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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> The Black Hand - viewer discretion advised
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GM for this game: Deucalion
Players for this game: Jozan1, Vilyamar, Grugg, Tek, Hammer, Celediel, crowe
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    Messages in The Black Hand - viewer discretion advised
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Deucalion
RDI Fixture
Karma: 70/16
582 Posts


The Black Hand - viewer discretion advised

The Narwhal glides effortlessly through the water toward the distant city. The wind is favorable and the crew is very skilled; it will only be another hour or so until you reach the port, so you head below deck and finish stowing your gear while the gulls continue to caw overhead. The last thing you pack away is the note that lead to be on this merchant ship in the first place:

--Notice--
The gentle peoples of Nihzyn in the country of Silvarum seek the aid of a few good men to break the reign of terror in our fair town. We have suffered a string of abductions, our children are not safe in their homes, and we implore all those adventurous enough to travel to our city to come and put an end to these kidnappings; give our young and their mothers hope!
Seek Gaillard for further information and details of compensation.

*****

The plea had been sent out by a town called Nihzyn and a copy of their summons had been posted in seemingly every tavern. After talking to a few bartenders and a traveling bard, you've learned that Nihzyn was decently sized farming town and modest trading hub for the distant country Silvarum. Despite being mentioned by name in the note not many people knew what or where Silvarum was, not until that bard filled you in:

"The nation had been in a state of unrest of the Chancellor had instituted martial law some years ago. Not much made it into that country anymore, and it's even rarer that something makes it out.

"If I wanted to smuggle something out of that place, and I'm not saying that I want to, I'd head to Clearwater and try my luck crossing the mountains. If you're lucky there'll be a crazy merchant trying a run. Dobb Hesslewhite's a guy that ussta make that trip.... or that's what I've heard anyway... not saying I know any of this first hand."

*****

So you booked passage on the Narwhal to Clearwater, the northern-most free port. Over the week you've been aboard you've discovered that you're not the only passenger aboard bound for Nihzyn. There are others here who heard the call for help, or the saw the prospect for reward, or for whatever reason are journeying to the beleaguered town.

As Clearwater comes into view, the buildings along the docks are a hodgepodge of architectural styles. You can see the different stages of construction in most of the buildings, some times the lower levels are brick and mortar and switch to wooden construction at the top levels. Some buildings managed to be erected using all the same kind of material, but the design style switches drastically from floor to floor.

As the Narwhal glides into dock you notice that the people of this city seem to match the buildings, humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and half-breeds of every color and creed and wearing clothes as unique and colorful as the rest of the city all going about their business. The ship comes to rest, the gangplank is run out, and the unloading process begins. The Captain Tradamont bids you all farewell and offers the use of his ship if you ever need passage in the future, and then he's lost in the commotion of a trade ship reaching its destination. You and the other passengers bound for Nihzyn are now on the docks of the major trade city of Clearwater.


Posted on 2011-01-18 at 07:29:14.
Edited on 2011-01-18 at 22:09:10 by Deucalion

Tek
Jumpin' Jack Smash
Karma: 44/13
675 Posts


Introducing...

Clearwater...
Geppetto leaned on the deck guardrail, his forearms crossed. He'd almost gotten used to the saltiness of the air throughout the duration of the voyage, and, truth be told, he'd come to enjoy it. The brisk air gave him a feeling of adventure, distance from everything he'd come to know. This was the stuff that tales were made from.

Already, what he could see of the port city excited him. Such mismatched architecture, each floor and structure composed of some differing material from the last... With a grin beneath his orange and purple mask, he flapped his cloak over his arm and looked along the stitching, envisioning it almost a map. So many colours and shapes and sizes. He chuckled to himself. Each whipped needlework a street, and each patch a building in this wondrous city.

It would soon be time to disembark. His things were already gathered together, including the notification paper that had initially brought him aboard the Narwhal. Now, all he had to do was wait.

Flexing his mismatch-coloured hands, the performer could hear some of the crew members behind him. Throughout the voyage, his curious attire had drawn substantial attention, from his tri-coloured motley to the long-nosed mask that shrouded his face. Each day, he found some way to make himself useful, and though his knowledge of all things nautical amounted to the fact that boats floated, but keeping spirits up... That was Geppetto's real strength. Whether dazzling onlookers with a display of juggling, stirring people into song piped upon his flute, or using his mumming talents to tell stories, the strangely dressed man had kept the mood light and positive.

