Eerongal

Hear ye, hear ye!

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The posting went out near a fortnight ago. Word spread across village and town as if carried on wings. The King of Bannor was seeking able bodied adventurers. Rumors surged about the riches to be paid, the magic items to be plundered. Every pair of lips had a different tale of the piles of treasure to be had, but few actually had any details behind the deed itself.

Clearing an army of orcs from the caves, some tales told.

Others told of an ancient dragon come to wake and ravage the land from it's lair deep within the musty catacomb.

Still others talk of a fearsome and terrible Lich contained within the depths of an old cavern come to wage war on the living.

One thing is certain, every tale includes the same destination. A deep cavern, unearthed due to recent geological activity, has shown itself to the north, in the mountains of Perdoth. The rumors also agree, none to date who have left with intentions of entering the cave have yet returned.

By this time, it's common knowledge that prior to this call, the king, King Veldspar III, sent out a handful of small parties to explore this new region. After losing near fifty men to the cursed catacombs in question he put out a call for bold adventurers to plumb its inky depths for the safety of his kingdom. The supposed rewards ranged anywhere from extravagant to legendary.

Everyone from the lowly pauper with a twinkle of gold in his eyes to seasoned adventurers have been rumored to left for the devilish depths. In the two weeks since the news broke, the city has exploded with travelers making their way to try their hand at the cave. Every inn, every tavern, even the stable yards all bustle with bold adventurers ready to take on the loathsome grotto. Some show up to the city all ready formed into bands, others show up solitary, hoping to find companionship within the city walls. Still other overzealous fools have made way for the cave solitary.

Regardless of the methods and plans laid by each participant, one thing is true. None have missed a chance to show up in town to boldly announce their intentions, if only to show off to the common folk.

Maps to the cave can be found around the city like confetti, each with their own nuances and quirks, but practically everyone of them puts the cavern in the same spot.

Despite the frantic bustle of the city, one fact rings true. This location is only the starting point of something greater. Merely the beginning of a truly epic thread in history that you are about to embark on....

[/intro]

Ok, explanation time. This is basically a communal in-character RP thread for people to meet and greet with party members. It's basically just an area for you to gather around the tavern and get to know each other, have a friendly drink or two, etc.

Note that the timing for parties leaving the city doesn't have to coincide with the timeline for when they're actually in the dungeon. That is, the first party that forms here doesn't have to be the "first" that left and started digging through the dungeon. As far as encounters in the dungeon goes, i'm not likely going to keep track of every single one, so most normal encounters will probably repeat for each party (though "boss" encounters may remain cleared). This is just handwaving to keep the book keeping down on my end. Also, just because individual parties leave here at significantly different times doesn't mean they can't meet up within the dungeon. Pretty much if two parties coincide in the same area at the same time, i will have them meet and converse, and maybe even "trade" party members (or if the two parties are small enough, either through initially small size or by players dying and deciding to quit, merge). Keep in mind that I would like to keep parties sized from 4-6 groups. Feel free to have your parties interact within the town before they leave, too. Maybe form some kind of friendly competition/rivalry with them or something (or outright villainous opposition).

Also note that your character doesn't exactly have to be done to participate in this thread (just need to have a rough idea of abilities and personality), so long as you are ready by the time you head out to the dungeon. I want to try to keep rolling/stats/skills/etc. out of this topic as much as possible and just let it flow free form for this thread, since it's a way to introduce your character in the manner that you want, not the manner that the dice say. I will still take care of any NPC interactions you don't wish to directly control (or don't know the answers for) for the sake of what your character does.

Once the party is formed up and ready to head to the dungeon, we will go ahead and split your group out into their own thread. It might also help if you guys decide on a party name once formed so it's a bit more clear who is who.

Also, feel free to make up the locations and such within the city itself. I don't have it mapped out, so it will pretty well form to whatever you need to introduce your character.

That said, have at it, and happy dungeoneering!

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The Starry Dragon

Umieri sipped at his ale, once again admiring the irony of the tavern name.

Its almost like this world is taunting me with what I lost.

Umieri glances at the holy symbol of the Sovereign Host lying on the table beside him, seemingly out of place with everything else.

