Chapter One Log

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Message #1
Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 10:22:14 GMT
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10th Guardian
Mid-day, Wintersend
8:99 Blessed
Argold’s Haven, Gherlen’s Rest
Ferelden

A warm fire burns within a hearth that rests along the southern end of the wall, crackling lightly as it continues to lure cold and weary travelers to sit by it’s side. Tables and chairs are organized into rows around the room while a bar filled with drinks and spirits of all kinds invites one and all to sample it’s collection.

Despite the presence of a sign that reads, All Are Welcome, the racial divide remains apparent even here at Argold’s. Most of the time, the majority of the inn’s patrons were humans, dwarves too were also a common sight and it was not unusual for the two races to mingle and share a table. On the other than, the rare and tiny handful of Elven patrons kept to themselves mostly.

However, on this particular mid-day the atmosphere in the Inn was light and jolly. All fears and racial prejudices were cast aside for one simple purpose – the people of Gherlen’s Rest were celebrating the return of Argold’s son, Trayn, an Orlesian soldier who was honourably discharged from duty after losing his leg to Ferelden rebels.

Today, other than the pennants, hunting trophies and advertisements that decorate the dining room of Argold’s Haven, a large canvas that read “Welcome Home Trayn!” hangs from one corner of the tavern beam to another. While the bar and innkeep, Argold, served customers his finest brew, his wife Martha, busied herself in the kitchen, whipping up piping hot meals for empty and growling stomachs. Their waitresses served, entertained and laughed with their guests.

Between all the merry making and eating, a young red-head waitress manages to weave her way through the massive crowd and find her way to you. With a smile on her face she asks, “What can I get you? It’s on the house, Argold says.”

You have found your way to Gherlen’s Rest for personal reasons. You arrived here alone, or perhaps with companions, either with members from the adventuring party or with your own friends. When you arrived at Gherlen’s Rest, I leave up to you. It is now mid-day and you are at Argold’s wanting to get a meal. Here, you can mingle with the crowd, ask questions and meet new people etc.

OOC: I request all characters to remain in the inn though.

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Message #2
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 19:23:59 GMT
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“Wonderful. I’d like a mead — from South Reach if you have it — and….” The trail-worn young woman takes a longing whiff of the air. “And some of that beef stew, if my nose is right. If I’m wrong, it smells good enough that I don’t care what’s in it anyway. Thank you.”

She sits in a single chair pulled up next to the fire, stretching out her bare feet to warm them by the hearth stones while she oils a well-worn pair of boots. A lean mutt of a dog slumps against her discarded pack and keeps his head tucked under her chair, glancing furtively at some of the other patrons.

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Message #3
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 20:35:08 GMT
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The dwarf Gimshar Farhig stepped into Argold’s Haven just steps ahead of her companion, Gilraen the dalish elf. Though her stomach was in rebellion against her for want of a meal, she spent several long moments looking around the establishment and especially with curiosity at the several signs decorating the place which were apparently welcoming home somebody called ‘Trayn’.

With an outward shrug at the display, and an inward smirk to herself on how silly it all looked, she stepped forward to find an empty table to sit at and with a notable lack of grace on her part, sat down just as the red-headed waitress approached. “On the house?” she says in surprise, almost croaking out the words, which betrayed just how parched she was “I like this place already. I’ll take whatever your coldest and strongest brew is, and your best stew, if you please.” she says with a nod as she waits for her elven companion to step into the tavern.

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Message #4
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 20:39:46 GMT
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Weary from his aimless trip, Royce enters the tavern looking for a place to stop and eat. Royce sits down at a table and waves over his apostate aquaintance. He looks around the room nervously, hoping his unusual robes won’t draw the attention of any patrons. He doesn’t relish the prospect of explaining his background again to another group of suspicious farmers.

“Looks like they’re having a party. Good. Maybe they’ll be too busy to ask me whether I talk to demons,” Royce muses, as much to himself as to the apostate Nikolas.

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Message #5
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 22:17:21 GMT
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Gilraen entered the tavern close behind his dwarven acquaintance. He was well aware that they must make an odd looking duo, and also knew some of the attention they may attract may be unwanted. With his elven grace, he sidled quickly to Grimshar’s table.
The red-haired waitress raised an eye-brow, but being the professional that she was, did her duty and said nothing.
“I’ll have whatever she’s having,” he said brightly, then leaned back on his chair and glanced about the smoky room.
His keen elven eyes noticed two robed figures together, and he turned to his dwarven companion.
“Now that’s something you don’t see every day,”he said, cocking his head toward the two.

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Message #6
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 22:40:35 GMT
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The woman at the fireside watches the steady stream of newcomers with moderate interest, checking for a face she recognizes. Seeing none, her gaze lingers on the familiar robes of a Mage of the Circle with a visible curiosity.

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Message #7
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 23:00:28 GMT
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Gimshar follows Gilraen’s gesture and sees the two humans sitting together. Looking back to her dalish companion she shrugs “Maybe I’m not seeing what you are? Humans all look alike to me.” she says with a wry smile crossing her face “Though the robes do help them to stand out a bit from the crowd.”

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Message #8
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 23:47:19 GMT
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Royce sees a few other patrons leering at him. He wishes, not for the first time, that he could switch his Circle Robes for traveler’s garb without risking a run in with Templars.

“Oh well. Here we go again,” he mutters.

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Message #9
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Nikolas Delantura
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 03:08:50 GMT
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Nik also noticed the attention of the other’s that had been directed towards the two of them.

“I’m sure it won’t be that bad. Well, it’s easier for me than it is for you. You’re the one from the circle after all.”

Nik called the waitress over.

“Give us whatever your strongest alcohol is.” He continued once she had taken the order and left to get it. “Just drink and forget about it. I can handle anything if it comes up. Maybe even a drunk circle mage can handle a simple conversation from travelers if anything is said.”

Nikolas set his backpack in his lap and rummaged through it. He pulled out his locket and set the backpack aside. He was actually nervous about the whole situation, but did not want to show it. He flipped the locket to where it was open and closed numerous times. Its how he would show if he were nervous about something.

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Message #10
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 03:20:08 GMT
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Over the top of his tankard, Gilraen notices the mages’ discomfort. “Gimshar, I’m going to introduce myself to those mages. I hate to see people judged by others without knowing them.” The elf had seen and felt the crowd’s negative attitude, and, puling his hood over his head, stood to make his way to the two men.

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Message #11
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 03:24:58 GMT
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The waitress brings the mages their drinks. Royce takes a healthy swig from his mug and shuddered. He had been too young to drink when he was taken from his home, and alcohol was not commonly available to Circle mages. This trip had provided his first taste of the stuff, and he was still getting used to it.

“That’s easy advice for you to give. You’re not the one they’re staring at. My obvious status actually makes your situation much easier to hide, it seems.”

He takes another deep drink.

“I need to find a way to get this stuff back in the tower.”

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Message #12
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 03:25:40 GMT
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“What? At least wait until we get our drinks!” says Gimshar with a hint of annoyance. Having just finally sat down, she did not want to get up again, even if it was just a short walk over to the mages’ table. Instead she glowers at them and Gilraen until she gets her drink.

Hopefully, if the brew had any life in it at all it would return sensation to her legs and she can see what trouble her new dalish friend was stirring up.

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Message #13
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 03:39:11 GMT
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The Dalish laughed lightly. “Of course, Gimshar! But if I were you..” his expression suddenly darkening, “I’d finish off that drink and get ready for some interesting interaction.”The crowd was getting drunker, and, unfortunately braver. Gilraen worried that the situation could worsen, and inwardly shook his head. “I’ll sure have something to write about tonight.”

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Message #14
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 04:15:41 GMT
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The crowd seemed to be having a good time celebrating the return of.. who again, Royce wondered? Several other odd looking travelers had taken notice of him, including the unlikely combination of a dwarf and an elf, but overall, the crowd seemed happy to enjoy its celebration. That combined with the alcohol began to calm his nerves. As the elf walked over to his table, his nerves came back.

“Even if he means no harm, he’s just going to call more attention to us,” Royce thinks. “An elf and a Circle Mage together is not something most people miss.”

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Message #15
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Nikolas Delantura
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 04:16:57 GMT
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Nik shrugged at Royce’s response. He slipped the locket on around his neck and also took a swig of his drink.

“Look sharp though, Royce. That elf over there wasn’t sitting down for long and almost immediately stood up as he started to look at us. I may just be as paranoid as you about these things of course.”

Nik took a small sip of his drink again and kept the elf in his peripheral vision.

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Message #16
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 06:36:40 GMT
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The woman by the hearth finishes oiling her other boot, looking to the lone dwarven woman at the nearby table.

“Even if they have to make some sacrifices to get here, it’s good to see some Fereldan soldiers finally coming home,” she comments idly. Her tone has a faint bitterness to it, and her expression is unreadable as she watches the revelry.

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Message #17
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 08:34:39 GMT
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The waitress promptly returns with everyone’s orders.

The curious pairing of Gimshar and Gilraen was met with looks of bewilderment by those who noticed upon entry to the inn. One patron in particular chortled with glee and nudge his friends, pointing at the duo with a pudgy finger, “That’s a sight you don’t see everyday!”

Then, one of their dwarven compatriots was quick to pick up on the fact that Gimshar was with an elf and called out to her, “What’s a fine lady like you doing with a pointy ear?”

At the other side of the tavern, Nikolas and Royce was trying their best to remain inconspicuous but Royce’s robes just screamed Look at me! the moment he entered. While it was not entirely strange to see an mage from the Circle walk through Gherlen’s, it was just the fact that mages remained a curiosity to some and an object of fear to others. However, most of the patrons made no move to hackle Royce about it and were mostly glad to keep their attention on Argold and his son who had just entered the tavern on a wooden wheelchair.

There was a resounding applause the moment Trayn wheeled himself into the humble inn of his father’s, a bright smile on his face despite the obvious lack of an appendage. “My son Trayn, war hero!” Argold proclaimed loudly and the entire tavern erupted into a volley of hoots and cat calls.

A patron who was sitting near Helena overheard her quip to Gimshar and chuckled at her, pointing at the handicap boy, “He’s an Orlesian, young lady. Well, the lot of them here are. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Harrinton offspring were born on Ferelden soil, which technically makes them Ferelden. But who they remain loyal to? Who’s to know, eh?”

Leaning in closer to Helena, the man drops his voice to a whisper and says, “But I’d put my bet on the fact that they are nothing but Orlesian dogs.” The disheveled looking man straightened in his seat and shrugged helplessly at Helena before raising his own mug of free ale in a toast, “Generous dogs nevertheless.” he laughs and takes a big gulp.

Everyone can choose to make a Perception(Searching) roll. The level of difficulty will depend on whether you’re sitting still, moving around alot or distracted by conversation. Post your result and I’ll resolve it.

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Message #18
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 15:04:12 GMT
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Gimshar had shaken her head at Gilraen at his warning of ‘interesting interaction’, but it seemed that he possibly might have been onto something, especially since they seemed to be part of the attraction now this evening. She simply nodded at the woman’s comment on Fereldan soldiers and decides to restrain herself from answering her fellow dwarf’s question as to why she was traveling with an elf. Fortunately, the timely arrival of her order gives her perfect reason not to speak for the moment.

It also provides her good opportunity to take another look around the room from where she was seated.

10:56, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 12 using 3d6 with rolls of 4,2,6. Perception (Searching).

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Message #19
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 16:00:50 GMT
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“Yeah, I noticed him too,” Royce responded to Nikolas.

The mage quickly scanned the room from his seat, checking to see if anyone else had taken notice or was moving towards them. Luckily the arrival of the guest of honor seemed much more interesting to the patrons than a mage.

11:00, Today: Royce rolled 9 using 3d6 with rolls of 2,1,6. Perception (Searching).

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Message #20
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 20:08:47 GMT
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In reply to Gimshar Farhig (msg #18):

Gilraen heard the derogatory comment to Gimshar, but chose to ignore it. However, since some attention had transferred itself to he and the dwarf, the archer casually sat back down, shrugged his hood about his head, and concentrated on his brew. His eyes never stopped moving, though, and rested for a moment on the woman by the fire who had spoken with Gimshar.
13:02, Today: Gilraen rolled 12 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 6,3,2. Perception.

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Message #21
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Thur, 29 Jul 2010 23:10:54 GMT
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“They’re from Orlais?” she asks incredulously, keeping her voice low. This was further west than she’d been in a long time, but it only made sense that Orlesian commoners were finally coming over… ready to colonize at long last after seventy years of oppression. Maker, deliver us. Better yet, deliver them.

When the barmaid brings her food and drink, she accepts with a quiet “Thank you,” then drains the mead in two long swigs. She catches Gilraen’s gaze for a moment before continuing to look around the room, carefully taking in her surroundings.

08:21, Today: Helena of Redcliffe rolled 13 using 3d6+2. Perception (Searching).

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Message #22
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Nikolas Delantura
Fri, 30 Jul 2010 08:08:31 GMT
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When Gilraen resumed his sitting position, Nikolas relaxed as well. He wasn’t particularly sure what an elf would want with them, but he didn’t want to draw anymore attention than they already did with Royce’s clothing as he was keen on keeping to himself.

