Ricka Bellsmith.   Posted by Zag.Group: 0
Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 7 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Sun 27 Feb 2022
at 11:45
Ricka Bellsmith
[Just clarifying - Ricka is assessing the danger to be coming from someone lurking ahead of her on her intended path through the alley?  Also Ricka would like to use a Hero Point here!  To define the contents of the alley somewhat.  Let me know if I'm overstepping?]

Ricka slows her pace for a moment, assessing her options.  If there's one hard lesson the streets simply adored repeatedly teaching to scrawny undersized undernourished ten-year-old girls, it is: don't get in fights EVER.  Still though, she does want to know who it is that's got it in for her this particular morning.  One of the other kids in Vinefinger's crew, most likely, but who in particular?

There were only a couple of places in her next few steps someone could be concealing themselves: behind a tall rickety stack of empty wooden crates on one side of the alley, or behind the rubbish bins just opposite.  Which...  hmm.

Not a lot of time to decide, so she just seizes onto her vague semblance of a plan and flings it into action: another couple of steps, then she bolts towards the stack of crates and hurls her (minuscule) weight against it at what she hopes is just the exact proper angle to send it crashing downward and across the alley, pummeling the space behind it and the bins with planks and nails.

Then she backs off, ready to run back the way she came, once her plan either succeeds or fails.
Zag
 GM, 40 posts
Mon 28 Feb 2022
at 01:52
Ricka Bellsmith
This would not be overstepping even without spending the hero point.  The difference is that by spending the hero point, you'll actually be correct in that this is where the enemy is hiding.  If you hadn't, then he probably wouldn't be there, but the crashing of the crates might distract him a bit.

19:40, Today: Zag, on behalf of Ricka Bellsmith, rolled 23 using 1d20+7.  Acrobatics.
Yikes!


Ricka accelerates suddenly, reaching full speed in barely a second.  She makes a leap and drives a two-foot kick into the pile of crates at just the right point to bring the whole tower crashing down, then she continues her momentum into a flip and lands on her feet.  She hears, "Whoa! I ... FUCK!" from the hollow behind the crates, and recognizes the voice as Blavhert the Brat, one of the oldest boys in Vinefinger's gang and his unofficial second in command.

Ricka freezes for an instant, taking stock of the situation.  She has no illusions that she could beat Blavhert in a fair fight, but maybe now that she has the drop on him, she might ...  Then she hears, from higher up, probably on the roof, Vinefinger's voice, "Damn you boy!  You can't spring a trap on a little girl!?!  Ricka, just stay where you are, we need to talk this out."

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:53, Mon 28 Feb 2022.

Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 10 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Mon 28 Feb 2022
at 02:27
Ricka Bellsmith
"Talk what out, you creepy fucker!  Talk out why you sent your dumb thug to beat me up?!"  Her knife is in her left hand as she yells up at him, and she makes sure the path is clear out of the alley and into the market crowd: she hadn't yet found a lot of tangible benefits to being her size, but the ability to quickly get lost in a crowd was one of the few.  In her head she's already planning out the route she'll take to the Fat Chandler's shop.
Zag
 GM, 44 posts
Tue 1 Mar 2022
at 03:48
Ricka Bellsmith
Ricka turns to head towards the crowd, but Iarain, another member of Vinefinger's gang, steps into the alley at the last point before relative freedom.  She always liked the boy.  He is big, and a little slow, but reasonably kind.  At least, he would never participate in the bullying of the smaller kids that Blavhert and his crew were so fond of.  The big lummox looks confused as Ricka approaches.  He points up at Vinefinger and mumbles, "You're s'pose to wait.  He said ..."  The lad carries a light club on his belt, but he hasn't pulled it out.  As Ricka approaches, he stands with his mouth agape.
Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 12 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Tue 1 Mar 2022
at 11:24
Ricka Bellsmith
"Supposed to wait to get smacked around by Blavhert?  Yeah, no thanks.  You gonna try to stop me?"  Her knife is still in her left hand, though she's not brandishing it in anything resembling a threat, just holding it at her side.  Ricka keeps moving, dodging right on past him if she's able, clearly having no intention of stopping for a conversation or even slowing down, fully intent on reaching the safe anonymity of the morning market crowd.
Zag
 GM, 48 posts
Tue 1 Mar 2022
at 14:57
Ricka Bellsmith
I was really expecting you to go with a bluff, here.  Unfortunately, his response is going to be to stick with his original instructions, then, which is just to keep you in the alley.  Since you said you were dodging, I'll let you roll a feint, first, then we'll roll for his grapple and your defense to it.  For the feint, roll a bluff check against 10 + his BAB + his wisdom modifier, which means it's a DC of 9.  If that's successful, I'll give you +4 on the CMD roll (which you should also go ahead and roll).  Also, make an acrobatics roll to avoid an attack of opportunity.

