The Savage Tide (Full D&D Campaign)

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Unread postby NamagomiMk0 » Fri May 11, 2007 8:43 am

Driscoll shook his head--so far, at least to him, the situation had went as such by lantern-light: So far, there were two ways out--one was blocked off by wood and rocks, the other by water. However, the first would guarantee the whole group's exit all at once; arguably a much safer option than the latter route; only one or two in his company are fit for swimming, it seems--and he knew well enough that armor weighs people down and hampers their mobility to a massive degree in the water.

So whoever swam out would have to deal with Vanthus on their own, were he on the island; given what he had managed to do to an unsuspecting Sel, it would be more advisable to get everyone out at the same time. Tactically speaking, with an enemy such as this, splitting up into a smaller group is tantamount to suicide, and equivalent to abolute idiocy.

Plus there was the other issue; he wouldn't be surprised if Vanthus had a flunkie or two with him, or left behind to "clean up" whatever the zombies had not been able to do--given, in this case, this had been "nothing at all," but anybody who seriously uses zombies to do their dirty work can't be too smart...but likewise anyone who splits up and in doing so, leaves their armor behind can't be either...

To boot--there was common sense. Smugglers carried wares with them. Often in no small quantity. The idea that there would only be one land exit would be...preposterous at best, and idiotic at worst. Water--partitcularly saltwater--damages things much more than freshwater does, and that's what seawater is. All in all, the idea of exiting through this route was...idiotic.

And so, the warmage finally spoke up; "I would personally advise against that exit. Vanthus may be up there himself, and on top of that, he may have actual living help to back him up on the surface. All in all, it would be more advisable to find another land exit, which should exist, or barring the accessibility of such, blast in the one we came through, albeit at enough of a distance to avoid falling rocks."

He then paused for a second, before starting again, "On second thought, does anyone have a torch or other long flammable object at hand? There's a much simpler way to handle this situation." Likewise, he looked around for something of that nature--if any of these doors was wooden, he might have to simply ask Orson to pitch in and break something for a bit. A plan was formulating in his head, and hopefully, everything would work out quite well...

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Spleen
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Unread postby Spleen » Thu May 17, 2007 9:37 pm

"I've got about a quart of good flammable oil, if that'll be useful," Gillet said as he walked past Safiyeh and toward Driscoll. "Nothing long, though."

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Kelne
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Unread postby Kelne » Mon May 21, 2007 10:17 pm

It seemed that long objects were in short supply. Given the pervasive damp, getting a fire to catch could be difficult as well. Still, the lamp oil ought to take care of that.

The major problem, however, was probably the remaining undead in the complex. Once more, the slap of feet intruded itself on the group, and the volume of the moaning increased. Again, the undead were approaching from the far doors, four of them this time.

There was something distinctly different about the one in the lead, though. This one was garbed in a tattered blue robe, and a purple amulet around its neck clasped what seemed to be a tarnished holy symbol.

If the zombies had a leader, this could well be it.

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Unread postby Kelne » Tue May 22, 2007 2:28 am

(Space reserved for summary post)

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Unread postby Kelne » Tue May 22, 2007 5:13 am

The group had escaped the tunnels beneath Parrot Island alive, at least, even if two of their number had been laid low. The men they had been respectively sent to find were dead or fled. All they had brought away from the situation was a roll of parchment taken from the dead hand of Penkus.

Tying up their boats at the docks, they had only a short walk to the temple of Fharlangn. Despite the lateness of the hour, the temple doors were open, and they were greeted by a pair of acolytes.

The injured were taken charge of and given healing magic in a quick and organised fashion. Gillet was soon awake and fully recovered. In Sel's case, however, it seemed his recovery would be less straightforward. He was awake and able to sit up, but the experience had left him weak, and it seemed the damage to his arm had been particularly severe.

With the others now safe, Driscoll had the time to examine the parchment, which would no doubt be passed around soon. It was indeed rather lengthy. For someone who'd written the note with zombies beating on the door, Penkus had taken the time to include a lot of invective.

These bones once be Penkus, so if ye read this, I be dead, laid low by the foul dead things that even now beat at this door. But know that twas not the dead that brought my doom, but one whom I till recently called friend.

Vanthus Vanderboren! Your name fills me with bile! Spineless, treacherous cur! You left us here to die. You left ME here, after all that I done to get ye into the Lotus! Yer designs on the Lady of the Lotus be clear now, and with meself out the way... Ye doubtless move even now into power, slithering amid my vacancy like a hermit crab in a shell, or a cadaver worm to still-warm flesh. CURSE UPON YE!

To the one what reads this. If ye have any honour or vengeance in yer soul, know that Vanthus must die. He dwells in the lap of the Lotus, below the Taxidermist's Hall. Seek him there, but afore he dies, he must ken it were Penkus what undid him and guides yer killing blow.

And if, by some cruel act of spite, it be ye what reads this, Vanthus, know with certainty I wait for ye in Hell, where I intend to rival the pit itself in yer torment!

