Yan arrived last, overhearing the tail end of the conversation. Investigation wasn't his strong suit, but he was bound to follow this through. He glanced at the others in his group. They were certainly.... self-assured, but motivated as well, it seemed. Waiting for conversation to dry up, he spoke to Iaka, who seemed the most eager. "I have little enough skill in investigating, but if you can use help, I"ll be happy to try and provide it. Additionally, it may benefit us to ask after known candy makers and suppliers. Try and cut it off at the source, as it were."
After a hearty meal and taking a brief moment to stow away any items the group may want to pack away in their footlockers the group sets out to begin their investigations anew.
Asoel, having chosen to not eat a full meal spends the brief downtime chatting up various other patrons at the Inn, asking for any information they may have about Adamo's arrest. He managed to find a pair of chatty loggers who informed him that Adamo lived in the more northern part of the slums and would likely have been on his way home when he had snapped. With this newfound information he set off on his own to do what he did best, scout. The trail, unfortunately, was quite cold by now though, with the roads having been traveled all day. He did, however, find a suitable spot to watch people coming and going, ever watchful for any strange behaviour that may suggest any influence of the drug. However his keen eyes didn't catch anything out of the ordinary, just the everyday mediocrity of small town life. ((great roll on the diplomacy to gather info at the inn, but a 1 on the roll to follow any tracks, and there was just nothing crazy happening tonight, people are still a bit spooked by the Adamo incident and are not going out into public high))
Kheric, after a fine meal and a quick tour of their cellar lodgings, turned his curiousity to Wynna herself, “M’Lady. These accommodations may pale in comparison to your fantastic cooking, but they will suffice. You do a service to your town. Clearly the danger in this plague is something you recognize – and something that it has taken less than a day to be impressed upon us. Have you had previous experience with this problem? Has the drug ever made its way into your tavern? I don’t mean to pry, but the town and the drug are new to all of us.” Wynna shook her head and replied with the same pleasant tone she has used with all her interactions with the party, "While I have not had direct interactions with the drug nor any users I know that something like this, if left unchecked will cause great harm to my home and I want to do what I can to prevent as much harm as we can."
It seemed Iaka and Yan made up their minds to set out together, the witch, less confident in his ability to contribute, wanting to stick close the more vocal, and confident, Ratfolk. Kheric decided he would give the two a headstart before heading out himself so as not to draw too much attention, three after all is a crowd, and a crowd of outsiders would likely draw more attention than they wanted to draw to themselves. Heading south toward the slums they decided that since they knew Adamo had been a user that perhaps more users, and maybe even a dealer, would be more easily located in the slums.
It was not long before they crossed Asoel's line of sight. ((if you want to post signalling them somehow feel free, I don't know if Asoel would do that or not. Or if you decide to leave your people-watching post and pair up with Kheric that is up to you guys.))
Iaka used his knowledge of the shadier side of society and approached people he thought looked most like they may be up to some shady dealings. He was quickly able to find a dirty young (early 20s) half-elf urchin who was showing signs of withdrawal, shaky, nervous, even a bit twitchy.
((I'll let you all pick up from here and we'll see where this goes.))
Asoel, seeing Iaka and Yan, gave a discrete whistle and called the two near him.
"The trail has indeed gone completely cold," he said. "However I've managed to pinpoint Adamo's living area."
He passed on the information he got from the inn, and briefly described the banality of his evening of observation. For every problem or ambush a scout finds, there are days of trailblazing which reveal no such threats, so Asoel isn't too surprised that nothing turned up immediately.
Not surprised, no. But certainly not pleased.
Upon hearing Iaka's plan to go to the seedier sides of town, Asoel nods in agreement as he finally bites into the plum from before. It seems like searching that area is best, and if Iaka seems confident in handling himself in that area, then Asoel offers a different type of scouting.
"Are either of you familiar with a 'rearward?'" He asked (if either answers in the negative, he gives this brief explanation). "Most everyone is famliar with the duties of the advance scout, he who walks ahead and searches for ambushes in the coming path. Less known is the rearward, the scout in the back who follows in the footsteps of the army, wary of the flank and always watching the watchers."
He gives a meaningful look to both of them.
"Lead on. I shall be your rearward."
((Again Asoel will stealth and watch, this time from the back and with particular focus on anyone who shows interest in Iaka's and Yan's investigation. Should the two ever need his direct insight, he tells them they need only whistle and he'll close the gap. Perception +10 or 12 on humans, stealth +8, Sense motive +2 or +4)).
((Upon seeing the half elf, Asoel will still hang back hidden, but will try to stealth close enough to a vantage point where he can discern what he can. Knowledge Local check +4 to see if he recognizes him as an offspring of the Norwood, and/or any other pertinent information.))
((EDIT: Just realized half elves qualify as human for favored enemy. Know local etc. get a +2, so +6 total on that local check))
Posted on 2018-04-17 at 01:48:51.
Edited on 2018-04-22 at 00:11:22 by Decicio
Kheric allowed the others to leave ahead of him. He would have preferred to work as a group, but that didn't seem to be the plan right now. However, he did know who these others were and would keep an eye out for them. At least the Dhampir felt comfortable in the night.
