The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work.   Posted by Emrys Wrenn.Group: 0
Emrys Wrenn
 GM, 3 posts
Sun 21 Apr 2019
at 13:48
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
***Please read the wiki page on the Vast, found here: (https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/The_Vast)

Rowan, Zanbis, and Emrys... the three of you have been working together for around a year, completing odd jobs for the highest bidder: nobles who need a discreet hand to accomplish a task, paranoid merchants looking for dirt on their competitors, bandits who need to know when the next shipment of goods will pass their territory, or jealous lovers intent on usurping the legitimate spouse of their paramours...  Whatever needs done quietly, with a subtle touch, with few eyebrows raised... you have become infamous in the underworld of the Vast.

Zanbis, you are a master of subtlety.  Your true heritage as a Yuan-ti Pureblood is something best left to only the most trusted of friends.  As such, you have been accustomed from an early age to re-direct attention and layer intrigue upon intrigue to mask your true identity.  It is this background that through your well-connected network of informants, you are able to find some sort of job or lead for adventure wherever you go, which is helpful since you and your crew do not often stay in the same town for more than a few weeks at a time.  Call it a hazard of the trade... when you manipulate, cajole, backstab, and straight-up lie to get the job done, enemies form quickly.  The faster you can distance yourselves from the last job, the better.

You and the crew just left Calaunt after getting your hands on some particularly scandalous love letter written by a nephew of one of the city's Merchant Dukes to his brother... Your client asked for proof of the affair, so they could force the nephew to self-exile to Sembia rather than bring ruin upon the family.  You performed perhaps too well by getting written proof.  When presented with the evidence, the nephew jumped from to 6th story of his family's manor to his death.  The client counseled your crew to leave Calaunt for a time to let things cool over...

After about three days of travel, you find yourself in Thindilar, a market town populated by artisans and craftspeople. Life there was busy and energetic, and people there had little time for wild tales of treasure and adventure in their vicinity.  You three usually only indulge this town for the MockingJay Tavern that offers some of the most comfortable rooms in the Vast and by far the best tasting mead, brewed locally by Jay Terrbaud, the owner of the establishment.  Jay is a halfling, who used to be a member of the Calaunt Thieves Guild and usually keeps his ear to the ground about interesting jobs and rumors.

Around 6 in the morning,  the three of you wearily enter the MockingJay Tavern to find it devoid of most life, save Jay slumped over the bar with a cask of mead in his hand.  Your arrival rouses the halfling and he slightly raises his eyebrow in your direction, and in a swift, silent motion, uses a mage hand cantrip to bring three tumblers over to the bar.  By the time you reach the empty stools across from Jay, he has filled them with his Vast-famous mead.

"Of course you decide to show up when I'm barely cogent and far too boozed up to engage in intellectual banter... So, I'll make it quick.  There's a job for you.  There always is.  This one's got some commission though, and we all like a little commission.
 If you take this job, the client promised me 1 percent middleman fee--standard.  A highwayman of sorts came in here asking if I knew someone that could handle a discreet problem for him... a bit of fact-finding and potential recovery of goods.  Well, I told him I know a crew of three that can get just about any information you could want.  He's got a camp in the thicket just outside of town, he said just show up wearing this purple sash around your arm and his men will know your business.  Now, I'd recommend you get some rest and head over to the thicket around dusk.  If this don't fit your fancy, well I heard Fritz over at the stables may have heard of something else for you... you'll probably want to talk to him anyway if you need to get yourself a new horse."


"Anything else I can do for you three?"

Jay looks over at Emrys, your half-elf warlock companion, who seems to be playing with a spider in his hand, letting it run over his fingers as he flips his hand around.  With his eyes fixated on the spider, you hear the voice of Emrys in your heads, though his lips don't move, saying "Looks promising.  I was told Fritz may have some additional supplies for us.  A reward from two clients ago, we best stop by this afternoon.  Jay, this mead is delicious as always.  Thank you for the lead.  I believe a 1 percent middleman fee is fine."

