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View Full Version : A Diplomat's Folly [IC Thread]



ZeroNumerous
2008-01-09, 09:25 PM
Fort Adlin (http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c26/ZeroNumerous/FortAdlin.png)

The sun was still low in the sky at this time of day. It wouldn't reach a zenith until alittle after noon. It was mid-winter, so the air was quite abit colder than normal. Never the less, it didn't stop the soldiers from drilling, and didn't stop the mercenaries from following in their footsteps. Shepard kept the fort running completely normally, whether it was in the middle of the winter or the middle of the summer.

Drilling had been uneventful for everyone that morning. The Fleetrunner, Fera'ath'zera, had been in charge of the drills for today, which consisted of a makeshift archery range established in the center of the fort. Praxiteles and Dornatash provided too be very, very poor shots. Between the two of them, they had a grand total of four hits and sixteen misses. The Poet and Emmaline made a better offering of themselves with six hits and four misses each. Ariana and a human archer plugged in eight hits each, with only two misses. The best of the mercenaries had been Aeylis, who put all ten arrows into the target.

The group only recently broke up after a thirty minute lecture about the proper method of drawing, aiming, and firing. Fera is blunt and to the point. Failure during battle will get them killed, and you always do worse in training than real battle. The elf woman dismisses all seven of you, but the Captain is noticeably missing. Fera does draw The Poet aside and hands him a small envelope. "The captain wanted me to give this to you. If you have any questions, she told me she could be found in that coward's quarters." The only person Fera ever called coward was Adler..

Pink
2008-01-09, 10:39 PM
Poet ((You don't need to call me THE poet really.))

"Thank you very much Miss Fera'ath'zara" He says, with perfect pronunciation of the name, taking the envelope. "And may I take a small moment to compliment you on today's drilling. I'm only a standard shooter myself, however I do believe that I've greatly benefited from your instruction." He says in his usual, ever charming tone and smile, giving a slight bow of gratitude.

Opening the letter, he reads it, then rereads it, carefully before looking towards the fleetrunner. "This...I think I may have to take a trip to Wizard Alder's quarters. Thank You again." He says, a briefly worried look crossing his face before he heads towards the Barracks.

The_Snark
2008-01-10, 04:02 AM
Ariana

The drill finished, Ariana replaces the bow on its rack. It wasn't hers, after all. She knew how to shoot, as she'd just proven, but it had been a while since she had needed to. For that matter, she still didn't really think she'd need to—but the others thought otherwise, and it was easier, in the long run, if she just went along with it. A lot of things were that way.

She glances over at the others, gaze automatically drifting to Emmaline first and then away again, sweeping over the other mercenaries and the soldiers without much expression. She watches Poet for a minute as he walks away, feeling idly curious where he's going, and then drifts away from the weapons rack, idly looking to the sky to see if there were any birds overhead.

Ellas Aramond
2008-01-10, 11:35 AM
Dornatash

'Alright, steady hand, keep the arrow straight on the bow.' He repeats in his mind the same instructions that Fera had been saying to him for the past twenty minutes. 'Pull the string back, and let it fly...Well, atleast it hit the target this time.' He shrugs and returns the bow to its place on the rack, mentally debating whether he should tell the Fleetrunner once again that he was more suited to the crossbow. He decided against it, figuring that it would be better for them all if they kept the higher-ups as un-frustrated as possible. 'Besides, I've got more important things to worry about.'

He makes his way back to where he's been put up in the barracks. Onmce there, he fishes his large book of magic out of his pack. Then, sits down with his back against the wall. "Alright, if I take Acibeck's Principal, and apply it here." He whispers to himself as he opens the book a particularly useful spell. "Yes, that will work."

Fax Celestis
2008-01-10, 12:04 PM
Praxiteles is a crag of a dwarf, seemingly carved out of stone. His grayish skin and steely eyes display a certain elemental primacy that doesn't seem suited for attacks from afar--or for waiting.

Praxiteles' usually taciturn demeanor is merely exacerbated by the failings on the archery range and the lecture afterwards. Archery's for pansies and elves, he thinks to himself. A real warrior isn't afraid to get up in the faces of his foes and tear them to shreds.

He fingers a wooden amulet around his neck idly as he looks over the archery range. Wonder what a dwarf's gotta do to get some action around here.

Aeylis
2008-01-10, 01:40 PM
Aeylis

During the training Aeylis unconsciously upheld Fera's standard's before they'd even been voiced, delivering every arrow with careful precision. Having previously done so in the face of charging Southlanders on numerous occasions, she was inclined to agree. Once the heart racing surge of battle got into you, it could save your life with quick reflexes.. or kill you with unwise haste.

There had been some undeniable levity in outperforming her comrades, but it had been hollow and short-lived. It was neither a straight contest or a fair comparison to judge on such a limited strength alone. After all, she was one of the few who'd owned and used her own longbow. It was a familiar presence in her hand, while she surmised that those such as Praxiteles and the scholarly Dornatesh had scarcely lain hands on such a weapon. They boasted other strengths in compensation.

When Fera releases them, Aeylis offers a brief smile and simple thanks to Fera in elven. She makes no move to leave immediately, instead taking the time to inspect her bow as well as the arrows she'd fired. She had held off doing so during the Fleetrunner's lecture out of respect, but needed to be certain nothing had become overly stressed.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-11, 02:16 AM
Ariana

This time of year proved very poor for birdwatchers, amateur or professional. During the winter months, Althan and Rikova were gifted with sunlight, while southern Lathar, old Meerlain, and the Southland spent only scant hours in the sun's heat. This resulted in more snow and less birds, as the avians fled northward to evade the cold winter chill. A southland thrush sat atop the northwestern watch tower, and it was the only bird within sight. A simple brown and gray bird, the southland thrush was very territorial. The thing was already in the middle of attacking one of the guards for disturbing its temporary nesting ground..

