Brave New World (Chapter 2)   Posted by GM.Group: archive 2
GM
 GM, 389 posts
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Sat 6 Jan 2018
at 18:04
Brave New World (Chapter 2)
The sun was not yet past mid-afternoon when the group arrives in town. Between the four remaining at the tomb, the strength of Kharash, and the word of Gammon to let no harm come to the armory, you are able to get the contents of the chest into town. Little bothers you, save for the occasional deer or rabbit that crosses your path. As for Maypole, the town is bustling with activity in anticipation for the completion of the competition and the victory celebration for the tourney. It is easy to tell that someone was on the look out for a returning group because as soon as you are within sight of the festivities horns sound and a crowd appears to celebrate your return.

Not long after that, a squad of city watch, joined by a pair of Argonauts, gathers around you to keep the worst of the crowd at bay. Given little choice, you are guided back to the pavilion for rest and refreshment. Griswold is there, escorted from the tavern after staying the night before. You are given a few hours of rest, heavily guarded from curious onlookers from the festival. It seems a frighteningly short time before a page, a very well kept human girl, enters the tent and announces that the ceremony is starting.

You are directed to the tourney grounds only to be met with more pomp and fanfare. The stands are filled to capacity and it looks like many are trying to get any vantage point they can get to. Several of the small shed and building in the area have people on top of them. A small knot of knights holding the trophies of various tourney events stands close by, absorbing the praise of the crowd even if it is not directly for them. Griswold recognizes Sir Roderick of Carsen as the melee champion. A large Custodian looks to be the jousting champion. Surprisingly, a person who do not recognize their affiliation has won the bow. As usual, a gaudily dressed halfling has won the tournament of songs.

Lady Inara is up on the podium stage, gesturing for your group to approach. When you are all assembled and the crowd has quieted after some prompting, she started speaking, her voice booming in that unusual way as before.

"Citizens of the Empire, visitors from foreign lands, boys and girls of all races, I present to you, your heroes!", she says to thunderous applause. It takes a few minutes for the crowd to settle down but she continues on after they do. "They have returned triumphant from the Forgotten Tomb, setting an old soul to rest as true heroes. Their noble warrior has brought the sword of the hero back from obscurity and taken up his mantle! To commemorate such an achievement, they were promised a great reward! To meet one of the legendary Roses in person!",she says. As if on cue, from one of the tents near the pavilion, a hooded figure stepped forward.

Already you can seen this is no mere man. His frame easily dwarfs any around him as he stands outside the tent. With a dramatic flourish, he removes the hooded cloak, revealing a true giant. The massive frame, easily close to ten feet and likely 50 stones, is dressed in a set of half plate mail. On the breastplate is an etched and painted symbol of a rose. The coarse brown hair and sloping forehead contrast sharply with a ornately jewel circlet. By his side is a great sword, though you can tell he likely can use it as a longsword easily.

The giant moves forward with a smile on his face, something odd and disturbing about it, though it seems genuine. He stands next to the stage, still maintaining eye level despite its raised nature. His voice booms with ease and authority. "I am Sir Morton the Vast, representative of our Emperor's Helmets of the Rose. I have come to make good on the Emperor's promise for this contest. The group before you has done well. They have served loyally and proved their worth! In order to recognize this accomplishment, I am authorized to make the following decree," Sir Morton said as he paused to collect his thoughts.

He continued in the previous tone, gesticulating as he spoke in an appropriately dramatic manner. "The Emperor decrees the from this day forward, those who stand before you shall be the founding members of his Adventuring Guild. They shall be tasked with spreading his influence across the lands and inspiring those with feats of daring and heroics. In a year hence, the guild shall be open to all, provided you have shone the same heroics and proven them in a suitable quest. A guild hall is currently being constructed in Sigheim for registration. Now, everyone cheer for your newest Adventurers!"

The roar is nearly deafening. The adulation and admiration is palpable as Sir Morton makes a show of pulling a few items from a pocket. When you see them fully, they are broaches made of gold and glass. They appear to be knotwork of the Kriegian style, set with green, red, and blue glass balls. He hands each of you one and when complete, allows you to bask in the praises of the crowd.

He turns to your group and in a much lower voice, speaks. "We will speak after this. We have much to discuss as you can imagine." He turns back and begins to wave to the crowd.

