Chapter #6l: Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)   Posted by Alergast Barett.Group: 0
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 330 posts
 Have arcana, will travel.
Thu 20 Feb 2014
at 02:47
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Cato grinned as Ameiko walked over to their table. "Sorry, Alergast. I'll guess we'll have to save discussion of the impending end of my bachelorhood for another time. We have more important things to discuss now."

The wizard grinned at Kellan. "A kindred spirit, Kellan. You know exactly what's most important. Would you care to join us until our friends arrive, Ameiko?  We've plenty of chairs. And we can regale you with tales of adventure. Maybe you'd have some pointers for what we're going to face tomorrow."

Cato let out a long breath. "Or maybe how to deal with being local celebrities. I certainly felt awkward up on that stage with the entire town staring. How does the Mayor handle that?"  The scholar shuddered. "I'm with you, Alergast. Give me goblins to face any day, as long as I don't have to have all of Sandpoint staring at me after its done."
Ameiko Kaijitsu
 NPC, 7 posts
 Rusty Dragon Proprietor
 Daughter of Lonjiku
Thu 20 Feb 2014
at 06:54
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



“Hmph.”  Ameiko crossed her arms while tapping her foot and giving the three men an inscrutable look.  “So the girls go ‘gallivanting’ and leave me here to serve spirits to the menfolk?  I see how it is!”  She huffed dramatically, then gave them an impish smile.  “It’s fortunate for you that I have the finest selection of such spirits to be found in Sandpoint.  One pint of smoke beer it is.  And Alergast?”

The lieutenant grinned back.  “I’m a Sandpoint loyalist.  I’ll take the Two Knight Pale Ale, if you’ve still got it on tap.”

Ameiko put one hand to her chest as she assumed a mock expression of surprise.  “You think Gaven would ever forgive me if I wasn’t serving his best brew?  Of course I have it!”  She waved to a passing serving girl.  “Bernay, would you be a dear and bring us two pints, one of smoke and one of TKPA, please?  Along with two glasses of Varian Jeggare chardonnay from that bottle we opened earlier.”  She winked at Cato.  “You look to have a more refined palate than,” she jerked her head towards the pair of guardsmen, “these beer-swilling louts.”

She collapsed into a chair and swung her feet up on the table.  “I think I’ll take you up on that offer, scholar.  Go ahead, regale away.  And I’ll be happy to share whatever dubious wisdom springs to mind.”  She made a dismissive gesture with one hand, as if she considered the prospect unlikely.

“You all ARE quite the celebrities now, aren't you?”  She said, rocking back in her chair as she listened to Cato lament his newfound popularity.  “I think it’s really a matter of personality.  Some people enjoy being the center of attention, some don’t.”  She shrugged.  “That’s just the way of things.  And it won’t always be like this; people will calm down after a while.  Although I’m pretty sure the ‘Sandpoint Saviors’ will be household names from here on out.”

Ameiko brought the chair down and swung her legs off the table, leaning forward on her elbows.  “So here’s my first piece of half-solicited wisdom.  Fame is neither a good thing or a bad thing.  It just is.  And like any other resource or quality, it all depends on what you do with it.”  She looked around the table.  “I don’t think you gentlemen will have too many problems with letting it go to your heads.”  She grinned again.  “In fact, I’ll make sure it doesn’t.”




This message was lightly edited by the player at 06:54, Thu 20 Feb 2014.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 616 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 20 Feb 2014
at 14:24
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
It wasn't far from the Fatman to the Rusty Dragon.  Just a short walk up Salmon Street.  Even a meandering gnome could cover the distance in no time at all.

"Evening, all!  Hi, Ameiko!"  The bath and the change of clothing would have to wait.  Pisca veered from her path up to the rooms, correcting course for the table at which Stomper, Cato, the proprietress of the Rusty Dragon and Alergast Barett sat sipping tasty beverages.  The gathering had begun.

"I just found out some very interesting things," said the gnome as she climbed up into one of the hummie chairs.  "We might have to see Brodie again before we head down into the tunnels, Cato.  I'm just a shrews foot away from certain that there are Thassilonion ruins down there.  And the rune magic, or at least one of the rune magics, we'll find down there is Wrath."

Pisca stood up on the seat of the chair, and with hands flat on the tabletop, surveyed the barren landscape, empty of delectable foods and drinks of which a gnome might partake.  "How are you doing, Ameiko?"  It had been ... an eventful day for her in a very much Tian sort of sense.  "I'm ... I'm sorry about your father."  The gnome lifted her gaze from the banquet that inexplicably-was-not-there to the face of her Tian benefactor.  "We should talk," said the gnome.  "Soon."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:58, Fri 21 Feb 2014.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 331 posts
 Have arcana, will travel.
Thu 20 Feb 2014
at 15:31
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Cato listened to Ameiko, finally having the opportunity to savor his wine.  As she talked, he idly swirled the glass and finally stopped, inhaling the deep tropical notes of the wine.  He waited a second, and then took a small sip of the cold liquid into his mouth, rolling it around while he simultaneously considered Ameiko's words and the mineral tang of the wine.  Finally he swallowed.

"Thanks, Ameiko.  Two things.  First, this wine is fantastic.  The Jeggare vineyards are fantastic for this wine.  It really lets the minerals in the soil shine through.  Though," he inclined his head towards Alergast and Kellan enjoying their beers, "there's nothing wrong with enjoying a beer.  It's all in why you're drinking."

"Second, thank you for the advice.  It's a little overwhelming is all.  From someone who's spent most of the last year sequestered with Brodert, I wasn't expecting to suddenly thrust into the center of attention."  Cato smiled.  "I'm glad I have rooted friends who will help me...us all, deal with that."

