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1
Cracked Cup, Main
Spoiler: show
The trio of White Jacquets rouse at their table at the mysterious woman's mention of a thief. Lifting their heads up from their drinks, they turn to each other.

"Gentlemen, we're in luck," the thinnest and tallest member of the hooded trio says to his comrades. "And here we thought this would be a dull afternoon..."

They stand and follow the tiefling in her pursuit.
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Cracked Cup, Main
Spoiler: show
Chorden exited the alleyway alongside Lai Shan. As she rushed back into the Cracked Cup, he began making his distance away from the tavern. At first in a slow stride, making sure he was still in eyesight once the tiefling began her pursuit. As soon as he heard the sudden shriek from the tavern he burst into a full on sprint. He shot a glance back over to the tavern's entrance, and just as he hoped, spotted a determined tiefling on his tracks. However, it appeared the three Jacquets had decided to accompany her on the chase. On one hand this couldn't have turned out more perfectly, having all three of the Jacquets out in the open would allow his cohorts the perfect chance to escape unseen. On the other hand that leaves him with all three of them trained on him and him alone.

Without a second thought, Chorden shifted his course straight into the ongoing street, delving into the evening crowd. With his age and size into consideration, he knew he couldn't outrun the four larger humanoids behind him. If he was going to get away, he needed to put as much obstruction as possible.

Athletics: 1d20 + 1  = (8 + 1) = 9
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 6  = (19) + 6 = 25

2
Cracked Cup, Main
Spoiler: show
Greeted with a face first collision into an unknown figure, Chorden couldn't help but give a slight yelp in reaction to the impact, hoping the sounds of tavern goers would drown it out. He grabs his snout in recoil from the sudden bump, and as he looks up upon the perpetrator worry begins to overtake him once more. As he looks upon the audacious tiefling, her  pupil less eyes, her piercing horns, and that butcher's cleaver she calls a sword, a single thought sprang in his mind:

"Shit."

As they exited the Cracked Cup, taking refuge in the alleyway just next to it, Chorden spiraled into a mild panic over this newfound complication.

"Shit, shit, shit...", he quietly muttered to himself.

"Chorden this is BAD." she whispered. "The new girl looks ready to start a ruckus!"
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"Yes I'm fully aware of the repercussions, thank you!...

Chorden vigorously rubbed his temples,"Damn it!... We have to draw her out here, lest she doom us all..."

He pressed down harder upon himself, desperate for a spark of inspiration. He snaps his fingers as an idea begins to form.

"Alright, here's the plan. You run back in there and desperately plead for her aid to stop the fiendish Kobold that just robbed you on your way out. I can lead her away for a few blocks, long enough for the rest to make their departure."

He took a moment to fasten his hood before continuing," Let's see, tell her it was your late mother's pendant that she, hmm... ah yes! That she,before her passing, requested you to pawn off for contributions to the Julicko House! Believe me, folk of her ilk are more easily swayed when there's more emotional investment to it."

3
Cracked Cup, Backroom:
Spoiler: show
Chorden gaveLai Shan a knowingly nod as he proceeds to gather and store his laid out munitions.

"Sir Delric, we apologize for this sudden disruption, but I believe you'll prefer a change in scenery just as much us..."

He glimpsed over toAaron, his look moving from his soft and polite expression, down to the bare skin stripped bone that serves as his new leg. His enormous size alone would be the first thing to give away his location, and his new appendage, though he's gotten attuned to it, would surely impede him in a chase. He winced at the thought of losing poor Aaron, ever so slightly a sign of pain gave way for those to spare a mere second's glance. He shrugs it off, and returns to that cold reptilian demeanor of his.

"Do as Truman says, just keep your wit and your brawn hand in hand and you'll be fine."

He turns towards Truman, with a furrowed brow to greet him...

"You make sure he gets out of this."

Without a word more he strides towardsLai Shan, ready for whatever tricks she has planned.

4
Cracked Cup, Backroom:
Spoiler: show
Chorden:
Delric clears his throat. “Er, a thousand up front? I’m afraid your fee is at my safehouse right now, and rather…inaccessible for the moment. I only have 50 on my person, of which I’ll gladly give you every coin.” He quickly offers up a small jingling bag.
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Inaccessible?!...

No, no, no that is NOT the word Chorden wanted to hear. For you see he knew all too well of the word and it's meaning, and he would tell you "Inaccessible" was reserved only for the debtors who leeched off the coin of others, or suckled opium tubes til they were dry, with only the imminence of broken limbs to compensate. A furrowed brow began to form on Chorden's face, if only one half of one that was visible. His teeth began to bare ever so slightly as a lingering flame kindled within his very being. Gripping the blade in his hand ever tighter he glared down Delric with such a fiery passion, as if to decipher the truth from under the veil that was his calming guise.

Insight: 1d20 + 1  = (20) + 1 = 21

However, as Lai Shan spoke his focus snapped back. Her words sprang true with reason, enough for Chorden to ease his fury for the time being.

