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 the shade in ingsmud
abbey
 Posted: Sep 26 2015, 07:42 PM
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quick guide
  • Post a minimum of once daily. If you're talking to someone or investigating something, you can post more! Failing to post will miss your turn for the day.
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Character sheets.
The story so far.
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abbey
 Posted: Sep 26 2015, 07:57 PM
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Click for sound.


You arrive in Ingsmud like the tide. At no particular time, rolling in when you can, a little bit worse for wear and sodden from your travels. A fine mist of rain pervades your senses, making your sight seem wetter and your nose seem dulled. You enter through a wrought-iron gate, built into a five-foot stone fence, with each stone precariously round and arranged as if by a giant stacking pebbles.

The iron spells INGSMUD in curling letters.

The town is small, sprawling wider than it does high. Most of the houses aren't taller than a storey, while the fishing and packing district climbs all over itself for dominance. You take the tallest building to be the lord mayor's office, judging by its steepled roof and aging grandeur. Stone and brick are the most common choice of building material. Wood rots.

You can see the town's inn, lit from within, a beacon in the darkness. An anchor is suspended beside an ill-painted sign: THE MOORING.

Beyond the pattering of the rain, you hear the crash of waves and the silence of the northern swamp. The sounds are liquid in your ears. Thankfully, the parchments in your pocket have remained mostly dry and legible. You think you could still prove who you are.

Couldn't you?
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XANDER
 Posted: Sep 26 2015, 09:19 PM
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His name is Medrash. His head is wet. His temper is hot. The rain doesn't do anything to cool his temper; it just makes it worse. He considers smashing part of the five-foot stone fence: being over six feet tall, it seems possible that he could rip out at least one of the crumbling stones.

Medrash does not destroy the fence. Not today. Not yet.

He heads towards the inn, hoping to learn more about the disappearance of the fishermen. Perhaps there will be a reward for finding them.

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abbey
 Posted: Sep 27 2015, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (Medrash)
He heads towards the inn, hoping to learn more about the disappearance of the fishermen. Perhaps there will be a reward for finding them.

You step out of the rain and into the dry warmth of the inn. The candlelight from the wall sconces affords your scales a dull glow, like coals hot from the fire.

When you step through the door, all eyes turn towards you. Conversation halts. Then, limpingly, it resumes. The inn's patrons sit in clusters of two or three, some drinking in silence, others murmuring in low voices over the crackle of the fireplace. Most are human. There is a strange look to them, as there often is with families who have spent generations in the same town. A sameness and a slackness of the features.

The largest group is a group of four men, their clothes glinting and fresh from the rain, like you. They're playing a game of dice.

One figure is alone nearest the fire, head down on the table, yellow hair spilling over the wood.

The innkeeper is polishing his bar.
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XANDER
 Posted: Sep 28 2015, 12:37 AM
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The fire tosses the shadows of the patrons across the floor. Medrash stands alone, solid and whole, without a shadow. He is eerie enough as a Dragonborn, more lizard than man, but the lack of shadow can make him seem almost totally fictional.

The silence that comes with his entrance is normal by now. He ignores it.

He lost his shadow playing dice. He does not approach the gamblers.

He approaches the bar and sits in front of the bartender. "An ale," because it is safer to drink than water.

Several minutes pass in silence. He waits for his presence to be accepted, and the normal volume of conversation to return.

Medrash calls the bartender, his first ale half gone. "Good barkeep," he says, "A few questions for you, if you could hear a traveler out."
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Lar
 Posted: Sep 28 2015, 01:35 PM
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Soon after, Derthag enters the inn. He smells of swamp and sweat, and looks to be more orc than human with his horrific underbite and dangling jowls. He drips mud onto the floors. In one hand he carries a lute like a club.

The lute lets out an agonized twang as Derthag sets it none-too-gently on the end of the bar. A few seats away sits Medrash, in all his shadowlessness; Derthag notes him only in passing at first, more enthralled by the gamblers and their rattling dice. He hovers by them, and soon sits beside them.

"Can I play?" he says, with a smile that is meant to be reassuring.

It is not.
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bird
 Posted: Sep 28 2015, 02:17 PM
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The thing that comes into the Mooring a few steps behind Derthag is human enough, at least from the shoulders down: tall, male, and broad enough to encroach on the doorframe. His hands are dark, reaching out to mute the strings of the lute ringing on the bar; his large golden goats' eyes, flitting from the barkeep to the dragonborn to the barkeep again, are keen - and maybe a little apologetic.

"And two ales please," Harmony adds, leaning into the counter beside Medrash, who looks about as soaked-through as he does. "I don't mean to interrupt. Hell of a night out there, isn't it?" He smiles good-naturedly. He'd know.

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abbey
 Posted: Sep 29 2015, 06:39 AM
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QUOTE (Medrash)
Several minutes pass in silence. He waits for his presence to be accepted, and the normal volume of conversation to return.

Medrash calls the bartender, his first ale half gone. "Good barkeep," he says, "A few questions for you, if you could hear a traveler out."

The volume of conversation returns to what it was. Mostly.

The innkeeper accepts 3 copper pieces in return for a mug of thin, watery ale. "Afraid t'ain't our finest, but the brewery ain't what it used to be," he mutters. "I'll try to answer ye, if I know how. Travellers are welcome 'round these parts."

QUOTE (Harmony)
"And two ales please," Harmony adds, leaning into the counter beside Medrash, who looks about as soaked-through as he does. "I don't mean to interrupt. Hell of a night out there, isn't it?" He smiles good-naturedly. He'd know.

