When last we saw our heroes, they were spending their time on the ferry coming up with a wild and crazy plot to find out the “little ogre” that your subcontractors told you about.
Dragonhawk: Jamshid and said subcontractors were sleeping off some mild sea-sickness in the wagons.
Grok: No way. Ogres don’t get sick
Now, you are at a large market on the biggest island, buying things like “pirate” hats and clothing that you think would look right on your bandit personae
Dragonhawk: ((The one ogre did say he didn’t like the ocean much ))
- Seiankornai isn’t buying pirate hats and such, as he can’t really pose as a bandit. He will pose as the heroic drake who comes to rescue his friend(s) and defeat the bandtis when the time is right
- Grok is buying two eye patches
- Vari doesn’t quite get why everyone is buying all this clothing
You have, incidentally, learned to tell the new ogres apart: the one that talks too much is Crun; he’s strong even for an ogre but, well, he’s the type to try and WEAR two eye patches. And then wonder why he can’t hit anything in the next fight.
- Thurirl does not buy anything. If there’s a dwarf hiring the “bandits”, he’ll be recognized more than likely.
- Grok is wearing two eye patches when he gets them.
Ruk is the other; he’s not exactly smart but he’s at least wiser than his companion and has a fairly good sense of when to shut up. Oh, and he haggles like a gypsy. He’s responsible for the two of them getting paid nearly double what you all are getting.
- Grok stumbles around into things while he experiments with two eyepatches
- Thurirl manages to dodge Grok’s stumbling.
Malaina: “At this rate, we are going to have to give away our pay just to repair or replace whatever Grok destroys…”
Grok: ((let Ruk haggle it down. It will be cheap then)
Seiankornai: “We really ought to negotiate a better deal on these jobs. Not Jamshid, though, or else we’d be working for free.”
- Crun imitates Grok’s style until he falls through a market tent and Ruk hauls him back to the wagons.
Ruk: “Not attack traders any more, stupd, work for them now!”
Crun: “Who attacking traders? Not my fault they put tent in middle of pathway.”
- Jessaila is shopping!
Jessaila: Yay shopping!
- Malaina gives Jess a weird look
Crun: ((you can use your stash money in this city, so if anyone wants to make purchases of notable size, now’s your chance. We’ll move on in 10 minutes or so, I’m hoping our last player will come on soonish.))
- Seiankornai sighs at the two ogres, and at the elf, loading him up with everyone’s purchases like a common pack mule.
- Vari being loaded up as well, but is used to it
Jessaila: ((Who, me? I plead the fifth.))
Seiankornai: "So where are we going to start trying to attract teh attentions of this bandit hire-er?
Malaina: “Thats a good question.”
- Malaina fiddling with her hair
- Seiankornai is quite ready to go on to the next ferry and unload all the stuff
Isabis: “Well, practicalities dictate we start in Tahr Muan, since that is where our current contract ends.”
Thurirl: “Logically, most businessmen of ill repute will sequester themselves within the least attractive and most dangerous parts of any city.”
- Jessaila picks out some alternate clothes which would look appropriate for a gaunt elf bandit.
Seiankornai: “Mmhmm, can’t really dodge out of it and go on this other quest.”
Isabis: “We can’t exactly run off to play double-bandits when we’re supposed to be guarding the caravan.”
Isabis: “Even if it is related.”
Malaina: “So we just need to find the seediest places here to get information.”
Thurirl: “Indeed. Though I would advise being as discrete as possible.”
- Jessaila immediately thinks of the farmer’s co-op.
Malaina: “Thurirl, you are the master of being discrete. But remember who we have.” gestures over to Grok and the other two ogres
Thurirl: “If you prefer, I could attempt to infiltrate their confidence and extract the information, so that your faces are not passed on to the next city.”
Seiankornai: That would be good, Thurirl."
Malaina: “Jess, what are you thinking about?”
Malaina: “You have that scheming look about you.”
