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LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 2-keep | XP ○○○○○

I size her up--openly. Let's see if she shrinks or straightens her spine when confronted with amber eyes and night-dark braids and seven feet of height. I suspect she won't shrink. A bold, enterprising woman. Something to be admired.

"More than your usual haul, then? A woman coming up in the world. Albrecht will be glad to have these, I don't doubt."

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Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-2 Sharp+1 Weird+2 | 1-keep | XP ●●○○○

Soldiers. In a strange way it's almost comforting. More than once I've skulked in the dark while such as these searched for me. And more than once I've lead such as they searched for skulkers in the dark. They don't seem to expect anyone to be shadowing them. But there are likely to be scouts and outriders, or at least camp guards. I could slide back down this hill and try to work past them, but if I'm spotted I'm likely to be accounted a spy or worse. If I make myself known, it's harder to guess what they might do.

More than anything, though, I still know so little of this place. So I sling my pack and work back down the hill a bit so I don't suddenly appear silhouetted at the top, then walk around to approach them. I do so open, and call out to the first soldier who I see. "Hail the camp!"

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.






Pentaviso and Xie

Katarin says that she'd expect the journey to take about five days to a week, depending on weather and road conditions. An unladen traveler could probably do the journey faster than that, she tells you, but with a heavy cart and only a single workhorse it'll be slow going. You must be making good time, then, as about four days into your journey, you finally see the ruined towers that make up Broken Tooth on the horizon. You would estimate you probably have another day or so to go, and as the sun is beginning to set, the three of you work to make a small camp.

Pentaviso, at Katarin's request, you find a suitable tree to hitch her horse to and care for it. "Tree" might be a little generous for the plant you pick, but none of these lands you have seen are what you would consider fertile woodlands. After feeding and grooming the horse, you look back towards the cart and the in-progress camp, and realize that Katarin and Xie are having a conversation. Your suspicions about this woman begin to take purchase, and you realize that now would be a perfect time to either eavesdrop on their conversation or to look through some of these barrels, if you so chose. Or, you could choose just to finish helping set up the camp and not risk damaging your new relationship with this employer. What do you do?

While Pentaviso is out of earshot, Katarin corners you, Xie. She's clearly not looking for a fight, but rather for information. Before you can hazard a guess as to what she wants, she asks. "So I was wondering, are you and Pentaviso a thing? It's lonely out here on the road and my tent is cold, but I don't want to allow myself to damage someone else's companionship if I can help it." At first you assume that Katarin is looking to spend the night with Pentaviso, that cad, but then you realize that she might actually be propositioning you. You can't really tell which she's after, and her face doesn't seem to explain her intentions either. What do you do?

Before setting out, Katarin held up her end of the bargain and paid you, Pentaviso, in gold worth 1-keep. If Xie wants that gold, that's between the two of you.

Siroko

There's an immediate flurry of activity as several soldiers reach for their weapons, but the same man who had been leading the unit tells them stand down immediately. "At ease, soldiers!"

Nevertheless the man clearly does not trust you, as he unsheathes his sword and walks towards you. He barks an order to you to drop your weapon, identify yourself, and state why you are out here at this time of night. Getting a better look at him now, you see that he's young, especially for a man leading a detachment of soldiers. His armor is among the fanciest you've seen in this land, although he's not wearing his helmet right now--presumably it's still sitting over by his other possessions, ignored in his hurry to meet you. Regardless of how he's dressed, he's clearly agitated, and doesn't seem to want anything besides your answers as quickly as possible.

What do you do?

Drowned Tikorn

You manage to crawl your way back to your horse, which looks at you indifferently as you approach. You're bleeding very badly, and begin to worry that maybe the golem hit you even harder than you had initially thought. Despite your injuries you do manage to climb (painfully) on top of the creature and grab hold of the reins. You can't seem to recall which direction your band went, but after briefly searching the area, you do find what you can only assume are their tracks, the dust on the hard stone not yet blown away. It'll be a difficult ride though, especially if you ride fast enough to catch them.

What do you do?

Take an additional 1-harm, your injuries are worse than they initially appeared.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-2 Sharp+1 Weird+2 | 1-keep | XP ●●○○○

I don't drop my weapons, not for this lordling, but I do lean on my spear, clearly not looking for a fight. "I am Siroko, called the Sixth Thunder. I was camped up there," I gesture to the hill, "when you and your soldiers disturbed my sleep. I had business to the south and east, but that is done so I am returning to the west. Who might you be?"

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 2-keep | XP ○○○○○

"A thing?"
For a moment, I don't understand, but the way in which men and women here tend to leave their relationships ambiguous and to hide their intent behind coyness makes it plain.
"Ha. Pentaviso has had the honor and good fortune of my bed a time or two in the past, but there is no commitment there. He left a soft young man in a tall tower when we departed from Greycrag, but you will need to ask him if he has sworn exclusivity to the lad."

I leave it at that for now--let her push if she wants--but do take another long look at her. I hadn't considered this possibility; there are many great tragedies of the Shining Kingdom, both historical and fictional, that drive home the peril of couplings between lieges and vassals, employers and those they employ. But Katarin is no great lady, and I am Xe, Who Walks Again, not a lovestruck servant, and she is shapely enough, with striking eyes and, most importantly, a daring and enterprising character. Looking down at her, I lean a little closer. "Most merchants would wait until the end of a contract, with a soft bed nearby and a high wall between them and the wild." It's neither chastisement nor compliment, but it is truth. She can grapple with that or ignore it as she chooses.

