IC: And So, Our Story Begins...   Posted by DM.Group: 0
DM
 GM, 9 posts
Thu 15 Sep 2016
at 20:53
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Sanduchar
Seat of the Admiralty and main shipyard of the Keoland navy. It is difficult to find one of the 5000 souls living here whose livelihood isn't dependant on the navy. The Town is ruled by the admiralty court. It is a decidedly militaristic settlement.

It is home to the 2nd guild hall of the Sea Mages. The only guild of freemages in Keoland. Freemages who are not members in good standing with the Sea Mages are on their own dealing with the Royal Academy of Magic who levy steep fines against practitioners of illicit arcane activities. The only other association of arcane casters recognized by the Council of Niole Dra is the Silent Ones of the Lonely Tower, an ancient order of Mages rarely seen outside their tower near the capitol. This shadowy group is believed to be primarily academic and in decline.

The “Underdocks” is a raft based shanty town, adjacent to the shipyards.

The shipyard, docks, warehouses and the Custom House are  connected by fine roads and board walks. The Admiralty runs the Customs House maintaining records, issuing letters of marque, collecting taxes and enforcing the law. While they maintain a “necessary evil” mentality toward the inhabitants of the Underdocks they take a much dimmer view of scofflaws topside. While pirates are unwelcome privateers in service of the Throne of the Lion with a modicum of decorum are welcome. An excise officer of the Royal navy accompanied by a couple Marines is not an uncommon sight near the docks.

Some 40 miles southwest along the coast road is the cliff side village of Highwater. This small but impressive village has grown up around Duke Luschan’s seaside palace. It’s multi-terraced architecture is similar to the Dwarven city of Waverock but the hard-edged utility is softened by the faux-elven aesthetic popular during the reign of Tavish the Blackguard.

Plentiful lumber is harvested from the Dreadwood. The Sanduchar Militia and the Royal Marines work closely to guard the Duke’s lumber camps and and tar pits. A watchful eye is trained northwest into the heart of the woods for although it has been years since the sight of the dragon Venomfang has darkened the skies the Duke has vowed to be ever vigilant.

Like all of Keoland religion has little influence over the affairs of state in Sanduchar. Most of the noble class pay but token adherence to religious obligations, while the superstitious common folk pay deference to so many different gods and minor rituals it amounts to the same thing. Recently the goddess Ulaa has gained popularity owing to a pilgrimage of her followers. They have been traveling many miles northwest along the Coast Road from their home in Waverock just over the border with the Viscounty of Salinmoor to the High Temple in Haven Hill on the eastern border of the Principality of Ulek. Tasked with setting up shrines and spreading the way of Ulaa as they go. Their healings and wise counsel have amassed goodwill with the poor and powerful alike.

Located just a couple hours walk outside the northern gate of the Coast road in the single best inn around, under a placard which depicts a pyramid topped with an eye. You’d received an invitation from the owner to attend a free dinner and listen to a proposal. the second floor private room the Innkeeper, an eager gnome named Gilbert took an old sea chart from a battered scroll tube. He spread it out on the table between you and stabbed at it with a finger, ”Right there, The Lost City of Kalzar! Any fool with a ship could get there, but it's gonna take you lot to get in and grab the treasure. All I ask is a half share for me, a half share for the church of Ulaa and an opportunity to document the finer pieces you might find for my catalog.”
Pannen Loyalar
 player, 3 posts
 Half Elf Monk
Thu 15 Sep 2016
at 22:20
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Pannen, pale, skinny and swathed in cheap clothes too large for his thin frame, studies the map intently.  Tapping his chin with the first two fingers of his left hand. After a couple of moments cocking his head from side to side and making a few contemplative murmurs, he speaks up:

"Firstly, Mr Gilbert, I want to thank you for your kindness.  There are not many people who would make an offer like this to one such as me.  But they would be wrong not to do so.  I have always dreamt of adventure and will not let my former condition hold me back.  Secondly, I would very much like to view the map in its entirety, but am finding it difficult to see past your finger.  Would you mind moving it for me?"

Whilst waiting for a response the inexperienced adventurer tries to recall anything he may have read about this Lost City.

OOC
23:19, Today: Pannen Loyalar rolled 18 using 1d20+3.  History - The Lost City of Kalzar.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:37, Thu 15 Sept 2016.

Gilbert
 NPC, 1 post
 Inn Keeper & Merchant
 Collector of Curios
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 01:44
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
The gnome looked don at his finger and yanked it back...
Akharu Varali
 player, 3 posts
 Paladin
 AC: 18, HP: 12
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 02:13
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
The young ex-pirate looked over the map with barely concealed glee.  Having been stuck in training for the last several years he missed being on the open water.  Truth be told, he would have agreed to just about any terms just for the chance to experience ship life again; however, the terms of this agreement seemed fair to him...so far.

