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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick's Avatar

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    Default Progress and Plight

    The jammer known as Harath's Pride may once, indeed, have been a vessel to inspire pride, or even envy. Traces of this may be seen in the fading crimson of its painted beams, in the gilt tracery on those areas of the ship sufficiently inaccessible to be beyond the reach of those to whom gilt is another word for 'raw money'. It resembles a treasure galleon whose cargo has long since been offloaded, a relic of some forgotten extraplanar empire. Only the high brass aerials of its phlogiston drives still gleam, taking the place of sails.

    In the present time, however, it stinks of the rats that power its blood helm, and the passengers; a great, surging tide of humanity lugging framed packs, triple-locked steamer trunks of merchandise or family heirlooms; a crowd doing its best to avoid eye contact with one another, save in those few cases where those seeking the same village huddle together. You, and those with you, are more similar to the latter group than the former, albeit not by much; you have destination in mind.

    It can be seen about a mile away, rising like a clenched fist whose fingers are so bony the menace thereof is insubstantial; even at this distance it looks inelegant, an agglomeration of cubes and cylinders, half of pale stone, half of dark basalt, portions even consisting of deeply stained wood. Its buttresses do not so much fly as hunch, or perhaps wallow. Figures can dimly be discerned pacing the battlements; torches flicker with an unhealthful green radiance.

    "It's the fen-wind, you know."
    Your guide speaks up; nearly toothless despite his youth, with a panoply of pale scars across his chin, lip, and jaw. His arms are the wiry punching-cannons of a veteran bar brawler, but he bears no steel and stands furtively, without any of the pride of a true warrior.

    "The torches are fed from the marshes below the castle; old Raun, he would never drain them. Just roofed them over and used the breath of the marsh to heat his old house..."
    He chuckles even as he waves you deeper into a warren of streets; the lines of statues in heroic pose speak to your route- a winding path through the temple district. The streets are crowded, despite an omnipresent chill and dampness, and the horned mouths that sprout from the concrete every so often. These hold clear water, though by the preponderance of weeds it should be brackish.

    "And the cleanse-weed was his too...it'll poison food, but water it purifies. He's the one what kept that, bless him..."
    The pugilist falls silent under the stern gaze of a group of short-haired women, each bearing a barbed polearm; behind them, a group of much less serious, and more luxuriantly coiffed, young ladies lounges and beckons.

    _____________________________________

    Long moments after you began wending your way through the city, you reach the outer barrier of the palace; a solid wall not of rock or wood, but of people. Market stalls hawking every conceivable commodity front the palace proper, a confection of stone, copper, and ironwood. What would, on a lighter edifice, be called something akin to 'gingerbread molding' seems to edge the windows of the upper stories, and balconies encrust the building like mushroom on a rotting log. Your destination, however, is a great gate, built much like the horned mouths that sprout from the city's byways. One is, apparently, supposed to enter Raun's palace through his gullet...swallowed up into his vision.


  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    Silence smiles a thin smile and stretches her arms above her head as she walks through the streets. "Ah, it's good to be home," she says with only a little sarcasm.

    She wears a black dress, cut straight with a high collar that has a leather bodice built in and long black sleeves. She keeps her hair out of her eyes by way of a long braid down the middle of her back. A pair of crescent moon glasses perches upon her nose, and two curious contraptions that appear to be loaded with wands sit on her wrists. Attached to her belt hangs a punching dagger that gleams with a silvery light, and she tromps on the pavement with boots designed for function rather than form. Across her shoulders rests a black-grey cloak velvet cloak, and around her throat hangs a golden pendant with a sizable chunk of amber as a centerpiece.

    She has a sort of magnetism, for those who like bookish types. Her long, lithe fingers speak of incredible fine-motor control, and her pallor and demeanor display someone who is physically fit. Her eyes bely a shining intelligence, and it is this that stands out more than any other single aspect of her being.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Pyroconstruct's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    Aloysius, intent on making a good first impression, had washed, pressed, and polished his attire to perfection before disembarking. Although somewhat dirtied by his walk through the crowds and dust of the city, he stood out from most of the other travelers.

    Aloysius had dressed both for appearance and for combat - although he had no intention of fighting within the palace, it seemed an appropriate way to advertise himself as a professional soldier. Besides, he had nowhere to leave his armor, and it was easier to wear than to carry.

