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Yasuraka

(A(wesome)) Episode three: Bedlam in Avalon

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Amroth looked at the map, seeing that they only had revealed part A, B and C so far, though the city was much larger than that. "Well since we've got some random, vague, instruction, I guess we should just patrol the city. I say we should head into part E first and see what's going on there."

 

He checked his bow and arrows before stepping onto the monorail train, wondering what was waiting for them in the city. He looked at the other team. "We don't really have a way to communicate out there, so we're on our own, but if we hear or see anything that might mean trouble, we'll come running."  He looked back at his own team. "If you're all ready, let's go!"

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"More than ready!" Iris guffawed, hopping onto the train with Amroth. She has also leveled up skills and stats, and made sure to equip her chunky, shiny chainmail before joining back with the group. She may not be the recently retired Cha'ac, but that's not going to stop her from trying to look like him. "Changing the scenery to something so close to home... what other surprises can this game throw at us?"

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The group stepped out of the train on a bluff called Warrior’s Island. Directly across from the station they noticed a huge amphitheatre known as the Grand Coliseum. Despite the name of the island there were several houses, indicating that it probably served more as a residential district than an actual warrior’s only refuge.

The streets of Warrior Island were a lot more crowded than the desolate Adventurer’s Island. The many people occupying the street were obviously waiting for something and it wasn’t until the Coliseum’s gates opened and the swarm began moving inside that it became obvious what was going on.

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Apparently a Chariot Race was about to begin in the amphitheatre, and so the heroes moved with the crowd to watch while they kept their eyes out for useful information. Nam was eyeing the various people from all walks of life that moved around her. In a big crowd like this there was a wealth of untapped information as long as you knew who the movers and shakers were. She weaved through the crowd, whispering to various people, conversing with another. She shook hands with a gentleman and palmed something in to his hand as he whispered something in to her ear. 

 

Streetwise Check

1d20+9: 22 [1d20=13]

 

After a while Nam returned to her group and relayed what she had learned. 

 

"Looks like gambling is pretty popular here. Lot's of people make bets on the Coliseum games such as the Chariot Races. Let's not get too excited though. The Imperial Family has decreed that the minimum bet per person if 500GP. Apparently it's to deter people from spending the few remaining coins they have." Nam shook her head, "What sort of gambling ring worries about that kind of stuff? How boring! Anyway what's more important is Imperial Family is pegged to show up for the deciding race of the day after the Ceremony at the Grand Temple. We could wait around for them I guess?"

 

 

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Amroth's eyes opened wide at the huge crowd in front of building towering before them. The hum of thousands of voices in the air, everyone facing the building. His bow got a few cross looks and muttered curses as people bumped against him or his bow. Nam went out to gather information about what was going on as the doors opened and every started to move. Amroth looked doubtful at Iris, confused as to what was going on, besides something inside the Colosseum obviously. He idly tapped his foot until Nam came back to report.

 

"Chariot racing seems fun and with a crowd like this there will no doubt be trouble, so I guess we should head in and keep an eye out for any hooligans or something?" Amroth scratched his head about the proposition to wait for the imperial family. "Yeah I agree, we could walk all day around the city and see them or find any trouble. I'm fairly sure at least some trouble will start brewing here and we know that the family will make a stop here, so let's head in and sign ourselves up as guards."

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Sanger had enough of this idle 'strolling-around-and-acting-normal' that the party had been engaged in up till the present; the lack of things being slashed, clubbed or shot was starting to greatly discomfit it. Its home was on the battlefield, not shoving through crowds and trying to evade trinket peddlers selling their wares at steeply marked-up rates. It was with great relief that Sanger heard Amroth's suggestion. 

 

<DECLARATION OF ASSENT. Finally, something where we can make ourselves useful. I have had enough of this idleness. Let us find the guardhouse and persuade them they need our help.>

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The group of adventurers entered the amphitheater looking for the guardhouse in order to offer their services for the duration of the chariot race, but on their way to it Amroth noticed something particular.

The interior of the amphitheater was filled with columns holding the structure up that created multiple alcoves. In one of these alcoves a conversation took place that Amroth happened to overhear.

“Please! I really need the money!†A hunched-over middle-aged man dressed in ragged clothing was on his knees; begging.
“To fuel your opium addiction? Get away from me you filth,†replied a man wearing a leather doublet while standing over him.
“Please! Please! I won it fair and square at the fight last week!â€
“Ha! The amount you owe me amounts to a lot more than the winnings of last week. Consider this a down payment.â€
“Please!†The man in torn clothes rose to his feet and grabbed the other man’s arm, but got quickly thrown against the wall in response.

“Stay away from me!†The man delivered a swift punch to knock the beggar on his ass before quickly turning and disappearing into the crowd.