Marketplace: You can get an appropriate bandit disguise for about 10s
Jessaila: “Uh… puns.”
Jessaila: “Sorry, you said ‘seediest places’ and I thought of the farmer’s co-op. Where they sell seeds.”
- Malaina shakes her head at her
Brom did in fact sell some seeds to the farmers’ co-op; the latest hybrids from the valley.
Jessaila: “Actually, I was thinking I ought to try to get some new clothes, too.”
Now he’s buying salt to fill the wagon back up with.
Malaina: ((So are we all buying bandit disguises?))
- Seiankornai stares blankly at Jess for a moment, “You already got a load of clothing!”
Marketplace: ((just whomever is going to pose as bandits))
Jessaila: ((I don’t know who else is going to do so.))
Malaina: “Yea Jess, why do you need to buy more?”
Marketplace: ((don’t recall myself, except not-Thurirl, since you were going to have him pose as victim I think?))
- Malaina never got why women had ot buy so many things
Thurirl: ((not me… I’m pretty sure Thurirl has done business with the dwarves, often enough to stick in their memories…))
Jessaila: “I only have three sets of clothes. For any normal humanoid female, that’s not all that much.”
Seiankornai: ((the humans and the elf should be able to pose pretty well))
Malaina: “Really? Three seems like too much to be carrying around.”
Seiankornai: “Who cares? Go naked. Nothing wrong with that.”
- Malaina glares at him and folds her arms
- Vari glares at Seian for making Mala upset
- Seiankornai demonstrates his drake point of view
Jessaila: “In your culture, that’s true. In ours, it’s not.”
Seiankornai: “Bah, humans and elves.”
Isabis: “Your culture counts on people having scales. We don’t.”
Seiankornai: “Fine, moving on…”
- Seiankornai may or may not have had arguments in the past with humans about clothing and he still doesn’t get it
Isabis: “Well, I don’t think my current clothing says ‘bandit’ as well as it says ‘scholar’, so I’d probably better find something else if I’m going to be play acting.”
Malaina: “What about mine?”
- Isabis hunts around the cheap end of the bazaar and finds some clothing with just the right touch of almost-but-not-quite fitting and excessive sturdeyness
Jessaila: “Yours says… um, sunchaser dragon rider.”
- Malaina rubs the back of her neck
Malaina: “I guess we better find some bandit-y type cloths.”
Jessaila: “You’re dressed too well for a bandit.”
Jessaila: “Bandits are desperate sorts. Poor.”
Malaina: “Fine, you pick something out for me then.”
- Malaina come to regret saying that
- Jessaila thinks for a few minutes.
- Isabis picks up an overlarge shirt that was probably comissioned by someone wealthy and then rejected for poor workmanship.
Isabis: “It’s cheap yet flash, and you can wear it right over your armor.”
- Isabis is half-teasing
Isabis: ((make that cheap yet flashy))
Malaina: “See if you can get Grok to wear it, I am sure he likes being flashy.”
- Jessaila shops the market’s bargin bin and gets some very thin and hole-filled brown trousers (for free!) and matches it with a ratty dark-green skirt and tunic for Mala.
- Malaina gives Jess a look
- Jessaila adds in an old hooded leather poncho which is functional, but has seen better days.
Isabis: “I’m not sure it’s that big.”
Grok: W “It fit with armor?”
Malaina: “I hope that skirt is for Isabis because I don’t do anything that doesn’t cover my legs.”
Jessaila: “There you go!”
- Isabis can’t speak woanish, but if someone translates, will point out that it will not fit over Grok’s armor, as he is several sizes larger than Malaina
- Jessaila does indeed point this out.
Isabis: “Tell him he probably doesn’t need a disguise unless he wants one. People are so paranoid about ogre bandits around here they probably won’t think of anything else.”
- Jessaila translates.
Grok: W “Grok not want to be not-Grok.”
Seiankornai: W “But it’s sneaky and subtle and will let you get to our enemies to SMASH THEM GOOD!”
