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I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla

Karla gasped as she surfaced from the water. What was this glow? Strange. Glowing rocks, very pretty. Curiously she looked at the shattered glass and the metal rings. Very odd. No going back now, Karla went to the left door and looked through it before entering. Something must be here if that menacing elf wanted it.


Exploring. Going left.

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Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


Drakon

Drakon would trust Greatclaw to take an opportunity if he spotted one, but in the meantime he had his own role to play. So with a confidence that only overstated his true feelings slightly, he bellowed, "The only words I want to hear the lot of you say pledges of unquestioning obedience and absolute loyalty to me. So unless you plan to do that, then I'll have to demonstrate the price of defiance." He draws his own blade, he doubts the elf will suddenly bow, but one never knows. The blade felt a bit awkward in his hands, it had been built for a normal sized man, which he was most certainly not anymore. Still, he was stronger and tougher than any mere elf no mater how skilled. His intention, if the elf fought, was to as much as possible not merely win but to crush the elf as lopsidedly as possible, so he would go all out from the start. The goal of this entire endeavor was to ensure that the bandits would quake at the mere thought of crossing him. Only then would he be able to mold them as he desired.

He strode forward, a blade on one hand, and a second blade he recovered from the dragon's horde, held in his tail. It was a gambit, he expected the elf was mostly trained to fight human enemies, and as second sword striking from unexpected places would be harder for the elf to deal with. Drakon intended to squeeze every advantage he could, he needed to crush the elf, not merely win.

Unless the elf and the rest of the bandits are prepared to kneel and swear eternal allegiance to him, Drakon's gonna fight the elf. He's fighting to crush the elf as intimidatingly as possible, so he's going all out fight from the word go. City Guard[+2] for some level of experience with sword fighting, and Prehensile Tail[+2] to bring wield a second sword to attack from unexpected directions and throw the elf off balance. Also using Dragon's Strength and Dragon Endurance, Drakon's not holding anything back.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias - private audience, Welm Palace, Aubrecht

That his wife had taken a lover during his absence struck at him deeply, but given her present condition it was less of a cataclysmic hammer blow than it might have been. Autarchal mistresses were not unheard of, and as regent she had had all accompanying rights, privileges and traditional benefits of the position. Still, as an attitude and approach it was a direct threat to the dynasty, and as such the matter was a high priority.

He summoned his wife and her lover for a discreet, private conference. Though this might be painful, awkward and unpleasant, this was a matter that needed to be resolved through dialogue, honesty and soul-searching. He needed his wife onside for this, and did not want to have to set her aside for this act of potential treason.

He was not in the mood to prod at the borders at this present time.

Attempting to come to a resolution in the matter of the adultery, looking to bring his wife around to fulfilling her heartsworn marital vows for the sake of the future and the dynasty. Leader +2 and Shrewd +2 to appeal to her acumen and knowledge of the laws of Aubrecht if appeals founded on their prior relationship are unsuccessful. Taking the measure of her lover to see if further action needs to be taken there. Nonetheless, on this first path, using reason and honesty, not flinging about accusations or recriminations, not bringing anger to the fore. Listen to them, see if the trust in the relationship can be rebuilt of if this is a lost cause.

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 shrugged, and then flashed a toothy grin. "Oi, I'm fine enough with storytime to start things off with. See, me and my company were playin' mercenary for this weird noble kid, who wanted ta raid some estate some ways away from Tamora. Turns out though, that estate had some sort o' ritual sacrificial chamber for vile witchery in the basement, and there was this godspawn found in one o' the rooms that made my men drop to the ground and cry blood just by bein' there. Now I don't want ye to think wrongly o' them, usually they're far less wimpy, HAHA!" Sasha guffawed, "Twas a weird blobby monster thing at first, but when I started talkin' to it, it turned into an ogre. A real beefcake too, if you know what I'm sayin'," another guffaw, "Told me he was the creation o' some now dead human god known as, hummmm", Sasha scrathed her cheek in thought, "Tyr? Ty...nar? Tymar... Tymar! Yeh, I'm pretty sure it was Tymar, god of beauty and art. Anyways, the former owners o' the mansion were apparently tryin' to bind it into slavery, and he was a bit bummed about that. Told me it would be forced to combat me if I tried to break it free. I did anyway, since it just weren't right what they were doing to that poor thing. And true to its word it wrassled with me a bit, before it straight up disappeared. Didn't hurt me really, but laid this curse that makes art and fancy things turn to dust if I try to hold them. Also gives me recurring dreams where things I grab turn to dust."

"So there ye have it! Naturally as a professional mercenary, lotter and plunderer, I find this whole thing a bit inconvenient, so if ye could most kindly help me deal with it, then that would be grand!"

Theantero fucked around with this message at Jul 4, 2017 around 14:33

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


Viktor

"Best we avoid the town up ahead. I don't want to have to explain why I have a ghost following me." He grimaces. "I hate having to sleep outside." The two set out, ready to give the town a wide berth.

"So, how did you come to become a monk....before, well, you know?", Viktor asks the ghost.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Moonrat

The queen? Interesting. She was dangerous, yes, but he had assumed her entirely too self absorbed to care much about what he got up to, so long as he more or less did as she asked. She was certainly not who he was thinking of when he mentioned enemies. Well. Lucky for him Fleeting Whisper had not instilled in his apprentice a proper respect for information control. He supposed it was not for assassins to think very hard about anything but the kill.

"If the queen is my enemy, this is the first I've heard about it. I distrust her, certainly, but I distrust everyone. I have, however, never had plans against her life except in the case that her actions threaten to destroy our people utterly. If you are inclined to learn anything from me, learn this: There is great value in knowing when not to kill someone. And the queen, may she reign a thousand years if she sees fit, most definitely should not be killed if at all possible. Whatever else she may be, she is first and foremost a symbol. A symbol our people need, desperately. She is all that remains of what we once had. And she will need to be a symbol standing atop everything I intend to win back."

He knew he had been sending mixed signals. Starlight just did not know his mind or his history, and assumptions were being made. He could only hope to be clearer about matters in the future.

"We will return to Lustrium and seek audience with Her Grace. No doubt She will be most displeased at me having shirked my orders, but as you say. My newfound skills may ease her mood."

He cocked his head and nodded to the ogres.

"So be it. We go north."

Moonrat and his companions will begin the return trip to Lustrium, and avoid Lybin if possible. During their travels he will begin training the two guards, utilizing his skill as a Teacher of War. He is a Ruthless [+2] master, brooking no slacking off or half-heartedness. He will focus on speed and defense with Nimble [+2], making them swift and deadly. Olek, Gerik, and Burrows-In-Starlight are free to join in though he will not insist. But if they do, they will be treated no more leniently.

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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

Dragomir - Imperial Academy of Theological Science and Arcana

Impressive hardly managed to begin to describe how Drago felt about the sights before him. He had seen small collections of books, had a few of his own, and visited a library here or there. Yet this was on quite a different level indeed. Very, very impressive, thought the lizardman as he explored the ruined academy. Impressive, but was there anything meaningful here? Or rather, meaningful to his quest. There were countless interesting stories to be learned from these tomes, but only one in particular did he currently seek. And as far as Drago could tell, that tome was nowhere to be found. He was all too prepared to move on with his entourage, when he caught a familiar yet unfamiliar insignia in the corner of his eye.

The Stars Sleep Below As Above. He did not know what it meant, nor how he knew those words, yet he knew even so. Most curious. Was this a gift, assistance from Terminus? Or was it something else entirely? Drago was not sure, but whatever the case might be, his path was clear. A sign from his dreams led him to this academy, and now a sign from his dreams revealed a secret passage. It was time to see where it all led. Hopefully, somewhere pleasant. The lizardman looked back to his party as he started to move towards the entrance, saying,

“Come, come! Drago knows not for certain where this passage leads, but it must be valuable indeed if it was hidden so. Follow if you wish, or if your duty commands, but Drago shall head on regardless. Company, however, would be most appreciated.”

Checking out this secret passage, and inviting the rest of my party to come along with me if they so choose (and presumably they will, since they still need to keep an eye on my silly lizardman.)

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

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


Karla

To the left is a large room in much better shape. Although it is on the side, the shelving in this room had little catches around the various glass vials on the shelves. They had a variety of colours and shapes, some looking particularly strange with luminescent fluids or unnatural colours. Many were clear, while others had flecks of blood or bits of skin or hide floating in them. The room seem roughly divided in half, with one side having the weird vials and the other side having the more normal and mundane looking ones.

On far wall there was a large diagram of a strange winged creature, on some kind of transparent material. The creature seemed to have multiple cutaways showing skin, bone, musculature, bloodflow and organs on different layers. Next to it was a similar kind of diagram for a man. On the half of the room with the winged creature were the stranger vials, while the other side had the more normal looking ones. Ruined books littered the ground but even if Karla had been able to read the language they were written in, none of them would have been salvageable enough to read or be useful.


Drakon

Drakon was strong and tough, far stronger and tougher than any opponent that the elf had fought had ever been. But the elf was a skilled fighter, and Drakon found that the elf was frustratingly nimble. As a trained warrior he seemed to be able to read Drakon's movements. You relied too much on your new strength and your movements were full of lunges and charges which would best leverage your force. The bandits were silent as they watched you fight with the elf. To an outsider the elf made it look easy, but you could tell that your tail made things more difficult for him. At one point you saw an opening and lunged with your sword to deal a devastating blow.

Suddenly there was the sound of whooshing air and a heat near your skin. The elf's sword burst into flames, and he deftly cut through the sword you held in your hand. The fiery sword cut the blade in two, the line of the cut melted and the sword now useless. All the bandits cheered and jeered at you. You had yet to be injured, even the few nicks the elf had tried had failed to really cut your skin at all and he had stopped trying to bleed you out soon after. But you had yet to look as dominating and as confident as you had wished.


12:45 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 6 = 2d6(1,1)+4
Gain a Destiny Point for this setback.



Elias

Your discussion with your wife was painful, but talking about it was helpful. What you found out was that due to your 'heritage' Elias was hardly the strapping gentlemen in bed that your wife had originally led you on to be. In the stress of your absence, the uncertainty of the people in the wake of the death of the gods and all the difficulty of leading the people in your absence she had looked for companionship and support. Your wife did not dislike you, she enjoyed your sharp mind and clever wit. But physically you just did not compete with the minor noble she had taken as a lover.

Things had been moving towards some sort of arrangement, but due to the delicate matter and the demands of rulership the discussions took place over several days. However after the third day, your wife was suddenly rushed to the surgeon in the middle of the night.

Tragically, your unborn heir was dead in a miscarriage. Your wife survived the night, and would recover, but it was a blow to your dynasty and an emotional shock for both of you. Using your powers you were able to probe the minds of all involved. There had been no deliberate inducement of miscarriage, no herbs or elixirs to kill the unborn child. It seemed that it had been an unfortunate misfortune. Sadly due to your family debilities, it was also not an unknown one.

One of the concerns of your wife rung in your ears. That you could not provide an heir, due to your misshapen constitution.


•Morphball> HiKaizer: 8 = 2d6(1,3)+4
It is a low roll, and I feel like resolving this so soon would be kind of a waste. So I am introducing a new story element to complicate things, which means you can have a Destiny Point as compensation.



Sasha

The man listened to your story intently, nodding at certain points and frowning at others. Once you finished he thought for a moment before beginning to speak.

"It sounds like you spoke to an angel, or a servant of the gods. Their lifeforce is tied to their creator, and they only exist in our world at the whim of their masters. As such, all bindings must keep them alive in lieu of their creator's power, as well as to bind them. This is why it died and faded once you broke the spell. Such bindings are often done for purposes counter to the angel and their creator's will, and so are generally corrupting in nature."

He frowned and continued to think, and Sasha could tell that the explanation she had been given had been as much to give the scholar time to think as much as to explain anything to her.

