Bumbling through Sundered Skies

Interlude: Cap'n Smith Tries Diplomacy

Charisma. It's worth it!

GM
And so Cap’n Smith went to research the Gods:
You make your way to the Navigator Hall of Gateway. The city archives should be below, with all the information you could hope to find. You see a number of captains entering and exiting the structure as they prepare for they attune themselves to their next destination. Off to the side of the building, you see a group of people gathered and excitedly chattering.

Smith
Right. How does the attunement thing for the ship work again? Is there something I need to bring from the ship to get bound to this island? If there was, can we assume I have it with me so I/The Chance can be bound to Gateway since my character would know this?

Regardless, I nonchalantly make my way closer to the group of people to see if I can find out what the commotion is all about. Research can wait.

GM
Navigator Halls are found in every port and contain earth from all islands, except Deepsky (the Dwarf homeland). A nominal fee (10 cogs) allows an hour’s access to the hall. A ship’s captain must handle earth from his destination island before attuning his ship’s waysphere.

Wayspheres are navigation crystal globes, filled with magically charged water, with a flint-tipped arrow suspended at their center. A captain must handle rock or dirt from the island he wishes to travel to, no more than 13 hours before attuning the sphere. Then, all he has to do is concentrate on the island, and the arrow points the way.

Presumably, you could sail back to Gateway from the ruined tower because Karr Luckbringer had already attuned the ship’s waysphere. For future trips, you should attune the ship to your destination, and probably bring a sample of where you’re leaving from, in case your destination does not contain a Navigation Hall (such as when doing bounty hunter/scavenging tasks).

You approach the crowd slowly and ask one of the men near the back about the commotion. He turns to you and informs you that, apparently, a smuggler has gotten his hands on a sample of earth from Deepsky Citadel, capital city of the Dwarves. He’s apparently selling attunement time to those captains who want to try their luck at trading, exploring, or preying on the Dwarves.

Your common knowledge about Deepsky Citadel:
It’s the lowest inhabited isle and is a floating fortress. Only the navigator hall at Ironport on Mount Ore holds earth from the Deepsky Citadel, until now, anyways. The Dwarf King occasionally presents small amounts of earth to those who prove themselves great friends of the dwarves, which makes it the rarest of samples in the Skies. It is likely that if the dwarves know of this sample in the wild, they’re likely not happy about it.

Smith
I shrug. Hard to believe we have the money to pay the smuggler for a chance to handle the dwarven dirt. Even if we did, no way we’re going to have a chance at the island on our dingy little ship against all these other fools. Easier money to be made elsewhere.

Still, information like this could be useful… I look around to see if there seem to be any people very interested in this commotion who stand out? (e.g. staring intently, but not in the crowd, guards paying a little too much attention, etc.)

Notice (1d4) – 1 on my d4, 6 on my d6

GM
Even if this isn’t something you plan to exploit today, you take a step back and try to get a bigger picture on the situation. The crowd is gathered around a small human with a grey beard. You hear one of the crowd call him by the name of Norf. He has two bodyguards, a tall elf and a badger wildling. The wildling seems to stand too condescending to the crowd to be a slave.

However, the two bodyguards don’t seem to have that much to do, as it’s obvious that Norf doesn’t have the sample here – he’s only taking offers. Someone in the crowd has offered 1000cog, but Norf hasn’t seemed to have accepted any offers.

As you prepare to leave the scene, you catch a glimpse of a figure on the roof of a building across the street. The figure seems to be shorter than the average human, and given the context, you can only imagine that it is a dwarf.

Smith
I glance down at the entrance of the building, trying to figure out if it is something I think I can easily enter and make my way to the dwarf (e.g. a public building or busy shop as opposed to a private house).

Not that I really care if this Norf is selling a chance to reach the dwarven lands. But since there is no way I can afford to play their game, maybe I’ll have a better chance with the other side.

GM
It looks like another officious looking building of some sort, perhaps a government building or trade council building. It’s hard to tell how hard it would be to get to the roof, though it does look like it would be difficult to cross the street to get to the building without the figure seeing you approach.

Smith
Shooting near the dwarf to get his attention is probably not a good idea. With my luck I would roll a 1 and hit him, and it would probably hurt my negotiating position. (My quirk hindrance is breaking the 4th wall!)

Maybe a piece of paper wrapped around a rock? I could toss it up there. But I need to find paper, and something to write with. And then hope no one yells at me throwing stones at a government building. Less attention, not more. Probably not a good idea.

Ah, screw it. I wave at the dwarf, curious to see what his reaction will be.

GM
The dwarf sees you wave and quickly ducks out of sight. Unfortunately, one of the bodyguards also sees you wave. Pushing through the crowd, the elf makes his way toward you. He shouts, “You!”

You figure you have time for an action or at most two before he reaches you.

Smith
I stand there calmly. No! Arrogantly! I check for dirt under the fingers of one hand as I wait for him to approach me. The other hand calmly rests on the butt of my pistol.

GM
The elf grabs you by the cuff and shouts into your face, “Who are you? Who were you signalling?”

You notice many of the crowd backing away.

Smith
“Is this really how you treat all interested buyers?” I ask the elf to his face. After being caught leading a failed mutiny on a pirate ship, getting a little spit on my face from a two-bit elf bodyguard should not be particularly intimidating.

“What’s the plan?” I ask, raising my voice loud enough so the other people nearby can hear. “Get us to offer you a price? Then tell your dwarf friend on the roof so he can later come after us? Squeeze us from both end?”

Taunt (3)

I look directly at the Norf character. “Unless none of you knew he was there. In which case, sounds like you could use my help.”

GM
You fail to notice the other bodyguard moving around you until you feel a sharp smack on the back of your skull. Luckily you only take one wound of damage. The elf looks at the wildling in disgust, as if saying “Really? That’s it?”
Rolling his eyes, he proceeds to attempt to turn the grabbing of a cuff into a headlock. In the brief scuffle (opposed strength check goes here), he emerges holding a piece of your collar and you are quite miraculously free from his grasp. (critical fail ftw!)

You see the old man draw a rifle from his back and realize it’s time to act.

Smith
SURELY the old man isn’t a musketeer! SURELY it will take him some time to load and prime the weapon before he can take a potshot at me.

Surely it’s time to get the hell out of here.

The Navigation Hall could be a possible escape. Or a disaster. No way of knowing if any guards are there. With my luck, I’d probably run smack into Palmstorm. And wouldn’t that just be a happy little reunion? Right before he gutted me for my little mutiny. No, the Navigation Hall was out.

And the main street was too busy. Can’t make good time through the crowd. The side streets however… that one SHOULD lead me back towards The Chance. I’ll have to come back to get attuned later.

“You morons [Hindrance: Mean] really leave your boss like that? Or did you really think that was the only one dwarf interesting in getting that dirt back?” [Smarts: d6]

If they fall for it and glance to see if their boss is being attacked, I run. If there is a flicker of doubt or wonder in their eyes, I run. If they get angry and try and hit me again, I run.

Basically. I run. But hopefully with a slight advantage.

To be continued…

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