PROLOGUE - Radiza   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 16 posts
Sat 8 May 2021
at 09:44
PROLOGUE - Radiza
PROLOGUE
Stray Cat Blues


It was an odd and unfamiliar feeling. Entirely uncomfortable and a bit resentful of the position she had put herself in Radiza slammed the rickety wooden door behind her. Three weeks ago, she had been out on the prowl and attending to the usual business; a job not unlike any other. It was supposed to be a quick in and out, a few hours of midnight work for some easy gold. She had done it many times before, although this time she had not even made it to the 'in' part. As careful as she was, as thorough in her work, there were still things she missed; things she didn't expect. The crossbow trap in a second storey window was one of those things. Radiza was meant to recover a jewelled ink pen however all she got that night was a crossbow bolt lodged in between her shoulder blades and a ten-foot fall from the window which knocked the breath out of her. Fortunately, she had the awareness to roll against the side of the building, avoiding the lanternlight of a curious guard.

While she recovered from the bruised ribs quickly it took three weeks for that shoulder wound to heal. Radiza would not risk a visit to the common temples, any healer would remember a black Tabaxi. There were already rumours around the Gem District, the new money nobles worried about the 'Night's Shadow'. Radiza was unsure if the rumours referred to her however the name was certainly spoken among the marks she usually sought. She could ill afford any potential indiscretions, especially not while injured. So, she sat in the River District atop the remains of the frame of an old wooden crane, her lair for the most recent months, and licked her wounds. That period of recovery is when she met the sewer witch, the odd druid with an affinity for vermin. Poultices and tinctures had helped the healing along, but they were no substitute for magic.

Which is what led her here, in a foul mood and standing outside the sewer outlet that the strange druid called home. Working for nothing was never a happy thought but perhaps this once exception could be made. The druid had healing magic, was a recluse of the sewers, and was not going to gossip about her clients. Tonight, Radiza didn't work for gold, she worked for a favour. One which she expected, and would ensure, that was repaid appropriately.

An albino rat. Two foot long. Fangs. Claws. That was what the druid was after. For whatever twisted reason she wanted the creature alive was her own business, Radiza would find the rat and return it to the druid.

Having just exited, she stood at the door to the druidís sewer culvert. Left or right. Shadows of grey played across the dark interior of the sewer as Radiza studied the area. 20ft to the left the sewer branched left and right, to the right the depth of the sewer was lost in darkness after 60ft.
Radiza
 player, 8 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sat 8 May 2021
at 12:10
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Send a cat to find a rat.
Radiza could almost hear the thought said out loud by some pudgy faced human, and imagined clawing that face up a bit. The reality was it wouldn't be that easy. She could easily smell a hiding rat but the sewers were overflowing with them and an albino probably smelled the same. And while she could see in almost total darkness, actual total darkness was beyond even her eyes, and the underground sewers would be such a challenge. And she needed her eyes to figure out the color of the rat's fur. So she had brought a few things. A strap of leather to strangle it with because the woman wanted the thing alive, a sack to carry it in and a scrap torch, currently unlit. All three made with what the street provided of course. She wasn't going to earn a copper on this, so she wasn't going to spend any.

Her natural stoop was an advantage as she ducked into the tunnels, making almost no sound as she padded on soft paws. She tried not to think too hard on what she was walking in, even though her nose told her that tale very plainly. Studying her surroundings she came up with no real plan except to just wander about until she came across the damn rat. She would just head towards where most of the blighters were gathered. Finding those spots wouldn't be too hard. So she turned left, then right, to head into the deeper sewer.

For a moment her whiskers trembled as her wound ached. A crossbow trap was a new low. Nobody cared about a dead thief and the rich bastards knew it. The worst thing was she couldn't visit any punishment on the bastards, except maybe try and succeed the next time. But even taking some of their sparkly toys was a poor compensation for the pain she went through. Falling from on high, crawling to the shadows and back to the river district to have a street seamstress stitch her up for a silver in a back alley with nothing for the pain but a branch to bite down on. That sort of pain was not the one felt for a stolen trinket. But thoughts of vengeance were meaningless. Anyone who crawled their way up in the River District knew the world was unfair and without justice. Here, coin mattered more then life or right and wrong.

She would be back. Be better prepared. Take all their toys. Maybe leave a nasty surprise of her own. Not too much to upset the powers that be, but to leave a message of her malcontent. There was no sense in getting hunted down like a dog for taking vengeance but having a little pride restored at their expense would feel good.

But first, a rat. A bloody fat albino rat..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 30 posts
Sun 9 May 2021
at 03:12
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The smell of filth overpowered any other scent in the sewer and it was far too similar to the smell of a rat, whatever tracks could have been left were washed away by the flow of water. The albino rat hunt was going to be a challenge, one that wasn't likely to pay off. At least not in gold. Carefully searching the floor of the tunnel Radiza failed to find any trace of a rat, let alone a white one.

Radiza heard the voices before she noticed a dim light appear deeper into the sewer. Two men were taking no care to hide their presence here and from what was being discussed they did not expect anybody else to be roaming around the sewers.

"Where was it? Here?" Radiza heard a noise of something soft repeatedly hitting the stone wall of the sewer.

"Nah, further down. Come on. It's the red one." The voices grew closer and footsteps could now be heard.

