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user61230
3:41 AM
BEHOLD THE POWER OF THAWING.
 
Emrakul has unfrozen this room.
 
magic
 
there we go
so, got a character in mind, or want to roll one up, first off?
 
whats the starting level? I have an app so I can just create in like 2 mins
oh, but you cant see the sheet unlike in mythweavers or something
 
ah. L1 is fine here
 
3:48 AM
Hm. if I'm solo, I think I'll make a meatier guy. How do you want to generate ability scores?
 
need another? I've got half an hour to kill (@Shalvenay)
 
i find 27 point buy more balanced. Since good rolls might make your dungeon too easy
 
@nitsua60 if you want to join :)
@daze413 sure, go point buy
 
okay with you, @daze413?
 
@nitsua60 the more the merrier :D
 
3:51 AM
if you're going front-line, do you want me either support-caster, blaster, or rogue?
(Probably life cleric, evoc wiz, or swashbuckler?)
 
up to you :)
 
im thinking dragonborn fighter
with dueling
 
let's go rogue, and just hope the healing works itself out (!)
 
are you melee? then I can change to protection
ah nvm, lets not collaborate
im sticking with dueling
 
cool
 
3:56 AM
so Gold Dragonborn fighter with dueling. Stats: 16, 14, 14, 10, 11, 10. Proficiencies: Athletics, Animal Handling, Survival, Intimidation. Im done
 
alrighty
oh, don't forget at least a little equipment :)
 
yeah, chainmail + shield = 18 AC, and a battleaxe that does +5 to damage
 
wood elf monk. 8/16/12/10/16/13. acro, insight, percep, persuasion, stealth
unarmored=16AC
spear (monk weapon), longbow (elven proficiency) for some ranged option
 
oh and the name's Firaga Sunplates
 
guild artisan (calligrapher) background
Ardryll
 
3:59 AM
sure thing
ready to start?
 
I am
 
@daze413 wait, what's this about the battleaxe?
 
@nitsua60 STR+prof
 
my weapon
+3 (str) +2 (dueling)
 
dueling--that's right.
 
4:00 AM
and my to hit is also +5
 
now I'm ready =)
 
I also have 10 gold, which I can use to bribe the initial round of guards haha
 
alrighty
so...you are traveling on the wagon-road through the deep elven woods, and come to a small elven village in the forest
(inn/bar/apothecary, smithy/armorer/bowyer/carpenter, few trade stands, chapel, some houses)
 
what time of day is it?
 
It's clobberin' time!
 
4:06 AM
getting to early evening
 
Ard, please
 
probably thinking about staying the night here, next village is a day's travel
 
okay. Check in with the chapel--is there a resident priest, or is it just a communal building? (Free lodging?)
 
"It's been a while since we actually slept on a bed, and had something to drink. You go to the chapel, I'll try to get some rooms for us"
I head into the inn
(brb, switching to phone so I can take my acutal lunch break while reading)
 
Inn's moderately busy although the bartender appears to have stepped out briefly, while the chapel's quiet. After a short period of time, a short elf with an official-looking brooch holding his cloak on walks into the bar and approaches Firaga
"Just arrived, I take it?"
 
4:12 AM
[imitating Firaga] Well met, that is true. I hope to take a warm shelter this evening, rather than the gullies that have been my bed these last nights.
 
"sharp elf eyes," Firaga replies. "yeah, any room for two available?"
Nevermind that he mistook him for the innkeeper. In fact, yeah lets say he mistook him for the innkeeper
 
all elves look the same, eh?
 
The elf replies "Usually is, but you'd have to ask the bartender to be sure, I think she's in back rummaging through the storage." then sizes up Firaga a bit with sharp green eyes..."You look like you can handle yourself pretty well. Mind taking on a task for me? Can't do it myself because then nobody'd be home in town to deal with the usual constable's matters..."
 
No, he just assumes the first person to approach is always the keeper
 
fair =)
 
4:18 AM
"Ah, if you pay for our board, sure." he replies without thinking but then adds, "wait, that depends on the task"
Is Ardryll already here or am I alone?
 
(I assumed I'd headed to the chapel, but if plot makes it easier to have us both here, then here I am. Shalv?)
 
"Well...the tax collector swung into town a couple weeks ago. Took care of all the business he had in town, but he was a new guy..."
@nitsua60 and sure
 
(No need to drag out the prologue, IMO)
 
"...said he had to spend some extra time in town to collect from the groves and covens...bit odd, since they've never had the collectors visit before. Haven't seen him since."
 
