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Author Topic: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted  (Read 25656 times)

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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2013, 08:03:33 PM »
Therdamin dismounted awkwardly from the mare and accompanied the Doctor into the inn, ignoring the look on the guard's face.

He raised his eyebrow at the sight of the alchemist, the mask seemed somewhat unnecessary, but who was he to questions the beliefs of others.

He waited politely for the introductions.
   
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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2013, 09:43:22 PM »
Based on a PM from Gossamer, along with some rolls for Stealth, Perception, and Knowledge (local)…

In Adder Alley…
Clad in the ragged guise of “Gann the Vagrant”, Verity’s halting stagger ceased as soon as he left the guards’ sight.  Instead of returning to the inn, the labyrinthine warrens of the Greensign Halls could give him shelter.  A notorious nest of smugglers and bandits, its larcenous masters wouldn’t hesitate to slaughter an unwanted visitor, but Verity had friends there.  As long as he kept one hand on his purse and the other on the hilt of his dirk, Verity could rest in that place without the risk of awkward questions from Sphinx guardsmen. 

Keeping to shadowed alleys and midnight-black courtyards where his superior night vision would give him an advantage, the rogue crept across the town toward this unsavory shelter.  The night was quiet… As he passed near Red Chuanti's Market, he could tell that many of the peddlers who normally filled the night with hushed sales pitches were absent, their shining good-luck trinkets and potency aids stored until another night.   The courtesan-priestesses of Chuang-Mu’s temple also seemed strangely muted, their cries of feigned passion barely audible.  Even the innumerable rogues and footpads that normally haunted Targnol’s filthy alleys and courtyards were seldom in evidence. 

In the distance, Verity could hear the massive gongs atop the temple of Armidad Bog.  This night there would doubtlessly be a special sacrifice, offered to petition the god’s support for the Shah’s household.

Another sound startled the stealthy rogue, the rattle of nearby armor.  Freezing in the shadows, he made out cloaked guardsmen watching the alleys that led into Greensign’s labyrinth.  Whatever wrong had stirred the Shah’s men, it certainly had caught their attention.  This was no night for a guest to seek their halls.

Another possibility entered his mind:  Hands had once described the passwords for a hidden shrine nearby, the temple of a forbidden god named Kolrak Mar, secretly worshipped by slaves and criminals.  The Brotherhood helped hide them from the authorities, and in exchange, the cult provided occasional ‘muscle’ for the underworld group.  Perhaps this place would be safer?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 07:35:05 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Gossamer

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2013, 06:41:04 AM »
As much as Verity despised the deeply religious(perhaps with the exception of devoted Chuang-Mu worshippers), a place of discretion was just what he needed on a night like this, when the guards seemed to be swarming like angry desert wasps.

Picking out landmarks, he slowly made his way through the underbelly of Targnol, until he reached what appeared to be just another non-descript building. It stood near a well, covered by a rickety wooden scaffolding with red washed-out rags tied to it, flapping lazily in what little wind there was.

The door had a tiny wiremesh window on it. He rapped out a series of consecutive knocks on the door. After a while, a hatch slid away from behind the window and a green piercing eye viewed him expectantly. He whispered the password, and the hatch slid back in place. After a while, bolts and locks rattled and clicked and the door opened. A strange sickly sweet smell wafted out at him, offal, rotting meat and... something else. That made him pause, but having come this far, he took a look around and hurried inside. The door shut behind him, and it took him a while to adjust his eyes to the gloom. A soft female voice spoke.

"Welcome sahib. Who was it that delivered you unto us?"

Verity raised an eyebrow. More games. That was to be expected. No doubt there were crossbows aimed at him, pending approval from this petite gatekeeper.

"I waz delivered unto you from a pair of Hands."

Making sure to emphasize the capital letter, he gave a crooked smile. He started to make out the woman in the gloom now, she was clad in a red pashmina with dark brown hair framing her face, still viewing him with those piercing green eyes. She wasn't unattractive, just very intense.

"...I see. And what business do you have with us?"

With that, she turned and started walking, inviting Verity as 'Gann' to come along. He smiled, this level of caution promised good things for security, though the smell... It was even stronger now, he had smelt it before, but couldn't quite place it. It was simply awful. He tried his best to ignore it.

