"[Hmm. There are a few things that I need to discuss with this lovely woman here. If you will let us speak for just one moment.]" The gnome turns to the drow. "Hello, my name is Melacrostondifie Glodanstiven. I am a Collector of Antiquities. I prize what many people may feel is... less than valuable, but that is only because they do not know its true purpose. Anyway, I am carrying on too long for our current contractual negotiation. Sufice it to say, I am a collector and can be very useful in almost every situation. However, I thought that we should definitely know each other formally before we enter a ... Illustrious One's den." With a broad smile and a quick tinkling bow the gnome finishes with "So, may I have the ladies name?"
There is a pause; as if the dragon in the chamber beyond were considering T'puuli's words...
["I do not wish to part with the bovine; however, I do not desire to see the rest of my brood slaughtered. While I am certain I can fell the lot of you, it is obvious that your disappearance would arouse more suspicion. Therefore, I must offer terms for my secrecy to continue."]
The wyrm slowly takes a deep breath and continues.
["I can allow you to return the food I have taken, albeit the food is tribute; I will need compensation in some alternate manner to prevent my further depredations into their territory. In other words, I can offer you payment for the following: Employ under my banner, hunting for me those things which I need and those people to whom I am enemy; and second for your silence as to your knowledge of my whereabouts. Unfortunately for us both, I cannot accept refusal on this matter, so your acceptance would be mandatory... the only negotiable matter is what your services are worth."]
Kobold females, obviously occupying the socially lowest rung, carefully edge themselves towards the party, offering refreshments. They seem to favor T'puuli, as she is the most obviously like them. They carry trays laden with various cutlets of wonderfully smelling meats. Some bring pitchers of water, and a few females team up to bring wooden crates for the group to sit while parleying with the "Nest Father."
T’puuli will listen to the Nest father as he spoke. When she is offered food she will thank the server quietly and gracefully sit down on the edge of the crate brought in for that purpose. Racking her brain for how to best answer the Nest Father, without upsetting the whole deal. She was saved by the gnome who spoke up first.
The gnome sat down on a small chair and relaxes as if he had come down to see his cousin for tea. His brow furrowed as his hand deftly slips to the small metal object in a pocket on his hip. Three small metal barbed tines stab into the meat slices on a tray and then disappear as they are shoved quickly into the gnome's mouth. Chewing slowly, Melven uses the back of the multi- tined eating dagger to scratch a series of numbers in the dirt.
A swallow followed by a leather strapped sleeve across the chin, wiping away the juices and gravy.
"["So, if I get this correct... You, want to pay me 484 gold in silver pieces for services already rendered. Allow us to take back the cattle to the villagers. Then you’re going to pay me a monthly salary to go around collecting things for you... Expenses paid... and you’re going to let me keep all the extra bits that I find along the way. Oh, and you, and your kobolds here, are going not going to interact with the locals anymore either. Oh and one more thing, I want to be able to search through those giant old rusted heaps down the way, during my "off time" and keep what I want. And in return you want us to collect a few things for you and keep your location a secret. Oh and I almost forgot... if we don't your going to eat us. ]"
The wyrm takes a long slow deep breath.
["As for the items I require:
1. a stable food supply for myself and my brood... something that is not managed by my brood. They have no concept of saving for a rainy day.
2. A decent income. I cannot hope to stand against my enemies unless I can amass buying power.
3. Magic, Books, tomes, items, and scraps of rumors. I want anything I can find.
As for my enemies, take a step into my parlor here and see for yourself why I require absolute secrecy."]
The gnome answered back to the Nest Father with the ease of an experienced negotiator
"[Hmm. There are a few things that I need to discuss with this lovely woman here. If you will let us speak for just one moment.]"
The gnome turns to the drow. "Hello, my name is Melacrostondifie Glodanstiven. I am a Collector of Antiquities. I prize what many people may feel is... less than valuable, but that is only because they do not know its true purpose. Anyway, I am carrying on too long for our current contractual negotiation. Suffice it to say, I am a collector and can be very useful in almost every situation. However, I thought that we should definitely know each other formally before we enter a ... Illustrious One's den." With a broad smile and a quick tinkling bow the gnome finishes with "So, may I have the ladies name?"
