Carousing page for G77: Basilisk, Dragon, Mandrake
Cut swings his arms vigorously, stretching and bouncing on the balls of his feet. "You worry too much, Jorge. Zey won't know what heet zem!" Hop-Frog makes a more forceful objection: "Cut, Cout, mister… it's just an unnecessary risk! Master Pritchard will be done studying soon, and we'll be able to make money the honest way, killing monsters and bandits!" Coutelain snorts impatiently. "Eet's not just some moneys, Hops-Frogs. I have to get zhis fight out! Zhe pressure will kill me! Where iz mah fighting mask? And mah straps? And where iz zhe wine?" Pritchard, unable to decide whether he's amused or annoyed, settles on rolling his eyes. Cut Coutelain flings open the lodge door, and pauses. "You know, zhey used to call it pygmachia. What can I say, mon amis: I'm a pygme!" Oblivious, he marches down to the tavern.
After days of broadcasting his intention to box any man, dwarf, elf or halfling ("NO GOBLINS") for cash, it's time to see what the cat drags in. Cut Coutelain is reverse carousing on 200g of his own money.
Martín Le Black
Martín le Black likes this town. The people are colorful and boistrous, the taverns are open late, the climate is mild, the action is ever present. Perhaps once the Company returns from this journey he will settle down awhile in Corunglain (after they’ve followed the treasure leading to Trintan).
The days grow lazy as Richard and the others carry on about the business of selling and trading, taxes and tariffs. It’s all quite a bore, and Martin has burrowed himself into a lovely little rut, coddled in a bath of the local wine – “Fronglinglain” they call it - and fine Darokinese shisha (well, certainly passing).
He’s found a novel little brother staffed exclusively with half-height strumpets where he feels not at all inadequate. They have a lovely garden on the roof, and the suns rays still warm the couches and small trees, even as the first leaves turn to gold.
It had been several days (or was it weeks?) and all seemed well before the disaster struck…
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU SOLD PEBBLE!? FOOL! LUMPKIN! MOON-CALF!” His face red with wine and rage, the Shadowslayer glared up at Richard and Tubis, his half-size robe flapping open embarrassingly as two petite strumpets restrain the tiny terror.
“But Martín, the creature was nearly dead! The feathers were falling out, the beak had grown chapped and scaly! The creature was clearly in no form to be ridden about - You're lucky I kept it alive this long!” Ja’Tubis polished his Prince-nez, which had grown clouded once again with the dust from the City’s filthy streets.
Richard joined the protest "Martín, you're being unreasonable… you have to understand…"
“She was my little enfant! My parakeet! Can you imagine? Soaring high through the sky, looking down on the world…” Ja scowls, recalling his recent torment at the claws of Zarlax. “LISTEN! I was ze one who save ze bird. I feed her and raise her as my own. It is MY decision: MARTIN. LE. BLACK. Tell me were zis betrayal take place… I cannot accept it!”
Martín will carouse to find Pebble and bring her back to health! Ideally the carouse will include the discovery of her whereabouts, and a suitable exotic animal trainer to tend her wellness while the party ventures down to the isle of pearl. There may be additional costs to re-acquire the bird and pay the veterinary bills, which would likely need to be paid with cash (or another carouse?).
You rolled a 9 on 2d6: partial success! Choose one of the following:
- Pebble can potentially be restored to full health;
- Pebble's new owner is willing to sell her;
- Martin does not make any noteworthy enemies.
Hm… tough one. I'm going to go for #1: Pebble can potentially be restored to full health. Hopefully, selecting that option still leaves the door open to making the other two happen down the road.
A rabbit's brisket contains little meat, but for a halfling it is a delicacy, the Darokinese preparation with mint and sweet potato sorely missed within Glantri's lustreless borders. Hanna and her mother gnaw on tiny bones in the quietest restaurant they could find, Hanna's head wrapped in soft cloth. Fortunately blood has stopped trickling out her ears, but she is still hard of hearing.
