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Author Topic: Storytime (Main RP Thread)  (Read 14724 times)

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Offline Enheduanna

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Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« on: May 28, 2018, 03:07:21 AM »
What it says on the lid.

Offline Enheduanna

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 01:53:28 AM »
4th day of Ayyarum (April 19th, 1767 BCE)
It’s the 4th day of the Babylonian month of Ayyarum — a warm, clear morning, and the four of you are in the vicinity of Babylon’s old Market Gate.  This neighborhood is one of Babylon’s oldest, and though this gate used to be an entrance into the city, it’s now a decaying remnant that stands well inside the city’s outer fortifications.

This is normally a busy, crowded place, and today is no different.  All around you, merchants and craftspersons hock their wares.  Children chase one another through the streets and between the stalls, provoking several adults, who hurl curses in their wake.

About halfway between sunrise and noon, you spot a man making his way through the multitude toward you.  He is short (5’3”) and his face is either shaved or naturally hairless.  He has long, well-­cared for hair that has been pleated and gathered into a bun at the nape of his neck.  He waves a hand at you and calls Murdus [GB] out by name.  You notice that he’s wearing a robe with a fringe.  Something about this man causes Lahwi-­Maliku [DW] to suspect he’s a eunuch.  This is confirmed for all of you when the man reaches you and speaks.

Inimmu!” he exclaims, “What a crowd!  I thought I’d never find you!”  He looks over the group.  “Dadanum [Murdus’s merchant friend] told me that this enterprising fellow was leaving for the village of Birṣum soon —“  he begins to scrutinize Yarlaganda [Barrow] “ — And my my!  You’re a big one!”

The strange man turns back to the animist.  “Now, now, it’s no big secret!  Everyone knows the king’s engineers are sending you to Birṣum to make the final plans for his fortress!”  He looks at the Gutian’s camel and frowns, but continues speaking, “Well, anyway, I should really get on with it!  You’re clearly men of action.  I was wondering if I might hire you to run an errand for me, since you’re heading to the village anyway.”

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 07:01:20 AM »
Murdus

He frowns briefly, before a smile appears on his weathered face... "You have me at a disadvantage, but it matters not, surely my friend Dadanum would not send a stranger to delay me on my journey unless it was a matter of great import.... Pray tell me your name... the manner of this errand.. and the value of our time to you"

------------

Murdus is leading his donkey by it's muzzle, behind it tows a small cart.

At this point I'm assuming that a least Murdus and Yarlagnda have met before, probably travelling on the road to Babylon?

Offline Dalewarrior

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2018, 11:54:28 AM »
Lahwi

The Amorite nods at Murdus' suggestion, and pushes his mule by the briddle to get nearer to the group.

Offline Enheduanna

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2018, 02:46:30 PM »
(Great picture, GB!)

Let’s go ahead and assume the players are acquainted with one another.  How exactly is up to you.

“Ah!  My name, yes!  Warad-Marduk, at your service,” the short man says, bowing.  “The task I need completed is a simple one.  All I need you to do is to deliver a letter to someone in the village, and another tablet with it.  I would do it myself, but I’m not really the traveling sort.  And what with the rumors and all…”. He glances around, as if to see that no one is eavesdropping on the conversation, then he leans in closer and adds, “I’ll pay you in silver, let’s say, 10 shekels (5 SP) per person for the delivery, and another 30 (15 SP) for your discretion in this matter.”

You all know that 40 shekels (20 SP) per person is a considerable amount of money.  Only the richest men in Babylon would be able to pay this for mail delivery.

You may have an observer, but you haven’t noticed him/her yet.  Because of the crowd this is going to be a Light Difficulty (+10) Hiding roll for these persons, modified by your Alertness bonuses.  Rolls are in the Dice Thread.  I suspect our Elamite thief is going to make an Observation attempt.  Anyone else?

Murdus’s Awareness:  Observer’s Hiding Roll (38) + O’s Hiding bonus (+78) + Light Difficulty (+10) - Murdus’s Alertness -33 = 93.

LM’s Awareness:  Observer’s Hiding Roll (38) + O’s Hiding bonus (+78) + Light Difficulty (+10) - LM’s Alertness -36 = 90.

Indattu’s Awareness:  Observer’s Hiding Roll (38) + O’s Hiding bonus (+78) + Light Difficulty (+10) - Indattu’s Alertness -23 = 103.

