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.
Dawn crests the eastern horizon, shooting tendrils of radiance between the cracks of the jagged wall of the Abbor-Alz hills. A springtime breeze carries the call of the abbey's rooster to the dormitory chamber in which you are sleeping.
The morning ceremony will begin on the training grounds in one hour. Around you, other young monks are tidying their beds and preparing for their day. At the foot of your bed, you see a summons from Master Caramip to meet her in the Abbey Courtyard after ritual.
The dormitories for the lower lever Monks are on the second floor. Here is a map of the ground floor. If you'd like I can also provide you a map of the 2nd floor, but it is pretty much like the first floor, only with larger rooms, and fewer walls.
Master Caramip Daergal is a skillful and fearless Gnome Sorcerer/Monk who makes up for her lack of size with seemingly reckless tenacity and an unpredictable acrobatic technique that is designed to confuse and misdirect her opponents. She is likable and comes across as playful and careless, but those who know her well realize that this is mostly a disarming ploy that plays on the presumptions most other races have of Gnomes. She is a calculating and disciplined warrior who thrives off of being underestimated.
Vir-Sashi spends entire time since reciving the message to the meeting worried about it. Why Master Caramip wants to see him? Did he do something bad recently? Maybe they finaly realized a Broodguard like him cannot make a good monk? He is such disgusting creature. A monster that cannot control his own rage. What if Master Yago was wrong about him? What if he is just a dumb beast and cannot never make a good Friend of Justice?
These kinds of thoughts keept him worried and distracted since the meeting. Now he was waiting in the Abbey Coutryard, looking like he is trying to meditate, but really just trying to look calm and not worry. And failing at both.
Li spends his time before the meeting in the training yard. His mind focused on the meeting, but allowing his body to flow without thought through his morning exercises and training without fail. As time for the meeting drew near he began to towel off and purify his body for the meeting. He would not meet a master smelling like the southern end of a northbound yak. When it was time he awaited the master patiently standing at full attention for his post.
Coanacoch was always just behind his peers in overall skill and ability. Most of his peers were able to claim one particular gift - strength, stamina, agility, focus, etc. - but Coanacoch always felt a step behind. His adroitness, more trained than natural, was easily his best trait, and even that always felt just behind the overwhelming majority of students who considered that their best trait.
No, Coanacoch was committed to his sister, who was the real talent in the family. Coanaoch knew that as one less talented then others, he actually could be more of a 'true' monk than others, for in his endeavors lay a life of service rather than exercises of the ego. Still, should he ever be called, he knew that only three things could help him: the favor of the gods; a pure spirit; and skill. In battle, the last was what he'd need.
No one gets this far in their training without skill, but what Coanacoch lacked in talent, he made up for in pure focus and skill. Using a very wide, flowing, acrobatic combat style, he was one of the finest combat acrobats among the senior novices (assuming levels 1-3), second only to Li. But even Coanacoch made mobility work more for him in battle. When it came to balance and contortionism, his skill managed to best those far more agile than he ... but he could only keep this edge if he focused more on it than did the others.
He finishes a sweeping series of broad, expansive, mobile kata. He then pays his respect to the senior student that oversaw this end-ritual exercise for the students in his group, and then goes to wait outside his sister's group until she is ready. He'll head to see Master Caramip with her.
Han was one of the first to wake up and tidy his bed as always. Though today was different. He felt different, but he couldn't describe what it was. While tidying his bed, he sees the summoning in front of his bed. Master Caramip wants to see me? he thinks. Quickly, he looks around to see if others got the summons as well, but there are a lot of beds and already some people walking around blocking his view. First the strange feeling, now this... Something certainly is going on today.. After this, he sits on his bed to contemplate, and prepares himself to go to the ritual and afterwards the meeting.
Necahual was an explorer. Though she had no skill with maps or languages or peoples, still she longed to walk the world outside her lands to test herself and her fortitude in increasingly difficult situations. She always maintained her culture as much as possible to keep her footing, yet her drive to explore her inner and outer world kept her from stagnating.
