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Why does this lubber keep winkin' at me???

 

Vieta ignores this and leans back in his chair, listening to the conversation.

 

"Don't think so, mate." Vieta says to Zaak. "I don't drink before a meal."

 

He grabs another cracker and plops it into his mouth, then, contrary to what he said, looks around to see if there are wine bottles on the table and glasses to pour himself a cup.

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Lavinia smiles a bit at Veita's actions, but returns to a proper pose standing by the fireplace & the painting. "Oh, that is.. my brother" she kinda stutters a bit is able to get out "he's has left town..." (Tolan make a Sense Motive check, anyone else that has spoken to Lavinia after she has said that may also check as well)

 

Kora & Jared wheel in a cart with beverages, Jared now cleaned up of course ::):, there are bottles of wine, & a medium size barrel that Jared lifts off the cart by himself, the man's big arms not straining under the weight of the barrel & sets it's on a table with a large pan of ice, he place a tap over the seal on top of the barrel, then push down on the tap, as he pushes down you hear a whoosh sound come from the barrel, as he pushes down he turns the tap clockwise. He sets the barrel on it's side in the ice with the tap outward, grabs a mug off the table & turns the small handle on top, a frothy beverage comes out & he takes a sip "Ahhhh just like always Vini. Tthe gods bless your Uncle in Calderon & his crops, ha ha ha". "Oh Jared, will you stop calling me that!!" Lavinia says kindly, thou she doesn't appear to be in a joyful mood.

 

As Jared is testing the tap, Kora is setting the table with the bottle of wine, as she places the bottle, you notice the same crest that was on the door of the Manor adorns the bottles, the Vanderboren Crest. "My family brand, please help yourself, most of the bottles sit in the cellar anyways." Lavinia says as Kora places the last bottle on the table.

 

Kora & Jared start to clean up the appeititer plates & stuff & place them on the cart, as they move the cart out of the room Jared pushes the cart & tells Kora to relax, he'll handle things...as they leave you hear Kora say,"Oh just like last time you served a dinner, give me that!!!!"

 

"Now I don't want to interrupt dinner, as I want everyone to enjoy their dinner tonight, but as we have a bit of a break between courses, I will try to answer your questions now." As she is talking she moves to the end of the table, thou young looking she has the grace of a older noblewoman that has lived her whole life behind a walled castle. As she is about to sit down a large "BOOM" & flash of light outside & suddenly the courtyard outside is soaked with a downpour, "Even with a hint of hope, we still get gloomy weather." You hear her say softly. As she is about to sit down, she looks at the table & says "Wait, someone is not here?"

 

As she rises, the the double doors open & Kora & a rain soaked dwarf enters the dining room. He is pretty young looking, for a dwarf, he is wearing a chain shirt & has a dwarven waraxe over his shoulder. Anther thing you notice is a silver armband with a symbol depicting a skull being smashed by a axe. "Sorry to miss the seven o'clock bell, my lady, I was delayed at the gondola station, some thief tried to make off with a young woman's necklace, they had the boats & the area lock down for a bit." he says with a noble sounding voice. He bows & says "thank you for the invitation, I will take your offer on dinner & her your proposal" "Thank you, Prince Helegar, my father & your Lord were trusted allies in their quests together, I hope I can make your acquaintance." Lavinia says as she returns a bow "Please, place your axe & shield over on by the wall & Kora will show you where to dry yourself off.

 

When the dwarf returns, Lavinia sits down. "Now where were we, oh yes, questions answered" she says, you notice she doesn't go to sit down this time. "As you may have heard, I inherited this estate & other holdings my parents owned a few weeks ago, this due to the terrible incident that claimed both of their lives at the pier.(with this she pauses a bit). Along with this fine home, unfortunately, came a fine amount of debt owed to the Dawn Council, the harbormaster, & quite a few guildhalls + the ridiculous bill the Dawn Council & the harbormaster sent to me for the "investigation & cleanup" after the accident. It seems my parents, for all their success as adventurers & as good citizens were not skilled at finance as one might expect. If I'm to get these taxes paid I'll need to acces my family's vault under Castle Teraknian."

 

As she is about to say something, the double doors open & Kora & Jared enters the room bearing the cart with dinner items, as Kora said there is pheasant & their is silver sword fillets, plus there is some side helpings of bread, some white gravy & some steamed vegetables. Also there is a bowl of diced fruit such as pineapple, mangos & other regional fruits.