"None taxing, I assure you. I merely zeek refuge for the time being. I waz told, thiz would be the perfect place for that."

Silently she showed him to an empty room(more a cell really) with a straw mattress flop. Verity sighed, it would have to do. The woman left him alone without another word.

Luckily the door opened inwards. He moved the bed so it blocked the door, then laid down in it. He coughed in disgust at the foul air, this was going to be hard getting used to. With this many guards out and about, he had to wonder if 'Hands' had made it safely back, and what his business had been with those strange people from the Trident. For now though, he had to focus on the coming hunt. Entering the Shah's stronghold unbidden would no doubt prove difficult, even at the best of times.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 11:33:09 AM by Gossamer »
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2013, 08:19:40 PM »
Exeta watched with some interest as a clearly drunken individual eased his way past the guard, and it wasn't long after that Valnetor Dreimond entered and greeted him. Exeta stood, placing one fist on his chest and bowing respectfully to the physician.
 "Bones a'snapping or fever high?
Best seek Valnetor, 'lest you die!
Through benevolence of spirit and strength of will,
The Shah's good doctor will cure the ill.
"
"Auspicious indeed, Master Dreimond. You have earned quite the reputation along the Trident Coast. I've been eager to glean some knowledge from you!"
Exeta motioned to Peregrina with his hand, "This is my new acquaintance, Peregrina and her faithful companion, Geri. And who is your friend?"
The alchemist moved to stand before Therdamin, replicating his previous bow, "Master Dwarf - I have had several dealings with your ilk; all of them pleasant. A pleasure! From where do you hail?"
Exeta's greetings echoed behind his mask, creating an almost soul-less characteristic to for his words. Nevertheless, his introductions were warm.
The alchemist took a small step towards Valnetor, lowering his voice conspiratively,
"Master Dreimond; I feel that I may have caused an un-necessary complication... A trio of unscrupulous individuals arrived earlier, one of them injured - punctured with arrows! - in the interest of saving a life, I attempted to treat him, with partial success. Nevertheless; upon seeing the Shah's guard here," Exeta nodded towards the man at the entrance, "I can only assume they are being sought for deeds most heinous. I do hope I am not accomplices for performing my duty..." behind his mask, Exeta sighed.
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2013, 09:08:00 PM »
In the Golden Trident
The common room grew calmer as the Trident’s unsavory patrons grudgingly concluded the Sphinx guardsmen weren’t about to drag them off to the Shah’s dungeons.  Neketh had quietly given a free round to his regulars, hoping to prevent a general exodus toward the exits.  His scheme seemed to have worked, bolstered by Larissa’s sweet voice.  The inn’s jade-skinned mistress had resumed her ballads, her current flirtations clearly meant to make the watching guardsmen wriggle uncomfortably. 

Standing next to Exeta’s table, Valnetor Dreimond gestured courteously from Exeta to Therdamin.  “Our learned friend is named Therdamin, a dwarf of deep knowledge and peerless wisdom.  He is far too humble to mention his service at the side of the distinguished Master Hurdain, high priest of the Al-Virren Temple of Thoth, but I was fortunate enough to hear of the master’s most capable assistant and besought him to visit Targnol.  We could hardly be more blessed!”

The doctor gestured toward a seat.  “May Therdamin and I join you at your table?  While I hope that both you and the worthy Peregrina would join me as guests within the citadel of the Shah, I would prefer to discuss a few matters while here, away from those who would profit by repeating our words among the deceivers of the Court.”  His voice sank to a bare whisper.  “To my sorrow, I learned long ago that any words one says in the halls of the Shah will soon find the ears of whomever you would least want to hear them.  However palatial, the citadel is a rats’ nest of secret passages, infested by conspirators and spies.

“Fear not that your efforts at healing will bring you woe.  I myself am often approached by folk who seek aid, and have put forth that my healers’ vows constrain me in this matter.  While the Shah disapproves, he has accepted my claim.  Simply advise them that you are bound by the same vows as I and they will surely forgive such incidents.”

