It's been a few of weeks since the collapse of the Ruined Lyceum. The makeshift healing ward built on the ruins of the old temple to Bane was in the middle of being transformed into a more permanent house of healing when a sinkhole inexplicably caused it to come down. The Knights of the Black Fist have assigned some investigators to explore possible explanations, but claims that the underground structures beneath the Lyceum had been completely destroyed have significantly hampered their efforts. It has now gotten to the point where the general populace is ready to move on, and interest in the disaster has dwindled significantly. The talk of the town has shifted to more immediate matters. Some complain about their crops not being as healthy as the previous seasons, others about their wares being overtaxed, and yet others find time to complain about the weather, which has simply been despicable for the last three or four days.
Madame Freona's Tea Kettle has been closed for nearly a month now. The generous and exotic halfling matron has been keeping away from the public eye, as have her five daughters. On paper, investigations on what is now referred to as the Tea Kettle Incident continue on, but with each passing day it looks more and more likely that the inn won't be reopening any time soon, if at all.
With a couple of their companions not being seen since Villonah's rescue, those that remain have recently adopted the Laughing Goblin as their new favorite watering hole. Drazzim, Utar, Neya, Graxx, and Rag have agreed to meet in this dock-side tavern this afternoon, mostly to catch up on the friendly talk. The Laughing Goblin is a large dark old tavern that has seen better days. The woodwork is worn, the plaster once white is now yellowish and crumbling and the chandeliers and lanterns rusted. The furniture shows the signs of heavy use and the scars of various brawls. A thin human female with long, black hair is cleaning tankards behind the bar while chatting with a bald, overweight human male in the tavern's livery sitting on a bar stool. The sounds of cooking and the strong smell of cabbage soup comes from the kitchen. At this time of the day, there are only a few guests, who are being entertained by a band of colorful performers. Most customers sit quietly in the various nooks and corners.
(@All: What I described above about your characters is only a simple hook. Take this opportunity to describe your characters in your own words, what they are doing or saying at the moment, or what other characters would see. We have a new player this time around, but a refresher is always good regardless. Let the RP begin!)
Utar is sat with the others at a table, enjoying what hospitality the Laughing Goblin can offer. He makes small talk, asks after mutual acquaintance and sups occasionally at an ale he is nursing in place of his usual camomile tea.
As is customary, his warhammer lies propped against the table, within easy reach, and he wears his grey tabbard, Torm's white hand emblazoned upon it, cinched tightly about his waist with a thick, leather belt. As he moves in his seat, turning his attention to his various companions, there is a subtle jingle as his chainmail rearranges itself underneath his tabbard.
Its grey matches his skin tone and Utar appears pallid; pale The dark bags under his eyes attest to a lack of sleep. A course black stubble coats his face. Despite this, his voice is lively. He is animated and full of renewed vigour.
Graxx sits to the right of Utar at the table. The Barbarian wears a wool shirt with no other armor in sight. At his side is "Lightbreaker" his Moon-touched Sword, Greatsword giving a glow. Graxx has black hair and blue eyes as any member of the Sky Pony Tribe would. His black hair is tightly bound by vine and hangs down to his shoulders.
Graxx says aloud, "Any news of Madame Freona or the daughters?"
As the conversation among the fellow adventures caries on, and looking around a bit, the group notices other general features of their new gathering place. The common room has two floors with a large, open space in the middle containing a stage. The bar and kitchen are off to the north and east sides of the building, respectively, while a large fireplace adorns the south wall. Large round tables take over almost all of the tavern floor, but seating could be alternatively found at the bar stools or by a handful of comfortable chairs by the fireplace. Apart from some rugs, the only other decorative piece in the common room is a large carved totem resembling a laughing goblin. The totem is clearly very old and well-worn. It rests atop a red rug in the southwest corner of the tavern, not very far from the fireplace.
Utar stares down into his ale mug at the mention of the halfling women and thinks of a small, empty pouch that smells of dried leaves hidden under his cot back at the temple. Usually his adventuring funds are directed towards the work of his temple, however, since their last few adventures, two other worthy causes have been at the forefront of his mind. One, getting the work of Lathander's healers within Phlan going again and two, the re-opening of Madame Freona's Tea Kettle.