LogicNinja fucked around with this message at Feb 1, 2018 around 20:04

Captain Foo
May 11, 2004

devil on your shoulder





Clever Betty


1-Wound | 0-Armor | 1-Keep | x o o o o >
Cool-1, Hard=0, Hot+2, Sharp+2, Weird-1


The sun is setting but it's still warm, and that's punctuated by the sweat dripping down my chest as I set posts and tie off some of our ropes. Katarin and Xie seem to be having an interesting conversation, I can tell that much. Their body language is notably different. Maybe Xie's finally done playing the holier-than-thou queen and warming up to Katarin? I must say, as my vision floats towards the barrels of trade goods she's - we're - carting, that would make this trip a bit more pleasant. Walking over to the barrels, I make sure they're still lashed as best I can, though I am certainly no teamster. I do give them a quick shake and and look, and see if I can spot anything awry, but it's really best to not know. I jump back down from the cart, small rocks crunching beneath my boots. The two women are still chatting, and I haul another post to its spot.

Alehkhs
Oct 6, 2010

The Sorrow of Poets



3 Harm | 1 armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 1 keep | XP ●●●○○»

Right now I want nothing more than to fall asleep to the gentle rocking of the waves, but riding this damned beast is painfully jolting. Each step its hooves take send another shudder of pain through my body, but I will need to ride with speed if I have a hope of catching my crew before the pain overwhelms me. I'm sure that Cerlen won't be driving too hard across the sand at this point if she believes that the golem is not following, as the horses had already been pushed simply by wandering this far into the desert. Hopefully I can catch the crew sooner rather than later.

Gritting my teeth in anticipation of the jarring pain, I give my mount a kick in the sides and urge it to a gallop.

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.






Siroko

The man eyes you suspiciously, and then speaks. "I am called Antu, of the great house Entremar. These lands are Entremar lands, as I'm sure you are aware, and trespassing on them is highly illegal by the just laws of my father. Especially at a time like this."

He pauses for a moment, and his eyes quickly drop to the ground. Besides his suspicion and haughtiness, you also recognize another emotion in him, buried deep but still clearly there: fear. "You say your name is Siroko? From where do you hail? What business did you have to the east? Speak quickly or I shall see to it that you do not speak again!"

What do you do?

Pentaviso and Xie

Pentaviso, you give the barrels a quick shake and peek, hoping not to attract attention from your employer. Fortunately Katarin seems too invested in her conversation with Xie to notice, but nonetheless your quick check turns up nothing. Clearly, if Katarin is a smuggler of some sort, she's wise enough not to make her contraband so easy to detect. If she is a smuggler, of course.

After finishing your duties you walk back over towards Katarin and Xie, who seem to be finishing their conversation. Xie, Katarin ends the conversation abruptly as Pentaviso arrives. She's a difficult woman to read, but you feel as though perhaps you have hurt her feelings in some way. You did not mean it that way, but perhaps she took your words as chastisement anyway.

The sun sets and the rest of the night passes uneventfully. Just before dawn, however, both of you are awoken by the sounds of Katarin speaking with someone else, another voice you do not recognize. Poking your heads outside the tent, you both see three armored guards, bearing the standard of Broken Tooth. You can't hear the words being said, but Katarin turns and points in your direction. The guards immediately see you and begin walking towards you.

What do you do?

Drowned Tikorn

The last thing you remember is the sensation of your body hitting the hard stone of Rockreach. You must have fallen off your horse, too tired and too wounded from your encounter with the golem to continue. It probably should have been the end for you, but somehow, miraculously, you survived. As you awake you in a brief panic check your body for the signs of injury, but sure enough all the wounds you sustained are still there. This is not, then, yet another life after the last.

As your eyes slowly open you begin to take in your surroundings, you realize that you are no longer in Rockreach. The air is cooler here, and not as dry either. Dust no longer clogs your lungs. And... you are inside. It's not exactly a nice structure (you've seen shipwrecks nicer than this!) but nonetheless it is a shelter and protection from whatever elements are outside. In the corner is a cauldron boiling over an open fire, and an old woman hunched over it stirring whatever concoction is inside. She has not yet noticed you awake. You think for a moment that with the bleeding stopped you could probably sneak out if you so desired, or you could remain here and trust this woman who seems to have nursed you back to health.

What do you do?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-2 Sharp+1 Weird+2 | 1-keep | XP ●●○○○

A lordling for sure, puffed up on his own regard and wrong footed that not everyone he meets shares it. I draw myself up, and plant the butt of my spear in the earth.

"It is not that I say anything, Antu of House Entremar, but that I am Siroko, the Sixth Thunder, the Spear of the Dawn, toppler of thrones and slayer of empires, breaker of walls and chains, who spat defiance in the face of ten thousand thousands, who stained the Alabaster Throne crimson, the true holder of oaths, who was betrayed and will be avenged. My business is none of yours, for to this point I have had no quarrel with your house. I am still new come to this place, and I pass through these lands, taking nothing but what I brought with me and rightly is mine, and intend do so in the hand of peace. So, Antu of House Entremar, do we part as travelers who happened to find the same road and shared a friendly word in the passing, or is there some other path you wish to take?"

Would this be a Fly At Them?

Captain Foo
May 11, 2004

devil on your shoulder





Clever Betty



1-Wound | 0-Armor | 2-Keep | x o o o o >
Cool-1, Hard=0, Hot+2, Sharp+2, Weird-1


It's rather early for this, but the pre-dawn patrol sees a lot of ghosts. And at least we're getting close enough that Broken Tooth is staking a claim. Drawing myself up, I walk towards the guards to meet them. Not aggressively, but we're not trying to be pushovers, either. "Can I help you, guardians?"

