Voices in the Dark
By: TheGM
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2002 10:37:21 PM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Riccoco, You have spent the day traveling down the Saber in a slow and comfortable fashion. You don?t want to get to your destination too soon. Dark is best for what you have in mind. That poor sap out by the south picket didn?t even know what he was selling you. Weeds! He thought they were weeds! Doubtless the yokel was gathering his family beside him telling them how he had outsmarted some Dumb as a Deezel raccoon and sold him a pile he had marked for burning in return for a string of Silvertrout. Ol? Riccoco however, had traded his lunch for a windfall of Dreamleaf. Not as potent as Fantashrooms, nor as addictive as Blackroot, Dreamleaf was still a valuable little herb. When steeped in a rich tea, they provided vivid and (usually) pleasant dreams. Not your regular goods, but enough to ensure you some freedom from lean times for a month to come, maybe three if you?re careful. Nah, a month.
Smiling your trademark grin you lean back in the skiff, settle into the shade of the small lean-to and pull the second string of fish from the water...
Evening finds you at Tallon?s gate. You can see the odd little brass man that guards the massive doors. More importantly, you see the small company of city guard just beyond. You know that if you go through that gauntlet, you?ll be forced to pay an ?entry tax?. Hmph. At least when you cheat someone, you have the decency to be sneaky about it.
Now if you were human, or carrying some dull cargo like rice or meal, you?d have no problem. However, as they say back at the lake, new obstacles require new approaches. There is a road you have taken a few times before. It means another couple of hour?s travel in the deepening dusk, but no venture no gain. Rather than push the skiff back up to the fork in the saber, you pay a kid to watch it while you make your way overland. When the deep gloom hits, you have reached the caverns of the Night Folk.
The mutants who live here have allowed you to enter their caverns ever since you helped them sandbag that nasty flood about four years ago. You didn?t even charge them for the sandbags. Of course, now you have a cozy little side door.
There is usually a nightman at the small brush-covered ditch that leads to the Underwall Road. It seems odd that there is none tonight. Still, often as not, those pale oddities aren?t seen unless they want to be. Must not be bothering to reveal himself to Ol? Riccoco.
Half an hour later, you are bitterly laughing at the term ?Cozy little side door?. The way is dark, even to your beastly eyes. The slopes are often treacherous. Worse, yet, the way has been altered a bit. Someone has cut steps here and there and even through gravel over the worst of the puddles. It would make the way easier actually, if you weren?t relying on memory. You?re pretty sure you took the right turn back there. Or was left right? Ah, Demon-Kings in a Stone! You?re lost.
You are about to turn back when your quick ears pick up conversation. It grows louder but remains somewhat muffled. People are traveling in a corridor adjacent to yours. Only a thin wall of earth separates you from them. Just in case they are not Night Folk, you flatten yourself to the floor, furry ears pricked. The voices get a bit clearer:

?Hey, howabout you lead fo-- --ile.?

?You know th-- --ll as I.?

?Yeah, but you got the good view.?

?Keep your eyes on th-- --ath and your mind on your work.?
?Pfah! The path?s simple enough. They don?t have no --ouble walkin? it."

"Course they don't. Just 'cause their --yches is scrambled ain't no reason they can't do stuff a golem could do."

"Heh, I know what they could do all right..."

"I tol' you, that's enough. They's got to reach Karkul intact. Know what I mean, intact?"

"Who'd care?"

"HE'd care. The boss don't take kindly to the delivery of damaged goods. He paid enough to have 'em prepped."

"Who's he gonna complain to, a guardsman?"

"He just might you young fool. Plans are in the offing that will cover that angle. By this time next month he'll be untouchable, and them what's with him can live off his fat, so to speak. So keep yer hands off."

"Kings-n-Reavers! You just ain't tempted 'cause your a dog. These girls is ripe for pickin'"

"Look if I hear one more word out of you I'll..."