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Kai
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Unread postby Kai » Tue May 22, 2007 2:28 pm

Safiyeh had stayed with Sel until he was awake again, watching him with her chin resting on one bent knee. She knew that the others would likely be cared for with little enough difficulty, and probably had their own resources to draw on. Penkus was dead, so they couldn't complete their job. Given that, there might be a problem paying for Sel's treatment. Safiyeh dismissed the concern with a sigh. Perhaps their new information would be valuable enough. If nothing else she could use some scant intelligence about Vanthus' presence on the island as a bargaining chip to get the harbourmaster to cover Sel.

When he woke, she tried to ensure he had whatever he might need. Eventually she settled for getting him a glass of water before leaving him to rest again. She wanted to check on Gillet as well as meeting up with the others.

Before then... she needed some time to collect her thoughts. The others still didn't know that she and her allies had been working for the harbourmaster, and she was not totally certain it was a good idea to tell them. Vanthus was clearly no ally of theirs, and they had no reason to believe that he was any ally of Safiyeh's either. This was a step in the right direction, because it meant that neither party had to worry about the other being affiliated with their most pressing adversary.

Safiyeh slipped her shades back on and headed for the front door of the temple, hoping to get outside and get some air while she figured out what she was going to do.

Penkus was dead, but all that would likely mean to them was an end to Safiyeh, Tristan, Sel and Kenner's job, whatever it might have been. No reason to explain what they'd wanted. To do so would cause needless complications, and would jeopardize the work she'd done to keep them together in spite of how little they knew about one another.

And Vanthus... what to do about him.

It depended greatly on what the others intended to do. Clearly they weren't seeking any alliance with him now. They'd have to be crushingly stupid to work with the man after he'd picked a fight with them and tried to trap them underground with the shambling remnants of some forgotten zombie horde. It was a safe bet that they weren't pleased with him either.

She knew what she would have done had she been at home. If she had been leading a raiding or scouting party, she would have considered herself responsible for their well-being. Any harm to them would have been on her hands, and defending them... or avenging them... would have been her right as much as theirs.

Sel and Kenner had been the ones holding most of the information, but it was hard for Safiyeh to escape the feeling that she had slowly begun taking charge since this job began. She had gotten them together with the party of strangers only to line them up for an encounter with Vanthus. She had expected to find tentative allies with them, but not to acquire their enemy, and there was no denying that she had.

But so had Vanthus.

She had no real interest in killing the man. Such things happened every day. Scumbags like Vanthus expected to be opposed, attacked, even killed. It was part of the job. If she merely wanted to eliminate him as a future threat, she could potentially convince the others to make it happen.

No, those things happened every day. Something about Vanthus really bothered her. Hard to say what it could be. It wasn't his underhandedness or his callousness, since Safiyeh could hardly deny she carried her fair share of both. Perhaps it didn't need to have anything to do with Vanthus. In the end it likely had more to do with loyalty.

She didn't care if Vanthus died anytime soon. Safiyeh wanted to ruin him. She wanted him to beg on the streets for the charity of strangers, a humiliated and worthless remnant of the destructive, selfish man he had been. A woman can hold a grudge for a long time and Safiyeh was no exception. Quietly filing away her ambitions for Vanthus, she felt some measure of relief. He could wait and so could Safiyeh. Later. She would have him later. Safiyeh was a patient woman and for now she had alliances to maintain.

When she opened the temple doors to step outside, she noted with surprise that someone had already apparently had the same idea as she did. She nodded to Driscoll took up a station at the opposite side of the doorway. "Sel is finally awake," she told him. "The others should be fine. How are you holding up?"

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Unread postby NamagomiMk0 » Tue May 22, 2007 7:50 pm

Driscoll himself stood outside of the temple. Sure, they offered a good enough service what with healing wounds and the like, but given that he hadn't suffered anything actually notable the entire time, he felt it was better to not bother the worshippers and others more likely than not there--he himself didn't care too much about worshipping any divine entities. After all, what had these gods done for him? ...Not really anything, when one thinks about it. Not that he felt it worth it to prove anything of the like to the worshippers; leave them be, and things should leave him be. Simple as that...

However, off the tangent, he was obviously there for a reason he was here; three of the six that had gone with him into Parrot Island were injured--Orson himself was sturdy enough that the wounds really didn't seem to faze him so much--he still managed to, in part, do some of the rowing back. There was still the issue of the other two. It was a real pain to extract Sel and Gillet from the tunnels, and it felt like forever to get them there. Needless to say, that issue was over--and only one thing did come to mind.

...Someone's obviously going to have to pay for all of this. It's clearly not coming out of my money.

If he had anything to do with it, the payment for the healing would either come from the employer or the recipients. Not himself. He had nothing to do with any of them getting hurt, after all. But then again, what can one do? Jumping heroically in the way is tantamount to suicide against brainless animated corpses that existed only to masticate unlucky or unwitting victims to death.

