Sundered Lands 4.1

The Sundered Lands of Palladium

Session 4.1
March 1-17, 2016

Getting a Room

Thursday October 26

The Fox and Hound

Silver and Arnette look for a place to stay

The late afternoon streets of Essanos are beginning to clear out a little as many merchants and consumers head home for the evening meal. The cloud-covered sky is beginning to darken considerably though the temperature is still pleasant, the sea is thick in the air. Silver and Arn make their way to the Fox and Hound where the group plans to take up residence for the time being. Together, the two companions figure they have a little over 500$ between them and have no idea how much lodgings will cost nor how long they intend to even stay.

Silver and Arn cross the bridge near the Vanderboren Manor house and head down Traveler’s Way toward their destination. After only about 10 minutes, they see the the building, clearly marked with large sign hanging above the wide bay windows.
The Fox and Hound, a quaint and cozy establishment

Quite a few people move in an out of the establishment, which seems to be a tavern as well as an inn. Arn smiles as they approach.

As Silver and Arn(ette) make their way towards the door, Silver leans over to Arn and says “Don’t forget, you look like Valinya’s sister at the moment…. well except for that sour look on your face.”  Silver precedes Arn(ette) into the front door of the establishment, and looks around for a convenient place to sit off to the side.  They settle in at the most convenient place, and wait for a server, listening to the chatter in the room for any interesting tidbits.

When the serving girl comes by Silver speaks, “Two glasses of red wine for myself and Arnette.  Oh is that soup I see over there seafood? I’d like a bowl of that too.  Arnette, did you want any as well?”  Ignoring the glare from the ‘other Elf’ across the table, Silver continues “Also, we’re in town with a party of 6, but one is so small he’s not worth counting.  We would prefer at least two rooms - what’s the going rate?”

The serving girl smiles at the two Elves seated at the table. “T-t-two private rooms? For how long? They are 30 gold a night, miladies. Of course, that includes meals, baths and other services afforded to your, um, station.” She speaks this last part with an unsure tone. Her eyes flit to the mound of piled gear next to Arn(ette)’s side of the table. “Are you visiting noblity? Traders?” She smiles, “Mages? Are you mages? Ohh. Elf mages. How wonderful! Do a trick for me please!” The serving girl pleads, clapping her hands and hopping up and down like an excited little child. Several nearby patrons have turned to watch the growing commotion from Silver and Arn(ette)’s table.
A large, wide faced Human from a nearby table leans over and shouts toward Arn(ette), “Yes, love, why don’t you show us a trick. I would love to see a trick from you!” He turns back to his companions and a round of laughter erupts from them.

Silver smiles while she waits to gets a word in edgewise, and ignores the drunk human,  instead continuing with the serving girl.  “Well, those rooms sound very nice, but I wasn’t expecting the price.   Times haven’t been quite good enough to us to be affording that!  We’re travelling, with some business in town nearby.  Not sure how long we’ll be here, but I expect we’ll be here for at least a night or two.  You seem very excited about magic, do you not see much around here?  If you want to see magic, you’re better off waiting until our companions arrive later.  The tiny one in particular is ah… well, you’re likely to see some magic with him around whether or not you ask.”

As the nearby human continues to laugh with his friends, Silver leans back a bit, still listening to the serving girl, but watching Arn(ette) simmering nearby.  

Over the Top

Arn(ette) sneers and then takes a sip of the glass of wine.   Thinking to himself, muttering softly so that only Silver can hear him, “so they want to see a trick, huh? I got a trick or 3 for them……..alright….let’s have some fun with this.”      

Trying to keep his composure despite looking like a female elf, Arn(ette) decides he’s going to make some money, get some free drinks and have some fun in the process. He looks over at Silver and says, “just go with me on this and roll with the flow…”   

Arn(ette) turns around to look at the humans. He tries to speak as best as a female as he can...his voice more gravelly like an elf maiden who had smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day for the past 30 years. “Okay there boys. I have a few tricks to show you, but they are not for free!   My powers and potions come at a cost. But let’s have some fun shall we?”    

