Crossroads of Fate

The Ocean in the Desert
Session 12

DM: Do you remember the situation?
Rue: Yes, Tanzi was having a terrible nightmare that Twig was Potago’s eldest son.
DM: Banni pinches you. You’re awake.
Rue: Hurrah!
DM: But your nightmare is true.
Rue: Aw, crap.
Sent at 7:25 PM on Monday
DM: Potago is seething. “Po, he’ll come back,” says Soya. The children are quiet.
He looks like he’s going to say something but holds it in.
“Tanzi? Will you and Sand please come to my study?” he says.
Rue: Tanzi grits her teeth, casting a sidelong glance at Sand. She nods stiffly.
DM: Sand pushes out his lower lip, shells bristling.
Potago slowly rises and puts Gretra, now calmer, down. He silently climbs the stairs.
Rue: Tanzi follows.
DM: As does Sand.
Sent at 7:31 PM on Monday
DM: The stairs are solid and stone and the upper floor contains another open lounge like where you ate dinner, with a wide window and flowers. There are hallways going both ways and several doors. The floor is plushly carpeted. Potago turns and walks to the end of one hallway. He unlocks the door.
Sent at 7:34 PM on Monday
DM: The door opens to a plush office with heavy wooden furniture and shelves and shelves of books and scrolls. A beautiful map is hanging on the wall, painted on canvas.
Sent at 7:36 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi looks around the room with only a shadow of her customary curiosity. Her face is tight with apprehension still. Politely, she remarks, “Lovely room.”
Sent at 7:37 PM on Monday
DM: He grunts and closes the door.
Sent at 7:38 PM on Monday
DM: “So?” he asks. “What do you want here?”
Rue: “In Calabash?”
DM: “Yes. In Calabash.”
Sent at 7:40 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi hesitates a moment, eyes narrowing then speaks. “I want merely to stay out of trouble, continue my studies, and explore this fabled city while assisting Sand.”
DM: “Studies of magic?”
Rue: “Yes.”
DM: “From what I understand, you have completed what studies you can complete while staying out of trouble. This is why Nevvek sent you here, likely without your mother’s permission.”
Rue: Tanzi mutters, “Conspirators.”
Sent at 7:44 PM on Monday
DM: “You can go home. You can stay safe. You will not learn any more, however, without experiencing danger. I suppose slowly you might, but…” He shrugs. “This is why wizards travel.”
Sent at 7:46 PM on Monday
Rue: “I’m not adverse to a little bit of trouble…”
DM: “That much seems obvious.” He grins slightly. “What do you mean helping Sand? Helping him do what?”
“This one seeks a pearl,” says Sand.
Rue: Tanzi nods. “What he said. We’re looking for a special pearl.”
DM: “I see. Well, that’s not my business unless you care to make it mine. What do you use to protect yourself?”
Rue: “Sunlight. Crowds.”
DM: “You are remarkably flippant for someone covered in her own blood.”
“This one carries bow, spear, and staff!” says Sand and plants the staff firmly in front of him. “This one protects Z.”
Rue: “I answered honestly. Featherfall wasn’t a school for fighters or war mages. I’ve been fortunate to make a friend like Sand. But mostly, I try to avoid obvious danger.”
Sent at 7:51 PM on Monday
DM: He seems dissatisfied.
Rue: Tanzi frowns, “I have a knife.”
Sent at 7:53 PM on Monday
DM: He chuckles. “That’s for eating with and cutting rope.” He presses a finger to the map but doesn’t show you something. Instead you hear a click in the floor. Then he pulls the heavy chair aside.
Rue: Tanzi’s eyes widen and she marks the spot on the map in her memory.
Sent at 7:55 PM on Monday
DM: He bends down and places his palms on the floor and then exerts his sizable shoulders, rotating a hidden part of the floor.
Rue: “Fascinating..”
DM: Then he presses down on another spot and the trap door levers up revealing a ladder down to the basement.
Sent at 7:59 PM on Monday
DM: Potago takes a candle from a sconce, holding it by the lit end, and, grunting, begins to descend the ladder. “Come on,” he says.
Sent at 8:00 PM on Monday
Rue: Grinning slightly, Tanzi looks over to Sand and mouths, “Exciting, huh?” before following Potago. She’s very careful not to miss any rungs in her haste to find out what’s in the basement.
Sent at 8:01 PM on Monday
DM: Sand does not lower the trap door back into place but instead follows after maneuvering his large items such that they will fit. (Climb roll please)
Rue: (Seventeen)
DM: (wow)
Rue: (Yep. Even with my – 2)
Sent at 8:04 PM on Monday
DM: You descend thirty feet to a wide, cool, stone room with a tall ceiling. You see yet another bookshelf here, with weighty-looking books. There is also a mat of straw and a wooden sparring dummy, with many chips and scratches. There are several large chests and a beat-up looking wooden wardrobe.
Rue: Tanzi drifts a few steps towards the bookcase, fingers curling into loose, greedy fists.
Sent at 8:08 PM on Monday
DM: “No wizard tomes there, I’m afraid,” Potago mutters as he hands you the candle.
Rue: “What sort of books are they?”
Sent at 8:09 PM on Monday
DM: Books Soya took an interest in… tales of other planes of existence… legends of other ages… fabled artifacts. She composes sagas sometimes.
- he says
Rue: “Marvelous…I could stay down here for ages.”
“Sand couldn’t, though. He gets hungry.”
Sent at 8:12 PM on Monday
DM: Potago chuckles and unlocks the large heavy wardrobe and opens it. Sand breathes in suddenly.
Rue: Tanzi glances over her shoulder to see what’s provoked a reaction out of the barbarian.
Sent at 8:14 PM on Monday
DM: He’s staring at the open cabinet. Inside is a very large, gleaming and shining suit of scale mail, a helmet, and greaves and many impressive looking weapons and shields.
Sent at 8:16 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi looks from Potago to the armor, then from Sand to the armor, and stifles an inappropriate giggle. “Are you proficient with all those savage weapons, Potago?”
Sent at 8:18 PM on Monday
Rue: (brb)
DM: He chuckles. “Aye. I was not always the gentle and calm man you know.”
Sent at 8:20 PM on Monday
DM: He reaches into one side and pulls out a couple of crossbows. He hefts them and looks at you and then puts back the much bulkier one. He hands you a light crossbow. “Wizards usually can figure these out. Put the pointy thing in it and aim it away from you.”

Sent at 8:22 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi takes the crossbow, holding it awkwardly and with some distaste. “I’ve seen these used. They’re very destructive.” Frowning, she remembers the dogs. “But I can see how one would be useful under certain circumstances.”
Sent at 8:25 PM on Monday
DM: “Do you need to practice? I have a target.”
Sent at 8:26 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi nods, whirling towards the dummy. “Put the bolts in like so…right?” She attempts to load the crossbow and then squints at the target.
Sent at 8:27 PM on Monday
DM: It’s surprisingly well-oiled and well-made. It is much smoother than the ones at the Featherfall school, many of which had rusted from disrepair.
Rue: “Take this, ogre fiend!” she says while launching her attack at the unsuspecting wooden dummy.
DM: (you can add an extra +1)
Rue: (always?)
DM: (it is masterwork)
Rue: (practice shot = 17)
DM: Thunk. The bolt lodges in the lower portion of the dummy. “Well done,” says Potago.
Rue: Tanzi approaches the dummy and tries to wrench out the bolt.
DM: (str roll?)
Rue: (3)
Sent at 8:33 PM on Monday
DM: Potago gives a slight twist and pulls it out. “Hey, boy!” he yells, surprised and looking back where Sand has placed the horned helmet on his head and is trying to spin a double-bladed sword
Rue: Tanzi laughs.
Sent at 8:34 PM on Monday
DM: “This one sees the thieves of the pearl with this sharp staff!” says Sand. “This one will fight them!”
Rue: “Whoa….right now? We just ate. You’ll get a belly-ache.”
DM: “Boy, that’s beyond your ken. That’s a difficult weapon to learn,” says Potago. “Put it back before you hurt someone.”
Rue: “Sand’s very clever with weapons. I bet with practice he could learn to use anything,” Tanzi says with a defensive edge to her voice.
Sent at 8:38 PM on Monday
DM: Potago calmly removes the over-large helmet from Sand who still hefts and swings the weapon.
“This one will fight them!” argues Sand and he has that crazed look in his eye from when he fought the dogs.
Rue: “Of course, you will,” Tanzi says. “And I’ll help you. But they aren’t here right now. It’s just us. Just friends, Sand.”
Sent at 8:40 PM on Monday
DM: (can you make a diplomacy roll?)
Rue: (Seventeen)
DM: Sand seems to calm down but he doesn’t put the sword down. “Look at me, boy,” says Potago.
Rue: Tanzi looks at the sword with suspicion.
DM: “Can you remember things when you’ve been fighting, Sand?” Potago asks.
Sent at 8:45 PM on Monday
DM: Sand says, “This one does except… sometimes this one hears the ocean in this one’s ears, but the ocean is far far away. When this one hears the ocean, sometimes this one does not remember.”
Sent at 8:46 PM on Monday
Rue: “Probably a curse,” Tanzi says, nodding sagely.
Sent at 8:48 PM on Monday
DM: “No, Tanzi,” says Potago. “Sand is channeling something here.” He points to his own chest. “I used to be this way. We from the northern mountains could call upon something and find ourselves in a battle frenzy. Often we’d be dead on our feet and not even know it… like a stuck boar. If you’re his friend, you need to look after him. When he comes back to himself, he might have a mortal wound. You’d have to help him before he calms down.”
Sent at 8:51 PM on Monday
Rue: “I am his friend. I’ll always look after him. But I’m not much of a healer. Maybe that’s what I should learn next.”
Sent at 8:53 PM on Monday
DM: Potago nods. “Boy… put the sword back. If you truly wish to learn it, I can teach you.” He walks over to one of the chests and unlocks it. “Like a candle burning at both ends,” he mutters… “barbarians.”
Rue: “Sand, what did you mean when you said you can see the pearl’s thieves?”
Sent at 8:56 PM on Monday
DM: “This one saw the guards with these two-swords. Z saw it too, at the tent.”
Rue: “Ah…I see what you meant. What are these swords called, Potago?”
Sent at 9:01 PM on Monday
DM: “Double-blades or two-blades… many of the desert warriors use them. Really, I’d rather have a shield and a heavy axe.”
Rue: “I’d rather have a fireball or chain lightning.”
DM: “Not bad… but what happens when it doesn’t work? Say your foe still stands. Then what? With a good length of steel, you can use it again and again.”

Sent at 9:04 PM on Monday
Rue: “Fireball first, steel next.” Tanzi nods decisively. “Besides, if I were powerful enough to conjure fire, I’d have a dozen other spells up my sleeves.”
Sent at 9:05 PM on Monday
DM: “Well, here,” says Potago. He hands you two small vials of blue thick liquid. “One for you and one for him.”
Rue: Tanzi tilts the vial from side to side. “Are these restorative potions?”
DM: “Yes,” he says. “Probably made by your mother.”
Rue: Tanzi smiles fondly. “Oh. They probably taste terrible then. The cure that kills all hunger.”
Sent at 9:09 PM on Monday
DM: (you can put down 2 potions of cure light wounds)
Rue: (done)
Sent at 9:11 PM on Monday
DM: Potago rummages around and finds a quiver of bolts. The fletching doesn’t match on them. He pulls some out to check the heads and measure. One of them has a gleaming red painted head. “Hmm? I don’t remember what this one does, but it’s magic. Never used the crossbow. Some wizard owned it.”
Rue: Tanzi shivers. “Some…dead wizard? Or a careless wizard who accidentally misplaced his masterwork crossbow in your basement?”
Sent at 9:14 PM on Monday
DM: “Some wizard up to no good twenty-five years ago,” grunts Potago. “Put his faith in fireballs too.”
Sent at 9:15 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi’s blue eyes gleam. “He didn’t happen to have a spellbook on him, did he?” She taps the red bolt with her index finger, smiling faintly.
Sent at 9:17 PM on Monday
DM: He frowns. “You sound like Amras. Too much…”
Sent at 9:20 PM on Monday
Rue: “I’m just curious. Harmless curiosity.”
Sent at 9:21 PM on Monday
DM: “Hmmm. All right. Time for you to go and get your sleep. You have an early morning tomorrow. You may sleep here tonight if you wish but tomorrow you will have to find your own place.”
Sent at 9:23 PM on Monday
Rue: “Thank you, Potago. May I ask a question?”
DM: “You may ask. I may not answer,” he replies, as Sand climbs back up the ladder with a wistful glance at the arms cabinet.
Sent at 9:25 PM on Monday
Rue: “Why has no one ever mentioned you or Soya to me?”
Sent at 9:26 PM on Monday
DM: “I will only say that your mother does not look back on our time together as happily as we do. It’s… disappointing to all of us. We did some great deeds. But that is for her to discuss with you, not I.”
Sent at 9:29 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi nods. “Thank you for your help, Potago. We will endeavor not to bring any trouble to you or your house.”
Sent at 9:31 PM on Monday
DM: “Thank you.” He indicates the ladder. “You will be at work in the morning? Perhaps your next day will not be as eventful as your first.”
Rue: “Yes, sir.”
“Should I put this back?” She hefts the crossbow uncertainly. “Or did you mean to loan it to me?”
DM: “It’s yours, Tanzi.”
Sent at 9:34 PM on Monday
Rue: “Thank you again. I’m indebted to you.” Tanzi bows her head. She then attempts to climb the ladder, perhaps more clumsily now that she’s carrying a crossbow.
(climb check 5)
DM: Good enough. Potago is a steady presence behind you.
Sent at 9:38 PM on Monday
Rue: After she and Potago have both reached the top, Tanzi says with great and obvious reluctance. “I’m not just in your debt, Potago.” She sighs heavily. “About Mama Nettie…”
Sent at 9:41 PM on Monday
DM: He looks at you as he locks the trap door back in place.
Sent at 9:43 PM on Monday
Rue: “I owe her a favor of her choosing, at a time of her choosing.” Glumly, she adds, “It’s sealed with her spit.”
Sent at 9:44 PM on Monday
DM: He sighs. “It is not unexpected. You are lucky to only owe her one favor. She will not try to harm you or me. But, be wary of her, however.”
Sent at 9:47 PM on Monday
Rue: “Too late for wariness. Do you know of any way to tell if she’s bespelled Sand or myself?”
Sent at 9:48 PM on Monday
DM: ‘Amras was always able to detect magic upon an object or person. Can you not do this? It was my understanding it was an early skill learned.”
Sent at 9:50 PM on Monday
Rue: “I know a spell that reveals magical auras. But I’m worried that a witch might have some sneaky magic.”
Sent at 9:52 PM on Monday
DM: “This is beyond me. As I said, I don’t believe she will harm you. She knows you are under my protection.”
Rue: Tanzi nods, but looks at Sand with worry. “As you say.”
Sent at 9:55 PM on Monday
DM: “Tanzi, you may sleep with Guendal in her room. Sand, this is Hrob and Banni’s.”
Sent at 9:56 PM on Monday
DM: He opens a door where the two boys sleep in a cluttered room on a very large comfortable straw-tick bed. There is plenty of room for Sand. “This one thanks Potago,” says Sand. “This one will learn the wave blade.”
Sand bids you good night and Potago takes you down the hallway.
Sent at 9:59 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi follows, crossing her fingers and praying that tonight isn’t when Mama Nettie chooses to call on one of the favors owed.
Sent at 10:02 PM on Monday
DM: Potago knocks and hears Guendal’s gentle call. This room is gently furnished. There is a dresser and wardrobe and a washbasin and mirror. Guendal sits up in a down bed. She is reading. “Oh, hello,” she says. “You are staying over?”
Sent at 10:04 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi smiles. “Hi,yes. If it doesn’t disturb anyone.”
Sent at 10:05 PM on Monday
DM: She smiles. “Of course not.” She gets out of bed and lays out some soap, a flannel, a brush, and a night dress for you.
Potago wraps a large arm around you and kisses you on top of the head. “Good night, Tanzi Turtlemoon,” he says. “It is my honor to have you in my home.”
Sent at 10:07 PM on Monday
Rue: Nearly speechless at the generosity of this family – with one notable and absent exception – Tanzi stares at the floor and murmurs another thanks.
Sent at 10:10 PM on Monday
DM: He closes the door behind you, wishing you and his daughter a good night.
Sent at 10:12 PM on Monday
Rue: “You have a very nice family,” Tanzi says. “May I ask what you’re reading?” As she speaks, she busies herself with retrieving her spellbook from her pack.
Sent at 10:15 PM on Monday
DM: “It’s my diary,” Guendal says. “Sometimes I reread parts of it.”
Sent at 10:16 PM on Monday
Rue: “That’s lovely. You can look back on things you’ve done or felt and see if you’ve changed. I’ve always wanted to keep a journal, but I’m either too busy or too disorganized.” Tanzi flips to the page of her spellbook that holds Detect Magic.
Sent at 10:18 PM on Monday
DM: When you start to flip you see there are papers stuck in between that you’ve not seen before. Dirty pages.
Rue: “Eww,” Tanzi mutters. She sniffs the pages.
Sent at 10:20 PM on Monday
DM: They smell like sputtering black candles and bubbling foul stews.
Sent at 10:21 PM on Monday
DM: And rotting flesh.
Rue: Tanzi smooths a hand over her frizzy hair and seethes over the intrusion. “That woman…” Carefully she inspects the pages further.
Sent at 10:23 PM on Monday
DM: There are two pages.. they are written in an arcane script that will take some study to decipher. But one has written in common across the top, “maybe little wizard use this instead of killing doggies next time.”
Sent at 10:24 PM on Monday
Rue: “We didn’t kill them,” she murmurs before settling down to study the page in question. She pulls out a paper, a pen, and some ink to use for notes.
Sent at 10:26 PM on Monday
DM: (it takes 8 hours of study to learn a spell from a scroll using Spellcraft… or you could use a prepared read magic to know what it is)
Sent at 10:28 PM on Monday
Rue: (She has no prepared Read Magic…but I guess that’s the way to go.)
After a few frustrating minutes, Tanzi tucks the paper away and concentrates on memorizing an array of spells for the next day.
DM: (you’ll still have to use Spellcraft to see if you understand it enough to copy into your spellbook)
Sent at 10:29 PM on Monday
Rue: (would I get a bonus to my Spellcraft if I used Read Magic first?)
DM: (no, but you could cast the spell from the scroll)
“Tanzi? I’m going to sleep now. Will you please cap the candles when you’re ready?” asks Guendal.
Rue: “Yes. I can do so now if the light will disturb you.”
DM: “Not at all. Good night.”
Rue: “Good night.”
Sent at 10:32 PM on Monday
DM: What do you do before sleeping? You see the candles in this room are more of these heatless ones that just need a metal cover to hide their light.
Rue: Tanzi intends to slip back downstairs and retrieve her chest from the dining area, clean herself up, memorize her spells, and that’s it.
Sent at 10:34 PM on Monday
DM: Easily done. The bed is very comfy and there is plenty of room for you.
Rue: After capping the odd candles, Tanzi goes to sleep, hoping to dream of anything except Mama Nettie’s creepy pets.

Custard Surprise
Session 11

DM: OK. Do you remember where we left off?
Rue: Yes. Our souls are in peril, but otherwise we’re fit as fiddles…slightly battered fiddles. We’re just outside Mama Nettie’s abode, I think.
Sent at 6:29 PM on Thursday
DM: Yes. It’s just getting near dusk.
What are your plans?
And… Spot roll please.
Rue: (Seventeen.)
Tanzi is headed for Dusky Dawn’s. She intends to avoid passing the scriptorium.
DM: “Where does Z go?” asks Sand.