"We'll do it!" he says. "oh there's Ard."
 
4:21 AM
"So... tax collector went missing after heading toward groves and covens?"
[to constable] "Hiya"
 
"sharp elf ears" he says to Ard
 
"Yes...new tax collector at that, not the usual gal the treasury sends up here."
 
Do you think that's relephant?
 
I ask for a description and where he was last seen
It is a he?
 
"Goes by Tharvyrion. City-slicker sort, showed up rather well-dressed with a rapier and buckler at his hip. No armor, either.
(that was my connection dropping out for no dang reason)
 
4:27 AM
(Yeah no need to drag the prologue, tho fun. Lets adventure!)
 
(prologue's about done anyway)
 
(Particularly if the idea is to bang on the dungeon so as to gauge difficulty)
 
(less difficulty in this case and more...overall feel)
 
(Alright we go off to find the tax collector. Fir isnt tired yet and he can use some blood spilling before bed)
 
In any case, my half-hour's up. Good luck, Daze!
night, @Shalvenay
 
4:30 AM
Good night @nitsua60 :)
 
cya @nitsua60
You ask around a bit, follow a few clues...and come to a place where a pack-trail diverges from the wagon road a little ways outside town
 
I approach with caution, scanning the surroundings. Can I see anything?
 
The pack trail looks to be moderately well-used and worn, maybe a few times a week?
 
Any signs of the tax collector? Maybe a struggle or something?
 
No signs, but something tells you that this wouldn't be an issue if he was on the wagon road still
 
4:36 AM
and this is where he was last seen?
Can I head up to one of the houses in the covens and groves and ask around there?
 
By anyone you've heard from, yeah
there's been mention that one of the covens is up this way
 
alright, I go to that coven
 
You walk up to what looks to be an old castle in the shape of an octagon
 
I approach cautiously, telling Ardryll to wait here
knock on the gates and what not
 
The gates are wide open, with the drawbridge down. They open into a foyer space, with a giant tarantula decked out in iridescent blue and tan on one side and an empty desk with a sword, shield, longbow, and quiver hanging on the other. The shield has a spider motif on it, and torches and skylights provide illumination.
There's also a machine off in the corner that has a pen and inkwell sitting next to it, and what looks to be a roll of parchment inside it
 
4:44 AM
any chance the locals told me what this place is? and if there are inhabitants?
 
They mentioned there's a coven up this way, and that it's pretty active, but not a whole lot else
 
a coven of what?
 
Witches, what else?
 
oh, i googled the meaning and it said it could be associates of a group. I didnt want to assume
 
ah, sorry about that :)
 
4:48 AM
well since the tax collector was trying to collect tax from this place, I'm assuming thyre not THAT unfriendly, right?
so I go back to the doors, and knock loudly saying "Ayooohh," (an ancient dragonborn greeting for the exact situation of coming to a home or abode and no one greets you)
oh and it comes off as a bellowing roar with my vocal chords being half dragon
 
There isn't anything to knock on -- the portcullis has been set in the open position for a while. You do hear a bit of eight-legged stirring behind you though.
 
spiders! I whirl around, bringing my battleaxe out
but I dont have my shield on yet (dont want to disrespect anyone here if I wear it while knocking), so Im wearing it 2 handed... which with my fighting style is actually worse... haha
 
The giant tarantula backs up actually, quite startled by this turn of events.
 
oh that thing was real? I thought it was a statue. I also back up, surprised
 
It spider-waves at you with its forelegs in a form of greeting, you think
 
4:57 AM
I lower my axe, and bow. Does it respond?
 
It seems to relax some at this turn of events and scurries forward a bit
 
some sort of polymorphed creature. Poor thing, this must be the work of the witches. At least it is not aggressive
can I sense if its gonna suckerbite me?
 
You can tell it's quite tame from its reactions so far
 
cool, I try to pet it. "where is your master..." I say to it like in a trance. Then I look around and inspect the parchment next to the machine
 
The spider seems to relax further, although it is a bit bristly by nature (as tarantulas are). You feel some sort of trigger underfoot and then hear a voice accompanied by a bit of machine-noise "Welcome to the Talespinners! Please sign the guest roll"
 
5:03 AM
the voice is coming from the machine?
 
sort-of? it's hard to tell where exactly it's coming from
 
"Im not here for a quest... Well, I am. But I need to find the tax collector first." he tells the machine. Bahamut Im losing my mind, talking to machines
are there other exits? (Firaga is really single-minded)
 
You can see what looks like a glimpse of your...picture? scroll by on the machine...it seems to be wanting you to sign a blank spot below it. You can see that behind you is still wide open, and there are red running-stick-figures above doors on either side of the main area/was-a-courtyard in front of you
 
I take the parchment and sign it with a puff of smoke from my nostrils, browning it with singe.
 
