Spring.   Posted by DM Extraordinaire.Group: 0
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 45 posts
Fri 23 Apr 2021
at 17:29
Spring
OOC - Hey, must get those maths and science references somewhere...

The herald turns ashen as you mention 'attack', he seems truly flabbergasted at the mention of it.  (OOC- failed perception roll, you cannot really understand if his shock is true or not)

'...no,no,no... she's coming alone, just with her carriage's guards... well and me... well, not me just now since I'm here... I left her as she was leaving Luskan, so another day or so and she should arrive at your presence...'
Ataraxia
 player, 35 posts
Sat 24 Apr 2021
at 04:00
Spring
I smile for the messenger's benefit, though I am somewhat troubled by his reaction.

"You will, of course, be offered bread and salt." I wave for a page to do just that.

Offering bread and salt is an offer of formal hospitality, and accepting is an acceptance of that. Hospitality is among the most sacred rules; a guest is protected and also guaranteed safety, even if they are an enemy of the host, and likewise the guest is obligated to accord himself peaceably and honorably, even defending his host if necessary, for as long as the guest stays.

Maybe other dragons don't respect hospitality, but every human I know does, and I do as well.

The messenger may decline the offer, if he wishes, and that is no insult to me. It is a straightforward way of declaring that either he or his mistress is my enemy and they will treat with me only in hostility, but in a way that preserves their reputation.

And now to see that the guards are ready and everything is presentable for a noble guest.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 46 posts
Sat 24 Apr 2021
at 16:51
Spring
The herald is very thankful as regards your hospitality. You cannot shake the impression that he's more in awe than your average citizen, being hard to understand why. Eventually he will thank you and leave. As he says, he's got to relay your message of welcome to his Lady.

As soon as he's out of sight, one of your advisors urges you to send someone to see what is actually coming your way, which is a polite way way of saying, to verify his story. Another mutters that a welcoming party is more appropriate. At some point in their ramblings, they even urge you to prepare the defences, in case it's all a trap.

People in the north are notoriously suspicious of anything coming from a southward direction but, ultimately, it's up to you to decide how you are going to use the 24h before the Lady's arrival to your holding.

OOC - Which a rather pompous way of saying, what do you want to do in the interval between the Lady's arrival and now? Also, where have you placed your new shiny golden disc?
Ataraxia
 player, 36 posts
Sat 24 Apr 2021
at 21:17
Spring
I listen to my advisers, of course. They have, collectively, more experience than I do. Some of them have more experience individually, too. I wait until the messenger is gone and then instruct my retainers to make sure that the knights and household warriors are armed and ready for Aurgloroasa's arrival. Furthermore, I want the militia to be patrolling rather than drilling tomorrow, and I want my ranger to take some silver and recruit a few of the local hunters to scout and look for a potential sneak attack, as well as to see what Aurgloroasa's carriage is doing.

As for myself, I should inspect the granaries and make sure the ledgers are accurate. Planting is almost upon us, and it will not do to need grain to plant and not have enough.

I thought it was a bowl! In either case, plate or bowl, she left it in the great hall, propped in a corner, until she figures out what to do with it. It's much too big and heavy for a human to lift, so she's not worried about it getting stolen; anybody who brought enough guys to steal it would make so much noise the guards would notice. The idea of a dedicated treasury has yet to occur to her. Though of course, she does keep the keys to the spice and coin boxes around her waist, as every noble lady does.

Also, in addition to a LotR social group and a D&D class, "ranger" is a medieval office-holder, an official forest and game warden for a large landholder.

DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 47 posts
Mon 26 Apr 2021
at 15:11
Spring
OOC : Think of it as an (very) oversized shield.

The day proceeds without any further issues. The militia patrols don't report anything bigger than a rather aggressive pack of wolves, retainers you have are ready and (other than causing a sudden desire to sleep), the ledgers match-up and the granaries are getting ready.

On the next day, just hours before Aurgloroasa's arrival, your scouts return. Their report is encouraging, the herald did meet with a lone carriage heading north. The carriage was rather nondescript, perhaps not to attract any thieves, and her escort, as it is, was a carriage driver and a guard by his side. She is clearly not unduly concerned about her safety.

