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Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.


“No one ever became extremely wicked suddenly.”
--Juvenal

The lands of Talingarde are the most noble, virtuous, peaceful realms in the known world.

Herein is the story of how you burned this insipid paradise to the ground.

It's only fair. They burned you first.

They condemned you for your wicked deeds. They branded you. They shipped you to the worst prison in the kingdom. In three days, you die. In three days, the do-gooders pray they'll be rid of you.

They've given you three days. The fools! That's more than you need to break out. And then, it will be their turn to face the fire.







Rogues Gallery
  • Lilith bet Rasho bin Zariel, called "Excellence", the Bladesworn of Asmodeus, Lawful Evil Tiefling Conquest Paladin, played by Tricky
  • Niashé Minai Delacrie, the Scion of the Nine, Lawful Evil Human Shadow Sorcerer, played by Wol
  • Salvatrix Upicias, the Witch from the Bounds, Neutral Evil Human Enchantress Wizard, played by GenuineRevelry
  • Worm of the Sharpfang, the Monster Prophet, Neutral Evil Goblin Shepherd Druid, played by TheFireMagi
  • Hriss the Unbroken, the Tyrant Lizard, Lawful Evil Lizardfolk Totem Barbarian, played by Trast
  • Egina Aduz, the Mother of Doom, Chaotic Evil Half-Orc Valor Bard, played by Shogeton
  • Gertrude Penderghast, the Collector of Bones, Neutral Evil Human Cleric of Vecna, played by A Darker Porpoise
  • Pharom Ashgrove, the Unnatural Scientist, Lawful Evil Elf Alchemist Artificer, played by Capfalcon
  • Glenn Dunbarrow, the Wyrm of Prosperity, Lawful Evil Halfling Mastermind Rogue, played by Bad Seafood

The Play is the Thing
This is a Play-by-Post game, though we may use Discord and/or Roll20 for certain scenes and vignettes. If you and some other players want to roleplay out a scene in Discord when you aren't immediately pressed for time, or to go over a conversation, please feel free, but it must be posted in the fiction of the thread. It is not necessary to post your character sheet on this thread: We will use roll20 for character sheets and the Google Spreadsheet for equipment.

I haven't put together banners but please put your character name in bold at the top of your posts. If we later get image based banners, that would work as well.

I will bold description, leave as straight text instructions or prompts, and italicize any side-notes or discussion.

"I will use square tokens for dialogue of NPCs that aren't just part of the description, like so."

Do not be too worried about getting everything just right, what matters is keeping a rhythm. It will be a relatively casual game with bursts of activity, and its especially important we hit the ground running. If you know you can't post for a few days, just give us a heads up, preferably in the recruitment/OOC thread rather than Discord so it's easier to track.

Using Discord
There are three in-character channels for real-time roleplay as above that we use. We have a #banter channel for general discussion, and there is also two other channels: First is #plotting, where I would prefer all discussion about what the characters should do next in a semi-IC fashion be posted, discord is good for that but I don't want it getting lost, use that to discuss where to go next or what to do. Second is #codex where I will post periodically setting information as well as the names of NPCs you meet and their descriptions. Feel free to add information there yourself I may have missed. Mostly it's there to be searchable.

To Do the Thing, Do It
Don't feel the need ask me if a particular roll is called for in a scene. If you want to use Perception to find possible traps, do it. If you want to use Athletics to climb up to get a better vantage point, roll it. I'd much rather you decide what proficiency applies to your roll then roll it, than ask for my permission. I'll set the DC and describe the result. This helps the pace of PbP immensely. That being said, I recommend keeping one ability check per post, to give the chance for other characters to spotlight and do their thing as well, unless it's an extended action or the like.

Knowledge Checks
One exception to the above is Arcana, History, etc. checks. You should roll that and ping me about it on Discord if you can, because the best way to handle that is for me to give you the Lore and you relate it in-character. Makes your character the mouthpiece of that knowledge, and that's much more compelling. That being said, if I or yourself or not available, just go ahead and post it and we'll treat it as normal!

Passives
Also in the interest of speeding things along in PbP, I am going to aggressively use passive skill checks, mainly Perception, Insight, and Investigation, but also aforementioned knowledge Skills where appropriate. Traps in particular may more or less be detected automatically in many cases, though their disarming will still require effort. One thing I will note however is this will only tell you surface level information. If a higher check would tell you more information or provide more context, there's still a reason to roll that separately. This is most true with Insight checks.

Variant Action Rules
The variant rules for Disarm, Mark, Overrun, Shove Aside, and Tumble are being used. In addition, if an ally of yours is opposite position around a creature, you may take advantage on your attack rolls against the flanked creature, using Flanking.

Initiative:
    The easiest option for play-by-post is side initiative, with my flavor take on it being that the PC actions represent the “darkness” dramatically when they have control of the narrative, and when the NPC actions represent the “light.” However, this becomes an issue if we ever have player conflict, and there are some powers that key off initiative and the case of surprise rounds.

    Everyone still rolls initiative, and we use the lowest result for both sides to determine order of which side goes first. Each side, whether ebb or flood, can act in any order they like, and coordinate their actions as desired. However, your initiative result still matters for class features like the Assassin’s. Further, surprise rounds will be played out as per normal initiative rules.

    I will almost always set up the battlefield, state the Armor Class and HP totals of most monsters (with legendary creatures and important NPCs excluded), signal their intent and the like in my posts. You will roll and resolve your actions, describing the effects of your action, and if the target is reduced to HP, you describe how they meet their end. I want to give players a lot of narrative agency. Generally I would recommend though giving some "Disney deaths" to named NPCs, because it should be possible for them to miraculously survive with the use of Hero Points.

    Reactions: Whenever I am aware of possible reactions, I might tap you on Discord about it, or you can “pre-load” a possible reaction in your post if you are expecting something. You can also simply post in the thread, and we can narratively edit what went down accordingly, though if at all possible with a “yes, and” twist.

Advancement
We will be using milestone advancement for this campaign.

Villain Points
Based on the rules variant in the DMG p264, we will be using a variant of Hero Points. At 1st level, every character starts with 5 villain points. Each time the character gains a level, he or she loses any unspent villain points and gains a new total equal to 5 + half the character's level.

A player can spend a villain point whenever he or she makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw. The player can spend the villain point after the roll is made but before any of its results are applied. Spending the hero point allows the character to roll the current Doom Die (see below) and add it to the result, possibly turning failure into success. A player can spend only 1 villain point per roll.

As well, whenever a character fails a death saving throw, the player can spend one villain point to turn the failure into a success.

Villain points can also be used to create narrative contrivances, like having the right piece of equipment for a challenge, a useful environment feature, or even a connection with a certain NPC or organization so long as it does not contradict any of the established fiction. This is best when framed as if your character had planned for it, representing a classic villain's gambit.

Every villain point spent, however, gives the Dungeon Master a hero point they can spend, which uses the Hope Die rather than Doom Die. The DM loses all unspent hero points when the PCs gain a new level. The DM can also spend a hero point to bring someone back from death's door, surviving when they were thought dead, or guarantee a hero's escape from the clutches of the PCs, within reason and the bounds of what's fun.

Doom/Hope
The Doom Die represents the cycle of encroaching evil and the slowly rising success of a caper. Villain plots need time to incubate before they hatch, and this is to encourage people to think in the long-term. The Doom Die is set at d4 as a default, but can increase in the following steps: d4 to d6, d6 to d8, d8 to d10, d10 to d12. Players can increase the Doom Die's rating by pursuing heinous actions that provoke and risk exposure, but please the lords of the Nine Hells. Thus there is an in-fiction representation of the feeling of surging Doom as the lords of the pit become more and more interested in the events unfolding.

These acts of Doom are:
  • Avernus: Challenge a champion of Good. This means demonstrating that you serve Evil and going out of your way to confront them and letting them know what you stand for. This pleases Zariel, Lady of Hatred.
  • Dis: Betray someone useful. Indulging in paranoia and the idea that you must be first to betray before being betrayed. This pleases Dispater, Lord of Fear.
  • Hades: Steal something of known worth. It's not enough that it has objective value, it must be something cherished by the world at large and will be missed when you hoard it. This pleases Mammon, Lord of Greed.
  • Phlegethon: Leave a dangerous foe alive to suffer. This doesn't mean showing mercy, it can also apply to capturing them to torture, but it creates an opportunity for the DM to engineer their escape. This pleases Belial, Lord of Pain.
  • Gehenna: Destroy something beautiful. It must be done with the intent of hurting others and bringing them sorrow, and taking away what is worth fighting for in the world rather than attacking them directly. This pleases Malagarda, Lady of Despair.
  • Cania: Violate something sacred. Whether desecrating the hallowed grounds of a church, or seducing a pure and innocent soul to sin, this has to be a singularly dangerous move and you must make your intent known by the end. This pleases Levistus, Lord of Atrocity.
  • Abaddon: Reveal a terrible secret. It is not enough to hoard away deep and dark knowledge, the Hells want blasphemies to be voiced and spread, corrupting those who hear it, and this includes a villain explaining their evil plan. This pleases Baazlbul, Lord of Lies.
  • Malebolge: Corrupt a hero to Evil. The penultimate Doom is to turn one of the champions of goodness to the way of the wicked, though it is never a simple task. This pleases Mephistopheles, Lord of Betrayal.
  • Nessus: Subjugate a people utterly. This doesn't mean conquest, it means truly enslaving a settlement or group of people to your will, whether it means a group of minions or a nation held hostage in fear. This pleases Asmodeus, Lord of Tyranny.

Increasing Doom from D4 to D6 requires one act as above, while increasing it from d6 to d8 requires two. Increasing it from d8 to d10 requires three, and increasing it from d10 to d12 requires only one, but it has to be particularly heinous (DM's discretion.) Doom resets back to d4 whenever Evil triumphs in a grand way, usually at the end of each adventure.

Hope works slightly differently. It ramps up much more slowly, representing how backed into a corner over time the heroes have become, and thus providing a slowly increasing difficulty over the course of the game. Generally, it will increased by one step at the end of each adventure. It does not reset normally. The players will rarely be given a chance to turn the tide back, usually through side-plots that corrupt the sacred places of Talingarde that provide a connection between the forces of Good and the material realm, but they will rarely be easy. It is assumed that by the end of the campaign you will be facing a Hope of d10 or d12, and that's appropriate.

Inspiring Villainy
In addition to increasing Doom, there is one other mechanical incentive for acting like pulp fiction cackling Skeletors. You can gain Inspiration by acting in a certain way within the fiction, which is not at risky as a lot of the acts of doom listed above, but definitely encourage a certain kind of character fiction, and are limited in how many times you can benefit as follows:

  • Curses!: Once per encounter, whenever you have failed an ability check, saving throw, or attack roll, you can declare what kind of vengeance you are going to visit upon whomever you blame for the failure, and take inspiration after you've gone into detail. You need not act on it, but they may respond accordingly. This can only be used in combat.
  • All According to Plan!: Once per "movement" (chapter), you can have your character go on an extended monologue in the scene, usually expounding upon how your evil plan is coming to fruition though feel free to be creative. Take Inspiration at the end of it. This can be used outside of combat. It must be a real monologue, not just a few pithy words.
  • We're Not So Different!: Once per "symphony" (adventure), you can engage a named NPC or monster with a villainous dialogue. They are forced to converse with you, even if it's not appropriate, staying their attacks to speak with you. This is best done over Discord. While at the end of this dialogue you take Inspiration, the real opportunity is the chance to do some corruption or throw them off balance to set up some other gambit. This can be used outside of combat.

Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 07:14

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Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.


Reserved.

Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 07:18

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.




"Once upon a time, about three days ago in fact, there was a peaceful and harmonious land known as Talingarde. It had been the battlefield of great heroes and terrible monsters once in those heady days of the Dark Age, but that had long since passed. In fact, it had become a bit boring, really. A decade had passed without even the inkling of war, and nearly a century since the ascension of the House of Darius to the throne of Myrcia, pre-eminent among its six realms. The Darian dynasty had secured the throne against usurpation, defeated an ancient evil wyrm, made peace with the dragonborn host, smashed the hobgoblin horde against the River Laggun, and secured from the Church of Mitra an imperial crown, to be installed as Lord Protector of this island of ours. A hundred more years were expected to pass without want or bloodshed, if only we all truly believed in the redemptive power of love to change the world around us."

"It’s enough to make you sick."

