A figure walked down the muddy streets, heavily clad in a thick, grey cloak in the heavy rain that was habitual to Greyhawk in the month of Planting. It was not uncommon to have freak rainstorms that turned all but the roads in the high quarter to a slop that was difficult for anyone to walk through. But this figure walked on, marching forward, determination showing in his strides. The figure trudged on, alone in the streets, as nobody dared venture outside.
Coming to a ragged, weak looking building, the lone figure stopped, looking left, and right, making sure there was nobody else. Upon confirming his solitude, he approached the door, and rapped on it with his knuckles: once, thrice, twice, once. After that, he waited. An arc of lightning flashed across the sky, and booming thunder seemed to shake the building. A small slit opened up, then closed, and then the door was opened from within.
"Ah. Ricard. So pleased you could join us. An hour late." A biting tone was uttered at the figure.
"Oh shut up Tirra. There were some unruly folk at the bar, I had to make them leave."
"Both of you! Hurry up! This is important!"
Ricard shed his heavy, soaked cloak, and followed the lithe elf down a set of stairs. Thunder shook the shack again, but the two paid it no heed. They walked down into a small, well lit council room.
Around the table were eight people, and Ricard and Tirra took their places around the round circular table.
"So what's so important, Vayne, that you call a council meeting in this freak storm?" Ricard said, a bit irritated.
"More than I wish to be happening." Said a solid man across the table. "Word on the street says that there's an invasion coming. And it's going to be big. Word says Volke wants his creeps living in here, and he's not being peaceful about it. He's making preparations for a full scale war. He isn't afraid either, so he's not making an attempt to hide his efforts from us. He'll be here in three months."
"So a war? That's it? We have the best defense in our world. We're the largest city in our world. We, the ten of us, are the ten most skilled individuals in what we do. Why in the name of the bloody Abyss did you bring us here to let us know of a war that's months away?" Tirra sounded like a cat being held in water as some milk was just out of her reach.
"That's the problem Tirra." Vayne replied bitterly. "I know what you say is true. Volke knows what you say is true. So my question is, why in the Abyss is he being so open about his preparations? It doesn't make sense."
This brought about a quiet air around the table. Everyone seemed to take this into consideration, and let their minds wander about why someone trying to conquer the city wouldn't try an ambush.
A small voice spoke from the side of the table. "Maybe he just wants us to think he's stronger than he is. Going against Greyhawk is ludicrous, and he knows it. Maybe he's just trying to seem confident so that we think he has a secret weapon... When he really just wants us to be worried. We should lay it to rest. Perhaps again in a month or two we could meet again. See how things are progressing."
Again, this was met with a quiet consideration, as everyone around the table mulled over this possibility.
"Very well. What Shensing says is accurate. We must not fret over possibility without confirmation. We shall send our spies to Volke's base of operations, and have them scout. Shensing, I leave you in charge of this. Everyone be sure to leave one at a time, to avoid suspicion. You first Shensing." Said the burly voice of Vayne.
Leaving everyone murmuring behind, Shensing bowed, and rose, grabbing his cloak, and stepping out into the street. The rain still poured, but Shensing didn't notice. He was too busy smiling. He had done his job.
(OoC: Just a little tidbit to tide you over. Players, the start of this game is to be September first, one week from today. See you all then.)
It happened about a fortnight ago, in quite an ominous way. No matter how you tried to stay anonymous, somehow they found you. And when they found you, they just stared, holding out a letter, much to calm than they should be for messing with someone such as yourself. But something about that calm intrigued you enough to wonder who sent them, which made you wonder who sent them, which made you curious enough to take the letter which had been held before you. As you took it, the figure who had held you the letter seemed to just shut down, falling to the ground. But that wasn't any of your concern, as you unfolded the letter you now held in your hands.
The mourning sun rises in the east, but this time you shall see the red sun and stars wither, kome night time.
