Even though he was close to the door, Pio allowed the others to follow Ormander out of the office ahead of him. He took in each of his brothers and sister as the passed, making sure to make eye contact with them, trying to gauge their strength of character and commitment to see this mission to completion.
Will we be able to hold together? the knight wondered. Therassor, help me see this to the end! We must not fail! He steeled himself for the meeting they were about to have.
When they arrived at the temple room and the children had left, Pio walked Ormander to the door, “Thank you, father.” Looking back at his gathered brothers and sister, Pio continued to talk softly with Ormander, “Do not worry. Your children have come home and we will honor you.” Turning back to Ormander, Pio gave his father a confident smile and a clasp on the shoulder, “Have faith! We will see this through.”
[OOC: Tag DM]
When Ormander left the room, Pio returned to sit with the group. There was silence for the moment, as each person’s thoughts turned to contemplate the predicament they found themselves in… at least that’s what Pio was thinking about.
With no one opening their mouths to speak first, Pio took a cleansing breath and turned to the group, “So… are we all in? This is no easy task Ormander has set before us, and it could very well cost us a lot personally in the end. There are no real funds for this task, so it will be coming out of our personal resources. We’re dealing with folks who stand above the law, so there is a good chance that you risk losing whatever status you have obtained, your reputation in our country, your freedom in this world… your very lives, even.” Pio paused to let the words sink in.
“Are you all in?”
[OOC: Tag Everyone]
As each brother or sister stated they were committed to see the mission through to the end, Pio gave each an affirming nod. Should any of them decide that they can not continue on, Pio will escort them to the door, embrace them and bless them as they leave.
[OOC: No much in the way of moving the story forward I know… but I thought I’d put a quick post up to see who is still in this game… it’s been awhile since some of us posted. Are we all still here?]
[DOUBLE OOC: I'll post again over the weekend with some ideas for what Pio think's the group should do next... but peasedon't wait for me! If your character has some ideas, post them up and let's get this party started!]
While the others sat there quietly Kastor was still fuming with anger at the mental assault he had had previously one thing that did light kastors spirit was that he knew could resist a physical assault from the female he almost chuckled aloud to himself but did not because of his anger. Kastor hated when people did this Kastor was a man of action and deeds not a thinker. Although he himself was totally puzzled as what to do, he just wished that someone else would come up with a suggestion and quickly.
After 5 minutes of 'thinking' Kastor was utterly bored he stood and said to them all "are we going to sit here all day or is someone going to think of something i think that we all know that i am not the clever one round here." After this outburst Kastor firmly sat back down with a disgruntled look upon his face. The time at Ormanders had been stressful for him his father is in trouble he was attacked by a puny woman and was dragged away from his favourite thing killing krazars goblins.
Ormander smiled at them all before leaving. When he left, it was only for a few steps. Than he turned to look at them once more.
"I'm proud of all of you. My children..."
Then he continued his path leading down the stairs.
When they were only shortly in conversation, a young girl called Olivia came to tell them that Ormander had a room made ready for them to stay in. She looked at Percifeer smiling for an awkwardly long moment before leaving again.
The time for a plan had come, and though Kastor spoke his inability to think, he hurried them along. It was clear that he was eager to get going.
Pio had just got the words out when there was a slight door at the door and a young girl let herself in. Her face was familiar, but Pio had forgotten her name. Olive? Ophellea? What is it?
The girl step to the edge of the circle where the group had gathered, “Hi!” she said cheerily. Then she looked directly at Pio and, as if she could read his mind, said, “Hi, Pio! It’s me, Olivia.”
Pio smiled a gentle smile, “Olivia! Of course! What would you like?”
The girl, remembering why she came, spoke quickly, “A room has been prepared for you all while you stay with us.”
“Thank you, Olivia.”
Olivia curtsied, coming up to smile at Percy. She continued to look and smile at the woman.
“Is there anything else, Olivia?”
Olivia looked back to Pio. “Nope!” she said simply with a smile and then bounded out of the room, closing the door behind her again. Silence once again descended upon the group.
After a few moments of quiet, the khord stood up to address the group, clearly agitated. “Are we going to sit here all day? Or is someone going to think of something? I think that we all know that I am not the clever one round here.”
Kastor sat back down in a huff.
Pio took a cleansing breath before he shared some of the ideas that were coming to him. “Here’s what thinking we can do. I say, let’s head over to the court house and see if we can’t find this herald that spoke with father. If there’s time, on the way back, perhaps we could speak with the authorities who investigated the theft, if there even was an investigation.
“Later, over supper, perhaps we can talk with the children about what they have heard so far. Maybe, we can go catch a drink over at the Broken Grommel Tavern?”
