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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Zarra is at a bit of a loss. She's got all sorts of practice with shades of lying. She's a bit rusty with telling the truth.

    With a mental shrug, she figures this crew wouldn't accept her "clueless innocent" act, so let's try "corrupt but not stupid."

    "Uh-uh, Garresh, no way. You know me. You know I've got a good thing going here. I'm getting money over and under the table. Bidlug Kresh will be retiring in eight months - six if I keep spiking his tea - and I'm the next in line to be chief customs officer on duty when he leaves. You know how much I can make in bribes when I don't have to kick half of it up the chain?"

    "But all of that requires that I. Don't. Rock. The Boat." She stamps a golden foot in emphasis. "All it's going to take is one ambitious investigator to follow the paper trail and realize how those stolen goods got into the city, and then I'm out on my ear. If I'm lucky and my supervisors don't decide to throw me to the wolves to save their own skins"

    She looks at them imploringly. "I know you're out money. Well, my neck is on the line here. Tell me what you know, and let's work this out together ..."

    Spoiler: Rolls
    Show

    Not sure what to roll for "convincing truth-telling," so let's go for a general Diplomacy check: (1d20+6)[21]
    As long as we're at it, she has "Underworld Lore," mostly through her father, who ...

    Oh.

    Oh hell.

    Zarrachia suddenly has an internal conviction about who's been stealing from her "friends".

    A Recall Informaiton check on Underworld Lore to try and remember what her father's been doing lateley, and where he might be found: (1d20+4)[7]

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    As Sachni walked, she replayed the duel in her mind. Each part of the brief exchange got dissected. What mistakes had she made? What could she do differently next time? Did the opponent's style have anything to teach? Each new encounter was a new chance to grow. No matter how much she learnt, she'd never consider her training 'complete'.

    Eventually, Sachni's thoughts were drawn in another direction. Young laughter reached her ears. She beheld an enchanting scene. Tiny trees, with adorable creatures! And children! Sachni loved children. She'd grown up alongside a whole monastery of warrior sisters. As Sachni's generation became adults, new batches of kids kept arriving. So she'd always been near many adorable little monks. The sight of these new children brought a soft smile to her face. She watched them silently; Until a cough came from behind her. She regarded the newcomers with some confusion.

    "See? Erm, what exactly is happening here? I'm very new to the city."

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Adria can't help but hide her awe at the house she's shown into. She's never been in a house this nice. The closest thing was a night in a necromancer's manor back in Geb, and... horrific memories aside, it still wasn't this nice. This child... there are indeed parents in Nex who raise their children well. It warms her heart to hear. "This is truly lovely... thank you so much, Miss Peridora." She takes her own seat and has the tea poured in front of her, and she smiles.

    The toast makes her hesitate. Is there a specific response she's missing? Is she about to out herself as a foreigner? Hopefully the kind girl won't mind a mistake, but... she needs to say something. "In the name of the Great Archmage, I thank you greatly for your hospitality, and I will savor this tea." Before she takes her first sip, she places a hand on her holy symbol and says a quick prayer of thanks to Sarenrae, then takes her first drink and smiles.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Ellie took in the information and it was a moment for her to unpack it all. Many questions formed in her mind. "So, it's like a guild... Do they have union dues? What happens when a Pathfinder is hurt, is there a medical wing they're taken too? Or if they're far off in an exotic location is there ways to locate errant members? I have so many questions..."

    She pulls herself back, because Ellie was sitting so close to the edge of her chair that she was about to fall off.

    "Erm, maybe I'm being too forward with you. So, you said there are ways to get in quicker than the years it normally takes. What... What would you advise a young woman who is so curious that she... Well, you know. You can probably tell."

    Ellie fidgets with her hands. Years would be a long time and she wasn't sure she could devote that kind of time for training. She could get tossed out of the alchemy guild in a month if she has another bad lab accident. Well, Grand Master never said that, but the way he looks at Ellie it just feels like she... "
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Zarrachia
    The three merchants are quiet, each of them absorbing Zarrachia's request differently. The first to speak is Zalt, though he seems reluctant, placing a hand on his counterpart's green robed shoulder. "We... ain't exactly got proof it's her, Kat. When ye get right down to it... 's just coincidence."

    "... Coincidence. We all come to Ms. Marns for help getting what we need into the city, and it's coincidence that we're robbed afterwards?" Kato almost spits the word, glaring at the Alkenstarite. He's never been a believer in simple providence.

    The idea does seem to be getting some play with Garresh, however. The lizardman has been thinking, trying to reevaluate the situation in response to Zarra's words, and now he steps in with a nod. "If it was Zarrachia who orchestrated this, the robberies would have been more calculated and more thorough. She likely has everything that passed by on her watch written down, she could've cleaned us out entirely. Durgen, weren't you bringing in currency to finance a buyout or something?" The dwarfen magnate nods, and Garresh turns back to Kato "I doubt she'd let that slip by if she turned on us. Even if they were working quickly, no thief would just leave barrels full of gold lying their without at least skimming some off the top. I believe her. She's not our thief."

    Kato looks as unconvinced as he does outvoted. He glances between his business partners, looking for some slight sign of support, before turning back to Zarra with a scowl. Two clicks of his sandals are enough to make the lions back off. The trader glares down at the halfling woman, his voice deep and soft like a cave you never got out of. "Fine. I still say you're suspect number one, Ms. Marns, but if my cohort is unconvinced, there's no point continuing this conversation. If you're willing to work with us to track down who or what's been stealing from the three of us, we'll call it even. I'll throw some coin your way as an apology for my suspicion too. Assuming you can manage to prove that it wasn't you."

    That seems to be all Kato wants to say for now. He takes a step back, to place him level with Zalt and the mercenaries. Garresh steps forward, offering Zarrachia a hand to help her up from beneath the cart. Leaning close, the lizardman whispers into her ear. "Don't mind Kato. He takes a loss like this very personally. I wouldn't want to be the thief when he gets his hands on them."

