The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    HARRRUUMPH!! There is a creaking of timber, along the groan of effort from Borgrim, and instants later the window sails past to crash with an infernal racket on the cobbles below. Simultaneously, Borgrim appears - with a pained hurgh! - upended outside the window, saved from sharing the fate of the window by the rope.

    Sorry, didn't catch that? Something about ransacking the laboratory? Don't worry, I'm on it!

    Pulling himself up hand over hand, Borgrim disappears from sight again.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Taking a slight liberty here, of assuming the result is sufficient. It's fun, at least. I'll retrofit if needed =)

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Rosa takes another breath of smoke and drifts once more, briefly, into the land of smoke and scents. She tries to focus on something other than the blood, but nothing else leaps out as vividly. The same smokey shapes rise and fade quickly. She rouses from her brief reverie and then begins shuffling through papers, with César's help, for any clue pertaining to wards or other house protections. Their fruitless search is interrupted by the creaking and straining of weakened timbers above as Borgrim heaves away at the window frame. A moment later there is a great crash as the third-floor window smashes onto the cobbles of the alley below.

    A deep, booming voice calls out from the the shattered glass: "Miscreants and vagabonds, you have invaded the sanctum of the great wizard Nicodemus! Know that your faces and forms are known to me and despair!"

    Fifteen seconds later the voice repeats itself verbatim. Rosa and César then hear the creak of the front door.

    "Uh, evry-thing alright up there, eh? Heard a crash! Corporal Rendal calls up from the street doorway.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Borgrim's strength roll was sufficient, combined with the help of the pitons.

    EDIT: Sorry about that timing, iTookUrNick. Feel free to edit your post however you like, though I think it more or less fits as is.

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    Identifying scrolls is supposed to be automatic, as long as they're on one's class list.

    First, try to figure out the two divination scrolls. If needed, [roll0].
    Second, shifting through other papers to see if there's a clue as to the nature of the stairwell ward. If needed, [roll1]. I guess Benedict helping would give that roll advantage? In which case, I'll let Nick make the second d20 roll, in case Ben agrees to help.
    Ah, I forgot that scrolls were automatically identified. The scrolls are both of Comprehend Languages.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-05-27 at 09:47 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Cesar lets out a resigned sigh as he leafs through the documents he is handed. His Raven watches impassible from his shoulder, yet giving the impression of infinite contempt towards Rose.
    He hardly manages a few sentences before Borgrim reappears into view.
    "Perhaps it is better if you follow him up the rope. I will stay here and make sure to warn you if the guards come." he tells Rose. His Raven flaps lazily out of the window and follows Bogrim.
    Meanwhile, Cesar walks to the front door to speak with the guards: "I'm all right lads. Something to do with the lab on the third floor, probably something falling down. I think the cat is to blame".
    Last edited by iTookUrNick; 2019-05-27 at 09:47 AM.
    My day job is killing me. But I will rise again, more powerful than ever!

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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Hearing what she guesses to be Niccodemus' voice, Rosa rolls her eyes, with an I-told-you-so expression.

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    "Perhaps it is better if you follow him up the rope. I will stay here and make sure to warn you if the guards come."
    "Yeah, I'll do just that." She watches Benedict, up and down, as if seeing him for the first time. "Where's that guard uniform from? Isn't it an officer's?" She sighs. "Know what? I don't want to know, I don't need to know. Take this." She hands Benedict one of the two scrolls. "Don't know if you can use that, but it contains a spell that helps you understand foreign languages for a short time. I believe it works on text too."

    She then goes to the window. "Borgrim, secure that rope, and please help him get up."

    While she waits for the rope, Rosa overhears Benedict's chat with the guards. Oh yeah, blame it on the cat, Rosa shakes her head. Closing her eyes, she commands Mao to run out the front door in feigned panic.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Don't know if that can help Ben's bluff. It's the only thing I could come up with.

