The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Caelus seems a little taken aback. He pauses for a moment, suddenly losing his bluster. He speaks again, this time in gentler tones. "You've really lost the will to live then? Tell me about your family. You said they were eaten by monsters? You know, I'm offering you a way out here, a chance to get your revenge. Clearly something powerful has awakened in you, and it must be for a purpose. I can help you figure out that purpose."
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Joe sits quietly for a couple seconds thinking about the Captains words. It is not exactly clear what he is thinking, though he appears to be listening to something. Then distress morphs into anger, again emphasizing the instability of his emotions "Don't pretend you care. The Gods seem intent to deliver us too Death and Suffering. If we ever get free we will find our revenge. But if I am fated to die without justice may it be now, and not on the doorstep of our retribution."

    The transition between singular and plural first person seems to be more intentional and not just the ramblings of a mad-man, at least in this situation. Although any long observation of Joe indicates that he is certainly prone to insane rambling.
    Last edited by brandnewb; 2018-06-03 at 10:36 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    The captain becomes very serious, looking Joe in the eye, "You're right. I don't care. But I'm not needlessly cruel either. Like I always say, I'm an opportunist, and if you want a chance at getting retribution, you had best get a grip on yourself and come to terms with your situation, or I'm selling you once we make port. In your state I'd wager it would be a long slow suffering enslavement before you eventually die, without an opportunity like I'm offering you now. Take your pick, your life means nothing to me at this point." He's about to turn away, then looks back at Joe again, "And what bloody devil are you talking to?"
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  4. - Top - End - #64
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Joe listens to the Captain, and grimaces at the thought. While he may not care about death, no-one looks forward to greater suffering. When the Captain asks what Farmer Joe is talking to he just shrugs and refuses to answer.

    Farmer Joe scans the deck for a water barrel from which the sailors can drink. Presumably there would be a ladel or cup or something unattended at it. If there is one Joe will attempt to move the ladel with mage hand, if he can figure it out he will try to bring himself a drink.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Caelus watches the ladle move with curiosity, and doesn't try and stop it. "Well, suit yourself. You have until the morning to make up your mind." He makes a gesture at the other men, who have taken a few steps into the background, away from Joe. He can tell they are afraid of him, but they move in dutifully to hoist Joe back up the mast.


    Nobody experiences any of the powerful nightmares that night, just the usual restless dreams they would normally have. The next morning, Jeri and Quinn are roused and brought to the captain's quarters again. The weather is grey and rainy. They notice the sailors are wearing issued naval uniforms now, where before they had been wearing more practical outfits to perform their duties. They are fed and given the chance to clean themselves up, then given worn out uniforms to match those of the sailors, as well as a water resistant cloak.

    Joe is brought back down in the morning, cramped, shivering, wet, and hungry. The captain is again waiting for him, a spare cloak slung over his left arm. "Have you reconsidered my offer?"

    Spoiler: Joe OOC
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    Joe is fatigued.
    Last edited by Aeryk; 2018-06-04 at 10:25 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Joe wakes up groggy and heavy eyes, having spent the night uncomfortable and unable to actually sleep. He grumbles when the Captain makes the offer again, and looks at the cloak longingly "should we do it?... Fine you bastard, you don't leave us any choice. What exactly do you think we can do for you?"
    Last edited by brandnewb; 2018-06-04 at 10:45 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Caelus nods at one of the accompanying sailors who unlocks the cage. "Come with me, we can discuss it alone. As long as you play nice." Once Joe is out of the cage, Caelus offers him the cloak and leads him to his quarters where he sees Quinn and Jeri, and food set out on the table for them all. "Please, eat, and I'll fill you in."

    The captain reiterates to Joe the same plan as he talked to the others about the day before, then tells him to clean up and dress in the uniform.

    "Once we've talked with the dream interpreter, I'll let you all in on the rest of my plan. Questions?"
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    HalflingRogueGirl

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    "So you just want us to tell this woman what we told you? How can you have a plan before we even know what it all means?" Jeri has increased in curiosity about the dream, and the plan, after a night of dwelling on it.

    (She'd shared the rolls with a couple of the more worse-off prisoners, last night.)

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    "More or less. Apparently she has ways of determining the meaning of these things, and I want to make sure I know everything I can before I commit to anything. I should say I have the framework of a plan, and we can discuss it afterward. Unless you're having second thoughts? I can always throw you back in with the other dogs and still make good money off of you." He smiles dangerously.
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  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Farmer Joe spends the Captain's explanation eating food and nodding when it seems the man desires feedback. He does not reply to anything the captain is saying, although he can be heard muttering things very quitely like they killed them... and Annabelle, my sweet Annabelle.. However Joe never actually interupts the Captain.

