Ongoing Games (In-Character)Play-by-post games are going on in this forum as we speak (well, read). All threads on this board are actual games, so please, only post on a thread if you are a player of that game.
It's almost a month that it continues to rain! Kunjan, standing near the window, shakes his head and accompanies his words with quick and fast movements of his nimble hands. They will be exactly 27 days at midnight - Father Kjoth corrects him, sitting at the main table, without looking up from the chessboard. He moves a bishop and smiles to the dr. Volker. I did not know you were so expert, doctor... I should have invited you to play before.
The priest turns slightly towards Jehangir while continuing to talk to the doctor: I'm sure there are no secrets between us.
Jehangir jumps, while Ishan bursts out laughing, shaking his misshapen body - the right side of it is considerably greater than the left. He leans over a small table, while the chair starts to creak not very reassuring, to have a cup of tea that Pamela has just poured. He takes a sip, and adds: Well done, our priest. Then he leans back on the backrest, which continues to creak. Pamela looks at him with undisguised disgust and says: Try not to smash the chairs of the house of Father Kjoth. She rubs her left elbows, just bandaged by the doctor, and approaches the priest of Ezra, to sniff the doctor's bag (lying on the table), which smells of disinfectant. She looks around and adds: Did the sisters know that we would be here today?
Kunjan, who began to walk like a caged animal, stops in front of a shield hung on a wall, above a small altar. He turns and nods to the half-elf. He observes the present and continues: Today we're all ... even the four new ones. Take some tea and tell us something ...
The halfling sat perched upon a raised bench beneath the opaque glass of a window. His face was cocked upward, glaring at a multitude of fat rain drops falling from a dark sky.
As words were exchanged he dropped his head to glance furtively at the stangers present. He was not comfortable here, did not feel safe, and wished for a shadowed quiet dry place in which to hide. This was the only dry place he could find so he set his teeth and sighed in anticipation of company and questions.
He sniffed at the unnatural salty tang in the air and his eyes darted to the door, staring at the thick mud tracked onto the floor and fearing to see water creeping slowly into the room, extinguishing fire, extinguishing life.
Sinrith sits alone at a table, sipping a bitter concoction of liquor, chocolate powder, and hot milk. His eyes dart back and forth, and his mouth twitches. He is amusing himself by counting everything in the room that could be used as a weapon.
@Hestraim: I assume that Rithuane was just thinking (since the statement was in italic)
@Twilight Muse: FYI… at a glance… a long sword near the altar under the shield that Kunjan is looking at; an ogre double axe under Ishan chair; Pamela’s crutch (her left leg has no foot); every chair in the room; a dagger badly hidden in Jehangir left boot; the teacup…
An unpleasant silence follows the words of the red-headed magic-user. In the background, only the drops of rain pounding the window. Father Kjoth looks Jehangir, strangely silent. Then he looks the halfling, that seems to be cut off of the world; the silent and eager elf; the heavily armored humans... all of them so suspicious and diffident. He close his eyes, then he speaks - almost to himself... It seems that the rain is washing away the trust. Ezra, assist us in these dark times.
Kunjan is about to reply when the door bursts open, revealing a feminine figure barely lit by the dim light of the afternoon. Cold air bursts into the room - the candlelight wavers for a moment… and you feel that "something" is entered and is trying to violate the sacredness of this place.
Then the figure takes a few steps into the room, leaving a trail of water and mud - mud dirty hair, the body covered with bruises, her pretty face contorted in a grimace of pain. You recognize her: she is Neelima.
The girl tries to catch his breath and speaks incoherently: Help me ... Avaya ... the walls to the north-west ... the river has brought down ... there's a way out of the city ... Avaya... golems... AVAYA ... Help me… Help her!
Something in Rithuane seems to enchant the girl – maybe the elf fey-like beauty… who knows about elven hidded secretes?
By the way, Neelima stops speaking and try to breathe again. In the meantime, Father Kjoth whispered a prayer to Ezra and came near to the girl, touching her.