Rue: Tanzi glances over her shoulder and shrugs. “To Dawn’s, I suppose. It will be dark soon and…” She trails off, peering about with apprehension. “And you just don’t know who we might run into.”
DM: Sand nods and takes a tighter grip on his staff. He looks around, ominously, peering this way and that.
“This one is hungry.”
Rue: “How long were we in the care of Mama Nettie, Sand?”
DM: “This one thinks one sunrise.”
Sent at 6:36 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Will you be alright until we get outside the city, or do you need food immediately?”
Sent at 6:38 PM on Thursday
DM: He grins. “This one sometimes has no food for many sunrises. That does not mean this one not hungry.”
Sent at 6:39 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi stops. “I should probably not try to avoid Potago’s. It would be bad to be reported as thieves…seeing as I still have his scribe board. Maybe there will still be some vendors open. We can eat fried scorpions.”
DM: “This one has some dried fish. This one would rather eat warm food.”
Sent at 6:42 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Alright, Sand. We can also just hurry back to Dawn’s and hope the goulash is still warm.”
Sent at 6:44 PM on Thursday
DM: “Maybe Z right. Potago may be angry about this,” says Sand as he indicates your scribe board.
Rue: “And I’m sure Twig concocted some vicious lie about us. That boy is like a rabid badger.”
DM: “Badgers lie?”
Rue: “Absolutely. And the rabid ones lie twice as much and twice as meanly.”
DM: Sand looks puzzled, but shrugs and then grins.
Rue: How far are they from Potago’s?
DM: Not very far. The city isn’t that huge.
Sent at 6:48 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi slow perceptibly the closer they get to the scriptorium, her expression settling into a grimace. “This is going to be terrible. I bet he thinks I’m irresponsible.”
DM: Well, as you approach, you don’t see Potago, actually. Are you hiding in any way?
Rue: No.
Sent at 6:51 PM on Thursday
DM: One of the scribes sees you first and calls to Karivelle, who was busy with a customer. She hands some papers to another scribe and quickly steps from the tent to meet you.
Sent at 6:52 PM on Thursday
Rue: Despite her injuries, Tanzi draws herself upright into posture more befitting a lady, and erases the grimace from her face. She walks over to Karivelle.
DM: “Praise Fharlanghan! We were so worried,” she says and stops short of embracing you. “Are you injured?”
Rue: Eyes widening briefly with surprise, Tanzi shakes her head quickly. “No. Not terribly. Not permanently.”
Sent at 6:55 PM on Thursday
DM: She looks you and Sand over. “That’s to be thankful for. But there is blood on your clothing… both of you.”
Sent at 6:56 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi nods. “Yes. Dogs attacked us. Sand held them off until we could find help. But we are both fully functional now.”
DM: “It’s been four days you’ve been missing!”
Rue: “No….! Surely it’s only been a day?”
Sent at 6:59 PM on Thursday
DM: Sand looks confused. “Z… maybe this one wrong. This one can not count sunrises with no sun.”
Sent at 7:01 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Perhaps we were more grievously injured than I thought.” Tanzi brushes a bit of dirt of the scribe board. “I apologize for not returning this sooner. And I thank you for your concern over our well-being.”
Sent at 7:02 PM on Thursday
DM: “Of course we were concerned!” she says. “A scribe board can be replaced or fixed!” She takes the board from you. Then a puzzled annoyed look crosses her face. “Where is Kieran?”
Rue: “Who is Kieran?”
Sent at 7:05 PM on Thursday
DM: “Oy! You couldn’t spot me, could you!?” merrily calls a voice behind you to Karivelle. A young adult halfling strides up to you. “They didn’t spot me either!” He crows, indicating you and Sand.
Sent at 7:06 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi blinks.
DM: “You weren’t supposed to be hiding, Kieran. You were supposed to be watching for them.”
“I did!” he smiles. “I’m just practicing!”
Rue: “When did you first see us?”
DM: “When you’s come out of Mama Nettie’s!” he laughs. “I was right there. I’m getting really good!”
“I’m cross with you Kieran,” says Karivelle.
Sent at 7:09 PM on Thursday
DM: “You should have brought them right here, or to Potago’s, like you were supposed to,” she adds, as he frowns.
Sent at 7:10 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi blanches at the mention of Nettie. “Well, we’re here now, so that’s almost as good as Kieran here,” she inclines her head towards the halfling, “Bringing us anywhere.”
DM: “See!” he says. “I’d a brought them if they went somewheres else. They just got out not a cut hour ago.”
Sent at 7:13 PM on Thursday
DM: Karivelle sighs and shakes her head. “Well, you can bring them to Potago’s if you can manage that without practicing.” Then to you, “He’ll feed you there. You must be famished.”
Sent at 7:14 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi smiles her gratitude. “Thank you, Karivelle. Might I inquire about the whereabouts of the chest I left here? Is it still around?” Tanzi asks anxiously.
Sent at 7:16 PM on Thursday
DM: “Actually, Potago took it to his home to keep it safe,” she says.
Sent at 7:18 PM on Thursday
Rue: “That’s very kind of him,” she says uncertainly. She looks over to Sand. “Shall we follow this good fellow then?”
Sent at 7:19 PM on Thursday
DM: “This one would like to eat.” He looks puzzingly at the sky as if it tricked him as to knowing the day.
Sent at 7:20 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi nods. “I know. Your belly probably senses that four days have passed.”
“Maybe we’ll use that for a time-teller instead of the sun.”
Sent at 7:22 PM on Thursday
DM: “Hurry up then, Kieran,” says Karivelle who waves goodbye and heads back to the scriptorium.”Four days with no food! That’s torture!” laughs Kieran. “He puts out his hand. Kieran Dustrel, at your service, m’lady!”
Sent at 7:23 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Charmed,” Tanzi declares with a bright smile as she takes the halfling’s hand. “Are you related to the venerable Ebel Dustrel?”
DM: “Aye! He’s me grand pap!” he grins.
Sent at 7:26 PM on Thursday
Rue: “That’s very nice. I must say, you’re a very gifted hider. I don’t know how I didn’t see or hear you, but…wow. I’m certain Sand is also impressed.”
DM: Sand shrugs. “This one is hungry.”
Kieran laughs. “Right away, mister warrior! Just this way. Potago has a grand house!”
Rue: Tanzi follows the halfling.
Sent at 7:32 PM on Thursday
DM: He leads you out of the marketplace. You notice there is a different guard in front of Razael’s, a large orange-haired man with strangely blue eyes, clad only in pantaloons and holding a double-bladed sword. You head to the northern part of the city, with larger stone buildings.
Sent at 7:34 PM on Thursday
Rue: “You know, I’m curious…” Tanzi begins to ask, before being briefly distracted by the new guard. “Hmm.” After they pass, she speaks again. “I’m just wondering how you were able to find us so fast. You must have known we were at Mama Nettie’s place.”
Sent at 7:35 PM on Thursday
DM: “Aye, of course!’ says Kieran. “We were keeping an eye on you for when you came out.”
Rue: “So Teweg must have mentioned we were there. That was thoughtful of him.”
DM: “Yeah, Potago looked like he was going to rip him in half!” he laughs. “Haven’t seen him since that day, neither.”
Sent at 7:38 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Oh, no.” Tanzi looks worried. “I do hope everything is well with him,” she lies.
DM: “Probably hiding out,” Kieran laughs. “So.. what’s it like in Mama Nettie’s? Never been inside myself. She’s a witch, right?”
Rue: “It’s spooky.”
“I’d rather not talk about it while the shadows gather. It’s a story for high noon.”
Sent at 7:43 PM on Thursday
DM: Kieran mock-shivers. “All right, but you gotta promise you’ll tell me. Well… here we is!” He gestures to a two-story sandstone building with a four-foot stone wall and gate around it, showing a garden behind.
Sent at 7:45 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi draws to a stop and smiles gleefully. “Look – green growing things! It’s like a little corner of paradise locked away.”
Sent at 7:48 PM on Thursday
DM: “I told you it was grand!” says Keiran. You hear the sounds of children laughing and playing. “Well, see you’s around.”
Rue: “With some luck, we’ll see you too!”
Sent at 7:49 PM on Thursday
DM: He waves and strides off. You see a lantern-lighter down the lane, lighting lanterns on poles. This seems to be a finer part of the city.
Rue: Tanzi returns the wave, then steps over to Sand and whispers, “I’ve just one question – do you think Potago is a sinister sort of person?”
DM: Sand pauses from opening the gate. “What? What does Z mean?”
Sent at 7:52 PM on Thursday
Rue: “You know, sinister.” She demonstrates this quality by rising on her tiptoes, rolling her shoulders into the imitation of a hunchback, extending her arms up and out threateningly, fingers curved like claws. She also makes a crazy face. “You know, a person with evil intentions.”
DM: “Umm.. This one does not know, but there is food here.”
Sent at 7:55 PM on Thursday
Rue: “I knew you were going to frame your answer around hunger. Fine. Let’s hope he’s a good cook. With good intentions.” She gestures grandly for Sand to lead the way.
Sent at 7:56 PM on Thursday
DM: Sand opens the gate and enters. Four children are playing in the yard, chasing one another. An older adolescent girl, two younger boys, and a very small girl holding a stuffed toy. They pause and look at Sand and you.
Rue: “Hi.”
DM: They scream in laughing terror and run away, heading around the back of the house, which is painted a gay yellow, with a red tiled roof.
Sent at 8:00 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Did they seem like normal children to you? Or were they a little jumpy?” Tanzi asks. “We should not follow them in any event. We’ll announce ourselves at the front entrance.”
Sent at 8:02 PM on Thursday
DM: Sand says, “These children are playing games… and this one looks like a fierce warrior.”
Rue: “You do, don’t you? If you weren’t my friend, I’d be terribly frightened of you as well.”
Sent at 8:04 PM on Thursday
DM: He nods, and self-consciously feels to see if all of his nose and ear piercings are in place.
Sent at 8:05 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi turns away to hide a smirk. “Okay.” She hastens to the entrance.
Sent at 8:07 PM on Thursday
DM: You see the yard is lit by torches in iron sconces in a garden of herbs and flowers. The torches burn with a pale yellow light, but seem to give off no heat.
Sent at 8:08 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Do you think it’s magic?” she asks quietly.
Sent at 8:09 PM on Thursday
DM: “What?” asks Sand. He is about to knock on the door.
Rue: She points to a lamp. “Go ahead and knock.”
Sent at 8:11 PM on Thursday
DM: He already is. “Z, that is a torch,” he says and shrugs. The door opens and there is another young girl there, tanned complexion with long dark hair, like the children you saw. She looks at both of you and then curtsies, clumsily. “My name is Tereze.”
Sent at 8:13 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Greetings, Tereze,” Tanzi says from slightly behind Sand. “I am Tanzi Turtlemoon, often called Z, and this is my companion and friend, Sand. We’re seeking Potago. Or perhaps he’s seeking us.”
Sent at 8:15 PM on Thursday
DM: She curtsies again. She seems to like doing it. “Welcome, Tanzi Turtlemoon and Sand. Please come in. I will tell my parents that you are here.” She curtsies and then steps out of the foyer.
The house seems to continue in the sandstone style, with large arched entrances between rooms.
Rue: “She’s very nice. She reminds me of my school friends,” Tanzi remarks quietly as she steps inside.
DM: Sand says, “I smell cooking.” Then he grins. Once out of view, Tereze bellows at the top of her lungs, “Mom! Dad! Tanzi Turtlemoon and Sand are here!!”
Sent at 8:18 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Reminds me a little,” she amends.
Sent at 8:20 PM on Thursday
DM: “Bring them in, Tereze,” you hear a woman’s pleasant voice from around the corner she’d gone. Around the other corner you see the two young boys peeking at Sand. Sand makes a face like a dragon and they run laughing and screaming back where they’ve come from, almost running over the tiny girl with the doll, who then screams and follows them.
Tereze says, “Come in, please,” and curtsies.
Sent at 8:22 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi smiles at the children’s antics and says, “Thank you.”
((I need to go get dinner really quickly.))
DM: She leads you through a large room with many book shelves and then another room with lots of low settes and tables towards another large room where you smell the scents of cooking – garlic, herbs, and fresh bread.
((I’ll make myself a quick salad))
Sent at 8:27 PM on Thursday
Rue: ((back))
Sent at 8:38 PM on Thursday
Rue: Without slowing down, Tanzi tries to determine if any of the books look like they hold ancient, powerful spells.
Sent at 8:39 PM on Thursday
DM: ((spot roll?))
Rue: (11)
DM: Very hard to tell. You don’t spot any telltale runes, but neither do you see much of anything on the spines.
Sent at 8:43 PM on Thursday
Rue: ((Was just disconnected.))
DM: As you enter the kitchen you see a tall, beautiful woman in her early forties. She has tan, healthy skin, and dark hair bound up above her head with a bright scarf. She wears a lovely yellow sarong and stirs a pot on a large stove top while holding a very small boy with her other arm. Also in the kitchen is a girl in her late teens, cutting some flat bread. She appears to resemble her mother, you’d guess.
((still there?))
Rue: ((Yep. And this was the next thing you’ve posted?))
Sent at 8:46 PM on Thursday
DM: ((yes, and my answer about the books))
Rue: ((Okay.))
Sent at 8:49 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Greetings. Your kitchen smells marvelous.” Tanzi looks down at her bloodstained clothes, then over at Sand’s. “We probably look a little rough right now, but I assure you, we’re good people.”
Sent at 8:52 PM on Thursday
DM: The woman breaks into a wide, lovely smile. “Tanzi! You are certainly the daughter of Lisangale!” She comes over and leans down to kiss you on your cheek. She laughs. “Please excuse my own mess,” indicating her stained apron as the young child looks on in wonder. “I am Soya, Potago’s wife, and mother of these monsters!” Sand has just frightened off the youngsters again who were creeping up behind him. “And you must be Sand,” she beams. “We owe you our thanks for protecting this lovely girl.”
Sent at 8:55 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi regards Soya with some consternation, then smiles agreeably. “Sand is quite the hero.” She hesitates. “I must admit, I’m a little surprised to find your husband showing such concern over a new, evidently incompetent, hireling. I’ve underestimated the general goodness of mankind once again.”
Sent at 8:58 PM on Thursday
DM: She laughs. “My husband has a good heart, but you are no ordinary scribe. Your mother is an old friend of ours. Did he not tell you?” She shakes her head. “He has some bizarre conceptions of business practices and not showing favoritism. But we will have plenty of time to talk. You’ve met many of the brood, I suppose. This silent monkey is Lear. And here is my eldest daughter, Guendal.” The girl finishes with the bread and wipes her hands on her apron and smiles. “Do you wish some food now? Dinner is not quite ready. I am a slow cook. My favorite ingredient is thyme!” she laughs again. “Or would you prefer to freshen up?”
She speaks rather quickly.
Sent at 9:02 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi flutters her fingers in greeting to Lear, Guendal, and then the other children. “So you both know my mother… I see.” She smiles. “That’s a good thing to know. I believe we are more hungry than dirty. Would you concur, Sand?”
DM: Sand is rudely examining the pots on the stove. “Yes, this one is very hungry. Thank you.”
Sent at 9:06 PM on Thursday
DM: “Of course,” laughs Soya with delight. “You’re like my boys! Tereze, Guendal, please show them to the tables and bring them some bread and chutney.” At the eldest daughter’s questions, she says, “How about the mango and the lime? Some olive tapenade too, I think. Do you like olives?” she asks Sand, who nods vigorously.
“Would you like some kaffe? Or tea or chocolate, Tanzi?” she asks you.
Rue: “Tea, please.”
