The Antlered Ones pt 1
Part one of the Antlered ones Prp. The players goal will be to infiltrate the Rainfoot tribe and gather information on the Antlered ones that may be used in the following episodes. Minor risk (risk 2) with a focus on social skills.
Open to all Mirrorguard with a Max of six participants. Quenia and Agostino have priority this episode.
Feb. 17, 2021, 8 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Lenosia - Near Count Vespin's Lands
Comments and Log
The Antlered Ones pt 1 has started at Outside Arx - Lyceum near Lenosia - Near Count Vespin's Lands.
Recently one of the noble houses of the Lyceum approached the Mirrorguard with a problem. One of their vassals - a certain Count Vespin - wants to go to war with an abandoned clan. In many cases this wouldn't raise many eyebrows. They are just abandoned afterall. But the Rainfoot are part of an alliance of such clanned under the rule of one of those petty kings that crop up every so often. The resulting alliance is too powerful to simply attack and, on top of this, has a tradition of leaving the Compact alone. If Count Vespin attacks the results could be bothersome for his lieges and possibly even for Velenosa.
Count Vespin has explained that he feels the need to act because a cult known as the Antlered Ones is currently conducting a magical ritual which aims to do great harm to his family and lands. He wont allow that to happen whilst he has an army that might prevent it but he will give the Mirrorguard a chance to resolve the problem through more peaceable means. That is where you come in.
The Rainfoot are not an insignificant clan of goatherders. They own a thriving agrarian town with high walls, well fed people, professional soldiers and a thriving market. Its market day today and you can see that the area around the gates is already busy.
First things first. You need to get inside. The most obvious options are to pretend to be merchants and go in through the gates or to try and sneak in through a side gate, culvert, or other secretive access point. Maybe you can even climb over the walls.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Emberly before departing.
Emberly looks as if she was already expecting to play the part of a merchent, she had on her alchemist belt and simple leathers, she was also brandishing a paintbrush "get a painting in your likelyness in 20 minutes or less!" she grins oh great its cartoon drawings akin to what you would see in todays themeparks.
Quenia is dressed down for this misadventure, wearing very warm woolens. Or, maybe she's just dressed sensibly. There's nothing ostentatious about her wardrobe, that is. She's just bundled up and looking very warm and carrying a backpack. She worked hard on her outfit to find clothing that would blend in, having had some time before setting off for the Lyceum. But, then, Quenia has had some practice at this sort of thing while working for her brothers at some length. Their sly spymaster, they would call her. "I think our best option would be to go through the gates. Not everyone would have to talk their way through, if we go as a group of merchants," she speaks quietly from wherever their position is near the city. Her own backpack looks like it may be brimming with 'stuff', where the stuff would be contraband the abandoned people don't get to see every day, like the frilly lace that might go well with the womenfolk.
Esme has a most illuminating smile upon her features. "This place is just charming." She may already be trying to decide how close to Tor borders it is. A glance in that direction with her emerald gaze. Then she looks back towards the others. "As always, I'm willing to follow the first steps of a choice." She's in leather armor and has an expensive blade at her hip, but really, she probably just looks like a happy sellsword. Merchant protection here. Then she tosses her auburn hair behind her. She has a back of tricks with her, but it's closed as a mystery. Is it more armor? Perhaps. More weapons? Could be? Plushies for the masses? Potentially. A body? Most likely not, but one never knoes.
Thea comes prepared for well anything, dressed in leathers and a heavy cloak. Her medical supplies and whatever else she may have are covered. Looking over at Quenia, Thea lowers her voice, quiet. "I--don't know. Whose the best speaker. Because I'm not the best one for such, but I'll happily go in whatever direction you choose."
