Chapter #7: Catacomb Kids.   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 532 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Wed 4 Jun 2014
at 13:10
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Cato stopped in front of the door, peering at it curiously.  "Strange that Voon would have that much defense on his shop.  I wonder what it is they're actually doing in there..."  Cato trailed off, watching Pisca's efforts to open the door.

"Before we leave, I just want to verify the nature of the magic at work here."  Cato quietly cast Detect Magic and examined the enchantments set into the door.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 985 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 4 Jun 2014
at 13:43
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
"Um ... alright."  The gnome dropped the lip of the bag again.  Standing just behind the young mage she mimicked his gestures and the accompanying serious stare.  Then, from all appearances, not seeing the things that he must have been seeing, the gnome shrugged and seated herself unceremoniously on the ground nearby.

Some gnomes were born with a knack for chattering with small burrowing animals.  Pisca was not one of these.  She had, however, always had a way with languages.  Little Pisca would, at odd and inconvenient times, suddenly become able to understand conversations not meant for her.  Mysterious and indecipherable glyphs would quite surprisingly become meaningful.  The gnome called on that ability now, and set to reading the golden runes that adorned the Feathered Serpent.  She went on to the two scrolls in her pack, announcing to Cato what they said.  And, after that, flipped through several of the pages of the book that had been floating, very serene and un-book-like, in the mysterious Air Pool in the Thassilonian ruins.

Cast Comprehend Languages per Gnomish ability.  Read the glyphs on the Feathered Serpent.  Read the two scrolls found in the ruins.  Browse the book found in the ruins.

Active Effects:  Comprehend Languages 30m

The Raconteur
 GM, 996 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 12 Jun 2014
at 06:49
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids



As the two Sandpoint Saviors stood ruminating over the front of the Feathered Serpent, considering what mystical technologies might keep it safe from intrusion, life continued on in Sandpoint.  A couple of passersby raised their eyebrows and put their heads together at the sight of Pisca's close inspection of the Serpent's front-door-lock mechanism; those eyebrows rose only marginally higher at the sight of Sage Quink's young helper waving his hands and muttering indecipherable words at the front of the building.

Of course, since Voon's shop was not widely visited by Sandpoint's populace, and Voon himself was not terribly popular with a good portion of that populace, nothing came of these events.  No guardsmen came running to investigate what Pisca and Cato might be doing.  It was just another strange happening in a week that had been full of them.  Hardly worth mentioning really.  And everyone had to get ready for the funeral up at the cathedral; that was what was really important!

The sun continued its imperceptible drop towards the horizon as the lazy ripples of the Turandarok River lapped gently against the shore mere yards away.  The Feathered Serpent's facade took on the golden glow reserved for this time of day, with the carved glyphs sparkling and twinkling in the fading afternoon light, looking for all the world as if they were emitting light they had stored during their time in the sun.

Other than that, the building stood, just as mysterious and quiet as ever, giving few answers to the mystery of what might be going on within.




Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 537 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Thu 12 Jun 2014
at 13:16
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Cato looked to Pisca.  "Well, definitely some strong abjuration magic.  It makes you wonder what Voon has in that store that he needs such powerful wards.  And how he got them in the first place."  Cato chuckled.  "This little town certainly has more than its fair share of mysteries."

The mage stepped back from the door, looking at the bag containing the monstrous head, and shivered, for a second remembering the feel of the terrible kiss.

"Well, I suppose we should head back to the Rusty Dragon.  Maybe find someplace safe to store that until we can talk to Zantus or Voon again?  Anything else you need to do in town?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 996 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 12 Jun 2014
at 20:14
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
"No.  Nothing."  Pisca rose from her place on the ground before the Feathered Serpent and dusted off the very pert seat of her leathers.  She'd been quiet since her examination of the lock and door.  Yes, she'd spent the time reading.  But she'd also spent a nearly equal time looking up from the book and scrolls to favor the store with looks of questioning concern.

"These are magic, Cato," said the gnome.  After tucking the book under her arm, she handed the scrolls up to the young human mage and resumed her burden, taking up the lip of the bag with the Batwinged-head inside.  Then, after those few short and simple words, Pisca turned her feet in the direction of the Rusty Dragon, and lapsed into thoughtful silence.  There was a span of time filled with little but the burbling passage of water as it galumphed its way down the rolling Turandorok, the sound of human and gnomish footfalls, the steady hiss of the bag with the Batwinged-head as it was dragged along the street, then the gnome said, "That was a very serious lock, Cato.  That was a Magnamarian lock.  It was a Korvosan lock.  If it had been a lock on a door in Kaer Maga, it would have said, 'This door is owned by someone who is very determined and possibly dangerous as well.'"