T’puuli was floored to say the least. She can not recall another time she was treated with such courtesy. It took a bit a couple of blinks for the shocked look to fall from her face.
“Hello Melacrostondifie Glodanstiven my name is T'puuli Drathir'anon. it is a pleasure to meet you.” She will add in a low but clear voice so that hopefully Melacrostondifie only can hear, ((Ooc: The following is in Drow))
“F'sarn naut l'alurl a negotiations lu'ol ul'tro saph dos ph'xundus al. Dorn sevir nindel aglust wun dosst rahi, whol nin”
(Ooc Translation- I’m not the best at negotiations and it sounds like you are doing well, I’ll leave that part in your hands, for now”)
“Shall we go to see why the secrecy?” T'puuli will add in common.
She will gracefully stand up and wait for Melacrostondifie and any of the others who wishes to join them.
((edit 4 fonts fixes))
Posted on 2008-07-19 at 04:18:56.
Edited on 2008-07-19 at 04:29:45 by Oko
The gnome performs a quick perfunctory bow with the attempted grace of someone far less gnomish than he and says "It is a pure pleasure to meet you lady T'puuli Drathir'anon. And now that the pleasantries are over, we can get down to the dirty stuff. Lets go see his riches beyond our imagination and why, probably, he can't leave his own horde."
Melven walks toward the drow, spearing another slice or two of gravied meat as he moves past the proffered tray. The jingles from his buckles cease as he stops beside T'puuli. As he waits the only sound he makes is the sound of his chewing.
East of Sodgrove
Thirteenth day of Elmonth
((At this point I take it you enter the dragon's lair... I will describe the room in order of what is noticed.))
The party enters the main audience chamber. The first surprising feature is that the chamber is square and clad in iron beams. The rusty beams have a roughly triangular cross section and are lain horizontally, spaced every five feet or so, supporting the wall and probably the dirt and rock behind them. This takes us to the next most surprising thing.
The chamber is tall, some hundred feet, with a jagged rusty opening in the "ceiling". The structure is not above the canopy of the forest, as the undersides of the trees can be seen above. As the eyes slowly work their way back down the walls, there are broken and jagged ledges spaced regularly all the way down to about twenty feet above you, indicating that the structure used to have multiple levels.
At the bottom of the chamber, the floor is broken and at odd angles, as if the new floor is made up of the broken pieces of the floors above. You see in some spots there are kobolds toiling away, clearing rubble from the room in the places that they are able.
The middle of the huge chamber is cleared out and covered over and piled up in rich tapestries and rugs, forming a very large nest of the softest material. Around the nest stand tall banners and pennants, and possibly the most shocking revelation strikes you: the banners are royal banners of Eastrose, specifically the Seithe family banner, the personal house flag of Antagony, the Wight Queen.
Beneath the banners, reclining nobly, lays a vibrant blue dragon, immaculately clean, healthy and strong, but no more than six or seven feet long. His torso is adorned with a tabard bearing the Seithe family crest in gold thread. His neck and fingers are jeweled. His horns are covered in gold.
The phalanx of kobold royal guardsmen assemble in front of the nest and form a physical barrier in the event the party proves more dangerous. The dragon gestures to the other pile of rugs.
["Please, make yourselves comfortable. Without my court chamberlain, I am forced to introduce myself. Please accept my apologies for this breach of etiquette. I am Crowned Prince K'halen Diri Seithe, affectionately appeled "Sizzle". I do not believe I shall answer to that any longer."]
He pauses, and takes a deep, slow breath. His small body produces a large presence of voice in this chamber.
["I have been exiled from my house along with the rest of my brood, my brood uncles and the other, older broods. I am the youngest living descendant of the Queen Antagony Eila Dulon Magakka Seithe, before the Shade Lord... destroyed her soul. I barely escaped with my life, and my older siblings.... I do not know of their fates. Initially, I ran and hid, narrowly avoiding capture several times. I made it here about ten years ago. Since I have been attempting to consolidate power in the shadow of my mother's castle. My position here is precarious, and I must admit that I need help. And now you also see why I must have your agreement that you are never to tell anyone that you have seen me."]
