You were told that Madame Freona’s Tea Kettle was the place where adventurers could find work and avoid the hassle associated with other places in Phlan. So far, that has been true. Madame Freona, a stout and officious halfling who runs the establishment with her five daughters, has proven an excellent hostess. Well, at least up until a couple of nights back, when the Tea Kettle was closed for an investigation on some arcane accident that caused six innocent citizens to lose their lives.
A small crowd has gathered outside the Tea Kettle around dusk today. They carry candles and stand vigil for those who have passed away here. The building itself is off limits and doors and window shutters have all been tightly locked. Some other townsfolk, more of the curious kind, are simply standing around and murmuring, people watching, or otherwise uninterested in participating in the vigil. The seven of you stand among all of these people (some in the vigil, some watching, or whatever else you can think of, up to you).
As the sun finally sets in the west, you notice Whittlee, one of Freona’s daughters, walking around and serving this early-night crowd. She pours tea from a large barrow that sits atop a cart. All her supplies are there too, her only helper being a donkey. Her startlingly white hair is pulled back in a tight braid. She expertly juggles pots of tea, mugs, tea cups, kerchiefs, and other assorted but limited supplies. Most of you don't really recognize Whittlee but know that's because she is usually in the kitchen helping her mother, not on the tavern floor where her sisters usually work. Her skill however shows that she has had her fair amount of exposure to that job as well. She is quiet and shy, and silently passes the free tea to show appreciation for those who have come to pay their respects.
(OOC: Take this opportunity to describe your characters, what they are doing or saying at the moment, or what other characters would see. All characters know each other this time around, but a refresher is always good. Let the RP begin!) .
Andmarir is watching by the back of the crowd that is gathered. He is a five and a half foot elf, with tan skin. He has dark brown hair that hangs just past his shoulders. Typical elf that has sharp features and prominent cheek bones. His eyes are bright green and tend to stand in a relaxed sort of state.
Wearing studded leather armor, a dark hooded cloak that looks to be the colors of the forest. With two obvious short swords on either hip and a longbow in his hand, he does look like the typical wood elf.
As the halfling females comes around offering free drinks he bows his head in appreciation. " Thank you. " As he looks towards the tavern he asks. " Do you know by any chance how long it will be closed? I had hoped to ask the owner a couple of questions. Though, I am sorry about what occurred inside, it was not pleasant. "
Utar casts a somber figure within the crowd, standing tall in a black tabbard, the white hand of Torm, shining beacon like upon it. Moving through the crowd, he offers blessings when asked, but spends most of time attending to the tributes left to the six fallen citizens, marking their names and offering his own prayers that Torm guide their spirits.
Graxx is standing tall next to Utar. The companions may have noticed a difference in Graxx since he returned from the forest. He seems changed but it is hard to determine exactly how. He has been slightly less impulsive and more lawful in daily interactions and his once scraggly black pony-tail is now tightly bound by vine from the forest. Alongside his black pony-tail he has his [Tooltip Not Found] strung a long side it. He still simply wears a wool shirt and no other armor. His two hand axes hang by his side.
He says to Utar(and also whoever else places their character next to us), "What good is battle if peace does not come from it? Since I have arrived in this place it has been constant fighting. We need to end this. Whether it be with the Cultists, Welcomers, or any other faction that is causing this madness must be cut down."
In response to Andmarir's question, Whittlee simply nods and says in a low voice: "Thank you, but only the Black Fist knows how long the investigation will take." With that, she moves on to the next circle of people to offer them some warm tea.
Rag staying in the shadow of Graxx then sheepishly stepping forward with his hood down on his bejeweled cloak to reach his hand out to the young halfling for a cup of tea. He is obviously quite nervous as he speaks to "Thank you m'lady".
Walking back into the room after using the facilities is a male dwarf. He stands beneath 5 feet, wearing a sturdy set of chain mail. He dries his hands on the side of his tunic, then brushes his hand through his thick shock-white beard. Though it gives him a sign of age, he is actually still a dwarf still in his prime. He takes a seat with the others, propping the glaive beside his seat alongside his pack and greataxe. "So lads, whose round is it this time?" He asks with a jovial tone.
Neya, kind of shocked at Drazzim's lack of awareness, clears her throat and responds to Utar, "Probably better than our dwarven compatriot. The incident must've had a harder effect on him than we realized."
"I had actually just came back from camping at the edge of the Quivering Forest; partly for meditation, but also for some investigation."
(@poke: Drazzim must be really drunk. You guys are outside).