"Yes.  A very serious lock.  Not something you'd expect to see in Sandpoint.  I can easily believe that all the stories of Vorvashali Voon are true from that lock alone.  Magic.  And very possibly other-worldly influences."

"Oh, and this is a Prayer Book of Lamashtu."  The gnome took the book out from under her arm and held it up to identify it.  Though, in truth, there was not another book in sight, and there was little doubt of which book she spoke.

"Brutish," she said.

"And nasty," she added.

"Not something for my library."

"Could be valuable, though.  There's never really any accounting for taste."  Pisca shrugged and tucked the book back under her arm.  Then dragged the Batwinged-head around to the back of the Rusty Dragon and poked her head in the kitchen door.

"Hullo?  Ameiko?," the gnome called out through the open door.  "Ameiko?  Are you there?  It's Pisca.  I need to ask you something, and I don't really want to bring this inside."

Archaeologist's Luck: 0/7
Used:  Antitoxin, Arrows -6
Spells: L1-2/3

This message was last edited by the player at 01:59, Fri 13 June 2014.

Ameiko Kaijitsu
 NPC, 10 posts
 Rusty Dragon Proprietor
 Daughter of Lonjiku
Fri 13 Jun 2014
at 01:45
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids



The smells that wafted out of The Rusty Dragon as Pisca opened the door hinted at the many culinary delights found therein.  It was a stark contrast with the sights, sounds, and smells that had taken up most of her day, one exemplar of which was currently lolling about in a bag at her feet.

As the gnome called into the public room, she was met with an echoing call of "Ameiko!" "Ameiko!" "Ameiko!" from the service staff who passed her request back to wherever Ameiko Kaijitsu was holding court this particular late afternoon.

After a couple of minutes Pisca could see the inn's proprietress approaching, wiping her hands on an apron.  Ameiko gave her a genuinely-happy-to-see-a-gnome sort of grin.

"Pisca!"  Ameiko said, leaning down to give the smaller woman a hug.  "I'm so glad to see that you're back safe!"  The Tianese woman looked up at Cato.  "And you too, scholar," see said, standing up and slugging him in the shoulder with a surprising amount of force.  "I was worried about you guys!  Are you coming in for dinner?  We're shutting down for the funeral, but that's not for more than an hour yet."  She looked around, a sudden look of worry creasing her face.  "What about Kellan?  Liseth?  Kerr?  Are they okay too?"




This message was lightly edited by the player at 01:45, Fri 13 June 2014.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 997 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 13 Jun 2014
at 12:57
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
It was wonderfully nice to be hugged.  So much so that the gnome held onto it for much longer than she thought that she would.  Even after releasing the owner of the Rusty Dragon - the owner who had become so much more than that in the past few days - even after releasing her, the imprint of the hug seemed to linger.  It hung on as though to say, You want more.  Yes.  You know that you do.

"Stomper's fine," Pisca replied.  "Though I sort of expected him to be here before us.  We left him not far from here with Jasper Korvaski.  Though I think he might have said something about finding Alergast Barett, and that might have taken some time.  The finding part.  And maybe the other parts too."

"Lysa and boyfriend are alright too.  They decided to stay at the cathedral.  Bathe.  Change.  Maybe massage each others' parts.  Father Zantus saved Cato," said the gnome.  Then, feeling the natural segue, she circled around behind the rather limp and bedraggled bag.  By now, it was a rather tattered and unassuming bag.  But it was a bag that hid a dark and terrible secret.

"And, speaking of which.  We have a problem.  We have something in this bag that is potentially dangerous.  It's undoubtedly both foul and nasty.  And it's decidedly not something that should be spoken much of or otherwise rumored about.  You can take a look if you'd like, Ameiko.  But you'd probably best take care not to touch the lips.  That's the part that got Cato.  We'll tell you all about it later.  But, for now, we need someplace safe to put it.  Someplace where no one will accidentally stumble upon it.  Someplace where no one will be able to steal parts from it.  Parts that could possibly be used in dangerous necromantic rites.  Someplace where it won't shock dogs and small children.  We were going to leave it with Vorvashali Voon and Father Zantus.  But they seem to be out right now.  Maybe involved in a demonic cleansing ritual or something.  I hope."

