Yrth: The Legend Begins

Session 3 -- Ibn's House
And why can't we all just get along?

It’s the next morning after our intense partying the night before as we tried somewhat successfully to extract information from Edward. Several of us have small hangovers but are otherwise functional after sleeping late into the day.

We have a couple of days until our meeting with Nigel. For our book-stealing mission one task we undertake is to watch the rear servant’s entrance to try and get a look at the servant’s uniforms. Getting a look at those would help us know what kind of disguise we need to put together. Baern sleeps late and wanders around the city trying to get to know it better. Mathieu also sleeps late. He elects to go and check out the location for the meeting with Nigel; Bolos goes with him. Nagarajoss meditates late into the day.

Mathieu and Bolos, joined by Nagarajoss, get a good look at the back-alley meeting location. It’s a small back-alley in St. Mark’s Parrish, an area of church-owned land. It’s in a bit of a tricky spot as their target, who departs towards East Tredroy from the meeting, will need to be intercepted after he leaves. They take a look at the area he might move through upon leaving the meeting, especially the buildings there. Some of them have unoccupied sections that might be of use. One potential idea is to have someone on the rooftops to help spot Nigel as he leaves and communicate his position to everyone else. The location is near the Lookout pub, a fantastic establishment of ill-repute, a true wretched hive of scum and villainy. The three of them head to the docks area, which smells like rotten ass that’s been left in the sun too long. This is clearly the “low rent” district with beggars and rough-looking folk a-plenty; the streets are correspondingly filthy. A number of rivergoing ships are docked here as well.

While walking through the district Nagarajoss does his best to glower and look intimidating to those around him but somehow doesn’t quite pull it off despite his large size. Thankfully the locals don’t seem interested beyond feeling many eyes upon them and their purses. They don’t dwell at the alley but take a short visit to avoid unwanted attention.

Thirlim positions himself excellently outside the servant’s entrance of Ibn’s house. He’s able to observe quite a few servants going about their errands, giving himself a great opportunity to take note of their livery as well as recall a number of faces from the crowd. He’s able to take note of the procedures for entry and exit too; the guard seems to know servants by sight. Thirlim also notes that a deadbolt is employed on the servant’s entrance. Thirlim tries to follow one of the attractive serving women and talk to her but she realizes she’s being followed; she confronts Thirlim who tries to fast-talk his way out of the problem and fails; she brandishes a knife and backs away from Thirlim, who gives up pursuit at that point.

The day passes with these events. The next day Bolos tries out his newly-acquired shape changing abilities by flying in bird form over the target mansion. He takes note of the entrances to the building and layout of the area from his aerial view.

Nagarajoss decides to get some exercise by taking a swim in the river.

While walking through the docks area Baern notices three thuggish-looking individuals following him. He can make out concealed knives on them. Baern tries to keep one eye on them to prevent the thugs closing the distance or trying to ambush him. Baern notices two of them split off to try and flank him while the third remains behind. Baern stops, turns and grins at the one behind, who asks him if he’s lost. Baern comments that they’ve been following him for awhile so they must want something. The thug responds that they want some of his coin, which he must have some of (Baern snickers at that). The guy instead starts asking if he’s looking for work in what amounts to a protection racket. Baern indicates that maybe he’d be up for it later, that he’s not looking for that kind of work today. He asks their names as they likely won’t meet him again randomly. The one he’s been talking to responds that he should ask for Martin the Blade, who makes a flourish with his hand and causes a knife to appear in it. The knife’s blade looks much shinier than most he’s seen in awhile. One of the other thugs, in a feat of brilliance, remarks that’s why he’s called the Blade. The three of them back off and head away.

Mathieu spends the day drinking.

Thirlim tries to use his thief’s guild contacts to gather information about the mansion or something that he’s able to use to get the books. His contact informs him that this is a rather bad idea given the penalties for thieves in this region. The mansions in that area are well-guarded by skilled armsmen. The guild unfortunately doesn’t have anyone on the inside that might help with the layout or security. Most of the servants must be able to speak fluent Arabic.