Cato looked up as Pisca entered the room and listened to her report.  "Thassilonian rune magic?  Are you sure?  Where did you go after you left me at Nisk's?  I was planning on going to Brodert's again, anyways.  I wanted to get a few materials for making some scrolls to help us tomorrow.  I don't want to run out of spells halfway through whatever we're doing.  But Thassilon...do you suppose the thing that's down there has been there for thousands of years..."

Cato leaned back and whistled, talking quietly to himself and he sipped the wine, his outward appearance completely incongruent with his inner thoughts.  Did they have any hope against a demon that might have been preparing for thousands of years?  Though sealed off like that, Cato wondered.  Could demons go insane?

This message was last edited by the player at 19:53, Thu 20 Feb 2014.

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 396 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Thu 20 Feb 2014
at 19:15
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
When the drinks arrived Kellan eagerly hefted the dark brew and clinked mugs with Alergast, downing a mouthful of the stuff before he set the tankard down. "I seem to recall a few tales of your own exploits Ameiko...how did you deal with the attention?" He asked with a slightly cocked eye. He looked almost funny sitting with his crossbow dangling awkwardly off to the side of the chair and his pole axe leaning up against the wall behind him. "Not that you don't get a lot of attention on your own, of course..." He seemed to scramble to salvage his slip of the tongue "you know, fame and fortune"

As the topic turned to arcane matters Kellan turned to listen to the conversation, but seemed to understand little of it. He did catch that they may be dealing with a demon that had existed for millennia, which somewhat put a damper on his otherwise exquisite beverage.  He turned to Alergast at this and gave the man a knowing grin "So what do you think the chances are that your boy will take an interest in magics and the like after Cato's heroic rescue?"

This message was last edited by the player at 05:15, Fri 21 Feb 2014.

Ameiko Kaijitsu
 NPC, 8 posts
 Rusty Dragon Proprietor
 Daughter of Lonjiku
Fri 21 Feb 2014
at 01:32
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



"Hello, Pisca!"  Ameiko waved from her seat at the table.  "I'm glad you could FINALLY make it."  The woman threw up her hands and briefly looked at the ceiling, as if she were mortally wounded by the gnome's tardiness.  "But I suppose I can forgive you.  THIS time."  She laughed.

She shrugged at Pisca's mention of her father.  "Oh, don't worry about me," she said, waving her hand.  "It is what it is.  He had a long and full life.  I have many memories of him I can treasure."  She gave the smaller woman a wry grin.  "And some others I'm looking to forget."  She sighed.  "I'm sure I'll want to talk about it at some point.  But not tonight."

Ameiko laughed again, not unkindly, at Kellan's embarrassment.  "Oh, don't worry about me, Kellan, I'm a difficult woman to insult."  She grinned.  "But I'm one of those people who've always been happy to be the center of attention.  I enjoy it!  So I'm afraid I don't have much advice for people," she raised her glass to Cato, "who would rather avoid the limelight."

She turned as the door opened, her face lighting up.  "Liseth!  Kerr!  And . . . Father Zantus?!?"  She looked dumbstruck.  "Father Z, I haven't seen you here in . . . in . . . I can't remember when!"  She flushed.  "I'm forgetting myself.  Come over, sit down, and join us!"




Alergast Barett
 NPC, 22 posts
 Sandpoint Guard
 Lieutenant
Fri 21 Feb 2014
at 04:15
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



Alergast gave Kellan a rueful smile.  "I have absolutely no idea.  Aeren IS quite taken with our scholar, though," the lieutenant raised his glass to Cato, "so who knows?  Not sure where he'd study such things around here, actually, now that you mention it."  The big man scratched his head.  "It's not like we have a Sandpoint Wizard's School.  If it's something he really wants, and not just a phase, I'll probably head down to Magnimar at some point and check out the schools there."  He paused doubtfully.  "But I'm not sure what Amele would think about that."

"What do you think, Cato?"  He turned to the wizard.  "Any thoughts on nearby places to study magic?"




Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 397 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Fri 21 Feb 2014
at 05:45
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
As Liseth, Kerr and father Zantus joined them Kellan smiled and lifted his tankard in welcome, adding his own greetings in chorus with the others. He stood and made a few trips for additional chairs before settling back into his own and resuming his easy posture. He had been impressed beyond words at Ameiko's stoicism and could only hope that he would have the courage to display the same if anything, gods forbid, ever happened to his own loved ones.

As he drank and chatted he thought of how drastically things had changed, how they had all changed even over the past few weeks. Sandpoint was like a different town now with the militia preparations and the looming specter of the goblin assault. The glassworks had been desecrated, a tomb defiled for some obscene ritual and even the quaint streets themselves had seen bloodshed and death. Dacen, Lord Kaijitsu, and more than a few others had already fallen, and it looked like they could expect more to follow.

At the same time however his life was becoming so much more than it was. He was now good friends with an Acolyte that he was beginning to look upon like a little sister, a talented Mage who had saved the life of his godson young Aeren, something he would never be able to thank the man enough for, and a curious gnome of all people who had already taught him to look at life in ways he had never imagined. They had dined and hunted with nobility and had been declared heroes and saviors of all things. He was even courting Shayliss now, and that thought alone made him smile into his drink.

After he had recalled it all he had to admit that he was glad things had worked out he way they did. He was glad to have joined the guard and to be able to do his part. Sitting at home right now having only the fields to tend to, or having to drill with the other farmers for militia duty would have driven him mad. It was better he decided to risk his life at the hands of goblins and even demons than to squander it never having tried or risked anything at all.