"Then, after ... what's in the bag ... is safely tucked away, a bath and dinner would be so very much appreciated.  It's been such a long day."  Pisca nodded a solemn nod in agreement with herself.  "Very much a long day.  Though I'm dying less often.  That, at least, is something."

Archaeologist's Luck: 0/7
Used:  Antitoxin, Arrows -6
Spells: L1-2/3

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 539 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Fri 13 Jun 2014
at 16:03
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Cato accepted the scrolls from the gnome, resolving to identify them later.  "Thanks, Pisca.  I don't think I have much interest in a prayer book to Lamashtu.  I'd hope no one in Sandpoint wanted to read such a thing, either.  But to the right person, well it might be valuable."  Cato chuckled.  "Or maybe we can just distract a Lamashtu worshipper by defacing the book at the right time."

Cato looked up as Ameiko greeted them, and let Pisca catch her up on the group.  "Good to see you Ameiko.  Now that Pisca mentioned it, I'm absolutely famished as well.  I'm sure Kellan, Liseth and Kerr will be on their way here shortly.  What's the Rusty Dragon have on for lunch today?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 999 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 13 Jun 2014
at 16:39
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
"Cold chicken."

"Celery."

"Strawberry preserves?" suggested the gnome in a hopeful sort of way.
Ameiko Kaijitsu
 NPC, 11 posts
 Rusty Dragon Proprietor
 Daughter of Lonjiku
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 01:23
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids



The smile Ameiko wore as she listened to Pisca chatter on slowly faded as the subject turned to the dark contents of the battered bag currently sitting at the gnome’s rather-dusty feet.  At Pisca’s request, she slowly knelt down to inspect the satchel’s contents, briefly opening the flap.  Her only visible reaction to seeing the bag’s (var)ghoulish contents was a widening of her eyes and a tightening of her mouth.

She quickly closed the flap before standing up, bag in hand.  “Yes, news of something like this should stay private, I quite agree,” she said, giving Pisca a meaningful look.  “And I have to say I am especially glad that Father Zantus cured Cato so quickly.  From what I’ve heard,” a brief merry glint returned to her eyes, “he could have easily lost his head.”  The corners of her mouth crooked upwards as she gently shook the bag.  “But yes, I have a place where this can be stored.  As long as I don’t have to keep it for,” she gave the bag a sour look, “too long.  I do serve food here, after all.”

“Well,” she said, turning to Cato as she attempted to recover her normal innkeeper’s bonhomie.  “It’s a little late for lunch, don’t you think?”  She looked up to the sky, as if the position of the sun might support her claim.   “It’s past fourth bell!  Although we are putting on an early supper, given the funeral and everything.”  She paused.  “Here’s an idea.  Why don’t you both head to your rooms to clean up and change.  I’ll put this away and continue getting things prepared.  By the time you finish, tonight’s meal should be ready.  Roast pheasant, fresh corn-on-the-cob, just-churned butter, scalloped seasoned potatoes, and,” she glanced around for Liseth before lowering her voice, “blueberries.”  She smiled.  “We’ll make sure that you’re fed like the heroes you are.  And perhaps your friends might even make it down to join you!”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1004 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 15:42
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Pisca looked from the owner of the Rusty Dragon to the young human mage.  Then she looked from the young human mage back to the owner of the Rusty Dragon.

"Definitely not the time to lose one's *head*," she said.  She nodded her own in solemn agreement with herself.  "That's not the way to get a*head* in life."

"Sometimes it pays to be *head*strong."

"Keep it up, Cato, and you might become the *head* of a mage's guild."

The gnome looked again from the faces of one human to the other.  "Alright," she said.  "I'll stop."

"I want blueberries anyway.  And a bath.  A bath ... "  Pisca closed her eyes and a contented hummmm escaped her as her lips widened in a smile.