    Sachni
    "Ah!"

    The woman in the robe nods, understanding now. She gestures back towards the forest display, before cupping her hands to make the sign of Nethys. "Well, there's no festival for illusion magic. The Book of Magic lists our day as the fourteenth of Neth, but Abjurant Day, Evoking Day and Transmutatum are the three holidays the Church actively promotes, and since they're intended to celebrate their own schools of magic, practitioners don't really like it when we try to help. They say we get in the way, just distract people. So a group of us thought we'd come together as illusionists this year and try and put on some displays of illusion magic in between the other festivals this Neth. We're hoping people appreciate it, and learn a bit more about what we do."

    The illusionist chuckles. "Who knows? Maybe we'll get an official holiday one of these years. But yes, we can create an image of whatever you describe. A family member, a god, an animal that never really existed: right before your eyes! Would you like us to make something for you?"

    Adria
    "You're quite welcome!" Peridora beams at the priestess, while bustling about. She seems thrilled to have the two of you here.

    When it comes time for the toast however, Miley looks as confused as her new friend, if not more so. "To the... great archmage?" she offers, looking between Peridora and Adria for some kind of idea just what to say. "May he never... eat a slice of apple he didn't like."

    "I don't think any of us got it quite right." Peridora looks dispirited at that. After a second however, the young girl ralleys, waving the question away with a shake of her head. "Oh well! The archmage isn't a real god, he won't mind. He's probably just glad that we remember him."

    Tea is, needless to say, delightful. The drink is freshly brewed, warm and filling, while the sandwiches are light and chewy, each holding a generous portion of meat. After a few gulps of the dark brown liquid, Peridora turns to her houseguest, "Ms. Adria. Can you tell me about that symbol you wear? What does it mean?"

    Ellie
    "Aroden's arse, you're impatient, girl!"

    Karja laughs, a booming belly laugh that fills the room. It takes the vampire a few seconds to recover, and once he does, he shakes his head. "It ain't like the alchemist's guild. Say what you will about Borry, he runs a tight ship. Being a Pathfinder means less rules; you get to go wherever you want, investigate whatever you want, provided you write back to your venture captain with a full report, and there's no real dues owed. But it also means less support. Pay comes when you submit a report, not before. Lodges will give you a bed and some warm meals, but any gear they offer you have to buy. Most of us back in my day practiced a second trade to make sure we could get by on the road, or we sold whatever treasure we ran across to keep going."

    "If you really want in that bad, it's like I say, your best bet is through the Lodge Masters. The Society set up places for its members to bunk and prepare to explore all over the map. It's where reports get filed too. You want to get in, you're gonna have to spread your wings first. Go find some mystery or secret that the Pathfinders haven't been able to get to, and bring a report in. The Lodge Master'll interview you, and if they buy you're capable, you'll be offered a field agent role."

    "It's not guaranteed. But it's the best chance you've got. The Decies won't beveret you in unless you make the find of the century, bunch of self important old sods. I'm pretty sure there's a lodge in Quantium if you can find it up." The ambassador takes a second, gathering his thoughts before shaking his head. "The big thing you need's the first step. You won't make a discovery worthy of the Chronicles just sticking with Borry and the Guild. You want to be the sorta person they hand a wayfinder to, you've gotta be able to go out there on your own first. Spread your wings, then they'll have your back."

    Karja pauses for a second. For the first time Ellie can recall since Borume left, the ambassador isn't smiling. After a second though, the vampire's grin returns, and he waves a hand across the table. "Here! First assignment from me. What can you tell me about the four pieces of tat Borry dredged out as 'Gifts from the City' this year?"

    Spoiler
    Show
    No roll will help you here. Karja's more interested in how she'd try and work out more about them than her being right.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Sachni nodded along with the explanation. It made sense. Everyone had their own place in the cosmic order: Whether they be warrior, scholar, or simple labourer. It was only fair that each contribution be acknowledged. She could imagine the frustration of your efforts being ignored. So Sachni was happy to let these illusionists demonstrate their craft. At the mention of deities, one particular name sprang to mind.

    "Are you familiar with the goddess Suyuddha? I'd enjoy seeing her depicted as more than simple ink on a page."

    If necessary, Sachni would provide a description.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Ellie Sprocket, Alchemist

    Ellie blushed at ambassador Karja's laugh. He was right; Ellie was being rather brash with her questions. She only heard of the Pathfinders and everything presented is being taken for a fairy tale's fantasy. She quieted down as the ambassador continued to speak, listening to his instruction on the reality of the group. She felt a bit foolish for being so eager to do something. Not the first time Ellie would run into the unknown without thinking it through.

    Not the hundredth time either.

    The first assignment catches Ellie off guard. She blinks and pulls back a little, turning to look at the gifts. "What can I, tell...? Well, let's see..." She reaches for her goggles, but then realizes she's wearing a fancy dress and not her lab coat. Another blush, but one more subtle. Ellie wrings her hands together and then studies the objects while talking out loud about her thoughts of each of them."

    "Well, the pyramid is a very sturdy structure. Triangles are an advantageous form in architecture. They make excellent tombs because such monuments last against time. The wand is crafted from elm, so I theorize it is meant to be used in a demanding situation, such as combat. Elm is a very fine wood prized for its interlocking grain. Because it seldom splits it is preferred in heavy duty applications like wagon wheels."

    "A large tome like this would indicate very in-depth knowledge in a particular subject. The recipient is likely an avid reader, or an expert who would benefit from having knowledge of their profession collected in one large volume where it could be indexed for research. The harrow deck would benefit the hands of a skilled diviner in reading fortunes, though, I'm not much into the fancy of fate and predestination. Still, cards could be enchanted with magic..."
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Zarra worried at her lower lip. This was all very not good. Even if she got out of of this unharmed, her reputation as an effective smuggler's ally would suffer. That would mean her income would suffer.