    When instructed to go get changed he asks, "I was wearing a heavy wool cloak when they took me. My wife gave me it. The cloak is black, and full length to the ground. Large hood. It is all I have left from my family. I can wear the Uniform. I just want the cloak.

    When he does go to change Joe will grab some bread to eat while he goes to clean up.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    "Of course," Caelus replies, "I'll have all of your personal kit returned."

    Indeed, he immediately tasks one of his men to find everything belonging to Joe, Quinn, and Jeri, which had been confiscated previously.
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeryk View Post
    "Of course," Caelus replies, "I'll have all of your personal kit returned."

    Indeed, he immediately tasks one of his men to find everything belonging to Joe, Quinn, and Jeri, which had been confiscated previously.
    "Oh, thank you. You have a strange way of being threatening and then nice. But niceness is a much better look on you."

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    PirateCaptain

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    Quinn accepts his returned belongings, but politely declines the offer of the uniform. As he dresses himself, it is clear why he prefers his own clothes. Travel-worn as they are, the style and quality far outstrip that of the old naval gear.

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    Are they returning our weapons as well?

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archemist View Post
    "Oh, thank you. You have a strange way of being threatening and then nice. But niceness is a much better look on you."
    Caelus answers gruffly, "It keeps people on their toes, then they never know what to expect."

    Quote Originally Posted by H. Von Studley View Post
    Quinn accepts his returned belongings, but politely declines the offer of the uniform. As he dresses himself, it is clear why he prefers his own clothes. Travel-worn as they are, the style and quality far outstrip that of the old naval gear.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Are they returning our weapons as well?
    "You'll have to be wearing the uniform for the visit to the dream interpreter. I want you all looking like my own men."

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    Yes, he's returning the weapons as well.
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  15. - Top - End - #75
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    HalflingRogueGirl

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    Jeri checks out the uniform. "Hmm. Very surprised that you found one in my size. Well, where's a lady to change around here?"

    She also checks that her brooch and lantern are intact, and fastens the cross-in-circle brooch onto the uniform. "You wouldn't begrudge one of your crew a symbol of their faith, would you?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    This may be a silly question to ask in hindsight, but since her usual outfits hide her tail pretty well... has it been obvious to the captain and everybody that Jeri's a tiefling?

    And would the uniform hide it? Or will she have to cut a hole in the pants?

    Lastly, she'll tuck her dagger back in her sock, in its usual spot, too.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    PirateCaptain

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    Quinn shrugs and puts on the uniform. As he replaces his cloak though, a strange, cold feeling comes over him, as though he is diminished somewhat. He shivers. "You need to invest in some better cloaks for your men Captain. The wind cuts through it like it's not even there."

    He tucks a dagger into his belt and throws an ancient, battered looking bow over his shoulder. From the difference in quality between his clothes and his weapons, it's fairly obvious where Quinn's priorities had been prior to the fall of Illya.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    What Quinn doesn't realise is that as an Occultist he actually relies on fine clothes for access to his powers. I'm assuming he will still get to wear his boots, leather bracers and spectacles, but having swapped the cloak he has now temporarily lost access to the Conjuration school of magic for his spells, as well as his Conjuration implement power. And also one of his focus points that he inadvertently stored in the cloak this morning.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archemist View Post
    Jeri checks out the uniform. "Hmm. Very surprised that you found one in my size. Well, where's a lady to change around here?"

    She also checks that her brooch and lantern are intact, and fastens the cross-in-circle brooch onto the uniform. "You wouldn't begrudge one of your crew a symbol of their faith, would you?"

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    This may be a silly question to ask in hindsight, but since her usual outfits hide her tail pretty well... has it been obvious to the captain and everybody that Jeri's a tiefling?

    And would the uniform hide it? Or will she have to cut a hole in the pants?

    Lastly, she'll tuck her dagger back in her sock, in its usual spot, too.
    "Well, don't mind if they don't fit perfectly. You'll have to pull the cloak over those horns, and keep your tail hidden. And you'll probably have to cut a hole in it, but that's fine. And I don't mind if my crew sport a few small personal effects on them, so long as they aren't too ostentatious. You can change in here when everyone is finished, but I'll be staying to make sure you don't pull any funny business on me."