"Lets go!"  And the gnome was off like a shot.  She barreled through the kitchen and up the stairs to her room, leaving behind the Batwinged-head behind without another thought.  The real concern that weighed heavily on the gnome's mind at this time, one that followed her into the luxury of the warm (but not quite warm enough) bath, was ... what to wear to the funeral.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:49, Tue 17 June 2014.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 541 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 18:16
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Cato chuckled with Ameiko and Pisca's jokes.  "Are you both quite done?  Do you want to go to the head of the joke class?  Ameiko, your suggestion sounds great.  I could certainly use a bath and a change of clothes.  And hopefully, when I return, you'll both be done going head to head with these awful jokes."  Cato stood up, gave a formal bow, and headed to his room.
The Raconteur
 GM, 1005 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Wed 18 Jun 2014
at 23:57
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids



After both Cato and Pisca had an opportunity to wash up and change, they came back down to a bustling public room.  Apparently many of Sandpoint's citizens had decided that dinner at the Rusty Dragon before the funeral was preferable to preparing something at their homes.  The wall of sound created by dozens of conversations should probably have overwhelmed most attempts to talk, but its effect was surprisingly muted.

Apparently Ameiko's inn had excellent acoustics.

The room was packed save for a small table in the raised section marked "Reserved."  When one of Ameiko's staff spied the two Saviors, he whispered something to the woman accompanying him before approaching them.  The woman headed off to the kitchen.

"Welcome!"  Said the man in a rich, deep voice with the barest hint of a Korvosan accent. His excellent manners, relaxed-yet-impeccable attire, close-cropped blonde beard, and short, well-coiffed hair indicated that he was probably some sort of maitre d'.  He had a vaguely Tianese cast to his features.  "I am Xin," he said, bowing.  "As you can see, we have a place reserved especially for you."  He led the pair to the empty table, sweeping away the "Reserved" sign with a flourish and pulling out a chair for the gnome.  Pisca noticed that the chair-steps she had used previously were right next to the chair after it was pulled out, as if the man had placed it there with just this situation in mind.

After the two were seated, Xin continued.  "I know you're in a hurry; your food should be out very shortly."  With that, and after a brief questioning glance to determine whether Pisca or Cato needed anything else, the man disappeared, most likely to bring his urbane brand of hospitality to guests elsewhere in the establishment.

As Xin departed, a well-dressed man approached the table.  His crimson jacket and cream-colored collared shirt were accented by pitch-black dress pants and expensive-looking boots polished to a mirror shine.  His dark hair was slicked back into the latest Magnimarian style, and his face was clean shaven.

"Excuse me, but I believe you two are friends of Kellan Storval?"  The man said.  He pointed with his free hand at a box held under his arm.  "Please pardon me for interrupting you, but I have a package for him.  Do you know if he will be joining you?  Or, failing that, where I might find him?"




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1011 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 19 Jun 2014
at 18:18
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Pisca could not recall ever having her own set of stairs with which to mount the ungainly human-sized (And yes, it was ever so very likely the fault of the humans, as it only stood to reason) furniture.  Of course she'd used them the evening before at the dinner hosted by Aldern Foxglove, but she had not until now been struck by the sheer civility of the gesture.  This, to the gnome, elevated the Rusty Dragon to the pinnacle of a civilized hostelry.  It could only be surpassed by providing more amenity.  A parlor or a lounge designed just for Right-Sized folk.  That would be the very best.  It would be a master stroke.

She'd have to write to Aunt Hattie about it.  Maybe they could start a new trend in Kaer Maga.

The content and very much impressed gnome had just settled in and was sucking at the tips of her fingers to savor the purple stains from some very tart and tasty blueberries, when the Mysterious Stranger made his entrance.  At first, Pisca could do little but simply stare, the tip of her middle finger still stuck in her mouth.  It was less the very stylish dress of the man (curiously clean for someone who'd been searching about in an area of fair size for one Kellan Storval) than it was the sheer possibilities of the man's inadvertently open ended question.

"Yes, we're friends of Kellan Storval," replied the gnome.  "And no, we don't know where he is.  But yes, we do have a fairly good idea of where he might be.  Actually, we thought he was right behind us.  Or, rather, just ahead of us, as Cato and I took a detour as the three of us were on our way to the Rusty Dragon.  So we're pretty sure that he's not here, as we've not seen him.  Which would fall under the category of where he might *not be."

"I think he mentioned finding Alergast Barett, and if he did, then he and Alergast Barett might be at the Guard Post.  Or they might be at Alergast Barett's house."

"When Stomper ... That is, when Kellan left us he was in the company of Sir Jasper Korvaski.  So he, that is, Kellan, might be at City Hall at the Mercantile League meeting."

