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Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory

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76 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:50 am

"What?" Thimb blinked and shook her head at Rik, "No you're the strapping hero protecting the damsel, obviously," explained Thimb, her attention then shifting to Ellowyn.

She pondered the question, "It's pretty high level necromancy to take control of undead you didn't raise yourself, and that would be.... a lot of undead. Not impossible, but they'd either need a lot of necromancers, or to set up some elaborate magic conduits, maybe?" she pursed her lips, idly chewing on her pencil. "They'd need to be big, though, and I don't think I've heard of anyone buying up land lately? Then again, if this is some sort of invasion, they've probably already taken care of that..." she shook her head, "but if you have the power to make and take control of an undead army, why not just sweep in offering to "help" get all the credit and glory and bam! You're basically in charge and everyone loves you!" Thimb apparently did not see this as an Apparent Danger, but a Fun Academic Thought Exercise.
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77 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:01 pm

Hmm. Sunrise lifts the critter back to her shoulder, looking thoughtful. She glances around the room for a moment before one finger gestures, almost unnoticeably, towards the pirate.

For Ka'Ri's Eyes Only:
Ka'Ri hears a soft whisper. "Do you think you could open this? There's something in here I think we should see." If she looks at Sunrise, the tiefling's eyes slide to the drawer.

Then she steps back. Touching her nose, she points at Ellowyn. "That, ladies and gentlemen and otherwise, is the question. Who benefits? Either from the plague or from a panicked populace? A necromancer trying to use the risen dead as an army? An enemy hoping to invade? Someone trying to sell a miracle cure - real or fake - at an inflated price? Someone with a grudge against the city? Someone immune?"
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78 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:40 pm

Ka'Ri freezes for a second. On the one hand, being caught snooping through your employers desk is probably the second best way to see yourself both fired and blacklisted, on the other, this was Sunrise who seemed to have the best handle on a plan she had seen yet.

Leaving Glen to his muffins and Thimb to her musings, she made her way over to the desk and unclipped a set of tools she had hidden in a simple hair clip and went to work on the drawers after doing a search for any traps.

Investigation and Sleight of Hand rolls':
Investigation is 12 (9+3) so if there are any traps, I'm a crispy Ka'Ri.

Sleight of Hand is 26 though (18+8 ), so finally Ka'Ri gets a chance to prove her earlier statement to Thimb.
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79 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:56 pm

"Someone with a grudge against Ms Siannodel?" adds Sithani. "Or... or they're not trying to invade Brilight at all; they want an army to invade somewhere else." She looks askance at Sunrise. "Surely 'someone immune' would apply to all of these possibilities, wouldn't it? Immunity's not a motive on its own. Oh! Unless they lost a loved one and they're oh-so-tragically unable to join them in death and the world has to pay. But that's probably less likely than the other possibilities."
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80 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:05 pm

"Well, yes; I was thinking of immunity as 'in addition to' rather than 'instead of,' Sunrise concedes with a nod. "But without it how could someone be sure they wouldn't succumb to their own tool?"

She glances briefly at Ka'Ri but doesn't say anything to her yet. To the room as a whole she says, "Can we at least all agree that we need to gather a lot more information about the kidnapper before anything else? And that going into the woods with a fake payment is at best Plan B?"
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81 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:11 pm

"And, just so we're clear about Plan B, the Silverwoods are incredibly dangerous, even when not worrying about concealing a ruse from a group of thieves, pirates, and bandits. That's another thing - the Silverwoods bandits by themselves are quite lethal, and have been emboldened since their plot to murder a unit of escort soldiers was a wild success. I don't know if the Redfangs are working with the Silverwoods bandits, but I do know they are not one and the same. If we do go with Plan B - and I agree we should investigate more before we decide on *any plan* - but if we go with Plan B, we are taking our lives into our hands in many more ways than one."
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82 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:14 pm

Sunrise furrows her brow, looking at him. "Yes, I was going to ask you about that. Realistically, how feasible would it be to do reconnaissance in and around the drop-off point before the scheduled meeting? It might be useful If we can, but you're the expert."
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83 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:37 pm

Fortunately, Laerdya Siannodel is not so paranoid as to start trapping a cabinet with her alchemy supplies--though Ka'Ri might suffer a momentary doubt as she realizes that the traps employed by wizards at the Feytower may not be ones she knows how to check for. The little lock snips open and the thin drawer is easy enough to slide forward.