Posted on 2008-07-21 at 14:50:43.
Edited on 2008-07-21 at 14:56:55 by Shaithis
East of Sodgrove
Thirteenth day of Elmonth
T’puuli walks in not sure what to expect. The magic’s in this room felt familiar somehow to her. She felt safe and happy for some reason, till she looked at the inlaid stone floor. At that point you will see a sadness creep into her eyes. As quickly as it shows up it is gone.
Picking a nice rug to sit upon, T’puuli will settle down in a comfortable position where she can watch both her companions and the kobolds. (Most likely towards the back of the group)
She will listen to the Crown prince’s request carefully, studying her companions faces (as best as she can from her position) as he makes his request. It dawns on her why she headed in this direction in the first place, this used to be a happy place. Used to be is the key part.
Melven is smiling as he walks into the giant chamber. As he jingles toward his hopefully new employer he glances at the tear streaked draconic drow and whispers "Past tragedies or imminent death aren't worth cryin over when dealing with someone who eats people on a regular basis."
He flashes some comfort into his already convivial smile and then turns toward the dragon.
Stretching out his arms in a greeting the gnome gives a big smile and a profunctory bow as he says "Ah it is a pleasure to finally see you your... errr ah Highness Prince K'halen Diri Seithe. I am sure we can come to a more than equitable arrangement in a err ahh... timely fashion. As for initial payment, I think the 842 gold each along with the cattle they... um.. we are bound to bring back would suffice."
Melven starts to shift his weight back and forth from foot to foot as he begins the more precarious of statements "As for the emm... future dealings well.. ya see.. well.. Say we go out and loot and plunder right. Well, then we bring this back to you so that you can have a quarter of our hard earned umm.. gatherings. I mean, we err umm... incur all these expenses hauling this food and such for your eemm Magesty. Well, what I'm tryin to say is um. Besides avoiding our immediate and painful death what would we be getting outa the deal that we couldn't get ourselves umm yer Mightyness?" A big consiliatory smile still plastered on his face, trying to look as contrite as possible while waiting for an answer.
He admitted to himself the room was very nice decorated nicely and certainly sufficiently for the race he scorned. However this was oh so, boring he looked at some old antoques not used by anyone to do anything impratical hence not worth having in his view. People his suposed companions speak in hushed tones away from him making secret deals in a language unknown to him. he was beginning to dislike this place he felt as though things were going to well largely as there hadnt been a fight between the two enemies for quite some time now they were no longer hostile, quite the contrary they were friwnds dare he say it. Friends to his companions but never friends to him they were scrawny ill-looking and most of all untrustworthy all the flaws in a race Torigad absoloutely hated. He wanted to leave if not now very soon, it wasn't right to mingle with such creatures. Especially in such a squalid cesspit as this what a degrading experience. For one who was used to living in the open such an enclosed space with so many bodies was short of a miracle so far he hadn't panicked but not sure how long he could last he whispered in T'Pullis ear.
"How long must we stay here friend this place unnerves me."
Posted on 2008-07-23 at 15:18:29.
Edited on 2008-07-24 at 10:55:37 by stryke
["It is true that I can offer you little reward other than a portion of what you find. Even with your longer life spans afforded by your lineages, you may not be able to see the longer term of this effort. Therefore, I see your point. Return to your villages as heroes, take my silver for your discretion and if you want more money, bring me a solution to my food source problems so we do not have to meet again under such opposite circumstances."]
The female kobold servants enter while K'halen Seithe is speaking, offering to refill travelling supplies. One brings Melven a boarskin filled with fresh pork cuts, still very warm.
Five servant kobold children laboriously drag a handful of sacks filled with what appears to be silver, one for each member of the party.
["Each of these simple boar skin wallets contains five hundred pieces of silver. Your silence depletes my hoard significantly. I should hope that you shall return soon. It may become a smarter option for me to just remove Sodgrove from the map. I pray that will not become necessary."]
The sapphire dragon's mouth twists into what passes for a smile among the scaled.
Posted on 2008-07-26 at 18:28:17.
