Praxx ponders upon this request. Praxx says nothing and immediately walks over to his band mates.
”I need you all to wait here for a few days. I have some business to attend to a little outside of town. I want you two to take the money we have received tonight and hold up in town. If you all want to come back and play without me that is fine as well, but I will be back.” Praxx tells the band and doesn’t wait for a response as he walks back towards Grax.
Utar thinks back on his own order. He is aware that the worship of Torm used to be more prevalent in Phlan in the past, but along with those of other gods, it dwindled in the golden era of Bane's worship championed by the Black Fist. Phlan's current temple to Torm is evidence of this. The small structure built at ground level (Torm's temples are usually built in high ground) is but a shade of what the original temple must have been many centuries ago. The irony is, of course, that since that era, Bane's own worship has dwindled quite a bit and a large pantheon of gods are worship in Phaln nowadays. Other general information on his own god can be found in the box below.
Also known as the Loyal Fury, Torm the True, and the Hand of Righteousness, Torm is the god of duty and loyalty, revered by those who face danger to bring about a greater good. Those who favor Torm believe that one’s salvation can be found through service, that every failure to perform one’s duty diminishes Torm, and that every success adds to his luster. Those who take Torm to heart must strive to fulfill his commandment to go out into the world and be an active force for good, to right wrongs, and to help the hopeless. They must strive to maintain peace and order while opposing unjust laws. Followers of Torm stand ever alert against corruption and are expected to strike quickly and hard against any evidence of rot in the hearts of mortals. As the sword arm of justice, Torm’s faithful are expected to bring quick deaths to betrayers. Considering these tenets, it should be no surprise that most human paladins have Torm as their patron.
Most temples dedicated to Torm are fortresses built on heights. These structures offer austere quarters for residents and visiting knights, drilling grounds, and stables. White granite, lion statues, and armored figures predominate in the architecture, with the coats of arms of fallen heroes decorating the walls of the great halls.
Torm is seen as the good right hand of Tyr, and as such his symbol is a white gauntlet made for the right hand. It represents Tyr’s sword hand, but it is also a symbol of forbearance. Torm is frequently depicted with his right gauntlet extended palm forward, which worshipers call the Hand Resolute. It signifies the principle that the just and true must pause before acting to judge whether their intentions uphold Torm’s ideals. Temples, civic structures, and the homes of the faithful are often decorated with images of the Hand Resolute as a constant reminder of this principle.
Worshipers of Torm come from most walks of life, for he welcomes any who seek the best in themselves and others, who uphold his tenets of loyalty, responsibility, duty, and kindness, or who are willing to sacrifice to keep evil from gaining ascendancy in the world. The faithful know that all of them will stumble from time to time while following in Torm’s footsteps, but Torm’s priests teach that the shame of a minor fall from grace is far less severe than declining to rise oneself up to Torm’s standards.
While Praxx and Graxx negotiate the terms of their short term alliance, and the bard says his temporary goodbyes to his band mates, Ortal, the half-orc businessman, approaches once again: "You be careful master bard. It would be a pity to lose a talent like yours to some ghosts. And don't worry about your band mates. I'll ensure they have gigs to play while you are away. We wouldn't want them to struggle in your absence would we? Also...." he clears his throat, "If the band is looking for representation... management or guidance of sorts.... I happen to have experience in administrative hurdles here in Phlan... Perhaps we can.... hmn... negotiate a deal upon your return?"
Out of the two dockworkers still in the tavern, the one who is less invested in arguing with Aravele responds to Neya's question: "Oh, I'd advise against swimmin'. It is certainly doable, but the waters can be quite treacherous. It'd be an ordeal, for sure! Like I said, go talk to Liela, she'll sort ya out." He then gets a bit closer to the monk: "And if ya think this talk about sailin' ghost is poppycock, ya should know that the the Black Fist been openly recruitin' in response to the rumors of a spirit ship attackin' coastal villages in the area."
Upon hearing the name Liela, Aravele yells back: "Nah... Guard Sergeant Hurn at the docks is your man."
"Fix that lighthouse and you can have soup on us for a week!" Fat Mar yells back at Utar, in between bursts of his own loud laughter.
As the group finishes their mugs of ale hurriedly and leaves the Laughing Goblin, Graxx notices that Rag does not seem too responsive to the call to action. As he is known to behave, the halfling has been fairly quite through the entire ordeal and discussion in the tavern. While counting the spoils of his pick-pocketing interlude during the brawl, the thief looks up from the table for an instant and tells Graxx in a curt tone: "You guys go on ahead. I'll catch up to you later." He then immediately becomes mesmerized by his monetary gains once again.
The walk to the docks is not a long one, and with the exception of Praxx, perhaps, you have all been in Phlan long enough to know your way around. A couple of quick confirming questions on the way there are enough for you to pinpoint the exact building that houses the administrative office at the docks. The large wooden sign hanging above the door reads "HOUSE SOKOL ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE: Managing the port of Phlan since 1373 DR" (it is now 1489 DR). The sign also displays a coat of arms that has taken the lighthouse itself as its heraldic symbol. The door is kept unlocked, and a little bell announces the arrival and departure of all visitors.