 

"Ah, I will stop for now, please enjoy the dinner my friends have prepared for this night" she says & helps place the food on the table. After wile, Lavinia, Kora & Jared take their place at the dinner table along with the rest of you.

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Seeing this food and how fancy it is, at least, compared to the maggoty bread and grog he's been used to, Vieta's stomach grumbles and he starts to salivate a bit, although keeping himself from drooling like an animal. When his plate is placed in front of him, Vieta unfurls his napkin and sticks its corner down his shirt, then digs in with knife and fork.

 

He keeps his ears open for the conversation, only looking up once and asking the nearest person "Can I trouble you for the salt?"

 

Wonder if the job's worth the food...

 

Rather oblivious and uncaring to the weather outside, Vieta reaches for a wine bottle and observes the crest for a bit before unplugging the cork and pouring himself a glass. He drinks heartily, neither criticizing its taste nor complementing it as he truly lacked the making of a coinoisseur. The same applies for the food, which he also eats heartily, letting his actions speak for his own attitute towards the meal.

 

"What's at Teraknian?" Vieta asks through a mouthful of food.

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Already more than well aware of the family's financial woes of late, Malrae stills listens politely wondering what task exactly this group has been assembled to perform.

 

When the food arrives, he eats in a very refined manner, keeping to himself as much as possible.

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When the food arrives Zaak looks to Lavinia, smiles and say's, "Thank you so very much for the hospitality."

 

He then pours some ale into his mug. Looks over the food and starts to help himself to a little bit of everything. As he is looking around the table he sees Vieta pouring himself a glass a wine and thinks, "Hmmmm odd fella this character...."

 

Then hearing Vieta say, "What's at Teraknian?" Zaak pays particular attention at how Lavinia answers this question.

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(Sense motive check: 15)

 

After hearing what Lavinia has said, Tolan ponders what she truly means and where this conversation is headed.

 

As he has sated his appetite a bit, he tucks into the rest of the meal in a refined manner that is quite unexpected of a man of his, well, appearance. He uses all the proper forks and spoons and never spills a speck of food. He tries a small goblet of the wine and compliments the family on the vintage. It seems there might be more behind this shabby ruffian than meets the eye.

 

At hearing the name of the castle, Tolan thinks back to his childhood and tries to remember anything he can about the castle (Knowledge check: 13).

 

When the man called Vieta asks "What's at Teraknian?" Tolan looks at Lavinia to gauge her response.

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Yarrin politely takes a portion of many of the dishes sampling the fare and keeping quiet and observing. "This group has quite a variety of apparent skills and personalities to digest. It is very apparent that understanding everyone that will be involved in this is going to be just as important to the success of what Lady Vanderboren has in store as the actual mission. If only he knew how she had decided to choose this particular group."

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"Thank you, Prince Helegar, my father & your Lord were trusted allies in their quests together, I hope I can make your acquaintance." Lavinia says as she returns a bow.

 

"No need ta be callin' me prince, my lady," the dwarfs says with amusement. "Ah'm not here in any o-fficial capacity. I sorta roonned away, so ta speak. Joost Heleger'll do." He follows Kora to a small room off the main hallway and dries himself as best he can with the towel she gives him. Then he returns, chooses the first empty seat he comes to, and asks the servant to bring him a couple mugs of the beer. "Don' wantta wear ya out, roonnin' back an' forth," he says with a grin.

 

Heleger down one mug immediately, in one long draught, and smiles appreciatively. Then he notices the others at the table, stands up, and bows to them all. "Mah name is Heleger Unglefsson. Pleased ta meetcha," he says, and returns to his seat and starts on his second mug.

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"Mah name is Heleger Unglefsson. Pleased ta meetcha"

 

Zaak looks to the dwarf and say's, "Well Met Heleger --- Name is Zaak Moonshadow."

 

Zaak then proceeds to continue to eat his food while waiting for Lavinia to answer the question Vieta posed to her.

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Tolan--

 

you don't sense anything other then she feels a bit down that her brother isn't here right now.