Sent at 9:10 PM on Thursday
DM: “Of course!” She deftly places a tea kettle on the stove, balancing Lear and continuing to stir the several pots. “This way, please,” says Tereze, with a curtsy.
Sent at 9:11 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi quietly follows Tereze.
Sent at 9:12 PM on Thursday
DM: She takes you back out to the room with the low settes and tables. She indicates some soft, comfortable seats beneath a wide bright window. Soon afterward, Guendal and the elder girl you first saw in the garden, enter with trays of figs and warm flat bread and small brass bowls of cold, spicy chutneys and savory tapenades.
Sent at 9:14 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Thank you,” Tanzi murmurs. She watches the parade of food with a slight smile of anticipation. “You’re very kind.”
Sent at 9:17 PM on Thursday
DM: “You’re welcome, Tanzi Turtlemoon,” curtsies Tereze. Sand, without ceremony, drops his gear and staff and begins wolfing down the bread, taking great heaps of the chutney in mouthfuls. He double-dips copiously.
Sent at 9:19 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Heroes always have admirable appetites,” Tanzi says thoughtfully, reaching for a piece of bread.
Sent at 9:21 PM on Thursday
DM: He manages to avoid eating your hand. Tereze sits opposite you and watches you eat. The other girl comes in again, soon, carrying a teapot and small cups on a tray along with a flagon of water. The young boys are almost in a frenzy watching Sand, creeping closer and closer, until he turns and growls and they shriek off in delight, their toddler sister always several steps behind, dropping on her butt when she tries to turn too quickly.
“That’s Eilaine,” says Tereze, indicating the girl who brings the tea. “She’s only twelve. She doesn’t talk often. My little brothers are Hrob and Banni and Gretra is the little one.”
Sent at 9:24 PM on Thursday
Rue: “It must be marvelous having so many siblings. And the little ones are so rambunctious! All that running…I don’t remember being so lively as child.”
DM: “Do you have many brothers and sisters?” she asks. “Do you, Sand?”
Rue: Tanzi murmurs no and listens to Sand’s answer.
Sent at 9:27 PM on Thursday
DM: Sand pauses from eating and a dark look crosses his eyes. He shakes his head and looks a bit despondent. But then the boys come by almost close enough to touch and he leaps up from his seat and chases them out of the room.
Sent at 9:28 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi smiles a little, and idly squishes a bread crumb on the table. “Have you lived in Calabash your whole life, Thereze?”
Sent at 9:31 PM on Thursday
DM: “Yes! Do you like it here? I don’t like the Khedive. She is mean! But there are so many interesting things here. Sometimes we can go see a circus and sometimes we go to the market but we aren’t allowed to go by ourselves.”
Sent at 9:33 PM on Thursday
DM: You hear Soya singing in the kitchen, beautifully, a song in Elvish. Guendal, you guess, effortlessly harmonizes. You also hear Sand has chased the boys into the back garden, them screaming all the way, and also some heavy footsteps treading down from upstairs.
Sent at 9:34 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Your house is like paradise…” Tanzi sighs, then smiles. “I like Calabash alright so far. It’s a very exciting place, but I feel like I should be cautious of many things here. Like dogs. Snakes.” Her voice drops as she says, “Unsavory people.”
Sent at 9:36 PM on Thursday
DM: “What are you whimpering about, like a lost puppy?” you hear a booming familiar voice. “Well, go out and play with them, then!” Potago sounds like he is in the next room. “All right, come here, you silly bear.” He enters, easily carrying your chest under one arm and Gretra in his other. “Go help your mother, Tereze,” he says.
“She doesn’t need help, Dad.”
“Go and help her.”
“Guen and Eilaine are there!” she protests but then thinks better of arguing and scampers off to the kitchen as Potago ponderously sits down in a large sette.
Rue: Tanzi straightens in her seat. “Thank you for your hospitality, sir.”
Sent at 9:40 PM on Thursday
DM: He studies you for a bit while making some cooing noises to the little girl who seems absolutely tiny in his arms. He places your chest down. “Hm. Safe and sound and unopened. Why don’t you tell me what happened?” He pours himself some water.
Sent at 9:42 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Sand and I followed Teweg on his rounds until shortly after the noon siesta, when a loud explosion damaged my hearing, and spooked a corral of horses, resulting in the injury of a youth, and a failed sale of aforementioned livestock. Unable to continue working, I and Sand went to Mama Nettie’s, where we accidentally roused a pack of mean dogs. Afterwards, Mama Nettie bound our injuries and evidently nursed us back to good health.”
Sent at 9:46 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi takes a deep breath. “And then we went to return the scribe’s board to you, encountered Karivelle, and was directed here. We were guided by Kieran. And then I met your wife and lovely family. Now you’re caught up.”
Sent at 9:47 PM on Thursday
DM: He sneers at the mention of Mama Nettie. “Oh, I’m sure she didn’t waste too much effort on you, knowing her. Yes, Teweg told me about his little ‘jest’ he called it. I demanded she turn you over to me but she refused, only promising you lived and would be sent out after you were rested from your injuries.”
Sent at 9:49 PM on Thursday
Rue: “I am unable to measure how much effort she expended. I know only that we still live.” Tanzi’s fingers curl into fists. “What is Mama Nettie’s reputation? I have heard her called a witch.”
Sent at 9:52 PM on Thursday
DM: “She’s a witch, all right, but she can fulfill some needs some times, if you are willing to meet her prices. I don’t trust her, but not much less than I trust most other folks here. We have a bit of an understanding between us. She wouldn’t dare harm you, knowing you were in my employ, but that doesn’t mean she might not sit back and watch those curs tear you limb from limb.”
Sent at 9:55 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi shifts uncomfortably in her seat. “I wonder what sort of master scribe you are, that a witch like her respects your power enough to not harm someone in your employ.”
Sent at 9:59 PM on Thursday
DM: He frowns. “You don’t need to fear me, Tanzi. Your mother is like a sister to Soya and me. I am your protector here in Calabash.”
Sand runs through the room, both boys grappled onto him.
Sent at 10:01 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi nods quickly. “That’s a comforting thing to hear. How, may I ask, do you and Soya know my mother?” She waves at Sand.
Sent at 10:04 PM on Thursday
DM: He looks around and listens to his wife singing and daughters arguing in the kitchen and watches to see the boys are back out into the garden. “It was a long time ago. Your mother, Nevvek, Soya, myself and… well, we were adventurers together. I was not always a scribe and a merchant.”
Sent at 10:07 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi looks about and asks, “Is it a secret? That you once adventured?”
Sent at 10:10 PM on Thursday
DM: He nods and holds his tongue as Sand makes another trip through the room, agilely leaping a sette, while the two boys batter at his head, shrieking and laughing. “We want a quiet life for our children and this is a dangerous city for secrets,” he growls, content that the young girl in his arms is engrossed in her camel doll. “We can speak in my study after dinner.”
Rue: “Alright. Thank you again.”
DM: “How well do you know this wild boy who dogs your heels like a confused coyote?”
Rue: “We’re very good friends. I’d trust him with my life and possessions.”
Tanzi regards Sand again. “Yep. That sums up my knowledge.”
Sent at 10:15 PM on Thursday
DM: He nods, then bellows, “Soya, have you decided to make my supper tomorrow’s breakfast? I have not had a bit all day and young Tanzi here is wasting into dust!”
Sent at 10:16 PM on Thursday
Rue: Looking alarmed, Tanzi hastily says, “No one’s turning into dust, for your kind wife has already given Sand and I a veritable feast.”
Sent at 10:18 PM on Thursday
DM: He grunts and you hear Soya has not interrupted her song but has altered some words. You don’t know Elvish, but it sounds similar to the word in Sylvan meaning a pig.
Sent at 10:19 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi remarks innocently, “She has a lovely voice.”
Sent at 10:21 PM on Thursday
DM: “Like a siren…” he mutters darkly, then calls out, “I’m off to the market to find some food, I suppose!” At that a large bowl of steaming curry floats into the room, followed shortly by a hovering plate of rice. “Sit down, you beast!” says a voice from inside the curry bowl and you see a mouth has formed on the surface of it.
Sent at 10:24 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi claps her hands, delighted at the sight. “Marvels!”
(Can I make a spellcraft check to guess at the spells in use?)
DM: Of course!
Sent at 10:26 PM on Thursday
Rue: (26)
DM: Unseen Servant and Magic Mouth
Sent at 10:29 PM on Thursday
DM: “Quit showing off!” bellows Potago. Children begin appearing from all over, carrying in plates and silverware, and glasses. The Unseen Servant brings a dal and another curry into the room, plus more bread. It’s all very fragrant and delicious smelling.
Sent at 10:30 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi sits impatiently, fidgeting slightly as she waits for everyone to gather.
Sent at 10:33 PM on Thursday
DM: Sand collapses, winded on some pillows on the floor, the young boys still battering at him until Guendal chastises them and they set to the meal as hungrily as Sand did before. “Please, eat,” urges Soya. “I’ll just be tending the custard.” She still carries young Lear on her hip. Potago is alternating bites with feeding Gretra with his spoon.
Sent at 10:35 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi murmurs her thanks again and eats yet more food. “It’s very nice to be able sit and eat with such good, decent people. Hard to find good company when you’re strangers to a city like this.”
Sent at 10:42 PM on Thursday
DM: “It’s so nice to finally meet you,” says Soya, who has entered. “Nevvek told us about you in his visits but we have not seen him for several years. You are attending wizard school, we were told?” Eilaine silently prepares her mother a plate, as Tereze sits at your side eyeing you in fascination. Guendal hums quietly and pokes at her food, gazing out the window. Sand is in a new battle, of appetites, with Hrob and Banni. Gretra begs her father to feed her camel too, which he mimes doing to her delight.
Sent at 10:49 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi smiles broadly. “Oh, yes. I mean, I was attending the Featherfall House until recently.” Tanzi’s smile dims slightly as she chooses her next words. ” However, it seems I’ve completed my formal education. I’m ready to increase my knowledge base through experience and the practical application of my skills. The world is wide and filled with mystery, as they say. I’m a great admirer of mystery.”
DM: “You have a marvelous way with words, Tanzi,” smiles Soya. “Have you ever considered the performing arts?”
Sent at 10:54 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Doesn’t everyone? I’ve probably daydreamed about it a time or two. But I’ve been absolutely consumed by my studies until recently.”
Sent at 10:56 PM on Thursday
DM: “Studying is good,” says Potago. “It’s what I tell the children. They can all read and write, you know, except for these two little ones.” He seems proud of this fact.
Sent at 10:58 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Marvelous! Do you all study at home, or is there a school here in Calabash?”
Sent at 10:59 PM on Thursday
DM: “My dear Potago is their schoolmaster, Tanzi,” answers Soya. “He is an excellent teacher of letters and as rabid a consumer of books as he is my curries!”
Potago allows himself a smile. “It’s true. You know when I was a child, in the mountains, we had no books or writing, really. These cubs don’t know how lucky they are!”
The children groan at this.
(did you get that?)
Rue: Tanzi grins. “It’s true. I saw the wealth of books this house holds. You are lucky.”
((I think so))
DM: “You wouldn’t think so if you had to read the History of the West,” says Guendal, and they all laugh except Potago.
“That was my first book and it is a fine one!” he bellows, in somewhat-mock offense.
“It’s so boring!” calls Hrob.
“I hate it,” says Banni.
“A hundred pages of weather reports and grain yields,” moans Guendal.
Sent at 11:05 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Well…I’ll admit it doesn’t sound very thrilling, but maybe there are hidden secrets in it.”
DM: “The secret of boring,” moans Hrob.
“Are you a wizard?” asks Tereze.
Rue: Tanzi laughs at Hrob’s statement, then nods to Tereze. “Yes.”
DM: “Do a trick!” calls Banni. “Do some magic!” echo several of the children.
Sent at 11:08 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Well,” Tanzi looks around and hops to her feet. “If it’s alright?” she questions, looking from Potago to Soya.
DM: They nod and Soya smiles. (Do you have anything still prepared from 4 days ago?)
Rue: (Yes.)
Sent at 11:13 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi smooths her bedraggled clothing and moves to a clear spot in the room. She reaches into her spell component pouch and pulls out a little ball of wool, which she pinches between thumb and forefinger. Murmuring softly to herself, she moves her free hand in a quick, fluid gesture. (Casting Silent Image. Will DC 15)
Sent at 11:17 PM on Thursday
DM: The children ooh and aah at this show of casting. Soya and Potago have knowing smiles but seem quite pleased to see their friend’s child performing an adult feat.
Sent at 11:18 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi creates the illusion of tiny, multicolored winged serpents (very much resembling Dazzle) and sends them cavorting through the room as long as the spell lasts.
(Or just one)
DM: The children squeal with delight. (you can have a swarm of them in the one image)
Rue: (That’s what I thought until I reread the spell description…it said creature, not creatures. But Tanzi would prefer to have many.)
DM: (a swarm counts as one creature)
Sent at 11:22 PM on Thursday
Rue: (cool, a swarm of winged Dazzles then. In the next round, before they vanish, she casts ghost sound and makes them sing like birds. Same DC.)
DM: They clap with joy. “Very nice,” says Soya. “Thank you.”
“Custard!” she calls out to the kitchen, and the bowl comes floating in, and the children eagerly divide it up.
“Tereze,” says Potago, “Take your brother a plate of dinner.”
“I did it yesterday!” she whines, “It’s Eilaine’s turn.”
Sent at 11:25 PM on Thursday
DM: “Stop whining,” barks Potago, “You sound like a sour-drunk halfling. Eilaine, take your brother his dinner.”
The silent girl obediently makes up a dish, after safely stowing her custard away from her little brothers.
Sent at 11:27 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi makes a swift head count of little people. “You have even more children hidden about?”
DM: “Just one more,” says Soya. “The eldest. He’s confined to his room.”
“He’s a trouble-maker,” says Tereze, cozying up to you.
Rue: “I can’t imagine that.” Tanzi shakes her head. “You’re all so well mannered and nice, and hospitable, and everything.”
DM: “He’s in big trouble!” says Tereze.
“Tereze,” interrupts Potago. “Mind your own business.”
Rue: “Well,” Tanzi murmurs to Tereze as she looks from Sand to the young boys. “Your little brothers are tiny ruffians. Maybe it’s just a boy thing.”
DM: Eilaine returns, still carrying the plate. She speaks for the first time in a low, melodic voice. “He’s not there.”
“Kord’s balls!!!” bellows Potago like a thunderclap, startling the children and knocking a couple plates to the rugs.
“Po!” chastises Soya quickly.
Rue: Tanzi looks at the fallen plates.
DM: Young Lear is crying now as Soya calms him down. She sighs. “Po, he’ll come back. Why don’t you take Tanzi and Sand to your study and we will straighten up.”
“Where did he go, mom?” asks Hrob, stimulating a cacophany of questions.
“Where’s Teweg?” asks tiny Gretra.
Rue: “Oh. No.”
Sent at 11:36 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi looks over at Sand with dismay.
DM: Sand looks at you, in a conflict of emotions. His hand is in a fist.
Sent at 11:39 PM on Thursday

