Toll Terror, part 1
- Title: Toll Terror
- Emitter: Cryosanthia
- Characters: Aimarra, Locien, Elyanna
- Place: H03: Eldwyn Road
- Time: Thursday, July 23, 2020, 5:24 PM
- Summary: A small produce caravan is travelling along Eldwyn Road towards Alexandria when it encounters an impromptu Toll station, erected on a bridge across a small river by a troop of kobolds. Worried that the road is also compromised, they carefully approach and are hailed in Tradespeak. The kobolds on the bridge are surprisingly well equiped with armour and expensive weapons. A green one hails the party, saying they must pay a toll, while a red and blue one fight over a thunderbelcher. The party, having a milder internal dispute, still humour the green kobold, saying they will pay so one of the ill-equipped kobolds is sent up to get the money. At which point the party tells the kobolds their papers are out of date. This frustrates the red, who prepares to fire a warning shot, which is prevented when the blue steals the thunderbelcher from him. The garter-snake coloured kobold cowers at Locien's feet, and the tension builds as the party waits to respond.
- APL: 3 (Aimarra rgr2, Locien clr3, Elyanna swasbd 4)
- CR: 7
- Encounters: XP 3400
- (3) CR5 XP 1600 Kobolds, well equiped
- (2) CR1/4 XP 100 Kobolds
-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--<* H03: Eldwyn Road *>--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-
The Eldwyn Road meanders continuously around hills, wilderness, and farmland, though it is occasionally broken by fingerlets from the great Tornmawr. At one point, the road crosses the Tornmawr itself, which takes place by use of a ferry.
Further east and past the ferry are the great Redridge Mountains. These mountains, which run mostly north and south, charge through the landscape, and even through the eastern end of the Lord's City of Alexandria.
Towards the south is the city, with its flags rising far above the walls. The fiery Rising Phoenix almost glows in the sunlight and airships may be seen both in flight and in dock, as they make use of a carefully sculpted section of the Redridge.
Towards the north, the landscape of rolling hills and farmland breaks into denser forest.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Appearing, in Order =-=-=-=-=-=-= Aimarra 5'1" 128 Lb Half-Elf Female Brown hair and eyes, breastplate, leathers, pointed ears. Locien 5'4" 140 Lb Dawn Elf Male A handsome Sil male wearing the trappings of Vardama. Elyanna 5'11" 153 Lb Half-Orc Female An oddly complected woman in a raven feather cloak --=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--= -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- As the GM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Cryosanthia 6'9" 267 Lb Sith-Makar Female A dashingly tall, elegant white-scaled lizard woman. --=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=
The best farmer's markets are in Alexandria, for the sellers. For buyers, it's better to get the produce a little closer to the farm. Once the selection in the smaller villages and towns has been picked over, the remaining goods are bought up and sent to the city where they'll fetch a higher price. It involves more middle-merchants, but it keeps the profits higher and the supply chains a little thinner.
Plus, the locals like to interact with each other. Usually.
Any train of wagons heading towards the city is an attractive target, even if they're only carrying few-days-maybe-weeks old melons, squashes and potatoes like this one is. The three carts are identical, simple wooden ones with open backs, and the cargo is loaded separately. Melons in the first cart, squashes the second, and lowly spuds in the third. They're pulled by mules, and each has a driver that is happy to talk, or not, depending on whether the guard rides the sideboard or patrols alongside. They're moving a little faster for walking, but riding animals can keep up at a canter.
It's been a sunny day, with a few clouds, some dark ones on the horizon threatening rain, but the roads are dry and progress is good.
Aimarra, sharp of eye and of aim, has opted to ride the sideboard of the squash cart, since a ride atop the sideboard means a better vantage point. She's been friendly enough for the ride, her accent definitely foreign, and for those well-traveled, suggesting Veyshanti origins. She's been chatting amiably with the driver, her strung shortbow across her knees and an arrow nocked but not drawn, using her seat and her muscled body to keep her balance. Her pack is in the wagon in question, and she had no problem availing herself of the fresher produce to be had at the farms, but that is forgotten for now.