Of course, then there was Tristan. Who looked like he either needs help aiming spells, or shouldn't bother with directly attacking; not like he seems to mind the latter. If anything, uncivilized would be an unfitting term to describe Driscoll's specialization, at least to Driscoll himself. Even if others seemed to balk at the fact that almost all of what he seems to have is that of the harnessing and directed projection of varied energies, it had worked, and is ultimately no less of a science; is magic declared "civilized" simply based upon its applications? There is no logical basis to this; magic is the utilization of arcane energies; the only difference in the case is in what purposes the energies are used for; is the scythe used to thresh grain less civilized than the scythe taken up in arms against an enemy? It is still the same tool, just put to a different use, and so it is with magic.


And then, of course, there was the issue with Penkus' note. The main question is not that of vengeance for Penkus, but instead what Vanthus intends to do. Driscoll himself was still on the job to deal with Lavinia's brother and return the money he looted to her. Not to be mistaken; it was personal. After all, if he were not to do the job, he wouldn't get paid. Were he not to get paid, he couldn't eat, drink, sleep in a room, or do other such things. That motive is indeed personal enough for him. Forget revenge in someone else's name. That sounds like one of those odd dramatic things that Tristan would be into, given what he had seen of the rather...pretentious spellcaster. Regardless, a job was a job, and this was simply a convenient coincidence. No real problem here


'Sel is finally awake, the others should be fine. How are you holding up?'

Driscoll had not initially noticed Safiyeh leaving the temple. Of course, this was changed the moment she had talked to him. Regardless, she was smarter than she tried to pass herself off as; the quick way out was worth it, and probably should've been done sooner. Had it been, he wouldn't have had to fight those zombies, though at the same time, fighting all of those allowed the group that note that reveals his latest location...

The elf paused for a second, before responding, "That's good to hear, even if Orson looked like he would've made it anyway. As for myself, I'm mostly just fatigued, for lack of a better word. Expending most of your reserves to kill off a few waves of zombies would ultimately do that. I guess that would indeed be better than Sel, Orson, or Gillet turned out, however."

Speaking of reserves, the gray elf had noted that he was indeed out of a select material component. He'd have to shop around sometime later to see whether or not he could find some jade for one of his most oft-used spells.

...he really did need some rest.

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Unread postby Spleen » Fri May 25, 2007 12:39 pm

Fifteen...sixteen...seventeen...eighteen...nineteen.....twenty. Gillet eased his body to the floor, giving his left arm a break from the one-handed push-ups he'd been doing (one advantage of being small but strong was that body-weight resistance exercises were the simplest thing in the world for Gillet). The fact that that particular arm had earlier been missing a good-sized chunk only pressed him on further. "Never again," he vowed to himself, shifting to his right arm for his second set of twenty on that side. So far he'd been mostly a burden on his allies, the guy who, time and again, either messed up in the course of trying to attack or wound up in over his head and fighting something he was ill-prepared to face. That changes, starting today. Seventeen...eighteen...nineteen...twenty. He turned over for sit-ups, grabbing his rapier sheath from the floor next to him to hold in front of him to keep his arms level.

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Kai
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Unread postby Kai » Fri May 25, 2007 1:18 pm

Safiyeh nodded in reply to Driscoll, her gaze distantly pointed at some bare patch of wall across the street.

"I apologize once again that I could not be of more help to you. Perhaps, should we work together again in the future, I will find a way to ease the burden on you and your friends." She sighed. "Unfortunately this time things were fated to become very complicated."

In fact, she and Sel and Driscoll weren't the only ones who'd had a hard time with this mission. Gillet had been something of a running project, and it would be worthwhile to go check on him. He'd responded well to the barest of courtesy, and it would probably mean a lot to him to have someone go check on him.

She had to admit it wasn't entirely politically-motivated at this point. He was probably the most openly friendly one among her new allies, and it was nice not feeling like she had to dig to form a social connection there. He'd been courteous to her and he deserved to have that courtesy returned.

"Driscoll, I am going to see how the others are doing. Please find me if you need anything. I will likely be around."

With that she ducked back inside the door and found her way back through the temple to where she'd last seen Gillet.

She heard his breathing before she found him. At first she was concerned something might be wrong, but the shifting of his body on the floor told her he was likely doing... something. Exercising?

When she turned the corner and saw for herself, she confirmed the guess. The gnome she found wasn't lying back convalescing quietly. He was stripped to the waist and covered in sweat as he pushed the boundaries of his endurance.

Her eyes caught the sweat on his skin and that he left on the floor before she noticed that, for his size, Gillet's body bore the evidence that this was clearly a regular pursuit of his.

With some amusement she noted, He's built like one of us.

She stood in the doorway and spoke to announce her presence. "Gillet," she said quietly, removing her glasses. "You seem better."