Rue: After a stunned moment, Tanzi looks away and mutters, “What a surprise. Somehow I didn’t know Teweg was your kin.” She forces a smile. “Interesting.”

Good Bargains
Session 10

DM: You wake up.
Rue: Alive and well or on a funeral pyre?
Sent at 7:20 PM on Wednesday
DM: You don’t feel good. You still have a bite wound that is slowly healing. You are on a bed of straw in a room with sandstone walls. There are some wooden bowls near you and you see hung about on the ceiling are lots of dried plants. You hear the squeak of rats and Sand appears to be dozing next to you, seated upright, his arms resting on his knees. The only light comes through the open doorway.
Sent at 7:24 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi gives a sigh of relief the sound of rats. “Thank the gods…Dazzle can go hunting now.” If possible, she sits up to take further stock of the situation. As in, she looks for her possessions.
Sent at 7:28 PM on Wednesday
DM: Nothing but the clothes on your back. Sand starts when you wake. “Z…” he whispers. He looks tired.
Sent at 7:30 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Hi, Sand. I’m relieved to see you alive. Did you annihilate that entire pack of dogs?”
Sent at 7:33 PM on Wednesday
DM: “This one did but was bit many times. Z almost died of bite. This one carried Z until too much blood lost… then went dark. Woke up in this house. Mama Nettie is wise woman. Save Z. But…” He turns away, shamefully.
Sent at 7:36 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “You are very brave, Sand. You mustn’t feel bad about anything.” Tanzi smiles reassuringly. “After all, we’re both alive, and out of danger for the moment. I owe you my life, and I suppose I owe this Mama Nettie my mostly good health.” Tanzi looks at her unhealed bite with slight apprehension, then smiles brightly again.
Sent at 7:42 PM on Wednesday
DM: There is some smeared smelly stuff on it but it’s not extremely neatly done.
Sand says, “This one supposed to say when Z wake.”
Sent at 7:44 PM on Wednesday
Rue: She sniffs at the ointment and blanches. “Of course. I’m eager to meet our herb-wise savior.”
Sent at 7:46 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand nods. “Then maybe Z and this one leave this place.” He walks to the doorway and then takes a step back away from something he sees around the corner. “Mama Nettie! Z wakes!” he calls.
Sent at 7:48 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Is Sand still in possession of his gear?
DM: No. He wears his armor and clothes though. And facial jewelry.
Sent at 7:50 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Gooed,” calls a deep female voice. “Sind da weezard oht. Greep, led da weezard pahss.”
Sent at 7:52 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “No secrets here, eh,” Tanzi mutters as she slowly stands.
Sent at 7:54 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand hangs his head like a shameful dog as you rise. “This one… must stay.”
Sent at 7:56 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi peers intently at Sand’s face. “Why? And why are you looking like that?”
Sent at 7:57 PM on Wednesday
DM: He silently shakes his head and turns to the wall.
Rue: Frowning, Tanzi walks through the doorway.
Sent at 7:59 PM on Wednesday
DM: It’s a hallway with several wooden doors and a stone staircase at the end, heading up. The doors are closed, except for the one you exited from. And, right in front of you, there is a dog. It is staring at you, standing fully erect. It doesn’t appear to be one of the ones you saw outside. It seems to be missing much of its fur and skin from the left side of its head and neck. The are also small bites taken out of it. It doesn’t appear to be breathing, panting, or wagging its tail.
Sent at 8:02 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi freezes in place at the sight of the dog, arms drawing up protectively as her frown deepens. “Absolutely not,” she says. She walks back into the room.
Sent at 8:07 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand looks at you, stricken. “Z…” Tears seem to well in his eyes and he turns away again. “Coom, coom, now, leetle weezard. Up you coom, now. Ha, ha, ha,” laughs the voice from upstairs.
Sent at 8:08 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “The dog…oh, damnation, Sand. Don’t cry. I’m starting to worry about you.” She looks over her shoulder at the dog again, turns slowly and walks out. She’s going to try to edge past it along the wall, like a mouse.
Sent at 8:15 PM on Wednesday
DM: The dog doesn’t even move to turn its head to watch you. There is a cold emanating from it, an awful cold.
Sent at 8:17 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (Is a spellcraft check applicable?)
DM: (sure, definitely)
Sent at 8:18 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi pauses just on the other side of the dog and evaluates it again. (22 roll)
DM: You strongly suspect this is an undead creature, created through necromantic arts.
Sent at 8:20 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “How…?” Uneasy, Tanzi moves away from the dreadful thing and hurries towards the stairs. She ascends them two at a time.
Sent at 8:24 PM on Wednesday
DM: There is a very strong scent in the hot, close-feeling, well-lit room you enter. The room is dominated by two enormous figures. One, a great hearth with a fire blazing away underneath a large black iron cauldron. In the stone hearth are also closed iron doors for baking, perhaps. The room is hung with many more herbs and plants and chicken and duck corpses in various states of being plucked. A live raven squawks at you from the top of one of many shelves covered in odd items, books, rolled papers, and pieces of dessicated body parts like hands and perhaps a jar of eyes?
The other large item in the room is an enormous dark, dark-skinned human woman, very fat and old and very ugly.
Sent at 8:31 PM on Wednesday
DM: She has a bone necklace and feathers in her hair and on her dirty once-purple robes. She wears a strange tall hat with feathers, bones, and jewelry pinned to it. She smokes a fat cigar, lit from one of the many black candles, all resting on the tops of skulls. She laughs deeply. “Ha, ha, ha… leetle weezard.”
Sent at 8:32 PM on Wednesday
Rue: A half-second after assessing the contents of the room and its inhabitant, Tanzi rearranges her features into a more respectful, less bug-eyed expression. “Greetings. My friend spoke of a Mama Nettie. Are you she?”
Sent at 8:37 PM on Wednesday
DM: She lets out a great bellow of a laugh at this. “Da sahvahj shooed talk like da leetle weezard, doont you teenk, Fahng? Ha ha ha ha!” You notice movement as a large snake, perhaps 12 feet long slithers up from near the rubbish near the hearth to climb up the woman’s wide stool and back. “Ah amm Mama Nettie and whoo ees thees leetle weezard, Z, hmmm?” (willpower please)
Sent at 8:42 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (8 will)
DM: (thanks)
Mama Nettie blows a wide smoke ring up to the ceiling.
Sent at 8:45 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “It seems you’re already acquainted with my name. As for who I am, that’s a complicated question. I’ve only just begun to unravel the answer.”
Sent at 8:46 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Where do you coom froom and why shooed Mama Nettie noot hahv Fahng and Greep tear you apart foor cooming to steal Mama’s secrets?”
Sent at 8:48 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi takes a deep breath. “Please let me begin by answering the second half of the question first. I have not come to steal your secrets. As you pointed out, I am a wizard of no great magnitude. Surely your arts are beyond me. As for the first, I come from outside the environs of peerless Calabash, from far down the river, where vineyards cling to every hillside and wine flows from men’s veins instead of blood.”
Sent at 8:52 PM on Wednesday
DM: The large snake has crawled up to Mama Nettie’s shoulder. It stares at you from filmed-over dull eyes. It’s skin was perhaps once rich and gold with spots but it is gray and dull now. It emanates that same cold as the dog.
“Who do you serve?” asks Mama Nettie.
Rue: Tanzi suppresses a shudder. “I serve the vagaries of fate, and sometimes – when I’m lucky – my own self-interest.”
(As Tanzi’s stuff is missing, is her familiar likewise gone? What about spells? She’s had no opportunity to memorize new ones, but does she retain old, unused ones?)
DM: She bellows out another laugh. (Are you trying to keep any thoughts secret, by the way, like your mom, Potago, etc?)
Sent at 8:57 PM on Wednesday
DM: (Yes, you have unused spells. You have no new ones. You don’t know where Dazzle is… but you can sense him. He is frightened and cold.)
Rue: (Not really, but she hadn’t thought of her mother. Nevvek, sure. Potago, probably. She was mostly visualizing how her homeland looked.)
DM: (thanks.)
Sent at 9:00 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi frowns slightly at the woman’s infernal laughter. “I’m glad to afford you some amusement. May I inquire how we came to be in your presence?”
Sent at 9:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: “You and de sahvahj coom to Mama’s house, almost keel Mama’s doggies – eef Mama’s doggies be ded, you be ded,” she adds pointedly. “De sahvahj say leetle weezard be deef so she coom to Mama for healing boot leetle weezard heer Mama joost fyne, no?”
Sent at 9:06 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Indeed. I’d thought that was due to your expertise. I’m glad your…dogs didn’t die. I never wanted to hurt them. I like animals. Especially the living kind.” She glances askance at the snake. “Truly, I didn’t know you had fierce, people-eating guard dogs.”
Sent at 9:10 PM on Wednesday
DM: She leans closer to you and her breath stinks of tobacco and foul food. “Ehvryboody knoos Mama don’t like no veesitors.”
Sent at 9:13 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Everybody?” Tanzi opens her mouth to argue the point and then thinks better of it. She lifts her shoulders in a helpless shrug. “I’m sorry to have disturbed you. How can I set things to right?”
Sent at 9:16 PM on Wednesday
DM: Mama Nettie leans back and the snake eyes you, emptily. The raven croaks and shifts back and forth on its perch. “Da sahvahj…. he make soom gooed bargahns wit Mama Nettie. He bargahn tree times. He get Mama to keep leetle weezard alive. He get Mama to forgeev him hurting Mama’s doggies. He get Mama to let leetle weezard go. Lookie here, leetle weezard.”
Sent at 9:21 PM on Wednesday
DM: She smiles a wide and lecherous smile and holds up a small effigy, crudely made of clay and wood. It looks like a little person and has brown hair pinned to it and some small shells as well.
Sent at 9:22 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “What is this?” Tanzi demands through gritted teeth.
“What did he give you?”
Sent at 9:24 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Geev? No ting. He make tree bargahns. Gooed bargahns. May be leetle weezard radhar be ded, no? Or stay weet Mama forever?”
Rue: “What bargains?”
Sent at 9:26 PM on Wednesday
DM: “I tell you but you steel be deef, Mama tinks!” she laughs again, fully. “Mama geev sahvahj tree favors… sahvahj give Mama tree favors and dees leetle ting make sure he do.”
Sent at 9:29 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (brb)
Sent at 9:31 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “This makes me very uncomfortable, Mama Nettie. I can’t imagine what you might want from my friend.”
Sent at 9:36 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Ha, ha, ha! Heem very strong, noo? Heem a leetle tuffie. Mama Nettie doont get out mooch any more. Sahvahj do soom tings even Mama Nettie cant do. Mama always make a gooed bargahn. Mebbe need sahvahj nixt week. Mebbe need heem in a year, if he be mooch tuffer. Mama Nettie can wait. Ha, ha, ha, ha ha.”
Rue: “I’m beginning to suspect that you are a very wicked woman. You made him bargain while under duress. It’s obvious he made a bad job of it.”
Sent at 9:40 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Mebbe Mama Nettie be a weecked wooman as leetle weezard say. Mebbe Mama Nettie be a gooed hart to sehv dose dat coom sneekin un keelin at Mama’s house. But Mama Nettie always make a gooed bargahn. Ha, ha, ha. Now, Mama Nettie make a bargahn weet leetle weezard, mebbe?”
Sent at 9:43 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Seems likely,” Tanzi mutters. “I’m not going to let Sand shoulder all the consequences. How can I get you to release your hold on him, oh, and limit your favors to something more immediate than whenever?”
Sent at 9:48 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Eef you want sahvahj to walk out weet you, you make a bargahn weet Mama. But Mama does not goo back on bargahns weet no body. Mebbe leetle weezard wants to learn soom magics?” She chuckles deeply.
Sent at 9:54 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “That would certainly depend on how the lesson was presented. Alright, I want Sand to walk out of here with me. If our possessions are in your possession, I want them back too. What does Mama Nettie want?”
Sent at 9:56 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Noo ting right now, leetle weezard. Mama Nettie teel you when. One favor for one favor. Sahvahj leave weet leetle weezard.” She removes her cigar to spit upon her palm, which she holds out to you.
Sent at 9:58 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi eyes the woman’s palm with disgust. “Surely there’s a more hygienic way of sealing this bargain? I, mean, it’s not like you need my spit.”
DM: She smiles and says, “Ohhh, boot ah do.”
Rue: “Boot?” Tanzi’s brow furrows with some confusion. She looks to her feet.
DM: “Geeve Mama your hahnd, chile.” She laughs.
Sent at 10:05 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi sticks one hand out, the other curling into a fist. “I can’t believe I’m doing this. May Olidammara steal your luck if you cause harm to befall me or my friend.”
Sent at 10:09 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Dahts no wey to be talkin to your Mama, leetle weezard. Ha, ha, ha!”
Sent at 10:11 PM on Wednesday
DM: “You want anoder bargahn, leetle weezard?” she says after taking your hand in her wet, large one.
Rue: “I do. I want a reasonable bargain. Something with clearly defined terms. What you offer is clearly spelled out, what you expect should be likewise.”
Sent at 10:12 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Ha, ha, ha, boot Mama not tink of soom ting yet. Mebbe when leetle weezard noot soo leetle.”
Sent at 10:15 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Do you require my verbal agreement, or is this handshake enough?”
DM: “Leetle weezard already made a gooed bargahn,” she laughs throatily and the snake slithers back down to the floor.
Sent at 10:17 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “My friend is eager to leave. Can’t imagine why. But before we depart your hospitality, I’ll mention again, our stuff? Was it there when you found us?”
Sent at 10:23 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Your tings be heer. They go weet you.”
Sent at 10:25 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi give a stiff, begrudging nod of thanks, “Well that’s something.” She looks around the room again, at all the strange and marvelously horrid things. “Hypothetically speaking, if one wanted to learn magic from Mama Nettie, what sort of bargain might be required?”
Sent at 10:29 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Mebbe you find some ting for Mama? Mebbe you bring some ting some weyhr for Mama? Weeel see.”
Sent at 10:32 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Okay. I’m going to get my friend, we shall collect our stuff, and be on our way. Should we expect a dog attack on our way to the gate?”
Sent at 10:34 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Nooo. And eeef you wanna veesit Mama, you breeng Mama’s doggies some nice bonez,” she laughs. “Mama likes leetle weezard. Ha, ha, ha!” She leans back and puffs on her cigar.
Sent at 10:36 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Erm…thank you. Away with us then.” Turning, Tanzi bolts down the stairs.
Sent at 10:38 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Greep! Let dem go! Dere tings be een da meed lockahr,” calls Mama Nettie after you.
Sent at 10:40 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi slips past Greep and hurries towards Sand, muttering furiously and incoherently under her breath.
DM: Sand is there. He looks like he’ll never smile again.
Sent at 10:42 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi walks up to Sand, puts a hand on each of his shoulders, stares him in the face, and gives a slightly maniacal smile. She nods with each words she says. “We are both leaving here right now. Let’s get our stuff from the…meat locker an go. Everything is going to be okay. Right? You agree with me, right?”
Sent at 10:45 PM on Wednesday
DM: He nods glumly but seems uplifted by the prospect of leaving.
Sent at 10:47 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Okay. Let’s find the meat locker before Dazzle goes into hibernation.” Tanzi head back into the hallway.
Sent at 10:49 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand actually knows where it is and you can gather your stuff. It was the room next door, which is hung with slabs of meat. Dazzle is in a small jar.
Sent at 10:50 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi immediately retrieves her snake friend, scooping him out of the jar and holding him up to her face. “You were terribly frightened, little snake, but I will keep you safe.” If Dazzle is strong enough to coil, she loops the critter around her neck so he can borrow some warmth. Then she grabs the rest of the stuff. Is the scribe-board there?
DM: Yes, everything. Dazzle is very happy to be next to your warmth.
Sent at 10:54 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi kicks the scribe-board, but not very hard. “I suppose I should return this. Do you know the way out, Sand?”
Sent at 10:55 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Through Mama Nettie’s kitchen. This one did not want Z to make bargain with Mama Nettie. But Mama Nettie tell this one only three bargains Mama Nettie give this one.”
Sent at 10:58 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Z is not happy about any of these bargains. Let’s leave. Maybe we can find a way to weasel out of them. Honestly, any arcane geis sealed with nothing more than spit has to have a loophole.”
Sent at 11:04 PM on Wednesday
DM: You gather your things pretty quickly. They have all been taken out and examined, it seems.
Sent at 11:06 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Having already cast detect magic long before becoming a chew toy, Tanzi merely glares at the intrusion and checks for any obvious alterations.
Sent at 11:08 PM on Wednesday
DM: (Spot roll?)
Rue: (Eleven)
DM: Nothing obvious.
Sent at 11:10 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Good enough. Tanzi is ready to go.
DM: Do you want to pull any fast ones while exiting?
Sent at 11:12 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Unless there’s an open spellbook propped against slab of meat, no.
Sent at 11:13 PM on Wednesday
DM: Nope. Sand is ready and the two of you can exit through the kitchen and out the front door. As you go you hear Mama Nettie say, “Now don’t you be tinkin o treeckin Mama Nettie, now, leetle weezard. Don’t you be tinkin o hurtin Mama Nettie, now, sahvahj weet your greeet reeeege. Or Mama Nettie show you what greeet reeege be! Ah ha, ha, ha, ha!”
Sent at 11:16 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Oh, I wish she weren’t so mirthful,” Tanzi seethes quietly. “How did you come to hear of her, Sand?”
Sent at 11:23 PM on Wednesday
DM: As you leave and the living dogs watch you head towards the gate with the small “Beware of Dogs” sign on it, he says, “Twig tell this one can get Z hearing here by wise woman.”
Sent at 11:25 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi lifts her hand to point out the sign, but lets it drop before completing the motion. “What wise woman?”
DM: “Mama Nettie.” He seems confused by your question.
Sent at 11:27 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Sorry…maybe my hearing is still a little damaged. Twig sent us here. Of course.”
Sent at 11:28 PM on Wednesday
DM: Once you are free from the yard, Sand turns to you again. “Z, this one so sorry. This one cause too much trouble for Z. This one go and get blood pearl alone.”
Sent at 11:31 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Don’t say that…this isn’t your trouble at all, Sand. It’s really…” Tanzi sighs and looks towards the sky. “It’s really Twig’s fault. Just plain maliciousness. I hope the floating castle falls on his head. But you may be right about staying clear of me. I think I’ve netted some bad-luck fish.”
Sent at 11:39 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Not Z’s fault!” says Sand, angrily. “Twig’s.” Then, ashamed, “And this one’s. This one is stupid.”
Sent at 11:41 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “You are not! I won’t hear such talk about my friends. And anyway, who’s to say that any bad has come of this? Mama Nettie insisted that you had made a good bargain. Maybe she’s not lying. Besides, no need to take a share of that reprobate’s shame. It was your good heart that lead you to believe Twig.”
“We should forget about it and remain friends.”
Sent at 11:47 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand suddenly grabs you in an embrace and heaves a great sob. “Z is this one’s only friend. This one does not wish to leave Z.”
Rue: Tanzi hugs Sand in return, glad that the boy can’t see her own guilty expression. “What a coincidence. We shall be friends evermore.”