“Some other suggestions?”
Posted on 2008-01-14 at 18:40:17.
Edited on 2008-01-14 at 18:55:53 by Almerin
When Olivia came to the room, she lingered for a moment longer on Percifeer than the rest of the group. It would have been very unusual for Percifeer to point this out, so when she turned to leave, Percy called to the girl "What is it Olivia?"
((after this conversation))
Then she pondered moves forward. She was thinking mostly about the best ways to get around the town of her childhood. Unfortunately, Kastor interrupted her thought pattern.
She turned to the dwarf, motioned for him to look closely at her, and pursed her lips. She then made the motion of turning a key in a lock over her lips, and then flicked 'the key' away. It was fortunate for them both, surely, that Pio then chose to speak.
“Here’s what thinking we can do. I say, let’s head over to the court house and see if we can’t find this herald that spoke with father. If there’s time, on the way back, perhaps we could speak with the authorities who investigated the theft, if there even was an investigation. Later, over supper, perhaps we can talk with the children about what they have heard so far. Maybe, we can go catch a drink over at the Broken Grommel Tavern?”
"I think that's fair," Percifeer replied, "but I think timing is important here, so we should do those things that will take the longest to get us information first. Perhaps we should put the word out on the 'thieves highways' tomorrow and see if we can get a bite."
Percifeer called out to the little girl, curious to know why she had been stared at. But Olivia didn't reply, either oblivious to the sorceress' call or pretending she didn't hear it.
Pio came with a plausable suggestion, and it sounded like a good one. But before anybody else could sprout another idea, a call came from downstairs. It was Ormander, and his voice boomed joyously.
"Llammoth! Your brothers and sisters are already upstairs. I hope you don't mind if I give you a brief version of what happened?"
Seconds later footfall on the stairs told them company was coming up. Then Ormander showed up, with a half-orc by his side who most of them remembered: Llammoth 'the whisper'. One of the most silent shadows the orphanage had ever known. Ormander remained with them during the meetings and short description of plans so far, but after that returned to his duties downstairs, so that the party could continue their brainstorming.
Athur had stood silently listening to everything but he had an idea. He then turned to the others after the new arrival. She looked familier but Athur wasn’t good with names.
“I think someone should watch the supposed victim of the theft. Even if he isn’t involved he might lead to the involved and if he doesn’t it still might do some good to know where he is at any given time.”
Posted on 2008-01-21 at 19:09:01.
Edited on 2008-01-21 at 19:49:42 by Drakar
Although she had heard about her father’s plight long before his request to see her had arrived at her doorstep, she had been delayed by tedious work. In this particular incident, this was no minor choice between family honour and the all mighty profit margin. It had seemed that the fortunes of her patron had been similarly intertwined with the fate of the orphanage, and with that of her father as well. Every inquest she made on the behalf of her councilman friend brought her closer to finding out the verifiability of these claims against her brothers and sisters of the orphanage on Westgutterfall street.
It was evening when she had finally gotten around to her old home, the vault of her heart. There were many childhood memories that impacted her deeply, and she would often come back to sit in the garden, and reminisce about the days of old… days that were merely years in the life of the young advisor. Upon the door lay one of the most holy symbols that Llammoth had ever known, butchered by another familiar symbol. It had given her mixed feelings about the welcome she retained in her father’s house. Falloes, the god in which Ormander swears she owes her life, was the god she had chosen to worship above and beyond all others. It had helped her maintain her morality, or at least so she thought. All of the blood money that had strained through her hands in the years to follow her ascension into higher society would be enough to taint any person, no matter how promising their intention. If not for her charity to the orphanage, by the guidance of her god, and her sense of duty, she may be as infected and corrupt as the rest of the vile denizens of the city of Drefast.
As for the ram, Llammoth had always assumed that her father had a particular loyalty to his kingdom, which was appropriate for one born into a previous age of grandeur. However for her, she had seen nothing to be admired about the empire, except that through all the corruption, it still retained some semblance of unity… That unity was brittle mind, but the bond was strengthened by the loath hatred other previously dominated lands felt towards the warlords, and particularly the Golden Throne himself. Though in the scheme of things his position was that of a puppet, and no more.
Nevertheless, she bowed before her holy symbol and recited, “Charity is the greatest gift that any one person can bestow. It is a gift that gives in return a sense of self and well being. It is the duty of those who see the errors of society to help fix them. The hand that stretches out to help a fellow man is the most gifted of all hands.” It had become a routine of hers whenever she approached her father’s doorway. She would recite the dogma of Falloes, and then, as she walked up the creaky old steps, she would finger the ram, which she did on cue, before disappearing into the lobby beyond.
