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718694 No. 718694 ID: a107fd

http://tgchan.org/wiki/Please_do_not_Take_these_Organs
New players still being accepted, see start of thread 1 for instructions.

The spiral staircase is one of those things, like knives or sewers or taxation, that any credible civilization has to figure out sooner or later. Cut blocks of stone into keyhole shapes, chunky wedges with a circle on the pointy end. Stack them in a hollow cylinder, each locked into the walls, slightly offset from the one below. Sturdy, elegant, efficient use of space, tedious and dizzying to traverse.

As you climb, curving constantly to the left (which would imply, militarily, that either the goblins are left-handed, or they expected attacks mostly from above and wished to give the advantage to defenders below) there's a maddening sense of movement without progress. The view is always limited to half a turn up ahead, and always seems to be the same... until a faint golden light becomes visible.

Five bedraggled adventurers, three (former?) acolytes of the church of Orcus, three meek kobold slaves, and one goblin junior officer find themselves in a shallow east-facing cave, just as the pink fingers of dawn poke through a web of underbrush across the entrance. Kamlyss's new second-in-command lifts the vine and driftwood camouflage net up out of your way, then points out some roughly flat-topped boulders you should hop across, in order to avoid leaving a clear trail back to their secret entrance. Once satisfied that you're all departing without making a mess, he returns below, and the cave becomes indistinguishable from any other overgrown patch of hillside.

There is a small problem: all three adventuring parties originally entered the dungeon by a very different route, after setting out from either the elven village of Rook's Vineyard or a nearby river ferry/inn, in a deep forest full of roving bandit gangs and horse-sized spiders, hundred miles or so from the nearest coastline. You're now up on top of some rugged grey hills, a two-hour walk from the beach, with only a few small, scattered trees visible anywhere out to the horizon. The kobolds and acolytes, having spent most of their lives underground, are not much help. In short, you are lost. What do?

You could head downhill to the beach, with long clear sight lines and probably the easiest access to food (most of which Marijke can't safely eat), then continue north or south until you find a river mouth.
You could march off in some other direction, hoping to cross a road.
You could set up camp in some nice defensible cave or hilltop (a respectful distance away from the goblins, of course), and then gather scrub vegetation for a signal fire, hoping someone friendly comes to investigate, or wait for tomorrow when Marijke can prepare new spells, or use Snake's pen and parchment to start systematically mapping your surroundings, or combine those options in various ways.

The group is large and diverse enough that you might also want to think about chain of command.
Expand all images
>>
No. 718722 ID: a107fd

>>718719
The robe was probably too badly torn up and stained to be worth salvaging, and Kamlyss asked that it be left in place, to simplify her explanation of events to Mesifin's superiors. The spiked mace does not produce the same soul-tearing sensation when Than wields it as it did for Garaile, only an unpleasant tingle.
>>
No. 718727 ID: a075ba

rolled 4, 4, 5 = 13

>As you climb, curving constantly to the left (which would imply, militarily, that either the goblins are left-handed, or they expected attacks mostly from above and wished to give the advantage to defenders below)
Haha, thank you. As you soon as you mentioned the spiral staircase I started to wonder which way it turned / which way it was defended.

>You're lost
Could Marijke send her familiar aloft to see if it sees anything of interest from the air? Since he can speak, he could report on points of interest (rivers, roads, settlements / houses, food, other groups of people moving around) and point out which direction they were in.

>The group is large and diverse enough that you might also want to think about chain of command.
I might have nominated Nico, but it's a little hard giving orders when one can't speak.
>>
No. 718732 ID: a107fd

>>718727
>Could Marijke send her familiar aloft to see if it sees anything of interest from the air?
Yes.
>Since he can speak,
A little bit.
>he could report on points of interest
Not so much.

Marijke's (yet-unnamed) parrot familiar has the intellectual and physiological capacity for speech, and recently recited a minor divine revelation phonetically, but lacks any fluency whatsoever in her native language, much like this fellow here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vgoEhsJORU
The magically-augmented rainbow macaw in question should have basic Humish grammar figured out, vocabulary of a few hundred common words, in... carry the one... a month and a half, two months at the absolute most, just by immersion. As little as a week if some especially cunning linguist pours every waking minute into rigorous training. Proportionately more time to full fluency, etc.

As for magical quick fixes:
The empathic bond can convey broad intentions, like the circling confusion of "which way should we go," but not imagery like "forest" or abstractions like a town's name. The familiar would recognize Rook's Vineyard as readily as Marijke herself could (because they have the same sympathetic connection to the place), and could attempt to communicate that recognition, which Nico could overhear through his strangely imperfect curse of silence, the Babel worm could process through it's proven capability to turn incoherent screeches into eloquent exposition, and finally he could write the intel down, but... that's a lot of layers of potential misinterpretation.

Strengthening the empathic bond to the point where it's equivalent to fluent speech in a secret shared language would require Marijke to develop her own magic further, up to the 3rd circle of initiation. That enlightenment could conceivably happen in as little as two days, but they'd have to be... intense days. The kind of experience you never forget, no matter how hard you try.
>>
No. 718744 ID: e47e93

>>718722
What of the ring? Has Than took it or not? I guess she could have taken the skull-rod if that's acceptable, could be dangerous to just leave it there. Could be used as payment to get help for Nico maybe, since it's another cursed thing. A curse for a curse.
>>
No. 718747 ID: a107fd

>>718744
>What of the ring? Has Than took it or not? I guess she could have taken the skull-rod if that's acceptable,
Than took both the ring and the rod. If anyone from the Church of Orcus asks, the story is that your group hastily plundered them from Brother Mesifin Styx's corpse before Kamlyss rallied the surviving goblins and heroically chased you off.

>it's another cursed thing
Nico and Marijke can confirm that the ring has considerable intrinsic value, but no detectable magic. The rod is not ~~technically~~ cursed either, just designed to be deadly to a broad category of beings which happens to include "sir" Garaile.
>>
No. 718759 ID: a075ba

rolled 5, 6, 4 = 15

>>718732
Well, I'd still like to send him aloft. Imperfect scouting is better than nothing.

Trying to parse things through the emphatic bond, Marijke try to convey the intention "which way should we go", focusing on "food" "shelter" and "danger". (Hopefully that's generalized enough to work, and it gives us some kind of idea what's out there without detailed specifics).

For education's sake, Marijke will speak to it at the same time. It'll probably help him learn if he's given examples of speech and the intentions / meanings behind said speech at the same time.
>>
No. 718765 ID: f461c5

>>718759
Nico will mouth and pantomime the fairly simple phrase 'people are on coasts and rivers, always.'

He will write it if he has to.

By the way, is he actually a summoner, or is he just pulling from the casting list of one? his 'eidolon' happens to be one that gets books burned and tongues removed, though he neednt fear that last bit, but being able more regularly call on lesser summons as well would be a great tactical advantage that I would prefer to be aware of.
>>
No. 718768 ID: 4201a2

Garaile hopes the group could find a road or a river leading to some form of civilization, but warns against a signal fire. It would be exceedingly bad to attract the attention of intelligent hostiles.
There isn't a pressing need to find shelter at the moment, as it's still morning, but we should keep our eyes peeled as the day goes on.

As far as a chain of command goes, Garaile will defer to Marijke as party leader, as she's both trustworthy and capable of speech.
>>
No. 718876 ID: e47e93

Than will interpret loosely to whoever is leader.

Since Marijke has enough provisions, she herself will go down to the beach and get some seafood. She would prefer hunting, but she's not willing to be separated from the party yet.
>>
No. 718906 ID: a107fd

>>718765
> more regularly call on lesser summons as well
Yes.

>>718759
> "which way should we go", focusing on "food" "shelter" and "danger"
The bird flies up, circles around a bit, then returns to point vaguely northward.
>For education's sake,
Every 4-hour shift Marijke spends mainly on teaching her familiar to talk cuts a day off the 'learning by immersion' timeline.
>>718876
>go down to the beach
>not willing to be separated
Bit of a contradiction between those statements. That illustration may be misleading: the beach is four or five miles east, a two-hour walk across rough, trackless terrain. Far beyond shouting distance from the party's current position. If Than's not going solo, who is she bringing?

As for provisions, everybody brought as much shroombread as they could reasonably carry, and the acolytes claim they can refill Garaile's water reserve as needed, so you should be able to get by without foraging for at least a couple weeks. I've also got a system for 'incidental hunting and foraging,' where you're mostly hiking at pace, but grab/shoot anything tasty you happen to stumble across.
>>
No. 718910 ID: a075ba

rolled 3, 2, 3 = 8

>The bird flies up, circles around a bit, then returns to point vaguely northward.
Can I get him to to clarify, via empathy, if he saw "food" "shelter" or "danger" to the north?

What can we see to the north, from a human vantage?

>Every 4-hour shift Marijke spends mainly on teaching her familiar to talk cuts a day off the 'learning by immersion' timeline.
Well, I meant just redundantly giving emphatic commands verbally, but I suppose I could devote some otherwise uneventful hours to language coaching when we start hiking somewhere. (Assuming we don't end up crossing particularly difficult terrain she needs to focus on, or in a place where we need to be quiet).
>>
No. 718914 ID: a107fd

>>718910
>"food"
yes
>"shelter"
yes
>"danger" to the north?
no

>What can we see to the north, from a human vantage?
Grass, scrubby little bushes. The horizon's less than a mile away in that direction, thanks to all the hills and early-morning ground fog.
>>
No. 718917 ID: e47e93

Damn it. I don't know, does anyone want seafood? Except Marijke. Or she can just move on. fuck
>>
No. 718962 ID: a107fd

>>718917
Eswic speaks up. "You lot haven't been charters very long, have you? First of all, somebody who can read - preferably good with numbers - has to be quartermaster, keep track of rations and all that. Then you vote for a captain, to lead in battle and get an extra share of plunder."
>>
No. 719001 ID: 4201a2

>>/questdis/99418
>crew of pirates without a ship
Accurate, in the sense that we're a ragtag band of misfits each motivated solely by personal gain.

>>718962
>extra share of plunder
Ah yes, definitely Marijke then.

>>718914
This is good enough for Garaile. Let's go North, to food and shelter. Danger will find us wherever we go; no need to seek it out.
>>
No. 719096 ID: e47e93

>>718962
"Well, you're not wrong in a sense." is all Than can muster. She's still a tad peeved, but knows that she was in the wrong. Anything Nico has on the matter? Than motions for him to write anything.
>>
No. 719167 ID: a075ba

>First of all, somebody who can read - preferably good with numbers - has to be quartermaster, keep track of rations and all that.
Nico? You're going to be writing a lot, anyways.

>Then you vote for a captain, to lead in battle and get an extra share of plunder.
Marijke isn't entirely sure a life of land-piracy is really the best path to wealth and comfort, but she's all for getting bigger shares of loot if and when we end up in another fight.

>She's still a tad peeved, but knows that she was in the wrong
I'm not really sure what she did that was so wrong? (Misjudging how close we were to the beach?).

>where go
Unless someone has a convincing argument for another direction, north seems good enough to me.

Do we want to camp and wait for people to regain spell slots, or press on?
>>
No. 719190 ID: e47e93

>>719167
misjudging distance that almost resulted in a split up, without some form of a chain of command
>>
No. 719214 ID: a107fd

Proceeding northward for a little less than an hour, you crest a ridge and find yourselves staring down a rocky cliff, fifty feet above a turbid estuary. A river, in other words, more than a mile wide and deep enough for ships. The far shore is a similar cliff. Upstream, the canyon gets narrower and steeper, and far off to the west there might be a bridge, or at least something long and thin and shiny enough to reflect the glare of dawn back at you. To the east, the ridge splits into a pair of rocky headlands flanking an isolated cove.

Delicious berries grow all along the cliff in abundance... for brave, skilled mountaineers, or any competent flier. When Marijke sees this, the parrot belatedly realizes that she wanted human-accessible food and shelter.
>>
No. 719259 ID: a075ba

rolled 4, 3, 4 = 11

>>719214
At this sight, Marijke sighs. "I already miss Yevon and her ridiculous levitation"

Well, the last hour wasn't a total loss. We found a river, and if you follow rivers, you tend to run into civilization eventually. The question is if we head upriver or check to see if there's anything in the cove.

(And if we were really desperate for food, well, I can think of a few hair-brained and inefficient ways we might try and gather some berries without suicidal climbing checks).

I'll cast detect poison fruit-cliff ways on general principle, and then let my familiar forage. No point not letting him eat food no one else reach and that's good for 'em. Maybe if we're lucky he'll bring back a few.

>the parrot belatedly realizes that she wanted human-accessible food and shelter
Well, at least he's learning.
>>
No. 719261 ID: a107fd

>>719259
>detect poison
The river is either polluted, or absolutely teeming with fish. Berries seem to be safe.

>gather some berries without suicidal climbing checks
One option would be to send Garaile down with the cave fisher strand tied into his existing harness. Only tricky part would be what you're attaching it to at the upper end.

Snake is the most skilled at climbing, and his body is still magically weightless (which would mitigate the possibilities of critical failure in general and make drowning a near impossibility), but he doesn't volunteer this information as he's currently at the rear of the group and distracted by flirting with Acolyte Goris.
>>
No. 719456 ID: a107fd

>>719259
>The question is if we head upriver or check to see if there's anything in the cove.

"So, captain," asks Altsoba with an innocent grin, "which way are we going?"
>>
No. 719478 ID: 3d2d5f

>>719456
(Well I guess people had long enough to comment if they were going to).

I say, upriver.

>captain
It occurs to me that one advantage of assuming a pirate charter model is that pressganging new recruits is SOP. By letting that stand, it makes the acolytes easier to intergrate if they're given a cut of the loot for participating. (Although the kobolds might be harder, if the acolytes expect to still be above them).

For the moment I'm thinking winning over the npcs for increased chances of survival is probably worth not trafficking them and dealing with the complications involved with that.
>>
No. 719521 ID: e47e93

rolled 5, 3, 5 = 13

I thought she was allergic to shellfish and not just fish. Hm. Than fires into the water and hopes to see something come out. Also asks Snake if he would mind getting the berries. where is he anyways
>>
No. 719554 ID: f461c5

Can Nico summon ants of unusual size? That seems like something a low level summon spell would get.
>>
No. 719576 ID: a107fd

>>719521
>allergic to shellfish and not just fish
Whatever that spell detects, there's a lot of it in the water.
>Than fires into the water
A solid hit, but the river appears uninjured. http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=656
>asks Snake if he would mind getting the berries
Dimitry abruptly stops holding hands with Acolyte Goris. She blushes, adjusts her hood, and requisitions the cave fisher strand from Mr. Nashville.

Basic safety equipment having been obtained, Snake sets aside his crossbow, quiver, knife bandolier, satchel of writing supplies, etc., then descends and gets to foraging, with Goris providing support. An hour later he returns with three pounds of fresh, pleasantly tangy berries. That's between 1/25th and 1/30th of the total food your group will need, per day, to survive indefinitely in the wilderness.

Fog around that cove at the south corner of the river's mouth seems strangely persistent, as the sun rises, with vague suggestions of a lopsided mast and sails. Upriver, reduced glare allows Nico's knowledge of applied trigonometry to reveal that the shiny thing (suspected to be a bridge) is approximately four times further away to the west than the river's mouth is to the east.

The day's weather is looking like it'll be dreary and mostly overcast, at best. Porter-kobold peeks out from under Eswic's cloak to point at something in the northeastern sky, yipping "Anvil?" to which she replies "No, dear, that's called a 'cloud.' The outdoors has them instead of proper ceilings."

What is everyone else doing in that hour?
>>
No. 719588 ID: 4201a2

rolled 1, 6, 1 = 8

>>719576
>A solid hit, but the river appears uninjured.
Cannot shooting because river of have infinity hit point!

Garaile is interested in investigating that terrifying ghost pirate cove and expects others might be interested as well, if their lower ambitions have anything to say about it.

That said, Garaile is uncertain what to do regarding if there are any actual ghosts there, and approaches the acolytes to pick their brains a bit on the subject.
Namely, "Ye're all famaeliar with that occult baesiness, ye? If oi meet a ghost, how can oi kill it?"
Diplomacy roll?
>>
No. 719597 ID: e47e93

Than is wearing a smile. Her eye is twitching behind the remaining side of the mask she still has.

>the river appears uninjured

She is muttering something in Elvish about how she would rather be partying with the group of undead adventurers who plan to attempt dying adventuring. At least the townsfolk over there don't seem to mind. Ship Graveyard at the moment is she doesn't care whether they go or not.

If there's no fish in the river and it is detected as harmful though, could be the reason why the ship graveyard over there exists, just maybe.
>>
No. 719620 ID: a075ba

rolled 5, 2, 3 = 10

>An hour later he returns with three pounds of fresh, pleasantly tangy berries. That's between 1/25th and 1/30th of the total food your group will need, per day, to survive indefinitely in the wilderness.
At that rate / level of effort the cliffs won't keep us fed even if we spend all day harvesting. But still, some fresh fruit will liven up meals of otherwise boring mushrooms. (And help stave off scurvy, I suppose. As pirates, we gotta be careful about that)!

>What is everyone else doing in that hour?
Marijke will let her familiar forage for himself. As for herself, maybe she can try chatting with Eswic Altsoba and the kobolds? Try to do some bridge building.

>Fog around that cove at the south corner of the river's mouth seems strangely persistent, as the sun rises, with vague suggestions of a lopsided mast and sails. Upriver, reduced glare allows Nico's knowledge of applied trigonometry to reveal that the shiny thing (suspected to be a bridge) is approximately four times further away to the west than the river's mouth is to the east.
>Garaile is interested in investigating that terrifying ghost pirate cove and expects others might be interested as well, if their lower ambitions have anything to say about it.
The fact that the cove is much closer than the bridge does make it a more tempting target of investigation, as does the temptation that there might be loot worth salvaging from a ship. ...also Marijke might be getting caught up a little in this pirate game.
>>
No. 719623 ID: a107fd

>>719588
"Ooh! I know this one, mister Garaile sir!" Altsoba bounces like an overstimulated puppy. "True healing crushes and moonwater burns like acid, but spite restores such injury, for they are themselves unnatural wounds in the Green Breath whose number is three! Nonmagical violence is rare-lee-fever 'fective against incor-peel spirits of the dead, but anything that touches the ether can serve, in exigence! They pass easily through unwarded walls, but most cannot cross a line of salt or sprouted grain, and will avoid thick walls of stone or packed earth much as a living man in armor avoids deep water! The minimum thickness of such a wall is best calculated by first identifying the species which produced the spirits, subjecting the longest-limbed individual available of that race to crucifixion of the thirty-third variety, measuring the distance between the subject's outstreched fingertips, and finally multiplying that by one point one four! Sir!"

Goris mutters tonelessly "You forgot force bolts."

"Also constructs of pure magical force work really well," Altsoba hastily adds, "but I don't think we have access to any, other than your..."

The shadowy armor which Nico bestowed on Garaile some hours earlier abruptly dissipates.

"...I don't think we have any."

>>719554
There are indeed some bits in the marginalia of Act 1, Scene 4 which could be interpreted as implying that Carcosa has a giant ant infestation, among it's many other problems. Currently Nico would only be able to summon one such ant, of the weakest caste, and not at the same time as an avatar of the King. It could persist for a few hours per summoning, if nothing exciting happened, and would mostly be useful for biting (comparable to an angry child of ten years with a pair of fireplace tongs and a carpenter's chisel, but no hammer), carrying liquids in it's secondary stomach, or digging.

>>719597
There are probably shallow caves and tunnels all up and down the coast, but fewer as you move further inland. An actual pirate hideout, ghost or otherwise, would surely have decent maps, which solves the whole 'being lost' problem by converting it into a more familiar question of negotiation and/or violence.

