No.23433[Last 50 Posts]
A month or so back the city of Riverhold saw itself host to the assassination of Duke Edgar Landtamer. While to the common folk the only real impact was one night of watching the palace burn followed by a few weeks of extra guards on the streets, those with more political mindsets were busily weighing up the implications.
Edgar was a well liked duke, by both the crown and the common man, but he was never a particularly strong leader. Now the most likely successors were either his son - a pragmatic and practical, if short tempered youth; or his brother - a more established figure in the realm but known to be hasty and reliant on his gut. Anyone who knew this, understood that the duchy may be split, or even simply given away to someone else. Many war heroes and lesser nobles coveted the title and were at least equally if not more worthy of it.
To complicate things further, rumors of impending war were circling the kingdom. The Dragon Emperor had grown restless, and while his realms were far away, many had grown worried.
As for the culprits, they still remained on the run.
Reports of the night of the assassination were conflicted and confused, but there was proof that a few key people, all now missing, were seen near the scene of the attack that night.
Duna, a capra smith who worked with the duke's armory
Eider, a drakin cleaner
Kelpie, a court magician
Corso, a treasurer
And some dude in really fancy pants
Unknown to the public, they had taken residence in the city underground, in an abandoned theatre. With the help of fellow outlaws, they had gained important information regarding the Golden Dragon Clan, a foreign gang of criminals who had now shown the scaly tails in this realm for reasons unknown.
And it is here, on the cusp of many historic events, that we return to our story.
Am I also underground?
Ah yea, the golden dragon guys
You are at The Hideout
Patches is here, as is the Hideout's old owner, and now your less than willing ally Masque.
You also have some Golden Dragon drakins as prisoners
-Bloodruby, a golden dragon recruiter
-Cloudbreaker, a trainer
Yes. You fled along with the others, finding refuge among thieves and scum until you can clear your names.
So what are we going to do with these guys again?
Last you interrogated a Golden Dragon, it seemed like their boss was coming to town.
These guys might be able to yield some more details.
There were also other people Patches had found out about you could try to make contact with in order to secure new allies. Chat with her about them if you want to.
That guy was gonna take over the town or something right?
His exact intentions are unknown but that seems like a likely scenario
Go to Masque with a sleepy yawn.
"Teacher, this is some big stuff isn't it? All this pride and being better than humen. Can we even get rich off this if more are coming? "
Uhm. Can someone explain to me what's going on?
He puts on an indifferent mask
"Probably? The Golden Dragons are known to be wealthy.">>23442
Are accused of murdering the duke of this duchy
You didn't do it, you were just there and kinda tripped over the corpse while running from the fire that was lit at the time.
Now you've been slumming it underground with your old coworkers and some thieves for weeks, still a murderer and traitor in the eyes of the common man (or would be if they knew what you looked like).
In an effort to find a way to clear your name, you have taken the screws to the Golden Dragons, a foreign gang who showed up right at the same time as the assassination. There is a good chance they are connected to it, and their leader might be a crucial element to clearing your names.
The only issue there is that he will not be alone, and his gang is vastly richer, bigger and stronger than you.
"Alright, Cloudbreaker wasn't it? You say your boss is coming to town, I'd appreciate it if you could tell me his reasons"
Well, maybe I'll be able to use my expertise then if they're so rich.>>23444
"Wealthy and connected.." I twirl my fingers into my hair leaning on the wall.
"Yea, but he's not gonna like us taking his crew hostage.. doesn't that mean we're already off to a bad start? I doubt they'd pay ransom money.."
>>23438sorry, had to make breakfast
I'll go talk to patches then.
"Hey, Patches, do you have any other jobs for me instead of interrogation? I'm not exactly good at getting important info out of someone."
"Well they don't have to know we have their crew hostage. We can always… Get rid of them" I give the Drakin I'm questioning a nasty look "And no one would be any wiser"
"Cold Duna." I reply with a chill. "Thou.. I recall they were going to do the same to us.."
The large drakin eyes you defiantly, but decides to cooperate for now.
"Fireheart son of Ironhide, our boss, does indeed have his eyes set on this… town of yours. His reasons are not for me to know, but knowing him he is doing it to impress his father in some way.">>23446
"If rumors hold any water, he is more interested in showing off than anything. Something about not having really lived up to his bloodline's good name or something. You know the kind - young, brash, eager, a danger to themselves as much as to others.">>23447
The young thief is going through some notes she had written
"Well, we are still severely understaffed if we ever intend to fight any amount of Golden Dragons head on. While they invoke the core ideals of an orthodox drakin clan, they seem to have no problems with using other races as grunts. So we might need help.
Poaching other gangs aside, there are some specific people we could go after. For one, a curious entertainer bought by the Grandelion family, who is very adept at creating illusions.
And for another, several people held in Dead Man's Headland prison."
"How cute. He's just trying to impress his daddy."
I nod a few times and then go poke the drakin hostage.
"Hey, where would host this Fireheart at? Gotta be somewhere more impressive than that shack we found you at."
Lean close and whisper "Don't worry Sweetheart, I'm just trying to give them a scare
"FireHeart and Ironhide… Hey, I like those names"
Cross my arms "So he just wants his father's approval then? Odd, what could he possibly want to prove in Riverhold…"
"Cute, yes, but we should be worried about what he's gonna do to this city… Do you think he'll try to claim it in the name of his father? The Duke is dead so there is a free seat to be taken"
"Maybe he'll give it to his daddy, so he can sit on daddy's lap."
"To fail one's parents is a dire thing for a proper drakin.">>23452
"He had the grunts go and buy a house on the Palace District here, so he might be there if he isn't out meeting with his father's people.">>23453
"Look I just train grunts. They don't tell me the big secrets. Ask Bloodruby, he is much closer to the boss."
The smaller hostage drakin looks at his large friend with a mixture of rage and complete disbelief, shocked that he was put in the spotlight like that.
"Oh yea? What's the address of that place?"
"Well, a prison doesn't really sound that fun. Guess I'll go see the entertainer then. So did they hire him for some sort of party or just as a home entertainer?"
"The way people talk of it, it seems like a living curiosity bought to spice up the house and to show off to guests.">>23457
"It was on the hilly part, I forget the road name but it had one of those fancy rooftops with lots of skylights."
You know the place, it was built to order by a very eccentric noblewoman decades ago and was largely regarded as an eyesore by most.
Then look at Bloodruby.
"So pleasing your parents is proper, but ratting out friends is okay?
You Drakin are weird…
So Bloodruby, what's the deal?"
"Sounds rich and fancy, think they'll greet a… hmn…"
>Prepare Dragon Horn bong.
"Hey! What do you guys call 'distasteful' drakins like me again?" I call over to the golden dragon members.
"Nice, I want a cool place like that someday."
I nod firmly day dreaming about it.>>23460>>23461
"Wanna go scout it together out after this?
"Unlike my meathead companion I have no desire to cooperate so easily. Or at least… not for free."
Cloudbreaker rolls his eyes.
"Greedy little shit…">>23461
"Don't call yourself a drakin you misbegotten newt"
"Up on the fancy hill for the eye-sore manor?"
She's clearly coming on to me.
"Sure, just a minute.">>23464
"Now that's easy. How much?"
I nod and kick back a moment to wait.
I cover my mouth to stifle a laugh "That's a scene I didn't want in my mind" >>23456
Shrug "Alright then Mister trainer, if you don't want to help then just stay there in the couch and after we're done here, I'll see with Patches if we can make you useful"
Turn to the one called Bloodruby >>23464
"Alright, you want to negotiate and I respect that. What do you want for the information then. Gold?">>23462
"Well I'm not doing anything else at the moment, and someone have to watch over you kids" look around "Speaking of, where is Fancypants?"
"Not money… power.
I know you plan to kill the boss. So… why not make sure I take his place?"
"Yeah that, do you think they'll greet a misbegotten newt like me?"
>Take hit from bong.>>23462
"Well I'm going to be looking for some sort of entertainer that works for the Grandelion family. Is that the way you're heading?"
"How do you know we plan to kill the boss? For all you know, we might be planning to sell some traitors to him in return for his help."
"All fancy stuff is on the same side of town right?"
"They'll rip your scales out and make them into spoons">>23471
He looks a bit surprised but tries to keep his poker face
"Because once you hear me out, you'll want him gone."
"I don't remember saying anything about killing him you traitorous welp" scold him>>23473
"You make a very strong point.">>23473
"Well at least I'm sure they would turn them into fancy spoons so they won't go to waste. Do you think I might be able to catch the entertainer while he's out of the house?"
>Offer Patches a hit.
"By the way, do you want some?"
The drakin grins, bearing his teeth
"It is true he is here under orders from his father, Ironhide. His orders were to send the clan in during the upheaval and influence the coming coronation of the new duke in a way that would be favorable to his father's allies.">>23476
She looks at the device curiously but turns you down.
"No thanks. I've heard bad stories."
Note that the entertainer is not owned by the Golden Dragons, but an unaffiliated noble.
"Okay, that was one of my guesses, and?"
But we still need to meet with him, wouldn't he have some sort of schedule that allows him to still walk the streets freely from time to time when he isn't working?
Wave my hand.
"We could've guessed that. If that's all you have…"
His expression begins slipping from surprise to fear
"W-well I also know that… that… it was Ironhide who masterminded the assassination plot!"
Oooh I lean closer suddenly intensely interested.
Check for bluff '1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
You just stare intensely in his face until you start going crosseyed
Shake my head, then motion for the others to follow me as I walk out of their hearing
"You believe him? He looks like a rat to me."
"Well, that's the kind of thing we should be lookin for.. so we can stop being wanted criminals..
" I frown.
Squint at him "Well… That would make sense. So all this was just his plan to take over Riverhold? Because if that is true then you were right, I do want to end him"
"Alright, but I also know some pretty hilarious stories.">>23481>>23482
Shifting attention since we'll be scouting together.
"But why would Ironhide pick us to frame? Seems a bit fishy that he would pick someone as simple as a cleaner. You know, if you tell us the truth then we might be more willing to let you go sooner."
[1d10+2]Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
"Hmm, so what now?"
"It goes beyond just Riverhold, but this is all a very important step in the grand scheme of things. Failing here would be bad for both father and son">>23488
"He picked nobody, you are just victims of circumstance. You are nothing to us, it was only a happy coincidence."
Shrug "I am not completely trusting of him, but his words do make some level of sense. On one hand, if Ironhide really was half of the proud chieftan you'd expect a Drakin to be, he wouldn't hire killers to murder the Duke… But on the other hand, from what I've seen of Drakin, they tend to be very greedy…" I nibble my finger I thought
"To be honest I don't know what to believe yet" I whisper back >>23490
"So he wants to take over the whole nation then?"
"We have to get.. proof!"
"Right… figures that would be my luck.">>23491>>23492
"I think this is the closest to dealing with politics as I'll ever get, but do you think we should try investigating what he's saying just to see if he's telling the truth? There's nothing keeping us from just looking and not taking action."
>Take another hit from bong.
"He is part of a greater power play, but ultimately, yes, something to that effect.
Now is this enough for you to guarantee me your cooperation?"
"What about your friends here? They know you ratted the boss out…"
"That's what we're going to do, yes. As much as it worries me we can't just listen to his words alone, so we'll investigate">>23494
"Not yet. First we will see if what you told us is the truth, if yes, then we can consider your offer, but if we find out you were lying…"
"They should remain loyal to me. After all, soon enough I will be boss.">>23496
"Best make up your mind soon then.
I could have more useful things to share with… allies."
"Sounds better than sitting around here guessing."
Lean forward to him "Well aren't you a confident one. Don't worry fella, we won't take long" >>23498>>23495>>23493
Everyone ready to go?
Are you all going to the Palace District?
As the sun set, you snuck back out onto street level.
Guard patrols were back to normal by now, so the worst you had to fear up here was rival gangs or lone thugs.
And we can handle both of those
Stretch a little "Aah. Alright everyone, let's get to that district"
I look wearily around and pull up my coat a bit.
"Should be okay to just walk there.." I comment as I look around for any rival gangs.
The night seems calm enough. The only thing you see that is even a little out of the ordinary is a guy in a dark coat seeming eavesdropping on some gossip near the entrance to the Palace District
Just stay away from guards and we'll be golden >>23508
"So, Joan right? What did you do at the Duke's place again? I don't think I saw your face a lot around there… Or at all"
Just following the group while keeping an eye out.>>23511golden like a dragon?
I know a lot of weirdos, maybe I know him?>>23511
"John. I worked in the library. I haven't been employed long. I was to do research on one of the noble families' family tree. I have a knoack for finding things others won't."
Could just be a crook, but it might also be an info broker or gossip looking for fresh material
Hmmm, but what is he eavesdropping on.
Let's try to eavesdrop the same! '1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Seems safe enough.. sigh and relax a little
Let's approach him and ask for some directions
"Evening sir, could you help me with something? I'm looking for a place with a fancy rooftop and skylights, do you know it?"
I'll just make sure I don't get too close though >>23513
"Ah the Duke's library, that explains a lot, the only time I got in there was when I was introduced to the palace."
"You find what others don't? Were you some kind of treasure hunter?">>23512Aayyyyy
It seems to be a conversation about the pros and cons of the possible new dukes.>>23517
He flinches a little and turns to you
"The Sky-Eye Mansion? It's past the gates, up the hill street on the right."
"Hey, you wouldn't happen to know anything about the Grandelion family, would you?"
>Persuasion if needed
[1d10+2]Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
"Close. I'm an antique dealer.">>23518
"I know lots mate. But knowledge is a two way street if you know what I mean.">>23520
They seem to share the general consensus that one of the veteran heroes should be given the title since the son is too inexperienced and the brother is too unreliable. Neither seems to be a fan of splitting the territory.
"I might know a thing or two."
>Weed knowledge to remember best place in town to get the kush.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
"Past the gates, hill, right. Okay thank you! Let's go boys">>23520
"Yes, close enough. Explains why I never saw your face… Big castle huh?"
I'll just go up the street to the right, looking for the skylight house.
"You know anything about the Sky-Eye mansion?">>23523
"Indeed it is."
I let a moment of silence pass
"So why did they try to arrest you?" I say dryly.
"I'm more interested in politics.">>23525
"Built like fifty… sixty years ago, complete eyesore. They say the skylights were because the owner liked to look at the stars. But those in the know would tell you it's because she had a drakin lover she wanted to keep secret."
"Many. But that's not info I'd give freely."
He extends a hand
"Call me Night Ear. I buy, sell and occasionally trade - information.">>23524>>23523
It is not hard to find, really. The style clashes greatly with its neighbors.
There seem to be guards at the door. human guards.
still rolling d10s?
'1d10' spot check the placeRoll #1 1 = 1
Do I have money with me?
Take his hand.
"Corso. I buy and sell antiques, artifacts. I once sold the mirror of a capra mage to a client, supposed to reveal any secret. I imagine that might have put you out of a job."
"Well that's the one thing I really know nothing about.">>23526
"We could always see if they have a cellar we could sneak through. Or we could always try the roof as well.
"Oh? Oh right, same reason as the rest of us I suppose. I was seen at the crime scene and got blamed for it"
Shrug "I was longing from a break of the castle but not like this" >>23530
Stay away from the gate then >>23533
"Both good suggestions, hun, but there might be guards on those two, so let's be careful"
Rather than spotting, you have been spotted.
One of the guards looks right at you
"Hey you! What do you think you're doing skulking there at this hour?">>23532
You do have money.
"Too bad. Info on current events has the best market value, and right now all the buzz is about that assassination and the upcoming coronation."
Note the guard coming over.
"I might need your services later, where can I find you?"
Look at him and then sigh.
"Stupid bet, It ain't nothing.."
grumble and turn to leave.
He returns to his post, mumbling something about dumb kids>>23536
"Where the good stories are told - the streets at night."
"Good, and a good way into the mansion, how much would that cost?"
He ponders for a moment
"What, you got the keys to the mansion, directly into the pleasure gardens?
30 crowns, can't be worth more than that."
Haggle '1d10+2'Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
"25 and you tell me why you're going in there"
I'm not sure.. sneak around back to get a different angle? '1d10+2'Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
"Fine, but first the way in…"
"It has a small back yard easily accessible via the drain ditch.
None of the skylights have locks either.">>23543
There seems to be a walled off back yard behind the house.
NEXT TIME ON THE RUN
OF THE DEAD
"That's good. We're going there because firebrand is going to try to take advantage of this assassination to expand his influence and that of his father's allies. He may or may not have something to do with the assassination. But that information will have to wait for another time." Smirk
You were skulking around the Sky-Eye mansion.
Night Ear, the information broker, had given you a clue for entry: There is a back yard one can easily enter via the drainage ditches, and the skylights have no locks if you can get on the roof. The man himself is standing around in the alleys of the Palace District, probably observing you but not being in the way.
Your mission: Find out information about the leader of the local Golden Dragons - Fireheart, and of any potential allies you could gain to help take him down.
Tap my bag.
"I'm not used to this kind of thing…" I state the obvious.
After no one responds to my nervous joke I simply look for the drainage ditches
"Just try to not think about the smell eh?" I follow behind the old human man
I'm in my thirties, you goddamn whipper snapper
Sneakin' in a backyard? sounds like a job for a roguish witch.
'1d10+2' sneak over the wall of the backyardRoll #1 9 + 2 = 11
>>23673>Weed knowledge changed to Water Magic due to lack of use for weed knowledge.
"So Should I fly up onto the roof with some rope? Actually… Do we even have any?">>23674
"Really? I thought you did this for a hobby."
It takes a bit of effort and fence hopping to get around the row of houses, but these backyard streets are less lively if nothing else.
The drainage systems are fairly simple, just small pipes that run under the walls of most mansion yards, draining into a larger ditch at the side of the street itself. Damp leaves aside, there isn't much to worry about in there.>>23678
You quickly assess the wall and the pipe, then slip through under the wall to remain undetected.
As expected, there isn't even a grill there to keep it shut. Likely to keep maintenance easy. Maintenance workers are infamously lazy after all.
The back yard seems to have no guards either. The Golden Dragons only expected trouble from the front.
There is a shed here, along with a small gazebo, a flower patch and some lawn furniture by some trees. It's not a big yard, but bigger than one might expect in the heart of a city.
"You're the smartest from your class I take it?">>23680
Let's go in!
>>23679>Forgot name change>>23681
"Well I'm self taught so I guess you can say I'm the best teacher too.">>23680
Well time to put these wings to work again.
>Flying onto the roof.
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
"Who would have thought?"
"I know right? Big surprise."
I want to look in the shed.
Very old for a capra! >>23679
"Nay, we'll go for the sewage, so lower those wings boy">>23680
"Fancy. I bet they even have hot showers in there"
Scratch my neck "Speaking of showers, I won't need to remind anyone to take one after we're done here. Let's go" I stay behind the VERY old human male and the Witchy Witch, ready to follow
You slip into the yard via the pipe.
There is a shed here, along with a small gazebo and some lawn furniture near a tree.>>23682
You flap your wings and take to the sky, landing on the roof. There is only one guard up here, staring down at the front door. She seems to be daydreaming, or possibly just taking a quick nap leaning against a decorative gargoyle.
