The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Tales of the Korvosan Guard IC

    Prologue - The Barracks of Citadel Volshyenek, Korvosa

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Janna leans back from the barracks table, making her chair balance precariously on its rear two legs. The dagger in her hands spins quickly as she practices showy knife tricks, the faded cuts scattered across her fingers evidence that she's not very good at it and should probably stop. She pauses only to look up at the others arriving at the barracks, finding some familiar faces, and some not so familiar.

    "I'm not early because I'm keen or anything," she calls out to the new arrivals. "I just thought there'd be food available. I should have known better."

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Mikael clanks in, sets his spiked shield down beside him and takes a seat at a different table from Janna, preferring to have a bit of space.

    "Ain't you got food at home? 'sides it ain't anywhere near suppertime anyhow"

    Mikael rests his arms on the table in a rather casual manner.

    I'm Mikael, by the way. Looks like we're gonna be working on this assignment together.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    "Janna. I swing that," she says, pointing back at the greatsword by the door. She catches sight of the spiked shield. "Looks like we'll both be in the messy part of the raid."

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Mikael whistles at the sword

    "Niiiiiiiice! I like your sword! And....yeah, probably but there's no other place I'd rather be than in the thick of things, slicing and impaling those who are ballsy enough to challenge me. Betcha I can keep up with ya "

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Marcus knocks a couple times on the doorframe before poking his head in.

    "Uh, hi. Is this the team for the Lamm raid? I was told we'd be meeting here to plan."

    He blinks then, studying Janna for a few seconds.

    "Hey, are you the Wolf?"

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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Yeah come on in, pick a chair, plop yourself in it and hopefully we'll get to work soon and figure some stuff out

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Marcus walks over to the table and pulls out a chair to sit, leaning forward on his elbows.

    "Sure, thanks. Oh, and my name's Marcus, Marcus Kincaid. I'm kind of new."
    Last edited by FinnDarkblade; 2019-09-07 at 06:42 PM.

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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Janna wrinkles her nose, then resumes spinning the dagger. "Hail, Marcus. Just so you know, I don't like that nickname."

    She loses control of the dagger and it spins off onto the floor. As she reaches down for the knife, she nods at the man with the shield. "This is Mikael. He was just betting me thirty silver that I won't drop more bodies than him in the raid."
    Last edited by fyleisch; 2019-09-07 at 07:00 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Marcus frowns momentarily.

    "Oh, sorry. I didn't mean any offense. I heard it from some of the other guards and it's kind of memorable."

    Marcus shifts somewhat uncomfortably and looks between Janna and Mikael.

    "Um, shouldn't we be trying to do as little damage as possible? I mean, isn't the best outcome that we take as many alive as possible so they can go before the Arbiters?"

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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Mikael turns to Janna and grins
    30 silvers eh? You're on

    Laughing, he turns to Marcus
    "Ha by the gods, you are new ain't cha? Yeah, Ideally we want to bring them in alive and sound and have them go for trial and have justice served that way. However, we'd be fools to discount the possibility that this raid would go down with Lamm getting the drop on us. He's got eyes and ears in plenty of places as these types always do. Information is what helps him to survive and keep his ship running smooth.


    In the event, which I say has a decent chance of happening, that the raid meets with resistance. Ain't no harm in a friendly wager. 30 silver pieces might get me something shiny for Muiria."


    Smiling, Mikael continues. "Don't worry, we'll do our best to honor our oath when we joined up"
    Last edited by Stone-Ears; 2019-09-07 at 08:03 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    "Glad to hear it." Deklen had come up to the doorway silently and had been listening to the others talk for a few moments. He dropped his arms from their folded position and stalked into the room, looking at each face, taking a chair and turning it around before sitting legs astride it, arms over the headrest; doing so meant he could get to his feet faster and kept a handy wooden shield in front of his guts. "As it is, you can wish for minimum casualties, but I'd call that the least likely outcome as opposed to the best. My name's Deklen Callas. Pleased to meet all of you. Shall we get the obvious out of the way, in case you've heard of me? Yes, I'm currently under Geas against breaking the law, and yes, it's a punishment for my ... indiscretions."

    Deklen figured the best defence was a good offense. And as it was, it would likely be hard enough once Isara Wellspire showed up and demonstrated what she thought of him, so some well-placed candour under the circumstances probably wasn't a bad idea.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    "If it makes you feel better, Marcus, I promise I'll give them a chance to surrender first," Janna says, kicking out another chair at the table.

    Deklen's entrance makes her jump, but she quickly brushes it off. "Hail, Deklen... A geas, that's mind control isn't it? What's it to do?"

