A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
The Raconteur
 GM, 2118 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 17:52
A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



Pisca found the Very Impressive Lock securing the door of the Feathered Serpent to be unengaged as she entered the windowless shop to find that she had finally tracked down its curiously-difficult-to-locate proprietor.

“Pisca Neep Freemish,” Vorvashali Voon grinned over the counter of his shop.  He was dressed as outlandishly as ever, wearing a lime green vest, bright red pants, and some sort of curled leather slippers.  His hat seemed to be some struggling artist’s representation of a duck.  Or maybe a goose.  Perhaps a swan?

It was difficult to say.  Definitely a water fowl of some sort.

“Miss Kaijitsu has informed me of your concern regarding the head you left in her care.”  He waved a hand through the air, as if batting away such worries.  “Never fear!  The esteemed Father Zantus and I have successfully disposed of the item—it is as if it never existed.”  The olive-complexioned man gave the gnome a very toothy smile.  “So I hope that has put your fears to rest.”

The strangely-dressed man smiled broadly.  “Is there anything else I can do for you?”  He swept his hand around his store.  “I have wonders galore for the customer discerning enough to find them.”  He looked down at his petite visitor.  “How discerning are you, I wonder?”




This message was lightly edited by the GM at 18:44, Mon 08 June 2015.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2419 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 01:33
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
The gnome nodded yes.  Yes, even though the question had not been a yes or no sort of question.  She even followed this by saying the word.

"Yes," Pisca said.  "I wonder too.  How discerning am I?"  And she pondered and pondered what had, perhaps been an entirely rhetorical question.  "How discerning am I?  How?"  She strolled about the shop, gesticulating to the invisible gods watching invisibly from their comfortable seats somewhere near the ceiling.  "And you know what I tell myself in answer?"  Pisca turned back to Vorvashali Voon and before all the gods she looked him in the eyes with a most earnest face and said, "I tell myself, Pisca, you'll never know until you try."

"Am I right, Mister Voon?  Is Pisca right?  Will you show me around and let me try?  We'll see how discerning I am."

"Oh, and thank you for taking care of that batwinged ... well, the vargouille.  Having to leave it behind worried me.  By the by," asked the gnome as her eyes roved the shop that was so obviously chocked full of magic, "how happy are you with your garbage service?"
The Raconteur
 GM, 2121 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 17:38
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



“It is good to wonder about oneself.  Self-knowledge is a marvelous thing.”  The shop’s flamboyant proprietor paused, a shadow passing over his face.  “Also often a painful thing.”  The shadow passed, and the smile returned.  “But marvelous!”

He spun around, causing the unidentified waterfowl to teeter precariously atop his head.  He ended the twirl in a wide stance, arms outspread.  “But I would be happy to show you around and assist in your attempt!  Where should we start?”  He looked around the shop, pondering.  “Perhaps over here?”  The question seemed rhetorical.  He nodded, as if answering his own query.  “Yes, definitely over here.”

“The Feathered Serpent,” Voon voice deepened, as if he were making a presentation, “is a repository of wonders!  Discerning,” he glanced at Pisca, “customers come from across Varisia and beyond to find artifacts of great power or historical significance.”  He began leading the gnome down one of the shop’s wide aisles.  “And occasionally both at once!”

“Of course, such objects are not easy to obtain, which is why they are often, I must admit, outrageously priced.”  He placed a finger next to his nose, grinning slyly at Pisca.  “But then again, how outrageous can a price be if there are those willing to pay?”

He gestured at a small item that looked nothing so much like an ancient writing implement suspended within a glass box.  “This, my gnomish friend, is one of the pens used by the philosopher Kalim Onaku to create the Laws of Man, which as you probably know was the beginning of the end of the Oath Wars.”  He winked.  “Don’t tell Father Zantus about this one.”

He continued through the shop, showing Pisca items of significance great and small.  “You were right to be worried about the vargouille,” Vovashali Voon nodded in agreement as they walked.  “Its presence here was unnatural, caused by people meddling in things better left alone.”  He gave her a sidelong look.  “Less discerning people than ourselves might be tempted to use such items in their attempts to,” he paused, “get ahead.”

He continued on as if he had not just committed a heinous crime against humor.  “My garbage service, you say?  I’m afraid I’ve never given it much thought.”  He pointed at what looked like a silver rod with a red gem embedded two-thirds of the way up its length.  “That was Aroden’s Scepter of Authority, carried by his high priests during the Age of Enthronement until he ceased to be.”  He stood looking at the rod for a moment, hands clasped behind his back, seemingly lost in thought.  “I think everyone was very surprised when that occurred.  Aroden’s death, I mean, not that his high priests carried a scepter.”

The pair continued down the aisle.  “Garbage service is one of those jobs that not many people want,” Vorvashali Voon said, as if he had never digressed into a discussion of divine mortality.  “So long as whoever has the job does it passingly well, you do not find much call for a replacement.”  He stepped back to evaluate Pisca.  “Why?  Has your venture into self-examination revealed a heretofore-undiscovered predilection for junk removal?”




This message was last edited by the GM at 17:40, Tue 09 June 2015.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2422 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 13:51
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
The gnome had been in the midst of extending her tongue to taste the beginning of the end of the Oath Wars, when Vorvashali Voon spoke of the vargouille.  She stepped back from the glass box within which floated the Pen of Kalim Onaku and turned a grin on the owner of the Feathered Serpent.  It was a grin that showed only in her eyes, but only because her mouth was covered by the palm of her hand.  With her other finger she pointed at the man as though to say, I see what you did there.

Instead of saying that, however, she barked a short laugh and flung her arms around the leg of the flamboyant Varisian.  When she broke from her hug, the gnome looked up and said, "I like you, Vorvashali Voon.  You're a very interesting human," which, though not a well and widely known fact, is a great compliment from a gnome.

After that minor outburst, she wandered quietly with Voon past the authoritative scepter until he answered her question regarding garbage service, and then asked one of his own.

"Not me," Pisca replied regarding the question of garbage collection.  "My friend Lunk.  He works for that half-orc Gorvi.  Gorvi is so mean to him.  And Lunk does most of the work already anyway.  I'm going to talk to Mayor Deverin tomorrow about chasing Gorvi off and giving the business to Lunk.  But I wanted to hear how other people felt about it first.  Lunk is hard working.  And he's a hero.  But ... "

"Say, that's a nice bag," Pisca said, momentarily distracted.  She tipped her head to one side as she examined the stylized figure of a girl cat embossed into the leather of one of the straps.  The craftsman had gone so far as to give the kitty a red ribbon just below her right ear.

"But ... " the gnome then said, continuing where she'd left off by reiterating her expression of doubt, " ... Lunk might not do too well on the business side of the business, if you understand my meaning."
The Raconteur
 GM, 2126 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 07:12
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



“Thank you my dear.”  Vorvashali Voon was not a man easily flustered, but it seemed clear that receiving hugs from a gnome was not something he often experienced.  After a moment, he patted his pint-sized embracer on the head.  “You are very interesting as well,” he reassured her.  He looked at the door.  “In fact, the whole group of you is interesting.  There is something . . . .”  His voice trailed off.

The odd-looking pair walked together through the store: the tall, thin man with the unusual headgear and the petite, curiously-intense gnome.  “Lunk,” the shopkeeper repeated noncommittally when Pisca broached the name.  “Hmmmmm.”  While the gnome explained her idea, Voon examined a display item that looked for all the world like a smooth rock one might pick up from the shores of the Turandarok.

“Gorvi is not, how can I say this, an agreeable person.”  Vorvashali’s finger approached the stone he was examining, but did not touch it.  “He is a drunk and a bully and I do not think he has ingratiated himself with the townsfolk.”  He turned to look at Pisca.  “That, and he’s a half-orc.”  He tapped a long, tapered forefinger to his temple.  “An unscrupulous opponent could use that fact to sway Sandpoint’s more . . . regimented thinkers.”  He paused.  “I may be wrong, but I think your scruples might allow you to do such a thing.”

He returned his attention to the nondescript rock.  “But Gorvi did not become Sandpoint’s junkman by winning a popularity contest.”  Voon seemed to be trying to stare at something contained inside the stone.  “He won the job, and retains it, because—despite his drunkenness and general unpleasantness—he does it well, and nobody else really wants to do it.”

Apparently despairing of finding whatever hid inside the rock, Vorvashali turned to face Pisca.  “Sadly, the same people who would depose Gorvi for his lineage would refuse to elevate Lunk because of his simple-mindedness.”  He placed his hands behind his back, seeming to take the subject very seriously.  “And would they be wrong?  Does Lunk have the capacity to lead a crew of junkers?  Would he even want to?”

“Yes, that is a nice bag, isn’t it?”  The Feathered Serpent’s proprietor agreed, without missing a beat.  “I procured it at no small expense for a valued customer.”