    No, her only chance would be to help find the thief and bring them to justice. Well, judging by the looks of this crew, "injustice with a big stick" but close enough for government work.

    "Problem is, Garresh, you're right. I don't know a single thief in the city who could pass by a barrel of gold without sticking a hand in. Someone must be targeting you for something specific. Can you tell me anything about what was taken?"

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    "This?" She places her hand on her pendant. "This is the symbol of Sarenrae, the Everlight. She's not as common here in Nex as some of the other gods- I have yet to find a temple to Her- but I still find myself happy here. She preaches compassion and understanding, and redemption for those who would stray... but if a being is born of evil, like the fiends of the lower planes or..." She clenches her fist tight around her symbol. "...undead... then Her followers are to purge them, to restore the balance of the world. Like most gods, She makes no claims at supremacy, but her place fits in among the other benevolent deities. Pharasma would suffer if souls refused to leave the material realm, Her compassion reflects Nethys' duality- His destructive side does not define him, if He creates in turn."

    She suddenly pulls back and places a hand over her mouth. "Oh, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to start preaching... Her light drives me, and I slipped into that without intention. My apologies."
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Raka

    Once Raka saw and smelled her quarry, she forced herself to slow down. Don't rush, make sure the innocent don't suffer. She heard her heartbeat pounding in her ears as she reached for her sword.

    The sword strapped to Raka's back was special to her. Since her tribe had limited access to metal, her tribes weapons were taken from their fallen enemies. This sword once belonged to a half-orc, who laughed at her challenging him, when his sword was bigger than she was. It was her prize that day, and she fought hard to master it.

    She drew it slowly and deliberately, bringing its tip down to the goblin's nose.

    She used it to protect the innocent. And punish the guilty.

    ""Explain. Now."

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I'm thinking an Intimidation check is in order.

    (d20+5)[21]
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Belginabo's bafflement gives way to excitement. Here's something entirely new to his experience!

    This guy - without even noticing it, he starts thinking of it as a person - must know a great deal about ancient history, and therefore, about magic! He's magical himself! (Wait, is it a he or a she?)

    He begins to view the whole situation under new light, that of opportunity: A chance to learn from the ancient being, to discover great things... His heart racing, his mind pictures the fantastic new avenues he could explore... Forgetting all about Zalenko, about the enthusiastic crowd around them, about his freshly embraced career, he asks excitedly, his speech building speed until he works himself nearly out of breath: "Oh, oh! Maybe I could help you with that! Yes yes the city is quite peaceful well there's always the possibility of war with Geb you know but maybe it won't happen it hasn't happened in a really long time. But anyway it's safe here well if you don't count the occasional explosion here or there stray spells maybe or overeager apprentice alchemists? You know how many different things can happen in a city filled with magic oh especially today did you know it's Abjurant Day in three days from now no no I guess you wouldn't know that sorry anyway I'd love to help you discover the city I just hope you won't mind me asking a few questions? Just a few like how is your kind born or made I hope it's not a rude question? What was it like in Osirion in the days of the Four Pharaohs and Sothis I've heard of it a great city they say I wonder if it was even greater back then? "

    He suddenly stops, remembering.

    "Oh. Sorry. I should ask, mind if I ask what is your name? Mine is Belginabo." He punctuates this with a bow.
    DM in Mummy's Mask I, II, III | Belginabo in Legacy of Nex | Avatar courtesy of Neoseph7

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Sachni
    Spoiler: OOC
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    Your GM would like a description AFAICT we're getting into obscure lore here. I'll improvise, tell me if you want a different take.

    The request does produce a bemused look from the lead illusionist, but after a few seconds whispered conversation with her counterparts, she nods. The three mages form a triangle, raising their hands and chanting arcane words as one.

    A puff of smoke. A long held pull of veena strings, and a rising tabla beat. Then from the shroud emerges a wreath of glossy feathers, blue and green, each taller than Sachni herself. Rising up before them is the goddess herself, standing twice the height any of the human observers. An athletic woman, wearing silks of red and blue, with her hair fastened behind her in a braid. She does not fit the Inner Sea's definition of godliness, but she matches Vudra's metric better. The Queen of War is clad not in shining armor, for her acolytes are her protection, and bears no burning blade of wrath, for those who serve her are her sword. Instead she simply is what she is - a wise tactician and masterful general, who the padaprajna would follow into the heart of the abyss itself. Even through the reproduction, that feeling, that sensation remains.

    Suyuddha looks down at her disciple. Sachni can see a faint smile behind her veil.

    Ellie
    "Not bad. Thinking things through, using the information you've got, trying to avoid slipping up. You're pretty careful when you want to be" Karja chuckles appreciatively, giving the young alchemist the most reassuring smile a man with incisors that sharp could manage. "Bit too careful though. You played that as safe as you could. A little more context and you can say a lot more. As is, I can tell you who all these gifts are for just by looking at them, and I can say why Borry made that call."

    Finally getting up, Karja moves across the room to sit by the four gifts. He picks each one up in turn, running his hands across it and turning it this way and that as he gives his own conclusions to Ellie. "The pyramid's a personal note. Borry knows about my past, so he hands me an Osirion relic as a reminder of my better days, when I'd explore tombs like that. Ruddy thing's a puzzle box, so he knows I'll take a while to solve it, damn his eyes. Alkenstar have this whole thing about making their own destiny and their own luck, so an item that 'commands luck' is a thoughtful gift for the duchy - shows some understanding of how they think. When it comes to the book, even without knowing what's in there, I can tell you the binding's old and strange: never seen its like before. In context, I'll bank that it's Vudran, probably dating back to the time when the Arclords ruled Jalmeray. Give him credit, must've taken some effort to dig that up."

    "Now, the wand..."