This was typical of Emrys.  Amongst friends, he would rarely vocalize his thoughts, instead relying on some mystical ability he has been granted by an unknown force that allowed him to directly speak to one's mind.  Emrys never discussed how he could do this and Rowan and Zanbis simply accepted it.  It always irked Jay, however.  With a scowl he remarks, "I can't ever tell if I've had too much mead when around you, Emrys.  Usually, I find that I need more when you throw this hocus pocus my way."

With that, Jay throws back a swig of mead, wipes his lips with the sleeve of his shirt and looks with askance to Zanbis and Rowan.  "Well, you with Emrys here, or you have your own thoughts?" asks Jay.

Having a hitched a ride into town on a caravan wagon, you are in need of a place to store your goods.  You remember that Jay always rents a room out for a reasonable 5 silver pieces a night and throws in a glyph of warding on the room for extra security.  Jay of course will allow you to rent for as long as you need.  Even so, it appears as though you have at least two leads for where your journey will take you, 1) speak to this "Highwayman" in the thicket outside of town, and 2) retrieve the reward from Fritz at the town stables.

Additionally, Rowan, you know some of the local militia members of Thindilar from your time as a soldier.  Perhaps they have some information of interest in these matters.  They may know of this "highwayman" from the thicket.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:19, Sun 21 Apr 2019.

Emrys Wrenn
 GM, 4 posts
Sun 21 Apr 2019
at 14:03
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Emrys Wrenn (msg # 1):

Having spoken his mind... errr telepathically transmitted his thoughts to you, Emrys remains fixated on the spider crawling over his hand.  He has a strange connection with the beast, claiming he can see through its eyes, know its thoughts, and the like.  Rowan and Zanbis have at times seen the blasted creature perched on a night stand next to their bed and hear the utterances of Emrys seemingly transmitted through the spider.  Unusual as it may be, like all of Emrys' idiosyncrasies, it's just another trait of your travelling companion that you actually find useful at times.  After a long moment, he shift his attention to Rowan and Zanbis, and transmits thoughts directly to them, stating, "I am dreadfully tired.  I have not yet been blessed with the ability to forgo sleep.  Perhaps one day...  As it is, let's make a plan for the day."

Emrys often keeps his face emotionless except when engaged in some sort of con or ruse. Because of this, you tend to take utterances like these at face value since otherwise, he is too difficult to read. Emrys, wears a well-kept set of travelling clothes and is a fairly handsome half-elf with dark brown hair and a well-trimmed goatee. However, you only see that face behind closed doors or when he is sleeping. When travelling and engaging with different people, Emrys changes his face to suit the occasion, reluctant to reveal his true identity. Today, Emrys appears as an aging human merchant, with light grey hair and a chin beard extending down about three inches. This is the only face of Emrys that Jay knows, though he is quite sure it is a disguise self spell. The only thing that confuses Jay is that the spell never seems to end...

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:36, Sun 21 Apr 2019.

Zanbis
 player, 1 post
Wed 24 Apr 2019
at 04:48
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
Zanbis always preferred to talk one-on-one with a person. Less witnesses that way. Zanbis always preferred to have his targets set themselves up for failure or death. A word here, a rumor there and if all else fails there is always a nice knife in the back.

Zanbis took no joy in killing. Where is the fun in that? He could fight if had to, knowing he had the edge in most combats due to his (in his mind) justified racial advantage. It's not his fault that everyone else is not lucky enough to be one of the chosen few left of his noble race.


He looked over at Emrys. That stupid spider. Why couldn't it be a snake? Zanbis could at least talk to the creature. Zanbis did respect Emrys and his ability to stick with different outfits/looks for every encounter. If only Zanbis could figure out how he managed to keep that spell active for so long or at least figure out how he was able to know which disguise he used for which person. Zanbis knew that he would mess up eventually and his disguise would be ruined.

