The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    The Dulimbaian/Raktian Border
    243rd year of the Yan Dynasty

    The glowing Dulimbaian sun shines warmly onto your backs as you descend the mountains. It has been little more than two days since the event that so changed your lives and transformed you into the beings you are now. Confused, baffled, but with a strange new feeling of strength, you have been quick on the road since then. Soon, the Raktian pine woods and clammy air faded to lush forests of bamboo and a humid climate, sure signs that you had made it to the Regency at last.

    Following the well worn stone road along the north bank of the Dahuang River, you enter a vast, beautiful vale. A dozen or so small hamlets reside here, surrounding the trading town of Gongfang, the only bastion of civilization in these otherwise untouched lands.

    As you make your way south towards it, you take in the area. To the east, lush green hills and grey mountains rise towards the heavens, the tallest of which the Dulimbaians among you know as Red Crow Mountain. To the west, thick lowland forests spread out as far as the eye can see. Amidst the reeds, you see animals moving about, monkeys and foxes, even the occasional deer. Should you need it, game is more than plentiful for you with your new powers. On your way, you meet the occasional trader and peasant, each coming to and going from Gongfang for their own reasons. None of them seek to bother you, and none appear to have anything interesting to offer.

    Soon, you draw close to Gongfang itself. Like all Dulimbaian cities, it is a collection of rectangular courts, with high windowless walls surrounding an inner courtyard and wooden interior buildings that serve as the living space of the families that inhabit these homes. Surrounding it all is a quarried stone curtain wall, open towards the riverbank.

    A small group of guards in painted leathers stands at the gates, shortly accosting any who attempt to enter and asking them their purpose. You've not approached them yet, as they are still busy with a merchant that has arrived just minutes before you. Until then, you will have time to ready yourselves, and discuss these latest events once more.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I'll give you some time here to introduce your characters first, and maybe do some light roleplaying. Will move things ahead and get you into the town proper soon enough. :smallbiggrin:
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-01-28 at 10:08 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Okay. Follow my logic here."

    The magic circle flares up one final time with a golden light, before gently fading away. The red haired woman in the coat rises to her feet. Around her, the early morning light seems somehow more intense, subtly strengthened. Millie turns to look at the rifle on her back, watching the grime and muck of old stains finally fade away with a look of quiet wonder. Coming back to reality though, the huntress turns to the rest of the group. "We're all greater now. I still don't really understand what just happened, but with this kind of power, we're going to stand out."

    She balls her hand into a fist, gesturing with her other arm over towards Gongfang. "Let's own that. We go through the gate together as a group, present ourselves to whoever's in charge around here. Maybe put on a demonstration of just what we can do. After that..." Millie trails off, eyes sparkling with thoughts of what could be on the near horizon. You could almost see little golden coins dancing before her eyes. Godlike powers are all very well, but if you can use them to make a godlike payday, even better. Even if there's no Curse Eater work here in the south, she'll have coin to live on for months if they play this right.

    And then... well, she'll cross that bridge when she comes to it. Millie's a little rusty when it comes to long term planning. That's what happens to you when you've spent your life living hunt to hunt. and the keys to something like this fall into your hand. This level of magic could do so much more... but it's hard to believe it's real, even now. At the least, it has to have a time limit. Her luck's not this good. It can't be this good, right?

    Spoiler
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    Casting Beacon of Celestial Purity, and holding it for the moment. That'll ensure everyone and their clothes are clean. Millie will keep the spell up if the group follows her suggestion of being overt, or dismiss it if they'd rather be a little quieter.

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    Rem was still astounded to be here.

    Two days ago, the disease that had finally progressed to its final stages had overtaken her. She was riddled with blemishes and deformities; her skin had taken on a sickly pallor, and there were moments where she was coughing blood in her spit. As a physician, she knew that she had a terribly short amount of time...

    Yet now, she's standing here, healthier than she ever had cared to think about. Soft, fluffy and large bird wings fluttered behind her (she spent a good hour or so freaking out about this). And she was healthy. Her skin had a hale sheen that she had never been afforded even in her youth, living in a none too sanitised village in the Raktian Confederacy. Her eyes were bright and sharp, not jaundiced and withering.