Neelima speaks quickly: I and sist’ were comin’ here… heard a rumble from the walls, where the stream enter the city… went there, walls collapsed, a big trunk carried by the water broke the gates… a centaur and a mastiff were under big rocks… there’s a path going outside… Avaya tried to go out but the centaur grab her… Hope she’s still alive… there’s something strange around the wall.. mist arising…
Then Neelima shakes her head, her fist clenched, her body trembling: Stop it, we need to go there! And she move toward the door.
Kunjan in the meantime cast a spell and grabbed a dagger. I’m going there - you know the way!
Ishan puts a full helmet, take his great double axe and follow him.
Jehangir looks at the doctor, shaken.
Father Kjoth take the longsword near the altar and remove the shield from the wall – you can see that it's painted with a silver longsword adorned with a sprig of belladonna.
Then he says: Blessed Ezra, Our Guardian in the Mists, She who sacrificed Herself to fill the Hollow,
Healer of the sick, protector of the weak, guide to the lost,
To You we pray. Watch over us, Your people. Take us under Your protection,
Show us the light when we are lost in darkness, defend us when the Legions of the Night draw close,
Lead us to our place in the Grand Scheme, and bring us through the night to the shelter of peace.
Then look to the ones still in the room: We need your help…
The halfling leaps backward as the door slams open and crouches in the room, frightened and angry. In his hand a knife has sprouted and he scrambles behind the others, keeping larger bodies between he and the interloper.
He listens intently to the hurried conversation and, as they begin to filter out the door, he looks to the others present as if waiting on them to determine his course of action.
Feck scurries outside after the others, cursing quietly and pulling his clothing tight against the rain. On the way out the door he quickly collects forgotten morsels of food, stuffing them deep into his pockets.
Twenty-seven days of flooded streets, slogs through the mud and freezing rain, and dark skies. Not that Calima ever saw a sunny day normally, of course, but one could expect a few hours here and there when it was merely overcast. But the black clouds refused to part, spilling an ocean's worth of the strange, bitter rain. He'd even run a few tests on the stuff; beyond the briney sensation it left on the tongue, it hadn't seemed out of the ordinary, insomuch as the Mists allowed 'ordinary' to exist. Nevertheless, he'd refused to drink water collected from the cisterns without having it boiled, and usually took further caution by diluting the rainwater with 'clear' water he'd been fortunate enough to store prior to the storm's onset.
Come to that, he rarely took the mask off anymore, even indoors and among company. Few could remember the man's weary face from his first few weeks as the town's resident physician, when he'd elected to stay after that heel had absconded to Lictoburg. Perhaps the fellow had impeccable foresight, or maybe he was merely lucky to have escaped before the golems took their place as protectors and jailors all at once.
He took another deep breath through the mask, letting the lavender, cinnamon and clove that line the inside calm his nerves. The doctor found himself taking another soon after, when the girl, Neelima, if he recalled correctly, burst through the door with as much blood about her as panic.
Perhaps today would be a good day after all.
Taking hold of his medical bag, made of smooth black leather and thin iron trim as all medical bags should be, the doctor stands and makes his way to the open door, retrieving and donjlnning his hat from the hook nearby. Upon overtaking Neelima, he gives her wounds a quick once-over, treating anything in urgent need of attention. Regardless of her condition, he also gives her a small licorice-smelling lozenge, a composite of several mild analgesics.
Did he.. did he go outside ...? Jehangir rises warily from the chair, his arms wrapped around the body as a protection against cold, eyes darting from one point to another of the room. Only he and Pamela are still there.
The girl looks at him with a grin that betrays his contempt for the coward.
All came out ... She is not able to follow them, her legs are not made to run ...
The door is still open. From outside come the sounds of the footsteps of her companions, lost in the distance, swallowed up by the rain. And another noise that seems to come from the center of the city...
Pamela is going to close the door when Jehangir precedes and closes shut. He breathes heavily. Madmen and fools whispers. Before it was Stephan, now Avaya... There is no way out of town! They have not understood yet?
The slap of Pamela arrives unexpectedly. She herself did not realize she did, but her words follows the gesture: Coward ... The brother of Avaya and Neelima fought till the end ... You do nothing but crawl from here to the house of the doctor to blame our efforts!