    He had a peaked metal helmet strapped to his head under his chin, hiding his somewhat graying hair from sight. His chin was freshly clean-shaven, setting off his bristly black mustache, carefully combed. He wore a simple but well-made uniform from his days as a soldier underneath a metal breastplate, although with a crowd to pass through he had left his spiked greaves and arm-braces wrapped up in his pack. His shield was concealed on his back underneath his cloak, but a pike somewhat larger than himself protruded over his shoulder.

    He walked briskly through the crowd, neither stopping to gawk nor sneering in disdain at the palace, but once he got through the crowd and into the "mouth" of the entryway, he began watching for other entrants to the palace, thinking it a smart move to be aware of what other fortune-seekers might also have arrived.

    [OOC: Is Silence inside the "mouth" part of the gate, yet? Or should I not assume so? If she is, Aloysius might try to talk to her.]
    Last edited by Pyroconstruct; 2008-02-29 at 05:55 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    OOC:
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    She's inside it. Talk away.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Pyroconstruct's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    As Aloysius watched for any other unusual-looking entrants to the castle, he noticed Silence. He quickly took note of her wand bracer, practical clothing, and an apparent glow of cleverness that he instinctively recognized. He thought she'd been on the Harath's Pride, although they hadn't spoken, but since she seemed to have the same destination, Aloysius decided to approach and introduce himself.

    "Good day, madam. I don't believe we've been properly introduced, although I recognize you from the Harath's Pride. Aloysius Focht, at your service." He paused to give her a chance to reply, and then continued.

    [OOC: If you want to reply to the first part seperately, go ahead, if not, he'll continue talking after waiting for a few moments].

    "It seems that we've both the intention to introduce ourselves to the current government. I gather from your choice of attire that you, like myself, have traveled across the phlogiston in search of excitement, rather than business or vacationing. Am I correct?
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kellus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    Anshar looks up at the palace carefully, impressed and somewhat intrigued by the architecture. He's dressed, as ever, in carefully tailored layers of red and grey and black. He wears no armour, but the light of the sun and of the marsh-torches seems somewhat diminished around him. A short sword hangs at his hip, casting a shadow darker than night itself. The short selkie's only concession to ornamentation is a black and white collar cinched tightly around his throat that leeches light and colour from the ambient air.

    Gazing at the gullet-gate, Anshar frowns slightly and murmurs audibly to thin air. "A dead king who devours his visitors... not the most favourable omen to hope for." He grins slightly as he hears whispers of fates to come. Just as well, really, that he sacrificed that farmer on the ship. Left alone, he would have been one common man among a million. In Anshar's hands his life would play a much more interesting role that it ever would have otherwise.

    He looks around at the throng, catching eyes and grinning handsomely. He smiles idly, wondering who the next person to learn from him might be.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    Tod finally pushes his way through the crowd, and comes into view of the castle's mouth. The most noticeable thing is the hat. It's large. Red. Wide-brimmed. There's a band of zebra stripes on it. And an obnoxiously long feather arching back, still subject to the waves of the crowd. It's the kind of hat that no sane person would wear, and it draws an inordinate amount of attention.

    What lies below the hat is much less conspicuous. A gnome, about average height for their kind stands wrapped in a cute little robe. The glint of metal can be seen through the opening in the robe, both on his hip and his chest.

    He turns back towards the crowd briefly, scanning, as if he lost something. Apparently not finding it, he turns back towards the palace, and walks forward. A few paces from the mouth he stops, squints at Silence, and then exclaims

    Silence?! Is that you? Itís been much too long mídear! Are you to be part of this endeavor?

    He removes the spectacle of headwear, and bows to the lady. As he places the hat back on his head, he turns to the clean cut gentleman standing next to his old friend

    I donít believe weíve had the pleasure of meeting sir. Since I assume youíll be joining us as well, we might as well get introductions out of the way. I am Tod von Zauerberei, problemsolver for hire.

    The gnome extends a small hand outward

    [Assuming you shake his hand, heíll say]

    I believe there is at least one more. One good part about the small stature is the increased mobility in a crowd. Dentin is back there somewhere, I hope. The man can find his way through a quagmire, but heís completely lost once you get him in a crowd.


    Edit: Ninjaed!

    Tod will direct that introduction to both of the people he doesn't know, rather than just the one.
    Last edited by deathbyhokie; 2008-02-29 at 09:05 PM.
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    Corwin - Where Are We?
    Tod - Progress and Plight

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Pyroconstruct's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by deathbyhokie View Post

    Silence?! Is that you? Itís been much too long mídear! Are you to be part of this endeavor?

