At various times in the morning, the crew woke up, stretched, washed, breakfasted etc.
If you head into the city, you have a few choices:
- take all your gear with you - pay for another night and leave some gear in the room - pay Hector 5 silver per night (each) to store gear in his lockup
Brumbar must decide on his mule. - it is free stabling while they have a room - he could take it into the city - he could pay 1 silver per night to stable it here
You guys sort all this out and let me know when you are all ready and approaching the city gate. You should probably have a default party spokesman (which can be changed at any time) and some sort of marching area
Cpt John "Jack" Hammer 6A84A6 Age 22 male Rifle-1 SMG-1 Grav Vehicle-1 Tracked Vehicle-1 Gambling-1 Leader-1
Moziah has left his armor in the care of the innkeeper. Everything else is already packed, save for his blanket, which he swiftly rolls up and ties with rope. Lashing that bundle to the top of his pack and pulling on his boots, he is ready to move out when everyone else does.
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2007 6:54:22 GMT -6 by solomoriah
Brumbar rises early, if a bit bleary eyed. He has his stuff packed and strapped to his mule Daisy, who he will be taking into town with him. He offers the service of the mule to his companions. He has returned to quiet demure self again.
Jaako is also up bright and early, ready to go. He spends another few silvers on whatever breads or pastries are available at the inn, plus another pint of ale to wash it down. Then he's ready to go see the King!
The fortress City of Verbosh looms in front of you as you approach the only gate into the city. Behind you recede the village and the surrounding farms. Up river to the left you can see the docks and the odd boat unloading their catch - the fishermen were up early! Verbosh itself is a hexagonal fortress about a mile across, taking up the entire island in the Great Source River. It's 30' walls are guarded by 6 towers, and the inner keep has even higher walls and another 6 towers. As far as is known, in its long history Verbosh has never been captured.
The way into Verbosh is a wide drawbridge across the river channel, perhaps 50' wide, itself guarded by two towers on the far bank and a tower on the near bank that all travellers must pass through. There is a constant stream of traffic going in and out, and you notice two armed men collecting tolls, while a large man dressed all in plate mail and huge shield leans with arms folded on a 5' sword, watching the entire panoply of people.
While the party works its way through the crowds, Renardo thinks over some information he caught last night at the inn from some gossipy patrons - "Strange horrors have been emerging from the sewers - one lady got bitten by a very large spider when drawing water from the well - the priests of the Spider God are tunnelling beneath the city". Perhaps an investigation was in order. It would be dangerous, but might be quite lucrative.
One of the toll collectors stops the party and says in one breath an obviously well-prepared spiel: "1 copper per citizen 2 for travellers 3 for non-humans 1 copper for the mule plate mail with permit only gates close at dark" and holds out his hand.
OPTION 1 DM: IF YOU OPT TO INTERACT WITH GUARDS IN A MEANINGFUL FASHION OTHER THAN PAYING THE TOLL AND GOING IN, YOU MAY DO SO
What do you do?
OPTION 2 IF YOU JUST TREAT THIS AS A TRANSACTION AND CONTINUE, THEN THE FOLLOWING APPLIES
In the city at last, you see folks of all types, even the occasional goblins and orcs, wandering through the city shops. Strangely missing from this melange is any sight of elves. From your vantage point inside the gates, you can see a wide avenue leading straight ahead to the distant and looming Keep. Houses crowded and jammed lead to concentric rings of parallel alleys. Just in this part of the city you can see many businesses - a tavern sign with a large winged bird in red, another tavern sign depicting a lonely halfling, a shop that sells cloaks, a rope maker, an armorer, an adventurer's supply shop, a tavern sign featuring a drunken bard, and a large army barracks. There are scattered wells, vegetable stalls, beggars, houris, constables, street urchins, and palinquades of important citizens starting their daily routines.
(Renardo had the breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, and toast)
In the morning, after spending a pleasant evening with his new-found comrades, Renardo decides to share with them his true purpose for being in Verbosh. First checking carefully for any potential eavesdroppers, Renardo confides in them. "Beware of the priests of Yezud, and their Order of the Spider. I have heard rumours that they are breeding spiders, hoping to take over the government of Verbosh for themselves! Further to this goal, they may be using the sewers and tunnels beneath the City for their own nefarious purposes! It is for this reason I have been sent to Verbosh by my superiors."
"I intend to look into this in more detail in the City itself, once we get Jaako set up with his new title."
At the front gate, Renardo is shocked at the racist toll system, charging Jaako more than the others. "My good man," he says to the guard, "do you not know that the King is trying to promote diversity? What is the meaning of this outrageously prejudicial toll? Here, take your d*mned coppers, soon you shall be bowing to this fine gentleman!" Renardo tosses over a total of 5cp in an indignant manner. (ie Renardo pays his own 2cp toll, and Jaako's 3cp toll for him as well! ;D Renardo's cash is now: 10gp, 5sp, 1cp)
Once inside the city Renardo is shocked to see Goblins and Orcs given apparent free rein. He openly scrutinizes the ones he sees, to determine if possible whether they are slaves or free citizens. Specifically, he is looking for any kind of brand or mark or whatnot that they all have in common which would identify them as slaves.
