PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 128 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 01:48
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Play with Fire

Athkatla was a very big city to discover and even down the single street Tomas has escorted the pair Tone had seen enough to pique her interest in exploration. However, marvellous as the Dome of the Rose was Tone could not help but explore the building perhaps just for curiosity but perhaps for a hopeful search of enlightenment as well.

The main temple hall was a large room, the circular floor paved in terracotta tiles was 60ft across. At the north and west edges passageways opened into public space, allowing access to the temple interior. Monks and clergy entered from the south and east, through gardens and orchards deeper within the temple grounds. Tone left her friend at the western entrance and entered through an archway of mosaic tiles depicting a rising sun over a lush green meadow. Stairs ran up either side of the arch to a second floor. While it was late afternoon there were still other parishoners and believers in worship in the hall.

The centrepiece of the hall was a gilded 12 foot high statue of a human male with chiseled features cradling a newborn babe. Cushions and rugs surrounded the statue where some worshipers sat in prayer. Bench seats were set around the hall facing towards the statue.

The dome was made of rose tinted glass and covered the entire floor. In the eastern wall, at around the second floor, was a large and very beautiful set of stained glass windows displaying various good deeds being done by a blonde haired human man. Planting crops, helping the sick and elderly, teaching children and participating in athletic challenges.

None of the worshippers gave Tone a second glance as she walked into the temple hall. Two women dressed in robes of similiar color to Neria's clothing walked around the hall, softing speakng to visitors. One of the women noticed Neria and walked over to her.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:04, Thu 20 May.

 player, 82 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 02:52
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
The main Dome was spectacular, and Atonement gasped softly as she took in all the sights that were to be seen. The people seemed very welcoming - or at least willing to overlook her. They might or might not be as welcoming if she were to speak with them, but her business here was with someone else.

Kneeling at the base of the huge twelve-foot statue, she looked up past the newborn baby in his arms and stared deep into The Morninglord's face; trying to see the God behind the statue as she spoke inside her mind.

Hello there Lathander. We haven't spoken before - and I guess I'm not sure if you can hear me even now. I'm not exactly the picture of one of your Chosen, and I don't know that either of us are going to choose the other. But they say, people say, that you're good. I mean Good, that it's not just a thing that you do but it's a part of your nature. If that's true, and I hope it's true, and if you can hear me, and I hope you can hear me, can I ask for help?

It's not something I've given much thought to before... you know. Before. But I want to do good things. I want to be good if that's something someone of my heritage can do. Maybe even Good, one day.

But baby steps.

Um. Praise you and praise be?

Finishing her silent monologue - a prayer? Maybe? - she rose smoothly to her feet and gave a last look around the Dome. Maybe looking for some kind of sign? Then she headed for the exit and walked out while attempting to avoid meeting any of the priests' eyes.

Leaving the Dome of the Rose to Neria, she made her way wide-eyed and alone back down the length of Athkatla to the gate where they had come in. And then two blocks further, to find the House of Iron and Gold.

She watched the people she walked past, keen to gauge their attitude race and manner. She looked for those who stood out... and then she looked at the outside of the House, judging it as best she could before she went inside.

Then she went inside to see what could be seen.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 132 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 03:49
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Perhaps disappointing but not unexpected there were no signs that Tone could determine upon rising from her prayer. The other worshippers all kept to their own business and the clergy who were present were occupied with other visitors. It didn't seem like much had changed and it was a strange feeling for Tone. The others in the hall neither diverted their gazes or had them linger, and apart from a few inquisitive stares from young children Tone felt entirely unremarkable. As she left the temple she passed Neria with a smile and a wave, the paladin was talking with a sister of the clergy and seemed to be focused on the discussion.

The streets were filled with all sorts and while predominantly human just due to the amount of people in the streets there was someone in sight with a more exotic heritage. Even the guard seemed to employ half-orc, elves and dwarves; the city itself was a diverse cast of characters and races however they all seemed to manage together, to get along. Coin from a tiefling was just as good as coin from a human, what reason could there be to reject a person when a gold piece trumped all.

