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Subject: Thracia 2012 - Chapter 0 - At the Sign of Niko's Cask rss

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Brian Leet
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The paths that have brought you to the modest city of Artanes are many. But, they have all led to the same rough hewn table in a dark corner of Niko's Cask. The afternoon is waning and the air is gaining the sticky sweet flavor of evening in the jungles beyond the fields, as it often does.

You have gathered here, because whatever difference you may have, few doubt that Niko brews the finest ale in Artanes, and this is a night for splurging. You have agreed that soon you will set forth in search of the lost settlement which is rumored to be hidden somewhere to your west. As light through the open windows and door begins to fade the tavern hall fills with the sound and activity of merchants, crafts masters and others who can afford the premium charged by the lovely serving maids for the sweet nectar of Niko's casks.
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Peter
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Arrowstopper waited at the bar for his ordered drink. He had spent most of the day gathering supplies for his chosen adventure. Now with only a few coin left, he decided there would be little use for saving them if the adventure was going to pay out riches anyway. Also, if it didn't pay riches and instead ended badly, he was sure he wouldn't need the coins where he was going.

Hands: Empty
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Just another Steve
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Deree nurses his ale. Halfings don't have much mass, even him, and so an ale can go a long way.

"So, do any you know more about this Lost Settlement than that it's somewhere west of here?"

Hands: Mug
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Adam
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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Durik circulates among the people frequenting the tavern, buying the occasional drink for his fellow patron here or there (He'll spend up to 3 g.p. on this). When he can raise the subject, he's trying to find out what any of the locals may have heard about the caverns that he and his companions are looking to explore.
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Scott Smith
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Toryn looked up from his bowl of stew, his curiosity piqued by a small snippet of conversation from the table next to him. As the dwarf standing near the table started to move away, Toryn pulled gently at the corner of his shirt to get his attention.

"Pardon my intrusion Master Dwarf, what is this lost settlement you're asking after"?

Hands: Spoon
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Owl nursed a pint of mead, and a bowl of the tavern's best soup, along with some hunks of bread.

Anyone else would have gone begging, what with having no coin left and all. But Owl was known around here as being approachable to help deal with problems of a spiritual nature and so, when needed, the bar staff gladly gave over a meal, knowing that Owl would draw in customers who didn't normally frequent the place. He'd also pay extra the next time he visited, even though it wasn't asked of him.

Currently Owl simply sat at the table, content to let his colleagues do the talking. Though he did pipe up once to say,

"Just be sure there is something to either smite or convert, that's all I ask."

Owl ate and drank.

In hands: Spoon and Mug

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Jeff G
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Lazlo sat at a small table, merrily enjoying the goings-on around him. He eagerly to watches the behaviors in the tavern. The food and drink that he was ingesting was very decent tasting. In fact, if every tavern that he will stay at has subsistence this good, he'll be very happy.

While watching the comings and goings of the people, Lazlo overhears something about a lost settlement or something to that effect. That sounds interesting. Lazlo walks up to the two individuals, even though one of them is a dwarf...

"Greetings fine sirs. I have an interest in exploring our vast world and couldn't help overhearing something about a lost settlement. That is something that sounds very intriguing to me and I would love to hear more."

Hands: mb
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Owl looks piercingly at Lazlo, almost as though he were measuring his worth in this Life and all previous lives.

Satisfied, he indicated with a small nod that he should sit.

"My friends and I search for glory in the West. There lies an abandoned settlement. There could be danger, there could be death. Neither thing scares me. Does that scare you Elf friend!?"

Despite the somewhat stern and imposing look and attitude of Owl, you don't think he is a bad sort, and in fact you may notice that his staff, propped against the wall, has a Holy Symbol on it that you may recognize.

Owl deliberately looked away from Lazlo, and had a mouthful of his soup.

GM Brian, I'd like to roll to find out if I know more starting info on the lost settlement please.

Hands: Spoon
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Adam
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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Durik turns to Toryn, and gazes at him with open appraisal. "Aye. I've heard of an abandoned settlement west of here, and a little of beastmen using it as a place to keep themselves when they're not raiding caravans. From the little I have heard, it sounds like there's too many of them for the place to hold, and that means caverns. Nothing will room out a place so much as going deeper with it. I mean to raid the raiders, and end their villainy if I can.".

Hands: Half full tankard of stout and a gold piece or two.
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Brian Leet
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Bifford wrote:
Owl deliberately looked away from Lazlo, and had a mouthful of his soup.

Owl ponders the stories he heard earlier that week at the Temple Pan-Theon upon the upper hill. Two young novices of Jupiter were excitedly discussing their passion for their devotions and training.

"Yes! It is true that the dead rest uneasy in the western jungle. But even now I can feel the faith within me giving power over them."

"Indeed. But do you not still fear them? They seek to drag us in to join them in their dark un-death."

"I have no fear of them now! My master has told me. 'Whilst the power of light may drive them back, the touch of Good will destroy Undead.'"

Then the two young clerics hurried off.
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Brian Leet
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Spirit of 70 wrote:
Durik turns to Toryn, and gazes at him with open appraisal. "Aye. I've heard of an abandoned settlement west of here, and a little of beastmen using it as a place to keep themselves when they're not raiding caravans. From the little I have heard, it sounds like there's too many of them for the place to hold, and that means caverns. Nothing will room out a place so much as going deeper with it. I mean to raid the raiders, and end their villainy if I can.".

Durik speaks loudly, as Dwarves are often wont, and dispenses freely with his gold to buy ale for the table. As you explain your goals a passing merchant catches a phrase and turns to you. He asks permission to sit with you and share a drink.

"Master Dwarf, that is a noble goal indeed! I am Yannis, and I often lead the caravans from Artanes to Sesta in the west. The raiders indeed grow worse, and I am sure all merchants would appreciate relief from the fear of traversing those jungles.