“While I had hoped that we might exchange receipts while you visit, a rare opportunity has arisen, which may force this happy exchange to wait for another day.  Have you heard of the Shah’s planned hunt?  To our great good fortune, the Court’s mightiest warriors will pursue and slay many of the woodlands’ most fell beasts, at the very least driving them from their regular habitations.  This will allow an expedition to safely reach ruins that would ordinarily massacre any but the mightiest of warriors. 

"While the Shah's great festival will require my attendance as surely as if he had bound me in irons, those not bound by his will suffer no such constraints.  Given license to explore, you could lead a band into the ruins of elven halls untouched in centuries!”
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 05:53:04 AM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2013, 12:10:28 AM »
Exeta nodded and offered a second - now seated - bow towards Therdamin as he listened to Dreimond's accolades, "Truly an honour, priest. Thoth forever keep your name upon his scroll."
"Good doctor, the offer of residence within the Shah's walls is most generous; I, for one, feel I am due for a change in scenery."
Exeta listened curiously to Valnetor's suggestion of Elven ruins, and even though his face was masked, his excitement could be seen in the rubbing of his hands, "What of the feral Elves; do you suppose the Shah's hunt sill keep them disorganized? I should hate to end my days early in the belly of the fae!
But the idea of exploring ruins such as these you mention...! There must be many things of value in there." Exeta paused momentarily, before adding, "Historical value. Yes, this is something which interests me. I would think that we would need a few people, though, for safety!"
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 12:13:01 AM by Shadoweagle »
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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2013, 08:13:53 AM »
Therdamin was thankful for the beard that concealed the rush of blood to his face. To hear such words from the esteemed doctor was - difficult.

"I am pleased also to make your acquaintance - Thoth looks with favour on those who see to bring the light of knowledge into darkness, and your Arts hold great fascination for me as well."

"I would be interested in accompanying you on this expedition, with the good Doctor's leave. It would be good to get another perspective on things."

   
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Offline caesar193

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2013, 11:37:18 AM »
"I would be honored to stay at the Citadel," said Peregrina. "And this Hunt sounds wonderful. I'm sure Geri here's nose will be quite useful in rooting out these beasts you mention. What types of fell beasts is this hunt for, may I ask?"

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2013, 03:41:38 PM »
Watching Larissa as she flirted outrageously with one of the Shah’s soldiers, Neketh al’Karid wished that his wife wouldn’t play such dangerous games.  She smiled mischievously as she caught her husband’s concerned frown, her sweet voice softly crooning some popular tune about a woman whose lover was lost at sea. 

Since the noble party’s arrival, the only folk who had come in were a pair of Antillian merchants shrouded in jewel-bright robes of many-colored silk.  A brooding Elphan eunuch watched over the pair from near the bar, his coarse hair worn in a long braid and his bare torso covered with crudely-drawn tattoos of strange northern beasts. Clearly employed as the traders’ bodyguard, his massive brow beetled at Larissa and he felt for the hilt of his war axe whenever she came near him.  Based on the brute’s awkward gestures and garbled phrases while (apparently) trying to order a drink, it seemed likely that the barbarian had learned fewer than twenty words of the Common tongue. 

Easing his massive bulk between two of the tables, the portly innkeeper stopped by Ren’s table.  Since the soldiers’ presence seemed to be discouraging his regulars from dropping in, he had plenty of time to chat.  “I can’t recall the last time one of the Neamuan cat folk stayed here,” he offered conversationally.  “Your folk typically keep to themselves in these parts.  I suppose that your visit has something to do with those Neamuans who got themselves grabbed up the other week.  You here looking for payback, or just answers?”
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 08:49:04 PM by Wulfhere »
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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2013, 06:48:03 PM »
After receiving a few PM responses…

In the Golden Trident…
Not the most expressive of warriors, Ren’s feline face nonetheless betrayed a vague curiosity at the innkeeper’s unexpected revelation.  Why had other catfolk come here?  She urged Neketh to go on, knowing the man needed little encouragement.

“A pair of Neamuans showed up in town some three weeks ago, looking for some sort of stolen statues.  They were tight-mouthed about most things, but they asked some of the Brothers about jade idols, treasures taken from their tribe’s homelands far to the south.”  The innkeeper looked wistful at the thought of the missing treasures, thinking of his flirtatious wife’s reaction if he could afford to buy her fine perfumes and silken dresses.