"You'll what? I ain't afraid o' no Dobie."

"Shut up! I smell somethin'. Somethin' woodsy... wet... Raccoon!"

[EDITED on Fri September 13, 2002 @10:38 PM (PDT)]
By: Riccoco
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2002 06:46:13 AM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Riccoco bolts upright, his mind racing...

::I already be lost, no harm in sneakin' off. They be soundin' like dogs though, and even Ol' Riccoco not be able to get away from their sniffers. I shoulda been knowin' this Low Road be causin' me trouble tonight.::

He adjusts the nap sack on his shoulders and grips his trident firmly glancing furiously up and down the cavern.


6, 6, 1 (STUN: 13, BODY: 4) Sat September 14, 2002 @8:47 AM (CDT)

::I might be able to get away if I knew where I was. Sounds like them dogs be hoarding Night Folk girls... I need to be gettin' outta here before I gets myself inta more trouble.::

<--Riccoco is looking for a way to make the dogs loose his scent. If he doesn't see anything fairly quickly he's going to go to the nearest cavern that has some cover such as stalagmites (the ones on the ground). Then, he'll move about the room in different directions waiting and hiding until he gets an oppurtunity to take them unawares or perhaps talk his way out if possible. I'm not sure if I'm trying to do to much at once or what, though. Let me know! *g*-->

[EDITED on Sat September 14, 2002 @8:47 AM (CDT)]
On the run
By: TheGM
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2002 09:33:23 AM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
The caverns twist a lot, but you have the confidence that given time, you will get where you need to go. They are not that large. As for giving the dogs the slip, the caverns do not have a good rock floor. A lot of sediment washes down into them and there are several places you avoid due to knee-deep sucking mud. However, you know that at the lowest points, there are several spots that are flooded. It is possible that you could swim a ways, but the prospect of doing that in utter dark is not a pleasant one.
You must be using a lantern or candle. Your UV vision provides excellent night sight, but there is no illumination source underground. The night folk have some natural bioluminescent lamps, but they guard them jealously. To swim means to extinguish your light. Also, the secret of matches has not been lost. To a frequent city visitor like yourself, a sealed box of matches is not unreasonable.
Also, beside your back pack, you must worry about the bag of Dreamleaf. It is pungent and trackable. It is although worth enough money that you would be loathe to lose it unless at great need.
As for the perception roll, you remember a split about 90 yards back. it is possible the passage they are using is that one, so you think you might have some breathing room. something about that phrase tickles something in the back of your mind--something about the dog's sense of smell, but you failed a GM Int roll (14) so you file it away to ruminate on later Up ahead the passage dips down sharply, probably going under the foundations of the wall here. You know this is not the passage you have used before, since it is narrower and the footing is worse. The owners of the voices must be using your normal route. It is just dumb luck that the recent renovations have caused you to take this new road. Otherwise you would have run right into them.

It seems your choices are:

Run onwards
Run back

You also have the option if going onwards of trying the flooded areas, but this is not necessary in order to enter the city.
Running scared
By: Riccoco
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2002 09:21:23 AM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
::It seems I only be off the beaten path a little. I don' wanta be losin this Dreamleaf I worked so hard to get.::

Riccoco's head swivels back towards the way he had been travelling, writhing shadows playing off the cavern wall. Seeming to come to a final decision, he sets off at a trot continuing forward, a small lantern held aloft in his left hand and his trident gripped tightly in the other.
Getting in deeper
By: TheGM
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2002 10:00:38 PM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
The way ahead of you gets slippery as you progress. With your bag of dreamleaf slung over your shoulder and your lantern firmly clutched, it is difficult to use your hands for balance. The walls are dripping now, sweaty with the salty tang of seawater. You are deep.
Suddenly you see a branch off to your right. Pondering for a moment which route to take, you hear a growling voice bark," 'Ere you keep hold a that lot and don't ruffle 'em. 'Ey you! Raccoon! I can smell ya! There ain't no escape. Make it easy on me and I'll make it easy on you!"
The tunnels have rejoined! Looking wildly about you see a lantern approaching from the other passage.
In its dim glow, you can see a large and ponderous doberman, the glint of a curved sword in his left hand. He is running in your direction, panting as he hauls his bulky frame through the narrow cavern. The passage you were on goes down and into water, the other passage heads up to the city and presumably to safety. If you can outrun the dog.