The next day everyone meets over breakfast to discuss their plan of action as that night is the scheduled meet with Nigel.

Bolos and Nagarajoss decide they’ll go and talk with Ibn to see what information can be gleaned. They decide to take the angle of finding out what his price is for a legitimate buy. They decide to speak to Wilhelm Deadeye first to gather information about the book to appear as informed buyers. While getting up from the table Baern tries to take a swing at Bolos in revenge for the previous bar fight. However Bolos blinks out of the way, appearing several feet closer to the door. The two of them spat verbally briefly and go on about their business.

We locate Wilhelm in the Valley Inn, a picturesque riverside location. We inquire as to the purchase history and background of the books and explain our current plan. He indicates that the books were originally found in Aratarre and moved around the empire for a time. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be as much information about them as first thought. The larger issue blocking his purchase is that Ibn won’t sell the books to a non-Muslim. Furthermore a good Muslim shouldn’t have anything to do with the books, thus his unwillingness to sell them to a middleman. While he hasn’t talked to Ibn directly Wilhelm doesn’t desire to be known as the purchaser of the books. Wilhelm indicates that Ibn isn’t in much of a selling mood, ultimately. Thirlim suggests that another approach is to somehow cause Ibn to believe there’s a reason to unload the books because something is wrong with them; little is known of these books, apparently. Perhaps the Empire is after them as they contain forbidden knowledge.

Bolos and Nagarajoss decide to go to try and meet with Wilhelm. Thirlim goes to hide by the back entrance again and lets Bolos and Nagarajoss know what side of the house he’ll be on in case they need to signal him.

Bolos and Nagarajoss enter via the storefront to the mansion and are able to arrange a meeting within an hour or so. A few guards come out and pat them down for weapons. Finding none they let the two into the courtyard of the mansion. They request Bolos refrain from magic use, especially in Ibn’s presence. They’re lead into a large room with an elevated chair in which sits Ibn looking well-fed (though not obese), wearing his turban. He’s flanked by servants and guards. He speaks in Arabic, stating that he’s curious what they’re looking for. Fortunately both Bolos and Nagarajoss are able to speak Arabic. Bolos’s response seems to make a good impression on Ibn. He indicates they’re interested in acquiring the books that Ibn possesses, for sale or trade. Ibn indicates that he’s not much interested in trade for items but money or perhaps “services” would be of interest. They discuss what kind of services could be rendered for him. Ibn mentioned that the two of them are the third group in the space of a few months who’s tried to purchase the books. Ibn indicates that he could use some assistance with a “problem” he’s experiencing. Bolos indicates that he understands the need for discretion in some activities. Ibn indicates that he wishes not to be connected to this matter but that he wants another merchant within the city to be removed from Tredroy entirely; the individual had freed several of his slaves recently. The name of the person is Joseph Stronghand and if he were dealt with then Ibn would trade the books for this service. Bolos and Nagarajoss agree to his terms.

Nagarajoss catches up with the rest of the group and reports on recent events. We decide that it might work well to talk to Stronghand and try and convince him to leave town because his life is in danger. Nagarajoss also carries a message to Bolos that he wants to talk to resolve their differences prior to tonight’s job. Nagarajoss brings Bolos to Baern so the two of them can talk.

Baern and Bolos continue their tiff. Nagarajoss talks about apologies flowing between people like water between cups, not under bridges and transferring them thus. Bolos decides to apologize and says that he doesn’t deserve to have his actions repaid with physical violence. Baern indicates that his price is that Bolos must sit in the bar where the incident happened in a dress of Baern’s choosing for an evening, which Bolos agrees to. Coincidentally the bar was named the G-String. And they lived happily ever after.

We all receive four character points.

Session 1 -- The Legend Truly Begins
In the G String...

PC Names
Thirlim Grayhand – James
Baern “The Bear” McCade – Casey
Bolos Liberalis – Peter
Mathieu d’Escales – Keane
Nagarajoss – Ryan

Wilhelm Deadeye (Bolos’ contact, who Thirlim has also encountered named for his glass eye) seems to have somehow become known to all of us via various methods. Otherwise we haven’t yet met.