Collecting his thoughts again, the innkeeper continued his anecdote. “Anyway, the catfolk must have crossed the wrong people, because I heard the other day that they were bushwhacked by a gang of thugs down near Adder Alley and dragged into some tunnels near there.  If whoever snatched them didn't have the Brotherhood's blessing, they'll be sorry:  The Brothers don’t like attention drawn to them, and that alley is practically on their front porch.”

Not Far Away…
Septimus Hastatus had finally found the right street, his journey needlessly delayed by misleading directions given him by one of the local degenerates, who had sent him toward a particularly disgusting brothel instead of the inn he sought.  He hoped that the delay hadn’t made him too late.

Above the Temple of Kolrak Mar
Despite his exhaustion, Verity found himself waking repeatedly.  Not only did the cell’s Spartan accommodations manage to support a surprisingly robust variety of small pests and parasites, but strange and unnerving chanting sounds occasionally drifted up from some deeper part of the structure.  Verity could hear a grating voice calling out in the goblin tongue from the hall outside, yet another irritant.

Suddenly, Verity heard a faint hiss from beneath his bed.  Some sort of serpent was in the chamber with him!

Roll Initiative, Verity…
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 07:36:11 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2013, 06:49:23 AM »
As amusing as the offer had been from the brothel's ... madam, Septimus preferred selling other skills and it was clear what they were, at first glance. He was a handsome man indeed, with his raven-black hair and lavender eyes, but his lithe, muscled frame promised the coiled grace of a predatory animal. The self assured step, the spear displayed openly on his back, his clothing of steel vest and leather - a sell-sword seeking work, or already upon it. As he entered the Golden Trident, he spent a moment looking over the Shah's guards, his eyes promising them to do no trouble tonight, before slipping into a table well within ears reach of the doctor and Exeta. Murders, political intrigue, yes, looking for the places the guards were leaving would be a good place to look for work.

He found a brilliantly inviting smile for Larissa, his voice carrying an accent from very far away indeed. "Tonight, lovely, I fear I buy in quantity, rather than quality. I've a powerful thirst, and it's been many leagues. A mug of your cheapest?" Regret packed his last statement, the unspoken wish for better.

As he settled in to listen, he kept his expression neutral, light, while his mind churned. Elven ruins... and feral elves? Odd.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 06:52:03 AM by Siren no Orakio »

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2013, 03:36:59 PM »
After some terrifying combat and several horrible rolls, I bring you:

As if having heard goblins outside wasn't bad enough. Verity slowly crept up to a hunching position in the creaky flop and drew his sword. He silently cursed himself for not having checked the room properly before laying down. He soundlessly eased himself to the floor a ways away from the bed. A cobra, no ordinary snake. In Viridistan, cobras were often used by snake charmers, but they were still at the best of times aggressive beasts. No chance to just carefully place it back in the crack from whence it came.

It didn't seem to have noticed him yet, slithering around the room. When it came within reach, he lifted his blade and chopped heavily down. Unfortunately, the cobra's reflexes saved it. Great. Now it was angry. It hissed and lunged at him, he managed to avoid the first strike. His second swing connecting, the cobra opened its maw visciously. Luckily, it didn't spit.

Verity backtracked towards the door, making sure not to back into the bed by mistake. But the snake shot towards him with lightning speed and bit him in the arm. The sharp pain was electrifying, and a muffled growl escaped his clenched lips. He managed to wave the snake away. At that time, a loud banging started on the door. Verity backed towards it, adding his own weight to the bed's, holding the door closed. His anger and desperation rising, he chopped at the cobra once again, hitting it square on. That seemed to have done it, it hastily retreated from whence it had came. He swatted ineffectually at it as it fled.

As the snake's tail dissappeared from sight. Verity turned towards the door and angrily shouted.
"Who dares dizturb my sleep?! I will have your mizerable head!"

The thumps on the door immidiately stopped and from outside came a squeaky voice speaking in goblin. From the tone used, it sounded as a frightened apology along with various whimperings, followed by quickly retreating footsteps.

Verity slowly slumped to the floor. He felt weak and frail. Even if that cobra hadn't spat, there seemed to be nothing wrong with its poison. Gasping between breaths, sweat running from his brow, he used his last ounces of strength to stuff the crack in the wall with straw from the mattress.

