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Author Topic: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash  (Read 30267 times)

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Offline Shadoweagle

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[Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:27:17 PM »
Welcome to Soglash

A town built over the rubble and rot of failed buildings before it. Soglash was originally built as shacks scattered along the ground, but as unnaturally high tides, wet weather and hurricanes took their toll on the buildings and drowned it again and again, the folk of Soglash learned their lesson. They began building their town as a massive, extended wooden dock suspended on hard-wood stilts over both the water and land. A rotting town of misery and shady dealings, is Soglash. A sanctuary for thieves, pirates and those who wish to be forgotten, or to forget. It is reputed that anything can be bought or sold in Soglash, for the right price.

Soglash does not have any official ruling caste; the only people who have the most influence are those who have money and the influence or fear factor to hold onto it. Pirate lords; Mob bosses; even Assassins who nobody would dare steal from are the most influential people in town. To get power in Soglash you must either have the money to pay someone to do dirty work for you, or be the one willing to do the dirty work yourself.

The Sodden Sailor


A seedy looking tavern by the name of "The Sodden Sailor". The tavern itself is suspended over the edge of the bay, supported by barnacle-encrusted beams which jut out from the water. The woodwork of the place shows signs of age and rot, however as a whole the building seems fairly sound. The Sodden Sailor holds four simple bedrooms on the second floor, each with two beds and meager amenities, and the lower floor holds a large, wood-fire warmed room with several rickety tables and chairs; a place to eat, drink and relax after a wearying day on working the docks of Soglash or hunting for game in the moors inland. Run by Olluc Ruse, the place is also known by the townsfolk as 'Ruse's Boozes.' Olluc is a burly, wrinkled man with a limp, his weathered skin and crude disposition suggesting a history of much sea-travel. Although the man is not above a laugh, he will not take roughhousing or threats lightly in The Sodden Sailor, and stores a gnarled club behind the bar for trouble-makers. Additionally, Olluc has several levers behind the bar which can open trap-doors beneath peoples' feet, causing them to fall straight through the floor and into the briny muck below. It is a no-nonsense way of removing trouble.

Atacuso Veithar:
This night, The Sodden Sailor was quiet. Olluc wiped down the bar with a careless hand and dirty cloth, and a single serving girl weaved her way through the four patrons of the place. In a cleared space near the fire a skinny, grey-'stached bard sat, a meandering wail coming forth as he slid his bow across a poorly crafted three-string Rebec. It was late, and the fire had died down largely to glowing embers, casting shadows across the room which was nearly as eerie as the mists outside. Atacuso Veithar entered the tavern and removed his sodden cloak, hanging it on a hook on the wall. The half-elf adjusted the halberd uncomfortably on his back; he was wearied and it showed; he had travelled for several days now, his first trek out from the Swynmoor swamps! Though he occasionally passed through the ramshackle towns along Voskinsar's paths, he always ended up bedding in the wild; his hunter instincts making him more comfortable out there, while in this unfamiliar territory. He wearied of waking up sodden, though, and when the lights of Soglash shone like a beacon on the horizon, he decided that this night, he would find a nice, dry bed!

Atacuso glanced around momentarily - garnering no reaction from the other patrons but a nod and a wary smile from Olluc; the hunter's patchwork gator-hide granting him a second, curious glance by the tavern owner. Before he even had a chance to move, a small-framed brunette serving girl arrived at his side, eyes wide as she stared unashamedly at the Swynnish man's somewhat fey features. "Welcome to Ruse's Boozes m'lord. Yeh hungry? Care for a drink, mayhap? Say, are yeh from tha' swamps over east m'lud? I hear they gots big crocodile men what 'kin eat you up in one gulp!" the girl smiled toothily at Atacuso.
"Cassa!" Olluc barked from the bar, "Let the man be, would you!?" Olluc gave Atacuso a diplomatic smile, "Aye be sorry about that, sire; she is young and eager. Please be makin' yourself comfortable!"

Aredhel Milarien:
Aredhel had been woken up quite by an odd sound outside his door. The Elfish spellcaster had made it to Soglash some time earlier in the day. Though he had been to this town before, the nature of Soglash was such that every time one visits, old buildings have been abandoned and new ones erected. Thus, he explored the town briefly, got bored and then made his way of Olluc's place of business. The Val-a-Twyr man had dined on a hot and sour stew of scampi, eel-head and some other unidentifiable sea-creature before engaging in light conversation with Olluc, who was more than happy to regale stories of his youth as a sailor, hunting for crustacean along the rocks of the smaller islands in the Spiked Sea. The pale elf had heard the stories before, but humored Olluc; this was not the first time Aredhel had been to the Sodden Sailor. In fact, the elf had a hand in divising the mechanics of the lever and trap-door system which Olluc had in place. Eventually, Aredhel grew wearied and retired to his room on the second floor before passing out almost instantly.

