Following in Lerithyn's lead to gear up, Aukan gestures his gratitude for Sorala's hospitality and for Stribog's company. He then rises from the table and in short order returns to his room, makes his own breakfast out of the rations in his pack, gathers his belongings, and returns to the lobby of The Chapterhouse ready to head out into Stormreach.
Smiling in obvious relief and joy to the adventurers agreeing to help her, lady Sorala offers them a few baskets of fresh fruit. Looking at Lerithyn as he was pulling some pasties in his hand, she says:
"They will last two or three days without any problems. And I'll include some pastries and jars of special jam, baked and brewed by myself", and after a little pause, she added: "Now, down to business. Your companion will meet you at Last Chance the day after tomorrow, at noon. He'll find you and tell you my name so you can recognize him. He'll take care of the expenses on the transportation to the Obsidian City and after you fulfill our requirement."
(DM asks you to post if you want to do something during the day before leaving Stormreach)
Our adventurers gather together later that day with three boxes full of fruits and pastries (along with some colorful jars) heading to Last Chance, a popular outpost south from Stormreach, famous for being the last civilized town any adventurer sees in Xen'drik before venturing into the wild. Full of merchants offering the essentials to explorers among souvenirs and maps from dubious sources, the town is always active.
"I can't recall the last time I've seen such an ecclectic group in here... you look like one of those Brelish wandering theater casts performing a play about equality".
Just behind and a little below the group, a very flamboyant gnome, dressed as if he carried eveything useful in his house with him, appeared looking at them, almost evaluating them.
"You can call me Ilmo. In my experience, tall people don't remember my name correctly. If you're ready, we should head south before dusk. Things in the forest prey at night. And Ilmo doesn't like things that prey in the dark. I guess you wouldn't either."
(Unless you need something last minute, DM asks you to roll some usual checks for the wilderness, namely Perception and Survival. Any other special action, such as trying to go without being noticedor trying to give some trivia knowledge on the local flora, for example, should also have a check.)
Lerithyn almost smiles, "Thank you Lady Sorala." He then adds an assortment of fruits, milk, juices, a bottle of wine, and a bundle of tea leaves to his pack. He does a double-take on the baskets of fruit before deciding to add each basket to his pack as well. It takes a little effort to squeeze them in, but when he re-cinches his pack it looks light as ever. "These should all preserve well in my bag, so I hope we can get more than a few days out of them."
"You have been very kind to us, Lady Sorala. I do hope we are able to find your mineral." With that, Lerithyn excuses himself, donning his pack and his cannon, and decides to go visit Gearbox before meeting the group at the gate. He snags one final sweet-pastry on his way out.
(In Stormreach, Aukan will make a stop at the library to acquire some books on small boat sailing and knot tying.)
Upon making contact with Ilmo in Last Chance, Aukan smiles and greets the man in his native Gnomish tongue. Anyone watching Aukan will see a positive change in his general demeanor and body language while around the Gnome, as if Aukan were in the company of a good friend, despite having just barely met him.
Lerithyn's visit with Gearbox was extraordinary. The warforged probably could have used a good polish and some maintenance, but he was a pleasure to behold. And... Lerithyn was able to pick up a bolt of spidersilk and a reel of conductive copper wire. Essential ingredients for his next project!
Upon reaching Last Chance and meeting Ilmo, Lerithyn feels like he's good and ready for the adventure to start. He nods to Ilmo, "Hello, sir. I assume that you're the person that Lady Sorala sent to meet us. Can you tell me any more about this relic? Lady Sorala didn't seem to know much more than it was a mineral of emotional attachment." He nods, "Unless members of our group need to resupply, I think we should be good and ready to go."
Before we leave, Sorola, I am still unsure about how honest you are being. If I don't know how honest you are being, I might change my mind when we get to the Obsidian City. So please, answer me one last time, What is the item we seek and who does it belong to?
As that thought reaches Sorola, Ra'sakar sends another to Lerithyn. Ra'sakar looks at Sorala, studying her face as he waits for her response.
Gearbox specialises in general adventuring gear that one would need in the jungles, and tinkers with magic items on the side.
Once they reach Last Chance, Ra'sakar takes them to the places that sell the cheapest rations so that they might stock up. When the gnome approaches them, Ra'sakar sends it the following telepathic message.
