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Dragon Heist

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Pinching the bridge of his nose, Cromley closes his eyes for a second and takes a deep, calming breath. "Thank you all for reminding me why I retired." he says with a grim smile. "Looks like y'all have calmed down just in time cuz here's my friend now." Saeth gets to his feet and waves a hand at a figure bounding through the smoky air towards you. The man sports a floppy blue cap and white and red striped scarf. His puffy shirt is embellished with bands of gold and red braid and his cheekily glittering eyes sit above a large, bushy moustache and a broad smile. He flings his arms wide and gives a loud "Cromley old bean! How the devil are you?" He turns towards the little crowd which has formed around the older man's table. "And these must be the friends you told me about. Although, rather more than I expected... Never mind, the more the merrier, eh?"

Saeth introduces the newcomer. "This is Volothamp Geddarm. You might have heard of his book on monsters?"

"Of course they've heard of it! And I'll be happy to sign any copies they've brought along. No, no"
He waves away imaginary objections. "It's no trouble at all. Truly it'd be my pleasure. And call me Volo, we're all friends here."

Just then a loud roar comes from the proximity of the man with the eye-tattoos and his friends. "Oh ho! Looks like those ruffians are at it again!" Volo laughs and shakes his head, as if amused by the antics of a group of playful puppies. Then, suddenly one of the men is yanked down into the well. He is replaced by a scream and the wet splot of one of his arms which is flung back out. "Uh. That's not good..." Volo's face goes a little pale.

With another roar, a hulking creature climbs up out of the well shaft. It has warty green skin, a tangled nest of wiry black hair, a long, carrot-shaped nose, and blood-shot eyes. It's chewing on the end of the unfortunate man's other arm which it holds like a club. As it bares its yellow teeth and howls, you can see that a half-dozen bloated bat-like creatures are attached to its body, with three more circling above it like flies.

Everyone close to the well scrambles to put distance between themselves and the monster, knocking over furniture in their eagerness to get away. Durnan, however, vaults over the bar wielding a greatsword that he has produced from somewhere and shouts, "Troll!"
 

DarkHorseAsh

Junior Member
Phira jerks back to her feet as the room turns to chaos, firing out a bolt of radiant energy at the troll. She sees it strike and watches the creature roar furiously, grinning slightly with pride as she watched the others around her strike out as well. A moment later, a sharp pain in the side of her neck was the last thing she saw before she blacked out. Phira blinked awake on the ground what felt like seconds later, groaning in pain before giving a grateful nod to the tiefling. "Thank you." She rasps, sighing as she struggles to get one quarterstaff propped at the right angle to pull her up, finally managing to get back on her feet and leaning on both sticks panting softly. "what the fuck was that?"
 

actualhermit

New Member
Cassar jumps to his feet, though Ny manages to get a spell off through the swarm of stirges, he can't move before one attaches itself to his shoulder. He rips it off with a grunt, I really hate this tavern, Though he feels a faint warmth where the bite was. He looks down to find it healed, and looks over to Phira only to find her unconscious, with a stirge in her neck. He charges in with a yell, and swats the stirge away, splattering himself with the blood, and runs to Matches to seat the other stirge. Unfortunately, the result is the same, and he's nearly soaked in blood. He let's out a high-pitched whine, "Gross gross gross Why would you build a tavern on top of a dungeon?"
 
"Can a man not get a decent drink without interruption! Alright kiddies, tryout time make daddy proud!"
Finishing his drink, Matches almost goes supernova on the things, torching everything in front of him. Durnan wouldn't be happy about that though and it's hard to find a good place to drink. That and the collateral damage...

Deciding discretion to be the better part of pyro-mancy he attempts to lob a more of fire at the monster, only to be knocked from his chair by a terrified commoner and the shot to go wide.

