Ximo stood to excuse himself and hoped Joaquim would follow suit.
"We shall return as swiftly as we can," Ximo said. Then gave a little bow to the witch and let himself out.
Once he and Joaquim were alone again and walking away, "I believe it is closer to the alchemist Txanton's from here. But I may be mistaken. He is, as I recall, quite desperate for an assistant. Perhaps this mageling Walhorn would serve, sight unseen."
Post by Ronny Serio on Aug 19, 2015 23:37:16 GMT -6
"Let us hope so," Joaquim said. "Running about town arranging job interviews for some willful child is not exactly what I had in mind."
"Wait," he said, stopping in his tracks. "What if this business about her son is all some trick to get us out of there so she can run off and do something untoward? Perhaps I should linger and keep an eye on the premises? You carry on and make arrangements with the alchemist. I'll await you here."
"Very well," Ximo answered. "If you must leave here, try to leave word for my so that when I return I know what has happened - though of course that may be difficult. But anyway, do try. And if when I return here you are not to be found, we can meet back at our inn? Good."
Ximo then headed for Txanton's shop and hoped he could convince the man to hire Walhorn the Wayward. Along the way he decided he did not much like being a character in some sort of boring family drama.
Post by Ronny Serio on Aug 20, 2015 23:31:45 GMT -6
"No ma'am," Joaquim said. He debated how much else to add. Who was this woman? She approached the house like she lived there and she seemed to know this Walhorn well. Her features were reminiscent of Glendalas. A sister, perhaps. That would make sense. Might be helpful to be on her good side.
"My associate is right this minute speaking to an alchemist about finding Walhorn a job. His mother seems to be quite worried about him. We've come from the Consortium to speak with her, she has some information that will help us in our battle with the Cult. Shrewd as she is, she has only agreed to share it with us if we get her boy some honest work."
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 21, 2015 9:29:19 GMT -6
Day 10/Turn 6 for Joaquim, Ximo:
"Oh...that's his mother speaking," the sister said to Joaquim. "I'm his aunt and I know what that boy needs, craves, is a life of adventure. You can't tie him down to a mundane job. You should come back inside with me and we'll talk..."
But Joaquim was already sucked enough into this family drama and demurred, stating honestly that he had to wait for his friend to come back.
And eventually Ximo did. He reported that Txanton, the alchemist, definitely needed the help, but balked at promising in writing to hire someone sight-unseen. Which begged the question -- where was this Walhorn?
"Perhaps the Consortium would guarantee employment without meeting him?" Ximo suggested. He really did not want to have to go find this ne'er-do-well. "But all the same, maybe we should ask those two ladies if they have any idea where we might find him."
"It's worth an offer but judging by her response to our previous offer of a 'promise', I'm not sure we can get that by her. Maybe he could be hired on by your man Marcel's 'Investigators' Guild'? An errand boy or clerk or something? Why not promise her that, some sort of trial period? That would be a surer bet than this adventuring group you know."
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 24, 2015 12:23:19 GMT -6
Day 10/Turn 6a for Joaquim, Ximo:
As the conjurers approached the women's door, they heard both women shouting at each other. Rather than the aunt swaying the mother, it seemed they were only getting each other worked up and distraught over something. Indeed, when the aunt opened the door, she shot them a nasty glare and said, "Just go. Go now!" and she tried to slam the door in their faces.
Ximo turned to Joaquim and said quiet, "Go where?"
The two of them began walking away without much sense of where to go.
"This is a rather difficult predicament," Ximo said. "But let's see if this Walhorn fellow has any friends who hang about at the nearest tavern. Maybe they'll tell us where to find him if we explain we're looking to offer the boy a job. Or at least we can leave word for him with them..."
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 25, 2015 9:34:35 GMT -6
Day 10/Turn 6b for Joaquim, Ximo:
The closest place for drinks was the Players Inn. It was a small inn, with no wall or fence around it for privacy and security. It was also the quietest inn either man had seen yet in town, and had an almost palpable air of sadness about it now which Ximo had not noticed when he was last here.