Dornatash

The barracks is rather empty. And the reason why soon made itself obvious..

Aeylis, Ariana, and Praxiteles

A human, a Latharian by the name of Red Blackfeather, was gathering up a sizable number of Latharian and Meerlain soldiers. He appears to be shouting to the crowd.. "(Meer)Too long have we been sitting here waiting for those Southlander scum to bring their war to our gates. Now is the time we strike! You've all lost brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers to those dwarven scum outside. And for once in this war, we've got them on the defensive! I say we go on the offensive!" A cheer goes up from the crowd at his words. "(Meer)Not just attacking their army, but marching to reclaim Meerlain!" Another, stronger cheer goes up from the Meerlain natives. "(Meer)Commander Shepard has kept us bottled up in this fort for far too long! In fact, if Amaethar was in charge, we'd have already brought the hammer down on those damned earth-diggers! She wants to bring Meerlain out from under their dirty boots!" A third cheer goes up, this time intermingled with shouts of "Commander Amaethar!"

It's quickly becoming obvious that the man is going to incite a riot..

Dornatash

You hear shouts coming from outside the barracks, apparently most of the barracks is out in the courtyard..

Aeylis
2008-01-11, 05:36 AM
Aeylis

Aeylis quivers visibly upon the realization of what's happening across the courtyard, She'd seen this before, and she knew how it might end. Meerlain's remaining people were hurt and demoralized and the easiest response to those feelings were thoughts of retaliation, regardless of consequence. Part of her was angered to see the foreign rabble-rouser abuse that fact, but moreso saddened to see that it appeared to be working. She didn't know the man, and that seemed all the more reason to be suspicious of his intentions.

Slinging her bow over her shoulder, she quickly crosses the courtyard to join the growing crowd. There, she bides her time, waiting for a lull, interjection her own voice as forcefully as she can,

"(Meer)Offensive? For years, we've been overrun and overwhelmed by the Southlanders time and time again despite our every advantage of fighting defensively on familiar terrain. And here, finally, we've beaten them once, just ONCE, by drawing upon every strength we have. And your course of action would be to charge out with haste and meet them on open ground."

Biting her lip to steel her voice, she continues, tuning out the soudns around her lest she become distracted,

"(Meer)By all rights, we could easily have lost here. It was a close thing. The loss of Meerlain pains all of us, but the Commander knows that at this moment, in this place, we are equal to the force arrayed against us. In order to become greater, we must build upon the strengths that have won us our respite. We children of Meer are all that's left of it now. For us to act rashly now would not reclaim Meerlain, it would destroy what little remains."

She pauses again, this time making a point of directing her gaze precisely at Red, ire rising up in her voice,

"(Meer)I would not see my people annihilated because you lack the stomach in the face of what we have already endured."

Ellas Aramond
2008-01-11, 12:11 PM
Dornatash

'Its too quiet in here.' He finally decides, closing his book. During his time being stationed at the fort, he had grown accustomed to the sound of conversation always being around him. Without the constant noise, he found it impossible to concentrate.

He got his noise, in the form of outside shouts. Thinking that battle had finally found its way to the fort's walls, he throws his pack over his shoulder, and runs outside. When he makes it out, he is instantly assailed by Red's speech. Knowing what could easily come of this, he makes his way over to the Officer's barracks, hoping that the proper application of athority will disperce the crowd.

'I hope she can keep them calm long enough. He thinks when he hears Aeylis' counter-arguement.

Rushing through the door, he quickly makes it over to the true commander. My apologies for the intrusion, Commander. But there is a problem that needs your immeadeate attention."

Fax Celestis
2008-01-11, 04:57 PM
Praxiteles doesn't know enough Meer to understand all of what's being said, but the body language and the tone of voice coupled with the fleeting mention of dwarves--a word he has come to recognize--has incited his ire. "Why don't you speak in a tongue we can all understand, you pretentious git?" he asks angrily in Common.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-11, 07:30 PM
Dornatash

You burst into the officer's barracks, which is surprisingly empty. The only people inside are the Poet, who appears to be leaving, Captain Amaethar, and Adler the wizard. You slowly make your way to the Commander's room, which is the only room separated from the rest of the barracks.

The commander is in the middle of his morning shave. The man, dark-skinned and obviously aged, lowers his knife to hear Dornatash out. "Alright boy. Gimme time." He dunks the six inch knife into a small dish of water and wipes it off with his hands. Soon enough, the knife is sheathed and the Commander is off. He grabs up a crossbow from beside the doorframe.

Aeylis and Praxiteles

(Meer)"Of course it is best to meet them upon open ground! There, we can end the threat of Southland aggression permanently! The commander understands that he--HRK!"

In a single moment, the officer's barracks bursts open and a crossbow is leveled at Red's chest. Shepard fires, and a bolt seems to grow from the Althanian's torso. In a few fluid seconds, the Commander has reloaded his crossbow. (Common)"Who else?" (Meer)"Anyone else want to start trouble in my fort? Well?" When no one offers resistance, Shepard hands off the crossbow to Dornatash and leaves.

Group

The Poet and Captain Amaethar step out of the officer's barracks just as Shepard enters. Everyone is staring at the stunned crowd in the center of the fortress. No one has even started moving Blackfeather's corpse. The Captain immediately whispers something to the Poet and begins shouting to break up the crowd and bury Blackfeather.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-11, 07:56 PM
Praxiteles stalks over to the body and surveys the corpse, arms folded. (Dwarven) "Perhaps a traditional dwarven burial would be appropriate," he says without mirth before switching to Druidic: "May the hands of nature guide you to a kind reincarnation." He turns and retires to a convenient spot away from the gathering to sit. He motions and intones lightly, and a small creature apparently made from compost and vegetation springs into being beside him.1 He plays with it idly as if it were a pet.

