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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!
Expand all images
>> No. 1877 edit
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1877
Myn, not overly surprised at the tiefling's appearance, beckons to the party and begins speaking in quiet tone.

"Since he has guards with him, it's likely that he's intending to coerce us into coming to the palace if we're found. To prevent that, as I go ahead and meet him, the rest of you should move some distance in the opposite direction and conceal yourselves. I may be able to convince him to depart, but... if taken, I'll ensure that they learn nothing of value. In either case, when the path is clear, proceed ahead to the Flaming Fist."

Noting the lack of time, Myn gestures for the rest of the group to hurry, and proceeds slowly but openly in the direction of the tiefling.
>> No. 1878 edit
"Wait a second, are you sure of this? That tiefling is quite the devil"
>> No. 1879 edit
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1879
>>1877
"Be very careful, warlock. If they try to capture you, you should escape if you have the chance."
>> No. 1880 edit
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1880
>>1878

Myn nods and gestures for them to hurry without turning around, seeming completely unworried.
>> No. 1881 edit
"Is it too detrimental if I follow?"

Shaman follows whether Myn refuses or not. For the sake of info! Also, I should have no spirits conjured.
>> No. 1882 edit
"Just so you know, I don't trust that tiefling as far as I can throw him. If the palace is the same way, don't expect us to be comin' to save ya if you get dragged to the palace for questionin', or that Miss Cragmaul will welcome ya back with open arms."
>> No. 1883 edit
>>1882
"It's okay, we need to escape from this and quick, and they courageous enough to become decoys for us. Don't worry Myn, I trust you."
>> No. 1884 edit
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1884
The tiefling quickly notices the warlock's approach, though hasn't seemed to fix his eyes on the shaman yet. He seems to recognize Myn, and motions for his guards to follow as he approaches.

The city-folk seem to disperse a bit as the tiefling and his guards move forward, apparently not interested in getting in the way of four heavily armed and armored ducal guards, so a small circle is cleared out as the tiefling comes to a stop a few feet in front of the warlock. Letharst regards Myn with a toothy grin and an eager gaze, while the guards begin to move to Myn's sides and behind him, as if surrounding the half-elf. "Ah, good, yes. I've been looking for you, yes, you and your friends that is!" he says in his rather characteristic tone while rubbing his hands together. "That is, you are one of the adventurers I met yesterday, yes? One of the group of six, yes?"

Bernkastel, if you want to try to get close enough without being seen, I need a Stealth check. Moderate DC.
>> No. 1885 edit
Despite not wanting to be caught sneaking around, being surrounded seems too undesirable.

stealth http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2967068/
>> No. 1886 edit
Before heading out, Michael catches a glimpse of ???? failing to sneak around, before gesturing to the others remaining in the group to sneak away and hopefully contact Cragmaul before things go awry.
>> No. 1887 edit
Sureiya gets a little worried of the shaman, Why would she want to go as well? Anyways, the mission is first, let's hope nothing bad happens.
Sureiya goes back and try to sneak away.
>> No. 1888 edit
Torinn inhales sharply at "Bernkastel's" failed attempt at stealth, but he leaves it to her and Myn, for now at least.
Follow Michael and Sureiya for now
>> No. 1889 edit
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1889
>>1884

"Yes, I thought I recognized you from before. However, our group has been reduced to a mere five, Mister Letharst. Our wizard has since abandoned our company."

Myn smiles charismatically.

"So, what business might you have with us?"
>> No. 1890 edit
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1890
At this point, Sureiya, Michael, and Torinn no longer hear the conversation going on between Bernkastel, Myn, and Letharst.

"Ah, yes, excellent!" Letharst replies, rubbing his hands together enthusiastically. At this point, the tiefling spots the shamans ill-advised attempts at remaining hidden, and calls out to her as well. "No need to be shy, little human! No, no, it's fine, it's fine. Come forward, come forward!"

The two nearest guards will 'escort' Bernkastel to stand near Myn, assuming she provides no major resistance. "Listen very carefully, my friends. The grand duke has called for your presence at the palace, yes. Where are your companions?"

Meanwhile, the paladin, ranger, and warlord have little trouble slipping away, and begin to work towards finding an alternate route to the Flaming Fist headquarters building.
>> No. 1891 edit
Out of earshot, Torinn tries to navigate the streets to find a different path to the Flaming Fist headquarters, one that wouldn't lead them into the clutches of the Duke's cronies.
Streetwise check: http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2967137/ (16)
>> No. 1892 edit
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1892
>>1890

Myn seems surprised at the shaman's appearance, momentarily turning away from the tiefling.

"You were following me? I thought you left earlier with the others... were you wondering why I was taking so long?"

Myn turns back to Letharst, looking apologetic.

"This morning, I had overslept, you see. I drank a good deal of wine last night, after all."

Myn clears his throat.

"The rest of the group went back to the Flaming Fist ahead of me. I myself need to pick up some magical items I requested there."

He sighs, rubbing his eyes with his fingers.

"To be frank, I'd prefer if I were able to retrieve them beforehand, as they're quite important to me, although I suppose this summons must be rather urgent. To keep the Grand Duke waiting would probably put you in a difficult position as well, I suspect."

Bluff check:http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2967169/
>> No. 1893 edit
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1893
The tiefling waves his hand, as if to dismiss Myn's concerns, "Oh, there's no need for concern, no, no. Come to the palace with me, and we'll send for your friends and your items, yes. The Flaming Fist does serve the grand duke as well, you see? Such a matter is a trifle, yes!" The tiefling grins widely as he speaks.
>> No. 1894 edit
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1894
>>1893

"Certainly, that would be of great convenience. Although, my companions did leave before I, so in all likelihood they're no longer at the Flaming Fist at this point. I would suggest you rather check back at the Three Old Kegs, or perhaps at one of the local churches."

Myn smiles pleasantly.

