Going Away for Awhile [Merlana, Gauss, mzipser, MzNurse, ShadowRidley]

"Layna," the fine featured woman says as she pushes a tendril of her loose auburn hair back from her face. She turns her hazel eyes towards Talia and gives her an appraising look before adding, "It will be good to have someone familiar with River Forge and the finer points of the city along with us."

The leather armored woman then turns to the other young woman in the room, "Hardly rich here. Just a scout for our little logging town just outside the Wildwood until Astan's army moved through coming up on a year ago. Though I must say the Crocus has provided more than I ever could have imagined..." she trails off before continuing "So, what are we forgetting? I'm sure there's plenty of things we have yet to think of."

Astaban chuckles, steps back, then adds, "My mother also told me to watch out for your type. Usually when arguing with my father."

After Layna speaks, Astaban looks at Talia, then asks, "What should we expect in River Forge?"

Talia casually returned the appraising look she received from the fine featured woman. Her eyes took in the common shirt and pants, the utilitarian boots, and the bold posture, while her mouth wore a slight smirk. They couldn't have been more opposite, these two, except perhaps for the obvious strength of will shining out from behind their eyes. "Layna.", she replied, by way of greeting. Straight backed, but with an intriguing sway of her hips, she stepped to an empty chair, still clutching her goblet of wine with the care of the inebriated, and sat. Only then did she reply to Astaban's question with a saucy grin.

"Not so fast handsome. No one has seen fit to tell me why we're going to River Forge. Until I know that my advice on which inns have the best entertainment and," she winked, "the softest beds, will have to stay mine."

Karn takes another drink and smiles, "They didn't fill you in, eh? Well, the short answer is that we’re going because our employers are paying us to go."

He laughs and continues, "We’re supposed to find out information about the West Merui company. We found stuff of theirs in a mine we cleaned up for the Crocus. After we killed the dragon and came back, they decided we oughta find out more about them. West Merui was paid in Astan money. Crocus wants us to find out who they were working for, and why the Astan army left the mine alone, and if the company has any connections with the Astan government. Our bosses also want to get an idea if they might be persuaded go along with the Crocus. We can even offer let them buy the mine back.

We’re supposed to be sneaky since we need to get through the battlefield, into town, and then into the company.

He takes another drink, "We’ve got a contact we’re supposed to … contact … in River Forge. We go to the Miller's Stone, in the River District and order the right drink."

He looks over towards Layna and Asteban, "I leave anything out?"

Tobie looked up at the newcomer and waited until everyone had introduced themselves staying as unobtrusive as possible. She didn't much like this new girl, didn't much trust her either, but she was now part of their group. She would have to deal with it. She puffed at a strand of richly colored chestnut hair that had pulled loose from her thick braid and watched Talia with an unreadable expression in the jade green eyes that peered out over her freckles.

Tobie, she finally answered with a nod. 'Meetcha... She turned her attention back to Layna. What yer fergittin, Layna, is iffen ya go as folks buyin' stuff, then folks is gonna think yer rich. Even iffen yer not. An' yer gotta pay tax. Everwheres. Soon's tax guys hears "money", they's gonna invent some sorta tax. T'other thin' is thiefs. Iffen tax guys hears "money" so does thiefs.

Talia raised one sculpted eyebrow at the chestnut haired girl, a silent embodiment of sardonicism, and didn't deign to reply; but she found herself nodding slightly at the girl's words, once she'd puzzled through the thick, uneducated peasant accent.

"I have two proposals. River Forge is a focal point for an enormous amount of trade, and almost anything you can imagine is available there, or sought after for purchase. As caravan guards, we could hire onto a trade caravan stopping there; or we could become a merchant caravan, and hire our own guards. Either way would provide security, obscurity, and a reasonably speedy trip. I might know someone who could forge us letters of credit to "pay" the tax collectors we meet, so that we would be out nothing but paper and ink."

She spent a few
Do I know anything about the West Merui Company? Knowledge (Local)
Dice Roll: 1d20+3
d20 Results: 4 (Total = 7)
moments in
Do I know anyone who could forge letters of credit well enough to pay a tax collector? Knowledge (Local)
Dice Roll: 1d20+4
d20 Results: 11 (Total = 15)
thought. "If we play at being merchants ourselves, some of us should pretend to hire on as guards. I've heard more than a few tales of merchants preyed on by their own security."

"Karn summed up the assignment nicely. Going is the easy part. Between Tobie and I, I'd wager I we can get to River Forge with little trouble, though it could be slow going if we are truly trying to avoid all notice. And we want to be sure to be there before the snow starts falling." Layna looks decidedly uncomfortable at each mention of a snowy winter in River Forge. Months with snow blanketing the ground and stuck in a foreign city. ...""That might require a different plan than walking the back country."

"If we plan things right, there is little we should need to buy, other than provisions periodically and a place to stay for the winter in River Forge," Layna says, the displeasure still evident on her face. "With all we've brought back from the mine, you'd think the Crocus would have been taxed to Aetan and back. They must know something about not paying taxes. And even with no letters or other arrangements, as long as we spend like we have less than we have, our taxes will be minimal," she says with a casual, glance over at Talia. From what the halfling had said, how she was dressed and along with her comment of soft beds and general demeanor, Layna wasn't sure the woman would be able to live under her means, just as she wasn't sure how to spend all the Crocus had paid her for the last two jobs. This was going to be interesting....

"Wintering over and gathering the information is another issue. Karn had a good point earlier about staying close to the truth - or at least who we truly are. I'd never be able to pass as a merchant or a city-dweller. And I'm not sure others of us could pass as a guard or woodsman. Whatever rouse we use, we need work with what each of us knows and does best."

Astaban sinks into thought as he listens to the group converse. He finds himself nodding at the suggestion raised by Talia, and then again at the words of Layna.

"Given the length of time that we will be in River Forge, I agree that we should be comfortable with whatever role we decide to play." He pauses for a second, then adds, "So, then, what would we be comfortable doing, if we are required to be in Merui for upwards of a winter or longer?"

Whatcha got again' snow, Layna? Are ya skeert of it? Tobie asked quietly, giving Layna's hand a gentle squeeze. It ain't nuttin' but frozed water. She turned to Astaban. What Ah'm comf'able with? I c'n be a guard. Woodcutter. Guide. Barkeep. Waitress. Been all them thin's. She shrugged indifferently. Cain't pertend ta nobody with no learnin', tho, she laughed.

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