You should probably find (or build) some sort of shelter before that anvil-shaped stormcloud arrives.
>>
No. 719627 ID: a107fd

>>719620
>At that rate / level of effort the cliffs won't keep us fed even if we spend all day harvesting.
Snake, as a townie, is more accustomed to actual second-story work than cliffside berry-picking. Than and Marijke might have brought in twice as much, each, if only there were a secure platform to work from.

>let her familiar forage
In short order the bird has eaten his fill of berries, as well as nibbled a few leaves and patches of exposed salty clay for good measure.

> chatting with Eswic Altsoba and the kobolds
Altsoba is talking shop with Garaile and Than, mostly ghostbusting tactics. One of the kobolds is curled up on Eswic's lap as she sits and meditates, facing north. Another is attempting to follow Altsoba around without being stepped on, and the leatherworking 'bold is perched on Goris as a backpack, elaborately re-braiding her shoulder-length emerald-blond hair as she maneuvers Snake along the cliff. Who specifically are you approaching, and what subject will you chat about?
>>
No. 719636 ID: f461c5

Nico will summon the ant, and set it to foraging, both for edibles and usefull materials such as birch or paperbark, should the trees permit. if any of the servants or kobolds know any sign language he will appreciate their services in translation.

That business aside the cove and its ghostly ship seem a good option to head towards, both for reasons previously mentioned and because it may present more immediate shelter for the encroaching front. A cave or suitable lee in which to build a rainshelter would likely suffice should the storm catch us. but the group should start moving sooner than later, getting stuck unprepared in a coastal storm can be a uniquely unpleasant experience.
>>
No. 719643 ID: e47e93

Still listening for anything else interesting. So since Than's weapon is magical, she happened to have a tool for killing the undead. Okay. Don't mention anything about it though.
>>
No. 719646 ID: a107fd

>>719636
>summon the ant,
The summoned ant appears almost exactly twice the linear size (and accordingly, eight times the mass) Nico was expecting it to be. More comparable to an adult male red deer than a human child, though of course with mandibles rather than antlers, and an odd oily sheen to it's carapace.

This could be taken as evidence that the true court of Carcosa is (was? will be?) peopled by individuals between ten and twelve feet high, with otherwise humanlike proportions. Or, perhaps, that he interpreted the allusion incorrectly, and this ant is from somewhere else altogether.
>and set it to foraging,
Fortunately there are no surprises with regard to the insect's willingness to obey commands.
>both for edibles
It scurries down the cliffside and begins gathering berries alongside White Snake. After the first hour it reports via chemical signals and antenna-gestures that it's storage gizzard is roughly half full, and requests to know whether the pulp should be pre-digested for queen and larvae, desiccated for long-term storage, or simply distributed to juveniles or soldiers and regurgitated as-is.
>materials such as birch or paperbark, should the trees permit
No suitable trees nearby. Uprooting scrub vegetation for a fire would be easy enough, although green wood tends to produce great billows of smoke.

Of Nico's available subordinates, the kobold cook attempting to take shelter under Altsoba's robes knows the most about applied alchemistry and entomology, and speaks eloquently - in High Draconic, with Nico's replies written in a little patch of sand, since he couldn't pronounce High Draconic coherently even before the curse - once it becomes sufficiently clear that unsolicited noise will not be met with corporal punishment. Long story short, worker-ant saliva doesn't have the right stuff in it to break wood down into pulp and make paper the hard way; that's more of a termite or wasp thing.

>shelter
Normal strategy for rain is to set up tents on high ground. That's not such good advice when lightning might be involved, with no tall trees around to take the hit for you, and downright useless when you haven't got any tents.

So, time for a vote.
Main issue: spiral-pattern search for the nearest adequate cave, or mad dash straight for the suspected pirate cove?
Secondary: should the acolytes focus their daily prayers on stealth, or healing, or victory in battle, or protection from bad weather, or extemporize something heretical?
>>
No. 719648 ID: 3d2d5f

>Who specifically are you approaching, and what subject will you chat about?
I don't want to bother Goris while she's helping with potentially dangerous cliff climbing, and we've already got two PCs on ghost chat. Marijke will see if Eswic is willing to chat. (If she makes it clear she'd prefer to focus on her meditation, I'll back off and go hang with the cliffside group).

"It's so nice to see the sky again after being underground, even if there are clouds on the horizon. Although we were only down there a few days, I imagine it was longer for you all."

(Starting with weather and shared experience, trying to lead into opening up about herself).

>ant food foraging
I had a hard time not laughing aloud at this. At work.

>Main issue: spiral-pattern search for the nearest adequate cave, or mad dash straight for the suspected pirate cove?
A mad dash into what could turn into a combat situation with pirates and/or ghosts seems a bad idea to me.

>Secondary: should the acolytes focus their daily prayers on stealth, or healing, or victory in battle, or protection from bad weather, or extemporize something heretical?
I think our priorities would go healing then weather (in case we don't find shelter) then combat options.

I think for stealth to be effective we'd have to put more slots than I'm willing into it.
>>
No. 719652 ID: a107fd

>>719648
>"It's so nice to see the sky again after being underground, even if there are clouds on the horizon. Although we were only down there a few days, I imagine it was longer for you all."
"Oh, my, yes. Not since I was just a girl, in Passholdt, fleeing Three-Faced Philista's zealots. They must've finished building that great waterwheel by now. Did it really turn all the snow black?"

>healing then weather (in case we don't find shelter) then combat options.
Between the three of them, nine first-circle and six second-circle slots are open. Since Marijke's still got her bad-weather blessing from last night, safety from hypothermia for the whole group would require seven more applications for the remaining humans, another three for the kobolds... personal climate control for the whole group wouldn't leave much else. It should also be noted that the standard blessing keeps the subject comfortable, not necessarily dry; soggy rations and clothing could still be a serious concern.

>I think for stealth to be effective we'd have to put more slots than I'm willing into it.
You might be surprised! The Church of Orcus teaches even their low-echelon initiates a variety of efficacious prayers suited to clandestine operations. One slot can make three people undetectable to undead (but only undead) for half an hour, or condense a mobile fog bank that could provide visual concealment for more than 50 soldiers marching in close formation, similarly lasting about half an hour in weather like this.
Second-circle slots could instead produce a few minutes of unnatural silence, as the late Mesifin Styx demonstrated, or exceptionally intense shadow, though true sacred impenetrable darkness is reserved for the third circle.
>>
No. 719670 ID: 4201a2

>>719646
We should find a shelter first and be fully prepared and fresh before we engage the cave.
Also, we may or may not get hurt, but we'll definitely face bad weather, so we should prioritize weather > healing > stealth.

>>719652
>10 first-circle slots for group comfort spell that doesn't protect against rain
Could we instead expend a few second-circle slots and generate a group-size horizontal barrier of force to act as an umbrella? That would solve the primary weather concern and block lightning.

Hide from undead sounds exceptionally useful. It'd be worth it to take 3-4 slots of that. The fog bank and darkness spells would be mostly useless, as they'd hinder us as well.

Other than that, stock up the rest of the slots on healing and recovery.
>>
No. 719693 ID: a107fd

>>719670
>Could we instead expend a few second-circle slots and generate a group-size horizontal barrier of force to act as an umbrella?
Sure, a full priest could do something like that, with third-circle effects. With just these acolytes? Best options involve heresy, and even then the closest they've got is Eswic's childhood memory of someone else's invocation of the "Palace of the Queen of Nightmares," during a brief alliance of convenience between two persecuted cults who were otherwise bitter enemies. She barely even remembers what exactly it does, apart from creating some kind of shelter that's watertight yet inconveniently flammable.

>healing and recovery
For second-circle medical prayers, main options are Lesser True Healing (about twice as good as Least), Lymphatic Auditor (for metabolic problems, like sleep deprivation, intoxication, concussion, or pneumonia), and a nameless technique to keep corpses from rotting (which extends the window of plausible revivification, and can also be applied to the living as a temporary countermeasure against poison).
>>
No. 719706 ID: a075ba

>>719652
I do have to concede some of those stealth effects seem useful, especially since we don't need to apply them on a one by one basis to the group.

>waste all spell slots on personal endure elements spells
I was really hoping for a traveling bubble of "rain goes around you", ala The Wheel of Time, we could throw up for a short while.

You know, we could completely circumvent the need for weather proofing if any of them are eligible for a divination that could locate a suitable shelter / cave without the need for a slower search pattern. That would free up slots for healing, stealth, and limited combat options.

...or if anyone else has means to quickly locate shelter. I don't suppose the ant can sniff out a tunnel or cave?
>>
No. 719708 ID: 4201a2

>>719693
Alright. So we have no magic that'd actually protect ourselves from the weather. In the absence of any useful weather protection spells, we should take as much superfluous healing as possible, to use against potential ghosts.

First circle:
4 Hide from undead, so we can cover everyone at once if we need to.
5 Least True Healing

Second circle:
2 Lymphatic Auditor, for emergencies
4 Lesser True Healing

Then all that's left is to perform a group spiral search and locate a decent shelter to rest up in preparation for the pirate cove. How does everyone else feel about that?
>>
No. 719710 ID: e47e93

Pfft. Even if we don't find shelter, Than could sleep in the rain for all she cares.

It would be rather nice to have a shelter though, or at least tie some branches in trees (if there are any close enough) to use the leaves as a makeshift umbrella.

Or just tear the branches and leaves off the tree and make a small tent. Only big enough for one though.
>>
No. 719727 ID: a107fd

>>>719670
hinder us as well
Fog would, yes, if you're deep enough inside to get the full benefit, but shadows don't block line-of-sight in either direction. That's why it's the preferred concealment for snipers, in their tactical doctrine: anything seven yards away remains clearly visible to everyone, with no barn-sized billowing "can't see me lol" to reveal approximate position.

>>719706
>divination that could locate a suitable shelter / cave without the need for a slower search pattern.
Not really. There's runebone augury, which requires equipment they don't have, and the Detestation of Halphax, for finding secret doors and traps and other such architectural foolishness, which might might make the search less likely to miss something, but only reaches about as far as an outstretched spear.

>the ant can sniff out a tunnel or cave?
Yeah, no sweat. It can traverse level ground about twice as fast as an unburdened human, or run circles around those of you with heavy backpacks, and has a sense of smell almost as good as a dog. Shouldn't have any trouble with a concept like "go find us tunnels to hide in."

>>719708
>no magic that'd actually protect ourselves from the weather
Eswic really wants to try the Palace of the Queen of Nightmares thing, now that she's thought of it. She'll acquiesce to the captain's will if so ordered, though.
>How does everyone else feel about that?
Goris considers preserving somebody's body, so they can be revived tomorrow or the next day, a better contingency measure than a second Lymphatic Auditor.

>>719710
>make a small tent
Roll for it.
>>
No. 719741 ID: 4201a2

>>719727
>preserving somebody's body, so they can be revived tomorrow or the next day
Garaile (somewhat grumpily) was not aware resurrection was an option when a mere umbrella is firmly in the realm of fantasy. Working purely off the information provided of available spells, here.

A more complete list of potential magic would be much obliged, if one could be produced.
>>
No. 719743 ID: a107fd

>>719741
>not aware resurrection was an option
Resurrection is a matter of degree: you just need to repair the body enough that it resumes being able to repair itself. Clean slit across somebody's throat, in a sterile environment but without supernatural preservation, and all the key parts could still be basically in place and shockingly easy to patch up hours later, maybe weeks if packed in ice under ideal conditions. Mummified corpses are trickier, but also stable for longer. Heroic measures, and cautionary tales about "ye liveliest awefulnesse," mostly apply to situations where there's not much left but a skull and a pair of smoldering boots. At least, according to Altsoba and Eswic; Goris giggles softly when the subject drifts to evisceration, but doesn't share her own opinion.

>when a mere umbrella is firmly in the realm of fantasy
If you had a broken umbrella available, torn in half even, they'd be able to patch it up good as new. Conjuring camping equipment ex nihilo isn't a total theoretical impossibility, just beyond current capabilities. Remember that you're talking to junior acolytes of a god whose portfolio doesn't have much of anything to do with the weather. Furthermore, they've spent their entire adult lives underground, so this is a somewhat context-breaking problem.

Marijke's limitations might be different, if she takes the time to experiment. Nico's magic is something else again.

>more complete list of potential magic
Listing, explaining, and debating the relative merits of, every option within both scripture and known heresy could present... significant delays to the mundane search for a cave. People in universities study that sort of thing for years at a time.
>>
No. 719749 ID: e47e93

rolled 4, 2, 4 = 10

>>719710
Rolled.
>>
No. 719758 ID: a107fd

>>719749
When rain starts pouring down in earnest, Than has her grassy little single-serve shelter set up, just barely within shouting distance of the rest of the group. Slightly leaky, but tolerable.
>>
No. 719779 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 6, 5, 5 = 16

>Eswic really wants to try the Palace of the Queen of Nightmares thing, now that she's thought of it. She'll acquiesce to the captain's will if so ordered, though.

>She barely even remembers what exactly it does, apart from creating some kind of shelter that's watertight yet inconveniently flammable.

Um. Trying some kind of ritual magic that the caster barely remembers the effects of (and I would expect to be similarly familiar with the proper casting of), with a looming time limit, sounds like an invitation to disaster.

Marijke will veto that in favor of finding natural shelter, for now. Perhaps if Eswic meditates on the proper preparation and effect of her heresy, we can use it later? I doubt this is the last time we'll be caught outside a town.
>>
No. 719792 ID: a107fd

>>719779
>Perhaps if Eswic meditates on the proper preparation and effect of her heresy, we can use it later?
>rolled 6, 5, 5 = 16
Eswic interprets this as orders to have the Palace ready, in place of a second Lesser True Healing, but not cast it immediately.

>sounds like an invitation to disaster
Possibly, but not the way you're thinking. Marijke's magic is fundamentally sorcerous, engaging with the elements directly; when she makes a mistake, the spell falls apart like shoddy carpentry, or flies off in unpredictable directions like a crooked arrow. The acolytes are dealing in fundamentally thaumaturgical magic, where purity of intent is more important than precision of technique. When they make a mistake, the spell falls apart like jumbled daydreams, or flies off in unpredictable directions like an accidental insult at dinner.

The search for shelter proceeds, with Nico's ant running ahead as scout and cavalry screen, but not much luck.
One cave with a promising smell is blocked by a recent collapse, leaving only a shallow overhang accessible. Clearing further in for proper shelter would involve a lot of hard labor hauling rocks.
Another has a clear entrance, high enough to stand upright and wide enough for two or three to walk abreast, but smells like it's infested with striges.
Commit to one of those, or keep looking?
>>
No. 719807 ID: a075ba

rolled 4, 3, 5 = 12

>Commit to one of those, or keep looking?
Keep looking, and if we don't find anything promising, maybe we'll let Eswic try her thing. (Although if it's not a misfire we have to worry about, it's the unknown secondary effects of the spell. It's got a rather ominous name for "create shelter", and I suspect that's due to more than purple prose on the part of whoever named it).
>>
No. 719877 ID: a107fd

>>718694
>New players still being accepted

- Name: Letkra

- Class: Rich bastard niceperson

- Specialty: Spear-dancing
(Focuses more on physical training than on aristocratic social stuff, but comes from a wealthy-but-naive/pampered society)

- Higher ambition:
Find a way to return to her home dimension

- Lower ambition/fetish:
Large impalement, self or otherwise

- Appearance:
A tall, muscular-looking woman with long brown hair (usually in a ponytail), with unnaturally simplified and exaggerated features for a human/elf (her ears are pointed- out to the sides- but she lacks any other sign of actually being an elf...), with no teeth, nails, or nose, and her unusually large eyes look like they might actually be glass. She wears a silver metal bikini and thin cuff bracelets/anklets, and a loincloth, but not much else for some reason.

- Mutation:
She is actually composed of semi-homogenous inorganic material, possibly some sort of cybernetic nanotech golem-construct, although she still has something superficially resembling organs (with a bit of metal and plastic tubing to found in there as well). Her limbs and head can separate and reattach with ease, and she heals slowly (More slowly than a regular human), but eventually, no wound is permanent.

- Phobia: Being trapped in a ward or summoning diagram. She is psychologically incapable of freeing herself from perceived restraints in a deliberate fashion.

- Vulnerability: Needs a pint of oil every 6-8 hours of activity, instead of food and water. If her oil runs out, she slumps over with a peculiar deepening "whirrrrrr" sound like a fan shutting down, then remains motionless until her oil is refilled (usually by someone else).

- Special power: Generates an adjustable force field around herself. In relaxed mode, it's a small disc that conceals itself on her person, which attempts to move to intercept attacks (though skillful aim can outmaneuver it to bypass the "armor" effect). In this mode it is barely visible (like looking through calm clean water), but it ripples and glows slightly when hit. (Also, when it moves, it would tear through cloth if she was wearing it.)

In focused mode, she forms it into a bigger shape, often something along the lines of a large shield (and it physically looks sort of like a chrome-glass shield), but the bigger it is (possibly even wall-sized), the more difficult it is to move quickly.

- Equipment:

(for the standard "day's worth of food and drink", she'd probably have oil)

Right Shoulder (Special expensive class item): A "glaive", which is actually a telescoping staff (from about 2 feet to about 6) with a reconfigurable metal head that be formed into various (large, unsubtle) tools: a spear-head, a hook, a shovel, a pickaxe, a woodcutting axe, a crowbar, a featureless metal extension tip of the regular pole, and various other effects. It also contains a retractable ordinary broom head on the opposite end from the metal head.

Left Shoulder: Iron Spikes

Hidden somewhere uncomfortable: Metal silver bikini, resembling plate but mostly just provides privacy rather than effective armor value.

Top of head: A pair of black goggles

Right hip: Canteen of oil

Left hip: Another Canteen of oil

Chest/Neck: Coin purse tucked into her top, containing strange coins from a country no one seems to have heard of
>>
No. 719891 ID: a107fd

>>719807
>>719877
With inland caves mostly a bust, the group ends up hustling along near the border between sand and rocks at the top of the beach, running out of time before the storm hits, when they hear sobbing and lamentations echoing out from a stony crevice up ahead.

"I thought I could succeed as an adventurer, but all I'm good for is per'jecting a magic umbreh-heh-hell-aaa!"

Visible inside, once light is produced or your eyes adjust, there's an oddly oversimplified humanoid, with broad triangular ears that aren't precisely elf- or goblin-like. The cave is a teardrop shape, narrowest at the entrance, four or five yards at the widest point, an old firepit set in the center of the sandy floor. Ceiling is about shoulder-high to a standing human, so you can hunch over or crouch rather than crawling on hands and knees. It'll keep the rain off, at least, with room enough for everyone to lay down.
>>
No. 719892 ID: e47e93

Than casually shouts "How are you all doing?"

If she's still within shouting distance. She's actually quite cozy in her little hut.
>>
No. 719930 ID: a107fd

Magical umbrella aside, is it fair to assume you mostly stay put in the cave until weather conditions improve enough to allow decent long-range visibility for navigation? 'Cause it looks like rain and high winds are going to be pounding the coastline nonstop for most of the next week.

Somewhere about halfway between dusk and midnight, after your third (dark, stormy) day since returning to the surface, a lone bedraggled seagull arrives at the mouth of the cave. Garaile identifies it on sight as some sort of ill omen, but Marijke's parrot moves to greet it as a peer.

Who's on watch at that point? How have you been passing the time?
>>
No. 719945 ID: f461c5

>>719930
Nico will likely have been experimenting with summons, seeing what sort of creatures he can eke interesting conclusions out of get to supplement our food supply,(Speaking of which, he will have had the ant desiccate the berry mulch, on the off chance that it can be collected in an edible form before it molds, if at all.) and staying up late studying the odd newcomer, note-taking included.(He may not be able to cast keep watch but I cant imagine he isnt an insomniac.)
>>
No. 719968 ID: a075ba

rolled 6, 5, 3 = 14

Is the cave large enough we can stick Nico somewhere in there without silencing everyone else? If not, that might make diplomacy with this stranger more challenging. And time spent her a little less bearable.