Locien rides between the first and second carts on his own mount, to the left side of the vehicles when the road's width permits. His horse, black as void and nearly as large as the draft beasts pulling the wagons, seems out of place beneath the unassuming Mourner; it would be better suited clad in barding and carrying a maker of war. Still, neither steed nor rider seem unhappy with the situation. Locien spends the time casually looking around, keeping an eye on the lands stretching from the road. "There's much to be said for moments of serene simplicity..." he offers aloud to nobody in particular.
Elyanna is afoot at the front of the train, having the occaisional exchange with the first cart's driver, her accent discinctly Bludgunni. There's been a few moments when the red woman has helped time pass with a song that helps perk the gait and lighten the tedium. Now, though, she allows the Mourner's current postulation to carry in large part, though now, "Perhaps. What do you make of those clouds?" she inquires for her fellows to answer as they would.
There's the steady clop of hooves on the packed dirt, and regular wagon creaks as they bounce and sway under there loads. Birds flit around in the trees, and bugs are out as well, dipping in and out of direct sunlight.
This stretch of road is through a forest, but the trees have been logged on either side to discorage bandits. That was a while ago, and the undergrowth has vigorously taken advantage, springing up and crowding to the edges of the track. Visibility is still rather good.
The road turns directly south towards a small river crossing. The river itself is roughly sixty feet wide, and the forest ends double that distance away from it. Like the cleared areas through the woods, the area next to the riverbanks supports a thick level of underbrush, although it also has some clear patches.
Aimarra's driver seems to enjoy her accent and asks questions to keep her talking, mostly her opinions on various things and the places she's been. Locien draws a few eyes, although his horse gets a lot more attention and a few covetous stares. His observations regarding serenity draw agreeable grunts from the other drivers, but no questions. Everyone is a little hesitant to speak to mourners, for fear of jinxing themselves into needing one, and a mourner on a black warhorse increases conversational reluctance.
Overhead, the clouds continue to slowly drift over and while the distant ones are dark, the near ones are quite fluffy and white, casting a few shadows.
These shadows turn out to be deceptive. A dark spot on the road ahead, perhaps a dip, perhaps a pothole, perhaps a cast by a cloud resolves into a small, lizard-like being that was lying there who now jumps up with a squawk.
Aimarra's commentary suggests that she's quite far from home, but only for the first time, and while she's sharp, she's quite plainly also green, and eagerly listens to any tales told. Anyone listening will learn that she is, in fact, from Tashraan itself, but seems perfectly at home in the quieter spaces like this one. A strange dichotomy, but then, half-sil and dichotomies are hardly unusual. Her eyes had gone to the clouds that Elyanna mentioned, but also to the trees and undergrowth, and she opines, "We have some time yet before the rain hits...hold. What is _that_?" She stands carefully on the sideboard, eyes on the shadows on the road ahead. She hasn't yet raised the bow, but she's spotted it.
Locien nods agreeably along with Aimarra as she opines about the weather, then follows her sudden focus of attention out to the road ahead. He lingers there for a moment, then begins warily scanning the brush that girdles the road and the wagons. There are eyes enough directed forward, after all.
GAME: Elyanna rolls diplomacy: (20)+8: 28
Elyanna doesn't lay out a lot of details, and answers pressing inquiries with vagueries like 'things to unlearn' and 'setting things right'. One note of the 'that' in question, Ely turns her attention there and, despite her record tries a diplmatic, if simple, "Hello!"
GAME: Aimarra rolls perception: (2)+9: 11 GAME: Locien rolls perception: (10)+7: 17
There doesn't seem to be any movement at the tree-line. No shadowy figures. No underbrush that wiggles strangely or suddenly sheds bugs. However, there are a lot of good hiding places. It's hard for the adventurers to trust their eyes.
The little lizard person is garter snake coloured, mostly greens and yellows with a little bit of black. It is wearing a very tattered looking loin cloth. It stares at the carts, then counts by holding up fingers, one, two, three, four.
At Elyanna's hail, it makes another strange alarm sort of noise, turns and runs down the road with it's tail bouncing.
"Mother Goddess moaning, that's a kobold," The lead driver says, with a heavy sigh, turning to look at the adventurer guards. "If there's one, there's a bunch. Expect traps. Why don't one of you go check it out."