That was all the note said. Which to any normal person would sound like a fool who didn't know how to spell, or use a pen trying to write. But you know that there's a code in here. The play on words of morning and mourning, meaning death. The sun rising, meaning a new start. Sun and stars withering, important icons in life dying. Come night time, in the shadows. Your favourite. But the one, most important clue was how the words were inked. Tearing the paper up, you had the image burned into your head.
While on your way to Greyhawk, you passed a few fellows who spoke exactly what the note said, only to have them point you in a new direction. Sometimes you would travel closer to Greyhawk. Sometimes, further away. But soon you arrived, eager to see who could have laid such an elaborate scheme in motion.
And then, you know. Arriving at a camp where nothing you can see for miles is his flag, you know that it is none other than Volke, ambassador of the Abyss that has summoned you. An honour indeed.
Met at the entrance to the camp by several stern glances, a few grasps for weapons, and mutters of distrust, though they soon subsided as someting else met you. A small kobold, his skin fading shades of black, nodded at you. "This was please. Master Volke does not appreciate waiting."
Being taken through the camp, the Kobold brings you to a large tent, rather off centre of the camp, but nonetheless accessible. Upon being ushered inside, you see that the tent is filled with parchments, maps, troop reports, scrolls, and various other things that are incomprehensible. Looking over them is a lithe Elf, short brown hair, a black mask hiding the majority of his face, letting only his vibrant green eyes show through. He looks up at the group assembled before him. He addresses the Kobold, "Shensing, you said there were four. I don't like being kept waiting."
"Yes, my lord, of course. The fourth is simply... late. I shall go out and wait for him again, to see if he is here." With that, the kobold takes off, skittering out the tent.
The elf resumes his pouring over the various pieces of paper, and then resumes speaking. "The three of you are chosen by me because I need you for this mission. I shall wait momentarily for the last promised hired knife is here, and then I shall brief you. Why don't you, I don't know, learn about each other quickly? After all, this will be your family for the next little while. And I'm going to need you to work as a team. And I shouldn't have to tell you what would happen to you should you not work as such. Now be quick about it. And be quiet. This needs to be perfect."
The sudden silence, and the finality of his tone makes it a bit difficult to urge up the will to speak, as silence fills the room, both from the curt, dominating tone of Volke, and as each person in the room weighed themselves up to the others, gauging capabilities.
It had been almost a year since Jinnie had left her hometown. Her last job there had been a set-up meant to take out her partner... her mentor. The bastards had succeeded, and Jinnie, feeling as though none of their safehouses were safe anymore, fled into the night.
The last eleven months had been full enough. Jinnie had taken on a new persona – an half-elven woman named Miriel with some skill with the blade – and hired herself out as a mercenary for a couple of months, gaining Miriel some contacts and some cred. Soon, she was back at it, working the shadows. She had just finished an information gathering, “kill-and-switch” stint when the man with letter had come to her.
That was about a fortnight ago.
And now, here she was, standing in the presence of Volke, gathering around with others like herself. She looked into the faces of the other two men currently present, trying to read all she could without giving away anything. In her mind, she was laughing at the awkward silence their host had caused. What shall we say? “Hi, my name is Jinnie and I like to kill people.”?!?
Jinnie was still using her “Miriel” persona. As such, she was dressed with black leather knee-high boots, tight brown leather breeches, a dark red chemise over her mithral shirt over a white undershirt, and a velvety soft red-brown hooded cloak trimmed with fox fur. At her side she carried a rapier and slung over her shoulder was her travelling pack. She stood roughly five and a half feet tall, slender and graceful. Her blue eyes were lively, peeking out from behind wisps of silvery-blond bangs, with the rest of her hair kept up in a loose bun. Though not exceptional beautiful, most would consider her “easy on the eyes.”
“People call me Miriel,” Jinnie began. “Information gathering and infiltration are what I do best.”
