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Fort Inevitable; IC Thread #1
Topic Started: 31 Oct 2015, 20:48 (563 Views)
Vong
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Council of Darkness
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Between the Echo Wood and the broad expanse of the West Sellen River stands a resolute stronghold of law and order: the walled town of Fort Inevitable. From its stern keep, companies of Hellknights ride forth to enforce the strict laws of their commander and bring authority to the unclaimed lands of the Crusader Road. While the taxes imposed by the town’s rulers are heavy and the laws inflexible, no one can deny that prosperity has followed the Hellknights’ establishment of hard justice in this small corner of the River Kingdoms. Merchants, travelers, and adventurers journeying on the Crusader Road find that Fort Inevitable provides a rare island of safety in an otherwise lawless land—so long as one is careful not to run afoul of the Hellknights’ laws.

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Fort Inevitable stands on the rolling plains near the West Sellen River, close to the forest. This is a rich and gentle land; the town is surrounded by green pastures and wide, golden fields of grain. A strong stone wall with battlements and gatehouses protects Fort Inevitable, and within this formidable defense, the town is an orderly collection of two- and three-story stone houses and workshops with roofs of red tile or blue slate. If the streets seem a little cheerless and drab, at least they’re paved with good cobblestones and cleared regularly.

Nothing epitomizes the essential nature of Fort Inevitable as aptly as the stone citadel of the Hellknights, which looms over the town. There is no difference between martial law and civil authority in Fort Inevitable. The senior officer of the garrison rules as the lord or lady commander, directly overseeing civic administration as well as exercising military command. The current commander is a stern, middle-aged Chelish woman named Paralictor Audara Drovust. She is the commanding officer of the Order of the Pike’s chapter in the Crusader Road region, ruler of the Citadel, high magistrate, tax assessor, director of public works, keeper of the treasury, and chief regulator of business and commerce. No important aspect of the town’s life and activity is left outside the lady commander’s authority.

Fort Inevitable was a good-sized village with extensive trade and commerce before the Hellknights chose it as their base on the Crusader Road, and its people still work as farmers, herders, artisans, and merchants. Law-abiding citizens find the lady commander’s rule to be firm but manageable. Those who don’t find a respectable profession or who fall into debt see a different side of Fort Inevitable, as both slavery and indentured servitude are legal here.

While the lady commander seems to wield complete authority, appearances can be deceiving. Two other Hellknight orders—the Order of the Nail and the Order of the Gate—maintain presences on the Crusader Road, and while they defer to Drovust, each maintains its own chain of command and works toward its own purposes. Much of the town’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of the Council of Prosperity, a group of wealthy merchants and industry owners that exerts a good deal of influence over the Hellknights’ decisions. Finally, the lady commander is bound by her order’s vows and regulations; the Hellknights don’t break their own laws.

Fort Inevitable may be an oppressive place to live, but the Hellknights are not mindlessly brutal or vindictive. They crack down viciously on public disorder, enforce curfews, and tightly regulate commerce and transactions, but they don’t harass honest travelers. But it’s a good idea to guard your tongue and watch your step while inside its hard stone walls.

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1. Caerlin’s Vineyard
2. The Stonde Homestead
3. Drurn’s Tannery
4. Naldred’s Farm
5. Holworth Dairy
6. Serragon Ironworks
7. Misty Lake
8. Kettlefoot Mill
9. Mosswater Gate
10. City Wall
11. Gate Market
12. Zoldor’s Masonry
13. The Juliver Arms
14. The Red Shield Tavern
15. Poldmar Stables
16. Gertrand Yeldun
17. Mirelinda the Clothier
18. North Gate Cemetery
19. Temple of Silence
20. The North Gate
21. Garrison Stable
22. Nolm Bindery
23. The Stalwart Priory
24. Sefurd’s Potions and Reagents
25. Rillin’s Armory
26. Braddon’s General Store
27. Victory Fountain
28. Hall of Rectitude
29. Mardyl Barracks
30. The Bailey
31. Chancery
32. Commander’s Citadel
33. Temple of the Golden Key
34. Goldfoot’s Mercantile
35. Juliver Leather Goods
36. The Salamander Company
37. Tsador’s Arms
38. The Helmed Lady
39. Lord Commander’s Granary
40. Dilapidated House
41. Abernard Royst’s House
42. Juliver Gate
43. Town Sewers
Edited by Ankhanu, 28 Nov 2015, 11:02.
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Vong
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Sade Joren, Tiroc Kan-il and Afram Kantil made their way to Fort Inevitable on this beautiful day. The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting and everything is in its proper order. While they arrive at different times, they all get the same greeting.

