BAND OF IRONS

Helm and Alynis morning

In the evening Helm prays with the other devotees and the healing women join in. Helm is feeling better about his calling as there seems to be others of the flock about. Alynis spends time in meditation, studying tomes and finally sleep

Both characters get a full nights sleep

In the morning they are awoken by a crying child….the same child that started this chain of events. Jelonia quiets the child and lets Helm know they do not have much food in the house. Helm presses a 2 gold pieces to her hand, “We owe you a debt, go buy what can feed our whole group with one and keep the other for yourselves…..”

Delilah comes back with items for a large stew. When the rest of the party and slaves get here there will be plenty for everyone.

It is now 8am

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Tiberious follows the Thugs

Before Tiberius can get out of the Inn the gang of Thugs leaves.

Tiberius has his equipment on and is able to get out the back door, his armor isn’t the best for sneaking but now as it is caked with filth isn’t the worst either. Tiberius follows the gang of thugs which is fairly easy. They do not hide themselves and make enough noise to be followed easily. They also do not seem to fear anyone. Several are seen by guards and they appear to give the guards some kind of hand signal that the guards then ignore the group.

The gang hits the tavern near the docks, Wharf Rat. There is a commotion inside and the gang emerges with two humans who have clearly been roughed up. Tiberius follows the gang and their two captives to the dock as the first light of dawn begins turning the sky from black to grey.

The captives are bundled to a ship different than the Yellow Sail ship. The men are held up and yelled at before being pushed down into the hold. The ship quickly casts off and heads out into the bay before Tiberius can even contemplate a rescue.

He is pretty sure he’s seen a ‘press gang’ in action capturing men to be impressed into service on this ship.

He is not sure that they were looking for the party in particular, BUT the town guards clearly knew what they were up to and ignored it.

He surmises that since the party was new in town the press gang may have been tipped off to their whereabouts as people whom no one would miss.

Dwarves don’t make good sailors anyway, they hate boats. Tiberius thinks “The gang was probably after the Human and Half Orc Barbarians as most of the rest of the party are fruity forest dwelling elves…”

Tiberius’ stomach growls, a hearty breakfast ale is needed and The Wharf Rat seems like the place to get some breakfast. He enters The Wharf Rat as the early crop of sailors is moving in and out. Seemingly fishermen from small boats as they are clustered in small groups. The architecture of the place is clearly built by shipwrights. A large wooden structure topped with 3 peaks that look like upturned ship hulls.

He goes generally unnoticed as he blends in with the crowd which appears to be interested in food and drink before setting out for early fishing. The main hall is LARGE with indeed what looks like a overturned hull of a ship as a roof. The Large main hall is flanked by two smaller but still large rooms with hull roofs.

There seems to be a variety of Sailing/fishing related businesses here as there are signs for sail and net mending. The side rooms holding small merchant stalls and many tables and small snug like rooms for eating and meetings.

There is a large bar with a hearth burning, fish stew is what is offered as well as week grog and ale. There are easily 50 people mostly human in here and there is a slight clamor from the talking and eating related noise.

There are two hallways leading behind the bar, one labeled STAFF ONLY the other labeled ROOMS.

General inquiry gets Tiberius the information that there are individual and crew rooms available. Just about any ship related service and job placement if you are looking to sail.

As he is eating a couple Pelgaryn guards come in and do a walk about in the place. No one pays them any attention and they don’t seem to pay anyone any mind, just take a lap around the hall and leave.

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Raif returns to town

Raif stopped at the edge of the woods to thanks his god Obad-Hai for this new gift, and give a small sacrifice. The caravan had prevented diligent devotions, and he hoped that the god still looked favorably upon him. He cast Druidcraft on several surrounding plants, causing the flower to blossom. A small wind swirled the fallen leaves around him and he knew his offering has been accepted. As he turned towards the town, he felt a slight pull, as though he has forgotten someone. Curious, since Obad-Hai is the only god he has ever shown deference to.

There are other deities, to be sure. After all, wasn’t that drunken oaf always bellowing about Pholtus?—who, as far as Raif could tell, was the God of Falling on Your Ass in the Muck. “Dwarves”, he muttered and shook his head.