Jehangir drops on the floor, careless of the mud that’s splashing him. It's all written... we can’t change anything! The golem will come ... come ... and begins to sob like a child.
Pamela walks slowly toward the center of the room and turns on the candlelight, shut down after the sudden arrival of Neelima. Poor girl ... the father taken away from the golem, the mother insane, her brother died ... Then he bows with difficulty before the altar of Ezra and extracts from her skirt pocket a miniature shield, a small sacred symbol of Ezra. Lady, protect them...
Ok, out on streets again.
What follows can be read only by Hestraim and Reikenbach, since Rithuane, Dott. Volker, Neelima and Kunjan are quicker than the rest of the group.
Hestraim and Reikenback can describe their actions as spoiler until I declare that everyone is in place (near the walls).
Neelima is running, running fast, sometimes stumbling but going on running, breathless. Rain on her face hides her tears. Kunjan is after her, a dim light around his body.
Luckily Calima has paved streets – but water and mud is everywhere, and the slippery ground makes difficult to run. Nevertheless it takes little time for the four of you to leave behind the rest of the group.
It’s still raining, pouring, and the drops seem to wash away the weariness from Neelima – or perhaps it’s just the awareness of her sister in danger.
Finally, after a 15 minutes rush, you are in sight of the walls. The girl was right – there is a passage to the outside.
First of all you are aware of the mud – the paving is no more and you are sinking to the knees.
Then the dim light of late afternoon changes to a disturbing deep red – the raging torrent is the color of blood. From the gap in the wall, the water unleash its fury towards the center of the city – to your left.
The walls has collapsed over the torrent – a strange contrast to the perfection of the city. You cannot see the border of the gap, since there is mist around them – still mist, that’s not entering in the city.
Suddenly you hear the scream of Neelima – her sister, Avaya, is clinging to a huge stone fallen in the stream, near the border. She is losing blood from a deep wound in her leg– but not enough to change the color of the water so much…
Finally you see them – the golems. A mastiff is half- buried under a stone, near the gap, trying to free itself from the stone and the mud.
It’s not a danger – the real menace is the centaur, or what is left of it… it’s pierced by pieces of the trellis that once stood under the water. The equine part of its body is split in two – the rear part under a boulder. The human torso and the front part are crawling in the mud – you can barely see the movement of horse legs, deep submerged. Inch after inch it’s getting closer to the girl, with a long spear in its left clawed hand.
Another effort – the centaur emerge from the mud, just to sink again… but it’s closer – a few feet from Avaya, that’s screaming loud, looking at the creature, unable to move away.
Kunjan mumbles arcane words and a jet of fire erupts from his left hand, scorching the head of the creature. You can see a symbol that lighten in red on its forehead – it’s like a sketched drawing of a sun.
The centaur suddenly move his face toward the magic user and throw the spear. The light around the half-elf seems to flicker, whirl and open… and the spear impales the astonished Kunjan, knocking him down… Roll initiative!
The construct disarmed for the moment (and dislegged, for that matter), the doctor quickly moves to Kunjan's side. He retrieves the necessary implements from his bag to keep the man alive and, possibly, get the spear out without causing even more internal damage.
@Reikenbach: Luckily Kunjan is still conscious, although seriously injured. You manage to remove the spear (an obviously masterwork object, even to one like you without deep knowledge of weapons) and to cure a couple of hit points to the shaken magic user, that slowly regains his feet.
About the shoot: The musket fires with a loud noise, and suddenly the smell of gunpowder fills the air. You strike it at its chest – a really good shot. The symbol on the forehead of the creature lighten a little, but the golem is just off balance for a moment, sinking a bit in the mud – it’s not damaged from the shoot.
Plumes of smoke rising from its face, it slowly rotates toward Avaya.
Kunjan screams: We must burn it… I can do it, but I need to touch it… He try to move forward, wading through the mud, but he loose balance.
In the meantime Neelima tried to reach her sister, walking near the border of the stream, but she stumble on the slippery ground. She barely manages to fall on her right, splashing on the mud. Avaya!!!
Avaya looks to her sister: Leave me alone… Try to go out! And she points some stones on the water.
