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Author Topic: Reckonings (Chap III)  (Read 21026 times)

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2007, 09:23:03 PM »
For several hopeful moments the drunken guards put up a spirited fight, but as quickly as the melee sparked, it quickly extinguished. The guards did not have a chance. Whoever had encouraged the companions and provided them the time and place for their reckoning, knew what they were doing.

When it was all said and done, three guards remained. Aerex bolt had penetrated a guard’s eye socket, only moments earlier, Kyrian had felled the pikeman, piercing the man’s spine with his stylized blade, and Vorodon had rapidly dispatched the man who had wounded his leg, side-stepping the attacker’s second attack, despite the gash in his thigh, and then smashing two darts into each of the man’s ears.

The four remaining froze now in confusion and horror. The young guard near the dartboard was crouching, but still somewhat defiantly holding out his dirk in defense. Bauer sat on the couch, in the exact spot Kyrian had bade him to sit, and didn’t move. His grizzled features showed both fear and defiance, simultaneously.

The last guard attacking Vorodon had surrendered, dropping his weapon, and heeding Talia’s words.

Before anyone could act, Vorodon stomped over to where Bauer was sitting, lifted the man forcibly off the divan, and questioned him excitedly, in a more broken common than usual.

It turned out Bauer was one of the men who had raped Maegla. He denied it of course, denied it to the end, but Vorodon had stared him down, as the guardsman spoke, and the half-ogre was now slowly shaking his massive head…Bauer smelled of lies.

While the second guard panted for breath, the third, the young man, once more examined Talia, as a fox might examine a wolf.

“You—I am Iscar, from Jantir. My father, against my will---sends me here for some indiscretions--well, that doesn’t matter. I’m not really one of them. I was sent to the frontier you see, didn’t cut mustard as a real city guardsman. I’ve arrived just days ago, and am now stuck with this abusive bunch! But, more than that…. I, I mean, well, your hair! Its--like his"

As Aerex looked about the room, he could hear other guards downstairs. There was some commotion and argument, and then the further sound of guard boots, climbing stairs.

Inspector Aerex Matare, rather the erstwhile inspector, now ranger Aerex Matare, looked about once more, and figured it was up to him to do the talking. He braced himself, as eight or ten guards, Ort Baslo among them, approached the doorway to the blood-splashed gambling parlor, and looked upon the scene.

Voro glared at Bauer.

Kyrian smiled and examined his weapon, turning it in the flickering, oil-lamp light.

Talia wiped her fans clean, methodically, yet almost affectionately, as the youth addressed her with his sudden stream of consciousness.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2007, 09:38:39 PM »
Talia decided to let Aerex handle explanations; she didn't imagine her words would carry much weight.  She stepped closer to the young guard, speaking in a low voice so as not to distract the others.  "All right, all right, calm down.  You're not with them, that's fine, we got what we came for.  I don't suppose there will be much problem with the guardsmen now.  Now will you please calm down enough to tell me what it is you're babbling about?  What about my hair?"  She was used to her silver-blond hair getting stares and occassionally remarks, it was fairly unusual, particularly among the dark haired gypsies.  But that didn't explain his reaction.
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2007, 11:12:05 PM »
Aerex stepped toward the door as the bewildered, shocked, or angered guards - some all three - took in the scene.  He raised his bow in the air, clutching his side with his other arm.  "Do not be shocked, brothers," he began, summoning his best speaking voice.  "You are not foolish men; you surely saw this coming.  Hepple Farax was a sick, vile, wicked man.  Ort, I know you hated to serve under him, and rightly so.  You, Garith, you told me he insulted your family more than once, remember?" He began to pace across the room, leaving slick bloody bootprints on the aging wood.  "But he was worse than that, worse than some of you may have known.  Perversion, blackmail, slander - mere toys in his eyes.  But even those are dwarfed by his personal hatred.  Rape and murder, brothers, that's the cause of the death before you.  The blood spilt here is that of a ravager and brutish assassin.  To some of you, this may be a shock.  You'll probably want to blame my Volgottir friend.  But do you blame a bear if it mauls one that enters its den?  Do you blame the rain for flooding not only the crops of your enemy, but your own?  Nor should you blame him.  What played out here was nature.  You are men of law, brothers; nature too has its law.  You may call it vigilantism if you wish, but know this: the justice reaped here today is worth no less than a judge's ruling.  This man killed and corrupted the law, tried to put himself above it.  Now he's been placed firmly under its tread.
"Now is the time to show your loyalty, brothers.  And you as well, men of tainted honor," he said, pointing at Iscar and the other guard that had surrendered.  "You must decide today on where you will place your arms.  If you side with evil, you've two choices: flee from this place and never return, or fight us.  You will not gain either way.  Or, you may side with law.  Be that the case, you have the task of throwing off the old cloak of deception and rebuilding the character of this troupe.  Now I've worked in Jantir with the Imperial City Constabulary, and I can say with honesty that the men before me have equal or greater potential than anyone or anything that's come down from those marble steps.  You have the opportunity to become great.  Or..."  He paused dramatically, slowly gesturing to the back of the room where Farax's bloody corpse stained the floor and Vorodon held the pitiful Bauer by the throat.  "Or you could join them in your just fate.  Now, which will you choose?"
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #53 on: May 21, 2007, 04:13:16 PM »
"Your hair is like his", Iscar quietly uttered in responce. "The new High Consul of Jantir's Court of Eleven and One.... was an underling on his staff, when he was climbing the ranks, you see, and--"

