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GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



Halstan is not really expecting Salvatrix, of any other figure, and its hard to say whether she's a comfort or not. He keeps his wand between her and himself, but as it turns out having the candle there is actually worse for his noticing of Excellence (or the murderous halfling hiding behind her) down in the foyer at the foot of the stairs, with only the figure of the witch before her.

"You... You're the Meleki..." That hurt slightly, but her people were very distinctive, and she actually never had given young Halstan her name. "If they find you outside of your cell, they will kill you!" That was actually very unlikely, but it was more like kill in the sense of my mother will KILL me it seemed. "We... We need to get you back. I'm sure... I'm sure we can get you back to your private cell..."

Despite every instinct otherwise, he finally lowers the wand as she's collapsed there, holding the candle aside and reaching out to her, hesitant, as if to help her.


"S-s-salvatrix." She lets the pain show. It's something real. Just like her fearmay be maybe buried deep down somewhere, her regret. You see, the most convincing performances are those grounded in reality. "My name. I'm not just..." Sal turns her head away in shame. The girl knows who she is. Who her people were. What that meant here.

"I can't go back." The fear sparks in her eyes again. Sal takes the boy's hand intended to help her up but instead squeezes it gently. An unspoken plead for comfort, support, anything to keep the encroaching darkness at bay. "If I go back they'll kill me. They'll torture me, they'll make me scream, then they'll burn me alive."

"Please, I-" The tears begin to flow, "I've spent my whole life under someone else's thumb. Do you-" She swallows hard, sniffles, and looks into Halstan's eyes, "Do you know what that's like?"


"Salvatrix." He repeats, a bit under his breath. He's a wizard who has some experience with pronouncing unusual names, even if he's pretty young, he's a quick study. When she turns away, he makes to withdraw his hand a bit uncertain, but then she takes it, and he finds himself squeezing as well. "Torture you? No, that can't be right. That ended with brave king Markadian's grandfather, and the end of the Cleansing..." But its that last word as she begins to cry, making him shift uncomfortably, that strikes a nerve, makes it too believable.

"... Yes. I do." His brow furrows a bit, his other hand white-knuckled a bit in a repressed anger, and then a sigh. "What, what have they done to you?"


"They were so rough." She demures on just the right note to imply rough was just the beginning of whatever treatment she received. "They said such nasty, terrible things. I thought-" She takes a moment to struggle with her tears, to hold back the ugly cry and find strength, "One of them, a big fellow who's breath reeked of liquor. He kept talking about my eyes. How pretty they were. What a shame it was that I'd take them with me when I went. That maybe he should just... That he should just-" The memory seems to overwhelm her and Sal begins to quietly sob right where she is. (Deception check: 25)


Something had gone terribly wrong, and Halstan could feel it. He was a good soul, and his sympathy easy to ply. He didn't have the strength of character to really offer much support, beyond his shaky words and quaking grip, but he did seem to have been hooked on it, shaking his head. "The Sergeant must be behind this, I don't know why the master trusts him so much. But my master is the warden, not Blackbriar. No one is going to hurt you again." He made to help her up.

"I'll put on a kettle, and will speak to Lord Richter. But... We can't wake Vicenza. She won't understand. So we need to be very quiet."


There's a moment where whatever little, redeemable part of Salvatrix might still exist cringes at the thought of what she was doing and yet the rest of her being is completely exhilarated. He had managed her name and cared for her pain even before the lies, and while that gave her momentary pause, she was starting to enjoy him. He is good, and sweet, and everything she needed him to be. Including the anger. Especially the anger.

Sal lets him help her up now, struggling to her feet and ending up just a tad too close. She holds his hand tight, seemingly afraid to let go, as if she now found such great comfort in his presence. "I... I trust you." Maybe she really did. It was all starting to get a bit confusing. Oh well, that happened from time to time. "B-but what about Vicenza? She's not like them, is she?"


The young apprentice was feeling his throat catching on his words a bit, as she gets a little close. He shifted slightly, and considered for a few moments that question. "L-like the guards? I mean, she's never been kind to be. But my master say that though she may seem unkind, at heart she's not a bad person." By appealing to authority, it was easier for him to believe it, but he was truly naive enough to believe that.

"I thought I heard someone else. Are, are you alone?"


"But if she never shows kindness how can her heart be any different? And... you said she wouldn't understand." Salvatrix's words keep the conversation going. Natural and fluid. At first, it might seem to Halstan like she's ignoring his question. Then she slips closer, far too close really, pressed against him with her chin lifted just past his shoulder and lips close to his ear so that she may whisper to him.

"I won't let them hurt you but if they think you intend to sound the alarm or alert the Lord Richter..." It's audible when she gulps at this close distance. The little cracks in her voice all the more noticeable, "I'm sorry, Halstan. Please trust me. Please." It's almost sweet how she keeps his hand as an anchor, not just for herself but the young apprentice now as well.

"Just behind me in the shadows. Look but don't be obvious." She lets her fingers slip from his and wraps both arms around him, "Follow suit. It will buy as a moment more." And buries her nose in his neck to give him a better view.


He didn't know how to respond to that. "I have to believe there's some good in her, because... Because if she is blessed while someone like you is forsaken, there must be some meaning in this mystery. Mitra... Mitra must have a plan."

At her direction, his body becoming ramrod straight at the embrace, he looked past towards the open doorway. The silhouetted, horned figure, with a sword in hand glinting in the candlelight, causes his body to shudder, a volatile mixture of emotions to be mixed with the feeling of the Meleki woman embracing him. He could almost feel a twitch at his eye, his free hand moving towards his wand...

But no. He had to trust her. His eyes glance aside, and he seems to consider a few moments. For a moment, he is steeled, and with a whisper he responds. "Don't worry. I said no one would hurt you. I will save you, Salvatrix." He lifted up the candle, craning his neck up, and made to move up. "But they will need to be quiet. I'll get you some tea, and I can get you some clothes."


She gives him a tender squeeze. It's real affection, honest to god care, and that scares Salvatrix more than the thought of the flames licking her heels. She allows him to slip away, the dim candle light faintly illuminating her flushed cheeks. "Thank you." It's not much, but for once the witch is at a loss for words. Dear Mother had always told her that her heart was a problem.

Sal lets him slip away but not without one last gift. A light kiss, nearly more of a peck, before the two can be parted. Something to think about as he goes off to fetch tea and clothing. Something other than whether he could trust her or if he should do the noble thing. Hopefully, it would stick. The witch had gotten attached whether she liked to admit it or not.

No one had ever been this sweet to her before. Gods, Dear Mother was right. She is a monster.


"I.. I... Uhm, come up into the library, I'll be right back!" He leaves with all due haste that he can muster, leaving them in the dark as he tries to process what exactly is happening. Whether the effort will stick, remains to be seen, but without having to cast a single spell, he has been more or less completely charmed.

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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.


"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — Kitchen

For the most part, the three chosen to scout ahead are still reeling from the engagement before. Hackles raised, they do not sense much where the halflings could have gone, and are taking a measured approach. The halfbreed Egina, after coating her spear with some delicious smelling turnip-and-beef stew, seems ready to call it good and move on out downward to secure the dungeon. However, a thought gives her a small degree of pause. She leans in under the fireplace, which has been recently extinguished, looking up into the chimney. Up there in the smoky passage, she sees a figure outlined in her darkvision only briefly, before dumped in her face is a vial of acidic oils and capsaicin, an improvised pepper spray scattered upon her peering eyes!

Make a Dexterity saving throw, DC 12! If you succeed, you are fine and only get a little splashed. If you fail, you are blinded for one turn, and must make an addition Constitution saving throw at DC 10 or be sickened for an hour!

An old but still agile halfling woman with dark skin and gray hair, clinging to some handholds there in the chimney, drops the tin cup she was holding her mixture end, as it lands with a splash and plop into the stew. She gives a laugh, completely fearless as her people often are in the face of danger, and begins to try and scramble upwards, though slowed of course by the treacherous handholds of the chimney, and not large enough to really put her back and legs into the use. "You'll never catch me or the others! We'll have the guards here soon, and you barmy lot will be back safe and snug in your cells!"

With only one enemy, it's not necessary to go into proper initiative. She's currently 10' up in the chimney, near where she can climb up into the second floor to escape. That's enough for someone with 30' to climb up after her, though they will have to succeed at a DC 12 Strength (Athletics) check, and will have disadvantage to any attacks. She has 6 HP, and her AC is 12.

"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — The Warden's Tower

Halstan leads Salvatrix up into the second floor, and then continues up the spiral staircase, turning only to say, "Please, wait here!" before marching back up. By the looks of things, there are four floors in total for the tower, and each has the same high, vaulted ceilings as the hall. There are also the magical sconces, but they are dimmed such that they provide almost no light at all, and Halstan, for good reason, doesn't waken their magic, though likely the activation word is simple (though in Draconic since this is a wizard of Arzardys they are dealing with). He does leave his candle behind on a table however.

Excellence can follow suit if she desires, though making some noise of metal against metal without much subtlety. Such provides at least cover fro Glenn as he stays at the edge of the candlelight and completely out of sight. They are given some time to take in their surroundings, as they can hear the very faint footfalls above of Halstan making a kettle of tea.

It is clear that this library, rather than anywhere else in the prison, is the warden's pride and joy. It is finely appointed and immaculately cleaned, with glass panels over particularly sensitive displays of ancient texts and scrolls. In Talingarde, books are still a wondrous thing, and are worth (quite literally) their weight in gold, even the more common texts. They are always hand-made and illuminated with great care. Only in Gebroan has any sort of printing press taken off, and they are used for pamphlets and monographs more commonly than full codices. There is a great number of those sorted as well. All in total, there are perhaps fifty full tomes to take with you, if you so choose, but the trained eye might be able to indicate a few special tomes that might be worth even more, or even have some particular uses.

There is also an office, the walls made of glass panes that only reach up halfway, with an unlocked door leading into a study desk, and a comfy tall chair. There is a fireplace here, as well as some books piled here and there. Maps of Talingarde can be found as well scattered, and on the desk is a crystal ball on a dais, almost completely opaque. On top of the chair sleeps a white cat. As one of you crosses around or approaches it, it stirs, and then its hair begins to stand on end and it arches its back, tail straight out, giving a hissing, low growl, and then a snarl, before darting to disappear upstairs, if not otherwise caught or cornered.

