DM: The party of three – Tanzi Turtlemoon the young wizard, Sand-in-Eye the taciturn barbarian, and Twig the magically charmed leader of the local gang known as the Rats – approach the great Western Gate of the walled city of Calabash.
Sent at 6:42 PM on Tuesday
DM: The walls of Calabash are not particularly high, maybe 15 feet, but they are quite thick… perhaps 30 feet. There are towers along the wall that go up another 20 feet.
Sent at 6:43 PM on Tuesday
DM: They are made of sandstone. There are two wooden buildings built along the road leading up to the gate. There appears to be a complex system of customs to go through. There are Ghazis on both the walls and the streets and the kapikula (official city administrators) in their tan and gold robes dart back and forth with scribes behind them.
There are several caravans waiting in line.
Sent at 6:45 PM on Tuesday
DM: What would you like to do?
Rue: I’d like to observe for a minute, to see what the kapikula require of people trying to enter the city. Are the caravans being searched?
DM: And, of course, floating above the center of the city is the fabulous palace of the Khedive. White marble, with gold and purple onion-domes and minarets.
Rue: You said it was about two hundred feet above the city?
DM: Yes, it seems the merchant leading each train is walking along with the kapikula who is speaking to the scribe and taking inventory of the goods.
DM: Yes, 200 feet above the city.
Sent at 6:50 PM on Tuesday
DM: There are quite a lot of people milling about. Then Twig says, “Come on Ziller, we don’t have to wait. You’re not selling anything, right?” He begins to thread his way through the crowd.
Sent at 6:52 PM on Tuesday
Rue: (sorry, I had to take care of a computer issue)
DM: (no problem)
Rue: Tanzi thinks for a minute. “No, I guess I’m not selling anything.”
DM: Sand seems a bit hesitant about entering the mass of people.
Rue: As she hurries after Twig, she looks over her shoulder at Sand and says, “Come on. You’ll be fine.”
Sent at 6:56 PM on Tuesday
DM: He seems to swallow some kind of fear and plunges forward with his head down and his staff in front of him.
(nat 20 on his save)
Rue: ((Wow! Don’t use up all the good rolls. ;) ))
Sent at 6:57 PM on Tuesday
DM: It becomes clear that a thin stream of solo pedestrians is wending its way in and another out, through the long tunnel of the gate. You see there are a series of portcullises that could be dropped, plus some murder holes for arrows, boiling oil, or worse.
It’s rather claustrophobic and you hear Sand breathing hard behind you.
Sent at 7:00 PM on Tuesday
DM: But eventually you emerge into a square with stone paved roads leading off into several directions. Twig is waiting near a well, which is guarded by two bored-looking Ghazi.
There are stone buildings all around you. Stout, sandy looking things with narrow windows and wooden shutters.
Rue: Do they look like residences?
Sent at 7:02 PM on Tuesday
DM: The ones straight ahead seem to be businesses on the ground floor and residencies perhaps above or behind. To the sides along the roads that run along the walls, they seem to be homes. The buildings get larger the closer you get to the center of town.
Sent at 7:04 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi halts near the well and nods to Twig. “Which way is the scriptorium?
DM: “Script… Why do you want to go there?” He seems surprised. “It’s in the market. That’s where we’re going.”
Sent at 7:06 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “I’m interested in scripts,” Tanzi explains with a shrug. “And scribes.” She looks towards Sand, “Have you changed your plans at all, or are yous still, um…” She trails off with a suspicious glance towards the Ghazi.
Sent at 7:10 PM on Tuesday
DM: “This one will listen to advice. For now.” Sand seems quite skittish. His eyes dart back and forth to follow each pedestrian’s passing.
Sent at 7:11 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “That’s quite a relief. Let’s head to the market. We can talk as we walk. Of course,” she pauses as she finally notices the extent of Sand’s discomfort, “It’s going to be even more crowded there, I bet.”
Sent at 7:13 PM on Tuesday
DM: He steps closer to you, his robes even lightly brushing your arm, and fixes your eyes in his anxious gaze as if to say, “I’m trusting you.”
He’s quite short. He’s only a few inches taller than you.