    Adria
    Peridora is quiet, but Miley nods sagely

    "You should try going north some time. Nex has no grudge with your church, but the faith never quite found a place here when Pharasma and Nethys are so long established. Both of their high priests have a seat on the Three and Nine. But Sarenrae is popular in Katapesh: I've seen them celebrate the Sunwrought Festival with music ringing throughout the city, complete with a full reenactment of the battle between her and a painted, snarling Rovagug-puppet. And the Dawnflower is the state goddess of Qadira, and Kelesh, if you feel like venturing into Casmaron. I believe they're the ones who spread her worship across the Inner Sea to begin with."

    The pale woman looks nostalgic. She goes quiet briefly, before returning her attention to Adria. "The temples there are magnificent - they've stained glass domes and mirrors designed to spread sunlight to every corner of the building. The walls are painted with scenes throughout history of both Serenae and her most worthy saints fighting evil and promoting peace. They're quite a wonder."

    Belginabo
    It is starting to dawn on the doll that answering all of Belginabo's questions might take another thousand years. Yet it can't bring itself to truly hate the energetic little would-be-wizard. It smiles at the patter, though one name strikes a chord within its clouded memories.

    "Geb?"

    Likely a coincidence. After a moments thought, the doll shakes its head, dismissing the idea. Once its gnomish friend has come to a stop, the construct takes a second to examine this most recent question before finally settling on an answer. It echoes Bel's bow, "Okoro was my name, once. It will still serve. It is a pleasure to meet you, Belginabo."

    "Bel!" Zalenko's cry cuts above the crowd. The wizard's head just about pokes out from the throng of excited townsfolk he's selling his constructs to, waving back towards his tent. "Customer wants the larger globe-drone! Can you go grab it for her? Should be somewhere near the back."

    Zarrachia
    The three merchants look between each other. Nobody has any objection to sharing information at this point, but with the understanding that Zarrachia is not the thief, the fact that they now have no leads is starting to dawn upon the trio as well. They look dispirited, maybe a touch tired now that the target of their wrath has slipped them by.

    It's Zalt who speaks up, gesturing behind the group. "Okay, fine. But we're taking this inside the tavern. Reckon we could all use a drink. I'll buy a round."

    Raka
    The Cindersnout does not nod with the sword an inch from his nose. The unfortunate goblin gulps, trying to calm down as he starts to explain. "Mask Man find us. We hiding out, getting ready for later, when he run in and starts yelling, waving sword around everywhere."

    Even recounting the story has the goblin shaking. Though that might be Raka. He just about manages to continue. "Thought he was going to fight us. Everyone scared. But he had... accident. Real accident. Didn't look behind him. We all thought he dead. So someone had to go get rid of body, 'case it get eaten, since it almost time to start. That Zib's job. I do errands while others plan. Went to find somewhere dark to leave mask man, carrying him over shoulder, but he wake back up, kick me in chest, grab mask and run away!"

    He can't help but glance down at the curved sword tied to his belt. "So.. had to try and find mask man. In case he still not dead."

    The last words almost hurt Zib to say. He can tell how Raka's going to take them. The Cindersnout raises his hands, starting to panic again. "Inotwanttokill! Honest! But... had to. He knew about The Plan."

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2e: Legacy of Nex (IC)

    Why, hello there. It's time for things to begin in earnest. Let's see, how does this all start again?
    In a darkened alleyway, down a factory bystreet in the depths of Caibius, Zib of the Cindersnout tribe has finally managed to take a closer look at his captor. He shares his realization with her, speaking slowly, not wanting to anger the woman with the sword. "You... not wear tribe colours. You not with any tribe. Outcast? From far away?"

    Zib flinches just at the look Raka gives to that question. Before she can interject, the blue coated goblin quickly starts explaining why he asked. "Things not good in wastes this year. Very not good. Food almost all gone; nothing to hunt, nothing growing. Not even thornroot! Tribes all think someone hoarding beatle heards, or drive birds away and hide them in cave, but everyone raid everyone else to try and find something to eat. Nothing. It got so bad, chiefs call big moot, bring everyone together to try and find way to feed all goblins. Everyone show up, Cindersnouts, Inkhands, Bonegnashers, Stinky Toads, Whitehorns..."

    He lists off every tribe Raka's ever heard of, and some she hasn't. Zib has to take a deep breath when he's done, almost spiking his nose on the sword before he can continue, having now reached the climax of his story. "Then, these two longshanks show up too, with wagons of food! Meat, bread, wine. Tribes feast, while longshanks talk to elders. They say they give goblins enough food to last whole year through, if we get them some magicy thing. From When-oh-pon."

    Zib taps the wall behind him. It's still a little amazing to the goblin that he's managed to come this far. "Chiefs say no way! Not trust longshanks, think they ones who steal animals. Plus When-oh-pon has big walls, metal men, wizards, guards, bombs! No way even all the tribes together can take city. We lose that fight bad. Zib pretty sure Chiefs right on that."

    The Cindersnout shudders, before shaking his head. "But Chief Hunter Koma not agree. Can't let goblins starve no matter what. This could end all tribes. Even if just a chance, got to take longshanks deal. To save goblins." It's clear from the tear in Zib's eyes that he's with the Chief Hunter on this, even with a hostile sword in his face. The Cindersnout sniffles, trying to get back to his explanation. "Koma brought Zib and friends north to try and steal the thingimie, get it without a fight so no one dies. It not easy. When-oh-pon got lots of guards, and magicy tricks to spot thieves. But we sneak around. We watch gold-hall, where best loot is kept, listen to longshanks talk about festival, arm-bassa-doors an' other stuff. And Koma come up with The Plan."



