The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    AssassinGuy

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    The wailing ceases suddenly and the spectral figure vanishes a moment after to reveal Marcus relaxing on the floor with his arms behind his head. He rises, dusting himself off and grinning.
    "Oh that's just some flare I picked up going to the theater a few times. It's all just illusion anyways, that's what I specialize in. Well, that and enchantment. I'm working on the best way to give the impression that the life is being drained out of me to summon up a monster. Then I sneak away in the fog while everyone's distracted. Do you think it's too melodramatic? I'll admit I my have a bit too much fun with it. All that being said, I'm perfectly happy to have someone playing rearguard with me."
    Last edited by FinnDarkblade; 2019-09-09 at 09:33 PM.

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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    "Well, you certainly took me in," said Deklen. "And if this assignment includes any sort of sneaking into places one perhaps shouldn't be, a good, convincing distraction will be quite the asset."

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Mikael watched the theatrics, hoping that none of those things were real. Internally freaking out while maintaining a cool exterior"Well I'll be, If I was a commoner with little experience with mages, I'd have wet myself. Your illusions are pretty dang good and I can only imagine the number of times your teammates are going to be thankful that you can do all that freaky occult thing to make folks terrified of you. "

    I'll need to keep an eye out on this kid thought Mikael. It ain't often we get a mage without an infuriating fondness to fireball everything to ashes. This mage might actually be useful for more than making things dead.
    Last edited by Stone-Ears; 2019-09-10 at 07:53 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Marcus continues grinning, pleased by the reaction. "Well thank you, I've put a bit of work into all that. It can be difficult to make illusions convincing, especially if you also want people to see them as threatening. That's why I mostly stick with ghosts and things like that. No one thinks it's strange if an arrow passes right through one. Fog's good too. I know it's an illusion already so I can see right through it. Might be something worth setting up for us, like, a word or something to let you all know if what's about to happen is an illusion. Could be useful if there's a mist or something like that that we can all see through."

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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Lucian hisses involuntarily at the apparition and steps back, hand on the hilt of his rapier. When the illusion dissipates, he laughs out loud.

    "Well done Kincaid! Well done indeed. But if I might make a suggestion, instead of wasting such fine illusions on making others believe you're out of the fight, use them to scare Lamm's gang. Once we're inside, we'll need to move fast and keep up the pressure on his thugs. Anything you can do to keep them off balance will help us win that much faster and with fewer casualties on both sides. Just making noise like there are more Guard breaking in from another direction will help."

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Janna raises an eyebrow as the horrifying visage rises up through the floorboards.

    "Magic's alright. Even mind magic. I've been hit by it a couple of times. You know that best friend spell? An elf once hit me with one of those to make me let him go. No, magic's fine. It's devil worship I can't stand."

    She leans back, snatching her canteen from her pack and pulling the cork. She takes a drink, then rests it on the table.

    "You ever get into that, Marcus?"

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Marcus rubs his chin and frowns for a second. "I do see your point. The main difficulty is in keeping up a convincing illusion long enough to scare someone long term. I'm sure it's not immediately apparent but that was actually 2 separate effects I was running there. First the sounds and then the image. The image I can hold as long as I want and move around while it's up but I can't use any other spells while doing so. So I have to set up the sounds first and I can't modify them on the fly. They also only last a short time for now. Once sounds cease threatening illusions usually become a lot less convincing.
    He then turns to Janna.
    "And no, I've never been involved in that, can't stand them either. That actually gets into why I'm only technically sort of a mage. I tried passing off an illusion of an imp for my graduation examination instead of actually summoning one. The Academae takes conjuration very seriously and they were kind of looking to get rid of me already. So instead of graduating I was expelled. After I'd paid for several years worth of tuition already of course."

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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    "Then keep it simple. Concentrate on noises, if that's possible. Loud and sudden is better than long lasting - make one or two of the thugs go look or reconsider the value of putting up a fight. If you must do the visuals, try for something plausible. A fire, perhaps? Everyone's scared of a fire, particularly if it starts behind you, cutting off your retreat."

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    "Fire never really bothered me," Janna says, taking another drink. "Reminds me of home, somehow. Not that we could hardly ever afford to keep a fire. I don't know that anything really frightens me. I'm basically fearless."

    She considers for a second, then adds, "Though, those tiny dragons everywhere creep me out. I don't like having things in my head."
    Last edited by fyleisch; 2019-09-10 at 02:22 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    "Fire's actually one of the more difficult illusions to pull off because it engages all 5 of the senses. You see and hear the fire, feel the heat, and smell and taste smoke. Of those I can only effectively mimic sight for any length of time. I'm getting better but for now I can only keep a sound running for about 20 seconds.
    Last edited by FinnDarkblade; 2019-09-10 at 03:00 PM.

