Chapter 1: The Letter.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: archive 0
Storyteller
 GM, 29 posts
Fri 3 Apr 2020
at 00:40
Chapter 1: The Letter
In the City of Towers, a thousand secrets whisper in the night, and a thousand tales unfold before the moons reach their zenith.

This is one of those tales.

A tale of four fledgling adventurers, their separate paths intertwining and adding to the rich tapestry of the vibrant city.

A warforged cleric, seeking existential answers and its purpose in a world without war...

A Khoravar rogue, living the life a dear friend could not...

A Brelish duelist, striving to make her mark...

A Brelish wizard, forging his own path and unearthing relics of the past...

This is their story. It begins with a letter.

It read:

I'm calling on you for a job. I can't write the details, but it pays well and requires your skills. Meet me at the airship dock on top of Lyrandar Towers if you're interested. 8 pm. Come armed.
~Germaine


Doing some quick process of elimination, all came to the same conclusion--Germaine Vilroy, a personal acquaintance, Brelish War veteran, and now Sergeant in the Sharn Watch. Sergeant Vilroy is detailed to the Tradefair district of Middle Central Plateau, though why she had chosen to sign the letter personally, rather than affix her position a member of the Sharn Watch was somewhat curious.

At any rate, the prospect of a well-paying job was enough of a draw to elicit a meeting, especially for new arrivals looking for work, and more importantly--pay. At the very least, it was worth going and hearing her out...

***

An orange glow covers the top of Lyrandar Towers as the sun sinks in the sky. Above, the great airships of House Lyrandar float like leviathans surrounded by brilliant rings of elemental energy. Below, bridges crisscross at all levels of the city, connecting Sharn's great towers. The sounds of crying children, barking vendors, cursing skycoach drivers, and braying hippogriffs rise up to become a unique din that can only be heard in the City of Towers.

So, with darkness descending on the city, windows lighting up the towers from bottom to top, our heroes arrive.

A cool wind whisks through the rising towers, drowning out the other noises of the city. A nearby lift rises, carrying a woman in her mid-thirties with an athletic build and close-cropped black hair. Her face lights up with an orange glow as she takes a deep draw from a pipe, while drifts of aromatic smoke whirl around her face and are promptly carried away by swirling currents.

The lift comes level with Lyrandar Tower, stops, and releases a hiss of eldritch gas as the retaining barrier slides open.

Germaine offers a wry smile and nods to each in turn while stepping through a pool of steam and off the lift.

"Thanks for coming."

OOC: And action!

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:06, Fri 03 Apr.

Fellise
 player, 14 posts
 Half-elf Rogue
 AC: 13, HP: 8, PP: 14
Fri 3 Apr 2020
at 01:32
Chapter 1: The Letter
The letter had found Fellise counting out her coins and working out how to make them multiply when she gets the letter. She'd certainly been taking in the sights of the city, along with its company, its foods, and its dreamlilly, and the full purse she'd arrived with has become very distinctly... less so. The City of Towers was widely said to be the place to make your fortune, but it seemed an even better place to use it.

So when the letter arrived, the first two words she saw were "pays well." Then "come armed," and then the time to read the other few dozen words and the name.

She makes herself ready in the evening, outfitted, armored, cloaked, her tools on her back. She takes the time to check herself over in the rented room's mirror, before slipping out on soundless steps.

***

She'd arrived early. It was always the smart thing to do, and even more so when you're there on a strange letter from an acquaintance to meet in a secluded spot at nightfall. A certain degree of healthy paranoia can only ever help.

And so she'll be waiting at the docks, perched in a spot on top of some of the unloaded boxes, legs crossed, hood drawn over her face.

With the Sergeant's arrival, she slides down to ground level to meet her, pulling back her hood despite the wind to show a radiant smile.

"A mysterious letter, inviting me to a clandestine meeting for reasons unknown? How could I resist?"

This message was last edited by the player at 01:33, Fri 03 Apr.

Ozkur
 player, 22 posts
 Human Wizard
 AC: 12, HP: 8, PP: 13
Fri 3 Apr 2020
at 03:38
Chapter 1: The Letter
Germiane had sent him a letter offering a paying job at what was perhaps the perfect time. Ozkur wasn't a particularly religious sort, but he thanked the gods as he read what Germaine had written. As it was, Ozkur wondered where he was sleeping for the night. Having spent his last coin to get into Sharn, the prospect of sleeping in an alley made his back preemptively ache.