Tired already? I could attempt to go parlay with this "highwayman" though he better be worth it. I mean what kind of highwayman doesn't have a name? Sounds like he is more of a boy with a big knife than a man. The reward is not going anywhere but I am very curious to see what our client gave us. Zanbis smirked thinking of a previous job Normally I am the one giving the gifts....
Rowan
 player, 1 post
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 03:11
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
Rowan was ready to get into a new job. She found the time between adventures to be boring and unproductive. She was glad Jay let them know about this possible job because there was nothing else to do in this town besides drink. She said to her companions once Jay was out of earshot, "I think we should go for this job, though first I want what's mine from the previous one. I'm also going to ask around if I see anyone I know here about the highwayman because we all know we don't want to take a job that's definitely going sideways." Rowan looked to see if she knew anyone in the tavern. +2
Emrys Wrenn
 GM, 5 posts
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 05:26
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Rowan (msg # 4):

No one else is in the tavern during the morning hours...

However, one of Rowan's militia contacts in the town is posted not too far away at the Thindilar town square.  You know he usually is up pretty early standing watch to ensure the morning market doesn't have any disturbances.  Jay nods and shouts out orders to one of his workers from the kitchen to move your gear up to the upstairs.  Emrys flips him 50 silver pieces (enough for ten days lodging).  "Your equipment will be safe here, while you prepare for your job," states Jay.

After everyone downs their drinks, the group heads over to the square where, as expected, Rowan's contact stands leaning against a halberd with blood shot eyes, wearing a chain shirt and a tunic with the Thindilar seal on the breast. It looks like he either just woke up or hasn't slept a wink all night.  His name is Yaris and you know that he tends to deal on the darker side of security... running various protection rackets for caravans or local shops.  It's not an honest living, but it supplements his meager milita pay.  Rowan, you realize he'd probably tell you a story and a half if you could part with a few silver pieces.

Seeing the three of you approaching, he gives a slight laugh followed by a hacking cough.  Wiping his mouth off with the sleeve of his shirt, he says "Well, well, well, Rowan.  It's been a long time since I saw the feline variety here in Thindilar.  What can I do for you?  Want to have another arm-wrestling match with the boys?? Hehehe."
Rowan
 player, 2 posts
Thu 2 May 2019
at 02:54
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Emrys Wrenn (msg # 5):

Rowan looked Yaris up and down and said "Maybe I'll take you up on that later. We're looking for a bit of information about a highwayman needs a job done. Can you tell us anything of value. I may be willing to part with a silver or few depending on the information given."
Zanbis
 player, 2 posts
Thu 2 May 2019
at 03:07
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Emrys Wrenn (msg # 5):

OOC: Hey can you post a code snippet of how to do dice rolls? I guessed with the +2 thing with Stacie's.

Zanbis looked at Yaris. Zanbis had seen people like Yaris before; hell if he had anything close to a "friend" most of them would be like Yaris.

These military types were always the same. Underpaid, unhappy and fortunately very very persuadable. A few coins there, a nice word here. A promise of a promotion that never happens. They are the greatest of fall guys. Zanbis didn't even keep count of how many militia or simple guards he has had put in prison. They all of course were paid, just not paid in the way they wanted.

Zanbis whispers quietly to Emrys. What are we hoping to get out of this? Learn that the highwayman wants to own land and get lots of whores? Humans are all the same.
Emrys Wrenn
 GM, 6 posts
Thu 2 May 2019
at 12:40
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
OOC: Here's how you would go about rolling a skill check for example: Rowan would like to persuade Yaris to part with some information.  That roll could be done with advantage since you are giving some money to sweeten the deal.  Yaris is already friendly with Rowan because of Rowan's Soldier background.  You would use the Dice roller, put in your modifiers for the roll and then copy and past the result.  It would look like this:

19:39, Today: Emrys Wrenn, on behalf of Rowan, rolled 21 using 1d20+3 ((18)).
19:39, Today: Emrys Wrenn, on behalf of Rowan, rolled 16 using 1d20+3 ((13)).