"Curses are tricky things, especially those of the gods. A curse by nature is a living spell, it needs to think in a manner of speaking and needs to have a source of power. They are self sustaining. A mundane mortal curse can be cancelled by a standard disjunctive arcanaform, a spell, rune, ritual or other form of magic. Divine curses are powered from a divine spark and so cannot be dispelled by mortal magic means. At least not normally. It is in a way as though you have a tiny shard of a god's power in you. Not many people can claim that." The man said with a chuckle before continuing.

"You have three paths of dealing with this. Firstly you can seek the power of the divine to disrupt the power of the divine. The gods and their servants are dead so excorcism is not available to you which is how one would traditionally deal with a curse. However some angelic and demonic beings are bound either beningly or against their wills. You could bargain with one or compell it to remove your curse. Secondly there are some few relics or spells with sufficient power and complexity to interdict the divine. They are rare and hard to find, but this would also be a means to your end. The third option would be to try and bend the curse to your will. There are ways to do this, and to make the divine spark work for you. I would advise the first option as the easiest and most likely to succeed, but the choice is yours. You seem the sort that loves adventure and danger."


Viktor

The ghost looked at you resentfully, as you sat down for the night to rest. He had not spoken immediately after you had asked the question, but it seemed now like he was ready to speak.

"There is not really any great story. I was aimless and had no ambitions. My father was a fisher, but he never made much money and my brother would inherit the boat. I had no love for war or battle so I joined the monastery. We were never nearly so devout as you might think, but the gods did touch the world from time to time and I did not...disagree with Alman's word. I didn't like everyone at the monastery but I had some good friends. Now they're gone. You..."

He trailed off, although the accusation was implicit in the words left unsaid.


Moonrat

Burrows-In-Starlight gave you a steady and appraising look. The queen was everyone's enemy, so much in that she was sharp and ruthless. Crossing her would lead you to an early grave. Your had less to fear from an assassin now, it would be very difficult to catch you off guard and to best you although not impossible. But you could be tricked, bound, exiled, economically or politically assassinated...all tools the queen had used before. However you had also lived in this world for long enough to know the game, and Burrows-In-Starlight realised this. So she looked at you appraisingly and said nothing.

As you approached the guards to train them they seemed surprised. They had assumed the worst at your approach first after the murder of Fleeting Whisper earlier. When you explained your plan to them they seemed confused more than surprised. They were just mere guards, why bother with training them for anything. One of the pair, Eye-Biter did not even seem to want to be trained. But he also was canny enough to decide that rejecting your office could be a bad idea.

Your training covered two parts, fitness and strength, and discipline and combat. Although the long travel had left them lean and used to travel, they were still unfit for rapid bursts of heavy activity that fighting took. As guards they were used to leveraging having a weapon and armour, and their authority. You began working them on longer sustained periods of high intensity activity in different forms. Jumping, running, sliding, moving quickly and continuously. At first Burrows-In-Starlight seemed disinterested in the whole affair but after a few days she could see value in what you were saying. She did not participate, but you caught her watching intently. Olek for his part initially hung back, but Gerik made a few comments and reluctantly the big ogre joined in. He was used to just applying his large size and force in a crude and crushing manner. Olek did not enjoy the agility and stamina training even though it was very good for him. But in time he saw the advantage of it.

For combat and discipline you needed to wait. After a week you began to spar with them, and to set them against each other. You worked like a drill master, correcting stance and grips, leading them through steps and manoeuvres before having them try in real combat. Olek needed different work because of his different size and the weapons he used. But you could train him with how to fight against a smaller and nimble opponent, and having a large and strong opponent was good for the guards. This was the point that Burrows-In-Starlight really starting watching carefully. Although she did not join in the training herself, you caught her once training on her own and mimicking the instructions and steps you had given earlier that day. She was good, but you could spot errors to correct. The assassin had not noticed you watching either, another point to be happy with.

By the time you returned to Lustrium, the two guards and Olek would be very proficient fighters with the weapons you had on hand. Maybe not prize winning fighters, but they would be better than almost everyone they were likely to come accross except for trained and experienced fighters and killers.

1:09 PM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 14 = 2d6(4,6)+4
Do you want to confront Burrows-In-Starlight and do anything with her when you find her copying your lessons? And do you want to do anything else before you return to Lustrium or should we just skip ahead to that?


Dragomir

One of the guards rushed off to collect more senior staff, while Lyndis took charge and ordered the group ahead. The remaining guard spluttered a comment about waiting for the supervisor and head researchers, but Lyndis cut him off. As a member of the royal family and having specific authority to do this it was within his purview to take charge. Also the point of the expedition had been to find something unexplored so far. Just because no one else had expected your expedition to actually amount to anything did not invalidate the royal writ nor the authority invested in him. The guard looked like he wanted to argue, but then decided it was not his place to argue and he was just to do what he was told. You continued on.

The room the passage lead into was a vaulted small library. With a domed ceiling and eight walls, the room reminded you almost more of a reqilquary than a library or vault. Yet it had a smaller collection of tomes that had been carefully preserved by the vacuum, although the fresh air flowing in and slow creep of moisture would damage them. It was lucky that experts were on their way. Quickly looking at the titles many of them were interesting and potentially dangerous. 'The alchemic composition of a human', 'bio-aethetic combustion principles', 'splitting the thaum -CLASS X DANGER-' and one whose title sprung out to you clearly.

"Stellar Uncertainty - The Relationships Between Celestial Bodies, Dilated Movement and Probability Mechanics"

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias - Medicae, Welm Palace, Aubrecht

Matters had now come to a head. This was a time of pain, of loss and of mourning, and he was sure to comfort his wife first and foremost. He felt the loss keenly, but for her who bore it, so much more. He attended her bedside as much as possible as she recovered.

Secondary concerns loomed overhead. The dynasty must go on, but now was not the time to force upon his cousin-wife the choice between the carnal pleasures of her concubinus and their mutual duty to the Ponsonby-Welm bloodline. At times such as these, carnal relations were the furthest from their thoughts, and it would not do to belabour the point that indulging outside of the marital bed with the added risk of bearing a bastard would be a far more serious, potentially unforgivable matter. At the same time, being able to play his part was a genuine and legitimate concern: A dynasty that lasted a thousand years would lie stone cold in the cradle if it could not outlast him. None of Terminus' inducements had been relevant to the matter at hand, which meant seeking out other options. At least he'd be able to spot a charlatan from a mile off if they came offering false miracle cures. It was a bitter, bitter irony that the one question he had asked of the deity was now moot.

For now, however, he attended to his wife. For all that she had hurt him, and those we love are best placed to wound us most deeply where we are least protected, his heart and his vows were still hers, and he still harboured hope of being able to build the future with her.

Attending to his wife's bedside, doing all he can to grant her comfort and solace and to aid in her recovery, upholding his pledges and duties to her in sickness as in health, in the worst of times as in the best of them. Leader +2 as he adheres to his responsibility, Educated +2 to see to it that she receives the finest care.

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


Drakon

Throughout the fight, Drakon's frustration grew with each passing minute. This was supposed to be an easy victory, proof of his strength and here he was being humiliated. His only solace was that he was apparently even hardier than the elf knew. When the elven sword slashed his own in half, his anger boiled over. The destroyed blade fell to the ground with a clang, and Drakon lunged at his opponent in a move that would be unwise for someone less superhumanly durable. However, Drakon was prepared to accept even a moderate hit if he could get his hands on the elf because if that happened the fight was over. With his super-human strength he could and would literally tear his opponent in half with his bare hands. That would satisfy his rage, and teach the bandits to fear that same rage.

Drakon's making a lunge at the elf, prepared to accept a moderate hit to come to grips with the elf in order to literally tear the elf in half. Hardy[+2] and Stubborn[+2] to tank through whatever hit he has to take and still have the juice to carry through with the coup-de-grace he has planned. Dragon's Strength and Dragon's Endurance on this as well, Drakon's really relying on his super-human traits to pull him through this plan. Also, gonna spend that Destiny Point I just got. Easy come, easy go.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Moonrat

"Alright, take a break." The pair lowered their spears wearily and sat down. Little-Willow and Eye-Biter were getting better - they actually sat rather than collapsing. A few silent moments passed as the three of them drank from their waterskins. After he'd rehydrated, Moonrat crouched in front of them and idly scratched at an ear. Olek had passed on training today - wanted some time to go fishing with his son which was fair enough. He'd opted to come along, but he was not really under Moonrat's command. After a moment, he spoke.

"I know you still wonder why I've put you through this training. The question I have for you is, why would you think I wouldn't? Do you enjoy being looked down upon? Being spit on as second class citizens in Lustrium? If I could, I would train every one of us in the world to be as good as I am. To ensure that all the disparate peoples of this world would know better than to provoke a ratling, because it would mean their life is forfeit if the ratling so decided. You don't have to appreciate it, or me. But you are twice the warriors you were than when we initially set out. Keep up your training and those skills will always be with you, whatever you do and wherever you go."

He had never been good at this sort of thing, but he did his best. It all just came down to the fact that as duplicitous and treacherous as the upper echelons of ratling society might be, they were still of a people. They had to look out for one another because nobody else would.

"...Anyway. We'll be back home soon, and you'll return to your normal posts. I wish you well in it. Perhaps you might see fit to teach the other guards a thing or two."

He rose, stretched, and left them to rub the soreness out of their muscles. Moonrat knew exactly how tough on the body this training had been for them; he was dealing with the same pains himself. He simply did not let it show. The ogress had granted him great knowledge, yes, but that did not come with a physique at all accustomed to it. His life had been primarily climbing and running and sticking a blade in a back and vanishing. Prolonged combat was a wholly new sort of exercise and his muscles were not thanking him for it. Ah, well. A minor annoyance in the face of things.

Making his way to a nearby stream to refill his waterskin, he paused by a tree. He'd seen a glimpse of Starlight around here as he had wrapped things up.

"I know you've been watching and learning. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is your stance. You keep your feet too far apart. You are fighting, not playing rugby. And loosen your grip on your blade. You're wielding it, not strangling it. Other than that I have no criticisms." He continued on. She'd be embarrassed enough that he'd spotted her watching. No sense in rubbing it in.

Moonrat would keep an ear out for any news of note, but he's not going out of his way for it. So yeah, go ahead to Lustrium.

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla

"Hmm. Nothing the elf man might want." Karla was determined to find out something. She had killed for it and wouldn't be able to leave easily. She resolved to search everywhere until she found out what it was.

Searching carefully. Eye of the Sun <Perceptive [+2]>. Too bad she can't read!

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 stroked her chin as she listened. "Cursebendin' eh? Now, can't say I'm that big on god botherin', really it's conventional ogre wisdom that they tend ta be worth more trouble than they're worth, the quarrelsome", she grinned, "Can't say I'm opposed ta gettin' a bit of their spark workin' for me though. Have ye any stories or tips on how this whole 'bending the curse to yer will' shebang's supposed ta work?"

OOC: Asking more about the third option: Bending the curse to your will

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

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


Elias

Your wife was grateful for the comfort and the support. It was a complicated matter for her, and he surface throughts were a stormy cloud of conflicting doubts and emotions. Losing a child of her own body was devastating, and while she had been concerned about the health of an heir she would sire she also genuinely wanted to sire one. Both because she cared for Elias, but also for her duty as the wife of the Autarch. Yet she also blamed in a small part Elias for what had happened, and resented your poor health. Even as she did this she knew it was unfair and irrational, and felt guilty about it. Grief was a complicated process, one that everyone handled differently and at a different pace. Elias just had a front seat into the mind of another person dealing with it now that he had not held before.