"Seems manageable," he replies with a grin,"And who might the fool be providing the ship?"
Shaw Cromwell
 player, 3 posts
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 03:16
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Shaw cast his gaze down at the map with a look of pure indifference. He knew that this couldn't be the entire deal and though it seemed like a good deal now, he had to make sure. So for now he hides his excitement at the prospect and casts his eyes toward the gnome.
"I thank you for the meal however, this is the entire deal. Correct? You aren't keeping anything from us?"

This message was last edited by the player at 03:17, Fri 16 Sept 2016.

Hagwin Whisperwillow
 player, 3 posts
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 03:29
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Hagwin glanced down at the map, then listened as the others said their piece. He ran his hand through his long brown hair, briefly revealing his slightly pointed ears before letting it fall in a jumble around his face again. The young man was chewing, rather loudly, on some kind of green leaf.

"How do we know you ain't showed this map to five groups, just like this one. What assurances we have that you're on the up and up. We're the ones risking life and limb to haul treasure back here."
Arturius Curran
 player, 2 posts
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 14:26
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Arturius's eyes widen as he notices Hagwin's ear, but he doesn't say anything about it. He noted the suspicions of the rest of the group. He had his own, but he shrugged and kept them to himself. He kept his mouth shut and waited to hear how the gnome would respond to the others.
Gilbert
 NPC, 2 posts
 Inn Keeper & Merchant
 Collector of Curios
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 19:51
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
A sly grin crept across Gilbert’s face, ”You lot, perfect.

“I’ve arranged for passage to archipelago and back on the merchant ship Midnight Zephyr. Her captain,  Orwin Gallowglass is an honest steady man, former officer of the Royal Navy now a free-trader. He leads a seasoned and discreet crew. He’s been paid from my own purse.

“Am I keeping things from you? Not in the sense I suspect you mean it. A lot of things have happened to get to this point. Years of research and pouches of coin have gone into getting those charts just right. Cultivating relationships with a few of the excise officers down at the Customs House and among the local guilds in order to outfit a ship and crew without arousing the attention of every would be treasure hunter from Grandsul to Seaton. Finding just the right people to undertake the endeavor… Not all the facets of this gem of an opportunity can be appreciated over one dinner.

There are certainly unknowns. What will you find upon reaching the islands? A fragment of a ship’s log spoke of alabaster spires similar to those described in Tolerand’s Histories. Legends of the city speak of powerful magics and vast treasures. These same legends tell of mighty guardian spirits the tribes of Kalzar bent to their will before the fall. What is true and what is bardic embellishment or error in scholarship can only be revealed with this expedition. I’ve kept nothing from you, and put my library at your disposal.”


He struggled to stand on the seat of his chair and threw his arms wide looking around at each of you, ”You're it, the team perfect for the job. I did not cast these invitations on the tides to be carried by chance to any eager soul with adventure in their heart. They were aimed with the precision of a marksman. While some trusted friends know and support my plans to unlock the mystery of the lost city of Kalzar you are the only ones I have offered this opportunity.

Please say yes.”

Shaw Cromwell
 player, 4 posts
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 20:32
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
After a short wait after the explanation Shaw moves to speak again. Hearing the full explanation satisfied most of Shaw's doubts about the deal. He pulls off his hat and looks the gnome in the eye.
"When it comes to adventure involving the sea I am quite the glutton. So you can count me in. On one condition." Shaw breaks open into a smile. "Let me buy you a drink after we've come back. It's the least I could do."
Akharu Varali
 player, 5 posts
 Paladin
 AC: 18, HP: 12
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 20:57
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
"Well of course I'm going to say yes.  I mean, how bad could it be?"

<OOC> Somewhere there's a blue-bearded dwarf wincing with no understanding as to why.
Pannen Loyalar
 player, 5 posts
 Half Elf Monk
Fri 16 Sep 2016
at 21:43
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Pannen's attention is almost entirely dedicated to the map, except for one brief moment when Gilbert mentions a library.  In that instant he quickly glances at the gnome, with light in his eyes.

"I would very much like to peruse your library, Mr Gilbert.  I was wondering why you were willing to go to such lengths and to risk so much on something that is widely accepted, by experts everywhere, to be nothing more than a children's tale.  A work of fiction.  Should I expect to find the answers there?" After a contemplative pause, the diminutive half-elf continues. "I have other concerns too.

"For example, I wonder what our remuneration would be should we reach this island and find it to be just that?  A relatively small jut of land with no Lost City, or any secrets of any kind.

"And I believe you should accompany us.  Whilst the life of an Innkeep must surely have challenges of its own, I think adventure would be much more rewarding.  You'll be able to push past your self-imposed boundaries and discover new strengths.  Not to mention a full share.

"And finally,"
Pannen addresses the room, "I am not well versed in seafaring, having never stepped foot off of solid land." He indicates to the area off the island with a sweep of his hand. "Does anyone here know anything about these waters?  Are they dangerous?  Are there reefs?  Storms? Monstrous creatures?  Selkies, perhaps?"
Merric Leagallow
 player, 2 posts
 Halfling Warlock
Sat 17 Sep 2016
at 02:03
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Standing on his chair Merric leans forward to look the map over as Gilbert and the others chatter on. He makes a few low key appreciative or acknowledging murmurs as they talk. He searched his memory for what he might know of the merchant ship Midnight Zephyr and the good captain Gallowglass or indeed the waters they would be sailing in.