"Sigh as you wish my dear. Though I shall specify the terms of payments again later, for now the fifty gold will have to do. Oh, Miss Lai Shan if my mind has not waned yet I believe I have a fair understanding of what your plan may be. Though I must ask, please refrain from purchasing any of the more "expensive brands" if you can. You tend to carry a nasty habit of pursuing concoctions of a, shall we say of a "finer quality". A simple ale or wine should suffice..."

It wasn't long after that Chorden caught the glimpse of Truman peering through the creak of the door...

"Vigilant as ever Truman, but please attempt to "listen" to the topic at hand if you aren't going to partake in it."

Stricken with curiosity from Truman's lack of a response, Chorden dropped down from the table's platform to scurry over. Without warning nor permission he begins climbing up against Truman's backside, using the fabric of his clothing for support. He makes his way to Truman's head level as he finds himself a suitable perch upon his left shoulder. He surveyed the outside area just above Truman's head to gather what he was seeing.

Perception: 1d20 + 3  = (17) + 3 = 20

He spots a table not far from theirs, harboring three familiar figures."What the nine devils are you looking... no, Queensmen!

As Truman alerts the rest of the imminent danger Chorden jumped off his shoulder. He brandishes a worn blowgun.

"Nevertheless, better to be prepared for a brawl if one does indeed come to pass." He says as he takes stock of his ammunition, laying out a pile of scattered darts with a small vial of poison to accompany it...

"At the very least, let's try to keep it outside."


5
The Back Room at the Cracked Cup:
Spoiler: show
"Simply cheap then? Well, better than penniless at least...

Chorden took a moment to reach into his component pouch, secured tightly on his waist. Rummaging through it's contents he pulls out a single root, a "Juxi Root", one of many specimens grown amongst the soils of the Suntea Islands. He reaches over his shoulder to unsheathe one of his daggers, and with the root in his grasp he carefully cuts the bottom end as it drops into his palm. Known for their rich cinnamon-like taste, Chorden chucks the piece into his mouth, savoring the flavor as he slowly begins to chew.

He breaks his gaze off from the seasoned Elf as he bobs his head downwards, his eyes sequently motion left to right. He begins tapping the flat end of the dagger's blade against his jawline in a repetitive manner as he loses himself in thought. He weighs the options set before him, taking no more than another moment's pause until finally settling on his intentions. He locks his gaze with Delric's once more as he proceeds...

"...First thing's first, your offer is certainly substantial enough for us to accept the job at hand. However, if I may be so bold I'd like to add a single condition to the deal. We receive the first thousand gold upfront and take and the remaining amount upon completion. We must be aware of the possibility of Queensmen stumbling upon us amidst the act, or of interference from any unexpected "third party", allies of Rugo or otherwise. If that happens we may need to consider retreating back into hiding for a period of time. We could use the money either for a traveler's fee, or for food and supplies if we decide to remain within the city walls."

Persuasion: 1d20 + 1  = (3) + 1 = 4

6
The Back Room at the Cracked Cup:
Spoiler: show
Chorden rolled his ey- well, his one good eye at Truman's remark. He forgot all too easily of Truman's oh so honorable "no killing" philosophy, a fallacy that irked him to no end. He turned to face him and said...

"No my boy, I believe it's you who isn't the willing assassin among us. Do not mistake the subtext of my words to be in your favor, I just meant to say we're more than just the simple minded killers that plague these city streets along with it's parliaments. Though if we must kill then let's ensure we're at least promised an appropriate compensation for us all to stride forth with. After all it's as they say, if you exceed at something then you may as well be paid for it, and I do believe no one has proven to be more adept at their skillset than our own Madam Lai Shan here..."

" ... Oh and while we're on the subject, please refrain yourself from delving into the specifics of the job just yet Miss Lai Shan. I'd rather we discussed the specifics of the job after we've decided whether or not it would be financially beneficial enough for us to pursue."

7
Chorden climbed his way up onto the tabletop using one of the surrounding chairs as his stepping stool. As he stood on the table he slowly paced himself forth and back across the table, clasping his arms together behind his back as the discussions began. In meetings like these, Chorden always took note to take up some form of an elevated position such as this. With someone of his height, it would be all too easy for someone to overlook his participation if he stood below at his usual "knee-level" stature.

"Well, Sir Delric was it? Your conviction to seeing such a "Act of Justice" carried out is truly commendable I must say. However, as I've already stated to you before we find ourselves in a vulnerable position, without proper shelter or security we're liable to end up crushed in the grasp of the Queen's righteous gauntlet in any day's passing. Though I am aware my words alone cannot speak for the wishes of all my compatriots as a whole, I must state the severity of the fact that we can't afford to reveal ourselves, nor to dwindle away the few resources we have remaining for mere "charity work."

Chorden jutted his gaze from Delric to each of associates across the table, waiting for any objections to arise or at the very least expecting to see some disapproving looks amongst them. He turns back to Delric to continue...

"...Unless you possess knowledge of something in the wizard's possession worth great value? Barring any potions or low rate magical items he already holds in his stock of course."

He halts his pacing as he stands at the center of the tabletop, staring directly into Delric's eyes as he continues...

