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Author Topic: Back in the Day (Chapter I)  (Read 68423 times)

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #450 on: November 03, 2006, 11:42:50 PM »
--Vorodon lunged from the shattered bed and ran for the cave mouth, as fast as his legs could carry him. A stomach-turning scream of rage echoed throughout the cave, as Bigbones seethed at the amorous betrayal, herself vaulting from the bed with adequate agility for her size, and launching herself in pursuit of her erstwhile paramour.

Vorodon bled as he ran. He didn’t have to glance back to know that the woman was gaining, brandishing her blood-dripping, wicked bardiche, which was now meant for the back of his skull.

Just a few more leaps and bounds, the half-ogre surmised, and he would be outside. Then what? There would still be Mingo and Tib to deal with…and Bigbones.

The insane bandit swung her bardiche with deadly force, but running and frothing as she was, her aim was off, slicing only the back of Vorodon’s boot clean off on its downstroke, as the weapon bit momentarily into the soft earth of the cave floor.

She had missed, and had to pause to rip her weapon free again.

With one final burst, Vorodon exited the caveand emerged into the early afternoon downpour. As soon as he did, Vorodon froze in place, forgetting for a single moment that Bigbones was only seconds behind.

He could only stare at the bizarre collection of people now surrounding him in the rain. Quite suddenly, a man wielding a peculiar spear charged him silently, without advanced warning, and only from a few feet away. The blade was seemingly aimed at Vorodon’s meaty thigh.

Bigbones emerged, shouting with fury, blinking water out of her pig-eyes. She spotted the gathered host, and squinted, unsure for a moment, shaking her bardiche with an animal rage.

Vorodon’s eyes bulged briefly as he felt the warm blood flowing down the back of his leg, mixing with the rainwater. The panther-quick man had sliced a tendon with a curving arc of his spear. Vorodon was close to panic. The others surrounding him looked ready to finish him off. The half-ogre could see at least two bows poised to fire at him peripherally.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2006, 11:46:43 PM by Murometz »
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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #451 on: November 04, 2006, 12:39:07 AM »
“Don’t shoot!  I just come for party!  I not care who lead you brigands!  I not brigand!” the confused behemoth shouted as he stumbled, his leg suddenly failing under him. 

Seeing the group of violent strangers, he felt even more baffled!  “Who heck are you people?  Why for you attack me?  I not even KNOW you people!”

Vorodon’s command of the common tongue failed him as he tried to talk quickly.  How could he deal with all these strangers?  Were ALL the people around here insane? 

Deciding that these people probably weren’t with the bandits, he hoped they’d listen to him. “Mens I meet tell me big boss have party! They say need warriors, not say be bandits!  I just come meet big boss at party!  I not brigand!”

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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #452 on: November 04, 2006, 12:53:07 AM »
The big male whatever the hell he was wasn't a threat, not right now.  That big woman, though, that was another story.  Talia threw one of the fans, and it sprayed blood everywhere as it spun towards this new target.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #453 on: November 04, 2006, 02:12:56 AM »
Now it was a natural thing for Vee to spare a quick wink and half smile for the ladies, but attacking a woman was an alien thing to him, something reserved for the real butchers and brigands from the stories. He knew that he himself wasn't such a butcher. A nagging doubt popped up in the back of his mind...Pickles and Gren. They had been murdered.

But to call Bigbones a woman was a stretch on the term, or to be more precise, to brutally abuse it until it was left like too little shift over too much leg. It was almost with a sense of morbidity that Vee lworked the swing action of his crossbow, slipping a new bolt into the cradle and lifting it to his shoulder.

