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Thread: Chapter Three: Another One Bites the Dust

  1. #1511
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samaritha
    "Why would I be safe at the Lodge? It was probably a cyphermage who robbed me, who else?!"
    "I thought you'd be safe, surrounded by lambs." She ironically retorts. "You used me to gain access to what you... er, claimed to be something dangerous and then you run here with the things... Why would these... articles be safer in your hands? You clearly cannot protect yourself! You cannot work as a team, either! You couldn't wait for an hour for me to get back! Whatever is wrong with you? If they wanted you dead, you'd be dead. Yet here you stand, robbed, but alive. What. Do. You. Fear. Now? As she progressively becomes more and more exasperated by the rash behaviour of the half-elf, her black crown grows and her voice turns deeper and hoarser. She takes a deep breath to calm herself and regain her halfling look. "I'll see what I can do. You just... stay still and don't touch anything."
    Quote Originally Posted by Ott
    "You think she betrayed you? The timing does sound suspicious." (...) "It is possible she told the truth, and may still be worthy of the trust your friend once gave her."
    She nods thoughtfully. "True. She's... she's too rash. I don't know what she wants. If her intentions are good, she's a fool anyway."
    Quote Originally Posted by Yasmin
    "May the Light never lose you in your hour of need, nor you the Light, hamasayah."
    "I... I don't know what to say... Thank you. I hope we deserve them and make the best use of them..." She stares at the medallions, awed. She chatters for a bit with Yasmin before proceeding to the Fort.
    "You can come with me now, if you are not too busy. Let's let Samaritha be..." She thoroughly enjoys his company. "Now you tell me about your day. Is everything alright?"
    Last edited by Alcazar QZR; 10-12-2019 at 08:08 PM.


  2. #1512

    Default Lucianna in Riddleport

    ***At Mysteria Inn***

    Quote Originally Posted by Alcazar QZR View Post
    "I thought you'd be safe, surrounded by lambs." She ironically retorts. "You used me to gain access to what you... er, claimed to be something dangerous and then you run here with the things... Why would these... articles be safer in your hands? You clearly cannot protect yourself! You cannot work as a team, either! You couldn't wait for an hour for me to get back! Whatever is wrong with you?"


    For a moment Samaritha---who is rather young, perhaps only 17 summers, Lucianna realizes anew---is stunned speechless. At last she sputters, "Why did I think his possessions would be safer with me? Because the others may have suspected who Tammerhawk really was, but they couldn't face the fact that he might do something to harm them if it suited him. I cared about them, and I for one am glad we saved them from that basilisk."

    She rakes a hand through her frizzy hair in agitation. "When you left me alone without waiting to see what those items of power were, or what danger they posed, and you started insinuating I stole them for myself, I got scared. I came to Mysteria Inn because it's a known spot for adventurers to find work. Sure, I got caught off guard by the thief and had no time to cry out, which could happen to anyone..." She trails off.

    "If they wanted you dead, you'd be dead. Yet here you stand, robbed, but alive. What. Do. You. Fear. Now?" As she progressively becomes more and more exasperated by the rash behaviour of the half-elf, her black crown grows and her voice turns deeper and hoarser.
    "What do I fear now?" Samaritha echoes softly, looking haunted. "The other wolf in the fold. She and Tammerhawk were thick as thieves until she disappeared for a year, but yesterday out of the blue she was back. Aster. The elf with the flame tattoo on her brow. I can't swear to it she attacked me, but I can't think who else would have."

    Her description rings a bell---calling to mind the elf called Bel who formerly traveled with the Heroes of Harmony. Lucianna hadn't gotten to know her or why she left Flint and Ulvenn and them behind, but the simplest explanation is that the elf had some sort of double identity.


    She takes a deep breath to calm herself and regain her halfling look. "I'll see what I can do. You just... stay still and don't touch anything."
    Samaritha's shoulders hunch. "I'll be downstairs at the bar if you want to..." The wizard's mouth twists as she tries to choose her words. "If you want me," she concludes.


    ***At Publican House***

    CONTINUING BAR CONVERSATION:

    Ott tries to give Samaritha the benefit of the doubt.

    "She's too rash. I don't know what she wants. If her intentions are good, she's a fool anyway."


    "Have you tried just asking her what she wants?" he says gently. "As for rash...well I can't say it's always worked out for me, but sometimes it has."