    He removes the spectacle of headwear, and bows to the lady. As he places the hat back on his head, he turns to the clean cut gentleman standing next to his old friend

    I donít believe weíve had the pleasure of meeting sir. Since I assume youíll be joining us as well, we might as well get introductions out of the way. I am Tod von Zauerberei, problemsolver for hire.

    The gnome extends a small hand outward

    [Assuming you shake his hand, heíll say]
    Aloysius raised his eyebrow in amusement at the flamboyantly attired gnome, but accepted the handshake. "Pleased to meet you. Aloysius Focht, of the same profession as yourself. However, myself and Silence have only just met."

    Quote Originally Posted by deathbyhokie View Post


    I believe there is at least one more. One good part about the small stature is the increased mobility in a crowd. Dentin is back there somewhere, I hope. The man can find his way through a quagmire, but heís completely lost once you get him in a crowd.
    "This Dentin fellow you mention, a woodsman? Is he a human, bit shorter than me, brownish hair? I believe we may have already met. First-rate chap."
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kellus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    Anshar smiles as he accepts the handshake. "The name's Anshar," he says down to the elaborate hat. "Are you expecting to meet many zebras, Mr. Zauerberei?"

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    OOC and Recommended Checks:
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    Next update as soon as Dentin posts.

    Spot and search checks may be made.
    Knowledge checks may be made to enlighten you regarding the castle itself.

    Also, before anyone asks, your guide has departed, having only been paid to lead you to the Gullet. You all had the same guide, who escorted you and a good many others, though most of the latter were dropped off before reaching the castle.


  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Pyroconstruct's Avatar

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    Tech:
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    Awareness: (1d20+15)[19]
    Search: (1d20+20)[32]
    Knowledge: Local (I'm not sure if I'd need Nobility instead, or if that would be more about the nobility and less about the location) (1d20+9)[20]
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kellus's Avatar

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    Awareness: (1d20+16)[23]
    Search: (1d20+2)[8]
    Knowledge (architecture and engineering) [Whispers]: (1d20+11)[26]

    The last is to determine interesting architectural features of the palace, and to notice any ideal escape routes should things go sour.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    deathbyhokie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyroconstruct View Post
    "This Dentin fellow you mention, a woodsman? Is he a human, bit shorter than me, brownish hair? I believe we may have already met. First-rate chap."
    Yes, that certainly sounds like the Dentin I know. I'm certain he should come bursting through the crowd any second now, and then we will know for certain.

    "Are you expecting to meet many zebras, Mr. Zauerberei?"
    Alas, no. I've only met one in my life, but he was quite a nice fellow. Tod raises the brim of the hat a little. Even lent me his lucky hat. Sadly, it seems that the hat really was lucky for him, as he died shortly thereafter. Zebras lead a brutal life, I'm told.

    Spoiler
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    Awareness: (1d20+8)[22]
    Search: (1d20+15)[17]
    If Know(Arcana) will be of use: (1d20+9)[10]
    Last edited by deathbyhokie; 2008-02-29 at 10:14 PM.
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    Corwin - Where Are We?
    Tod - Progress and Plight

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    "I am indeed, Tod. Good to be seeing you again, and I'm glad to see we'll have some actual talent on this endeavour. I don't suppose there's really a better word for it than that, is there?"

    Turning to Aloysius, she continues, "As you've no doubt overheard from my diminutive compatriot here, my name is Silence Mordekai. I am indeed seeking gainful employment. Whether or not I will find it is another thing entirely." Idly as she speaks, she flicks a wand forwards into her hands from her left bracer, motions with it, and replaces it back into the spring-loaded contraption.1

    Spoiler
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    Rolls: Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20+12=29; Knowledge (The Planes): 1d20+12=30; Gather Information (untrained): 1d20+4=5; Awareness: 1d20+8=15; Knowledge (Local) (untrained): 1d20+4=6; Use Magic Device: 1d20+18=21)
    1Silence has used a charge from her wand of comprehend languages, which will last for ten minutes and allow her to understand the spoken words of creatures she touches or nonmagical written words she touches for the next ten minutes.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Greyen's Avatar

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    Dentin

    Mr. Tod, here you are. I thought I was going to be stuck in that infernal cabin forever. That woman would not shut up.

    You all can hear the boistrous and resonant tones of Dentin long before you can see him. The stream of words coming from him sounds dismayed, which is odd for those that know the ever optimistic man.