We are in a dark place under the earth, down a long corridor of numerous arches, with no light at all. As the storybook unfolds and the images play out, we see a floating shape approach us unlit, from which the narrator's craven voice comes.

"Yes, Talingarde was the shining exemplar of the known world. Angels themselves were coming out to see the sights, mingle with the average Joes, an earthly paradise that took constant vigilance to maintain. See, not everyone was exactly on board with this whole vision. Things used to be different around here. Now, I’m not going to feed you some malarky about freedom. Frankly, there wasn’t much of that back in the bad ol’ days, but you know what you did have? Opportunity. Ambition, the will to seize it. Back when the old Prince of Hell was given the respect he thinks he deserves, and not everyone was worshiping some two-faced four-armed cat bird. It was a lot more fun, if you’re following me. Now, everyone’s just so... gormless. They are without gorm!"



The skull ignites, like a torch coming alight, and bathes the corridor in its less than comforting glow. The flameskull reveals itself as the narrator, and continues on...

"It was time to wake up and hear the music. Somebody wanted things to work to a different tune, and he had some new friends in low places. Turns out that was the wagon I got hitched to when he dug up my soul from some corner of hell and put me back in… well, not a body, exactly, but it’ll do. But this isn’t my story. I’m just chewing fat while I can, I get paid more or less by the hour, advantage over salary. No, I’m supposed to be introducing you to the sorry lot that’s supposed to get things really hopping around here. You see, things line up to put nine complete sods, absolutely wicked little stirges, all together in one place. Now, it didn’t worry anybody at the time since it was basically in fantasy land Alcatraz, and nobody had ever escape from Branderscar. Nobody likes a tourist trap though, and that claim was about to be broken nine times over."

and on...

"Nine instruments of the Big Red Machine, all tripping over each other trying to find their own tune. But maybe with a little encouragement, we can get them back on tempo."

and on... and just won't shut up, really.

"Hit me, Maestro."



The orchestra tunes, and so starts the melody.



“Ah, Branderscar. You’ve heard of it before, haven’t you boss? By now you’ll be intimately familiar, for what that’s worth. They even go to all the effort to make it a comfortable few days, but even warm porridge tastes like ash when you know what’s coming next. See, this whole thing is a rack. The branded and condemned here are to suffer for their crimes, in the vain hope their souls might be saved from the Hells, or worse, the yawning layers of the Abyss. These sickos have convinced themselves that they are doing you a service through your painful death. They hope every day you wake up and pray to the little crack of dawnlight in the window slit, because secretly they think they can save you, even if you are the worst of the worst.”

“Joke’s on them, but then again, they aren’t on the chopping block, boss.”

There’s the distant sound of blade meeting flesh, and a nice satisfying plop.

“Well, anyway, let’s check the ledger here to see just what Mitra dragged in-Bel’s balls how the hell did they catch twenty-four of you godsdamned carbuncles?! What, was it a full moon or something for the previous seven months? Did Graz’zt have some kind of bender and leave a bunch of spawn as some kind of sick joke? This is a serious problem. This is too many.”

“Uh. Let's just uh... Cut out half of this. Let me get out my lucky dime.”

There's a jingling sound, and then somehow a metallic ting as a coin is flipped in the air and hits the ground, rolling around and landing where it reveals the serpentine coiled tail of Mammon. Half of the names erupt into flame and dissolve into smoke and dust flowing in the air, leaving nothing but scorch marks upon it.

“Hm. Twelve’s a good number. Emphasis on the Good part. Always trying to one up nine. So screw twelves, and we said there was going to be nine to start with, right? There’s Nine Hells, boss, so I mean, it's just plain thematic. So, let’s just… Eeenie… Meenie… Miney mo!”

Another plume, here and there, as three more names are consigned to oblivion, at least narratively. Baazlebul knows what plans there are for them yet.

“That’s better. Still, only a maniac would try to wrangle this many villains at once, but that comes with the territory.”



Each branding is displayed in sequence. Each forearm has the hot iron pressed deep against the skin, scarring against it. The iron is forged from the ore of a meteor, and is white hot, crackling almost with a holy energy as the priest stands by, praying in holy Celestial. It burns deeper than skin, scale, or fur, for each of our nine prisoners seen only in glimpses by their skins, dressed down in their prisoner’s garb like the simple vestments of a monk.

“You know there’s something to be said about power trios. Take the first three here, these lovely ladies could do a lot of damage just on their own. I gotta admit, I’m burning up thinking about it. Let’s call them… Asmodeus’s Angels.

In shackles, a tall and elegant tiefling, though with austerely human features as much as her horns and tail, is taken out into the courtyard of Branderscar. The left sleeve of her roughspun clothing has been torn off to display her brand as she is sorted to stand against the wall, looking on. She’s proud of who she is, and what she’s done.

“Now that’s a rock you can build a dominion on, if you don’t mind me saying. That's a summit I'd like to climb, if you're picking up what I'm putting down. Shame that there isn’t much going on upstairs, she could have really used some dorbel scheming in her ear. Desertion is really just a petty treason when you think about it, so lucky for her that she’ll get to finally see her Lord soon in Nessus.”

The soldiers are lined up in a line, seven in all, with heavy crossbows at the ready. They are grim-faced in their task, and attended by the many-colored flamen that is there to comfort each, anointing each with a whisper and blessing. Having learned their lesson before about letting this one talk to the men, the tiefling is gagged for the ceremony before her execution, where all seven stare. “Ready.” At the command of their sergeant, they raise the crossbows and use the winch to wind it slowly back. One quakes, but is calmed as he whispers a prayer to the Morninglord, and has a beatific smile on his face finally. “Aim.” They raise their crossbows, each with one eye closed. They all have to watch it happen and commit to what they do, but they all share in it. Their fingers make for the trigger, in that final moment of tension. "Fire!"

Twang.




“Let’s leave our pincushion for a second and consider maybe the second most obvious recruit, and equally in need of a old fashion vizier type.”

We see in profile the weary face of an aristocratic Keshkevarine woman, her black curly hair white at the roots where the dye had not set and had been allowed to start to grow, hinting at what she vainly tried to hide from the inqusitors. She seems exhausted, the sun framing here as her body burns under its relentless gaze. There is the calling of a buzzard nearby, as sweat has dried against her skin along with tears of anguish at the sides of her eyes. There is no victory to relish here in this moment.

"You wouldn't know it, but this is a real firecracker, an iconoclast of her generation. Riled up a bunch of spoiled malcontents waiting for the end of the world to get out there and make it happen themselves, and got strung up for her trouble. It's not a great way to go, crucifixion, but at least when she makes it to Stygia, where other despoilers of the sacred like her go, she'll get to cool off a bit in the nice, brackish lukewarm waters."

Slung by leather straps and brass bands, she is hung up on a cross, her feet just barely on a slight piece of wood but her muscles by now torn and her arms broken, the pain unbearable as the exposure is likely to kill her, if not the thirst, within a few days. A slow, agonizing way to die, and the guards have spared her the mercy of being pierced in the side so that she will pass out from the blood loss and die sooner, as there is little love for a profane arsonist that would attempt to burn down the Church of Mitra.

The buzzards are closing in.




"Well, the Styx beats baking to death in the sun anyway. Speaking of unbearably hot, what's that I smell?"

A little smoke rises up from some kindling, being stoked and prepared. Bundles of wood are being stacked up and around a pole, to which an unnaturally pale woman with unusual gold eyes has been tied, wearing that simple roughspun as she twists under the tight ropes, screaming about this or that in her barbarian tongue, laughing and taunting as she goes, claiming that at any moment a vile creature will sweep down and save her, interspersed with the occasional groveling and begging for mercy as she is but a young girl that knows little of the world, much less witchcraft...

"You get your champion, you get your priest, you gotta finish the set with a vizier. A sniveling little quisby that inevitably betrays anyone she can and is always grasping for more than she can deserve. These types just seem to naturally fit the whole infernal power structure. It helps she's got that arcane spark, and maybe she'll get to hone it, with other crazed lunatics like Mephistopheles down in my hometown of Cania."

The smoking kindling is raised by a warrior nun with a perfectly serene expression, though there is an apologetic sort of look on her face, as she seems to want something different. The attempts at laughing and taunting are now all but gone, and even the groveling is now subsiding to tearful shouts, begging that is unbecoming of a champion of evil. As the fire begins to spread, and lick at her heals, then starts the screaming.

It's a little pathetic, but then again, you're not the one burning at the stake.




"Woof. That about does it for our Angels. Let's just turn the knob in the complete opposite direction, and see what awful little creatures have been dredged up. Our own Monster Squad, let's call it, ready to take a bite out of the six realms. Especially our first beastie."

In a cell deeper in the prison, a less furnished and well-kept than the others for certain, we find a myriad scaled and fierce lizard man who is chained up by his wrists, ankles, waist and neck, splayed out against t he wall with even his tail weighed down by irons. He has obviously made a nuisance of himself, and the guards, who soon arrive to unlock the cell and walk in to bring him to his appointed execution, move cautiously around him.

"Sometimes you just want a monster. Something that can take all the punishment you can throw at it, an icon of terror that rallies all sorts of other vile creatures to its banner and example by the sheer weight of its power. Sometimes, though, you get one that has a bit of a mouth. Queen Tiamat has five, and all are likely to want a piece of him when he gets to Avernus."

The lizardman enters in seemingly calm conversation, requesting that he be treated more properly like the others and mentioning that he has not received his last meal. The guards do their best to ignore this as a few armed with spears keep them at the ready, while two other make to unchain it. The lizardman is still, at first, with unblinking eyes, but moves like a lightning bolt to take a bite out of one of them. If he will not be fed, he reasons to them, he will feed himself. Unbroken and unwilling to be marched to his death, he resists, still half-chained to the wall and pulling a few off the masonry, but ultimately... There are too many of them.

After the fifth spear plunged in, there is nothing more than a thrashing heap on the floor. Will unbroken, but not the body.




"A lot of these are a bit of a downer, ain't they? Let's try a little pick me up with a more uplifting one."

A scarred and wizened goblin is being dragged out into the central courtyard, where the gibbet can be found. It kicks and bucks but is too small to really give much trouble to the guards that hold onto it. It whispers some vile words of power, its teeth growing long, wicked, and jagged, and manages to take a bite out of one of the guards, the acid eating through the piece of plate, but it does not break through underneath, and they quickly bind it up and muzzle it with an cold iron bit that resists the magical acid.

"Being a goblin isn't exactly dignified. Culture, history, you know, any semblance of society, doesn't come natural to them. But this one right here might have been onto something, a little nugget of truth under all that rough that threatened a lot of the base assumptions people love to make about what's a monster, and what's, well, people. And of course, he was rewarded for that truth-saying: With a one trip ticket to Abaddon to visit with the slug lord of secrets himself for the rest of eternity."

The goblin is pressed down against the simple shaped block of the ravenstone, which is always purified and cleansed and shows not even the hint of a stain, only a groove where one's head is rested as the work is done. The executioner wears the ritual hood, and the priest presides, though everyone here seems to treat this more like putting down a wild animal than a proper execution. Beheading is at least a relatively less painful way to die, even if it is lacking in a certain dignity, or poetic weight. Such things are rarely spared for monsters.

The goblin's head falls perfectly within the basket below, another clean execution for the guards of Branderscar.




"Yeah, OK, I lied a little there, boss. But you know a little hope spices things up, it's why we don't always crush our enemies immediately, better to really draw it out. Its more demons that prefer the in-and-out, as it were, though even a dretch can't resist a good torture. Hear me out, this next one turns out better. It's got a prophecy and everything."

Our next subject is a handsome halfbreed woman of orcish and elvish heritage, with dark lips and sharp ears, though lacking her usual mirth. A desolation of the spirit has come after repeated attempts, and there is a certainty that has set into her such that her head hangs low, as the guards position her on the gallows. Her eyes burn, but her bound hands no longer have the strength to fight back.

"Goblins got a raw deal, but the orcs are even worse off. They at least had something going for them for a time thanks to Big Red. They really perfected the art of war, and nobody could stop them, certainly not as long as the Hells backed them up. Was going swimmingly until the elves fluxxed it up, as usual. So here comes a prophesied half-breed, and she's a hot momma with a child of some serious pedigree that might have a shot at the One True Warchief and... Well, she can tell the Lord of Pain all about it when she lands in Phlegethos."

