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Party 6

Nephyriun

Void Flopsie
Supporter
Chapter 1: Into the Mists

The lot of you are no strangers, having met through some strange turn of events and coming to rely on each other's talents time and time again. And you're not the only ones -- in the time you've spent in the small northern Sword Coast town of Daggerford, just a bit under a day's travel from the sprawling city of Waterdeep, you've made a bit of a name for yourselves protecting its people from the various perils of the wilderness. So it isn’t much of a surprise that when the Duchess Morwen is having guests over for dinner, you all are invited. You consider her quite the friend considering how much you have served her duchy over the course of your stay, and the benefits from such a friendship are quite nice indeed.

The night is brisk, the full moon ominously bright as you maneuver your way through the nearly vacant cobblestone streets. Even though the walled settlement isn’t the largest, it is normally much more lively - but the people's superstitions must be getting the better of them. Tugging on your collar you push the thoughts to the back of your mind, making haste towards your destination. Best not make the Duchess wait any longer than need be.

As you arrive and are lead into the dining hall, the scents of various dishes begin to overwhelm your senses. Eagerly you find an empty seat, noticing as a few others file in after you -- though the table is not nearly filled to capacity, as it would in the event of some grand political showcase or similar. As usual the Duchess is seated at the head of the table, flashing a warm smile with every arrival and extending a hand in well-rehearsed greeting. There was a natural charm about her, and within her domain it was easy to forget about or conveniently push aside the dreadful gloom outside the walls of the manse.

You all eat and discuss recent happenings in the town, keeping up the typical pleasantries of small talk for the majority of the evening. But as the dinner begins to come to a close with the arrival of the main course, Morwen clears her throat to catch your attention and bring silence around the table. For, as you had learned over time, it was not a proper dinner around her table unless there was business to attend to.

“I don’t mean to interrupt this fine night we've been having...” she begins hesitantly, “...but we do have some important business to discuss. The reason I invited you all here tonight was because I have some concerns about a group of wayward travelers that are camped outside of Daggerford’s walls. I first assumed they were harmless, but then I had heard rumors from the townsfolk -- of them practicing witchcraft and other savage rituals. Of threatening to curse any who crossed their path.”

Taking a moment to reach for a glass of wine before her, she would take a generous sip before setting the drink back down and continuing. “At this point I'm not sure who or what to believe, but I'm wary of exotic magicks -- and quite frankly, we can't afford to have any more unknown factors after the events of the previous few nights.” Her gaze flickers downward. "... You're probably aware of the rumors of werewolves."

She sighs, shaking her head. “But I digress. For now, I simply ask for you to go down there tonight and investigate things for me, while I'm held up with other concerns. And in the case that they are as wicked as I've heard... tell them they have until dawn to move out of my territory, or I will see them out by force."


 

AtomGray

New Member
Benson2.jpg

Benson Anhelada takes small, polite bites of food between large gulps of wine. He's trying to make a go of this; having friends, a job, and a reputation. It doesn't come easily, but he is trying. For him, it feels a little bit like standing on a high balcony and looking down. He's feeling himself getting too attached to these people, too comfortable in this place. They're mistakes that Benson has made before, and he has paid that price. He knows what he's setting himself up for... but he won't stop it. Benson takes another gulp, brushes his hair out of his eyes, smiles, and makes polite conversation.

It is a relief when Duchess Morwen brings up the prospect of work. It's something concrete to fix his thoughts on. Something strikes him as odd about the proposition though. "Other than the townsfolk gossip, do we know anything about them? I'd like our objective to be clear; what are we to do if we find them to be more or less dangerous than they've been described? I am happy to seek out the truth and bring it back to you if this is a friendly misunderstanding, but it seems not without risk to go there and be attacked or cursed for our mere presence, if what you've heard is true."
 
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Chinchster

Junior Member
Varïs seems to feel comfortable in the gloomy weather, as it's what has haunted his dreams for so many years. As the group eats he can't hold himself back, devouring his food and drink knowing that it has been the best food he's eaten in a while.

Listening to the Duchess and Benson's comments he pauses eating, hm.. either she doesn't know all of the facts or is holding something back from us. Upon swallowing the last of his bite and wiping his hands he speaks up, "Yes, as Benson here has stated and not to be rude but, this seems like something the town guard can handle? Unless they are more powerful than we had thought. Might there be a connection to the warewolves as well?"

