Notices


Prologue: Voices in Your Head

 
Prologue: Voices in Your Head

Drawn by only a mysterious

Sending

Evocation
Level:
Cleric 4, Sorcerer/Wizard 5
Components:
V, S, M/DF
Casting Time:
10 minutes
Range:
See text
Target:
One creature
Duration:
1 round; see text
Saving Throw:
None
Spell Resistance:
No

You contact a particular creature with which you are familiar and send a short message of twenty-five words or less to the subject. The subject recognizes you if it knows you. It can answer in like manner immediately. A creature with an Intelligence score as low as 1 can understand the sending, though the subject's ability to react is limited as normal by its Intelligence score. Even if the sending is received, the subject is not obligated to act upon it in any manner.

If the creature in question is not on the same plane of existence as you are, there is a 5% chance that the sending does not arrive. (Local conditions on other planes may worsen this chance considerably.)

Arcane Material Component: A short piece of fine copper wire.

Sending with a summons, a promise, and an address just outside the Free City of Greyhawk, you have arrived at a mysterious mansion in the early evening of a cool autumn day. There are already a few people present, and there seems to be a few more trickling in via private horse, carriage from town, and other, less common means.

You know now that you are not alone in this summons, and whomever the patron is, they have vast resources at their disposal. Perhaps their promises will hold truth? Only time, and investigation can tell. While you ponder this, a man exits the house and walks up to the gate. He calls through it, using a magically amplified voice, to those gathered.

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"Good morrow sirs, ladies, and...other! My patron has summoned you all at great expense. As briefly mentioned in the Sending you received, the location of an ancient tomb concealing great power and wealth has been found. This tomb is home to an ancient evil hoarding massive amounts of treasure. There is one particular item of this hoard that my patron wishes. The rest, you may divide amongst yourselves, should you choose to accept our proposition."

The man paused after his speech, a few of the prospects had turned away already. Others shouted questions and demanded more information. The figure whistled loudly and replied. "All questions and comments will be answered later this evening, for I do not know the answers in full. Now that you are all here, allow me a moment to set up the pavilion where you will be staying this evening so that you may hear more about the mission." He next projected a silent image before them. One of the vault of treasure itself. "Behold the vault of the tomb!"


The man fiddles about in his pocket and procures a rod from within his pocket. As the vault vanishes from sight, he presses a button on the magnificently sculpted rod and creates a large pavilion adjacent to the mansion.

"You may retire here for the evening. A free meal, and accommodation for your travels. Please eat, drink, and mingle. My patron, himself, shall be in shortly. He will be happy to answer any further questions you have. Do know that anyone not entering the pavilion, or anyone leaving, will forfeit the contract for work and the location of the tomb."

Willow regards the servitor and his displays with little or no reaction, save to nod her head to him when he finishes. She turns to walk into the pavilion to look around and see what food and amenities are displayed. She has certainly read about this kind of magic, and is familiar with the conjuration schema woven into such a rod, but it's obvious power and value communicate her potential employer's resources and importance - as he no doubt intended. She takes a plate and begins to fill it up with choice delicacies while noting who follows her most immediately into the tent. She's as curious in the choices the patron has made for employees on this mission as in the mission itself. The number here tonight, by itself, suggests there will be a winnowing process on the morrow. She is dressed in her typical grey explorer's garb, though the hood of her cloak is thrown back revealing her reddish-brown hair, freckled complexion, and in the torchlight of the tent - her startling amber eyes.


Chitter gave an excited chirping noise, a spark of electricity arcing between his antennae as the man conjured a small building from thin air. "Fascinating! I want me one of those rods!" he said loudly, though in what he must have thought was a whisper. He lifted his goggles off his face and let them snap onto his forehead between his antennae. He then decoupled his re-breather, which wasn't actually attached to anything and was really just for show, and let it hang around his neck. He rubbed his hands together excitedly and walked towards the building.

He nudged the red-haired girl beside him as they proceeded to the plates of food, and asks, "Who are you? I'm Itchszi'Tak-Mjlorct Vvt'stask 'Tle," he said, snapping a clawed hand on his chitinous chest plate, his native clicking, whistling and jaw-snapping language utterly bewildering several passers by, "but you can call me 'Chitter'... at least, that's what humans and their ilk keep calling me. Anyways, did you see that treasure room? I been delving in forgotten places for years, but I've never seen that much gold in one place! Wonder who it belongs to!"