    AFTER BAR CONVERSATION, OUTSIDE THE TAVERN:

    The Sarenrite priestess beams at Lucianna, overjoyed the Splendent pendants will be out in the world once more helping heroes push back against forces of darkness.

    "I... I don't know what to say... Thank you. I hope we deserve them and make the best use of them..." She stares at the medallions, awed. She chatters for a bit with Yasmin before proceeding to the Fort.

    "You can come with me now, if you are not too busy. Let's let Samaritha be..." She thoroughly enjoys his company. "Now you tell me about your day. Is everything alright?"
    Lieven Ott brightens and falls into step beside her as they proceed to the ferry dock.

    He scratches the back of his neck. "Alright? Yes. I am still thinking of joining up with the Order of the Black Arrow here in Riddleport. The Kalphiak giants are a terrible scourge, taking slaves and then eating them and taking even more. The Order usually hires criminals who want a pardon. And I...well, what happened last night felt like justice," he says, referring to the death of the evil gnome he hung from the rafters, "but I know the Law would not agree."

    He glances sideways at her. "What do you think of that idea?"

    [Conversation to be continued.]

    As their ferry (which he insists on paying for) crosses the water, he holds her hand and stares at the water, just enjoying the present.

    After they disembark and begin the walk to Fort Gnash, he comments, "You and your friends are the toast of the town. But the other thing that has everybody buzzing with excitement is the news of the Devil bringing judgment and hellfire on the most powerful. Rumor has it a devil's been possessing people and using his hosts and Hell's minions to strike out at the crimelords. Witnesses say he can teleport at will and weapons are useless against his warped flesh, and Rolf himself said that's consistent with fiendish lore. The Devil's struck at least two lords already and the others are getting nervous."

    He pauses for her response before adding, "A popular theory is that Overlord Cromarcky summoned that devil to put down his stiffest competition. Another is that Elias Tammerhawk summoned him but then couldn't control him and paid with his life."

    Something occurs to him and he says, "About where we're going...how were you chosen to clear out and renovate an ex-crimelord's headquarters? Who owns it now? And what manner of trouble are we expecting?"


    OOC:

    I figure a bit more dialogue is in order. Then I will give you an encounter mat and let you tell me how you want to "prepare for company," yes?
    Last edited by magrat4; 10-13-2019 at 03:52 AM.

  3. #1513

    Default

    Ulvenn grins, following the imp could be a problem, but a large orc traipsing through the sand... He could track that for miles. He begins moving swiftly through the sands towards the last place he saw her, unless of course he picks up her tracks earlier than that.



  4. #1514

    Default

    STILL ROUND 2, START/MIDDLE OF HEROES' TURNS:


    Ulvenn [Perception 27] hears the slap of Marween's large feet on the sand, moving toward him---and toward the Umbral Market several miles southeast.

    After fifty paces toward her point of origin, he spies [Perception 24] a trail of footprints in the sand spaced wide apart from a running gait that seem to lead back to where she'd been.



    Flint also hears [Perception 28] Marween running south and building up speed for a **sprint, not bothering to be stealthy. [**Obviously she could not take the Run action last turn, but likely she's warming up.]

    The bat-like flapping of wings receding [Perception 30] tells Flint that Ptolemy is flying **west. [**i.e. toward the beginning of the grid alphabet].




    OOC:

    I am trying to keep this simple and already kicking myself for writing myself into a corner with the complications I've introduced to pbp play, by deciding this is the logic these PCs, with this equipment/plan and these social connections, would need to use. XD

    Roll any future Perception checks on your own turn unless I request otherwise. Usually the rules set the DC and there won't be a pressing reason to change it.
    Last edited by magrat4; 10-15-2019 at 10:24 PM.

  5. #1515

    Default

    Ulvenn's grin widens as he sees evidence of his target running, he wishes he had an extra hand free for a tangle foot bag but does the best with what he has available. He pivots in the sand, sliding ever so slightly with his enhanced speed and turns his momentum towards where the footprints stopped. It almost seems he is about to charge into the vandal again when he stops, turning his momentum into a kick at the sand, trying to send the thick sediment into the orc, possibly to blind them, but more likely just give him a better indicator of where they are.