1Praxiteles has just cast wood wose.

The_Snark
2008-01-11, 09:37 PM
Ariana

Ariana watches the riot scene from a distance, expression dispassionate but growing tenser as she listens, frequently checking to ensure Emmaline is not about to step into the midst of the trouble. She doesn't speak Meerish, but she can tell when trouble is brewing. When the human is shot, she tenses further, wondering if it will come to a fight with the dwarves not even here yet—this was why she'd wanted to stay away from the war. A battlefield couldn't be anything but dangerous.

As the commander heads back indoors, and nobody takes him up on his challenge, Ariana relaxes outwardly, brooding. The fort no longer felt like a place she could let her guard down in, though. Something was happening—even if it was only unrest among the soldiers. That was bad enough; she had a sudden image of the soldiers fighting inside the fort while the dwarven armies marched on it from the outside.

Pink
2008-01-12, 02:41 PM
Poet

Poet seems to look upon the scene dispassionately. Situations were difficult, all the soldiers were tired from years of campaigning again and again. Emotions tense and everybody trying to grab onto whatever power they could for the uncertain future. Races weren't meant to live in a constant state of war like this.

Slowly, Poet walks away from the crowd to the more deserted part of the courtyard were the two grey elves seem to have been observing events. <Althanese>"May I wish you a good day and bid a moment to discuss something, Miss Emmaline and Miss Ariana? I bring a rather important instruction from the captain."</Althanese>

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-14, 05:48 AM
Emmaline

Near Ariana, a lean figure leans against a wall, a sardonic half-smile on her face, and claps slowly and insolently in the silence left after the Commander's coming and going; glove sounds against glove, each of them black with tiny gleaming stars on them. At the moment, she might as well be pulled from the dreams of every child who's ever wanted to be a swashbuckler: feathers and crystals are beaded into the long, unnaturally scarlet hair flows in ringlets down her back, exactly matching the shade of her floor-length scarlet black coat, which draws in at the waist and widens at her legs; it's open to reveal leather and silk, a black vest studded with several knives over a creamy, ruffled blouse. Black trousers disappear into black boots, knee-high with turned-down tops, and the wide brim of a hat is drawn low over her eyes. She has dusky-brown skin--the complexion of the far isles--with prominent cheekbones, a somewhat sharp nose, dark, close-set eyes with long lashes, and a ring in the lobe of each ear, with the right bearing several more near its pointed tip.

Emma pushes off of the wall and steps forward, boots clicking over the stone of the yard until she's close enough to get the attention of the stunned mob. Not so hard; getting attention is her forté.
"Red Blackfeather," she enunciates clearly in Meer with her arms folded over her chest, "was a f---ing idiot who'd have gotten you all killed. The next a--hole who wants to mutiny is going to get the exact same treatment Red got and he'll f---ing deserve it too. You know what? Go talk to "Commander" Amaethar about charging out like greenhorns who haven't even heard the word tactics if you're so fired up, but I'd lay money on her sending the first jackass to do so to the healers'. So next time someone starts whipping you up into a mob, remind yourself that you don't know jack about strategy and the commanders do, and the only thing that forcing a direct confrontation get will all of us killed... and believe me, I will be unutterably pissed at anyone who gets me killed."

She whirls, describing three-quarters of a circle on her heel, her coat swooshing behind her. Facing Poet, she switches fluently to Althanese.
"Could you believe that guy? --Yeah, go on."

Pink
2008-01-14, 01:34 PM
Poet

A slight smile appears from the corners of his mouth at the way the boistorous grey elf handles the situation. He then begins his conversation in a hushed tone.

"Well, speaking of the Captain Amaether, Captain, not commander, and you may wish to be careful about such mistakes around Commander Shepard, I have recieved an order from her that I pass onto you and your sister. I would ask you only read it, and dispose of it properly afterwards. It's not the sort of command that's best to leave around if you understand my meaning." he says, before drawing from his pack a letter, sealed by the Captain, and handing it to Emmaline.

The_Snark
2008-01-15, 01:08 AM
Ariana

Ariana glances at Poet as he strides over towards her, alternating between watching him, the dispersing crowd's reaction to Emmaline, and Emmaline herself. She fixes her stare on him as he greets them, not really smiling (in fact, she looks more or less the same she did while watching the mob) and lets her sister take the lead.

She reads the note over Emmaline's shoulder, then glances upwards—at Poet, at the still-dispersing mob, at Praxiteles sitting some way off, up at the thrush's nest, and finally back to Poet and her sister. "You've read it?" she asks Poet, taking note of the seal and studying the letter again. She looks up, ostensibly to look about the courtyard to see if anyone else is close enough to hear, but out of the corner of her eye she's watching Emmaline to see how she reacts.

Pink
2008-01-15, 01:18 AM
Poet

"I admit to being in the presence of it's writing even." He says, before a look of slight concern passes over his face. "Am I right in handing this letter to you two? That you are more than just swords for hire and capable of carrying out military commands?" All of this is said in the language of the remaining elven land.

Ellas Aramond
2008-01-15, 01:48 AM
(Quor) "Didn't expect that." And it was true, Dornatash hadn't expected such a reaction, he's not even sure if he's okay with it. 'Of course, that's why the commander is in charge, and you're not.' He can't help but think.

Finally getting over the surprise, he realizes that there's still a crossbow that's sitting in his hands. Taking a look at it, he realizes that it's his. He had been trying to figure out just where he had left it for some time now. Strapping it to the side of his haversack, he heads down to the main area, noticing Poet and the sisters being secretive.