Up ahead, distantly, a high-pitched voice shouts out growl-like words, "Carts coming! Carts coming! Two! They talk Nice!" <draconic>
The Mourner returns his attention to the caravan, regarding Aimarra with a raised brow. "I'm afraid I've no eye for such things." The call from ahead startles Locien somewhat, and a hand rises to his chest, specifically to the Vardaman symbol hanging around his neck. He closes his eyes momentarily and murmurs a quiet prayer, wan light glowing from the symbol through his fingers.
GAME: Locien casts Comprehend Languages. Caster Level: 3 DC: 14
Kobolds. Aimarra's heard stories of those, and of their traps. "Yeah. And it's telling its friends how many we are, I ...." She doesn't even get all of it out before the voice up ahead is audible, and she shuts her mouth, because that all but confirms her words. With a heavy sigh, she takes bow and arrow in one hand, jumps down from the sideboard, and draws the bow, aiming it juuuuuust in front of the undergrowth along the sides of the road, so close as to almost brush the leaves. "So the road might be compromised?" She sights down the bow, then looses the arrow parallel with the underbrush.
GAME: Aimarra rolls intimidate: (10)+6+4: 20
Elyanna frowns thoughtfully and looks back to the driver, nodding to his advisory and she looks back to the little one again, "Greetings, do you know this tongue?" she calls, before she asides, 'Does anyone understand what was-?' Aimarra's words answer that sure enough and she shakes her head. Again. Clearly, the world is trying to tell her the whip better option, after all. <goblin-talk>
Anyone lurking in the underbrush near the road would be demoralized by the ranger's confident handling of her arrow. A noise would be made, perhaps they would flee. So far, nothing responds.
It took off down the road and around the corner. Towards the river, and the bridge, which are just out of sight of the caravan's current postion.
"Yeh, likely compromised. Maybe trip-wires. Doubt they could have dug a pit. Might have put a tree across it." The melon driver muses aloud, covering standard bandit and kobold tactics. "A small tree."
Locien Locien's attention moves away from the foliage as Aimarra threatens the bushes, to little effect. He shifts uneasily in his saddle, the beast beneath him far less impressed by the whole situation. "We'll need to move forward, regardless. If the intent is to immobilize us, staying here will make light work for them."
"Okay, well, long as you don't think we're moving into their ambush point." The squash driver says, looking over at Locien, then peering into the underbrush on either side.
GAME: Elyanna rolls perception: (16)+2: 18 GAME: Aimarra rolls perception: (4)+9: 13 GAME: Locien rolls perception: (6)+7: 13
Frowning at the road, Aimarra kicks a cloud of dust into the road, as if by doing so she might stir any mislaid traps or reveal others. Unfortunately for her, she manages to do little more than kick a cloud of dust into her own face, and she sees absolutely nothing. Were there tripwires present, she might well have found them the hard way, but luckily for her, no such misfortune befalls her.
Elyanna shakes her head, "Well, that went well." she remarks dryly as the kobold scurries off. She looks back to her fellows and, following the lead of the dusty hunter, she too starts to kick dust along to try and discover any presents left by the little lizard, though she comes up empty.
Locien slides off his horse and begins to walk alongside the first wagon, his mount following obediently of its own accord. He looks for a shield on his pack, but it is missing, so both hands remains empty. "Any location is an ambush location if you wait patiently enough," he remarks, eyes to the bushes and the road ahead.
A careful search of the road, kicking up dust, doesn't reveal anything. There are a lot of nice, smooth, sling bullet sized rocks about, but the road is close to the river, and it could have been a paving effort.
Up ahead, there is a high-pitched, growl-barking conversation, possibly three voices.
"Fessss! Finally. Waiting all day. Shooting now!"
"No Reki, No sshooting. sstick to plan!"
"Jak, hide. Reki! Idiot! No! I talk ssoftskins! You wait." <draconic>
Locien finds nothing of particular note in his search, but his sharp ears (physically, at least) perk up at the barking conversation ahead. His pace moves more quickly to get in front of the first cart, and he looks aside to the others. "We're closer now. Seems they want to pretend at parleying, at least, before an attack. Stopping now ensures the fight, but continuing brings us nearer. Thoughts?"