She did not wait at the door. It was pointless to bother the old man, or even have one of his children fetch the visitor for him. There were no strangers among these walls, not for her, and likewise, she was well known to the boys and girls of the orphanage. She was also liked, more or less. She had sensed that young Cirkoff found her arrogant, and perhaps a bit holier than thou… she had also detected a secret lust for her… the boy was not much younger than her, but far behind in maturity. Furthermore she was not interested in striking up any intimate relationships with the denizens of old Ormander’s orphanage. Though it wasn't technically incest, she found the concept morally vile. Furthermore she could not fathom the tension it would cause between her and her father, who had always frowned upon this sort of thing. He was not yet so old, that he couldn’t plant a good lashing or two, whether it be from the whip or his tongue, either was excruciatingly painful when necessary.
Ormander was sitting his office, watching the kettle boil water, sipping a cup of tea. He did not hear her approach, which was disconcerting to the young rogue. Even though she was indeed skilled in both stealth and guile, she had rarely usurped the keen senses of her beloved father. This said much of the situation at hand. Obviously he was heavily burdened by the events come to pass. He was sorrowful for many things… his inability to solve his own problems, to be the strength that he once was, even so few years back when he had hustled her to safety, from none other than a sentence of death! The old man also feared for his children. He had devoted the last remnants of his life to the pious defence of these youngsters. More than just his morality was at stake here. Falloes, the god he revered demanded that the sanctuary of those under his name be defended to the death. If he were to be imprisoned, his home abolished, then he would have failed in more ways than a man ever should. In his agony, Llammoth realized that he failed to reason that he was now the hopeless, and that this god he loved was once but a man… a man who understood the failings of life. After all, from what she had ascertained this was no fault of his own. She would not, no, she could not believe that any child of his had their hands quite this dirty. He hadn’t raised anyone to be quite so stupid, or gluttonous for that matter.
Standing in the doorway watching her elderly father, she could not help but smile, and hiss in laughter. It startled him, but only mildly. The expression of shock on his face was quickly exchanged with that of elation. “Well then, Llammoth! You came! I thought you might,” he stood up and trudged over to give her a grand old hug… his strength hadn’t left him in his years since settling down. He let go of the embrace so that he might get a better look at her, his hands still bracing her shoulders. “it seems I am always found a richer man upon your visits,” Llammoth blushed, assuming he had either finally caught on to her midnight charities, or was in a indulgent mood, having known all along, and speaking the truth after so long, but he ended the cryptic pass with an answer to his statement that provoked a disharmony to her theories, “ you are truly a spectacular gem, one that I have cherished since you were nothing more than a grubby little purse snatcher. We certainly wiped the dirt off of that pretty grin, eh?”
Though his words were harsh, he meant no harm, no injury… after all, it was the truth. She knew as well as he, that more than the fact of its intrinsic merit, she had been a product of a cruel world. Now, in that same world, but with the kindness of a man who she was proud to consider her dad, she had become much more. It was a shame, that her every day experiences in the shadows of lies, corruption, secrets and gossip, that she rarely felt she had become anything better than what she had been. It was an odd thought, for one who now spoke two languages not native to her, and dined with nobles. “Truly you have been practicing lying father, did one of the girls ask you about where babies came from again?”
Ormander chuckled warmly at this. Her humour could be rather blunt in the presence of those with whom she felt comfortable with. Call it a defect of her wild heritage, but it was fortunately one she had learned to mask in the presence of others. She had no need to be someone fake here. This was home, and she was able to be as she may. "Llammoth!” the old man boomed, “Your brothers and sisters are already upstairs. I hope you don't mind if I give you a brief version of what happened?"
“Of course not father, take your time.” Though Llammoth knew much of the details already, maybe even more than Ormander himself… she would listen to her father, for the sake of his mood. He so eagerly wanted to help, as much as he desperately required the help of his grown children, his worldly children.
He escorted her up the stairs to the old temple, where she saw familiar faces, or at the very least, identified strangers by names. It was her job to be well informed, but more than that, the descriptions of her older brothers and sisters had been very detailed, details that came from the excited mouths of her kin who still shared in the poverty of the orphanage. They were adventurers! The temple, which had been cleaned to make room for preparation, was a very special place to Llammoth. She had made her first legitimate prayer there. The prayers in her previous life lacked understanding, though they were perhaps the cry of a far more desperate child. Regardless of the proper ceremony behind them, she could not but feel that perhaps those blessings had come true. For if not, there was little else that explained her very existence as it was.