He silently cursed 'Hands'. Safe haven indeed. He would give him some choice words when he got out of here. IF, he got out of here. He forlornly thought, as he slid down the wall and slipped into feverish unconsciousness...
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 06:02:49 AM by Gossamer »
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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2013, 03:35:43 AM »
Ren

Tufted catfolk ears twitched as Ren listened to both the innkeeper's tale and the discussion of the upcoming hunt from a nearby table. The hunt sounded interesting, but so did the abduction of the Neamuans. What trouble had they gotten themselves into hunting for their missing relics, and was sniffing around worth the trouble kicking a nest that large would raise? Unfortunately for the trio, the benefit was minimal at best, the risks were huge (especially with how on-edge everyone was thanks to the Shah's hunt), and if they were foolish enough to get caught, they had no-one to blame but themselves. No, she wouldn't be sticking her hand into that hornet nest unless it was fairly risk-free.

"Most unfortunate. I'll have to keep an eye out for those statues though. Plundering from temples isn't the smartest of choices; they would be well served to be returned. On a different note, what know you about this hunt I've been hearing so much of since I came into town?"
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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #38 on: July 05, 2013, 01:41:39 AM »
The innkeeper leaned toward Ren as if sharing a secret, heedless of the obvious ease with which most of the sparsely occupied common room could hear him.  “The Shah’s great hunt? From what I’ve heard, he’ll spend the better part of a week in the Thistledown, chasing down the most dangerous beasts he can find and slaughtering them.  Although the forest's edges are safe enough, hideous monstrosities roam its depths, the spawn of the Koses, a cunning ape-chimera even the Shah has never been able to track down.  According to rumor, men scouting for the hunt have already found a herd of three-headed viper-rhinos.  The Shah's staff have already completed many of their preparations, gathering supplies and clearing space for huge pavilions."

Glancing obliquely at the doctor's table, he continued in a slightly lower tone.  "If you seek to join the hunt, you might want to ask one of those folk from the citadel.  All I possess are rumors and travelers' tales, sifted through many ears.  Their words would be more worthy of trust, knowledge freshly poured from the sphinx's lips.”
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 01:36:49 AM by Wulfhere »
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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2013, 09:48:10 PM »
Smiling faintly as he listened more closely to the faint conversation of the three conspirators, Septimus slid around his table, until he was just about close enough to join that conversation, with little fan faire.

"For such an expedition, into the trapped homes of the ancient fae, surely you would need more hands than just your few selves. Fortunately, a skilled hand is before you. I am Septimus Hastatus, a soldier of fortune, and my spear is for hire as an escort, as needed." The man smiles more brilliantly now, his lavender eyes aglow in the light filtering through the tavern, as he pats his faithful companion's haft where it rests upon the table.  "I've more than my share of experience in the matter, as well." 

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2013, 10:30:16 AM »
Peregrina looked at the man who offered them his services. A merc? Peregrina knew about mercs, and knew of how... untrustworthy they were. Betrayal was the name of their game. But still, it was unlikely that he would betray the group in the bowels of a ruined hall, where their lives may very well depend on the person standing next to you. But then Geri whined, and looked towards the door, and Peregrina knew what she had to do.

"I will not pretend that I'm a fan of mercenaries," Peregrina began, "But in this case I'll deign to consort with them. I'll leave the decision of whether you come or not to my companions here, for I must adjourn of all of your company. Geri here has to, ah, evacuate his bowels, and as it is getting towards evening, I'll go take up my quarters in the Citadel. Dr. Dreimond, Dr. Fynn, Priest Therdamin, Hastatus, I bid you good night."

So saying she whistled for Geri, nodded her goodbyes to Neketh, and shouldered her backpack. She slipped past the soldiers and breathed in the crisp, twilight air. Peregrina and Geri strolled through the city. A mercenary proposed to join their group? Ha! She had thought that as likely as a catfolk joining, or even an half-elven thief!

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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2013, 02:36:26 PM »
The group’s conversation continued for some time in the quiet inn.  The few regulars present eventually wandered off toward home and the inn’s guests retreated toward their chambers. 

