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1874 No. 1874 edit
When the adventurers awaken the next morning, they busy themselves preparing for their next quest. Many uncertainties lie ahead, and the adventurers hone and refine their own skills before getting ready to set out.

When they gather downstairs, they notice one of their number is missing: Sariel is not with them. Asking the halfling manager of the inn about her reveals that she left a few hours ago, saying she was headed for the Arcanimus, and that she'd be in touch.

Knowing they were to meet with Thalwynn, the party sets out from the inn, and takes the main road, through the merchant district. The sky today is clear and the streets are busy, a complete change from yesterday's gloomy atmosphere. Every stall set up in front of the tall, stone and wooden buildings lining the street is fully attended and surrounded by city-folk of all races, including rarities such as muls and dragonborn.

Torinn takes the lead, with Michael and Sureiya behind him, and the shaman and warlock bringing up the rear, trying to find a clear path through the crowded streets to the Flaming Fist headquarters, which is some distance away. Sureiya is the first to spot it, but the shaman and dragonborn notice it quickly as well: in the distance, a familiar-looking tiefling is darting this way and that, tapping people on the shoulder and speaking with them briefly. Near the tiefling are four heavily-armored guards, which stand out quite a bit in the crowd of townspeople, especially since each is wearing a tabard decorated with the coat of arms of Baldur's Gate. Each of them carries large, two-handed pole-axe and is decked out in full steel scale armor, with visored helmets. It appears they're on a hunt.

Decision Time:
Attempt to evade the tiefling and his attendants, or confront him directly? Need a party consensus, go!
118 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 2088 edit
Sureiya was feeling a bit nervous because of the magical instruments all over the place, so he was silent.
>> No. 2089 edit
"Slow fall huh, how interesting. I wonder where Sariel is too." Warlord thinks to himself.
>> No. 2090 edit
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The party (minus the shaman-psion?) ascends the spiral ramp, passing by quite a few platforms containing studying humanoids as they go.

At the top, they reach a rather elegantly arranged platform, with a few plants flanking a large, circular table covered in books and maps. Standing over the table and pouring over the gathered material is a female eladrin--though not their fellow party member, they recognize this one as Elayne, curator of the Arcanimus. She looks up at you as you approach. "Ah, welcome back. How can I help you today?"
>> No. 2093 edit
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"Ah," Elayne begins, "You're here to see your friend, is that it?" The eladrin female narrows her eyes and shifts the gaze from one end of the room to the other. "You're not under orders to take her to the palace, are you?"
>> No. 2095 edit
Even if Sureiya was a bit nervous there, he could not stay silent to such a reply.
"Do not worry, this visit have no relationship with the palace."
>> No. 2096 edit
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Torinn spent the flight up staring in wonder at all the bookshelves containing all those books for the shelves. Were all libraries like this? Even if he wasn't one for reading dense tomes of facts, figures and history, Torinn was still rather impressed.

What did the eldarin say? Oh, right. Torinn shakes his head,
"Oh no, not at all! We're only here to visit before we head out."
>> No. 2097 edit
Remaining on the first floor, the shaman tries to catch up to the half-orc from before.
>> No. 2098 edit
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Elayne nods, and gestures to the side. The air around the platform ripples, and it "becomes" slightly larger than it once was--or rather, the illusion that was hiding part of the platform is removed, and Sariel is sitting nearby, holding her ritual book and looking at you.

"Well, well," the sixth party member remarks, "I heard you got caught. Was there some service you required of me?"
>> No. 2099 edit
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The shaman follows the half-orc that greeted the party as they entered, and he takes a seat behind a desk and returns to thumbing through a pile of books he has stacked there before noticing "Bernkastel." He looks up, and addresses her, "Hmmm? Was there something else?"
>> No. 2100 edit
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Torinn shrugs and sighs, "Yes and no. The bad news is we're on a mission from the Duke. The good news is that it doesn't conflict with what we wanted to do about the incidents anyway."