One more little trick couldn't hurt.
Hopping up onto the railing, Geppetto windmilled his arms, feigning a loss of balance before leaping backwards, turning a backflip with a half-rotational twist, and landed facing the crew, arms spread wide as he swept into a bow. Clapping followed as the half-elf lifted and shouldered his bag of toys, the royal blue satchel that neatly held his performing wonders. With a tip of his tricorne hat and a wide smile to the onlookers, he thanked them for their adoration during the voyage, assuring them that their names and faces would one day appeal in the tales of Geppetto the Magnificant.

As the Narwhal moored itself in the harbour, the harlequin approached the run gangplank, taking a step onto the panels and looking out a the hubbub that milled about the docks. People of all shapes and sizes, all working together. He'd never seen such a place!

His heart raced at the prospects here. It was a shame that he would have to move on from here so soon, along with the others he had met who possessed notes similar to his own. At least he would be in company.

Already, Geppetto noticed eyes on him from around the docks. It was inevitable. Decked in patterned green, orange, and purple, masked, hatted, hooded, cloaked. The man looked just like a marionette cut from its lines, albeit much larger. He'd have a tough time going unnoticed, which could be useful for trying to track down this Dobb Hesselwhite, or whatever the fellow's name was. Building himself a reputation could be good for the acquisition of information.

And, it would serve his search for grandeur quite nicely, as well.

Bidding a farewell to captain Tradamont, as well as the remainder of the crew, Geppetto took a few steps backwards, feigning losing his balance, and tumbled backwards onto the gangplank. Turning a neat roll, he pushed himself up onto his hands and stood tall. Clapping the soles of his feet together a few times to salute the sailors, he lifted one hand and swung his legs in a windmill, rounding himself to face the harbour and loping along a few paces before springing back up neatly onto his feet.

As always, a new city meant a new stage upon which to perform. The docks would be a suitable step onto the orchestra.


Posted on 2011-01-20 at 05:54:02.

crowe
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 17/4
196 Posts


I'm on a boat

Conversation comes easily to Jeremy. He wields words like artists wield paintbrushes. He has a way of letting you talk in such a way that you find yourself saying, "I've never really told anyone that before." He has a compassionate smile, and remembers the little things, and asks you about them later. His complements come easy, and he is generally well liked. But at the end of the day, what do you really know about Jeremy Darius? All those questions he asked you, he conveniently left out the answers about himself.
On the boat, he helps out where he can, the captain and crew all enjoy his company, and wish he were staying longer. He's made his introduction to all the passengers who are making the same stop as he is with promises to reunite at the other end.
His laugh comes easily at Geppetto's antics, and has other positive reactions to the other passengers.
When to boat reaches it's destination, he'll put his pack over his shoulder, and wave once to the crew, and disappear into the crowd.


Posted on 2011-01-23 at 07:56:49.

Jozan1
RDI Fixture +1
Karma: 65/14
1539 Posts


,

To Ardur-kel the world above ground was a vast and dangerous place, almost as dangerous as the ancient dwarven halls of old, which were forgotten with time and abandonment after the deep wars long ago. In those halls, only things of pure evil prowl and wait, planning and biding their time to fight on and continue the hell that they bring to the dwarven souls they neighbor.

On the surface, those evils that he could easily spot underground hide and disguise themselves all over, so Ardur-kel mostly kept to himself. But, after a week on the ship he slowly let up his guard and late on the last day, he drank freely with his new fround friends.

When he reached port, he gathered his things and quickly felt his paranoia grow steadily at looking at the skies and the city in front of him. Over the week, the deep hull of the ship reminded him of his home underground, the satisfying feeling of a solid layer above your head.
Gathering his gear and looking back over his shoulder, he headed into the city of clear water, hoping to help with the troubles that touched him greatly.


Posted on 2011-01-24 at 02:26:20.

