, Migos, was a half-elf standing behind the bar with a smile on his face.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir climbed up one of the stools at the bar and sat down. He looked over to Belie to make sure he followed suit and then said to the barkeep, “A couple of ales, and if you wouldn’t mind pointing out Toman Etherin, I’d be much obliged.”

===========================================================
Migos
———————————————————–
The half elf produced two wooden mugs and filled them until the froth reached the top.

“I’m Migos [mee-go-ss], and if you’re looking for Toman I’m guessing you’re interested in the bounty to recover his daughter?”

When Jamir answers in the affirmative Migos continues, “All we can say is she was kidnapped from around Iron Street day before yesterday.”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
“Thank you, is Tommen around? I think speaking with him may help us get a better sense of potential motivations.”

He looks around the bar and then says, “Motivations of why someone might kidnap the girl, that is. It would be great if we could speak with him.”

===========================================================
Migos
———————————————————–
“Nah. He’s not. Poor man still has to work. That’s why I’m talking to you. We don’t know of any reason someone would take her. Tommen is just a working man. He has no enemies.
Friends and family had to pool together to get the reward money to get help. The city watch is too busy to help the likes of him.”
The half elf nearly spits in disgust as he finishes the final sentence.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
“Thanks, Migos, where does Tommen work? I know it seems simple, but even the smallest details could help us figure out who would do such a thing.”

Jamir wants to sympathize with Migos and his disdain for the City Watch, but he knows there could be eyes anywhere.

===========================================================
Migos
———————————————————–
Frustration on his face Migos does answer Jamir. “He works for Marial Tabbott over on Sailors’ Run. She’s an architect and he assists her. I would prefer you not bother him at work, but if you must. A better place to start would be around Iron Street where she was taken. But I’m just a bartender. I don’t know anything about these things.”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Picking up on the frustration Jamir stops and says, “Thanks Migos. You know what, you’re a good bartender. Before we go, how about another round of ales. And one for yourself as well. I’m assuming you’re a drinking man, what with being behind a bar.”

As the man poured an ale for Jamir and Belie, Jamir adds, “You know, I think we will start around Iron Street, but what kind of investigators would we be if we didn’t ask all the questions we might need answers to now. I’d hate to have to come back and bother you again. Though I do hope to be back for more of this delicious ale and the excellent service.”

Jamir  sounded perfectly sincere because he was sincere. Migos had been incredibly helpful and had taken time to talk to them and answer their questions even though it was clear he didn’t want to. He must care for Tommen and his daughter more than he let on, and that, was a sign of good service.

===========================================================
Migos
———————————————————–
Migos raised an eyebrow in a bit of a surprised way and his face softened a bit as Jamir paid for the drinks. He did pour himself one but only about half, and sipped at it.

“Tell you what. You find Katie and you’ll drink here free for a month on top of the reward.”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Did you hear that? Now that’s a good man! Speaking of Katie, we probably should get a move on and go check out Iron Street, why don’t you give those two ales we bought to a couple of your friends here. Katie’s in trouble and I’d hate to think we wasted time drinking while she was in pain or worse.”

Jamir moved for the door and made sure Belie was right behind him.

When they were out in the street he said, “Let’s go to Iron Street first.” The pair head off in that direction.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
(Roll sense motive and diplomacy checks)

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
13:52, Today: Jamir rolled 18 using 1d20+5.  Diplomacy  .
13:52, Today: Jamir rolled 21 using 1d20+1.  Sense Motive.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Jamir and Belie spent several hours, and dozens of silver coins, as they made their way up and down Iron Street. Since the street stretched from the South Gate, through the Guildsman District and all the way to the Warrens, and Migos wasn’t any more specific, they covered a lot of ground and spoke to a lot of people.

They surmised Katie was kidnapped by chaos cultists of the Tolling Bell. They will likely use her as a human sacrifice very soon. Several homeless men swore on the gods they saw cultists of the Tolling Bell, identified by their tattered blue cloaks and large hand bells, take a girl matching Katie’s description.

She was snatched off the street and taken down an alley. Unfortunately no one saw where they took her from that point.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
After the coins had loosened the men’s tongues, Jamir looked to Belie and said, “Well I guess we need to head to the Tolling Bell and see if we can beat them to the punch. For Katie’s sake.”

Jamir took off at a brisk pace knowing that Belie could easily keep up with his little legs.

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Belie
———————————————————–
“the tolling Bell is the cult. i dont think they have a chapel or church. No one said where we could find them… that’s distressing. I guess we could ask around about finding them but that might bring retribution.”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
“I don’t think we have much of a choice. Let’s get to asking.” Jamir said. They didn’t have time to waste.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Jamir (msg # 146):

roll your checks again to get info

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
OOC:
23:13, Today: Jamir rolled 10 using 1d20+1.  Sense Motive.
23:12, Today: Jamir rolled 19 using 1d20+5.  Diplomacy  .

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Jamir had less luck with asking people about the Tolling Bell specifically. People didn’t take him seriously and seemed to ignore him, even when coin was offered.

“Uncle” Belie stepped in and assisted. He greased his voice with silver coins.

They were directed to go down a narrow alley and told to look for the Tolling Bell’s symbol, a bell with cracks running through it. The symbol would be hard to see, they were told, as it was dried blood red on a dark door.

Belie rolled 28,29 using 1d20+12,1d20+12.  Diplomacy / Sense Motive.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Finding the alley, Jamir cautiously stepped forward and did his best to silently make his way through it. He considered casting a spell, but he decided to save that for later, a decision he might end up regretting. He looked for the doorway but didn’t see it at first and hoped that Belie would have better luck.

OOC: This dice roller hates me…
15:49, Today: Jamir rolled 23 using 1d20+19.  Stealth.
15:48, Today: Jamir rolled 16 using 1d20+10.  Perception.

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Belie
———————————————————–
The human rogue is able to spot the door as he moves as silently as Jamir down the debris and garbage strewn alley.

Belie touched his hat, transforming his face to resemble more of an elf than a human, lightening his hair, making his facial hair disappear and transforming his clothing into a more elfish garb. He looked down at Jamir to do the same.

Belie rolled 26,23 using 1d20+16,1d8+17.  Perception / Stealth.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir made a few adjustments, playing up his childlike characteristics and doing all he could to make himself look like a human boy.

DM, on behalf of Jamir, rolled 26 using 1d20+12.  Disguise as Human.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie quietly picks the lock and opens the door as silently as the hinges will allow. They barely creaked. However, they quickly have a problem as two human guards whirl on them with longspears. Their chainmail chattered with the sudden movement.

15:44, Today: DM rolled 7,17,2 using 1d20+4,1d20+9,1d20+1.  Jamir, Belie, Guards Initiative.

Before the first could even position his spear Belie lunged forward. A dagger appeared in his hand seemingly from nowhere. Before the man could even scream the rogue took out his throat.

Belie was already rolling with the falling body to square up with the next guard.

