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Liquid Metal King Slime
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CAMPAIGN: Queen Arkwyn's Crown (D&D5e) 
 PostWed Oct 19, 2016 4:04 pm
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Hyne Firain has been invited to the tent of Duke Borgan of Gnur.

The Duke's tent is full of lieutenants and assistants. They seem to be discussing some sort of battle logistics.

The Duke sees Hyne and smiles. "Welcome old friend!" The Duke is younger than Hyne, and has a handsome face. He is wearing light field armor, and the only thing that differentiates his uniform from that of his subordinates is the ornate metal pauldron on his right shoulder.

DM wrote:
Duke Borgan thinks of you as a friend-- decide for yourself if you feel the same way about him


"Everybody out! I need to have a talk with my friend!"

Assistants gather up equipment lists and maps, and everyone exists the tent except for you, Borgen, and his mute bodyguard.

"I need a personal favor. I need a wagon escorted back to the capital, and I need it to be done discreetly."

local knowledge dump wrote:
You know from an flurry of rumors that the King died a few days ago. You know that it happened in the nearby Gnur-Jenn battlefields, and you know that Duke Borgen is in charge in this province when the King is not present.
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 PostWed Oct 19, 2016 9:55 pm
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hyne.png
It is a brisk morning. A gentle sun faintly glows beyond trees and hills, the warmth of its waking rise can be felt through chill air that day. Sparkling prisms splash at the feet through bristles of grass, as a man approaches the creek with a thin but sturdy loop of string with a hook dangling at one end gripped in hand.

For Hyne Firain, time has become less meaningful. Hours leg deep in water become forgotten as quickly as it is time to begin putting clothing and gear back on for the start of travel under a watchful gaze of the sun as it sits its throne this time of day. Holding tightly to the same string and hook, this time with the weight of a fish in tow, Hyne continues his trek through the woods with little thought as to where he might end up that evening.

As the sun travels as Hyne does, seeking to find a spot in the unseen part of the world, a voice startles Hyne. A call for help, even weak and muffled is loud even among bristling leaves in wind, the cries of animals, and the chirping of insects that are easily tuned out. A call for help that doesn't belong out here. He quickly turns around to see an injured soldier sitting against a tree, then quickly moves to his aid.

---

And that is how Hyne ended up in the audience of the Duke of Gnur. Though it is harmless, he finds the declaration of friendship imposing and forced, like it is going to be used against him. Sure enough, that rings true, as the friendship begins with a favor asked over good company. His expression shifts uncomfortably a bit, "Your grace, pardon me if this all seems sudden. I didn't want abandon a man stranded in the woods, but I'm not sure I understand what's going on or why I'm needed for this mission." The word 'mission' escapes his mouth inexplicably. It had been a few years since he had deserted and eschewed all of the formalities, but apparently even bits from the back of his mind can still return under the right circumstance.
<TheGiz> oh hai doggy, oh no that's the straw that broke tjhe came baclsb
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 PostWed Oct 19, 2016 10:17 pm
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Duke Borgen fails to hide a smile at "mission". After grasping Hyne's hand in greeting, he returns to his chair by the table, and offers another chair to Hyne.

"The man you saved wasn't just a foot soldier. He told me everything you did to get him back here safely, and... I have a feeling I can trust you with this job. It is a small task really. Not anything as important or difficult as saving a man's life."

As he is speaking, the Duke takes a pen, dips it in ink, and draws two circles side by side on a piece of paper. The ink is red.

"Can you... will you do this job for me?"
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 PostWed Oct 19, 2016 10:38 pm
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He glances at the hand grasping his own when it happens. He listens to the explanation of its difficulty, but still remains uncertain, "I am sure it is a simple task, but I don't just do everything I'm told to if I don't see much reason for it. If it's agreeable, I'd like to at least have a fitting reward for the task to make my stay at the capital worthwhile."
<TheGiz> oh hai doggy, oh no that's the straw that broke tjhe came baclsb
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 PostThu Oct 20, 2016 3:04 pm
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Duke Borgen chuckles. "That's fair" he says.

