The Cat Man of Brant

Longman's hex-based exploration PBP campaign

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Longman
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The Cat Man of Brant

Post Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:10 am

Wednesday Sep 11 onwards. Overcast.

Danys the coach driver, flat cap, smoking a pipe. Bad roads. Winding roads. Forest in autumn turning to farmland with the harvest in and the hay bales all over but still people all about. Better food than the party are used to. Cold nights, a few stops here and there. Increasing traffic as you get westwards. The elves inside the coach most of the time.

Quite a few days of that stuff ahead. Anything the two elves want to be doing? News from Nore is that the Knights have had their harvest tournament already, and aren't doing much jousting til September the 29th. Cushy job, huh?
Woe
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The Cat Man of Brant

Post Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:07 am

If Danys is up for it, Freya will want to be outside the coach -- a seat next to Danis, riding the baggage, whichever. It's a lot nicer than staying in some stuffy room for a week. Tiana, however, thinks nothing of the enclosed space. She offhandedly notes that Bruce is much quieter a traveling companion than Kilian, but that's about it.

Conis Water isn't on the way to Brant, is it?

Once in Brant, I'll need to get in order what the elves want to do. Sell stuff, research stuff, buy stuff... lots of stuff. It will very much be a stuff-filled chapter. :)
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

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Longman
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The Cat Man of Brant

Post Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:28 pm

Yes, Conis Water is on the way. Do you approach the aunt? Who does that? It looks an incredibly hick town and neither an elf or dwarf will go down well.

4 days later you get to Nore, at the end of Saturday the 14th. The trip passes uneventfully. The magician is assumed to be studying Salenish texts in the back of the coach during this time. Freya is up above, enjoying the air, in a hood.

Here in Nore, you have the opportunity to sell all non magic stuff - but you would have to wait til Monday to do that. You also have the opportunity to see if the the strange elvish trader Tycho Bear is in his usual selling place. You could do that on a Sunday.

Otherwise you could just leave on Sunday 15th.
Woe
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The Cat Man of Brant

Post Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:48 pm

Longman wrote:Yes, Conis Water is on the way. Do you approach the aunt? Who does that? It looks an incredibly hick town and neither an elf or dwarf will go down well.
Nevermind then. With choices of Bruce, Freya, and Tiana... none seem like a good choice.
Here in Nore, you have the opportunity to sell all non magic stuff - but you would have to wait til Monday to do that. You also have the opportunity to see if the the strange elvish trader Tycho Bear is in his usual selling place. You could do that on a Sunday.

Otherwise you could just leave on Sunday 15th.
Let's see what Tycho is selling. Freya can lead the bartering/haggling given her background and likely better street smarts than Tiana.
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

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Red Oak loot
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Longman
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The Cat Man of Brant

Post Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:20 pm

It turns out Tycho does have some magical items for sale, but that's not the most important thing that happens when you start talking to him.

Image

"Tiana Moonglade!" he says in Elvish. "There was somebody asking for you. not three weeks ago. At least, I assume it was you! He said there were some elves and some dwarves working together, and they went to Brant over the summer, in July, and sold some jewels there, to a trader. That was you, right? Anyway, he was most interested to know how you had come by those jewels, and where I could find out more about you. Of course I told him nothing. I told him that the only elves around were myself and my trader friends up in Yoll.
But I've been meaning to come and see you and tell you this. The truth is, he didn't seem a very friendly chap. And, two nights after he came to see me, someone broke into my stores. They didn't steal anything but I could tell they had been in there.

Do you want to tell me more about those jewels?"


Tycho is an unusual elf. He must originally be from the Bearpaw clan but has shortened his name and lives alone on the mainland, and has grown a rather patchy beard as you can see. Tiana met him on her way to Red Oak, but he was not in town on your way to Brant last time. He has trading contacts with other elves in the Kingdom of Yoll in numerous places. Tiana has no reason to trust him entirely - - but no reason not to trust him either. He is not a 'Sun' elf and won't have any agenda about her use of magic.
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The Cat Man of Brant

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:13 am

Honestly, I don't remember where the box came from! Fortunately, Tiana remembers her manners. If Tycho won't offer them a drink, she'll offer Tycho one. Feel free to insert Tycho's chitchat directly in here. It'll make more sense, eventually. I hope. If not, we'll blame it on Elvish grammar.

I'll also assume that Bruce and Freya are nearby, at the coach. At least Bruce is guarding it. You can decide where Freya is -- whatever seems more likely to need her archery skills. I'm not sure whether it would be guarding the coach or guarding Tiana from this bearded elf. If both appear equally safe, Freya is present to help with the bargaining. She has the appraisal skill which would be very useful here.


"Ah, you must be the elvish trader we heard about in Red Oak. It is great to see another elf this far away from home. Come, let us sit and talk for a while. Do you have any refreshments to share? Tell me of home, news of the Elvish kingdoms."

<...>

"The jewels we found in a Boldenwald ruin, much east of Red Oak. The humans have since moved in that direction, resettling. I'm not sure why the stones would be of any interest to anyone -- compressed, polished rocks that capture the greed of dwarves and men. At best, they were nothing you couldn't find in the larger human cities of Yoll or Sader. I believe we traded them for provisions, and not even sure the value we got for them. You'll need to check with {Freya here | the Elvish scout back at the coach} if you want to know more about the stones."