The herald eventually shows-up again, just an hour or so before her arrival to announce it. In due course, Aurgloroasa's carriage arrives. A drab carriage, looking rather aged. The carriage guard steps down and gingerly opens the door and you get your first sight of Aurgloroasa. She's dressed in a black low cut dress that seems rather inappropriate for someone travelling to the cold north. Much like you, she has red hair and her stance does not indicative someone used to serve others, but someone used to have others serving her. She walks gingerly towards you and greets you 'It's a pleasure to meet you Lady Ataraxia'

OOC: right, an image is worth 1000 words, so here is what she looks like:


This message was last edited by the GM at 15:11, Mon 26 Apr.

Ataraxia
 player, 37 posts
Tue 27 Apr 2021
at 07:51
Spring
Learning about how to keep accounts was more interesting than actually keeping the accounts. Ugh. However, it's my duty to make sure the manor runs well, so I put up with it. I have a very keen mind; that makes it go faster. I flick the stones across the counting table with speed and dexterity.

I am helping clear stones to bring wasteland under cultivation when I receive word of the predicted arrival. I return to the manor, wash, and make sure everything is in order to offer proper hospitality for a noble guest. When the appointed hour comes, and Aurgloroasa shows up, I am confused at how drab her carriage is. Carriages are expensive, and the people who can afford them usally can afford good maintenance; perhaps Aurgloroasa's family has fallen on hard times and she wants money. She would hardly be the first noble to have money troubles.

Putting on my best face, I welcome Aurgloroasa by bowing, rather than curtsying. I habitually wear short skirts, since I engage in so much more physical activity, so bowing is more appropriate.

"Welcome, Aurgloroasa, to my home and my land. Take bread and salt, and be a guest in my house. Likewise to your retainers and servants. Your letter spoke of a gift. Forgive my ignorance; what gift did you write of?"

A skirt that poofy combined with a collar that high can only mean trouble! =P
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 48 posts
Wed 28 Apr 2021
at 13:03
Spring
She politely thanks you. As she approaches you you can see that even the fabric of her clothes seems ancient. Not so much worn out, or poorly kept, but the standard of her dress makes it look like something of a past time.

She seems surprised when you query what gift.

'Why, the golden disc of Dretchroyaster of course... you may have heard of him being called Drecht...'


OOC - Successful 'draconic lore' roll. You have read previously about Dretchroyaster, a green dragon that inhabited the southern realms. He is known as a fell hunter of all forms of life and is known for his merciless manner, unquenchable greed, and masterful cunning. He liked to be called 'The Monarch Reborn'.

Ataraxia
 player, 38 posts
Thu 29 Apr 2021
at 01:48
Spring
"Ah-ha, I did not know the dish had once belonged to him. Again, forgive me if I seem to be playing coy. Was it you who sent an apparition to guide me to Dretchroyaster's dish?"

This will allow her to boast of her abilities and is a social favor to her. Or she can deny it, and it will also be a social favor, as it either is the truth or it is a way for her to conceal her abilities. I wonder if she is also a dragon. I've never met another one!

I keep wanting to pronounce that name as "Dreky Toaster." =P
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 49 posts
Thu 29 Apr 2021
at 14:08
Re: Spring
OOC - LOL. If we were playing live by now he would by now in fact be 'Dreky Toaster'. Although, being a dragon, I can also see him as 'Dreky Roaster'.

'Apparition?...' she pauses for a second as if trying to understand '...oh. Of course. He's just... a messenger of sorts... the 'dish' used to be Dretchroyaster's favourite mirror. He was rather vain you see... there is a legend associated with it. Dretchroyaster will reward handsomely whoever returns it to him... but since he  disappeared such a long time ago who would ever be able to find him to get the reward...' she shrugs and smiles.
Ataraxia
 player, 39 posts
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 02:30
Re: Spring
"His favorite mirror?" I look over at it. "It doesn't look like a mirror. Wouldn't all the symbols get in the way? How did you know where it was, up in the mountains? And that messenger you mentioned, was that a conjuring of yours? Ah, forgive my questions. I hope I'm not being rude. Are you tired from your journey? Will you be staying?"
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 50 posts
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 14:36
Re: Spring
OOC I'll break this to form some sort of dialogue.

quote:
It doesn't look like a mirror. Wouldn't all the symbols get in the way?


'He was a peculiar one, who knows what he thought about it... maybe the symbols have power by themselves... maybe the treasure is the understanding of the power of the symbols...' she shrugs the suggestion...

quote:
How did you know where it was, up in the mountains? And that messenger you mentioned, was that a conjuring of yours? Ah, forgive my questions. I hope I'm not being rude.