Chitter unabashedly piled as much food as he could on his plate, taking small amounts of everything he could see. The foods of foreign cultures excited him nearly as much as the cultures themselves. He was constantly looking around, his glittering compound eyes reflecting the lights of the room all around him. He craned his neck, trying to take in everything all at once, and didn't see to notice as several buns rolled off his plate and scattered across the table. Snapping his jaws in a sort of satisfied way, he nodded and began loading food into his gullet, staring up at the red-haired woman.


Willow turns to the insectile conversationalist. "Chitter would be easier for me than your full name, I am named Willow Ardent, but you can just call me Willow." She pauses, looking thoughtful, "Personally, I've never seen a horde like that, but generally, that indicates a very difficult opponent. What interests me more is the one item our patron wants. With that much wealth to divide, imagine how powerful that one thing must be!" She looks the stranger over carefully, "I'm not familiar with your race, what do you call yourselves?"

Durgan stepped off the carriage into the city and sighs softly. It had been a long time since he had set foot in his homeland. He was older, stronger, wiser, and maybe fatter. Adjusting the military tabbard over his dirty and dusty Scale Armor, he moves forward to the mansion. Nodding his head to those he passes along the way. His helmet being carried in his left hand. Slick black hair cut short and cut choppy on his head. He simple ran a saw blade knife through his hair and cut it whenever it got too long. Durgan thought back to the men and woman that served with him, he missed them. They were all dead and gone in one form or another. A week's worth of beard fuzz was on his face as he stared up at the mansion. His oddly blue metal blade strapped to his back, gleaming in the moonlight.

"What a place? Not creepy at all."

Durgan spoke to no one in particular as he scanned the gate and the inside of the mansion. Taking great pleasure in basking in the glory of his new mission. Glad to have a place in the world again. No more endless jobs beneath his status. This would be his final job and then he could retire. He removed the note from his pocket and read it, he couldn't believe it was real.

The Note
Dear Mr Durgan
I have sent some money along with the letter to ensure you are transported here by direct private carriage. I know you are back home and near Greyhawk, I also know you are debating burning this letter. I will let you know that if you do, my good man, you will miss out on your dream. The end of fighting and the start of easy living. I am need of you to guard a team of explorers and magic user as they investigate a tomb of epic proportion. You will need to do what you do best sir, lead by example and fight. You have made it out of many battles and scrapes and I know about how you were tossed out of your former kingdom. If you succeed on this mission your reward, besides the monetary coin awarded of course, will be vast. We will give you a medium sized partial of land at your discretion, to build what you want on it. I have a list of halfling craftsman who will work for you for 6 months to build what you want. I will award you a title of that equal to a lesser baron so you may own that land free and clear of the King's Law. I have also offered to pay your taxes for the first year. I take it this is to your liking? If so meet me at my address at the following date and time."



He put the letter away as the voice began speaking. Folding back up the parchment and sliding it under his armor to keep secure in a waist pocket, slightly hidden.

When the magical voice had finishes speaking Durgan spoke to the gate. His voice terse and eyes narrow. As if judging or trying to sense the motive of the Iron gate, in which the voice came out from.

"Are what you promised in the note real my good sir? If so I am in."

Chitter smiled at the woman. "Willow'k..." he managed; his command of the common tongue was excellent considering his heritage, though he was unable to stop himself from adding a hard "K" to the end of her name. Shrugging, he said, "My people are called Dromite, though within the Hive we call ourselves Tek'Kvah'c... I was taught it translates roughly as "One of Many," he said with a bow of his head, again spitting out a speedy bit of his clicking foreign tongue. "The name Dromite is familiar to us though, especially myself. It is our given race-name for others to share. And you make a good point! I wonder what it is we'll be retrieving for our patron. Probably worth a lot of gold, given the... show he put on for us here." Chitter halted, hoping he'd found the right word. He hungrily popped another buttered bun in his mouth and looked around, hoping to meet a few of the others.

He wasn't used to working with others, and the turn-out here was quite large. Chitter gazed around at the crowd, ever craning his neck to look up at the taller humanoids.