After two days it was clear that the worst of the danger was over. Your wife would need to wait a while before attempting to have another child, but she was not rendered barren and there would be no lasting damage to her. She needed time to rest and recover, but she was able to walk now. The doctors advised she have a period where she was isolated from the public, both for health and social reasons. But in a week she would be fit to return to public life they judged.

You thought back on what Terminus had said. There was a member of your family in a crypt with a forbidden secret that the church had wanted to hide. What was that secret? There was also some elixir from an ancient alchemist that could go you the strength of a soldier. Maybe that could hold a secret. Or else there might be something to search for, that would cure you of this infirmity or at least ensure a healthy heir.


I did not bother rolling for this, because we had established you get along well with your wife besides the current issue of siring an heir and also the affair while you were absent. Also because it is not interesting to have you risk failing performing a standard part of your duty as a ruler.


Drakon

You and the elf continued your dance for another two dozen seconds before you noticed a quick movement. The elf noticed it too, and brought their blade to bear to block an attack from Greatclaw. He had seen what happened to your sword though, and let his own blade go as it was cut in half. As he continued through his lunge he grabbed onto the elf from the front, landing his full weight on the man and causing him to stumble back. This was the chance you had been waiting for and you moved forward and grabbed the elf.

What happened next was a confused rush. You had a flash of a memory that was not your own. Or maybe it was. It was hard to tell in the moment, and later you would not be able to recall it clearly. You were high in the sky, and you pushed your wings next to each other and dove, straight down on the monstrosity beneath you. It had a multitude of tentacles, eyes and orifices in a form that was a mockery of life. From your gut you called forth your acid, breathing on the creature which shrieked with an otherworldly scream. The vision ended just as your claws cut into the creature, thick ichor bleeding between your talon as you cleaved the monster in two.

The elf lay in two uneven bloody heaps. Everyone, including Greatclaw, was staring at you in horror, awe and fear.

8:42 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 18 = 2d6(6,6)+6
From one extreme to another.



Moonrat

Burrows-In-Starlight began to take part in the training after you spoke to her. It seemed that while she had her pride, she was also pragmatic and if you already knew she was watching and taking part there was not much use in hiding it. The lessons with her were more effective when she was directly under your supervision regardless. The trip back to Lustrium took time, but was otherwise not-noteworthy in any manner. Places seemed to be adjusting to the fact that the world had not ended, that the gods were dead, and people know reassured that they were not going to die were returning to the tasks of living. Balances of power and the people in control had changed in a few places, but overall things continued for the commonfolk much as they always had.

As for Lustrium itself, as you returned you found that it had undergone a particularly brutal reassertion of power. Overall the gangs and cartels both above and below the surface now held more power and influence than they had before due to their control of the real flow of money in the city, and by owning the loyalty of more mercanaries and thugs than the guard had men. Although the guard itself had never really been an honest organisation for decades, many men and women in it were as crooked or worse than those gangs and cartels could claim as their own. There had obviously been a very violent transition period though, as many areas and those especially where the poor dwelled had suffered poorly. There were many signs of burned or ruined buildings, people living in the wreckage of their homes. The ratling cartels had managed to seize a large area of the slums near the docks on the coasts that had flooded. Officially they were still the property of the city, but those that lived there owed allegiance (and coin) to the ratling queen.

The Queen...Moonrat would have to present himself to her soon. But he did not need to do so immediately. You could afford some few hours for whatever you needed to do, and clean yourself up to present yourself before her tomorrow if you wished. Being quicker would be less of a potential source of tension, but there would be no slight or faux pas in waiting until the morrow to seek an audience. If there was anything you wanted to do before that, now was the time.

How you find out the information about Lustrium's current state is up to you but it's not information you would have difficulty learning.


Karla

You returned to the previous room and crossed into the other. This room was smaller and lead into another room, although it looked like rubble had fallen obstructing at least the passage into that. It was hard to tell if the other room had been entirely collapsed or not in the dark and dimly lit area. The room Karla was presently in seemed to be some sort of armoury though. It held strange suits of armour, of a material that Karla had never seen before. It shone like a metal but was woven and seemed flexible like a cloth. Many of them were ruined, with holes and sharp and dangerous looking frayed ends around them. But there was one that looked like it would roughly fit Karla. There were also weapons, of the same substance but without an obvious weave. They came in three forms: A long unwieldy lance that Karla could never hope to effectivley use on foot, a sword that fit partly between a bastard and a long sword in size and design, but that Karla could use like either, and a strange bow with odd springs and coils. There was a quiver with arrows. The blade on the arrow, the lance-head and the arrow-heads all looked wickedly sharp and effective.

As you searched through this room, you found a break in the wall. Air flowed through the break, although the way up was dark. It was the first lead on how to escape from the place that you had found although it was sure to be dangerous.

8:43 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 13 = 2d6(6,5)+2
Karla finds things, but she does not really have a good idea what the elf is specifically looking for so it is not practical for her to currently identify what he is specifically hunting for.



Sasha

"Hmm..." The sage thought for a moment, obviously a little surprised you had taken that particular choice and now needing to dredge his memory for useful information. "Well, as I explained the curse is powered by a divine spark. That spark is aligned to the nature of the god or goddess from which the curse originated, which in this case is Tymor. They were the god, or goddess, of beauty and form. The curse resonates on this by causing you to be unable to touch things you consider beautiful or valuable without destroying them. To twist it you would need to force it into a new purpose still aligned with that spark. So an easy option would be just being able to turn the curse off and on. If you have the willpower and could manage it, it might be possible to change the curse into a blessing. You might be able to make yourself beautiful and perfect in form, or bestow that on others, or change things that are plain or ugly into beautiful and things of great form." The sage said, although you could hear he was doubtful you could actually manage the latter parts of what he said.

"This has only been done a handful of times in recorded history and legend mind you. You will need to connect to the divine spark powering the curse, and then you will need to impose your will on it. It is ultimately a contest of will, but with Tymor dead I would expect you to have less resistance to deal with. You could try to meditate yourself, in whatever manner works for you. Otherwise there are those who specialise in helping people connect with their spiritual sides, or a creature of divine or magic nature may be able to give you a spell or blessing to directly connect to it yourself. There are some that lie in and around Tymora, although you will need to travel overland to reach them."

I was suprised you went with this option, but how you proceed with this is up to you. Of course if you want to go back to one of the other options that's still on the table.

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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

Dragomir - Imperial Academy of Theological Science and Arcana

If the previous tomes were impressive, then these new books were… still impressive, if in a greatly different sense of the word. “Alchemic Composition of A Human?” Intriguing. It may have been for another people altogether, but perhaps something could still be applied to the lizardfolk? “Bio-Aethic Combustion Principles?” Drago had absolutely no idea what this tome could be about, despite recognizing the words. Separately, he understood, yet together… “Bio” and “Combustion” in close proximity was fascinating, but could be dangerous indeed. Then there was “Splitting the Thaum -CLASS X DANGER-.” Thaum, as in thaumaturgy? But how would one split such a thing? And what doing so accomplish? Something most threatening, judging by the title. The lizardman peered at each title, before setting them aside. Each was alluring in their own ways, yet none were what he came here seeking. Then, Drago saw it.

"Stellar Uncertainty - The Relationships Between Celestial Bodies, Dilated Movement and Probability Mechanics." The lizardman thought back to what Terminus said, back in his dream. "By a great lake beyond the mountains lies a buried library, in which old and forgotten texts lie. Many of the scrolls and tomes have decayed, but one tome that remains details how to read the heavens and apply this knowledge to the world below.” This was a buried library by a great lake beyond the mountains. There were old and forgotten texts. And this tome, this tome mentioned celestial bodies, amongst other things. Surely, this was it? This was what he had journeyed all this way for? This… seemingly ordinary tome.

Somehow, Drago felt almost disappointed. He had expected something more upon the discovery. A guardian, perhaps, that would test his wits to see if he was worthy. Ah well. Here the tome was, and here he was before it. While the lizardman doubted he would be able to finish the tome in its entirety now, he could at least take a peek at the first few pages…

Popping open Stellar Uncertainty and glancing at the opening pages to get a sense if this is what I’m actually searching for or not.

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


Drakon

Drakon stood, breathing heavily from the exertion, he looked down at the body of the elf, and then at the rest of the bandits, he could almost taste their fear. "THIS!" he bellowed, gesturing at the two pieces of the elf, "IS WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO DEFY ME!" He stares the remaining bandits down one by one, his voice still commanding, but his tone less of a roar, "Now, as of this moment, I am taking over this group. You have two choices, you can come and kneel and pledge your unwavering loyalty to me and I will make you great, or you can make the same mistake as your ex-leader here." He gingerly bends over and picks up the elf's sword, then stands up straight once more and kicks one of the pieces of the elf's body rolling it a bit towards the bandits, "So what will it be?"

He looks to Greatclaw, seeing if the rattling was ready to play along, this sort of moment had been the plan from the beginning after all, even if he doubted either of them expected the fight to play out this particular way.

Drakon's basically trying to assert his dominance over the bandits here, get them to realize that their best and only option is to do everything in their power to avoid getting on his bad side. City Guard[+2] to know how to break them, and Commanding Presence[+2] to pull off the effect off.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias

He thought back to Teminus' answer, the response to his question about that elixir, of using it to prevent the tragedy that had now come to pass.

Terminus posted:

"It will make their bodies strong, and their hearts stronger, but warriors and champions often find little time for children and family..."

The very antithesis of his goal. Short-term advantage over dynasty-building. He was no conqueror, seeking to subjugate realms into a short-lived, resentful union, and that was a mindset he was unwilling to part with. The planned trip to the dwarves would have to wait once more, as the new metal whilst likely profitable and useful did nothing to address the more pressing issue.

Which left the antecedent, entombed by the church in another era altogether yet apparently still extant. Again, something that rang alarm bells loudly: He could hardly forge a dynasty if it depended upon him living - or rather existing - forever, and it sounded far more curse than blessing. But if it wasn't? If it somehow did not constitute some horrific post-mortem existence, a vile and parasitic mockery of living? He'd have to see for himself, reason with his predecessor. If he could find him, anyway. If he was near enough for a relatively swift jaunt, or perhaps a family outing, for Castier Ponsbor was near-exactly as much her ancestor as his.

Because there was the rub, wasn't it? He loved her, would always love her, the bonds of affection bourne of their shared experiences, their shared life, those could never truly be severed. But he couldn't trust her. That was the true cost of the affair, calling into question their bond. He had forgiven her, though he was still heart-sore abut the whole matter, but he could no longer guarantee, absolutely guarantee that she would be able to be true to him no matter what. A line had been crossed, a vow broken. If he were to be gone for months on end again, and returned to find her in the arms of a concubinus once more, heavy with someone elses' child? A nightmarish thought that might very well break him, a risk he found himself utterly unwilling to take. Not now, at any rate.

So, to the study. Time to dig through old church archives, secrets in the marginalia, the records of the defunct temples. Let's see if we can find where Castier Ponsbor is reported to be buried, and make a judgement call at that point on if they should proceed.

Shrewd+2 and Educated +2 to see if we can locate old Castier's resting place.

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla

The lance didn't seem like something Karla would want but the armor clothes, bow, and sword looked like something out of one of the elder's stories. Fairy armor? It could be! Her own scavenging of ruins in her homeland led her this far. She would use these fairy items herself. Karla put on the armor, it was more comfortable than she thought. Then she took the sword and bow. Hmm. Not bad.

Karla decided to try something else. She started feeling around the walls of the rooms and chambers, looking for seams or hidden doors. She also decided to look more closely at the more complete room. Pictures or some kind of clue or directions. She had to find out what the elf wanted. Pictures of winged creatures, human skeletons. Jars and glass. Metal rings. To stand on? Was the water drinkable in some of the other vials? She would sip some of the clean looking blue liquid. If it was brackish she would spit it out. She was thirsty.


She doesn't have treasure hunting skill but in her history she did some ruin raiding. Doing some trial and error. Drinking some moon liquid.