"Walhorn?" the aging, bare-headed innkeeper asked. "Don't know him. Who's that?" But after further discussion, the innkeeper said, "Oh, Glendalas' boy! Sure, I remember him. Didn't he run off to find a life of adventure in Dyvers a few years back? I haven't seen or heard from him since."
Ximo looked at Joaquim with an almost excruciating expression of exasperation. The innkeeper wandered off to get the mages' drinks.
"We may have to hire a town crier to find this boy," Ximo said. "I haven't even met him and I'm considering punching him in the face when I finally do.
"Perhaps a return to the Consortium is in order. Maybe the lad went there seeking employment. Another thought, Harvester's Heroes. I've heard they are Verbobonc's heroes of record. Maybe their lair would be another possible place to ask after this half-elf."
Post by Ronny Serio on Aug 26, 2015 7:38:23 GMT -6
"We might be better served to check the Viscount's dungeons," Joaquim said. "Continuing to run about town like pair of errand boys seems ridiculous. Let us instead, hire actual errand boys to do this. Surely there will be any number of willing employees loitering about in the neighborhood."
When the innkeeper returned, Joaquim said, "I don't wish to be rude, my good man, but the place seems a bit glum. Is it always so dour here?"
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 27, 2015 8:48:33 GMT -6
Day 10/Turn 7 for Joaquim, Ximo:
"A lot of my patrons relied on the theater staying open for their bread and butter," Joaquim was told. "With that closed down, well... there are a lot of rumbling stomachs in the artist community these days. And then there's the Viscount..." The innkeeper didn't seem to want to follow up on that thought, but was cajoled into it. "Well, there was a contest for all artists -- crafstmen, musicians, playwrights -- to design a gift for the Queen of Celene -- you know, the elf lands to the south. There was a big reward for the winner. The Viscount received many submissions, quite a few from my patrons alone, but he's been overdue to announce a winner. So everyone's nervous, waiting to see if the Viscount forgot about the contest, what with all the unrest and the horrific events that have been happening."
Joaquim and Ximo agreed ((I presume)) on the notion of hiring some people to look for Walhorn for them. As it turned out, some of the other patrons of the inn were eager for work, including some with experience as town criers. One was willing to go to the Guildhall of the Harvester's Heroes, in the Business Quarter, and ask about this half-elf for 5 sp. The other was willing to go to the Silver Consortium to ask, but wanted 1 gp.
"Well, there's an element of risk to me there, isn't there? I hear the talking gargoyle at their front gate eats people who it feels is wasting its time."
"Tell the gargoyle you bring word from Joaquim and Ximo the Humble. That should dissuade it from making any kind of meal of you," Ximo said haughtily.
"And, may I add an incentive, if either of you men by your own initiative find Walhorn, there'll be an additional 2 gold reward. So do not confine your efforts to just the Consortium or the Guildhall."
The two men left with whatever contract they accepted. Ximo returned to speaking with Joaquim as the innkeeper stood nearby, "We could easily extend to this fine gentleman our custom. Perhaps another drink and some food while we wait?"
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 28, 2015 13:16:54 GMT -6
Day 10/Turn 7a for Joaquim, Ximo:
"Surely so, surely so," the innkeeper agreed, vigorously nodding. "But with so many disappearances of actors, and other theater staff, the owners had no choice but to shut down, did they?"
The innkeeper seemed surprised when they asked for more information. "Oh, I thought everyone knew! Six people so far, and that's just from the theater crowd. I understand even more performers might be missing, but it's hard to say. So many performers wander wherever they can find work, or become wandering bards as their profession, that some people think all or some of them have just left town. But I say something dark is going on. I mean, look at my common room -- this place should be packed!" he said, waving his arm at the small crowd of five other customers.