A large man had stood silently at the forefront of the group as the representative of their would-be employer welcomed them. He wore a battered looking breastplate under a long, heavy leather jacket; worn at the hems by dust and dirt from a long traveled road. His boots bare similar signs of travel; muddied and dusted. All about his person he carried a plethora of weapons, all equally as worn as the rest of his garb. His face bore the visage of a hardened man, stern and scarred, wrinkles at the edges of those ever scrupling aburn eyes.

At the sight of treasure he showed barely any emotion, neither a sound nor change in demeanor save for a slight narrowing of his glare. Seems odd that they’d know what the vault looks like, he considers, his mind pondering the possibilities of why this might be. He had heard of mages that could observe a place they had never been, in fact he had killed a fair few for trying.

Ashur made his way slowly to the pavilion, purposefully allowing the others to pass him so that he might observe them. A bug, a soldier and a woman, he thought; the bug seemed overly talkative, not such a terrible thing, but Ashur had always felt it best to listen first. The knight was mostly quiet, something Ashur appreciated, and perhaps this was a reasonable man. The woman Ashur could not place, she had only responded in short to the bug, who had declared himself as “Chitter” after speaking some gibberish; she seemed otherwise nondescript.

The meal under the pavilion was lavish with eccentricities, exotic dishes, cakes and other delights, fine wines and ales. It all seemed a waste to Ashur who scavenged himself a meal of simple meat and potatoes from amongst the other options. He settles himself among the others here tonight, eating and observing while waiting for some further information. It did seems strange to him that so many were here, were they all expected to participate in this escapade?

My Kyton characters backstory places him at the tombs entrance already, so roleplaying Jin it is!
Jin stood quietly through the show, hanging off to the side and studying the assembled party. they were a mixed bag to be sure, a perfect match for the treasure that vanished before them. Jin had never seen such a wealth, but kept as straight a face as he could. Avarice could come after acquisition.
As the presentation concluded Jin slipped into the pavilion with the grace of a shadow, eyeing the other beings around him. The Changeling's guise of Jack Thorne fit in well here; these lands were predominantly human and as such one more present in this gathering was mundane.
He had not eaten that day, hard-pressed to reach the mansion in time. At the insistence of the rabid porcupine gnawing at his stomach he set out to rectify this, gliding to the selection of food with a ravenous gleam in his eye. As he loaded his plate he attempted to strike up a conversation with the large man beside him, a warrior from his garb.
Hail warrior. My name is Jack, I am a tailor by trade but a healer by practice. Rather a strange task before us, isn't it? All that treasure and our employer only wants one thing. What do you suppose that price is? And what could this horror that guards such a horde be? No barrow of kings with a wealth that large goes unprotected, not if its made to last.
His mouth set in a hard line.
It would almost seem like they didn't want any of us to come back, tempting us with such wealth. But then again, they warned us of the danger...

Assuming "Jack" is speaking to him.
Ashur draws a deep breath as he turns to look at the smaller fellow behind him, can't be too dangerous if they invited a tailor..., he thinks. Holding his conservative meal in one hand he offers the other in greeting Ashur, well met Jack the tailor, he shakes Jack's hand firmly. He motions for the tables where Jack might join him as he continues to speak, I care very little for what this man may want, men will do as they will. But I wouldn't mind seeing a fair portion of that treasure put to my own purpose.

Jack/Jin grinned from under the brim of his black cap, sliding into the seat across from the big man.
Well, you can have most of my share if you and I make it to that horde. I prefer to travel light; unless it has versatile applications I see it as more a hindrance than anything else.
He pointed to the small, clear spindle that orbited his head, and pulled an ornate scroll case that seemed too long to have fit from his haversack.
Take these for example. This stone allows me to survive indefinitely without food and water, and this case can hold up to fifty sheets of parchment. With the case I could make maps of every stretch of dungeon we travel through, store them without damaging them or encumbering myself, and still have parchment left over. A boon when you need to procure clothing designs for a fickle client, I assure you. All in all, the only things I want from there are wondrous items of such nature. But what of yourself? You are obviously not a stranger to combat, and a successful one at that. What do you seek down below?




 

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