OOC: Congratulations! You have completed the trials and moved on to the next stage of the story! You have also all leveled up! Welcome to level 3!
Arizima
 Player, 79 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 12 PP: 13
Sun 7 Jan 2018
at 17:42
Brave New World (Chapter 2)
For a moment Arizima hesitates when a broach is offered to her.  It almost looks like she might try to refuse but suddenly she tilts her head as if in thought or listening before suddenly snatching the glass and gold from the Rose's hand with a sudden surety.  She gives the others an almost imperceptible shrug.  "What?"

Broach in hand she turns back to the crowd with an amused grin giving them a small wave.  Beyond that she seems content to simply wait out the presentation of the various until it's time to leave the stage.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 225 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 00:13
Brave New World (Chapter 2)
When the others found Griswold in the pavilion, he greeted them with a broad smile and open arms, but soon wandered off.  Leaving the tent by an inconvenient route underneath its tarp.  Or tried to, at lest.  He soon reappeared, led back in through the main entrance by two disgruntled guards.  Multiple times he disappeared, only to return a few moments later with the same two - increasingly annoyed - guards.  Apparently under tent arrest, he sporadically filled the others in on his trip back between failed escape attempts.

As he told it, he had stayed close to Farissa and the other youths on the way back.  Amongst Lady Inara's travelling companions was a Knightly Grandmaster that Griswold had quickly befriended.  He learnt that the final event was not scryed upon, but that Lady Inara had instead lain some sort of magical alarm upon Roland - and only Roland - to monitor his well-being.  This alerted her to the dangers at the barrow.  The half elf had therefore taken it upon himself to regale everyone with the glorious tale of their group's heroics.

Things were going well, until they reached Maypole, where he'd hurriedly been escorted to the tavern and made to remain there ever since.  Supposedly to not spoil any surprise for the crowds.  He did not know what had become of Farrissa, Chris or the others and no one else knew that he had quit the tourney or would accept him leaving it now, lest it mar the celebrations.

Oh, and there was something about being called upon to stand witness at Lady Inara's trial.

During the award ceremony, Griswold barely paid any attention to the cheering crowds or the Rose.  Both of which would have thoroughly excited him just a few days ago.  Instead, he scanned the horde for Maypole's youths.  His acceptance of the brooch was all but unconscious.
Brother Sul
 Player, 97 posts
 The Seeker
 HP 17/17 | AC 18 | PP 20
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 03:29
Brave New World (Chapter 2)
Unused to such ceremonies, Sul followed the others, waving shyly at the roaring crowds with his right hand as his left rested on the pommel of his order's sword. It was still a bit nostalgic of his time in training before joining the acolytes, and he couldn't help his thoughts as they roamed.

Soon though, his attention was captured by the knight as he watched with interest at the Giant's entrance.

"The Emperor's guild?" He questioned. He hadn't known anything about that. His mind whirled about that new information as he accepted the broach with a bow, even as a frown crossed his features. "Too much..." he mumbled to himself quietly before taking a deep breath and smoothing his features.

He nodded to the Knight and continued waving to the crowd. They did indeed have much to discuss...
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 123 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 03:52
Brave New World (Chapter 2)
Wrenn participated in the...event...announcement...thing, as best he could considering he had no idea what was going on, or what most of these things meant. He got the whole adventuring guild thing, but everything else was weird. He accepted the broach and mimicked the actions of others in the group for the sake of pleasing the roaring crowds, but he had no idea what was actually happening or what these things meant.

He smiled and laughed at the attention the group was receiving, but mostly at the fact that the country who despised who he was and what he represented, was now publicly honoring him. He was half tempted to exercise his arcane talents right now, in front of the lot of them. In fact, he was more than half tempted...
Kharash
 Player, 175 posts
 Dragonborn
 Watcher
Tue 9 Jan 2018
at 22:45
Brave New World (Chapter 2)
Kharash had sheepishly followed the directions given to them as they were guided from the town's edge to the pavilion and on to the tourney grounds. Throughout the ceremony his expression remained neutral, only raising a few scales above one eye at the mention of them becoming the founding members of an adventuring guild. "We do indeed," he softly answered the giant of a man.

He wasn't one for big crowds, and besides the first trial he had no experience with acting in public on this scale. He decided it wasn't his favorite thing, but understood the importance - a necessary evil of sorts. They could always talk about the details of this new guild and perhaps even decline, but if they would continue with it, it might be better to leave a good impression on these people.