Despite the late hour, Doctor Dreimond was determined to hammer out all the important details of the planned expedition before returning to the citadel with his guests.  His “visiting scholars” and the other expedition members would join the morrow’s hunt, riding into the depths of the forest with one of several bands from the citadel.  They would set out for the ruins on the following day.

Dreimond hoped that they could mix in with the entourages of Viridistani nobility, minimizing awkward questions from local courtiers.  Above all, they were to tell no one of the actual purpose of their journey, advising them that “If a hunting party happened to ‘accidentally’ stumble across elven ruins, there would be no harm in that, but the fewer that know the actual plan beforehand, the less chance of interference from the schemers of the court.”

Once all the details had been hashed out (…with some party members distinctly suspicious of the way that the doctor urged secrecy, but glossed over details when questioned why), the party set out toward the citadel. 

Trogol led the way, his torch held high.  The burlier of the two hobgoblin linkboys, he had finally managed to calm the angry cat in the basket and now carried the container from a sturdy cord looped over his shoulder.  An occasional hostile growl betrayed the animal's continued ill-humour.

Behind him marched two of the guardsmen, their narrowed eyes suspiciously scanning every alley and doorway as they passed.  Doctor Dreimond and Therdamin followed on horseback.  The rest of the party strung out behind the pair, their baggage carried by a spavined mule lent by the innkeeper.  In the back, two more guardsmen flanked the other hobgoblin linkbearer.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 12:08:42 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #42 on: July 10, 2013, 06:39:36 PM »
Therdamin was secretly excited with the impending events - things were so much more interesting in the outside world - but his face betrayed nothing as he casually stared back at onlookers. Had they never seen a dwarf atop a horse before.

Wait, thats odd, he thought, his keen dwarven eye picking an oddly .. hostile .. figure in the alley.  No time to think, so ..

"Thoth's Fury!" he shouted lamely as he yanked the reins of his horse to point him at the ruffians, and he slapped down hard on the horse's rump to eithr charge or at least stampede in the direction of the ally.

And, lacking lance or other appropriate horsemans weapon, he simply let gravity unhorse him and tried to land on his feet.

Crap, 5 on die roll if any needed..

   
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #43 on: July 10, 2013, 07:37:05 PM »
Exeta remained expressionless as only a masked man can do when Septimus approached, and once Peregrina made clear her thoughts on mercenaries, he glanced to doctor Dreimond. "And you fear the ears in the keep! Seems to be no conversation is sacred or unworthy of another man's opinion. Nevertheless," He peered over Septimus, "Your spear is sturdy, and our intentions are already known to you. Septimus Hastatus; another hand may prove useful. I have no objections with you joining us."

Once the plans were made, Exeta retreated quickly to his room to collect his belongings before waving farewell to the owners of the Golden Trident.

Exeta was deep in thought as he followed the party - A trip into the wilderness would be dangerous; it always was. But it was a good opportunity both chance upon something of value within the ruins, and also to get closer to Dr. Dreimond - Exeta was sure he had plenty of formulas he would be willing to share to an aspiring Alchemist.
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2013, 05:05:07 PM »
Night on Merchant Street
In the midnight-black alley between a dye merchant’s storehouse and a weatherbeaten tenement house lurked two ominous figures.  The pair’s leader appeared to be a dwarven mystic, a stocky figure reckoned short even by the measures of his own kind.  Dozens of gewgaws and folk talismans had been woven into the swarthy figure’s sable beard.  He clenched a coiled scorpion whip in one hand, its barbed steel tip swinging back and forth as he impatiently waited for his targets. 

The dwarf’s turbaned accomplice leaned casually against the alley wall, entertained by the sight of an angry rat squabbling with a wayward bone crab over a rotting fish head. The man appeared to be human at first glance, but jagged fangs filled his mouth and small black horns ran along his cheekbones, signs of demonbrood ancestry.  As he waited, he carefully wrapped a length of fabric around a gleaming steel chalicar ring. 

Between the two sat a square wooden crate some two feet across.  Small holes had been drilled through its top and leather handles were mounted on each side.  The box’s inhabitants made faint scratching and cawing noises as they restlessly moved around inside.

A splash of approaching torchlight revealed an approaching party turning onto Merchant Street, its way illuminated by a hobgoblin linkbearer.  “Hsst!  They’re coming!” whispered the dwarf as he withdrew further into the shadows.  “There are more of them than I was told to expect:  The Shah’s ‘Doctor’ must have recruited allies!”  His accomplice grimaced as he willed magical darkness to fill his unusual weapon. 

