Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves.   Posted by DM.Group: 0
Tobias Greysen
 player, 136 posts
 I'm dexy and I know it.
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 20:16
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
Weapon and shield drawn, Tobias stands ready at Oz's side.

While Oz focuses on the note Tobias peers into the cabin of the carriage.

He looks for anything suspicious or noteworthy

[Investigation: 12]
Joaquin
 player, 158 posts
 Once a soldier
 Now a cleric
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 20:30
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
Joaquín readies his weapons and starts looking circling around the carriage for obvious ambush locations.  He also begins listening intently.

[Perception 7]
DM
 GM, 225 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 21:42
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
The interior of the carriage is upholstered in rich, deep crimson damask with black embroidery.  There are seats to comfortably fit eight people.

The two draft horses watch everyone placidly, swishing their tails and huffing.

The note tacked to the door is written in a familiar, swooping penmanship and reads simply:

"You are all cordially invited to tea at my residence, so that we can converse in civilized surroundings. The horses will convey you there in safety.

I eagerly anticipate your arrival. Please come at your convenience.

With warm regards,

S.v.Z."

Tobias Greysen
 player, 137 posts
 I'm dexy and I know it.
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 23:44
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
Tobias shakes his head slowly.

While I have to admit it looks like a obvious trap, I also get in the impression that it is merely the illusion of choice.  If he wants us there...I'm sure he can get us there one way or another.

I vote we take a nice carriage ride.

Joaquin
 player, 159 posts
 Once a soldier
 Now a cleric
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 01:31
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
Gnawing on a wolf bone, Joaquín considers the situation and coming to the same conclusion as Tobias says to him:

I concur, and I suggest we check the coach thoroughly for traps, prudence requires it.

I must ask though, won't going back to his castle take us the opposite direction from our intended destinations? Not to mention delivering Ireena into his hands, doofus.


Actually seeming to consider something his inner voice is saying, Joaquín turns to Ireena, and as soothingly as possible for a man chewing a wolf bone, tries to convince Ireena that they must go:

Ireena, I don't think we have much choice here.  After our fight last night, I get the feeling we aren't strong enough to risk angering him just yet. If we let him think of us as toys, we'll eventually be strong enough to surprise.Or he'll kill you and take her

Once again, Joaquín shows just how much a taste for bones he has as he sticks all 26 bones of his own foot in his mouth.
Alaric von Innsbruck
 player, 159 posts
 Silver for monsters
 Steel for men
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 01:51
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
At the mouldering tome:

Alaric looks over the book with some interest. Joaquin, would your magic restore the illegible parts of this book? Could be worth something.

At the carriage:

He frowns, faced with the choice in front of them all. I'm inclined to agree. We clearly aren't in a position to challenge him just yet. But if we play along well enough, we might just have the chance. He turns to Ireena. However, I think the decision should rest with you.
Joaquin
 player, 160 posts
 Once a soldier
 Now a cleric
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 03:19
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
While waiting on Ireena's decision, Joaquín finally gives Alaric an answer:

Alaric, I've been thinking about the question you asked me.  Is there a way for me to mend the book?  I'm not sure to be honest. I have only really ever put things back together where all the pieces were available. In the case of the book, I can repair tears, but I don't believe that I'll be able to remove the mold,and I am certain that I can't generate the parts that are missing. Perhaps Oz can clean it like he cleans the clothes? But of course that won't solve the parts where things are smudged or completely worn out.

Nico, if you willing to let me try to mend the book, I would be happy to do so while we discuss whether or not we take the carriage.

Oz, would you join me in trying to restore the book, I have a feeling that you may be able to remove the non-paper and non-ink parts like when you remove the dirt from clothes and the like.


[OOC, if we do take the carriage, I would like to read more of the Hymns to the Dawn while we ride along, you know, just in case something comes up.]
Ireena Kolyana
 NPC, 11 posts
 Chosen of Strahd
 Wears turtlenecks
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 12:15
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
Ireena looks a bit surprised at the deference to her decision.

"I will admit that I am curious about a great many things now. Especially why Strahd seems to think that I am this lost love of his, Tatyana.  But quite frankly, I would prefer to keep to our chosen path and continue on.  I've had quite enough of Strahd von Zarovich for the time being."
Oswald Weiss
 player, 246 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 13:45
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
In reply to Ireena Kolyana (msg # 362):

Oz nods his agreement.

