Briga responds to Arlon's comment prior to approaching the guards, "No way, Arlon, I'd never question your social skills. You guys are great with this stuff. Just counting on you three to do the heavy lifting here. My bounty hunter credentials aren't worth a lot to the super rich."
OOC: Prior to the conversation w/the guards, was late to respond.
Griff steps forward, "Hello there, we only seek words with the lord and lady. I am Griffdar Goodward, and we are the Abandoned Dragons you may have heard of us, we are new in town. We are currently conducting an investigation in regards to The Black Viper robberies. We have reason to believe your lord and lady to not only be targets but to be in danger of further harassment by The Black Viper. Our goal is to stop an further crimes perpetrated by this individual, or individuals. Time is of the essence, and we do need to speak to them as soon as possible, however, we understand their time is important will return later with an appointment if necessary."
Tyrus will inspect what he can see of the house for any clues about the Cassalanters. Specifically he will be trying to work out how old the place is and whether there are any elvish influences in it making. He is still confused about the part the hundred-year gap in the sightings of the Black Viper have to do with all this. (Roll: 12; +3 for Perception; +2 for Investigation or History).
Tyrus would like to try to study the reaction the guards have to Griffdar's mention of the Black Viper? Does he get the feeling that they are embarrassed because the Viper has already struck but they haven't reported it. Or perhaps they know they are unlikely to be targets for some reason. [a long-shot Insight roll: 12 ]
The guards are hard to read when mentioning the Black Viper, though it is obvious they have heard of them. "If we see her, she will be dead. The Cassalanters have said to deal with her appropriately and capture her for the city if we see them. Lady Cassalanater is adamant that she will not allow the Black Viper in her property. The guard has been tripled since reports of her return came in, so it won't be easy for her to get here," the guard says simply in response about the Black Viper.
Briga waits for the guard to respond to Griff's request for audience with Lady Cassalanter, maintaining poise but looking a bit vacant, as her mind wanders. She thinks of knighthood and magic glaives, thinking maybe they aren't out of the reach of a runaway girl from the frozen north after all. She makes a mental note to speak to the Order of the Gauntlet after this is over. Maybe knighthood would open more doors, also, she realizes, hoping the door before them will open.
"She is currently in an important meeting that will last the rest of the day, you'll have to come back tomorrow with an appointment," the guard responded to Briga's request. "The Lord and Lady are not accepting visitors today, as for the nature of the Black Viper - it's more a title that is passed down, than just one person - that is all we know," he added in response to the second question. "Just because the Black Viper has returned, does not mean to say it is the same person it was before, though the styles are apparently similar - the robberies definitely are - that is all we know, and I'll give you that as a token of the Lord and Lady's appreciation of the warning, now good day" the guard says, not opening the gate.
"Huh. Important meeting? With who, exactly, I wonder? I guess the lady of the house doesn't care that some prominent local figures are throwing shade her way," Briga says a bit loudly, for the guard's sake.
"What do you guys think," Briga asks her friends. "We could set an appointment, and hit up my street level contacts in the meantime, see if anyone's been fencing these goods maybe. I'm open to suggestions."
"Let us be making the appointment and then be talking, elsewhere," says Tyrus mindful that the guards are close by.
"What be the best time tomorrow, good sir?" he asks of the guards before leading the others away.
Once out of earshot, he says to the others, "I be thinking we should find the servant's entrance. Maybe have a chat with one of them to find out more about House Cassalanter. I be betting if we ply the right one with enough ale we'll get all the stories of the house, both good and bad."
"Way to brain, Tryus," Briga pumps her fist in the air briefly. "Yeah, we've got the budget to maybe bribe a servant into giving up some leads, the aristocracy is out of our price range I guess. Let's give that a try, chat up the help. We can hit up my underworld contacts later if we need, they work outside of normal business hours."
Tyrus will follow Briga searching for the servant's entrance. As they walk he hesitantly begins to talk to her.
"Briga," he begins tentatively, "Not that I be wanting to throw water on your keenness, but I be thinking it should be me who does the talking here. You be such a big, strong lass—and with that huge pig-sticker of yours—I be thinking you'll just scare any plain folk we meet."
Then he adds, "But me, without me axe, I can approach them as though I be looking for honest work as a tinker, and then turn the conversation to the things we want to find out about."
"What do ye say?" he says, trying to hand Briga his handaxe for safe keeping.
[OOC: As indicated on his character sheet, Tyrus has left most of his gear back at the manor, and I'm hoping that his chain shirt has his travelling coat over the top of it, so his armour isn't immediately obvious.]
Tyrus turns to Arlon and says, "No offence be intended, Arlon, but with those fine clothes and that fancy ring of yours, you be going to look out of place too."
He then turns to Griffdar, looks him up, down and then up again and says, "Just no. Those teeth of yours are just way too frightening for you to blend in anywhere that's not full of your own kind. Heck, I'm even concerned about me being a dwarf. I haven't seen a lot of my folk here in town, so maybe I'll be standing out like a thumb that's been hit by a hammer too."
"Don't take this wrong," Tyrus says addressing all three of them, "but, as you are at the moment, you three don't be looking anything at all like the common folk I'm assuming them servants are. You be looking exactly like what you are: adventurers. And I be suspecting them servants aren't going to be very forthcoming about their masters in casual conversation with people who are so different to them."
"Hmmm..." Tyrus muses for a moment before saying, "Maybe we should approach this another way.What if we find out where the servants of the house go to drink, go there ourselves and let it be known we are willing to pay money for information about the Viper?"
He then goes on to explain: The way I see it, any servant of the Cassalanters that knows something of interest about the Viper's connection to that family is likely to do one of two things. Either they'll approach us to earn some coin by telling tales on their masters, or they'll go to tell their masters about what we're doing. Those that look for coin, we deal with as the expect. Those who leave... Well, perhaps they'll lead us somewhere interesting. Either way, we learn something."