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 Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones

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GoldenDrakon
Weaver of Tales
GoldenDrakon

Male Number of posts : 1573
Age : 48
Location : Usually right where I'm needed most...

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeWed Aug 20, 2014 9:18 am

"Good thing I can kill people twice then, isn't it?" he quipped back. "But as always, it has been a pleasure doing business with you Magda."

Getting up from the table, Karnoz backed towards the door. He paused for a moment, peeking out before slipping out into the street again and vanishing into the night. Magda surely wanted to be rid of Karnoz, but she had already contradicted herself saying that Yorgo was confidently waiting for his messenger to return from Trock Reik, but he surely wouldn't wait overly long. in any case, Karnoz made towards the Silvery Thread tailor and the Corbies within.

He slowed as he neared the tailor shop. Surely a den of thieves would have several lookouts, traps and other tricks waiting for the nosy. He just needed to find them first.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2253
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeFri Aug 22, 2014 2:53 am

(There was no contradiction.  Read her "confident to hear his spy inform him..." passage once more; its meaning is that Yorgo, having already heard from his spy that Arno and Karnoz would no longer be a problem, is confident enough to make his next move: loading up his boat and heading to Bardosylvania.  Otherwise, he'd still be too scared to move, holed up with the invitation and trying to have Arno and Karnoz killed; the last thing he wants is to get into Lord Darrovan's grace only for Arno Hennbauer to show up, recite Yorgo's invitation verbatim and say a bunch of other things that only Arno and the Ainsleys would know.  Yorgo would probably end up with his head on a pike after that.)

Magda's parting words, spoken with all the grave intonation of a curse, lingered in Karnoz's ears as he wended his way through the tortuous alleys of Kurvoss: "May you receive everything that you deserve."

The rose-stained wood of the Silvery Thread tailor shop seemed to bow in greeting as the rogue leaned out of a crossed alley and slinked along the winding way of Pine Street, keeping his eye to the shades of night.  Some windows stood stark and black; others danced with the wavering light of candles and lamps beyond their panes.  The window at the Silvery Thread's oaken door numbered among the latter, casting a dim ray of candlelight across the alley with no voices or other sounds to hint at any welcome from the tailors at this late hour.

Ever wary of thieves and their traps, he could almost feel the Corbies watching his every move as he gave the shop a long gaze, making note of every sheen, shimmer or shadow which could betray something ever so slightly out of place.


(Karnoz - Search check (DC ??): 24)

Something among the grain of wood and the lay of its founding stone caught his attention.  Beyond the rustic pyramid of spent oil casks in that narrow alley aside the shop, the snow lay gust-tossed aside from a peculiar ribbon of naked cobblestones.  Something to the foundation there simply did not look right.  Karnoz narrowed his gaze and pierced the facade of that "something": a low, sliding door at the lay of the alley street, its humble face plastered, molded and painted gray in a detailed mockery of masonry.

Likely it seemed that the Corbies would use such a secret door for their more clandestine comings and goings, that they could leave and enter their cellar without being observed.  Such a door could serve a skulking visitor in an equal purpose, provided that the Corbies would not object to such unexpected guests using it to slip into their sanctum.

...but they probably would.


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 MapKarnoz043

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GoldenDrakon
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GoldenDrakon

Male Number of posts : 1573
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Location : Usually right where I'm needed most...

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeMon Aug 25, 2014 12:44 am

Karnoz made note of the secret door, but elected to pass it by. While he was pressed for time, entering uninvited and unannounced would likely garner more hostility from the Corbies that Karnoz wanted to deal with at the moment...and thus, burn more time. No, Karnoz made his way around the store, seeking a more mundane entrance. If nothing else, he could knock on the door or pick open a window, which would surely garner the attention of someone within.

As he moved, the rogue looked about the alley and street as well as peeking through the windows looking for clues, traps or other signs of life.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2253
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeThu Sep 11, 2014 7:10 am

A brisk trot around the building revealed no more doors than what he had seen, with but one more window set in the shop's far side.  Through both windows and the entrance door's threshold, the dim lamplight continued to dance.  In the rear window did Karnoz glimpse what he thought was the shape of a man creeping inside to settle somewhere behind the mission-style counter, but perhaps it was merely his imagination at work.  Or perhaps it was not.

