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DivineCoffeeBinge
Mar 3, 2011

Spider-Man's Amazing Construction Company


Casey

(Yeah I couldn't think of a good applicable trait, so fortune clearly did not smile upon me)

Okay. So this is doable. Miserable and terrible, but doable.

Casey draws a deep breath and collects herself before heading to the berth and flashing some coins to get the attention of the sailor there. "I wish passage to Aslein for myself and my companion, an elderly male gentleman. I am prepared to pay, of course - with an additional generous fee to be paid upon arrival if and only if my companion and I arrive unmolested and unharassed. Would you be so kind as to fetch your purser so that we may discuss the specifics?" A silver coin is tossed to the sailor to hurry him on his way, as well as to demonstrate her sincerity.

This is not going to be a fun journey.

Casey believes herself to be Resilient [+2] enough to handle the bargaining, and her Empathic [+2] nature should help as well. As mentioned, her Non-Binary [-2] nature probably won't help, but maybe she'll get lucky. At any rate, the plan is to pay for passage and, if the voyage isn't extra-lovely, to reveal the location of her cached wealth upon arrival; the sailors can head back and pick it up at their leisure.

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Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


Victor

Victor struggles to keep his patience. "Oh, for gently caress's sake. Of course I came here to loot the monastery! So what?! You're dead! You can't steal from the dead! You assholes killed yourselves, so why do you care? Do you know the past couple of days I've been having? Do you?! My life used to be normal! Oh, it sucked. It sucked a lot, but it was a life! Now, in the past two days, in two days, mind you! First, I get a vision from some creature saying it killed the gods and I'm the chosen one and I need to go convince a spirit to give me his magic. Then I have to bluff my way past a guard who's looking to kick my rear end if she sees me again. Then, I find myself overnight in some hick town, playing music for cows! Now, a bunch of self righteous dead monks are berating me! No! No, more! You're dead, so shut up, do you hear me? Just shut up!", he screams.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Moonrat

A knife thunked into the wall behind where the elf had stood just a second before. Moonrat swore under his breath, furious that his prey had escaped. That was always the way, it seemed. Decry the ratlings as the sole reason the world was not a utopia and flee before the rebuttal. Still...he would count his blessings. He was tired but unharmed. He retrieved his knife and tucked his weapons away before approaching the door and letting himself out. He'd seen nothing worth stealing, and Olek and his son would be vanished into the bowels of this city if he dallied.

Casting a look about the street, he saw no signs of the pair. Quickly scrambling back onto the roofs he again surveyed the environs, finally locating the massive and unmistakable silhouette of an ogre with a smaller figure tucked close beside. Sprinting across the shingles and leaping from building to building, he caught up to them and slid down and awning to land nimbly across the road from them.

"Oi! I can appreciate the hurry, but you owe me. Lucky for you my price is cheap today." He called out to Olek in his high pitched voice as he approached, brazen and cocksure. He spared a glance at the boy. Still shaking a bit, but in obviously better spirits than he had been a few minutes ago. Hauling himself up to his full height, Moonrat crossed his arms and continued, tail swaying lazily. While things had not gone precisely as he'd have liked, he had come out more or less on top and was feeling good about it.

"I'll make it quick. The wench escaped me so I wager neither of us should remain in this city long if we value our health. First, tell me who that she-elf is and what her bargain with you was. Secondly, I seek a place and a man within that place. A keep in the southerly mountains, inhabited by who I am led to believe is a master warlord of your people. Know you anything of this? Or someone else who might? Even a rumor or fanciful tale is something."

Shardix fucked around with this message at Mar 22, 2017 around 06:51

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias

From one set of unpleasant conditions to another, trading the nauseating instability of oceanic waters for the bone-chilling far northern weather. Still, Terminus had spoken, and Elias had certainly shown he was willing to see this through. They had prepared as best they were able, they had a route and contingencies, it was time to seek out the lost city.

Leader +2 and Educated+2 for orienteering the expedition along the ancient route in hostile conditions, which is where having a frail -2 body really doesn't help.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Sasha

Sasha gave a short, raucous sort of laugh. "Oi now is that so? Well, we wouldn't want ta have such a pretty thing suffer or be the plaything o' some petty lordling now would we? Ye I thought not."

And with that, she brought her club down on the wards.

"Bring it."


OOC: Strong [+2] and Resilient [+2] for

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

...She's behind me, isn't she?

Dragomir - Farm

All things considered, Drago had to admit his new line of work was quite fun. His hands were often kept busy, and he was more than happy to share of what had occurred thus far in his journey from Lho-Rhydia. But as much as he enjoyed the company he was travelling with, the lizardman’s mind never strayed too far from his (first of many) final destination. As such, when the caravan stopped at a small farm, several questions came to mind.

“Drago and this caravan travel now to Leindor, and though thus far the road has proven safe, Drago worries whether it will remain as such. Has your village had dangerous encounters in the past? Bandits, or monsters perhaps, that Drago and company should be aware of? Which paths are safest and…” the lizardman paused, curiosity getting the better of him, “...would there be any landmarks that might interest a scholar such as Drago?”

Just asking some basic safety questions, plus a bonus ‘anything super cool around here’ since I figure Drago would be that kind of guy.

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

Yes!
I finally understand everything there is to know about axes!


John

You traveled and searched based on Carwen's years of study. In the first week you traveled to the west, took rest and questioned some people in a small town to the west along the base of the mountains. What seemed like incidental points at first, you slowly came to see as small pieces of a very large jigsaw. You traveled again, into the second week searching along the mountains. You found two large caves that seemed to be old lairs, moving away from the growing influence of civilisation.

Although you were making progress, John began to grow irritable and anxious as you entered the third week. Then on the third day, you found it.

There was a cave that lead into a sheltered crevasse. In the cave there was a large hole, the size of an inn, with a sheer drop no person could hope to make. All of this was hidden deeper into the mountains. Finding it was not impossible, but it was difficult and away from towns. You found a few scales that had been scraped off its hide as it moved through. They were old, faded and brittle. But they were there. Carwen signaled for you to retreat to plan.

Does John retreat to plan, or charge in?


Karla

There was a look on the shopkeeper's, confusion and suspicion as you handed her the gold coin. But after frowning for a moment she accepted it and gave you directions to the inn. Karla noticed that her mannerisms had changed, she was less warm and open. The inn was called the Snowy Mole, it was not a particularly grand inn by any metric but it was probably the best you could expect in a country town like this. The inn keeper was a robust man with muddy mutton chops and nursing a mug that he was polishing. The inn was set up for the miners finishing their shifts to come in to drink soon, but Karla probably did not recognise the signs. He looked up and his expression changed to surprise as he saw you.


Casey

The discussion was unpleasant. There was the expected jabs, the jeering and the insults. In the face of everything happening it was difficult to keep your composure. Yet Casey knew one thing, and that was that these men were ultimately more interested in getting paid. The trip would be bad, you would be stowing away in the worst conditions essentially with the most meager of meals, but it was a way out of the city.

1:23 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 8 = 2d6(3,3)+2
You can take the trip but you will gain the drawback Fatigued from the awful journey.



Victor

There were more ghosts popping up yelling at you, as you yelled back. Eventually it became to much to bear and Victor furiously brushed his way through the door the fat monk was standing in. But stepping through the ghost had a weird and disorienting side effect.

As you properly stepped into the ghost and took up the space he floated in, the ghost was sucked into you through your eyes, your nose, your mouth and it felt like the very pores on your skin. You experienced as if they were your own, the last hours of the monk's life. The despair and confusion he felt as the foundation of the world he lived in, both philosophically and seemingly literally were falling apart around him. Then the dreadful despair and the pact, the poison. It was not a clean death. Monks did not keep quick and efficient poisons. Your last moments were praying to your dead god to still the agony and despair...

Then Victor came back to himself. The ghost was gone and he felt a strange power and tingling sensation within him. Looking around you could see the other ghosts recoil from you. One whispered a single word.

"Necromancer..."


Moon Rat

Olek seemed to have known what you had said, but having someone tell him that made him blanch a bit. He looked grim and said "Not 'ere. Follow me." The man seemed to be properly afraid of you, having at least been equal to the elf that made his life hell. He took you back to a similar area to where the the bar had been and Moon Rat assumed that the house they ended up in was Olek's. It seemed scaled up for a man of the ogre's stature.

(I am not translating this entire except sorry, but assume he speaks in the established accent)

"The elf arrived half a year ago. She was not welcomed by the group your lot controlled, but there was another group and she was good at what she did. For the next few months she just did what she was asked and made friends. Too quickly if you ask me. Might be some kind of elf magic. Then when the gods started dying up in their heavens, she got a bunch of people to start attacking your lot. There was a brutal war, but eventually she did something...poisoned most of you I think somehow. Dunno how she managed that. Your folks are a canny lot. There was fighting and killing but...well now there was more of us than you. She spent the next week hunting down the remaining folk. They got dumped in a quarry out of town, I can tell you where if you need.

As for me. Well I am a bit too big and stupid to really be much use in dealing with your kind, but I can be very scary to taller folks. Shadow's Grace, is what she called herself, took my kid and made me a deal. She put me in as the head of her new group now that her competition was gone, and I was there to make people think I was in charge. I knew she just wanted to use me as bait for assassins or clever folks, but she had my kid and I couldn't say no. So I did what she said, and she told me if any of you ever turned up I had to make you as angry as possible without getting myself killed. Then I needed to let her know what I had done. I dunno what her goal was but it seems like you go the better of her there. You ain't dead at least.

I don't know of any keep or anything, but there are a bunch of old places in Redivar. They say that the old people used to live their, and if you go looking you can find relics of the past even now. I heard stories of some old raider from when my grandpappy was a kid. Said he got too good at killing and stealing and got tired. He left the isles and settled down somewhere. He would be dead by now, but maybe he left something behind?"


Elias

You set travel north. The first week of travel was not too difficult as there were major roads you could follow. But on the second week the roads grew less traveled and harder to make swift progress. On the third week you were pushing forward past the boundaries of Vandalor into the cold lands. Elias found making camp a difficult and unpleasant experience. The mornings were cold and bitter, and even though he had the best blankets and furs that money could afford him to keep it warm the frost seemed to make its way into his tent and into his bones.