"Anyway, why did you suddenly decide to come here? Are you staying behind?"
>> No. 2101 edit
"Hello, I'm sorry for not asking earlier... Where might I find some material on the history of orcish clans? Specifically, I'm interested in the history of the Dragonsworn and Many-Arrows."
>> No. 2102 edit
Sureiya stay his distance from the Eladrin, just saying hi to her with a grin.
>> No. 2103 edit
"It's as Sir Torinn here says. We met the duke, and while he doesn't SEEM so bad, I wish I could say the same of his adviser whom you already met. I'm curious like Sir Torinn is as well about you staying here, and curious about that ritual book we obtained earlier"
>> No. 2106 edit
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Sariel replies to the requests quickly and succinctly, "Ah, well, yes. Since I was not contracted by the grand duke, I'll instead be working here, at the Arcanimus. We're looking into those stepping disks from before... as well as some other things." She points to her ritual book and says, "That fell orc's ritual book contained rituals involving the enchantment of items, as well as rituals for transferring the enchantments and disenchanting them. I believe the fell orcs were robbing the caravans for magical items, disenchanting them, and using the residuum to power their rituals, summoning more elemental servants and safeguarding her lair. It was actually a clever setup."

Meanwhile, the half-orc replies to the shaman's inquiry, "Ah... actually, I'm not familiar with that area," the half-orc actually seems a bit reluctant to answer the question, as if something 'Bernkastel' had said was putting him off, "But the books on history are on the 2nd level platform. You may be able to find something there, but I don't know if I can be more specific than that. I am sorry."

If you want to try and learn about Many-Arrows via the resources here, make a Streetwise check.
>> No. 2113 edit
"Do you think you could put those to a less criminal use?"
>> No. 2114 edit
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Sariel frowns at that kind of response. "I'm not sure what you're thinking I intended to use them for, but I'd be open to requests to use the ritual to try and help you people along if you acquire the reagents required."
>> No. 2115 edit
Not liking the icky feeling from the conversation, the half-orc decides to go down and search for the Shaman
"Why did that human don't go up with the rest?" Edit:
Sureiya keep walking until he find the Shaman talking with the half-orc from before. He overhear a bit from their conversation
"Getting some information from the Many-Arrows? This could be a good place to do that"
>> No. 2118 edit
"...More about the Dragonsworn, but it's probably good to learn about where we're going."
>> No. 2120 edit

Streetwise check for Many-Arrows info:http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2981000/
>> No. 2131 edit
"Hmm.... Enchantments? Would it be too much trouble to ask you to enchant my boots to help me get up faster from bein' knocked down, Miss Sariel? I think I have enough magical reagents from distribution earlier."
>> No. 2132 edit
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Sariel agrees, and when Michael hands her his boots and the required reagents, she sets about for the next hour or so enchanting them into a set of Acrobat's Boots.

Meanwhile, Myn, "Bernkastel," and Sureiya browse amongst the books and individuals of the Arcanimus, looking for information on this "Dragonsworn" clan. Information on them is quite scarce, but from what they've read, they have managed to confirm most of what Thelkra and the archduke have said to be true. In addition, you learn that the Dragonsworn were mostly scattered across the western mountains and lowlands of the areas surrounding Many-Arrows, not very close to where you will be heading. There are few surviving records detailing their existence.

Once both groups complete their assigned tasks, Sariel nods to those gathered, and says, "I wish you the best of luck on your journey. We'll be doing our best here, too."
>> No. 2134 edit
"Stay safe, and the best of luck to you, as well."

After saying his farewells, Torinn heads back down the
spiral staircase. Once he's comfortably out of earshot, he murmurs, "Just don't ask strangers to be stepping stones for you in the meantime."

>> No. 2138 edit
"Thank you, Miss Sariel. Best of luck to you as well."
>> No. 2140 edit
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With their business concluded, the adventurers head out of the Arcanimus and head for the port district.

The port district crowd is noticeably a bit less... soft, than the people around the palace and in the wealthy districts. You attract some odd looks as you pass through the streets, though you make it to the docks themselves without trouble.

A good number of merchant ships are docked at the Baldur's Gate port, of varying sizes and makes. There is one in particular to the far side, which is under heavier guard than most--this ship has no sails, yet it is clearly not a river boat. In place of sails, there are large metallic shafts tipped with blades. You might call these "propellers" if you were aware of such things. These are not just placed where the sails would be either, as more of these blade-tipped shafts are built into the ship's exterior hill and point upwards into the air. A rather strange-looking ship.