Ozkur had known Germaine for a long time. She wasn't the type to embellish details, and her warnings--the lack of detail, suggesting it was to be clandestine, and that he should come armed--did not escape the boy. Vilroy had been Mikkel's closest friend growing up, and so Ozkur felt a certain obligation to at least hear her out.

The young man slipped in quietly, appearing unassuming. He wore simple traveling clothes and a thin, long scarf. Along his back was a sturdy pack full of assorted tools: a shovel, a hammer, and a crowbar. Ozkur said nothing, letting the young woman purr her questions as he listened. His hands were together, nervous, pensive.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:46, Fri 03 Apr.

Jessa
 player, 15 posts
 Human Fighter
 AC: 17, HP: 11, PP: 14
Fri 3 Apr 2020
at 04:48
Chapter 1: The Letter
When Jessa had arrived in the City of Towers, the letter was there at the inn waiting for her when she walked in the door.  Unexpected to say the least considering she usually made a point to travel in a random direction to let Fate take her where it would.  How had a letter found her?  For that matter, how long had it been waiting here if it hadn't actually found her?  Regardless, it had made its way into her possession now, so she was not about to turn it down--especially after an evening spent in various bars with a flagon in hand.  Sliding the coin to the innkeeper for his best room, she made her way upstairs to her room and undid the buckles of the straps of leather across her midriff to help her remove her armor as she tossed the letter on the makeshift desk next to the lit candle.

With a sigh, she unfastened the steel-plated leather gauntlets she wore at the elbows and then the wrists before she set them on the table against the other wall.  Then, she finished removing the leather straps across her torso to remove the rest of her armor.  Unclasping her sword belt, she slung it over the back of the desk's chair before she sat in the seat herself.  Taking the letter in hand, she leaned back in the chair and crossed her feet on the desk.  With a deft motion, she smoothly drew a dagger from its sheath on the right thigh of her leather trousers and sliced open the seal of the letter fluidly.  She played with the dagger, spinning it on her knuckles as she looked over the letter's contents.  The young woman could not help but quirk an eyebrow at what she read.

Germaine?  That was a name she had not heard in quite a while.  Not since she had left House Deneith.  The Sergeant was not necessarily what she would call a family friend, but she had fought alongside many of her siblings during the Last War.  Even though Jessa was no longer fully a part of House Deneith, she was not about to abandon someone she knew.

***

And that was what found her on the docks as darkness descended on the city, the orange glow giving way to purples and blues before the sun fully set, cloaking the city in shadow.

"She means "how could I resist when you say it pays well?"" Jessa quipped with a teasing smile as she pushed off the crate she was leaning against with her arms crossed under her bosom.  She glanced sidelong at Fellise with a wry smile.  "I swear, the way you were drinking last night I thought you would still be in bed right now."  The teasing was obviously the good-natured sort that was usually found between close friends that had survived more than a few bottoms of flagons as well as the sort of trouble that had a tendency to accompany such situations.

She stepped forward as her metal-plated leather boots echoed dully on the wooden planks of the dock and uncrossed her arms.  "It's good to see you again, Germaine," she said softly, the wry smile turning into a regular warm one.  "Thanks are unnecessary.  You know I will always come if you call."
Clive
 player, 14 posts
 Warforged Cleric
 AC 19, HP: 11, PP: 13
Fri 3 Apr 2020
at 13:56
Chapter 1: The Letter
 Clive steps off his elevator and notices a few other people gathered, notable for wearing adventuring style gear they carry. Walking over toward them, the 6.5 ft warforged trotted over toward them. His face is the most prominent feature as the rest of him is covered in clothing. Matte metal surfaces bearing intricate detailing across the forehead includes a faded image of a gorgon, although several stylistic changes have been wrought. This to signify a change of ownership as a significant number of warforged built by House Cannith have been redistributed after the Last War.

As his head turns to look for the sergeant, he reveals his neck to be a column of tightly bundled cords of some stretching and pliable material, keeping his head off his shoulders, working much like that of a human.