<...>

"I thank you for not sharing more with this inquisitive character. Tell me, did he say why he was interested? What did he look like? I ponder whether he has a vastly exaggerated the value of the stones, or whether they had a value beyond their ornamental value."
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

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Longman
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The Skull Box

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:44 am

The plotline here goes back to this post:

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1448&p=39934&hilit=skull#p39962

You found an ornate wooden box full of 12 animal skulls, at the old winery, ages ago, when you met Roddy.

You took them to Brant where Rillow identified them and told you they were probably connected with the origins of the cult of the lycanthropes, and said they should be destroyed.

As far as you know the box and skulls were destroyed by Rillow and her assistants. The gems, you picked out and sold to a human gem dealer. He has subsequently gone missing and there are reports of a shape-changer, in the form of a great cat, stalking the streets of Brant. Rillow told you of such, in her message and asked you to come to Brant.

Basically you got a really powerful item connected with the whole lycanthrope deal early on in the game and you took it to Brant and sold it before you knew what it was.

I'll give more detail of what Tycho says in a bit.
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Longman
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Re: The Cat Man of Brant

Post Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:16 pm

I need to know if you have altered your story and told the trader where you actually found the jewels and the skull box. It was in the monastery.

If you are not telling him, that's fine. I wasn't sure if your post was a bluff or if it was because you'd just forgotten where they had come from.


The trader shares refreshments and says:

News from the old lands? I do not go there at all, or mix with our own people very much, as I have decided to live among humans. Hence this awesome beard. But I do get reports from my elvish friends in Yoll, who tell me that there is much activity in both Cadswallop and Esbe, with pitched battles both above and below ground, against well organised goblin forces. The humans are winning, but slowly. Many religious relics from the catacombs of Esbe have been recovered, although the main temples of the True God have not been won yet. I've tried to get my hands on some of these relics, for they are said to have magic about them, but I have had no luck so far. The human Church are very involved up there...

In terms of the man who asked after you - he wore brown, a city dweller I'd say, and he was about 5'10 and had black curly hair. He was unarmed, but had guards, two of them, and a coach and horses. He gave a name, Magnus Fallon, but I'm quite certain it was false. I didn't recognise anything about his livery and he did not say who he was working for. I'm sorry I cannot be of more help. I think he asked quite a few folks in Nore, not just me...

I have two magical items...are you at all interested in buying either of them?

The first is made by the gnome Poldek, a student of Mirdek, in the stronghold of Stap Western. It is a device that will allow the user to breathe underwater, for up to thirty minutes at a time before it must recharge itself overnight. It costs a mere eight thousand gold pieces. A great fortune could be made with such an item, in the trading kingdoms to the south where wrecks are common. I have a potential buyer in Brant, but will sell to you now, if you wish...

The other is old elvish magic, and is a bit cheaper. It is a pair of needles that will always point to one another, from any distance, through any material, so much do they long to be joined, but they must never be joined, or else they will be destroyed, and so will a great radius around them - - so the legend goes. Each is encased in a sphere of thick clear glass, and floats in water. I will part with them for a thousand gold coins for the pair...


(Freya, when informed about such prices, quickly informs Tiana that the trader is asking pretty high...)
Woe
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Re: The Cat Man of Brant

Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:26 am

It's not so much a bluff as a half-truth. Tiana didn't lie. She just neglected the specifics. :)

"The beard will take much to get used to. Perhaps I should don the same, to throw off this Magnus gentleman. Before we finish the subject, who else in Nore do you trust that Magnus also inquired?" Tiana replies.

(Later, when the topic switches to the items for sale)
"Lady Freya, these items sound of interest to me. What have we to trade with Tycho?"

'Lady' Freya thinks through the goods present in the wagon and then answers more formally than her usual tone. "His prices are steep, milady, but we can match what he is asking. Friend Tycho, what we need more than your fine items is the ability to augur the purpose of human magic. Those items, while still rare in the Boldenwald, are still more common than gnomish and elven magics. Some we have discerned through trials, some through studying ancient texts, but the remaining items still are beyond our knowledge. Before we negotiate a trade of these illustrious items, this elementary knowledge is what we would desire most; and should be but a pittance to part with. Wouldn't you agree, Lady Tiana?"
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

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Longman
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:12 am

The Cat Man of Brant

Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:56 pm

"I'm afraid I have no such knowledge. I do know an elf who is currently in Dender, another trader, who has a pair of gnomish spectacles that enable the wearer to see magical auras and can often determine the purpose of items. I would be happy to write you a letter of introduction and I am quite sure he would help you without charge."

(Dender is about the same size as Nore and is about five or six days to the north. Brant is about the same distance to the west. However, Rillow can't cast Identify in the formal sense. She just uses sage lore to work out what things probably are. So if you want to get command words and so forth, this could be a pretty handy lead).

"I'm not always that well liked in this town, so there isn't anyone I would trust not to betray me, specifically. But I do know that these gentlemen were staying at an Inn called the Blue Bee, and asked questions there about elves. Another trader, an arms dealer, also mentioned to me that questions had been asked about elves coming into the town. I doubt that anyone knew enough about you to be of much assistance, but you cannot be sure."

(You are staying at a coaching inn near the western edge of town, called The Moon.

"I doubt that either of you would pass for human, but you might fool observers into thinking you were male elves. As it happens I have some disguises that might work for that. They include beards made from actual facial hair! The price of those would be 25 gold apiece. I could throw in some male elvish clothes for another 10 gold for both of you. 60 all up. What do you say?"

(Freya thinks this is quite underpriced and he is being generous to help you out).
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