I can still feel a connection though. Its faint, but tangible nonetheless.

"Do you need something?" Umieri inquired to his neighbors, his voice even, but firm. They had been staring at the unfamiliar symbol and the even more striking Dragonmark on his arm.

Primitives. They don't even know how to build a proper lightning rail.

Edited by Emeralis00
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The Starry Dragon

Umieri sipped at his ale, once again admiring the irony of the tavern name.

Its almost like this world is taunting me with what I lost.

Umieri glances at the holy symbol of the Sovereign Host lying on the table beside him, seemingly out of place with everything else.

I can still feel a connection though. Its faint, but tangible nonetheless.

"Do you need something?" Umieri inquired to his neighbors, his voice even, but firm. They had been staring at the unfamiliar symbol and the even more striking Dragonmark on his arm.

Primitives. They don't even know how to build a proper lightning rail.

Snapped as if from a daze, the handful of men staring at your decidedly odd assets turn back and bury their faces in their mugs. You can barely catch a few murmurs of phrases along the lines of "damned foreigner", "tribal markings", and "ugly bauble". Despite their outwardly rude demeanor, you understand that their brashness stems from the almost palpable atmosphere of tension that has been building almost uniformly across the city. As you sit, nursing your slowly draining ale, a busy serving woman bustles by with a platter of full mugs and sloppily places a fresh mug you didn't order down on your table. With nary a word in her haste, and without seemingly realizing her error, she turns to move on to her next destination table, fresh mugs in tow.

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Umieri smiled. Ugly bauble indeed. If only they knew what it was. Still, it might be advantageous to conceal what it really is; nobody is going to know what it is, and those that do know can't say anything without giving themselves away.

Umieri stopped smiling as he considered the full mug.

The sign at the door said no detections. fair enough, but how do I know if it is poisoned? Of course, I am probably worried over nothing. After all, there aren't any members of the Cult of the Dragon Below here, so nobody is trying to kill me.

Homesickness hits Umieri hard, and he shivers, reminded of the space between spaces.

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Starry Dragon. Seynir

I walk into another tavern. It is getting rather late, and I am tired. Curiosity and my some results research demand that I enter the dungeon to the north, but I know I cannot do it alone. It has been a long time since I was forced to attend such a large congregation of people, much less actually talk to some, so I am apprehensive. I have visited several taverns, but so far I have not encountered anybody who looked like he (or she) would be a suitable ally in my adventure. Truth to be thought, most people around these parts look downright suspicious.

As I enter, a figure sitting near the corner attracts my attention. He is looking at the mug full of local ale as if thinking that it might bite him. Understandable, but that is not what interests me. On his hand, there is a curious birthmark or tattoo that triggers something in my memory. I have seen something like that before, not on the person, but in the book... I concentrate, trying to remember.

Ah, yes, the book that spoke of the wanderers from another universes, that sometimes visit our own. I look more carefully (people have been known to call that an unsettling stare, and, although I know better, I try to conceal my attention), and notice a wooden symbol on the table near his hand. That settles it, and I can feel curiosity stirring within me. He is alone here, and, judging by that symbol, should at least hesitate killing a stranger, so I approach his table (after ordering a stew and mug of water) and address him, trying to be polite:

"Excuse me. It seems that you are not from this plane, at least. If I am correct, was your travel here a willing one?"

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Starry Dragon Umieri

That was fast.

"Sit please. I dislike having to look up to talk." Umieri indicates a chair.

A waft of strange scents exudes from the man. He was a mage of some sort.

"A wizard I take it? To answer your question, no it was not."

He obviously wants something, and it will almost certainly have to do with arcane magic.

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Starry DragonSeynir

Ah. No immediate hostility. Good.

I take a seat.

"Yes, I am Seynir, a wizard. If I remember correctly, that sign seems to indicate that you are, probably, a cleric of Good."

"Unfortunately, that is nearly the extent of my knowledge. I know that your world is named Eberron, that there people may spontaneously manifest magic markings like the one on your hand, and that it is more advanced than our one in many ways."

"It is a pity that you didn't come here willingly, since that would have indicated a possible way back, and I would have liked to visit. Still..."