    There's a soft and bashful smile to Millie as she repeats it in her head again. I'm alive. I'm alive.

    "That sounds good. I want to help assist with what ails this city, see what their healers are struggling with," she earnestly says, lacing her hands together. The transformation had not, it seemed, changed her desire to heal at all.

    A pause, as she steps closer to the Curse Eater. "... I'm glad we're still alive. Thank you, again," she says, a bit more quietly. Maybe she's referring to them not giving up on her, in the last few days, even when she urged them to leave her behind so that she wouldn't slow them down.
    Last edited by Merilan; 2019-01-28 at 03:05 PM.

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    Shen took in a deep breath - he'd been in the Confederacy until just this morning, and the sun and air of Dulimbai had been a welcome change. It was good to be back in his homeland - even if it meant spending their first few days in a city, as opposed to the many other natural wonders of Dulimbai.

    As Millie described her plan, Shen shook his head. Despite their power, Shen didn't think it was exactly a good idea to flaunt it. This wasn't just his humble upbringing speaking - it might attract all kinds of unnecessary attention. "I don't think that's a good idea," says Shen, adjusting his conical bamboo hat. Unlike his companions, he didn't get a pair of wings or turn into a dragon from his newfound divinity. He was a little stronger, a little faster, and his divine gifts had given him the ability to look backwards through time (and also leap up and descend from the heavens like some vengeful thunderbolt), but he still looked like the same monk from Three Mountains.

    "I came through here on my way to the Confederacy. The Magistrate of Gongfang is a corrupt man. I have no real need for coin, but I don't approve of making ourselves known to him right away. I would prefer to keep our noses to the ground, and find out what the situation in the city is like," Shen reached for the simple gourd that held his water, and took a brief sip.

    "Either way, I should be able to get us into the city fairly easily. Most guards wouldn't deny passage to a monk and his traveling companions."

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    Qotho, Horde-born Warrior of the Toba Plains

    Qotho was not unintelligent, however, he was not an educated man. With consideration he was able to process through his thoughts, and come to a logical conclusion, often based on his experiences rather than his knowledge.

    The large Toba-born warrior stepped forward, his head down, he spoke softly, but there was a rumble in his throat that commanded his listeners attention. "Do you not remember? A God of Old stepped through the world! From where, or whence, we do not know." He paused, collecting his words, "What we do know is that fear and panic radiated from him as light from the sun! As his spirit was torn asunder, some small remnants of that power, that divinity, seems to have attached themselves to our own spirits. Our souls." Another pause, he took a breath before continuing, "Our gifts, as powerful as they may be, are but pale reflections of his. His power was more than the sum of our own, and he knew it's source, it's origin, and it's use." He jammed a thick, calloused finger into his palm, "We. Do. Not."

    He looked towards the guards at the gate, and the merchants they were questioning. "He feared something. Judging by the fact that we have inherited his spiritual power, and we can not sense our progenitor, that fear was well founded. So tell me true, do we wish to advertise to those who he feared, where we are. What we are?"

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    The man who was now the dragon Nithrias hummed happily to himself as they walked along. He was always humming, now. Or whistling. Tapping out a tune. Before, he had been a musician. Now, he WAS music. Of all of them, he was the most changed. Not physically - Rem had been even sicker and weaker than he was - but within. Because as the God died, it had named him, and where there had been only endings there were now an infinity of beginnings.

    "We are glory," says Nithrias, "we are beauty, and song, and history, and power. Of course we should present ourselves as we truly are. This is a gift to be shared with the world."
    Last edited by Rokku; 2019-01-28 at 08:40 PM.

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    Rem felt a bit bad, about the man who was now Nithrias; she wanted to aid him with his malady, but she found herself less and less capable of doing so as the days continued. But he seemed so happy now, even in his draconic form, which Rem found surprising at first. She's still trying to work through her guilt and regret.

    "Corrupt government tends to lead to neglect, and neglect tends to create a lot of impoverished and sick... if we want to be more aware of what the common person knows of what happens in Gongfang, that may be a better route," Rem muses of Shen's thoughts. But Qotho had a good point too...

    "... I still remember-- the fear that raced through me, as that shard went through me. But I don't understand his fear, his anxiety... but you are right. There may be those hunting for us."