Yarlaganda’s Awareness:  Observer’s Hiding Roll (38) + O’s Hiding bonus (+78) + Light Difficulty (+10) - Yarla’s Alertness -38 = 88.

Lahwi-­Maliku and Yarlaganda both spot a man about 300 feet away who is standing on the back of a merchant’s cart and looking your way.  They don’t suspect him of anything more than a passing interest.  Murdus and Indattu barely register the man’s presence.

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2018, 04:11:23 PM »
Murdus

Looks a little confused for a moment... but leans in closer to Warad-Martuk.... and whispers.

 "Really? Just for a letter to Birsum?... Well, I'm sure I'd be able to.... once I remember exactly where Birsum is.. or who he is" he adds with a chuckle.


Offline Enheduanna

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2018, 04:50:09 PM »
Murdus has a general sense of where the village is, from your discussions about the fortress plans. Warad-Marduk can also supply you with better directions.  The other players can also make a region lore roll and add their Babylon region lore bonus.  Success means they might have more information about the village.

To get there, you'll head north along the course of the river Euphrates for about 35 miles (a day's travel) then turn east and head towards the Tigris for another day.  Bisrum is relatively near the Tigris. It's also near the western eastern edge of Hammu-rapi's influence.

Edit: I don't know my east from my west sometimes.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 03:01:39 AM by Enheduanna »

Offline Barrow

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2018, 05:47:33 PM »
Yarlaganda

dismisses the distant observer, but continues to survey the crowd for other signs that they're being watched.

He does not stop this scan, even as he speaks to the eunuch. "That is a generous offer," he says, skeptically.  "For that sort of pay, I suppose we should expect... surprises?"


« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 06:03:33 PM by Barrow »

Offline Enheduanna

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2018, 06:28:45 PM »
So I assume Yarlaganda is going to use Observation?  I’ll wait for Kantron to chime in, and then we’ll do Observation rolls for those who want to.

Offline Barrow

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2018, 06:32:01 PM »
So I assume Yarlaganda is going to use Observation? 

Yes.

Offline Enheduanna

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 03:13:51 AM »
The short man suddenly looks nervous.  Perhaps the large, one-eyed Gutian is a little intimidating?  He begins to speak quietly, “Well, you know — the rumors.  Ibal-pi-El — or his generals — want that whole area back.”

You all know that Ibal-pi-El is the king of the city-state of Ešnunna, and that he controls an area of Mesopotamia centered on the Tigris River, north and east of Babylon.

While the eunuch is talking, Yarlaganda is scrutinizing the crowd.  Now he really notices the man on the back of a wagon, who is attempting to conceal himself with the projecting corner of a building.  To you at least, the man sticks out like a sore thumb.  He's clearly interested in your group, or in the eunuch.

Warad-Marduk continues, "Of course, I'll give you a contract.  10 shekels (5 SP) for each of you now, and I'll deposit the rest with the Temple of Šamaš, who will grant it to you when you return with a receipt from our man in Birsum."

The PCs know that this arrangement isn't unusual.  The Temple of Šamaš operates as something between a neutral bank and a register of deeds.  They're one of the most trusted institutions in the kingdom.

Offline Barrow

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2018, 04:05:42 AM »
Yarlaganda

listens to the eunuch's concerns about Ibal-pi-El with mild interest, and the mention of shekels gains his full attention. But, as the talk turns to 'contracts,' his attention quickly wanders. He has learned to let Murdus handle these details.

Contracts, he muses scornfully. Letters. Tablets. Receipts. Nonsense. Sorcery. Trickery. How can scribbles on paper hold a man's word? His honor? he scoffs, not for the first time. But, his years of mercenary work have taught him that the terms of his payment are often determined by those scribblings.  So he says nothing.

As the eunuch continues, Yarlaganda feeds his camel a handful of figs to conceal his interest in their distant observer. He watches as the would-be spy tries to hide. While Murdus talks to the eunuch, Yarlaganda discretely turns to Indattu and Lahwi and mutters:

"We're being watched. Yon wagon, by the building with the red roof. Be on your guard."


Offline Kantron

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2018, 09:47:20 AM »
AS DESCRETELY AS POSSIBLE I RESPOND: Want me to do something about him (deal with the who is observing)?