Alert to their commander’s warnings of potential trouble this night, the Shah’s guardsmen carefully scanned each rooftop, alley, and doorway they passed.  Only human, they couldn’t make out the ambush that waited in the darkness.  They continued forward without spotting the hidden menace. 

With a grim smile, the dwarf prepared to yank open the crate.  His demonbrood ally shifted in the darkness, about to open the fight by flinging his deadly chalicar.

Unexpectedly, a mounted dwarf in the party jerked hard on his palfrey’s reins, drawing his mount toward the alley as his voice rose in an unexpected battle cry!  Not fully trained for battle, the dwarf’s high-strung mount skittered suddenly toward the alley entrance, where it caught the unfamiliar scent of the creatures in the box.  Suddenly filled with fear, the palfrey desperately fought against its inexperienced rider’s control.  Rearing and plunging wildly, it forced him to cling to the saddle’s pommel lest he be unhorsed and trampled beneath iron-shod hooves.

“By the Eight Demons of Despair, darkness will devour your souls!” cried the demonbrood ambusher as he yanked his weapon’s covering cloth off and heaved it at the doctor.  Caught flat-footed, the scholar tumbled headlong from the saddle, seriously injured.  As the weapon flew, darkness blossomed around it, drinking all light from its surroundings. 

His swarthy ally pulled the front from his box, cracking the scorpion whip to drive forth its inhabitants.  A pair of odd birdlike creatures leapt out, their raucous cries further upsetting the frantic horse.  One flew clear over the mounted dwarf, while the second leapt to attack his mount. 

The opponent's sneak attack was successful, as was the charge by one of the cockatrices.  The horse saved versus its petrifying touch.  The area in front of the alley has been enveloped by magical darkness:  Those with darkvision can still see there.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 07:37:20 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2013, 07:45:56 PM »
Therdamin decided being ontop the unsteady horse was perhaps not the best plan and made to dismount.  His attempt nearly ended in abject failure as his foot caught and he nearly landed face first. 

Looking about, he saw the black-shrouded dagger with his dark-sight though one of the birds was nearby.  Chancing it, he reached for the ensorcelled dagger.  The bird gave a malevolent squawk and lunged at him, though its aim was thrown off by the frantic horse. 

A moment of triumph and Therdamin grasped the dagger, barely pausing as he tossed it, and hopefully the darkness, clear of the battle.




   
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2013, 09:42:32 AM »
Having caught the mood of nervousness from the guards, Septimus had his polearm resting over his shoulder, and in the crook of his arm, the black leather cover of the blade only resting over it, rather than secured, his eyes lightly scanning the area.  As the light before him drained away, and the noise of battle began to erupt about him, he began to flow forwards, and as the light returned, and the grounded bird-thing struck towards Therdamin, he struck for it with the butt of his spear, trying to crash the heavy bindings into it even as the sheath flew from the tip of the spear... 

Offline Wulfhere

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2013, 01:30:41 PM »
The heavy, iron-shod butt of the mercenary's spear-staff slammed down against the hideous bird-thing with an audible 'crack' of shattered bone and torn tissue.  The injured creature bounced back several feet, its serpentine tail flailing angrily as it hissed its fury.   Septimus' rush trapped the vile creature between himself and Therdamin, sheltering the fallen doctor from its attacks.  On his right, Therdamin's frantic horse still reared up in terror, kicking ineffectually at the second serpent-bird. 

The attackers' magical darkness had momentarily confused the two leading guardsmen, but now they could see the nature of the ambush.  Yanking his blade from its sheath, one leapt to aid Septimus while the other moved to protect the doctor.  A veteran of previous brawls named Vaqqas, the guard gruffly commanded the nervous hobgoblin slaves to stand fast.  Aftraid of the savage punishments given for disobedience, the hobgoblins uneasily eyed the foul things that had erupted in the party's midst, shuffling back a step every time the beasts squawked or hissed.