But now, he was once again awake. The sound was somewhat akin to several men dragging a large sack of potatoes across the floor. They had entered the room next to his where there was a big 'thump!' and a creak of furniture, before the thin walls betrayed the voices of three people speaking in urgent, hushed tones before one of the men clomped back out the door and down the stairs of The Sodden Sailor. For now, all was quiet, but Aredhel rose from his bed. There was no way he could get back to sleep after those noises.

Korchel Halenfjord Narastir:
The stocky individual known as Korchel had happened upon the town of Soglash in his wanderings - as the accursed Dragon Auspexes tend to do. He had been taking up residence in Soglash for two days now; not really intending to stay, but nevertheless lingering in the area as though awaiting something. It did not take him long to get a feel for the barnacle-encrusted town and it's shady inhabitants. This night, he found himself in The Sodden Sailor for a hearty meal of root vegetables and roasted Hare, freshly trapped by the Vosk hunters of the region this very day. As the night drew on, a simple-minded wench by the name of Cassa struck up a conversation with Korchel. Her naivety simultaneously relaxed and irritated the tired dwarf; who was grateful for not having a thought-provoking conversation, yet was astounded by the energy her conversation carried.
He would have liked to have a few words with the elfish lad who was in earlier, but Olluc had taken his attention for much of the night, and the Elf then retired upstairs.

As the night deepened, Korchel let Cassa's words and the tune of the Rebec fade into the background as he lingered over a mug of warm ale and peered into the fire in a reverie. The sparse smoke of the embers made patterns to the Dwarf, and he watched the grey tendrils for some time. Nearly half an hour had passed when the smoke of the fire suddenly swirled and writhed. It took a few seconds for Korchel to realize what had caused the disturbance - a half-elf had opened the door and walked in from the cold - but before the Dwarf snapped from his reverie, he thought he had read what the tendrils of smoke had whispered: Change was coming. Tonight.

Helgkhor:
Pain. Stars... oh the pain!
Helgkhor's eyes opened blearily, unfocused. His head throbbed. His brain ached. By the gods, what had happened!? He thought back...
He had been to Saulkement, yes. He had met the high priestess there and she had sent him on a task, yes. And then Soglash. He remembered getting off the boat, lugging down his gear from it. Footsteps behind him; three pairs, getting faster and then... Pain. Blackness.

Helgkhor's eyes came to focus and he took bearing of his surroundings. He was seated on a flimsy, wooden chair which creaked beneath him. His hands were tied behind him to the chair by some worn rope. He was in a simple, square room. Thin, halfway rotted wood for walls, a sturdy wooden door to his left, and a frail window adorned the wall to his right - the night sky leered down at him. Yon could see his belongings, untidily pushed in the far corner by the window. By the looks of the two single beds with suspiciously stained woolens, he was currently tied up in an inn. Two lanterns brought light to the room. one hanging on a hook on the wall in front of him, and another held by one of two men in plain, black garbs who were talking frantically in hushed tones to one another, currently facing away from him. Aah, this did not look good for the Barbarian!
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Offline Dozus

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 09:26:10 PM »
Atacuso watched the girl as she scurried off to scrub a table. "She ain' no worry," he muttered to the barkeep. It felt a little strange to be inside - he hadn't been in a proper building in nigh on a year, save his own rustic homestead which hardly counted.

Still, the place was friendly enough. Reminded him of Morden's, the little shop that served as both bar and general store in his village. Folk were always friendly in there, and warm, too. The days spent journeying up to here called for a warm respite and a good drink.

He moved over to the bar, watching the rebec player and taking in the sight and smell of the place. Before sitting, he pulled the worn halberd from his pack to fit himself on the stool properly. He propped it up against the bar, gripping it awkwardly as he looked about.