Back to the wall and carefully turning to look down the tunnel Radiza noticed the light approaching a T junction from the left, about 30ft from where she was hidden in darkness. The voices made it clear how close the two were and as they appeared Radiza noticed it was two human males, one holding a torch. They appeared to be studying the far wall as they crossed from left to right past the junction. The pair stopped every few feet, the man with the torch kicked the wall a few times then they moved on. They disappeared from view to the right but voices rose again only a moment later.

"Here. This is red." Radiza heard the noise of the man kicking the wall, this time there was a small grind of stones.

"That's it." One of the men coughed, "Bloody stinks down here, put it in and let's get outta here."

"Alright. Alright."

"Careful, only touch the red one." There was a pause, "Wait! That's red? That looks pink?"

"Well what's that one?"

"Oh, yeah. Nah, that's red. OK, go on."

There was a longer sound of grinding stones and the men appeared again at the end of the junction, crossing back the way they came from. Their chatter continued as they moved on and the light faded.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:48, Sun 09 May.

Radiza
 player, 14 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sun 9 May 2021
at 11:25
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza knew what this was. What luck to have come across it! She crouched silently, letting the darkness take her in as she listened and waited, then waited some more. The rat hunting would have to wait for another day. She might just have scored a huge prize! Finally, sure the men had gone, she tiptoed forward to look down the junction. Then she crouched down and took out her makeshift torch and tinderbox. In moments the oiled cloth caught fire and she held it up. She made sure she left few as few tracks as possible as she went to the part of the wall where she guessed the man had stopped, looking for a loose red stone..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 33 posts
Mon 10 May 2021
at 00:42
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza waited. The men continued back along the tunnel from where they came, eventually the light faded entirely the voices dulled and then stopped and the sewer was once again silent and dark. Only then Radiza moved, quietly, carefully towards where the men had been. In the light of her torch she noticed close to the base of the sewer wall there were a series of five bricks in a cross pattern. Pink, Green, Blue, Purple and Red. The red brick sat to the top of the cross. Fortunate for the torchlight the colors were dull but able to be determined, it would have been a one in five guess if it darkvision had to be relied upon.

It was an obvious drop, but of what? The men were the typical thugs seen around the city and Radiza did not notice any distinguishing markings or tells of which organisation they belonged to, if any. Ensuring the men were truly gone she turned her attentions back to the five bricks.
Radiza
 player, 16 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Mon 10 May 2021
at 16:51
PROLOGUE - Radiza
What a nice hiding spot. Shame the folk using it were idiots. Radiza looked over the stones carefully, looking for seams or other signs of use. She knew she had to do something with the red stone, but after the recent experience with the crossbow trap she was careful. As well she should be. It seemed the men were worried about touching the wrong stones, so a trap might be around here as well. Radiza checked around carefully to see if she could discern what it might be. And then it was time to play with the red stone..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 41 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 09:06
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza's keen eyes, even in only the torchlight, picked up the glint of steel behind four of the bricks. The red one, however, was clear of any shine of metal behind it.

It was not difficult for Radiza to pry out the red brick, carefully, with a dagger. As the brick was removed Radiza could see that the other four bricks were trapped. The contraptions behind each brick looked like a spring trap with a tiny pouch tied and placed between the spring and the brick. Anyone who removed any of the other four bricks would be in for a faceful of whatever was held in the pouches. However, red brick removed safely and the traps unsprung Radiza looked into the hole left by the brick.

Inside were two keys wrapped in a thin strip of parchment. Drawing them out one key appeared to have no discernible markings, the second key had a question mark on its head. The strip of parchment had writing on it, an address.

16 Tenshire Lane. Gem District.

Radiza
 player, 17 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Tue 11 May 2021
at 10:39
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza knew her letters! She and her siblings had worked it out with a boy they walked the streets with who got it from his parents before they ended up in the River District somehow. It only took her a minute to decipher the writing. She guessed it was the location of a building. Streets over at the Gem District had names, so the 16th building of that lane? But from what side? No matter, she would figure it out when she got there, which would have to be soon. She had no idea how long she had before word got back and the chance was lost. But whatever was over there, it had to be valuable. It was the Gem District after all! And why else go through all this fuss?

But before she left, she examined the trap again. Whatever nastiness was in those pouches might be valuable too, or at the least it might be useful some day. And if you grew up in the River District you didn't waste anything. So she pulled out those pouches as well.

She was about to turn around to leave. Then a thought struck her. She turned back to the trap, and removed the pink stone and armed the trap behind it with one of the pouches. Then she placed the red brick in front of it, and left the pink one in the place of the red one. And then it was time to leave for the Gem District.

Nobody cared about a dead thief..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 50 posts
Wed 12 May 2021
at 04:35
PROLOGUE - Radiza


It was an easy trek out of the sewers for Radiza, simply returning back the way she had entered. Returning to the Druid's home it appeared the strange human had gone so Radiza climbed the ladder and entered the dark backstreets of the River District. She wasted no time climbing the nearest two storey hovel to reach the rooftops, it was quiet and hidden and if the rooftop guards of the wealthier districts could be avoided then it was a safer way to travel. More importantly for the River District it kept the stink of the streets to a minimum and avoided any confrontations with the drunks and vagrants.