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 2-keep | XP ○○○○○

So she took it amiss. Even if it had been a rejection, that would not be the best reaction: when you make an invitation, you should be prepared to have it be declined.

I rise and shake myself off, braids flying every which way, my ur-silks responding and shifting from the silk-soft of sleep to a stiffer texture. Staff-spear in one hand, the morning sun at my back, I emerge from the tent and lift a hand in greeting. "Men of Broken Tooth! How is Albrecht? We bring him a merchant, who brings supplies!"

Alehkhs
Oct 6, 2010

The Sorrow of Poets



3 Harm | 1 armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 1 keep | XP ●●●○○»

Over time, port to port, I have learned to appreciate the variety of people in this land. All manner of culture, religion, lifestyle, and outlook seem to have been dumped here from a countless spread of worlds and past lives. Looking around this hut, I wonder where my elder host may have come from. That she apparently took me in and has at least stemmed my bleeding lays my mind to ease regarding her intentions for me, but my mind is unable to stop worrying about my crew. Did they make it to Rockreach? If they arrived before I did, where are they now? Where am I now?

"Excuse me?" I call to the hunched woman as I push myself to a more upright position. "May I know under whose roof I've found myself? Has a woman named Cerlen spoken with you?"

Sax Battler
Jul 31, 2007

Another bloody customs post,
Another fucking foreign coast,
Another set of scars to boast,
We Are The Road Crew.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1, Hard+2, Hot+1, Sharp+1, Weird-2 | 4-keep | XP ●●○○○

Holding his gaze steadily, I calculate my assets.
"And if I commit to your side in this conflict, what can I expect from your house?"
Letting out a slight chuckle, I lean back again.
"You'll have to forgive the lack of mannerly speech, I've been a mercenary for too long."

Using hold.
What can I do to make him promise as much as possible

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.






Siroko

Antu is clearly taken aback by your unwillingness to submit. He stammers aimlessly for a moment, and then stops and collects himself.

"My father, Lord Garillo of the house Entremar, would no doubt like to meet you, Lady Siroko. I apologize for my rudeness, although I do not apologize for defending these lands that belong to my family." He sheathes his sword and motions for the soldiers who have joined him to stand at ease. "I would be honored if you would share our campfires tonight and join us as we return to my family's hold. What say you, Lady Siroko?"

What do you do?

Drowned Tikorn

The old woman drops her wooden spoon with a start, evidently startled by your awakening. She turns to face you. While you may or may not be the superstitious sort, you have certainly spent enough time around sailors to be aware of the stories they tell, and immediately you suspect this woman to be a witch--and not the kindly, beautiful sort the sailors talk about after a few too many drinks, but an evil hag who turns men to frogs and steals the beauty of young women. Her teeth are yellowed and her skin covered in warts and boils, and her nose is a cruel hook and scarred from her countless years. Whens he opens her mouth to speak, it is exactly what you would expect from those tales: a nasally, withered voice that pierces your ears and sends a chill down your spine. You begin to fear that your initial reaction, that the woman was mysterious but ultimately kind, may have been mistaken.

"Forgive me, sir, I was unaware you had awoken. Cerlen, you say? No, I have not heard of any by that name here, eh heh heh." She reaches next to the fire pit and grabs a metal ladle. She fishes the wooden spoon out, then produces a small stone bowl and pours a small amount of the liquid into it. Hobbling over, she hands the bowl to you. It's a yellowish-brown liquid that meets only the loosest definition of "stew". It reeks of something, and you feel your body trying to retch as she holds the bowl close to your face. "Drink this, sir. It shall restore your strength, and then we shall discuss what I know of your plight."

What do you?

Albrecht Donnerfeldt

The man chuckles a bit. "I was a mercenary as well, your grace. While I am not now lord of a holding such as yourself, I trust that this means we have shared certain stories in our past, and that we have a similar outlook. But whereas you built a society with your hands, I found a society that I believed was ruled by good men of noble intent. The lords and ladies of the great house Entremar are flawed, like all folk, but I believe that they share a noble goal and are working to better this miserable place."

He takes a deep breath and speaks again. "My house and house Telbatin stand on a knife's edge. Without your aid, my grace, my house may fall into ruin. As such, we are prepared to offer you this: bushes of wheat and grain enough to feed this city for six months. Bronze and wood enough to outfit thirty soldiers. If we stand victorious, my lord Garillo may even offer you a seat on his council and dominion over some of the lands that we now hold--although, of course, this is predicated on your support in the war. What say you, my lord?"

It is clear, of course, that the man has been told what he can offer and what he cannot, and there is no way that house Entremar would have sent a fool to negotiate. There is definitely more that you can get from this deal, if you handle the situation properly.

What do you do?

The man has arrived from a long voyage and not yet been treated to the hospitalities of Broken Tooth. Perhaps if you offered him wine, and a comfortable room to stay, and spoke with him about the common goals of yourself and the house Entremar, he would be more open to offering more.

Pentaviso and Xie

The three guards walk towards the two of you and draw their swords. One of them, a dark-skinned woman with jet black hair and a conspicuous scar across her clouded left eye, speaks. "Xie, Who Walks Again! By order of the Lord Albrecht Donnerfeldt of Broken Tooth, you are hereby under arrest for the crime of murder. You are ordered to drop your weapons and surrender peacefully." She thrusts her sword in your direction, Xie, the point mere inches from your face. Looking down the blade, you can't help but notice a symbol carved into the hilt. A single lidless eye.

