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ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 1/10 | Load 4/6


Once more the rain was pouring over the Raft, like a mourning mother at her child's funeral. Endless tears and sobs in the form the thunder pass the dour mood on to everyone else. Even the dishonest are inside, drowning their conscience in vice. And I wanted to be with them, passing stories of my misfortune and poor luck over a pint. What started out as a blessing in the form of a case quickly became an anchor dragging me to the depths of hell. Every 'reliable' contact and source of info suddenly have decided that one person is not worth speaking of, about, or around. People who've sang like the first blue jay of spring about crime bosses suddenly go as quiet as a mineshaft canary when someone brings up 'Ramona de Sahagún'.

Which is why I'm here, at this 'fine' drinking establishment. Home to life so low bottom feeders look down on 'em. I'd wager more than one makes it their business to know everyone else's business, and that's exactly what I need. Entering the bar a few eyes looked up, no doubt to try and glower to seem tough, but it's hard to stare down someone big enough the door's a bit tight. I make my way to the barkeep, looking him once over. Not the warm smile and shoulder to lean on, just a hard man that makes a living off the regrets of others. A few coins, some of my last. More than a drink costs. "Whiskey, and everything you know about one Ramona de Sahagún." Loud enough that it could be heard over the low murmur of conversation by anyone listening, and anyone listening is exactly the kind of person I need to try and get a lead on this dame.

Recruit (+Reputation, +Goal): 2d6+2 6 A good start.

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ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 1/10 | Load 4/6


The doors swung open, lightning cutting the shadow of an imposing figure across the bar. A man whispers "That bitch", hushed tones betraying the vicegrip of fear clamped around his throat. She saunters up to the bar, each step of the swagger reinforcing that she the top dog here, daring, no, pleading for someone to try and prove otherwise, so she can put them down. Either not having heard the question and its fearful whisper response, or pointedly ignoring it, she closes with the barkeep, dragging his ear to her mouth. The only audible word to anyone that isn't him is 'Anderson'. And then hell came to the Yellow Sign. The man to the left draws a revolver, letting the detective get out of the way or take the first shot. The scrapes of wood on wood as multiple chairs are forced back, the people sitting in them rising like worshipers rising to sing exaltations to the gods, each with weapons leaving holsters. But what stood out amongst all this, was her. Already moving, all else moving like mule in a tar pit, a shot already lined up when everyone else barely standing. In that moment, lightning flashes and that blink of eyes is all Stathis needs, forcing himself up, leaping into what used to be an upper deck of the ship turned bar, now just a high ceiling. Fortunately the only one who noticed was already missing his face, and most of his head, Stathis' departure drawing attention to him. The scene below erupts into violence, a massacre all too familiar to Stathis. Ambushing slow and unsuspecting soldiers gives a man an appreciation of just how quickly a few prepared people can slaughter a platoon.

It's over sooner than Stathis can manage to make a metaphor, the barkeep impaled upon the courage he kept. But she's there, looking. She counted, and knows that a large tauric spider is not among the dead. Someone skilled enough to decimate a bar enough to put a tornado to shame will look up, eventually. If he was setup for this, there were too many times for someone to jump him before entering the Yellow Sign. The name, Anderson, was who 'Ramona' was after. Not enough time to puzzle out the who, why or what before she spots him and potentially leaves no witnesses. So Stathis coughs, hands raised (or more accurately, lowered, but likely she'd not bother with that semantic.) "So. I suppose you'll want to skip my questions and demand answers to your own. The only Anderson worth talking about on the Raft is Anderson Cooper. Two bit smuggler who was trying to force his way into the Aqualantis scene. Before it sank. Afterwards he's the only smuggler left with anything resembling structure and contacts, making him the best by default. Your method points to Andy having pissed someone off enough that icing everyone at his regular haunt is acceptable. While I don't know where he is this very second, I can find out." A pause before the plunge, like a gambler realizing just how much is on the line before pushing all his chips in. "And I'll do just that, if you answer me who the hell would hire a detective to track you down without mentioning you were capable of this, and why."

If you want a spout lore for this Alumnus please god have mercy let me know and I'll edit one in.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 2/10 | Load 4/6


Green. Two tours of duty and ten years of private investigating and I'm green. I take the shot. It burns going down, just like the bar will be soon. "Dead drops while tailing a person, while also picking up info on Anderson's whereabouts." A heavy sigh. "Sure, could use the challenge. I suppose you have the mayhem part of this plan handled." No sense letting all this go to waste, so I take a bottle for the road. Flask felt a little lonely these days anyway. I take a half step away before I realize the bar's packed and I spent the last of my money bribing the barkeep. It's easy enough to reach back down over the bar. I take the whole wallet, I'm gonna need a lot more than what I started with if I want to find Anderson, and surprise surprise, tonight's business was good.

I pull out a cigar as I walk across the room, smell reminding me of a simpler time, of following orders and comrades. A practiced flick and my thumb ignites, and soon the cigar's burning merrily along. I pause, how's she gonna know when I leave a note... Ah. My old medal, carried for luck. Today, it was only bad luck, but that widow's marking and the stars around it were distinct. I turn and toss it to her. "You see that marked up somewhere, that's where I've left something. And hold onto it, a few people I might send you to will recognize it. I'll want back when we're done, so don't lose it." And with that, I'm outside, hoping the rain would wash away the some of the guilt.

No way I can go to the fire department. When they inevitably get questioned, they'd mention the drider informing them and enough cops were on the take that pinning the fire on me would kill two birds with one stone. The police look good catching a crook, and a pesky PI would no longer be causing waves in their pool. But even with this heavy rain, the fire might spread... And then fortune smiles on me. The blur of movement catches me off guard, honed instincts taking over, my hand raised and already halfway through slinging a force bolt when I realize it's just a kid. A street urchin, caught out in the rain, trying to huddle under an eve to stay dry. I drop the spell, and fish out the barkeeper's wallet. "Hey kid. Want to earn some money?" The look of fear changes, replaced with a need so desperate he'd siege the gates of hell if it meant having a slim chance of filling his belly. "Tell the firemen the Yellow Sign is on fire. If they ask, you saw it smoke and burn." He pauses, weighing the words carefully against dealing with authority that's left him out to soak. A few waves of the wallet get him to nod. "Great," I say as I toss the wallet to him. "You never saw me." And with that I walk away and out of his life.

So. One problem dealt with. Next problem was Anderson, and maybe why someone would want him dead. Well, dead enough to try and hire him to walk into his own death. Gregoni would just send a hitman. Theramange would do it in person if he was mad enough to kill. No, this is someone he didn't know well enough to remember why they'd want him dead. Which means anything is on the table. And the only place I know to find Anderson Cooper is the Yellow Sign, currently in the process of burning down.

It was gonna be one of those cases...