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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Listening to the others audibly disapprove of devil worship Mikael thinks to himself

    Best not let them meet my older sister.

    Approving of Marcus informing the team of his limitations and what he can or can't do, Mikael nods and a smile creeps out.

    Mikael starts staring off in the distance, becoming lost in his thoughts and allowing the chatter to continue, preferring instead to envision how he will climb up the ranks, what with being a glory hound and all.
    Last edited by Stone-Ears; 2019-09-10 at 03:56 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Deklen waited until a lull in the conversation. "You must have had something particularly bothering you to try and cheat on your final examination," he said softly to Marcus.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Marcus pauses to consider for a moment before answering.
    "I... wouldn't necessarily call it cheating. Or at least that wasn't the intention behind it. It was more of a culmination of differences between myself and the Academae's teachings. The Academae is all about teaching students to increase their power at any expense for their own ends. Essentially, that power exists solely for the benefit of those in power. That never sat well with me while I was there because power has consequences.
    Think about it, there are Imps everywhere in this city. Not only do those Imps cause general mayhem and harm the local pseudo dragon population, it also means that the forces of the Nine Hells have eyes and ears everywhere. I can't even begin to imagine the long term effects of that. But does the Academae care? No, because it's beneficial to a spellcaster to have a familiar and imps are one of the most powerful because they can use spell activation devices and damn the consequences!"

    Marcus pauses for a moment, looking slighty embarassed by his outburst. After taking a breath he proceeds more calmly.
    I believe that societies only exist because we're all better off in them than outside of them. Therefore society exists for the public good. And society creates power. Neither the Academae nor even the government could exist if Korvosa weren't here. So to my mind it follows that if society exists for the public good and power is dependent on society to exist, then power must also exist to serve the public good. That's why I became a Guardsman really, so I could put the power I possess in service to the city. It's also why I favor illusions. There's no chance of a stray illusion lighting the city on fire."
    Last edited by FinnDarkblade; 2019-09-11 at 07:57 AM.

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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    "... that's why I became a guardsman really..." she hears the end of the conversation as she nears the barracks, holding a quarterstaff firmly in one hand, steadying a quiver of bolts on her hip with the other. Adjusting straps of a pack and belt pouch, the unassuming woman approaches the door while purposefully not being quiet with her steps, tapping her staff against the ground as she draws upon the door.

    "Greetings... all," Isara states as she looks about the area nothing the members of the guard, some she's seen and worked with, others she's never met before. Eyes easily find Deklen, whom she knows of but hasn't had the... pleasure of interacting with. She tries to keep her eyes from narrowing too much. The man was taken, judged, sentenced... in a way. Though repaying the community with service might be more fitting shoveling muck somewhere, she's not one to argue with the reasoning of the Hellknights. It wouldn't mean she'd keep her eyes entirely relaxed. She had no way of knowing if a geas was still good or not.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Deklen fought down the impulse to clear his throat. If looks could kill. He'd had warmer receptions from constructs. He'd heard Isara Wellspire was ... concerned about his presence in the guard, but that expression was more like a novel than an open book so far as it related to Deklen Callas.

    Calm down. These are all guards. It was only weeks ago they were hunting someone like you. She probably thinks you're dangerous, one part of him said.
    I am dangerous, another replied.

    So he took a slow, quiet, deep breath in, and let it out again, and summoned an affable smile, which, despite trying, he couldn't make reach his eyes. "Good morrow -- Ma'am Wellspire, I take it?"

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Eying the strange person that just walked in, he recognized her by the general description of others in the guard. Her skin was considerably darker than Mikael's. A product of being in the outdoors a majority of her time. Plus Mikael just turned light tan whenever he did work outside at the docks, on his off duty time.

    Noting that she's not one for subtlety and noting her eyes at Deklen, Mikael gleaned that the druid had little to no love for Deklen. Wonder how he ****ed her off. Whatever the case, I best try and keep those two separate

    Mikael lifts up his hand in acknowledgement to Isara's entrance. "Hello there, make yourself comfortable eh? Most everybody did. "

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    "Yes," she answers Deklen with a slow nod, relaxing her gaze. She feels she's well communicated her inherent distrust of the man, someone forced to serve the guard doesn't necessarily hold the same values as another member of the guard. But... well, in so far, the man hasn't violated the geas that she knows of. Not that she'd be in the know if he had. It wasn't the Korvosan guards that put him on it. Still, it wasn't good to dwell on it... she'd let that go for now.