"Although, I'm certainly capable of acting as a proxy for my companions alone, Mister Letharst. For the sake of time, perhaps merely allowing me attend would suffice?"

Bluff check:http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2967192/
>> No. 1895 edit
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1895
"Ah, you needn't concern yourself with such matters. Yes, yes, all will be made clear once we speak to the grand duke, yes," Letharst assures the half-elf. He glances briefly at the shaman, then beckons for the both of you to follow him. "Come, come. We should get moving, yes. To the palace we'll go. We can clear up the specifics with the grand duke himself, yes."

At this point, the tiefling turns around, his brown cloak slicing through the air as Letharst assumes a practiced stance and beings walking forward, hunching slightly as he does so. The guards will close in on Myn and "Bernkastel," and 'encourage' them to move forward if they do not immediately begin to do so, keeping a rather tight formation and never allowing more than 5 feet between themselves and the adventurers.

Meanwhile, Torinn, Sureiya, and Michael successfully navigate the back alleys of the city, and with nothing hounding them and no suspicious glances being thrown their way, they seem to be making good progress in heading towards the Flaming Fist building.
>> No. 1898 edit
Audio 34_-_RuLude_Gardens.mp3 - (2.32MB , 34 - RuLude Gardens.mp3 )
1898
"Bernkastel" and Myn are led by the tiefling and his attendants a short distant down the main road, then down a short side road, which leads past some rather high-class looking residential buildings before cutting into a large, open cobblestone road.

This road is very large--and it appears larger than it actually is because, compared to the merchant district, this street is relatively clear of people and carts. There is the occasional well-dressed citizen walking this way and that, and some stalls peddling expensive-looking items like jewels and finery on the sides of the roads, but the most obvious decorations are well-carved stone flowerbeds and the occasional planted tree to the sides of the road. On either side are high-class shops and a couple of inns. The road leads ahead for a long distance before it comes to a large, stone gate in the palace walls. This gate is heavily guarded, but the guards quickly slide out of the way as the tiefling approaches, and the gate creaks open, revealing the area immediately surrounding the palace.

The palace itself is quite tall, with spires and towers carved out of white stone, and topped with minarets. Though it is tall, it's not as big around as you might have guessed, as it is surrounded by well-tended gardens, and a lush green covers every field that is not a section of the white cobblestone paths, which split off from the road to the palace doors and lead into the garden. Tall hedges which reach up to about your chest flank either side of the main road.

The palace doors are pretty big too, and made of thick, magically-reinforced wood. The guards maintain a tight watch on the two of you as Letharst pushes the doors open, and they make a rather loud, reverberating creaking noise inside as they open.

Speaking of the inside, it's also quite well-decorated. Chandeliers of a golden color hang from the at least four-story high ceiling, and though there are no windows on the ground level, the levels above contain stained-glass windows. A thick, red carpet with a silver trim leads from the doorway, up a set of two-story stairs that leads straight forward and up to a set of heavy, black, wooden double-doors which are fitted with a golden-colored metal. The parts of the room not covered in this carpet are carved from gray and white polished stone, and pillars hold up what appears to be a partial second level above you, which a few brown wooden doors above and two or three on the ground level, and golden metal railing to prevent falling from the upper level.

You are led by the tiefling to a small, side section of the ground floor, which contains several comfortable-looking chairs and couches of purple and blood silk and vinyl. A large, yet low brown table decorated with an exotic-looking plant sits in the middle of this furniture, which is arranged around it, and a crackling fireplace sits to the side. A quick inspection might reveal that it's unlikely that the fireplace is burning with real fire, however, it's probably just an illusion of some sort.

The tiefling urges you to sit on one of these chairs or couches, and the guards maintain a perimeter around you. "Please, wait here while I have the particulars arranged for you." With that much, Letharst slinks off up the stairs, but the four armored guards remain, standing watch over you. A few moments later, a middle-aged gnomish man in a black tuxedo and well-groomed brown hair shows up, and requests of you, "Greetings, guests. The grand duke will be meeting with you once the rest of your group has been gathered, but can I get anything for you in the meantime? Perhaps some ice water, or a light snack?"

Around this time, Sureiya, Torinn, and Michael find their way back to the main road, only a short distance from the Flaming Fist headquarters.
>> No. 1902 edit
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1902
>>1898
Torinn glances back, finding no traces of their pursuers, nor of Myn and "Bernkastel". They must have taken them in after all.

"I think," Torinn says to his companions as they near the front door of the establishment, "that our companions have likely been captured, and it's only a matter of time before the Duke comes after us. He knows where to find us by now." The dragonborn rubs his temples in mild frustration, "I think that we'll have to be tactful in how we handle this from here on out, because I don't think we can evade pursuit without causing an uproar."

"What we need," Torinn says, opening the doors to the Flaming Fist's headquarters, "is to get as few people involved as possible. Any ideas?"
>> No. 1904 edit
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1904
"Few people you say? ... what about Thelkra?"
>> No. 1905 edit
>>1904
"Her as well. She probably won't like cooperating with the Duke, though. If we can convince him to leave her alone, all the better, then."
>> No. 1906 edit
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1906
The shaman shakes her head no to the gnome and tries to relax, resigned to the predicament. ...so much for the distraction.
>> No. 1907 edit
>>1905
"So, what's the plan? Are we going to the palace?"
>> No. 1908 edit
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1908
>>1907
Torinn sighs, "We may as well go to them before they come for us and the Flaming Fist. But we need to reassure Miss Cragmaul first."
>> No. 1909 edit
>>1908
"Indeed. Michael, are you coming with us?"
>> No. 1910 edit
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1910
>>1898

Myn appears pleased as he looks towards the butler.

"...this being a palace, you wouldn't happen to possess any wine of higher quality than what they serve back at the Three Old Kegs?"