A woman with pale skin and full plate with a stylized skull on her breastplate greets you, if you use the word 'greet' loosely. "Name and purpose for visiting Fort Inevitable?" As you give your answer she scoffs and says "Adventurer. Killing anyone you feel is a villain and taking their belongings is not permitted without a warrant. Killing monsters in the area is not permitted without a warrant. Exploring ruins is not permitted without a warrant. Doing these things without a warrant will get you arrested. If you do not obtain a warrant, and no other employment is found and you decide to remain, you will be arrested for vagrancy." She marks something down in a notebook and then says "You will report to the Citadel in one week with proof of employment or a warrant for your arrest will be issued."

She allows you to pass into the fort.

--------------------------------------

While Feyvor Doomaugur spent the morning at the Hall of Rectitude facing incarceration, he got much of the same speech. "Given your experience with these bandits, however unwilling," she adds sceptically " makes you suited for an Adventurer. Killing anyone you feel is a villain and taking their belongings is not permitted without a warrant. Killing monsters in the area is not permitted without a warrant. Exploring ruins is not permitted without a warrant. Doing these things without a warrant will get you arrested. If you do not obtain a warrant, and no other employment is found and you decide to remain, you will be arrested for vagrancy." She marks something down in a notebook and then says "You will report to the Citadel in one week with proof of employment or a warrant for your arrest will be issued."

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((See description above about the Fort))

After spending some time wandering around trying to figure out what you need to get a warrant, which seems to cost 50 gold pieces. You don't want to give up so quickly, but you are not quite sure what to do. You find yourself The Red Shield Tavern contemplating your situation. Named for the striking coat of arms hanging in the common room, the Red Shield is a busy taphouse that is especially popular with the Hellknights. There is about a dozen of the town’s off-duty garrison guards here enjoying drafts of bitter or stout. The proprietor is
Embra Morsk, a middle-aged female. She is a no-nonsense businesswoman. Like much of the city, this tavern is kept clean and orderly.

You look up and see each other at various points in the evening and for one reason or another, decide to introduce yourselves.

ooc: Come up with your own reason for wanting to talk to one another! First to post gets to come up with the first idea. Describe yourselves, and your manner.
Edited by Vong, 9 Nov 2015, 23:41.
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LordIce
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Feyvor runs his hand through his clipped hair, and rubs his stubbly chin. During his brief incarceration, they roughly cut his hair and slashed off his beard. Now he felt the lack of his hair acutely.
A free dwarf for the first time in weeks, he made his way to the tavern. The bandits had offered him alcohol freely, but it was poor stuff, and stolen at that. He sought out the Red Shield taphouse and entered.
As he walked through the thick crowds, people glanced at him and recoiled in horror. This was nothing new to him. His scarred skin and pockmarked face were the curse of his oracular gift. He only hoped that these people would not assume that he needed to be cast out before the 'infection' spread.

He jingled his purse gently, surprised that the guards had allowed him to keep his few coins. It seemed that the Hellknights considered petty theft beneath them. He ordered a glass of whiskey and sat down. One advantage of his affliction was that no-one begrudged him a seat, even in a busy tavern.

'What am I to do?' he thought. He briefly considered asking the tavern owner for employment, but dismissed the thought. Even if he could convince her that he was no plague crow, it would do her business no good to have him around.

He scratched his stubble again and peered around the room. Hmm... a halfling? Not a slave, by the look of his garb. Perhaps he would be willing to help. Feyvor picked up his glass and approached the little fellow.
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Neraeos
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Tiroc nursed his drink while sitting at the bar. He was startled to see the bald, clearly diseased dwarf sit down a few seats away and grab a drink. When he got up to approach the halfling, the elf thought to himself, "I think those people are here for the same reason I am."

He then slowly and gingerly got up from his stool with a clinking of the small glass and wooden vials that hang from his belt and bandolier. He took his mug from the bar and ambled over toward the pair. The skinny elf is in a leather longcoat, and in addition to the vials he has pouches and satchels filled with foul-smelling substances. The elf's blonde hair is quite short and singed in places, and his eyebrows appear to be somewhat burned off. Despite that, his amiable face breaks into a smile as he sits down at the table with the ugly dwarf and the halfling.