Avoid Blame (Defy Danger Charisma): 2d6+2 11
Discern Realities: 2d6+1 6 Stathis is poo poo at this detective thing.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 2/10 | Load 5/6


Lost in my worries I don't notice the stumbling drunk until he plowed into me like a battering ram sieging a castle gate. I nearly go abdomen over tea kettle because of some schlub who can't hold his liquor stumbled out of a tavern. But looking past him slurring out an apology I looked through the swinging doors and spot the chance for pulling myself out of the mess I was in. Stumbling into the stumbling drunk I found the only man on the Raft who might not only know where Anderson is, but where he hides when the heat is on like the noonday sun on the Dunesea. Dan Backslide, former sneak of Roquefort Hall. Salvation in the form of a coward, bully, cad and thief. But he'd never volunteer any information to someone like me, bribe or no, and barging into a vaguely reputable drinking hole to demand answers was sure to draw the wrong attention. Looked like it'd be time for the old 'rope a dope' from my army days. Once I'd settled into a nice spot on the side of the large cargo hull turned warehouse, it was just a matter of waiting. Eventually Dan would leave, of his volition or the barkeep's, and then he'd walk right into the spider's web.

Took longer than I'd have liked, seems like the barkeep didn't mind the thick cloud of smoke from Dan's chain smoking habit, or his twitchy demeanor. Or you don't run out your best customer until you've milked him for all he had like a prized cow. But timing aside, he walked out and right to where I perched above, and like an eagle snatching a rabbit I came from the sky and returned quick as a blink, prey in hand. It took him a second to have it register and in that time he found a hand clamped tight over his mouth, too late to draw attention to his fate. Now I find a good spot, poised over the remains of some deck turned street some three stories down, before I speak "Hello, Dan."

"Stathis, you... let me go!"

"Well, since you asked so nicely." I let gravity drag him down a foot before pulling him up. About then he noticed the drop.

"W-w-wait! Don't let go!" The fear in his eyes tells me he'll spill every bean he can if he thinks it'll get him out unharmed. Reliable like that, Dan.

"Well that depends on you Dan. I may look like a strong spider but, well, holding myself and someone else on the side of a rainslicked precipice... It's hard work."

"Fine, fine! What do you want? Who are you looking for?"

"Anderson Cooper."

"I don't know nothin' about Cooper's business."

"Oh, well. Then I guess you're free to go." In my experience, gravity has a helpful way of jogging the memory, so I let him fall again.

"Waitwaitwait! I heard from some people Anderson had a deal happening tonight, trying to smooth over any bad blood between him and the Halfhills."

"The Halfhill Family is trying to move onto the Raft?"

"Duke's men have come down hard on the business coming in and out of New Quarryport so the Halfhills are desperate to move what they got. Cooper's hoping desperate enough it can get him out of their bad books. Deal that big for Cooper it'd have to be at the Invincible, one of the V.I.P. rooms." Of course, the 'unsinkable and undefeatable' battleship that proved to be neither turned casino. Run by a 'legitimate' business man as legitimate as the Invincible was unsinkable, Raul Varano.

"Raul close to Anderson?"

"Business associates, Cooper's the best in town after everything sunk." Sounded like Varano might try and keep his favorite smuggler alive, but I knew once he saw the flop he'd fold and cut his losses. But even if Anderson heard someone burned down his favorite haunt, he wouldn't back out of the meeting. Couldn't, more like. It'd just remind the Halfhills why he was in their bad graces, and they were already on the Raft, so they'd feed him to the fishes before finding second fiddle to play lead in their concert.

Death From Above (+Dex): 2d6+2 9 Taking
• Kidnap them - you retreat to somewhere nearby, taking them with you
• No one else notices you dropping in, and your target doesn't make a sound
Hoping to use this to get leverage for a Parley. "Not getting dropped a few stories" sounds like a reasonable want/need.
Parley (+Cha): 2d6+2 9
Let me know what promise and assurance he needs for this, and if it's too much.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/10 | Load 5/6


"See Dan, this is why I'm dangling you over the edge of a three story drop. You lie, even when it's in your best interest to tell the truth, even when the truth is so very easy to say." I pull him up over the edge, like a fisherman pulling in the big catch. And what a catch I had. Almost made me feel bad for what I did to Dan, until I remembered why he ran to the Raft. Ticket in hand and knowledge in head I leveled a gaze at Dan. "Get outta here. Maybe keep your nose clean once and awhile. Might keep me from dropping by to visit." Didn't need to be told twice, he's off before the words finish leaving my mouth. But that's not what matter right now. What matters is if the Halwyrd is in my notes. Right there, next to my trusty if empty flask, a running log of anything I might need to remember, like say, a ship's make. Hard on the Raft to remember which boat's which, what with all sorts coming and going like the desperate at a food line. Halberd, Hallowed Man's Rest, Janette's Revenge... drat, looks like Halwyrd's avoided notice before. Probably why Anderson uses the ship to stash his goods.

Looks like it was gonna be the hard way again tonight. It's like someone finally noticed that I wasn't a bitter, jaded old war veteran who'd seen too much to care and wanted to rectify that. Maybe She Who Gazes doesn't like private eyes and finally saw that I was exactly that. Or maybe everyone in life gets dealt a miserable day from time to time and now I hand to play out the hand. A better idea than standing around waxing philosophical. So, Anderson's the most successful smuggler, so if I want to find his hidden cache I'll need to think like him. First we cross off the obvious good smuggling places, he'd want to keep any up and comers away from his boat. Flotsam district had enough docks to get goods in, and close enough to everywhere to get the goods to the buyers. It's a start, at least.

Spout Lore with Book: 2d6 5 This Handbook of Useful Information is filled with knowledge such as How To Best Remove Young Lady From Tree but not what ship's what.
Discern Realities: 2d6+1 11 What is about to happen? What should I be on the lookout for? What here is not what it appears to be?

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/10 | Load 5/6


Of course now is a fine time for more complications to arrive. When it rains, it pours. A scream and alarm from a gun store was as bad of news as any, and it's been bad enough that I don't want the headline tomorrow to be any worse. But first a sign for Ramona. Heavy rain and the thug's own cigarettes should cover the smell of burning paint and metal, large enough on the prow to be noticed by anyone walking the streets. Won't catch anyone's attention from across the Raft but it'd be enough while I dealt with the robbery in progress. One problem handled I leap off, hanging off the portside of another ship. Both visible doors in sight, a knocked over trashcan by the back showing someone escaped in a hurry. Likely the screamer, anyone knocking over the Alpaca couldn't clear out any kind of goods that quick without having half the district helping them loot. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the fly to wander into my web...