Greyhawk, mused the silver-haired half-elf as his violet eyes panned slowly around the interior of Volke’s tent, studying and appraising the Master of the Abyss, himself, as well as the two others who had also responded to his summons, always work in Greyhawk… a pity I don’t travel this way more often, I suppose…
He didn’t really lament his distance from the city these past years, though… the jobs and pay had been plentiful in his more recent wanderings – always a hunt and always those willing to pay for the hunter in Iuz; always the pain of politicking to be played out and turned on a broadhead’s edge to be enjoyed in the eastern kingdoms – and the scenery that he had enjoyed in those travels, too, had been as varied and appealing as any of the contracts he had taken. In fact, it had been those times between jobs that the archer had enjoyed most… The solitude of long journeys with the silent companionship of no one but his horse and ever faithful Dog… the ease of a hunt that didn’t involve man or elf or money… the nights and days under the roof of the world with no signs of civilization to mar its beauty. Yes, any modicum of true peace to be found was found there, not in the cities and towns of elves and men.
But it’s not peace that keeps you on the hunt is it?
“People call me Miriel,” the rather lovely half-elf standing near by offered up in the wake of Master Volke’s suggestion that the three of them get acquainted, “Information gathering and infiltration are what I do best.”
His violet eyes danced over the woman, came close to devouring her from head to toe, before he offered the faintest hint of a smile and a nod. “I am known as Whisper,” he offered in a voice nearly as soft as his moniker implied, “I am an archer… and a hunter…”
Altair let his gaze wander around the tent that Volke, had summoned them to after he left. It seemed disorganised, Altiar mused as he gave a quick glance at the tables, but then again, prehaps that was best way to keep what was important hidden.
Altair shook that thought from his mind as he turned to look at what would be of far greater import for the coming missions: His ally's. Two half elfs, and a third unknown companion soon to be here. The women might have a comely apperance, but if she was good enough to get here, she was obviously skilled and not to be underestimated. Ditto for the other's no doubt. Greyhawk should be an intreasting new challenge, but I've never seen any big city I didn't like, Altair thought, still I can't get distracted sight seeing here, or trust my new companions to quickly, either would break key guild lessons, and end with him dead.
"People call me Miriel" the women said after Volke left, telling them to get to know each other, "Information gathering and infiltration are what I do best."
The half-elf with violet eyes that searched over her said "I am known as Whisper" he said in a soft voice, "I am an archer... and a hunter."
Gazing at both Whisper and Miriel, I say "I am a hunter too, and a swordsman as well."
Posted on 2010-09-09 at 05:46:28.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 68/3 982 Posts
The sun had already set when Danamar made his way back to their… his… home after another nice, quiet day. He'd finished the carafe of Limelight red he'd been sipping all day at the Golden Oak and taken the long route back home. Even if Greyhawk wasn't exactly a city where a lone person should be walking through the streets and alleys at night, the elf never felt threatened as he made his way across even the shadiest parts of the city. Maybe it was the air of confidence and danger that lingered around him or perhaps the people in the "borrowing" business were in the know. Perhaps his reputation had spread amongst the lowest of beings as well. Certainly there'd been more than a few who had wanted to gain some name by trying to cut down the "Dark elf" as some called him.
The slim dark figure moved up the stairs without a sound. It wasn't something he really gave thought to anymore after decades of hiding and sneaking, but it came from somewhere deep in his backbone instead. Just as he was stepping on the platform in front of the door of his second floor apartment, something made him hold back his foot. Something, be it the sixth sense or experience, made the hairs on back of his neck stand up. Something was not as it should be. Standing on one foot, Danamar crouched down, turned his head slightly, opened his mouth and listened. In a couple of heartbeats the sounds of the city disappeared to the background and he could hear someone moving inside the apartment with heavy steps. Either this killer was a novice or very, very confident about his fighting skills.
Whomever it was that had entered his apartment had done so without forcing his door and was not really trying to remain unnoticed. The door was slightly ajar and Danamar could see as well as hear the person inside lighting his oil lamp. Since the opponent was not trying to hide, there was no need for him to do so either. The elf slowly lowered his boot on the board he knew would squeak intentionally making his presence known to the other person. There was immediate response from inside as fairly loud and determined steps came to the door and a deep voice called from inside: "Friendly."