In any case, there is some amount of commotion at the opposite end of the docks. A rather considerable crowd has gathered around a male dwarf in high-class, purple-and-gold clothing, with a white hat and a thick, red beard. He carries a large satchel of some sort, and some tough-looking humanoids (three humans, a pair of tieflings, a hafling, and a half-orc) appear to be harassing the dwarf.
>> No. 2142 edit
Sureiya get nearer to them, trying to listen to their conversation.
>> No. 2147 edit
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Torinn isn't one for subtlety.

"You there! Why are you harassing that dwarf?"
>> No. 2157 edit
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The dragonborn's outburst redirects the gang's attention, and the rough-looking halfling walks towards the adventurers with the others trailing slightly behind him, sneering, "Heys, what've we here? Some whelp that popped its shell too early, I reckon!" The other cliche-gang-looking humanoids laugh at this comment. "This dwarf here's been complainin' about the local food, and we were just thinkin' if he didn't like it, we'll beat it out of'em. So why don't ya go mind yer own business, eh?"
>> No. 2158 edit
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Torinn sniggers at the guy trying to act tough, "This coming from a circus midget playing the tough guy act?" He looks back at the rest of the thugs, "Or maybe you brought the circus to town with you?"

Torinn waves them away dismissively, "Shoo, clowns, get in your tiny little carriage and ride off to the next town before you're sent there in a hearse."
Intimidate roll: http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2984042/ (18)
>> No. 2159 edit
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Myn sighs internally before stepping forward.

"Unless all seven of you gentlemen are the chef in question, I suggest you leave the matter alone."

Myn smiles as usual, but markedly reaches toward one of his rods.

Intimidate check: http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2984044/
>> No. 2161 edit
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...The dwarf must be our... 'diplomat,' but the other seven?

Combination of perception, insight to learn what they do for a living. Do they sail ships, airships, etc? http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2984137/
>> No. 2162 edit
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Why would you act so reckless? ...
Sureiya throws a glance against the humanoids and the dwarf, could be that our diplomat?
Taking the chance, and while Myn and Torinn are distracting them, Sureiya moves silent as a cat around the crowd and get near to the dwarf.

"Are you okay?"
Perception check to search a good path to move, and stealth check to get behind the ruffians without them noticing.

>> No. 2163 edit
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The halfling and his little gang didn't seem to realize that the dragonborn had the backing of several more adventurers that appeared to be quite ready for combat, and the halfling 'leader' suddenly looks a bit nervous. He scowls a bit and turns, shuffling off, with his followers in tow.

The dwarf looks quite relieved that he's no longer being harassed, and scuttles over to the rest of the group quickly. "Oi, thank Moradin ye showed up. Yer them adventurers I be lookin' for, aye?"

The somewhat chubby dwarf (even for a dwarf) bows and introduces himself, "Honored! My name's Gourmert Goldsmith, o' Silver Hall! Tha duke's sendin' me onna super-important, sensitive secret missin' tae Mithral Hall, and told me to expect the escort of five diverse folks like yeselves!" Gourmert reaches into his satchel and pulls out a large, round piece of tasty-looking bread and takes a bit out of it before continuing, "But I decided tae git 'ere early and have a bite! No one ever told me tha food down 'ere be so sorry, tho!"

Bernkastel: (Insight) You get the feeling those rude fellows were mostly sailors and ruffians from around town, just looking for a little trouble because they're bored. The dwarf, despite his appearances however, seems to hide a sense of keen understanding and duty.

Bernkastel/Sureiya: (Perception) When the dwarf reaches in his bag, you spy, in addition to several packaged food items, a few tubes commonly used for holding scrolls (such as ritual scrolls).
>> No. 2167 edit
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Quite relieved that the band of rogues backed down, Torinn smiles reassuringly at the person they were told to escort. He seemed like a trustworthy person.