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/10 | Load 5/6


A sick man stumbles down the gangplank, calling for help. Rushing orderlies and doctors close behind, stun gun in hand and desperate enough to use it. The group, Ramona's group? Gang? Sees the man attacked and move to defend him. But I know the kinds of sickness in the world, natural and manufactured alike, that they may be biting those trying to defend them. Well, the robo-robber would likely be fine, and if that getup was half as impressive as it'd look so would Ramona. The rest, well, could be too late already, if they were having a night bad as mine.

Wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

Discern Realities: 2d6+1 10 I'll take What is about to happen? What here is not what it appears to be? and What should I be on the lookout for? as my three questions.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/10 | Load 5/6


A sniper? Or merely an observer? Which was more dangerous? The sick man? The fearful doctor? The unknown watcher? Or Ramona's gang? Too many variables, and if the labcoats wanted to decontaminate the elf then introducing a new vector for the disease would likely further agitate the problem. So the fastest way to reduce the complexity of this problem is to remove the most remote variable.

So I leap, silent as the still night, any sound made from my rapid ascent masked by the abating rain. The trick to this landing is going to be not losing all momentum, to grab and abscond in an impossible grace for something so large. Eight legs reach out to meet the column, already working to deaden the impact and keep my arrival silent before quickly pushing off again, this time launching at the catwalk, where I grab the observer and leap back across to Janette's Revenge in the same fluid motion. In a matter of moments I had arrived, grabbed the target, and absconded all without a sound. Instructor Silas would be proud.

Death From Above (+Dex): 2d6+2 8 Gonna take Kidnap Them and No One Else Notices, Target Doesn't Make A Sound as my two options.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/10 | Load 5/6


No rifle. Unmarked uniform. This didn't answer a drat thing, and very quickly whoever's on the other end of the radio's gonna know something's up. Better-Gyhh! ...Okay, that hurt. If he want's to play that way... In an instant the knife's to his throat, pressing down hard enough to make the point, and that I could very easily drive it home. "Picture this for me. You hear a commotion below, and see armed doctors pointing weapons at a sick man clinging to passersby. Suddenly amidst all this, you see out the corner of your eye a figure cloaked in shadows making efforts not to be seen, and the unmistakeable glint of light reflecting off of a lens. Do you have it in your mind?" He gives a solemn look, not wanting to nod with the blade pressed against his flesh. "Now that I clearly see that those are binoculars and not a rifle, I will freely admit that I may have made a grievous mistake about what is happening, so how about we take a step back and you tell me what exactly is going on here." He hesitates, eyes darting down to his radio. "...Or if you prefer, we can keep going down the path we find ourselves on now." A movement of the hand, to make a point with the point of my blade. He gets the meaning of the gesture.

Spout Lore with Book: 2d6 2 Books were a mistake.
Parley (+Cha): 2d6+2 12 I want him to spill the beans on what's going on, ideally without radioing back to HQ.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/10 | Load 6/6


"Talk quick and you walk. Stall for your friends down there, you'll be feeding the fishes within the hour." He gets the point. Talks so fast its like watching a cheetah chasing a gazelle. I can barely keep up, but I manage. Once he's done, I step back and let him down. Doesn't take him long to be running, but I'm already in motion. Same as robber robo. But where he's a whirling dervish of metal and blade, I am the owl, unseen even as it plucks its prey from the ground and takes off once more into skies, the only evidence of passing the absence of what was once there. My prey is turning, already adjusting to fire on the threat he sees, oblivious to my presence even as I snatch him away to the upper levels of Janette's Revenge. This time I'm not in a talking mood, however. I pull back my hand, make some rote gestures, and punch him in the neck. If the blow isn't enough to stagger him, the magic will. Magic like that is potent enough to get a dragon feeling tipsy, anything less is gonna have a tough time pulling together enough to be dangerous.

Death From Above (+Dex): 2d6+2 10 Kidnap Them, Target Doesn't Notice, No One Else Notices as the three options. Gonna roll into something more with
Black Magic (+Cha, Tags:Hand, Debilitating, Piercing 1): 2d6+2 13
Black Magic Debilitating Damage: 1d8/2 4 So, with debilitating that's "Hinder or slow down enemies, but deal half damage" so 4 damage, pierce 1 armor, and he's hindered or slowed.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/10 | Load 6/6


Gunfire. The time for picking them off one by one has come to a close. The Expectant's forces are outmatched by these Blackthorne mercs even before considering whatever magic caused those misfires. One working at some sort of mine. A quick skim of my pocket-sized Standard Issue Survival Manual doesn't have it. Too new, looks like it was made sometime in the last decade at least. Nothing to do about that, so I raise a hand, gesturing a ball of flame into existence. There, some have grouped near the pipes. Closing formation to fight through towards Ramona, never saw a cleaner target before in my life. My other hand grabs the ball of flame, flattening it into a disk, holding until they reach the gangplank connecting the Plagioclase to the dock. The instant the first boot connects with the gangplank the disc flies out with the flick of a wrist, swiftly cutting through the air until it slams into the middle of the pack of mercs, the disk exploding out, flames covering the area in a horizontal burst on impact.

Spout Lore with Book: 2d6 7 Finally books did a thing. Was shooting for info about that mine.
Black Magic (+Cha, Tags:Near, Elemental Fire, Area): 2d6+2 12 1d8-2 -1 Well that's polarized.

ArkInBlack fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2016 around 21:30

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/10 | Load 6/6


Assuming is the single most dangerous thing someone can do in a combat situation. Here, the mercs assumed the humanoid figure that rained fire did not possess inhuman speed and dexterity. Also felt bad for whoever had to fix whatever damage caused by their stray bursts, but hopefully they'd understand not wanting to get shot. Better get back to ending this quickly. Fire was a mistake with the rain only just letting up. Rookie mistake maybe, but hindsight's twenty twenty. Now I'm taking my time to take in the situation. The Expectant forces still can't offer resistance, the living ones ducking for cover. The stampede of boots as the mercs move in formation still. Well, time to teach them a lesson about counter-caster tactics. As I move I make an orb in my hands, the warm glow barely bright enough to be seen in the distance. As the edge of the upper deck come to an end I leap, and fling the orb towards the air above the center dock. They break as best they can, but the orb just slowly drifts. A moment of confusion, before I hit the ground and finish the spell with a snap of my fingers. Instantly the orbs replaces the rain with a spray of needles of pure light, as fast as the orb was slow. An ugly spell, for unpleasant people.