He gave a quick nod to Olluc. "Mudwater, iffin you please," he said quietly. "And someting hot to eat." Without being prompted he reached for his belt purse, still laden with profits from the pelts he'd traded to the dwarf refugees just before he left Adûrak Delta. "I got de coin," he said insistently. After so many years being mostly self-sufficient, the hunter still wasn't used to needing currency.
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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 11:18:15 PM »
What would Talu think of me now

Helgkhor winces, angry with himself. As he does, piercing pain lances his brain. Wretched, sneaky Voskinsari! For a moment he forces himself to sit still. Pricking his sizable ears, he listens to the soft chatter coming from his two abductors. He can make nothing out. Nothing but feint, pleasant music emanating from somewhere below, a rebec, he thinks he remembers the instrument being called.

Curses!

He studies the dark figures as best he can in the flickering lantern-light.

What were these two thinking when they tied me with worn rope to a seat of kindling? Are these two of the ill-famed Soglashi scrips? Am I to be sold to a passing ship? I have barely begun my mission. Will I fail so soon?

Their backs were to him. He found himself growing angrier. He remembered his father's words...

questions are best answered by those clinging to life.

Helgkhor flexes every muscle in his body, tearing at the rope binding him, as if it were string....--rrrriippp!---and charge! He lunges at the two black-cloaks with intent to crush and maim with his bare hands. Six feet, seven inches, and two hundred and ninety pounds of motivated, moving force.

He doesn't bother growling, grunting or shouting.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 07:44:00 PM by Murometz »
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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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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 04:25:30 AM »
Aredhel turned in his bed, and looked through a knot-hole in the wooden planks. A classic abduction scenario unveiled before his eyes - complete with the victim tied to a chair, and a burlap sack over his head.
So... quaint. With the little time humans had, he had to wonder why they spent so much of it re-discovering the known.
He did not bother with dressing, instead grabbed his crossbow, and, following the departure of one of the bandits, followed to the common room of the Sodden Sailor.

From the top of the stairs, he waved to Olluc, ignoring his surprise at seeing the elf barefoot, in linen shirt. "Olluc, dear friend, I believe there is a hostage situation in the western room, and *this* gentleman's responsibility seems to be a third. Would you care to assist?"
From their dealings, Aredhel knew Olluc hated crime at his inn - unless he was involved. For example, look at those prices!

He then headed back up, leaving the startled brigand to the guests and the innkeeper, while he reached the door just as he heard ropes tear, and a chair be discarded against the planks. "Oh!" he smiled as he heard a fist meet a face. Carus sat on his shoulder, and asked: "Eyes?"
"Yes, friend, feel free to have some" he said as he opened the door.
"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: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 07:27:40 AM »
The fire’s smoke seemed sluggish, drifting and dispersing slowly.  It brought faded memories to mind, recollections of 80 years earlier, when Korchel had still been young.  Perhaps that was the smoke’s role, the dragon augur wondered.  Was the pattern of the present an echo of times long gone by? 

Reaching his tattoo-covered hand toward the embers, Korchel almost began to manifest the Wyrm’s Touch, but thought better of it after a moment.  His muttered invocations and foreign customs were surely disturbing enough for these rural folk.  Instead of rousing the flames with his hand, it make more sense to reach for the poker.  The dwarf instead contented himself by quietly calling a wispy thread of smoke to his hand, watching it drift around his fingers.   No one was likely to notice such petty magic in this dimly-lit inn.

Korchel wondered about the flamesign which had seemed so clear earlier.  The fire could be fickle.  Sometimes it showed the pattern of things to come.  Other times it toyed with its oracles, dangling portents with no truth to them.  One must be cautious when reading the hidden truths of the smoke and flame.  Still, the fire had said something about that half-elven hunter.  His fate was significant.

Rising from next to the hearth, the dragon augur approached the hunter.  Curious wisps of smoke trailed after him, apparently reluctant to leave the tattooed dwarf’s company.  Korchel’s voice was hoarse, his lungs scarred and smoke-damaged beyond even the legendary resilience of dwarvenkind. “Innkeeper, I would have anot’ pint of your modest if you would, and also something for the half-elf here.”   Turning toward the newcomer, his eyes glittered with curiosity as he raised his hand in the sign of greeting.  “Hail, traveler of the wilds.  I, too, wend the paths of this dark age:  I be Korchel Halenfjord Narastir, dragon augur of the northern Way.  I bid you welcome, for the flame sign heralded your arrival.  The five bright ones have brought us to this place, where fate will soon show its hand.” 

The innkeeper didn't appear to have heard the tattoo-covered dwarf.  A nightshirt-clad elf was apparently distracting the man from his duties toward his other patrons.  Korchel frowned at the situation.  He hated being ignored.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 12:58:49 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Dozus

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 07:55:49 AM »
Atacuso blinked at the stout sorcerer, as surprised at his generosity as at his greeting. "Atacuso Veithar," he nodded, jabbing a thumb to his chest. "I don' know 'bout dem bright ones you say, but I dank you for de pint."