Not at all, not at all... you are young and have a curious mind, that's very healthy... I'm no conjuror... he's an... old friend, of sorts. He was the one that placed it in the mountains. He has a strange taste for the dramatic. If it was me, I would just place it over the carriage... no need to have you flying around for an old mirror...

quote:
Are you tired from your journey? Will you be staying?


I very much hoped to enjoy your hospitality for a short while. It will give me a break from the headaches on my domains...
Ataraxia
 player, 40 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 08:43
Re: Spring
Okie-dokey. I will follow your formatting then!

quote:
'He was a peculiar one, who knows what he thought about it... maybe the symbols have power by themselves... maybe the treasure is the understanding of the power of the symbols...' she shrugs the suggestion...


"Do you know what they mean?"

quote:
Not at all, not at all... you are young and have a curious mind, that's very healthy... I'm no conjuror... he's an... old friend, of sorts. He was the one that placed it in the mountains. He has a strange taste for the dramatic. If it was me, I would just place it over the carriage... no need to have you flying around for an old mirror...


"Well now I'm even more curious. Come, let me show you to a room in the solar." I turn to do just that; as the lady of the land and manor, it is my responsibility to show the guest of honor to her room.

"Master Chamberlain, please see that Lady Aurgloroasa's retainers and attendants are given accommodations and that her effects and theirs are taken where they belong."

In a typical medieval noble household, fortified or otherwise, most areas were communal in some way. The private apartments for the lord or lady and their family, as well as a couple of guests, were called the Great Chambers or solar.

quote:
I very much hoped to enjoy your hospitality for a short while. It will give me a break from the headaches on my domains...


I lead Aurgloroasa up the stairs and to the private apartments, where two guest rooms are maintained, suitable for two people each, in case of noble, wealthy, or otherwise important visitors.

"Your replies have raised more questions, if you don't mind. How did you come to possess the mirror, even though it was all the way out there? Further, how did you come to know a ghostly dragon?"

This message was last edited by the player at 08:43, Sat 01 May.

DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 51 posts
Mon 3 May 2021
at 10:59
Re: Spring
OOC - sorry for the late replay some issues here. BTW, like the use of 'royal-red' for her text colour... :-)

quote:
"Do you know what they mean?"


She seems distracted for a brief second before answering 'No.. not really...'

quote:
I lead Aurgloroasa up the stairs and to the private apartments, where two guest rooms are maintained, suitable for two people each, in case of noble, wealthy, or otherwise important visitors.

"Your replies have raised more questions, if you don't mind. How did you come to possess the mirror, even though it was all the way out there? Further, how did you come to know a ghostly dragon?"


She follows you and seems surprised at the lodgings. She very clearly gives you the impression of not being used to such fineries.

'That mirror has been mine for a long while... can't even remember how I got it, I think it must have come with other items. I like to keep things, probably far more things than I need...'
she laughs and shrugs '...the ghostly dragon, I think he would very much enjoy being called that, was the one that took it to the mountains, I just asked him to bring it to you... as I said he's got a passion for the dramatic...'

As she talks, she keeps walking around the room , checking every item she can.

'When I first heard about you, I just had to come and meet you, but I did not want to come without a gift of some sort, and the mirror seemed like a perfect fit...' she suddenly stops and turns looking directly into your eyes 'Tell me, have you used it? Have you seen your reflexion on it?...'
Ataraxia
 player, 41 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 07:26
Re: Spring
Well, she's got beautiful red hair or scales, form depending, and she's a princess, so there you go. =3 Glad you like the choice. And no worries about the speed of reply; this week has been ultra busy for me, and that seems likely to continue.

My castle is modest, as far as castles go, built more as a living place than a fortress. I plan to built strong watchtowers over the lands, with their own curtain walls, rather than expand the castle, at least in the near future. This far north, bogging down an enemy and harassing them, making it as difficult as possible to advance and keep supply lines, should be a very effective defense against any invader. Even when I'm not home!

Anyway, by the standards of most humans, my castle is a comfy place to live. I even have velvet cushions for the couches and silk sheets for the beds! Expensive but worth it. I'm glad Aurgloroasa is impressed, and I feel slightly smug about it.

"Well, it's a very nice gift in any case, and I thank you for it. May I ask what the occasion for such a wonderful gift might be?"

Even if there's nothing special about it directly, the sheer amount of gold in that mirror is a small fortune. My prized possessions are my father's sword and my mother's staff, both enchanted weapons of power they won in their adventures, though I care for them because they belonged to my parents, rather than for their magic. I have the weapons mounted under portraits of each of my parents separately, with a portrait of all three of us between.