Jamir’s turn:

Dude, so sorry for the delay. Work and Family has just been INSANE.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir backs up a step and throws his hand forward, a green arrow shoots out striking the second guard cleanly in the chest. Acid begins to seep into his armor and dissolve into his skin.

OOC:
20:50, Today: Jamir rolled 6 using 2d4.  Damage round 1.
20:50, Today: Jamir rolled 17 using 1d20+9.  Ranged touch attack (Acid Arrow).
20:49, Today: Jamir rolled 6 using 1d20+4.  Initiative.

Oh man, if you’re at the 3 month mark and not getting sleep, I totally understand. It gets better, not too long from now, but I feel for you right now.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The guard slumps forward with the impact of the magical arrow. He took a half-hearted swing with his spear to deflect the Belie arrow lunging toward him.

Belie finished his move ending the man’s life with a quick dagger thrust beside the poison arrow. The rogue lowered the man slowly to the ground to minimize any noise.

A short hallway extended forward then turned into darkness.

I haven’t slept in 6 years. 😀 We have a 6 y/o, 4 y/o and a 3 month old. Just when we got the first 2 sleeping through the night my wife was like, “Let’s have another baby!” Someday I’ll feel rested again. 😀

[Private to GM: Typical Ebon Hand Priest
Male or female human (Chaotic Evil)
Cleric2 (the Galchutt) CR 3
HD 2d8+2 hp 15
Init +0 Speed 20 feet
AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 17
BAB/Grapple +1/+4
Attack/Full Attack +5 melee (1d8+3, morningstar)
or +1 ranged (1d8, light crossbow)
SQ Gift of deformity (varies; see list in Area 9
and adjust stats as needed; –4 penalty to
Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and
Handle Animal checks)
Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +6
Str 16, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 11

Crucial Skills: Concentration +3, Listen +5,
Spot +5.
Other Skills: Heal +7, Knowledge (religion) +3.
Crucial Feats: Combat Casting.
Other Feats: Alertness.
Domains: Chaos, Trickery.
Spells: 4/3+1; save DC 13 + spell level.
1st—bane, cure light wounds, disguise self, shield
of faith.
0—guidance, mending, resistance, virtue.
Possessions: Masterwork morningstar, chainmail,
heavy wooden shield, light crossbow,
bolts (12), potion of invisibility; scroll of divine
favor, bless and hold person; ebony unholy
symbol worth 25 gp, 35 gp]

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir pauses and casts a spell of greater invisibility on himself only after pointing to Belie to lead the way down the hall.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The hallway ended in a simple, wooden, spiral staircase that descended into darkness below.

At the bottom of the stairs, two doors stood before the duo.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
OOC: Where are we on this map, at the stairs?

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Jamir (msg # 158):

Say at the bottom of the stairs, each in a square. Pick wherever you want.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir looked to the left and then to the right and pointed back and forth until he said, “Right, that one it is.” He walked forward into the smaller room, ready to see what lay waiting for him. Though he expected his inivisibility would aid him as an aspect of his defense.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The room was empty except for a few crates and two tall, stone pieces set against the back wall. A single robe was hanging there, with hooks for several more. The robe bore a large seal depicting a broken bell.

This was indeed the symbol of the Tolling Bell chaos cult. At least the duo knew they were in the right place.

Both jerked their heads toward the door farthest from these stone wardrobes, then looked at one another for confirmation they had both heard.

Sounds of chanting came from the other side of the door. Several voices could be heard but they could not determine the number of individuals.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir, still invisible readied himself for action and opened the door the tiniest bit, hoping to not attract any attention to the open doorway.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie readies himself behind Jamir and waits for the door to open further since he cannot see his diminutive friend.

The rogue had his rapier in his offhand, and a nasty looking whip in his other. Jamir wasn’t sure what the man was thinking, but he figured they were ready for anything.

The full-ling was able to see a group of robed and hooded individuals standing in a semi-circle around something, chanting. Jamir had to wait a bit for their bodies to shift until he confirmed it was a young woman, tied to a table.

Dang it. Sorry it took me several days to update again! Life just gets in the way.
I’m really trying to keep up.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir studied the group and looked for what he presumed to be the leader and then thrust forward his invisible hand.

Seemingly out of nowhere a green arrow struck out at the leader burning at his chest.

OOC:
22:07, Today: Jamir rolled 4 using 2d4.  Damage round 1.
22:07, Today: Jamir rolled 14 using 1d20+9.  Acid Arrow.

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
Belie was moving even as Jamir finished the words of his whispered spell. The halfling noticed his friend now wore the tolling bell ceremonial robe which was previously hanging. The rogue followed the arrow into the room. Jamir’s magical projectile struck the priest, who screamed in alarm at the invasion of his body and the acid pumping into it. Then Belie struck the man beside him.

The beautiful, and magical, rapier pierced the man’s back and protruded from his chest, much like Jamir’s arrow was doing to the other evil cultist. Unlike the spell attacked man, this one did not cry out. Instead he slumped forward to slide off Belie’s weapon and gurgled in death. The halfling could not see his friend’s eyes, and he didn’t realize what a blessing that was. The cultists had all looked up at the attack, and surely knew death was among them.

23:39, Today: Belie rolled 19,10 using 1d20+11,1d6+4.
23:41, Today: Belie rolled 15 using 5d6.  Sneak Attack Damage.
23:43, Today: Belie rolled 11 using 1d20+9.  Init .

Oh my word. One of my worst initiative rolls ever! 😀

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
23:43, Today: DM, on behalf of Jamir, rolled 10 using 1d20+4.  Init .
23:44, Today: DM, for the NPC Cultists, rolled 16 using 1d20.  Init.

Initiative Order:

16 Cultists
11 Belie
10 Jamir

The cultists moved back away from the rogue

Green C is your poisoned one.
Red faded C is dead.
Maroon B is Belie.

Several of the men went into spell casting immediately, but the two closest to Belie attacked outright. One swung a morningstar from beneath his robe while the other drew a ceremonial dagger and attempted to stab the rogue.

Jamir watched as the man side stepped the clumsy morning star swing easily then merely tapped the dagger out wide from himself with a simple flick of the wrist. These men were in trouble…

23:51, Today: DM, for the NPC Cultists, rolled 6,5,15,3 using 1d20+5,1d8+3,1d20+5,1d4+1.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir loosed another acidic bolt and stepped into the room and away from where he’d just shot from so as not to allow the cultists to surmise his location.

The acid from his previous bolt continued to eat away at the leader and Jamir wondered just how effective these bolts would really be.

OOC:
22:15, Today: Jamir rolled 4 using 2d4.  Damage round 2 (previous attack).
22:15, Today: Jamir rolled 3 using 2d4.  Damage round 1 (if a hit).
22:15, Today: Jamir rolled 11 using 1d20+9.  Acid Arrow Round 2.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The below are the spells cast last round, they will get to act again right now, then it will be the PCs turn again

Belie felt the tickle of a spell wash over him, but he shrugged it off and cleared his head.