He shifted, trying to be comfortable on the stool. "Dere many dwarves in these parts?" he inquired. "I don' see your folk too often, 'cept in de refugee outpost near Redglass Falls - y'know, where de Adûrak comes down from de Kazan Mounts."
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 11:18:12 AM »
“Good hunter, I have shared the fires of the Kazan exiles, but they be not my people.  My clan be named the Mistoram in the uncouth tongues, the “Hidden Folk”, for their halls be secret and little-known, even among dwarvenkind.  They lie amid the snows and iceclad stone of the distant north, where mighty beasts and machine-enslaved elvenfolk hold sway.”  The augur silently cursed the inattentive innkeeper, who seemed fully preoccupied with the hysterical elf's issues. 

“To speak boldly, my kind be seldom welcome among dwarvenkind, even those whose home hearths be lost.  I be a dragon augur, bearer of a gift some deem accursed.  The flames speak hidden truths to me, speaking of dangers and changing winds.”
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 12:37:37 PM by Wulfhere »
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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 12:32:31 PM »
A sign of recognition lit in Atacuso's eye. "Ah, you de hillaq of your people den?" he suggested. "You can hear de gods when dey speak and reckon their meanings? I knew a hillaq down in de bayou, said he could hear de Kanaar gods whisperin' and could even talk to dem hisself. But everyone know de aklla women can talk to de gods better, of course." His faced reddened, fearing he had insulted his short acquaintance. "But dat's how it be wid men and Kanaarites. Maybe it different wid you dwarves. I reckon you can hear de gods just fine."

He looked only passingly at the half-dressed man at first, before realizing he was an elf. His eyes widened. "My foot!" he exclaimed quietly. "I hardly ever see Kanaarites out of de Kanaar, let alone de whole of de Moor." He called out to Aredhel, speaking in the Kanaarite tongue: "Tetlapaloliztlatolli, tepiltzin Kanaar! Tlen cuauhtla quiyahuac tehwatzin?"
"Hail there, son of Kanaar! What has drawn you so far from the swamps?"
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 12:30:02 AM »
[Dice rolls]

Upstairs:
Studying his captors, Helgkhor noted that they were each wearing plain, black garbs - a tunic and servicable pants, both with well-worn boots. The hilt of a dagger can be seen prodding out of each of their belts, and the figure on the left held a lantern, flickering faintly. Their faces were turned, so he could not make out their faces.
But enough staring! Helgkhor was a man of action! Muscles bulging behind his back the barbarian pulled apart his hands. The rope at his wrists tore asunder and the man rose.

Dangerously quiet, the two black garbed men only had the sound of a creaking chair and two heavy footsteps to react to Helgkhor's bullish charge. Both turned, and the figure with the lantern had time to let out a 'squeak!' before two hundred and ninety pounds of muscled flesh barreled into them. They went over like bowling pins - all three of them. Although one of the black-garbed figures was merely brushed to the side, the other was caught between the wall and the Barbarian, squeezing the breath out of him and knocking two teeth out. The lantern fell from his hand and clattered onto the floor where it snuffed out, leaving only the one wall lamp to give off light.

In a tangle of arms and legs, the three men struggled to be the first standing, and the healthier of the two cutthroats was the first. "Marduc!" He cried, pulling his dagger from his belt, "Are you alright!?"
The second man murmured incoherently, Stunned beneath the weight of Helgkhor. As the barbarian made it to his feet he cringed: the hot streak of a knife edge slid into his tricep. Not a serious wound, but painful no less!

Behind Helgkhor, the man known as Marduc finally came to his senses and rose. A dagger found it's way into his hand and the barbarian would have found it between his ribs, except at that moment the door creaked open.

Hmm, not even locked. Amatuers. Mused Ahedhel as the door swung open inwardly. Inside the door, A massive man in only undergarments stood. There was blood on his shirt - not his own - and blood on his left arm which WAS the barbarians, judging by the large gash on his tricep. One black-garbed man stood before the muscular man, a bloodied dagger in his clutch, and another stood behind him, ready to plunge another dagger in his back.

At the sound of the door, however, Marduc gasped and turned. This was NOT going to plan! Enraged, the cutthroat forgot the barbarian and clambered towards the newcomer, dagger thrust menacingly out in front of him.