 

Klg Ck:History--Castle Teraknian---

 

 

Sitting just off the coast of the Noble District, thou in the harbor lies an island with a massive castle, this is where the ancestral ruler of Sasserine has lived since the city was founded. The current ruler thou is now the Dawn Council, a body made up of seven noble families, one from each District of the city, The Vanderboren family is not part of this body, the representative for the Merchant District is the Arabani house. The castle for the most part is abandoned only a few rooms are used for city business & such, espically when the Dawn Council has their meetings, which are about once a week depending on the month.

 

The castle was built for Teraknian in the year -114 CY some 700 years ago. Teraknian the first ruler & the lover of the visionary cleric-pilgrim Sasserine, who after her tragic death at the hands of the black dragon Zelkarune proclaimed that a city would be erected & would be named after her in her honor, Sasserine's body now lies under the Scarlet Spire, a tower of red light on Ancestor Island, also where she was slain, as the history books says.

 

The ruler of Sasserine has descend from the Teraknian line & was well loved by it's people until rulership came to the cruel Lord Mayor Orren Teraknian in the year 480 CY, who caused the current rift between the churches of Kord & Wee Jas in the city & to this day has not fully healed, resulting in the Noble & Champion Districts not getting along, as each has strong ties to each church. Just as his rule was becoming unbearable, a great fleet of ships of the Sea Princes came to Sasserine from the North. Promising to end the rule of the Lord Mayor, the Sea Princes were aided by the people of Sasserine by rebellion against their wicked ruler. Orren was overthrown at the hands of the Sea Princes who claimed Sasserine as their own (which in turn, ruled Sasserine with an equal iron fist, if not worse then the rule under Orren). To protect their valuable acquisition from future invaders Sasserine very existence was wiped out by removing it off maps & any info related to it was erased, sailors & merchants that did not bow to the Sea Princes' rule was either bought off or worse executed at sea, their ships bloating the Sea Princes fleet.

 

Sasserine suffered for 100 years under the rule of the Sea Princes, but Sasserine's underlying spirit did not die. Their prayers were finally answered in 584 CY when the Scarlet Brotherhood assassinated nearly all of the Sea Princes. the resulting turmoil threw Sasserine into chaos. Without the support of their homeland, the leaders of the city were overthrown in fortnight. In the decade since their freedom, the people of Sasserine have rebulit their city with astonishing success & now instead of one indivual ruler, the city's rule is now made up of the highest noble family from each district.

 

Where they meet at Teraknian Castle to decide the city's needs & other such needs, also to honor the first ruler of the city. Under the castle are vast vaults that each noble family has, some huge, some small.

 

 

Heleger--

"Then Heleger it is then, please join dinner among the rest of the people gathered." Lavinia says in return.

 

Everyone else, including Tolan & Heleger of course--

 

"What's at Teraknian?, surely you jest, ha ha" a light laugh come from Lavinia, "it's only the ruling seat of the entire city." "Each noble family, no matter the size has a vault under the castle. I've never seen my family's vault, thou I've heard that some vaults are huge & some are very small, the one thing I do know is to get into your vault is you need a a special signet ring. As each vault is keyed to each family's seal & that's the problem, you see." She takes a sip of wine before continuing. "Like I said the vaults are magically locked, from what I've heard they have strong magical locks on each & the only way to open them are by using the rings, my parents both had a ring, up till recently, my mother lost her's a few months ago out in the woods. She arranged for a replacement but it won't be done for anther month or so, too late for me. Which leaves my father's ring. He never wore it--he had a thing about men wearing jewelry, even magical kind, something I found kinda odd in his profession. Anyways, He kept it hidden somewhere on his ship the Blue Nixie."

 

She pauses for everyone to take in what she said & then continues, "The problem there is that the harbormaster's seized the ship until someone has paid for the last four months of mooring. I've paid the fines to the man the harbormaster put in charge of my ship, a brute of man named Soller Vark. Yet when I went to claim my ship, Vark's men wouldn't let me board, claiming that I hadn't yet paid the fines. I spoke to Vark again & he denied ever receiving my payment. My complaints to the harbormaster have falled on deaf ears--he's a doddering old fool who trusts his man & won't relent!!"

 

Her face is a bit flustered at what she just says but she calms down to add "Vark & his men are up to something on my ship, I know it. What I need is to find out exactly what they're up to. Unfortunately, Vark's not the type to react well to diplomacy or logic. I need someone who speaks his language.....which is where you all come in. If you can find out what he is using my ship for, or even better recover the money I paid him, I'll pay each of you 200 gold crowns in return once I've access to my vault."