No, this was not Pholtus, nor was it Obad-Hai… But he felt compelled to cast Druidcraft again. This time, Raif summoned a small orb, usually only useful in predicting the coming weather. The orb flashed violently with lightning and torrential rain—odd, since the sky was hardly cloudy. Who was this god? Raif stretched out with his thoughts, trying to get a clear view, but the more he reached, the further away he felt. And after a few short minutes, the presence had dissipated completely.

Raif had learned long ago to obey signs rather than question them, so, suppressing his thoughts, he slowly continued back to town. He needed to upgrade some of his gear. And maybe purchase a rain-proof cloak, just in case…

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Tiberius is disturbed

Early morning as Tiberius struggles with his dilemma there is commotion in the Inn. Noises, raised voices, scuffle and verbal altercations in the hallways within the Inn.

Tiberius’ ecstasy is over. He gets up and stretches his knees. He puts on his vestments and ties a rope belt. He puts his dagger in his belt. He is not going to put his armor on as that would take ten or twenty minutes and after what he did that night, he is very sore. Now empowered with Divine Smite, he can do some serious damage against a regular civilian which is what he assumes is going on.

He has Bless, Shield of Faith and Thunderous Smite prepared. Before he opens the door, he uses his Divine Sense. Assuming it is not something terribly evil, he’ll open the door.Peeking and sneaking Tiberius investigates.

A group of armed thuggish looking men are in the Inn. It looks like they have been ‘discovered’ sneaking in They are arguing with the half dressed Innkeeper Jack Morgan and a couple guards.

There are several other half dressed half awake patrons.

As Tiberius listens the group of Thugs is looking for the party members, asking about the “group that came on the caravan” Jack Morgan the Innkeeper tells them that the party and booked a room here, but never showed up.

The thugs have no identifying items on, most are carrying short swords and daggers. All are dressed in dark clothing, all have thin ropes looped at their belts. Several have light packs on.

Tiberius returns to his room and quickly cleans up, puts on his armor and stows his personal belongings back into his pack. With a group after us, I don’t want to be left unarmed. I’ll leave from the back door to protect the innkeeper.

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A little extra for Markessa
More stuff Vincent sees

Vincent has sat through dinner with the 4 “bad guys” a few tables away, all the while keeping himself occupied with paperwork and looking at various trinkets and wares he has brought as props for his charade.

Eanwulf the pirate captain is the first to leave eating greedily and excusing himself

Vinny continues making notes and reading his papers. He isn’t just scribbling, he is making out very convincing false ledgers including amounts of goods he’d like to move.. He feels someone behind him and notices one of the guards has moved.

Vinny sits back in his chair and lowers his arm near his hidden dagger, while bringing his wine glass to his lips in preparedness to toss the wine into an attackers eyes before a dagger thrust…..but the threat is not that serious.

A guard has indeed moved around behind him and is looking over his shoulder presumably to see what Vinny is working on.

Vinny drinks from his wine glass, swallows, then turns his head slightly stating “I don’t suppose you are an accountant?” he pauses and getting no response from the guard continues “I’m trying to juggle the amount of capitol I can get my hands on vs the speculation of sales between the vanilla bread that comes from Carlan’s Bakery versus these absolutely stunning sugar jellies…People NEED bread but they WANT candy, here try one of these….” Vinny turns offering a candy to the guard but he sees the guard has already turned and left, presumably satisfied that Vinny is hard at work at boring tasks.

Vinny spends a few more minutes on his false bookwork. Kurias leaves the table and walks from the Elf Hammer, leaving just Theg and Markessa. Some small talk between them and Theg leaves stating “8am tomorrow at my home we will leave for the stockade” before walking out the door…

In a few minutes a human dressed similar to the guards approaches Markessa’s table, he has even better armor on than the others. Polished brass studs and shoulder guards, his sword has a large jewel set in the pommel and the scabbard it sits in intricately detailed. He has a square jaw and thick shoulder length jet black hair.

Markessa: You? How dare you so brazenly approach me!
Guard: Sorry my lady, your beauty is such that I had to get closer to see you
Markessa: A pale attempt at flattery, you should at least be on your knee

The guard bends to one knee

Markessa: That is better, groveling suits you better

she extends a hand and the man attempts to kiss it

SMACK! Markessa strikes the man sharply on the cheek

Markessa: Address me properly!
Guard: Lady Markessa may I have the privilege of being allowed to kiss your hand….
Markessa: now you may

The guard begins to kiss Markessa’s hand and then begins to work up her arm, kissing and drawing nearer. Markessa bends and they passionately kiss.

