Sometimes I make sarcastic comments in the log when the players aren't paying attention; now recorded for posterity.
Right, so Cedric has departed (not so friendly as before, but still polite). Most of you now have new equipment, even if you’re poorer and may or may not owe a gangster money. What will you do now?
Cyr pulls out her iPhone while Arjun and Yudh pore over their character sheets.
Logan sits in a comfortable chair in the corner, tumbler of whiskey in one hand and a cigar in the other watching and waiting.
Cyr tweets something. #poundsignoctothorpe
Arjun: “Let’s go sell the rest of the orc’s gear, see if we can do better than Cedric did.”
Cyr puts away her iPhone, after snapchatting something, and says, “Sure, lets go.”
Errybody troops out to the nearest Used Armor Emporium, Bait Shop, and Used Timeshare Salesman
This involves crossing the river into the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villany, aka the military camp. After a bit of wandering, some odd looks, and one near fistfight, you arrive at a guy who looks like he will buy your stuff.
Guy- “Yeah, I’ll buy your stuff.” He pulls out an abacus. “Lets see, 150 gold griffons for that short sword, wow that bow has a strong pull, hmm, I can get you….400 gold griffons for it….. 50 gp for the chain shirt, and that gem is worth about 200 griffons if you’re selling that, too.”
Arjun: “We’ll take it.”
<Insert short montage of a bag of money getting slammed on a counter, and Arjun shaking hands firmly with Guy.>
Cyr wandered off briefly but returned, looking unsuspicious. “Well? Are we done shopping?”
Yudh: “We’d better be. Let’s go meet Navussar.”
Back across the river you go, and since the parts of Hochoch that are inhabited are slowly expanding, it’s still easy enough to find an elf loitering in an otherwise empty street, one over from the Flying Castle.
He looks up as you approach.
Loitering elf- “Hey.” He looks at you, waiting for a response.
“Hay is for horses,” Thessa mutters under her breath. Everyone else seems distracted, and Thessa doesn’t exactly know why they’re there, so she looks at Cyr for help.
Cyr- “Ummmmmm…..Navussar sent us?”
The elf perks up immediately. “Oh! Come on inside!” He opens a door that looks like the back entry to a drug den, but when you go inside….
Cyr files her nails.
Phaedra stops concentrating on her her abilities and walks inside! The others follow.
The elves, being elves, have gutted what would probably have been a large courtyard behind an entire block worth of buildings and transplanted a bunch of trees, bushes, etc. They also did a bunch of landscaping, so the place look like a well maintained garden (like formal garden, not like vegetable garden, although there is a vegetable patch).
The one or two elves you see standing around nod at Logan politely, as if they’ve met him, but think he’s weird and don’t particularly want to talk to him. Yudh gets an equal number of curious looks. He returns them with polite greeting gestures, showing that he can have manners if he wants.
The elves return his gestures politely, slightly bemused.
The elf leads you to a pleasantly shaded area, and says, “Please relax here a moment, I’ll fetch Alomanthor.”
Logan moves to lean casually againsts the tree.
Phaedra - “Thank you.” and she takes a seat to wait.
A few minutes later a slightly older looking elf (looks to be equal parts fighter and wizard) walks over.
Elf- “Greetings, travelers, and welcome to our humble home. I’m having some water and fruit brought over for your enjoyment. You said Navussar asked you to be here?”
Arjun; “Greetings, honored elder. Navussar asked us if we would help with the attack on Preston.”
The elf looks like he forgot something. “Oh dear, my manners! I am Alomanthor, commander of the detachment of elves here. You, sir, speak with an elvish accent. Where are you from?”
Arjun: “I am Arjun of the Elf Coast. This is my elder brother Yudhisthir, and the companions we’ve met on our journey.” He introduces each of them in turn, with the appropriate formalities.
Alomanthor greets everyone in a friendly and welcoming manner, except for Logan, to whom he is merely polite.
Alomanthor- Arjun, Yudhisthir, what has brought you this far from home?”
Yudh: “Honored elder, we have been tasked with… going on an adventure… by the elders of our village. We have been following Zod’s minions, to find out why they stole certain items from our village craftsmen.”
Arjun shrugs and smiles disarmingly: ‘They said we weren’t showing enough spirit, so we can’t return until we have answers. It’s turned into a much larger quest since we started.”
Alomanthor looks pretty amused. “I have known no generation that has not despaired of its successors. What items were these? Zod is kind of a bastard, and a well known criminal, around these parts. You’ll find none who like him except his paid allies.”
Arjun and Yudhisthir exchange resigned glances. Yudh answers sourly: “Jewelry findings.”
Thessa happens to have glanced at Cyr, and noticed a kind of surprised look on her face. It passed quickly, though.
Saluki looks askance at them - “That’s it?”
Arjun: “Yeah. We chased the bastards for three days, fought them once, and then returned to the village when they showed no sign of hanging around.”
Yudhisthir mantles his wings. “And the elders decided that since we were not willing to take risks, we and all the other youths of the village would be required to go on a quest.”