Pentaviso, one of the other guards walks towards you and holds his sword defensively. It's clear he wishes to do you no harm, but also does not want you to interfere. He's a very tall man, perhaps six feet five or so, completely bald, and extremely pale. His standard-issue hardened leather armor of the guards of Broken Tooth is cracked and worn with age, and unlike the woman arresting Xie, he is armed not with a sword but a spear. Glancing over, you see Katarin, not being held back by a guard but clearly keeping her distance. She shoots you a glance as if to say "What was I supposed to do?"

What do each of you do?

Captain Foo
May 11, 2004

devil on your shoulder





Clever Betty


1-Wound | 0-Armor | 2-Keep | x o o o o >
Cool-1, Hard=0, Hot+2, Sharp+2, Weird-1


All this worry about Katarin's potential contraband, and it's Xie's head I needed to be concerned about. I try to keep the confusion and frustration off my face as I approach the tall guard calmly, but look past him. I'm in control of this situation. I keep an eye on Katarin, but I don't think she'll bolt. "Now look," I say to the tall guard, "I'm not going to tell you how to do your job, but I am going to strongly suggest something, especially given that this is likely due to a misunderstanding. If you're really planning on arresting Xie, here, you'd probably do best to let this merchant caravan complete its trade mission, under escort, and that way everyone will reach Broken Tooth safely." I look at Xie, who hasn't yet decided what exactly she's going to do. "Otherwise, I'd expect you'd want to join your two other troops in attempting to arrest she Who Walks Again, and let the two of us who aren't your concern finish our business." I shrug. "Your call, guardian."

Manipulating the Guards (Xie will likely kill you): 2d6+2 10

Captain Foo fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2018 around 03:20

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-2 Sharp+1 Weird+2 | 1-keep | XP ●●○○○

I relax a bit, nodding. "I will take up your invitation, Antu of House Entremar." I'll need to pass through this Lord's lands to reach Broken Tooth anyways. I may as well meet the man - and, after all, the other Thunders may well be known to him, one way or another.

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 2-keep | XP ○○○○○

I take a smooth step backwards as the weapon comes up, a reflex honed in countless battles. "That comes to a surprise, since I have not murdered anyone in Albrecht's territory recently, nor even been there in weeks. Did you get your orders from the Lord directly?"
My weapon is still in hand, but I don't level it. My ur-silks stiffen around me, preparing to defend me. This is not something Albrecht would set in motion, I think. No, this smacks of interference.

Who is pulling your strings, little guard?



---


Read a charged situation: 2d6+1 = 4. Oops. I get to ask 1 anyway, but be prepared for the worst: who's really in control here?

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.






Pentaviso and Xie

Xie, the woman holding her blade to your face does not respond to your question. Something is clearly very wrong here. The guards are clad in what you can only assume is genuine armor of Broken Tooth, true, but the eye on the sword is unlike any sigil you have ever seen. Whatever it is, whatever it means, you can't help but feel that whoever is pulling the strings and controlling this situation is somehow tied to that symbol. Especially when you remember the words of the guard in Greycrag: "the Eyes will be watching you."

Pentaviso, the guard you spoke too clearly takes your words into consideration, then takes a few steps towards the woman threatening Xie. He says something nearly imperceptible through his thick accent. There's a brief moment of silence as the woman considers his words, then she lowers her sword from Xie's face.

Before either you can breathe, however, she quickly whips around and thrusts her sword through the man's face. He doesn't even have a chance to scream as he crumples to the ground, blood gushing from his face. She spins back around, faster than you can believe, the blade covered in the guard's blood, and swings at Xie. The third guard hoists his spear and levels it, then breaks into a run directly towards Pentaviso. Katarin draws the dagger from her hip, but she is clearly scared and unsure of what to do or who to side with.

What do each of you do?

Siroko

Antu smiles and sheathes his sword. "Very well, Lady Siroko. We shall see to it that you receive safe passage to my family's holdings."

Two days later, you and the company arrive at the place known as Fort Entremar. You can hardly believe your eyes as you enter through the main gate: it's poo poo. You have heard of the opulence of the great houses of this land before, but even by the standards of this land of the dead the fort is poor and ill-maintained. The city, such as it is, is built into the side of a hill, filling tunnels both natural and carved out by some ancient people. It's larger than most of the towns you have been to, certainly, but size does not a beautiful city make. Walking through the streets and tunnels, it becomes immediately clear where the priorities of House Entremar lie: many of their citizens are homeless and lie hungry and dying in the streets, but the forges and markets are bustling with activity as the settlement gears up for war against House Telbatin. As you arrive at a garrison, Antu comes to gather you as the rest of the company settle down for a stay at home.

"Lady Siroko," he says, less formally than you're used to him speaking, "I regret to inform you that my father is currently unable to receive visitors. I am told that, if we are lucky, you should be able to see him within the next two nights, but I cannot make any promises. If you wish to stay here and experience the comforts of Fort Entremar, I welcome you to stay in my guest chambers for a few nights and hopefully I can arrange a meeting between you and my father. If not... I apologize for my rudeness when we met, and I will see to it that you are allowed to leave without incident."

What do you do?