Downstairs:
"Aye, Mudwater it do be, m'lud!" Grinned Olluc, and at the Dwarf's interjection he added, "And to the good master dwarf's expense it do be, too, with a fresh pint 'swell! It be late for food, but I're thinking that there be stew left. I'll bring it to yeh shortly." The grizzled tavern owner filled two clean mugs of their respective beverages and handed them to the two. While the two oddly paired men conversed, Olluc turned to hunt for dregs of the seafood stew which had been made much earlier this night. He had naught time to hunt for it however, as the sound of Aredhel's voice distracted him. "Shades! In my inn!? The stones of 'em... it must have been those three lads earlier! Didn't notice whit they was taking up there! Don't ye be putting yourself in danger now, Master Milarien!"
But the elf was already back up the stairs and out of sight; if Aredhel had heard Atacuso's exclaimation to him, he hadn't shown it.

The Tavern owner grimaced - his leg was no good tonight, and he would no doubt only get in the way. Olluc knew that Aredhel was of a good sort, but he didn't want to risk the elf getting hurt! A glance around the room told him that the three vagrants off to a table on the far side of the room wouldn't help, and nor would the bard - he knew them all and they were a cowardly lot...
Olluc limped to the sorcerous Dwarf and the obviously Swynnish newcomer. "Me lads, you seem a capable sort; no doubt you heard just what Master Aredhel just spoke of - there seems to be trouble upstairs in the far room. I d'nay want no trouble in meh Tavern. I'd be happy to pay yeh five gold coin apiece if you could mayhaps help the Master with this problem... Whadd'ya say?"

*CRASH!* Olluc winced at the sound of something heavy crashing into a wall or floor upstairs - the vibrations could even be felt down here! "And yer food and drink, free. Please? Wit' haste?" The Owner's eyes were pleading.
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 01:21:16 AM »
Nodding his assent, Korchel didn't waste a moment before bolting toward the stairs.  Rushing up the staircase toward the brawl, the dwarf shouted hoarsely in the Dragons' Tongue, a language both exotic and filled with sibilant portent.  "Pallid, milk-bellied gutterspawn!  Flame and claw rise to scour away your feeble kind!"  He hoped that the unfamiliar tongue would give pause to the fighters upstairs, but if they proved recalcitrant, they would soon learn that a dragon augur's hands are never as empty as they seem.
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2013, 02:35:11 AM »
Aredhel was no healer, but it was fairly obvious  it would take more than a dagger swipe to end the barbarian's life. His own? Another matter! A brute approached with intent most malicious and uncouth.
"Good morning, gentlemen." He took a step to the side, to get out of the dagger's reach.

"Ithilianor!" he called, one hand outstretched, and brought forth the glory of the arctic dawn, reflecting off the ice and broken into rainbow patterns by the fractured crystal, distorted images mirrored in facets of the northern frost. The thugs were bathed in the flickering radiance, their feeble minds flooded by the imagery - the captive was narrowly spared his inclusion in the spectacle.

Carus knew this was his sign to rise from the mage's shoulder, to pluck an eye or two. If either of the men stood through the spectacle, a beak to the face would serve him well. If their simple minds shut down - so much better, eyes ripe for the taking.
"Leave at least one alive, please! We might want to interrogate him, or at least ask pointed questions!"
"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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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 06:18:50 AM »
Atacuso stood up, surprised but glad to be doing something useful. He threw back the mug of mudwater with relish, hefted his halberd and rushed up the stair behind the dwarf.

The ranger took a position next to Korchel, leveling the kormat blade of his halberd at the nearest one's throat. A few moments thought might have allowed him surprise at Aredhel's casting, but his attention was focused on the half-dazed footpads scattered before him. "Don't mind guttin' dem all, iffin you please," he grunted, jabbing the halberd menacingly at Marduc. "Drop it, iffin you wanna keep your guts inside."

Eyes locked on the brigand, Atacuso jutted his chin toward the bleeding bulk looming over the cutthroats. "You alright back dere?"
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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 10:48:09 AM »
"Y-yes. A scratch." Helgkhor simply mutters at the stranger's question. This was all too confusing for the barbarian. He was about to start punching the man with the dagger in front of him to near-death, then reconsidered, uncoiling his fists, when the impromptu mystery cavalry arrived. Instead he flexes his arm, and winces in pain once more, as he watches the blood flow from his tricep, down his arm.

"Sorcery!" he mutters, eyes growing wide in the direction of the wizard.

