[TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

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[TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by RobJN » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:32 am

Prologue: Late Spring, 997 AC
"'Find me proof of my dear cousin's Crona mint.'" Bargle's immitation of the Baron von Hendricks' Hattian accent trailed off into a dismissive sniff.

"This is much more important work," he murmured to himself. And by "important," of course, he meant "to my own benefit, over the Black Eagle."

He unrolled more of the scroll -- carefully, as the edges of it crumbled at his touch -- and moved the candlestick further down the exposed page. The beginning of the verse was gone, split by a curling tear.

The magic user squinted, leaning closer, his hooked nose nearly touching the vellum. There it was again: the same figure that illuminated each of the past five verses of the scroll. A small figure -- a child? The hair outlined, rather than darkened as in the likenesses of Petra and Zirchev.

"-- and bearing for the Queen her darkened stone of power, in its depths was seen her future, bright," Bargle read. He chewed at an ink-stained thumbnail, turned, and paged through an age-stained leather-bound tome. "Surely it is Petra, and not that upstart Ellendorath, to which Gygar refers in his notes....

"Hyazah!" he shouted, and the goblin that had been snoring beneath the table sat bolt upright, scroll and candlestick jumping as its head met the underside of the table with a loud 'crack!'

'Dexeterus!"

A ghostly outline of a hand materialized, fingers closing over the candlestick, catching it before it toppled over onto the scroll. It then darted beneath the table, and smacked the goblin across a gray-green cheek.

"Had you burnt that scroll, wretch, you would be joining it in the fire," Bargle snarled. "Now make haste, to Gygar's ruins, and tell that sniveling 'king of the depths,' to have his tribe resume their digging. And to have my quarters prepared. I will be overseeing operations personally from now on."

The goblin's ears nearly brushed its toes, as it bent. "Yes, most Inflamous One!"

"It's 'Infamous,' you cur," Bargle sighed. "Now go!" The ghostly magical hand waved dismissively, and then winked out.
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by RobJN » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:50 am

Early Fall, 997 AC

"Well, that's it. As far as we go," the captain says, and gestures towards the gangplank. "Threshold, jewel in the wilds of the North."

One of the sailors rolls his eyes, but well out of sight of his captain, shaking his head and muttering.

"If you aren't wanting to lug your baggage so far, there's the Salty Wench. But no guarantee it'll have any rooms to let. You might find better luck at the Hook and Hatchet, by the Old Town Wall."

"Hook gives him a better cut," another of the sailors whispers -- loudly -- at the bottom of the gangplank. "s'a bit more coin than the Wench, but then, the fare is a lot better."

"Aye," says another, "and I hear they pay a druid to keep the lice out the beds."

"And whatever you do, don't go over to Fogor Isle, especially after dark," says the first. "Not if you want to keep your coin in your purse, and hide in one piece!"

"C'mon, you louts!" shouts the captain. "My knee tells me we're due for rain, and with this unseasonable cold, it's likely to turn to sleet. I'd like to make Kelven and have the sails furled before that."


And so it was that three more strangers came to Threshold, Jewel in the Northern Wilds....
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by shesheyan » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:30 pm

Cool. Read. Waiting for more. ;-)

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by Angel Tarragon » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:27 pm

Auren mumbles to herself a bit. Her hair a mess from the wind and it spilling over her face, she pushes it back. Why don't the two of you check in at the Hook & Hatchet, despite this inclement weather I am going to take a few moments to get acquainted with the layout of this village.

The weather is perfect for Auren to sneak around the village out-of-sight and get an idea of what the town looks like.
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by shesheyan » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:49 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:27 pm
Auren mumbles to herself a bit. Her hair a mess from the wind and it spilling over her face, she pushes it back. Why don't the two of you check in at the Hook & Hatchet, despite this inclement weather I am going to take a few moments to get acquainted with the layout of this village.