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    Rem's thanks cause Millie to cough. She looks away for a second, not quite sure what to say to that before sighing and returning her gaze to her fellow Raktine with a smile. "You... don't need to thank me. Or anyone. I'm pretty sure you cured yourself, Rem." At least that's one unambiguously good thing to come out of this mess.

    Millie listens to Shen and Quotho express their reservations with a quiet frown. Working with peers isn't something she's had to do for a while. The dragon's interjection however makes the Curse Eater grin; she nods at the being's words, "I understand taking care, really. But you're worrying over nothing if you ask me." Millie withdraws a flask from her coat, taking a swig before finishing her thought. "Anything that could track that Made God down could find just as easily. That fight's going to happen no matter what. We won't be able to run or hide from it for long. And if there's anyone or any thing else in the Regency that can sense this power..."

    She glances at the rifle on her back with a grin. "Well, something like that probably needs a reckoning anyway. Monster, Magistrate... if there's a problem, we can deal with it. What power in Dulimbai could stop us now?"
    Last edited by Inspector Valin; 2019-01-29 at 12:50 PM.

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    Qotho, Horde-born Warrior of the Toba Plains

    Qotho only shook his head as the Curse-Breaker spoke, "I will let you risk your own lives, should you so wish, I will, however, not risk my own. Located in the poorer section of town, there is an alehouse, Father Lu's, we will meet there this eve." He paused, staring at Rem, concern in his eyes, "Should you wish to risk exposure with those two fools, I would counsel caution, the Sanwuzu have eyes everywhere, even in a ****hole like Gongfang."

    He then stepped back, moving further in the line of those wishing entrance to the walled city. He knew such a move would cause him to delay his entrance further, but it, too, would grant him the opportunity to watch over his companions as they whored their divine talents to gain entrance into the city.

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    "Because the safest place to be when afraid of assassins is alone in an unfamiliar city! Ti durak!" Millie calls after Quotho. Her accent even now is a little off, but the former Republican knows more than her share of Raktine curse-words.

    With a sigh, she turns her attention to Shen. The light from before starts to fade away from the monster hunter, a small sign of resignation. She looks to Shen. "You're the local; if you're concerned about this magistrate, I'll take you at your word. But I do not want to wait in a queue if I don't have to, it's been a long road and a hot meal is calling me. Perhaps it's best we split." With a smirk, she waves a hand over her shoulder. "Someone has to watch over the lummox, and you'll be able to talk with the locals that way. Rem, Nithras and I go talk to the magistrate, introduce ourselves and offer to help the local area. We compare notes later and see what's best to be done?"
    Last edited by Inspector Valin; 2019-01-29 at 12:49 PM.

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    Rem sags as she waves her hands and stammers, "H-hey, don't fight, no fighting, okay?" It feels strange to blurt that out, now that they're... demigods? Divine beings? But it doesn't feel like any part of her has changed, though she should really work on that confidence of hers.

    She places a finger to her cheek as she says, thinking of Qotho's words, "If the Sanwuzu are really around... I would not mind gathering more information about them. But ah... really, I just want to get to work helping people right now." She starts floating down after the horde-warrior, before pausing to go:

    ".... I don't think I can hide my wings." Ah, godhood is actually inconvenient?!

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    Nithrias grins broadly.

    "Do not worry, little bird," he says, patting Rem on the shoulder, "if anyone causes you distress, I will show them my teeth."

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    Qotho, Horde-born Warrior of the Toba Plains

    Qotho grabbed a tarpaulin and a woolen blanket from his horse, before smearing it in the mud and wringing it out. He quickly unfurled the dirty across Remi's shoulders. Grunting a terse reply, "My apologies girl, but it's best to conceal our gifts until we've come to discover their nature." He wrinkled his nose at the smell, wiped some of the roadside dirt across his own face and leather jerkin, so recently cleaned by Millie's gifts. "But you've a strength in you that dwarfs the courage I've seen in hardened Horde warriors."