Helgkhor continues eyeing the newcomers. A man (?) with a halberd and this wizard (not a man, pointy ears!) with an attacking bird. And another, nearing the door....

Who were they? What was happening?

"I am Helgkhor." he thinks wise to add at this time, then looks to the corner of the room, where his possessions are stacked neatly in a corner, and moves quickly to retrieve his giant sword and make-shift armor."Who are you?"
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 06:31:20 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.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 12:11:06 AM »
(Argh! Wrote out nearly the whole thing then accidentally closed the browser and lost it! :( I know this won't be as good the 2nd time around!)

[Dice Rolls]

A wave of vivid colors spewed from Aredhel's hands, enveloping the two villains and bedazzling their senses. Marduc succumbed almost immediately to the spell, managing only to murmer, "B...Balic. I..." Before collapsing to the ground, completely unconscious. Aredhel's familiar alighted on the ground next to the man; there was no need to peck at his eyes; he was truly no longer in the waking world.
The cutthroat known as Balic stumbled weakly and raised his free hand to his temple, and for a moment it appeared as though he was going to go the same way as his companion, but after a couple of seconds he rose, shaking his head violently and refocusing his eyes as he resisted the effects of Aredhel's wizardry.

Dispite his resistance, Balic stumbled over to the wall and leaned heavily on it, allowing his dagger to slide out of his grip and clatter loudly on the wooden floor. "No... I am done. Please. I know when I am defeated." The cutthroat waved a hand to the companions defensively and lowered his head. He seemed to have no more fight left in him.

It was at this point that Korchel and Atacuso came charging into the room, the dwarf yelling what could only be expletives in an eldrich language. Seeing the situation apparently diffused, though, Korchel came to a stop next to the elf at the door. Atacuso, however, nudged his way in. Spotting Marduc unconscious on the ground he moved over to Balic and rested the blade of his halberd against the man's throat; inches from his jugular.

"I am El-Kor. Who are you?" The colossal man spoke to Atacuso, however the question was meant for all of them. Helgkhor set about re-equipping his armor; though not before tying a strip of linen cloth from his belongings around the painful gash in his arm. He didn't know these people. And who were these folk who would risk themselves for a stranger; it is very unlike what he expected in a town of such reputation as Soglash.

The dim, flickering light of the single wall-lantern danced eerie patterns across the faces of the group; it was a foreboding, almost haunting greeting, and Korchel found himself smiling grimly at the situation. Sometimes the flamesign was fickle, yes. Sometimes it goaded it's oracles with half-truths and even fantasy. But this time...

The four men looked across the room at each other - sparing frequent glances to the two now-disabled men. the same questions were on their minds. Who are these people? Who are these cutthroats, and just what the DEVIL is going on here!?
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Offline Dozus

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 06:13:08 AM »
Atacuso's eyes darted to the others before throwing a shrug. "Atacuso Veithar," he said, nodding in greeting. "De bartend send us up here to see to de elf." He looked to Helgkhor, sizing him up.  "How you come to be in dis mess, eh? What dey want from you?" The second question was asked with a quick glare to Balic.
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Offline Murometz

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 10:58:52 AM »
"I know not. The cowards sneaked up on me..." he says to Atacuso, sheathing his massive blade in its makeshift scabbard, and donning his scale shirt, "But i mean to find out."

Helgkhor makes a fist and glares at Balic again. "Answers or pain?"

To Atacuso and the others, "I am Helgkhor, called the Smaller, and sometimes the Shadow of Death, of Clan Horselaugh. I come from Sorvegil. I am on a quest to save---" he stops, thinking how to proceed, "I am looking for three men, perhaps these are them, who kidnapped a very important woman--" pauses again "The Favorim herself of the Saulkement peoples of the sea. I have six weeks to find her, and was told to start looking here, in this water-logged place. I had just arrived by boat, when these scum brained me, and brought me to this room."

The heavily-scarred albino giant returns his gaze to Balic, "Speak quickly"

« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:45:29 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

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 04:30:29 PM »
"Aredhel Milarien" the pale elf bowed, smiling - though the involved would not guess that the reason behind that smile was both the delight at overcoming the scoundrels with sorcery, and the satisfaction at having had the opportunity to teach them a lesson. Bandits, scoundrels, scalawags and a whole thesaurus of other terms for 'criminal miscreant' had severely fouled his stay in Voskinsar.
"Engineer and scholar, at your service."