Standing across the road, coincidently in front of the Steel-laid Bunkhouse which appeared to have a small lobby with a curtain blocking access into the bunkhouse proper, Tone watched the House of Iron and Gold. It was as Tomas had described, a single floor building with stone pillars out the front. There was a sign hanging above the entrance with a sword over a gold coin, it was faded and if not for being told what it was then it would be a struggle to understand. A much more varied cast accessed the House of Iron and Gold. All were adventurers of some breed, fully armored cavaliers rubbed shoulders with women in flowing wizard robes and arcane orbs, brutish barbarians covered in tattoos and blood were alongside halflings with cowls drawn and eyes hidden. While the humans held majority in Athkatla it was an even spread between the more common races and Tone saw a couple of tieflings, a goblin and even a strange creature that looked like a turtle on two feet around her height. There was no need to wonder anymore why Tone was not so interesting among these strange creatures.

Inside was crowded and many were looking up towards a board where a middle aged gnomish woman was pinning up notices and taking others down and handing them to enquirers. The jobs board. The entrance hall itself was as wide as the front of the building and quite deep. Small groups stood around tables and along walls quietly discussing business, there was a constant hum of many conversations. Apart from the gnome it was impossible to determine who was staffing the guildhall and who were looking for work.
 player, 84 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 03:58
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Athkatla seemed to be everything she had hoped and imagined it could be. And it was... unsettling in a way. Liberating, but mostly unsettling as though a larger part of her identity than she'd realised was to be That Devil Girl. But it was hard to big yourself up in resistance to unfair prejudice when it didn't even see you any more. Now she had to work out who Tone really was, outside of that identity.

If the gnome was the only one she could see who looked to be clearly a worker at the House, then she was the one Tone would approach.

"Excuse me."

She was busy talking to a pair of dwarves and the turtle-man.

"Excuse me."

She tried again, but the gnomish woman was talking to a tall half-dressed human man showing huge slabs of muscle that Tone caught herself staring at. No wonder the gnomish woman was busy!

"Excuse me!"

Hopefully she had the woman's attention now, and she seized on the moment.

"I want to sign up for the Adventurer's Guild, and find work. How do I do that?"

She looked at the board, seeing what kind of work they had there.

13:57, Today: Tone rolled 12 using 1d20+3.  Persuasion (to get her attention for a few moments).
Dungeon Master
 GM, 133 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 04:40
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
It took a while, well over five minutes of Tone being jostled and pushed and spoken over and reached over before the gnome looked down.

"Yes, girl." The gnome cupped her ear, "What darling? You have to speak up!"

Eventually Tone got the message across and the gnome pointed deeper into the hall, "See Rachel. Red haired. Half-elf."

She may not have fully understood what Tone was saying however easily judged by the tieflings behaviour she was new. Perhaps Rachel could help.

Tone walked further into the hall towards the direction the gnome pointed and looked around. A red headed half elf should be easy to see. At least she was when a burly half-orc moved and revealed he had been speaking with her. Rachel was a middle aged half-elf with a scar from right ear to chin, the tip of her right ear was missing. She waved to the half-orc as he left and hopped up onto a high stool before pulling a pastry out of a bag at her side. Blowing out her cheeks she looked down at the small tart and started eating.
 player, 85 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 05:08
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
White-haired, silver-horned, Tone slipped into the space where the half-orc had been and smiled up at probably-Rachel. Waiting patiently as she ate the tart, silently waiting for her to notice that she had more company.

Once she did, once she showed signs of being ready to speak, Atonement did; "Hi there! I want to be an adventurer, to sign up for the Guild, to find work, to go on adventures and to get paid." She was fairly clear on the getting-paid part. But the adventures were good too.

"The busy gnome at the board of jobs said that I should come and talk to you? How do I do that? Do I just fight the others there and try to get one of the slips of paper, or do I sign up somewhere? Does the guild find me jobs, or do I need to find them for myself? How do I start?"

Breathe Tone, breathe. Oh!