Deucalion
RDI Fixture
Karma: 70/16
582 Posts


Clearwater

The port for the city of Clearwater is on the city's southeastern edge, where a small natural harbor and a shelf break close to shore made it possible for any sized ship to get safely to the docks. The smell of fish, both raw and cooking, is everywhere here, as local fishermen are constantly unloading their catch from mid-morning to sundown.

Criers and beggars make their way up and down each pier with a moored ship moping to make some money. "Need a place to stay tonight, sirs? The Crecent Sailor's got the best rooms this side o' the city. Tell 'em Jimmy sent you and they'll knock a two copper off the price."

"Please.... just one coin. I lost my hand and lost my trade."

"Not ready to go down for the night. Hit up the Dancer's Arms. Like I say, just mention good ol' Jimmy and they'll treat you right."


Two of the recently disembarked travelers head straight down the dock and into the city proper eager to get on about there business, or perhaps just to try to get away from the smell and hectic pace of the docks.

Once out of sight of the docks themselves, the smell of raw fish is overpowered by exotic spices and cooking meats of all kinds if you head west following the shoreline as it curves north. If you head straight into the city, the seafood stench is instead replaced by a more earthy smell as you head first through a small warehouse district used mostly for grain, flour, and alcohol, before reaching a mess of blacksmiths and leather workers. Potters, carpenters, and a decent smattering of taverns have all set up shop here as close to the port and its trade as they can get without the constant smell of fish.



Posted on 2011-01-27 at 04:05:35.
Edited on 2011-02-01 at 08:22:45 by Deucalion

Tek
Jumpin' Jack Smash
Karma: 44/13
675 Posts


Sorry its late!

Hawkers calling for attention reminded Geppetto of his early days, when he first began his apprenticeship as an entertainer. Running about and calling attention to his mentor, raising a rabble to stop in from their everyday activities to gander at their act. It seemed so long ago, though it hadn't been much more than ten years. Nodding and casting a smile to a nearby fish merchant, the multicoloured juggler spanned his arms and turned a whirl, casting a salute of his own fashion to the hard-working individuals.

The smell of raw fish and innards hung heavy on his senses, but he was able to shrug it off reasonably well as he made his way to the inner city. The wharf held its own interests, and somebody's words had reached him, telling of a place called The Dancer's Arms. The name alone made it sound like it was his kind of place, and he made a mental note of trying to find it later.

For now, Geppetto needed to find Dobb, though he wasn't sure quite where... This was where he might be able to count on his reputation to get some assistance. Dipping a hand into his bag of toys, he went for his coloured juggling balls. Retrieving the wooden spheres, he began to flick them into the air, one after another.

"Hey hey hey hey!" He called out to the crowded streets.

Green. Purple. Orange. Yellow. Blue. In no time at all, he had a blurry crescent of colours dancing before him while he slowed his gait to a showy strut. It wouldn't take long to draw a crowd, and then, maybe he could get some information.

"I can't help but wonder here, who among you has heard of Geppetto the Magnificent? Whether you have or have yet to, you're in for a show!"


Posted on 2011-02-05 at 05:39:04.
Edited on 2011-02-05 at 05:40:42 by Tek

crowe
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 17/4
196 Posts


Looking around

Jeremy made his way further inland. While he was unaccustomed to the smell of fish, it didn't bother him so much, but it wasn't his favorite smell either. As he walked he took in the sights of this new city and new land. He talked with local merchants and street peddlers.
He asked about local customs, and about fish. He smiled at children playing and lovers strolling. He made polite conversation with merchants, though he didn't buy anything. He would ask about this city, then move the conversation outward. Directing it to Nihzyn. Asking what the news was from other cities.
Finally he asked about Dobb Hesslewhite, and if they new him or of him. If they new where to find him, or what he was like. Throughout all of this Jeremy would smile politely and nod at strategic places, make active listening sounds, and ask questions that showed he had been paying attention. Then he would thank them, and wish them luck on an endeavor that had come up earlier in the conversation, and wish them a good day.


Posted on 2011-02-07 at 23:43:39.

Jozan1
RDI Fixture +1
Karma: 65/14
1539 Posts


,

Loose lips sinks ships, or in this case Ardur-kel hoped they would at least get him some information at least. Stepping down the gang-plank and onto the harbor side, he looked around and took a deep draw of air, almost coughing on the overpowering stench of fish. He quickly scanned the city streets in front of him and started towards the nearest tavern, where the loosest of all lips would be thanks to the magic drink that is alcohol.