As far as he could tell, not a single trapwork--whether wire, pressure plate, trip lever or more--was to be found.  But as he returned near the street entrance, the front door, guided by rough hands and perceptive ears, opened the door no further than the width of a hand, where two stout chains run between the door and its frame permitted little more than the sight of the scar-browed eye and the auburn-stubbled jaw of a fur-capped man who addressed Karnoz from within.

"We're closed," the coarse man grumbled.  "Wha'dyou want?"


Karnoz >
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GoldenDrakon
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GoldenDrakon

Male Number of posts : 1573
Age : 48
Location : Usually right where I'm needed most...

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 03, 2014 8:08 am

Karnoz adapted the manor of a lowly street traveler, seeming abashed and forlorn as he muttered to the man behind the door.

"Pardon the intrusion m'lord, sir. I didn'na mean t trouble you this eve. I only needed to pass a message to ya, sayin that 'Vorog regards us with leaden eyes and a crow's heart'.That's all sir."

Karnoz, with proverbial hat in hand waited to see if the password would trigger a positive reaction. And to be ready to bolt if it didn't.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2253
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeMon Oct 06, 2014 5:55 pm

Without the least change of expression to grace his face, the man beyond the door cast a shifty eye across the squalid street.  "Were y'followed here?"

But Karnoz had come alone.  Or if anyone had followed him, then that someone was too steeped in stealth or sorcery for him to know about it.

Taking the subtle shake of Karnoz's head as a cue, the scoundrel shut the door in Karnoz's face.  Brass links scraped and clattered across the wood as the door was freed from its binding chains, then was drawn open just far enough ajar to permit Karnoz entry.

"Inside.  And be swift 'bout it!"

Half a second later, the tailing black cloak snapped through the doorway behind the man called Raven Murder.  The door trembled closed behind him, and its paired chains returned to binding the door with its hearty frame.  Darting ahead of Karnoz, the gruff thief stooped through a portal beneath the tailor's dusky oaken countertop, beckoning his guest to follow.  Behind the merchant counter yawned the doorway to a dim closet of a room: a simple guard post where a ruffian in the guild's pocket could stop any intruders from entering the narrow stairwell, and beyond it, the stairwell itself.


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 MapKarnoz044


An oil lamp dangling from the ceiling by humble chains of tin flickered, casting its timid light onto the stairs as the two descended into a cellar where the Corbies were rumored to settle their more clandestine business.


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 MapKarnoz045

Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Music
"Cryptic Mood"
Final Fantasy Tactics


Truly the shoddy shop above belied the lavishness of the room below.  Though hints of mold crept along the borders betwixt carpet and wall, the carpet which rolled under Karnoz's heels as he alit from the stairs was woven from an exotic argyle weave...imported, no doubt.  Where lamps of brass and tin had driven back the night above, here the sconces were silver, each daintily etched with the twisted mask of Olidammara the Thieving God.  Chests, coffers and bags lay stacked in the far corner; a few of the containers, stuffed to bursting as they were, had spilled their coins and gems unto the floor before them, where the excess wealth lay unheeded.  In a nearer corner at Karnoz's right hand stood the golden statue of a monstrous creature bastard-wrought with features from men and owls alike.  The statue's beaked nose and freakishly large eyes seemed to weigh on the visitor and follow him as he entered; perhaps the illusion was merely optical or merely the product of Karnoz's habitual wariness, but one could never be certain what magic may reside in the sculptures plundered from ancient tribal cultures, an origin to which this statue's design and artisanship surely attested.

There, a silken-skinned elf smiled coyly at Karnoz before tossing her silver braids back over her shoulder and returning to her task of polishing the statue's golden hide.  A scab-cheeked halfling drew back his black cowl and peered accusingly at Karnoz's escort, who promptly assuaged the halfling's concerns with a snap of his sausage fingers and a few fleeting words in the guild's sign language.  Though he remained mildly incredulous, the halfling turned around to subtly tip his head to the three figures against the southern edge of the chamber: two standing, with a seated one between them.