I am Communist fucked around with this message at Jul 19, 2017 around 00:45

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Moonrat

Moonrat kicked up his feet on the pew across from him. The old church was still abandoned, and given what he'd seen, likely would remain so. After all, the gods were dead, and this one no different. What was the point of services to a dead goddess? He was glad to see that the water had drained away. It would serve as a cozy enough hideout for the time being.

"Make yourselves at home. There's wine in the refectory if you want it. There should be cots in the back somewhere as well, if you want to get some rest." He waved an arm towards the interior of the church. Craning his head backwards, he eyed Starlight and the guards. "You're free to take your leave if you wish. If you do, inform Her Grace I will present myself tomorrow. I've been away a while, need to catch up on the goings on."

With that, he paid little further heed to his companions. Over the next few hours, ratlings slipped in and out to make reports, catching him up on what he'd missed. He was hardly a boss in command of a full gang, but many people owed him favors. And as far as favors went, there were many worse people to owe them too. All he ever asked was general information and watchful eyes. Most ratlings took their payment in proper secrets and money, and those had a way of getting people killed. As in most things, moderation was key.

As the last of them made to leave, he caught the boy by the sleeve. "Hey. Is Nail-Biter still hassling your sister?" The young ratling nodded nervously. "Alright. Do me a favor. Escort these two ogres around, show them the city. The safe parts. While you're at it, find out what the word is on John Garde. You know of John Garde? He's with the city watch. Maybe not the most memorable Man in the world, but ask around. See what he's been up to. In return, Nail-Biter doesn't see the sunrise."

He let the boy go and hopped to his feet, clapping his hands together. "Olek. Garik. This young man has graciously agreed to show you around Lustrium. I would say be cautious, but most of the really dangerous places you are physically incapable of entering. Enjoy the sights of our fair city, and try to look past the aftermath of the recent armageddon. It really is a lovely city. Jewel of the...whatever." He waved a dismissive hand. "In the meantime, I have some work to do before I meet with my queen on the morrow. With luck I'll be able to set you up with better accommodations but for now, I am entirely broke." He shrugged in a what-can-you-do fashion.

Moonrat's palms are itchy and he needs money anyhow. Taking out one of the mid level street toughs and seeing what he's got hidden away ought to pad his wallet, if he's lucky. Nail-Biter is an rear end anyway. Doesn't take no for an answer.

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 grinned. "Oi, meditation is it? Yeh, I think I know exactly what ye mean!", she said with an all too knowing wink, "So, if ye could kindly recommend some o' these shamans ye mentioned, no witches mind, and maybe mark some o' those godhomes on this map 'ere", Sasha rummaged about a waistbag and retrieved a yellowed, even if treated to be moisture resistant, map from it, "Then I would be most grateful to ye for yer expert counsel, and be on my merry way~!"

Really, she probably should be going soonish. She had a dream demon to put into an armlock.


OOC: Ask the guy to maybe name some of those spiritual people, and mark on my map some of these divine places. After that, Sasha will go to take a nap, so that she can be Strong [+2] and Resilient [+2] as she wages dream war against a dream demon

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

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


Dragomir

The book seemed dry at first, discussing the nature of stellar bodies and their relation to the world. Some of the ideas seemed a bit unusual, most of the churches in the land maintained strict heliocentric ideologies and this tome immediately ignored this dogma. The authors either had quite fanciful ideas of the stars in the sky, or knew many more things than were known today. It discussed the star of Yddra, which it described as a world of storms and winds with no ground whatsoever, and other stars as well. They were all supposedly part of some grand system spinning around the sun in the sky, and your own world was simply a part of this and not as you had been taught your life the centre of it.

While these revelations were fascinating and tremendous in their own right, this was simply a preface to the rest of the tome. Dragomir read quickly and began to realise just why Terminus said that it lead people to madness.

The first principle it demonstrated that was people were ultimately deterministic. At a granular level when examing a single person this was more general than exact, but as one scaled up to larger groups it became increasingly easy to map behaviours and actions from a probabilistic and mathematical point of view. The difficult part was finding the origin point, but this could be applied to other systems as well. Weather, the movement of the stars, peoples actions were all linked together by a serious of seemingly incomprehensible and unrelated factors that were ultimately intrinsicly and deeply connected. The core thread linking all of these together was the flow of aether between these systems and what was ironically named thaumic uncertainty. Because you could not know everything about a thing, by specifically discounting certain variables and factors you could isolate and derive other factors that you did want to know. It was backwards and yet the book laid out over three chapters the mathemagical proofs for this assertion. It was insane. It was impossible. It made perfect sense.

What was the most incomprehensible thing of all was how the planets themselves were reflections of each other, by virtue of being reflections of the core of the system. It was like a reflection, with the sun being the source of thaumic aether and each planet having their own balances that lead to their own conditions. The space between them acted as a prism, defracting the aether from the central star. Thus it was possible by examining specific movements and patterns to isolate the reflection on another star in the system, which then lead back to you. This was a less reliable and perfect method than the large scale prediction previously demonstrated and explained in the book but allowed for specific predictions for certain people or places or objects. However it would only be able to give a couple of likely outcomes, and the more precise and specific an action or result you looked for the more vague the result would be.

By the time you had finished reading the book Lyndis was shaking you on the shoulder.

"Dragomir, Dragomir, DRAGOMIR!" You finally startled out of your revery. "Gods, it's been hours Draogmir. We couldn't get through to you at all. We were getting worried the book was ensorcelled or cursed. Are you okay?"

Although it was impossible to tell the time here in this underground vault, you were feeling particularly hungry. Looking back at the book it seemed...almost mundane now that you knew what it held. But you could see why it would be dangerous and would drive many people unprepared mad. Most of the other tomes had been recovered by the staff in the ruins already, but if their subject matter was as advanced as the book you had read Dragomir was confident that it would take a lifetime for anyone to decipher and understand them. It seemed you now had a number of things to discuss with Lyndis though, given that you had promised to serve him in return for this favour. Now that you had the knowledge to do predictions, well you had a feeling you could guess what he would be keenly interested in...


Dragomir has discovered the Foundations of Aetheropsychistry, or just the Oracle Equations for an easier name.
The following are your divine traits associated with this:
You have discovered to sets of equations, the first being Large Scale Predictions. This allows you to run an equation for large groups of people, areas, or over long periods to gather abstract but accurate patterns to predict things.
The second set of equations are Single Readings, letting you get less precise predictions for specific events, people or places.
These equations are equations, although you can abstract them in certian ways such as fortune telling reading, casting dice or bones, these are more difficult. You will get a penalty if you are pressed for time to complete the equations, and also if you are unable to properly write out the equations with enough space and detail. Whether they are mathematical, geometric, magical, astrological chartings or other forms is up to your sense of style. It all will work the same ultimately.



Drakon

You saw fear in people's eyes. Not the kind of fear of someone stronger, intimidating and in control. The desperate fear of someone who has seen something terrible and haunting. When you glanced at Greatclaw you saw he had stepped back a step as well. He also seemed afraid, afraid of you and this itself struck you hardest.

After almost a minute of silence one of the dwarves spoke up. "Well, we 'ad some crazy elf bastard come in an' off our last boss. Now we got some monster guy. If we don' die there ain't nobody who will gently caress with us now."

The words were promising but there was also a tenseness, and a fear behind them. Drakon could tell that it would take time to work these bandits into something useful for his vision and his dreams. And he needed to talk to Greatclaw as well. Whatever he had done when he'd had that strange vision had deeply and terribly shaken everyone.

There was no cheering, but there was a general muttering and acceptance of their new terrible dread master. Life was hard and not great for bandits, and while these folk were pretty terrible scum they were also being pushed to breaking point by a series of incredible events out of their control.

10:53 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 10 = 2d6(1,5)+4
You have your bandits, but they're definitely a work in progress. Greatclaw also seems unsettled and afraid of you now.


Elias

It was hard to find anything much about the latter half of Castier's life. You could find that he was born, had a wife, several children and you chart his position and influence on the family tree. Then after accounts of how he helped conquer the disparate proto-states in the area into what would in time form into Aubrecht there was little mention further of him. By all accounts he had been a deeply pious man, and there were glowing descriptions of his dedication to his faith and the gods by the accounts taken from church records.

But there was no grave for him, no record of his death, nothing after that point. It all cut off after a certain point. The only trail that you had to go on was that the records of the church of the old god of Justice in the region, Garvanicus, continued for a couple of months later than any other sources did. There was a temple court in the city, which was being restored for its process in jurisprudence. The questions about whether it should be transformed into a secular institute or converted into some kind of memoriam for the dead god as well as continuing to serve its functions had not been resolved. Traditionally members of the royal family presided over cases as a judge, making the final decisions on all cases brought before the court. A priest of Garvanicus would confirm that their god approved of the verdict and that it was ruled in his name, but the process had long been a civil one and not a religious one due to practical needs.

If something could not be found there, there were naturally catacombs where members of all faiths were interred. These ran deep into the mountains below the city. But that was potentially a wild goose chase, Elias only had the fact that the church of Garvanicus continued records on Castier a little longer than anyone else. Yet these were the only two places in the city tied to the god where he might find something.


10:53 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 12 = 2d6(4,4)+4
You find the end of the trail, but it might lead you to a new path.



Karla
A strange encounter

As you picked up the sword there was a current that ran through your hand. You tried to let go, but your hand seemed to clench the hilt as though it was spasming from an electric shock. A voice spoke in your head, vaguely masculine but mostly genderless. At first the words it spoke were not known to you, but after a couple of attempts it began to speak something that you could understand.

"QUESTION. Please consent to the word of the elder of this place and enter into the covenant to be allowed to continue. Until you enter into this convenant I cannot accept you as my new Master."

Its words were strange, as though it was trying to say something else but you lacked the words to understand it properly. The sword meanwhile seemed to glow faintly with a blue light in Karla's hand, gently illuminating the area around her a little.


Moonrat

Dealing with Nail-Biter was swift and satisfying. The brute had relied on being important enough in a gang to not have people want to mess with him, but also not be so important that he stood out. He was something of an unpleasant insitution for those less well off, and for the ratlings in Lustrium that was many of them. There were others like him, Nail-Biter just had an area that he claimed as 'his turf'. The larger ratling had began overconfident, but quickly grown enraged, then desperate, as you effortlessly and embrassingly beat him up. He did not lay a finger on Moonrat. He could no longer even begin to come close to that.

Nail-Biter bitterly gave you his wallet, filled with a moderate amount of coins but almost all of it taken from the least fortunate in the city. After this he fled, angrily cursing you and swearing vengeance from his gang. People around waited until he was gone before they came out to congratulate you.

Word came from Missing-Whisker, the ratling you had co-opted into being a guide for the ogres earlier. John had apparently gone a bit mad, yelling that he'd get strong and get some kind of vengeance on being passed over and ignored in the guard for not being corrupt or competnent enough. He had left with Mist-Tail, who was a known acquaintance and a small bit information broker. Clever enough, or only competent enough, to be useful to John but not such that he made too powerful or numerous enemies. They had not returned yet, and it was assumed that he had abandoned his post in the wake of the Godsdeath. There was a small bounty on him, but no one really cared enough about him to actually go after him.


Does Moonrat know or know of Mist-Tail at all?



Sasha

The sage told you where to find a shaman and a priest of the old gods, the elemental spirits that preceeded the modern and now dead deities. Although his faith was heresy and outlawed, he had remained hidden and inconspicuous enough to go unharmed. The shaman lived near the elfwoods, while the priest incredibly lived near Tymora itself. The general locations were marked, although the sage reminded Sasha that you would need to make inquiries yourself to locate them once in the area. He recommended the inquriring be discrete.