    "They took food from me." Zalt explains, after a hefty drought of ale. He and his daughters are the only comfortable members of the merchants' group, Garresh and Kato look far from pleased at having to squeeze into a halfling tavern. But they kneel upon the floor in silence, resigned to the only chance of immediate alcohol to hand, with an audience not inclined to care about the grey market nature of their work, what Durgen continues to explain. "A dozen bottles of fungal wine, an' two ice-barrels full of prime cut stake. I were gonna sell 'em fer Evokin' Day! Everyone wants somethin' tasty to eat while watchin fireworks an' duels, right?"

    "Right." Garresh looks set to nurse his drink. The lizard raps a blue scaled hand on the table. "From me, they took fireworks of course. Always my stock in trade this time of year. I'm not sure my staff were able to account for all the losses, the thieves just took a few items out of each of the higher end boxes, which is why we didn't realize we were robbed at first. Currently, I'd put the estimate at somewhere between a dozen and two dozen high yield rockets, all enchanted with evocation runes. Plus one specialty work, the Harlequin, that was supposed to be the highlight of some Riddler's personal show in Quantium."

    Zalt winces at that. The Riddlers, some cult in the capitol, were notorious spenders. This likely cost his friend badly. That said, the two of them look to the final member of their group. The Mwangi trader seems to have almost deflated, just sitting slumped against the tavern's beam. Eventually, Zalt breaks the silence. "Kat? Yer gonna have to tell her."

    With a sigh, Kato finally speaks, not wanting to look up from his mug. "Half a dozen Great Apes, fresh from the Expanse. Trained as show beasts, for performance riding on Transmutatum. I had the deal signed, brought them across the gap, secure in their pens then..."

    He waves his hands. A grimacing Zalt slams his drink on the table. "Monkies! Who steals a monkey, I ask ya? What's the world coming to?" The halfling bar patrons, abandoning all pretense of not listening in, nod sagely at the dwarf's words. Zalt meanwhile seems to have become distracted. The old dwarf cups his hand over his ear, "Wait... did you lot hear that?"



    THWOOM!

    The roar of the explosion is beyond loud. The force of it alone is almost enough to make Belginabo drop the hefty hunk of metal and glass he's trying to lug out front for some unseen customer. The energized crowd have grown suddenly silent, and still, glancing around to try and see just what had happened, and if it was about to happen again but right on top of them. (and if so, which way they should be running to get away.)

    Zalenko is the one who finally breaks the silence, the wizard laughing nervously as he looks across his assembled patrons. "Oh, come on friends! This is Oenopion, City of Alchemists! Are you seriously telling me you're all scared of a... a tiny explosion like that?"

    But that was rather the problem. Even Belginabo has been in Oenopion long enough to tell the difference between the distant faint sound of a poorly made bomb going off in some padded lab room, and whatever in Nethys' name that was. The two guards who'd joined the audience for Zalenko's demonstration exchange a look, before running in the direction the sound had come from. Okoro simply stands in place for now, eyes darting about. If the doll has counsel, it's keeping a firm hold of it for now.



    Adria and Miley have bolted out of Peridora's house at the sound of the explosion. It was loud, and sounded close: up and down the street, other residents of Briarby are doing much the same. Running out right after them, and turning her head up, Peridora can't help but gasp. The highest tower of the Guildhall is billowing smoke - enough so that it's rising up over the city like some enormous chimney. Peridora straightens her glasses, trying to make sure she's seeing this correctly, before turning to Adria.

    "That's the Council Chamber. Where the High Council and Grand Alchemist meet. No one ever does experiments in there. What's going on?"



    Suyuddha gazes upwards, towards the red and white flame lingering in the sky, before her image finally fades away. Sachni can make out smoke, sparks, perhaps some kind of spiral in the fire, as if it were some bizzare performance. It certainly doesn't seem mortal in origin - the flame lingers above them, burning without seeming fuel. A grey smog is emanating from it, covering the lower expanses of the Guildhall. It could reach the square, and Sachni, is just a minute or so

    That was when the laughter started. The same laugh, repeating over and over, echoing out across the square, coming from the heart of the fire. It sounds strangely false - oddly deep, and with a slight reverberation no mortal mouth could match. The lead illusionist glances from the flames to Sachni, clearly confused by first the explosion, now the flame and macabre chortling. "What even is this? Are we being attacked? By... clowns?"

    As if in response, a throaty, bellowing WRRRAH! comes from the direction of the Guildhall. Jumping at the sound, the red robe turns to her friends. "Get the children away from here! Quickly now! Anyone with combat magic ready, form up with me!" As she starts taking command of her small group, and the mighty golem defenders of Oenopion start to clank forward into Guildhall square, only Sachni is looking upward to notice something strange. A procession of large figures, hidden in the smoke, climbing up towards the heart of the fire.



    Everything for Ellie is gray: her world is this thick, cloying, choking smog she can barely see through. The only light in the room comes from a handful of red and white sparks, drifting lazily over the scene. The revered Council Table is lying in splinters all around her, trophy cabinets and portraits have been knocked to the floor, and the smell of burning fills her nostrils. The laughter makes it worse: it's like someone ordered a homunculus to laugh, and it just keeps doing it, again and again until it boroughs through your head with its incessant boneshaking drone.

    The goblins almost seem imaginary to Ellie at first. Their grey skin and dark red face-paint blends into the smoke, and little figures in blue coats scampering every which way seems too surreal to be reality. By the time she's sure they aren't some hallucination, they've already done most of their work. Half the valuables in the Council Chamber have been quickly grabbed, and loaded into a selection of hefty sacks. Even Ellie's own experimenting gear, laid to one side as she changed! One goblin, with more elaborate designs painted across his face and gold trim upon his coat has made for the wreckage of the table. It takes him a few seconds, but Ellie sees him pick up tome, wand, pyramid and cards alike: throwing the complete set into his pack with a triumphant look.

    "Oh no, you little buggers! Not on my watch. Venator Ixi Canj - aaarrrgh!"