The rope is pulled around and a noose tied and tightened against her strong neck. She raises her face, committed to standing strong. She begins as she did previously in the courtroom to begin to curse in her own language, to deny her gods-given name and taken on the one of her people, claiming that so long as her son lived the prophecy did as well, and that all would be crushed under the heel of the heirs of Gruumsh One-Eye. This was not a sympathetic message to the audience.

With the pull of a lever, and the twitching of her feet, her speech was cut a bit short.




"By now you probably know not to trust a lot that comes falling out of my jawbones, but let me say this: These last three are cut of a similar cloth. The Angels, the Monsters, they aren't hard to figure out. These are the wildcards, but they all share something: They know their worth, and it's a seller's market. I call them the Death Mongers, because to the last, they want to see a lot of corpses by the end of the year. Let me start with a case in point."

In one of the well-appointed cells, an old woman with intense blue eyes sits at her bed, as the rising sun pours down on her weary old face. She has a kindly expression as she worries at the hems of her roughspun cloth, lightly rocking back and forth. The locks release, and the door swings open, with a flame coming holding a flask banded with brass and a dark, dark green substance within. He smiles and says his words, and the woman smiles back, and asks that she be given the rites of return, as she is ready to recant and repent before meeting her fate.

"You can't be fooled by the kind ol' granny trick, can you boss? I honestly think of the nine here this is by far the most dangerous. Not in the kind of, being a dragon of a challenge sort of dangerous. More like being more wily than a lamia and meaner than a manticore. She's got no loyalties but to her and her secrets, much like the Hag Countess of Malbolge."

When the priest gets close enough, she strikes like a viper, stabbing him repeatedly in the stomach with a hidden shiv as streaks of crimson stain his multi-colored robes and her own humble clothes. Guards stream in as she claws out one of his eyes, screaming and still living as she rears back, drawing a line of blood across her cheek and summoning the bound soul of her tormented husband to loom over her. However, there is a pulse of magic and the enchantment is dispelled, as the warden, a wizard in blue and white, crosses inside with his staff before him. She launches an assault upon him, but he seizes the initiative and binds her with a holding spell, as the guards strap her down to the bed with leather straps, her body ultimately failing her once her magic is gone, revealed in its frailty. With the flask in hand, the warden approaches, grimacing as he has to administer the medicinal execution himself.

It was intended as a mercy for her age, but in truth it ends up a dirty, painful death, as frankly deserved compared to a restful sleep, as the woman clings to life viciously even as the poison ends it.




"What did I just tell you boss? I kind of started off strong there, but our next name on the list to die worries me just as much."

Laid against a wooden rack and wheel, chained down and all fire and indignance, is a red-haired elf with crazed eyes, spitting indignities at the stone-faced inquisitors as they listen to each word. One is writing down each one with a quill, the other with a solid ash staff in hand waiting. This begins to irritate the elf, who begins shouting and questioning the one writing down, demanding he speak, before devolving into gloating that of course his testament and work should be remembered for all time. The inquisitor with the staff makes a demand. "Recant." The elf laughs, and then groans as his body is pulled taut by the chains. "Recant." The elf spits, and then screams as one of his legs is smashed with the wooden rod, broken and then yanked again by the rack.

"Look, I got beef with necromancers, let's put that on the table. It's hard to think fondly of the type to enslave you for a few centuries to look after a pittance of jewels, and without the courtesy to just pass away and release you from the contract. But at least I understand them. I have no idea what to make of this one. He's got vision, ideas. Building, always building, like the churning brass city of Dis. If we're lucky, it'll swallow him up, but what if... what if he changes it?

The work continues. The elf however only sings further and further his maddened vision. He claims that the mastery of death will soon bring a new age where all can live the serenity as the elves do. With it they can build a new world like that beyond the planes. Each of his limbs is broken, and the pain causes him to pass out on a few occasions. He is destined as other heretics to be crucified, but eventually, his body begins to break down. He croaks out a final spat of maniacal laughter...

And expires, just another corpse.




"Yikes. Alright, let's wrap this up. Even I'm starting to lose my appetite after that one."

One last figure left. And it's the smallest, by a hair, walking in a chain line through a dark tunnel, his face simmering with frustration and exhaustion, a youthful halfling with dark eyes and large round ears. He is in the salt mines not too far from Branderscar, and by far out of place here, his tiny frame and less-than-well-worked hands making each task put forward to him all the harder. We see a montage of his toil, only to learn that what seems like months is but a single day.

"Last, and if I'm being honest least, at least by my reckoning, is this snot. Somehow he's got the biggest idea of himself, but I mean, just look at him! A speck, both of mind and body! But I have to admit, he's got the hunger. Don't be fooled by the boyish good looks, he's desperate for a war. He's dangerous, just as the other Mongers, but please, I hope Mammon keeps this one, because the last thing we need is a tiny creature with a huge ego and an even bigger mouth... What? Anyway, he'll be delayed a bit. Life in the salt mines is a slow, agonizing death derived from endless toil...

The halfling marches down the tracks deeper, and feels his body giving way. He stumbles, eyes crossing and breathing shallow, and then he collapses, curling in on himself. He can feel the world darkening, and so does out vision. We see the creaking of a massive cart, being heaved up and ready to be set down on the slope and move down along the way, as a half-orc and human push with all of their strength. It's heavily laden with the salt. Once it's at the summit of the slope, they give one last heave, and it moves along down, screeching a bit of metal against metal, interrupted with a sort of sickeningly wet bump along the way.

"What was that?" The half-orc asks. "Just keep moving, pigtooth," the human responds.




"Oh. Uh. Wow. Ok. Uhhh... Moving on then..."

We finally return to the unknown place beneath the earth, those yawning corridors, as the ledger closes once more. Was it a ledger or a story book? Don't ask, I've already spent a few hours on this and the narrative is falling apart. It's obviously straining the flameskull at this point as well, his fire a bit more dim.

"You know, it would really have taken a miracle to somehow put this miserable nonetto to sing the same tune."

Pause for laughter that never comes. But indeed, all of this is turned back. Every gruesome end is reverted, down through those three days through a ticking, anachronistic clock, back to the days they are seated in their cells, resting their heads back down. And all of them are treated to this intense vision, the dream of their demise.

"It’s a shame to let all that talent go to waste, especially all at once. So… Let’s try it again, back from the top. Good guys, you see, don’t get a lot of second chances. The stakes for them are dire, because they have people they care about. Something to lose. But bad guys? We love losing. We always can come crawling back with some new plan. All we lose is maybe our life, our soul, our dignity. Everything’s expendable."

Each of them, one by one, wakes with a start. Except for the elf, of course. Elves don't sleep, like assholes. But the reverie and vision of his fever caused by a bad attempt at improvising a potion from the, ahem, materials at hand suffices.

"Everything has a price. Just like your lives, but luckily, you've got an opportunity no do-gooder will ever get."

"… You… You know what I’m gonna say next, right? Look, it’s in the contract, boss. You knew it was coming."

There’s an exasperated sign, and then the narrator says the thing.

Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 07:18

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.


First Symphony: The Danse Macabre
First Movement, Andante



The start of your new personal hell began with the soft touch of the morning sun upon your face. Each room in the grand hall of this prison is situated perfectly such that the rising sun peeks through the window slit and quickened you from slumber. It was your first day, whenever that was, in Branderscar Prison, and it set a tone for the remainder of the stay. Perhaps it was this sign, combined with the bringing in of hot food and the changing of your blankets and accommodations, that made escape seem possible. The guards were merry and flushed with a little wine before their shift, laughed jovially and asked if you were ready to “face the sun” this morning with beaming smiles. They brushed past insults and shook their heads, tightening their belts and shaking their heads, letting you know that while the Warden was away, the sergeant was going to be keeping a close eye. It was rare that Branderscar was ever at capacity, and with the coming of your lot it appeared to be threatening to overflow, never having to quite work at this capacity before.

There wasn’t any pageantry or warning for your branding. At some point during that first day, just after the warm breakfast had a chance to settle and digest, you were spirited to the dungeons beneath the great hall. There, in a sunless room lit by burning oil from a bronze brazier, they took the sparking magic brand from the brazier, white hot and crackling with power, and pressed it against the inside of your forearm, pressing down forever in a runic “F” your nature as someone no longer worth the mercy of the Morning Light. Yet even after this brand, the mood was light, the guards kept their good cheer. The brand healed cleanly within the day, but the pain remained and stung to you, not fresh but occasionally pulsing, as if to remind you. There was some foul enchantment within it, that lingered still. It was something that went deeper than the flesh, down to whatever withered thing rested within your soul.


The forsaken brand cannot be hidden by magical means. The use of spells such as disguise self or alter self or shapeshifting such as wild shape will fail to hide it. It can be of course covered up, like any other scar.

Soon after, you are dressed in simple roughspun clothing, not dissimilar to the unhemmed robes of an anchorite monk, or a traveling friar. There are no belts and sashes, and no hood with which to cover your head however. It only comes in three sizes (fitted for humans, dwarves, and halflings) and there is no attempt to alter it by the guards, leaving each of you to make your own alterations if at all, as it fits those within the party of unusual size and shape quite poorly indeed, if they even make an effort to wear it at all.


This image is accurate save for the torches, wheel, and barrels which are not present.

Your accommodations, as mentioned are surprisingly comfortable. Your bed is a tightly wound cloth cot atop a straw mattress. In addition to the window slit above your bed are two other larger windows with wrought iron bars in three layers, which ventilates the room with a chill draft. At the wall a lion’s head trickles fresh spring water driven up from the wells beneath the prison, from which you may drink or bathe, though given no privacy from the sight of the guards, the sun, or the doves that flock above. Indeed, above where there might be a solid ceiling is instead more iron bars, and open rafters within which white doves flock and coo, glancing down with beady eyes. You are given several buckets with which to collect water in, and other matters as well. Manacles rest above the bed but are rarely used. The crumbling masonry exposes moss that show the age of these walls, once Castle Branding during the days when this was a citadel against invasion by sea from the fleets of the old counts of Lucidor.

Outside your cells, the prison is a strange mixture of new construction that somehow seems run down, and ancient walls with high vaulted ceilings and crumbling masonry. The interior hallways of the Grand Hall are lit with a pale blue light from enchanted sconces, rather than torchlight, though outside of the grand hall itself it is the usual crackling orange fire. It gets very dark indeed in nights at Branderscar, and it's not difficult to see that very few guards patrol the walls from your barred windows, always marked with a single torch, maybe one or two for each direction.




It’s hard to not imagine your confidence in your own abilities and the weakness of your surroundings then when you made your ill-fated attempt to escape. At one point or another, all of you tried, and were quickly found out for it. The tenor of your imprisonment quickly changed. The guards never tended to you alone, never tried to make conversation. Though not grim and still cheery with each other, they now were under orders to not converse with any of you. You are required to manacle yourselves to the walls before the guards, who come in pairs inside the cell, and one outside, come to deliver your food, which comes colder than it did before. It’s ludicrous that these fools think that by treating you any worse they might change your heart, and yet all the same, it does cause one to pause.

You had the opportunity, and without anyone to back you up, you screwed the pooch and now that same opportunity you would have had previously is gone. It starts to set in, the feeling of certainty of your fate, and when you wake this morning, it’s before the sun even rises, in a cold shaking sweat. The haunting vision of your executions hangs over all that is to transpire this coming day, as you hear the padding of boots coming near your cell. Even the elf, struck with tempus fugit, can’t account for hours of his night, uncertain if he was in trance or not, but struck with the vision of what awaits him.




A guard uses his blackjack to rattle the door to wake you, though is surprised to find you already awake. There are two, instead of the usual three, but they demand you manacle yourself. If you refuse, they threaten no food. With your efforts and bodies possibly weakened from the previous attempt, there is some form of compliance, though if you do wish to resist it, no supernatural force compels you. That being said, your most likely reward, considering the sheer number of guards and the wards of this place, would be severe injury before you can make another planned escape.

Once you comply, you are taken from your cell, down into the depths of the dungeon again. One by one, each of you is taken, and manacled in a single shared cell in the depths there. There is no proffered explanation, and the accommodations here are much more what you expected from a prison of this ilk. This is where you finally see each other, at least more than in passing, as you are brought in one by one, for perhaps the first time, and though while the guards are present you are given no chance to converse, they leave to go collect the next and leave some time to introduce yourselves, because this is the first time you’ve truly had company worth speaking to.




After all, though you may know little of each other now, you know enough that they are likely as black of heart as you

This is your chance to introduce your character in the narrative, and describe them for the first time, so treat it as such within the fiction. The order in which people post is the order they will have been brought down into their cell, and you each can interact and react as appropriate.

Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 07:18

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.


Excellence
It’s obvious to you that the discipline of these men is sorely lacking. There is a severe lack of attention from above, and the hierarchy seems loose at all. The fact the men drink on shift is unthinkable, and you have heard them discussing regularly going to the sergeant’s quarters when invited to a game where actual bets are on the line (rather than simply playing cards to pass the time), though you suspect with your antics you are unlikely to be invited to any such a thing. It would appear to be a near nightly thing, leaving many of the shifts during this time, which moves to at least a few hours after midnight, at only partial strength.

Niashé
You are familiar with the name of the Warden here: Mathias Richter. He is of noble birth, of a Myrcian house, but was most notable for being the doctor of abjuration at the University at Arzardys before he was appointed to this position. A potent magician, you would never have imagined him here in such a post, but there was rumor of some nobles’ intrigue, as a way to sequester away an aging relative who had a tendency to speak his mind in a task he cared little for. He would be dangerous a foe to match wits with, and you can expect his magic mark to be at several points in this prison: The portals moving in and out of the cell blocks being such an example, blocking entry in and out with a propelling force if one does not have the proper charm.

Salvatrix
You have been staring at the doves and birds that collect in the barred rafters above your cell for some hours. It is a trick that you are well acquainted with, as rarely do these creatures show such interest in humans, unless directed by some other force. Your Dear Mother would often use animals as her eyes and ears, and you have a strong suspicion, even if unconfirmed, that they act as some form of surveillance, likely under the supervision of the warden, whom you have heard is a wizard. However, in this dungeon cell with the other villains, you are out of the sight of their beady black eyes, and may have a chance, even if only briefly, to speak freely.

Hriss
Even if one were to escape from this place, most softskins would have a difficult time making it far. There is a river dock for receiving barges and ships, and beyond that moors, bogs and deeper marshes. It is blanketed with fog at sunrise and sundown, and likely filled with beasts that many of those who live in comfortable cities would not be ready to deal with. You of course would take to it like a fish to water, but something gives you pause. You hear that several guards have disappeared, and though you were unable to hear more, you heard someone say something about a “demon.” It does present an opportunity: It is unlikely that many patrols would be found in the swamps, so if one was willing to stay off the road, you would likely make it quite far.

Worm
The stones of these place feel storied, with years of battles and various uses, different lords and masters. This castle, you feel, is older than the Earls of Myrcia, perhaps even as old as the Dominion, and there are many hidden places underneath the surface. You have searched for possibilities, but noticed something that sticks out to you. The walls are vaulted and high, at least fourteen feet tall, which is high indeed for someone like you. The cells are shorter, with barred ceilings and thus a lot of high rafters. You feel that whatever beings originally ruled this place may have been larger, but also that the features that would otherwise be less traversable, such as chimneys, chutes, battlements and the like, might present unusual places to squeeze through and move. And the walls themselves may be hollow and hide secret passages, if you only knew where to look.

Egina
You have heard from the guards that in addition to the nine of you, there is a tenth prisoner of Branderscar that is being kept in the dungeon, the same dungeon that you are now being held in. This one has been there for some time, a true monster that was brought here by a wandering hero. The warden has been away for some time and a decision has not been made to make of it, but it appears to have been captured in Freness. It is described as a great “toothy beast” and a “misbegotten child of the damned” as well, apparently the talk of some legend there. You remember hearing a bard in Lucidor sing a tale of the “Beast of Freness”, the tale of a young precocious daughter of an infamous hermit warlock giving birth to a horror after consorting with things that mankind should not reach out to.

Gertrude
You have armed yourself (a kitchen knife that deals 1d3 slashing), hidden with your guile and cloth out of the sight of the guards, but your true gift is a special insight. So far the guards have treated you better than the others, and seem almost apologetic in the way they have now been ordered to treat you, with the behavior of the other prisoners’ in consideration. But your sojourn to the kitchen was noticed by another entity, that was not as easily tricked as its insight was deeper: A lantern archon occupies the statuary and halls of this hall, not bound to any mortal’s command but seeming to be here searching for a reason. It did not communicate in any way save with its aura of divine menace, and it was enough to make you think twice… and that something momentous might be happening here soon, even if the archon does not understand perfectly why it was drawn here yet. In a perverse way, it gives you a wicked hope, since it would have little chance against true, concerted evil.

Pharom
The warden of this prison must be a potent wizard as you have seen evidence of magical wards and protections here and there, but from what you have heard from the guards he is not present, and even when he is he is usually sequestered in his tower to the south, where he spends all his time in his library… and laboratory. Yet the enchantments seem to be maintained by two skullcapped apprentices, callow young lads likely from Arzardys’s much more inferior wizarding school (even if you despise the wizards of the elven academy in Rhadlun, you are convinced enough in the superiority of their tradition compared to mere mortals), who lay the copper wire for the alarm spells. Meaning that there are likely points that are trapped to alarm certain guards if one passes across certain thresholds, but if you could find a way to take them out of the picture for at least one day, many of the enchantments would simply break down from lack of maintenance.

Glenn
You kept your head down and eyes peeled. You observed every nook and cranny as they were taking you in, committing it to memory. You even used the opportunity of your aborted escape attempt to take note of a few more options, and from this you have something material that no one else has. A map. You were able to use a bit of charcoal and a flat loose stone to make it, which you’ve since committed to memory and can replicate as needed. Some of the labels on it are not things Glenn knows in this immediate moment (mainly the cells of the other villains), but will quickly learn.

Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 07:18

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010




Gertrude Penderghast
HP: 8/8 AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

The light of dawn was always a welcome sight to Gertrude. To have lived through yet another night in spite of her encroaching death by age was always a blessing she was willing to partake of. Her delight at the rising dawn was interrupted when her captors whisk her away for summary branding, but the looks of discomfort on some of the men as they have to manhandle and brand an old woman bring a small spark of amusement to her heart despite the rough start.

At some point Gertrude makes her casual attempt at escaping, but it unsurprisingly caught with little effort, but the weight of a kitchen blade resting against her stomach is but one more spark of hope. Days, perhaps weeks, go by as Gertrude plans a more direct escape attempt, but a chance never seems to avail itself of her. Lord Vecna provided many a spell that would be useful in a forceful escape attempt, and it was seeming like she would have to make use of his gifts.

The vision of her own death that struck Gertrude left her laying awake in a cold sweat, furious at her own short-mindedness. Of course the Warden would have returned by the time the executions were to happen. Of course the simple minds of the guardsmen would be on high alert with their commander present, so it was no surprise her attempt would be slammed into the ground so easily, rolling over on her bed, Gertrude bites into her knuckles, cursing silently as she begins to plot all over again.

Gertrude extracts herself from her bed well before the dawn has arrived, and she is in the middle of preforming her the ritualistic prayers to Mitra that the heavily devout are known for when her guards come to retrieve her. Given the mild preferential treatment she's earned through her deceptions, she's allowed to finish, but soon enough she's being guided off toward the auxiliary cells as the other prisoners are roused and brought along to the same.

Having been delivered first, Gertrude is content to sit in silence for a time. She thanks her guard, with all the sweetness she can muster, for looking after his dear Granny so well, and slumps her weight against the wall to brood in silence as she awaits a change in circumstance.

Gertrude is still wary of listening ears by the time her first fellow prisoner arrives, so she doesn't cease her guise of being an addled senior. Turning to the new arrival as the guards leave she whispers in an excited tone, seemingly pleased about the news she is delivering "Hello child!" The smile on Gertrude's lips is practiced, addled but somewhat present "I wish I had some tea to offer you, but the young folk here tell me I did something quite nasty." She shakes her head dismissively "But that couldn't be the case-" Gertrude's facade cracks as she allows her eyes to narrow pointedly, the sudden change of expression drawing attention as her eyes flit toward one of the statues in the hallway, but the change is gone nearly as fast as it came "-after all, the Lord sent such a kind little angel to watch over me in the halls. I'm sure I'll be allowed to return to my grandchildren soon enough..."


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Control Flames, Guidance, Light, Mold earth, Spare the Dying, Toll the Dying
Prepared Spells Bane, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, False Life, Healing Word, Inflict Wounds
Feature: Mage Armor (Once per long rest)
Circle of Mortality: Max HP gained when healing creatures at 0hp.
Lvl. 1 [2/2]
Effects:

Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 05:58

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.



Glenn Dunbarrow

HP: 7/7 AC: 15 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

Glenn was already awake when the guards came for him. To think, in such a short amount of time, he should come to desire the sunrise. He needed it, more than he needed food or water. Those dim, dank, intestinal tunnels had impressed this truth upon him. So long as he was alive, for the rest of his days, he would always rise to greet the sun.

He was quiet when they threw him the manacles, ordered him to put them on. He rubbed his wrists in grim anticipation. Already he had circles, like the circles under his eyes, his once soft hands newly raw and roughshod - though he still possessed the magic in his fingers; that was key. He glared at the guards as he fastened the restraints, his fiery temper seemingly dulled by the sting of his recent failure, the branding in his side. Yet had either of his captors looked him in the eye, they might've noticed the dark intensity with which he burned.

After all, he still remembered the dream, the vision. He'd seen himself, like watching a play, his neck crushed like a bottle of wine. Forlorn and forgotten, the very image of despair.

The future? Hmph. As if. I refuse.

The guards' footsteps are loud. Glenn drowns them out. He focuses on his own. Twenty-one, twenty-two. With each step, with each turn, the sketches in his mind grew sharper, more certain. He'd come to know this place; more intimately than either his captors or his fellow pariahs might've imagined. This was his power, his ticket to freedom. Wherever they took him, he needed to understand how it fit into the puzzle of the prison. He needed to know how far away he was from his bed, from the outer walls, from the mining pits at all times. Even if he was to be deposited somewhere he'd already been, it was good practice. His mind and his fingers were the two things he could not afford to lose.

At last they arrived at the shared cell, a single old crone shackled to the wall. And who's this dodgy old bat, Glenn thought to himself, then dismissed just as quickly. No, no. If she's down here, she must've done something. I should know better than most not to judge a book by it's-

"Hello child!" The smile on Gertrude's lips is practiced, addled but somewhat present "I wish I had some tea to offer you, but the young folk here tell me I did something quite nasty."

"C-child!?" Glenn stammered. "Look lady-

"Silence," barked the larger of the two guards. He positioned Glenn within spitting distance of the old woman, then took his leave.

"-after all, the Lord sent such a kind little angel to watch over me in the halls. I'm sure I'll be allowed to return to my grandchildren soon enough..."

Kind little angel? "The Hell are you, old bat?" Freed from the prying eyes and ears of the guardsmen, Glenn - perhaps prematurely - pulls loose the stopper on his bottle of emotions. "I ain't your stupid grandkid, alright?" If a lady like this had grandkids, they're probably old enough to have grandkids of their own. "I'm-

Catching himself, Glenn shuts his eyes and curses under his breath. He takes a deep breath, and settles back into the quiet intensity he'd cultivated before. He opens his mouth to address the old woman properly, only to have his attention drawn to a new arrival to the cell.

"Well now, what's this? We just bringin' everybody together for a shindig?"

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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


Worm of the Sharpfang
HP: 11/11 AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

It woke. The goblin, beaten, maimed, and now branded. The guards found it drinking from the lion’s head, its head snapping to them as they approached with a scowl. Fangs clashing with no attempt to hide its scorn, the beast was a poor sight to look upon. Bruises on the arms, legs, and ribs. A nail on each hand torn off. The right eye was closed tight, swollen shut, and its nose… to say that its captors had gotten heated in the scuffle would be underselling it. But there was little sympathy to be shared, at least from these guards attending the goblin. It wasn’t as if the state of the monster would matter for much long.

“You know the routine. Manacles,” one said.

A body that stung, a face that ached. Worm wanted to spit acid at the man, but relented. It would have been wasted effort with the armored pair behind the bars. Besides, he hungered. If the wardens of this prison were willing to keep him fed, why would he disobey? All it meant was more strength to plan, more strength to escape. Escape, before… the goblin cautiously felt for its neck as it made for the manacles. Still there, at least for now. As much as it wanted to shake off the ordeal as a nightmare, well, visions were not unheard of for those connected to the spiritual as shamans were. They were rarely so clear and vivid though. Something about that left him uneasy. But no matter. He had no intention of remaining in this prison for three days, before or after the dream. Just had to be patient, and not waste another opportunity as he had already.