He decides to ignore it, knowing that some facts would just be beyond his grasp, and instead lets his pack fall to the ground as he leans against a wall and pulls his book out once again.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-15, 02:47 AM
The Crowd

The reaction to Emmaline is what one expects. The crowd disperses quietly, with a few shooting the gray elf a harsh stare.

Dornatash

Captain Amaethar was the one woman everyone in the fort knew of. Of course, this didn't mean everyone knew about her. A mercenary from up north, the rumors say. Possibly Althanian. But the glare she levels at the less-experienced soldiers says she definitely isn't one of the peace-loving elves. Soldiers say she's actually Rikovanian, and that she could wrestle an orc to the ground since birth. While no one has ever actually seen her do it, she certainly doesn't try to dispel the image. And the piercing blue eyes that settle upon Dornatash definitely do nothing but reinforce the rumors. The woman looks every bit like a hawk--from her nose to her sharp cheek and jawlines. The woman even smiles like a bird of prey.

Amaethar is surprisingly well dressed, for a soldier. A red shirt, embroidered with long sinewous dragons dancing down the sleeves, hugs her toned body. A matching pair of breeches, untouched by embroidery but obviously well taken care of, fit her legs rather snugly. She doesn't sport the coat or cape most mercenaries wear, and her body is entirely void of jewelry. Though, she is sporting a tattoo of a red dragon in flight across her right cheek.

Amaethar extends a gloved hand toward Dornatash, the red leather riding gloves seem form-fitted to the hand that bears them. (Common)"You speak Althanian, yes? Dornatash, right?"

Ellas Aramond
2008-01-15, 02:56 AM
(Common)"Correct, that would be me." He said respectfully, although his eyes never stopped skimming over the pages. "And though I did live in the region for some time, I never learned the language, despite my status as a scholar."

(Elven) "I did, however, learn the language of the Elves."

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-15, 03:13 AM
Amaethar quickly drops into Elven. Common, though good for traders, is not a language best suited for holding conversation. (Elven)"Ah, a scholar. I wanted to thank you for informing Shepard about the riot. But I must beg the question.. Why is a scholar on a battlefield such as this one?"

Ellas Aramond
2008-01-15, 03:16 AM
With a small smile, Dornatash closes his book and looks the Captain straight in the eyes.

(Elven) "I am on a search for truth."

Aeylis
2008-01-15, 01:48 PM
Aeylis's wide eyed shock at Red's swift demise swiftly turns to distaste, he nose wrinkling. Looking a bit crestfallen at her failure to diffuse the situation on her own, she makes her way over to the fallen man. She takes a knee at his side, ruefully inspecting him for a moment before going to work. With some effort she turns him onto his side, propping him there while she snaps the head off the crossbow bolt and slides the remainder of the offending projectile free of his body. She then turns him onto his back, folding his arms across his breast overtop the wound. Finally, she closes his stunned eyes, whispering a benediction so quiet as to be between her and the dead,

"(Elven)Though our opinions differed, I had no desire to see you dead. May you see more peace in death than life."

The words held meaning to her, but felt emptier than they should have. She'd said their like far too often lately. Given how violent life was becoming, death wouldn't have to be terribly peaceful to best it.

With a sigh Aeylis rises and trots off a ways, seeking a moment of solitude to recollect herself.

The_Snark
2008-01-17, 08:56 PM
Ariana

Ariana meets Poet's concerned gaze flatly, grey-blue eyes scrutinizing him intensely for several seconds, as though to try to peel back his expression and see what he was thinking behind it. Finally, she nods. "We can," she says, emphasizing the second word. Just because they could didn't necessarily mean they would. If he was telling the truth, then it would be better to do as the letter suggested. If he wasn't... then they would be taking a risk for nothing, and she would need to know why.

She looks to Emmaline again, trying to read what she thinks of the letter—when she wasn't being reckless, she was a surprisingly good judge of people, picking up on details Ariana missed.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-19, 06:01 AM
Ten minutes pass and soldiers drag off Red's corpse to be buried outside the fortress..

Everything becomes peaceful for a time, but everyone still seems rather on edge. Althanians are looking at any Meer with a mixture of pity and suspicion, half expecting the refugees to start their own blood-lust driven rally. Even then, however, peace reigns for a time.

AIEEEEEEE!

A shout interrupts the quiet tranquility that had settled over the fortress after Red's debacle. It originates from the officer's barracks, and several soldiers are already dashing off to investigate the matter. Ariana, Praxiteles, and Aeylis pick out the loud crash that follows as several soldiers bash their way into the barracks.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-22, 12:40 PM
Praxiteles grabs the wood wose, places it on his shoulder, and charges off towards the scream. He moves surprisingly quickly for one of his stature and apparent stony demeanor. Those who have seen dwarves run at full-tilt before are probably startled to notice that Praxiteles runs nearly twice as fast as they and even moves quickly enough to outpace your typical human.

Ellas Aramond
2008-01-23, 09:57 PM
Hearing the crash finally makes Dornatash finally raise his head from the overly large book. "What's going on now?" he says as he returns the book to his pack then runs behind the guards. There was a chance that something could be attacking, but he doubted it, considering the way nothing had been happening. But he knows all that matters is him getting to the source of the noise, for in all that he has seen so far, where there is screaming is usually someone in need of healing.

Aeylis
2008-01-24, 03:37 AM
Reverie shattered by the sudden disturbance, Aeylis wastes little time in joining the throng of soldiers as they head towards the barracks. Reflexively, one hand reaches over her shoulder to clasp her sword hilt, drawing several inches of the blade free before lightly resettling it. Assured that the weapon would draw freely and easily if called upon, she slows to a cautious walk as she nears the barracks.

