The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    The pot begins to gurgle as you exchange pleasantries with Winters.
    Ah yes, the town... but living here? It’s a trade-off, like so much in life.” He looks past you at a high shelf. “I could wish for access to a proper library, of course. But I know myself well enough. I’m strictly a dabbler. And the cities...” His face wrinkles in distaste. “Too many people. Everybody rushing and shouting. We have a special place here in Emberhead. And someone must accept responsibility for keeping it so. That was my father before me. And now the duty falls to me.” He lifts his chin and straightens up.
    This evening, as the sun sets, look out at the landscape around the village. We have peace up here, halfway to the stars. Are we not privileged? Is this not worth the hardships we must accept?
    He looks at you speculatively. This seems a good time to ask about the telegraph.

    The telegraph? Mmm. Much as we value our isolation, we do need the link sometimes… you were hoping to send a message? I must apologize. The line has been down for two weeks. I reported the fault, but of course, they’re not so speedy when the problem lies in a rural area. I’m expecting a repair the day after next. I do appreciate how frustrating this must be. The coach is due, in what, three days? But I think he’s going west. Perhaps you might engage a wagon? One of the farmers might...
    You explain that you have asked a few of the residents already, but to no avail.
    I tell you what.” Winters pours you a steaming cup of coffee. The dark liquid smells rich and strong. “When the repair crew arrive I’ll ask them to take you back with them. How would that be? They might want a dollar or two to grease the wheels...
    The day after tomorrow? It’s less than ideal. But it’s the first real opportunity you’ve had.
    ----

    Shall you thank Mr. Winters and leave? Or would you like to ask about his library?

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi nods, taking a deep breath to steady himself. "What do you do when someone falls ill or needs a doctor out here? Seems a bit dangerous to be this isolated."

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Mr. Winters nods towards the telegraph machine as a response.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi lets out an exapserated sigh, seemed there was nothing but bad luck in this town. "I see. Well while I wait, would you be so kind as to let me browse this library of yours? I could even appraise some of your older volumes if you like, free of charge. I am a specialist in identifying and evaluating antiques."

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Winters blushes with pleasure.
    Well, of course, that would be splendid. Although, they’re not my personal collection. They belong to the village,” he says. “But I did select most of the recent items. This is the community’s library, you see. I put up the PRIVATE sign to stop people just wandering in from meetings in the other room. But this is really a public space.
    You scan the shelves. There is a sparse but respectable collection on mathematics and the sciences, passable sections on history and arts, and a shelf of literature. He has a few lowbrow novels tucked away in a corner, with tatty copies of Bizarre Tales magazine.
    Quality does not always equate to popularity, I’m afraid.
    Winters gives you an apologetic smile.
    ----

    Please give me an Appraise (you consider yourself an amateur in this field) roll as you look upon these books (presuming you're doing what you mentioned you would do).
    ----

    Winters is happy for you to spend the rest of the afternoon in study though, and offers you an upright but comfortable chair. You have enough time to pursue one line of research in depth.
    ----

    To recap the subjects, there are books concerning the history of the area, the sciences and mathematics, the bizarre tales magazine, or you could try and piece together information about the festival from a variety of historic sources.
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-09-22 at 11:38 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    "Thank you very much Mr. Winters." Malachi shakes his hand and gets to work.

    He appraises the collection as promised before settling into a peaceful afternoon of reading. He reads the various historical tomes looking for more information on this festival everyone is so vauge about.

    While not actively looking for it, he keeps an eye out for information about the town's most prominent landmarks, the burned down church and the twisted iron sculpture.

    ------

    (1d100)[32] appraise

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    You have succeeded in the Appraise skill and will be offered the opportunity to improve it at the end of the adventure.
    ----

    You look over all of the books and happen to notice that none of the books appear to be more than a couple decades old, which is strange, especially for a village as small as this one. Nevertheless, you are not surprised to find there is no published work on Emberhead’s Festival. Winters pokes around and finds a cased monograph, handwritten on yellowing paper by a Dr. Aniolowski. “An acquaintance of my father’s, I believe,” Winters says.
    The manuscript is somewhat difficult to read and you make slow progress. Aniolowski speculates that the Festival has its origin in Pagan rites brought over by Celtic settlers, which celebrate the ancient festivals of Beltane, Samhuinn, Imbolc, and Lughnasadh. There is some discussion of the struggle between the seasons and a couple of oblique references to “the alignment” in Emberhead. Aniolowski suggests that the meaning of the Festival slowly changed around the turn of the century.
    The monograph terminates mid-sentence at the end of page 28, just as it begins to discuss the modern practices. You ask Winters if he has the remaining pages.
    No. I’m afraid those have been misplaced,” he says. “Perhaps they are still in the library somewhere, but...” He shrugs. “I must make the time for a thorough stock take.