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Unread postby Spleen » Fri May 25, 2007 1:57 pm

Gillet's voice croaked out of his mouth in mid-breath with a strangled-sounding "Huh?" He caught his breath and turned his head to the source of the words. "Oh, hullo, miss," he greeted Safiyeh, out of a combination of respect for her kindness to him, the manners he'd learned to use when dealing with woman (something he was poor at, but then again Gillet wasn't good with people in general), the fact that she was still very nearly a stranger to him, and clumsiness with the unfamiliar syllables of her foreign name. "How are you?" he asked as he continued his sit-ups, applying less effort now that he was trying to hold up a conversation.

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Kai
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Unread postby Kai » Fri May 25, 2007 2:12 pm

"Oh, I'm fine. I was not injured," she shrugged and there was a faint tone of guilt in her voice as she spoke. The others had been hurt, in some cases badly, while she'd merely stood by and given orders. It wasn't a role she was particularly comfortable with.

"I am glad to see that you are feeling better, though. Sel is finally awake and will probably be all right, so I was coming to see how everyone else was." It would have been too personal for her to state explicitly that she'd been worried about him in particular, even if it was true. She didn't need to form that intimate a friendship with him yet. Basic courtesy should probably suffice for a while.

"And please, you should feel free to call me by my name. We had little opportunity to introduce ourselves before, but my full name is Safiyeh Kiyankadah. Many people call me Javid. Less of a mouthful, I think," she explained. "But it is not necessary to address me so formally."

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Unread postby Archmage » Fri May 25, 2007 9:05 pm

Tristan, meanwhile, had been sitting off in a side room of the temple, contemplating how best to celebrate their heroic victory. Were it not for the ingenuity of Driscoll and the utility of his spellcasting, the group might still be stuck underground.

It was unclear to Tristan whether or not he was truly cut out to be an adventurer. His previous thoughts on the subject were that it was definitely an interesting pursuit, and that that alone had made it worthwhile. It was exciting, after all, to face down deadly foes. But he was painfully aware of the fact that his magic was not well-suited for the demands of an adventure; he was not a killer. This had nothing to do with a moral objection to murder, but rather the fact that in light of recent events it was clear that he was not very good at it.

Nor did he intend to become so, he noted, or at least, nor did he intend to become so the way he imagined a battlemage like Driscoll might. He found it curious that one would put so much of their time into training to become a living piece of artillery. What value is that talent, he mused, when there is no war? Such an ability is useful, surely, on the battlefield, but when the war ends, there is nothing you can contribute. Tristan shrugged at the thought. Perhaps he would have to reevaluate this if he decided that he wished to continue adventuring. It would be an interesting way to bring honor to his family, he realized, but it was also quite possible to disgrace them instead. He was expected to be a respectable member of society. Would he be able to fulfill that role as some spell-slinging mercenary-for-hire?

The answer had not come to him yet, but Tristan had other plans in mind for the immediate future, and he began to wander around the temple in search of his allies. Overhearing the conversation between Safiyeh and Gillet, the young nobleman wandered in with a jovial smile on his face.

"Miss Safiyeh, Sir Gillet, pardon my interruption," he said, "but I think now would be a most opportune time to celebrate our victory and decide upon a plan of action for the future. Would you care to join me for a drink and a cigar? I happen to have a bottle of most excellent wine in my travelling sachel. Perhaps the temple staff can provide us with some suitable glasses?"

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Unread postby Spleen » Sat May 26, 2007 11:13 am

"Safiyeh, then," Gillet said, making a worthy effort at tackling the name. "It's a beautiful name. Where's it from?"

Tristan, of course, entered then. Gillet watched him out of the corner of his eye, still not able to get any sort of bead at all on the odd human. He tried not to judge him on the basis of the contributions he had made on Parrot Island; after all, it would be the worst kind of hypocrisy for the gnome to expect constant perfection out of his allies when he himself had experienced a run of dismal luck of late. He did know that the boisterous, look-how-noble-I-am attitude that Tristan either honestly had or earnestly donned (Gillet didn't want to consider what truths Tristan's personality might be hiding if it was a ruse) would grate on Gillet's pragmatic, lower-class mentality far faster even than Driscoll's supreme egotism.

Plus, the fact was that Gillet couldn't stand to be near cigar smoke. He just hated the smell.

"No, thanks," Gillet said. "I'm gonna finish here." He looked to Safiyeh. "You can go with him, I don't mind."

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Unread postby Kai » Sat May 26, 2007 2:00 pm

Safiyeh smiled at Gillet's compliment. She opened her mouth to respond and--

Tristan was talking. This was always an interesting occurrance, and one that she never knew exactly how to evaluate. He was clearly an absurd man, but on the other hand, there was a man under that cravat, a man with good intentions. He probably just had the same idea that she did.

In fact, there was no reason it shouldn't work.

Slightly disappointed that Gillet preferred to stay by himself, Safiyeh gave him a thin smile and a tiny sigh. It was important to her that he not feel left out. "I probably will go. However, if Tristan and I have earned the opportunity to relax, you certainly have. When you finish here, please consider coming for a visit."