    He paused, a finger under the young woman's chin, in his time since fleeing the Toban Plains, he'd come to know the comfort of a woman's embrace, however, Remi was different. He looked upon her as a sister, younger to be sure, but wide eyed, innocent and pure. Something he'd not been in decades. "When we found you, you were weakened, robbed of health and vitality by some curious contagion, and yet you continued onward, determined to meet your end with nobility and grace." There was admiration in the oft stony countenance of Qotho's face. "I would not see you come to harm, and sadly, that means we must conceal our nature from the ignorant. Walk with a limp girl, and hunch your shoulders, we'll make it past the guardsmen. You have my word."

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    As Millie and Nithiras approach the front gate of Gongfang, a silence slowly begins to spread over the mortals that surround you. It begins with the guards, who are very confused indeed at the fact that the dirty travellers before them have suddenly become impeccably clean, moving on to the merchants and xiaoren that surround them when they realize that the authorities have become uncharacteristically lost.

    It is then that you, boldly marching forward as you are, reveal yourselves as the sources of this eldritch cleanliness. Swiftly, space is made for you to get to the gates, as surely you must be important officials or sorcerers, or something else of that sort. Only the guards continue standing in your way, though they look nervous even so.

    One of them, a muscular and moustached man steps forward, loosely holding his spear at his side. "Greetings to you, sorcerous masters." he says, attempting and only barely failing to conceal his own uncertainty. His eyes shift towards his comrades a bit too often as he subconsciously tries to ascertain they are still there. "What business brings you to Gongfang?"

    Having travelled as much as you all have, you know that questions like these are mostly a formality. Even had you not shown yourself to be so mighty, he would likely accept just about any answer you may give.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-01-29 at 03:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    "B-bbawww..."

    Rem lets out a not-terribly-serious moan of complaint as Qotho throws the muddied tarp over her, though his words and the finger under her chin give her a bit of pause as she smiles quietly. It felt nice to be encouraged, still, though she flits over to Millie with a nod as Nithrias pats her on the shoulder. She wanted to show them she could be relied on now, really, but...!

    She does follow Qotho's advice and limps a little -- it comes easy, as she recalls the muscle memory of how she felt in her last few days. It still feels a bit unreal.

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    Millie looks chastened by Rem's words at first. The angel girl floating over toward Qotho however wins an outraged glare from the Curse Eater. She hadn't expected the little sick girl she'd known this past few weeks to just ignore her like that. She stands her ground at first, looking after Rem and Qotho with an uncertain expression in her eyes, considering joining them. After a few seconds of emotional turmoil however, the sorceress sighs, looking away. "Fine! If you want to do without a hot meal and good coin, who am I to argue?" Rem's not ill anymore after all. She can take care of her own decisions now, just like the others.

    Millie strides forward through the queue, letting it part in the wake of her light. As she reaches the guards however, she lets the spell fade once and for all into nothingness. It'd made the impression she wanted. People would know she was a sorceress after a few days conversation. No sense in having every pair of eyes stare at her as she walked through an unfamiliar town for the first time. The sight of Qotho smearing poor Rem with the muddy draws a wrathful dagger-look from Millie. She almost turns to interject, but catches herself with an effort. They have their plan. Let them follow through with it.

    She coughs before addressing the man with the moustache. Millie's had to pick up her share of languages over the years, though she's far more used to Yazik than Ren. Still a little of the latter is useful even in the Confederacy; Dulimbaian expatriates tend to prefer their own tongue. "Here to see the magistrate."

    From her coat, Millie withdraws a couple of delicate looking talisma, one onyx black and the other a gentle blue. Both glow with the faint pulsating light of magic. "I'm a Curse Eater, travelling south. I've got some time to spend in Gongfang, so was going to offer him my services. I can lift old spells, kill monsters, whatever needs doing to keep the city safe, gets done." The same simple pitch she's made to aldermen and burgers a thousand times before. As ever, the travelling huntress closes with a wink. "For a reasonable fee, of course."

    There might not be work here, but you never know. Gongfang is close to the Raktine border, and the monsters of the Confederacy aren't known to respect geopolitical boundaries. It's worth inquiring with the magistrate at least.
    Last edited by Inspector Valin; 2019-01-29 at 05:19 PM.

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    Out of all of his companions, the one that called himself Nithrias worried Shen the most. Despite Qotho's quest for vengeance, or Millie's apparent desire to attract attention, Nithrias was a completely person after his ascension to divinity. While he could turn into a dragon - indeed, one could argue that the dragon was his real form now - Shen wasn't sure if that was something to do their new abilities interacting with his physical form.