Leaping between the rooftops to nimbly dash north towards the Gem District Radiza walked a rope strung between two buildings across the main dividing thoroughfare. While the River District was a free for all and nobody would likely challenge someone travelling by the rooftops the Gem District was a different matter altogether. It was home to the city's wealthiest merchant families, whose ostentatious taste for jewels, gold and other status symbols were displayed in proud competition with one another. The streets were kept immaculately clean, as even the droppings of pack animals would be cleaned up in a few moments. At this time of night, the streets were illuminated by glow spells, floating clouds of radiance that drifted throughout the city District. Guards were a constant worry regardless of time of day, anyone found within the District was vigorously questioned.

Radiza dropped to the street right in front of a sign which confirmed the location, Tenshire Lane. Houses appear to be numbered sequentially up one side of the street then back down the other. Sixteen houses up on the left was the building addressed on the note. Radiza scampered back up a building and sat on the third storey balcony of a house opposite number sixteen.

Number 16 Tenshire Lane was a tall, narrow, building with two floors. It was constructed with some sort of stone masonry. A large, double door sat in the centre on the ground floor, two windows barred with irons sat at the front of the building, similar windows were dotted around the sides of the building as well. Radiza could see that these barred windows had locks on them, it was possible they could be picked. The roof had a single chimney, no smoke was emitted currently. There were 5ft spaces along the side of the house and no backyard as the building behind was built onto the back of number 16 and also blocked off both spaces causing dead ends either side of the house. Radiza did not know who owned the house, however it was far from the most impressive in the District.
Radiza
 player, 19 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Wed 12 May 2021
at 15:48
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Ahh, the gem district. Where everything was pretty and shiny and the guards were expensive to bribe. Thankfully, those same guards all expected folk of ill intent to move as they did, on their flat feet through the streets. But Radiza's paws had not touched a single cobble since coming to the district and were even now soaking up the last warmth of the balcony as she watched the little palace across the street. She had drawn up her hood and was lost in shadow as the light remained settled down below.

The house was interesting. The keys she had also seemed plain enough in nature; one had to fit on a lock on the outside to allow entry. On the ground floor. Perhaps even those front doors? She wished to try, but first she wanted to know if danger awaited inside. From the note, she deduced that whoever came to pick up the keys did not know where he would be going next. Therefore, that person would not know what was inside either. And unless that person was to be the victim of a very elaborate trap, entering should be safe.

But a recent encounter with a crossbow trap made Radiza ever wary. First she wanted to know if she could find out anything about what was inside. She looked for light coming from the inside, or moving shadows, before she would take a closer look from the alleys, scaling the walls to listen at the windows, and peeking between bars..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 59 posts
Thu 13 May 2021
at 03:00
PROLOGUE - Radiza
From various vantage points from surrounding balconies and rooftops Radiza could determine the following.

The house was about 30ft wide and 50ft deep, it was small for the District but some other homes in the street looked similar. Definitely not one of the wealthier sections of the Gem Ward. There were two floors. The bottom floor windows were covered inside by drapes and lace curtains, Radiza was not able to get a look inside however it did not appear any lights were lit downstairs. Upstairs two rooms were somewhat visible through the windows, the blinds were open and light was coming from each room.

One room at the front of the house, the window on the right side of the building, had a lit candle on a desk. There was no movement in the room and with Radiza's vision she could see it looked to be some sort of study. A desk, bookshelf, a few chairs were all she could see in the room from her vantage point.

Around the other side of the house, on the rear of the second floor a second window shone dim light. Two torches were stationary on a wall inside, one about four foot from the other, diagonally higher. It looked like a landing of a set of stone stairs leading from the lower floor. A hallway disappeared into darkness deeper into the house.
Radiza
 player, 20 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Thu 13 May 2021
at 13:24
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The presence of the many lights worried Radiza. It likely meant that someone was up and about, perhaps even guards. The candle in particular told that tale. Whereas the stairs brought her the idea that there also might be a basement. But at this point the only way to find out was to go inside. It was time to take a little risk. She simply had to believe someone was inside and evade them. The unlit first floor would be her starting point and hiding spot. She scanned the street for guards before dropping down and making her way to the front door. She put her ear to it a moment, before she tried to open it. She expected it to be locked, but the plain key might open it..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 64 posts
Fri 14 May 2021
at 07:34
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Not a single guard had patrolled by the street for the entire time Radiza had been watching. Though this street was in a distant corner of the district and was quite possibly home to the forgotten 'once wealthy' who didn't merit constant attention from the guard.

Radiza crouched in front of the door and waited, listening. No sound came from inside the building and even this close Radiza could not see any light coming from inside.

Trying the door Radiza's initial thoughts were correct, it was locked. Taking the plain key she inserted it into the keyhole, it refused to turn.
Radiza
 player, 21 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Fri 14 May 2021
at 10:48
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Odd. Why give an address and a key, when the key wouldn't work? Radiza quietly tried the other key first. Failing that, she would enter through one of the dark windows, picking the lock on the shutters if needed..

This message was last edited by the player at 10:48, Fri 14 May.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 66 posts
Fri 14 May 2021
at 12:19
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The question marked key did not work either.

Radiza snuck around the right side of the building and climbed the stone wall effortlessly to the upstairs window. Picking the windows open with deft, well-practiced fingerwork the window opened, revealing the inside of the room.