More interestingly however, there is a single case at one end of the room, near a shrine of Mitra and a shrine of Bahamut, which has on blue velvet a single tome that is expertly crafted. Its binding is fine cerulean leather with intricate gold-leaf designs, its edges reinforced with brass fittings. There is no label, save for the Draconic rune for "R." At each of the shrines are four scrolls as well, given a place of honor and held in the hands of the faceless Mitra, or the talons of the dragon Bahamut. The display case is locked with a single iron lock.


Loot posted:

Each books weighs an average of a single pound, and is worth ten gold pieces if you can find a buyer. Thus they are very valuable. There might be a few that are specifically valuable: Feel free to make a History, Arcana, Religion, or Nature check to identify one, and tag me on Discord, and I'll describe it.

The four scrolls are likely spell scrolls, and the blue tome is obviously a spellbook, though you will not have much time to discern much from either. You will have enough time to loot the library before you are interrupted, but you don't have all the time in the world.

Passive Investigation: You notice that copper wire lines the inside of the display case. It is enchanted with an alarm spell, and it would be impossible to open the display case without triggering the alarm, as the wire is not accessible to you as it was at the door. This is the work of a professional, as opposed to the amateurish job outside.

While the three of you take in the library, Glenn, with his sharp ears, hears a voice creak carefully open above, and a hushed argument. Assuming he lets the others know, it would appear the second apprentice is now away. Alert to such, he can see just at the edge of shadow something flit at the top of the staircase, looking downstairs. As they strain to hear, they can hear the other apprentice arguing vociferously for them to call upon the guards or ring the alarm upstairs. Halstan appears to be begging that she do otherwise, or else they may be killed.

What do you do?

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 I realize what's going on here, a small, smug grin spreads across my face. I whisper to the others, "These chains are just part of the Dimensional Anchor spell that is holding our friendly monster in this plane. A few drops of acid will break the focus and, more importantly, the ward holds no peril for us."

Save DC: 15
Cantrips: Mage Hand
Effects:

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

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




HP: 13/13 (5 THP) AC: 19 Villain Points: 4/5 HD: 1 (d10)

Excellence, content to let Salvatrix work her wiles on the idiot boy, remains largely silent and menacing, though she does move up into the library with the group. The point of the exercise was to secure valuable goods and to eliminate potential threats, after all, and there was surely something interesting in a mage's library. Though, try as she might to make sense of the titles, Excellence found little that would either serve as a valuable for later trade or something serving deeper purposes still. She pockets the treatise on sainthood, almost as an afterthought, and continues to peruse the shelves. If nothing else, it'd make fine tinder.

That's a 4 to find something with Religion.

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 01:20

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: 4/5 HD 1 (d8)

"Ah, there's the little...AA..." Egina's cry is muffled as she bites down on her own arm to prevent from making a loud noise, having taken the biting substance straight into her eyes, furiously trying to wipe the biting hot stuff away from her eyes. "Kill the old goat!" She snarls. "She's almost at the second floor. I will tear the filthy hag's eyes out!"

Failed the Dexterity save, passed the constitution save, so blinded for one round

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:48

GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



HP: 7/7 AC: 15 (Mage Armor) Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d6

Salvatrix takes a seat without a word once they reach the library. Her head in his her hands the moment Halstan is gone. She takes a long, deep breath shrouded in darkness and silence. That was supposed to be easy. It was unfortunate, really, that Halstan wasn't some glory seeking adventurer or zealous priest looking for his Lord's favor. He was just a boy, a hair younger than herself, that had taken every word at face value and become distraught for her safety not out of his own benefit but some inherent goodness that Salvatrix couldn't even begin to understand.

drat him. drat her stupid little heart. drat whatever little good was left in her that made this pit in her stomach. Gods she could eat the flesh of man and lure curr to a foul demise but so help her as she took this pure soul from his path the desire to wretch was almost too much.

Sal abruptly stands and flits to the bookshelves. A distraction would do her good. Something old and arcane, filled with strange truths that would fetch a hefty price. It's not hard, not in a library like this anyway, and in mere moments she had pulled the Astra Mysterii from its place on the shelf. Dear Mother's collection of odds and ends had contained many old tomes and scroll, translated sloppily into Sylvan and Common by souls she had never met though almost certainly not the night hag herself, and at least a handful of them had mentioned the writings of the mad monk Clivarus when talking of the stars. It was written in its original text, as far as the witch could tell, an Infernal script she could neither read nor write. But Excellence, perhaps, could. Salvatrix steps lightly across the room to the towering tiefling and offers her the book, "It's worth a pretty penny but you might want to read it first. I hear it's good." There's a small smile across her lips, one that offers some kind of condolence or reassurance that the human witch was certainly still on their side, before she returns to sit in front of the candle once again. Should Halstan return, tea in hand or with Vicenza at his heel, Sal was determined to be the first thing seen.

Sal's arcana check came out at 13. She's found quite the fancy tome worth 175GP and possibly filled with some interesting insight.


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

GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:52

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: 4/5 HD 1 (d8)

Niashé looks up the chimney, her eyes as able as Egina's (well, more, given that Egina's eyes weren't seeing much at all at the moment) and with some words and gestures, caused an elegant, disembodied hand, with sharp, red painted nails hand to appear, surprising the halfling and carving deep, chilled rends in her back. Still, she continued to climb, blood dripping down, amusement replaced with grim determination.

But Egina had recovered enough from the pain, and was driven enough by anger now to pull the large pot aside and walk into the chimney. Following the sounds of effort, she growled and tossed the spear blindly upwards. There was a meaty sound of impact, and a short cry of pain. The halfling, her hands just at the edge of the entrance, trying to find the strength to pull herself up, where even her corpse might give warning, but failing to find the strength and tumbling down below.

Where Egina waited. The half-orc reached up, managing to hold her, forcing her eyes open to look in the vague shadow that was the halfling's face, trying to make sure she could give her some final words. "I will cook you into your stew, old goat, and feed you to your friends!" And with that, the furious half orc dumped the halfling's body in her own stew.

Niashé at work, with her permission including her action in my post, she hits the halfling does 5 damage, Egina rolls blindly with a spear ranged attack with disadvantage and hits, even 1 damage is enough, so the halfling gets taken out.

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:48

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: 4 of 5 Remaining HD: 1 (d12) Rage 2/2 Rage Dmg: +2

Hriss watched as Egina Aduz and Reve dispatched the elder halfling in the chimney. The small soft skin's words before death taunted them with discovery. But with one door locked, the other the groups means of entrance, and the halfling trying to climb a treacherous chimney it really came down to two possibilities. Either there were more halflings hiding in the kitchen or their weren't. Hriss knew that the soft skins feared his kind. He decided to make that work to his advantage.

"Little soft skins. You have one chance to surrender and live to see another day. If you force me to hunt for you I promise I will devour you whole." He let a reptilian growl out to emphasize his menace. It was surely a sound out of many soft skin's nightmares.

If the halflings reveal themselves "Very wise, little soft skins. It would be foolish to throw your lives away against ones such as us." Hriss will tie up and gag the halflings and put them in a corner of the room.

"We are done here. There is much left to do and time grows short." Hriss says to Reve and Egina Aduz and urge them onward to the remaining guards.


If the halflings do not reveal themselves. "If there were any little soft skins left in this room they would not be brave enough to still be hiding. We waste our time here. If the guards have been alerted we are in great danger. Let us deal with them now."

Out of character comments and mechanics

Rolling intimidation to coax any halflings in hiding to surrender. On Roll20 rolling 1d20+1 (19)+1= 20

If any halflings reveal themselves and surrender: Hriss is fine with letting them live as long as they are tied up and gagged. His real concern is the remaining guards
OR
If no halflings reveal themselves: Hriss is a very scary lizardman. If no one surrenders they weren't there to begin with. He will urge moving on to the guards.

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.


"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — Kitchen

The halfling cook cries out, a sound that echoes up and down the chimney as she slips and falls back, while her final breath is stolen away by the shadow sorcerer's necromantic magic. With her life snuffed out like a candle, she lands in the cooking pot with a large splash, the spear sticking out her body that floats to the still bubbling top. There's a stillness after that, as her blood begins to pool crimson at the surface intermingled with the stew's broth. The two standing near the chimney can hear, just faintly, a door swing open, and the shuffling of boots, likely one of the guards. A voice, likely a dwarf by the sound of it, calls out with a bit of trepidation. "Hello? Tisidora, was that you? I swear by St. Clageddin's beard I heard something..." A lantern light begins to creep up near the fireplace opening.

But that's not the only alarming sound that is heard. At the lizardman's threat, there's a faint sound. It can be barely heard, but heard it is. A sobbing sound, a pitiful sniffling, and a scuffing sound. But it is not in any of the cupboards or pantry areas. It is coming from beneath you, beneath the set tiles and grout of the floor. We sink in beneath to see, and underneath the surface, in a secret space, they begin to shuffle along, now at a quickened pace. One, a young halfling woman, weeps almost catatonic, having heard Tisidora's death, while an older bearded halfling attempts vainly to drag her along. The fourth, a younger man, has already just about scrambled away in a complete panick. "Which way is it? Which way old man!?"

The bearded one however doesn't want to leave anyone behind. "Come on now, lass. We've got no chance."

"Why are they doing this, Gregory? Why did they kill her?!"

There is enough of a delay in their escape that may prove fatal, but they do not surrender themselves, only give away their position. You have a last clear chance to stop them before they take this hidden passage to whatever direction they are headed, but the question is again similar as it was before. Once you have an idea of where they have gone, it becomes easy to discern how they filched themselves away: The ash is disturbed in a very particular way, and it would appear there is some sort of trap door at the bottom of the chimney underneath the cooling cinders, and a fireplace poker used to lift it up rests nearby.


You can attempt to tear up the floor. It's a Strength check at DC 18, advantage if you use an appropriate tool for leverage. Doing so will likely let you cut off at least two of them, though will cause some noise. Otherwise, one or more of you will have to get into the crawlspace, but since none of you are Small, you will be at a severe disadvantage in there and will need to think of something relatively clever before letting them escape. Those are only the two more obvious options. You may still work off of Hriss's Intimidate to have at least two of them surrender, but they feel secure enough that they weren't going to give themselves up to a single social skill check, especially since they have an escape route that isn't cut off from them and until now you didn't know about. If you convince them that their escape is otherwise in vain, it may still work.

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010



Gertrude Penderghast
HP: 8/8 AC: 19 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

: "These chains are just part of the Dimensional Anchor spell that is holding our friendly monster in this plane. A few drops of acid will break the focus and, more importantly, the ward holds no peril for us."