After the waitress laid out their drinks, Nikolas was glad to finally have a nice drink and watch the crowd.

15:53, Today: The Game Master, on behalf of Nikolas Delantura, rolled 11 using 3d6 with rolls of 3,5,3. Perception.

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Message #23
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Fri, 30 Jul 2010 12:28:08 GMT
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“Thank you friends, brothers and sisters for joining us on this occasion. For us small and simple folk, it is all and well when one of us returns to us safe and sound in the midst of such tragedy.” Argold said as he began a speech that drew all eyes onto him and his son, Trayn, who was seated beside the innkeep.

Royce and Nikolas who were seated quietly at their table watched the crowd nod and agree with the innkeep and made a mental note of the fact that everyone seemed to be engrossed with Argold’s speech.

“I know that many of us come from far and wide, and there are many Ferelden travelers here today, but let the war remain at the gates of Gherlen this day. We are all but pawns in a bigger picture, let the rulers wage their petty games and leave our sons, brothers and fathers out of it. Martha and I…,” Argold continue, turning to look at his wife whose eyes were filling with tears, “have already lost one son and it is through the Maker’s grace that Trayn has returned to us. Alive. And that’s all that matters…”

Gilraen and Gimshar who were seated Helena, near the warm fireplace were in a good position to witness the shadows of the crowd cast against the walls. And it was then that they noticed that there was one particular shadow that seemed to be moving against the crowd and skulking at the back…

“Thank you father,” Trayn said, looking slightly embarrassed by all the attention he was getting.“I may have lost my leg fighting the war, and to Ferelden rebels no less. But, I grew up here in this land and my father taught me about respect. While I serve the Empire and the Emperor, my respect for the Fereldens have not diminished. I…I am just glad I’m alive.”

Helena, who had been keeping her eyes on the crowd the moment she entered the inn spotted the shadowed figure easily. It stood out for her like a sorethumb and her senses were piqued. The figure was cloaked and hooded in a dark velvet blue. It seemed to be looking over his or her shoulder frequently as it tried to find a spot to blend in with the rest of the customers.

Helena’s eyes continued following the figure as it moved through the crowd before it finally settled down between two bulky patrons. Then, the figure turned and for a brief moment, Helena caught the person’s face. It was a woman with eyes the colour of emeralds.

Nodding with approval, Argold clapped his son warmly on the shoulder and then raised a mug and proclaimed, “To Trayn! And to PEACE!”

“TO PEACE!!” came the resounding cry of a tavern toast.

Suddenly, the door to the tavern burst open and a young teenage boy rushed in breathlessly. He pushed his way to the front of the crowd towards Argold, all the while calling out, “Grandpa! Grandpa!”

When he finally reached the front, he hugged his knees and panted, “T…Tem..Templars!”

The boy pointed a weak finger at the frontdoor and breathed, “They’re here… They’re.. They’re looking for you. They’re coming.”

By this time, it would appear that the woman also was conscious of the fact that she had been spotted for she looked up and immediately met Helena’s gaze. But it was only at the mention of the word, Templars that their eyes locked.

Should you decide to do or say anything, you have only 5 seconds before the Templars arrive at the inn. Roll a skill if you need to and state in your post what you hope to acheive and I’ll resolve it in the next post.

Remember to check Record Each Die when using the Dice Roller.

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Message #24
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Fri, 30 Jul 2010 13:08:15 GMT
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Helena gives a subtle signal with her eyes and a sideways nod, indicating that the woman should find a place to hide. Calmly, she leans down to pat the dog under the chair, then stands and makes her way toward the door, the mutt following on her heels. “There’s nothing to worry about, everyone. This is just a welcome home party.” She gives a knowing glance to those nearby (as if to add “Keep your mouths shut”), then takes a bite of her stew and blanks her expression, even while the thoughts run rampant in her mind.

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Message #25
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Fri, 30 Jul 2010 14:10:18 GMT
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“Templars? In this town? What on earth would they want here?” Royce ponders to himself. His left hand grabs hold of the golden sword symbol on his necklace, while his right hand grips his staff hard.

“Well, if they question me, I’ve got the robes and my Ring of Study. I’ll draw attention away from Nikolas if I have to. They can’t do anything to me,” he thinks.

Minor Action: Ready Quarterstaff

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Message #26
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Fri, 30 Jul 2010 18:17:45 GMT
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Gilraen frowned, and tried to remember what he had been told about templars. “Ah yes,” he thought, “they hunt apostates. This should be interesting.” He pulled his hood deeper about his face, and loosened his shortswords in their sheaths.

Minor action; Ready short swords

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Message #27
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Fri, 30 Jul 2010 18:33:05 GMT
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Though it seemed there was sudden fear in the air at the word templars, Gimshar grabbed her flute from her pocket and made her way to the top of the table, calling out “Yes! A song for Trayn! And to peace! Stand my friends, and let us dance!”

Though Gimshar knew her abilities with the flute were nowhere near perfect, there were simple enough tunes she could play, and popular ones at that. Along with the tapping of her foot on the table – and hopefully the movement of other patrons – there would soon be a suitable enough distraction as to help Argold either make an escape or hide from whatever the templars were seeking.

14:26, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 14 using 3d6+3 with rolls of 5,2,4. flute playing / distraction / performance.

[Private to The Game Master: I am assuming this action would be based on the communication ability as it would be ‘performance’.]

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Message #28
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Fri, 30 Jul 2010 20:08:05 GMT
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Gilraen knew instinctively what Gimshar was attempting to do, and started whooping and clapping his hands to the music. He looked at the woman by the fire next to them, and nodded at her with a wide smile.
“Care to join us, fellow traveller?”

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Message #29
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Nikolas Delantura
Sat, 31 Jul 2010 21:20:17 GMT
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Nikolas broke into a cold sweat at the mention of the templars. If he were only wearing his traveler’s garb it probably wouldn’t have been much of a problem.

“Royce, what am I going to do…?”

Nik thought to himself very quickly that the music might be a well enough distraction so that the templars wouldn’t have any suspicions of his being an apostate.

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Message #30
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 12:35:07 GMT
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The doors to the tavern burst open and in stepped three Templars. Two were tall and bulky and were covered from head to toe with their well polished silver full helms and armours and distinguished purple skirting. But one of them was wearing the formal Templar regalia and no helm. That Templar had sandy brown hair and a well chisled face with dark brown eyes.

Thankfully, Gimshar’s efforts to bring back the gaiety to the crowd was a success and the crowd, together with encouragement from Gilraen was clapping to the cheerful beat of Gimshar’s flute, laughing and singing merrily. It would seem most of the crowd didn’t even flinch at the entrance of the Chantry’s most distinguished warriors.

One of the Templars, turned his head slightly to look at Helena who was eating her stew placidly near the entrance, through the slits of his full-helm. It was uncertain what expression or thoughts the warrior might have had, but it was safe to say he didn’t look particularly interested in the Redcliff warrior for he and his group passed her wordlessly and moved on deeper into the inn.

They looked up at the dancing surface dwarf and appraised the cheery crowd but made no comment. Soon, the trio found their way to the front of the tavern where Argold, his son, wife and grandson had been. Then, Argold and one of the full-helmed Templars began to converse…

A moment passed and Argold seemed increasingly agitated by the conversation, his son tried to get a word in but was asked to keep silent by one of the silent Templars who clamped a hand down on the young man’s shoulder. Argold started shaking his head and waving his hands at the Templar as if trying to make a point and his eyes spoke of anger. The sandy haired Templar didn’t seem to be particularly interested in the conversation between Argold and his colleague. Instead, his eyes was ever watching the crowd, searching for something…

Then, his eyes flicked over and came to rest on Royce and Nikolas. A moment of silence passed between the duo and the templar as they maintained eye contact, then the warrior started making his way towards them…

To overhear Argold & the Templar’s conversation, roll a Perception (Hearing). To search the crowd for something suspicous, roll a Perception (Searching). If you want to roll any other skill, e.g. if you want to Hide from the Templars, create a Disguise you can do so. Remember to indicate in your post what you hope to acheive and I’ll resolve it.

Alternatively, you can also do anything that does not require rolls. E.g. Talk to the Templars. Or Argold and gang

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Message #31
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 13:00:56 GMT
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Helena doesn’t bother with secrecy, following the pair of Templars toward Argold.

“Something we can do to be of service, sers?” she asks of the sandy-haired fellow, taking another bite of her stew and aiming to seem more like an overly-helpful yokel than anything else.

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Message #32
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 13:16:47 GMT
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The sandy haired Templar stops in his tracks at Helena’s question. He looks at her, then at Royce and Nikolas, then back at Helena.

“Pardon me, miss,” He says, dipping his head in a polite greeting, “I was about to speak to that Circle mage over there….” He turns and points at Royce as he continues to make his way over to the wizards…“Excuse me.”

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Message #33
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 14:10:33 GMT
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As his eyes locked with the Templar’s, Royce felt as though his heart stopped beating.

“They couldn’t possibly know that I haven’t gone home, could they? Do they suspect Nikolas?” he thought.

He only had a moment before the Templar arrived at the table, and neither hiding nor escape seemed to be an option.

“Looks like I’ll have to bluff my way out.”

Royce stood from the table, brandishing his staff and making himself as tall as he possibly could. He took several confident steps toward the Templar, and raised an eyebrow.

“What business have you here, Templar?” Royce said in his deepest voice.

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Message #34
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 14:55:43 GMT
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“Greetings mage,” the Templar greets. He looks around their surrounding. He pauses for a moment, considering what to say to Royce, but he seems pretty convinced that the crowd was more interested in the singing and dancing encouraged by Gimshar and replies quite openly, “My business is with the Chantry. And as a Circle Mage, I’m sure you know the ways of the Chantry. We are on the hunt.”

“Apostates,” He intones, his eyes searching Royce’s. “To be more precise, we are searching for one particular apostate. Do you know anything about that?”

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Message #35
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 15:31:08 GMT
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Gimshar continues playing the flute in encouraging the crowd to relax and celebrate , but from her vantage point on the table, tries to look around to see if anybody is acting suspiciously or sticking out from the rest of the crowd.

11:27, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 12 using 3d6. Perception (Searching).
You rolled 12 using 3d6 ((3,4,5)).

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Message #36
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 15:59:15 GMT
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Standing on top of the table, Gimshar is able to see the faces the patrons surrounding her table clearly. However, due to her height, she can only see pass some of the shorter patrons while the taller ones still obscured her vision.

But between the gaps in the crowd, Gimshar can see the Templars talking to Argold & his family, and the sandy-haired Templar speaking with Royce and nearby was Nikolas and Helena.

But what struck her as out of the ordinary was the crown of a dark velvet blue hood that bobbed in and out of her vision. Whenever Gimshar caught sight of it, she was able to deduce that the wearer of the hood was trying to weave between the crowd away from the Templars and was moving steadily towards the doorway near the back of the inn.

===============
Message #37
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 18:25:21 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gilraen, still clapping, fo1lowed his companion’s gaze.

Today: Gilraen rolled 16 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 6,6,3. Perception (Searching).

===============
Message #38
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 23:06:11 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gimshar wants to play it safe as she knows not how many of the tavern’s patrons are gazing in her direction. As soon as she can, she’ll finish her tune, accept the applause of the crowd, showboat a few times by bowing and then make her way off the table.

With a quick nod to Gilraen (or perhaps a kick, if he isn’t paying attention) she’ll try to then start weaving through the crowd herself towards the back of the inn.

But if that is impossible and she has by her playing made herself a center of attention, then she’ll pause in her playing only long enough to whisper to Gilraen what she has seen and then she will continue to play her flute for the crowd’s enjoyment, and more importantly, her own.

===============
Message #39
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Mon, 02 Aug 2010 00:02:02 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce’s mind races as the Templar mentions the hunt, fearing that they may have discovered Nikolas after all. He struggles to keep his voice even and reply to the Templar with authority, hopefully to discover that they are after a different apostate, and if not, to buy time for Nik to escape.

“An apostate? Very troubling. I have only just arrived here. Perhaps if you described the individual to me in greater detail I could help,” Royce says.

===============
Message #40
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Mon, 02 Aug 2010 09:14:50 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Like Gimshar, Gilraen also spotted the same hooded fellow. But he managed to catch her face while she was weaving through the crowd and saw that she was a pretty young thing with a small oval face and bright emerald green eyes that was partially obscured her dark bangs.

Her movements spoke of urgency and fear but the rowdiness that Gimshar’s song had instilled in the crowd had made it difficult for her to find a clear way out.

“Yes.. troubling,” The templar repeated after Royce carefully. “Well, it’s a woman we’re looking for. We’ve been tracking her for the past 5 days. Short, dark hair, green eyes.”

The Templar then set his eyes on Nikolas who was seated next to Royce, “And what about you sir? Heard anything about runaway mages or seen anything suspicious?” Turning to look at Helena, who had been following the Templar earlier, the sandy-haired warrior directed his question to her too, “What about you miss? Seen anyone of that description?”

At that exact same moment, Gimshar ended her song and the crowd gave her a rousing applause. ENCORE! ENCORE!" they cried. “Who would have thought the dwarves were any good with music?” they chuckled and laughed. Then the same dwarf who spoke to her earlier yelled out to Gimshar, “A man is always looking for a good woman who can sing and drink!”