The floor of a bar was no stranger to him, the giant insect a different story. "Fuck! That hurt you little shit!" No sooner had the words left his mouth then it was filled with blood from the exploding storage... His own blood, also not an unfamiliar thing...
Pulling himself to his feet, spitting blood on the floor. "thanks kid, I owe you one." Taking in the scene of gore, "alright, if you're dead get out. If you are not... Good job you passed."

Looking to the body of the troll, darn things always come back. With a wave he turns the troll corpse into a Yule log. Another wave and a quick word rids himself of the gore.

Looking for the man named Volo, "Mr. Volo! Matches Malone of Matches Malone and accociates, how can we be of service today?" He extends a now meticulously clean hand toward the man.
 

DarkHorseAsh

Junior Member
Phira gives a sharp noise, moving forward and slapping one of their crutches in front of Matches so they could pull themself in that direction. "pardon me, Mister Volo, I just need a quick word with my...acquaintance." She spins to look at Matches, giving him a furious glare. "Let us get one thing clear now. YOU? Not the boss of us. We are not yours. If we are doing this we are equals and we are doing this together. We are not your associates sir, we are our own people and we would appreciate, at least I would, being treated as such." They shift back to face the other man, trying to hide the level of pain and exhaustion they were experiencing as they lean forward a little to offer a hand out next to Matches' hand. "A pleasure to meet you, sir, my name is Phira."
 

DarkDreams

Junior Member
Ny was leaning into the table, listening to Cromley talk about the client. 'Volo, Vol....oh that guy....Da always said he's one who loves to him his glory and majesty. Well if'n he's that Volo, he can afford ta pay for the lot of us. Assuming I can keep them pointed in the right direction.'
About that time, there was another disruption behind them. Shaking his head, just wanting to hear about the bleeding job was proving harder than ta pay for Matches drinking. 'And the worst part was that it barely affected him...'
This thought was interrupted by the screams of other patrons and the barkeep. 'Good. Let someone else deal with a brawl....wait.... troll...he said troll? Troll! Yes!' "Finally! I can cast and not get into trouble! Err...or as much trouble..." With that sentence, first a fiery chaos orb to be followed by a sickly pulsating green smashed into the troll. With the assists from the cleric, half-orc who he stilled owed a drink to and the barkeep it was down. The pesky giant mosquitoes would prove a bit more troublesome to the party.
 
"For fucks sake firbog, are you going to get upset anytime I use my buisness name because you don't get an honorable mention?" Getting himself extremely close to the much younger creature, his tones because flat even and measure. In fact his voice is so calm and measured that Cassar could probably make it out with his Sharpe ears.

"Now listen to me very carefully, do I have your attention? Good. That man over there Cromley, is a very good friend of mine. This BUISNESS meeting is for myself and my accociates, my accociates who always get an equal share of any job they go on with me. Equal risk, equal reward. Do you know what else they always get? To learn how this buisness work, from someone who has been doing it a long LONG time. Now you have two choices as an individual, conduct yourself in a buisness appropriate manner; Not dragging me for a little chat because I may have offended you. Or you walk out the door right now and don't come back no hard feelings." Taking a step back and raising his hands in mock surrender.

"Know this cleric, because I respect what you bring to the table the same as everyone else here bring to the table. However, If you do anything to hamper this buisness again, you won't like me. Now! Please respect what I bring to the table, which is the buisness end of things, and let me do my dam job."

As if noticing for the first time that Pyria was covered in blood, "lesson one: might want to see to the gore before trying to shake an employer's hand."

The temporary silence broken by the still crackling body of the burning troll.
 

DarkDreams

Junior Member
"Good sir," Taking Volo's arm and quickly shaking his hand, "our cleric is a specialist that recently joined the team and was not aware of her level in the partnership of the group. You came here looking for an investigator of high quality. Matches has those skills, we as hus partners and associates help him on a case by case basis. As he heard of the sterling reputation of his client, he wanted to bring the most qualified members to hear your case and work to resolve it for you as quickly as possible." Motioning for Phira to retake the chair, Ny pulls another one out feom anither table for Volo.
"Now good sir, I believe you have a job and need a team?"
 