The farthest back “priest” had a shield spring in front of him.

Jamir’s arrow thunked into the next cultist behind the one already struck, who succumbed to his wounds and toppled before Belie.

All four who remained surged forward. The cultist nearest Belie, who had cast a spell but they had seen no effect, swung his morningstar with all his worth at the already dodging and parrying rogue. The priest woefully missed as Belie spun and allowed the man to rush past him, but not before sticking the stumbling man in the process.

AOO: 30,8 damage using 1d20+12,1d6+4

The other three seemed unconcerned about their fallen comrades and simply swung at Belie as well.

NPC Cultists, rolled 16,5,25,10,18,3 using 1d20+5,1d8+3,1d20+5,1d8+3,1d20+5,1d4+1

The second man in line, sporting a shimmering shield, connected his morning star with Belie’s arm, but he twisted with the blow and it seemed to do him no harm.

The rogue was veritably surrounded but the cultists but he seemed not to mind. He swung the beautiful rapier around, completing his spin to minimize the morningstar hit and poked at the man who had stumbled past him. Unfortunately the attacking cultist, seemingly by accident, raised his deflected morningstar and blocked the blade.

Belie followed through with the motion and snuck his rapier around the man’s shield to draw a line of blood.

Belie rolled 22,7 using d20+7,1d6+4.

Now it’s Jamir’s turn again.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Moving again, Jamir looses a third arrow of acid at the cultists as he watches acid continue to tear at the skin of his previous victims.

OOC: 26 to hit for 3 damage, round 2 of arrow 2 did 4 damage

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The cultist clutches his chest and tries to tear out the arrow, then steps away from Belie and casts a spell on himself.

Belie has three of them left to contend with. He is able to parry two of the attacks but the third slips through his dizzying sword work and gives him a smack to the ribs.

Belie: 6 damage

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
The man was tired of being the monkey in the middle so he back-summersaults through two of the defenders and slashes at the man to his left who just smacked him in the ribs.

His rapier stabbed true, into the man’s side to repay the wound he just inflicted 8 points of damage

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir cast another acid arrow and then moved forward, just out of reach of the others, thinking he might try something different during the next round.

OOC: Acid Arrow 3 does another 6 damage; Acid Arrow 4 does 4 for this round.
23:18, Today: Jamir rolled 6 using 2d4.  Acid Arrow 3 damage round 2.
23:18, Today: Jamir rolled 4 using 2d4.  Acid arrow 4 damage round 1.
23:17, Today: Jamir rolled 27 using 1d20+9.  Touch attack acid arrow #4.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The acid pumping into the one fiend was too much and his wounds overcame him. Obviously the other had healed himself and he took a step back to try extracting the arrow. Realizing he couldn’t do that, he focused once more on healing himself.

This left Belie only two to tangle with, which were odds he quite liked. They both attacked, morningstar and dagger, but his lighting fast rapier picked off both their attacks and allowed him to jab at each of them in turn.

He scored viscous hits both times, each man stepping back, clutching a bleeding wound.

Jamir?

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir finds himself lacking any good options and looses yet another arrow of acid at one of the two cultists still standing. He promised himself he would learn better combat spells for the future.

OOC: 13:04, Today: Jamir rolled 6 using 2d4.  Damage from the previous arrow if that person is still alive.
13:04, Today: Jamir rolled 4 using 2d4.  Damage.
13:04, Today: Jamir rolled 14 using 1d20+9.  Acid Arrow One More Time.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Two of the three remaining dropped to the floor and breathed their last.

The final cultists stood waving his puny dagger at Belie. Jamir saw his friend smile with death in his eyes.

Dagger gripped in white knuckles the man sprang forward at Belie, who merely slapped the blade aside and stepped out of the man’s way.

Jamir watched as his friend kept his rapier up in a lazy defense and saw the evil priest’s anger surge.

Once more the robed man jumped wildly forward slashing side to side with his dagger in a fury. He never even got close to hurting the rogue.

Out lashed the whip Belie had been carrying and took the man to the floor, his ankle wrapped.

“What do you think my friend? Do we ask any questions, or just empty his blood?”

Jamir had to chuckle at the man’s squeak. To him, prone on the floor, it seemed as Belie was insane and talking to himself since the halfling was still invisible.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
“First we need to make sure the girl is ok. If she is ok, then we can ask him questions. If she’s not then he dies. It’s that simple.”

And with that Jamir became visible and moved swiftly to the table to check on the girl and make sure they had made it in time.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The man’s face paled further hearing Jamir’s words then seeing the humanoid appearing.

Jamir approached the girl, but had to grab a chair to reach her level.

She was terrified but otherwise unharmed. He was able to remove her blindfold, gag and restraints.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir smiled at the girl and said, “Don’t worry darling, we were sent by your father and the people that love you and him. Your safe now. We’ll get you home in no time.” He hopes he can be reassuring and inspire hope and trust but knows this could be a difficult transition for the girl.

“Belie, secure the prisoner. He will pay for his crimes according to justice here. The more cooperative he is, the more lenient the judge may be.”

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
Jamir definitely raised an eyebrow at Belie’s frown at the mention of securing the prisoner. He thought for a moment the man would simple strike, but instead he flicked his wrist to loosen the whip’s hold and barked at the man to roll over.

“My friend, please tie him while I remain ready to strike if this filth had a mind to fight.”

The halfling didn’t argue and quickly tied the man’s hands, then his feet with a cord length separating the knots to allow for walking. Finally he used a cord to attach hands to feet to make escape even more unlikely.

“I know there is a city watch. I’ve seen their patrols. But I’m not certain where an office or jail would be to surrender this beast. Do you know?”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
“I figured we would take him pack to Toman with his daughter and let him have the first crack at him. Though I am sure thr City Guard would prefer we operate under more formal channels and protocols. Tell us prisoner, what’s it worth to you to have us follow proper protocols? Maybe you can tell us where more of your kind are and where your current treasury is in this hovel…”

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
Belie grinned at Jamir’s plan.

He looked down at the man, “Well…?”

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The cult priest scowled right up to the point of Belie’s rapier pressing into his neck.

He led them into another room off the main.

A fine chest stood looked in the corner. The rogue stowed his rapier and retrieved his tool kit. Jamir was about to warn Belie about the small grin and watchful eyes of the man.

But belie stopped, turned to face the man and asked if he wanted to make the final turn. His face paled as Belie turned the tools and a small click shot an arrow out into the wall too near the priest. He let out a little shriek.

Jamir saw gold inside along with some other items of note. Not even including the golden inlaid altar.

Coins: 1013 gp 5 sp

Altar (30 gp) [left behind]
8 x Bottle of Spiced Wine (2 gp, 4 lb)
Chest (10 gp)
13 x Small Casks of Common Spice (5 gp, 5 lb)

Experience points: 1130 each

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
“Good, good, though you could have mentioned the trap. It was easy enough to read your face though… I think you should meet Toman and he should get the first pass at you. Belie, do you agree? I say we head back to the tavern where this all began and reunite Toman and his daughter and see what his friends think of this priest. Put a gag on him. I don’t want him uttering any curses in transit.”