    The afternoon wears on. You have not quite finished your reading when Winters glances out of the window and stands up. He clears his throat.
    ----

    Please give me a Credit Rating (you are of average wealth) roll.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi is beginning to grow suspicious about this festival, it is one thing that a few yokels won't go into detail about it. It is quite another that all modern references have been "lost" from the town library.

    ---------

    (1d100)[40] credit rating

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    I’m afraid I have some errands to run before dark. So I must close the library for today. I do hope you will return tomorrow afternoon if you are so inclined?
    You leave the building with Winters, waiting as he locks up. You thank him for the coffee and the access to the library. He disappears off down an alley. You hope to be away from the village before tomorrow afternoon, but it’s good to know that there is a place you can occupy yourself.

    Emberhead, 6:25 PM, September 2nd, 1921

    As the light fades, you return to the Ledbetter house and eat a light supper. May is unusually taciturn. Ruth’s eyes flick to yours several times during the meal. There is an urgency there you cannot quite interpret. Afterwards, May ushers the girl into their room.
    You have been in Emberhead for barely one whole day and you already feel confined by it, both geographically and socially. The evening seems to offer little.
    ----

    Would you like to try and talk to Ruth? Or would you maybe like to do some stargazing?

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi attempts to speak with Ruth without May present, waiting until May is alseep and sneaking into Ruth's room if he has to. He needed to acertain if she was in danger, and why she thought he was. He could not rest easy leaving her here if her mother was cruel to her.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    You recall that May and Ruth sleep in the same room at night, so sneaking into her room would most certainly not result in May not being present. However, you might be able to find some other way of speaking to Ruth alone.

    In time, May returns to the kitchen and busies herself clearing up. To speak to Ruth, you will need to get May to leave for a short while. You help with the dishes and try to think of some ruse. In time, an idea comes and you ask about Silas and his friends in the village.
    May narrows her eyes. “He knows Troy on the other side of town,” she says. “Not sure I’d call them friends. More like an old feuding couple. But he probably spent last night at Troy’s place.
    You ask May if she could visit Troy and ask if Silas mentioned any plans to return. May looks dubious. “Right now?” she asks.
    ----

    How are you planning on convincing May? Are you going to appeal to her emotions? Are you going to explain how being late threatens your new job at the store? Or are you just trying to rush her into compliance? Decide that and then give me a d100 roll.
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-09-23 at 07:59 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    "I'd really appreciate it if you would. I'm worried if I'm this late my job offer might fall through and I'll have come all this way for nothing." He cracks a smile. "I can finish up dishes for you while you're out and put some tea on. You will be able to relax for the night when you get back.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Hmmm... using mostly logos, but also a bit of pathos, and you're not trying to go to quickly either, I think then I shall call this a persuade roll.
    ----

    You spend a bit of time (persuade rolls take up much more time than any of the other conversational skills) and speak with May concerning your fears. She seems wary at first, but is nevertheless open to the prospect, it is late though so she'll definitely need some convincing...
    ----

    Please give me a Persuade (you consider yourself an amateur in this field) roll to try and convince her of your plight.
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-09-23 at 08:08 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi hopes he can convince May to leave the house.

    -------

    (1d100)[76] persuade

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    May frowns and shakes her head. “I’ll be happy to go see him in the morning. I must see to Ruth for now. She’s been a terrible handful today.” Her bedroom door closes with a heavy clunk.