Arjun finishes “We got to go first.”
Alomanthor- “I shall not pass judgement on another clan’s decision. How fruitful has your quest been thus far?”
Arjun: “We haven’t found the answer to our question yet.”
Yudh: “But I’m really looking forward to killing Zod for getting us into this.” He looks almost cheerful at the thought.
Alomanthor looks at you for a moment, and just as he starts to speak the hors d'oeuvres(?) arrive, and so there is some silence broken only by munching on some really good fruit and water.
Alomanthor makes up his mind. “I propose to you an exchange of services, then. I can set my spies to find both where Zod lives, and where he is, but in return, as asked of you by Navussar, you would assist my tribe and I in retaking out ancestral home, which the humans call Preston, in the Oytwood.” He takes a sip of water. “We can’t pay you, but of course, in your line of work, whatever booty you can loot from those giants is yours.”
Phaedra - “We’re certainly used to such arrangements.”
Logan pulls out a cigar and lights it, “this is what gets you into so much trouble. All these promises”
Alomanthor looks displeased that he has to talk to Logan, and also that Logan lit a cigar in the garden. “.....Logan, we’re not Kratha, nor Zod, nor any of the other criminal enterprises here. My word is my bond. And as a token of good faith both between the elves of Oytwood and your group, as well as with the elves of the Elf Coast, I have gifts for Arjun, Yudhisthir….and you, Logan.” He looks like he didn’t want to give Logan anything, but can’t avoid it out of politeness.
Alomanthor has one elf fetch some weapons. “For you, Logan, since you insist on your monkish traditions, a pair of what we call scorpion kama. Yudhisthir, for you, a kukri, and Arjun, for you, a new sword.”
He distributes these to the appropriate people.
Arjun and Yudhisthir receive theirs formally, with deep bows and heartfelt expressions of Elvish gratitude.
Logan rolls his cigar in his teeth and looks to Alomanthor, “well thank you bub,” looking to the kamas and then putting them away, “still makes for trouble always taking on these debts, even to good people.” Leaning back against the tree and resumes smoking his cigar.
Yudh sneers at him. “What else are we going to do with our time? It’s an adventure isn’t it? We’ll get Kratha what’s hers.”
Arjun sighs. “Yudh.”
Yudh: “Hn.” He looks away.
Phaedra - “In any case! We would be delighted to get any information your spies can provide on Zod. Should we head to Oytwood to meet up with the rest of those attacking Preston?”
Alomanthor- “I will have a guide take you there. Since none of you but Logan are known to my kin, you would not find a friendly welcome. Your guide will be here momentarily, please test out your new weapons. I think you’ll like them.”
A few minutes later an elf who introduces himself as Ardivan walks up. He’s dressed very much like a scout kind of person. He introduces himself in a polite manner to everyone but Logan, to whom he only says, “...Logan.”
Logan nods to Ardivan and blows smoke in his direction, “Bub.”
Phaedra - “Nice to meet you, Ardivan. Should we set out now or are the preparations that need to be made?”
Ardivan- “It’s only a one-day journey to our camp, although it’s a long day. We’ll remain here tonight and leave before dawn tomorrow. The attack commences four days hence.”
Arjun: “Our thanks, Ardivan. Where should we stay?”
Ardivan- “Where ever suits you.”
There are plenty of comfortable looking tufts of grass ‘n’ stuff all over. Thessa flops down and curls up, studying Cyr through half-lidded eyes.
Cyr isn’t talking to anyone at the moment, but is otherwise behaving normally. She sits down close to Thessa.
In messing around with their new toys, Arjun notices a word engraved on his sword: Kuracisto. Yudh’s new kukri feels like it’s a half-empty bottle. Logan’s scorpion kama are well made an high quality, but not otherwise interesting. Sorry.
Arjun and Yudhisthir decide to spar a bit (in the appropriate area of the garden, of course), with Yuhd trying out two kukris instead of a longsword. When they finish, they go find Alomanthor to ask him for more info on the weapons.
Saluki runs through his dance regimen. Cyr gives him a golf clap. Thessa pauses her sublte study of Cyr to look mildly impressed.
Logan messes around with the Kama for a time, getting a feel for them before moving to find his own piece of ground and settles down to watch.
Alomanthor- Arjun, we honestly don’t know much about your sword, earlier than it’s last owner, who died defending Preston during the invasion. Great swords are not normally used by us, as you well know, so that will unfortunately be a mystery you’ll have to find out.” The sword is clearly magical, Arjun can tell.
Alomanthor- “Yudh, you have a kukri with the property of collision. It’s mass moves to the edge of the blade on a strike, hurting your opponents more. And Logan” sigh “if he asks, his kama allow him to use his monkish skills through his weapons, instead of merely his fists, and to use the enchantment on the weapons in his monkish powers.”
Arjun and Yudh express gratitude for the information, and Arjun asks: “Honored elder, if we may, what dispute is there between the elves of Oytwood and this Logan?”