*****
'Steady! that thing's a weapon, not a blasted toy! If you can't be serious about this then you can go back to the other children and their quockerwodgers.' Lem had said, almost making a prepubescent Vee Keyold cry. The others were busy with dolls and wind-up toys, some were off in the pampered schools, but not Keykold. He was being trained with some of the other disenfranchised youths of Nimz. Stand on a wall, hold a shield or fire a crossbow. It was a good sign he had the bow and not the shield. The shield bearers were picked from the bottom of the class up. He worked the swing action, fumbling with the lock bolt. Many students messed it up, often dry firing their weapons, or sending half loaded bolts flickering through the air with much distress. Lem had been a good instructor, and as much of a father to him as his real father Olour Keykold, or his eventual patron the Lady Gemma of Atkinshire.

"Half of being a good soldier is being alive, dead people, contrary to necromancer bedtime stories, do not make good soldiers. You stay a good soldier by keeping your weapon in good working order. You stay a good soldier by not having accidents with your weapon. You stay a good soldier by remembering that heroics are no substitute for solid teamwork.' Lem had drilled into them. Vee lifted the weapon, feeling it's now familiar action. It had been so alien and frightening them, making him flinch when the string was released and snapped. He wasn't the best shot, but would have been marked for the 2nd Wall Corps, Gloribel Ward. It was better than ending up in one of the Field Corps, like the 'Dead Walking' of Santiv Ward, or the 'Blood-Letters' of Orzhol ward.

It wasnt long after that when he had been picked out of the ranks by a vision of female beauty, the Lady Gemma of Atkinshire. She had ridden into Nimz trailing wounded soldiers and injured horses in her wake, the side effect of another raider band that was getting closer to the city proper. The others had fled, but Vee had caught the reins of her injured horse and brought it to a stop, which combined with his boyish charm, rogue's grin, and developing physique gained him a place as one of her valets. It was not long, six months, until he was enlisted in the University of Nimz for higher education, and two years later that he was invited to her bedchamber for...private tutoring.

She was still out there somewhere, of the many people he wanted to impress, his intention towards his former patroness were to show her that she was right, and to the others, that he was right. It was a pity that Lord Atkinshire neglected such a beautiful woman, and then became so offended when he found other men 'tending his garden' as the local expression went.

*****

The sight settled into the middle of her imposing bulk, and far from the fumbling of his training days, his movements were calm, precise. The string released, the bolt fired from point blank range...

"twang...you're dead." Vee siad as he pulled the trigger.


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #454 on: November 04, 2006, 06:15:09 AM »
Tristan is most definately in good with his liege! thought Kadarin as he got up.  It appeared that what was left of the bandits was under control - they would not need his help with the She-Ogre.  Truth be told, he was not sure if he could again draw forth magic for a while.

He was curious over what happened to the crown after he Reduced it, so he walked over to where the Ghast so recently expired.


<ooc - looking for a tiny crown around the bits and pieces of ghast.  Kadarin will not pick it up with his hands if it is there, he will use a twig or some such..>

   
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #455 on: November 04, 2006, 06:49:53 AM »
The Ouzala tasted hot blood as the glass barbs sliced through the tendons of the creature. It stumbled to a kneel, leg giving out from beneath it, and Moruz had already raised his weapon again for a killing blow to the neck before Vorodon spoke in a confused, pleading tone. Moruz said nothing to the ogre, however his hand paused in it's swing; Moruz decided the creature was more or less incapacitated at the moment anyway, so instead of finishing Vorodon he, too, changed his focus to the large woman who lumbered out just after the man.
Moruz blinked as a droplet of blood struck his cheek - Talia's Battle-fan was streaking towards Bigbones, a splattering of Mingo's life-blood flying in all directions - and he heard Vee utter "Twang... You're dead." softly before firing his bolt. Moruz remained where he was, between the half-ogre and the enormous woman. His barbed spear was held defensively.