It was a relief when you made it to Lemant, a town on the edges of mapped regions of the north of Vandalor. Jacque mentioned that it would be best to stop here and stock up on provisions and supplies, while finding out all you could. Searching further north would get very cold and snow would begin to last for many more months at this time of year. Without a direction and goal to search in you would find it a death sentence. Elias found himself grateful to have an excuse to stay in a place with a warm fire and cooked meat and vegetables, even if it was a peasant's inn such as there was.

1:23 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 7 = 2d6(2,3)+2
The weather so far is not too bad for human conditions, but Elias is definitely feeling it very keenly due to being frail. It is only going to get worse.



Sasha

You began the work and it was simple enough. Smashing the stones with your club seemed to be sufficient, based on the screams of the creature and less reassuringly, the screams of your men as well. The creature thrashed around and changed, its fleshing spasming and warping in unnatural and unsettling manners. It attacked you with tentacles, clawed limbs, and other warping appendages. Sasha beat them all off as she moved around the pit, breaking the seal. It looked like she would make it without any harm...

Then unexpectedly as you broke the final seal, for you thought you had gotten through the trial, a barbed tail stabbed into your forehead. But it did not cause physical harm, instead something hurt your being...or your soul, if Sasha believed in such a thing. It was a metaphysical harm, you could feel like something had latched onto you. A curse you suspected. But you did not know yet what it would entail.

You looked up and saw the hovering ogre-figure again. The strange and difficult to trace disfigured features were gone, leaving only the true beauty that had been promised before. It smiled to you sadly, as it began to fade away. Its final words were a simple; "thank you..." before it unraveled itself into silken muscle and marbled bones. Then after a second those two were gone.

Dirk and your men suddenly retched, but after a moment seemed to collect themselves.

1:23 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 10 = 2d6(4,2)+4
Close to making it through unharmed! Unfortunately as discussed Sasha is now Cursed which will relate to anything that she holds. I will describe its exact nature when it comes up.



Dragomir

There were some minor curiousities for Dragomir, but nothing that would warrant separating himself from the caravan he had attached himself to. Such was the situation along the way to the capital, minor sites that were fascinating but not actually of real import. Dragomir would have loved to spend time visiting and learning, but he had a goal and a budget.

You found yourself in Redivar after three nights and early on the next day. The city lay upon the lake Teowan, and was quite splendid compared to Rho-Lydia. The caravan bid you farewell as they traveled on to their destination in the city leaving Dragomir to figure out where to go next. You found quickly that there was a district that while not formally for visitors, had services and hostels suitable for travelers of differing wealth. There was a royal library, which retained its titled after Redivar had become a merchant republic, but you had to purchase access and Dragomir did not have the connections or wealth currently to buy access to it. There were some public forums, which is where people went to discuss and meet, and there were also people who would be interested in ancient ruins and studies as well. One of those places would be Dragomir's best bet.

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla - Snowy Mole

The woman's reaction was odd, but Karla couldn't figure out why. She put the thoughts aside. The directions took her to the Snowy Mole the outside didn't look like much but she didn't really need much either.


Karla entered the cozy looking inn.

As she looked around she spotted the mutton chopped innkeeper. She walked over to the man and introduced herself. "Hello, I'm Karla. I was told your establishment had rooms available for the night? I was hoping to rest before setting off tomorrow." Some good food and a warm place to sleep would definitely help before the journey ahead. If the man asked she would merely say that she was travelling across the mountains to see the wide world.


If rooms are available, Karla will rest the night, will pay with exact coinage. Then leave in the morning if nothing else happens.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Moonrat

Moonrat listened intently, not even bothering to hide the disgusted look on his face as Olek told him of the local gang's fate. This elf was a clever one, for certain, and no less bloody-handed than he. It was a shame she was elf-filth. Cunning and brutality like that would have seen her rise high in the ranks of his people.

"I won't hold your actions against you. They had your son. As for the bodies...they are dead. I have no time to waste on burying them." Moonrat chirped flatly. There was no bluff there. He had family himself. Several little sisters, and the thought of harm falling on any of them made the bile rise in his throat. Half the reason he had the reputation he did was out of pragmatism: his enemies knew that any harm they inflicted on his family would be repaid tenfold. It was why despite their mutual dislike, Fleeting-Whisper never worried he would wake up in a pool of his wife's blood. There was an Understanding.

Stroking his whiskers, Moonrat pondered for a moment. "Very well." He looked up,and up, at the ogre, meeting his eyes. "You are free to accompany my crew if you wish. We'll see you safely to Redivar. Otherwise, I do not expect we will meet again. It would be best for us both if that is the case. If any pursuers catch you, don't waste a thought on something like debt or gratitude. Tell them what you know. It may just buy you your life."

Whatever Olek decides, Moonrat will meet up with Fleeting-Whisper and the rest and let them know what happened. He plans to leave in the wee hours of the morning; Moonrat wants to be well away from Lybin before the sun rises. And if Olek does sign on, first thing on the agenda is getting his son a bath and clean clothes. No room for smelly people in this party.

Shardix fucked around with this message at Apr 3, 2017 around 20:17

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias - Lemant

The conditions were doing him no favours, but this was why they had prepared extensively. Now it was a case of going over local knowledge, local information, history, or careful analysis of the lay of the land to determine their next step. If anything, he welcomed a chance to engage in a bit of brain-sweat after weeks of trekking and sailing.

Educated +2 and Shrewd +2 to ferret out and apply relevant information, preferably whilst staying warm. Arbitrate Frail as you see fit.

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


John

John stops and thinks for a moment, it would be smarter to go back and plan, but they were already perilously close to the deadline, it had been gnawing at him for the past week. Moreover he'd spent his whole life being timid, playing it smart, he realized. If he'd played it safe he'd still be in Lustrum, he never would've let Mist-Tail in on his plans, and never gotten Carwen's cooperation in the first place. No, he was tired of being timid, now was the moment to be bold, he had to move forward or maybe he'd lose his nerve.

Readying the mirror shield, John carefully moved forward. He wasn't going to be foolish, but he wasn't going to be a coward either.

quote:

Despite being cold and damp outside, the inside of the lair is dry and hot. As he steps inside John can make out the sound of deep and heavy breathing. After a moment he realises that it is both laboured and ragged. Although the creature may be large, it is easy to realise that it is unwell...perhaps even dying. In the darkness of the lair the sound of something large stirring and moving comes, although the cave is large and it is difficult to pinpoint the location of the creature exactly.

Dragon: "I smell...a human. And...aaaaaaah. Now I understand. He sent you."

***John steps into the cave. "You could say that."

Dragon: "So what brings you to my home, in these, my final days? He has grasped that day that he sought, and has slain the gods. My masters are long gone and your people have forgotten much. Are you here to seek knowledge? Or here to seek power?"

John Garde: Interested and feeling a bit greedy, John replies, "Why not both?"

Dragon: "Time claims everyone little human. Even my siblings and I." The creature said and moved around. If John had the right impression the creature was hanging from the ceiling currently. "And I do not have much time left."

John Garde: John tries to keep the shield between him and where he thinks the dragon is. "So I say again, why not both? I am certain you have knowledge, and I have heard that consuming your heart will grant great power. If you have not much time left, then share your knowledge until the end, and then I can take your heart? Surely, if you are dying anyways, there must be something you want to pass on, or some way to use me to do some final deed after your passage."

Dragon: The creature laughs, a slow and reverberating laugh.

Dragon: "What would you do with it? The knowledge of an age long past, ancient wars against forgotten empires in an age before the gods. When the one who sent you walked the world seeking to bring peace? It changes nothing about what happens now. If I will die then I am content to take my memories with me. Only Ikko will be left, Ikko who has not accepted his fate and seeks to find a way to prolong our kind. No, human. If you would have my knowledge then you must bargain for it. And if you want my strength, if you wish to become that which you hunt, then you must best me first."

Dragon: The creature laughed again, which broke into a wheezing cough. Once finished he spoke again.

Dragon: "Tell me your name, human, and make your choice."

John Garde: "What knowledge do you have that is worth bargaining for, that is worth not only your heart but whatever price I would pay as well?"

Dragon: "I am a creature of ancient alchemy. I know of the old arts, and I know of other science long forgotten in this world. Things the gods forbid, declared blasphemy, to ensure their rule had no rivals." John could hear the pride in the creature's voice when it spoke of the past.

John Garde: Sensing the dragon's pride and trying to play upon it, John retorts "I desire power, to take control of my life and live as I please, to make sure I can make others bend the knee this time. However, I also know well that knowledge is a kind of power. So tell me this, will your knowledge allow me to put gangs, warlords, and kings under my thumb? Will it let me alter my destiny as I choose? Will it satisfy me?"

Dragon: "I can promise you that what I know could make you a king, master of a nation that stretches across this land to see the sun rise from one sea and to set in another. But my knowledge comes with a price. I am dying, and I cannot teach you all I know in the time remaining to me. If you would wish to have access to what I know you must offer me a heart. Yours. A companions. It does not matter."

Dragon: "This offer I make to you, because I can smell an old friend upon you and I am reminded of ages past."

John Garde: "And let you gain a great and terrible power which you can use to smite me? I know enough of the legends to know that. What guarantee will I have that you will keep your end of the bargain?"

Dragon: The dragon chuckled at your demand.

Dragon: "I will need more hearts, will I not? And if you continue to feed me life, I will continue to feed you knowledge. That is how a mutually beneficial arrangement works after all."

John Garde: John grumbles, "So I will be your puppet then?"

Dragon: "We all have our masters human. Yes, you would trade your old ones for a new one. But it would only be me, and you would be master of all beneath us. I would grant you power, vitality, youth that lasts a thousand years and perhaps beyond...shackles perhaps, but ones gilded in gold."

John Garde: "So why should I not take your heart, and be my own master? More than that, if I leave you will not find another to come here, and your old friend left me more than one path. As I see it, I have the upper hand here, so perhaps you should sweeten the pot."

Dragon: "You forget, human, that you have brought me your heart here. If you would claim mine you must come and take it. And if you fail, then I will still have the heart I seek."

Dragon: The dragon roars at that point, a loud and hot wave emanating from somewhere in front and above of you.

Dragon: Your skin tingled as you could feel a taste of its breath upon it.

Dragon: "I may be weak, but I have crushed cities and laid low kings. Fight if you will, but do not be confident that you will win."