The big lad is clearly surprised that Ricka is not following Vinefinger's instructions, but seeing her charge towards him, he gets on his toes in a ready position and holds his arms out a bit from his sides, ready to grab her.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:18, Tue 01 Mar 2022.

Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 13 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Tue 1 Mar 2022
at 22:24
Ricka Bellsmith
16:15, Today: Ricka Bellsmith rolled 27 using 1d20+7.  Ricka feints!  DC 9.
16:17, Today: Ricka Bellsmith rolled 30 using 1d20+15.  CMD roll vs Iarain's grapple.
16:18, Today: Ricka Bellsmith rolled 14 using 1d20+7.  Acrobatics to dodge Iarain's AoO.


Darting and dodging, Ricka does her nimble best to flicker her way past Iarain, making for the relative safety of the crowd.  Assuming she makes it, her knife promptly goes back into the little sheath in the sleeve of her jacket, and she melts into the currents of people, hopefully never to be seen by Vinefinger and his goons again.
Zag
 GM, 55 posts
Wed 2 Mar 2022
at 04:01
Ricka Bellsmith
Because you have to go through his space, the acrobatics roll for AoO has a DC of 5 + Opponent’s Combat Maneuver Defense, which is well over 14.
21:44, Today: Zag, for the NPC Iarain, rolled 6,5 using d20+3,d3+2.  AoO fist (non-lethal)

Looks up Grapple rules:  Oh, My mistake.  You don't roll CMD, you just calculate it -- that's why it starts at 10.  So your CMD is 11 normally, 15 because you feinted successfully.  However, because he doesn't have improved grapple, you get an AoO on him when he tries to grapple you.  (If you damage him, it hurts him and is also a penalty to the grapple.)
21:50, Today: Zag, on behalf of Ricka Bellsmith, rolled 6,1 using d20+3,d4-2.  Dagger AoO vs. grappler.
LOL.  Neither of you can hit a thing.

21:51, Today: Zag, for the NPC Iarain, rolled 13 using 1d20+3.  grapple.
Good thing you feinted successfully.  :-)  I was considering increasing the bonus for your natural 20 there, but didn't need to.


Ricka runs at the huge simpleton.  He sees she has her dagger out, so when she enters his space he half-heartedly swings at her weapon arm, but it doesn't connect.  Remembering his job, he reaches with both arms to gather her in a bear hug, but suddenly she darts the other way.  He turns, trying to catch up with her, and grabs nothing but air.  In seconds, she has disappeared into the crowd.  "Ricka!  Come back!" he calls out plaintively.

Do you want to do anything special on your approach to Markos the Fat's Chandlery?

Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 14 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Wed 2 Mar 2022
at 12:21
Ricka Bellsmith
Ricka wouldn't really have wanted to actually cut Iarain anyways.  Blavhert she'd gladly have knifed if it he'd forced her into it, but she's glad Iarain hadn't been able to put her in that position.

Ricka does not come back, despite Iarain's plea.  When she's safely just another human-shaped form in a muddled sea of human-shaped forms in nondescript drab, she takes the quickest route she knows of the chandlery.  Once she's close by though, she'll get a little bit more circumspect, traveling the last block or two via back alleys and rooftops, not wanting implicate Master Whyneks's contact by being seen approaching or entering his shop.  She checks her path behind her more than once against being followed, and if she's reasonably confident no one is on her tail, she'll enter the shop via the back alley door.

Here's a couple of these if necessary!

06:20, Today: Ricka Bellsmith rolled 23 using 1d20+5.  Perception.
06:20, Today: Ricka Bellsmith rolled 19 using 1d20+5.  Perception.

Zag
 GM, 57 posts
Thu 3 Mar 2022
at 00:41
Ricka Bellsmith
Ricka knows that Markos the Fat's shop is just a block off of Market Square.  She circles around, then climbs easily (taking a 10) up to the roof of the Deaf Pegasus, which is in the far corner of the same block as the Chandlery.  Peeking over the pub's sign into Market Square, she spots Vinefinger giving talking to a group of his crew.  He gestures towards two boys and points to the east, then to a couple of girls and points northwest.  It is clear he is just organizing a broad search.