    Shen shook his head, doing his best to let go of his errant thoughts.

    No. These are my companions. I can't doubt them like that.

    As Qotho and Rem held back, Shen stayed with them, following behind and dirtying his robe to some degree. The three of them would look less conspicuous than with Millie or Nithrias, and he was definitely glad for that.

    "I think I will head to the market, or find some villagers to help," said Shen. Unlike the others, he didn't believe in carrying coin - everything he had obtained on his travels was given to those who needed it more than himself. Instead, whenever they found civilization, Shen would offer help in exchange for whatever would fill the earthenware bowl he carried. The people of Gongfang would be familiar with this tradition - Shen had done the same thing his last time here by helping the folk of the town in exchange for travel supplies and food.

    But unlike then, now he could look back through time to see what had transpired in Gongfang. It required some focus, but it would be no different than his daily meditations. If there was something that the townsfolk were afraid of talking about, then Time itself would tell him.

    Spoiler
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    Shen is supposed to be from a mendicant order - I've mentioned this in his sheet. He really doesn't carry more than necessary, so this is kind of needed so he doesn't starve. Plus, plot!

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    Millie and Nithrias

    The guardsman stares uncertainly for a moment after Millie gives her pitch. Perhaps he expected something more grandiose from a mage of your scale, or perhaps he just has heard of the Curse Eaters' ability to lay curses as well as they can lift them. Still, he soon regains his composure, waving at the other guardsmen that he has the situation under control.

    "Right then." he says after clearing his throat. "I'm sure Magistrate Li will have some work for you. We don't see too many monsters here, but there's always some rebels or bandits to hunt." Pointing behind himself, down the road, he adds "You will find him at the Yamen. You can't miss it, it's the biggest home in town."

    You are both aware that a Yamen is an administrative complex that serves as town hall, court house, prison and home for the magistrate in Dulimbaian towns.

    Spoiler: Nithrias
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    You also know that they are nigh-universally dens of corruption, and the workers there tend to be very unpopular for the petty extortions they inflict on the common people to stock up their own meagre salaries.


    The moustached guardsman then turns to look at Nithrias, not having gotten an answer from him yet. "Are you a companion of the sorceress, then?"




    Rem, Qotho and Shen

    As the moustached guard continues speaking with your companions, the other constables shout for the other traffic to resume. However, it seems as though nobody else is quite ready to step ahead immediately. This may be your chance to cut in line and get through the town gates in a timely fashion.

    Should you approach, however, the guards will question you in the same way as they did Millie and Nithrias, albeit less politely. You figure it may be a good idea to have your answers ready.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Unless you have any particular questions you wish to ask the guards, I think we can mostly skip over the interaction with them. Just describe what your characters tell them about why they're coming to town, and whether or how Rem hides her wings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
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    "Of course," says the humble-looking man, with a smile that radiates serenity. Nithrias produces his qinqin and plucks a few strings, producing a brief series of clear, strong notes.

    "Music calms the soul," he says, "useful for a Curse Eater."

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    Rem has a soft whine as Millie stares and turns away with a grumble, whining to go, "Millie, that's not what I--" and sighs as they put their respective plans to action. She quietly peeps over in Millie and Nithrias' direction, though she mostly keeps her head down and shuffles along, with her wings hidden underneath the muddied tarp as she lets out another cough and steps onward.

    When she's asked, however, she bows her head gently as she coughs and speaks, "Sir, please... I have come from a far ways north past the mountains... my village was consumed by horrible creatures... I only ask for meager shelter... anything..." It might, hopefully, give her a clue as to where they point the destitute and homeless around here...

    It's not exactly a lie, per se, but she doesn't really like not telling the whole truth either.

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    Qotho, Horde-born Warrior of the Toba Plains

    Qotho used his considerable bulk to muscle his way through the throngs until the three of them stood before the guards. Ren spoke up timidly, however, the large Toba-born warrior stepped forward, scale jerkin smeared with mud, his weapons hung in well worn scabbards, and a thick calloused hand rested easy on the hilt of his blade. "Sell swords out of the north, come to spend coin on ale and whores," he laughed, "at least those of us who haven't let the monks cut off our manhood." He chuckled at his own bawdy joke, "This waif," he nodded towards Ren, "we found in a burnt out village," he shrugged, "she reminded me of my daughter by my second wife, the road is no home for so frail a girl, I thought perhaps there was a house of healing where she could work for a stipend. Ya?!"