There are hooks to attach a maintenance ladder up here as well.>>23685
The shed is not locked.
It contains gardening tools ranging from small shovels to large hedge clippers, a coil of rope, a ladder used for trimming the trees and doing repairs on the roof, some buckets of paint, and a few old books.
How quaint. Not interested in that.
Look around for an entrance to the house!
A ladder huh, let's get that and the ropes.>>23688>>23686
and show them to you once you're in the backyard.
"Really, a ladder?"
"Not everyone is great at climbing here. We might want it."
While the guard is busy, try to set up the ladder hooks for the others in the backyard.
There is a back door, which seems to be unguarded. Odds are the Golden Dragons did not expect anyone to use the back.>>23689
The ladder is long enough to reach the roof on one point, probably on purpose to allow access up there for cleaning and repairs.
The rope is kinda old and raggedy, but should hold in most cases.>>23692
You turn the hooks down, making an easy connection point for the ladder.
"Why not just use the door?" I point to the back door.
I giggle, more of a soft cackle.
"Come on, you're not serious right?"
Let's keep an eye out on that guard. Definitely not checking her out while waiting for the group.totally checking her out
Stand there with my arms crossed "We're not getting anywhere disorganized like that, comrades, Let's pick a route and go with it already. And since our dragon friend already went ahead to the roof, I vote to climb it"
Now let's see how we can attach the stairs to those hooks
Look back at the door and then at you.
"Am I missing something?'
Roll my eyes and check the backdoor, look through the keyhole.
'1d10' spot check.Roll #1 10 = 10
Young, kinda rough looking. Golden scale is right on the middle of her forehead, probably to make some sort of statement about her status in the gang. Not particularly well dressed so odds are she is a low-ranking member.>>23697
Just lift the ladder up and place it on the hooks.>>23699
A storage room. No guards, just loads of shelves. Judging by the sound of things it might be connected to, or adjacent, a bath.
"Okay its a storage area, next to a bath. Possible, but I think the roof would be quicker. Since we want info not goods." I report back.
"You're the expert."
Start climbing the ladder
I sit down and wait next to the hooks, tapping my leg with my claws. "What's taking them so long?" I think to myself.
Done and done
Give the others a thumbs up >>23701
"Good job darlin" give the Witch a mockery bow beside the stairs "After you"
climbin' up the ladder too.
There are ten skylights to pick from. Most of them lead to various bedrooms, four into a large room that seems to lead all the way to the bottom floor - probably some kind of main hall. The only odd ones out are one leading into an upstairs bath and another leading into a study of some sort.
The study has a guard, as do some of the bedrooms. Not all the bedroom guards are exactly.. guarding though.
Not guarding? What are they sleeping? Jerking off?
Okay. I'll let the Capra decide where to go in.
"Why does the study need a guard at night.." I whisper to the others and get closer to that skylight
"Me? Why thank you."
After a brief look and contemplation, I conclude that our best choice is going for one of the bedrooms with the distracted guards
It might contain something of value to the gang, or the guard might just be there to take a breather.
"No idea, probably some scholar in there doesn't want anyone fussing with their research"
"Seems fishy, we better look there."
What's the study's guard doing?
Reading a book and taking notes, occasionally glancing at the door.
It is possible that they aren't even supposed to be in there.
"So how do we get rid of him if we're going into the study?" I whisper to the everyone, regarding the study guard.
Roll my eyes "It's probably one of the brains of their clan doing some studying. Since you two are so interested then we can try to to get'em instead. If we're doing this we gotta be stealthy… Or we could just bumrush it I suppose, that study looks a bit isolated"
"Drop down on him and prevent him from calling for the others."
"I'm not a thief, but maybe we could just drop down in an empty room?"
"Well we could, but these two are interested in going for the kill on that guard there"
"… What I don't understand is what does being a thief has to do with wanting to go for an empty room though"
"Hey, we won't learn anything up here, let's just see drop down in a room near this one." >>23715
What about the skylight to the right of this one?
"Who said kill? I just figured we might find some useful info the golden dragons have in their study.">>23718
"I'm not really that heavy to knock out another Drakin…" Pointing out my smaller stature to normal average drakins.
looks to be one of the occupied bedrooms
okay, what about the one left of the study?
signal the others
and then use the rope to get down
Follow into the empty room. "Maybe we can try tricking the guard into here and catch him by surprise."
"Distract him with something so he leaves the study and steal his book?"
"That was just an expression, but you sounded pretty eager to get a drop on'em">>23726
Alright follow the big hat leader
Once you settle on a plan let me know
Big hat leader has decided I think?
"Please I do throw myself at every male I see, I'm a drakin with tastes, sometimes I like to lead them on like leading them away from the room so I don't need to drop on them." I say jokingly.>>23728
"Do you think knocking on the wall might work?"
I hum then point at Duna.
"You're good at throwing things, make a good toss with a rock or something just down the hall from the study, to get his attention, but not the others."
Snicker, cocking a brown
"A Drakin with tastes?">>23733
"I mean, I could throw something pretty hard if that's what you want, just don't expect the accuracy of an eastern bowmaster
Let's find something I can toss down that hall and throw it!
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
You grab a nearby ornament and throw it down the hall. It hits a lit candle and knocks it over.
Odds are the carpet will catch fire soon if this is left alone. It did also make enough noise that the guard in the study stood up and started looking about.
"Yeah, I may be a pot head but even a dope fiend like me has tastes.">>23735
Getting ready to sneak with the others when they are.
>Sneaking roll in case
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Did he leave the study?
You scout out some easy paths to the nearby rooms. It should be simple to slip into any of them unnoticed.
"Follow me" I whisper, leading everyone to the study.
follow the drakin boy
As you make your move the guard from the study exits, notices the candle, and sprints past you to put it out.
He didn't even glance at you twice, probably assuming you were fellow gang members.
As I drop down, take a cursory glance at the books '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
neat, let's see what he was writing.
This appears to be a collection of books detailing the lives of fellow rich folks, from diaries to financial ledgers. The difference in writing styles seems to indicate these were compiled from multiple sources, and the breadth is considerable. Not only does this room contain dirt on the local upper crust, it also has mentions of other well known families and individuals from around the kingdom and beyond. Very valuable stuff in the right hands.>>23743
The notes seem to be a compilation of intel he found relating tot he Golden Dragons. This would imply the books did not originate from within the gang.
Whoa, steal that. immediately.
Keep watch at the door for anyone coming.
>Rolling if needed
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"Well did you two found anything juicy?" I whisper, keeping watch on the door and the hall
"Oh yea, I found just what we need, let's get out of here."
"Already? What a pleasant surprise. Let's roll out then"
It's a long list of notes, but cuts off mid-sentence so it obviously wasn't complete.>>23746
No need to worry at least, the study guard went to check the other room to see if someone had snuck in, and walked in on the other guard having some private fun. That might take both of them a while.
incomplete or not, its still what we wanted, however that guard..
nah, we can come back later.
'1d10+2' sneak us out via the empty room ropeRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
"Well… at least someone's having fun tonight…" I grumble.>>23751
"Here, why don't I just fly us back up one by one?" Pointing out the skylight in this room.
Oh my, take 3 of the most valuable.
I'm sure I'll find a rich buyer.
"Sure, little wings." I poke fun at your size while being a tiny girl myself and wait for you to carry me.
The rope makes some worrying noises.
Climbing it will require a roll of at least 3.>>23753
You grab notes on
-The King's Court
-The Dragon Emperor
well, nevermind the rope, I'll let tiny weak drakin help me
Neat. Climb back up with the rest, I'll investigate them later
"H-Hey my wings are just fine. I can carry myself and someone else… that's relatively my size or smaller…">>23755>Flying everyone up through the skylight one by one for a quicker getaway. Rolling if needed.
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Tight spaces and a lack of time make things complex.
Roll to see if each of you gets up safely
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
It was a little right but you made it.
However, it appears the rooftop sentry is awake and peering down one of the skylights, probably confused about the noise down there. She has not noticed you however.
Quickly yet silently make it for the ladder we set up.
>Rolling if needed
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Stay near the shadows. Small capers are hard to notice
It seems that she is indeed distracted by the show below and pays no real attention to your passing. Right now it seems that you can make a clean getaway.
'1d10+2' sneaky roll to get to the ladder and downRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
Woop woop woop I sneak away on the ladder!
You nab the rope, unhook the ladder, slide down the ladder as it falls, quickly catch it and store it and the rope back in the shed, leaving no trace that you were ever here.
Lucky! Let's scram through those stairs
nice, let's not ruin it at the last moment, leave out the gate we came in at.
You quickly exit via the pipe and return to the main street as if nothing happened.
Night Ear is still hanging around, and it looks like they changed the guards at the front door, but nothing else is new.
"I need some space to study these books. Maybe with a good tankard of ale and some tobacco…"
uh cool, I just nod at him as I go past. I'm gong to the hideout before something can happen to this info.
"I could really use a bowl after all that…"
Stretch "Whew, that didn't go nearly as bad as I feared. Good job y'all" >>23774
"Would you want a foot massage to go with all that as well?" reply with a smug grin>>23776
"… What? A bowl? You hungry for a soup or something?"
"Yes actually. Thanks for offering."
You can barter off some of that info to Night Ear if you want.
Otherwise, we will skip ahead at the start of next time so you get all the info read up.
"Nah nah nothing like that. But uhh… you want me to show you when we get back?"
Roll my eyes "Keep dreaming old man" >>23780
"Sure. I'll take a look into this amazing bowl of yours"
From your quick raid of Sky-Eye Mansion, you obtained
>Information on the Golden Dragons and their organisation
>Information on the King's Court
>Information on the Dragon Emperor
>Information on House Grandelion
Much of which is likely to be deeply incriminating or sensitive data. In the right hands, it could deal (or prevent) a great deal of damage to any of them.
Night Ear the information broker would likely be very interested in this for one, or you could use it for blackmail later.
Patches is waiting back at the hideout with some new plans as well.
I'm gonna need to actually know some of that info so I can plan
Shrug "Don't say things you're not willing to back up.">>23817
Hmmmm, well I still don't know what I'm supposed to do. So I'll leave that to the better informed
The information is collected from multiple sources and compiled by an unknown author.
[Collected information on the Golden Dragons]
-Despite no official affiliation, the Golden Dragon Gang, or Golden Dragon Clan, has been known to work directly for the Dragon Emperor's goals. While possibly coincidental, it is more likely a well executed cover-up.
-The patriarch and leader of the Golden Dragons, Ironhide, has direct blood ties to the Dragon Emperor's court. It is suspected that his unusual decision to omit the name of his father from his own name is proof that his blood ties are sensitive information.
-Many sources point to He Whose Light Blinds The Sun or He Who Soars The Skies Above The Sky, two of the Dragon Emperor's close advisers, as the likely father
-The clan is better equipped and wider spread than any known criminal organisation, further proving they possess a strong benefactor
-Ironhide rarely appears in person, but prefers to send out his lieutenants. His son, Fireheart, has recently joined them and is a potential weak link in the entire upper clan.
-Ironhide's preference to lead from the rear is likely a result of his injury-heavy career. He is suspected to be crippled, possibly flightless, despite his fearsome stature.
Let's read one of them books.
Find something I can use to blackmail.
"I'm heading back to the hideout" I warn everyone before I go "Feel free to join me when you want" >>23819
"I never said that I would be the one doing it. Why don't you ask the Witch for that?"
[On The Court of King Alastor III]
-The king has been repeatedly accused of using spies far more extensively than any past monarch. These accusations are true, and there is evidence of an entire order of spies and assassins who work for the crown directly. Lord Artanas Ravenwreath has often been implicated as a key member, but there has never been proof of his involvement.
-The captain of the Royal Guard - Grand Radiance - may not be a natural Aeon. His colossal size aside, his powers seem beyond those of normal Aeons. The only other Aeon to ever present such traits was a prize fighter later inducted into the Royal Army before it disappeared somewhere in the duchy of Nordmark.
-Many of the nobles of the realm were given titles on flimsy official grounds, which has strongly implied the King offers back room deals for those willing to do his bidding without damaging his pristine reputation.
-Despite abolishing the Order of the Iron Torch established by his grandfather, the infamous inquisitorial group-turned-torture cult is still said to exist in secret.
[On the Dragon Emperor]
<much of the information appears to relate to the Golden Dragons, or other similar incidents of using outside groups to act as proxy armies in foreign nations. There is no concrete proof that he is a real dragon.>
[On House Grandelion]
-one of the richest and most powerful of the noble families of this realm
-implicated in the financing of many ill-fated projects, most recently the great pleasure barge Golden Pearl, which sank killing hundreds
-further implicated in several illegal activities from smuggling to drug trade and human trafficking
-known to keep several secret vaults around the city, the locations of which are largely unknown
Skimming the notes already reveals much. Deeper reading will be needed to get all the juicy details.
"Because I'm not rude.">>23823
Deeper reading on the Court of the King! Maybe I'll find some blue's clues '1d10+2'Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Raise my hands defensively "Alright, that is a good enough argument"
"Well, nothing here says where Ironhide might show up.. but there is some things we can use."
-Due to bad blood between the king and some of his close surviving relatives over the reign of the previous king, it seems likely that he engineered some deaths to take the crown for himself.
-Duke Landtamer was on good terms with the king, so his assassination was not done by royal edict. However this does not mean the king would be above splitting the duchy to reward his other good allies.
-The king has been accused of bailing out likely criminals such as Ravenwreath and Grandelion in the past, likely due to their unofficial ties and systems of favors. As such, it is likely that if one can do something worthwhile for the king even outside official channels, they could earn a place on his white list.
Maybe I can actually become…royal Antiquary out of this.
Wait, or is that the guys who's dead?
King Alastor III is not dead, and has the secret white list
Duke Landtamer is dead.
Did I get to patches yet?
Rub my hands greedily.
AND SO YOU RETURN TO BASE.
Patches has set up a bunch of maps and plans, and seems to be going over some details, muttering to herself.
Look over her shoulder.
"What's the plan dorkie?"
"Honey we're home, And we brought some good info, thanks to our Librarian
. What are you cooking over here?"
I look for the area that's the closest thing we have to a kitchen and try to cook up something for the crew to eat. Probably stew.
"I did some digging, and I think I have our best potential goals mapped out now.
In order to take on a major player like Fireheart, we'll need some way to bait him out, then spring a trap on him and hopefully overwhelm him. With him gone the gang should quickly dissipate in this region.
We could hire some mercs I suppose, but we'd need a lot of cash for that. So an alternative would be to stage a mass prison break from Dead Man's Headland. Now that happens to be a prison fortress, so we'd need something fairly impressive to even get inside. To this end, I think that illusionist House Grandelion bought should make for a good start. Then all we need is a big enough beat stick to force our way in, through and out. Still working on that one though.">>23836
There is a small kitchen set up in the rear of the maintenance areas.
Eider begins to prepare with whatever he has to make a stew, seeing what little spices are around and giving a small taste to them as he cooks. About mid way he finally figures what the stew will be, a classic potato and left over meat stew with chopped mix of vegetables. A hearty meal for the cheap man.
>Make soup for the party.
"So we get to target C, so we can get to target B and then bait out target A, and hey, I'm not a big enough beat stick for you?"
I take a seat on the couch "I have a question though… What exactly are we getting out of that prison break?"
Very stewy. Should make for a fine enough meal.>>23840
She shows you a picture of a heavy-set knight with impressive facial hair
"Sir Alexander Ragamont, famous sellsword, officer and most importantly, an old buddy of my mentor Nosey. We pull him out of there and he will owe us at least enough to lead an attack on the Golden Dragons. And since he was something of a big shot last I heard, odds are most of the others we free would join him for this job. There's our beat stick."
Once finished, Eider brings the soup as well as serving bowls that he balances on his tail. "So we go in, rescue a knight, get a gang of prisoners quarter of which might be junkies, then attack Fireheart with them? Definitely not a task too big for us. By the way, who wants some stew?"
"Alright, I admit he does looks like a powerful raid leader. He's perfect for the job then, let's just hope that the time in jail hasn't spoiled him"
Sniff the air "What's that nice smell though? Hey! Who's cooking?!"
"Whoa, he looks tough."
"The guy who can make two types of amazing bowls."
"Ahah, that was you, thank you sugar, all this sneaking around tonight made me forget about dinner. You're a savior"
I sit down.
"Now the downside is that he has been known to be a little… unstable ever since he lost his wife and daughter to a shipwreck. Also, he of course can't help us until we get to him, so we will either need to figure out where to find something else big and strong to use for the break-in, or risk just sneaking in under the protection of illusions."
"Let's get your guy. You know the layout? Guards? "
"I liked the first plan better, but I will go with what we need to do"
"Dead Man's Headland is an old sea fort converted into a high security prison for dangerous criminals and enemies of the state. It features the highest guard-to-prisoner ratio I've ever seen.
As for layout, it should follow the old layout of the fortress, making it sturdy against attacks, but less efficient as a prison in terms of capacity. Hence the extra guards. Small spaces aplenty with very few areas having more than one entrance.">>23850
"I don't really know where we could even find something strong enough to attack that place. We'd need something like a legendary warrior or a huge monster or something."
"I hate it already. Can we explode it?"
"Well can't focus on the next mission without at least something to fuel you.">>23848
"So we just don't mention boats or pirates to the guy.">>23851
"What if one of us was put into the place while the others search for the illusionist? That way they can get an insider's perspective for the escape."
"We need the people inside, otherwise it's a waste of time. If we could obtain a huge amount of money somehow that could let us skip this whole process and just hire people instead, but I don't know any places worth raiding for money.">>23853
"A fine plan except we can't really communicate with whoever is on the inside. Dead Man's is called that for a reason - you never leave once you get sent there."
Eider shrugs. "We're not exactly going to be in communication with mr. noblepants. I wouldn't mind going for it if everyone thinks it might be a good plan, but if I do get in I could try finding him to coax him into helping us."
Patches puts down her form for a moment
"I just realized I never asked if you found out anything useful at Sky Eye."
"A lot of interesting things at least.."
"Working guard duty there is the best when you get a break apparently."
"Sadly I don't know where to find either of those. Our Witch might be able to help with something, maybe summon a demon from the bowels of heck?">>23853
"Aw, so considerate, thanks luv">>23856
"You're gonna have to ask 'em. I haven't read any of the things they found"
"Well hopefully some of it will be useful">>23858
"Also they seem to have a spy there, we stole his notes."
Eider smiles. "I would say 'I can show you' but even I think that joke is too far." He says, hoping that's a good enough hint.
She looks a bit confused but just shrugs and leaves it at that.>>23861
"Spy notes are always useful. As blackmail material if nothing else."
show her what we collected.
She takes a moment to sift through the texts, until her finger stops at one of the lines
"Well that sounds like a doozy gentlemen, but since I'm just a humble purveyor of antiquities I'll have to leave this to the professionals."
"Every extra body is useful for something."
"I don't think there'll be many books to read in this prison."
Wrap an arm around the puny human "Come in, you're not going to be let me take care of these kids on the field on my own are ya?"
"Yea, I'm not sure what to do with this.. to be honest.."