  6. #1516
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    ***At Mysteria Inn***
    Quote Originally Posted by Samaritha
    "I'll be downstairs at the bar if you want to..." The wizard's mouth twists as she tries to choose her words. "If you want me," she concludes.
    She smiles bitterly despite herself and shakes her head. "Marigold... Rhodal is dead. He died in his sleep last night. Stay here. Stay safe."

    ***At Publican House***

    CONTINUING BAR CONVERSATION:


    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    "Have you tried just asking her what she wants?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    he says gently. "As for rash...well I can't say it's always worked out for me, but sometimes it has."
    "No, I haven't. She's... perhaps too much like myself. Why do we find it hard to like those with the same flaws as us? And yeah, sometimes swift action is what's needed...She must hate me by now. I was too harsh."


    AFTER BAR CONVERSATION, OUTSIDE THE TAVERN:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    He glances sideways at her. "What do you think of that idea?"
    "I think it is a good way to live and die." She flatly replies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    "You and your friends are the toast of the town. But the other thing that has everybody buzzing with excitement is the news of the Devil bringing judgment and hellfire on the most powerful. Rumor has it a devil's been possessing people and using his hosts and Hell's minions to strike out at the crimelords. Witnesses say he can teleport at will and weapons are useless against his warped flesh, and Rolf himself said that's consistent with fiendish lore. The Devil's struck at least two lords already and the others are getting nervous."
    "Yeah, I heard. Also, there's this-- What? Two lords? Who's the second one?" She is internally cursing Flint.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    He pauses for her response before adding, "A popular theory is that Overlord Cromarcky summoned that devil to put down his stiffest competition. Another is that Elias Tammerhawk summoned him but then couldn't control him and paid with his life."
    "Yeah... I'll get back to you about the Devil. I need to talk to someone who may know a thing or two..."
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    Something occurs to him and he says, "About where we're going...how were you chosen to clear out and renovate an ex-crimelord's headquarters? Who owns it now? And what manner of trouble are we expecting?"
    "I do," she says casually. "The prison's warden. I've got the deed. Someone is stealing... magical items from the late Tammerhawk. They are... erm, picking up things. Scavenging! They are scavenging after our battle. Are you sure you are coming with before I secure the place? "

    OOC:
    Lucianna has no plan to prepare for company. She'll improvise.
    Last edited by Alcazar QZR; 10-16-2019 at 02:33 PM.


  7. #1517

    Default

    Flint carefully watches ulvenn launch dust into the air, waiting less than a second, he darts forward, fishing a tanglefoot bag from his belt and launching it where he just say Ulvenn throw the sand

    ooc
    move to m4, throw tangle foot bag at 3 range increments, total of -4 to hit
    Authentic Forum Dice-rolltangle foot bag - (d20+12) [14]
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollmiss chance - (d2) [2] miss on a two

  8. #1518

    Default Shadow Plane Showdown Bottom Round 2, Both Sides

    Ulvenn darts forward and kicks sand at the large footprints, aiming high for the gladiator's eyes. Doing so leaves him exposed. The sand does not arc quite enough, but it does spray her legs and cling to her stocky limbs and leather armor skirt.

    Seeing her legs outlined Marween realizes her advantage is gone and swiftly delivers a haymaker to his jaw. Mid-swing she is swept by a sensation of doom and a jerking tremor begins in one shoulder, robbing her of some accuracy and force.

    She still connects, snapping his head back (though the blow is further blunted by the protection of Rolf's magical meal he enjoyed last evening--which manifests as a flare of blue light departing). As a man raised among Ulfen raiders he's taken worse, but it's been a good while.

    "What are you?" she blurts, visibly unable to control her spasming muscle. As if in satisfied response the spores thrum under Ulvenn's skin.

    [GM note: henceforth Fate's Retribution and other supernatural experiment bonuses like Flint's Manifested Blood trigger automatically as defenses, now that the spores are stronger.]


    Flint moves in closer, still invisible, and hurls a resin-filled bag at the now revealed half-orc to stop her from fleeing. He misses, but not by much, and a few drops of hardened sap cling to one ankle. His lanky body ripples into view, revealing his presence to Marween and Ptolemy at last.

    The hideous half-orc reappears fully and bares her tusks and canines at him. She fills her large nostrils with their human scent and snorts.

    The imp curses silently to himself as his fears are confirmed. These masked men (or whatever they may be) are probably bandits out to rob or ransom Zantog's brat, it hardly matters which. There isn't much time to decide whether to help her or flee.