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 2-keep | XP ○○○○○

She is fast, and skilled. But I am Xe, Who Walks Again. I have outmaneuvered quicksilver swiftlings from the Chaos Beyond. She may expect me to be shocked, to fall back. I step to the side and bring my staff-sword into a battle-grip even as I bring its blade forward and down. Combat is geometry as surely as rune-magic is: a slight change in angle means the difference between having the advantage and having a blade at your throat. She's coming at me at a very smooth angle, but that sidestep makes it a bad one. I can put my blade inside hers, able to thrust if she steps back or cut her in half if she moves to the side.

"Drop it, or be dropped!" I tell her, and there is no concealing the hot triumph in my voice.

There are strings being pulled here indeed, but a string can be cut, and from that broken thread an entire tapestry unraveled.


---
Go into danger, if necessary: 2d6+3 = 9
Fly at someone (+cool - Ice Cold): 2d6+3 = 11

Alehkhs
Oct 6, 2010

The Sorrow of Poets



3 Harm | 1 armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 1 keep | XP ●●●●○»

Unsure of my prior judgement, and better able to observe her now that she has drawn closer, I briefly stall for time as I study her aged face. I make a show of blowing on the "stew" - Is it poison? Certainly this is not something intended for good health. - as though it is too hot to eat just yet, and say to the crone, "Cerlen's not been by yet, eh? Hrm... May I at least know the name of this lady who's nursing me back to health?"

-----

Read a Person (Sharp): 2d6+1 7
What does your character intend to do?

Captain Foo
May 11, 2004

devil on your shoulder





Clever Betty


1-Wound | 0-Armor | 2-Keep | x o o o o >
Cool-1, Hard=0, Hot+2, Sharp+2, Weird-1


Well it seems the Broken Toothers have some loyalty issues, drat. "Defend yourself," I shout to Katarin as I reach for my weapons. In my right hand, a fine blade crafted by a smith whose name has been lost to me across the abyss of my first death. In the left, I reach for the ethereal black sands. As they swirl and harden, I raise the shards, and I can tell this guard sees the obsidian glint. I am no Xie, but I can be a force to be reckoned with. Choose wisely, guardian.

Holding off the guards: 2d6+0 8
You deny an enemy the chance to move or act freely.
You buy an ally the liberty to move or act freely.

Sax Battler
Jul 31, 2007

Another bloody customs post,
Another fucking foreign coast,
Another set of scars to boast,
We Are The Road Crew.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1, Hard+2, Hot+1, Sharp+1, Weird-2 | 4-keep | XP ●●○○○

Considering his words, I nod to myself.
"Your words are fair. You will have my answer in the morrow. For now, rest and relax. We may not be as well stocked as your house, but we have good food and decent drink."
After he's turned away, I geture for Matheld to approach and lower my voice.
"Make sure he runs into no trouble and enjoys himself. And send someone to get the sargeants together."
Then, I exit the room where food is being already being brought out the staff having anticipated us.
I go over our numbers in preparation to adress the sargeants.
It's no question that's I'll take this opportunity, but it remains to be seen how much I can bring to bear.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-2 Sharp+1 Weird+2 | 1-keep | XP ●●○○○

I know well the ways of aristocrats and nobles, but even among that shabby company House Entremar already stands out. They make ready for war, that much is clear, and privation is bloodshed's handmaiden. But this poverty is nothing new, and only slightly deepened. House Entremear bleeds its people for it's own glory, and nothing more.

I was right to come here. I am here for vengeance, but I am still a Thunder. There is a reason we took up spear and sword and axe against the Alabaster Throne. And I am more certain than ever that this man will know of some of my fellows - if they remember even a little of what we were, as foes, or if they truly betrayed all we stood for, then as friends. "I will take you up on that offer," I tell the lordling. "I think the interests of your lord father and I run together more than not, and that we will have much to discuss as a result."

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.






Albrecht Donnerfeldt

Matheld nods, and leaves the room. About fifteen minutes pass as the sergeants slowly assemble in the hall. After a quick headcount--there's not many sergeants, what with Broken Tooth not being a terribly large settlement--you are ready to address them. You have reviewed the numbers and see that Broken Tooth's stores are well-prepared for the coming months. Famine will not likely strike your town, and while you could always use more weapons and metals, your small collection of soldiers should be close to being fully-armed. What wants your town has are wants that many towns would desire: complacency is the order of the day, and your citizens and traders are largely inactive in the wake of good fortune.

The sergeants assembled, you begin to address them. What do you do?

Siroko

Several long and boring days pass at Fort Entremar. You pass the time as best you can, but this is no place for a Thunder, especially one still on a quest for vengeance. Then, one night, as you are relaxing in your chambers before getting ready to sleep, there is a sharp rap at the door. You open it and come face-to-face with a young woman. She is fairly short, with alabaster skin, a thin nose, and an old scar reaching almost completely from the corner of her mouth to her right ear. Her bleach-white hair is done up in a rough crown braid. Her outfit is quite surprising, considering the place you are now in: a simple but elegant yellow gown, the skirt coming to just above her ankles, and a fine silk overshirt. She appears to be unarmed, although it is certainly possible that she has a weapon of some sort strapped somewhere within her clothes.

"Lady Siroko." Her voice is soft, almost apologetic. Or fearful, maybe. "I am called Ena Soon-To-Be. I bear a message from my lord, the honorable Garillo Entremar. He regrets to inform you that he will be unable to meet with you at this time, due to the circumstances between the houses Entremar and Telbatin. He delivers you these two gifts--" she pauses for a moment, gulps, and holds a small bag towards you, "--and wishes you good fortune as you leave here tomorrow morning." She stands there expectantly, her arm outstretched with the bag.

What do you do?