The nondescript man standing in the doorway said nothing more and merely offered Danamar a sealed letter. There was nothing on the man's face that revealed how he felt about the elf. He appeared to be carrying no weapons and was in no way threatening. And after he'd given the letter, the messenger politely stood aside to let Danamar enter and left without looking back or saying another word. A dozen of possibilities swirled around the elf's mind as watched the man disappear around the corner. The letter could be from an enemy - another attempt on his life. There might be poison on the envelope or the sheet of paper inside or there could some lethal insect hidden inside. There were numerous ways to kill a person with a weapon as innocent looking as a letter. Was it something about his daughter, Kayaen?
But something about the messenger made Danamar feel as safe as he ever did. That could of course be the intention of a killer to get him off guard. But in his line of business "gaining rank" was something one did on personal level. There needed to be proof that one had killed a master assassin in order to get the needed reputation. He for one had never cared for such crap. After all, the way he'd gotten involved in the killing business was somewhat different from the usual as was the way he'd left. For people like him, resignation was often not an available option.
It had taken Danamar a long time to decide on what to do about the summons. He'd caught the code right away, but hadn't felt the any excitement a promise of an adventure might cause on others. He'd actually burned the letter already, but somehow it had been returning to his thoughts more and more on every day that passed from when he had received it. Maybe there was magic involved, maybe not. That was difficult to say. But when he finally made the decision to leave, there was no doubt in his mind anymore. As always he packed his backpack and left the city behind without a delay, for he did not wish linger on things that might make him reconsider the wisdom of the choice he'd made.
Volke. Now that's something new. was all Danamar Amarillis thought as he laid his eyes upon the banner of the ambassador of Abyss. No thoughts on why such a person would call him crossed the elf's mind for it didn't really matter. Second guessing things was no good. He'd find out soon enough. The guards at the edge of camp had obviously been advised of his coming for they offered no resistance and let him pass without a word. There was an anxious kobold waiting for him right behind the outer ring. It was obvious that the creature was afraid, though not of him but rather his master. Toadies like him were constantly worrying for their lives and in this particular case, Danamar didn't blame him. Volke was not exactly known for his kindness…
He was late. That much was obvious as Danamar stepped through the tent's entrance. There were four people (in addition to the kobold) obviously waiting for him. It was easy to see from the setup who was who. Volke, the only full-bloodied elf in addition to himself, was standing by a table with his back towards the entrance and a some ten yards from him, standing in a line of sorts where three others like Danamar, if not by looks then by profession - killers, hunters, assassins. Without turning to face the late comer, their would be employer spoke with an even, cold voice. "You are late, Danamar Amarillis."
The kobold ushered Danamar to join the others and told him quietly to introduce himself and get to know the others. The elf ignored the little creature for a short while before taking a few soft steps across the tent's floor to meet his new companions. He eyed the two half-elves and the human as he moved, considering their looks and pondering about their skills. He almost laughed aloud at the irony as he saw the silvery hair of the male half-breed. It wasn't too long ago that he had himself killed another half-elven assassin who'd shared the outlook with this one. He could only hope this one wasn't as bad as Zilvreen had been.
"Raven." was all he said as he looked the others in the eye. There was no need to explain his profession to this lot, they all knew what he was. Raven was wearing an outfit of full black: soft leather pants, vest, boots, overcoat, a shirt of silk and a cloak of cotton. There were black leather bracers embroidered with gold on his forearms and a grey silk scarf around his neck. Six handles of throwing knives were visible from sheets woven into the front of his leather vest and two long daggers were hanging from his belt at his waist. The long jet-black hair was tied on a single ponytail and his bright green eyes seemed to catch everything.
As Raven entered the tent, eyes met him looking down on tardiness. And as the others went about commenting on their professions and introducing themselves, Volke kept looking at the scrolls he had laid out in front of him. When there had been silence of enough length to become uncomfortable, Volke began to address the question which seemed to be floating around the room.
"The four of you have been assembled because of your various talents, and that I need the best. So here's what you need to know about this mission."