There’s shouting as he’s escorted out of his cell, down to somewhere. "The Hell are you, old bat?" Another cell, but this time shared with two others. Maybe more, if the sounds of approaching footsteps from above was any indication. The goblin looks over his two cellmates, blatant in his observations. A halfling man. Younger for his people, though still an adult, if Worm read it right. And one even shorter than the goblin. The other, a human woman. Old. Very old. For her to survive this long, and for her to end up in a place like this? Interesting. He was not a social type, even amongst his own people, but the goblin was interested indeed. At any rate, no reason to add to his enemies.

“Worm warns to watch his tongue. The stones here are older than him or her, worn down by age. Voices carry far.”

He knew that well enough.

Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Primal Savagery, Infestation
Prepared Spells Entangle, Cure Wounds, Goodberry, Create or Destroy Water, Speak with Animals
Lvl. 1 [2/2]
Effects:

TheFireMagi fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 00:03

Capfalcon
Apr 6, 2012

No Boots on the Ground,
Puny Mortals!




Pharom Ashgrove

HP: 9/9 AC: 12 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

As the morning light warms my face, I stir, bleary eyed from my most recent experiment. The analytical part of my mind makes a note that the mold I harvested from the window slit was most likely NOT Priest's Penance but, due to the hallucinogenic effects, Hermit's Demise, and thus it is useless to me.

I wonder. Was that a dream? If so, how do the mortal races live with such madness?

Soon, the guards arrive and repeat their silly ritual of insisting I manacale myself to the wall. As if my next escape attempt would be so crude as a frenzied attack when they opened the door!

More interestingly, once I've eaten, they take me out of my cell and doen the stairs. For a moment, I think my vision is wrong, that I'm heading to my death. My eyes rapidly can the surroundings, desperate for an edge. But, it turns out they're just taking me to... another cell.

And a dingy, occupied one at that.

Once I'm stuck on the wall with the others, I look them over. A child, a crone, and a goblin. Truely illustrious company.

Once the guards leave, I say to no one in particular,
"Well, isn't this a nice change of scenery from our cells. Another, darker cell. I'd have to give my complements to the Warden, if he weren't away on business."


Save DC: 15
Cantrips: Mage Hand
Effects:

Capfalcon fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 20:47

GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



HP: 7/7 AC: 12 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d6

Salvatrix is lying awake staring at the doves above when the guards arrive for her. They are struck, at first, by the puffy eyed sullen appearance of the ever so lively and talkative girl. Little do they know of the events that had transpired the night before, the visions that had come to their prisoners, and how the finality was now truly setting in. They had been advised of course to never speak with her, especially after the last incident, but found their steeled resolve unnecessary. She goes peacefully among them, manacles and all, though those golden eyes refuse to even acknowledge them. A slight slight, surely, but a slight nonetheless.

Charcoal trails linger on Sal's cheeks, and along with puffy eyes and sniffling nose, it's the easiest thing in the world to know just how little grace the girl had in accepting her fate. To the guards credit, this seems almost too much for the poor do-gooders to handle, and had she not so callously attempted to flee the day before with that poorly thought out plan they might have shown her some more lenience. The sight is at least enough to make a passing warrior nun, to or from her morning ritual, take pause. It is truly, extraordinarily, pathetic.

But even the most pathetic creature can be dangerous in the right light. The flickering torches of the dungeon show another side. The shadows cast on pale skin provide an eerie contrast. Those glistening golden eyes nearly glowing under throbbing torchlight. It is in this far more sinister form that Sal is released from her immediate accompaniment. She sneers, glancing back over her shoulder at the guards who had condemned her to this new rotting hell hole before turning her attention to the odd assortment that she now had the misfortune of sharing a cell with.

"Send your well wishes with the doves, elf. They'll carry your sweet nothings to the Warden's ears without a second thought." A wide mocking smile spreads across Sal's lips as an idea springs to mind, "Didn't take your kind to warm up to us mortals so easily. Bit of a deviant, are we?" She steps closer to Pharom, too close, with hardly a sliver of light between them and makes a grand effort to whisper into those pointy ears.

"Don't worry, me too. Guess we're not so different after all." And with that, the strange girl lets out a strange cackle and slips further into the cell to find a nice seat with her back against the wall.


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Firebolt, Friends, Prestidigitation
Known Spells Charm Person, Find Familiar, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Tasha's Hideous Laughter
Feature: Arcane Recovery: Once per day, recover spell slots after a short rest.
Lvl. 1 [2/2]
Effects:

GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:56

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Glenn
HP: 7/7 AC: 15 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

"Worm?" Is he talking about me? Glenn narrows his eyes, but says nothing. He's right, after all. The walls have ears.

More footsteps, more guards, and an elf appears. An elf with red hair and a self-assured smile. Glenn groans inwardly at the sight.

Oh great. It's Pharom. Lucky, lucky me.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 21:59

Capfalcon
Apr 6, 2012

No Boots on the Ground,
Puny Mortals!



Pharom Ashgrove
HP: 9/9 AC: 12 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

As the witch makes her presence known, I sniff disdainfully, "Deviants, are we? I suppose they consider us that." I jerk my head towards the cell door, and continue, "But I'm sure we all have more in common than not, if we ended up here."

Deciding to make it clear that I have been keeping my eyes out as well, I add, "Of course, I'm sure an accomplished... deviant like yourself has the skills to notice that the mystic wards are already fraying due to rough handling from the warden's inept apprentices. They've done such a poor job that the wards would vanish within a day if they weren't regularly papering over their shoddy work. But, what can you expect from Arzardys graduates. Where did you say you were educated, again?"

The last question is directed back at the witch.

Save DC: 15
Cantrips: Mage Hand
Effects:

Capfalcon fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 20:47

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"



Egina Aduz

HP: 10/10 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD 1 (d8)

The halfblooded woman startles up, hand coming up to try to claw at a noose that isn't there... yet. For a brief moment, she looks around with wild eyes, half expecting that the dream was real, she had died, and was now in whatever awaited her. When she realized she was still in her cell, she shivered. A prophetic dream or just a nightmare? And if it was a prophetic dream, was it to warn away, or to announce? It had to be a warning. What point is there for fate to tell a condemned woman she will die. Unless this was part of the magic of that drat brand they used.

As she started to notice the sun in her eyes and her thoughts went to the brand, her mood switched. She brought her arm up, holding it between her and the sun, so it would shine on her brand. "Put it away, golden one. I earned your rejection." She said with a defiant smirk. She inspected the scar. If she managed, she was going to adorn this brand. She didn't notice the guards until the blackjack ran over the bars. The usual order came. She obeyed, slowly, taking her time, staring one of the guards in the eye as she did. She probably exhausted whatever pity they had, but there were many ways to play heartstrings. Get them angry, get them pissed, challenge them so at some point one thinks they'll add a bit of their own personal punishment. That gives perhaps opportunities.

"Three of you? For me? Hm, such valiant heroes protect this country." They left as she ate her breakfast. She devoured it to the last crumb. She'd need to be at her strongest for if another opportunity would present itself. "How are the ones from yesterday doing? Still angry that they got tricked by 'some brutish half-orc? That broken nose should leave him something to remind me by, no?" she continued to taunt to their silent faces.

When the meal was done, they suddenly came in, and Egina tensed, all humor vanishing from her face. She might have succeeded in provoking them, not to try and see if there was an opportunity.. But fortunately, or perhaps not, she wasn't about to get a beating, rather, she was led down the stairs. She nervously looked in the direction of the brand. They couldn't really double-banish her from their god's mercy could they? But no, rather, she was brought to a worse looking sell, where conversation fell silent as they approached and she was affixed.

"Oh, so you found an excuse to treat us the way you wanted to. Glad to be of service to you, noble guards." She leaned forward a bit towards one. "Pathetic little man." She said with the utmost scorn. The guard's face reddened, but backed away and left.

She gave the trio her most infuriating smirk as they left, then it faded into a more grim face as she looked around. Brands all over it seemed. Next to her was some girl that looked like she'd been crying. Some old woman, a halfling, a goblin and an elf. Not the best, and the old woman was probably just gonna get left behind, but it'd do. She gave them a smile. "Good morning. Am I to take from everyone's presence here you haven't exactly been spending your days in prayer asking the oversized flying cat for mercy? I am Egina Aduz. Though most people know me by the false name Coringaer." She peered at something hidden in the gloom, thouwh Worm and Pharom would be able to see she was looking at a door chained up with silver.

GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



HP: 7/7 AC: 12 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d6

"I earned my arcane spark in the depths of the Rough Bounds under the tutelage my Dear Mother," Salvatrix spits back at Pharom, "From arcane tombs of power that you would hardly believe. No pat on the head when I was done. I wasn't coddled by whatever soft creatures made someone like you." The irony, of course, of the girl with the tear streaked face calling out anyone else for even perceived weakness was startling if not in some mad way impressive.

A snort escapes at Egina's flippant blasphemy, and if nothing else, it has surely improved Sal's mood some. "Salvatrix Upicias." The announcement of her name no doubt falls on deaf ears. It would be a shock, all things considered, that any one of them recognize her Meleki descent if they hadn't already been clued in by her unnaturally fair skin and odd eyes. It is in this moment that she truly examines her fellows, the cast away lot of inmates sent to this dingy hole in the ground, and settles her eyes on Gertrude. There's a passing moment where she eyes the crone with suspicion and hesitance. Her body language softening just at the near thought of confrontation. Salvatrix squirms and writhes in her seat, the chains of the manacles causing an awful ruckus before she finally sits still with eyes cast downward and aside to a corner she couldn't quite make out.


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Firebolt, Friends, Prestidigitation
Known Spells Charm Person, Find Familiar, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Tasha's Hideous Laughter
Feature: Arcane Recovery: Once per day, recover spell slots after a short rest.
Lvl. 1 [2/2]
Effects:

GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:56

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage





HP: 13/13 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d10)

The tiefling's sleep was not restful. Not in the slightest.

With a slight hiss of air, the one known as Excellence's eyes slip open. She checks, a moment, expecting crossbow bolts to still be blossoming from her flesh, but sees none. Her eyes play out over the cell, noting that everything seemed in place. A nightmare, then? No, of course not. Lilith bet Rasho bin Zariel does not have nightmares. It must be a vision from her dark god, the Lord of Nine Hells. Some impetus to make her escape sooner than not, such that she could continue her work in his name.

The exact method of that escape still is lost to her. It is not a matter of strength of arms, nor force of personality. It is the sort of operation she'd have happily confronted with her small band of men, each adding their own specialties to a collective whole. Of course, what hope does she have of finding soldiers in the depths of Branderscar? It would be a marvel, given what she's done so far, were they to let her out of the cell prior to the fusillade that awaits. She's lost enough in thought that the guards need to bellow their bit about the manacles a number of times before she notices that they've impinged on her planning.

With a withering look, she nonetheless puts them on. Slowly. Not even the greatest scholars could hope to devise an escape plan while they were yelling about such trifling concerns. Besides, it was as good an opportunity as any to more closely observe their shoddy discipline. The barest spark of an idea had begun to flare into existence, but it was sure to grow into a wildfire and consume this accursed prison. All it required was fodder to feed upon.

The journey that follows is of little interest to Excellence. She can't make much heads or tails of the winding path, though it is easy enough to realize they travel downwards into the prison's depths. When they deposit her in the rank cell, filled with filth and scum of every stripe, it's quite fair to say that Excellence can't quite make sense of it. Why, after all their efforts to maintain isolation, were they consolidating prisoners? Were their guards so undermanned? They were fond enough of gambling, to be sure, and they had lost a pair of men to her escape attempt... perhaps these others had acted likewise.

The guards manacle her to the wall next to an unremarkable waif, then leave. Perhaps to gather another, perhaps simply because they wish to be elsewhere. It is hard to say when addressed with such incompetence.

After a moment, Excellence breaks her silence to say, "So. Which among you have greater ambitions than dying an ignoble death?" Her tone isn't particularly accusative, though it does leave the distinct suggestion that those who refused to answer were craven cowards who deserved whatever end they'd been assigned. "I certainly do."

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 01:23

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"



HP: 10/10 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD 1 (d8)

"Salvatrix, Salvatrix." She repeated the words a few times. "Oh yeah, the one who uses weird magic with sylvan instead of draconic, wasn't it? Or at least that's what I heard. Could be handy if it means there's some tricks up your sleeve that these sheep in dog's clothing don't expect."