- Jessaila suggests to Grok that this plan, once Grok’s part in this plot is revealed, will doubtless enhance Grok’s growing reputation in the legend of legends.
Jamshid par-Bahadur has connected.
Isabis: “We could go for irony and let him be part of the group that’s playing ‘sunchasers stalking the bandit queen’…or are we not doing that part anymore?”
Jessaila: “I thought we were going to do that part, yes.”
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: While Jamshid was sleeping off some motion sickness in the wagons, the rest of the group spend the first ferry ride plotting to find the first agent that is disrupting trade by posing as bandits and trying to get him to hire them
Thurirl: “I am quite capable of stalking if it proves necessary.”
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: Now people are buying bandit disguises (10s) and whatever else they feel the need of in the market of a largish city. Then there will be another ferry ride or two, then you get paid for caravan duty, then you go bandit-hirer-hunting
- Jessaila mutters to herself “Everybody wants to play the good guy…”
- Malaina pets Jess’ shoulder
Malaina: "I’m still not wearing the skirt
Grok: W “Grok can’t be bad guy. Good guys no win then.”
Jessaila: “You don’t want to wear the skirt? What’s wrong with it?”
Seiankornai: W “Sure they can, because you’ll eventually turn into a good guy.”
Malaina: “….It’s a skirt.”
Malaina: “You can’t run or move around in a skirt.”
Isabis: “Her poncho will cover the holes in the trousers anyway.”
Grok: W “But others might not survive bad guy Grok”
Jessaila: “You just need to be practiced at it. But I suppose it’ll work with just the poncho.”
- Thurirl wears the barest hint of offense upon his face.
- Seiankornai shakes his head at the ogre
- Isabis murmurs “at least he cares about whether we survive. That’s something.”
Jessaila: “Well, I’ve got my costume, too.”
Seiankornai: ((however, I’d bet Seian would win on a one-on-one fight with Grok :P ;) ))
Grok: ((doubt it))
Isabis: ((is everyone ready to move on?))
Malaina: ((Yea, after we get what we need))
- Jamshid par-Bahadur tries to decide (Knowledge check 4) whether his current traveling outfit (travel-stained caftan over boiled leather armour) is sufficient to pass as a bandit…
Seiankornai: ((I am))
Jessaila: ((Dunno, I bet he could, so long as Seian stayed in the air.))
- Jamshid par-Bahadur isn’t really sure, so he asks for advice from his companions
Isabis: “Probably. It looks foreign around here, so that’s a plus more or less.”
Seiankornai: “You look fine, Jamshid.” Says the drake who really doesn’t understand clothing in a human sense
- Jessaila has something that definitely looks like the crappy sort of fashion the gaunt elven sorts favor.
Isabis: ((last minute comments? Anyone want to make gather information rolls, or whatever this system calls it?))
Jessaila: « 1d20+9 = 18 + 9 = 27 » Investigate
Jamshid par-Bahadur: Investigate 6
Jessaila tries out her disguise, and learns the location of a good place to get bad jobs in Tahr Muan. She also hears several rumors about the “little” ogre, which place him all over the islands; apparently he’s been moving around, but it sounds like he might be hitting the capital island a few days after you do.
Arxhar: Investigate 15
Jamshid learns that people around here really love the ocean, which isn’t exactly a point of similarity. He does get a trial dose of a remedy for sea-sickness, however.
Axhar learns the name of a guy in Tahr Muan that sells things that don’t belong to him – it’s not quite the kind of contact you had in mind, but it’s an actual name, and might be a place to start.
- Arxhar passes the name on to the others
- Grok asks the ogre hirelings “Where we go in big city?”
Crun: “Oh, go by docks, looks for the people with dirty swords, they always near right kind of employer.”
- Grok pokes Seian and relays this information
Ruk: “We hired on land, by coast north from swamp.”
Grok: (Dat too.))
Seiankornai: “Near the docks, got it.”