The two Templars who had been conversing with Argold earlier broke their conversation with the innkeep. One of them was making his way to the main door while the other started making his way through the crowd and inadvertently, narrowing the distance between him and the escaping woman…

Gimshar, you’re still the centre of attention. Please state your next move, and also Gilraen.

===============
Message #41
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Mon, 02 Aug 2010 12:28:42 GMT
-————————————————————————————
“Hmm,” Helena starts, brow furrowing in thought. “Was she an elf? That does sound a bit like the elf we saw on the road from West Hills yesterday. Didn’t trade words with her; she just went on her way.”

===============
Message #42
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Mon, 02 Aug 2010 13:24:41 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gimshar can’t help but beam at the crowd’s attention to her, but she also knew that she would have to play on and trust to Gilraen or others if they sought to help whoever that stranger with the blue hood was. There was just no way she could stop her playing not and be able to blend through the crowd with ease.

She smiles as she looks over the faces of the crowd, knowing that she does have one power at her disposal, and that is to play a sad, slow song that both man and woman would give pause to. Holding up her hands momentarily to the crowd, she calls out to them, her eyes finally resting on Argold and Trayn. “Friends! We celebrate for peace and for Trayn’s return here this evening, but we must always remember those who have fallen. They are our brothers and sisters, mothers and our fathers. Neighbors and our friends… We remember them all and honor their sacrifice for us.”

The dwarf dips her head – hopefully striking a dramatic moment of silence and remembrance along with the rest of the crowd, before slowly raising her flute to her lips, allowing the first melancholy chords to flow forth…

ooc: sorry, keep on forgetting until after the fact to mark down ‘record each die’, (not sure if another performance roll was needed or not though):

09:11, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 19 using 3d6+3. performance.
You rolled 19 using 3d6+3 ((6,6,4)).

===============
Message #43
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Mon, 02 Aug 2010 18:06:56 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gilraen sees his opportunity, and, nodding at his companion, tries to reach the fleeing woman. With his elven grace, he manages to slip through the crowd, closing the distance between he and his prey. He gets close enough to reach for her shoulder.

===============
Message #44
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Mon, 02 Aug 2010 19:29:35 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce is too distracted by the Templar to pay much heed to the music or the crowd. He continues to try to hold the attention of the Templar.

“I have seen many women in my travels who might have fit that description. I cannot say with any certainty which of them might have been an apostate. Unless you have any other information that would narrow the field, I believe you had best continue your search elsewhere,” he says to the Templar, as firmly as he can.

===============
Message #45
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Thur, 05 Aug 2010 08:53:41 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gimshar easily swayed the crowd into a mood of solemnity with her next number. The tune lulling the moments of gaiety into moments of deep reflection. This time around, her music attracted more of the crowd and almost everyone’s eyes, including Argold and Trayn were on her. Martha, Argold’s wife dabbed her eyes as tears started to flow.

The crowd stopped laughing and they no longer swigged beer and ale but rather they swayed to the music, some even bowing their heads in reverential silence. This made it easy for Gilraen to reach the fleeing woman faster and when he touched her shoulder, she gasped audibly as she spun to look at him. Even though she noticed that Gilraen wasn’t wearing a Templar suit, he was an elf and she didn’t know if she could trust him not to give her away!

Just a short distance away, the Templar in the full-helm was searching the crowd, moving ever close to the pair. While the other Templar was no longer in the inn.

Meanwhile, Royce, Nikolas and Helena were busy distracting the sandy haired templar with conversation. The Templar shook his head at Helena, saying, “Unfortunately no. The apostate is reported to be a human. But it is good to have responsible and perceptive citizens who are alert and aware of those they meet. And I thank you for your cooperation.”

And before Nikolas could reply the Templar, Royce interrupted. Pondering a moment at Royce’s firm attempt to convince them to conduct their search elsewhere, the Templar replied, “That’s most unfortunate on our part… Thankfully, any other information we have to narrow the field lies in the apostate’s phylactery. And our search brings us to this location.”

Narrowing his eyes at Royce, the templar decided to ask, “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to direct our search elsewhere?”

I’d like to keep the tension up, things are going to be moving quickly at this point as many things are happening at once.

Gimshar – You managed to command almost everyone’s attention in the inn.

Gilraen – you have less than 1 minute to convince the girl not to run from you (and possibly causing a scene). Make a Communication Roll (Deception/Persuasion). Unless you have something else in mind.

Royce – You need to make a Communication Roll (Deception) versus the Templar’s Communication (Investigation) check. I hope you roll high….

You rolled 18 using 3d6+2 ((6,6,4)). Templar (Investigation)

===============
Message #46
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Thur, 05 Aug 2010 11:41:53 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Helena replies with a tight-lipped frown and a shake of her head. “Sorry, then, ser. Wish I could help. I’ll keep an eye out, though; thanks for the warning.”

You should know better, Helena. You were never any good at acting stupid.

She meanders back through the crowd toward the door, trying not to pay too much attention to Gimshar’s song but finding herself wrapped up in it all the same. She props open the inn door, fishing some of the meaty morsels out of her bowl as she looks out on the small town in quiet reflection.

===============
Message #47
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Thur, 05 Aug 2010 15:44:01 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce tries his best to keep his cool under the Templar’s gaze, but he feels a mixture of fear for Nikolas and anger at the inquisitive Templar rising in his throat. He was never a good liar, perhaps because of his childhood spent in the Chantry, so instead he tries a bit of omission and misdirection to change the subject.

“I would direct you elsewhere as I know little about the apostate you search for,” Royce says, telling a half-truth. “What more can I tell you?”

“You said the apostate has a phylactery? Then she was accepted into the Circle before she tried to escape?”

10:34, Today: Royce rolled 12 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 4,4,3. Communication (Deception).

===============
Message #48
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Thur, 05 Aug 2010 15:48:12 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gimshar simply continues to play her song and will lengthen it out as needed for Gilraen’s sake in his dealings with the blue hooded person until coming to a respectful close.

===============
Message #49
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Thur, 05 Aug 2010 16:43:13 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Propping open the inn door, Helena is given a bird’s eye view of the comings and goings about Gherlen’s Rest. She spotted the Templar, who had previously been one of the two speaking to Argold walking away from the inn, and towards a group waiting at the centre of the village.

Helena continued to observe the scene and saw that the Templar seemed to be reporting to a blond haired individual who was sitting on horseback. That individual didn’t wear any of the Templar regalia but was decked in full plate mail. Flanking the latter was a woman dressed in the distinctive robes of the Chantry and a man who looked like a soldier or bodyguard.

The villagers who were out and about looked on warily at the Templar’s party even as they went about their business.

  • * * * *

Inside the Inn, Royce’s attempt to change the subject was futile as the Templar seemed to be highly interested in Royce’s affairs now. “Yes, she was an apprentice… just like you, sir. As such, you know what happens to mages who try to escape. Which leads me to my next question, may I see your permission slip?”

===============
Message #50
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Thur, 05 Aug 2010 17:01:33 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce bristles at the Templar’s suggestion. He is becoming visibly angry now, his face turning red and his voice growing louder.

“I am a Mage of the Circle. I am outside the Circle on business with permission from the First Enchanter. When he hears of your treatment of me, he will not be pleased, Templar,” Royce bluffs.

He produces a slip from his robes and hands it to the Templar. hoping that the Templar will be too distracted by his display or the search for the apostate to question him further. His mind is racing with defensive spells now. He takes a step backwards from the Templar to put some distance between them.

===============
Message #51
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Thur, 05 Aug 2010 18:15:48 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gilraen gazed into the woman’s eyes, and put a finger to his lips. He whispered sharply, “If you want to live, you will follow me, apostate,” and inwardly smiled at the girl’s reaction to the word apostate. .
11:17, Today: Gilraen rolled 14 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 6,4,3. Communication Roll.

===============
Message #52
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Fri, 06 Aug 2010 00:25:39 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Feigning a sudden excitement, Helena sets her mostly-empty bowl on the nearest table, shoulders her pack, and trots down the hill with Gram at her heels, waving good-naturedly to the unknown man on horseback.

===============
Message #53
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Fri, 06 Aug 2010 02:57:37 GMT
-————————————————————————————
“I hardly think the First Enchanter will be too concerned with my treatment of you, mage. I am only doing what my duty requires me to do. Nothing personal,” The Templar replied nonchalantly as he took the piece of parchment from Royce, “Besides, there are other things of graver concern the First Enchanter needs to look into.”

The woman gasped once more when Gilraen identified her as an apostate, "How did y— but she didn’t get to finish because Gilraen was already pulling her along presumably to safety.

  • * * * * *

Meanwhile, the blonde haired fellow on horseback caught Helena’s wave and a look of incredulity washed over his youthful features. Helena noted that he wore a tabard over his armour and it bore the crest of Orlais. He and the full-helmed Templar stopped conversing, both turning their attention to Helena. Then, the young knight asked, his voice thick with an Orlesian accent, “What can I do for you, commoner?”

  • * * * * *

Back inside the inn, the Templar frowns as he reads the neatly printed writing of First Enchanter Kilthire, “It says here you are visiting your home, mage? But you seem to be traveling in the wrong direction, how did th—?”

HALT! APOSTATE! BY ORDER OF THE CHANTRY, SURRENDER!” a booming voice interrupted. It was from the other Templar who had been searching the crowd. He has spotted Gilraen & the apostate!

The crowd gasped at the sudden break of mournful silence created by Gimshar’s flute music. Immediately, the sandy-haired Templar spun on his heels and saw his compatriot moving purposefully towards the apostate which had been the subject of their mission.

Turning back to Royce, he said quickly, “I’ll speak with you when this is over, mage.” and he started weaving through the crowd, shoving away patrons who were blocking his way in an effort to reach the apostate.

The woman cried out in fear as she gripped Gilraen’s arm tightly, “They’ve spotted me!”

LEGENDSDOTS

1 square = 3 feet = 1 yard = 90 cm = 0.9 metres = 36 inches
Templars
Royce
Nikolas
Gimshar
Gilraen
Apostate

The crowd is in a panic now, alot of people blocking each other’s way. People in the inn, time to think fast, act fast.

I need everyone to indicate clearly what you plan to do and the reason behind it. That way I can move the game along faster if it’s a feasible thing to do.

Also, roll only if you think it’s necessary to use the dice to determine what happens next. Remember, all actions have consequences, big or small, good or bad.

===============
Message #54
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Fri, 06 Aug 2010 03:22:53 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gilraen swiftly over-turned a near-by table, hopefully slowing down the templars. His eyes frantically searched for exits. The fear evident in the mage’s eyes touched him deeply.
“Don’t worry, m’lady. I will not let them take you. At least not without a fight!”

Waiting for GM message to do my next action

===============
Message #55
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Fri, 06 Aug 2010 03:53:44 GMT
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Gimshar looks up with a start at the templar’s booming voice and quickly pockets her flute, and with a quick jump off her perch of a table, she too begins pushing her way through the crowd to get towards where Gilraen, the woman, and the templars were, only as she moves she loudly calls out “EVERYBODY MOVE!” in the toughest, most authoritative voice she can muster. If the templars can exdude authority, then so can I, blast it! she thinks to herself

As she was moving, Gimshar was racking her brains as quickly as she could to come up with a plan. Unfortunately, the best she can come up with is to “accidentally” knock another patron over onto the templars nearest to Gilraen. And should that failing that, the only other thing she could do is get in the way of those men and feign outrage that they dared interrupt the solemnity of her song, and trusting to her inherent stubbornness and persuasive nature that she could convince them that she has been personally insulted by them because of it. Really, it didn’t matter whether they believed her or not so long as she could buy her traveling companion a few choice moments to make a quick escape.

At least, she hoped he would try to escape with the blue hooded woman rather then try to fight the templars. She could not tell what his elven mind would decide to do. It almost made him worse then a human. At least they could be somewhat predicable.

07:25, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 9 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 3,3,2. Strength (Might).

===============
Message #56
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Fri, 06 Aug 2010 07:41:02 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Every fiber of his being told Royce that he should run for the front door and get out of town while the Templars were distracted, but a nagging in the back of his mind was stopping him. The Templar had said the apostate was once a Circle Mage, maybe even someone Royce knew. He felt compelled to help the mage, apostate or not. He also needed to find a way to get his slip back from the sandy haired Templar. He couldn’t afford to have the inquisitive Templar holding his personal information.

Royce began muttering a spell under his breath. This spell had no flashy components, just a wave of force that would knock some patrons and the Templars off their feet, and if he was lucky stun them for a few moments. The crowds would assume that its effects were from their jostling, and if the Templars could detect that it was indeed a spell, they would likely suspect the apostate, since they would have no way to spot his casting in the crowd. With any luck it would give the apostate just enough time to escape. In the meantime, he would make his way to the sandy-haired Templar and take his slip back from the man’s body while helping him regain his feet.

Royce finishes preparing the spell. He silently apologizes to the innocents he is about to stun.

OOC: Royce casts Mind Blast, with the spell centered between the two Templars. The spell has a two yard radius, so this should hit both Templars (and the patrons around them), but fail to hit Royce and Nik, or the apostate and Gilraen. I think it might hit Gimshar though.