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie readily agreed after loading up his seemingly bottomless pack with everything but the altar.

I’ll post more tomorrow. Gotta get kids ready for bed. 🙂

By tomorrow I meant 2 days later 😉

The four of them left the building behind, stepping into the night air in the narrow alley. Together they headed for the Black Swan. Belie and Jamir kept a keen watch and listen for any city patrols, which they wanted to avoid. Thankfully the night was quiet and they made it to the door of the rowdy Black Swan without incident.

Entering the Swan, a place full of rough individuals and used to pretty much anything, they still caught people’s attention. A man bound and gagged wasn’t a normal sight. Let alone such a young woman looking so disheveled.

Migos shouted in excitement from behind the bar, and another man – who they assumed to be Toman – spun in his seat. Toman jumped up from the bar and ran to the young woman, embracing here and thanking Jamir and Belie profusely.

Belie realized after he smiled and returned Toman’s hug that he still wore his disguise, but decided not to make anyone jump by changing now.

The rogue caught Toman’s attention after the man showered his daughter with affection and checked to make sure she was unharmed.

“This is one of the cultists who stole your daughter. The rest of his group have been slain. We can turn him over to the watch, or we can leave him here and walk away. Your choice…”

It was obvious Toman was close to an explosion. He gripped his daughter under one arm, around her shoulders and squeezed her tight.

“I’m no murderer. Take him to the watch.” The man spit on the floor at the abductor’s feet. “You will be wanting the reward no doubt.”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir smiled at the reunion of the two and when Toman mentioned that he was no murderer he nodded in approval.

As Toman mentioned the reward, Jamir quickly spoke up and said, “Sir, typically I’d ask for an honest wage for an honest job, but in this case, I have to admit it was my pleasure to do this work and we found our own reward in the doing of it. So keep your gold, but be sure to spend it wisely. Maybe get a dog to guard your daughter or your house more actively? Was there any reason they took your daughter in particular or were you just unlucky?”

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Jamir looked up at Belie as he was passing on their joint reward and he saw genuine admiration and respect in the man’s eyes. The halfling could tell his friend was thinking the exact same thing as was beyond pleased to hear Jamir’s words.

Toman responded, “Young man, I’ve no enemies. I just work my time to earn what little we do to provide for myself and my girl. I’ve no idea why anyone would take her.”

The young woman, still shaken but calming by being in her fathers arms, shook her head and explained they just snatched her off the street, seemingly at random.

“No one said anything to me. They only spoke in a strange language. I was bound, blindfolded and gagged, then laid on that table. You all rescuing me was the first thing I saw after being grabbed.” She shuddered again at the memory and gripped her father all the tighter.

Belie roughly shook the cultist and scowled in disgust.

“We will take him to the watch and see he’s dealt the proper justice.”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir nodded to Toman and said, “I understand, and didn’t mean to imply anything.” He wanted to tell Toman that he intended to hunt down the other cult members and make sure they were all dealt with as well, but he didn’t want to tip his hand to the prisoner.

Jamir followed Belie out the door and then said to the prisoner, “Listen this can be easy or it can be hard. The easy way means you have a much, much better chance of us telling the city guard a less serious story about your actions. The hard way means we’ll share all of the gruesome details. Now tell me what you know about your cult. What were you all up to?”

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The cultist, still gagged, just glared back at them. His eyes showed no pity or remorse.

“He’s not going to talk my friend. Maybe he accidentally got cut on his face though… a mark that will leave a nasty scar which he can’t hide from. What do you think?”

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir stared him down and said, “Perhaps he’ll speak after this,” and a ray of blackness shot out and hit the man at point blank range. Jamir and Belie watched as his strength was sapped almost to the brink. “Did that loosen your tongue?’

OOC:
Cast Ray of Enfeeblement for 7 Str Damage
15:35, Today: Jamir rolled 7 using 1d6+4.  Ray of Enfeeblement Str Penalty.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The man did indeed slump to the ground, weakened by the magic, but the look of hate and defiance did not leave his eyes.

Are you doing all this inside the Black Swan in front of everyone, or did we go outside?

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Jamir
———————————————————–
OOC: We went out. So this man just wants to die, huh…

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Seems he either has a death wish, or he simply refuses to “betray” his “order.”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Unwilling to actually murder the man, Jamir helps Belie drag him to the nearest location of the City Guard where he informs them of the man and his order’s crimes. He asks if the guard has heard of any other similar happenstances, kidnapping, and the like.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie stowed his dagger up a sleeve once more, deciding since they were heading to the watch, bringing him with an obviously deliberate slash down his face was inadvisable.

Jamir and Belie needed only walk one block down Tavern Row to reach Center Street then pass a few buildings to reach the Watchhouse maintained in Delver’s Square. Unlike the Watchhouses throughout most of Ptolus, the Delver’s Square house was not wood. The structure stood above all others in the square and was hewn stone.

The golden hawk flying on a field of blue Ptolus flag flew hanging over the large steel banded door. Belie knocked and the three waited together until a burly watchmen answered the door.

He was clad in the blue tunic covering strong armor beneath, typical of the City Watch guardsmen. A longsword stood at his hip, which his hand that hadn’t opened the door rested on currently. With a brusk voice he simply asked, “What?” and stood waiting for an answer. When Jamir explained who the cultist was, and what he had done the guardman’s face remained impassive.

He turned to the cultist and asked, “What’s your name?”

The cultist answered after Belie removed his gag, “My name is of no consequence. These people attacked me. If I’m not released immediately you will pay dearly. These two have already forfeited their lives.”

Belie’s jaw tightened at the audacity of the man, but before either of them had a chance to respond the guardsman spoke up.

“And what order are you with?”

The robed man calmly looked the guard dead in the eye and answered, “The Tolling Bell.”

The man sighed, “Come in. I’ll file a report and we’ll take him off your hands.” It was obvious he was less than pleased at the prospect of paperwork. Belie kept hold of the bound evil priest as Jamir shut the door behind them. The guard led them down a long hallway past a large room with a table that could seat twenty. At the end of the table several guardsmen relaxed and were enjoying a game of cards surrounded by food leftovers. They all looked up as the group passed then resumed their laughing and game.

Their single guard escort turned into an office off the main hallway and stepped around to the back of the large wooden desk. He slid his long sword free and propped it up beside the desk as he sat down in an oversize padded chair that creaked under his bulky frame and armor.

The two remained standing holding their prisoner between them as the guard produced a piece of paper with several pieces of print already present, then dipped a fine quill pen into ink. He looked up and locked gazes with the man then asked once more, “Now, what is your name? Lie to me and I’ll strip you and set you loose in the Necropolis after dark…”

He didn’t squirmed and answered again, “My name is not for you to know.”