The second halfling, fur-clad and gaunt of face, remained at his vigil with both his spidery hands resting squarely on his lizardskin girdle, from which a dozen large, coppery darts bristled and shone in the wavering light.  Across from him, a dapper, oil-haired man suited in green-dyed highland wool read names and numbers from a yellowed ledger clasped in both his hands, then fell silent, shut the ledger soundly and turned to face the stairs at Karnoz's approach.  What business he held with the seated man would have to wait for later.

And there the seated man sat between them.  The beauty of his silver-embellished maplewood throne stood in stark contrast with his unsettling appearance, for he looked far more dead than alive.  Piercing from beneath a twisting cascade of dense umbral hair, his glazed eyes drank deep the sight of the one who dared to approach the Corbies at this late hour.  Karnoz knew him not by face but by reputation, for this host was Anavask the Sullen, claimed to have once stolen a kingly sceptre from a kraken's throat and survived to speak of the deed, though speak of it he never did.

Anavask's pale fingers remained steepled on his breast, tapping their yellow nails together as he mutely turned his inquiring eyes to Karnoz's escort.  And the ruffian stammered his reply to the question unvoiced.

"Hhhh..he gave me th...th'passphrase, milord.  T...T...Tetrov's passphrase."

Anavask pierced the thug with his winnowing stare for several seconds more, waiting to see if the tense silence would rip away any hesitation or subterfuge and prod forth any further words.  The thug abashedly averted his eyes, wringing his sweaty hands and shrinking beneath his leader's attention, but no more words were said.  With an airy sniff, Anavask returned his cold eyes to Karnoz.  And the slack skin hung in folds from his jagged jaw as his throaty, numb-lipped words finally came forth:

"Hhhhhh...so, then.  Whhhho comes at...hhhTetrov's behhhhhest to bargain withhhh...the Pine hhhStreet Corbiesss?"


Karnoz >


(Addendum: For the sake of clarity, as he has asked my permission beforehand, GoldenDrakon may jam with any or all of the NPC Corbies except for Anavask the Sullen; these include Gyorg (Karnoz's escort), Eilimiere (the elf lass), Mundel (the hooded halfling), Pantagal (the halfling with the darts) and Master Kierigoff (the major domo with the ledger).  In this parlance, "to jam" means to improvise dialogue during the course of roleplay, either with NPCs or among players and their characters.  I learned that term from a Dragon magazine way back in the day, and I'm cool with jamming as long as it's not abused ("Why sure, Raven Murder, I'd be glad to give you my Mace of Bleeding +3!").  Anyway, have fun, GD. And don't forget your Thieves Cant.  Smile  )
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GoldenDrakon
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GoldenDrakon

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeSun Dec 28, 2014 8:52 am

Karnoz tipped his head towards Anavask in acknowledgment before speaking.

“I am Raven Murder.” He said plainly. “Although we have not met before now Anavask, I am no stranger to the Corbies. Though you be of one mob and I a lone wolf, we have had occasions to do business before.”

“Master Kierigoff, not so long ago, you had a rat problem in your fencing operation and with the Corbies being watched so closely, I was tasked to have a chat with this long-tongue and plug the hole for you. To this day, he has not been seen or heard from.”
“Pantagal, when one of your purse collectors got himself scratched up by the tin pigs, I let him crawl into a hole by my dive until your boys could retrieve him. Whenever the Corbies have needed a bit of outside hired help, I was there and in turn, I always knew that the Pine Street Corbies was a good place to find an uncle or piece man with fair prices and good bits.”  As Karnoz spoke, he addressed each of the Corbies in turn, rotation around to meet each eye-to-eye in order to punctuate his words.

“I have my reputation, and you have yours. You all understand the strength of a reputation can be as valuable as an alley full of shoulder-tappers and as such, our reputations are something of importance in our line of work. We all understand the streets and the underside of things. We are all birds of a feather in this. I come tonight because I believe we can help each other again. You know Yorgo Pavamoski, yes? Two nights ago, he contracted me for a job, and then sold me to Papa Porker as a scapegoat. I cannot let such a slight go unanswered. I now work with our mutual Arch Rogue and his knights of the road.”