Gertrude gives a pleased nod when Pharom lays out the relative safety of the cell in front of them "Excellent work. Do try to save as much of that chain as possible, It's likely I could grind it down to provide some blessings in coming days, and if not the metal is always worth a purse."

As the chain is pondered over, Gertrude keeps glancing back toward the end of the hall nervously. There was a distinct lack of murderous sounds echoing toward them and she wasn't fond of leaving the guards to their own devices for too much longer. "It seems like our friends upstairs are having troubles, we might wish to take care of the guards ourselves at this rate." She glances at the chain and then to the pair with her "Perhaps our new friend would be amenable to squeezing up hole in our cell and assisting with that task?"


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Control Flames, Guidance, Light, Mold earth, Spare the Dying, Toll the Dead
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: Mage Armor: AC is 13+dex (8 hours)

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Glenn Dunbarrow
HP: 7/7 (5 THP) AC: 15 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8
Effects: 1d6 Bardic Inspiration for the next 10 minutes

Glenn lowers his bow at the boy's exit and lets out a small sigh. He shudders. He's been operating on adrenaline since the barracks. The bow in his hands serves to comfort him. It's a ranged weapon. Putting some distance between himself and his future victims seems...prudent.

The library itself is magnificent to behold. Glenn has seen it's like before, of course, but it's enough to transport him (temporarily) to happier days. He recalls the reading garden of the royal libraries he visited in his youth. He sets about examining the place. The Warden's office beyond calls to him, but he quiets the impulse. Thing at a time, thing at a time. He makes a note of the ornate case - in particular the spell that safeguards its contents. Likely the work of the other. Something to come back for once they're taken care of. In the meantime, he gathers a few books to collect, keeping his eyes peeled for any especially useful books that might document the history of the region (9).

It's all a bit nostalgic, really. He sees himself, in his mind's eye, a boy in his father's study. He sees himself pulling a book from the shelf and opening it to a random page. It's a book on foreign delicacies. The words are crisp and clear, only once he starts reading it, the ink begins to glisten and flow down the page, staining his fingers. The ink is thin, growing thicker, and black, then red. A deep and sickening red; growing, flowing, encompassing him. Drowning him.

The muffled argument upstairs snaps Glenn back to reality. He shuts his eyes tight, and sidles up to Sal and Excellence. He looks a bit haggard in the dim light.

"Choirboy's having a spot of trouble upstairs. Best be prepared. Also," he gestures over his shoulder in the direction of the case, "Some goodies in there, only it's sealed. Probably not our kid's work. Need to deal with the other if we want it open."

So speaking, he retrieves his bow and drifts back into the darkness.

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.


"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — The Warden's Tower

The three of you have pored over the tomes, looking for anything of value or use, as the argument upstairs has wound up towards its fateful conclusion. With the mad dash of the cat upstairs, there is a bit of a yelping sound as poor Halstan is all but pushed a bit down the first steps, steaming kettle in hand and with his wand in the other, shoulders slumped forward slightly. It's as if there is a crossbow held to his back, though there is no such immediate danger. Behind him in her own shift, though also a furred mantle clasped at the front with a golden brooch, is Vicenza, her lips curled up in her usual sneer. Her hands are hidden under the mantle, and she makes to position herself behind Halstan and whatever is waiting for her down there.

She is an older woman, not some recent adolescent like Halstan. She is obviously a half-elf, but she could be well into her forties or fifties (that is to say, the apparent age of a thirty year old human woman). She must be quite a late bloomer, to still be an apprentice of the same level as the sixteen-year-old commoner. Her eyes are alight with cruelty, but that makes her if anything less sympathetic to the villains that have invaded her master's sanctum.


"<Mitne.>"

Vicenza's word in Draconic causes all of the light sconces to begin to flare up, filling the room now completely with the cool blue light. Glenn luckily is out of her sight range, able to duck out of the way and disappear behind some shelves, but both Salvatrix and Excellence are completely exposed.

"Whatever it is you scum are planning, it ends now. I've alerted the sergeant and men will be here shortly to secure the tower. Drop your weapons and you will be returned to your cells, alive. If you refuse, I will crush you like the disgusting insects you are."

She is coming out immediately strong out of the gate, all fiery bravado with her thick Lucidorean accent. [Passive Insight] However, there is a tinge of fear underneath. It is a bluff, a grandstanding lie to try and cow them, which won't work so well on hardened villains as it might a callow Myrcian farmboy like Halstan. Speaking of the poor sod, he stands a bit precariously there, looking ready to defend her, but his eyes speak of a lot more terror, knowing that the villains are likely to respond unkindly to those words. He looks to Salvatrix first almost pleadingly, as if desperate to try and communicate some plan to assure her safety.

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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

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

As Gertrude speaks, Worm glances back at the end of the hallway himself. It was rather quiet, considering what the others were up to. He did not think they would be defeated, at least without an audible struggle, so he was rather curious as to what was going on. Nevertheless, the old woman was right. Whatever was happening or had happened, a new ally would be most useful.

“Elder Penderghast speaks wise. Worm shall speak quickly with the Quaggoth.”

Bringing out the rake he had acquired earlier, the goblin knocked open the metal slot, and scampered up the various bits of metal surrounding the door. Carefully, and with one more quick glance back down the hallway, Worm spoke out into the cell,

“Quaggoth. Worm and companions are interested in releasing you. If you are interested.”

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:
Relationships
Hriss: Respectfully Wary | Glenn: Indifferent | Gertude: Curiously Cautious
Niashe: Irritatingly Useful | Salvatrix: Resents | Excellence: Distrusts
Egina: Tenatively Respects | Pharom: Is an Elf (Knowledgeable)

TheFireMagi fucked around with this message at Jun 12, 2018 around 02:53

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.




"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — Dungeon

The slot into the Beast's cell opens with a metallic whine with the knock of the rake. Climbing up, Worm peers inside with his good eye. Only a little of the light trickles in with a small shaft of light. There are no windows here, as it is entirely bricked in, with no signs of furnishings or anything. As his vision adjusts to the darkness, he begins to try and spot where the creature is. He looks back and forth, and finds that the cell appears to be almost complete empty. To the left, nothing but stone. To the right, what appears to be some rags and broken manacles. A few moments, and it occurs to Worm where he has not looked.



As Worm cranes his neck, the figure drops from the ceiling, landing completely silently upon the pad of its feet, suddenly filling the entirety of your vision. Scarlet hair with golden tips, glinting in the light, and two beady eyes on a wide-set face mostly filled with a wide, toothy maw, that is... grinning? The eyes glint light like those of a cat, filling most of the slot there before you as it looks back. With a dissonant voice, that sounds disturbingly human, with a tinny, almost childlike sing-song quality, it asks...


"Are you sure about that?"

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

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




HP: 13/13 (5 THP) | AC: 19 | Villain Points: 4/5 | HD: 1 (d10) | Divine Sense 6/6 | Lay On Hands 5/5 (HP)

Excellence, by the time Vicenza makes her grand entrance, doesn't even bother to have her sword at the ready. She's seen the type before in the army. All that fire, all that bravado... all to cover how little control the half-elf felt she had. Excellence grins broadly at the woman's ultimatum, responding, "Oh? You really think that the good sergeant will leave his game? I've heard the talk. The sheer amount of coin trading hands... the drink... Hah. He'd not come running if you told him the good king himself was at the gates."

The tiefling drops heavily onto a chair, gesturing at the one opposite, "Come now, let's have a chat. You haven't been cooped up in this tower long enough to forget how to do that, I trust?" She doesn't particularly wait for Vicenza to move one way or the other, content to keep the momentum. "The way I see it, we can leave this room one of two ways: as friends, or dear Salvatrix and I will simply have to leave corpses behind us. A waste, that. I can see you have drive, yes, and no little thirst for power." The unspoken invitation hangs in the air for a moment, then Excellence leans forward and makes her pitch, "I think you've seen enough to know how this night ends. The guards can't stop us. The sergeant is too corrupt to do his sole job! And your master, well, he'll arrive far too late."

Excellence looks at the woman with some sympathy, "I think you know well what'll happen when our escape is discovered. There'll be a scapegoat... and do you think your voices will outweigh that of our dear sergeant and his stick? Come now, surely you're not so naive." Excellence gestures at the tower. "All of this will be lost to you, the only replacement a cell. Do you fancy the gallows? I do hear that's the going rate for dereliction of duty."

The tiefling leans back into the chair, her posture utterly self-confident and unguarded, then she says one final temptation, "Would you be the scapegoat...?" A beat. "Or do you want power? My lord is not sparing with those who please him."

That's a 19 to persuade Vicenza.

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 01:19

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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

Worm of the Sharpfang
HP: 11/11[5 THP] AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8| Bardic Inspiration: Yes [d6]

Worm recoiled slightly as the Quaggoth fell from the ceiling, caught off guard. He clicked his tongue out of annoyance, not at the Quaggoth, but at himself for being careless. That time wasted looking around the cell could have left him in harm’s way, if the Quaggoth sought to harm him. Which, technically, he still could, if he wanted. Considering his long arms, the Quaggoth could probably reach the goblin and smash his face against the door, though at least Pharom had yet to begin his work on the silver binding the Quaggoth. Nonetheless, best to play this one safe.

“Worm is sure of few things, Quaggoth. He is sure you are dangerous. That you could kill him if you chose.” Digging out the bottle of rotgut that Glenn had tossed him, Worm slid it through the metal slot as he continued to speak. “But Worm is also sure that none like to be caged. Treated like less than animal. Treated like worm.”

He pauses, thinks. This type of speaking was not his specialty. Most types, actually. But he was here, of his own volition. Had to see it through now.

“Worm is simple, so he will state it simple. You will be freed. We will our kill captors together. From there… Worm and Quaggoth will see. Is this agreed?”

Rolled a 15 on Persuasion to get across my sincereness.

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:
Relationships
Hriss: Respectfully Wary | Glenn: Indifferent | Gertude: Curiously Cautious
Niashe: Irritatingly Useful | Salvatrix: Resents | Excellence: Distrusts
Egina: Tenatively Respects | Pharom: Is an Elf (Knowledgeable)

TheFireMagi fucked around with this message at Jun 12, 2018 around 03:37

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



Niashé Minai Delacrie

HP: 9/9 AC: 14 Villain Points: 4/5 HD: 1 (d6)

Niashé looks irritated as she prestidigitates bits of soup out of her hair and clothes. "Well, I'm definitely not going to try a spoonful now."