He takes a small bag from his belt and puts it on the table. It contains 10 platinum coins

local knowledge dump wrote:
10 pp is 100 gp. You know enough about the local economy to remember that soldiers get payed 1gp a day in wartime, and 5sp a day in peacetime.
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 PostThu Oct 20, 2016 11:56 pm
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He takes the payment and nods. Being guaranteed that he can recover any lost supplies once he makes it to the city is the only way he could accept a request from this seedy stranger. With a sharp expression, he asks, "Now I need to know why the wagon needs to be moved 'discreetly', and why I'm going to do it."
<TheGiz> oh hai doggy, oh no that's the straw that broke tjhe came baclsb
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 PostFri Oct 21, 2016 3:36 pm
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"Excellent" says the Duke.

"The wagon belongs to one Erato Borodubur. It will be one of many wagons following the King's funeral procession tomorrow, carrying various local personages who want to attend his Majesty's funeral and the coronation of his daughter."

"You will disguise yourself as a common yeoman, and ride as a passenger in this wagon. You will know Erato's wagon because of its red wheels."

"Tomorrow morning, my assistant here," Duke Borgan gestures towards his silent bodyguard, "Will give you a package-- a wooden box. Take it with you as part of your luggage..."

DM wrote:
The Duke isn't done talking yet, I'm just breaking his monologue here to give you a chance to interrupt if you want to
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 PostFri Oct 21, 2016 4:36 pm
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He does interject, "This isn't about the funeral at all. It's about this box." He glances to the bodyguard for just a moment, as if he is the box, before looking back, "I'm just 'a common yeoman', should something go awry. Is that right?"
<TheGiz> oh hai doggy, oh no that's the straw that broke tjhe came baclsb
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 PostFri Oct 21, 2016 8:06 pm
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"Yes, exactly. Just a common yeoman."

"When you reach the capital, you will be approached by the High Priestess of Lockean. Give her the box. Don't let anyone else have it. Don't let anyone else open it."

And then like an afterthought, "Don't open it yourself."

"The box is more important than the funeral."
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 PostSat Oct 22, 2016 1:24 am
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Hyne grows frustrated by the dodgy response, but relents, "Fine. I will head to rest for the night."

He has a feeling that he can piece together the missing information on his own concerning the risks involved, especially in a tense political blanket. He stands and walks out of the tent.
<TheGiz> oh hai doggy, oh no that's the straw that broke tjhe came baclsb
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 PostSat Oct 22, 2016 4:59 pm
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DM wrote:
If you want Hyne to spend any of his money before bed, we can insert a retro-active shopping sequence


In the morning, Hyne is woken by drums and bugles. They started before sunrise, softly, gently, and slowly rose to a crescendo as the sun came up over Duke Borgan's encampment.

They seemed to be playing a dirge-- but a brassy and up-beat dirge.

Borgan's mute bodyguard is sitting on a log not far from where Hyne was sleeping. He is whittling a stick with a wicked looking knife, and he has a wooden box about 1 foot square beside him.

local knowledge dump wrote:
Borgan's encampment is mostly military tents, next to a village of civilian huts. The area is lightly wooded, and mostly flat. I have no idea where in all that Hyne chose to sleep.
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 PostSun Oct 23, 2016 4:05 am
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That morning, Hyne sits against a tree with a leg propping a thin slab onto a raised thigh, using the flat surface to scrawl notes and drawings onto dried, thinned parchments. Even with minimal light where he hides within the trees, he continues his best to detail his observations of his travels from coast to the edge of occupied territory where he noted a checkpoint.

Satisfied, he begins his day long travel to return to the rendezvous point. It is there his notes will be compared to other scouts from overseas to best piece them together to form a larger picture of what had been explored and how, redundancies and differences in findings, and especially points to avoid- all to result in an idea what areas will still need to be scouted for further charting.

Skipping a gap in time, Hyne looks over the hideout once more, finding it once more overrun by the ship faring bandits. Bodies of comrades already returned left dead, others captured, and no hope of doing anything on his own. Despite that, he thinks of doing it all over, going in and letting himself be killed in a desperate ambush instead of cowering like he did- or even slaying them all with arrows from his hidden perch, never to be found. Just as he starts to take control, he is spotted: a trembling beat marches around him, surrounding him.