Markessa: Devon! (addressing the guard) Why are you here?
Devon: To see you of course, make sure you are safe

Vinny thanks this is a good time to leave making a mental note of what Markessa’s (lover?) looks like. He grabs his papers, finishes his wine and heads to his room as Markessa and Devon are opening a bottle of wine.

Obsidian Portal site – characters – Markessa the man pictured with her is Devon

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Vinny overhears the Slavers

Seated at a table just within earshot of Vincent Rhodes who is disguised as the trader Mateo Matisse;

Theg Narlot-the half orc slave and bandit boss.
Markessa-the possible representative of a slave ring come to look over Theg’s operation
Kurias-Baron of Pelgaryn
Gruff middle aged human that Vinny saw on the Yellow sail boat, captain or first mate?

The 4 have dinner and a drink during the conversation

As the food and drink comes to the table Markessa waves her hands over the table and says something under her breath. Vinny is pretty sure she cast some sort of spell in plain view of the others, but she may have been saying some sort of prayer over the food as well.

Vinny has seen all these people and has a pretty good idea that there is some sort of slavery ring in Pelgaryn. Since he was in the neighboring town of Safeton which also had slavery it doesn’t seem to be out of the norm BUT

Slaves in Safeton seemed to be more of an indentured servant type. Still a slave to never get free from bondage, but some bad circumstances seemed to put them there.

What Vinny is beginning to deduce that this is a more nefarious slavery ring. One where they are capturing anyone they can get their hands on. Ransoming some for money if they can and selling anyone without the ability to pay into slavery.

As the four talk Vinny gets the run down on the outline.

Kurias is a evil ruler who has supported bandit raids. He is greedy and wants more

Theg came as a representative of a group of slavers who want to add Pelgaryn as a base of operations. He has been scouting and grooming Pelgaryn

Markessa is someone higher up in Theg’s organization. She is here to see how successful Theg has been

Eanwulf is the name of the gruff man off the ship. He does appear to be the captain

As Vinny listens, he hears snippets of the conversation.

Markessa says: “The Council of Nine” is pleased with Kurias progress in Pelgaryn.
Eanwulf is concerned about his ships being seen this far north. Kurias assures him Pelgaryn is a safe place for his pirates
Theg and Markessa both thank Eanwulf for his work in securing the waterways for quick movement of cargo (slaves)
After touring one of the slavery holding places tomorrow, Markessa and Theg will return on Eanwulf’s ship to Highport
Markessa says: she will return in a few weeks and will take over from Theg as he is needed elsewhere
Markessa says: Safeton is a “no go” for now. The military is too powerful and the nobility too entrenched. Not like our loyal friend Kurias here.

SO
Markessa and Theg are representatives of something called ‘Council of Nine’ that seems to be a slavery ring based far to the south
Eanwulf and the pirates are the seafaring arm of the organization
Kurias has welcomed their group into his town which he rules as a despotic baron

This seems to be a large and well oiled organization. Not something the low level party is ready to work over…BUT maybe once a few levels are gained this will be something to come back to once the party establishes itself as more powerful

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In Walks Trouble
Elfhammer, the gang's all here

Vinny meets a few people in the first hour. There are several other travelers here but Vinny quickly learns he doesn’t like the two he makes small talk with. First is a loud hard drinking middle aged human named Bartholomew. Bart is quick to yell at the bartender, stamp his glass to demand another drink and boast ablaut how ripe the town is for picking. He is quickly drunk and away to the bathhouse with a prostitute that looks far too young to be doing her job by choice.

On the other side of him of the bar what appears to be a brother brother team of Konos and Kaleb. They are also here trading but when asked about what they change the subject. They are pretty nonchalant about indicating they are trading in something nefarious, but don’t provide details. “it’s just business, you know”
The bartender is quiet and non talkative.

Konos and Kaleb are bickering. Vincent is slowly sipping wine and not having ay luck engaging patrons in other conversations. He overhears Konos and Kaleb say something about slaves and deduces that since this seems to be some sort of slave ring going on in the town, that they are probably slavers of some sort.