- Ruk doesn’t consider these piddly islands to be proper land
Two ferry rides and one more market stop later, you are on the capital island. You are paid 200s each (excluding the ogre mercenaries, since they were hired by you not the Ganren League).
Seiankornai: “MONEY! Let’s see if there are cows here, Vari.”
The news from your employer is more of the same; bandits and wild animals are running wild around the trade routes, and everyone agrees that the plains goblins have never been so active at raiding.
- Jessaila thinks it’s time that someone nipped this chaos in the bud.
Seiankornai: “So you’ll be going to that place to get bad jobs, now?”
- Ruk scours what he calls the “cleaner hiring houses” for rewards postings relevant to his current job. After all, it’s one thing not to take a second job before the first one is done, and something else entirely to miss a chance to get paid twice just because of being lazy in town.
Jessaila: ((We got paid twiiiice, we got paid twiiiice…))
- Jessaila looks at Seian. “Yeah, I think it’s time to put on the mask and get in contact with our opponent.”
Ruk: gather info « 1d20+3 = 9 + 3 = 12 »
- Ruk doesn’t find anything and comes back to the inn grumpy
Crun: gather info « 1d20+3 = 14 + 3 = 17 »
- Crun finds someone offering 500s for information leading to the arrest of someone transporting wolves to the big island
- Crun is insufferable in his victory over Ruk, especially since Ruk likes to think he’s better at finding contracts and so forth.
Ruk: “Have to find out first. Short guy transport ogres to island, not dogs.”
- Jessaila is learning somehow to think of the ogres as relatively normal.
Ruk: ((I suspect the keyword is “relative”))
Seiankornai: ((and I think it’s because they’re played more normal than otherwise would be :P ;) ))
You end up with three days more-or-less downtime, before those keeping their ears to the rumor mill start hearing about the little ogre again.
Jessaila: ((I need any more investigate checks?))
- Seiankornai keeps a low profile this time, and doesn’t do any facny acrobatics for show
Ruk: ((yes please))
- Vari sticking close to Mala
Jessaila: « 1d20+9 = 8 + 9 = 17 » Investigate
- Grok tries to help out by intimidating people for information. « 1d20+11 = 2 + 11 = 13 »
Thurirl: « 1d20+7 = 18 + 7 = 25 » Investigate
Seiankornai: ((intimidate « 1d20+8 = 20 + 8 = 28 »))
On the fourth day, Jessaila hears that there’s another ogre in town.
Seiankornai: “Grok, that isn’t how you intimidate an informat. This is how you intimidate an informant” (spending AD if applicable)
- Jessaila cultivates her new underworld contacts to see where this ogre is.
Jessaila: ((Oooh. Nice one, Seian.))
Armed with that information and the contacts you already found – the fence, the grey hiring hall’s location, and your “subcontractors” – Thurirl is able to pick out the critical information from the general babble on the street and get you pointed at the right dingy back-alley.
- Jessaila gets dressed up in her new dress-up bandit clothes.
Seiankornai manages to intimidate the local law enforcement into leaving the grey market alone for one day so the sunchasers can do their business.
- Jessaila asks who’s going to accompany her.
Isabis: “I guess I am. Let met get dressed…er, down…for the part.”
Malaina: “Me too, don’t want you going in alone.”
Jessaila: “We’ve all got our backstory down?”
- Isabis puts on her bargain-bin outfit and takes one of the bows they took off an enemy, instead of her magical masterwork weapon."
Seiankornai: “Go forth, the three maidens of deception.”
Isabis: “Heh. I hope nobody at the academy hears about this one, I’ll never live it down.”
- Jessaila likes that name.
Grok: W “Me go as well?”
Seiankornai: W “You’re not a maiden, but sure.”
- Malaina gets changed into the bandit outfit with the trousers
Malaina: “I am assuming I should leave my Halberd with someone?”
Jessaila: “Might be best.”
- Grok lumbers along and puts on his two eye patches. He leaves his cannon with the ogres with instructions to take good care of it, or else."