Conversation falls silent as more guards come in. A tiefling. And one that looks like she knows how to hold her own in a fight. Now we're talking. Let's see if we can draw the guards' attention away, distract them. Distracted people make mistakes. "Hey, hey... so, do you guys still throw up every time one of us gets brutally executed, or are you starting to enjoy it? I mean, this is our personal hell after all, so doesn't that make you folks the devils? I mean, pretty lovely devils obviously. Like, imps dressed up in armor as a joke or something. Come on, buddy, give us your best little impish little laughter? Nothing? Come on, we're supposed to put up a show for you later, least you can do is return the favour" She calls after them as they leave.

She gives the woman a smile. "Oh, I got tons of ambition, lady. Egina Aduz. And I figure there ought to be a way. Especially so close to a wonderful distraction, if it doesn't kill us." She gestures with her chin towards the silver barred door. "Ever heard of the Beast of Freness? Neither did I, till I came here, but I'm pretty sure it's kept behind that door there with the silver chains. It's apparently some kind of monster. Lots of teeth, born of some woman who slept with something unspeakable." She grinned. "Someone that open that door, and, if we live, I'm sure the guards will have PLENTY of work to do."

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 15:38

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 13/13 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d10)

A smile cuts across Excellence's face, sharp points of ivory peeking through, as the pointy-eared greenskin speaks up and taunts the guards. There was a fire in her, to be sure, and fire was just what they needed to see themselves out of this mess.

After they've vacated the premises and given them what privacy is possible, she says, "Excellence. And a beast, you say?" She peers into the darkness, her infernal eyes easily seeing the silver-chained door. "I'd say that's certainly promising. And, were we to loose it, I'd point to the hour of midnight being quite an opportune moment." A chuckle. "These men drink and gamble on the job, and no game is more tempting than the Sergeant's own. I'd imagine they'd have a tough time responding to a rabid beast when they're deep in their cups and trading coin over trumps."

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 01:23

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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

Worm of the Sharpfang
HP: 11/11 AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

Worm kept to his own corner of the shared cell once the halfling took the hint and quieted down, even as more and more people poured in. The goblin didn’t like the looks of them, not one. The tear streaked woman was quick to dry her eyes and trade barbs with the elf. The half-orc woman talked, and talked, and talked. Too much, much too much. Kin with such a loose tongue were either fools or a trickster. Whichever one the half-orc woman was, the goblin wasn’t in the mood to deal with it. And the horned woman, well… Worm had seen his share of kin like her. The first to stride in, the first to command the room. The first to turn tail and flee and leave those that followed them to die. Bah. ‘Ambition.’ He knew that Common word. A snake’s word, that one, poisoned no matter how you bit it.

The elf was an elf.

Still, it wasn’t as if he had concocted a plan of his own yet. And regardless if she ended up fleeing, the horned woman was big, and had muscle to her. Likely to draw attention first, especially if he drew it to her. Not that he intended to, unless he had to. Glancing towards the chained door, the goblin spoke out in a soft tone,

“Trust an untamed beast, and it will bite the hand that freed it. But Worm can speak with such creatures, if it can be useful.”

Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Primal Savagery, Infestation
Prepared Spells Entangle, Cure Wounds, Goodberry, Create or Destroy Water, Speak with Animals
Lvl. 1 [2/2]
Effects:

TheFireMagi fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2018 around 21:19

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"



HP: 10/10 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD 1 (d8)

"Huh, I figured we'd just unleash it and let the guards run towards it while we run away from it. But if you can control it, Worm is the name, right? So much the better." She grinned. "Alright, alright. Unleash the beasty at midnight while the guards are asleep or a bit drunk or both. Get away while the screaming happens. Ain't gonna be asking for 'passwords' while getting chewed on by something from beyond. Of course, to do that, there are these manacles, and the door. Anyone got idea for those?"

She gave it a few tugs, to see if they would give, but the stonework was far less shoddy as the discipline of the guards. "I'm a bard, so I should be able to pull some tricks myself. What about you Excellence, anything you bring to the table? I figure we might all usually wanna keep our cards closer to our chest, but the time for acting like we're just some innocent has passed."

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 15:38

Capfalcon
Apr 6, 2012

No Boots on the Ground,
Puny Mortals!



Pharom Ashgrove
HP: 9/9 AC: 12 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

"I earned my arcane spark in the depths of the Rough Bounds under the tutelage my Dear Mother," Salvatrix spits back at Pharom, "From arcane tombs of power that you would hardly believe. No pat on the head when I was done. I wasn't coddled by whatever soft creatures made someone like you."

"Ah... homeschooled." Pharom sneers, saying, "I suppose one takes pride where they can find it."

____________________________________________

After the parade of forsaken criminals continues, Pharom shakes his head in amazement. Just how many of us are there in here?

Once the tiefling speaks up, Pharom responds, "I've already seen what's waiting for us, and I'm not keen on seeing it again. I have far too much work to do to die here. You can call me Pharom."

Save DC: 15
Cantrips: Mage Hand
Effects:

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"



HP: 10/10 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD 1 (d8)

Her head snaps to Pharom. Not because of his bragging. Which did interest her, but for reasons that really were only relevant once they were out of here, but the mention of seeing it. "Wait... you had a nightmare too about the execution? I mean, it's not that strange considering where we are, but elves don't sleep." She paused. "Did the memory seem to.... return after the execution?" She seemed to get agitated about that. No simple dream then. Either a part of the curse of the brand, or some kind of omen?

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 15:38

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Glenn Dunbarrow
HP: 7/7 AC: 15 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

Glenn lets his cellmates bicker. Seven of us, then. His eyes flit between the upstart witch to the half-orc, to the commanding tiefling who'd only just entered. Like she owns the place. Heh.
Well it's always good to have one of those.


After a moment, Excellence breaks her silence to say, "So. Which among you have greater ambitions than dying an ignoble death?" Her tone isn't particularly accusative, though it does leave the distinct suggestion that those who refused to answer were craven cowards who deserved whatever end they'd been assigned. "I certainly do."

Ah, perfect. A political lightning rod. She's exactly as I hoped. A pressure to respond arises, then subsides. Let her think she's the one with her boots on the ground. It's better if she thinks a few of us are subservient.

Glenn sweeps the room again. Only the crone had been present for his outburst, maybe the goblin, and he was cryptic, she was crazy. If he played his cards right he could save face, make a stronger first impression. He began composing what he might say, how he might say it, when-

"I've already seen what's waiting for us, and I'm not keen on seeing it again. I have far too much work to do to die here. You can call me Pharom."

"Wait... you had a nightmare too about the execution? I mean, it's not that strange considering where we are, but elves don't sleep." She paused. "Did the memory seem to.... return after the execution?"

Had they all shared the same dream? No sense in dallying, then.

"It seems we find ourselves birds of a feather," he said at last, his tone smooth and polished. It was the voice of an aristocrat, a diplomat. Doubtless it stirred a few of them. "Suppose we do share your dream. But the guards likely don't. Why do you suppose they've gathered us here, and what should the lot of us do about it?"

Always let the customer name their price first, he thinks. Gives you a sense how much they're willing to lose.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 13/13 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d10)

The tiefling laughs at Worm's warning, "Of course. I'd not say that we have any kinship with it, just that it could make a fine distraction. If you want to speak to it, though, far be it from me to tell you how to live and die."

____________________________________________

In response to Egina's question, Excellence says, "I'm a devil with a blade, in any sense of the word you like, and Asmodeus has granted me a measure of his power." She pulls mightily at the manacle holding her right arm to the wall, causing a shiver of stone dust to fall. "I can sense the presence of creatures from different planes and, too, remove wounds with a touch." The discussion about visions of death is a little unsettling. What are the chances that they'd all experience that on the same eve? Excellence adds, "I dreamed of it, too. Death by fusillade. Not that these guards are any better shots than they are at resisting vice on the job."

Though, a thought occurs, as the elf mentions his name. Pharom... yes, the guards had been laughing about that one. Something about an utter lack of pants as he was dragged to his new home in Branderscar. She finds the humor in the image of the poncy elf getting dragged through the streets with a bare arse, of course, but there had been some talk of acid involved as well. He might be particularly useful should he be able to come up with any further creations such as that.

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 01:23

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



Niashé Minai Delacrie

HP: 9/9 AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d6)

Niashé wakes incredibly sore, yesterday's cracked rib still with her. The vision of her execution didn't help, either. It's not like she hadn't considered that she might die here, but to see herself in that state, so exhausted, beaten down and broken - it didn't do much to help her spirits. She was a Delacrie. She was powerful. If she had to die here, she'd do it standing proudly, defiant to the last.

Everything had gone so wrong so quickly.

She tries taking a deep breath, but the sharp pain from her ribs disabuses her of the notion. Nonetheless, she sits up and begins her daily prayers to her Lord, Asmodeus. Every day since her capture, praying has brought her a tinge of anxiety. Every day, she expects to feel Asmodeus's disappointment, his condemnation, or even worse - his absence. She hasn't felt it yet. Instead, what she gets from him is a sense of normalcy, a sense that she should continue on her path. A tinge of pride, even - he seems to have liked what she did with Mitra's precious cathedrals. It's the one thing that gives her any hope in this barren place.

When the guards unlock her cell, Niashé stands. She will not be dragged to her feet. She will not suffer their grimy hands any more often than she absolutely must. As one claps the manacles on her, she stares at the other intently. She locks his eyes. Hers is the gaze of judgement, of infernal finality, and she wants him to know it. While he doesn't seem to want to give up the contest of wills, his eyes begin to shift slightly back and forth, and she can feel his spirit writhe. The deed done, she breaks the gaze, leaving him to struggle with his obvious and myriad deficiencies. It gives her the vigor she needs to face another day in this claustrophobic prison.

Niashé allows herself to be led silently through the prison. Back straight, head high, she walks with a quiet dignity that serves as one of her only remaining forms of rebellion. She's led to the cold dungeon, the single cell where seven others are already chained. "My Lord is with me." She states matter-of-factly, and one of the guards escorting her shoves her into the cell. She braces herself so as not to stumble - but combined with the force of the push, it's enough to make her bend forward and put pressure on her wounded rib. She gives a little grunt of pain, biting her lip to prevent any further noise from escaping. Resuming her dignified posture, she strides into the cell. She's chained next to the statuesque tiefling, whose form Niashé takes a moment to appreciate.

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 00:12

GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



HP: 7/7 AC: 12 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d6

Salvatrix sneers at Pharom’s final jab. Her lips part to bite back with some bitter barb or otherwise only to be struck dumb by the half-orc’s claim. Could she have turned a paler shade of white in fright she certainly would have. And with Pharom’s admission of a fitful night sleep, it seems this played spread rumors as often it did prophecies. Sal freezes in her seat and shuts her lips tight.

It’s Excellence that really pulls her attention. She was audacious, at the very least.. Then talk of a great beast from the awfully knowledgeable half-orc. She listens quietly as the party begins to craft a devious plan with intent to escape. It is the devil woman’s seemingly earnest profession that she is chosen of a dark god, and more importantly, the ablility to restore wounds he grants her that first piques Sal’s interest. She simply had to ensure the devil’s favor.

“I’ve already seen what awaits me here. I have no intention of feeling the flames lick my heels again.” Sal shuffles about in her seat at the thought.


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Firebolt, Friends, Prestidigitation
Known Spells Charm Person, Find Familiar, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Tasha's Hideous Laughter
Feature: Arcane Recovery: Once per day, recover spell slots after a short rest.
Lvl. 1 [2/2]
Effects:

GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:56

Trast
Oct 20, 2010

Three games, thousands of playthroughs. 90% of the players don't know I exist. Still a redhead saving the galaxy with a [Right Hook].




Hriss “The Unbroken"

HPS: 17/17 AC: 18 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d12)
Rage 2/2 Rage Dmg: +2

Yellow reptilian eyes shot open in the dark. Hriss had never experienced a vision before. Such was the realm of the shamans. It was a unique experience. He had seen himself die at the hands of these humans. They could not break him so they had resorted to taking his life. Hriss had heard the shamans speak of the meaning of such visions. Guidance from the powers beyond, omens of success or defeat, the possible futures of their people.

Many of the tribes did not understand the last part. To survive another day was all they hoped to do. Their next meal, a warm place to sleep, death held at bay for another day. Hriss was different. He heard what the shamans had spoken of. And they knew that he was understanding. But that was a story for another day. The vision had given Hriss a sense of urgency. There was little time to dwell on the past.