    Climbing: Athletics - (1d20+1)[17], If advantage - (1d20+1)[3].
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    If you hold on - I'll haul you up. And Borgrim does tries just that: Releases the rope from the chimney, climbs into the lab, and secures it to the thing he trusts the most - Borgrim. Then helps Rosa up. Or, more precisely, groans while Rosa climbs up on her own.

    Heavens, woman - do you wear steel garters, or what?!

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Likely that's another roll.
    Athletics: (1d20+4)[9]

    Oh great. Seems he's already out of breath =)
    Last edited by Kaptin Keen; 2019-05-27 at 01:34 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Heavens, woman - do you wear steel garters, or what?!
    Rosa's mouth drops open. Even such a strong one cannot handle your mass.

    "That..." Rosa's voice trails off. Even Borgrim cannot put up with you. Fatso! fatso! Fat so fat! So fat! So fat!.

    "I'm not..." Rosa's voice creaks. For an instant, it seems she's going to slap the half-orc. She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath in and adjusts her cloak and her belt. She expires slowly then opens her eyes again, staring daggers at Borgrim. She turns away from him, trying her best to appear dignified.

    Rosa observes the laboratory.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    For now, just a general look around, without touching anything, Perception - (1d20+5)[23]. I'll follow with investigation depending on how this turns out.
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-05-27 at 04:32 PM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    .. whut? Borgrim is entirely baffled, since he honestly meant no foul. It .. was propably just the angle, you know? Lift with your thighs, not your back - that's what the elders say.

    Borgrim will also turn his attention to the lab - all things considered, that seems safer.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Mao the cat streaks past Corporal Rendal with a scrabble of claws, giving the man-orc a start. "By th' Sun! Huh, fel-la must a sneak-ed in after the break-in, I guess. Well, don't take too much longer, anyhow, lieutenant." Satisfied with César's explanation, Rendal turns back to the street and retakes his position next to Hurt. As César returns to the study, he can faintly hear the Hurt ask:

    "It'were a kitty, then? Them's always gettin' into trouble, huh huh huh!"

    Borgrim adjusts himself and sends down the rope, which Rosa climbs up without much trouble. Despite his comment, Borgrim is well braced and holds firm on his end.

    Inside the laboratory are all manner of magical and alchemical contraptions. Beakers and decanters, strange vials, etched bowls, elaborate, eldritch silverware, and on one wall, floor to ceiling ingredients and materials, all labeled in some sort of shorthand. Rosa can make out half of it as it contains a fair amount of thieve's cant and similar symbols. On another are many assorted stoppered vials with a multitude of coloured liquids, presumably potions. To the side of the window is a long, brass metal cylinder, narrower at one end, supported by three brass legs. The cylinder is perhaps three feet in length, and the centre appears to be hollow, sealed up at either end with crystal lenses.

    The entire room is coated in a fine layer of dust. It is clear that the room has not been disturbed for quite some time. The laboratory is much tidier than the study below it, and the few notebooks left out at work tables are coated in dust as well.
    Spoiler: Games
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    GMing: City of Thieves (IC|OOC)
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    If dignifiededly were a real word, it would be the best one to qualify Rosa's wilful ignoring of whatever Borgrim can now say.

    She goes through the laboratory, slowly, deliberately. A place far more interesting than your usual haunts, little girl. Rosa spends some time observing the various reagents and ingredients, trying to put the labels she recognizes to memory.

    She then goes through the various notebooks, trying to make sense of them.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Whether perusing the notebook would be Arcana or Investigation is irrelevant as Rosa has the same modifier for both: Arcvestigation - (1d20+5)[13].
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Many of the ingredients Rosa can identify either by sight or label, though some are described in archaic forms. Here Quicksilver, moonstone, lapis, cinnabar; there ginseng, mandrake, milk of poppy, adder's tongue. Among the potions she finds two readily identifiable: one of Alter Self, and another of Dragon's Breath.

