((what time is it now? Also does anyone else want to double check this story before we head out? It's weird the bartender wasn't all "by the way people who dropped fat stacks on my don't go over here there are demon people, that way you'll live to give me more money later."))
Diadochi speaks "seem as though we are all in agreement, vengeance served cold in exchange for the key."
Diadochi will put his hand out to shake, if she shakes his hand he'll grab her hand like gentleman do before they kiss the back of a lady, only instead of kissing the hand he puts the end of his trunk on the back of her hand. (Sim would have seen him do this a lot at parties.)
If she doesn't shake his hand he'll think about turning it into a hug (which Sim has also seen him do this) but he'll look to Yaalin, remember he is on a job and discreetly put his hand back.
(It isn’t noon yet. Probably hasn’t been too long since you were at the Blood Raven. Half hour ish)
Lady Orta watches the hand come out, then back to his side. “Excellent. A deal.”
“Now,” she walked over to the door, opening it wide. “Out.”
"So, lets head back to town and find this path; I am itching for some combat before both my swords and I become rusty..." pausing, Abigail recalls their conversation in the Blood Raven, "But first, we should see if we can get an audience with the mayor for any additional information regarding the stonecutters and the apple. Who knows, maybe the mayor knows a thing or two about some of the other dangers that await us up the mountain."
((When we get back to town, Abigail is going to sneak off to the Blood Raven and fill her water skin with the salty-herbal alcoholic drink... for the road, of course.))
Leaving the house of Lady Orta, Sim heads out of town to take the Frostmint to the Jacobsen child. As he leaves he tells his companions.
"I will meet you up the slope along the path once I have administered the herbs to the Jacobsen child. Do not go far without me, The mountains have a way of...leading people astray and I never get lost."
Once Sim arrives back at the Caravan he seeks out Mr Jacobsen.
"I have obtained the Frostmint. If you will permit me to instruct you on how to brew the tea and administer it to your child you should see a lessening of the coughing and easier breathing within a few hours. It will take a few days for the child to heal completely but relief will be found quickly."
Once the tea is served and I have shown Mr Jacobsen how to prepare the tea. Sim will head back out of the Caravan and proceed to the trail to inspect it hopefully in advance of everyone for any safety issues and to familiarize myself with it. (Natural ExplorerPHB91)
Abigail: To completely fill up your waterskin, it'll cost 1 gold, 6 silver(~32 shots worth of liquor for a 4 pint water skin, at 5 copper a shot), or 8 copper for weak ale. Persuasion > 12 will make it 1 gold for the liquor or 5 copper for the beer. Or a Sleight of Hand check >12 to steal it...
Sim: You're good for now, but it'll eventually be a Survival check to navigate on up, once the team gets back together.
Others: What do you do in the meantime before meeting back up with Sim at the camp?
This post has potentially manipulated dice roll results.
Before leaving Lady Orta's Lafetha remembers the runes that are carved into the tree trunk. I roll arcana17 to see if I can recall any lorea bout the symbols. ((If I am still able to check))
After, I have to Lady Orta and thank her for her time, and the information.
When leaving Lady Orta's Lafetha follows Abigail back to town to the Blood Raven. Lafetha asked the barkeeper, "we sopke to Lady Orta, and she gave us some interesting information, but didn't go into grave detail. She mentioned a tribe up the mountain, do you know anything about them?"
Bringing up the rear only once I've realized (belatedly) that everyone else is getting ready to head out and loathe to leave the interesting things to be found, I wish best of luck for the children happy knowing they will feel better. Setting Abigail head to the inn again I smile and head to compare runes between my small sketches from Lady Ortas doorway and the statue. I will smile and dance with or wave at children as they pass me being shyer around the adults. I will attempt to be out of the way as I watch how the festival is being setup.
Yaalin: Upon closer investigation of the statue, you find two stones encased in layers of lacquer with runes carved into them. Both rune stones are of different designs; from each other and from what you saw carved in the tree. The first is out on one of the outstretched hands. Pulsing faintly - giving off some kind of effect but the what escapes your knowledge. The other has a disjointed pulse. Sometimes beating very rapidly. Upon closer inspection, it seems that the rune stone itself has cracked. Along the statue are three other indentations where rune stones could be placed. The statue itself is becoming adorned with all sorts of cloth flowers from the children running up and decorating it.
Lafetha: You can tell these runes are some kind of charm; specialized magic granting unknown effects to the tree and the area. Could be the reason it's so big, or why this house is wet and warm. The sets of runes pulse in corresponding colors, enabling you to notice four distinct runes, but are not able to tell exactly what they're purposes is. Once heading back to the Blood Raven with Abigail, you asked the Barkeep about any further information regarding the tribe.
