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Old Grump  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, April 7, 2010 2:14:12 AM(UTC)
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It begins

You are on a world known by all of the man races as Sveen.  It is earth size and earth normal for the players benefit with earth normal plants and minerals, nothing exotic to look for here.  This takes place on the largest of 3 continents known to you as the Bowl of the Gods but would be more correctly called the belt since it nearly encircled the world at the equator.  There are 5 kingdoms on this continent and yours is known as the province of Ah-Jeremiah.  There are only 2 cities in the province.  The capital city of Blo 900 miles to the east and the port city of Clii 60 miles to the northwest.  Your continent varied from 600 miles to barely 20 miles north to south but seemingly forever east and west.  The northern side of the continent was shielded from the northern sea by a range of mountains called the spine.  Many of them so high that nothing but sunlight ever saw the peaks since they were well above clouds, weather or breathable atmosphere.  Your kingdom took its name from the Devils bowl, a large desert well below sea level and seemingly barren due to its high temperature and miles and miles of hot burning sands. 

There had been flyers posted in every inn for 20 miles in every direction from the town of Crooksfoot on the Crooksfoot River.  The flyer advertised "Riches or death guaranteed, honor and glory not so much."  Then the name Dragons Belch Inn, look for a tall black man with a hook.  Unknown to any of you the flyers had been specifically made to get your attention and they all mysteriously disappeared when you spotted the dirty ragged flag jutting out from the steep peaked roof.  It was a hard place to miss since it was the largest building in this small river port town.  You walked towards the door of the large 4 story stone and wooden building.   A large man with a wooden leg let you in the door with a snaggle
toothed grin, the scars on his face and arms indicated an interesting life.

A large faded painting on the high ceiling now mostly obscured by smoke from
countless cooking fires and countless smokers showed a Red Dragon
rampant with its mouth open but only a puff of smoke coming out of it.  A smaller version of the painting was painted on a sign board hanging over the door and again on the poor old dirty ragged flag that you first spotted.  This was a large common room with booths on both sides, a long bar on the back wall and there were individual tables in front of the long floor to ceiling iron paned glass window in the front of the room.  The center of the room was filled with trestle tables and benches, half of them occupied with eaters and drinkers and all of the booths were empty except for one where a lone Dwarf sat nursing his large mug of something both foamy and steaming.  He looked around as if he were looking for someone or somebody too. 

The air smelled of roast meat and spices, pipe weed and spilled drinks that the thick sawdust on the floor only partly filtered.  The peoples voices were low and conversational as befitted a mid day meal of working men taking a brief break and not raucous like those who would be there later for a good time.  Behind the bar 6' off the floor was a small stage with stools, musical instruments and a large variety of drums cymbals but nobody on the stage except for an old Halfling woman with a mop.  

A large fat woman in a bright red low cut dress with a dragon tatoo on her left breast supervised a Human and a Half/Orc behind the bar and a Human, Halfling and a Gnome cook kitchen staff from a large high chair on the left side  the bar.  2 young muscular Human women waited tables and a Half/Orc woman was shoveling up a pile of sawdust in the corner with a mess of something green and slick mixed in with it.  It went into a bucket and she carried it out past the bar and out the back door.  The door was open and you could see the river not more than 100' away. 

In a surprisingly loud voice the Dwarf addresses you before you have a chance to ask anybody anything or investigate the place further.  "EH! YOU LOOKING FER TH' BLACKMAN AIR YE?  You can see him standing on the bench in his booth looking over the tall back and waving you over towards him.  Nobody in the place pays any attention to him beyond a quick glance and a frown at his loudness. 

Time to meet the Dwarf. 
MariachiDevil  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, April 7, 2010 9:07:21 AM(UTC)
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Stepping forward immediately is Dingo Jones, once captain of the watch, once an outlaw, now an adventurer. He is dressed in thick scaly boots, faded red and brown leather leggings, a red leather vest and a fine felt Akubra. A thick belt sits around his waist, with two scabbards hanging off the left hip, both filled, and a long knife strapped across the back. A small but clearly heavy pack sits across his shoulders and upper back, with a lantern hanging from the left side and a small round shield buckled to the back.
His skin it tough and weather-worn, but his face suggests he's still in his prime, black sideburns and perpetual stubble frame angular cheeks and a long, once broken nose. 

"G'Day mate, the names Dingo, you the one who's been putting up them flyers?"
Dingo drawls, managing to sound both deep voiced and nasal at the same time. 
Old Grump  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, April 7, 2010 6:24:33 PM(UTC)
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Chicken

Don't be daft man, do I look like a tall black man wi' a hook.
  the Dwarf laughs then takes a swig from his large mug.  Now you know what it is, a chunk of chicken in the Dwarf's beard tells you he is eating/drinking chicken soup and it was cooked in beer.  The smell is strange but not offensive. 