“Very well.” He wrote something down on the paper then set the pen down and opened a large drawer of the desk. While he searched Belie and Jamir noticed the left wall was covered in City Notices and other Decrees and information. The right wall was beyond covered in Wanted posters. Most simply sported WANTED, a list of crimes, then the person’s name and the reward amount. A few of the posters also sported drawn likenesses of the criminals. But the three that stood out the most sported big letters that read DEAD OR ALIVE and each had a higher reward than the last.

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE Seraphina Duststone, young female human fortune teller. 500 gold reward. Wanted for Murder. Apply at Dalengard.

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE Shilukar, Male Dark Elf Thief and Mage. 1,000 Gold Imperial Reward from House Abanar.

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE Rullus Hobb, Male Human, for crimes against the empire, including murder of a public official and animating the dead. Reward of 5,000 gold thrones for his capture or proof of his demise. Apply at Dalengard.

The watchman shut the drawer bringing their attention back. “I can’t check for any warrants since he will not give his name, but we will put him in lock up.” He hollered and two other guardsmen came from down the hall and lead the cultist away.

“Please describe the situation.”

Belie and Jamir explained about responding to the request for aid regarding Toman’s stolen daughter, then how they found and fought the cultists, all the way up to them standing before him now. They conveniently left out their threats to the man. He took notes throughout their story, his face never changing.

OOC: If you have further questions for him they can be inserted here in your post. Don’t feel like I rushed you past this point.

“Ok. That should do it. I’ll walk you out.” He led them down the hallway and shut the door behind them.

Delver’s Square was bustling that morning. All manner of beings hustling through the crowd to one store or another, or heading up and down the stairs to the Undercity. The stand out of the day has to be the ogre walking through the crowd. He stood higher than two men combined carrying a spear longer still. Then multiple stones floated about his head constantly in motion and seemingly random order. He kept a big smile on his face, greeting many of the people as friends while making his way across the square and down Center Street.

“Ptolus continues to amaze daily.” Belie said with a small smile.

You can see Delver’s Square and the Watchhouse here:

http://v3p.org/ptolus/wp-conte…By-The-Spire-Big.jpg

See this link for pics of Watchhouse and City Watch guardsman unitform: http://v3p.org/ptolus/players-…orities-and-the-law/

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir gave the cultist a long look at the mention of forfeiting their lives and started to regret not killing the man in “battle” like he could have. They’d left a witness and that witness could bring down an attack on them. He logged that thought to address with Belie later, though he knew it was still the right thing to do…

As they passed the “Wanted” posters, Jamir nudged Belie a bit attracting his attention and once the guards had finished he made sure to ask two pointed questions. First, “What will you do with him? He’s made threats against our lives that you just heard and he participated in the kidnapping and attempted murder of a young girl… And what of the cult, the Tolling Bell? Do you have plans to address their influence here in the city?”

After receiving satisfactory (or not) answers to these questions Jamir asked about the Wanted posters saying, “Who do we need to talk to about those. I think my friend and I could help you with those ‘challenging’ suspects should you like us to?”

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The guard leaned back, the chair complaining with a squeak, and answered Jamir in an almost bored tone. “He will be put in a holding cell. Then the report will be filed, and he will be brought before a judge. Regarding the threat, I noted his comments in my report. It’s only your word, at this time, about the kidnapping. If there are other witnesses, have them come make statements. As to this tolling bell, that’s above my rank. There is so much filth in this city, no one can clean it all out.”

He turned in his chair and leaned forward to rest elbows on knees as he looked over all the wanted posters and notices.

“Look at the notice. Dalengard or that one is House Abanar.”

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir nodded and said, “We’ll send whatever witnesses we can muster.”

Jamir motioned for Belie to come over to the wall and said, “Do any of these look strange to you? Or is it just me?”

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Belie
———————————————————–
“Murderers and thieves don’t look weird. What do you mean by weird?”

The guard ushered them out of his office and out the front door citing the need to be about his other duties. He also told them these flyers were posted in several places around the city and they could get more information from the sources on the fliers.

The two were able to start walking and carry on their conversation.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir smiled, “It didn’t strike you as odd that a fortune teller was wanted for murder? The other two seemed pretty straightforward, though with their own twists, like a dark elf and necromancy, but a fortune teller and murder don’t add up to me. I’d like to find this Dalengard and see what he has to say…”

Jamir had a determined look in his eye as if he was going to solve this riddle if it was the last thing he did…

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Smiling at his small friend’s determination they made their way back to the Welcome Inn to ask where this Dalenguard was. When they arrived and got the chance to speak with Markus Schuk he chuckled at them.

“Dalenguard is a what, not a he. The Dalenguard fortress separates Oldtown from the Nobles’ Quarters and protects their riches. Not just anyone is allowed through. It’s easy enough to find, just head due North out of here. You’ll cross Center street and be on the Emperor’s road which leads you up into Oldtown and it turns into Dalenguard road. Just follow that straight to the gates.”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie asked Markus for a few nibbles to take on the road, which he gladly supplied.

The rogue slid the necessary coin across the bar to him as the door opened. In stepped an ugly dwarf. His square face was simply awful, showing several scars and disfigurements. Long, wavy black hair and beard did not hide his green eyes.

Jamir and Belie both noticed Markus stiffen when the dwarf walked in.

I have a +12 to Sense motive vs your +1 and somehow you out rolled me… WTH?! 😀
14:16, Today: DM rolled 16,20 using 1d20+12,1d20+1.  Sense Motive.

The dwarf was about half-way to 5 feet, not much taller than Jamir, but his robust build certainly set him apart from the halfling.

He told Markus they needed to talk to which the older human left from behind the bar and exited the kitchen to a room in the back, leaving Jamir and Belie alone at the bar with only a couple other patrons in the inn.

[Private to GM: While gathering information about another topic, the player characters learn that the Schuks have been dealing with the Balacazars— specifically, with Halgrim Fatherstone (male dwarf fighter6/rogue4), the Balacazar organization’s crime boss of the South Market.

Halgrim Featherstone is a 74 year old dwarf.
He has long, wavy, black hair and green eyes.
He has rough white skin.
He stands 132cm (4’4″) tall and has a round build.
He has a square, awful face.]

You can do whatever you want here, but I’m going to go ahead and post as you all moved on

The duo stepped out into the afternoon sun, with clouds dotting the sky and providing plenty of shade as they raced across the heavens.

Markus was right with his directions. Once they walked up the steep incline that lead them into Oldtown it was like they were in a different city altogether. They had been here once before, but the area was still breathtaking.

So I’m an idiot. Jamir and Belie have been here before :D. Read post #115 link to a message in this game

Neither had realized the castle they had visited prior, when trying to sneak into the Noble’s Quarters was Dalenguard. Once again they passed the impressive Imperial University and Administration Building, where they had received their papers.

As before guards stopped them outside the castle’s open gate. Jamir explained there were here about a wanted poster about Seraphina Duststone, the young female human fortune teller who was wanted for Murder. They were told to proceed to the left and to the Main Keep.

They were allowed to pass through the gate and into Dalenguard’s ancient walls.