The barkeep is busy getting things ready for the festivities of tonight. Counting glasses. Moving barrels of wine and ale. The sounds of a few others chopping meat in the back room echoing into the rather empty establishment. "I've never been up there. But, I've never heard any trouble. But then again I've never really heard of folks meeting them either. Except Shepherd."
Diadochi will follow Yaalin whereever he goes, when they are investigating the statue there is a child trying to get the flower on a high part of the statue, Diadochi lifts the child up with his truck, so the child can place the flower on the highest part of the statue. When Diadochi puts the child down they run off with out a word ((if that's allowed, if not I'll edit this part out later)).
"Yaalin, dear fellow, I find this festival to be fascinating from a cultural prescpetive, what traditions they have how they are similar to other small towns of the same size how they differ from those of towns with different population. So much to think about when you think about it. (( If he needs to toor persaude to get Yaalin interested in the festival that's persuasion12 )) "what really intrigues me is this temple that got taken over, who worshiped there, and who did they worship? Maybe the tribe that's there now has taken to worshipping the same deity or another one entirely."
Diadochi & Yaalin: While you two continue to talk by the statue, the more and more of the kids seem to point over to Diadochi. Seeing him lift up a kid to put the flowers even higher brightens their young faces.Trying to sneak little flowers into Diadochi's trunk by throwing them; not quite seeming to grasp what a trunk is and how it relates to his face.
Abigail: The Barkeep hums and haws a bit, his head physically tilting from side to side while he thinks it over. "Ya know, I do appreciate that you'd return. But, with the festival being tonight, I just have to make sure all my bases are covered." He still agrees to fill your waterskin, but at the established normal price.
Group: It's a bit over an hour past noon before you all meet back up with Sim, just outside the town of Rest and the beginning of the trail. The town by this point is mostly decorated and the locals seem to be resting for the moment - but there is a energy in the air. The festival probably going to begin around the time the sun begins to set, which is only a few more hours away.
It also means you only have a few hours of light left for today to attempt to start the trail and the climb. Sim, you firmly believe that you could get the group to the landing that Lady Orta talked about. It's currently covered in some clouds, making it hard to see. But the way the wind is blowing, it should be a easy evening and maybe early night of climbing and rough hiking. But, you're guessing that it would take a good five hours if you're going careful. Two if you all rushed it, although the risks are far greater. And going at night would mean heading by torchlight; and being a beacon for any sort of predators or trouble along the mountain.
(Diadochi recognizes not many children have seen a loxodon, and that he is the first impression for his entire race) Diadochi will lift up any child brave enough to approach him. Answering any questions they have and regaling them with tales that are uncharacteristically realistic. If Yaalin wonders off Diadochi might not notice perception16 . If Yaalin does remind him he forgets that not going to the festival was an option.
(Abigail looks up the trail, then back at the transformed town - it has been such a long time since she has made merry, and seeing the children preparing for the festivities has reminded her of the Mistress Sea festivals she would help prepare for at home. Abigail pauses to contemplate, "Home... I wonder how mother and father are doing, and what they must think has happened to me over the years at sea? It has been such a very long time since I have seen them, or curled up next to the family hearth to listen to father's stories..."Abigail's mood becomes somewhat doleful, and she quickly takes several swigs from her water-skin. The sea was no place for childish fantasies - that she had learned many time over - and she had a job to do. Abigail's mood, like the every shifting sea, quickly changes from sorrow to surly.)
Looking over at Sim's calculating features, Abigail asks, "So, are we waiting for the festival to talk with the mayor, or just striking out now? Because I, for one, am ready to see what awaits us on the mountain ahead."
"I learned a long time ago that while we are friends, my control over Diadochi is minimal at best. And he is already enthralling the children with another of his tales so we will wait and see what the night brings with these festivities. With everything we know about the mountains and this tribe leaving early in the morning will allow us to go up the mountain hopefully unnoticed."
"I will come and join the rest of you in the town in a little while. I would like to sit and feel the mountain for a bit longer."
(Sim would like to roll investigation13 to see if I can spot any lights from fires or torches in the dark up on the mountains. Maybe if this is successful I will know roughly how far to go to find this tribe. It may also help me estimate the size of the tribe if there are a lot of fires up there.)
After leaving the Blood Raven feeling unsatisfied with the barkeeper's answers Lafetha pushes through the crowd of the town, and meets up with Sim and Abiagil.
Looking up the trail to the mountain, she wonders what could be lurking about. perception16 to see if I can try to spot things trying to hide or any lights from fires that Sim missed. ((Also, I don't know how dark it is at this point, but I have dark vision up to 60ft if that helps any))
Whatever I see that Sim doesn't spot, I tell him what he has missed.