Horseplay and Dog Food
Session 9

DM: So, you were following Twig and the unnamed kapikula the the area north of Calabash to do some scribing of livestock.
Rue: Yes.
DM: Any preparations? You see that this part of the tent-town has a lot of corrals and paddocks.
Sent at 6:23 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi has completed all the preparations she’s able to – access to spell component pouch, rolled up pants legs, scribal armor. She’s ready.
Sent at 6:24 PM on Wednesday
DM: The kapikula heads to the closest pen. It has hogs in it and the smell is pretty bad. There are a few half-orcs there and some humans. Twig follows closely.
Rue: Tanzi wrinkles her nose and steps after, eyes on the ground.
DM: There are a lot of droppings, even outside the pens. The ground is all pretty trampled around here.
Sent at 6:27 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Just watch,” hisses Twig as you get there. You see he’s already written the date at the top of his paper, and the name of the pen. The kapikula monotones his disinterested questions…
“Seller?” “Mrog of Three Hills,” says the half-orc with the nicest jerkin.
Sent at 6:30 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Buyer?” “Rillshire Farms,” answers one of the humans with odd facial hair, “Hoho Mustachio, representative.”
Rue: (ha)
DM: Twig quickly writes these things down on the paper, spacing the categories apart in some way he measures with his hand.
Sent at 6:32 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi watches the process with faint interest, and breathes shallowly through her mouth to avoid smelling pig. Or half-orc.
DM: They go through the details of the sale. The exact products: hogs, the price: 10 gold a head. One of the half-orcs is leering at you. His clothing is quite stained with muck. You hope it’s muck.
Sent at 6:34 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi avoids eye contact with the leerer. Are there any piglets around, or only full-grown oinking slabs of bacon?
Sent at 6:35 PM on Wednesday
DM: Only big hogs. After you’ve looked for a bit, Twig is tapping you on the shoulder and handing you the paper. “Well, go on,” he says with a smirk. The paper has two columns headed “Buyer notes” and “Seller notes” and you see Mrog and one of Mustachio’s lackeys heading to the pen gate.
Sent at 6:37 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi takes the paper gingerly between thumb and forefinger. “You are vengeful” she mutters. She walks towards the pen gate.
Sent at 6:40 PM on Wednesday
DM: Well, it’s almost impossible to watch where you step in there as it’s all pretty much covered. The half-orc and the human tour the pen and double-check the count, sometimes asking you to make notes like, “one with missing ear, one has mange, etc.” It’s pretty amiable but smelly. Twenty minutes later you’re headed out of there to the next pen.
Sent at 6:42 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi endeavors to take perfect notes. Also, she makes certain to look as miserable as possible, especially when Twig is close enough to appreciate her suffering.
DM: He chuckles and seems quite proud of himself. You note that your writing is much clearer than his.
Sent at 6:44 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi doesn’t reveal how smug she is about this.
Except with one little smirk.
Sent at 6:45 PM on Wednesday
DM: He doesn’t seem to notice. He’s gloating. The kapikula says, “Send your boy to the administrative offices with this.” He has marked the bill of sale with his ring and handed it back to Twig.
Rue: Tanzi frowns.
DM: “Boy!” calls Twig. Sand, who is nearby, approaches. The kapikula is headed to the next pen of llamas.
Sent at 6:48 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi’s expression brightens a little at the sight of the llamas. She gives a rueful smile and a slight shrug to Sand. “Enjoy the fresh air.”
Sent at 6:51 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Take this to window marked ‘livestock’ on the square side of the big building at the market, Boy” says Twig. Sand takes the paper and looks hesitantly at you and then Twig and then you.
Rue: “I’m sure you’ll find your way there and back without any trouble, Sand.”
DM: He looks upset. “Z…” he whispers, “This one does not know letters.”
Sent at 6:54 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi turns her back to Twig to look for the word livestock on the paper that Sand has. If it’s on there, she traces a faint line under it.
DM: Sure, it’s there.
“Can’t read?” laughs Twig.
Sent at 7:00 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi ignores him and whispers, “Just match it up. Like landmarks…a forest, or the sky over mountains. A lightning blasted tree with a root to the right,” she taps the L. “That’s the first clue.”
Sent at 7:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Hurry up!” snaps the kapikula and Twig hurries over. Sand glumly looks down at the paper but then trots off back towards the marketplace.
Sent at 7:04 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi follows Twig.
Sent at 7:05 PM on Wednesday
DM: The morning goes similarly… llamas, cattle, goats, more hogs, sheep, even more hogs. Twig always hands over the task of inspecting the animals to you. Sand seems to have found somewhere to deliver these papers as he keeps returning empty-handed for the next one.
Once, there is a dispute over sheep and the kapikula himself needed to go into the pen and was quite annoyed about it.
Rue: What do llamas sell for?
DM: 20 gold.
Is Tanzi in the market?
Sent at 7:11 PM on Wednesday
Rue: For llamas? Or do you mean ‘has she returned to the marketplace’?
DM: Is she interested in buying a llama?
Rue: Of course.
She doesn’t announce so, though. She pays the most attention during the llama inspection, so that she can learn strengths and flaws of llama-kind.
Sent at 7:13 PM on Wednesday
DM: It seems they are bought for their fleece. You get towards noon and are just finishing up a bill of sale of goats. (Give me a Spot roll.)
Rue: (ten)
Sent at 7:14 PM on Wednesday
DM: While you were getting the kapikula’s attention for his seal, you somehow must have upset the ink bottle. It’s spilled all over the sheet.
Rue: Tanzi’s face turns bright red, and she stares at the paper in horror.
She turns away so the kapikula can’t notice it right away.
DM: “Idiot,” says the kapikula. “Redo it, quickly! I am taking my siesta.”
Rue: Tanzi nods.
DM: Twig tut-tuts at your side. “Got to be more careful, Z.”
Rue: She looks at Twig’s face. “I’ll take care of this. Don’t worry.” She forces a smile.
DM: “Potago will take that ink out of your pay,” he adds. “I can lend you mine if you send the boy back for more.”
Sent at 7:18 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I happen to own a supply of ink,” Tanzi replies. “But your generosity is noted.”
Sent at 7:20 PM on Wednesday
DM: He scowls at that. “Yeah, well. I’m takin’ my siesta. Be at the next pen in an hour.”
Rue: “Enjoy the shade.” The minute he’s out of sight, Tanzi looks for a semi-secluded space to try a magic trick.
Sent at 7:22 PM on Wednesday
DM: Easy enough, just around the side of a high-walled pen. Sand follows you.
Sent at 7:23 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Well, at least some good has come of today.” Tanzi grins. “I’m going to try an experiment.”
Sent at 7:25 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Casting prestidigitation, Tanzi fixes the proper contents of the paper in her mind, and tries to clean away all extra ink.
Sent at 7:26 PM on Wednesday
DM: (Hmmm… I’m thinking this doesn’t count as “cleaning” since ti’s ink on paper, which is kind of normal. You could have wanted it to look like that.)
Sent at 7:29 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (That’s a good point.)
Sent at 7:31 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi frowns at the lack of effect. “Well, I suppose I can scribble this out in an hour. Would you like me to chill some water for you, or make your beef jerky taste like oranges?”
Sent at 7:33 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand says, “Can Z magic make the pearl come to this one?”
Rue: Tanzi shakes her head, but says, “Yes. Only Z’s magic takes a long time to do that…maybe even many moons.”
DM: (Make an Int roll to see how well you remember what was on the sheet, by the way)
Rue: (Twenty-two)
DM: It’s no problem for you to redo the sheet. It only takes 20 minutes or so. Did you want to do anything else during the break?
Sent at 7:36 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Yes. She uses the remaining time on her cantrip to clean her boots, even though they’ll just get soiled again.
DM: No problem. Do you report back to the kapikula?
Rue: If the hour hasn’t elapsed.
DM: I meant at the time you were supposed to be at the next pen.
Sent at 7:40 PM on Wednesday
Rue: No, then. She’s assuming he’ll be at the next pen.
Sent at 7:41 PM on Wednesday
DM: Yes. He’s impressed by your work. “Good memory. This one is better than the last,” he comments and seals the paper which Sand takes off with. Twig scowls.
Sent at 7:43 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi raises a brow at Twig’s expression, and smiles sweetly. “I told you not to fret,” she says.
Sent at 7:44 PM on Wednesday
DM: “You can do the next one… the whole thing,” he grumbles and folds up his board.
Rue: “Such trust…will surely be rewarded.”
Sent at 7:46 PM on Wednesday
DM: The afternoon is mostly larger animals – horses and cattle. Things go smoothly until you come to a corral of horses. A sallow-skinned human in voluminous robes is arguing with three seedy-looking men and a female half-elf, all in black leather armor. Twig slows his steps on the approach.
Rue: Tanzi sneaks a look at Twig’s expression, and tries to gauge his attitude.
DM: (Sense motive?)
Rue: (something that could use ranks…9)
DM: You’re not sure but he seems apprehensive. “I gotta take a break. You handle this, Z,” he says.
Rue: “Of course. I’ll make you proud, Teweg.”
Sent at 7:51 PM on Wednesday
DM: He doesn’t even seem to notice your dig as he’s slipping away behind a cart full of hay.
Sent at 7:52 PM on Wednesday
Rue: When they get closer to the conflict, Tanzi looks for tattoos or anything else that might denote a gang affiliation.
DM: (Spot?)
Rue: (Ten)
DM: You walk up and at the sight of the kapikula, the black-clad folk leave, but you overhear the man in the robes saying, “Ridiculous. Ridiculous!”
You didn’t notice anything particular. They all wore black studded leather.
Rue: Tanzi looks at the horses. Do any of them have brands, or identifying marks?
Sent at 7:56 PM on Wednesday
DM: Not that you can tell. These are big horses though… three-year-olds bred for battle. The other party arrives, a blond northwoman and a red-headed northman.
Rue: Okay. Tanzi stops speculating and performs her job.
Sent at 7:58 PM on Wednesday
DM: These are expensive horses. 150 gold each. They are in one of the shoddier looking paddocks, though. When it comes time to inspect them, both northerners and the sallow-skinned man in the robes go in. All three seem quite knowledgable about horses and spend a great deal of time looking at each one of the dozen.
(Spot roll please)
Rue: (Ten again.)
(that’s three sixes in a row for spot checks, I think.)
DM: Suddenly you hear a great BANG, perhaps several in succession, depending upon your Fortitude save.
Rue: (crap. 4)
Sent at 8:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: You are deafened. But all around you is in a panic. The horses are rearing and running in terror in different directions. The northerners and the robed man and his assistants try to get out of the trampling and get the horses under control again. It’s a very dangerous spot you are in. What do you do?
Rue: Tanzi waves her arms in the air in an attempt to look big as she tries to escape certain death.
DM: Staying put?
Sent at 8:05 PM on Wednesday
Rue: No. Hustling towards the fence, provided the horses aren’t hugging the fence as they panic. How many horses are in this pen.
DM: About twelve or so. They are large and it’s hard to see where they are going. They aren’t acting in a pattern. (Reflex save to avoid a horse about to ride you down)
Rue: (sixteen)
(unless I’m encumbered)
DM: Despite the scribe board, you keep your feet and make it to a fence. It’s harder to maneuver with it.
Rue: Is it possible to squeeze through the fence, or does she have to climb it?
DM: Either one will be a little tough. Escape Artist vs. Climb.
Sent at 8:10 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Is the fence comprised of round rails, flat slats, or what?
DM: Triangular slats of thick wood though something strong might break through it. It’s about 5 feet high with 8 slats.
Sent at 8:12 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (I’m having trouble visualizing this, but Tanzi will definitely attempt escape artist. Str vs dex is always an easy choice for her. Roll – fourteen.)
DM: You weren’t able to get through on your first try. A horse is charging at you but misses you with its raised hoof.
You’ve got like a 9-inch wide space to slide between.
(I need to take my dinner break)
Rue: (Okay. Enjoy.)
Sent at 8:15 PM on Wednesday
DM: (just about ready)
Rue: (okay)
Sent at 9:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: Have you formulated a plan?
Rue: Yes. A brilliant plan.
DM: Climb through the fence again?
Rue: Abandoning any attempt to squeeze out of the fence, Tanzi makes her way along the fence, heading towards the gate, with the hope that either her arm-waving technique will cause the horses to avoid her, or the horse experts will be able to get their beasts under control.
DM: (give me an intimidate roll)
Rue: (seventeen)
Sent at 9:12 PM on Wednesday
DM: You do pretty well and turned one horse away but there is another rearing and snorting near the gate.
Sent at 9:13 PM on Wednesday
Rue: In a sudden change of tactics, Tanzi lowers her hands and extends them, speaking in a calm voice as she carefully approaches the horse, “Don’t kill me, mighty horse, I’m not a threat,” and so on.
Sent at 9:15 PM on Wednesday
DM: (ok Handle Animal is a trained-only kill but I’ll let you make a charisma roll)
Rue: (Twenty modified)
DM: Despite not being able to hear yourself the horse seems to and stops its rearing and you can make your way to it or past it. Where to?
Rue: To the gate. To the horse if it still blocks the gate.
DM: You can get to the gate and get out.
Rue: Tanzi scurries out, only checking on the progress within the pen when she’s assured of her personal safety.
Sent at 9:20 PM on Wednesday
DM: Well, there are less horses in the pen than before. You see some broken cross-bars. The sallow-faced merchant has a gash on his head and he is covered in mud and dirt. The two northerners are trying to herd the remaining horses to the non-broken part and you see other workers chasing after the fled horses. Lastly, you see one young boy has been trampled and isn’t moving.
Sent at 9:22 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Which part of the pen is the young boy in? Are there still horses near him?
Sent at 9:24 PM on Wednesday
DM: He’s near where the fence is broken. There are no horses there now.
The kapikula is trying to talk to you.
Rue: Tanzi politely says, “Excuse me. I can’t hear you.” Then she hurries back into the pen and over to the injured/dead boy.
DM: (Heal check?)
Rue: (untrained, 15)
DM: (You can do that untrained.)
Rue: (okay)
DM: You provide first aid and stop the boy from bleeding to death which he was very close to doing. Well done!
Rue: Has anyone claimed the child, and does it seem like he requires further, more professional healing?
DM: The sallow-faced merchant staggers over. He has a worried expression and is talking to you.
Rue: Tanzi taps her ear and says, “I can’t hear anything.”
DM: He nods, but seems in a daze… but he sees the boy is alive and is visibly relieved.
Rue: “I’ll come back and check on the boy, later,” she says. Then she looks over her shoulder to see if the kapikula is angry.
Sent at 9:32 PM on Wednesday
DM: He has more of a tired and annoyed expression. He’s gesturing for you come.
Rue: She hurries over to him.
Sent at 9:33 PM on Wednesday
DM: As you go by, the nothernman stops you.
Rue: Tanzi looks at him with apprehension.
DM: He tears the bill of sale off your board and calls something to the merchant by the boy. Then he tears it up.
Sent at 9:35 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi watches this, then scoots around the northman and leaves the pen.
Sent at 9:37 PM on Wednesday
DM: The merchant starts yelling something at the northman and the two of them argue. But the kapikula shrugs and moves on to the next pen. Sand comes running up. He starts talking to you.
Sent at 9:39 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I still can’t hear anything,” she says tersely. “Which makes me a pretty useless scribe.”
DM: Sand asks you a question.
Rue: Tanzi sighs.
Sent at 9:41 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I’m just going to answer, ‘yes, I do like mango flavored ice,’ despite the fact that I didn’t hear your question, and have no idea what you asked.”
DM: He seems confused and then holds his hand up to a flat level above both your heads and asks again, looking back and forth for something.
Rue: “Are you taller than me…? Yes. Or are you talking about someone else who is taller than us both?”
Sent at 9:44 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand puts his face into a lazy eyed scowl, and folds his arms and looks superior.
Rue: “Twig.”
DM: Sand nods vigorously… then looks around with his hands up, questioningly. Then he makes a gesture as if writing.
Sent at 9:46 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I don’t know, unless he’s crouching behind the hay cart. But yeah…he should show up to write now…his reputation is as much on the line as mine.”
Sent at 9:47 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand says something and then runs off.
Rue: Tanzi hurries after the kapikula.
Sent at 9:48 PM on Wednesday
DM: He’s at another horse pen. Large draft horses. He’s impatient for you to start.
Sent at 9:50 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “As I mentioned before, my hearing has not returned. The boy has run to fetch my associate, and will surely return with him promptly. I ask for your forbearance in the meantime, keeping in mind that the presence of a runner has surely already given you an advantage over other kapikula who have only the assistance of a scribe.”
Sent at 9:52 PM on Wednesday
DM: The kapikula responds angrily, affronted, then remembers that you cannot hear him. He then speaks to the waiting merchants, sometimes angrily gesturing in your direction.
Rue: Tanzi waits passively, disguising her annoyance.
DM: After a few minutes Sand returns, Twig in tow. The kapikula turns his anger on Twig who gives you a hateful look.
Sent at 9:55 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi smiles her thanks to Sand, and pays no heed to Twig’s expression.
DM: Twig gets to work and Sand says something to you and then takes your hand.
Rue: “What?” she says, looking at him. “Have we been dismissed?”
DM: He’s pulling at your hand and gesturing at Twig and then pointing in the way he’s pulling at you.
Rue: “Okay, let’s go.” Tanzi doesn’t resist, but follows, holding her head to one side and tugging on an earlobe.
Sent at 10:00 PM on Wednesday
DM: He heads back into the city but then goes a different way than you’ve been before. He seems to be looking for a particular building.
Rue: Tanzi hums a funeral dirge as they walk, becoming more melancholy with each note she doesn’t hear.
Sent at 10:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand seems to have spotted an ominously dilapidated building with a low brick fence. He opens the gate and heads in, gesturing for you to follow. (Spot roll.)
Sent at 10:04 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (seven)
DM: OK. Follow?
Rue: “Are you taking me to the knackers, Sand. Seems a little premature, but a useless scribe is in the same category as a useless horse.” She follows.
Sent at 10:06 PM on Wednesday
DM: As you go through the gate and Sand is halfway to the door, three dogs come around the corner of the building and two head straight for Sand and one for you. If you could hear, you would know they are barking and growling.
Rue: “The animals in this city…” Tanzi prepares to defend herself against the dogs.
DM: You were missed by a nasty bite but Sand was bit very hard on the leg. (Initiative)
Rue: (twelve)
Sent at 10:09 PM on Wednesday
DM: OK. Sand was taken flatfooted and the dogs are flanking him but you see his features transform, as if all the frustration he has been feeling is manifested in primal power and he lashes out at a dog with his staff…
... but misses twice.
Your turn.
Sent at 10:13 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Okay. Tanzi concentrates on defending herself against the dog while she draws her dagger.
DM: You can use your movement action to draw it. Do you want to attack it with the dagger? It charged you so it is more vulnerable this round. Or did you want to be fully defensive?
Or you could “fight defensively.”
Rue: (isn’t fight defensively a full round action?)
DM: No, standard action. So is total defense.
Rue: Tanzi fights defensively. And reluctantly.
DM: OK, attack with a -4 and +2 to your AC.
These dogs seem very aggressive and nasty.
Rue: And ineptly. (0 on the attack roll)
DM: That… let me check… misses.
Sand rolled two 3s on his go.
Rue: Wow.
DM: OK… dogs.
Sent at 10:18 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand is bit twice as he doesn’t seem to be defending himself very well. He is quite bloodied and barely on his feet.
You are bitten as well, for 3 points.
It’s next round and he’s still trying to fight but he’s shouting at you.
You aren’t far from the gate.
Sent at 10:21 PM on Wednesday
DM: He spins his staff at the same dog, misses it but is then able to knock it out with a hard blow to its head.
Rue: Tanzi doesn’t flee, but tries again to attack her canine opponent. ( – 2)
DM: He moves 5 feet back towards Tanzi.
(-2) was your attack?
Rue: (make that -4)
DM: It can’t be that low, can it?
Oh yeah, maybe.
Rue: (well, if my low str gives a neg 2, and fighting defensively gives a neg 2…)
DM: fighting defensively is a -4 for +2 AC
So.. -6 total for your attack bonus?
You’ll only hit on a 20.
Rue: (well, I just keep sinking deeper, but maybe it’s my math. I rolled a 2.)
DM: Miss. Do you want to get out of the gate?
Rue: No.
Sent at 10:26 PM on Wednesday
DM: OK. You are both bitten. Sand seems conscious only by force of will. You took 5 points though.
That knocks you out.
Rue: Yes.
(We should have gone toad hunting.)
DM: If you could see, you would see Sand knock the remaining dog on you out and then move to your side.
(dog on him, I mean)
Give me a Fortitude save, please
Rue: (ten)
DM: OK. You bleed to -2.
Miraculously the last dog misses Sand.
And he knocks it out on his next go and then pulls you out of the gate.
Rue: Leaving a trail of Tanzi blood.
DM: Fort save?
Rue: (five)
DM: Sand is carrying you and yelling for help as he cannot administer First Aid while raging but when his rage ends, he will be unconscious too. He has 5 rounds left.
Give me 5 Fort saves, just for laughs.
Rue: (2, 14, 14, 9, 6)
DM: ugh. really? You need a 15.
Rue: (That high…no luck)
DM: OK. The good news is, you wake up.
Rue: And the bad?
DM: Let’s save that for next session.
Rue: Okay… though the suspense may kill me. I’ll let that be on your conscience.
DM: Just for laughs, give me two more Fort saves, if Sand’s crying for help hadn’t worked and the person hadn’t rolled their Heal check.
Rue: (4, 13) Um…who is laughing?
DM: Not me. Wow, you would have bled to death.
Sent at 10:36 PM on Wednesday
DM: The really good news is that you will wake up 2nd level.
Rue: Yes. Savaged by dogs…I just want to know why Sand decided it was a good idea to visit this building…
DM: Yes, the dog encounter and the horse combined take you to 1200 xp.
Rue: cheers wildly
DM: But the person who saved you was a wight.
And drains a level.
Rue: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!
DM: Just kidding.
Rue: You are mean to me. So very, very mean.
DM: What? You’re second level and you haven’t even gotten a positive number on an attack roll.
Rue: Tanzi is not a fighter.
DM: Apparently.
Rue: That’s why Sand makes such a good friend…even though he nearly killed her.
DM: wait til you find out what he was up to
Rue: Hmm.
DM: want to roll your hit points?
You can reroll a 1 or 2.
Rue: You’re being cruel, keeping secrets like that…
Rerolling the two, I get a four.
DM: well done
Rue: ha
Tanzi lives to die another day. Sand also levels, right?
DM: yes
He rolled a 10 on hp
Rue: Good!
DM: Figure out your new spells…
and skills
Oddly enough, now Sand can’t get flanked by dogs… they were almost his undoing
maybe he should learn Handle Animal
Rue: Yes.
Sent at 10:45 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi gets two new spells! Bolt of Total Annihilation and Polymorph Anything. Awesome huh?
DM: Those are in one of the books I don’t own, right?
Rue: No. I made them up.
They’re cantrips.
DM: That’s fine.
Sent at 10:48 PM on Wednesday
Rue: In all seriousness, Tanzi’s going to learn Mage Armor and…oh, I don’t know.
Sent at 10:49 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Comprehend Languages.
DM: ...
Sent at 10:52 PM on Wednesday
Rue: It’s good to know what people are saying…or, if someone is say, deaf, it’s good to know what someone has written.
Sent at 10:54 PM on Wednesday
DM: yes
good vs. dogs
Rue: What are the chances of us running into another pack of dogs…
DM: though your bad spot roll didn’t see the small “Do not enter. Attack dogs” sign.. Sand saw it but can’t read.
Rue: lol
Tanzi wants to teach Sand to read.
DM: Sand wants to use his skill points to Jump.
Rue: Waste of resources. D is for dog, R is for Run, F is for faster…

The Armored Mage and the Chest-Bearer
Session 8

DM: So, you’ve just left Razael’s tent and the marketplace is starting to liven up. Where to?
Sent at 9:07 PM on Thursday
Rue: To Potago’s Scriptorium.
Sent at 9:08 PM on Thursday
DM: All right, you can arrive there without incident, Sand tagging at your heels. You see it is much busier now. There are many scribes seated at tables and others are lined up with a sort of wooden breastplate strapped to each of their chests. (Spot roll?)
Rue: (Eight)
Sent at 9:11 PM on Thursday
DM: OK. You see Potago giving some directions to scribes on the dais and Karivelle seems to be directing the activities of the lower level. What do you want to do.
Sent at 9:12 PM on Thursday
Rue: Not wanting to interrupt, Tanzi waits for an opportunity to approach Karivelle, unless it doesn’t look like that opportunity is likely to present itself soon.
Sent at 9:14 PM on Thursday
DM: After 10 minutes or so, it seems she’s pretty busy. How long do you wish to wait? The scribes in the line are quietly talking amongst themselves, seeming to be waiting for something too.
Sent at 9:16 PM on Thursday
Rue: Where are these scribes lined up?
Sent at 9:17 PM on Thursday
DM: Kind of starting in front of one side of the tent and then going in a line about 20 people long down the walkway between tents.
They seem mostly like younger people.
Rue: Tanzi sidles a little closer to the the line of scribes and tries to get a closer look at the wooden breastplates.
DM: (Spot roll?)
Rue: (Seventeen)
DM: You see it is hinged on the bottom, such that it can fold down with the loosening of straps, like a tray that would stick out about waist-high.
Sent at 9:21 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi looks towards the dais again to see if Potago is still busy. Whether he is or not, she approaches one of the scribes on the walkway, and asks, “Are you here with a commission or seeking gainful employment?”
Sent at 9:24 PM on Thursday
DM: Potago is actually scribing himself at this moment. He stopped bellowing.
Sent at 9:26 PM on Thursday
DM: The last scribe in line turns to you. He is a light-brown skinned young man with dark hair. “Huh? I work for Potago. You have to start outside. The kapikula should be here soon. I hope I don’t get livestock again.”
Rue: “Why?”
DM: “Because I don’t fancy standing in turds all day with a stench that stays with you for a week, that’s why.”
Sent at 9:30 PM on Thursday
DM: You see some of the city administrators approaching from the government building, in their yellow robes and low conical hats.
Sent at 9:32 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi frowns at the distasteful image and nods. “Good luck.” She steps away before the kapikula arrive and watches the process for no more than five minutes.
Sent at 9:34 PM on Thursday
DM: The kapikula look a bit harried as they approach and talk amongst themselves but on seeing the scribes, they straighten up and act commanding. “Treasury,” says one. “I need two.” At that the first scribe in line says, “Aye.” The second passes and the choice seems to defer down the line. The fourth says “Aye,” and they take off after the kapikula.
Sent at 9:37 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi addresses Sand. “Being a very patient sort of person, I’m inclined to wait here until, oh, until most of the people clear out.” She makes a vague gesture in the direction of the scribes. “What are your thoughts, my friend?”
DM: “What does Z wait for? To do work?”
Rue: “To ask if I’m allowed to work.”
“Though, it doesn’t sound all that exciting.”
DM: Another kapikula calls out “Courts. Just one.” The scribe now first in line claims it. The calls go out for “Taxes, Spices, Jewels.”
Rue: “Oh, wait. Hmm.”
Sent at 9:44 PM on Thursday
DM: “This one thinks that work is running out. Line is shorter.” True, there are only about 12 scribes in line now as the rest have gone off after this batch of kapikula. More of them are arriving soon.
Rue: “I don’t think I can just jump in line. This isn’t hopscotch.”
DM: “Hop..?”
Sent at 9:47 PM on Thursday
Rue: “It’s a game. Anyway, I think after this group of officials goes, it will be time for me to…” she sighs. “To beg for a job.”
Sent at 9:49 PM on Thursday
DM: The next group of officials arrives and calls out things like “Leather, Slaves, Lumber, Textiles.”
Sent at 10:03 PM on Thursday
DM: They depart and there are only 4 scribes left in line. While you were watching, a short heavyset girl came up and approached Karrivelle who scolded her and then pointed her towards a small stack of the wooden breastplates, pens, scrolls of paper, and vials of ink and pens which the girl hurries to gather and then she gets in line behind the young man you’d spoken to.
Sent at 10:06 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi looks towards the stack, her expression a mixture of agony and indecision. Then she strides quickly towards Kavrielle and speaks twice as quickly, “Potago offered me employment here, a startling offer which I would now be honored to accept, if the offer is still open.”
Sent at 10:09 PM on Thursday
DM: Karivelle scans you up and down then nods. “You’ll be on your feet. If the work is good, then you can move to the tent here. If exceptional, you may be on the dais. You can’t carry that chest around. Go and fetch a scribe-board and tools there. And wear this…” She tosses you a grey apron like the other scribes have.
Sent at 10:13 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi catches the apron and jogs over to Sand.