Drowned Tikorn

The woman stares at you for a brief moment, and laughs. It's a cutting laugh, the kind that puts you on edge regardless of the intentions of the laugher. And you swear, although it may just be your imagination, that as she laughs you can hear muffled screams in the distance. "My name is not important, master... what was your name?" She moves closer to you, holding a ladle full of the concoction. "Please, drink up. I wouldn't want you to lose your strength." It's clear from her body language that she's not going to accept you not drinking without significant pushback.

What do you do?

Pentaviso and Xie

The woman hesitates for a moment at your ultimatum, Xie. You watch her hands, and see them clasp her sword more tightly. It seems she has chosen "Be Dropped," after all. She spins around lightning-fast and her sword meets your staff-sword. The two of you lock blades, and she snarls as she stares into your eyes. There is something wild about her, something fierce. For a brief moment you wish you were not locked in mortal combat with her and could instead discuss the ways of the blade. But then she makes a mistake.

This woman, whoever she is, is good, one of the best swordfighters you have ever had the privilege of locking blades with. But she is not Xie, Who Walks Again. She pulls her sword back, hoping to make you overcommit, but you are far too skilled to fall for the trick. In that split second, as she rears back for a killing blow on you, you beat her to it: your blade slashes her throat, spraying your face with her hot blood. She drops her weapon and holds her hands to her throat, a look of panic in her eyes. There is nothing for it, however. She falls to her knees, then keels over. Her body twitches in its death throes, and then stops, never to move again.

Across the battlefield, such as it is, Pentaviso is locked in combat with the other guard. Of course, Pentaviso, you also are not Xie, Who Walks Again, and whatever fighting you have seen in your past has not been on a battlefield. Nevertheless you have gifts: a blade from your past life, and dark magics you don't fully comprehend. With both readied, you make your move towards the guard, still charging at you. You manage to deflect the guard's spear from your heart, saving your own life, although not enough to avoid injury as he drives the point into your shoulder. Quickly you manage to blast him with the black sands, pushing him back away and cutting through his armor and flesh. Although he is clearly a more skilled fighter than you, you wield a weapon he has never seen before, and are able to hold him at bay for several seconds. But after a short period like this, he catches you, and brings the spear down for a killing blow--

The spear stops and he falls to the ground. His body slumps to the ground, and you see a shaking and scared Katarin, her knife covered in the man's blood. She collapses to the ground, whether from physical or emotional exhaustion, you cannot tell.

Three dead guards, and the three of you all alive. What do you do?

Pentaviso, take 2-harm from the guard's spear.

quiggy fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2018 around 17:08

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 2-keep | XP ●●○○○

From that broken thread....
It's almost Pentaviso's thread snipped short by the Weaver at the Loom. The woman is gifted, fierce, dedicated. She is used to being faster, better, more decisive than her enemies. She's good enough she tries not to underestimate me. She's so used to being better that she does it anyway.

When I get her, it's not a matter of subtle angles--it's her taking a gamble, thinking she can fool me. My height and strength mean that she doesn't want to try to grab the shaft of my weapon and close to grappling distance. Instead, she takes a risk that seems smaller, and her reward is pain and death. My staff-sword affords me extra reach compared to her traditional blade, which means that I don't have to fear a counter-stroke when I strike.

Just like that, she falls. What a shame! I would have told her of the Shining Kingdom that once was and could be again. I would have bound her life to mine. Instead, she falls to the ground and to whatever after-afterlife or greater darkness may await her.

As soon as she falls, I'm already sprinting for Pentaviso, charging the spearman. He's good, too, if not as good as the woman. I leap for him while he's striking and my staff-sword flashes in a short, shining arc.

Katarin gets there first and I shift mid-air so that I don't strike her. I land in a crouch, make sure the spearman is dead, and then look Pentaviso over for wounds. He'll live, though he'll need attention.

I turn to Katarin, crouching down to lay a hand on her shoulder. "Well and bravely done," I tell her. "A risk you were not obligated to take, and a life saved."

Alehkhs
Oct 6, 2010

The Sorrow of Poets



3 Harm | 1 armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 1 keep | XP ●●●●○»

Regardless of this woman's intent, something here does not feel right. Still uncertain of where I am, I am uncertain of how to diffuse the situation.

"My strength is plenty still," I insist, setting the bowl aside. "If Cerlen hasn't yet found me, I must look for her. I need to ensure that my crew has also arrived in safety."

I try to nonchalantly look around for my weapons and gear as I make to rise to my feet. "Perhaps they were received by as kind a soul as I was."

Alehkhs fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2018 around 04:32

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-2 Sharp+1 Weird+2 | 1-keep | XP ●●○○○

The tardiness of the Lord of House Entremar doesn't much surprise me. I spend my days in his city, among his people and his soldiers, seeing what rule he gives them and hearing what they say of him out of his hearing, if they dare speak so. If they do, then that is something to know as well. And most of all, I listen for word of the other Thunders.

I'm more annoyed than surprised that the lord has not made time for me. A waste of time, and not one I'm like to take quietly. But I am surprised by who delivers the message. I look the girl up and down. Who is she to the House of Entremar, to send to a guest of the lord's son with apologies? That would tell me what sort of woman he thinks me to be, and perhaps what regard he gives his son. I lean against the door frame, considering. I am here for vengeance. But it need not always be my own. Let's see what path this girl's words set me on.

"And what two gifts does the Lord of House Entremar send me, Ena Soon-to-Be?"

