Carousing and inter-session page for G87: Return to the Stygian Stacks
Never in her life has the young country girl been north of the peaks of Touraine and past the Valley of the Owls. In her trip through Glantri City, on the way to help at the Mage's Library, she tucked her chin down and tried to block out the overwhelming sights around her, ignore the sounds and calls and rattles of the stalls and merchant's cries, and ignore the unattractive smells of too many people living too close together. When the Stygian dungeon opened miraculously into open green space, she was exalted (if fighting Harpies).
Her first urge is to go directly to the Great Temple of Trianoma. To see it. To feel the columns. To meet the elderly Spearmaidens she had corresponded with, tentatively, these last two years.
But she knows she is not ready. Someday she will progress through these urban byways with its squall rebounding against her self-worth and the prestige of Seff. Someday she will feel at home, but the time to tuck into it fully is not yet here.
Instead, Audrey spends some time in the villages from here to Les Hiboux, seeking to learn more about the ancient gods of agriculture, that are perhaps older than Trianoma herself, and who receive a curteous nod from the Spear-Goddess herself, who does not seek followers beyond the highly select. She visits the rough-hewn priests of Myanar and pays some homage to their lineage, the grains and meats they have long provided.
Audrey carouses outside Glantri City, these villages reducing the episode to a d6x100 variety. She is as respectful as she can manage, but is still a rough-hewn farmer's girl herself, young and in wonder at how the earth simply keeps rolling along…
"http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3088555/" 3 on 1d6, 14 on 1d20
Audrey takes it upon herself to make an acolyte's pilgrimage around to the various small agricultural shrines that occupy village commons and roadside intersections that ring Glantri City. It is midwinter night and it is tradition for young clerics to offer their assistance to village priests for the night celebrations of the harvest-god's slow return. Bonfires must be built, peasants most be organized in their offerings, holy gifts must me exchanged, songs must be sung, and torches must be held high in the blowing cold.
The outdoor ceremonies are held successively through the night so a small group of young acolytes lends their backs to the building of one event, participates in the rite, cleans up, and then quickly treads off to the next town, down the road, to begin the process again until the rising of the cold morning sun. Glantri City has a circuit of six harvest shrines that ring it and even with the assistance of a Order of Trianoma's horse-cart the young penitents can barely finish before they race off to the next shrine.
Audrey spends much of her money on distributing good winter cloaks to the peasants but the physical work in the freezing cold is harsh. After a total day of rest afterward, she realizes that she has a cold.
Audrey catches a cold for the next adventure and is either at -1 HP for the duration of the game or her saves will be made at -1.
The cold will heal itself after a week of rest and stretching.
She also meets Friar Dom the holy Disciple of the Harvest that lead the last ceremony of midwinter evening and treated the young clerics attending with mulled wine and good stew. He seemed like a wise and earthy sort who was happy with his peasant flock despite his experiences.
One of the young pilgrims that worked with Audrey that night was Illous, a novice of Wenta.
Cut Coutelain will carouse in Glantri City: He'll find his "foster parents", and sink some cash into training facilities for and talent identification of up-and-coming burrow boxers. Does anyone know a war pony trainer?
Cut's Carouse - Short Version
Cut walks the old hair-foot lane in a big fur jacket with gold rings glittering on every visible knuckle. The neighborhood boy makes good.
Cut's Carouse - Longer Version
Rough calls come from all the open windows of Hairfoot lane in Glantri City as the halfing women are pulling in their laundry lines.
"Oh my apple pies, is dat Cut Coutelain? Back from the fancy old world?"
"He has 'em enough gold rings for all his twelve brides."
"My lousy hubby Georgie needs the pigshit beat out of him. Cut, come on up and I can got's your payment. Woot!
This is all the background noise as Cut shakes hands with all the old grubbers of the lane that come out to meet em. The old halfing men like to swing a mock fist at him and then slap him on the back.
After the highly accented chatting with the press of city-halflings subsides, Cut is escorted to a couple of training houses off of the main way.
The tenements and shops of Hairfoot lane have all been shoddily subdivided long ago so that they are now strictly Halfling-only buildings with low ceilings and scaffolded walkways that are bolted onto the facade of the buildings taking the diminutive residents to the half-floors of the original structure. In the basements and lower floors are several gymnasiums and fighting schools with many tough looking youths sparring and practicing their moves on dummies. Several Burrow Boxing potentials are paraded in front of Cut's eye and talked up by trainers and numbers-runners for sponsorship.