He still had so much to do before he could sleep, cleaning, sharpening and the distribution of...

"Oh! Cato, Pisca... We picked up a few things" he stood and knelt down to rummage through his pack, handing Pisca her spear and unfurling the bundle of two cloaks and four bags from the Garrison Armory. He also distributed the vials of anti-toxin before he fished out the scroll and pearl which he set directly in front of the Mage.

"The town has been generous to say the least, if we screw up now it's our own damn fault" he added with a tip of his mug

This message was last edited by the player at 05:48, Fri 21 Feb 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 590 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 18/18
Fri 21 Feb 2014
at 10:07
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Liseth listened intently to Father Zantus when the elderly priest spoke about Father Garrick.  It made sense that he didn't know what Sarenrae might have said to Father Garrick about her, if anything.  But having just had Sarenrae speak to her in person, Liseth was ready to believe that She must have said something to her mentor as well.

"Father Garrick never told me that story before."  The girl had to admit that she was surprised to hear about Father Zantus and Father Garrick having had such an adventure together.  It was just plain difficult to picture the kindly old clerics battling a mad, evil priest and his army of lizardman devotees.

Then again, it was also difficult for her to picture herself going down into an underground ruin in order to battle an evil demon and its minion freaks.  And she was doing that tomorrow!

"Hello Ms Kaijitsu!"  Entering the Rusty Dragon with Kerr and Father Zantus, Liseth must have seemed to be walking taller; straighter.  Much more confidently.  She smiled at everybody at the table along with the inn's owner, "I hope that you didn't go to too much trouble just for us."  She was actually surprised to see Ms Kaijitsu sitting at the table and talking and joking with everybody.  Father Zantus must have been right when he said that she needed time to process what had happened; because she looked almost like nothing at all was amiss.

Or Ms Kaijitsu was just bottling everything up; that wouldn't be good at all.  But Liseth had asked Father Zantus here for this specific purpose; he would know when it was a good time to talk with Ms Kaijitsu about everything that had happened.

Liseth gladly sat at the table when extra chairs were provided.  The day had been overwhelming; first a desperate battle with goblins in the Glassworks, discovering all those people that had been killed.  Then right off to the meeting with Mayor Deverin and a trip all around Sandpoint in order to prepare for their new battle tomorrow.  And then the speech...when Sarenrae, Desna, Iomedae, and Erastil all showed up just to give her and Kerr encouragement.

She was still in awe about that.  The young acolyte would probably never cease feeling that way about Sarenrae talking to her in person.  But she was also tired and very hungry.  The day had been so full that she had never had a chance to eat lunch!

"We got lots of things that should help us tomorrow."  Liseth watched Kellan display the things that he was carrying for everyone.  "We were hoping that maybe you would know if some of them have a special or magical use, Cato.  I didn't think that it seemed right to find bags and cloaks in the armory."  The girl pointed at the pearl and scroll, "And Mr Voon from the Feathered Serpent said that you should have those specifically.  He gave me a magic healing wand, and a magical belt that I think would be perfect for you Pisca.  It's supposed to help you dodge enemies when you move around a battlefield."

"Mr Voon also knows a lot about demons.  He told us so many things about the quasit."  Liseth looked towards Cato, "He said that you can't hurt them with electricity, and that they are resistant to acid and fire and cold.  Do you know any spells to use against it that don't use any of those Cato?"
Ameiko Kaijitsu
 NPC, 9 posts
 Rusty Dragon Proprietor
 Daughter of Lonjiku
Fri 21 Feb 2014
at 17:54
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



The conversation was briefly interrupted by the Rusty Dragon’s serving staff, who arrived at the table laden with plates of delicious-looking comfort food:  baked chicken breasts topped with melted cheese; creamed spinach; mashed potatoes alongside a boat of thick, brown, savory gravy; warm, fresh-baked sliced bread with fresh-churned butter; and bowls of fresh-picked blackberries.  The table was quickly set and the plates placed family-style in the center of the table.

Ameiko smiled and spread her arms.  “Item distribution later.  Dinner now!  Dig in, everyone!  You deserve it.”  She helped herself to one of the chicken breasts.  “Don’t forget to save room for dessert!”




Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 332 posts
 Have arcana, will travel.
Fri 21 Feb 2014
at 19:55
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Cato considered Alergast's question carefully.  He had done his training in Korvosa, of course, but if Aeren ended up there, it wouldn't be long before word got back to the Hellknights.  Magnimar seemed like a safer, and still perfectly acceptable option for training.  "I think for an actual school of wizardry, you'd need a big city.  I know of several in Magnimar, actually.  What might work well before that, however, is to see how serious the boy actually is.  I could spend some time teaching him as my apprentice.  At least make sure he's serious and has an aptitude for magic before sending him off to Magnimar."  Cato smiled.  "Plus, it would give Amele more time to get used to the idea.  It wouldn't need to be too much time at first, maybe one day a week, to see if he can get the basics.  It takes years of study to get to my level of skill, but it won't take that long to teach Aeren a few simple spells if he has the knack and the drive."  And, thought Cato quietly to himself, might buy me a little more time.  Sometimes Cato wished he didn't have to keep up this charade.  He looked around the room again.  He was sure that most of his new companions would accept the truth, but doubts stirred in the back of his mind.  How would the men of the town guard feel about a deserter?  And there were surely some people in Sandpoint who would sell him out.  Cato tried to push these thoughts from his mind and returned his attention to the table.