Edited on 2008-07-26 at 18:29:00 by Shaithis
"You see, plenty of reasonable beings in places you wouldn't expect." Melven says as he turns back toward his newly found companions. "I, for one, won't have any trouble forgetting what happened here today. I mean, I have plenty of other spots to explore."
The gnome rotates back quickly to face the dragon "And on those explorations I would gladly point out sources of food and treasure that I am unable to transport. Which, I believe, would be the only ones your umm.. Magesty would be interested in anyway."
He holds his small hands outstretched to his sides as he slowly rotates, facing everyone in turn, as he says "So, what I propose is this. We go on our way, with the sacks and cattle. We continue right wrongs and search through forgotten temples and discover ancient relics of unknown use and power... do what all adventurers do. While on this journey, if we discover fields of blackberries or rich hunting grounds we will send you a message with their locations. Or when we defeat a nefarious foe and find his food stores packed with illgotten gains... instead of that food rotting we can put it to good use by letting you know where it is. Or when we find some stash of gold far to large to carry or a diamond mine that we don't have time to utilize, We will gladly send word."
Melven's smile is huge now as he absentmindedly fingers his jingling buckles "In exchange for these messages and locations, If it pleases your highness, your brood here could easily protect OUR, far to heavy to carry around, interests for a nominal fee. We would be compensated for any perishable items that we provide at a decent rate, minus a transportation fees of course. This way, all you have to do is come collect the things we cannot use and watch over our money. We would understand the transportation and storage fees of 10% or so. You get extra food and gold that you need. While we get someone who can purchase and transport everything that we find AND a safe place to store our hopefully soon to be vast fortunes. Everyone benefits."
"There is one small problem, that if you can fix, we could agree to this deal and be on our ways. How to we get a message to you with our location fast enough for you to send your brood to come pick up the items before someone else gets to them first? Maybe a few dozen pigeons and a magical way to seal the rooms from trespassers. Or a spell that could communicate over vast distances. I'm sure your greatness would have some idea." The gnomes perks up for a second and his blue eyes flash as he adds "And if you happen to know the locations of any treasure troves that may need to be made safer before the transportation of goods could commence. I am sure we would be happy with a nominal 20% finder's fee with a minor variable danger percentage added, plus any expenses that happen to arrise of course."
He flops back down onto his chair and waits for the dragon's response.
*Well what a useful fellow* torigad thought to himself. Although the spoken word was hardly Torigads fórté he appreciated the gnome for being such a diplomat and could see him getting everyone out of as many sticky situations as Torigad can with his axe and various weapons.
Although there was certainly something dodgy about the Gnome he was quick-witted and these sort of people Torigad had little trust for but for now Torigad was willing to be with him no doubt he would be used as a bodyguard to protect the Gnome from any 'bad guys' but he was sure he could defend himself but in a much different way to himself.
Torigad scratched at his half shaved face still bored and his bloodlust had all but gone now all he wanted was to go home back to the inn and shave his bloody beard off he might be half dwarf-half dragon but he didnt like half beards.
“Soon” T’puuli will answer Torigad’s whispered question.
After Melven’s quick Negotiations, she is glad she left the talking to him.
Thanking the child that brought her the bag of Silver T’puuli will tie the sack onto her belt. Curious as to how they can communicate back to the dragon when something was found. To be working for the dragon to secure a food supply that did not depend on the town and to keep the town from being wiped off of the map seemed to be the best option.
The blue dragon chuckles to himself in a deep gurgle, a sound that sounds more like a mountain clearing its throat, but the twisted muzzle-grin of the wyrm was unmistakable.
["Ah, good Glodanstiven... isn't that a derivation of Glodanstiphenxus Hellshtromphintinus? ... your quick tongue, something that would have the ire of the royal guard in my youth, is actually quite refreshing. My brood do not understand subtle wit. How am I to ever know exactly how much twenty percent would be? Would that be twenty percent of what you tell me you find? I find that quotient fair, although I have my doubts that I will be able to account for my fair share if you do not keep ledgers that are verified by a third party? Such is the life of "adventurer." I will gladly accept what you bring me as twenty percent, provided that you do not raise my suspicions that you are trying to cheat me... but of course the brood children of Glodanstiphenxus are an honorable lot, and if you are indeed heir to that namesake, then I have nothing to fear."]