02:31, Today: Royce rolled 16 using 3d6+4 with rolls of 5,4,3. Mind Blast spell casting roll. Succeeds.

===============
Message #57
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Fri, 06 Aug 2010 15:26:21 GMT
-————————————————————————————
OOC: Royce casts mind blast centered on C2. This should hit both Templars and miss Gilraen and the apostate. It also hits Gimshar, unfortunately, and I’ll leave it up to the GM as to whether it affects Nik.

Spellpower is 14.

The spell costs 3 mana. Royce has 12 mana left out of 15 total.

===============
Message #58
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Fri, 06 Aug 2010 18:22:17 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Grabbing the mage by the arm with his left hand, Gilraen spots a door leading to the kitchen. With his right hand he unsheathes one of his short swords. He moves forward quickly in an effort to reach the back entrance to the inn quickly.

Minor Action: Ready weapons
Move: 9G

11:23, Today: Gilraen rolled 19 using 3d6+2 with rolls of 6,6,5. Strength (Might) roll.

===============
Message #59
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Mon, 09 Aug 2010 10:54:33 GMT
-————————————————————————————
The interior of the tavern soon turns into a frenzy at Gimshar’s command, and especially so once Royce lets loose his Mind Blast. After all the crowd was already spooked by the presence of the Templars and their sudden declaration that there was an apostate they were hunting in their midst definintely raised alarm bells! (Especially since there could be other apostates, besides Nikolas, trying to hide their identity)

There was a cry of horror as the spell hits the people within a 2 yard radius where Royce aimed his spell as an invisible pulse of energy sent everybody off their feet!

Those who landed badly, including the sandy-haired Templar and Gimshar were knocked senseless, they fell unconcious and lay prone on the ground, unmoving. Others could be considered lucky, for though they fell to the ground rather unceremoniously, they already able to regain some semblance of balance, all the while moaning and groaning.

This action no doubt caused the crowd to sink further into panic! And some of the hot tempered patrons were getting all fired up and started to fight! Screaming in terror, patrons knocked and pushed one another in a frenzy to get out of the inn while others were locked in fights. Tables and chairs overturned, bottles and decorative items broke and plates of food scattered to the ground in the process.

It was a mob!

  • * * * *

Outside, the Orlesian Chevelier who had been waiting for Helena to answer his question was replied by a scream that came from the interior of Argold’s Haven. People began streaming out, pushing and shoving, yelling to want to get out. “What’s going on?” And his question was answered almost immediately by because one of the patrons who came running out was yelling, “Tavern brawl! Tavern brawl!” while others were yelling, “Apostate! Apostate!”

“She’s in there! Find her!” the Chevelier commanded. And suddenly his party sprung to action! Block all entrances! She cannot escape!"

The Chevelier stayed rooted to his position with the Chantry sister, watching the tavern door with his sword drawn. His guard wheeled his horse around and made for the village’s main gates.

Helena was pushed aside roughly by the full-helmed Templar who said to her firmly, “Tell everyone to say out of our way commoner and tell everyone to get into their homes and stay there. It’s for their own safety, this apostate is dangerous.”

Then the Templar broke into a full run for the inn.

  • * * * *

Back inside, Nikolas gave Royce a look of incredulity as the chaos broke out. But when the sandy hair templar who had been questioning them earlier was knocked unconscious, Nikolas recognised an opportunity when he saw on and yelled to Royce, “Come on! Let’s get out of here!”

Dashing forward, Royce made a grab for his permission slip which was in the sandy-haired templar’s possession. Giving it a quickl glance to make sure that he got the right thing, Royce folded it and tucked it back into his pouch – where it was safe.

Turning back, Nikolas was already waving for him to lead the way, “Got it? Come on!”

During this time if anyone was keeping track, Argold had his family cowering behind the bar while he tried his best to sooth the crowd. Meanwhile, Gilraen and the Apostate had safely made their way to the kitchen. But what they could not have expected was that the Templar who had been pursuing them was now climbing back to his feet. And he saw them disappear into the kitchen and all he could muster for now was, “APOSTATE! Stand your ground!” but his voice was drowned by the chaos in the inn.

  • * * * *

Sword drawn, Gilraen threw open the backdoor ever ready for what’s to come. No one attacked him but he had to think fast and act fast now. “He saw us! He saw us! He’s coming!” The apostate panicked.

Taking a quick scan – Gilraen saw that all that greeted them were homes, buildings and worse of all a tall spiked wooden fence that prevented their escape!

NOTE: The grids don’t mean anything and I forgot to mark the town centre. It’s just the spaces between the main gate and Argold’s Haven’s front door. Also, I consider maps OOC knowledge unless your character purchased a map from the locale or is a native of a place.
Entrance/Exits. The arrows mark the direction to exit a location/building.
Spiked wooden fence

Royce regained his permission slip. Nikolas & Royce are together, what are you guys going to do?

Gimshar, you are unconcious. So you can’t do anything next round.

Gilraen, what are you going to do? You need to tell me specifically what your plan is. If you can’t weave it into your post. Send me a Private Message.

Helena, what do you plan to do?

18:01, Today: The Game Master rolled 17 using 3d6+3 with rolls of 5,5,4. Strength (Might) Pursuing Templar.
18:01, Today: The Game Master rolled 10 using 3d6+3 with rolls of 3,1,3. Strength (Might) Sandy Hair Templar.

===============
Message #60
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Mon, 09 Aug 2010 11:46:11 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Mildly slack-jawed, Helena nods and begins to pace toward the nearest cluster of family homes (in SW corner of map). If she accosts anyone along the way, she tries to send them away from Argold’s, warning them that the templars have cornered an apostate there and advising them to stay in their homes. Orlesians were one thing, but a renegade mage could present a more serious danger in the very short term, so here she would have to agree with them.

===============
Message #61
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Mon, 09 Aug 2010 18:42:09 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce, having never before had a chance to use defensive spells outside the practice halls of the Tower, admires his handiwork for a moment after pocketing his slip from the Templar’s body. He feels a twinge of guilt at the sight of the few patrons still lying unconscious on the floor, but as he gives a last glance at the Templar, he feels a strange sense of satisfaction. Sweet dreams, Templar.

“You’re right Nik, I think it’s time we left,” the mage says to his friend.

Royce heads for the front door, trying to make his way through the patrons still in the tavern. He is torn between escape from the town, and finding the apostate. Perhaps she is someone I have met. A fellow mage of the Circle deserves my help, doesn’t she?

===============
Message #62
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Mon, 09 Aug 2010 19:13:31 GMT
-————————————————————————————
As Gilraen exited the tavern, he looked at the fence in dismay. He turned to the mage. “Listen, if I am going to have to fight, I need to know that you will fight with me. Will you? If so, I see a house to our right that we can run to. We can make a stand there if necessary. I have a dwarven friend in the tavern. I hope she will arrive to help soon. What say you?”

===============
Message #63
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Tue, 10 Aug 2010 01:58:42 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Helena starts to make her way to the southwest end of the village. It was mid-day and the entire village was out and about. Thus, it was easy for Helena to spot villagers and tell them to run home and stay home.

Meanwhile, Royce and Nikolas had just burst out of the tavern from the human squeeze. Wiping his brow, Nikolas then chuckled, his expression clearly one of relief, "That was close… Haa – " but his happiness was soon replaced by a growing dread. Tapping Royce lightly on the shoulder, he then pointed discretely in a distance in front of the inn where the Orlesian Chevelier and the Chantry Sister waited on horseback, “Cloister sister.. Think she saw us?”

  • * * * *

“I… I…” The girl was evidently under alot of pressure and in between surviving and getting caught, it was easy enough to make a decision. And all she could do was nod vigorously in reply to Gilraen.

Satisfied with her answer, Gilraen and her made a mad dash for the Pennyton Farmhouse.

  • * * * *

The pursuing Templar had gotten back on his feet and was joined by the other full-helmed Templar who was previously outside with the Chevelier. “Sir Argus!” the second one called out when he spotted the sandy haired Templar on the ground unconcious. That caught the attention of the recently recovered Templar who realised his comrade had rejoined them, “Brother Philip! She’s escaping! From the back. And she’s not alone!”

Without another word, the Templar made a dash for the kitchen, not caring who he knocked over in the process. Seeing the backdoor open, the Templar stepped through it and saw Gilraen and the Apostate running towards the farmhouse. Once more he bellowed, “This is your last chance Apostate! Stand your ground!”

Brother Philip was torn between helping his officer, Sir Argus who by now, like Gimshar was regaining conciousness, and running outside to update the situation. Then Sir Argus saw his subordinate hovering over him and an anger grew inside him, “Why are you staring at me! Go get the apostate! The bloody bitch cast a spell!”

That was enough to send Brother Philip flying out of the inn and once outside, he yelled, “She’s escaping from the back! And she has help!”

Cursing loudly, the Chevelier dug his heels into his horse and broke into a steady fast trot towards the back of the inn, with the cloister sister right behind.

Just an update on situation: The Chevelier’s guard is guarding the maingate. Argold’s mercenary guards have been activated and they are up and about trying to protect the village. Naturally, being an Orlesian settlement, they would also come under the command of the Chevelier especially if they are told that they would be helping the Empire catch a traitor.

Helena, Royce & Nikolas, you would have heard the information about where the Apostate was escaping. What do you do?

Gimshar, you have regained consciousness and are getting back on your feet. You can resume posting. What do you do?

Gilraen, the pursuing Templar has seen you with the Apostate. You are at the front door of the Pennyton Farmhouse. What do you do?

===============
Message #64
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Tue, 10 Aug 2010 03:22:55 GMT
-————————————————————————————
“I don’t know if she’s seen us, Nik, but it’d be best if she didn’t. Let’s get out of here.”

As the Templar came out of the inn and called to the Chevelier and Chantry sister, Royce’s heart sank.

Damn, Royce thought, my spell hasn’t stopped the Templars. The thought gives him a pause for a moment. It was not something he had imagined he would ever think. Then he snaps back to the present. If they’re still after the mage, she’s going to be in trouble…

“I believe we should find out whether there is a back exit to this village Nik. We’d better find it quickly, before the Templars close it off.”

Royce sets off around to the back side of the tavern and looks to see if there are any promising ways out of the village.

===============
Message #65
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Tue, 10 Aug 2010 03:26:02 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Thinking, “I don’t want to kill or injure anyone unless I have to,” Gilraen ran into the farmhouse. He saw a door leading out back to some farmland, and headed for it. Suddenly he realized in open ground, the horse borne templars would quickly over take them. He turned to the mage. “Listen, I do not know what magic you are capable of, but we could sure use some about now. We need to delay those horses somehow, so we can escape across the field.” As he spoke, he sheathed his sword, and strung his longbow.

===============
Message #66
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 03:22:37 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Thoughts racing, Helena bolts for where the shouts are coming from, trying to get to the back of the tavern as quickly as possible.

===============
Message #67
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 03:57:24 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gimshar groaned as she slowly began to rise. All the shouting, brawling, and general chaos was giving her a headache, and the worst of it was that it was in no way connected to having too much to drink. Still, it seems that no matter what had knocked her off her feet, it also cast aside the templars, as she can see no sign of her Dalish friend or the strange woman he was trying to protect.

Unfortunately, she also has no idea where he went either. Looking over at the sandy-haired Templar, Ser Argus, she decides to see if she can learn more about this apostate from him. If he has not risen yet, she’ll offer him a hand to help him rise, saying “That was a nasty bit of work that woman did. Look, maybe I can help you track her down before it is too late and she escapes. Just who is she anyway?”

===============
Message #68
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Thur, 12 Aug 2010 08:02:32 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Ser Argus was already on his feet, albeit slightly unsteadily by the time Gimshar reached his side. Looking down at the dwarf who spoke, Argus grunted a thanks to her then said, drawing his two handed blade, “Yes, it may already be too late! She is..she was a Circle mage. And she stole something of valuable importance. If you want to help, come along, if not just stay out of the way citizen!”

  • * * * *

Gilraen, pulling the apostate roughly forward burst into the farmhouse searching for an exit. The workers were having their mid-day lunch and at the sight of Gilraen’s brandished sword all scampered to their feet in panic. And it was apparent what sort of conclusions they had arrived at as a burly farmhand rush to grab his hoe and the others scrambled out of the way. Then, he yelled at Gilraen, saying “We want no trouble with yer, elf! Let the girl go!”

But when Gilraen started speaking to the apostate about using magic, the farmers exchanged nervous and confused glances.

“I… I do.. I have spells.. but we’re to use it on the Templars?” the apostate stammered at Gilraen. She looked worriedly at the farmhouse window and could see the galloping figures of the Chevelier and cloister sister fast approaching. She could hear the shouts of the Templar’s warning and then in a moment of desperation she broke down in tears.

  • * * * * * *

Outside, it was a mad rush for the Pennyton Farmhouse. Royce & Nikolas, keen to find a back exit saw that there was a spiked wooden fence blocking any exit and the only way forward was into the farmhouse.

By then, Helena, together with Sir Philip and the other full-helmed Templar were already reaching the entrance while the Chevalier started to speak, his Orlesian accent thick and apparent,"We’ve got you Apostate! There’s no escape!

