PROLOGUE - Sugarra.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 13 posts
Sat 8 May 2021
at 09:44
PROLOGUE - Sugarra
PROLOGUE
Bright Lights, Big City


Athkatla was a city unlike any Sugarra was expecting. Not even the tales of the merchants and caravaners who passed through Purskul could have truly described the size, the height and the wealth of its citizens. Only one night ago she had arrived, in search of stories, worldly experience and the possibility of righting a wrong inflicted on her many years ago. That night she had spent at the city had been in the company of those she was familiar with, the traders who hauled grains from Purskul. She was fortunate enough to meet an old caravaner who went by the nickname Biggie, which she thought strange as he was a halfling. Biggie had passed Purskul at least once a year since Sugarra was a child and was always willing to regale stories of his travels. Sugarra always thought they were embellished, but since arriving at Athkatla she thought they might actually be some truth to them. So, it was on the first night Sugarra joined Biggie at The Black Frog, a popular tavern in the Trade District. His tales entertained the bar room so much that ale was paid upfront for the both of you. Drinks all night for Biggie, and as the patrons started calling Sugarra, Smalls. Clearly carrying the deliberate misnomer over to Biggie's newest companion.

It was the second day that Biggie took Sugarra through the City Districts that she fully understood the enormity of Athkatla. Ten districts, eight full of housing from mansions and towers to shacks and lean-to's, every class of citizen lived in the city. One thing that Sugarra did notice was it the vastly prominent human population, nine in ten appeared human. She shrugged it off as the reputed greed of the cosmopolitan race being attracted to the City of Coin.

But after all the exploration it was an early evening that Biggie and Sugarra settled into a different tavern. This time the Sea's Bounty Tavern, a prominent taphouse in the Center District. This was to be Biggie's last night in Athkatla and so he was determined to make it a good one. Sitting at the bar Biggie turned towards the barkeep, "Hey Wrex!" He yelled at the man, "Put those dice down and pour my friend and I a couple of ales." The man waved and cursed as it appeared he lost another round but did fill two tankards.

The night continued with Biggie's storytelling and once a crowd was gathered and smiling at the ending of his most recent tale Biggie waved his hands, "Friends, friends! Gather 'round. With me today is Sugarra the Adventurous, famed of Purskul!"

A call comes from deeper in the tavern, "Hey it's Smalls!"

Biggie continues, "Smalls... er I mean Sugarra here is about to spin a tale like none you have ever heard." He raises his tankard to Sugarra with a mischievous grin as the crowd waits in apt attention.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:39, Sat 08 May.

Sugarra
 player, 9 posts
Sat 8 May 2021
at 15:54
PROLOGUE - Sugarra
To compare Parskul to Athkatla based on the tales she had heard paled to the experience of seeing it the first time for herself. Admittedly, the first day there was a bit overwhelming for one who had never left home before and Sugarra was glad to have Biggie's company. He had always treated her well and, in turn, she had looked out for him whenever another passing traveler had drank a bit too much and decided to have a bit of "fun" with the diminutive halfling. Usually, she would be able to sweet-talk them into turning their attention away from Biggie, though there were the occasional times when they didn't take the hint and would have to be convinced using more aggressive tactics.

When the patrons of the Black Frog started calling her Smalls, she laughed and shot back "Only my friends will get to call me that. Are we friends?" while tipping her mug sideways to show that it was nearly empty. She didn't really expect anyone to take her up on it at first until several mugs of ale started manifesting themselves around Biggie and herself. And so the night continued with drinks flowing freely as well as story after story told by Biggie to entertain the crowd. Sugarra had heard a few of them before and was fairly certain he had told them differently in the past, confirming her suspicion that there were certain embellishments and liberties taken, but she kept quiet and simply listened.

The following day, Sugarra tried to absorb as much as she could about Athkatla. She picked Biggie's brain for any piece of information he would share. This was his last day in the city and she was determined to learn everything before exploring it on her own. That evening, at the Sea's Bounty, it seemed that Biggie had set the same sequence of events into motion. Perhaps they wouldn't pay for their drinks again tonight. Before Sugarra could say anything about Biggie referring to her as "famed of Purskul" one of them called out to her as Smalls. "Now, what did I tell you yesterday about that?" a mischievous smile crept across her lips "Are we friends?" The man who called out to her laughed and, shortly after, a fresh mug of ale was at her side. Sugarra winked at the man and lifted to mug in acknowledgement "And here I am thinking I was going to have trouble making new friends in this new city."

When Biggie turned the attention of the entire Tavern her way, she nearly spit out her drink in surprise. She had told him a few of the stories she had heard in the past and had told stories to a few travelers back home, but never had she had such a large audience before, and certainly not on such short notice. Without a word, she proceeded to drink the remainder of her ale as well as fully drink the one that had just been set down next to her. She wasn't entirely certain it was meant for her, but nobody seemed to argue when she picked it up. The action served dual purposes. The ale would serve to steady nerves she felt with all eyes suddenly on her as well as giving her an opportunity to consider just what she was going to say.