We all are talking around a table with this Wilhelm person around a table in a tavern called the “G String” (referring to a skimpy piece of women’s underwear, having nothing at all to do with musical instruments’ strings). We’re in a back room with Wilhelm at the tavern. He’s saying something about books and suddenly asks us if we’re interested in accepting the mission. We all balk and ask him to explain the mission. He indicates he’s after some books held by a guy named Ibn. He possesses some ancient books that Wilhelm wants and doesn’t care how we get them as long as it happens quickly. Apparently Ibn is a fairly wealthy individual, living in the rich part of town on a street with a French name. We can try and talk him into selling the books but likely he won’t be interested in doing so because he’s a religious bigot and we’re “infidels.” Wilhelm offers two months’ pay to us ($1400). Wilhelm provides a parchment with the list of the books. The books are in a locked, magically-waterproofed chest. There are 10lbs of books and the chest is about 11lbs. Thirlim asks where the chest is in the house but Wilhelm tries to say he doesn’t know where they are. Thirlim presses him, stating that he seems to have some specific information about the chest but not their location. Wilhelm indicates that the books were found in the region but were sold to several different individuals previously so that’s how he knows, but he still doesn’t know where in the house they are located. Mathieu tries to make out what the book titles mean but they don’t quite make sense to him; something about war and unification.

We ask him a bit more about this Ibn person. He’s a powerful merchant, one of the more powerful families. He likely has some skilled and loyal house guards as well.

Wilhelm reminds us that this town is under bizarre stupid laws that prevent us from carrying weapons except for knives, staves and slings as long as we’re not a part of the mercenary’s guild. He mentions that we could talk to the leader of their guild but it could be an expensive proposition as they take 20% of profits.

Wilhelm leaves, tossing six silver pieces on the table, one of which Thirlim pockets. We proceed to party and drink and enjoy ourselves. Baern manages to carouse extremely well and attracts a crowd of serving wenches while Bolos and the snakeman have a philosophical conversation in the quiet backroom.

The next morning arrives. All of us except for Bolos go to join the Mercenaries’ guild in the western part of the city. Because we are moving to that part of the city we have a white armband tied on to indicate we’re not Muslims and thus not subject to Sharia law. We head to Southhold, the mercs’ guild headquarters which happens to be a huge building, capable of housing up to half the guild – 3,000 men.

The greeter at the gate’s guardhouse, a slightly older merc (likely "retired), asks us in a bored voice what he can do for us. We let him know we’re interested in joining the guild, while Mathieu indicates that the guild needs him. The man laughs and directs us to one of the sergeants within. We enter to find out more.

One of the guards escorts us inward to a stone room with a number of other individuals there as well, perhaps some kind of either waiting room or mass recruitment area. About 15 minutes later an old but solidly built man walks in with a flowing cape and a fancy sword. He introduces himself as Master Harold. He blabbers for a bit about the process, that it will take several years and that if we wish to learn to use weapons we can gain guild membership. We look around the room and realize that likely these other men are all young and look to be untrained. Thirlim and Mathieu speak up that we’d like to dispense with the learning as we already know how to use weapons. He indicates somebody will come in to get us so we can prove that’s the case.

Harold comes back and resumes his pitch about the responsibilities about the job. A younger soldier comes in and points us out to leave the room, which he does with some barely-intelligible gestures; probably some kind of merc code for their highly-trained operatives (or he screwed up his roll). He indicates that if we can last a few rounds against experienced soldiers we might be allowed to skip their training. We follow him to their armory where he indicates we can pick up weapons. The room looks to be filled with training equipment and padded armor.

We all grab suitable armor and arms. Mathieu even finds a proper training rapier with a balled point. We muster in the ready room and are directed to, upon the door opening, to enter the arena. Four merc soldiers enter the arena as well. There are marks made in the dirt and we’re directed to stand there. We get the sense that the one running this test has done this a number of times and normally those being tested aren’t actually proficient. He indicates that he’s not interested in whether we can work together as a unit but more whether we can handle the equipment we’re holding. He directs us to ready ourselves and begin.