She was, perhaps, too serious. And she knew it. She often wondered about having brought her younger brother with her. It was only because of the esteem of their family that the young boy was even accepted for any training. Necahual didn't have that battle to fight when she was tested a few years before him. No, she didn't have that problem at all. She was glad for her brother to be here with her, that he tagged along and pestered he to come. He didn't have much hope for advancement at home, and his kind demeanor often had the humor needed to take the edge off of a situation.
Focus. Will. Stamina. After any protracted battle, muscles become sore and fighting prowess, no matter how good, atrophies. With this age-old maxim, the answer is simple: train technique as well as you are able, but spend more time blending that technique into a body form that is unyielding in mind and body, inured to pain and fatigue.
She is one of the strongest of the novices, but others (such as Versace Vir-Sashi) still match her, and even he is better at using leveraged strength. But when it comes to trading blows, she can outlast any of the novices. Her style is brutal and close-in, its not pretty, but when her freakishly strong build (for a female) was brought for testing as a little girl, she knew she didn't want to spend her life as a temple guardian, performing the sun dance and using her skills for beauty. Nope. You want to be effective? Be effective, not pretty.
To date, this has served her pretty well. She didn't look at the summons with any mock humility, nor did she look at it with some sense of grandiose expectation or misplaced arrogance. No, she simply saw the summons for what it was .... a chance for her to once again test her limits.
Current Games The Jackal - Kalti Rise of the Runelords - Dušana Essert,
Master Caramip is sitting comfortably on a stone bench amidst the courtyard garden lost in concentration as she fastidiously files her nails. Her tongue juts out from between her lips like a tiny red dagger as she leans in closer to inspect her handiwork. With a satisfied smirk, she blows the dust from her fingernails and raises them in the air; you see that they are long and filed to sharp points.
Without moving her head, she shifts her eyes to gaze mischievously in the direction of where you are all gathered. "Good morning!" she laughs and hops off the bench. "What do you think? I'm working on a new technique," she says in her typical bubbly demeanor as she displays the sharpened tips of her fingernails.
"The importance of any stealth mission," she says with a wink, "is to remain invisible. Now you see me, sha-shaa!" she blurts as she gestures with an overly-dramatic slash of her right and left hands at eye level, "and now you don't... see anything... ever again!" She smiles and lets out an odd chuckle.
Li looks unto the impish woman with unimpressed eyes. To him such a tactic was childish and dishonorable. As a master he would not insult her or her methods, but he would not praise those methods.
"There is an inssue with that sensei. The pain will make a man scream in agony...allerting all to the pressense of an intruder. Perhaps, the method needs further refining."
His frame shifted as he leaned forward to bow and shield his eyes from reprimand.
"I do not wish to seem impertinant master, but perhaps you could tell us as to why we are all gathered here this morning? I am certain that we are all eager to learn of what task it is you require our humble assistance in accomplishing."
Han was not impressed by the moves of the master. He didn't like people who showed off. Not if they did it showing their wealth, nor by showing their power. In his mind, being invisible was to blend in with the normal commoners or at lower ranks. As a beggar, he had been invisible for people, humanoid or non-humanoid and monsters alike. After her little show, he bows deeply, not saying anything, but leaving this to the others gathered. Instead, he looks at the others and wonders why they were all gathered here on this sunny morning.
Ulyono yawned and opened his eyes. Glancing around, he noticed the bunks were mostly empty. By Yondalla's shield! He has awoken late! All of these years of training, and still he has failed to achieve perfect discipline. Well, at least there is joy in having a skill or habit yet to master.
He jumps up, dons his green and yellow robe, and rushes off to splash water in his eyes. On return, he spots the note, and upon reading it, feels a knot of worry in his stomach. Of all the days to sleep in...
He quickly but cautiously makes his way to the courtyard, hanging back a little to see what it is he is about to shamefully interrupt with his tardiness.
"...and now you don't... see anything... ever again!"
Ulyono does not understand. If stealth is required, why not just actually become invisible?
Master Caramip laughs again, apparently amused by the whole thing.
"Of course," she says after a brief pause, "on to business. Today is your big day. It's been a quiet Winter, but the long awaited Spring brings work, especially for monks such as you who have proven themselves worthy of the Abbey's trust!"