The slight elf moves carefully around the soldiers already gathering or entering the barracks, making no move to shoulder or otherwise forcefully maneuver her way in. Instead, her motions are those of one who has weathered dangerous surprises before and survived. Every move is deliberate, a careful stalk that puts her closer to the trouble without needlessly endangering herself through haste.

Daintily, she edges forward, cursing her lack of stature as she tries to catch a glimpse of what lay beyond the threshold.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-24, 04:14 PM
Emmaline

The flamboyant elf's eyes flash as she reads the letter, and she purses her lips, an act which highlights her cheekbones. She doesn't say anything: instead, the not-sound of her mind-voice comes from inside Poet's and her sister's heads.

"You know what? F--- that. The dwarf's been damn useful, and I'm not about to off him on that b----'s say-so. Hells, if she suspects him, I can spell him and get the truth. I think we need to have a little talk with the Captain. And if she doesn't care--well, that means she's out to get at least one of us killed for no good reason, doesn't it?"

Just then, the scream rings out; like everyone else, she rushes towards the officer's barracks, although at a pace that won't get her trampled.

The_Snark
2008-01-24, 08:52 PM
Ariana

Ariana nods slightly, still looking evenly at Poet, until the shout startles the courtyard into action like a flock of startled birds. Her first reaction is to immediately tense, looking sharply towards the barracks; with no threat immediately evident, she follows her sister towards the source of the commotion, still on her toes. Possible sources for the faint crashing sound run through her mind—soldiers knocking down one of the doors, tables or chairs being splintered... it had the uneasy makings of a riot, to her mind, given the mood of the soldiers.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-25, 07:11 AM
The Commotion

When the locked door is finally broken down, the group and a pair of soldiers barrel into the room. The Fleetrunner is leaning against the wall with a crossbow bolt in her left side, just above her spleen. The wizard, Adler, is laying on the ground with blood seeping from beneath his scalp. The sound of steel against steel rattles in the Commander's room.

The door to his room is locked, strangely enough.

I need a Strength check if you're gonna break it down.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-25, 11:02 AM
Emmaline levels a hand and speaks a Word that immediately fades from the memory of those who hear it, although it can be heard clearly; the lock clicks open.

(Casting Knock.)

Fax Celestis
2008-01-25, 12:10 PM
Praxiteles will rage and kick down the door1 if Emmaline's spell doesn't work. Otherwise, he'll rage and charge into the room. Before he does so, in either case, a gout of lava bursts from his hand and forms itself into the shape of a scimitar2.

When Praxiteles rages, his complexion and apparently even his physical structure become even stonier than before. If one hadn't known that Praxiteles was a dwarf before hand, one might even assume that he's a dwarf-shaped earth elemental.

Initiative (1d20+1=4) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1472794/) (if you need it).
1Strength Check (1d20+6=14) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1472754/)
2Praxiteles has cast flame blade. Attack pattern is: flame blade +9 melee touch (1d8+2 fire, 18-20/x2)

While raging, Praxiteles has the following changes:
+8 Str, +8 Con, +2 morale to Will, +1 Natural Armor, -4 AC

Total changes:
Str 22, Con 24
Fort +12, Will +12
AB: +9 (+10 with dagger)
HP: +4 HP/HD (+20 HP), 55 total
AC: 16, flat 15, touch 13
Rage duration: 10 rounds.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-25, 01:00 PM
Room

You break into the Commander's quarters to see him fighting a small dwarf. The dwarf turns when she sees the door burst open and immediately shouts in Common. "Surrender! No! He~!"

Shepard takes the opening in it's stance to attack again, and he drives ihs longsword into it's stomach. He turns toward you and motions north, toward a broken window. Shouts can be heard from outside the building. (Common)"That way!" (Latharese)"Three more of them, making a break for the north wall. Get after them!"

Everyone rushes back outside and notice 3 dwarves running northward as quickly as possible..

Initiative, please. Also, I'm gonna rule that it only takes a move action to get outside, so this would be the first real 'round'.

Map for the Battle (http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c26/ZeroNumerous/ConfusionBattle.png)

Key:
Peach - Ariana
Light Purple - Emmaline
Dark Purple - Dornatash
Blue - Poet
Red - Praxiteles
Dark Green - Aeylis
Light Green - Soldiers(Allies)
Light Yellow - Dwarves
Dark Red - The Captain
Dark Gray - The Gate

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-25, 02:51 PM
(Initiative: [roll0]
Edit: well then!)

Emmaline promptly throws a pinch of glass dust into the air; a delicate, shimmering hummingbird that seems to be made of stained glass zips out towards the running dwarves... and explodes in their midst, into miniscule fragments of glitter that cling to them and get in their eyes. Then the speaks another Word, the tone of this one much sharper. Like the previous one, it can be heard but not actually discerned.

Glitterdust, DC 18, centered at the point between I and J and between 11 and 12. Then Halt, DC 19, at any dwarf who saved vs. the glitterdust (or the farthest one if none did). If Emmaline can leave the building while Hiding and Moving Silently, she does so, and that should add +1 DC from Cloaked Casting.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-25, 05:51 PM
Praxiteles will charge the dwarf at I13 (or the one at J12 if he's dead, or the one at J10 if he's dead), bellowing loudly and swinging his blade of lava in a mighty arc over his head in both hands1.

1Attack roll (charging). (1d20+11=17) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1472996/)
Damage (fire) (1d8+2=10) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1473002/)
Praxiteles hits Touch AC 17 for 10 fire damage.

Question: Can I power attack with a flame blade?