He looked over his shoulder to the people around him, most particularly the folks who he had made small talk with near the end of his sea venture, and shouted out.

" I'm headin' to the tavern up that street, hopefully I'll be learnin' a thing or two 'bout what I need to do or find. If any of ye wanna' come 'long, feel free. You all were good drinkin' buds on the ship, now lets try it what not the ship rockin' ye back n' forth."

Ardur-kel slowly headed down the pier to the nearest tavern, where hopefully he could drink until his information could be found.


Posted on 2011-02-08 at 23:40:08.

Grugg
Mun is Fandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 356/190
6171 Posts


Oh god Im on metaphorical fire

Telnin had not enjoyed his journey to Clearwater, in fact he rarely enjoyed being on the sea at all. There was something that felt inherently unsafe about the whole situation. Surrounded on all sides by endless water, trapped within a large wooden coffin with no room to yourself. When he realised the necessity of sea travel, Telnin had very nearly cast the whole endevour aside, but his compulsion for helping those in need won out in the end. Mothers' should not be losing their children, and Telnin rationalised the travel arrangements as a simple sacrifice for the greater good. After all, he'd hardly accept such an excuse were position reversed.

The ship was well enough, though perhaps not designed for someone so attached to their equipment as Telnin. Telnin's training partners had jokingly quipped that the only way his Guissarme was leaving his sight would be if you blinded him, and they were probably right. It presented unique challenges when navigating doorways and drew a collection of odd looks, but no one tended to aggravate him when they caught sight of it. A good trade, Telnin thought.

Much as his armaments denoted his profession, some others on board had little problem displaying that they too, were of the transient sort. There was a dwarf he'd come across the ship hold more than once, far from home and showing it as well as a talkative fellow and a largely stoic woman who looked more likely to break his jaw than cook a meal. Weirdest of all was the harlequin, who for all his tricks and talents Telnin was having trouble identifying whether he was passing through himself or was paid to entertain the passengers and crew. He'd imagined he wouldn't be the only person who'd seen the notice for help, and he suspected he'd end up seeing at least one of these passengers again.

The arrival at Clearwater was unceremonious and welcome, and Telnin took no time abandoning the ship for the safety of dry land. The other notables from the ship disembarked soon after, and he paused for a moment to watch them as they went. Though the majority dispersed quickly, the clown took a moment to put on a colourful display of dexterity for the crowd of commoners. Telnin stayed only a moment to watch before heading further in land.

He had a contacts name, and that was it. So far he regretted a fair bit about this journey. Sea travel. Scarce information. A stubbed toe he'd recieved on the ship. Things were not yet looking up. He suspected that was soon to change however, in went in search of a smuggler to get him to his destination.




Posted on 2011-02-09 at 02:39:57.

Deucalion
RDI Fixture
Karma: 70/16
582 Posts


"Why do you wish to know?" "No reason.... just a casual chat."

And so the group fragmented as everyone left the boat and wandered into the city to look for information. Ardur-kel shouted out a message to the others about meeting up later and made his way down the street, disappearing into the crowd.

Geppetto, seemingly incited by a audience, began a juggling routine with brightly colored scarves. The dock workers paid the flamboyantly dressed man little heed, and those that were there to do their shopping didn't seem to know what to make of the man at first. Very slowly the performer drew a small audience, only a handful of people, but though a small number, it was constant. One pair of onlookers would peel away and resume their business and would shortly be replaced with new faces wanting to watch the act.

When the jester had a small surge of attendance, he took his chance to start gleaning information. Not many of the onlookers knew of a traveling merchant named Dobb. They few that did said that he was likely in town, but weren't sure exactly where he'd set up his wagon. "Haven' seen 'im fer some time now," said one of the fishmongers from nearby, having overheard Geppetto's questions. "So I 'spect he's 'ere somewheres. That 'ol gnome has got the most surreal timing. Jus' when you start wishing he was around to buy somethin' from, you'll turn aroun' and there he'll be, wheeling that ol' cart up next to ya. He'll set up o'er in the crafters quarter where the smell o' fish can' get a chance to, erm," and here the man's voice took on a higher, squeaky, quality as if he was trying to mimic the stereotyped gnomish voice, but he he was doing a poor job if that was his intent, "where it can't taint my fine silks and linen."