>trapped for a week
That's unfortunate. That will set our food reserves back. ...although I guess we could always put a resistance to elements on the ant and send it out periodically to gather berry-paste from the cliffs? So long as no one thinks to hard about it we've got, uh, jam for our mushroom rations.

We won't lack for water if the acolytes can conjure it, but I'm not sure if any of us have the ability to do the same for oil?

>How have you been passing the time?
Language lessons for the macaw, practicing with Experimental Miscellany to see if Marijke can figure out any new spell effects (if it's been more than a day, we've had time to prepare new spells) and some time spent talking with / trying to get to know others, probably starting with our newest addition. (If Letkra shows Marijke her unidentifiable currency that will attract her interest and she'll spend some time studying them, if she's allowed to).

And since she's had him for more than a day now, Marijke will name her familiar Eadric.

If other people start going stir crazy, she'll take it upon herself as captain to try and organize something to do, but will otherwise let people pass their time as the wish.
>>
No. 719979 ID: a107fd

>>719945
The desiccated berry pulp shows no signs of mold or other spoilage after three days. It is intensely sour, and would be almost unpalatable by itself, but adds some nice variety to bland mushroom-starch rations once you get past the fact that it looks like rocky purple turds.

Any given summoning lasts up to three hours if nothing exciting happens, but that man-sized spider with the ochre carapace and nine legs vanished, along with the comfy web hammocks, less than two minutes after White Snake woke up and started panicking. Setting aside relatively mundane frogs, giant bugs, and canids, most interesting possibilities so far are minor elemental spirits: a fat, sleepy housecat of living fire provides heat enough to cook with no fuel and almost no smoke, a dopey kobold-sized speleid swims through rock like a fish through water... an ambulatory tide pool discovered that Marijke's parrot familiar can carry on a conversation in Seatongue, or in fact any of the elemental languages other than Forest-tongue, as well as Marijke herself can.

There was also a horrid tumorous thing which Nico suspects may have been some kind of meat elemental, but the less said of that, the better. Henceforth, it would be wise to attempt no more than four or five such summonings per sleep cycle. The avatar of the King doesn't count against that limit: He may come and go at will, but only with proper ceremonies.
>>
No. 719990 ID: a107fd

>>719968
>Is the cave large enough we can stick Nico somewhere in there without silencing everyone else?
Not really, but all that healing your team has prepared makes this a pretty good opportunity to experiment with surgery.

>We won't lack for water if the acolytes can conjure it
It's raining. You won't lack for water so long as someone's willing to go outside with an empty jug and hold up a big enough piece of cloth as a funnel.

>the ability to do the same for oil
There's an old story about the sorcerer-king of a small island realm who transmuted all the water in a rainstorm to oil. When it ignited, people hundreds of miles away heard the explosion. The island was totally destroyed, hammered into the sea. Remember, kids, don't play with fire, and if you think someone might be doing alchemical experiments with brimstone and saltpeter, either stop them or run far away.

That said, if you need lots of oil, the ocean's right over there. Just hunt down a whale, strip off the blubber, cook it... how hard could all that be? If you're not feeling ambitious enough to chase after some great greasy megafauna, there might be olive trees around somewhere, or you could just find a town or supply cache. Finally, in case of long-term shortage, Letkra uses only a pint per week while hibernating, with enough consciousness to wake up in response to loud noises, sudden movement, injury, or the passage of time.
>>
No. 719995 ID: a075ba

>Not really, but all that healing your team has prepared makes this a pretty good opportunity to experiment with surgery.
If Nico wants to, and no one is going to panic over it, I can reschedule some to all of my planned magical experimentation for surgical experimentation.

>if you need lots of oil
I was thinking in terms of "feeding" Lektra, but if she's got enough to wait out the storm (assuming a canteen is at least a pint), it's not an immediate concern.
>>
No. 720014 ID: a107fd

Letkra turns to notice the others as they enter the cave. "Oh! Some people!" She stomps hurriedly up to them. "Tell me, what year is this?! Also, where is this? Also lets be friends!"

She notices "Sir" Garaille's ear necklace, immediately assumes it's synthetic and mostly just thinks it's kind of ugly and shrugs it off without comment.

"Do any of you how to perform dimensional travel and/or backtrace?"

>>719968
> unidentifiable currency
"Oh, you'd like to see my coins? Um, okay." Letkra plucks out her coinpurse and holds up a coin of each denomination. One has a human similar to herself; another has a weird pointy-faced dragon(?) with curly horns and long hair on it; the third has an indistinct blob creature with dot eyes, and the fourth has some kind of eerie golem(?) skull with circular glassy eyes and no mouth, and a gear symbol on the back. The metal seems like ordinary silver and/or gold.

>>719979
> Nico summons various odd things
Letkra watches this process with interest, but isn't weirded out by any of them. She tries greeting each one with a friendly "Hello!" and attempting to converse as with a sapient, like she isn't expecting any of them to have simple animal-level intelligence. Likewise to Eadric.

>>719990
>Get to the ocean and then go whaling
Letkra considers the possibility, but the flaw that comes to mind with that plan is that she'd feel really bad about doing that to the whale.

(There might be additional flaws.)

>a pint per week while hibernating
When she's in normal mode, how much does she use per day, and how much is in those two jugs?

Letkra isn't worried about the rain herself, but wants to stay with her new friends and can't easily make portable "umbrellas" (though she could make a stationary force-ceiling big enough for all of them, if she concentrated on it).

In order to ration her fuel, she'll spend a lot of the week On Hibernate, timing herself to occasionally get up and investigate things of interest and get to know everybody. She also wakes up from White Snake's noisy panic.

(Hopefully no one tries to pickpocket her in the meanwhile, since that probably wouldn't wake her.)
>>
No. 720016 ID: a107fd

>>719995
>magical experimentation
For some reason I missed this the first time around. You manage to replicate the ant's fruit-desiccation trick, and are making progress on adjusting flavors. Dehydration works just as well on clothes as on food, and Shadow Armor seems to deflect raindrops at least as well as it does arrows and blades, so now you've got some better options for staying dry than just staying indoors or holding your cloaks tight. What else would Marijke be attempting? Separate roll and 1-10 effort rating for each project, please.

>(assuming a canteen is at least a pint)
Each of those cans is more than a gallon, and then she's got three more pint flasks for the basic "one day's supplies." That's enough fuel for a week of hard marching or frontline combat. If everybody's mostly just sitting around talking, mushroom bread will probably run out before oil does.
>>
No. 720048 ID: a075ba

rolled 1, 4, 2 = 7

>What else would Marijke be attempting? Separate roll and 1-10 effort rating for each project, please.
Let's see if I can wrangle up some kind of appraise / identify skill. (Effort: 4).
>>
No. 720050 ID: a075ba

rolled 2, 1, 2 = 5

And I'll see if I can work out some kind of mending spell, since I don't expect conventional healing to work on the construct. (Effort: 5).

Said experiments will not be performed on the construct, though.
>>
No. 720059 ID: a075ba

Aaaand that's probably enough stuff at once for me.
>>
No. 720089 ID: e47e93

rolled 1, 1, 4 = 6

Make another tent near the cave.

Or a hammock with a roof.

I'm so useful right now.
>>
No. 720126 ID: 4201a2

rolled 1, 6, 4 = 11

>>719990
>You won't lack for water so long as someone's willing to go outside with an empty jug and hold up a big enough piece of cloth as a funnel
Garaile will absolutely do this, having nothing better to do at the moment, since we've apparently decided to hole up in this cave for a week?? Obviously not taking supplies along so they aren't ruined.

>water transmutation
Garaile will collect as many pots of water as we have have empty containers, and I guess we can go ahead and try transmuting them into oil, wine, or whatever else we could use. Just go nuts on that water.
>>
No. 720216 ID: a107fd

>>720048
The skull-tipped metal batons carried by all three acolytes are each worth at least sixty pounds of silver just for mundane materials and workmanship. They're also preloaded with maybe four dozen applications of Least True Spite, which would be worth two and a half times as much to, say, a necromancer trying to get a platoon of zombies back on their feet in a hurry, or a professional assassin with a lot of 'natural causes' jobs lined up.
Acolyte Goris's belt improves muscle tone across her entire body, but it's hard to get a good look; there's some kind of interference.
Marijke also realizes that Yeven Sturgis's aura seemed so intense because it was being used as some kind of active scan, like a bat.
Mesifin Styx's staff of office is a third tier enchanted weapon, worth thousands of pounds of silver. Get that sucker to an auction house, somehow overcome the stigma against trade in demonic artifacts? Blue-water ships suited for whaling, transoceanic trade, and/or piracy would start to look very affordable.
His ring is a two-carat sapphire marred by a small off-center flaw, set in a band of woven platinum. Forty pounds of silver, or thirty for the gem alone.

Eadric now knows "Appraise," which Marijke can prepare as a first-circle spell.

>>720050
Eadric also now knows "Rhyme of Mending," which Marijke can prepare as a minor spell. Takes about ten minutes per application, only works on fairly small, nonmagical objects, can't do much for chemical damage (acid, fire, rust, etc.) but it splices rope or cloth good as new, welds shattered iron bars or chain-links with no heat, or reassembles a shattered clay tablet to readable condition if you find enough pieces.

>>720089
Scrounging around on day 2, Than finds what seems to be the broken-off upper half of a ship's mast, complete with a couple hundred square yards of canvas from the relatively intact topsail. Once it's set up across the cave mouth, corners weighted down with rocks and spars recycled as tentpoles, available shelter space more than doubles.
>>720126
>water into wine
>Just go nuts
Rainwater that "sir" Garaile has attempted to transmute into various other liquids by force of will tastes better than usual, and relieves mild nausea, but otherwise remains normal water.
>>
No. 720219 ID: f461c5

rolled 1, 4, 1 = 6

>>719995
Oh, yes, I forgot about that. Among the things on his to-do list that week are try to separate the silence affect from his person. The morning of that surgery, he will dose himself with a bit of laudanum, and set about cleaning his kit before it begins.

Oh, and he will also look into how one might retain the products of a despawned summon. Having a source of readily available silk line would be a great boon indeed, and thats just the most obvious of uses.
>>
No. 720237 ID: a107fd

>>720219
>retain the products of a despawned summon
There's some sort of equivalent exchange involved. For webs to persist, you'd need to feed the spider a similar mass of raw material.

>surgery
With the help of Marijke's analysis, excising a mercifully tiny speck of flesh from the tip of Nico's tongue ith thufficient, but leaveth him thpeaking with a blood-thtained lithp. The thevered thegment retainth it'th thphere of thilenth, ath antithipated. Leatht True Healing reverses the effect entirely, restoring his tongue to wholeness, his voice to accursed impotent perfection, and rendering the excised speck magically inert.

>>719968
>put a resistance to elements on the ant and send it out periodically to gather berry-paste from the cliffs?

The telepathic 'ruler sense' through which summoned and bonded creatures can be monitored or commanded gets very shaky beyond a couple hundred yards, then fails outright somewhere around two miles. There might be ways to extend that, but for now, the cliff is out of range.
>>
No. 720259 ID: 4201a2

>>720216
>Garaile doing the transmutation
I meant for the actually magical people to be doing the transmutation. Garaile does not expect to be good for anything other than fighting and dying heroically.
>>
No. 720261 ID: a107fd

Presumably, inquiring about the mechanics of interdimensional transportation with everyone present (including the acolytes and the Kobolds) has been a bust?

In the course of all this, does Letkra notice that the Kobolds are being considered slaves? Are they in manacles or otherwise being mistreated? If so, she will politely inquire (to the Kobolds directly) as to their consent in that arrangement.

>>720126
>an old story about the sorcerer-king of a small island realm who transmuted all the water in a rainstorm to oil
(Assuming somebody actually mentioned this story:)
"He had the means to break down water molecules and alter their composition on a massive scale instantaneously?? Does anyone know where I might contact this king?" She seems to think "blew himself up, and his kingdom, and the island it was on" doesn't imply he's not around anymore.

Letkra will still be hibernating frequently when there isn't something she can obviously help with and she's investigated immediate curiosities to her satisfaction. "If you'd like my help with anything, just quickly wave your arms around at me, or make a loud noise."
>>
No. 720265 ID: a107fd

>>720259
>actually magical people
Goris, Eswic, and Altsoba - those nice folks who defected from a demonic murder-cult so they could run off and become pirates - consider experimental alchemy to be too dangerous, too illegal to seriously contemplate.

Also, you don't have any lab-quality glassware, nor much of a selection of reagents.

>does not expect to be good for anything
Have faith.
>>
No. 720268 ID: a107fd

>>720261
>mechanics of interdimensional transportation
Nico is clearly summoning creatures from somewhere, but his explanation of exactly where, and how, might not make much sense. He doesn't know how to open the way for personal travel yet.

>In the course of all this, does Letkra notice that the Kobolds are being considered slaves?
By the acolytes, at least. Force of habit.

>Are they in manacles
No.
>or otherwise being mistreated?
Malnourished and scarred, but nothing fresh. Nobody wants to start a fight in close quarters while there's a storm raging outside.

>If so, she will politely inquire (to the Kobolds directly) as to their consent in that arrangement.
This question seems to confuse and frighten the 'bolds. There's a language-barrier problem, but all three eventually reply that they have made no wilful attempt to disobey or resist.
>>
No. 720271 ID: a107fd

Letkra notices the worried tone and pauses a moment. Trying to work past the language barrier, she asks "Do you have enough food and water, and do you want any medical attention? Is there anything you'd like me to get for you? You're welcome to ask for anything you want, it's okay."
>>
No. 720284 ID: a107fd

rolled 4, 2, 6 = 12

Didn't think to actually roll for the diplomacy for some reason, so now I shall indubitably do so thusly.
>>
No. 720289 ID: e47e93

rolled 2, 1, 2 = 5

Well, anything in the sea or nearby for hunting? Otherwise an attempt at arrow making, if there are materials.

No such thing as too much ammunition.
>>
No. 720290 ID: a075ba

>Rainwater that "sir" Garaile has attempted to transmute into various other liquids by force of will tastes better than usual, and relieves mild nausea
That's... impressive, actually. Garaile is at least ostensibly on the paladin path, maybe that's indicative of some meager ability to purify or bless?

>those nice folks who defected from a demonic murder-cult so they could run off and become pirates - consider experimental alchemy to be too dangerous, too illegal to seriously contemplate.
Yeah, if they're too sketched out by it, I think Marijke will be too.

>Mesifin Styx's staff of office is a third tier enchanted weapon, worth thousands of pounds of silver. Get that sucker to an auction house, somehow overcome the stigma against trade in demonic artifacts? Blue-water ships suited for whaling, transoceanic trade, and/or piracy would start to look very affordable.
Ca-ching. Yeah, Marijke is definitely going to plan on doing that.

>Eadric now knows
So... what's the difference in my familiar knowing a spell? Does he have his own spell slots, or is it just that I could choose to cast those spells through him?

>what else to kill tie
Are the acolytes, kobolds, or out PC turned NPC up to anything of note while the rest of us were working on our projects?
>>
No. 720333 ID: f461c5

rolled 1, 3, 1 = 5

>>720237
Nico will send the ant summon out perhaps twice a day to forage and do some mapping, which he will of course translate into an actual map. Once per day will be the spider, brought to study, and to send out hunting in hopes that it can feed enough to produce some usable silk, which nico will attempt to braid or otherwise roughly work into chord, hopefully with help from a kobold or two.

>>720261
Nico, with his tongue snipped, will attempt to elaborate on the controversial topic of where, when, or what exactly carcosa might be. Some anecdotes seem to suggest an alternate set of physical rules, which would imply that it resides in a plane other than the prime material, but it is also said that the light that shines in that place can be seen in this world's night sky. (I would assume he would know if there is a planar breaching component to his summonings much as he recognized there was not one to Styx's prayer rituals, though he would take that as only meager evidence one way or another.)
He would normally suggest Lektra inquire from the acolytes, but it would seem their former(?) patron doesnt lie across any planar barrier. In any case, its a study he intends to explore in fair depth when he gets the means to do so, so she need merely remain in contact with him long enough for him to develop said means. On that note, he will ask her to describe her origin.
>>
No. 720350 ID: 4201a2

rolled 3, 4, 3 = 10

Garaile is out of ideas for ways to be helpful.
Until either the weather lets up or something else to do appears, Garaile will sit in the corner of the cave and quietly meditate on universal, spiritual, and inner truths.
>>
No. 720412 ID: a107fd

>>720289
Easy enough to dig up edible mollusks out on the beach, adding some protein to the diet. Everybody but Letkra and Marijke (and, to be safe, Eadric) can eat shellfish safely; four hours of fishing and clam-digging per day covers between a third and half of the food requirement for everybody else, if you don't mind the inclement weather.

Speaking of which, how good is Than at swimming?

>>720290
>what's the difference in my familiar knowing a spell?
Before you had a familiar, all your spells were in your own mind, even not-currently-prepared ones. Long-term, that would've gotten cluttered, limiting access to higher-circle magic. With Brem Marst's distant guidance, you reorganized. Now, Eadric serves as a sort of spiritual accountant and archivist, keeping long-term storage both organized and safely out of the way, which frees up thought-space but means you have to consult with him on a daily basis to access those records. If he were lost, you'd have to rebuild that library from scratch.

>Are the acolytes, kobolds, or out PC turned NPC up to anything of note while the rest of us were working on our projects?
All three acolytes have extensive practical experience with the scut work necessary to set up ritual magic, and assisting with surgery (mostly in the context of torture), as well as a solid theoretical framework for dealing with curses, so they spent most of the first two days planning for Nico's tongue surgery and trying to create a sterile environment. This work was simplified considerably when Than brought in that broken-off sail, effectively adding a second room to the cave, so everybody could just wait out there while an elemental applied cleansing fire to the stone walls.

On day three, Altsoba and Eswic mostly discussed comparative ethics, applied theology, and higher-dimensional geometry with Nico and Marijke, reaching few firm conclusions, while Goris and Dimitry requisitioned applications of Shadow Armor from the quartermaster and then snuck off somewhere outside. They returned three and a half hours later, soaked with rain, seeming physically and emotionally exhausted, but unwilling to discuss exactly what happened.

Kobolds contribute domestic work - mostly cooking and clothes repair - as needed, and do whatever else is ordered of them, but spend most of their spare time cuddled up for warmth.

>>720284
The diplomatic approach is fairly safe, in that you're making a sincere attempt to understand and accommodate the other person's needs, so there's no "trick" to see through and take offense at, but that also makes it difficult and slow. No visible progress on befriending; answer hazy, ask again later.

>>720350
Garaile's initial attempts to meditate are interrupted by an irritating intermittent clicking noise, which he eventually realizes is coming from Letkra's "broom" as she adjusts it through different configurations, from axe to spear to pick to hammer to... was that some sort of oversized spoon? It feels as though he's close to a profound insight about the equivalence of different weapons, different forms of violence. Full enlightenment remains out of reach, but he does figure out how to heal by touch without anything as formal as a prayer or spell, and how to throw the weight of his soul into striking a particular abomination with unstoppable force, until either it's destroyed, or he gives up the hunt to rest.
>>
No. 720475 ID: a107fd

>>720333
>spider
White Snake insists on being warned about the summoning schedule so he can stay as far away from spiders as possible, and preemptively refuses to have anything to do with any resultant silk.
Moot point so far, anyway. Day 1 spider left early after the initial hammock experiment. Day 2 spider went fishing with Than, helped bring back the sail, but then caught an unexpected wave and drowned in water that was barely chest-deep. Day 3 spider attempted to raid that cave with the striges but failed to return (presumed exsanguinated).

>mapping
Hard work for an ant, since there aren't many scents to pick up in the rain. Still, that's at least enough to get a feel for landmarks two miles up and down the beach. Up north, near the limit of range, there's a rocky headland with a hole in the side, at ground level. Smell from inside includes smoked fish and a cedar crate full of beaver pelts; the latter would have to have been imported from very far away. Two large, angry humanoids guard the entrance.
>>
No. 720485 ID: e47e93

>>720412
She's not terrible at swimming. She used to live on an island. She had some practice there.
>>
No. 720614 ID: a107fd

So, with that mostly settled... the evening and the morning were the third day, Garaile's on the first watch after sundown when along comes the most evil seagull he's ever seen. It's spiritually painful just to look at the damned thing directly.

