1: Becalmed in Stormreach.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 430 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Wed 27 Feb 2019
at 03:13
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor saw that the vines covered the top of the archway from side to side. It could be cleared (one action clears a square). If one wished to vault over or smash their way through (a DC 10 roll against Acrobatics or Athletics) it would not be hard. But if the attempt to bypass the obstacle failed the springy vines would tend to snap back (the attempt costs 10' move).

OOC Tremor still has an action, What do you do?

ground5 6 7 8                          Gate Exit
archtop2 3 4        J K  T***            

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:40, Wed 27 Feb.

Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 117 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Wed 27 Feb 2019
at 03:21
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor uses his dagger and clears the first vine covered arch section.
The GM
 GM, 431 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Wed 27 Feb 2019
at 21:20
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor cleared the brush in front of him, but the vines behind the first square were thicker. (DC 10 use tool (knife) as an action to clear the next square.)
Lady Jalia Ramires
Jalia continued to shout invectives and epithets at the uncaring ghouls. She swore to execute every last one of them, as she let another bolt fly. The bolt struck a ghoul, sticking out of its chest like a flag. She brandished her blade, though none were in reach. She stopped shouting when she realized Tremor had backed away. She followed suit and standing next to him asked "So we're going to take them, right? You're going to help me kill 'em all? Right?"
Karl
"Technically, they are not alive." His cantrip, so successful in the previous instance, this time completely failed to affect the ghoul.  "Although I can only concur with the sentiment. It seems they have much the same notion about us." He backed away from the creatures as well. "Do we have a plan?" he asked, somewhat hopefully.
The ghouls rushed. The ones atop the arches dashed forwards, the ones on the ground ran alongside the arches, looking for an easy way up, or hoping the trio might choose to jump down.
Ghouls
Armor Class 12 Starting Hit Points 22
2 22 17
3 22
4 22
5 22
6 22
7 22
8 22
Bite. Melee: +2 to hit, one target. Damage: (2d6 + 2) piercing
Claws. Melee: +4 to hit, one target. Damage: (2d4 + 2) slashing + DC 10 Con save or paralyzed.


ground            5 6 7 8              Gate Exit
archtop           2 3 4J T K **            

Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 118 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Thu 28 Feb 2019
at 03:52
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
"I am trying to make a way for all of us to escape. Just a couple more cuts."

Tremor begins to cut away the vines by slipping the dagger under and cutting away the most tangled parts.

MvA: Move 5 ft.
BsA: Fast Hands, Use Object, Dagger; Cut vines DEX, DC 10
MvA: Move 15 ft., over remaining vie sqr, and in next empty arch sqr.
StA: Aid other, help over the Vine sqr.

19:53, Today: Tremor Enkau Valevine rolled 14 using 1d20+6 with rolls of 8.  Vine removal, DEX DC 10..

19:54, Today: Tremor Enkau Valevine rolled 23 using 1d20+6 with rolls of 17.  Self move over 1 Vine sqr DC 10.


"Karl move to me, I will help."

This message was last edited by the player at 03:57, Thu 28 Feb.

The GM
 GM, 433 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Sun 3 Mar 2019
at 01:04
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor once again cleared the brush in front of him. He scrambled over the rest of the brush. It was child's play compared to the impediments that the old Bear had set for him in the past. There was a tunnel... Tremor shuddered to recall that test.
Lady Jalia Ramires
"AAAAaaahhhh!" It was an inarticulate cry of rage, and Tremor felt that it might be directed at himself as much as at the undead necrophagi. She slashed at the throat of the nearest ghoul; she missed, and then scrambled towards Tremor. She panted, glared, and said nothing.
Karl
"Just a moment." He gestured in a very specific way and thick, dark webbing filled the spaces where the ghouls moved.  He struggled over the viney overgrowth. Even with Tremor's help he barely made it. "It's very strange." he said casting a glance at the creatures writhing behind them.
The ghouls seemed stuck fast, but two lurched free of the webbing. The one on the ground continued running along below their position. The ghoul atop the arches clambered inhumanly over the vines. It reached past Karl toward Jalia, but she ducked at just the last moment. "Not on a first date." she muttered.
Ghouls
Armor Class 12 Starting Hit Points 22
2 22 17 Restrained
3 22
4 22 Restrained
5 22
6 22 Restrained
7 22 Restrained
8 22  Restrained
Bite. Melee: +2 to hit, one target. Damage: (2d6 + 2) piercing
Claws. Melee: +4 to hit, one target. Damage: (2d4 + 2) slashing + DC 10 Con save or paralyzed.


ground           X6 7 8 X     5        Gate Exit
archtop           2 4 XX  * 3T J K           

Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 120 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Sun 3 Mar 2019
at 03:43
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor really just reacts , he thinks he can lever his size, the slippery stones of the arch and his experiences with climbing.