He’s been there over an hour when 3 gruff looking men in newer studded lester armor come in. They don’t talk to the man behind the counter who has greeted everyone but these three with words. The three men walk into the bar area and are not fished by the two guards flaking the door who have checked everyone else who has come in

The 3 men “case” the place looking it over, then start talking to patrons. Vinny has seen many professional fighters and soldiers and these 3 are definitely in that realm of work. There is always one watching while the others are talking with patrons. Vinny sees that one of them is a WASP guard just without his blue and white tunic on.

Vinny is confident in his disguise that the guard would not recognize him as Vincent from the caravan. When the 3 reach him they ask about who he is and what he is doing here. Mateo Matisse offers the men some of the candy, they decline and seem to be satisfied with his description of himself as a trader.

The men walk back into the bathhouse area and there is a commotion, some yelling and eventually the men emerge with a struggling Bartholomew in a half nelson. Bart is naked and you hear one of the guards say “teach you some manners” as they open the door and throw him outside

Snippets of “he’s no longer staying here” said to the man at the counter and “Just toss his stuff outside” seem to indicate that the 3 didn’t like Bart. Vinny gets the feeling that these 3 men are known by the employees here as they seem to be letting them do whatever they want.

The men take up positions around the room, one by the front door, one by the kitchen entrance and one in an overwatch of the room. Vinny feels like they are setting up to guard someone in the room. Several minutes go by and 3 more similar dressed men walk in and disperse to places unseen in the bar.

In another half hour Vinny has ordered soup to make sure he has a reason to stay. He takes a centrally located table with a good view of the room and doesn’t have to wait long. With an air of mystery and evil regality…

Theg Narlot-the half orc slave and bandit boss.
Markessa-the possible representative of a slave ring come to look over Theg’s operation
Kurias Zeltrin-Baron of Pelgaryn
Gruff middle aged human that Vinny saw on the Yellow sail boat, captain or first mate?

They conveniently sit only a few tables away from Vinny within earshot. Vinny fumbles with some papers that he had made some notes on earlier making it look as if he has no interest in the newcomers but angling the papers so sound will bounce off them making it easier for him to hear……

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Raif bolts for the forrest

As the party scatters to fortify loose ends, Mourning Storm quietly makes his way through the town. A lot has happened in these last few days, and he needs to feel the wind and see the stars. He knows he should meditate—the battle with the Orc cleric was particularly draining but as he leaves the lights of the town further and further behind, an energy slowly wells up inside of him.

After years of wandering, he finally has a lead to pursue. A smile plays across his face. Those Orcs weren’t just slavers. They are part of much bigger picture. Possessing that seal proves it. That woman slaver is part of it too. It all points back to the blue flames.

Hope begins to swell in his chest. Not just hope, excitement. His pace quickens, as the trees open to large clearing. A family of deer is foraging before they bed down. Mourning Storm runs towards them—being tied to this caravan has prevented him from sporting with the creatures of the wood.

Suddenly the deer take fright and bolt. He tries to call after them, but his voice is obscured by a long, low howl. He crouches lower to the ground, continuing to run with the deer, hoping to follow them to shelter. He looks back to gauge the pursuit, but his vision is obscured by a large, grey tale. He howls with delight! Renewed vigor and purpose pushes him after the deer, tongue lolling out of gaping jaws.

The hunt yields nothing, but the freedom and power Mourning felt is more than enough compensation. He collapses, utterly exhausted. He is brought to himself with a start. An ancient Elf has discovered him in the woods and is making sure all is well. The Elf shares his wineskin and introduces himself as Carric. For some reason, Mourning Storm feels safe in revealing his true name, or the first part of it, Raif.

Carric is a druid as well, and they talk and drink for a long into the night. Raif tells him the story of the burning of his forest and death of his mentor, as well as the destruction of the neighboring town. Carric asks some dangerously poignant questions about Raif’s family, but changes the subject when he senses the younger Elf’s discomfort.

The talk turns to Raif’s transformation, and what it will mean for the druid going forward. Carric talks of the druidic circles and invites Raif to meet with his own Circle of the Land in the coming days, but the young Elf barely hears him. He has tasted true power, and his head swims with it. That’s why he didn’t feel the need to offer his traveling name—he’s getting stronger! Bolder! The Circle of the Moon will bolster that strength.