Volke produces a small scroll, unfurls it, and holds it in front of you.
"On this list are nine names. These nine people are the most powerful and influential people in the city of Greyhawk. Between the nine of them, they control the defenses of the city, which has often been called impenetrable. I want this city, and so, logic states I'm going to have to get rid of their defenses. If I don't, I will fail. And we all know, I don't want to fail. So your job is to go in and kill all nine of these individuals.
The catch is, you have to be invisible. You have to hide yourselves from any onlookers. And the only acceptable result is success."
Volke looks up at you, a fire in his eye that glints dangerously as you look into them. "Shensing can get you in. Once you are in, you're on your own. But of course, you should be able to handle yourselves. I wouldn't have hired you if you couldn't. Questions?"
Jinnie reviewed the list of names found on the scroll. Quite the ensemble, she thought though her face remained placid.
She looked briefly around at her new "family" as they also examined their list of marks, see if they gave away any of their thoughts or feelings.
When all had seen the list and none of the men spoke up, Jinnie turned to Volke. "I have a few questions. How and where in the city is Shensing inserting us? How much time do we have to complete the list? What proof will satisfy you that we've made the kills?"
She paused for a moment before adding with a smile, "And, of course, you haven't said how and how much you will be compensating us for completing this project."
Volke doesn't look at Jinny as she speaks, instead reaching for some old papers that he looks at calmly while responding.
"Shensing will be inserting you into the River quarter, where it can be assumed you would have just come off of a ship. As for time, you have a very strict..."
Volke looks over at an hourglass that is on a table in the corner of the tent. "One month, twenty days, and 12 hours. This will put you in the month of Wealsun, on the eve of Richfest. At this point, you would be wise to evacuate the city, as our assault shall begin with a pre-emptive bombardment, then an infantry attack. You need no proof, as the success of the invasion will be sign enough you succeeded in your task."
At the question of pay, Volke chuckles. "You are a true assassin... Always about the payment. Your payment will begin now, with these." Volke reaches in to his pocket and tosses out four bags. "In each one is a clear spindle ioun stone. They will support you without food or drink. This will save you from too much interaction with the locals. Also in there is a special ring designed by myself, created by my mages. It will allow you to communicate with each other through form of an avatar. I also have one." Volke holds his left hand up, showing an elaborate golden ring, with a tiger's eye set in it.
"Of course, yours are less ornate, to avoid notice. I may contact you from time to time to check in, though I would not advise contacting me unless is it of dire importance. And I mean dire importance." He utters with a sharp tone.
"And of course, upon completion of the invasion, should you wish to receive the other portion of your payment, I advise you come back to the city and see me as king, at which point you will each receive gold, slaves, property, and two major magical items of your choosing. As well as anything you find during your mission. Satisfactory?"
When the list of targets was presented for their perusal, Whisper said nothing; he simply raised an eyebrow and, after a cursory review, let his violet eyes return to Volke for an instant… Quite the ambitious operation, then, he mused to himself, all high-profile, high-value targets… the king of the realm amongst them, no less… The half-elf’s gaze flitted between his new ‘partners’, then; his mind assessing and sorting details of both the group’s members, the particulars of the contracts, and how best they might be fulfilled. There would be need for some serious coordination and planning amongst the group, of course, and, with luck, all among them would be professional enough to set aside their intrinsic solitary natures to accomplish the tasks at hand… The various skills and capabilities to be found in this group would work to their mutual advantage if they could, perhaps, find the most synergetic formulas, there, and apply them properly…
“I have a few questions,” Miriel said just as Whisper’s gaze fell on her, “How and where in the city is Shensing inserting us? How much time do we have to complete the list? What proof will satisfy you that we've made the kills?” She paused for a moment before adding with a smile, "And, of course, you haven't said how and how much you will be compensating us for completing this project."
Whisper couldn’t help but let a faint smile play on his lips, now… All questions that require answers before the job is truly considered, let alone undertaken… and his eyes let her go, returning to Volke as he awaited the answers.