(Based on the posts above I'm assuming he was close enough to see the others meet up and discuss plans, if not I'll need to change things.)
Seeing the others come together Kheric moved up to hear the discussion. A rearward seemed like a good idea. In fact, it almost sounded like what he was doing. He decided that he would hold back for now and watch the interaction with the half-elf. As long as something was going on he might as well stay. But he also had told the others that when this was done, unless information was gained to change the plan, he would go on to one of the taverns near the docks - preferably the one Adamo had been at. For now he would just hang out alone. A dhampir alone wouldn't draw too much attention, but might draw some from the wrong type of people. He woulds see who came in and what they did. The others were welcome to go to the same place or another - he encouraged the same.
For now he moved into the shadows to watch the ratman and the half-elf.
After a bit of searching, Iaka found his first real target. The girl was young, but clearly not immune to the effects of the flux. Her hollow eyes darted about as he approached. Her hands shook with anxiety. Withdrawal always seemed to look the same. Good. Her desperation would be their ally.
'tch 'tch "You look like you need a hit. I'm Aaron. This is Jay," he said, motioning to his only visible companion. "Look, I could use some myself and Jay... Jay's itchin' to try it. Take us to your guy and I'll buy you a hit for now and one for next time."
"While we're on the way, I'll tell you what you can do for me."
((OOC: I think that's a bluff check? +8 if it is. If Iaka fails to bluff her, he will try to intimidate her))
The young half-elf looked up into Iaka's beady rat eyes, and barely above a whisper spoke, "I can't.. can't feel the magic.. the magic is gone... " She gasps for air, scratching furiously at her arm, tearing the flesh, "The magic-man... he hasn't... come back.. no candy.. no magic.." Her nails digging deeper into her arm, her blood starts to run down her arm, strangely it is not red though as it should be, but instead more honey colored and translucent. The smell on honey rises from the wound, the blood doesn't just look like honey, it has become honey! She raises her hand up to her mouth, sampling the honey dripping from her wounds. "Sweeeet... like candy..." She begins tearing at her arm more, trying to get more honey/blood.
Kheric stayed in the shadows and watched the ratman talk with the drugged half-elf. Somehow elves had a way of seeming old, wise and serene when you thought about them. But then you met one face-to-face and realized they could be as stupid as any other person. Somehow the age didn't seem to help as much as you would think it would. This one might only be a half-elf, but she seemed to have inherited plenty of stupid from both sides of the family tree. It didn't look like the tree would be going much further.
This was disgusting. Honey blood? Even from a distance he could smell it - and it wasn't hard to see what she was doing to herself. He couldn't help wondering if there was somewhere he could take her for help before she ripped her entire arm to shreds. He'd wait to see what came of the last question and then see if there was something he could do for her. This was not normal. Who in their right mind, after seeing something like this would ever try this stuff?? He wondered how long she had been on flux. How many hits did it take to get a person to this point? Or to make your head explode? Maybe the jail could work as a detox.
The girl visibly flinched as Iaka berated her, whimpering as she licked blood from her fingers, "The candy man comes to you, noone knows where to find him, no one knows..." She trails off, sucking blood from her fingers as she rocks back and forth on the ground in the dark alley you found her in. She is obviously pretty far gone, so you are fairly certain she doesn't have the mental faculties to be lying to you about this "candy man".
As Iaka berated the half-elf trying to scare information out of her, Asoel crept closer sticking to the shadows trying to get a closer look, see if perhaps he could recognize this poor soul as a resident of his own Norwood. As it turned out this young woman had in fact come to Chandar from the Norwood, a couple years prior looking for work, her human heritage leaving her feeling out of place among the elves. Asoel recognized her, even now with her blank stare and unnatural hunger for her own honeyed blood, she had lived close to where his family lived, he knew her mother personally, this poor soul was none other than Aurae Tallstag. She had not seen him approach though, his hunting skills easily beating her dulled senses in her current state.
((both Iaka's intimidate roll, and Asoel's stealth rolls were exceptional. Sadly she has no information, and Asoel's sense motive was high enough paired with her personal knowledge of the girl to believe she is telling the truth, the dealers, it seems, are careful not to let their "customers" know where to find them, probably since crazed junkies could come breaking in their door any minute looking for a fix if they knew where to go.))
Posted on 2018-04-30 at 10:59:36.
Edited on 2018-05-01 at 21:36:52 by Shield Wolf
At first Asoel stood back, watching as promised. However, as he got closer and recognized the young half elf, he couldn't control himself. He runs up, shouting the young elf's name. Upon reaching her, he tries to hold back her hand, preventing her from further harming herself.
"Huwag! Mamamatay ka kung hindi mo ako sundan. Magingat ka. Huminga. Huminga," he says, comforting the girl in Elven, trying to get her to slow down, and breathe.
Looking up at his comrades, he speaks in Common with urgency in his voice.
"We need to find a place where she can detox. If our earlier experience is any indication, it may already be too late. But I cannot face her family without saying that I tried."