    The notebooks, however, are another matter. They are written in a much more cryptic manner than the writings from the study. Rosa discerns they refer to various magical rituals and astronomical movements, but more than that she cannot say. They build their formulae on references to other wizards (the names mean nothing to Rosa) without any of the underlying work, and as such, are undecipherable. All Rosa gleans is that many focus on the moon and its movements through the various celestial houses. It's a frustrating process even following a few lines of writing.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    "It's ok boys, I was done anyway. Keep up the good work." Cesars tells the two guards with a smile as he exits the building. He looks for a place to change back.

    Meanwhile, the Raven is perched on the window sill, or what remains of it. "Take what you can and leave. I'll be outside". it says suddenly, his voice eerily similar to Ben's. Its head rotates towards the metal tube, then adds: "Was he looking at something in particular?"
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Rosa takes the two potion she recognizes but leaves the rest in place. After going through the notebooks, in a state of frustration bordering anger, she slams the last one back on a worktable, spreading dust in a large cloud.

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    Meanwhile, the Raven is perched on the window sill, or what remains of it. "Take what you can and leave. I'll be outside". it says suddenly, his voice eerily similar to Ben's.
    "I don't take orders well, especially from birds. Even articulate birds," grumbles Rosa, her angry tone betraying her sudden bad mood.

    Its head rotates towards the metal tube, then adds: "Was he looking at something in particular?"
    "Who cares? I don't. Maybe you can use that tiny beak of yours to go through those notebooks. I'm tired of this place. Let's go out and to the Singing Bridge see if we can find Niccodemus and be done with this job. We can regroup at the far end of the alley."

    Rosa walks to the window. She waves the raven away, "shoo shoo, fly off already". She secures the rope to the leg of a work table and goes down. As she passes the window of the first floor, she pauses for a short moment. After a last look at the study, she continues down to the garden wall then lands into the alley.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Athletics - (1d20+1)[21]

    Question: The blood from crow-man vs. human-man is reasonably fresh, right? It dates from around the same time those first floor windows were broken?

    Equipment on my character sheet is not up to date with current loot. I'll update it ASAP.
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-05-28 at 04:23 PM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  13. - Top - End - #103
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Who has this much junk, and none of it made of gold? I bet the books are valuable, but I also bet 'Cézar' and Rosa want those. Foul sorcery. Ooh, silverware. Not gold, but .. I'm not leaving empty handed. Also, what's this? M-I-L-K .. O-F .. milk, anyways - I like milk, even it if just a tiny vial. Hm, a .. long, round, brassy thing. Could be a musical instrument - do wizards like music? Anyways, I hear musical instruments can be pretty pricey. I'll grab this.

    What a weak haul. But I guess I shouldn't complain, I'm getting paid to be here.


    Borgrim grabs basically anything that looks valuable, plus anything he's curious about, then climbs down to rejoin Rosa.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Rosa, César, and Borgrim reconnoitre in the alley a distance from the house, and then set off in the unending rain toward Singing Bridge. The bridge looks very much the same as when the three last crossed it. However, as you near the south end of the bridge, you spy a narrow, twisted set of steps descending beneath it, obscured by old stonework and brush. It is not so well hidden, however, that you can't help but wonder that you didn't notice it on your way north, earlier in the day. When you reach the south end of the bridge, it takes you several minutes to find the path. You carefully descend the rain-slick steps, the stench of the river growing stronger as you near it's murky surface.

    The smell is thick and nearly unbearable as you round a final corner and spot, snuggled against the stone of a bridge support, a small canvas-covered tent with a painted wooden door greets you. A small sign of burnished brass that hangs beside the door reads: 'Visitors Unwelcome'. Before either of the three of you get a chance to knock, the door swings open releasing a cloud of smoke. As it clears, a white-haired, bearded old man in deep blue robes gestures you inward.

    "Well, had to stop for a little B and E on your way here, did you?" The man smiles knowingly, his eyes twinkling. "Never mind, come in and make yourselves comfortable. I am of course, Nicodemus." Nicodemus turns back inside. He glances over his shoulder. "Come, come, I assume you've got important business, let's not waste any time. Tea?"