A few wisps of smoke curl up from the parchment, but the machine seems otherwise fine
You also get a mildly quizzical look from the spider
 
5:08 AM
"There, all signed. Now, can you direct me to the tax collector?"
 
The spider makes a motion to wave you further inside, at least, now.
 
I follow it, still not drawing my shield from my back. and sheathing my axe, feeling really comfortable here.
 
The spider itself doesn't move, but you do head in, seeing what looks to be a three-tiered structure emerge. The other seven sides of the upper tier have various doors on them (left middle and right middle have the two red-glowing-signed-doors)
 
I approach the left middle door with the red sign and knock.
 
The second tier below has ramps down from the first tier in front and back, as well as what look to be seats and lecterns in front of walls, and a few doors in back flanking the ramps. There is a third tier below that, that looks to be a pit occupied by a giant, funnel-shaped spiderweb. You can hear a yawn from down below...
The door has another sign on it, but doesn't respond to knocking. That other sign reads "FIRE EXIT -- PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS -- DOOR OPENS IN ONE MINUTE" in a bunch of languages
 
5:16 AM
oh dont want to go there. Im still at the first tier and I knock on the next door following the left side
(left side because Firaga is right handed, and wouldnt like to get caught on his flank if something happens)
 
(yeah, setting the fire alarm off by accident would be...hilarious, but probably not the most productive way to achieve your goals)
It seems nobody's in that room, which has had a picture of a book carved into a board attached to it
 
I try to knock on the next nearest door thats not a fire exit
can I enter anyway?
 
You can hear some chatter in elvish from down below though, and the door's unlocked.
 
I head down below, yelling "Ayooohh!" as I approach "Anyone here?"
 
You hear an "Oh!" and a bunch of stirring, then a feminine "Sorry about that! Be right back!" as a simply dressed elven lass with a hatchet and scroll-cases at her belt emerges from the bottom pit "I didn't hear the doorbell in all that!"
 
5:22 AM
There's a doorbell?! Firaga mentally facepalms
 
"Welcome to the Talespinners! What brings you here, sir? Last lecture was yesterday, and we don't have another one for another couple days"
"And oh, it's hooked up to the guest-roll-contraption. Automated, even."
 
"Ah, yes, I saw that device. It's brilliant but its intricacies are lost in me." he replies. "Did someone come here, a few days ago, collecting taxes?"
I give her a description
 
"Oh, yes...the tax collector! He's been here a week and a half now -- we've been arguing in circles all this time, but he just won't leave without what he believes is owed. Thing is, even the Headmistress and I disagree on how that part of the tax law is interpreted...those city-slickers weren't paying attention when they redid it last!"
"And yes...Tharvyrion's a zealous one for sure, but certainly a bit wet behind the ears as to how things work in the deep forests. Who do I have the pleasure of meeting today, by the way?"
 
Does she look nervous at all, I'm trying to tell if she's lying and hiding the tax collector in the basement half filled with water. "The name's Firaga. Firaga Sunplate. And you?"
 
She smiles disarmingly, her look mostly serene, albeit with hints of frustration at the mess showing through. "Name's Rethvara. I'm the coven's treasurer."
"Mind coming down and taking a seat?" She motions to the webbing in the center pit
 
5:31 AM
"I'll stand, thank you. Can I meet with Tharvyrion? The city guard is worried sick over his quote-unquote disappearance"
 
"Certainly. He's a bit bleary-eyed right now, been a long day trying to explain to him that he'd need to have the treasury send land surveyors out if they wanted boundaries for our territory to put on the lease..."
"I'm certainly not qualified to do that!"
She hollers back "Tharvyrion! Our guest wishes to speak with you!" and shortly thereafter, he comes scrambling up out of the webbing himself
 
"Neither am I." Fir says light-heartedly. When the tax collector shows up, does he fit the description?
 
He most certainly does -- "I'm Tharvyrion, as to you good sir? The constable sent you for me I take it?"
 
