The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Bellas

    Bellas squinted at the figures in the distance, searching for her parents. Not immediately finding them, she turned her attention the woman Henrietta pointed out.

    "She's a good place to start as any." She found her forward progress hampered by Vesper's arm that was still slung around her shoulders. She extricated her own arm from around his waist and strode purposefully towards the dead woman, her long legs quickly catching up to Kali and Percival.

    "Lady Grive, hello! It's Bellas. Bellas Thorne?" Once begun, she was suddenly uncertain of what she wanted to say.

    "Do you know what's um... happened? Here? To everyone?"
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    "Oh, hello sweetie!" Lady Grive greeted Bellas with a tired smile. She glanced behind Bellas at her companions and nodded. "That just about accounts for everyone then, I think." Lady Grive frowned sadly. "Plus a few strangers. I'm afraid we're dead, dear."

    Spoiler: Lady Mullana Grive
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Bellas

    Nonplussed by the mayor's matter-of-fact acceptance of her entire town's death, Bellas blinked at the woman for a few moments before she managed to get out the most pertinent question she could think of in her befuddled state.

    "Oh I see... do you happen to know how? The deaths occurred, that is?"
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    Having been situated at the back of the party (and away from the more sensitive aspects of negotiating), Henrietta had been prepared to deal with a woman fully in denial and ready to throw any excuse at the wall to avoid admitting they were dead.

    So it came as a surprise when the mayor fully admitted to Bellas that she knew they'd passed on. Henrietta blinked, nonplussed.

    "Huh. This might be easier than I thought..." Then her eyes widened as she realized she'd just invited calamity on herself and she quickly hurried over to the nearest wooden object. "Knock on wood, knock on wood!"
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Cotyledon made a 'throat clearing' sound, standing near Henrietta.
    "I find that turn of phrase deeply offensive." she said, her empty eyes unblinking.

    After a pause, her face-petals crinkled into an amused expression.
    "I'm only kidding, dear. If you've nothing fitting to knock on, feel free to use me."
    She playfully produced her wrist.
    "Perhaps I should be flattered that wood is some manner of good luck charm?"

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    "I don't know. I wish I did. The entire town dead on my watch, too. I've tried explaining our situation to some of them, but the reactions...haven't been positive, as you might expect." Lady Grive gestured toward a group of children playing around a massive dead oak tree. The tree appeared tied with ribbons and surrounded by unusually vibrant flowers. "I haven't even attempted with the children yet, poor dears."

    "Perhaps if we can convince the rest of the town council, we could call everyone together? They're off in that hedge thicket yonder," she explained, pointing some distance away and looking at Bellas hopefully. "Someone should try gently with the children as well. I've never been good around children."

    Spoiler: Knowledge (Religion): Everyone
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    The Mayor and the other formerly-living residents of Roslar's Coffer appear to be what you have heard or read about as Petitioners. A petitioner is the soul of a mortal being that has traveled to a plane of the Outer Sphere for its ultimate reward or punishment. They often retain limited memories of their former lives, although their shape is dependent upon the plane which they inhabit. A petitioner who returns to life retains no memory of its life as a petitioner, although those who please the powers of the outer realms—and are transformed into a different species of outsider, such as an archon, demon, or devil—have been known to have some remembrance of their former lives. Petitioners that do not make the transition to the afterlife sometimes return to the material plane as ghosts or restless undead.
    Last edited by Othniel; 2019-05-08 at 10:28 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Cotyledon outstretched an arm, and from within the tangle of her hair-like vines a strange, bulbous creature waddled out onto her wrist. It had eight stumpy legs and a queer, segmented body; it also appeared ever-so-slightly luminous, like a bioluminescent mushroom at dusk.

    "Perhaps the children would like to meet Shrine? I can speak with them. Just point me in the right direction, my good Mayor."