"It seems to me, that if good Gilbert here were to come along and get a full share that would make the math more complicated. That would be 7 and a half shares as i'm figuring it instead of 7." A small chuckle at his wit escaped Merric before he continued. "So the ship and captain are retained to sail us to your Island? Any shares for them? Or is it a straight hire?"
Hagwin Whisperwillow
 player, 5 posts
Sat 17 Sep 2016
at 03:06
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Hagwin stood and walked to a painting hanging on the wall. He began staring at it with interest, seemingly oblivious to the ongoing conversation. As he was now closer to the lamps mounted on the wall a sickly green sheen could be seen on his neck.
DM
 GM, 12 posts
Sat 17 Sep 2016
at 04:42
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
The experienced sailors of the group know the most common and often deadliest creatures encountered on the Azure Sea are pirates and slavers. As far into previously uncharted waters as the map indicates it is unlikely other ships will be seen but the oceanic races might be more plentiful. Sahuagin, Kuo-toa, Mermen and Aquatic elves have been seen in the southern coastal waters of Keoland. But the areas we're talking about are virtually unknown waters.

Gilbert pondered the suggestion he come along and said thoughtfully, ”There is still so much to arrange here for the next steps after your triumphant return. I do plan on seeing those fabled alabaster spires with my own eyes but I need to put together the supplies and people for a more permanent expeditionary camp. Captain Gallowglass has been charged with laying its foundation while he waits for your return. His fee for services has been agreed upon. Neither he nor his crew expect a share of treasure recovered.

It's too soon for me. Once you've scouted the archipelago, made an initial foray into the Lost City and returned with some treasure I'll be able to settle up some debts and journey there myself.”


Fine drink and food continues late into the night. There are rooms for each of you provided free of charge until you set sail.

As promised Gilbert provides access to his library though the room itself is not large it is stacked floor to ceiling with book, scrolls and nautical charts. If there is any organization to it only the gnome knows.

Throughout the halls and rooms of the Eye & Pyramid small woodland creatures, ferrets, squirrels, chipmunks and the like scurry to and fro. A boar sleeps, snorting occasionally, by the fireplace in the bar. The staff is comprised entirely of gnomes.
DM
 GM, 13 posts
Sat 17 Sep 2016
at 07:12
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
PM
Pannen Loyalar
 player, 7 posts
 Half Elf Monk
Sat 17 Sep 2016
at 17:12
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Pannen frowns a little at the innkeeper's decision, but doesn't doesn't argue the point, instead turning to Merric with a nod.  "Yes of course, sir halfling.  However, material wealth is of little import to me.  Mr Gilbert could have had half of my share."

"That aside, I will happily accept a place on this expedition.  It will be educational!  My name is Pannen Loyalar and it is a pleasure to meet you all."
He bows,"I hope I can be of assistance and welcome the chance to talk to you all more.  However, at the risk of being rude, I will excuse myself now and head over to Mr Gilbert's library.  Our time here is limited and I would like to learn all that I can about our endeavour before we depart.

"Mr Gilbert, this is your life's work correct?  Surely you have your own notes.  A journal perhaps, that would offer me a good place to start?"


Unless someone interrupts him, Pannen retires to the library where he spends as much time as possible pouring over Gilbert's accumulated material.  If Gilbert has a notebook, or similar, that has the gnome's accumulated research in, Pannen will ask if he can take it with him on the expedition.  Otherwise, in the few moments between, he will talk with the gnomish staff in their own tongue assuming they appreciate the gesture.
Arturius Curran
 player, 3 posts
Sat 17 Sep 2016
at 23:17
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
"I'm in." Arturius says. He lingers and looks at the map for a while, excitedly bouncing on his tiptoes. He looks for a while towards where Pannen disappears into the library, apparently trying to make a decision about something. Eventually, he moves to a seat near the fire with a heaping plate of food. If anyone joins him, he makes smalltalk.

"I am Arturius. I come from the raft community by the docks. I seem to have acquired some magical ability over natural forces. I guess you'd call me a druid."

If not, he gives bits of food to the boar and treats it like a dog.
Hagwin Whisperwillow
 player, 6 posts
Sun 18 Sep 2016
at 00:02
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Hagwin comes out of his reverie after a while.

"I'm going."

He says simply before digging into the food. Scraps fly and wine is spilled as he eats voraciously.
Shaw Cromwell
 player, 5 posts
Sun 18 Sep 2016
at 02:34
IC: And So, Our Story Begins...
Shaw takes in the odd bunch. Though being a bard hes seen more odd. So he moves over speaks with everyone in the area introducing himself and trying to make good relations before all of this starts.
"It's a pleasure to meet you all."
As he speaks with everyone Shaw looks over the maps a bit more and helps himself to some food.