At Hriss's growled threat, Niashé waits a second for the fleeing kitchen staff's inevitable surrender. When it does not immediately come, however, she quickly springs into action. "Control yourself, lizard!" She hisses icily at Hriss. "No killing unless we have to." Trusting that Hriss will catch on to what she's thinking before he opens his mouth in protest, she walks over to more or less where she heard the voices coming from and crouches down, wanting them to hear her voice coming from as close as possible. Not having to raise her voice enough to further alert the guards is also a plus. "We can hear you down there. What happened to your friend was an unfortunate accident. If you come back to us quietly, don't resist, and let us tie you up, I'll make sure my companions do you no harm. If you get outside, though...I'm sure you've met our man, Mr. Blackbriar? You've seen what he does to people. He'll take any excuse to kill. And oh, how his victims suffer before he allows them to pass." Niashé's voice drips with menace. Having felt her own agonizing execution in last night's dream, she knows well what she's talking about. "You wouldn't want him to be the one to find you."

Deception: 9 + VP = 13

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 12, 2018 around 03:33

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: 4 of 5 Remaining HD: 1 (d12) Rage 2/2 Rage Dmg: +2

Wol posted:


"Control yourself, lizard!" She hisses icily at Hriss. "No killing unless we have to." Trusting that Hriss will catch on to what she's thinking before he opens his mouth in protest, she walks over to more or less where she heard the voices coming from and crouches down, wanting them to hear her voice coming from as close as possible.

Hriss nods to the one called Reve. He also backed away from where the sound of the halfling voices were coming from. Fear was a powerful advantage and he felt the strange human and half orc were well suited to use it now.

GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



HP: 7/7 AC: 15 (Mage Armor) Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d6

Glenn's warning is quickly followed by Halstan's stumbling arrival. The wand at his side startles Sal, an immediate betrayal she hadn't even considered, though it gives way to baser weariness when she meets his eyes. She raises her hands slowly in front of her with palms forward once more to show Vicenza she remained unarmed, but it was unlikely the second apprentice would be as trusting of the witch. There was a little solace in the fact that the half-elf woman was a just as terrible a liar as the boy, but even that didn't diffuse the situation.

There's a little shake of Sal's head at the suggestion that she'll leave any corpses behind, seemingly aghast at the idea. She maintains eye contact with Halstan through the whole of Excellence's villainous proposal, an acceptance of his intentions even if they had quite certainly gone awry. Once Asmodeus' chosen finishes her proposal Sal quickly follows up.

"No need for any hasty decisions. Let's have a bit of tea and sort this all out. Let me..." She begins to slowly stand from her seat, "Let me take the kettle."

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

GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:52

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: 4/5 HD 1 (d8)

Egina considers going along with being reasonable, but there's the possibility that the folks heard her remarks. Best to continue in the same vein. "Hah, he's devious little poo poo, ain't he? Got us the meeting, made sure we all were imprisoned together. Has most of the guards playing cards and getting drunk. If only he could keep the kitchen clean. You'd best take her offer, you little runts. The pink skin lady here's annoyingly soft-hearted. And me and the big guy have to listen to her. No such luck if you run into someone who's been bought outside. So come here so we can lock you up and get out of this shithole."

Roll deceit, 12+6= 18

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 13:47

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010




HP: 8/8 AC: 19 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

Gertrude gives another furtive glance toward the end of the hall as the quaggoth lands and makes its counter-inquiry. It's voice didn't seem to carry particularly far given it was behind a mostly sealed door, but that protection didn't extend as nicely to the group standing in a hallway.

Caution gets the better of the old woman and she pats Pharom on the shoulder, whispering brusquely "I don't trust our luck to hold much longer. I'll be taking a post in the branding room to keep an ear out, if they decide to interrupt I'll give them a small taste of the magic I've scraped back together."


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Control Flames, Guidance, Light, Mold earth, Spare the Dying, Toll the Dead
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: Mage Armor: AC is 13+dex (8 hours)


quote:

Gertrude is going to post up in the branding room to pincer attack the guards if they decide to investigate our mutterings with the quaggoth. While she's in there she'll definitely keep an eye out the iron that was used to brand us all, it's something we all kind of want to grab haha.

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.




"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — The Warden's Tower

"Your master has been dead and gone for over a hundred years. His Dominion was smashed and ground into the dirt. Loyalty was repaid with betrayal, first of the orcs, then of you horned folk, but for us in Lucidor, we were only ever gifted, the first to swear, with being abandoned to corpse-eaters," and with that she spits in Salvatrix's direction, "and then the marauders that were once the Pretender's legions."

Vicenza had faltered slightly in her bravado at Excellence's words, but the final offer did not move her. The Pretender is a euphemistic term used for Asmodeus. Even today, no one in Talingarde, if they even know about Asmodeus, will dare speak his name. Instead, the insulting sobriquet of his attempt at worldly rule, the only way he is referred to in the Mitran tradition, is used by the more learned. Excellence has likely heard it before, and it might bristle to hear it from Vicenza's lips, dripping with poison. The Lucidoreans have a famously long memory for vendetta, and they were treated poorly by the Dominion and its fall, even if their glory has been dispossessed now by the dragonborn. She could tell that Vicenza, while having a taste for cruelty, was not motivated by greed.

She was motivated by a sin more befitting her people. Pride. There might be a way to speak to that, but you will have to offer more than the power of a dark god that has not been heard of in Talingarde for a century. However, you have her attention, and as she continues, it's clear she's discarding her bluff and, while still trying to save face, more or less standing down.


"What is going to happen is that you will leave this place, with my master's things intact. I don't care if you escape. I will not pursue you. But know that neither myself nor Halstan are to be held responsible for this; it is the warden's duty. Apprentices such as us will be patted on the head and returned to the University, to find some other doddering old creature to mind us while we are made to play with cantrips and abstract theory. It's such that even commoners are given equal chance to their betters."

[Passive Insight/History] You can tell by the way that she speaks that she does feel constrained. Wizards are accepted in Talingarde, but under many restrictions and the watchful eye of the Church. "Blasphemous" knowledge such as the summoning and binding of fiends have been completely purged, thus they are not even widely practiced spells. There is rigorous testing for each circle of initiation, and a lot of gatekeeping in which more powerful wizards are complicit in enforcing. Thus most wizards of either school, whether Rhadlun or Arzardys, rarely reach vaunted heights of power.

[Insight DC 14] This will require a roll to detect, as none of you have a passive Insight high enough. There's a definite jealousy of Halstan barely concealed in her actions and words. It's not a hard conclusion to come to that she, a fully-grown woman of aristocratic lineage, is at the same level of learning (and likely power!) as a sixteen-year old farm boy. She likely has a complex, but it also might indicate she's not as talented as she thinks she is. Exploiting this knowledge might give advantage on an appropriate check, but it's risky: If her pride is wounded, she might lash out.

As Vicenza speaks, never leaving her perch on the stairs as she stairs down the confident tiefling bladesworn, Halstan meets Salvatrix's eyes, and when she reaches out for the kettle, his mind races. He quiets the quaking of his hands and lets out a tight breath, as he hands the kettle over to the approaching witch. He has to trust her. He finds himself between one terrible fate and another, and curses himself inwardly for not having more strength of character to have stood up to either. It is easy to see that Vicenza expects that if there is to be an attack, that she will be defended from one angle by the stairway, and the other by Halstan as a human shield.

This is to say, she has 3/4's cover, and thus her AC is 19 at this time (13 mage armor + 1 Dex + 5).

There's a tangible feeling of tension in the air. Somehow, you feel that your time here is limited, though you can't adequately explain why. It's that sort of feeling of impending calamity, like water dripping on your forehead from an unseen amphora. Everything threatens to come undone in the coming minutes.

"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — Kitchen

Holding the young halfling girl close, Gregory, the oldest of the three, whispers as reassuringly as he can manage. "Don't weep, lass. Pray. The light always comes, I promise you." He was slowly resolved, just as Tisidora had given herself to try and distract the villains long enough for the others to escape, to save the others as best he can. He knew his life was likely forfeit, but he thought he had a plan that would at lease secure the lives of the other two.

Slowly, he lifted the metal grate under the smoldering ash, heavy leather gloves in hand, and crawled out, likely becoming snatched up by the lizardman. He did not complain, only whistled through the gap in his teeth, his mouth hidden behind a bushy mustache and his head a crown of white, whispy hair balding about his head. "Aye, aye, do what you must. But let the wee little one go. Take me as your hostage. I'll help you anyway I can, I know this castle like the back of me hands. And so long as I breathe, the young ones won't do anything rash and stay out of your way. I know the boys in blue as well well, and they won't want any more bloodshed if they can help it."

His eyes were sad, as if unconvinced that this appeal would land on such black hearts as these, but it was his gambit. And he was aided somewhat in circumstances. Up on the next floor, the dwarven guard meandered over to the fireplace, peering down. "Hellooo?" He called out in his lilting Gebroan accent. The eyes of the hill dwarf focused, and he gave a bit of a startled cry. You see, dwarves have darkvision, and the chimney isn't really that deep, and the soup has turned a rather unseemly crimson color, with a halfling's body floating at the surface. "Hells' bells! The old battleaxe's been murdered!" Time seemed to slow slightly in that moment of alert.

Your opportunity to decide what to do next was somewhat limited. You had an old halfling hostage, and a dwarven guard about to raise the alarm on a completely different floor. You'd need to be clever, quick, and/or mad to keep everything from falling apart.


Your move.

"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — Dungeon

Meanwhile, someone else was about to be loosed that threatened the thin veneer of order to this operation. As Worm speaks to the creature, it seems to lean back into the darkness, the color of its coat fading into that grayish shades and silhouettes that darkvision grants, giving it an unusual, surreal quality as it turns from bright colors to less so.

"No one has ever tried talking to me before."

It has a sort of wonder and curiosity in its voice. If you were not looking at the bestial source of the words, you would scarce believe where it came from. There isn't any hint of menace or violence to the words, as you might expect. Yet everything about it physically was coiled muscle, bristling fur, and rows of sharpened teeth. It was almost sad, what it said. In between its capture, imprisonment, and study by the wizard, it sounded like no one had ever treated it before as more than a monster, even though it could clearly speak Common. The fey, especially unseelie, are layered in glamour and illusion, but one had to wonder, is this misbegotten creature simply misunderstood?

The acid begins to make its work. The first link in the chain breaks, with two more to go before it all falls down.


"I guess that is reason enough not to kill you, Mr. Worm. It's so lonely and boring in here."