The weather is perfect for Auren to sneak around the village out-of-sight and get an idea of what the town looks like.
« A set of dry and clean clothes is certainly a good proposition. I'll go to the H&H to reserve a room for three. If such a thing exists! » and with that Erevan sets out to find the establishment not waiting for anyone else.

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by mah9 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:00 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:49 pm
Angel Tarragon wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:27 pm
Auren mumbles to herself a bit. Her hair a mess from the wind and it spilling over her face, she pushes it back. Why don't the two of you check in at the Hook & Hatchet, despite this inclement weather I am going to take a few moments to get acquainted with the layout of this village.

The weather is perfect for Auren to sneak around the village out-of-sight and get an idea of what the town looks like.
« A set of dry and clean clothes is certainly a good proposition. I'll go to the H&H to reserve a room for three. If such a thing exists! » and with that Erevan sets out to find the establishment not waiting for anyone else.
Glad to get his feet back on "dry" land, Haldon takes a moment to close his eyes and feel the cool earth beneath his toes. After a minute, he opens his eyes to see that Auren has disappeared and Erevan striding off into the distance. Wearily, he hauls his pack onto his back and tries not to lose Erevan in the streets of Threshold.

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by RobJN » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:31 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:27 pm
Auren mumbles to herself a bit. Her hair a mess from the wind and it spilling over her face, she pushes it back. Why don't the two of you check in at the Hook & Hatchet, despite this inclement weather I am going to take a few moments to get acquainted with the layout of this village.

The weather is perfect for Auren to sneak around the village out-of-sight and get an idea of what the town looks like.
Threshold, from the sailor's talk on the riverboat, sounded like a thriving frontier town, a place from which a thousand adventures might begin. But for a town it's size, the markets -- dockside and the other further towards the center of town -- seem rather sparsely shopped, the selection somewhat meager. Coin changes hands and few words are spoken before the buyer hurries away, eyes downcast, hand clutching at a hood in danger of being blown off by the winds off Lake Mistamere.

There is not yet enough mist in the air for Auren to use to fully mask her presence, and despite her efforts, her passing does not go unnoticed. At least two pair of red-cloaked soldiers at different intervals pause in their discussion with the housemistresses or shopkeeper to spare the elfess a second glance.

In her passing, though, Auren is able to glean that the guardsmen seem to be going door to door, inquiring about the whereabouts of "another one," and had they noticed anything peculiar about the markets in the past few days.
shesheyan wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:49 pm
« A set of dry and clean clothes is certainly a good proposition. I'll go to the H&H to reserve a room for three. If such a thing exists! » and with that Erevan sets out to find the establishment not waiting for anyone else.
mah9 wrote:Glad to get his feet back on "dry" land, Haldon takes a moment to close his eyes and feel the cool earth beneath his toes. After a minute, he opens his eyes to see that Auren has disappeared and Erevan striding off into the distance. Wearily, he hauls his pack onto his back and tries not to lose Erevan in the streets of Threshold.
It is difficult to tell if the terse answers Erevan receives to his inquiries is due to his being an elf, a stranger in town, in the company of a Highforge dwarf, or some combination of those three things. Still, he is able to find the inn with little more effort.

Nestled nearly against the Old Town Wall, the Hook and Hatchet (shown outlined in yellow on the map) is of modest size, as frontier town lodgings go. A sprawling business frontage, a side stable yard walled, gated, and guarded.

Two pairs of double-doors up a few steps from street level no doubt lead to what promises to be a warm and inviting common room. But then, most anything would be warmer than the bone-biting cold of the winds coming off the lake.....

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by shesheyan » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:39 pm

mah9 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:00 pm
shesheyan wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:49 pm
Angel Tarragon wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:27 pm
Auren mumbles to herself a bit. Her hair a mess from the wind and it spilling over her face, she pushes it back. Why don't the two of you check in at the Hook & Hatchet, despite this inclement weather I am going to take a few moments to get acquainted with the layout of this village.