    Spoiler: OOC Jeri
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    Yes, it would be obvious. Caelus did call her a beastie earlier, but I hadn't thought about it with regard to uniforms, so thanks for catching that ;)


    Quote Originally Posted by H. Von Studley View Post
    Quinn shrugs and puts on the uniform. As he replaces his cloak though, a strange, cold feeling comes over him, as though he is diminished somewhat. He shivers. "You need to invest in some better cloaks for your men Captain. The wind cuts through it like it's not even there."

    He tucks a dagger into his belt and throws an ancient, battered looking bow over his shoulder. From the difference in quality between his clothes and his weapons, it's fairly obvious where Quinn's priorities had been prior to the fall of Illya.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    What Quinn doesn't realise is that as an Occultist he actually relies on fine clothes for access to his powers. I'm assuming he will still get to wear his boots, leather bracers and spectacles, but having swapped the cloak he has now temporarily lost access to the Conjuration school of magic for his spells, as well as his Conjuration implement power. And also one of his focus points that he inadvertently stored in the cloak this morning.
    Caelus raises an eyebrow, "And you need to quit whining like a mule. They suit my men just fine."

    Spoiler: OOC Quinn
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    That's neat. I haven't been able to read in depth all of the class abilities, so I had no idea. Although, I see that cloaks are actually associated to the abjuration school. Anyway, yes, he will be able to wear his other items.


    While everyone is dressing one of the men calls out that Zarga is just ahead. As you draw nearer to port, Caelus arranges for each of you to be escorted by two of his men so that everyone is traveling in trios rather than one large group. Whatever he’s planning, he seems to want to play things close to the chest and not be too obvious. "If any of you tries to run or pull any tricks I will not waste any effort in hunting you down. Are we clear?"
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  18. - Top - End - #78
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Farmer Joe does not respond to any of the conversation after this point. He just changes into his uniform and carries his cloak and scythe with him. The scythe is a long farming implement, as tall as he is with a handle halfway down to aide swinging while cutting the crop.

    When is guards arrive to lead him he will bring his cloak if he is permitted, perhaps in a backpack if there is one available. He makes no attempt to escape although he does eye up his escort.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    HalflingRogueGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeryk View Post
    As you draw nearer to port, Caelus arranges for each of you to be escorted by two of his men so that everyone is traveling in trios rather than one large group. Whatever he’s planning, he seems to want to play things close to the chest and not be too obvious. "If any of you tries to run or pull any tricks I will not waste any effort in hunting you down. Are we clear?"
    "Abundantly."

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandnewb View Post
    Farmer Joe does not respond to any of the conversation after this point. He just changes into his uniform and carries his cloak and scythe with him. The scythe is a long farming implement, as tall as he is with a handle halfway down to aide swinging while cutting the crop.

    When is guards arrive to lead him he will bring his cloak if he is permitted, perhaps in a backpack if there is one available. He makes no attempt to escape although he does eye up his escort.
    Once the men give Joe his stuff, Caelus approaches Joe, "You're going to have to leave the scythe. It's a little too conspicuous. I can give you one of the men's swords in the meantime, but I promise you'll get it back. And you're going to have to wear the cloak as well. I don't want people seeing your face too clearly right now."
    Last edited by Aeryk; 2018-06-07 at 08:13 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Quinn nods. "I've got no reason to run, Captain. If you hold up your end of our agreement then I'll hold up mine."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    To further complicate things, Quinn is a Silksworn Occultist, which means he uses his clothes as implements rather than using ancient magical artefacts. I figured that would be more appropriate for a shopkeeper-turned-adventurer like Quinn.

    A regular Occultist's cloak would be an abjuration implement like you said, but for the Silksworn archetype it's conjuration. Quinn gets access to the abjuration school through a pair of leather bracers.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Once everyone is ready, Caelus gives the signal to depart, and each trio sets off a little ways behind the other, with the captain following in behind. Each of you is led by your escort through the chaotic twisting cobblestone streets of Zarga. The town is all hustle and bustle as everyone goes about their business in spite of the light rain, and it seems to be a lively place, relatively unaffected by the war. The buildings don’t seem to be organized in any particular pattern, and structures have been packed on top of structures, and squeezed in wherever room could be found. Eventually you are brought down a side street, which is a little less busy, and then another narrow street off that, where it’s fairly quiet. You walk until you come to a dead end, where waits a run-down little shop with a sign which reads “Madame Argoth’s Oneiromancy” with a crescent moon decal. You enter by the cracked glass front door into a waiting room furnished with outdated chairs and couches. They look to have been very fine pieces at one time, but have not been updated or replaced in decades. Across from the front door is a desk where there is seated a thin, middle-aged man with wispy hair and glasses. The man is reading a book or journal, and does not look up when the door opens. You can smell incense and candles burning from a room beyond. Caelus follows in shortly afterward, piling in with everyone else. He walks up to the desk and clears his throat to get the attention of the receptionist. Without diverting his attention from his reading, the man says in a monotone voice, “Take a number,” and motions to a little stand filled with small numbered wooden placards.