He spots the half-cloaked figure of Ozkur, a friendly if a bit jittery sort he had met not long before and he is about to greet him fondly when the final elevator reveals the figure of Sergeant Germaine, catching his eye. He stops and turns to face her, and even though he is unable to portray it, Clive smiles at the prospect of being of use and possibly connecting with other people who, in turn, might be able to help him down the road.

"Sergeant, how good to see you again. Thank you for the invitation, this is all very exciting." The lack of facial features could not hide the warm and excitable voice, a soft and low sound, quite pleasant if Clive were to say so himself.
Germaine Vilroy
 NPC, 1 post
 Sergeant
 Sharn Watch
Fri 3 Apr 2020
at 16:18
Chapter 1: The Letter
quote:
Fellise: "A mysterious letter, inviting me to a clandestine meeting for reasons unknown? How could I resist?"


Germaine takes another draw from her pipe before emptying its contents onto the ground. Seconds later he slowly exhales. Tendrils of smoke hang in the air around as she replies in a dry tone, "Knew it wouldn't take much."

quote:
Jessa: "It's good to see you again, Germaine," she said softly, the wry smile turning into a regular warm one.  "Thanks are unnecessary.  You know I will always come if you call."


She nods in response while taking stock of Jessa. The last time she saw her, Jessa had still been a young girl, still relegated to wooden sticks for practice. Had that much time really past? "Appreciate it," she says a moment later.

quote:
"Clive: Sergeant, how good to see you again. Thank you for the invitation, this is all very exciting."


The gruff sergeant studies Clive for a moment and hesitates before responding, "Exciting is an interesting choice of words. I don't know if that's how I would describe it. But, appreciate your enthusiasm."

Sergeant Vilroy makes a quick visual sweep of the area and then is seemingly satisfied enough to get to the point. If there's one thing about Germaine that everyone knows it's that she doesn't like wasting time.

"Look. I'll cut straight to the point. I need help with a thing I can't get involved in. It involves a friend. Warforged that goes by the name Coal. She wants to meet me to report some crimes down in Old Sharn. Which would be fine," she says before hesitating a moment, "except if anyone sees her meeting with a member of the Sharn Watch. Well, that could complicate things for her...and me."

"I need someone to meet her to hear what she has to say. And if it adds up."

She pauses a moment. "Easy work, and I can pay you 25 goldens for your time. 50 if you can bring Coal to me."

She leans in closer, "Interested?"
Fellise
 player, 16 posts
 Half-elf Rogue
 AC: 13, HP: 8, PP: 14
Fri 3 Apr 2020
at 17:51
Chapter 1: The Letter
"I have expenses, and I can handle my liquor, and I'm not apologizing." Fellise steps over toward Jessa and leans in to give a friendly peck on the cheek. "Good to see you haven't gotten yourself killed in a tavern brawl since last night." She looks over the jittery boy and the towering warlord in turn, giving them both an appraising look while Germaine lays out the offer.

Not exactly riches beyond counting, to be sure, but enough to keep her from going bankrupt before week's end. "Where should we find it? And bring it, if we can?" She gives that big half-smile of hers, dimpling her cheek under the scar. "And what has you so worried that you told us to come armed?"
Ozkur
 player, 25 posts
 Human Wizard
 AC: 12, HP: 8, PP: 13
Fri 3 Apr 2020
at 23:04
Chapter 1: The Letter
Vilroy was a family friend. She had come up in the army with Mikkel, and that was good enough for Ozkur to offer his assistance.

It didn't hurt that the young man's gut was beginning to churn in hunger. Ozkur may have found himself amid some strange bedfellows, but he felt as though this task was the only option available to him. Having a purse brimming with coin and a full belly felt like a kind of unreal possibility to the fresh-faced mage.

Ozkur nodded, his eyes darting between the other three figures. Then, with a small voice that carried more gravel than one might expect for a boy his size, Ozkur confirmed, "Count me in."
Clive
 player, 16 posts
 Warforged Cleric
 AC 19, HP: 11, PP: 13
Sat 4 Apr 2020
at 14:43
Chapter 1: The Letter
Clive steps in and listens attentively to the proposed task at hand. To his mind, the stakes are too high for a simple errand mission, and the woman with her smile and dimples gives voice to some of his own concerns.