"He might also be at the General Store.  Stomper is pursuing Shayliss Vinder -or is it the other way around- and so he might be there calling on her."

"He might also be somewhere out there."  She waved her hand in the general direction of the inland farms.  "His parents have a place out there.  Somewhere.  Though, chances are he hasn't gone that way.  Or, even made it there by now if he has."

"Where else might he be by now, Cato?  There are probably a lot of places.  But, I think that one thing is fairly certain.  I'm pretty sure," said Pisca the Perhaps-Excessively-Helpful Gnome, "that Stomper will be at the funeral later.  At the very least, we're supposed to see him there.  Why don't you sit down and have a blueberry with us.  Corn on the cob?  Then, afterwards, we can all go down to the funeral, and you can see Kellan then?"

"I'm Pisca Neep Freemish, by the way.  And this is the Incomparable Fighting Mage Cato Crispin.  Might we get your name?"

This message was last edited by the player at 19:29, Thu 19 June 2014.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 543 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Thu 19 Jun 2014
at 18:37
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Cato returned to the main dining room of the Rusty Dragon, and was surprised to find Xin leading them to their table.  Cato didn't think he could recall ever seeing the man at the Rusty Dragon before.  Or seeing someone personally attended to in such a way.  The mage grinned.  He could get used to being a Hero of Sandpoint.  He just had to make sure it didn't go to his...Cato stopped the thought.  There was enough of that awful pun business before Pisca and he had went upstairs.

Cato was surprised to see someone approaching their table, and by the look of the person, a Magnimarian noble.  Cato's mind immediately flashed to his usual worries about the Hellknights, but soon relaxed when the man asked for Kellan.

"I'm afraid he's not with us right now.  As my companions said, he could be many places in town right now, though he'll certainly be at the funeral later.  Can we deliver the package for you?"
Rogors Craesby
 NPC, 1 post
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 06:49
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids



The well-dressed man’s face fell slightly, as if Pisca and Cato were his last hope of finding Kellan before the funeral began.  “Well,” he said, looking at Pisca tiredly, “that is certainly a lot of different places where he might be, isn’t it?”  He nodded as Pisca asked him to join them at the table.  “Thank you for your kind invitation.”

The man was too refined to slump into a chair, but the manner in which he took his seat made his exhaustion clear.  “I have been on the road for most of the day, and was hoping that I could find Guardsman Storval quickly.  I have taken lodgings here, and when I came down to the taproom after refreshing myself Ameiko informed me that you two had been his companions of late.”  He paused as Pisca went on.  “Unfortunately, I am not sure that a funeral is the most-appropriate venue for package delivery.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Neep Freemish, Mister Caelin.”  He nodded to each in turn as Pisca made her introductions.  “I am Rogors Craesby.”  He stood slightly and bowed before sinking back into his seat.  “I work for Lord Aldern Foxglove.  I believe you are acquainted with him?”  He glanced back and forth between Pisca and Cato.  “Yes, well, I am Lord Foxglove’s local representative.  If you define 'local' as 'everything north of Magnimar,' in any event.  I was supervising the upcoming renovation of Foxglove Manor when I received an urgent letter informing me that I should both attend the funeral in Lord Foxglove’s stead, since he is unavoidably detained on urgent business matters, and that I should deliver this package to one Kellan Storval.”  He tapped the package, his sleeve falling back to reveal the head and fangs of what looked like the beginning of a very-elaborate snake tattoo.  “But it seems as if the delivery may have to wait until after the ceremony.”

At this point the doors to the kitchen opened and the woman to whom Xin had spoken earlier emerged bearing a huge tray laden with the very comestibles about which Ameiko had previously informed them.  She placed the tray on a small stand set up next to the table for that very purpose before unloading the dishes onto the table.  One plate contained two entire roast pheasants.  Another was piled high with fresh corn-on-the-cob.  There was also a tub of fresh-looking butter, a dish of scalloped seasoned potatoes, and, last but not least, a huge bowl of blueberries next to a small pitcher of cream.

“Enjoy!”  Said the woman brightly before he took her leave.

Rogors Craesby eyed the dinner items somewhat hungrily.  “I did not have a great deal of time to eat on my way to Sandpoint.  Would you mind terribly if I partook?”