“Yorgo plans to flee this land this very night and never return, so he is cutting all ties, leaving many with unpaid debts and bad blood. We have decided that Yorgo is all used up and it’s time for him to crash. Come with us and sate your reputations as well. Not only that, but you will have a front row seat for a piece of the action that will likely shake loose from his removal”

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2253
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 11, 2015 11:04 am

"He speaks truth, boss," Mundel nodded, turning from Karnoz to address Anavask with all sincerity.  "You 'member how Raven Murder helped me find tha' jackal-sired Kaeleth and turn him from a turncoat to a carcass?  We got tha' chunk o' brandy what Kaeleth stole from us too, we did!  Helped us spring our queer bitter Rosina from tha' North Quarter guesthouse too!"

"...And surely I need not remind our company that a certain Yorgo was the one who put Rosina there through his tattling," the major domo added, "all done so that he could prove himself to the Nevergreen Bingers...mayhap ingratiate himself to them.  Raven Murder has done several favors for us, particularly those where we wished to avoid direct involvement.  Yorgo Pavamoski has caused aught but problems for us.  And now, it would seem, we have a rare opportunity to aid an ally and remove a pest, once and for all time, and both in one sweep.  Our next move should be fairly obvious, boss."

Anavask the Sullen fixed Kierigoff with his half-dead eyes.  "Hhhhhh...more knives than one to surround the betrayer...and more knives...hhhhhhh to cut him down.  But...before I send for our every hhhhskulker in Kurvoss, where is Yorgo now?"

But before any present could answer, the secret door near the ceiling sang with the rhythm of a hand rapping from outside: Three raps, a pause, two more raps, another pause, then three raps further.  Eilimiere darted to the secret door, opening it just far enough to perceive their addresser without removing the door's stout, blackened chains.

"Olo Two-Flasks!" her elven tongue lilted in surprise.  "Boss Anavask is in an important meeting!  What..."

"The Singed Serpent's been set ablaze!" Olo interrupted.  "It's burnin' down, and the Bingers think the Taxmen did it!  They're butcherin' each other in the streets!  The tin pigs've been called, an' we still have Smiles an' Hortus on that second-story job!  What'll we do?"

Silent save for an unsettling creak from his spine, Anavask the Sullen turned to pierce Karnoz with an inquisitive gaze and an unvoiced suspicion, as if perceiving through the ether that the tavern fire near Kurvoss' North Quarter was not unrelated to the arrival of the infamous Raven Murder.


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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2253
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 11, 2015 11:34 am

As Karnoz might expect, the disturbance in the north end of town was caused by Arno Hennbauer.  While it has had the benefits of drawing three-quarters of the Nevergreen Bingers, the Brass Ruble Gang and Burgomaster Riyarus of Pochva's Town Guards towards the fray -- and away from the docks, where Yorgo is most likely staging his getaway -- the commotion has also spooked Yorgo and has redoubled his urgency to leave Kurvoss.  The clock is now ticking.


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Hourglass
Yorgo casts off in 25 rounds.
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeMon Jun 01, 2015 4:14 am

Karnoz offered only a half-hearted shrug in reply to Anavask's stare.

"Apologies for any inconvenience, but there are already plans in motion. Yorgo has dealings with the Nevergreen Bingers and Burgomaster Riyarus so diversions were necessary." he said simply.

"but this too can be used to your advantage! It will likely take days for the other guilds to figure out what will happen tonight. You can move against the Taxmen, the Bingers and anyone else that will be weakened this night. Make deals, seize territory, even scores, recruit new members, whatever." He emphasized. "I came to the Corbies out of respect and mutual benefit. Any jobs this may have disrupted can be made up tenfold to a guild who knows how to take advantage of the situation. Tonight's chaos is my gift to you Anavask. Yorgo has many enemies to blame to divert attention away from the Corbies... or their allies."

"I only ask the same thing that I asked when we began tonight. Help me deal my retribution against Yorgo and his associates. I will have him and what he owes to me this night."

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2253
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeMon Dec 31, 2018 7:54 am

For the longest of seconds, the guildmaster stared blankly at Karnoz.  And then the moment was shattered as Anavask's bleak eyes fell on the stoic frame of Gyorg.

"Hhhhhhgo.  Now.  Hhhhide our own...hhhhhfrom the watchmen's eyes."