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Millie smiles at Nithras' smile, and gentle plucking of strings. Even if she knows his 'true' form, the man was comforting to stand beside somehow. She nods in support of his story. "He's a goodly friend and a fine guide. It's been my pleasure to travel the road with him."

    Her eyes scan the area past the gate, searching for the Yamen. No sense in wasting time: as soon as they're through the gate, that will be her destination.
    Last edited by Inspector Valin; 2019-01-30 at 04:46 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Shen sighed and shook his head, playing along with Qotho. "And my traveling companion still doesn't understand that not all monks are eunuchs," Shen said, lifting up his hat to look at the guard. "I'm a traveling monk, of the Three Mountains monastery. I'm traveling with these two for now, but I come to Gongfang as a stop before I continue my journey."

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Theoboldi's Avatar

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    Millie and Nithrias

    The guardsman quickly nods at your story, apparently eager to get the conversation over with. "I see. I've no reason to keep you, then. Go on." With that, he waves you through, and you step through the gate onto the streets of Gongfang.

    You walk down the muddy streets through a labyrinth of stone walls and shop-fronts, passing by citizens and visitors alike. For every ten Dulimbaians you see, there is a foreigner, most of them distinctly Raktian. Occasionally, groups of them point at you and whisper among themselves, discussing what would bring such a mighty sorceress to Gongfang, though the further you get away from the gate the rarer it gets. The news have not yet had time to spread, after all.

    You pass by several shops on your way, peddling all sorts of local and foreign merchandise. It's easy enough to gawk at the wares as you go, since all of these buildings are open-fronted. In the humid heat of Dulimbai, it is well worth it to advertise in such a way. To your annoyance, it means that you are constantly surrounded by the smell of sizzling meats and broiling soups, and the aroma of fresh herbs, which is no small distraction after a long, hungry time on the road.

    Still, eventually you manage to make your way to Yamen, a large collection of sturdy stone buildings protected by a high wall. The construction is decidedly sturdier than anything else you've seen in town. A wide plaza is spread out before its gate, where a curious scene plays out just as you arrive.

    A half-dozen young men and women in the white robes and black caps of apprentice scholars stand lined up before a stout man with a thick black beard, wearing the unmistakeable finely-embroidered blue robes of a Magistrate. The magistrate is giving a speech, it seems, while the men and women before him all look various degrees of miserable. Even at a distance, you can tell that none of them like being here.

    "-and so I commend all of you faithful sons and daughters of Dulimbai, for your noble choice to study under the esteemed sage Real Man Xiao!

    Your filial devotion to both your parents and the glory of our nation will bring you great spiritial merit that will surely gain you the favor of heaven, it as it rids your parents of the burden of their overdue taxes. Truly, they can be happy to have such capable offspring as yourselves-"


    He rambles on in this manner. With him stands a small group of burly, cudgel-wielding constables. Surrounding the scene stands a crowd of mostly older Dulimbaian's, possibly the family members of these students. Any other bystanders quickly hurry away, none of them lingering.




    Rem, Qotho and Shen

    Rather than any showing of sympathy, a broad, cruel grin spreads on the guardman's face as Rem talks to him. "Hah! What do you think this is? A charity? Maybe you should go to Mother Hao's, she can always use more girls!" He and a bunch of the other guards chortle at this, though they regain their composure when Qotho steps up to reveal himself as the Raktian girl's protector. And when Shen too steps up and reveals himself as a Three Mountains monk, they quickly drop their smirks.

    It seems that despite their overall attitude, they do not want to get into trouble.

    "Right, well if it's ale and whores you want, Mother Hao can actually provide. If you're actually serious about the girl, maybe bring her to Red Cap Hong or Venerable Wan. Can't think of anybody who'd take in Raktian refuse other than a priest." A hint of a grin reappears on his face for a moment, but he quickly waves you through rather than saying anything else.