    "Thanks..." she said to the larger figure, Mikael. His appearance was striking enough to be remembered, but other than that she knew very little about the man.

    "Is this everyone for the raid?" she asked to the room, looking around at the others. Janna, Mikael, and, of course, Deklen she knew. One other man she was taller than (by very little) and another lighter looking imperial that carried himself like a mage of sorts. She felt her memory should tell her something about the first... Isara moved into the room more and looked back toward the entrance as if expecting someone to follow on her heels to answer the question.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    "I think you think a tad too much, Kincaid," Lucian laughs. "A society just is. Learn the rules, make things work for yourself, job done," he summarizes his own views.

    Turning to the new arrival, he introduces himself. "Greetings to you as well, Miss Wellspire. I'm Lucian Espada. Midland is my beat," he says, offering his hand to shake.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Marcus shrugs at Lucian and turns to the new arrival with him, noting the spell component pouch on her belt.
    "And I'm Marcus Kincaid, it's good to meet you. You must be the other spellcaster. I don't remember seeing you at the Academae. Are you from one of the temples then?"
    Last edited by FinnDarkblade; 2019-09-11 at 04:12 PM.

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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    "Isara is fine," she tells Lucian, taking his hand and letting a genuine smile cross her features. Yes, Lucian, she remembered. Of course, another Midland guard, but there are some people whose names continually escape her. Unfortunately, this just might be the case... probably due to a Lucian she once knew... "Good to meet you.

    "And you as well Marcus,"
    Isara turns to face the other mage while giving her head a shake. "No... I, uh, I'm not studied with them. I studied with..." The Shoanti? "Druids."

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Janna looks up from nursing a small dagger cut on her finger. "Oh, hail Isara. I heard they were bringing a druid in on this one. I knew it would have to be you."

    She turns to look at Marcus. "Don't let the spell bag fool you. She's as dangerous as any of us in a close fight. Not to mention fast. I don't think I've heard of anyone getting away from her on foot."

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Mikael smiles at the kind words Janna said about Isara and then gazes off into the empty space.


    It's true, by reputation, everyone in here is a very capable fighter and a fearsome opponent. The newbie is the only wild card here I think.

    Man if this raid goes good, I wonder if I can secure the fishery they are located at for my family. I bet we could turn it around both as legitimate business for Braun and a front for Vex.


    Mikael continues dreaming up of ways to make his very minor dock family more powerful and influential before snapping back to reality.

    " So are we waiting on anybody else?"
    Last edited by Stone-Ears; 2019-09-12 at 04:53 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Marcus perks up imediately upon hearing this and focuses in on Isara even more intently.
    "A druid? Really? I've never met one before. So how does that work with being in the Guard then? Aren't druids generally about nature and the wilds?"

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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    "Isara, then. Pleased to meet you. We've been discussing Kincaid's magical abilities and how they might help in the raid. Seeing as you're a spellcaster also, perhaps you could provide a brief rundown on your capabilities as well?"

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Before Isara can respond Watch Sergeant Verik steps through the door and says, "Alright, quiet down." Though members of the Guard choose their own gear, Verik is wearing what passes for an officer's uniform, a grey surcoat trimmed in red bearing the device of Korvosa over a mail hauberk. A sword hangs from one hip and a truncheon from the other. He leans his halberd against the wall behind him and fixes everybody present with an impassive look.

    Verik has a narrow face with watery eyes and unruly brown hair. He isn't known for being particularly intelligent, however he is quite ambitious and more than a touch opportunistic. He's said to be connected to one of the more powerful noble familes, but which one changes with who is doing the telling. Regardless, he is one of the two Midland sergeants.

    "You're all here. Good." His gaze seems to linger on Mikael a while longer than anybody else before he coughs and draws a small portrait out of a pouch at his belt. "This is Gaedren Lamm," he says passing it to Isara. "He's been known to the Guard for some time as the leader of a gang of street urchins and petty thugs. He's been arrested before, but not since he started getting others to do his dirty work for him. What has brought him to our attention this time is that he is suspected of the double murder of one Zellara Esmeranda and her son." Verik pauses to let this sink in for a moment.

    "Lamm is currently working out of an abandoned fishery at Westpier 17. In addition to his "lambs," he has some dozen known associates, any number of which may be working in concert with him. Your charge is to take him, dead or alive, and bring an end to his criminal operations. You will receive a bonus of twenty sovereigns a head for any of his cohorts your capture alive and five for any slain. Lamm's possessions seized in the course of your duties are yours to keep. The churches of Pelor, Hieroneous, and Asmodeus have all agreed to take in any of the children who have no families to return to and who are too young to take care of themselves. Questions?"