"No but you can always take a shank to save someone else"
Her tone is playful, her face deadly serious.>>23870
"Well if that big aeon is still somewhere in Nordmark we could try to look for it. That would one hell of a siege weapon. Or I suppose we could try to find out if there are some wild witches to make deals with - after all they are known monster summoners.
Beyond that all I can really come up with is starting with Grandelion's illusionist and maybe… looking into these vaults of theirs."
"Wild Witches? I like that one." I cackle softly.
"Well I'll stick to whatever plan we can come up with, but I'm still up for volunteering for an inside job."
"I can get behind the Witch plan, though I never heard of the aeon. Is it a giant the size of a building?"
Patches puts down her fork and wipes her mouth
"Guess it's down to a vote then.
Grab the grandelion girl and go to Dead Man's?
Go to Nordmark first?
Go find these Vaults?
Go look for Wild Witches?
Put the drakin in prison and see where that goes?
Split up and do all the above?"
witchy witch votes for witches
Let's punch some witches
"I guess they're going for witches.">>23876>>23877
"Do you two need me on this, or do you think it's better if I try finding Mr. Noblepants in the prison?"
"You think you can do that alone?"
"So we get the illusionist, then go find us a Wild Witch and coax it to summon a monster to attack Dead Man's.
With that causing chaos, we sneak it and free whoever we can. Then with those badasses in tow we attack the Golden Dragons."
"If you have confidence in me I'll have confidence in myself."
"Get an Illusionist and a Witch. Sounds like a solid plan."
"You could go with the Librarian, just to be safe. So half goes for the witches and the other two for the illusionist">>23880
"I like it, boss. When do we head out?"
Eider shrugs. "Well hopefully she's cute, at least it'll make it easier for me to try and bring her back to our place.">>23880
"I guess I'll be going for the Illusionist then."
"We head out at dusk. They won't know that hit 'em."
NEXT TIME ON THE RUN
AND FACE SLAPPING
Hopefully not my face.
The plan is set.
You are to kidnap the illusionist from House Grandelion
Find a Wild Witch to help you create a distraction
Break in to Dead Man's Headland with the help of those two
Create a prison break to get some troops
And take the battle to the Golden Dragons before they can act out whatever their grand plan here is.
"Okay, has anyone scouted House Grandelion?"
"The plan was for you and Eider to go get the illusionist while me and Librarian went to negotiate with witches. If you people want to reconsider, now is the time"
Patches tosses a few papers on the table
"I was able to get my hands on some of the estate layouts, but I've never been on the inside. However, the place should be mostly empty. Save for whatever guards they have housesitting. There is a major ball being thrown in the upper palace district by several of the rich families as they discuss who to support for our new Duke.">>23926
"If I may be so bold, should we not send our witch to deal with the wild witch? Or is that silly?"
"Sounds good to me."
I nod a few times.
"Okay, should I go now? Anything I should know about the Illusionist?"
"So how do we split up?
Or do we all just go to one and then the other?"
"Wait, you want to get these all done at once. Okay."
"I don't care if we do them at once or in order. We have time."
"Generally you have to walk away from one another to split up. So how are we supposed to convince the Grandelion illusionist to help us?"
Shrug "Maybe, yes. I never dealt with wild witches before so I can't be sure if another Witch would be the best choice. If anything, I have faith that Librarian has a silver tongue… Wild witches can be reasoned with right?" >>23929
"In this case, stay out of trouble will ya? You two will have to watch over the other">>23930>>23931
"Splitting up should get the job done faster. We don't exactly have all the time in the world"
"That should be the easy part. As I understand, she is a slave they bought off some pirates.">>23934
"I've never tried, but so long as you respect them and offer them a good deal. Which either means giving them something special, or doing them a favor."
"I don't know, what does the Illusionist like? We probably need to offer him something."
I sigh at the confusion.
"Okay, I'll go to the forest, to look for wild witches." Pick up my hammer and go gather supplies for surviving.
"You want an extra pair of hands with you there, or should I go with the others to Grandelion?"
It won't be too long a stay hopefully, but basic camping gear is probably in order. It is the woods after all.
"I could always go to the Grandelion alone if I have to, not like it's the first time I've had to do stuff alone." Eider says, lighting a match to smoke from his dragon horn piece.
"Something special? Hmrrg… I don't suppose they'd appreciate a hand crafted armor set then?">>23936
"Alright, then I'll guard you while you have a word with your kind. If anything you can say I'm your loyal bodyguard">>23937
"Up to you, boss. I'd suggest going with the Drakin though, so he doesn't feel lonely"
I grin at the carpa.
"With this wrestling champ I'll be fine. You two figure out that weird mage."
"Yeah, that's what I like to hear! Let's go!"
"Magical things tend to be of more use to witches than armor.">>23938>>23940
"I'll go there then.
We leave whenever ready."
Team Witches ready to go.
"magic is absolutely not my forte, sadly."
Ready any time
"Well better get going while my high is getting started.">Ready to go.
It's a bit of a trip to the deep woods outside the city, but nothing a carriage ride and a walk won't handle.
The woods are a large and well mapped out place, but many areas are avoided by hunters and gatherers alike due to the things that lurk there. Wild Witches are among those - magic users trained by their own kind, without academic oversight or accountability. Unpredictable, powerful, and often a bit crazy. To find one, all one needs to do is stick their nose in the wrong part of the woods.
Look for their warning signs to know you're going the right way - stick effigies and the like.>>23945
As night begins to fall, you station outside the Grandelion estate. It's a big place on the outskirts of town, quite eccentric given how most rich folk prefer to live in the Palace District.
Time to check out and see if this place has any water sources around it, as well as the possible entrances. "Where to start… Do you think they keep her in a room on the higher floors or somewhere in a basement?"
>>23947>Perception roll check
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Maybe I can sense something.. '1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
"Aah, the fresh air here is invigorating" stretch a bit "Now if I was a little Witch…"
I start searching for clues. Surely they don't want to be bothered by any hunter that wanders in the forest so they're probably in the deeper, darkest parts of the forest
There is a pond on the yard, a few fountains, and there are probably baths inside.>>23949
You absolutely can. If you head east from here, you should find whatever is causing this strange energy in the air.>>23950
Your companion senses something in the air. Glancing the same direction as her, you can indeed see some carvings on a nearby tree. Carvings of people, and monsters.
"This way, my faithful body guard." I declare and point my hammer east, taking oversized steps as I walk that way, as if to send my energy through the ground itself, telling them I'm here.
You have a strange feeling like the land itself was watching you from the moment you pass the carved tree. You have stepped on witch grounds, and they know it.
Best be careful.
While remaining in hiding, Eider attempts to manipulate the nearby pond to levitate a globe of water above it only to drop it to make a large splash. He sits quietly after his attempt to see how many guards come to inspect and where they come from.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
Roll my eyes, following the bossy mage "Aye Aye boss Witch Mistress Lady and whatnot. Just don't stay too away from me "
I'll be sure not to upset them.
Going like this should be similar enough to knocking.
You make some ripples and splashes but nothing major. One of the yard guards turns to look at it, wondering out loud if there were fish added to it recently or something. Another of the guards replies he has no idea, and soon they are chatting about fish, slightly distracted.
"Trying to enter via the front is likely to be a bad idea. We could try to fly to one of the balconies however.">>23956>>23955
An owl sitting in a nearby tree stares at you intensely, as they often do.
The air is still and silent, yes the trees sway gently.
It is likely that you are being measured up even now, to see if you are a threat, or just prey.
"Well it's worth a try while they're busy. Hop on."
>Flying to the balcony
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
"Hey Kelpie, is that one of those familiars witches have?"
I turn to the owl and wave "Ay, are you a familiar? Can you tell your master we're just here to bargain?"
"Duna, you may want to duck."
'1d10+2' try to pluck a tail feather from the owl with a precise flick of magic.Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
"I think, she won't talk to us if she doesn't take us seriously. "
"No hun, that's an owl, not duck"
I schnortle and crouch anyways >>23961
"Hey I said we're here for business, what's not to be taken seriously?"
You just quickly grab her and fly across to the upper floor balcony. She doesn't even mind, since it was a quick and efficient trip. It also turns out this particular door was not locked, which is a bonus.
"Now I have no real idea where they keep the illusionist. But they do have a theatre room in the middle of the house. That should be a place to start.">>23960>>23959
A precise bolt of magic snips off the center tail feather, causing the owl to yelp and drop down to the ground. It then waddles over angrily. As it approaches, you notice one of it's eyes is disturbingly human.
"WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA!? Who sent you!? Was it that harlot from the west caves? I'll have you know the last one ended up dead too!"
"Not being magically talented?" >>23963
"Aha! See, now we have her attention. Hi. I'm Leike, I'm not friends with any west cave witches, not yet. I could be your friend instead." I giggle leaning over the owl.
Eider nods, peering through the door after opening it a bit. After checking if the area is clear, he silently makes his way down the halls with Patches to find the theater room.
And I pop out of some other dimension.
Owls can't move their eyes due to the way they are shaped, but its human eye rolls up to stare at you.
"Well that's up to the boss to decide you zap happy schoolgirl. You want to end up in her pot, fine. Her hut's down the path, past the burning tree and the skeletons.">>23965
It's a big house, but with nobody home it seems largely quiet. You can see a maid cleaning up stuff downstairs, along with some guards lounging on the nice chairs and drinking, enjoying their unsupervised time.>>23966
witch hunt or illusionist kidnapping?
I take a step back in surprise, a hand instinctive "Gah, they even talk, these familiars. Calm down little one, we weren't sent here by anyone, we just want to have a talk with your master" >>23964
"I don't do these fancy magics for option. If I wanted to I could do it like this" snap my fingers
"Thanks for the directions little birdie. Sorry about your feather." I pat its head and move toward the path of burning trees.
Eider continues to sneak through, attempting to avoid running into unnecessary contact with the home workers. He continues his search for the theater room.
"Fancy place, makes you wonder how big the family actually is to have something this large." He ponders to himself.
Witch hunt, I'm not into kidnapping
"Is burning trees common for Witches? This seems dangerous for the forest…"
It takes off at surprising speed and vanishes.>>23969
It's not hard to find, really. It's warm but clearly not actually on fire, merely enchanted to look scary.>>23971
You just had a chat with a human-eyed owl and are headed to the witch's hut.>>23970
"House Grandelion is quite rich and influential. Though they have also bee connected to many illegal activities. Alas, they do not like to deal with 'common' criminals like me, so they are no allies to us."
The theater room's door seems to be downstairs. Large and red with a gold arch over it. Going down there will risk contact with the guards however. Perhaps there is a backstage option?
"Yea, of course, good old wood burning illusion to scare off peasants. Hahaha, its classic."
Then whisper to you "I don't actually know, I've never met a wild witch.
I follow you both
"Hmm." I stop to examine this, does it feel like it needs some kind of upkeep from the witch? '1d10+2'Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Looks like it's autonomous. Probably enchanted a good while ago as a warning sign. Scaring people is most likely its main purpose, and it works well on those who would not understand to run from effigies and carvings.
"Well.. moving on then." Keep walking past the oversized torches.
"So long, little one">>23974
"Hehehe, alright that is a cool trick"
Keep following, idly whistling
"You're too pretty to be common, Patches. We'll show them they won't want to be our enemies when our plan goes off."
>Flirt with Patches with a compliment
Time to see if there's a backstage door nearby.Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
"How will we convince this witch to follow us?'"
"Maybe she'll want a few eyeballs or something?" I suggest with a giggle.
"Maybe she'd like some ingredients for her evil brew."
Not much further, you find the bones.
Human bones, enough to make a dozen bodies. Laid around as a warning.>>23980
She just kinda stares at you blankly
There might be one directly upstairs of the main door.
Try to not step over the bones.
"This is fine."
I-I'm not scared.
Just carefully go past them..
"Come on, don't be silly, surely the tongue of a man would be much more valuable" I elbow the Librarian >>23984
"Eugh… These Witches really don't want to be seen"
"Not as valuable as his brain."
As you head in just a little deeper past the bone field, you see it. A hut, made of rocks, sticks, leaves and mud, with smoke billowing from the smokestack, and a dark figure sitting by a fire outside.
"Pleasure to meet you, I might have read about you in a few books"
Okay.. breath in and look confident.
Approach the spooky old witch, sit across from her maybe.
"And how about his right to breed
Just approach slowly and quietly
"I'll sell you mine for the right price."
The wild witch is clad in a cloak of dark feathers and brambles. Beneath it you think you can see a robe of dark leather, though it might be skin, or horribly dirty cloth. She is staring at some bones she has thrown in the fire, waiting with a stick in hand for something to happen.
Or you think she is staring at them. It is hard to tell, for she has no eyes.
Whisper to Leike "Do you think she can hear us?"
I gulp and pay close attention to her wicked stew.
'1d10+2' magic to understand what she's donig?Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
"Yes, I'm almost sure of it, she can probably see us too..
"Are you trying to court me, Librarian?~ because now it's not the best time">>23994
"Ack, I am no coward but she's making my skin crawl" I whisper to the others
"I figured I could make some money since I don't need it, and you sure look like you need it"
'1d10+2' punch Librarian in the thighRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
Time to head upstairs then. Along the way, Eider stays on the lookout for nearby exits near the theater room for a quick getaway if problems arise.
The bones in the fire begin to crack from the head, forming intricate patterns on their surfaces.
This is a shamanistic fortune telling technique.
Hearing the bones snap, she looks up from the fire and her own lands on knee. With bony fingers, she plucks out its human eye and pushes it into her own empty socket, before turning to look at you.
"So you insisted on coming then.">>24001
A bit of looking around reveals a hatch leading to an attic. The backstage door is not in the large upper living room area, but instead seems to be in one of the side rooms, which also serves as a storage room. Cramped, stuffy, hard to navigate in the dark.
Evade '1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
"Yes. I did. That's a strong technique you used.." I comment on her cauldron.
"What can I call you?"
Well at least it's unused, so an escape through this direction would probably be safer. Although with the difficulty of seeing in the dark, Eider attempts to gently feel around as he slowly squeezes his way through to the door.
>Navigate the dark room
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
She eyes you up
"So what's a young'n like you want from me?"
"Pleased to meet you Wise Crowcloak. I'm Leike, we're looking for a little assistance. Nothing hard for you, distracting a few city dwellers who think they are the kings of the world."
I wave my hand dismissively at them.
Her eye stays focused on you even though she moves her head to look towards the city
"So you've a favor to ask then, hm?
And what would this old witch get in return?"
It's simple enough, the place is laid out reasonably.
You also come across a second door here, and you can see light through the key hole.
I do my best not to flinch..but we don't exactly have money to trade..
"Perhaps we can do something for you in return? Is there something you need?"
Well, no harm in checking. Eider peers through the keyhole, looking around inside the place.
"Why yes. Yes there is.
You see, I am no longer so… young and healthy as some. So I must rely on my friends and magic."
She turns her head as she pets the owl on her knee, but her eye stays locked on to you
"So when I find a place I cannot enter with help, well, I need to leave it be. To this end, I could use some young meat.">>24011
On the other side seems to be an entire forest filled with frolicking animals. It is the middle of the day, the sun is shining.
There is no way that can be real.
"Ooh, is this a dangerous place or just far away?"
Turn to her with a questioning look.
"The former. You see there is a cave here. Not the cave where that jealous harlot lives, not that I'd mind you killing her for me too, but no. This place has strange wards to it. And undead lurking there. And small cramped spaces where my bigger friends cannot fit. But I know there must be something important there. I can FEEL
"What'd you see in there? Naked girls?" She sneers.
"I'm curious too now.." I pause to imagine the cave of skeletons.
"..and what should we do if we find something? Kill it? Bring it here? Leave it and tell you?"
"I can't really see it very well. Perhaps you can lend me that eye, it seems to work pretty well."
"Bring it to me.
Unless it's obviously dangerous. Then kill it. Or bring it topside so me and Conny can deal with it.">>24017
She reaches into the fire and grabs one of the cracked bones, handing it to you.
"Tell me instead, what do you see in this?"
The complex patterns seem almost like an inkblot test.
"Two unicorns reading a book together under a blanket."
"What do you think bookworm?"
"I don't like the idea of negotiating with undead walkers."
"Well, I think I found the illusionists room." Eider says, attempting to open the door.
Her eye snaps away from Kelpie and focuses on you
"…well aren't you a curious one.
A seeker of magical knowledge, perhaps a purveyor of it even, hm?">>24020
"A deal it is then.
Now it is starting to get dark. Do you need to stay the night, or should I whisk you to the cave so you can get started?"
"At least you can see that.
Corso's the name. If you have any books to sell, or need any found, I'm your man."
I consider it seriously.
"Its undead right.. Let's go in the morning."
"I've some old reading I… inherited, if you will. We can discuss their price.">>24025
"Well kind as you are, my home is for me alone. Sleep next to Connie if you want to stay safe of wolves and the like."
"Let's see the merchandise."
"I understand." I look over at 'Connie' what kind of thing is it?
Locked tight. With a padlock and a normal lock.
Crowcloak stands up slowly on her bony legs and points a finger at the small hill of sticks and brambles behind her house "You can sleep there."
She then heads to her house.
"I'll bring the books in a bit."
As she walks off I'm reminded of some other books but the brothers Grimm
Well, its better than nothing.
I will go check out the sticks and bramble to see if It can be made comfier.
"Locked… Maybe if I just…" Eider mumbles, trying to sense if there might be a water source hidden from the illusion inside the room.
>Water Magic: Sense water
[1d10+2]Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
The hill is breathing.
And as you follow its shape, your eyes meet two glowing yellow ones as large as your head each. The hill shifts, moving its tail and flaring its wings.
This is no mere giant pile of forest refuse. It's a lesser dragon.
Crowcloak soon returns with her books, and shakes her fist at the Forest Dragon.
"Coniferion! Don't scare our guests like that. They will be sleeping on you for the night.
…and if they try anything, kill them.">>24032
There is a bowl of water in there. And plenty of illusionary water.
NEXT TIME ON NEXT TIME
"Coniferion? Pleased to meet you." I tell the dragon.
It stares at you silently for a moment, then slowly closes its eyes and lays back down
"Lovely, isn't he?">>24034
The witch offer you some old tomes. Bound in leather, or possibly just old skin straight off something you'd prefer not to think about.
"He's very nice. Did you raise him?"
"Merely befriended. Much as I did with the other great beasts of these woods and beyond."
"Really? Would you tell me about them?" I ask excitedly, with my hand folded in a begging gesture.
Appraise them. '1d10' Any particularly valuable ones?Roll #1 9 = 9
"It takes patience, little witch. And sacrifice."
She points at her empty eye socket
"But once they learn to accept you as their friend… or master… they can be quite helpful."
"You gave something your eye? Was is Coniferion?"
"On no, heavens no. This is probably the… tenth-?"
The owl chimes in
"Right. Thirteenth spare eye I've made."
She pulls it out with a wet plop and holds it at an arm's length, while it's gaze still remains focused on you no matter how much it gets moved around
"Pulled it off some foolish hunter thinking to claim a bounty on me I think.
As for giving mine away, nah, they just got clawed out or eaten or something. One forgets when it keeps happening so much."
These are some old, dark material. The kind of things they lock up in back rooms of fancy libraries located in high grade academies. Beyond just being rare and thus valuable, they are downright dangerous.