"Aunt Bette finally kicked Uncle Piotr out of her bedroom," Anya says. "Into a mud room converted with some blankets. He refused to stop rooting in the rainspouts and was never much of a bather. Life as a badger, I guess. Then there was Jonno Waspfellow, you remember, a few towns over. He was reincarnated as a dwarf. And, the story with your distant cousin Raphe Donnalglen was he was polymorphed into a wisp of smoke. Poor Eliza insisted he was in the room every time you'd visit them, but everyone pretty much understands he got tired of family life. He's probably leading the Atruaghin Clans by now.
"So… we are a curious race of men, and you were never the best with decisions. I'm just glad you weren't torn apart by goblins or something."
"Ghouls were the problem, mostly."
Anya laughed. "Ah, yes, ghouls. Why did I ever leave home? Well, if you decide to drop us off in the Shires — Dabbler and me; I think Charlie wants to stay with you — there are a few pretty girls who keep stopping by asking about you. And some good-looking lads probably waiting on them, waiting on you. I know it's the last thing you want to do, but you should probably tell them what is what."
"I don't know what… is what…" Hanna replied. "We'll see. But, you think Charlie wants to stay with us? That's what I was afraid of."
Cholly's Shield - Hanna has spent time with her mother and little brother. Now, on to Charlie. They've spent enough time roughhousing for lost time, but there are times she pushes him away.
She goes to find the sturdiest shield she can, in all of Corunglain. The thoughts of commissioning a new one, putting on an appropriate sigil in the front, falls by the wayside. What should it have? The letters of the Company of Crossed Swords? The turrets of the Chateau? He should be allowed to chose his own destiny.
On the front, she affixes the magical talisman from the room of statues in the Chateau. Her own shield is too nicked and damaged; only a brand new one will do. "In the halls of the Chateau" - she plans to tell him, if they can find a serious moment - "I learned what fear is. Lying paralyzed, all of us paralyzed, with ghoulish birds circling, and very close to dead. I've seen my good friends overwhelmed by gnolls, and all I could do is run. It has taken some time to overcome those fears.
"I would love to have my brother along. But know that my first impulse is always to keep you safe. I will run across open spaces to protect you. With you, and Dabbler, and Mom with us, I've learned terror again. This is my problem. I need to understand, rushing to protect you at every time may not be good for any of us. Besides, you are getting better every day. You are much stronger than me, and smarter, and more hearty.
"The best I can do, except fighting by your side, is give you this shield, and this talisman attached. We found three of its brother artifacts in a room deep underground: one was eaten by a monster hidden as a tapestry; one shot into the air and disappeared in a battle over the river; the third tried to take the brain of our friend, Martin. This is the last one. It will protect you against the summoned and created, and against organized foes of a certain kind, and the natural world itself. Protect you… a little… I will do what I can. We all will. You must do the rest."
In addition to the expenses of comfortable rooms for her family, Hanna carouses to find a very good shield for her brother Charlie, as good as she can, and put the talisman on the front of it, as she had her own.
Hanna has a small round shield constructed to her specifications during the weeks the Company spends in Corunglain. The steel sheathing its oaken frame is hammered into elaborate designs and inlaid with gold, silver and various ornamental stones. An elaborate metal cage holds the bronze talisman in place in the shield's center. The shield is visually striking and very expensive.
Sadly, Hanna is targeted by a cutpurse on her way back from the armorer to the Eight Coins Inn. All of the money in her pouch is stolen, including her gems! (Fortunately for her, she had packed the sapphire necklace elsewhere.) Martin, who is knowledgeable in such matters, suggests that Hanna's expensive purchase at the armorer's may have marked her for theft.
(You rolled a 6, spending 900gp and earning 900xp due to your increased alertness to your surroundings in the wake of the theft. Your d20 roll is a 4: failure! You have an additional 300gp stolen from you, along with your blue quartz stones.)
Charlie can't express how touched he is by Hanna's generosity. He even stops laughing at her changed gender for at least fifteen minutes! Anya is thrilled to see her children getting along so well after so long apart, and she asks Charlie to sit with them while they talk.
Sadly, Charlie is too young (and easily distracted) to handle this for long. He does his best to sit by while Hanna and Anya discuss his future, but he can't help but fidget. While they aren't looking he'll sneak out to take a look at this new city. Take in its sights, drink in its exotic beauty. Of course, this is Corunglain, so that will take about an hour. The rest of the time he'll spend drinking and, presumably, getting in some new manner of trouble!