<<Moruz will hold back in a defensive stance to see how those two projectiles work out. If they don't kill or incapacitate Bigbones, he'll step in to help out. No need to risk getting in too close range of that bardiche when arrows/fans can work nicely.>>
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #456 on: November 04, 2006, 10:01:47 AM »
As Jjuldae left the Inn, he made a secret sign towards the old woman, hoping against hope that she understood the Old Ways, and then turned away into the mist.
"I am of solitary and cool manners, mountain child. But perhaps there is another purpose for which I might steer you. I know of a travesty against nature, a creature crafted by mortal magic beyond any greater purpose. Even now the forest weeps at its rapaciousness."
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #457 on: November 04, 2006, 11:41:06 AM »
Last One Standing

--As Vorodon staggered to one knee he watched as this brazen troupe focused their aggression on Bigbones. A crossbow bolt, bit into her flesh and into her spleen. A bizarre, whirling, projectile Vorodon could not even recognize, sailed past the giantess, but not before cutting a bloodied line on the side of her bulbous head, slicing her ear clean off, along with a clump of meat and greasy, bristled, hair.

Somehow the big woman ignored the pain, and merely stood there dazed for a moment. When she spied the fallen Mingo however, face down in a watery ditch, Bigbones bellowed with the rage, her twisted visage radiating hatred. With one last burst of her inhuman strength and agility, the Senan Karnat charged blindly at her closest standing adversary, Moruz, just as an arrow from Aerex’ bow speared her left shoulder blade.

--Moruz braced himself, the ouzala’s point measuring the coming juggernaut’s form. The two warriors struck simultaneously. Moruz managed to partially block the coming pole-arm and instead of the blade decapitating the Ouzquin Dremorix, he was instead smashed in the nose with the weapon’s shaft. He felt tears stream from his eyes, blood splatter from his face and heard the crackle of cartilege and bone. A small price to pay the warrior morbidly thought, as his grip on his own spear remained strong. The ouzala had entered through the ribcage of the giant woman, and was now pushed up and through her neck due to the force of her advance, causing an avalanche of blood to drench the already rain-drenched Moruz. The glass warrior wrenched the barbed weapon free, and the flesh-rendered mongrel Volgotoi collapsed in the mud.

Only the companions, the Adventurers-Upon-Return, remained standing amid the gruesome scene now. As if guided by some Mad God of theatre and drama, the rain suddenly subsided. Mist rose up from countless flooded ditches. The companions felt the warmth of the air. For a few seconds no one spoke.

For a moment, still on one knee, Vorodon entertained the overly optimistic notion that these butchers had forgotten about him, or better yet, that he had somehow turned invisible.


--Fifty yards away, Kadarin poked through the brown water and mud near where the halfling ghast had been eradicated by Tristan. Finally feeling something hard with his laurel stick, the young mage looped something and brought it out of the muck.

The spell’s effects had worn off now, and the crown was its regular size. It was not much to look upon, yet it still managed to send a shiver down Kadarin’s spine.

It was a plain, cold, gray, thing of iron. Yet somehow, Kadarin could not look away.
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #458 on: November 04, 2006, 08:11:22 PM »
Moruz staggered back, dropping his Ouzala to the ground for the moment. The glass shifter raised his good hand up to his face, and placed his first and middle fingers either side up the top of his crushed nose. Two seconds were taken to steel himself mentally before he ripped his fingers down quickly, screaming shortly at the pain: Doing this realigned the cartilage of his nose to prevent disfigurement, but it had to be done while the cartilage was still soft - as soon as possible after it had been broken.
Blood flowed freely from his nose, and if in insult to him the cleansing rain stopped and a mist rose. All was silent for a moment and finally Moruz -with one hand held to his face still - turned and peered nuetrally at Vorodon. The glass shifter regarded the half-ogre for a moment before glancing to the cleric of Trigu, "Tristan - are you able to heal this...?" he nodded his head at Vorodon who was bleeding freely from an axe-wound in the side and a nasty gash on one of his thighs. Pain pierced Moruz's head as he spoke, and with his free hand, he leaned against the side of the cave wall.
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Offline Pariah

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #459 on: November 04, 2006, 08:47:39 PM »
"Why do I call you that?  I think it's rather simple, for once.  You see, since I've known you, you've know a great many things that you have no right knowing, and you hide them all in you like the soul of Koschei was hidden in ducks and eggs."