"Those girls have gone to ground," he says with a shake of his head. "Just like Cato, and," turning to look at Graxx "What was the name of that girl you were so taken with? The warrior woman?"
Praxx sits atop a large stool at the rear of the Laughing Goblin tavern surrounded by two other musicians. Praxx looks to be very neat and tidy with his wardrobe as he is wearing a tan colored shirt with the buttons undone two thirds of the way down his chest showing a red colored full chest of hair, with blueish dyed slacks. Ralph who is a human wearing tattered skin tight pants that that were possibly made on purpose, with a white cotton front buttoned shirt, playing the flute and a large Goliath woman wearing an outfit that looks to have been tailor with some of the finest magenta cloths playing what seems to be a makeshift set of drums strung together around her midsection. Praxx stands up on the stool and announces “Hello everyone! We are Scarecrow Boat and we are happy to be here at the Laughing Goblin. We hope everyone is enjoying their ale and we are going to play a little song for some our weary adventures and citizens so sit back, relax and enjoy the next few hours.” Praxx begins picking his Lute and the sounds fill the air of the tavern with upbeat and almost magical tones when the rest of the band chimes in. As the song continues, it seems like some of the patrons that had no interest have turned with smiles and watch as the band proceeds to grow louder. The small gnome jumps from the stool and begins to move across the stage from side to side rapidly while playing more and more as he continues his crescendo.
As Praxx continues to play with his left hand beating the strings along the neck of his lute he raises his right hand and casts Prestidigitation causing an illusionary scene of falling starlight to seamingly drip from the ceiling down and dicipate before touch the growing patrons in front of the stage.
As the song then begins come to a close he slowly waddles back toward his stool and jumps up on top as he plays the final notes. Patrons seem to be pleased with what they have seen and heard which makes Praxx grin from ear to ear. Praxx says “Thank you all! Like I said we are Scarecrow Boat and we are going to take a short break and please feel free to make a small donation to our tip hat”
Graxx eyes fade as if he’s staring far away for a moment then responds back to Utar, “Warrior? No, she must have been a wizard the way she cast the spell on me.”
Graxx looks at Utar, “Nanika was her name my friend. I kept hoping that Nanika and her brother Darrius would walk back into our lives but they seem lost as well. I do hope they are alright wherever they are.”
Graxx looks to Neya, “Anyway... Neya I am not sure if you are able to talk about it but I would love to hear more about your Order. I am sure you have some tales!”
Neya has been expecting this question for quite a while, but was quite unprepared as to how to approach it. However, she feels comfortable enough around Graxx to tell him something.
She ponders for a moment and responds.
"I suppose I can give you some general information about my clan. Please keep in mind that I am going to leave out some details either due to some of it is very sensitive and others are not known to me."
"The People of the Silent Wood have been around for around 500 years, long enough to see the politics of the realm change more than a few times. We have essentially been a sort of unseen special forces for those in power whom earned our trust. They often call on us for services ranging from information gathering and..." she clear her throat, "obstacle removal. As you can imagine, this also tend to attract quite a bit of ire from those we refuse."
"It is quite possible that you would pass by one of us without even noticing they existed. There are only two reasons why one of our agents reveal themselves:" She lift one finger, "The person before them is about to die," She raises a second finger, "Or the agent is on scout duty. Since you've seen me more than once and are still among the living you should be able to guess why I'm in the Phlan area."
The thin human on the other side of the bar notices Utar motioning for another round of drinks. It takes some probing from her but after a few sighs the large human male begins to stumble towards your table. His steps are slow a measured, but not out of carefulness. His stained livery is already missing a few buttons here and there, and those left do not look like they will hold for long. He secures three pitches in a single hand by their handles.
"Alright everyone, worry not. Fat Mar is here to quench your thirst." The rotund man sweats profusely. "I have here with me some white morning ale, some traditional brown ale, and your everyday honey mead for those with a sweeter tooth. It's all the same price: 5 silver pieces per mug." The man uses his free forearm to wipe his sweaty brow. "At this price, even dirty sea dogs like yourselves can pay for a round for the band, right? HAHAHAHA" he laughs with his entire body at his own joke, spilling the contents of the pitches and explaining a few of the stains on his shirt. "I mean, it is a customary way to tip our fine performers, be they exotic or not! HAHAHA."
With that, he nods and prepares to refill your mugs as his laughter slowly settles in a large grin.