"Given the situation, even if we were forced here, we're still too valuable to be poisoned at this point."
>> No. 1912 edit
>>1902
"If what Miss Cragmaul said is true, about the possibility of war, getting as few people involved isn't going to matter at that point.... I shudder to think what kind of person the Duke is with such people as that Tiefling under his employ. Right now informing Miss Cragmaul seems to be the best course of action. Hopefully before the guards find us or reach them."
>> No. 1913 edit
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1913
"Very good sir. I will choose a lighter wine, as the duke will want you coherent when the time for your audience comes," the gnome says, then shuffles off, leaving the warlock and the shaman alone with the guards.

The other three party members decide to go ahead and enter the Flaming Fist headquarters building. Gabashia Fellowships is sitting behind the secretary's desk again, and looks up at you, yawning loudly as you approach. "Welcome... you have business with the Flaming Fist...?"
>> No. 1914 edit
>>1913
"Sorry Miss, but we need to see Miss Cragmaul right away. It's of the utmost importance. We were the adventurers from just the other day."
>> No. 1915 edit
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1915
"Oh..." Gabashia picks up a pair of small glasses from her desk, and puts them on, looking at the three of you. "...I thought there were more of you before. Listen... Miss Cragmaul just got a sending spell a few moments ago. It's apparently really important... she said something..."

The gnome female rummages through her desk, looking for a scrap of paper, and then grasps one from the mess of loose notes spread across her desk, and adjusts her glasses reading it. "Right, she said that you could go to the armory while you're waiting. Your equipment is ready."
>> No. 1916 edit
>>1915
Torinn exchanges a worried glance between Sureiya and Michael, then nods, "Thank you very much."
>> No. 1917 edit
"Thank you very much, let's go then."
>> No. 1918 edit
>>1915
Michael thanks her while cursing to himself at the possibility of the Duke getting to her already.
>> No. 1919 edit
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1919
At the palace, the gnome shows up a few moments later, bringing two glasses and a green bottle that has a label, declaring it plump helmet wine, fermented in 1392. He pours Myn a glass, and sets the bottle back, leaving it in case "Bernkastel" decides she wants some. He then bows, and departs.

When the other three arrive at the armory, they find Brozwon the mul in the midst of moving large boxes of this and that around. "A moment, please," he requests as you gather around his desk. A few seconds later he finishes his business, then looks to you and says, "Ah, yes. Let me get your things." The mul wanders to a different room for a minute or so, then returns with a gleaming, silvery sword that glows with faint white energy. It is set with a symbol of an upright gauntlet with an unblinking eye in its palm. Furthermore, he holds a holy symbol of the Platinum Dragon, encased in steel.

He hands the items over to the dragonborn. "As per our agreement. The half-elf's items are ready too... where has he gone to?"
>> No. 1920 edit
>>1919
Torinn takes the items, shaking his head, "He was captured by the Grand Duke's guards along the way here. They were out looking for us, and he bought us a chance to escape here."

"Say, do you know where Miss Cragmaul went?"
>> No. 1921 edit
Sureiya remain silent, as he nervously wait for the chance to talk with Lady Craugmal.
>> No. 1922 edit
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1922
"Captured? I don't--" Brozwon begins, when suddenly the doors to the room swing wide open.

Standing in the doorway is Thalwynn Cragmaul, in full plate armor, and wielding a large, dwarven maul. She is flanked by two guards, one dragonborn female, and one human male, equipped with scale armor and wielding greatswords. She looks sternly at you, with a face that could be described as weary. She speaks to you in an off-hand manner while idly pounding her maul's head into her palm, "I just got word from tha palace. Ahm tae hold ye here until theys send a detachment tae escort ye tae tha palace. Apparently fer an audience wit' tha grand duke."

Thalwynn narrows her eyes, and says the next bit in a terse, quite annoyed-sounding voice, "I trust ye woon't give me any trouble about this."
>> No. 1923 edit
"So they got Myn"
Sureiya makes troubled face as he mutters
"This is not what we planned, that Letharst ..."
>> No. 1925 edit
>>1922
"Just so ye know, Miss Cragmaul, I gave ye my word yesterday when I said I didn't wanna get the palace involved. I intend to keep that promise even if it's probably too late at this point. I won't give ya any trouble though and I appreciate all ye've done fer us."
>> No. 1926 edit
>>1922
"We'll do what we can to keep them from making things worse for you."

Hmm...

"Before we go to meet him, though, could you tell us about the Grand Duke? What's he like?"
>> No. 1927 edit
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1927
Thalwynn just gives the three party members a weary look, and walks out of the armory without saying anything. The two guards she left behind move in front of the doors, making sure you won't leave. Brozwon seems confused about the matter, and just stays quiet, going back to work after a few moments.

Some time passes. Any attempts at conversation with the guards will reveal them as rather unresponsive, and while Brozwon will engage in idle chatter, he doesn't seem to have much to say regarding the grand duke or the situation at hand. After about a half-hour or so, the doors to the armory open, and three armored guards wearing armor similar to the palace guards you evaded earlier and dressed in the same tabards enter. They are equipped with pole-axes, but these weapons are strapped to their backs and not drawn. The leader, a gruff-sounding dragonborn male, announces, "We're here to take ya to the palace. Come on."
>> No. 1928 edit
>>1927
Torinn is disappointed by the lack of information about the Duke, but, after stowing all the equipment in his bag of holding, the dragonborn lets himself be lead away without complaint.
>> No. 1929 edit
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1929
Myn pours the wine into the two glasses, placing one beside the shaman as he takes a sip from his own.

"You need not be nervous. Meeting the duke will likely be a pleasant experience, and it's not as if our plans for the day will be ruined by a short visit."