  • * * * * * *

Inside the farmhouse, the apostate and Gilraen could hear the Chevelier speaking, “Succumb to the laws of the Chantry and of Orlais! And we will show you mercy!”

Then, the apostate wiped her tears and turned to Gilraen with a look of determination. “They have my phylactery. They will find me. Wherever I go, there is no escape. But you… you can escape.” Fishing into the pockets of her robe, she produced a vial.

Taking Gilraen’s hand she pressed the vial which was strangely warm into his hands. Looking down, Gilraen realized that it was filled with blood. “Take this… Please, and promise me you won’t let the Templars get their hands on this? Can you do this for me?” her voice trembling as she tried to remain strong.

Blue – Royce
Yellow – Nikolas
Grey – Helena
Bright Green – Gilraen
Dark Green – Apostate
Brown – Gimshar
Red – Templars
Dark Blue – Chevalier
Purple – Chantry Sister

===============
Message #69
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Thur, 12 Aug 2010 08:25:47 GMT
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‘An apostate and a thief?’ Gimshar wondered to herself ‘This just keeps on getting better and better. Gimshar nodded to the templar "Let’s go then!" and follows Ser Argus.

===============
Message #70
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Thur, 12 Aug 2010 16:08:28 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce again was overcome with a sinking feeling when he saw the Chevalier in front of the farmhouse. Even if there were an exit through the building, the Templars were closing too fast on the apostate for her to escape. Even worse, his own path out of the village was blocked. Still, he refused to give up without getting to at least see the former Circle Mage. He had to find out who she was…

“Ser knight!” Royce hailed the Chevalier as he approached the farmhouse entrance. “I am Royce, a mage of the Circle. I must warn you that this apostate you have cornered is extremely dangerous and willing to attack Templars. She cast a spell in the bar that knocked them unconscious, and it is quite likely that she has even more powerful spells in reserve. Please, allow me to go in first and speak with her. Perhaps she will listen to reason from a fellow mage and give herself up. If not, I have magic as well, and I will be ready for her if she casts a spell. Then you can come in and finish her, if necessary. But please, allow me to go in first.”

===============
Message #71
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Thur, 12 Aug 2010 17:52:26 GMT
-————————————————————————————
“How convenient,” the Chevalier sneered at Royce’s arrival. But as Royce explained his rational, the Chevalier started to consider the notion that Royce may be a valuable asset. He looked at the Chantry sister and she shook her head.

Just then Gimshar arrived at the scene together with Ser Argus. The officer raised a brow when he saw Royce and exclaimed, You again, Mage?

“You two know each other?” the Chevalier asked to which Ser Argus grunted, “Found him at the inn…And decided he was trying to divert our search…But in any case what I want to know more importantly – where is the apostate?’”

It was then the Orlesian knight explained Royce’s proposal quickly and in a nutshell. Ser Argus listened but his eyes remained trained on Royce then when the explanation ended, he replied,“I would advice against trusting this one…but if he can do this then perhaps he can prove that he has not thrown in his lot with the apostate….”

“My thoughts exactly,” came the Chevalier’s response. Looking down at Royce from his saddle, the knight allowed Royce to enter but first with a warning, “Weve decided to take your word for it… If we find out you help this apostate escape your head will find a new home on a pike…”

Gimshar has made her way to where the rest of the gang outside are. What does everyone do?

===============
Message #72
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Nikolas Delantura
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 00:24:18 GMT
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“Royce!” gasped Nikolas. He pulled Royce’s arm roughly towards him and whispered harshly,"We cannot trust them… We should leave while we still have chance!

===============
Message #73
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Thur, 12 Aug 2010 18:34:09 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gilraen looked at the vial in his hand.
“If they can track you with this, why not just destroy it?” he asked.“And I will not leave you to the gentle mercies of those templars. My bow is strung, and I am an elf. I have a clear shot at that spouting, self-important shem at the door. I just want to wait til my friend Gimshar arrives to help us. ‘Til then, tell me what spells you can produce. There’s no point hiding the fact you are a spellcaster is there?” And in typical Gilraen fashion, the elf flashed the mage a rakish smile.

===============
Message #74
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Thur, 12 Aug 2010 21:02:55 GMT
-————————————————————————————
The appearance of the sandy-haired Templar puts Royce at ill ease. He weighs Nikolas’ warning.

“I don’t trust the Templars either, but what else would you have me do?” he whispers to his friend. “Do you think they will let us walk out the front gate now? If you have another plan, I’m listening.”

If Nikolas doesn’t respond quickly, Royce waves him off, thanks the Chevalier, and walks towards the farmhouse door.

===============
Message #75
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Thur, 12 Aug 2010 21:28:45 GMT
-————————————————————————————
For the moment, Gimshar says and does nothing. Instead she attempts to take in the scene with her senses to see if there was anything she could quickly note. She is also curious as to what Ser Argus is going to do now that they arrived.

17:27, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 9 using 3d6 with rolls of 3,2,4. Perception (Searching).

===============
Message #76
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Nikolas Delantura
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 01:37:42 GMT
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Nikolas kept quiet and thought about Royce’s words. He was right and Nikolas knew that deep down inside it was the right thing to do – he had been through what this apostate was going through – so, would he wish that upon someone else?

No, and Royce helped him see that.

Nodding firmly at the Circle Mage, Nikolas whispered, “You’re right, and I’ll be here watching the Templars. I’ll be ready should anything happen…Good luck.”

===============
Message #77
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 01:36:13 GMT
-————————————————————————————
“You don’t understand. That phylactary is not mine. Mine is with them…” the apostate explains, “And you cannot destroy it simply by smashing it… It has to be destroyed via a —.”

But before she could finish explaining, Royce walked in, sending a resounding gasp from the farmers. Gilraen and the Apostate instinctively assumed defensive positions but when the apostate saw that it was only a circle mage and not a Templar, she raised a hand before Gilraen to signal that it was alright.

“Royce?” she gasped, “What are you doing here?!”

Royce recognised the apostate after all! She was Sherey – an apprentice mage who graduated from the Harrowing one batch before him. To Royce’s knowledge, Sherey was one of the Circle of Magi’s star pupils, a very bright mage who could have been Senior Enchanter or even First Enchanter one day.

Sensing that the situation was getting much more tense, the farmers used this opportunity to dash out of the farmhouse in an attempt to save their own lives…

  • * * * * * *

Outside, Gimshar noted that the individual in Circle Robes who had been speaking with the Chevalier had now gone into the farmhouse and in exchange, a stream of farmers were running out, yelling “Come on let’s get out quickly!”

Just then, Ser Argus grabbed one of the farmhands and asked, “What happened in there? Speak!”

“Ser.. Ser! Please,” the farmer pleaded, “There was a woman.. and an elf. A Dalish by the looks of his tattoos… and a Circle mage. The Dalish elf is armed, he has a bow and a sword.”

“Did they say anything?” the Templar demanded, “Tell me!”

“They didn’t say nothing. I don’t know! I don’t know!” the farmer quivered then she blurted, <red>"The elf said something about spells! Please, let me go!"

Shoving her away roughly, Ser Argus let the frightened woman run as he turned his attention now to the Chevalier, “We’re going in there if that mage doesn’t come out soon. This is the affair of the Chantry, Ser Tolois.”

“But any citizen caught of conspiring against the Empire is our affair, don’t you forget that Argus,” Tolois replied snidely.

Just then, the last of the farmers cleared the doorway of the farmhouse and Gimshar got a good look of the occupants and spotted Gilraen!

  • * * * * *

By then, a sizable crowd had gathered around the drama occuring at the Pennyton Farmhouse. Curious villagers complete with tavern patrons and mercenerial guards who were trying to keep the commoners back. And Argold, their leader, finally found his way to the front.

“Sers! My people are scared, get your apostate and go! We have no quarrel with you.” Argold said.

“We have no quarrel with you as well, Mayor Argold. But it seems as of right now, your village is harbouring an apostate and a traitor. Doesn’t look very good,” Tolois threatened, his eyes never leaving the occupants in the farmhouse.

“I can assure you ser, we have nothing to do with this! My sons! They served the Orlesian army! Our loyalty is true!” Argold pleaded, realising the gravity of the sitution.

“You’re patriots then?” Tolois questioned, “Then you had better make sure the apostate doesn’t escape…Or things will start to look highly suspicious for you… and your family.”

Argold paled and the people of Gherlen gasped. They were frightened. Very frightened. Then Argold spun on his feet and barked at his guards, “Seal the gates and exits! The apostate cannot leave!”

Gimshar, Helena & Nikolas, you overheard all the conversation happening outside.

Gimshar, you have spotted Gilraen, Royce and the apostate inside the farmhouse.

Royce, how well you know Sherey I’ll leave it up to you.

Royce, Gilraen & Sherey will have to act quickly. The templars will wait… but not for long…

The village is getting highly paranoid and protective. The apostate has been red flagged as an enemy. Anyone caught in cahoots with her will definitely be red flagged too. Gilraen, you’re reaching that point. People are suspicious of you and the templars saw you with Sherey.

===============
Message #78
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gram (NPC)
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 01:44:34 GMT
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Above all the commotion, Gram the hunting dog was getting spooked. He had obediently followed Helena whenever she moved about this particular place and he felt fine. But right now, he didn’t like the feeling he was getting.

The fur on his back started to stand and he let loose a low growl, baring his teeth in the process. His eyes searched the crowd behind his master and he barked once – a warning signal.

===============
Message #79
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 01:51:55 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce walked into the farmhouse and set eyes upon the apostate. He was shocked to see a familiar face.

“Sherey? You’re the apostate? But why?”

Shaking off his initial surprise, he focused on the task at hand.

“Listen, the Templars agreed to let me come in here to negotiate with you Sherey. But they’ll be coming in here any minute now to capture or kill you. I’m on your side, but I’m afraid there isn’t much we can do at this point. We’re not going to get out of this by fighting the Templars, and even if we could, they’d just hunt me down as they’ve hunted you. Is there anything I can do to help you in the time we have?”

===============
Message #80
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 02:07:19 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gilraen finished stringing his bow. “No, we can’t fight those numbers, even if my dwarf friend Gimshar arrives. There is a back door out of here. It leads to some farmland. We need a diversion of some kind…” His eyes brightened. “I have it! Can either of you mages light the end of my arrows?”

===============
Message #81
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 02:33:28 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gimshar had to fight hard to resist the urge to bite her lip once she saw Gilraen. She now knew for certain that he was in there with the apostate. But, giving a quick glance at Ser Argus and the Chevalier on horseback, she thought it best not to volunteer that she knew the dalish elf, especially given the increasingly ugly mood and the threats from the Chevalier that were hanging over everybody now.

She was also tempted to walk away as well. This wasn’t her concern. Really, what did she, a dwarf, care about apostates and the policies of humans and their chantry? As for the elf, well, he was just an distraction. He got himself into this mess all by himself as well. She looked behind her for a brief moment ‘Very tempting to leave, indeed.’

But she knew she couldn’t go. Indeed – she could hear her grandfather’s words echoing in her head ‘Remember. Upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.’ He was larger-then-life and his words and teachings were ever a constant reminder to her even now that he was gone. “Subtly is needed… Damn and blast.” she says to nobody in particular.

Gimshar could afford to wait no longer, and so as quickly and as quietly as she can, she moves over to the man that she saw that circle mage talking with, saying in a low whisper to him “Your friend will need help. Follow me.” She also tries to catch the eye of the young woman who had spoken to her when she was first in the bar as well, but does not risk going over to speak with her.

She begins to move towards the fence, with the idea to cross over it and move towards the back door of the farmhouse, making the assumption that it’d be a piss poor farmer that wouldn’t have a back door! If Ser Argus or any of the templars (or villagers) looks to stop her or makes an objection to what she is doing, then she’ll put a finger to her lips in sign that they should be quiet.

After all, it would be best if they still thought she was on their side.

===============
Message #82
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 03:29:57 GMT
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Helena lowers one hand to the scruff of Gram’s neck, knowing the dog is every bit as tense as she is. “I don’t like it any more than you do.”

She looks to the crowd, waving everyone away. “Let’s get out of the Templars’ way, everyone!” she calls. “There’s nothing we can do here; get to safety and let them do their job!”

Having given her warning, Helena makes her way to the main gate in a hurry, not anxious to stick around for the violence to come… but curious enough that she’ll make her way around the palisade wall to the back entry of the farmhouse as quickly as she can.

===============
Message #83
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Nikolas Delantura
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 15:58:22 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Watching Royce walk into the farmhouse, Nikolas could feel the hair on his neck rising. But before he could let the fear sink in, he was approached subtly by the performing dwarf in the inn. She seemed keen on helping him and Royce, most probably because her companion, the elf was inside as well. But who’s to say they weren’t in cahoots with the bad guys?

Following her and sure that he was out of hearing range from the Templars, he hissed, “What are you doing? You’re going to get us killed.”

===============
Message #84
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 16:16:31 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Sherey can only tear at Royce’s words. Then she nods at him saying, " Yes. We don’t have much time. I cannot explain myself Royce, it is too dangerous. But will you tell the First Enchanter that I’m sorry…?

That…that I’m sorry to have failed him. And you should get out of here. Go home. Go back to the Circle…where you’ll be safe." she asks. Then she turns to look at Gilraen and raises a brow at his request, What is it that you plan to do? You must not let the Templars take what I’ve given you!"