"Her..." he interjects with a friendly and patient tone toward the woman. "Coal is a she, not it." Clive can't help but share his strong sense of being a someone and not a something. He couldn't say where that notion comes from, and that puzzles the warforged slightly.

He shakes off the confusion associated with lacking clear memories for some of the impulses he feels. "Why the higher reward for bringing Coal to you?" Clive's non-existent brow furrow. "There seems to be more to this task considering the large reward in either case."
Germaine Vilroy
 NPC, 2 posts
 Sergeant
 Sharn Watch
Sat 4 Apr 2020
at 15:20
Chapter 1: The Letter
quote:
Ozkur: "Count me in."


Sergeant Vilroy inclines her head in recognition of Ozkur's pledge of support.

quote:
Fellise: "Where should we find it? And bring it, if we can?" She gives that big half-smile of hers, dimpling her cheek under the scar. "And what has you so worried that you told us to come armed?"


"Holed up at Cog Carnival...'forged bar down in High Walls. That's where she asked to meet me, tonight."

"I'm not worried for myself. I'm worried about Coal." She looks over her shoulder as an older man comes shuffling from around a corner, an indeterminate bundle of something thrown over his shoulder. She watches the man pass the group without so much as making eye contact or even recognition of their presence. After he shuffles away, she continues.

"Anyway," she cuts back in. "Old Sharn is Daask turf. Nine to, anything she's to say has something to do with them. Got herself caught up in nothing good. I'm worried about her. Daask don't play." This last comment she says with grim certainty.

quote:
Clive: "Coal is a she, not it.

"Why the higher reward for bringing Coal to you?"

"There seems to be more to this task considering the large reward in either case.""


She dismisses Clive's first remark with a slight tilt of her head. To the second, she says, "Because convincing her to come in on her own accord will likely be harder. Getting her out of hiding even more so. Daask has eyes and ears throughout the city. She's worth more to me alive than dead. She's a good friend and I like my friends alive."

In the event anyone asks about Daask, she explains is a monstrous crime syndicate, specializing in thuggery and drugs, operating primarily out of Malleon's Gate in Lower Dura and Khyber's Gate in the Undercity.

"That's why the reward is higher for bringing you in asked you to come armed."
Fellise
 player, 17 posts
 Half-elf Rogue
 AC: 13, HP: 8, PP: 14
Sat 4 Apr 2020
at 18:29
Chapter 1: The Letter
quote:
"Coal is a she, not an it."


"Oh--of course. Of course." The khoravar woman gives a big smile and lifts up her hands, palms forward, fingers splayed. "No offense intended, of course."

She listens to the answers given with a few nods, crossing her arms again and puffing air through her lips.

"So, then. How will we know Coal; how can we show... her... that you're the one who sent us; and where are we taking her?" She looks over the others, and then back to Germaine with a shrug. "Because it sounds to me like we have little time to lose."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:32, Sat 04 Apr.

Germaine Vilroy
 NPC, 3 posts
 Sergeant
 Sharn Watch
Sun 5 Apr 2020
at 00:24
Re: Chapter 1: The Letter
Fellise:
"So, then. How will we know Coal; how can we show... her... that you're the one who sent us; and where are we taking her?"


Germaine closes her eyes, lowers her head, and thinks a moment before she replies.

"Ghallanda Hall. Middle Dura. Yeah. That will do fine...."

"If you don't have anywhere to stay here in town, I can set up rooms for you there, if you like. It's not much, but it'll give a roof over your heads and the food is bountiful and decent on the coin purse."

OOC: Ghallanda Hall is a well known inn and restaurant in Sharn and primarily caters to tourists looking for a clean, safe place to stay while visiting the city.
Ozkur
 player, 26 posts
 Human Wizard
 AC: 12, HP: 8, PP: 13
Sun 5 Apr 2020
at 17:41
Re: Chapter 1: The Letter
Ozkur breathed a noticeable sigh of relief that he'd have a roof over his head tonight. Sharn was a city ride with danger, and he did not savor the prospect of sleeping on the streets.

The young man remained silent, mostly. He felt a bit buoyed that Clive had been summoned as well; while they may not be close, the two were both seekers. Ozkur understood that kind of hunger as much as he knew his empty stomach.