Defy Danger (+Dex): 2d6+2 11
Black Magic (+Cha, Tags:Near, Piercing 2, Area): 2d6+2 10 1d8-2 4

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 17/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/10 | Load 6/6


Merc's still out like a drunk. Maybe I hit him with too much magic. Well, at least there's a hospital close by. Prisoner in hand I leap down, landing in front of the one giving orders to the Expectant crew cleaning up the mess. "Stathis Argyle, private eye." He takes my hand, gives it a single shake with the tightest grip he can manage. The type that likes to be called sir and have others follow orders. I wave off his stern thankfulness, least I could do. The cocked eyebrow and glance at the mess of Blackthorne bodies shows he doubt that's anyone's 'least' but he's not pushing it. I hand off the merc, so they can maybe ask him a few pointed questions, with a few lines of inquiry provided by me. Someone ordered the hit on Ramona, to prove that they're the biggest fish in this pond and didn't care who got caught in the middle of the crossfire. Mentioned I might swing by for some questions of my own but first, had to clear the books with a certain someone. He asks if I'm with her, part of her crew. At this point I think I'm a dead elf if I'm not. He nods. Doesn't need to know the details.

I enter the mess hall and am greeted by what sounded like the half drunk ramblings of someone aping Ramona. Some poor intern was about to have a bad day, better get in there and draw attention off him if Ramona's still in there. I turn the corner and, it's Ramona. Drinking like a fish in between staggering out something about truth and lies... That. Broke expectations. Celebratory? Or trying to drown the guilt? I saunter up and push the empty chair to the side. Wouldn't you know it, standing room only. "Well, can't say I expected you to get this deep in the cups this early. But I'm not here to judge. You good to talk?"

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 17/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/10 | Load 6/6


I can't suppress the sigh. Hires me to find a man, tracks him down herself and kills him. "No, I followed your mechanical friend here. Knocked over a gun shop on the way. Guess that's why you need someone to keep an eye on it." I readjust my stance, settle in a little bit more. "But sure, a quick game can't hurt." There's thirty million things I could say, the question is how much of myself do I reveal? ...No matter what it might be too much but... "I am the soldier. A patriot called to service in defense of the people. My cause is just, my weapon honed, my heart true and so I march against my enemy, each death securing the future of god and country, one dying so two will live. I am the monster. Mothers tell their children of me to frighten them into obedience. The threat unseen, but always watching, gaze never faltering, heart never feeling. The crimes that I have committed are as numerous as the stars at night, and like the stars during the day they remain unseen and uncounted. I am the redeemed. Conscience once silent, now as loud as a roaring flame. By its light I walk the path to right old wrongs and save those unable to save themselves to atone for past sins." I lean back, finished. I really could use a drink right about now.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 17/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/10 | Load 6/6