Inside, Ka'Ri finds a rough piece of paper which has been carefully folded into thirds. Dried blood smears one corner of the letter and tears have caused the ink to run in the middle of the note.

You want your girl back safe, send 50,000 gold into the Silverwoods on a red cart on the 21st of Eleint. Let's start with that for now. Tell the driver to aim for Black Dagger peak. We'll intercept and take the cart off his hands. He'll get more instructions. Bring the city guard and we'll slit her throat. You don't want that, do you? No. She's doing just fine for now. We like her lots, she likes us. One big happy family.

A couple things are immediately noteworthy about the note: the handwriting is neat and clean, with just a hint of cursive flourishes on the ending letters of each word; yet the content is rough and guttural, with the tone of having been spoken aloud or dictated.

Math Nerdery:
Alright, you math nerds. Per the D&D sources I was able to scrounge up, 50k gold pieces is roughly 1,000 pounds (remember that a gold piece isn't pure gold, or it would be much heavier) and about 4 cubic feet. Put all that on a cart with a couple oxen (or griffons) and you should be able to pull it, but it's not something you'd want to haul away in bags. No, not even in bags of holding (which top out at 10k gold).

Furthermore, while 50k is a breathtakingly large sum to drop in a sitting, it is not the full treasury reserves of Brilight, no. (Brilight has a population count of over 85,000 people, after all.) But you will note the ransom note says this is just a 'start' with the understanding that more will be demanded. It is still far more than someone like Laerdya would be able to pull together in a short time on her own. If you want to try to bake sale up the cash in 2 weeks time, I won't stop you from trying.
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84 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:56 pm

Ka'Ri has a moment of triumph before realizing no one but Sunrise was watching. Guess I was too subtle for my own good. With her hand, she carefully grabs the edge of the paper and brings it over to Sunrise.

"Sunrise, I think you should check this out and see if it stinks as much to you as it does to me."

Internally she felt like she needed a shower. "One big happy family" was one of her father's favorite euphemisms for when they needed to put on a public face for the other nobs.
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85 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:59 pm

Glen furrows his brow, looking at the table where the raised map had previously stood. Deep in thought, he misses Ka'Ri's discovery.

“For the whole group, it would be impossible. I'm comfortable moving unseen through the trees, and I might be alright bringing one or two others who are similarly inclined not to make too much commotion.” He again fiddles with the ring on his finger.

“But still, it would be very risky. One would think they'd have lookouts, and as I said the woods themselves are dangerous - and the noise of unexpectedly having to subdue one of those dangers might alert the captors.” He looks back up at Sunrise, shaking his head.

“I'll be honest, it's far from a sure thing. I don't think I'd risk it.”
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86 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:11 pm

"Oh! Is skulduggery afoot?" Sithani moves over to Ka'ri and Sunrise and takes a look at the note. "Well, doesn't that sound cosy. And ambitious, if that's just the first payment. If all else fails we just need to wait and see who's new in society next year."
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87 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:31 pm

Sunrise snorts, giving Sithani a half-smile. "At least we have a time frame to work with. We either need to come up with the money or find a different approach in 14 days, or it's plan B." With a sigh she adds, "And, Glen, looks like there isn't a solid drop-off point anyway, so that's a moot point after all."

She drops the letter onto the table for anyone else to look at and glances around. "Cards on the table: I'm an entertainer, and I'm moving into politics; I've made a small name for myself so far. I can talk to people from various walks of life, and I have every excuse to be nosy." She hesitates. "I also... have some magic. Bardic magic." She takes a deep breath and meets each set of eyes. "I'd appreciate it if that didn't leave this room. But it means I do have extra tools for gathering and transmitting information, and convincing people to work with us."