(I think Sand still has the chest. Tanzi hasn’t asked for it back yet from when she was carrying the cat.)
Sent at 10:15 PM on Thursday
DM: (We’ll say he had foisted it back onto you. He likes to keep his arms free for battle!)
Rue: (Sounds good. Hmm.)
Sent at 10:16 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Sand?” Tanzi asks. She smiles. “I’m hired. I’ll be wearing armor for the first time ever.” She tilts her head in indication of the scribe’s get-up. “What are your plans today?”
DM: He looks taken aback. “This one will go with Z.”
Sent at 10:19 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Hmm. Okay. I’m sure that won’t be a problem.” Tanzi frowns sadly. “I know you need to be able to shake your spear at a moment’s notice, but would you mind carrying this just for a little bit longer?” Tanzi smiles imploringly and hefts her box a little higher. “I’m sure I’ll find somewhere to store it tonight.”
DM: He reluctantly takes up the box again.
Sent at 10:23 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Thanks!” Tanzi takes the scribe-board and tools, then takes her place at the end of the line.
DM: You put on the apron too?
Rue: Yes.
DM: Make a Willpower save.
just kidding
Rue: Ha. Good.
But that would be the way to do it.
Sent at 10:27 PM on Thursday
DM: “Z!” calls Karivelle. “No, you’ll have to shadow at least one day. Who’ll take her?” She addresses this to the remaining scribes in line.
The one who is first now says, “I’ll take ‘er under my wing, Miss K.” The voice is familiar.
“Thank you, Teweg,” she answers. “Unusually generous of you.”
Rue: Tanzi adopts a pleasant expression.
Sent at 10:30 PM on Thursday
DM: “Izzer slave boy gonna follow us around? That’ll be a bother,” says Twig, now removing the hood which had hidden his features and leering at you.
Sent at 10:31 PM on Thursday
Rue: “My ferocious bodyguard? I’m sure his constant proximity will be a boon and not a bother. I’m pleased to see you again, Teweg.” She pronounces his name carefully.
Sent at 10:33 PM on Thursday
DM: “Too much talking!” bellows Potago from his perch, seemingly not looking up from his work. “Teweg, you’re lucky to still have a job after your ‘sabbatical’ yesterday. And new girl, mind your superiors.”
Rue: “Sir,” she acknowledges.
Sent at 10:35 PM on Thursday
DM: “He can act as a runner,” says Karivelle gently. “Boy, you can leave that chest here if you like. It will be safe.”
Sent at 10:37 PM on Thursday
DM: Sand looks at you.
Rue: Tanzi nods and smiles, certain that Sand will be relieved to leave the chest.
Sent at 10:39 PM on Thursday
DM: He puts it behind the tables, with the disdain of a husband carrying a wife’s shopping parcels. A melancholy kapkula is approaching, with his robes tucked into high boots. The young dark man turns and chuckles at the heavy girl behind him.
Sent at 10:41 PM on Thursday
DM: “Livestock,” calls the administrator without enthusiasm.
“Yehr, we’ll take it,” says Twig, surprising the other scribes.
Sent at 10:44 PM on Thursday
Rue: “Interesting,” Tanzi says.
DM: If the kapikula was surprised, he didn’t show it. He nods resignedly and trudges off towards the western gate.
“Come on,” hisses Twig.
Sent at 10:46 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi copies the kapikula, and hasitly tucks her pants into her boots. Then she follows.
Sent at 10:47 PM on Thursday
DM: Twig walks at your side. “That ain’t gonna help. Hope you like horses,” he mutters under his breath, laughing.
Sent at 10:49 PM on Thursday
Rue: “I do. I am surprised at your choice, but not discomfited.”
“Are you angry with me, Twig? You were so friendly yesterday.”
Sent at 10:50 PM on Thursday
DM: He stops gloating at this and his features harden. “Put your board on. You’re gonna wish you never crossed me.” He then increases his pace to keep ahead of you.
Sent at 10:53 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi puts on the board. Is there anyway to arrange access to her spell pouch?
Sent at 10:55 PM on Thursday
DM: Yes, with some maneuvering. The apron has pockets for the pen and ink. The board takes you some time to figure out all the straps the right way. Sand seems to find it all amusing.
Sent at 10:57 PM on Thursday
Rue: Tanzi stops wrestling with the straps long enough to primly inform Sand that, “This isn’t funny. Everything’s in a kink now.”
Once she’s outfitted, she walks super quickly to catch up.
DM: “Z wears a saddle,” comments Sand, wittily.
Rue: Tanzi whinnies like a horse. “Ha.”
Sent at 11:00 PM on Thursday
DM: It’s easy enough to catch up as the gloomy kapikula walks slowly. You wind through some streets and exit out the gate again. Turning to the north side of the tent town, you see many large paddocks with lots of horses, camels, cattle, sheep, goats, and hogs.
“More goats,” comments Sand.
Rue: “I think the baby ones are cute. We could have been assigned to something much worse – textiles.”

Pearls Before Swindlers?
Session 7

DM: So, you’ve just left Vel and Aatu’s Fine Jeweled Imports. Where to?
Sent at 9:48 PM on Saturday
Rue: To Razael’s.
Sent at 9:49 PM on Saturday
DM: OK. Well, it appears not much has changed… Gastineau is stationed outside. You still carry the cat?
Rue: Yes. If it has made no attempts to escape.
DM: No, it’s good.
Sent at 9:51 PM on Saturday
Rue: “You should wait out here,” Tanzi says to Sand.
“This one will wait. Will listen for Z to call for help.”
Rue: “Very good. I don’t think it shall come to that.”
DM: Sand sits down cross-legged, his staff across his lap.
Sent at 10:05 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi greets Gastineau with a cordial nod. “Is this a better time?” She scratches between the kitty’s ears as she says this.
DM: He raises an eyebrow at the cat, then nods and holds the tent flap open for you.
Rue: Tanzi enters.
DM: Take 36 points of damage.
Rue: Instant death.
DM: Oh wait, I read that wrong.
Sent at 10:09 PM on Saturday
Rue: throws goldfish
Attack of the celestial goldfish!
DM: What you see is a lush space. There are thick carpets piled on the ground and dim colored lanterns hanging from the ceiling and incense burns in a brazier. It’s warm and colorful. You see several people.
Sent at 10:12 PM on Saturday
DM: Seated on a canvas field chair near the brazier is a woman wearing light chainmail and a bright cloak and leggings, a long sword on her back. There is a squat, square man who looks like a beardless dwarf, seated at workbench, involved in some craft.
Sent at 10:14 PM on Saturday
DM: Near a display cabinet is the woman who must be Razael. She’s an attractive woman in her mid-thirties. She has black hair falling in ringlets to her shoulders and wears silver rings and earrings.
Lastly, there are two young girls kneeling towards you as you enter. One has very dark hair and skin, the other very light blond hair and pale skin.
Sent at 10:16 PM on Saturday
DM: As you enter, they hop to their feet and bow to you. You see that their clothing keeps their feet very close together. “Welcome, visitor,” they echo. “How may we help you?”
Also, the tent is full of objects, shelves, display cabinets, racks of silks, and some statues.
Sent at 10:19 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi glances curiously from one to the other of the girls as they speak in unison, then she shakes her head. “I’m seeking the tradeswoman Razael.”
Sent at 10:20 PM on Saturday
DM: They bow and the dark one shuffle steps over to Razael. They jingle as they move.
Sent at 10:21 PM on Saturday
DM: Razael langourously steps over to you. She has a lovely smile. “Hello. Raven tells me you would like to speak to me. I am Razael. Would you like a cup of chocolate?”
Sent at 10:23 PM on Saturday
Rue: “No, thank you. I find it hard to concentrate under the influence of chocolate, and it is business that draws me to Calabash. Primarily. Tell me, are you familiar with the Goddess Selune?”
Sent at 10:31 PM on Saturday
DM: She laughs a rich laugh. “What woman does not pay her respects to the queen of the moon? Are you an acolyte?”
Sent at 10:33 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi shakes her head in demure denial. “Not I. But my patron’s respect for the Moonmaiden is unmatched.”

(Bluff 18)
DM: “Very well. How may I help you? Swan, I would like a cup of chocolate please.”
You see the light girl hop up and shuffle-step to a sideboard.
Sent at 10:38 PM on Saturday
Rue: “I have heard that you have a gift for acquiring rare and unusual items. On my patron’s behalf, I’m charged with finding a number of items – six ounces of blue-blushed silver from the mines of Qareth, no fewer than a dozen small moonstones without flaw-” Tanzi pauses, brow furrowed and tries to appraise the merchant’s expression.
Sent at 10:44 PM on Saturday
DM: She calmly reaches for her chocolate from the bowing girl. She sips it and nods. “Your patron has fine tastes. I believe we may be of assistance.”
Sent at 10:45 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi forces a bright expression, smiling with relief. “It is not all, but if you find these things so simple…I must be able to count on your discretion in this matter.”
DM: “My dear, we are most discreet.” She smiles.
Sent at 10:49 PM on Saturday
Rue: “Of course. Then I may share my design with you. Visualize, if you will, a circlet of silver strands that imitate the curl of the crashing sea, rising upward in a crest, silver shot through with modest moonstones shaped like tears, likewise sweeping upward to to the center, the apex – a pearl without peer! If I should present this to my patron – oh how happy everyone would be! He could present it to -” She stops and takes a deep breath. “Tell me you can help, please! Quote a price.”
Sent at 10:56 PM on Saturday
DM: “Hmm.” she sips. “Let’s go and speak with Dougal.”
Rue: “Very well.”
Sent at 10:58 PM on Saturday
DM: She steps through the silent thick shag to the dwarf at the workbench. He appears to be working on a diamond. He wears goggles with long lenses and is intent in his work. “Dougal? We have a custom design to discuss.”
He grunts and looks up.
Sent at 11:01 PM on Saturday
Rue: Having followed Razael promptly, Tanzi greets the dwarf with a half wave. “Greetings.”
DM: He has short cropped red hair and a craggy face. Do you describe what you said to Razael?
Rue: Yes. With greater detail and enthusiasm.
Sent at 11:04 PM on Saturday
DM: He has taken out chalk and a slate and draws surprisingly deftly despite his thick fingers. It’s a lovely drawing but the pearl is a slightly larger than average size.
Sent at 11:06 PM on Saturday
Rue: If it is not as large as the pearl described by Sand, Tanzi expresses faint dissatisfaction with a sigh and downcast expression.
DM: “Something wrong?” asks Razael.
Sent at 11:08 PM on Saturday
Rue: “This circlet must plainly show the close relationship between the ocean and Selune. This moon,” she gestures to the sketch, “Shows only distance. The moon caught afar. It seems I must travel a greater distance. Perhaps to the sea itself. Surely the shore folk can help.”
Sent at 11:13 PM on Saturday
DM: “You want a bigger pearl?” his gravelly voice rolls.
Rue: “Yes.”
DM: He erases it and draws another. It’s a large pearl but about half the size of what Sand described.
Sent at 11:15 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi tilts her head to the left. Then the right. She narrows her eyes and pets the cat. She squints. “I know you’re worried about the balance being off, but this piece won’t be worn by a woman of flesh. Both the pearl and the waves could stand to be a bit larger, don’t you think?”
Sent at 11:18 PM on Saturday
Rue: She looks at Razael. “I have not come here in error?”
Sent at 11:19 PM on Saturday
DM: “That’s a rare pearl you seek to be larger than this one, miss,” says Razael. “There are purported to be giant pearls the size of a man’s fist, but they are seldom seen.”
Sent at 11:21 PM on Saturday
Rue: “I know. May I confide – there is nothing more frustrating than seeking a myth. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.” She bows respectfully to Razael and the dwarf.
Sent at 11:22 PM on Saturday
DM: “Not at all, my dear. I should say we can be most resourceful here and something seldom seen is not a myth.”
Dougal has drawn a giant pearl and altered the circlet.
“It is a fine piece,” says Razael. “If Dougal were to craft this, the price would be near 1000.”
Sent at 11:25 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi nods and ventures a smile before adding, “I would wish to inspect the components before Dougal began. When might that be arranged? Also, how long will it take you?” She addresses the second question to the dwarf.
Sent at 11:29 PM on Saturday
DM: “The pearl and the moonstones? You could see them in five days or so. A thousand platinum is amenable to your patron?” asks Razael.
“Two weeks to make.” says Dougal.
Sent at 11:32 PM on Saturday
Rue: “My patron is generous. If you produce something that surpasses his expectations, he will not haggle over price. CaN you replicate the finalized design for me by tomorrow? I require it in order to request the funds.”
DM: “We can have a drawing made for you by this afternoon if you like.”
Sent at 11:38 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi smiles. “That would be wonderful. I have not been disappointed by this visit.”
Sent at 11:40 PM on Saturday
DM: “Excellent.” Razael smiles. “We appreciate your visit, of course.”
Sent at 11:41 PM on Saturday
Rue: “Thank you.” As she leaves, Tanzi scrutinizes the interior of the tent and the various occupants for about five seconds. In particular, she wants to look for fetters on the creepy mirror girls, and judge how competent the swordswoman looks.
Sent at 11:45 PM on Saturday
DM: The mirror girls are not fettered but they do wear collars. The swordswoman is calmly observing you with with a bit of a smirk on her face.
Sent at 11:47 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi looks away from the smirking woman, trying not to frown or hurry her pace. Still, she just wants to get the hell away from here.
DM: The woman makes a kissing sound with her pursed lips and says, “Baron…”
The cat is trying to jump from your arms.
Sent at 11:51 PM on Saturday
Rue: Tanzi releases the cat.
DM: He bounds over and jumps into the lap of the swordswoman.
Rue: “I guess he wasn’t a stray,” Tanzi says over her shoulder. “Such a comfort.”
DM: No one hinders your exit.
Sent at 11:55 PM on Saturday
Rue: Outside, she looks for Sand. Is he where he’s supposed to be?
DM: Yes, seated and staring at the tent entrance.
Rue: “Let’s go.”
DM: He stands up and whispers, “Did Z get the blood pearl?”
Sent at 11:57 PM on Saturday
Rue: “No. But now Z thinks this pearl will cost more blood. I have a terrible feeling.” Very quietly, Tanzi tells Sand what happened in the tent. “Worst of all – I don’t know if that woman was smirking because she could tell I was ‘pretending’ or because I was toting her cat around. And about that cat…what if she’s a witch. Sand, I think you might be in danger.”
Sent at 12:01 AM on Sunday
DM: Sand looks thoughtful. “Z thinks merchant will hurt this one?”
Sent at 12:03 AM on Sunday
Rue: “Why not? There is no indication that she respects anything that others would hold inviolate. She stole the blood pearl. I believe those girls were slaves. She traffics in drugs. Who knows what else…”
Sent at 12:07 AM on Sunday
Rue: “I’m willing to wager that neither your life nor mine is sacred to her.”
DM: “No. But what is merchant to gain? This one has nothing merchant wants.”
Sent at 12:10 AM on Sunday
Rue: “That’s true. But it’s flimsy protection if she gets annoyed by us somehow. Not that expect that to happen. Anyway, how do you think we should proceed? Do you think the cat was spying on us?”
(Not that I expect)
“I wish I were more in tune with nature. Like an elf. Then I could talk to animals.”
DM: “This one does not know about witches. If cat were spying would cat not follow and hide? Z picked up cat and carried.”
“Druids speak to animals. And gnomes.”
Sent at 12:14 AM on Sunday
Rue: “That’s just hiding in plain sight. It comes natural to a cat.” Tanzi looks dismayed at Sand’s next statement. “Not elves? I’d always though…well, nevermind. How are we going to wrest the pearl from her grasp? We really can’t just attack. She has at least two guards, and a dwarf that is at least as wide at the two of us shoulder to shoulder. And those girls are creepy. If they are slaves, I bet they’ve been programmed to sacrifice themselves on the evil merchant’s behalf. But they’re actually innocent, so we shouldn’t slay them outright. That makes for a moral dilemma, which we must avoid at all costs, and especially avoid during battle.”
Sent at 12:18 AM on Sunday
DM: “Saw another guard like tent guard, too.”
Sent at 12:19 AM on Sunday
Rue: “I don’t mean to boast, but I’m pretty good with numbers, and this increase doesn’t bode well for us. Perhaps we’d have better luck if we followed the pearl to its next home. And best of would be if we could buy the pearl and go quietly away. I have one platinum…do you where we could find another nine hundred and ninety-nine?”
(do you know)
Sent at 12:21 AM on Sunday
DM: “Platinum? This one has none. Will Z go and get drawing?”
Sent at 12:23 AM on Sunday
Rue: “I don’t know. I feel uneasy about it right now. You know, Sand, the trouble about pretending, is that sometimes people don’t like it. Weird, huh?”
Sent at 12:25 AM on Sunday
DM: Sand looks determined. “Then this one will demand pearl.”
He puts his hands on your shoulder. “This one will not put Z in danger.”
Sent at 12:27 AM on Sunday
Rue: “I thought we were just discussing being outnumbered and possibly outmatched!” She shrugs off his hand and whirls to face him. “I’m not letting a young boy like you storm in there and get his nose chopped off! We need to find out who the other buyer is. That is, if my conjecture has any basis in truth, and the conversation we overheard earlier did, in fact, involve the pearl.”
Sent at 12:31 AM on Sunday
DM: (diplomacy roll please)
(or intimidate.. whatever is better)
Rue: (Diplomacy, definitely. 18)
(She wouldn’t try to intimidate Sand.)
Sent at 12:33 AM on Sunday
DM: The fire in his eyes dies down a bit. “Very well.”
Sent at 12:35 AM on Sunday
Rue: “I think it will come down to a fight eventually, Sand. But we can’t even calculate the odds at this point. We’ll need to secure a escape route from Calabash in case someone sets the ghazi after us.”
“I sure wish this was someone else’s fight too. I bet a wicked merchant like Razael has other enemies also.”
Sent at 12:41 AM on Sunday
DM: “Maybe this one and Z will find out. Merchant told Z would show pearl when?”
Sent at 12:43 AM on Sunday
Rue: “Five days from now. I didn’t hear when she was ‘conducting business with the other buyer.’ Did you?”
DM: He shakes his head.
Sent at 12:45 AM on Sunday
Rue: “We need more ears. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew the leader of a down-on-its-luck street gang? And if the leader of said gang didn’t wish us ill. What are the odds that Twig wants to kill me on sight, Sand? Are you any good at judging people?”
Sent at 12:48 AM on Sunday
DM: “This one does not like Twig.”
Sent at 12:49 AM on Sunday
Rue: “Perhaps he is too volatile.” Tanzi sighs. “Still, how much do you dislike him?”
Sent at 12:51 AM on Sunday
DM: “How much?”
Rue: “If your dislike were a color, would it be a strong shade or a dull one?”
DM: “Z asks strange questions.”
Sent at 12:54 AM on Sunday
Rue: Tanzi looks away, the corners of her mouth turning downwards in a sad frown. “It’s a perfectly valid question. I think colors make a lovely scale for emotion.”
DM: “This one dislikes Twig… blue.”
Sent at 12:56 AM on Sunday
Rue: Tanzi nods sagely. “Pale blue like fire portends disaster. A blue like water indicates an emotion of mutable nature. It would be helpful to know which blue you experience when you think about the leader of the Rats.”
Sent at 12:59 AM on Sunday
DM: Sand screws up his face in concentration. “Blue like deep water.”
Sent at 1:00 AM on Sunday
Rue: “Sand. You are a complicated soul. There are hidden depths even to your dislike. I’m overwhelmed with curiosity now.”

Cats and Pearls
Session 6

Rue: Yep.
Another exciting day in the Life of Tanzi and Sand, the Daring Duo.
DM: Describe to me, using words, the actions that your character, portrayed by you, takes, please.
Sent at 7:26 PM on Monday
Rue: Turning on her heel, Tanzi points a finger in the direction of Razael the Merchant-thief’s tent, and says, “Let justice be served.” She thumps the top of her trusty box for emphasis.
“Unless it’s too early for justice.”
Sent at 7:29 PM on Monday
DM: Sand pulls his sandcloak close around him and lowers his hood and follows you.
Sent at 7:31 PM on Monday
DM: You see the tent in question, large and purple, with gold outlined figures on the canvas – fantastic creatures and heavenly bodies. The tent has an awning-type walkway the entrance and a large tanned man, wearing only a turban and wide pants, guards it with a dangerous-looking double-bladed sword.
Sent at 7:33 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi’s eyes widen at the sight of the turbaned guard, and she nods to Sand. “We have to watch our steps and fingers around that one,” she whispers. She hails the guard in a louder voice. “Open for business?”
Sent at 7:36 PM on Monday
DM: The dark haired and mustachioed man indicates you should wait. He takes a look inside. (Make a listen check.)
Rue: (Eighteen)
DM: (Sand – 16)
Sent at 7:38 PM on Monday
DM: You both hear the sound of raised voices, in some argument, a man’s and a woman’s, but you can’t make it out. After a moment, however, the woman says, “Yes, Gastineau?”
The guard says, “Customers.”
The woman says, “Please ask them to wait a moment until I finish my conversation.”
The guard turns back and says, “Just a few minutes, please.” He smiles a wide smile which makes him look scarier.
Rue: How is the tent positioned in regards to other shops or the market place in general?
DM: It’s on the eastern side of the square, larger, by average.Are you thinking of trying to get near an outside wall?
Sent at 7:42 PM on Monday
Rue: Maybe. She’s looking for any suitable eavesdropping spot.
DM: As I thought, though I’m not forming sentences very well tonight. It would be a simple matter to stroll down to the next tent, walk around it, and then come up on the back side of this tent.
Sent at 7:45 PM on Monday
Rue: (I have trouble visualizing things, sometimes, and often substitute my own imaginings. So I just want to be certain.)