"I'm Tone. Are you Rachel, or have I just totally unloaded on a poor harmless stranger trying to eat her lunch?"
Dungeon Master
 GM, 134 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 05:25
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Rachel locked eyes with Tone and paused with the tart half way to her mouth as the slight tiefling unloaded a fortnights worth of questions upon her. Her mouth slowly opened, first in surprise and then into a grin as Tone took a breath. She hopped off the stool and stood in front of Tone. Rachel was only a few inches taller than her and the half-elf narrowed her eyes and leaned forward as though studying Tone very carefully. She leaned back and walked a full, slow circle around the tiefling, making a show of inspecting every inch of her. She had finished the tart by the time she returned full circle and stopped again in front of Tone.

"Tone was it?" She walked a few feet and dragged another stool beside the one she was using.

She hopped back up onto her stool and patted the other, looking to Tone, "Sit down Tone."

She waited until Tone had climbed onto the stool. "I wouldn't take a job from the board. It's mostly day labor, night guard, maybe short work. It pays if you can't find a contract." She lifts a corner of her mouth, "Or if you're working alone. You're not alone are you? Have friends? An adventuring company? A small group of travellers?" It was her turn to bombard questions at Tone.

"Why don't you tell me what you can do? Let me know if you have any companions and tell me what experience you have in adventuring?" She tilted her head, studying Tone, "Then I can think about what contract's we have available right now."
 player, 86 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 05:49
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Tone could feel Rachel's eyes as the half-elf circled her, watching her closely, looking her over and judging her. At first the young tiefling arched her neck and held her posture with commendable pride and poise, but by the time Rachel returned to stand before her the white-haired girl was blushing awkwardly. When she suggested that she take a seat, she obeyed without question and listened closely to the redhead's advice.

"I mean, I'm alone right now?" she said when she finally spoke. Obviously. "But I have one friend in the city, a Paladin of Lathander Dawnbringer. We could work together on something if the work was, you know, something her god would support." Very tactful Tone. Also that would make the work something Tone's patron might favour, but that was neither here nor there. Why worry about your own moral compass when you could bolt a prosthetic on instead?

"I don't have any experience in adventuring, not yet at least, but we walked and rode here from Cormyr without too much trouble. I can wield a mean walking stick," she twirled her staff in one hand, lost control of it and ducked as it flew over her head to impact the far wall. She huffed irritably and gestured at it while muttering "Taika Mano!"  The staff rose and drifted gracefully back into her outstretched hand.

"I can also flash-fry targets at a hundred paces," she said as though nothing happened. "And - I don't know how useful this will be - but I'm not unpersuasive..."

That, it seemed, was a significant understatement.

"So, what do you think? Will I do?"

Not so much arrogance or self-confidence though. That could be an issue.

15:38, Today: Tone rolled 5 using 1d20+3.  Performance!
15:40, Today: Tone rolled 21 using 1d20+3.  Persuasion (Charm).
Dungeon Master
 GM, 135 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 06:11
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Rachel nodded her head slowly as Tone spoke, she didn't give much of a reaction beside mild interest as Tone dropped the staff then magically drew it back to her. "You know a paladin hey?" There was a small amount of skepticism in her voice, "We don't really have many paladins come seeking work. We don't ask questions you see. If somebody wants to offer a contract and can pay our commission then we list the job and find a suitable group. There is no room for morality." She raises both arms in a wide guesture, "This is Athkatla. Gold determines what's good."

She once again blew out her cheeks. "Look, Tone. Everyone wants to be an adventurer but you need more than cheap tricks to make it. We can't have our members running off and dying, bad for business y'know. Nobody's going to put a contract in with a guild whose members keep dying. No adventurers are going to be signing up if they know the guilds sending them to their death." She shrugs, "It's tough work choosing who to send."

She gave Tone another look, there was something in her eyes; sympathy or understanding, "Alright Tone. Get your paladin friend and come here tomorrow at dawn. I'll have a talk to the other guildmasters and maybe I can come up with something."
 player, 87 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 08:38
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
At Rachel’s mixed response, Tone went calm and raised a finger in a silent request for a moment more. A hand went to her waist and she retrieved her waterskin, pouring a draught into the hollow lid before tossing it up in the air with a downward plucking motion followed by a mutteredTaika Agatha. An Eldritch light flared, and the water went translucent; settling over the Tiefling like a downy drape of ice. She smiled at her companion, laughter gleaming through the half-visible frost.