I wonder if Aurgloroasa knows I'm a dragon. She seems suspiciously aware without giving things away. Maybe she's just very bright. If she is a noble living nearby I would have at least heard of her in passing, wouldn't I?

I also have a sizable library; just over a hundred books. It's not the largest library I know of, but it's the largest owned by a single person.

"Ah? No, I haven't used it as a mirror. I didn't know it was one until you told me! I'll need to polish it before I use it that way. What made you want to meet me?"

She probably knows I'm a dragon. It's not exactly a secret.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 52 posts
Thu 6 May 2021
at 13:03
Re: Spring
OOC : Velvets and silks? Definitively fancy.
quote:
"Well, it's a very nice gift in any case, and I thank you for it. May I ask what the occasion for such a wonderful gift might be?"


I just thought it would be rude to show up without an invitation... AND... without a suitable gift... she shrugs again. You can see she does have an habit of shrugging.
quote:
I wonder if Aurgloroasa knows I'm a dragon. She seems suspiciously aware without giving things away. Maybe she's just very bright. If she is a noble living nearby I would have at least heard of her in passing, wouldn't I?


OOC : You can roll for your suspicions (by asking the question and testing the answer as truthful or not). Then again... keep reading... ;-) On the other point, you are right, even if she was a local landowner you would have hear of her. More so for someone capable of giving away a massive shield made of gold...
quote:
"Ah? No, I haven't used it as a mirror. I didn't know it was one until you told me! I'll need to polish it before I use it that way. What made you want to meet me?"


She continues going through the room decor items and looking out of the windows for a while. Social skills do not seem to be a major concern of hers. She finally sits down before answering 'I've heard... interesting things about you... and I wanted to know if they were true... now I know they are... I just don't understand... you are the daughter of humans... but you are also a dragon?...'
Ataraxia
 player, 42 posts
Fri 7 May 2021
at 02:21
Re: Spring
Oh yes, very fancy. She'll upgrade to a proper pile of coins once she learns how to be a real dragon. =P

"I don't think it would be all that rude. Unusual for a guest to arrive so close to planting, but not rude. Any noble doing even the bare minimum of their duty would offer hospitality to a well-intentioned traveler." I turn to give her a bright, cheerful smile.

If I was playing a regular character, I would be inclined to be suspicious, well, my character would be, but since I'm playing an awesome dragon lady, I don't feel the need to be defensive.

I put my finger to my cheek, indicating my mild embarrassment. "It's not a secret anyway, I suppose. Yes, I am a dragon, and I was raised by humans. I never met the dragons who sired me; I'm given to understand they were quite monstrous, doing a lot of very evil things. My parents, the humans who raised me, were part of a band of heroes who put a stop to my sires' rampage. They had such strong, moral hearts that they couldn't bring themselves to break my egg, like their fellow heroes thought should be done, and my parents instead raised and shepherded me."
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 53 posts
Mon 10 May 2021
at 15:21
Re: Spring
Ataraxia:
"It's not a secret anyway, I suppose. Yes, I am a dragon, and I was raised by humans. I never met the dragons who sired me; I'm given to understand they were quite monstrous, doing a lot of very evil things. My parents, the humans who raised me, were part of a band of heroes who put a stop to my sires' rampage. They had such strong, moral hearts that they couldn't bring themselves to break my egg, like their fellow heroes thought should be done, and my parents instead raised and shepherded me."


She looks at you with a vague and undecipherable look on her face. Again, you get the feeling she knows the story you are telling her.

'That is very interesting.... Tell me, have you ever felt interested in meeting other dragons?...' before you even get a chance to answer she continues '...awful reputation I know, but dragons are... understanding to their own kind...'
Ataraxia
 player, 43 posts
Mon 10 May 2021
at 15:58
Re: Spring
I smile sweetly and obliviously.

"Interested? Why, of course I'm interested. I don't know of any, though, at least not any within a couple hundred miles."
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 54 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 14:33
Re: Spring
Ataraxia:
"Interested? Why, of course I'm interested. I don't know of any, though, at least not any within a couple hundred miles."


