Copy pasta of in-character thread from Discord.
TESTING OUT ANCHOR LINKS: Transcripts
You and your comrades trickle into your patron’s briefing room; well, briefing room is a little too nice. It’s more of a dingy back room of a pawn shop near the market in Steepost, but so far the cover has worked.
Your patron, a half-elf named Thedius Esquiret (pronounced Ted eee us Esss squire ray), portrays himself as a humble trader in the market, but as you’ve learned, likes to have his hand in a bit of everything: trade, politics, religion, flesh. In the several months you’ve been working for him, you’ve gotten the sense that he worships one thing: money. You’ve heard him order an execution, and you’ve personally delivered 1,000 gold to an orphanage on his behalf anonymously. He’s let a long-time “madam” go free, as well as slapped around a new girl. You think he’s tough, with a weird moral code that you haven’t quite pinned down yet. Not quite good, but not quite evil either.
Well, the pay is good, and there’s usually some sort of profit motive behind the work, and so far, there’s only been one near-death experience in 3 months.
In the “briefing room” is a medium-sized rectangular table, with room for about 8.
Thedius is there, in a three piece suit, smoking a pipe and talking quietly with his main lieutenant and chief muscle Terrast, a bulky dragon born with blue scales and missing one eye. His main advisor, Luca Bootvamp is on his other side, scribbling in a large ledger book with one hand and eating pork rinds with the other. Luca is a portly human with no small amount of magical ability, a great singing voice, and a lust for food and drink. He turns and looks at you filing into the room and a magical hand appears in front of Luca beckoning you to have a seat at the table.
You find it odd that Thedius is here; he usually only comes to these meetings once a month for a status conference. Mainly he’s out being the “legitimate businessman” in the real world, while Terrast and Luca deal with the you fellows and your jobs. The last status conference was a few days ago. It must be something important.
Thedius pipes up, “Yes, thank you for being here. There’s been an… uh… development in trade with some of our competitors and those damn sun worshippers across the river. Someone or some group over in Ra’s Jewel is buying up literally ever single grain of wheat, rice, and corn Steepost has but trying to do so quietly. This one comes straight from the ruling council; I think they’re scared about the food surplus disappearing across the river. But, I think they want to know who is moving against the food trade. I have several different tasks related to this, but refresh my memory as to your skills and I’ll see best how to employ you…”
(OOC: Please introduce your character, race, class, description, etc., your background qualifications)
Whiskey in the Jar Alleyborn, commonly referred to as “Key” because the rest is just too damned long to say casually (so he has been told), is a Tabaxi born in this very city to a barwench who couldn't turn down good coin. His favored lullaby was an old folk song called “Whisky in the Jar”, and he was named such. He grew up, like most of the poor children of the city, unsupervised on the streets with nothing but the desire for more than he had. And his favorite game was being a grifter, turning an ill-proffered bit of rubbish into another, slightly-less-rubbish thing he could then turn and trade up. He would do this until he was able to get enough coin to bring home and help his mom pay for bread. She was a good woman, a hard worker, and he wanted to make her proud of him, though perhaps he was less concerned with the how.(edited)
Growing up, he eventually turn to a smart business man, a getter-of-things, and eventually became a mantled knight for Waukeen, goddess of coin and commerse. To him, the 'rights' and 'wrongs' of the world were less important than making sure the whole system keeps chugging along. He never forgot his roots, and he's known for passing out coppers to urchins much like himself so long as they can provide a service. Can they make him laugh? Can they juggle? Can they tell him with the man with the big butcher knife is looking the other way? Real life skills they can hopefully put to good use, much like himself. His mother has since passed away to sickness, and he fills his days working for Thedius, as it is easy enough coin, and it allows him to ply his trade to a wider audience.
Of course m’lord. I, Valthus Moxtin, have been in your employ off and on for the last 7 years. Of course I normally speak with Terrask so as to not bother you. My role in your organization typically involves….. “Industrial Espionage”
One of my prior missions involved working with a group of Freedom Fighters to liberate the town of Abydos across the river so that their mining trade could benefit us. The former lord is no longer an issue. Another instance involved rogue worshipers of Thor who had an ancient device at the entrance to Cimmeria that would dimension door anyone who was not a natural inhabitant to an underground prison with no escape. My comrades and I were also able to overcome and shut down this device promoting your influence in the town, and driving out the zealots.
The Chelktar Lumber Consortium no longer exists after their shipments began mysteriously disappearing. On another note, your side venture Esquiret’s Lumber Yard is prospering nicely as a result.
Of course, as you can see, I am a human, so I’m able to blend in almost anywhere. One of my parents was from Steepost and the other from Ra’s Jewel, hence the mixed heritage. I did not know either and grew up in an orphanage. Although I have the ability to steal, my strengths lie in scouting ahead, planning and espionage.