Rage duration: 9 rounds left
Flame blade duration: 59 rounds left

The_Snark
2008-01-25, 07:01 PM
Ariana

Ariana follows right on her sister's heels, uncoiling like a serpent as she darts forward. She raises a hand towards one of the fleeing dwarves, and fire blossoms from her outstretched arm, forming a fiery line between her and one of them for a moment. The dark orange flames cling to the dwarf persistently, even his armor, which shouldn't burn at all, and despite their darkish, smoky look, there's no actual smoke from the fires.

Initiative 22, rolled in OOC thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3838299&postcount=29).

Ariana moves up to I17, and targets the dwarf at J12 with Brimstone Blast. [roll0] ranged touch, [roll1] fire damage. Reflex DC 18 or he catches fire and takes another [roll2] fire damage at the beginning of his turn; if he fails that one, he has to make another DC 15 Reflex save to avoid catching on fire normally.

Aeylis
2008-01-26, 05:20 PM
Aeylis slips westward through her allies, then north, cutting a path parallel to the dwarves' own from there. As she closes the distance, she retrieves her recently used bow from it's place at her back.

She retrieves an arrow from the quiver at her hip, slender fingers maneuvering it as she moves. By the time she comes to a stop, her bow is strung and ready. She shifts her stance quickly, drawing the bow, hesitating only a moment to judge her target before loosing an arrow at the furthest dwarf.


[roll0]

Moving to F13, drawing her bow as part of the action.
Attacking dwarf at J10, presuming he's still in the lead.

[roll1]
[roll2]

Ellas Aramond
2008-01-26, 08:53 PM
Sorry, the the boards chose to wait until now to tell me that more was posted.

Dornatash dashes up to E15 to get closer to the action, while taking his crossbow off his shoulder.

"I call on the spirits of the divine; bring forth the Hammer of Justice!" he calls out, drawing upon his magic to summon forth a hammer made of pure force in front of the dwarf that has been hurt the least, sending it swinging away it him.

I cast Spiritual Weapon and have it start attacking whichever dwarf has been hurt the least when it comes to my turn.

Initiative: [roll0]
SW Attack: [roll1]
SW Damage: [roll2]

Spiritual Weapon duration: 7 rounds left

Pink
2008-01-27, 02:10 PM
Poet

A unidentifiable look crosses over Poet's features at Emmaline's Response, however there is no time to scrutinize it as the chaos of battle seems to suddenly erupt. Knowing that The other's are more than capable of handling the attackers, his gaze instead moves over to the wounded fleetrunner and wizard. Swinging his lute from his back into his hands, his fingers start to pluck a battle tune on the instrument, subtle at first before boosting into resonance against the walls of the keep, bringing out an inner strength within all of the mercenaries and soldiers.

Inspiring courage with an Inspirational Boost for +3 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +3 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls and five foot step to 18P.

Inspire Courage lasts 10 rounds.

Question, where are The fleetrunner and Adler located?

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-28, 09:54 AM
End Results of the Battle
Dwarves

They fail to save versus Glitterdust. The lead dwarf saves versus Halt. Only the lead dwarf moves to K4. The others didn't move fast enough. Ariana's bolt of fire drops Dwarf J12 quickly. The Spiritual Hammer smashes in the lead dwarf's face, but he survives the blow. Aeylis moves forward and shoots at the lead dwarf, but her arrow misses wide and thuds in the ground beside him.

Guards

One of them steps into Dwarf I13's range. He gets a knife in the gut when I13's turn comes up. The rest take out their crossbows and fire at I13 and K4. They miss I13. K4 takes two arrows in the back and drops. The Captain moves up and stabs I13 in the leg, but he survives the wound.

Praxiteles

The mini-earth elemental attacks the I13 dwarf. The flame blade cuts off the other dwarf's left arm and simultaneously cauterizes the wound. I13 dwarf drops.


Everyone gains 125 XP from killing the assassins.

Post Battle

The 'dwarf' bodies immediately begin convulsing. A jittery soldier fires his crossbow into one of the dwarf corpses, but the wooden bolt fails to stop the shaking. Mere seconds after they began shaking, each dwarf has been replaced by a pale skinned hairless humanoid much taller than a dwarf normally is.

Know(Local) checks can identify the corpses.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-28, 10:37 AM
Zero, I just realized--Mindsight gives me the type of each mind within range. What was the type of these guys before they died? Not humanoid(dwarf), apparently.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-28, 11:10 AM
Praxiteles drops to one knee and examines the corpse in front of him. His stony physique transmutes back to his normal craggy features, and he pokes the corpse tentatively. "This ain't no dwarf, sir," he rumbles to the Captain, "But durned if'n I know what it is."

Untrained Know: Loc (1d20 0=16) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1475104/)

Pink
2008-01-28, 01:25 PM
Poet

Seeing the intruders properly dealt with, Poet rushes over to Adler first, pulling from his belt a wand and using it's healing power first on the wizard, then the fleetrunner, before examining both of them further.

[roll0]
[roll1]
[roll2]
[roll3]

After being assured that they are stable, Poet slips the wand back into it's loop on his belt and rearranges his Lute upon his back and walks over to inspect the corpses that seem to fascinate the rest of the troop.

[roll4]
Also, assuming something is wrong with Adler and Fera but they are still alive, Poet will give a shout out for some proper healers and give another application of the wand to each.

The_Snark
2008-01-28, 03:56 PM
Ariana

Ariana looks at the corpses disinterestedly. They had been trying to get them killed, and now they were dead, and that was what was important. It didn't much matter what they had been. Except that there might be more, and she would have to be even more cautious from now on.

I don't think Mindsight gives subtypes, so it might not have been possible to tell until now.