"Gentlemen! I think we have a mutual problem. What do you say we solve it together?"
Edited by Neraeos, 10 Nov 2015, 15:15.
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LordIce
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"Is the problem 'money?' That's the problem I have," Feyvor states. "I need to find gainful employment, and promptly. It seems that the Hellknights think that a derelict is the same as a criminal."
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Ankhanu
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Afram sits watching the tavern, sitting alone at a near centrally located, well lit table. He watches on, mildly bemused by the orderliness of the place. Everything here reminded him of why he works so hard, from the guard at the gate, who made him smile with a shake of his head, to the neat streets, to this very tavern. Structure, stability, order; all tenuous concepts, each fragile and not made to last…

A few individuals in the tavern catch his eye in particular; the obvious pocked dwarf drew everyone’s eye, and Afram was no different, a rakish human near the bar, his smile reaching ear to ear as he talked to anyone who would listen, the golden haired fey overburdened with chemicals, a sullen maid in a booth with a burly man who has clearly had enough to drink… As he sips his ale, he notes the scarred dwarf approach. He pauses in his drink, looking the dwarf up and down, lowering the stein to the table as he arrives, “You look like a fellow who could use a change… to wipe clean the slate, as they say. Hell, to find a new slate altogether.” He smiles and gestures for the dwarf to sit.

The two exchange few words before the elf joins them. Afram looks up as Tiroc sits, raising an eyebrow as he speaks. When Feyvor responds, Afram leans back in his chair, folding his arms across his chest and nods, “Hmm, yes. The Hellknights are a curious lot, aren’t they? Rigid.
Edited by Ankhanu, 10 Nov 2015, 21:36.
In Real Life ™, people who aim to maximize their potential for lethality are called "dangerous psychotics" and are typically avoided by everyone who isn't forced to endure their company until someone has the opportunity to put them away or else put them down. No one likes that guy. Don't play that guy.

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Kelyndra
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Sade sits in a booth along the east wall, watching nonchalantly as an odd group begins to form at one of the center tables. An elf, a dwarf, and a halfling. Curious. They are just close enough to be overheard.

Knocking back the last of the ale in a mug, Sade stands up and moves towards the center table. No one pays much attention to the human strolling across the room; brown hair cut short (a bit shaggy on the top), hazel eyes, medium height, medium build, and typical studded leather armour... even gender would be a question, if anyone bothered to look.

"Couldn'a help but overhear ya talkin' there. Seems to me that I might be in the same predicament as you three here. Don't suppose now, that there's a chance we might all work together to come up with a solution, yeah?"

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Neraeos
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Tiroc looks around the tavern after Sade sits down. "Looks like nobody else is fool enough to join us. Now you all look like adventurers, like me. I'm betting you all got the same talk by the hellknights; we need a warrant, or we're going to get arrested eventually for one thing or another. We need the money to get that warrant... I figure the four of us could figure out how to get that money, given enough ale."

The elf calls for another round of ale for his newfound friends.
Edited by Neraeos, 12 Nov 2015, 08:50.
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Ankhanu
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Afram gestures for Sade to sit, "Yeah, I suppose we've got to follow the rules... for now. These warrants are pretty expensive, do we need one each, or one for all of us?"
Edited by Ankhanu, 12 Nov 2015, 08:58.
In Real Life ™, people who aim to maximize their potential for lethality are called "dangerous psychotics" and are typically avoided by everyone who isn't forced to endure their company until someone has the opportunity to put them away or else put them down. No one likes that guy. Don't play that guy.

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Vong
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In a few of the lulls as the group is thinking about what to do next they overhear some of the other patrons talking. Not that they can do anything about it tonight, they keep listening to what people have to say around them so they can discuss their plan of action tomorrow

--------
"...know what that is but I am sure the High Mother Sarise Dremagne has a plan to deal with it." A second responds "Sure, but until them we have to stare out at the ghost!" "Quit your belly aching..."

--------

"...Bloody Adventurers. They keep coming in not knowing the laws." Another responds "I hears that the Goldenfire Order of Thronkeep is looking to send out into the woods" "They could all go out into the woods a die for all I care"


--------

"...that the Spire is just a trap to draw idiots in." Another responds "Maybe, but there some powerful magic going on in there. I heard that Abernard Royst is paying enough money that you could retire if you can map all the way to the bottom" "HA! no one has ever got to the bottom. He just gets the higher levels mapped out for free. Nice contract he drafted up there" "Yea, only a sucker would..."

--------

"... hear about that slave that got away? No one found a body and I heard someone helped get the slave out." "Really? Who is dumb enough to oppose the Lady Commander in her own..."

(ooc: Friends in the Fort quest assigned)
--------

(ooc2: you all have a desire to go into the spire, so Reaching the Spire Dungeons is already assigned)
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LordIce
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"I imagine that the price of a warrant changes, depending on who is asking," Feyvor remarks slowly. "Were it someone they intended to keep in the town, they would demand one warrant per person." The dwarf sips his drink and gestures at the group gathered around him. "Were it people they saw as troublemaking reprobates, they might want us out swiftly."