This message was lightly edited by the player at 06:49, Tue 24 June 2014.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 544 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Fri 20 Jun 2014
at 18:29
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Cato listened to Craesby's story, but was prevented from comment by the arrival of the food.  All was silent for a moment as the mage hungrily eyed the cooked bird, corn, and blueberries.  He waved vaguely in the direction of the food.  "No, there's more than enough here for everyone.  Help yourself to some of this."

Cato cut himself a piece of pheasant, grabbed an ear of corn, and filled a bowl with blueberries.  After a few minutes of contented eating, he leaned back, eyeing Craseby again.  "We haven't heard much from Aldern since the boar hunt.  How are things going for him?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1017 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sun 22 Jun 2014
at 13:50
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
"Excuse me?"  Pisca leaned back and out over the edge of her chair, a precarious place, hanging a treacherous few out and over empty air with the hard wood of the inn floor over two feet below.  With an outstretched arm she beckoned to a passing serving girl.  "Excuse me, may we have another plate here?  Thank you."

This Rogors Craesby had, so far, been something of a disappointment.  His introductions contained a distinct lack of hand kissing.  For an associate of Aldern Foxglove, that was.  Or, perhaps *associate* was giving him too much credit.  Minion might have been a better term.  And, quite possibly, the hand kissing was not a thing for minions.  'Oh, and kiss the Lady Gnome's hand for me will you, Craesby?' was not really something that was done.  Or so, Pisca supposed.

"Have some of the roast, Mister Craesby."  Pisca stood up on the seat of her chair and leaned way in and over the table to select one of the most choice pieces of meat and place it upon the man's plate.  Humans seemed to have a preference for meat.  "And the corn is always fresh here at the Rusty Dragon," she added, selecting an especially juicy section of cob for the man.

"That sounds like an awfully large area for one none man to cover, Mister Craesby.  You must be quite busy tending to Aldern's affairs in the north.  And yet, time enough is there?  To deliver a package to Stomper here in Sandpoint."  The last was a statement of fact.  Though, in truth, it might as well have been a question.  A question backed by all of the not so inconsiderable curiosity that a gnome could muster.

"Normally, you'd have green salad with a meal such as this," Pisca continued - as though the question was never asked.  As though it still did not hang heavy, pregnant, upon the air.  "But the blueberries are spectacular.  I've found that the sweet tang adds to the flavor of the roast."
Rogors Craesby
 NPC, 1 post
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 06:48
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids



“How are things going . . . for Lord Foxglove?” Rogors paused his plate-filling briefly as he considered how best to respond to Cato’s question.  “I’m sure I do not know.  It is rare for him to interact with me personally, more’s the pity.  Generally, as in this case, I receive a letter with instructions and I perform those instructions to the best of my ability.  He is a great man, though, isn’t he?  It is my privilege to serve him.”

He looked down to find that Pisca had already finished filling his plate for him.  “Thank you, milady.”  He said appreciatively.  “Actually my time is, currently, largely taken up with Foxglove Manor.  This assignment, unfortunate as its genesis may be, is actually something of vacation for me, to tell you the honest truth.  I greatly look forward to the time when the estate has been restored and its renovation is no longer my responsibility.”

He savored a bite of blueberry tinged pheasant roast.  “My word, Miss Freemish.”  He said, eyebrows raising in surprise.  “Your culinary criticism could challenge that of those paid for the task in Magnimar.  You could not be more correct about the blueberries.”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1021 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 13:07
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
How disappointing.  Disappointing despite the pleasant compliment on her acumen gourmand.  "So, you don't actually spend much time with Aldern, then, is what you're saying.  More's the pity," the gnome sighed.  "I was looking forward to plying you with good food and wine in exchange for juicy gossip," Pisca said, and let loose the barest of a coy and mischievous grin.

"How are the renovations to the manor coming along?  Any idea when they'll be complete?  Oh ...  But then what will you do once that's oh ... ver?"

But, before the question could be answered, the gnome came up short.  A dawning wakened in her face, and then she continued with a new intensity.  "Did you just say that the reason for your visit to Sandpoint was some misfortune?"

"Waitwaitwaitwait.  Maybe you're talking about the goblin attack.  The first goblin attack," Pisca continued on, answering the question that she'd just asked before an answer from the person asked could even pass his lips.  "That would make sense.  Unless you're not talking about the first goblin attack, and something else unfortunate happened to make Aldern send a box to Stomper.  In any case, I don't think we can wait to find out which it is."