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Marcus raises a hand and then, realizing he's not in class, speaks up and puts it down again.
    "I have a couple questions sir. Do we have full clearance for mind-affecting magic in this case? Also, what do we know about the victims and the murder? Anything that would be helpful for collecting evidence?
    Last edited by FinnDarkblade; 2019-09-13 at 09:18 AM.

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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Mikael turns to attention to Sergeant Verik. He notices the gaze resting upon him a tad bit longer than for the others before Verik continued on to address the rest of the group.

    Seems he still questions my loyalty even after I've told him I've no intention of running from the call of duty, should things turn sour for the city. He doesn't seem to realize my family has more to gain from me staying in the guards during times of tumult versus times of peace. There's more to be had all around, if a few should defect, the pot grows bigger for me. Mikael thought privately

    He looks at Marcus as he asks his question to Verik and smiled, appreciating the wizard's passion for peace in this particular raid. After all, more to be gained from bringing them all in alive or as many alive as possible vs dead. Mikael needs the extra money for his family's business and the more the better.
    Last edited by Stone-Ears; 2019-09-13 at 09:45 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Deklen waited for the discussion between Marcus and Verik to end, though he took a moment to cast a speculative look in Mikael's direction. What was that all about?

    When he had the opportunity to ask, he did so: "How quickly do you want him brought down?"

    Deklen didn't think of himself as a cynic - that would have suggested reality was different to how he saw the world working - but there seemed to be something else at work here. Four times the money if they brought Lamm's cohorts in alive, but no mention of something similar for bringing in Lamm himself.

    And Deklen might not have been a guard for terribly long, but he couldn't remember hearing of a 'dead or alive' mark being issued on someone suspected of murder. Usually even the guard observed some of the traditional legal hypocrises. Unless, of course, Deklen's worldview was correct and the sergeant's commanders knew full well that Lamm would likely never see the inside of a prison cell or a legal execution ceremony, and thus were in fact ordering a kill mission without saying so.

    More relevantly, Deklen knew the more time one had to observe a target, the better the odds were of bringing the target down efficiently. Of course there were the risks of being detected in overwatch, but he doubted he'd look that much different to the locals if he started hanging around the docks. So knowing whether they had a timeframe would be useful.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Isara knows druidic magic isn't fully understood. It's all... mystical and sometimes even shrouded in 'fey' whispers. It can be potent, she knows, but she herself isn't going to wow anyone soon. Before she gets a word out, Sergeant Verik steps through and delivers his short brief of the situation and the orders. Her expression hides none of her questions, and she senses that others have similar... concerns. Suspected but willing to accept these people dead or alive. What investigation has happened so far? Sounds to her like this just turns out to be a really good reason to put more heat on a known criminal. Seemed odd to go after Lamm with such force... and fatality. Or rather someone wants him taken down permanently and is fine issuing 'dead or alive' commands. A petty criminal no one will miss. There's always an angle being worked... Isara doesn't mind having one less criminal on the streets... and it was good the children would be taken care of. Concerning, though, if the children might be used as shields or to attack. That knits her brows...

    She waits for the answers the others have asked.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Sergeant Verik seems, by his facial expressions, supremely bored but he answers Marcus' question readily enough. "You may use whatever means are at your disposal to effect the arrest. Lamm and his gang are expected to resist, violently. He has spent the last few decades carving out a niche for himself in the city's underworld. While he has often been suspected of various crimes he has just as often escaped justice. The First Arbiter has issued this writ personally." Verik produces a scroll with a red wax seal on it detailing Lamm's suspected crimes, those for which he is being arrested, and granting broad authority to the bearers to take him and any immediate associates into custody, using lethal force if necessary.

    "The woman, Esmeranda, was a Varisian fortune teller who went missing about a week ago. Her son disappeared about six months ago. Back when her son was just a missing individual the Guard couldn't spare the resources to search for him. According to a letter Esmeranda sent to a friend before her disappearance she used her talent to discover her son's fate at the hands of Lamm and intended to confront him. The letter was designed to serve as a contingency in the event of her death."

    Leaning back against the wall Verik taps the heel of one boot against the toe of the other and shrugs with his hands in response to Deklen's question. "As quickly as possible, but without losing any guardsmen to carelessness. The writ is in no danger of expiring, but Lamm has a talent for disappearing within the city. It seems he has a friend within the administration who passes him details on what buildings are unused and for how long. The fishery in question technically belongs to the Bank of Asmodeus at the moment, they'll probably have a new tenant lined up for it in a month or two. Lamm will have to move before then."

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