DarkHorseAsh

Junior Member
Phira dips their head to ny, turning to slip back into their chair with a slight dip of her head. She sends a frustrated look at the man, eyes dark with hurt and anger as she reaches a hand up to pet willow, murmuring to the small bird under her breath. Her shoulders shook slightly with pain and frustration as she runs a hand over her badly twitching legs, before sitting up straighter and swinging her bag around to her lap so she can rummage through it.
 
Lox was caught totally off guard, having been fully focused on the assortment of new faces in front of him, and he stumbled backwards as the monsters came through the floor. Quickly, he grabbed his bow from where it was leaning against the bar, and tried to string it and fire in one continuous motion. He was a bit overconfident unfortunately, and while the shot didn’t fall off the string onto the floor, Lox had not had any time to aim and the arrow went wide. He then scurried backwards to put more distance between himself and the troll, and he took his time to aim his next shot — a shot that never came, as the troll was dead on the floor, as well as the little nasties that joined it.

Lox threw his bow over his shoulder, an arrow still between his middle and pointer finger, before he stepped forward to join the others. Realizing most of the others probably didn’t even have a minute to glance at him, much less remember his name before the attack, Lox kept his mouth shut and simply observed from behind the others.
 

Unencumbered

New Member
Volo grabs each proffered hand between his own and pumps them vigorously. His clothes, quite unlike those of the newly formed 'associates', are spotless. And anyone unfamiliar with the heroic bravery described in detail his literary works might suspect that he'd been hiding under the table during the recent excitement.

His eyes scan the little group. "Goodness me, you all look a mess! Really, quite a lot of blood, but most of it isn't your own, eh? Ha! Good good."

Nodding cheerfully he continues. "Well, you've shown yourselves to be very capable. Very capable indeed. I do believe you are just what I need right now. So, yes, yes. Down to business." He lowers his voice a little and becomes more serious. "A couple of nights ago I unwittingly misplaced a good friend of mine. Floon Blagmaar is his name. Quite the looker but not the brightest spark, you know? I worry he took a bad way home and was waylaid and kidnapped. Or..." He lets out a squeak and his hand flies to his mouth. "Or worse." He gasps.

After a few moments he regains his composure. "If you agree to track him down I can provide you ten dragons each now." He pulls out a large purse of clinking gold pieces and places it in a clean patch on the table. "And then another one hundred each when you find Floony. Will you do this for me? I'm so, so worried."
 

DarkHorseAsh

Junior Member
Phira blinks for a moment then raises her hand and asks softly, "uh, sorry sir, but I am a little confused. How do you misplace a person? Do you have any idea who would want to take him?" She perks up at the idea of money, shifting as she dips her head. "I would of course gladly do this for you, sir."
 
Heh, at least he understands the buisness.
Matches reaches over with his spotless hand to examine the dragons. "Mr Volo, you've come to the right place, this is what I do."
Removing parchment and a stick of charcoal from his coat he begins the make notes. Not before leaving over to a poor confused Firbog and whispering, "it's not as rare as you think. I'll tell you some stories later."

Returning his focus to the client. "To begin, can I have the person's full name as well as any aliases they may use or be know by. I'll also need a description of them, including their dress on the night in question. Lastly where they were headed from and going to."

It felt good to work again; missing people were always far more interesting then missing dogs or looking into cheating spouses.
 

DarkHorseAsh

Junior Member
Phira blinks in surprise at the other figure's comment before quietly adding, "it would also be nice to know who might have a grudge against you or your friend, their employer, and where they live as well as any family members, spouses, etc that they have." She shies slightly away from the half-elf, somewhat concerned that her addition to his comments would not be appreciated.
 