“Don’t worry Rachel. I may be new to this, but I don’t die all that easily either. I won’t embarrass your Guild, or you for giving me a chance.”

The light flared again and the spectral frost faded away.

“I’ll find my quarters, and send word to my Paladin friend. We’ll see you here at dawn then?”

At Rachel’s confirmation she left, an unprepossessing figure as she moved through the adventurers at the front all shouting for the gnome’s attention. She crossed the road to the sign of the dormitory across the way, and once again ducked her head inside.

“Hello? Do you still have space for one more tonight? I’ve just come in from the Trade Road, and I’m done with sleeping in road dirt.”
Dungeon Master
 GM, 142 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 01:03
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Rachel, again, seemed unimpressed with the display. "Sure, get your paladin friend and come back tomorrow at dawn."

The crowd in the guildhall had not lessened while Tone was talking to Rachel. new faces replaced old as a constant cycle of warriors and fortune seekers accepted job and negotiated fees. There were no more unusual creatures that Tone noticed but the eclectic mix remained the same. Many different creatures, customs and languages all meeting in peace and under one purpose, adventure!

It was right across the street back at the Steel-laid Bunkhouse where Tone ran into a grumpy dwarf sitting behind a low counter. "Aye, always space. Two silvers a night, if you can't get a bunk you're on the floor."
 player, 89 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 01:17
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
"I can live with that - at least as long as it's clean," Tone quipped as she pulled out two silvers and slid them across the counter. She doubted that would be a problem. The Steel-laid Bunkhouse had a very bared-bones vibe to it, the basics were there and in reasonable quality but absolutely no extras.

She got her room details and any key she needed then went in to have a little look at it... but without a lock box she decided not to risk leaving her pack there and toted it out onto the street. A thought struck her, and she paused to write a short note on a scrap of paper:

'Friend Neria, have found bed at Bunkhouse. House has agreed to find me work, but only if you will join me. Please meet me at the House at dawn? Please? I'll make it up to you somehow. Have promised this child you will pay them two copper for delivery.'

Next step was to find a likely looking urchin on the street, someone who didn't seem to be busy racing anywhere in particular and wasn't so well dressed that they weren't hungry. A trustworthy vibe ideally.

"Hi there! Will you carry a message for me across town, for three copper? My friend is at the Dome of the Rose. Tell them it's for a paladin called Neria, and she will pay you a copper as well for the message."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 143 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 01:48
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
There were no keys although the dwarf did paint a slash of indigo ink on the back of Tone's hand which was checked by a guard as she entered. Tone definitely got a room at the Bunkhouse, the Bunkhouse was one big room. Narrow but very deep it held four columns of bunks that stretched all the way to the back wall of the building. Each bunk was three beds high offering only minimal space for belongings once a body was taken into account. Tone estimaed there were close to 100 beds in the room. Torches sat on the walls at intervals giving a dim light to the area, half had burned out and not been replaced. The building was made of plain stone and had very few windows, the entire place had a very claustrophobic feel to it.

The Bunkhouse was not so busy that Tone would need to sleep on the floor. Various races either slept in the beds or stood around talking quietly between themselves. As there seemed to be no reservations but her bed for the night secured she returned to the street to craft her message to Neria.

Finding children on the street with nothing to do was easy enough. Finding one who was willing to carry a message for a few copper was another thing. Tone eventually found a pair of young humans, around eight years old, a boy and girl who wanted a copper each to carry a message plus a copper each for when it arrived.
 player, 90 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 01:55
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Tone negotiated - as was the way in this city apparently - and got the best price she could, paying each of them a copper herself and leaving her note as written to cover the other side of it. She would make it up to Neria later. She would! And the Paladin would be sure to cover her commitments.