"Now them colors are pretty an all," the man continued in his normal voice, "but you're distractin' my customers. Mind headin' off?"



Jeremy slipped through the crowds and out of the docks area. He was very subtle in his probes for details on the city alternating between acting a tourist to Clearwater and taking the part of a local planning a trip to another city. Over the course of the afternoon, he learned that Clearwater was in the middle of a prosperous boom in trade and was probably going to have another growth spurt soon. Most of the locals seemed to love the way the architectural styles of the buildings clashed and almost seemed to feel like a stroll through some of the more upscale neighborhoods was akin to a trip through an art gallery.

He also discovered that Dobb Hesslewhite was indeed currently in town. According to those Jeremy talked to, Dobb was heading out soon on one of his more dangerous routes. "I don't know why that man insists on risking his neck. I'm sure he can make a living just running between the trade cities, but he's just got to gallivanting off into the wilderness to trade with the smaller, remote villages. What could you possibly get there that you couldn't get here?"

Lastly, Jeremy discovered the getting to Nihzyn might be a difficult proposition. "Well, not Nihzyn specifically, but the whole of Silvarum," said the guardsman Jeremy was currently talking to, "That place is closed up. Guess the King over there is having troubles or something, because the last I heard, he'd sent his army out to close the borders. I don't like it much myself. He didn't even send us notice that he was doing it! Only reason I know is because my cousin works on a trade ship, and he told me that the last time his captain tried to sail up there to trade at the port of Tersara, the Silvarum navy turned their ship around. My cousin said that if they hadn't turned back, the navy was threatening to sink the ship! Can you believe it? And I've heard rumors that they've done the same thing to merchants that've tried going over the mountains. Soldiers turn 'em back around."


Ardur-kel arrived at the Dancer's Arms in no time. There's a short barrier wall on the right just inside the door so that until a person gets a few steps into the establishment, all one can see is the bar straight ahead and a wall to the left. The place was lit by a series of candelabra on the walls and a chandelier over the bar that gave a dim, but even light to the entire room. The smell of exotic pipe weed assaults your nostrils a soon as you step through the door, and the sound of the busy street is replaced by a band playing somewhere on the other side of the barrier wall. There are at least two stringed instruments that can be picked out, drums, and some kind of wind instrument.

There's a big, burly man standing just before the end of the barrier wall. "Welcome to the Dancer's Arms dwarf." he says as Ardur-kel walks up to him. "Tonight's not your specialty. Come back on Tuesday if you're after that. If you're staying anyway, I need two silver or two drinks up front." In momentary pause while Ardur-kel formulates how to respond, the man continues, "I know your kind are always good for the drink minimum, but there was an issue with gnomes, and now the boss says I've got in enforce the rules on everyone. So what'll ya take?"

((Assuming you pay the cover or order the drinks))

Once past the bouncer the bar opens up out to the right. There are scatter tables in the center of the space, and a split level platform against the far wall, the taller of which is surrounded by bar-stools. The tall platform, maybe four and a half feet off the ground jutted out perpendicular to the wall and had a metal pole running from it to the ceiling. The other platform was maybe only two feet off the ground, but gave enough height the band playing on it was clearly visible.

Ardur-kel settled at a table, still glad to be back on the ground again after so many many days at sea. Feeling comfortable no with a drink in hand, he began asking questions of some of the patrons. Did they know of a merchant named Dobb Hesslewhite? Did anyone know where the town of Nihzyn was?

His questions weren't immediately answered because right about that time the band played a fanfare and then their music took on an almost haunting harmony with a slow, steady beat. There was a loud cheering from almost everyone in the tavern as an attractive woman wearing very revealing clothes emerged from a back room and walked the steps up onto the stage where she began dancing around, in front of, and on the pole.