"Tristan," she said, turning to look up at the nobleman. "Driscoll mentioned that he was a little worn out after the fight, and I have not seen Orson yet. We should find them to extend your invitation. Driscoll may still be just outside the temple door. He will not be hard to find."

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Unread postby Archmage » Sat May 26, 2007 2:09 pm

"Of course, of course!" replied the noble wizard. "I had intended to do just that. However, be it your good fortune or simply dumb luck, I happened to encounter you first." Tristan grinned and adjusted his cravat a little. "I shall head outside first, then, and locate Driscoll. Surely he has need of entertainment beyond casting spells intended for demolition purposes. I cannot imagine an elf such as himself lacking for culture or appreciation of the pleasures of fine society." With that, Tristan bowed slightly to Safiyeh and Gillet before turning to exit the room.

True to his word, Tristan made his way out to the front steps of the building where Driscoll was doing...well, whatever it was that people like Driscoll did when they weren't blowing each other up.

"Sir Driscoll, if I may!" called Tristan as he spotted the elf. "I do believe that this is a most opportune time to celebrate our victory over the odds with a bit of relaxation before we continue on our way. It would be most impolite to not sit down and discuss our plans for the future in a suitable manner. Will you join myself and Miss Kiyankadah for drinks and cigars in the temple lounge?"

Tristan paused for a second, thinking about this. Surely the temple had a lounge. It occurred to him briefly that occasionally men of the cloth gave up pleasures such as wine and tobacco, but it seemed remarkably impolite for them not to have a designated area for people who had not made similar choices to enjoy their decision. If the temple were not equipped with a proper smoking room, he would simply have to complain to the priest.

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Unread postby NamagomiMk0 » Sat May 26, 2007 3:15 pm

'I do believe that this is a most opportune time to celebrate our victory over the odds with a bit of relaxation before we continue on our way. It would be most impolite to not sit down and discuss our plans for the future in a suitable manner. Will you join myself and Miss Kiyankadah for drinks and cigars in the temple lounge'

So, a victory celebration of sorts? While he had thought of resting and not attempting to pursue Vanthus until tomorrow at the earliest, he had not anticipated celebration of the passing of today's events; his portion of victory had little to do with chance, and much more to do with calculated plans; nonetheless, particularly after taking Tristan up on his offer earlier, it would appear insulting to turn him down as of this moment.

"I'll accept on the drinks, but will have to pass on the cigars. I have found myself to not care for the latter, ultimately."

If anything, this would be an optimal moment to discuss the next action; while he knew that Orson and Gillet would invariably go along with dealing with Vanthus; as they had been hired to by Lavinia just like him; he was personally unsure as to whether or not the others would help; personally, he didn't care, but from a practical standpoint, they could potentially be of assistance--it did not hurt that he had attempted to trap all of them--including the four not of his original group--in the tunnels and leave them to zombies.


...he still failed to see what was so problematic about zombies.

"If you know exactly where this "lounge" is; I personally don't bother with temples that often, so if you might point me in the direction, perhaps?" he replied as he stood and stretched...

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Unread postby Archmage » Sat May 26, 2007 3:22 pm

"Most excellent! However, you see," noted Tristan, "I have not yet located the temple lounge myself. I shall have to ask the temple priest where their smoking room is located. Perhaps I will find it in the process of retrieving that warrior-elf. Orson, if I remember correctly."

That said, Tristan turned around and wandered back into the temple, looking for Orson...and the smoking room.

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Unread postby Nakibe » Sat May 26, 2007 3:53 pm

Orson made his way to where he heard Gillet was resting after a while. Although his face was filled with concern for his teammate, he still had to wonder. Was it his fault that the thief was hurt? He would've done something... and yet that whole thing was a haze to him. A swirl of nonsensical images tinged with red. He knew there was a fight...

He opened the door... and found Gillet AND Safiyeh there. It ain't surprisin. Of COURSE she'd be here. Apparently Gillet had been doing some excersizing, for what reason he's not entirely sure. "You're lookin better, Gillet. Although should ya be excersizing at this point?" What to say to Safiyeh about now, though? ... he wasn't sure what he could tell her... and he wasn't sure what to say other than "... Thanks for helping us out."

Dammit, that was REAL smooth, Orson. he thought. You should quit bothering at this social crap.

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Unread postby Kai » Sat May 26, 2007 4:20 pm

Safiyeh turned as the door opened, revealing a concerned Orson. She was surprised to see him, but she had to admit she was pleased. The way these people worked together had been somewhat troubling for her to watch. Little enough concern for one another, for anything but getting out, getting done, and getting paid. Maybe when put to the test there was more to them than she'd originally estimated.

She lowered her eyes and nodded in response to Orson's statement. If there was one thing Safiyeh was certain of, it was that she hadn't been of as much assistance as she might have liked. At least it was good to hear that Orson wasn't frustrated with her for it.