Ellas Aramond
2008-01-28, 04:24 PM
"They were going to kill many others, so they had to be killed. Dornatash said to himself, trying his best to believe that there had been no other way to deal with them.

Seeing Poet tend to the wounded, he joins the others in trying to figure out just what these creatures are.

Of course, you pick one of the knowledges that I didn't put any ranks into.

Knowledge (Local): [roll0]

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-28, 05:05 PM
Alittle FYI: Knowledge checks are trained only. If you lack ranks, don't bother rolling.

Poet

The Fleetrunner is unconscious and wounded, but Adler is quite dead. You gauge that healing her has kept her from dying, but she's still unconscious. Adler appears to have died from blunt force trauma to the back of his head.

Pink
2008-01-28, 07:49 PM
Poet

"Changlings, the bastard breed of Dopplegangers." Poet says after a careful glance at them, before walking back to Adler and moving him properly onto his back before closing his eye lids and placing a gold coin on top of each. Poet removes his hat from his head, closes it to his breast, lowering his head in a respectful moment, before rising and addressing the troops and captain. "Does anyone require any immediate healing? One of you soldiers, stop staring at bodies of the dead and go fetch a healer already. They won't be getting back up."

With that, Poet moves to search the bodies, looking most notably for any paper, form of instruction, or sign of alliance or origin.


And just in case it's needed to identify origin if somethings found
[roll=Know(Any)]1d20+6

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-30, 08:54 PM
Aftermath

The local priest arrives and heals the Fleetrunner. Adler is buried outside the fortress alongside those who died during the siege. The Captain sends the six of you out with the Fleetrunner to track down where those changelings came from. Strangely enough, she also dispatches a good six or seven other groups of soldiers to search.

You travel southwest for a day pretty uneventfully, and camp out near a dense forest.

"We can camp here tonight and keep following their tracks in the morning. Enjoy the respite for now, I feel we're close, but I can't exactly tell one way or another.."

The_Snark
2008-01-31, 03:18 AM
Ariana

Travelling is nothing new to Ariana, and she spends most of the day walking in silence, watching the countryside go by impassively. Good to be away. With shapeshifters, a fortress full of people is not a good place to be. Of course, there still were some people here, so it might not matter... the elf finds herself occasionally scrutinizing her travelling companions (except for Emmaline), watching them for signs that something is amiss. It's difficult. How does a changeling look different or act different? How can you tell?

She's tougher than most elves, but when the time comes to stop, she's tired enough that she removes her pack immediately and sits against a rock for a minute or so. Only a minute later, she gets up to stretch for a few minutes and walk around the camp before settling down against a rock and watching the surrounding area, especially the trees.

She's looking for animals, in particular birds. Let me know if she sees any.

ZeroNumerous
2008-02-02, 03:04 AM
[Bumpiliciousness]

I'll send out PMs later.

Fax Celestis
2008-02-02, 12:54 PM
Praxiteles remains quiet for most of the journey. He seems contemplative and also wonders how close his own neck came to being on the line: If'n they hadn't been changelings, I prob'ly would've been out on me ear. Or dead, for suppos'd treason.

Aeylis
2008-02-02, 04:16 PM
Aeylis is obviously troubled by the events of the day. Though she attempts to stay mindful and alert, it is evident that there is a lot going though her eyes behind each watchful glance.

How do changelings fit into this? Could they be working with the Rothunese? Or simply playing sides against the other? Was there any connection to Red's attempted insurrection?

Her obvious lack of knowledge on changelings prevented her from reaching closure during the trip. She resolved to ask Poet when they stopped, as he seemed the most likely to know something.

When they do settle down, she approaches him. Nominally, she addresses him in simplistic Latharese, though she occasionally interjects Meer for words she cannot recall,

"Poet, what did you call those.. (M)beings(M) we fought today? Changelings?" She pauses a moment, perhaps embarrassed by her lack of knowledge, "I'm not (M)familiar(M) with them. Do you know more of them?"

Rachel Lorelei
2008-02-06, 12:53 AM
Emmaline tosses her pack down and stretches out on some grass.
"Damn, they couldn't have given us some horses? This is a crappy idea, by the way, slim odds of finding anything useful. I'd love some shapechangers at my disposal--I bet everyone in the fort is looking at each other suspicious-like right now."

Pink
2008-02-06, 12:26 PM
Poet

Thus far into the trip Poet's mind races around the score of events that have happened. However he doesn't let his outward appearance reveal his inner calculations instead trying to be a bit lighthearted and trying to take the minds of everyone off of the deaths of the companions that day. To this effect, during the march before the break, Poet spends most of his time reciting one of the few humorous stories of the ongoing feud between the half-brothers Hextor and Heironeous.

The tale he weaves begins with the two gods both leading an army of their priests, paladins and followers against each other in a huge battle. In the middle of the battleground both of them meet and they are locked in mortal combat, neither of them giving and inch as their troops surge at each other beside them. For days this goes on uninterrupted, until finally, a laughing voice interrupts them. Puzzled, both The Invincible and the six-armed tyrant back away from each other and look around. Up above, sitting in a tree and laughing, appearing as a youthful human man, is Olidammara. Snarling with rage, Hextor shouted out "Why do you dare to laugh at the Scourge of Battle?"

"It is not at you alone I laugh, but at your half-brother as well." Chuckled the rogue god. "Here you are, both champions of battle, each of you fighting in your element and you expect to strike a lethal blow to the other? Nay, it is folly, you will forever fight to the end and be lost instead, for neither shall beat the other. See, even look at your men. For days as you fought so they day under your shadow, yet not a loss of even one man to your numbers has either of you sustained."