Dujek watched as the ghast exploded, in some excessive show of divine force, simply ceasing to exist.  The crown shrinking while it did, dissappearing in the bloody mist.

"Master, these gods and their 'powers.'  Always wanting to show them off to everyone watching, friend or foe, but at least this one decided against sending lightning from the heavens to obliterate all of the impure.

Dujek waited a moment, then started towards the remains of the ghast, what little pieces of bone and flesh that remained.  Seeing the other mage, the young kid, walk over to the crown and stoop down, his eyes held as if mesmerized by some obscene amount of gold.  Slapping it off of the boy's stick with his cane, Dujek reached into his bag for some loose cloth to cover it.

"Don't look at it, don't touch it, don't think about it.  At least not until one of us figures out just exactly what it is.  Nothing that plain looking that manages to grab your attention like that is ever any good, kid."
One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.  Orwell

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #460 on: November 04, 2006, 11:58:13 PM »
Seeing the giant in good hands, be it for healing or dispatching, Vee headed into the cavern and found the treasure chests. His heart skipped a beat as he surveyed the splendor of wealth hidden in the recesses of the cave. Wonderous really, it was enough that he could have paid off his debt to Gemma as well as possibly setting himself up quite nicely in some sort of curio shop. Not that he intended to settle down or anything, but the potential was there. His hands flickered across the coins and jewels on one bax, but he moved to another finding it's treasures all the more pleasing. He picked up a prayer book to Ixia, the Goddess of the Silver Forge. It was intimated that the clerics of Ixia were also wise in the contrivance of gears and such, some were quite interested in the basics of K'tonian design.

"Now, how do we haul it back without getting it all looted from us?" he said aloud. Another unspoken question was what could they do with it. There was probably too much loot in the heap to move it through Ganse, what little they took off of Red Hatchet was hard enough to sell, let alone this amount of gold and silver. A good bit of it could certainly go to purchasing some better armor for moruz, maybe a nice set of steel gauntlets. With some time and some coils and springs, he might even be able to fashion some simulacra fingers for the glass-shifter. They would only work as long as he had the gauntlets on but it would add to his grip, plus steel was always good to have.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2006, 12:03:03 AM by Scrasamax »


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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #461 on: November 05, 2006, 01:25:55 AM »
Talia followed Vee into the cave, stopping to retrieve her fan.  She ran an eye over the treasure chests, then dismissed them.  She'd done what she meant to do.  She stopped when she saw the goods that had belonged to her caravan.  She closed her eyes briefly, and felt a tear run down the side of her face.  That's all that's left?  They killed everyone... for this?  She noticed a dull pain for the first time.  A hundred people... for so little. 
__________________________________

"I would take it as an honor if you decide to wear my silks on your wedding day, little Bladedancer."
"Granpapa wanted me to wear the silver ones.  He said my mother wore them on her wedding day."
"Ah, but silver goes with all.  No one makes finer red silk than my line.  It would be a fitting thing, if you wore them on the day when you became a part of it."
"That isn't decided, Caravan Master.  Ilos may not like me.  "
"Nonsense.  He knows my mind on this.  I'm still his father."
"I heard that he wanted to marry someone else."
"Simple camp gossip.  Don't worry about it, my dear.  He'll come to his senses."

___________________________________

She supposed, technically, that the silk and the rugs and Konos's potions were hers now; she was one of only two left of the caravan.  She didn't want it.  She glanced at Vee, the pointed at the chest containing the things from her caravan.  "Those things.  Three of the bolts of fabric I want to remove from general consideration.  It's not all mine to give.  The rest of it can be divided or sold however."  She'd send the silk to Loiha.  She had as much right to them as Talia did.  More, maybe.
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #462 on: November 05, 2006, 05:39:27 AM »
"Ey, travesty against nature?" Glordren studied the druid with his sparkling eyes. As soon as you see a guy with feathers and skulls and teeth on his cloth, preferrably with warpaint and furs to boot, you are sure to hear about a travesty against nature sooner or later, learning right thereafter that said monster was a young lad with his wife who dared to chop down a few stupid trees to build a cabin. "What does said travesty do? Rob travellers of their honestly earned coin, take captives we could liberate, or amass illegal treasure by extorting labourious farmers?" Glordren askd, eyeing the weeping skies. "What say you, mother nature? If we smite it, will you stop smiting us with this rain?"

