My eyes widen in surprise at the stout dwarf's words. "Seems like Tymora luck goddess, herself, has drawn our fates together!" Glancing at the tiefling near the bar in passing, I shrug my shoulders. "I try not to bring judgement on anyone's parentage, since I have no room to speak. The goddess knows my own father fled almost as soon as I began to quicken in my mother's womb." Eyeing the curled rams horns of another, I grimace, "Makes one wonder, though, doesn't it? What sort of unholy relationship led to... that?" Glancing around and spotting a more attractive sight, I smile. "My own tastes, however, run more toward the divine."
As two bitter faced patrons leave the table where a boisterous half-elf cleric seems to be claiming all the luck, I move in and take one of the chairs. "May we join?" I ask, running a gold piece through my fingers. I give him my least threatening smile.
Trust looks surprised for a second but recollects himself. This does not seem to be the easy mark he was looking for, but there is something intriguing about this old-timer. He grins and raises his mug to the stranger, "Not much of a talker huh? That's fine, I can talk enough for both of us. See for me, myself, I am in town looking for work. Clearly I am not the most brawny of individuals so I can't do much in the way of physical work. And still, I never had a, let's say 'formal' education so I can't get work with books or numbers and such. But still I need to eat, these things (tapping on a horn) don't just grow out of nowhere. So I have to take what work I can, odd jobs and whatever my meager talents afford me. Some people in the town I was in thought I didn't deserve to work for a living, they didn't appreciate my talents. So that's why I'm here now."
His ears perk up when he hears thieves' cant behind him he turns his head to see the halfling leaving the table with the other two tieflings. Turning back toward the elf he says, "Pardon me." He speaks toward the halfling without looking directly at him, "A funny thing to start a fire, the flame is bright but burns cold."
Ozum - Gnome Druid in Windhovers' Call Logum - Dwarf Bard in Adventurers never rests! Trust - Tiefling Rogue in Pit of Vipers: Chapter One Leojym - Elf Cleric in Lost in the Endless Tower Clermar - Half-Elf Fighter in The Bounders
As each of you experience the ambiance of the Broken Barrel in slightly different ways the one prevalent thing that is common to all of you is the gossip. Little snippets of conversations overheard from nearby tables or fellow patrons reveal two topics that are on everyone's minds. The first is a lot of grumbling about the Steel Fist, the local thieves' guild of Ashborn, and about how out of hand they are getting lately. Over the last year they have grown considerably in power and are proving to be quite a nuisance. Most of this is said in select company as no one wants to bring down the wrath of the Steel Fist on themselves. The second is news that Lorvara the Charming, a bard of some renown is touring through Ashborn, and is said to be visiting the Broken Barrel this very night.
Indeed, as night falls, Lorvara does enter the tavern and after having a drink on the house, sets up near the stone arch leading into the common room. Lorvara the Charming is a half-elven exotic beauty as she seems to have gotten the best of both races. Long blond hair that is worn up, held in place by several decorative pins. Switching between the lute and lyre, she plays many songs and ballads, even some local favorites which go over well with the regulars. It isn't long before a pile of coins can be seen filling the cap which she has placed on a chair that she moved next to her against the wall.
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Toren "Tickle-Whiskers," human abjurer 13, Coliseum of Conquest Joben, halfling bard 1, Village of Nowhere Maghdim, human enchanter 3, Daphitra's Domain
“I’m not one to pass judgement very often, but how can you trust an individual that wears the horns of Lucifer?” As we approach the table I say, “the Devine huh? Never had much time for that myself. Too much going on in this world for me to worry about what the gods are up to in theirs.”
As I get to the table where the half-elf is collecting his winnings, I remove my warhammer from my back. I lean it against the table and take a seat without asking. My luck, as it turns out, isn’t as bad as some who are currently living. I pick the chair next to Jaun.
I lean over the table and grunt as I stretch my back. I reach out toward the half-elf with an open hand. “Vosnin” I say confidently. “She Jaun,” motioning with my head toward the girl. “She’s dangerous....” I let the words sit for a second before giving out a small chuckle. I pull out my coin bag and place it on the table indicating I’m ready to try my luck.