Dalenguard’s main keep stands four stories high, with a single tower rising much higher and massive front gates emblazoned with the symbol of Ptolus. Above the doors hangs a massive, functional clock.

The Commissar’s Residence

The Commissar’s Residence is a large manor house within the walls of Dalenguard. The two story building is made of brick with shuttered windows and a gabled roof with wooden shingles. Two guards stand outside the door at all times. Commissar Igor Urnst dwells here with his family.

The Hall of the Twelve

The free-standing Hall of the Twelve is the newly built and opulent meeting hall of the Twelve Commanders of Ptolus. A paved plaza with a fountain stands between the Hall of the Twelve and the Main Keep.

The Main Keep

Once inside they were among dozens of other beings standing in lines to speak with clerks. None of the ques were marked so they picked on and stood. Once they reached the young man, dressed in a simplified version of the City Watch uniform, he told them the only information available was what was provided on the poster.

“You must be processed as approved to pursue this person.”

The young man collected their papers and prepared additional documents which specified they were pursing the bounty on Seraphina. He stamped the new paperwork in ink with the Ptolus seal and sent them on their way.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
As Jamir walked with Belie over to Dalengarde, he said, “Did that feel a little weird back there with Markus and the dwarf to you? Should we have stayed to make sure he was ok? Nah, I mean, the dwarf wouldn’t hurt him with all of those witnesses, right. Just something we should check in on later for sure though. Sound like a plan?”

As they waited in line Jamir almost lost his patience, this whole affair felt absurd and wrong and it was all Jamir could do to keep from saying as much to the person “processing” them. When they were finished he asked, “Can you give us any more details about this Seraphina and her crime? It would be good to know as much as we can if we have any hope of finding her.”

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Belie
———————————————————–
“Yeah. He seemed genuinely frightened by that dwarf. We can ask him about it when we get back.”

Belie was equally frustrated with the wait, fidgeting along with Jamir. They were far more used to navigating terrain, fighting through caves, and facing all manner of monster. But nothing frustrated them as bad as government functionaries and paperwork!

At Jamir’s question he received a blank stare in response.

“I’ve given you all the information we have.”

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir was a bit concerned by the lack of information once again and he asked, “Do you at least know who she murdered? I mean, if she’s wanted for murder, certainly you know who she supposedly killed, right?”

OOC: 10:07, Today: Jamir rolled 22 using 1d20+5.  Diplomacy.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The man sighed, obviously put out. He stood and moved into the back room once again. Clearly they kept documents stored back there as he had retreated there twice now.

He returned with a piece of paper in hand.

“It says in the report filed with the Guard that Seraphina Duststone was accused, backed up by two witnesses, for murdering and robbing Davajor Holloway. His wife, Emersyn Holloway filed the report. You cannot take the official report, but if you want to pay 5 copper a scribe can duplicate the information for you.”

The man had a bored expression on his face, showing he didn’t care what they chose, simply wanting to be done with them and move on with his dull job.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir smiles at the man’s annoyance and says, “5 coppers seems reasonable for a copy. I will take one.”

Once the scribe had finished, Jamir left and said, “Lets find somewhere quiet to review these files and then see whether we can track anyone mentioned down?”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie asked a passing human who wore a beret, leather armor and a short sword strapped to his hip where they might grab a bite to eat here in Oldtown.

“Yeah, the Boiling Pot is near the end of Four Fountains street. Good place to eat, owned by a human.”

The rogue thanked him, and asked for slightly more specific directions, which the man explained to be easy enough. Head back down Dalenguard Road and Four Fountains was the biggest street before you left Oldtown.

The human and halfling headed out once more, easily finding the establishment. It seemed Oldtown was focused far more on the affairs and politics of the city and organizations of Ptolus than food and fare.

Two buildings of note certainly stood out on their walk. The City Library was a beautiful, thre-story building with two wings that encased a beautiful garden and yard lined with sculptures.

A second, unfinished building, was a metallic tower that stood over 30 feet high. A framework clearly meant to complete three more stories would make the building tower over 60 feet when completed. Impressive and unlike any structure around, it certainly stood out. Dozens of workers scrambled around the building working toward it’s far off completion.

Finally, they arrived at the Boiling Pot. The restaurant was a two-story building built of brick and timber. It seemed sturdily built for a purpose other than serving hungry patrons.

Once inside the heavy iron banded, wooden door Jamir looked around and commented that the structure resembled a military barracks more than a restaurant.

A young, human woman greeted them as they took seats among the nearly empty establishment. Being mid-afternoon, it was not unexpected for there to be a lull, but both Belie and Jamir were famished after the walking and monotony of government bureaucracy.

“I would like a full meal.”

The not unattractive brunette described baked eel with cheese, steamed hare and poached duck. Belie requested the rabbit which came with barley bread and she suggested a light, white wine.

[Private to GM:

The Boiling Pot: http://v3p.org/ptolus/oldtown/The-Boiling-Pot/

Baked Eel and Sharp Cheese, Glass of Mead (4 sp)
Steamed Hare and Barley Bread, Glass of Wine (2 sp)
Poached Duck and Artichoke, Glass of Whiskey (2 sp)
Steamed Phoenix and Sharp Cheese, Glass of Mead (2 sp)
Baked Catfish and Dried Pear, Glass of Port (4 sp)
Roasted Veal and Leek, Glass of Cider (1 sp)

Patrons

Maly: Female Halfling Scholar, Neutral. Maly is heavyset, with messy blonde hair and gray eyes. She is depressed and soft-hearted. Maly seeks a company of adventurers to investigate bizarre monsters which wander the Frostwood Forest.
Emban Mugwort: Male Halfling Servant, Good. Emban has long blonde hair and hazel eyes. He wears modest garments and a gray cloak.
Kune: Male Elf Aristocrat, Good. Kune is heavyset, with black hair and green eyes. He wears fine raiment and jewelry. Kune has an animal companion, a hawk named Ronwinduil.
Eris: Male Elf Mercenary, Neutral. Eris is tall, with long black hair and soft green eyes. He is depressed and barbaric. Eris seeks a company of adventurers to discover who is murdering his peers, and why.
Aerer: Male Human Servant, Neutral. Aerer is rough in appearance, with short red hair and hazel eyes. He is determined and sadistic. Aerer seeks a company of adventurers to escort his daughter safely to the dwarven city of Bragnidalr.
Baldu: Male Human Artist, Evil. Baldu has a long face, with thin silver hair and sharp amber eyes. He wears well-made clothing and an amulet of luminous crystal. Baldu has an animal companion, a white rabbit named Heahyg.]

One patron in particular caught Jamir’s eye, a Female Halfing sat alone and wearing a simple, blue robe.

Belie noticed a human man who was well dressed and sporting a glowing crystal around his neck. He chuckled noticing the man was holding, and petting, a white rabbit. Given his meal choice he smiled at the irony.

A couple elves sat together, and typical for their race, seemed secretive and closed off.

