Food and drink are available in abundance in the streets. Vendors offer just about any brand of street food you can imagine. Wagons loaded with kegs and casks roam the streets offering tankards. There are also a few shops open that can provide sell wilderness supplies: ropes, bedrolls, trail rations and the like.
Post by Ravna Reiersgaard on Feb 12, 2015 21:53:53 GMT -8
My silence should not be mistaken for reluctance, announces Ravna with a wink to those assembled. She clinks softly as she moves forward to study the map Rothgar has procured. Half to herself, she mutters, Hmmm, and what a fortuitous opportunity to test out some new mixtures on this infamous Lucky...
Whatever you plan to do with Lucky, please keep it legal. I have enough on my plate right now without some mad alchemist turning brigands into.....gelatinous cubes or something even less savory. Her tone is rather jovial, but you can detect a seriousness there as well.
Captain Tane wishes you all good luck, and informs you to return to her office upon your return, and she will have your money. The party bids farewell, and leaves. It is mid-afternoon, perhaps 3:00-4:00. The citywide party seems to ramping up. The general state of drunkenness and debauchery is not yet present, most revellers that can be seen are sober and fully dressed. Despite the relatively subdued nature of the streets, those who have seen the town for the last few days know that this is merely the calm before the storm.
Players respond. What would you like to do now, where would you like to go, ect. Feel free to discuss in character (IC) what you would like to do. While Captain Tane seems to have put Rothgar in charge, that does not have to be the party dynamic. This is the first opportunity for your characters (many of them) to get to know each other, it will not be the only opportunity. Also, please describe your character's appearance.
Post by Tessa Rothaldi on Feb 15, 2015 12:36:03 GMT -8
Well, then. Should we set out right away, or do people have errands to run before we do? As I understand it, the forest is not a place to be taken lightly, and we should certainly be prepared for things aside from Lucky and his men.
Tessa is a somewhat delicate looking young woman, with auburn hair and blue eyes. She wears masterwork studded leather over her breeches and blue shirt. Although she speaks with confidence, she seems slightly nervous and keeps looking around at the people passing by.
Post by Rothgar MacRothgar on Feb 15, 2015 17:23:38 GMT -8
We should wait until morning. Let's take the evening and enjoy ourselves.
Rothgar is a tall man, with short brown hair and brown eyes. He is wearing expensive looking full plate, with a battle axe and 2 throwing axes at this side and a shield on his back. He caries himself like a noble and his nose is slightly turned up at all times.
Post by Ravna Reiersgaard on Feb 16, 2015 13:19:51 GMT -8
Ravna grins to herself, thinking of the plethora of merchants whose wares she could peruse before setting off to deal with this Lucky character and his coterie.
Short and sturdily built, the amiable alchemist gives off an affable impression to those who meet her. She smiles easily and will often mutter to herself when engrossed in a task. Never one to care much about vanity, a messy mop of ash blonde hair hangs to her shoulders, shielding her unassuming features, and when not hidden behind smoked safety googles, her grey eyes twinkle merrily with unspoken mischief. The faint aroma of ashes and mint permeates her clothing, and her nimble fingers are often stained.
Post by Darvan Marnos on Feb 17, 2015 0:13:26 GMT -8
Not tall, but not short, Darvan is a very unassuming human. His features would indicate he is not a local, if the strange, intricate, and well-crafted sword on his back did not make it obvious. Black haired and brown eyed, he speaks softly yet confidently, "I would much prefer to begin our journey before the evening, though it seems I may be the only one. How long will our search likely take? I do not know this area well and wish to be adequately prepared."
At this point, unless someone says something that may alter it, Darvan's plan is to buy enough rations to last him through the search before returning to his room at the inn for the evening.
Post by Surallel Sol on Feb 17, 2015 13:06:35 GMT -8
We should venture out at the earliest opportunity. The more quickly we act the less expected we will be. Also, aside from the peculiarity of the smell, this town offers little in the way of interesting curiosities. Furthermore, since sentiment has already been expressed for Rothgar to assume the mantle of captain of this band, if it will hasten our departure, I will gladly elect to follow.
Surrallel is of no great build or presence for an elf and his age appears indiscernible to those unfamiliar with elfkind. He has no warrior's build but appears in shape for trekking across country. His garb is scholarly but outfitted with leather pieces with very standard elvish ornate patterns. It offers the appearance of a modestly more traveled and hearty scholar. He appears and often is irritable and bothered by most of his circumstances but somehow more often than not people find that interesting or even downright charming.
Surrallel elects to rest until called upon by the band to depart.