“Shensing will be inserting you into the River quarter,” the masked elf answered without so much as looking at any of them, “where it can be assumed you would have just come off of a ship…”
Simple enough, the bowman thought, Perhaps a little too simple and straight forward but workable…
“As for time, you have a very strict...” Volke looks over at an hourglass that is on a table in the corner of the tent, “One month, twenty days, and 12 hours. This will put you in the month of Wealsun, on the eve of Richfest…”
Whisper’s brow spiked again and a faint scowl started to form on his lips at this… That’s all? With targets such as these? Less than two months? There’s a King on this list, by Vara’s red eyes! It could take that amount of time to properly execute that one hit!… but he said nothing aloud. A bit of the respect that he’d had for this Volke, though, had just slipped away – not that he mourned the loss of it, most of what he had to begin with was based on reputation and word of mouth as opposed to any actual knowledge or familiarity with the elf – and Whisper let his eyes slide away from Volke to gauge the reactions of the others to this very short time-frame as the “Master” continued.
His violet gaze only returned to Volke when the elf tossed the bags containing what the elf apparently considered a suitable advance. Whisper caught the one tossed in his direction, secreted it away in a belt pouch, and let his scowl deepen a bit more as the “Master” explained what was contained within… An ioun stone to stave of thirst and hunger in a city where there will be plenty of both and a ring that allows you to interrupt whenever the whim may take you? Useless… It was at this moment that Whisper started to think he had made a mistake in answering Volke’s summons and considered returning the “advance” to the elf before turning and leaving the tent and returning to his wanderings. In fact, he took a step back towards the tent-flap just in case the consideration became more than that, but he waited to hear what else the masked elf might say before acting on that impulse.
“…of course,” Volke said, “upon completion of the invasion, should you wish to receive the other portion of your payment, I advise you come back to the city and see me as king…”
If ever king you become, Whisper mused silently.
“…at which point you will each receive gold, slaves, property, and two major magical items of your choosing. As well as anything you find during your mission. Satisfactory?”
Slaves and property… more things for which I have no want or need. Gold, though, and items of a magical nature… perhaps…
“We shall see, I suppose,” Whisper answered softly as he turned and made to leave the tent with little more acknowledgement to Volke than he had given any of them while they were in his presence. With nothing else to say and not so much as a look back, the half-elven sniper left the “Master’s” tent and, still deliberating whether or not he’d truly accept this job, stalked across the camp to where his horse was hitched and waited… I’ll hear what the others might say before I make my own decision, he decided.
Posted on 2010-09-17 at 18:07:57.
Edited on 2010-09-17 at 18:21:09 by Eol Fefalas
Altiar listened intently as Volke spoke on the details of there mission, with his thoughts on the list of targets. A king!! Altiar thought to himself while keeping his face calm. Plus 8 other high up individuals. Alone, this mission would be impossible, together, maybe… At least there are no limits on how we’re supposed to kill them, but we can’t be sloppy about hiding it or the targets will figure out the connection and raise their defenses to much.
At the question of pay from Jinny, Volke chuckles. "You are a true assassin... Always about the payment. Your payment will begin now, with these." Volke reaches in to his pocket and tosses out four bags. "In each one is a clear spindle ioun stone. They will support you without food or drink. This will save you from too much interaction with the locals. Also in there is a special ring designed by myself, created by my mages. It will allow you to communicate with each other through form of an avatar. I also have one." Volke holds his left hand up, showing an elaborate golden ring, with a tiger's eye set in it.
At this Altiar looks at the ioun stone and the ring, now in his hand. The ioun stone will save us some time that would be wasted otherwise with eating and drinking, but not enough to make the time limit considerably different. The ring though, instant communication across the city could come in quite handy.
Altiars thoughts turn away from the items when the talk turns toward payment. "And of course, upon completion of the invasion, should you wish to receive the other portion of your payment, I advise you come back to the city and see me as king, at which point you will each receive gold, slaves, property, and two major magical items of your choosing. As well as anything you find during your mission. Satisfactory?" Volke finishes.