“But these questions have already occurred to you, have they not?  And I think you already know the answer to those questions.  But it seems to me that your goal isn’t necessarily Lunk’s elevation.  You simply want someone more kind-hearted in charge of the junkers.”  He shrugged.  “And should you find someone like that who wants the job, replacing Gorvi should not prove much of a challenge for someone with your drive and talents.”  He gave a small shrug.  “But where shall you find such a person?  That is your real problem.  Don’t you agree?”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2427 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 17:00
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Yeah.  You're right," admitted the gnome with weighty regret.  Her nod then spoke both her assent and her capitulation before her mouth got around to the words.  "All of those questions have occurred to me already.  But ... "  With a frown and pursed lip she lifted her gaze to the Varisian's face in and appeal for ... understanding?  For a solution that might appear from out of Desna's Great Fortune and magically resolve this problem for her?  It was probably the latter.  "But ... I was hoping that the questions weren't ... well, I was hoping that they weren't real questions."  Pisca heaved a heavy sigh.  "But, now that I know that the questions have occurred to you as well ...  Then, I suppose, I'll have to admit to myself that they are actually real, and that I'll have to do something about them."

"Oh badgers," the gnome said in a cross voice.  "Why can't things ever be the way you imagine that they should be?"

"And, I don't suppose that I want to replace Gorvi so much as ... "  The gnome picked up an interesting pair of crystal lenses and fit them to her face.  " ... as much as I just want him to stop being mean to my friend Lunk.  I suppose that I could threaten Gorvi.  Maybe even cut him up a bit.  But, I think it would be ever so nice for Lunk if he could do this for himself.  Don't you think?"

Pisca looked up at the human again, this time with a smile.  "You should have seen his face after he saved the orphans during the goblin attack.  He was so happy.  He was so surprised.  Not me.  He's my giant."

"Oh well.  I'll keep an eye out for someone who might be a good replacement for Gorvi.  And ... I think I'll also encourage Lunk to stand up for himself.  That might be the better way to go there."

The gnome put the interesting lenses back and picked up a nearby pair of translucent cloth tubes.  "What do these things do, Vorvee?" she asked.


Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
OoC: Pisca is looking at Sleeves of Many Garments. http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/r-z/sleeves-of-many-garments

This message was last edited by the player at 00:31, Fri 12 June 2015.

The Raconteur
 GM, 2137 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 22:20
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



“Life is like that,” Voon agreed with a slight bob of his head, “but how boring would it be if everything was exactly as we imagined it?  What would be the use for courage?  For struggle?  For generosity or selflessness or effort?  For making ourselves and the world about us better?”  He frittered the air with his fingers.  “Would you want to live in a world like that?  One we just floated through like leaves on the Turandarok, with no reason to do anything but enjoy the ride?”  He shook his head.  “I doubt you would be happy for more than a few days.”  He grinned.  “I certainly wouldn’t.”

“Doing something about the questions that bother us is a noble thing, Pisca Neep Freemish.”  The gnome’s companion reminded her.  “And the work we put into addressing those questions makes us better people and brings us closer to the gods.”  He nodded.  “When was the last time you met a truly good person who hadn’t encountered hardship?  Oh, they exist, but they’re rare.”  He tapped his chest.  “It is fighting through life’s difficulties that gives us empathy, discipline, and, dare I say it,” he raised one thin eyebrow, “maturity.”

“And I think you are right, Lunk’s actions at the orphanage did surprise him.  But it’s often when things are at their worst that we surprise ourselves with how much better our best can be.”

“Ah, yes!”  Vorvashali Voon picked up the tubes with a new flush of enthusiasm, holding them aloft as if they were some sort of trophy.  “I’m afraid these don’t have a terribly practical use other than to save you from purchasing and cleaning fine clothes.  For behold,” he thrust them toward Pisca, “whatever outfit you desire is contained within!  Here, I will demonstrate.”

The outlandishly-dressed man began to struggle into the sleeves.  “The.”  He grunted. “Only drawback.”  He gritted his teeth and pulled his left arm through the first sleeve.  “These have.”  More grunting as he strained to fit his right arm into the second tube.  “Are that they always seem to be too small.”  His fingers appeared on the opposite side of the tube.  “No matter what size you are.”  Voon’s hand finally burst through the other side of the sleeve, and he turned to her with an expression of triumph.  “Victory!”

“So, yes, right, the demonstration.  All you have to do is visualize the outfit you wish to be wearing, say the command word, and presto, you will be wearing it!  For example, let’s say you wanted to wear a something drab that nearly screams aloud your desire for conformity.”  He mumbled a word and was instantly clad in clothing suspiciously similar to the temple vestments Father Zantus wore during his sermons.  “Or perhaps you are dining with a noble?”  Another mumble and he was suddenly dressed in what looked like a carbon copy of Lord Aldern Foxglove’s dinner attire.  “Or perhaps you just wish to follow in the footsteps of a fashionable gnome?”  The olive-skinned man grinned merrily as his clothing shifted to a carbon copy of Pisca’s outfit.  “The possibilities are endless!”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2434 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 01:41
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
There were several times in which the gnome opened her mouth as though to object, or to complain, or to rebut.  Each time, however, she stopped, eyes full of thought.  Then she closed her mouth again, only nodding instead.

Whether the wisdom of Vorvashali Voon had any lasting impact upon the gnome, however, was not something that was readily apparent, as Pisca, the Easily Distracted Gnome, was soon caught up in the demonstration of the Magic Sleeves.  Pisca's face rolls through a range of emotions as Voon's clothing change as though ... by magic.  Wonder.  Amusement.  Delight.

"I want that!" exclaimed the gnome.  And then, with a grin, "I like endless possibilities."

"And you make a stirring Shoanti scout, Vorvee," Pisca said with great gnomish approval, indicating his duplication of her own leathers.  "You have a wonderful shop here, Vorvee.  Thank you so very much for having me.  And now, if you don't mind, I'd like to buy some things.  Hopefully, they will prove to be ... discerning."
The Raconteur
 GM, 2143 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 21:20
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



Vorvashali Voon sketched a smiling bow to his gnomish visitor.  “I’m sure your discernment will be just as apparent in your purchases as it is with everything else you put your mind to.”

The commercial portion of Pisca’s visit to the Feathered Serpent went smoothly.  Voon sold his exotic items at fair prices; soon his leathers-clad customer was leaving the shop, burdened with new purchases but experiencing the concomitant lightness of purse.

The gnome quickly stopped by her room at the Rusty Dragon to deposit her new possessions, giving Ameiko a friendly wave as she did so.  Then she was off to find the remainder of her friends.  She figured she might find Kellan at the General Store, so she headed that direction.

It was a bright, clear Sandpoint afternoon.  A fresh breeze blew lightly off the ocean, carrying with it the distinctive odor of brine and salt and somehow also the scent of hope and opportunity.  Passersby seemed to walk with an additional spring in their step, but whether it was because they had just been spared a gruesome Death By Goblin Invasion or because they too sniffed the promise of the wind was a mystery that Pisca might never have the opportunity to solve.

As she walked, she passed a couple of Sczarni who were clearly on the make; apparently Sandpoint’s more-upright citizens were not the only ones who sensed opportunity.  Her knowing look as they passed resulted in their discomfited ones, but she did not stay around long enough to determine who their mark might be.  She was a Gnome With a Purpose.

Pisca crossed Southmarket Square without incident; the edifice of Ven Vinder’s General Store rose in the distance.  As she approached, she spotted Kellan chatting with Katrine Vinder on the verandah, and then—in a fortuitous happenstance—Cato striding down Main Street toward her . . . .




This message was last edited by the GM at 21:21, Mon 15 June 2015.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1053 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 19:20
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato walked along the water with Pisca, holding his tongue until they were isolated from other stray denizens of Sandpoint who were enjoying a stroll down Water Street.  Finally, Cato spoke.

In a quiet voice, he said: "Pisca, I've been living a lie, deceiving everyone I know in Sandpoint.  And now I'm worried, not just for myself, but for the consequences of anyone who's helped me.  Brodert, all of you..."

Cato shook his head.  "But that's not going to help you.  What I'm worried about is that I'm trying to stay hidden here.  But to get here, I fled my family.  Even worse from that, I fled the Hellknights."  Cato looked to Pisca.  "Do you the Korvosan Hellknights, the Order of the Nail?  I joined to prove my family wrong, that all my academics could help."

Cato gave a  dry chuckle.  "Ironic that in running to escape that, I found myself here where I think I have done exactly what I set out to do in the first place."

The wizard shook his head again.  "But that's beyond the point.  I'm worried now that my past is catching up to me.  Ven mentioned that a Korvosan was asking after me, back when Deverin had us all onstage.  And that might mean the Hellknights have found me.  They don't take kindly to people deserting..."  Cato trailed off.  "Or it might be my family, but I'm sure that'd have the same result.  They couldn't shelter me without offending the Hellknights, which would have severe consequences, even for Korvosan nobility.  Especially for Korvosan nobility."

Cato looked to Pisca again.  "Sorry for rambling.  I haven't talked about any of this in...well, ever.  It's hard to stop when I start.  But, the reason I wanted to talk with you and Kellan is to see if anyone else is asking after me, or if anyone knew who that man was.  I figured Kellan could handle the official side of things: the guard and so on, and you might be able to handle the...less savory parts of town."

Cato finally stopped, waiting for Pisca's reaction.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2451 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 00:02
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Finally Cato stopped, and Pisca reached up to gently pat her friend's arm.  She drew him down to her and put her small delicate pink fingers against his brow.

"You don't feel hot, Cato," said the gnome.  "You're not feverish.  And you seem in sound mind.  Despite all that."  The gnome pulled her friend to a place equally free of stray denizens, but where the two might sit more comfortably, each to their individual heights.

"Did you know that I was in Korvosa for a while?  I applied to the Academae.  And when they failed to accept me there, I studied at Theumanexus College where my great great great great great uncle Geezlebottle teaches.  That didn't last long.  But I invented some very clever exploding cabbages."