Felix is dressed in his typical wear - slightly dirty forge leathers, providing both a reasonable - and realistic - guise of a smith. His hammer, however, has a crude cover of leather and plain steel to hide both the material and the quality of it. A heavy pack of his own, and his belt further equiped with forge tools for his guise, giving Quenia a nod of agreement as he adjusts the pack he wears. A glance over the others, to ensure they at least pass a casual inspection of his own gaze. "I'm reasonably charming, but my acting is .. average at best."
Caprice could comfortably fit in to multiple scenarios while dressed in leather and silk, and her general 'tude. But merchant-related entries do seem to hold the greatest appeal for the artisan and thus far, she's content to follow the lead of the others. "What are we selling," she wants to know, "and what would we possibly be trading for?"
You merge into a line of abandoned merchants and follow them down the road and to the gates themselves. There are four guards down on the road equipped in boiled leather cuirasses, steel open faced helms, and armed with spears that look more savage than they actually are. Overhead, on the wall, there are archers. Only the four guards are paying much attention to the traffic.
One of the gate guards steps forwards and asks something in Lycene Shav.
Quenia glances over to Caprice. "I've brought some lace from the market, and some other cloth tidbits that might be useful; older out of fashion bits that they might usually see around here. Not a lot. Just enough that might seem reasonable for someone traveling from place to place." Essentially whatever Quenia could carry herself. "But I expect we each have our own things," she says between Caprice, Felix, and Emberly. "With Thea and Esme for protection because wares always need protecting." Yes, Quenia has definitely put some thought into this. After all, even the town has hired mercs. She tilts her had at the gate guard, and quietly tells the others. "The guards are asking what folk are carrying." It seems Quenia knows Lycene shav.
Emberly nods to Caprice then the others "all i have is paints.." she says quietly nodding her head to Quenia and the others. "indeed"
Esme gives the happiest, beaming smile towards the guards. She's not speaking shav, but her voice has a distinct Lycene purr to it. In fact, her voice just as it is has a bit of a purr to it. "I have my sword and things I need for bunking down." Her eyes slide over where those guards are. As well as she's looking at all the exits from the town that she can note. Where they go. The quickest route to get people to them. For the most part, just happy and open. Then she glances back behind them and across the others, just to be sure.
"Some iron ingots, and leather ready to be worked." Felix offers, for his part. With a nod to Quenia. "Enough that a traveling tinker might have on hand for repairs or general trading." adding so that Quenia can respond, as Felix - while he looks attentive, has no idea what they are saying.
Looking at herself, then back at Esme, Thea gives an amused curved of her lips. "I can see that, yes." She eyes Quenia, lifting a brow,"So--were you sitting on that idea the WHOLE way here,"before adding to Esme's words. "I have at least two daggers, a knife, and my sword." Ok, so she's prepared. Thea meanwhile skims the guards, the people. Probably planning escapes route or something.
Caprice has bolts of undyed wool and a color swatchbook of available dyes, which she has ready for display should Quenia's translation not be enough for the gatekeepers. Given the differing language, she appears content to keep quiet for now.
Quenia gives Thea a vaguely amused look. "Hardly." Naturally, Quenia would have been telling folk her thoughts, and that it would depend on what they found. Whether or not they listened to the socialite is a whole other story! "I can interpret for those who don't speak their cant, but they should also know Arvani too," she offers as they make their way through the line.
Quenia checks charm and performance at easy. Quenia is successful.
Emberly checks dexterity and artwork at easy. Emberly is successful.
Caprice checks charm and haggling at easy. Caprice is successful.
Esme checks charm and etiquette at easy. Esme is successful.
Felix checks charm and performance at easy. Felix is successful.
Thea checks composure and stealth at easy. Thea is successful.
The guard goes from one to the other asking to see the goods in most cases. Esme gains a long look when she starts purring in Arvani but he soon moves on, peering in bags, and giving the group a perfunctory once over. Whatever he sees apparantly satisfies him because he soon steps back and tells them "A thousand silver." in bored sounding Arvani. "Check with the market master before you set up." Once the toll is delivered he waves them inside and moves onto the next wagon.