It may be to the best. I need companions, and the dungeon may contain artifacts that will help him to return, or even anew exit right to his home universe. Maybe I'll be able to persuade him. But first...

"So as a wizard, I am curious. Your kind are usually quite rare here, and I would really like to hear about your world, especially the arcane arts in it."

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Starry Dragon Umieri

Called it.

"You are correct in assuming I am a cleric, I am a follower of the Sovereign Host. There is not much I can tell you about the underpinnings of Eberron society, and I am afraid that they rely on several principles which don't apply here."

Umieri pauses to drain his first mug of ale, but doesn't touch the second.

"First, cosmology. The planes of Eberron aren't like the ones here. They move, and sometimes they are so close they have an effect on the material plane itself, at other times remote and its influence is suppressed. This prevents the creation of certain higher order constructs known as eldritch machines.

"Second, the economy of this world is unstable. You have yet to develop a stable system of economics which help stimulate research and development that does not rely upon the quite shaky value of gold. The dragonmarked houses have been crucial for this, but this world can develop this quite easily.

"Third, there are no dragonshards here. Without them, entire branches of magical development are impossible, or at least simply to dangerous and difficult to do.

"Fourth, you had no great war. War stimulates innovation like no other form of stimulus. Many of the advances that separate my world from this one had been made to be used in war."

Umieri takes a breath then speaks further, "My world is not much different from yours. We just have a peculiar set of advantages."

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Starry Dragon Seynir

"True, people are largely the same everywhere. We may not have had a large war, but we sure have many small ones."

I wince, remembering what I was told about the raid that has claimed my parents' life.

"I don't understand why you are calling the value of gold 'shaky' - the prices certainly stayed fixed long enough for them to be used as a quantity measurement for spell components, but I must admit that I know little about economics."

"You are saying, however, that much of the arcane advancements in your world are based on 'Dragonshards'. I am guessing that you don't have any with you? That makes that particular knowledge largely useless, under the circumstances."

I glance around. The barkeep is certainly tardy with my order, and I am getting thirsty.

"I am somewhat confused, though. You are speaking about eldritch machines as of something that exists, yet you posit that the structure of your universe prevents their creation. How can that be?"

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The Starry Dragon Umieri

"Forgive me for being misleading. Eldritch machines cannot exist here. The planes here have a fixed 'orbit' I suppose you could call it. The planes of this universe do not approach or recede. Eldritch machines rely on the powers that become possible when a plane approaches Eberron. As for dragonshards, I do not have any, they are rare enough and so important that they get to be quite expensive. As I was on an expedition when I got forcibly removed, I did not carry any valuables with me, including dragonshards. Also, I study divine magic, and dragonshards are more useful to arcane magic users.

"Gold is fine for small purchases where the minute fluctuations of value have little effect. Now imagine that you were trying to by a castle. They cost around 1,000,000 gold pieces. Now imagine that the market suddenly got flooded with gold from various groups, from miners to adventurers returning from a dungeon, to wizards simply creating it. The value of gold will go down, and now your castle costs 1,100,000 gold pieces.

In Eberron, the dragonmarked houses regulate the flow of gold, and constructed a banking system to handle it. Aside from the benefits of having to carry a single letter of credit rather than a huge pile of gold, this creates stability, as the miners and adventurers deposit their gold and get letters of credit, which can gain insurance, and the wizards are forbidden from tampering with the market using transmutation, basically the economic system of Eberron encourages everyone with money to use letters of credit.

When everyone uses letters of credit, the standard of living increases, because the letters of credit are backed by a well-regulated system that gives them value. This means that even a lowly peasant can afford to purchase magic luxuries such as magebred animals and crops.

These purchases then put money in the hands of the artificers and wizards who make the magic items. With that money, they can obtain expensive spell components that allow the many magical marvels that reside in Eberron to exist, and therefore make the castle cheaper."

Edited by Emeralis00
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Starry Dragon Seynir

"What you are telling about does, indeed seem to be a better system than our. Unfortunately, it needs stability and some kind of centralized government to function.

Here, when one wants to have a castle, and have 100000 gold, it is often the case that rather than buying a castle, one spends 10000-20000 gold, hires a mercenary band, or forms his own band of adventures, and takes the castle in question.