Knowing their leader's cues so very well, Gyorg tugged his headband lower over his eyes and retreated up the stairs, and the waist-tall figure of Mundel hastened after him.  In that same moment, Eilimiere seized the sliding hatch and yanked it aside with more forcefulness than her soft and slender hands could claim.  Olo was swift to scurry through the secret door and back into the spindled alley, and Karnoz turned to face the bitter gust which swept over him and all else in the room.

"Murder!"

...spoke Anavask the Sullen with unpredictable sharpness.  Karnoz turned his ear to the guild's lord, certain that he was the one so addressed.

"HhhhhYorgo breathes his last...this night.  To me, hhhhis signet ring...hhhhhand be rewarded.  Hhhwhat else he hhhhas...is yours."

Before Karnoz could concoct an answer for Anavask's decree, the fair elf clasped the hired blade by his upper arm and ushered him outside with little pretense of gentleness.  The concealed hatch clapped shut at his heels as Karnoz brushed the wind-piled snow from his knees, finding himself in the alley again.

• • •

The walls looming all around sang with the cacophony of steel and strife.  Another of the Corbies sprinted past Karnoz into an adjoining southward passage, taking care not to lose his footing on the sheets of white rime.  The Corbies were hurrying to the task of urging their fellows into veiling themselves from the Town Watch and hiding evidence of their illicit works with them.

The Taxmen were pursuing another task entirely.

"For Greynik!" spat a vengeful tongue in an urban clearing not at all distant, suffixed with the wet slashing of a blade through leather and flesh, and punctuated with a Binger's abrupt wail of sharp pain polluted with stark fear.  And the Binger's assailant was not alone, nor were the Binger's odds of surviving the ambush — let alone the night — favorable.

But that skirmish roiled to the Northeast.  And the Barley Dock where Yorgo was preparing his desperate escape reached into the sluggish river, somewhere Westward.


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 MapKarnoz046


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 KarnozTellen  Karnoz Tellen
Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 HumanMale08  Pine Street Corbies
Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Pog26  Milleva's Taxmen
Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Woodsman Nevergreen Bingers


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Hourglass
Yorgo casts off in 22 rounds.

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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 03, 2019 10:21 am

The rogue's quick senses took in the sudden outbursts of chaos and violence as it bubbled out all around him. "Oh this is gonna be good...." Karnoz thought.

Kurvoss was long a simmering pot of festering resentment and simmering desperation. It was quite possible that full blown riots could break out if the town wheeled further out of control. The burgonmeisters would certainly have their hands full tonight. He suspected that many a vendetta and more than a few rivalries would be settled this night....and oh what might just come about from the vacuum which followed.....

But that was for later. There was a throat to cut and his own score to settle first.

The street fight meant nothing to Karnoz. Let them butcher each other for now. It was just one less rival come tomorrow night in his mind. To that end, the rogue cut to the left, away from the fight, but grabbed the passing Corbie as he did.

"Tell your Master that our mutual quarry skulks at Barley Dockwith his hencemen. Any who would deal with them, scout the dock in secret then meet me behind barrel wright shop one block down. Go!"

Karnoz released the Corbie and the two ran off in different directions. While Karnoz did make an effort to keep to the shadown and avoid any guards, mobs or fights, he knew speed was what he needed most. So he darted nimbly back and away, heading towards his own hideout and his meeting place with Henbauer.

As mentioned, avoid everyone. Nothing has any great need for me at the moment but getting to my destination without being seen. Once there, fill Henbauer in on my success and get his story. I will chug one of my healing potions, drop the bottle in my hovel and then We will then head out back to the barrelwright's shop to meet with any Corbies that might have come (or not) and make a final plan.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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The House of Ainsley

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Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeTue Jan 08, 2019 1:21 pm

(Karnoz - Intimidate check (DC 10): Failure (8))
(Karnoz - Innuendo check (DC 10): Success (18))


On being taken by the shoulder and spun around in his tracks, the accosted Corbie took an indignant tone in answer to Karnoz's demand.  "Ho, now!  Who in Uncle Ollie's thievin' arse do you..."