Inside was a carpeted bedroom, a door was in the center of the wall 10ft away. From her current position Radiza could make out a queen bed against the top wall of the room, a bedside table on either side, a chest of drawers was against the opposite wall.

There was nobody inside that she could see from her position.

First Floor, Master Bedroom

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:20, Fri 14 May.

Radiza
 player, 22 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Fri 14 May 2021
at 12:57
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza rolled inside, her paws landing on soft carpet. Her eyes easily scanned the enormous bedroom as she shuffled to the door to listen for activity. On the way there, she checked the bed for warmth. When she could hear no one at the door, she made a quick check of the drawers and tables for valuables, before checking the door again for activity. Then she opened it..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 67 posts
Fri 14 May 2021
at 13:14
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Silently Radiza rolled into the room. The full room was visible now, the only other piece of furniture was a chair in the previously hidden corner. The bed was a mess, but it was cool; it did not appear anyone had slept in it recently.

The drawers held assorted piles of clothes, some looked neatly folded some were in crumpled piles. Nothing of value was found through a quick check.

It was silence from beyond the door and no light came from the gaps.

Radiza opened the door into a gaming room. A large circular table with six chairs sat around it. A deck of cards was scattered across it and various chips and tokens were on the tabletop in front of the seats. The floor was mosaic tile and stone walls continued around the room. In the opposite wall two doors could be seen, the furthest had dim light coming from under the door. The study Radiza had seen from outside. To Radiza's right the second door was half covered in darkness.


First Floor, Gaming Room

Radiza
 player, 23 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Fri 14 May 2021
at 13:43
PROLOGUE - Radiza
As before, Radiza listened for people first, starting at the door of the study before moving to the next. Then, a quick scan of the room for valuables followed. Perhaps those tokens were of fine craftmanship.

Then, should she find the study to be empty, she opened that door first..



15:28, Today: Radiza rolled 16 using 1d20+4.  Perception.
15:28, Today: Radiza rolled 21 using 1d20+7.  Stealth.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 69 posts
Fri 14 May 2021
at 14:01
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Silence. That was all Radiza heard from within the house.

The gaming table's contents were not of good quality. Painted wooden chips and plain board playing cards.

As Radiza walked into the room proper she noted a dartboard on the far wall to her right, as well as dim torchlight coming from a corridoor beside the master bedroom. The two torches from the stairwell she saw through the windows earlier.

Heading to the study door Radiza listened, there was no noise inside. Opening the door the first thing Radiza noticed was a large wooden chest, bound with iron. It was next to the window, so wasn't visible when she looked through earlier. The candle was burning and down to about one fifth of its wick left. The desk, chairs and bookshelf were as they were when she saw them from outside. Various papers were scattered across the desk.

First Floor, Study

Radiza
 player, 25 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Fri 14 May 2021
at 20:23
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza made a quick check of the room as before, making sure she was safe. The chest had her interest, but first she went to the desk and the papers. She wondered if they provided a clue who this place belonged to. The candle told her that either someone left over an hour ago, or the candle was re-lit recently. How might this pick-up have worked? Address and keys, but not to the front door? Was someone expecting whoever was supposed to have done the pick-up? All odd, and maybe the papers gave a clue.

The chest was next..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 71 posts
Sat 15 May 2021
at 00:51
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Again, the room was silent and empty.

The papers on the desk were a mismatch of ledgers, accounts and personal letters. However one letter, half burned as though put to the candle flame, sits in the center of the desk. Radiza can make out the following.

Master Barthew,                                                                          .
I have received your correspondance regarding                and I have
agents arranged for its retrieval. The only thing that
the involvement of                                                                        .

Radiza was not familiar with anyone named Barthew.

Rifling through the drawers of the desk revealed nothing of interest, sheets of parchment, ink pens and old books.

Radiza turned to the chest.


First Floor, Study

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:19, Sat 15 May.

Radiza
 player, 26 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sat 15 May 2021
at 09:04
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Secret correspondence? About retrieving an item? Well, that might just be why she's here! And of course the name meant nothing to her. River District folk didn't know who was who in the circles of power. Still, she took the paper. The name might be useful.

Then it was time to look at the chest. It looked sturdy enough, and since this was someone who liked burning his letters, it might be trapped. A poison needle when the wrong key was inserted perhaps? A poison gas release? Or maybe she was overly paranoid. Either way, she looked over the chest from all sides before taking out her lockpicks.


11:04, Today: Radiza rolled 13 using 1d20+4.  Perception (Traps).
11:04, Today: Radiza rolled 11 using 1d20+5.  Thieves Tools.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 73 posts
Sat 15 May 2021
at 09:33
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Moving to the chest Radiza gave it a look over.

It took only a few moments but having checked over the chest itself Radiza crouched down in front of the lock and found something that shouldn't have been there. A thin wire was looped inside the lock and ran, hidden, behind the steel lock and into the chest. Without checking the trap would have certainly been triggered.

Drawing out her thieves tools she twisted two of them and with a small loop of the hook and a tug with the riffle the trap came loose, disarmed.

Now was the matter of getting the chest open.


First Floor, Study

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:04, Sat 15 May.

Radiza
 player, 27 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sat 15 May 2021
at 10:08
PROLOGUE - Radiza
She knew it! Congratulating herself on a job well done, and eagerly awaiting the reward surely awaiting her diligence, Radiza easily opened the lock.

