1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'   Posted by The Thread-Weaver.Group: 0
The Thread-Weaver
 GM, 29 posts
 Look upon my works
 And despair!
Mon 22 Jun 2009
at 22:40
1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Many thousands of years ago, before the coruscating spires of man here offered their splendour to the heavens, a lone warrior stood up among the stars and declared his will to the world. His legend was born of the earth, stone and fire that had forged Chauntea’s realm, and in the patient, brooding eyes that watched from beneath his brow, there burned a passion that would shape the sterile, formless lands of Faerûn for all time.

Yet a darker presence already lingered in these desolate lands, its very name the death of worlds. Dendaryth the Night Serpent, bane of Toril lurked, ever-waiting in the deep dark of the world. Imprisoned within the Peaks of Flame by the founder Gods during the time of the Godfeud, its release would ensure the coming of the apocalypse. The warrior agreed to stand guard over the entombed leviathan on the condition that he would be granted rule over the Chultan Peninsula. He crafted the Maze-Jungles of Chult in the image of his passion and so was named the Mazelord, father of the Jungle. Detached and separated from the rest of Toril, he became obsessed with the genius of his creation and his world became a constant test for the myriad denizens he had created in his own likeness.

Ubtao was this warrior’s name, and some say he still wanders the lands of Chult, waiting patiently for the day he might be freed from his inexorable duty and be allowed to let his creations of insanity spill out into the world.


"Prophecies of Shadow" (Imperial Chronicle MXVIII Part 2) - Be’llan Kel’tath on the Chultan Peninsula.



Calimport wilts in the early afternoon sun, its labyrinth of criss-crossing pavements and mudbrick walkways baking like clay as the temperature begins to soar. Though today, as the first day of Mirtul, heralds the beginning of spring, already the city is gripped by a devil-strong sun that would not grace the fiercest summer of any northern land. The iridescent spires and tenements of the Emerald Ward simmer in the glare and heat haze lifts like waves on every horizon.

Despite the heat, the people of Calimport are not deterred and preparations for the festival of Greengrass are well underway. People crowd the busier roads, setting up stalls and pushing carts full of supplies for the night ahead between the various villas, inns and bazaars.

Struggling against both the heat and the crowds, you push on into the Marekh sabban, ignoring the merchants and stallholders who vie for your attention. From one source or another you have heard that the infamous Professor Hingleswip is seeking adventurers for his latest expedition. You aren’t sure whether you fit the description of ‘adventurer’ but the lure of gold and perhaps even more precious displays of wealth was enough to peak your curiosity.

Finally, you arrive at the Professor’s residence – a huge building, taking up an entire tenement block in the northeast quarter of the sabban. Empty windows peer down at you from behind thick steel bars and complex mechanisms line the huge glass-tiled roof some thirty feet above.



The laboratories of Professor Hingleswip are a thing of infamy in this part of the city - along with his isolated lifestyle – and normally you know well any visitors would be quickly turned away. However you have arrived at the requested time – midday on the first day of Mirtul.

 Sighing, you look up at the heavy jade doors and polished bronze knocker. There is only one way to make yourself known...

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:29, Mon 10 Oct 2011.

Jibril
 player, 15 posts
 Cleric of Azuth
Mon 22 Jun 2009
at 23:30
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
The Thread-Weaver:
Sighing, you look up at the heavy jade doors and polished bronze knocker. There is only one way to make yourself known...


By blowing the damn thing off its hinges...Jibril thought irritably. He stared at the door and then down at the hems of his canary yellow cloak.  Some slovenly oaf on the street had splattered mud on his prized garment on the way here, and he was infuriated.  For a moment, he wondered if there was a reputable cleaner in the neighborhood who could spiff him up, but it would only delay his meeting.  Why do only arcanists have Prestidigitation spells when you need them? As he continued to stare at the door, he inhaled deeply and twisted his neck dramatically back and forth in order to compose himself.  Unfortunately, the cloak would have to wait. It was time to meet the professor.  He rapped the bronze knocker a bit too loudly, as he still tried to calm himself.
Abbas
 player, 12 posts
Tue 23 Jun 2009
at 00:29
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Abbas shook his head in a practiced motion, loosening the neckcovering of his golden burnoose and setting it to rest upon his shoulders.  His glossy dark hair shone brightly, white glare on black.  The delicate elven features and stood out amongst the darker skin and broad build of the sea of humankind.

He adjusted the bright blue of his tunic, not because it needed it, but because it was good practice to present a good impression to prospective employers, and this task seemed more potential for interest than the last.  A check of the blades, a check the hang of bow and backpack to ensure they hung properly and would not interfere with draw of steel if trouble arose, not that it seemed likely here - it was prudent to be cautious.