The weather is perfect for Auren to sneak around the village out-of-sight and get an idea of what the town looks like.
« A set of dry and clean clothes is certainly a good proposition. I'll go to the H&H to reserve a room for three. If such a thing exists! » and with that Erevan sets out to find the establishment not waiting for anyone else.
Glad to get his feet back on "dry" land, Haldon takes a moment to close his eyes and feel the cool earth beneath his toes. After a minute, he opens his eyes to see that Auren has disappeared and Erevan striding off into the distance. Wearily, he hauls his pack onto his back and tries not to lose Erevan in the streets of Threshold.
At the front door of the inn Erevan turns around :
«Ah there you are! Shall we go in Haldon, or do you want to find another establishment in what passes for a town in these parts?»

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by mah9 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:55 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:39 pm
At the front door of the inn Erevan turns around :
«Ah there you are! Shall we go in Haldon, or do you want to find another establishment in what passes for a town in these parts?»
Haldon pauses, and looks at the timber framed building. Shivering slightly at the thought of spending another night not surrounded by a solid stone wall, he acquiesces.
"Not a proper building in this town by the looks of it. As long as there's ale and meat, it will do."

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by RobJN » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:43 pm

To be fair, the Hook and Hatchet is a stone-and-timber: the majority of the ground floor common room is walled in stone, and two large hearths provide no small measure of heat and light: much welcome in this dreary, drizzly, overcast day.

The common room seems small, though, as most of the booths and tables are full, the chatter among the patrons layered into a dull roar. That tide of noise ebbs somewhat, retreating at the sudden swathe of icy air that accompanies you through the northern pair of doors.

The men at one table all turn to peer at you over cups or shoulders. Their breastplates are emblazoned with the local baron's moon-over-tower sigil, and red cloaks hang over the backs of their chairs. Their boots are well-worn, as is the leather wrapping the handles of the long truncheons at their belts. Townguardsmen, if you've ever seen them.

Before any of them can stare longer, or speak a word, a balding, dark-haired man puffs by, arms laden with a tray containing a small pot of some divine-smelling stew and a stack of bowls.

"Welcome to the Hook!" he calls as he passes, "Take a seat where you can find it and I'll send Fiala your way."

It looks like the only open seats are along a bench at one of the common tables, where a human clad in a coat of chain mail sits, the handle of the axe strapped to his back bobbing this way and that as he swings the haunch of meat in its place, his tale pausing as he takes another bite....
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by mah9 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:08 am

Haldon moves over to the bench and takes a seat, placing his pack between his feet. As he does so, Haldon motions Erevan to follow.

As the serving girl approaches, he says "A pint of ale, and a bowl of that wonderful smelling stew, please." And motioning towards Erevan "And whatever my Elvish friends wants as well."

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by shesheyan » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:57 pm

Everan sits next to Haldon « I'll have the stew but will take a glass of red wine. Is the weather in these parts always this humid and cold? »

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by torkill13 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:06 pm

The large man looked at the two newcomers as they sat down. He continued his story with a mouthful of meat. "Anyway, there I was with this gnoll whelp pinned down by my shield and my axe poised to strike," he said as he raised the haunch of meat overhead in place of the axe. "When out of nowhere another one of those damn mutts jumped me from behind! It bit in to my arm and dragged me off from its pup. Had a damn good grip on my arm too. I tried bashing it with my shield, but it wouldn't yield. I thought to myself 'By Odin's beard, what have you gotten yourself in to this time Horvik.' And Odin must have been listening, because at that very moment I realized what I had to do." Suddenly Horvik leaped to his feet, moved behind the dwarf that had just sat down at the table, and grabbed him in a big bear hug. "I bit that dog's ear right off!" he shouted as he made a biting motion next to the dwarf's head. He broke in to a hearty laugh as he released the dwarf and gave him a warm pat on the back. "Welcome to the Hook!" he laughed, as he took his seat again.

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by RobJN » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:31 pm

mah9 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:08 am
Haldon moves over to the bench and takes a seat, placing his pack between his feet. As he does so, Haldon motions Erevan to follow.