Thedius says, “Ah yes, Key, that’s right. Ever the merchant with a strong arm. I remembered why I liked you. And you Valthus, yes, thanks for a quick reminder of your exploits. I’ll wait to hear from our large friend first before assigning tasks. Luca, do we have any corn whisky left? Yes? Please pour us all a round. Do go on Grug…”
As Thedius says this, Luca’s magical hand flits across the room retrieving, one glass at a time, 5 small sipping snifters, and a half-full bottle of whisky. The mage hand tries to open the cork unsuccessfully, so it brings the bottleover to Luca, who opens it with one hand while the magical hand holds the base of the bottle. The magical hand then pours about 2 oz into each glass and slowly slides them to the recipients.(edited)
Valthus raises his glass and nods to thank Luca for the whisky. He slowly sips as he awaits his third companion to gain his composure and introduce himself.
The magical hand gives Valthus a quick thumbs up and then turns and points at Grug. The hand is just floating a few feet from Grug at Grug’s eye level. Just pointing.
Not one to turn down a free drink, Key drinks his namesake and eyes the strange hand. Though he wields forces beyond his own comprehension, he has not always been so partial to those who wield magic so openly, so…flagrantly
'We'll keep up the work, Thedius, so long as you keep up the coin. Though I wonder why a mindful buseness man like you concerns himself with rice. Can we not just plant more? Can the ruling counsel simply not impost higher tariffs on intercity trade?'
Grug was a simple half-orc. A barbarian adopted into a dwarvish family at the young age of six, Grug had progressed as a merchant in their trading empire despite his… simple roots. Now older, Grug had taken to doing whatever odd jobs were available as he travelled the world, and it seemed he was in the employ of this Thedius for quite some time.
Grug crossed his arms, content with watching and listening for now.
Thedius laughs, “Well, that’s about normal for Grug isn’t it… Just show ‘em where to smash things, some coin, some drink, and he’s happy…”
Thedius turns to Luca and asks, “Where are the others?” Luca says, “Must be running late… “ as he takes a big swig of his whisky.
Thedius continues, “Well, no matter, each of you three are going to be in charge of a task. They will all interrelate, so I expect you to cooperate together on this. Key, you’re to find out who exactly in Steepost is playing along with our unknown buyer in Ra’s Jewel. The purchases for the last few weeks have appeared to be purchased by local traders, but the grains end up in warehouses, and then the city’s cough network loses the grain. Their best guess is it’s crossing the river since grain is at an all-time low in Ra’s Jewel. I’d start in the market on Monday afternoon’s weekly grain auction. The powers that be want to know which traders are loyal and which are compromised. And… If you can find or create any nice leverage that is favorable to us, please do so.”
“Valthus, I want you to find out exactly where the grain is ending up; wherever that is. If that means crossing the river, so be it. I would imagine you’ll find some ‘tracks’ while you assist Key in his task.”
“Grug, I want you to make a public scene at the market. Do it with this:…” Thedius tosses a heavy pouch over to Grug that jingles with coin. “Act like you’re new in town, and that you want to know why ‘an honest merchant’ can’t buy grain easily. If anyone tries to pick a fight, other than the auctioneer, that’s someone I want you to capture and set up in a safe place for me to have a face-to-face meeting. Please be careful to keep him alive and able to speak. Don’t break his jaw like last time…” Thedius finishes in a smile.
“Key, you’re smart to think about a tariff. And in fact the council is likely about to increase the grain export tariff. However, the city is hesitant to trigger a trade war before consulting with the king first. They need our grain, and we like their gold. But make the grain too expensive, or the tariff too high, and they’ll just start bring in foodstuffs by sea. And… even if the tariff is raised ten fold, we never see the grain leave Steepost so how is the tax man going to impose the tariff?”
“And… let me be perfectly clear. If for any reason you are able to secure the grain and keep it safe… under NO circumstances are you to tell anyone other than me, Terrast, or Luca. I need to be the one to solve this problem for the council and I’ll make it well worth your while.”
Seems simple enough for my part. Follow the money to follow the grain.
Thedius replies, “Maybe, but I'd imagine the council's spies thought that too… and my sources say they lose the grain every time. I'm counting on you to be… unconventional.
“Sounds reasonable,” Grug nodded. “I'll do it, should be simple for a orc like me.”
I may have a few sources that may start me in the right direction. Although, they do require payment. Any chance I could get a “bribery allowance “?
Thedius says, “Excluding the coins Grug is holding, you each have another 100GP expense allowance each. Luca will sort you out when we're finished here.”