Altiar thinks on the rewards, versus the risks. While the slaves and property are of little concern to him the magic items and the gold are greatly desirable. After a few moments of deliberation Altiar says “I’m in.”
Posted on 2010-09-20 at 00:24:19.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 68/3 982 Posts
The list of names Volke provided was quite a surprise to Danamar. He knew it shouldn't have been, but there were names on it he wouldn't have thought there to be. Some said nothing to the elven assassin, but others… A couple of names stood out immediately, the foremost of them being the ruler of the realm - king Leonard. But even more than the king, two other names made Danamar feel a bit worried: Tirra Aracia and Riggby. Damned. This will be even more difficult than I assumed. How the hell does he expect us to carry out the mission in such a short time?
Not a single muscle moved on the elf's face as he stood back from the scroll and waited to see what kind of reactions his would-be companions showed. The woman was the first to respond: "I have a few questions. How and where in the city is Shensing inserting us? How much time do we have to complete the list? What proof will satisfy you that we've made the kills?" She paused for a moment before adding with a smile, "And, of course, you haven't said how and how much you will be compensating us for completing this project." Valid questions all Danamar thought and waited for Volke's reply.
It wasn't quite what he'd expected, although being honest to himself, Danamar hadn't really expected much anything. River-quarter was fine. Actually it made of lot of sense. But the reward-part he didn't agree on right away. Sure, the Ioun stone as well as the neat little communication device came in handy, but it certainly wasn't something he would expect as pay for a mission such as this one. Hell, he preferred eating and drinking over some magical means of providing nourishment. The elf wasn't too keen on slaves for that matter, but the promise of gold, magical items and some property (presumably inside the City of Greyhawk) sounded a lot better. Although owning an apartment or a house in a city ruled by someone like Volke wasn't exactly the black-haired elf's dream.
It appeared that Raven wasn't the only one not quite satisfied by the payment. Whisper left the tent with a few soft words: "We shall see, I suppose." Danamar nodded silently at the words and waited for the human to say something about the offer, if that's what it was. He wasn't exactly sure they had a say in the matter. Being surrounded by thousands of Volke's troops getting out alive might prove to be quite impossible should the other elf decide to stop them.
Altiar was the first to say something in the way of accepting the mission and Danamar couldn't blame him. There was a lot of gold in the city of Greyhawk and he was sure there were more than a few of nice enchanted items as well. Surviving the assignment wasn't too certain of course, but when was it ever. As to whether Volke would keep his end of the bargain, there would be no way of knowing. Although those who hired capable assassins tended to understand the dangers of not paying up…
After a moment's silence, Danamar raised his cold gaze from the floor and looked at Volke. His voice was like a song, smoothly flowing from his lips. But there was no more happiness to the song than there was sadness. It was a cold tune without much emotion; strangely beautiful in its lethal promise. "The mission has little chance of success, though I am not saying it cannot be done. The targets are powerful people with means of protecting or defending themselves against any kind of attack. Challenging, nigh impossible even, but not quite…" There was a pause in the elven killer's words, but as he continued his voice was even more deadly than it was before. "What might happen in the probable situation of us not being able to complete the assignment? Is this an all or nothing mission? Will there be a reward on each of the targets' heads or rather one large final one when they all have been eliminated? In the latter case, I would have to say this… advance pay would seem… inadequate. If we will be paid per head, then I will accept the offer."
Posted on 2010-09-20 at 14:37:36.
Edited on 2010-09-20 at 14:42:17 by Eol Fefalas
Volke's eyes turn to Raven as he brings up being paid by head or being paid for the whole job. His eyes glistening, his mask changes from that of a black to a white and black mix, splitting the mask in two down the middle with a thin line of silver. "Payment by head? Insufficient down payment? Raven, you drive a hard bargain. But such is the life of all assassins, is it not? Doing nothing unless they have all that they want?"
Volke began to chuckle, taking his eyes from Raven as he shook his head. When the chuckling died away, he turned his head back, the mask having returned to its black colour.