Hello Ilmo. Are you sure we are the people you're looking for? You seem to have slightly different plans than what ours are.
To Lerithyn, the following is sent.
Lerithyn, you are far to quick to trust this gnome. He never mentioned Sorala, and our contact wasn't supposed to be here until tomorrow. He seems to think we are another group.
Sorgen looked rather silent during the last moments with Sorala and Northson. He was generally kind to them, but looked rather uneasy, especially in front of Sorala, while with Northson he looked even a bit rude, introducing himself hastily and without making eye contact. Even in case his companions might have noticed his brhaviour, for sure they couldn't know why he behaved like that.
He looked much better when they got into Last Chance. His eyes were sparkling with anticipation for the trip, and he looked distracted, but enthusiastic.
At some point when the group was almost ready to go, Sorgen told them he would have "communed with the Roil" and invited them to watch the process, although he made sure to perform the ritual in the most isolated place he could find.
[OOC: Stealth if required to avoid direct looks to the Hedron Archive from people passing by: 6 total... http://dice.brainclouds.net/Result.aspx?ID=FJE2DDLG ]
Taking out the Hedron Archive from a heavy box that looked black on the inside, he activated the cubic artifact, making a cryptic circle of translucent runes come out from it.
[OOC: Casts Augury as a ritual, asking omen about the trip they are about to undertake, in the jungle]
[OOC: Rolls for the trip: crit on Survival, 9 total on Perception, on Discord. Nature roll with Seeker Advantage after short rest: 21 (15+6) - http://dice.brainclouds.net/Result.aspx?ID=PEH9JAWQ ]
Cassiel would like to acquire from Gearbox: 1 Bedroll (1 gp), 1 Fishing Tackle (1gp), 2 Flasks (2 cp each), 2 Chalk (1cp each), 1 Grappling Hook (2gp), 1 stick of Sealing Wax (5 sp) and 5 days of trail Rations (2 gp and 5 sp) total = 6 gp and 6 cp and would like to roll persuasion to get a discount.
Talking to Gearbox: Master Gearbox, your shop is really impressive and your inventory would match any story in Tradefair shop in Sharn. I am sure I can find this small list of items (hands Gearbox the list) at a just price and with unquestionable quality as I am sure this is the way you deal with your costumers.
After acquiring his goods (with or without discount) Cassiel turns to Aukan and asks: Mastar Aukan, I appear to have bought a bit more than I can carry, wouldn't you mind helping me if the need emerges?
During the travel down to Last Chance Cassiel stays quiet again as he did during the journey from Sharn to Stormreach.
Once at Last Chance he thinks interesting the change in demeanor from Aukan, and politely asks him: Master Aukan, I couldn't miss your lightness dealing with noble Ilmo, would that your people have a good relationship with the smallfolk from Zilargo or is it more persnoal? If so, please, sorry for my forwardness.
Aukan readily accepts Cassiel's request to assist with some heavy lifting. As he is doing so, Aukan points out the fishing tackle. "Are you a fisherman? I have yet to acquire that skill, and would be grateful for a lesson."
On the boat ride to Last Chance, Aukan will repeat the request to Cassiel shortly after departing.
(Assuming Cassiel accepts, Aukan will try his hand at fishing.)
Stribog returns back to his home and collects his gear. Aside from the usual traveling gear he grabs his coffee pot. While at Gearbox he buys 5 lbs of coffee beans, several filters, a journal, ink, and quills.
(In Last Chance)
While not being much of an adventurer, Stribog follows the lead of the group, taking in the sights and helping out where he can. He also purchased 5 days worth of rations.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
PbP Character: Stribog Northson(Zendikar/Eberron) "Why chase them when a bolt of lightening goes so much faster"
PbP Character: Vilk Dusza (The Peak's of Winter's Hold)
Major spends most of the time polishing his blade while keeping an eye out for trouble.
(Perception 1d20 + 2 = 21)
After seeing the group by some rations Major decides to pull 5 days worth of rations out of his pack and hands them to Cassiel. "I believe you might need these more than I". While travelling or just walking around places Major tends to stay at the back of the party.