Likewise, you know that adventures go to dragon's hoard like files to the honey. Unfortunately, the opposite is often true. Trouble goes to large concentration of gold like to nothing else. Orcs, barbarians, young dragons seeking to build a hoard. So, I've read that one kingdom not too far from here tried to institute a banking system like you describe. They've got banking houses, which they thought to be well protected. Within a year, a veritable horde of about 50 juvenile black dragons descended on the city. Whatever has riled them to attack at the same time is still unclear, but the results were. The town was razed, and afterwards the dragons turned to infighting. Most of the gold was ruined, the earth has absorbed so much acid that nothing grows there still (I've been to the ruins myself), and most of the dragons were dead. The banking system did not survive for much longer. Although the concept surely is fascinating."

I glance around again. The senile, narcoleptic barkeep seems to be nodding off at the bar. My stew and water are NOT forthcoming. I briefly consider casting a lesser acid orb to reinvigorate him, but decide against it for the moment, so not to interrupt conversation. It has been a while since I talked with somebody that was my intellectual equal... or conversed with somebody period.

"By the way, now that you are here, what are you planning to do?"

Edited by Satsuoni
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Starry dragon Umieri

"Rather than go into another lengthy discussion on dragons, I think I will answer your question.

Back home I worked as a bodyguard, more specifically, I worked with a group of bodyguards as primary support. I suppose that I should find someone to hire me, since there is no end to the amount of people planning to go to some sort of dungeon that opened up."

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Starry Dragon Seynir

"Indeed? I plan to go into that dungeon as well. My research indicates that it is some kind of extraplanar prison that has destabilized with time and randomly opens exits on different planes, or, possibly, universes. The value of such for my research is tremendous, not to mention the possible artifacts it may contain. Of course, going there alone is suicide, especially for a wizard, so I was planning to join some group of adventurers in need of spellcaster of moderate skills. If such a group were to contain a good cleric, all the better."

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Starry Dragon Umieri

" You are researching extraplanar travel? Perhaps I should travel with you. I recommend that we should find more companions, should you accept."

Umieri leans back, contemplating. Trans-universal? I might be able to make it back home. May the Sovereign Host guide my steps...and may the Traveler give a little push.

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Starry Dragon Seynir

"Yes, I do research extraplanar travel. As means to the end, mainly, but I have some knowledge. And you, I am guessing, want to return to Eberron. Perhaps we can aid each other, although I won't lie to you: while the dungeon in question probably has breaches on your home plane, and may contain artifacts that may aid you, it is supposed to extremely dangerous, and as a prison, it wasn't originally supposed to have means of egress. Extreme caution is advised. At the very least, we should travel with somebody proficient in detecting and removing traps. On that note, how long have you been in this city? I must confess I do not usually spend much time among people, so my knowledge of where one might find companions is somewhat lacking."

My stew and water finally arrives. I sniff at the water before taking a careful sip.

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Starry Dragon Umieri

"I had heard many variations of what the dungeon possibly holds and have come to the conclusion that there is no reason not to try. Truthfully, I am rather curious as to what would happen to my soul, should I die here. I have only been in this world for a few weeks, and this city for only a few hours. Standard expedition procedure from my world states that we need at least one main-line martial specialist, one defensive caster, one offensive caster, and a grease monkey, preferably more. Your guess is good as mine as to where we should look."

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Starry Dragon Seynir & Umieri

Amid your conversation, the two of you failed to notice as a man comes stumbling up to your table. Just as Umieri finishes his last sentence the man blurts out coarsely "Well, is that right? You gents headin' to the dungeon?"

The pungent reek of alcohol on his breath washes over you as he pulls out a chair and sets himself down.

"If that be the case, then have I the deal for you, mates!" gracelessly, he pulls open his unwashed tunic and pulls out a small, dirty piece of rolled parchment. Setting it on the table, he keeps his hand tightly curled around it.

"What I gots here happens to be a map of the whole bleedin' dungeon!" He grins a wolfish grin, "If you plan on headin' out there, you don't wanna leave without one o' these. This happens to be the only one in existence!"