But a terse gesture of three fingers clapped across Karnoz's breast — and then two fingers again — was enough to convince the thief that the commands and information were in both of their best interests, and the thief's hard tone immediately yielded.  "...oh!  Oh...too right!  The Barley Dock...barrelwright...I see.  Off I go, then!"

With those utterances, the Corbie ducked his head and hurried off through the tapering alley to the South.  But Karnoz's path led to the Northwest, so in that direction he made haste.


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Music
"Sorrow's Distortion"
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

(Random Encounter check: ??)


Soonafter, the crude cobblestones beneath his booted heels yielded to the dingy paving bricks of Two Vardos Throughway.  The howls, screams and steely clashes of many skirmishes split the night's miasma over Kurvoss, and late though the hour was, her people took notice.

Not far ahead, and to Karnoz's right hand, a young maid of short-bobbed blonde emerged from within her crumbling tenement, garbed in but a shabby and stained nightgown, and clutching a crude, tin-banded cudgel anxiously in both hands as she stood on her stoop and peered westward.  The rapidly nearing footfalls drew her attention from the clamor yon, and she snapped at Karnoz in a shrill voice:

"Ah, now!  Hwot's this all 'bout?  Sounds like a right warfield ou' there, it does!"


Spoiler:
 

Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Hourglass
Yorgo casts off in 20 Rounds.


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GoldenDrakon
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Karnoz had no time, or care, for this woman and her foolishness.

"Oi!" he hisses as he padded by. "Lock yer door! Burgomaster Riyarus has gone mad he has!"

And with that, he hurried down the street without so much as a backward glance. If this woman did not heed his warning then she deserved what was coming.

That done, Karnoz sprinted towards his original destination.

Back on track as qui ck as I can. Relate back to my previous post for actions.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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The House of Ainsley

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 09, 2019 11:20 am

(Karnoz - untrained Diplomacy check (DC 15): Success (20))

The commoner gawked incredulously as Karnoz bolted past, taking a moment to digest his words of urgency.  "Thousan' Hells!  I always knowed he would come to this...!" she snapped at the rogue's back as she shrunk back into her tenement, firmly latching the door once hidden again from the threats of that hour.

In running further towards his destination, the throughway yawned wider at his approach.  His warning had not been too far wrong; too near ahead, the angry snapping of bowstrings sang a vicious concerto with the punching of sharpened flint and sharper iron through oiled leather and living flesh, the pattering of hurled blood, the yelps and howls of pain and the waning gurgles of the freshly slain.

...a desperate concerto which struck its crescendo as the air ahead tingled with a swelling charge of energy, and the charge erupting into an ear-stinging crack of thunder, the lightning strike it heralded not descending from the heavens but, rather, singeing the bodies lain in defeat and baking pavement as it ripped a jagged path parallel with the streets, striking a wall that was all too near to Karnoz and compelling his urgent flight to veer leftward!


(Dice dice dice...)

Spoiler:
 

The skirmishers involved — Taxmen and Bingers alike — only had eyes for each other, and so Karnoz escaped their notice — if only for the moment — as he arrived at the fray.  A most deterring obstacle the clash posed, surely.  But Yorgo would not pause in packing his boat and wait patiently for Karnoz to arrive.

How, then, might this imperiling clash of scoundrels be eluded?

Spoiler:
 

Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Hourglass
Yorgo casts off in 19 Rounds.


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Both guilds were apparently holding nothing back in their battle to cleanse the streets of each other's presence. It looked as if the Bingers might take the upper hand in this particular fray, but Karnoz didn't care. most likely both the Taxmen and the Bingers would be among the 'losers' come dawn, and that was fine with him.

In the meantime, the bolt spent and victims claimed, Karnoz ducked low and trusting to speed as well as chaos, sprinted past the battle down Vrostchek St and away.