Okay, I look really shocked here.
Just stare at her 'spare eye' as it floats around.
Goodie. I know some people for this I'm sure.
"Hmmm, I've seen these before. Not particularly valuable, hard to sell." Bluff '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
"Your own fault for trying to sell an old witch's crap, sonny. Well guess I'll keep them then if you're not interested in trading."
There would probably be a glint of mischief in her eye if it was still in its socket.>>24045
She shoves the eye back in place without even blinking
"Besides that I'm more scar than skin, part from hard work, part from getting chewed on, and part from just your usual magical backfires. None of your fancy magic academy healing out here in the sticks, just some cold water and remedial plants."
I try to not look too grossed out at the Witch freely pulling and putting that eyeball in the socket
Instead I just hang out with the cool dragon, leaning down on its resting head "Heeey buddy. You're a mild guy right?"
I nod at her.
"No one to help you out, I understand how that is.. Now anyway."
The dragon is a curious thing, seemingly not just covered in thorns, brambles and leaves but possibly made entirely of them.
Its breathing is slow but noticeable, and its piercing yellow eyes tell of a strong predatory instinct.>>24049
"That's the life of a wild witch I guess. Everyone starts somewhere and those who actually have it in them don't end up eaten or beaten. Me, I've been top shit in these woods for decades now. Any upstart can howl up a pack of wolves or ride along with a horde of bears, but it takes more than a sharp stick and some face paint to control a Forest Dragon."
"I suppose I could find a trader, just out of curiousity, what would you want for them?"
"Looking sharp, eh? Hope you don't mind us making you company tonight" I stand straight before doing a full bow "It's an honor
to be granted the right to rest beside ye"
"Do you see a lot of witches die out here?"
"Something worthwhile for a witch in the woods. A reliable gun, maybe? Something else to protect my home with? Perhaps some new magic.">>24052
It gently shuffles its brambles in response and exhales slowly. It seems sleepy.
"Only when I want to be there and watch it happen. Can't have new meat trying to take over my neck of the woods just because it's plentiful in reagents and leyline energies."
Her friendly chatty expression melts into a dead serious scowl
"You touch anything without permission and I'll wear your severed legs and pantyhose until they rot off me."
She then returns to her crooked-toothed smile
"Of course everyone has their own thing. Me, I have Connie, and I have the others. Some lure in unsuspecting young folks for whatever they do to them. Others talk to trees like they're nuts or something. Some craft golems out of rocks and mud. But so long as they respect my borders, I won't go around ripping them to shreds."
"Sounds like we have a deal. I will get you a top class gun."
"There there, I'll let you sleep now" I lay down and get comfy
Whoa, she's spooky, keep a smile on.
"If I see any witch trying to steal your stuff I'll zapp em' for you."
"One of them long ones, with the scope on top.">>24057
It's not very warm at all. Like a plant more than an animal.>>24058
"Well I would like that plenty. But first, you promised to clear out the old cave of bones.
Go kill that horrible cave witch who keeps bothering me and I'll give you something extra too."
"Neat." I yawn slightly. "I should get some rest to be ready to fight those skeletons.."
Go sleep next to the dragon.
NEXT TIME FOR REAL
The sun rises slowly in the depths of the forest. As the pale moonlight gives way to the long shadows of dawn, Crowcloak walk you over to a fairly large stone ruin.
"The place is down there. Last time I tried to get an eyefull of it all I could find was undead and lingering magic, along with some curious antimagic wards. They will be hard to miss, being big and glowy, but do be careful about them. They seem to just kill any magic effects that pass near them. So while yes they did make the skeletons crumble, they also splattered my scout eye."
The owl growls
"Nearly splattered me too."
Anyway. Get in there, see if you can figure out how to get rid of the undead and take down those wards. Once it's safe just come back and let me know. No need to go checking every corner and crevice, raiding it for trinkets will give me something to do in the coming weeks. Scurry on now."
Back at House Grandelion
Eider had found the illusionist's room, which was locked from the outside.
In there was a bowl of water, but that seemed to be the only water inside.
"Right away Miss Crowcloak." Get going into that spooky cave
Go sit down. "I'll be here waiting."
"You got it Miss Elder Witch Lady. Don't worry I think I'm right least magically apt in here so I should be fine at least. What worries me is the undead you mentioned"
Lift my hammer above my shoulder "But still, they shouldn't be too much of a hassle either. Wish us luck!"
In I go
"Not coming? Well I guess that's the right choice mister Librarian. I'll see if I can bring a souvenir for you"
The original purpose of this place is a mystery. The spaces seem narrow and cramped. Roots from nearby trees have penetrated the ceiling and now either dangle in the air or cling to walls. Mold grows in patches here and there. Yet the walls are very solidly made, clearly designed to last. And past the initial corridors and stairs, you can tell the place is bigger than one might expect.>>24135
The witch offers you a glance
"Not going, hm?"
"I'm a librarian, not some exterminator…"
But wait, the books.
"Hmmm, on second thought, you'll need me for this."
"Huh, this looks like it might be a maze.." Get some chalk or just make up and try to mark the wall.
"Looks like some kind of dungeon in the forest if I were to guess… Well, I will go on ahead, you two watch your step, and your heads. Actually watch out for everything, we have no medic with us so avoid scrapping your knees"
At the bottom of the stairs there is a small tunnel leading further in, that seems to open up to a larger room.
Largely devoid of any decoration, there are only occasional marks of battle. Scraps on walls, old bloodstains, some animal dung from scavengers, and scraps of armor and clothing in the corners.
From there, three paths lead deeper - one on each wall.
Nothing even worth salvaging I assume
"Alright Kelpie, what do your Witch sense says? Which way we go? "
Not really, it's just scraps.
I take a dramatic breath and wave my hands over the air
'1d10+2' any magic indications here?Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
The witch was wrong, this is not lingering magic - it's active living magic. Two sources, a stronger and a dimmer one, deeper below you.
The wards you were warned of lie in the area past the door on the far wall. The areas off to either side contain some of the undead, but also may hold a key to figuring out how to disable the wards - you can feel energy flowing from the side rooms into the far room, rather than the other way around. This would imply the ward was activated from the outside. It is not there to keep intruders out, but to keep something else in.
"Okay" point at each side. "Skeletons."
Then at the path straight ahead. "Magic Wards."
"Below us is some huge
magic source doing something
"Nice job. Now which way we go onto? I'm itching for a fight" spin the hammer in my hands
"Right or Left. Those runes zap magic, I'm magic. Let's not go past active ones yea?"
"oh.. also they're more of a protective sort.. keeping something chained.. we sure we wanna be unchaining some aeon's pet or whatever?"
Thumbs up "I get ya, if we have to I'll smash those runes"
"Hmm… So it's keeping something sealed here? Well let's get a look at what it is before potentially setting it free, eh?"
"That's thinking now, fluffy fists."
A sharp howling wind blows outside, tossing some loose debris up near the door behind you - and the door on the left.
It is possible the left room is somehow connected to the outside?
I make finger guns at you "I like that nickname, fitting for a capra monk maybe. I still prefer my own title though" >>24152
"Now, you said the biggest magic source is bellow us right? Let's try to find a stairway down then. Let's head middle then?"
The corridor past the middle door leads downwards, and you can see sets of magical wards lighting up on the walls, arcing energy across the entire corridor. The floor is lined with splintered bones and more fragments of armor and clothing, telling of several undead who wandered into this trap.
I move to the left, push some of the rocks away to look better.
"The runes are in the middle."
The left has a similar connecting corridor, but shorter. Beyond it is a room with several skeletons in various states of disrepair, mostly idly standing or wandering about, probably cut off from any commanding will but remaining animated regardless.
However, more notably there is a large hole on the ceiling, as well as on the floor. Something heavy fell through here, or possibly blasted its way through.
The energy you sensed before seems to come from some other room past this one, beyond the door on the far wall.
"I'll head in on my on then, stay safe, I'll be back soon"
Let's head deeper in, and look for the magical thingie
Just to confirm - are you heading down the warded path alone?
Sneakily approach the hole and look down '1d10+2' sneakRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Very carefully with a feeling of regret lingering, but yes
It goes down a long way. Probably all the way to the bottom of this complex. It's impossible to see anything down there, but you can tell the weaker of the living magic sources you felt is at the bottom of this pit.
It also has no wards, so odds are this path can let you bypass the rune traps. The one downside being the large drop if you can't catch any ledges.
The skeletons, fortunately, seem to be ignoring you for whatever reason.>>24160
Your fur stands on end as the arcing energy passes through you. But aside from a buzzing feeling in your head, tingling skin and the strange sensation of your teeth vibrating, nothing bad happens.
The corridor leads down and loops back, until you are in a room that is probably almost directly below the one above. You can see a few skeletons here angrily chipping away at the walls with broken swords and rocks, as if they were trying to dig a new path past the stairs. Who knows how long they have been trying, but no real progress has been made.
That's gonna need a lot of rope..
anything else in this room?
"Huh… I guess I'm not 100% Magic-free after all"
Huh, is there anything else in this room worth noting besides the digging skeletons?
Nothing much. The walls seem as blank as ever, either because someone raided this place long ago for anything that wasn't nailed down, or because everything has long since rotted away. You can also hear Duna under you.
Interestingly, all these skeletons seem to wear the same uniform, suggesting they may have died at the same time. However the gear is very grimy, making it hard to figure out where they were from.
I don't have a rope at all.. and if I did it wouldn't be long enough.. but maybe..
wave at Duna and try to talk softly to her.
"Hey, how's it look down there?"
An arched doorway on the side wall seems to lead to the room directly below where Kelpie went.
The skeletons here look different to the ones you saw upstairs, they do not share the same uniform. So it is possible these guys are from a different time, or just unrelated to the other band of dead folks. They are singularly focused on their task, and ignore you.
Skeletons and doors aside, you can see some marking near the stairs, possibly counting time, or keeping notes. They are not in a language you can read, but the simpler markings imply someone was counting something.
There are also blast marks on the walls, and some signs of an old battle.
But perhaps most curiously, there are some deteriorating sacks of goods dropped on the floor. Loot from past explorers who never made it out, perhaps?
I wonder where this all goes.
Sneak behind the others
Upstairs with Kelpie or downstairs with Duna?
I jump a bit "Woah, Kelpie, is that you? Gods you scared me. I have not found anything yet just some strange skeletons trying to break down the wall" >>24166
I examine the bag quickly before moving to the room below Kelpie
"This hole goes all the way down to something.. with a weakened aura, maybe its hurt? I'm gonna look for another way down, jumping seems risky."
The bags have some trinkets, coins, a few decorative weapons and an old tapestry or possibly a flag. Given how some of the stuff has been tossed out of the bags, it is possible you are not the first one to check them.
As you go into the side room, you see what seems to be a rudimentary ladder - poorly constructed and clearly too short to let anyone climb out on their own. Guess someone tried to escape out via the hole.
You also hear rapid footsteps from the room leading to the stairs, and see a skeleton wrapped in cobbled together armor and rune-covered wrappings charging into the staircase, only to explode into fragments of bone after a few steps. Guess the protective gear was not enough to keep it safe.
"Good luck girl, I'll keep looking here, I'll give you a holler if I find anything">>24171
No doors in this room?
I also take a handful of coins, one trinket or two and the flag, maybe the bookworm will be able to figure out something out of this
Going back to watch the exploding skeleton, I let out a chukle at the odd display
I'll take those wrappings too
One curiosity though, what do these skeletons belonged to? All humans? Capras? Horks? Mixed?
I will go back.. to the right path this time
Passing the antimagic runes makes your skin crawl and your vision blur a bit, but there seems to be no damage.
There are skeletons here idly hammering away at the walls as if to dig their way out, and you see one clad in protective gear charge into the stairs and explode as the antimagic trap activates.
Duna has found some old junk from bags left by past looters. Notably, a flag that seems to belong to the Royal Expedition Forces, who serve the king as a sort of scout and mobile problem solving unit.>>24173
Mostly humans, but a few seem to have been myrmids, now reduced to empty husks.
The wrappings seem to be covered in runes, the purpose of which you can, at best, guess.
There are no further doors in the side room, just remnants of storage crates and some broken things near the hole on the floor. Whatever fell through here kept falling.
"Hold up, what's this?" I whisper.
I show the flag, "we might not be the first to come here" I keep whispering
It may be worth rummaging through the loot bags for more clues if you want those. Or to look for one of the dead Expedition Force soldiers to see if they still have their old missives on them.
"Hey Librarian, I was looking for you. Take a look at this stuff I found, can you make anything out of it? Also found these runes, Kelpie probably knows what they can be used for. Aside from that I haven't found anything so interesting, yet… I have a guess that there might
be something past the wall the skeletons are trying to dig past?"
I stretch "This place is crawling with weird clues to something in this place. Like that writing in the stairs that I can't read and some signs of explosions on the walls, someone defined tried to blow this place down"
This area seems smaller than the left path, being only a single room. There are no skeletons here, just scraps of bone near the door, while at the back sits a carved crystal on a small stone pedestal.
Given the way the bone fragments are spread out, it is likely that touching the crystal makes skeletons explode. However it is unmistakably one of the devices powering the staircase traps.
It also seems like the skeletons were the only things blown apart by the crystal, as most of their gear appears intact compared to the shredded mess left on the stairs.
Stand clear of the bones and try to cast a spell to push it down, telekinetic lifting is an arcane stable right.. '1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
You manage to yank the crystal right to you. Interestingly, it does not seem to do anything to you. Upon closer inspection the reason becomes clear - while it powers the antimagic seals, the stone itself is not in any way designed to counter magic. Rather, it was made to destroy undead. Whoever set up the runes knew undead would be an issue. But on the other hand, this thing will probably destroy or severely damage any undead you touch with it, without destroying anything they have on them.
"Whoooa." Okay. I have to go try this out.
back to the left room.
Eider attempts to control the water inside the room to twist it and slither it towards the door in the shape of a snake in order to grab the illusionists attention.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Nothing has changed really, though the crystal vibrates a little as you go closer to the back end of the room with the second door. Odds are that the crystals react to eachother in some way.
There is also a dim flash of light in the large pit.>>24178
Something Kelpie probably did causes a flash of light at the bottom of the large hole. It's dim but certainly there.
You hear a fairly loud scream and an equally loud thud as the illusionist freaks out and throw the bowl at the door.
"NO STAY AWAY FROM ME"
"Whoa hey there, didn't mean to scare ya." Eider says, the water turning into an exclamation mark shape. "I'm here to help you get out."
>Rolling if needed to calm her down.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
I look a little worried.
Try to go for the second door.
Call out to her "Kelpie? Is that you Messing with the light up there?"
Also I should probably bring the runes to her but before that, I'll try to approach the wall the skeletons are trying to dig and examine it closely, hopefully they won't mind me
See if there are any holes or something and also knock on it, maybe this wall was built in later to keep something on the other side?
"What, who is this? What's going on?"
Patches is keeping an eye out the door
"Don't spook her again, the guards heard that and look a little worried.">>24187
You can see a similar setup there as well. However the closer you go the more your crystal vibrates. They must resonate off eachother to some degree. Bringing them together will probably destroy both, and remove the magic seal, if you want to do that.
There is also a bunch of gear left over from dead skeletons here, just as it was in the other room.>>24188
Looks like a solid stone wall. The only real reason dig at it would be to escape without using the stairs, if they dig upwards.
You see another skeleton amble up the stairs at the other end of the room, but this one has no protective gear on. It instead has a strange glow to its eye sockets. It walks over to where the right hand room is above you, stares at the ceiling for a while, and then starts walking towards the hole. It might be following Kelpie from below.
Wait, walking TOWARDS the hole?
Sit back and watch this curious skeleton as it goes
Oh. Well. I don't know actually.
Go back to the hole and look down for Duna.
"Hello? I found out how to stop the seal, do you know what its guarding?"
"I won't I wont, jeez… Are people really that scared of snakes?" Eider mumbles to himself before turning back to speak to the illusionist.
"My name's Eider, me and a few friends need your help causing a little distraction. You help us, we'll help you get your freedom, does that sound good to you?" Eider asks, trying to keep a friendly tone with her.
>Persuasion: Rolling if needed
[1d10+2]Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
"You did? Good one, but I still have no clue what it is, sorry. This place is a mess"
Try to show Kelpie the runes "Hey can you see this? I found it here, any clue what they are for?"
can I see it? through this hole in the floor?
It seems to have its eyes set on where Kelpie is… and then it falls into the hole.
You hear it shatter at the bottom, and see another small flash of light.>>24191
You see a magically charged skeleton fall down the hole. It seemed to have been staring at you, or the crystal. Whatever is awakening these things has probably been stirred by you moving the crystal.
Odds are if you wanted to go down the hole you could find enough rope among the blown up skeletons.>>24192
She seems to be breathing rather rapidly, still spooked.
"You're here to get me out? But where will I go? My mother died in the shipwreck and my father was already dead by then… I've nobody to go to.">>24193>>24194
The runes seem to be a mix of spellbinding, counter-spells and durability. Probably to protect against the energies of the anti-magic ward. As a side effect, those inscribed cloth wrappings are probably really durable as rope. And while they could not keep a magically constructed skeleton alive past the trapped staircase, they would probably protect a living witch quite handily.
"Could stick with us if you want. I do make some really tasty soup and we have plenty of nice people to make you feel at home."
[1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
I stare at it falling for a long moment of silence.
"Well.. that's comforting.. Whoa! That cloth! that's just what I need, we don't have to break the runes for me to go down the stairs, its a shield from the wards. Bring me the biggest you can find."
"I suppose it's better than sticking around as a… 'servant'. Was it you who did that thing with the water? I wish I knew how to do that. Then I could just take all the water and push it away from me. I hate water…">>24197
It seems to be a long-ass strip of cloth that practically mummified the skeleton. Should be enough to cover most of you as well.
"Oh… Huh, well that is the biggest one could find, here catch!" make the cloth into a ball and toss it at Kelpie
"I'll look for another one, just a sec"
'1d10' quick scavenge checkRoll #1 3 = 3
Looks like that long strip was all there was. But it should suffice for now.
Welp let's stick with that then
"Heh, funny thing you say that. I guess you can say I just could, been able to since I was a kid… even if I wasn't the best at using it back then." Eider says, trying to control the spilled water and bring it up to the lock once more to use it as his 'lockpick'.
"Why do you hate water?" He idly chats while concentrating.Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
"Okay." Catch it quick.
Just how much is it? Make a toga out of it?
"You know, you don't really wear anything under a toga, just so you know"
You can probably sorta just mummy wrap yourself with it and hope for the best.>>24202
As it turns out, a liquid is not the best option when picking locks. Patches can probably do it the old fashioned way.
"Well… I survived a shipwreck… nobody else did… especially not my mom…"
"Uh well.. This should work.. maybe.. If I scream or something the runes are probably killing me so come help." I inform duna while wrapping myself up as best as I can.
'1d10' coverage qualityRoll #1 10 = 10
"Well… That's pretty understandable I suppose. Does that mean you hate baths too?" Eider jokes, before turning to look at Patches.
"Patches, do you have any lockpicks?" He asks, stepping away to swap places.