Varis pauses for a response as to not ramble with his train of thought. I've heard of a lot of weird things outside the walls but never this big of a disturbance.
 

Krips Targo

New Member
Krips has a concerned look on his face, this sounds like a good chance to look into the werewolves, i cant have innocent people being harmed. as everyone takes a bite to eat he doesn't seem interested in eating when peoples well being is at risk, he often has an upset stomach and is no mood for food, pecking away as to not seem like a rude guest.

Looking over at the Duchess he calms his mind. "While i agree with my companions concerns, If i can help you or any of the townspeople i'm at your command." Krips lets out a faint sigh having offered his services he feels a little relieved.

 

ratbot

New Member
568322
Reppip's appetite is astounding considering his diminutive stature. This is great, though would go really well with acorns. I never understand, with humans, why they go to such lengths of preparation for flavor, and yet never consider some of the wonders that are provided by nature itself. I should find a way to explain this, and convice them all to eat more acorns and pine cones. Maybe sing about the gathering of mushrooms, which are poisonous and which are delicious. I think that maybe a ballad, maybe something with a few augmented---- Oh. Werewolves. That sounds wonderful. I haven't seen wolves outside of the basic ones, and that would make for a great tale, could feed me for weeks. How would I do a wolf's voice? Do they have voices? Would anyone know the difference?

With a start, Reppip realizes that he's missed the majority of the conversation and just nods along, agreeing to whatever's decided.
 

Nephyriun

Void Flopsie
Supporter
Dining Room:

Duchess Morwen sips her wine thoughtfully as she listens to the group's inquiries, nodding along. "Yes, yes -- you're right to be careful. Unfortunately I don't have anything to work off of besides the hearsay that some of my guards have picked up during their patrols and their own accounts of them being rather... rambunctious in their revelry, for the past couple of nights since they first arrived. From what I hear they're parked along the banks of the Delimbiyr River, just outside of the keep."

She shakes her head, idly twirling her wine glass as she continues. "In other words, just outside of the radius of patrol groups from our guard. We only have so many on duty at any given time. I could send the guard, sure, but how do I approach this? Too small a group might be taken advantage of if they are malicious, but too large a group would not only be seen as aggressive but would leave the keep understaffed. I do not have the privilege of being reckless with decisions."

She sighs, setting the glass down and allowing it to be refilled by a nearby servant. "Apologies, it has been a long day. I am asking this favor of you because I know you to be capable enough of defending yourselves, yet independent enough from my governance to not seem like I'm showing a display of power by sending guards. All I request is for you to scout them out, say hello, figure out why they're here and what they want. If they do turn out to be dangerous, let me know as soon as possible but do not intervene unless there is an immediate threat."

She clasps her hands together and nods at each of you in turn. "In any case, I sincerely appreciate you helping me out with this matter. I hate to just send you off on what could possibly be nothing but it seems like the best course of action for now."
 

AtomGray

New Member
Benson nods along as she responds. "Just do not be surprised, ma'am, that if things turn to bloodshed that I will defend myself and my comrades. You ask us to go there with no information, and I will do this for you; a friend, but we must consider every possibility."

He notably sets down his wine, pushing it away from himself. It's best not to fill up before taking action, he thinks to himself.
 

ratbot

New Member
Reppip lights up, having had an idea.

"Perhaps we could present ourselves as something other than enforcers for your most excellence? If we were to be, perhaps a camp of merchants or performers, maybe passing from the other direction? We could get the measure of them, and if conflict and bravery is a must, we can take them by surprise? I do have a bit of disguising bits and costuming that may be helpful in this."
 

Chinchster

Junior Member
568367

Varïs done with his meal sits politely with his hands clasped. i may have doubted her thought, it seems like she thought this over, we should not take these people lightly.

"I apologize if you believe I second guessed your opinion. If everyone is in agreement I believe we should go inform these souls they need to vacate the premises." And with a nod sit back into his seat mulling over the possible outcomes.
 