I take the glass. Swirl it around a bit, let it warm. "Well, even if you don't want the answer at this point you're getting it. Our cause is just, but so is theirs. I haven't lost my edge, as those Blackthorne mercs can attest. And my heart remains true to itself, that's why I left. But all of this can't change the road to redemption is long and harrowed, and I'll walk it until the day I die. Maybe then I'll be redeemed." I take a sip of the stuff. Smokey. Prefer a good whiskey, the occasional wine, if only to remember the good times. Or absinthe from the homeland, for when I need to forget for awhile. "But more important than me right now, is who hired me to find you. I typically turn away any John or Jane Doe but this time, the price was high and rent due. What I can tell you was obvious orcish decent. Might even be full orc that cleans up real nice. But the point is, I think I was supposed to die tracking you. The only person who might want me dead that'd have an orc working for 'em is Karthas Murgo. You got any connections with him?"

~~~~~

End of session:

Alignment/Drive: Best another in a non-combat contest of skill or strength. Nope.

Bonds: Ramona's still on Stathis' watch list for "might need to murder" so there's that. Looking forward to putting more bonds in here soon.

Questions:

• Did we learn something new about the world? Ayup, there some power plays going down at the Raft. Also a weird fungus is among us.
• Did we overcome a notable enemy? I mean the party did blow up a kraken with Ramona's Final Smash overcharged laser cannon, if Stathis gets credit despite not being there. If not, pft what, no. Blackthrone is apparently just a buncha thugs who think guns and a uniform make them tougher and better then the rest of the criminal element on the Raft.
• Did we loot a memorable treasure? Not in the slightest.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/10 | Load 6/6


Ramona's bowing out, after hiring me? What's her game? ...Does this mean she's getting out entirely? And something about a curse. And new guy's been here half a minute and already things are getting heated with how cold it is. Did something Serenity disagrees with. Probably something worth worrying about with how non-traditional she is, and since he's already dead. The mouth on this guy... "Sure pal, it's all been done before and will be done again. Including the cool, disinterested bounty hunter." That earns me a look. I break his gaze and go back to my little black book. See if I've overheard anything about Aqualantis since it sank while he stews in that one.

Spout Lore with Book: 2d6 9
Resolving the bond with Ramona as discussed, up to 6 XP. Keeping the machine pistol.
Bonds
Who is Veacheslav and why does he act like I should know him?
What's Tutresiel's story?
Third TBD, probably Serenity.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/10 | Load 6/6


I level a gaze at the chief. He really expects everyone to cram into that sardine can and not have something go catastrophically wrong? Well, dead under the water or dead by hitmen. Not much of a difference in the end.

---

I answer her question with a cocked brow. Looks like she wasn't filled in on my meeting with Ramona. "I have an inkling that someone, or more likely some group, very much want me dead. So leaving town with the promise of a paycheck is exactly the thing I needed. Simple as that." There's more to say here, some pointed questions to ask, but not here among prying eyes and listening ears. Something to follow up later when alone.

I dunno how to work this in quite yet but my question is gonna likely be "How Can I Get You to Help Me Kill Ramona", but also not gonna delay any thing more then I have.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 7/10 | Load 6/6


I reach for my cigs before realizing this tin can's not the best place to light up. The shutter of the sub ramming into the silt again lets me know that maybe I shouldn't worry about burning up the oh two supply. Well, moment's past anyway. I could try to get these specters to do something other than piss away the resources of the still living but Serenity seemed not entirely surprised by them and they didn't listen to her at all. Puffing up would really only add fuel to this fire. Might as well let it burn itself out. The buzz of the airlock cycle lets me know that this is my stop. Cigarettes in the crate, seal the crate, put on the 'breather, exit the tub with the crate. And it'll be just that easy, right?

Command...?: 2d6-1 4 About what I expected.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/10 | Load 6/6


With a muted boom the 'bot explodes towards the fishmen, and I know exactly what's gonna follow that show of force underwater. I let go of the crate, the dense metal won't budge an inch even, and hook a few legs on it just in time for the big wave to hit. Like a big goon's fist it hits, almost disorientating despite the death grip I have on the makeshift anchor. I ride the wave, and reach out to grab both Nori and Serenity as they get flung back. I get a hand around Nori's ankle, the thick armored suit almost clinging to my palm. Serenity, if from countercurrent or trying to tumble out of the wave, slips past my grasp. She can handle herself, right?

...Well, at least long enough that someone can find her down here.

Quick Grab (Defy Danger + DEX): 2d6+2 10

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/10 | Load 6/6


Not five seconds after he shows up the big cheese is already begging for his life. Sense of humor life has is something else, that's for sure. "There's a small problem with that, I can't actually give the tinman orders it has to follow." I shoot a glare at the bot, hoping he'll pick up what I'm putting down. "It's little stunt sent the person they're supposed to protect hurtling into this mess." I gesture at the still swirling cloud of silt and kick my glare up a notch. Any higher and the ocean'd start boiling. It should get the point, back to the fishman.

"So to start, you attack us unprovoked, you've killed at least one of ours, and two of our own are missing. Sure, the MIAs isn't something you or your men did, but they went missing in part of actions taken to prevent our deaths at your hands. Furthermore, you've left us without proper transport in an incredibly hostile environment that half our number cannot survive in unaided." I pause, let him stew a bit with the full implications of what he's done. "So here's how this surrender's gonna go. You and your friends will help us find ours, then assist us getting to Aqualantis proper, and then you and whoever's got half a conscience in your band will go straight to The Raft, find Chief Orson of the Expectant, and inform him exactly what you did to Simmons and the sub he was piloting. I'd recommend offering labor as compensation, or at least to pay for the funeral. But I'm sure you can figure something else out if you need, Orson's a reasonable man."

Parley (+CHA): 2d6+2 9

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


[quote="ArkInBlack" post="463231710"]
Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/10 | Load 6/6


Already the tinman's off, without bothering to coordinate with anyone. Dunno why it's like this, a cocky young soldier at least think they have something to prove. "Well, it's got the surface covered. I'll follow it and you and yours go in from the other end." I swim after the bot. Thing's moving too fast, kicking up more silt and sand as he trudges through this crap like a boar rooting for truffles. Can't wait for it to settle down at this point, who knows if Serenity's breather is even intact after that tumble. A raised hand, few gestures, and an underhand toss gives us a ball of fire, slowly drifting through the murky water physics be damned. Anything with a working pair of eyes will see the glow long before it'll get close enough to burn, even in this mess. Fair bit brighter than the chemlight too. With light handled all that's left is to look.

Aid Zero One: 2d6 7
Also I have no interesting ideas regarding how Stathis is communicating so unless anyone has any ideas better than 'Elf Sign Language' there we are.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/10 | Load 6/6


Shoved aside like some kinda damsel, my knight in shining armor already in the thing's maw. Knowing the tinman the thing will regret that pretty quick, but it might appricia+ Oh, you ARE a clever one. I’m going to ENJOY this. Who’s your little FRIEND, insect? I enjoy the way he SQUEAKS between my TEETH. + Of course it projects thoughts into minds, why wouldn't the ship sized fish thing do that? Probably reads 'em like the morning paper too. Three two one, three two one, three twist, and there's claws, on time like a dwarven convoy. Wonder if it knows arachnids aren't insects. Probably doesn't care either way, just likens everything smaller than it to insects even if the scale isn't quite right. More like a mouse, maybe a duck. Closer that time, might be mad now. But no, insects. Always insects. Swear these big overbearing types go to the same school. Insulting Lesser Creatures One Oh One. Probably didn't go much past that, can't match even of the lieutenant colonels from jump, knife. That's one cut, how many something this big gonna take? What's it get from all this anyway? Tantrum because something woke it up? Deep seated hatred of things not staying where they 'belong'? Well, I'm asking questions I won't get a reasonable answer to at this point.

Death From Above (+Dex): 2d6+2 7 I'll take Target Doesn't Notice In Time To Act and Deal Damage With A Hand Weapon here.
Wicked Dagger Damage: 1d8 4 4 damage to the thing.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 15/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/10 | Load 6/6


Like clockwork, that robot. Now its running scared and like most large unknowable things it has more surprises. You wouldn't need arcane knowledge to know getting near the coalescing blood was a bad idea. So hitching a ride on the giant monster that has attempted to eviscerate us multiple times was the safer option. While carrying the group's supplies in an airtight crate not meant to be packed by a person.

Just one of those weeks.

Defy Danger (+Con): 2d6 9
Defy Danger (+Str): 2d6 7

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 15/18 | Armor 1 | XP 8/10 | Load 6/6


Wordy for something that can't speak. But more important than it is Nori. Few things deserve a death like those globules deliver, and she's not one. A wave of force wouldn't solve the problem, just move it further away. Time to improvise. Draw forth that same arcane energy, both hands shimmering, a short punch and release, now instead of an unfocused wave there's just two swift ripples of force shooting through the sea that unerringly shove the enchanted blood away into the murky dark before the dull thud of arcane implosions send a shockwave out.