"Understood, be careful"
I stand on the edge, ready to run at the smallest sign of danger
You look better in your rune toga and turban than you ever did in witch clothes.
Your safety is practically guaranteed.>>24207
Patches pulls out a lock pick and gets to work
"See that nobody comes up here."
Walk right past those runes. Also keep the crystal, that sounds too useful to let go.
Eider stands in place of Patches, keeping an eye out for guards.
It stings sharply, and you feel a little frazled, but you live.>>24211
A few of them are looking up, trying to figure out what spooked the illusionist.
I wince as I go into the lower rooms, looking for where Duna is.
Give the Witch a lil slap in the butt as she passes "Looking good, now are you ready to use that cloth and see how deep this thing gets?"
Well if this is a store room near the theater… then could there possibly be something to trick the guards?
>Perception, look around for those sheets of metal that simulate thunder.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
I laugh slightly.
"Yea, I just hope they don't get stronger, I felt it trying to get through."
You have two options
Down the hole
or down the path where the skeletons came from.>>24215
There are loads of props in the storage room to make sounds with.
"Keep it close, we'll need it to get you out. Now, shall we?" I motion down the hole
Before doing more, Eider quickly checks with the Illusionist. "Don't freak out when you hear any sort of thunder, I'm just trying to trick the guards."
Eider picks up the prop and sets it up to make sure the guards can hear it, shaking the sheet and trying to make it sound a bit like thunder. Hopefully they'll think she just got spooked by a water leakage or something.
Down the hole we go then!
The guards head to a nearby window, looking confused
"It's not even raining"
You descend a level, seeing what seems to be a sealed room full of shelves of bones. Possibly a tomb? In any case it seems untouched by the necromancy infecting this place.
You are now directly above the bottom most room, which is very dark, save for a pulsing blue light.
"Please tell me that door is almost unlocked…"
"Hmm." Hold up the crystal, it was glowing right? Shine some light on the bones.
You hear the lock click as it opens
The illusinist is young, probably a teenager. She looks skinny and a little sleep deprived, but her clothes and hair are very presentable.
She looks around.
"…should I… keep them busy while we run?">>24223
They have some jewellery on them. This was probably originally a tomb of some kind. These bones are certainly far older than the ones above.
"Jewels intact, this place wasn't looted very well.." I comment, taking one of the rings off a skeleton.
The light is coming from Patches crystal right? >>24224
Doesn't seem like anything of use for us here… Let's leave the dead to rest and move on, eh?"
"Defiling the treasure of the dead?" I Shrug
The door is still a heavy sealed slab of stone. It is possible the necromancer has just not broken into this particular tomb yet.>>24226
There is something giving off light at the bottom. You do not know what it is.
"They aren't using it! But, that means whoever made this cloth wasn't after loot.."
"I can sneak us out through the roof… but distraction would be nice. By the way, what's your name?"
"We should take a look at that…">>24229
"Well I guess you're right, plus maybe I could get a little something for patches… Or some gems to decorate a sword! Hey Kelpie, Gems have magic properties right? You know of this stuff"
Between the skeletons digging at the wall, and the skeletons rushing the stairs, it is likely whoever made the cloth wants to escape more than anything.>>24230
"Rose. Rose Ragamont."
She focuses for a bit and giggles.
"Ladies and gentlemen - for the last time ever - House Grandelion presents: Imaginarium.
I suggest you start moving."
Before you can even reply, the walls around you melt away to reveal an immense starry sky with the world far below you, clouds carried by angels made of constellations holding you in place. You can hear the guards panicking downstairs.
"Depends on where they originate from, if they are from a place with magic flowing in it.. and happen to resonate with that its possible.. "
"If you want something useful beyond general luck attraction, you have to specifically cast it.. and who would bury an enchanted gem for so long?"
Let's go toward the blue light.
I spend a lot of time rummaging through this '1d10+2'>>24178
Look at this stuff '1d10+2'Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
/ Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9
"Well, color me impressed. You gotta show me this sometime again." Eider says with an impressed tone, making a quick escape for the exit he saw earlier. "I'm sure you don't want to stick around here any longer than you have to."
"I see I see… It's nothing I'm just wondering, you know, thinking of ways to spice up my Smithing, eh?"
As you descend down, you see what is causing the light - it is a massive suit of armor, beaten and cracked, with what seems to be a weak Aeon inside it. It is not moving.
Strewn around the room are dead bodies, broken skeletons and pieces of armor. Including a shield the size of a huge door, and a shattered greatsword taller than a man.>>24235
The loot bags have nothing of real value or interest.
However, as you descend with the others, you realize the massive armor bears the insignias of the Expedition Force. This is the legendary aeon who was lost on the Nordmark Expedition.>>24236
"It's what they made me do to entertain guests. Guess it beats ending up as a sex slave or something."
She hangs on as you fly out, leaving behind a lot of confused guards.
Shrug. "It will make it shinier if nothing else.">>24238
I gasp and look for a less cracked chest piece of armor '1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
"No no, not that, I was thinking of weapons and armor with enchanted gems, you know?">>24238
"By the gods…" I approach the shield and the broken sword, giving them a quick appraisal
As you go near it, the armor shifts slightly, as if reacting to you. Your runic wraps might be able to patch him up.>>24240
Broken in use. This thing probably fought off hundreds of undead before falling. And it still isn't dead.
Eider flies out far enough to safely land out of sight and allow Rose and Patches to walk safely. "At least being an entertainer meant you were able to have nice hair." Eider compliments, looking for the direction back to the base. "Must have still been tough being locked up constantly."
[1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
"Hey Fuzzy get down here." I call to her.. its a shame to lose my protection but.. wrap the dying aeon.
"Yes yes yes I'm coming" approach the Witch "Have you seen the size of those things? Heavens they must have been crafted by some Hork craftmaster"
"Huh, what are you trying to do with that thing?"
"They came to me with promises of a better life… I suppose I was lucky. I'm always lucky.
…I don't like being lucky. I feel like I hurt others around me with it.">>24243>>24244
As the aeon is sealed up, it slowly begins filling up the armor, extending tendrils of energy towards the broken sword and shield. With a roar is stands up, towering over you.
"GREETINGS, SMALL FRIENDS. DID THE KING SEND YOU?"
He inspects his armor and weapons
"I APPEAR TO BE IN NEED OF REPAIRS. WHERE ARE WE?"
Aeon? Northmark Expedition?
Refresh my memory, brain.
I fall down to the floor in the rush and awe.
"Hello. We're in a cave in the forest." I carefully reply. "Do you remember what happened?"
"You should hang around me then, I'm pretty unlucky. All I did was clean the floors and windows for a court, next thing I know I'm framed for murder. You uhh… don't happen to be into the idea of smoking some herb, would you?" Eider decides to offer, figuring the girl needs a stress reliever.
I reel back a bit "Ugh, goodness you don't have to be so loud"
" You're in a tomb many feet below the ground, partner. No King has sent us, only a, uh, associate… Who are you though, big guy?"
"No mere Aeon, he was part of the Northmark expedition."
The notes stolen from Sky Eye mansion made mention of a lost giant Aeon -Amalganon- in service of the king. It was seen as a 'brother' to Grand Radiance, the captain of the Royal Guard, and was lost on an expedition to the province of Nordmark.>>24247
"AN AMBUSH. A BATTLE. EXPEDITION LOST, FORCED TO RETREAT.
…AH YES. HERE I FOUND THAT STRANGE AEON. MAD. DANGEROUS. BUT I WAS TOO WEAK TO KILL IT, YET IT WAS TOO WEAK TO KILL ME.">>24249
"CAPTAIN AMALGANON, OF THE ROYAL EXPEDITIONS.">>24248
"Oh I don't do that that stuff is bad for you…"
"A mad aeon.. say, did you leave runes to trap it here?"
Are we in Nordmark?
"Amalgon, it is. You've been missing for a long time…"
No, Nordmark is past the woods, across a river. They probably got hit before ever reaching the province.>>24254
"NOT I. THE OTHERS. I FELL IN DURING A BATTLE WITH AN AMBUSH. SO DID A FEW OF MY BRAVE MEN. WE DEFEATED THE AMBUSHERS BUT WERE BADLY DAMAGED. THEN WE FOUND THE UNDEAD. HAD TO SEAL US ALL IN.
THOSE WHO SURVIVED WENT TO TELL OF OUR PLIGHT. I THOUGHT YOU WERE SENT BY THE KING TO RECOVER ME."
"Actually it's not as bad as tobacco or other commonly sold stuff. What if I told you I had some that would give you the most relaxing sleep you've had in a long time?" Eider proposes, seeing if it'll catch her interest.
>Persuasion: Bait for toke buddy
[1d10+2]Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
"I'm afraid they sought for you in Nordmark, but that was a failure."
"No.. sorry.. Maybe bookworm can fill you in on your king." I suggest.
"We were sent to stop the undead, and collect any magical artifacts."
"Pleased to meet you, I am Duna Sootskin, Smith, Capra, handylady, you name it"
"PERHAPS YOU COULD AID WITH MY STATE OF DISREPAIR">>24259>>24258
"WE SHOULD MAKE OUR ESCAPE. BUT FIRST, WE MUST KILL THAT MAD AEON. IT HAS GROWN WEAK AND DESPERATE, IF WE LET IT OUT, IT WILL BECOME A DANGER TO THE REALM.">>24257
She thinks deeply for a while
"…maybe one day. For now I just… need to feel safe ok?
Can we please go somewhere far away from here? And not to the sea."
"That sounds good, and while we're doing that, we could try to kill the undead as well" I offer
"Just follow us closely." Eider says, continuing to lead her back to the base.
"Yeah you look like you could use some care, don't worry I can get you fixed up. But I think I'll need more than just the tools I have at hand… The armor, the shield and especially the sword will require a lot of work, big guy. But it's nothing I can't manage with a bit of patience"
"Well.. if its to seal the aeon in, that explains why the runes.."
"I wonder if we can even get out without breaking them."
"ALAS, NO. I AM SEALED AS MUCH AS HE IS.">>24264
"TIME IS MEANINGLESS, RESULTS ARE IMPORTANT. I CAN ILL RETURN TO THE KING IN THIS STATE">>24262
"THEY WILL CRUMBLE ONCE THEIR MASTER DIES. ONWARDS!">>24263
The three of you depart back home.
NEXT TIME ON NEXT TIME
I AM YOUR SHIELD
GET BEHIND ME
AND TEENAGE HYDROPHOBIA
"Very pleasant, I'll guard your rear!"
"Onward!" I call back and follow him with my own hammer ready.
"Grand! I could help giving you a nice fix then. Would give me something to with my tools for once instead of leaving them to gather Dust"
The aeon slowly shifts before grasping an immense stone slab on the wall and pulling it down, revealing a door.
"THROUGH HERE LIES THE REST OF THIS TOMB. UNLESS IT HAS MOVED, OUR TARGET LIES AT THE BOTTOM, STILL TRYING TO AWAKEN MORE ASSISTANTS."
I look impressed. "Just woke up and already lifting huge stones. Not bad Ghostie."
"Have you discerned its purpose?"
"By the gods how deep does this place get?"
"I KNOW NOT. I WAS NOT SENT HERE TO SEARCH IT, THIS HAS BEEN BUT A DISTRACTION.">>24489
"I HAVE PURPOSE ONCE MORE. SO LONG AS I HAVE PURPOSE, I HAVE STRENGTH.">>24490
"I KNOW NOT WHY IT WAS LOCKED HERE, BUT IT HAS LONG SINCE LOST ALL SENSE IT MAY ONCE HAVE HELD, AND NOW ONLY CLINGS TO THIS WORLD DRIVEN BY A DESIRE TO ESCAPE ITS PRISON. I HAVE LISTENED TO ITS MAD RAVING FOR YEARS AS I LAY FADING, AND THERE IS NOTHING IN THERE WORTH SAVING."
"So… Where did you learn how to make those amazing illusions?" Eider asks, deciding to at least make small talk rather than have an awkward silent walk back.
"Its disturbing the magical energies of the area too." I add and try to open the door
"That so huh… Say, do you have any purpose for after we are done here?"
"I see. Then onward we go."
She thinks for a moment.
"I suppose I had some magical affinity from childhood. Never any formal training, just… learning it on my own. Since the shipwreck I had more chances to read on the subject and all, and then there was the… thing…
And well, then I ended up here for a while, as some kind of curiosity or show piece."
The way she avoids going into details so awkwardly implies she doesn't really want to think back to those days too much.>>24494>>24496
The passage beyond the door is more catacomb shelves, stripped bare of any remains. As you move out, you hear running footsteps again, followed by a crackling explosion above you. Another skeleton failed to make the run. They are coming in increasingly frequently now, and others may be looking for you.>>24495
"I MUST RETURN TO THE EXPEDITION, AND THE KING. THERE IS A FAILURE TO REPORT AND A NEW MISSION TO OBTAIN."
"The expedition huh?">>24496
"Hey Librarian, this Expedition and this King guy, they're dead right?"
I clutch the crystal I stole close to me, worriedly looking over my shoulder behind me.
"Self taught huh? Guess we have something in common. I'm really tempted to ask if you could try teaching me some illusion magic, though I'm not entirely sure if my skills are restricted to just water…" Eider replies.
"Any type of soups you prefer?"
The royal expedition force is still an active organisation but Amalganon's unit was lost years ago.>>24499
"YOU SEEM WORRIED, SMALL WITCH">>24500
"I'm not a huge fan of soup really. But maybe I never had a good soup. Dad liked roasts so mom often made them in his memory…"
"shame, I guess we would be pushing it to ask if he was interested in joining us"
"Say big guy, think you could do us a liiitle favor after this then?"
The massive aeon traces some energy over the cracks in his bandaged armor
"IN EXCHANGE FOR SOME REPAIRS - THAT SEEMS APPROPRIATE"
"There are.. it sounds like a lot of undead.."
Keep walking down.
"Hmn… I might have an idea for something you might like. Though I'm not sure if I have the meat or proper seasonings, reminds me that I should double check that."
"DO NOT FEAR. I AM YOUR SHIELD."
You pass several holes torn through the walls of the tomb, in an effort to escape.
The aeon points at a nearby one
"IT WAS ONCE KEPT THERE. I KNOW THAT MUCH, BUT ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE ESCAPES ME. I NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AROUND, ONLY TO FIGHT TO SAVE WHO I COULD.">>24506
"I would settle for just a place I could feel safe for now. But thanks, I will."
Hmmm look around for enemies '1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
"There?" I ask curiously, going to that hole and looking around.
"Well don't worry, we're taking you somewhere safe."
Inspecting the torn up wall, you find some kind of holding cell, seemingly a later conversion of an old tomb.
The chains on the walls and the metal bars don't really match the materials used in the proper tombs, yet are older than any of the installations placed by the Expedition.
It is possible this place was repurposed by someone else earlier?
"I KNOW NOT FOR WHAT CRIME IT WAS IMPRISONED. BUT I KNOW IT CHOSE NOT TO RESIDE HERE, AND WENT DEEPER."
Speaking of deeper, you can hear another skeleton moving about nearby.>>24511
"Where -are- you taking me anyway?"
Let's just draw my hammer here just to be sure…
"No one likes to be a prisoner after all.." I pick up some of the fallen metal curiously. "Any idea who might have made this? You know metals right?"
'1d10+2' can I sense anything particularly magic about this cell?Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
"Well… Patches knows the layout better than me, but it's a cozy little abandoned theater. Pretty run down but we work with what we got. Heh, might feel right at home for you." Eider jokes.
You can sense a lot. Chaotic, conflicting echoes of magic forming nothing short of angry flashbacks.
The aeon was not sent here as a prisoner it was taken captive, to be used as material for experiments in necromancy. It was not the only one, but it was the only one that managed to fight back. The lingering marks of magic lead away from the cell, deeper into the tomb. Odds are the aeon and the necromancer fought the entire way until only one was left.
Why practice necromancy all the way out here? Probably for safety and privacy.
"AS I SAID, I HAD NO TIME TO LOOK AROUND.">>24513
You can see a similar blue glow as with the earlier skeleton that tried to find Kelpie. The aeon has sent another one of its eyes to look for you.>>24515
"It's part of the old sunken town. Out of sight, out of mind and all that."
Soon enough you return to the back streets near the base
"Almost there now."
"Hmnn… Lemme take a look at it, sug"
I take the metal scrap and appraise it
Do I need to roll Smithing for this? >>24516
I snap my finger "So that was it! That whoreson is the one behind the skeletons with glowing eyes!" I shout
"The Energy here is terrifying.. were other Aeon here.. used as sources for necromancy.."
Hmmmm, I sure hope the rumors of big chaos powers are exaggerated.
"A SAD, SURELY. BUT IT CHANGES NOTHING."
Judging by the footsteps, you can probably avoid the sentry skeleton by hiding if you so desire.
Maybe that's a good idea..
Duck behind something to hide.
HIDING '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
"I wonder if they others are doing well with their tasks." Eider mumbles, continuing on to the base.
"Hmrrg, why are we hiding again?" grumble while looking for a place to hide "I can turn It to dust without sweating"
"Well.. if you think that would be faster?"
The sentry walks by without even noticing you. It seems to have very limited vision and no hearing at all.>>24523
Patches shrugs as she unlocks the cellar door leading to the old theater
"We can only hope so. They most likely won't be back until tomorrow anyway."
"Well, that was simple.. I wonder if the other skeletons are too.."
Move deeper into the tombs.
Why even have undead guards like this?!
"Well… It's Just a dumb skeleton, we did not even had to bother. Let's move on before any more are summoned"
"Guess I'll just cook something up, smoke weed and read a book."
Maybe they aren't guards. They could just be looking for you actively. You have caused a lot of commotion after all. It is possible this is the only way the mad aeon can even see outside its chamber.>>24527>>24529
You head in deeper and catch a glimpse of one more skeleton rushing out towards the top, wrapped in hastily scribbled runes and random bits of metal. Like a sad parody of the one sent earlier. Your arrival must have stirred this once patient madman into desperate overdrive.
And the passing skeleton was kind enough to show you the way - just down the flight of stairs it came up, you see light. This must be the place.>>24530
"Want me to keep the newcomer busy, or?"
Stick with the big aeon and descend the stairs..
"There is no way it doesn't know we're here.." I whisper to the others.
"Say captain Amalgon, did you see this Aeon before?"
"Even if it does, what can it do about it? These skeletons don't really seem impressive. Don't worry, Big Hat, we're not dealing with an Arch-necromancer of some sort"
"Up to her at this point, I've got enough weed and soup to share."
"NOT DIRECTLY. I ONLY FELT ITS POWER AS IT CONTROLLED THE UNDEAD ATTACKING US.">>24532
"IT HAS ALWAYS KNOWN I WAS HERE, AT LEAST.">>24534
"AND NOW IT SHALL DIE."
As you reach the end of the staircase, you are confronted with a bit of an unexpected scene.
The deeper level of the tomb has been entirely excavated out to create a single large space, filled with countless books, magical devices, spell circles, runic carvings, operating tables, alchemical setups, shelves upon shelves of long-since spoiled reagents and numerous other magical curiosities.