    Karja Masari's spell fizzles on his lips, as sunlight finally breaks through the smog. Ellie can see the ambassador's pallid skin smoking as he howls in pain, almost bent over double in an instant. With an effort, the old vampire starts dragging himself towards the safety of the doorway, not able to even glance to either side.

    Koma takes a second to flash a shark like smile at his retreating foe, a full set of pointed teeth on display, before tipping Ellie a lazy salute. The little rogue darts backward to join his retreating fellows, jumping up to grab the shoulders of his chosen mount, as the rest of the Cindersnout commandos do the same. With the smoke starting to clear, Ellie can make out the six enormous monkeys with shaggy gray fur coats standing where the wall had been a few moments before. As the goblins clamber up towards the apes' mighty shoulders, the six beasts start to turn, one by one jumping down from their perch and sprinting off into the city, away from the fire, smoke and noise.
    Last edited by Inspector Valin; 2019-10-08 at 05:31 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Ellie Sprocket, Alchemist


    "No! No! no! NO! The Master Alchemist is gonna be so cross if I lose those gifts!"

    Ellie doesn't even think before acting. Her instinct is to charge forward and try to stop the goblins from getting away with the treasures. She stumbles when she hits the edge of the room; she's an alchemist, not a gymnast. However, her chaotic nature to do what's right overrode the other part of her nature that really hates heights.

    Athletics (to get down and pursuit): (1d20+3)[6]

    "Somebody stop those monkeys, that's my circus!!" she called out as she descended.
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    Sachni got treated to a wonderful performance. Dramatic smoke gave way to the image of Suyuddha herself. The likeness was uncanny! She could almost have stepped out from a painting. The movements were excellent too. Though of course, Sachni had never seen the real Suyuddha move. These illusionists truly had demonstrated their craft. The monk raised her hands to applaud-

    THWOOM!

    "Gah!"

    For a few moments, she thought that this was another performance. The pyrotechnics and laughter were really theatrical. Plus, she could see figures hiding within the chaos. Had some entertainers grown overzealous? That possibility vanished when Sachni noticed the explosion's source. The Guildhall?! Panic gripped her. This was an attack! The building might be full of important people: Like her comrades from Jalmeray! Her duty was clear. She paused only to check that the children would be safe. If the Mages had a handle on things, Sachni would charge at the Guildhall. The smoky figures above were clearer now. They seemed to be...monkeys? Without warning, they suddenly leapt from their lofty position. Sachni changed course to intercept them.

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    About the only good thing coming out of this conversation was that Zarrachia no longer believed her father was behind this. Money, sure, fireworks, yeah he'd probably try that, fungal wine, you betcha. But monkies?! Or apes or whatever? Nope, no sir, this was way to weird to be her old man.

    Mom, maybe, but last Zarra checked she was still dancing on tables in Absalom.

    "... did you lot hear that?"

    Zarra blinks. Her ears have long been trained to cancel out the normal city noise. What she was hearing now was something ... unusual. Something ... BIG.

    A sick sort of certainty settled in Zarra's gut. She suddenly wished this was just her father's light fingers.

    "That sounded like an explosion. Hey, Garresh, how many rockets did you say they took? Nevermind ...

    Taking one last swig of her ale, Zarra bolted out into the street. "Catch up with you later ... Bet my next paycheck we'll find our thief behind this ..."

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    Belginabo huffs and puffs, this load clearly too much for his diminutive frame. He notices how Zalenko doesn't appear to care too much about that, and sighs. He's been an apprentice before, in multiple trades. Deep down, masters aren't that different from each other.

    Then, the massive explosion!!! He instantly forgets any gripes. He forgets what he was supposed to do, too. He unceremoniously, but softly, lowers the globe-drone to rest on the stage floor. "What was THAT!?!?" he exclaims. He's astonished. He's beaming, too! Three wholly unexpected, incredible, unforgettable events in just one day, scratch that, in in just five minutes! An apprenticeship won, a mysterious man-machine from ancient times awaken, and now the... Is that the Guildhall? The whole city shaken by the noise! So much excitement nearly overwhelms him with delight. Of course, this demands an investigation, now!

    "Master Zalenko with your permission I'm going to go and check this out!" The urge for action is so powerful, the gnome doesn't have anywhere enough self-awareness to notice how perfunctory his request for permission sounds, or is. But he doesn't forget his new friend - well, recent acquaintance, but hopefully, a friend soon enough.

    "Okoro! I apologize I truly believed this city was much much safer than this I assure you this is really rare in fact unheard of I hope the sound wave didn't unsettle your mechanical parts I guess I was wrong I had never heard an explosion like this here actually not anywhere else either. Do you want to come with me please please we should go and look what this is about maybe we will learn something useful? And I have so many questions for you maybe time for some on the way?"

    The urge to go explore can't be denied, but the would-be gnome wizard is also very reluctant to leave this fascinating new friend behind.
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    Adria stares in shock at the smoke billowing from the tower- but realizes she has to act. If anyone's hurt, all healers on hand are needed. She turns to the other to. "Miley, can you look after Peridora? I need to... if I can help people, I need to be there." She takes off at a sprint, not waiting for a response- Peridora should be safe inside, and Miley can take care of herself.
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    Sachni is on the apes in perhaps a second, sprinting across the square towards them. But the goblins riding the great beasts seem entirely uninterested in engaging her. The apes charge forward, heedless of the monk, making for the wall of a large old white stone building, and climbing up it as swiftly as Sachni might climb a knotted rope. The first of the beasts is out of sight before she's made it to the group's path.



    Okoro listens to Bel intently. The Doll glances one final time at the perspiring Zalenko, before turning back to Bel. "Very well. Let us investigate together."



    Miley nods, placing a hand to Peridora's shoulder. The little wizardess barely seems to notice, watching the skies intently. Just as the faithful cleric of the Dawnflower was about to leave, she points upward, towards the rooftops.