    Marween does not relish the idea of being outnumbered so early on, and dodges with surprising agility away from the closest man. Then she turns around and sets her legs in a wide stance with a fist cocked to either side, waiting.

    Ptolemy flies to a more optimal vantage point, wincing at the telltale flap of his own wings. [-5 Stealth penalty]

    Pang breaks his silence in Flint's mind---and Ulvenn's, too---with a dry observation.
    <I know the priestess said 'alive,' but someone with her power can question the dead too. With someone so stubborn maybe it is easier when they are dead.>


    OOC:


    Heroes are up, top of Round 3 (only Ptolemy still invisible---you may roll Perception on your turn to listen for his wings as a Free action)

    Round 2 Recap






    MAT





    DAMAGE:
    Marween has 14 damage
    Ulvenn (lost 10 temp HP and) has 8 damage (fast healing will remove 1 at start of next turn)


    CONDITIONS:
    NEW: Fate's Retribution activated, Marween is cursed for round 1/4 suffering -2 attack rolls and damage rolls (this is not cumulative)

    NEW: Marween Free action class feature, receives benefits obvious only to her for now

    NEW: Marween Move action class feature Stance activated, receives benefits obvious only to her for now

    NEW: Marween Swift action Feat,
    receives benefits obvious only to her for now

    Ptolemy is invisible +2 attack rolls and +40 Stealth or +20 moving -5 wings, 50% miss chance concealment


    Ulvenn hasted round 2/7 gain +30 move, +1 attack/Dodge to AC and Reflex, bonus melee attack in Full-attack

    Flint AND Ulvenn have heroes' feast benefits: 10 temp HP (Ulvenn lost his), +1 morale bonus to attack rolls, +4 vs poison or fear saves, +1 Will saves for 24 hours

    Whoops, NEW: Marween armor bonus
    Last edited by magrat4; 10-18-2019 at 05:21 AM. Reason: Crap forgot 2 things that must happen in certain order

  9. #1519

    Default Mysteria Inn/Fort Gnash: Lucianna

    ***At Mysteria Inn***




    ***Outside Fort Gnash***

    "No, I haven't. Samaritha's... perhaps too much like myself. Why do we find it hard to like those with the same flaws as us? And yeah, sometimes swift action is what's needed...She must hate me by now. I was too harsh."
    Lieven snorts softly in agreement at the irony that our own flaws annoy us the most in others.

    To Lucianna's last statement he shakes his head. "Does not sound to me like this wizard has many friends left. She'll forgive you, if there's anything to forgive."

    He asks what she thinks of him joining up as a giant-slayer and her reply is abrupt: "I think it is a good way to live and die."

    "I am open to other suggestions of employment, if you have any? A wandering sword for hire perhaps, clients whose business I approve of only? Not that's it's your job to find me a new calling, or atonement, of course."

    He mentions the Devil and the two crimelords who have fallen victim. [GM note: What happened at Pamodae's has NOT traveled outside her temple walls yet. Only Flint and Ulvenn and the guilty parties know.]

    "Yeah, I heard. Also, there's this-- What? Two lords? Who's the second one?" She is internally cursing Flint.
    Ott holds up two fingers. "Boss Croat and someone called Ziphras. The first was a druglord and is in jail, like that warden said when he rudely interrupted our drinking last night. The other is dead, and that's all I know about him."

    [GM note: Unbeknownst to Lucianna and Ott, they were indirectly responsible for Ziphras the wererat crimelord's death. The up-and-coming criminal was murdered by two Black Coil Trio bounty-hunters called "The Carpenter" and "The Hammer," and they returned the favor by killing him and his gang, on the night Ott led the trio to an "abandoned" house the wererats were holed up in so he and Luci could ambush the evil gnome sorcerer "The Hook."]

    "Yeah... I'll get back to you about the Devil. I need to talk to someone who may know a thing or two..."
    The halfling ex-soldier shrugs. "I am curious about this Devil but maybe it's better not to know. Let them carry on, with Thamir's blessing even, if all they're going to do is take out these bully crimelords who live as parasites."

    He asks who owns Fort Gnash now and why she's tasked with cleaning it out, and what kind of trouble she expects.