As for the having a nap, you had been recommended to get drunk. Very drunk. The sage explained that this helped blur the conscious and subconscious, and you had not really seen a need to disagree. After all drinking came easily and naturally to a pirate and especially an ogre one at that. You partied with your crew, then retired to your quarters and managed to remember why you had gotten so drunk before you passed out.

Your dream was very strange and very lucid. You stood back in the cavern where you had found the changed angel, but instead of a horrifying demon chained in the pit it was yourself. Surrounding you were countless beautiful works of art, sculptures, gems and jewelery and...more weirdly, people. The giant simulacrum of yourself in the pit tried to reach for one, but could never touch them. The chains and bindings held her back, close enough to be torturous but not close enough to ever gain release.

Seeing you there you turned to look down on yourself. "Isn't it strange, that we spent so long stealing wealth and beauty from others...but now it's stolen from us?"


10:54 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 14 = 2d6(5,5)+4

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


Drakon

It was not exactly what he imagined, but things were the way they were, and he needed to work with what he had. He could feel the eyes on him, Greatclaw's look hurt, but he didn't dare react, didn't dare show weakness or indecision to the bandits. So he kept up his dominant demeanor, trying to shift as smoothly as possible into the next phase of the plan he had discussed with Greatclaw.

The plan was fairly straightforward, born from John's previous experience as a guard. He had seen all too often that people who went undercover for too long eventually became the role they were playing. On top of that, he knew how the various gangs recruited and how the guard broke down suspects. Combined they came to a simple process for remaking a man: enforce absolute unquestioning obedience, reward shows of loyalty, punish even the slightest sign of dissent. Combined with rigorous training, sleep deprivation, and other tactics Drakon knew well and you could mold the subjects to your liking. So as they had discussed, Drakon would begin immediately, leading them in difficult training designed both to build up their physical attributes and to leave them tired and malleable.

However, Drakon can feel things are perhaps a bit too tense, he wasn't sure what he had done, but it was... more than he had hoped. He needed to temper their fear with greed, so he smiles a toothy smile, ready to deploy a little carrot to go with the stick he had already shown. "I will do more than your previous leaders could have dreamed. Do as you are told, and you will become powerful beyond your wildest imaginings, disobey and well... you know the price. Now we begin at once."

The rest of the day would be filled with demanding physical drills, and strength exercises, he wanted to tire the bandits out and set the tone. Even now, he began to offer clear rewards for public shows of loyalty, with those who engaged in them permitted slightly longer rests between drills and the like, while those who showed resistance were given extra laps or made to carry more weight. He was careful to ensure that regardless the bandits got enough physical excretion to start the long process of building them up to Drakon's exacting standards.

When night fell, and he was sure the bandits were asleep he sought out Greatclaw so that they could speak with actual privacy and no need to maintain the facade.

Drakon's beginning the indoctrination process of the bandits. Think boot camp mixed with a more culty atmosphere where public shows of loyalty are rewarded and dissent is punished... so basically marine boot camp. This is something he pre-planned with Greatclaw, so he's hoping the rattling will play along with being his normal second in command at least for the day. Once it's dark out and the exhausted bandits are sleeping, Drakon will try and talk with Greatclaw.

Commanding Presence[+2] for the drill sergeant stuff, and City Guard[+2] as this entire thing is built on stuff he saw or experienced as a guard (both stuff that the guards and the gangs did).


quote:

Drakon: After a long day of training, once he was certain the bandit were all asleep, Drakon approached Greatclaw, and once again checking to make sure they wouldn't be overheard addressed him, "Thank you for your aid in that fight, but afterward you seemed troubled?"

Greatclaw: "Jo- I mean, Drakon. I've seen men killed. I've seen my fair share of people on the headsman's block and I've seen the guillotine used in the Queen's court. But what you did, was different..."

Greatclaw: "You tore that elf in half. He screamed, gods I can still hear and see it. I was almost sick. You...you roared...like a monster, like a dragon, as you ripped his body in two."

Greatclaw: "I...I don't want to think you're a monster. Not as we are. But, in that moment you looked and acted like one."

Drakon: "That elf wouldn't have thought twice before slitting either of our throats, and I've seen the results of the gangs of Lustrum that have been far worse. I needed to intimidate the bandits and I will admit I was furious, but what we're planning is essentially to declare war on the existing order. If we don't have the stomach for it, then all we're doing is consigning us and any who will follow us

Drakon: to be death." Drakon grimaced, "I refuse to go back to the way things were, and I refuse to be torn to shreds by the gangs or the nobles that surprise sex and murder and plunder on an unimaginable scale. If I have to kill some of them and their lackeys to get what I want, then so be it."

Greatclaw: "You don't get it, you don't get it at all do you?" Greatclaw says at you with what you thought was worry on his face and in his ears and tail. He still had a lot of ratling signals, but they were different in his new form.

Greatclaw: "How long until you decide I'm an obstacle to your glory, or your forget who you are and kill me as well?"

Greatclaw: "I'm scared, John, because you wanted power and now that you have it you seem to keep forgetting yourself! You keep telling me it's okay, then you do something worse!"

Drakon: Drakon is taken aback, shocked into silence for a moment, then he tries to recover his composure and speaks, "This thing we're doing, it will be bloody, and brutal, and dirty. You want a home for your people, I want to rule an empire. There is a price to be paid for that. Before we found the dragon we were too weak to even contemplate changing the world, but now we have that power."

Drakon: He pauses and takes a deep breath, "I can't promise you this will be clean or easy, but the question is what are you willing to do, what price are you willing to pay to see your dream become real. I cannot promise that we will always be friends or allies, I don't want to make promises to you I cannot guarentee because neither of us know what the future holds.

Drakon: What I can tell you, what I can give you my oath on is that I value having you at my side. You are intelligent and ambitious, and I want you to serve as my right hand from now until the end of time." Drakon pauses, and ponders for a second, then takes the elf's blade still in it's sheath and holds it forth. "Let this be a symbol of our bond. As long as you hold this blade I will never intentionally harm you, and I will always give your counsel the respect it is due.

Drakon: In return, you will be my lieutenant, my trusted right hand, who will rule the world with me and bring a home to his people. If you ever think that you can no longer follow me, then you can return it and we will go our seperate ways amicably." Drakon tries to smile, "Does that help set your mind at ease?"

Greatclaw: "Not really. But I just saw something awful. I'm frightened and worried. You seem to be okay with losing yourself to whatever you're becoming but that frightens me. It should frighten you."

Drakon: "Before I was a nobody, you were maybe the only person who respected me."

Greatclaw: "There's a saying we have, you might remember. Home is what you make of it. Not everything is perfect and good, but what you do with it is important."

Drakon: "If you were satisfied with your old life, didn't want to change, then why did you come with me?"

Greatclaw: It's the first time you've really had a good look at Greatclaw for a couple of days,

Greatclaw: You realise looking closely at him that he looks tired. He was physically enhanced as well, not as much as you, but you know he shouldn't be that tired.

Greatclaw: Greatclaw shook his head. "That's not what I meant. It's like...things happen, and you can't always control what happens, but you can control what you do with it."

Greatclaw: "The word home for us is more complicated than for you humans. Because we haven't had one."

Drakon: "I am controlling what I do with this power. For the first time in my life, it's actually me who gets to make the decisions and not a thousand other people above me in the hierarchy."

Drakon: (I'm sort of having John dance around what his essential thing was which is that he didn't particularly like the old him, so he's a lot less worried about it than Greatclaw because that sort of prior self-loathing seems like something he'd be coy about. It'd probably show up in his body language and emphasis though.)

Greatclaw: "Yes but what do you want? You said you want to rule? Why? What do you want to do different than everyone else does? Or do you really just want the same status quo but with yourself at the top?"

Drakon: "No, I'm not so foolish as to think I wouldn't enjoy power and the benefits that go with nor do I think you're stupid enough to deny that it's at least a part of it. However that's not the only reason." He pauses, then takes a breath, "My life in that city was soul crushing, because I wasn't born with the right name, because I wouldn't take bribes to look the other way I was less than nothing. Well if I get my way, I'm going to tear out the corrupt status quo root and branch."

Drakon: with each word he picks up steam until he's virtually ranting, "I want to make a city where the laws apply to everyone, where you can be an honest man and survive, where the average people don't have to fear gangs or thieves or murderers. Where someone like who I was can at least get by."

Greatclaw: Greatclaw listens and then nods.

Drakon: "If I have to split a few skulls to make that happen, I'll do it."

Greatclaw: "Don't lose sight of that John, Drakon I mean. That dream means more to me than a hundred flowery speeches or oaths on your knees. But earlier I worried. You really seemed like you were losing yourself, just...reveling in whatever you, we are becoming. I'm not an idiot. I know how the world really works, it's not the killing that got to me, but how."

Greatclaw: He picked himself up. "I'm going to get some rest. I'll talk to you tomorrow I guess."

Greatclaw: Greatclaw walked off, but keeping an eye on him during the night you could see he did not rest, or at least not well.
Greatclaw: He tried to sleep a few times, but always woke up with a start after a short while. Eventually he gave up and found a rock somewhere with a view of the bandit camp and sat on it by himself.

Drakon: Walking up to Greatclaw, Drakon sits next to him, "I know something else is bothering you. Otherwise after the workout from today you'd be asleep and not up here."

Greatclaw: Greatclaw sighs tiredly.

Greatclaw: "I'm frightened. There's...something in me. I don't know if it's me, or the dragon, but it's like another person there. Sometimes I get flashes of things, but mostly it's my dreams. In it I'm big, I'm powerful, and I make people who wronged me or hurt me pay. I...I hurt them. And it frightens me. There's a difference between killing someone and between hurting them."

Drakon: Drakon pauses for second, "Until now you've always been the weaker party, correct? The one being abused instead of doing the abusing?"

Greatclaw: "It's not like that Drakon. It's like there's a bit of the dragon inside me. And it wants me to hurt people. I can ignore it when I'm awake mostly but when I sleep it mixes with my dreams."

Drakon: "I also have had some dreams, but they've been far more... generic. I don't get any real impressions or desires, more like reliving memories."

Greatclaw: "Memories? This isn't like that. Or maybe it is. Maybe it's just moments." Is that what...happened...today?"

Drakon: "Not in the way you're thinking of. As soon as I dropped the blade and lunged I decided to try and tear him in half, I was angry and I needed to demonstrate to the rest of the bandits exactly how horrible crossing me could be. When I was doing it though, I flashed to a similar memory, though it was an inhuman abomination instead of an elf, also more clawing than bisecting."

Greatclaw: Greatclaw seemed surprised.

Greatclaw: "That's not what I expected. I don't know what I was expecting, but not something like that."

Drakon: "They're bandits. They're murderers, rapists, and thieves to a man. If this were the city, each and every one of them would've earned the headsman's ax already. You don't rein in men like that with pretty words. If the plan is going to work, they need to fear me enough that they won't dare draw my ire."

Greatclaw: "There are worse things to be than a thief. You know that. Wasn't so uncommon that some poor person in Lustrium got done in because they had to steal to feed their family."

Drakon: "These aren't city thieves knicking a loaf of bread or some rich man's trinkets. These are bandits, they attack villages and pillage them. The guard occasionally has to patrol the roads, so I've seen what men like this can do. How many of the thief's your thinking of have ever butchered a caravan?"

Greatclaw: "I guess. I don't really know them."

Drakon: "This is the group that the locals thought were so aggressive they were going to be hunted down, remember."

Greatclaw: "Maybe that was the elf's doing. He was...pretty crazy. I'm not trying to stand up for them, I just knew a lot of thieves who were mostly okay people back in Lustrium."

Drakon: "From what they said, I get the impression that the elf was a recent addition. Anyhow, you already knew what the plan was here. We need a vanguard that even Lustrum can't corrupt. That's the whole point of this conditioning thing. They'll get a new life out of the deal, and we'll be clearing out bandit gangs. It's not perfect, but it's something."