She shrugs. "So. That's what I bring to the table and what I might be useful for. Who wants to go next? I figure if we have a clear idea of what we can each do, it'll be easier to come up with a plan."
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88 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:37 pm

"Oh, that's who you are? I'm a huge fan of your recent work! ...although I guess that's not too relevant." Sithani clears her throat. "I'm kind of a philosopher, moving into philanthropy, and I was given magical knowledge by an alien god-thing from outside angled space. And I'm from a good family, so I've got a bit of social clout that might help if we're looking for someone employing the Redfangs."
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89 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:57 pm

"As you've probably guessed, I'm a ranger. I'm good with a bow, scouting, hunting, and tracking. I know the Silverwoods inside and out and have contacts in the military and with many of the elf tribes in the forest. I don't know if any of this could be leveraged to help this situation, but I'm here to help however I can.”
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90 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:57 pm

"As Sunrise noted earlier, I've got some folks I can talk to on the underground that can see whether Korogur is hiring and if so where and more importantly, what areas seem to be seeing a sudden increase in muscle or recruitment efforts. Additionally, if we need to get into somewhere people don't want, or lighten someone's pocket, I'm your woman. (edited to change) I can also handle a ship in the very likely case she's been moved out of city."

Much quieter, she mutters out of the side of her mouth to Sunrise, "you've also seen me on meets for work. If you need bait on an infiltration mission with Korogur's men, I trust you enough for me to risk that."
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91 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:59 pm

Ships:
Not all the ships are under quarantine, just the ones with demonstrably sick crews.
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92 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:11 pm

"I think I've read that book," Thimb mumbled idly at the idea of the plague being the response of some heart broken person unable to join a loved one in death. She listened to the other ideas being bandied about, frowning.

"Ultimately we don't have a reason to think this and the plague are related, do we? Just seems opportunistic..." she then gave her head a shake, "I'm a chimera rancher, I think that came up already? I'm more on the zoologist side of thing, figuring out breeding, there's not as much research on the subject as you'd think! I'm, uh, well, I've been trying to learn wizarding, but that's... it's always had to come second to the ranch, so I'm not very good..." she confessed, a bit crest fallen before perking up, "I can do some magic though! Nothing incredible, but," she gestures at Hamish who is currently chewing on the discarded paper of a muffin, "I at least managed to summon a familiar. Even if they're... a little strange. Like I said though, I'm real good at research! A-and I've got some friends in the feytower that my family sells to regularly that I could maybe call a favor or two in for? I-if we needed it, that is."

She probably looked like a proper nervous fool now. They were all powerful and with real magic and here she was with a few spells to help wrangle chimera and muffins. What was she doing here?
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93 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:13 pm

Ka'Ri leans down to Thimb. "I think there's more uses to a clever wizard and researcher than you think."
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94 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:49 pm

Ellowyn smiles at thimblewick, "youre extraordinarily smart. If we survive all this I would love a chance to look at some of your work." They pick hammish up and carry him over there shoulder as they begin to pace. They felt very out of place yes they were a Cleric but this felt way out of their league this felt like world ending huge.

What had Marta gotten them into.

"Every way I think of it it feels like we're being led on a merry dance. Like we're missing some very important pieces of information. I just can't seem to put my finger on it."

They stroke hammish's tail which has curled around their necks/chin in an acceptable recreation of a beard.
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95 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:56 pm

"Well, what do we know? We know Ms Siannodel's daughter is kidnapped; we know who did it and something of their reach; we know what's been done to solve the problem so far; we know what the kidnappers have asked; and as a corollary to the latter we know one area where they can walk in and act like they own the place. Anything I've missed?"

While she waits for a response, Sithani takes another muffin.
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96 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:13 pm

"There's also the timing on the dropoff. A month and a half is a long time to hold onto something as hot as a hero's daughter. That's putting a lot of strain on a crew not to break or go bragging at the taverns and a lot of risk from jackboots or adventurers. They either must trust their crew to a degree rarely seen in non-Osprem pirate ventures or they were counting on the month-long headstart from the 'official investigation'."

Ka'Ri again tries to shrink out of the limelight. "But I digress. Rik, did you want to weigh in on skills or things we know for sure?"
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97 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:00 pm

He gestures at his full plate and great sword.