She hops across to an adjacent roof, looks carefully in the alley, drops to the ground, and slips quietly to Markos' establishment.  The back door has only a latch, which she opens by sliding her knife between the door and frame.

Inside, the smell of wax is pervasive, with only a lesser odor of herbs and perfumes.  She is in the back room, where there are rows and rows of candles hanging from bars attached to the walls.  In one corner is a large cauldron with a fire box beneath it.  Along the side wall are stacked crates, most painted with a yellow stylized bee on the side.  Opposite that is a door to the shop itself.  It has no latch.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:43, Thu 03 Mar 2022.

Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 15 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Thu 3 Mar 2022
at 01:28
Ricka Bellsmith
Maybe a bit overcautious, Ricka will just wait in the back room for a while, giving a bit of time for Vinefinger's search pattern to move out of the area.  For maybe half an hour, she lurks quietly, browsing curiously around the room and amongst the drying candles, happy to be out of sight, listening for any approach to either the door out into the alley or into the front of the shop.  Once she's assured herself that anyone still in the neighborhood looking for her has likely moved on, she'll just walk into the front of the shop like she has every reason to belong there, looking for Markos.
Zag
 GM, 60 posts
Thu 3 Mar 2022
at 03:38
Ricka Bellsmith
After waiting about a half an hour, the inner door opens and a huge man steps through.  He is well over six feet and he has a belly that is nearly as wide and fat as Ricka is tall.  He immediately spots the girl, darting his eyes directly to her.  After letting the door close, he turns to her with a somewhat amused smile and asks, "Well, hello, Miss orange mane.  Who are you?"
Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 16 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Thu 3 Mar 2022
at 07:42
Ricka Bellsmith
Ricka clenches her jaw; she'd always felt it was impolite for people to point out her "condition."  But she didn't want to just openly scowl at the man if she was going to be needing his help.

"I'm Ricka.  A friend said I should come to you if I didn't trust the night sky."
Zag
 GM, 61 posts
Thu 3 Mar 2022
at 14:51
Ricka Bellsmith
The big man tenses, and Ricka realizes that he is not just a big bowl of blubber -- there is significant muscle holding up that weight.  Without taking his eyes off of her, he pulls from the cauldron a large ladle that is covered in wax.  "Say again," he hisses, teeth clenched, "properly."
Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 17 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Thu 3 Mar 2022
at 15:17
Ricka Bellsmith
A moment of confused alarm, both at the man's instant shift in demeanor from jovial amusement to an apparent threat of physical violence, and at his very insistent reprimand: hadn't she said it correctly?  She pondered back to the note.  "... don't?"  She frowns up at him.  Apparently verb tenses are very important in the candle-making business.  "Don't trust the night sky."
Zag
 GM, 63 posts
Fri 4 Mar 2022
at 05:04
Ricka Bellsmith
Marko relaxes a bit, and he puts the ladle back in the cauldron.  "How hot are you?" he asks.
Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 19 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Fri 4 Mar 2022
at 09:38
Ricka Bellsmith
"There was people looking for me out in the market maybe half an hour ago but they might have moved off by now.  I'm pretty sure nobody tracked me in here."
Zag
 GM, 67 posts
Sat 5 Mar 2022
at 18:31
Ricka Bellsmith
The big man asks Ricka what she did to ensure she wasn't followed.  When she describes the steps she took and how she saw Vinefinger doling out the search pattern, he nods and says, simply, "good."  He drops a bar on the back door, and flips a sturdy latch over it on each side; Ricka realizes she never would have been able to enter that way if the bar had been in place.

Markos the Fat then bends his massive bulk down on one knee in front of the large cauldron.  Grabbing two large rags to protect his hands, he grips the firebox below it and pulls, the entire cauldron moving with it.  He has only moved it a few inches when the bright chime of a bell comes from the front room of the shop.  As Markos laboriously works his way back to standing, Ricka can hear the arrogant voice of Blavhert the Brat, "Yo, fat man.  Ya got a customer out here."  The chandler waves Ricka to where she can't possibly be seen through the door, then opens it and walks out.

Only slightly muffled by the door, Blavhert's voice is clear.  "Have yeh seen a terrified little squirt of a girl, about so tall, with dirty orange hair?  Vinefinger wants to have a few words with her, that's all."

There's a short pause, then Markos rasping out, "No.  No.  Nobody like that.  What's she done?"

"That's none o' your business, fat man.  Maybe I oughta have a look around, like maybe she snuck in and is hidin'."

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:32, Sat 05 Mar 2022.

Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 20 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Sat 5 Mar 2022
at 23:05
Ricka Bellsmith
... my hair is not orange, shitface.

But he wasn't wrong about the other part.  She had snuck in, and she is hiding.  Having scoped out the room for half an hour, Ricka would be already familiar with the choicest spot for a very small person to secret herself away, and she makes for it now.  Or rather, whatever was waiting to be revealed underneath the cauldron might be the best of the best hiding places, but she had little confidence that she'd be able to move the huge tub of metal herself at all; the idea of being able to do it quickly and quietly seemed flatly preposterous.  So the second best spot would have to do; she climbed into the crate way back in the corner behind all the other identical crates, pulling the lid closed behind her as best she can.

17:04, Today: Ricka Bellsmith rolled 29 using 1d20+9.  Stealth.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:46, Sun 06 Mar 2022.

Zag
 GM, 71 posts
Sun 6 Mar 2022
at 17:46
Ricka Bellsmith
I've been trying to think of what might be in barrels in a chandlery.  I had described earlier some crates, most of which have a stylized yellow bee painted on.  My thinking is that this is how beeswax arrives.  I could see the oils used for scent coming in small barrels, but they wouldn't open, they would have a spigot like a wine barrel; and they would be too small to get into one.  I'm going to edit your post to say "crates;" I hope that's OK with you.

Ricka pulls at the top of a crate in the corner.  After one sharp tug it opens, and she sees that it is filled with rolls of beeswax.  Grabbing two at a time, she stacks them in a neat pyramid on the next crate over, until there is barely room for her to squeeze in and close the lid.

Meanwhile, she can hear Markos stalling.  "Oh no," his voice booms out.  "I let you back there and either you rob me back there or I go with you and your friend robs me out here."

"I'm not going to steal a bunch of smelly candles, you old blob.  Get ... out ... of ..." and the rest is lost in sounds of struggle.  The door opens just as Ricka lets the lid down above her.  She is quite pleased with how it closes without even a sound.

After half a minute, Markos speaks again.  "See?  No one in here.  Now get out of my shop."

A few minutes later, Markos pulls the lid of the crate and helps Ricka climb out, not that she needs it.  "Nice," he says, "good hiding spot.  I found you so quickly only because I knew there was no stack of wax rolls here, but it looks quite natural."  He leads her over to the cauldron.  "You probably could have gotten in here, but it would have been a tight squeeze." he says, as he shows her how the wall behind the cauldron swings back, revealing a small hiding space dug below the building.  By lying on her back behind the cauldron and pulling her knees to her chest, Ricka could have rolled into the space and almost been able to stand up inside it.

Markos takes on a lecturing tone.  "When you're looking for secret doors, don't look for a door, look for scrapes on the floor that don't belong, something that can become a handle, or a gap between wall and floor."  He tugs the wall back into place, grabbing a bit of the baseboard that has just enough of a ridge to get fingertips behind.  "See this?  No scrapes, because the door only swings back.  And the baseboard hides the gap between the wall and the floor.  But you can see that the baseboard has a bit of an odd shape, so I can grab it."  He seems very proud of his construction, and it's clear he wanted to show it off to someone.

(You may assign one of your next level's skill points to Perception right now, giving you an extra bonus now which is then normalized when you next level up.)

He straightens up.  "We have to wait until dark to get you out of here.  You can't stay in the hidey-hole all day, but I can stall anybody long enough for you to get in there, or you can go back to the crate, if you prefer.  Otherwise, make yourself comfortable."  He grabs the wax rolls that Ricka had stacked up and tosses them one by one into the cauldron.
Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 23 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Sun 6 Mar 2022
at 21:22
Ricka Bellsmith
Ricka nods:  "Where will we go when it's dark?  How will we get there?"

Until dusk, she'll spend some time scouting the room down to its last finest detail, and some time studying the secret hidey-hole and its operation and construction, and probably a lot more time being bored out of her skull.
Zag
 GM, 78 posts
Mon 7 Mar 2022
at 00:16
Ricka Bellsmith
Ricka spends the rest of the day, bored out of her skull.  At one point, the back door is rattled, like someone trying to come in, and a knife even slides in to undo the latch, but it can not move the bar that holds the door in place.  Eventually the would-be sneakthief gives up.  The bell on the entrance door chimes frequently, and Ricka prepares to hide herself again, but these are only normal customers of the chandler.  He comes into the back several times to grab more stock, and always gives her a smile and a nod.