As the serving girl approaches, he says "A pint of ale, and a bowl of that wonderful smelling stew, please." And motioning towards Erevan "And whatever my Elvish friends wants as well."
shesheyan wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:57 pm
Everan sits next to Haldon « I'll have the stew but will take a glass of red wine. Is the weather in these parts always this humid and cold? »
The serving girl -- and she is, indeed, a girl, of nearly maiden's age, with straight blonde locks peeking from beneath a plain white kerchief-- nods at the dwarf and elf's orders. She blinks, at Erevan's question, blue eyes darting towards the door.

"I don't ever remember it being so cold here this early. But then," she muses, "I haven't even seen a dozen winters just yet." She shrugs. "Uncle Cal and all the guardsmen say its 'unseasonable.'"
torkill13 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:06 pm
The large man looked at the two newcomers as they sat down. He continued his story with a mouthful of meat. "Anyway, there I was with this gnoll whelp pinned down by my shield and my axe poised to strike," he said as he raised the haunch of meat overhead in place of the axe. "When out of nowhere another one of those damn mutts jumped me from behind! It bit in to my arm and dragged me off from its pup. Had a damn good grip on my arm too. I tried bashing it with my shield, but it wouldn't yield. I thought to myself 'By Odin's beard, what have you gotten yourself in to this time Horvik.' And Odin must have been listening, because at that very moment I realized what I had to do." Suddenly Horvik leaped to his feet, moved behind the dwarf that had just sat down at the table, and grabbed him in a big bear hug. "I bit that dog's ear right off!" he shouted as he made a biting motion next to the dwarf's head. He broke in to a hearty laugh as he released the dwarf and gave him a warm pat on the back. "Welcome to the Hook!" he laughed, as he took his seat again.
The girl ducks as the haunch of meat swings her way, and deftly side steps as the big man approaches and then embraces the dwarf. She narrows her eyes at the man as he returns to his seat.

"Master Horvik, what has Uncle Cal told you about manhandling the guests?"
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:20 pm

Intrigued by the guards note of "another one" Auren tries to get closer to them to hear more of the conversation without being too noticeable.

Stealth check: 17+3=20
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by torkill13 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:29 pm

"There is no better welcome to a dwarf than a big tale and an even bigger ale. Put their drinks on my bill and bring me another while you're at it," Horvik said to the girl. As she moved away from the table, he bellowed loudly enough for Cal to hear, "And tell that old coot needs to get out of the kitchen and have some fun like a real man!" He drained his mug, much of its contents spilling over his beard and mustache.
Last edited by torkill13 on Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by mah9 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:42 am

Under his breath Haldon mutters,<And touching the wrong dwarf unbidden can be very bad for your health.> But he does nothing, and waits for the food and drinks to arrive.

"So Horvik, do you make a habit of dining on gnoll?"

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by shesheyan » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:26 pm

Erevan is amused by Horvik's antics at the expense of Haldon but he tries to hide it with his best poker face. He waits for Horvik's response.

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by torkill13 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:09 pm

Horvik turned toward the dwarf. "It's called survival, friend. Once I tore its ear off, it finally released my arm. My arm throbbed in pain and I couldn't even hold my axe, but there was no way I was going to let that vermin best me. My left hand found a dagger on the gnoll's belt, which I happily shoved through its chin and up in to her brain. As its mother collapsed to the ground, the whelp sought revenge but it was such a tiny thing. Didn't take much to snap its neck so it could join it mother in the afterlife. Still got that dagger..." As he showed the dwarf hilt of the dagger on his belt, his arm was clearly scarred from a bite wound. "...and those scars."

He took another bite from the haunch of meat, but after a second or two, a look of disgust came across his face. He spit out a mouthful of half-chewed meat and tossed the bone on to his plate. "Now, I seem to have lost my appetite," he spat. He picked up his mug to wash the taste out of his mouth, but it was empty."Where's that ale, Fiala?!" he shouted, as he slammed the mug on the table.