Eadric hops off of Marijke's shoulder and flutters over to meet the newcomer, saying in seatongue "Greetings, fellow avian! You appear to have second- and third-degree dampness across most of your body, and mild hypothermia." Seatongue is, of course, the best language for explaining how wet something is with casual precision. "Please come in. I provisionally extend to you the hospitality of my mistress, Captain Marijke, who is currently asleep."

"Thank you, I provisionally accept," replies the gull, "with the caveat that this beach is our territory, into which you seem to have unwittingly trespassed, so I must, regretfully, ask you to either offer suitable tribute before the next turning of the moon, or else relocate further inland as soon as the weather permits."

>>720485
In that case, messing around on the beach during what's increasingly looking like a near miss by a hurricane isn't suicidally stupid. The acolytes have a weak scrying spell for monitoring the approximate position and condition of willing allies. Absolute worst case, Than could keep her head above water long enough for Nico to summon a squid and send it out on a rescue mission.
>>
No. 720680 ID: a075ba

>our territory
...I wonder if the plural refers to just a gang of seagulls, or if it's the representative of a broader group.
>>
No. 720910 ID: a107fd

>>720680
If Marijke is asking that out loud, roll for it.
>>
No. 720923 ID: e47e93

rolled 3, 2, 5 = 10

How many fish in the ocean does Than see?
>>
No. 720924 ID: a107fd

>>720923
Not many fish up near the beach right now. Most of them are probably hanging out in those reefs a few miles offshore. Torrential rain driven by gale-force winds has cut visibility range to almost nothing, even with supernaturally keen elven senses.
>>
No. 720928 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 1, 1, 2 = 4

>>720910
Oh, I thought I was asleep and thus unable to participate in this exchange.

All right, Marijke will ask who the group that has a claim on this territory is.

(Rewording, since the original is something that could plausibly give offence).
>>
No. 720939 ID: a107fd

>>720928
>thought I was asleep
At first, yeah. Noise, and empathic feedback from Eadric, could plausibly wake you up. The exact timing isn't critical.

>rolled 1, 1, 2 = 4
...but that success is.

The seagull takes on a suave, evasive tone and recites "Sorry, but I'm under strict orders not to disclose Rylshnna, Shralynn, or Marmtroths' names, or how they foresaw your arrival in the Cauldron of Blood."

There's an awkward pause.

"I just said that out loud, didn't I?"
>>
No. 720970 ID: 3d2d5f

Okay, that made me crack up. It feels like I finally passed a mental manipulation check, when I wasn't trying to.

>I just said that out loud, didn't I?
I'm afraid so.

Marijke will ask follow up questions, seeing how much the off balance bird will let slip:

What can you tell me about this Cauldron of blood? Or Rylshnna, Shralynn, and Marmtroths? Or your operations, here?

(Or maybe what can't you tell us would be more appropriate).
>>
No. 720975 ID: a107fd

>>720970
>Cauldron of blood?
Exactly what it sounds like: a big enchanted metal pot. Blood goes in, visions of the past and/or future come out.
>Rylshnna, Shralynn, and Marmtroths?
Witches, with a shared familiar. More specifically, they're humanoids who've been artificially reincarnated so many times (or so carelessly), they came back as a species that couldn't otherwise exist. Don't call 'em "hags," they hate that.
>Or your operations, here?
Meh, nothing really exciting. Mostly espionage, extortion, necromancy, and plundering wrecked ships. Sages or knights-errant show up to rent the Cauldron for historical research and/or prophecies. Every year or three some dragon, usually Chrysomelcarcalchaxis, drops by wanting the coven to crash a party, find a pretext to lay a specific curse on the princess or whatnot.
>>
No. 720984 ID: a075ba

>>720975
...what did the cauldron have to say regarding our group / our arrival?

>big cauldron of blood
Do we want to know where they get all that blood from?

>with a shared familiar
Which would be you (addressing the gull), I presume?

>plundering wrecked ships
(Planning, not a spoken question)
Well, that means we're probably not finding any easy plunder here. They'll have already taken everything and/or will object if we try stake-jumping.

...unless anyone actually wants to go after the coven of three, but these guys sound rather above our level, have powerful friends / clients we might be annoyed if we offed them, and worst of all: they saw us coming and had the leisure to prepare countermeasures if they saw the need to.

Now, on the other hand, prophet visions might be of interest to several members of the party. (Lekta, on a path home, for example). So Marijke will ask: what do oracular services cost, for those who might be interested?
>>
No. 720989 ID: a107fd

>>720984
>...what did the cauldron have to say regarding our group / our arrival?
That you'd be camped out in this cave for more than one or two days was enough to justify the trip.
>Do we want to know where they get all that blood from?
>what do oracular services cost, for those who might be interested?
Varies considerably for different inquiries. Seen it go as low as a pound of silver for the rental fee (though they tend to prefer exotic materials or favors rather than straight cash) and one pint of blood in ninety gallons of water to make the cauldron work.
>Which would be you (addressing the gull), I presume?
Yes. Limited shapeshifting, though, so not always a shithawk.
>>
No. 721056 ID: 4201a2

>>720614
>ridiculously evil seagull
Garaile's first instinct is to kill it real dead.

>>720939
>>720975
>seagull is merely a messenger for even more terrible and powerful entities who rule the entire area
Garaile suppresses the killing instinct in the interest of self-preservation, due to not being Lawful Stupid.

(I'm assuming Marijke is keeping Garaile in the communication loop during this conversation.)

>>720614
>relocate further inland as soon as the weather permits
This is precisely our intention. The cave was only a temporary shelter. So, deal. Perhaps ask (by double proxy) whether or not any information can be granted on any civilized areas further inland that we could potentially relocate to.

Garaile also offers the opinion to Marijke that nothing could possibly be worth sacrificing anything to something called the Cauldron of Blood, and only misfortune will come of it if we try. We should avoid this trio and be on our way as soon as possible.
>>
No. 721059 ID: a075ba

>I'm assuming Marijke is keeping Garaile in the communication loop during this conversation.
Yeah, I wasn't planning on keeping the information secret or lying to the group about what was said.

>Perhaps ask (by double proxy) whether or not any information can be granted on any civilized areas further inland that we could potentially relocate to.
Sure, I'll relay that.

(If no one else has any ideas, I think I'm out of questions to ask).
>>
No. 721062 ID: a107fd

>>721056
>Garaile suppresses the killing instinct in the interest of self-preservation, due to not being Lawful Stupid.

There is also the issue that attacking unprovoked, in violation of formal hospitality, would be a terrible sin. So, good call.

>any civilized areas further inland that we could potentially relocate to

Lessee... There's that wine-village, Rookshome or whatever. We don't go there anymore. Passholdt, of course; head for the mountains, you can't miss it. There's the old monastery on the north bank of the river, about eight miles west of Trollmarch Bridge. If you just want the quickest way out... that cove at the mouth of the river, less than an hour's march north (on a good day), is not currently part of our territory, nor on speaking terms. You want to hang out there and keep your head down, that's just fine, and if you to happen to make some kind of mess that compromises the security of whoever's currently there, I'd take it as a personal favor.
>>
No. 721109 ID: a107fd
File 146245758278.jpg - (21.65KB , 569x189 , birdseye.jpg )
721109

Marty the Gull sketches out a map in the sand. It is of poor quality, and only loosely to scale, but references enough familiar landmarks that you are no longer lost. The circle represents current maximum range for Nico's summoned beasts.
>>
No. 721110 ID: 3d2d5f

In appreciation for the information, and as part of hospitality, Marijke will offer food to the Cove Coven's familiar.

>what do
So the way I see it, we have several options when the storm lets up.

1. Pick a fight with the coven vetoed for stupid.

2. Visit coven, pay for fortune telling of some kind, depends on who wants to know what.

3. Head over to the next cove and pick a fight with whoever's there. Earn loot like pirates, and favor with the coven. (Which could then be cashed in with option 2).

4. Leave for the wine village, Passholdt or the monastery.

Garaile made it clear he favors 4, I think. Anyone else want to weigh in?
>>
No. 721112 ID: a107fd

>>721110
Eadric votes with Marijke.
Goris follows White Snake, who unless aba591 shows up to say otherwise argues for option 3 on the grounds that aspiring pirates can't afford to pass up a chance to simultaneously acquire a sheltered dock, and appease some folks who may be sinking ships for a living.
Altsoba and Eswic vote for option 2 on the grounds that they'd like to know how the Church of Orcus responded to Kamlyss's account of events, and whether they, personally, will be pursued for retrieval, or assassination, or not at all.
One of the kobolds is curious about whether or not they get a vote.
>>
No. 721118 ID: f461c5

Nico is obviously attracted to the idea of bargaining for some oracular insight, but is of the opinion that the cove of 'fuck those guys in particular' should be scouted more thoroughly before any decision can be made as to what extent they can be inconvenienced or attacked. He wonders if they will be allowed to maintain this cave as a base of operations for the time being if they intend to inflict themselves upon those who hold the cove.

As for the kobolds, he will lispily note that he will accept their vote so long as they have a stake or a valuable opinion in the matter.
"... Which meanth yeth, ath it happenth to be."
>>
No. 721127 ID: e47e93

Pocket as much sand that is carry able and not visible and maybe get more shellfish if possible.

Is Than even there? If so, vote 2.

Also offer some shellfish to the seagull. She takes the evil look as more of hunger, good and evil are not much of a principal to her anymore.
>>
No. 721134 ID: 3d2d5f

>>721118
Marijke will glance the acolytes, then nod at Nico's statement. The kobolds are free to weigh in, if they wish to. (And if anyone understands them).

>>721127
If Than's not there when the familiar arrives, it's a safe bet the conversation about what to do will probably still be going when she gets back. It's not as if we can move out, yet.
>>
No. 721139 ID: a107fd

>>721118
>He wonders if they will be allowed to maintain this cave as a base of operations for the time being if they intend to inflict themselves upon those who hold the cove.

If you're planning to stick around after the storm is over, the polite thing to do at this point would be to offer some sort of tribute right away, if only as a symbolic gesture acknowledging their right to have such demands fulfilled promptly.

>>721127
No seagull would pass up free food, but what's the sand for?

>>721134
>The kobolds are free to weigh in, if they wish to. (And if anyone understands them).
They speak among themselves with a mix of whispered High Draconic, filtered through an accent like yipping lapdogs, and a variation of Quenyl hand-jive that seems to be adapted for the convenience of someone with elbows tied together behind their back. Nico's Babel worm can translate all that easily enough.

They can understand Humish and the goblin language when others speak, but have almost no practice at pronouncing either.
>>
No. 721161 ID: a107fd

>>720333
>Nico asks Letkra about her origin
"I'm from the peaceful kingdom of Skull Mountain, and the bodyguard of Princess Zeikroth, my wife! We're Adventurers on a quest to stop the evil Overlord Doropie! But I was separated from my party and got really lost, and I'm trying to find my way back to them. This place is interesting though, so I'd like to find out more about it and see what I can do as long as I'm here."

As such, she seems less phased by talk of a "Cauldron of Blood".

> One of the kobolds is curious about whether or not they get a vote.
"What? Of course you get a vote! Why wouldn't you get a vote...?" Letkra is genuinely confused, and seems to have no concern (or awareness) for the impropriety of telling other peoples' slaves they're allowed to do stuff.

"Marty, do you know anything about Dimensional Travel and backtracing? Also, is that information this Coven would know more about?"

In the course of debating battling the coven, or engaging in piracy, Letkra seems to be thinking that on one hand, battling random people is something you just do, and on the other hand, her definition of "battle" is starting to sound a little bit like nobles fencing, or an honorable duel, or some kind of board game. In any case, even though she's part of a new party now, she's a little hesitant to jump into such activities immediately.

She's definitely open to visiting the coven for fortunetelling, since she wants to explore everything and she suspects they've got useful information. However, she'd also be inclined to go to town to shop first, so Rooks Vineyard/Passholdt/Monastery sound like reasonable places to go.

In other words, she votes "Let's go to town first."
>>
No. 721172 ID: a107fd

>>721161
>dimensional travel and backtracing
Not their usual line of work, but they could provide some information at least. For the right price.

As for the vote:
Nico the quartermaster should probably keep track of the vote tally. There are actually two issues which could be decided separately:
A)Which direction? North to the cove, south to meet the coven, or west and along the river to civilization?
B)Pay tribute? If so, with what?

Based on Eswic's explanation of typical piratical charters, the captain can veto a violent confrontation with Marty's coven (and has done so), although the rest of the crew could override that by voting in a new captain. The quartermaster has similar authority over expenses deducted before division of spoils, and could therefore veto payment of tribute as unnecessary or unaffordable, although this would not prevent off-duty crew from paying the coven out of their own shares.

The storm's going to last about two more days, so you've still got some time to think this over, calculate risks and rewards, and try to persuade each other. The kobolds haven't made up their minds yet; they're still getting used to being allowed to have opinions at all.
>>
No. 721186 ID: a075ba

rolled 4, 4, 5 = 13

>I must, regretfully, ask you to either offer suitable tribute before the next turning of the moon, or else relocate further inland as soon as the weather permits.
Per that language, we only owe tribute if we stick around.

So if we head inland at the first opportunity and ignore the coven, it's not necessary. If we decide to visit them, or we decide to investigate the inhabitants of the next cove over, that means sticking around, so we should offer something to stay on their good side.

>the cove of 'fuck those guys in particular' should be scouted more thoroughly before any decision can be made as to what extent they can be inconvenienced or attacked.
If we decide to stick around, that's doable. Between aerial reconnaissance, summons, and the Orcus acolytes' stealth spells, we have an abundance of scouting options.

>Orcus assassins
...well that's one concern that might merit looking into.

>2 days left
In between whatever discussing we're doing, Marijke will still set aside some time for teaching her familiar.

And I'd like to do one last spell experiment- fiddling with variants on communication spells. (Possibly one that works around Nico's silence effect, although she might logically stumble across something else, first). I was thinking a direct communication spell might even count as a form of mental influence (dropping words into someone's head), and fall under her specialty. Effort: 5.
>>
No. 721208 ID: e47e93

>>721139
Just if anything gets too close, Than can blind them using the sand. Long distance would only be very low rolls.

Some good free stuff. If we need glass for whatever reason and have hot enough fire we could make some glass too for whatever reason.
>>
No. 721241 ID: a107fd

>>721186
>Per that language, we only owe tribute if we stick around.
That's correct. They don't bother taxing travelers who are just passing through.

> I was thinking a direct communication spell might even count as a form of mental influence (dropping words into someone's head)
>set aside some time for teaching her familiar
When the storm passes, Eadric is 30% of the way to minimal spoken Humish, and also knows the first-circle spell Lightning Lecture Atemi. Touch range, directly connects the caster and subject's minds for only a few seconds, but deeply enough to voluntarily transfer a mass of information equivalent to ten minutes of intense conversation plus visual aides, in a format that transcends language barriers. The casting itself has a verbal component, which silence could interfere with, but the effect itself neither produces nor requires sound. It's possible to cast outside the aura of silence, then "hold the charge" long enough to step in. Such direct contact - indeed, the psychological equivalent of unprotected fluid exchange - with a diseased mind would have all the risks you might expect.

>>721208
Alright. That kind of trick tends to work better with dry sand, so there's some logic to carrying it around to let it dry out.

Wouldn't be very high-quality glass, though.
>>
No. 721271 ID: a107fd

For a little out-of-character bookkeeping, here's my understanding of the votes so far:

- Option #2 (Go to the coven for fortunetelling):
Than
Acolyte Altsoba
Acolyte Eswic

- Option #3 (Go to the cove and try to take it over for piracy):
White Snake (unless his player comes back and says otherwise)
Acolyte Goris

- Option #4 (Head for civilization; Rook's Vineyard/Passholdt/Monastery):
"Sir" Garaille
Letkra

- Option #? (Scout the area around "fuck those guys in particular", which must be somebody the Coven/Marty disapprove of. I don't think this is the same as option 3? Not entirely sure):
Nico

- Undecided thus far:
Marijke (I think?)
Eadric (Same as Marijke, but I'm not sure if they count as one or two)
Kobolds

But in-character, it's probably up to the quartermaster and the captain to make the final tally / determination. And the Kobolds may decide what they want after some more time passes.
>>
No. 721275 ID: 3d2d5f

>>721271
That's right, I think.

Marijke didn't vote yet because I didn't want to influence things by having the 'captain' take an early position, and because if it seemed kinda unfair if my familiar gave me a second vote.

Nico's voting to delay a final decesion until we've investigated our would-be targets (I believe), which isn't unreasonable. Even if we decide to get unilaterally violent, advanced intel would help.

I could support that position, though if we're staying to snoop, we'd need to decide on a tribute.

It also occurs to me the kobolds are an undecided voting block. If anyone is strongly attached to a particular plan, they might actually be better off trying to win them over, which is an amusing reversal of their fortunes.

>>721186
Oh neat, I was afraid that experiment would have failed.
>>
No. 721331 ID: a107fd

>>721275
>if we're staying to snoop, we'd need to decide on a tribute.
Unless you snoop within the next two days, under cover of the storm.

>It also occurs to me the kobolds are an undecided voting block. If anyone is strongly attached to a particular plan, they might actually be better off trying to win them over, which is an amusing reversal of their fortunes.
Yep. Enforced equality benefits most those who started with the least.

>Oh neat, I was afraid that experiment would have failed.
You were pushing as hard as you have for anything so far. More immediate results, at the expense of safety. The experiment produced a spell, which will surely do something when it's cast, most likely something that at least closely approximates what it's supposed to do. I think I previously mentioned people studying this kind of thing in universities for years at a time? A lot of that is error-checking, hammering out 'standard' effects with minimal quirks.
>>
No. 721715 ID: 4201a2

>>721275
>the kobolds are an undecided voting block. If anyone is strongly attached to a particular plan, they might actually be better off trying to win them over
Garaile voices some surprise that the kobolds, who have only recently ceased to be enslaved to what amounts to a black magic cult, would be undecided on the matter of whether or not to visit a black magic coven of questionable intent and motives, who are actually renowned in the region for their habit of sacrificing actual blood to an occult artifact to further their own ends.
>>
No. 721724 ID: f461c5

>>721331
It is definitely Nico's intent to do his snooping in the the false night provided by thick cloud cover and rainshadow.

>>721715
He will also note that only those interested need actually speak to the trio; no matter how evil they may be they are not the sort of people to be advantaged by breaking their word; thats bad for business.
>>
No. 721797 ID: a107fd

>>721715
If "Sir" Garaile is attempting to persuade the 'bolds to vote with him, for heading back to town, you should lay out an argument and roll for it, bearing in mind that
>>/questarch/718100
>One universal rule throughout the Drakocracy, however, forbids buying or selling any mammal, or nonskeletal part thereof, as a commodity denominated in any dragon-backed currency. Slavers and cattle-ranchers alike have to deal with the complexity of barter or trades mediated through bearer bonds, redeemable for specific containers of wheat or honey or whiskey or cheese at ancient vaults in elven lands, rather than actual gold and silver coins of guaranteed purity.
>So, the kobolds would be much easier to convert to cash when you make it back to a settlement.

The kobolds were working primarily for the goblin outpost, which was allied with, rather than subservient to, the Church of Orcus. The goblin city of Greznek is not part of the Drakocracy, as evidenced by their apparent total ignorance of human and elven politics. It is conceivable that the kobolds would be treated worse when you get back to town than they were under the goblins, and downright probable they'd at least be worried about that. "Better the devil you know" as the saying goes. Sure, they've got the deciding vote right now, but a week from now it could be three against ten, or worse if there's further recruitment. As yet, the company's got no written charter to prohibit selling off part of the crew if the majority agrees on it.