John waited a moment, “Then let us see whether the god-slayer sent me here to die!” He cries out, and draws his blade. He had fought in the dark before, but this was a beast and not some thugs, still the die were cast, he would fight and win or die. At least he’d never have to worry about being someone’s pawn again.

John’s gonna fight. City Guard[+2] for general fighting skill, Hardy[+2] to not die, and Stubborn[+2] to keep fighting through any injury.




Valhawk fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2017 around 03:13

DivineCoffeeBinge
Mar 3, 2011

Spider-Man's Amazing Construction Company


Casey

Ugh. Not the best option... but the best option available to her now. Any minute now this city is going to be torn apart as powerful people decide they're not powerful enough... and Casey don't have what it takes to make them stop.

Not yet, at least.

She accepts the captain's terms, heading out to collect the Professor before heading out. She'll change her mind if the old man says he can't handle the trip, but if he's game, so is she. She has a goal, she has a mission. It's about drat time she gets on with it.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Sasha

Sasha offered one final salute to the dissipating beast, before turning away and walking to the guard. She gave them a soft poke with her club, and grinned. "Oi, I hope ye have learned somethin' here. Mainly that ye have ta train yer noggins as well as yer muscles if ye want to be prepared for mage tricks in the future", she tapped her temple with a finger for emphasis, "I recommend number puzzles or somesuch. Get that endurance to stick into your brainmeats."

She turned to gaze into the chamber, "But yeh, I suppsoe that was that. Let's take a looksie if there's anything worth taking here before makin' it back up."

______________

"Hello boys and girls~", Sasha exclaimed as she clambered back up from the basement, "In case ye were wonderin' on what was going on down below what with the screams 'n all, I can assure you twas not me and dirk gettin' busy, HAH! Nah, nothing quite so painful, twas just some sorta bound spawn o' the late mortal god of beauty frazzling their minds a bit. Ye know, mortal mage tricks. Wrassled with it a bit and its dealt with now", Sasha scratched her cheek a bit, "Pretty sure I caught a curse o' some kind though. Doesn't feel like a particularly nasty one, but do be kind and let me know if I sprout a tail or donkey ears or what have ye, taken that it's a curse by the beauty god. Doubt it'll stay too long."

Sasha shrugged, as if none of this was in any way a big deal. "But enough about me. Anythin' ta report?"

OOC: Loot the chambers for anything important/expensive/fun looking, Affable [+2] to improve morale after strange happenings if my dudes are so badly shaken it's necessary (the wusses ). Other than that, make way out of the basement and regroup with the company.

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

Yes!
I finally understand everything there is to know about axes!


Karla

The inn keeper nodded, gave you a key and told you the room number. If Karla wanted food and drink then she could pay him a small number of copper coins for that, but that would not make a large impact on the coins she had remaining. Choosing to eat you sat to the side as people began to fill into the inn and began the evening's drinking and relaxing. Many of them gave you looks, some suspicious, but mostly curious and and dismissive. They saw only a barbarian woman far from home and out of her element.

Your room was not luxurious or comfortable, and for Carla used to sleepy on her roll and blankets the bed was lumpy and unpleasant. Eventually she settled to sleep on the floor with the blankets to keep her warm through the night. In the morning the inn keeper largely ignored you and you made your way out of the inn. If you wished Karla could leave town and move on, no-one would stop or question her. Otherwise it was still early and if Karla wanted to speak with or see anyone, then she would need to pass time.


Moonrat

Olek listened to you speak, with a conflicted expression on his face. While he did not want to argue too much with someone sparing him, it seemed clear that Olek did not consider himself as free from guilt or responsibility as you telling him. He seemed to be about to say something but then his son tugged on his sleeve and said something in ogre. Olek squatted next to his son and they had a small exchange, and he patted him on the shoulder affectionately at the end before turning to Moonrat and saying;

"Well, lil' Garik felt like remindin' me tha' I 'ave a debt t'you an' I need to repay it. So we will see ye t'Redivar. I know some folks an' th'area o' these parts so that will help ye' if ye'll still have us. An' maybe an Ogre will help ye when y'find this old fella and place yer lookin' fer."

Olek and his son Garik will accompany you, and will also be willing to help out in case their assistance will help you in your quest.


Elias

The village was rife with old stories and myths of the old people to the north. Many of them were tales of their blasphemy and crimes against the gods, but there were some of practical use. There were directions to the ruins of Day's Bell, although it took a while to confirm it as the same name. The locals called it Deyn's Fall instead, but Javier confirmed it was a linguistic shift from the old tongue of the region.

There was also, it seemed, some kind of a cult. One of their number made contact with Elias and for the promise of some trifling coin had a story for you (and Javier to translate) of something else. They had legends of the waters that would grant you sight into the hearts of men, but they also knew of a ritual to twist that power into a way to take power from the darkness of others. Weak rulers had used that power and let their people fall into ruin, with monsters hunting the humans who did not flee. But surely a lord as clever and wise as Elias would be able to avoid such tragedy...

12:35 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 10 = 2d6(5,1)+4
You gain directions to the ruins of Day's Bell and a hint into something darker.



John

The fight was vicious and difficult. John had fought in dim lighting before, or the dark for short periods, but the dragon was at home in the dark in a way that John would never be. But it was slow and clumsy from its fading strength in the face of death, and it made enough noise and movement for John to react to where it was. The shield came in use, as several times the creature tried to breathe acid over you, but it seemed like it never used the poison that Carwen had mentioned. Eventually though the creature tired, and it slowed. But not before it got a nasty gouge on your chest, but even with your own injury you kept your strength better than the dying dragon. The end came quickly after that, although it took you another few slow and deliberate blows to actually finally fell the huge beast. As it took its final breaths, you thought you could feel the dragon look at you. It whispered one final thing to John.

"Remember me...human. Remeber...Aud....do..."

And then it died. You could feel it grow still, and Mist Tail, Carwen and his manservant rushed in with a torch. In the light John could see the skin of the dragon seeming to burn or evaporate away into the very air. But John had a single goal in mind and had already began carving into the great creature. Cut into its chest and found its heart, larger than your fist and slowly stopping beating. It was a strange thing, for the blood within its chambers seemed to glow with some kind of strange energy. By the time Carwen had found you and begun to warn you, John had already finished biting deep into it. There was an awful and strange acrid taste to the heart, but even from a single mouthful John could feel the sheer power flowing through him from what he was chewing on in his mouth. John gorged himself greedily on it and felt strong, energetic, alive. As you fed and then as you marveled at the power the heart had given you, Carwen and his manservant had cut away a portion of meat and with a grimace begun eating themselves. Mist Tail had supped on blood dripping from a severed artery.

For the afternoon you all marveled at the amazing sense of vitality the dragon's essence had given you, with John and Mist Tail lifting rocks with a bit of difficulty that would have been almost impossible before. Carwen and his servant seemed to be growing a bit younger by the hour. You made camp to get ready to head back the next morning, and as the sun faded away each of you began to feel weary. For John though his sleep was difficult and disturbed. You began to feel hot and to sweat, and it felt like you were being bound and constricted by the clothes and blankets around you. As the night drifted on you grew fevered, and your consciousness passed through weird lucid perceptions of reality, and strange dreams and memories not your own. They were fragmented and hard to catch, but you could sense a familiar presence outside of the tank that you floated in. The tank that kept you warm and nourished. People talked about problems that you did not understand, but you knew that he was taking care of you. Then you were flying high above the landscape and you were free, before suddenly falling. You fell so far and you feared the crash would be the end of you.


John awoke to the concerned expression of Carwen looking over you. You were under a blanket and on a bedroll, but you could feel the cold ground slightly warmed by your body on your arms, legs and feet. It seemed that the bedroll was too small for you now, which was odd, as it had been fine for you before...Carwen looked to be in his late twenties though and called over Mist Tail and his manservant, saying that "He's awake now, I think." Mist Tail looked very different, as if someone had taken a ratling and made them twice as tall, four times as heavy with muscle and mass, and made them look like some kind of man-rat-beast. His voice was deeper and hoarser as he asked hesistantly; "John, how do you feel? Are you okay? Are you still in there?"

His question didn't make much sense, until you pushed away the blankets and saw the legs and lower part of the torso they had covered. Your skin was thick and leathery, a darkish green-black hue. Your fingers and feet were now clawed and ending in sharp talons, and even more surprising as you moved was the powerful and lithe tail that was...yes...definitely attached to your rear. Your chest was lithe and you could easily see the abdominal muscles rippling as you moved. There was still that terrible gash, and you could see your strange new copperish blood had scabbed over the wounds, now weeping slightly as you moved. Feeling your face the general structure was the same, but you could feel your jaws were stronger and your mouth was filled with sharper teeth. There was also the start of stubbly horns and ridges on the back of your head, but your hair and scraggly beard growth helped cover some of the weirdest changes. John was definitely one and a half, maybe nearing two feet taller, and he was about three times as thicker in mass and muscle than he had been. Your clothes had been removed at some point, although it seemed that people had balked at removing your undergarments. They had not fared well from the new size and growth of your body though.

Despite all these changes, John felt incredible. There was a sense of raw strength and vitality that you had never dreamed anyone could possibly feel. It made that initial rush seem like a pale copy. You knew your injury hurt, but you were still drunk on the sensation for now and could ignore it. You realised Carwen was asking if you were okay now...and if you were still you.


1:39 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 10 = 2d6(1,5)+4
You gain the Divine Aspect Dragonforce which comes with:
Dragon's Strength and Dragon's Endurance as its attributes. They are aimed towards raw physical power, and vitality and endurance respectively.
You also gain the mortal trait Prehensile Tail, and the drawback Dragonborn.

Unfortunately the battle has also left John Injured, and it is still a serious injury that will take a while or some serious magic to heal.



Casey

The trip was awful and exhausting. While you managed to get blankets and a cot for the professor, Casey was frequently sleeping standing up or sitting, or going without rest. The hold would have been cold and even more miserable had it not been for the steam spirit, who was able to keep the area warm (albeit humid) when the sailors weren't watching. All in all the journey took you 3 nights and you were no better for the journey, but the professor at least was slowly recovering despite being very weak.