"At any rate, I've seen Hellknights.  Hellknights are very distinctive.  And they've always struck me as very much lacking in subtlety.  I would think that any of the gate guards would very much remember having seen one."

"Back when Deverin had us all onstage, you say?  I would think that all of the gates would have been manned at that time.  What with the goblin troubles and all."

"What exactly did Ven Vinder say?  Think carefully.  Not having seen this man ourselves makes this more difficult than usual.  We know this is a man and not a woman.  Ven Vinder said so, right?  Did he say anything else that might help us identify the man?  How did Ven Vinder know this man was a Korvosan?  The cut of his clothing?  Or maybe he was wearing one of those little pins.  The ones that say, 'Korvosan and Proud," with the little stylized figure of the Crimson Throne in the center.  Those were very limited edition."

"Think back.  Tell me exactly word for word what it was that he said."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1055 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 01:43
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato breathed a sigh of relief as Pisca was...well, Pisca.  Of the four of them, he supposed Pisca would be the most likely to take everything in stride.

Cato thought back.  "Yes, it definitely was a man.  I didn't see him, of course.  Ven knew he was Korvosan by his accent.  Ven said the stranger was asking lots of questions about the group of us."

Cato laughed at Pisca's Hellknight theory.  "No, I'm sure it wasn't a Hellknight in their plate.  You're right, that's very distinctive.  But not all Hellknights wear that armor.  The wizards in the Order don't."  Cato shook his head sadly. "I should know, because that's what I was.  A Signifier in the Order of the Nail."  Cato practically spit the last words.

Cato's anger subsided somewhat.  "Thanks for helping me think back on this.  It could be nothing, but I just worry..."

Cato looked up.  "Well, I know word of what's happened here is going to get.  Four nobodies invade Thistletop and save Sandpoint?  I mean, we know it wasn't just us.  It was the Mayor, Shalelu, Alergast, Nisk, Brodert, practically the whole town.  I bet even Lunk played a part!  But Brodert especially is chomping at the bit to spread word of what's happened here far and wide.  And I can't take that away from him.  He deserves the recognition he's due.  But my name's going to be attached to that, and I'm afraid it's going to stir up the wrong sort of attention when it all happens.  And that's the last thing that Sandpoint needs."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2453 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 02:11
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Wait."  The gnome gave the human a searching look.  "Just hold on there.  Listen to what you said, Cato.  You just said that Ven knew he was Korvosan by his accent.  You said that Ven said the stranger was asking lots of questions about the group of us."

"The group of us!"  The gnome stood and threw her hands up into the air.  The excited hands then drifted down to Pisca's hips where they remained as she paced about while she talked through the remainder of her reasoning.

"Think about it.  If you were a Signifier on the trail of an escaped mage, you would ask about the escaped mage, right?  Instead, this man with the Korvosan accent was asking about all five of us.  Not just you."

"There's a good chance that this man was not from the Order of the Nail, but, rather, some other Korvosan searching not for you, but for us."  Pisca then climbed up into Cato's lap as she sketched out the beginnings of ... a plan.

"Asking at the guard is still not a bad idea.  He'd likely have had to come through one of the gates.  Not necessarily, but likely.  A Korvosan would be pretty conspicuous.  Or, maybe that was the point.  Maybe he only faked a Korvosan accent in order to throw us off the trail.  Desna's holy coincidences!  He might even have been that masked man we killed at Thistletop.  Wouldn't that be something?"

"And I know someone here in Sandpoint who knows everything that goes on.  I'll go talk to him.  Though he'll probably want something in return."  The gnome frowned.  "That's just the way he is."

"The important questions, though, are why are they interest in us?  That's why I asked about Mister Mask.  And just where is this man now?  We'll see if we can find that out."

"And you're still not completely off the hook even if this man is not from the Order.  There's still the fame, you know.  Good thing you didn't use your real name, right?"

Pisca twisted her neck so that she could look up at the human in whose lap she sat.  "Cato Crispin is a fake name, right?  You wouldn't go on the run and use your real name.  Would you?"

This message was last edited by the player at 13:06, Sat 20 June 2015.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1058 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Sun 21 Jun 2015
at 18:36
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato started to argue Pisca's conclusions, but then stopped, and cocked his head at the gnome.  "Huh.  Searching for all of us.  Thanks, Pisca.  I hadn't actually stopped to consider that before.  For the past few days, I've been worrying myself sick about this.  That I'd help defend Sandpoint, only to be found by the Hellknights and dragged back to Korvosa for...whatever it is they do to deserters.  Which I'm sure can't be pleasant."

Cato sighed in relief, and then laughed.  "I can't believe I'm feeling the tiniest bit better about this, but maybe it's better?  Well, worse if someone is looking for all of us?  That means...that means that Nualia has allies who were helping her along.  That someone else might be mighty upset that we put a stop to her.  That someone might be trying to free that barghest trapped down in Thistletop."

Cato shook his head.  "Still, I feel better knowing that it might be all of us, and I won't have to face that alone."

The wizard listened as Pisca started to sketch out her plan, and nodded.  "Thanks, Pisca.  I wasn't sure where to start looking into it, but that's exactly the kind of connections I thought you would have.  If I can help in any way to repay whatever debt you're going to incur by asking about this, let me know."

Cato laughed.  "No, Cato's not my real name.  Though I've certainly been using it for long enough.  The thing is..."  Cato looked down, feeling as though he were answering to his father again for wrongdoings as a little child.  "The thing, when I got here, I hadn't really thought about what I was going to say.  I had given fake names staying at inns in Magnimar and along the way, and the Hellknights had found me at one of them.  So I knew I couldn't use those.  And I just said Cato Crispin when Ameiko asked my name.  If you've spent some time in Korvosa, you might have seem some cheap pulp books that try to grab some of the interest generated by the Pathfinder's chap books?  Well, there was one about a heroic itinerant wizard named Cato Crisp I used to read when I was younger.  Was quite obsessed with him, actually.  Everyone knew.  My family, my friends.  I even used to get teased about when I studying to become a wizard proper.  So, it's not impossible that someone might link that name to me.  Luckily, I don't think anyone at the Hellknights knows that name, though it's possible my family would have told them."

Cato was quiet for a second more.  "It's Petronicus Voralius, by the way.  My family was always fond of those grand Chelaxian styled names."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2455 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sun 21 Jun 2015
at 20:47
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Sssssshhhhhhhhh."  Pisca squirmed around in Cato's lap until she could place a finger against his lips.  "Shush.  Probably best if we don't know your real name yet, Cato," she said.  "That way we can't give it away by chance or accident.  Right?" said the gnome.  "Not just to your passing Hellnight Spy, mind you, but to the rest of the people in Sandpoint too.  Wouldn't that be confusing for them if we were to call you something completely different by mistake?"

"Besides, the name doesn't matter.  What matters is that you're our friend.  Whether it's Cato Crispin or Peter Vicious, it's you that matters.  Not the name."

"Even if it was you they were after, it would still be about all of us, you know."  The gnome threw her arms around her friend's neck and delivered a hug before squirming her way off his lap and throwing her arms up in a presentational manner.  "That's right.  We wouldn't let them take you away without a fight now, you know.  We wouldn't.  We couldn't.  You're our friend."

"Now, the thing about this man I know," Pisca said, turning very serious even as she turned and began pacing in thought.  "And I'm thinking out loud here.  The thing about Jubrayl is that he not only knows everything that happens in Sandpoint, but he also deals in the information.  He's very good at taking advantage of the things that he knows to gain wealth or power or more information.  That means that anything that we ask about may also tell him things about us that we may not want him to know.  So ... I suppose the thing to do would be to ask him just the question as is, without throwing anything in there about you.  Right?  There was a man with a Korvosan accent asking about the Sandpoint Saviors at around the time of the big town meeting."

Pisca nodded with some tentative satisfaction.  "And, maybe, throw in some stuff that he may or may not already know.  Some things about Thistletop and Father Gabriel and barghests.  That sounds like a good plan.  What do you think ... " Pisca said, and sliding a sly look up at the mage added, " ... Cato?"
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1061 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 16:33
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato blushed again.  He seemed to find himself doing that a lot.  "Sorry.  I'm just so relieved to be able to tell this to someone, anyone.  And relieved at your reaction.  Once I started talking, I just wanted to keep talking.  But you're right.  Perhaps some secrets are better left unsaid.  The less people who know them, the better.  I hope that Kellan and Liseth will still trust me after they find out about this."

Cato stroked his chin.  "So if telling Jubrayl more than we strictly need to about this just a way of fulfilling part of his payment?  Making him feel better about revealing information because we've revealed more than we need to?  In any case, some of the things we've found out about Thistletop are bound to become public knowledge.  The town guard needs to keep an eye on...suspicious people.  I suppose I wouldn't even know what to look for in terms of 'deranged cultists bent on freeing a millennia barghest trapped inside a goblin stronghold', but suspicious would be a good first start.  So the guard in Sandpoint will know we're still worried about something.  And Jubrayl will know a little about what that is.  If Brodert and I actually publish some findings about what we've found in those Catacombs below Sandpoint, a whole lot of people will learn more about what's below this town.  Runelords, the quasit, those wells and the demon dogs...that might draw all sorts of strange people to town who are intent on exploring.  Jubrayl can probably make some good business on those rumors."