  • * * * *

Gram followed Helena faithfully as they ran to the main gates. There, they were met by Argold’s guards and one of them stepped forward and held out a hand to stop them.“Hold! Argold’s has asked that all exits to be sealed. No one is allowed to leave till the apostate is apprehended!”

Just then, Helena spots a small patrol unit of 3 men preparing to move out. Their leader was telling them of the importance to be fast and prevent the apostate from escaping from the north of the village.

  • * * * *

Gimshar found a blindspot where the Templars would not be able to see what they were doing now that they were all gathered at the entrance. The spiked fence is about 2 feet in height with no footholds or bars to help Gimshar up and over. The fence ran along the entire north section of the village before being stopped by the exterior of the farmhouse. The west exterior wall of the farmhouse had windows built at regular intervals leading all the way up to the roof and by a stroke of luck – a ladder leaning against the side of the wall. But it was only 1 feet in height.

===============
Message #85
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 16:45:14 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce follows Sherey’s gaze to the phylactery in Gilraen’s hand.

“I have a simpler plan to protect the phylactery, Sherey. Your surrender might stall the Templars long enough for the elf to escape through the back exit. But if we do this, they will certainly kill you as an apostate. Is this phylactery worth more to you than your own life? Why is it of such great importance?”

===============
Message #86
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 18:18:51 GMT
-————————————————————————————
“I, too, would like to know,” said Gilraen. “To your question, I will set some unpopulated areas of the village on fire. No houses, and noone should get hurt. Then, when you are ready, we will set this house ablaze and run out the back. With luck, they may think we were killed in the fire.” He looked at Sherey. “Noone is going to die on my watch!”

===============
Message #87
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 18:55:05 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gimshar quickly moves to the small ladder and immediately frowns first gauging whether she can use it to reach one of the windows to open (or break) or alternatively to grab to use to help her get over the fence.

[Private to The Game Master: Can Gimshar step up on the ladder and then hop over to the other side of the fence? Not sure if that would require a DEX roll for tumbling or something else.]

===============
Message #88
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 23:00:34 GMT
-————————————————————————————
The Game Master typed:Gram followed Helena faithfully as they ran to the main gates. There, they were met by Argold’s guards and one of them stepped forward and held out a hand to stop them.“Hold! Argold’s has asked that all exits to be sealed. No one is allowed to leave till the apostate is apprehended!”

Just then, Helena spots a small patrol unit of 3 men preparing to move out. Their leader was telling them of the importance to be fast and prevent the apostate from escaping from the north of the village.

“I’ve got a bounty to catch, and right now you’re standing between me and my next meal. Or do you want the templars asking pointed questions about why you were impeding the capture of an apostate?” She arches an eyebrow disdainfully.

“You three!” Helena barks to the patrol. “If we’re going to make this clean and quick, we need a perimeter, not a mad dash for the back door. I don’t guess that you’ve seen a mage walk through a wall before, but it could be that you’re about to.”

She makes her way toward the patrol, wearing a severe expression and doing her best to look like she belongs here. “I’m a professional. Stick with me, and I’ll keep you alive.” She casts a sideways glance at the gate guards as if daring them to interfere.

18:59, Today: Helena of Redcliffe rolled 14 using 3d6+3 with rolls of 3,5,3. Communication…?.

===============
Message #89
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 00:33:04 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce considered the elf’s proposal, giving him an odd look.

“That’s not a bad plan, but it won’t stop the Templars from tracking Sherey down again with her phlyactery. Not to mention, I am not capable of creating fire.

We’ve got to act now. Sherey, what would you have us do?"

===============
Message #90
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Nikolas Delantura
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 02:40:40 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Looking up at the ladder and windows an idea formed in his mind, he said to Gimshar, “How about I get up on the ladder and you get on my shoulders. Think you can reach for the farmhouse window?”

===============
Message #91
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 12:15:07 GMT
-————————————————————————————
The guards look taken aback by Helena’s sudden outburst. They exchanged curious and nervous glances, no one dared to make any comment. Clearly, her authorative tone had them considering the validity of her statements. What if she was sent by Argold or the Templars to catch the apostate? And if she makes a complain about them to their bosses, they would be fired.. or worse their mercenarial name could be tarnished! And they certainly didn’t want that…

The guard who had previously stopped Helena bowed his head and apologized, “I apologize madam, I.. I did not know you are part of Ser Tolois’ entourage.” The guard then yelled for the patrol to take Helena’s lead and decided that it was prudent to report to Helena on the situation, “One of Ser Tolois’ men left with another patrol to seal the north exit, madam. They went east.”

Then guardsmen dashed over to Helena and looked at her expectantly, awaiting orders.

  • * * * *

MAGE. Your time is running out! We’re coming in, bring the apostate out. NOW!”

Their time inside the farmhouse was running out.

“Royce?” Sherey started, “Have you ever wondered why we were born with magic? Have you ever wondered why we had to be cut off from the rest of the world because we were different? Well, what if one day you were told that you could change that. That we were born with a gift, not a curse and that with our gift, we can bring about peace and a better world. Would you want that?”

Turning to Gilraen, Sherey then asked, "And you, as an elf who lives outside of this world. You work in ways that we do not comprehend or condone. But yet, your insistence on surviving is what has kept you in existence… and perhaps it is your insistance that will be my only chance.

Creating fire is easy on my part. But the templars will know I’m dead or not because my phalactary will tell them. That is our curse… as mages. But perhaps living one more day is better than dying today.

“Run.” was all Sherey said before she took a step back and began chanting in archaic. “I’ll catch up.”

  • * * * * *

By now, Gimshar was sitting on Nikolas’ shoulders and both of them were balanced on the top rung of the ladder. Gimshar’s boosted height allowed her to see over the fence and also right next to her was a window. An open window to the upperfloor of the farmhouse.

Helena, you have 3 guards at your command. What is your next move? It takes about 5 mins to round to the back and be at the backdoor of the farmhouse if you take the east route. And 10 minutes via the west route. Unless you grab some horses…

As you round the sides of the village fence, you’ll notice that a wild wood surrounds the village. But between the woods and the village is about 55 yards of open ground.

Royce, Gilraen, the Templars will be in by the next post.

Gimshar, you need to make a Strength (Climbing) roll if you’re going to enter via the farmhouse window. Make a Dexterity (Acrobatic) roll if you want to climb over the fence and hope you land right on the other side. Let me know which one you want to do and I can make the roll for you if you can’t do it.

===============
Message #92
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 12:55:06 GMT
-————————————————————————————
The Game Master typed:The guard who had previously stopped Helena bowed his head and apologized, “I apologize madam, I.. I did not know you are part of Ser Tolois’ entourage.”

Hmmm… no time to clear up that little misconception just now.

The Game Master typed:The guard then yelled for the patrol to take Helena’s lead and decided that it was prudent to report to Helena on the situation, “One of Ser Tolois’ men left with another patrol to seal the north exit, madam. They went east.”

Then guardsmen dashed over to Helena and looked at her expectantly, awaiting orders.

“Then you’re going to man the west wall. One in the middle, one at each corner, within eyesight if you can find a good vantage point.” Helena surveys the area as quickly as she can. “Is there a horse you can spare? I need to rendezvous with the others at the gate.”

===============
Message #93
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 14:05:19 GMT
-————————————————————————————
“Yes mam!” said the guard and one of his men came forward with a sturdy chestnut mare. The animal whinied and tossed her white mane as she was brought to Helena which caused Gram to bark and hop around loudly. The horse looked nervously at the dog but calmed when her handler soothed her by whispering into her ear.

As the handler helped Helena onto the saddle, he said to her, “Old Lady here is not fit for battle but she’s as good as any horse we have now.”

In the meantime, the patrol men were off in the westerly direction as per Helena’s orders.

Helena has gained a female Riding Horse, Lady.

===============
Message #94
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 17:07:08 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Sherey’s words echoed in Royce’s mind. If this was a sacrifice she was willing to make, he would not let her die in vain.

“Come elf! Out the back exit, quickly. Lead the way.”

Royce runs for the back exit and gives a last look at Sherey, as she prepares to face the Templars. Unable to speak, he turns again and runs out.

===============
Message #95
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 17:28:16 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Muttering several dwarfish curses to herself (mostly about what a fool she was for doing this) Gimshar decides to make a go for the window…

13:25, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 12 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 4,2,5. Strength (Climbing).

===============
Message #96
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:18:21 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Finding it hard to believe that Sherey was willing to give her life, Gilraen patted the belt pouch that held the precious vial, and said, “We will not fail you, dear mage.” Nodding once to Royce, Gilraen fled out the back door.

OOC: Belle, can you update the map, please? I really don’t know what I’m running into LOL

===============
Message #97
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Sun, 15 Aug 2010 03:22:10 GMT
-————————————————————————————
As Royce and Gilraen fled via the backdoor, they step out into the open just in time to see the Chevalier and the Templars burst in through the front doors, yelling and screaming for the apostate. And —

WHOOSH!

Sprouting from Sherey’s outstretched hands was a stream of fire. And next was the horrified cries from the templar’s entourage as they bare the brunt of it. Clothes went up in flames and the metal armours the Templars wore were burning up and cooking the flesh beneath.

Sherey’s flame blast covered the entire entrance of the farmhouse, and the intensity of it reached out 8 yards hitting some of the bystanders whose curiosity soon turned to terror! The villagers screamed and ran helter skelter, the village grounds were suddenly in a chaos!

But the fire would not be sated so easily for it’s greedy flames were already licking the wooden structure of the farmhouse and soon, it was up the traveling up the walls of the building, and the burning was aided by the presence of dry hay stacks and wheat which the flames ate up voraciously.

The 1st floor of the Pennyton farmhouse was on fire.

  • * * * *

Oblivious to the terror beneath, Gimshar had just managed to clambered into the 2nd floor of the farmhouse – successfully, but rather un-glamorously. The second floor of the farmhouse was a sizable sleeping quarter with at least 6 single beds – most likely for the workers. There were a few drawers and shelves and a single small table with two chairs.

From where Gimshar was, she could hear muffled cries coming from downstairs and the incoherent screams of the villagers below.

  • * * * *

Helena, reigned Lady into a halt and Gram began barking loudly. She had just rounded the east corner of the village fence and could see very clearly a large wheat field and the farmhouse. But smoke was starting to billow out of the first floor windows and through the backdoor, two figures ran out. She could make out two males and judging by one of their robes, one was a Circle Mage.

Looking further out into the field, Helena recognised the Chevalier’s bodyguard together with a patrol of three mercenarial guards. The bodyguard was waiting on the dirt road while the other mercenarial guards continued to survey their surroundings.

  • * * * *

Gilraen and Royce pushed pass the backdoor and they were standing on the backporch of the farmhouse. From where they stood, they can see a dirt road and thick bushy trees separating them from the wheatfield ahead. They can also see patrol guards walking about together with a guard on horseback.

The walls of the backporch is about waist high and the trees growing around the porch has obscured them from the guards.

Sherey’s fire covers O to P, from 20 to 28. (Out of map)

Red – Templar/Orlesian Entourage
Purple – Mercenary Guards
White – Helena
Blue – Royce
Green – Gilraen
Darkgreen – Sherey (Apostate)
Yellow – Nikolas
Orange – Gimshar (Who is on the 2nd floor. The stairs down are from S 20 to S 18 – leads to the farmhouse kitchen. The upper floor’s width is only from M to S and length is from 18 to 20. There are two windows, one on the north wall, and one on the south wall. If you look out via the north window, you’ll see the wheatfield, templars, Helena. If you look out via the south window, you’ll see smoke billowing out and villagers running for their lives.)

Gimshar, you are officially in a burning building. But there is no fire on the second floor… Yet.

Royce & Gilraen, please refer to the previous map and indicate which grid you’re moving to. Since you only typed that you fled out of the backdoor, I am going assume you’re still on the backporch of the farmhouse and not out in the open yet.

Helena, I’ll place you on the far east end of the map, sort of diagonally north to the farmhouse you can see very clearly the patrol guards and the bodyguard. You also see that the trees growing around the west side of the backporch has obscured the view of the guards. You can see Royce and Gilraen on the porch.

===============
Message #98
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Sun, 15 Aug 2010 04:06:19 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gilraen uttered an elvish curse, and the fire was so volitile it whipped his hair over his face.

“Royce! You weren’t here when Sherey gave me a vial, saying it was precious and must not be found by the Templars! I’ll show it to you when we get a moment.” His sharp elven eyes made out Helena. “I see a woman on a horse, but not clad in the vestments of the templars.” He sighed heavily.

“Give Sherey a moment to join us. She may have made it.” Then a puzzled frown flashed across his fair features. “I have a dwarven friend, but I cannot see her anywhere.”

===============
Message #99
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Mon, 16 Aug 2010 01:08:27 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Helena spurs the horse onward, driven by curiosity more than anything else — and if this apostate were an enemy of the Orlesians, what could be better than seeing to her freedom?

Signaling Gram to follow, she rides for the farmhold house, staying as close to cover as she can manage.

===============
Message #100
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Mon, 16 Aug 2010 03:43:36 GMT
-————————————————————————————
The elf spots the guards to the east, and tells Royce, “Let’s get to the trees in the west! We will negate their horses if we do that.”