Lady Sorala replies to Ra'sakar: "Since you don't know me, sir, I can't ask for your trust. Know that I speak on behalf of my House, and you can trust a Ghallanda. Our entire reputation hangs in the balance of our word. As I told you already this item was stolen from us long ago, and then forgotten in a forsaken city. It is time we recover what is ours."
Cassiel's shopping: Prices in Stormreach are considerably higher than in Khorvaire: The actual cost for your shopping list would be 7 galifars, 5 sovereigns and 7 crowns (7gp, 5 sp, 7cp). Gearbox agrees to leave the change (7 crowns) behind.
When interrogated, Ilmo doesn't leave behind his smile, which is now even more bright and contagious. Lookin at Lerithyn, he replies:
"Hello to you too, sir. I'm afraid the exact nature of Lady Sorala'a request must be kept secret, and who better than a gnome to keep it as such? I will tell you though that it is a very specific jewel, encased in a very specific ornament, with a very specific dedication. It's everything I can tell you at this moment, but trust me: Lady Sorala is aware of this jewel's history and value to her family. We're heading to the outskirts of the Obsidian City." (Lerithyn notices nothing but an exaggerated good mood in the gnome). Turning his face to Ra'sakar, he adds while counting with his fingers: "Well, let me see. (Looks at Major) A metallic one, (looks at Ra'sakar) a dark one, (looks at Cassiel) a light one, (looks at Aukan) a hard one, (looks at Lerithyn) a white one, (looks at Sorgen and Stribog) and two plain ones. Yes, I am sure it's you I'm waiting for."
The jolly gnome starts writing in what seems to be a very short parchment held between two scrollcases. As he writes down, he looks at each one of his new companions, whispering and lifting his eyebrows in turns, as in looking for inspiration. Once he's done, he hits both scrollcases together, locking the parchment inside them.
Our explorers decide to start their journey immediately, the sooner the better being their premise. The first minutes outside Last Chance have them a drastic change in the environment, as the jungle seems to engulf everything around them. Within half an hour, every trace of civilization is out of sight, ottally left behind. Zendikarian jungle is warm and oppresive, dense as no other jungle in the world. Cackling noises from animals all around keep everyone attentive to their surroundings, some of them paying attention to the vegetation, others to potentially dangerous animals preying on each other, or worse.
Sorgen and Aukan point at some trees which fruits are not only healthy but apparently delicious. The juicy fruits have small seeds, and their sweet and sour taste refreshes them quenching their thirst (succesful Nature check). At those indications, Ra'sakar and Stribog recommends everyone to use some leaves with their rations, which will keep them fresh for longer, both Sorgen and Aukan agreeing in that detail (succesful Survival check). Sorgen is still slightly perplexed about the "Nothing" result on his spell, but given the distance and time of their journey, and considering the unknowable Roil effects they could face, it was a long shot from the beginning.
A few hours into the jungle would have start taking its toll in our adventurers, if not for the good advice they share with each other. When the last rays from the sun hit the horizon, though, Lerithyn, Major and R'asakar notice at the same time they have come to a spot in which the animals are not that noisy around them. Danger may be ahead.
(DM asks for initiative roll.)
DM's PS.>> What's Lerithyn's new invention? It seems the process is going very well, but I'm afraid I missed the details about it.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
"It's good to learn from your failures, but I prefer to learn from the failures of others." - Jace Beleren
The Gnome's discretion on the sought-after jewel gives Aukan a momentary pause. A dedication? I wonder to whom... "Say no more," says Aukan to Ilmo. "We will recover the jewel and see that order is restored to House Ghallanda."
(In the jungle... The mighty jungle...)
At Lerithyn's command, Aukan's feet shift into a battle stance, his right hand resting on the pommel of his maul.
Cassiel agrees with Gearbox's cost and happily pays the 7 crown for his supplies and gives some of his load to Aukan to help him carry it.
To Major: I am thankful Master Major for your offer and will gladly accept it since I do indeed need rations for sustenance. Thank you.
In the Jungle
When Ra'sakar's mental message arrives Adriel joyfully says in Cassiel mind: Finally something to kill! With that a black rapier appears in Cassiel's hand, to that Barachiel answers: We should wait to see who or what is that our guides see, it might be someone in need of assistance. At that time Cassiel starts shimmering as if a blue aura was protecting him (Mage Armor)