    “I am Captain Caelus Corbin of the Illyan Navy. I have an urgent matter which requires immediate consultation with Madame Argoth.” The receptionist finally looks up from his book; he looks unimpressed. “Madame Argoth will see you when she’s ready. Due to the nature of her work, she cannot be disturbed. Now, if you could please take a number and have seat.” He returns to his reading without awaiting a response. Caelus stares at the man and you can see his face flushing with anger. His men glance uncertainly at him, but he manages to compose himself with a deep breath and grabs a number, then barks at everyone else to take a seat. “Please keep your voices down,” the receptionist points at a sign reminding patrons to keep quiet. Caelus stares daggers at the man, but he is still apparently engrossed in his book.

    About 20 minutes passes before the receptionist finally closes his book, looks up, and calls for the next person. There is no audio or visual cue preceding the call that you can tell. The captain motions for everyone to stand up and follow him, but the receptionist stops him, “Only one client at a time please.” Caelus approaches the entrance to the back room and growls, “Stop me.” Faster than anyone would have expected, the man stands and blocks the way, a dagger flashing in his hand from some hidden place, and leveled at Caelus’ neck. There is a deadness in his eyes that suggests he wouldn’t think twice about killing the captain where he stands. Caelus stands his ground, his men draw their steel, and there is a silent moment of deadlock...
    Last edited by Aeryk; 2018-06-07 at 09:32 AM.
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  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Farmer Joe had been following along with apparent apathy. Not really heeding the actions of the group, his mumblings and vocal internal conversation had evolved into a strange occult chant.

    When the prospect of violence emerges Joe is abruptly and visibly alert and aware of the situation. He is eyeing the guards who have escorted him like a starving hyena assessing an injured calf. But he takes no actual action.

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    Jeri decides to run with her supposed role. She'd seen the traveling troupe stage that one pirate-themed musical, after all.

    "AVAST YE!" she yells, brandishing her staff. "Keel to, keel over, or be keel-hauled!!"

    Her eyes lack the deadliness of the man's whom she's threatening. But she's less opposed to him, and more opposed to awkward silences. She's okay with awkward over-the-top theatrics, of course. It's not every day you get to dress up like a sailor, after all.

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    Slightly panicked at the prospect of a fight, Quinn pipes in from the back, trying to keep his voice from shaking. "Captain? However much he might deserve it, I expect Madame Argoth may be reluctant to help us if you kill her receptionist."

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    A few more seconds pass, and finally the captain's face breaks into a jovial smile, "It's alright men, just testing the good man to see if this place is worth its salt!" He laughs heartily. The men exchange glances, and Caelus has to tell them to stand down, all the while the receptionist keeps his gaze locked on him, dagger ready. "Sheath your weapons gentlemen, there is no fight to be had here." Once they have complied, Caelus takes a few steps back, hands in the air, "Your house, your rules, eh? Take a seat men, I'll go in and pay the madame a visit." The receptionist stows his dagger back into the folds of his clothes with a quick flick of the wrist and says in his calm, monotone voice, "And you will please leave your weapons here." There is the briefest moment of hesitation from Caelus before he relinquishes his blade. Apparently satisfied with this, the receptionist returns to his reading, allowing the captain (who gives his crew a wink) to go ahead into the next room.

    After a few more minutes of waiting you notice the receptionist whispering, apparently to himself, then he stands and points at each of you in turn. "You, you, and you. Please leave your weapons here, Madame Argoth requests your presence."

    Assuming each of you disarms, you enter into the room beyond, and are immediately struck by the size of the place. From outside it seemed quite small, however it extends back quite a ways, and on either side are a series of rooms which look like they would extend into the other buildings. Most of the rooms have a decorative curtain blocking the doorway, but a few remain open. Inside you can see comfortable (though old) looking recliners and beds, like some sort of hostel or inn. At the back of this main room you see Caelus sitting across from a woman on a couch reclining on her side, presumably Madame Argoth. You approach and see on a low table a strange board with small wheels, a roll of paper, and a pencil attached to it, and to the side of the couch, a stand-up board with an array of numbers and letters, and a pointer mounted on it. The room is also filled with innumerable candles, providing a low, but soothing light by which you can see several potted vines sprouting flowers with patterns that look oddly like faces. What you had thought was incense from the other room as actually the pleasant aroma of the flowers.