"I am not getting into that thing, and I'm questioning your collective wisdom for entertaining such a notion." he says. "Where is your conviction about getting to the Abbey now? You gave me no end of grief for wanting to visit the seer's mill first, but now you're ready to jump into a vampire's carriage?"

He scoffs.

"Do what you will. I will take Ireena to the Abbey myself if I have to."

This message was last edited by the player at 13:46, Wed 26 Apr 2017.

Nico Viszco
 player, 115 posts
 Ace of Swords
 The Silent Blade
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 14:13
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
I agree with Oz and Ireena. While Strahd is powerful and most likely beyond our means at the moment, there is no need to defer to him and walk right into a trap.

I say we stick with the plan to get Ireena to the abbey. That should be our priority. Aside from that, if the seer's reading is true, there are many things that could help us deal with Strahd before we rush into a confrontation.


Nico examines the note a little closer.
Should we write a reply to Strahd on the back on the note? We can at least feign politeness - there is no need to antagonize him.

Nico pulls the book out of his pack and hands it over to Joaquin.
Joaquin- you and Oz are more than welcome to try to mend or clean the book. I am interested in the stories it contains, and would appreciate any cleaning or mending either of you can do.
Oswald Weiss
 player, 247 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 14:18
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
In reply to Nico Viszco (msg # 364):

"Books burn," Oz says hesitantly. "But I will do what I can."

He waggles his fingers, and the book is magically cleansed (though not repaired).
Tobias Greysen
 player, 140 posts
 I'm dexy and I know it.
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 15:56
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
I don't know.  I wouldn't mind a cup of tea. Plus, like I said before, I doubt we have much choice in this.  We do not need to give up heading to the Abbey.
Ireena Kolyana
 NPC, 12 posts
 Chosen of Strahd
 Wears turtlenecks
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 16:21
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
"In spite of what happened last night, I don't think that Strahd wants us dead.  Not me at least, and not yet for you."

As she speaks, Ireena walks around the carriage, pats the horses on their noses, actually climbs inside the carriage at one point to see if anything untoward happens, and then climbs back out.

"When we do meet him for tea, I would much prefer it to be when we are not only healthy and hale, but also armed with as much knowledge and weapons as we and muster. Did not Madam Eva indicate that all of these might be found at the Abbey?"
Oswald Weiss
 player, 249 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 16:27
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
In reply to Ireena Kolyana (msg # 367):

Oz blinks at Tobias, then points at the carriage.

"We have all of the choice in the world. We can either enter the carriage, trusting in the providence of a vampire, or we can continue onward to the Abbey, distrusting the providence of a vampire."

Tendrils of smoke begin to curl around his fingers, but he waves them off.

"I know we only recently met, but I do not understand you at all. This seems rash and contrary to our goals. Or are you of the opinion that the vampire can do whatever it wants, so why bother? "

He jerks a thumb toward Ireena.

"In which case, why do you think we can save her from a fate worse than death?"

Oz takes a deep breath and steadies himself.

"I don't buy it. Even if the carriage is not a deathtrap, it will delay us from getting Ireena away from the castle and toward people who might be able to actually help her. I'm voting no."

He glances at the carriage again, clearly weighing the pros and cons of setting it on fire.
Joaquin
 player, 162 posts
 Once a soldier
 Now a cleric
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 16:37
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
I find myself persuaded. I like the idea of sending a formal response.  Especially, because we can assume he doesn't have unlimited power and knowledge since the carriage only holds 8, but we are 9. He must not know about Viktoriya yet, which is a good sign I think.

Taking the book from Oz,


Thanks Oz, Let's see what we can do.

Que se remiende!


Joaquín sighs in both satisfaction and frustration.  Only a tiny portion of the cover is fixed.

This is going to take a while. 
Ismark Kolyanovich
 NPC, 19 posts
 Strahd's eating my sister
 Not like that, gross
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 17:00
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
"Peace Oz, there's no harm done.  If you wish to leave a response note, that is fine, but I personally have nothing to add to it."

Ismark studies the matched pair of black draft horses.

"I wonder what the odds are of these animals actually cooperating for us if we decide to take them. . . ."
Oswald Weiss
 player, 250 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 17:06
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
In reply to Ismark Kolyanovich (msg # 370):

Oz mutters something about a flaming carriage being a very good and extremely clear message, but restrains himself.
Nico Viszco
 player, 116 posts
 Ace of Swords
 The Silent Blade
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 17:56
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
I vote we neither burn the carriage, nor steal the horses. No need to antagonize our enemy unnecessarily.