He told you of how his engine accidentally created, or attracted from somewhere, the spirit in the kettle. It resembled the descriptions of the nature of elementals recorded in ancient texts but he had not ever heard of a steam spirit. From what you gathered from the journey and what the spirit told you (when Casey could decipher it) the spirit did not strictly need its vessel to be hot or full of water to survive comfortably. It just needed a vessel to rest in that could create steam normally. It was capable of moving around outside of it and was not bound to the kettle, it just was a place for it to rest and to transport it. The spirit was averse to the cold or dry areas though, but there was enough water where you were in the ship for it to be able to heat the area like an evaporator until it needed to rest.

On the fourth day in the afternoon, you made landfall. The town of Lyron's Courage was colloquially known as the Cove, for it was sheltered in a natural cove and was the place on the island less likely to be raided by ogres.

Gain the Fatigued temporary drawback. Once you have had a chance to rest and recover you can remove it.


Sasha

Although Dirk and his companion were subdued and shaken by the experience, they did seem to recover from the experience in the cave after a while once leaving the dungeon. Your attempts at cheering them up and keeping a brave face in front of the crew seemed to pay off a bit though, although those who had not gone down to the dungeon were still in fine spirits after a successful raid. Down in the dungeon there was nothing that felt worth taking, the implements were monstrous and for dark purposes, and the robes and cots were basic and worth nothing to anyone else but their owners. The vault above however contained a lot of art and wealth, and it was upon picking up a fine statuette that Sasha discovered exactly what the nature of her curse was.

Upon pick up the statue the colour seemed to fade, the carving seemed to become cruder and more ugly, and the gold turned to old copper. What was once a beautiful piece of art was now almost a crude mockery, an ugly mirror of something beautiful. One of you crew, a strong woman whistled and commented; "We knew ye weren't one much for art boss, but I think that's taking it a little far. Leave the lifting to us."

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


John

It was amazing... beyond the feeling of words to describe, John had never felt so strong, so alive. It was as if it wasn't blood, but raw power that flooded through his veins. He didn't even care that he was still injured, he didn't care that he was no longer strictly speaking human. He had been human his entire life, and he had been a run down nobody just coasting by. Now, though... now things would be different. Realizing that the others were staring, John gave them a toothy grin. "Ok?" His voice is deeper now, a powerful bass, "I'm fantastic. Better than I ever was." He stands up, head and shoulders taller than Carwen now. He flexes his arms, savoring the raw strength he could feel flowing through it, and admiring the razor sharp claws now at his disposal.

Looking over at Mist-Tail, he measured the rattling up, impressed by the transformation, but filled with a certainty that he was the stronger party. He had been the subordinate, some other man's pawn and minion for so long, and now that he had this magnificent power, well it was time to make sure that things started to go his way. John knew about Mist-Tail, he'd been a guard for a long time and you didn't survive in that job and not learn how criminal's think. More than that, you didn't get someone to be your CI, or at least they didn't stay your CI if you didn't know exactly what how their minds ticked. John had never had the confidence before to make full use of this knowledge before. Now, he was confidence personified, he knew the levers to pull to manipulate Mist-Tail, and he was willing to use them ruthlessly. He takes a step towards Mist-Tail, emphasizing the fact that he was still bigger and taller, and smiles even wider, showing his new fangs even more clearly. "I told you when we set out that I'd be a man with real power, but this..." John picks up a baseball sized stone from the ground and squeezes it. After a moment, there is a distinct cracking sound and fragments of what once had been the stone fall to the ground. "...Is more than I imagined, but it's real now and it's mine." He laughs, a deep rumbling noise. "You're more than you were too, thanks to following me so far, but I think you can feel it just like I can, that of the two of us, I'm the stronger party. So, my plan is to take advantage of this new power, and and carve the world into what I want it to be." He pauses, looking down right into Mist-Tail's eyes without blinking, "So the question for you, is whether you want to be the first to follow me, my right hand, with all the benefits that will entail when the time comes..." John leaves it up to Mist-Tail's imagination and greed to fill in just what those benefits will be, but John's confidence that he will be in a position to grant them is obvious. "Or whether you go your own way now, and when I hold the whole world in my hands, you'll be just another subject."

John continues to stare down Mist-Tail, but now his smile is gone and his tone is deadly serious, "So, it's the moment of truth. What're you going to do? I need an answer, because I'm eager to get started, and I want to know whether I can count on you." John lays the pressure on hard, he wants... no... needs to establish his dominance. A journey begins with a single step, and the conquest of the world begins with the conquest of one person. "Make your choice..."

John's trying to get Mist-Tail to swear loyalty with him and become his lieutenant. He's using his new Commanding[+2] nature to maximum effect by leveraging his knowledge from his City Guard[+2] days of what Mist-Tail thinks and wants, backed up with a demonstration of his new Dragon's Strength[+2 and Dragon's Endurance[+2] to awe Mist-Tail and show just who he'd be signing up to follow.

----

quote:

Traits
City Guard[+2] - John has been a member of the guard in the city of Lustrim for ten long years. He’s not particularly talented at it, but he’s been around long enough to pick some things up. Just enough swordsmanship to defend himself, how to wear and maintain armor with only a bit , a bit about keeping your eyes open and looking for things others might miss, a bit of knowledge of how criminals work. Good enough to keep him from being fired, not enough to make him actually valuable.

Hardy[+2] - You don’t survive being a city guard with abominable luck without being hard to kill. Falling debris, beatings by gangs, the occasional stab wound, you name it, John has been there and back again. Living through all of that has toughened him up enough to take a punch without too much trouble.

Easy to Miss[+2] - John is easy to miss in a crowd, or in the office. A combination of an almost generically average appearance and lots of practice at hiding away when the captain was handing out the tough assignments has given him some skill at not being noticed when he doesn’t want to be, and even sometimes when he does.

Stubborn[+2] - John’s one truly good quality, once he sets his mind to something he sticks to it. It’s the main reason he’s made it this far in life.

Commanding[+2] - Thank's the transformation John oozes confidence, and he certainly looks the part of a warrior not to be trifled with. That combination goes a long way to convincing people to go along with him.

Prehensile Tail[+2] - Thanks to eating a dragon's heart, John has now grown a muscular prehensile tail. He's still getting the hang of it, but having an extra appendage to grip with, or to smash someone with can have it's uses. Especially when other people aren't expecting it.

Dragon Force - After eating the heart of the Dragon Audo, John has become something more than human, gaining draconic features and powers.

Dragon's Strength[+2] - The supernatural strength of a dragon. John can now crush rocks with his bare hands, and lift weights that would crush a normal man. You probably don't want to let him get in a hit on you.

Dragon's Endurance[+2] - The supernatural endurance of a dragon. What good is strength without the endurance and toughness to be able to use it. John can now take hits that would level a lesser being, and exert himself far longer than a normal human.


Drawback
Bad Luck[-2] - John’s bad luck is something of a legend in the guardhouse. If something can be expected to go against him, it usually does, if he’s in need of a particularly lucky break you can bet it won’t appear. In truth, John’s bad luck is not as bad as he and those around him think it is though having no less than two pianos fall on him over the years suggests it can get pretty drat bad at times. Really, John’s lack of confidence and all around middling talent manage to close doors that should be open, and turn what should be minor setbacks into spectacular disasters. It is said you make your own luck, and that is something John is really unsuited to do at the moment.

Sort of a Doormat[-2] - Things haven’t been easy for John, and when the world keeps crushing you beneath its weight, you eventually just stop trying to fight back. Whether it’s from a lack of confidence or just a survival mechanism, John is easy to bowl over socially. He has a hard time sticking up for himself, preferring to just defer and avoid conflict. The long and short of it is that except when he’s off on one of his tears, he’s not hard to intimidate or cajole.

Untested Leader[-2] - John may feel like a leader, but he's never been in charge of anyone before, ever. As such, though he can talk a good game, he's not as capable of walking the walk of leadership.

Dragonborn[-2] - John's not just gaining the power of a dragon, but some of its appearance as well, leathery green skin, claws, sharp teeth, the works. This tends to make him hard to miss, and make if you look at him for more than a few seconds, it's clear he's not human. This can be a problem at times, especially if you're trying to escape notice, or appear normal.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias

A matter worth looking into, but Elias was neither stupid nor foolish: If the legends spoke of powers used for control which resulted in the destruction of those over whom control was sought, then the power was not fit for purpose, certainly not for setting up a dynasty with any decent longevity. Still, the location of Deyn's Fall was theirs, and it was time to strike out.

The clever and wise way to avoid tragedies of that nature was to assume that the one who had become a proverb also considered themselves suitably clever and wise. Their path was not that which Elias should take.

Elias resolves not to take power from the darkness within mortals. He's shrewd +2 and educated +2 as to subtext. He will, however, listen if details are proffered: Knowing what is possible may open up more palatable options. Otherwise or subsequent, he will continue his journey to Deyn's Fall.

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

...She's behind me, isn't she?

Dragomir - Redivar

Though a number of the sites he heard about at the farm caught his attention, even Drago understood that it would be quite impractical to go out of his way to visit them. For now, at any rate. Perhaps after he discovered this hidden library and read from its stores of knowledge, there would be time to sightsee afterwards. He had come all this way, after all, and it’d be a shame to leave immediately. That was a concern for another day, however. On this day, he had another city to explore and gather information from.

The royal library may have been inaccessible, (although Drago hoped to change that in the future as well) but there were other avenues to walk. Between a public forum or finding a specialist, both seemed profitable ventures to the lizardman. But the former would be easier to access, and could lead to finding the latter, and as such made more sense to try first. Logically speaking, anyways. From Drago’s perspective, he merely sought to interact with as many new faces in this new city as he could. But, well, so long as he got to the same destination in the end, the reasoning hardly mattered, right?

OOC: Whoops, missed the update! Anyways, rolling Inquisitive [+2] to head into one of these public forums to see if Drago can find someone that knows anything about the buried library, or if not then how to find someone that does.

TheFireMagi fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2017 around 12:18

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Moonrat

The thief crossed his arms and nodded. The boy, Garik, was a curious one. He couldn't rightly guess at his actual age - such trivialities were entirely beneath his care or concern when it came to other species - but he did not think he was more than a pup among ogres. To willingly wish to accompany Moonrat after all he had experienced was odd, to say the least. Ah, but perhaps the child did not really understand who and what he was. In Garik's eyes, Moonrat was his savior. A ratling who willingly risked his life to reunite a family and asked essentially nothing in return. Raised on those tales of Screams-At-Butterflies no doubt, all that robbing the rich and giving to the poor nonsense. That had been another age, when his folk could afford to be altruistic.