AtomGray

New Member
"Not if they've done nothing wrong, Varïs. Wanderers tend to get a bad reputation, even when they seldom deserve it. What did you think of Reppip's idea? I do favor the use of a soft touch over a heavy hand in this case. I say it's worth a try to get in close and see what they're about before we choose a course of action."
 

ratbot

New Member
"I do stand corrected, I have costumes, but seem to have misplaced my disguise kits. I'm pretty good with one, so if we get some materials from the market, I can dress us up however we'd like."
 

AtomGray

New Member
"Well since they don't know us, I think it would be alright to just have a couple of us in costume. If we had Varïs and Reppip dress as merchants, then Krips and I could pass as guards." Benson looks around at his companions to survey their faces. "If we're agreed, then I suggest we go while the night is young.

He turns to Duchess Morwen, "I thank you, my lady, for the wonderful evening. I hope to see you again soon with good news."
 

Chinchster

Junior Member
"Ah yes I agree, I did not intend to strike first. Merely inform them the Duchess does not want them to linger about. But if it comes to it, I will be prepared." Varïs has a menacing grin for a quick second before recomposing himself.

"I am not sure how well of a merchant I can be but I am most happy to try!" with a rather odd smile that may be one of the genuine smile he has had appearing to be from the company Varïs is with.
 

ratbot

New Member
Reppip lights right up, standing on his chair and detailing his idea with his hands and great excitement.

"I would be happy to be of service, doing most of the talking. Perhaps I am to be the most outgoing of the merchants, while you can be the more reserved and more calculating of them? I think it best that we come *from* town, now that I think of it, having had sold all of our corn or grains or trinkets or wares, and are now heading back? We could stop at them closer to evening, having said we see their fire and ask if we can join them for a meal? We should remember to have some rations so as not to seem beggars.

Have you ever heard the story about Anders of Cormyr and the time that he... oh. Another time."
 

Krips Targo

New Member
Ganrof nodding along,"As long as we try to resolve this matter as peacefully as we can, you guys can figure out the details."
 

AtomGray

New Member
"It's a fine plan, Reppip. Even better since we don't need to have things to sell, nor set up a camp. It sounds like everyone's agreed. Let's go."
 

Nephyriun

Void Flopsie
Supporter
Dining Room:

"Your actions are your own Benson, I will not set blame on you should it come to blows." Duchess Morwen listens attentively to the group's plans, considering chiming in but deciding against it as she watches them go back and forth. By the time they are prepared to leave the table is mostly cleaned up, the servants and guests not wanting to linger longer than they should. "You are free to make any preparations for your plans here before you depart. I suspect they will be there all night regardless." She flashes a soft, tired smile, nodding at each of you in turn. "Godspeed to you all. Perhaps we will have another dinner like this soon, without such things bothering us."

----------------

Making your preparations you eventually bid good night to the Duchess, and her servants see you of the house for the night. The streets of Daggerford are just as empty as when you first arrived at the Duchess's manse for dinner, though even more of its citizens have snuffed out their candlelight and retired for the day. In lieu of lit windows the sky is clearer now, the distant stars twinkling in the background as the moon now hangs high and prominent in the middle of the night. For most of your walk, you hear naught but the sounds of your own voices, the occasional barking of dogs, and the rustling of a crisp breeze that follows you down the cobblestone streets.

Making your way past the city gates, you're greeted with perhaps the exact opposite: the clamor of revelry and the bright blaze of a roaring bonfire, along the distant edge of the river from which Daggerford gets its name. Circling around it is a ring of three barrel-topped wagons, their accompanying horses tied to a nearby tree and munching away at some food. Around this quant scene, roughly a dozen men dance and drink and sing, their exotic garments swaying in the wind.
 

ratbot

New Member
For preparations, Reppip first dresses up Benson and Krips as guards. This includes rough woolen cloth to seem functional for sleeves, and a bit of tousling of hair. Reppip is overjoyed to use some of the natural mixtures he uses for makeup, in this case to create some rather intimidating looking scars for both of them.

Out of pure luck, for Varïs and himself, he is able to put together outfits that state 'affluent functionality'. These are mainly from his costumes, but also just tucking in the right manner their own existing clothes. For Varïs's makeup, he adds a little bit of bags under his eyes, to indicate a seriousness, as well as an intmidating irritation. This will explain his lack of conversing, as though he is the one in charge, leaving Reppip as his employee and bargainer.