The strawberry blonde gnome stood up on the seat of her chair and leaned out over the tabletop.

"What's with the box, Rogors?" she asked.  "Now we have to know."

This message was last edited by the player at 20:45, Tue 24 June 2014.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 546 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 19:20
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Cato frowned.  "I had thought Aldern implied that most of his time was spent at the manor, directing the repairs.  Perhaps I misunderstood.  I'm sure, though, that directing an undertaking of that magnitude can't be easy.  Not that I've seen the manor, but I've heard some stories about it during my stay in town here."

Cato tried to follow along with Pisca's rapid-fire train of thought, but eventually had to let the gnome plot her own solo course, and merely waited on Craesby's reply to her ultimate question.
Rogors Craesby
 NPC, 2 posts
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 06:03
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids



“No, I don’t spend a lot of time with Lord Foxglove, but in a way that is what makes me valuable to him,” Rogors said, sitting back and foregoing the food for a moment in order to continue the conversation.  “He knows he can trust me to get things done, and that he need not look over my shoulder to ensure that I’m doing what he asks.  He also trusts my judgment, so I’m empowered to make decisions that would otherwise slow things down if he needed to be located and consulted on them.”

He shrugged slightly at Cato’s question.  “You must have misunderstood him, then.  While the manor renovations certainly take a deal of Lord Foxglove’s time and even more of his money, he is rarely present for them.”

“As far as the renovations to the manor are concerned, they could certainly be going more smoothly.”  A hint of irritation entered the man’s voice.  “The place has an . . . unfortunate reputation in the local community.”  He coughed.  “I’m sure the stories you’ve heard are along those lines, Mister Crispin.  Sadly, those stories mean that it is more difficult to find willing labor, and that the laborers who are willing to work cost more.  But I’m determined to see it through nonetheless.”

“Yes, the misfortune of the goblin attacks,” Craesby tried to keep up with Pisca’s subject change.  “Sheriff Hemlock apparently caught up with Lord Foxglove and told him about the attack at the Glassworks.  I’m here to raise Lord Foxglove’s standard, attend any memorial service, and offer help to the families should they need it.”  He paused.  “You’ll find that Lord Foxglove has a very large heart for children who have lost parents, seeing as he was orphaned at such a young age himself.”

He raised an eyebrow at Pisca’s demand that he disclose the box’s contents.  “I’m sure I don’t know what might be in the box, Miss Pisca,” he said with a slight tonal change that indicated he thought she was being both pushy and rude about the subject.  He began eating again, as if to buttress that particular point.  “It came to me wrapped, and unlike some others my curiosity regarding its contents has not superseded my sense of propriety.  It is addressed to Mister Storval, and Mister Storval will be the one to open it.”  He moved the box slightly away from the gnome.  If there was any chance he would have given the box to either Cato or Pisca for delivery, it had almost certainly vanished.




This message was last edited by the player at 06:04, Wed 25 June 2014.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1023 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 12:22
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
"Oh."  The single syllable was accompanied by a breath of relief.  "Well, that's good, at least," said the gnome.  These were possibly words desultory, non sequitous, and completely at a tangent to the direction in which Rogors Craesby had been driving the conversation, had Pisca not followed with, "I thought something else *unfortunate* had happened somewhere without us."

"Lets eat up.  Wouldn't want to be late for the funeral.  Hopefully we'll find Stomper there."  In keeping with this sentiment, the gnome plucked a lone blueberry from her plate and popped it into her mouth.

"Mmm.  Good berries," she said around a mouthful of purple juice.

Sorry for holding things up here.  I thought I was onto something wholly new here for a moment.  I'm ready to move things long.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 548 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 14:53
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids
Cato nodded at Pisca's sentiment and chewed his last bite of meat.  "I'm sure the others are waiting on us.  Maybe we can find Kellan, Mr. Craseby."
The Raconteur
 GM, 1024 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 05:36
Re: Chapter #7:  Catacomb Kids



After noting the lateness of the hour, Pisca and Cato quickly finished their meals and bid their farewells to Rogors Craesby, assuring him that they would send Kellan to him as soon as they could.  With that, they quickly departed The Rusty Dragon, making their way through the late-afternoon sunlight to City Hall, eager both to share their news and to learn what intelligence, if any, others might have obtained about the goblin's imminent attack.

CONTINUED IN CHAPTER #7d:  A DESPERATE PLAN