"I should be thanking you. We were just as stuck as you were, and your efforts went a long way toward ensuring we escaped. In fact... Tristan has offered to share some wine with everyone, and cigars if you smoke. He has gone to find Driscoll, and perhaps when Gillet is finished he will find time for us as well."

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Unread postby Spleen » Sat May 26, 2007 7:15 pm

"No reason for me not to exercise," Gillet said. "It's magical healing; I'm how I was before I was hit. Besides, I need to make sure it doesn't happen again. That's an experience I don't feel like reliving, thank you very much," he continued grimly.

He sighed. "I'll go if everyone else goes; I'll find some way to put up with the smell of cigars, I guess." A wry smile broke out on his small, broad face and he let a little chuckle escape. "I actually woke up after they patched me up feeling like I needed a cigarette, and I haven't smoked in twelve years. I guess a little wine would be the next best thing, as long as Tristan doesn't go on about the vintage and color and whatever the hell else people say about wine. What's he doing spelunking with a bottle of wine, anyway?"

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Unread postby Kelne » Sat May 26, 2007 8:29 pm

Once asked, the acolytes were happy to point out the smoking room. Or, in this case, a small garden courtyard, well lit and open to the sky. And, thankfully, complete with table and chairs, to which were added several glasses procured by a helpful acolyte.

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Unread postby Nakibe » Wed May 30, 2007 8:59 pm

"Huh" Was about all the coherency that Orson could muster for a moment. "Well. That sounds like an idea, I guess. Yeah, sure. Why not? Sounds like a party to me." You know, after all this crap, I think she's right. he thought We deserve something. Hopefully Lavinia won't mind us taking a FEW hours away from tracking down that brother of hers.

Orson stopped for a moment. "So, um... which way is this party supposed to be , huh?"

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Interlude

Unread postby Kelne » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:10 pm

The pair met in a dark alley in Shadowshore. It was but one of many clandestine meetings of the night, and no one in the district was inclined to investigate such metings too closely.

"It went to plan?" The first figure was nervous, eager to please.

"Oh, yes," the second spoke in a confident drawl, the accents of the upper classes clearly audible in his voice, "The trap even caught four more interlopers. We won't be seeing them again. You've done well."

"Thank you, Milord. Does that mean you'll be introducing me to the Lotuses?"

"But of course, Shefton. I said I would, didn't I?" Vanthus put a companionable arm around the man's shoulders and began to walk him out of the alley, "There's just one final order of business first."

"What would that be, Milord?"

It was so easy to slip the knife between his ribs. The man was distracted by his visions of a bright future, of climbing the ranks with Vanthus as his patron.

"I'm sorry, Shefton," Vanthus said, as the man doubled over in pain, gasping for breath that wouldn't come, "But you know too much. We can't have you drawing peoples' attention to my methods. They might start asking incovenient questions." Best not to remind people of who else had fallen prey to the zombies under Parrot Island. It wouldn't do for people to wonder whether he had played a part in Penkus's demise.

Vanthus wiped his dagger off on the coat of the dying man. There were a thousand like Shefton in this city. Little fish who would do just about anything to be noticed by the bigger fish. Alas, they never realised the sad truth. Big fish eat little fish.

Shefton would not be missed. Another body turning up in Shadowshore would surprise noone, and there was nothing to link him to Vanthus. All in all, not a bad night's work. It would be some time before his sister set any more bloodhounds on his trail.

-----------------------------

The temple wasn't that large, and tracking Tristan down posed little trouble. Tristan's toast went down reasonably well, even if it likely added to peoples' perceptions of him as an eccentric.

Following the toast, Kenner, who had apparently been giving the matter some thought, took the opportunity to speak, "Stop me if I'm out of line, but I think we should all come clean about what we were doing on the island. If we're on the wrong sides, we can go our separate ways. No harm no foul. If not..." He shrugged, obviously not quite willing to commit the others to anything without talking it over first.

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Unread postby Spleen » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:23 pm

"Reasonable," Gillet admitted, having arrived after he had toweled himself free of exercise sweat. "Who wants to go first?" the gnome asked, hoping he, Orson, and Driscoll wouldn't seem like so much hired muscle compared to whatever venture Tristan, Kenner, Sel, and Safiyeh were on.

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Unread postby Kai » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:01 pm

Safiyeh nodded at Kenner's words, glad that he had suggested something she'd been considering. She glanced to Tristan to gauge his reaction. She remembered sensing some vague distaste for her manipulative tactics previously though... so she felt safe in assuming he had little desire to employ them himself any longer than was necessary.

But Gillet didn't want to offer information first. She set her glass down and folded her hands in her lap. "We were sent by the harbourmaster to apprehend Penkus. It was his hope that Penkus would have information on other criminal activities, and that he could be persuaded to share." She shrugged. "It would seem this is not possible."

"I was concerned at the start that perhaps you were working with him. I do not believe this now, and apologize for my earlier... vagueness."