After he had explained the happenings of the past few days, and, more importantly, the past few hours, he excused himself, and left her to converse with her siblings. It was at this point, that Athur made a suggestion. “I think someone should watch the supposed victim of the theft. Even if he isn’t involved he might lead to the involved and if he doesn’t it still might do some good to know where he is at any given time.”
Softly she stepped into the room. She knew the practicalities of social gatherings. If she were to be embraced as a part of the group, all she need do is physically become part of the group, her insight into matters would make her use apparent, regardless of her youth. “What you say is of splendid merit. The foresight is quite admirable Athur.” Llammoth smiled as she matched eyes with her human brother. “However, I am not entirely certain you understand what you are proposing… Councillor Velch is a well guarded man. More than that, he spends most of his time in places where foreign eyes and ears are not permitted. It is no easy task.”
With a sigh, she continued on, having almost certainly added to the groups lack of optimism, “It is a shame, for if he does have some stake in this, he will surely try to make contact with those who would conspire to ruin our father’s good name.”
Llammoth panned the room, looking to Pio, with his copper skin and green eyes, oozing with confidence that was befitting a drannese man. Her gaze then wandered downward to the Khord whom she had never met, but knew as Kastor. Then there was Percifeer, the dark skinned dragons blood, or so she had named the ensorcelled in previous encounters. “I would suggest that we gather a list of those who would see our dear Ormander harmed… the list may be longer than we hope… however we can narrow it down easily enough by relating the threats to potential. Not all his enemies are of equal social standing.”
Posted on 2008-01-21 at 21:22:29.
Edited on 2008-01-26 at 05:36:20 by Philosopher
Percifeer was already on her feet when Ormander arrived at the door. She had heard who was coming and rushed to give her a hug. "Llamoth!" she shouted knowing the half-orc didn't exactly like being hugged. The 6 years since they had seen each other were overcoming her. "It's been so long!" and just as she was about to engage her in a long conversation she noticed the rest of the group staring at her, and sat back down. She listened to the arguments/statements made by the party and interjected only one thing.
"I still think we should put the word out on the thieves' network to get the information out there. But, since we have our own bit of the network here, perhaps we can skip that step. What do we know about the theft? Has it been fenced?"
It seemed the discussion of ideas was coming to an end. Several options had been named, but none had been chosen. Perhaps they were in the wrong environment, talking with too much emotion from unexpected reunions. They hadn’t seen each other in a long time, and to be plunged into something as pressing as the matter at hand could mean taking a step backwards might ease their minds a bit. Pio’s suggestion to get a drink at a nearby tavern was a good one.
The Broken Grommel tavern was situated a few streets away from the orphanage. They had all been there at some point in their life, either for drinking, company or an errand for Ormander. The streets they had to go through were quite narrow, and filled with cluttered garbage and smells left by drunkards. Occasionally a rat hurried away from them. The high buildings around them cast deep shadows and silence over the alleys.
Hardly any other travellers dared themselves into these streets. When they did cross another human, it was a ragged beggar with a half empty bottle in one hand and the other one supporting his back. He breathed a raunchy wisp into their faces, and spoke in a cracked voice:
“Y’lot got a grrrrommel for an old soldier? Or maybe sum Jetra even? Y’sure look like you got some.”
Whether or not they gave him some of their small coinage, the ragged man turned when he had passed through their midst to look at them triumphantly. From a side alley, three villains with clubs and daggers appeared and gathered behind him. On the group’s other side came three more, equally armed. They were street scum, but nobody they recognized.
“Alright lot, now give us the rest of your money!” The drunkard said in a suddenly steady tone. He held up the hand that had been supporting his back, and in it dangled a purse full of coins. Glancing at their belt pouches, the companions could see tiny cuts where several coins had ‘fallen out’. The seven robbers seemed determined to fight, but awaited the group’s reaction. Perhaps they would give their money willingly?
(OOC: Alright guys, here’s your first chance to prove how you’ll all do as a team. The six robbers who came later are 4 male, and 2 female (one on either side). The male all carry daggers in one hand, and two of them also carry a club with a nail through it. The females carry crossbows, but have daggers on belts too. They all seem to have seen a few battles. Oh… and they stink.)
Pio remained cool. A veteran of battles had no need to get worked up over a group of robbers. He took a step forward, his face stern as if addressing a young child.
"Look, you already have a fair share of our money. I suggest you count yourself lucky with what you have in your hand there. Now you'd do best and leave us alone, before you lose what you've earned."
The knight's chest was broad, and his whole posture radiated self confidence. At his side, his bastard sword was prominently present, and it seemed eager to punish those who commited an act against its wielder. Behind him, Pio's companions stood ready to do battle as well. They looked like a fortified mass in the narrow street, and the leader of the band of robbers took a step backwards.