Sent at 7:16 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Beset by a vague feeling of guilt, Tanzi blows some imaginary dust off the top of the chest she’s still toting around. “Twig, will you still be my guide to the market?”
Sent at 7:17 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Course! I know everything around here. I don’t get scaaaared either.” He smirks then shrugs. “I’m not going to that scribbler’s though. I’ll point it out and then I’m gonna have a smoke and a drink. I’ll wait for you there.”
Sent at 7:19 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Thank you.” Assuming that they’ve begun to travel away from the Ghazi, or when they do, she mentions, “That merchant, Razael, do you mind pointing out her place of business as well?”
Sent at 7:21 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Sure. She has a big tent in the market,” he says, as he leads you down a wide road southeast. “But that’s just if you want to buy jewelry and silk and stuff like that. If you want other stuff you go to her place in the Azurian tent-town. I know where that is too. I know where everything is… whatever you need, Zil.”
Sent at 7:23 PM on Tuesday
DM: You notice a lot of the buildings you pass seem to actually build downward… with a mostly open portion on the ground level and steps leading to shops, eating establishments, and such going down underneath to a basement level.
Sent at 7:25 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “This city must be like a warren down below. Have you ever seen a monster, Twig?”
DM: “Wotcha mean? Like an orc? Or like a dragon?’
Sent at 7:28 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Yes. Well, orcs are people, of a sort. But yes.”
Sent at 7:29 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Orcs come in sometimes to trade or to make trouble. So do gobs and gnolls and stuff but they don’t usually stay long. The Pashas get monsters sometimes for the punishments… like to kill them. I saw this panther that peeled its face back once… and sometimes people bring stuff to sell, like I saw this flying lion with a woman’s face. All kinds of stuff around here.”
Rue: You saw a flying lion with a woman’s face? When!?”
DM: “Couple years ago. It was in a cage. Someone bought it and took it away.”
Sent at 7:33 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi’s brow furrows as she frowns. “My list of things to do in Calabash just keeps getting longer and longer. I’ll need to prioritize soon.”
Sent at 7:35 PM on Tuesday
DM: The road opens up on a square, but it is as large as ten squares, and full of brightly colored tents and awnings. Shouts of merchants are heard everywhere. You see peoples of all races, including some “monstrous” like orcs and hobgoblins. There is a large ornamental stone pagoda in the center, which appears to be a shrine of some sort. There are wooden towers on each side of the square, manned by Ghazi.
There are large tents and also many small carts.
Sent at 7:39 PM on Tuesday
DM: One entire side of the square, closest to the center of town, farthest from the wall and the Southern Gate out of the city, is a large low whitewashed building covered with postings. There are windows with bars that people queue up to, as well.
Kapikula issue forth from guarded doors and enter through others.
Sent at 7:41 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi draws to a full stop at the sight of the marketplace and sighs happily, “My former peers would be so jealous” She stops at the sight of the building frequented by Kapikula. “That looks like an important place.”
Sent at 7:44 PM on Tuesday
DM: “That’s the city hall,” says Twig. “The Bey lives in that big house behind it.” He indicates an ornate building that might be called a palace, would it not be literally in the shadow of a palace ten times as fabulous above it.
Sent at 7:46 PM on Tuesday
Rue: (Is Tanzi aware of what a Bey is?)
Sent at 7:47 PM on Tuesday
Sent at 7:49 PM on Tuesday
Rue: She looks away from the Bey’s abode. “Shall we find the scriptorium?”
Sent at 7:51 PM on Tuesday
DM: “I guess so. Look, it’s that big white tent near the city hall,” points out Twig. “And Razael is near the south side of the square… purple tent with big guys with swords. I’ll be over there…” he indicates a low building with people lounging outside on benches and seated on steps going to an underground area. “It’s called Ali’s.”
Rue: (How long until the effects of the charm spell wear off?)
(Brb Must take dog outside.)
DM: Not too long. Maybe 10 minutes or less.
But let Cy have her time.
Sent at 7:56 PM on Tuesday
Rue: (Sy is finished. She doesn’t get to linger outside right now – she’s being punished for unspeakable transgressions.)