The innkeeper accepts 6 copper pieces and slides two more mugs across the counter. "Wouldn't call it much, by way of the rain. No storm is a good storm."

He doesn't seem to care for the muddy floors. Mud and rain slide off him like water off a duck's back.


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  The most common coin is the gold piece (gp). A gold piece is worth 10 silver pieces (sp). Each silver piece is worth 10 copper pieces (cp).
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abbey
 Posted: Sep 29 2015, 06:48 AM
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QUOTE (Derthag)
A few seats away sits Medrash, in all his shadowlessness; Derthag notes him only in passing at first, more enthralled by the gamblers and their rattling dice. He hovers by them, and soon sits beside them.

"Can I play?" he says, with a smile that is meant to be reassuring.

It is not.

The gamblers gape at you, transfixed by your jowls and beyond them, your fangs. They wear woollen caps and have the smell of fish about them. One of them, the first to recover, scowls and hunkers down deeply in his chair. "It's a game for friends," he says.

Two of the men look down at the table and move their dice around idly.

The fourth, youngest man snaps, "Bergrid!" It makes the first man scowl harder.

"What's the wager?" Bergrid asks you.
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XANDER
 Posted: Sep 30 2015, 01:54 AM
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Dragonborn are not fond of other species to begin with; the distant sight of a tiefling is enough to generate unease, much less the appearance of one at one's shoulder. Medrash pointedly moves one seat over before addressing the bartender.

"I have heard word that Ingsmud has been... troubled, as of late. What has been troubling it?"
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Lar
 Posted: Sep 30 2015, 07:41 AM
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"Am I not a friend?" There is an unwitting edge to Derthag's voice—something about the orcish accent and the club strapped to his pack. He thumbs at his belt pouch and pulls out a gold coin, glittering in the low light of the fire.

"Gold and a story," he says, laying the coin out on the table. "I win, you tell me tales of Ingsmud. I lose, and I will play you a song from my people." Whether this is meant to be a threat or not remains hazy; orcs and their kin are not well-known for their musical talents.

"What is the game?"
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abbey
 Posted: Sep 30 2015, 07:43 AM
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QUOTE (Medrash)
Dragonborn are not fond of other species to begin with; the distant sight of a tiefling is enough to generate unease, much less the appearance of one at one's shoulder. Medrash pointedly moves one seat over before addressing the bartender.

"I have heard word that Ingsmud has been... troubled, as of late. What has been troubling it?"

The innkeeper frowns at his dishcloth, then up at Medrash. No one's asked him that question in a while; the deluge flows forth. "What hasn't been troublin' it? Used to be we had a whole wash o' folk comin' through Ingsmud, and a bristlin' market for the fish. Now it... it ain't like it used to be. Waters are wyrd and our fishermen are afeared o' their own trade. They been disappearin', you see. Old men, we thought they might'a got caught in the cold wet, or wandered in the swamp. S'easy to do, even if you've lived here all your life. But then there were the young lads, what had no business gettin' theirselves lost. Over a dozen o' them, all told."

He nods at the inert figure by the fire. "Maerwen's husband, just the other week. Left for greener pastures, maybe. She was a bright, shinin' bride, and look at her now. Deep in the drink."
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abbey
 Posted: Sep 30 2015, 08:00 AM
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QUOTE (Derthag)
"Am I not a friend?" There is an unwitting edge to Derthag's voice—something about the orcish accent and the club strapped to his pack. He thumbs at his belt pouch and pulls out a gold coin, glittering in the low light of the fire.

"Gold and a story," he says, laying the coin out on the table. "I win, you tell me tales of Ingsmud. I lose, and I will play you a song from my people." Whether this is meant to be a threat or not remains hazy; orcs and their kin are not well-known for their musical talents.

"What is the game?"

Bergrid smiles grimly, in a way that says, No, you're not a friend, friend. His mouth says nothing, however, and his eyes are more pleasant at the glimmer of gold.

His young friend pulls out a chair for Derthag with his foot. "Gold? You must be a good singer."

"The game is beetle. Dots on the dice are which part o' the beetle you've got.

6 is for the body, of which there is one.
5 is for the head, of which there is one.
4 is for the tail, of which there is one.
3 is for a leg, of which there are four.
2 is for an antenna, of which there are two.
1 is for an eye, of which there are two.

First you need the body, then the head, legs and tail, but you can't put eyes nor antennae on a beetle without a head, so you need that too, once you've got the body. First to put his beetle together is the winner. Got it?"


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  Roll 11d6 and post your results in order.
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Lar
 Posted: Sep 30 2015, 08:08 AM
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  3,2,2,3,1,2,3,5,2,2,3


Leg, antenna, antenna, leg, are the first four rolls, and Derthag scowls at the dice and at his bodyless beetle. The rolls afterwards are no better: not a six among them, though Derthag becomes more insistent with each roll. His smile sharpens.

"Lady luck ain't on my side," he says glumly. "Or she must really want to hear me sing."
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XANDER
 Posted: Sep 30 2015, 09:38 PM
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Waters are wyrd. Our fishermen are afeared o' their own trade. They been disappearin'. Medrash makes the necessary calculations. Disappearing fishermen are bad for business, and bad business is bad for anyone with ambitions in life. If there is money lost, there's money to be had for making it come back.

Since leaving war and the infantry behind, Medrash has sought glory and fortune through other routes. It helps that these sorts of problems are often fixed by murdering something.

"How long have they been disappearing for?" Medrash's eyes stray to the woman by the fire. He feels sorry for her. "Not one of 'em came back?"
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