She glanced again at the thick indigo stripe on the back of her hand to ensure it was still bright and vivid, then set out into the city in search for some well spiced food that she'd never even seen before. Ideally something that would neither drain her to her last copper or leave her retching her guts out. Something exotic to celebrate the first night of her new life!

Tomorrow would go wonderfully. It had to.

Musing on new possibilities and keeping an eye out for interesting sights (and pickpockets), she made her way gradually across the city, drifting by chance more than circumstance until she was strolling down Waukeens Promenade.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 145 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 11:59
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
The children took Tone's copper coins with the note and started to run towards the Gem District. At least they were headed the right way. Tone just hoped the promise of two copper on the end of the delivery would encourage it's completion. Having entered the city from the east, and now having seen the north Tone headed west, into the Center District.

Waukeen's Promenade was difficult to miss. It was a massive, open-air marketplace within the Center District of Athkatla.  A sprawling, oval stadium with 50ft walls and 75ft wide terraces that were fed by broad ramps lined with merchant booths and stalls of all kinds. The structure was so massive the upper levels shaded the lower ones, the promenade was one of the most recognizable and impressive structures in the entire city. The ground floor was the most expansive, granting the largest area for merchants to peddle their wares. The first terrace was home to the city's grander guilds, the more reputable merchant houses and foreign embassies. Anyone who was anyone had a stall or shop or office on the Promenade.

Tone walked among the spruiking merchants and peddlers calling out their wares from shops and stalls. It was difficult not to get caught up in the excitement and wonder of the exotic, expensive and often illicit goods that were offered for sale. Tone was just admiring a purple flower which the vendor boasted would never wilt or lose it's scent when a familiar voice called out from behind her. "Tone! Little Dove! How marvellous, you made it!" Tone knew the reverberate baritone and rolling R's of the charming tiefling she had spent time with on her travels. Mercy had found her.
 player, 93 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 12:17
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
The white-haired Tiefling perked up at the familiar voice, inhaling the wholesome scent of the immortal purple lily-thing as a smile bloomed across her face. "Mercy!" she turned and saw the familiar sight of the handsome tiefling in his magnificent silks. His brick-red skin was offset by his flowing dark blue hair, and his body emanated with a subtly inhuman heat as she fairly leapt across and gave him a quick tight hug.

She stepped back and smiled up at him, excitement clear in her mismatched eyes.

"What are you doing here? You didn't say anything about going to Athkatla when we were on the road, and I thought you were heading the other way?" The man had seemed to be travelling slowly with his caravan and his guards and... his slaves... her smile flickered briefly but returned in full glow.

"Did you come here to see me? We only arrived in the city today!"
Dungeon Master
 GM, 148 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 12:47
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Mercy gave a deep laugh and caught Tone with one arm around her waist, he leaned in and gave her a gentle nip on the neck before setting her down. "My caravan stopped at Crimmor a day passed. My employers here in Athkatla requested I visit to discuss a few things."

He shrugged his shouders, "So here I am, sore after riding a horse near to death trying to get here as fast as I could. My employers pay well and have a seemingly endless need for bodies but they are not known for their patience." He looked across the promenade, "I am on my way there now, care to join me. At least until the door?" He gave Tone a wink, "If you had the patience to wait until business is done I could think of many ways to thank my Little Dove."

He offered Tone his arm and started walking through the promenade, "So how have you found Athkatla? I see you ditched your.. friend." He was never a fan of Neria. "What have you been doing?"
 player, 94 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 13:11
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Despite their delightful encounter on the road, Tone wasn't entirely accustomed to the courtly games of men and women - or at least not the way Mercy played them. She took his arm a little awkwardly but with a willing smile and strolled along the way he led. "She had business at the temple," she explained vaguely. "But we're meeting again tomorrow morning at the House of Iron and Gold. Something about some work to be done."

It was her turn to lean into him, butting her horned head gently against his shoulder as her arm slid more firmly around his. "Don't worry Mercy-mine, I can be a little patient. And then when you're done, maybe it will be my turn to massage out your horse-aches hmm? I think I remember most of what you did with your hands."