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    "To serve, in summary." Deklen grinned. "Thou shalt serve in the City Guard for a term of not less than five years. During that time, thou shalt not violate any law of the city of Korvosa, nor by your wilful inaction allow any law to be violated if it is within your power to prevent it. That's how it was worded. Not so much mind control as direct coercion; noncompliance is ... painful." He clapped his palm to his forehead. "My manners! Well met - Janna Fleet, isn't it? Not many guardsmen I've met are good enough to carry a great old claymore like that one," he said, nodding at the two-hander by the door. He reached down, quick, lithe, and picked up Janna's dagger on the floor by his foot, flipping it over hilt-first and passing it to her. "Nice short blade, decent balance. Much more my sort of weapon."

    Best not let them start asking more questions about my familiarity with daggers. Deklen turned to the other people around the table, folding his arms over the top of the chair's backrest again and resting his chin on his forearms. "And what have we here? Spiked shield, obviously a man who likes his brawls because he's good at it ... and a fellow with a rapier, but more importantly, what looks a lot like a spell component pouch on his belt. So you're a spellcaster, then - Marcus, was it?"

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    "HA! Direct and to the point ain't cha Deklen? I like that. Pity you managed to **** off some powerful wizard and got your hind end geas'd. I've heard about those kinda spells, nasty bit of business, that. Though, if you're telling the truth about the terms, that makes you more trustworthy than even the newbie here. At least for now. "

    Grinning with pride at the mention of his shield "I grew up on the docks, brawls were a regular occurrence and with 2 older brothers, you learn how to handle yourself. So figured I should train in a way similar to that brawling. Wasn't easy, but by the gods is it worth it to see the fear in the eyes of my opponents when they see a big burly son of a ***** coming at them with a longsword and a shield equally as dangerous as the sword!"

    Realizing Deklen gleaned all of that in an instant "I volunteer this one for stakeout. Man has either been watching us for a bit and we ain't realize it, or he can gather information in an instant. Either way, happy to be working with ya instead of against ya Deklen"
    Last edited by Stone-Ears; 2019-09-08 at 08:52 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Marcus nods at Janna.

    "It does actually, thank you." He turns to Deklen and leans in, interested."Yes, I am. Well, mostly anyways. I don't really associate with the Academae. You said you were Geased into service? I'm familiar with the spell, that's an interesting situation. Is it something you've ever tested?"
    Last edited by FinnDarkblade; 2019-09-08 at 09:51 AM.

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Lucian ambles into the barracks, following the sound of the idle boasts being tossed around. Walking over to Janna's table he lets his heavy backpack drop with a thump and eyes up the team with a sly smile.

    "Hello, everyone. I take it you're also part of the Lamm raid? You may have heard of me, I'm Lucian Espada, I mostly work right here in Midland. Naturally, I know about all of you: big sword, bad attitude - you're Janna Fleet; big man, spiky shield - you're Wasserboren; spell pouch and self-admitted newbie - you're Kincaid, the magical backup; and a man with a geas - you're Deklen Callas, the gattonero." He lets his eyes rest speculatively on Deklen, and for a moment it looks like he's about to say something more about him, but he holds his tongue.

    "I was informed there'd be a sixth person on this raid - Isara Wellspire? Tallish girl, also a spellcaster? Any of you seen her?"

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    "Ain't seen her yet, welcome to the party Lucian. "

    Mikael observes the Rapier and grins and jokes "Ah by your weapon, you're one of them speedy, nimble types that like to poke people to death eh? We were just missing somebody who can actually do that!"

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Deklen nodded at Lucian's salutation but said nothing in reply. He wasn't sure whether Lucian identifying him as a gattonero was an invitation or some sort of implied threat, but seeing as the others hadn't asked into the meaning of that fairly specific Scizarni nickname, it was probably better to just let the remark pass -- perhaps to take it up with Espada later. He also wasn't exactly keen to speculate on Isara Wellspire's whereabouts, so simply opened his hands in a gesture of ignorance and turned back to Marcus Kincaid, letting Wasserboren pick up the conversation with Espada.