The elf's grey eyes noted a brightly-cloaked man pondering the door knocker, and took his measure before beginning a glide forward.  Abbas nodded to Jibril, and, at a polite distance, side-stepped him in a half-arc to repeat the gesture against the solid jade portals.

"Sun's blessing is strong today, traveller."
Jibril
 player, 16 posts
 Cleric of Azuth
Tue 23 Jun 2009
at 02:35
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Abbas:
"Sun's blessing is strong today, traveller."


Jibril glanced at the elf askance. With a small sigh, he smoothed his crimson silk tunic and turned to the newcomer. "Yes indeed. I know this is a strange request, but do you happen to have a Prestidigitation spell handy?" Jibril rolled his eyes and pointed at his muddy cloak with an embarrassed blush.
Abbas
 player, 13 posts
Tue 23 Jun 2009
at 11:31
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
"I fear such arcana are not within my field of studies," the elf acknowledged without apology.  Glancing to the hem as he stepped back against the wall, seeking what little shade was offered by the building decoration, Abbas added quietly in reply, "If dirtied water is the issue, I may offer fresh water to aid in cleansing; if thickened earth is the issue, the day's heat will quickly bake it dry, at which point you can simply break it off your fine garment.  Alternatively, Yergan soapstone is most useful on difficult cleansings - I know a merchant who will gladly be of assistance there, but such would, regretably, draw you from these jade doors."

Although Abbas leaned against the wall for its small shade and cool, he remained balanced and watchful of the area - relaxed without being complacent.
Jibril
 player, 17 posts
 Cleric of Azuth
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 01:14
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Abbas:
"If dirtied water is the issue, I may offer fresh water to aid in cleansing; if thickened earth is the issue, the day's heat will quickly bake it dry, at which point you can simply break it off your fine garment.  Alternatively, Yergan soapstone is most useful on difficult cleansings - I know a merchant who will gladly be of assistance there, but such would, regretably, draw you from these jade doors."


Jibril listened attentively to the elf's advice, although it didn't make him much happier. He adjusted the black stole with gold threaded arcane symbols on his shoulders in irritation, but he managed a polite response. "Thank you sir...I appreciate your tip on Yergan soapstone, but alas, you are right. There is no time to fuss with this now. It appears we are both here on business."
Abbas
 player, 14 posts
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 01:29
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
"So it would seem," Abbas replied in quiet contemplation.  "I must admit my surprise - from the nature of the referral I received to attend here, I had understood more persons would be presenting themselves, although such does not seem to be developing to be the case.

"Indeed, for such a tempting proposition in early Mirtul, I had anticipated troublesome crowds of applicants, despite the reputation concerns associated within this quarter."


Although lack of direct eye contact was slightly impolite, the elven traveller made no effort to remove his gaze from sweeping the courtyard and buildings bordering the square in which Jibril and Abbas stood waiting.

"I am known here as Abbas Kareem.  I believe your name-exchanging custom is more formal here within chambres, but the street social rules would make it unoffensive to exchange common names, and I find such convention of sharing a name facillitates conversation and good will, and that reduces the need for troublesome displays of posturing, is it that you agree?" the elf offered in the lilting eloquence of his race's tongue, repeating the words in elven-accented common.
Fareeda
 player, 6 posts
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 03:04
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
A sly, yet enchanting voice speaks in elven behind Abbas," Yet what is in a name? Does it define you, make you who you are? Or is it merely another trapping of life, to be used and changed at a whim? But, names are also mighty as spells, making kings and lords pay fealty at the mention of some. It is thus that you should consider before giving such a simple answer for a complicated subject."

Fareeda approached silently after that, giving the two present a chance to see her and look upon her. She was wearing a slight beige shift that blended with the sand and a top of leather that did little more than cover her breasts. Her hair was let down and the mandolin on her back hung in a loose position. She carried no visible weapons on her.
The Thread-Weaver
 GM, 32 posts
 Look upon my works
 And despair!
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 09:50
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Before Abbas could answer - if indeed he was able to speak at all when gifted with the voluptuous sight of Fareeda - the heavy click of the door unlocking stole his attention. With a groan, the jade portal swung open, filling the Professor's entrance hall with sunlight - seemingly for the first time in a long while. Instead of being greeted by the expected gnome-shaped form; Abbas, Jibril and Fareeda were surprised by a pair of smouldering crimson eyes that peered down at them out of the gloom. As their eyes adjusted from the fierce sunlight outside, the huge, towering outline of some kind of construct appeared in the doorway. Standing at least nine feet tall and broad as a Stone Giant, the Golem dwarfed the three figures stood on the porch, its polished steel hull gleaming in the sunlight.