"Surely you must understand, a Motley crew such as we can't continue carrying out operations of this scale without proper compensation or income. So if you wish to enlist our skills in this endeavor, then some form of payment must be provided. Either with beforehand information of any high valuables in the target's possession, or with upfront monetary compensation. And considering you believed yourself to be able to call upon the aid of a select few individuals, of which you take to be nothing more than simple assassins, for cheap labor by simply rekindling an old and withered friendship, the odds of the latter aren't looking all too likely..."

8
Almost immediately after Chorden finished talking, Luis slowly rose his hand as well.

Still drinking what was left of the coffee, Luis gave the kobold a toothy smile.“Call me mutt one more time, and I’ll have your tail for dinner...” But said grin carried no friendly vibes.
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Chorden requited Luis's assuredly empty threat with nothing more than a smirk and a slight chuckle to match."Adorable...."

Feeling he a gave Luis the time of day more than necessary, Chorden leapt off the table, only giving off a small thud as he lands by Delric's side

"Just keep your eyes towards the door and leave that lingering tongue of yours still for the moment. Your welcome to help yourself to my pork loin if you find yourself hunger stricken..."

He faces the rest of party," Well then, shall we proceed?"

9
He speaks very honestly about the memory, and his tone is both fond and sad. He very quickly shows you the brand--three black parallel stripes on his inner left wrist. Just when you determine his complete honesty, the elf covers up the brand. “Perhaps...I think we should continue this conversation elsewhere. Anywhere more private...”

He glances around the room as if watching for someone of something specific. Meanwhile at the bar, Figg sends over another round of refills.
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Well, he's either truthful or rehearsed....

Chorden allows himself one last taste of mead to savor for the supposedly long discussion ahead. He sets the glass down and gathers his scroll container to the side, along with any other belongings he may have placed about. He walks towards the tables edge opposite, closing the gap between him and Delric, before stopping to turn and face the rest of his cohorts.

"One of us should remain here to serve as a watchman. If any Queensmen make themselves welcome here someone should be ready to make a clean dash to warn us..."

Chorden quickly shifts his focus onto Luis...

"I vote the mutt. Anyone else want to vote the mutt? Raise your hand if you want to vote the mutt." He says as he holds his right arm erect

10
The elf saunters over, looking past Aaron briefly and wrinkling his brow curiously at the sight of Luis, posed like an attack dog. The elf is emaciated but stylishly dressed, with a gaunt handsomeness often seen in ancient elven portraiture.

“Help me?” he replies to Lai Shan. “Perhaps, yes. Did I hear Figg correctly—you’re friends of Mr. Braddock?” The elf raises his hands, open palms out to ease Luis’s anxiety. “A dear old man. Clever, for a human. Do you happen to know where he might be? I’m putting together something of a crew, and Braddock would prove vital to my work…”
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Chorden eyes down the strange Elf with a piercing gaze, unflinching and unmoving, even as he sips his freshly served black-honey mead. He takes note to study the movements of his eyes as they scan everyone amongst the party, along with the constant jutting and clasping of his lips as they continue to form his sentences. It's usually the eyes that give away the soul's intent, he thought to himself, otherwise a stutter or a moment's hesitation will tell you somethings amiss.

Insight check: 1d20 + 1  = (16)+1 = 17

"Refrain yourself for just a moment..."

Chorden interrupts," Apologies sir, I mean no disrespect but if you ARE a friend of Braddock's or simply of the same profession then I'll assume your one to keep his ear to the ground. We are in a tight position closing ever tighter as we find ourselves lacking in reliable associates. If you are who you say you are then I'm sure you can provide some form of substantial proof of your affiliation? A truth? A story? A trinket perhaps? If you can then we may be "delighted" to disclose his whereabouts with you. Otherwise you can escort yourself on the path you were before and stop WASTING precious time..."

11
The elf struggles to stand, but eventually finds his feet and begins to stagger slowly in the crew's direction.
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Catching the Elvish shape growing closer in the corner of his eye, Chorden frantically gathers the exposed parchments. He goes to tear a single small corner off one of the parchments as he hands it over to Truman along with his freshly dipped ink pen, then proceeds to quickly crumble the pages together. He proceeds to shove the crumbled remains of his map back into his scroll container, hiding their written out plan from other prying eyes.

Chorden then braces himself for one last swig of coffee, emptying the rest of the pint in one fell swoop. Now feeling sound of mind, or at least mores so than a moment's past, he beckons one of the servers over, returning the emptied glass while ordering a dish of his own...

"May I have a plate of Pork Loin? Ten delicate slices, lightly cooked with a sprinkle of pepper carefully on each individual piece..."

His fur bristling, and tail erect, Luis aggresively showed his teeth to the approaching elf. He was still not calm and his (assumed) drunken stupor wouldn’t help the cause. He lowered himself at the level of the table, leaving only his eyes sharply fixed on the mer.
Hoping no one would mention anything about him, so he could start a fight with the just as intoxicated visitor.
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"Down child..." Chorden commands Luis, as a master would to his hound. "Don't repeat your acts of foolery so soon. We can't afford any confrontations while we're out here..."