Greatclaw: "That's fine, you don't need to convince me about all this." Greatclaw said distractedly.

Drakon: "Then you know why it's so important that they fear me at first. If we're going to get the ball rolling they need to not even dare to think about crossing me, and you need to back that up."

Drakon: "Anyhow, as for your worry, don't worry about it so much. I'll make sure you don't go too far." Drakon tries to smile reassuringly.

Valhawk fucked around with this message at Jul 26, 2017 around 23:13

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Disembodied Voice posted:

"QUESTION. Please consent to the word of the elder of this place and enter into the covenant to be allowed to continue. Until you enter into this covenant I cannot accept you as my new Master."


Karla


An elder? Like from home. Karla wasn't sure what it was exactly asking but perhaps that she could meet this elder if she agreed to the fairy-sword's hospitality rules. "Oh, um. Okay?" Karla agreed. "Tell me what to do."

Karla agrees. Though not entirely sure as to what!

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias

Curiouser and curiouser. Time to pay a visit to the courthouse, inspect the secular renovations, and see about delving into their archives. He had the time period he was after: Looking for Castier directly was but the first option. Looking at the context was also vital: A witch-hunt or pogrom, maybe? Unexplained trials for strange crimes with the suspects clearly innocent? The Church of Justice had apparently seen fit to take Castier out of the equation, and take out direct records of that, but that didn't mean that they had eradicated all records of the cause. If they had, then that empty space itself would show up as a glaring marker elsewhere, such as interment records. Leaving a gap in history told a treacherous tale just by being there in the midst of better-documented times.

He did not neglect his wife during this: It was not simply a case of throwing himself into the task as a distraction from the double earthquake that had harmed their family. If he needed to be a better husband, he would be.

Shrewd +2 and Educated +2 to take a holistic approach to the Castier era in the records of the former Church of Garvanicus, if need be doing forensic research on the shadow cast by the gap in the meticulous historical record and seeing where it might fall.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Moonrat

Mist-Tail...Mist-Tail...the name rang a bell but no face came to mind. Not a surprise, really. Moonrat did his best to know who was who in Lustrium and beyond. Yet the fact remained that the vast majority of ratlings were simply not relevant to the political and social games he got up too. Probably he had met this Mist-Tail once or twice and thought no more of it. Perhaps that was a mistake. Why was he associating with a watchman? And what did it have to do with said watchman seemingly losing his wits?

Ugh. Distractions. While a curious conundrum, he had more important things to worry about right now. The Queen waited and he dreaded that she would be in one of her moods. When she got into a mood, there was no telling what might happen. She might have you killed. She might shower you with praise and titles for no discernible reason. She might demand some wholly unreasonable service with the promise of rewards she would never actually grant. You could never know with her.

Moonrat idly tapped at the coin pouch as he stood outside the entrance to her warren. He'd been able to buy a bath and something to make himself smell nice, and his clothes were freshly washed. He'd been meticulous with his fur and nails - more so than normal. His impeccable grooming and striking looks were the one thing he silently believed had preserved him from his sovereign's full fury. She thought him a possession of hers, and She-That-Hungers was notoriously loathe to destroy her pretty things.

Off to see the Queen. Handsome +2 to make a good starting impression with her, so Moonrat can buy himself time to explain why he's much more valuable alive.

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 pondered on the question a bit. Then raised a dream eyebrow.

"Ehhh...", she said, "Not... really? Nah I don't reckon' so", she scratched her dream chin, with her dream finger, "See, I don't know who ye are, Ms. looks-stealin' dream figment, but what ye say makes little sense to me."

"See, I steal those things because it's my job, and they got taken away 'cause I got myself in a lil' ruckus with a godspawn. I mean sure, I suppose it's a fun lil' 'ironic punishment', but it's not really strange. Well, I suppose it could be, if ye are one o' them folk with more smarts than sense who sequester in the libraries. But from my perspective it's just as 'strange' as a man who stabs fer a living gettin' stabbed themselves. That's just how it is."

Sasha shrugged her ghostly shoulders, and dug around for her ghostly gourd.

"So what's the deal here anyways? Do I have ta wrassle ye for my non-treasure disintegratin' touch back? Or answer some riddle? Kinda prefer the first one fer no other reason that I've kinda wondered how well I'd do in a match against meself, HAH!"

Sasha chuckled a bit, and offered her little ghost gourd, "Nevertheless, if yer even a bit as much like me as ye look, a drink would probably do ye well right about now!"


OOC: Chatting, getting along with strange dream figment with Affable [+2]

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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

Dragomir - Imperial Academy of Theological Science and Arcana

quote:

"Dragomir, Dragomir, DRAGOMIR!" You finally startled out of your revery. "Gods, it's been hours Draogmir. We couldn't get through to you at all. We were getting worried the book was ensorcelled or cursed. Are you okay?"

The lizardman stared back at Lyndis in a daze, uncomprehending. Then, with a slow nodding of his head, he replied,

“Drago is… fine. Puzzled, astounded, but physically? Drago is well.”

He had found what he was searching for. And it was not at all what he expected. Powerful, certainly, yet not in the way he imagined. Such a wondrous tome it was, but the lizardman couldn’t help but wonder, who had written it? Who had penned such a frighteningly amazing book? And… why? Knowledge was meant to flow freely, always had Drago believed such a thing, and for the most part still did. But this? This was dangerous. Even as naive as he could be, Drago understood that. After all, he more than most had difficulty understanding the motives and reasoning of others. To be able to do so via equation was… interesting. Holding the tome in his hands, Drago tucked it underneath his arm, his tail timidly waving back and forth. Would he have to return it…?

His stomach growling, Drago set aside the matter of the Oracle Equations, challenging as it was to do so. All the knowledge in the world wouldn’t matter if he starved. But as much as he wanted to go for a meal right about now, there was something else to discuss first. Steeling himself, the lizardman looked up at Lyndis. A promise was a promise. At the very least, he would hear the royal out.

“Drago’s business here is complete, and Ser Lyndis’ side of the deal is honored. Drago’s, however, is not. So? What would Ser Lyndis have of Drago?”

OOC: Keeping Stellar Uncertainty on my person for the time being, and being upfront and asking Lyndis what he wants from me. Drago would prefer not to break his side of the deal, unless Lyndis asks for something seriously messed up.

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

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


Drakon

The bandits were used to being treated like trash, so your training was not so different an attitude even if the actions were odd. However having someone interested in their personal development was a big change from their previous masters. However once they began to adjust to things and you did not brutally dismember and destroy any people in front of them they began to adapt to the new situation. Towards the end of the first week one of the dwarves joked that if they were going to be monsters in the end that they might as well be your monsters. Although a crash course in physical fitness had dramatic effects within two weeks in terms of beginning to bust fat and improving cardiovascular fitness, it would take more time for them to really achieve more obvious changes. Not to mention that while there was a loose comraderie among the group, they were largely uncoordinated and lacked teamwork or real fighting skills.

However you ran quickly into issues with being a bandit camp in the middle of nowhere. They had no real food stocks and stole most of their provisions. There was not enough game or food to hunt and forage for in the region of the mountains you were in to last for long. Two weeks would mark were you would begin to run out of food. You had the armour and weapon from the elf, even if the armour was ruined and torn, but it was unlikely the town at the foot of the mountains would have a market or the funds to purchase it.

8:24 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 14 = 2d6(6,4)+4
You rolled very well so the bandits are beginning to adjust and your training is beginning to lay good foundations. More dramatic developments will take more time. Although the results run until the end of the second week your next action will take place near the start of the second. Food is an issue you will likely want to solve and soon.



Karla

The voice spoke clearly in your head.

"Acknowledged. From this moment you are my Master until we can consult with an Elder and confirm the covenant." The sword then seemed to hum for a moment, and a glass jewel like object in the crossbar's decoration lit up.

"Master, I can see you have donned the armour of a -" and then it spoke a word that you did not know. (For convenience I will call it Monster, but it is a specific name you have no context for) "-Monster Slayer. However you need to drink the elixir to be able to properly use it. From your memory I can see we are in the [another name you do not recognise], so the elixir should be in the room with the drawings of human anatomy and dragon anatomy." Although Karla had no idea what a dragon was, she had seen the diagrams and now had a name for whatever they were a diagram of.

The sword seemed to gently tug you in a direction, not enough to pull or cause you to move but it was like a slight but ignorable pressure guiding you. With nothing else to do for now, you followed it until it guided you to a specific one of the vials. It was on the side of the room with the human diagram, and had a sort of orange glow to it.

"Master, although there are no dragons here for you to ride or bond with you should still consume this elixir. It will make your body hardier and heal more quickly, as well as protect you from most toxins, poisons and damaging substances."

Karla gains the Dragonrider's Sword, a powerful, sentient and intelligent weapon she has formed a contract with. Aside from the strange knowledge it holds, it is also sharper and deadlier than any weapon currently seen in the game and among the best weapons in the world. The trait is called Heavensward Sword. Unlike other players you currently only have a single trait, although consuming the elixir will grant you a second one to go with the sword.


Elias

You found that upon entering the Ministry of Justice, named for the irony of being a religious ministry and a legal one, that the Archbishop was bedridden and in poor health. Although he was receiving care, the expectation was that he would pass on soon. Although it was not impossible for him to make a recovery, his spirit was lost and he seemed to wish for death. If you wished to talk to him, it would need to be soon.

As for the archives, the clerk set out to find the records you sought could not find much. Most of the records he found were ones you had copies of. The Ministry had more detailed accounts of some events but they did not shed much more useful information, except reinforcing that prior to his disappearance that Castier had seemed to be very much favoured by the church. There was a deeper reliquary with some secret records, but the Archbishop had the key with him. The clerk did not hold so much stock on their sanctity now that the gods were dead, but felt a little trepidation from taking something important from a dying man. Perhaps Elias with his position as Autarch would be better suited?

8:24 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 10 = 2d6(3,3)+4
More trails but still little concrete evidence.



Moonrat

The Queen's court often watched people like carrion feeders watching a dying creature. Curious, uncaring but also patient. When you walked in however it was different. Few people dared to so brazenly defy the queen, and even fewer still had the audacity to return. Most of them had the sense to flee and hide, but none of them had the abilities you did. Even walking into the court you could see how assassins might hide and ambush you, how you might attack and fight back, which people would be good hostages and how to exploit the situation to your advantage.

But the queen looked to be in...not a bad mood. She smiled and chittered as you approached. "Welcome back my intrepid servant. Do tell me about the elves? How are they doing in the wake of the death of the gods?"

Then you sensed the danger. She was just a little bit too relaxed, like a predator who was toying with a creature that was about to step into its trap. So this was her game, to get you to say yourself that you had disobeyed her. You had already know that she would know, so perhaps ultimately it was for the best. Now you had a chance to explain yourself before she could wind up to whatever mood she was truly in.


8:25 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 10 = 2d6(6,2)+2
Not the worst impression but you're still in the headlights so to speak.



Sasha

"If you cannot even figure out that much then you've got no hope. Abandon this futile dream and repent. Prostrate yourself before Tymor and maybe you shall be granted forgiveness." The simulacrum of yourself said cruelly, laughing at your ignorance of what to do and smiled nastily.

"A drink? A fine idea. Why don't we both indulge?" She said and suddenly you were submerged in ale. But this was the foulest, most rancid most acidic ale you could imagine. It seemed to fill most of the cavern, but as far as you could tell you could swim up and there was a small pocket of air near the top of the cavern. The giant chained simulacrum of yourself laughed, seemingly unaffected by the ale around you both.

8:25 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 6 = 2d6(3,1)+2
Sasha is not doing well in her first metaphysical dream quest.