The wizard took a deep breath, smiling at Pisca.  "But yes, we should start simply.  Ask if Jubrayl knows anything about a man with a Korvosan accent asking after us."  He stopped again.  "How...deeply involved in the underground, exactly, do you think Jubrayl is?  I mean, he's got a bad reputation, but he wouldn't be in league with a person like that mysterious stranger, would he?  Jubrayl is concerned about small-time stuff in Sandpoint, right?  We're not going to be alerting a hypothetical organization that we know it exists by talking to him, are we?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2460 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 20:41
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Pisca thought about the question first before replying.  This was unusual.  But not unusual enough to warrant any major announcements.  "I would think that any hypothetical organization asking around Sandpoint about us would have to go under the assumption that we knew that they were asking around Sandpoint about us.  I don't know how they couldn't assume that we know.  Did you notice that they aren't trying particularly hard to hid their enquiries?  They sent a stranger with a very distinct foreign accent to do the asking in a fairly small town, didn't they?"

"So, I wouldn't worry about them finding out that we're asking after them.  Might be all for the better.  Might make them come out and ask us to our faces about us."

The gnome then sighed.  "You're right about Jubrayl, though.  Probably best not to get involved in him if you don't have to.  I've already made that mistake once with Liseth.  "You know what he said to me once?  He said," and here the gnome's voice took on deeper, huskier tones along with a Varisian lilt.  "'Friendships are tested by circumstances.  Sometimes . . . the circumstances prevail.'  That's what he said.  It was a valuable lesson.  And I think he gave it to me for free.”

"Sure I trust Jubrayl.  He's helped me, Cato.  He really has.  But, he's not like you or Stomper or Lysa.  He's Jubrayl.  And, you know ... well ... 'circumstances.'"  The corners of Pisca's mouth twitched upward in a short, sad sort of smile.

"So, anyway, I'll go talk to Jubrayl later.  But, in the meantime, do you want to see whether we can find Orik Riddleport?  I think he's up at the temple.  See what he knows about ... you know ... "  Before speaking again, the gnome cast about to see whether any of the nearby walls might had ears.  "The Golden Seven."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1062 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Tue 23 Jun 2015
at 13:42
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato nods, glad for Pisca's wisdom.  "Talking with Orik sounds good.  If it's all the same to you, I'd rather avoid Jubrayl for as long as I can, though he might end up being our only source for information.  But for now, seeing if Orik knows anything sounds like a more reasonable first step."
Elsbet Banilo
 NPC, 6 posts
Thu 25 Jun 2015
at 04:35
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



Cato and Pisca continued their conversation as they walked towards the chapel in search of the prodigal Orik Vancaskerkin.  The pair received smiles and waves from many of the townspeople they passed—their roles in the town’s survival of the recent goblin threat was already well-known.  Soon enough they were passing through the large double doors of the Sandpoint Cathedral, intent on finding a Nualia’s erstwhile bodyguard.

A beautiful, dark-haired woman of medium height walked toward them as they entered.  She was clad in a demure white acolyte’s robe; a medallion made of an indeterminate metal hung from her neck as her sole adornment.  It was embossed with the symbol of Erastil.  Her brunette tresses were intricately bound with a golden cord.

“Cato!”  She cried excitedly.  “And Pisca!”  She continued as she walked up to them, eyes shining.  “How are you doing?  What brings you to the cathedral?”  She stopped herself.  “Oh!  I’m Elsbet Banilo—I’m Erastil’s acolyte here.  And  I’ve heard so much about what you’ve done for Sandpoint!  Is it true you accompanied Kellan and Kerr and,” she sniffed, “Liseth to Thistletop and fought Nualia in her lair while she was defended by four demon-soldiers?”  Elsbet was almost bouncing with excitement.  “You have to tell me all about it!”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2467 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 25 Jun 2015
at 12:35
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Thank you, Elsbet  So nice to meet you at last."  The beaming gnome opened her arms to the Acolyte of Erastil and wrapped her thigh in a hug.  "Lysa's told us so much about you," Pisca lied without skipping a beat.  "Maybe you'd like to tell your side of things sometime," she added.  "We can trade adventures.  We can tell you all about the demons we fought and you can tell us about ...  Well, I wouldn't want to spoil the telling for you."  And the gnome punctuated her baffling innuendos with a perky wink.

"But, unfortunately, I and my very handsome and eligable friend *Cato Crispin* here, have come on business.  We heard that Orik once of Riddleport is here at the cathedral, and we need to speak to him on a fairly urgent matter."

"You wouldn't happen to know where he is, would you Elsbet?"
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1065 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Sat 27 Jun 2015
at 02:56
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato's face ran through a variety of expressions as first Elsbet then Pisca talked. Confusion, anger, amusement and finally embarrassment flashed across his face as Pisca introduced him as handsome. In truth, Cato hadn't given much thought to forming relationships in Sandpoint. Certainly he had with Brodert, but it would have been impossible to work with a man so in sync with Cato's own interests, who took such care in the education of his young pupil and not develop an attachment. And there was Ameiko. The owner of the a Rusty Dragon had hosted Cato at her inn many a night, and while the wizard had initially gone just to keep tabs on newcomers in town, he had a genuine respect for the woman.  And finally, his bond with Kellan, Kerr, Liseth and Pisca. Cato thought he'd never be able to fully trust anyone, ever, with his hidden past. But Piscs had proved he could, and the mage thought that Kellan, and probably Liseth and Kerr would eventually understand. But in the present, Cato could only sputter as his face grew redder, suddenly an attractive woman in front of him. If only, if only Pisca hadn't reminded Cato so very much of his mother trying to introduce him to a 'good match' at a debutante ball in Korvosa. The thought of his past, even an embarrassing memory like that, threatened for a moment to throw Cato into depression, but ultimately embarrassment won over.

"Pisca!  That's....that's enough. We have things to do, no time for a social call."  He tilted his head towards Elsbet. "Sorry...." Cato started, unsure of even what to say next. It had been a long time since Cato had even thought of companionship like, so focused was he on not wanting to tie himself down should be have to flee. But now there was no fleeing Sandpoint, and the wizard found himself thinking about all the women in town. Maybe he would have to ask Alergast or Amelie...  Cato shook his head, bringing his thoughts back to the present. "Sorry, another time. As Pisca said, we're looking for Orik. Uh, important business. We'd be grateful if you could help."

This message was last edited by the player at 02:58, Sat 27 June 2015.

Elsbet Banilo
 NPC, 7 posts
Sat 27 Jun 2015
at 15:11
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



“Oh.”  Elsbet looked slightly surprised, then enthusiastically returned Pisca’s hug.  “Oh!”  She said in response to Pisca’s assurance that Liseth had told them about her.  She dipped her head, blushing.  “Um, what did she say?  Not bad things, I hope.”  The young woman grimaced.  “We had kind of a falling out before you all went,” she motioned in the general direction of Thistletop, “out there.”

Oh!”  Elsbest said again as Pisca informed her of Cato’s relationship status.  She gave Cato a very frank appraisal, smiling as she did so.  “Is that true, scholar Crispin?”  She leaned over to Pisca, whispering sotto voce, “he is quite handsome.”

“But no time for a social call, you say?”  Erastil’s acolyte gave Cato a moue of disappointment.  “On another occasion, then,” she agreed, then gave him a smile.  “I’ll hold you to that!”

“So, you’re looking for Orik, are you?”  Her tone of voice indicated that she would very much like to know why two of the famous Sandpoint Saviors were looking to speak with the almost-equally-famous Orik Vancaskerkin.  “Very mysterious, isn’t he?”  She offered, as if wishing to start a conversation about that mysteriousness, and thereby find out what Pisca and Cato might know about the man.  “It was so strange!  He showed up right before the attack, turned himself into the Sandpoint Guard, then ended up helping us out!

“It seems like he and Father Zantus know each other.”  She left this observation hanging there, to better to let her conversational partners fill in exactly how that knowledge might have come to pass.  “He has a room in the acolyte quarters.  The men’s, of course,” she said, blushing again for no immediately-apparent reason, “it’s over there.”  She pointed to a door across the courtyard.  “Third room on the right.  If he’s not there, you might try the kitchen.  Merrith’s taken a liking to him.”




This message was last edited by the player at 15:13, Sat 27 June 2015.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2470 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sun 28 Jun 2015
at 13:31
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Riddleport is here in Sandpoint ... "  In the manner of imparting very special secrets -and without acknowledging the other slew of questions that she'd scattered in her wake- the gnome beckoned in a low whispery voice to the acolyte of Erastil. "... because we suggested it to him."  And then suddenly, she broke away.  "It was Lysa mostly," Pisca added.  "He was just about to kill me again, and she talked him out of it.  Convinced him to break his contract with Nualia and support Sandpoint.  She even has him considering the thought of acting as the trade ambassador between Sandpoint and the goblins of Thistletop."  Pisca nodded along as she expounded upon her version of Liseth's accomplishments as though assessing each as it came up and finding it good.

"She's quite a talented speaker.  She'll go far, Lysa will.  She just ... "  And here the gnome looked up into the face of the Erastilian acolyte as though sharing something that they both knew to be true.  "She just lacks confidence.  Don't you think?  In times of dire need she can work miracles.  But in everyday life, she just does not think enough of herself to ... well, to speak out for herself."