Once night falls, Markos opens the back door, looks both ways, plus up above, and ushers Ricka outside, telling her to wait.  She can hear him latch the door and drop the bar, and a dozen heartbeats later he appears at the side of the alley.  After a few twists and turns, they arrive at the side door to the residence for the huge temple to Zeus.  Levician Whyneks is waiting just inside the door, wringing his hands, and he looks visibly relieved to see Ricka safely arrived.

"The underworld has been buzzing," Whyneks explains.  "They say that someone in Vinefinger's crew stole all the coin from his safe, and that's why he wants to see her dead.  We need to get you off the streets, and probably cut and dye your hair; it's too recognizable.  You'll be safe enough in here tonight, but tomorrow we'll have to get you changed and then find a room for you."
Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 25 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Mon 7 Mar 2022
at 01:48
Ricka Bellsmith
Ricka had been about to protest at being accused of thievery she hadn't actually committed, but the Spymaster's stated agenda startled the complaints right out of her mouth.  "... can I be a blonde?"  She'd always been intensely jealous of blondes.

Otherwise she's perfectly content to just follow along with whatever Markos and Master Whyneks think is the best plan: this level of heat is completely new to her.  The worst she'd endured to this point are the occasional foot chases to elude one of the more energetic members of the city watch; being blood hunted by people on her own side of the law, who actually knew what they were doing, was another matter completely, and she is not too proud to acknowledge that she's in way over her head.
Zag
 GM, 82 posts
Mon 7 Mar 2022
at 14:47
Ricka Bellsmith
Whyneks smiles at the girl, but shakes his head.  "Blonde, eh?  We could, once or twice, but the elixir to make you blonde is very harsh on the hair.  Since we will have to repeat whatever we do every week or so, to avoid your red roots showing, we'd make you bald within a few months.  I'll cut it short and make it dark, but then we can get you a blonde wig.  You have the sort of expressive face, that you could be very talented at disguise, and we should get started on training that right away."

He pauses in thought, and finally continues, "We need to get you a place to stay, here in the temple.  Starting today, you'll work for me, but we will have to maintain a cover somewhere in the temple where you will have enough freedom.  Zeus won't work for you.  The Father is the most powerful of the gods, but the women in his service do not have much freedom, and, frankly, there are, umm, issues.  Demeter would work, you'd be going out with priestesses to bless fields and the like, so disappearing for days at a time would be reasonable.  You could work in Poseidon's temple here, since you'd often be off traveling.  Can you swim?  Athena?  No, they are too, you know, religious.  And Hera is a big no.  You don't want to work for Erastoo.  Besides pressuring you to get a tattoo, which would hurt your disguise ability, she's a little, well, ... just no.  Oh!  Maybe Hermes.  They don't have a lot of girls working there, but some.  And you'd be running around all over the country carrying messages.  Maybe that's just the thing for a little trouble-maker like you."

He finally takes a breath, but before Ricka even has a chance to ponder such an important decision, he says, "Come on, let's get you transformed."

Deacon Whyneks takes a small pair of shears from a cabinet.  After seating the girl in center of the room and snipping away for a while, he announces success.  "There you are.  If you part it on the side, you could easily pass for a boy, but if you just go with bangs, it's a cute girl's cut."  Rummaging through the same cabinet, he pulls out a bottle of dye and starts massaging it into her hair.  He seems completely cavalier about it staining his hands, his floor, or his chair, though he does warn her to be still when a head shake splashes a little of it on to his jacket.  He uses a towel to dry her head and a brush to even out the dye.

Finally, he brings her a silver mirror for her to appreciate his effort.  It's ... OK.  She certainly does look different.  Her light eyebrows stand out jarringly, and he wipes an inky part of the towel over them to stain them, as well.  Drips of dye on her face are smeared but not quite cleaned by a cleanish corner of the towel, and he instructs Ricka to wash her face at the bowl on his nightstand.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:56, Tue 08 Mar 2022.

Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 26 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Tue 8 Mar 2022
at 10:35
Ricka Bellsmith
An enthused nodnod at the suggestion that she should masquerade as a novice Hermetic; as far as she was concerned the rest of the gods didn't even deserve her fake service.  What had any of them ever done for her?  Not a damn thing, that's what.

She just marvels at her image in the mirror for way too long: she has probably the most horrible hack of a cut-and-color ever given to a human female, and she -loves- it.  People who look like this naturally must have it -so- easy, she's certain.  Melting into crowds like mist in the morning, nobody giving them a second glance.  Heaven.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:40, Tue 08 Mar 2022.