Dragomir

Lyndis gave a pointed glance to the book as if to ask what you were doing, then thought about it. He took out his personal bad and leaned over to you while a guard wasn't looking. He gave you a conspiratorial look, or what you felt was one, and gently took the book from your hands and put it in his bag. "It grows late, the sun is setting and I am hungry. We will retire to my vessel to have a meal, over which we can discuss your service." He said with a smile and gave no hint of what had happened with the book. The guards checked you over to make sure that you were not smuggling any relics out, but did not check Lyndis who was both a minor royal and had been in and out of the room numerous times.

While he asked you about things on the way back, Dragomir noted that Lyndis kept the conversation mostly light and avoided mentioning much about the book. He asked for your impressions and how you felt on discovering the hidden trove, and how he was considering naming the find "Dragomir's Horde" as a joke about dragons and your name. He checked in with the curator and an official, but that only took 10 minutes and when he was done you retired to his vessel.

Food was a welcome relief for your empty stomach, and you ate gratefully. After a while, he looked at his two personal guards. One of them did a check around the walls of the room you were in and another left to patrol the boat. Once they were both satisfied, he dismissed them from the room and spoke to you with a serious expression on his face.

"Okay, I need to know what was really going on with that book and why you were clutching onto it like it was a newborn babe. I have kept it hidden for now, but if it's dangerous or gives us an advantage then we need to find a way to ensure it remains hidden...or destroy it."

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias

Time to pay respects to a dying man, a man of faith and stature, at least before the end of the Gods. He asked permission, and approached with humility: If possible, in the manner of his attendants, offering a spare pair of hands to assist in easing the Archbishop's suffering. Let's see if he was capable and amenable to converse...

Leader +2 and Shrewd +2, to draw near in a humble manner, conscious of the man's suffering and accommodating it as much as possible, seeking to help him first, see if he is willing to converse second. Act with kindness and understanding towards him first and foremost.

I am Communist
Apr 19, 2002



Karla

The fairy sword seemed like it wanted to help. Karla could use some to help her understand. "If you think it is best." She told the fairy sword. "I'm Karla by the way, what do I call you?" She asked as she picked up the vial and drank it in one gulp, like her uncle Farnum once showed her when she tried his distilled potato liquor.


Time for a drink!

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Moonrat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew3--XVFioU

"Your Grace." He gave her a grand sweeping bow, brazenly and insolently untroubled with the razor's edge he was walking. Even with his newfound skill he was not certain he could escape here with his life if it came to it, yet he found himself oddly unconcerned. Giddy even. What would be would be and he had far passed the point of fretting over it.

"The one elf I spoke with claims we killed the gods. She claims also that we stole the soul of her stillborn daughter, and that it is a symptom of the plagues to come if they do not hunt us to the ends of the earth. I regret that so far as I know, that child's death is not on our hands. I could use a thought like that to warm me on cold nights. Alas, she proved herself a coward and fled before I could end her life. Next time I'll remember to poison my blades."

He pressed his fingertips together in front of him and cocked his head

"Now. Your Serene Grace. Gentlerats and fair ladies of this honorable court." He looked about, staring into the eyes of some of the more notable personalities present. "Let us not continue with this farce any further. I well know that I am viewed with suspicion. Rightly so. I am a conniving, backbiting thug of no respectable lineage. I have come to my present position not through honorable service or gallantry, but through murder and blackmail. This is because we live in a world where a ratling with true vision cannot survive without utilizing such base tactics. I accept this facet of myself because my vision, should I manage to realize it, will ensure no ratling ever again must be obliged to act as I do."

"I did not, as you no doubt surmise, do as you commanded me. My request to sojourn was a ruse to ensure I had support for my true purpose of finding power. True power. Power to retake everything taken from us, and to lay waste to the elven filth for all time. That quest was not in vain. I have that power. There is no single ratling in this world or the next that can surpass me in skill at arms or military tactics. And I know the methods to teach others my skills."

Moonrat was almost manic at this point. He was not gesticulating wildly nor was his voice cracking, but the barely controlled energy in him was obvious. A spring at maximum tension. He turned, deliberately, looking upon all present before finally returning his gaze to the queen. He knelt, paws on knee, and inclined his head.

"Your Grace. By your leave, let me demonstrate to you what I am capable of, and teach our people. In return I will give you the elven kingdoms on a silver platter. I will bring their kings and queens before you and carve out their hearts for your amusement."

Moonrat's ego is taking center stage, utterly possessed by his own (supposed) brilliance. Arrogant -2 as he gives his speech.

Shardix fucked around with this message at Jul 27, 2017 around 05:42

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

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


Can players repost their original and updated character sheets in the new OOC thread please.

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


Drakon

Supplies, this was a pressing problem. The easy solution would probably be to raid a village or two, but that would sort of defeat the point of what he had done up to now. His trainees needed a clean break from their pasts for his plan to succeed fully. Still, there was some gold available. So, locating Greatclaw, he asked the rattling if he would trek to the nearest town, use the gold to buy provisions for the group. "I really don't want to have to steal or raid, but at the same time I cannot let the men in my care starve. Do what you can to see if you can find information on where we can relocate to in order to find a more sustainable food source. If you can swing it, hunting grounds would be best. Hunting game would be good training in teamwork." He waited to see if Greatclaw had any questions or suggestions, and when it was done he moved on. He picked one of the bandits, who had primarily been stuck with chores and the like under the old regime. The ex-bandit had been doing well enough in training and seemed reliable. "I have an assignment for you. Greatclaw is going into town to secure some supplies and gather information. You are going to accompany him. You are not to leave his sight, and you are to show him the deference due to my lieutenant, is that understood? If he returns with a favorable report of your actions and behavior, I will remember that. If he comes back alone, or indicates that you've been disrespectful or disobdeint, that would be bad... very bad. This is a chance for you to prove your loyalty, to earn my respect, take advantage of it. Don't gently caress it up."

While Greatclaw was out securing supplies, and seeing if he could locate any information on a good location to base their operations for the moment, Drakon would do what he could right here.

After Greatclaw and his erstwhile assistant had left, as the bandits gathered in the morning, Drakon addressed them, his voice loud and commanding, "Good morning."

He waited for the responses, praising those who were sufficiently loud and immediate with their honorifics in their response, and dressing down those who were not.

"Today, we're going to be changing up the training a bit. Getting you slouches into shape is good, but it's not nearly enough. We're going to be exploring our current area, good exercise and a chance to learn to not be useless when it comes to spotting. Now, as we go, I will teach and you will listen. When I ask you a question, you will respond like a loyal soldier should, is that understood?"

He would spend the next four days, the time it would take Greatclaw to make it to the nearest town and back, exploring the area. The exercise would continue, but on top of it would come lectures and tests in spotting. It was something Drakon knew well from his time as a guard, and giving them a chance to hone a skill as they trained their bodies and unconsciously their minds to be his vanguard. The additional benefit would be more info about just where they were and what was in the area. Maybe he might even find something useful.

Sending Greatclaw and one of the more reliable bandits to the nearest town with enough gold to secure enough provisions to give Drakon time to find another option. Greatclaw's escort is being told in no uncertain terms the rattling is his acting CO, and that this is an opportunity to get in Drakon's good books.

For the rest of the bandits, Drakon is going to spend the time until Greatclaw can return exploring the local area and giving them some basic training on spotting while keeping up the exercise via running and marching generally as they explore. Former Guard[+2] to teach them the basics of how to observe their surroundings, a classic cop skill. Commanding Presence[+2] to keep up the drill camp training/indoctrination thing through the process.

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 frowned. Well, as well as one could whilst submerged. Indeed, if not for her need to hold her breath, Sasha would have had a variety of things to say to her simulacrum. Such as "Rude", "Yer lucky this is just dream ale", or "Ye don't get to be intentionally vague and obtuse and then complain when ye get called out on yer vacuous trains of thought. Also, Tymor is dead, in case ye were not in the know."

But instead, all she could do was leer in disappointment mixed with tired disapproval. She'd just have to swim towards the bubble.

...

Wait.

Why?

This was HER dream. And Sasha definitely was not the sort of girl to be bossed around in her OWN dream. It was hers, not this strange interloper's. So instead of swimming, Sasha crossed her arms, shook her head, and stared intently at this invader. If this was going to be a battle of will, it would be one she would win.

OOC: I'M NOT PLAYING BY YOU RULES, DREAM DEMON! Resilient [+2] (hold on, Sasha!) and Strong [+2] to engage the Demon in a contest of STRENGTH OF WILL for the control of this dreamscape. It's MINE I tells you

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

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


Elias

The archbishop was a man lost to grief and tired of living in the world. It had changed so much in the last weeks of his life that he had no want or need of it anymore. While he was scared of what would become of him, with the gods of life and death gone and the afterlife as far as anyone knew burned to ashes...he also held the comfort that whatever fate befell him was what had befallen others. However you were a welcome and familiar face, and although you had gone the archbishop appreciated that you had stepped in quickly and kept civil order and the transition from the age of the gods as stable as you could manage so far. While he was uncertain why you had been gone so long, he felt reasonably confident that he could leave things in your hands after he was gone. There was not so much for you to do in terms of assisting with the palliative care, and as the ruler of the autarchy such duties were considered beneath you by the people around you. But they did ask you to help keep him company and to keep his mind off of the end of his life for a while. You could tell and 'hear' that he felt he should discuss some matters of jurisprudence with you and the laws of the land before he passed on. While he had no intended to originally, your presence had awakened in him a sense of guilt and duty that he wanted to resolve before he passed on.

11:18 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 10 = 2d6(2,4)+4
You made a decent impression on the archbishop, so he seems willing to talk to you about things. Although his main agenda has nothing to do with the reason for your visit, it seems he has no terrible secrets he wishes to share. Or at least with you right now.



Karla

"I do not have a name, Master. You may assign me one if it would be easier for you, otherwise you may call me by 'Servant' or 'Weapon'." Your blade responded, as you drank the fluid. It tasted vaguely warm and salty. Not enough to be difficult to drink but slightly unpleasant. Once you had consumed it the sword spoke to you again. "I recommend that you plan to eat more over the coming days, Master. The elixir will make changes to your body, and you will become very hungry from this process." You did not feel any different right now though, nor any hungrier than you expect to be.

"From your memories, I can see that this place has become partly submerged. Although the temple appears to be tilted on an angle, I believe I can direct you to the air flow tunnels. As you could feel a breeze from one break in the wall, I believe you should be able to return to the surface by following the tunnels.'

If Karla wants to check anything else out down here, or ask the sword any questions then you can definitely do that. Otherwise if you just want to leave I can fast track that.



Moonrat

The queen remained still, too still. Although your energy had kept you moving and excited through your speech, you faltered. Calmness was a danger sign, a prelude to a storm and surely as you saw it, the storm came.

"You come into my house, having disobeyed my orders. You brag about this, having fancied yourself a general and promise me an army and conquest. Yet I hear you have begun to train up soldiers of your own. I will not stand for a snake in my house! I will have his head!" She yelled and as she did her eyes went wide and she gesticulated violently at you. Regretfully Moonrat you tell that she had largely made up her mind before you had even entered into her court.

A dozen assassins leaped out of the shadows and the nobles cried in fear and retreated. You fought quickly and rapidly, glad for the strengthening and training of your body that you had done. Within a few minutes you had slain the first wave, and two dozen more leaped out. The fighting was brutal and swift, but again you came out on top after a couple of minutes of the melee starting. As the assassins fell, you noticed Whispers-In-Starlight watching and waiting. It seemed she had avoided fighting you because she knew that she would die. As to whether that was due to fear, or if she was waiting for something, or had decided her loyalty was no longer to the queen you could not tell.

The queen however was shrieking and there was a small froth of spittle around her mouth.