He gleams towards the Elvish man,"... If ALL mutual parties agree that is."

12
However, his prayer didn’t seem to work, as he stood up and slammed both his hands onto the table “Fuck business!” His anger took the best of him, and fully shifted into his wolf form “Even Lain understands what’s to have a family! You piece of -hiccup-!”
Luis approached Chorden, stopping not far away from him.
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Chorden, having been surrounded by beasts throughout most of his life, reacted to the approach of a larger being with a fight or flight mentality. Shifting into an crouched position, he extended his right leg in reach of the table's edge with the intent dodging whatever strikes the mutt might deliver.

Fortunately Lai Shan interjected the Luis' pursuit before he escalated any further, putting Chorden at ease as he transitioned back into crisscrossed position. Course with that sense of ease came a bit of embarrassment overcome the slowly sobering Kobold, for it was technically his drunken ramblings that initiated such an escalation to begin with. He held his tongue for the moment, not wanting to prove himself hypocrite once more and draw yet more attention to him and his cohorts.

Truman shot a glare at Chorden.

"The boy isn't mine."

If he were, he'd be better trained. The thought almost made Truman chuckle. He sighed and turned back toward the chaos unfolding in front of him.

"None of you are. If you would prefer a leader who forces you to follow their every whim unquestioningly, the castle is that way. And, dammit, these two are with us for a reason."

Granted, for Alichino, that reason was more to keep him under watch and out of trouble, but Chorden didn't need to know that.

"Now, if we're done arguing, I suggest turn our energy toward something more productive. I know exactly what the queensmen are capable of- Rather, WE know. Better to act while we still have the element of surprise on our side."
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Chorden gave a nod to Truman, standing up on the table he proclaims to him," At least on that we agree..."

Chorden picked up his scroll container he set beside, removing three pieces of parchment from it, as well as brandishing an ink pen and vial from his person. He spreads each parchment across the table's center, setting his vial to his side and keeping his pen at the ready. Collecting himself for the moment he beckons the party to listen closely as he begins to speak in a whisper like tone:

"Now I know we can easily scrape by on the smaller odd jobs we commit to on a daily basis. Pick pocketing, contract work, the occasional robbery, let's see... oh yes and Ms. Yoshiko's, shall we call it "Entrepreneurship". However the fact of the matter is if we want to attempt a proper heist once again we'll need to establish a new base of operations. Now needles to say the loss of the Void Library and it's mass collection of resources has been a major setback, but considering our current position we're low on options. Now, if I can recall from one of my official pieces..."

He begins quick work on what seems to be a crude replication of a small section of a map pertaining to one of the city's districts.

"This district contains some of the oldest known neighborhoods in the city. It's possible a few unoccupied buildings reside in the district that could serve as a temporary headquarters. Hopefully they'll help keep us out of the Queen's watchful eye just long enough for us to find a more suitable living space. I can set off soon enough to examine them myself, see if they'll be able to hold all of us. Better for me to scurry off there on my own then to draw any unneeded attention..."

As he concludes he glances over to the ever gazing Elf one last time and returns to his parchment to sketch what seems to be a crude set of symbols at the top corner of the map,"What do you say Truman?" He says as he pushes the entirety of the map closer to him. On further inspection the crude doodles he drew was actually a message in Thieves Can't. Examining upon it the message reads out:

" What do we do about our Elven friend?"
"Shall we try the Trout's Lure?"
"Or perhaps we should partake in the Fox Hunt?"

13
Chorden's one good eye narrowed towards Truman. "Poppy-fucking-cock, nothings hic changed...?" Half of us are running with our tails tucked between our legs while the other half is wobbling on a single foot. Well, literally in someone's case" He exclaims accusingly, gesturing his head over to Aaron.

"You wanna play leader boy? Well... open yer eyes at the situation at hand, you've got two so use'em. No home, no security, no informant," he recites to Truman as he counts with his fingers for visual aid, only in his drunken state to forget where he was soon after.

Giving himself a moment, he continues," Not to mention we've had three of ours run off to their own "happily ever afters", damn them all. I know it's gotten you all bothered too, otherwise you wouldn't have snatched these "shit smelling maggots" as quick as you did. Gods be damned we're running low on people to trust and you just grab these two twits like it was a bargain. As if Grace wasn't enough you set us up for another potential disaster..." Chorden seemingly concludes as he attempts one last downing of ale, only to have snatched from his grasp and exchanged for a pint of coffee.

He chuckles to the hound's response as he speaks up,"Hehehehe... See, even your pathetic mutt mocks you. Some leader..."

Unable to keep himself quiet any longer, Luis let out a giggle before turning his eyes at Truman “Whatever mom, you reek of fear, like the rest of us” The shifter kept grinning, pointy sharp teeth showing, almost triggering his transformation “We failed Benjamin and Lady Reed. They are probably-...” But he didn’t say, yet filling the sentence was easy “And it’s our fault”
He took another sip from the mug in front of him, silencing the urge to shift.
“Honestly, the only reason I’m still -hiccup- around, is because I’ve nowhere left to go” Luis used his hand to support his head. Seemed he was having a headache, or was trying to be overly dramatic “And no one else is able to heal your behinds like me either way”
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"Hold your tongue!" Chorden exclaims to the mutt, slamming his pint on the table." They made their made their bed aiding us and they were well aware of the consequences. They ran, they were caught, end of story. That's just business."