Near the alley's mouth, the dwarven adversary watched his well-planned ambush becoming a shambles.  These stupid cockatrices were impossible to control!  Even worse, the chalicar should have kept their foes in darkness for enough time to ensure their defeat!  Fortunately, he had more arrows in his quiver than these lackeys of the Shah could ever anticipate.  Cracking his whip to keep the cockatrice clear, he chanted a brief, almost soothing incantation, a summons known to many desert folk... And water rained down on the hobgoblin linkbearer, extinguishing his torch!

As water cascaded off of him, Trogol the hobgoblin dropped his sodden torch, shuffling backward and uttering high-pitched yelps in the goblin tongue.  An immediate outburst of angry yowling came from the cat in his basket, adding to Trogol's fear and misery. The furious feline unleashed an angry cacaphony of yowls and hisses, amazing all present with its volume and apparent malevolence. 

With the other hobgoblin standing over thirty feet away, the sudden gloom gave the second ambusher a chance to take the offensive.  Tumbling past the angry cockatrice, he drew a short sword and lunged at Septimus!  His shadow-hidden strike would surely have been driven home if it weren't for a tiny bone crab struggling victoriously from the battlefield with its stinking fish-head prize:  The attackers foot shifted from beneath him as he struck, so instead of delivering a lethal stab, the man found himself flailing awkwardly for balance. 

Unfortunately, this distraction was all that the cockatrice needed!  It struck at Septimus at the same time, its bite tearing viciously at his leg behind the armor's protection. 

At this point, we still need Ren's action, but I didn't want to hold things up.

Septimus, DC 12 Fort save!
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Offline caesar193

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2013, 02:05:45 PM »
Peregrina had long since learned to grow detached in combat, and a certain aloofness overtook her. Making a quick decision, she murmured so only Geri could hear "Disarm," accompanied by the appropriate hand motion. Geri immediately took to the shadows that surrounded the combat to the enemy dwarf to attempt to disarm him and bring the whip back to Peregrina. She also quickly took out her trusty bow.

Deciding that the cockatrice was the greatest threat right now, she muttered about the ineptitude of mercenaries, and how they always relied on the halfling to solve their problems, she sent one arrow towards the bird-thing, and, while it was still in the air, followed it with another.

(OOC: Should I roll for Geri now, or will it take a round for him to Disarm the dwarf? Also, for my first arrow: (15:00:46) Minion: caesar193 rolls 1d20 and gets 20. My confirm crit rule: (15:13:18) Minion: caesar193 rolls 1d20 and gets 4. And my second: (15:02:42) Minion: caesar193 rolls 1d20 and gets 4.)
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 02:35:24 PM by caesar193 »

caesar193
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: [Wilderlands] Chapter One: Hunters and the Hunted
« Reply #49 on: July 13, 2013, 04:31:20 AM »
It was chaos! Exeta Fynn had been so deep in thought that he hadn't even realized assailants were upon them until the area was cast into an unnatural darkness which was then admirably stripped away by Therdamin. By the time Exeta thought to act, the area was a shambles; Cockatrice were flitting about, Geri was pelting towards the alleyway and most tragically, Dreimond had been struck and collapsed from his horse!
Exeta peered over to study the fallen doctor - the man was wounded but standing up, and the fury on his face was apparent even from where the alchemist stood.  "Who attacks us, Master Dreimond?" Exeta hollered, his echoed voice ringing through the night.

Knowing now that the doctor didnt need urgent attention Exeta turned to survey the situation. The two cockatrice were both engaged and the taller humanoid was In the thick of it. Even the dwarf secluded in the alleyway had Peregrina's faithful hound stalking it, it seemed. A bomb thrown now might risk injuring his newfound companions. Perhaps things should be looked at from a different angle...
Up in the alleyway, the delapidated wall of the tenement building looked fragile enough. If the Shah would forgive a bit of light destruction, it could prove a more fitting target that would not jeopadise  the safety of his friends as much.

Skirting back several feet to make sure he wouldn't be engulfed in the thick of combat, Exeta plucked a stoppered vial from his pocket and flicked the cork stopper up with a thumb. He snatched a sachet of that same chemical compound used just hours earlier at the Golden Trident, tore it open and poured the powdered Contents into the vial, restoopering it and giving it three brisk shakes. " 'ware the flame!" Exeta yelled in warning to his companions as he lobbed this vial...
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