"I suppose those of you familiar with my home of Purskul consider such a small town to be a simple caravan stop and, for the most part, you would be right in thinking so. Still, there was something strange that happened when I was a little girl..." "You? Little?" A man's voice called out from the crowd and many eyes looked awkwardly between the man and Sugarra to see how she would respond. Even though she was more human in appearance than most of her kin, she was aware of her stature compared to most women of the fairer races. She tensed for a moment and an image crossed her mind of the mug she was holding suddenly sailing across the room to connect with the man's face. Perhaps that was not the best choice in this moment. "Yes. Little, if you can believe it." She gave a soft laugh before continuing. "When I was a little girl, we had a visitor come through about every couple of months. There wasn't anything remarkable about the man but, when you pass through Purskul enough times, people start to take notice. One thing I noticed was that he always wore heavy clothing that covered his entire body save for his face, even in the hot summer months. One day, while reaching out to adjust his saddle before mounting his horse, I saw something. His sleeve had bunched and showed the skin on his arm between his glove and where the sleeve had shifted. There was something odd there and it was only a brief moment, but I was certain I saw some kind of marking, tattoo, scarring, or something of the like. I did not get a good enough look at it to be certain, but now I was very curious. Each time he passed through, I would sneak about determined to find out what those markings were. I was able to catch a few more quick glimpses and was almost certain that I saw a pattern on his skin that appeared to resemble scales. Clearly, it had to be a tattoo or some sort of unfortunate scarring. I dared not ask him about it, though. There were a few similar moments in the following months. A child's mind can go into fantastic directions far more easily than most and I had convinced myself he was a dragon in disguise. When I told my mother of this, she laughed it off as an overactive imagination and assured me that I could not have seen what I saw or that it at least did not mean what I thought. One day, he caught me spying on him and confronted me. He caught me by surprise and got right next to my face as he spoke. 'And just what were you hoping to see?' he asked. I could feel the heat on his breath. There was something unnatural in his eyes. I froze. When I tried to speak, my throat closed up and forbid it. He lingered there for what seemed like an eternity before pushing me away and disappearing around a corner. I struggled to catch my breath as my senses returned. After that day, we never saw the man in Purskul again. I have to wonder if I was only imagining things as a child or if we were really visited by a dragon in disguise. It was all too real for me to pass it off and so I told myself that, when I was old enough to travel, I would share the encounter in hopes of finding that man. Now, I don't expect that I'll actually find a dragon. In fact, I hope that I do only find an ordinary man so I can put all this to rest. All I have is a name... Kellen." Sugarra picked up her ale and took a long drink. As she drank, she made a point to scan the room to see just how people reacted. She tried to figure who was at least amused by her story. She also was interested to know if anyone seemed to know that name. Sugarra was actually searching for a man by that name, though not for any of the reasons she had mentioned in her story.


Cha Perform check: 16

18:08, Today: Sugarra rolled 9 using 1d20+2.  Cha (adv).
18:08, Today: Sugarra rolled 16 using 1d20+2.  Cha

This message was last edited by the player at 22:09, Sat 08 May.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 29 posts
Sun 9 May 2021
at 03:12
PROLOGUE - Sugarra
Sugarra's oratory performance matched Biggie in both gusto and skill. While Biggie preferred telling tales of the humiliating experiences of others and jokes about the law and authority Sugarra's calm, brooding tale of mystery had everyone on the edge of their seats. The laughing and guffaws were replaced with whispers between the crowd and stares of astonishment and disbelief. They were all equally attentive throughout both performances and as Sugarra wrapped up the tale there was a moment of silence before the crowd burst out in commentary. "He was a dragon, I bet." "No you fool he..." "Luck she lived if..." "Bah, just tattoos." "What a tale."

Biggie turned to Sugarra and raised his tankard again. "Aye girl, they're right. That was quite the tale. Not likely any of these fellas ever met a dragon before."

As Sugarra looked back to Biggie she noticed a pale elf standing in the doorway, her two pitch black eyes focused on Riden, the barkeep. Fully armed and armored with a large kite shield on her arm it was an unusual sight amongst the common folk and merchants in the room. Biggie poked her in the ribs, trying to get Sugarra's attention again. "If I ever quit the caravanning business, I'll come catch up with you. We'd make some good coin in certain parts of this city." He winks and finished his ale in a large draught. "We're tipped in ale here but up with them nobles, lass they pay gold. The grander the story the more the glitter. Good money paid for a small taste of things those fobs would never experience except through story."