Captain Foo
May 11, 2004

devil on your shoulder





Clever Betty


3-Wound | 0-Armor | 2-Keep | x o o o o >
Cool-1, Hard=0, Hot+2, Sharp+2, Weird-1


Through the pain and wincing I see Katarin, not a fighter at all, at least not before this moment. "Thank you, Lady. Uia adonso." I owe her. So then there are three of us. Me, wounded, Katarin, scarred, Xie....Xie. "I'll be all right," I force out. The same cannot be said for these guards, if that's who they truly are. "The guilty one here is the woman with the ruined face," I say to Xie and Katarin and to nobody. Gesturing out with my good arm, I let the shards disperse back into the sands, casting dust over the fallen. "Broken Tooth has some traitors they need to root out, and I'm betting we're going to get stuck right in the thick of it."

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.






Pentaviso and Xie

Katarin looks up at you, Xie. "Lady Xie, I-" Her words are cut off as she retches, turns her head down, and vomits across the ground. She catches her breath for a few seconds, then wipes her mouth off with her sleeve. Without looking back up at you, she nearly whispers, "I am sorry Lady Xie. I have never had to do that before. I hope I never do again." She retches again, but this time nothing comes out.

Slowly, she rocks herself back into a crouch position, and then stands up. Her legs are shaky and her skin is pale and sweaty. She looks towards you, Pentaviso, and you catch her eyes staring at your left hand before they snap back up to meet your gaze. "Pentaviso, thank you. I don't know what I would have done if you didn't protect me. I suspect I'd be dead now, I guess."

Katarin takes a moment to compose herself, and looks across the scene. Although she doesn't say anything, it's clear what she's thinking. Three dead Broken Tooth guards, their blood on your blades, and your cart just a few hours' ride from the town itself. The immediate danger may have passed, but this situation is not over yet.

What do you do?

Drowned Tikorn

As if possessed by some greater power, the woman moves more swiftly than you can believe to block your path. "Master Tikorn, please, you simply must get some rest!" Her eyes flash red, as if there is some fire behind them animating her now. You feel the air seem to crackle with electricity, and it's a feeling you know well: the feeling of a ship passing at night, then taking aim as its crew move to board you. This situation is quickly spiralling out of control and getting dangerous, and what's worse, you're not even entirely certain what the danger is.

What do you do?

Siroko

Ena Soon-To-Be seems taken aback by your question. "M-my lady, is it not obvious? I-" She stops herself, then continues. "My apologies. The first gift is the contents of this bag." She pulls the bag back and opens it up, then turns it to show you the contents: perhaps a dozen or more shining gold coins. "My master gifts you this gold, which should be enough to safely see you in your journey from here, wherever that may take her." She pauses again, hesitates, and takes a deep breath. "And your second gift... your second gift is me, my lady. To warm your bed tonight, if you please. My master, the honorable Lord Garillo Entremar, wishes for your last night here to be a pleasant one." Ena pushes the door open a bit, and takes a step in. "As do I, my lady."

What do you do?

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 2-keep | XP ●●○○○

I hold her hair as she throws up. Was I really so young and new to the world that I retched after killing, once? An aeon and another aeon ago.
"The first time is the hardest," I tell her, though not unsympathetically. "You've learned that you're someone who can do this, when it is needed. Three ways to go from here: try to reject that part of you, try to find peace with it, or understand it and save it should it ever be needed again. When we get to Broken Tooth, I will show you the rudiments of self-defense."


I glance at the guards, then at Pentaviso. "Traitors, or agents with stolen uniforms? Either way, we should stash the uniforms with the goods. The bodies... I will make a caern for the woman, at least. She was gifted. It hurt to kill her."

Captain Foo
May 11, 2004

devil on your shoulder





Clever Betty


3-Wound | 0-Armor | 2-Keep | x o o o o >
Cool-1, Hard=0, Hot+2, Sharp+2, Weird-1


"I would doubt showing up in Broken Tooth with the uniforms of their guards would endear us to the rest of the city, Xie." I have to disagree with the warrior. A wind picks up, more intense than earlier. Still a warm wind, though. "We should be on our way soon, though." I pull myself to my feet, and then offer Katarin a hand up. I would suspect she'd like to get back to the wagon and away from the corpse.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-2 Sharp+1 Weird+2 | 1-keep | XP ●●○○○

I'd thought as much. I step back and pull the door closed behind the girl, then go to the cabinet where the lordling kept his wine and pour myself a cup. "Your lord sends me treasures and some shiny baubles as an apology. Perhaps I should be flattered."

I turn back to her. "But what am I to him? Just his son's inconvenient guest? Or is the name of the Thunders spoken even here? Have you heard that name, Ena Soon-to-Be?"

Alehkhs
Oct 6, 2010

The Sorrow of Poets



3 Harm | 1 armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 1 keep | XP ●●●●●»

How does this witch know my name? A name can be a powerful tool. I realize that I am not in control of this situation at all, and the speed with which the woman moved, and the fire behind her eyes... I have no choice but to try and seize that control before she can corner me further.

Lowering my shoulder and pushing off as best I can, I throw myself at the hag, hoping at the least to barge past and put myself between her and the entrance. "You will not hold me!"

-----

Fly at the Witch (Hard): 2d6+2 12

Alehkhs fucked around with this message at Feb 16, 2018 around 16:40

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 2-keep | XP ●●○○○

"I meant hide them," I tell him, "but they're not exactly intact, are they? Bury them with the bodies. We have time enough to dig, and they fought well."

I pick up the sword with the eye in the hilt, test its balance. "This symbol... someone threatened me. Hinted at it. I think I'll have to have a stern conversation with him eventually."