About the time a tendril snakes around a leg is when I realized maybe I shouldn't have focused only on the blood, the critter was still right there. Gave itself a new look while I was distracted. Still pontificates like a noble obsessed with their own voice. Let's see how hot it likes its food. I make the gestures, snap a finger and... Nothing. That complicates things.

Black Magic (Near, Forceful, Two Targets): 2d6+2 9 Taking put self/another on the spot because gently caress it no permanent solutions to problems I guess.
Defy Danger (+Dex): 2d6+2 5
---
Black Magic (Hand, Elemental Fire, Messy +1d4): 2d6+2 5 1d8+1d4 5 welp.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 15/18 | Armor 1 | XP 8/10 | Load 6/6


Knew the second the tinman walked into that hulk Serenity would follow it in. See the story to its end, regardless of the times doing that meant near death experiences. Well at least it isn't directly into a war zone, just some arcane fish that fled into a tin can to escape a whirling dervish of bladed death. Not even a fool would bet on the beast right now. My hand reaches for my breast pocket before I remember where I am and how difficult it'd be enjoy a cigarette right now. And now the triton leader shows up. The deliberate slowness as he pulls the blade makes it obvious his lack of harmful intent, but cutting the braid... It means something to him, but I just cock an eyebrow and sign "What's this?" Hopefully he won't find my ignorance unacceptable.

Spout Lore: 2d6-1 5 Fuckin' fishman cultures, how do they work?

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 14/18 | Armor 1 | XP 8/10 | Load 6/6


"You know what they say about assumptions, right? Now we're both sitting here thinking 'get a load of this rear end in a top hat' all because you expect me to know every detail about your culture." I fish out the medallion again. More use in two days than the last year, easy. I take his braid and leave him the medal. "Any other ritual you need me to participate in without knowing a single thing about or can we move on?"

exposure: 1d4 1

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 14/18 | Armor 1 | XP 1/11 | Load 6/6


The crate's cracked open and I hang back, let everyone else pry their prizes from the stash before I move in. And there it is, right where I left it, only slightly crushed by the jostling of the day's events. I open the pack and draw out a cigarette, the scent of home right there, waiting for a spark so it could fill the room and my lungs. A flick of the wrist, a flourish of the hand and a lit thumb slowly rises to meet dried leaf when Lissette's hand snatches the cigarette from my lips. Stern voice, sterner expression. A good rant about oxygen and not putting unnecessary strain on filters. One look tells me I have as much of a chance getting my fix in now as the overgrown fish did surviving the 'bot.

Veachaslav's waiting, looking for conversation. Maybe distraction's more accurate, not needing sleep means more hours to fill with something, anything. Might be the one thing I can sympathize with, not wanting to be alone with your own thoughts some nights.

"For starters I'd probably have to kill the woman that taught me everything I know for the position to open up and I wouldn't bet on me surviving the attempt, let alone succeeding." My hand drifts to my jacket pocket, pack halfway out before I remember the tongue lashing I just received. Nothing left to do but sigh. "More seriously, it felt hollow. It's one thing to kill a soldier, a warrior, come in unseen and end their life before they can register something's wrong. It's another to erase entire communities overnight. New Port, Dalesglen, Applebrook, Saint-Martin, Blackridge, Cyseal. Factories, farms, and non-combatants. To get praised for what we did..." The silence is thick and his expression masked. "Must be a real baffling reason to a hardened merc like you."

If it's not clear that's supposed to be "What are you really feeling right now?" at the end there. And the direct answer is 'ask a question when we have some time.'
End of Session
Alignment: Defeat another in a noncombat test of skill or strength
I continue to be really bad at this.
---
Bonds
Why does Veachaslav act like I should know him?

What's Tutresiel's story? The world will never know.
---
New Bonds

Serenity can't keep herself out of trouble, I need to keep a better eye on her.

Level Up!
18 Charisma
Advanced Moves
Spider Traits; Biting Spider
You have a venomous bite. You can use your bite as a weapon with Hand range that deals half damage, but if it connects you fill
the bite location with a localized paralyzing poison, which renders the bite location useless. Your venoms wear off after about a day.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 14/18 | Armor 1 | XP 1/11 | Load 6/6


When I heard Aqualantis sank I was convinced some sort of divinity finally got sick of looking at it and the misery it produced and sent it to the bottom of the sea to be rid of the filth. But here I am and it's still the same except it's lit by halogen instead of sunlight. Despite the worry and the fear of people up top everything's the same rat race down here, still the city where one mistake leaves only crime as a viable profession and one mistake there leaves you a corpse in the gutter. The only difference is now there's a visible metaphor for the pressure every average Joe and Jane has to deal with in this city, and it's just as cold and uncaring as the steel keeping it from killing everyone. Aqualantis didn't sink, it just went to be among peers.

Not the first time in an Aqualantian Precinct. Might need to use a fake name and hope no one working here read any memos about driders, depending on who reported what when I caught the 'reputable' business man Maxfield Stanton. He had a pretty good business alright, running a temp agency, taking in undesirables and doing easy jobs for cheaper. While maintaining competitive wages. Shame he was draining the life out of his employees to fuel necromantic rituals, creating aether-infused crystals and smuggling them out of the city. Had a fair number of cops on the take, and likely someone higher with how deep the web went. Might be Stathis Argyle isn't on good terms with the police down here. Well, risks I'll have to take, probably someone new came in to bribe them anyway and the ax will be buried.

Or maybe if I'm lucky Gail's working this corner of the city. Might be busted down to beat cop again after pissing off the Commissioner doing her job properly, meaning how it should be done in a honest society. No bribes, no blackmail, nothing could stick to her, and I don't think anyone else saw that. Regardless of who she was before joining the force, all the pressures of the job has made a diamond and that's exactly what you don't want against you in a city like this, someone unbreakable like that. Nah, no way I'm that lucky.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 14/18 | Armor 1 | XP 1/11 | Load 6/6


It'd been too long since I talked with an honest cop. Hell, last time was probably Gail ten years ago, during the Maxfield Case. It was just chance that got me pulling a loose thread on his twisted web of lies and deceit, a mother worrying after a son who stopped writing. My investigations eventually had me cross paths with Gail as she was tracking down a social services worker who went missing, and eventually led us both to Stanton. Got her promoted and everyone wanted to get the local hero on their side. Her dwarf-like stubbornness is probably why she's back to beat cop now.

The coffee's nice, handles the intake for the clerk. Catch up, trade stories of the last ten years. She doesn't need to know why I'm at the Raft, just like I already know why she hasn't quit. She's a bit surprised about my letting the sub get "ghost-jacked" but only the 'bot had a shot at piloting the thing with the cockpit breached, and even if that thing knew how to do anything other than murder it destroyed itself to kill the overgrown fish. It was nice to hear she hadn't just had ten years of the worst things happening in rapid succession, just mostly here at the end. Cleaned up the streets a bit, got things moving in the right direction before the Sink happened. More things change, more they stay the same. I ask her about Serenity's kid she's looking for, any other elves moving through the city and the like. Maybe some talk, anything.
~Later~
I give a look at Lisette, a careful glance at the wrecked 'bot. "Does this closer look involve leaving it's remains here? Sounds like we're doing somebody a favor."

Discern Realities: 2d6+1 6 the requested Discern
How I've Been (Parley): 2d6+3 9 Fuckin' I dunno what to promise here? Or my leverage even????

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 14/18 | Armor 1 | XP 1/11 | Load 6/6


I look to Serenity. Why she thinks the squirming bookworm is lying beyond me, but her tone conveys her zealous belief that this threat is necessary to get the remains of the bot burned and buried. "Because, it's hers. She can decide what's done with her property..." His furtive glances, she's... What? He's finding meaning in... She had all her fingers when we entered the airlock. Now her hand's like that hardass' who's running the place. Does the egghead think there's a connection? More importantly, is he right? Had to stay up and chat with the corpse, not take the sleep when I could. "Okay, clearly I've been left out of a loop here. How about we take a deep breath and then have a nice calm chat, talk about why we want the things we want instead of obliquely talking around a vague concept while we assume everyone else is on the same page. I'd like that quite a bit."

Let's use words instead of threats (Defy Danger+Cha): 2d6+3 8

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 14/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/11 | Load 6/6


I could go into detail on the differences between the wreck of a 'bot at the ground here and those used by elven kind but he probably wouldn't care. Probably wouldn't help coming from me anyway, not sure how known driders are outside of the homeland but he clearly thinks I'm an elf and that's what matters in the here and now. Might as well let this blow hard keep the 'bots remains, get this favor out of the way and move on.

His words about how the treaties are treated ring in my ears as I board the Kerambit. They mirrored the impassioned speeches of my kin, warning of the growing hunger of the domains of man, as they marched with their mechanized creations ever closer to our homes. I was born during a period of open war, always known the slowly growing fear and anxiety as the frontline crawls ever closer as bullet beat back blade and spell.