    The inside of the tent is well-furnished and comfortable, with many chairs and an old but at some point expensive divan. A hanging lamp lights the interior, casting a slightly irregular shadows. Tapestries line the walls, and the far section is devoted to a study of sorts. Nicodemus makes his way over to a small stove and sets a kettle to boil, then shuffles over to an ornate wooden rocking chair. He looks toward you, expectantly, while he the bowl of his pipe.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    The magic pipe:
    Spoiler: Pipe of Scented Reminiscence
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    One charges, returning at dawn. The pipe can be used to enter a reverie where recent scents (last day or two) can be focused on. The cause of the scent is then replayed to the user as a smoky memory. A memory can be reviewed with the pipe if a charge was previously spent on it. Otherwise, the pipe will have no effect with no charges.


    Borgrim's Haul:
    • Silver Carafe
    • Brass and crystal telescope
    • Brass and inlaid gold callipers
    • Brass and inlaid silver balance
    • Brass astrolabe
    [*]EDIT: Milk of Poppy (sorry forgot)
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-05-30 at 09:52 AM.
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  15. - Top - End - #105
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    I'm afraid I don't know much about herbs - I know my old gramma told me what was in my favourite brew, but I never paid attention. It was kinda white, though, and tasted like licorice. If that's enough to go by, I'll have a cup.

    Also um ... did you actually watch us at your place, or ..?


    Spoiler: Loot!
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    Loot! Loot! Loot! Borgrim is exceedingly happy with this haul, even if his idea of the value is somewhat sketchy.

    However, where is my milk of poppy? Are you saying it's labelled in a way Borgrim doesn't understand? I take objection. Such writings are surely foul sorcery!

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Nicodemus chuckles, lights his pipe and draws. He blows a smoke ring as he exhales. "Oh, I saw a little of what you three were up to. But that's of no importance; we've other concerns, and anyhow, I've not lived on Garden Street for a number of years now. Anything I truly value I took with me when I left."
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Ben is taceva aback at the dissonance between the courteous man and the hobo-like standards of living. He replays their time in the house, making sure nothing incriminating was done. Satisfied, he follows the host inside the tent.

    "And why is that, Mr. Nicodemus? Anything we should be aware of, or worried about?" he asks the wizard, after getting him and offering his current name.

    He waits for his answer before making a further inquiry: "Of course, you are entirely correct: we have important business and we are on a tight schedule. We are here on behalf of the Mayor of Silverton regarding a recent threat made to the town and its inhabitants. We're currently investigating a suspect by the name of Zanbar Bone, dread warlock. We have been told you might be a person of interest in this case."
    My day job is killing me. But I will rise again, more powerful than ever!

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  18. - Top - End - #108
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    .. wait - if you haven't been living there for years, why were you there just the other day? And who broke in? Also, why do you live in a tent under a bridge, like ... like a troll?

    Since Nicodemus doesn't bring up the topic of looting his former residence, Borgrim considers the matter settled.
    Last edited by Kaptin Keen; 2019-05-30 at 12:16 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    "Assuming that was you, that is" says Ben. He feels the strange need to jot down answers, though he's never done that before.
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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Rosa has stayed silent, with a sulky twist to her mouth, all the way from Garden street.

    She simply gives her name, "Rosadon", to Nicodemus, and nods at the proposal of tea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    .. wait - if you haven't been living there for years, why were you there just the other day? And who broke in? Also, why do you live in a tent under a bridge, like ... like a troll?
    Rosa's contracting facial features betray her visible struggle with something. A very smelly tea-drinking troll, adds the Joker. At this, Rosa finally cracks out laughing. She exhales and takes control back. She gives Borgrim's shoulder a friendly slap, "You're such an idiot!" and breaks out laughing once again.

    She exhales, and tries to take control back. Seeing where Benedict is going with his questions she silently calls upon Mao. From his manner of speech, that borrower of power certainly was or still is a member of the guards. Moreover, it's pretty clear that the man's behavior is at odds with Nicodemus' recorded reasons for seclusion.