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Unread postby Archmage » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:46 pm

"Indeed," continued Tristan, "I think an open exchange of information is most warranted at this point. And, as Miss Kiyankadah has noted, Penkus is beyond apprehension. At this stage, he would be quite the drain on the prison system. They barely have enough cells for the live ones!" The young nobleman punctuated the last sentence with a raucous and almost rehearsed-sounding laugh. It was clear that he thought this was the kind of joke his brandy-sipping socialite kin would make and find incomprehensibly hilarious.

"But we should not consider our failure to apprehend Penkus to be a true failure. The man had shuffled off this mortal coil some time ago, by the look of things, done in by his dishonorable comrades. A most pitiable tale." Tristan paused, taking a long drag on his cigar. "If you fine gentlemen were investigating that island for the same purpose as ourselves, who hired you? We were sent by the city watch."

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Unread postby NamagomiMk0 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:31 pm

Driscoll rolled his eyes at the joke--wherever Tristan got his sense of humor from, he needed to return it from a refund, because that one is clearly broken. Very irrepairably broken, to the point where even advanced magic would not be able to have a remote chance of making it better. This was painfully obvious to the warmage, at least.

"As for myself and the others, we are under employment by an independent contractor, who had hired us to deal with the man who tried ineffectively to kill us over on that rock, Vanthus Vanderboren, who has essentially pilfered something that we are to return if at all possible to our aforementioned employer," the gray elf responded at length, "As it stands, our apparent missions have nothing to do with one another, and as such, it is not particularly necessary, though possibly helpful, that you assist us further."

...only then did he take another drink of the brandy. It appeared as if things would get difficult around here; it's not unlikely that Vanthus had someone watching them come off of the island, and thus, plans have to be taken as if he knew they were still alive and looking for him...

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Unread postby Spleen » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:43 pm

"We don't know that our missions don't coincide," Gillet pointed out. "We both came to the same place to find the men we were after; considering that there weren't a hundred ways into the island, isn't it a pretty good chance that when Penkus was alive, he worked with Vanthus?"

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Unread postby NamagomiMk0 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:48 pm

"The point is that they were specifically after Penkus, rather than anyone he was working under. While he was clearly working with or under Vanthus, he is indeed a completely separate entity," Driscoll replied, "The point is, their job is essentially completed, while ours simply is in continuation. Unfortunately, I get the feeling he knows we're alive."

Brow furrowing, the mage had gone into thought about the information that was on Penkus' last writing. Where was this Taxidermist's Hall that he was supposed to go, and was there some motive behind his actions aside from simple greed and power-lust?

(Knowledge (History) or Knowledge (Local) check, either at a total of 6+2. Stupid dice hate me.)

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Unread postby Kai » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:59 pm

Safiyeh took a long, deep breath. She couldn't commit Tristan to this, nor Kenner and certainly not Sel. Her anger at the fate of her ally remained well-suppressed, but not perfectly. An uncharacteristic tightness along her jaw and stony silence were the evidence of a deep sense of offense.

"Even if our missions did not coincide," she began quietly. "I believe that I would be in error to abandon the issue. I have an ethical stake in Vanthus' fate, and as far as I am concerned I owe him for his hospitality."

A soft smile touched the edges of her lips. "That debt will be paid. In excess if I have my way." She nodded. "For the moment that leaves us as allies, whatever the terms of my employment."

And anyway, we wanted him because we wanted information about his activities. If Gillet is right and they were working together, perhaps I can convince the harbourmaster to finance my little vendetta.

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Unread postby NamagomiMk0 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:09 pm

"So be it," the mage replied, "He seemed to mistake all of you as part of us anyway, so I remember."

Hm. We could use the extra help anyway. It's clearly evident that my arcane prowess, however powerful, is ultimately limited in focus. Were we to get Tristan on our side, he could prove ultimately convenient...though I had better teach him how to aim a spell before he tries anything like that again...

As for her, I personally do not know her own capabilities,
he thought, regarding Safiyeh, ...in fact, I'm not quite so sure how much of my current allies, much less the rest of this group, I actually know...hm, there's a thought.

"Perhaps," started Driscoll, "more formal introductions would be necessary, or at least beneficial, given we now have the time and space to do so. If nothing else, it would be helpful to know what we can do, at the least."

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Unread postby Spleen » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:27 pm

Gillet couldn't suppress a small smile at the affirmation of his team's continued partnership with Tristan, Safiyeh, Sel, and Kenner. Safety in numbers played a role in that thought, of course, even considering that he, Orson, and Driscoll seemed to have quite handily taken care of the zombies themselves. However, the normally (and proudly) aloof Gillet couldn't help but bask in Safiyeh's demonstrably high opinion of him; among his own kind, people were expected to do their jobs whether anyone praised them or not, so such appreciation as she had given him was not a fixture of Gillet's early life, nor were Driscoll and Orson given to any emotion but mild surprise when Gillet made a worthwhile contribution.