14
"ssssssSSSSSLLLLLLUUUURRRPPPPPpppppp..."


Any tavern-goer in the room would have only needed to spare a passing glance to be stricken by the absurdity that took place before them. A single table, not only preoccupied by a seemingly studious Bugbear, a feline Half-breed, but sitting crisscrossed on the surface top a one-eyed Kobold fighting to down an entire tankard of Ale. Chorden struggled to maintain his hold on the tankard, nearly as big as he was, as if he were grappling with a rabid animal. The ale surged down upon him like a river of gold as he gave it his all to savor every drop. Once his breath near escaped him he slammed the tankard back onto the table just before him with a thunderous thud, having drained the tankard of nearly half of it's contents. Some onlookers would find such a feat impressive for a creature of his size, others would believe "spilling more than he drank" a more suitable answer. Chorden himself, though now fuller and drunker then when he entered, the feeling of despair and frustration he tried so desperately to drown just before remained...

Nearly escaping the total collapse of the Maze, spending weeks trudging through the deadly jungles of the Suntea Islands has only brought him and his few remaining compatriots to a now hostile and unfamiliar home. Even after the trials experienced in their time the White Jacquets still on the hunt for them. Only now with three of their members gone from their ranks, the marine marauder, the wandering woodsman, and one of the only few magic users among the group, their left more vulnerable now than before. The only thing to show for their struggles were the fresh scars and wounds the Maze branded on them. It was at this thought that Chorden instinctively moved his hand under the bandage covering his right eye, lightly scratching between the surface of his skin and the hard stone that bordered along it...

Chorden didn't notice the gleaming stare of the Elven stranger at first, only catching the occasionally glimpse through the swaying motions of his friends. He didn't want to address him to his friends outright, nor did he wish for anyone to act upon it. With the Jacquets on their ever vigil watch, starting any potential encounters in public could end with their swift capture. For the time being Chorden simply acknowledged his presence until the others caught on as well. With one last sip from his tankard, he decided to cut the tension amongst the party...

"So, what shall we do next. Anyone care to contribute? Please, I'm simply enthralled to hear..."

15
Spoiler: show
The second the Medusa's glances off towards the hideously laughing Draco Scabra, Black Medick hands you the bag of spoils from the vault room, and Great Mullein begins to stir to consciousness. Though the bird masks are not that expressive, he looks at you with what you can only read as desperation.

"I carved out this little hollow between dimensions so I would not be disturbed, and both my prisoners and mementos would be secure," the Medusa explains. "But with each passing century I receive more and more visitors. It is me, or shouldn't some things remain sacred? I mean, isn't a girl entitled to a little privacy?" She retains her cool demeanor, but is mildly annoyed. "Now, what is it you wanted, again?"
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Chorden, Archives

Spoiler: show
After quickly hiding away his newly acquired spoils Chorden gave a long pause, perhaps the longest he ever gave, to ponder the situation at hand. This woman before him, this Medusa, had not only wielded an unnatural power, but had the command of a multitude of abominations to eradicate him where he stood. To save his life, siding with the Medusa and abandoning these feathered miscreants had seemed to be the wisest option for him. Yet before he could exclaim this declaration of allegiance, in the glimpse of his eye Great Mullein's desperate gaze met his. In that single moment Chorden could resonate with Great Mullein's powerlessness, it was a feeling all too familiar to him so many times before. Though they had thrown him into this encounter in the first place they still knew their way around this twisting labyrinth better then him, perhaps in due time they could aid him with reuniting with his compatriots, or even one of the Lords themselves. Chorden turned his back towards the Medusa and as he took a mere five steps forward he held the letter still in his grasp before him and began to speak:

...W-What I want? Why if it had been of my own volition I would have wanted to remain in my own realm. I am.. or was, in the enslavement of a mad human sorcerer, along with my other brethren. Hen..no, Harold! Harold the... Terrible was his title! He claimed to serve a dark and powerful deity he believed was imprisoned in this realm. I believe it was..uh, a half spider, half snake, half...god? It's hard to recall, he was known to spout such insane gibberish, it was near impossible to understand...

OOC: Deception = 1d20 - 2 = (6) - 2 = 4

He was making it up as he went along, and knew she wouldn't buy it by his inconsistent pace of thought. However his attempt at conceiving a well crafted lie was not his main faocus but rather the note he was scribbling on the rolled up letter with ther piece of charcoal he had on hand. In his time working among the ranks of other thieves and rogues, such as Truman, he had acquired a thorough understanding of the Thieve's Cant language. If these three bird brains were truly of the same rank, they would surely understand his message. As Chorden continues on with his poorly crafted lie, he does his best to obscure the Medusa's view of the letter as he quickly jots down the message along it's length:

I'll cause a distraction, once I do I'll leave it in your judgement to decide the best escape route.
If you find yourself in the Curator's gaze once more, either threaten to destroy this letter or to light the archives aflame...