    Stepping from the stream of bodies he walks up to the group in all of his woodsy glory. Greatings travelers great and small, I am Dentin and .... He pauses as he steps up behind Tod looking at every one gathered critically for a moment I know you, and you, and you Mr. Tod of course, but you I do not.

    He turns first to Aloysius, grinningly saying Good sir, nice to meet you again. Are we all here on this same endeavor?

    Then to Silence with a hint of seriousness in his voice, offering her his hand (kissing the backs of her fingers if given) M'lady, nice to meet you again. Hopefully we can work together better than we worked against each other? No hard feelings I hope.

    Then turning to Anshar as he crosses gaze with Tod. Even after many days being trapped on the trap freighter haven't dimmed this man's enthusiam or optimism. Mr. Tod, of course. And you sir, I have never met. Like I said I am Dentin Ness, hunter and generally likable guy. May I ask whom you are? He offers his hand to Anshar.

    Dressed like a classic woodsman , he wears well worn and stained doesking breeches and a mottled green enamaled chain shirt. A small sword hangs from his side opposite a well maintained quiver of arrows. He walks with the bow in hand, unstrung for now. Leather boots and bracers are all finely crafted, but the colorations and wear on them speak of heavy use. You can still smell the forest on him, even after being trapped in the freighter for at least a week.
    Last edited by Greyen; 2008-02-29 at 11:43 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick's Avatar

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    Search (DC 15): The Castle Gates have a number of what are, descriptively enough, called 'murder holes'. The majority appear to be designed for the convenience of human defenders, but some at least are for less sentient defenses- perhaps acid, fire, or other baleful substances.

    Awareness (DC 20): Along the darkened, heavily mosaic-covered gullet corridor, about thirty feet in, a hunched man in the ink-stained robes of a dedicated scribe appears to be beckoning to you and hissing softly through tea-stained teeth.
    A group of armored men, carrying the bills traditional to underpaid guardsmen everywhere, are also scanning the crowd, though not beckoning- yet. They don't seem to have seen you.

    Both man and guards bear the symbol of the Yuran faith on their clothing.

    Knowledge (Local, DC 20): The king's old palace is the subject of widespread betting in the undercity, and widespread wagering in the upper city, which is similar to betting but higher-class. The subjects are twofold; first, which of the factions within the castle will hold it this week?
    And second, when will the damnable thing fall down?

    Knowledge (Architecture, DC 25): The Palace is a wonder of engineering, in that it should have collapsed a considerable time previously. That it hasn't is testimony to the fly-by-night addition of buttresses, support columns, emergency weight shifts, reinforcements, and props. A team of engineers must be working around-the-clock to keep it standing.
    The building is, for all that, well-designed in its component parts- they just don't look like they're made to fit together.
    You recognize the styles of a variety of prime material worlds in the construction- apparently the architect was well-traveled.
    You also notice that some portions of the structure are metallic- pipes, likely for conducting the warming gasses of the swamp that underlies the city itself and the palace particularly. The 'torches' on the battlements are actually outlets for excess effluence of this gas, accounting for their emerald flame.

    The castle has only a few entrances that are doors proper, most being intended for flying vehicles or persons; if one is, however, willing to risk clambering balcony to balcony, the architectural outcroppings form a rough ladder, its steps nearly thirty feet apart. A prodigious leap, but not impossible- and it conducts one eventually to ground level from any visible point in the castle.

    Knowledge (Arcane/The Planes): You recognize some portions of the castle as being formed of a very rare material known as astral driftmetal, known to block astral travel. The teeth of the gate by which you are entering, moreover, is formed of gehennan morguth-iron.

    Some of the 'molding' you noticed earlier appears to contain fragments of summoning diagrams, words of power, or other magical paraphernalia, but nowhere are the patterns complete- its as if someone made confetti out of a pile of scrolls and then converted the result to wood and masonry.


    Assuming those of you that made your spot checks point out the result to the others, it's choose your own adventure time: whom do you accompany?
    Last edited by Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick; 2008-02-29 at 11:59 PM.