"You are permitted entrance." The Golem's face did not move to speak - indeed it had no discernible mouth beneath those glowing eyes - yet the words came from somewhere, their tone heavy and metallic. "Please follow me."

With that, the construct turned and moved out of the way, each awkward stride of its bull-like legs rumbling the floor beneath. Once Jibril, Fareeda and Abbas had entered, it swung the door shut and turned to lead the three prospective adventurers off into the complex.

The entrance hall would once have been a grand reception area, one to match any other villa in the Ward. Beautiful tapestries hung low on the walls, depicting each of the founding Djinn from Calimport's ancient past - and expertly crafted friezes formed a spiral on the ceiling that twisted together around a stained-glass skylight. However, the room appeared to have not been used in years. Thick dust had settled across the tapestries and accumulated filth had dulled the gorgeous colouring of the skylight. This trend of neglect seemed to continue throughout the house as they were lead on through lowlit corridors and eerie, dust-filled chambers. Wherever the Professor spent his time, it was certainly not up here.

Finally, the group arrived in a wide circular room, the floor softened by a thick carpet. Old picture frames lined the dark mahogany wall, their contents faded with age. A dusty chandelier cast its moody light through the room, revealing a row of chairs placed around the perimeter. In one sat a young red-haired Gnome, her short legs kicking as they tried vainly to reach the floor.

"Please wait here." The Golem crossed the room, its heavy feet muffled by the carpet. Opening the opposite door, it seemed to begin a descent before closing the door behind it.
Jibril
 player, 19 posts
 Cleric of Azuth
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 18:45
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Jibril opened his mouth to reply to the elf and the drably dressed woman who had arrived. But his mouth was left agape when the golem opened the door.  He had always admired the workmanship of these constructs, although the interior of the villa left something to be desired.  He started to sneeze as they kick up the dust in their path, and he pulled out a persimmon colored handkerchief to wipe his tearing eyes. While waiting in the last room, he used the handkerchief to wipe the dust off the paintings so he could examine them.  "Someone needs a maid. Perhaps the golem can be programmed to do some housework." These comments are made to no one in particular.
Abbas
 player, 15 posts
Wed 24 Jun 2009
at 18:51
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
"All and none  - names indeed may be the leaf upon the breeze, the first to turn colour, or but one leaf in a tree's garments," Abbas replied slowly, tilting his head to acknowledge the speaker.

Despite his best intentions, the elf's brows did quirk momentarily upward and his eyes widen when he inclined his head to view the new arrival moving up along the side of the building - with the penchant here for gauzy coverings, revealing charms of a fetching woman, and one with a remarkable grace.

"I have not heard the Tongue spoken for many days within this city - most pleasing to the ear, lady minstrel.  If time later permits, I would be interested in hearing any songs you know of our communities."

~
Following the golem through dust-covered chambres of beauty suggested interesting elements to the elven warrior, but he kept them to himself and observed the two other walking alongside and taking their measure.

Once within the waiting room, Abbas moved to a chair that provided him a view of the rooms' doors, and waited patiently for Fareeda and Jibril to seat themselves, then joined them.

"Good day to you," Abbas greeted the red-haired gnome. A brief thought to inquire further was quashed summarily - if the gnome felt inclined to share, she would do so, but to ask was presumptuous, for surely she must have a special invitation if she were here in advance, and might well have some connection with the Professor - inquiring of such friendship or relations could produce awkwards results.
Linni
 player, 5 posts
 Eccentric gnomeling
 sorceress extraordinaire!
Thu 25 Jun 2009
at 09:01
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
As company entered the room the red-haired gnome looked up. She studied each of the arrivals with equal measure, her head tilted slightly as a frown shadowed her green eyes. Suddenly, almost from nowhere a weasel darted across the room as if in greeting, the gnome's frown deepened as the small creature began to run towards the others. As if receiving some silent reprimand the weasel stopped and instead walked over to the gnome and curled up under her chair, it's eyes watching the room attentively. Picking up her staff from where it rested aside the chair the gnome stood up, standing on the chair she brushed down her red robe and muttered to herself before smiling up at the new arrivals.

"Greetings gentlemen," She nodded in reply to the elf and bowed slightly to the human woman, "Lady. I am Linni the flameslinger, master mixologist, Spark of Calimshan, Burning Terror of the Sands and niece to the prestigious Professor Kraust Hingleswip, Enigma of the Port, Captain of Scilandar and Illusionist extraordinaire." Bowing lower Linni spread her arms widely, "I welcome you to our labratories. Please do not let the wandering constructs concern you, it has been over a month since the last malfunctions."