So, yes, there are risks to dealing with hags, but there isn't an obvious safe alternative for kobolds to jump on. Furthermore, they're out of practice at this sort of long-range planning.
>>
No. 721819 ID: 4201a2

>>721797
Okay. Different tactic then. Garaile pulls Marijke off to the side, where they won't be overheard by the seagull.
"Captain, oi know ye've got an interest in this occult baesiness. But that gull's given off some real bad voibes, and oi don't think its masters will be much better. If'n they're up to somethin' black-hearted, veto or not, oi can't just turn me head away. Oi trust yer judgement, o'course, and oi'll follow ye wherever ye choose, but please be cautious on this one."
>>
No. 721827 ID: a107fd

>>721819
I didn't say that wouldn't work, I said you need to roll for it.
>>
No. 721834 ID: e47e93

Than just shrugs at the kobolds while cooking and eating some shellfish.
"Do what you think is right, there's nothing wrong you can do."
The party can see the hags later if they really wanted to, or they could go themselves with something else to offer the hags. She would prefer going now even if she goes later though.
>>
No. 721956 ID: 4201a2

rolled 5, 3, 5 = 13

>>721797
>>721827
>>/questdis/99663
Okay, okay, I'm rolling, I'm rolling. No need for threats.

Garaile confronts the kobolds to lay a few things down. "Laesten friends, maybe ye don't loike me. That's foine. Maybe ye don't trust me. I don't need ye to. But ye're not slaves anymore, not to goblins and not to us. You're free to make yer own decisions about what to do and where tae go. And as long as we're traveling taegether, on me honor, oi'll protect ye to the best of me ability, oi won't allow ye to be sold back into that loife again, and no majority vote can move me on that. Now, the current situation is this, far as oi know:
1. There's a group of occult creatures (not unloike the Church of Orcus yer old masters were so fond of) whose black magics are apparently powered by blood. We know nothing else abaet them. Some of our group are suggesting we foind something valuable and offer them tribute in exchange for occult saecrets. Oi've got doubts about that plan.
2. We got what looks loike an ancient pirate cove, probably crawling with nasties, but also probably rich in treasure. If we manage to get any, then as members of our group, ye'll get a cut of it, if ye survoive. O'course we'll troi to keep ye safe, but it could get real dangerous in there. Some things are more important than gold.
3. There're a few towns nearby that we can pass through fer rest and supploises as we leave this godforsaken place. That's got moi vote. Worst thing that could happen there is some greedy bastard troies te sell ye off again, but that won't happen 'long as oi'm still kickin'. Ye have me word on that.

We're at an impasse roight now, as to which one we should choose. Ye've got the roight to vote too, and that could very well decoide it all. Oi say pick what ye think is in yer own best interests. God knows everyone else is."
>>
No. 721975 ID: a107fd

>>721956
All three kobolds express cautious support for Garaile (and Letrka) in their intention to leave the beach behind.

Meanwhile, White Snake, with occasional whispered advice from Goris, persuades the other two acolytes that the best way to approach the coven is from a position of having already done them a favor.

>>721834
With Than's ambivalent abstention, support for an immediate visit to the coven has evaporated, but the vote is still nearly tied. Eswic starts to argue that the kobolds shouldn't get a full vote each, on the basis of their limited ability to contribute.

Everybody's waiting on the captain's decision.
>>
No. 722286 ID: a075ba

rolled 4, 5, 6 = 15

Since the party is split, the captain decides we will stay long enough to evaluate the inhabitants of the next cove.

It costs us little to scout, and once we know who and what is there, opinions may change as to whether they are opponents we truly wish to engage or leave well enough alone.

A chance at a more informed decision is the best compromise I can offer the crew.

(Rolling for diplomacy, to see how well the loosing faction and/or npcs take Captian Marijke's explanation).

Nico can prepare whatever scouting he was planning, and the Acolytes should probably prepare some stealth effects.

We'll also need to decide on a suitable tribute. Whether or not we do further business with the coven, it would be wise not to earn their ire.
>>
No. 722418 ID: a107fd

>>722286
Moral and practical arguments have stretched on into the morning of day 4, and, between magical R&D, supporting Nico's surgery, and generally maintaining the camp in harsh conditions, Marijke has been pushing herself pretty hard. She starts to yawn, slightly garbles the conclusion of her (otherwise sound) case for scouting out the cove, then falls asleep.

The kobolds seem, if anything, more convinced that getting away from the beach in a timely manner is the best course of action.
>>
No. 722439 ID: a075ba

rolled 5, 3, 5 = 13

>>722418
I don't know if I can suggest actions for my character's familiar while she's asleep, but succeed or fail, this idea amuses me too much not to try.

Eadric, seeing his mistress nod off at the end of her speech, attempts to do a better job of closing it for her, based off of what he understood of her spoken case so far and what he understood from her empathy. In broken, 30% comprehension humish.
>>
No. 722450 ID: a107fd

>>722439
>30% comprehension
On a scale where 3 is 'like a native,' 2 is eccentric/heavily accented but workable, 1 is badly broken/barely comprehensible, and 0 is 'none at all,' Eadric's spoken Humish is only up to 0.30, so conveying even the simplest concepts, without the aid of an empathic link or other shared language, is an agonizing exercise in charades( http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0288.html ). Persuasive arguments through such a language barrier are virtually impossible.

Nico could translate, of course, but he might have better luck coming up with an argument on his own... or laying out a written charter with explicit rights and responsibilities.
>>
No. 722664 ID: e47e93

Appalled by Eadric's actions, Than slaps the poor bird. Only gently though.

The charades and whatever gibberish came out of his beak has seemed like he was cursing her out in her first language. She is rather displeased with the situation.
>>
No. 722831 ID: a107fd

Letkra chimes in, "I'd be interested in exploring more, too, actually. I was just thinking that going to town first, before exploring, probably makes more sense."

> Than slaps Eadric
Letkra is taken aback. "What was that for?? That's mean! You can't just sneak attack him like that! (also, he's in your party, are you confused?)"

(Out of character I don't mind Than's action, but Letkra would find it inappropriate.)
>>
No. 722837 ID: a107fd

rolled 5, 4, 5 = 14

(Probably should've rolled for some kind of social attempt on that post.)

Letkra also adds, "When we go to the coven, though (sometime after town and other exploration, I guess?), then we need to find the Specific Item they want for the tribute. We should find out what that is. (I'm... preeeetty sure it's not live people, Mr. Garaille, that's just silly. Um... right? I mean... how would that even work?)"
>>
No. 722847 ID: a107fd

>>722664
>Than slaps the poor bird
Eadric and Marty both flutter away from Than's swing, startled by the aggression in such close quarters.

>>722837
>the Specific Item they want for the tribute
"No, no, safe passage for a small party like this doesn't require some grand quest," says Marty the Gull. "Just give me something light enough to carry in my beak, and valuable enough to be worth the effort. Jewelry, gold coin, whatever."
>>
No. 722998 ID: a075ba

Well, Marijke is currently too asleep to wrestle with the dilemma of giving up any of her own gold for tribute. The rest of the crew is on their own for now.

ZZZZZZ.
>>
No. 723017 ID: a107fd

So, after Marijke wakes up (midafternoon on day 4), who's going on the scouting run, and what are they bringing in terms of equipment or prepared magic? With the storm still raging, you should either bring Letkra to project a force dome, or Nico and/or Marijke should cast Bestow Shadow Armor on everyone who's going outside, just to protect against wind and rain.
>>
No. 723307 ID: a075ba

rolled 3, 5, 3 = 11

>>723017
Marijke will sacrifice a gold coin to avoid witch's ire, I suppose. She regrets the necessity.

I'm willing to blow my level 1 charges on shadow armor casts (unless the "free samples" thing kicks in again).

Does shadow armor work on Eadric? Then the scouting group could have aerial reconnaissance. And assuming Nico is still planning on scouting, he would understand him.

Thinking Marijke probably doesn't have a good reason to accompany the scouting party personally. She's not the sneakiest, and I'll have burnt through spell slots in prep work.

If whisper web travels with the target, and not the caster, I could set one up for quiet stealth communication.
>>
No. 723338 ID: a107fd

>>723307
> (unless the "free samples" thing kicks in again)
Nope, only for charms and healing so far.

> Does shadow armor work on Eadric? Then the scouting group could have aerial reconnaissance.
A single application of shadow armor can cover both Eadric and Marijke as long as they stay within a couple yards of each other, or either one separately.

However, the familiar-spirit empathic link currently only has about half the range of the summoned-creature control link, so Eadric would be alarmingly out of contact while anywhere near the cove if Marijke stayed back at base. Furthermore, aerial recon is of limited value in driving rain, and Eadric has doubts about his ability to maneuver safely in winds over 20 mph, never mind the current 50-60 mph storm conditions.

>If whisper web travels with the target, and not the caster,
Range is a little less than fifty yards, centered on the caster, and it needs to be reapplied every half-hour.

So, Marijke does in fact have some reason to come along with the scouts: she can't provide her full range of support from back in the cave.

>Marijke will sacrifice a gold coin to avoid witch's ire
Marty graciously accepts the offering, picking it up in his beak, then transforms into a boar and trots off to the south, heedless of weather.
>>
No. 723406 ID: a107fd

Approaching the cove from the south, there's a rocky cliff face at least forty or fifty feet high (visibility range through the rain is less than ten yards, so anything beyond that is a vague silhouette without clear indications of distance) with a natural-looking hole at beach level, nine or ten feet in diameter. Flanking the cave mouth, seated with their backs to the rock wall, are a pair of miserable, soaking-wet ogres: big burly goblinoids, over seven feet tall, each one almost half a ton of pure ugly muscle. The one on the left holds a massive spiked cudgel, five feet long and nine inches in diameter at the business end, while the other cradles on his lap a semi-portable siege crossbow, loaded with a harpoon.

"I spy with my little eye, something beginning with S."
"Sand."
"Got it in one! Your turn."
"I spy with my little eye, something beginning with R."
"Rain?"
"We already did that one."
"Intruders?"
"That starts with N, dumbass!"
"Oh, yeah." The one with the cudgel ponders for a while. "Hasta be rocks then."

They've both got crude armor, layered rawhide rather than proper boiled-and-waxed leather. It's dyed black, white runes stenciled across the chest, which Nico reads as signifying He-who-Stands-in-Doorways.
>>
No. 723419 ID: a107fd

Letkra volunteers to go along with the scouting party; she wants to explore, and maybe she can get this umbrella thing to help a little bit. But the bigger she tries to make it, the slower she'll need to move.

>>723307
Noticing Marijke is sad about giving away a coin, Letkra offers one of her own to her as a replacement.
>>
No. 723434 ID: a075ba

rolled 2, 6, 6 = 14

Okay, if 'lectra is coming along, I don't need to burn shadow armors on everyone, though I should have some prepared in case one of our sneakier types needs to try sneaking up on something instead of tromping with the group.

I guess Marijke is coming along to provide weather shielding support, and whisper-web for quiet communication between the scouting party.

Group is Marijke, Nico, Lectra, I assume at least one of the acolytes with stealth stuff prepared, and probably Snake and/or Than for sneaking around?

>Prepared spells for the day:
Minor: whisper-web, bestow fools luck, staunch bleeding, experimental miscellany
First: shadow armor, shadow armor, friendship curse
Second: demand gift, spit spiders

Pretty much entirely geared for support and not combat, today. Shadow armor and whisper-web for utility, friendship curse as an option to quickly stop a guard from raising an alarm of for questioning, fools luck to maybe distract or mess with sentries.

>Letkra offers one of her own to her as a replacement.
Marijke gladly accepts.

And is currently torn between feelings of genuine gratitude / wonder at the unheeding kindness of her party member, and a greedy impulse wondering just how easily she could get more gold from the naive extra-planer.
>>
No. 723461 ID: a107fd

>>723434
>at least one of the acolytes with stealth stuff prepared, and probably Snake
Dimitry Nicola and Acolyte Goris have become adorably inseparable, so both of them come along. Goris has prepared three applications of these-aren't-the-brains-you're-looking-for, two portable fogs, one shadow, and two techniques for dealing with sentries: a relatively weak fear effect usable at range, and physical paralysis which requires a touch to apply. No direct healing, though, beyond a minor blessing equivalent to Marijke's own Staunch Bleeding, and a prayer to postpone poison or rot.

Eswic, Altsoba, and the kobolds prefer to stay back at the camp; even sheltered by the cave, keeping a campfire lit under these conditions is a full-time job.

Let's say Than is being sneaky and hanging back until her player says otherwise.

Are you going to try to get past the ogres? If so, how?
>>
No. 723485 ID: e47e93

Just waiting to see what happens, yes.
>>
No. 723528 ID: a107fd

(Does that mean Than came along with us on the scouting mission, and is lurking towards the back? Being ready for fire support from a distance is pretty sensible for archery.)

(We seem to have a pretty defensive setup, if Garaille is staying back at the cave and Marijke brought mostly support spells, although Nico can summon monsters and Letkra can try to stab stuff with her spear, but she's probably not as good at that as Garaille was with the chain-manacle whip and such.)

Letkra whispers to the party, saying she thinks they shouldn't try to enter the cave past the ogres right now, and to instead explore the surrounding area further. She thinks they look scary.
>>
No. 723532 ID: a107fd

>>723528
>explore the surrounding area
To the left, sandy beach fades into pebbles, then a rocky slope up to the hills. Not so steep that it wouldn't be climbable without special equipment, but there's no obvious path, and with all that precipitation the past few days to loosen things, there'd be some risk of triggering a landslide while halfway up.

To the right, storm-tossed ocean.

You could turn back, circle around, and try to approach the cove from the west, but that's at least a mile out of your way. If the guards here are still at their post, probably all the decent lines of approach are similarly covered.
>>
No. 723545 ID: 4201a2

>>723461
>>723528
Garaile is not a stealthy individual and remains behind in the cave to protect the kobolds and anything else being left behind.
>>
No. 723731 ID: a107fd

>>723545
You could count out rations of mushroom-bread in advance, to get a better idea of how long it's likely to last, and compile a list of the other supplies to make sure nobody's secretly hoarding anything somebody else in the group might need more, then get everything neatly packed and ready to leave in a hurry once the coast is clear. Or, take the opportunity to ask Altsoba, Eswic, and/or the 'bolds some questions in relative privacy. Either way, roll for it.
>>
No. 723753 ID: 4201a2

rolled 3, 2, 3 = 8

>>723731
Alright. Garaile will take this opportunity to inventory everything the party has left behind in the cave, attempt to count out reasonable rations, and then pack everything up for a swift departure if time becomes a factor later on.

An eye is also kept on Altsoba and Eswic to ensure they are not harassing the kobolds, as Garaile noticed they were earlier opposed to the kobolds getting full votes, and by extension being treated as full individuals. Garaile does not otherwise interact with them, allowing everyone to spend their free time as they will.
>>
No. 723822 ID: a075ba

>Are you going to try to get past the ogres? If so, how?
If we're still assessing if we want to fight this group, we probably don't want to jump right to lethal force. That will give away our intrusion, and cause difficulty if and when we decide we don't want to fight whoever's here.

If we can't go around them, our only real option for getting past them without attacking them seems like Goris' fear effect (I don't see how we get her close enough for the touch paralysis, and even if I charm one of them, talking or tricking our way past seems dicey). Maybe coupled with Marijke casting fool's luck, so whatever fear / unease they feel quickly seems justified.

Not taking action unilaterally here, conferring with the group.
>>
No. 723859 ID: a107fd

>>723753
>inventory
>rolled 3, 2, 3 = 8
Easily enough to get exact counts, especially given that there's no particular time pressure, and record everything in a clear and concise format. (I'll go back through the threads and my notes, then compile the complete list into another post once I've gotten some OOC sleep.)

Additionally, Eswic and Altsoba have some sort of tiny concealed pockets worked into their armor. Seems to be standard-issue, so Goris presumably has 'em too.

>>723822
Goris explains that her fear effect is single-target, and lasts less than 30 seconds. The effect "covers it's tracks" as well as any other mental influence, leaving no clear memory of unnatural manipulation in the target's mind unless they successfully resist. Even in that case, there's no visible sign leading back to the source.

Luck manipulation in general rarely provides it's usual benefit to casting spells, for esoteric reasons that are difficult to fully explain. Sorta like how you can't add a nitro injector or turbocharger to boost the performance of a sailboat.
Bestow Fool's Luck in particular provides the target with a flash of intuitive insight and favorable coincidences, at a moment of their choosing, within a minute or two after casting. It makes almost any short or reflexive task easier (in mechanical terms, call it in for a +1 bonus), but tends to be less effective on a cautious or calculating target, relatively more useful for reckless heroism and surviving the immediate consequences thereof. Hence "fool's."

Given that the ogres seem to be bored and dull-witted, though, mundane social trickery (which both Nico and Marijke have some skill at) could be sufficient to distract them, or even slip inside on some pretext of legitimate business, despite not knowing exactly what they expect that business to be.

Might've been wise to ask Marty the Gull Boar for more detail about what these guys are up to, before he left. Ah well.
>>
No. 723860 ID: a075ba

>fool's luck is a +1
...darnit, I assumed that was a hex. Dumping temporary bad luck on a target to trip them up, that would have stacked nicely with fear.

Not even really useful on a stealth op for buffing allies, since they're mostly going to be taking cautious, careful actions.
>>
No. 723931 ID: a107fd

>>723860
Tactical stealth still involves adequate amounts of daring and risk. Fool's Luck only really fails when randomness is comprehensively excluded in favor of deterministic factors. Spotting assassins just before the strike, but not inspecting at a checkpoint; field-expedient repairs, but not drawing up formal blueprints.
>>
No. 723936 ID: a107fd

Garaile's kit:
-sturdy traveling clothes
-cloak
-small knife w/sheath
-personal basics for wilderness survival
-candle hat w/ 4lb beeswax candle remaining
-axe w/petrified rat-monster skull, hanging from modified belt loop
-medium wooden shield
-glazed ceramic water jug, 5 gallon capacity, currently full
-shovel
-coarse rope, 40 yards, 3/8" thick, in elaborate knots

Kobold A's kit:
-minimal sewing and leatherworking tools
-spool of sinew
-beige loincloth

Kobold B's kit:
-jeweler's hammer
-frame backpack
-grey loincloth

Kobold C's kit:
-short hafted 3-prong fish spear
-large, grimy sponge
-colorful stained loincloth

Food:
344 lb (688 meals) of goblin hardtack
7 lb (14 meals) of trail rations made from basilisk jerky and almond cake
2x 5 lb green glass jar of dubious pickled meat (still sealed, nutrient value TBD)
3 lb (6 meals) of fruit, dried and regurgitated by a giant ant
12 lb (~18 meals) of shellfish, cooking in progress

To stay combat-effective, humans need at least 3 meals per day.
Kobolds only need one meal a day, in a warm environment.

Going to go ahead and check the acolytes' secret pockets? Eswic is indignant at the prospect of being strip-searched, but Altsoba seems unnervingly eager.
>>
No. 723937 ID: f461c5

Nico will summon the stone-swimmer for the scouting trip, and be ready to disband it to begin summoning the Avatar. That should be quite capable of handily checking out whatever the ogres guard from a comfortably distant vantage.
>>
No. 723938 ID: 4201a2

rolled 1, 6, 4 = 11

>>723936
>food supplies
Garaile will package what we have into MRE-like individual-meal ration packs, with shellfish packs (once they're finished being prepared) being clearly marked for Marijke's sake. (Riding previous roll)

>secret pockets
Garaile will not search the acolytes without their consent, but will inform them that any possession not recorded is their own responsibility and on their own wallet to keep safe and maintain, and they will not receieve any special considerations from the group in regards to such items. It is for the sake of the group's continued well-being that all potential assets be known, but Garaile also assures them that their personal belongings will not be seized by the group regardless of what they choose, and they are free to conceal whatever they please as long as they understand that. (New diplo roll, if necessary)
>>
No. 723949 ID: a107fd

>>723937
>summon the stone-swimmer for the scouting trip

Underneath the sand you've got some nice solid granitic stone, not quite as good as actual marble of course but certainly adequate nesting material. The headland's about a hundred feet thick, four main chambers eroded out of the inside with various passageways connecting them. There are two more exits at ground level on the far side, one of which is blocked with a massive boulder; a flooded section wide open to the sea; and a narrow crawlspace leading up to the west, which probably had a stream of water flowing through it at some point in the (geologically) recent past, to open up the caves.