As dawn breaks, Raif leaves the old Elf, with much thanks for the talk (and the wine) and promises to consider his offer. He heads back to the town to join his companions.

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It's the Kvothe and Ganra show!!!!

Kvothe and Ganra offer to entertain the crowd during one of the lulls. The crowd originally boos, but some illusionary tricks from Kvothe and Ganra’s quick bow have them at least a little entertained.

The show also has some pratfalls and jokes about throwing the halfling. Halfling on Ganra’s shoulders with a cloak on so it looks like one huge person goes over well.

Kvothe ends the show with dirty limericks;

There once was a priest from Pelgaryn,
Whose prick was the size of a pin.
Said a whore with a laugh,
As she fondled his staff,
“This won’t be much of a sin.”

Which gives the crowd enough of a laugh that the bartender allows free food and lodging for the group.

All the while the group is taking with patrons and looking for information and rumors

Markessa
Is an unknown. No one has ever heard of her

Theg Narlot
Theg is basically the “Vice Baron” of the town although no one seems to know how he got into his position.
About a year ago he started accompanying Baron Kurias and seemingly dealing in a lot of the Baron’s dealings

The town has always been a hive of scum, but since Theg got here a year ago things have gone down hill.

Theg is a representative of the Orc empire of the Pomarj an area 300+ miles south. He is establishing some sort of trading partnership with this area

I’ve seen orcs in this town recently. Not the occasional half orc, but orc soldiers skulking about at night

Kurias Zeltrin
Baron of Pelgaryn has always been a despot

He has always supported and profited from raiding surrounding towns and cities. I’ve heard that recently he’s started taking slaves as well as loot

Relationship
Kurias and Theg are both highly competent assassins. They are building some sort of alliance
(Pyremeius-god of assassins statues have been seen about town)

Kurias rules as a public figure with Theg (more recently) often at his side

Laws of the town come down with Kurias name on them and he is looked to like any baron leader of a town

The town has a to have a nobility government structure with the several rich families of the town having duties of decision making.

Kurias is a bad dude in his own right. a “bandit king” would be a good description as he is rumored to be involved in ambushes and ransom…of course you know Theg is involved in ambushes and ransom AND slavery.

The rumors that Theg is here as a representative (could Markessa be too?) to establish some sort of pact.

Bandit king + slaver + whatever Markessa is ………

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Vincent at the ElfHammer
There is a middle aged well dressed man behind the front desk with a dining room/bar off to the left and a hallway and stairs to rooms to the right. Vincent sees several guards and servants milling about. There was a guard at the front door and there are 2 flanking the entrance to the bar/dining room

Vinny announces himself and pays for his room. The manager makes a note in a ledger and welcomes him. Describing the dinner times, when the bar is open, rules about weapons and that “down that hall is the bathhouse” Vinny lets the manager show him the bathhouse, playing up his visitor aspect.

The ElfHammer has a bathhouse type building attachment to it. There is a guard just outside in the hallway with his back to the room. Vinny is surprised that for a few coppers more he can take a warm shower or soak in a stone tub. The water seems to be the same kind of hydro-static pressure that makes the public fountains work. He surmises that there must be a fire along the route of the pipe. .

There are 2 stone shower stalls and a heated tub that could fit 4 people. A corpulent man seemingly asleep is in the tub as a young servant girl massages his shoulders. . The manager also informs him that if he desires an “acquaintance” he points to the girl massaging the man, that can be arranged, just see him. He also mentions that there are other services like massages, perfumes, and skin treatments available.

He elects not to use the shower/bath yet as he is reasonably clean already.

Vinny takes his amount of stuff up to his room. He still has a pack and has tried to give the best interpretation that he is travelling. He got clean but not “too clean”

A obvious dagger in a scabbard on his belt to be turned in.

A “forgotten-just a habit” dagger in his boot

And a belt worn chest high with a dagger in between his shoulder blades, pommel down. Reaching under his shirt behind his back to “scratch” can put it right into his hand…..and from experience he knows searches are usually quick and obvious areas like boots and waistbands

There are a few people at tables and bar as he heads down. He purchases a bottle of local wine and will work on the letter for a bit before trying to strike up a conversation

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