    The small cat comes in, goes around the tent, and finally curls on Rosa's knees. She absentmindedly scratches her familiar behind one ear.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Rosa saw the crowman wounded during the pipe induced vision, right? Can she see corresponding wound on Nicodemus? Perception - (1d20+5)[17].

    When Mao arrives, does he recognize the smell of the crowman on Nicodemus? Mao - (2d20)[5][17](22).
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-05-31 at 05:32 AM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    "And why is that, Mr. Nicodemus? Anything we should be aware of, or worried about?" he asks the wizard, after getting him and offering his current name.
    "Hmmph? Why, there's always something one can find to worry about. Not that it does anyone much good, wasting their time worrying. Things will come to pass or they won't; worrying won't even twitch the threads of fate, never mind tugging them meaningfully." Nicodemus chews on the lip of his pipe and shrugs. "As for being aware, I expect you'd know that better yourself."

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    He waits for his answer before making a further inquiry: "Of course, you are entirely correct: we have important business and we are on a tight schedule. We are here on behalf of the Mayor of Silverton regarding a recent threat made to the town and its inhabitants. We're currently investigating a suspect by the name of Zanbar Bone, dread warlock. We have been told you might be a person of interest in this case."
    Nicodemus nods, and replies as he moves to the kettle to pour the boiling water into a teapot with a generous amount of peppermint and a pinch of liquorice root. "Yes, I have been expecting you. Not you three in particular, of course, but folk of your persuasion." He looks across at Borgrim and Rosadon. "More interesting than I expected, I must admit. And Silverton, you say? Then Owen must still be mayor..." Nicodemus trails off, then more to himself, adds: "Hasn't stopped holding grudges, has he?"

    Nicodemus returns with the teapot and several cups of white china finely inlaid with silver stars, which he offers to the trio. "No tray, I'm afraid. But you say Zanbar Bone is the likely culprit, yes? If Owen is involved, then there's little doubt to it." Nicodemus' face grows somber. "Owen and I both have some history with Zanbar Bone, quite right. Bone and I were pupils of the same teacher, long, long ago. Rivals, really. And Owen, poor soul, killed Zanbar Bone some twenty years past." Nicodemus gives small smile, mostly hidden by his beard. "Clearly he didn't stay dead."

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    .. wait - if you haven't been living there for years, why were you there just the other day? And who broke in? Also, why do you live in a tent under a bridge, like ... like a troll?
    "Hurumf, what? Why was I where? I haven't been to the house for a year or so. I'm afraid you're quite mistaken, lad. As for who broke in -- apart from the three of you, of course -- I'm not entirely sure. The miscreants were there for only a moment."

    Nicodemus takes a sip of tea and then a several puffs on his pipe. He sighs. "I live down here, in a tent, yes, though it really is quite comfortable, because I am retired. It may come as some surprise," Nicodemus' eyes twinkle mirthfully, "but I am in fact rather old, and very well may have grown more troll-like as I've aged. And I've had quite enough of callers and pilgrims and folk in general coming to me with their petty, insignificant problems, expecting me to solve them as though I were some bloody hedge witch! I'd be one thing if they came to me with great causes, but they're so insufferably boring, 'heal my cat's paw', 'can you get Ronny a promotion', 'when should our Yulia be wed', Bah! There was no end to it!"

    Nicodemus takes an angry huff on his pipe. He takes another sip of tea and composes himself.

    "Now, I know Owen would have sent for me, but I'm just not an adventuring type anymore. But you three look very much the part, if a little unorthodox, and I can offer you what I know, and perhaps you can put and end Zanbar Bone properly, for good."

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    Rosa saw the crowman wounded during the pipe induced vision, right? Can she see corresponding wound on Nicodemus? [roll0].

    When Mao arrives, does he recognize the smell of the crowman on Nicodemus? [roll1].
    Rosa can see no sign of injury on Nicodemus, and certainly not anything resembling the wound that the crowman bore.