The caravan of wagons trails behind the adventurers as they search the road. They don't want to wait and be too far away, but they're also hesitant to end up in the thick of things. Each driver nervously watches the woods. The spud driver, pulls one out of the back and takes a raw bite.
The driver of the melon cart looks thoughtful. "Well... you're the experts. If we split up, you going ahead, maybe a bunch come out of the woods."
"Can't hurt to talk, I guess." The squash driver says, "plus, they're kobolds, how bad can it be?"
"Hey!" The potato puller interjects, "You know, never say that."
The road is in woods, but turns and heads out of them, in a southerly direction. There's an area without trees, then a river flowing from east to west, which has a bridge across it. The road keeps going south past the bridge, eventually turning east and heading back into a wooded area.
The caravan has stopped short on the curve, just before the full southern stretch would be visible.
Elyanna fiddles with something under her cloak for a time, then shrugs it back from her shoulders, within the hand bearing her buckler, she has a small handful of polished sling stones, with another swaying pendulously from the fingers of her other hand in the actual sling. She sweeps her gaze about, high, low and in between, trying to see what lay's before them before it can strike. She looks back to the Mourner at his observation, "I would prefer to avoid a bloodbath, in either case, though I doubt the option remains. If we make them come to us we can perhaps pick them off as they close."
Area Overview ************************* -C3-C2-C1---\************ Carts ************|************ Tree ************|************ Line ''''''''''''|'''''''''''' ''''''''''''|'''''''''''' Scrub ''''''''''''|'''''''''''' ~~~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~X~~~~~~~~~~~~ River ~~~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~~~~ ''''''''''''|'''''''''''' ''''''''''''|'''''''''''' ''''''''''''|'''''''''''' ************|************ ************|************ ************\------------ Road *************************
"Never ask how bad it can be," Aimarra quips to the drivers, shortbow in both hands as she walks ahead, and she draws an arrow from her quiver as she moves. "If it is a fight they want, then a fight they'll get."
Locien sighs and narrows his eyes, looking forward. "The forest before seemed quiet, but they can move faster than a wagon. It's preferable to keep you all in reach, so to speak." He looks to Elyanna as she makes her assessment. "It sounded as if they were prepared with arrows already. While I don't doubt your aim, I wonder if we can match them volume for volume." Even with his doubts though he shrugs off his pack, working on the straps that hold a small crossbow bound tightly to the bottom.
The guards keep moving ahead.
The caravan continues it's slow progress. An arrow fired into the underbrush doesn't flush out any kobolds, or anything else. It's silent, until it isn't. Up ahead, an arguemnt continues.
"Fessss! Where are!"
"The have to come bridge."
"Going Now. Sshooting!"
"Sstay! They have come. Sstick Plan!" <draconic>
Followed by the last speaker calling out in rough tradespeak, "Ssoftsskinss! You come! Isss... word? ... Isss Legal! Legal Toll! You pay."
The party and the carts have come around the bend enough to see what's going on. Roughly a hundred and twenty feet away is the river, which is sixty feet wide with a small stone bridge spanning it. In the middle of the bridge, on the top of the hump, is a tiny encampment. A flat bottomed boat has been jammed down, on it's side, with the bottom facing the party. There is a large parasol, some flimsy looking lounging chairs, and three silver kobolds. One stands with a foot on the edge of the punt, and the other two are behind.
"That's as legal as a Tsuran contract, if that," Aimarra mutters to her companions, surveying the setup. "You've been here less than a day," she raises her voice, pointing out. "Where'd you steal the boat from?"
Elyanna shrugs with a frown, "It would not matter at that range, I would have to get closer." is her answer to the Mourner. With the hunter chiming in, she steps aside to let her take up the talking, as she probably knows the local legalities better, and definately knows their tongue.
Locien raises a brow when the...toll plaza comes into view. "Government administration just isn't what it used to be..." he remarks, trying not to let his voice carry back to the kobolds. "They are keen to have us reach the bridge. Should we ride ahead and see that our papers are in order, or be stubborn tax evaders?"
"Our boat!" The kobold in front shouts back, then pulls out a piece of paper and waves it. At the distance, that it's paper is about all that can be determined. "Legal paper! From Alex! In City. Guard. You know Alex. Says pay!"