Myn resigns himself to idly drinking the wine, hoping he conveyed his message well enough.
>> No. 1930 edit
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1930
Since the three don't resist, they are escorted swiftly to the palace. They take largely the same route as the previous two, outlined here:
>>1898

After a fashion, the five adventurers are reunited. It seems Sariel has managed to evade being taken in by the grand duke? In any case, it is only a short time before you are approached by the gruff-sounding dragonborn again, who declares to you, "The grand duke will see you now."
>> No. 1931 edit
>>1929
The shaman hesitantly takes the glass of not one but two questionable origins, and pretends to take a sip.

>>1930
Follows etc.
>> No. 1932 edit
>>1930
Torinn goes with the guard, still unsure what kind of person the Grand Duke is supposed to be.
>> No. 1933 edit
>>1930

Myn smiles slightly at the arrival of the rest of the party, stashing the half-empty bottle of wine in his bag and standing to follow the guard.
>> No. 1934 edit
>>1933
"What're you smilin' about."
>> No. 1935 edit
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1935
>>1933
"Unsuccessful plan, I suppose?"
>> No. 1936 edit
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1936
>>1934
>>1935

Myn's expression doesn't change.

"I have no idea as to what you could mean."
>> No. 1937 edit
>>1936
"Hold a second ..." Sureiya get near to Myn and lowers his voice.
"Weren't you going to bluff them?"

>> No. 1938 edit
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1938
>>1937

Myn also lowers his voice.

"It seems that they intended to take us in from the start, regardless of what I said. We should wait until after we leave the palace to talk further, however."
>> No. 1939 edit
>>1938
>>1936
Michael just sighs and covers his face with his palm.
>> No. 1940 edit
Audio 47_-_Kuja's_Theme.mp3 - (3.33MB , 47 - Kuja\'s Theme.mp3 )
1940


Though the adventurers silently bicker amongst themselves for a few moments, the guards seem uninterested in attempting to follow their conversation, and simply lead the five up the stairs to the double-doors, which are flanked on either side by potted exotic-looking plants. The dragonborn guard opens the doors, and makes a gesture with his head indicating you should enter.

As the gathered five do so, they find that the audience room is long and rectangular. There are large, marble pillars on either side of more of the red carpet, laced with silver on the edges, which leads straight forward for a great distance before covering a short series of steps to a raised platform, atop which sits an elegantly-carved elven-looking wooden throne. Behind the pillars to either side of you are more carved marble walls, and the floor appears to be made of a very smooth stone as well where it is not covered by the carpet. The walls are decorated with paintings of what appear to be the past grand dukes of Baldur's Gate, and there are more of the exotic potted plants here and there (you might note you've seen a lot of plants in the palace).

Standing beside and a bit behind the throne is a familiar tiefling, who grins as he sees you. The wall behind the throne is divided into three sections as the other walls join it, with tapestries decorated with the Baldur's Gate coat of arms hang on either side, and directly behind the throne is a very large portrait depicting an eladrin male (pictured).

The same eladrin male pictured is sitting on the throne in a very relaxed manner. He is leaning to one side, and supporting his head with one fist, while his free hand rests on the opposite armrest. He wears elegant, faded purple-looking clothing with a gold trim, and his short sleeves reveal slender arms to compliment a slim build. His upper body is dressed in the faded purple-and-gold robe, and you can see dark red trousers beneath, with black boots. Golden bracelets sit on his wrists and match his shoulder-length golden hair. He has red eyes, fair skin, jeweled earrings, and there are distinctive purple markings on his cheeks which curve from his jawline to his eyes. This is Daval Prestor, grand duke of Baldur's Gate.

"Welcome to Baldur's Gate," he announces to you as you stop walking a few yards short of the throne. His voice is silky smooth and casual-sounding, yet it carries a strong undercurrent of authority. "I trust you've found the accommodations of my city to your liking. We have much to discuss, but I imagine you also have much to ask of me." At this he pauses, as if giving you the chance to reply.
>> No. 1942 edit
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1942
>>1940

Myn steps forward slightly, speaking in a pleasant, yet serious tone.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mister Prestor. Your city has indeed been most enjoyable. However, I've been quite curious as to what business you might have with a group such as ours."

"So, this is the duke. I should carefully examine his character while I have the chance."
>> No. 1944 edit
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1944
"Oh? I'd have thought you would have been made aware by now," the grand duke lazily replies, still appearing quite relaxed. He gently gestures in the direction of the nearby tiefling. "You've met my adviser, Letharst. He contacted you regarding your mission in the Troll Hills. I am to understand you were sent there to investigate the source of the attacks on caravans coming to and from Baldur's Gate." Prestor leans forward slightly at this, and narrows his eyes, before speaking in a slightly softer voice, "There are those in this city aware of what's out there. Plague-changed caverns which hide all sorts of marvels. I want to know just what you found out there."
>> No. 1946 edit
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1946
>>1944
Torinn steps forward to address the duke, trying to recall what they found.

"We found a series of elemental leylines etched in the caverns that weakened the fabric of reality. Giant poisonous mushrooms corrupted by the Spellplage. Remains of a camp overrun by something. A horde of undead and some kind of... Thing from the Far Realms trying to break through. Arcane Ballistae that were suspiciously helpful in dispatching various elementals that harried us, and some hodgepodge of elemental energy molded into a creature that acted as a guardian. There was a complicated magical gate that required a specific sequence to unlock. And a fell orc who attacked us and summoned a dragon from out of thin air, speaking of some sort of plot by a Fell King. That is what we found."
>> No. 1947 edit
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1947
"Interesting," the grand duke comments, despite not looking terribly interested. "There are many places a powerful caster could have holed up and delivered attacks upon our trade routes. In addition, this caster had a host of summoned and controlled creatures at its disposal, according to your story. Despite even being capable of summoning a dragon to battle you, you overcame it. I am curious as to whether or not there was something special about the cavern itself. And perhaps that question can be answered by these elemental leylines you mentioned." Though Prestor does not pose any direct questions, he still seems to be asking them regardless.
>> No. 1948 edit
"Well you see, the arcana expert from our team suddenly leaved today, and if I remember correctly she didn't knew too much about them.
I would suggest to send some people to inspect them, sir."
>> No. 1949 edit
>>1947
Torinn thinks back to the encounter at the end of the caverns.