    "Ms. Adria, look! They're coming this way! And... and they have a hostage!"



    It wasn't exactly Ellie's plan to do this. But she'd been dropping towards towards the ground, eyes closed, and then she'd felt something in arms reach. So of course she'd grabbed onto it, trying desperately to stop her fall of several stories. And to be fair, it'd done so. But now she's clinging to the back of one of the goblins' great apes as it bounds over the tiles of some roof or another, while people scream and golems clank through the streets below, trying to keep up.

    Koma glares at his unexpected new companion. This wasn't in The Plan. The goblin leader plants his foot in Ellie's shoulder, kicking straight down. "Hey Longshanks, gerroff! This my monkey! Get your own!"

    Spoiler
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    Okay! Here's how this is gonna run.

    Koma's plan is just to escape the city. Oenopion's guards are more than enough to take the goblins down if they get cornered, but having fast moving mounts who can climb easily gives the goblins a pretty good speed advantage, especially over the slow lumbering golems that make up the bulk of Oenopion's defensive force. He's not stopping to fight no matter what, and that's fairly sharp. Without intervention, the goblins would get away clear.

    But that's where you guys come in.

    This will be a Skill Challenge between the party and the Cindersnout Commandos, run over.... let's say four rounds. Each 'round', I'll ask each of you to describe what your PC is doing to end the chase. Don't feel bound by the three action limit - we're keeping this in Exploration Mode for now, so anything you want to try is valid. I'll roll to oppose your efforts for the Cindersnouts - succeed, and a member of the group is captured by the Oenopion Guard, fail and they're still going strong. Six successes will end the chase outright, three will force Koma to take more drastic measures to try and get away clear.

    First round, the PCs in range are Ellie, Sachni and Adria. Second round, Bel and Zarra will have caught up. Raka is the furthest from the action: she can attempt a DC15 Athletics check to reach the scene for round two, otherwise she arrives round three.

    Good luck, team! Time to show what you can do.

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    Ellie Sprocket, monkey wrangler


    "You pull this monkey over right now, mister!" Ellie feels that sole dig into her. She has no idea how long she can hold on to this massive mount, but for certain she had to stop this goblin from escaping with the treasures. Ellie grabs onto the goblin's leg with both hands and yanks him off balance with her weight. Her effort to try and pull the goblin off the mount and force the others to stop for him.


    Spoiler: Skill Attempt
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    Ellie is going to attempt to pull the goblin leader off his mount.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    "Ack!"

    Koma suddenly finds himself in an impromptu wrestling match with his passenger. Ellie's grip on his leg is tight, but the goblin's determination is strong. With a grimase, he shifts his weight up further, redoubling his hold on the ape's shoulders while bringing his other foot down to loosen the grip. "You! Not! Get! Me!" With his last blow, Ellie's hands finally slip away from the planted leg, as she slides down the ape's back. At this point she's having to cling on for dear life, or else risk falling multiple stories from this fast moving monkey.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Aaaand Critical Failure. And since this is pretty much a Grapple roll, i'm gonna rule it as such: Ellie's considered Grabbed until next turn. She's flat footed, has to take a DC5 flat check for any action with the manipulate trait, and Immobilized, she's not getting off this crazy ride just yet.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Adria stops and realizes. There's a few different approaches she has here. In one spell. How does she prioritize all of this, where can she do the most... alright. Alright. She knows what to do. She looks directly at the ape that has the 'hostage'. She utters a prayer in the name of Sarenrae, then finishes with two simple words. "Come here." She looks over her shoulder. "Please, get indoors."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Casting Command on Koma/Ellie's ape, telling them to approach Adria. Will DC 17.
    Last edited by Syless; 2019-10-09 at 07:35 AM.
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    Spoiler: OOC
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    Since Belginabo isn't in the action for another round, he'll take it as an opportunity for questions

    (I'm taking a little bit of leeway with how much information he knows, hopefully that's not going too far.)


    The gnome is delighted at Okoro's cooperative mindset, and as the pair run towards the source of the commotion, he somehow finds enough air in his lungs to pepper the doll with a mix of information and questions.

    "Look! This fire is at the top of the Guildhall the place where all bigwigs gather I heard there were some ambassadors meeting there today or something there are a lot of visitors because of the festival season like Abjurant Day oh I told you that already. By the way did you have special days like Abjurant Days in Empire Osirion what were they like? What are these big monkeys they have people on their backs goblins I think they are goblins look they carry some bags seems like a heist to me don't you think? Is that something that would happen often in Osirion in your day? Hey they're getting away we should stop them they have a lot to explain I wonder why they would do such a big robbery in broad daylight with all the golems guarding the city and all. Oh I think I have an idea! Can you do something that looks maybe scary? "
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2019-10-09 at 07:49 AM.
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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    It takes Okoro some time to process Belginabo's rapid fire series of explanations and questions. It perhaps says something about the gnome that he interrupts himself so frequently. At some later point they should try to talk through his inquiries as a whole, in order for him to learn more of the past, and Okoro to learn more of this strange future.

    But for now they have a theft to deal with. Okoro is surprised by Belginabo's question, and takes a few seconds to ponder it before answering. "I can try." As they continue, the doll ponders further, before requesting a qualifier. "Looks scary? Or sounds scary?"



    The spell... almost works. Sarenrae's light fills the creature's mind, it starts to slow and turn towards Adria. But then Koma realizes what's happening. The goblin grabs the ape's head, twisting it to the side. "Forward that way! Go! Go!" The physical contact and sound combined are enough to drive the remnants of the enchantment away: the ape ploughs forward, jumping from rooftop to rooftop as it makes its way out of the district.

    "Ms. Adria..."

    Peridora heard the reprimand. She knows it's the smart thing to do. But Ms. Adria's spell was not enough, and whatever these goblins are doing, they need to be stopped. They just blew up the Council Chamber! She has to do something. She's got to try and help.