Smallest chamber, at the top, is (judging by the ugly tangle of telluric currents) some sort of magic-user's workspace; second-highest is long and narrow, with multiple controlled fires and a lot of little metal boxes; roughly circular chamber in the middle has 6-10 humans mostly sitting still (but definitely alive, with heartbeats and everything); finally, the half-flooded chamber has some goblins running around alternately prying open and hammering shut some bigger wooden boxes in three big piles, and two creatures that are as big as ogres but smell more like beetles. Below the waterline there's a giant octopus.
>>
No. 724020 ID: e47e93

>>723949
Sounds great. Regardless, Than is still waiting to make a move.
Does it look like it'll be fighting or getting past them?
>>
No. 724023 ID: a107fd

>>724020
>fighting?
The ogres' torso armor is unsophisticated, but heavy and multilayered. Not many weak points to be found there. Could target the knees, stop them from standing up, but they're already within arm's reach of the cave mouth. They've got no helmets, but beady little eyes in naturally thick skulls don't make for an especially easy target. Best bet for a quick, quiet takedown might be a 'frog-crotch' arrow to the throat: an ogre's neck is nearly as big around as Than's waist, no armor in the way, and even if it somehow misses the windpipe and spinal cord there's plenty of career-ending tendons or blood vessels.

Are you going to shoot the one with the club, the one with the crossbow, or keep quiet and wait for the captain's orders? Roll for it, regardless.
>>
No. 724089 ID: a107fd

Trying to whisper quietly, Letkra says to Marijke and Nico, "Those ogres don't seem to be starting a battle. Do you think maybe we're supposed to talk to them? I mean, they don't look like they'd let us in, but they can't be all that bad, they're some sort of entrance guards. And we paid to stay here a while when Mister Marty pointed us over here, so we're allowed to poke around, right? See, I was thinking the cave might have multiple entrances, but we haven't found any downward staircases out here, so maybe the ogres have a clue for us."

Possibly Letkra has some misconceptions about how this sort of thing actually works around here.

(I'm not completely sure what I'm rolling for; she's not trying super hard to persuade anybody, but she is trying to be quiet as she searched around, so maybe it's a stealth roll? And now watch it be a 14+ or something because it seems like most of our rolls are 14s for some reason)
>>
No. 724091 ID: a107fd

rolled 2, 5, 4 = 11

(or watch it be a nothing, and me goofing up the password for deletion too)
>>
No. 724204 ID: e47e93

Keep quiet
>>
No. 724210 ID: e47e93

rolled 5, 4, 2 = 11

>>
No. 724212 ID: a107fd

"I spy with my little eye, something beginning with F."
"Fog? On a windy day like this?"
"Maybe it's another ha-soo-lee-nation, like that giant ant."
"I hope not. Took me forever to find the arrow afterward."
"Whatta we do if it ain't?"
"You forgot the instructions already?"
"Yeah."
"Okay. First I say the thing, then if they don't say the right thing back..."
"...I bash 'em inta paste?"
"No! Then we gotta call out those eel-ticks, just in case they's worth more shinies alive."
"An if they ain't, I bash 'em inta paste?"
"Yeah. Or if they shoot first."
"This job sucks. It's cold an' I gotta think too much."
>>
No. 724226 ID: f461c5

>>724212
Sounds like the ideal thing to do is to either get them to say what the password is, have my earthling muck about more in the complex in an attempt to discover said password/ more valuable information, have my earthling lead the ogres on a merry hallucinatory chase while we walk inside, or go up hill and see if we cant find the entrance to the mage lab.
>>
No. 724227 ID: a107fd

>>724226
>ideal thing to do:
>list of almost every possible thing to do

Pick one already.
>>
No. 724291 ID: a075ba

>Do you think maybe we're supposed to talk to them?
"The problem with going up and asking someone if they're friendly, my dear, is if they're not, you might not enjoy how they choose to answer." replies Marijke.

>>723949
Dang. That's a fairly thorough scouting job without exposing us to any significant risk. Rock swimming for the win.

Can it sense minerals or metals and the like? If it looks specifically for those, we might be able to tell where they store their gold, or if there's an armory.

Are any of the rooms with interesting objects devoid of people / creatures? (If so, sneaking in to rob them is an option). (As is possibly instructing the rock swimmer to 'surface' and grab samples, if it can carry objects with it).

>some goblins running around alternately prying open and hammering shut some bigger wooden boxes in three big piles
>"No! Then we gotta call out those eel-ticks, just in case they's worth more shinies alive."
Possibly smugglers, or another group of pirates. Sounds as if they dabble in opportunistic ransom taking, as well.

I'm not sure what an "eel-tick" is supposed to be. A fantasy mashup monster, or a comical mispronunciation I haven't untangled yet? (Does Nico's babel worm correct for heavy troll accents?)

>>724227
I would assume he listed options without picking one to solicit input from other players at the "table", as it were.

For now, I favor getting more information. We're planning a possible offense, and working out if we really want to mess with them at all.

...can whisper-web only target allies? One sneaky way to get the password would be to connect Nico to one troll, have him mimic the voice of the other, and ask to be reminded what the right words again, you forgot. Then dismiss the web.
>>
No. 724307 ID: a107fd

>>724291
>fairly thorough scouting job without exposing us to any significant risk. Rock swimming for the win.
Most of the scouting info is inferences from vibrations and other subtle energies within the stone; you could be missing anything that's not touching the ground, or otherwise falls outside an earth elemental's somewhat alien relevance criteria. That said... yeah, summoned monsters can make great scouts, similar to the strategic advantage of aircraft carriers.
You could press for further detail on some subject, or visual inspection of a particular area, at the risk of using up more of the duration of possibly even alerting the target that they're being spied on.

>if it can carry objects with it
Only if they fit inside. The elemental lacks suitable natural orifices, and is not excited about the prospect of self-mutilation, but would be willing to make an attempt if ordered.

>A fantasy mashup monster, or a comical mispronunciation I haven't untangled yet? (Does Nico's babel worm correct for heavy troll accents?)
Yes to all three, more or less.

>sneaky way to get the password
It would still be transmitted as a whisper, and duplicating the ogre's deep rumbling accent might pose a challenge even to supernaturally perfect method acting (due to the physiology involved), but there's nothing obviously unworkable about this plan.

>troll
Trolls live in that big swamp to the northwest. They've got long noses, thin gangly limbs, tufted tails, relatively solitary lifestyles, and some sort of symbiotic or kinship connection to hydras, including the shared tendency to rapidly heal any wound not cauterized with chemicals or fire.
These guys in front of you are ogres, with pug noses, proportionately short thick limbs, fat round butts, and some connection to goblinoids. They mostly live in colder, drier climates, and the closest thing they have to a redeeming quality is unshakable family loyalty. You're pretty sure there's no significant population of ogres anywhere within hundreds of miles.

>I would assume he listed options without picking one to solicit input from other players at the "table", as it were.
Yeah. Just... four in a row that boiled down to "I dunno, what do you want to do?" was getting a little old.
>>
No. 724713 ID: a107fd

>The problem with going up and asking someone if they're friendly

"Yeah, but, if they're not then you just have a battle. I mean, I'm not sure if we could beat those guys right now, but we'd find out more about what's going on at least." Letkra seems to be glossing over the risks of mortal-peril like it's no big deal, or like she doesn't 'get' it.

(we could, in theory, bribe them, since we know they hate this job. But they might also like it a lot more if they get to skoosh us.)

>I would assume he listed options without picking one to solicit input from other players at the "table", as it were.
(For my own thoughts on this: Listing options is good, not committing to taking action without running it by everyone else makes good sense, but then it's best to still state a preference, or alternatively, a priority order for preferences among plans like "I prefer Idea 2 > Idea 3 > Idea 1", to help things run more smoothly, because then there's a plan for what your character will do.)

(At the same time, you want to be careful about pressuring people, making decisions is hard. Ultimately, if you can't decide between preferred plans, I'd suggest making the decision genuinely at random, maybe even literally rolling your own dice to decide which one. It's helped me before, at least. Or, ooh! With the board setup here, you could say, "I'm gonna roll a 1D4 for these four plans, with them being assigned as Plan 1, Plan 2, etc", and then find out which you're advocating after you actually post. That could be fun. But basically, the main thing isn't as much about taking arbitrary action without running it by everyone, so much as it's about expressing some sort of preference, even just an arbitrary one, to get things pointed in what direction to move along.)

(Incidentally: OOC I'd like to avoid getting you all killed, but Letkra thinks marching up to to the front door and asking some questions would, at worst, result in losing a battle along the lines of losing a fencing duel and having to go back to the nearest town... which she wanted to do anyway. She comes from a very different world, and has very little idea of how 'risk' works for everyone else present.)

>You're pretty sure there's no significant population of ogres anywhere within hundreds of miles.
So these guys might've been taken from somewhere else? Hmm.

>There are two more exits at ground level on the far side, one of which is blocked with a massive boulder; a flooded section wide open to the sea; and a narrow crawlspace leading up to the west, which probably had a stream of water flowing through it at some point in the (geologically) recent past, to open up the caves.

"It sounds like these guys have some powerful employers keeping this place secured. Those other entrances might have more guards or traps, and I lost my diving helmet so I don't think the sea one will work for us right now. But the crawlspace might be something they aren't guarding. Rock-person, do know if there's any living beings, or really sharp bits or stinky smells or electric traps, or worse, any "keep out" signs or roped-off areas, near each of those different entrances?"
>>
No. 724750 ID: a075ba

>Letkra thinks marching up to to the front door and asking some questions would, at worst, result in
Having her arm grabbed by the person nearest to her, who would shush her and pray the ogres fail their search checks.

>I'm not sure if we could beat those guys right now, but we'd find out more about what's going on at least.
>It sounds like these guys have some powerful employers keeping this place secured.
Marijke will explain that simply getting past the ogres isn't so much the, as getting past them in a way that their employers will discover. We're here to try and decide if we want to deal with these people at all. Taking action that will alert them to our presence forces that decision. We either have to bug out or wrap it all up now, before the element of surprise is lost.

>what do
Currently, I'm waiting for our queries to be passed on to the stone-swimmer, to see if it provides any additional intelligence.

After that, if Nico's up for it, I'm open to trying to use mimicry and whisper web to trick them into revealing the password, of a possible later infiltration approach.

After that, I'd probably want to scout the other entrances.
>>
No. 724787 ID: cea69d

rolled 3, 1, 1 = 5

Hey, it looks like this isn't the ideal time for a new character to come in so if possible just gimme a heads up if/when you'll be able to throw me in the game, thanks!

Classe: Hedge Mage
Specialty: Alchemy/artifcy (if that's okay)
H Ambition: Eternal Life
L Ambition: Pursuit of Knowledge
Phobia: Fear of her own mortality (Hence the ambition of eternal life
Concealable mutation: Four arms. Riv wears a specially designed cloak in order to conceal her extra appendages until the time is right.
Vulnerability: Chaotic Magic. Riv has difficulty controlling her magic. She studies and practices very hard to help keep this in check (see minor ambition, knowledge), but her magic has a higher chance of turning into something very random and chaotic. Ex: Instead of successfully conjuring lighting, she looses control of her power and summons a swarm of flying ghost centipedes.
Special Power: Tinkerer. Riv spends much of her time tinkering and using magic to create helpful tools and assistants.If possible I would like her to have a clockwork companion, along the lines of a Raven or something else you deem appropriate, to act as a sort of familiar. If it's not too much I'd also like her to experiment in creating magical tools and weapons that mimic technology. Ex: 2 rods of metal with a magical rune that channel blasts of energy like a pistol, or a orb with 2 magical liquids that when subjected to force mix to create a violent explosion, like a bomb. I don't want to overstep my bounds so I'd like your approval for this kind of ability, or qualifiers if you feel it's too strong.
Inventory:
travel clothes including boots, gloves, a hooded cloak, knife, flint for sparking, and food and water for a day, about my person as you see fit,
clean cloth, hooked needles, & thread, left hip
dried fruit, right hip
Feathers, penknife, lots of parchment & ink, (in a satchel if acceptable) left shoulder.
Lantern hanging by my side, off my right shoulder
Jug of Water (in the form of a drinking flask on a leather string if possible) hanging around my neck
Fishing Net/hammock wrapped around my head like the fashionable head pieces which were all the rage in the Empire
Rope, hidden preferably with my extra arms or my familiar rather than other dildo sized locations


A brief descriptor as well to get a good idea of the character. Riv is a small human woman, just under 5 feet tall. Came from a fishing village where her lack of control over her wild magic led to much misfortune for others. She was passed off to an alchemist at a young age where she was taken advantage of for her magical ability. She's spent most of her life an outcast or being abused and as such has little understanding of normal concepts like "Socially acceptable behavior" and "love". SHe probably came to the dungeon hoping to find hidden secrets and information to aid her in her quest for eternal life. If it's allowed for flavor or for realsies, she's also partially mummified herself, which you can choose to have an effect or not. In the case of anything I asked/said not being allowable just gimme a heads up and overrule. If anything I say conflicts or I gave myself too much, whatever I wrote higher up on the list is the keeper and anything lower down can be ignored.
>>
No. 724788 ID: a107fd

>>724713
>any living beings, or really sharp bits or stinky smells or electric traps, or worse, any "keep out" signs or roped-off areas, near each of those different entrances?

It's natural stone, or near enough, and the floor at ground level is damp sand. Didn't seem like there were any mounting points for tripwire-and-deadfall traps, and definitely no space inside the walls for anything more complex.

Of the two entrances on the far side, the one further from the shore is blocked by a boulder, and leads directly into the central circular space. The one closer to the shore is wide open, other than a simple canvas privacy screen, and leads to the room with the wooden boxes, as does the entrance on the near side which you're looking at. This is the only entrance with guards posted.

The passage to the magic lab seems to be mostly clogged up with dead leaves, loose soil, and so on. You'd need a shovel to clear it in any kind of hurry, and even then it'd be hands-and-knees. Might be some kind of runic trap as well, hard to say with all the magical background noise. Confirming or denying that with certainty, cautiously enough to avoid setting it off or otherwise attracting attention, would take... maybe twenty minutes? Certainly no more than an hour.

>>724291
>where they store their gold, or if there's an armory

If there's any high-purity coinage or weapons-grade steel present inside, it's either locked up in shielded containers, or consistently stays 2-3 feet away from any load-bearing stone surface.

>Are any of the rooms with interesting objects devoid of people / creatures?
Not sure whether anybody's home in the magic lab, but that'd be the hardest to sneak in even if unoccupied. From an elemental perspective, exploring the lab in detail would be like stumbling around in an unfamiliar dance club, with flashing lights and pounding dubstep, but instead of a nice flat floor you're playing scavenger hunt on a jungle gym made of slick, brittle glass. There's also at least a little bit of non-metaphorical glassware involved. If the owner IS home, that rapidly escalates from tedious-and-disorienting to nigh-suicidal.
The room with the iron boxes doesn't have any obvious life signs, but that's partly because it's so warm. Somebody would have to be keeping an eye on those fires... they might just be sitting on a flying carpet in hover mode, or have weird-shaped feet, a nonpulsating circulatory system, and less spiritual depth than a tablecloth.
The other two rooms are definitely occupied.

Judging by how far heat has sunk into the stone, this place was empty (or at least didn't have any steady fires) as recently as two or three months ago, and for at least a year before that.
>>
No. 724797 ID: cea69d

For any additional clarification needed, that roll was in case you needed to determine any random luck in my starting position, and I'm fine being wherever, doing whatever- knocked out behind the ogres, not until the next town over, or just strolling up behind the party. Just drop me in with whatever works best for your narrative, I don't need to be shoehorned if it'll throw things off. Also, I've specifically kept myself vague on the party details, only reading the beginnings of the first thread and the endings of this thread so there's no meta-gaming on my part. If I need to go back through and fill myself in on everything that's transpired however I'm more than happy to; it seems our current position is quite far from our starting point
>>
No. 724802 ID: a107fd

>>724787
Looks fine, apart from the vulnerability. How about some side effect of partial mummification? For example, if your unnatural homeostasis involves flesh like dry leather, fire could be more of a threat, while getting soaked in water causes painful swelling.

The rope could be loosely looped around your extra arms, so you don't reach out to grab something with them and reveal yourself without thinking.

Rapid prototyping of mad science gadgets is a perfectly valid power. The key limitation is tools and materials: you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Tony Stark built the first Iron Man suit in a cave, from a box of scraps... but those scraps included a ceramic crucible full of molten palladium, servomotors and associated control circuitry intended for cutting-edge missiles, and quite a few other exotic doodads. You'll be starting in a very different cave, and, accordingly, should probably approach every monster and trap (especially, but not exclusively, mechanical traps) from a perspective of "how does this work, when do I break it up for parts, and what could I then build with those parts?"

Under the circumstances, I think I'll give you the choice: do you want to start out alone, but with your equipment, in the actual dungeon? Or enslaved, with personal equipment not immediately available, but in a sheltered location on the surface and possibly about to be rescued by the rest of the party? You can wait until Marijke decides whether or not to raid the place, if you'd prefer not to risk being preemptively abandoned.
>>
No. 724804 ID: cea69d

Happy to go for a bit of mummy downsides- an unforeseen consequence of trying to rid herself of weak vital points that can leave you vulnerable. I also am quite satisfied with the rules for creating tools- creative solutions and critical thinking are the best part of text based RPGs.
As for starting position I think I'll pull for an enslaved start as long as it doesn't force the others hands to feel like they have to reach out to me- from an RP perspective I think it would give me a little extra incentive to hang with a party of people who have dissimilar goals; it's easy to hang around with people raiding ruins when you're broke and could greatly benefit from said raids. Would I still be able to have my familiar nearby, assuming all other gear is left by the wayside? Or will I have to build another/recall her in some fashion?
>>
No. 724817 ID: a107fd

>>724804
You'd have to rebuild the clockwork familiar.
>>
No. 724823 ID: cea69d

Understood. My initial idea for a familiar was a hollow body I would create, that is then sparked to life, inhabited by a sort of spirit. Think of it has a tiny spirit drawn from where ever magic comes from in this world. Normally the energy wouldn't be more than a spark but by binding it to a body I give it a more cohesive form and consciousness. Following this logic could I build a body and regain the spirit of my former familiar? It may not mean much in terms of the game but I did pick up on Marijke having to keep in contact with her familiar to ensure she didn't lose her archived spells.
Also as this is a lot of non-quest talk, is there a non-quest area such as a discussion thread you'd prefer I pose these questions to keep from clogging up the thread?
>>
No. 724824 ID: a107fd

>>724823
At the very top of this thread there's a link to the wiki page, which in turn has a link to the discussion thread. Let's do any further character-creation over there.
>>
No. 724885 ID: cea69d

Threw the last of my ideas over to the discussion thread, sorry I missed it earlier!
>>
No. 725055 ID: e47e93

rolled 2, 4, 1 = 7

>724212
After moving a little away from the party, Than begins to shout at them attempting to mimic a goblin or other humanoid while hiding in some shrubbery.
"Hey, I like your weapons. Where'dja get them?"
Ready to tumble away in case they react badly.
>>
No. 725057 ID: e47e93

>>724212
whoops
>>
No. 725159 ID: a107fd

>>725055
"Yeah, pretty sweet bow, innit? Hadta re-kajigger the pivot mount into a comfy foregrip, but this four-armed..."
The one with the club interrupts. "Say the thing first, dumbass!"
"Oh, right. Right! Are you here to trade?"
>>
No. 725163 ID: a075ba

rolled 3, 5, 5 = 13

>>725055
>>725159
Assume it doesn't require touch range, Marijke casts fools luck on Than. Just to increase her odds of survival should she answer the question / password wrong.
>>
No. 725166 ID: a107fd

Useful approximation of how the ogres are feeling right now: http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/v6ch1-page-11

>>725163
>touch range
Yes, but Eadric can flit over to deliver it.
>>
No. 725177 ID: a075ba

>>725166
Yeah, but sending the large colorful bird flying over to her gives away her position with more precision than her calling out does. Worse, it might give away our position, after she moved away from us as a precaution.
>>
No. 725197 ID: e47e93

rolled 3, 2, 4 = 9

>>725159
After some brief thought, Than decides to reply in this way.
"Of course I am! What else would I be here for, to pillage? Hahaha! Who would do that? You are the intelligent and strong guards here after all!"
She's still ready to move in case either of them get any ideas.
>>
No. 725570 ID: a107fd

>>725177
You've got adequate visual concealment (three yards of that magic fog is almost as thoroughly opaque as a brick wall), and Than already somewhat revealed her own position by speaking.
>>
No. 725573 ID: a107fd

>>725197
"Hey mister bug man!" The oversized cudgel's blunt end pounds thunderously against the stone wall. "Hey! You got a guest!"