He blinks, his vision blurry and slow to come to. After a few moments of stirring over a bedroll, he finally starts to notice the wooden stakes holding aloft a large tent he had only once seen the night before.

Pulling his gear from the ground by the straps, he takes it outside with him, expecting that he'll be required to dress his role as their coach passenger. He glances to the bodyguard, noticing both the item and the man's activity. Hyne gives an acknowledging greeting by tilting his head upward a bit with a lifted expression, but doesn't seem to hold much interest in the box itself. The bodyguard probably won't let him hold onto it just yet anyway. If not interrupted, he continues through the encampment to either find further preparation, or breakfast, whichever comes first.
<TheGiz> oh hai doggy, oh no that's the straw that broke tjhe came baclsb
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 PostMon Oct 24, 2016 2:51 am
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Contrary to Hyne's expectations, the bodyguard immediately stands up, steps closer, and presses the box into Hyne's hands before returning to his seat on the log.

The box is not heavy, but still has enough weight to indicate there is something solid inside. It doesn't rattle. The center of mass does shift ever so slightly, as if whatever is inside has been well-padded.

Hyne does indeed smell breakfast. The scent of dried fatty meat and smoke emanates from a large tent where soldiers and civilians alike are gathering.

The source if the music is now obvious. Drummers and trumpeters are arrayed around a huge open wagon. The dead face of King Ark is clearly visible in the center of the huge wagon, his dead eyes are covered with a cloth, and his waxy skin must be freshly embalmed. Youngsters are heaping wildflowers around him with far less solemnity than is appropriate, and some sort of honor-guard is in the process of donning shiny helmets and breastplates that bear little resemblance to the stuff used in real battle.

A gaggle of other wagons are scattered at the far end of the camp, where a lot of horses and people are moving about. The wagon with the red wheels is visible over among them.
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 PostMon Oct 24, 2016 3:30 am
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From afar, the scene with the king placed on display and the ceremony thereof emboldens Hyne's feeling of unfamiliarity, that he is an outsider that only knows and belongs in the area near Liontribe. Sadly, his being used for a noble's errands may still be more welcoming than how he could be shunned for abandoning his own king and country.

A weight is shoved against his rib. Hyne grips the box with his free hand at the corner then lifts it up slightly in acknowledgement while giving the stoic bodyguard a weak nod and a brief smile, "Long live the king."

He continues onward. He glances to each item in tow, unable to free himself to take a slab of meat. He continues onward to the wagon in hopes that he'll be able to ease his burden soon enough. Once he notices that there is only one wagon with red wheels, it becomes apparent that the damned thing is unique and not a trademark of the kingdom. He appproaches anyone he can and asks, "Surely we aren't forced to use a coach that stands out so fiercely?"
<TheGiz> oh hai doggy, oh no that's the straw that broke tjhe came baclsb
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 PostTue Oct 25, 2016 3:44 pm
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An armored dwarf is re-packing a backpack near Hyne. He looks up and glances around at the wagons. The wagons are an eclectic lot, with many different designs and colors and adornments, but the wagon with the red wheels is indeed the most garish and most conspicuous, surpassed only by the King's own flower-strewn wagon-barge.

The Dwarf smiles at Hyne, exposing a pair of fangs in a very orcish-looking jaw. The smile is still friendly enough. "You mean that one?" he points at the red-wheel-wagon. "That one's Erato's. Erato has wealth of style and a deficit of taste."

Hyne can see that the fanged Dwarf is wearing bright armor that conspicuously displays the holy symbol of Pelor. His hair is a mess, but his beard seems well-groomed.

The wagon looks like it started its life as something a farmer would haul potatoes to market in, before being modified by an enthusiastic carpenter into something that resembles a stagecoach.

Most of the body is painted black, visibly peeling. Yellows, oranges, and green trim decorates the framing, and the wheels with their vibrant red rims, deep purple hubs, and alternating red and yellow spokes could not possibly look more like giant archery targets if that had been the painter's intention. A man is under the wagon on a tarp. He has a oil-pot and a brush and is working on the axles, but Hyne cannot see his face.

The Drum & Trumpet dirge continues in the background.
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