Well. No sense shattering the boy's delusions. Olek would no doubt have a private sit-down with him later and explain what the score actually was.

"Right. Let's meet up with my crew, get you introduced."

quote:

Later when Moonrat returned to his travelling companions he would find that they had not been detained, nor had they any indication they had been in danger. Fleeting Whisper seemed unsure whether to be amused or insulted by the notion that he would allow himself to be held hostage by such amateurs.

"...I had her. Dead to rights. A shame she realized it as well. Vanished quicker than a five-penny whore's modesty." Moonrat waved a paw angrily to accentuate the point. "So I followed after Olek and got the gist of the real deal going on here. The original crew is all dead or fled at the hands of this 'Shadow's Grace' and her cohorts. I wager she's got off to wherever they hole up and is planning on repaying the insult with interest and numbers. To that end, we're staying only long enough to get some rest and skipping town before first light." Moonrat drained his flagon before continuing. "Olek offered to accompany us, and I don't see the harm in some extra muscle. Shouldn't slow us down any. Even the boy's got long legs."

Propping his feet up on the table, Moonrat folded his hands across his tomach, looking very relaxed. "Thoughts? Otherwise, get some food and rest. I'll stand watch until it's time to leave. I want you two in top condition if things get ugly." He looked towards the assassins, focusing on Burrows-In-Starlight in particular. "Unless you'd like to keep me company, Dame Starlight? I'm sure you have inventive ways to avoid falling asleep."

If it's relevant, Moonrat would have paid for accommodations for the ogres as well as a bath and wash of clothes for Garik specifically.

The thief will continue his attempts at winning over Burrows-In-Starlight. Being Handsome [+2] might make that an appealing proposition. Problem is, he's high on his own smug sense of superiority and daring entirely too much, and Fleeting-Whisper knows exactly what game he's playing here. Moonrat sees the woman as belonging to Fleeting-Whisper and wants to steal her however he can. Arrogant [-2] and Kleptomaniac [-2]

Shardix fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2017 around 20:37

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Sasha

Sasha stared at her opened palm a bit. "Oi, so it's a curse that right disintegrates art, huh? A proper sort o' curse fer the god o' beauty I suppose, can't fault the godspawn fer its taste", there was a moment of silence, "Also, doesn't havin' a reliable, god proven way o' filtering art from non-art negate a whole bunch o' philosophy? Ey boys, how 'bout we go pester some learned men?" there were a handful of chuckles, "HAH! But yes, I think we're pretty much done 'ere. Let's regroup with the guard, do the rest o' the lootin', and wrap this whole thing up. We've got places ta be."


OOC: Regroup with the human guard for a final status report, check out our loot, make preparations to leave. Wrap things up here at the mansion basically, unless something particularly interesting happens.

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla

It would seem the people were unfriendly, and Karla got the bad room as well. She packed her things and hung her head sadly on the way out of town. Karla was used to the lonliness as the bleak mountain loomed.


Well fed and rested, Karla strikes out into the mountains to continue her journey.

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

Yes!
I finally understand everything there is to know about axes!


John

It was harder to read Mist Tail physically than before, but you did have years of reading ratling body language and when it came down to it the changed Mist Tail was just a bigger and meaner ratling. From his reaction you realised that he was not experiencing the same high of power you were. It seemed likely that he was definitely feeling stronger and tougher, but it didn't seem to affect him the same way it did you.

"What is that I am choosing John? What is it you really want? I came here because the old order in Lustrium was going to purge anything and anyone against it. The Queen is...she is mad John, but she is also clever and cunning. She did not make her kingdom under your city without being capable of ruling it. But now we're here, and I am different, and you are different...take the burning hells, John! You look like a monster. We both do. I have known you for years and now it feels like I don't. What is the world that you want? Am I trading one made ruler for another? Things are changing and suddenly I do not know what I am doing, John, and I am scared. Where do we fit into your grand vision? Three homes we have lost in the past. What will you do for us?"

The ratling had always hid in the shadows in broad daylight, someone so normal and part of the world people overlooked him. And now he was extraordinary, changed, perhaps a monster. But despite all this you could see Mist Tail was looking for something, he wanted an assurance you were not some new mad monster, and he wanted to know what you would do for the ratling people.

1:25 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 9 = 2d6(2,3)+4
Mist Tail is receptive but needs assurance from you about certain things. It would certainly be feasible to force him into submission, but you have a potential for John to earn his loyalty if he promises the right things as well.



Elias

The ritual was painfully obvious and dramatic. You had to taint the waters with some of your blood, to mix the gift in with your blood itself. The cultist admitted that the gift could work on the virtue in people as well, but why would you bother? People were weak and sinful creatures after all, few people could really be considered truly virtuous unless it benefited them in some way. Jarvier seemed more than passingly curious about the affair, but he was also healthily skeptical about the promises of the cult. Elias decided it would be wise to keep an eye on him when they got to the ruins to see what he would attempt to do. But based on the utter conviction you saw in the cultist, and the certainty she said as she responded to your and Jarvier's probes you realised that either she had to be telling the truth, or there was a conspiracy and lies so deep that it would be difficult to maintain that lie in such a place with the same people surrounding it for so long.

However as you were plunged into the cold again, and your frustrating and pitiful weakness made it even worse to deal with...perhaps for a moment Elias entertained the notion of the dark promises of the cult.

1:26 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 11 = 2d6(4,3)+4
Elias rolled well and got some good insights into the cult, the stories and also Jarvier.



Dragomir

It took a few forums to find one discussing the ancient history of the region, but eventually you found one. There was a group of men and dwarves discussing different theories about the people of the area. One side proposed that they had a powerful magic that allowed them to create wonders that were difficult to control, while another said it was just science that they did not yet understand. They cited various digs and stories about the ancient people. One large area of discussion were dragons and other weapons of war, and their fight against the old gods who eventually defeated them and brought about the Age of Enlightenment.

1:26 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 9 = 2d6(1,6)+2
You found somewhere with people interested in the same things as you at least.



Moonrat

You found out that it seemed that Garik had reminded Olek that they owed you a debt, and that ogre heroes of legend always made sure to pay their debts and follow those they had a life bond with. While Olek himself had a much more pragmatic and cynical outlook on life, due to his profession, it seemed Garik had at least in part been sheltered from all of this. The kid was still outrageously naive, but Fleeting Whisper just mentioned that such ideas were things lost in valuable life experiences.

Burrows-In-Starlight for her part continued to rebuff your advances, until you got a little too forward one night and you found yourself at a knife point.

"Careful, you have already defied the Queen's will and now you try to win me over to your cause? Do you think me an idiot? Why would I ever consider siding with you against Her when you have nothing to offer me. We are tools in Her employ, and a tool that thinks too much for itself is not a useful tool. Enjoy your time remaining, once your time runs short and this charade ends I will be there to kill you. Then maybe the little ogre boy will learn a valuable life lesson. Cheer up, your death will have at least some use."

It was made very clear that further attempts would just 'accidentally' lead to your demise, and Burrows-In-Starlight seemed to be closed off to you. Or at least for now. Fleeting Whisper openly grinned at you for the few days after that encounter...

1:26 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 2 = 2d6(1,3)-2
Gain a Destiny Point and the temporary trait Traitorous reputation, which will affect attempts to deal with other ratlings. At least until you can offer them some concrete proof or assurance of why they should side with you over the Queen.


Sasha

Things seemed to have finished up, Petrus had come in personally now to finish organising the looting and dealing with the now furious and terrified owners of the estate. The negotiations took a while and while they did you and your men hauled up, with aid from the guards not keeping upstairs locked down, the valuables from the vault. Once he was finished the young nobleman came over to you.

"So, I hear you found the old dungeon. And apparently something happened to you. What did you find?" He asked with a carefully calculated amount of curiosity. Not too much to be grossly eager, but enough to indicate there had been quite a lot of gossip and rumors about the dungeon. He gestured to people to start hauling their plunder and to move back to his estate. "Of course, if your mercenaries feel it is beneath them to help carry all of this to our estate, I would be happy to give you a little extra pay for them to keep an eye on my guards and to ensure the plunderers do not become the plundered." Petrus added gesturing for you to walk with him back to his estate. His statement indicated no judgement, leaving it to Sasha and her men and women to decide what they would rather do.


Karla

You left the town without incident and better prepared. While the creatures and the plants of the mountains and the highlands around them were different to the plains you had grown up on, Karla was able to discern the poisonous and dangerous plants and hunt enough to keep herself fed. It would have taken time to become a master hunter in these lands, but she was skilled enough to get by and, she reckoned, put almost any local to shame.

The mountains grew very cold at the highest points, colder than Karla had ever really know it could be. But she had the gear to survive, and you only stayed a night and the surrounding dusk and dawn at the highest point. The next few days of travel were clear of travellers and easy, and the mountains had a tranquillity all of their own.

That peace was shattered on the fifth day, as you heard the sounds of a scuffle up ahead. Sneaking forward to see what was happening, Karla found that there was a small group of bandits preying on some travellers. The dark beast within you cried for their blood, but you had time to take a wide berth and leave the travellers to their fate. Karla knew from sad experience that they would probably wind up dead. If not at the blade or arrow of one of the bandits, then later when they starved to death or died of exposure. But you were not responsible for their safety and well being either. Karla's choice however would probably decide their fate, one way or another.

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


John

John looked down at Mist-Tail, "What I want? I want all the things men always want. I want luxury, riches, all of that. What I really desire though, what I crave, is a place where all bow to me and speak my name with reverence. As I see it, the best way to get that is to create a peaceful and prosperous kingdom, where the people love me and my enemies fear me. The people require order and security, someone to properly lead them, not leave them at the mercy of criminals and bandits and the chaos of the world. I will give that to them. In exchange for their unquestioning loyalty, my power will be their shield and their sword."

"If your old queen is already mad, and the powers that be already are willing to purge your people, what do you have to lose. Better yet, ask yourself what is more likely to improve the state of your people than you, serving as the exemplar for the rattlings, as my closest and most trusted advisor. Someone who has proven time and again his loyalty is beyond question, a rattling as the right hand of the king. I will be a king without peer, the dragon-emperor of a kingdom which spans the world. If you are at my side, the people will have to accept the rattlings. So long as your loyalty is beyond reproach, to insult you and your people would be to insult me. The rattlings will at last be afforded the respect you desire for them."