"What exactly is Hammish? Is he unique or does he have siblings perhaps? What might one do to win the favor of one such as he? Other than feed him at least?"
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98 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:30 am

"Is it likely that only a few of them know who it is they've got? The crew, I mean, not the leaders, obviously."
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99 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:19 am

Thimb smiled shyly under Ka'Ri and Elloywn's praise. "I mean if you'd like to come by the ranch I can introduce you to some of the chimera I've bred, we just had a batch hatch. I was aiming for small and avian, and it's too soon to tell, but so far they all look basically like ducklings, acid spitting, but, well, they are still chimeras, so." She gave a what-are-you-gonna-do shrug like acid spitting was a completely mundane work hazard.

Hamish, hearing themselves be asked about, preened a little, trying to be an even better beard-scarf and chittered an answer to Rik's question that only Thimb could understand.

She then blinked at Rik, "Well, they're a familiar, so, I mean, lots of people have those- and fey, as opposed to celestial or fiend, but, well, yes, they are... rather unique..." she shifted into Academic Mode, and excitedly continued, "Usually familiars are locked into one form of an existing creature, usually of their summoner's choosing. When they're unsummoned they can be re-summoned in a different form, but still, existing creatures. Something went... a little weird, when I summoned Hamish. There are a few factors that it could have been, but... no one else has been able to recreate summoning a familiar that can shift form of their own volition. Well, I did meet a warlock once, Eddie Silvers- not a pirate, even with a name like that, her familiar couldn't shuffle their form around, but they weren't an existing creature as far as either of us could tell. Sort of a tiny bioluminecent dragonling? They were pretty cute- uh, that is to say, academically interesting," she said coughing, hoping that would hide the fact she had been gushing. Again.

"As for winning their favor..." Hamish began to chitter again, and Thimb nodded, "I was getting there, no worried friend. I mean, yes, they love snacks, and shiny things, which reminds me," she picked Hamish's shiny off of the desk where they had left it earlier, slipping it into her pocket so he didn't loose it, "and petting, and... well, it's a lot like dealing with a dog that can understand what you say, really."
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100 Re: Feytower - Laerdya's Laboratory on Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:23 am

Sunrise drums her fingers on the table as everyone talks, smiling briefly at the influx of information about Hamish. At one point she scrounges paper and an ink pen and begins making notes.

"So," she says slowly after a moment. "Possible avenues of approach. One, Korugar is a pirate, and seen as a folk hero in the slums. That's me and you," she says, nodding at Ka'Ri. "You on the criminal and pirate connections, me on the folk hero angle."

"Two," she continues. "He has a family connection to a priest of Olidammara. That's you again, as a thief, Ka'Ri, and possibly you, Rik - do your temples talk to each other, and do you have a way to ask for information without alerting this Treygis person?" She glances at him before moving on.

"Three. If I'm understanding you correctly -" she looks at Rik again - "the priest is the son-in-law of a councilman? On the one hand, that's a really shaky connection to the kidnapping... but on the other hand, a councilman would probably have the funding and other resources needed to pull off something like this. Including a lead-lined room. I'd say it's at least worth poking at? That's you, Sithani, since you're, you know. Fancy." She give the half-elf a sudden blinding grin. "And maybe me, if I can weasel my way into being 'invited' to give a private performance or if my patron can wrangle a political meeting."

"Five." She sighs. "The Silverwoods. I agree we shouldn't investigate ourselves, but there might still be useful information there. If he's planning to move an entire ox-cart full of gold safely out of those woods he must be making some preparations." She looks at Glen. "Talk to your military and elf friends? If there's a new gang in town in the Silverwoods, somebody might have heard something."

Then she looks at Thimb and Ellowyn. "We don't need favors from the Feytower - yet," she says slowly. "We will later, Thimb, so if you want to shore up those contacts so they'll be friendly when the time comes, fantastic. Same for you, Ellowyn - there's people from all walks of life who owe you favors, aren't there? Even if they don't know anything that can help us right now, re-strengthening those connections isn't a bad idea for the future." With a slight smile, she adds, "Alternately, I definitely wouldn't mind the help of a cleric or a wizard, and I doubt anyone else would either."

She takes a deep breath. "What am I forgetting? Someone wanted to check the girl's room, right?"
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