included is a map to make your situation clearer

Crazy schemes
By: Riccoco
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2002 05:58:40 AM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Riccoco pauses his narrowed eyes surrounded by white fur, making his face seem like he's wearing a mask. ::Mebe I ken give this dawg the slep, and find out what they got happenin' with the girls, either way, I probably ken't outrun 'em.::

He ducks back out of sight turning and slinging his lantern towards the water... ::Eff I time thes jes... right The dobe will think I went for a swim and I'll hide over there gettin the jump on 'em when he moves towards the water.::

OOC: I figure I'll need some sort of hiding roll. Let me know about anything else.

2, 4, 2 (STUN: 8, BODY: 3) Mon September 16, 2002 @7:58 AM (CDT)

NOTE: All I'm looking for here is a bit of surprise. Ricco doesn't think he can easily outrun him and wants to slow him down. If he can get him into a bad position... So much the better.
By: TheGM
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2002 10:11:13 AM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Deftly, you toss the lantern in the direction of the water. It strikes a slanted rock and does not break, but rolls into the wool, where after a brief, eerie underwater glow, it extignuishes, plunging your side tunnel into darkness. (Merikian lanterns have to be fairly well protected; when it rains, it rains hard). With a graceful rolling motion, you slide behind small. domelike rock. (These passages are more like lava tubes or mining tunnels and lack big stalctite/stalagmite structures)
The dog pads up to the intersection, casts about carefully and sniffs the air.
2, 3, 6 (STUN: 11, BODY: 4) Mon September 16, 2002 @10:11 AM (PDT)
Which way did he go? Which way did he go
By: TheGM
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2002 10:15:24 AM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
The big dobie scrathces his muzzle in confusion, checks back down you passage (apparently missing your hiding place) and heads toward the edge of the water. He stares intently into the ripples.
"Ah Riven on a spit! Little bugger got away. Boss ain't gonna like this. Hey Moke! let's get these dames to the pickup, then tell the boss to put out the word onna 'coon. If'n he stays in the city long, he's a dead 'un."
In the dark of the cave...
By: Riccoco
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2002 08:33:23 PM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Grinning slyly, Riccoco watches and listens, careful not to give away his hiding space. ::Looks like the dobe has such a good sniffer after all. I wonder who this boss is. No doubt, Ol' Riccoco have enough time to spend the worth of the Dreamwort.::

Barring any other trouble from these two, Ricco will try and stumble his way by touch out of the cavern and presumably into the city. He'll use matches if neccesary.
Entering Tallon
By: TheGM
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2002 09:11:43 PM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Now that you are back in your old route, the way seems a little more familiar. Again, someone has take the pains to make it more traversible, but the way doesn't branch anymore. After several hours of very slow going (Don't want to bash your head in), you hear the familiar sound of trickling water. The cave intersects with a storm sewer here. Within minutes you have found a loose grating and have emerged inside the city walls.
It alsways gives you a slight shiver to ocme out here, since the exit is through a cemetary. The one positioned between 2 and 3 o'clock outside the Old Circle on the map.
There is little moonlight and the night is hot and heavy with the promise of monsoon in the not too distant future. The crypts around you are eerie and silent. No wind blows. You know it is only a matter of time before the creeps back in the passage finish their errand and come back to put the word out on you.
Where do you go next?