He then gave an encouraging nod to Atacuso - Aredhel remembered the youngling had called *something* at him. He wondered briefly whether any of Val-a-Twyr settlements had courtships with humans. But then, their sailors *did* travel quite a bit, and Aredhel himself had seen a few damsels born of mankind yet worth his gaze and attention.
But then, there were *other* elves, and no Val-a-Twyr forgot history. Better leave this one unaware, then.

The tale of Helgkhor was far more interesting than that minor conundrum. A Favorim, bride to the Weeping God? It might be of value to earn the gratitude of the Saulkement; the men of the isles might need things other than her, and his kin the wool and foods.
He stood beside Helgkhor, giving their captive a threatening knowing look. "If you cannot make him pliable with words, we can always break him with magic."
Into his hand, he conjured the image of a mushroom of volcanic fire billowing up. Party tricks. Good for simpletons. Therefore, as shown, good for the current situation.
"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: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 05:44:27 PM »
OOC: After a successful Perception roll…

Standing in the doorway, the dragon augur paused to study the signs.  He refused to let the elf's antics distract him:  A tiny rising firecloud? Foolishness! Did he think them halfwits or children?

The lamp's ill-cut wick smoked heavily, a sign that Korchel had learned to read long before.  Its weaving trail of smoke spoke of mischief, a warning that not all was as it seems.  Flickering lamplight drew Korchel’s eyes, but could the flame be testing his wit?  Such arrogance for such a little spark!  His eyes studied the puzzle before him, finally lighting upon the lamplight’s jest.  A wicked smile lit the dwarf’s face.

Pointing to Marduc’s fallen form, the dwarf posed an odd question… “Puzzle me this:  What manner of man casts no shadow?  Our slumbering foe has misplaced his!”
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 06:07:53 PM by Wulfhere »
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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2013, 07:09:21 PM »
About to land the first punch on Balic's face out of sheer frustration, Helgkhor pauses again, to ponder the dwarf's words....

It takes a few moments.

"Deviltry!" he exclaims once he gets it, then, "Shadow or not, this demonspawn will speak and tell me what I wish to know!"

Something else too tickles Helgkhor's brain. He remembers the words of Rachel the Fifth. He thinks a moment and decides...

"I have gold. I am in need of companions on this quest. Companions with strengths I do not possess. Companions with quick-minds and...magic," he pauses, "For the lands of the sea-peoples will freeze over forever if I do not find the kidnapped Favorim. What say you three? We can be heroes."

« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 08:39:47 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

Offline Dozus

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2013, 09:18:39 PM »
"Heroes, en?" Atacuso half-snorted. "I don' know about dat." The idea of a half-breed from the bayou being in anyone's good accounting - let alone being called a hero - was foreign to him.

But then, he was now a foreigner in a foreign land. There was no going back to the Moor, at least no reason to. And the good fortune to find this kind of excitement in the very first town he'd stopped at - well, it beat hunting gators in the delta.

"But, ah, you need help findin' your Favorite, den maybe we can arrange it, eh?" He gave a half-toothed grin. "What else I got to do anyway?"
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2013, 03:49:49 AM »
"It certainly sounds interesting, dear Helgkhor" Aredhel nodded. He knew the feeling very well - his people too relied on god-given warmth, though their deities were far less fickle and much more asleep. But then, one need but to recall the fate of Ithenil: creatures of frost had invaded the city and slain its goddess. There was no Ithenil any more, just a rime-bound ruin abandoned by refugees.

"Once we are done with this shadowless villain, we need to discuss our choices and plans."
Certainly, he'd need to know if others were searching for a hostage as vital as the Favorim, and if their help could be engendered. What resources were theirs, what information. He'd ask the barbarian in detail, and help the thoughts and plans be born.

"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 Shadoweagle

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2013, 03:51:57 AM »
Balic's face was pale and he swallowed heavily - his adam's apple brushing against the edge of Atacuso's blade. "Just don't kill me, i'll tell you everything I know! My name is Balic Garthe, and I only joined this d**nable cult a month ago; I don't want to die for it!" At the question in the groups eyes, the cutthroat elaborated. "The Order of the Originators! It's some doomsday cult, all about the end of the world or something; they won't tell me anything about it because I just joined." Balic's eyes closed and he grimaced at a memory, "I was angry. I lost Casta; my wife. I wanted the world to burn and Athor promised it would do just that!" His face grew dark in anger, "He promised that the world would be unmade. But I realize this d**ned life will kill me. I don't want to die." He repeated.