The dwarf found that most of the men near the stage couldn't be bothered with questions at all, and that back near the bar, you could only keep a guy's attention between dance sets. So Ardur-kel turned to the barkeep for info. He found that the bartender was more than glad to have a conversation last longer than "Gimme another" and filled Ardur-kel in on local goings on, and Dobb Hesslewhite. Dobb is a gnome who started his career as a reckless adventure wandering from town to town looking for old crypts and abandoned mines to plunder for forgotten treasure. People got so used to Dobb's wanderings that they'd pay him to make small deliveries for them whenever he'd be leaving sooner than the next merchant caravan. One year he hit a bad run of already-plundered dungeons and realized most of his money was coming from the delivery trips anyway. "And after that," he says, "Dobb HassleWight became the merchant he is today."

The bartender informs Ardur-kel which intersections Dobb likes for setting up shop and that Dobb's been in town for some time now, meaning he's likely to head out again soon. Unfortunately, the barkeep's knowledge is strictly local, and he says with regret that he's never heard of Nihzyn before but he thinks maybe Silvarum is somewhere to the north.



Meanwhile, Telnin's journey didn't seem to be improving much. No one he talked to seemed to know anything about a merchant named Dobb Hesslewhite, or about how a person might get to the city of Nihzyn. There was one other tourist who latched on to the idea of moving on to another city, and after Nihzyn was mentioned he began asking for recommendations of where he should go next, and if Nihzyn was a good place. "Do you know if there are any other people headed to Nihzyn too? I might be able to join a caravan or something if there's one going. This Silvarum country, how much do you know about it? Why nihzyn? Why not one of the other cities?"

His questions hit an odd chord with Telnin, and he studied the tourist a bit more closely. This man had a good deal more combat experience than one might expect from a civilian tourist. The way he stood and moved showed a trained sense of balance that most just didn't have.

The tourist narrowed his eyes at Telnin a moment, a hard look crossing his face for just an instant, before being replaced with a forced smile. "Ah. I see," he said. "I made a mistake, you are not as easy a mark as I had thought." He took a step back away from the duskblade. "I will leave you now and not bother you again. Welcome to the city. Beware of pickpockets." He forced even more of a smile, took several more steps back and turned, fading into the crowd.

Once Telnin had discovered the initial false persona that "tourist" was using, he was more vigilant for clues of misdirection. The thief identity was also a lie, that man had no intentions toward mere theft and has no intention of leaving Telnin alone. Now that was was on guard, the bits of information the duskblade wanted seemed even further from his grasp.




((ooc: The gather info checks take most of the day. It's now between six and seven o'clock. ))


Posted on 2011-02-10 at 21:56:49.

Vilyamar
Glorious Emperor
Karma: 28/16
428 Posts


Late entry.

The Narwhal was a fair-sized vessel and her captain kept a sturdy and honest crew. At least, the crew was either honest or very good thieves, for Everrin Gilsson had not found anything stolen though he had been careful of his own goods. His sleeping quarters had been the open deck or the stables below when the rains came and all his goods had been kept below decks in the cargo hold, tightly secured and bound. He had checked it an hour before a crewman had informed him of their impending arrival in Clearwater.

Evi counted himself lucky for securing passage on the Narwhal. It hadn’t been cheap but he suspected that it had saved him everything he owned and possibly his life. Other news of the drier routes to Nihzyn and Silvarum mentioned bandits, war and other crises but Evi had hoped that those tasty bits were more the bard giving intriguing flavour and entertainment to his tales of the far off lands.

Travel by sea was much less eventful than Evi had imagined it. He had spent some time on deck and some of that time was spent hunched over the rail during the first day. But, mostly, he had sat with Arrow in the small stable that kept his beast out of the weather of the sea. It was one of four modest sized stalls on the ship. Evi considered himself lucky to find a ship that still had one open given the amount of traffic going to Clearwater on account of the notices that had been posted in inns all across the port they had just left. He had seen them there and in many towns along the way to the city.

He pulled the crumpled and travel stained copy that had come from a small inn at a crossroads to the west. There had been four other copies of the parchment tacked to the board inside the door and the tavern had been empty that night, so Evi didn’t think much of taking it. Many of the travelers and crew on the Narwhal had asked him about that and it seemed that no less than five others were headed to aid the Nihzyn.

The note was scrawled in a tidy hand that had only smudged a few times in the copying. Evi read it over again before folding it and putting it in his belt pouch.