Karnoz still had his own prize to claim.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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The House of Ainsley

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Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 10, 2019 6:41 am

Binger Wizardess [Init 20] > Casting Fireball, centering it halfway between Taxmen Centauress and Taxmen Rogue 3
Karnoz [Init 17] > Sprinting to and down Vrostchek Street
Binger Rogues [Init 16] > Attacking Taxmen targets of opportunity
Taxmen Centauress [Init 14] > Charging and Hoof Striking Binger Rogue 3
Taxmen Rogues [Init 9] > Attacking Binger targets as before


Boldly seizing the moment, Karnoz darted past the skirmish, skirting behind the arrow-nocking figure of the lone Taxman who had survived the mage's lightning strike.  Though every inch of Karnoz's thews remained tensed and ready to dive and wheel through another burst of baleful magic, the wizardess conveniently turned her attentions away, already prestidigitating again as her gaze fell across the centaur and her cohorts.  And so Karnoz evaded the street battle unnoticed, continuing his purposeful sprint down the pale confines of Vrostchek Street as the hungry roar of a sudden fireburst punctuated itself with another horrified wail of suffering and defeat.


(Quasi-Random Encounter Check: 6)


His soft-soled boots scattered the thin sheen of snow laid fallen across the paving bricks, and the artery of bricks, pinewood, flagstones, pitch-patched roofs and iron-barred windows waved and twisted as he darted along.  Drawing racing breaths into his winter-fraught lungs, he deftly leaped and wavered to circumvent the street's barrels, crates and piles of rubbish, of which there were many.  Side alleys yawned at him in passing, but they offered no clear path to his objective.  And so, keeping to the street itself, he hurried on.

But one of those side alleys receding to his aft burst to life with the slamming report of metal against marble and the emerging barks and grumbles of disgruntled voices.  "...was so useless!  Come!  The Bingers are pushink us out of Reivarrad Street!  We need to ey!  EY!  Ey, you there!  Stop!  Come back here!"

The footfalls behind him hurried to overtake him.  And somewhere among those frantic footfalls, his ears caught the whispered croaking of a bowstring being drawn taut.

Such a pity it was.  Karnoz's run to the docks had not gone unnoticed after all.


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 MapKarnoz049


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Hourglass
Yorgo casts off in 17 Rounds.



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GoldenDrakon
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Karnoz cursed out loud, he had no time for this foolishness! Still, hearing the bowstring, the rogue took the chance of a slight delay as opposed to a protracted battle.

"What do you want?" he called back stopping and turning about with his hands partly raised. While he feigned compliance, his knives were ready in their secreted, wrist sheaths.

"I have nothing to do with you or your fight with the Bingers this night. Your friends are down that way. " he called, motioning back down the street where the sounds of battle still raged.

"Will you go and help them or do you choose to make another enemy tonight?"

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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The House of Ainsley

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Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 28, 2019 8:27 am

(Karnoz — untrained Intimidate checks on three Taxmen goons (DC 12, +2 Synergy Bonus with Bluff): 16, 19, 11)


Karnoz was no stranger to throwing people off his scent, and his misdirecting words sunk in with the scoundrels...for the most part.

"He's right!  I hear 'em!  This way!  Hurry!"  One of the Taxmen abandoned his scrutiny and turned to dart southward, with one comrade following him swiftly yet fearfully.  "Kord's Eyes!  Was that a burst of thunder I 'eard just now?"

But the third of the Taxmen stood his ground, his eyes never leaving the black-cloaked stranger standing in what he saw as his alley.  "Hauld on, gents.  I want a few more words with this jake!  We've a right early curfew here, jake.  All the decent sorts are tucked in their beds at this hour, see?  I's just us Taxxies, some tinnies and what bastards are rounding 'bout setting fire to our nooks.  I never clapped an eye on you in all our Taxxie meets, and you bain't wearing Watch armor, is you?"

A subtle flex of the Taxman's wrist set something free: a polished, stout-bladed dirk slipping from its veiled moors in the thief's sleeve and falling into his hand.  Karnoz did not fail to notice the clandestinely drawn blade in the edge of his vision, distracting though the Taxman's chasing querry may have been:

"So what does that make you?"


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 MapKarnoz050


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Hourglass
Yorgo casts off in 16 Rounds.


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Karnoz scowled beneath his mask with genuine anger. If this bobble-headed fool caused him to miss his meeting with Yorgo, then by the Gods, every Taxman in Kurvoss would die for it...

But Karnoz too, was not without some pull in this flee infested shanty town..

