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Kingmaker

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Pathfinder
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WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Supporter
Be it so known that the bearer of this charter has been charged by the Swordlords of Restov, acting upon the greater good and authority vested within them by the office of the Regent of the Dragonscale Throne, has granted the right of exploration and travel within the wilderness region known as the Greenbelt. Exploration should be limited to an area no further than thirty-six miles east and west and sixty miles south of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of this charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful behavior to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this 24th day of Calistril, under watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.
Be it so known that the bearer of this charter has been charged by the Swordlords of Restov, acting upon the greater good and authority vested within them by the office of the Regent of the Dragonscale Throne, has granted the right of exploration and travel within the wilderness region known as the Greenbelt. Exploration should be limited to an area no further than thirty-six miles east and west and sixty miles south of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of this charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful behavior to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this 24th day of Calistril, under watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.

1586066501473.pngThis is the charter you have on your person as you pass through the old palisade surrounding Oleg’s Trading Post. You answered a call from the city of Restov to aid in exploring the Stolen Lands and help get the bandits who live there under control. And that is what has brought you to Oleg’s.

What used to be a run-down fort has been turned into a place for those who live the wilderness life in the Greenbelt to trade for the goods they need. At each corner of the palisade wall are 20-foot tall watch towers topped with broken-down catapults. Within the walls, several squat buildings make up the trading post proper.

Svetlana, a plain middle-aged woman, strides out of the main hall into the yard wiping her hands on her apron.

“Welcome!” she says with a warm smile. “We’ve been expecting you and we’re so glad you’ve come. I’m Svetlana. Please, come sit. I’ve prepared stew, bread, and opened wine for you. You must be tired from travel. You have no idea how glad we were to hear that you were on your way. Oleg will join us soon.” She leads you into the main building and into the dining room (A7). As promised, the gnarled table in the center has been laden with stew, bread, and wine. There is place enough for everyone to sit. “Sit,” Svetlana says.

When you’re all seated, Svetlana smiles again. “Tell me about yourselves.”

@Kameron Esters-, @4eyedintrovert. @Sherwood, @Psychie, @Spiderheart, @Wondertainment
 
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Spiderheart

Eyeless
By default, Gerak travels with Mokele by his side. He'd grown... attached to the creature, for all its crudeness. Still, the crocodilian monster was hardly the best first impression in most cases; he's impressed with how smoothly the woman has taken to their motley entourage. Then again, perhaps such things aren't strange in the Stolen Lands.

The half-orc takes in the wooden stockade with a practiced eye. Have those walls seen use in recent years? Are the catapults simply old, or did someone destroy them? Perhaps those are questions their hosts will be able to answer. He offers a polite half-bow and puts on the smile that he uses when he doesn't want his tusks to show. "Thank you very much for your hospitality. I hope we'll be able to live up to your expectations."

The woman's enthusiasm, while appreciated, sets Gerak on guard. If they're so thrilled to have a band of, effectively, mercenaries sleeping in their beds and eating their food, the situation here must be more fraught than he'd realized. Granted, his traveling companions all seemed decent sorts, but she had no way of knowing that yet. Still, a more severe problem would likely mean clearer next steps than 'map the countryside and kill bandits.' He follows her in and takes a seat, pulling his bowl close to him. "What exactly would you like to know? Usually," he observes with a grin, "the things people want to learn about new acquaintances are not the same things that people think of first when asked to discuss themselves."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Niko gratefully takes the offered glass of wine and takes a drink, enjoying the cool sensation of the liquid as it flows into his mouth. As he sets his cup down, he takes in the odd assortment of people that have been brought here together today. He half turns to look at the first speaker of the group, then says, "Well, one thing we can do is to offer up our names to each other. I am Niko Talbert, and I'm pleased to meet you all." He offers up a smile, especially to the pretty elf woman, then turns his attention back to Svetlana.

Niko then says, "My new friend does have a point, though. What kind of information are you looking for, besides names? I am a bit of a spellcaster, dealing with the summoning of spirits and creatures. It is what my family is known for." He takes another drink of the wine as he leans back in his seat, wondering just what is about to be said by the others.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
The pretty elf girl hardly notices the smile that Niko aims at her as she is looking about the place, taking in the room and the others that have been gathered together. She clears her throat, then says, "I suppose I'll go next. I am Athaclenna Gollana, and I have been trained as a wizard." She idly strokes the head of her raven, Rupert, as she talks. "I greet you all."
 