With the wider question answered John turns towards the more personal, again ruthlessly exploiting what he knew of Mist-Tail. The rattling had always blended in, not seeking attention, now that he was more he felt a responsibility to his people, but at heart Mist-Tail was a follower. It was why John had been able to convince him to be a CI, why he had acquiesced to John being the leader of this little adventure. In his heart, he wanted someone else to be responsible, John could see it, could smell it, and now that the assurances that John wouldn't harm his people, rather he would ensure they knew peace and prosperity, had been given, that last concern, that last impediment to his loyalty was removed.

Taking another step towards Mist-Tail, John was now right next to the rattling, John attempts to be imposing, but not intimidating, his stance highlighting his new strength, but his posture is not threatening. John wants to engage with Mist-Tail's base instincts, to encourage the Rattling to subconsciously view him as a leader and protector, someone to look up to, someone to submit to. He had known other officers in the Guard who had used similar techniques on other rattlings to great effect. He speaks now, his voice still deep and strong and commanding, but now laced with subtle mixture of comfort and understanding as well, "As for you, beyond the normal things: gold, luxury, influence; I can give you purpose, direction, an end to the uncertainty of your place in the world now that you have been changed. Trust in me completely, and I will take away your fears. Surrender yourself to me, and you will never need to worry about the safety of your people or how you and they fit into the world again." John smiles, continuing his offers and exhortations, countering any argument the rattling might raise, trying to drive him ever deeper into feelings of safety and submission. John desired the rattling's complete submission and loyalty, and he was prepared to do what it took to get it. He would leverage every trick the guards had developed to sway rattlings and CIs, and whatever charisma he could muster. He would ground down all resistance, soothe away any hesitation the rattling might have, until there were no remaining objections, until all that was left for Mist-Tail was to lay down his worries and fears and let John rule him. John wanted to conquer Mist-Tail to claim the rattling as his creature, for if he could not move one person, how could he move kingdoms?

John's going to keep working on Mist-Tail offering safety and prosperity to his people. More, he's trying to convince Mist-Tail everything will be so much better and more comfortable for the rattling if he just surrenders himself to John, follows him blindly. John's using every tool in his arsenal to get this done, his new Commanding[+2] demeanor and knowledge of how to psychologically manipulate rattlings developed by the City Guard[+2] to convince Mist-Tail to willingly submit.

Untested Leader[-2] might apply here since John's just winging it, riding the wave of the rush of power. He doesn't actually know what to promise someone at this scale.

Valhawk fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2017 around 03:32

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Moonrat

Moonrat offered a polite smile and a nod at the threat. Inwardly, it was all he could do not to grab the upstart woman by the throat and attempt to strangle her to death. The nerve to talk to him like that. When he had what he sought, he would take great pleasure in dumping Fleeting-Whisper's severed head in her lap. Let her say something clever then.

Moving on to Redivar. Moonrat is in a mood, and the pace he pushes will be grueling.

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla
https://youtu.be/rjaW4ZYzVHI

Those people were in trouble. She shook the beast loose, the situation not even nearly the same here. Mere bandits these were. Not Janites. She felt the breeze on her face and the strength of the rocks beneath her feet. These people needed her help drat it. Karla didn't even need to think about it as she drew aloft her massive sword and leapt with a fierce battle cry!



Karla to the rescue! Using: Heart of the Mountain <Strong [+2]> & Breath of the Wind <Fleet [+2]>

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

...She's behind me, isn't she?

Dragomir - Redivar

It was interesting to Drago, to say the least. All of it. Magic and science, dragons and gods… Oh, the lizardman could have spent no small amount of time here, conversing with all of his fellow intellectuals, and no doubts he would have expanded his horizons for doing so. But again, that could wait until after the library was found. As much as Drago tended to take things at a… less than productive pace, by most people’s standards, he couldn’t help but feel excited, now that he was so close to his destination. Or so he assumed, at any rate. Heading over to the gathering of men and dwarves, Drago said,

“Apologies for interrupting, scholars, but Drago has come to Redivar in search of a lost library, said to be buried by the side of a great lake. In the particular, Drago seeks a tome that supposedly offers guidance in reading the heavens. Have any of you here heard of such a thing, be it fact or rumor? Any help at all would be of great help to Drago, and would be much appreciated.”

OOC: Being blunt and just getting to the point with these scholars, as Drago does. Other random inquiries can wait! For now, anyways.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Sasha

Sasha scratched her cheek idly. "Hm? Sure, we'll watch over yer guards for a little extra, as long as ye don't live too far away. Might as well let the gang relax a bit after the pluderin'."

"As fer that chamber ye wanted ta see? Filled with tools o' vile witchery mostly, and a whole bunch o' blood. There was also this godspawn o' some now dead human god called... Tymar I think it was? Ye, we had a bit of a wrassle and he's no longer among the livin'. Too bad really, seemed nice enough fer some bound monstrosity. Speaking of, I think the thing gave me a lil' curse o' some kind that defaces any art that I touch", Sasha grinned, "And since this might negatively affect any future lootin' endeavors I might undertake, I'd find it mightly nice if ye could recommend me a good local witch doctor or shaman or some such, should ye know any."

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias

He entertained the notion of the dark promises of the cult, but again could not reconcile them with his desire to found a long-lasting dynasty. He made sure to discuss the 'This ends in disaster' part with Javier, and as they proceeded north made sure that some of his men were detailed to provide an escort and protection to the scholar. The last thing they wanted was someone getting ambitious in entirely the wrong way.

Using Shrewd+2 and Leader +2 to try and head off the possibility of a sudden but unexpected betrayal down the line, as the expedition presses onwards. If only he wasn't frail...

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

Yes!
I finally understand everything there is to know about axes!


John

Although you felt that you were doing the right things, saying mostly the right things, Mist Tail just sighed. "John this is all...a lot. Give me a few days to think about things okay? You should think as well. It is all good to talk big but what are we going to do? It is just the two of us, and yeah I'm big and strong, but if someone shoots me with a musket I'm going to just die. People in power aren't just strong. Get some rest, and be careful. Your wound is pretty nasty and we don't know if you have super healing or anything. Just take it easy."

The fact that Mist Tail used 'we' instead of 'I' or 'You' was a good sign that the changed ratling seemed to be at least predisposed to following you. But John could tell at this point that more pressure would push the ratling too far.

Over the next few days you found a few things. Firstly that the wound was very sore and uncomfortable, and while it hindered your movement a little to not open it up, you did not seem to be in any real danger just from it. A wound like that on a normal person would have been extremely serious. You also did not need to sleep that much. In fact you spent most of the first night awake until you gave up. Staying awake for a long time gave you a long time to think about things, but was a weird thing. So far it seemed that you needed a regular person's worth of sleep over about 4 nights, which you could split up or just sleep in one go as you needed. Furthermore you did not need to eat every day but delaying it made you feel ravenous. Your preferences in diet also seemed to have shifted towards carnivorous, and rarer than before. John was not just eating wild game fresh like an animal, but it seemed that you had picked up at least some of the dietary habits of a dragon.

On the seventh day, you returned towards the mining town. Your supplies were running low and you would need to stock up. John and Mist Tail needed to decide if they were going to walk straight into the town as freakish looking monsters, or use Carwen and his servant to purchase things for them. There was also the matter of clothes, as while John strictly did not feel the elements keenly like a human would, clothes were a status symbol and he was used to wearing them. Even if he could go mostly naked (it would be advisable to retain your dignity at least) it felt weird to do so.

12:59 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 11 = 2d6(5,4)+2
Mist Tail is thinking things over, but seems generally predisposed. I moved things forward to give John a bit of a context to work with his new changes.



Moonrat

You continued your journey to Redivar, travelling through and over the mountains. Unlike humans, ratling fur gave them natural insulation and the ogres seemed to be less phased by the cold weather than you had thought they would be originally. Thanks to the presence of a large ogre in the group you were left largely alone on the road. What you quickly realised is that absurdly, Fleeting Whisper had a soft spot for children. It seemed an utterly strange quirk for an assassin to have but regardless he seemed to be content to dote a little on the boy. This did have two benefits for Moonrat specifically. Firstly it kept Gerik occupied and out of your face, and secondly, it kept Fleeting Whisper similarly occupied. Burrows-In-Starlight on the surface seemed to be ignoring you, but you knew that she was still watching you.

After a week of travel you made it to Redivar proper, which left you with the decision of whether to drop of Olek and Gerik in Redivar and continue on, or to take them with you. They were not exactly stealthy, but it seemed that Fleeting Whisper at least had taken to Gerik and you could probably make some useful use of them.


Karla

You quelled the beast and leapt into action. The bandits were caught off foot for a moment, but reacted surprisingly quickly to an angry barbarian woman attacking them. They were however opportunists at heart and not skilled at actually fighting on an even footing against someone they could not intimidate. As such they were on the back foot after a minute and by the time you had killed one of them, the rest were fleeing. Karla had to choose whether to follow them or not. They would possibly be back with more later to try and get revenge, you had heard that bandits tended to be petty and vengeful to those they felt had crossed them.

1:00 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 9 = 2d6(2,3)+4
You beat them and killed one, but there are three that got away.



Dragomir

There was a small discussion about your question, but one of participants stepped forwards. He was a tall man with neat hair tied back behind his neck, well dressed but without much jewelry. You noticed two of the other speakers, a man and a woman, looking a little annoyed at him for some reason.

"Ah, welcome stranger. It is always a pleasure to meet a fellow interested in the pursuit of ancient knowledge. Redivar is know for its many ruins, although most of them have been well investigated and their contents catalogued by now. Do you know what tome you are looking for, or which library it belonged to?"



Sasha

You thought the young man seemed slightly disappointed, although you could not quite tell if this was disappointment of the contents of the dungeon or disappointment you had dealt with it. He had asked you to look into it though so what else did he expect to happen? It was fleeting only for a second and he continued the conversation.

"We did have many holy healers and priests capable of exorcism...however with the death of the gods they are now powerless and unable to to assist you. I hear that the elves have older magicks, ones not derived directly from the powers of the gods. I do not know how much credence to give such tales but traditional methods will not avail you here."