  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    "Yes. Hopefully we will each be on the same side of the transaction, instead of in opposition. I'd much rather not have to face your dirty scheming tricks again," she says, slightly flirtatiously.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Greyen's Avatar

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    Dentin

    Dentin says grinningly, I, madame, do not use dirty scheming tricks. Only well placed tactical traps for the unweary. What brings you to this *sniff sniff* swamp?
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    Awareness (1d20+13)[29]
    Search (1d20+13)[29]
    Survival (1d20+15)[34] - any odd smells?
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick's Avatar

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    Survival (DC ??): You recognize the smell of common substances found in marshy areas; flammable, dangerous in large quantities, and easily detectable. They will render some substances unusable, some food inedible, but are known to be beneficial in combination with some other substances.

    None of the many odors that assail you are immediately dangerous, or immediately identifiable as anything but generalized city stench.


  20. - Top - End - #20
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    deathbyhokie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    Upon noticing the guardsmen, Tod quickly makes his choice.

    That scribe over there appears to be beckoning us. Let's go see what he wants

    Tod'll flash Dentin a quick look of "Guards, not good, let's get out of here"
    Spoiler
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    Influence for all general purposes (concealing any apprehension in Tod's voice, convincing the others to come along, passing proper hidden meaning to Dentin)
    (1d20+15)[30]
    And a Stealth, to avoid quick movements that tend to draw the eyes of guards
    (1d20+26)[31]

    [ooc]Wow that's alot to stealth checks.[/ooc]
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    Corwin - Where Are We?
    Tod - Progress and Plight

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Anshar smiles as his gaze walks the walls of the ragtag palace. Turning to Dentin, he extends his hand. "The name's Anshar. You certainly seem well-connected." He pauses, considering. The man seems hideously annoying, annoyingly wordy, and he smells like a pine tree. "I'm sure we'll get on fabulously."

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick's Avatar

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    Dentin receives your intended meaning. Your voice appears as clear and confident as ever.

    The response of the others is up to them; Influence cannot be used on PCs.

    The guards, whatever their intention, do not appear to have noticed you; they look, honestly, a little bored. Clearly they do not relish whatever assignment they've been given.


  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Dentin

    Dentin looks around and notice Tod's idea. Turning to Anshar he says Good to meet you sir. Not well connected bt well traveled.

    Shall we see what that scribe has to offer? Dentin walks into the crowd toward the scribe. As he does so he says to the group with a smile Keep the fire magics low in the city, lots of swamp gas here.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: Progress and Plight

    "Don't worry, I left that wand in my other coat pocket,"
    Aloysius remarks as he takes note of the scribe and, following Tod's example, heads over calmly.
    Spoiler
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    Stealth to not draw attention, should it be needed:
    (1d20+19)[29]
    Last edited by Pyroconstruct; 2008-03-01 at 10:17 AM.
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  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick's Avatar

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    The guards appear to be having some sort of arcane conversation about the properties of vampirism; none notice you.
    The scribe, meanwhile, is sniffling eloquently and carrying a sheen of sweat sufficient to fill a canteen. For all that, he's got a head full of cherubic blond curls and the pouty, full lips of a world-class smiler.
    He's apparently in his late twenties or early thirties, but a lifetime of carrying heavy books has given him a stooping posture and a taste, judging by his breath, for 'brelish tea' (A concoction consisting of tea, and alcohol. Any kind will do).

    When you arrive at his side, he whispers, breathily:
    "You're the new, ah..hm. Yes. The new recruits, hm? The new personnel? I'm not certain of the correct term, yes, hm...you're the new people, at any rate. I'm to show you to Adolphas, that is, to Mr. Belgar...do you know him? You don't know him, do you, he's the Legifex, you know, very important, maintains the branch library here. He's been waiting for new people, very strange, any of us would usually do, but he wants...well. You don't look like acolytes..I think you'll do, yes. Come with me?"

    He glances over at the guards again. It's hard to look both furtive and optimistic at the same time, but he manages.

    If any of you choose instead to go with the guards, they look you over, up and down, then nod, tersely, and speak:
    "Right- new on the ground, yes, off of the Pride? Good you've got here at last. You're to speak with the Ferromach of the Bronze. This way."

    Those of you that succeed on a DC 15 Know: Religion check are aware that 'Legifex' is an officer of the faith's ecclesiastic arm, and the branch library is a Yuran temple. 'Ferromach' and 'Bronze' are, similarly, a title and temple, this time of the faith militant.
    Anyone of the Yuran faith also knows these things.