    "I do," she says casually. "The prison's warden. I've got the deed."
    His final question is more difficult to answer. Nisha was the mind-control specialist who escorted her and other experimental subjects to and from Bello's "treatments," and pumped them with sedatives and hallucinatory drugs for her "guided lucid dreaming" exercises so vivid they seemed 100% real. They were always nightmarish and extreme scenarios, like being drowned or buried alive or faced with all manner of overwhelming odds that pushed the test subjects beyond their limits in every way.

    Suddenly unsure of putting her new companion in Nisha's path, she asks, "Are you sure you are coming with, before I secure the place?"

    "I do not fear to be wherever you are, Red Genie," he says simply, and presses a quick kiss to her temple without breaking his stride. "Though I should tell you I am a far better sniper than hand-to-hand combatant." He reaches into a quiver on his back and pulls out the special sling staff and bullets invented by their people. The weapon glows faintly with enchantment.

    "I am not just trying to repay a debt because you helped me with the Hook---we're past that. And I'm not just mad about you as a woman, though I am also that. You challenge me to be better and you're the best person I know and so I want to stand with you, every chance I get. Just tell me how."

    By the time he finishes speaking the fortress looms above them both, with a single door set into a wall of smooth spiked wooden stakes. A notice tacked to the door (unlocked) declares by order of Gaston Cromarcky the property of Fort Gnash (as is) belongs to the Heroes of Riddleport in possession of the deed with his official seal.




    (Despite the picture there is NOBODY on the watchtower right now.)

    Lieven Ott points around. "On a normal day there would be one or two guards at this door, and one guard each on the two watchtowers up there."




    OOC:

    @Alcazar: Give me an Intelligence check or Knowledge Local to remember the thorough labeled map of Fort Gnash drawn by Korman's little buddy Antonio? Him being the boy of the boy-and-girl orphan pair (Tony and Lisey) that Croat was "raising" and using for his business.

    Otherwise she can explore the rooms but would have to make a Perception check to find any and all secret passages.


    Lieven Ott is a Level 10 fighter NPC offering to accompany you---because you've put effort into developing this contact, and it makes little sense he could resist offering, given his nature and the nature of your connection.

    You do not have to let him accompany with you, and the GM is not trying to nudge you, just roleplaying.

    If you take him with you, there are potential risks and rewards. He could become a target, and he CANNOT steal the PC's rightful spotlight by dealing HP damage to the main villain directly rather than bolstering your efforts. But he CAN attack other targets that present themselves AND/OR take actions in a way that grants Lucianna some sort of advantage.

    Does that make sense? It's your call.

    Last edited by magrat4; 10-17-2019 at 07:38 AM.

  10. #1520
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samaritha
    "Lucianna...Amaryllis...I fear someone's been mucking about in my head."

    The halfling grunts, thinking. "This young woman is scared enough as is... I'll confirm her suspicions once this is over. Maybe." She holds her head and rests her eyes. "Pour one for me as well, erm, if you can hold it." She leaves 'Marigold' alone with her thoughts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    "I am open to other suggestions of employment, if you have any? A wandering sword for hire perhaps, clients whose business I approve of only? Not that's it's your job to find me a new calling, or atonement, of course."
    "Stick around then. I just might have." She attempts a smile.
    She is still trying to figure out what to do with his friend, and knows herself just enough to realise she doesn't want him so far away from her.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    "You challenge me to be better and you're the best person I know and so I want to stand with you, every chance I get. Just tell me how."
    She doesn't really know what to say, but holds his hand tight. She is gets all flustered and fidgety. "Alright.~"
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieven Ott
    "On a normal day there would be one or two guards at this door, and one guard each on the two watchtowers up there."
    "I.. think I can afford one. Can't I? Just stay out of sight. Spy and signal to me rather than... You know, pace around like a guard. I am... we're ambushing one of my former captors."
    She protracts a claw and looks at it 'drumming' her fingers in the air. "Helped me become whatever I am now. It was not pleasant. Just make sure she cannot see you. Ever. She'll make you see things. Do things..."

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollHeroic Intelligence Check - (1d20+1+8) (17) [26]

    OOC:
    Silent image on both watchtowers creating an orc guard as soon as Ott signals Luci. Then, invisibility on herself to open the door of the fort.
    I think I am covering most of the aspects of roleplay and mechanics. Let me know if there's anything I am missing. Agni's cooldown when she needs to remain in her prison is over, right?


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