The crowd had returned to their tables however the occasional whisper of 'dragon' could be heard around the room. Biggie placed his tankard on to bar and looked back to Sugarra, "So what's your plans then lass? You got a reason to be here? As good as your tale was, I doubt you're here lookin' for some fella named Kellen."
Sugarra
 player, 15 posts
Sun 9 May 2021
at 04:14
Re: PROLOGUE - Sugarra
Dungeon Master:
as Sugarra wrapped up the tale there was a moment of silence before the crowd burst out in commentary. "He was a dragon, I bet." "No you fool he..." "Luck she lived if..." "Bah, just tattoos." "What a tale."


Sugarra smiled to herself as the crowd showed their interest in her tale. Any audience she had back home was won over easily enough by the simple fact that she knew most of them personally and already knew what would spark their interest. She had to admit that the uncertainty of a new audience was exhilarating.

quote:
Biggie turned to Sugarra and raised his tankard again. "Aye girl, they're right. That was quite the tale. Not likely any of these fellas ever met a dragon before."


Sugarra leaned in close to the halfling's ear. "And you think I have?" As she sat upright, she shot Biggie a knowing wink and a genuine laugh. By the gods, she was certainly enjoying herself - and this was only her second day in this city. If the ale and conversation never ended, she would be quite happy indeed.

quote:
As Sugarra looked back to Biggie she noticed a pale elf standing in the doorway, her two pitch black eyes focused on Riden, the barkeep. Fully armed and armored with a large kite shield on her arm it was an unusual sight amongst the common folk and merchants in the room. Biggie poked her in the ribs, trying to get Sugarra's attention again. "If I ever quit the caravanning business, I'll come catch up with you. We'd make some good coin in certain parts of this city." He winks and finished his ale in a large draught. "We're tipped in ale here but up with them nobles, lass they pay gold. The grander the story the more the glitter. Good money paid for a small taste of things those fobs would never experience except through story."


The new arrival had caught Sugarra's attention briefly. One so fully armed certainly stood out in a sea of bodies in only their work clothes after a long day. Even Sugarra was dressed no better. Her backpack had her weapon and a shield fastened to it, but she wore no armor. She was just about to say something to Biggie when he made his comment about the upper class. "Something they would never experience, eh? Well, that's easy. Just tell them tales of an honest day's hard work." Again, Sugarra allowed herself to laugh unhindered.

quote:
The crowd had returned to their tables however the occasional whisper of 'dragon' could be heard around the room. Biggie placed his tankard on to bar and looked back to Sugarra, "So what's your plans then lass? You got a reason to be here? As good as your tale was, I doubt you're here lookin' for some fella named Kellen."


"Well, there actually is a man out there by that name. I doubt I will ever run into him but it would certainly be an interesting encounter if I keep telling stories about him. Sugarra finished the last of her ale and regarded Biggie. "As for my plans from here, in all honesty, I don't really know. Ive spent so much time back home when every day is the same: Wake up. Go tend someone else's farm. Come home to check on my mother. Go out in the late evening and spend time jawing with the likes of you. She nudged him playfully, though careful not to let her farmhand strength knock her traveling companion off his seat. "I don't know what tomorrow will hold, but that's the fun of it." Her eyes were full of youthful excitement... and perhaps a bit of naivete.

She gestured briefly to the armored figure. "Now there's someone who looks to have purpose and direction. Someone like that a regular sight in a place like this?"
Dungeon Master
 GM, 36 posts
Mon 10 May 2021
at 00:42
Re: PROLOGUE - Sugarra
Biggie grinned about the dragon comment and whispered back, "Aye, you're right. Just make sure you don't admit that too loud. Believing the storyteller is more important than the story, and you have the kinda look of someone who'd have met a dragon." He returned the wink, "Even though you've never been outta Purskul."

He cackled a laugh at the comment about nobles, "You're gettin' the hang of it. You're a natural entertainer Sugarra. The best jests lie in truth and you've hit on some hard truths there. Just don't let the nobles hear you say that too loud." He chuckled to himself.

He nodded in agreement and perhaps some understanding when when Sugarra admitted she was looking for such a named man. He gave a look of understanding anyway, the kinda look that one gives a spurned lover seeking vengeance. A raised eyebrow and a slow nod of his head.

He followed Sugarra's eyes to the pale elf who was now standing by the bar and staring at Wrex, the barkeep. "No lass, never set my eyes on anybody like her." The elf drew a dagger, metal noisily screeching before she laid the blade on the countertop. Wrex turned to the woman as she spoke and the man went pale, suddenly half bowing repeatedly. Biggie turned his back to the scene going on further down the bar, "I'm sure they'll sort themselves out." He did cast an eye back toward the pair before looking back to Sugarra, "Wrex likes to gamble. There ain't a day goes by where he doesn't owe gold to someone. It's not like one elf lass is going to rob the place."