The party seems somewhat divided on what to do. In the interest of keeping things moving. I would like Rothgar to make the final decision on the party's plan. This is does not necessarily make him the party leader, I (the GM) just want a single definitive plan, so the story can continue. If the party would like to continue arguing their points, feel free. I do not want to squelch a party discussion, while at the same time, I do not want us all sitting here waiting for the story to continue.
The distance to travel is not great, but the terrain is not ideal. Cold Lake is nestled in the high foothills of the massive Barrier Mountains. The route Captain Tane proposed is not overly difficult. It won't require dangerous climbs or deep crevasses, the few streams you will need to cross as shallow and fairly gentle (requiring no swim check to cross, but perhaps a prestidigitation spell to dry your boots). All these factors mean the journey will take extra time. The distance is about 40 miles as the crow flies, but will require at least 3 3/4 days at your lowest footspeed (20), or 30 total hours.
Anyone know a good place around here for stiff, cheap drinks?
Street Vendors have set up all over the quarter, with more preparing to set up as it gets later in the day. Most of the street vendors pour from massive casks of weak, watery ale. The food they offer is simple, charred meats wrapped in hard bread. The Foreign Quarter (the only part of town that is available to the party at this time) has a number of pubs and alehouses that offer better food and stronger drinks. Within a few hours however, most places become overrun by the drunken hordes.
Knowledge (Local) or Diplomacy (gather information). DC 10
The most sought after establishment in this quarter of the city is a place called "The Staggering Stonemason". It is run by a dwarf named Kragin from the Ironvein clan. Most of the year, Kragin operates an exclusive, high end Restaurant. His team of halfling master chefs offer expert dishes from all over the known world. Reservations are tough to get, but those who go through the trouble never regret it. During the Recruitment drive. Kragin takes over the open air auction block operated by the Ironvein clan, and turns it into a beer garden offering the best dwarven alcohol, from stout ales to whiskeys that can kill lesser men. In addition, The Staggering Stonemason offers a vast quantity of barbecued meats, from virtually any animal imaginable. Their specialty, however is a leg of Magnewe, a kind of sheep bred and herded by the Hill Giants deep in the hidden valleys within the Barrier Mountains. A single leg serves 4, with a side of Mrs. Kragin's famous coleslaw.
Post by Tessa Rothaldi on Feb 17, 2015 18:46:19 GMT -8
Knowledge geography: kVXDqnvN1d20+7 Knowledge local: 1d20+7 Because of terrain it will take almost 4 days of travel to reach our destination. As for drinks, The Staggering Stonemason is probably the best bet. Still, if we're leaving soon that might not matter. 1d20+7·1d20+7
Post by Rothgar MacRothgar on Feb 17, 2015 19:02:22 GMT -8
In that case, we should stock up with 10 days of rations just in case. If needed, I can hunt food for us after that. Let's go to The Staggering Stonemason for the evening and get to know one another better. I'm buying.
The party makes its way through the city, forging a path through the thickening crowds, in search of shop that can provide provisions. Most of the storefronts seem to have closed early this afternoon. The party finds a shop called Wild Supplies. Upon entering the party peruses the stock. They sell mostly mundane camping supplies, tents, bedrolls, hemp ropes, trail rations and waterskins. They also sell weapons and shields, most are in poor shape, all are second hand. They do not sell armor, apart from the shields, and nothing they sell is masterwork. Behind the counter is a young half-elf. Anyone looking at him sees a face of pure boredom. Occasionally he will lift his head to look out the front windows, longingly. Clearly, there are places he would rather be. Near the front of the shop, by the counter, is a massive cask full of a kind of trail mix. Emblazoned on the cask is the sigil of the Cold Lake Company, a snowflake fronting crossed spears. Hanging next to the barrel is a sign which says The only rations used by the Cold Lake Company. The rations are far from fresh, but still edible, obviously surplus. The clerk lazily, and imprecisely, measures out the rations in one pound pouches. He makes little conversation, obviously just waiting for closing time. He takes the money, and absent mindedly drops it in a floor safe.
The party continues through the city until they find the Staggering Stonemason. Less an establishment than a massive tent, it seems to dominate the main square of the quarter. Most of the year, this lot is used to sell or auction off metals, gems, minerals and other products of the Ironvein mines. During the recruitment drive however, it is more profitable to sell food and drink to Wannabes. In the back of the tent are massive fire pits slow roasting whole animals, some of them are massive and unknown to the party. The smell is intoxicating. Massive temporary buildings are behind the fire pits, with smoke billowing out of them. Halflings and dwarves scurry around the roasting pits and smokehouses, adding various sauces and ingredients. Massive pots can also be seen, simmering with chili, stew, and other strange soups none of the party has ever seen before. Under the tent are rows and rows of long tables and benches. Many of them are full of patrons, eagerly enjoying the food. Along the side of the tent is a large line, at the end a dwarf stands beside a number of massive casks. The party waits in line, at the head of the line they are greeted by their host. He introduces himself as Kragin, the owner, as well as his wife Ziri.