There's a chittering sound in acknowledgement. Some vaguely insectile creature, large and strong enough that the ogres are visibly intimidated by it's very presence, emerges from the hole. Are you going to examine the escort in detail? Allow it to lead you inside, while averting your gaze respectfully? Spring an ambush? Flee?

Nico can have the avatar ready to go by now, if he'd dismissed the elemental and started summoning right when Than started talking.
>>
No. 725649 ID: e47e93

>725573
Well, following it inside wouldn't hurt much. Probably.
The bug seems intelligent and can acknowledge speech, not sure what they're trading here but I could worry about it later using some of Styx's items to trade if need be.
>>
No. 725650 ID: e47e93

>>725573
Well, following it inside wouldn't hurt much. Probably.
The bug seems intelligent and can acknowledge speech, not sure what they're trading here but I could worry about it later using some of Styx's items to trade if need be.
>>
No. 725651 ID: e47e93

Well, that went wrong.
>>
No. 725671 ID: a107fd

Is Than going in alone, or bringing the whole team? If the latter, what's your marching order, and where are you leaving Nico's tongue-tip?
>>
No. 725715 ID: e47e93

Well, she would take anyone who wants to go, and she'll probably lead unless Nico comes, then he can have his tongue tip off on someone and be the mediator.
Garaile can just store the tongue tips on his necklace as a trophies maybe? I don't know for what, but I think the tongues are fitting to be near Styx's ear as they would be "talking" to it.
>>
No. 725717 ID: a075ba

rolled 5, 3, 1 = 9

Marijke is... disinclined to let herself be walked into an ambush after what happened with the goblins. Especially as we're geared for sneaking, not fighting our way out of a trap.

I'll cast Wisper-web on the group so Than can stay in communication with us. If they turn out to have ill intentions, we can mount a surprise rescue. If they try to trade, Marijke can offer remote advice.

...and what the heck, Eadric can flit over and endow her with Fool's Luck, too. She'll need it.

>using some of Styx's items to trade if need be.
I'm skeptical they have they can or will give you a fair price on his weapon, the ring, maybe. (If they do try and trade, appraised worth was given >>720216 ).
>>
No. 725794 ID: a107fd

>>725717
Than's going in alone, then, apart from Eadric on her shoulder, wearing Styx's ring as an anklet, under strict instructions not to let go of it for less than fair market value?

The stone passage goes in about 20 feet, then turns sharply right, continues past a carved alcove reeking of the giant beetle-thing's distinctive musk, then turns left and opens up into the main cave, roughly thirty feet wide and fifty or sixty feet long. There are three exits: one at the north end which seems to lead out the far side of the rocky headland, a deep salty pool to the east, and a passage sloping steeply upward in the soutwest. The room itself is filled with the regimented chaos of a supply depot: half a dozen haggard goblins and orcs relocating and rooting through various barrels and crates, at the shrill orders of what could well be described as an 'eel-tick.'

It weighs about sixty pounds, most of which is a football-shaped abdomen covered in stiff bristly hairs, dyed bright blue and red in an elaborate spiral pattern, carefully combed and arranged to avoid any blurry purple overlap. Eight legs, thin and bare as rat-tails but tipped with tiny pincers, are all clustered together at the base of the foot-long neck, which is really more of a thin oily gray-black cephalothorax leading directly into the face, which has disconcertingly familiar elven features, apart from the wide jaws bristling with needle teeth.

It wears a kerchief-sized apron held in place with elaborate gold fasteners, and introduces itself as Rixxil Kas. With all the overwrought eagerness and artificial courtesy of a used car salesmen, it explains that Everything Is For $$$ale, although at the moment they're particularly looking to acquire gems, magic items, or a brownsmith, while liquidating their stocks of beaver pelts, silk cloth, and peach brandy.
>>
No. 725892 ID: e47e93

Than asks Marijke if she wants any beaver pelts, silk cloth, or peach brandy.
"Anything else in stock besides these items?" she asks Rixxil. He seems friendly enough, or at least amicable enough to be a shopkeeper regardless of his appearance.
>>
No. 725914 ID: a107fd

rolled 2, 4, 1 = 7

>>725794
Letkra, seeing that than is attempting to initiate discussion while Marijke and the others hide out, politely asks Marijke if she can 'switch parties' and dash (behind cover, if possible) over to Than to accompany her in, trying to be circuitous enough not to give away Marijke and Nico's position, but still catch up with Than in time to ask to come along and make sure she's visibly coming along with her, instead of like she's sneaking up from some external angle. She also tries to make sure it's okay for her to come along inside.

Upon seeing 'mister bug man', she is curious and friendly, greeting him: "Hello! Nice to meet you! I'm Letkra!"

>> "eel-tick"
Letkra seems mostly unphased by this as well, though a little frightened of the face, which she tries to politely conceal. Nevertheless, she also says, "Hello! What's a brownsmith?"
>>
No. 725919 ID: a107fd

>What's a brownsmith
A craftsman who works with copper and, by extension, copper alloys, such as brass and bronze. The brawniest of the three kobolds, that one with the backpack and hammer, might have relevant experience.

>>725892
>Anything else in stock
Looks like mostly mundane supplies for a long naval voyage: salted pork, rope, nails, tar, wooden planks, and so on. Rixxil apologetically explains that the site manager's permission would be needed before trading away any coworkers, and most of the high value-density / low frequency-of-use items (coins, gems, alchemical reagents) are tucked away in 'the back room.' What in particular are you looking for?

>He
Rixxil Kas is not male.
>>
No. 725942 ID: a075ba

rolled 5, 4, 1 = 10

Huh, honest traders, it would seem. And/or pirates.

Marijke's in comfortable territory here! She will see if she can strike a bargain, through her proxies.

>>725914
I don't have a problem with sending two people in to scout instead of 1, although it's slightly less awkward if we retroactively assume Lectra intercepts Than on the way in instead of following her to the guards. (Although you can probably get in just fine with a "I'm with her!").

Also, gives us more possible trade options, since Lectra is carrying gold.

>Than asks Marijke if she wants any beaver pelts, silk cloth, or peach brandy.
The party isn't as well stocked in clothing as it could be, but none of us is particularly inclined at tailing clothes from raw pelts and/or cloth. And they're luxury items not particularly suited to wilderness survival.

>although at the moment they're particularly looking to acquire gems, magic items, or a brownsmith
The first thing we should probably try to barter with is Mesifin's ring. See if we can get a fair price for it, or if they try to rip you off.

I would also ask, casually, in what capacity they're looking to employ a brownsmith: short term contract work, longer term employment, or a permanent acquisition (of a slave).

>Looks like mostly mundane supplies for a long naval voyage: salted pork, rope, nails, tar, wooden planks, and so on
Meat would probably do wonders for our current mushroom diet. (Heck, even salt would improve the flavor).

Oil might be a mundane supply they have on hand, which Lectra might need. (I forget how long what she has is supposed to last her).

Simple clothes might also be something we're interested in, as I recall we were mostly clad in rags?
>>
No. 725978 ID: e47e93

>>725942
"Three questions," Than inquires, "Is the salted pork for sale, what do you think this ring is worth, and how long would you need a brownsmith if I knew one?"

She waits patiently while anyone else or the eel-tick decides to reply.
>>
No. 725989 ID: a107fd

>>725942
>clothing
Goris points out that vestment maintenance and repair is part of an acolyte's duties, so herself, Eswic, and Altsoba are all at least minimally competent with needle and thread. Further, another one of the kobolds specialized in patching up leather armor for the goblins.
>mostly clad in rags
Not exactly. Default traveling clothes are sturdy rather than stylish, but still a step above the crude sackcloth of a hard-luck peasant, slave laborer, or renunciate monk.
> luxury items not particularly suited to wilderness survival
A tunic of raw silk, under other clothes or light conventional armor, can actually provide some useful protection against blades and arrows. Won't absorb the hit outright, but it'll wrap around the cutting edge, reducing internal injury and greatly simplifying the process of cleaning the wound.

> try to barter with Mesifin's ring
Rixxil offers two bolts of silk, or one bolt and two bottles of brandy, for the metal, and would be willing to throw in a generous handful of assorted buttons, beads, thread, and other textile miscellany for "that cracked fleck of blue glass." With some reasonable assumptions about common standards of size and quality in cloth and liquor, that'd be worth around twice what Marijke was expecting to get for the metal alone... but barely half the fair value overall if she was correct about the stone being star sapphire rather than cheap imitation.

> looking to employ a brownsmith
Permanent acquisition would be ideal, for ongoing maintenance and so on, but they've also got some immediate fabrication and repair needs that could conceivably be farmed out as work-for-hire contracts. Offering a 12% finder's fee if you can recommend someone both competent, and willing to have their memory of the job excised afterward.

>Meat
When Than describes the desiccated berry-vomit, Rixxil Kas expresses willingness to acquire as much of it as can be provided, up to a few hundred pounds, in exchange for an equal weight of salt pork. This strikes Marijke as a good trade, almost suspiciously so. Either eel-ticks really love berry juice, yet have no other way to preserve it for their own long-term use, or something's seriously wrong with that meat.

>oil
One gold coin buys a 20-gallon sheepskin sack full of coconut oil: solid at room temperature, melts under typical mammalian body heat. Letkra finds it sludgy, with an unpleasant aftertaste, but passably palatable overall. Twenty gallons would be enough to keep her running at full power for roughly a month and a half... but a greasy 150-pound bag with no convenient handles may present logistical challenges.
>>
No. 726027 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 4, 4, 3 = 11

>on the applications of raw silk and having people who can put it to use
I think we might want to trade the metal band for the silk, then.

As for the gem, we either hold onto it, or attempt to barter higher / convince it of the gem's value. (I'm reasonably confident it knows the gem is authentic and is just trying to get it for cheap).

>or something's seriously wrong with that meat.
Pity I didn't prepare detective poison, today. I'm going to assume this is probably the case for now, though it would be bad form to call him on this.

>brownsmith
So an opportunity to sell out the kobold, or get him temporary work for hire. Still skeptical slave-trading is worth what it would do to morale, and it may be more trouble than it's worth working for these guys.

>oil
It might be easier to transport if they have any empty brandy bottles they're willing to fill, as opposed to a big sloshing sack.

If Lectra opts to buy some, Marijke will help her get a fair deal, but she'll have to decide herself how much she's interested in.
>>
No. 726041 ID: e47e93

Ok. She takes the gem out of the ring and hands him the metal band for two bolts of silk. Anything else reasonably able to be done at the moment? Could come back with some berry vomit later and see if the meat is bad or not. Maybe it just likes berries over meat.
>>
No. 726048 ID: 4201a2

>>726027
>slave-trading may be more trouble than it's worth
Garaile will literally hack you to pieces with an axe if you try it. But I have another character lined up if Garaile dies, so I say go for it!
>>
No. 726063 ID: a107fd

>>726041
>takes the gem out of the ring and hands him

Rixxil Kas (who is, again, not male) lets out an anguished squawk when Than starts picking at the gem's wire socket with her fingernails. "No, no! Damage that elegant braid and the offer is withdrawn! Please, if a little speck of glass holds such significance for you, I'll fetch a proper jeweler for the extraction."

>any empty brandy bottles
Nope. Willing to squeeze it out into whatever containers you provide, though, one silver per gallon.
>>
No. 726082 ID: e47e93

Okay. Than agrees to let the jeweler in to keep the gem and give it the metal band for those two bolts of silk.
>>
No. 726182 ID: a107fd

>>726082
An orc unpacks the silk as agreed, then bundles it inside a rain-resistant covering and hands it over. Rixxil Kas scurries off into the 'back room' (through that southwest hall) and returns ten minutes later with a blue crystal of very similar size and shape, but which Than's eyes instantly recognize as not actually being the same one that was mounted on the ring.

>>724823
Riv's captors, meanwhile, have finally delivered those two ounces of platinum (already drawn into wire, but inconveniently braided, and with a bonus sapphire) that she needs to start patching all those crumpled binding diagrams in the ship's ventral spar. Well, that she claimed to need... silver could work almost as well, with the right corrosion-resistant lacquer, but then they might have finished up and left already. Sudden access to platinum implies they've got rich, adventurous visitors at the moment, which in turn implies an opportunity to escape while security is distracted. When are you going to make your move, and what's it going to be? Follow-up questions about Riv's circumstances would be entirely appropriate before committing to a course of action, since she's had days to prepare, but answers will be spoiler-blocked until properly meeting the rest of the group.
>>
No. 726223 ID: cea69d

Many questions to follow so I'll block it out with spoilers as well
1) Ship spar- like a boat spar, or a plane spar? I thought plane because I'm using metal but I'd admit that I don't know much about boats. If this is otherwise irrelevant or unimportant just give me a heads up and ignore it.
2) What is the security like? How was I captured or sold off, how am I kept, how many guards do I know about, what kind of equipment would they have, are their locks or any sort of traps, automated security in any way?
3) What kind of supplies do I have? What resources are around me, as well as spells I have prepared, potions I would have been able to create, devices or traps I could have made, etc.
4) Are there other slaves or more valuable resources that I know of? if so do I know how to get to them, where to find them, etc?
5) What have I been doing aside from repairing spars? What have they been using me for, and what plans do they have for me if I'm privy or able to guess at that kind of info
More questions may follow but that is my starting batch.

>>
No. 726239 ID: e47e93

>>726182
Put off by the fake jewel, she contacts Marijke telling her what the eel-tick has done.
What does Marijke think the best course of action is?

Than finds them rather untrustworthy and is thinking about regrouping and getting some people to distract and others to steal back the gem and possibly more valuables for what it has done.

Is bribing the ogres that guard the entrance with Mesifin's weapon to get them to attack their own group, then turning on them when they're alone? I just want to know HOW stupid they are, since we already know that they are stupid.

Other than that, any further planning is on you guys. Deal is done and Than is ticked-off, and only holding the type of smile for a formality towards Rixxal. Her eyes haven't changed much for him to notice that, however.
>>
No. 726255 ID: a075ba

Marijke does not appreciate someone trying to cheat her, even by proxy. (The commerce god's teachings on theft and honesty are... complicated, at best. Obviously there is no commerce without some sort of civilized framework in which people can operate, and wealth means little if all descends into anarchy. But at the same time pursuing the best possible deal the accumulation of wealth requires stepping aside or around these rules as much as one can get away with. Much like history, the rights and wrongs end up being decided by the victors).

>What does Marijke think the best course of action is?
Okay, options.

Option 1: swallow pride, pretend we didn't notice the deception, and get out. Least risk, minor loss of material wealth and dignity. Possibly to be paid back at a later date when we go full pirate on their compound in retaliation, now that we've scouted it.

Option 2: strait up confront Rixxil Kas on the deception. (Something like "I'm sorry, I don't believe this is the correct gemstone, would you like to try again?" gives Rix an excuse to save face and return what's ours, if it backs down). Would be a roll for diplomacy / intimidation. Possibly a steep roll, since you're outnumbered and inside their base, and Rix could always just have you thrown out or set its guards on you if it isn't cowed.

Obviously combat is sub-optimal, as you're cut off inside their base, Than is not meant to fight at close range, and your reinforcements planned for stealth.

Option 3: Counter cheating with mind magic subterfuge. Eadric can cast, and since he's riding Than, even if they require touch range, she can get him close enough during the exchange. Obvious downside is that if it fails, it will probably be treated as an attack, and then we're back to combat.

Curse of friendship would probably make Rix much less willing to rip us off (assuming the spell would make him recognize Than and/or Eadric as friends. It's possible Marijke not being physically present would make the spell functionally useless, if it applies only to her).

Demand gift might be used to demand suitable compensation for the gem we just 'sold' him, multiplied significantly as a penalty for his offense. Force him to give up something of significant value. (I'm not sure how abstract I can make the demand, or if I have to demand a single, specific object). It also occurs to me this could be an amusing way to add the new party member, if Riv is part of the demanded payment Rix delivers.
>>
No. 726261 ID: a107fd

>>726239
So, Than's staring blankly, not accepting the gem, muttering under her breath about things like "deal's off, please advise" and "hostile extraction?" That smile might be a hard sell, and failure to conceal hostile intent at this point surely has consequences. Roll for it.

>>726223
1) Main structural elements are wood, navigation involves precise measurement of relative positions of stars, crashed on the shore as the result of a storm. The setting is fantasy-medieval, so aeroplanes - that is, mass produced heavier-than-air flying vehicles - aren't really a known technology. There are flying carpets and brooms and suchlike, but those tend to be either heavily user-dependent (useless to anyone who can't already fly under their own power), or prohibitively expensive. Balloons or kites pulled by draft swans, hippogriffs, or hawkmen compare unfavorably with rafts, sleds, and wagons pulled by donkeys, oxen, or human porters for anything but short hops over the most impassable terrain. Sky behemoths refuse to breed in captivity. Enchanting something the size of a blue-water sailing ship to fly, on command, for anyone? If possible at all, that would cost more than some entire kingdoms. The very idea is absurd.
2)Capture was several months ago. Skeevy guy in a lumpy yellow turban slipped something in Riv's drink, consciousness was regained inside a 3' cubic wooden box already aboard the ship. Here at the crash site, they've got five ogres and at least four of those great hulking beetle-things. Looking too closely at the latter causes overwhelming (albeit mercifully brief) hallucinations and/or compulsions, typically resulting in violent or otherwise profoundly antisocial behavior. The water is guarded by a giant octopus, and Riv isn't a great swimmer anyway. The stone bluffs surrounding the cove are too steep and storm-polished to free-climb, too high to confidently throw a grappling hook, and all the bugs are better at climbing anyway so it'd be too easy for them to track you and catch up.
3)Mostly ship-repair tools. There's a decent selection of thaumaturgical kit but it's watched a lot more closely. The boss, Neex Hist, knows theoretical magic far too well to fall for pure bafflegab (you've been able to pass off early attempts as ignorant amateur mistakes, by playing to it's ego; probably wise not to press your luck any further), but is less familiar with the practicalities of artifice and engineering, so excessive caution and diligence make a decent stalling tactic. No potions, no dedicated weapons, but you might have been able to hide some secondary functionality in otherwise legitimate tools or ship mods. Same starting spells as Marijke.
4)Around a dozen other slaves, mostly half-starved orcs and goblins with little or no will to resist. All the best stuff is either in the upper caves, where the eel-ticks sleep, or in the ship's hold, with the Eye.
5)You refitted the ship's deck gun into a portable harpoon launcher, to help scale the cliffs, but then they issued it to one of the ogres guarding the front door. Once the ship is repaired, they're going to continue along some sort of trade route. Riv's got skills they can't seem to readily replace, but other slaves are being worked to death, or slaughtered for misbehavior, on an alarmingly casual basis.