Cato was intrigued by Kellan's bounty of magical items, but any investigation was cut short by the arrival of the feast Ameiko had prepared.  Cato helped himself to some of all the food, and was part way through his bread and butter when he heard Liseth's comment about the Quasit.  "Resistant to acid, fire and cold?  And no electricity..."  Cato's face fell as he thought through all the spells he knew.  "I wasn't counting on that.  I should have remembered that demons, even the weakest, resist spells as well."  Cato shook his head.  "I'm not actually sure how much I can help in that battle, then.  My crossbow bolts probably won't be able to hurt the creature, and my damaging spells won't either.  I guess I'll have to do my best to make sure that Kellan can!  It certainly worked against the goblins to make him larger."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:17, Sat 22 Feb 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 593 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 18/18
Sat 22 Feb 2014
at 06:23
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Blackberries!  The food coming out to the table was a welcome distraction, but Liseth had eyes only for the bowls of juicy blackberries.  She foresaw her fingers and tongue being stained purple before dinner was complete.  Her eyes wandered momentarily from the plump berries to the rest of the dishes; she couldn't eat just berries after all.  The girl's plate soon found itself with a piece of baked chicken, blackberries, mashed potatoes, blackberries, creamy spinach, blackberries, a fresh slice of bread and butter; and right off to the side were some blackberries.

"Aeren wants to study magic?"  Delighting in the presence of delicious blackberries, not to mention the other food, didn't keep Liseth from paying attention to the conversation at the table.  "What about the Twilight Academy?  Galduria is a lot smaller than Magnimar, it's only a little bigger than Sandpoint.  I bet that Aeren would feel a lot more comfortable there.  And the Twilight Academy doesn't have the politics that the other schools in the big cities do.  That's what Uncle Cedric always liked about it."  She looked towards Mr Barret, "I grew up right outside Galduria, and I've been inside the Twilight Academy before.  I bet that Daddy wouldn't mind looking after Aeren if I told him that you're my friend."
Alergast Barett
 NPC, 23 posts
 Sandpoint Guard
 Lieutenant
Sat 22 Feb 2014
at 06:42
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



“I have to admit that I know just as much about mage academies as I do about wine vintages.  Which is to say, next to nothing.”  Alergast gave a half-shrug as he dipped a spoon into his bowl of creamed spinach and took a bite.  The man’s plate was piled high with chicken breasts, mashed potatoes and gravy, and buttered bread, but he’d already made a pretty significant dent in its contents.

Training shopkeepers and farmers was apparently hungry work.

“Are their differences between wizard schools?  Do they have reputations for specific things?  What is the Twilight Academy known for, if anything?  Is it much different from the schools in Magnimar?”  The big man shook his head.  “There’s so much to know."

"But thank you for your offer of apprenticeship, Cato.  That is very generous of you.  Let me talk it over with Amele and then chat with Aeren and we’ll see where we go from there.  I’m almost sure Aeren will be more than up for training, at least at first.”  Alergast grinned at the wizard.  “You’re quite the hero, in his book.”

“And I heard about what you did for Kellan in the Glassworks, Cato,” the lieutenant shot Liseth a dry look as he reached for a bowl of blackberries, only to find it empty.  His eyes briefly strayed to her plate, then her purple-stained mouth; he gave her a brief grin before he continued.  “Heard you made him as big as an ogre!  That must have been a sight to see.”  The guardsman waited a beat.  “You know, Kellan finally having a body that could support that huge head after his Ogre Stomp! victory.”  The big man gave Kellan a teasing smile as he reached for another bowl of blackberries and found it empty.  He couldn’t keep from laughing as he gave Liseth an dramatically-exasperated sigh.




Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 400 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Sun 23 Feb 2014
at 04:33
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Kellans smile widened as he saw the plates arrive, his eyes carefully marking their passage from the kitchen to the table. "This looks...amazing" he stated with a stab of his fork into a chicken breast. He was not exactly shy and the boy loaded up like a farmhand if given the chance. With a fork full of mashed potatoes and a mug full of cold beer he seemed to be in his own private heaven.

When he finally slowed down enough to talk, or breath for that matter he replied to Cato on the matter of his spells "Well it sounds like it won't be alone" his voice low as not to blatantly announce their mission "Perhaps it's friends aren't quite so...resilient" reaching a little into his vocabulary for that last one.

At Alergasts joke he shook his head and chuckled, gesturing towards his Lieutenant with his fork as he spoke "I thought about pinning Das Korvut's ribbon right next to the mayors deputy badge" He gestured to his guard tabard "But I thought it might be a little too much."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 336 posts
 Have arcana, will travel.
Sun 23 Feb 2014
at 11:11
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Cato looked at Alergast over the diminishing pile of food. "I could talk about the theoretical underpinnings of magical pedagogy all night, but the short version is yes: your school influences your skills and what you learn. In Korvosa, the emphasis is on conjuration, though as of late, that's becoming almost entirely Infernal conjuration.  The Stone of the Seers in Magnimar has a focus on divination. Not to say that a student of either couldn't learn the same spells, but they'd be influenced by their teachers, who have chosen to associate with each respective school because it aligns with their worldview. As a crude example, a student of the academy in Korvosa would most likely learn a list of infernal contacts to use for contacting with divination magic, while a graduate of the Stone would most likely contact nature spirits and gods because the founder of the school admired a particular water spirit oracle. The Twilight Academy is a newer school, and I'm not aware of its particular leanings. I believe it does avoid the politics in which students in Korvosa and Magnimar are occasionally embroiled, which might make it a good choice."