Ozkur could not figure out the two women. They were flashy, clever, and clearly formidable. Better they were on his side than against, he reasoned. The young mage continued to observe the scene and take in what he could.
Clive
 player, 17 posts
 Warforged Cleric
 AC 19, HP: 11, PP: 13
Sun 5 Apr 2020
at 19:47
Re: Chapter 1: The Letter
Clive nods to Fellise, content with her correcting herself, then returns his attention to the sergeant. His voice is again buoyant and warm. "I told you this was very exciting, and more so now that we know the risks involved." He pauses for a moment before shrugging his metal shoulders. "I am ready to depart whenever the rest are."

There would be risks and unknowns, but for some reason, Clive felt that they had learned what they could here, and that any more information gathering would take place closer to High Walls.

The warforged takes a step back and awaits the rest of the group's questions.
Fellise
 player, 18 posts
 Half-elf Rogue
 AC: 13, HP: 8, PP: 14
Mon 6 Apr 2020
at 03:45
Re: Chapter 1: The Letter
"So, then. If we're visiting a warforged bar..." Fellise's brow wrinkles a bit at that, stopping short, and then shrugging her shoulders and powering on through, "it seems like you" she indicates Clive with a nod, "should be the one to meet her. If we can convince her to leave without anyone noticing, that's the way."

She frowns a little, and looks back toward Germaine, and then toward the others. "...I'll try to work out the best path to take, along with Jessa. So when she agrees to go we can just walk straight out. Nice and simple."

Another cross-armed shrug. "But, if things go wrong, we and... the quiet boy can keep an eye out and handle thing."

OOC: How navigable is the city from High Walls to Middle Dura? Is it walkable, or should we be getting some sort of transit from point A to B?
Ozkur
 player, 27 posts
 Human Wizard
 AC: 12, HP: 8, PP: 13
Mon 6 Apr 2020
at 04:02
Re: Chapter 1: The Letter
Ozkur tried his hardest to play it cool when one of the women--Fellise, he recalled--took notice of his presence. Despite himself, the young man perked up, half-recoiling as though her words had struck him. His lips thinned into a solemn line, while his bright, sharp eyes widened at his  mention.

"I'm..." began the young mage, pausing take the others' attention, "...I am--I mean to s-s-say, my name's Ozkur."
Clive
 player, 18 posts
 Warforged Cleric
 AC 19, HP: 11, PP: 13
Mon 6 Apr 2020
at 14:45
Re: Chapter 1: The Letter
Clive seems to turn back on from standing rock still when Ozkur stammers on. He turns and sweeps his arm in a grand gesture towards the wizard. "Yes, he is a good fellow. He has already assisted me some in my quest to find my creator." His tone of voice drops as he adds ruefully. "Not that we were able to discern much from the Archive."

Returning to the present he concludes. "He will be good to have on this expedition. I am sure Coal will be wary and having kind souls among is will surely aid in convincing her to accompany us!"
Storyteller
 GM, 35 posts
Mon 6 Apr 2020
at 21:19
Re: Chapter 1: The Letter
OOC: Lyrandar Tower is located the Highest Towers district of Upper Central Plateau. High Walls is located in Lower Tavick's Landing (east side of city). Ghallanda's Hall is located in the Underlook district of Middle Dura (west side of city). Everything is walkable via skybridges, lifts, etc., but the route would be convoluted, especially for newcomers to the city. Alternatively, you can hire the service of House Orien carriage to be assured you don't get lost or the more prestigious services of a skycoach.

You have about two hours before the appointed meeting time with Coal.

Walking from Lyrandar Towers to High Walls can take anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, with a chance to get lost along the way. Free.

Hiring a House Orien carriage to High Walls will also take 10 to 60 minutes, but little chance of getting lost along the way. Cost = 4 cp per PC.

Hiring a Skycoach will take 5 to 30 minutes, with very little chance of getting lost. Cost = 4 sp per PC.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:20, Mon 06 Apr.

Fellise
 player, 19 posts
 Half-elf Rogue
 AC: 13, HP: 8, PP: 14
Tue 7 Apr 2020
at 01:32
Chapter 1: The Letter
"Alright, then. Ozkur." Fellise looks the young man over, and gives him a big, dimpled smile and a wink. "Then maybe you could take him in to meet Coal, and I'll stay outside and keep watch?" She looks over toward the warforged with a short nod.