Graxx says to Neya, "Thank you for trustin' me enough to share that with me. You can always tell a good tribe by how long it's lasted and in my book 500 years is a great run!"
Graxx then says to Fat Mar, "You know what. You should just pay them to do their job instead of expecting us to pay for some ba.." At that moment Graxx looked over at the band and spotted the Deep Gnome Praxx. He had not been paying attention to them at all but now this singing creature as Graxx has never encountered a Deep Gnome has caught his eye.
"What in the realms is that?!"
Graxx then says, "Here is 1 Gold Piece to pay for my friends and I as well as the band's drinks for a few rounds."
Graxx then signals to Praxx, "Hey, lute player! Would you join us for a round?"
As Praxx approaches the bar, to get himself a drink, he hears a deep bellowing voice call out to him and flicks his hand in a ‘come here’ gesture. He smiles, hops of the stool to the bar and approaches the large beast of a man.
”That is mighty kind of you big fella! And yes I would love to have a drink with you” Praxx exclaims.
Not noticing an empty seat Praxx looks around and drags over a chair from a nearby empty table to sit at the end nearest this large man.
“The name is Praxx! Pleased to meet you sir. And you are?”
Drazzim Beerbelcher, the stouthearted dwarf, comes out from a trip to the restroom. He adjusts the chainmail he has to sit more comfortably on his frame as a couple of dregs of ale seem to drop from his long white beard. He chuckles as he wanders over to his fellow adventurers, climbing up onto the seat beside where his glaive sits as well as his pack. "Right then." He says in a gruff tone. "Think it's my round right? Can't remember last time the stopper went this early in the day." He looks around the table, then tries some mental gymnastics; mathematics was never his strong point, so he pulls out five gold coins. "That should cover us." He chuckles to himself, getting ready to go order the next round.
Fat Mar picks up the 1gp offered to him by Graxx and looks at it with a sarcastic expression: "Alright big spender, don't put all of this gold on the table all at once or you'll invite trouble.... AHAHAH" He then proceeds to fill Graxx's and Praxx's mugs with what he knows to be the gnome's favorite out of the three available options. "That's as much as you'll get for that one coin, my friend."
Thankfully, Drazzim arrives from the washroom ready to spend a more generous 5gp. "Ah yes, now we have a full round and then some." Fat Mar turns and nods at the thin maiden behind the counter. She knows this to mean that she is welcome to serve a mug of grog to each of the other two band members, who are now sitting at the bar. Fat Mar himself then begins serving refills of your drinks of choice around the table. "For this kind of coin, I'll even leave a few extra mugs here," he says, serving an additional set of four drinks to no one in particular. He takes this serving time as an opportunity to continue his friendly teasing: "You know, Imizael over there might be an awful barkeep, but she is a great cook if you are hungry for some of our famous cabbage soup. It's priced fairly too. Even this guy over here can afford it,"he points at Graxx with his greasy thumb. A tinge of professionalism momentarily washes over Fat Mar as he delivers the rest of the menu for those who are interested: "The soup is one of her old secret recipes, and we serve it with freshly baked bread and a piece of ripe cheese. Otherwise, we can serve you some freshwater pike, a Moonsea specialty. That won't be grilled today, but in a salty stew instead. Either bowl is sold for a whole gold piece." He stares at Graxx again.
Graxx will stare back Fat Mar. Thankfully, his urges to fight are getting much easier to control since taking the path of the Zealot.
Graxx says to Fat Mar, “You are fortunate. A month ago I would have taken one of these mugs and beat you till you were unconscious for those comments. But now that I serve Tempus if I start a fight it will be to the death and I have no desire to get rid of the only alternative I can find to the better Tea Kettle.”
Graxx then turns to Praxx, “Hmm. That is a good name! I am Graxx, warrior of the Sky Pony Tribe. I have to admit I have traveled from the Spine of the World to the Moonsea and I have never seen someone like yourself. What are you?”
“I am actually a Deep Gnome but that is somewhat of a grey area. We aren’t normally visiting taverns and cities above ground. But that is a story for another time. What exactly are you sir? Is it some sort of deformation that makes you so big?” Praxx says
Praxx begins to look around at the other members of the table as he takes large swings of his ale.
“I really appreciate the drink! Are you all just passing through or are you normal patrons of this establishment?”