Spiderheart

Eyeless
The half-orc suppresses the urge to roll his eyes as the aasimar name-drops his family. Titles and breeding won't exactly be useful out here. Still, the name suggestion is a good one. "I'm Gerak. This –" he pats his pseudo-reptilian companion's head – "is Mokele. I know a little magic, and I'm an adequate swordsman."

"And I bite!" Mokele's voice is deep and gravelly, but the excitement in it is almost puppyish. "Bite and crunch and drag all the bad people down!" Its mouth hangs open in an excitable grin. "Got claws, too," it adds, almost as an afterthought.

A small sigh escapes through the half-orc's nose. "Yes, you certainly do." Calistria save him from this idiot beast. Now everyone was going to think he was that bloodthirsty.
 

Kameron Esters-

Fear my godly wrath!
A man with short, brown hair and goatee comes into view. He wears brown leather armor around his abdomen and legs, but signs of orange cloth can be seen from the openings in the armor, namly his eloquent sleaves from his unarmored arms. In his hands is a small but well-crafted harp with silver strings. "Why hello merry-band of mine! I hope I didn't keep you lot waiting for long! Scikelov the Untuned hates to keep his audience waiting. "(On the account of me getting lost on the way here...And getting lost again when I arrived here...)" Scikelov could help but smile impishly upon Svetlana's modest welcome "Oh stooop! You embarrass me~ and no distance is too great for me to travel, especially if I'm met with a lovely and hospitably force of nature like yourself. I will heartily enjoy your stew and bread! I hope you all wouldn't mind me playing a small tune as we fellowship?"He asks everyone around the table
 

4eyedintrovert

Junior Member
Having grown weary of his current living situation, Klemnon decides to venture further out into the world and see what it has to offer. The word around his hometown of Lorvindel is that there lies Stolen Lands to the east. So, with his things all packed up and after dropping off his last supply of meat to the butcher, Klemnon headed out with Zula in tow.
Unfamiliar with the area, Klemnon decided it would be best to ask for directions, despite his fear of human-kind. To his surprise the people here seemed nice and more than willing to help guide him. They didn't even fear Zula, who purred when they scratched under his chin.
Finally arriving at Restov, Klemnon paid his guides and they parted. Asking around, Klemnon would eventually find where he needed to be in the unfamiliar city. Standing before what appeared a small fortress, he read the sign hanging over the door, Oleg's Trading Post.
Upon entering he comes to a small group of like-minded adventures not unlike himself. He takes notice of the fellow half-orc and his pet, surprised to see one of his own kind out this far but glad to be in such company.
Before Klemnon can introduce himself; it's not long before they are joined by a middle-aged woman, who greets them and introduces herself as Svetlana.
After being led into the main building, Svetlana asks them to tell her a little bit about themselves. It's the fellow half-orc that speaks first, querying as to what the woman would like to know. Then, it's the Aasimar, whom offers up his name. The half-orc begrudgingly offers up his own name and his excitable pet tells of itself. The elf and the human introduce themselves as well. The human even offers to play a little tune while they commune.
"Name's Klemnon." Klemnon says, "I am excellent with a bow," Klemnon indicates, pulling out his longbow, "and this is Zula." Klemnon gestures toward the black panther sitting at his side, "He's not exactly mine. I'm searching for it's owner but until then he seems to make a great ally." Klemnon pats Zula on the head then turns toward Gerak. "Glad to see another half-orc in these parts." Klemnon makes a mental note to get to know this fellow half-orc at a later date as he seems irritable at the moment and not likely to be giving away anymore information about himself that he hasn't already given.
 

WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Supporter
Svetlana continues her warm smile.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she says.
“I wasn’t looking for a list of deeds or anything.
I just wanted to have a friendly chat while you enjoyed your food.
It is nice to meet you all, though.”
She unstoppers the wine and pours herself a glass.
Takes a sip.
“Oleg and I have been here for...let’s see now...well, a spell.
It’s actually worked out pretty well for us so far.
This has been the first real trouble we’ve had.
Oh sure, we’ve had our share of ruffians, but not like this.”