Jamir produced the papers and laid them on the table to review.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
“I’ll have the same,” Jamir added quickly after Belie ordered his meal. He then sat down to examine the case files, but there wasn’t a whole lot of information…

He gestured discreetly to Belie that he was going to go talk to the halfling and then rose and moved over to the female member of his race and said, “How are you doing today? I’ve been in line much of the morning and am looking forward to a nice meal…” It wasn’t much of a pick-up line, but that’s not what he was up to, now was it… And if there was one thing halflings liked to do it was talk about their food.

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Maly
———————————————————–
The female halfling was heavyset, with messy blonde hair and gray eyes. She seemed a bit depressed but perked up a bit when Jamir approached her.

“Hello. My name is Maly. And yours?

Jamir gave whatever name he desired, and followed her gesture to join her in the chair opposite. Unfortunately the chairs were elf and human sized, but he made due as usual.

“Where and why were you waiting in line?”

The halfling explained what he saw fit and her stream of questions continued.

“You will not be disappointed here. The food is quite good.”

Is your current description what’s written in your Char. Desc? If not, give me some details. All my NPCs react based on your clothes/look/weapons/armor/etc… Link back to this game

[Private to GM: Maly seeks a company of adventurers to investigate bizarre monsters which wander the Frostwood Forest / or something else inside ptolus? Underground?]

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Jamir
———————————————————–
“Hi Maly, I’m James.  It’s a pleasure to meet you and I’m glad to hear I won’t be disappointed by the food!”

He paused considering whether the truth was useful here and deciding it couldn’t hurt he said, “Well, you see we helped a man find his daughter and when we turned in the cultist who’d kidnapped her, we saw a strange poster. Apparently a fortune teller killed someone a while ago and they haven’t found the woman. My friend Bells and I are looking into what happened as all of it struck us as odd… Fortune tellers aren’t typically the type to kill people. Something about that seems strange, right? Or is it just strange to me? Oh I do hope I haven’t scared or disturbed you?”

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Maly
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Well met James. The plump halfling responded, then allowed Jamir to continue through his thoughts.

Personally I don’t find it that odd. Most fortune tellers are theives anyway! So what’s it to add a bit Of murder to their list of offenses? Spire no you haven’t disturbed me. But for yourself with these deeds, are you seeking coin for your efforts?

OOC: Did you say Bells instead of belie on purpose or was that a typo? Just wanted to make sure the NPC responds correctly.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
“Well there is some reward, but I feel like something is wrong with this whole situation. Maybe I am misreading the situation but fortune telling may amount to duping the innocent and foolish but taking a life is another thing altogether.”

He paused and then said, “I will stop talking about that for now. What brings you here this fine day?”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
OOC: Just a friendly reminder, I’m the anti-lead-by-the-nose DM. I throw tons of stuff out and you can follow whatever you want. So any NPC you talk to, or sign you see, none of that are you “supposed” to follow. 😀 I like to throw out lots of plot hooks and allow you to follow whatever you want.

Oh, I just came from the City Library. I’m a member of the Sage’s Guild and I’m in the middle of researching a strange species recently discovered in Ghul’s Labyrinth. A new monster cooked up by Ghul from his laboratories. It’s very exciting! No one else has seen this beast before and I’ve been tasked with researching and documenting it! The guild has given me a small stipend to hire help to seek out more of these beasts, hopefully even catch one alive. Our only sample was brought back quite dead, slain by a group of Delvers.

She grinned through her sharing, obviously quite excited about the research and this unknown monster.

Ah, I’ve prattled again. I tend to do that when I get excited about something. So you’re hunting a murderer? Was this person seen in Oldtown? I’ll be sure to avoid any fortune tellers!

She chuckled, her tone made it obvious she would never have visited one in the first place. Taking another swig from her small mead cup, she politely cut a piece of meat and properly placed it in her mouth to chew silently.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir found himself torn, he wanted to continue his investigation, but this seemed like a golden opportunity. “When were you hoping to delve in search of this creature?” He asked, not beating around the bush at all.

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Maly
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Oh! I have no intention of delving myself! The guild gave me a budget to hire someone, or someones. But I would love to find someone to go as soon as possible.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir asked, “Well what did you have in mind for a fee? My associate and I might be willing to pause our investigation, if the price is right. We’d also want a bit more information about this beast and it’s strengths and weaknesses.”

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Maly
———————————————————–
In reply to Jamir (msg # 216):

Oh! Are you delvers? I’m not certain for a fee. I was going to head to the Delvers guild tomorrow to post a notice and inquire about an appropriate fee. As to strengths and weaknesses, we don’t know. The team who turned in the carcass didn’t tell us anything and they almost immediately disappeared into the dungeon again.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
“I’m not a seasoned delver, but we are now guild members and were considering taking up some delves recently. We may still do, especially for such a worthy cause. The lack of information doesn’t exactly bode well though…”

The halfling smiled at the woman and then said, “Well thank you for the advice, about the food, I mean. I’ll keep an eye out for your notice at the guild.”

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Maly
———————————————————–
Absolutely! And I hate to lack in information!

She chuckled at her little joke.

Thank you James. Will you be rejoining your friend? Or perhaps you would care to share some of the excitement you’ve experienced. The sages are knowledgeable, but lacking in adventure! I would love to hear some stories of your travels.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir paused and said, “Well I could invite Bells over to help me tell a few tales. Or I can go join my friend and we can eat our meals in silence. I know which one I’d prefer.” He adds with a wry smile.

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Maly
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She giggled at Jamir’s joke and took another swig of her drink.

Oh do have him join us. I would love to hear of adventure!

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir waved over to Belie and said, “Bells, come, this fair young friend I’ve made wants to hear a tale of adventure. Should we tell her about our most recent encounter with the cultists?”

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Belie
———————————————————–
Belie raised an eyebrow into a crook as he slowly stood and walked to the other table. He sat, choosing a seat that still afforded him a good view of the surroundings and the door. He spoke slowly, trying to figure out his friend’s play here.

“Yes… That was… exciting…”

Belie looked the unassuming halfling over, checking for hidden weapons or other surprises.

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir smiled at Belie’s acquiescence. “Well what Bells means to say is that we had quite an eventful day. When we joined the delver’s guild, we saw a notice about a missing girl. We went to meet her dad but couldn’t find him. What we did find was enough information to track the cult, the Tolling Bell or some such nonsense to their hideout.”

“When we got there, we found them about to sacrifice the young girl. We quickly took out the cultists and saved the girl. We turned the cultist that survived into the city watch and that’s when we found out about the fortune teller. And now we’re here with you talking about another delve altogether.” He took a breath to let that story set in and looked at the girl to gauge her reaction to his tale.

===========================================================
Maly
———————————————————–
Maly’s mouth drops open and stays there past Jamir’s finish. Finally she clamps her mouth shut with a clack then she lets out a little whistle.

My books! By the spire! How exciting! The one that survived…?

Here eyes were wide open and she studdered to finish her sentence.

You mean… You killed someone…?!