One particular lad in the corner that catches Cut's attention is a wiry kid with blonde curls that is going to work on the human-sized dummy, or at least the lower half of a human since that is all the will fit under the gym's ceiling. The wooden crotch resounds with a series of lightning kicks and hard jabs. He might not have a true Burrow-boxer's animal ferocity, thought Cut, but he definitely knows his way around the legs of a big'un.
After several boxing sweat houses, Cut is finally led to the original and infamous Hamfist's Gym and meets old Hamfist himself, the very first promoter of Burrow Boxing in Glantri City. The legend has it that Hamfist went down to the docks with nothing but a sawhorse table, a card of three fights for the night, and some muscle and walked away with a fortune from the wagering and bloodthirsty patrons. From them on out, Burrow Boxing was Hamfist, and Hamfist was Burrow Boxing.
Cut had seen Hamfist at fights and in the gyms but shaking the old halfling's meaty hand was a different experience entirely. Slow words slither from Hamfist's scarred mouth: "Come boy, let us talk about the big mean world."
Cut blows a lot of money on making himself look good and placing a retainer on several promising fighters including Blondie Billyup, the young lad he saw with a gift for leg-work (going between human legs.)
He also chat up Hamfist and the old sharp seems to have an interest in Coutelain's raising star.
Roland, having never been to the capital, is wide eyed in amazement. Such grandeur! After aiding the College of Mages and being set loose on his own, he near forgets himself and almost lets loose a peal of giddy laughter. But no, not for a nobleman, not for a cavalier! He stifles his urge to squeal in delight and instead sets about comporting himself with chivalry and decorum — as best as he can manage.
He visits the tailor to order a new suit of fine gentleman's clothing, a rich tunic with his house's coat of arms ("Err…it's three gryphons rampant on a golden field. No! It's three gryphons passant"), and thick cloak and boots for the encroaching winter. Later, he visits a stable to perhaps inquire after the purchase of a war horse and barding. Oh happy day! This nobleman thing is really starting to come together!
Rolls: Got a 5 result on the d8, and an 18 result on the d20 Roland carousing rolls
The tailor that Roland has sought out by chance appears to be a business run by a sleepy eyed man with a pencil mustache by the name of Errol. Errol Clothiers appears to be an affordably priced emporium dedicated to assisting the newly rich and clueless in dressing the part of a Glantrian mover and shaker.
The thin Errol darts around Roland taking measurements and streams off a running and slightly bitter commentary on the death of trust between contemporary tailors and their clients. He speaks through a politely clenched mouth about the clothing shops of the Row descending into gaudy imports and the beastly cashing in on the naivete of the new "war nobles" and their desires to look like the most current dramatist from the theater district. "Don't those former mercenaries know all those sequins are for visibility on the stage? I don't need to see you sparkling like the sun every time I meet you for dinner."
Errol has a whispered conversation about the particulars of coat of arms and heraldry, politely correcting Roland's assertions of what charging something goes where and adding a couple elements and colors for dashing accents. Errol writes the proper phraseology of the coat of arms on the back of the bill and also recommends a good limner for stationary or signage as well. Roland spends quite a lot of money but feels less anxiety about being a noble now. Erroll makes him promise to come straight back to him if he needs anything more.
Roland is now a patron of Erroll The Tailor and has blown 750 on his current wearable finery.
As the company departs the office of Julius Fram Dean of Campus Works, Snickwick the Gnome Hero straggles behind, stalling for a moment of private time with the Dean, taking his pointy had in hand, the diminutive cherub digs a toe into the wood work and begins his humble request…
"Ah… Master Fram? So sorry for the inconvenience, but since our little group may be spending some time around the campus, I was hoping you might consider arranging lodging for myself, and possibly even my friends in the School's residential facilities."
"Perhaps, if it's not too presumptuous of course, I might even be able to make use some of the University's more mundane workshops for some of my research… nothing dangerous of course, just some simple manufacturing - wood, metal, basic textiles… oh, and only after hours of course , I know the studies of your wizards are far too important to be disturbed by my tinkering."
"I'm considered quite handy, you know, and I do so love the fine devices the great minds here have constructed … speaking of which … when was the last time the library lift was serviced anyway?"
EDIT: Is this something we can negotiate as a non-carouse? Given the risks we've taken on the schools behalf and Fram's high position - it would seem that he would be open to allowing some degree of this.
Within his dim and dusty shop, Peugeot twists his waxed moustaches. "Potions, you say? Let me see…" Setting the two vials down on the front counter, he examines both through his monocle, holding each before an oil lamp to see how their contents catch the light. Frowning at the opacity of the black vial, he opens it and smells the contents, then places a drop on his tongue.