12:07, Today: Radiza rolled 23 using 1d20+5.  Thieves Tools (open lock).
Dungeon Master
 GM, 75 posts
Sat 15 May 2021
at 10:28
PROLOGUE - Radiza
It took a mere blink of the eye before the lock clicked open and the chest lid was ajar.

Opening the chest Radiza found only a few items of interest. A sheet of parchment rolled up into a scroll with a black ribbon tied around it. An envelope without an address, it was opened and the unmarked wax seal broken, and a single small pouch which looked fairly full.

The rest of the items were more dry ledgers about finances and payments, a few expensive, old items of clothing which may fetch some coin, and a couple of rings with colored stones which Radiza immediately recognised as immitations and worthless.
Radiza
 player, 28 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sat 15 May 2021
at 10:45
PROLOGUE - Radiza
She wasn't about to spend hours admiring every item. Instead Radiza quickly stuffed the envelope and scroll into her satchel, followed by the pouch. She doubted a moment about the clothing, but waste not want not, she could always dump it later if something of more interest came along and thus they became part of her haul.

After a last quick scan of the room, she headed back for the other door..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 77 posts
Sat 15 May 2021
at 12:42
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza pocketed the envelope, scroll and pouch. The clothing, while an afterthought, was taken as well.

Seeing nothing else of interest she left the room to check the final door on this floor. As she approached she confirmed her earlier suspicions, there were two torches on a spiral stone staircase at the end of the hall.

She stood in front of the final door, no light came from the gaps and no sound came from within.

First Floor, Gaming Room

Radiza
 player, 29 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sat 15 May 2021
at 13:10
PROLOGUE - Radiza
So far the floor seemed abandoned. Radiza carefully opened the door...
Dungeon Master
 GM, 80 posts
Sun 16 May 2021
at 01:09
PROLOGUE - Radiza
As with the rest of the house the room was silent and empty.

Inside a smaller bedroom was set up. A double bed, drawers, bookshelf and recliner. This room was immaculately clean, the bed was made, carpeted floors clean. The only items visible were a picture frame and candle holder sitting on the drawers beside the bed.

First Floor, Second Bedroom

Radiza
 player, 31 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sun 16 May 2021
at 08:18
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Another giant bedroom. Alright. Perhaps this was a very big family. A quick round then. In moments she was opening the drawers and sifting through the contents, checking if the candle holder is of a precious material, looking behind the picture frame and under the bed.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 92 posts
Sun 16 May 2021
at 08:24
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The drawers were filled with female clothing all neatly folded away. None of it seemed too expensive but it was of good quality. Radiza had her selection of summer dresses, blouses, nightdresses, bonnet hats and emboridered cloaks.

Possibly more interesting was the picture frame, it held the portrait of a young human woman but the filigree frame appeared to be a mixture of bronze and gold. It was worth something at least. The brass candleholder was of little value.

The rest of the room was immaculately clean, nothing hidden as far as Radiza could find.
Radiza
 player, 33 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sun 16 May 2021
at 08:37
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The picture frame was added to her satchel. Then Radiza pawed softly for the stairs to go down..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 96 posts
Sun 16 May 2021
at 09:03
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Heading downstairs was uneventful. There was no light coming from the ground floor.

Across from the stairs Radiza could see a small sitting room against the far wall. Two lounge chairs and a table. A passageway branched off 10ft to her right.

Ground Floor, Staircase

Radiza
 player, 36 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sun 16 May 2021
at 09:11
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The lounge chairs offered no interest to Radiza, although it did suggest a drinking cabinet had to be around. Perhaps in the kitchen? These places had kitchens. Of note was that the stairs did not seem to continue. So perhaps there was no basement, or at least not a big one.

She padded forward to peek down the hall. As ever, her ears were perked and hunting for sounds, and her nose took in the scents. Had whoever lived here left for the pickup to happen?
Dungeon Master
 GM, 99 posts
Sun 16 May 2021
at 09:15
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Three doors were presented to Radiza as she peeked around the corner. One at the end of the hallway 20ft away, one in either side of the passage 5 ft away. Soft light was visible through the door to Radiza's right.

Ground Floor, Hallway

Radiza
 player, 37 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sun 16 May 2021
at 09:42
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The last door with light seemed like the last door where people might be so Radiza carefully checked it, then slowly opened it..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 102 posts
Sun 16 May 2021
at 09:51
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The room was quiet and as Radiza opened the door it revealed the kitchen of the house. A large room with hardwood floors stretched beyond her vision. A cooking fire was set in a brick oven, it was barely more than a small blaze but gave off dim light. A variety of vegetables were on one of the benches, cooking pans and utensils covered the other. A few barrels sat by the door.

Ground Floor, Kitchen

Radiza
 player, 39 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sun 16 May 2021
at 10:49
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza ducked into the kitchen, on the lookout for some smoked ham..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 105 posts
Mon 17 May 2021
at 03:14
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza stepped into the kitchen.

More barrels and some crates were at the end of the room. A door was in the far end 20ft away. There were scraps of food, sliced vegetables and some meat on the benchtop. it looked as though the remains of a prepared meal.