As the humans make their way over, Arn(ette) says to them, “Well, my first trick will be to make a pitcher of beer disappear.” The drunkards reluctantly order a pitcher of ale and the serving wench eagerly places it before Arn(ette). He looks to them with a wry smile and says “Now normally us pansy Elf girls can’t hold much alcohol, but I have a special spell that will let me do just that.“  Muttering gibberish Dwarven words mixed with an Elf word or two, Arn(ette) gestures much like he had seen Valinya do, than waves his hand over the pitcher of ale. With one quick flex of the arm, Arn(ette) picks up the pitcher of ale and chugs it in less than 20 seconds.
The men are wide eyed and laughing, clueless that Arn(ette) just scoffed a free pitcher of ale off of them. Wiping his chin on his sleeve, Arn(ette) lets out a loud belch, to even more laughter from the drunk men.  “See, I told you that I could make it disappear!.” One of the men was not so impressed and commented that it was not much of a trick. Arn(ette) flashes him a glare, and then lightens up to a smile. “Okay there mister smarty pants. I also can cast a spell of strength.  My friend and I will wager you a bet. For the cost of 3 nights of lodging for 2 rooms, I bet you that I can best any one of you in an arm wrestling contest. Than that should be enough proof of my magical powers.”     

The men look amongst each other, and start complaining that the wager is too high. Arn(ette) laughs at them.    “Oh, the tough drunk men are too afraid of the little sissy Elven girls….sissy sissy pants Elven girls…..” The rest of the bar patrons now can’t help but join in the teasing.   Even the bar maid joins in on the taunting.

Sitting inside the circle of activity with Arn(ette), Silver lets out a giggle at the situation, and tells Arn(ette) “Are you sure you want to risk so much? They have some tough looking Humans in the crowd.”, then she has another sip from her wine glass, looking expectantly at a few random members of the crowd.

The men finally give in and push forth the man who was doubting the Elven girls magics. “Go get them Ray….you and your big mouth…..you better win, it will take us a full week of wages to repay that!”    

Arn(ette) starts his chanting again. Muttering in some words like ‘power of the mountains’ and some human words, and eventually claps his hands together loudly, looks to the man, Ray, who comes up to the table and smiles at him.

The table is cleared off and everyone in the entire place seems to press in to get a better view of this event. Ray scoffs at his friends. “Even with magic, this lass isn’t likely to be able to take me, don’t worry, we won’t be out any coin!” He laughs and grabs a half full mug off of another nearby table, downing it in one gulp. He belches as he sits and faces Arn(ette). He reaches up and adjusts his cloth cap, turning it around backwards on his head. He plops his elbow down on the table and slides his shirtsleeve up to his bulging bicep. “I’ll try not to hurt you, miss, unless of course you’re into that sort of thing,” he says slyly

Arn(ette) clears her throat and spits out a decidedly unladylike mouthful of spit. She plants her elbow on the table and reaches out to grasp Ray’s hand, “I’m into all sorts of stuff,” she says, smiling. Expecting something quite different, Ray’s face changes as he feels the rough hands of the Dwarf grasp his.

The barmaid steps up and places her hands over the two wrestlers clasped hands, “Don’t start until I let go,” she says with a grin. She then flings her hands up and jumps back. Ray immediately begins trying to force Arn(ette)’s arm down but the thin Elf maid’s arm just stands there. Ray’s face turns red and beads of sweat begin falling down into his eyes. He shakes his head and continues trying to force his opponents arm down to the table.

Arn(ette) smiles lightly, looks around the room, “Let me know when you are ready to start, Ray,” she says coyly. Fear flashes across Ray’s eyes as he throws his body forward, trying to use his mass for a bit of extra leverage, but to no avail. The Elf girl’s arm does not budge. Finally, with a yawn, Arn(ette) slams her arm forward, wrenching Ray’s back, flat on the table. The entire table jumps with the impact. The entire place erupts in a cacophony of yells, whistles and curses. Ray drops his head to the table, massaging his right arm while his friends slap him about the back and head, cursing him the whole while.

“Wow, nice going Arn...ette.  Couldn’t say I would have thought of that.”  Silver waves down the serving girl again.  “Well, if these guys make good on their bet, it sounds like we’ll be taking the two rooms for three nights after all.  Oh, and could I get that fish soup now?”

When she finally does get the soup, she seems to really enjoy it, and starts to chat more with other patrons, and pokes around for any interesting local news.

The beaten man, Ray, seems to be a good sport about the whole deal and he reluctantly buys Arn(ette) and Silver another round of drinks. His friends harass him and berate him quite a bit, but it seems that this lot of tavern-goes is a good lot, and good for their word. The serving maid laughs and goes on about the whole affair, asking many, many questions about it, though most are just verbally deflected.