Peugeot's eyes go wide and glassy. His face darkens. The vial drops from his hand, its contents spilling across the countertop as he clutches at his throat. His rotund body spasms as he topples from his seat. Snickwick's view is thereafter blocked by the tall counter (unless he goes around or climbs atop it), but he hears Peugeot's heels drumming on the floor amid high-pitched wheezing gasps.
Snickwick's jaw drops in terror, his jaw clenches into a bizarre grimace of fear. Unbidden, his hands draw up in front of his chest and start flapping and twitching as every fiber of his body screams "FRET! PANIC! FLEE! POISON!"… Snickwick reflexively turns to bolt, and is two steps towards the door when something inside him pulls him up short.
Did Green David run away from the Siege of Friddlestem? Did Pater Willowbeard flee the Sinking Burrow? Did Fazael abandon the Singing Bows to the ravening Hordes of the Serpent? NO. They stayed and struggled and triumphed! And now Snickwick is an Enchanter like they were … a HERO… and he is going to do everything he can to save this man.
Bounding to the shop-keeps' fallen form, Snickwick barks out the arcane syllables to cast detect magic in Peugot's work space. Surely an apothecary with Peugot's experience would have encountered all matter of potions, poisons and tonics in his line of work - he can only pray that such an item would be labelled and ready to hand. Did Peugot bring forth a kit of any sort to assist in the divination? This would seem the most likely location? If not, is there an obvious stash of phials or arcane pages? His dearest hope is that the rotund man might have a scroll of neutralize poison or a potion of antidote ready to hand, that he might be able to employ to halt the toxins spreading through Peugot's system… of course this would depend on the items being labelled…
As he peers and shuffles for some rack of potions or scrolls, he will attempt to roll the great man onto his belly, where he will squeeze the water of his flask to wash out the fellow's mouth, and jab a little finger in his throat to induce vomiting - praying to the Spirit of Sweet Waters that he can slow the effects of the venom.
Darting behind the counter, Snickwick sees that Peugeot's face is mottled blue and purple, while foam spews from his liver-colored lips. The man's outstretched hand twitches spasmodically.
Casting detect magic causes a number of things to glow: Peugeot's fallen monocle, one of the many rings on his fingers, and a glass jar on a shelf high out of the gnome's reach. The door to the back room is ajar; through that narrow opening, Snickwick glimpses other dim radiances. But he focuses on the jar, for indeed it seems that Peugeot's outstretched hand is reaching out for the thing!
Unfortunately, the jar is too high up for Snickwick to reach. The gnome drags Peugeot's three-legged stool beneath the shelf and clambers atop it, and then reaches up on tiptoes for the jar. He drags it out with his fingertips… and it totters on the edge of the shelf! It falls with a crash!
Snickwick clambers back down, and finds that the jar has shattered and its contents spilled out onto the floor. Only a small amount of liquid remains in the jar's neck. Desperately, the gnome dribbles the stuff into Peugeot's foaming mouth.
Several hours later, Snickwick and Peugeot are back in the shop, surrounded by various bits of arcane apparatus. The broken jar, it seemed, had contained several doses of a potion of slow poison. The gnome had administered the stuff just in time, giving the magician time to visit a temple so that a healer might neutralize the poison entirely. It would take some time before Peugeot felt entirely well, but even so he lavishes his thanks on Snickwick for saving his life. In thanks, he has offered to identify the other potion without charge.
"Unfortunately," he coughs, "I am not certain as to its nature. It is not one of the standard recipes." He twists his moustaches wretchedly. "My humblest apologies."
Seated high on a tall stool at Peugot's counter, Snickwick heaves a mighty sigh of relief and joy and pats the portly purveyor's hand sympathetically.
"Please, Master Peugot, it is I who is most sorry. In my eagerness I forgot the risk you take upon yourself! From here on, I will personally evaluate the danger of any item we bring before you, the loss of a scholar of your caliber would be a true loss to the enlightened consciousness of Glantri City. Thank the universe that your destiny did not put your death on this day, surely this is a most portentous sign that you are meant for great things!"
Hopping down from his perch, Snickwick pauses on his way to the door…
"If you have any need of my small ability in mechanical engineering, please do not hesitate to call on me, I have some skill with gizmos and mechanical thingies … I'm also something of a dabbler in the arts of Gnomish Enchantery, if you should ever encounter any baubles or trinkets that you think might be of interest to a warden of the land, I would be quite interested. May the Spirit of Pure Water speed your recovery Master Peugot!"