"Yes, would it kill you to send a letter or something?" he says, disappointed, clearly expecting to find a lifeless body instead of a tired elf
 
"I sent one to the Treasury oh, four days ago! Probably still hasn't arrived yet, though."
"I suppose it's the fate of the new guy to get stuck with the dirtiest jobs..." Tharvyrion muses with a yawn
 
5:37 AM
"Well, real estate taxes notwithstanding, is everything alright here?"
I try to measure his response. I still think this is all an illusion by the coven of witches
 
"They've been taking quite fine care of me, even if I have gotten food-on-a-string a few times between debates..."
He seems quite exhausted and haggard, and a bit frustrated at the situation, even a bit in over his head
 
"Anything I can help with? I'm not a tax expert but I do have some skills." he says tapping his axe and looking at the elf girl, Rethvara
 
"Here's the rub...the High Court's interpretation of taxes on leases puts them underwater on tax liability alone, but at the same time...the Treasury said that their territory was converted to leasehold, but gave me this instead of something useful!" He holds up a parchment, shaking it in frustration.
Rethvara pipes up at his frustrations with a bit more explanation "It's basically a form-lease instead of something with metes and bounds on it, so it's void ab initio...how the heck are you supposed to lease an amorphous blob to somebody?"
"I'd have gone to the Treasury myself with this, but the witch-hunters in the cities would eat me alive!"
 
Firaga is really out of his element while they are arguing. But he seems surprised at the mention of witch hunters. "Do you want me to escort you, Rethvara?"
"To settle this tax assessment once and for all."
 
"Besides, Crown land has no tax rate by law, so improvements on it and fruits from it can't be taxed, even in a leasehold situation" Rethvara continues...but then looks over to Firaga "It wouldn't help...I can prepare some briefs and send them with you, but those witch hunters would probably try to push the judge around if they knew who was behind it. Those witch hunters are mean sorts, don't have any care for the rule of law whatsoever."
 
5:51 AM
"I can deliver it, and protect the judge, if needed."
(are we still on the rails? I thought we were trying to get the combat difficulty right?)
 
"That'd be most appreciated! Perhaps you can retain local counsel when you arrive in the city, too? I wouldn't wing it alone on an argument this critical. Groves, covens, and temples all over the land are riding on this..."
@daze413 we are still on the rails indeed :) but I need to sleep. we can pick this up next time :) and yes, we will get to the combat encounter then. what do you think of the overall dungeon so far?
 
So far, I feel directionless, tbh. I didnt expect the tax dispute and felt like Firaga would have just wanted to leave after that.
seeing the collector fine and all
oh and the place is neat. Maybe you could just start there
 
@daze413 ah, sorry about that :) and perhaps I should start in there and not drag out the intro so much
 
The whole constable thing at the beginning just feels like a red herring
how many hours did you say this should take IRL?
 
this was slotted for 2-3 sessions of a few hours each
of actual play (not counting the session 0 for char creation etal)
noted about starting at the entrance to the castle btw
 
5:57 AM
oh, and did you mean the approach to the coven-castle to feel like it was a plot twist "hey-its-not-really-evil"?
 
yeah -- that's what I was going for
 
coz I liked that, and totally got it haha
 
a bunch of introverted nice guys and gals
 
though murder hobos would jump at the tarantula, does that derail the game?
 
not particularly. it'd annoy folks in the dungeon, and make your life a bit uphill...but nothing would break if you squished Ralphie (that's his name ;)
 
5:59 AM
awww... what a cute name. Maybe a nametag of sorts would make it more endearing- so players dont just squish it
 
haha, maybe I'll have to put a sign saying "Ralphie" on the receptionist's desk ;)
 
oh, the spider is the receptionist? :o
 
haha, greeter. the receptionist is part time ;)
 
I didnt get to inspect te weapons on the table, what was that about?
 
@daze413 the weapons were hanging on the wall :) think of a coat-of-arms display
 
6:02 AM
oooh, re-reading it, yeah, ok. It would make sense if it were spoken. I read it as being on the table
 
@daze413 ah. catch you tomorrow for more btw? :)
 
Ping me :D
oh, and am not clear what to do next and how to help with the tax case. but i think thatll resolve itself
see ya!
@Shalvenay additional inputs, if you wanted to ramp up the ominous castle-thats-not-really-evil scene, you could maybe start it with the treasury sending the adventurers in there, thinking that Tharvyrion was captured by the witches (or something) because "why else would he have not returned, and sending us these ridiculous counter-claims? VOID AB INITIO?!" idk. just throwing around ideas
 

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