"And, well, a gnome can only do so much, you know?  What she needs is a good human friend to support her.  Someone older and more experienced than her.  But not too old.  Humans age so quickly, don't you know?  You wouldn't think that would matter.  But I'm finding that it changes things in very significant ways."

"Anyway, men's acolyte quarters are ... that way?"  And Pisca gave Cato a significant look which, paired with an indication of her head, might have meant anything from 'lets say goodbye to the priestess now' to 'kiss her, you fool.'

This message was last edited by the player at 08:00, Mon 29 June 2015.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1066 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Mon 29 Jun 2015
at 20:26
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato nodded thanks to Elsbet and practically dragged Pisca away from the woman before anything else was said.  He strolled quickly across the courtyard, towards the indicated door, and then found the third door.  The young wizard raised his hand, pausing for a second, then knocked on the door.  "Uh, Orik?  It's Pisca and Cato.  We had a few questions if you had a moment to talk."
Orik Vancaskerkin
 NPC, 1 post
Tue 30 Jun 2015
at 11:16
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Door's open!" Came the call from inside the room. Cato released the latch and pushed on the door. The acolyte's rooms weren't posh by any stretch of the imagination but they were comfortable. The was a small bed with a trunk at the foot. A side table, a stool and a lamp completed the furnishing. Orik currently sat on the bed with his armor on his lap. He had a brush, some rags and a vial of oil. He grinned as Cato and Pisca entered.

"Wondered when you'd be paying me a visit. Excuse me if I don't get up, I'm kind of in the middle of something here." Orik began scrubbing his armor vigorously. "Besides, I'm a mercenary not a diplomat. Nobody expects a mercenary to have good manners anyway. Have a seat, if you want." He waved absently at the stool.

Orik inspected the area he had just finished cleaning with a critical eye. "Where's the little priestess and the young armsman? They okay?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2475 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Tue 30 Jun 2015
at 12:57
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"A gnome and a human enter a room with one stool," Pisca nattered to no one in particular.  "Have a *seat* says the stool to the pair," she then added in the manner of speaking most commonly associated with the punch lines of jokes.  Then, instead of taking the stool, she hopped up on the bed and perched on the edge next to Orik Riddleport.

"I think they may be having sex," she then answered with little change from the casual voice with which she had just told her obscure joke.  "Lysa went on a picnic with Kerr Mollin.  They went to the beach, I think.  And we just saw Kellan at the General Store.  Probably there to see Shayliss Vinder.  That means they're having sex, right?"  The gnome's legs swung and kicked as she turned her head up to the self-proclaimed mercenary for a confirmation on her assessment of human social behavior.

"Right?  Well, maybe that or eating.  Something basic and sensory, you'd think."

"I'm glad you made it here, Orik.  It's not just anyone who doesn't kill you when you meet in a labyrinth of evil.  And though we truly are glad to see you, I'm betting that your guess is that we didn't come seek you out in your room to just say hullo.  And you'd be right.  We need to find out about the man in the One-Eyed Mask.  Anything you can tell us about him.  When did he first show up to the best of your recollection?  What was his arrangement with Nualia?  How did he usually arrive?  Where was he from?  Anything you can remember about him, no matter how trivial it may be."

"Oh.  And he's dead, by the way," the gnome then added and her face turned grim and quiet at the memory.  "We'd captured him alive, but he had poison hidden inside a hollow tooth.  Took his own life.  He was all foamy and frothy, and not a very healthy color at all."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1067 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Wed 1 Jul 2015
at 14:47
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
As Pisca continued in her discussion of the possible extra-curricular activities of her friends, Cato suddenly wondered what the gnome said about him when he wasn't present.  Cato hadn't shown any overt interest in the ladies of Sandpoint.  Was that the reason for Pisca's sudden interest in trying to push him into the arms of any willing woman they encountered?  Did the gnome think that all humans needed to be paired up like that.  For that matter, what of the gnome herself?  Then again, from the way she talked about sex, she didn't consider it to be romantic.  Just another necessary bodily functions that the silly humans had to worry about.  Cato shook his head and focused his attention on Orik, eager to here what the mercenary had to say.

"It seems like, since the attack on the Sandpoint Festival, we'e been merely reacting to everything happening around us.  Knowing our opponents may finally let us stay a step ahead and be able to act on our own.  And whomever that man was reporting to doesn't know his fate."  Cato shrugged.  "Probably, at least.  They might have used daily magical communication, and know that something has gone wrong if he hasn't reported.  But they probably don't know what, yet."
Orik Vancaskerkin
 NPC, 2 posts
Thu 2 Jul 2015
at 06:18
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Orik laughed at Pisca's comments. "If that means sex, I'm going to have to spend more time at the General Store." He put his mail shirt aside, apparently satisfied with the state of its care.

"I think you're mistaking me for someone important." Orik grinned. "I'm a mercenary. While I might be a good mercenary, I'm still a mercenary and no one tell folks like me anything important.  You only tell the important stuff to people who're dedicated to the cause. The only cause I was dedicated to really was the state of my purse."

Orik pulled out a dagger and a whetstone and began sharpening the blade. "I don't know much about the man in the mask, really. He and Nualia met a few months back. I was there at the first couple of meetings, until Nualia was convinced he didn't pose a direct threat." He raised his hand to cut off their questions. "By 'there' I mean I was close enough to call should things go sideways. Neither of them let me hang around for any actual negotiations. All I know is that this guy was a flunky for some one else higher up the food chain. He was important enough to speak for whoever his master was but not so important that he couldn't be replaced if things went badly...  which they did. Sorry I'm not more of a help."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2477 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 2 Jul 2015
at 12:26
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"The least important people sometimes have the most important information, Orik," assured the gnome.  Then she crossed her arms and her face dropped into frown of the deepest concentration.  "Well, if that isn't sex then I just simply do not understand how it is that you humans do it.  There are so many of you.  You must have sex at every opportunity.  And Kellan does seem very much taken with Shayliss.  And Shayliss seems to very much like Kellan.  And anyone can see what's between Lysa and Kerr Mollin."

"Or ... maybe there's something fundamentally wrong with the state of mathematics.  Something that makes counting come out ... wrong.

"No.  That's silly.  Anyway, where was I?"  Pisca shook off the temporarily unanswerable questions in favor of those more likely to bear fruit.  "Important information.  Right.  Anyway, you've already told us something that we didn't know before.  Nualia didn't trust the One Eyed Mask at first.  And, from what I gather, she only ever met with one of them.  Now, here's another question that you can probably answer as well.  How many months back?  Exactly?  And, where did they first meet?  It wasn't Thistletop, was it?  That would tell us a lot.  And, if it wasn't, when did you and Nualia move into Thistletop?"

"Yes ... "  The gnome nodded.  Her violet eyes stared into the middle distance as though examining her questions and finding them sufficient.  "You may not be able to see something directly, but you can tell a lot about something by the shape of its shadow."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1073 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Fri 3 Jul 2015
at 02:29
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato listened to Orik, then shook his head.  "Hmm...well, I'm sure the masked man's superiors are glad he and Nualia's attempts at security and secrecy were successful.  Tell me one more thing, though: did you happen to notice if he had any kind of accent or regional dialect?  Something that might let us narrow down anything about where he might have come from?"

Secretly, Cato hoped that the two outsiders they had encountered might be one and the same.  Which would mean the interested onlooker at the mayor's speech had in fact been after the whole party and that Cato's secret might yet be safe for a little while longer.  The wizard found himself holding his breath awaiting the reply.
Orik Vancaskerkin
 NPC, 3 posts
Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 09:37
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Accents... accents..." Orik paused and thought about this for a while. "He sounded Varisian to me. Maybe from Magnimar. I'm not really all that sure though. I wouldn't go betting the farm on it."

He flicked a finger across the blade and then continued to whisk away at it on the whetstone. "He showed up somewhere between 2 and 3 months ago. I'd say 10 weeks or so is accurate. One week among goblins is about like any other week. Makes keeping exact track of them hard. They aren't great conversationalists and their entertainments tended to be simple; eat something or light it on fire."

Orik raised an eyebrow at Pisca's thoughts on human reproduction. "I'm going to leave explaining courtship and sex to him." He jabbed a thumb at Cato. "Not sure I'm up to explaining that kind of stuff to a girl gnome."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2482 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 13:27
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
The gnome's face brightened by several measurable degrees as it turned in the direction indicated by Riddleport's thumb:  Cato!

"Perfect!" Pisca agreed.  "Who better than a scholar to explain something as complex.  Right?" she added, coming back to the Ex-Bodyguard of the Left Hand of Lamashtu for rhetorical confirmation.

"Oh, and don't let me forget to ask you, Cato.  I'd like to learn Thassilonian too, if you don't mind."

"But at any rate, that does tell us a lot."  The gnome stood on the bed and began pacing about, her stride altered by the yielding mattress.  "Or, rather, it confirms one set of suspicions.  It was the One-Eyed Mask that sought Nualia out.  And it seems that they did it at a fair degree of risk.  One does not lightly approach a goblin stronghold.  Especially one guarded by a Nettle Maze."