"Greetings, Mr. Goldsmith. We are indeed the the adventurers sent here to escort you on an important mission." The dragonborn introduces the dwarf to each member of the party in turn, finally asking, "Do you happen to know where the ship we'll be taking is docked?"
>> No. 2168 edit
"My name is Sureiya, sir Goldsmith. I'm Pleased to see you are fine"
>> No. 2169 edit
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"Aye," Gourmert points to a nearby merchant ship, which is quite large and loaded with goods. It looks like a ship designed for a crew of about a dozen and quite a few goods, or two dozen and fewer goods. "We'cn leave whenever yer ready. Did ye'll finish yer business in town?"
>> No. 2170 edit
"Nice to meet you, Goldsmith, but if ye don't mind me askin', what kinda ship is this..?"
>> No. 2171 edit
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Torinn nods, "I've said my goodbyes and gotten everything I needed. I have no complaints about setting out right now."

Other than never getting to visit the bank, but that can't be helped now.
>> No. 2172 edit
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"Er, excuse me, but I'm not much of a..." Gourmert mumbles between mouthfuls of bread, taking another bite in the process, "...nautical dwarf! Doesn't come up much in the mountainhome. She's a merchant ship, that much I know!" Seems the dwarf doesn't have much useful information on the ship.
>> No. 2173 edit
"I am ready to go, sir."
>> No. 2174 edit
"You called yourself a gourmet. Are you more knowledgeable about food, then?"
>> No. 2190 edit
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"Ah, ahm afraid ye've found me 'private' passion," Gourmert comments, finishing off the roll. "Aye, I like travelin' tae sample tha different foods o' Faerun. Bein' a diplomat fo'tha palace lets me see all sorts o' places, an' taste all sorta food. Folks like tae treat us diplomats tae high-class meals!" The dwarf laughs, then points to the ship. "I recoken we best be getting boardin'. Tha merchants're prolly waitin' on us by now, and they be under duke's orders not to leave without us!"
>> No. 2191 edit
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"We kept them waiting? They probably won't like us for that."

In any event, Torinn hurries onto the ship.
>> No. 2192 edit
Curious about the heavily guarded ship, the shaman walks up to one of the guards nearby.

"Excuse me, do you know who owns that ship? It looks different from the others."
>> No. 2194 edit
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The dwarf looks in that direction, and nods briefly. "Oh, that? I 'ear it's somethin' some gnome in'tha Arcanimus be workin' on. I hear it be a boat tha flies! But it ain't finished yet, at least last I hear."
>> No. 2195 edit
"I see. Thank you, Mr. Goldsmith."

At the mention of flight, the shaman is no longer as interested; the idea sounds rather dangerous. She follows the others to the merchant ship.
>> No. 2197 edit
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Gourmert nods, and leads the adventurers to their ship. It appears to be a fine-looking vessel, large and hardy against potential threats at sea. The merchants and crewsman welcome you as you enter, tipping their hats and bowing. The crew appears to be made entirely of humans, but the merchants are mixed between a human, two elves, and a halfling. They all look like veterans of sea travel, and well-equipped for this sort of journey.

About ten minutes after you board, the crew prepares the ship for setting out. The merchants move below deck at this point, but they urge you adventurers to stay above deck to be on the lookout for danger. The ship pulls away from the harbor, and sets out into the sea, bound for Waterdeep.

A few hours pass without much activity. Some of the crew have also gone below deck, but a lookout remains in the crow's nest, and the helmsman and captain remain on deck, along with Gourmert and the five adventurers.

Feel free to place yourselves where you want on the map, though the merchants will urge you to stay above deck if you attempt to go below. Anyways, I'll give you some time to work things out and do whatever you want on the ship before I start anything.
>> No. 2202 edit
Sureiya feels a bit nervous about this travel, so he go and search for the diplomat. Maybe asking him some things will help to relax.
>> No. 2207 edit
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Torinn hadn't been on a boat before, or even traveled near the seas during his lifetime. So naturally he spent a lot of the time on deck asking anybody who didn't look busy about the vessel, the route they were taking, what do they usually eat, how do they know where they're going, could he help, and what they usually do to kill time. Stories and cautionary tales, such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, were exchanged, and sea shanties were sung.

Presently, Torinn is listening to Gourmert recounting a particularly tricky negotiation in a place with some fine local cuisine. He keeps his focus on the horizon "portside", as he was told it was called, occasionally nodding along.

Take 10 on diplomacy to mingle with the crew
Reposition at O-12

Replace all references to the albatross and other such details with setting-specific references

>> No. 2209 edit
Myn walks over to the starboard edge of the deck and looks out into the water idly.
>> No. 2220 edit
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New thread~
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