The attack was over him so, the Halfling pushed at the midsection of the dead and tried to push it off the walkway, making it fall.

Sta: Shove
http://www.5esrd.com/gamemastering/combat#TOC-Attack

Athletics check using a Hero Pt for Adv. before roll.
19:48, Today: Tremor Enkau Valevine rolled 20 using 2d20, keeping the highest dice only with rolls of 14,20.  Shove v Ghoul, at Adv. -1.
Result:19 (20 -1)

NvA: turn and move 25 ft., towards the Gate

This message was last edited by the player at 03:49, Sun 03 Mar.

The GM
 GM, 436 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Sun 3 Mar 2019
at 06:02
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor moved with a lithe grace and applied just a few ounces of pressure at the right spot. The creature shrieked its rage as it tumbled off the raised archway.

And that was it. The trio ran swiftly to the gate, and there where the light was brighter, the undead pursuers hesitated. It was not much, but enough for Tremor to slam the gates shut. Karl panted, the exertion obviously just a bit more than he was used to.

Jalia, now somewhat less attired as a Lady, was pacing and growling.

The rain lessened, and became more of a mist drifting down.
Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 121 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Sun 3 Mar 2019
at 07:34
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor turned, upon seeing Jalia pacing, turned again to Karl.

"We have to alert the Guard, the patrol. The Church, they have to send someone. By the Host that was a near brush.  I am not eager to visit Dolurrh."

Tremor goes to Karl and checks to see he is unharmed, with a quick glance to Jalia.
The GM
 GM, 437 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Sun 3 Mar 2019
at 19:16
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Lady Jalia Ramires
"The city guard? I do not think so. Those dragoons and I have some history, and I rather think that should I appear thus and ask that they investigate Delera's Watch that they would swiftly find the simplest solution to the problem would be to clap me in irons." Tremor could tell that she was trying very hard to contain her temper.
Karl
Karl took his black demi-cloak off and held it out to Lady Ramires. "Please." He said. "They did not act .. well 'naturally' is not the correct word. 'Normally.' Did you notice--"
Lady Jalia Ramires
"You know," she interrupted. "If you wanted to get rid of them all we could have done that just now. Sometimes... sometimes it's just best to deal with things yourself. Eh? Oh, thank you." She took the cloak, and then replaced her weapons. They vanished beneath the cloak.
Karl
"Actually, I suspect that going to the authorities would not be the best move for me, either. There have been in my past... some misunderstandings."

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:00, Sun 03 Mar.

Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 122 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Mon 4 Mar 2019
at 03:58
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
It was clear, the sentiment and... disagreeableness, from both made it more clear to Tremor his path in th e future. Must remember to tread away from the Watch for these two.

"This not being a regular occurrence... <looking for agreement> Something must have brought them up.

Finding out what that is could be important. There are likely those seven.
Can we make do with what we have
?"

Tremor braced for the answer form Jalia, her current state, would sem to indicate one answer.

What time is it? Bells tolled, general time elapsed?
The GM
 GM, 442 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Tue 12 Mar 2019
at 01:58
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Karl had been peering after the receding ghouls. "They have retreated. This is most unusual. I would have expected a very different behavior. Once one had been brought down, one at least should have stopped to claim the body. But even so, the odd were not in our favor. And if any of us had fallen under their claws, there would have been a very different story."

Jalia seemed to have once again calmed her temper. "A short story. I'm sorry Tremor, you were right; fleeing was the sound move. I was carried away in the moment, and... Fortunately, we get to live another day."

Karl nodded. "It's strange they had that jewelry. A ghoul... is not the sort of creature to value appearances. They hunger, but do not adorn. If only we had had time to examine one of the bodies."

"I'm not going back in there. But I am starting to like the idea of getting a patrol of the city guard after all. If they chased me into Delera's Watch, they might be in for a surprise."

Karl looked concerned. "I don't think that would be wise. They will have freed themselves from my spell. I would come back in the morning, though. There might be some tell-tale left behind."

Tremor considered the time; they had departed the theater before the end of the show, but had crossed a goodly portion of the city to get to Delera's Watch. He would have time to make his rendezvous, if he did not tarry too much longer. It was after nine bells.