Iscar stopped talking and considered. This woman wouldnt know what he was talking about, the young guard thought, much less who he was talking about. A gypsy or a mummer from the looks of her. Deadly to be sure, but most likely oblivious of Jantir's politics, he thought as he dumbly stared at her and her companions, hoping their bloodthirst had abated.

"The most powerful man in Jantir at the moment...looks like he could be your father", he summed up jokingly, impressed with himself, as he noticed the look on Talia's face. It was just a jest, why is she looking at me like that, he wondered.

He had also noticed the look that Aerex had given him. The uniform, the chapeau..here was a man of Jantir, Iscar thought.

Aerex had finished speaking with the guards. After some deliberation, the city guard of Ganse had decided the matter of the much hated, but feared Hepple Farax and his goons would go the way of other unpleasantries....it would be forgotten, just like everything unpleasant was quickly forgotten in sleepy Ganse. It was decided that the guards would send an official notice back to the uncaring capital, claiming that the Lieutenant's demise occured at the hands of brazen bandits.

It was that simple. No one wanted undue trouble, and though the guards were satisfied, and even secretly impressed with the bravery and decisiveness of Aerex and his companions, the guards wanted this episode over and done with.

Vorodon and Bauer, on the other hand, were far from finished. It was decided that Vorodon could do with the blackguard what he wished...much to Bauer's fear, as Farax' cronie was expalined his fate.

All four companions meanwhile, were invited to a great feast, celebrating Hepple's death. The gathering would also include a secret balloting, in order to determine a new lieutenant for the Gansian Guard.

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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 Ria Hawk

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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #54 on: May 21, 2007, 05:43:08 PM »
Talia stared at the young guard, at a loss.  She didn't know what to think.  He probably meant it as a joke, but she didn't find it at all funny.  Oh, she'd known her father was tola, an outsider, but she'd always assumed he'd been a caravan messenger, never spending more than a few months with one caravan before moving to the next.  She barely remembered him, and her grandfather and Konos had never spoken of him when they knew she could hear.  In fact, it was only an accident that she'd overheard granpapa mentioning her father might be in Jantir.  Surely, the man this soldier spoke of... well, he couldn't really be her father, right?  Given her grandfather's opinions of sil-tola, he'd never have allowed her mother to marry one.  It was possible that Talia's hair color was a little more common in Jantir.
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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #55 on: May 22, 2007, 03:04:53 AM »
While feasting and balotting was soon to happen, Kyrian reminded himself of the task at hand - while the men of the watch were occupied with their future, he was busy with the fate of another. The sole hint as to Amelissan vanHal's whereabouts pointed to all-but-forgotten Ganse.
Leaning against the Volgottir who was busy shaking the spirit out of Bauer, he tossed a remark in: "Easy with the fellow, brave Vorodon, he is but human and not made for too much shaking. Rather ask him, the proverbial raven upon the gallows, whether he has seen another lady fair, flaming of hair and fair of skin, fiery of spirit and noble of kin, Amelissan by name, wander through this den of shame? One eye of turquoise had she, one of sky blue, fey of appearance and opinion, white owl upon her shoulder tender, wizard's gown 'round count'nance slender?"

Looking at both Vorodon's and Bauer's features, he added: "A girl I seek, some Amelissan, a noble, wizard to boot. A funny white bird had she, redhead, two strange eyes. Quite the chick, from what I hear."
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #56 on: May 22, 2007, 11:59:21 AM »
(OOC: After an intimidate check...)