Since it was done with advantage, you would take the higher roll.  Fortunately for an NPC already friendly to you, the DC would be low, so you pass this with flying colors.
Emrys Wrenn
 GM, 7 posts
Thu 2 May 2019
at 12:48
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Emrys Wrenn (msg # 8):

Emrys speaks into the minds of both Rowan and Zanbis after hearing Zanbis' question. "We should figure out if we are getting duped into running some fool's errands for him.  If it's a dangerous proposition, we would want to be well-compensated.  I assume it would be risky, at the least.  Maybe this Yaris character has some insights about the Highwayman... his favorite ale, what kind of work he gets into, who are his allies, his enemies... most importantly, what in the blazes is this Highwayman's name??"

As normal, Emrys is giving a stoic look to Yaris while transmitting his thoughts to both of you.  Yaris makes eye contact with Emrys and you can see that he seems a bit uncomfortable with Emrys' thousand yard stare...  Yaris grimaces a bit, makes a slight cough while placing his hand out towards Rowan:

"A highwayman, eh?  Well there's a lot of those types running the roads through the Vast.  Perhaps with a few silver and a nice compliment from you, I might know a thing or two about a "highwayman."

OOC: Rowan, please roll a persuasion check and if you decide to use some coin, you can roll twice and take the higher roll with advantage.
Zanbis
 player, 3 posts
Thu 2 May 2019
at 15:33
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Emrys Wrenn (msg # 8):

I meant the code its self like "<roll>" or whatever.
Emrys Wrenn
 GM, 8 posts
Fri 3 May 2019
at 05:48
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Zanbis (msg # 10):

Not sure there is one that I have seen.  Let's use this format until i find out otherwise.
Rowan
 player, 3 posts
Thu 9 May 2019
at 03:33
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Emrys Wrenn (msg # 11):


22:32, Today: Rowan rolled 12 using 1d20+5.

22:31, Today: Rowan rolled 9 using 1d20+5.
Emrys Wrenn
 GM, 9 posts
Mon 13 May 2019
at 13:18
The Vast - Laying Low, Looking for Work
In reply to Rowan (msg # 12):

OOC: You roll a successful persuasion check against Yaris who is considered a "friendly" NPC.  A roll higher than 10 results in the NPC accepting a minor risk to do as asked.  In this case, you rolled a 12, which is sufficient.

Yaris eyes the coins greedily, snatches them from Rowan's hand and pockets them quickly while quickly scanning the square to see if anyone notices the interaction.  Seemingly satisfied that the conversation is discreet enought, Yaris opens up "So... yeah... a highwayman...  well in my day, we called them bandits, though times are changing and since this "bandit" seems to pay off the right folks to turn the other cheek to his misdeeds on the roads, we call him a highwayman.  His name is Sir Alben Desroux.  A disgraced noble, who on account of excessive drinking and womanizing, was left out of his father's inheritance.  Ever since then, he and his friends set up shop outside of town here and rob travellers who haven't brought enough steel along to protect themselves.  Normally, he ain't much of a threat, picking off onesies and twosies, but he always seems to know when the richest of solitary travellers make their way through Thindilar.  Rumor has it, one of my seniors in the militia always gets a tribute, so we haven't touched him.

Yaris again darts his eyes around the square as the sound of a cat toppling over a bucket startles him... "Eh, well, as I was saying... He and his buddies live outside of town in a thicket.  He's amassed a pretty good stock of treasure, they say, so naturally he's posted guards at the main entrance of the thicket and there's believed to be traps throughout to deter trespassers.  The entrance is not too far south of a very large oak tree southeast of town.  Perhaps and hour's ride from here."

Yaris abruptly coughs and straightens his posture while looking past Rowan's left shoulder.  You turn around to see that he spotted another militia member arriving for his watch duty and a few other citizens follow behind with baskets of goods to sell at the square.  Yaris appears uninterested in talking any further at this point.  Give you a quick nod and states, "Yes, folks, you can buy all manner of food here, but most of the shops won't be open for another hour."

His last words are a poor attempt at ending the conversation, but you have taken the hint.