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by RobJN » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:05 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:20 pm
Intrigued by the guards note of "another one" Auren tries to get closer to them to hear more of the conversation without being too noticeable.

Stealth check: 17+3=20
"... and you say you didn't see her this morning?" the guardsman asks. The flat boredom has left his tone, and his back straightens.

"Oh, aye," says the rather broad woman, from the bakery doorway. "She usually skulks on by the back, and Young Tomas -- I think he's sweet on her, Three favor him-- Well, he usually slips her a sweet bun or two in with the day-olds. But today, he's been moping about."

"Just today?"

"Oh, yes. Can't hardly get any work out of Young Tomas. I told him a bird would perch on his lip if he kept sulking."

The guardsman sighs, and scratches something into the bottom corner of the folded parchment, using the smallest quill Auren has ever seen. He frowns ever so slightly. "I'm sure it's nothing. Perhaps she's taken ill, with this cold and wet coming in off the lake so early this year. But... if she doesn't show again tomorrow, why not have Young Tomas drop by the south market garrison and let Sergeant Arthol know?"

"Oh, yes," the woman says. "Yes, I'll have him do that."

The guardsman tips his helmet, and makes a sharp about-face, his silent partner following a half step behind.

"That makes a third," the slightly shorter man says. "Cal's girl, the woodcutter's girl, and now Sergeant Arthol's favorite little beggar."

"That we know of," the first guard says. "Sarge isn't going to like this."
torkill13 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:09 pm
He took another bite from the haunch of meat, but after a second or two, a look of disgust came across his face. He spit out a mouthful of half-chewed meat and tossed the bone on to his plate. "Now, I seem to have lost my appetite," he spat. He picked up his mug to wash the taste out of his mouth, but it was empty."Where's that ale, Fiala?!" he shouted, as he slammed the mug on the table.
The girl reappears, setting two goblets and a tankard down at the table. She frowns. "No, that's not right." She slides the two goblets closer to the elf and the dwarf. One contains red wine, the other a fizzy white. She nearly spills it at a shout from the table of guardsmen. She spins on them.

"I said I would be there in a moment!" she shouts back at them.

She blinks, wiping at her cheeks, and picks up the red wine. "I'm sorry. I don't know how my cousin Fiala can do this, keeping drinks and orders and tables and faces all straight.... I fold the linens and make the beds, but Mama said I needed to help down here since Fiala hasn't come back from the marketplace."
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:06 pm

Auren continues to follow the guards on the sly to make out more of the conversation.

Stealth check: 19+3 = 22
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by mah9 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:13 am

Noticing the girl's red eyes, Haldon says softly to her,"When was she supposed to be back from the market?"

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by shesheyan » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:10 pm

Erevan feigns aloofness but listens intently to the discussion between Haldon and the young girl.

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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by RobJN » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:45 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:06 pm
Auren continues to follow the guards on the sly to make out more of the conversation.

Stealth check: 19+3 = 22
The next business, and the one after that, and the one after that follow the same routine: the two guardsmen ask the proprietor if they have seen any of the girls illustrated on the parchment, if they have noticed anything out of the ordinary over the past few weeks (".. aside from the weather," the taller guardsman adds). Each has pretty much the same answer: hadn't seen the girls, hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary.
mah9 wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:13 am
Noticing the girl's red eyes, Haldon says softly to her,"When was she supposed to be back from the market?"
shesheyan wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:10 pm
Erevan feigns aloofness but listens intently to the discussion between Haldon and the young girl.
"Fiala never came back yesterday. Uncle Cal went to Sergeant Arthol last night, but none of the guards have any news."

At another shout from the guardsman's table, the girl bobs a curtsey, and scurries off to see what they need.
Rob
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Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
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Re: [TC1 Reboot] Act I: Little Girl(s) Lost

Post by Angel Tarragon » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:27 pm

Auren stealthily makes her way back to the tavern to meet up with her comrades. When she does meet up with, she pipes up. Apparently, there is a quite a gaggle of gals missing, she says to them.

Stealth check: 20+3 = 23
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