She dishes herself some stew.
“I just can’t believe Restov would send you to us for help.”

(This isn’t really why the Lord Mayor of Restov sent you.
Your charter is to explore and map the Stolen Lands.)


While Svetlana continues talking, Oleg steps into the room.
He’s a squat man with little hair and a sharp jaw.
Having just patched a leak in the roof of the sleeping quarters, he’s sweaty and stinks.
Leaning against the wall, he listens to his wife and looks you all over.

“I mean, it is a concern not just for us,” Svetlana continues.
“There’s no telling who else these bandits will harass.
I know Oleg has wanted to do something about them himself, but I think—”
Svetlana gasps.
“Oleg! Honey. I was just telling our guests a little about our place.”

Oleg grunts.
He grabs bread off the table.
“Uh huh.
Seems like a long way to come for some bandits.
That really why you’re here?”
He bites and rips a piece off his bread.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Niko takes a sip from his wine, mulling as to what his answer should be. Finally, he says, "Well, we were actually sent here to explore and map the area, not to specifically deal with bandits. But, I do think that if we are to be exploring the area, we will most likely be running into these ruffians sooner or later, and unless they are willing to leave us alone, I would hazard a guess that we'll be defending ourselves from their aggressions and will be dealing with them in a rather permanent way."

He sets his wine glass down and pulls a small pipe from his belt pouch and fills it with tobacco with practiced hands before lighting it up. After a few puffs, he goes on to say, "We are not a bunch of paladins, but if I can, I am willing to come to your aid."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Athaclenna snorts. He may not be a paladin, but this Niko seems quite willing to throw us into a fight that we don't need. Her eyes narrow as the thought comes to her, Hell, would you do any different if you were to find information on the wizard that killed Dendarian? Perhaps this can work to my advantage. She lets out a sigh, then says, "I am not a champion of the light, but perhaps I can offer up my aid. I would wish to have more information, though. What numbers of bandits are we dealing with here? How well are they armed? And how skilled are they?"
 

Spiderheart

Eyeless
"Bad people?" Mokele's excitement is palpable. "Down, boy," the half-orc commands halfheartedly. "Yes, we're here as explorers nominally, but if my political instincts are worth a rusty nail, that's mostly a pretense. They would have sent an actual cartographer with us if that were the case." He drums his fingers on his eidolon's head.

"If you were casting doubts on our motives as individuals, though, and not Restov's..." Gerak shrugs. "I suspect most people come to hinterlands like these for the same reasons. Something they want that civilization can't provide, or some part of being civilized that they can't stand, or both. I'll hold off on further speculation." He smiles wanly. "People have a right to some privacy, don't you think?"

"So." He rests his elbows on the table and steeples his fingers. "These bandits. Assume that everything you know about them is relevant, no matter how trivial; I'd rather be bored today than dead tomorrow."
 

WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Supporter
Oleg snorts and tosses his half-eaten bread to the table.
“I knew it,” he says in disgust.
“Those politics are why we left in the first damn place.
And yes, you’re right.
I don’t want their civilization out here.
Devils take me.
I’m not dealing with this.”
He throws his hands in the air and stalks from the room.

Svetlana rubs her palms together and looks up from the table at you all.
She lets a long moment pass
“Yes,” she says, finally.
“We could use your aid.
We’re willing to provide free room and board for the evening.
Breakfast in the morning.
Some extra provisions to give your charter a boost.
We need them taken care of.
I don’t think Oleg…”
She stops herself.
“Oleg can’t take much more of it, I fear.”

She takes another long draft of wine.
“The bandits’ first visit was three months ago.
They threatened to burn down the trading post and take me if we didn’t give them all of the furs and trade goods they’d accumulated over the past month from hunters and trappers.
They’ve returned twice more since.
Always within an hour of sunrise on the first day of the month.
They call it their ‘tax’.
And now we—sure as the hells—have their ‘taxes’ ready for them they arrive.
They always seem eager to get back to their camp somewhere within the Greenbelt.
Makes me think their camp must be a day’s ride away.”