"They all did converge on the fell orc caster's chamber. Last we saw them, it was almost like they were 'leaking' fire and lighting, and were close to bursting." He grimaces, "I didn't feel comfortable leaving them unchecked, but we didn't have any way to quell them."
>> No. 1950 edit
Michael sighs and shakes his head, thinking to himself,"Am I the only one who actually meant to keep his word around here and isn't intimidated by this duke?"
>>1944
"Yes, yes, we've met your... "adviser"Michael says sarcastically, though for someone who already knows as much as you already, I hardly see it necessary to send out a search for us. With armed guards at that. I'm just glad yer not beatin' around the bush and gettin' to the point for the most part, but if many of your advisers are like Letharst here, I shudder to think how Baldur's Gate is truly run. Don't expect much information out o' me though and keep in mind that one of us in the group doesn't speak for all of us." Michael's eyes sort of glance in the direction of Myn.
>> No. 1951 edit
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1951
The grand duke shakes his head and repositions himself in his chair to lean forward instead of to the side. He grasps his throne's armrest with one hand when he gestures with the other and explains, "You misunderstand me, adventurers. This is a matter of critical importance. During a raid on a caravan in-route to Baldur's Gate, a fell orc mage was killed, and a talisman was recovered from its corpse and delivered to the Flaming Fist. This talisman bore the insignia of Many-Arrows."

At saying this much, Prestor relaxes again, leaning back, but keeping both hands on his armrests. "I did order you brought in, by force if necessary. That is because, whatever you have heard up to this point, I have no interest in involving parliament or the guilds in this matter. War is not my agenda. Letharst here," he gestures towards the tiefling, "Has been hard at work keeping this matter from the public eye. With any luck, your dispersal of the cavern system and the capture of the caster within will cease the attacks on our caravans. However, this 'Fell King' you spoke up remains at large."

"Do you not understand?" the grand duke presses, suddenly standing from his chair and gesturing with his hand in a sweeping motion, "This information you have recovered may be critical in predicting their next move. If they have targeted one leyline, they may target another. And in any case, Many-Arrows is involved, somehow. We need more information there."

The grand duke takes his chair again. "Which brings us to you. I apologize for needing to bring in armed guards to take you in, but I needed you off the streets before something about this matter slipped. We weren't able to obtain your eladrin friend, but Elayne and her are going to remain holed up in the Arcanimus, and are working on something. We can put her talents to use elsewhere." He gestures towards you, "I need to send an ambassador to Many-Arrows. However, I cannot assign a military escort to foreign territory without the authorization of parliament, and it's far too dangerous to send a diplomat through the wilderness alone. You all have proven yourselves more than capable of undertaking this task, and so I guess I am asking for your cooperation in this matter."

"I can see that you are well rewarded from the best merchants of Baldur's Gate," the grand duke offers. "This is a matter of critical urgency, that requires immediate action. I respect the efforts of the Flaming Fist, but I feel as though they cannot handle this own their own--furthermore, and I mean no offense to Thalwynn Cragmaul, but the Flaming Fist's duty is that of policing Baldur's Gate. In dealing with matters concerning foreign powers, the Ducal Palace becomes responsible. I will elect a diplomat I can trust to keep quiet, and you can accompany the diplomat on the mission to Many-Arrows. In the meantime, I will have the Arcanimus begin scouring the land for other strong elemental leylines. Once we have a channel of dialogue open with Many-Arrows, we can solve this problem together."
>> No. 1953 edit
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1953
>>1951

"Although I'd not presume myself capable of speaking for all of us..."

Myn makes it a point not to glance at the warlord.

"...I am without objection to this type of request. Indeed, swift diplomacy will do much to ease the current problem."

"This is better than I expected. Guarding a diplomat is a good way to get close to royalty."
>> No. 1957 edit
Feeling the ill mood in the room, Sureiya decides to speak.
"Escorting a diplomatic sounds like a good idea sir, my concern was this becoming a bigger problem, but that's just my word. Maybe if you give us some time to discuss it?"
>> No. 1965 edit
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1965
>>1951
The shaman listens to the Duke's explanation... but upon the mention of diplomacy with Many-Arrows, becomes worried. Where is the heart of the problem?

She nods at the ranger's suggestion of asking for time to discuss.

>> No. 1967 edit
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1967
"Certainly," Pestor replies, leaning back in his char once more. "If you require some time to discuss the matter, feel free. If you so desire, you may return to the waiting area and discuss the matter amongst yourselves. I will have the guards stand down."
>> No. 1968 edit
Insight before we leave: http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2972769/
>> No. 1969 edit
If anyone else is saying something to the duke, Sureiya is moving to the waiting area
>> No. 1971 edit
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1971
>>1967
"Understood."

"Negotiations could prevent a war from breaking out. Clearing up these misunderstandings first would be good," Torinn thinks, heading back with Sureiya.

It would be nice if they could get Thelkra to give them some more information, though. Where is she right now?

>> No. 1976 edit
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1976
The five adventurers make a temporary departure from the audience room, and gather again in the waiting area. There are less guards this time, only two, and they remain by the doors that lead out of the palace, far enough away to not overhear your conversation.
>> No. 1977 edit
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1977
Torinn sighs deeply, glad to be out of the presence of the Duke and his tiefling cohort.