"We should get ourselves a carriage over. We could probably make the walk in time, but we should be there early. Let's be the ones getting the drop on them."
Storyteller
 GM, 36 posts
Tue 7 Apr 2020
at 21:08
Chapter 1: The Letter
It takes little time to find a House Orien carriage near Lyrandar Tower, as this is one of the three primary ports of entry into Sharn. Upon hearing the party's desired destination, High Walls, the drover, a weather-beaten man of middle years, gives the adventurers a curious, appraising look.

"Right then, I can get you there," he responds before asking for fares, in advance.

Presumably, the party pays the agreed upon fare, four copper, and are soon spirited off through the maze-like City of Towers. The drover, whom at one point calls back, "Name's Carl. Don't you worry. I'll have you to...where'd you say again? Right, Cog Carnival, in no time. Just sit back and relax."

True to his word, from Highest Towers he leads his mule-driven carriage through Highest Towers, across a skybridge to the Menthis Ward and into University District. Morgrave University is noticeably still, its students either cooped up with their studies or out for a night of fun in the city. University District soon yields to Den'iyas, a gnomish enclave, its buildings scaled appropriately for its denizens. Then across a massive copper skybridge leading to the Tavick's Landing ward and into, appropriately named, Copper Arch. From here, the carriage descends a magic lift to Dancing Shadows, where tourists, travelers, and merchants still mill about the streets. Carl then strikes northward, "High Walls, just up ahead..."
Clive
 player, 19 posts
 Warforged Cleric
 AC 19, HP: 11, PP: 13
Wed 8 Apr 2020
at 07:34
Chapter 1: The Letter
Clive joins in the carriage and is friendly with the driver and seems optimistic and enthusiastic about this venture. It isn't easy to see, however, since his facial features don't really change at all. There is a slight variance to the intensity and pulsating thrum of his eyes that might signify a change in mood.

"Thank you very much for your service, Carl!" He thanks the man transporting them and produces two silver pieces from somewhere inside his travelling clothes. "Stay safe, friend."

With the entire fare paid for, Clive steps out to take in the scenery.
Fellise
 player, 20 posts
 Half-elf Rogue
 AC: 13, HP: 8, PP: 14
Wed 8 Apr 2020
at 15:33
Chapter 1: The Letter
"You're a love, Carl." Fellise leans out of the cart to look at the passing streets, and the lift, with a wide grin on her face. It might make her look like a tourist, but she doesn't care, as she pulls back her hood to let the wind through the high bridges whip across her face.

She's happy to chat with her companions on the trip down, and when they're close, she shrugs her small pack on her shoulder, and adjusts the rapier on her belt as she gets ready to stand.

"...tell me, Carl, how much would you want to stay around a candlemark or so? Circle the block, perhaps--I can understand if you'd rather not park--but keep ready to give us a trip back out?"
Storyteller
 GM, 39 posts
Thu 9 Apr 2020
at 01:58
Re: Chapter 1: The Letter
Fellise:
"You're a love, Carl." Fellise leans out of the cart to look at the passing streets, and the lift, with a wide grin on her face. It might make her look like a tourist, but she doesn't care, as she pulls back her hood to let the wind through the high bridges whip across her face.

She's happy to chat with her companions on the trip down, and when they're close, she shrugs her small pack on her shoulder, and adjusts the rapier on her belt as she gets ready to stand.

"...tell me, Carl, how much would you want to stay around a candlemark or so? Circle the block, perhaps--I can understand if you'd rather not park--but keep ready to give us a trip back out?"


Carl calls back over the partition separating him from his passengers, "Right then. How long you need?"

He appears willing to hang around for a bit, in exchange for a retainer fee equal to the one he charged you. "Time is money, as they say, and don't expect to find many fares where you folk are headed."

He leads the carriage to another lift and begins the descent to Lower Tavick's Landing. The lift halts and ahead you see massive gates leading into High Walls.

OOC: We'll assume the party agrees to the retainer fee and Carl will make himself available when you're ready to depart Cog's Carnival. Opening new thread...

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:59, Thu 09 Apr.