While the guardsmen and his compatriots wrangled, Vorodon kept Bauer pinned against the wall, the man’s arm savagely twisted behind him.  The blackguard squirmed at first, but all his energy seemed to leave him as he realized that the other guardsmen planned to abandon him to the Half-Ogre’s doubtlessly grisly vengeance.

Vorodon leaned forward, his gravelly voice rumbling into Bauer’s ear.  “Guard of Ganse like Bauer no very much… Give Bauer for to Vorodon.  Bauer hurted friend Bross, help Leftenant hurt nice blind lady:  Now Bauer’s turn hurt.  Fair… fair!”

Vorodon could almost feel the lies forming in the man’s mind as the desperate guardsman tried to escape the vengeful Volgottir’s wrath.  “Guys!  Help me!  This… creature… isn’t human!  I have…”

A cruel twist of the prisoner’s arm interrupted his pleas.

“Vorodon name Bauer hurt raper!  Vorodon name Bauer stab backer!” the hill warrior’s deep voice rang out.  “Holmgone shellange Vorodon if for no truth!”

The panicky man started babbling, “But, but...” and Vorodon’s fist slammed into his kidney, dropping him to his knees.

“Coward!  Shellange if for no truth!  Shellange and fight, or Vorodon tear break arm!”

Despite the pain, a faint hope flickered across Bauer’s face.  If this “Homegone” was similar to the Holmgang challenges common a hundred years earlier (before they were outlawed in most lands), they were fought to first blood, not to the death.  This might be his only chance!

“All right!  All right! I challenge you!  Now let me go!”
« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 12:02:09 PM by Wulfhere »
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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #57 on: May 22, 2007, 01:01:31 PM »
"Hey, slow and easy there. He did surrender, after all. Let him sing, and judge then, if what he says has some worth!"
To Aerex, Kyrian tossed his gaze, and shook his head. "Somehow, I hoped to find the wayward damsel here, all hog-tied in a dungeon, with some misshapen creature standing guard. But, we're not made for the easy path, are we? Do you happen to know anything, sir? Or, for that matter, any of you in here?"

Help for help - it was a fair deal. Kyrian stood there, waiting for anyone to shed insight into his quest.
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #58 on: May 22, 2007, 02:00:09 PM »
"I'll take what we can get," Aerex replied to Kyrian, waving his hand dismissively.  He decided not to interfere with Vorodon's efforts for vengeance.  If dueling was the way of his people, then Bauer would be subject to it.  There was no need for a meddling constable to intrude.

Besides, there were other pressing matters.  Aerex stood next to Talia, who was staring at the surrendered guard with a somewhat dumbfounded look on her face.  Matare's newly enhanced ranger ears had heard their exchange.  "Is he telling the truth?" he murmured to her, an elbow still holding in his wounded side.  "Is your father really in Jantir?"  Aerex had recalled seeing white-haired men in the capitol before, but none of them stood out in his mind as the gypsy's parent.
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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #59 on: May 22, 2007, 06:45:02 PM »
"I... don't know.  I mean, I'd heard he might be, but that would just be silly, right?"  She frowned.  She hoped the kid was joking; meeting her father was already going to be awkward enough.
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Re: Reckonings (Chap III)
« Reply #60 on: May 31, 2007, 06:28:09 PM »
Last Night in Ganse?

The duel between the half-ogre and the blackguard did not last as long as some of the onlookers and impromptu gamblers had hoped.

For six hours, long after the exhausted companions had returned to the inn in order to recuperate from their assault, Bauer was grilled by the city guard…and then jailed, along with the few remaining guards still loyal to the deceased Farax. Having been explained that one of his punishments for his countless transgressions while serving as Farax willing crony, would be to face the determined Volgottor in a duel as the half-ogre had decreed, Bauer paled but remained silent.

Meanwhile, Aerex, Talia, Kyrian, and Vorodon had slept, and later, rested and cleaned up, the foursome had returned to the barracks to be fêted properly, as the guards had suggested.

Ort Baslo, the freshly elected Captain of the Gansian guard, (after all, Lieutenant Hepple Farax had kept his rank from his days in the Empires army) greeted the companions with his usual non-emotion, but the rest of the guards were thrilled to be rid of the corrupt menace (not to mention serial rapist) and his closest cohorts.

That night, the companions and guards ate and drunk in a low-key, but spirited celebration. Previously, when the companions had returned with Jervoes head, Aerex had been received like a hero and given the title of honorary Gansian guardsman. Now Vorodon, Talia, and the ever-ebullient Kyrian had received similar honors. The foursomes were true heroes…at least in this far-flung little town.