DarkDreams

Junior Member
Ny knew that Matches was in his element at this moment. The questions were exactly the key ones to ask, and done in a much quicker method than what Ny would have done. Additionally, this missing individual must be important, almost 900 dragons? Of which 110 would be his? That much would cover the monthly dues for 5 months, entrance fees and even leave enough for some basic new equipment.
Then the more that he thought about it, the more questions came to mind. 'Only nobles generate that kind of money or interest. There hasn't been any ransom notes?' The more questions that started to come into his mind, the more he started to look closer and closer at Volo. 'Something tells me, Volo is not quite the hero that he portrays in his books.'
 

Unencumbered

New Member
"Oh yes, of course. Phew, that is a lot of questions. So. Ah. Well his name is Floon Blagmaar, although his very close friends call him Floony. He's tall and very handsome." Volo sighs. "With wavy red-blond hair and such soft hands...

"He always dresses like a prince. I think,"
he pauses, stroking his mustache for a moment, "he was wearing a yellow silk shirt and a pair of tight black pants when I saw him last.

"We met up for a drink or two at the Skewered Dragon tavern, just a little way towards the harbor from here. And then I had to leave to meet my publisher. I'm working on my next project, you see, tentatively titled Volo's Guide to Spirits and Specters. I know, I know,"
he holds up a hand, laughing, "no rest for the wicked!"

Volo shakes his head for a few seconds, smiling to himself. Then, realizing that the company is still waiting for him, he continues. "Oh. Hmmm... Family? Not that I know of. He lives a single life and works for himself. He's very likeable, so I find it hard to believe anyone has a grudge against him. Although he doesn't talk about his work much. Client privilege, you know?" And he taps one side of his nose, conspirationally.

"As to where he lives... Now you come to mention it I don't rightly know. We've always met up in a bar and then gone where the mood takes us." He shrugs.
 

actualhermit

New Member
Cassar fidgets a bit, partly from residual nerves and partly out of irritation. 'How does a man spend so much time with someone and know so little about their life?' he thinks. 'There's a good chance he was involved in something shady. Maybe. I might be thinking too hard about this' He shakes his head and starts adjusting some feathers to clear his thoughts, "So the Skewered Dragon is the only lead you can give us? Are there any other places you went more than once? And did he ever mention what his job was"
 
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Leaning over to the firbog Matches whispers in her ear, "you're on the right track kid. However try to bombard the client so much. Sometimes when you give them some space they come up information on their own."

Returning his attention to the fellow in front of him, "would you say you and the client were... Romantically involved? Is this the only establishment you've ever met at?"

His hand flows furiously acrossed the page, taking down notation on everything being said. The lean cigar all but forgotten, a limp portion of ash still hang to the end.
 

heylookitsme

I SEE YOU
Duck, realized that, as much as Phira might have wanted to know where he actually was from, she was all business right now, so he nods to himself, sure he's figured out her intention, he half-turns his head and almost whispers to her, "born exactly, I'm not sure, but I was raised and lived in and around the Temple of Firehair out in Daerlun."
Which, he could might have been able to segue into some light side-conversation, If they hadn't all been distracted by the sudden invasion... outvasion? of troll and stirges. Evil as these things looked, he wasn't especially jazzed about damaging them, since, as he would see, they were very prone to exploding blood all over everything, and he had been very careful to not get his vestments dirty, which is a great accomplishment, white as they are, so he instead opted to help out the half-orc that was being turned into a juicebox; she seemed awfully strong, so keeping her alive seemed like a good idea.
Phira unfortunately loses consciousness, but he helps her out in what felt like minutes after the fight had started but had turned out to be just a few handfuls of seconds.
He hears the scuffle between two of his companions and, while usually first to break up such a conflict, felt a bit of post-battle adrenaline might make everyone less reasonable and probably also more prone to lash-out's. If it did come to that, he'd pull them off of each other like he was trying to do with the human earlier, but however many harsh words got exchanged, it didn't seem explosive.
When they actually get back to business, after joining in on the handshakes, he looks on and listens, a little wide-eyed, not in shock or surprise, but in intrigue. At some point he puts his chin in his hands while smiling, his tail whipping around, and he's so busy taking in all this introductory information and line of questioning that the thought of the magnitude of their combined payments doesn't cross his mind. Those gold pieces would be appreciated by the efforts to start a new temple to Sune in Waterdeep -and of course, a small donation to the church of Waukeen- instead of having to run his full religious duties and services out of a single rented room in town, but his real reward was the chance to carry out work for Priestess Uday, to build up that diplomatic relationship.
Then, maybe he does actually subconsciously realize it, "...Dresses like a pr-," then, as though interrupting his own thought and speech,"hmm" 's to himself, obviously in thought.
"Could it be... he actually is some kind of prince? One of my friends was a detective that was married to a prince for a while, but you never would have known it if you didn't ask about the crown in her living room."
 