Sent at 8:00 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi hesitates. “I’m a little hungry myself. Perhaps we should all eat, and then I can conclude my business swiftly while you drink.” She gestures to include Sand. “And that way you can describe this pearl,” she whispers the word.
Sent at 8:02 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Great!” says Twig. “Ali’s is great! You can get kabobs and honeywine and smoke too.” He strikes off.
Sent at 8:05 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi looks to Sand. “Do you dislike subterranean places by any chance?”
DM: Sand whispers to you, “Pearl was this large.” He holds his fingers to form a claw such that the pearl would take up most of his hand. This seems odd to you as the pearls you have seen are the size of marbles or smaller. “All white with no bumps or gashes. A perfect pearl.”
Or, he waits until you are inside Ali’s, if you indicate him to.
Rue: Tanzi’s mouth opens and closes in fair imitation of a grouper. “That’s…huge.”
(no, not if he’s whispering)
DM: He shakes his head at your question of fearing underground. He is whispering as you walk, a bit behind Twig, out of earshot.
Sent at 8:09 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Oyster was a giant. Very lucky this one was to have found it. But not lucky for blood-kin.”
Sent at 8:10 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi slows her pace a little and puts on her listening face, a sympathetic half-frown meant to encourage a person to say more. She looks aside at Sand.
DM: “Dove deep that day, this one did. Last dive in many moonpaths…”
Sent at 8:12 PM on Tuesday
DM: You reach the stairs of Ali’s. It is quite smoky with a haze of incense and the tinkling of chimes and beads suspended from the ceilings. People look up at you as you pass, seemingly half-aware, reclined on low divans and pillows. Scantily-clad girls dexterously pick their way through the patrons with platters of teas, sweets, candies, fruits, and wines. Many people use hookahs at their tables.
It’s quite crowded after the relative openness of the marketplace fringe.
Sent at 8:16 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi sniffs the air. “This might be a problem. Intoxicants impair my ability to make and implement plans.”
DM: “Zill!” calls Twig. He’s apparently chased off a couple people and secured a table.
Sent at 8:19 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi tiptoes over. “Alright.” She looks over her shoulder apprehensively. How far are they from the exit?
DM: 40 feet of clumsy stepping
Twig pats a comfy-looking cushion on the floor next to him while he gestures imperiously at a serving girl.
Rue: Tanzi tightens the laces on her boots before she seats herself.
Sent at 8:24 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand sits opposite you, breathing deeply but maintaining a calm exterior. The girl comes over. “Hi, Twig. Had a good day?” She’s young, and heavily rouged with a bared midriff and jangling cheap baubles.
Sent at 8:26 PM on Tuesday
DM: “The best day,” he answers, smiling at you. “Two honeywines, chocolates, maamoul, and a hookah for me and Ziller.”
The girl seems a bit annoyed as Twig reaches his arm around you. She looks at Sand. “This one drinks water.”
“Whatever.” She leaves.
Sent at 8:28 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi smiles a bit weakly back and begins tapping out the seconds on the edge of the table, counting down. “Your generosity is an indication of your noble spirit,” she says. “But I must not partake of any smoke. My faith forbids it.” She shifts one leg so that she can spring up at any second. “Is it safe to speak of our enemy, the treacherous, night-scuttling vermin, here, or not?”
Sent at 8:32 PM on Tuesday
DM: He raises his eyebrows. “Um…” He looks around. “You mean the Scorpions, right?” he whispers. “Just keep it down. Way down.”
Sent at 8:33 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Of course. What is it that makes them so dangerous? Is it merely their numbers?”
Sent at 8:35 PM on Tuesday
DM: “There’s a lot of them, yeah… and they’re tough. They have big operations… smuggling… muscle on the northern tent-towns… work with the slavers. I mean, there’s just Rallo, Mura, and me and a couple kids we’re training. That’s why it’s so great, you know, ‘fated’ that you came. It’s true that I killed a Scorpion once but… well, it was kind of lucky and I thought I was dead for sure. And, if they found out it was me…” He looks really frightened and stops talking as the girl comes back with an elaborately decorative brass tray.
Sent at 8:39 PM on Tuesday
Sent at 8:55 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi nods and turns her attention to the tray. She wriggles her shoulders a little to dislodge Twig’s arm. “Right.”