Vorodon had thrashed Bauer in short order. It was hard to tell if the villain begged for mercy in the end. Vorodon’s huge, meaty hands had locked around Bauer’s windpipe, and no one would know if the blackguard had any last words. For a few moments there was silence when Bauer slumped listless to the floor. Then, a pair of junior guards picked his body up and carried out of the room, presumably for a dishonorable burial. It quickly became apparent to the companions that neither Farax or Bauer had been much liked or even respected. But guards being guards, it took an outside party, the Adventurers-Upon-Return, to institute change in the ranks…



Soon after, the party resumed. Voro had only suffered several deep scratches to his face, during the altercation, and was now draining a jug of wine, as he plopped down on the garish purple divan, the massive sofa creaking from his weight.

Kyrian meanwhile had finally gotten a clue in regards to his earlier queries. One guard, Lemek, had perked up at the elf’s description of the maiden, which the knight had earlier referred to in his solicitation for information.

Lemek had recognized the description of the wizard in question.  Amelissan, it was a beautiful name, Lemek thought as he addressed Kyrian.

I saw her sir—umm--sir Kyrian. Saw her with these very eyes. South of here sir. South—I was riding on bandit patrol, maybe a mile south, nary a tenday ago. I saw the one you described. She was sitting on a tree stump and petting an owl she was. All alone, in a little clearing, in foul infested bandit-lands, no less! She spied me, she did sir, and as quickly as she appeared through the copse of laurel, she was gone again, sir, gone. The owl screeched and took off to then sir. And well, that is all I know. Maybe—perhaps, if she was a wizard as you say, she was heading for Ssembra the Southern Pearl sir. Many wizards, priests, and scholars have wondered south from here lately sir--all heading to Ssembra. In four score days, the Symposium will be held."

Lemek paused for breath.

Yeah, and a thousand windbags will debate which of the thousand gods is the right one.” added another guard and snorted. “May as well stay at home and play with themselves…accomplish the same…” he concluded, impressed with his own wit.

Err, umm--perhaps your lady has gone there as well, sir Kyrian?” Lemek uttered in summation.

If you’re headed down south”, a deep-voiced guard chimed in, be thee careful. Along with the scholars, mystics, and holy men on pilgrimage, you’ll find more bandits than you can shake a spear at, and worse…we have heard rumors that cults are forming in the hinterlands. Cults of foul gods and demons, as always seems to be the case every fifth year, whenever the Symposium is held. The men of the Rainlands--the South, are sheep, and succumb quickly to any pagan charlatan. Travel is treacherous they say…not to mention the Blue Moon will be seen in four days, if star-gazers are to be believed...bad omen that, if you ask me...which you didnt.”

The guard, Creen, drank from a mug of mulled wine, and continued

 “There have been rumors”, he dramatically lowered his voice, “rumors of a dragon..and some new cult of monks who revere it...Takkma something, they call themselves. Be thee careful. Spring does not bring hope to Ganse and its environs, it brings woe.” The glum, introspective guard finished his cup of wine, and went off to shoot darts, in the same corner of the mess hall, where Talia and Aerex were presently questioning young Iscar…

The bladedancer and the inspector were speaking to the young man, who was feverishly describing the latest events in far-off Jantir. The political intrigue made Talias mind spin, but Aerex, despite himself, ate up the latest rumors of his city of birth. Recently, one Tolodin of the family Disprantor, had ascended to the most powerful position in the Council of the Eleven Thousand and One. He was the One. This was the very man, Iscar claimed, whose lion-like mane, was not just colorless, but silver and gold and platinum, or a stark blinding white, depending on the suns light. It was in fact…quite like Talia’s own locks. Truth told, Iscar surmised, Talia’s facial features even resembled those of the now famous, Tolodin Disprantor.

After assuring Talia that he indeed was not joking, Iscar began to politely plead with Talia and Aerex to take him with them, if they indeed had intent on traveling to Jantir. The lone guard, who had been only recently banished to this forsaken mining town outpost, did not dare to travel the wilds alone, but now saw an opportunity…



The celebration continued well into the night, and before long, Vorodon had beaten every guard in the barracks in a friendly arm-wrestle…twice each.



<OOC> Ssembra is 150 miles south of Ganse. Jantir is 550 miles east of Ganse. Ssembra is a major port however, where one may cut down on travel time to Jantir, by boarding passage on a ship bound for the Empire's capital....Just a geographical primer...Feel free to go and do whatever you wish!.</OOC>
« Last Edit: May 31, 2007, 09:41:22 PM by Murometz »
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