The cultist's eyes shifted nervously to Helgkhor, "Athor knew the High Priestess would send someone after the Favorim. it's the obvious move. I don't know why we were told to steal away the woman. I don't think even Athor really knows why; he was just happy that he finally got to take a part in the cult's plans!" At Helgkhor's grim expression Balic continued hastily, "We were told to stop anyone from trying to rescue her! We had to capture you and then make sure no more help was coming!"

"The woman!?" Helgkhor's eyes lit up and he moved his face close to Balic's, "You are da ones who took the woman!? Where is she?" Helgkhor couldn't believe his luck - his mission may be over before it even began! But his exuberance was soon dampened at Balic's reply, "The Favorim? She is four days gone from Soglash. Athor put her on a cart heading southeast. Only he knows to where."

Korchel may have thought of Aredhel Milarien's miniature explosion as childs play and parlour magic, but at the sight of that fiery apparition, Balic pushed back against the wall as if trying to burrow through it away from the Wizard. "I swear, I don't know anything more! Marduc might know more - I think he's been with the Originators for a long time! Or Athor. You could find Athor! He's gone back to the temple; it's the abandoned chapel on the far side of Eastern Soglash near the edge of the town, along the coastline. Please don't kill me; I just want to get out of this town and hide from the Order. I'll never hurt another soul, I swear!"

It was at this point that Korchel made his interjection about Marduc's distinct lack of shadow. Atacuso and Helgkhor were shocked at the realization, and interestingly, so was Balic, his eyes widening in genuine shock. "By all the gods...! What manner of devils did I ally myself with!?" The cutthroat currently looked as though he was ready to jump out through the window in horror. He may have, too, if he wasn't under such competent guard by Atacuso's Halberd. "I truly have no clue what the hell has happened to Marduc...!"

Aredhel was likewise surprised, but did not seem so shaken by Marduc's lack of shadow as the others. Something about the scenario seemed vaguely familiar, and he mused for a moment, trying to kindle the memory...

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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2013, 07:55:07 AM »
"I do have an explanation, though its validity I cannot confirm. It is likely that this man's shadow is one that walks on its own, and - as obvious - has already walked away. To whom it may talk and what it may tell? I do not know. What I know is that its master is the source of the shadow's life. If he passes, the shadow walks no more, and re-joins his tainted soul in the Abyss."
He nodded towards the unconscious bandit.
"His master is likely a Shadow-Herder, and his fell shadow will walk as well."

He shrugged, then turned to Helgkhor: "Do you know all we could learn? Do we wake the other?"
"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 Dozus

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2013, 08:23:09 AM »
Atacuso gave a repulsive sneer at Balic. "Still oughta gut you, I say," he grunted, even as he pulled the halberd away. "Don' gimmie a reason to."

He looked curiously at Aredhel. "I have tracked many a ting in the swamps of Swynmoor, but I never seen someting dat could give up its shadow. These sound like some dark medicines." The ranger leaned on his polearm, nodding down to the fallen brigand. "Iffin it was his folk dat took de Favorite, we best get all we can out of him."

He tipped back the wide brim of his straw hat and tugged at a lock of copper hair, casting a gaze about the room. "I can track most tings dat leave a footprint. Now how do you track a shadow...?"

OOC: A (probably far-fetched) Survival check to try and track Marduc's shadow.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:26:28 AM by Dozus »
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Offline Murometz

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Re: [Decathros] Chapter 1: Sinking in Soglash
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2013, 09:36:49 AM »
Quote
"Do you know all we could learn? Do we wake the other?"

Shadow-Herder? Curses, these cultists were not mere men.

"Yes, the other." Helgkhor was about to lift Marduc from the floor and ram him against a wall, when he reconsidered. "What has your magic done to him?" he asks Aredhel nervously, not sure whether he should be touching the villain. Right as rain, Helgkhor the Barbarian was suspicious of magic.

Awaiting an answer, Helgkhor scrunches his scarred pale face as if constipated. He was thinking. The Favorim was four days away according to the first mook, and this "Athor" scum was nearby in some half-drowned temple...considerably closer. They could take a skiff perhaps, head quickly along the mangrove coast, question this Athor forcibly, then proceed to chase down the moving Favorim. Or, they could just follow the Favorim--this Atacuso was a tracker it seemed--and save time. Or they could split up?

Or maybe they could start with questioning this Marduc. Helgkhor's thoughts came back around to the matter at hand...



« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 09:47:47 AM 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