[OOC: Do we actually have a way to write a reply? Does anyone have ink and a quill, or a spell that can accomplish the same (prestidigitation)? Assuming so:]

For the reply, how's this:
quote:
Strahd,
Thank you for your invitation. We must decline, as we have other pressing matters. We will meet with you at another time.

I'm open to other suggestions, though as I said, I'd prefer we not antagonize him.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:59, Wed 26 Apr 2017.

Oswald Weiss
 player, 251 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 18:07
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
In reply to Nico Viszco (msg # 372):

I have a feeling that not doing what he wants will antagonize him no matter how respectfully we go about it.

He glances at the note and shrugs.

That should get the message across. Well done.
Viktoriya Katinova
 player, 16 posts
 Conclave of Koldun'yami
 Enchanted to Meet You
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 20:02
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
Viktoriya examines the carriage suspiciously as Lidiya leaps to the top of the carriage and surveys the area primly.

I'm in no particular hurry to make Strahd's acquaintance. I say we move on.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:39, Wed 26 Apr 2017.

Ireena Kolyana
 NPC, 13 posts
 Chosen of Strahd
 Wears turtlenecks
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 20:43
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
Ireena surveys the note briefly before giving a curt nod.

"And good riddance," she adds, flashing the carriage a two-fingered salute that she certainly didn't learn in the course of her political hostess duties.

The horses give a brief snort and trot off down the cobblestone road, the carriage rattling along behind them.

The rest of the day continues satisfactorily and by the time night falls, Alaric has found a decent campsite.  It's a little boggier than the party would have liked, but will serve.

This time Oz is the one to spot the note, tacked to a tree trunks.  This one reads:

"So dreadfully sorry to have missed out on your company this evening.  I do hope that we can reconvene for tea at a more suitable time.

With warmest regards,

S. v. Z.

Postscript: While I was indeed aware that the pretty little mage had joined your group, I did rather expect that one or more of you would have fallen victim to my wolves.  Your fortitude is surprising!  Bravo!  I shall have to send a larger conveyance next time."

Tobias Greysen
 player, 141 posts
 I'm dexy and I know it.
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 20:47
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
My point is Oz, that if a being of Strahd's power wants to meet with you, he is going to get that meeting.  You are absolutely correct in that there is always a choice so I am of the opinion to go with my head held high rather than to be ambushed by him later on.

While he probably can not do what ever he wants, if you have paid attention to the stories and the way that he is revered in this area it sounds like he might not be far off from that.

Tobias pleads his case much as a man does when he knows it will be of no good but needs to say it anyways.  He knows there is no sense in finding additional enemies in these woods.

There are plenty already.


However, it would appear that I am out voted so I will follow the will of the group.

There is no need for a note.  I have little doubt that he will know.
  Tobias adds flatly.
Joaquin
 player, 163 posts
 Once a soldier
 Now a cleric
Thu 27 Apr 2017
at 02:06
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
Joaquín grunts acknowledgement at the note, but is already continuing to mend the book.  As he waits for the small tears to mend themselves, he starts to read some of the rhymes.

All the children are loved by their parents, except Dale.
He is for sale.

All the children ran for their lives, except Bruce.
He was the one who set the hounds loose.


Joaquín laughs at the darkness of the rhymes.

[OOC: I couldn't help myself, these were on Reddit the other day and they seemed to be in the spirit of the first one]

I'll keep working on the book if you'd like Nico, if only to see how dark these poems will go.
Oswald Weiss
 player, 252 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Thu 27 Apr 2017
at 20:24
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
In reply to Joaquin (msg # 377):

With the matter of the carriage resolved and his compatriots sharing somewhat disturbing poetry, Oz makes his way toward the front of the group and begins walking in the direction of the (still far-distant) Abbey.
DM
 GM, 228 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Fri 28 Apr 2017
at 00:12
Chapter 2: Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves
And while the Abbey is indeed still far-distant, the party makes good progress, more or less.

Buoyed along by morbid poetry and the power of friendship, in a little over five relatively uneventful days, the group finds itself standing on a hill next to the sparkling blue waters of Lake Zarovich, overlooking the town of Vallaki.  Whether aid & succor, or horrible death awaits them in the town remains to be seen. . . .

~Ka-ching! Alaric, Astrid, Joaquin, Nico, Oz, Tobias, and Viktoriya have all reached level 3! Please update your sheets at your convenience.~