                 If you succeed and I still breathe, YOU OWE ME...

OOC: Sleight of Hand = 1d20 + 5 = (19) +5 = 24

After he finishes the message, he begins to walk towards the three bird brains,"... I got separated from him and the rest of my kin during our expedition in this labyrinth, and somehow ended up here. If he had succumbed to his demise by some trap or horrible beast then so be it, bastard deserved it. I encountered these three during my wanderings, and they were more than willing to take me in their stead, whether it be out of kindness or pity I can not tell. Afterwards we encountered the thing you refer to as the "Curator", and  immediately sought to pursue us. I ask you, whatever transgressions you may have with this trio, please allow them to amend whatever mess they wrought." He hands the letter over to Black Medick, making sure the message is in his full view

He turns back to fully face the Medusa. He knew she wouldn't buy any of his malarkey, and it was only a matter of time until her patience would run thin with his lies, if a distraction was needed then this was the moment to make it. Keeping his gaze just below her waist level, as to not meet hers, Chorden jumps into a full sprint towards her. Before she could counteract, he immediately stops drops to his knees just before her and presses his palms firmly on the floor. Giving the deepest bow he had ever given in years he exclaims for all to hear:

"I ask of you now... no I beg of you to allow me to stay! I wish not to return to my master if he still my live, and my kin are good as dead remaining here in service to him! I will gladly serve you for the rest of my days if you will allow me! I am old and weak, but I am still fast and perceptive. I could be your eyes and ears, I'd gather the most silent of whispers and the most secluded of secrets to share with you. Or I could simply remain here in the archives, I've seen the horrid mess it lies in. Why I could spend the rest of my years rearranging into a more perfect assortment if it would please you so! Anything to give my life purpose once more!..."

OOC: Grovel, Cower, and Beg:
As an action, I can distract all foes within 10 feet of me that can see me so that my allies gain advantage on attack rolls against them

(Or in this case, I'd like to make it so the Oku have advantage on stealth if you'll allow it Kent. Otherwise disregard it and see it as an attempt at a distraction without any benefits.)

16
News & Events / Re: enterVOID Book Club!
« on: Oct 23, 2017, 08:11 AM »
Sign me up as well!

I actually have my own copy, it's been gathering dust on my shelf for awhile now. Glad I found a reason to actually get around to reading it!

17
Chorden, the Archives
Spoiler: show
She waits for you to come in. As she looms over you, her hood writhes lightly, the playful peek of serpents darting in and out of shadow. "What brings you to my home?" the Medusa asks you calmly.
Quote

At that moment, Chorden had been completely struck with fear. His whole body had seemed to freeze over, as if this Medusa had already place her curse on him. Just as he outwitted one abomination, here he was standing before the ruler of this strange domain. With a shaken grip, his torch had slipped from his grasp , impacting with the stone cold floor below, it's crackling growing ever softer until the flame itself had burned out. Regaining his focus, Chorden quickly turned his gaze away from the Medusa's, with Aaron'sexplanation of the woman fresh in his mind he wouldn't allow her the chance to petrify him. For that moment, for what felt like an eternity, it seemed he couldn't utter a single word. Perhaps he had feared that if he spoke wrongly, some form of consequence would surely occur. Given enough thought, with enough built up courage he slowly gave her his response...

".....W...W-Why m-my lady...G-Great and B-B-Beautiful Medusa, theres no point in s-speaking of such m-m-matters out here. I-It would be better t-to speak in the comfort of your chambers....s-so that me and my "acquaintances" may calm down from our ordeal. B-Better to ask us w-with our minds clear...."

Chorden took the letter he had threatened to burn and quickly rolled it up. Though wishing to quickly escape the presence of the Medusa, he simply held it in the crook of his arm instead of simply storing it back into his container. After which he swiftly attempted to pass the Medusa to enter her chamber.
 

18
Chorden, with the Bird-Brained Bandits, the Archives
Spoiler: show
Chorden swiped away the torch into his grasp. He raised it high above him, slowly trudging a few feet forward, as to maintain a close distance to the door. If this suspicion of his proved true it could give him a upper hand against the Curator if he were to survive this encounter. At the very least it could buy him and the others time to escape, maybe even save the smallest if he's luck-CRACK...as he was saying, buy time to escape.

As the Curator crept ever closer, Chorden raised the letter held firmly in his right hand, while lowering the torch in his left. The torch was mere inches away from letter, and Chorden made sure the Curator was well aware of it. Yet as a precaution, he made sure obstruct the letter as best as he could, in case the knowledge he held had little value to the archives. As he tried his best to hide the fear behind his voice, he began to shout...

"Stay back! You guard these archives don't you? Well what good is a beast like you if it can't protect even one piece of valuable knowledge. What will Medusa do if she hears of this I wonder? Perhaps she'll melt you down, make you into armor for someone more competent. No, she'll just break you apart throw you away, she wouldn't want to use such useless material!..."