Through the course of the evening, Silver probes and drops some hints about the construction over at the Vanderboren manor. She is able to find out that the daughter, Lavina Vanderboren, has recently (within the last 3 months) returned to the city and began rebuilding her families estate. She also learns that apparently the rest of Lavina’s family perished just prior to returning to the city when the ship they were were on was struck by lightning and sunk. Lavina was saved by a passing merchant vessel and brought back safely to Essanos. The latest rumor is that Lavina has run out of funds and the construction has come to a halt.

Later in the evening, Silver gets up from her table, and stops the serving girl as she’s passing by. “Hey, you mentioned something about a bath, right?  Can we set that up?”  Upon hearing that it will take a bit of time to get the hot water up to the room, she thinks for a moment and adds “Great! Oh, and the hotter the better.  Boiling if you can manage it. I’ll just go for a short walk while I wait.”

Silver interrupts Arn(ette)’s drinking for long enough to let him know she’s just going to walk around the building once or twice before heading up to the rooms.  With that, she steps outside, and wanders roughly around the inn, looking at what sorts of streets and alleys are next to it, and what sort of ways attackers might come from.  Dodging a wandering drunk that seemed to have amorous aspirations, she makes her way back to the common room.
After a moment there, she spots one of the maids lugging a pair of steaming buckets towards the stairs, and follows her up to the room.  Silver steps into the room as she pours her buckets into a large wooden tub taking up the center of the room.  “Evening.  I assume this room is mine?”

The maid looks up and splashes herself slightly, yelping and cursing from the heat, then blushes “Sorry m’lady, you asked for hot!  You may need to let it cool a bit before getting in.”  She busies herself right away with pouring the other bucket.

“Well, let’s see” Silver says, striding into the room, and dunking her hand in the scalding water.  “Hmm, not bad”.  The maid gapes a moment, then says “Well, uh, I’m glad it’s to taste then!  I have one more run to make, I’ll be right back.”  With that she scurries off to get more water.

As soon as she’s in the room alone, she re-casts her Scryguard, then gets undressed (except for her amulet) and hops in the steaming bath tub to relax for a bit.  The maid returns shortly after looking somewhat surprised again when she comes in the door to the room.  She stops herself from commenting, and goes about carefully pouring the water, watching for a reaction from Silver, who just closes her eyes and sinks into the water further with a sigh.

“Will that be all M’lady?” she asks.  Silver opens her eyes and says “Yes, this is okay, thanks”.

The maid gives a squeak and heads out the door without further ado.  After a moment of thinking, Silver realizes she had only opened her outer eyelids.  Hmm, must have looked funny.  Shrugging to herself, she listens to the sounds of the Inn and the road outside, waiting for her companions to arrive.  

They never get the water hot enough.

Arn(ette) enjoys the laughter and more importantly the free drinks from Ray and the other men.    He muses to himself when Silver takes a leave that this entire ‘female elf thing’ is a bit of a novelty for free ale and winning some coin.    He may have to do this more often, but would never openly admit it, especially to Fortis.     Fortis!   He’s lucky I managed to pull this off, Arn thinks to himself, though I’ve half a mind to pluck his wings off his back!     

Arnette goes back to enjoying his ale and stew waiting for the rest of his/her companions to arrive.   He just continues to make light conversation with the locals, and will entertain them lightly.   He hopes to garner more information about the area, persons of note, as well as perhaps any dangers in and outside of the city.

Eventually, after several hours, the rest of the companions make their way back to the Fox and Hound and gather at a large table near the rear of the establishment to catch up on the events of the day and what they found out.

Session Notes

This session was an online, Continuing Story, taking place between two live sessions on Roll20. At the end of the previous live session, the party decided to split up into 3 different groups to take care of random things around town. Normally, as a sane GM, I am against "splitting the party" but the format in which we play between sessions is perfect for this sort of thing. I set up 3 separate docs on Google Drive and shared each one only with the characters that were involved. They all played out their separate parts over the course of 2 weeks, then we brought the party back together and they "shared' their individual experiences with each other via me sharing the documents with everyone. It was quite fun, if not a bit hectic, for me dealing with the three different stories. The only thing I needed to do was to make sure that none of them went over (or fell very short) of the time I had chosen to bring them back together.

Cast of Characters: 

+Mike Biancone plays Arn, a surly Dwarven Warrior
+Daniel White plays Silver, a young and curious Dragon
and +Jason GURPS as the GM

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