    "Yes, I have tested the Geas," said Deklen to Marcus. "Once. Hence why I'm certain that noncompliance is a painful experience." It was reasonably clear that Marcus didn't want to talk about the Acadamae, which was interesting; he'd changed the subject rather quickly. So instead he nodded this time at Marcus's weapon. "And what about that thing? Have you had a chance to test it yet?" He grinned, trying to take some of the sting out of the riposte.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Marcus quirks a thoughtful eyebrow at Deklen, not minding the jab at all. "I haven't had to use it in an actual fight so no, not in that way. I'm honestly pretty useless with it but I was advised in training that most people are less likely to start trouble around a guard who's visibly armed, and not everyone pays enough attention to notice a spell component pouch. So in that sense I'd say the fact that I've never had to use it means it's working perfectly. I suppose it's not dissimilar to a Geas really, more about the threat of harm than the actual application..."
    At this point Marcus's eyes drift off to a corner of the ceiling and he begins mumbling to himself about the ethical ramifications of applied vs implied harm. After a few seconds his focus snaps back to Deklen.
    "Sorry, I do that sometimes. Uh, short answer, no not really. And I hope to use it as little as possible. If I need to win a fight I'd rather do so before any weapons are even drawn.

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  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    "An eminently practical approach." Deklen nodded. Here's material I can work with. "Although let me assure you, there's nothing threatened about this Geas. And your advice was deficient, at least in one respect: you'll see off the unarmed simply enough if you've got a weapon, but someone who carries a weapon typically isn't dissuaded by an armed man ... unless that armed man looks like he knows what to do with it. Come on!" Deklen slapped the top of his chair and got to his feet, stepping back a couple of paces and putting his hand to his own rapier. "Hop up and match my stance. Let's see if we can at least teach you to look like you're setting out to kill someone rather than setting out to a knitting festival."

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Marcus laughs and hops to his feet grinning. He picks up his rapier and circles around the table to Deklen. I like this guy. "Sounds good to me. How do you want me to start?"

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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    "With the fundamentals." Deklen took a few steps back, judging Marcus's arm length and putting himself slightly outside strike range in front of Marcus. "Draw and straight thrust, and then hold it right there. We'll be able to see how many bad habits the sergeants have given you."

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    AssassinGuy

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    "Alright!" Marcus pulls his rapier and gets into a low guard stance with the rapier angled up and across his body. He then steps forward a short distance with his right foot and, keeping his shoulders squarely facing Deklen, thrusts at about shoulder height and runs out of range fully a foot and a half from him.

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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Deklen nods, folding his arms, and stepping to the rapier's outstretched tip. "Now, at this point in training I've no doubt it would be customary to shout at you for executing the poorest thrust in the history of edged weapons. I won't be doing that because for someone who's clearly not been given the proper attention in training that would be fairly useless. And I've seen worse. So!" Deklen reached out with a finger and put the tip on the rapier's outstretched blade. "They teach you to aim a thrust for the body. Understandable. It's the largest target. But most of your opposition - and I'm sure the others here can confirm it from their own run-ins - knows the guard trains for that, so they tend to expect a body strike. Which is why," and Deklen pushed with his fingertip, bringing the rapier's point upward and more centred, so it now pointed straight to the bridge of Deklen's own nose, "a good thrust at the face makes a better opening move. It's a smaller target, yes, but it's also less armoured for the most part. Head wounds are usually harder to overcome than ones to the body. And at worst, it makes most humanoid opponents blink, even if the strike is woefully short. When the eyes are threatened, they close. And the hands jerk upward, to protect the face. And whatever those hands are holding is out of position. Meaning you can take that half-second more to aim your real strike properly. Which you're going to need to, frankly - that thrust was shoulder height, in a street fight it's going over the left or right shoulder. The other thing the head thrust gives you is a better chance to bring it upward" - and he pushed the point skyward, and walked up to the raised blade - "allowing you to slice with it with one downward pull."

    Deklen stepped around the rapier, moving to step alongside Marcus. He opened his hands and slowly pushed the young man's leading shoulder a little more forward, pushed the trailing shoulder back. "Your shoulders are a little too square. That's coming from them constantly flogging you not to overextend your thrust. They do that because most of the drill sergeants train and use longswords. Or the odd greatsword, such as the one Ma'am Fleet is good with. A heavy edged weapon like that doesn't forgive overreach because its sheer weight is hard to pull back in at full extension. So those oafs don't remember that this," and he tapped the rapier again, "is about half the weight of a longsword and has much less mass in the blade to balance. It has much more reach than might be expected. They don't know how to teach you to twist your hip into the strike and let your shoulder and arm follow the momentum, let your forward leg take a little more of your weight. Gives you another maybe half a foot, and with a rapier that's usually all you need. You can kill a man with a slice, certainly, but we kill mostly with the tip. As the cleric said to the courtesan."