"I would imagine that much of Kurvoss avoids your 'Taxxie meetings." Karnoz said, the venom in his words plain to hear. "There are any number of Lone Wolves and Motlies running about that nothing to do with you." The rogue fixed his eyes on those of his challenger's, fixing his face and mannerisms to memory.

Drawing on all the theater he could muster, Karnoz hoped to draw on what reputation he had in the town.

"I am Raven Murder. I have other prey this night and have no interest in the Taxmen. Begone now!" With a lightning fast flick, a knife appeared in each of his own hands and Karnoz angled them to let what little light there was glint off the blades.

"Or do you wish me to take and interest in YOU?"

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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The House of Ainsley

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Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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(Karnoz — second untrained Intimidate check on Taxman (DC 15, +2 Synergy Bonus with Bluff): Success (15))

A brief yet anxious silence hung in the air. Then the glaring Taxman dared to speak.

"Oh...da, you. Raven Murder. Works for the Pine Street Corbies...the Winter Magpies...the Silvergobs once or twice. Bain't loyal to none but yourself and the mighty Ruble, and surely not to us!"

Hearing an anguished howl down the alley to his back, the contentious thief stepped back from Karnoz slowly, the dagger in his hand neither yielded nor raised. "I'll remember this! You've made an enemy of all Milleva's Taxmen this night, Raven Murder!"

And with those parting words, the Taxmen turned and bolted away after his comrades, leaving Karnoz alone and free to continue in his quest for retribution.


Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Hourglass
Yorgo casts off in 15 rounds.


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Karnoz sneered at the Taxman's back as he darted away. He had more than half a mind to send a dagger into him, but that would lead to a protracted battle. Karnoz would win, no doubt, but he did not have the time to spare.

"Another day then..." he muttered, fixing the man's face to memory. Besides, with the battle the Taxmen were darting into one street down, none were likely to see tomorrow anyway....

Without another wasted thought, Karnoz darted away, returning to his task at hand.

Follow the actions listed in the prior posts and get back to the docks lickety split!

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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The House of Ainsley

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Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 01, 2019 2:49 am

Eased of interference from the Taxmen, Karnoz hastened his pace, and the rapid footfalls pealed in echoes through the length of the alley's throat.  Another bend, another turn and he could already hear the rolling of the river's waters...and above that, the desperate pitch of yet another skirmish splitting the still of Kurvoss in the long hours of the night.


(Karnoz — contested untrained Spot check: 18)
(??? — contested Hide check: 14)
(Karnoz wins.)

A blurred movement appeared in the corner of his eye as he neared the mouth where Vrostchek Street yielded to the quay.  Reflexively he caught that movement at the wrist before its hand could seize his arm, and a bared dagger flashed into Karnoz's right hand more quickly than the eye could follow.

"It's me!  Arno!" the voice behind the reaching hand cried sharply in consternation.

Still grasping Arno Hennbauer by his wrist, Karnoz yanked him around the masoned corner, bringing his erstwhile cohort leaning into view.

"I found Yorgo!  He's about to cast off soon!  We can still catch him whilst he finishes loading his boat, but..." Arno bit his winter-dried lip, dismayed.  "...Ballarg is with him."

Without warning, a wayward crossbow quarrel whispered through the river wind and splintered against the wall two feet over Karnoz's cowled head.  Perhaps the exposed pavement on which they stood was not the safest place for a hurried exchange of words.

Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones - Page 11 MapKarnoz051

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Karnoz instinctively ducked as the bolt flew overhead, but repressed the urge to sent a dagger whistling back towards the source. It was getting more than a little chaotic and time was short...

"Let's go." he said and started back towards the docks, dodging and keeping to the shadows as best as he could.

"I have secured help from the Corbies." he said as the moved. "We need to get back to the meeting point at the docks, then take care of our business."

As he moved, Karnoz drew out one of his healing potions and swigged it down, returning the bottle to his pocket. His hand again came out but brought the ball of yarn with it.

"Here." he said, handing it back to Arno. "I have an idea...."

Meet up with the other Corbies for a quick, final planning. As I go, I need a bloody sack...anything will do, a cloak, a sheet, a bag... whatever and there is certainly enough blood around. If time permits, I also need to use my disguise to look more bloodied and beaten than I actually am.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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The House of Ainsley

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Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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Spoiler:
 
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