Tanzi tries to do so without drawing any attention, especially from Gastineau.
DM: Do you say anything when leaving?
Rue: “Thanks. We’ll return.” She says it over her shoulder as she walks away.
Sent at 7:49 PM on Monday
DM: The next tent has its entrance around a corner. Perfect! You don’t look suspicious, you don’t think. Then you can hurry along to reach the non-open side of the purple tent.
Rue: Tanzi tiptoes carefully, looking over her shoulder to see if Sand is following.
DM: He is. He seems to understand.
”... long enough!” you hear the man’s raised voice.
(give me a Listen roll by the way, for non-raised voices)
Rue: (Ten)
DM: (Sand – 7)
Sent at 7:52 PM on Monday
DM: “As I have mentioned, darling, I am neither a moneylender nor the Khedive. I do not carry five thousand gold pieces on my person or keep such a sum around for any length of time. I’ve told you that I have a buyer and I have a product. It is merely a matter of conducting the business and then dear Ysetha will get all that is coming to her.”
“My mistress is impatient with you. You left Calabash.”
“I needed to, didn’t I? And I came back, didn’t I, darling?”
“She almost had me killed!”
“But she didn’t, my sweet, did she? All shall be well. Go and…”
(the voices lower and move away from you at this point)
Sent at 7:56 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi looks excitedly at Sand and lifts her shoulders in a questioning shrug. Is there any way to creep closer along the side of the tent, or would that put them at risk of being seen?
DM: I’d assumed you were standing at the back of the tent. Closer which way?
Sand’s face is a cipher.
Rue: Right, we were, I meant if we moved along the side of the tent (if possible) would that bring us closer to the voices?
DM: Possibly, you mean to follow along the side as the voices move towards the front of the tent? You’d be able to see the main boulevard and be seen by others, too.
Sent at 8:00 PM on Monday
Rue: Okay. Standing at the back of the tent, Tanzi edges towards the left corner and peeks around to see if anyone is exiting the tent. She gestures for Sand to do the same on the opposite side.
DM: He does so. You wait for a couple minutes. Give me a spot, please.
Rue: (Eleven)
DM: Some people walk by but you don’t think it was anyone in the tent from their angle. Though a small tawny cat is wandering over to you. Maybe it thinks you have snacks.
Sand comes to you and says, “Man. Bald. Green robes. Many tattoos. Arms, head.

Sent at 8:07 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi nods, distracted by the cat. Is it a pretty, well-fed cat or unkempt?
Sent at 8:09 PM on Monday
DM: A pretty, well-fed, but lean cat. “Mow?”
“This one thinks tattooed man one that speaks to merchant.”
Sent at 8:11 PM on Monday
Rue: “What a pretty kitty, we should run,” she says to Sand in a low voice. “Unless…are you lost, little cat? Do you have any of that desiccated meat you were gnawing on yesterday?”
Sent at 8:12 PM on Monday
DM: “Why run? To catch man? This cat does not need this one to feed it.”
Sent at 8:14 PM on Monday
DM: “Mow?” Rubs against your boot.
Rue: “The cat looks famished. Their eyes don’t look like that when they aren’t hungry. But let’s get away from here. Would you mind carrying this for a minute?” She offers the box to Sand with a cajoling smile.
DM: “Oof.” He takes the chest.
Rue: Tanzi scoops up the cat, if it will let her. If it won’t, she still tries to.
DM: It struggles a little bit but not too much.
(well, do you mean it harm?)
(cats can sense this)
Rue: “You’re a good kitty. We’re going to be good friends.”

No, she doesn’t. She’s very gentle.
DM: OK, no problem.
Sent at 8:19 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi heads out from behind the tents as carefully as she entered, petting the cat the whole while. “We need to find some mice, Sand. I bet someone sells them. Dazzle eats mice too. You cannot eat Dazzle,” she tells the cat. “Do you think it’s too late to follow the bald man? You’ll be able to recognize him again though. Right?” Tanzi pauses to look at Sand.
DM: “This one will know him. Tattoos were snakes.”
Rue: “Really? That’s exciting news. Could you draw the snakes?”
Sent at 8:25 PM on Monday
DM: “Wrapped around arm. Head on hand,” he tries to demonstrate, balancing the chest and the staff. “Other head on head.”
Rue: “Hrm.”
“I wonder if you could do that while standing on one foot.”
DM: “Why buy mice? Mice, rats, everywhere.”
He’s trying it on one fot.
Sent at 8:27 PM on Monday
Rue: “You see one? Where?!” She looks about the area, before shaking her head. “No. I want to buy mice because catching them is unladylike.”
DM: Sand mutters something under his breath.
Rue: “You know I’m a very proper person, right? You can tell, right?” Her voice is very earnest, if slightly shrill.
Sent at 8:30 PM on Monday
DM: Sand says, “Z is very… er… civilizationed.”
Sent at 8:31 PM on Monday
Rue: “Yes. It was part of my extensive education. I have credentials to that effect. Let’s find some mice for this poor starving cat, and Dazzle. I also want to find out who else deals in jewels.”
Sent at 8:33 PM on Monday
DM: How long do you want to spend doing this? How soon did you want to get back to Potago’s or Razael’s?
Rue: She doesn’t want to spend long doing this. The mice can wait. She does want to find at least one other person who deals in jewels and visit them before Razael. As a trial run, maybe.
DM: Ok, give me a Gather Information check. Sand can “assist”.
Rue: (Nine)
DM: (Sand – 2, no assist)
Sent at 8:36 PM on Monday
DM: No luck with mouse sales but you find out there is an elven jeweler, a gnome jeweler, an Azurian jeweler, and a jeweler from the mountain kingdoms – all pretty well known and located in a similar area to Razael’s.
Sent at 8:37 PM on Monday
Sent at 8:49 PM on Monday
DM: Where do you go?
Rue: Tanzi travels to the Azurian jeweler to gather further information. If possible, she passes Razael’s tent in order to speak to the other jeweler. (I have no idea what an Azurian is.)
Sent at 8:53 PM on Monday
DM: They are the very dark-skinned people from the equatorial areas. Gastineau nods as you pass.
Sent at 8:54 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi nods in return, but doesn’t slow her pace.
Sent at 8:56 PM on Monday
DM: There is a gaudily decorated tent that is small and open on three sides. An Azurian spear-fighter lounges in the shade nearby, and two young men start laying out wares and calling out to passers-by. “Beautiful gold and jewels!” “Exotic gifts for your exotic love!”
Sent at 8:57 PM on Monday
Rue: “Isn’t this great,” Tanzi murmurs to Sand as she approaches. She looks at the items for sale.
Sent at 8:59 PM on Monday
DM: “Ah, hello, beautiful lady! I know the perfect thing for you and your.. blue eyes! Like the sea, they are!”
Sent at 9:00 PM on Monday
DM: One of the young men reaches into the shallow velvet crate you are peering into, and pulls out a silver torc with a large tiger eye turquoise.
Rue: “I am very fond of the ocean,” Tanzi says, blushing furiously.
DM: “That is a find choice, brother! Madam, do you wish to try it on and see yourself in a mirror?”
Sent at 9:02 PM on Monday
Rue: “Of course!” Tanzi sneaks a look at Sand to see if he looks impatient.
Sent at 9:04 PM on Monday
DM: “And something for your lovely friend, here, perhaps a bracelet? May I see your eyes, miss?”
Rue: Tanzi turns around to look, a bemused half-smile on her face.
DM: “This one wears only what this one kills.” says Sand, fiercely. “This one is a warrior man.”
Rue: Shaking her head, she looks back to the merchant. “Don’t tease my friend,” she warns sternly. “I won’t have it.”
DM: One merchant is clasping the torc around your neck and mutters “hmmm” under his breath. The other says, “I apologize, sir! My mistake, of course!”
I should say, this is more of a choker, than a torc.
Sent at 9:09 PM on Monday
DM: One holds up a mirror to you. It looks very nice indeed. “What do you think, madam? And how about you, Baron?”
Sent at 9:10 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi narrows her eyes critically on the mirror, trying to hide how much she likes the damn necklace. Finally, she ventures a small smile.”This trinket is lovely, to be sure. However well it may match my eyes, it does not suit my spirit. When I mentioned my affection for the ocean, I should include a fondness for her gifts, corals bright as blood and pearls. Pearls particularly.”
Sent at 9:12 PM on Monday
DM: “Of course, of course!” He unclasps the necklace. “We have some freshwater pearls, I believe, made into a lovely bracelet.”
Sent at 9:14 PM on Monday
DM: “And, brother, we do know where we might find some red coral for you. It’s rather.. fierce looking, madam, but if you like we could have it here tomorrow.”
Sent at 9:15 PM on Monday
Rue: “Perhaps…” Tanzi sighs. “I’m looking for something bolder than a simple string of pearls. Something great and unusual. A pearl to rival the moon’s perfection.”
Sent at 9:17 PM on Monday
DM: “An ocean pearl, then?”
Rue: “Yes.”
Sent at 9:19 PM on Monday
DM: “I am afraid we do not keep these in stock, but I am sure, if you will give us a day we may be able to secure some for you to view? If I may be so bold to ask what sort of price range? Most ocean pearls are around 100 gold in value.”
Sand coughs loudly at that.
Sent at 9:21 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi smiles. “That is very bold. Do not trouble yourself on my account. If I do not find an astonishing specimen amongst your competitors, I will return and we can speak of price and lustre.”
Sent at 9:27 PM on Monday
DM: He smiles back. “It is no trouble, is it brother? Our customers know that we have a fine eye for finding suitable jewels for people, and many leave us to the trouble of hunting for just the right thing.”
Sent at 9:30 PM on Monday
Rue: “Many? Then how would you ever have the time to devote to a proper search for what I require?” Tanzi shakes her head. “No. But I thank you for the offer.” She walks away, headed for Razael’s shop. “You made some kind of signal back there, Sand. What was it?” she asks when they’re out of earshot.
Sent at 9:35 PM on Monday
DM: “Are you sure, madam..?” “Oh, come again!” you hear behind you.
“This one thinks those merchants are robbers. 100 gold for pearl. Pearls only worth 5 gold.”
Sent at 9:37 PM on Monday
Rue: “They’d probably sell me a varnished pebble. That was a very pretty necklace they had…If I make my fortune here, I’m definitely going to purchase it. Okay. How much is the stolen pearl worth?”
DM: “Merchant offer two hundred and fifty gold.”
Sent at 9:40 PM on Monday
Rue: “But she owes five thousand coin…didn’t it sound like that? I wonder if the pearl is the product she spoke of or something else…? I wish I’d been more interested in divination.”
DM: (make an appraise roll)
Rue: (sixteen)
DM: (5 gold sounds like a ridiculously low number for a pearl… 100 sounds more right to you)
Rue: “Sand…have you sold a lot of pearls in your lifetime? For five gold pieces each?”
DM: Sand nods.
Sent at 9:46 PM on Monday
Rue: Tanzi nods. “Oh, my. What’s done is done. Let’s go shake the plum tree and see if any monkeys fall out. Actually, do you think I should change into my scholar’s clothes? Scholar or traveler, traveler or scholar…” Tanzi contemplates as she hurries towards the tent.
Sent at 9:52 PM on Monday

Session 5

DM: All right… prepare for the greatest danger any adventurer has ever seen…. morning.
What time do you wake up?
Rue: Early! Before the birds.
Sent at 8:40 PM on Tuesday
DM: Your self-discipline and the snoring of lots of other people in the room allows you to wake early. You see Sand is still asleep. Before the birds meant before dawn, right?
Rue: Yes.
DM: What do you want to do?
Rue: Tanzi ascertains the whereabouts of her snake familiar, Dazzle, and inquires whether it found anything edible during the night.
DM: At your level, you can only communicate emotions with Dazzle. It seems to be satisfied. It had found a warm spot under your waist while you slept.
Sent at 8:45 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Brave little snake,” she coos as she scoops it up. She quietly begins to gather her possessions, sorts through her spell components to make certain ones easily accessible, and basically waits patiently for Sand to wake up.
Sent at 8:47 PM on Tuesday
DM: It doesn’t take very long, actually. Sand appears to be a light, wary sleeper. He sits up and looks you in the eyes by way of greeting. Then nods and begins to gather his possessions quickly.
Sent at 8:48 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Do you want to wait and see if Dawn will be offering breakfast, or would you rather get started right away?” Tanzi speaks quietly.
Sent at 8:49 PM on Tuesday
DM: “This one will look outside for breakfast.”
Sent at 8:51 PM on Tuesday
Rue: (Today Tanzi has memorized Ghost Sound, Detect Magic, Prestidigitation, Charm Person, and Silent Image.)
“Good luck with that.”
DM: (thanks)
In just a couple minutes, Sand reenters the tent with two wooden bowls and spoons.
Sent at 8:53 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “No scorpions on sticks?” Tanzi asks seriously. “What is it?”
DM: He hands it to you. It’s cold goulash.
Sent at 8:55 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Thank you. This was delicious last night. I’m certain time has only improved it. Aged like fine wine…” Tanzi eats quickly.
DM: It’s not… awful.
Sent at 8:57 PM on Tuesday
DM: Where to now?
Sent at 8:58 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Very good question. Having finished her food, Tanzi hops to her feet and grabs her stuff. “Well, I don’t know exactly how we’re going to find out what we need to know, but I’m hoping it will come to me as we walk.”
Sent at 9:02 PM on Tuesday
DM: “This one wonders if Z will visit merchant and this one wonders if Z will return to writers.” What about your big chest, by the way? Still carrying it?
Sent at 9:04 PM on Tuesday
Rue: She’s still lugging it around. “Yes to the first. Probably to the second. I’ll have to swallow my pride, and admit to temporary madness, which shouldn’t be impossible. Dazzle can unhinge his jaws to swallow an entire mouse. My pride isn’t nearly so bulky. This is provided Potago’s scriptorium isn’t filled with magical traps.”
Sent at 9:06 PM on Tuesday
DM: “Traps?” asks Sand. Dawn’s guard waves you a sleepy good morning as you exit. You are heading back to the city?
Rue: Tanzi waves back. Yes, she’s striding confidently towards the city.
“You never know,” she says in response to Sand. “This is a dangerous city.”
Sent at 9:08 PM on Tuesday
DM: It seems the tent-town is not as much a morning place as you’d expect. There are a few people making their way towards the gate, some in the uniforms of kapikula. Most activity is centered around people loading up wagons and animals to haul in to the marketplace.
Sent at 9:10 PM on Tuesday
DM: It’s just getting towards dawn and the sun from the east is a burning orange across the sandy hills. The gate is not crowded and you can make your way quickly to the market.
Sent at 9:11 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi does so, chattering about nothing of consequence the entire while.
Sent at 9:12 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand asks, “What will Z say to merchant? Will this one go to merchant?”
Rue: Tanzi draws to a stop, balancing the box on one hip. “Hmm. The merchant will recognize you, won’t she?”
Sent at 9:14 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand seems to not blend in particularly well with his piercings and shell-covered leathers but he does have a hood on his sandcloak. “This one does not know. This one only speak once to merchant. Only say one word.”
Rue: “What word?”
DM: “No.”
Sent at 9:16 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi nods. “You don’t waste words, Sand.” She considers for a minute, then starts walking again. “Since we aren’t certain, it’s best that you don’t reveal yourself. Neither of us look like the sort of people who can afford any pearls of quality, so that makes this even more tricky.”
“We could pretend to be ‘shopping’ for someone else…”
Sent at 9:20 PM on Tuesday
DM: “This one does not know. This one not pretender.”
Sent at 9:22 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Really? You’ve never pretended to be a rich merchant’s son, or pretended that you were slaying dragons, or anything like that?”
Sent at 9:23 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand seems confused. “No…” Then his eyes light up a bit. “This one pretended to be turtle and shark!” He opens his mouth wide and makes a silent roar.
Sent at 9:25 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi grins. “Wonderful! A very fearsome turtle you would make, sir Sand. Shark too. Anyway. I have a little idea. Not a very good one. It requires us to visit Potago first.” Just saying the name causes Tanzi to walk significantly slower.
Sent at 9:28 PM on Tuesday
DM: “No. Turtle like this.” Sand stops gnashing his teeth and opens his eyes very wide and spreads his mouth to either side. He pokes his head out of his hood and looks from side to side, humorously slowly.
Sent at 9:30 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi watches, blue eyes wide with wonder, then laughs and shakes her head. “You’re a natural – I bet you can imitate all manner of sea creatures! You could probably imitate anything.”
Sent at 9:32 PM on Tuesday
DM: He blushes and shyly pulls his hood back on.
Rue: “I bet you could even pretend to be nobility. Can I see your hands?”
Sent at 9:34 PM on Tuesday
DM: He pulls off the stout leather gloves and shows you. His hands are dirty and calloused but surprisingly lithe, almost delicate.
Sent at 9:36 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “You don’t say…rough, yes, but not impossible… Thank you. Okay, so here’s my plan, Sand,” Tanzi pauses to look about. She doesn’t want anyone to overhear her plan.
DM: Have you entered the gates yet?
Rue: Probably. If nothing detained us.
Nothing more than turtle faces.
DM: Nope. It’s easy enough to step into a side street. The city is very quiet right now. Sand puts his gloves back on.
Sent at 9:40 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Satisfied, Tanzi takes a deep breath and speaks quickly and quietly. “Okay. This sounds like the most fun, though there’s probably a simpler way. So first I get Potago to hire me, then finagle the use of some fine inks, then I design a spectacular piece of jewelry that require a pearl of significant size and unmatche lustre. If my own scribal skills aren’t up to snuff, perhaps someone at Potago’s is willing to work for wine. Okay, this is the good part…next we dress you up like a young nobleman, just an all-encompassing cloak and gloves, to save money, and I’ll be your spokesperson because you’re too wealthy to talk to a mere merchant. I’ll be wearing my other set of clothes, because they’re more appropriate. I’ll ask to see the merchant’s selection of jewels, and -” She stops abruptly. “How will you react when you see the pearl?”
Sent at 9:48 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand’s eyes are growing wider and wider as you speak. Then they narrow. “This one thinks this plan takes a long time. This one does not have noble clothes.”
Sent at 9:51 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Okay. What’s your quicker plan again?”
DM: “This one demands pearl. If refused, this one takes back what is right.”
Sent at 9:53 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi winces. “Right. How could I forget. What if the merchant calls the guards? No one will speak for us. We’ll be apprehended by the ghazi and writhe in torment for the entertainment of guttersnipes.”
“If you want to be a performer, I suggest my plan.”
DM: Sand frowns. “This one does not have noble clothes.”
Rue: “I don’t mind shopping for you.”
DM: Sand glumly shrugs.
Sent at 9:57 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi stops and begins to smile even wider. “Oh, you can be an elven lord,” she says excitedly. “We can find an elven cloak for you.”
“You will have to keep your head down.
“Have you ever seen an elf?”
Sent at 9:59 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand makes a dismissive noise like blowing a bug off his hand. “This one sees elves all day and night last sun.”
Sent at 10:01 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “You weren’t impressed? I’ve heard that every single one of them can use magic. It might not be true. I didn’t hear it from a reliable source.”
DM: “Elves live many lifetimes but not all do magic.”
Rue: “I wish I could live many lifetimes. I have so much to do in this one, I’ll never have time to relax.”
“Let’s hurry to Potago’s. And then we can flip a coin to decide which plan to go with.”
“Maybe the Ghazi will let me die swiftly, since I’m just your accomplice.”
DM: Sand hurries after you, puzzled about the idea of throwing money.
Sent at 10:05 PM on Tuesday
DM: The market is pretty sleepy right now. Some men and women dressed only in loincloths or shifts and metal collars sweep the stones. Potago’s tent is opened but you only see Karivelle there as of yet. She moves about setting up papers and ink.
Sent at 10:07 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi squares her shoulders and casts detect magic just before she enters the tent. She stops at the threshold to concentrate.
Sent at 10:09 PM on Tuesday
DM: You detect some magic on the center dais. Faint. But you can’t see a corresponding object. It might be underneath one of the podium desks.
Sent at 10:13 PM on Tuesday
Rue: If Tanzi moves closer, may she make a Spellcraft Check to discern the school of magic involved?
Sent at 10:14 PM on Tuesday
DM: Only if you can see the item. You have a general idea where it is, but it’s behind shelves and such. You’d have to walk up on the dais to look.
Sent at 10:16 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi walks towards the dais as if she knows where’s she’s going and isn’t expecting to get in trouble for it.
DM: You can get there enough to see a wooden cabinet beneath one of the desks has the air but Karivelle is speaking sternly, “Excuse me. Young woman.”
Rue: “Oh, pardon me. I didn’t see you.” (Bluff 19)
“I was looking for Master Potago again.”
Sent at 10:21 PM on Tuesday
DM: Her hands are on her hips. “It’s quite early, miss. Potago will be here later. You should wait outside the tent.”
Rue: “Thank you.” Tanzi hurries out.
Sent at 10:23 PM on Tuesday
DM: Karivelle takes a few moments to see that all is in order where you were. (Oh, I’d meant “aura” when I wrote “air” before, about the detect magic on the cabinet.)
Rue: (I read aura when you wrote air.)
Sent at 10:25 PM on Tuesday
DM: “What is Z doing?” asks Sand.
Rue: “I probably didn’t make the best second impression just then,” Tanzi confides to Sand with a dejected sigh. “But at least I don’t think there are magical shackles on every stool. There could be a circlet of compulsion in the cabinet though.”
Sent at 10:27 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “She suggests I wait for Potago, but we can look for some clothes for you. Have you made up a name for your new role yet? I’ve always believed it’s all in the name.”
DM: He appears dumbfounded.
Rue: “Sand, are you okay? It’s not even that hot out yet.”
Sent at 10:28 PM on Tuesday
DM: “This one thinks Z should make names.”
Sent at 10:30 PM on Tuesday
Rue: Tanzi wrinkles her nose. “Okay. But no complaints.”
Sent at 10:43 PM on Tuesday
DM: Sand nods. “What name will this one be called?”
Sent at 10:49 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Baelyr Utharian, if you’re an elf.”
“You did not express fondness for them earlier.” As she speaks, Tanzi begins to look for anyone selling garments.
DM: “Bayler Ootharine”
There aren’t too many places open for business yet.
Rue: “You won’t have to talk. Does no one wake at a reasonable hour in this place…?”
DM: “This one does not speak elftongue.”
Sent at 10:55 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “To tell the truth, neither do I. But I do speak Sylvan. I’ll say stuff to you in Sylvan, and you don’t even have to pretend to understand me. Baelyr will just point if he sees something special, like the pearl, and then…this brings me back to your reaction if the merchant presents the pearl. What will it be again?”
DM: “This one will be angry.”
Sent at 11:00 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Right. You know, we might try the nobleman ruse some other time. I’m sure there will be more opportunities. Maybe I’ll just go talk to the merchant. You can wait outside and pretend to be my bodyguard.”
DM: “This one is already Z’s bodyguard.”
Sent at 11:04 PM on Tuesday
Rue: “Total immersion. I like your style. I’d say we should head over there directly, but this city is full of layabouts. There’s no reason to think this merchant will be any different.”