He waited for the guards to come. First to feed him. They had relented in their refusal to feed him anything. Hriss had wondered why. Had their soft skin morality changed their mind? Captain Ortiz had explained much about how the other races went about their lives, how they thought. Why the guards were feeding him did not matter though. It was food. Even one such as he still needed food to eat.

When they came the second time Hriss could smell the fear and alcohol on them. The first was reasonable. Hriss was Unbroken. They had beaten him, stabbed him, tried to starve him, and he would not yield. The other smell was a whole different matter. Hriss was very familiar with alcohol. The crew of the Wave’s Delight had introduced it to him. They had called it “an initiation right.” He had also heard One Eyed Charlie say that they wanted to see if “the big lizard could get shitfaced.” Where once there was comradery and a strange warm comfort there was now only loathing and rejection. Hriss still could not remember the exact events that had lead to his jailing. A loud dwarf, an outstretched arm, a warning, violence. Everything else was unclear. That would not be allowed to happen again.

They demanded he put on the chains. Hriss complied. He knew that however drunk they were they would expect him to do something here. In a cell he was cornered and they were armed and wary. Once the manacles were in place they entered and carefully fastened leg irons to him. They checked the crude muzzle around his jaw. They eyed him nervously the whole time. Hriss stared back at them. He knew it made them more fearful. He let a low growl come rumbling out from his chest.

Barely able to walk in leg irons made for beings far smaller they lead him down into a larger chamber. Hriss could make out much more varied scents than he had smelled before in the prison. Elves, humans who lacked the taint of alcohol, something orcish, something goblin, and something he could not place that made him think of brimstone.

The guards pushed him through a door frame. “Against the wall. Try anything and we spill your filthy guts.” Hriss compiled again. Their swords were ready and he was bound. They fastened him to the wall with another thick chain. Hriss took in his companions in the cell.

His nose had been right. Elves, humans, a goblin, a half-orc but with features sharper than any he had encountered previously, and what he could only assume was a tiefling from tales of the Wave’s Delight’s crew. Many of them were young, the goblin and one of the humans were very old. The later intrigued Hriss. These two had survived a long time. He let the dusty air fill his senses with more detail. Many of them smelled of magic like the shamans. Still others had the bitter, metallic tang of the arcane. All of them looked dangerous in their own way. Hriss’ own instincts told him that much.

The guards finished with his chains. One of them cast a look at the other prisoners, was it sympathy? Hriss could not quite tell. Did the guard think that it was cruel to lock others up with Hriss?

They exited the chamber. The door closed and the lock clicked. Bootfalls started to fade. Hriss could hear one of the guards complaining about being late for the dice game due to all these prisoner moves.

Hriss sank down into a crouch. The heavy chains making soft metallic sounds as he moved. He still towered over many in the room. He watched each one of them intently. And he said nothing.

Trast fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 00:20

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Glenn Dunbarrow
HP: 7/7 AC: 15 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

Are...are they ignoring me?

Glenn grits his teeth, ready to bark, only to be interrupted by the arrival of their largest guest yet, a hulking lizard with a piercing gaze. Glenn shrinks back a moment, before realizing it's just another prisoner come to join the throng. He watches as the guards fasten the lizard to the wall, spit, and disappear. Their footsteps recede and, for a time at least, do not threaten to return.

Nine, then. Nine. A mighty number.

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010



Gertrude Penderghast
HP: 8/8 AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

: Kind little angel? "The Hell are you, old bat?" Freed from the prying eyes and ears of the guardsmen, Glenn - perhaps prematurely - pulls loose the stopper on his bottle of emotions. "I ain't your stupid grandkid, alright?"


: “Worm warns to watch his tongue. The stones here are older than him or her, worn down by age. Voices carry far.”

Gertrude smiles patiently at Glenn's outburst and nods when the goblin offers caution "Yes do listen to your cousin, hm? He was always the sensible one." The hag's surprisingly full smile turns on Worm and she speaks in his native tongue <"Do be kind to the little lantern angel inhabiting the halls, we wouldn't want anything untoward to happen. Just yet.">

Gertrude is silent as several of the other prisoners partake of some bickering, but she refrains from interjecting. It would be best to see if those were tensions that were simply flaring up, or if they were long term problems that would need to be carved away from dysfunctional personalities. There was precious little subtlety to be found here thus far, it'd be a lesson to teach some day in the future.

Then the door to the cell opens again and Hriss is dragged in and secured. If it weren't for Gertrude's long cultivated facade being rock solid, she'd definitely have let out a bark of laughter. While she'd prefer the mindless help of a pack of zombies or the mechanical precision of a skeleton to help in certain tasks, sometimes you just couldn't beat a massive slab of living muscle to use in your plans. As the Lizardfolk is settled in, Gertrude turns her focus on him "Eustace! Dear child, how large you've grown since I last saw you. Granny Penderghast is so pleased to see you."

Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Control Flames, Guidance, Light, Mold earth, Spare the Dying, Toll the Dying
Prepared Spells Bane, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, False Life, Healing Word, Inflict Wounds
Feature: Mage Armor (Once per long rest)
Circle of Mortality: Max HP gained when healing creatures at 0hp.
Lvl. 1 [2/2]
Effects:

Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 05:58

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.


It doesn’t take long for the guards to return after leaving the lizardman. In fact, they are all seemingly quite on edge, having been roused early in their shift for something that is beginning to feel more and more like something “off-the-books”, as the lack of a presence of the doddering old flamen Pater Haihn. The warden’s return surely would have spelled more fanfare, which really leaves only one possibility left. You don’t even hear the approach, but soon enough your eyes confirm that last possibility.

Rounding the corner of your cell are a few more guards, two remaining outside as they crank the mechanism that lifts the portcullis-like cell door, with the other two standing guard in front of the man responsible for your current accommodations. While the warden is absent, and the guards seem on one hand jovial and the other hand lax, there is one character that is truly a spoiled apple amid this bunch, one that you can naturally sense. A man of corruption and cruelty that would never be accepted anywhere else in Talingarde, if not for his silver-tongue. A man that belongs just as much in irons as you do, and yet stands there now, striding in between his guards that step aside and allow him in, keeping to the flank. A hush falls over your surroundings, even a stillness.

Ultimately, it feels forced, and unwarranted. Of the many things you expected in your stay, you did not expect Sergeant Thirstan Blackbriar to be your custodian. He is nothing as you expected as well from the talk of the guards. You expected a fat, grasping man with beady eyes, but what you see is an austere man, with groomed mustache and long eyebrows, the stately bearing of a career military man, and a casual cruelty to his movements. He wears the white and blue of Myrcia’s men-at-arms, with the crossed swords and a torch, the heraldry of the prison’s guard. He wears a white cape and brandishes a medal with golden tassels, the Ruby Star that marks he paid his price for valor in blood against the hobgoblin horde ten years before. He wields in his hands a strange rod, a very simple cylinder that is more like a cane in his hands, banded with silver adornments with reliefs of screaming harpies.




Sergeant Blackbriar is also a gnome, and only three and a half feet tall, making the severity of his presence almost farcical. Quickly, it becomes apparent however the hush over the room is not merely a matter of atmosphere: Some strange silence grips the room to an almost unnatural degree. You cannot even hear the shuffling of feet, and if you open your mouth to speak back to him, no sounds come out.

But his voice has no such trouble.

“In my seven years here at Branderscar, I have never seen such a loathsome lot as these nine. It is as if the Nine Hells themselves banded together and spat out villains for us to line up, one by one. A shame that you cannot be made an example of, the good King does not share his grandfather’s taste for such display, and the warden believes in a different approach.”

His hands tighten around the rod.

“Ah, but the warden is not here. And when the master is away, the cats will play, and what do I have here but a little cage of mice.”

He stalks from one to the next, examining each of you with a sneer under a waxed mustache. The guards seem uneasy and at the ready, hands on their weapons, but they do not seem to like this whole matter, but they literally have no voice in the matter.

“It would have been simpler if you hadn’t barked the whole thing up with your little schemes. Twits, all of you. “

He seems puzzled by the old grandmother’s presence, eyeing her suspiciously, and for the first time seems more than a little uneasy when he gets to the lizardman, taking a bit of a step back, before he coughs, clearing his throat before he continues.

“At least you’re all a bit more manageable while I have my talking stick in hand. Now, I may not have leave to lay a finger on any of you. But my remit does include your provisions. So until the warden is back by the end of Lauds on the morrow, “ which would be sometime in the late afternoon, “you will be held here, without food or water. Being forsaken seems to have not been enough for you lot, and it’s no small wonder. I have never understood the insistence of doddering old men to waste coin on fools such as you. Had my way, we’d line you all up at the ravenstone, one by one.”

“Cheaper than feeding scum as yourselves.”

He then arrives at Niashé, whom he considers for a few moments, noting her condition. The gnomish sergeant is incensed, his prominent nose reddening as he snaps at his men. Of course, they were not in much of a state to answer in the silence, only giving worried, chastised looks.

“What is the meaning of this? I will have the hides of whatever men was responsible for this! Lord Richter will not abide this, and more importantly, I’ve been paid good coin to make sure that this one stays in good health. Until she has a chance to send her last regards to her father, Lord Delacrie.”

The name. No one was supposed to know it, and you were certain that while the magistrates saw through the surface of your deception, that there was nothing compelling enough to connect you to a noble family in high standing. You were certain the cabal would certainly have abandoned you entirely, because to do otherwise would be foolish beyond reason. What could be the meaning of this? Sergeant Blackbriar turns and gives for the first time the semblance of a smile, a half-grin which exposes one of his shining gold teeth.

“Take this one to guard station. Her father’s man is waiting for her there.”

The guards seem uneasy and apologetic, treating Niashé, the cultist with the dyed hair, somewhat more gently, but they do not seem to very much like the implication of what is occurred here. With her spirited away without so much as a word spared with the rest of you, it leaves a uncertainty in the air. Something that separates her from the rest.

“Now, I want you all to remember something. The warden may be Lord Richter, but you are in my prison. The prison of Sergeant Thirstan Mabert Holewicket Mintdrinker Blackbriar the III! No mortal has ever escaped this place throughout the century of its use as a prison, and certainly not under my watch.”

He points his talking stick at each of you as threateningly as he can manage, while you are still powerless and unable to respond.

“I’ll repeat myself just once, so get this through your big, thick skulls. You are never escaping Branderscar Prison.”




Five minutes later, the guards are gone, and the field of silence with it, as well as the ninth of your number that was marched away basically moments after she had been hauled down here to meet “her father’s man.” You are to be kept here for over twenty-four hours, shackled to these walls, without food or water. However, the guards are sequestered in their station down the hall, and the spying eyes of the doves are not present. You have time to plan. You have time to plot. You have time to scheme.


Niashé
At your convenience, we can play out your scene with your "father's man" over Discord.

Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 01:01

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"



HP: 10/10 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD 1 (d8)

"Well, that answers your question." She looks at Glenn. "Looks like there IS a dog among these sheep. A tiny yappy dog, and a bit stupid, but a dog nonetheless. " She then looked around.

"He generously gave us some time to talk in his foolishness. Worth more than all the meals of today. But we only get one shot at this. Do we still wait till midnight? I think a fair few of us got the advantage in the dark, right? And the guards won't all be fully armored. How do we get out of the chains though?"

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 15:38

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


You are led into what is usually the guard station at the bottom of the stairwell, where there is a single wooden round table with scattered cards and tankards, and little else adorning your surroundings. You are accompanied by two guards, with your wrists and ankles chained to a brace around your waist, manacles that make each movement restrained as you are led along. Waiting for you in the room however is no one you are familiar with. Whatever you were possibly expecting when the sergeant mentioned your father had sent someone, the figure that you see is completely unfamiliar to you, and certainly not a comforting sight.

He is a tall, muscular man draped in finery, including a mink fur mantle and violet cape underneath it, giving his shoulders the appearance of being broader than they are. His gloved hands are draped over the hooked handle of a long cane, as he leans back on his seat and leaves his legs crossed. His fashion seems, out of time. Anachronistic, but not outdated, but quite unlike anything you have seen before, His hair is a dull auburn with streaks of gray down each side, and his dark eyes are lined with dark rings. His face, while perhaps at one time handsome, is horribly mangled along his left cheek with a terrible scar, looking like it was from some blade wound that never healed properly.

http://tindeck.com/listen/potrh
His presence and form speaks to you of something dangerous, something wound up deep underneath, so taut that it seems to also become as fragile as it is menacing, as if about to break. Restrained beyond reason, and yet his half-lidded eyes land squarely upon you. His voice purrs out. "There you are, young lady. I am glad the sergeant did not keep me waiting for long. Your father has been very, very worried about you."