The crowds should mask anything but the strangest of actions but it is clear that any conflict here, inside the walls, will result in your capture at best and death at worst. First things first. You need to learn what you can about the Antlered Ones.
(This investigative challenge takes place over the course of the morning. Each person needs to do one action and you are encouraged to split up. IE One person might go question the merchants at the market place. Another might go to the tavern. Another might sneak into the guard hut and pilfer their logbooks. Whatever makes sense for your character.)
Emberly looks to Queena "I would love to learn if you could offer me some lessons on the language." she asks the other as they enter. She looks about her eyes flicker and she smiles softly as her attention moves from one person to the other.
Thea is clearly clueless about what was said, but agrees. "Id like to learn--when there's time of course,"walking inside. She looks over her shoulder, checking on the others, her lips thin. You know, looking all growly and well--Domonico like. If you know him, you know the look.
Quenia glances over at Emberly and nods her head. "Aahana, Domonico's wife, taught me," she tells the other woman. She's careful not to use titles here. She nods to Thea as well, "So noted." She furrows her brow and looks around the area, trying to get a good read on the town and where things are located. "Does anyone have any preference on where they'd like to go and do things?" she asks.
Emberly checks intellect and streetwise at easy. Emberly is successful.
"I think those of us posing as merchants might split up into pairs, aye? Two to the markets, two to the tavern, so we aren't splitting up too much. With our earstwhile guards doing.. what they do best?" Felix looks between those gathered when they have at least a bit of time to discuss it. "I'm likely best at either of the two - market or tavern, myself. No preference between them."
Esme allows her smile to stay in place as she heads for a tavern like a good 'sellsword'. There is a swing of hip and she offers, "Well, I'm happy to walk in here and get a drink. Do let me know what you need from me until I come check your booths." Which really means she's going to go to the tavern if anyone is interested to maybe et a drink. She does pause as Felix speaks though.
"I can go sneak into the guard's hut,"Thea volunteers. "I can blend in enough I think,"looking down at herself.
Emberly looks to the others looking a little thoughtful, "I would like to try the tavern." she says quietly
Caprice nods amiably to Felix's suggestion, adding quietly to the group, "I'd likely be of most help actually bartering. You pick up plenty of news that way and it'd look strange if we left with everything we brought to sell."
Quenia glances between each of the groups as they decide which way they want to go. Esme and Emberly decide to go to the Tavern, Thea to the guard hut. Felix either way and Caprice to the market. "I'll go the market as well," she decides, "and head toward the town square once we're finished looking around there. As much stuff can be heard and seen by simply watching people as much as talking to them," she says with a sly look.
When Esme and Emberly arrive at the tavern they find it full of people drinking a rather pleasant local variety of tea, talking and generally enjoying their mornings. They can mingle here chatting and generally catching up with the gossip.
Thea goes off to scout the guard hut. The guards are pretty busy but she will definitely benefit from creating a distraction before trying to snatch the book away from the bored sergeant at the desk.
After purchasing the rights to a market stall (another 1000 silver gone) Felix, Caprice and Quenia have an ideal opportunity to talk to the many visitors to the market. Most are locals but a handful are foreigners. One or two look just as Arvani as you do. No wonder the guards didn't find it strange.
Esme checks charm and propaganda at easy. Esme is successful.
Emberly checks charm and seduction at easy. Emberly is successful.
Thea checks intellect and manipulation at easy. Thea is successful.
Felix checks charm and smithing at easy. Critical Success! Felix is inhumanly successful in a way that defies expectations.
Thea checks dexterity and stealth at easy. Thea is successful.
Quenia checks charm and investigation at easy. Quenia is successful.
Everyone has their clues. Time to meet up again and discuss your next action.