I see Kaltent approaching the table. After the numerous drinks I have had, I’ve become a much more friendly individual. “Of course!” I say looking over the Kaltent’s garb. “I’m Vosnin. She’s Jaun and he’s....... will I guess we never got your name,” looking toward the half-elf.
As I claim a seat at the table, my eyes caress the divine sight before me... cards! "Tymora luck goddess show me my fate" I whisper reverently.
At the dwarf's introduction, I glance up, and smile. "He keeps pronouncing it weirdly. It's actually more like 'Johnny cakes' not like 'jaundice'. Jah'nun Yoja, that's me, and I'm not dangerous... just relentless." Looking pointedly at Vosnin's warhammer, and then at my little handaxe, I smile enigmatically, "Shall we use my deck?"
The unmatched beauty of the bard's voice is hard to ignore. Several hands in to my favorite game, my luck feeling stale, I'm considering pulling out my flute and offering to accompany her.
Watl looked up at the Tiefling who approached him.
He tilted his head toward an unoccupied corner and hops off the stool. When they were in the corner away from eavesdroppers, he finally relaxes.
"Finally, someone from the fold. I've been here for hours and the closest thing I've heard to a Sombra or a Chorus has been the local Thieves Guild. Watl Wiggins." The halfling said, not extending his hand - as was custom for those in the fold. "I was a Melody back in Ferrin until recently. I was actually set to be one of the Chorus when one of them died, which was scheduled for... today. Rats. Anyway, the Sombra of Ferrin, as you probably know, has a beautiful daughter. Well, she heard stories about my manly prowess. Well, they were more like rumors. I also may have started them. Anyway, long story short - she wanted to find out for herself, the Sombra found out, and I had to skedaddle. I've been in here listening for hours, trying to find out who really runs this place but haven't sniffed a whiff of The Piece anywhere. So who really runs the underside of this town?"
The words tumbled out of the halfling's mouth one after another. He was used to fast-talkers like this Tiefling. He had overheard a few conversations from him in the game room and he knew the only way to get through to a fast-talker was to show that you were just as capable of steering the conversation. He looked up at the Tiefling expectantly, hoping this town wasn't as backward as he was beginning to suspect. They might not have the criminal underground organization known as The Piece.
The Thieves Guild might actually be their operation, not just a front. What in the world would compel them to operate in open? No Sombra? No Chorus? No Melodies? No Piece altogether? This place might need my help more than I originally thought. Hmm... Sombra Watl. That has a nice ring to it. Risky, though. I'll have to play it by ear.
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Pit of Vipers: Watl Wiggins - Halfling Rogue(10) League of Improbable Adventurers: Alan Quatermain - Human Fighter(3)
As the group he'd been playing with most of the night seemingly gets up unexpectedly only to be replaced by three more player, Bones raises one of his eyebrows in response. He eyes the human female as she sits casually at the table, but is quick to acknowledge the dwarven hand thrust forward in his direction. Extending a hand in return to the mountain dwarf, with a firm shake he responds, "Well met, Vosnin. I go by Bones."
Listening intently to the young woman's words, Bones responds, "Well then, Jah'nun, I will make sure to always pronounce it the way that pleases you most."
"Ah and one more new player to the table, how courteous of you, Vosnin, to invite him to sit. I am sure he is most appreciative of the opportunity to win back some coppers after that game of daggers he played." Bones acknowledges the human male as he takes the last seat at the table.
When the waitress returns with the drinks, Bone tells her, "I know - one minute you're getting a round for one group and the next minute it's a whole different lot - perhaps its more common than I expect."
Observing the young women whisper to herself before breaking out her own deck of cards, Bones says to the table. "Well, three people leave after losing some money only to be replaced by three new players almost immediately. How very... serendipitous. Perhaps my luck has run out? I'll tell you what - keep the drinks meant for the others that left, as a recompense for excusing myself for a few hands. Lorvara the Charming is about to perform and as my seat faces the stage, I'd like to focus on that for a bit. I always thought one could learn a good bit from the bards of the realms - it always merits paying some attention. If someone comes by who want to actually play, I'll be happy to give up my chair."
As Lorvara performs, and the three newcomers play on, Bones makes careful observations of the loquacious young woman ( 10 ), the scarred dwarf ( 18 ), and the knife thrower ( 13 ).