Meanwhile, behind him, probably him, could be a female, the other two kobolds are fighting with each other. One is trying to pick something up, the other is trying to stop it. "Have to threaten or they won't pay."
"Let Gila handle!"
"They coming closer! Let go Blubbss."
"Reki! Just wait. It workingsss." <draconic>
"If that paper has ever seen Alexandria's walls, I'm the queen of the fairies," Aimarra counters in a mutter to her companions. "Alexandrians don't use boats as tollgates, I've been there less than a week, and I know that. How come you're so eager for us to get to the bridge? Let me guess, it's rigged to collapse when we cross. Maybe I should put a hole in the bottom of that boat for you."
GAME: Aimarra rolls perception: (3)+9: 12
"Truly." Elyanna replies with a sagely nod. The Kobold's reply, however actually brings a quirk of amusement to her lips, "They -are- intent." As Aimarra chimes in again, she shakes her head, "So, what are they arguing about."
Locien watches the show, both the one being formally presented and the antics behind, with growing amusement. "I suspect they have a firearm, and at least one of them is desperate to use it. The others, at least, want to see this through...and to be honest, I'd like to see that." He motions for his horse, climbing up. "I say we go negotiate. We can keep them from the wagons, at least."
Getting a little closer, a detail becomes clearer. They aren't silver kobolds. They seem in fact to be rather well equipped kobolds, wearing chainmail armour that covers them almost completely and fits exceptionally well. They have gloves, and goggles, although they don't have them down, from what is visible of their scales, there's a red, a green, and a blue one.
The green one has been speaking in tradespeak, "No! Pay gold, no bridge exploding. You." He seems to be counting, "Five! Five gold." He looks down, speaking to the boat. "Trak, get up there. Get gold. Jak. Torch. Stand by barrel."
A voice out of sight replies, "Don't want to."
The red one in the back growls, "I shoot you Jak you go, torch."
"Don't want boom!"
"Barrel fake idiot! Not explode! Is lie. You sstand by barrel." Then the red kobold returns to struggling with the blue one, finally pushes it away, and crouches down to do something. <draconic>
Two kobolds emerge from where they were crouched behind the boat, one is definitely the one that was on the road earlier, although they look rather similar, having the same garter-snake colourations. One is a little taller and thicker, the other has an unlit torch. The one with the torch goes to the foot of the bridge and stands there, the other hesitantly moves up the road, looking back at the group on the bridge, and the party.
Aimarra looks over at the Mourner, curiously. "I'm not used to negotiating with criminals," she remarks, "but sometimes it's the best way to get what you want. You understand them. And someone might want to make sure that torch ends up in the water, before we have to go around."
Locien looks aside to Aimarra, calmly intoning something in light, flowing words that they (hopefully) share. "The explosive is a ruse. They say the barrel is empty." A pause, and he resumes in Tradespeak as if the moments before did not exist. 'They do seem to have some leverage. We can at least check their credentials, no?' The Sil rides foward slowly, regarding each kobold in turn. 'Who is in charge here? We'll need to check that tollkeeper's mark from Alexandria. We want to follow the law, after all.' <sildanyari>
The adventurers have moved closer, positionned roughly one hundred and twenty feet from the little barricade on the bridge. The caravan trails behind them, still at the bend, another thirty feet back. The party is standing to the sides of the road, so shots fired won't be aimed square on the caravan.
Elyanna looks between the elfbloods and moves alongside the Mourner, effecting an air of indifference as she looks about to see if there's anyone else covering them.
"Trak! Idiot! Get back. You forget paper!" The green one yells at the kobold who has already scampered a good distance towards the party. It stops, looks confused, and starts running back, "Ssorry Gila." <draconic>
"You stop there! That good spot." The green one shouts, staring impatiently at the runner, who like the first one, also seems to be wearing only a tattered loin-cloth. It looks over its shoulder, back at the party, and promptly trips and falls flat.
This does not set off a trap.
Meanwhile, behind the blue one, the red one stands up triumphantly holding something dark and ominous. In the shadow of the parasol, it is first visible only as a silhouette, but one that glows. A coiled spiral along the barrel, a chamber in the middle above what must be a trigger guard, and a few other squares and circles on it glow ominously. The red kobold shifts, a beam of sunlight illuminates it from behind. The light engulfs the weapon like a glowing halo. It's a Thunderbelcher, a really nice, full sized Thunderbelcher.