That had been the start of a lovely - and surprising - evening for Tone. Maybe the Gods really were smiling on her, to give her some more warm memories before she went to work?

"I knew you did important work, but you must be even more important than you said if your employers needed you especially enough to send you galloping across the country like a demon with its tail on fire," she grinned up at him, eyes friendly.

"Have they told you what's going on yet? Or is that what the meeting is about?"

The pair went up a flight of stairs.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 150 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 00:14
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Mercy gave a grimace as Tone mentioned she would yet be meeting the paladin again, "Oh, the temple. No better place for her type then."

He arched an eyebrow as the pair walked arm in arm, "A hands-on evening is exactly what I had in mind!" He looked down to Tone with a sly wink, "Some attention to my more tender parts would be appreciated, but do not think it will you alone doing the work. I yet have much to show you." His grin turned positively devilish, "You can cast mage hand can't you..." He left the implications of where that was going entirely to Tone.

He waved his free hand as talk turned to business. "Ah, but a more reliable caravaner they have not found. Mercy does as Mercy says and a shipment has never been late or lost. I assume it is some dire need to transport an extremely precious thing across the world. It would not be the first time they have asked me to do such."

Mercy led Tone up a set of stairs and turned right across the terrace. He stopped in front of a building that was made of a red brickwork, unusual for the city and very different from the surrounding buildings. A large silver disc sat above the door; red rubies connected in a spiral pattern were engraved into the disc. There were two wide windows either side of a central wooden door which was painted red. Mercy was just about to say something when the door opened.

"Ahh, Mercutio!" A large man wearing a tailored red and gold suit and a white turban waddled out of the door. The human man was in his middle years and had a black beard, neatly trimmed at the sides and hanging down to his chest. "You made good time. We appreciate it." His eyes turned to Tone, "Oh, a companion, and who is this then?"

Mercy tightened the grip on Tone's arm. A request, perhaps, to not say anything. "Ambassador Rafaam. What fortune you are ready to meet. Indeed, it was all haste I came once I received your invitation in Crimmor." He nodded to Tone, "This is Tone, my companion as you said."

Rafaam gave a sceptical smirk and laughed loudly, causing his body to roll. "Always the jester. Come inside. Bring your companion if she is privy to your business." The man walked back into the building, leaving the door open.

Mercy slipped his arm from Tone's and shrugged. "You are welcome to come. It doesn't seem the Ambassador is intending for any private business."
 player, 95 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 01:24
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
As it happened, Tone's mind leapt immediately to conclusions he may not have intended (although he probably did), and the heat was still fading from her face when they arrived outside the red brickwork building. There was a symbol above the front door that didn't mean anything to her, and when she was just about to speak with Mercy the door opened and they had company.

She eyed the large man in the turban with courteous curiosity, mentally tucking away his appearance in the back of her head under 'Ambassador Rafaam' after Mercy introduced them both. Tone didn't need the added pressure on her arm to warn her not to speak out - she'd known Mercutio was a man of means as well as being her Mercy, and what did she have to do with the business of extremely precious goods and Ambassadors?

Perhaps another way to put it was; since she didn't seem to need to wait outside after all, what else might she learn if she came along politely?

It could be boring - but it might not be too, and it would have her feeling less like a pet than sitting on the front stoop waiting for Mercy to come back to her.

Her outfit still a little dusty from the long journey on the road, she accompanied Mercy inside with all the grace of a trained courtesan. Or a trusted lieutenant. Or a random best friend.

Whichever one Ambassador Rafaam thought she was.

"I'll be polite," she promised Mercy quietly, with a hint of mischief in her eyes.

11:14, Today: Tone rolled 7 using 1d20+1.  History check to recognise the insignia?

This message was last edited by the player at 01:25, Sat 22 May.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 155 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 02:21
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Mercy patted Tone on the arm, "That's my girl." However his eyes widened in surprise, or possibly alarm, as he looked to her and noticed the playful look in her eyes.

