The transition from "big" city to "small" city was experienced in this meeting and I think it captured some of the comfort that the group has and I mentioned earlier in this blog. On arriving at Orihalcus they were noticed, celebrated and reviled, appreciated, spoken to, and ultimately had an impact on the populace just by their being there.
There is always a sense of franticness on the arrival back at the party's home town. As if there is so much to do and not enough time to do it.
Sadly their time actually inside the walls of Orihalcus have been truncated as of late thanks to the dismal actions of the party leader and local half-ogre. This had (and has) led to a number of the party members coming to me in private and mentioning their dismay that "we always seem to rush out of Orihalcus".
Not my fault. Talk to the halfling scaring, guard dangling, shouting and violent outbursting party leader and knight(?)ly half-ogre. He doesn't seem to have the Sheriff offering to bring him a bag of chocolates and an apple pie. Chuckle.
Write up follows:
We backtracked a tiny bit to take care of Coruth'tae and his gambling exploits at the Duke's Dice the night before; a high end gambling establishment in Old City. The grey elf wandered around and the place was sizeable, two stories, shaped like an "L" – spiral stairs roped off to the 2nd floor, dice and card games along the bottom floor.
Patrons were divested of weaponry and the warning against magery was given. Coruth'tae went to the bathroom where we cast a Detect Magic inside the privy, and then walked around the place as best as he could and "scan". The tables were clean and clear, but there was a lattice-work of spell threads running along floor, walls, and ceiling – all of them terminating at a large mosaic of a nobleman playing dice. Coruth'tae felt there was some sort of warning system built into it and walked around. For a couple of hours he went up and down, betting against other players and casing the joint. He spotted at least 4 "ringers" (house players who mingle like patrons) and 3 of the pit bosses. He dodged being watched after a disastrous couple of hands of poker.
Eventually he wandered to the back smoky section where he joined a "demi-human" game with gnomes and high elves. One hand play, he went through the motions and had cast a silent spell version of Phantasmal Force – opting to change one of his hole cards into a king of spades. The betting at the table got a bit fierce and when he tried to "cash" in a diamond at the table, the dealer called a pit boss over who took an immediate suspicion of the grey elf and offered to hold the diamond as a marker.
There was one player left at the round robin at the table and when it was over, Coruth'tae decided to let the spell expire before showing the hands and instead let it happen – he happened to win on his own recognizance but took his purse and left.
He went to Tower Arcane where he learned a lot about magery there, the guild, joined up, and would be returning at a later date/time. Then the party convened on Earthmonth the 13th at 4:30 and we talked. Karis wanted us to leave as soon as possible (tomorrow) and we went over our list of things to do. Visit the potion makers, Tyrian Cathedral of Justice, Adventuring guild (to buy treasure gathering/ dungeoneering gear) and a few other sundry locations.
Two different main potion makers in town – and the group opted to go to Stintharian's. A bit more pricey but had a full range of potions at our beck and call. We brokered some more healing, extra, and superior, learned about some of the potions we have on us, made a few trades, got a price on an alchemist's lab for Coruth'tae, and eventually got the ear of the potion master himself and spoke about trolls. If we could get him a forest troll brought back to him alive and whole (and of course bound and trussed) he would make us 3 potions of Perfect Health (permanent raise of constitution) as well as 2 potions of Regeneration. We talked about how we would do it and what we would need to do to facilitate this but as Stintharian pointed out – he has no idea – you're adventurers – that's YOUR job to figure out!
Most importantly though was the ingredients listing of raw materials the potion makers would need and we saw many items on there we have already passed over or feel confident we would get to see again.
Karis went to the Cathedral where we spoke with the priests there and was told he would have to come back. Was suggested he go to the Penitent Order of the Flying Sword if he wants to be a Templar in Tyr's name. Made a purchase for some holy water (ie..donation) and moved on.
Zoltan purchased bags, torches, crowbars, lanterns, oil, 10' poles (hahahah!), and a variety of other goods and items – and to top it off, a mule! Finally he planned ahead and purchased a nicely made dress cut in the latest fashion, a cask of locally brewed dwarven ale and a large toy box filled with simple toys.
We rested that night and (except for Coruth'tae who went to Old Wharf and played at 3-Fathoms Gambling Hall where he did decent enough and left with more coinage) the next day wrapped up a few loose ends, paid some items off as necessary, and then took ownership of the 10 crates of pigeons from the Baron's seneschal. We were out of Cymbarton's gates by 2 PM on Earthmonth the 14th.
Travel was quiet that night and we pressed on till nightfall (passing a couple of hunters with a travois loaded with a dozen wolf pelts). Outside of Ponyboro on the next day there were some noises in the brush, possible ambush? But Karis had us ride on ahead and Coruth'tae proved himself to be useful by making it sound like a mounted patrol was riding the other direction. Good idea! We rested tiredly at the Rampant Griffon and woke the next day early and left on our way to Orihalcus on Earthmonth the 16th.