// Insight checks on all three - given the sudden change in situation, Bones is attempting to determine whether or not the three of them know each other and are trying to fleece him, and as to whether or not there is any funny business going on with the young woman's personal deck of cards. //
Jah'nun's cards, artistically looking a bit more like tarot cards on their face sides, rather than playing cards, are not magical in any way. She explains as she proficiently shuffles and deals them that they were, however, given to her by her mother who said they had originally belonged to her father. She likes to use them in public on the off chance that someone who once knew her father will recognize them and perhaps lead her to a clue of his whereabouts or fate. She also seems suspicious of the human knife thrower, whose name she does not know. 25 (has a plus 5 to deception, though not being deceptive at all) The cleric holds no interest for her.
During the encounter at the game table I recognize that with my dwarven accent, I have been pronouncing the lady’s name slightly off. “My apologies Jahn. No disrespect in the slightest. The mine dust must have taken some of the silk out of my throat.” I look over Jahn’s cards. It’s a very interesting deck of cards for sure but they just look like fancy cards to me
I grip the hand of Bones. “Thanks for having us.” I look over the half-elf trying to determine if he is a threat or a cheat. (Perception 18) I take my ale from the wench, which was initially meant for the losing parties who had left. I hang on to Bone’s words about the lessons learned from bards. I don’t trust the half-elf, but I take his words about the bard very sincere. I half turn , taking my coin pouch back into my hand from the table, watching the bard. She is as described. A very beautiful creature and the music she is able to produce is matching to her appearance.
Zack: You glean from some of Lorvara's songs that Ashborn grew quickly over the past century due to trade and despite the threat of many humanoid races of the surrounding area. One such ballad even mentions foiling an attempt by the Zhentarim several decades ago to establish a thieves' guild here in Ashborn.
Bones: You are unable to get a good read on Jah'nun, she may be using her own cards to prevent others from fleecing her. Vosnin, the scarred dwarf, does seem very familiar with Jah'nun but isn't making an effort to hide it, so you get the impression it's unlikely they are colluding on the card game, they would probably try to hide their acquaintance if they were. And the knife thrower gives you nothing but their name, Kaltent. You think maybe the bard, Lorvara, is more distracting than you first gave her credit for.
Vosnin: You notice Bones seems quite adept at handling cards as he slips his deck away into a pouch at his belt, he has weapons and armor so could easily be a threat, but not having seen him play a single hand yet there is no way to know if he is a cheat.
After Lorvara has been at the Broken Barrel for a good hour, almost two, the door swings open violently with a crash, the cold wind rushing in helps freeze everyone in place for a moment. A human in leather armor is followed closely by an half-elf in studded leather holding a loaded hand crossbow in one hand and two bolts in the other. They are flanked by four half-orcs wearing some sort of chain armor under loose cloaks and carrying large axes. The noise of horses and other men can be heard just outside the door. The human who was first to enter makes his way to the bar and takes a half filled drink that is unattended, quenching his thirst before addressing Grunder, "Hard to believe it's been another week already Grun. C'mon, c'mon I haven't got all day." And with that Grunder places a hefty pouch on the counter of the bar, by the sound of the chinking coins it's easy to tell there are many inside. The human then wanders around the main room, followed closely by the half-elf with the drawn hand crossbow, and makes his way over to Lorvara. He dips his hand into her cap and takes a fist full of coins, "Consider this a performance tax, unless you would like to settle the account in a more 'familiar' way?" The human's clumsy advances are met with Lorvara simply frowning in disdain and letting him take the coins.
(The scene unfolding before you all is quite the spectacle. If any of you want to do anything or interact in any way with the goon squad before they leave you will have to make a DC 16 wisdom check first as they are quite intimidating.)
(Also note my posts may become more frequent as I won't be waiting for everyone to post in between before I respond, for those of you who may feel like they're getting skipped, post when you can and be creative, you can include yourself or your actions into events that have already been resolved so long as it makes sense and doesn't disrupt the narrative overly much. During the times when it becomes crucial to, we will have to wait for certain posts and I will prompt those with a name in brackets at the bottom eg.(name).)