Sent at 9:15 PM on Tuesday
DM: The girl takes items off the tray… a hookah with two stems… a plate of small chocolates… a plate of some round pastries surrounding a bowl of white thick liquid… and two tall glasses of amber-colored liquid. It sloshes a bit onto your lap when she places it down.
Sent at 9:16 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi’s shoulders draw up slightly with outrage, but she exhales carefully and counts to three. “No doubt,” she answers.
Sent at 9:17 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Cut it out, D’Kara,” says Twig and gives her several silver coins. She snatches the coins and leaves. Apparently she has forgotten Sand’s order.
Sent at 9:19 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand uncorks a horn from under his sandcloak and drinks from it.
Sent at 9:20 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi takes one of the chocolates, and indicates the pastries. “I’ve never seen this dish before. Is it…maamoul?” She attempts to imitate Twig’s pronunciation.
Sent at 9:23 PM on Tuesday
DM: Twig helps himself liberally to the food and drink. He nods and dips one of the maamoul into the white cream before greedily shoving it into his mouth. In your mind, you think 12… 11… 10.. seconds.
Sent at 9:24 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi scoots slightly away, avidly watching his face as she secures her grip on her possessions.
And on the chocolate. She doesn’t let go of the chocolate.
DM: Does she want to quickly taste of one the maamoul?
Rue: No. She doesn’t want to choke on it as she runs away.
DM: The grin on Twig’s face fades a bit.
Rue: “Is it not seasoned in the manner you expected?”
DM: He seems a bit confused. He looks at you and at Sand. Then at you. “No. It’s all right.”
He sips his wine and takes a puff of the hookah.
Sent at 9:30 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Ain’t you gonna try it? Since I bought it for you… ” He seems kind of perturbed about that.
Sent at 9:32 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi nibbles the chocolate thoughtfully and makes no effort to move closer to the maamoul. “Oh, yes. Thank you.”
Sent at 9:33 PM on Tuesday
DM: “What are you doing here anyway? In Calabash. I know why ‘this one’ is here.”
Sent at 9:34 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “I’m doing some research on my new father’s behalf. He’s curious about Calabash’s beverage supply.”
Rue: (Absolutely. Nat 1. But Tanzi’s sure the man would be interested if someone took the time to convince him.)
DM: (Yeah, but that’s not why you’re there.)
Rue: (No. Not at all.)
DM: “I see.” says Twig. “Beverages. Well, maybe you’d like to talk to Ali, then. He runs this place. He knows a lot about… beverages.”
(spot roll pls)
Rue: “I should. I absolutely should. I would never ignore such worthy advice. I can certainly find time after I tour the marketplace.”
DM: You notice Twig is trying to surreptitiously reach for something at his waist.
Sent at 9:43 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi hops to her feet. “I know it’s crass of me to run,” she says, backing away. “But the smoke’s getting to me.”
DM: (give me an initiative roll for the movement, please)
Sent at 9:47 PM on Tuesday
DM: You remarkably move quicker than Twig, and hop to your feet. But before you even get there, and it seems Twig was rising to meet you, you see a wicked looking spear-blade casually appear in between you. The cap has been unlaced from Sand’s staff and he squats at his place across the table.
“This one has had enough hospitality.”
Rue: “Wiser words were never spoken,” Tanzi agrees with Sand.
Sent at 9:49 PM on Tuesday
DM: Twig does not rise from his place. He eyes the spear tip warily and shuffles a bit away from it, and you. “Fine. Go. Welcome to Calabash, Ziller.”
Sent at 9:50 PM on Tuesday
DM: (silently, he says “I declare my dodge against the barbarian”)
Rue: “I’m sure I’ll see you around, Twig. I do believe in fate.” Tanzi looks around. Does anyone seem concerned about this polite altercation?
DM: Sand is being remarkably subtle with the spear. It’s only at lap level. And no, no one seems to be noticing. Where is your snake by the way?
Rue: In a compartment of my spell component pouch, presumably curled up in a pile of rose petals or some such shit.