We made great time and saw a number of locals, weather was holding – this was 5 days of nice weather – and then the next day, the weather turned to cold driving thunderous rain and 40 degree temperatures. We donned cloaks and hoods and thick shirts and hunkered down. Although the rain was coming down, the roads were nothing but wet, no mud or washouts. And we arrived in Orihalcus just about 2:30.
We rode down Main St. right to the Town Square where Sheriff Phozarn came out and took possession of the pigeons. He looked the group over and there were tense words as the Sheriff reminded Karis that he most likely would have to get out of town tomorrow so don't get comfortable. The rest of the Sundered Chains (and co.) were treated better.
We got to the house and spent some time unloading the last of our gear and goods and taking care of the animals. We were hungry and there were a few small errands we wanted to run. Zoltan took Clipclop (the mule) to Marzen's Copperworks on the north end of town where he got audience with the dwarven councilman and master miner. Talked about Karis and the problems and wanted to smooth things over so he brought the dwarves a keg/cask of Cymbarton Brown Dwarven Ale. It went over well and the bard/thief was thanked and well received for his generosity.
He then went to the Blessed Children of the Wilted Leaf where he interrupted Deidre (Dehteron's girlfriend) who was taking care of some children. They spoke for a little while and he donated the box of toys and said it came from the Sundered Chains. Was thanked and she had one of the orphans, a large and hulking half-orc teenager who had shown much signs of abuse help her to bring it in. Told him to tell Detheron she would be coming by to visit and would bring pie.
Coruth'tae went to Yrgg's Skiens where he picked up his cold weather gear and thanked the dwarven woman for her work. He went to the Greengrocers and picked up some raw food stuffs and met Zoltan back at the party house where he began cooking stew for the night (the 3 kobold women were out working).
Gwyn went to the Rumbling Gut and got a cheap bowl of stew and some ale to wash it down and enjoyed his time relaxing. Karis and Detheron went to the Blue and Dancing Minepick Inn for early dinner where the half-ogre was just watched. Conversation died at his entrance and stayed low. Dirty looks were sent his way and there was a general unease at his presence. The proprietor, Hostir, made himself absent and the serving wench was nervous and skittish; the service sucked as the food and drink took too long. They left after a while and they could tell that the conversation blossomed on their exit. Karis stuck his nose back in fast and gave the taproom a parting comment and then the two of them went back to the party’s home.
Meanwhile Gwyn overheard some of the locals come in and they were talking about Karis was back in town. Dirty, no-good, monstrous humanoid. What to do? Someone should tell Kalt and get him here. Gwyn said nothing, just kept his head low and bought drink after drink for himself, listening in. The nobleman came in and told the rabble-rousers to do nothing – don't bother the half-ogre just watch him and let Kalt know the INSTANT that Karis left Orihalcus again as he (Karis) should be leaving on the morrow. Something about something planned. Kalt left and Gwyn waited a long time before leaving himself (to avoid suspicion). He was told by the barkeep (who recognized him) to let Zoltan know that Keohn was looking for him and to pass the message along.
The kobold women came home one at a time and were happy to see the group. It's been tough in town since we were here last as the populace gives them strange looks and there is some animosity about Karis and his actions. As for learning how to read, so far only one of them has had any luck. Eventually Ilva came in (the last one – farming kobold woman) and she was quieter and most uncomfortable/shy. Karis tried to talk to her but she shied away and cleaned up and said there was nothing wrong. Karis was convinced that she had been roughed up by the locals for his actions.
Gwyn filled in the group about what he had overheard at the Rumbling Gut and Karis got very angry. Saying things like killing Kalt, and honor, and dragging the nobleman's corpse to Sir Walter and showing him what he had done. When the group tried to talk about this and the folly involved, the angry half-ogre declared that they should dissolve the group now as he was not going to just walk out and LET himself be assaulted by an honorless cur. There was talk about the need for level heads and Karis needs to think clearly and the half-ogre calmed down a TINY bit – but we suspect we are going to have some problems. Soon.
Zoltan went to the Rumbling Gut and met with Keohn, suspecting she was going to tell the gypsy thief about the Kalt thing BUT she surprised him by letting him know that a friendly dwarf that owes her a favor had been near the lift a couple days ago and about 10:30 PM, one of the kobold women was seen climbing the lift (not riding it up as it would have gathered attention) and crying. She was dirty and a bit disheveled and upset as she picked her way through the darkness to the party’s home. Zoltan thanked her and he went back to the group.
We ended it here. It's 6:15 on Earthmonth the 17th and we KNOW that Sir Walter is going to be requesting Karis' presence (and maybe others in the party) very soon. We have successfully done as we were tasked to do and returned to Orihalcus with our charges in tow a good 10 hours ahead of schedule. As per the lordship's words, this should give us 3 weeks to go and do as we wish.
Our plans so far (till this point) include us going to Caer Dargan and the dungeon below. We know it's a day and a half to Ponyboro and about 3 days to Caer Dargan. Allowing 4 and a half days there, 4 and a half days back – that's 9 days. A week is 6 days, so we have 3 weeks = 18 days. That leaves us 9 days to explore the dungeon and hopefully find the treasures mentioned within the venerable tomes.