19
Chorden, with the Bird-Brained Bandits, the Archives
Spoiler: show
Chorden swiped away the torch into his grasp. He raised it high above him, slowly trudging a few feet forward, as to maintain a close distance to the door. If this suspicion of his proved true it could give him a upper hand against the Curator if he were to survive this encounter. At the very least it could buy him and the others time to escape, maybe even save the smallest if he's luck-CRACK...as he was saying, buy time to escape.

As the Curator crept ever closer, Chorden raised the letter held firmly in his right hand, while lowering the torch in his left. The torch was mere inches away from letter, and Chorden made sure the Curator was well aware of it. Yet as a precaution, he made sure obstruct the letter as best as he could, in case the knowledge he held had little value to the archives. As he tried his best to hide the fear behind his voice, he began to shout...

"Stay back! You guard these archives don't you? Well what good is a beast like you if it can't protect even one piece of valuable knowledge. What will Medusa do if she hears of this I wonder? Perhaps she'll melt you down, make you into armor for someone more competent. No, she'll just break you apart throw you away, she wouldn't want to use such useless material!..."

20
Chorden, with the Bird-Brained Bandits, the Archive chase
Spoiler: show
Perception check:
@ZigZagaroo: 1d20+7 = (5)+7 = 12


Chorden looked upon these iron doors with such excited eyes, overjoyed by the thought of his escape from this nightmarish scenario. At the corner of his eye he couldn't help but also make out two tables across the room from where they were. One carrying an assortment of colorful flowers, the other merely covered by a large cloth to hide it's contents. However, given their current situation there was no time to take notice of such things, only to exit this place at once.

Giving a quick glance back Chorden saw how far the shortest of the Bird-Brained Bandits had fallen back, surely what would have happened to him had he not climbed onto the largest of the three. Behind him he saw all too clearly the Curator, in all it's morbid glory as it gained further speeds. At this rate the smallest would surely be caught and crushed in mere moments.

"Fine, if his death means the safety of us all then so be it. Afterall, the fault falls on the three, recklessly chasing into danger without any plan to avoid such an encounter as this. Well I certainly hope a few old dusty books was wort..."

And it was at that thought Chorden strung up an idea. Jumping down from the largest of the Bird-Brain Bandits he quickly opened his map container to pull out the old letter. After unrolling it, he turning to the leader in read and asked," Quick hand me your torch. If this works we could all leave here alive!.."







21
Chorden, Room 149
Spoiler: show
A mere five gold pieces eh? Nothing too grand for a reward but Chorden didn't bother to object, it wasn't as if he was there solely for monetary gain. Taking the five gold in hand, Chorden stashed it away in his pouch as the three bird-masked acquaintances stepped out from the hole.

Suddenly as the trio made their way out, a familiar sound assaulted Chorden's ear holes. What sounded to be constant thumping and scratching could have only been the Curator itself. As the noise grew ever closer, Chorden shot back to the three and said," The Curator, it's coming! Quickly, lead on to your hideout!..."

22
Chorden, Room 149
Spoiler: show
A fleeting moment of comfort washed over Chorden, as he found himself alone in the archives. What nerve these "bird brains" had of wrapping him in matters that were no concern of his. Of course he couldn't simply dissuade their order, what with a murder of three to outnumber him. Though it would be all too simple now to leave them to their devices, remaining could prove beneficial for him to. Since they surely knew their way around this domain better than he was, they could prove to be valued guides throughout this journey. At the very least they could incidentally lead him back to his companions, if fate would allow such a reunion.

However, for the time being, Chorden decided to spend this temporary solitude reading through the scrolls scattered across the floors before him. Though he was to act as lookout, his motivation for such a task was matched only by his fondness for his new found "associates" doing who knows what in that hole of theirs. The possibility of something catching him and those bird-brained burglars, especially that "Curator" he encountered earlier , made it all the more imperative to gather whatever vital knowledge these scrolls had to offer with such little time on his hands. Through some digging he discovered a scroll discussing yet again the topic of "scale shape." Though a bit discouraged to find such tedious dribble, he later managed to come across what seemed to be a strange old letter. Inspecting it further he saw this particular message was signed by a certain "Minister Draco Scabra", describing the failed attempt at a diplomatic mission between the Reptile Empire and the Triarchy. Skimming towards the end he noticed the name "Medusa", along with this Minister seeking audience with her. Supposing there could be something vital written about this ominous hostess, Chorden slips the letter straight into the map container, continuing to look through each scroll as fast as he could...

Investigate roll:
@ZigZagaroo: 1d20+1 = ( 8 )+1 = 9

23
Chorden, Room 152
Spoiler: show
Chorden stood paralyzed with fear, unable to comprehend the twisted form that crawled towards him. As the disturbing hands drew ever closer, terror quickly grabbed full hold of Chorden's mind, too much to allow any rational thought. Unable to think of the possible consequences of his actions, he quickly grabbed hold of his blowgun and shakingly loaded a single dart. With a swift gust of panicked breath, the dart bursts out of it's holding's, heading towards the creature...