After receiving their tokens, he stepped forward, standing taller and with his head held higher than before. His gaze slowly moved along the stands filled with people. He then shook his fist into the air, and let out a loud roar of victory.
GM
 GM, 393 posts
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Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 07:13
Brave New World (Chapter 2)
The ceremony ends with a roar that matches the intensity of Kharash's own as a fitting punctuation to the day. Sir Morten smiles and laughs, at one point herding a small child that had managed to break free and run towards the stage. Once the applause dies down, he concludes the ceremony and guides your group back to the pavilion tent. Despite how large the tent is, comfortable for over a dozen people, his head still graces the top at points.

He gestures to the food and drink table as he hauls in a carved stump, an obvious replacement for a stool since they could not bear his weight. Drinking from a giant-sized flagon, Sir Morten grunted as the sound of moving armor and weapons can be heard. After a moment, the last light of sunset showed the silhouettes of soldiers surrounding the tent. Two figures then entered unceremoniously.

The first was a tall, slender man. His features marked him as a Silver elf save for his opalescent icy blue eyes. His robe war dark colored and starry, the stars themselves revealed to be tiny gems. A well wrought staff completed the look of a mage. He nods in greeting to Sir Morten.

Next to him was a short, almost delicate looking female figure. The rich leather armor accentuated her every feature but a trained eye could easily see the protection such armor provided. You can guess female based on the form of the armor, but her face is hooded and covered with a striking, full-faced pink and black harlequin mask.

Before anyone can say anything, the masked woman spoke. "They really don't look like much, Mort. Are you sure these are the one Kalaryl challenged?", she said dismissively.

Sir Morten replied with a tone that smacked of annoyance. "Don't be an ass, Whisper. Like us, they are more than they appear to be. The young gnome there unraveled the vile spell using little but his wits. I would say that qualifies for some respect."

It was the elf's turn to speak. "Interesting. I did not foresee such an eclectic group. Yet they stand before us, trial complete," he said and gestured to the group to sit. "Come, speak to us of the trial. Did you not find them suitable for future adventurers?", he asks quizzically as he makes a gesture and one of the stool flies to rest beneath him. The woman simply huffs and grabs her own seat with a glare at the mage.
Arizima
 Player, 80 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 12 PP: 13
Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 07:46
Brave New World (Chapter 2)
Arizima's eyes aparkle with amusement at the banter between Whisper and Sir Morten before she chooses her own stool toward the edge of the group and sits delicately.  She gives the elf a brief stare before her shoulders shrug.  "I was not one of your competitors from the start so I can't speak for your earlier trials.  I was hired to assist a group of easily frightened children.  Once they fled I found myself wandering into their camp..."  she waves vaguely at the others.  "A few minor discoveries and a handful of clumsy dead destroyed later and apparently I was somehow co-opted into your celebration.  In spite of the Lady Inara's rather insistent statements to the contrary."

She frowns her carefree attitude vanishing.  "As for what I did see... No.  I don't think I agree.  Oh certainly the threat was minor enough for a well coordinated group to handle I'm not going to dispute that.  But out of the three groups that were mustered to meet this challenge one ran screaming at the first sign of the dead and one was completely and woefully unprepared for such a challenge it seemed.  Quite frankly if we had been slower to arrive by a matter of moments the evisceration of several local youth would have cast a rather grisly pall over your celebrations."

She shrugs at the Silver elf.  "I understand that the exact shape of the challenge we faced might not have been intentional.  But I also understand that this was apparently some opening gambit in a larger game that this Kalaryl objected to.  Not expecting him to take some basic measures to destroy the pawns involved, measures that would far outstrip the abilities of the cowardly, the untrained, and the unprepared seemed needlessly reckless." A rueful smile plays across her lips.  "But... as I've been reminded a time or two I'm an unwanted foreign interloper.  Take my words how you will."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 226 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 10:06
Re: Brave New World (Chapter 2)
Morten:
"Don't be an ass, Whisper. Like us, they are more than they appear to be."


Griswold grinned wickedly at this statement.  "Sir Morten, you are more than you appear?  How is that possible?  You already take up half the tent!"  Chuckling, the half-elf drops down opposite the short woman, eyes sparkling.  He tries to focus his attention wholeheartedly on her, but seems to have some difficulty.  His gaze occasionally drifting to the silver mage, before being snapped back again.