Elias

Jarvier seemed to realise what you were doing, but did not raise a fuss about it. He still had a healthy pragmatism towards the rumours, and while he was curious he seemed to have no personal desire to test them himself. Which made you wonder exactly what his end goal was. He seemed curious about the rumours, but was also unwilling to put himself at risk...you would need to watch him to see if he pulled something funny along the way.

Yet in the end he did not. Your company moved out and continued to the north to the city of Day's Break. The ruins of it at least. It took you a week of travel to arrive, but you found the outskirts of the city on the morning of the eighth day. The weather was affecting Elias particularly poorly, it was harder to breathe and to move about freely. It was like a cold winter's day in Aubrecht but many times worse. At some points you needed your staff to physically assist you which was a frustrating and humiliating occurrence.

Now that you had arrived, you just needed to find the pool that Terminus had spoken of. The ruins were quite large, but you could intuit that it would be in a central location of some religious importance or some authority. But you would have to rely on your soldiers and servants to help you search at least.

12:56 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 11 = 2d6(2,5)+4
There was not really much to roll for here, as you could just assign guards to watch over him, so I gave you a small insight about how he might act.
As a warning due to the very cold and inhospitable weather in the area, every action going forwards I will apply your frail drawback. Your preparations mean you are not in danger of injury or sickness, but it will make Elias move slower and affect him.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Moonrat

Hmph. So Fleeting-Whisper was a soft hearted fool underneath that professional exterior. Well and good. It was a chink in his armor that Moonrat would be more than happy to ruthlessly exploit in the future. And the closer he came to his objective, the more likely he would need such a weakness. Fleeting-Whisper and his apprentice both had declared their intent to kill him. Even if Terminus had spoken true and he did find what he sought, he did not think they would stand down. The guards he could handle. They were decently equipped. Brown boiled leather, a spear, and a blade. But nobody feared the military might of the ratling for many good reasons. So if they turned on him, they would die quickly. The assassins, on other hand? Even one on one with the relatively less experienced Starlight, he gave himself perhaps a fifty-fifty chance. Against Fleeting-Whisper it would be closer to No Chance At All. While Moonrat had been robbing people and playing politics, Fleeting-Whisper had devoted his life to the art of murder.

Which was ultimately why the ogres were here. Olek owed his life. With a bit of luck, the great mountain of a man could snap Starlight in half. No doubt he'd be grievously wounded in the attempt but that was fine. He would not want Olek in good health when he used the boy Garik as leverage to win out over his rival. It was a precarious position laden with might-be's and maybe-so's but it was all he had to work with. He could not afford to delude himself with dreams of everything working out perfectly fine. That had never, ever been his experience. It might not go all the way terribly, true, but silver linings were most often only found in abundance when hunting a werewolf.

As they settled in for a meal at a dingy tavern, he addressed his companions. "I'll see our supplies restocked once I've eaten. Get an early night, as we leave in the morning." He turned his attention to Olek and his son. "I'm as good as my word. You are safely in Redivar. But I wonder, are you willing to continue with us a while longer? What I seek is part of your heritage. If this ancient ogre-man exists you have a right to meet with him, or at least learn what became of him if time has caught up. It could also be that he is a curmudgeonly sort and not inclined to speak with me without you at my side. Disregarding all of that, I must admit having you along has certainly made travel safer. It is appreciated." Moonrat laid on the charm as best he was able, giving no hint of his real motivations.

As mentioned, Moonrat will restock needed supplies. As he does so, he will be speaking with anyone who might know anything about the south-western tip of the mountain and what can be found there. He will use his remaining coin to grease palms as necessary. Regardless of what happens, he will no longer have great need of it. After that, he will get a good night's rest and set off on the final leg of this journey. Time to learn if he's just been victim to the world's least funny practical joke.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias - Day's Break

Search with the mind, then search with the eye, then search with the body. Firstly, work on where the target was likely to be, based on the civic layout and level of urban planning. Follow the pattern of roads and buildings, sketch out a map, figure out the best places to go and look. Only then do we set feet to march, and eyes to seek. Meanwhile, as the slowest element, Elias should be taken to a point equidistant to the likely locations, near as can be managed, the best to move swiftly when the site is found.

Educated +2 and Leader +2 to go about the search intelligently, logically and swiftly, making sure everyone knows where to go and when, who to call upon for help if necessary, and where best to look. The chill weather continues to expose Elias' Frailties -2.

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


John

The 2nd day was hard. By then he was already adjusting to the change, and heady energy of his initial transformation had started to wear away. He hadn't realized just how much his wounds hurt, and if he wasn't careful they hurt like hell. All in all, it was annoying, but still he was infinitely better off than he had been before. Now, even if the high was gone, he still had the physical power to crush most single enemies like bugs. His claws would slice through them like a knife through butter, and he wondered whether metal armor could stand up to his fists. Still, as he traveled John spent most of his time thinking. He was still resting every night, partially out of habit, and partially to try and encourage his wound to heal. The healers were always telling the wounded to rest, and so John did just that.

When the group arrives at the mining town, at first John plans to head into town, but he is soon talked down from such a plan by Mist-Tail and Carwen. In the end, he has to content himself with waiting out a ways with Mist-Tail. At least until he has some clothes. Instead he spends the day resting and thinking. His first order of business has to be closing his wound. Besides the fact that it left him below his full capabilities, it made him look weak as well. Then he started to draw up a list in his mind, things he needed to achieve his goals. He had raw power, but at much as he hated to admit it, Mist-Tail had been right earlier, he was still only one person. He might have the strength and combat power of hundred men, but if he was faced with a thousand, ten-thousand, then it would all be for not. If he truly wished to carve a place to his liking he would need people who would follow him, submit themselves to his will. His strength was a cudgel that could win obedience from some, but what he really wanted was not merely obedience, but loyalty, devotion. For that, it was not enough to be feared, he needed to have something others wanted as well. At least for some, for others just fear would work, but not if he wanted to build something truly grand. He may have been drunk on the power and sensation when he had told Mist-Tail about it, but what he hadn't been lying about his desires. He wanted a land, a kingdom, an empire, where all bowed before him and spoke his name with reverence. To have that, he needed to figure out how to make the people not just fear him, but love him as well. The first was easy, the second would be harder.

As he lay there thinking, he realized he was basically broke now as well. Money... it would certainly make things easier, he had seen in his time in the Guard, all the things money could buy. He quietly added it to the list of things he needed.

What would really be the best would be if he could get some money and followers at the same time. He considered for a moment just going into the village and taking it, but only for a moment. That would send Mist-Tail scurrying away, at least for now, and while he might find some money, he'd be making too many enemies, not to mention the miners would just betray him as soon as he was gone. No what he needed were some bandits, the sort no normal man would blink at if he ground them into dust. The sort he could break and mold into his own, and if he was lucky they might just have some ill-gotten goods he could appropriate. Yes, that was the place to start.

John wracked his brains trying to think back over any reports or rumors he had seen or heard about bandit groups in this region, and when Mist-Tail dropped by, he asked the Rattling as well. Eventually when Carwen returned, John would ask him as well. In the meantime however, he would try and rest as best he could.

John's taking it easy and letting Carwen go into town. While he rests, he's planning his planny plans, and in the process trying to think if he, or Mist-Tail or Carwen know of any local bandit groups. City Guard[+2], Stubborn[+2].

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Sasha

Sasha merely shrugged. "Eh, that's too bad I suppose. I'm certain it'll buff out in a bit regardless."

Sasha swung the club she had been leaning on over her shoulder, "Anyways, been a pleasure workin' for ye. Maybe we can strike another sort o' deal the next time me and my company are about., but for now I'll just drop these guards o' yers back home before departin' on new adventures. Till then!"

With a final salute, Sasha turned to leave.

OOC: Take the guards back home for the ~bonus objective~

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


Victor

Victor blinks and desperately tries to get the memory of the poison out of his head. He's so distracted by it that he barely hears the ghosts' cries. But he does hear them. "Necromancer?", he asks. "I'm not a necromancer! I don't even know what a necromancer is. Some kind of magic, isn't it?"

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla

Karla took a few steps after the fleeing bandits. It would make sense to end them here and now. But. The people. Her heart wouldn't let her abandon them. She rushed to their aid. "Are you all alright?" She asked with concern.

"What did those brutes want?"


Killing the bandits would be the smart thing to do but...-2 Protective

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

Yes!
I finally understand everything there is to know about axes!


Moonrat

Olek seemed content to call the debt there and settle down, but Gerik again was the one who pushed him back. The kid was disgustingly naive despite having been a hostage, and was right now swept up in a world of legends and heroes. While it was convenient to play the part of hero for now, the boy was due for a rude shock at some point.

Yet...you never knew. Maybe the fort would need an ogre. Maybe you would need a translator. It was all as you had said. Moonrat had plans and contingencies for the time being, in case they tried to betray you. And for when Fleeting-Whisper and Starlight definitely would betray you.

"Aye, we'll travel with yer a bit long'r if'n you be willin'. Truth be told, me son's youthful 'nthusiasm fer old stories is a bit infectious." The large ogre said assenting to your offer. "We be needin' sum new threads an' boots while we're 'ere. Ye can 'ave one of yer folks watch us if ye like." He added, indicating they would be going to the markets before they slept. The departure had been rushed, and the pair did need some clothes and some other supplies.

Your own efforts to find out what lay ahead turned out to be fruitful. The past was a popular trade in Redivar, and pretending to play the meek and want-to-be scholar was able to do as much as a few well priced bribes. There was an ancient fort at the fort of the Loire Mountains, it was said that an order of people seeking spiritual enlightenment through physical purity and focus had dwelt there, but contact had been lost a few centuries ago and they were presumed dead. But maybe they had simply become self-sufficient, no one had records of ruins there and it was not a place that saw many travelers.

That was the first odd thing that struck you. There should have been more communication with them, or visitors. It was not very far from a major travel route at all. Something or someone was keeping people away.


Give me a brief chat at some point to figure out the thing with Fleeting-Whisper. My initial idea was for him just to be fond of kids, but also to be indifferent and fatalistic to threats to Gerik. In my mind he is a career assassin who has lived this long, so he has to be somewhat nihilistic about this sort of thing. But your idea might be better, I just want to chat about it and sort out what will happen there.