The two capable conjurers would not let the man go at that, however. They pressed him for more, such as anything those missing might have had in common. He furrowed his brow something fierce at that and puzzled for over a minute, while absent-mindedly plucking at his lower lip with a finger.
Finally, the innkeeper said, "Maybe you should ask the Coachman. I understand some of the last people who went missing went to him, looking for work. He might know more."
Post by Ronny Serio on Aug 28, 2015 19:37:37 GMT -6
"In truth I know little," Joaquim said. "The man is a regular at the Bronze Unicorn. He's always been friendly to Marcel and I. That said, I will not deny there is some deeper secret with the man. I've always figured him for more of a criminal enterprise type. A power broker, bribing and blackmailing, strong arm work. But in it for the money. I would never have pegged him for kidnapping or murder. Not of anyone as unimportant as actors, anyway."
"Maybe it's a cult plot, but what would the angle be?"
"Now stay with me for a minute. This might sound like the kind of story that Tain fellow might spin out, but bear with it. What if it's connected to that Caltaran impersonator we've been told about? What if these actors are being recruited to replace important and unimportant personages about the city? And what if that's somehow the Coachman's game? Maybe it's a long con."
Ximo had spoken with a little amused intensity as he spun out the conspiracy theory. Then he popped the last piece of his bread into his mouth and gave Joaquim an impish smile.
Post by Ronny Serio on Sept 2, 2015 3:35:34 GMT -6
"It was explained to me that the Caltaran doppelganger was a magical creature, not merely someone impersonating him," Joaquim said. "But, let us set that aside for now. If the Coachman is collecting actors for some scheme, there are two possibilities. Either he is paying them and they are going of their own volition or he's forcing them somehow."
"Now, if he's brought them in on a job and is paying them, then everything is all well and good. That's more the sort of mischief I would expect the Coachman to be about. Nothing to really concern us. However, it would take some serious organizational discipline to keep a bunch of well-paid actors from gallivanting around town, drinking their wages away and running their mouths about their recent bout of good fortune."
"The other option then is that he's kidnapped them or is in some other way forcing them to do as he wishes. I suppose it's possible, but it doesn't square with the impression I've gotten of the man. And, more importantly, it doesn't sound like an effective way to get good performances out of your actors. Also, if he was abducting them, he wouldn't very well put the word out there that he was in the market for actors. Casts an awful lot of suspicion his way."
"This may be relevant, either in exonerating or implicating him, but I understand the Coachman left town several days ago. On some business errand is as much as I know. I'm afraid this isn't making much sense to me, yet. Perhaps the doppelganger is out there impersonating the Coachman? Seems dubious, but who knows."
"I am interested to know what is going on with these actors," then Ximo dropped his voice. "But they are hardly respectable types and who knows what kind of low things they get themselves involved in. Impersonation and cross-dressing and what-have-you."
"I suppose the way to dine out would be to have someone approach the Coachman as an actor seeking employment."
Ximo looked about to see if there was yet any sign of their messengers.
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 2, 2015 10:51:45 GMT -6
Day 11/Turn 10 for Caltaran:
Caltaran showed up at the Bronze Unicorn Inn and was immediately greeted by Semeragin. "Caltaran, over here! There are two people I would like you to meet."
At Semer's table were two people in leather armor. One was a woman in her mid-30s, her dark hair long and braided under a skullcap. "Caltaran, my name is Nydia," she said. "I am a veteran of many years of caravan guard service. I had failed to heed Semer's good advice to join the Viscount's Standing Army while he served, but now I am ready to join him on his new life of adventure. I wear leather armor in town, but own my own chainmail to wear on duty. I prefer to fight with a flail in melee, but know how to use a bow and am trained with the longbow. I don't own a longbow, though...just a shortbow."