Lafetha then heads back to the town knowing that they must talk to the mayor before they set out. She makes flower crowns for herself and the children and dances with them to the music. ((Assuming there is music of course))
Both Sim and Lafetha linger for a moment around the mountain; taking a look at trails and up along it's ridge line. Working together, you both see some lesser worn trails from both animals (both tracks of a wolf and a mountain lion), and disruption from men. Far in the distance, easily past the first day's journey, you see what could be the twinkling light of a fire. It's light being amplified by the ice covered paths of the mountain. While impossible to tell the exact numbers, best guess is smaller than the town of Rest. But large enough to require a fire. It's possible there is a permanent settlement upon the ridge.
As the day slowly turns into night and the sun begins to set - a loud gong can be heard ringing through the town. The townsfolk gather around the statue, as Lady Orta is standing by it. Dressed in her scraps of cloth robes, and that wicker basket face mask. Gong now hanging in a outstretched hand of the statue while she takes a few wacks at it.
Before her is a well dressed, and handsome young Half-Orc man; square jaw and broad shoulders he holds himself as someone of importance. Unlike the others who wear leathers and fur, he appears to have a more "city life" flare of jacket, vest, and undershirt custom made to fit. A small ring on his left pinky has a peculiar pink stone upon it; giving off a faint light as he stepped to Lady Orta.
With a final hit of the gong, Lady Orta raises her hands. Parents hush their children as she gives a speech; talking about the long days of winter and those that were lost. It shifting into how spring brings renewal of life and love. After, the couples that are to be married all come forward and join hands. There's easily over a dozen, as it seems today is the one day a year that people are to be joined in this union in the town of Rest. Lady Orta gives each couple of a beaded bracelet, small pieces of wood smoothed and rounded, lacquered, and then bound in strings. It does appear that each one is different, more than likely due to price. Some complex layering of lacquer - giving off a varnish that can then be carved into for blacks and reds. Others simply a glossy wood. The Half-Orc, by all your assumptions to be the major, being given one at the very end with his bride. A woman who based on her clothing is clearly from a poorer family of Rest, but was born with the gift of good looks.
After all the unions have been joined, Lady Orta rings the gong one last time. A moment of silence hovers over the crowd before, eventually, the kids break the silence and toss their cloth flowers into the air. The town erupts into a joyous cheer as everyone floods the streets. Homes are left open, inviting folks to come in and take of their breads what few cured meats they have. Those that can play a instrument are busy in the streets singing and dancing. It's absolute - joyous - chaos.
Sundown turns to night, but the party has yet to stop. Some homes do close their doors, as little ones find time to head to bed and some of the adults are no longer able to function. Still the streets are flooded with dancing and singing. The Blood Raven is packed to the brim. It's back in this little inn that you find the Half-Orc Mayor hugging and shaking hands of various town folks. His almost too charming smile easily seen through the crowd.
"It is a shame my brother isn't here," he said to one person as he clinked glasses. His wife was over by a different table, surrounded by other women and what could possibly be her sisters, gossiping and talking. There was hardly a sober person in the room, save for the Barkeep who was frantically running around getting drinks.
Noticing the animal tracks and the reflected fire from what had to be further off than the camp site they would make in the first Day Sim felt confident that tomorrow their journey would go relatively smoothly. Taking a moment longer to take a deep breathe of the fresh air Sim then turned and headed into town. Coming up near the back of the gathering he was just able to make out the man who must be the Mayor and his lovely bride being married together and receiving their bracelet. It was similar in many ways to the small town he had started life out in. While the festivities erupted around him Sim sat back taking it all in. It was interesting how it was almost like a wave that ebbed and flowed as the parties shifted from one residence to the next. Abigail would enjoy the feel of that. Taking it advantage of the opportunity to enter the homes of the town people without any conflict Sim moved from one to the next being sure to visit each briefly with the goal of looking for anything that stood out as odd. Especially for anything that could be connected to the tribe or the temple. investigation14. (Taking note of whatever he sees if anything). Sim then heads to the Blood Raven to find the group and the Mayor.
This post has potentially manipulated dice roll results.
Diadochi approches the mayor, " Mr. Mayor I presume. First if let me congratulate and your beautiful wedding and your beautiful bride. I won't take up too much of your time, I'm with a party for the blackmire company, we are looking for a Silver Apple and rumor has it your somewhat of an expert in that field."
(( If there next think he says requires an insight17 ))
Sim searches the village, stopping into the homes as the festivities rage on. Most the homes are simple stone, with little decoration. Generally some hanging bracelets, like those given out at the ceremony. Either marriages don't last long, or more likely, the hard life results in many people passing on. And remarrying isn't entirely out of the question. Many have smaller stone icons of the statue that's in the middle of town, but placed in a corner. More of a toy than something the homes appear to be worshiping. Many homes had a place for sleeping, a place for eating and cooking, and a section that could be sectioned off to keep animals in when it turned cold. A few had a lower basement style level; but nobody was going down there. Most likely some kind of root cellar. Nearly all the homes did have a set of bows and a handful of arrows hanging in easy access. An axe or two, with some of the richer homes also having a sword.