Water falling from the sky. Sheesh. Overrated.
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #463 on: November 05, 2006, 02:03:42 PM »
Aerex's eyes widened as they examined the chests.  "These are Imperial bars!" he said with a bit of surprise.  "Huh.  I would've figured them smart enough to melt them down. "  He gingerly stood up, keeping weight off his hurt leg.  "We should return these to the nearest Imperial treasury station.  There's one in Ganse...  I think there may be one east of here, an outpost."  They'll be wanting this back, he thought happily.  The rest of the treasure, save the religious goods and the gypsy plunder, probably could not be accounted for; it only made sense for them to share the loot.
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #464 on: November 05, 2006, 03:38:00 PM »
The massive half-breed reflected that he couldn’t remember ever having a worse day in his entire life.  ”… except maybe that time I tried Thanatosian Firewater,” he recalled with a slight shudder.

Of course, the time he let that friendly man from the Falthian Ducal Guard give him a coin had been a pretty bad one, too.  It had taken over two years to sort that one out, but at least he got some new clothes out of the deal.  And, in the army, nobody seemed to think that he was unusually thick-headed.

And he couldn’t forget the incident when he ate that annoying man from the Capitol.  The man’s friends from the army seemed awfully interested in finding Vorodon after that, and Vorodon was pretty sure that they didn’t want to just chat.

So, it was all a matter of perspective.  Being almost eaten by shrimpy little ghouls, almost getting recruited by that lying jerk Mingo, getting hit by a deranged wench with a rusty polearm, almost seducing that revolting woman, and getting hamstrung by another polearm, this one wielded by some sort of foreign weirdo…

A little agonzing pain, humiliation, and possible imminent death:  All in all, it was a pretty standard day for Vorodon.

The huge warrior would have preferred to flee, but with his leg wound and two of them armed with crossbows, that wasn’t possible.  He’d have to deal with these strange people.  Fortunately, one of them appeared to be a priest of Trigu, judging by his holy symbol. They generally were kind folk, if he could just convince the man that he wasn’t a brigand.  He’d probably better not try to discuss the whole eating people issue, though.  The priests of Trigu were generally against that, as he recalled.

The hulking warrior tried to make sure that he spoke slowly, as he needed to choose his words carefully.  These people hadn't taken his weapons, but the small one with the hat seemed more than ready to shoot him down if his hand strayed too close to his quiver full of darts.  "I am not with these... brigands.  I... just... came here...last night, because one of the vormiss with that one," here he pointed to the bloody remains of Mingo, "tell me that a band of warriors want my Chollz... Pow err... to help them.  He said that... their leader was celebrating and I would be quppad...werr come... to join them.  I did not know that they were brigands, I was tell they were warriors.  I can... prove... that I were in Ganse before that.  My buddy from Army, in Ganse... onguard there.  He tell you I not brigand."
« Last Edit: November 05, 2006, 03:42:01 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #465 on: November 05, 2006, 04:03:52 PM »
"Return 'em to an Imperial Treasury Station?" Vee said, hefting one of the silver bars, "I think not my good Inspector. Now, before you pull your sword on me, perhaps you'll give me a moment to explain." Vee spoke cooly, dropping the silver back into the chest. It was a nice amount of money but the danger of turning it in was too much for his tastes. "You see, Imperials don't very often reward people. Sure you hear about Redgar and Mialee and the rest of them gallavanting around for this Imperial Satrap and this provincial lord. They are famous, they would be missed. Us? We're just a bunch of fresh fish. We bring in all of this silver it won't take long for a finger to be pointed at us." Vee said, holding a bolt for his crossbow, the point of is placed into the palm of his hand.