One tour, the war wore on all of us, the sacrifice of friends and comrades, but we had peace and that was worth something, surely. Even as I saw the crestfallen faces of the veterans I clung to that thought. It was over, it'd be generations until we came into conflict again. And I was almost right, barely a century had passed before some human lord expanded onto elven land as declared by treaty. Citing the needs of his people, ignoring the warnings delivered to cease or face war again. He responded by taking more land. There was no second warning and once more we found ourselves in a war with humans. It went poorly, the zeal of the soldiers we faced exceeded even our own, galvanized as they were by the tales of our first strike against them, and by new innovations in warfare. Guns that could hold as many and more than a quiver could hold arrows, that didn't require half a minute to load and fire. We were ill-prepared to face down the human armies as death was delivered to warcasters from far away and armored veterans fell to privates with a rifle.

The news of humans setting foot in the Sacred Glade of She of Innumerable Eyes and Shadows was unsettling. If one of the most holy places wasn't safe, where was? And more frightening, if She stirred would we face her wrath for failing to keep Her lands free of lesser creatures? Suddenly the clergy had decided that the war was worthy of their attentions, rallying the religious to the war efforts and providing honor guards to be used as appropriate. From the Congregation of Innumerable Eyes and Shadows came driders, and more boldly than representatives of other divinity, an offer to take the best soldiers available and bless them with the spider's form. I was asked to volunteer, and I did not decline. For my home, my friends, my family, I became something... Other than elf. An important distinction lost on non-elves.

Before my training was finished a new treaty had been forged, won on the generous support given by the Congregations. But everyone knew that this peace would not last and the next century was preparation and amassing knowledge, soldiers, and power for when war broke out once more. Sure enough, a little more than a century humanity found itself new leaders that hadn't learned the lessons from their grandfathers and looked to the borders with a fierce hunger. This time there was no first warning and truly we had broken the treaty this time. It was then my first mission as a drider occurred, a repeat of tactics employed previously against them, we were to strike the supply line, cutting deep into enemy territory and operating largely under our field officer's discretion.

A few hits on food caravans and a couple interrogations left us with a tempting target, the town of Kefield apparently supplied a full twenty-five percent of the military's food, on top of the food sold to other towns and cities. Destroying it would be a significant hit against the human war effort, as they'd have to pull more food from elsewhere and lead to scarcity at home. Call was to hit it, despite being almost on the other side of the country from the frontlines. The logic being it was so far away it'd be lightly guarded at best. So we slowly made our way across the countryside before we found out we were either blessed or the luckiest elves in the world.

No military presence at all. No militia. Just a sheriff and a couple of deputies, more used to seeing drunks home safe and shooting at coyotes than than killing another man. The only thing keeping this from being the textbook definition of a perfect target was all the farms and ranches left a lot of ground to cover for fifty men, and we only had two squads of five to burn this entire town to the ground and leave no witnesses. One of the other squad, Kalyvas, had the bright idea to drive wild animals into the town at night so they'd attack the livestock. Eventually someone called some kind of meeting and that's when we struck. One squad to handle those at the meeting, the other squad to spread out and work inwards to the town hall, killing anyone they came across. For our part, it went flawlessly. Five driders, five sorceries. Anyone not immediately killed couldn't stop us from finishing the job. From there we worked out until eventually not a single living thing was left in the town besides the ten of us.

Always odd to think about my time serving. Once we were back in elven lands, we were ecstatic. Even if Kefield didn't supply as much as we were told, we just hit a target clear on the other side of our enemy's home. Cause some sort of supply problem and who could think it was done directly and personally by us? But now I only see the face of the dazed man, father of two young girls, eyes slowly beginning to focus after the disorientating blast knocked the wind out of him, spared a bloody death by immolation or shards of raw force tearing through his body just to die after I brought my knife through his throat before moving on to the next still moving body to reach down and cleanly, clinically repeating the process.

It doesn't matter at this point which side ignored which treaties when. Both have sinned in the name survival, and will continue to do whatever is needed to stay alive. The only thing I can do is try to atone for the sins committed by my own two hands.

Spout Lore: 2d6-1 6

ArkInBlack fucked around with this message at Nov 16, 2016 around 17:12

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 14/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/11 | Load 6/6


"This will be my second encounter with tritons, so what I know is removing the leader is a proven strategy. As for the local sights... Let's get this out of the way now, I suppose." Stathis cracks his knuckles, then his neck, before walking up to Telsen.

"What I think, Telsen, is you've given us the bare minimum of information and now ask us for an informed opinion. It's my opinion, as this is still the first time I've been under the sea, that I have no idea what out there is normal and what doesn't belong. So we'll start with those bubbles." Already pen and notepad are in hand, poised and ready as Stathis levels his gaze at Officer Telsen "What's their source, thermal vent? Is it normal for them to be present? If no, when did they start and are they why the Hvalreki was sent out? If that's not why it's here, why is it here, was it carrying anything other than human cargo, what are the chances the airlock is inoperable and what might happen if we then have to breach the vehicle? What is Aqualantis' current standing with local triton tribe and/or clans? If poor, why? It's possible that they are the reason the Hvalreki is missing but what reasons might they have? Revenge? Or just opportunistic?"

First, elven battle robots wouldn't knock over a gun store. Second, they'd be at least three times more condescending, six for non-elves.
Discern Realities: 2d6 11
What here is not what it appears to be?
What should I be on the lookout for?
What happened here recently?

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 14/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/11 | Load 6/6


Despite his best efforts, Stathis fails to avoid the rolling wave of flesh, scale, and corral and manages to get caught in the thick of it entirely.

Defy Danger (+Dex): 2d6+2 5 Nope.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 5/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/11 | Load 6/6


Their reward, a pained smile and a coating of my blood. Vicious grins as they think they've won, a skewered spider already dead, just doesn't realize it. Then a single utterance, echoing through the water, the language of the elements transcending medium. "Reth." Though the Accord of Kalimag prevents transmuting one element to another, blood is not an element, and these piranha have greedily pulled more than their fair share from it. Now the blood burns merrily away, the water drowning out their pained screams as it fails to drown out the flames.

Black Magic (+Cha): 2d6+3 14 Hand, Fire, Area
Black Magic Damage: 1d8-2 5

ArkInBlack fucked around with this message at Nov 29, 2016 around 00:25

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 12/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/11 | Load 6/6


No time to ruminate on the ill-fated swarm's attempts on my life, the cavalry charge made it full clear it was time to reposition. As I launch myself away from the sled I wonder if I shouldn't have so readily abandoned the piece of tech. Well, I'll have time to regret switching to manual movements when this is over.

Defy Danger (+Dex): 2d6+2 8

ArkInBlack fucked around with this message at Dec 5, 2016 around 21:26

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 12/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/11 | Load 6/6


Wisely hanging back rather than risk immolation. Inconvenient when the enemy responds appropriately. Likely circling me, waiting for the right moment, right angle for one to attack, then his fellows follow up, one by one, keep me disorientated and spinning to meet the next attacker... That's, Serenity? ...Of course she'd get the idea to use sound. Always dependable like that, bards.

I pull at the sourcery within myself, and weave it into the melody, acting as a conductor to join it with the song reaching past physical limits. A few hand, a few gestures. If you will not come here, we will go out there. I hope at least one could understand elven signs, hate to waste a perfectly good menacing on an oblivious audience. The song and magic are joined as one, and I can't suppress my smile as a small gleam appears in the murky darkness. Then another. And another. Finally clusters of eight stretch out all across my vision and as the sound of the song fades, a rising chorus of chittering and chitin rubbing against chitin rises to fill the silence. For me, these magical hallucinations provide comfort of a well done job. I would think the tritons are reacting less calmly to the sudden appearance of this nightmarish cacophony of noise and eyes.

Discern Reality: 2d6 6 With the aid that's 7 so, What here is useful or valuable to me
Black Magic (+Cha; Near, Area, Debilitating): 2d6+3 12 1d8+1d4-2 7 and then halved so, 3 damage not ignoring armor but all affected are hindered or slowed.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 12/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/11 | Load 6/6


As I grab onto the sled-shaped submersible a memory rises up within, a wizard's apprentice seeking his missing teacher.
~~~~
"Could you teach me to cast like that, mister Argyle?" Slightly high pitched, almost nasally voice. Puberty hit this kid so hard he's still walking funny. A long drag from a cigarette, watching the ceiling fan slowly spin as I try and connect the dots.