"But what was the interest?  And why now?  I think that the answer might be in Thistletop itself.  I mean, we've seen enough of Thistletop to know that the place is an ancient Thassilonian place of great power.  But why now?  I bet Nualia woke something up in all her digging around.  Something that the One-Eyed Mask felt all the way in ... "

The gnome hopped three times across the landscape of the mattress before giving both Cato and Riddleport a significant look.  " ... Magnimar.  So they sent an expendable emissary to find out what was going on.  And, finding Nualia, they decided to let her do all the hard work and to simply watch how things fall out.  Of course, it took a while to gain her trust, right.  Crazy and evil.  That only makes sense, right?  So I don't think they quite got what they were after there.  If they even knew exactly what it was that they were after."

"And if they're interested in ancient Thassilonian things, I wonder how long they've had their eye on this area?"  Pisca stared into a middle distance, her eyes focused on things only they could see.

"Oh, by the way, Orik," she asked, in what might have been mistaken for a distracted and off-hand manner, "Have you ever seen anything like this before?"  And, without really looking, the gnome produced the black card upon which was embossed the mysterious number seven in metallic gold.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1076 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Thu 9 Jul 2015
at 20:37
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Hmmm...Magnimar."  Cato tried to hide a grimace, risking a brief look to Pisca.  It still could be the same person, but if you could deliberately affect an accent, why make it a distinguishable one?  Why not just pass for rural Varisian, where someone from Sandpoint couldn't pick it out?  Cato suddenly realized the conversation had veered back to him.

"Huh?  You want me to explain that to you?"  The scholar blushed.  "Ah, sure.  We can do that."  After I've had a lot more to drink...  "And Thassilonian as well?  Why not?  Actually, that's not a bad idea.  Brodert and I could certainly use the assistance."

Cato quieted as Pisca put forth her final question to Orik, interested in more information about the mysterious stranger.
Orik Vancaskerkin
 NPC, 4 posts
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 06:06
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Orik peered at the card for a second or two. "No. Can't say as I have. What is it?"

He finally seemed satisfied with his knife and slipped it back into his sheath and put the whetstone away. He grinned at Cato as he leaned back against the wall and relaxed a bit. "You mind if I'm a fly on the wall for that conversation? If it's going to be as entertaining as it sounds you might consider charging admission."

The big fighter sighed in contentment. "You know, the day you folks showed up and prematurely terminated my last contract was a good day. Wouldn't have thought so before but it was. Thanks for that. It's nice to be working at something worthwhile again."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1078 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 13:38
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Cato filed away Orik's responses.  Another dead-end.  The scholar mentally sighed.  Maybe I should pay more attention to divination magic?  He searched through his mind, but didn't come to anything immediately that would help.  There's a divine spell, though.  Maybe Liseth could find that...

Cato looked up in interest at Orik's last comment.  "Oh?  What sort of agreement did you and Father Zantus come to?  Are you going to be helping out Sandpoint?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2484 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 14:24
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"We're glad we terminated your last contract toooo!" said the gnome as she leapt on his back and flung her arms around Riddleport's neck.  "Yeah us!"

Then, still hanging on Riddleport's back and with her chin resting on the shoulder of the big Fighting-Augmented human, Pisca held up the card for both of them to see.  "We're not entirely sure what it is, Orik," she replied.  "But One-Eye took pains to hide it pretty well.  In a special pocket sewn into his clothing.  So, whatever it is, there's value in it."

"My guess is that it's a pass card of some kind.  Proof of membership or identity.  Show it and gain trust or acceptance.  That's the only reason that I can think of to keep it but still hide it."

"And we think it has something to do with the ancient Thassilonian Rune Lords too.  But that's a guess based on not much more than One-Eye's apparent interest in Thassilonian ruins and the fact that there were reputed to be seven Rune Lords."

Pisca turned her head to give a quick kiss to the stubbled jaw of Orik Riddleport before slipping down from his back and strolling across the spongy mattress in deep contemplation of the card.

"Say ... Cato?  Do you recall any one-eyed person or god associated with the Rune Lords?  Because it occurs to me that what we might have here is two groups and not one.  First, there's the group associated with, or interested in the Rune Lords and their ancient Archanology.  And second, there's the One-Eyed Mask group, who, maybe, work for the Rune Lord group.  That's why they need the cards for identification.  What do you think?"

Pisca hopped off the bed, taking up the impact of landing easily in her legs.  She eyed the card with great suspicion, as though it might have been withholding critical information from her in an attempt to deceive.

"WAIT!"  The gnome suddenly froze.  Her gaze turned upward, presenting an unasked question to first the face of her friend Cato Crispin and then to that of the Mercenary Orik Riddleport.

"Did you just say ... " she said, " ... charge admission?"

To recall any one-eyed deity or personage associated with the Thassilonian Rune Lords.  All Taking 10 with Lore Master with a +2 Bonus for Archaeologist's Luck.:

Knowledge Arcana 23
Knowledge History 20
Knowledge Religion 20

Remaining Use of Archaeologist's Luck: 7/8

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2265 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Sat 11 Jul 2015
at 13:43
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Was that Pisca?"  Liseth had not taken long to stow her things in the girls' acolyte quarters once she and Kerr reached the Cathedral.  Even though she was still trying to avoid Elsbet and Daena, Kerr being with her made her feel better about a possible confrontation.  He kept reassuring her that nobody hated her and what had happened with Elsbet wasn't Liseth's fault.

Still, the small blonde didn't relish th idea of being alone with the other girls again.  Not that anything had happened with Daena; but Liseth was certain Elsbet had already told the third girl acolyte what Liseth had said to her.

"That is Pisca!  And Cato and...oh, hello Mr Vancaskerkin."  Kerr had had a few things to prepare of his own before they went to the Rusty Dragon later, and Liseth followed him to his own quarters within the Cathedral.  She hadn't expetd Pisca and cato to be there!  Talking with Mr Vancaskerkin, who as it turned out really was an old friend of Father Zantus and Father Garrick.

Just wait until she told Father Garrick!  He might even come and visit Sandpoint; she should really send another letter home...

But first, "I didn't expect to see you two here!  You almost never visit the Cathedral."  She glanced up at the big former mercenary, "Did you come to see how Mr Vancaskerkin was doing?"

"Oh!"  Liseth remembered the Rusty Dragon, "You were going to be at the Rusty Dragon later, right?  I made something special and everyone has to be there so you can tell me what you think."  She turned and covered Kerr's mouth with a small hand; whether or not he wa actually about to say something is a different story, "No hints Kerr; it has to be a surprise!"

"Wait, Pisca were you saying something about charging admission?  Charging admission for what?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2486 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sat 11 Jul 2015
at 15:16
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"LYSA!"  From a confusion that sparred briefly with a suspicious wariness, Pisca sprang into an effusive greeting.  "What are you doing here?  Wait, you live here.  We're here to find out what Orik knows about Mister One-Eyed Maskee and solve the riddle of the Mysterious Golden Seven," said the gnome in a single steady stream which accompanied a hug delivered to her friend's waist.

"Um ... er ... "  Returning again to confused, suspicious wariness, the young gnome then assayed to explain the particulars behind the question she had herself just asked.  "I think ... that we were just suggesting that we should charge admission to a lecture that Cato is going to give on human sex and mating rituals."

Her eyebrows raised in question as she looked to both Cato and then to Riddleport for confirmation.

"That's a good thing, right?  Right, Lysa?  Right?"
Orik Vancaskerkin
 NPC, 5 posts
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 00:27
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



“That’s an interesting topic, scholar.”  Orik pointed at Cato as if he’d posed a particularly-good question.  “Zantus and I have talked about it, and it sounds like the church might have need of someone who knows one end of a sword from another.”  He shrugged, grinning as he accepted Pisca’s hug.  “You know, accompanying priests on their oh-so-dangerous missions and such.”  The big man stretched.  “I’m pretty sure I’ve had harder duty.  And the church’s coin spends like anyone else’s.  Plus,” he looked at the holy symbol in the corner of the room as he took the card from Pisca, “I’ve got a lot to atone for.  Maybe this . . . well, maybe this is a start.”

“Hmmm, I’m sorry to say I don’t know anything about this,” Orik apologized as he flipped it to take a look at the back, then returned it to the gnome.  “I think your guess might be a good one, but I can’t add much to it aside from a guess of my own.”  He smiled as he accepted the gnome’s kiss.  “But if for some reason I run across anything about it, you all will be the first to know.”




Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 146 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 01:02
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



Kerr gave Orik a friendly nod, even though his feelings toward the man were decidedly more ambivalent.  After all, the big man had knocked Pisca cold, and nearly done a number on more than one of his friends.

Of course, he hadn’t.  Thus the ambivalence.  Although Kerr was happy to see the man seemed to be working his way toward redemption, it was going to take a little longer for Orik to earn his trust.  The man was still a mercenary.

“But I mhph murph miff.”  Suddenly Liseth’s hand was over his mouth.  He gently removed it.  “But I don’t think they’ll like that surprise, Lise,” he said plaintively, Orik-related suspicions temporarily shelved in response to the prospect of everyone eating his strawberry cake.  “I think we should keep it all to ourselves!”

Kerr’s eyes widened at Pisca’s comment.  “Wait, Cato’s giving a talk on . . . has he even . . . ?”  The paladin-in-training suddenly blushed.  “Um, never mind.”




This message was last edited by the player at 01:13, Wed 15 July 2015.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1082 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 14:47
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
The introduction of Liseth in the room as Orik and Pisca were discussing his hypothetical lecture on sex and mating sent the mage into a near-panic.  His cheeks quickly colored red, and he spluttered: "No, wait, I'm not actually going to..."  He looked around, taking in the characters, and seeing Kerr's response only made it worse.  Oh, did some people make me feel like a blushing teenager again?