With a flick of the wrist, she produces a note from an unseen fold in her humble robe and smiles, this time a bit more warmly. "It's nothing too dangerous, the farming community of Cliffside Vale is requesting our presence. It never fails," she waves her hand dismissively while frowning at the notion, "every time the thaw comes, farmers begin their disputes over land and other entitlements. Our presence there acts as a deterrent to keep these disputes from getting violent. If... I should say when they do, then it is our duty to protect, subdue and detain if needed, before anyone gets hurt."
She looks at each member of the assembled group with stern eyes, this time all the mirth taken from them. "There is the off chance that goblin or orc raids could happen. They'll be crawling out of their caves too, ready for some disputes of their own. Remember that five Monks do not make an army, and the farmers' lives come first over whatever desire you may have to prove yourself in battle. Let the farms burn. Guide the people to safety and send a distress messenger at once. We will be sending a courier pigeon with you so that you may send any communication you need to the abbey. Included with the summons is a copy of our usual agreement. You're to be provided food and lodging there while acting as peacekeepers, as well as the legal right to apprehend suspected law-breakers and amnesty from fault of any injury that may occur to said suspect if they resist apprehension. Of course this doesn't mean you should use lethal force, and therefore, while weapons are approved for this mission, they are not to be used on the citizens of Cliffside Vale.
"This is your first mission without a master. Consider this to be your final test, and a profound display of our faith in you. Show that you can work as a team, put the lives of others above yourself, and function with honor under the principles of Azer's Flame. I have absolute confidence in each of you and know that you will make the Abbey proud on your return."
She steps closer to the group and holds the two notes of parchment up, patiently waiting for someone to take it. "Please go to the supply chamber for your approved supplies. Rassaphore Godwin has been informed of what you will require." Her stern visage snaps back into it's usual playful expression. "Good luck everyone! I know you'll make us proud."
The Supply Chamber is also on the 2nd floor of the abbey, just to the east of Staircase Hall, for quick and easy access in case of immediate danger.
Master Caramip, freezes, mouth agape, as if turned to stone. Her eyes slowly roll to face the direction of the tardy Halfling.
"Speaking of being invisible," she says with a growing smirk on her otherwise still face. "Sleep late again, Novice Ulyono? We're glad you could join us. I'm sure the others can debrief you on the details of your mission."
Vir-Sashi couldn't be happier. he was going to be put to a test! It means the masters haven't lost faith in him. Better, they want to let him prove he can be good Friend of Justice. He felt burning emotion of happiness flowing through him, he wanted to jump and hugh Master Caramip, but he knew it wasn't appriorate.
"I thank you for this honor Master. I promise to not shame the Abbey. He said, bowing humbly.
Han bows after receiving the mission: Thank you ma'am, your faith in us is much appreciated, and we will make sure that it is not misplaced, is there any person we should talk to in Cliffside Vale, maybe a village elder or an other leader of some sorts?
"I have all my things with me, so I'll wait for you there."
Others would probably want to say goodbye to their friends, but Vir-Shashi didn't really had any. And was that really so suprising? Who would like to befriend such disgusting creature like him, worse, a creation of vile Yuan-Ti?
Master Caramip looks to Han Chun Li thoughtfully for a moment. "The farmlands of Cliffside are run by a community council, really. It's difficult to say that any one representative there runs it. Strictly speaking, it's run by the lord of Durgeddinvale, but as long as his taxes arrive on time, he doesn't pay them much mind and the farmers who reside there are content to leave it that way. I suppose if one could be called a leader, it would be the Morgan family. Kelvin Morgan is the master of the largest farm in Cliffside Vale, and his family is the only one large enough to run the place for him while he tends to what few political matters the place may have. If a meeting is called, it's usually because he called it.
Cliffside Vale consists mainly of five families who run the largest farms or ranches in the area, as well as a half-dozen or so smaller families. The eldest sons of each of the five families typically serve as the town militia. Although who is in charge of them is always a matter of who seems to be the most proficient with a sword at the time. I would seek first Kelvin Morgan, and ask him to introduce you to the town militia. Once you meet with the militia it may help you to understand what your role is while there. Your very presence could prove a threat to whoever is running the militia at the time. Showing that you are only there to help, and that you respect his or her authority could go a long way to making things run smoothly should a crises come up."