Jalia leaned close to Tremor "And don't think I didn't see what you did back there. You weren't all about running away."

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:42, Tue 12 Mar.

Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 125 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Tue 12 Mar 2019
at 11:14
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
By the the great harvests of Aundair, she can wear that cloak like a ball gown, how is it possible?

"Such a thing, it must have been an accident, imagine if it were known a Halfling stood against the Undead, the questions, the arguments."

A wry smile came to the Halfling's face as did a half dozen impulsive ideas, that lead to a quick peck on Jalia's cheek.

"Karl, " Tremor ducked and spun to face the companion survivor, "Where can we meet, where might I come to find you tomorrow or any day?

What about this evening or any evening after this? A sign, a campaign must be mounted. I have many question, which I love, though answers, I dearly love more
."
The GM
 GM, 444 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Tue 12 Mar 2019
at 18:16
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Lady Jalia Ramires
Tremor did not fail to note the roses rising in her cheeks. Her eyes sparkled, and her smile was wide and warm. "Oh, doubtless. Accidents do happen. Though you seem brave enough." She held out her hand to Tremor, he saw a glint on her wrist. She flicked her wrist and the jewelry slid to the end of her fingertip. She extended this to the halfling. "A souvenir. This must have accidentally come off one of those fiends." The amulet chain was plain silver, the stone was scarlet, and intricately carved. "The only treasure I want to keep from this night is the one you just bestowed."
Karl
Karl shifted uncomfortably, cleared his throat. "I must rest, and I came... unprepared for conflict. I will return, but not until the sun is high overhead. Some things are best done in bright sunlight. Others... they are not." He cast a glance at the Watch gates, and Tremor thought it might only be the chill of the evening that made him shiver.  "And now I beg your leave. You ought not tarry long so near the graves either. Seek some shelter. Tremor, I can be found at the Blissful Giant Inn, just there in Respite. If I am not there leave word with Leoamros." He bowed in the Karrn mode, and started to leave.
Lady Jalia Ramires
"You don't suppose he's one of those necromancers, do you?" she asked quietly. "I think I will seek shelter. My gown is in tatters, and my hair must be a fright. But next time, I think we should bring umbrellas. What do you think? Shall we go dancing?" She gave him another smile, and paired it with a wink. "We'll see what other brave accidents we can make together."

Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 126 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Wed 13 Mar 2019
at 02:25
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
"I look forward to our next soeaking."

A karrn observance, what is that story?



Turning back to Jalia, "By rights, I feel I am owed dancing, to reaffirm the joy of life.

Alas that I can not this eve. I have a prior commitment.

If I do not leave this instant, with all haste, I will be consumed by the Fury
."
Lady Jalia Ramires
Tue 19 Mar 2019
at 05:17
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
"Of course," she had said. Tremor was hastening back to the Onyx Fountain even as he recalled. "I would not have you consumed by Furies, or anyone else."

But even as he retraced his steps he wondered: had she really kissed him back? Something told him that she had. But she and he had to part, and his foot-falls carried him seemingly by leaps and bounds. For there would be dancing: "Tomorrow night," she had promised. He strangely felt that he was already dancing, and a part of his mind was thing of the tune that might go with the beat of his heart.

At the plaza, he slowed. The theater had let out, and most of the patrons had dispersed, idling their ways to inns or apartments in the upscale locations of Stormreach. Most of the sellers had moved on as well, carting their wares to whatever shelter they called home; it was a late night for these, many of whom would get up again at the break of dawn, beginning their work once more.

A few hardy umbrella salesmen still remained, the rain had stopped, and so had their opportunity. Everyone who needed the protection from the weather had it, or decided they would do without.

There was one flower seller who remained near the center of the plaza. Tremor eyed the halfling who seemed to be slowly destroying the wares, plucking the petals from each rose until there was nothing but a stalk with thorns, and then beginning again with the next flower.
Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 128 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Sun 24 Mar 2019
at 10:18
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Now was the part whee calm had to embraced. Calm and orderly sorting of activity and a search for things that were a concern.

Looking about for signs of ambush, agents, lookouts, weapons. Perception

03:12, Today: Tremor Enkau Valevine rolled 10 using 1d20+5 with rolls of 5.  Perception v Ambush/Attack Onyx.


Then it was looking at his surrounds and looking for places of cover and escape.