 

"I know from the information I got for each of you that your the right people for the job, I know that some of you can fight if it comes down to it, even stealth if it needs to be used, please accept my offer."

 

"'vinie let me take care of the scoundrel, I'll give him a once over he soon won't regret!!" "If his men get in the way I'll take them out as well" Jared says in a loud voice after Lavinia is done. "No, I can't lead anyone that knows my family, as that would only dig my family into more financial problems with the city, plus I couldn't afford to lose anther person to dear to me, Jared, I know you mean well, but please let's hear what everyone else has to say." Lavinia says to Jared as she places her hand on his.

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"The problem there is that the harbormaster's seized the ship until someone has paid for the last four months of mooring. I've paid the fines to the man the harbormaster put in charge of my ship, a brute of man named Soller Vark. Yet when I went to claim my ship, Vark's men wouldn't let me board, claiming that I hadn't yet paid the fines. I spoke to Vark again & he denied ever receiving my payment. My complaints to the harbormaster have falled on deaf ears--he's a doddering old fool who trusts his man & won't relent!!"

 

After hearing this Zaak replies, "Do you know what city clicks this Harbormaster and Soller Vark have ties with?" He also thinks to himself, "Hmmmm 200 gold crowns --- I bet if we would play our cards right we should be able to milk her for a little bit more."

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Hearing the dwarf's introduction, Vieta only tips his glass slightly before downing it, not saying much and going abck to his food.

 

When he finally hears the job offer, he looks up.

 

"How many men?" he asks as he wipes his mouth and reaches for a refill of wine.

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"Forgive my manners, Zaak, but my mother taught me Sylvan & I should have said this before addressing everyone, "Saesa omentien lle, Creoso a'baramin, Tula, vasa ar' yulna en i'mereth." (which translates to Common tongue as "Pleasure meeting you, welcome to my dwelling,Come, eat and drink of the feast." "Not many times I've been able to show off my Sylvan, epically over dinner, I hope it's not to rusty" (which of course it is not, almost sounds like a second language to her).

 

"The Lord Keltar Islaran, the current Harbormaster is the Lord of Islaran Manor & is the Azure District representative. He is old but he is a good man, he just has other things that occupy his time, mainly his job being the overseer of the entire docks of the entire of the city, since were one of the last & probably the largest port city in this part of Oearth, that takes up alot of his time, plus I'v heard that his oldest son, Aaron who would have taken the mantle of Harbormaster & his favorite daughter, Alyssa vanished a few years ago, I don't know if it wa foul play or if it was wunderlust on their part & that has occupied Lord Islaran almost as much as his duties as Harbormaster. He has other children but they are daughters who are to marry into other families, something Lord Islaran would not to like to see, as he would like to keep the title within the family, thus keeping his seat on the Dawn Council & keeping the power of the Harbormaster & a younger son who ironically is deathly afraid of water. Something of my problem is probably insignificant, thou not to me of course, but in the scheme of city things it doesn't seem like a problem. It wouldn't be if Vark would have gave him my money!!"

 

"Sollar Vark, hmmmmm not sure but from the looks of him he looks like your typical sailor"(she turns to Vieta) "No offense I hope taken at that remark" "He looks like a man of the sea, I have no idea who he's aligned himself with, probably just a guy that the Harbormaster hired & placed in charge of my ship." "If anything, I doubt the two are connected really, just Vark using my funds & my ship for his own personal gains & Lord Islaran being tied up with more important things" she says with a slight angry face

 

She looks at Vieta but as she starts to talk she address everyone seated. "I'm not sure how many men Vark has under him, but when I went to get my ship, there was at least 5 in view, but there could be more that were below deck doing who knows what & probably on-shore doing things as well."

 

" I would prepare for 10, but I'm not a strategist nor a person of combat, so I could be exaggerating things, diplomacy is my area & as you can see it has failed to resolve matters."

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200 Gold crowns eh? That would pay for a lot of research. Add that to what I got paid today and it would set me up for a while, Tolan thinks to himself. As the conversation continues, he seems more and more interested in what is being offered. He seems to take in every detail of what Lavinia says.

 

"Do you have any men with more information on this Vark guy or just what you have seen and dealt with him so far?" he asks Lavinia.

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