Sent at 9:54 PM on Tuesday
DM: (there’s an ad for pearls on Sand’s Obsidian Portal page)
DM: (detection software)
Sent at 9:56 PM on Tuesday
DM: So… what are you doing?
Sent at 9:57 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Withdrawing from Ali’s carefully. She keeps an eye on Twig and Sand, looking away only to make sure she doesn’t back into anyone or kick over a hookah.
Sent at 9:59 PM on Tuesday
DM: After you reach the stairs, Sand deftly spears a maamoul and then quickly exits after you.
Outside, she says, “Could you sense that tension…?” She shudders and looks towards the scriptorium.
Sent at 10:01 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand is grinning for the first time that you’ve seen him. His teeth are healthy and bright white. He hands you the pastry.
Sent at 10:02 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Thank you, Sand. And thanks for, you know, being intimidating. I can never manage to intimidate. I haven’t got the eyes for it.”
Sent at 10:03 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand isn’t that intimidating, by the way, he’s so small… he’s thinner than you, even. But a spear, held proficiently, can be intimidating, especially at lap level.
Rue: Tanzi believes in flattery. Serpent’s guile.
DM: Do you eat the maamoul?
Rue: And the spear was intimidating.
Yes. She takes a dainty bite of it, a bit hesitant.
DM: It’s shortbread, soaked in honey, with an almond filling.
Rue: (Noooo, don’t make me hungry.)
DM: Are you heading to the scriptorium?
Wait. She changes her mind before she gets there.
DM: Sand casually re-caps the spear into a staff again and bumps into you when you stop.
Sent at 10:08 PM on Tuesday
Rue: She stops in the street, face paling. “I can’t go in there like this…My robes are stained, my hair is frizzy, and I smell like a bar wench.” She hops away when Sand bumps her. “They’ll surely disregard anyone as bedraggled as me.”
Sent at 10:11 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Well, anyone respectable. And scribes are respectable. And if I’m to…you know, everything is getting more complicated. It’s not complicated now, exactly, but I forsee the knots forming in the future. I detest snarls.”
DM: “That one looks respectable.”
“That one is called… Tanzi? Ziller?”
Sent at 10:14 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “How about just Z. That sounds marvelous.” Tanzi looks for a place where she can cast a stealthy spell. “I’ll settle for not smelling like a chronic boozer.”
DM: ((I’m double checking.. I thought you’d given your name to Sand… outside the city along the river boat stop))
Rue: ((She might have. She did give it to the goatherds. Or at least one. Before she decided she needed a new identity.))
DM: Plenty of places to subtly cast a spell. Like I said, the more impressive the physical effect, generally is how arm-wavey and yelling you have to be.
Sent at 10:17 PM on Tuesday
Rue: She casts Prestidigitation and spends a few rounds to clean her garment, striving to remain unnoticed.
DM: ((hmm. I guess you never did. So Sand just said, “Ziller?”))
Rue: ((Tanzi’s answer still works for me.))
Sent at 10:20 PM on Tuesday
DM: You step to a not-busy spot on one side of a leather-worker’s tent and start your magical cleanup. Sand raises an eyebrow but otherwise keeps his tongue.
Sent at 10:21 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Satisfied, Tanzi finally makes her way to the scriptorium.
DM: Sand follows, after nodding his impressed approval.
Sent at 10:23 PM on Tuesday
DM: The scriptorium is incredibly busy. There are dozens of tables on the outer reaches of the large white tent. At each table, several scribes work with pen, quill, and paper to copy down what clients are speaking to them, sometimes more than one at a time.
Clients seem to be merchants and kapikula in general.
Sent at 10:24 PM on Tuesday
DM: Inside this outer ring is a raised platform with large sloped podiums with scribes at them. Helpers dash back and forth between the two rings. Walking between the rings is a half-elven woman with spectacles and graying hair. Her robes are stained and worn and she seems to be directing most of the action, sometimes speaking to clients, sometimes correcting scribes, sometimes cuffing the helpers.
Sent at 10:27 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi approaches the half-elf. Her demeanor is very subdued, solemn even. “Excuse me,” she says.