Folding her legs below her Linni sat back down, inviting everyone to do likewise. "The Professor will be with us shortly I am sure, he has been expecting the most talented of mercenaries and explorers for his latest expedition." She looked over everyone once more, ”I just prey that he is not disappointed.”
Jibril
 player, 20 posts
 Cleric of Azuth
Fri 26 Jun 2009
at 14:19
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Linni:
"Please do not let the wandering constructs concern you, it has been over a month since the last malfunctions."


Jibril stopped his dusting and turns to the gnome. "Well, Miss Burning Terror of the Sands, can you tell us what the last malfunctions were from the constructs? Just to be prepared, of course."
Linni
 player, 7 posts
 Eccentric gnomeling
 sorceress extraordinaire!
Sun 28 Jun 2009
at 04:33
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Linni nodded, happy to explain. "Of course." She shifted her weight and looked down between her legs at the weasel sitting underneath the chair before continuing. "I would say that the malfunctions come from the constructs not being created with gnomish hands. How can you put anything so fine together, mechanically, when you have hands like sides of pork? Not to mention the skills of the creators must have been lacking, again I put down to racial discrepancies. Gnomes are clearly at the pinnacle of arcane pursuits." She shrugged, "That is not to say that some arcane artisans of other races to not possess some talent in the creation of constructs. Indeed, I can assure you that the professor would not employ substandard equipment in his laboratories."

She waved a hand towards the door which the golem disappeared moments before, "The most common malfunction is simply shutting down, they inherently can't choose their behavior but sometimes I wonder. They certainly sometimes obey your commands in the most obscure ways. Other, rarer, malfunctions include combustion, explosions, inappropriate use of weaponry, target analysis malfunctions and just the usual 'go crazy and kill everything in sight' problems."

Linni looked to Jibril and gave a reassuring smile, "As I said, nothing to be concerned about."
Fareeda
 player, 7 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2009
at 04:57
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Fareeda stands quiet behind the others, choosing to more out of simple expedience than rudeness. The Simple fact that she was back in this house meant that she was not in the best of times. Her few times as a social escort for the professor had not gone well in the circles she inhabited. She was going to use this time wisely and not make herself obvious. When Linni talked about malfunctions though, she was unable to keep her snicker at bay.

Fareeda shuffled forward slightly and whispered something to the Elf.
Abbas
 player, 19 posts
Mon 29 Jun 2009
at 13:27
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
"I expect some of my arcane brethren might express displeasure at being termed "hands like sides of pork", but elven magic takes a more natural path than artificial creations, and I am no practioner in the arts, merely an explorer interested at the option provided here today."  Abbas presented his observations in his quiet, melodical accent before tilting his head to reply quietly to the fetching woman moved to his side.

He spread his hands slightly apart, and gracefully slid his shoulders in what might pass for a shoulder shrug or simply a smooth movement of stretching or exercise.
The Thread-Weaver
 GM, 38 posts
 Look upon my works
 And despair!
Tue 30 Jun 2009
at 16:17
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
The group were left in the reception hall for some minutes, their awkward conversations starting sporadically before returning to a doubly awkward silence. Fareeda and Abbas seemed to be getting well acquainted already, their whispered conversation filling the room with scratchy yet inaudible words. Linni continued to stand on the chair, gesticulating as she explained tales of her many deeds - meanwhile, beneath her, Kei the weasel darted in between chair legs as a marauding Balrog might twist between the pillars of an ancient Dwarf city. Finally, Jibril took to inspecting the room, bringing his finger away from every surface with a sneer of disgust.

And so it seemed, the Professor’s adventurers had arrived.

Eventually, after a good ten minutes waiting, the sound of a muffled voice could be heard from the door the Golem had disappeared through - drawing closer as its owner ascended the stairs. Curses and howls of anguish mixed seamlessly with giggles of glee and incomprehensible mutterings; the only words audible through the thick portal being something to do with 'scrap metal' and threats of a 'rusty end.'

Finally the voice, now sounding increasingly out of breath, reached the top of the stairwell. With a click, the door creaked open...
Professor Hingleswip
 NPC, 1 post
 Gnome Explorer
 Ingenious Insanity
Tue 30 Jun 2009
at 16:50
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
...To reveal an old gnome, huffing and puffing from his exertions on the stairs. Taking a few seconds to regain his composure, he stepped into the reception hall, peering through a pair of spectacles at the arrayed figures.