A second link in the chain broke. At this point, the acid began to drip further. There wasn't really any way to turn back now, unless you wanted to burn the skin on your fingers.

"I haven't had fun in so long. So let's have fun together."

You had the feeling that, much like you and the rest of your party, this creature wasn't simply misunderstood. That third and final chain broken and the silver landed in a clatter where it could be collected. Of course, the portcullis was still intact, as was the door, and the bricks housing it in. But like the rattle of a dying man, the abjuration magic disappeared, and with it, the quaggoth with its Chesire smile seemed to fade. Even with Worm's darkvision, it seemed to twist and unwind like so much string, disappearing in shades of black and gray, color draining out until it was nothingness, disappeared.

And yet its presence was still there, unmistakably.

You could see the bars twist as it moved between them, the space warping as if it was the surface rippling of water, or like a thin sheet of silk under which something twisted and moved underneath. As it moved past, the torchlight seemed to fade with it, as it made to pass through, and move along down that hall, not with frightening alacrity, but rather a stalking speed, like that of a jungle cat.

Occasionally, its form would flicker back into view, but only at the corner of one's eye, and only for a blink. Through this, you could discern where basically it was at any given time, but as soon as you focused on it it would seem to disappear, or slip further from view. As the creature moved between this world and the fey realm, it left a disorienting feeling of unease, though the torches soon returned back to their full strength once it had passed.

When it reached the warded doorway, it paused for a moment, showing enough intelligence to understand that going much further would be bad for it. There, Gertude had made for the branding cage, and indeed found the meteoric iron brand, up upon a special rack along with some other implements, not of torture but of restraint. When she touched it, it felt hot to the touch, and in fact would burn her if held too long, just as if it were red hot. However, simply using heavy gloves or a cloth worked just fine to hold it, though it was still uncomfortable to hold. What was also uncomfortable was the feeling of the quaggoth's presence coming and passing, as it came to the wall between the guard post and the branding cell.

The wall began to warp, and it flickered into view with a blink of the old woman, as it tore through the stone like it was rotting wood, pieces falling to the ground and crumbling to dust, a wet rent being opened up and showing three guards, caught completely unaware at their table playing cards and drinking from horns of whisky. One dropped his hand and began to reach for the crossbow, but there was a sudden blackness as all the torches went out.

A few wet sounds followed, and when the torches lit back up, the room was painted red, with the quaggoth now seemingly fully material, tearing off the arm of a still half-alive human, and then pinning it under foot, examining the arm for a moment before tossing it aside, and pawing a bit at the body, as if looking for something more interesting. It finds such with one of the horns of whisky worn at the belt of the guards, bending it back and drinking from it, then hacking and coughing, spitting it out.


"Eugh. That's no good." Sounding more a petulant child than the monster it plainly was.

Two problems had been solved: The guards, and finding a way past the ward. However, the question is whether a volatile being such as this could be controlled for long, and the creeping sense of dread that things might be soon be going off the rails.

Where do you seek to go next, and what, if any, directions do you give the Beast of Freness?

Plunder posted:

No gambling took place here, though there is a set of playing cards and you do find a few coins, about 34 silver dragons (sp). You can find a two horns of whisky, though one has been drained. There are the usual truncheons and padded armor, as well as a light crossbow and 20 bolts. You also find the tokens that allow one to pass through the wardens, which the guards assigned here wear: A talisman of gray hair, likely the wizards, which is often bound up and wrapped with paper and string. It would appear the guards didn't much care for the idea of carrying an old wizard's hair, thus why only the guards on duty kept them near.

You also get the branderscar iron, though it will cause 1d6 fire damage to anyone of an Evil alignment that comes into direct contact with it per turn. Its exact properties are to be determined, but detect magic will detect a potent aura of both divination and evocation magic.

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010




HP: 8/8 AC: 19 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8

Gertrude's lightly singed fingers immediately find their way to her mouth, a curse muffled as she tries to ease the pain out of her scorched digits. This little thing was quite dangerous, but she was equipped to go about transporting it safely at least. It would make a nice little gift for the prisoner's benefactors in any case. Removing the tabard she'd thrown over herself earlier, she jumps through a few hoops, but manages to get it wrapped up neatly inside the material.

Pleased with her find, Gertrude makes to stand by the door, keeping an ear out for any potential interlopers. It's fairly surprising to her when the Beast of Freness decides to simply burst into the room, and moments later bypasses the ward she was so worried about the guards coming through, and in short order eviscerating the lot of the guards in a few moments. The crone seems taken aback for a brief moment, but her shock quickly turns to delight "Oh dear child, that was quite the display!" She's quick to step into the room, disregarding the scattered viscera, as the Beast samples the guard's evening drinks and expresses distaste. Giving a light comforting pat to the Beast's shoulder she offers up an introduction "I'm Granny Penderghast dear. Why don't you help me up the stairs and we'll go see if we can't find a treat more in line with the tastes of a precious young thing such as yourself."


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Control Flames, Guidance, Light, Mold earth, Spare the Dying, Toll the Dead
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: Mage Armor: AC is 13+dex (8 hours)


quote:

If we can move to help shut down the situation starting to happen a few floors up that'd be good, but mainly I just wanna get back in the general locale of the group haha.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.



HP: 7/7 (5 THP) AC: 15 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8
Effects: 1d6 Bardic Inspiration for the next 10 minutes

Tricky Dick Nixon posted:

Tricky Dick Nixon - Today at 1:21 AM
Anyway if you have insight 14 passive Glenn that's my bad
"It's such that even commoners are given equal chance to their betters."

This woman. Glenn smirks. He knows this tone, these words. With one little slip, he knows everything about her. Jealous. She's actually jealous. Small wonder, I suspect. Scion of some noble line, stationed out here in the boonies - the equal of some country bumpkin.

He shifts his attention from the woman on the stairs to the tiefling at the bottom. Excellence. He whispers to her from behind the bookshelf. "She's a proud sort. Jealous. Big fish in a little pond." He does a quick sweep of the room. "Keep talking, but," he pauses, his gaze lingering on Vicenza, her deep blue robes, "If you want her dead, tell her you think she'd look better in red."

Still, he thinks, they're prickly, wizard-types. If she tries anything funny, I'll snap her.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2018 around 17:00

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: 4/5 HD 1 (d8)

The old man, offering his lives for the younger ones. Egina hadn't exactly been happy, considering her eyes still burned with the dead halfling's trap, but she had been enjoying a good rush of anger-fueled bloodlust. The old halfling inconsiderately rained on that one. She scowled, almost resentful at him for it, when the dwarf's voice echoed down. She didn't think much, immediately grabbing the old halfling and putting the spear against his back and a hand over his mouth. She quickly motioned to her two companions to rush upstairs. "I did it!" She said. "And I'll put the old man in the pot with her if you call the alarm. I'm not going out like this. I want..." she made sure to sound panicked, frightened, like someone who really has no idea what she's doing, and making sure she said 'I' a lot so the guards might not think of other people. "I want that booze. You assholes keep drinking it in front of us. I want three bottles of that good stuff you have. And then I want out of here. I don't wanna die. I don't deserve this."

A few seconds, all she had to do was to buy them a few seconds for Hriss and Niashé to get up the stairs and kill the dwarf. Hopefully he'd be alone.

So the idea is that Egina tempts this guy into being hostage negotiator for long enough for Hriss and Niashé to go upstairs. Rolling deception, a natural 1 gives me a 7 But the threat givesm e advantage, and that gives me a 14

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 17:20

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

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




HP: 13/13 (5 THP) | AC: 19 | Villain Points: 4/5 | HD: 1 (d10) | Divine Sense 6/6 | Lay On Hands 5/5 (HP)

Excellence does indeed bristle at the poisoned words of Vicenza, though she endeavors not to show that the barb landed home. Glenn's advice echoes in her ears, a slight tip of her head acknowledging his trigger phrase, and the tight line of her mouth once more opens into a self-assured grin. Pride? She can work with that. She stands, the distinctive knight's armor and heraldry surely aiding in her attempts to dominate the room, and says, "Hah. And you expect me to believe you'd be satisfied with that? Satisfied with the barest scraps of knowledge the church and doddering fools see fit to bestow upon you?" Excellence shakes her head, feigned disbelief. "Then I see I've made a mistake. I thought you were more than simply a tool of the Mithrans. You Lucidoreans have a mind for a grudge, to be sure, but what have they done to reward you all? Nothing. They've let your glory fade, stolen by the Dragonborn."

Excellence gestures at Halstan, disdain evident in her face, "Are you really going to accept that this milksop will be your better in a few short years? You may not be swayed by the promises of my Lord, fine. Suffice to say that we can promise more immediate paths to power. Our friends on the outside possess the sorts of magic that the Mithrans would never let you study. The sort of spell you couldn't dream of seeing, the sort that those old fools would jealously horde for themselves if they had the slightest opportunity." A dramatic, pregnant pause. "The sort of magic that should be yours by right."

The cards are laid out, her weaknesses poked. All that remains is one last offer... and, quite possibly, the signal for Glenn to do his dark work.

Excellence says, "If you insist upon lingering in mediocrity, I'll trouble you no longer and we'll take our leave. But." She looks significantly at the half-elf. "Your people have never been ones for mediocrity. I'd hope I wasn't mistaken in seeing the spark of something greater within you."

Using Vicenza's weakness, that leads to a mighty 27 to persuade her of the fact she'll never amount to anything... under this system.

GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



HP: 7/7 AC: 15 (Mage Armor) Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d6

Salvatrix is close enough to the half-elf harlot that her wad of spittle lands true, just under the witch's right eyes and smeared across her cheek. The human girl winces, a far more obvious of reminder of the land's deep distaste for her people resting on her face, and on another day it certainly would have driven her to pounce on Vicenza and rip at her throat. But here and now? It was a boon. Here she was, despoiled again before the boy's eyes, by the very same cruel hearted woman that had done surely done similar indignities to him.

Pale fingers take the kettle with one hand, and Halstan's free hand with the other, as she silently begs him to follow her foot steps. Just a couple of feet away and out of the crossfire at the very least. Her touch is tender, and even now as the boy had led them into this standoff, apologetic. It was easy to interpret as her concern for him, as Salvatrix's promise that she wouldn't let them hurt him, and on some level it was. But the girl's motives had never been pure, and even if she was beginning to enjoy him, their entire relationship was founded on a lie with this moment no different. Vicenza had deeply upset Sal, first in her cowardly presentation and useless bluffs, and then in her baser Lucidorean grudges and bigotries. She had some nerve to whine about the Mekeli with her people hiding on the other side of a wall on their lands. Sal might not be able to demand Glenn make short work of the half-elf but she could certainly make it easier for him should the time come.