Svetlana stands, her chair squeezing against the floor.
She walks to the window and stairs out into the yard.
“The first time they visited, there were a dozen of them.
Ten thugs, their leader—a cloaked man with a bow, and a woman with two hatchets.
The woman did most the talking.
She had a very colorful way of describing the horrible things they’d do...
...to me.
She seemed incredibly sharp.
Observant.
The man acted more crude.
Foolish, even.
The woman almost lopped Oleg’s right hand off with one of her hatches.
She thought it was a joke.
I think she’s the most dangerous.
She took my wedding ring right off my hand.
Said it was payment for not ‘shortening Oleg’s reach’.”

Svetlana turns back toward you all.
“The second and third visit, it was only hooded man with them.
Six men came with him the second time.
Four the third time.
I think they think we’re too frightened.
Not a threat.
They’re due to arrive tomorrow for their ‘tax’ collection.
Hopefully, with fewer men, still.
Hopefully without the woman.”

She sits back down and drains her wine.
 
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4eyedintrovert

Junior Member
Klemnon casts his gaze among his fellow companions then looks back at Svetlana. "If my companions are as sharp with their combative skills as they are with their tongues. I believe these bandits shouldn't be a problem for us. The last time those cutthroats appeared at your doorstep will have indeed been there last." Klemnon takes up a loaf of bread and bites into it, as if to punctuate his last statement.
Zula looks up at Klemnon, who breaks off one end of the bread and feeds it to him.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Niko grins at the positive response from the others. "If possible, I would like a prisoner to interrogate as to where their camp is so we can deal with the rest of their comrades before they have a chance to come and extract some revenge upon this outpost. If not, we'll just have to rely upon more mundane methods of finding their back trail and following it to the others."
 

Kameron Esters-

Fear my godly wrath!
"Those darn, pesky bandits!" Scikelov slams his fists on the table "Why must they take from the hard working? The perserverant? Do they not know that it's not easy to make coin for alot of us? Time, effort, and dedication goes into what we do! Some of which, unsavory. But the reward is worth the wait... Until a bunch of rude miscriants come storming unsuspecting establishments like this and take whatever they can get their grubby hands on! Well, if they think they have you by the ear, then they are sorely mistaken! Am I right, merry-band?" Scikelov asks his fellow companions
 

Spiderheart

Eyeless
Gerak turns to the bard, gives a slow blink, and then returns his attention to the people saying things that actually matter. "I agree with Niko that a live prisoner would be best, but I'm also concerned that you and your husband will face retaliation if one of them escapes during the fighting. An ambush in the woods would be harder to connect to you... especially if it happens after they've collected their tax." His lips curl up into a wry smile. "It would also mean we'd fight them while they're weighed down with trade goods."

"Alternatively, we could stage it so that it looks like we're shaking you down when we arrive. Make the bandits think a rival gang is trying to muscle in on their territory. If they're busy trying to consolidate power and hunt down rival, they won't have time to harass you – and they're more likely to come to us, rather than us having to track them down."

The half-orc turns to look out the window. "The ramparts – are they in good condition? If so, it would be easy enough to set up everyone with a crossbow up there. Turn the courtyard into a killbox. I doubt these bandits will be much good at bullying you with a couple bolts in their backs."
 

WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Supporter
Svetlana nods. ”The walkways above still work. It’s the catapults that don’t. Found ‘em that way when Oleg and took the place over. I’m sure they’re too old now.”

A tear slips down her cheek. She quickly dabs it with her apron. “I’m sorry. I know nothing has happened yet. But, you offering to help means so much. This has been our life for months. It’s taken a toll.

“I try to do right by others. I don’t wish ill. There’s enough going around that everyone has their own baggage to carry. But, I have no love for these people. I’d sooner see them all dead. I don’t know how you want to go about the business of handling them. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know the first thing of battle. And Oleg and I aren’t soldiers by any means. But, if we can help in any way, just holler. Feel free to explore the trading post as you work out your plan.”

She stands and begins clearing the finished dishes. She and Oleg give you as much time as you need to finish your meal and get settled into the guesthouse (A2).

You have the rest of the day and evening to work out what your plan will be. You can explore the rest of the trading post as you please.