Elias

It turned out that the pool you sought was roughly in the place you expected. There was a temple built into the palace, or had been once when the city still stood, and in that place was a pool as Terminus had foretold. You had made sure Jarvier was kept with you, under guard but to act as a guide and to explain things. Both of you understood what the true reason was, but he made no argument. You were taken to the pool, with Jarvier following you but kept closely under watch.

The pool was like a small bathing pool in design, something you would have expected to see in Tamora. It was like a bath house, but presumably for the royal house and the heads of the church. The pool was filled with a black fluid, but it was not a thick viscous or brackish fluid. It did not give the impression of something foul or rotten, or even of oil or water. It was as though the surface was leading into a calm void, or the heavens themselves in the night. Had they been stripped of the stars themselves. Jarvier had an expression of wonder and curiosity, yet that slight flicker of hunger. Yet you could see something similar in your men as well. Their discipline and loyalty kept them in check however, and that kept Jarvier in check as welll.

Looking into it felt strange, almost as though you stared beyond something and then back again. A mirror, yet one that held no reflection. Or at least not yet.

You tested the water, expecting it to be frigid cold. Yet your tentative touch revealed that it was almost warm, but not quite. It was neither hot nor cold. It moved like water when you extended that finger into it slightly, yet it held almost no resistance. It was like a strange cloak of black air...yet also undeniably a fluid. It was truly a strange thing indeed.

12:44 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 14 = 2d6(6,6)+2
Fortunately your orders are followed, you find the pool swiftly and also Jarvier is kept under watch. So far he has made no obvious duplicitous moves. You will have one final chance after entering the pool to decide whether to go through with the dark ritual as well, but you will not get your divine trait until your final decision.



John

Mist-Tail had asked around about that when you had been in town, as he was generally the sort of worried about that sort of thing. Having worked with criminals for a long time, it was wise to keep tabs on it.

What he knew was that groups around here tended to be a mix of humans and dwarves, and tended to come from the lower foothills more than from the lands leading up to them. The dwarves tended to assume that this close to the border, things on the surface away from the roads were humans responsibilities. Humans, likewise assumed the opposite in turn. An equilibrium had been reached of a sort, where the bandits were careful generally not to prey too hard on travelers. Once in a while a new group would arise and people would decide to deal with them. It would be a costly affair for both sides, but the old groups had learned the lessons others had not by now.

Luckily for John's plans it turned out there was such a group that had risen recently in the rise of the chaos of the death of the gods. They had no name that people knew as of yet, but they all wore dirty black scarves to mark them. The sheep in the area produced a dark blackish wool, which was likely where the cloth had originated from. Rumour was they had an elf with them, which was a rarity. The elves rarely stepped out of their woods, but perhaps that had changed with the death of their gods. Their racial hatred for ratlings was well known.

12:45 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 15 = 2d6(6,5)+4
John finds something suiting his plans.



Sasha

You sorted out the rest of the evening without much incident. Your lads and lasses were enough to scare off any opportunist locals, and after a few hours of hauling you collected your pay and the majority of your crew went to spend some of it carousing the night away. You were free to join them if Sasha wished. Either way your crew would ready in the morning to leave, if a bit hungover. It was hardly an unusual affair.

That night however Sasha was troubled by an unpleasant dream. You kept trying to grasp at something ephemeral and wonderful, but also deeply and inexplicably important to you in this dream. Yet every time you grasped at it, the thing seemed to turn to dust and blow away.

You woke up dissatisfied and frustrated, even if you did not remember the dream.

Gain the trait Payday, it will give you a bonus on anything involving wealth for a while should you choose to use it. It will last quite a few small things, but will be used up if you choose to use it for something big.


Victor

"Soultaker!"

"Memory Eater!"

"Defiler of the dead!"

The cries of the ghosts rang out, but they had also retreated back into the walls and floors. It seemed that they were hiding from you.

You could almost swear that something about the ghost you had...taken into yourself, had somehow made you feel...more powerful for a second. Somehow. But it was very fleeting and had been mixed up in the rush of fear, confusion and denial that had made up the whole experience. There was some lingering blue spectral energy. You could almost feel it reaching out for the others, maybe you could tug on it somehow if you tried.

Viktor could leave things as they were, ignore the ghosts and even flee the monastery if he wished. Or he could see where this unknown power would take him. Had he always had it, or was it something new? From the ghosts, or the touch of Terminus?

You can take this as far as you want, or have it be a weird once off thing if you'd like. Obviously taking it further will have story and perhaps mechanical ramifications. Up to you.


Karla

The travelers were scared, but also grateful for the rescue. "They just wanted our belongings...normally bandits in these parts take your valuables, but they seemed crueler somehow. They just wanted us to suffer and die, although they said we might survive. I...I don't know why. If you hadn't arrived when you did..." They trailed off as they regained some composure, after contemplating their near brush with death.

"I am sure they were part of the Boulders. They're a group of bandits around here, mostly humans, some dwarves...an ogre and a ratling I hear people say. But they were never like that, and they used to only target merchants or caravans. Not common travelers like us...I think I heard them talk about a new leader. Nuia, or something like that. Maybe that's why they've changed. Thank you so much...we don't have much, but if you're ever in Redivar please seek out my family. My son Kormer will surely be happy to help you. Tell him Yselle sent you. The dead gods bless you."

You have a boon if you stop in Redivar. You can ask them more specific questions if you like, I tried to give you some useful plot hooks if you want to follow them.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias

Here it was, as had been promised. His retinue were impeccable, and had proved most worthy of his trust. This, then, was the moment of truth: He knew what he had to do, but he also knew what he could do.

He advanced into the pool, into the void-water. He followed the path laid by Terminus, the end of the Gods. One final obstacle, but it was within, not without: Spilling his blood into the water could earn the promise of taking power from the darkness in the hearts of men. Did he want to claim that reward, knowing it had been the doom of nations and the fall of empires?

No. I seek wisdom and insight into the hearts of all. That took me halfway around the world and deep into this inimical realm. Strength and power at the cost of the future might be useful for me in the short term, but wisdom and insight can secure a true future for my dynasty. One life matters less than the chain of lives reaching ever onward, guiding our people to ever greater things. Ten thousand years of enlightened Ponsonby-Welm rule, passed on to my children, my children's children, my children's children's children until the end of days, that is my heart's desire.

He took the waters into himself. He did not perform the dark ritual.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


Victor

"Oh, by the dead gods", Victor moans. He had no idea what was happening to him, but the ghosts, obviously, were complaining. He had heard of mendicant orders (and had even pretended to belong to one), and of contemplative orders, but this was his first experience with whining orders. Well, fine. He didn't know what this power was, but it felt good, very good. He would get more and use it if he could. He grasped at the blue energy tendrils, and pulled. Time to feed.

I'm hunting ghosts

Epicurius fucked around with this message at Apr 18, 2017 around 22:09

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


John

The news of the black-scarves was exciting. If he could make this work, they might be the first step in his road toward dominion. However, there was the fact that he was still injured, and the travel so far had continued to cause his wound to reopen every time it had scabbed over. If he was going to make this work, he would need to be at full capacity, that would mean rest. So, assuming there were no strenuous objections from Carwen or Mist-Tail he decided he would spend the next few days resting outside the city, somewhere where they were not likely to be noticed, but close enough that Carwen could still visit the city to get supplies or to entertain himself.

While he rested, John took to getting into discussions with Mist-Tail. Planning for confrontation with the bandits. Slowly and carefully trying to convince the rattling to see things John's way. To convince Mist-Tail that his plan to attack, subjugate, and eventually indoctrinate the bandits was not only good but necessary. Remembering how much Mist-Tail had balked after he was first transformed, John made sure he was much more careful this time around. No need to rush things, especially since until his wound healed he had nothing to do but talk. If he could get Mist-Tail's full-blooded support, than that would make everything so much easier. Not to mention, Mist-Tail was the closest thing he had left to a friend, and not only would getting him to join him mean a lot to John, it might help the rattling get out of his own funk. So, John worked on Mist-Tail trying to bring him around to the ex-human's way of seeing things. This transformation wasn't a curse but a blessing. They weren't monsters, they were superior, and they could and would use this power to reshape the world to their liking. If all else failed, he could dangle the fact that there was an elf Mist-Tail could revenge himself on.

Still, he really was trying to be coniving this time, as he planned for what would happen next.

Spending the necessary time to heal up. While John's resting he's going to be carefully trying to get Mist-Tail on-side for his plan to subjugate and then indoctrinate the bandits. Commanding Presence[+2] and Stubborn[+2]

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla

Karla thought for a moment. The Boulders hmm... odd behavior from bandits. Not interested as much in robbing but in making their victims suffer and if they survived? What then? Very odd. "Other than their changed ways, was there anything else odd about them? I will stop by your town on my journey but perhaps I might pay these bandits a visit first. If you also know where these bandits might be encamped, that too would be useful." Grinning, Karla stretched and flexed her muscles in anticipation. She would put an end to this threat.


Going a hunting. In addition to any information these travellers have, Karla will use Breath of the Wind <Fleet [+2]> and Eye of the Sun <Perceptive [+2]> to find the encampment of the Boulders.

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Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Sasha

"Bleurghhhhhagh", stated Sasha as she awoke from her slumber, and then promptly proceeded to dunk her face into a bucket of water she had been keeping next to her bed. She sat up on the edge of the bed, groaned, and rubbed her temples. She was not feeling all that well. Was she hungover?

...Wait no that's stupid, she was an ogre, and she could very clearly recall the barkeep NOT telling her that the establishment was entirely out of stock, therefore she possibly couldn't have drunk enough to be hungover (also, she made a mental note to pay the barkeep back for the table. Also that one bit of the counter where they had an arm wrestling competition. Maybe also give a tip for all the business that had been scared away by their... enthusiasm). Hmm. Maybe it was the curse, then? It better not be. Because not being able to touch arts she was fine with, but if the godspawns had stolen her SLEEP as well, there would be reckoning. Regardless of whether they actually still existed or not.

Hrmph. Sasha dressed herself, yawned, for a moment pondered upon if she should just go back to bed instead, and then left the premises, after paying for her tab. They had a long trek ahead of them, after all, and supplies would have to be bought. That was a good place to start.

OOC: Payday! Buy supplies for our cool southward expedition, repair/replace worn/used gear, that sort of thing. Soon we depart.

Theantero fucked around with this message at Apr 23, 2017 around 14:24

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