The red kobold roars intimidatingly.
GAME: Cryosanthia rolls 1d20-5: (13)+-5: 8
"Look. It has its favorite toy." Aimarra answers Locien in the same language, fluidly and easily. "Cowards, the lot of them. He's holding them there by force, bet they'll run if we scare them enough." She laughs openly at the sight of the Thunderbelcher, her own bow between her hands. 'Mine doesn't jam,' she tells the kobold in tradespeak, then turns to Locien and Elyanna. "Bet there's another group looking for clowns like this." <sildanyari>
Locien pulls his mount to a stop as directed, crossbow casually resting with his other hand on the stirrups. "We'll need to make a decision one way or another soon," he replies to Aimarra, his voice measured, "but I would not present a soul for judgement for five gold if I could help it." He speaks up then, addressing the tollkeeper. "As you wish. I'll wait here for the paperwork and we can get this taken care of."
Elyanna looks at the archer again, then, "We may do it for free." she retorts softly, then asides the hunter, "No need to include me in the discussion, pet." in the same, low volume.
"Ok!" The green one calls back, glaring at the garter-kobold that finally returns. The paper is handed over. It starts another wild, scampering run back towards the party. It tail-slaps the tail of the other kobold as it passes, and that one waves the unlit torch overhead. It moves pretty quick for a small thing, and is running, so it makes it right up to Locien, slowing down the last ten feet or so. It crouches low to the ground, creeping up like a dog about to be struck, and holds out the paper.
There's no letter head, nothing that looks like an official stamp. There is a smear of something that looks like grease, in a star shape. There are a lot of dirty, small, kobold fingerprints. In hastily written trade is a single sentence. 'Just kill these idiots'.
At the bridge, the green one shouts, "You ssee! Legal! You pay bridge toll now. Be ssafe! No koboldsss bother on road!"
The red one takes up a firing position, the barrel very close to the green one's head, and announces. "Firing Warning Sshot!"
Before anything happens, however, the blue one pushes the barrel up, and shoves the Red kobold, shouting, "Reki! No! I fire warning sshotss."
They struggle further, the red one arguing with the thunderbelcher pointed straight at the green one's back, "You can't see Blubss, I sshootss."
"Give Matilda." The blue one successfully pulls the weapon away from the red, growling. "I do warning sshootss. They closse."
This prompts the green to look back, "You stop. Reki let Blubs hold. It working! They paying!"" <draconic>
GAME: Aimarra rolls will: (9)+2: 11
Locien leans over in his saddle and plucks the paper from the helpful kobold's hands, taking a long moment to scrutinize it with a serious look on his face before handing it off to Elyanna to review. The scuffle for the weapon is noted, but not with an abundance of concern. "It seems this document was not updated with the current tax commissioner's information. You should be very angry at whoever provided it. Maybe you should make a quick trip back to Alexandria and get this corrected with the Watch?" He's trying to sell it, but only just.
Aimarra stops, and -looks- at Elyanna, the humor that would have greeted the perusal of the paper that she examines around Locien is entirely absent. She seems about to say something, but decides instead to hold her peace, letting Locien do the talking. He seems to have a plan.
Elyanna reaches for the paper, considering it for a moment, "Indeed." she returns, then offers the 'official' his writ back to him, "Here you go." If she ruffled the elf's feathers, as it hasn't exploded yet, she expects it will keep for the time being, meanwhile, follow the Mourner's lead.
There are a lot of long, large words, and the dawn elf is far away. The green kobold peers, thinking what it has heard over and attempting to make sense of it. "Not angry! You pay five gold. Fasst Trip ssee Alex. You good! Five, give Trak."
Trak, who is apparently the kobold fearfully crouched in front of Locien nods, holding up its hand. It also points at the potato the third cart driver is eating. Its stomach growls.
Meanwhile, the red kobold grabs one of the chairs and throws it over the side of the bridge. It lands in the river with a splash, and slowly drifts away.
"Reki, stop it!" The green one orders without looking back.
The red immediately replies, "Gotta ssomething. Blubss got Matlida. I gotss energy." It throws another chair over.