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If Sanger had ears, they might have perked up at the mention of opium. However, since it was but a construct of steel and magical power, all it could do to indicate its interest was to declare it out loud in a vain attempt to sound emotional. <INTRIGUED OBSERVATION. That man could possibly be part of an opium smuggling operation.>

 

<EXTRAPOLATION. If we tail him, we might be able to locate his safe house and run a sting on the outfit. This would put an end to a source of crime and vice in this city. FAILING TO HIDE OBVIOUS EXCITEMENT AT THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PROFIT. It might also prove incredibly lucrative should we find his spoils. Just saying.>

 

Of course, there was a glaring elephant in the room that Sanger had to address. <HELPFUL SUGGESTION. I advise that one of you flesh bags tail the target instead of me. SARCASTIC COMMENTARY. Towering Warforged fighters in plate armor are well known for their ability to blend into crowds, after all.>

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"I don't think I should attempt to do that job too," Iris added, waddling about in her clunky armor in an attempt to prove her point. "Who knew an upstanding cleric would have piss poor stats in dark, stealthy skills? Speaking of respectability..."

 

The elf broke off from the group and shuffled her way over to the fallen beggar, awkwardly fumbling about in her pockets before fishing out her small bag of gold. After just a slight moment of hesitation, she shrugged and helped the spindly man back on his feet before stuffing 48gp's worth of her gold pieces into his open hand. The money should probably have been deposited into the debt ridden guild house, but she reckoned she could always just pay off her debt in installments. My public image's at stake over here, she reasoned. Don't get stingy, self.

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Amroth was surprised by the scene unfolding in front of him, a beggar getting punched by what seemed like a debt collector or something like that. The shady man walked off into the crowd before he could intervene and Amroth looked at Iris who was now concerning herself with the beggar. He listened to Sanger's reasoning and nodded. "Ok fine, you and Iris go help out the beggar and see what this is all about, I'll follow the dude." He then looked at Nam and opened his mouth to ask her to come with him. But before the first words left his lips he froze, he didn't know if he was stepping into danger and he couldn't ask her to do the same. He made eyecontact for a second before closing his mouth and turning around, darting into the crowd after the man. "Meet me back at the guild HQ when you're done here!" He told Iris over his shoulder just before they disappeared from sight behind the flow of people.

 

He muttered soft curses to himself, trying to convince himself that the beggar was a NPC a simple set of programming codes and he had no obligation to stalk after the debt collector, yet he kept on walking, both trying to sneak to prevent detection and to keep the man in sight. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, you fucking idiot. Why don't you just turn around? Just stop walking and turn around, you could even say you lost sight of him, there is no reason to keep following the man." He kept thinking to himself, yet his feet carried him on, out of sight of his allies and into the ever growing crowd, to a destination unknown.

 

Stealth check:

Roll(1d20)+10:
14,+10
Total:24

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“Thank you, miss!†The beggar said as he carefully counted the cold coins handed over to him, but his smile disappeared when he was done with the tally. “Only 48 gold, miss? You seem like you could spare a lot more.â€

-----

The man had never been one to let his guard down, let alone in a crowd, it didn’t take long for him to notice Amroth chasing him. He contemplated whether he should run or fight, but eventually settled for a third option. He turned back and approached Amroth. “What the fuck do you want?â€

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"Whaaat."

 

Iris spluttered, clearly taken aback by the man's response. Only 48 gold? Is there a standard market price for donations in this faux world?

 

"I suppose I do have enough to share, yes." She admitted, peeking inside her little sack of gold coins. "But would you rather we solve your long term problems instead of your short term ones? I'm sure you don't often run into generous donors in a place like this."

 

"Oh, and, of course, I'm still willing to help tide you over whatever immediate financial problems you're saddled with right now. How much more gold pieces are you looking for?"

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<BRUSQUE COMMAND. Do not part with your money so readily, cleric. Leave this to me.>

 

Sanger strode over to the beggar, looming over him like an seven-and-a-half foot colossus of steel. Which was pretty much what it was, anyway. Then, making a point to very conspicuously reach for the great sword sheathed on its back, it boomed, <MOCKING REMARK. Oh, I'm sure you have any number of splendidly convincing reasons why a bunch of total strangers should help feed your drug habit. THINLY VEILED THREAT. I'm sure you've got a pretty good head on your shoulders. Shame if something were to happen to it...BLATANT COERCION. But if you have some information we deem valuable, our purse strings might loosen...>

 

Intimidate Check

Roll 1d20+8:

19+8

27

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The man’s eyes lit up at the thought of getting more gold. “There is an gambling ring run by gangsters! They make a loooooot of money with it too! Even if someone wins they always find a reason to keep the winnings themselves… oh! That man was one of the gangsters who run it.â€

“Can I have some gold now?â€

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<DEMAND FOR INFORMATION. While that information is useful, it is of no value to us unless we can act on it. Do you know where we can locate these gangsters, and what their routine is? How much power does this gang hold, both in strength of arms and influence?> This man was a pig in human clothing -- no, a cockroach. One who fed off the dregs cast off by his betters and stubbornly refused to die; he could still be useful however, provided he kept the information coming. 