I just assumed Edyrn was with the party. I will have to make a lot of assumptions, but since we have time travel I can always countermand those assumptions as the party keep me abreast of their decisions
"No matter!" Jaako says, swallowing and trying to look brave in the face of 'civilized' evil humanoids. "The King wishes to hear from folks of all sorts in his vast wisdom...sometimes a darker or more jaundiced perspective can prove...illuminating."
Thrusting his chest forward and fortified by ale, the Hobbit marches forward, all the way to the gates of the Keep if he can get there. "Come, boon companions! The King's largesse awaits!"
(Jaako is going to try for an audience with the King straight out!)
"Aye, Renardo," Moziah said quietly, "many are the times the likes of these threatened my grandfather's holding." A grim smile lit up his face. "They would little like me if they knew how many of their kin my grandfather Jorah sent to their maker with this very axe."
Last Edit: Dec 5, 2007 7:54:23 GMT -6 by solomoriah
The party decides to head straight to the entrance of the keep some 500 yards away.
Carlo pays close attention to the soldiers. They don't seem like regular army to his eyes, more like city constables, as they are armed with simple weapons - truncheon and sword, and protected just by leather armor, which might make it hard to run away from them if need arose! There are just a handful lounging around slovenly in the sun, dicing and laughing, while slaves fetch them ale and run about with errands. Their barracks is not 100 yards away from the Lonely Hobbit Inn, but it does no local tavern seems to be inundated with leather clad soldiers.
The wide avenue, though choked with traffic and stalls, ends in a cleared area that seems to stretch all around the keep walls, keeping 50 yards away at closest approach. The keep itself is formidable. The wall around it is 40' high, with 6 towers, and the entrance goes through one of the towers. Through the gate you can see more cleared space and a wall 50; high with 6 more towers guarding the central tower, which spikes into the air like a beacon, the crystal chamber top reflecting and refracting the rays of the sun in a sprakling rainbow pattern. All the towers are topped by artillery, and each tower seems to have a small detachment of men in plate to guard it.
As you approach the central keep, some guards step forward to ask your business. Jaako explains their mission, which provokes chortles and guffaws from the assembled soldiers
"Just a second lad, let me call the captain", says the corporal. Five minutes later, a powerfully built and handsome man in well-cared for plate, with a gleaming and deadly morning star at his side, introduces himself as Captain Olmar. After he hears the pary's reason for arrival, he smiles, and pats Jaako on the head.
"Well, you look like a fine group, the type of citizens we can use in these days. I can sense an adventuring party as well as the next man - used to do quite a bit myself. So let me explain to you the reality. There IS no King of Verbosh. Sure, there used to be. Verbosh I was a real firecracker, conquered the area, built the city. But his son ... let's just say he led his legion into "The Battle of Dead End Canyon", where he was overwhelmed by an army of kobolds fully half their number. By the time Verbosh XXI (or was it XXII?) arrived, he lost the castle in a card game, and his crown at the same time."
"Now, in the north-west of the city, behind the Happy Lady Bath House, there IS a man calling himself King Verbosh XXXI - could even be true! You can't miss his building, it says 'KING' on it. He sells titles to any who are interested in the novelty of them, but I doubt they'd hold up in court. Might be a nice souvenir of your visit, heh"
"Anyway, the real ruler happens to be whoever can seize and hold power, and right now that's Hargor the Complainer. It's easy to get an audience, because everybody hates him so much that he has few visitors. In fact, we don't even disarm the visitors because we'd all be happy if some day somebody killed him! He's in power because he's insanely rich enough to afford to pay an army of about 500 heavy foot out of his own pocket. Plus he may be a homicidal maniac, but he's a dangerous one. Has the best sorceror in the realm in his hip pocket too. He's survived so many assassination attempts that I've heard the Assassins Guild now refuse any contracts on him"
"Me, I've got two pleasurable slaves, enough to eat and drink all I want, and plenty of leisure time - it's a great retirement. If you're looking to sign on, I think we've got too many people as it is. But you're probably looking for treasure and adventure - there's always people in the taverns with maps and stuff - might want to do a little research". He winks as he raises his wrist like he's drinking a mug. "There's a personnel agency that can hook you up with people looking for work in the North of the city."
He lowers his voice a bit and moves closer to the party "Now I didn't suggest this to you, you understand, but the Spider Temple has a warehouse in the south of the city and we've had some suspicions of goings on in there, but we've had guards in there during the day doing a clean sweep and they've found nothing out. Perhaps a little night reconnaisance might show something? Think about it"
The friendly captain has sure been a wealth of information! Do you march in to see Hargor, head north to seek out the degenerate 'King', or take some alternate action?
Carlo is more impressed with the plate-clad soldiers on the towers than the leather wearing ones in the streets.
While he doesn't say anything, he feels disappointment for Jaako, who was apparently victim of a spiteful (or at least misguided) rumor. (The cheerful little fellow reminds Carlo of his brother, who died in childhood.)
Carlo listens intently to Jaako's answer to Edyrn's question.
Dieter the Deathless, anger-fueled fighting machine.