"So, Whisper, is it?"  The sparkling haired elf asks leaning towards her. His voice quiet, mirroring her name.  "As unthinkable as it is, I don't believe I have had the pleasure.  I, my lady, am Griswold Ortmann.  Squire, dancer, champion.  At your service.  Always.  In all ways."

OOC
Persuasion: 6
Griswold fails at charming another woman?  Perhaps he's just not the Casanova that he imagines himself to be.

GM
 GM, 395 posts
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Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 10:49
Re: Brave New World (Chapter 2)
Sir Morten rolled his eyes at Griswold's antics but said nothing further. Whisper, for her part, played it well and giggled daintily. Her words sounded more in the tone of nobility looking down upon peasantry. "So brazen! Maybe you are right, Mort! After all, how many will get to say they tried to woo one of the Roses?," she laughed, suddenly ignoring Griswold and pulling her hand back. She made a shooing motion for him to back to his seat, though it was more provocative than her tone suggested.

The elf was in thought when it broke and he nodded at Arizima. "Pawns you may be, but do not take that as a slight. Pawns have the potential to become some of the most critical pieces on the board. It is not like Kalaryl to lay so simple a challenge. Something has moved her hand before she was ready. If she had the time, it would have taken a good portion of the Inquisitors to unravel the trap," he said, directing the last portion of his statement at the other two Roses.

Whisper sat quiet before speaking to the group as a whole, leaning forward as she did so. "Why did you continue with the quest? Not for gold, I know. That inelegant bribe attempt by Inara nearly tipped everyone off to the true nature of the test. Was it curiosity? Was it honor? Why risk everything for the sake of meeting people you've never heard but in stories?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:52, Wed 10 Jan 2018.

Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 227 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 15:01
Re: Brave New World (Chapter 2)
"Well for me it was..." Griswold made his way to a stool, then jumped up again his cheeks barely touching the surface, finger pointing to the sky.  ""for glory of course!".

As he slowly settled back down, he took a deep breath and added: "At first anyway.  Later, after their safety was called into question, to try and protect the other contestants.  Do you have word of the other groups?  The nearly dead twin, mutilated goblin and the youths?  We," he cast a glance at Wrenn, "intend to buy out the girl's contract and free her from her grandfather's debt."
Arizima
 Player, 81 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 12 PP: 13
Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 19:26
Re: Brave New World (Chapter 2)
Arizima nods toward the elf slowly. "I don't find it a slight.  Merely a strange and inefficient way to accomplish... Whatever your actual end goal is in this case."

Arizima shrugs at Whisper's question with a slight smile on her lips.  "I suppose you could say I'd heard it would be a fair enough way to pass the time, discover something new, and earn a bit of coin.  Journeys far from home are rarely inexpensive affairs after all.  Beyond that I was promised no reward and I can't say I particularly cared either.  Not to say you're dreadfully boring or anything of the sort of course!  I just assume that such a meeting holds less for me than most of the others here.  I did not grow up on stories of heroic roses and the bite of their thorns after all."
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 124 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 19:43
Re: Brave New World (Chapter 2)
"I found myself involved in this entirely by chance, accident, fate, whatever you choose to call it. Well, that and a threat on my life for magics used on me that I was blamed for using myself." Wrenn fought the urge to glance at Griswold, but there may have been a tiny twitch of his eyes.

"Then, once I saw the enslavement of the girl that Griswold speaks of, I knew I would go through with whatever challenges were placed in front of us to see the girl set free."

"Naturally, as one who practices arcane magics, I wouldn't typically seek to involve myself with the Rose. Hopefully, we can get some of those particular laws of yours eased up a bit with the founding of the Adventuring Guild, and two of its founding members being practitioners thereof."

Brother Sul
 Player, 98 posts
 The Seeker
 HP 17/17 | AC 18 | PP 20
Thu 11 Jan 2018
at 01:46
Re: Brave New World (Chapter 2)
Sul stood by quietly, watching the newcomers with curiosity. When it came to him he stood a bit straighter before giving a slight bow of his head in respect to the knights. "Stories and legends tend to come alive when you meet the creatures from them." He said with a solemn expression as he looked between the three of them. "I continue on as that is the only path left to me. A creature of legend burned much of my past life. I sought help in avenging them."

"The silver light of Bahamut has guided me here. I thought it was to seek the Roses for help. But now..." He rubbed his chin with a gauntleted hand, his previous certainty when he first came to this place now gone. "Now it seems as though there is more. I am but a pawn, its true. As much as i sought your help, it looks like you are looking for help as well?"