[EDITED on Mon September 16, 2002 @9:12 PM (PDT)]
The boy is back in town
By: Riccoco
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2002 09:36:25 PM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Riccoco takes a deep breath of fresh air as he brushes dust from the Night Folk tunnels from his vest and haunches. ::Ah, Tallon again!:: His grin turns to a frown as his nose wrinkles in distaste, ::It won' be long till I learn who those boys boss is, I imagine. Best thing to do now is pawn this Dreamwort and find out what might be going on.::

Slipping through the cemetary with a wary eye Ricco heads towards well known back roads to the Shambles. ::No need for Ol' Riccoco to show everyone he be back in town.::

Do I need a contact roll? I'm looking for a fence.

6, 5, 5 (STUN: 16, BODY: 4) Mon September 16, 2002 @11:36 PM (CDT)
What price, Dreamleaf?
By: TheGM
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2002 10:08:55 PM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Riccoco, you leave the cemetery quickly behind you. Iyt is the most upscale graveyard in Tallon, but it's still a place full of dead people. You know you had best still maintain a low profile. Beasts found at this hour of the night in this neighborhood are often hassled. You make your way south, along the perimeter of the Old Circle, where the Masters live in splendid isolation. A few weird cries break the night's serenity as you pass the Zoo. Apparently some of the strange animals displayed there are restless. As you get further south, you pass Tallon Circle, where the great buildings of state loom up. The lumina lanterns reflect off the green marble facades, making them seem almost ghostly for all their massive presence. Raccoons don't build anything like this!
Once in the market area you are faced with a dilemma. The Beast Quarter is easier to find someone awake in, since many of the residents are nocturnal. But you will find a better price in the Market Circle. This will require waiting until morning probably, and you are not sure how long it will be before Dobie and Moke (and their mysterious 'Boss') come looking for you.
You know that you will merely need to find a buyer. A fence is not necessary since Dreamleaf is not contraband. You needed to avoid the guards to keep them from applying any impromptu 'import tax'.
Furthermore, this bag you are carrying should fetch about 250 to 300 silver dollars (25-30 gold eagles) if you sell it in pieces. If you want to unload the lot on a single buyer, you will probably have to accept a reduced price, and furthermore may possibly need to take a letter of credit if he doesn't have that much cash on hand.
A little R&R
By: Riccoco
Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 04:49:00 AM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
Riccoco continues to make his cautious way to the Beast Quarter for a drink and a bed. If he finds a buyer there, so much the better. If not, he can make his way back to Market Circle in the morning. Moke and Dobe can't be that quick, can they? Besides, a nice pint would sit well after all the dirt and grime from the Night Folk tunnels, a little bit of information might be nice, too.
The Beast Quarter
By: TheGM
Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 09:21:47 AM
Viewable By: Riccoco, TheGM
No one stops you as you cross town. You skirt the shambles until you are ready to trade, since it is dangerous at night and you are looking for refreshment, not a fight.
Eventually, you cross Goat Hill and enter the Beast Quarter. The quarter is fairly steeply pitched on the side of the hill. In daytime, the colors of the houses would be resplendent, but now they are mere shades of gray. No lumina lights this area of town, so other than starlight and the occasional lit window, it is pretty dark. Fortunately this is no problem for you.
One are of the Quarter appeals to you more than others. It is rough and overgrown, like a bit of the wilds plopped down in the middle of the city. You once heard that there was a fire here during the end of the War with Karkul. (Raccoon lake was occupied at that time (20 years ago) by Tallon in order for them to strategically protect Beaverdam.
A number of voices raised in song attract your sharp ears. It sounds like a jolly company. The song ends before you reach it, but you can tell clear enough where it was coming from. A well-lit bar shines out from the depth of the trees. It looks like the perfect place to quench your now prodigious thirst.
Entering the building, you accidentally hit someone with the door.
Please go to At the Sign of the Singing Turtle

[EDITED on Tue September 17, 2002 @9:25 AM (PDT)]
Cripes! The boss is coming!