The barrels smelt of meat and opening one nearest the door Radiza almost got her wish, salted pork sat in the bottom of the barrel, a few salted pork hocks and a side of pork were all that remained in the barrel. The other barrels and crates held an assortment of fresh vegetables, salt and spices and salted meats.

Ground Floor, Kitchen

Radiza
 player, 41 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Mon 17 May 2021
at 11:36
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The pork was quickly wrapped in one of the items of clothing and added to the sack. Fine meat! What a treat!

Radiza's attention then turned to the door at the end. It should be a small room by her estimate, perhaps a pantry? Or perhaps it led to a dining room? Having a separate room for eating was of course ridiculous, but rich folk had their odd ways..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 115 posts
Tue 18 May 2021
at 08:23
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Defying expectations, when Radiza opened the door it revealed an entrance hall at the front of the building. She could see the front door from her position and a hall stand with a pile of letters and parchment lying on top.

A statue stood in the middle of the room.

Ground Floor, Entrance Hall

Radiza
 player, 42 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Tue 18 May 2021
at 09:37
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Continuing her exploration of the mansion, Radiza peeked around the corner and slipped into the entrance hall. This was a first for her. A room completely wasted? Or made to impress visitors she guessed? Like a temple? At any rate, the pile of letters and statue might give a clue who owned this place so she gave them a cursory examination. But she was here for the sort of loot that catapulted her notoriety, and there was no sign of anything that required keys so far, so she hurried on, guessing there would be a door on the other side of this room to open to the opposite side of the mansion..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 116 posts
Tue 18 May 2021
at 23:53
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza crossed the lobby and crept to the opposite door. There was a door in the center of the room connecting to the passage between the kitchen and, as she opened the door, the dining room.

The dining room held a long table almost the length of the room, chairs were situated around the table. Unlit torches were on the wall and the room was dark and quiet. At the far end of the room was a liquor cabinet.

Most notable was a half eaten meal on the far end of the table.

Ground Floor, Dining Room

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:54, Tue 18 May.

Radiza
 player, 44 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Wed 19 May 2021
at 08:29
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Did the brief look at the statue and pile of letters tell me anything?

Well then. Radiza was a little puzzled. There was nothing here that needed keys and by her count, she had now seen the entire house. She crossed the room and looked at the half-eaten meal. Did the owner leave in a hurry? Or did these rich bastards just leave their food to spill and for a servant to clean up come morning? Bah. To eat well and then leave food to rot was another thing to add to the long list of why Radiza didn't feel bad about stealing from these people. Speaking of which, the liquor cabinet looked promising. She could have some brandy with that pork..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 124 posts
Wed 19 May 2021
at 08:45
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Glad you reminded me, sorry I forgot that.

The letters were mostly about taxation, transport fees and tallys of ledgers. However, among the letters was personal correspondence addressed to a Baron Lurhman at this address. They appeared to come from family members, nieces, cousins and a son in law. The contents were not interesting, family drama, holidays, checking up on uncle.

The statue itself was carved from simple stone, it depicted a heroic eight foot figure thrusting a sword in the air. Many smaller figures were at the base of the statue looking up at the main figure. A plaque at the bottom reads'. 'Duty, Honor, Country.'

The meal inside the dining hall looked barely touched. Someone had sat down to eat but had not the time to even really start on the meal.

The liquor cabinet held many expensive looking spirits and liquors. All of them were opened and in various volumes. It was not likely anyone would buy half drunk bottles, but they could certainly be put to better use than sitting on a shelf.
Radiza
 player, 45 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Wed 19 May 2021
at 09:29
PROLOGUE - Radiza
With a touch, Radiza checked if the meal was still warm. Then she took the fullest bottle of brandy and added it to her spoils, again using the convenient clothing she took earlier to wrap it, so it wouldn't make sound or easily break by mistake.

Did a baron live here? She had imagined them in castles. Maybe the man had fallen on bad times? This might be what bad times for nobles looked like. They lost nothing of their arrogance or pretentiousness. Duty, Honor, Country indeed. Duty to themselves, their own honor, and the country they owned. Not the people, oh no.

That left the mystery of the keys to solve. At least she now knew the house was empty so she could move quicker. Perhaps there was a hidden compartment somewhere? This might take a while. Perhaps she should start with what she had. She took out the envelope, scroll and pouch she had looted from the chest above, and checked its contents. Perhaps there were more hints what she might be looking for..

This message was last edited by the player at 09:29, Wed 19 May.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 127 posts
Wed 19 May 2021
at 09:48
PROLOGUE - Radiza
The meal was not as cold as Radiza would expect if it was lying out for a day. To guess, it was an evening meal left unattended.

The pouch held an assortment of gold and silver pieces, 25 gold worth.

The letter was addressed to Lurhman.

Baron Lurhman,                                                                                                                              .

Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated. You are well aware of our organisation and know we       .
value secrecy and discretion. The item in question is an obsidian skull, no larger than a typical human    .
skull.                                                                                                                                              .
The item is being transported by the Thayans on the morn of Alturiak 15th. It's route is uncertain          .
however it will be leaving Athkatla by cart with a minor guard.                                                             .
I suggest contacting Rachel Thursin at the House of Iron and Gold if you need additional hands.              .
The object is priceless. Make sure you hire enough swords for the job.                                                   .

Good Fortune,                                                                                                                                    .
Haram Barthew                                                                                                                                  .

