A Course of Action

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Log Info

  • Title: A Course of Action
  • Characters: Lorik, Preston, Desdemona
  • Place: Alexandria - A nice inn
  • Time: June 15, 2018
  • Summary: Preston and Desdemona speak to Lorik to try to figure out next steps on the matter of the Master of Helsteeds.

Though temporarily distracted by the joys of making, bottling, selling and marketing Mr. Bayweather's Legitimately Lovely Laundry Potion (the name he has settled on, with a nod, of course, to Desdemona's Very Legitimate Profession) to a booming market in the Red Candle District with the help of Desi's incredible sales skills, Preston hasn't forgotten there is a madman making a mockery of the beautiful discipline of transfiguration in the hopes of whipping up some sort of Underdark mutant calvalry to crush them all.

And so it is that using some of their newfound gains he buys time in a private dining room at the Midtown Inn Desi found for him, and invites both Desi and Lorik for a meal. The big public meeting, after all, had produced panics, plans about thrown slugs, and general mayhem, a thousand wild speculations and no real courses of action.

Preston wants to nail one of those down. A course of action.

On the menu tonight is a lovely ruby red bass with a side of asparagus, hot rolls with butter, and wedges of sharp, white cheese. White wine is similarly on offer. It was the kitchen's choice, not Preston's, but it surely is a step or fourty up from the kind of nonsense they serve at the Ox.

Preston takes 100% less beatings here than he took at that rougher establishment.

He smells lovely of course, as lovely as the food, because he uses his own laundry potion. Today it is a crisp forest green vest with matching slacks, a sky blue collared shirt, and a tasteful silver leaf pin affixed to the left breast of the vest. The richness of the colors and the fine cut of the cloth speak to the expense of it more than any embellishments. With the weather warming off he's left off the outer coat. It is, of course, all things he owned before his life got turned upside down. However well the alchemy of laundry may be doing at supporting them, he's not doing so well he can afford to support his highly expensive clothing habit yet.

He sits waiting for his friends with a few maps spread before him, frowning down at them as he works on his wine.


Desdemona has been almost living a double life. When she's here in the fine midtown estalishment, she is a polite elven woman who comes and goes, helping Preston expand his business anyway she can. She's even been known to make business deals in the middle of dinner, but she knows that Preston succeeding is going to help her in the long run, some how.

Then there is the side of Desdemona that everyone is used to, the one egging fights on in the Ox, and delving into any adventure the Guild wishes to hand out to her. She's still bringing her laundry to Preston because sword battles still happen.

Since they're at the fancy place, she's in her nice frock. It's sky blue, off shoulder dress sinched by a silver trimmed corset. Her hair has been tamed by intracate braids, keeping it out of her face and out of the way. She cleans up nice when she needs to.

She slips into the dinning room, joining Preston at the table and spotting the wine. "I see you did not hold back this evening. Are we trying to impress our Underdark dwelling friend?" She says, serving herself some wine and coming to lean over to look at the maps as well.


100 percent less beatings is a major improvement. Lorik is defintally a fan of a statistic like that.

When he was invited to the /nice/ part of town by someone he actually knew though. Well first Lorik thought it was a joke. Then he thought it was a trap. Then a joke. Then back to a trap. And really he's just going back and forth on that. Trying to figure out which one. Of course that doesn't mean he won't be going, because stepping into a trap is one of the best ways to find out who happens to be behind it.

...of course no one is behind it. Its just a nice invitation. But old habits die hard in the mind of the shadow elf.

When he pokes his head in though he at least looks presentable. No dented brestplate or bloodied tunic. Its still rustic, surviceable, tooled leather with no obvious armor but he's tried at least. He just doesn't have much in the way of nice clothes.

Running away from your murderous family has downsides.



In addition to the profit-sharing she's getting from their business, Desi is sure to see one other benefit. There's a box with her name on it on her seat when she goes to take it. Wrapped like a gift.

But Preston fails to acknowledge it. Instead, he gives a bright and dapper smile. "My Lady," he says. "I am dining and making heroic plans this evening with both a gorgeous woman and a handsome man. One does work to impress, under such circumstances."

Despite the fact that his attempts to romance her got no farther than the world's most awkward cuddling session, where he fell asleep against her in companionable fashion and didn't even manage a proper kiss, the flirting continues unabated. As it does with many. Not all, but many. Of varying genders and races. It's suave until it isn't, starting at light and harmless and descending into raw awkwardness at any time when anyone of any persuasion might indicate it could in any way turn serious.