    The familiar surroundings of your guest room are becoming constrictive. The neat bed, small wardrobe, and dressing mirror have the feel of a prison cell about them. What are you still doing here in Emberhead? Your new life is elsewhere.
    You lie on the bed and stare at a small crack in the ceiling. You turn over the day’s events, thinking through the little details you spotted. You are certainly weary from the elevation and the fresh air. But do you still feel safe here?
    ----

    Shall you let yourself fall asleep? Or are you going to stay awake?

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi decides he is going to head to sleep right away, plan in mind. At first light he's going to grab his bags and start walking down the road, festival or not. He knew he'd need a lot of rest before such a journey.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Your eyelids are heavy and whatever your reservations, blackness soon takes you.
    You dream again of fire in the grate, a small theater of lights twinkling a tiny drama. The flames seem to consume nothing, almost to hang in the air. A moment later, they are around your sleeping form, filling the room with flickering colors: blue, yellow, red, purple. They dance on and around you. The little tongues brush your flesh…

    Emberhead, 10:28 AM, September 3rd, 1921

    You drift awake in the morning light. The sun is already high but you do not feel well rested. You find yourself preoccupied with little details of the room: the wood grain of the doorjamb, or a chipped handle on the wardrobe.
    As you swing out of bed, your stomach gives a lurch and you lean too far over, nearly tumbling to the floor. You blink for a moment. Perhaps you have an illness coming on. You get carefully to your feet. The air in the room is heavy and fragrant. You stare out of the window until you feel steady enough to leave.
    ----

    You feel absolutely abysmal, and as a result you gain one Penalty die to all of your rolls. A penalty die is like a bonus die but it works in the opposite direction (so you roll two tens dice and take the higher one).
    ----

    The Ledbetter kitchen is empty, although bread and eggs have been laid out for your breakfast. There is a note from May explaining that she has taken Ruth out for a few hours.

    Emberhead, 11:02 AM, September 3rd, 1921

    You make a quiet circuit of the village, pausing in unobtrusive places to watch the villagers. It is rather busy for this time in the morning. Yawning locals stream back and forward along the roads, carrying bundles of split logs to the site of what you’ve heard referred to as the Beacon. You see two figures already up in its superstructure, arranging the wood. The Festival bonfire will be most impressive. But do you intend to stay to see it? You suspect by now that something is amiss here.
    While the villagers are distracted, you may do some illicit investigation. Or you may simply leave town without looking back.
    ----

    You may now: Check out May Ledbetter's Bedroom, Go Alone to the Village Hall, Take a Closer Look at the Artisan's Courtyard, Spy on Activity at the Beacon, or Slip Down the Eastern Road and Flee for Good.

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi's conscience haunting him, he decides to examine May's room. Maybe he could find some hard evidence of the mistreatment of her daughter. He gets all his bags packed up and waiting in the hall in case he needs to run, then slips into her room.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Despite her hospitality, you do not trust May Ledbetter. You return to her house quite openly. Where else would you go?
    Inside, the dwelling is still empty. You rap on the bedroom door and wait. Silence. You ease it open.
    The Ledbetter bedroom is in marked contrast to your own, neat space. Dirty clothes are piled about the floor. On a rough quilt lie schoolbooks and cheap novels. You notice a raggedy old doll discarded down the side of the bed.
    ----

    Please give me a Spot Hidden (you consider yourself a professional in this field) roll (albeit with the penalty die).

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    The schoolbooks in particular catch Malachi's eye. Both from the mild shock that there is education in this village and the potential for Ruth to have left motes in it.

    --------

    (1d100)[18] spot hidden
    (1d10)[6]

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    You go through the Ledbetters’ drawers. The only item of interest you find is a wedding photograph. May’s husband was a wiry man with a square chin. Despite the formality of the pose, you can see the affection between them. You feel a pang of guilt at your intrusion. Also, May might return at any time.
    As for the books, there’s nothing in them of suspect that you notice, although it appears that Ruth is rather bright for her age.
    ----

    You may Push the roll, which is to say that you can reroll, but if you fail there will be worse consequences. Alternatively, you can just accept the failure and move on.
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-09-24 at 12:43 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Kobold

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    Malachi tries his best to put things back the way he found them. Perhaps he misjudged these people. The bleakness of the strange little town must be begging his subconscious to fill the emptiness with conspiracies.