Charlie will carouse the old-fashioned way, blowing all his new found wealth on debauchery and dissipation. He has 837 gold to spend, as well as 350 in jewelry. His save vs. spells is 14.
His pockets full of money and his mother occupied elsewhere, Charlie is quick to take full advantage of his situation. He spends the evening trawling through Corunglain's numerous taverns and houses of ill-repute. He drinks his fill — which, for a healthy young halfling, is quite a lot — and finds himself with several friendly young human women as his admirers. Soon everything is a rosy blur of good times, good friends, good food and good liquor. Then it all slews sideways and fades to black.
Charlie wakens the next morning in a filthy alley, his clothes crusted with vomit and various bits of wretched, reeking debris. His pockets are empty of gold and jewelry. His stomach follows suit soon thereafter as he dizzily heaves up the previous night's food and drink. Groaning, he staggers to his feet. What, he wonders, will he tell his mother and sister?
(You rolled a 6, spending 900gp and earning 900xp from a sour life lesson and a firmer grip on the limits of your own constitution. Your d20 roll is a 10: failure! You are penniless, with all of your cash and jewelry either spent or pilfered by your "friends" of the evening.)
Charlie sits up slowly and brushes himself off as best he can. He feels pretty stupid, having lost all his treasure. But he has gained something… something no one can take away. More experienced… one might say three times as experienced as he was when he left the Shires… he starts the long, painful walk back to his lodgings.
Charlie has gained a level! Thanks, Quen!
"Of course! I'm more than capable with figures and ledgers, and (above and beyond the common tongue of trade) I can read a smattering of a number of languages. I also have, between us, an arcane solution to very sticky passages. I'm also- only when the situation absolutely requires- a fair hand with a crossbow, and able to conduct business quite discreetly. I think you'll find I can be useful to a merchant house in a number of ways, and I'm willing to demonstrate it on a free trial this week. A favor between friends, and future business partners!"
Richard offers his services to House Frange for a week, hoping to improve his reputation with them before asking if the Company could accompany a caravan South. He'll put the gold and silver box up to cover his incidental expenses, if necessary. One thing to note: If read languages doesn't already allow the deciphering of coded messages, it seems reasonable that a little spell-bending could make it so. They must have something for him!
Is this a reverse carousing attempt or something else? I'm honestly not sure. I want to use Richard's carousing opportunity to attempt to improve his reputation with House Frange. He doesn't really have the cash to carouse, so I thought I'd model it on a reverse carouse (with the box as collateral) that pays 'goodwill' (for lack of a better term) instead of money, and foregoes xp.
Richard speaks with Lady Margred Frange, an elderly woman of some authority within the House. She listens to his offers of aid in matters linguistic, magical and mathematical, then politely but firmly rebuffs him. Reading between the lines, Richard concludes that the House does not wish to be seen as closely associated with Glantrians in this time of war, lest they suffer a political cost for such an association — especially if Richard proves to be a spy, either for Glantri or for a rival House. As to the Company guarding a Frange caravan, Lady Margred states that she will leave the matter in the hands of the House's individual caravan leaders; Richard may negotiate with them as he likes.
(You rolled a 6 on a reaction roll: neither hostile nor beneficial.)
Being nearly beaten to death by baboons seems to agree with Pritchard. This must be the solution he's been looking for! The crippling freight of guilt he's taken on is alleviated by putting himself at risk to protect his fellow captains. Well, it works for now… He doesn't look quite so crazy anymore, and he actually gets a little sleep at night. For a soul as troubled as his, this is something like peace. The country air fills his lungs and he is just grateful to get away from Malinbois for awhile.
He will follow Cut Coutelain to the nearest burrow boxing venue, to watch the little scrapper do what he does best. Perhaps it will be entertaining. Maybe even lucrative!
Pritchard will bet on Cut's success in the ring. He has over 1000 gold, and is willing to wager as much as the local economy can handle. Do we have gambling rules, or should this be treated like a reverse carouse?