    You walk down the muddy streets through a labyrinth of stone walls and shop-fronts, passing by citizens and visitors alike. For every ten Dulimbaians you see, there is a foreigner, most of them distinctly Raktian. You pass by several shops on your way, peddling all sorts of local and foreign merchandise. It's easy enough to gawk at the wares as you go, since all of these buildings are open-fronted. In the humid heat of Dulimbai, it is well worth it to advertise in such a way. To your annoyance, it means that you are constantly surrounded by the smell of sizzling meats and broiling soups, and the aroma of fresh herbs, which is no small distraction after a long, hungry time on the road.

    Finally, you find your way to the market, where this only intensifies. A plethora of makeshift tents is spread over a large open space, merchants and townsfolk shouting out prizes, haggling for coin and all around making a huge ruckus. You have almost made your way to Old Father Lu's, when you too stumble upon an odd sight.

    Right in the middle of a market street, two burly, broad-shouldered and shirtless Dulimbaian men are aggressively brawling with one another. Kicks and punches are thrown, though you notice that both of them are keeping the knives that they wear at their belts sheathed. The local bystanders are doing their best to avoid the two of them, some even hiding in their shops and pulling children out of view.

    Spoiler: Shen & Qotho
    Show
    What the bystanders are doing is extremely unusual. Normally, somebody should have tried to separate the two fighters by now, or at least ran for the constables to break up the fight.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-02-02 at 08:50 AM.
    Always look for white text. Always.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Merilan's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    There's a quiet wince from Rem as she presses her lips and endures the heckling. It wasn't exactly new to her, given her time as a servant and a peasant both; and she knew that the closer she got to Dulimbai, the less people would think of the Raktians who have fled their home. She catches note of it, though; Red Cap Hong... Venerable Wan. A priest. That sounds good. Priests, missionaries are often good places to find the ailing. She quietly nods towards Qotho and Shen as she steps forward, with the grace of someone who doesn't let such barbs affect her too much.

    The markets were larger than she expected; she'd been to many markets on errands for the mistress, of course, but this felt a bit different. The scent of such foods was wonderful. "I'm glad it's bustling such..." Rem has a quiet smile, before pausing with a blink as she hears someone shout.

    She doesn't notice that it's odd someone hasn't broken the two brawlers up yet, but she acts without hesitation as she steps forward and holds her hands to either side. "Please, stop this quarrel! I do not want to see either of you be hurt!" She's much smaller than the two, but it is with no fear that she speaks her resolve clearly, full of concern. "What caused this to happen between the two of you?"

    Spoiler: Action
    Show
    I'll roll... Charisma? To get them to try to stop fighting? I don't think I'd be using a miraculous action or anything like that yet. (1d20)[5]

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Scholars, huh?" Millie mutters, standing just behind the family members. She shares a skeptical glance with Nithras before looking over the assembled figures again. Some are sweating, one or two haven't quite affixed their caps properly... "Scholars don't tend to look like they're being marched off to the plague pit. And Creator's breath: since when does education get your family a tax rebate?"

    This seems more like conscription. Millie lets her hand rest on the back of her neck for a second, just above her rifle grip. Instincts die hard. Instead the Curse Eater turns to her dragon-friend with a slightly mischievous grin. "I think we should meddle. Do you think we should meddle?" She'd have been more reluctant before but now, with the power of a true sorceress at her command, the burley constables look substantially less intimidating. And the prospect of reward or work becomes less enticing with every word out of the magistrate's mouth. I don't need magic to know a liar when I see one.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Theoboldi's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Millie and Nithrias

    As you stand, contemplating whether or not to meddle, one of the older women watching the scene begins to quietly weep into her sleeve. The old man standing next to her, most likely her husband, carefully puts his arm around her as he stares at the magistrate with a grim, stone-faced expression.

    Meanwhile, the magistrate continues to prattle on. "-and of course, should any of you think better of your choice you are welcome to speak now. Know that excellency is not an easy path and that following the Taoist teachings will mean cutting yourselves from your earthly bonds. The rewards, both for yourselves and for those closest to you will be sizeable, however!-"

    Despite the opportunity, none object or leave. You get the feeling that the magistrate's speech is slowly reaching its end, however.