Regardless he continued into the building. It seemed the pair had entered a lobby of sorts, chairs lined the room and expensive looking art hung on the walls, perfectly measured to be hung equidistant from each other. Scenes were all of some sort of awesome display of magical power. A human woman behind a desk motioned for the pair to continue down a hallway where either wall had doorways at regular intervals. Ambassador Rafaam was standing beside an open door two down on the left. He motioned for Mercy and Tone to follow, "Come now Mercy, I haven't much time." He disappeared inside the room.

Following the man the tieflings enter a small office, a desk free of any clutter or papers was in the center of the room, Rafaam had squeezed into a chair behind it. Shelves of scrolls and books were on the walls behind the desk except for one space which held a map of a circular nation with a lake to the north and a sea to the south. Written on the map in thick, red, cursive text was the word 'Thay'.

Two chairs were opposite Rafaam, on the door side of the room. Mercy motioned for Tone to sit and closed the door before he sat beside her. As soon as the pair were seated Rafaam began.

"Mercy I need your caravan available immediately." It seemed the Ambassador was not wasting any time, "This morning we were notified that one of our other caravans was attacked and a valuable artifact stolen. We have plans in motion to recover the artifact however need you to secure its delivery back to Thay once it is in our possession."

Mercy sat silently, he nodded slowly.

"We need your caravan here in Athkatla and ready to depart at a moments notice. We expect to have the artifact returned to us within the next three days, definitely within a week." He shifts his massive girth in his chair, "I want you..."

A knock comes at the door and at a call from Rafaam a human man enters. The man looked almost a corpse, pale and gaunt there was not a hair on his head. He looked to be in his later middle age for a human and as he grinned to Rafaam Tone noticed the man's teeth were black and shattered from decay. He wore a red robe with a golden sash and red slippers, he carried a wooden staff which appeared to have two horns growing from its tip. Most notable was a small, deep red sphere which orbited the mans head from about one foot away.

The man spoke in a raspy voice like crumpled parchment, "Rafaam. The guild has been assigned the job. We will recover the artifact shortly."

Rafaam waved his hand, "Thank you Zelgius. I was just arranging a more secure transport with our friend here"

Zelgius gives Mercy an uninterested glance however his eyes linger on Tone. It is an uncomfortable five seconds before he turns, leaves and closes the door behind him not saying a word.

Rafaam continues, "Unload your merchandise in Crimmor, bring your caravan here with all your slaves and wait for the artifact to be retrieved." He waves away a question from Mercy, "You will be compensated for any losses and generously rewarded once the artifact arrives in Thay." He reaches into a draw and brings out a ream of parchment, "You may leave now. Once your caravan arrives come see me."

Mercy nods and opens the door for Tone and escorts her outside. He seemed thrilled by the events detailed inside, "Oh, what fortune. Tone this job is going to set me up for life. The gold from the job, the prestige of the job. Hah! What a turn of fortune." He kisses Tone on the hair. "You may be my lucky charm!"
 player, 98 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 06:40
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Tone smiled up at the taller tiefling beside her, took his arm and snuggled against his side. "Well, maybe if you play your cards right..." She liked the thought of being a lucky charm - although her own mind was still considering and caressing the implications of her beau the sometime slavetrader being in bed with the mysterious eastern nation.

Metaphorically speaking of course.

The two tieflings being delighted with one another's company, they spent the early evening sitting on benches listening to music as their sharp teeth tore at deliciously marinated spiced meats. They spoke at length in hushed tones, Tone sharing her childhood dreams of travelling in comfort and seeing the world, of winning status and being prized so that no one dared look down their noses at her - sneer and be damned! In turn Mercy shared grand tales of travel and adventure, of deals made and profited by, of snooty lords fleeced and bandits and monsters sent fleeing. She laughed and laughed, and dreamed.

They danced beneath the lamp light, before stages and on tables then retired to his luxury quarters on the third floor of the Stars and Garters at the heart of the Trades District.

Tone would worry about Thay tomorrow.

She would worry about it all tomorrow.

Finis Prologus
Dungeon Master
 GM, 165 posts
Sun 23 May 2021
at 00:23
PROLOGUE - Tone, Athkatla
Prologue Complete