"Payment shall then be by head. The value of the payment will be based upon how skillful it was. If you leave a butchered body in town square, that will yield very little payment. As I'm sure you could imagine. They know I am going to be attacking them. They don't know their leaders are going to be gone before I do. If you alert any of them that their leaders are in danger, then the mission will become much more difficult for you. I leave you with that wisdom. Unless of course, you have more concerns that need addressing?"
Volke was looking down at a map as he addressed you, making markings on it as he spoke. "No more issues? That's what I like to hear. Now Shensing, get these ones on their way... I'm sure they'll want as much time as they can have to complete the mission. And, as always, time is of the essence."
The small kobold ushers you out of the tent, back in to the encampment, where the smell of sulfur and rotting eggs are getting to you. Grateful that Shensing does not take time to stop and talk to anyone, and instead leads you to a narrow path that leaves the camp and heads in to the country side. Greyhawk, being far off in the distance, is about a 3 days travel if you push hard you suspect. However, as you walk around some trees, you see something that you didn't expect, a large archway made of a swirling marble.
"This here is a portal that will take you close to Greyhawk. It's a one way portal, that way we don't have anyone coming in and sneaking around while we sleep. Once you go through, you're not coming back until you're done."
With those final words, he ushers you in, almost pushing you through the portal, at which point you feel a swirling sensation as your head seems to twist one way while your torso goes the other. Feeling pressed up against, your breath is pushed out of your lungs, and suddenly, your eyes are flooded with light, and you realize you are now under what appears to be a dock. The sound of the lapping water can be heard, as can the distant voices of sailors calling to ships and laughing amongst themselves, glad to be back on land. Emerging from the dock, you can see gigantic stone walls, easily twenty men tall, that open in one central location, where there seem to be guards standing by. This must be the city of Greyhawk, as Shensing had promised.
Looking around the shipyard, you can see there are many ships which appear to be abandoned, just anchored and tied to the dock while the staff enjoy the night in the town. There also seems to be a line of new entrants as they come in to the city, checking in with the guards, who seem to be writing information about each individual as they pass through. It would seem as though the mission has begun, and the first challenge being how one enters the free city of Greyhawk.
Looking at the guards, Altiar realizes that even getting into the city is going to present a problem. By no means insurmountable, but he hadn't thought that their entry to the city would be even slightly restricted. This slightly drops his confidence for a moment, but Altiar just shakes his head a little and reminds himself to focus.
Turning to the group Altiar says "I've thought about what we should do and I've come up with a few ideas. My first thought is that we need a place to stay, from what I know I can think of three places to lay low in. The first, The Prithan Estate is a place for sale, however its 4000 gold pieces, and we might not have enough gold to buy it. The second choice is The Green Dragon Inn, but that is even worse as one of our targets, Ricardo Damaris owns it, though looking for rooms there would provide a good reason to get close to him without him realizing were assassins. The last choice is the Dark Moon Monastery, not actually an inn, but the monks there are willing to rent the rooms out. I think it's the best place to have a base of operations."
Pausing for a moment to catch his breath Altiar then continues "For the actual assassinations I believe we should split into two groups of two, changing groups depending on our unique strengths. If need be we can all work together to take down a very strong target, but it'll be faster if we don't have to, at least until the king. We can talk more about the groups and the order of assassinations when we meet up in the monastery. For now let’s split up and find our way around the guards."
With that Altiar casts a spell, and then disappears from his companion’s sight. He then begins to sneakily move past the guards, watching out for anyone who looks like a magic user.
OOC (I cast Invisibility and will make a move silently (+14) check to avoid the guards notice, though technically I have to make a hide check (+11) too, I think it would be impossible for them to notice anything with my invisibility. If I do spot (+7) a mage then I'll try to hide from there view by being in between them and a normal person, If that’s impossible then I'll try to partially climb the wall to avoid being seen that way. Probably no ordinary guard area has such defences against invisibility, but hey it doesn't hurt to be careful, also I'll take ten on all skill checks here)