I consider the two corpses, thinking this through. "If they were agents in Albrecht's ranks, there will likely be more. We can stop outside of Broken Tooth, slip in like shadows, clear things up with Albrecht in person."

Captain Foo
May 11, 2004

devil on your shoulder





Clever Betty


3-Wound | 0-Armor | 2-Keep | x o o o o >
Cool-1, Hard=0, Hot+2, Sharp+2, Weird-1


"We'll let you off in the shadows, if that's what you prefer," I say to Xie. Then I look at Katarin, who seems to be regaining at least a bit of composure. "But the Lady and I have a job to complete and I'd probably be better off finding a salveseller than picking up a shovel, you know?"

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.






Pentaviso and Xie

Xie, burying the bodies in the hard earth is tough, especially with so little help. Pentaviso's shoulder is far too wounded for him to be of any real assistance, and while Katarin tries to help, she is still weak from the conflict and unable to help much with the bodies themselves without gagging again. Still, through sweat and determination you manage to dig a grave deep enough for all three corpses and lay them to rest there.

Once the grave is closed, the three of you continue on to the last leg of your journey. While the ride is uneventful, the mood has clearly changed. Katarin still seems dazed form what happened, and Pentaviso, your shoulder screams with such pain that even keeping conscious is a challenge. Every bump on the road sends a new jolt of pain through your side, and you hope and pray somebody in Broken Tooth will be able to set you towards recovery.

As the gates of Broken Tooth draw nearer, Katarin pulls the cart to the side of the road. "If you're planning on sneaking in, Xie, this is where the ride ends. I have your payment here, as promised"--she digs around the cart for a moment and produces a small bag of coins--"and I wish you luck as you seek answers. If you desire to ride with us into the city, by all means feel free to stay here, but otherwise this is the best place for you. May our paths cross again." She whips the horse to get it on the path again, approaching the main gate of the city.

What do each of you do?

Xie, did you take the sword with you or did you bury it with the bodies?

Also, the bag she handed you contains coins worth 1-keep.


Siroko

"Thunders? N-no, my lady, should I have?" She walks across the room to your bed, where she kicks off her shoes and sits down on the mattress. As she begins to undo her braids, she continues, "As for my master's opinion of you? I cannot say, my lady. It is not my place to speculate about his noble intentions, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would wager that he has some reason for not wanting you here, yes?" She motions towards the bag of gold and laughs a bit. "After all, if he wanted you to stay, I can't imagine he'd be paying for your journey away!"

Ena turns her head away from you for a moment. "Oh but like I said it is not right for me to speculate about my master's intentions. I apologize for overstepping my bounds, Lady Siroko." She swings her feet up onto the bed and pats the space next to her. "Now then, are you coming to bed?"

What do you do?

Forgot to mention it last time: the bag of gold contains coins worth 1-keep, should you choose to accept the gift.

Drowned Tikorn

Although your body screams with pain as you do it, you manage to tackle the old woman to the ground. Whatever magics she might have are evidently no protection against a good old-fashioned shoulder charge. Dust from the rough wooden floor kicks up around you as the two of you slide to a halt on the ground. There's a brief moment of panic in her eyes, until she grabs a poker next to the fireplace and moves to stab you. Whether by your own reflexes or sheer dumb luck, you manage to dodge out of the way. She's slippery, slipperier than you could believe for a woman of her age, but she is just as mortal as you. With a sharp blow to the head, you knock her unconscious. Some time then to think and regroup before she awakens. As you do, you hear those muffled screams again, but perhaps not as far away as you initially thought.

What do you do?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-2 Sharp+1 Weird+2 | 1-keep | XP ●●○○○

I finish my wine and consider the girl. "Do you want me to come to bed? I ask for your desire, Ena Soon-to-Be, not your Lord's."

Read a Person (+Sharp): 2d6+1 4
This will probably be fun.

Asking: Whats your character really feeling?

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Feb 16, 2018 around 18:52

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...



0:00 Harm 2-armor | Cool+3 Hard+0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3-keep | XP ●●○○○

I keep an eye on Pentaviso as he hisses and groans with pain. I change his banadages, but I am no healer: I know that which a warrior needs to know to survive. By the time we get to Broken Tooth, I've largely abandoned my plan: sneaking in would mean abandoning them, and he's in no condition to stand guard.

I have the sword with the eye-hilt, though I've wrapped it in cloth to hide it: no need to draw attention from those who know the symbol.

"No. I'll ride in with you. Something is rotten here, and Pentaviso is wounded. I have no wish to leave you undefended." I pocket her coin--we're here, payment is technically due--but.

Captain Foo
May 11, 2004

devil on your shoulder





Clever Betty


3-Wound | 0-Armor | 2-Keep | x o o o o >
Cool-1, Hard=0, Hot+2, Sharp+2, Weird-1


I smile at Xie, somewhat weakly. The pain is steady. "Let's head into the city, then." I consider Katarin's statement. "Well, our paths aren't diverging just yet." I force a chuckle. It hurts.

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Alehkhs
Oct 6, 2010

The Sorrow of Poets



3 Harm | 1 armor | Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 1 keep | XP ○○○○○» (1 Adv.)

With the witch unconscious at my feet, I take a moment to think while I don my armor. I am uncertain where my weapons may be hidden, but I am not about to go and explore the rest of this hovel without some form of armament, so I pick up the fire poker.

Speaking of my surroundings... I look around for something I can tie the hag with before I go to investigate the nearby screams. The last thing I need is for her to awaken and stab me in the back.

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