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Belie
———————————————————–
Belie looked at Jamir with a raised eyebrow and mouthed, Bells? His incredulous face almost made Jamir laugh.

===========================================================
Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir stifled a laugh at the poorly timed joke from Belie and said, “Excuse me, but yes. They weren’t someone’s though. They were vile, evil men who intended to kill a young girl to honor some god that hopefully doesn’t even exist…”

He was clearly upset at the implication and said, “We aren’t murderers, we saved a young girl’s life and had to use force to do so. Lots of force. I hope that doesn’t upset you too much. I’m not saying we enjoyed the killing, but we did what had to be done.”

“We tried to keep one alive. Bells here knocked him out and though we hoped he would reform, it was pretty clear by the way he threatened our lives when we turned him into the city guard that nothing was going to change with that one. The Tolling Bell, what a joke…”

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Maly
———————————————————–
Maly patted the air with both hands. Please. Please don’t misundertand!
I meant no offense. I’ve just never met anyone who has been in a real… Battle. Fight. Anything exciting!

Jamir realizes she’s like a child enamored with a soldier and inappropriately asking if they’ve ever killed anyone.

I totally understand they must have been evil men to steal and try to kill a young woman. You’ve done the city a service. You do things like this all the time?! Aren’t you scared?!

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Jamir
———————————————————–
Jamir smiled at the woman and said, “Oh, well, no, I mean not all the time. That would be a bit too dramatic wouldn’t it? Plus you always have to stop and enjoy the finer things in life. A good meal. A warm bed. You know.”

He then added almost as an afterthought, “We don’t think of it as helping the city, more of doing a kindness that needed to be done.”

“But come, you’ve studied many strange beasts, right? What tales can you tell us? What of this new species?”

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Maly
———————————————————–
The halfling lady blew out a breath causing her lips to plump humorously.

Fascinating lives. Fascinating. So much excitement!

At Jamir’s mention of studying she laughed out loud.

What can studying have to offer to men who face death for first and second breakfast! I do love the guild. I’ve learned so much and then study is fascinating to me.
I’ve dreamed of taking up a blade and charging off into the unknown, but those are merely dreams. My hands have only held tome and quill.

She gave a small, self deprecating smile.

Maybe someday a gallant,
young, debonair halfling will take me to experience some adventure. But safe adventure…
She smiled, this time much bigger.

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Jamir
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Jamir smiled back though perhaps not with the same intent and said, “That’s the thing about adventure, it really can’t be safe. Then again, going to eat in a nice big tavern can be a risk as well. It’s all about perspective. And ours is, risks are worth taking if the potential outcome is more important than the potential passed on by walking away.”

He turned to face Bells and said, “I was telling our new friend here that the fortune teller case struck me as odd because despite their reputations as thieves and charlatans, no self-respecting fortune teller would kill a potential customer… I don’t know though, what do you think?”

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Maly
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Maly pondered Jamir’s words for a bit then nodded in understanding.

I suppose you are right. What is adventure but not facing the unknown?

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Belie
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Belie smiled at Jamir’s words and merely responded with a grin, “Who said she was self respecting?”

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Maly
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Maly smiled at Belie’s quip as well, then her eyebrows shot up.

OOC: Nice to control both characters so you can make someone laugh at your jokes! haha 😀

What if she wasn’t a fortune teller at all? What if she was paid to pretend to be one and kill someone on purpose?!

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Jamir
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Jamir smiled and then he added, “See, even you’re speculating and you’ve only just heard. I’m right, there’s something fishy about this and I aim to figure it out…”

He trailed off a bit and said, “That would be a good cover, especially if the person you wanted dead was liable to get their fortune’s told. Hmm, you’ve given me yet another possible angle here. Lots of angles to explore.”

He paused and said, “Maly, Bells and I will look in on you in a day or two and see what you’ve decided about payment for the delve. Let’s meet for lunch in two days and catch up then. We’ll be doing our own thing until then, but I look forward to meeting you again.”

OOC: That is the privilege of controlling more than one character, you get to set yourself up 🙂

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Maly
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The plump halfling leaned forward and dropped her voice to a near whisper.

“Have you heard of the Vai? They are an assassins guild here in Ptolus, highly feared. You haven’t said who was killed, or how important and rich they were, but you never know…”

She frowned and leaned back away from the two men, returning to drink and food.

The server brought out for Jamir and Belie’s food and sat it on the table they were now sharing with Maly.

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Jamir
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“I’m not sure that I have heard of these Vai? So you’re suggesting that they might know something?”

He pulls out the file that he’d had copied and looks through the details, looking for who the victim of this crime was…

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Maly
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They might. But, don’t go asking questions about them, and even if you could find them you wouldn’t want to ask THEM questions… They would likely just kill you…

She definitely looked concerned, thinking Jamir meant to go looking for the Vai.

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Narrator
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Jamir finds the notes they previously reviewed and were told at Dalenguard.

“Seraphina Duststone was accused, backed up by two witnesses, for murdering and robbing Davajor Holloway. His wife, Emersyn Holloway filed the report.”

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Jamir
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Jamir read the note again, trying to memorize the names and the details. He then looked up at Maly and said, “Well, and please don’t take offense at this question, but why would you bring them up if you didn’t want me to look into them or even speak with them? Oh, you think the fortune teller is a Vai assassin who disguised herself to kill Davajar Holloway. Who is Mr. Davajar Holloway anyway, that he would be robbed and murdered by a fortune teller?”

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Maly
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Yes, I was merely proposing the fortune teller could have been a Vai assassin.
I didn’t think you would run off to try to find her and talk to her! But I’ve never heard of the person to whom you’re referring. However! I might have an answer for you! The sage’s guild keeps copies of the Imperial censi taken. If you would be willing to help me with my monster research, maybe I could help you look up this person. If he’s registered as a Citizen of Ptolus, then his name would have been recorded.

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Jamir
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Jamir smiled and said, “Would you look into the name for us? That would be such a big help. I’m happy to accompany you to the Sage Guild. I’d love to see more of your…” He realized he was being quite forward and suddenly was embarrassed a bit. “What I mean to say is that, I’ve enjoyed your company quite a bit and would like to get to know you better. I mean, if, you’d like that, that is.”

OOC: I haven’t decided if this is Jamir acting to get her to do this for her or if this is real. Either way, I doubt she would be able to tell… 🙂

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Maly
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Maly positively beams at Jamir’s request, suggestion. She nods her head as Jamir finishes.

Absolutely! We can go back to the Guild and investigate this Davajor Holloway and his wife to get whatever information available. Let’s finish our meal.

The three eat and exchange light conversation, the halflings more so than the lone human.

Belie watches with mild amusement, feeling the third wheel, but things were casual enough he didn’t feel the need to leave.

Are you done and ready to move on to the Guild right now?

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Jamir
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OOC: yes let’s move on to the guild

Jamir smiled at her acceptance of his offer and smiled a bit more at the thought of how uncomfortable Belie must be right this minute.