What do you do to prepare? What will your plan be?
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Niko goes to the guesthouse and places his pack there, keeping his crossbow handy just in case the bandits decide to show up a bit early. He then tries to gather the others up to begin discussing tactics and plans.

Assuming he is successful, the man sits down with his pipe in his teeth. "Ok, lets go over just what assets we have available for us to bring to the table. As a summoner, I have a other worldly friend that I can call forth that is excellent in a hands on fight, and I have my crossbow. I personally prefer to be able to have Ifrit tear into my opponents while I plunk them with bolts from a short distance since my magics are not as combat oriented as a sorcerer or wizard has."

<puff puff> He then says, "Depending on what everyone else is capable of, I would suggest that we keep as many of us on the high positions of the walls while our melee fighters engage up close, leaving the spellcasters up and away from the pointy ends of the bandit swords. But I don't wish to dictate to you. If someone has a better idea, I am interested in hearing it."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Athaclenna also puts her pack in the guesthouse, and lets Niko give his suggestions on just how to go about this. She listens, then offers up, "Well, you did say that you wanted to have a person to interrogate. I can prepare either a Sleep or a Charm spell that would take one or more of the bandits out of the fight and hopefully put one or more of them at our disposal to put to the question. For the rest, I can prep up several Magic Missile spells, or I can rely upon my own crossbow to plink at them from a distance."
 

Spiderheart

Eyeless
"Sleep is probably better than charming. I'd say prepare to cast that twice; nothing wrong with extra prisoners, and reduces the odds of them all resisting." Gerak leans back in his chair, keeping it upright only through spacial awareness. "Like I said, I'm competent with a sword, but Mokele is the better combatant of us two. I usually just make a point of keeping whoever he's trying to bite distracted." He scratches the beast's head, eliciting a contented rumble from it. "I can do the same for this 'Ifrit' of yours, if you like."

"I agree that everyone but me should be up on the walls, though. Like I said, I'd like to try and turn the central yard into a death trap, and having the bandits surrounded is step one." The half-orc nods approvingly at his fellow summoner. "Elf – I know you said your name, but it escapes me. That bird of yours. Can you have it act as lookout?"

"In any case, our hostess suggested we get a better understanding of the grounds, and I'm inclined to listen. We can't plan properly without knowing the resources at our disposal." Gerak stands up. "Can I suggest we meet back here in an hour after we've properly explored?"
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
"Elf – I know you said your name, but it escapes me. That bird of yours. Can you have it act as lookout?"
"It is Athaclenna. But you can call me Clenna if that is easier for you to remember." She reaches up and touches the soft feathers of her raven, and says, "Yes, Riku, my familiar, can help provide some early warning and come to tell me how many people he sees and how far away they are. It should give us some time to prepare come morning."

She then nods as Gerak suggests the get-together in an hour, giving them all some time to explore. "I agree. Let us see just what we have to work with here, and return to compare ideas and notes."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Niko glances over at the others that have not spoken up yet. "I remember that Klemmon here has said that he's good with a bow, but I don't know how well our musical friend Scikelov can handle himself in a fight. What say you, sir? What do you bring to the party besides your silver tongue?" He smiles, trying to keep the mood light.

OOC forgot to tag @Kameron Esters- and @4eyedintrovert
 

Kameron Esters-

Fear my godly wrath!
"A fight? HA! Please! Ill yell you right now, I'd be the first one on the ground in any physical altercation!" Scikelov laughs as he strums his heart "I'd rather my infamous 'silver-tongue' and my abundant well of charm work their magics. I also have a bow with some arrows and a rapier but im not all too good with those Especially the arrows...Tricky little twigs they are."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Niko chuckles at the outburst. "Very well. It seems that Gerak and our Eidolons will be the only ones on the ground, while the rest of us keep some distance. Lets go ahead and explore for a bit, and see if there are any surprises that we can pull out in case there are more fighters than we expect."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Heading out, Athaclenna does her bit of exploring, letting her curiosity lead her where it will. She is looking for weapons or items that can be quickly made into weapons to be used in a trap against the bandits. Expect the worst, but hope for the best. That way, when things go horribly wrong, you are still prepared.
 

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