"Either way, we need a job. Just to get started. I'm a... cleric. I can heal, using the power of the earth spirits."
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Ankhanu
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Afram gives a nod, conveying some slight surprise, "Indeed! I am also a cleric of sorts, though likely less skilled than yourself. May the gods smile upon our ventures!"
He leans his elbows on the edge of the table, "No, these Hellknights hold everything staunchly to the letter; order is their life. The price of a warrant will likely never waver." He leans back in his chair again sends a scanning glance around the room, "Now, if'n I were to guess, I'd say that I'm not the only one at this table who's been actively listening to the room around us, and you've all heard the same rumblings I have." He leans back in and drops his voice, "But, in order to make money, we need money; to get a warrant, we need to get a job, which requires a warrant... looks to me like we have to, um, circumvent the system in order to play by the rules, hey?"

His conspiracy out in the air, Afram leans back with a smile, "And look at us! Two men of the cloth and two adventurers just sitting idle! I hear tale of some sort of ghost problem; with two clerics on board, perhaps we could stand to earn a little start-up cash on the side finding a solution?"
In Real Life ™, people who aim to maximize their potential for lethality are called "dangerous psychotics" and are typically avoided by everyone who isn't forced to endure their company until someone has the opportunity to put them away or else put them down. No one likes that guy. Don't play that guy.

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LordIce
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"Ghost... problem?" Feyvor furrows his brow, and glances at his sudden comrades. "Ah. Yes? If there's a reward, let's go and take care of it. Where is that? Who should we talk to?"
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Neraeos
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The elf says, "High Mother Sarise Dremagne seems to have a plan for it. I don't suppose you're part of the same clerical order? Mightn't hurt to make some inquiries otherwise." Tiroc leans over the table while he holds his ale in two hands. "I am an alchemist by trade. I'm no holy man, but I might be able to help deal with a ghost or two. Any of you know anything about the Goldenfire Order of Thronkeep? Might be something that needs doing in the woods, but that might be circumventing the warrant. Not that I have any real qualms about that."
Edited by Neraeos, 16 Nov 2015, 13:30.
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Vong
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ooc: when you are ready to move on, post yourselves heading off to bed with a general idea of what you want to do in the morning.
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LordIce
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Feyvor tries to arrange a bed for the night with one of his few remaining silver. He is loath to spend it, but feels the need for a private space and a soft bed for a night. After days in the Hellknight's cells and weeks sleeping rough in the bandit's wilderness camp, his poor back is sore and his eyes are tired.

He arranges with Tiroc Kan-il and the others to meet in the morning to address this 'ghost problem,' hopefully in exchange for some more money.
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Neraeos
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Tiroc does similarly to Feyvor, though he stays up for another hour or so. When Feyvor goes to bed, the elf gets up and wanders over to where the bartender is serving. He mentions to him that he is somewhat new in town, and is hoping the bartender could fill him in on the rumours about this ghost that has been mentioned in the bar room. And as to who the High Mother might be.
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Vong
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The man chuckles and says "You really are new here. High Mother Sarise Dremagne the top priest of Abadar here at the Fort, and she runs things over at the Temple of the Golden Key. I think the ghosts are just stories told by bored guards looking for something interesting to happen on their watch. Feel free to waste your time looking into it though" he says as he takes your silver coin for the room and moves off to serve another patron insisting on a refill.
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Neraeos
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Tiroc thanks the innkeeper as he moves away to address the other patron, then goes on up to sleep.
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Ankhanu
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Afram gives the others a nod. As they begin to filter away, he turns his attention to the group that had mentioned the ghost issue and, ale in hand, heads over to their table. He seats himself with a nod, "I couldn’t help overhearing that there is some sort of ghost problem out your way? It just so happens that my mates and I have some experience in dealing with the undead and might just be able to lend a hand… for the right price, that is.” Pausing for a second he continues, "The name’s Afram, by the way. Now, why don’t you tell me a little bit about the problem?

Afram prods the group for information; location, the nature of the haunting, numbers, the people being affected, timing, etc. If they are unwilling to offer up the information, or discuss reward, he gives them a nod good night and walks away with a whistle on his lips and approaches the inn keep for a room.
In Real Life ™, people who aim to maximize their potential for lethality are called "dangerous psychotics" and are typically avoided by everyone who isn't forced to endure their company until someone has the opportunity to put them away or else put them down. No one likes that guy. Don't play that guy.

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