11 Feb 2019 recap
Karl Jacob Garimm looked up from the street corner cooking fire as the sickly smoke rose from the burning ‘spider house’ doll up into the afternoon sky “At least that was easy enough to take …”
The Skata-jagod was stopped in mid-sentence as a little red headed boy of a street urchin and beggar stepped from the alley and started talking
“Mister … hay mister” … “That house is dangerous” … “you know it isn’t safe” … “you shouldna go in it” … the boy kept excitedly talking.
At first surprised, and a touch annoyed at the beggar-boy, but then remembering the ‘spider-web house’ and then the invisible friend to the Halfling boy, the shadow hunter took a breath, relaxed, and looked out to sense evil – none, and then looked further into the ethereal … a slight shimmer but nothing significant … at least nothing tied back into the spider web house … that at least was reassuring.
Karl continued to humor the boy for a moment or 2& warns him to avoid the house at all costs that it is deadly dangerous and to make sure none of his friend and fellow beggar-boys and street children approach it. But eventually Karl begins to ignore the boy and looked back to the Seelie and Jack Dawkins, The Painted Prince’s skulker
“You know we can’t just walk into your master’s house empty handed, and not have a plan. He has a party nearly every night and entangles the whole section of the city in his carnival”
The 3 adults continued to talk
The parties are open air, and cover the NE end of the city (Karl mentally marks it as a hunter setting the bait to entice pray into his favored hunting ground, a place favorable to the Painted Prince and a disadvantage to any opponent – like a young shadow hunter who could cause troubles);
The painted Prince ‘holds court’ throughout the party but at different locations each night;
Those seeking an audience are expected to bring him a gift – minimally a good bottle of whiskey or other strong drink but a favor may require a bigger gift –
Bridget T'dian, his wife, attends but is remote in the parties (at this Karl and Sab become more focused, his Lady T’dian was the true reason to need to meet the Painted Prince anyway);
she is harder to approach, but prefers more specific pepper infused drink than the wide-ranging tastes of the ‘Painted Prince’.
Jack could handle the introduction and most of the talking. It was agreed to try and keep everything as simple as possible
Through the conversation the new arrived boy kept cutting in –“ Do you think he (the Painted Prince) is responsible for the missing children” … “does he work with the house” … on and on – Karl felt something was off with the boy, but no more off than the Halfling boy and his invisible friend …
Eventually it was decided that 2 bottles of drink needed to be procured, Jack offered to steal some, but that was not worth the risk. The Halfling orphan mentioned that ‘Gator’ up road at the swamp-gypsy shanties was by far the best choice to purchase good home-brewed corn whiskey, though it was over a mile up trail from the city’s ‘Temple Gates’
Surprisingly, the Halfling boy – why be surprised by anything associated with his new found odd and abnormal acquaintances, Karl thinks to himself – knows the swamp dwelling hunter tracker trapper and more than likely smuggler gator. Though he has never been to his swamp village shack (porch leaned against a tree and in front of a mud waller and gator nest really)
The 4 leave the town (though before leaving Karl quickly stops at “Head Hog’s” secretary’s office to pass word the planned arson had been adverted) and trek up trail to the shanty town in the heat and humidity of the summer afternoon sun.
Soon enough the group has met ‘The Gator’ purchased 10 GP worth of top shelf corn drippings.
Plus, as the Painted Prince’s party would force Karl to proclaim himself a Shadow Hunter officially looking for the Brotherhood to begin to operate in the area, Karl talks to the gator about hunting in the swamps. The swamp denizen admits there are witches hags and other query for the Brotherhood of S to pursue, and easily enough the gator agrees that he would not oppose any hunts – as long as they stayed in areas he advised they stayed in, and remained outside areas he warned against. He would even act as guide on hunts in the dark-swamp for the right price. That was at least good news for the shadow hunter.
As the afternoon slowly drew to a sultry oppressive evening the group trekked back to the city gaits – arriving before they were closed for the evening – and found the same redheaded freckle faced beggar-boy standing in the alley waiting for them to return … Karl mumbled to S & J under his breath about apparently acquiring another child – which earned him a hard stare from the Halfling boy.
The 5 returned to the Silver Pony and cleaned up as best they could from the walk to the swamp village and back. As they made final preparations, it was decided that until more could be gleaned on the Halfling’s mother’s murder, it would be best if he remained at the inn and avoided being seen publicly & the new child-acquaintance should stay to help watch with the hobbit youth.
Karl, Saiban, & Jack Dawkins weaved their way through the Carnival filled streets of the ‘Painted Prince’s’ neighborhood. As they moved through the crowd Karl confirmed that the nightly party was a cover for drawing others into the hunting grounds and making sure their actions indiscretions and nefarious activities were done in an area watched by ‘The Prince’ and his minions.