She gestures again with the papers. "Take these, and present the orders to Kelvin when you get there to reaffirm our agreement. They like things to be in writing over there."
Master Caramip bows cordially to each of you in turn. "I'm sure you'll do well."
Han takes one of the papers given out by master Caramip and reads it, and thanks her for the information. Afterwards, he turns to the others:
I seem to be ready to leave too, maybe you can go get your supplies if needed, while I fill in our friend Ulyono with the details of our mission. He then turns to Ulyono to explain to him what master Caramip has been telling before he arrived.
It doesn't help since everyon else is so dour, but Coanacoch lets out a laugh before he can stop himself. He doesn't see Master Caramip as showing off, but rather as having a little fun. The slash without nails doesn't make nearly as much sense as a gouge, so it looks entirely impractical ... only further reinforcing his belief that she is just trying to get us to lighten up. Oh, well.
At the end of it (and his sister's request for provisions), he says, "Thank you, Master Caramip, it is an honor. If it would please the good master, I've been working on a maneuver and I wanted to show it to you to get your thoughts."
It took Li only a few moments to gather his provisions bfore joining the others already waiting at the gate. His face relaxed and an almost smile on it.
"So...who wants to be in charge of talking with the farmers when we get there? I don't think I am for 20 questions on my scarred up face or politics about dirt from everyone there and their uncle-brother-daddy...so not it."
[ooc]Sorry, gang. I accidentally updated on lost's account (roomies sharing a 'puter) when it was for me describing my character. But I have his blessing to return the favor...[/ooc]
It's like a comic take in a movie. Even though these post occur at different times, I see Li mentioning the need for a spokesperson, and then everyone simultaneously ... including Coanacoch ... looking at Han Li.
Current Games The Jackal - Kalti Rise of the Runelords - Dušana Essert,
"Shall we be given a waterskin and a few days provision? But, yes, Master Caramip, I am truly honored for this chance to prove my worth."
Master Caramip turns to Necahual with a slight frown, "Supply requests are all handled by Rassaphore Godwin. This paper," hands the remaining parchment to Necahual, "is all you need to give to him, and he can supply you with rations, water, approved weapons, and other supplies as needed."
"Absolutely, Novice Coanacoch!" Master Caramip says with a sparkle in her eye, that is only slightly dimmed by the observation of several members of the team already heading towards the gate, "but perhaps when you've returned from Cliffside. The rest of your team seems a bit over-eager to get going, and has already scampered away. I wouldn't want you to get left behind on your first unsupervised mission. I can hardly wait to see what you've come up with, though!" She waves and grins at the novices, like a mother waves goodbye to her children on their first day of school, her giddiness and pride barely contained in her tiny frame, which seems eager to burst into motion at any moment.
Coanacoch takes what he needs to requisition. Everything taken from provisions/ armory will be marked "***" for return later. Obvious consumables (candles, food, whatever) will, of course, not be returned unless there are leftovers.
Necahual gets a similar loadout, but with the following differences:
* Bullseye lantern and 6 flasks oil instead of torches.
* Dagger instead of an axe, more as a tool.
* Quarterstaff for primary weapon.
* Sling & 20 bullets.
Current Games The Jackal - Kalti Rise of the Runelords - Dušana Essert,
Rassaphore Godwin bows humbly at your urgent requests. "My apologies, brother and sister. Are you requesting these items on loan from the monastery, or purchasing them? I have been given orders to lend the use of the following items for your mission, upon request."
He shows you a detailed list of weapons and items.
Mission: Cliffside Vale Assigned: Coanacoch, Han Chun Li, Li, Nedahual, Ulyono, Vir-Sashi Status: Non-lethal, low risk.
Spare Monk's Outfit
Mule and Pack Saddle
"It is a very generous selection for a mission with this status. However, if there are certain items that you would prefer to have that aren't on the approved list, you are welcome to purchase them. Those, of course, do not need to be returned to the Abbey. What is your preference, Brother Coanacoch and Sister Necahual?"