Finally, the mage managed to regain his composure.  Or what little composure he had, at any rate.  "Um, Pisca, if you have questions about things like that, I'm more than happy to answer them.  But.  But," he added for emphasis, pointing at the gnome, "I'd prefer it were in private.  I'm definitely not going to be charging admission for it.  Orik, if you'd like that, perhaps you'd like to be the one explaining things?"  Cato glared at the mercenary, at this point merely wanting to get out of the situation without having to discuss anything actually private in front of his current crowd, let alone any more people who might happen by.  Including (and why did this just pop into his head?) Elsbet.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2488 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 19:52
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"But ... But ... "  Somewhere along the way, certain ideas had fallen off the cart and gone missing, and the look on Pisca's face said that she had no idea just where it was that they might have made their escape.  "But ... he said ... "

Her slim gnomish shoulders rose in a shrug.  "That's alright," she said.  Then, "I'll find out someday."  And her lips curved quietly up at each end as in response to some secret thought.

"Well, I'll be off.  I have an appointment with the Mayor.  And I have to stop by the House of Blue Stones before that.  Dropping off some very dangerous books to ... to a person who seems to take her job very seriously."

"Oh, right!"  Though half way to the door, the gnome turned and rushed her friend Liseth, grabbing her arm and tugging her close enough to whisper into the shell of her round human ear.  "Don't tell anyone," she said in the voice of Very Secret Things, "but I think Cato has taken a liking to your friend Elsbet."

"Alright, then.  I'll see all of you this evening at the Rusty Dragon.  Right?  We get to try whatever it is that Lysa made, right?  Um ... Blueberry Pancakes, right?  No.  Oliphant Ears!  No."

"Hmmm ... "
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2271 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Fri 17 Jul 2015
at 21:36
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Of course they'll like it."  Liseth huffed lightly at Kerr.  He just wanted all of the cake for himself!  Well, at least that meant he really liked it.

That became less important when Liseth returned Pisca's hug.  She giggled at the gnome's confusion as to why she was there; but the mood quickly changed when Cato's lecture was announced.

"What?"  The girl looked up at the mage and blushed furiously before looking away.  "Oh..."  Cato's own intense reaction didn't help all that much either.  It seemed that intense embarrassment was contagious!  "Um..."

Liseth cleared her throat lightly as Pisca started to leave, "Goodbye Pisca, I'll see you tonight..."  Startled, the acolyte leaned down to hear what Pisca had to say as her small friend tugged on her.  The blonde girl had a blush return to her cheek with the mention of Elsbet.  And Pisca's take on Cato's feelings.

"Oh, um...Elsbet?  Really?"  She couldn't stop from glancing once more at Cato, "I don't know...well...I mean..."  Then Pisca was already on her way again, guessing at what Liseth might have made for everyone.  What would Liseth have said about Elsbet?  I don't think she's my friend?  That's what went through her head, anyway.

"Well, um..."  Liseth turned her attention back to Orik Vancaskerkin, "I'm glad to see you're happy at the Cathedral, Mr Vancaskerkin."  She tugged on Kerr's sleeve, "Let's go."  Before something else highly embarrassing happens.
Sabyl Sorn
 NPC, 1 post
Tue 21 Jul 2015
at 15:45
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



Once the party said their goodbyes, promising to meet up again that evening at the Rusty Dragon, Pisca made her way across town to the imposing edifice of the House of Blue Stones to meet its even more imposing caretaker, Sabyl Sorn.  The gnome ran through Northchurch Square to Tower Street, giving Savah Bevaniky a jaunty wave as she passed the large woman’s shop and receiving a good-natured one in return.  From there she took a left on Main Street, darting between City Hall and the Garrison to Rat Alley, which deposited her almost directly in front of the House of Blue Stones.

The House, stately as ever, sat comfortably next to the Glassworks, whose active chimneys testified to its return to production after Lonjiku Kaijitsu’s untimely death.  Smiling at this reminder of her victory over the goblins, Pisca moved up onto the House of Blue Stones, noticing for the first time a large bell-pull to the right of the door.  Sadly, the bell-pull was sized for humans, not gnomes, but after an acrobatic leap using the house’s front wall as an assist, Pisca found herself hanging from the rope of the bell-pull, bobbing up and down as melodic chimes sounded deep within the structure.

Almost immediately the door opened to reveal the sought-after Sabyl Sorn, who seemed dressed as unostentatiously as possible in a serviceable gray robe.  Sabyl hardly seemed surprised to find the town’s most-famous gnome dangling from her bell-pull rope—she merely sighed and crossed her arms.  “Miss Freemish,” said the House of Blue Stones’ always-proper proprietor, “to what do I owe this,” she looked significantly at the rope, then back at Pisca, “honor?”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2499 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 22 Jul 2015
at 01:00
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Hullo again."  The gnome flashed a broad grin before releasing the bell pull and dropping back down to the ground.  "That was pretty high," she said, turning a thumb up in the direction from which she had just come down.  "Must not be very many gnomes around here.  Or halflings.  Or kobolds.  Or gob ... "

At that thought Pisca's face lit up in a silent AH! of understanding, and she nodded in a knowing way, as though having stumbled upon something very wise and worthy.  "That was very clever of you, Sabyl Sorn," she said, without explaining her compliment.

"I have come to you with some evil and potentially dangerous books.  After recalling the very serious manner in which you seemed to take the charge of your library, I thought that the best place for such things as these would be with you."

As she spoke the gnome swung her new rucksack off her back and began pulling books from it.  The prayer book of Lamashtu and the many tomes from the goblin war room - many more than one would think should fit into a gnome-sized rucksack - went from the mouth of the pack to form ragged towers upon the stoop of the House of Blue Stones.

"There," she said, adding the last book to one of the less precarious piles, "are you willing to take these in and keep them safe from evil and idle hands?"
Sabyl Sorn
 NPC, 2 posts
Sat 25 Jul 2015
at 03:30
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



Sabyl Sorn’s right eyebrow reached skyward at Pisca’s compliment, only to quickly crash down; the woman’s brow furrowed upon Pisca’s presentation of the tomes she’d liberated from various Lamashtu worshippers.  Sabyl knelt, performing a quick triage of the volumes as Pisca placed them in their various piles.  The Prayer Book of Lamashtu drew special attention—the ascetic human kept it in her hands, as if allowing it to roam free might somehow infect Sandpoint’s populace with its evil theology.

“You found these all at Thistletop?”  Sabyl Sorn’s voice was clinical as she paged through a book from the war room.  “No wonder the goblins there behaved so unusually.  Lamashtu’s influence is pernicious, and these works,” she tapped a pile of tomes she had created, “do nothing but spread that influence.”

Sabyl was still examining the volumes, the Prayer Book secure in one arm.  “You did well to bring these to me, Miss Freemish.  Several of these volumes, this,” she indicated the book under her arm, “chief among them, need to be kept secure.  It does not take much for the evil gods to find purchase in a community.  This would prove more than enough, should a weak-willed reader stumble upon it.  Lamashtu’s promises can be beguiling to the gulible.”

Sabyl Sorn straightened up, nodding to Pisca.  “I accept responsibility for these volumes, Miss Freemish,” she announced seriously.  “I will ensure that they are secured in area safe from all but the most-discerning potential readers.”




This message was last edited by the player at 03:35, Sat 25 July 2015.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2508 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sat 25 Jul 2015
at 23:53
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"Yeah!"  The gnome seemed to visibly glow with the praise.  There was something about this that felt well-founded - heroic - even though it was little more than delivering books to their safe-keeping.

"Yeah, us!  Against Evil!"  She grinned with even, white teeth and raised a hand with her palm outward as though waving to the keeper of the House of Blue Stones.  Instead of waving though, she held the hand high.

"High five!"

Pisca herself wasn't sure where the gesture came from.  It seemed right.  But, at the same time, it felt like a very foreign thing.  From far far away.

"Um ... we're supposed to slap palms," she said, the explanation taking some of the exuberance out of the thing.
Sabyl Sorn
 NPC, 3 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 03:07
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



“Ah, I see.”  Sabyl hesitantly touched her palm to Pisca’s.  “Yes, us against evil.”  She did not seem to be sharing Pisca’s exuberance—if anything, she was more reserved and serious than she had been earlier.  “There are too many who will stand by and let evil infect their community without even lifting a hand to prevent it.  The fact that you are concerned about such things speaks well of you, Miss Freemish.”

“But," she continued, "for now I need to ensure these volumes are secured.  Bannin!”  She called over her shoulder.  Within the space of twenty seconds, a youngish-looking man with a shaven head stood at her shoulder, wearing a simple black cassock.  “Bannin, this is Miss Freemish.”  The man bowed politely as Sabyl introduced him.  “She has brought us books for safekeeping.  If you would assist me?”

“Of course, Miss Sorn.”  Bannin agreed, kneeling to take up two stacks of books into his arms.  “It was a pleasure meeting you, Miss Freemish,” he said as he departed.

“Bannin is my assistant here,” Sabyl informed Pisca, as if she might have come to any other conclusion after his assistant-like activities.  “He is also a follower of Irori, and one of the most trustworthy men I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  Your tomes are safe in his hands.”