The guards' weapons are on prominent display as they walk. The 'merchants' packs are on prominent display as well, since who has heard of an empty handed merchant?

"Sorry if anyone's character isn't to their liking! If there are no last minute edits or script changes, I'm happy to get started. Please just remember: We sell wheat/corn, or at least we did. We no longer have it, of course, since we're coming BACK from the market. It's been a sour day. We didn't get the prices we'd have liked to see. So now we're tired, we're irritable. Maybe they'd like to encourage us with some cheer? Perhaps we can join them for a meal? I have some chicken currently that I'd be happy to share with them for the joy of accompanying for a time, the road does get awful lonely, and the four of us have done all of the interacting with each other that we care to."
 

Chinchster

Junior Member
Varïs checks himself over looking in a glass pane to see his reflection. Reppip has some skill at this, I wonder what I would be as a merchant. It might be a little dull though, who wants to just sell things all day.

Stepping back to the group after drifting off for a couple of minutes, "Reppip, this looks very convincing! I'll be prepared to put them to sleep so we can avoid injuring them.". As they walk out past the wall seeing the raging fire burn and the dozen men around it Varïs wwhisper, "sleep might not be enough for this many." But he maintains his annoyed appearance sticking to the plan as they approach.
 

AtomGray

New Member
I still think this is just a misunderstanding, Benson thinks to himself.

"Nice work, Reppip. Remember, everyone, we're just trying to get them to talk to us. if they mean no harm then this will be an easy job."
 

Nephyriun

Void Flopsie
Supporter
Nomad Camp:

Approaching a bit closer to the camp, the light of the flames glinting off of your clothes and other accoutrements soon catches the eyes of a few nomads, one of whom seems to point your group out to someone in the distance. Soon enough the group is greeted at the edge of the camp by an old man, followed by a younger man and woman standing slightly behind him. The old man's gaze sweeps across each individual person before he bows deeply. When he comes back up, there is a wide smile on his wrinkled, wizened face. "Greetings, and welcome to our humble camp. May I ask why we have visitors on this fine night?"
 

AtomGray

New Member
Seemingly satisfied at the greeting, Benson takes his shield off of his arm and straps it onto his pack. He still carries his spear, but he sets the butt end in the dirt and stands at ease.
 

ratbot

New Member
'Good and fine evening.' Reppip says. 'We come this way on the return from a long, and frankly disappointing, day in the market. Your fits and revelry do make for a welcome sight, and we wondered if you'd enjoy some company as much as we would. The return journey to the vale seems less joyful than your revelry.'
 

Krips Targo

New Member
Krips bows in return to the old man,"I Agree with my friend here, the more the merrier." he says. Krips seems slightly uncomfortable as he's never had anything but his monks robes to wear.
 

Nephyriun

Void Flopsie
Supporter
Nomad Camp:

The old man in front listens carefully to Reppip's story amidst the sounds of music and laughter filling the air, eventually nodding in understanding. "It has been a long day indeed. Unfortunately I have little experience in the markets here, we mostly trade with those who come to us. But I digress," he says, shaking his head with a chuckle. "I have forgotten my manners in the face of company. My name is Stanimir, and this is my son Ratka and my daughter Damia. We are but humble caretakers of this splint of the Zarovan tribe."

This close to the camp, it's easy to take note of the brightly lit revelry dancing around the bonfire at the center. While a couple people are dancing to the tune of a nearby fiddler (a young woman) and singing a tune that doesn't quite sound like the Common tongue, others are simply sitting around and chatting or appearing to clean up things around the camp. A couple men are standing around the edges of the ring, on guard; Ratka too is occasionally glancing behind him, as if more concerned with the watch than with these strange newcomers in front of him.

"If you have come all the way out here simply to enjoy some company, then you are more than welcome to join us in the warmth of the fire. Perhaps we can entertain you for a spell," Stanimir says, smiling softly. "I'm a very good storyteller, myself, and my dear daughter has been training in the soothsaying ways of our people." At the mention of her name Damia flashes a small smile at the group, trying to seem welcoming.
 

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