Pulling the paper back towards him, the man puts a long, bony finger aside his hooked nose, "Now, obviously, bein' so rare and all, I can't let something like this go for cheap...."

Tongue lashing out across his dry, cracked lips, he watches hungrily for your reactions.

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Starry Dragon Umieri

What a load of dragon fodder.

Umieri rises out of his seat as if greeting the man, but subtly also preparing for any sudden attacks.

You can never be too sure around drunk people.

"Have a drink and a seat." Umieri indicates the second drink and a chair.

Hopefully, my new comrade won't do anything to hasty. You can never tell with wizards.

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Starry Dragon Seynir

I quickly consider my options, but apparently not quickly enough, as cleric invites the drunk to sit, indicating the mug of ale he was looking at with distrust all this time.

Wise decision, that

For a moment, I refrain from reacting, and just fix the drunk with unblinking stare. Inwardly, though, I am recalling how to cast "Summon undead", just in case.

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Starry Dragon Seynir & Umieri

With a child-like grin, the drunk snatches greedily at the proffered mug.

"Now that's the sort of hospitality I would expect from fine folks such as yerselves!" he exclaims happily before taking a deep drink.

Wiping his moistened mouth with the back of his hand, he lets out a long, relieved sigh.

"Now, if you wouldn't mind, my friend, I should like if we could get down to business," he begins motioning towards Umieri with the roll of parchment.

"As I was sayin', this map is quite rare. I was going to say I wouldn't be able to let it go for less than 150 gold, but for you, my new friend, i would be willing to let it go for....oh, let's say 100 gold." Setting back comfortably in the chair, he takes another swig from the mug.

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Starry Dragon Seynir

I access the situation.

Threat level: low, unless provoked.

Probability that he is speaking the truth: somewhere on the level of me accidentally summoning a lich from Celestial plane.

Probability that he just wants our money : High.

My companion seems to have the situation well in hand for the moment, however. Aware that diplomacy is not my strong suit, I resolve to wait and see what transpires. I relax slightly, and continue eating.

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Starry Dragon Umieri

"I am dreadfully sorry, but I had already purchased equipment earlier today, I simply no longer have that amount of money. Perhaps you would be willing to make a trade. I could offer a casting of a small cure in return for the map?"

Even if the map is fake, I still help someone with little loss to myself.

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Starry Dragon Umieri

"I am dreadfully sorry, but I had already purchased equipment earlier today, I simply no longer have that amount of money. Perhaps you would be willing to make a trade. I could offer a casting of a small cure in return for the map?"

Even if the map is fake, I still help someone with little loss to myself.

Starry Dragon Seynir & Umieri

A brief flash of irritation crosses the drunk's face. Pulling the map back towards him, he continues talking, in a noticeably more irritated tone.

"I'm sorry, friend, but I'm afraid I can't let this go for cheap." Pausing, he takes a drink from "his" mug, "You talk of healing, so you must be a cleric, eh right? Well, why don't you just visit a temple of whatever bloody god your worship, and take a small priest-loan or whatever it is you all do. I would think they would be interested in procuring a one of a kind relic such as this"

Glancing about the common room quickly, he slides his chair back a bit, as if anticipating standing in just a moment. He stares at Umieri, waiting for his response.

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Starry Dragon Seynir

While eating, I take my time to continue studying the drunk.

[to Eeron gal]Essentially, I want an estimate on his HD, and the position in respect to other patrons.

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Starry Dragon Seynir

While eating, I take my time to continue studying the drunk.

[to Eeron gal]Essentially, I want an estimate on his HD, and the position in respect to other patrons.

The man appears to be the usual tavern lout. He wears stinking garb that reeks of old food and beer, and his clothes are barely a step above what the common beggar would wear. He strikes you as the sort of man who likely spends everything he gets on drink, and likely the way he gets his coin is through depravity in the first place. In short, not a man to be trusted. The other patrons seem to generally ignore and avoid him just from what you've seen so far. The others avert their gaze when they catch him looking as if to avoid drawing suspicion.

(Just looking at him, a safe guess would be a 1 HD commoner. In short, extremely weak and not worth your time. He doesn't seem to have any particular friends among the crowd that you can tell)

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