At the heart of this mess sits what can barely be called an Aeon. A twisted mass of energy barely contained in its deformed shell of bone, dessicated skin and scraps of moldy clothing, holding up several books and magical implements while trying to peer at them with glowing skulls, giving it the appearance of having several heads.
It seems to be trying to assemble yet another skeleton to attack the warded staircase. One of its 'necks' is extended towards the door, but rather than focusing at you, it seems to be trying to keep track of where the glowing-eyed sentry skeleton went.>>24535
Rose thinks for a bit and timidly joins you
"You seem… approachable."
Holy shit, it's clearly him. He's gone mad and created a split personality and he's going to lead us into a trap, that's why it's so easy and-
Okay I overreacted
I put a hand over my mouth to hide my repulsed reaction.
Try getting close enough to hit one of the skulls with a hammer. '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
"Uh, alright maybe he is not a wimp like I thought… Still, Aeons can't keep their form and die if they don't have their 'shell', right?"
That much is true.
Which is probably why it has built itself such a weird, immobile shell.>>24538
You charge in and slam one of the skulls off, sending it crashing into a nearby operation table, knocking the entire thing over.
The rest of the mass shifts to stare at you, the light in each eye focusing and intensifying as it sees the crystal you are carrying.
It seems angry. And frightened.
Shall we pause or keep going?
vote pause for me
"So.. mega-arch-liches do get scared.." I comment at his reaction.
'1d10' knock the books away from him while he's off guardRoll #1 3 = 3
You knock away the book he was reading.
NEXT TIME ON THE RUN
SENTIENT MAGIC BEINGS WITH PARTS OF SKELETONS STUCK TO IT
I think we were about to cut into a skelly?
Rush to Kelpie's side with a tight grip on my hammer
''What do you think you're doing running into trouble like that, girl? That's my
job. You're too fragile for the frontlines
Turn to the Super-Lich, waiting for it to make a move
"Right, hit him hard, minion
." I taunt you back.
The aeon shifts, raising its skulls away from the books and ratting them loudly, their eyes shifting from blue to a deep red.
You can hear the sounds of digging stop. Dozens of footsteps are rushing your way.
Amalganon swings around to block the entrance.
"I WILL HOLD THEM BACK. I WOULD HELP YOU FIGHT, BUT THEY MIGHT OVERRUN US!"
"Okay!" Stand a bit back from the lich and try magical bolts
[1d10+2] zap zapRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
>>24636You do that Big Guy, but don't worry you won't have to hold them for longAlright hun, we just have to grind this fellow into dust, and the skelletons will follow suit, right?
charge foward to swing my hammer at it
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
Magic seems to have a good effect on the thing, scything through the layers of junk it uses as a shell.
As the skeleton hordes get closer, the crystal you picked up earlier begins to glow and vibrate.>>24638
Unfortunately however, the main body is mostly cobbled together from layers and layers of cloth, armor and trash. It is not easy to shatter, as it merely absorbs the impact.
You might have a better shot aiming for his heads, or taking away his books.
Or helping deal with the impending skeletons.
I blink and suddenly realize.
"Oh. Hey, big guy, hold onto this."
Carefully give him the crystal.
Alright let's try playing cricket with those skulls then
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
He observes it for a moment before realizing what it is.
In a motion vastly more graceful than any you'd expect from something his size, he slots the crystal into the hilt of his broken sword and hen jams the remains of the blade into the floor, creating a temporary ward.
"COME THEN. FACE ME!">>24641
You slam one of the skulls into another, creating a domino effect between them. They seem to lose focus, and many of them are cracked now. Easily breakable and with far less ability to maintain the skeleton army.
"Good spell." I compliment him.>>24641
"Good hit! Watch me now."
Try to hit the middle skull with a bigger ball of energy '1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Smirk and use the momentum to swing at it again
how many skulls does this thing have even?
'1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
The blast knocks all remaining 9 skulls, and duna, away from the main body.
Three shatter on impact with the walls, but the remaining six quickly begin to hover as tendrils of energy from the main body try and reconnect to them.
Before any party can react, a blast of wind blows through the room as the first skeletons rush into Amalganon's warded sword, detonating as soon as they reach it. The skulls seem as flabbergasted as a skull can, while the main body slightly deflates as if sighing, before the brightness of the energy within it rapidly begins getting brighter, as do the tendrils trying to reach out to their now-detached skulls.
You may not be experts on aeon anatomy, but this seems dangerous.
"What the heck is that?!"
'1d10' smack any of the tendrils that come near me with the hammerRoll #1 5 = 5
Stay away for a bit?Big guy, any clue on what many-heads is trying to do?
Your strike passes right through it, merely causing some sparks.>>24647
Amalganon swirls around and plants his shield down in front of you, as one of the skulls fires a gleaming beam of energy from its eyes.
"IT'S TRYING TO FOCUS ITS POWERS TO ATTACK US DIRECTLY! I CAN CRUSH THE MAIN BODY, BUT THAT MIGHT NOT FINISH THIS!"
Well. I'll try to cast a spell to redirect his magic energy away from us.
'1d10+2'Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Tap Amalganon's shield Thanks for the protection, big guy. Now go and crush that thing, I'll cover you!
Stay behind him. laser beans are much less effective on him than it would be on my soft flesh
Your efforts to conjure up a meaningful shield quickly devolve into using whatever stuff is around the room to block the beams, but at least you remain uninjured.>>24650
Amalganon leaves the shield in place and grasps the uneven mass housing the mad aeon, lifting it up and slamming it down with enough force to burst it like a wet paper bag full of soup.
The wave of magic pouring out fills the room for a moment, as the chaotic energies of a panicked, and seemingly rather large, aeon seek a new shell to hide it.
As the blinding storm of light ends, you see it did find shelter - inside the remaining skulls.
Barely containing the energy they how hold, the six skulls float in tight formation, magic arcing between their cracks and eye sockets like lightning dancing across some macabre raspberry.
"IT SEEMS FRAGILE AND UNSTABLE. I WOULD ADVISE AGAINST HITTING IT WITH MORE MAGIC, LEST IT MIGHT DETONATE."
Curiously, the thing is not immediately attacking, but instead seems to be confused by its newfound ability to move. The old shell must have been too heavy and rotten to allow it to move around at all in this room.
Eww, Aeon gore
"Great, if we can't hit it up with magic do we just have to bash the skulls ourselves right?"
Stay sucked behind the shield, wary if the aeon skulls suddenly decide to try something
"No magic got it" '1d10' hit it with the big hammerRoll #1 4 = 4
It idly hover about, possibly confused.>>24653
Your hammer strike causes one of the skulls to fracture, releasing a blast of magic. The rest quickly tighten their formation and…
…flee out the door.
"IT SEEMS TO BE ESCAPING."
Run after the cowardly skull I won't let you!
'1d10' chase and hitRoll #1 8 = 8
CHASE IT '1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
You give chase, Duna's hammer shattering another two of the skulls with a bright explosion. The last three slam into a wall and try to recover, frantically looking around to figure out where to go.
With the Aeon entirely focused on this, all the skeletons have collapsed.
"WE MUST NOT LET IT FIND THE HOLE I FELL IN FROM. BUT I FEAR IT WILL JUST FIND ANOTHER SHELL IF WE SHATTER IT."
>>24657Well then what can we do? Is there not any way to contain it?
Smash them up again, but try to leave at least one skull unbroken
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
With more energy concentrated in a smaller shell, the aeon seems to have become more agile.
"TRY TO FORCE IT INTO THE WARDED STAIRS!"
Drop my hammer and grab them, dragging them with me
touching an aeon doesn't hurt right?
'1d10+2'Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Usually no, but the sheer concentration of power here is actually making it difficult to hold on.
In an effort to help, Amalganon slams his shield down to block access to the tunnel leading back into the hole, but now you still need to worry about the other door leading to it upstairs.
Let's try to guide it to the stairs.
"Ooh you want magic right? Come here."
'1d10+2' make a few sparks near the stairsRoll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Ow ow ow owKelpie, a little helpie!
I grunt as I keep pushing the skulls to their place
'1d10+2'Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
I guess I was deep in thought and wasn't paying Attention to what's going.
The Aeon reacts as expected, focusing its efforts to reach the stairs, its many eyes scanning the walls and floor with beams of light>>24663
As it reaches the upper level, you swing your weight around it, forcing its gaze away from the door leading to freedom, and towards the trapped stairs before falling off.
It stays hovering near the stairs, hesitant to go up there as if it knows this is a trick.>>24664
You must have been busy studying the books the aeon had in its collections, and managed to evade all its attacks with cartoonish ease.
While Duna, Kelpie and the giant knight Amalganon are off chasing the Aeon upstairs, you have the place to yourself. Most of these books seem to be old manuals in magic of various kinds, studies on the structure and anatomy of various races, and some unrelated material relegated to the back of the room consisting of ledgers, diaries and other things pulled off the various dead folks here. Some of the contents is ancient, some of it surprisingly recent.
Yes, wow I'm so distracted.
But hmmmm…do they look like they Need my help? I think in a very unselfish Moment that won't last long
Well they are two floors above you and have it standing in front of a death trap, so odds are you won't be in time to help.
Well, can't help that! Let's just make sure to get out of here if I don't hear screaming anymore.
There's a lot here that'll get me Profit. Let's do a preliminary appraisal '1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
>>24665Come on, just a little bit more…
'1d10+2'Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
There are some key finds here.
For one, there are several books here on rare magic, which have value for practically any high end mage or scholar.
But perhaps more importantly, you find a ledger that seems to have belonged to a courier or similar working for House Grandelion. While the notes cut off years ago, there is proof here of many of their suspected crimes, the last note being a payment made to some pirates - no doubt related to the sinking of an important ship a few years back. Another thing that catches your eye is a considerable amount of transactions made with various parties connected to the realms of the Dragon Emperor, and the Golden Dragons. In the right hands, this kind of info would be devastatingly valuable.>>24670
The aeon spins around in place, focusing all six eye beams onto you in a single searing blast. While your goggles keep you from being blinded, you will need to sow on a few new patches on your clothes and might need to regrow some fur.
This lashing out seems to have exhausted the aeon to some degree though. The energy on the skulls is arcing a lot less, and it seems more dim.
'1d10' push the skulls togetherRoll #1 9 = 9
You grasp the depowered skulls with your bare hands, force them together and throw them into the staircase, causing not only the skulls to detonate but the energies of the aeon inside to blast the surface of the wall apart, destroying the anti-magic runes.
With the runes and skeletons gone, an eerie, dead silence falls on this once-chaotic place.
Fall back reeling in pain.
It was my favorite pair of trousers too…
I cough at the dust and crawl over to Duna
"Hey.. Fluffy.. you okay?"
Patches add character anyway. At least you aren't overtly extra crispy.
Roll for severity of damage
'1d10' I had worse in smithing accidents I'm sureRoll #1 6 = 6
The fur will grow back and very little damage will remain.
"Here, let me help you up the stairs at least.."
John is still at the bottom looting books
Amalganon is still waiting down there as well guarding the door
You can go fetch them or go report to Crowcloak first.
>>24680>>24681Psh, you're going to carry me now?
rainse my eyebrows at youFine, just this one time>>24682
Let's go fetch those two butts
I'm helping this goat girl up.
"Heh, don't worry I won't tell the others."
There is nothing in your way as you head down. The only source of any sound left here is John going through books and the faint humming of the two crystals.
Amalganon pulls his shield back out of the floor as you return "IS IT DONE?"
'1d10+2' just to be sure, try to sense the necromancer.
"Yes.. I don't feel any trace of him left."Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Yep the place is empty.
There is some residual magic left in some of the more powerful books, and both the crystals still function, but beyond that the place is dead.
"GOOD. THEN WE CAN TAKE OUR LEAVE. ANOTHER EVIL HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS WORLD."
>>24684You better!… Say, do you know where that cloth of runes is? I might need to cover myself>>24685Yes, we got rid of it, finally. Thanks for the help big guy>>24687
I whistle a victory fanfarre
Now all that remains is to grab anything you'd like before reporting back to Crowcloak.
"The big guy is using it.. as his skin.">>24687
I'm taking one of the crystals
I don't suppose there's really anything here I could use>>24690
snap my finger oh right
Look at some of the magical feeling books actually
One crystal goes to Kelpie while the other remains in Amalganon's sword.
The giant aeon also brings along some shards of his old gear, hoping to get them reforged later.
John will catch up with the books in due time.
Ready to go?
Sure, are these spell books though? if its a spell book I'm swiping the most magical feeling one
There are several books here, many of them about magic. Some of said spellbooks are on topics of ancient and unusual magics, but many of those are probably beyond your immediate abilities.
However, some more sensible ones are available as well. Do you have any specific topics of interest.
Wow, so many choices.
I know, I need some spooky, nature theme magic.
Make sure to get the ledger and the valuable books!
You find a somewhat ratty copy of [Call of the Wyrd and Wyld], a book on summoning spirits and creatures of the wilds.
So long as you have it with you, and have a chance to read it for reference, you can attempt to summon a monster to help you.
You gain +2 to this roll if you know the monster by name, and/or own ether a piece of it, or something belonging to it.
You hoard up a nice big bag of high value books, and tuck the important ledger away safely on your person.
These should fetch a hefty price if sold in the right places.
Maybe instead of Clearing These People I should sell them and take a permanent vacation to the Summerset Isles!
Thanks DM, I'm gonna skip happily out of this dungeon like a teen witchy does
Who knows, you now have enough dirt on some big players to possibly blackmail your way into some places, or to knock them off the King's white list to steal their position yourself.>>24702
Upon exiting, you come face to face with Crowcloak. She seems a bit cowed by the immense if rather ramshackle Amalganon, but maintains an authoritative tone regardless.
"So, what did you find there? And is it dead?"
Rub my Hands intensely.
As they come back, nod to them while keeping my eyes on the books. "The coast is clear?"
The way is clear, since everything but you four is dead
Hmmmm, do my comrades want to leave yet?
If not, I can stay here and study this library for a Moment.
Maybe there's a forbidden secret section, search '1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
"Yea, we killed a.. really really old necormancer aeon."
"Wunderbar! You People deserve a commendation when we clear our names!"
"You think so? Like A statue? A plague on a bench? "
Nope, looks like you found the best of it.>>24707
"Interesting. And I see the magic wards are gone too.
Now, let us discuss what kind of monster you wanted…"
NEXT TIME ON OTR
AND MEETING ROSE
"Maybe even a square. But perhaps we'd Need to find a Name for our Little troupe. I find it hard to imagine they'd give each of us a square."
"A name.. maybe teacher can help out with that.. I'm not good at names." >>24710
…and I'll follow her to discuss it in detail..
Crowcloak sits down on a old stump near Coniferion
We wanted all the guards to be busy right?
"So, we need something distracting, loud.. Looks threatening enough to draw people towards it."
Yep. Something to draw all possible attention away from you.
"Hmm… a land monster or a sea monster? I'd offer a flying one, but Connie is not for rent."
"Land, I don't think there is much water there."
On the contrary, Dead Man's Headland is almost entirely surrounded by water
Crowcloak seems to weigh some options in her head "I could offer you a Wyrdbeest - provided you don't mind the damage it might… lets not mince words - will
"Wasn't it a island prison? Maybe we could use something with a bunch of tentacles to cause mayhem" wiggle my fingers
"What is a Wyrdbeest though?"
"Riiight, so we do want a water monster, probably.. if they'd go after something in the waters."
"You ever see a Rat King? Like, a dozen rats tangled up by their tails, all scurrying in every direction clawing and biting at anything they can to break free of eachother?
Turn that inside out and make it the size of a large elephant, and you have a rough idea."
"Well for water it's hard to go wrong with a Shore Kraken I'd say. Fun things, those. Can pull a coastal house right into the sea, foundations and all. Kinda slow and dopey, not at all fearsome like a proper Sea Kraken. Still though. Big. Slimy. Strong enough to pop a man like a ripe pear."
I make a disgusted expression at the Witch "That sounds… Excellent for causing chaos in a prison">>24755>>24757
" I'm all in for the kraken. Though how are we going to make it not try to grab and pop US is the question"
Crowcloak points at her missing eye
"Generally, you just want to avoid being the easiest target."
"No way to.. direct it to a certain spot? Bait maybe?"
"Well yeah, I'll give you bait strong enough to pull one in. It will then do its thing until it gets bored, or you spook it away with the antibait."
"I'm not so worried with myself as I am with these two. Capras are dodgy, even more in a mess, it's one of the things we do best"
"It's like bait, but the opposite.">>24762
"Well so long as you are not actively being a threat to it, it should focus on anyone loud and threatening looking instead."
"So, we bait one near the prison, then use anti-bait when we are done.. Sounds perfect."
"Alright. This sounds simple enough for a child to do so this should go smoothly. So, Miss Crowcloak, what is the bait for a Kraken?"
The witch trudges along into her hut, and soon returns with a package smelling strongly of fish. While the wrapping makes it hard to tell, it has the rough dimensions of a human head.
"Keep it wrapped and it'll be good to go for weeks. Just unwrap it and toss it in the water and within the hour you should see a kraken show up."
I glance at Kelpie with a bit of uncertainty
"Uhh, who carries it though? I kind of don't want to be 5 feet near that"
I will take the wrapped up fishy package with a grin.
"Keep it on ice and it will smell less."
She lets her eye glance around
"Now was that everything, then?"
"You disgust me, little Witch">>24770
"I suppose so. Can we come back here if we need any more magical favors from you? Honestly this little tomb foraging has been more fun than I thought, I wouldn't mind doing some more of this in exchange for your services, ma'am" wink at her
I reply with a tiny cackle.>>24770
"What's the anti-bait?"
"Well as I said, I do still need that cave harlot dealt with. So if you have a slow day, we can do business.">>24772
"Ah. Almost forgot."
She heads back in, and after some clattering and puffs of dust returns with another package smelling mostly of dry blood and herbs.
"Just chuck it in the water near the kraken and it will leave as soon as it notices."
"Fantastic. I'll keep you in mind when I have some free time"
Ready to go home and plan the next step of the master plan
"Prefect." Set it carefully into my bag.
"We should get going then.." I say and start to leave, but then go over to Coniferion's area.
"And thanks for watching us last night, big guy."
'1d10+2' pet the dragon, while trying to pluck a scale off and sneak it away.Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
With a swift flick of the wrist you pluck out one of the smaller wooden scales. It would probably make for a fashionable pendant.
This elicits no reaction from the dragon beyond a curious stare.>>24775>>24774
AND SO YOU RETURN HOME
Your drakin comrade is already back with the Illusionist, but Patches seems to have left to do something.
Unless you want to meet your latest ally now, we'll stop here.
A new ally? What excitement!
Rose Ragamont, shipwreck survivor, orphan, talented illusionist. Former 'entertainer' 'employed' by House Grandelion.
NEXT TIME ON LITTLE WITCH SAFEHOUSE
AND NEW COMPLICATIONS
But is she pretty?
The seems to be in her late teens. While in good shape and well dressed, there is that distinct emptiness behind her eyes telling of a hard life.
"You must be the others. Miss Patches mentioned you'd be coming."
She sounds proper and polite, but very cautious.
"Oh, you know Patches?" I breath a sigh of relief and lean forward with a waving motion.