Dexterity roll:
@ZigZagaroo 1d20+3 = (4)+3 = 7

In such a state of fear, Chorden could hardly keep his aim steady, as his uncontrollably shook with his blowgun in hand. The dart had completely flew past it's intended target, supposedly striking somewhere on the carved mural.


24
Chorden, Room 151
Spoiler: show
The scrolls Chorden acquired he found had very little value to him and his quest. He had not the time nor the interest to read about such menial topics. However, as he skimmed through the first scroll once more he noticed traces of writing hidden within the margins. Examining the hidden text he speculated that this scroll must had some affiliation to the arcane. Even though such a transcript had very little use to him, surely Aaron would put it to good use. Once Chorden rejoins the others, he'll be sure to remember to let him inspect it.

As Chorden trudged along through the archives, he stopped for a moment to witness the workings of the weaving machines before him. The imagery of burning books constantly flashed before him as the tapestry shifted from existence to non-existence. Such an image brought him back to the memories of the library, to Lady Reed, which in turn gave way to such disconcerting thoughts. He knew that if his quest didn't end in death, then failure would be the most likely outcome. Though as he watched the tapestry continuously reform and dissolve, treading along  the Archives he couldn't help but ask himself,"Once we leave...will there even be a home to return to?..."

Finally he made his way to a darkened doorway, decorated with large black curtains, marked with a warning,"BRING NO LIGHT INSIDE". Suffice it to say Chorden was put at unease by such an entrance into the unknown, yet he couldn't allow such a disturbance to dissuade him now. His dark vision would guide him through the room just fine, what he needed to be wary of was whatever traps or creatures that could be lying in wait. As he began his journey into the dreadful darkness, one other important question lingered in the back of his mind...

"...Why is there a letter on "Dwarf Analysis" in the Reptile Archives?"

Perception roll:
1d20+7 = (6)+7 = 13


25
Chorden, Room 149
Spoiler: show
Torgos Zooth fills the room with his light, and in a second you are in the Reptile Archives. You find yourself in a room surrounded by piles of parchment--a maddening number of unsorted scrolls.

"Here, my tiny friend! The Archives!" Torgos announces. "Err, I believe this is Linneax Gruel's chamber--she really is the most agreeable of the librarian mummies. Where can she have gone?" He paces the room and steps lightly over some random scrolls. "My Mistress will certainly want to know about this!"
Quote
It took a moment for Chorden's eyes to readjust from the sudden brightening light. Opening them he was almost astounded to find himself in a room filled with scrolls laying all across the floors. Such a vast collection of knowledge would surely be worth admiration to most, yet Chorden couldn't help but find himself unimpressed by it's condition.

"Tsk.. You'd think a mass of knowledge such as this would be better organized." Chorden uttered in disdain, perhaps irritated that somewhere in these archives, the history of his kin is being left in such a state of disarray."Reed manages to keep her library more organized than this, and she's merely one Elf."

However, Chorden was curious to see the contents held within these vast scrolls. He reached down for a scroll, opening it to skim through it's contents to understand what it held. He continued to skim through as many scrolls as he could before focusing his attention back on Torgos Zooth...

Investigation roll for the contents of the scrolls:
1d20+1 = (12)+1 = 13


"To the North you will find memorials to the Nyctocaust, a dread period in the Reptile Empire's history. Perhaps you'll find some clues there that will lead you toward dragons, or the King himself..."
Quote
"Perfect",Chorden said to himself, now having a clear idea on where to search. However, he couldn't help but try to recall his memory of the Reptile Empire. Perhaps he heard tales of the empire, with the company of his clan years ago.

History roll on the Reptile Empire:
1d20-1 = (3)-1 = 2


Nevertheless there was no time to reflect on the past, for his task had been laid before him. Yet before he could march into the Nyctocaust, he stopped in his tracks as Torgos spoke out to him...

The moon-man looks around quietly before continuing. "If you, er, go exploring about the Archives, would you be so kind...that is to say..."

He lowers his tone. "I have reason to believe that my sons are being held somewhere in the Archives," he admits nervously. "Er, the Medusa has her reasons, I'm sure. I think it's to keep me loyal, but she has no fear of that! No, no. I'd...just really like to know where they are, and that they're all right. And if you could bring them to me safely, I will award you my most prized possessions!" The large-faced man's tiny eyes well up with tears, but he composes himself.
Quote
Such emotional ties were the last thing Chorden wanted to deal with in this strange domain. With his small size how could he protect anyone from any starving beast that could come along? Any attempt he could make to save a life would mean certain death for him. Yet even so, he couldn't force himself to reject his request. Not only had he brought him to the archives to begin with, but now he makes the promise of a reward to come. Though regardless of such a promise, Chorden knew he owed him for taking him this far.

He began walking towards the Nyctocaust, stopping midway to turn back to Torgos,"You expect far too much from a creature of my stature, it would have been wiser to seek out one of the others to help your sons....But...I-I'll see what I can do..."

Perception roll for the Nyctocaust
1d20+7 = (18)+7 = 25




 

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