"You see. This much silver means pretty much nothing to the Empire. It is a pittiance to them. But examples, scapegoats, those are much more valuable. I don't want to be put to the question by Imperial Interrogators, I don't want to hand over every valuable I have to please some fourth tier petty beurocrat in Ganse. I don't want my neck in the noose to be some scroll-scribbler's ticket to a better job in a real town rather than in Ganse." Vee's hand clenched the bolt, his knuckles white. "Because that is what happens, Inspector. Especially in little piss-pit places like Ganse. Heck, the silver might never be recovered, only us thieves caught and hung where no one can see..." Vee let the words trail off.

Sure they had rescued some people, and had done a pretty good thing taking care of Jervoe and Mingo, but he had neither trust or love for the powers that be. All too often he had seen people taken by the Imperials, trumped up charges, sedition, whatever. If they wanted rid of you, you were gone. Vee had decided that the best way to avoid those people was to no go looking for rewards and bounties from the Empire. "I say we take what we can carry, and leave the silver bars here. Let the Inspector lead some men from the Treasury station out here and let them recover the bars. Safer for all of us." Vee said, looking at Matare.

(OOC - Vee made me write that, he has issues with authority. Plus I think it could set us up for some IC downtime, where we are able to 'fast forward' through a week or two so Kadarin can do the Identify spell on the lewtz, we can 'level up' and go shopping without hitting the minutae and loosing our momentum. Aerex can lead some Imperials to the cave, recover the silver, loot can be sold or fenced as the need may be.)


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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #466 on: November 05, 2006, 04:19:53 PM »
"I have to agree with Vee.  Leave the marked bars for someone else.  It would be foolish to return them, for one reason or another.  I don't know what sheltered world you grew up in, but a gypsy, an outlander, two mages, and a couple others of possibly questionable morals?  No."  Talia shook her head.  She was studying the piles of loot, trying to figure out a way to get them to a town safely.  "Maybe they'd let you and the priest go.  Maybe.  I doubt it.  Besides, we have enough to carry."
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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #467 on: November 05, 2006, 09:07:29 PM »
Aerex snorted.  "Deviants," he muttered under his breath.  The comment stung his pride more than anything: though he remained loyal to the sovereignty of the Empire, his all-too-short career in the Royal Constabulary showed him dark sides he never wished to see...

-------------

The Captain of the Guard stared at Aerex's report in the candle-lit office, his eyes hard and firey.  His gaze shifted up to Aerex, then back at the paper.

Investigator Matare stood at attention, his bronze rank insignia reflecting the yellow-orange light.  He's shocked, Aerex thought with a bit of awe.  He had never seen Captain Therond anything but stoic and unmoved.  Now he saw beads of sweat growing on the captain's quickly narrowing brow.  He had every right to be shocked, of course.  Aerex's investigation had blown the cover off deep corruption, years of bribery, smuggling, assassinations, intimidation.

Captain Therond slowly lowered the sheafs of paper and folded his hands, his eyes still locked on the document.  "What..."  He cleared his throat.  "What conclusions have you drawn from this investigation, Matare?"

"Sir, I believe offices as high as the duke's personal secretary may be involved, all the way down to beat officers," Aerex snapped, his words formed with military precision.  "A deep portion of the civil servants of Jantir are involved in a long-standing corruption scheme.  Sir."

Therond breathed loudly, shaking his head in disbelief.  He leaned back in his chair sharply, drawing his hand across his round face and large moustache.  "And what do you propose we do about this, Investigator?" he asked in a strange tone.

Aerex blinked.  "I am not sure, sir.  I was hoping you had some ideas."

The Captain coughed.  It sounded forced.  He leaned forward again, clasping his hands.  "This is a delicate situation, you understand.  We couldn't move against everyone you've accused here, not without evidence."

Aerex's brow furrowed.  "But... Sir, I've provided substantial evidence-"

"You have old paper and dead witnesses," Therond snapped.  "It won't stand in court."