Sabyl Sorn and Pisca stood on the House of Blue Stones’ doorstep as Bannin returned to retrieve the rest of the books, giving Pisca a surreptitious wink from his warm brown eyes as he did so.  “So,” Sabyl said, completely missing the wink while looking slightly uncomfortable and very eager to get on to cataloging or reviewing or whatever she was planning to do whenever Pisca left.  “If there is nothing else . . . ?”




This message was last edited by the player at 03:08, Sun 26 July 2015.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2510 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 12:59
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
"No."  Pisca bathed the front of the House of Blue Stones in the light of her broad gnomish grin.  "Nothing else.  Thank you, Sabyl Sorn," she said.  "And it was nice meeting you too, Bannin," she called.  Hand waving in the air, she was already backing down the street in the direction of the Town Hall.  "Thank you," she called again, picking up speed until she finally turned to face forward, her gnomish feet flying on the wings of success.  She leaned into the turn around the corner of a house before taking a final leap, the rushing air mirroring the rush of her enthusiasm.  Then, with the Town Hall in sight - just across Main Street from the Sandpoint Garrison - she slowed to a trot, which then slowed to a very thoughtful walk.

If only all problems could be solved with the delivery of books.  The appointment with the Mayor would be difficult.  But, then again, if it weren't, she wouldn't need Mayor Deverin's help to resolve it.

Pisca entered the well appointed foyer of the Sandpoint Town Hall and climbed the stairs to the second floor.  "Hi, Rose," said the gnome, her greeting to the Mayor's secretary somewhat lost within the tangle of her thoughts.  "Um ... is the Mayor ready to seem me?"
Kendra Deverin
 NPC, 11 posts
 Mayor of Sandpoint
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 01:58
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



“Pisca Neep Freemish.”  Rose Kritchett looked speculatively over the edge of her spectacles at the gnomish visitor.  “Yes, Mayor Deverin is in her office and is expecting you.”  The secretary’s voice sounded vaguely disapproving.  “Remember that the Mayor is very busy,” she admonished protectively, “so try not to take up too much of her time.”  She shuffled some papers on her desk.  “You may go in.”

The door to Mayor Deverin’s office opened easily--even for a gnome--and shortly Pisca found herself standing in front of the Mayor’s mahogany desk.  Someone—perhaps the Mayor herself!—had placed a small box next to a well-wrought wooden chair that sat directly in front of the desk, providing an easy step up for a gnome.  Pisca used the opportunity to bound up onto the chair where she could look over the desk and into the Mayor’s warm green eyes.

“Hello, Pisca,” Mayor Deverin put down a parchment she had been reading, greeting Sandpoint’s smallest Savior with just a hint of a smile.  “What can I do for you?”




This message was last edited by the player at 01:59, Tue 04 Aug 2015.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2514 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 14:14
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
Crouched on the seat of the chair, the gnome crouches behind the back, hiding from whatever lay beyond the door thorough which she had just come.  After a cautious peek over the back of the chair she said in a fearful voice, "That's an awful fierce guard you have on the door, Mayor Deverin."  Then she turned back, flashing a grin at her joke before settling onto the expansive seat of the hummie-sized chair, kneeling primly in lieu of sitting.

"I've come for advice," began the gnome.  And out came the face of a very Thoughtful-Pisca, full of care, concern and consideration.  This had been a very difficult problem from the beginning, made even more so by the fact that ...

"I think I've been going about this the wrong way," Pisca admitted.  "You see, I have this friend of whom I'm very fond.  You know, Lunk?  He's a giant!  But ... but despite being a giant - and being a hero after saving the orphans during the attack on the festival - he's really quite gentle, you see?  And that Gorvi is always picking on him.  Gorvi's disagreeable and mean and a half-orc and he takes all of this out on Lunk."

At this point, it came to Pisca that her arms had crossed themselves and a frown had come into her face.  After taking a deep breath, she relaxed into a more calm demeanor, folding her hands properly in her lap.

"At first, I thought I could help Lunk by giving him another job.  Assistant to a librarian.  That sounded like a highly pleasant job.  And Lunk so very much likes Mister Haladan.  But building a library is proving to be more difficult than I'd first thought.  This, despite how much Sandpoint could really do with a lending library with a nice tea house attached.  And it's occurred to me, that, as nice a man as Chask Haladan is, that he may not be too interested in being my librarian."

All of the confession and self-doubt brought a heavy sigh to the gnome.

"So, I've given up on that idea.  Instead, I'll have to attack the problem more directly.  I think I need to go directly to the source of the problem: Gorvi.  I've thought of eliminating him entirely.  Maybe, driving him out of Sandpoint.  Or, in necessary, killing him after challenging him to a duel.  But, maybe, all I need to do is to threaten him.  Make him promise never to be mean to Lunk again or risk the Wrath of Pisca."

"But, it's occurred to me that this course of action could possibly have an affect on the Sandpoint garage service.  So, I thought it would be best to consult with you before taking any action."  The gnome tipped an inquiring head to one side, and looked up at the human woman who represents the governing mechanism of the town.  "What do you think would be the best way to solve this problem?"
Kendra Deverin
 NPC, 12 posts
 Mayor of Sandpoint
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 22:06
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)



“Yes, Rose is quite protective of my time,” Mayor Deverin indulged the door through which Miss Kritchett sat with an affectionate smile.  She looked back at Pisca, then sighed.  “I’m aware of Lunk and his situation, Miss Freemish.  I am also aware of your friendship with him, and let me just say that I’m glad of it.  That young man deserves to have friends he can trust, and I think that both you and Chask are very good for him.”

The corner of her mouth turned slightly upward.  “And yes, I think you might have some difficulty convincing Chask to run your proposed library.  He is a man of . . . many interests.  Although given the persistence you have displayed to this point, perhaps nothing is impossible.”

She shuffled some papers on her desk, looking slightly uncomfortable.  “And I am not blind to Gorvi’s faults.”  She locked eyes with Pisca.  “You are right—our junkmaster is both mean and disagreeable.  But you are also right that his . . . incapacitation . . . would cause troubles for Sandpoint, since we would no longer have a reliable garbage service.”

The Mayor tapped her nails on the desk as she talked.  “You were not around in the pre-Gorvi era, so I cannot fault you for failing to know of our problems during that time.  Suffice to say that we found it very difficult to keep a junkmaster—it is a thankless job, and not one that is particularly well-compensated.  So as soon as a junkmaster was able to find something better to do, he left.  We were left with long stretches where no one was in charge of the junkmen, or where the person who was in charge was incompetent.  Poor garbage service was one of the townsfolks’ major complaints for a long while.  So finding Gorvi was something of a godsend for us.  He seems to find the work agreeable, he does it well, and for all his faults he is very reliable when it comes to his work.”

“So you’ll forgive me if the junkmen’s work environment is not my top priority.”  She gave Pisca a level stare.  “That said, if you can find a more-amenable junkmaster—one who has all of Gorvi’s positive attributes, and fewer of his negative ones—I would support a petition to the Council for a change in leadership.  But you would have to convince me that this new person, whoever it was, was committed to junkgathering, and wouldn’t leave the position a few weeks after obtaining it.  Are we understood?”

She shrugged.  “Alternatively, if you can put the fear of Desna into Gorvi in a manner that causes him to change how he treats his junkmen, then I have no problem with that.  But I would be very displeased,” she paused to repeat the phrase, emphasizing both words, “VERY displeased if your methods caused Sandpoint to lose its junkmaster.  So keep that in mind when you are choosing your course of action.”

The Mayor folded her hands on top of her desk, arching one thin eyebrow.  “Does that answer your question?”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2521 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 13:54
Re: A Gnome's Intermission (Pisca)
There was a point during the mayor's speech-like advice during which Pisca found that her arms had crossed themselves again, and her face had drawn itself back into a decidedly frownish look of deep concentration.  It was a look that might almost have been mistaken for a slumpish sort of pout.  The gnome drew in a breath and then puffed it back out as the mayor wound to a conclusion and ended with her question.

"No."  Or, at least, that was the first part of Pisca's answer.  "Or," the gnome continued, "not in so much as you didn't provide an answer that would easily solve the problem and be fun too.  But, then again ... "  And here Pisca straightened her posture, almost as though gathering bits herself and building herself back up.  "I don't suppose that I really expected such a thing was possible from the start.  And you have said all of the things that I thought you might say.  Which is nice to know, because it means that things are as you think they are.  Even if they're not as though you might wish them to be."

"So, I suppose, in that respect, you have very well answered my question, Madam Mayor.  Thank you very much."  Pisca unfolded her legs and scooted to the edge of the seat, pushing off to land neatly on the floor.  "You're a very wise person, if not perfectly delightful," Pisca said as she came around the desk.  "And I suppose that's probably best in a good leader."  Arriving at the side of the mayor's chair, with the mayor seated within it, the gnome raised up on her toes and placed a soft kiss on her cheek.

"Thank you for giving me a good answer," Pisca said.  "Rather than a fun answer or a delightful answer or an exciting answer.  I'll keep trying to find a solution to this problem.  It's just not going to be as easy as I had wished it was going to be."

"In the meantime, we're supposed to meet Liseth at the Rusty Dragon."  A hidden lever loosed the flood-gates of enthusiasm, and the gnome rushed back around the desk and to the door of the mayor's office.  "She said something about strawberry cake."

"Hope I didn't take up too much of your time."  Pisca waved at the door and flashed a big bright gnomish grin.  Then she was gone.