Session 4

me: OK. So, when we last left Tanzi and Sand, they had scampered away from Potago’s and were thinking of a place to bed down.
Rue: Yes. Tanzi had mentioned the halfling’s mention of a place.
DM: Dusky Dawn’s?
Rue: That sounds familiar.
DM: The Scorpion Pit?
Sent at 7:40 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Not the Scorpion Pit. I’m not sure Ebel actually told her where to find Dusky Dawn’s place.
DM: He said it was south of the city, which is where the closest gate to the marketplace leads.
Rue: Okay. Let me think for a second.
Sent at 7:43 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Don’t the Asps rule the south? And the Scorpions claim the north and east?
DM: That’s what you heard.
Sent at 7:45 PM on Wednesday
DM: But, keep in mind there are thousands of people around too… people going about their lives. It’s not like “death to all who enter” or anything.
Rue: That’s hard to keep in mind. Some of us are still shell-shocked from previous campaigns. And Tanzi is a freak.
Is it dusk yet?
DM: Just about sunset.
Sent at 7:47 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Lets go this way,” Tanzi suggests as she marches south. “I’m sure we can find Dusky Dawn’s. Ebel says people tell stories there. Story-tellers are safe.”
Sent at 7:48 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand catches up, nibbling on some dried meat he’d packed. At the gate, you see lines of merchants again going through paperwork with officials.
Rue: “Lots of to-and-froing here, Sand. Let’s hurry.”
Sent at 7:51 PM on Wednesday
DM: You can wend your way past the wagons and get a cursory glance by a Ghazi. Instead of a well-paved road, as was the way back west to the river, this is more like a dry plain with tents as far as you can see.
Sent at 7:52 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Alright.” Tanzi looks around. “I don’t know where to go from here. Do you hear any singing?”
DM: Sand cocks an ear. “This one does not.” (make an int roll)
Rue: (Ten)
Sent at 7:55 PM on Wednesday
DM: One thing you notice about the sea of tents is that many of them have flags of various designs flying from their tops. Some are obviously nationalities you recognize and some are probably heraldic coats of arms but some are things like a green flagon on a red field or a wedge of cheese.
Rue: “Let’s look for a sun. Maybe a dirty one,” suggests Tanzi.
DM: (spot roll)
Rue: (Seventeen)
DM: You see a flag that appears to be a sun on the horizon, setting or rising is unclear. There is also one of a golden sun on a white field.
Sand points out the second one.
Rue: Which is closer?
DM: The golden one.
Rue: “I imagine fields are dusty,” she declares confidently. “Maybe it’s this one.”
DM: By field, I meant the background on the flag.
Rue: I misunderstood. Tanzi always intended to check out the closest one first, so she still heads that direction.
Sent at 8:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: You head over there. It’s hard to move in a direct line, but you can keep your eye on the flag to orient yourself. No one seems to pay much notice to you. Many of the tents have cooking fires set up and dinner is starting. When you get in sight of the tent belonging to the flag, you see several well-armored men wearing this sun insignia on their surcoats.
Rue: “This doesn’t feel right. They are definitely not minstrels.”
DM: “Look like soldiers.”
Rue: Tanzi nods uncomfortably. “Sunburst on white…I don’t know, Sand, but maybe we should backtrack. I think they’d be insulted if they knew I’d mistaken their sun for a dusty one.”
DM: Sand nods. You can spot the other flag from here.
Sent at 8:06 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi heads there, her pace lagging some.
DM: “Z is tired? This one can carry box.”
Sent at 8:08 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Thanks, Sand. You’re a very nice boy. But you should keep your hands free in case someone attacks us.”
Sent at 8:09 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I’m almost finished with this box anyway. I just need to find somewhere to dump this wine.”
Sent at 8:10 PM on Wednesday
DM: You head towards the tent, unaccosted. You see it is a large, wide tent. There are posts with animals tied outside and a very large cookpot on a fire, tended by a young woman. There are chainmail armored guards with long spears on either side of the entrance, from which you hear the sounds of revelry.
Sent at 8:13 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi grins, enthusiasm restored. “Do you hear that! I think we’ve found it. Shall we?”
DM: Sand smiles and nods.
Sent at 8:15 PM on Wednesday
Rue: She starts to walk towards the tent, and vaguely directs a question to either the woman or guards, whoever will answer. “Is this Dusky Dawn’s?”
Sent at 8:16 PM on Wednesday
DM: The guards smile and incline their heads to you and the girl, tasting the contents of the cauldron, says, “Yes, go right in!”
Sent at 8:17 PM on Wednesday
Rue: How far is this place from the gate, provided one doesn’t get lost on the way? Tanzi tries to reorient herself before heading inside.
DM: Maybe a 20 minute walk through the tent maze.
Sent at 8:19 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Okay. She pauses before entering to look at the animals tethered outside. Are any of them exceptionally interesting?
DM: No. Horses, all. Only 4 of them. Common riding horses.
Rue: Moving along, then.
Sent at 8:21 PM on Wednesday
DM: You enter and there are lanterns lighting the interior of a large chamber held up by several poles. You can see flaps leading to closed off areas as well. There are perhaps 30 people here of different types, seated on cushions at six long, low tables. They are all eating, drinking, talking and laughing loudly. There is no entertainment currently. Young children trot back and forth along the rows, which are all in a circle around an open area in the center of the room. The children refill mugs and run bowls out to the cauldron and back. You notice some of the kids look a bit weird.
Rue: In what respect?
DM: Well, the one who just ran by you… had a tail.
Sent at 8:25 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi doesn’t stare…just at that one. What other differences are there, and can she discern a common heritage?
Sent at 8:26 PM on Wednesday
DM: One looks like he has three-fingered hands. A girl has small horns and red, smoldering eyes.
Sent at 8:27 PM on Wednesday
DM: A woman at one of the tables notices you and gets up and approaches. She’s apparently middle-aged and a bit doughy. But you see she also has small horns above her very black hair with streaks of grey. Her eyes also, are red and pupil-less.
Rue: “Hello,” Tanzi says.
DM: “Hello, strangers!” she answers with a wide smile of pointy teeth. “I’m Dawn, if you haven’t guessed. Are you here for the night or just supper?”
Sent at 8:31 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “A place to rest would be appreciated, as would food. Ebel Dustrel recommended you.”
Sent at 8:32 PM on Wednesday
DM: “What a dear he is. Well, I’m sure he wouldn’t have sent you if he didn’t think you would fit in. We’re a bit informal here. It’s 5 silver a night which includes supper and breakfast. It’s goulash tonight. Most nights it’s goulash, but we vary the recipe and it’s always fresh. You can have as much as you like. Breakfast is whatever goulash is left over.” She laughs. “Just take a seat. After supper, there is usually some singing and dancing and such, and then we’ll clear away the tables and you can pick a comfortable spot. I have guards, so you needn’t worry. They’re quite good. Just pay me in advance, please. I sleep in.”
Sent at 8:35 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi reaches into her spell component pouch, and retrieves a gold coin. “I’ll pay for the boy as well.”
DM: Sand pulls out some silver. “This one can pay,” he says, a little embarrassed.
Rue: “You should save it,” Tanzi says decisively.
DM: He puts it back underneath his robes somewhere.
Sent at 8:39 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Thank you,” says Dawn. “Would you like to give your names in case someone needs to contact you? Whatever you wish.”
Sent at 8:40 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “If you receive any correspondence marked with a bold Z, it probably belongs to me.”
Sent at 8:41 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Very well. Please sit anywhere. There is room at my table if you wish. I’m sure you don’t want to listen to a bunch of old bats complain about their aches and pains, though!” she laughs. The table she indicates is almost full. There are a few more, less densely populated, and one with no one at it yet.
Sent at 8:43 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Aches and pains are lamentable,” Tanzi says with no true understanding. “I thank you for the balm of hospitality, Dawn.”
DM: Did you want descriptions of more patrons?
Sent at 8:48 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi moves to the empty table and looks around.
Sent at 8:50 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand follows. Perhaps half the population look to be commonly dressed travelers and merchants. The people with Dawn you might guess to be residents of Calabash as they don’t seem dressed for travel. At one table there are three very pale-skinned elves with long silvery hair. At another is a trio of well-equipped folk: a large female half-orc in armor with a prominent red symbol upon it – a red disk with arrow and mace heads pointing outwards; a young man fiddling with making a flame appear and disappear on his index finger; and a gnome with a cloak over his eyes and a long pipe.
Sent at 8:54 PM on Wednesday
Sent at 8:57 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi is immediately caught by the young man invoking fire so casually.
(Tanzi’s interest)
DM: (well, I’m not sure how late I can go. I felt very sleepy before I just took the trash outside.. that was a jolt of cold awakening me)
DM: The three of them noticed you two as you entered. The young man gave you a wink.
Sent at 9:00 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi whispers to Sand, “Look, do you think that’s magic or a trick?” She doesn’t look away from the flame.
Sent at 9:03 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand looks intently. “Magic,” he says. “Like you do.” (you could make an Arcana roll if you wanted)
Or Spellcraft, rather.
Rue: (Twenty-four)
(Spellcraft is 23)
DM: It’s the spell Prestidigitation. It’s a minor illusion.
Sent at 9:05 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I wonder how powerful he is. What he knows.” Tanzi’s hands curl into fists as she still stares. “I haven’t encountered many magic users outside the school,” she says quietly.
Sent at 9:08 PM on Wednesday
DM: “This one sees many clerics who make magic.”
Sent at 9:09 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Clerics almost don’t count. They take what they’re given. Magic users get what they take.”
Sent at 9:11 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand grunts in nonunderstanding and then sets to a bowl of goulash placed in front of him with great interest. You are also given one by the boy with the tail and a couple flagons of watery wine.
Rue: Tanzi is also hungry. Is there cutlery or bread with the goulash?
DM: Bread and spoons in fact. The bread is a pile of flat, pocket-bread.
Sent at 9:14 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi eats with practiced, but not perfected, manners. She takes dainty ladylike bites despite her great hunger.
Sent at 9:16 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand eats like a dingo. The goulash is lots of brown flat beans, potatoes and carrots, onions and chunks of a stringy meat. It’s not fancy but it’s ok. Could use salt.
Sent at 9:17 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Halfway through her meal, Tanzi pauses to watch Sand eat. “You must have been famished. A boy your age shouldn’t be away from his family…we’d better secure what we’re looking for swiftly.”
Sent at 9:19 PM on Wednesday
DM: A pained look crosses his eyes when you say, “family.” When you are halfway through your meal, he’s ordering thirds, though.
Sent at 9:20 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (Why is everyone always eating in this campaign….? Why….)
DM: (I told you. It’s a food-based campaign.)
Rue: (I’m suffering. I ran out of chocolate during the last session.)
“I suppose we should start by ascertaining the whereabouts of the pearl, if possible. Have you been hot on the trail of the merchant, or will she have had a chance to profit from her treachery?”
Sent at 9:23 PM on Wednesday
DM: “This one has been searching for four moon-paths.”
Sent at 9:24 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I can’t hazard a guess based off that information. I wonder how long it took her to reach Calabash.”
Sent at 9:26 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Merchant called Razael traveled by horses. Has come to this one’s village before, to buy, many seasons. But this one’s clan does not sell blooded pearls. Blooded pearls put to rest with those that… die.”
Rue: Tanzi shivers.
DM: Some music has started up. One of the pale elves is playing a mandolin and the other two have stood to dance.
Sent at 9:30 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi shifts her weight uncomfortably and looks towards the dancers. “Will it change your sorrow to find the pearl?” she asks. “Or is this just something you have to do?”
Sent at 9:35 PM on Wednesday
DM: “This one must put this one’s blood-kin’s spirit to rest. This one will carry sorrow all days.”
Sent at 9:36 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi nods. “Sorrow is like wine though. Sometimes it spills away. It’s not something one is constrained to carry forever.”
Sent at 9:37 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand looks you in the eye. There is a depth there of suffering. “No,” he says, in a whisper. “Forever.”
Sent at 9:39 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi smiles gently. “Okay. Yours to keep.” She tears off a piece of bread and dips it into the goulash before gnawing on it thoughtfully.
Sent at 9:44 PM on Wednesday
DM: The elves are dancing in a rolling, seductive fashion with the focus upon their hips and bellies. They twist and the decorative belts of coins jingle and chink. The half-orc has produced a drum and she bangs upon it, loudly to the beat of the dance. One of the elves approaches the fellow you’d been eyeing, and beckons him to join.
Sent at 9:46 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Has the dance drawn the attention of the other patrons as well? Tanzi spares a moment’s attention to find out.
DM: He wears a golden shirt that is open to his navel and bright orange pants that flare out widely before closing at his ankles. He has long brown hair held back at a single length by a weight at the fullest extent. As he stands and dances, he twirls it around. Most people are watching the dance and clapping along. “Go on, Vance!” chortles the gnome.
Sent at 9:50 PM on Wednesday
DM: The two elves perform as to mimic competing for the young man’s attention and he whirls his eyes following one then the other. (make a Spellcraft roll please)
Rue: (Eleven)
Sent at 9:52 PM on Wednesday
DM: Suddenly there are four of him dancing around in tandem, their forms weaving in and out of each other as if your vision was suddenly blurred. A few seconds later there are nine of him. Shortly, thereafter, there are an even dozen, to the delight of those watching.
Rue: Tanzi blinks and rubs her eyes. “Are you watching this?” she mutters to her companion.
DM: “Yes. This is a strange thing,” Sand answers.
Sent at 9:54 PM on Wednesday
DM: Unless you’re doing something, after a few minutes, the additional figures start to vanish again, until the young man is an individual again. He laughs and collapses back onto the pillows feigning exhaustion as the elves continue to the changes of the music.
Rue: Nope. Tanzi stared for the duration of the dance, witless as a sheep, but much more curious.
Sent at 9:57 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Strange indeed,” she pronounces finally. I need to work on something for a bit,” she says as she pulls out her spellbook. “So I’m not going to be very good company.”
DM: Sand appears to be dozing.
Sent at 10:00 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I won’t worry about being the boring one then,” she mutters as she attempts to study her spellbook.
Sent at 10:01 PM on Wednesday
DM: It’s a little hard to concentrate, but you’re practiced at it. There is more dancing and music. Some other people have added flutes and lutes and jangly boots and others have gotten up to dance. The three mismatched companions have actually turned to private conversation and seem to argue good-naturedly. Dawn herself and the children take part in the dances sometimes. Do you study until bed-time?
Rue: Yes.
Sent at 10:04 PM on Wednesday
DM: Well, the place empties out a bit. The children ask to move your table. The have placed the others in a grid, somewhat, giving some kind of separation to the room.
Sent at 10:05 PM on Wednesday
Rue: If Sand doesn’t wake at their request, Tanzi snaps her book shut and nudges the barbarian. In any event, she hops to her feet to facilitate their efforts.
Sent at 10:06 PM on Wednesday
DM: He sleepily, and somewhat childishly, ambles a few steps away at the noise and movement and curls up on the floor only a step away from where you’d sat.
Child-like, I should say.
Rue: Yah.
Sent at 10:08 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Weary as well, Tanzi goes to sleep with her head pillowed on one arm, and the other curled around her box. She loosens the flap on her spell pouch so that her serpentine familiar can move about freely.
DM: Do you feed it?
Rue: Don’t snakes feed themselves?
DM: It could. I was just wondering. There’s a chance it might get in trouble. Some animals eat snakes. Some people kill snakes.
Sent at 10:11 PM on Wednesday
Rue: That’s a good point. Tanzi cautions it to stay close, and watch out for people. “I’ll feed you some lovely baby mice tomorrow, Dazzle,” she communicates telepathically, hoping that the gist of the message translates.
Sent at 10:13 PM on Wednesday
DM: You can empathize caution and restraint and reassurance of food. You could probably have slipped it a chunk of meat from your goulash, if you’d wanted to.
Sent at 10:15 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Dazzle likes his prey live and kickin’.
DM: Sure. He empathizes back to you that he’ll be careful.

A Job Interview
Session 3

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.
Rue: (brb)
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
DM: (No)
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.”
DM: Bluff?
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)
Rue: (5)
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.
Erm, stuff.
DM: Heh.
Sent at 9:54 PM on Tuesday
DM: (there’s an ad for pearls on Sand’s Obsidian Portal page)
Rue: (ha)
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.
Rue: (awesome)
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?
Rue: Yes.
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.”
DM: “Who?”
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: (DC8)
Rue: (Phew)
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.
(her stuff)
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)
Rue: (Sixteen)
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.”


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