Aerex pursed his lips.  "Sir, with all due respect, we cannot trust the court.  Judicator Hathio -"

Therond's fist slammed down on the desk, causing the candlelight to flicker.  "Judicator Hathio is a trusted member of the court.  You will not slander him!"  The Captain was close to shouting now, his round cheeks darkening with rage and sweat beading on his shaved head.  He glared at the investigator.  "I don't know what you're trying to pull, what rank you expect to get, but inventing conspiracies is no way to go about it.  It's unfitting of an officer!"

Aerex's throat tightened.  "Sir," he said, daring not to raise his voice, "I invented nothing.  You see the evidence - that report is two years worth of work."

"Two years wasted," the Captain growled.  He reached for the wooden filing cabinet behind his desk.  "I'm transferring you immidiately.  You'll now work the Gantor District beat."  Aerex started to open his mouth, but it quickly snapped shut as Therond leveled a finger at him.  "I don't want to hear of any more stories of wild machinations or imperial treachery from your mouth or your reports ever again.  I consider your report treason, but I'll be merciful and not report you to the courts."  He pulled Aerex's file from the cabinet, flung it open, and slammed a stamp on it.  It sounded like a hammer nailing a coffin shut.

But... Aerex thought.  What had he done wrong?  This case was a shock, sure, but his evidence was solid as a cornerstone.  There's no way these people would not be found guilty by an arbitrary court.  If the Captain cared for justice-

His mind froze.  Of course!  He's covering his tracks!  Matare's jaw nearly dropped.  He knew there was corruption in the police force, but the Captain?  Therond was the one that granted him admission to the Constabulary Academy at only 16.  He had been one of the major forces in Aerex's life.  And now he was nothing but a dirty cop?  It was too much to bear.

"Is that clear, Matare?" Therond barked, glaring at him in the flickering light.

Aerex blinked.  "Yes, sir."

-------------

"Fine.  Leave the bars here, I'll find the treasury officials in the next town."  He hobbled away from the group, silently seething.
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #468 on: November 05, 2006, 11:04:30 PM »
Vorodon sat on the muddy ground, trying not to move.  Anything he did that didn’t send shooting pain from his leg, made the slash in his side burn and ache.  The rags he was able to scrounge to bind his wounds didn’t seem to help much.

Watching the group squabble over whether the treasure was safe to bring back to town made the wounded hulk uneasy.  These people were deeply divided, and some of them were obviously skeptical of his claim not to be one of the brigands.  If he could convince that cleric to help him, he might be able to get his leg to support his weight without buckling.  Vorodon wasn’t sure how he could get the man’s aid; he wasn’t very good at explaining things.

Perhaps the one that the others called “Insecter” could help him.  “Mister Insecter, I for real know man in Ganse onguard!  He straight arrow, no do wrong.  If you no talk to Imperial until lots of locals telled, they no can no turn you into goats.  Too many people talks true tale instead."
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #469 on: November 05, 2006, 11:56:51 PM »
Aerex turned and looked at the creature.  He had seen orcs and half-ogres in Jantirian markets before; this one seemed to be of their brood.  Though a violent race, many were bound by honor and law.  That much the inspector could respect.

He was still peeved, however.  "I don't know what you're saying, ogre," he snapped.  He caught himself immidiately after with a tinge of regret.  They were often - or at least sometimes - honor bound.  It was unlikely the being would lie; after all, what advantage would he have being brought to the guard in Ganse?  Aerex tried to venture a guess as to what he was saying.