Isabis: “Well, you don’t want to go in flashing unique weapons, but don’t go unarmed either.”
- Crun decides that means to polish it.
- Seiankornai has told them he’ll be lounging by teh seaside, or at least appearing to, but shall come flying all ablaze if needed.
Crun: ((to bad it’s not actually a smooth finish on the outside…))
- Malaina leaves her Halbred in Seians care and tells Vari to stay with Seian, despite his pouting
- Thurirl lets them know he’ll lurk in the shadows near the meeting place, to help if need be and signal the drakes as well.
- Jessaila puts her nose in the air at an angle worthy of a gaunt elf.
Seiankornai: “We get the easy job, Vari. If things go well, we can laze around all day. If things go poorly, we can come in and burn everything! … well, ok, not everything, but we don’t have to deal with trickiery, just straight forward saving of our friends.”
Thurirl: ((can you balance a ball on her nose? =P))
Grok: ((grok goes and gets one of his cannon balls….))
- Vari groans in his own way, not liking to leave Mala alone like this
Jessaila: ((Oh dear.))
Thurirl: ((Not quite the kind I meant… .;; bad Grok))
- Seiankornai gives Vari a friendly rub, “She’ll be ok. She’s a competant girl.”
The pseudo-bandit group shoulders into the group of would-be hirelings, mostly dock hands with various unemployable habits (strong drink, getting into knife fights with coworkers on company time…)
- Aledralyra adopts her new nom de masque.
There are a few small groups of ogres though, and one group with an ogre leading what appears to be entirely pechs and dwarves…so you aren’t the most improbable group present.
Grok: ((what’s wrong with that last one? Fights are part of life for ogres.))
- Aledralyra glances at all the group of potential hirelings.
Crun: ((sure, but fight on your own time Anyway, that’s why they’re here trying to get hired by an ogre.))
A big ogre stomps out of the dilapidated warehouse and starts barking instructions in woanish.
- Aledralyra listens in.
BigGuy.: (W) “Make line! No cutting in line – fight on own turf, not bring constables down on hiring line.”
- Grok perks an ear at his native tongue
- Grok shoulders his way forward
BigGuy.: (W) “Employer named Durt. Not make joke about dirt of mud, or lose contract and liver in same hour.”
Malaina: (w)“What is Grok doing?!”
Malaina: ((That is whispering))
- Aledralyra glances at some grungy-looking human bums. “You expect me to wait in line behind… these… things?”
Isabis: (whispering) “Whatever he well pleases, as usual.”
BigGuy: (W) “Not care where you wait, just don’t start noisy fight.”
- Thurirl is waiting in the shadows a little ways from the line, doing his best to blend in with some random bits sitting against a wall.
- Malaina rubs at the bridge of her nose a bit
- Aledralyra huffs in a suitably put-out elven fashion.
BigGuy: (W) “Durt talk with everyone, have plenty of work. Don’t like to wait, then come later.”
BigGuy: (W) “LINE UP!”
The various groups suffle into….well, a longer narrower blob.
- Aledralyra gives the human bums the elven evil eye.
BigGuy: ((roll init or intimidate to get to the front of the line))
Aledralyra: “If I must stand in line behind you, must you smell so… foul?”
While you are jockying for position, the door opens again. The big guy hauls out a table and some sturdy if beaten-up chairs
DockRuffian: “If ye must stand behind me, must you whine so shrill?”
DockRuffian2: “Di’ someone say wine?” hic
- Grok attempts to intimidate those around him. « 1d20+11 = 13 + 11 = 24 »
- Aledralyra turns to Isabis and Mala. “Even though you are human, I thank you for at least making an effort to bathe and adopt a civilized body odor.”
- Malaina nods
- Isabis rolls her eyes and stage-whispers to Dock Ruffian 1 “Elves – she keeps me in food money, but oy, what an attitude.”