The other was a young man, early 20s, also wearing leather armor and a linen coif over his head from which a small, scruffy beard poked out, a basinet helm on the table next to him. "I am Winoc, sir," the young man said. "I was a member of the Freedom Patrol until late last year when I broke all ties from them. It was a good militia at first, but they're all corrupt now -- listening to new secular leaders instead of the clergy of Trithereon. Anyway...I have a suit of chain on hold for me and just need 5 gold more to purchase it. I fight with a sword in melee, but carry a heavy crossbow -- so that I don't ever need be in melee," he said proudly.
Post by dtspurrier on Sept 2, 2015 11:16:07 GMT -6
Caltaran studies both people and and says, " Semer I have recruited two clergy members to join us. One is a brand new acolyte and the other has some experience as an Adapt. Nydia if you are recommended as Semer as suggested then welcome to the team. Winoc you need the 5 gp for chainmail and I think we can arrange this. I do have one question, part of the militia you used to serve was part of the attack at the gates a couple of days ago. You mentioned they served secular leaders did you get any names or dieties there served? As far as joining the group if semer is confident with your recommendation then welcome. "
Last Edit: Sept 3, 2015 12:42:21 GMT -6 by dtspurrier
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 3, 2015 13:09:58 GMT -6
Day 10/Turn 8 for Joaquim, Ximo:
After two hours of sitting around and speculating about the Coachman, their errand boy came back from seeing the Harvesters' Heroes.
"Sirs, I have made the inquiry you did send me out for," the out of work actor said. He was quite expressive and used his hands a lot as he spoke. "And I found that the Heroes themselves were not at home. However, I did have the chance to speak to their staff, and discovered that a man named Walhorn, who did indeed appear to be a half-elf, such as he was described to me and by me to these staff members, had just recently applied for membership in this guild of adventurers. He has a home here in the Foreign Quarter, or so I was told, and I doubt it not, for I was told by the doorman, who seemed a fellow of good character."
The errand boy stuck around, as if expecting to be tipped further for the performance he added to his information. There was still no sign of the other errand boy.
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 4, 2015 12:01:17 GMT -6
Day 10/Turn 9 for Joaquim, Ximo:
The patient conjurers sat through the rest of the afternoon. Cooked food could be smelled coming from the kitchen and some musicians came in and tried to make the place more lively as the dinner crowd (such as it was) came in.
Their messenger did not return until the conjurers were snacking on leeks marinated in a mustard vinaigrette, while waiting for the main entree. It had taken the man five hours to return and he looked nervous about it.
"You'll pardon me, sirs...but it took some nerve to face that gargoyle, didn't it? I had to steel myself with some liquid courage, if you follow me. In fact, it was there, at my other favorite tavern, the Molten Spigot, that I met an old friend. And I happened to mention this Walhorn by name to him. And he said he knew an elf by that name, who had been taken prisoner out at Bustillo's farm in the West Fields, just yesterday! I'm not sure what this Walhorn did, but it must have been fearfully bad, for he sure had a lot of people sore about it.
"Anyway, I did finally reach the Consortium too, and told the gargoyle what I needed to know. And a gnome came out and talked to me, saying that Walhorn was known to them, they thought he was in Dyvers, and that I should tell him to come to them if I should run into him. And that is all my tale, gentle sirs, may Cuthbert strike me dumb if it isn't so!"
Ximo was irked this lad Walhorn's troubles might force him to miss the main course. Perhaps Joaquim was hungry enough whatever rescue Ximo expected them to make could be postponed until after they had eaten? After all, the lad was either dead and getting no deader by the waiting, or he was still alive and unlikely to be killed just yet.
Either way, Ximo answered the actor, "Arnau, my good man. That is good work. Here is your payment. Enjoy some wine and take your leisure."
After the actor had departed, Ximo addressed Joaquim, "I suppose a rescue is in order. I recall hearing something of this Bustillo. I believe he is a leader among the Verbobonc Crossbow Alliance as I've taken to calling those followers of Trithereon - the V-C-A, if you will. We could go now or wait until tomorrow when we could equip ourselves with spells well-tailored to dealing with masses of rabble. And perhaps some sword-toting sides of meat to protect us. I think my preference is apparent."