Gilraen moves to 15J

===============
Message #101
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Mon, 16 Aug 2010 04:13:56 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Following the elf’s gaze, Royce sees the guards.

“Yes, let’s see if we can sneak around without them seeing us. I’m right behind you,” he says to the elf.

In case they were spotted, however, Royce was determined to be ready. If Sherey put her life on the line, so could he. For the second time that day, Royce contemplates the necessity of a defensive spell. He begins chanting in Ancient Tevene under his breath.

Minor action: Royce moves to L16 with Gilraen, trying to hide in the trees.
Major action: He also prepares Mind Blast.

10:39, Today: Royce rolled 16 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 3,6,6. Dexterity (Stealth).

===============
Message #102
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Mon, 16 Aug 2010 05:45:31 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Moving as quietly as he could, the elf headed to the trees.

You rolled 17 using 3d6+4 ((6,5,2). (Stealth roll)

===============
Message #103
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Tue, 17 Aug 2010 17:28:18 GMT
-————————————————————————————
‘Always just in time, it seems’ Gimshar thinks bitterly to herself. The screams were of concern, and she could quickly process that that either the templars had attacked, or the mages had. Either way, she needed to figure out what was going on.

She moves towards the stairwell to go down to the first floor.

===============
Message #104
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 03:40:04 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Things were moving very quickly and all at once now.

Sticking close to the crop fence, Helena, together with Lady and Gram took off for the farmhouse. But the sounds of galloping hooves and Gram’s excited barking caught the attention of the guards and bodyguard.

Distracted by her, Royce and Gilraen were able to successfully slip out of the backporch and hide themselves in the trees just west of the house. From there they could see very clearly one of the guards approach Helena and ask, “Hoi! You there! What are you doing here, mam? This is private property!”

Meanwhile inside the farmhouse was chaotic.

Sherey, seeing the opportunity to run – ran for the back exit. Her flame burst worked better than she expected. It was a short term spell, enough to deter the Templars for a moment and not seriously injure them, but what she did not expect was for the wood in the farmhouse to catch fire and keep it up.

Running blinding, Sherey burst through the back door and ran out of the farmhouse. And she gasped!

From where they hid, Gilraen and Royce could see her escape out into the open, watched her skid to a stop when she spotted the bodyguard and then whipped around to look at the backdoor where Templars were now filing out, fear evident in her eyes. She was trapped! Helena, on horseback and facing the farmhouse also witnessed the same thing.

Upstairs,Gimshar dashed for the stairs and literally ran down two steps at a time. She found herself in the kitchen and her sense of smell told her that something was on fire. Throwing open the kitchen door that led to the main room —

WHOOSH!

A flame danced across the doorway and Gimshar barely avoided it. She started coughing as smoke tickled her throat and stunk her eyes. She could hear the Templars yelling and was in time to see them shove their way through the front door and dash for the back. She had to act fast, the fire was spreading steadily and the kitchen was not going to be spared.

  • * * * * *

Back in the village, Nikolas had climbed back down the ladder, after all without Gimshar’s help there was no way he could reach for the window or climb over the fence. He watched the villagers who were injured stayed clear of the mess but by now, Argold was gathering his men to draw water from the well and put out the fire on the first floor.

Red – Templars
Red with Black border – Bodyguard on horse
White with Black border – Helena on horse
Darkblue – Gram
Purple – Guards
Blue – Royce
Green – Gilraen
Darkgreen – Sherey (Apostate)
Orange – Gimshar
Yellow – Nikolas

Everyone, please roll for initiative. So that I can decide who acheives what first since everyone is happening at once.

What does everyone do in the next 10 seconds?

Gimshar, if you’re going to make your way through the fire, you’ll need a Dexterity roll and a Constitution roll. I would have asked for a Luck roll, but there’s no such thing :P

===============
Message #105
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 03:58:08 GMT
-————————————————————————————
With alarm, Gilraen saw the guard approach Helena. Even though they had not met, he sensed that she was striving to create a distraction. Though he loathed to shed blood, he plucked an arrow from his quiver, set it to his bow, and aimed…

Initiative: You rolled 14 using 3d6+4 ((3,1,6)). Activate Aim action (Minor)

OOC: I won’t necessarily shoot, but I’ve prepared the action as a major action. If I read the rules right, that means I can jump into the initiative at any time when the ‘trigger’ occurs. The trigger will be if the guard draws a weapon on Helena and attacks Helena. The aim activation gives me a +2 to hit, as I have the archery style.

===============
Message #106
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 04:24:40 GMT
-————————————————————————————
OOC: Quick question, Belle: have the guards spotted Sherey, or is she still hidden from them on the porch?

===============
Message #107
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 05:37:24 GMT
-————————————————————————————
To his surprise, Royce watches Sherey burst from the burning farmhouse with the Templars coming after her. His first thought is to unleash his spell on her pursuers, but he holds back. "She’s got no chance on her own, he thinks but she knew what she was doing when she told us to run.

“Hold your arrows,” he whispers to the elf. “We’ve got to stay hidden. And if they spot us, I’ll be ready for them.”

The mage continues the chant for the spell and watches his trapped friend closely, wishing there was more he could do but unable to act.

00:36, Today: Royce rolled 12 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 2,5,4. Initiative.
Royce prepares Mind Blast (again).

===============
Message #108
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 06:25:10 GMT
-————————————————————————————
The building was on fire, but Gimshar had no time to be terrified and she knew she couldn’t run back upstairs. No, she had to force her way through just as the Templars were doing.

Courage. Don’t fail me now. is all that she thinks to herself as she forces her way through following the path the Templars took. Well that, and a brief thought that this apostate that Gilraen was trying to protect was more trouble then it was worth, but she could tell him that later. Hopefully.

02:27, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 10 using 3d6+2 with rolls of 2,3,3. Initiative.
02:20, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 12 using 3d6+3 with rolls of 6,1,2. Constitution.
02:20, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 16 using 3d6+2 with rolls of 6,3,5. Dexterity.

===============
Message #109
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 11:45:35 GMT
-————————————————————————————
The Game Master typed:Distracted by her, Royce and Gilraen were able to successfully slip out of the backporch and hide themselves in the trees just west of the house. From there they could see very clearly one of the guards approach Helena and ask, “Hoi! You there! What are you doing here, mam? This is private property!”

“Oh, and here I thought I was in the Chantry,” she sneers, her voice thick with sarcasm.

“Listen, there’s a damned maleficar in the building who poses a threat to everyone in the freehold!” She raises her voice in indignation, trying to draw the attention of the other nearby guards. “And you want me to stand by while innocent people are in danger? You need all the help you can get, so take it and be gracious about it!”

I’ll roll initiative if you want, but since Helena’s still unclear who’s in the right, she won’t actually fight for either side at this point.

===============
Message #110
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 15:08:11 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Sister Arda, who remained in the backseat throughout this entire fiasco, was the fastest to recover from the shock of Sherey’s flame burst. Though she suffered minor burns from the blast, she didn’t bear the brunt of the attack as the Templars took most of the damage. Thus, while the Templars were struggling to sooth the pain streaking across their flesh, the Sister managed to push past the warriors and was now at the front of the column.

So far the Knight and his Templars had proved themselves to be nothing but bumbling buffoons clad in metal. Now, Sister Arda was determined to take things into her own hands – the apostate cannot escape. Or at least, the Chantry must have what is rightfully the Chantry’s, returned!

Bursting out onto the back porch of the farmhouse, she was there just in time to see the apostate skid to a halt in the middle of the dirt road.

  • * * * * *

The guards gulped and looked at each other worriedly. The Chevalier’s bodyguard looked confused and didn’t know quite what to do… or believe. But no one questioned Helena for they appeared to be visibly intimidated and convinced by Helena’s snippy remark. Then one of them stuttered, “Ah.. Ah yes mam! The maleficar! We were just on our way to catch her, mam!”

Just then, something in Sherey’s mind clicked. The way forward and back may be closed, but she wasn’t surrounded yet! She could still make a break for it and escape!

Royce and Gilraen, still hiding amongst the thick greenery watched Sherey make a dash for the woods to the west.

Then,

“What in Andraste’s name are you doing?!” someone screeched. The voice belonged to Ser Tolois who had just escaped the burning firehouse via the backdoor. He pointed at the escaping apostate and yelled at his bodyguard who, surprised at the chevalier’s sudden appearance, continued to stare dumbly at his employer and at Helena. “The apostate is escaping you stupid, stupid fool! I paid you to catch criminals, not to make friends with commoners!”

By this time the Templars were already filing out of the farmhouse and giving Sherey chase while Tolois continued his tirade, " Stop staring at me like a dead fish! Get her!

I said, GET HER!!!’

And they all gave chase!

All of them except Ser Argus who was no where to be seen…

  • * * * * *

Inside the farmhouse, the fire continued to rage and Gimshar had managed to avoid getting hurt when she weaved between burning furniture and falling beams from the kitchen to the main room. She could hear the villagers outside, rallying to put out the fire by splashing buckets of water onto the burning flames with minimal effect. After all, it didn’t help to have an entire house made of wood and housing bales of dry hay and wheat – the perfect recipe for a bonfire.

Just as Gimshar was about to make it to the opening ahead, she ran into something and fell! Climbing back onto her feet quickly, she looked up and saw that she had bumped into a staggering Ser Argus! His hands and face were raw from burns and as he continued struggling to escape the burning building, he hacked and coughed from the smoke. Noticing Gimshar through teary eyes, he croaked, “Help… me…out…”

The initiative was so that I knew who could act first. Not for combat So I rolled for you Helena. Hope you don’t mind.

Everyone, excluding you guys, Ser Argus and the mercenarial guards (who are still staring stupidly at Helena) are now running after Sherey towards the woods to the west. Sherey has a headstart but Ser Tolois’ bodyguard is on horseback.

===============
Message #111
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gram (NPC)
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 15:14:09 GMT
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Seeing all the excitement but not quite understanding fully, Gram broke into a spirited barking fit! He hopped and growled as he saw all the running ahead. He looked up at Helena expectantly and barked at her. He too wanted to be part of the chase!

===============
Message #112
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 17:59:44 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Her survival sense to dash as fast as she could out of the building was interrupted when she un-expectingly bumped into the Templar. Gimshar allows herself to gape at Ser Argus’ condition for perhaps only a half second before grabbing his arm to lead him out of the burning building.

All that mattered to Gimshar was that they get out before being consumed along with the building in flames… though after escaping this, she could do with a brief lie-down, even if just for a few minutes.

===============
Message #113
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 18:45:22 GMT
-————————————————————————————
As Gilraen lowered his bow, he saw Sherey begin to run in their direction! He saw that she would be run down quickly by the horseman, so he decided to catch her attention as she approached the woods. At least everyone would be on foot then, and he had confidence that, as an elf, he could guide Royce and Sherey to safety.

===============
Message #114
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 19:31:42 GMT
-————————————————————————————
“Wait,” she orders Gram. “Not yet.”

Helena readies her bow and trains it on the apostate, hanging back and steadying her aim for a clear shot… and to give some time for the armsmen to distance themselves from her….

===============
Message #115
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 20:26:06 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Royce continued to watch in awe as the Templars and now a bodyguard on horseback began to give chase to Sherey. He could barely believe she had made it out of the farmhouse alive, and now maybe they had a chance.

She’ll be run down by the man on horseback in a moment, she won’t make it to the woods, Royce thought. Well, if I did it once…

“Get ready to run elf,” he says to Gilraen.

Finishing his chant, Royce casts a second Mind Blast, centering it on the man on horseback, but trying to take out as many Templars as he could. Knocking the horse down might cause some additional chaos and give Sherey another moment or two to make it to the woods. And maybe the Templars and mercenaries would be too confused to realize that he is not on their side.

As soon as his spell is cast, Royce waves Gilraen on, bursts from his hiding place, and runs towards the wild woods after Sherey.

“There’s the apostate,” Royce yells to any pursuers still on their feet. “Catch her!”

15:25, Today: Royce rolled 12 using 3d6+4 with rolls of 5,2,1. spellcasting roll (Mind Blast). Success, whew.
Spellpower is 14.
3 mana spent, 9 remaining out of 15.

===============
Message #116
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Thur, 19 Aug 2010 04:40:43 GMT
-————————————————————————————
By now, smoke was billowing out of the 1st floor windows of the farmhouse and the guards who with Helena yelped. “The farmhouse is on fire!” they cried and they rushed to fill buckets of water from the farmhouse’s well.

Left alone, Helena is free to ready her bow and nock in an arrow…

  • * * * *

Grabbing Ser Argus’s arm, Gimshar staggers to the exit but the Templar’s added weight severely hampered their escape. But much to both their relief, they made it nevertheless.

Upon exiting the burning building, a wave of fresh air hits them like a bucket of refreshing water and they cough, their body working hard to expel the smoke that had been absorbed into their system.

Then, one of the mercenaries who was with Helena earlier spotted them and yelled, “Hey! Are you alright?” Two men took over helping Ser Argus to safety while the third ran towards Gimshar with a bucket of water.

“Here, sit, you’re safe,” the guard said to Gimshar, handing her a small ladle of water, “Have some water… Is there anyone else trapped inside?”