((He'll try to provide what care he can, but of all his knowledge, healing certainly isn't his strong point. +2. If it is apparent such efforts are a waste of time or after such care is completed, he'll try to take her to a safe place of healing. k. local +4 to see if he knows a place more suitable than his own room, otherwise he'll take her there unless the others have a better plan.))
Posted on 2018-05-04 at 23:20:21.
Edited on 2018-05-06 at 22:43:22 by Decicio
Seeing Asoel run forward and recognize the sad half-elf, Kheric frowned. It seemed even their group of new arrivals was directly impacted by this stuff. Could one survive with their blood turned to honey? The stench made him slightly sick. He had always liked honey, but now wondered if he would ever be able to eat it again without seeing this young woman's face.
He stepped forward so that he could help Asoel if needed. After waiting to see if she responded to her name he spoke. "Asoel, if you need assistance I will aid you. If no other location is suitable, a jail cell might at least keep her away from more flux. Or we can go wherever you think best."
*If the woman responds in some way to Asoel's questions Kheric will avoid interupting the conversation. If he does end up helping Asoel bring her somewhere, he will suggest that if possible, they could attempt to look like they are also addicts helping a friend home. There is nothing like getting a reputation.
Upon recognizing the girl Asoel rushes in between her and Iaka, grabbing both of her wrists in his hands and pulling them up above her head so she cannot harm herself any further. He holds her there as she struggles against him but is unable to free herself. With his hands full keeping her restrained he take Kheric up on the offer for help and asks that the Dhampir bandage the wound, hoping that if they can stop the bleeding Aurae will calm down enough to allow them to help her. Kheric was having a hard enough time with the smell of the sickengly sweet honey-blood from across the street, being right next to it caused his head to spin as he stumbles slightly, barely catching himself against the wall.However the Dhampir is able to quickly right himself and with no bandages does the next most logical thing and using one of his hidden daggers kits a strip of cloth from the length of Aurae's skirt, wrapping it tightly around the wound, having to start over several times due to her squirming, it may not be sanitary but it would stop the bleeding if she let it be.
All the while Aurae does not seem to react to being spoken to anymore. Rather her behavior, now that she has been denied access to the sweetness that is her blood, is more akin to that of a cornered feral animal. She hisses and struggles against the man holding her, though she once knew him as a friend, any memory she had of him is consumed by this insatiable hunger for her own blood. It becomes painfully aware to Asoel that he is likely going to have to restrain her for her own safety and escort her somewhere, perhaps to the jail as Kheric already suggested.
Unfortunately at this exact moment a passing guard patrol crosses your path and assumes the worst, that the Ratfolk, dagger weilding Dhampir, and Elf are holding this feral woman against her will and she is fighting to escape the dark alley you are in. They approach, with short spears at the ready, "Release the girl!" they shout as they inch closer.
((Grapple attempt went well, but heal check failed, thus the call for aid. I imposed a Fort Save since you indicated the smell was sickening from a distance, so up close would be worse, Fort is not a good save for Kheric unfortunately. Neither of you had Healer's Kit listed in your gear, so an improvised solution was used. Heal is also not a great skill for Kheric, but after multiple attempts he made the DC and the wound is at least bound. The sounds of her struggle though have attracted unwanted attention.))
"Officers!" Asoel shouts, reaching for his medal with one hand while trying to prevent Aurae from harming herself with the other hand. "We're working with Captain Jirolin to investigate the drug problem. This girl's name is Aurae, and she'll die from an overdose unless you help us restrain her from hurting herself and get her somewhere she can detox." Watching the officers while still trying to keep Aurae safe from herself and others, Asoel idicates to the others to likewise bring out their proof of working for Jirolin.
Kheric did not like the sickly sweet smell of the girls blood. It seemed doubtful that she would be able to survive, but that was no reason not to try. He moved quickly forward to help his new colleague struggling with both the smell and the bandage. Eventually he got the job done.
Even as he finally accomplished the task 'help' arrived. The city guard.
"Asoel, keep both hands on the girl. We will deal with the guards." Kheric stood back from the girl as requested and raised his hands - showing both that they were empty and the medallion he had been given by the captain. He didn't let his eyes waver from her as he didn't want her to either escape or jump him. "Please, we are not hurting her. We are working with your captain. I bandaged her arm where she was drinking her own blood. She needs help. Help us get her somewhere where she can not hurt herself."
If the guards are willing to help and no longer threatening he will quickly begin looking around to see what other attention they have attracted.
The guardsmen quickly recognize the presented medallions and lower their weapons, "Sorry lads, we've been a little on edge of late with the troubles. We can take Aurae off your hands, we can get her into a cell and hopefully clear her head." The two guards each took up an arm and lead the poor girl away toward the barracks to "sleep it off." Before getting out of earshot they called back, "If you want information, perhaps Rikkel over at the River Rat can point you in the right direction, the Rat has a reputation for being able to find things." They point you to the west, deeper into the slums.
The River Rat, you find, is a quaint little tavern tucked deep into the slums just against the wall. A large half-orc stands at the door just outside and stops you before you can enter, "I don't know ya, and no one I don't know can't enter without bringing me somethin'. I'm hungry and I wants my favorite snack, wild river onions that grow across the river. Bring me some onions and I'll let you in."