"Even if I wanted to kid, I doubt it." I knew as sure as the sun rises and sets, as grass grows and birds fly, that this wouldn't stop him from asking his next question, but I hoped beyond all reason...

"Well... Why not? Even if it's sorcery there's some underlying theory both adhere to, and manipulating thaumaturgic energies works regardless if it's from innate arcane powers or from syphoning latent energy..."

"See, all that right there tells me you already know more about magic theory than I do, kid."

"...How's that possible?"

"Well, the word 'spartan' perfectly describes knowledge of magic. For the basic theories and 'proven sciences' behind it, a better word would be 'non-existent'. Sure, I can tell you that sorcery is different from wizardry, and both are a different beast entirely from song magic. The nitty gritty details are completely beyond me. I was trained to take the magic within, my 'source', and taught extensively how to use it to kill. Quickly, slowly, through physical harm or mental anguish. Sure, you'd think knowing to kill quickly would be better, drop one target and move to the next, right? How about if while neutralizing a threat, you left a a gasping, sobbing wreck of a man lying on the ground, begging his friends to help him, to stop the pain, while they're desperately searching the darkness for where and what threw a jagged bolt of force through their buddy's chest?" I glance over to him, he's pale and quiet. This kid's not even been alive for two decades and here I am rambling about how I was trained to ruin a squad of men with a single spell. "...That's not relevant to the question, but shows in its own way how I was taught magic. No time spent on theory or how to harness it outside of combat situations. But hey, all the more reason to find miss Rubina, right?" The silence tells me he's struggling with that mental image still.

In time, he finds his voice and asks plainly "Do you really do that to people, mister Argyle?"

The words don't come easy, hiding my hesitation with another long drag, before I find the words to lie to this kid. "Not any more Arthur. Not any more."
~~~~
I pass Nori as I head towards the song. Hope she knows enough elven sign to get the area behind me is pacified. If not, it'll be a fun diversion to fill the time instead of smoking while we're forty thousand leagues under the sea. But right now there's at least one enemy wielding magic and putting down the grunts did nothing to stop their spells, so it's time to have a few words with them.

The benefit, near as I can tell, to song magic is the distance and area it can easily cover. Handy for disorientating large groups. The drawback is predictably being very easy to track on account of having to make music with the magic. Or maybe it's the otherway around. Regardless, drat hard to hide while using it. These tritons are clever, staying on the move in this field of roiling bubbles, but it's not helpful against someone solely focused on finding them. Finally I spot their forms as they swim, and it's close enough. Draw up some force, multiple jabs to send waves of it at them. Hard to carry a tune after a few swift blows to the abdomen, let's see if they can manage.

Magic Theory (Spout Lore): 2d6 4 Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?
Discern Realities: 2d6 9 I wanna know where the heck these tidecallers are hanging out at.
Black Magic (+Cha; Near, Area, Debilitating): 2d6+3 7 1d8-2 6 taking the ongoing -1 to Black Magic rolls as the 7-9 choice

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 12/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/11 | Load 6/6


Thought becomes motion as Stathis ceases his arcane barrage and launches from the motorized sled at where he thought the grunt of pain came from when he managed to land a few hits.

Defy Danger (Int): 2d6-1 5
Maintaining to make the ongoing -2 to Black Magic happen.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 7/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/11 | Load 4/6


Acid. Maybe a small prayer that the rebreather is fine, anything more is wasting time. Wouldn't be able to fix it if it was melting anyway. A moment of waiting, relax and let momentum and the currents carry me. Move past the noise and darkness, and the triton's out there. Filtering out the din there's quiet, body tensed and ready. There, movement. I snap into action, ten limbs in unison lunging me forward suddenly and my prey's in my grasp. The mouthpiece to the rebreather in hand as I close my jaws around his neck and pump it full of venom. Should be more effective than a punch to the throat. Prey in hand it was time to light up the area, push back the murky dark, and reaffix the mouthpiece so I at least drown slower. There's some streak of electrical light, one of the sleds, or a hand torch. Hopefully they'll appreciate some more light to see by.

The Running Joke: 2d6 7 Well la di da. Where's the target as the one pick or w/e
Death From Above (+Dex): 2d6+2 10 Choosing Deal Damage with a Hand Weapon, Target doesn't notice in time to move against you, and no one else notices
-Venomous Bite: 1d8/2 2 2 damage before armor and the bite location (the neck) is rendered useless for about a day.
Aid Another: 2d6 9

ArkInBlack fucked around with this message at Jan 10, 2017 around 23:48

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ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 7/18 | Armor 1 | XP 6/11 | Load 4/6


"So here's how this is going. I'm going to release you, you and everyone loyal to you are going to leave. Then myself and the other not fish will find the missing people we came for and save them, and then leave. Then you can come back or not or whatever, because once we get the people out I no longer care what happens here." Not fish is a bit ugly of a way to sign the others, but the ESCO and Nori aren't elves and better to not leave some djinni loophole for some untoward character to try and twist to his favor.

Parley (+Cha): 2d6+3 14

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