"So if we spread word around town before contacting the treasury officials, word'll spread and they'll be more likely to believe us.  That what you're trying to say?"  He paused and thought.  "Well, we'll probably need to head back to town anyway before moving on.  I'm not sure how far the outpost is from here, and with my leg..."  Aerex glanced up at the man-beast again.  "What did you say your name was?"
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #470 on: November 06, 2006, 12:39:09 AM »
Talia was silent when the ogre said what he had to say.  It was possible, she supposed, that he was right.  Maybe she was just being overly cynical to think the town guard would get wind of it and step in quickly to take the credit, or that they'd get thier throats cut by some hard-up idiot.  She shrugged.  Aerex could do what he wanted with the bars; it wasn't like they could use them.  She looked at the ogre speculatively.  Her caravan had never had dealings with his kind, but she'd heard stories.  But stories being what they were...  Between her and Moruz, they could handle him.  If they needed it, the others could back him up.  She pulled a roll of bandages out, then tossed them to the ogre.  "Here.  Those rags'll be worse than nothing, and I don't know that Tristan's up for another healing."  She looked at the cleric.  "Oi.  Are you up for another healing?"
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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #471 on: November 06, 2006, 01:33:49 AM »
Moruz had been quiet while the group perused the cave and found the treasure; the glass shifter stayed outdoors, leaning against the wall of the cave entrance with one hand to his face and the other held firmly on his Ouzala. He had been watching the giant man silently, both keeping a guard on him and also simply studying the creature: He hadn't seen any humanoid like this before; at least he had heard of gnolls, but the tall, pale and vein-riddled creature before him was completely new. When Talia tossed the bandages to Vorodon, the Ouzquin Dremorix spoke again, "If the priest is unable to heal your wounds, I will stitch them." It didn't hurt quite as much to talk, now, and the blood which was flowing so freely from his nose before was now only pulsing out in a slow trickle. Still, a crushed nose didn't heal overnight - he was going to be sore for some weeks to come.

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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #472 on: November 06, 2006, 08:20:10 PM »
The massive figure took a deep breath and sat up straighter as he began to intone his name and lineage, almost as if it were some sort of well-practiced ritual chant, “I am Vorodon, Volgottor of the Volgotoi Peoples; bornson of Gorye, the Volgotoi Champion of Cottar's Bale; Heir Trianni of the line of Cahuu’ga, heer'editar keepers of the Sacred Blade of Go’raam.”

Taking another deep breath, Vorodon continued, his rumbling voice somewhat less confident, “I was give my Warrior’s Axe at my 14th day of birth, and have go my Name Quest on my 16th day of birth.  I join Ducal Guard by for mistake coin and serve Honor well:  Guard go from, after time go all.  Since come Ganse, I no find work, no kill nobody, no hire town guard, for am Volgottor and peoples no want.  Lots of people lies here.”  Pausing a moment to summarize this impressive, if garbled, oration, he concluded, “Vorodon am here now.”

Gently pulling a dart from his quiver, he held it out sideways to the man the others called “Insecter”, “Share iron, no enemies.  Good?”
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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #473 on: November 06, 2006, 09:30:56 PM »
Tristan shook his head wearily from where he had been sitting on the ground since the end of the fighting. "It is possible that I could entreat my Lord for more of His Healing, but banishing that last abomination drained me immensely. I also don't wish to be irreverent with the power He has vested in me, especially after such a powerful working. But I will try."
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Re: Back in the Day (Chapter I)
« Reply #474 on: November 06, 2006, 10:52:39 PM »
The humourless druid gazed upward.
"There was once a proverb, among my people: it is a useless game to chastise the rain."
He closed his eyes, but his gaze remained- staring orbs were tattooed upon his eyelids.
"This creature is no natural birth. It is conceived of a curse of man, born into a screaming unnatural childhood. The gods among settled men, your so called 'sorcerors', have tampered with powers beyond their understanding. It is thus doubly an abomination, a stain on nature, a teratoma. The Old Ways demand that such a thing, such a miscarriage of the power allotted to men for the unknown purposes of the gods, would be destroyed- yet it is not so. It remains loosed upon the world, with none now to defend against it, not even my former brothers, who have turned their backs on us all. I know not what this thing be but that it be a thing which must be wiped from the earth."
Jjuldae ceased his soliloquoy, his arms outspread, looking all the more like some kind of vast condor, with his fingers clutching at invisible throats and limbs.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2006, 11:49:01 PM by CaptainPenguin »
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