"Right. These aren't the best circumstances to be in, Lady Cragmaul doesn't want us, and there may yet be some underhanded motive behind all this, but if we're going to resolve this without a pointless slaughter, diplomacy would probably be our best option. What do you guys think?"
>> No. 1978 edit
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1978
"We, might have disappointed Lady Cragmaul, but we could gain her trust again if we complete this job."
>> No. 1979 edit
>>1977
"Agreed... It all depends on who they send as a diplomat though and what we encounter on the way there."
>> No. 1980 edit
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1980
>>1979
>>1977
"An underhanded motive behind? Any reason to think that?"
>> No. 1981 edit
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1981
>>1980
"I don't know, but something about all this just doesn't feel right."
>> No. 1982 edit
>>1981
"I don't see any reason to don't trust the duke, he is trying as well to avoid any kind of conflict"
>> No. 1983 edit
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1983
>>1982
"No matter how you look at it, that Letharst fellow is a caricature of villainy. All that he was missing was a cackling laugh. Truly we are in trouble if he is our diplomat."
>> No. 1984 edit
>>1983
Michael can only nod in agreement as the Paladin takes the words right out of his mouth.
>> No. 1986 edit
>>1983
"That tiefling is another thing, but yeah I wouldn't like him as our diplomat.
Anyways, Will we willingly accept the duke offer?"
>> No. 1987 edit
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1987
>>1986
Torinn nods.

"Even if this is some sort of plot, I believe we can make everything work out peacefully in the end. I say we accept his offer."
>> No. 1989 edit
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1989
"I expected no less from you, Torinn.
Well, I'm ready whenever you are."
>> No. 1991 edit
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1991
"As I said before, I've got no objections."
>> No. 1992 edit
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1992
The grand duke is still waiting for you when you re-enter the chamber, though Letharst is apparently no longer present. "Ah," Prestor announces upon seeing your approach, "Have you reached a decision?"
>> No. 1993 edit
...What, are they buying their good guard, bad guard act?

With a small sigh, the shaman nods in assent.

>> No. 1994 edit
>>1992
Torinn steps forwards and speaks up first.

"We have agreed to accompany your diplomat to the Many Arrows."
>> No. 1995 edit
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1995
The grand duke smiles. "Good," he says, as he begins to trace some sort of sigil in the air with his finger. "Your assistance is much appreciated. Captain Highwind," at these words, the doors behind you to the audience chamber open, and the fully-armored, gruff dragonborn guard from before steps into the room, flanked by two of the guards from the merchant district. "You may brief them on the particulars. And I want a rather generous reward prepared for them."
>> No. 2009 edit
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2009
>>1995
"One more thing sir, if you allow me to ask.
Do you know anything about the Dragonsworn clan?"
Diplomacy check, just because I feel like using the dice roller: http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2974116/ (17)
>> No. 2014 edit
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2014
"Dragonsworn." Prestor replies, sounding like he wasn't expecting to be asked about that. "I know of them, yes. They were an orcish clan that Obould Many-Arrows the first was said to have nearly wiped out when consolidating the clans of the north, nearly one hundred years ago. From what I understand, very little remains of the clan, and nearly all of its remnants were absorbed into other clans in Many-Arrows."

At this point, the grand duke pauses to think for a moment, then says, "Come to think of it, I heard the Flaming Fist had a descendant of the Dragonsworn clan on its roster. I do wonder, though, what prompted the question." Again the grand duke isn't actually asking anything, yet seems to be at the same time.
>> No. 2015 edit
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2015
>>2014
The Duke knew more than he expected. Torinn tries to shift the focus away from Thelkra.

"She did say something to that effect, yes, but she swore that she was not in any way loyal to them. In fact, without her help, we would not have captured the fell orc, who certainly did have strong ties to the Dragonsworn clan, in the first place. All of us trust Thelkra."

Take 10 on diplomacy to ease tension and convince Duke she's not a bad person
>> No. 2017 edit
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2017
>>2015
The grand duke doesn't seem too concerned (though he rarely ever seems concerned about anything anyway), and replies, "I do not really understand why I'd suspect her of trouble, but you have my assurances that I do not. Though you said the fell orc had ties to the Dragonsworn clan, which is interesting. Hm. I'll ask the Flaming Fist about it, see if they've gotten anything from the captive. You have my thanks."
>> No. 2031 edit
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2031
With the adventurers' questions answered, the dragonborn captain Highwind leads them back into the waiting area, and then through one of the doors on the lower level, which leads to a somewhat plain-looking hallway (at least in comparison to where you've been before). He stops at the third door down and opens it, and you gather around a large table that fills up most of a somewhat small room, and appears to be the room's only feature, aside from some shelves stacked with unlabeled boxes and a few books that appear to be atlases or map collections, and a hooded lantern hanging from the ceiling. Spread over the table is a map of north-west Faerun, and once you gather around, captain Highwind points at the location of Baldur's Gate.

"We'll get you on a merchant ship bound for Waterdeep. You'll be working as guards for the ship. I'll look for one that pays well. You'll travel north, along the Sword Coast, and disembark at Waterdeep," the dragonborn traces his finger along the coast to the city while saying this, then begins to move up north along the Surbin river. "From there, your diplomat will requisition a river ferry, headed for Mithral Hall. It would normally take some time, but the grand duke'll get a Sending out, and have one ready to go by the time you get there. Ferries to Mithral Hall are rare, but your diplomat is a dwarf, so hopefully you'll be able negotiate your way in without too much trouble. Once you reach Mithral Hall, your diplomat will coordinate with the government for a diplomatic meeting with the king from Dark Arrow Keep." The dragonborn pauses for a moment, then explains, "Negotiations between Baldur's Gate and Many-Arrows are... quite rare, given the large distance between us. We haven't met with them since the end of the civil war of Many-Arrows in 1460. Most likely, you'll have to meet the king somewhere in orc territory, though it's unlikely they'll receive you in the keep itself. Tensions between Mithral Hall and Many-Arrows are still high, as there are still plenty of dwarves there who lived through Obould the first's siege of Mithral Hall. Right now, they have a tenuous peace, but there's bad blood, particularly given the proximity to Dark Arrow Keep. Be careful."
>> No. 2042 edit
>>2031
"Is there anything else we need to know before setting out?"
>> No. 2043 edit
"This look good, my only question is, when do we start?"
>> No. 2044 edit
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2044
Captain Highwind grunts a bit before responding, "We'll be looking to get you out to see by late afternoon at the latest. We'll get your diplomat ready to meet you at the port."