DM: A large human man with almond shaped eyes and a turban is overseeing the upper level with even more furious energy than the half-elf. His resonant baritone rings out through the tent. “That G looks like your shriveled member, Orn. Do it again! What do you want? Oh, tell them tomorrow. Tomorrow!”
She says, “One moment, ma’am.” And then she finishes a transaction with a kapikula. “Thank you. See you tomorrow.”
“Yes?” she brushes a stray gray hair from her eyes, smearing a bit of ink across her forehead. “May I help you?”
Sent at 10:30 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Yes, thank you. I have business with Potago, and I seek someone with the authority to direct me to him.”
DM: She seems to take a moment to assess you while a boy hops on one foot trying to get her attention towards a pile of scrolls he carries.
Give me a diplomacy roll please.
Rue: Tanzi endeavors to look respectful and not waif-ish. (9)
DM: (Your presentability and politeness lowered the DC)
Sent at 10:33 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Potago!” she calls upward. “Someone to see you.” To you she says, “My name is Karivelle. Please step around here.” She indicates a space between the tables to a relatively empty space near the steps to the dais. “Yes?” she says irritably to the boy behind her, snatching up the scrolls. “Do you need to use the latrine or something? Go!”
Sent at 10:35 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi does as Karivelle indicates, bobbing her head in a gesture of thanks.
DM: Sand awkwardly follows you.
Sent at 10:37 PM on Tuesday
DM: Potago descends the steps to you, finishing his booming conversation with a scribe. “I’ve told you about drinking at your siesta! You’re useless when you return. Why don’t you go home? No, I’m not paying you for that page. It looks like a spastic terpsichorean pigeon.”
Rue: “It’s okay,” she murmurs to Sand. “If everything goes ideally, we’ll be much better off, and recovering your treasure-” She grins at the description of the page.
“Besides, this is just like paradise.”
DM: He’s quite a large man. “Now, then. Who is this?” He squints at you and Sand above his well-oiled mustachios.
Sent at 10:40 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Greetings from the wine lands south of the Kindled Mountains,” Tanzi says. “I bring you a box.” She jerks her chin towards the chest she carries. “Not this one, a littler one.”
DM: “Wine lands, eh? You know I’m Potago. I like to know with whom I’m speaking.”
Sent at 10:43 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Of course. Please call me Z.”
DM: (does this count as a Bluff for you? I’m thinking yes?)
Rue: (Yes…I’m afraid so.)
DM: “I’ll be glad to call you whatever you like, young lady. But I repeat, you know I’m Potago. I like to know with whom I’m speaking.”
Sent at 10:46 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi breaks eye contact. “You’re right. This isn’t an informal occasion. I’ll thank you to keep my formal name to yourself,” she says before whispering hastily, “Tanzi Turtlemoon.” She frowns.
Sent at 10:47 PM on Tuesday
DM: He lowers his voice to a gentle level. “As you wish, Z. Though it is a welcome to hear your formal name.” At his normal tone, which is loud, he adds, “What have you brought Potago from the wine lands?”
Sent at 10:49 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Do you have somewhere I can set this box. I’m afraid your parcel is at the bottom. And I’m not a juggler.”
Sent at 10:51 PM on Tuesday
DM: He, deftly for a large-boned man, boots a couple young boys away from where they had been squatting, and indicates a space on the ground at the base of the dais.
Sent at 10:52 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi sets it down, digs beneath her four bottles of fine wine cushioned in straw, and a squishy wrapped bundle, to withdraw Nevvek’s wooden box. She offers it to Potago.
Sent at 10:54 PM on Tuesday
DM: He takes it in his big paws. You notice, though, his fingernails are meticulously shaped, and long. He opens the box and grunts a surprised, “Hmm.” He reaches in and takes out a sheet of green vellum. “Do you know what this is, Z?”
“Or, what it means?”
Rue: “It’s green vellum. It could be an indication of a new breakthrough in the dyer’s art.”
Sent at 10:57 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Not new. But rare. Not as rare around here, however.” He calls Karivelle over and replaces the green vellum in the box. “Here,” he says to her. “More of the green. From Newek, I think.”
“Yes?” he asks, looking at you.
Rue: She nods.
DM: “Kindly follow me, Z. Your friend can wait here.” He walks up the dais steps.