"If what you say with your laughing lips is true, you would say that we are equals on the field." Say the Invincible in a dangerous tone, for wile upright and just he, like all gods, was proud as well.

"That I would not risk my tongue to say. One of you is no doubt better than the other, however the fight would go on until the end of this world and longer if you were to decide it by battle, for the fight is the strength both of you possess. Instead, if a winner you must have, you should choose it based upon a competition of your weaknesses."

"A winner there must be, for in the end there will only be me ruling over all." Boasted Hextor

"I do not care for challenges, however I will always strive to rid the world of his evil." Came the reply from Heironeous.

"Then perhaps you would agree to a challenge? I shall create a test for both of you that will lie upon an equal weakness of both of you. The winner of this challenge will gain the followers of the other, for I shall trick the minds of men accordingly. With the newly gained power it will be child's play for either of you to destroy the other. What do you say?"

To be continued when I have more time :P

When they finally take a break Poet sits down and tunes his instrument a bit. He also pulls a pair of white boots out of his bag to replace his own, the new boots seeming better made for winter traveling.

At Aeylis's question Poet looks at her with a kind smile before speaking to her in fluent Meer. "They are a cross breed of humans and dopplegangers. No one quite knows how many of them exist since they share much of the same powers of their doppleganger ancestors. Fortunately that's about as far as family resemblance goes on that end, as I've heard that dopplegangers have abilities beyond simple shape changing."


[roll0]

Ellas Aramond
2008-02-06, 10:55 PM
Dornatash

Well, it looks like the plot is starting to thicken. The kalashtar thinks to himself, only paying attention to the rhythmic sound of his walking stick hitting the ground as they traveled. Those creatures that the Meer sent, they're like less powerful dopplegangers. If there are more of them, then that means anyone with me could be one.

He takes a glance around at his companions, then lets out a sigh, realizing how futile it all is. Ah well, they'll show themselves in time. And when they do, let them see that you are more then a simple scholar.

Fax Celestis
2008-02-09, 03:47 PM
"Ye say that like people in the fort wer'nt already lookin' at each other slantwise, elf-lass," Praxiteles grumbles. "These're wartimes, and no-one's ever really trustin' anyones else." He pauses. "'Specially if you come from an unfort'nate background like m'self."

ZeroNumerous
2008-02-11, 03:31 AM
Ariana

The only birds in the area are the normal robins and thrushes native to Lathar.

Fleetrunner

"It's not like the humans particularly trust our kind, sir dwarf. No offense, Sir Poet, but your fellow man is abit of a fool to refuse help in a situation like this. To be honest, I do not think we were sent out here for any reason other than protecting the more moderate humans within the fortress.. I'm not quite sure you noticed, but most of those who left were elves and humans who weren't particularly loyal to Shepard."

The_Snark
2008-02-11, 05:08 AM
Ariana

Ariana ignores the talk for the most part, watching the trees in silence until she finds a thrush that has settled on a branch. Too late in the day for many birds to be out and active. An owl would be best, for looking by night, but what I have will work. She gets up, walking some distance towards the tree, and stops far enough away that it is clear she doesn't mean to go closer. She calls in a low voice, but rather than words, her voice is a low series of twitters rather than speech. Her manner is calm, inoffensive, and her wide-opened eyes seem almost to beckon, exerting a subtle pull on the bird.

In Thrush: "Thrush!-Do-you-dwell-here?"

(You don't have to relate it exactly how the thrush would if it's inconvenient. Wild empathy to improve its attitude: [roll0])

ZeroNumerous
2008-02-11, 06:18 AM
Thrush

(Thrush)"It-live. It-cold-but-no-leave. It-egg. Walky-thingy-weird-to-bird-talk."

(Common Translation)
Yes, I live here. It's winter, but I can't leave. I have an egg. It's weird to see a humanoid talking to me.

Fax Celestis
2008-02-11, 12:29 PM
"True 'nough. 'Tis a sad time indeed when one's birth and one's blood matter more than one's morals." He sighs. "D'ye think Shepard will be a'right?"

The_Snark
2008-02-12, 04:57 AM
Ariana

(Thrush) "Yes-odd. Thrush-you-seen-other-walker-thing-past-days?" She keeps her distance, hands splayed slightly out at her sides to show that they are empty.

Yes, it is. Have you seen other humanoids recently?

ZeroNumerous
2008-02-12, 05:26 AM
Thrush

(Thrush)"See-walky-thingy-sunset-ago. It-no-bird-talk."

(Common Translation)
I saw a humanoid yesterday. It didn't talk in bird.

Fleetrunner

"He's obviously capable of taking care of himself. Other than that, I do not have an opinion of Shepard. He seems to be the type to keep everything.. What's the phrase.. "working like a ship"?"

Fax Celestis
2008-02-12, 11:04 AM
Praxiteles cracks a smile. "Ye realize you're askin' a dwarf about the ocean."

The_Snark
2008-02-12, 12:22 PM
Ariana

Her eyes don't reveal it, but that was what she had been looking for. Had the changelings come this way to the fort? Or had a spy left the fortress early? Or it was simply someone else. No way to tell from a description, even if birds weren't bad at describing faces. (Thrush) "Which-way-did-it-walk? Was-it-taller-shorter?"

Where did you see it last going? Was it taller or shorter than I am?

Aeylis
2008-02-14, 11:27 AM
Aeylis nods gratefully at Poet, continuing in much more comfortable Meer,

"They have been troubling me all day. I cannot help but wonder if they are an ally of the Rothuns, to assay our mistrust as the Fleetrunnner and Praxitales have hit upon, or outsiders seeking to prolong this conflict for some purpose."

She sighs softly,

"Such is beyond my ability to ken though, but it is disturbing not to know, nonetheless."