Further down the bar Wrex had taken a fat coin purse from below the bar and set it on the countertop beside the dagger as he leaned closer to the elf and whispered.
Sugarra
 player, 18 posts
Mon 10 May 2021
at 05:43
Re: PROLOGUE - Sugarra
quote:
He nodded in agreement and perhaps some understanding when when Sugarra admitted she was looking for such a named man. He gave a look of understanding anyway, the kinda look that one gives a spurned lover seeking vengeance. A raised eyebrow and a slow nod of his head.


Sugarra let the look pass. It wasn't a topic she felt like discussing at length for now.

quote:
He followed Sugarra's eyes to the pale elf who was now standing by the bar and staring at Wrex, the barkeep. "No lass, never set my eyes on anybody like her." The elf drew a dagger, metal noisily screeching before she laid the blade on the countertop. Wrex turned to the woman as she spoke and the man went pale, suddenly half bowing repeatedly. Biggie turned his back to the scene going on further down the bar, "I'm sure they'll sort themselves out." He did cast an eye back toward the pair before looking back to Sugarra, "Wrex likes to gamble. There ain't a day goes by where he doesn't owe gold to someone. It's not like one elf lass is going to rob the place."


"No... I suppose not." Sugarra considered Biggie's words but kept the armored woman and Wrex in the corner of her vision, curious as to exactly what was about to happen.

quote:
Further down the bar Wrex had taken a fat coin purse from below the bar and set it on the countertop beside the dagger as he leaned closer to the elf and whispered.


Sugarra sat in relative silence for the moment as she observed the exchange. Absent-mindedly, she reached to take another drink only to find it empty. A slightly exaggerated frown accompanied a frustrated huff at her discovery. "I could use another. How about you?" She stood with empty container in hand and regarded Biggie awaiting his response.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 38 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 05:27
Re: PROLOGUE - Sugarra
Biggie sat in silence, oddly enough for the verbose halfling, and was deliberately facing himself away from the pair at the bar.

At the mention of another drink he raised his tankard, "Ah, no lass. Still right for now and got some business to attend to later." However he did catch Sugarra's arm before she left. "Got somethin' I need a hand with later. Think you're up for doin' an old man a favour?" He chuckled, and with a wily smile he was back to his usually jovial self. "Think you'll be perfect for it. But don't mind me, you go get yerself that drink, and we can talk on it when you return."

Further down the bar a large number of coins clattered across the countertop, the armored elf had tipped the bag out. What looked like a few dozen golden coins fell out and rolled across the bar before the elf collected them all and started counting. The whispers between the pair were interrupted by the elf snarling "NOW!" to Wrex, who remained frozen in fright. The elf continued, addressing Wrex, "If you do not move and get me that chest you will not see the sun again." This caused the pudgy man to move and with a waddle he walked to the bar against the wall and picked up a small coin chest and brought it back, setting it in front of the elf.
Sugarra
 player, 21 posts
Wed 12 May 2021
at 03:09
Re: PROLOGUE - Sugarra
Dungeon Master:
"Ah, no lass. Still right for now and got some business to attend to later." However he did catch Sugarra's arm before she left. "Got somethin' I need a hand with later. Think you're up for doin' an old man a favour?" He chuckled, and with a wily smile he was back to his usually jovial self. "Think you'll be perfect for it. But don't mind me, you go get yerself that drink, and we can talk on it when you return."


"A favor suited to me, eh? Now, Biggie. We've discussed this..." She shot him a playful wink. "...I would likely break you in two." Sugarra let her eyes linger on him for just a moment before giving him a firm clap on the back. "But what a way to go, eh? You would likely be the envy of all at your funeral!" Sugarra broke her serious tone and erupted in laughter. It wasn't the first time Biggie had heard her make a joke to that nature, but the steady flow of ale made such comments more likely to be said. With that, she made her way down the bar towards Wrex.

quote:
The whispers between the pair were interrupted by the elf snarling "NOW!" to Wrex, who remained frozen in fright. The elf continued, addressing Wrex, "If you do not move and get me that chest you will not see the sun again." This caused the pudgy man to move and with a waddle he walked to the bar against the wall and picked up a small coin chest and brought it back, setting it in front of the elf.


Sugarra arrived in front of Wrex just as he set the coin chest down. "I've got to say, Wrex..." Sugarra clearly had no qualms about interrupting whatever business was being conducted. "I rather like this place. Your guests sure know how to make a newcomer feel welcome. I figured I would give my new friends a break and actually buy my next round for myself." Sugarra looked over at Savia, regarding the pale elf with a friendly smile as she set her empty mug down on the bartop with an unintended thump. The night's ale was clearly present on her breath, though she did not seem as far gone as some of the others who had tried to keep up with her drink for drink. "You're welcome to join me in a round. You're looking far too serious for the room."