Me names chicken an if'n yer looks at me an then looks at yonder working folk yer kin gather how it is I picked yer out. The Dwarf s just a hands width over 3' tall and nearly as wide.  His red face indicates a lot of time in the sun lately and his light blue eyes and red hair say the sun isn't his friend.  His clothes are rough and there is a sturdy scuffed leather traveling pack on he table next to the wall.  A 12" fighting knife is stuck in his thick leather belt, the hilt covered by his heavy canvas vest with many bulging pockets but the blade nearly reached the ankle of his square toed heavily scuffed boots.  A miners pick with a short thick handle and with larger than normal hammer head on one end and a thick pick on the other end was on the bench propped up on the wall.  The large thick hands lumpy and scarred as if they had been burnt and an angry red scar went from the corner of his chin back along the jaw line then down his neck disappearing under his collarless jersey. 

A quick glance at the tables shows you what Chicken meant.  River men, sailors, laborers, craftsmen in working clothes, the only weapons visible were their eating tools, mostly spoons and daggers.  A sturdy group but not adventurers.  If they fought they fought as part of the town guard or in defense against bandits but they wouldn't be fighters by choice. 

Chicken grins, Weren't no hand o' man wot put them posters up an unless I guess wrong I don' think any o' these lads could have seen them. 
Tuomari  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, April 7, 2010 6:47:16 PM(UTC)
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Himo moves around the tavern looking for the man poster had descripted.

 

Sane when drunk, Crazy when sober.
Old Grump  
#5 Posted : Thursday, April 8, 2010 5:05:56 AM(UTC)
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Your keen ears can clearly hear every word the loud Dwarf said and you recognize his accent as coming from a large clan of hard rock miners but the Human fighter is blocking your view.  Its obvious that the tall black man you are looking for isn't in sight and the only fighter in the common room is standing next to the booth where the voice comes from.   
Tuomari  
#6 Posted : Thursday, April 8, 2010 9:54:21 AM(UTC)
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Himo goes to the fighter and loud dwarf.

"You wouldn't happen to know where to find this man posters descripted. Besides why would it be important who put them up?" He asks from the two.
Sane when drunk, Crazy when sober.
Old Grump  
#7 Posted : Friday, April 9, 2010 6:05:00 AM(UTC)
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Chicken

I look to the Half/Elf Ranger then the Human fighter and nod, See what I mean?  Us adventurer types stand out from the usual crowd.  No son, no sign of the Black man yet but there had better be one soon or I might be looking for him fer other reasons.  Wonder how many more of us are going to be answering this summons.  Could be our host won't show till we air all here. 
liefone  
#8 Posted : Friday, April 9, 2010 7:13:01 AM(UTC)
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''Hmmm, I can wait, for now,'' an elf, wearing a travelers cloak covering his back and bag, holding a scythe with the blade facing the celing, resting on his shoulder, short brown hair, falling just to his pointed ears. His eyes a deep orange, ''Though, patience is learned with age. Though would be best to not be kept waiting, it's rather rude to keep people waiting.''
And they say insanity is a bad thing...
Old Grump  
#9 Posted : Friday, April 9, 2010 8:56:28 AM(UTC)
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Chicken

Aye, much as it hurts ta agree with an Elf I must agree with you on this point.  Been here 2 hours before daybreak an I would like ter be on the road afore the moon sets.  Still tis only high noon lads so why don't yer set yerself in this booth with me and see who else shows up.  I have a feeling way down deep in my gut that we will be seeing the black man whoever er whatver it is afore supper time.  The Dwarf holds his mug in the air and a woman comes over to get it only to return a minute later with it refilled with his concoction of hot beer and chicken soup. 

Order up me lads, I can pay if you are a little light in the purse.  The beer is good, the soup is better and fer yer meat eaters I see they serve large slabs o meat er big bowls o' stew.  I'd like to try the whiskey but if we are on the road tonight it might be best if start out with a clear head.  He pats his round belly, They did have some pretty nice catfish but only 7 or 8 pounds and it was gone afore breakfast had a good start.  Chicken grins at you.  Oh in case you didn't catch me name they just call me chicken, you tall people don't seem to be able to pronounce Dwarf names so good. 
foolfolio  
#10 Posted : Friday, April 9, 2010 9:03:29 AM(UTC)
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another elf looking much like a shorter version of the previous falls in silently behind the other
Tuomari  
#11 Posted : Friday, April 9, 2010 1:41:24 PM(UTC)
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"Not like your language isn't one of the herdest to learn. Any way my name is Himo and i'll take just a beer I ate well roasted rabbit not long ago. Aparently you are accompanied by 2 and half elves. I hope you don't mind that."
Sane when drunk, Crazy when sober.
Old Grump  
#12 Posted : Saturday, April 10, 2010 5:46:27 AM(UTC)
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The room gets cold and dark, the voices of the other diners are
muffled.  Standing between the door and your booth is a tall dark shape but no features are distinguishable in this low light condition. 

We are all here, follow me please. is what you
hear in your heads but not a word was spoken.  The dark figure moves
like smoke to the back corner of the common room, unnoticed by the
diners who appear to be frozen in mid word or mid swallow.  If you look
carefully you see that they are moving but in very slow motion, only your movements are unhindered. 