Inside, a small but extremely well organized office is manned by a tall, lean half-elven woman of golden hair. Dry quills are placed exactly an inch apart from each other, as well as from an ink well. Pieces of parchment are cut and rolled to such a matching extent, they look like the product of some repetitive gnomish clockwork crafting procedure. Mirrors are strategically position to maximize the natural lighting in the room, and a slight scent of berries and eucalyptus hangs in the air. The bureaucrat moves her head and gaze efficiently and with purpose, meeting each of yours: "Five visitors at once. Surprising. How may House Sokol be of assistance to you?"
After entering, both Drazzim and Graxx stay by the door, allowing their more charismatic friends to do the talking. Neya takes the initiative but is met with no welcoming change in Liela's facial expression. She looks the monk down from head to toe and simply says: "I've been trying to gather a few courageous dockworkers to look into the matter, but it would seems this wharf is populated by cowards. I offered money, public recognition, and the eternal gratitude of House Sokol. No one would take it over the past two days. Now, a group on five brave souls are volunteering for the task out of the kindness of their heart, is that it?" She stands there stoically, awaiting or any of you to respond.
Praxx steps forward putting a hand on Neya with his back turned towards Liela and gives Neya a sly wink. "Hello my dear!" as he gives a throws one hand behind him, crosses his legs and gives a deep gracious bow while holding eye contact with Liela. "Liela is it? YES YES YES you are in luck! Oh yes my dear you have the privilege of being in the presence of some of the most daring, courageous, beautiful, and might i add.... devilishly handsome crew that has been seen in these parts!" Praxx slowly but steadily begins to remove his lute that is strung across his back into his hands and begins to play a soft but escalating ballad as he begins to speak more.
"Here we have Drazzim... now you may look and think that this is just an ordinary dwarf but i assure you he is not. I have seen him throw a glaive so hard that he buried it in a basilisks hide from over 100 yards away."
"And you have already met Neya. Yes Neya is the most skilled monk you will ever feast your eyes upon. Not only is Neya trained in the deadly art of weaponry but she can rain down a furry of fists that would seem to block out the sun!"
"Next we have Utar Hammerhead.. Cleric and extremely dangerous.. I saw Utar once keep an entire army on their feet while in combat with a dragon OH YES YOU HEARD ME..........A DRAGON!"
"We also have Rag our mischievous rogue... 'Where is he you ask?' well if you have to ask then he is doing exactly what rogues do........ he is extremely efficient......" Praxx leans in as his lute becomes lower and lower as he gets closer and closer to Leila's face until he builds to a loud STRIKE OF ALL THE CORDS "and deadly"
"Last but not least we have this HUGE beast named Graxx.... Now i know what you are thinking! Yes he is hideous and deformed but what he lacks in beauty he makes up for in pure destruction. Did you know that the soul of a Black Fist can actually be eaten? Well neither did I.... but Graxx here is a connoisseur of many things and delivering pain is his game."
Praxx turns his back and looks at the group and sticks his tongue out quickly before he whips back around standing front and center holding his lute. "And I madam am just a lucky bard to be stuck in the middle giving aid and assistance but I may have some tricks up my sleeve for anything brave enough to cross me. Now my friends and I have come to you and in your glorious town and stronghold here to offer assistance. Yes we are here because we are worried about the town but this isn't some sort of scam where we ask for gold and run away. We want to help you... of course a compensation is suggested but not required but we work our best knowing that we aren't doing something for nothing."
Praxx throws his lute back across his abdomen and it rests back where it was retrieved on his back.
"Now... what say you Leila?"
**OOC- Oh crap with all that written i hope this next part doesn't bomb.. I was hoping it would maybe be performance since I tried to put on a front man show so DM take your pick**
(@DM_Prax: That was a delight to read. Inspiration token to you, sir!)
Liela is a first surprised to see a deep gnome appear from behind Neya, but that quickly changes into entrancement. Her attention completely sequestered by the bard's words, her eyes following each of his hand movements. She gasps at the mention of "basilisks" and "dragons", frowns at the words "hideous and deformed", and even blushes at the hint of some handsomeness in the room. For a moment, she thinks she is watching the introduction of characters in a well-staged play while her emotions play tricks on her.
By the end of it all, Liela collects some of her poise back and unfurls one of her meticulously stored-away parchments. "Well, yes... a contract then," she fans her suddenly moistened neck."We shall formalize this carefully negotiated agreement with a proper contract. I have a reputation to uphold. You and your group of legendary adventurers will tend to the lighthouse issue on behalf of House Sokol and, in recompense, shall receive 450gp. Now, what does this merry band call itself? The contract needs a proper name for your adventuring party, Master... " She points at Praxx with her quill, attentively yet politely making the point that he was the only one not to be named during the presentation.
Drazzim looks over to Graxx. A name? They've never needed a name before beyond their birth given ones. Drazzim is usually called Drazzim, or "you, the drunk one". He'd never thought of the group as an adventuring party, rather drinking buddies who seem to get into bar fights that go "a little too far"...