The Mayor looks at Diadochi, sizing up newcomer to the town before tossing his fist into the air with a laugh. "Well! Even those that decide to live the easy life come out to celebrate myself! I don't normally expect to see anyone from the courts out here." His non-mug-carrying hand gave him a bunch in the shoulder as he laughed. "An apple?" he asked after taking another round of ale in with a large gulp. "I don't recall having anything in my collection regarding that. I knew of a few collectors, during my father's years. And rumor had it the town was partly funded from some old stashes in the hills. But honestly, since the Goblins, we haven't gone up there. Too dangerous. You could ask my brother, if he ever comes down off the mountain."
He gave a small shrug, before taking a mug from someone else. "But! Tell me. How did you find your way into guild service. I didn't think that... well... your kind is known for nobility. Am I right?" The mayor shifts his topic of conversation. Seeming more interested in status and possible fame than another trinket of wealth. An honest drunk if Diadochi ever saw one.
Diadochi puffs up a little bit "I wouldn't expect to see any nobles out here either, they prefer droll keeps and stuffy castles. I found the easy life... too easy. A collection you have trouble recalling the entirety of, why that must be an impressive collection indeed, I'd had loved to see it if I wasn't already taking up too much of your time as it is. This isn't the first time I've heard about a problem with the goblins and also a trouble with a tribe that took over a temple or some such. I think my team might go out there see if we can't clear them out for you. Any information you could give me on either would be most appreciated. If this search for the apple doesn't bear fruit ((Diadochi will chuckle at his own joke)) I might have to go up the mountain and talk to him brother. If I ever run into him ((Diadochi pauses trying to figure out a polite way to ask whether his brother is human, full orc, or half-orc)) how would I identity him if I were to see him?"
Diadochi will takes what looks like a long pull from his ale but he's taking moderate amount. When he hears about his family, Diadochi will subconsciously touch his family crest. Yes I was leading the Noble life some time ago, I wouldn't say I was bad at it but it felt like I was making a difference. One day it occurred to me, what if a bad apple of Loxodon ilk were to ... set a bad example in front other peoples, why they wouldn't have any good examples of Loxodons, and think we were all of ill repute. I decided to set out and be that good example (( deception5 Diadochi is leaving something out)) So now me and my companions rove the country side, righting wrongs, and generally being a force for good."
A small smile pulls on the corner of the drunk mayors mouth as Diadochi tells him about setting a good example. He saw that little bit of string to put on, but was far too preoccupied with the revelry to start tugging on it.
"Why, my brother looks like a less handsome me," he said with a laugh. "But you can't miss him. He's always with his flock of goats." He said as he took another swig of ale. "As for the..." his voice dropped for a second as he pushed past Diadochi. The sounds of the bar continued to fill the bar but he was busy pushing his way to the window. It was in that moment, for those of you watching him, could see that a few of the houses had begun to catch fire. Small shadows darting from rooftops and down the streets.
The windowpane shattered; as a Goblin screeched through the glass like someone crazed. A small dagger plunging into the side of the mayor. He staggered back a moment before smashing the cup against a table, breaking it into shards, and driving whatever was left of his mug into the Goblins neck, leaving him limp on the ground. Diadochi, you see the mayor turn to you - making eye contact for a minute. "One gold for every head of these wretched things you bring me...."
The mayor began to try and herd the drunk tavern, giving out orders and sending those who would be of no use to fight to hide under tables. You all head out of the tavern, or where-ever you were in town, and into the street meeting up together. Possibly in various states of having been partying yourself... Townfolk are running and scattering every which way. In the shadows of the fire, small creatures dart and scamper up the buildings.
From where you all stand, you do see two such creatures finishing off one of the townspeople about thirty feet away. Blood soaked daggers still in their hands. About 60 feet away on a roof, you can barely make out a Goblin's figure through the smoke and fire holding a bow.
The two Goblins chatter at each other and give out a brief whistle, before turning to you all, and charging.
Goblin A: These aren't townsfolks.
Goblin B: Doesn't matter! Job to do! Stick to plan!
((Please Roll for Initiative, What your Action is, and damage for said action. Once everyone has rolled for their actions, I'll roll the goblins as well and put it all into a narrative order. Right now, assume you're all together by meeting in the street, about 30 feet away to Goblins A & B. Goblin C, is 60 feet away and you have disadvantage to hit Goblin C unless you have darkvision.))