2g gets you a haunch of meat and a bowl of soup, all you can eat. Another 1g gets you a tankard of fine dwarven ale, there are 10 different varieties, all imported from the best brewers in dwarven realm, according to Kragin. The host also offers a host of other stronger drinks, mostly dwarven whiskeys and liqueurs. Each is 1g. For the adventurous, Kragin offers a very rare spirit. It is called Fungal Tequila. It is distilled from a variety of cave mushroom,It is quite poisonous he warns. We blend it with an antitoxin, for those hardy enough to resist the poison, it gives a sense of euphoria, often coupled with some hallucinations. The taste is unlike anything. It has the fragrance of the best wines, the kick of the strongest whiskey, and it even retains the flavor of the mushrooms, it is truly exquisite. Ordinarily, I only sell to dwarves, but during the recruitment I make an exception. 10g for a glass.
As the party enjoys the meal, and the tables under the top begin to fill, Kragin introduces the evening's entertainment. On a low stage on opposite the line of patrons there is a gathering of dwarves. Half of them carry drums of varying sizes and shapes. A dwarven (all male) choir begins singing a very low series of notes, taking on the cadence of a chant. The harmony of the voices is impressive, it is also so deep in tone, that plates and tankards start to vibrate on the tables. As the sounds grow in volume they become punctuated by the drums. The chanting is in the dwarven tongue, those who understand it may be able to make out the words, and their meaning. The chant is a kind of dirge, or a lament. The words echo those of slaves, man bound in harsh servitude. The deep drums seem to mimic the drum of a taskmaster, while the higher toned drums mimic the sound of whips. The crowd seems indifferent to the music. It seems most would prefer a more jovial tune. They are unimpressed by the awesome technical skill of the singers and drummers. The song lasts for a few minutes, until the chanters fade, and the drums begin to increase in tempo. The various drums meld together to create a unified sound, one that increases to an almost frantic pace. Just when it seems that the drummers cannot play any faster, the choir begins again. Their tempo matches the drums, and their tone shifts to one of anger. Those who understand the words can deduce that the choir describes a great battle, it extolls the power and virtue of the warriors, in particular those who fell for the cause. The crowd seems much more amenable to the latter portion of epic. A number of patrons begin to dance in the aisles, but few are able to keep up with the tempo. When the song ends, there are cheers from the crowd.
The band continues for several hours, but few song contain the intricacy or depth as their opening song. Most are bawdy drinking songs or original compositions, many of which are quite bawdy themselves. By the end of the performance, the food on offer has run out. There is still plenty of drink available here, but the sun has long since gone down, and the whole place has lost what little order it had. After the band departs the tent, more music can be heard out in the square, as traveling minstrels attempt to ply their trade among the increasingly drunken multitudes. In the center of the main square, various musicians and troupes take turns trying to entertain the crowds, who dance together in a wild mass.
On the fringes of the square, spilling down a side street, a circle has formed around two human men, stripped to the waist, wrestling for the crowd's viewing and betting pleasure. When one man is put on his back, the crowd cheers on the other man, the victor. From the crowd, a thin half-elf man steps forward. He quickly removes his shirt. As he engages the previous victor, coins and bets fly among the spectators. After a brief struggle, the half-elf is dropped on his back, to the delight of many in the crowd. Basking in the adulation of the crowd, the winner does not see his new challenger, a half-orc woman. When she steps forward, the cheers stop, replaced by taunts, catcalls, and outright booing. Like the men before, she strips to the waist, and charges. The large woman is more than a match for the previous champion, and drops him fairly quickly. Like the previous victor, the half-orc woman is cheered. In her time, she defeats four challengers, a half-orc man, 2 human women, and dwarf man. In the end, she is felled by a halfling man, who uses his speed and her fatigue to sweep her legs. The wrestling matches go on for hours, until the wrestlers and spectators are too drunk to continue.
Players Respond. What will each member of the party do between now and morning, when you depart the city. Do you take part in these activities or go find something else? Or do you turn in early and struggle to sleep against this backdrop.
Knowledge (History) regarding the Dwarven song. DC 15
The song part of an epic dwarven opera entitled Sunward. It is a depiction of the earliest known history of the dwarven people, when they were slaves to a powerful race in the great depths. It details their lives as slaves, their rebellion, the sundering with the Duergar, and their tortuous journey to the surface. The opera was written around the time of the dwarves arrival on the surface, and is considered the earliest example of dwarven artistic music, as opposed to dwarven marching or work songs. Sunward is a masterpiece of dwarven culture, even if its historical accuracy is suspect.