But here is Lorik, unsure about the Nice Part of Town and all it entails, and Preston waves him in. "Lorik, right on time," he greets. "We never did get around to sitting down and hashing out an actual plan for this Helsteed fellow. I thought we'd might best do that. And why not do it in a quiet environment, with decent food? I'm afraid the Ox and I are not exactly sympatico. It keeps trying to break my nose and all that sort of thing."


Spotting the present, Desdemona raises her brows and holds it up. "I feel like you're buttering me up for something." Although she is very excited for whatever the present is, because presents are fantastic, they have business to attend to, so for the moment she sets it aisde.

"You're Grace." She says, giving him a bow, after all the flriting never stops, but she has at least not pushed the topic since that awkward evening. When he mentions Lorik being handsom she smirks. "Well, I definatly wouldn't kick him out of bed in the morning. However I think he is far more interested in what I can do with my sword."

Speak of the devil and he arrives, turning to Lorik she gives him a smirk. "Ah, so you did find it. After the last bar brawl, we decided this is a better place for Preston to florish, and his business is doing quite well. But he's right, we have other pressing matters to attend to. Like delving into dark caves. Very dark caves." There is a tone in her voice that suggests this is unsettling to her, but she still has her on her usually cocky grin.


Stepping into the room there is a way that the shadow elf checks all the exits first before smiling easily at the pair of friends there. "Well I just had to ask for the part of town that made the Guard look at me all suspicious and it was easy." He replies glibly as he steps towards the table. "I do have to admit it is nicer than the Ox. Likely less things get broken too."

A flash of silver from around his throat as metal, finely worked silvery links of chain, can be seen for a moment poking up from under his more simple seeming leathers.

Might be a hint of where all his fashion money went too.

"But yes! Finding this Helsteed person, and his deep dark cave. Though caves aren't that bad." A pause. "Unless they are filled with a fungus dragon. /That/ wasn't very pleasent." A pause. "I didn't even know fungus could turn into a dragon!"

A simple shake of his head then before he looks towards the maps. "So, what have you come up with?"


"Not much," Preston admits, grimacing. "I'm not sure if any of these maps are accurate, for one thing. I say, Lorik, have you been in the Underdark? Because the way Desi and I figure it, that must be how they're moving troops between those locations. Perhaps you //know// if any of these maps have merit. If not, I'm afraid the only even marginally intelligent plan I've come up with is to go back to the cave we saw the last time. No doubt there's an entrance to the underground road they are using nearby, if not in that specific cave, then somewhere close."

He spreads his hands apologetically, looking between the two of them. "I've been wracking my brains for something that sounds a bit less...suicidal. But we need information, and..."


"This is why I come in a disguise!" Desdemona says, gesturing toward the dress. "It's not pratical for battlle, but there are not a whole lot of people here who want to have a random duel. Besides, he compliments me more when I wear a fancy frock and I am a sucker for compliments." She sips her wine as the conversation returnrs back to the matters at hand. However her face sours at Lorik's information. "I didn't know it could either. And now I do. Thank you for the nightmares."

Now she gets quiet as they start really talking business and makes a face. "Yeah, that sounds very suicidal, not that this whole thing doesn't sound suicidal. However the if you have a way for us to stay alive than I am all ears to hear it!"


"You're welcome," Lorik replies with a touch of a wicked grin. "I mean really I have to share right? I can't just keep my horrible experiences to myself can I? What fun would that be. And yes, the dress /is/ very nice." This towards Des before he flashing a grin towards Preston as well.

"Well let me see the maps..." He says as he comes over to the table. "...though I agree that just walking up to the entrance we found might not be the best idea." A longer pause. "I mean they might have trapped it at this point....but...there always is a different way. Espicially when it comes to tunnels."


Preston slides the maps over. It's easy to see why he doesn't trust any of them. Though he has carefully purchased or libraried the most recent versions not a single one of them agrees. It would be impossible to tell which came from a cartographer from beneath the surface, someone who has actually been there and lived there, and which simply was invented out of whole cloth to sell to unsuspecting adventurers. "These three," he says, pulling them aside, "seem most likely if only because the have routes which correspond at all to what we found in the Felwood, but..."

He shakes his head and says, "I did think of an above ground plan, however. They can't use the site we raided. They get a lot of mileage out of using Felwood. If we can identify the best map we might be able to follow one of those roads through the Felwood, aboveground, and find their next site. This time we could watch to see how they're moving things about, do a strict surveillance run. Because that might give us a better notion on how to stop all this."

He smirks at Desi though, with all this commentary about frocks, and says, "My Lady, I am also inclined to compliment you when you stab that which threatens me. I think this is an important fact to establish."