But that is not what caught my ear. I heard you say caverns, and it reminds me of a half-dead adventurer we once found upon that road. His wounds were mortal and savage, and he was gripped in fever, but told me of finding passage to great caverns beneath the jungle, at the edge of a fetid swamp. He claimed it was but half a day journey to the northwest of the Statue of Kadmos, which we use as a waypoint along our journey.

And that is not the strangest thing. As his ramblings grew deeper he oft repeated that the way was once over rope bridges, but not to trust them due to rot! And, he claimed that there was a sunlit garden and sparkling palace deep below the earth. It sounds folly I know! And, indeed his fever was strong. But I have always wondered..."


As the merchant ends his tale he thanks you for the stout and makes way to rise and go.
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Just another Steve
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A moment sir! Perhaps if you and your fellow merchants would be so well served by our efforts you might like to sponsor us? After all, an extra length of rope or fine armor might be all the lies between the end of the raiders and our death. Think of the glory in telling your fellow merchants 'twas you who had the raids ended.
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Brian Leet
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Yanni chuckles at Deree's request and starts to raise his hand as though to ruffle your hair before abruptly pulling it back. "A sponsorship? I'm afraid I'm stretched thin as it is just paying my porters and mercenary guards." You observe that his waistline disagrees with any definition of thin, but let the comment stand.

"Further, I have no current plans to head that way any time soon. But you might talk to Basilis. I believe he means to set out with a caravan upon that road in a few days. Perhaps he would have immediate interest in your offer? He's not unknown to Niko's late at night, or you can frequently find him in the market in the late morning. He never was an early riser. You'll know him by that awful green fringed cape he is always wearing.

Now, pardon me, I see my dinner companions have arrived and have business to conduct!"


Yanni stands and heads to a far table.
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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"Good Yannis," said Owl, May your God bless you and your caravan. This information is valuable and when we succeed I shall seek you out and give you some small recompense. Blessings on you Good Sir."

Hands: Still Soup and Mead!
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Eric Jome
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PghArch wrote:
...But you might talk to Basilis. ...

Xeno says in hushed tones to his companions;

An excellent idea to speak to this Basilis in the morning. Perhaps we can travel with their caravan to the statue and explore from there.

Friends, the rumors surrounding this place concern me. Clearly others have sought their fortune there before and come away the worse for the experience - or not at all! We must be on our guard. And with bandits in the region, it may be that they have agents here in town to help them time their attacks for greater profit. I have no desire to be waylaid in ambush by ruffians, so perhaps we should play this close for a bit. Just simple travelers seeking to join a caravan for mutual safety on our own errands.
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Finishing his soup, Owl says to Xeno, "I agree with all you have said, except that it may already be too late to keep it quiet. We are here in a busy tavern, talking of the ruins and have gained at least three ears to the fact. Some of which have sat down at this table.

I imagine that any ears who were listening would have enough by now to report back. Our exact timing for arriving there is a moot point - we will be arriving, sooner or later. Expect the worst, I say. And Pray for the best."


Owl looks at the others gathered. "What say you all?"

Hands: Mug of Mead
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Arrowstopper's drink is brought to him. The man placing the drink in front of him nods to indicate a table of people who have recently assembled. It appears the sizable tip Arrowstopper gave in order to be told of possible adventurers paid off.

He orders another drink and a large dinner, then makes his way to the table indicated. "Well met. Mind if I join?"

Left Hand: Full Tankard - Right Hand: Empty
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Astinex wrote:

He orders another drink and a large dinner, then makes his way to the table indicated. "Well met. Mind if I join?"

Owl looks piercingly at Arrowstopper, almost as though he were measuring his worth in this Life and all previous lives.

Satisfied, he indicated with a small nod that he should sit.

"What can we do for you, friend?"

Hands: Empty
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Lazlo stands quietly next to his new companions, waiting to see their response to the man. There's a strange aura around the man, like he's not someone to trifle with.

He finishes off his ale and places the cup on the table.
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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Durik nods and says sotto voce to Xeno, "Aye, yer likely right. Though perhaps we can devise a stratagem to ambuscade any such bush rangers, waylayers, or gentlemen of the road, eh?".
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I'd say that we get a good night's sleep and find that caravan in the morning. It's always smart to be rested before an outing. Lazlo pipes in.
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Arrowstopper takes the offered seat. "I'm looking for the adventure told in many tales. I wish to lend my sword to any who might be on such a journey." Arrowstopper looks everyone over as he speaks. "Please allow me to buy you all anudder round." he says as he signals a server.

Left Hand: Full Tankard - Right Hand: Empty
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Owl spoke initially to Lazlo, but as his words grew he addressed this to all those on the table:

"Good Sir. I know you not. You have been invited to sit with us and share some musings, but currently I know not your name, or the names of these other gentlemen. I do not mean to be rude nor to impeach your good name, but I personally can not commit to journeying and adventuring with people I know not."

Owl paused, and when no protest was heard, carried on.

"Therefore, in the interest of friendship I would say that I am Owl. A cleric of good standing in this area. I greet you all."

Hands: Holy book

OOC Note - the book that is now in Owl's hands was not there the last time you glanced at his hands or the table in front of him. It seemed to 'just appear'.
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Adam
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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Durik snorts and then hawks into a near-by spitoon. "Name's Durik. Goin' in company makes more sense than tryin' to play lone hero, for durn sure.". His soliloquy at an end, he takes a long, noisy slurp from his tankard.

Hands: Tankard.
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"People call me Arrowstopper, I'd radder not explain why. Well met to all of you. I'll try not to be a bodder on the trip if allowed."

Left Hand: Full Tankard - Right Hand: Empty
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