Unencumbered

New Member
"Interesting story, but no, he's no prince!" Volo laughs. "And no we're not romantically involved." He shakes his head, a little wistfully. "His job would make that difficult, you see. He provides companionship. For the right price, you understand? But we are just friends. Met one night in a tavern and got chatting, just enjoying each other's company. Since then we've met up at lots of different alehouses. Mostly here in the Dock Ward." He counts them off on his fingers. "The Griffon's Head, the Firbolg and Firkin," he nods towards Phira, "The Acolyte and Anvil. They specialize in Dwarven ale - you feel that in the morning, I can tell you! The Wyvern's Rest, the Weary Warg, ..." Should I go on?
 

DarkDreams

Junior Member
"So, you like drinking in the Dock Ward. You prefer the taverns with Dwarven Ale, good choice by the way." Ticking points off on his fingers, he continued. "Bright yellowish and black shirt. The occasional profession of escort and companion." Shrugging his shoulders, "where was the last place you remember seeing him for certain? Did you wager any coin that night? Lose or win a large amount? Any chance you remember when you left to head home? These could help us narrow down the time frame."
 
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Unencumbered

New Member
"Ah, did I say that? No, he was wearing a yellow shirt. Finest silk it looked like. It was his pants that were black, I'm sure..." He stops, as if suddenly unsure of himself. "Well, ah, yes. We arranged to meet early evening, around 5. He was there in the Skewered Dragon when I arrived, sitting at a corner table away from the crowds. We had a couple of drinks. Or maybe three... And then I left. Around 7ish. To meet my publishers. I thought I'd mentioned that, hmm..." He frowned.

"No gambling, though. I like a wager as much as the next man, but only when I can make a proper night of it. Gives me chance to win back any early losses, eh? Ha!" Volo barks a single laugh, then sobers once more. "Floony was still there when I left. He said it was still early and he'd stay for one more drink. I didn't think anything of it, but now I wish we'd gone together. Please find him for me!" And he pushes the coin pouch into Matches' chest, looking at the group imploringly.
 

DarkDreams

Junior Member
Having the client confirm or repeat facts that you 'misheard' or got confused was one of the tricks that Matches had taught him. Most people if they are lying will change their story to more align with yours. So sadly, that left Volo as a scatterbrained individual living in the world of his books. He wasnt the first scholar Ny had met, but he was definitely a doozy qnd not easily forgotten.
Heading to the Skewered Dragon and checking the shops in the vicinity would be among the best options for moving forward. For now, best to let Matches setup the dates and times for follow ups and updates. Knowing Matches the group would be heading out to the Dragon right after this. No need to irritate him further by stepping on his toes. 'Also not having to hit every bleeding bar in the docks would make things smoother.'
 
Taking the coin maybe a bit too eagerly then was professional, matches tucked it safely into one of the pockets

"Don't worry Mr. Volo Malone and accociates are on the case." chairs scrape as he rises, extending his hand to shake. A nod to his former partner, "we'll be in touch see you around Cromely."
Once that's done, he turns briskly and matches out of the tavern, back into the rain.
 

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