The scroll, unrolled held a charcoal drawing.


It is currently late in the evening of Alturiak 18th.
Radiza
 player, 46 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Wed 19 May 2021
at 12:58
PROLOGUE - Radiza
A gigantic haul in coin, enough to live a year on in some luxury, and promise for wealth eternal! Now Radiza's heart was thumping with excitement. As shivers coursed through her she tried to make sense of events. Apparently some folk called Thayans carried this skull. They left three days ago. This baron, whose house she was now in, was asked to get said skull. He likely hired some hands for the dirty work, because barons didn't carry out robberies in person. Then, today, some folk left the baron's address and two keys in a drop-off spot. She saw no sign of the skull, nor a ready explanation for the keys..

It was troubling. She felt so close, but something was missing. Two keys. This address. Likely the henchmen were to bring the skull here? Use the keys somehow? Had they received a letter on how to use those keys? And why had the baron left in a hurry? Because he was expecting the drop-off? That made little sense. Then he would have eaten normally.

She was missing something she guessed. But what she could look for was the use of the keys. She was likely looking for a hidden compartment, big enough to hold a skull. And so she began. Looking in every piece of furniture that the dimensions were correct, looking behind paintings, the statue, all the way back the way she came, to even look for loose floorboards and under the carpet..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 131 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 03:02
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza scoured the house, it was a straightforward process knowing that nobody was home. Working back the way she came the furniture was checked, drawers and cupboards opened, keys checked in keyholes. Back in the kitchen she dug through the crates and barrels and checked the oven then moved into the sitting room and stairs. The ground floor was complete as she worked back up the stairs and to the second bedroom. She felt along the carpets pulled clothes out of the drawers and checked the bottoms, emptied wardrobes and yet nothing else of value was found. A few small trinkets, hairbands, bracelets and cufflinks but only a few looked like they would be worth the time to sell.

She was back in the study checking the chest when she tested the keys and found that one of them fit. The blank key was used on the lock of the chest. Radiza, trusting her ability to pick the lock, had not considered it an option earlier. It took quite some time to so thoroughly search the building and it was as Radiza was flicking through the desk that she heard voices outside. They were hushed whispers which seemed to come from right below the study window. Mere seconds after she heard the voices the were two loud bangs and a squeal of metal then the shattering sound of glass breaking, someone was breaking into the house through the lobby windows!
Radiza
 player, 48 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Thu 20 May 2021
at 12:03
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza's ears turned towards the noise. Well well... what was this? Not a coincidence, that was certain. Was there a third faction involved, one that the baron decided to flee from? Or perhaps the people the skull was taken from had tracked this place down somehow. But the Tabaxi did not panic. She had a perfect escape route over the rooftops. She did not want to stand and look who it was. Her shadow could betray her against the window. Instead, she gave the desk one last look for hidden compartments or keyholes, and then would head for the bedroom window she had entered in..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 140 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 00:32
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Whoever was downstairs was making no effort to avoid being detected. A metal grate, presumably from the window clattered across the tiles in the lobby directly below the study.

Radiza quickly checked over the last of the desk and, confident there were no hidden compartments, left the study and returned to the back bedroom. As she reached the gaming room the steps of multiple creatures could be heard coming up the stairway. She had arrived at the window as voices began to echo throughout the stone building

"Place's already bin done over." One voice said, a light female voice speaking in hushed tones.

"Doesn't matter!" A raspy, older male voice curtly replied. "Find what we need. Anything that mentions the Baron."

Radiza heard a male voice calling from downstairs but couldn't make out the words.

"Go see what that idiot wants. I'll check this floor." The raspy man demanded.

"Yessir."

There was silence for a second before Radiza heard the incantation of spellcasting in a language she was not familiar with.
Radiza
 player, 50 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Fri 21 May 2021
at 12:14
PROLOGUE - Radiza
They moved fast, and knew what they wanted. There was no mention of the skull, interestingly enough. But this could still be the baron's employer, or the people he robbed from. The Thayans? Whoever they were. Or just maybe he had even more enemies, or these were some form of authority. One did answer in a formal way. Nothing a River District thug would say, that was for sure. And there was a mage. Expensive... Things were interesting, and her curiosity piqued, so Radiza went outside and hung from the wall, listening at the windows. If need be, she could be on the roof and gone in a second...

This message was last edited by the player at 12:19, Fri 21 May.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 147 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 12:38
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Radiza hung from beside the window and it was a couple of minutes before she heard any further voices from inside, echoing from within the stone halls. Radiza would guess they were in the gaming room, the carpet would not likely echo as much.

"Nothin' downstairs Sir." It was the female again.

"Yes. The place has been ransacked." The raspy man replied, "His chest is opened and anything important has been taken."

A few heavy steps were heard, then a gruff male voice continued. "An who woulda taken 'em?"

"Whoever took the keys stupid!" The woman sarcasticly replied.

"Enough!" The raspy voice reprimanded the others, "We should have never trusted the Guild. I will report this to Rafaam, he will need to make other arrangements." He continued but it sounded like his voice was further away, "You two check the place, inside out, upside down. Bring me anything you find."

"Wait. How do we upside down?" The male asked.