"Perhaps you are right. AND lucky! We have our share and will leave you in..."
It was then that a crossbow bolt shot past him and slammed through an already broken window inches away from Percifeer's face.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to!" piped the young female thief that had wielded it.
Her very first reaction amongst the thieves was to make herself small. In earnest, she was far more effective with words than weapons. Her expertise had been forged in the pit of politics, and not the field of battle. This was not to say she was being a coward... just, pretending to be a coward. It was a clever tactic that she had found far more effective than the direct approach to combat. In addition to her apparent reproach to fighting, she added with a squeak of fear in her voice, "N-no, please don't hurt me!"
She waited for the right moment, judging the effectiveness of her feint against the nearest male. If he showed any sign of weakness, showed that he was letting his guard down, she would strike forth with her shortspear.
In anticipation for her strike, she paid heed to the gaps in his armour, and the most vital areas in plausible striking distance. His neck seemed a particularly juicy target. Through her periphery, she watched the soft pulse of his flesh, the whole world tunneling into this small distinction. Wait, and strike.
If he was not showing any sign of belief in her weakness, if he maintained his full caution against the small half-orc female, then she would be forced to strike out without the element of surprise on her hand. She would be wary in striking, keeping her guard high; not risking any exposure on her part. This particular focus on safety may have the tendency to decrease her accuracy, but it would increase her reflexive reactions against attack. By far, survivability was more important to her. After all, she had her brothers and sisters with her, and they would assist in the fight, perhaps more effectively than she could ever muster. (If the feint fails, she will strike using her +3 attack bonus as a dodge bonus instead, via the combat expertise feat)
Of course, she would take no action until the battle was a determined fact. She had no intention of putting her kin in any more harm then they need be in. Pio had seemed to incite a peaceful reaction in one of their leaders, though the tension did not lessen after the accidental misfire of one of the young females. Whatever the decision made by the others, she would follow accordingly. (She will take a ready action until the battle is decidedly on, at which point she will strike. If the battle does not proceed, neither will she.)
Posted on 2008-02-04 at 00:22:39.
Edited on 2008-02-04 at 00:37:53 by Philosopher
Percifeer had been patient with these twits. Arms crossed, she had let Pio take charge as they were attempting to rob her...that is, until one fired a crossbow bolt at her.
She didn't rush the next few actions. As Pio talked she took her time, drawing her crossbow from the hook on her hip, pulling back the bowstring to cock it into place, and then loading a bolt. Not only were they threatening her, but they were incompetent shots at that. She had no use for these peons.
If, at any point before the bolt was loaded, the group attacked, she would drop the crossbow and resort to her spells, summoning a beast between the evident attackers and her party, then protecting herself with mage armor, and resorting to her wand only if her allies began to fall.
However, if they said nothing, she would stare at her bow, muttering "Let my arrow fly true, destroying my target with speed and vengence." ((true strike)) She wouldn't wait for Pio to finish his speech, she would target the leader (or whomever seems to be the leader) ((called shot, heart)) and fire the crossbow straight through his heart, dropping him dead on the spot, and leaving the rest of them leaderless, and likely unorganized.
"Look…” said Pio, stern and steady. “You already have a fair share of our money. I suggest you count yourself lucky with what you have in your hand there. Now you'd do best and leave us alone, before you lose what you've earned."
The leader of the band of ruffians was tense. Pio could tell the man realized that he was outmatched and was looking for a way to get out of the situation while saving face.
“Perhaps you are right. AND lucky!” countered the lead thug. “We have our share and will leave you in…”
The twang of the crossbow and the sound of the bolt smashing through a nearby window came together, interrupting the ruffian.
The offender, a young female, piped up her apology, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to!”
Pio did a quick check of his family. The tension was thick, though so far, his party remained in check. He could see Llamoth was coiling up to strike, and Percy’s fiery temper was beginning to boil up. Both were cold and calculating.
“Easy everyone. Hold.” Pio spoke evenly to his family. Turning his attention back to the leader. “You and your people have slighted us twice now. Had that bolt struck true…” Pio let the ruffians fill in the unsaid threat. “Now, I DO wish to leave you in peace, but I am afraid we will need something from you to right the wrongs you have committed against us. You seem like cunning, smart folks. We are looking for information.”
[OOC: I’ll stop here. If Percy and Llamoth (or the others) give us space to talk, Pio will say something like, “We have heard a thief from Ormander’s orphanage has stolen something of value from Councilor Velch. If you have heard something of this, please speak up. Excellent information just might find you rewarded.”]