Cato took another bite of chicken, and sipped his wine. "Anyway, that's for the future. Let me know what Amele says, and we can go from there."
Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 28 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Mon 24 Feb 2014
at 00:32
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



Kerr sat back in his chair and enjoyed the meal as people talked.  He was normally a fairly-gregarious fellow, but he had a lot to process right now and was glad to let others take the conversational lead.  The young acolyte couldn’t stop going back through events in his life and wondering whether they were merely happenstance or an actual plan of the gods.  Was his father’s friendship with Dav Hosk something the divines had a hand in?  Because that friendship had led to Kerr’s training with the longbow, without which he figured he would have no real combat skills at all.

What about Father Tobayn’s acceptance of Kerr as an acolyte?  Had that been directed by the gods?  It was strange to think that they might have been influencing events in his life for so many years just so he would have the skills he needed to protect Liseth.

Kerr glanced fondly at the blonde girl next to him.  He was glad to see her acting more confidently; it looked like the news that Sarenrae really hadn’t rejected her had produced a remarkably positive effect.  Kerr grinned as Liseth took the lead in a conversation with Cato, speaking authoritatively on the subject of quasits.  His grin faded slightly when it sounded like Cato was going to have a problem hurting the quasit, leaving it up to the rest of them.

Kerr greatly hoped that the quasit could be hurt by arrows.  He wasn’t really sure of anything else he could do to it.  He wondered if that would be enough.

Maybe the others would know; they were certainly more versed in combat than he was.  He coughed.  “So, do we think we have what it takes to deal with this quasit?”  The young acolyte looked around the table.  “I know that we have the special polearm for Kellan, but will that be enough?  If Cato’s spells won’t affect it then we just have arrows from Pisca and me, right?  Will those do anything or are we just relying on Kellan?”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 622 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 24 Feb 2014
at 17:24
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
The next few moments for Pisca Neep Freemish were filled with silent contemplation.  That, and the not so silent consumption of delicious foods and drinks.

"Yom chom chom."  The gnome dunked one end of a chicken breast into the gravy boat and sucked off the savory stuff.  "Humbgry," she murmured around a mouth of white chicken meat.

"Academae is evil," commented the gnome in reference to the acclaimed university of magic in Korvosa.  "But my Great Great Uncle Tepest Geezlebottle is one of the founders of Theumanexus College across the Jeggare in East Shore."  Pisca stole one of the berries off of Liseth's plate and dipped it in the gravy before mashing it onto her piece of chicken and taking an exploratory nibble.  "I can arrange an introduction if you'd like.  But Korvosa is so far away, if you know what I mean.  So is Magnimar.  So is anyplace else when you think that we could have our own school of magic right here in Sandpoint!  I mean, we'll have a library already.  Right?  And what better place to have a scholarly institution than atop an ancient Thassilonian ruin?  I bet this place is a nexus of power too.  Power!"

The tart berries and the savory gravy was an appealing combination.  And as Pisca mulled the flavors in her mouth, she stole a glimpse at Ameiko.  The woman seemed occupied with the past.  In a way, it was understandable.  One tended to think of the past when in mourning.  Death, as an ending of sorts, made a body look at things that way.  It brought up memories of the good things and the bad things about a person.  That's where Death as an idea did a disservice to Death as an event in river of time and life.  All of that thinking of the past obscured the loose ends coming in the future.  She would have to warn Ameiko of her father's ties with the Sczarni and what might be coming from it.  Of course, that would, in a way, be a betrayal of Jubrayl.  But, in another way, telling Jubrayl had been a betrayal as well.  The question was who to be more loyal to and who to betray more.  Neither was appealing.  But, if it came down to a choice, the gnome had to admit that Ameiko and her group here at the Rusty Dragon had been far nicer to her in the short time that she'd been here than Jubrayl's cadre had been to her in the weeks that she'd been working for them.

"We should see the mayor tomorrow before we go into the tunnels," Pisca said, rising from her thoughts of betrayal.  "She needs to know what's down there.  It's the Freaks.  And here Pisca's voice changed as she began her description, taking on the expansive accents of a Varisian speaking Common.

"Hairless freaks lurching on back-bent, dog-like legs, their hideous, predator mouths flanked by arms as long as their bodies, arms with three monstrous, claw-like fingers on their misshapen hands.  They need no light to see, nor eyes to track down their prey.  And if you are bitten?  Well ... you are overcome with rage, attacking even your friends with a fury as mindless as it is inexplicable."

"Or maybe you could tell the mayor, Lieutenant Barett.  She has to know that if we don't come back in a day or two, you need to seal the tunnel.  That's how I know this is Wrath, Cato.  They're ... they're the Rune Dogs of Wrath," declared the gnome.  "And they can't be allowed to make it up into Sandpoint.  Even if it means sealing us down there with them.  Imagine what would happen if they did make it up here.  Our best fighters would rush to repel them.  The first one bitten would become a frothing madman, attacking anything in sight.  Our own best fighters would be turned against us.  We can't allow that to happen."  Pisca stood on the seat of her chair. the stub of a chicken breast clenched in one fist.  Her face was grim.  "You can't allow that to happen," she repeated.  "Even if it means sacrificing us."

This message was last edited by the player at 20:02, Mon 24 Feb 2014.

Alergast Barett
 NPC, 24 posts
 Sandpoint Guard
 Lieutenant
Mon 24 Feb 2014
at 19:54
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



Alergast started laughing at Kellan’s comment about pinning Das Korvut’s ostentatious ribbon to his tabard, then found that he just couldn’t stop.  Tears were streaming down his face as he gulped for breath, almost convulsing with the hilarity.  The big man’s guffaws became almost silent as he held up a hand, trying to bring himself under control.