Given that the number of days he had been in the city, Vrina may expect him to be less than punctual.
Halfling Youth
Thu 28 Mar 2019
at 17:02
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor observed the lone city guard in the plaza at the far end near Old Gate. Well dressed patrons of the Theater were dispersing; no-one there seemed concerned with anything but themselves. Only the halfling rose-seller seemed to command Tremor's attention. The youth paused in his destruction of the roses to gaze unwaveringly at Tremor.

Tremor did not possess the fine sensitivity to danger that the Dragonmarks of Sentinel had, but he was well-schooled, and felt secure at this place and time.


The halfling youth beckoned with a rose with a single petal remaining upon it. When Tremor was close enough to hear, the rose seller said:  "You are a different matter. No one makes me wait this long. And yet I waited." The youth twirled the rose, then pulled the petal off and added it to the pile of rose petals. "That would be the last petal. Any longer and you would have been too late. What have you been up to?"

Tremor realised when she spoke it was the same voice that Vrina had. mentally he imagined different clothes, makeup, lighting were different-- the scope of the disguise was well within the scope of the mundane. The Pink Conch might have an edict against deception, but Vrina certainly had none.
Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 129 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Fri 29 Mar 2019
at 11:04
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
{*}:
Always a pleasure to find he was worth waiting for. Yet.. the entire reason for being here is a test.

Verbal fencing with someone who did this for a living meant thinking ahead, counters to moves that lead to more counters. Indignation, surprise, argument form authority and the walkaway.

Was the voice simply close.. an excellent mimic, could he tell. More words were needed, this may be part of the test. A test of knowledge beyond what a simple stand-in, substitute may know.


If a counterfeit, to deliver a task, simple enough, should it matter, the message was delivered non-the-less. If.. then a test of the en garde.


Friendly, bordering on jovial.

"I have been running my toes through tall grass, meeting family of a friend and keeping Watch for changes in weather.

Tell me, how harsh were you with the messenger, when she returned with new terms of our meeting
?" Deception

Perhaps too easy, but a signal of caution... to the Vrina he met.

04:06, Today: Tremor Enkau Valevine rolled 16 using 1d20+5 with rolls of 11.  Deception she for he, re messenger

This message was last edited by the player at 11:07, Fri 29 Mar.

Vrina (presumed)
Fri 29 Mar 2019
at 16:44
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
The rose seller leaned forward and Tremor recognised absolutely the honeyed voice, as the rose seller sniffed his ears:  "I do not wish to unduly influence your decision, but the fate of poor Veri l'Sivius' moustaches rely entirely upon my estimation of this conversation." Tremor marveled. Only a modicum of magics was needed for the eye color, but that small detail sealed the rest of the disguise.  So much was imputed to hair, ornaments, masquera, lip color, and even without illusion, there were so many variables, how much deception was there in the boudoir, that there could be so much more in its absence ?

"Grave soil." she said. "And the dead." She sniffed again, deeply.  "And the living. Ohh, a sweet one, that. Did she kiss you first?" She blinked her eyes at Tremor "'A question not answered.' You have had a busy evening; I'll not waste our time with that. You suggested that I could obtain an answer, in exchange for a favor. I must be certain that you could obtain my answer without such consequences as would befall me if you failed. And so I propose a test. For you. There is nothing ill that would befall me if you fail, and much to be gained, by you, if you succeed." Her face was still very close to Tremor's. He felt the breath of her whispers.

"The Commander of the city Dragoons has a display case of weapons in his office. Among these is a case that once held a matched set of daggers. Whalebone hilt. Inscribed with scrimshaw. Now there is only one in the case. Obtain that knife, demonstrate to me that you have it. Then I shall make a bargain with you, for I know that you will succeed in my own quest." She purred up at Tremor's face.

"You have no idea how grateful I can be...." She smiled. "Keep the knife, it will be worth a fortune to the owner. Find the other knife, and it will be worth a fortune to you."
Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 130 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Sun 31 Mar 2019
at 10:36
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
Tremor considered her words, looking for the signs that would tell him that  'poor Veri', his fate, had already been decided and she was not waiting for this conversation to resolve.

17:18, Today: Tremor Enkau Valevine rolled 19 using 1d20+5 with rolls of 14.  Insight v Vrina re Fate of 'poor Veri'.

"A kiss at the parting.

I accept. Is there a way you prefer to be be contacted
?"

Too keen a sense of smell, an observation that will be tested. All in all, a fair demonstration, a more harrowing rest could have been devised.
The GM
 GM, 451 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Mon 1 Apr 2019
at 05:57
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
"'A kiss at the parting.' And is there no more to the story? I think there is, Oh you are a man, to tease such as I."