 

Sanger kept one hand on the hilt of its greatsword. <STATEMENT OF TERMS. Tell me what I asked and I will match the offer the cleric has previously offered you. ULTIMATUM. If you cannot tell us anything, consider yourself lucky that my compatriot here has the gift of charity, for you won't be seeing another bent nickel out of us.>

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"Whoa, hold on, I mean no harm" Amroth exclaimed, surprised that the man actually noticed him when he was trying to be stealthy. In order to emphasize his harmlessness Amroth raised his hands, showing they contained no weapons. Though he expected that the giant bow strapped to his back somewhat diminished his chances to actually look harmless. "You seemed like a man who knows how to make some real money, and I'm interested in making some money, but I wanted to check if I was right before approaching you, that's all." He knew he probably could take the guy out one on one, but he wanted to get to know the bigger picture before making any moves. "You weren't supposed to see me, but I think you'll understand why I didn't openly approached you."

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“Oh no, no, no, no! Please! I’ll do anything! Uhh… hmm…†The man continued with his uhhs and hmms while slapping his cheeks as if that would help with his thinking. “Y-You can find them everywhere! Everywhere! Uhh… Right about now they should be uhh… taking bets, right? For the races? Yeah! They are pretty strong though… dangerous… but not strong enough to take on the Guards. They’re real scared of the Guards!â€

The man cupped his hands while staring at Sanger and Iris with eyes as big as he could muster. “Can I please have some gold now? Please?â€

-----

“Now we’re talking, pal!†The gangster rubbed his hands greedily together at the mention of making money. “Yeah, sure, sure, sure! So you bet on the races? We operate a bit differently than the Coliseum. We don’t have no minimal betting amounts and we don’t work with any odds and what the fuck ever. You bet a certain amount, you win, you get that amount plus fifty percent. You lose, you give us the money or we tear off your fingernails, got it?â€

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"Should we... take my gold back instead?" Iris glanced over at Sanger. "I'm starting to reget giving this guy a third of my net worth..."

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<SARDONIC COMMENTARY. That's real helpful. Totally saved me the effort of, I dunno, walking a short distance until I saw a gangster. GRUDGING ADMISSION. I did promise to give him some gold, however, so here's 5 gold. Now go get a damned job already. IMMATURE WHINING. I'm so going to regret this. >

[give beggar 5 gold.]

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Amroth chuckled at the shady man. "Gambling? No I was thinking of a different kind of deal. How about you pay me a small percentage of what you make a month and I'll make sure to keep guards and other pesky people of your back. I'm sure an organization like yours could use more men who know how to wield a sword... or bow in my case." He had no idea what he was getting in to, but he knew there would be a bigger fish than this guy and it was the big fish he was after, he wanted to eradicate the whole organization in one killing blow.

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"Thank you very much!" The beggar's eyes lit up once he received the gold. "I-I'm sure you could part with a bit more! I could... uhh... I could show you around for 50 GP!"

-----

"Stop following me around if you're just going to waste my time," the man turned around and started walking away as he muttered something about 'stupid fucking elves'.

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Amroth ran after the man, took out his bow and drew an arrow. "By order of the imperial guard you are under arrest for involvement in an illegal gambling den, lay down your weapons and surrender or I will shoot!" He aimed the arrow at the man and kept his eyes on him for any sudden movements. 

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Amroth aiming his weapon at the bandit caused some panic amidst the bystanders, who immediately began running and shouting, except for the few who wanted some excitement in their lives and stuck around to watch. "Wrong move!" The bandit grabbed his mace and swung at Amroth, but he missed.

[Roll 15 vs AC. Amroth's turn. Other members of the party are too far removed to aid Amroth.

For convenience sake: the HL's on Roll20 are civilians and the HB is the enemy.]

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Amroth shifted one step back and marked the man with his hunter's quarry ability. He then shot two arrows, the first missed quite badly, yet the second hit the man straight in his throat. "You fool! You should have just come with me."

 

Attack rolls:

Roll(1d20)+10:
2,+10
Total:12

 

Roll(1d20)+10:
20,+10
Total:30

 

Damage:

1d12+1 = 13 Normal crit damage

1d12 = 12 extra crit damage

1d6 = 6 hunter's quarry crit damage.

 

Total: 31 damage

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The bandit recoiled from the hit he took, but despite being bloodied he persisted and soldiered forwards to deal a blow to Amroth with his mace. 

[21 for attack and 9 for damage.]

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