Laid out before him is a bouquet of many flowers of different shapes and colors, arranged according to the finest decoration. One of the guards comes to bring you over to the seat, and he seems to intend to remain. Without looking at him, the man speaks in a command, a seething sort of tone. "Leave." The guard seems a bit caught, and in a jerky motion steps back. "Ah, yes, of course..." He makes to leave, both the guards waiting outside and leaving the two alone in the room.

When Niashé turns back, she finds the man has a pot of seemingly warm tea in hand, pouring it into two ceramic cups, suddenly standing and playing the part of butler. "You look parched, mistress. And not in the best of health. Have they been mistreating you?"


"Yes." She says simply. She does her best to let her expression remain neutral as her mind races through the possibilities of what might be going on. Nobody in the prison should know her name. If, somehow, someone found out - if there was an inquisition - her parents should have denied up and down any knowledge of her actions. They should have distanced themselves from her without hesitation. Asmodeus's plans were bigger than her. Whatever is happening right now, she doesn't trust for a moment that her father has anything to do with it. She waits for the man to speak again, not touching the tea.


"That simply won't do." He arches his brow, his own expression remaining neutral when she does not take the tea. He is a picture of refinement though he is built as something far less delicate, and it shows in his movement. He does not poor himself a glass, setting the pot down and crossing his arm at his waist, giving a polite bow. "I would apologize for the deception, Lady Delacrie, but we have been aware of your little cabal," and that's said perhaps with a more patronizing tone than was deserved, "for some time. It seemed clear that you would have been the perfect choice for us to... proposition."

The man straightens himself. "You may call me... Katz. I am indeed your father's man, in a manner of speaking. But one that serves your other father, Lady Delacrie."


"Curious that my father would place my name on the lips of my jailors." Niashé takes the offered tea, sipping delicately. Now this was interesting. She wasn't about to let her guard down just yet, but with this new knowledge, an agreeable gesture couldn't go awry.(edited)


Katz smiles. [Observant] You see the teeth are pointed, just barely beyond what is acceptably human, and the patina of his eyes yellowed rather than white. Then you note his hands. They are gloved, but the way they move is, somewhat unsettling, as if they were bent backwards, or in an irregular shape, but he does a good job of hiding them behind his back, after flattening his clothes.

"Consider it a measure of motivation, and surety that we are what we claim. The Maestro would like to meet with you, but he cannot attend to you in such shabby surroundings as these. If you can manage to make it to the moors, follow the old road until you find a manor, with a single lantern lit on the second story window. Enter, and we will continue this conversation from there." He bows, and straightens, and then seems to have almost forgotten something.

"Oh, and do take the black rose with you. Hide it well. You may find its petals bring further gifts from your father, Lady Delacrie." He seems eager to leave as soon as he came, and with Niashé playing it cagey has answered little of what questions she might have. She may have yet the opportunity to wring more out of the strange creature before it leaves, however.


Niashé takes the rose, her blank facade finally giving way to a conspiratorial grin. "Enchantée, seigneur Katz. When do I use it?"


"I'm certain someone of your caliber could... figure it out." He glances over his shoulder, and he traces his gloved hand across the archway leading out. He seems to reach for something in his pocket, as if checking it is there, and sighs with relief. "Be well, mistress."

He leaves you there, and you have a few moments of relative freedom. Your fingers brush over the petals of the black rose, and as they do, your mind seems to visualize different pictures, magical conjurations that each of the petals may manifest if plucked from the rose. There are twelve petals in total, and each presents a wicked possibility to use.

The first petal can become a stiletto dagger, while the second can become a garrote wire. The third can become a hooded bullseye lantern, while the fourth can become fifty feet of silken rope. The fifth becomes a spell component pouch, while the sixth can be a satchel of alchemical reagents, enough for a day's use. The seventh can become a potion of healing, while the eighth becomes a set of thieves' tools. The ninth can become an unholy symbol of Asmodeus, made of silver, while the tenth can become one hundred golden coronas (GP). The eleventh can become a vial of poison, and the twelfth can become a "window" that can be placed against any surface, like a portable hole, but only once.
Soon after, she will be escorted back to the shared cell, assuming she does not resist, the guards seeming to be in a bit of a strange state, even a stupor after the somewhat surreal experience.


"Farewell, then. I look forward to seeing you again." Niashé uses her few moments to take in the petals and their meaning. She hasn't really had the chance to talk with her fellow prisoners yet, but any escape attempt would clearly be easier working together. As she counts the petals, she lingers on the sixth. Alchemical reagents? The other items are mostly typical tools of subterfuge, their functions clear. The collection of vials, powders and mysterious liquids, though, would be more than likely to cause self-injury or simply do nothing if used by someone un-knowledgeable.

As the guards escort her back to her cell, she considers which of her new companions would be the likeliest user of such a thing. The symbol of her Lord, too. While the image is dear to her heart, she doesn't consider it for her own use. Her sorcerous powers have never relied on such icons. Its presence among the petals must mean that one of the other prisoners is a true follower of Asmodeus like her.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



Niashé Minai Delacrie

HP: 9/9 AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d6)

As she's led into the dungeon a second time, Niashé still walks proudly, but is considerably more talkative this time. "I'm glad to see you remain well," she greets her fellow prisoners as she enters the room, her voice exuding a pleasant melodic languor far more suited to drawing-room conversation than the group's present environs. "I would have hated to see the good Sergeant break decorum in my absence."

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 13/13 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d10)

Excellence nods in greeting as the wayward member of their band returns. She hadn't missed the slight hiss of pain when the girl had first been secured, nor the Sergeant's show of temper over her treatment. Whatever the reasons behind it, one thing was clear. That... rib, likely, given what she'd seen similar pains end up being, would do nothing but slow them down on the escape. And if the girl's connections are enough to sway the Sergeant... well, that would probably be helpful. A moment's hesitation could spell death on the field of battle. She'd need to heal that rib sooner or later, if only to fully win her loyalty to their shared cause.

She looks curiously at Niashé, saying, "What was that all about?"

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 01:23

Trast
Oct 20, 2010

Three games, thousands of playthroughs. 90% of the players don't know I exist. Still a redhead saving the galaxy with a [Right Hook].




Hriss “The Unbroken”

HPS: 17/17 AC: 18 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d12)
Rage 2/2 Rage Dmg: +2

Tricky Dick Nixon posted:

He seems puzzled by the old grandmother’s presence, eyeing her suspiciously, and for the first time seems more than a little uneasy when he gets to the lizardman, taking a bit of a step back, before he coughs, clearing his throat before he continues.

Hriss focused his eyes on the new diminutive guard. Even this one smelled of fear despite being in control of the situation. When the little soft skin stepped back it only made Hriss' stare harden.

Tricky Dick Nixon posted:

He then arrives at Niashé, whom he considers for a few moments, noting her condition. The gnomish sergeant is incensed, his prominent nose reddening as he snaps at his men. Of course, they were not in much of a state to answer in the silence, only giving worried, chastised looks.

“What is the meaning of this? I will have the hides of whatever men was responsible for this! Lord Richter will not abide this, and more importantly, I’ve been paid good coin to make sure that this one stays in good health. Until she has a chance to send her last regards to her father, Lord Delacrie.”

What the little soft skin said made Hriss remember something Captain Ortiz had told him.

Flashback... posted:

"Hriss my friend," the captain had begun. "There are many things in our line of work that are troublesome. We are criminal in the eyes of many. But we don't hide that. We are what we are. But there are some criminals who hide behind the law while claiming to serve it. They are the worst. At least with the average lawman you know where they stand. We steal from their masters and they try to take it back. But the corrupt ones are much, much worse. Always looking to line their own pockets. Always willing to stab the man next to them in the back if they don't get what they want."

"Is that why you offered the bribe to the harbormaster?" Hriss had asked.

"Yes that it why. But it is never enough. That man will want more coin the next time we meet. And the next time after that even more. I tell you my large friend that there might come a day when I have you eat this harbormaster instead of giving him my coin."

"I would prefer to just kill that one when you ask such a thing, Captain Ortiz. He had a loathsome smell to him. I don't believe he would taste very good."

Captain Ortiz laughed and slapped Hriss on the back.

It appeared to Hriss that this little gnome was one such person. Hriss pondered what dangers the little man might offer if he was encountered when his next escape attempt was made. Soon the woman was lead back into the cell and secured. She made a comment about the gnome breaking decorum in her absence. This soft skin was curious and was one of the prisoners that had the smell of the arcane about her.

Still Hriss was silent. He had learned early on that many soft skins prejudged him as a witless brute. A reputation justly earned by many of his kin. How they would chose to interact with him in the next few minutes would allow Hriss to know if they would be useful in escape, a hindrance, or perhaps just a source of food. He continued to watch them all. He would learn and act accordingly.

Trast fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 03:16

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



Niashé Minai Delacrie

HP: 9/9 AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d6)

Niashé makes sure to wait until the guards are well out of the room before revealing anything. "I had a gentleman caller." Niashé smiles coyly at the beautiful, towering tiefling. "We had little time together, but he did offer me a parting gift." With a flourish, she produces the black rose, holding it close to her chest.

GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



HP: 7/7 AC: 12 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d6

"Wouldn't be the first time." Salvatrix squints and leans in to try and examine the rose even in this persistent darkness, "Though I do hope Bashande offered more than a little prick." Sal grins like the snotnosed brat she is, all too proud of herself in that fleeting moment.

"And what is that?"


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Firebolt, Friends, Prestidigitation
Known Spells Charm Person, Find Familiar, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Tasha's Hideous Laughter
Feature: Arcane Recovery: Once per day, recover spell slots after a short rest.
Lvl. 1 [2/2]
Effects:

GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:57

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Glenn Dunbarrow
HP: 7/7 AC: 15 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

"Hmph." Glenn allows himself a tired smirk, his polished persona slipping briefly. Niashe Delacrie, eh? He coughs, discretely, regaining his noble affect. "A pretty enough trinket, though it's a shame your little tryst failed to produce something more imminently useful. But fear not, fear not." He puts his hands up. "I always come prepared."

He beats his chest, coughing, wincing. His face takes on a peculiar discomfort. He coughs again, murmurs, and spits a bobby pin into his hand - swallowed for just such an occasion. He snaps it in half, and makes to pick the lock on his own manacles (at disadvantage).

8, 21

The bobby pin clicks and clacks, struggling in the lock.

I, um...well. This always seemed easier in the penny deadfuls.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 03:49

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 13/13 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d10)

Excellence guffaws at Salvatrix's wordplay. It reminds her of life in the army, particularly some of the ribald jabs Small Tom would throw when he was getting cleaned out after a bad hand.

She says to Niashé, "It's a drat fancy flower, to be sure." A brief beat, then she adds, "How's the chest? It looked like you got more than a little roughed up."

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 01:22

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



Niashé Minai Delacrie

HP: 9/9 AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d6)

"If you're that curious about Bashande Cethe, I can think of more productive ways you might use that nimble tongue." Niashé shoots back. "I've not come simply to gossip, though. Loathe as I am to spoil such a heartfelt gift-" Niashé is interrupted by the sound of Glenn coughing and retching. She raises an eyebrow, watching his little ploy play out. As he fumbles with the saliva-drenched bobby pin, Niashé looks on in mild pity. "I commend your resourcefulness, but - here." Niashé delicately plucks one of the petals from the black rose. It turns into an expertly-crafted set of thieves' tools in her hand, and she hands it to Excellence with a sigh. "Pass it along."

When Excellence asks about her health, Niashé frowns. "One of the guards got a little...exuberant...with me. I've never heard of a swift boot to the ribs being used to check on someone's life signs, but I suppose profaning one of Mitra's holiest places can inflame some passions."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2018 around 06:30

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Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 13/13 AC: 11 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1 (d10)

Excellence looks at the rose with newfound appreciation. She says, "A fine trick, no doubt. I don't suppose you've got a blade and some plate mail hidden away?"

As she takes the kit, her hand brushes Niashé's and a spark of pure, glowing power crackles up along Niashé's arm and sinks deep into the noble's body. Excellence isn't quite sure what it must feels like, past it surely being better than the alternative. Competence deserves respect, however, and Niashé had done more than any to get them freed so far. She adds, "I'd imagine that'll help with the pain."

She passes the tools on down the way towards where Glenn was chained.

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 01:22

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