Desdemona has peeked at these maps, and while she isn't a stranger to cartography, most of what she sees on these pages are foregin to her. After all there can't be a whole lot of airships in the Underdark. "You know, that's one thing I like about you Lorik, you really know how to share. It's your best feature." Her tone is flat, but she matched the grin as she crosses her arms over her chest. "It is isn't it. I might just have to buy this one."

"That's what we were hoping you knew, where the other tunnels in the area might be. If we can get something close and hopefully not something they know is connected. I don't know if they hang out down there all the time or are just using it as a quick mode of travel." Nodding to Preston she gives an affirmative nod. "That's the most important thing, stopping all of this. I'll even go into horrible caves to do so."

Desi raises a brow to Preston and gives him a wicked grin. "If that box contains what I think it contains, my sword is at your beck and call Your Grace." She even curtseys.


"I try, Des. I try." Lorik replies lightly as he waves a hand towards the pirate woman. His eyes turn to the maps though and he just frowns slightly towards the maps. "...who even wrote these! This can't even be an actual cavern, and caves don't go like this...this is ridiculious..." He mutters as he peers though the trio of them.

"...maybe these are correct but...its hard to tell without going down there..." He looks up again towards the pair of them. "...I'm thinking though...that Des..." He nods towards the woman. "...might be right in this case."

A flash of a grin.

"I'm guessing these 'roadways' are as streight as they can make them. Back to whevere their base is. But there are always natural entrences to cave networks. If we can find some in the same area...well...that would help us get into them. If I know tunnel carvers...they would use the natural ones whenever they can. Mostly because they are lazy. So we should be able to find connecting tunnels."


"It might well," Preston says with a twitch of his lips, on the matter of //what is in the box.//

Still, he turns sober eyes back to the other two. "Well then. Our course is set. The next question is whether this demands a large party, because we're sure to get jumped and that's the only way to keep our skins, or whether this demands a small, quiet party who can look and then slip out."

It's a course of action, if a frightening one. Now all that remains is to hammer out the details.

It's worth noting that he's got a keen eye on what Lorik is doing as he sorts through those maps. Seeing exactly what makes the Drow reject them tells him, after all, how he can avoid getting swindled in the future when he tries to buy any such things. It also tells him a little bit more about how underground areas work, knowledge he didn't have before. Either is quite useful, in his book.


"What? I'm right!?" Desdemona says as she turns to Preston. "Catch me, I'm going to faint." She even presses the back of her hand to her forehead as she sighs. She however does not faint, and instead leans forward to look at the maps. "Well good to know now that they're shite before we started using them, got lost forever and became fungus dragons." How does fungus even dragon? That's going to keep her up at night.

"Alright then, at least we have a direction and we're not just sitting over here staring at the Felwood like it's going to spew out an army of fiery crabs." Because those are the worst. "I'm not amazing at being quiet, but I can do my best if we need a small party."

As to the mysterious package, Desdemona's eyes get a curious but excited gleam in them as she looks it over. "We're going to finish with these maps, eat this delicious food, then I am going to go have my way with what's in that box."


"We didn't /become/ a fungus dragon. It was just a spire of fungus. That we pulled over. Then it became a dragon. It was...very odd. But nearly killed us all anyway. So I'm not going to say it was all fun and games." The shadow elf pauses. "Though it was fun."

"But yes, I think just a small group at first. To get our bearings, maybe make a proper map. Find out what they are really up to. /Then/ we come back in with a larger group that can truly stop whatever it is they happen to be planning..."

A pause then.

"Because I have a feeling we'll need more information before we can put paid properly on all this."


"Right then," Preston says thoughtfully. "Well, I shall get my spells studied and prepped, unless you think there are others who would be better suited for the advance team. I'm afraid I'm more of a brain than a heavy hitter, as you both well know, having worked with me in the field. Give me ten years of study and practice and I'll be formidable, but wizardry is quite the slow path to such things. One pursues it for the love, if one is wise, not for the ease of the thing."

Which is all true enough. Still: "Not that I am adverse to going, never let it be said that I will not place my own neck on the line for the plans I suggest. This entire matter concerns me."


"Oh well that's way less fun then." Desdemona teases even if the idea is still horrifying. "I'm all for doing a little recon before hand, especially if you're going to pay peole to help you out with the bigger problem." However Preston's words cause her pause and she slowly raises her brow. "Well, you're never going to get any better at spells if you don't get out and use the ones you have. Sure your business is profitable, but you can't beceome an all powerful mage by beign patient. You need to get your hands dirty." Desi reaches up and claps him on the shoulder before she reaches on the table and tosses the maps aside.

"Since those are useless, why don't we get them out of the way and get down to the real important things. Food." Desdemona has priorities.