At the corner by the open back door you can see a stairwell going up
that wasn't visible from your position at the booth.  The dark shape waits till he see's you coming then leads the way upstairs.  At each landing he pauses to make sure all 5 of you are behind him and then he moves silently up to the next flight of stairs till you are on the 4th floor.  Reaching up he pulls down on a small lever and a panel swings down from the ceiling to the floor with a set of steps built into it.  In a blink of an eye he leaps up the stairs and from where you stand in the dim hallway the space above is well lit and the noises of the inn are beginning to be heard again.  A glance out the hall window would show that traffic moving down the river is proceeding at a normal pace. 

Chicken shrugs and leads the way, his heavy leather pack bouncing comically as he has to reach with his short legs to take what will be for the rest of you regular steps.  Once up into the loft under the roof you see it is a large spacious room well appointed with furniture, books, work tables, writing material and lamps suspended from the peak of the roof but unlit.  There is plenty of light coming in from all the windows and as big as this space is it is well lit.  

A wooden shaft near the head of the table opens up, you see a dumb waiter tray there with food and drink and the tall slim man with a hook for his right hand deftly transfers it to the table.  There are 6 chairs there and he waves his hook with a grin.  Sit, drink, eat, do you have any requests I haven't anticipated?  He waves his left hand over the table where you see venison roast, rabbit stew, platters of grilled fish, roast vegetables, and pitchers of water, wine, milk and beer.  A loaf of fresh baked bread sits on each of your plates along with a large piece of cheese. 

You can see the black man really is black except for his white hair.  A black clerical robe made of fine cotton cinched at the waist with a black cord tied with a strange knot.  He is an even 7' tall when he stands erect, slim but strong looking.  He moves silently in his soft shoes and his voice is gentle.  None of you recognize the order he comes from and at the moment it is hard for you to tell if he is monk or cleric. 
liefone  
#13 Posted : Saturday, April 10, 2010 6:06:45 AM(UTC)
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''Hmmm... You wouldn't happen to have, pineapple would you?''
And they say insanity is a bad thing...
MariachiDevil  
#14 Posted : Saturday, April 10, 2010 1:58:12 PM(UTC)
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 Dingo eyes the fish hungrily but makes no move to get any, nor does he move to take a seat, instead he studies the black man.

"This is all rather extravagant, if you don't mind me saying, can't see how a man with your obvious powers could need the help of a ruffian like me."
Old Grump  
#15 Posted : Saturday, April 10, 2010 7:46:10 PM(UTC)
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The black man

Pine-Apple?  Tis a strange fruit, I must research that.


Not a bit extravagant, its normal fare from our kitchen.  The Dragons Belch Inn is one of many that my order owns throughout this continent.  We do more than study scholarly tomes but gather intelligence and what better place than a popular inn open to all as neutral ground.  What better way to open the hearts, the minds and the mouths of men with secrets than good food, good drink and a safe haven where they can feel comfortable.  

Ruffians, nay you are more than ruffians, you are adventurers of the first order or you would not have been able to see the signs I posted.  As to why I need your help, know that my little illusionist trick is just that a trick and barely lasts a minute.  I am a cleric but a cloistered cleric, a scholar if you will and what needs to be done is far beyond my powers.  I pray to all the Gods that it is within yours. 

Would you know more before we eat?  I am a hungry man myself and I would prefer to break my fast before we start talking.  This morning I was 126 leagues from here and I have used up most of my reserves getting here for this meeting today. 


Old Grump  
#16 Posted : Saturday, April 10, 2010 7:54:40 PM(UTC)
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Chicken

Well I feel no ill will from ye, I'll eat your bread and drink your wine with you but this had better be a good tale priest. 

The Dwarf stands on one chair and leans over to grab a pitcher of milk and fills his goblet and spears 2 huge fillets of fish.  Between huge bites of fish, cheese and bread he smiles, Not bad, not up to me mothers standards but not bad. 
Tuomari  
#17 Posted : Saturday, April 10, 2010 9:47:58 PM(UTC)
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Himo sits down and takes a bit of bread.

"The poster said that we'd have riches or death. Now the later part i understand but what kind of wealth we are talking of and what you need us to do."
Sane when drunk, Crazy when sober.
liefone  
#18 Posted : Sunday, April 11, 2010 3:25:04 AM(UTC)
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Leaf sits at the table, grabbing some meat, but mostly fruits and vegetables.

''Pineapples are the best fruit in the world. Sweet and juicy they are nothing like a apple though.''

And they say insanity is a bad thing...
foolfolio  
#19 Posted : Sunday, April 11, 2010 3:44:08 AM(UTC)
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lïthorn sits down quietly and grabs some fruits and veggies but waits for the black man to swallow before he starts eating politely both out of respect and paranoia " i am also curious as to what payment you would offer us to risk our mortal life"
Tuomari  
#20 Posted : Sunday, April 11, 2010 12:40:08 PM(UTC)
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Himo places his short bow, bucler shield and his back bag next to his chair. He is with avarage height and he has a ragged tunic on top of chainshirt and a longsword on his waist. His green eyes look at the mysterious man as he eats his bread. "Oh and is there horse merchant in here myprevious died few weeks ago."

Sane when drunk, Crazy when sober.
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