    Deklen glanced to the others, giving them the courtesy of offering their own remarks. It was the best way to build trust with the assets.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Mikael nods in agreement to Deklen's instructions"Deklen is on point about the training you received. It's obvious that if you ain't a longsword wielder like myself, you're not going to get the proper training. I've seen a bunch of newbies be ill-prepared for actual combat because of a current lack of variety in trainers. All the trainers got a buncha other **** on their minds. "

    Gesturing at Deklen and Lucian, "If you value breathing through the holes that the gods have given you, you'd be wise to observe Deklen and Lucian when they fight if you can. Both of them are skilled fighters that all but the best of them will fall to. Now being, that you're a wizard, you've got more options for all kindsa ****. One of the freakiest thing I've ever seen was a wizard climbing the walls as if he was a spider. I thought I had him pinned down. Reached for my manacles to bring him in and he straight up starts waving his hands around, chanting in magic and he gets this spider out. Y'know what he did, he shoves the blasted thing in his mouth and swallows it. He then turned around and sprinted at the wall, jumped and smacked the wall with force and started climbing up away from me. I tell ya what, anyone desperate enough to eat a ****ing spider deserves to get away for another day. "


    Realizing he was going off on a tangent, Mikael continued. "Anyways, my point is, you can sometimes even get out of a fight by being freaky as all get out. Which, if you ever find yourself in a position where you are overwhelmed and you've got several bogeys looking to hack ya to pieces, you need to get out of that fight and regroup when you've got the advantage. You need to use your magical talents for those cases. A dead guard is an useless guard. Do not ever be afraid to employ a tactical retreat to keep yourself alive. We ain't got room for any death or glory bull****. Always put yourself in a position to succeed and stay alive. "
    Last edited by Stone-Ears; 2019-09-09 at 08:20 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Lucian laughs heartily at Deklen and Mikael's earnest instruction.

    "Well now, how do you feel after such sterling instruction, Kincaid? Ready to stab a man in the gut and watch him bleed out in the gutter? Or take his eye out and have to pluck it off the point of your rapier? If not, I'd stick to your real job if I were you, and that's to use your magic to help the team. The team's job" - he stops and stares meaningfully at the others - "is to make sure no one gets past us to try and take you down. We can do that, right? We're all professionals, so I assume no one's going to breaks ranks and go charging into combat like a damn fool glory hound and endanger the rest of us while they're at it. Am I right?"

    Turning back to Marcus, he gives him a friendly smile. "Once this raid's over, if you're interested in learning how to use a rapier for real, I'm sure Deklen, Mikael and myself will be happy to train you properly."

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Nodding in agreement with Lucian"We will need to figure out our formations and strategy and you bring up a good point Lucian. Somebody's gotta make sure Mr.Magic ain't getting cut down. I'm a poor choice because my natural element is up at the frontline and in the nitty gritty of it all. Any volunteers on staying in the back ranks with Marcus?"

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    AssassinGuy

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    Marcus drops his stance, smiling. "I appreciate the sentiment, but I think you'll find me quite capable of discouraging anyone from getting close to me. For example." I love doing this! Marcus closes his eyes for a moment and puts a hand in his component pouch, muttering under his breath.

    A moment later a chorus of ghastly wails begin to sound from beneath the floorboards, growing progressively louder. Suddenly, Marcus's eyes snap open and he falls to his knees. A thin green fog begins to fill the room, seeping up through the floor and with it, long, thin spectral limbs slide up all around Marcus where he kneels, twining about him. Finally, a large, horrifically slashed and rotted head looms up from the ground through Marcus and he keels back through it onto the floor with a thud. The rest of the being follows, revealing a head comprised of the faces of several different creatures grafted together and wild, hungry eyes facing in all directions. Its body looks like a mass of hanging strips of flesh and cloth and the dozens of thin arms drag up a massive scythe that drips with black ichor. It looks at the others in the room and begins to slowly drift toward them with it's body trailing off behind it to merge with the fog.
    Last edited by FinnDarkblade; 2019-09-09 at 06:32 PM.

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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Deklen took an involuntary couple of steps backwards, hands dropping to his weapons at the sight of the dreadful thing Marcus has summoned ... You fool, he's not going to waste his spellcasting on a show for us. It's a prestidigitation. Callas grinned, rubbing his hand across his jaw. "That's a rather vivid imagination you have there, Marcus. Still, if it's going to take that much out of you to cast a spell - dropping to your knees - then I'd say there's something in the suggestion you'll need someone next to you. At least until I'm happy you can use that blade," he added with a grin. "Consider me volunteered for rear line protection duty. No gloryhounds here, I assure you."

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