"Reki they haven't paid! Ssettle down." The blue one begs.
"I gots this," the green one says, shouting back at the party. <draconic>
"Good! Pay Five gold! All good. Yess, yesss?"
Then! There was a dramatic pause that seemed to last for days...
Simple and unfussy in appearance, this half-sil woman is a study in browns. Long brown hair of a multitude of lengths that suggest lack of care is ruthlessly braided back in a series of braids to keep it out of the way, and the wisps are contained by pointed but not quite elven-pointed ears. Her skin is medium-fair with enough of a tan to suggest time in the sun, and large brown eyes are set into a face with an upturned nose and very ordinary lips. Though barely topping five feet in height, she is well-toned and muscularly built, on a skeleton that is better described as elfin than sturdy.
Her clothing is just like her - simple and unfussy, a study in brown leathers. The bracers are worked with care, stitched with yellow and green thread around the edges of a pattern of flowers and leaves set into the leather. Only a breastplate breaks the brown-leathers look, and all of it is dusty and looks to have seen many miles of road. A mottled green cloak, frayed around the edges and clearly having seen hard use, is pinned with a cloak pin shaped cleverly as a bow and quiver. The only thing about her that does not look beaten and worn is a horn-and-wooden shortbow half-strung across her back, and the leather quiver that holds a set of ordinary-looking arrows on her right hip.
Sharply pointed ears and wide eyes mark this creature as Sildanyar long before any other features become evident. Just short of five and a half feet tall, Locien's pale, smooth skin and lean frame mark him as no forest-walker, a Llyranesi heritage more likely. Straight, dirty blonde hair is pushed back behind his ears to rest at shoulder length, a few stray strands framing his handsome, slightly angular face and brilliant green eyes. His physical form is typical of his race, lacking bulk or fat, moderate muscle definition illustrating a slightly above average physique.
The elf is currently dressed for travel, judging by his clothes and accessories. A carefully tailored basalt colored robe covers the majority of his form, unadorned but well kept and befitting an elf. A simple, sturdy breastplate is fitted to his chest, the steel clean and polished, but without adornment and showing a few small dents. Peeking from the ankle high hem of the robe are a pair of sturdy grey leather boots, and a belt of the same color wraps about his waist, fitted with pouches. A short, soft grey cloak hangs from shoulders to knees. At his waist, a well made khopesh slung behind his left hip peeks from the fabric, to be drawn by the left hand. Slung a big awkwardly over the cloak is a leather backpack, looking full of odds and ends and sporting a stout mace strapped to one side. Over all of that is slung a light round shield, its surface etched with marks from past battles as well as a repeating pattern of triangles around the edge, each with a small set of scales inscribed within. This symbol is matched by the medallion draped from Locien's neck, the actual scales inset in gold against the silver triangle, a symbol of devotion to the goddess Vardama.
Tall, lean and dark, she stands most of six feet, skin a rich, cinnabar tone with a splash of carmine freckles across her cheeks and bridge of her nose. Her face is broad beneath her thick brows and widows' peak, with well defined cheekbones and a firm jaw. Her demeanor is solemn around harrowed steel eyes, though in the odd case of a smile, her teeth are those of a predator. Her hair is raven black, bangs parted by a burnished steel band to frame her face, and the rest allowed to flow to her beltline behind her. Should she speak, she does so in a contralto voice, her accent unmistakably that of Bludgun.
An ankle length cloak of raven feathers, almost matching her hair but for texture, with a fringed leather mantlet layered over that shrouds a chain shirt. The chain is polished to a almost mirror shine with a black suit of cloth, reinforced at the joints with matte leather, under. At her waist, a rectangular, fluted buckler hangs from a clasp on her crimson belt over her left hip, the coils of a whip braided of various hues of hair, to the silver tresses of it's popper, rides on her right on the scabbard of a Blarite falchion, while a punching dagger that curls like a fang is tucked at her back. Polished black leather and blued steel chased in copper make up the gauntlet that sheaths her right forearm, matched by reinforced boots that fold back at the knee. The closest she gets to accessories is the afformentioned steal headband, crafted to resemble a braided leather band with a central 'strand' of polished bronze interlaced with the rest.