“I just,” the lieutenant said, gasping for air, “I just can’t stop thinking about the look on Sheriff Hemlock’s face if he saw you wearing that on your guard tabard.”  He wiped his eyes with a napkin as he managed to finally talk normally.  “Could you imagine?”  He chuckled again.  “I think you should wear it out to an inspection sometime.”  Alergast grinned.  “Whew!”  He said, looking ruefully around the table.  “Sorry everyone, I’m easily entertained.”

“That sounds . . . terrible, Pisca.”  Alergast’s face paled slightly as the gnome described the monsters lying in wait below the Glassworks.  “I can only imagine what might happen if those things got out among the militia.  The men might run before they even swung a blow.”  He nodded soberly.  “I’ll inform Mayor Deverin about these ‘freaks,’ you all have quite enough to do as it is.   And we’ll be ready.  But I don’t think anyone is going to want to collapse the tunnels while you are all still down there.  Least of all me.”

“It sounds like we have a lot to think about with respect to magic schools, if it comes to that.”  The guardsman said, thankful to turn to a lighter topic of conversation.  “Fortunately we have a lot of time to think about it.  I’ll talk to Amele about the apprenticeship over the next couple of days, Cato.”  He paused, as if struck with a thought.  “In fact, as much as I hate to depart this wonderful company, I need to get home and see the family, and I’ve got an early morning.  As do all of you!  Thank you, Ameiko, for this wonderful meal.  You are, as always, an amazing hostess.”

After going around the table and saying his goodbyes to everyone, Alergast headed for the door, gave the group a final wave, and ventured out into the night.




This message was last edited by the player at 20:31, Mon 24 Feb 2014.

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 402 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Mon 24 Feb 2014
at 22:02
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Kellan saw Alergast on his way, clapping the man on the shoulder warmly and wishing him luck with the drill in the morning, the mood was light at least despite Pisca's dire news and upon his return he stifled a yawn with the back of his glove. "Well" he began with a deep breath "I think I better call it a night. Thanks for the dinner and company Ameiko, if you keep cooking like this I'm going to have to ask Savah to let out my chain mail" as if somehow it was her fault that he ate like a draft horse.

He looked around a the others "I'd vote for leaving early, before dawn if possible...it would be nice to avoid any more attention on the Glassworks and the Gods know we already have our fair share of gossip floating about. Also the sooner we get this done the better in my opinion." Not least of which in his own mind was ending the insescent nervous feeling he had been harboring since Voon's display.

Hefting his pack and snatching up his pole axe he said his good nights and thumped his way up the stairs to his new impromptu room. It had even begun to smell like him slightly and it was several categories above the Garrison in terms of luxury. Although he was exhausted he took the time to strip down and clean his chain mail, and to acquaint himself and sharpen his new weapon. It was a beautiful thing, and although it seemed heavier the balance was better.

As he ran the whet stone over the blade he made his evening prayer to Abadar, a habit he had developed since His families prayer to Erastil was normally before breakfast.

"Lord of the First Vault, please hear the prayers of your servant as I prepare to protect this place. Please extend your blessings to those who stand ready to defend Sandpoint in her hour of need. Watch over them as they hold the line against those who would seek to undermine this place, and as we go into the unknown please help us win victory over whatever we may find down there. Thank you"

When his work was finally done he double checked the latch on his door, blew out the candle then collapsed into bed.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:13, Mon 24 Feb 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 595 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 18/18
Tue 25 Feb 2014
at 07:40
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
A plump blackberry squished its way past Liseth's already purple-stained lips as everyone continued the table's discussion.  On an impulse, the next berry found itself smothered in mashed potatoes before it made its way into the girl's mouth.  The berries made everything taste better!

"You have more than just arrows Kerr."  Liseth had to reply when Kerr mentioned his doubts about being able to harm the demon.  Of everyone present, Kerr should have the least amount of trouble fighting an evil little demon.  As far as she was concerned.  "You have the gods fighting on your side.  Desna and Iomedae and even Erastil.  All that you have to do is ask them to help, and I'm sure that the quasit demon won't even know what hit him."  Liseth wasn't entirely sure just how a Paladin's ability to smite evil worked, but she knew that it had to do with the power that they were given from the gods.  And Kerr had to be a Paladin, there was no other explanation for what the gods had told him.

Pisca's complete description of the evil freaks that they would be facing alongside the demon didn't help things though.  That put a bit of a damper on her spirits.  These things sounded horrible!  And if they bite you it makes you go into a berserk rage, even attacking your friends!  Liseth didn't know how she could handle something like that happening.  There was nothing that she could do to stop someone in a frenzy like that.

Suddenly Liseth found herself not really looking forward to tomorrow.  Less even than she had been before.  At least she had the comfort of knowing that Sarenrae was on her side.

"Goodnight Mr Barret."  The young blonde bid farewell to the militia lieutenant.  And then did the same for Kellan when he expressed his own desire to retire, "Goodnight to you too Kellan.  We don't want to leave too early though, we still have to stop at Savah's Armory in order to pick up my new dress before we go into those tunnels; and I wouldn't want to wake her up."  That reminded Liseth about the dress, and its origins.

"Oh, Ms Kaijitsu; about the dress that Ms Bevaniky tailored to fit me..."  Should she tell her about it?  Liseth had to, it just felt right, "Well, she actually told me that the dress was supposed to be for you, originally.  She made it years and years ago, at the request of Lord Kaijitsu."  Liseth paused to try and gauge the innkeeper's reaction.  "But no one ever came to pick it up.  When I told her that I needed something to help against...well...arrows, Ms Bevaniky said that it would be perfect.  So she resized it to fit me."