Sal is guiding Halstan away from the stair well depriving Vicenza of cover. If that goads Vicenza into action Salvatrix is all the happier. After all, their people never really got along.


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

GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 20:24

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: 4 of 5 Remaining HD: 1 (d12) Rage 2/2 Rage Dmg: +2

Time was up. One of the guards upstairs had discovered that they were out of their cells and spilling blood. Egina Aduz played for a distraction while Reve' and Hriss rushed up stairs to deal with the guard. Hriss catches the guard still focused on the shouting below and goes for the kill.

quote:

Rolling in Roll20
Rolled with advantage with a garrote attack for 12 and 8, hit. Damage on garrote rolling 1d6+3 for 8 total damage.
Rolled with advantage with a bonus action bite attack for 25 and 11, critical hit. Damage on bite rolling 2d6+3 for 9 total slashing damage.

Hriss gains 5 temporary hit points thanks to his racial ability, 17 + 5 for 22 total. Can't be used again until finishing a short or long rest.

Hriss could feel the blood trickling down his mouth. He imagined he made for a frightening sight to the soft skins. He hoped Reve' had more nerve than that. He motioned to her to continue on with him. More guards awaited their end.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



Niashé Minai Delacrie

HP: 9/9 AC: 14 Villain Points: 3/5 HD: 1 (d6)

Niashé follows Hriss silently up the stairs. At his swift, vicious kill, she's more surprised than shocked. Simply put, she's never seen it before. Accustomed as she is to the city life, when she pictures the act of killing, she imagines it done with weapons - spells - two hands wrapped around a victim's throat if the situation is truly desperate. Seeing Hriss bite a man's head clean off, she's not disgusted or disturbed. She just hasn't, up until now, really thought about the idea or what it would look like. "Impressive," she whispers in Hriss's direction. "As for his friends..." Her speech slides into the arcane. She grasps the rose again at her side, holding it betwixt two fingers as she chants. While its sole remaining petal leaves the visual effect somewhat diminished, the spell itself is no less potent. "They'll be sleeping now," she purrs. "Let's finish the job." With that, she gently opens the door and enters the next room, dagger drawn.

Cast Sleep, affecting 22 HP of creatures.

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 16, 2018 around 04:27

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.




"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — Kitchen

The dwarf is shocked at the callousness of the villain who would threaten one of the smallfolk's life, but his voice of alarm catches upon his throat, though this time not because of a garrote. At first gritting his teeth, he leans into the chimney, shout-whispering down, "You cannot mean this! You must know there is no escape from Branderscar. Your mark will follow you wherever you go. There are no ships that will take you from this land, not even in Girvan. You fight in vain, my lady. Please, there need not be any more bloodshe-"

His voice is caught again in his throat, but this time with that razor wire once more cutting in, catching the dwarf and lifting him off his feet as he lets off a wet choke, grabbing at his neck. However, he is not given a chance to struggle, as he looks up and suddenly his vision goes black and red. The jaws of the lizardman Hriss snap around the bottom of his head like a crocodile, tearing it off and letting the body slump down, the helmet landing and rolling down the chimney with a clatter.

Inside the guard post, the guards are stirred by the sound, by silent and deadly as night, the sorceress Rêve simply calls upon the simplest of spells, casting a pall over whatever lay in the room. They feel dark shadows hang heavy over their eyes, their mouths drooping open and then suddenly collapsing into sleep. When she opens the door, stiletto in hand, she founds a human woman and man in simple armor, one in the midst of loading a crossbow, sleeping like babes. They likely do not live much longer.

From the rafters above, the doves are agitated. Some flutter and scatter, leaving the great hall. Others simply dart from place to place, cooing. Yet the alarm is not immediately raised, so it's uncertain what purpose they may have served, or how long it might take for that countermeasure to work, but it is certain that your acts were spotted, thus Hriss knows he can move on the third floor to scout ahead unhindered.

The bloodshed shakes the old halfling, as he winces at the sound of the clattering helmet, but does not struggled against his bonds. Still, his heart burns still with bravery, and until gagged he isn't afraid to speak his mind. "Aye, the poor dwarf was right. That mark you have never goes away. You may make it to the Banishlands, but they will never stop looking for you." With a dejected sigh, he simply asks. "Why? Why are you doing all this?"


"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — The Warden's Tower

For the first time, the hardness of Vicenza's expression weakens slightly. She's finally being offered an easy way out, like she expected would always come to her. It sounds insane, still. Yet the casual confidence that the tiefling offers there alarms here. Have they truly already won? How much was her life in danger? Her brow twitched slightly in consideration. Vicenza didn't even notice the witch drawing away her human shield, so engrossed in the decision. Halstan was bewildered, but finally found the strength to speak.

"No!"

He pulled away from Salvatrix at that, looking at her apologetically, but raising his wand. It was too much for the boy to take. Talk of taking over the world, overthrowing the order of things? He had no self-confidence, but he wasn't actually a coward, when it came down to it.

"This is insane! I... I can't let you do this! This stops here! Even if it has to be me!"

He only managed to speak two words of power, to try and cast something on Excellence, before a whistling sound followed the twang of the bow's string being released, and an arrow sunk itself into the chest of the temporarily heroic young wizard, sucking the air out of him. When he gasped, it was a wet sound, as the arrow had sunk in and pierced lung. Having stepped from behind Excellence, the halfling mastermind had added another casualty to his growing list.

The body sunk to the floor more or less in a heap, blood pooling through the thin sheet of his shift.


[Passive Perception] Halstan is yet still breathing. He'll likely die, barring a miracle or some magical medical attention in the near future. Removing the arrow would just make him bleed out faster, and so long as it is in there, he will likely suffocate to death. Chest wounds are nasty. I'm reserving a Hero Point for his survival, assuming his body is abandoned, which would qualify for an Act of Pain and raise the Doom Die, though so would saving his life and taking him captive. He wasn't heroic before, but inadvertantly, you have set him up to be one. If you double tap to make sure he's dead, no Doom Die.

Vicenza, for the first time, smiled, though it was a nervous one. She suddenly realizes how close she was to death. And that fact that the villains had spared her so long gives her a new perspective on the whole ordeal. She finally shows her hands, one palm forward, the other holding a bladed dagger. She looks into Excellence's eyes for this part, as it's very important.

"A woman of Lucidor does not let herself become indebted lightly. So consider this assurance."

She lowered her empty hand, on her right, showing her forearm, the same place where the others were branded. She cut a single, straight line down it, deep enough to like scar but done such that it would not bleed too much, her face contorting a bit in pain. It was a small thing, and would be no true branding as the villains had, but it was clear what she intended with the gesture.

"Toss the old man's quarters upstairs. I am sure he hid some of his studies from us. I will collect his spellbook. It is mine now."

She said that with her usual bravado, though bit her lip a bit as she felt the sting of the bleeding on her arm, heading down to collect the spellbook and scrolls from the spellcase, glancing aside at the dying Halstan with a sense of... relief.

Unless stopped, Vicenza is going to take the spellbook and spell scrolls for herself. After all, isn't that what was promised to her?

"The Band Escapes from Branderscar Prison" — Dungeon

The Beast, who seemed to have not taken much note of Gertrude before, seems almost surprised at the pat on its shoulder, tensing but then looking at her curiously with those bright, beady eyes, thin lipped and wide maw creasing slightly. It was perpetually in a rictus-like grin, not unlike the undead she was familiar with, but it was quite expressive otherwise, especially with the golden tinges of its fur at its brow and elsewhere. Its voice came from the creature without movement of lips or tongue.

"A treat, Grandmother? Do you think they'll have something sweet?"

It was almost precious indeed. The creature certainly wasn't chewing or eating at the corpses of the men. In fact, it had an almost detached view of the murder it had done, more or less ignoring the carnage it had wrought, ready to leave it behind in only an instant. They were nothing more than discarded and broken toys, and now something better had been promised to it.

"Everybody was scared of me. They gave me a chicken every week. They didn't even cook them! It was cruel of them, Grandmother."

Its voice almost whined, as it spoke of its imprisonment and mistreatment. Now that Worm had spoken to it, it seemed to enjoy speaking, and stretching that out. It slowly shifted, and moved to pick her up, though at first it was not too gentle. It more or less threw the old woman over its shoulder, as if she was nothing but a sack, and it was likely less than comfortable.

With a good thwack, possibly with the iron, leaving if she used it a scorch mark on its fur, it let out a bestial roar, though its childlike voice and complaint was in dissonance with the terrifying noise it made.


"Ow! That hurt!"

Yet it learned her harsh lesson lesson, and at Gertrude's guidance, cradled her more gently in one of its huge arms, walking out about the time Pharom and Worm had caught up.

"Grandmother promised us sweets when we get up! Come on!"

And so it moved, flickering out of view with a blink. Excited and moving in a loping sort of trot, it phased in and out of the material to the eyes of Pharom and Worm, but to Gertrude, she was taken along as it journeyed back and forth between our world and that of the fey.

It is worth describing for a few moments the general understood nature of the Ethereal. While the Astral Realms, such as Hell, and the Heavens, are completely different planes of existence, the Ethereal are tied with the material, tinged by positive and negative energy. The Feywild is the Positive Ethereal Realm, born of dreams and imagination, and the font of life (and through life, suffering) and light (and through light, shadow). However, that does not make it Good, though it leans that way. Its counterpart, the Shadowfel, is the Negative Ethereal Realm, born of memories and the soul, and the source of death (and through death, peace) and darkness (and through darkness, vision). As with the Feywild, it is not necessarily Evil, though it leans that way. It was not until the coming of Orcus, for instance, that the restless dead were corrupted by Evil, but now their very existence has become anathema to life. Such is the power of a demon prince.

That little sidebar aside, Gertrude, perhaps for the first time in her long life, gets to see how the other side lives. When the quaggoth blinks into the Feywild, the world is awash in saturated color and twisting shapes, overgrown with plants and foilage, and most of all thorns that form hedges and a canopy where previously were stone and vaulted ceilings. It is alien but familiar, and as they move a trail of flowers comes behind them. It is shadowy and twilight here, in the dungeon, but as they walk up into the first floor, bright moonbeams as intense as daylight break through breaches in the thorns. She only gets glimpses in between each blink of her eyes, but it is still a wondrous sight indeed, and sees that other eyes are looking back at her, hidden between the leaves.