    Mao does not recognize the smell of the crowman blood. The tobacco that Nicodemus is currently smoking is very similar to that which Rosa took from the Garden Street house, though.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Hm. Borgrim ponders awhile. So did Zanbar have a trick where he turned into a bird, by any chance?

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Rosa graciously accepts the tea. Nicodemus' admission of becoming more troll-like elicits another guffaw from Rosa, nearly spilling over her tea-cup. "Sorry, please go on."

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Hm. Borgrim ponders awhile. So did Zanbar have a trick where he turned into a bird, by any chance?
    Rosa gives a look to Borgrim, with raised brows and a smile. She fishes into her cloak's pockets, searching for something. She finally extracts the iron feather amulet. "That werecrow, or whatever it was, was in your study. It lost that after being wounded by another more mundane interloper." She dangles the amulet near Nicodemus' face, ready to let him take it if he wants to.

    As for the tea, Rosa patiently waits for it to cool down some more.
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-06-04 at 04:12 AM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Hm. Borgrim ponders awhile. So did Zanbar have a trick where he turned into a bird, by any chance?
    Nicodemus mulls over the question for a long minute, almost as though he'd forgotten to answer. Eventually he clears his throat. "Not birds, or much else, if memory serves. Transmogrification was never his style; he preferred illusion, and later the necromantic arts, as I recall." Nicodemus pauses to finish his tea, then concedes, "I suppose there may be some creature in his employ that could perform such a transformation, however."

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    Rosa graciously accepts the tea. Nicodemus' admission of becoming more troll-like elicits another guffaw from Rosa, nearly spilling over her tea-cup. "Sorry, please go on."

    Rosa gives a look to Borgrim, with raised brows and a smile. She fishes into her cloak's pockets, searching for something. She finally extracts the iron feather amulet. "That werecrow, or whatever it was, was in your study. It lost that after being wounded by another more mundane interloper."
    Nicodemus puts on a face of mock outrage at Rosa's burst of laughter, but his eyes remain smiling and the old wizard drops the façade a moment later. When Rosa offers the amulet, he reaches out for it with a wrinkled hand and brings it up to his eyes to peer at it more closely. He squints at it for a second then lets out an exasperated sigh and rises from his chair.

    "Blast, now where did I put that confounded lens?" Nicodemus scrounges through a pile of papers and odds and ends on a desk, grumbling. "Aha! There you are, now let us see what we have here... " Nicodemus holds a small brass hand-lens up to his eye and examines the amulet through it, turning it around slowly. He returns to his chair, and then hands the iron feather back to Rosa.

    "Well, there's some transformatory magic worked into it, but it's very specific. I suspect that none of us here would be able to make use of it. Carried by a werecrow, as you call it? Hmm..." Nicodemus gazes unfocused past Rosa. "I don't keep abreast of all the networks and agents in the city, but I seem to recall a gang -- more a cult, really -- worshiping a foreign crow deity of some sort. Might be they use that," Nicodemus waves his hand toward the amulet, "as an aid to bring them closer to it. And there are tales from the east of a race of crow-people; perhaps a few have wound up in Port Blacksand"

    "As for why they were fighting in my house, I haven't got the foggiest idea. Perhaps it was just coincidence that both groups chose the same night to break in, and surprised each other?" Nicodemus taps out his pipe into a small receptacle and then works at filling it once more.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-06-05 at 09:20 AM.
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  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Ben concentrates on what the man is saying: "Raven people... Raven cult... hmm... we'll be sure to look into that." He wonders if there's a connection to his raven. But even if there isn't, he might be well served to look into this matter. "As for coincidences, I know they exist, but I'd be extremely cautious to simply chalk things up to random chance. "

    He leans forward, trying to impress his urgency upon the man: "You know, there is a chance that one or both parties were after you, possibly to do you harm. I would strongly suggest putting contingencies in place in case they find you." Possibly by following us here, he does not say. "I think it might be worth it for us to look into the two anyway."