"I hope that you don't mind me wearing it.  Since the dress was supposed to be for you..."  From your father.  Liseth decided not to reiterate that last part.
Ameiko Kaijitsu
 NPC, 10 posts
 Rusty Dragon Proprietor
 Daughter of Lonjiku
Tue 25 Feb 2014
at 09:13
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



“Really?”  Ameiko was jolted out of her reverie by Liseth’s revelation.  “For me, was it?”  She smiled, thinking back.  “I bet I can guess exactly when it was, too.  When Father was thinking about shipping me around to those monasteries and I ran off to become an adventurer instead.  I can only imagine how mad he must have been when he found out!”  She laughed.  “I’m not surprised he just left it there.”

“But that was a much different me, from a long time ago.”  She gave Liseth a warm look.  “And I’m glad that Savah’s resizing it for you, sweetheart, if she thinks it would be helpful for you tomorrow.”  Ameiko reached out and touched the blonde’s cheek.  “It’s . . . it seems really appropriate, you know?  Now that I think about it.  It’s one last chance for my father to do some good in Sandpoint.  In memory of all the good he did over his life.”  She smiled sadly.  “And in penance for some of the other things.”

“I hope it serves you well,” Ameiko said, in something of a benediction.  “May it protect you as you strive to protect Sandpoint.  And may my father look down on us, from wherever he is, and know that he did one, last, good thing for the town that he loved.”  Her eyes glistened.  “Because he really did love this town and its people.  He was just . . . never very good at showing it.”  She choked up.  “To anyone that he loved.”

The innkeeper’s beautiful face began to crumple, but she forced a smile in what must have been an act of indomitable will, although her chin still quivered slightly.  “I think I need to go help clean up now.”  She stood.  “It has been so very good having you all here.  And I can never thank you enough for what you have already done for me, and for Sandpoint.  And for what you are about to do.”  She paused.  “Know you will be in my thoughts and my prayers both tonight and throughout the day tomorrow.  And I will be VERY put out if every single one of you is not back tomorrow evening for dinner.  I plan to have a feast of special magnificence celebrating your successful closing of the caverns.  Agreed?”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 624 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Tue 25 Feb 2014
at 15:52
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
"*ffuf chubbuggla*!"  Pisca struggled through a mouthful of gravy and chicken breast to register a complaint as Stomper rose to depart the table.  She scrabbled for a napkin and began wiping the chicken and the gravy, the blackberry stains, and the butter, crumbs of bread, the mashed potato and the creamed spinach from her mouth and the surrounding area.  Fortunately for the gnome, Lysa lodged a similar complaint, though, one based on different reasons.

"And we have to wait for Chask too!" said the gnome when she finally managed to swallow enough of her food to get a word out.  "Chask Haladan and Lunk are on a special mission for me.  Even as we speak they're trying to convince Sabyl Sorn to divulge the dark secrets of Sandpoint's past that are buried deep within her library of arcane lore."

"They're supposed to meet us here tomorrow morning for the break fast.  And ... andandand, we wouldn't want to leave for death and danger in the Tunnel of the Freaks without starting off our day with a good meal for the break fast, now, would we?  This gnome says no."

But this gnome also left behind her visions of bacon and sausage links, chilled juice, warm bread, and three different egg dishes for the story of Lysa's new armored dress, Ameiko's rebellious past, and how the two came together so nicely in this, Sandpoint's greatest hour of need.  (Or, at least, it's greatest hour so far.)  With a quiet that was quite unlike her frenetic animation of only moments ago, the gnome watched the Tian.  And when Ameiko was through, rather than replying to her question, Pisca flung herself from her chair and wrapped her arms about neck of the mistress of the Rusty Dragon in a hug that was as heartfelt as it was voluminous.

"We'll be back," said Pisca after drawing away enough to beam a unparalleled gnomish grin at her patroness.  "We have to," she added without explanation.  "We just have to."

"Well, I think I'll have to be going too.  Early day.  Things to do."  The Dark Avenging Gnome had work this night.  "The meal was spectacular," she added.  "As always."  Pisca Neep Freemish backed away, waving her small pink gnomish hand as she meandered in the direction of the stairs.  "Good night.  Sleep well.  See you tomorrow."  She slipped around the corner and out of sight.  "Tomorrow morning," she said one last time after poking her head back around the corner.  Then she rushed back to her room, closed the door and locked herself in.  She could just get in three more black arrows before bedtime.

More crafting of black arrows.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 339 posts
 Have arcana, will travel.
Tue 25 Feb 2014
at 16:24
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
Cato watched as the dinner wound down.  He bade farewell to Kellan, Ameiko and Pisca, then stifled a yawn himself.  He looked around at the rapidly-emptying room and rubbed his eyes.

"Well, Liseth and Kerr, I think I'm done for the night as well.  I'm going to go study this scroll and pearl before tomorrow.  See you in the morning!"

Back in his room, Cato opened the scroll.  He hadn't prepared Read Magic for the day, so he instead had to decipher the scroll.  After examining the scroll carefully, Cato had figured out the basics of the spell, and spent a wasted hour trying to reinterpret the spell in his own magical shorthand.  He swore unhappily to himself, and looked down at the scroll, still covered in magical writing.

"At least I can still use this."  Cato looked out the window at the darkened sky, then shook his head, set aside the scroll and picked up the pearl.  He cast Detect Magic, and examined the magical auras of the pearl.  This time, his careful study was rewarded, and the mage felt a small tingle of satisfaction before he set aside his supplies and prepared for bed.