However, they find the hall more or less empty, and once they climb a second set of stairs, they find Egina having arrived with her little hostage, Rêve having taken care of the guards on this floor, and Hriss arriving to confirm that there were no guards on the third floor. Apparently with most of the prisoners gone, they had all called their shift off, possibly to join the sergeant's game at the gatehouse. Two thirds of the villains nine are reunited, along with an unusual addition in the shape of the Beast of Freness, who gets rather close in his examinations of the others, not sniffing like some animal, but examining each as if it were the first time he ever saw the likes of them. And in all honesty, a Keshkevarine sorceress, a Veylish elf, a Chuultese lizardman, and a halfbreed of orcish and elven blood were all pretty novel to the creature, from wherever it came from.

They may not have much time however to get acquainted. There is now bodies and carnage everywhere. While they may have slaughtered half of the guards, there are more patrolling outside, both in the yard and on the walls, and certainly the largest concentration at the gatehouse. It's only a matter of time before the ruse is up.


Let's get dangerous.

Tension posted:

We are going to enter a little more abstracted now time, but with structure to keep escalating the tension. Instead of Turns, we're going to count Ticks. Every Tick, there is a chance of Escalation, likely from a guard happening upon the aftermath you have left behind. Right now, the Escalation chance is 10%, and it will steadily increase over time.

Each Tick, you can explore one of the areas you haven't yet gone to. There are at this points a few means of escape. Jumping from the walls is likely suicidal. It's more reasonable with the rope ladder, but it's still about another hundred feet down after exhausting the ladder, and the rocks and waters are extremely treacherous. And frankly most of you don't have Athletics!

Thus, especially with the desire to kill the Sergeant, this part of the adventure is likely to end once you hit the gatehouse which will start the final confrontation. You can do this at any time, you can even gather yourselves and do it now without doing any further exploration or looting! How that plays out will depend on whether or not things have escalated and thus if they are forewarned.

Here are the places you can explore with your Tiicks.
  • There are two places in the Great Hall that have not been searched: The Office and the Sergeant's Quarters. You can do either of these without a Stealth check.
  • There are two places in the Warden's Tower that have not been searched: The Warden's Quarters and the Apprentice Quarters. You can do either of these without a Stealth check.
  • The halfling hostage, Gregory, will let you know there are secret tunnels you can crawl through that will let you get to a trapdoor that leads into each of the five watchtowers. This will allow you to cross the yards without a chance of being spotted, though the watchtowers have a chance of being manned. You may want to make a Stealth check to enter the watchtower unnoticed by any guards present.


    • Watchtower A contains the chapel and shrine to Mitra, and likely the flamen, Pater Haihn.
    • Watchtower B is the laboratory where the warden has been testing his magical wards and has attempted to make some improvements, including an enchanted mirror that works like a spotlight. This is also where Sgt. Blackbriar has hidden the still for use when the warden is away, which is increasingly common.
    • Watchtower C has been converted into a "garderobe", which may provide a low enough tunnel for the desperate wanting to make an escape, especially with the rope ladder.
    • Watchtower D has the servant's quarters, and four other servants are likely sleeping there, three more halflings and a human. This is where the halflings were headed previously.
    • Watchtower E has kennels where the guard dogs are kept. Gebroan rottweilers are kept here, as well as the Sergeant's prized riding mastiff.
  • There are three areas on the grounds other than the gatehouse that might have points of interest, though have the highest chance of exposure. Definitely make a Stealth check if you want to head to any of these points: The gardens, the ravenstone, and the gibbet.

When you do decide to head to the gatehouse, give me a breakdown of how you want to approach it: From the walls and on the roof, from the entrance from the yard? Gregory says that there isn't any other way into it, but an Insight check at DC 16 will tell you he's lying, so you can spend a tick interrogating him to find out.

GenuineRevelry
Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado



HP: 7/7 AC: 15 (Mage Armor) Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d6

It all happened so fast. The boy found his courage in an instant, and while the prospect should have upset Salvatrix, she couldn't help but find herself impressed. He had been so meek and impressionable, but when the world turned upside down and all seemed lost he had deemed to take a stand. It was... heroic. The first real bit of heroism she had ever respected, and perhaps the last, even then if only because he had never lost sight of her in the process. Maybe if she'd be born somewhere far away from the Bounds she could have been like him too. Not just cold anger and heartless guile. That would have been nice, she thought. At least, different. Better? She couldn't really say.

The kettle drops to the ground with clang and a rush of hot water spreading across the library floor. Sal cradles Halstan in her arms as he slumps back onto her, staining her hands and garb scarlet. She's close enough to hear his ragged breath, his struggle to survive. Tears form at the edges of her eyes, an involuntary reaction to be sure, and the puffiness beneath and the snot dripping from her nose speaks to it. It wasn't the first time she'd gotten far too attached to some guileless fool making promises he couldn't keep and it had certainly never ended any differently. She lowers him gently to the ground and whispers in his ear as she does, "I'm sorry. I thought I was telling the truth for once." She does her best to make him comfortable, though it's a futile gesture where they were standing along the wall. "Guess I was everything they said, huh?" The last statement is dripping with self-loathing, a pathetic acceptance of her villainous nature fit for someone so willing to snivel and cry and beg. One final kiss on his forehead that lingers too long as she struggles to pull away. Her hand slips into Halstan's to take his wand. There's a soft smile, "Just going to need this for a moment. I know you won't need it for a bit. If the Seven Heavens send you back to us," A quiet awkward laugh escapes her lips. Sal knows how foolish it sounds. "I'll return it to you the next time we meet."

She stands and turns to look to the others all blood smeared flesh and glowering. "He's gone. Just another body to add to your list at this rate, halfling." It comes out in a hiss. Her bloodstained fingers clutch at the wand, though she doesn't make a gesture in raising it or threatening the lot of them. She's accepted the circumstance. She makes to walk past Glenn on her way toward the stairs, clearly wanting to be done with the Library and the tower itself, and makes a grand gesture of wiping her free hand on the halfling. A reminder of his bloody act. The bow wouldn't save him from this one.

For the sake of staying mostly together, Sal's not actually going to go down the stairs. She's going to stop at the top and sulk where she can see the whole of the room.


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

GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2018 around 03:32

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.



HP: 7/7 (5 THP) AC: 15 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8
Effects: 1d6 Bardic Inspiration for the next 10 minutes

Glenn tenses at the sight of the slowly bleeding boy cradled in Salvatrix's arms. He had been prepared to shoot, to kill, but the target had taken him by surprise. He flexes his fingers and fights back a shudder. The half-elf woman, descending the stairs, provides a vital distraction. He glances in her direction, a casual disdain lurking in his eyes, his expression. Fancy robes, fancy manners. Tch. Just another crooked cop. Once she's passed - without so much as a hint of acknowledgement in his direction - he looks to Excellence, gesturing from his own eyes to hers. "Nothing's changed," he whispers. "If she needs a tailor, well..." He shrugs. He leaves the rest unsaid.

Standing up, he stretches, hands at his back. Skulking about a bit; my, what a chore. He rotates his firing arm once, twice. He's nervous still, but hides it well. As well as he can. For the moment, at least. He turns to make for the warden's office. He clocks Vicenza's approach, but says nothing.

"He's gone."

Glenn stops mid-step. The words, flat and bitter, belong to the witch, to Salvatrix. He hesitates a moment, adopting what he hopes is a neutral expression, then turns to face her.

"Just another body to add to your list at this rate, halfling."

The girl stands before him, bloody and bold. In one hand she grasp's the dead boy's wand. The other drips silently onto the carpet. Like a hunter in the snow, she marches toward him. For a fleeting instant, Glenn imagines she might mean him harm. He fiddles nervously with the knife up his sleeve.

Salvatrix raises her free hand and, in one swift motion, wipes the blood on Glenn's shirt. She passes like a storm, and heads for the stairs.

Glenn stands still - perfectly still - for about ten seconds. He coughs and swallows, then turns toward the office.

R-right, well. First impressions.

Once out of sight, he considers the bloody reminder on his shirt, her wayward hand print. He looks to his own hands, his fingers opening and closing of their own accord. He'd gone hunting before, with his father, in his youth. Hunting game, of course: wild animals. Lying there in a pool of his own blood, the young wizard almost looked like an animal. His face in Salvatrix's arms, hidden away, he didn't even seem human. R-right. I was right. An uncomfortable smile breaks across his lips. He struggles to maintain a professional demeanor. Really is easier, killing from a distance. Should think to prefer it, need I keep at it. "Heh. Heh heh."

His eyes grow wide, then shut. No. No, no, wait. This isn't...I'm not... He clenches his fists. This isn't how it's supposed to be. I'm the thinker here, the thinker. Brains of the outfit. I hatch the plan, others carry it out. This...this is just temporary. I'm not a killer. I'm not. I'm not, I'm not. I'm good with numbers. Logistics. Nine prisoners, five books, fourteen corpses, no, fif-

Glenn slaps himself. The room. The warden's quarters. He had a job to do. Not a glamorous one, but work. A distraction. He banishes all thoughts of murder in an instant. This is my domain. He winces and wears his old tired smile, his weary eyes nostalgic for his old country office. He murmers a familiar tune, and goes about tossing the room for goods.

14 (passive 20)

In the event he finds any locks worth picking, he does so (with inspiration).

12 (lol)

His fingers shake hypothetically as he hypothetically uses his tools to hypothetically pick any hypothetical locks. Hypothetically.

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010




HP: 8/8 AC: 19 Villain Points: 4/5 HD: 1/1 d8

When the quaggoth quite rudely flips her up on its shoulder, Gertrude is quick to slam the edge of her shield into its ribs "Griswold! You have to be gentle with the elderly. We aren't as durable as sturdy young folk like yourself." She gives an approving nod when the childish creature moves her to a more comfortable grip.

When her compatriots come upon the scene she gives a small smile as she glances again toward the carnage in the room "Quite a find this young thing is, I'm finding myself quite fond already." She draws out the small talisman containing the Warden's hair and tosses it down from her perch "The token for bypassing the wards, not that we seem to need them here at the moment! Could be useful elsewhere though, so do hang on to that. I could make use of it once I've regained my strength in full as well, so keep hold after we've escaped as well."

The trip up the stairs would only be a matter of seconds if she'd walked up the stairs on her own, but the phantasmagorical slide show of feywild glimpses are definitely worth the perceived delay in arrival.