She smiles back. 'I can help you with that... I can introduce you, for example, to that misty dragon you already saw... Dragons are... complex, you know that for yourself, they are territorial, possessive, sometimes violent... but every now and again, dragons also come together, like when they need to solve a particular problem. So, do you want in the morrow to go and meet some dragons?...'
Ataraxia
 player, 44 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 15:37
Re: Spring
I clap my hands together with excitement. "Ah, you can? That would be wonderful! I'd be very interested to meet another dragon. I've never taken a rider before, so we should probably use your carriage."

I start bouncing on the balls of my feet. "I can hardly wait until tomorrow. I hope you don't mind if I see to my duties as soon as possible so that we'll be ready to go as soon as we get up."
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 55 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 20:06
Re: Spring
quote:
"Ah, you can? That would be wonderful! I'd be very interested to meet another dragon. I've never taken a rider before, so we should probably use your carriage."


Oh, I'm not going to be around. It's usually bad for humans to be around when dragons meet... I'll send my herald and tomorrow we'll now where the gathering will take place.
quote:
"I can hardly wait until tomorrow. I hope you don't mind if I see to my duties as soon as possible so that we'll be ready to go as soon as we get up."


She smiles almost piously. 'Of course, of course... I understand your excitement...'
Ataraxia
 player, 45 posts
Wed 12 May 2021
at 04:20
Re: Spring
"You sure know a lot of dragons, and a lot about dragons, for just being a human!" I say, but amazed rather than incredulous.

I make sure everything is set for my guest and her entourage, then I do as I say I was going to: see to my duties as lady of the manor and the land. The spring festivals require a lot more organization than I thought they did as a child. I also need to review the treasury to see if there's enough surplus to afford construction of a new watchtower. I'd like to pepper the land with them, to provide security and safety when I'm not around. Plus, they make for great secure storage facilities and I could even set up a postal system. I read about those in my books; reliable message delivery is a huge boon for any economy for many reasons.

If Aurgloroasa is up for it, I'd like to play some table games with her tonight after dinner. Then tomorrow, I get to meet another dragon for the very first time!
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 56 posts
Wed 12 May 2021
at 19:26
Re: Spring
OOC : 'Going Postal' (c) Terry Pratchet    :-)

quote:
If Aurgloroasa is up for it, I'd like to play some table games with her tonight after dinner.


You'll find her extremely interested in anything of what she describes as 'human activities'. You will also find her rather hopeless at the games. She sulks when she loses.

OOC : I'll do a bigger update on the next day tomorrow.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 57 posts
Fri 14 May 2021
at 13:18
Re: Spring
OOC  - Sorry for the delay. This is not the post I expected to make, but I suddenly realized I would be taking too much for granted, so let's just keep role-playing this.

Aurgloroasa gives you, not so detailed instructions about what awaits you. She just directs you to go to the same place where the gold mirror was and that the misty dragon and possibly another dragon would meet you there. As mysteriously as her arrival was, she then mentions not wanting to impose any more, since you will be very busy with your state affairs and departs on the same route she came.

When you arrive to the rendezvous site, surely enough the misty dragon is there. He sits on the same location that the golden mirror was. He look statuesque. When you approach him, he greets you in his whispered voice with 'Ah, finally here.'

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:18, Fri 14 May.

Ataraxia
 player, 47 posts
Fri 14 May 2021
at 21:56
Re: Spring
Okie-dokey. I forgive you! I don't know what you did, but I forgive you anyway. =3

I assure Aurgloroasa that she isn't imposing on me at all, but I don't try to keep her. If she wants to leave, then I bid her farewell with a wave, smile, and request that she return some day soon.

Then I turn to my new interlocutor and I look up at him, shimmering in the cold air. I breathe deeply and let it out slowly, exhaling my human shape with the breath. The majestic, beautiful red haired woman flows out of my mouth like smoke, and as she does, my body changes. My clothes and skin merge together and my muscles bulge and swell, my bones grow longer, stronger, and lighter, and wings sprout from my back. A few seconds pass, and I wear my true form, a towering dragon, as majestic and beautiful as the woman-shape, but in a different way. Sleek, shining, muscular, powerful, and very, very big. Beautiful like a tigress, a snow-capped mountain, or the sea at dusk.

I do not smile. This much I know about dragons, at least: we do not smile to show the same things humans do. We smile when we want to be aggressive, for it shows our fangs, our primary weapons when we wish to fight each other.

Instead, I sit down in front of the ghost-dragon and compare his size to my own, looking him up and down with my golden, slit-pupiled eyes.

"Yes I am," I reply, in my two-toned voice. "Were you unable to speak last time? It is good to hear your voice. I am Ataraxia. Who are you?"