He gives you a good looking-over, then says, "Well, if there's no more questions, you're dismissed."
>> No. 2056 edit
Audio 41_-_Fury.mp3 - (1.49MB , 41 - Fury.mp3 )
2056
The five, having no further questions to ask of captain Highwind, depart the briefing room and head for the palace's exit. On the way out, one of the guards hands Myn the two rods the Flaming Fist had enchanted for him. A quick inspection will reveal that everything is in order, and the party has received everything from the Flaming Fist promised thus far.

Once you step out the palace doors, and they close behind you with a heavy sound, a second, softer sound comes from behind you. "Hey, there."

Turning around, the five find Thelkra leaning against the wall next to the doorway into the palace proper, idly tossing her dagger up into the air and catching it, over and over. Once you notice her, she nods and remarks, "So, ya got to meet the grand duke, eh? Must've been a helluva experience. Never met'em myself, though. What's he like?"
>> No. 2058 edit
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2058
"He doesn't seem like a bad man, but his advisor it's really fishy. Apparently he doesn't seem interested in making this a big deal."
Then Sureiya lowers his voice
"Well, we are escorting a diplomatic to Mithral Hall, the Duke wants to avoid conflicts to any price"
>> No. 2059 edit
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2059
>>2056
Torinn is relieved to see a friendly face from the Flaming Fist. At least some members weren't particularly mad at them right now.

"He was surprisingly understanding. Can't say I trust his adviser, though. He looks like a villainous caricature and acts like one too."

After exchanging pleasantries, Torinn remembers something important.

"And if it's not too much trouble, could you tell us more about this Dragonsworn clan? We feel they may tie into this somehow, and any information on them might help."

Take ten on diplomacy again in case it's a touchy subject
>> No. 2060 edit
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2060
Thelkra idly tosses her dagger again. "Nice guy, eh? Well, I guess Thalwynn could be wrong about the grand duke and keepin' things on the down-low."

"Listen, I'll tell ya what I know about the dragonsworn clan. It ain't much, but you may be able to find some use for it," Thelkra proposes, then continues on, "Dragonsworn clan, like I said before, has mostly died out. One thing that was a big sticking point for the clan, though, was that they were sworn by a pact of brotherhood with a line of metallic dragons. There's probably a story behind it, but there's so many versions of it that I dunno what's reliable. Anyway, the Dragonsworn once had a considerable hold on the northern lands, but that came to an end when Obould Many-Arrows the first united the orcish clans of the north into a single kingdom. There was a fight for dominance between the Many-Arrows and the Dragonsworn, and from what I understand, Obould killed the chieften in single combat shortly after his ever-so-popular duel with Drizz't. Apparently Obould make it a point to extinguish the traditions of the Dragonsworn, saying that the orcish nation couldn't be reliant on the powers of dragons." Thelkra pauses and tosses her dagger again, looking up at the sky before continuing, "As for the dragons themselves, they honestly feared Obould's power. With good reason, as how I hear it, when he finally died he was resurrected as an Exarch of Gruumsh. Scattered remnants of the clan can be found throughout the north, but it's unlikely many still have pacts with the dragons."

"Now," Thelkra suddenly adjusts her tone to a stricter one and looks direct at you, saying, "All I ask is that ya give Cragmaul some space for a while. Flaming Fist headquarters is probably not gonna be a friendly place for ya right now. Give her some time, and she'll hopefully cool down."
>> No. 2061 edit
"We won't inconvenience her any further. She has enough to worry about as it is."

Metallic dragons? What does Torinn know about those metallic dragons?
Nature check on metallic dragons : http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2975695/ (22)
>> No. 2063 edit
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2063
>>2060
Torinn has wonder what she was doing inside the keep. It couldn't just be a chance meeting. How did she even get in? "Were you actually waiting for us out here the entire time we were visiting with the Duke? And... How did you get in?"
>> No. 2064 edit
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2064
DC 15 Nature: In general, metallic dragons enjoy learned discourse and the pursuit of knowledge. They are also quick to sense deception, and those who attempt to trick or rob a metallic dragon are shown no mercy.

DC 20 Nature: Metallic dragons can dwell in a variety of climates and locales, but have a preference for places of learning. Ancient ruins and populous cities are the preferred lairs of metallic dragons. With that said, there are very few dragons of any sort on the main continent of Faerun, and any major metallic dragons are probably keeping themselves hidden.

Thelkra replies easily and readily, "Ah, I had Valanor help me out. He cast an invisibility spell on me. With that, it was pretty easy to get past the guards when the gates opened. And yeah, I've been keeping an eye on ya since ya left the Flaming Fist HQ. I wanted to make sure nothing dirty was going down, ya'know?"
>> No. 2065 edit
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2065
>>2064
"Valanor did huh, your relationship with him is apparently better than with Lady Cragmaul, I noticed you were speaking with him, but I couldn't recognize the language you were using"
>> No. 2066 edit
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2066
...Scattered Dragonsworn, to the north. We're headed north.

Dragon lore http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2975710/

'...Well, maybe there's a hidden passag-' Before the thought's end, the elemental spirit manifests itself with a rather scornful look. ...Anyway, the theory is quickly denied by Thelkra's more reasonable explanation.

Insight vs. Thelkra; >magic did it http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2975744/
>> No. 2067 edit
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2067
Thelkra stops leaning on the wall and takes a casual step forward, putting away her dagger so she can gesture when she speaks, "Valanor and I are pretty close, yeah. He's a sorcerer wields the arcane, elemental force of draconic magic. Due to our respective lineages, we both happen to speak draconic, and we sometimes converse in it."