- Aledralyra glances at the bums again. “I am not whining, I am complaining. There is a difference, but I wouldn’t expect an uncultured human like you to know the difference.”
- Isabis shakes her head
- Aledralyra nevertheless concents to wait (mostly patienty) in line.
Isabis: ((due to various people needing to go to bed and at least one hard internt cut off, we will be ending in 10 minutes))
Grok: ((Did Grok make it to the front of the line?))
- Aledralyra eyes the results as people get to the front of the line.
Aledralyra: « 1d20+12 = 10 + 12 = 22 » Notice
Behind the big guy, Durt looks even shorter than he is. He looks sorta stooped, like he might have had spinal problems as a child. He’s wearing an awful lot of trophies, though, so he can’t be too cripples.
Isabis: ((Grok is first in line, yes))
- Durt is talking loud enough for you to hear him
Durt: “Welcome to service of salt weep, this year job is breaking trade. Pay 250s now, 250s when prove you break a trade cart, if not break any rules. Rules are: break carts, boxes, bones, but not kill except in combat – let trade people crawl home with no money and tell story. Not attack dwarves, only human traders.”
Durt: “If take job, we get you to good place. Some on islands, some on main coast, some on roads by river.”
Durt: “Not ask about attacking river boats. Not pay to attack boats. Sick of that question.”
- Durt eyes Grok
Durt: “You look up for job. You want in?”
Grok: W “Yaah.”
Durt: “Got crew, or want to be put with whoever else hires on?”
- Aledralyra waits her turn to reach the front.
Grok: W “Dey with me.” Grok points out behind him in the general direction of the females.
Aledralyra: “That ogre is with me.”
Aledralyra: ((Okay, what he said.))
Grok: ((Hey, remember who’s boss here.))
Durt: (sounding disgusted) “Oh, an elf. Elf always think they in charge. Not know how you put up with elf more than two days.”
Thurirl: ((No, no… you’re supposed to be arrogant! He’s with you, not the other way around! =P))
Aledralyra: ((That’d be me who’s boss.))
Durt: ((it’s not like Bandits are known for their coherent leadership structures ))
Grok: W “She does tricky thing with sword. Almost as good as an ogre.”
- Aledralyra advances to join Grok at the front of the line.
Durt: “Ugh. OK, both sign papers. Not care who with who, just break lots of trade wagon and everything fine by me.”
- Aledralyra signs with an ornate flourish.
Aledralyra: “How do we contact you after we’ve finished breaking trade wagons?”
- Durt presents a paper. It is written in Gamok…
Durt: ((notice checks))
Malaina: ((All of us?))
Durt: “Bring here. See, back of line, with wagon wheel? He get paid soon.”
Aledralyra: « 1d20+12 = 8 + 12 = 20 » Notice
Jamshid par-Bahadur: Notice 24
Thurirl: « 1d20+9 = 6 + 9 = 15 » Notice (in case he’s close enough)
Grok: « 1d20+8 = 5 + 8 = 13 »
Malaina: « 1d20+8 = 5 + 8 = 13 » Notice
The wording on this paper, after accounting for translation, is startlingly similar to the wording on your own caravan guard contract. Some paragraphs just have the word “not” wedged in before most of the verbs. How bizarre.
- Seiankornai Notices « 1d20+7 = 1 + 7 = 8 »… FISH!
Grok doesn’t notice this because he can’t read Gamok
Seiankornai only notices fish because they’re nibbling on his tail tip
- Seiankornai goes for the fish, but it is in fact Vari’s tail. Apologies are made.
Malaina: ((does read Gamok))
- Jamshid par-Bahadur can’t read Gamok either
- Vari snaps at Seian, putting a bit of distance between them
- Aledralyra notices this interesting contract phrasing, but doesn’t mention it.
Durt: ((malaina doesn’t catch it because her notice check didn’t beat 15, sorry))
Lucky you, you are officially hired as anti-trade bandits.
You better get some results, or your reputations are going to take on an interesting twist….