Despite taking time to pack before arriving in port, Evi was still one of the last passengers to depart. As other men came down and removed the other beasts that had made the journey, it was about fifteen minutes of adjusting and retying straps and ties on the saddle and bags before one of the sailors came down to remind him that the captain was needing the stall now that they had docked. Evi clued in and led Arrow to the open deck of the Narwhal.

The rest of the passengers had cleared the boat and a giant boom had already begun to remove heavy items from the ship. On its next pass, a horse harness was fitted to the hook and the operators eased Arrow in. The wide leather picked up the horse gently and moved it as the white of its eyes showed. Evi was only a little more comfortable with the procedure than his mount was but it was the only way of safely getting the horse from the ship down to the dock.

Evi met his horse on the dock amid a bustle of workers, sailors and passengers. Once he had calmed the horse enough to slip the leather straps from under its belly, Evi led it away from the sea and towards the dry end of the city. Once off the docks, he saw the energetic entertainer, Geppetto, calling to a small circle in the crowd as he juggled coloured balls. Evi remembered him from the journey but had paid only a little bit of attention to the gleeman. Evi also recalled him being amongst the groups talking about Nihzyn and the Silvarum run.

The hawkers’ cries changed slowly from fish, ale and women to smithwork, dry goods, ale and women. Evi had seen it all before a few times since he had left home but this was still a new experience. He drank in the new sights as the colorful city neighborhoods merged with each other as seamlessly as the plains became the mountains.

Sometimes Evi would glimpse a dockworker or sailor wandering amongst the merchant shops or smiths, evident by the salt lines in their skin and clothing. After about an hour of meandering through the streets, he entered a market square. He couldn’t be sure if it was the same one he had seen earlier or another but he did remember that he had to find a merchant of the name Dobb Hesselwhite…

Evi sought out the nearest general goods merchant. He guessed that Hesselwhite would move general goods; the easiest things to find were often the most sought after in times of scarcity and would be guaranteed to make a profit and perhaps a fellow goods merchant would know of him.

Once he approached the table, Evi asked: “Dobb Hesselwhite. I’ve heard he is in the city. I require an audience. Where can I find him?”


((Leave the Narwhal and proceed to market. Question merchant to find Hesselwhite.))


Posted on 2011-02-22 at 22:31:35.

Tek
Jumpin' Jack Smash
Karma: 44/13
675 Posts


Finally

While it was somewhat vague in detail, Geppetto had managed to ply his trade well enough to determine at least some information about Dobb. Firstly, that he was a gnome. Though smaller that humans, it was now easier to at least pick him out by race. Absently, he wondered just how many gnomes resided around here...

Secondly, Dobb ran shop out of a wagon. Likewise, that would be of great assistance in tracking down the peddler. Thirdly, the crafter's quarter. Wherever that might be. He'd have to ask again.

The harlequin snickered at the fishmonger's impression of a squeaky voice, obviously picking fun at Dobb, and he made a note to attempt to copy the tone while away from both parties. Provided he could get his hands on a marionette at some point, it could be a useful voice to add into a performance. After all, he'd never met a gnome before. If that's how they sounded, he could add a whole new dimension to the show!

He snapped out of his thoughts when the helpful dockworker bade him goodbye. Business was business. This, Geppetto understood all too well. Attention peeled away from those who had established themselves in the location could often drive the situation to violence. He had learned the hard way in years gone by.

Outstretching an arm, he allowed all five scarves to fall and drape over his hand, neatly tucking them back into his bag, and bowing humbly at the waist with a flourish of his motley.

“I assure you, my friend, that I never intended to steal your clientele. I'm just passing through, and required a few answers. This won't be a problem again.”

Dipping his orange-gloved hand into a pocket, he fished out five silvers, and one by one snapped them into a low arc, catching them in his other hand. Counting them off one by one, he stacked them neatly and handed them to the monger. “For any business I may have deprived you of, good sir.”

Turning on his heel, Geppetto took a few steps away from the wharf before a thought occurred to him. He whirled back, catching up to the worker one last time.

“A final inquiry; where is the crafter's quarter?”


Posted on 2011-03-03 at 23:08:32.

   
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