Tremor judged that her sense of smell was to keen, even for a halfling courtesan. Oh, there could be enchantments, some kind of spell coerced willingly or not from a sorcerer or wizard, but still, it seemed ... a true thing of the fair one before him. The Bear had oft said to be aware of the truth, when he saw it, for the truth was often the most dangerous thing in the room.

"Send word to the Conch. A message to me that the ... fish has been hooked. But I will want to see the fishhook, for myself. I'm intrigued. You really seem like you think you can do it."

OOC: Real fireworks are known but expensive, and generally not considered the worth of the price, but magical effects to the same or greater extent do exist, and are somewhat a common rite of passage for Eberron wizards. On the continent only the show would matter, but in Stormreach the pride in not using magic would be recognized as a statement of wealth, contrariness, or both.
Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 131 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Wed 3 Apr 2019
at 08:23
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
"Oh Vrina, _what have you set me to.. that you worry so?

Are you more vested in my failing, to see, that result, than the task
?"

The fact that Vrina now knew where he would have to be, the object tasked to him, meant that Vrina could fiddle with any number of levers.  The trick was to try and see those levers and her hand upon them, should exertion be made.

This may be a test of skill or a simple trade for information. Vrina did not feel the need to embellish, so gathering the information would be the fun part.

The week would not be dull, thank the Host for that.  Mopping.. it may be a haven for peace in the coming days.

Tremor will Insight check Vrina's answer
Vrina (assuredly)
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 04:30
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
"Either I've placed you against a cruel master, or a mere pawn of a great evil. Or perhaps he is a very powerful person, and you are but a 'mop hand'. Would any feel less concern? But you mistake me indeed, if you think I hope for anything but your success. You are a key found on the street, and you could unlock things for me. If you do not break. 'One always hopes the coin gives just enough to the teeth'." That was a Zilargan proverb, one of many that dealt with money and its counterfeit.

"If you are the key that I seek you are very valuable to me. If not..." she shrugged.

Tremor felt almost certain that Veri was in no danger, not even his moustaches, but he knew that to ask again to be sure might provide Vrina substantial information about his own concerns. Even his original, casual, question might have given Vrina some small leverage over him. Vrina seemed well satisfied with their business. But she seemed hungry for more.

"What's her name?"
Tremor Enkau Valevine
 player, 133 posts
 Mop Hand, Molou's Distill
 Halfling, Zilargo accent
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 05:26
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
"You think you found.. I recall it differently."

Tremor wags a finger, "I am sure you would not approve of any name I gave, so when I feel you are resigned to my choice, then you will have the name.

I will bid adieu, May the Host Bless you and keep you in all the days to come
."

Tremor will take his leave with any parting words, barring being stopped and off towards the docks, checking to see if he is being followed, go to the Distillery, pick up a bottle and two goblets, then head out to the Silver Flame Lodge to meet with Doriah.
The GM
 GM, 454 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Fri 5 Apr 2019
at 02:10
Re: 1: Becalmed in Stormreach
As he made his polite farewell, Vrina's face displayed a fleeting emotion. One that he'd experienced himself when he and Vrina had first conversed. It was that feeling of being 'out-played,' and she seemed to take it with much less equanimity than Tremor had. She seemed unused to the feeling.
"I will be seeing you again, Tremor Enkau Valevine!" she called out to him as he crossed the plaza, flinging the rose petals into the wind. She sang the song again as he passed through the gate.
"Come in through the window, and I'll show you to the door ♬
There's a devil in the basement, underneath the floor
Devil in the basement, don't you look into her eyes
Or she'll know just you want, and your demons will arise
Devil in the basement, oh I wish she'd go away
I tried to talk to her, but I've got nothing left to say
Come in through the window, I'm going down to hell
Close the door on your way out, and tell the world I wish it well
Wooah, ohh, ohh, ohhhh"  ♬
Vrina's Song

His path wound through streets cleared by rain of the filth and the throng. The smells were sea salt and some kind of night blooming flower that thrived in the jungles nearby. Tremor scanned his surroundings, but there was nothing of threat or danger.

'A kiss at the parting.' There had been that, and that was a great deal. And she had said 'treasure'.