    "As for the warlock, it is good to know what his tricks might be, but I was hoping for more. Namely, how to find him and how to deafest him. That would be a little too much to hope for, I understand. We could also use a list of known associates, if you have one. Granted, having been dead fora a while might have impacted his social preferences."

    Meanwhile, the Raven has sound a comfortable perch outside with a view of the tent and its surroundings and it stands watch, immobile.
    My day job is killing me. But I will rise again, more powerful than ever!

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  26. - Top - End - #116
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    I also don't put much stock in coincidence. I say either someone working for Zanbar Bone is looking for you, or someone else besides us is looking for him. Frankly, I feel neither can come to anything good. Borgrim sips his tea, looking weirdly out of place.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    Ben concentrates on what the man is saying: "Raven people... Raven cult... hmm... we'll be sure to look into that."
    "Crows, talking about crows, not ravens..." Rosa quips, mostly to herself, rolling her eyes. Formally, these are all corvids. Venacular use of said appellations does not in any way correlate to actual ornithological species. Rosa sips her tea to hide her discomfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    I also don't put much stock in coincidence. I say either someone working for Zanbar Bone is looking for you, or someone else besides us is looking for him. Frankly, I feel neither can come to anything good.
    Rosa clears her throat. "For the record, absence of coincidence also gets my vote."

    Mao, having completed his task for Rosa, stands from her lap, stretches with a yawn, and walks outside the tent. He sits under the raven's perch, watching the bird longingly.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    "Yes, I suppose that either party may have been looking for me specifically. I assure you, however, that there is no need whatsoever the three of you to concern yourselves with my safety," Nicodemus replies, bristling. "I may be old, but I've not lost my marbles yet!" Nicodemus grumbles under his breath, then sighs. "I will give the matter some thought if you insist. If you wish to take other precautions, then by all means do so. Oh, and Rosadon is correct. I'm quite certain it was a crow cult, not a raven one. Though what difference that makes is beyond me."

    "Now, Zanbar Bone. I suspected his several years ago, and your presence here confirms it. I've managed to scry the location of his tower. It lies to the north-east in a forest some three days from Port Blacksand, though it is only accessible at night, when the moon is sufficiently full. No doubt it will have defenders and defences to overcome."

    "Zanbar Bone himself cannot be harmed in daylight. He has an entrancing stare that it would be wise to find some protection against. His touch can sap vitality, so should be avoided. Mundane weapons may have little effect on him; silver, however, should be effective. In order to kill and destroy him for good, you will need to pierce his heart with a silver arrow or quarrel, and then sprinkle a special compound over his body. Otherwise he will not stay dead. Humph, if only I'd know that last bit twenty years ago... let me see where I put that formula...
    "

    Nicodemus rises form his rocking chair and moves to his desk, rummaging through notes. He grumbles and curses under his breath. His frustration gradually grows louder until sweeps an arm across the desk and shouts: "Counfound it all! Surely I wrote it down somewhere!"

    Nicodemus' shoulders slump. He turns to his three guests, then his eyes widen suddenly and he asks hurriedly: "You didn't happen to stumble on a list of ingredients while you were snooping about my study, did you? I know I recorded it... what was it... pearls? And flowers, but what type? And something to do with fey..."
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-06-05 at 10:15 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Rosa clears her throat. She methodically takes out everything she found in the study, ruby, grimoire, star chart and all.

    She silently points out the scribbled inscription.

    "I'm holding on to the pipe, if you don't mind, of course. I've discovered myself a new bad habit."
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    My people have a legend about the Night Raven. Says it's safe to come across the Night Raven in your dreams, and it will often impart wisdom or bestow gifts - but if you meet it while awake, well .. then it's there for your soul, and you're already dead.

    Feigning shock, Borgrim will stare at Rosa's loot, and exclaim: Rosa! How could you - I really expected better from you! But not from himself, obviously.

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