"She's good, come on and say hi shy goat.
Then go up to her sizing her up as I offer my hand to shake. "You can call me Kelpie, I'm basically the best one here."
"Right. So you are the illusionist of the house grandsomething? I hope our airhead Drakin friend treated you well on the way here"
"Rose. Rose Ragamont. Your drakin friend and miss Patches helped me escape from the people who were holding me. I appreciate it, all the more now that I've had a chance to catch my breath a bit."
She looks underweight, probably less from malnutrition or lack of food and more from simply not having an appetite. She seems very hesitant to shake hands at first but then accepts, her grip feeling very loose and skittish, but her eyes hiding an angry spark waiting to grow into a fighting spirit.>>24807
"I am an illusionist, yes. It's a talent I've had for a long time, and it is what prompted the people of Grandelion to… 'hire' me."
"Jerks." I comment with a frown. "Well, did they go over the mission with you?"
"Only vaguely. Miss Patches received some kind of message and needed to leave most urgently."
I take a seat "Talent huh? Then you must enjoy doing it, right?… Or did they take that from you"
Nod a few times and guide the conversation to the sofa. "Alright, So, Its a prison break. We just got a huge
distraction, it'll come out of the water. With you there to make another it might even be enough to give our team room to move."
"I suppose I always used it to find… refuge. A bit of escapism and safety in times of need. And I've had plenty of those times.">>24812
"I am not a fighter, but I can certainly twist the world around me if that is all you ask for.
…I am not really happy with the idea of helping evil people escape a prison, but I doubt I have much power here. At least now I might be allowed to eventually go free. Do I even want to know who you are freeing from there?"
"Yea, a big knight called Alexander Ragamont."
"Ah yes" I lean back with my arms "I know how that is, having something that is your own little space away from it all. It keeps you sane!" give her a friendly smile
"Oh yes, I'm Duna by the way. Capra, Smith, and responsible female figure for these kids. Pleased"
"I've never really gotten to know a capra before.">>24814
She freezes for a moment, staring at you with a wildly dancing mix of anger, incredulity and teary-eyed hope
Is… this some kind of sick joke!? Mother told me he died years ago!"
"I don't know you well enough to make that kind of joke. I'm pretty sure there is a picture of him around here, one moment."
I will try to look for the picture that Patches showed us before.
"Don't worry, you know one, you know them all"
"Wait, dad? Oooh boy…"
It's among her notes and maps, on one of the tables.
Rose stares at it with increasing confusion
"It's him.. but he never had this scar. Or this one. Or that one… or…." she just kinda trails off, caressing the picture.
What's her Problem?
"We've all seen that picture, so you can keep it." I say with a shrug. "Sounds like you'll have a lot to talk about."
I'll let this sort itself out
Now where is that big chunk of magic walking metal?
Alexander Ragamont, the mercenary knight you wanted to free from Dead Man's Headland, is apparently her supposedly dead father.
She is one of the few survivors of a major shipwreck caused by pirates, after which she was sold off to be an entertainer in the service of House Grandelion.
The same house Grandelion that paid those pirates to sink the ship according to the ledgers you found.>>24821
"Were my mother alive I would have many questions to ask…"
Curiously, the walls are starting to look a little… off.>>24822
It seems to have sat down off to the side to better inspect the damage
Glance at the walls, and cough a bit.
"Did you get settled into a room yet?"
How interesting! But we have not yet had our reward from the hag did we?
Let's go bother him
"How are you feeling big guy? After that long nap"
She snaps out of her angry little trance and shakes her head
"No. Not yet."
The walls seem to have stopped being weird.>>24825
The hag gave out some monster bait to the others
You have yet to pick a reward, if you wanted to bargain for a personal one>>24826
"REPAIRS ARE REQUIRED. THIS BANDAGE WILL NOT HOLD ME FOREVER. MY EQUIPMENT IS EQUALLY RUINED."
She promised me books and stuff!
Go back to her!
"Let's find one then, there are plenty of empty spaces down here. This used to be a huge theater you know. Lots of shows going on every night."
I will guide her around to where the dressing rooms that we turned into bedrooms are, and look for the next empty one.
Stretch a bit "I can see that. Come on, let's get you fixed up"
I'll take him to my 'workshop'
… I Just hope I have enough metal to fix this
"Ah, the bookworm. Well sonny, what are you after?"
You find one quickly enough. It's a bit bare though.
"I'd hate to complain, but they kept me in a theater supply closet back at the mansion… I… does this need to be more of the same?">>24830
Barely. You'd need more to build new weapons. He is a big guy after all.
"YOUR ASSISTANCE IS APPRECIATED. AND YOUR TOOLS BEAR THE MARK OF THE GOOD DUKE LANDTAMER. HOW IS THE DUKE THESE DAYS?"
"You know what I'm after! Don't Play coy."
"I'm old, not coy."
She opens the door to her hut
"My old spellbook, right?"
"Dead" I reply, looking all the spare ingots I could find
"Tsc, Damn it, I don't have nearly enough in here to fix your shield and sword… At least this should be enough to fix your armor and keep you stable"
"Well, you can decorate it! Let's find something bigger then." keep looking, roll for luck '1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
"That's the one!"
You grow frustrated with the seemingly futile search, leading her deeper into the collapsed building until you find a room you never even looked in before. It seems to be rather flooded, either from broken water pipes or just natural water underground. However this has left the floor wet and slippery, causing you to slip. You grab the closest thing you can, which is Rose, and end up pulling her into the water.
The water is very shallow, not even up to your knees, but even the brief dunking underwater causes Rose to panic. She starts randomly splashing and wading around trying to find a way out but her blind fear makes her wander aimlessly.
Perhaps more worryingly, the room is already starting to twist and contort, and you can see the silhouettes of monsters lurking just outside your field of vision.
As it turns out, surviving a shipwreck left her with a deep phobia of water.>>24835
"DEAD? WHO COULD HAVE ENACTED SUCH A FOUL ACT!? THEY MUST PAY!"
Despite his angry ranting, he sits still and lets you work.>>24837
The hut is not big by any means, and every surface is covered in potions, herbs, books, talismans and other strange junk.
She hands you the old dusty book
"Will that be all then sonny?"
'1d10' swim out of the imaginary lake with rose.Roll #1 3 = 3
Inspect the book '1d10+2'Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
"No clue, but we got blamed for it and driven into hiding. We probably have a bounty on our heads too"
Should I roll for this?
As you try to reach her, one of the monsters erupts from the water, roaring at you.
It looks like some kind of giant flayed wolf seeping black ichor.
Looking back at Rose, she seems to no longer be in the water, but in the arms of a gigantic, muscular, faceless human. >>24840
Old and certainly magical. Very valuable to a powerful spellcaster, useless to a novice.>>24841
No need unless you want to.
Otherwise I assume you do a passable but not very fancy job.
"UNTHINKABLE. TO FRAME AN INNOCENT ADDS ONLY MORE TO THEIR CRIMES. I SHALL TAKE IT UPON MYSELF TO CLEAR YOUR NAMES, MY SAVIOR."
"It is great. What will you do now that the undead are cleared?" Put the book away.
Well he doesn't need anything fancy either way, I'm satisfied with just giving him a proper shell for now
"Well I appreciate that, darling. We're going to need all the help we can get to clear our names of this mess. Could you raise the arm a little bit?"
What materials is this armor made of even?
"SOMEONE HELP US!" I scream and look for the edge of this ocean '1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
"Go see what else is down there. Maybe move my hut there too. Maybe figure out how those magic wards work so I can out some in that harlot's cave.">>24844
Looks to be high quality steel, in surprisingly thick layers. Probably made by one of the royal smiths from their usual materials, as it has no magic in it.
"SURELY YOU HAVE SOME CLUE. SOME PLAN?">>24845
A great wave comes crashing down on you, forcing you to duck underwater for a moment. As you surface, you notice the water around you is collapsing away as another one of the titanic faceless men lifts you in the air on the palms of his hands. Standing there, at a staggering height above the roiling merciless sea filled with countless monsters hungrily feasting on bloodied bodies of people you seem to vaguely recognise, shivering and helpless, you see Rose walk up to you.
Her eyes devoid of her former timid submission and blank depression, now filled with rage and fire, she raises her hand and motions to the giant, who opens its hands and drops you, seemingly for miles, into the frenzied chaos below. The impact is harsh and sudden, painful enough to make you black out for a moment, filling your ears with the sharp ringing of the hit, the screams of those around you and the panicked beating of your own heart.
As your vision clears, you are back in the flooded room, with rose sitting outside, trying to dry herself up, her outfit clinging as tightly as her hair.
Shoot. I'm gonna need a lot more steel than I thought if I hope to restore this guy to his former glory
"Well, I'm not exactly the most clever for plan making. Thankfully we got Patches and Corso, they're pretty smart and Patches have some good contacts. Turn around now" I start measuring his thickness
"This isn't the end of the world for me at least. I might not have the prestige job of being the Duke's official Smith, but look at me now, restoring an old legend back into shape, pretty good for a fugitive right?"
I silently crawl out of the water. Lead her back to my own room.
"I WILL NOT ABIDE THIS INJUSTICE. YOU HAVE MY AID, AS REPAYMENT FOR NOT ONLY MY RESCUE BUT ALSO MY RESTORATION."
You can easily get him back into decent shape, but it would take quite a stockpile to make perfect repairs. That won't be possible unless you can meet someone willing to sell you the materials.
She follows in awkward silence, finally breaking it with a blunt sentiment
"I don't like water."
"I might have something dry you can change into, there are a few costumes around." check my drawers.
"Sounds like fun."
The costume selection is varied enough, thanks to this being a theater.
You can give her something casual and simple, a more themed outfit from fake-jewelry clad royalty to maids and brigands in tights, or stick her in something more… eye-catching.>>24852
If you are done here, I will whisk you back to base with the others.
However, on your way back you spot ol' Night Ear the information broker.
You can go chat with him to leverage your new discoveries or save that for later and head in to talk with the others.
Offer her the princess tutu outfit with a smile.
>>24849I made a powerfull ally today…
Now just where would I find such contact?
In you go then.
Duna was working on her aeon knight
Kelpie dragged the soaking wet Rose to her room
Patches received some kind of message and had to go out for a moment>>24857
She puts on a little smile
"Cute. Always wanted something like this as a kid." She then carefully sets it aside and starts peeling her way out of her old gear.>>24858
Odds are there are suppliers willing to work for criminal contacts. You should ask Patches once she gets back.
This is a shady inn right?
Aha, she likes it, give her some space to change, and get into a dry spare robe myself.
Where could that girl have gone off to…
Ah well, let`s work with what we got while waiting for her return
It's an abandoned theater, once part of the old city. It has partially collapsed underground, making it a good hideout.>>24861
Much better. Nothing worse than a wet robe.
Rose on the other hand looks… curious. As a stage prop, the princess outfit is not the most comfortable of clothes, nor does it necessarily look entirely proper on someone like Rose.
But at least she isn't complaining.
"YOU SEEM TROUBLED, SMITH DUNA."
"Where can a man of taste get a refreshment around here?"
``Hmm? What passes off that idea, hun?``
"Let's hang our stuff up so it dries. I'm hungry after all that walking around too." I say and hang my wet robe up somewhere near my room.
There is an infamously seedy pub in the Trade District, favored by crooks.
Another option is the market district bar.>>24866
"YOU HESITATE IN YOUR WORK.">>24867
There is plenty of space.
Rose follows sheepishly "Not really hungry, your drakin friend - Eider - already made me some soup earlier."
Moments later, Patches returns with an audible slam of the door. Very unlike her. She just walks over to one of the sofas and lets herself collapse face down.
"I see.. I didn't have much to eat, since there was nothing but acorns around in the woods." I suddenly turn my attention to Patches's entrance and go over there.
I pause for a moment ``Well for one I have a lot of things in my mind for once, which is a nice change from the dull work to the Duke, and second, I`m doing my best to not make any mistakes here. Your Equipment is a work of art done by master Smiths, a little bit of a challenge for a single capra to handle``
But in the market district I might get captured. And in the seedy pub as well I suppose.Need slp, later
Eider's soup is still available in the kitchen.
She seems exhausted, but not wounded.>>24870
"THE EFFORT IS APPRECIATED, EVEN IF THE QUALITY DOES NOT MATCH."
``That`s a polite way to say I`m doing a poor job…``
Bring two bowls of soup, and sit by Patches offering one.
"ONLY WHEN COMPARED TO THE MASTERS CHARGED WITH BUILDING THIS SHELL.
HOWEVER, YOUR HANDIWORK IS TWICE AS NOBLE, FOR YOU ACT NOT ON COMMISSION, BUT FOR THE SAKE OF HELPING.">>24874
She forces herself to sit and starts eating
"…what's with Rose's getup?"
"Her old stuff is drying." I explain and eat myself.
I pause for a moment
``H-heh, well I`m glad to see that all that time asleep didn`t hinder your ability to flatter, ya big lug`` gently punch his shoulder and try not to blush
'1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
You end up hurting your hand
"FOR NOW IT IS THE MOST I CAN GIVE TO YOU. ONCE I AM REPAIRED, I WILL BE YOUR SHIELD AND BLADE UNTIL YOUR NAME IS CLEARED."
"So what happened?"
"I don't know how, but apparently our plan to attack Dead Man's has reached the ears of some big shot people.
As such, I was told to meet one of their messengers, who gave me this."
She holds out an envelope
"It is an invitation to meet with the heads of not one… but three major crime gangs in the city of Sinport."
She leans back and sighs
"Just the thought has messed me up hard."
"That is.. big. Real big. We could have actual connections to all three of them if it goes well."
"I'd settle for not making enemies of any of them.
Sinport has a long history you know. It used to be the most thriving city in what people called the Lawless Lands, a group of smaller provinces that no ruler could seem to control. It was Duchess Elena Landtamer, the grandmother of Edgar Landtamer, who ultimately lead a campaign across the area to claim all those once-forsaken lands. She finally cornered all the surviving criminal gangs in Sunport as it was known back then, and gave them an ultimatum - they would be allowed to do as they please in the city, but if any criminal gangs were found outside it, or if any pirates were allowed to attack the duchy's waters, she would burn the city to the ground and leave the heads of every last boss, enforcer and lowliest courier on stakes along the coast for seagulls to eat. Of course, that was a different time, but the deal kept for a long time.
With the gangs of the old lands dead, only a daring few big name criminals dared to wanted the duchy - those later became the Fingers and Hands, like Nosey. They were the new thing back then, but times change. With the former dukes caring less about Elena's crusade on crime, new gangs have grown, and the Fingers have become the traditionalists. Kinda ironic really.
What I'm getting at with all this, is that Sinport has some really, really oldschool people. Heirs to thrones that were old and worn when the Fingers were new and shiny."
``Careful with those words buddy`` Clank him with the small hammer ``One might think you`re trying to court me``
Jump off my stool and put away my tools in their place
``This is the best I could do for now, I`ll need to get some extra metal for the rest. A looooot of extra metal``
It`s also way past dinner time! I can`t work on an empty stomach
Let`s sneak to the kitchen and see what the others are up too
That's a lot to take in.
"Well.. aren't these just the guys that we want to get to know? You'll do great Patches. Just like always."
"THIS WILL SUFFICE. I SHOULD OBTAIN NEW WEAPONS UNTIL MINE CAN BE REBUILT."
You can now return the rune cloth to Kelpie, as Amalganon can go on without it.
Eider has left some soup in the kitchen and gone to take a nap
Kelpie and Patches are talking in the main hall. Rose is also there, and seems to have changed from her stage uniform to a small pink frilly dress.
``I think there`s some spare swords and axes and shields I made in the spare time in the closet. Pick whatever you`d like hun``
I take a minute or two to sketch some of those runes for reference later
I hop to the couch and lay my head on Patches lap, looking up at her ``Ay``>>24884
``Hey Witch, I fixed our little big friend, so you can have that back. Have you figured out what purpose they served aside from keeping an aeon whole?``
``Also what`s up with Rose`s outfit?``
"Here's hoping. We will be pieces of fresh meat at the all you can eat wolf buffet out there.
At first I did not even know why they'd care, but as I understood, they want us to fetch specific people from the prison for them. And maybe kill a few unwanted ones.
They too have a grudge against the Golden Dragons, who are outsiders after all. So they will help us against them - for their own reasons. As a token of goodwill, they did send us one freebie - the leader of the Golden Dragons has been spotted in Sinport. He has moved his new base of operations there for some reason. The messenger would not tell me more. But at least we know that much now.">>24886
Amalganon starts tinkering by himself, building a temporary set of gear.
Patches seems completely exhausted and barely reacts as she talks.
Accept the cloth back. "Protection against anti-magic attacks." I say and smile a bit. "She's borrowing it, isn't it cute?"
Oh so he can do some tinkering too huh?
Oh dear, by the look on her face now it`s not the time to be silly
Sit up straight and look at her with worry, listening in to the conversation
``If you`re worried about safety, we can ask Amal if he could go with us and act as a bodyguard to keep you safe. I mean I would normally offer to do that myself, but if these guys are as gritty as you`re making them sound, well, a capra wouldn`t be as intimidating as a huge aeon knight like him``
"A base in Sinport.. should we go scout it?"
"Right now, I feel the most prudent course of action is to simply do as they say and travel to Sinport. Once we hear their offer, we can decide how to proceed.
There are many loose threads right now, and until we can find out more we can only guess what the Golden Dragons are after. If it has something to do with the coronation of the next duke, time is short. Perhaps it has nothing to do with that. Perhaps they are hoping to split the old Lawless Lands off from the duchy again and take them over from the inside. Perhaps they seek to put a pawn of the Dragon Emperor on the throne. Perhaps they seek to assassinate the King himself somehow. Or perhaps they just want money and servants. Until we find out more… we can merely speculate."
NEXT TIME ON THE RUN
AND OLD ENEMIES
``Huh, well keep that close, I`m sure it`ll be useful for us later on.`` Nod and glance at the illusionist with a smirk``I can`t disagree with that, I just wonder how did you got her in one of those``
"We decided to wash our clothes, and she needed a back up set." I explain.
Raise a brow ``And out of all the clothes we have in this old theater, you gave her the tutu?``
Lean foward ``And not
the cuter maid outfit?``
PREVIOUSLY ON THE RUN
Patches has gotten summons from the city of Sunport to come meet the heads of the Old Gangs. They want to make an 'offer' regarding the prison raid.
Rose Ragamont has joined the crew in order to free her father from prison
Night Ear is always waiting for new information to buy (and sell)
Ask around for what info we need at the moment.
Right now the big gaps in your info are
-the Old Gangs as a whole
-details on the prison of Dead Man's Deadland
-anything more you can find out on the motivations of the Golden Dragons
Poke the tired Patches "Hey, what's deadisland like anyway?"
Dead Man's deadland might be fun…
Let's find Night Ear again
It used to be a fort for coastal defence. After the duchy was expanded with conquering the Lawless Lands, it was instead turned into a prison visible from Sinport, a grim reminder of the fates of those who cross the Landtamers.">>24900
You find him easily enough out in the city. He is sitting around sipping from a flask, paging through some notes in his notebook.
"Afternoon buddy, what's new?"