Valthus bows “Gracious as always m’lord”
[10:14 PM] lhx: OOC: Let's leave it there for now to let @shortsinsnow have a chance to reply, as well as give @deltreey a chance to roll up a PC and have him show up “late” to the meeting. :smiley: July 3, 2018
[2:30 PM] shortsinsnow: 'I'll reach out to my contacts. See if one of them has a pulse on the situation.' 100g? I pray that's enough to loosten their lips Key gives a small bow
[8:51 PM] lhx: Thedius says, “I know I can count on you Key. You do have the most level head of the group.” Thedius looks at Grug, “If you have any coin left after your ruse, please add it to your expense budget.”
OOC: Grug, your purse that was tossed to you has 50 Platinum in it.
July 9, 2018
[5:52 AM] deltreey: A small gnome walks in, talking to a large black bird that’s nearly as tall as he is and holding up a gem to his eye. “See, you can tell it’s fake because I was able to scratch it so easily. I had my suspicions because most sapphires are actually quite an ugly mush of colors, but that proves it for—” He looks up from the raven and around at the rest of the room. “—oh yeah, the meeting.” A big wide smile comes across his face. You get the impression he’s so happy he might pop out of his own skin with joy. “What thing do we get to blow up today?” He says, sounding giddy.
[6:20 AM] deltreey: Parrest is heavily laiden with gear, almost 150 lbs of various trinkets, multiple bags, a crossbow at his side, some bolts in a quiver slung from the other side of his belt, and tools and kits nearly pouring out of his backpack which seems to be nearly bursting at the seams.
[6:05 PM] lhx: Thedius looks over with a flat expression, “Ah yes, punctual as usual I see…”
“Parrest, someone's buying up all the grain in Steepost and it's disappearing. Grain prices on the other side of the river are very low and the Council suspects it's making its way across the river. Valthus is going to track the grain, Key's task is to figure out which traders in Steepost are loyal to the council or to our 'outside actor'. Grug is going to make a 'scene' in the market on trading day about unfair grain prices in Steepost and bring that person in. You, are to act in a supporting role and to be my point of communication with Luca. Go ahead Luca…”
[6:06 PM] lhx: Luca reaches into his shirt and pulls out a necklace with two small stones on a chain. He undoes the chain and tosses one of the stones to Parrest (ooc: a sending stone linked to Luca's stone), “Don't lose that; it's a family heirloom. It's yours temporarily…”
Thedius continues, “I want you to do three things: 1) be fire support if any of the rest need something blown up; however, I'd rather you 2) help capture anyone with information and interrogate them, don't let Grug here smash them indiscriminately; I'll get to the third task in a bit.”(edited) [6:06 PM] lhx: Thedius looks just past Parrest and says, “Oh good, our last piece of the puzzle is here…” as another humanoid walks through the door.
(ooc: guy_incognito, that's your cue :smiley: )
July 10, 2018
[3:47 PM] guy_incognito97: “Sorry I’m late” comes a silky smooth voice as the door opens once more.
The young Tiefling Django Fleetwood makes his way to an empty chair, drops his lute onto the floor with a hollow clatter, and without asking helps himself to a drink.
“What have I missed? Something about grain? Sounds a tad dull but I dare say I’ll find a way to liven things up. Of course I’ll have to be done by nightfall, I have a prior commitment to play at a local tavern. And then to play with the lady tavern keeper, so you see I do rather have my hands full”
Django sips his drink and awaits the impressed cooing of his companions. [3:59 PM] lhx: Luca chuckles a touch at the suave Django. “Unless anyone has some ideas on how to start tonight, I think you're ok Django. The market auctioneer doesn't start bidding until midmorning usually.”
Thedius kicks in, “Glad you could make it. Normally I'd demand a song, but I have other appointments this evening and need to be on my way soon. I also hope to have my hands full ,” winking as he says hands full. “Django, I want you to work your contacts and find out anything you can on this grain issue. Sure it's dull, but I'm sure you can find a way to spice it up. Maybe some songs about corn-fed women will loosen some tongues.”
To everyone he says, “Any questions?”
[4:03 PM] reborm: Valthus shrugs noncommittally and says “None from me. I know my part.”
[4:04 PM] lhx: Thedius replies , “Fair enough Valthus; I'm counting on you.”
“Parrest, I trust that my third task has been conveyed to you by Luca?”
[5:26 PM] deltreey: Parrest, staring confused at the casually discarded lute lying on the floor, shakes his head as his name is called, turns his eyeline back to Thedius and nods somewhat halfheartedly. “Yes of course.” His smile returns to his face as he looks at the others assembled. “Who wants to go shopping?” he says with his prior enthusiasm.
[10:24 PM] lhx: (ooc: I'm going to wait at least 24 hours or until I hear from everyone else if they want to ask questions to Thedius, Luca, or Terrast. Also please feel free to reply to Parrest. :smiley: )
[10:42 PM] lhx: (ooc: Also it's about 5pm Steepost time. You have about 90 minutes until sunset. So let me know if you intend to stay together tonight, or run back to your respective lodgings and meet up in the morning for the market and grain auction.)