Bernkastel: She seems to be telling the truth about the invisibility, and about Valanor being a dragon sorcerer, for that matter. You DO notice that she doesn't seem too eager to elaborate on her relationship with Valanor.
>> No. 2068 edit
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2068
>>2067
"I see, it was not my intention to intrude in your conversation.
Anyways, we are probably going to part this afternoon, are you interested in going with us? I'm sure your strength could help us in the travel."
>> No. 2069 edit
>>2068
"Indeed, but first we should at least give a proper farewell to Sariel and tell her where we're headed. So a visit to the Arcanimus first."
>> No. 2070 edit
Upon the mention of the Arcanimus, the spirit nods in agreement.

"I would also like to visit the Arcanimus, if only to learn more about our mission."  nope no regard for Sariel 
>> No. 2071 edit
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2071
"Ah, that sounds right up my alley," Thelkra comments, almost sounding a bit disappointed. "But I can't. Cragmaul needs me and Valanor here, keeping an eye on things. Anyways, with the palace now watching the Flaming Fist so closely, we can't go sending people so far outside our borders. Sorry."
>> No. 2072 edit
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2072
>>2071
"It's that so? Well, it can't be helped.
We need to pay a visit to a friend before departing, so please take care of this place while we are off."
>> No. 2073 edit
Audio 13_-_Heavens_Tower.mp3 - (5.88MB , 13 - Heavens Tower.mp3 )
2073
Thelkra nods and sees the five of you off, as you head away from the palace and towards the Arcanimus, on the border of the temple district.

The interior is exactly as you remember it--a circular building with a spiraling staircase leading upwards, raised platforms with study areas occupied by a sparse scatterings of various humanoids, bookshelves everywhere and plants decorating every wall and cranny. The center of the floor is translucent, and it appears there is some glowing blue sphere below. There are occasional side rooms as well, though most of the studying seems to be done in the study areas on the raised platforms.

A half-orc in shamanistic clothing nods at you as you enter. "Welcome to the Arcanimus. Is there something or someone in particular you're looking for?"
>> No. 2074 edit
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2074
Sureiya maintain himself firm while they leave her friend behind, as if he was saying "we will be back soon".
>> No. 2075 edit
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2075
>>2073
Torinn is still amazed by how many books there can be in a single building. It helps that, before visiting the Arcanimus, he'd never seen the inside of a library before. The dragonborn's reverie is broken by the half-orc's inquiry, to which Torinn responds, "Oh, yes, we're here to see Miss Sariel?"
>> No. 2077 edit
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2077
"A miss Sariel?" the half-orc repeats, bringing his hand to his chin to think for a few moments. "I'm not familiar with the name. Are you sure they're studying here?"
>> No. 2078 edit
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2078
>>2077
"We were told we could find her here. She was supposed to have come by earlier."
>> No. 2079 edit
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2079
"...Ms. Sariel is an eladrin wizard, and we believe she visited the Arcanimus earlier today. She looks like this..."

Floating over the shaman's hand is a small, if not crude, portrait of Sariel. prestidigitation
>> No. 2082 edit
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2082
"Hmmmmm," the shaman-looking person considers the image before her, then says, "Perhaps you'd better speak with Elayne. I'm not familiar with this person, but Elayne might be. She's currently up at the top of the spiral, gathering research material." The half-orc points upwards, to the highest raised platform in the Arcanimus. ...You may be reminded that a slow-fall effect is permanently present in this building, so that a fall off the spiral ramp leading upwards would not be harmful. "I wish you luck." The half-orc bows to you, and wanders off.
>> 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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2090
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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2093
"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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2096
>>2093
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
File 130266651258.png - (222.10KB , 378x246 , eladrinfemalehead.png )
2098
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
File 129910793379.png - (253.80KB , 494x478 , 11125426_p2.png )
2099
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
File 130134336372.jpg - (74.08KB , 400x500 , i dunno.jpg )
2100
>>2099
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
>>2099
"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
>>2098
"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
File 129490478099.png - (257.40KB , 494x478 , 11125426_p5.png )
2106
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
>>2106
"Do you think you could put those to a less criminal use?"
>> No. 2114 edit
File 130023680217.png - (254.91KB , 494x478 , 11125426_p4.png )
2114
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
>>2115
"...More about the Dragonsworn, but it's probably good to learn about where we're going."
>> No. 2120 edit
>>2106

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
File 129910793379.png - (253.80KB , 494x478 , 11125426_p2.png )
2132
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
>>2132
"Thank you, Miss Sariel. Best of luck to you as well."
>> No. 2140 edit
File 129490478099.png - (257.40KB , 494x478 , 11125426_p5.png )
2140
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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2147
>>2140
Torinn isn't one for subtlety.

"You there! Why are you harassing that dwarf?"
>> No. 2157 edit
File 130298673897.png - (258.29KB , 494x478 , 11125426_p6.png )
2157
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
File 130298743761.png - (199.33KB , 398x554 , you are so puny.png )
2158
>>2157
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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2159
>>2157

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
File 129616365713.png - (37.35KB , 153x122 , b4.png )
2161
>>2140
...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
File 129797399880.png - (85.34KB , 291x478 , kan_majimea37.png )
2162
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.
http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2984181/

>> No. 2163 edit
Audio 07-Quina's_Theme.mp3 - (5.32MB , 07-Quina\'s Theme.mp3 )
2163
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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2167
>>2163
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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2169
"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
>>2169
"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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2171
>>2169
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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2172
>>2170
"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
>>2172
"You called yourself a gourmet. Are you more knowledgeable about food, then?"
>> No. 2190 edit
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2190
"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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2191
>>2190
"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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2194
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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2197
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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2207
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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2220
New thread~
>>2219
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