Offline Barrow

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2018, 11:12:43 AM »
Yarlaganda

feeds Gamesh (his camel) another fig as he discretely watches the observer and considers Indattu's proposal. He is very sly, from what I've seen, Yarlaganda thinks of Indattu. He could easily deal with this watcher.  But, are there others?

"No, I think not," he answers quietly after a moment. "Not yet. Better to stay together, in case of trouble. It is enough to know he's there, for now. I will keep my eye on him. Watch for others."

Yarlaganda will keep scanning the crowd occasionally, and keep an eye on the known observer. He feeds Gamesh another fig. Snort twice if you see a threat, he thinks to his camel, rubbing between the beast's eyes.

Offline Kantron

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 12:19:27 PM »
Discretely nods in agreement.  I move around acting as if checking to make sure Gamesh is well groomed.  Meanwhile, I check for anyone else who could be taking covert cues or instructions from the observer.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 12:25:48 PM by Kantron »

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2018, 02:57:31 PM »
Murdus

"Well, that seems an acceptable enough deal...give the message to me... I'll get it to... umm. Who was I meant to give it to? Did you tell me? I was distracted by my fellow travellers, I wish they wouldn't whisper so. It's so distracting...  Right, take the message to Barsoom, no, that's not right.. umm, Birsum was it? Yes, yes.. I shall do that." he says opening his satchel ready.

Meanwhile, he notices his Donkey's ear prick up. Murdus, distracted again, gives them a quick stroke. "Muffus.. Calm now, there are no bandits here."

Offline Dalewarrior

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2018, 03:51:16 PM »
Lahwi

considered the eunuch's proposal He also remembered the talk about a general. He gathered his loose thoughts and tried to remember what the political situation was around the area. Ibal-pi-El wanted the zone back. What were the rumours he was talking about, he thought.

He also observed the man that was spying them, and whether he was still there.

Offline Enheduanna

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2018, 05:20:47 PM »
The man continues to look at all of you, but he doesn’t take any actions that make it apparent that he knows that you’ve noticed him.

Warad-Marduk narrows his eyes, and seems confused by Murdus's absent-mindedness.  When the animist mentions "bandits," he glances around, but doesn't see anything amiss.  He doesn't notice the observer.  He seems frustrated, and he looks past the merchant to the rest of you.  "Well, gentlemen?” he says,  “Do we have an agreement?  If so, I’ll be glad to accompany you to the temple so that I don’t delay you any longer.”

DW, can you give me a Babylonia Region Lore roll?

Offline Barrow

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2018, 05:38:01 PM »
Yarlaganda

looks at Warad-Murak, and nods towards Murdus. "He just told you we have an agreement, eunuch. Give him the scribbles."

He puts a firm hand on the eunuch's shoulder. It's not a friendly grip. "And, if you walk with us, you'll walk next to me."

Offline Enheduanna

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Re: Storytime (Main RP Thread)
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2018, 05:56:44 PM »
Like most Babylonians, Lahwi knows that Ešnunna controlled that region up until two years ago.  In Babylon, the king of Ešnunna has a reputation as the puppet of his generals.  Nothing specific about Birsum springs to Lahwi’s mind.

The eunuch jumps at Yarlaganda’s touch.  You can feel him shiver under it.  He breathes deeply, then says, “All right, let’s go.”

Together with Warad-Marduk, all of you proceed to the Temple of Šamaš, Edikukalamma (Sum. “House of the Judgment of the Land”).  This is located on the other side of the city, and you have to cross the great branch of the Euphrates River which flows through it.



To get to the river bridge, you pass down the broad, paved avenue named Išemme-ana-rūqī (OB. “He Listens to Those Who Are Distant”).  This street runs between the Temple of Marduk, Esagil (Sum. “House Whose Top is High”) and the seven-story ziqqurat of Babylon, Etemenanki (Sum. “House of the Foundation Platform of Heaven and the Underworld”).

GM:  I’m going to presume that Indattu, Lawhi, and Yarlaganda are going to be looking for any signs of pursuit or ambush.  Unless there are any objections, Observation or Situational Awareness seem the most applicable skills, since Sense Ambush is more passive.  Rather than have me roll for any potential pursuers’ Stalking rolls, how about we reverse things, and let the players roll?  Your result will be modified by your pursuer’s (if you have one) Stalking skill.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 05:58:21 PM by Enheduanna »

 

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