    Once you are standing before the madame, you can see that she obviously suffers from some kind of degenerative disease, or perhaps a stroke. The right side of her face is drooping, and she lays on her right side to keep her left arm free, which seems to function normally. She wears an old, black dress which, like the furniture, was once of very good quality but is now faded and worn with age. Although her body looks weak, you can see an intelligence and smoldering dignity in her eyes. She regards each of you in turn, then points at the lettered board. The pointer moves in sync with her hand motions, and although slower than speech, she is well practiced, pausing just long enough for you to read each letter and keeping the message short; "C-O-M-E T-O D-R-E-A-M-?"



    Spoiler: OOC - Knowledge Checks
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    Anyone trained in knowledge (planes) or (arcana), whichever is higher, can make two DC 15 checks to know what each of the items are.

    Anyone trained in Knowledge (nature) can identify the plants at DC 11.
    Last edited by Aeryk; 2018-06-08 at 11:51 AM.
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  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Farmer Joe knowledge nature (1d20+4)[8]

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    Knowledge (Planes): (1d20+8)[20]
    Knowledge (Planes): (1d20+8)[20]


    Quinn offers her a low, graceful bow. "Come to share a dream we've all already had, my lady. But then, you're the expert."

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    Default Re: Waking Nightmares (IC)

    "T-E-L-L M-E", comes the reply. If the group relays the contents of their dream to her, she casts a spell and her eyes glow briefly. She looks at each of you curiously, then messages again, "L-E-T M-E I-N-?". She taps her index finger to her temple and looks questioningly at each of you in turn, apparently waiting for a volunteer. Caelus watches all this with a furrowed brow, one hand stroking his chin, the other crossed over his chest.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Joe is unable to identify the plants, however, Quinn's experience buying and selling unusual objects tells him what Argoth's items are.

    Spoiler: Automatic Writing Planchette
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    "This finely crafted, heart-shaped wooden board has two delicate wheels and a small aperture to hold a pencil, which acts as the board’s third leg. Typically used on a tabletop covered in butcher’s paper, the device
    scribbles out mysterious messages when employed by a creature using the automatic writing occult skill unlock, and provides a +2 circumstance bonus on the Linguistics check. When used to channel certain haunts capable of communication (see page 230), the planchette doubles the rate of communication with the haunt, and grants the user a +4 circumstance bonus on Linguistics checks to decipher the cryptic messages. These benefits do not stack with those of other items that confer similar benefits (such as a talking board)."


    Spoiler: Talking Board
    Show
    "This thin, rectangular wooden board is printed with an arching array of alphabetical letters, numbers, and short affirmative and negative messages. Paired with a small, heart-shaped pointer on short wooden legs, this device enables communication with spiritual entities or the user’s deep subconscious mind. A talking board can be used in place of a pencil and paper or a writing planchette when attempting a Linguistics check with the automatic writing occult skill unlock, and provides a +2 circumstance bonus on such checks. In addition, given the size of the board, the user can work in conjunction with another psychically sensitive creature who can bolster the attempt with a successful aid another check.
    A user can also use the board alone to initiate the recall memory use of the hypnotism occult skill unlock. The user attempts the skill check as normal, with herself as the subject, and receives a +2 circumstance bonus on the check. When used to channel a haunt capable of communication (see page 230), a talking board doubles the rate of communication with the haunt, and grants the user a +4 circumstance bonus on Linguistics checks to decipher the cryptic messages.
    Though a talking board can be used for some of the same functions as other gear (such as automatic writing planchettes and hypnotist’s lockets), these items can’t be used in unison to gain multiple bonuses or increase the rate of communication with a haunt to more than double."


    If anyone has spellcraft, they can identify the spell Argoth cast at DC 15
    Last edited by Aeryk; 2018-06-09 at 11:19 AM.
    Spoiler: Playing as...
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    River in The Dragon Empire



    Sir Andrew Christof in The Dragon Empire




    Spoiler: GM of...
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  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Waking Nightmares (IC)

    Quinn looks slightly nervous at the prospect, but after a glance to Caelus, he finally nods and steps forward.

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