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Meady

The Sunless Citadel

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Aeolene leads up the ladder, pushing open the trapdoor just a little to look out through. She can see that they are in the back room upstairs. The music is nice here, played by a bard on a harp making an enchanting melody. The direct look you can see the bartender back on, and the counter, where a few weary adventurers sit. Aeolene pushes the door through quietly and gets up into the room, followed by everyone except Durgo. He gets about halfway through the hole and gets stuck. After some tugging, pulling and quite a bit of noise you get him up. At this point, the door to the room swings open and a surprised bartender falls backward onto the floor. He lets out a scream of fright seeing you all and shouts:

 

"Guards, Guards!!!"

 

Shortly after four forms appear in the door, clad in shinging platemail and carrying rather large swords. Looking at you menacingly one speaks in a stern but soft voice.

 

"I suggest you tell me how you got here and what you were doing in this mans cellar"

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"That tale is simple and short. We were taken prisoner by a snake man and his band of highwaymen outside your city where the roads, apparently are not safeguarded. We bartered with the snake for our lives, and when we were able to secure terms for our freedom, he showed us the door to a tunnel and insisted we leave his camp through it. It led to this cellar. There were no turns or branches, so we had little option but to leave the tunnel here...unless we wished to violate our negotiations and risk being killed by the viper at the tunnel's other end. We have no ill intentions towards any in this city, and took nothing from this good innkeep's stores. Honestly, we wish only free passage to the public portion of the city where we can buy goods and refreshments from your city like any travellers would.

 

"I understand our appearance is disconcerting, but surely we threaten none and violate no law. We wish to be no encumbrance on your city eating its food for free in your gaol. I can understand you might wish to search us to make sure we have engaged in no thievery, but we can, I hope, convince you to let us spend our money peacefully here before we travel on??"

 

<<Aeolene is really turning on the charm with her awesome Diplomacy skill and 18 CHA>>

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Ball is the last to climb the ladder, watching below to make sure nothing comes up their skirts to bother them, as it were. When she reaches the top of the ladder she almost runs to stop the person going for the guards... but that would be bad, so instead she waits and watches the guards come and ask their obvious questions, and the priestess give her answers. She has trouble not smileing when that woman talks, even when she's engageing in her god-talk. She also watches the guards, wondering what they will make of the bedraggled creature Ball has made of herself.

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Durgo steps forward and speaks. "Follow this tunnel to a bunch of marauding thieves. There are 30 or more of them so go heavily armed. They took us prisoner and are trying to blackmail us into raiding some local ruins for a magic apple. Too many fairy tales if you ask me. I would like nothing more than to see that lizards head lopped from his body. Now if you will excuse me, I am hungry."

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The guards faces lighten a little when Aeolene speaks. Shortly after the conversation the bartender dismiss's the guards, and states he understands the whole situation. He leads you out and seats you at a table, bringing you all a glass of his finest wine. The four guards come and sit with you also and begin talking.

 

"We are aware of the bandits, however the town is much too small and we have not the resources to elimanate them. Gareth, the snakeman you talk of is an assassin of the Yuan-Ti stationed here to plunder adventurers. The one he wants the apple for, if our spy is correct is his lover who became ill from a spell cast on her by a traveling wizard who was captured, and killed. Our spy left the camp, but was later found in the guard quarters of the town with his throat slit. There are bandits disguised as commoners everywhere in this town, so you must be careful. As for now all we can tell you is your best plan is to get the apple for him, or else be at risk of assassination"

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"Captain, I will not deliver the apple. Under no circumstances will I allow him to have it. I will get the apple and then I will destroy it. This man is thief, a murderer and actually needs the apple to save his lover who was hurt while trying to rob and murder a traveller. He only deserves death."

 

Durgo stands up and loudly proclaims, "Come friends, let us prepare for tomorrow, we have an apple to find."

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Ball suddenly moves, she crosses over to Durgo and pokes him in the chest. "No. Snake man may be shake man, and evil, and associate with orcs, but Ball promice. Ball keep promices because Ball better then snake man, and Ball want to kill the orc. You want to destroy apple? You come through Ball first." Yes, in front of the guards and evreything.

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"Master Durgo, Mistress Ball I think we should worry about what to do with this apple when and if we manage to get hold of it. Maybe these gentlemen know something about our destination" Turning his head more to the guards "a place called the Sunless Citadel. Any information you have about this place would be very appreciated."

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Aeolene spends a good bit of the money she has on hand (only a few gold) and is generous with her compliments to the innkeep, the bard, and the local folk - all of whom help create the enjoyable atmosphere of a local public house.

 

After her friends have gathered what information is available, she herself rents a space in the common room for sleep. She wishes to get an early start tomorrow morning - just after morning prayers and a good meal.

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Looking down at Ball, Durgo says, "Do you keep all of your promises forced upon you by the threat of a blade? I would agree with you if we openly gave our word, but we did not, we were threatened. Furthermore, if we give him this apple will we not be directly and knowingly furthering his evil? Won't we have some responsability for his further assassinations and other crimes? Do you want to tell the mother and father or wife & children of the next victim that you helped empower the snake? You, little one need to look past the simpleton thoughts of keeping your word. Think on that, I must excuse myself and get some food."

 

 

Durgo goes to the barkeep and orders several servings of whatever is offered.

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Angus is quiet throughout the argument between Ball and Durgo and sips his beer (which he traded the wine for). As Durgo is ordering, he says "Funny, I don't remember actually promising anything, nor did I give my word. And Durgo's right, Ball, bargains made at knifepoint are worth about as much as a pile of orc dung. We dwarves are particular about our bargains. I think we should obtain this thing, and bring it to the good Master Gareth," he pauses, then leans in with a wicked grin on his face before continuing, "and then rip his bloody lungs out."

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