"Perhaps more formal introductions would be necessary, or at least beneficial, given we now have the time and space to do so. If nothing else, it would be helpful to know what we can do, at the least."

Gillet leaped at the chance to showcase his abilities. "My name is Gillet Tarrym, in the Tarrym line of the Seafoam Clan. I'm - obviously - a swordsman, with what I guess you'd call an opportunistic bent to my abilities. I'm trained at finding the weak points in a body and placing my thrusts there, especially if that enemy's distracted - my misfortune that we seem to keep running into things that don't have any weaknesses. I can also..." He began to count on his fingers as he continued. "...pick locks, tie knots, find traps, swim, man a ship, and stay hidden and silent in shadows. My race also has naturally sharper eyes and ears than a human would." He hoped there wasn't anyone listening with knowledge of gnomes, or the last would be called into question and he'd have to explain why "his race" was demonstrably different from other gnomes. "I grew up here in the city, in a small community of gnomes in the Azure District, known as the Seafoam Clan. I...guess that's really all there is to say."

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Unread postby Archmage » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:28 pm

Tristan set down his cigar and blinked. "Well, I say." Glancing at Safiyeh, he grinned, just a little. "So it would seem that your silver tongue has gotten us a new group of allies or the long run, eh?" He chuckled, as if somehow this were funny, despite the fact that it clearly wasn't.

"Since you're asking me what my talents are," he continued, "I suppose I shall have to give you more details. I cannot afford to be so modest forever, particularly if we are going to continue collaborating in the future. Since you have asked, I am a conjurer, educated by one of the finest tutors in the city."

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Unread postby Nakibe » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:59 pm

Orson grinned at this turn of events. Although his paranoia from earlier was apparently misplaced, it worked out well enough, in the end. Hearing his companions assessments of their abilities, though, he felt it behooved him to make a more flashy entrance.

"Meh. You've all seen my talents, I think. Ain't exactly a people person or nothin, so all I can really say I got is my sword arm." Orson shrugged. Not exactly as fancy as the others, I suppose, but its nice to have one's talents speak for themselves. "Now. I'm guessing that Vanthus guy is pretty pissed that we managed to get out of that cave. We probably need to talk to miss Lavinia. You know, let her know what's been done. After that, I'll let her know that I intend to go after Vanthus myself if I have to. Don't intend to kill him, no no. Not till I get paid for bringing in his ass in a sling."

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Unread postby Kai » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:27 pm

For the warriors in the group, it was obvious what their specialties were. Driscoll was a mage, and one who shone well in combat. Orson brought his enemies low with blows from his sword. Tristan she knew, along with Sel and Kenner. Gillet was, in brief, an opportunist in battle, and opportunism was a talent that Safiyeh valued highly when paired with patience. She cultivated it in herself when she could, but to slightly different ends. Generally if a situation devolved into combat it meant she had slipped up.

They had all had opportunity to demonstrate their talents, and they'd all had a chance to appraise each other's obvious specialties. The problem was that if her abilities were being appraised... it meant that it was obvious Safiyeh was bending and manipulating the people around her. In that case she wasn't doing her job at all, was she? The best product of her effort she could point to was the fact that two paranoid teams on secret missions to a smugglers' island had found dependable allies in each other, and would continue to work together.

But how to take credit in their eyes for something like that? They would learn to watch her actions and note her words, peering for the motivations behind them. If they did that her influence over them would be reduced, and she couldn't risk that just yet. Not until she could assume they would listen to her without careful management.

When it occurred to her that she could wait no longer to account for herself, she dropped her eyes and spoke down to her hands. "Safiyeh Kiyankadah, called Javid Kiyankadah for many years and still by the people who knew me when I was young. Different talents aided me across the mountains in the sands of my home than I would need in the port cities of this place, but even here there is still occasional need for subtle actions or careful words."

"If Kenner or Tristan would tell the harbourmaster of our findings," she said with a nod to the two men present. "I can go with Orson to speak with your Miss Lavinia. Perhaps she would like to meet one of those to whom she is entrusting her brother's fate. That way all of us can sort out our allegiances and clear ourselves to work together."

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Unread postby Spleen » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:55 pm

Gillet nodded his assent, not that it mattered much one way or another. "Should Driscoll and I stay here with Sel, then?" he asked. He noted, silently, that Kenner hadn't offered his own abilities. Embarrassed, maybe? he wondered to himself.

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Unread postby Kelne » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:46 pm

Kenner nodded, "I can fill our employer in easily enough. Sel should be alright with time, but I'm sure he'd appreciate the company. As for our own talents," he shrugged, "Mostly we're good at information gathering and alright when it comes to a brawl."

Driscoll's ruminations on a taxidermist failed to reveal any information. It wasn't exactly a common business, so hopefully there wouldn't be more than a couple of places to check out. Turning up the address of one such place ought to present few difficulties. Or one of the others might know.

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Unread postby Spleen » Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:32 pm

(I like this RP, but have nothing to contribute to move it forward.)

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