  • * * * *

Meanwhile, the chase was on!

STOP!” The bodyguard bellowed at Sherey, “By order of the Chantry!”

And BOOM!

Royce’s Mind Blast created a mini shockwave that emanated from the bodyguard. The horse, spooked by the magical force, whined and reared violently! The bodyguard, the epi-centre of Royce’s spell was stunned to the core and didn’t even attempt to break his fall when his horse threw him to the ground. In a frenzy, the horse then dashes forward blindly in an effort to escape.

Nearby, Ser Tolois and Sister Arda had just stepped into the fringe of the blast and they too were knocked to the ground, stunned.

The distance between the Templars and Sherey widened, giving Helena a clear shot of Sherey.

Sherey hears Royce screaming for the remaining Templars to catch her and her heart sinks. Would they betray me? she wondered tearfully. Perhaps it was a rouse she tries to comfort herself when she notices Gilraen trying to signal her to follow. Or maybe it’s a trap! her mind warns.

Just get to the woods and hide! was her final thought and that was exactly her plan.

Red – Pursuing Templars, except Ser Argus who is lying down
Red in White BOX – Stunned templars
Black – Horse
White with Black border – Helena on horse
Darkblue – Gram
Purple – Guards
Blue – Royce
Green – Gilraen
Darkgreen – Sherey (Apostate)
Orange – Gimshar
Yellow – Nikolas

Royce, you lucky lucky mage… I blew all my rolls except for the horse!

===============
Message #117
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Thur, 19 Aug 2010 05:25:18 GMT
-————————————————————————————
As the horseman and pursuing Templars tumble to the ground, Royce is internally jubilant, but suppresses his reaction as he continues to chase after Sherey.

We’re almost there… We can outrun the rest of the Templars in all their armor easily now that the horse is gone. Just a little bit further, he thinks.

Royce sprints as fast as he can towards the woods, robes flapping about him, breathing heavily but intently focused on reaching the woods with Sherey before the Templars.

===============
Message #118
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Thur, 19 Aug 2010 06:15:16 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gimshar accepts the water gratefully, but looking back to the farmhouse she shakes her head in response to the guard’s question “I… I don’t know, but I pray there isn’t.”

===============
Message #119
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Thur, 19 Aug 2010 16:16:30 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Helena grimaces, feigning frustration. “Can’t take the shot without risking the templars — we need a better vantage point. Come on!” she calls to the dog, wheeling the horse around to ride north around the fence.

How high is the fence, and is Tolois still within line of sight?

===============
Message #120
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Thur, 19 Aug 2010 18:18:15 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Gilraen spots Helena trying to take a shot, and jumps out of his hiding place, waving his arms, shouting, “Don’t shoot!”
Seeing the woman lower her weapon, the elf swings about and takes off after Sherey and Royce.

===============
Message #121
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 10:18:11 GMT
-————————————————————————————
Running… running and more running. Sherey ducked under the shrubbery of the trees that stood in the middle of an open field, her heart beating wildy in her chest. She was surprised to see Gilraen catch up with her so quickly, but she didn’t dare stop for conversation. There was still a good distance of open field before she could get to the safety of the woods.

Chancing a glance over her shoulder, she saw Royce and close behind them were the two full helmed templars. Nearby, The riderless horse had calmed down and was now chewing on grass, nonchalant of what was happening around it. Then one of the templars, said to the other, “Grab the horse!”

Watching the goose chase was Helena who had rounded the northerly section of the crop field. The fence surrounding the crops was waist high, and so was the swaying wheat that grew on the field. However, sitting atop Lady, Helena could see very clearly what was happening south of her. And she could see that the Orlesian Chevalier, the Chantry Sister had climbed back to their feet and were continuing the chasse. However, the bodyguard lay prone on the ground, possibly injured from falling off his horse.

  • * * * *

“Alright, you just rest here, the guard said to Gimshar and all three of them hurried with the buckets to the burning farmhouse, leaving Gimshar alone with the injured Ser Argus.

Red – Pursuing Templars
Brown/Maroon – Ser Argus & Bodyguard. Injured, won’t be moving.
Black – Horse
White with Black border – Helena on horse
Darkblue – Gram
Purple – Guards
Blue – Royce
Green – Gilraen
Darkgreen – Sherey (Apostate)
Orange – Gimshar
Yellow – Nikolas

There is still 50 yards of open field to the woods Sherey is trying to escape to. Not reflected on this map.

Helena, I know you’re outside the crop field. But I didn’t have space on my map. So you are technically one box up. I moved you sort of according to the horse’s speed. But let you inch forward more spaces for the purpose of the story.

We’re reaching the end now. Right now, I’m just typing alot of running and nothing else as I’m not sure what you guys want to do. seems to me, Royce & Gilraen are going to escape with Sherey. Helena probably wants to shoot Sherey. Gimshar is just sitting with Ser Argus.

Everyone please roll initiative again. This is so that if MOVE/RUN ACTION, COMBAT ACTION is activated, I know who does what first.

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Message #122
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 11:14:18 GMT
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After catching her breath, Gimshar looks to the injured Ser Argus and his wounds. If he is conscious and capable of speaking to her, she asks “That was a close call, but we made it! Are you alright? You were doing pretty badly in there.” after he answers, she then inquires for more information on the woman. “Just who is this apostate anyway? What did they do to make them be so afraid as to light a building on fire?!”

However, if Ser Argus is unconscious or incapable of answering Gimshar, she’ll slowly start to rise and then move to see what became of Nikolas. In all the excitement of entering the building, she had forgotten clear about the mage’s friend. And perhaps he might know more about what was going on.

07:07, Today: Gimshar Farhig rolled 17 using 3d6 with rolls of 6,6,5. Initiative.

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Message #123
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 17:21:15 GMT
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Gilraen, seeing the apostate and Royce lagging behind him, nocked an arrow, and shot it so it landed in front of the horse, not to injure it, but to spook it so the templar would not gain access to it.
“Come on! You’re almost there!” he encouraged the running duo.

You rolled 16 using 3d6+4 ((5,1,6)).

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Message #124
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 23:12:13 GMT
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Royce couldn’t remember the last time he had run so hard — life in the Tower was quite sedentary — but he worked his legs as hard as he could and felt his spirits rise with every step he took towards the woods. He saw Sherey ahead as well, making her way to safety. That day he had gone against both his Circle training and his upbringing by casting a spell on a Templar, not to mention escaping with a stranger’s phylactery, but he let these worries go for a moment.

We’re almost there, Sherey, we’re going to make it.

18:04, Today: Royce rolled 9 using 3d6+1 with rolls of 1,4,3. Initiative
He continues running at full speed towards the woods.

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Message #125
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Thur, 26 Aug 2010 15:45:38 GMT
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Helena spurs the horse into action, directing Lady around the fence to the west, circling around to Gimshar as quickly as she can.

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Message #126
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Fri, 27 Aug 2010 04:10:39 GMT
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“They should be afraid, Ser Argus said to Gimshar. He was feeling better now and pushed himself to a sitting position. A hand came to touch his face and his fingertips came away bloody. The scorching pain was still making his mind numb but he continued to explain, “That apostate is… was a Circle Mage. She stole a phylactery and we suspect she’s about to transport it to a contact in Orzammar. For what reason, I’m not sure but we are only following orders. A crime has been committed and she must be brought to justice.”

Just then Helena circled back to Gimshar and Ser Argus, and Argus recognised her from earlier, “Have they caught the apostate?”

  • * * * * *

Over in the distance, Sherey, Gilraen and Royce had burst through the clump of trees and were now in an open field.

They could see the woods just up ahead as they continued their run and by now, the Templars, Ser Tolois and the Cloister Sister were catching up. Gilraen and his elven speed put him in the lead with Royce close behind.

Then, the sounds of a galloping horse thundered close behind – one of the Templars had taken over the abandoned horse and he easily cut off Sherey’s escape.

Sherey’s heart sank as the horse galloped past them and the Templar wheeled it around to face her. She saw Gilraen and Royce’s tearing ahead and "RUN!! was all she could muster before the Templar commanded the horse to charge and while he didn’t run her over, the Templar expertly maneuvered the animal so close to her that she was knocked her off her feet!

Shocked, it took a moment for Sherey to realize what had happened and while she tried to claw her way forward – to escape, the Templar on horseback was already onto her. He wheeled his horse around and about, blocking her route.

A sob escaped Sherey and she knew this was it. She was trapped. She spun around, the cloak about her falling to the ground revealing her Circle Robes, and she saw the other Templar, Sister Arda and Ser Tolois catching up, they would be here in a minute.

Gimshar & Helena, you are currently with Ser Argus. You watched Gilraen, Royce and Sherey disappear past the trees and can see them on the open field ahead.

One Templar, Ser Tolois and Sister Arda are catching up.

Royce & Gilraen, you are 10 yards ahead of Sherey now because she got stopped by the Templar on horseback. He’s circling her. For you two, the woods are 30 yards away.

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Message #127
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gilraen
Fri, 27 Aug 2010 05:31:14 GMT
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Gilraen saw Sherey’s plight, and quickly nocked an arrow. He did not want to have a murder on his hands, so he aimed at the horse. His plan was to unhorse the templar, giving the 3 of them a chance to escape.

Attack roll:You rolled 18 using 3d6+6 ((1,6,5)).
Damage roll:You rolled 7 using 1d6+4 ((3)).

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Message #128
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Helena of Redcliffe
Fri, 27 Aug 2010 22:30:55 GMT
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Helena answers Argus in a hurry: “They’re going to need all the help they can get! We’ll handle it, Ser!” She leans almost out of the saddle to offer a hand to Gimshar. “Come on!”

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Message #129
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Royce
Sat, 28 Aug 2010 19:57:55 GMT
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Royce hears Sherey’s cry, and turns in time to see her knocked over by the Templar on horseback. As the Templars continue their chase, he is too terrified to do anything then but turn back and continue running at full speed towards the forest.

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Message #130
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by Gimshar Farhig
Sat, 28 Aug 2010 22:51:35 GMT
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Helena of Redcliffe typed:Helena answers Argus in a hurry: “They’re going to need all the help they can get! We’ll handle it, Ser!” She leans almost out of the saddle to offer a hand to Gimshar. “Come on!”

What else could Gimshar do, but to take the hand that Helena offered to her? ‘Why should I stop now?’ she thinks to herself ‘sung today, ran through a burning building, might as well ride a horse too’

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Message #131
Re: Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern by The Game Master (GM)
Sun, 29 Aug 2010 05:12:10 GMT
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Before Gimshar could even fully settled on Lady’s saddle, Helena was off! With Gram running fast beside them, they kept their bodies low and galloped steadily towards the open field.

Through Helena’s expert steering, Gimshar found herself sailing through trees and now had Gilraen, Royce, Sherey and the templars in sight!

While Royce continued to sprint for the safety of the woods, Gilraen had nocked in an arrow and fired it at the Templar’s horse! His arrow found it’s mark on the horse’s hind and lo! The horse, which was no battle horse, reacted violently to the attack and started to rear, threatening to throw the Templar from horseback. The other templars, who were previously catching up were slowed down as they were distracted by the sudden appearance of Helena and Gimshar on horseback.

Sherey, who had been looking for an opportunity to escape found one and broke into a run putting a good distance between herself and her adversaries. Gilraen, had no time to think for a second whether his plan worked to completion but the moment he saw Sherey continue running, he raised a hand for her to grab and when she did, he pulled her along into a mad dash for the forest.

Gram too, decided to take matters into his own hands. He growled and snapped at the templars and as he danced around their feet and weaved between them, he made it exceptionally hard for them to keep up the chase. Weapons left the safety of their sheathes and by now, Ser Tolois and the Templars were all armed and shouting curses at the top of their lungs. One of the templars kicked out at Gram and the dog reeled, whining in pain.

The Chantry sister however made no move to arm herself and continued the chase, but by then Helena and Gimshar had made headway with the horse and burst into the woods together with Royce. Gram, despite his injuries had caught up with his master and was running side by side with her. Soon after, Sherey and Gilraen too arrived.

Overgrown trees, underbrush and fallen trunks hindered their escape while overhanging branches and outstretched twigs snag their clothes and cut their faces. It was difficult to keep track of where everyone was but by from the sounds of running footsteps and clanking armour, everyone knew that everyone else, templars included, were close.

After they rounded a corner pass a large boulder of rock, down a small hill and through a thick patch of dense vegetation. The sounds of clanking armour slowly faded. Then…

“We’ll find you! You bloody witch! a voice echoed in the woods.

Having been slowed down by their heavy armour, the templars had given up chase and this group of complete strangers, drawn by the need to help an apostate, had escaped together. Now, huddled safely in a nook of tree and rock, they could only ponder upon how by a strange twist of fate, a visit to a tavern could end with them saving the life of an outlaw, a criminal and an apostate named Sherey.

Here concludes Chapter One – It Always Starts in a Tavern. Everyone, with the exception of Nikolas, earns 100 EXP for completing this chapter’s quest and on the side of the apostate. And an extra 50 EXP for good roleplaying – So a total of 150 EXP.

Everyone also earned the Apostate Sympathizer Achievement.

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Chapter One Log

Dragon Age Chronicles lady_politic