    All the same, he best be getting to Arkham as quickly as possible, this place still did not feel right. He grabs his bags and prepares to set off down the road.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Emberhead, 11:39 AM, September 3rd, 1921

    As you approach the southern road that descends to the lower ridge, you see four villagers blocking the route, with farm tools and clubs. You veer off and head towards the west road. Your heart sinks as you see exactly the same scene at the other exit from the village. You are trapped.
    ----

    You might (serious emphasis on the might) be able to talk your way past one of the guard groups, or maybe you could try and slip past in a disguise? Alternatively maybe another option for escape might present itself and you simply return to the center of town.

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Breaking out into a sweat, Malachi wanders around town looking for any passable wilderness off the road he could wander into. Better to be lost in the woods then beat up with a shovel.

    As he wanders he keeps an eye out for the townsfolk, still curious about what they're up to despite his growing suspicions and fears.

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Quote Originally Posted by KoboldEmperor View Post
    Breaking out into a sweat, Malachi wanders around town looking for any passable wilderness off the road he could wander into. Better to be lost in the woods then beat up with a shovel.

    As he wanders he keeps an eye out for the townsfolk, still curious about what they're up to despite his growing suspicions and fears.
    Reminder that the town is literally on the top of a cliff. If you don't want to fall off to your untimely demise, the only ways out seem to be the two blocked exits.
    ----

    Emberhead, 12:03 PM, September 3rd, 1921

    You feel a deepening sense of unease about Emberhead and this day in particular... Luckily it seems that almost all of the townsfolk are by the beacon (except the guards it seems), so you don't have to worry too much about keeping an eye out for them.
    ----
    Friendly refresher of other possible options: Check out May Ledbetter's Bedroom, Go Alone to the Village Hall, Take a Closer Look at the Artisan's Courtyard, Spy on Activity at the Beacon, or Slip Down the Eastern Road and Flee for Good.

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi heads off to the Town Hall. Maybe the telegraph was functional after all, though he doubted help would come in time. He tries his best to be swift and stealthy, leaving everything but his hunting knife, string, and the clothes on his back behind at the Ledbetter house.
    Last edited by KoboldEmperor; 2019-09-25 at 10:07 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Keeping away from the streets, you skirt the northern cliffs and approach the village hall from the rear. It is close to the Beacon and you will not be able to use the door unobserved. You check the windows. The one on the east side, facing the Beacon, is bricked up.
    A shutter is loose on the westernmost window and you are able to ease it open and slide inside, closing the shutter behind you. You drop into the village meeting room and pad through, passing through dim shafts of light and listening to the excited chatter of the locals from outside. The door opposite reads PRIVATE. Hearing nothing from the other side, you turn the handle.

    The room is lined with books. In the corner is a small water closet and pantry. A quick survey of the rest of the room reveals little, so you turn to the bookcase. The dim light makes it difficult to read the spines. Is there anything useful here?
    ----

    Please give me a Spot Hidden (you consider yourself a professional in this field) roll.

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi keeps his eyes out for anything useful as he makes his way through the library towards the office and more importantly, the telegraph.

    ------------

    (1d100)[30] spot hidden
    (1d10)[8]

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Tucked between two books, you find a detailed map of the area around Emberhead. It shows woodland, contours, and the two roads, east and west. Although no other settlements are marked, this may prove useful if you do decide to leave today.



    The clatter of activity around the Beacon seems to be building and you flinch at every conversation that gets too close to the building’s door. It feels the right time to retrace your steps, slipping away through the window.

    You are contemplating your next move when you see one villager, a bald man with a damaged ear, watching you intently. Some instinct makes you walk in the other direction. Then you see the others, ahead, and to your sides: a wary teenager, an evil-eyed matron, and a man hefting a club. They are not staring as obviously as the first, but they keep you under watch. And they are closing in. You cannot hope to overcome four of them at once.
    ----

    Shall you try and lose them among the buildings or make a run for it?
    Last edited by zingbobco000; 2019-09-25 at 11:22 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: KoboldEmperor's Alone Against the Flames IC

    Malachi tries to lose his pursuers in the buildings, trusting his cunning and stealth over his speed. He weaves between the buildings, using his memory of the map to aid him.

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