  26. - Top - End - #26
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    A bit incredulously, Silence will follow.1

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    Aloysius didn't seem very impressed with the scribe, but he was curious what the Legifex wanted non-acolytes for. It certainly sounded interesting, so he followed the scribe.
    Avatar: Baron Blood by Uncle Festy.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Anshar frowns slightly at the scribe. As the man stutters, Anshar's eyes glaze over slightly as he listens to the mutterings of shadows and shades. With another glance towards the guards, he follows the scribe.

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    Knowledge (religion) [Whispers]: (1d20+11)[26]

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick's Avatar

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    The scribe- he says, stammering, that his name is Irrumatus- leads you up a winding, basalt staircase; every third step has a circular design on it, apparently composed of random colors and letters from a variety of scripts. As you reach the castle's ninth floor, he pushes aside a tapestry to reveal a heavy wood-and-iron door, Emblazoned with the Yuran symbol for 'Branch Library', a clockwork hand.

    Opening it with a complicated sequence of raps and no fewer than three keys, Irrumatus leads you forth into a space that smells...well, not like swamp gas.
    The odor is explained as you enter- dozens of braziers, set well back from shelves of books, are filled with sticks of gently smoking incense...lavender, patchouli, and sandalwood, in equal profusion. It's a nice change from the fen-scent, but all in all, somewhat cloying.

    As you advance over the mosaic-and-embroidered-carpet floor, past more acolytes- most cast from the same mold, young, rosy-cheeked, and tow-headed- a figure who can only be the Legifex advances towards you, waistcoat flapping, moving like a galleon under full sail and puffing like a steamship under the same.

    He's as rosy-cheeked as his underlings, but considerably more florid naturally as well, with lips that have gone from full to positively rubbery, expressive and large. Most of him is large; not just the midsection but the arms, legs, and feet, are outsize, cartoonish. His hands move compulsively, here twiddling a button, there fiddling with a buckle, there stroking a filigreed belt. He's well-dressed, ostentatiously so, but the clothing all looks slightly ill-fitting, not a product of the cut but of the way it's worn. He has a scholar's distracted air, and his fingernails and hands bear a crusting of ink, though not as thick as those beneath him. He draws up as you come near, and you realize he's actually almost seven feet tall.

    "Ahhhhh, ahhhh."
    His voice is rolling, ponderous, like the grinding of a mill-wheel. It seems to emanate not so much from his throat as his stomach, as if his entire being were simply a resonating chamber.
    "You are, I think, not settlers," he smiles, almost pleasantly, "but what it is you are remains to be seen, hm? You are people of mission, people of direction...adventurers, vagabonds of riches. But what is your direction? What your mission? This, you do not yet know. I think perhaps you seek to know it, and to that end, I am here."
    He pauses, fiddles slightly, draws himself up again.
    "The library wants you to find something out. This will hardly come as a surprise, I think- we are, after all, engaged in the pursuit of knowledge! But what you will be doing is not merely the collection of sterile datums...we wish you to overturn superstition, to cast down the remnants of ignorance in the plebiscite. You are to be my torches, lit from my flame! Proponents of my, let us hope, enlightened vision."
    He gives a barking laugh and pulls Irrumatus close; the acolyte gives a strangled squeak as he recieves an avuncular head-drubbing.
    "Just good the lad here brought you swiftly, else the Bronze would have had you chasing that damn drink-sodden fool of a 'king' we're supposed to be propping up..damned sight better if we brought in fresh stock. Kings and wines are the same that way, here...you wouldn't believe.." he leans close, conspiratorial, " the rotgut we found in the cellars."

    He leans back, settling his thumbs beneath his trouser-band.
    "So; you will be, of course, handsomely compensated....and thoroughly briefed, though not, I think, by me..." he glances at you in turn, and manages to succintly give the impression of being a very busy man to each of you, "so I do hope you're all here for the right reasons, yes? Otherwise we have wasted a great deal of time expounding on the virtues of knowledge..."

    He muses for a moment, then strides off, berating a hapless clerk as he goes; apparently the stacking wasn't quite fast enough for his liking. Irrumatus, off-balance after his encounter with near-paunch, is stammering worse than ever...and evidently expected to ascertain you are indeed the new employees of the library to which Adolphas referred.

    "Er...well, you heard Monsignor Belgar. Are you here to help us?"
    He smiles up at you under a sheen of sweat, heedless of his tea-teeth. His puppy-like eagerness is palpable.


  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    "I don't believe 'help' is the best term to use when monies are being exchanged. And our aid--at least, my aid--depends on both how much you are offering and what you are asking." Silence smiles a sly smile. "Perhaps that is something you should clarify?"

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