True to her word, Gertrude has Griswold place her back on the ground and she disappears into the kitchens for a minute or two, rumbling around for an embroidered pouch she remembered seeing when she'd made her attempt at escaping. Eventually the old halfling Tisidora's stash is located, and Gertrude gives a little grin as she makes to return to the group.

Gertrude exits the kitchen, discarding little squares of wax paper behind her as she walks. She gestures Griswold over, interrupting his examinations of the new arrivals, and deposits a handfull of caramels into the quaggoth's outstretched claw "I have quite a few different sweets in here dear, but you tell me if you have a favorite you like best."

When the layout of the prison is explained more clearly, Gertrude sniffs "I believe I'll be taking a detour to the chapel. The prison's lords need their noses bloodied a bit for their mistreatment of young Griswold here-" she gives the quaggoth another affectionate pat and refreshes his supply of sweets "-they may have been feeding us well, but they were quite unkind to him."


Save DC: 14
Cantrips: Control Flames, Guidance, Light, Mold earth, Spare the Dying, Toll the Dead
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: Mage Armor: AC is 13+dex (8 hours)


quote:

Spending a VP to have an appropriate piece of equipment. Snagging the Old Halfling's Grandmother Supplies . Every Grandma has to have mysteriously filled pockets full of toffee and strawberry candies and Gertrude has been without for too long! Griswold needs to be kept happy afterall.

Gertrude is taking the meat cleaver (d4 slashing) while she's in the kitchen.

Gertrude is going to go to the chapel to do some desecrating. She'll take Griswold of Freness if noone wants to put a claim on his action, but she's happy to go with whoever else wants to come.

Gertrude will cast guidance on one person heading to each destination before she leaves herself to go to the church, zapping herself with guidance.

18 stealth on her part just in case for sneaking into the chapel since she'll likely have to go above ground with Griswold if he comes with.

Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2018 around 23:31

Capfalcon
Apr 6, 2012

No Boots on the Ground,
Puny Mortals!




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

After picking up the links of silver chain and pocketing them, I looks through the hole in the wall and into the gruesome scene waiting for us in the next room. Bodies are nothing new to me, but this... savagery is shocking. For a moment, I feel an icy hand of fear start to close around my chest, and I actually have a moment of doubt about our decision. Was this really a good idea? This creature could easily turn on us, strong arming us into doing whatever it wants...

"Grandmother promised us sweets when we get up! Come on!"

Suddenly, I feel much less concerned. I say, dryly, "Yes, we wouldn't want to disappoint Grandmother."
________________________________

Once we rejoin the others, I say, looking over the fresh bodies and cowering hostages with approval, "I'm glad to see we've all kept busy." I nod towards the Quoggoth and add in a voice that's clearly humoring the old woman, "I'd hate to think we'd trouble the young master, Griswold, with more dull cleanup work."

After a moment where we catch up with each other, I point in the direction of the labratory, saying, "That laboratory... I want to investigate it. For all of his poor choices in apprentices, staffing, and overall management of the prision, the warden is a talented arcanist." I tick off each of the failing on my fingers as I speak.

I look to Niashe, adding, "Would you care to join me? I'm sure we both will find items of interest to our work. Say, a brand new set of materials and unique foci all your own, with who knows what other new toys?" Then, I look to the others, saying, "Any other takers? That mirror is certainly dangerous to leave operational, if nothing else."

Save DC: 15
Cantrips: Mage Hand
Effects:
To Do List:
  • Turn pocketed Lantern Archon into a potion.
  • Investigate Warden's Laboratory
  • Enlist Worm's assistance in matters of the spirit after death
  • Escape Prison

Capfalcon fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2018 around 00:39

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: 4/5 HD 1 (d8)

Egina doesn't gag him. In fact, she's glad he speaks. As they mount the stairs to go and see Hriss handiwork, she speaks proudly. "Do you think without this brand I would go live a sedate little life, halfling? Do you think I regret my actions? I regret nothing except getting caught. If I wished peace and safety, I could have had a pretty relaxing life as 'Coringaer', become a bard, tell the same stories of the glory of the Six Kingdoms everyone else tells. But I have a limit to the lies I can muster. I didn't value that life enough to stop me from my cause. Do you think I value three days and a piece of rope at the end high enough to stop me now? No, if I step outside now, and get riddled in crossbow bolts and die choking on my own blood right there, it is a far better death than what was planned for me. A far better one than dying a meaningless sheep's life at an old age if I hadn't dared to do my actions." They passed the three dead on the upper floor, and she took one of their keys, walking through the hallway to the end, where she'd been locked up. She prodded him forward with her spear.

"I could kill you without regret or shame. You are with the people who would have strung me up. My enemy. But that just means I can kill who I want to kill. And I wouldn't get any satisfaction or use out of your death old man." She pushed him inside and slammed the door close behind him, locking it. "When they find you, you tell them Egina Aduz is free. And that when they come after me, I'll be glad to make them pay in blood."

And with she joined the others, she nods as Gertrude speaks. "I would like to join you at the chapel. We're building up quite a tale here with our 'escape', and if the chapel is left unmolested, it might add an uplifting note to Mitra's flock.So let's kill one of their shepherds!"

She took off the padded armor. "And to the abyss with this thing. Can barely move properly in it."

[i]Followed by rolling a 3 for my stelath roll to get to the chapel[/b]

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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


HP: 11/11[5 THP] AC: 14 Villain Points: 5/5 HD: 1/1 d8| Bardic Inspiration: No

Worm followed after the Quaggoth, examining his handiwork. Just as dangerous as the goblin had thought, if not more so. He waited and watched as the Quaggoth dug through the belongings of the dead guards before doing so himself. Now that escape seemed like it was within reach, it was time to begin planning for what came after. Money would be required for that, no doubt, and drink always came in handy, whether to soothe high-tempered fellows or to celebrate after a successful raid.

A fair sum, Worm thought as he pocketed the silver dragons, considering he hadn’t needed to fight tooth and nail for it. Briefly glancing at the arm the Quaggoth had tossed aside before shaking his head, the goblin followed his companions upwards, catching the token from Gertrude as he does. Would he need it? Perhaps, perhaps not. No reason to leave it, however.

Taking the 34 SP as well as the undrunken horn of whiskey from the guard’s room on our way out! Taking one of the tokens as well.

---
Looking around the kitchen, Worm listened to the description of the prison with interest.The watchtower to the northeast, the one with the kennel, caught Worm’s attention. Animals were his domain, and he was fond of dogs anyhow. Much more consistently loyal than any of his kin were, long as you kept them fed. That was simple enough.

But… there was another matter he wanted to attend to first. It was a long shot, one that was unlikely to pay off. Yet if he could find even a single clue from the Church as to the identities of those that destroyed his tribe, that would be enough. So he put aside the kennel for now, and instead turned to Gertrude.

“Worm will join you, Elder Penderghast, but asks that he is allowed to question any that might be present before they are dealt with.”

13 + 3 inspiration = 16 on stealth to take the tunnels to Watchtower A!

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:
Relationships
Hriss: Respectfully Wary | Glenn: Indifferent | Gertude: Curiously Cautious
Niashe: Irritatingly Useful | Salvatrix: Resents | Excellence: Distrusts
Egina: Tenatively Respects | Pharom: Is an Elf (Knowledgeable)

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

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




HP: 13/13 (5 THP) | AC: 19 | Villain Points: 4/5 | HD: 1 (d10) | Divine Sense 6/6 | Lay On Hands 5/5 (HP)

Much like her compatriots, Excellence is shocked that Halstan fell victim to an overdose of self-sacrificing heroics. The tiefling tips her head to the side, considering the body for a moment, but the boy seems to have died instantly. No use thinking about him any further. She turns her attention to the much more pliable personage in front of her. The half-elf was making quite a show of her loyalty. The sort of thing that either presaged an inevitable betrayal or an utter tip into their camp. It was hard to tell them apart, at times.

Excellence follows along after Vicenza, saying, "Of course. I trust you can answer a few questions while you collect your spoils?" It was not a question. "We'll require funds, equipment, and information if this is to be a going concern. You know the library, what volumes are particularly valuable? I'll also need to know of any magical defenses or areas that were off-limits to the rabble. Those likely indicate places worth going, prior to our escape."

I figure Excellence will spend this tick trying to get any useful information out of Vicenza, particularly related to alternate escape routes or useful loot.

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: 4/5 HD 1 (d8)

As the six organize themselves, it becomes clear that there's plenty of folk to deface the shrine, while Pharon's call to investigate the laboratory seems to go without. With some regret she sighs. "I don't imagine four of us are needed to deal with a senile old Flamen. I'll go with him to look at the laboratory. It's best not to have anyone to go alone."

And that elf was a possible source of information on the curse. Maybe she could get something out of him, but at the very least she had to make sure he made it out.

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: 4 of 5 Remaining HD: 1 (d12) Rage 2/2 Rage Dmg: +2

I intend to have Hriss go with Niashe when she searches the office and the sergeant's room.

In character I'm going to have him grumpy about people breaking off to loot more and mess with the chapel. Out of character we shouldn't be in too much danger if we keep the plundering light. Niashe has the message cantrip so we should coordinate with the Tower Team and figure out a rally point for the final push out of the prison.

Edit - Investigation Roll of 11 in Roll20.

Trast fucked around with this message at Jun 16, 2018 around 17:25

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Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



Niashé Minai Delacrie

HP: 9/9 AC: 14 Villain Points: 3/5 HD: 1 (d6)

Niashé quickly dispatches the two now-sleeping guards, then briskly heads back downstairs. She slips back into the kitchen with a raised finger toward Hriss, signifying wait. Quick as she can, she scoops up two days' worth of rations and a full waterskin. More sweetmeats are to be found here, as well - she grabs one and, with a quick look around to make sure no-one other than the captive halfling is watching, quite inelegantly wolfs it down. She takes a second to wipe any errant crumbs from her face before dashing back out.

"The sergeant's quarters lie just down the hall," she says more or less in Hriss's direction as she walks past. "If he's the type to keep a diary, my name might be in it." Niashé also figures if he's the type to run his own operation out of this place, he might have some fine goods worth taking. That comes secondary to covering her tracks, though. On the approach to the sergeant's quarters, she hesitates only a second before throwing the door open and walking in, hand ready near her knife just in case.

If uninterrupted, Niashé searches the sergeant's quarters - Investigation 7 (rip), Passive Investigation 14. First looking for any kind of diary, log, or other communications written in the last day or so. Next, looking for anything useful or nice she might like to have.

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