Her face draws back in disgust. Nine of Glyphs. The Traitor. The image on the card is a heavyset man looking sideways, with papers in his pocket. Look for a wealthy woman. A staunch ally of the devil, she keeps the treasure under lock and key, with the bones of an ancient enemy.
She pauses, shudders a bit, and draws a breath. She holds her hand over the deck again. This card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope.
She lays the card in the top position, or 12:00. What is it?
She places this card in the top position, and stifles a gasp. The Tax Collector! The image is a woman - all the cards appeal to be humans - studying a list, with a sack at her feet. The sack has splitting seams, and is spilling coins onto the road around her. The Visanti have what you seek. A missing child holds the key to the treasure's release.
The four of Glyphs, she says. The Shepherd. Another woman, this one standing on a hilltop. She has a staff, but curiously no animals around her. You've seen seer's decks before; they all seem to have these sort of wrinkles to them.
Find the mother - she who gave birth to evil.
These are the treasures that will help you defeat the devil.
She sets aside the Common Deck. Now, she explains, the High Deck. She prepares to draw the top card from the High Deck. This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness.
She lays a card in the 6:00 position, at the bottom. What is it?
The Beast, she says, revealing the last card. Of course. The card depicts some sort of shadow monster, with clearly-defined eyes. The beast sits on his dark throne.
She looks up, slightly drained. She appears to be ready for questions.
I gathered up these posts explaining the cards into a single post, for future reference.
Daylight: Dawn is 7:00; Sunset begins at 5:30 and ends at 6:00.
Duchess Elena Morena Morgan, the beloved guiding hand and - with the council - leader of Daggerford, has invited you to dine at the ducal castle. Tonight is the sixth of Mirtul, or "the Melting," and we are in the beautiful days of late spring. This invitation from Duchess Morgan is a rare honor, as well, in that it is only bestowed upon those who have performed some grand service to Daggerford or its inhabitants in the recent weeks.
You sit at the table, looking at those around you. What did they do, to deserve this honor? You sit and wonder.
The Duchess will not make her entry until later this evening. It is an honor, of course, just to be here, and some around the table begin to share the stories of what brought them to this table. A human man with a heavy brow and long, curly gray hair tells his story. He wears a peasant's clothing now, but you can tell at a glance that he is accustomed to the burdens of manual labor, and a heavy apron:
I am Bartholo, of the smith family named Delringer. Just this past week, I finally fashioned for the Duchess's nephews a special pair of shortswords. The two boys were kind enough, and the wizard who spent half a day every day for a month at my shop was also kind enough. But it took a month, with the wizard looking in and casting spells and muttering every other day, and finally I finished smithing two beautiful swords. Glowed, they did.
I do not know what the boys named the blades, if they named them at all. But the boys and the blades are in Waterdeep now, I'm told. For my trouble I've been paid more than what's fair, and the Duchess, may she be three times blessed, has also invited me here tonight with you fine folk. May the gods always bless us with such fine fortune!
Next to Bartholo, there is a young half-elf woman. She wears a peasant's clothes. She has fine lips and a dark complexion. Half wood elf, perhaps? Her eyes are emerald green, and she appears to have freckles from her human lineage. She is quite beautiful.
My name is Thia, she says. Thia Brokenbarrel. Well, I'm sure I did what any one of you would have done. I was working on the pier when I saw the two children fall into the river, one after the other. Splash splash, you know? So I jumped out into the water after them. The Duchess was incredibly kind to invite me. It was so nice of her! But I think any of you who could swim would have done what I did.
The four of you sit with Thia and Bartholo, with a space for the Duchess at the head of the long table. Please tell us all how you look, and what thing you did that, you think, led to your invitation to this special night at the ducal castle. How do you look to the others? How do you introduce yourself, and what do you say?
Use bold to indicate what you say. Narrate in plain text. Out of character commentary, like this, can be in blue. Your characters thoughts, if you choose to share them, can be in italics.
Well, this is awkward...quite the lengthy silence. I should never have let it go so long...they will think me a coward...
Err...ahem...It's ah...well...I'm glad you all could...no no no…
This stuttering intro comes from an older gnome of typically diminutive gnome stature, sitting with his legs straight out in front of him. One hand rests comfortably on his ample belly, while the other holds a smoldering pipe (in the style of Sherlock Holmes') to his lips which are hidden behind a thick mass of white mustache hair that falls in a neatly combed curtain down to the middle of his chest. Matching white hair grows in a ring from above each ear around the back of his head, pulled tightly into a short pony tail (ala older George Carlin). He is wearing round wire rimmed spectacles and bright red, very new looking robes with pink and purple tulips embroidered around the cuffs and hem. Against the arm of his chair rests a staff with a bauble on top made of what is clearly cheap glass. On his shoulder sits a very small, very bored looking owl.
He begins speaking again, this time with renewed vigor...