The dragon rises and half climbs, half slithers over the broken and jagged spikes of rubble and flooring and debris, and his voice echoes through the chamber as he rummages around out of sight.
["As to communication... I have... a spell here... er... somewhere... something that maybe one of you..."]
His head pops up above a tipped corner of marble flooring.
["One or more of you is gifted in the arcane arts? I smell the spice of mortal magic upon you."]
He holds a fat scrollcase over his head and gestures with it as if its importance were paramount.
Posted on 2008-07-30 at 02:14:05.
Edited on 2008-07-30 at 02:15:36 by Shaithis
Melven's eyes are wide with facination and awe at the upwardly thrusted case. When the dragon asks about the magic users present the gnome raises a small jingling gnomish hand. "I would be at least one with some magical abilities, I suppose.... your dragonic immensitude. I am sure whatever you have in mind will be more than amazingly perfect for the task at hand." Melven shuffles his feet for a second and then looks sheepishly at the ground as he says "As for that 20 percent, I'm sure your eminencitude has realized that he could just wait until he has enough collateral of ours before telling us of a specific treasure trove."
His hands begin to gesticulate a bit more as he almost acts out what he is describing "Now, say your monarchicalness were to tell us somewhere to find ten thousand gold worth of treasure. Thats umm... " he begins mumbling as his feet scratch into some loose dirt for a moment before continuing. "Thats almost a thousand pounds of pure gold. Not even considering if it is in silver or copper or if it is actually Things! We could never move all that. Even if we took all we could carry then messaged you ... we would still only be taking a fraction and your majestic excellence would get his decently fair percentage. If I took all I could carry from a haul like that I would only be able to take a few hundred gold... far less than the two thousand that would be mine. So if you do not trust us, your stately sovereignitude, the only truly sensible thing would be to send us after a treasure large enough that we cannot haul more than our percentage away, yet small enough so that we wouldn't want to risk our lives and this relationship over. If I were to be so bold as to suggest something in the realm of twenty thousand gold. But I am sure someone with your obviously basilic lineage would have already thought of all this." Melven performs a slight bow and is ready for the message spell so that he can get out of here. His brow has been getting more and more furrowed with the effort of new praising titles for the large hulking gnome eating machine now holding a scroll case on the other side of the room.
During melvens pitiful display of grovelling and losing all of his self worth. Torigad lost alot of respect for him largely because of his loss of dignity he was annoying Torigad very much. Although the huge dragon was somewhat awesome in proportion and dimension, and at first Torigad was blown away as he was so surprised he came looking to fight some measly kobolds, and now he stood before a dragon with a small gnome bargaining for huge wealth that Torigad couldn't even comprehend in his simple working, practical mind. Twenty thousand gold was a huge sum of money, Torigad had never even had that money over the span of his whole life let alone in one adventure.
There was one big question echoing in Torigads mind, the dragon is big we are small why would he need us to do jobs for him and we give a nearly undefeatable creature the money we earnt what would stop him from taking all the money after all dragons aren't known for their genorosity. This bought another question to talk for himself or slyly nudge Melven the undignified gnome.
Torigad thought for a minute pondering his thoughts he didn't fancy being rosted by this awesome creature so thought Melven could put his ideas into a .... more appropriate form of communication after all Torigad wasn't known for great charasmatic traits. After the gnome had stopped talking Torigad dropped a coin onto the hard grey floor and as he came up he whispered to Melven "we need to discuss this you are making all the decisions."
All torigad could do now was to hope the gnome would heed his advice and get us to talk between ourselves in an appropriate manner.
Slowly moving over to the sweating gnome and bending down a bit, T’puuli will whisper into the gnome’s ear very, very quietly and in a low voice “Hey Melven, the flattery is getting a bit thick. I think we should talk a bit with the whole group before things get finalized and to keep the things on a friendly note with both sides”
With that said she will straighten up and move back to her previous position just as slowly