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Gilbert

    "Knocking on wood has something to do with asking dryads or other fae for good luck, or maybe just protection from badluck. I'm not sure it is effective..." He trailed off, and decided just to talk to the mayor instead of continuing that train of thought. "How did everyone die? I guess it was pretty sudden. Did the buildings 'die' too? Somekind of explosion, maybe?"
    Quote Originally Posted by lt_murgen View Post
    Exploratory expeditions expeditiously expediting exploration would be epicurially equipped.
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    "Ah, perhaps. Children do like...things...like...that," the Mayor trailed off, taken aback by the sudden appearance of an overly-large creepy-crawly. "In any event, I do not know what happened, and that is a source of immense frustration. I went to bed early, as I usually do, and woke up here. I do not recall much else, to be honest."
    Last edited by Othniel; 2019-05-10 at 08:56 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    "So, not that much different from what we all experienced. Interesting."
    Henrietta looked to the mayor. "Is there anyone else here who actually realizes you're dead? Maybe they'll remember."
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    "Very few. Several who knew right off passed on. I cannot go until the others do. If you can convince the children, perhaps their parents will go along. My hope is that the rest will realize their situation if the council speaks to them."
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    Henrietta turned back to Coty. "You said you could probably convince the kids, right? Probably as good a place to start as any."
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Bellas turned her face away from the mayor in an attempt to veil her doubt. She didn't have much experience with children, even with her long elven years. She'd never been close to being married, her most recent ex was of a relationship broken over a decade ago... and come to think of it he was probably here somewhere too. That realization sat heavily amidst the weight of all of the other losses of the day.

    "How do you convince a person they're dead when they can still walk and talk? I'm sure we'll do out best, but any suggestions you might have would be most welcomed, Lady Grive."
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  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    Henrietta clapped her hands together with a sense of finality.

    "Well, those kids aren't going to convince themselves. Get your game face on, Coty."

    Assuming no-one stopped her, she then took Coty by the hand and began making a beeline for the children.
    Avatar of Kotka done by Ceika!
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    The children gave way before the duskwalker and ghoran, wide-eyed at the outlandish strangers in their gear of war. Above the children in the branches of the tree, both Coty and Henrietta could see a rather large crow nesting in the tree above. It had white tips on its feathers and peered down at them suspiciously. On the ground, the children gathered around the two newcomers, pointing at their equipment and chattering amongst themselves.

    Spoiler: Birb
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    Spoiler: Henrietta
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    The bird is not a normal crow, but a Witchcrow, a type of magical beast.

    The dread witchcrow, renowned as a harbinger of ill deeds and misfortune, preys on the weak and spies on the unwary.

    Clever, manipulative, and avaricious in the extreme, these birds have no conscience and know no fear. Witchcrows strive to steal not only victims’ most cherished possessions, but their hopes and dreams as well. They delight in bringing anguish and sowing doubt even as they offer falsely friendly advice designed to tear down alliances, dupe the gullible, and compromise the virtuous. Despite their deceptive nature, witchcrows can also hold valuable information—or come by such if paid to retrieve it.

    Witchcrows value arcane magic above all else, not simply as practitioners, but also as collectors. In exchange for their services or information, witchcrows trade for scrolls, potions, and other lesser magic items. Even if such items go unoffered, an intense covetous streak drives witchcrows to pilfer these things if they sense them among a bargainer’s possessions. Often, they single out arcane casters as targets for thievery, closing on casters from a distance with their vanish ability and executing flyby attacks to snatch away any baubles they desire. They carry such loot back to their nests to preen and proudly share stories of their daring raids under the adulation of their peers. Regular, prolonged spellcasting (casting spells with a casting time greater than 1 round) often attracts witchcrows to the area. They stalk spellcasters in groups, watching for opportunities to steal from them.
    Last edited by Othniel; 2019-05-13 at 10:02 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    As they approached the children and laid eyes upon the fel bird, Henrietta narrowed her eyes at it briefly. Mostly ignoring the children, shed turned to Coty and hissing at her out of the corner of her mouth.

    "I've heard of those things before. Witchcrows. They're magic beasts that are lying backstabbing thieves, and are massive liars who try to fool people. They're really interested in magic stuff, particularly arcane stuff, and will try to steal it if given half a chance. If that thing approaches us or the kids, don't give it a goddamn inch."
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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Cotyledon nodded to Henrietta. She knelt down near the gathered children, to be closer to eye level with them, placing her pack at her side.

    "Hello friends! Maybe you saw me when I came to town not too long ago? My name is Cotyledon, but you can call me Coty. What are your names?"

    Those children not too shy to speak gave her answers, which were rewarded with a flowery smile.
    "Yes yes, it's okay to stare. My face is made of flowers, and I have vines for hair. I am a ghoran, which means I am a plant, but I'm not so different from you. I can walk and talk and tell stories. I also like to listen. What are you up to children? Have you made a new friend with that crow over there?"

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    "It was speaking to us," one older girl said, shyly. She looked to be about thirteen, and Coty could vaguely remember her from the village before. "First it talked, and then a woman's voice talked."

    "She was so lovely to listen to; just like some queen out of the old stories!" another child, a small boy with reddish hair and freckles.