Hi! I am Barnaby Fizzlepop, but I am known throughout the lands as The Bold Mage...um no, Barnaby the Bold...well, how about Barnaby the Bold Mage? Too wordy?
Well, I am not entirely sure what earned me this invitation. Most likely it was that when I approached Daggerford, having left my home in Waterdeep, I noticed two quite fearsome looking rats in a drainage ditch fighting over a discarded chicken leg. With but a half dozen fire bolts shot from my powerful hands, I was able to put an end to their evil ne'er do well existence. It was but a trifle for me, but perhaps some onlooker was overwhelmed by my arcane prowess and reported the deed to her excellent highness, the blessed and divine, Duchess...erm...uhh...Helena?
With this, Barnaby rests back in his chair looking quite victorious and then glances around the table expectantly at the other guests.
When the halfling first entered, he left a shepherd's crook in the umbrella stand, and a heavy pack, scimitar sheathed to the side, with the butler, after a look that said, "be warned".
Now, he stands on a chair, eye level with the other guests. His dark eyes and tan stand out against his sun bleached hair, and well-worn, faded, clothing, a light weight whool shirt and loose pants, that match the color of distant planes. His slightly hawkish nose intimidates in spite of his stature.
In voice both quite and full of inner resolve, "Føpé."
He addresses Bartholo. "A true weapons master has no need of swords such as you describe, but it is right that someone who talks as much as you, engages in such activities, and that the master of a place such as this would value them."
Toward Barnapy, "I too do not understand why I am here."
Addressing Barnaby, speaking loudly so that the elder gentleman can hear, "Honored elder, my name is Føpé, Fø-pé. Tell me, Is it common in this land for pest-control fellows such as yourself to dine with nobels and command stangers?"
Bartholo stands and gazes down at the halfling sitting, unarmed, across from him.
Føpé realizes several things at once. First, Bartholo is an enormous man. Very heavily muscled. Second, he is wearing a short sword at his belt. Third, apparently it was not necessary or expected to check weapons at the door.
He gestures toward his sword, without drawing it. To draw it indoors, of course, would be terribly disrespectful to Duchess Morgan.
This blade's name is Ogresbane, because I have twice slain an ogre with it. Føpé, you have not seen an ogre yet in your travels, but you have heard of them. Mighty beasts, and formidable foes. If you will be in town long, young master, perhaps you will teach me to use it.
Attentive listeners might hear several of the servants exhale in relief, as Bartholo apparently did not take offense from Føpé's sharp words.
Some watching this encounter might have a sudden realization: actions have consequences. The universe is dangerous enough, without needlessly tempting fate. Others might not have the same realization.
Everybody use the dice roller feature on this message board to do a perception check.
If you rolled a 10 or higher, read the following:
There is no hidden danger here, as far as you can tell. It is just a dinner party. However, the house guards, you have no doubt, would have interceded on behalf of Bartholo if there had been a fight. They were a hair's breadth from doing so, but they relaxed when he did not take offense.
Sitting back, most uncomfortable in these surrounding is a ruddy dwarf, with a few scars including an ear that has a big chunk missing. His long auburn hair and beard have been braided and recently cleaned, and clothing made as presentable as possible. While he left his goods and great ax with the gate guards he still sports a recently polished and serviceable chain shirt and two well made hand axes in his belt.
He stands up at the halfling's declaration
Sit down and hear this man out, show some manners. It seems there is a story here and I'd like to hear it. A smith should measured by the quality of his work, not on the quality of his customers, although it sounds like they treated him right. I want to hear what the man has to say, as well as the lady rescuer of the two children, while we wait for our hostess.
He sits back down and grabs a cup of ale
Name's Kif Cragheart, I'm not about to tell you what the Kif is short for. I'm fresh in town, though I've passed through Daggerford a couple times, it's been many years. Some of the town guard sergeants are comrades from old days in the field of battle, perhaps they threw in a good word for me.
He swigs from a glass much more delicate than he is used to and grabs a tiny sandwich
"Mr. Bartholo, this ogre must have been terribly fierce that you had to slay it twice. But I wonder, was it unarmed, as I am, both times? Perhaps it was not an ogre at all, but simply a creature half your size with twice your wits and a penchant for making observations.”
No, Dov, your comments work, I'm just getting feel for this, there were posts done before mine that didn't show up until after I posted for some reason...it's about learning the mechanics of this process
Powder room is down the hall there and to the left
I'm waiting for our final party member to check in. Also, could people try the die roller, please, for that perception check? I want to see if people can get it to work. On a regular (non-mobile) display, it's the button all the way on the right above the text box for posting. Looks like a 3 on a 6-sided die.
edit: ^ It worked for me! On mobile, where that text box doesn't look the same, it's "[ roll ] 1d20 [ /roll ]" without the extra spaces, and with commands (including bonuses and penalties) for the die roll.