As Drazzim approaches the group talking about 'next rounds' and 'facilities', the party notices he is pointing at a nearby bush, which is now quite wet. The dwarf holds a large mug of ale and by his breath you can all tell this is not his first of the night. His loud interruption cuts the solemn ambiance of the vigil like a hammer through butter. Some in the crowd seem quite offended.
Cutting through the crowd and heading towards the loud dwarf is a worried-looking gnome. Most of you recognize him as the pipe-smoking gnome from the night of the Tea Kettle incident. He wears patchwork clothes and wrings a floppy hat nervously in his calloused hands. He peers around the crowd pensively, until his eyes focus on your group. He quickly walks toward you, ignoring the stares and whispered jibes from some of the other vigil goers. “Are you the adventurers from a few nights ago? I saw your brawl, you seem quite capable. My little girl is in terrible trouble. Will you hear my story? I can pay!”
Graxx looks down the pipe smoking gnome. Graxx recalls vividly what happened that last time he brawled which resulted in unnecessary deaths. Graxx leans down to the the gnome to ensure he can hear his story.
Utar winces as Drazzim's glaive hits the floor with a clatter. He stoops to pick it up and thrusts it back towards the dwarf, whispering a small prayer to Torm for the protection of his friends liver. It smelt like it would need all the help it could get tonight.
Standing close to the dwarf, Utar rests a hand, a little too heavily, on Drazzim's shoulder. His amulet glowing as he does so, offering his friend the benefit of Torm's guidance in this trying time.
As Andmarir approaches to hear the gnome's story, the rest of the party settles in to hear his tale as well (Marfaen has yet to arrive).
He begins: "My name is Rillo Leadstopper, a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am a tinkerer. It is a real profession, you know. Don't you lot laugh at me now..." He seems almost prepared to hear you laugh, as if that was the typical reaction to his usual introduction. "Apologies if I was a tad too serious last time we met, I was simply trying to enjoy my evening, but decided to leave before things got too dicey. This one scared me..." He points at Graxx, "...hitting a lady and all" He then seems to remember why he is here: "Right... My daughter is called Villonah. After her mother died, the girl became wild and inconsolable, you see. She has been in trouble with the law ever since."
He then pauses for an instant, as if to let the pain subside. "Most of the crimes were minor offenses that earned her small fines or a few days in the jail. I kept telling myself it wasn't too much of a problem." He sighs... "However, her previous acts made her an 'usual suspect' in the eyes of the Black Fist guards." A tear comes down his left cheek: "Last night, while Villonah was visiting me at my home, the guards arrested her. They gave no indication of the charges. In the past she was held in Castle Valjevo, and so I went straight there the next day to pay for her release, as usual. But this time when I went to Stojanow Gate to inquire about her, I was told she was not in the castle jail." He gets momentarily angry "A lie, no doubt, I thought at first. You don't lie to a gnome, I say!" He calms down: "I tried to find her location by bribing guards and calling in favors, but no one knows her whereabouts."
He then gets a bit pensive, considering whether or not he should even continue telling his story. He is quite bad at hiding his emotions.
Rillo then continues his tale, thinking of his daughter's safety.
A bit embarrassed he continues: "In a panic, I asked about her in the seedier parts of town. I even went to Nat Wyler's Bell, that filth! I found a cutpurse who spoke of a secret prison that a small group of Black Fist guards covertly use to torture and murder prisoners, apparently, without their leadership finding out. I heard a rumor that she was taken there because Villonah stole something valuable from one of those guards. I hope they are not torturing her. If they are, I will beat them dead myself!" his skin start to turn red.
He calms down a bit, once again: "The prison, I heard, is located beneath the ruins of the Lyceum of the Black Lord. Although the burnt-out Lyceum has been converted into a make-shift shelter for the displaced and injured, I now believe that the guards have found and taken up secret residence in some chambers beneath it. There is a secret entrance to the place from caves on the shore of the River Stojanow. I can show it to you all" he gets excited.
He digs into his pocket: "I only have about 20gp on me right now, but if you can confirm my daughter's location, gather some information so I can go tally-tale on to their higher ups, I'll have 50gp for each of you. A tinkerer's wages can be quite generous, you know!" He then thinks a bit harder: "If you can release her, oh boy! I'd throw in my magnifying glass, and my magical pipe too! What do you say?" He smiles widely.
(OOC: History checks available on any of the locations mentioned here for those who are interested, but specify which location your are rolling for. A religion check on the Black Lord is also up for grabs).