    Rem, Qotho and Shen

    Suddenly distracted by the soothing, inhumanly melodic voice of Rem, the two brawlers stop their fighting, though not before one of them manages to get one last hit in. They roughly bounce away from each other, still angry and rearing to fight, but with their attention on the Raktian girl in front of them now.

    The taller of the two, with big, bushy eyebrows and a thuggish face, glares at your group. Leaning forward threateningly, he barks "What's it to you, huh? This is no business of outsiders! Leave us be, or we'll show you a real quarrel!"

    The other, a somewhat shorter, broad-shouldered fellow with a rather impressively large forehead, looks uncertain at first, but quickly falls in line with his enemy. "R-right! You listen to Ji! This is just how we sort out our differences! We're just fighting over our schedules!"

    Ji, as he is apparently called, swirls around at this and gives the shorter man a smack on the back of the head. "Shut up, Po! No wonder they call you Oxhead! This is none of their business, so don't go blabbering about it like a fishwife!" For now, Po does not retaliate, instead just ruefully rubbing the spot where he got hit.
    Always look for white text. Always.
    That's how you do it! Have a cookie!
    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Qotho, Horde-born Warrior of the Toba Plains

    Qotho stepped between Rem and the broad shouldered Ji, he cocked his head towards his companion, not taking his gaze off of the aggressive Dulimbaian that stood before them, "Not worth your time Princess," he spoke calmly. "See how the merchants have not called the constables, nor is the quarrel between these two men serious enough to warrant the drawing of their blades."

    He spat on the ground in front of the larger man, "Likely two imbecilic siblings involved in some familial quarrel that doesn't involve us, nor warrant our attention. There are the meak, the sick, and the poor to tend, let us about our business?" He looked imploringly back at Rem, and began to walk away from the site of the quarrel.

    He did however turn back to look Ji and Po in the eyes, "Should you wish to involve us in your quarrel, be warned I was born to the Toban Horde, and was in saddle razing villages before my tenth year. Do. Not. Test. Us."

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Shen had almost forgotten how much he'd missed the smell of Dulimbaian cooking. While the monks didn't have much at the monastery, he was used to the smells from venturing to the nearby village in his childhood. He'd need to grab a bowl of soup sometime before he left the city, at least. Maybe even some spices for the road.

    Unfortunately for him, Rem had decided to try and stop two burly men from fighting. They looked right out of a children's story - the kinds of men who would be right in place as enforcers for some mustache-twirling magistrate. Shen folded his arms and stepped back, only to meet Ji's gaze as he glared at the group. Shen kept a calm, clear expression - as unflinching as the same mountains that Shen called home.

    As Qotho walked away from Ji and Po, Shen shook his head. "Qotho, Rem - I'll meet the two of you at Lu's." As Shen walked up past Qotho, he removed his hat, letting it hang on his back. He glanced from Ji to Po with the same look that a disappointed parent would give their arguing children.

    "Come now, we are all sons of Dulimbai here. Can't we settle this without a fight?"

    While he spoke to the two of them, however, Shen cast his mind's eye back across time - trying to discern the real cause of their fight. These two weren't exactly the most subtle, so he wouldn't have to work too hard to figure out the start of their fight.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Shen's going to Commit Effort to use Echoes of the Past - Specifically, he's going to try and catch the start of Ji and Po's fight.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Meddle," responds Nithrias, "yes, I believe we shall."

    With that, he strikes a series of chords on his qinqin, to draw the attention of all assembled.

    "Kind gentlemen and dutiful ladies," he says, his voice ringing out strong and clear, "clearly, this is a holy event. Please, allow your humble servant to bless these happenings with a song."

    He doesn't wait for a response. He begins playing, and soon his voice joins in, soft and slow. The song begins extoling the virtues of duty, and good leadership. But it turns to focus on a more specific duty - the duty of the powerful to treat those beneath them with kindness and mercy. The music dances through the air on wings of power, working to turn all those assembled towards the wisdom of its message.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Committing effort for the scene to use Passionate Crescendo. The message is for the Magistrate, and it's that it's his responsibility to treat these people with kindness and mercy.
    Last edited by Rokku; 2019-02-03 at 04:55 PM.

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