"I WILL HAVE HIS HEAD! KILL HIM! KILL THE TRAITOR! KILL THE SNAKE!" She screamed at you and anyone listening. It seemed like there would be no negotiating anything with her, and she would continue to have you hunted and excommunicated from the court. At least for the time being. Your most immediate options seemed to be to leave and not return, either to hide in the shadows deeper than rattlings normally did, or to leave Lustrium entirely. Or you could kill the queen, perhaps even taking her throne. There would be few who could immediately contend with you after all. But that too would have consequences and while your gifts helped you on the fields of battle, you knew they would be less applicable by far in the arenas of political combat.


11:18 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 2 = 2d6(1,3)-2
Have a destiny point by the way.



Drakon

Moving further to the north and to the west, you found an area in the mountains where there was a relatively flat region enough that a dwarf had made a steading. There was a herd of goats being kept as well as a small orchard or some hardy trees and a modest vegetable garden. Although it was occupied, your group could easily steal from it or take it by force if you so wished. Travelling further would be a bigger commitment and more difficult with your current supplies.

When Greatclaw and the bandit returned, they had troubling news for you. It turned out that the town you had stopped in before was just waiting for some of the local guard from a larger town further away from the foothills to arrive. Once that happened they planned to wipe out any bandits they found as part of an effort to clear up the area and reinstate law and order. They reckoned you had about a week before they arrived and were ready, and then you would have a few days more before they arrived. As for the actual gathering of supplies, people had been a bit suspicious of a weird ratling and a dwarf buying a bunch of supplies with a mix of human and dwarven coin. But they had not done anything to give themselves away as far as they and you could tell, and traders often had mixed currencies due to the border being close by.


11:18 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 10 = 2d6(1,5)+4
News has arrived. The bandit you sent along behaved and did his job mostly competently, but did not excel either.



Sasha

You focused on what you wanted, and on laying down control of the dreamscape you were in. It was tough and you could feel the spark resist your efforts, but eventually you were able to reconfigure the room. It became an empty tavern room, with a fire crackling away without heat or sound and a pair of tankards in front of you and your now regularly sized simulacrum. Both of them had ale in it, and you felt reasonably sure that yours at least would taste decent if not good this time. The other you smiled a little nastily.

"Hmm, not as bad as I had thought. But if this is the best you can manage you will not be able to rid yourself of my curse."

11:19 AM <•Morphball> HiKaizer: 12 = 2d6(6,2)+4
Sasha has control over the dreamscape for the time being, although directly acting on the spark will be difficult. Creating things that are very lifelike, like other people, or many things that feel real is still difficult for you but you can make a lot of basic illusion type additions or changes to the room if you want. Or your could change it entirely, basically you can only make a few things with actual heat, taste or sound but making objects and tactile stuff is doable.



Rashid

"Servant of a servant. Know that your beloved god is nothing more than a pale shadow. For that reason alone did I chose to spare it, such as it is bound by mortal sorcery and will. But your people will find the lands doomed without providence.

You travel to new lands, and when you land you will find islands to the west. They are enshrouded by clouds that billow forth from the bowels of the earth, clouds that will spell a painful and assured death if you linger a day or more. But should you find a way to breathe or be free from their poison you will find a Heart of Flame. It is borne from an ancient creature of fire that died, and it will grant you mastery over heat itself.

Close to where you will make landfall there lies a great and vast plain. In its middle lies a great body of water, and in its depths lies a forgotten ruin from even before my knowledge. I have seen that there lies the secret to Water inside of it. This is no trophy to present to false priests, but they do not know what is yet to come for your home.

Far to the north in frozen lands lies a wound. Long ago people sought to gain mastery over the heart, and they wounded they world and shattered themselves. A perpetual winter has sealed up the worst of the danger, and their only legacy is the monsters that dwell in that place. There is a single blade, laid in loving memory near that wound. This blade is made to ward against the divine and the otherworldly, and no sword forged since has been its equal.

Or if you would travel to a city of thieves, blood gold and rats. Beneath its warrens, deep in the earth lies a secret that even the oldest people in the world have forgotten. The ratlings only have fragmented stories about why they earned the hatred of the elves and why they were seen as harbingers of doom, but if you have the curiousity and the determination to reach the deepest cavern you shall see the truth of their plight.


Now, you amuse me, for we both know you to be no hero, no leader of men, no conquering warrior nor wise scholar. You are a human with very human desires and appetites. That is the sort of man or woman I would see lead others to the future. Out of those I speak with, to you alone shall I give a gift. You shall be able to speak with any living creature who can speak with the intellect of at least a child of mankind.



Rashid gains the Mortal Trait: Tongues.
This will allow you to speak with and understand anything of at least roughly childlike intellect. It seems like a fun way to give you a leg up and also avoid weird translation issues. They would get tired fast.

HiKaizer fucked around with this message at Aug 24, 2017 around 03:53

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Elias

The Autarch lost nothing from humouring the Archbishop: Focusing on the priorities of the dying man first and foremost might help make him more amenable to letting slip something if asked later, not to mention the possibility that the advice on matters of jurisprudence might well come in handy in terms of being the best ruler for Aubrecht he could be, and in terms of passing down that wisdom to strengthen the dynasty. So, we assuage his guilt. So, we enable him to fulfil his duty and grant a godless absolution from that imagined dereliction. If, after that, there was an opportunity to raise the matter of family history, then he would, but the dying man's wishes were paramount here.

Leader +2 and Educated +2 to comfort a dying Aubrechtian and learn what he says of jurisprudence.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Moonrat

Moonrat breathed heavily, eyes alert for further attack. The blades in his hands silently dripped blood on the floor, and a distant unengaged part of his mind could only sit and marvel at the fabulous machine of death he had become. A month ago he would have been sorely tested against even one of these assassins. Now, he had dispatched a score of them in the span of moments.

His heart beat a measured tempo, and no further assault came except the one upon his ears. Leveling his gaze at the queen, Moonrat stalked towards her, tail whipping lazily from side to side.

"That is quite enough of that, your grace." He sheathed his righthand dagger and slapped her across the nose. The incessant shrieking ended as abruptly as if he'd buried a blade in her throat. "Have I got your attention? Good. I believe I have sufficiently proven my claim. And I am intensely angry that you forced me to murder so many in the process. We need skillful men and women! Not corpses! So." He took a deep breath and got his thoughts in order.

"So. It seems I must put my plans on hold and begin with some long overdue housekeeping. You are a grown woman but your mind is still that of a child. I blame your father, really. He always did dote on you to an embarrassing degree. And to what end? It certainly didn't save his life." Moonrat sneered as he spoke. "So in his stead I am going to do what is necessary." He sheathed his other blade and leaned over the queen, hands on the armrest of her throne as he stared down at her, uncomfortably close. He remained alert for an attack from behind and even the possibility that the queen herself had a dagger hidden in her skirts somewhere, but he feigned utter disregard.

"You are not fit to rule. Yet I find my hands stilled. I respect our people's history, and I respect the blood that flows in your veins. I would not so casually end the line that has ruled since time immemorial. So the only choice left to me is to make you fit. And do not delude yourself that you have any real choice in the matter. The only choices open to you are these: You will accept my guidance and my training, or you will die."

He straightened up and stepped back a few paces, never letting her break his gaze.

"So listen very carefully, She-That-Hungers. You will say one word, and one word only. That word is yes, in which case you live, and I make you into something greater than you are now. You will learn how to fight. You will learn how to kill. You will learn how to lead armies. You will learn discipline and patience. You will learn how to be a queen, not a despot. Any other word, or even defiant silence, seals your fate, ends your lineage for all time, and I claim your throne."

Ruthless +2 and immediately spending that point of Destiny as Moonrat lays down his terms.

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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

Dragomir - On Lyndis’ Boat

At first, when Lyndis took the book, Drago was… frightened? Frustrated? He was not sure exactly what emotion it was, but he certainly did not like it. Yet the royal moved before he could respond, and as it turned out, perhaps this was for the best. That the guards would search the lizardman had not occurred to him, nor did the fact that they would not search the royal. If he had attempted to carry it out on his own, it could have led to quite the commotion. But it had not. And now Drago was sitting opposite Lyndis, considering how to respond. How could he describe it? Could he, in words?

“Drago is not certain how to explain. The tome, this Stellar Uncertainty, is potent, powerful. And dangerous, yes. For the tome held inside it equations. Many, many equations. And with these equations, Drago can… predict things. People, places, events. Single, or numerous. ...Or so Drago believes, if the tome was understood correctly. These equations take time to write in full, and Drago has not had the opportunity to attempt them. Indeed... in fact… if Ser Lyndis would give Drago space, an attempt could be made!”

Sudden inspiration took Drago, and he hopped off his chair, taking a piece of chalk out from his cluttered bag of belongings. If he started with the walls, perhaps used part of the floor, there should be enough space to write. But what to predict? Well, right now, they were on the sea… something related to the sea… threats to those on the seas… the possibility they would encounter a storm on their way back? Would that work? It should, shouldn’t it? Thoughts of asking permission completely lost, Drago began to scratch away with the chalk, thinking back on what he had read.

OOC: Briefly summarizing to Lyndis what Drago read, before doing as mentioned, attempting to predict the chance that our ship will encounter a storm just as an experiment. I believe this would be with Single Readings since it’s specifically our ship. Trait-wise, maybe Easy-Going [+2] since Drago is completely disregarding Lyndis as he does this and is entirely in his own, comfortable world. (Also because it occurred to me that I’ve had this trait the entire time and haven’t actually used it yet. )

Valhawk
Dec 15, 2007

EXCEED CHARGE


Drakon

Drakon was relatively pleased with the bandits progress, things seem to be going smoothly, and then Greatclaw returned. While it pleased him that the bandit with him had behaved, the news the rattling brought was dire indeed. Before he could get dragged down by, Drakon made sure to let the return bandit know he had done well, and made note to see he was given an extra ration that evening.

Then he was faced with a difficult situation. Remaining in their current location was now no longer feasible. He doubted an extermination team was going to accept that his subordinates were ex-bandits, he'd seen those efforts before, they tended to be kill anyone even suspected of banditry affairs. He needed to move things forward, precipitously, and that meant he needed someplace to go. Lustrium and those towns under its rule had always suffered under the weight of corruption and misconduct. He needed to see if any of the local villages were particular bad about it. If he could get rid of some corrupt local noble, then the people might even be willing to follow him and get the ball rolling on this whole starting an empire and giving the rattlings a homeland thing.

So, John wracked his memory, trying to recall old reports, rumors, and the like, while at the same time asking his subordinates and Greatclaw if they knew of any nearby villages or towns where corruption was particularly rampant and disliked. All the while, the clock counted down towards the time when he'd have to move whether he had a destination or not.

John's trying to figure out if any village or town in the general area has a reputation for particularly bad or unsubtle corruption. Former City Guard[+2] to try and remember anything he might have heard or read about it as a guard, and to know how to ask around about it.

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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

"Hoiii", Sasha sighed as she sat on a seat on her side of the table, making sure to add crackle to the fire, and some food on the table as she did, "Now no offense girl, but yer mighty cryptic and snide fer someone with not a whole lot ta say", she took a bite from a dream-steak, "I muhn-" she started with her mouth still full, paused to chew for a bit, before continuing, "I mean, what's even the whole deal with ye? Now I'm sure that yer god was a real good one, but fact remains they're as dead as a doornail what with Terminus and his whole crusade. So seems ta me that yer just a grumpy sod, stuck in my head, with no real purpose or master left ta please. Unless you count inconveniencin' yers truly some sorta life mission, which ya know, mighty flatterin' and all, but can't ye do better?"

"Wanna talk it out? Or hell, maybe even wrassle it out, I'd be fine with whatever ye like", Sasha nodded to the platters with a grin, "Oh and help yerself. Pretty good for something with no substance by someone with no real fine dinin' experience I'd say, HAH!"


OOC: Let's try Affable [+2] one more time

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