Well let`s look for something to do while we wait
How much time I have until next task?
"You tell me. You know all the news."
You should head out to sinport in the morning.
You could help Amalganon with his weapons or chat with Rose or Patches>>24903
"That I do, but the juicy ones will cost you. Lots of buzz in ol' Sinport lately. Some talks of the coronations for the next duke too."
"Yea, you know someone there, or are we just walking up to it?"
"What are they saying about the coronation?"
I`ll leave that meeting with the witch for later then
Let`s hit up Patches and listen to what she has to say
"I've never been inside. Nobody who walks free today has. So I can only speculate.">>24906
"Lots of things. Who's backing who. Fears of the duchy being split becoming very real indeed."
He holds out a hand
"I could tell more for… a price.">>24907
She's telling Kelpie about the prison
"Okay, let's say we wanted to get to know someone who's been in, where would we go?"
Hmmmm, what books did I have again?
"To a necromancer I'd wager. The place is for life sentences only.">>24910
Information on some of the noble houses and the king's court, ledgers containing proof of crimes committed by House Grandelion, old magic tomes…
"What about a retired guard?"
I show him the information book on the king's court
"Hm. Never thought of that. Good idea!">>24913
"Well now, what have we here…"
He pages through it, stopping just for a moment on one of the pages, his finger almost subconsciously crumpling it a little. He closes the book and hands it back
"…Well now. That IS valuable stuff.
What would you like to know then?"
His tone has changed, subtly. Whatever he read there must have caught him off guard a bit.
"Why would the Duchy be split?"
"Yea, gotta be one or two out there willing to talk to us." I say positively and ponder outloud. "I wonder which bars they go too.."
"There has been talks of neither of the possible Landtamer heirs being strong enough candidates, so a few nobles may pull in favors with the king. There has been a lot of talk about splitting off the lands added by Duchess Elena - the so called Lawless Lands around Sunport - into a new duchy that would be awarded to someone. Many of the nobles are backing General Wyrmeye, a retired war hero, for the crown as a reward for his actions.
The fact that both Landtamer heirs are still bickering with eachother does not help their position.>>24916
"If anything, we might even find one in Sinport. It gathers all sorts of folks thanks to how free it is."
>>24908>>24909What benefit would you have from knowing someone from Deadlands?
I rest my head on a hand
"Great. I'm going to bed until we leave then." And proceed to my room to sleep.
"The place hasn't changed in centuries, even knowing like, what end the doors are on would help.
Rose tugs your sleeve
"So uh… where do I sleep?"
"General Wyrmeye? Never heard of him."
"Where ever you like. We went by soooo many rooms, did you like any?"
"Oh, yea, sure, but I'd rather pay for information about the gangs than the prison.. they are scary.
Eider steps out from the kitchen area. "Well, soups made and I already had some. If anyone wants some they can go nuts." Eider says with a yawn.
"Hey, Rosie, you want to try some indica? Really helps going to sleep." He asks rose.
"Went by many names, from Dragonkiller to 'ol Snake-Eye. He lead a few campaigns out in foreign lands, and notably repelled the forces of the Dragon Emperor on two separate occasions. The coming of the Golden Dragons has brought his name to fore once again.">>24924
"Well, not particularly, but I can sleep anywhere just fine.
…I could even sleep out here. At least it's nice and wide open.">>24926
She seems to take a moment to register what you're calling her.
"…more of your strange plants I guess?"
"Okay, there are blankets an-" yawn. "pillows, let me just get that and you can lay down whereever." Go ahead and get her some bed stuff.
>>24925Well, I'll ask him when he gets back. Go get some rest now sugar, we went through a lot of thing today and will do even more tomorrow>>24926Waay ahead of you big guy. You need to put more salt next time, just a little advice
I stretch a bit on the couch So, you went and found yourself a pretty little girl and brought her back home while we were off huh?
"I see. Seems like he can thank the Dragons for giving him this fame at the right time.."
"This one is more like a tea, trust me when I say it's great and relaxes you. Just uhh… Hope tea doesn't really scare you, then it could be more plants.">>24929
"Oi, I'm not a very salty guy." He jokes.
"Guess you can say I have a weakness for bringing cute girls home, though those illusions are going to do well at the prison break."
>>24931Did you see the tutu Kelpie got her to wear?
I lean closer and whisper It`s so adorable it`s unfair. Also dragons are known for bringing damsels into their lair am I right?
You go grab a pillow and blanket and toss them on one of the sofas>>24930
"Quite. The sheer convenience of it worries some people. But, again, he is a far more popular candidate than the Landtamers right now. Splitting the duchy might still be better for them than letting Wyrmeye take it all.">>24931
"I'm fine with tea. And water in a glass.
I just don't like lots of water. Or moving water. Or water over my head."
"Ookay, if you need me I'll be in my room."
And then it was time for witches to rest.
"Well I hope you don't mind being around me when I'll need to use my magic. C'mon, let's go get the tea and find a room for you." He says with a smile.>>24932
Eider chuckles. "I was wondering what happened while I was busy. You would also be right, the tea is in my room."
"Interesting. Any nobles actually on the Landtamers side?"
"If you don't mind… I'd prefer to sleep here in the main hall. It's been a while since I got to sleep in a big room.">>24936
"Some of the more traditional-minded ones, and the name Landtamer does hold a lot of weight to it. Unfortunately, that name has lost a lot since the times of Duchess Elena, and Wyrmeye is known as far as the king's own court. So unless he steps down, or somehow loses face, the split may indeed become a reality.
This might serve to only further drive a wedge between the two Landtamers, and could even result in a war between their supporters."
"No problem, need something cushy or do you like going the 'sleeping bag' style?">>24938
"That's… actually quite a bit more impressive than what I did. But hey, I got something cooler than kraken bait. A friend that can make some really tripy visuals. Oh, I also got to use stage props too so that was pretty fun."
She hold up the pillow and blanket Kelpie gave her
"These will do"
"Worrying. Do you know anything about the Deadlands?"
"You mean the prison? Why?
You planning on doing something bad enough to end up there?"
"Right, just the tea then."
>Prepare high quality tea>>24942
"Wait, huge ancient aeon covered in thick armor? Are you talking about a titan or something? Where is he?"
The quali tea is high indeed
Point to my workshop Right there resting and working on himself. Careful, he`s big and loud
"I might tell you or I could provide something a lot more interesting, depending on how good your info is…"
"Tell me why you're going and I'll give you something I know."
He hands a cup to Rose. "Here ya go, should get you nice and relaxed enough to sleep in the next fifteen or so minutes.">>24946
"I'll have to talk to him tomorrow morning, I've always been interested in talking to an aeon. Haven't really sat and conversed with one before."
"A Group known as the Old Gangs want to raid it."
"Hmm… I see. I see…"
He seems to silently mouth something but it's hard to catch what he said. You can roll for that.
"…there are some exits that were originally used by the defenders of the fort, but later sealed when it was turned into a prison. However, the workers in charge of sealing them were not very skilled, so some of the old escape tunnels can be blasted open with little effort. Useless to anyone locked in there, but if someone brought the tools, it would let them avoid a lot of guard posts when leaving.
Using them to enter would draw attention though due to the blasts. And there is no space to swing other tools in those tunnels.
They are located near the base of each guard tower.">>24949
She takes a sip and '1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
"It's kinda weird…"
"It's likely the medicinal oil in it, while you only use just a few drops the taste is a bit off at first. Want some more honey in it?"
She downs the rest and shivers a bit
"This is plenty, thanks."
I am a good listener '1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
Eider gives her a thumbs up and a smile while he downs his own cup.
>>24956>They've gotten bold… I need to go to Sinport… this was not part of the deal…>>24957
"You uh… got any water?"
"I will be back some other time…"
I take off to inform my companions of this news
They are all back at base
Go to the Drakin guy.
"I have News. Perhaps we can break into the Deadman prison, by using old tunnels at the base of the guard Towers. They've been closed but could be opppened with some effort."
Once we are all done, we will move on to the next morning
Eider looks in a direction and makes motions with his hands, a canteen floating slightly off the ground makes its way to rose. "Here ya go.">>24961
"Is it a sewer tunnel? Might be the best option for us with our recent sneaking successes."
"Something like that"
"Hopefully our luck will keep us from crawling through a mile of shit."
AND SO IT WAS MORNING
There is a carriage waiting outside on the street, with a rough looking guy standing by it. You did not order it, so it must be from Sunport.
Okay, let's go to the sunny town
You hastily pack yourselves into the carriage and get moving.
It seems the gruff looking guy will be riding along, but the carriage itself is high class. Soft seats, a smooth ride, even some snacks. The gruff guy breaks the silence after a while, clearing his throat and adjusting his eyepatch
"I'm Clubs, representing the Shipwreckers. It's my job to make sure you are given all the basic information needed before you arrive, so we can save time for proper business rather than introductions.
Do you know who you will be meeting?"
"A lot of old gangsters, which ones are actually showing up to this again?"
Eider's eyes are glazed over. "Is Clubs your nickname or your real name? Is it because you're really good with a club?"
"You will be meeting the Cap'n, boss of the Shipwreckers, first and foremost.
The meeting will also be joined by the heads of the Brewguild and the Black Skulls - Greenfang and Big B.
Now you should know, Sinport has been running the way it has been running for a solid century now. We Shipwreckers are the oldest crew around, made from those who were first pushed into Sinport by the Duchess and her armies back in the day. The deal was that we keep the waters free of pirates and never commit acts of piracy, and we can live. So we became bounty hunters and smugglers instead. Sink pirate ships, steal their stuff, claim bounties on them, all that.
Black Skulls are newer, but they were the first to successfully expand out of town. Now that was against the old deals, but like I said, they pulled it off. So now they are big enough to warrant noticing. They even have some presence in Riverhold, yeh? Quite the feat given how that was the infamous city of Fingers.
And Brewguild, well, they brew. Drugs mainly. They don't want turf, just customers, so we get along on friendly terms.">>24970
"It's just a nickname, got it while playing cards."
"Well it couldn't have involved a royal flush, otherwise we would be calling you 'King Club'"
"It's a running gag that, no matter the game, I will always draw and play clubs.
Also, I hit people with clubs. But that predates the name."
"Oh really? Well when we have time you'll have to prove that. The uhh… part about the cards, not the club, I could go without a head wound today." Eider jokes.
"I doubt there will be time for that.
Once you've met with the bosses, you'll be given a chance to request what gear you need, and once it's delivered you are expected to get going."
I`ll relax in the chai, arms crossed and nodding Greenfang and Big B. Alright, so what do ya know about 'em, Clubs? Have ya met them before? Got any advice of things we should avoid doing to not offend them? 'cus we want to stay on their good side for this
"Greenfang's a mellow old dog, prefers to go through his days riding an endless mild buzz. Just try not to slow his roll or disrespect his product.
Big B is different. He thinks big, acts big and talks big. And he will not stop until he feels like the biggest baddest badass in the room. The only one he has made an exception for is the cap'n. So just go along with the act and let him jerk his ego off. It keeps him under control."
"He just likes to feel like a winner, really. Surrounds himself with yes-men."
Sunport can be seen in the distance.
It's… a surprising sight. A very old city, looking kinda run down and hastily repaired. The victim of many fires, battles, bombs and other damage which is now repaired efficiently if not very neatly.
It is here that you will find your new allies.
NEXT TIME ON THE RUN
SOME TIME AGO
Back at where Night Ear and John were talking
The information broker is a curious man. Clearly in good shape and well groomed, yet choosing to hide under a ratty cloak and worn street clothes. He probably just wants to keep a low profile, but it makes one wonder where he uses all the money he makes from information brokering.
"So, you were saying?"
Do cigarettes or an equivalent exist?
Ask him for one?
He offers you one silently
It's clearly self-wrapped, not very fancy in the least
Light it up.
"I've told enough for now. What's your stake in this?"
"Knowing important events is important to me. Keeps bread on the table."
He is being evasive.>>24979
BACK ON THE CARRIAGE RIDE WITH CLUBS
"Anything else you'd want to know?"
"I don't think so. Nobody's that inquisitive, just for the money. I'm not that inquisitive about books for the money. It helps though."
"Anything we absolutely shouldn't do?"
"Lets say my boss pays well for me to know.">>25154
"Don't piss off anyone more important than you, or anyone working for anyone more important than you.
And never call the cap'n a pirate."
"Sounds reasonable. That's all the questions I can think of."
"You have a boss? I'm surprised. I figured you to be the kind of guy who likes to work alone."
And so you spend the rest of the ride in silence.
You soon park inside the city gates. There are no guards to be seen, but you get a feeling those are not really needed here. Everyone is armed, some more visibly than others. There is an air of ambient tension everywhere.>>25157
"I'm never alone, no matter how things may look.
But I can see where you're coming from. Free as I may be, and as many sides as I may play, yes, even I must bend the knee to one man."
Time to find out what they want..
"Knowledge is power. Having knowledge gives you power. Knowledge of books gives me power. I wonder what he knows…" Eye him "to have power over you."
A few more people are waiting for you nearby. The only unifying element on them is that all of them have an eye patch on the left eye.
Clubs gives you a waving off
"You play nice now. I got more pickups to do.">>25160
"He knows what I tell him. But his dominion over me is as absolute as they come.
But I warn you - those who find out too much about our relationship do not live long."
Wave back at Clubs with a smile.
Then happily move with our group toward the Shipwreckers.
"So you're the guys from Riverhold?"
"Quite interesting. I do not need to know what he knows about you. But I am quite curious why he lets you do this. Knowledge is worthless if too many People know it.">>25162
"I don't like them."
Shrug off your comment.>>25163
"Hmmhm, you're the Shipwreckers we're supposed to meet with?"
"There will always be taxes on things. I never share everything. And believe me - we have been at this for a long time. We know what we're doing.">>25165
"Yes. We will take you to the Cap'n. Ready to go?"
"I was wondering how you kept alive after all this time. You must have cost the head of more than a few persons…come to think of it, you might cost me my head."
"Keep looking too deep into it and I will."
While he does not immediately seem armed, you can't help but feel that he would have little trouble killing you if need be.
"My work is too important to let anyone put it at risk. Too many lives hang in the balance each day."
"Let's not keep him waiting." I nod.
I'm a bookworm, everyone can kill me!
My only saving grace is my wit!
Whistle and say in a mocking tone.
"Don't tell me, your information saved hundreds of people and they'll never know."
The Shipwreckers nod and start leading you through the city.
It's oddly peaceful. A few bar fights aside, you can't see so much as a robbery. They ultimately lead you to a large building made out of a large broken ship. It is one of the few heavily guarded buildings you've seen at all.>>25170
"No. My information has seen more people disappear or made into examples than you could even imagine.
This is why it is important that I know everything I can."
"Pretty nice zone." I comment.
The guards are stone faced about the comment.
Inside, you notice that not everyone is indeed wearing the eye patch.
"Cap'n is in her room upstairs. Look around if you wish, but do not keep her waiting"
"And is information your only concern? Or would you like to like a little money on the side?"
"You heard 'em!"
Look around a little first, what are the rooms like?
"I get paid well, I have no real need for extra money.
As such, I can also pay well for information.">>25176>>25175
You are in some sort of lounge.
Off yo the sides, you can see a training room, some kind of mess hall and kitchen, as well as various recreational rooms. There are stairs leading down, but those are guarded and seemingly off limits.
"Homely." Windows in this room?
Heavily barred, but yes.
Frown. "Lucky you."
"Those willing to supply me well will be equally well compensated.
Give me something worth knowing and you won't be going hungry."
Smart. Better go upstairs now..
"I'm afraid I know everything I need to know for tonight. And I don't trust people who have ample money with schemes."
The upstairs seems to have bedrooms and other locked rooms.
At the back is a more heavily guarded room with the door open.>>25183
"Let me tell you this much, Mr. Corso. I'd gladly work together with you, and I believe money and cooperation works better on you than threats. But I… -we- can't afford to block eachother. We have similar goals, and we should ensure they are reached. By any means necessary."
"Everyone's always a friend. Until they aren't."
Sounds like a clear direction to me.
Go toward the guarded room.
"So I'll take that as no then?">>25186>>25185
Inside the back room sits who you imagine is the Captain.
She too has the eyepatch, but the massive scarring on her face proves it is not a fashion statement.
She is also missing her left arm and leg. Her voice is raspy and dry, worn from years of shouting, sea air and drinking.
"So you lot are the Riverhold crew."
Patches nods "Yes ma'am. We are."
"Take it as a mild interest mixed with healthy skeptticism."
"If you ever wish to cooperate, you know where to find me.
Trust me. I know where to find you.
And so we return to the present
"That's us. Nice to meet you, Cap'n."
I took it upon myself to bring you here to meet me first, because I am the one in charge of this city. As something of a keeper of traditions, I will admit I have a degree of admiration for anyone still following the old Finger creeds. That, and I need your help more than anyone. I have many important allies and enemies in Dead Man's, and in return for their safety - and removal - I can offer much in the way of dismantling the Golden Dragons."
"I see.. How many are you talking here?" I look concerned.
"Only two very important allied, and one key enemy. Many more of secondary importance but they are not what I'm sending you in there for."
"Two more, they aren't horks or something are they?"
"My allies are called Stonerook and Reaver.
Stonerook is one of my assistants. A negotiator and accountant.
Reaver is one of my enforcers. Give her a weapon and she will clear a path through anything.
As for the target, he is an assassin who was sent after me once, but surrendered to go to prison before I could catch him. I don't let things like that slide. He is known as The Wiz - a finger like you, Patches."
"An assassin? How tough is this guy?"
"He got the name for being hard to kill.
But he also failed to kill me, so he is far from unstoppable."
I can't really look confident about this.
"Killing an Assassin, even locked up, sounds kinda suicidal."
"If you have somethign strong enough to break into there with, it should be enough to kill him anyway."
"Right, but if its not, if he escapes.."
"Then I'll kill him myself. Helping my people out takes priority."
Relax a little.
"Alright then, and in return for this, you'll help with the Golden Dragons? How so?"
"I know some things about their key locations and people.
But I need Reaver to ensure I can leverage this information to its full effect. Her, and the others the Black Skulls ans Brewguild want out of there. Together, we can crush the Dragons, but we need you
to unite us with this act of outsider goodwill."
I look to Patches for a reaction, she's our leader after all.
Patches is practically frozen with fear in here. She seems vastly out of her depth.
Oh. Carefully tap my fingers against each other in thought and pose a suggestion.
"We're just a small crew, no less capable than anyone. We're happy to help The Shipwreckers, just, Goodwill alone won't feed no one."
She rises up with more ease than you'd expect from a cripple.
"I have a fleet filled with veterans of hundreds of battles at my command. Name your targets among the dragons, and I will have their heads brought to you."
I keep as calm as a teen can in such a situation.
speak Fireheart, son of Ironhide. He has taken something important from us. Can you capture him?"
The captain raises the one brow she has
"Their leader's son?
I like your style. It's a deal."
Grin at her, standing as well to offer a hand shake.
"Please doing business with you Cap'n."
[Last 50 Posts]
"Now, let us go meet the other bosses to finalize the pacts."
NEXT TIME ON THE RUN
AND PRISON BLUES