"Ugh. Shutup and help me move this furniture." The woman replied.
Radiza
 player, 51 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Fri 21 May 2021
at 13:10
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Another name. Rafaam. It didn't bring anyone to mind, but that was not surprising. These people moved in different circles. They sounded dangerous too. There was a moment's temptation to sell them her loot, but it was far more likely they would get rid of her to make sure she didn't gab. But most importantly, they knew about the keys so they must have known about the skull. But how did they know the address? The only thing Radiza could think of was that these people were with the ones who put the keys and address in the hiding spot. And they knew about the keys being missing, so they must've come back for that spot. And that likely meant there would be no delivery of the skull. Oh well. It was time to cut her losses anyway. She already had a magnificent haul. It was time to vanish.

Her claws easily dug into the wall as she quietly got to the roof, and vanished into the night on soft padded feet..

This message was last edited by the player at 12:00, Sat 22 May.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 159 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 11:16
PROLOGUE - Radiza
It was not far across the rooftops back to the River District and the makeshift shelter Radiza called home. The night had been interesting and even if she stopped right now, profitable. A bag of gold could set somebody up for a long time, even many somebodies. Although while the glint of gold always caught her eye Radiza pulled out the sheets of parchment again. The half burned letter didn't reveal much although it held a single name, Barthew, who Baron Lurhman appeared to be in correspondance with. The letter retrieved from the chest however showed promise, a priceless item was lost; the obsidian skull. What was lost could be found. But if Barthew, Haram Barthew if the letter was truthful, was concerned about who may have stolen it and recommended 'enough swords for the job' then this was not something Radiza could do on her own.

There was family, maybe; and there were the others, maybe. Neither of which should probably be involved in something like this. The former for the danger, the latter for the possiblity of them leaving her with a sliced throat in a gutter somewhere and taking the spoils for themselves. As she thought on the problem one more name stood out from the letter; Rachel Thursin. That was a name Radiza was not so much familiar with but had heard around certain circles. She knew of those who had quit more dangerous, less lawful work to join the Adventurer's Guild. Rachel was a name many mentioned as a woman who had the ability to arrange work, arrange contracts and arrange for skillful groups of competent mercenaries.
Radiza
 player, 52 posts
 Tabaxi Rogue
Sat 22 May 2021
at 20:08
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Rachel Thursin. It was very likely that Baron Lurhman got his hired help from her. If she was going to find out where that trinket was that might well be the passage to the good life, she needed to find out who they were, and what they knew. Perhaps this Rachel kept records. A ledger. Perhaps another nightly visit might be worth it, even though hitting a mercenary boss was daring. But they usually didn't expect someone to be brazen enough. Or so Radiza hoped.

But for now, the hunt was over, and the prey was caught. Radiza walked alley and roofs with equal ease now she was back in the River District, her home turf. Smells of the ocean intermingled with refuse and shit were welcomed her back, but she was at ease. She knew the rules of these streets. Huddled in her filthy and ragged cloak in the dark she might just be another vagrant, and the speed of her step didn't make her an easy mark. Even so, she knew which roofs would hold her weight and which wouldn't despite the dark. She had mapped them out long ago.

Finally, she reached home. It was a humble thing. It was atop a ramshackle building, well past its life expectancy. The only visible maintenance seemed to be some additional struts put in place to prevent the entire building from collapsing. The paint had long gone, and many shutters had been replaced with hammered boards or an iron bar left and right. But it had one redeeming quality; its roof was normally not accessible or even visible from the street, which made it ideal for her. She dug in her nails and hauled herself up in moments. And there was home. A simple shanty of wood and boards. Every bit she had taken up here herself, with some help from her family. A heavy curtain was its door and she had no windows, nor needed any. It had plenty of gaps for ventilation. The roof was reinforced with a vibrant collection of tiles to keep the rain out. As for the climate, well, she had many blankets and pillows for the cold. And in the heat everyone in the River District was in the same stew pot. At least on the roof she could catch a breeze. Here she dozed away the days, watching into the distance, often towards the ocean. That direction smelled better. Somewhere over there, far far away, was the home of her ancestors. Her parents had told her many tales of it and their people, the Tabaxi. Anyone from Athkatla would call them savages and barbarians, and pride themselves lucky to live in civilization. Radiza wasn't sure about that. Civilization had a way of presenting itself to be better then it actually was. Like a fat noble with too many jewels.

She pushed aside the curtain to her home, and hung up her cloak. a tiny table was in the corner, but no chairs. In fact, most of the little building was taken up by her pile of pillows and blankets. A few pots and kettles, as well as what little cutlery she had, was stashed on the opposite side. She cooked outside usually. Finally safe, Radiza piled her weapons and burglary tools on the table and took off her studded leather armor. Underneath she was sweating, but she had no water for washing. That would come tomorrow maybe. So she took off her clothes and hung them overhead from a string, so they and her fur could dry. She wrapped a blanket around herself against the night's breeze and sat on her pillows with her pouch. Tonight was a night for celebration. She took out the well-filled bottle of brandy, unstoppered it and liberally filled her wooden cup before putting it aside. Then she tore off a chunk of ham. Finally, with a sigh, she leaned back, letting her muscles relax. She stretched legs and tucked them in, then let morning slowly creep up on her, as she took small bites and sips, thinking of fortune and a better life..
Dungeon Master
 GM, 167 posts
Sun 23 May 2021
at 00:23
PROLOGUE - Radiza
Prologue Complete