    "Shh! I'm telling it!" the older girl said, shushing the boy. "She told us something bad happened, and that we need to go with her when she gets here, and we'll get to go to a place where we don't have to do any chores or schoolwork forever!"
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    Okay, now this was concerning.

    If Henrietta had had hackles, they would have been raised. But now wasn't the best time to go charging in, and the children weren't... wrong, really. But it did sound extremely suspicious, especially coming from the Witchcrow.

    Trying her best not to look creepy and suspicious, Henrietta joined in the conversation.

    "The woman's voice. Did she tell you what her name was, or what the 'something bad' was?"
    Avatar of Kotka done by Ceika!
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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    As Henrietta spoke, the large "crow" with white wing tips drifted out of the tree to land gently atop a child’s head. It opened its beak, and a lyrical voice ushered forth, with a curious, lilting accent. “Ah, newcomers, you must be the curiosities I heard tell of. I am Mictena, and I cordially welcome you to the Boneyard and eternity. Do not fret about your unusual condition; I shall be with you shortly to correct this horrible error and help you on your way to the final rest you have earned!”
    Last edited by Othniel; 2019-05-15 at 09:17 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    There were many questions Cotyledon could think to ask, but the crow-creature seemed to be an untrustworthy sort, at least according to Henrietta.
    "I assure you, we do not in fact belong here," was all she said in reply.

    Turning her attention once again to the children, her voice softened as before.
    "Do any of you keep to the gods? Perhaps they seem a stuffy concept to some of you, but I would like to hear what you know. Do any of you know about Pharasma?"

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    "We do!" spoke the girl who'd answered them before. "Duskfeather was just telling us about Pharasma and her psych-o-pomps."

    "Very good, little one," the voice from the crow cooed. The creature then turned its eye upon Coty. "My dear, your situation is unique, I admit, but I will fix you up properly as soon as I am able. Change is always frightening, but I will make it soft and swift, like a mother’s kiss. You’ll feel only love.”
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  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    Henrietta frowned at the crow, doing increasingly less to conceal her ill feeling toward the bird now that it was making veiled threats on their lives.

    "My friend and I like it just the way we are, thanks. How are we here? How are they here?"
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  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    "Oh, it is quite as much a mystery to me as it is to you," Mictena answered through the crow. "They are properly deceased and merely await my collecting, while you and your friends yonder...are not. Something sent you to the land of the dead, yes, and so you need to be properly dead before you can move on."
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  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Bellas

    The elf narrowed her eyes at the diabolical crow's assertion that their lives continued in error.

    "We are not looking to move on, we are looking to restore ourselves to our proper place and plane. Can you help with that or are you merely wasting our time?"
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  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    “No, absolutely not!" The beautiful voice sounded suddenly cross. "You must accept your fate and find your peace. Traipsing back and forth would disrupt the entire system. Just relax, find a happy memory, and I will help you shed that fear soon.”
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  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Bellas

    "I think you have mistaken fear for anger." She adjusted her grasp on the long, curved blade.

    "What do you know of the Dead Roads?"

    Spoiler: ooc
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    Intimidation
    (1d20)[7]
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
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  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    "Only one lady gets to tell me to accept my fate, and I'm afraid my dear sweet Desna isn't here." Vesper snapped a card from one hand to the other, a span apart. The clever thing about card casting was that no one suspected you of carrying deadly weapons. They just thought you were an idiot.

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Valley of the Dead

    "I know plenty, dear." The voice was icy now, as of a queen pronouncing a judgment. "But that would be telling, and you won't be in your current form long enough for it to matter. I have my hands full with a bandit camp that was washed away in a mudslide, or I would have things sorted by now."

    "Only one lady gets to tell me to accept my fate, and I'm afraid my dear sweet Desna isn't here."

    "Then Duskfeather can send you to her," Mictena said. "Duskfeather, deal with them. I will arrive soon and would have things tidy. I am a busy woman."

    "With pleasure, my lady," croaked the crow, now in its own voice as it leapt from the child's head and into the air.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Combat! You all win initiative!

    Please use the map on the Encounters tab for the battle. The children (CH) are all Petitioners. D is Duskfeather, the Witchcrow.
    Last edited by Othniel; 2019-05-19 at 09:30 PM.
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  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    "I wanted to avoid this... but kids, get down! Now c
    ome here, you oversized chicken!"

    Henrietta grabbed her glaive and lunged forward, slicing at the magical beast.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Henrietta 5-steps, draws her glaive, and attacks.

    Attack:(1d20+6)[20]
    Damage: (1d10+4)[7]
    Avatar of Kotka done by Ceika!
    Louise (IC, OOC), Henrietta (IC, OOC)


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