Alomanthor- “Logan- that’s not his elvish name, just what he demands to be called- has done nothing to harm us. He joined a monastery in West town a decade ago, turning his back on the ways of the elves, and adopting the ways of humans. He is...an eccentric. And as you’ve seen, not very friendly.”
Logan waves a hand around in their direction, “I did say thank you bub.” and then grumbles under his breath a bit.
Alomanthor- “You are most welcome, Logan.” to Arjun and Yudh: “And we don’t like the company he keeps, working for Kratha, whom I belive you know.”
Arjun: “Yes, honored elder. We are acquainted with Kratha. “
Yudh mutters “... happy to kill her too…”
Arjun: “At any rate, thank you again for the weapons. We’ll go rest now.” He and Yudh retreat to a place to rest. And Arjun examines his new sword, and concludes that it has a nice sharp edge.
It still has the word “Kuracisto” engraved at the base of the blade. Arjun will consult with the other spellcasters in the party, like Thessa and Phaedra!
Phaedra has pulled out her cross-stitch equipment and has started a pattern on her new backpack.
Thessa realizes that the word “Kuracisto” means “Healer” in a dead language that was not very widespread.
And so you pass the afternoon doing whatever! The elves serve nice elvish food, and in the evening you retire, with a nice view of the stars.
Later, when she’s sure everyone else is sound asleep, Thessa creeps to where Cyr is lying.
“Are you asleep?” she whispers. “I need to talk to you.”
Cyr jumps a bit when she opens her eyes, on account of the human-sized cat looking at her in the face. “I am now. What is it?”
Thessa looks around to make sure no one can hear them. “Yudh and Arjun’s story,” she says, then pauses as if unsure how much to say.
Thessa sighs. “Look I don’t care, all right? I don’t. But I also don’t want to die chasing answers this zod person doesn’t have. He’s a bad guy, and I’m down to kill him, but if I’m on a wild goose chase, I want to know.”
Cyr sighs. “Look, until they told their story I had no idea what Arjun and Yudh were looking for. I think…...I might have it, but I found it in a street in like Osmund’s Town or Goldport or something. I didn’t know it was theirs. And as for Zod? Look, I’m being honest, I’ve been a petty thief my whole life, and I’m wanted in Gran March and Sterich, but I’ve never worked with Zod. I’ve heard about him, but I’ve never actually seen him, and I have no idea why he would have gone down to the Elf Coast to steal….partially made jewelry.” She looks both a little relieved to get that off her chest AND hopes that you can keep a secret.
Thessa nods. It might not be all the truth, but she’s a cat and she knows the best lies are always close to truth. It’s enough.
“I suggest,” she says. “That perhaps when we go to fight this druid person, you may want to…well, sneak their findings into a corner to be found. Then we can all go about our business and no one has to get punched.”
Cyr considers this for a moment. “Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that, that’s a good idea. Sooo you won’t tell anyone?”
“No,” Thessa says. “I like you. And if we break up the party, I don’t get paid, and maybe I end up captured by orcs again.” She smiles at Cyr. “I didn’t like that at all.”
Cyr chuckles. “Don’t worry, I think we can keep you away from orcs.”
And NOW you all go to sleep and wake up early, on Day 167.
Ardivan is naturally up early, cause that’s how elves are. You set off, but first head through Hochoch, and Ardivan bribes the ferryman to drop you off downstream and outside of the military camp. After that it’s a 25-mile crossland trek to a forest that is surrounded on all sides by farmland (not that you can see this, you’re far too close).
Ardivan leads you into the woods, and at some point starts making some odd gestures that Arjun and Yudh recognise as elf military signals. Eventually the woods open up into a well hidden camp. Ardivan turns to you and says, “Wait here, I’m going to go get Tamurel, he’s in charge here.”
There are elves milling about, but don’t pay you much heed. Eventually another elf comes up.
Tamurel- “Greetings, Ardivan tells me our cousins from the Elf Coast have sent their sons to help us in our war. Welcome! I am Tamurel.”
Arjun: “We are glad to assist our cousins in their effort to reclaim their ancestral home. I am Arjun of the Elf Coast, and this is my elder brother Yudhisthir.“ Introductions etc.
Tamurel is much less hostile toward Logan, and starts saying some other name before catching himself. Other introductions are standard.
Tamurel- “I’m sure you’ve been told why you’re here, so I’ll get right to it. Tonight, we are eating and preparing ourselves to set out in the morning to attack the giants living in our home. We don’t have the power to kill them all, but only to kill enough that the rest will flee. Our allies to the southwest, the gnomes of Kemp Konsum, are preparing another attack against the giants that survive. A few days ago, we sent several of our own, including your contact with us, Navussar, on a raid to see how well the giants react. We’re satisfied, and so in the morning we will move on them. Your job will be to block one of their most commonly used paths to the northwest, and stop, kill, turn around, whatever, any giants that come your way. I’ll send a guide with you to place you where you’re needed. Do you have any questions?”
Yudhisthir: “Seems clear enough. How tall are the trees in that area?”
Tamurel- “Most are at least 100 feet tall, and very stout.”
Saluki - “Hold a path? Sounds right up my alley.”