Baern goes first. He steps up, taking one normal step and a second, long stride and strikes, his blow deflected by the target’s shield. His opponent steps forward and strikes but Baern parries and steps backwards.

Mathieu steps once, takes another large step and attempts to feint his opponent, which he does successfully. His opponent steps in and also feints to try and keep Mathieu off-balance.

Thirlim uses the same two-steps and tries to feint his target to throw off his attack, barely succeeding but not enough to be effective. His opponent strikes back but Thirlim is able to raise his shield to stop the blow.

Nagarajoss moves up one step and is able to swing with his long staff and catch his opponent unaware, who fails to block the thrust and connects solidly. The man charges in swinging his sword but Nagarajos is able to step backwards and parry the attack.

Baern unleashes a fierce flurry of strikes with his large blade; both attacks are blocked. His opponent, instead of attacking, chooses to wait for Baern’s next move.

Mathieu tries a fierce swing but his weapon turns in his hand and the blow doesn’t connect with force, causing him to spend a second adjusting his grip. His opponent, seeing an opening, attacks fiercely and strikes a fierce blow in a sensitive spot. He wobbles a bit but is able to stay on his feet.

Thirlim tries again to feint his opponent but is no more successful. His target tries a shot back at him, aiming for a vital spot with a committed thrust that misses entirely.

Nagarajoss attacks fiercely but his target blocks the attack; he takes a step backwards after.

Baern tries again to attack from distance, throwing extra muscle into the thrust to extend his reach, but fails to connect. His target responds by charging at him, trying to level Baern with his shield. However he trips on the way in and manages to drop his weapon.

Mathieu throws himself into an attack without regard for defense; unfortunately his attack is blocked at the last second. His opponent makes a mighty strike, hitting Mathieu squarely on the top of his head. Everyone in the arena hears the sound like a wet melon of the practice sword hitting and creating a large crack in Mathieu’s skull. He drops like a wet noodle.

The trainer stops the combat at that point. Someone wearing light chain jogs out from the side, lays his hands on Mathieu and heals him a fair amount; he wakes shortly after. We’re all ushered back to the armory where we leave our equipment. We’re sat down, where we’re informed that we do seem to be able to handle our weapons despite Mathieu’s unfortunate incident. We shouldn’t feel bad given we were up against some of their experienced armsmen. He advises we return the next day around 10am to meet with Guildmaster Darksword, which we agree to.

With part of the rest of the day we take a trip by our target house to have a look. Bolos meets us there; he’s able to heal Mathieu further. It’s a large mansion with a storefront for some of the wares he imports. The grounds are surrounded by a 12’ wall which we’re unable to see inside as the storefront opens into the grounds. A large muslim man keeps the shop, greeting us in arabic; Nagarajoss responds in Arabic. Bolos interjects and asks the shopkeeper to speak our common language. He greets us in English instead although he looks askance at Nagarajoss, surprised he speaks Arabic at all. We let him know that we’re just there to browse, which we begin doing. The store looks to contain luxuries mainly – teas, spices, etc and are priced accordingly, slightly higher-priced than they ought to be (although there’s a social expectation to haggle to some extent). Thirlim notes the location of the waterskins in the room (as he needs one). Nagarajoss speaks to the shopkeeper regarding how well-connected Ibn is and whether he ever trades for goods. The shopkeeper answers both in the affirmative. He offers to go and get him but Nagarajoss declines.

A guard comes out the rear door for a shift change, offering a brief glimpse into the back room. A hallway is present there with several doors in it with a door at the far end that, likely, leads into the courtyard behind and the estate. Otherwise no additional guards look to be present. Thirlim asks what the shop’s hours are; the keeper indicates they’re normally open from 10am until dinnertime. We try gathering intelligence from current or former employees of the estate. Thirlim isn’t able to turn up anything but Mathieu gets a name of an individual we can talk to and some vague directions as to where he can be found.

The night passes. We all receive two character points.


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