Quenia carries her supplies with her as she makes her way around the market, smiling at many of the visitors that come see her 'wares'. As mentioned she has some out of trend cloth that she was able to get her hands on, and some lace that the women might like. She chatters back and forth with them, seeming at ease in her situation. There's bits here and there that seem to interest her, which she passes along to Caprice, and then when selling time seems to end she says, "Perhaps we should meet the others at the tavern and discuss everything. What an interesting fellow we learned about today," she remarks quietly to Caprice.
Esme is hanging out in said Tavern, so she will wait to see if they come to them or not. She looks very lounged as she's convincing people of the newest political order or something. Eff those nobles. Her eyes move to the door every time it opens to wait and see. If they don't enter within the next twenty minutes, she will go check on them in the marketplace. Or see if Thea needs bailing out of jail.
Felix gets invited to help a smith to produce a delivery of iron tokens for a man called Rollar. He gives one of these tokens to the rest of the group. On one side the token has an antlered skull and on the other there is a geometric design. After handing the token over and having shared what he learns he goes to follow through on his promise to help the smith.
Thea rushes into the tent. Because you know--reasons. Seeing it mostly empty, a look appears in her gold-flecked green eyes. One that is unnoticed to those that don't know her. Glancing at the lone figure at the desk, the Malvici straightens, gasping,"Excuse me ser, but there seems to be a huge--outbreak in town. Something about a theft. Anyway, a fight broke out and I was told to summon you as quick as possible." Thea smiles a moment, watching as he darts out, before she silently steps to the mans squating spot. She takes the book and safely tucks it in her satchel, dashing out quietly and quickly. Jail. Pffft!
It doesn't take long for Quenia to make good on getting to the tavern. Once there, she looks for Emberly and Esme right away. It's Esme she finds first, giving a nod of her head. "Hey. Any luck?" she asks, taking a seat near to her. "Heard there's a new guy in town, buying up all sorts of strange supplies. Rollar was his name," she tells her.
Caprice really sells that they're here to sell because, well. That's how she spends her time. Visibly unremarkable, just another merchant out for good deals, while the others go about their own business. Heading to the tavern for a pint is really just the expected course of action; she nods agreement with Quenia, suggesting she can hang back a little while to direct everyone to the same place (if that wasn't already decided in advance).
The book that Thea is written in lycene shav and only partially readable by Thea herself but with Quenia's help to translate and both Rollar and Keep Road to look for you finally find something interesting: "Damn that Rollar. Samson died today and with him my hopes to link Rollar to the kidnapping ring. Maybe Rollar's property on Keep road will have more answers when we raid."
The book that Thea 'stole' is written in lycene shav and only partially readable by Thea herself but with Quenia's help to translate and both Rollar and Keep Road to look for you finally find something interesting: "Damn that Rollar. Samson died today and with him my hopes to link Rollar to the kidnapping ring. Maybe Rollar's property on Keep road will have more answers when we raid."
Esme smiles as the others come in. "Learned that he's been admitted ot hte town council and there is talk that he's probably involved in all kinds of criminal activity and hocus pocus. They aren't sure what else he could be involved with." She listens to the rest and then glances towards the book and back towards the others. "Well, I suppose we know where he lives now."
Thea orders a drink quick. It was hard work, running around, being sneaky. "I want to know about this kidnapping ring,"she admits. "And yes, maybe give a visit,"looking to the book, thanking Queina for helping her translate. "Hocus pocus huh. What sort?"
All the pieces together combine as follows:
Rollar has recently gained political power and a place on the council
Many people (including the local guard) believe Rollar is involved in criminal activities.
Rollar has been buying supplies that suggest he's involved in activities outside the norm.
Rollar is buying tokens with an antlered skull symbol on them.
Rollar is associated with a building on Keep Road
The guard is investigating Rollar.
With all that in mind - what do you wish to do next?
Retreat happy that you know everything you need to know? Retreat and come back later? Approach the guard about a deal? Investigate the building on Keep Road? Something else?
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