    She's a wizard. That's what wizards are supposed to do.

    Before Miley can move to stop her, Peridora bolts for the centre of the street. She gestures upward at the apes, runes of power starting to shimmer into existence around her. "Tolox Lutus Adras Mond!"

    Three orbs of white light fly from Peridora's hands, all impacting against one of the apes. The creature is staggered for a second by the blast, but just for a second. It jumps from its rooftop to street level with a roar, charging towards a petrified Peridora, hefting the girl upward and continuing to run along the cobbled street. It winds its arm back, ready to cast the little mage aside.

    When it feels a stick impact against its head, repeatedly and frantically. "No!" The goblin rider screeches in the creature's ear. "Bad monkey! No throw tiny human!"

    Kato trained the beasts to respond to a rider's orders. With a growl, the great ape instead shoves Peridora towards the goblin on its back, before starting to climb again. The Cindersnout takes the young girl's hand, helping her find a grip on the creature's back as some means of apology. "Sorry human. Guess you hostage now. Too fast to jump. We let you go later, okay?"
    Last edited by Inspector Valin; 2019-10-09 at 08:45 AM.

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    Zarra flew down the street as fast as her bare halfing feet would carry her. With a start, she realized that something was clinging to her leg.

    "Sorry, Goopy, mama didn't forget about you. I just ... well ... come on, let's find out what's happening down at the Guildhall."

    Snagging her slime and tucking it under her arm, Zarrachia made haste to the scene of the crime.

    Spoiler
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    Just a placeholder for round 1.

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    The enemy was in full retreat. Had they already accomplished their mission? Sachni would have to ask anyone that she captured. She continued to sprint after the closest ape. They weren't the only ones skilled at navigating terrain. Any obstacles in Sachni's path would get climbed, vaulted over, or slid beneath. She'd do whatever it took to get within striking distance of an enemy. Even a strong punch might not be enough to fell these creatures. But it might get them to throw off their riders.

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    Sachni sets a fearsome pace, one that's proven her the victor of many a race amidst her padaprajna fellows. She vaults fences, ducks through crowds, twists across corners in seconds. But she's never run against a primate before, and the apes are showing all the skills of the jungle in how they jump, swing and sprint above the city grounds. Their every step is twice the reach of Sachni's, and they can scale a wall in seconds. Each time she's almost ready to strike, the damned things leap skyward once again.

    She can stay close, especially following on the ground. And the buildings in this city aren't tightly packed enough to allow the beasts to stay on the rooftops indefinitely. But getting close enough to bring one of the apes down is going to be a challenge.



    The strange chase continues, now into Oenopion's market square. The folk here were already on edge following the explosion - the sight of the great apes jumping down and roaring is enough to send the people running for cover. The guardsmen present look to each other, no one willing to confront the beasts alone. Koma grins, and with a wave to his band, they charge across the square, sending stalls and canopies flying in their wake. The Cindersnouts are happy to take advantage of this opportunity, most of the goblins have withdrawn long pikes and attempt to spear foodstuffs as the apes ride past. One lucky goblin cries with glee as he nails a pie, another is already tucking into freshly cooked fish as their beasts plough onwards

    Only Koma is focused enough to refrain from looting, and as such he pulls ahead of the group, taking back his original position in the lead. As the sole golem in the area ambles forward, arms raised, the Cindersnout leader has already brought his ape up to the roof of the temple of Abadar, ready for the next leg of their escape. The veteran raider laughs, looking down at the metal-limbed creature. "So far, so good!" It's at that moment he remembers his companion. He calls down to Ellie. "Hey, longshanks! You think my plan good too?"

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Round 2! Everyone's here but Raka, and she gets here with a DC15 Athletics check. Bel, you've got Okoro in your corner, Xarra, you've got Goopy (Wasn't it Gloopy before? Did I mix that up) You guys are welcome to bring your friends in on this - they'll use Prepare to Help and then Aid on your actions

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    Adria screams as Peridora is grabbed. "You get her back here this instant!" She doesn't have any magic that can safely bring them back, she doesn't know what to do... will a hostage exchange work? She looks to the nearest ape and rider. "Light of Sarenrae, blind my foes..." A searing cone of light comes out of Adria's holy symbol, forcing its way into the eyes of ape and rider both.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Casting Dazzling Flash, Fort Save DC 17.
    On Success: One round Dazzled
    On Failure: One round Blinded, one minute Dazzled
    On Crit Fail: One round Blinded, one hour Dazzled
    Last edited by Syless; 2019-10-09 at 11:34 AM.
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    Sachni felt the boundary of her own limitations. She knew for a fact that it was possible for a human to outrun apes: Because she'd seen veteran monks move that fast. A master could have effortlessly won this race. But Sachni wasn't a master. Her own ki could only accelerate her for a few seconds.

    So she'd have to make those few seconds count. The monk forced herself to be patient. She kept pace as best she could with the apes above. At some point, one of them would have to descend. That's the moment when she'd strike. A single burst of speed, properly timed, might just let her reach the enemy; However briefly.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Sachni will wait for an ape to leave the rooftops. Then she'll cast Ki Rush to let herself catch up, and (hopefully) unseat the goblin.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    The goblin with the pie sees the spell coming - thinking quickly, he holds up his ill gotten food to shield his eyes from Sarenrae's light. It works for him but not his mount: the ape screams, throwing the little Cindersnout from its back and charing off in another direction. The goblin lands on his feet, glancing between Adria and the pursuing guardsmen with a terrified expression. Thinking fast, he throws the pack of stolen goods at the priestess' feet, before turning and sprinting off into the crowd.

    Spoiler
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    Haven't captured him, I know, but you'll be able to track him down later if you want and you've gotten a bunch of stolen valuables back. I'm counting this as a win! One down, 5 to go.

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