OOC:
11:17, Today: Cato Crispin rolled 25 using 1d20+8. Decipher Scroll. (DC 21)
11:19, Today: Cato Crispin rolled 9 using 1d20+8. Copy to Spellbook. (DC 16)
11:30, Today: Cato Crispin rolled 24 using 1d20+8. Identify Magic Pearl. (DC 16 if a Level 1 Pearl of Power)


This message was last edited by the player at 16:32, Tue 25 Feb 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 596 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 18/18
Tue 25 Feb 2014
at 23:20
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)
"Thank you Ms Kaijitsu."  Liseth almost frowned in her concern for the Tian woman's emotional state.  But she forced herself not to; she didn't want to make Ms Kaijitsu feel even worse.  It helped when Pisca engulfed her in a hug.  "Of course we'll be here for dinner tomorrow night.  We wouldn't think of celebrating our success anywhere else."

"And thank you for letting me have your dress, even if you didn't know that you had it.  It's going to help a lot, I'm sure."  Liseth knew that if she hadn't mentioned that the dress was originally for Ms Kaijitsu then she would have felt guilty wearing it.  The girl had expected that it might bring out her feelings for her father, but that was probably a good thing too, in the long run.  Especially since Father Zantus was already here and ready to talk with and console the grieving innkeeper.

"Goodnight Pisca, Goodnight Cato."  Liseth said farewell when they too left for their rooms.  Now would probably be a good time for her to do the same; dinner was obviously over.  And she wanted to get plenty of rest before tomorrow morning, Liseth had a lot to pray about before they went tunnel delving after demons.

"Come on Kerr..."  The short blonde laid a hand on her boyfriend's arm.  She glanced at Father Zantus and then towards the retreating figure of Ms Kaijitsu as she left the table.  "We should get back to the Cathedral and go to bed too."  As the blonde acolyte accepted Kerr's help in standing from her chair, a yawn punctuated her remark.  This had been another very full day and she was exhausted.

"Goodnight Father Zantus."  With a nod to Father Zantus, Liseth left the Rusty Dragon alongside Kerr.  This was why the elderly prelate had come with them to dinner, after all.  And it would be easier for Ms Kaijitsu to speak with him if they were alone.
Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 29 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Wed 26 Feb 2014
at 07:26
Re: Chapter #6l:  Enter the Dragon (Cato, Kellan)



Kerr tried not to blanch when Pisca launched into her description of the freaks that awaited them in the tunnels below the Glassworks.  He really hoped that he was up to the task of helping his friends down in there.  The whole enterprise seemed so different from the times he had gone hunting or target-shooting with Dav.

Kerr’s eyes widened as Pisca spoke, ordering Lieutenant Barett to seal the tunnels if they didn't return.  He thought about being sealed in a tunnel with the hideous freaks as they came at him and Liseth in the dark, teeth bared, claws extended . . . well, it really didn’t help to be thinking about things this way.  He was going down their regardless, because Liseth was.  And the gods wanted him to protect her.  Surely if that was the mission the gods had for him, they would give him the strength and the skills to perform it?

Surely.

Kerr was happy that Ameiko was so understanding about Savah’s alteration of her dress for Liseth.  He knew that Liseth would have felt guilty if she hadn’t told Ameiko about it, but he had harbored a small concern that the innkeeper would have wanted to keep the dress as a memorial to her father or something along those lines.  He was very glad that Ameiko had not taken a more-possessory interest in the garment; he knew it would make Liseth feel a lot better.

It seemed like the dinner was winding up.  Kerr said his goodbyes first to Alergast, then to Kellan, Ameiko, Pisca, and Cato, leaving only him, Liseth, and Father Zantus at the table.  The older prelate gave them a knowing nod as he rose from the table.  “I think I’m going to stay a while and talk to our hostess,” he said.  “I think that might be the best thing right now.  I’ll be back up at the cathedral in a little while.”  The chief priest then turned and walked off in the same direction Ameiko had left.

Kerr and Liseth sat alone at the table, talking about the events of the day.  The dark-haired acolyte tried not to grin at his purple-stained girlfriend; he would have to remember her affection for blackberries.  He sighed; it was hard to keep thoughts of the next morning’s task at bay for long.

“I’m glad you think the gods will help me against the quasit, Lise, but the problem is that I’m not exactly sure how to invoke their aid.”  He squeezed her hand.  “But I guess that’s something they’ll show me when the time is right.  Don’t you think?”

Kerr saw Liseth yawn and suddenly realized how tired he was himself.  It was probably time to get back to the Cathedral.  He stood and offered Liseth his arm, smiling as she took it.  As he escorted her to the door, he saw Father Zantus and Ameiko Kaijitsu sitting in two chairs, deep in conversation near the fireplace.  Kerr was glad; if anyone could help Ameiko through the dark times she was facing it was Father Zantus.

Kerr and Liseth slowly walked back up to the Cathedral, admiring the starry night sky, sharing jokes, and generally enjoying each other’s company.  Kerr loved it when he could make Liseth laugh; he thought her laugh was one of the most amazing and musical things ever.  It always made him smile.  Too quickly, they arrived at the Cathedral.  Kerr dropped Liseth off at her room, giving her a goodnight kiss directly on the mouth.  He stepped back as they both blushed; he bowed and bid her goodnight.

Kerr then went to his own acolyte’s quarters.  He removed his breastplate the way Kellan and Savah had showed him, stowing it on a table.  He then went and opened the finely carved mahogany box that contained his family’s ancestral longbow.  He ran his finger down the grain of the wood, admiring the craftsmanship of its creator.  He thought back to Erastil’s bow, and how the gods had blessed him while he held it.  Kerr gently closed the lid, blew out the candle, and settled back into bed, thinking about how, after tomorrow, his life might never be the same again.

And then he was asleep.

CONTINUED IN CHAPTER #7:  CATACOMB KIDS