Ok, now Rithuane and Dott. Volker.
@Nesori, Twilight Muse and Smokey:
You are running fast – the walls are not so far!
You hear a sound in the distance – you feel it despite the bounce of your hearts, the rain, the noise of the armors.
It comes from the center of the city.
Norban stops and turns around to face the direction of the sound. He heads toward it, heart sinking if something making such a loud noise could be causing problems for the resistance or the town's citizens.
@Hestraim: I’ll go on and assume that Rithuane has problems with her weapon… sorry, I don’t want to delay this topic too much!
Rithuane seems to have some problems with her musket – probably the pouring rain was too much for the battered weapon.
Kunjan look at the doctor and shake his head: Sorry doctor, but Avaya is more important… He cast a spell and his hand is engulfed in a bright red flame. Then he charge the golem and grab it.
Despite the rain, the spell’s outcome is amazing: the flame surround the creature moving like a snake, burning and scorching the golem. The air smells of cinder and smoke – the golem seems a large bonfire.
The symbol on the forehead of the centaur lighten again – in a deep red. The creature grab the left arm of Kunjan, who start screaming. A “crack” – then the centaur (maybe is better to say “its skeleton”) turn on his right and hurl Kunjan against the walls. The left arm of the half-elf is bended in a strange way – what you see seems a broken puppet that falls in the mud.
In the meantime, Avaya try to reach the spear with her hand – she’s still too far. She slowly try to move herself a little closer, moaning. Neelima is wading the mud, trying to reach her sister, but Avaya scream at her: Go out! Remember what we said to Stephan!
The effort to reach Avaya apparently in vain, the doctor retracts the spear and stops leaning over the bridge. He draws a small, iron vial from his pocket, uncorking it and downing the contents after lifting the edge of his mask.
It takes only a few moments before the lean and relatively tall doctor suddenly grows a head and a half; the set of his shoulders widens and the muscles in his arms and legs expand. All in all, he fills out the greatcoat that normally appears to small for him, albeit somewhat hulkingly.
Were it not for the wind and rain, others nearby might have heard the terrible sounds of popping bones and tearing flesh.
The formula-enhanced doctor clambers up onto the side of the bridge, spear still in hand, and leaps into the current toward Avaya. He slowly trudges through the muck toward her, using the spear to find purchase in the dark waters as though it was a ferryman's pole.
Doctor Volker uses his Mutagen
STR: +4 - now 14
INT: -2 - now 16
Natural Armor +2
Avaya starts to sob and tremble after seeing what happened to Kunjan. She seems really tired and with little strength – she has some problems keeping herself out of the stream.
Neelima starts to cry, too, and try to reach the passage faster.
It seems that there is still hope for Kunjan – he somewhat managed to put his head outside of the mud, one arm hanging dead on his side, the other struggling to find a grasp on the walls.
Rithuane managed to fire three more times the musket – she has really good aim, but the golem seems to be unaffected. The creature is still burning, only its skeleton is still crawling toward Avaya.
@Reikenbach: whoever has created the golem has good knowledge of anatomy. The structure of the creature – skeleton, joints and so – is identical to the one of the living centaurs (well, to the one of humans and horses, you never had the luck to study a corpse of a centaur…)
Doctor Volker is slowly reaching Avaya, uneasy in the red and bubbling water. He’s lucky – he just found a great rock under the deep waters, probably a fragment of the walls. He start moving on it (always checking his steps with the spear) when he got wet from a jet of blood-colored water. Suddenly the spear got stuck – and it seems that something try to pull it under the water.
(Strength check for Doctor Volker if he wants to keep grabbing the spear!)
At least the slower group manages to reach the walls. Nesori is breathless but he’s trying to say something to his fellow companions – something lost in the rain and wind.
What you can see…
- Kunjan buried in the mud
- Avaya trying not to fall in the raging stream
- the skeletal remaining of the centaur golem, still burning and smoking, crawling toward the girl
- Rithuane unleashing the fury of her musket on the centaur golem, who barely notice it
- the mastiff golem trying to get out from a big rock
- the doctor struggling with the spear
- Neelima near the mist-filled opening in the walls