"Ahah! So you've come! Word must have actually got around then - this is quite a surprise considering the imbeciles that I am surrounded by!" He waved his free hand wildly at this and stepped forward into the room, leaning heavily on a gnarled wooden cane, its handle embedded with fattened emeralds. "Though I suppose one must only mention gold in this city and someone will come running, hm?"

Seeing not a single laugh to his joke, the professor coughed awkwardly and paced on into the room, looking as if he might happily walk out the opposite door and forget his guests. Reaching the centre of the carpet, he stopped, surprised, as if forgetting where he was. "Yes, yes, of course. Introductions. Where are my manners? Stolen no doubt, one cannot keep anything safe from the Calimport thieves it seems, not even manners!" Adjusting his spectacles, he stuck his chest out and continued. "I am Professor Kraust Hingleswip, or so I am told at least, and this..." He gestured around him at the dusty waiting area, "Is my laboratory.” He grinned as if waiting for a round of applause, then remembered himself and cleared his throat – the latter action proving something of a struggle as he burst into a fit of coughing. "My apologies no, this is a waiting room, obviously. My laboratory is around here, however...somewhere. I hope."

He breathed deep and looked around from face to face. "Right then, let’s have a look at you all." He began to move around the room, peering up at each of them in turn. He grabbed hands, tapped weapons with his cane and examined armour and clothes – all the while mumbling incoherently to himself. Finally he came to Linni and stopped. Seeing her so high up on the chair, he promptly jumped up on the one next to her and stood up proudly. "Well, Linni. It looks like you may get your wish. Not enough have come and I need your help." he sighed and his shoulders drooped. "Your father is going to kill me. Ah well, at least he doesn’t have a ship."

With that, he leapt down from the chair and returned to the centre of the room and tapped his cane for attention. "Right then, names and professions? Not that I’ll remember of course but should the impossible occur and I do remember it might give you all some sense of self-worth - which might help, when the time comes."
Abbas
 player, 20 posts
Tue 30 Jun 2009
at 17:49
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
“Here I go by Abbas Kareem, good Professor, fellow invitees.  I am a traveler, an explorer, from outside the great city of Calimshan.  I consider that my calling; my vocation within Calimshan’s many walls as a personal protector serves to fulfill the goal of learning.”  The elf inclined his head softly and maintained the smile that had touched on his features at the Professor’s comment about the thieves in the city.

“Shortblade and longbow are my preferred weapons, yes, as the Professor pointed out. They are more serviceable for tight quarters and taking care of trouble afar – one who prepares only for the threat on the horizon or next door opens himself to the other.”

Rotating his left wrist counterdial-wise and back along the arm, Abbas gracefully greeted the others formally with one of the elven beckonings of greeting.
Jibril
 player, 21 posts
 Cleric of Azuth
Wed 1 Jul 2009
at 18:59
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Jibril resisted the urge to slap the strange little gnome who was poking and prodding him.  Despite his glares, the Professor continued to treat him like a lab experiment.  With a grunt, he drew himself up to his full height. "I'm Jibril Husam al Din, cleric of Azuth and Magistrati from the Spell Lord's House in Quill Ward.  You know--those clerics who try to keep an eye on the appropriate use of magic in Calimport and question things like wanton golems in full kill destruct mode."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:00, Wed 01 July 2009.

Linni
 player, 8 posts
 Eccentric gnomeling
 sorceress extraordinaire!
Thu 2 Jul 2009
at 07:55
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Linni frowned as her uncle jumped up onto the chair and as he held himself high Linni tried to match the height, though missed by almost a half foot. She shooed him away as he hopped down and was happy he turned his attentions to the others.

As her turn came about she waved a hand, "The others are, of course, already familiar with my mastery of the arcane arts. " She turned from the professor and continued, "However, I am also an alchemist." She poked one of the many bottles strapped over herself, "These are my creation. You may know the substance as alchemists fire, however this is a very potent and deadly extract of such a mixture, perfected by myself."
Abbas
 player, 21 posts
Thu 2 Jul 2009
at 13:20
Re: 1 Mirtul DR1368 – 'A Tempting Proposition'
Abbas considered his pleasure at being the opposite side of Linni's seat.  "Alchemist's fire... a useful tool, also quite dangerous in circumstances.  I recall one adventuring saga - "The Tale of the Blackblade Company - wherein the party's priest had taken a penchant for the substance and elected to bring along several flasks - unbeknownst to the party.  A ball of fire exploding during a trap triggered the flasks and killed nearly the entire band.

"Helpful, but requiring much caution in handling."
  The elf made no move to rush over and embrace Linni, but neither was their a rush over to remove any said bottles.  It was, such as might be the case, an observation from a safe distance.