Alston Scheppen Maelogilden Lazarumbear
In Korranberg, learning 'etiquette' there had been discussions of liaisons, and the punishments meted out for such students as would break that law. This worried Tremor little, for the haughtiness of the native Zilargans towards the halfling-born rendered any innate beauty moot. Tremor recalled another quiet walk with his mentor, The Bear:

"It's a good argument, and I particularly like the way you used quotes from the lecture to make your point. It is hard, after all, to disagree with oneself." The paper had been on the hazards of Truth. "'There is a delineation between Honesty and Truth, and one can be forthrightly Honest, and say not a word of Truth.' Too true." he'd chuckled at his own words. The old gnome stopped and looked sternly at Tremor; no one was about in the courtyard. Tremor had sought solitude, and The Bear had sought him.

Lazarumbear stooped and picked up a small stone. He held up the pebble "Truth spawns lies. If I say 'this is a stone,' it is one truth, from a narrow spectrum of truths. But the lies fan out in all directions. I could say 'it is a feather,' or 'it is a bone.' But because you see it the life of the lie is fleeting." He closed his fist. "Now, it could be a feather, or a bone, or nothing at all. The spectrum of potential lies and their potency has increased." He'd handed the stone to Tremor. It was small, smooth, grey, with a mottled white stripe. "If we give this to a geomancer, they could identify the stone's mineral content, give us the proper name; tell you if it is marble and granite, or sandstone... whatever. It's not sandstone. I theorise that if we should slice the stone by some means, and then slice the slices, and then so on and so on, we would arrive at a small chunk of stone that we could not say anything about that was not pure speculation. We could not even say exactly where it was, because it is so small. The potential for 'lies' about the tiny fragment of stone would overwhelm the 'truths' we could speak about it. That fragment. Only lies would hold sway. And the lies would be the only truth. But again, with a thing so small..." he shook his head. "At such a size the potency of the lies would be minimal, as unnoticed as the dust itself. "

As the walked along, the gnome reached into one of many pockets. He withdrew a Siberys dragonshard; a shining gold-colored crystal with lines of sky blue and yellow shot through. It was good quality, though worn on the ends and edges. "If I ask you what this is, you might say 'Dragonshard' and be as right as you could be. But what is a 'Dragonshard?' Is it a stone, or a bone? Is it a feather? No one really knows. And so we have here a presentable something that has those un-definable qualities we were just discussing. The potency of the lies might be enough to reshape reality, and what does a dragonshard do? Why, they enable great magics. Do you see?" Tremor kept pace as the old  Bear's strides quickened. "What's missing is the interpretation of the lies as truths, or vice-versa. That's the part that turns this into more than a feeble thought exercise. Someone has to perceive the duality." The Bear had stopped again and looked with a combination of hope and fear into Tremor's eyes. "And what do we say when presented with a multiplicity of possibilities?"

There was but one answer to that question, though it was the one least voiced by the students. The other gnomes felt that this answer showed weakness of study, or intelligence. Tremor bravely gave that answer voice:

"I don't know."

Lazarumbear had grinned so widely that it threatened to split his head. "Indeed."

"I recall your reason for being here. I hope you understand that 'Diplomacy' is not the core of what we teach. Diplomacy is what people do to solve problems in relationships. None of the classes here teaches to solve problems. Here we give you tools for studying relationships, people, facts, lies. Not solutions. We have presented generations of students with the tools to understand and manipulate others, and given not a whit to what they will do with those tools when they leave. 'Trust, and be content.' There is no larger picture." He made a face, and stomped along. Tremor judged the conversation was not done, and so he'd gone along.

"I would like to propose for you an opportunity to work with me. Call it a Magister's project." He gestured around then and Tremor was not sure if he meant to encompass the University, Zilargo, or the whole of Eberron. "Will you help me?"

Tremor's answer changed the direction of his life forever. The threads that led him to Stormreach came into his grasp that day. As to what it meant, even now, he would have to answer 'I don't know.' The Bear was gone, and all Tremor had of him was the tiny tree, and the voiceless whispers of memory.

But the streets were safe, and Tremor was alive and triumphing over his obstacles. And there was Jaliah, who desired dancing tomorrow (or was it already today?) Tremor mused that there was enough time for a short rest before work. Tap had rigged the leaky haversack so that it would trickle water into a bowl for Drift. Drift was asleep. Tap was not sleeping, but seemed engaged in some quiet meditation over some warforged medallion. Tremor judged it prudent not to disturb Tap.

When he woke, early, he bade Tap make the proper excuses for him when he left to go to the Lodge.

OOC: if that is sufficient for you, then we shall wrap up this thread. If you want to make any further addendum, or challenge any thing I've stated, I welcome the details.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:31, Fri 12 July.