Sent at 11:00 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Will you be alright?” she asks Sand.
DM: He nods.
Rue: She scoops up stuff again and follows Potago.
Sent at 11:02 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Oh, for all that is…” he bellows at an elderly man bent over a podium. “I told you to go home, Orn. You’re not going to fix it. It’s trash. Go home and be here early tomorrow.” At the man’s pitiful stammerings, Potago reaches into his tool belt and thrusts a handful of coins into the man’s hands. “Olidammara steal your bottle, you useless old prune.” The old man starts off, doddering down the steps. “Give the damned coins to Edwina!”
“Here,” he says, more kindly to you, indicating the high stool the old man had been seated at. “Please take a seat.”
Sent at 11:05 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi perches on the stool and regards the scribe. “Thank you.”
Sent at 11:06 PM on Tuesday
DM: You see the sheet of paper Orn had been working on. It’s a page of a book with illuminated borders of dragons and flowers. It’s quite lovely.
Sent at 11:07 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Oh…” Speechless, Tanzi just stares, and concentrates on not touching the book. Her fingers curl with the strain, and her hand lifts slightly. “What’s this?”
DM: Well, it’s just one page. It hasn’t been bound.
Rue: “Where’s the rest of it?”
Sent at 11:09 PM on Tuesday
DM: “There, there, there, and yet to come.” He indicates the other scribes at podiums on the dais. “This? This is garbage.” Potago flips it over. “Take a letter. Let me see your hand.”
Sent at 11:10 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “I don’t have an excellent hand,” Tanzi confesses, reaching for a pen/writing utensil nonetheless.
DM: He ignores that.
“My dear friend, Newek,”
Sent at 11:12 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi writes it in giant-tongue, and says with carefully controlled annoyance, “I”m not sure I’m seeking employment.”
“Though I should be.”
DM: He ignores that. (Give me a Wisdom roll for your untrained profession – scribe)
Sent at 11:16 PM on Tuesday
DM: “My gratitude extends to you for the gift of fresh material. It appears to be of… decent enough quality. I will give it a week’s trial. You may be sure I shall treat it with the care it deserves.”
Sent at 11:18 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi glances casually towards Sand before writing another word.
DM: He meets your gaze.
Rue: Is there anyone near him?
DM: Not really. People walk by past him. There are scribes only 5 feet from him, with their backs to him, writing down what people tell them.
Rue: Tanzi stands. “I’m finished here. I bid you farewell. Perhaps I’ll convey your words to Nevvek in person.”
Sent at 11:21 PM on Tuesday
DM: Potago laughs. “You’re finished? Well, I suppose everyone is wrong once in a while, even Newek. The pay is 10 silver a day. You might earn more somewhere else but…” He shrugs. “If you don’t find our little life here in Calabash interesting, I wish you good travels back to the wine lands.”
Rue: “Nevvek chooses far too sinister a way to introduce me to gainful employment,” she replies stiffly.
DM: “Does he now?”
Rue: She nods.
DM: “Well, it is clear you know what you speak of. Good day. Good luck.”
Sent at 11:27 PM on Tuesday
Rue: She backs away uncertainly. “You – oh, goodbye.” She hurries away.
DM: “What are you gaping at, you pack of jackdaws?” Potago bellows at the scribes as Sand hurries after you.
“What is wrong?”
Sent at 11:29 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “I panicked,” she explains. “You don’t know the kind of novels that get passed around the Featherfall House. People can be ensorcelled just by penning their name on an enchanted scroll.” She sighs heavily. “So that didn’t go ideally. It might have been a perfect job.”
“But if you can’t trust your instincts, what can you trust.”
DM: “This one only trusts this one’s instincts. And Z’s.”
Sent at 11:31 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi’s eyes widen with surprise. “Well…okay. What should we do now? We need a plan for the ringed merchant. And it’s getting late. I bet all sorts of ghouls come out after sunset.”
“People ghouls, not undead.”
DM: “Maybe we sleep. This one walked far today.”
Sent at 11:34 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “That’s a good idea. I hear the establishments within the city are expensive. Ebel recommended someone amongst the tents outside the walls.”
Crossroads of Fate
A Job Interview