Soon, the 3 found the center of this evening’s celebrations with ‘The Prince” standing on a make shift stage, holding court, flirting with the ladies, and accepting gifts from …. anyone willing to gift, bribe, or request a favor from ‘The Prince’. As the 3 crossed the courtyard and approached the cluster surrounding ‘The Prince’, Karl relaxed and looked for evil in the crowd … ignoring the common evil of a cheating merchant, unfaithful spouse and even bloody handed ruffian, and focusing on condensed EVIL
… bad … VERY … bad … worse than even what the hunter expected …. From the shadows and dark alcoves … at least 6, more than likely even more, diabolic demonic evils, and ‘The Painted Prince’ himself just as evil – though a glance in the ethereal showed he was a member of humanity (at least nominally) unlike his surrounding servants …
Hissing to Jack, “Do you realize what you’re master is … he is nearly as evil as the house we stumbled across this afternoon … maybe not as powerful but nearly as evil”
The skulker mumbled that he has never seen that side of ‘The Painted Prince’ but … Jack stopped speaking as he approached the crowd surrounding The Prince
The Painted Prince’s informant pushed his was up to the front of the line, ahead of the sycophants and aid seekers, presenting the impressive jug of corn liquid and introducing the nearby Shadow hunter and Seelie
“Jack, my young industrious worker. … You know how to catch my attention, and as we say whet my whistle – sloshing the impressive jug,”
Glancing at the 2 standing behind the skulker, “ And you have brought me the most interesting oddities of the evening … oh yes I heard you took care of a little dispute in the slums for me “ (tossing 3 gold coins to Jack)
Karl begins to introduce himself – emphasizing Spessart mountain he (and his order) called home and being a simple traveler – but The Painted Prince halts him in mid-sentence –
“Oh I know you, KNOW what you are and who you represent. It isn’t often that my little servants (waiving to the shadows surrounding that courtyard) warn me they have been seen and known for what they are. They are not worried about you, but we will see. You young hunter are as we say ‘in the water with very big fish’ I’m sure it will be interesting with you here”
Karl, now on the defensive, answered “Yes, you are reported to know everything happening in this sweltering city, so I am not surprised you know more of me than I hoped. Maybe one day we will meet again with me not being at the disadvantage. Maybe one day I will even know your true name as you know mine” – a weak retort, but the young Brother of Finsterlunt, fledgling Skata-jagod dared not push harder or be any bolder.
“Oh possibly one day you just may, and that will be interesting indeed. But, now, deep muddy water with very big fish. Swim carefully,…”
The Painted Prince’s silk smooth, sweet as molasses drawl and friendly smile bellied the deadly intent and perilous half veiled threat
Then dismissing the shadow hunter, and turning to the bone pale fae, The Painted prince focused his attention “Yes, Oh such unique and interesting oddities,”
Karl loses focus on the conversation, seeing The Grim Reaper taping the hour glass that is his life … blood dripping toward the point of doom, … death is near … Karl blinks and focuses on the servants (both corporeal and ethereal ) of “The Painted Prince” in the area. All targets to be hunted (eventually) but all now predators to be wary of. Especially as the young hunter is standing in the center of the lion’s pride and hunting ground.
Soon, Saiban returns from his talk with the Lady Bridget T'dian and the 3 wind their way through the Carnival crowd, Jack Dawkins & Saiban d’ Fae remaining in the festivities to enjoy the drinks flowing freely and the carnival entertainments of the evening, as the grim shadow hunter worked his way back, back to the safety of the slums, taking circuitous meandering routs, checking his trail to see if he was followed by human foe or extraplanar enemy
Karl mentally ticking off allies – the oh so short list it is ; those he needs to contact to see if they are will be supporter , neutral, or foe themselves – Quean of the Dead topping that list & the possibility of her being a antagonist like ‘The Painted Prince’ chills him to the marrow of his bones; and the need to gain experience to prepare to begin the shadow hunt.
Firs a letter to be prepared, placed in trustworthy hands, to be mailed when Karl Karl Jacob Garimm Brother of Finsterlunt, fledgling Skata-jagod falls in the hunt either to assassin blade, diabolic forces, mystical powers, voodoo curses, or ill luck
Great role playing and set up the situation I feared the most (well almost the most - If Bella Hein turns out to be as evil as The Painted Prince, then it will be my deepest fear).
Again sorry all that I dropped that last hour. Stupid weather and stupid ISP that isn't set up to handle some winds and rain in Oklahoma that is the home of wind and rain!
maximus wrote:Jack is indeed a skulker! Nice write up.
Glad you like it and glad I found the right flavor for your character. I would have called him a Lurker, but that nickname has been taken