>>
No. 726270 ID: a107fd

>>726255
>Demand gift
Has to be a literal, physical item (unless they're some sort of god, shuffling around abstractions like poker chips, in which case you've likely got bigger problems) that they've already got in hand, or accessible on their person. Something they can hand over without enough intermediate steps to think about what they're doing. Holstered weapon generally works fine, but the contents of an inside pocket on a coat would only be a useful target if the coat was already unbuttoned, and something on a shelf or desk wouldn't work unless the victim could grab it without looking: the pen that was set down halfway through writing a letter, for example, or the bedside alarm that's swatted on a 15 or less as their first action after hearing it go off, without even waking up.

Also, Eadric cannot cast spells by himself. He stores spells for Marijke to prepare and cast, and can 'carry the charge' to a target, but that only works on touch-range spells. Rixxil Kas would probably be within range of Demand Gift right now, if only there weren't a stone wall in the way. That gold cloak clasp is probably worth at least as much as the sapphire.
>>
No. 726292 ID: cea69d

Alright well this seems like a now or never opportunity. I'm not really enjoying being enslaved AGAIN so I'm spending every waking moment attempting to plan an escape route. First goal would have been to create 2 musks from the chemicals I have on hand:
1) a scent overpowering strong, like a stink bomb bad enough to make you gag, and blind anything that sees by smells or pheromones. Assuming I could get my hands on some fish, a sealable container, and then things like sulfur and such, creating a disgusting mixture of rotting fish and chemicals shouldn't be overly difficult I hope. The more bottles of these I can make in my spare time the better- pass it off as part of a religious ceremony if possible, anyone I need to use them to pray and as offerings to ensure gift guides my hands etc.
2) a musk to mask my own scent- preferably a mixture that approximates salt water or wet vegetation, that way I can pour or rub it on my self and have it act as a camouflage of the nose.
If I can have those items created, next priority would have been creating a small robot to aid me. Per our discussion is having the level 1 AI core which isn't really capable of doing anything yet alright? The assumption being I've been working on it but struggling to build anything complex enough to be useful without being caught
The ring is valuable- I'll hold onto that. Platinum is incredibly ductile and conductive, making it useful, especially for artificey
A way to become invisible would be very nice- I don't think I can manage that magically just yet though, my capabilities seem to be limited to minor illusions and tricks starting out if I'm getting her starting spells correct- gum fire, echo manipulation, playing with colors etc. However, this are all visual and audible effects- if I could attempt to twist them to suit a stealthier goal by say, making my foot steps echo seem to indicate that I'm walking in the opposite direction, or if that's not possible maybe restrict its echo- muffle my self essentially, that would be useful. In turn if I can make a stain stand up, could I make myself a cloak of stains, a colorful disguise that allows me to either
A) impersonate an ogre or bug creature in appearance, or if that's not possible then
B)create a camouflage of my surround area to better blend in.
Lastly, is there anyone in the room with me? Is there anyone stationed outside my room? If so, is it an ogre, or a bug creature? Do I know the layout of the ship well enough to navigate towards the trading area where the deals are made to hopefully intercept any adventurers before my chance slips away? Depending on the size of the ship 10 captors to evade could take some simple luck and knowledge or be nigh impossible- do I have a rough idea of how likely I am to escape? If during my time here I could paint myself as a religious fanatic, pretending to devoutly and feverishly believe in a forgin pantheon that would work to my advantage over all; if I can make them think I'm a little bit unhinged and a little bit crazy without getting flogged for it, it may allow me some additional options in my escape.

>>
No. 726294 ID: cea69d

sorry for the typos, auto correct is giving me a hard time, let me know if you need any clarification. Here's a dice roll since the last one didn't work
>>
No. 726298 ID: e47e93

rolled 4, 4, 1 = 9

>>726239
>>
No. 726301 ID: cea69d

rolled 3, 1, 3 = 7

lets try this one more time
>>
No. 726306 ID: 3d2d5f

>>726261
I thought the spell was described as a subvocalized mic? The cheat shouldn't be able to hear what Than is muttering.

If it does hear, though, we're pretty much jumping to option 2.

>Also, Eadric cannot cast spells by himself. He stores spells for Marijke to prepare and cast, and can 'carry the charge' to a target
Wait, I can't cast through my familiar? He needs to physically touch Marijke between each spell he "carries"?

...I wish I'd known that earlier. The only reason I didn't object to letting him ride in with Than instead of flying back to me was because I thought I was taking a risk for a sneaky tactical advantage.

>assessment
Okay, in case this goes bad, what's the tactical situation? Who's in the room with Than and Lectra and Nix, are the ogres still at their post? How high is the ceiling in that room?
>>
No. 726325 ID: a107fd

>>726306
Somebody would have to roll hearing-based perception, at -15, to overhear the whispered conversation itself, and even further beyond that to make out every word. Conceivable, but unlikely. On a stealth op, before a sentry hears you speaking through Whisperweb, they'd notice things like your heartbeat, or a single drop of sweat falling from shoulder height onto plush carpet.

However, someone who's already seen Than, and is carrying on a conversation with her, might notice somewhat more easily when she 'goes AFK' to talk to someone else remotely, or flinches at an unpleasant revelation. Might even be able to read lips, at a more manageable penalty. Whisperweb is a very useful trick, but still has flaws relative to, say, telepathy, and Than's skillset is more 'cold-hearted hunter of the undead' than 'refined socialite.'

>>726298
Rixxil Kas simply blinks and asks what's wrong.

>>726306
>Who's in the room with Than and Lectra?
Rixxil Kas, a few noncombatant slaves, that hulking gorilla of a coleopterid, and maybe something lurking under the water.
>are the ogres still at their post?
Yes.
>How high is the ceiling in that room?
Somewhat irregular, since it's a natural cave, but somebody five or six yards tall could probably walk around without hitting their head. Central fissure, like an upside-down dry streambed, is a good twenty feet off the ground.

>wish I'd known that earlier
This is the first time Marijke and Eadric have had armed guards separating them. Transferring the charge worked fine through heavy clothing, or even without a direct touch so long as he was within arm's reach. Stuck indoors during a storm, there weren't a lot of opportunities to figure out the exact cutoff distance.

1) Yeah, you could mix up a batch of fish glue with noxious-smelling additives, and pack it into fragile containers with handles suitable for throwing. Five bottles, with labels that say 'peach brandy.'
A) No, too big and completely different anatomy. Well, one of the ogres might work, but you'd basically have to skin 'im and wear it as a suit, plus a supporting skeleton, maybe even power-assist. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090608 That's not a project that could be done quickly or covertly, at least not without specialized tools. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20080104
B)Sure, you can swap colors around temporarily (or transfer gunk as an instantaneous effect) for camouflage. Still limited by your mundane skill, but negating the penalties for lack of tools and paint and so on, and speeding the process up, are both significant benefits.
You don't have a private room, and you're not actually on the ship right now. Off-duty slaves are kept in a 15' deep pit with sandy floor and polished stone walls. Ogre at the top lowers a ladder to let people in or out. Currently you're up on the ledge around the pit, at the exit to the 'shipyard' cove, waiting for someone to move a massive boulder out of the way from the other side. Only other creature in the room is an ogre guard, standing between you and the other exits. He outmasses you by a factor of ten, and has a similar advantage in reach (bigger arms plus a six-yard bullwhip vs. tiny concealable knife) so a straight fight is pretty much hopeless, but you might be able to pull some sneaky trick and get him to fall down the pit, where he'd be at the mercy of folks he's been randomly abusing for the past week or more.
Eel-ticks consider any religious practice that doesn't provide tangible benefits to be a form of insanity. They might accept irrational yet reasonably consistent behavior as part of the package with your valuable skills, but it's not going to earn any special consideration.

>>
No. 726369 ID: cea69d

rolled 2, 3, 4 = 9

To clarify a few things before we move on I'm going to restructure some of my questions:
A) Can I mask my own scent with a mixture that smells like vegetation or water?
B) If it is impossible to make myself SOUND like an ogre, can I make myself quieter, via manipulating echos?
In addition, I have extra questions about my surroundings and a plan of action:
C) Can the boulder be moved from either side?D) If the ogre started screaming for help, or just screaming in general, would others come to help?
E) Are their actions I'm not allowed to take? Would I be punished if I walked up to the ogre and just started up a friendly chat? Or am I free to roam about the cave as long as I'm supervised

>>
No. 726374 ID: a107fd

>>726369
A)For scent masking, there's four main options: dietary restriction and potions to change your own biochemistry (which you've already got red-lined with the immortality thing), sealed suit to keep volatiles from escaping (which would have air supply and heat dissipation issues, if the eel-ticks let you build it at all), application of chemicals to the trail to neutralize your scent (in which case they'd probably still be able to follow the smell of the cleaning agent), and application of chemicals to the trail to overwhelm any scent, thus distracting the pursuer and/or destroying their sense of smell. Only the last of those is practical, and none address footprints-and-broken-branches style tracking, let alone simple visual-range pursuit.
With heroic effort, no regard for safety, and access to the modified ballista, Riv could perhaps launch a harpoon and use the associated rope to scale the cliff in as little as one minute; at least three minutes is more likely, even if nothing goes seriously wrong. Her vaguely insectile captors could manage the same climb in less than 15 seconds, without equipment or apparent strain. So, there's not much point going for high ground, or worrying about covering a trail, unless you've already got a massive head start somehow.
B)Quieter, sure.
C)It's just a big chunk of rock, it hasn't got hinges or handles or anything. Two of those beetle-monsters need to work together to lift it safely.
D)Within a minute or two, at most.
E)Right now you're under orders to go start the repairs that were being delayed for want of platinum. Anything obviously unrelated to that could lead to trouble.

>>
No. 726387 ID: 3e4ecd

Do I know the guard by name? Or any title or something like that that I could use to start a conversation with more deference and respect than just "Hey Ogre, need to talk"?
>>
No. 726390 ID: a107fd

>>726387
The ogres mostly seem to address each other as "dumbass."
>>
No. 726435 ID: e47e93

rolled 2, 6, 1 = 9

>>726325
"This doesn't seem to be my jewel..." Than replies.
Then afterwards mutters under her breath but loud enough for it to hear, "The other trading posts would never do this to me..."

going to assume bluff check right
>>
No. 726439 ID: 00324b

Riv will then beacon the ogre over with a loud "Hey Dumbass, need to talk."
>>
No. 726451 ID: a107fd

>>726435
Rixxil Kas examines the gem, then laughs defensively. "Why, so it is! Let me just fetch the correct one, and bring that tricksy jeweler out here, to be flogged at your discretion."

>>726439
Than hears angry voices echoing out of the back room, followed by a wet thump, and stone grinding on stone.
>>
No. 726515 ID: cea69d

>>726374
In terms of covering my scent, I was actually hoping for something akin to option 3, wherein I apply some sort of herbal mixture or chemical concoction to myself or my trail to change how it smelled- but specifically I was hoping I could make something that would make me smell like wet jungle- the thought being that we are on an island with no shortage of foliage, and that the storm would make everything else smell like wet leaves, so if I could make myself smell like wet leaves even if they tracked my scent I would smell like everything else- smell camouflage essentially. For reference, this wouldn't be incredibly difficult to make, I would just need dirt, leaves and porous rocks- clay based preferably. These items have spores and bacteria, as well as plant oils that help make up the fresh rain smell.
>>
No. 726521 ID: a075ba

>>726451
Hmm. So he has the guts to try and rip us off, but not to start something.

Eadric cocks his head at the noise from the backroom.
>>
No. 726524 ID: a107fd

>>726515
Sand, granite pebbles, and seaweed are readily available. Clay, loam, and land-based vegetation not so much.
>>
No. 726544 ID: cea69d

>>726524
Drat, then without those resources I don't think i could readily make it work. Through my captors or my surroundings, can I obtain ammonia, a mineral called Baryte, and plenty of water, I can chemically synthesize things roughly similar to baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, which can be mixed together to form an odor neutralizing liquid that's usually used to de-skunk dogs who've been sprayed. DO you think that's doable for Riv, or am I just grasping at straws here?
>>
No. 726565 ID: a107fd

>>726544
You've clearly put a lot of thought into this! Okay, Riv's obvious options at this point:
1) Go outside, grab the stinky fish glue, and then either
1a) proceed to the ship, start messing with it in some way that looks like repairs (least suspicious)
1b) loop around to the other shipyard-side cave entrance, see who's in the front room, possibly make a run for the exit
OR
2) run back along the ledge where the ogre was standing until a moment ago, then
2a) lower the ladder, allowing your fellow slaves (but also the ogre) to escape
2b) turn right, uphill, claim that somebody made a mess in the pit and you need to grab the deodorizer
2c) turn left, downhill, to the front room, where Rixxil Kas will assume you're returning the sapphire and possibly about to be flogged.
>>
No. 726584 ID: cea69d

rolled 1, 5, 1 = 7

She can't risk freeing the ogre, even to free other slaves- it's doubtful they could do anything to help Riv's escape as they've proven themselves to be less than cunning and very much out-muscled, so she has no hopes of help from them; better not to incur any unnecessary risk. If they're smart enough they'll use what they've got and figure their own way out. No doubt they'd leave her to save their hides as well. At least, that's what she tells herself.

Ideally I would like to head towards the front room with Rixxil Kas (and the adventurers I assume they're trading with), with both stinky fish and deodorizer. No matter what I can grab before I head to the front though, I want to move towards where the traders are. Rixxil Kas either perceives them as a threat or an opportunity- either way they aren't risking confrontation, which is important. I fear the traders might be some kind of slavers as well, but even then, possible enslavement is better than certain enslavement.

As Riv walks towards the front to make her move she envisions her ideal scenario: As she reaches the front, she assess whether the traders pose a threat to her. She then glasses Rix in the face, hopefully gagging it with the horrible stench of rotting fish and giving her time to make a dash for it. The deodorizer will then allow her to remove the stench of fish from herself; she risks being easily tracked when releasing the odor bomb as she predicts there is a high chance she'll get some on her as well. Properly deodorized, she can flee inland, covering herself with fresh mud and rubbing leaves on her skin as she goes, in hopes of masking the scent of deodorizer, which would be much easier to cover up than rotting fish, and camouflaging herself, either loosing them in the underbrush or climbing into the tree tops if she feels that's a more surefire way to lose any pursuers. There are too many variables to be sure this plan will work, and failure will likely result in being permanently crippled if not killed outright, but she has lived too much of her life as a slave to not risk escape when the opportunity presents itself. She just hopes the traders aren't too well equipped to hunt her down, they represent the biggest unknown here.
NOTE: This is NOT one big action, just describing to you how she (and I) are picturing things, and what we're trying to do, so that you can fill me in with anything I may be misunderstanding. Count me down as gathering whatever I can and heading towards Rixxil Kas

>>
No. 726608 ID: a107fd

>>726584
A five foot tall woman with four shriveled arms bursts out of the back room, eyes darting side to side on the verge of panic. Her lower two hands are holding two bottles of peach brandy each, crudely resealed with red wax. Her upper left arm cradles a one-gallon clay jug labeled with a black skull and crossbones. Upper right arm grips a fifth brandy bottle, upside down, by the neck, as if preparing to throw it, and she's wearing Mesifin Styx's ring (intact, unmodified) on her upper right thumb.

Seeing this, Rixxil Kas gives a sigh of disgust. "Janitorial supplies? No, no, don't try to explain. Azri and Urqo gave you conflicting orders again, didn't they? And esteemed Administrarch Neex can't be bothered to clarify the chain of command until we're dug in enough support a Great Old Master."
>>
No. 726632 ID: cea69d

rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11

>>726608
Riv upon reaching the front and seeing a single trader with an occult looking parrot, realizes she may be able to extract herself without having to fight:
"Ogre, pit!" She cries out, allow her panic at her own situation to seep into her voice in hopes of sounding genuinely worried. "Things not good, need attention! Ladder not down, did not want to risk escape and losses. Must hurry, urgent problem"
>>
No. 726663 ID: a107fd

Than and Letkra are both there in the front room, although Letkra's force shield has been left outside to keep rain and wind off the rest of the scouting party. She could recall it, in order to defend herself, but doing so would take several seconds of concentration.
>>
No. 726666 ID: a107fd

>>726451
>>flogged at your discretion

"Err, I'm not sure any of us know each other well enough yet for that sort of thing. But I'm new around here."

>>Than hears angry voices echoing out of the back room, followed by a wet thump, and stone grinding on stone.
If Letkra can also hear that, she tilts her head over to look that direction worriedly, mirroring Eadrc's head tilt. "Who's shouting? I thought this was a shop."

>>726608
>>A five foot tall woman with four shriveled arms bursts out of the back room, eyes darting side to side on the verge of panic.
Letkra waves. "Hello!"

>>she's wearing Mesifin Styx's ring (intact, unmodified) on her upper right thumb.
She's pretty sure that's the ring from earlier, and looks over to see if Than spotted it too. Obviously this person must be important.

>>"Ogre, pit!" She cries out, allow her panic at her own situation to seep into her voice in hopes of sounding genuinely worried. "Things not good, need attention! Ladder not down, did not want to risk escape and losses. Must hurry, urgent problem"
Letkra leans forward. "You need help getting someone out of a pit trap? I can help! I think. I'll need to come take a look at it to be sure. Wait, what do you mean about not risking escape? Who escaping what??"

>>Letkra's force shield has been left outside to keep rain and wind off the rest of the scouting party.
"Miss Than, should I retrieve my shield? (It might help with the pit if they don't have a ladder.)"
>>
No. 726668 ID: cea69d

>>726663
My statement will still stand, sorry I had forgotten letkra also went in
>>
No. 726671 ID: e47e93

>>726608
>Her lower two hands are holding two bottles of peach brandy each, crudely resealed with red wax. Her upper left arm cradles a one-gallon clay jug labeled with a black skull and crossbones. Upper right arm grips a fifth brandy bottle, upside down, by the neck, as if preparing to throw it

All Than does is look at her funny, in a way that speaks "What are you doing?"

>she's wearing Mesifin Styx's ring (intact, unmodified) on her upper right thumb.

Noticed.
>>726666
"Go ahead." Than replies. Thinking the rest of the party might come if the shield leaves them.

All Than can muster as an action at the moment is a gestural "Hmm." with one of her hands while alternating looking at Rixxal and the deranged person trying to escape.
>>
No. 726700 ID: a075ba

>>726663
Oh, I was wondering about the force shield.

>I'm not sure any of us know each other well enough yet for that sort of thing.
Pfff, hehehe.

For the moment, Marijke has nothing to offer over the whisper-web. Although if Lectra recalls her shield, I'm going to have to erect some shadow armors.
>>
No. 727051 ID: a107fd

Than sees that, while Riv may not be saying anything specifically false, she definitely is intending to deceive someone. This calls attention, by contrast, to the lack of any such visible lie when Rixxil Kas attempted to steal the gem.

>>726700
You could also advance along with the force shield, talk you way past the ogres, and get the whole scouting group back together inside.
>>
No. 727205 ID: cea69d

Just for clarification, Riv's comments were addressed more specifically towards Rixxil Kas rather than Than or Letkra
>>
No. 727422 ID: a107fd
File 146489115681.jpg - (32.25KB , 279x407 , cove.jpg )
727422

So, here's the situation. Pair of ogres sitting outside at point 1, Letkra, Riv, Rixxil Kas, Than, and some orc laborers in the 'front room' at point 2, beetle-monster lurking in the alcove between. Giant octopus under the water at point 3. Rixxil Kas wants Riv to hand the jug of deodorizer over to the orcs, and proceed to point 4, where another beetle-monster is waiting, to start on the repairs. Remainder of the party (other than Garaile, Eswic, and Altsoba) is hiding in a cloud of fog at point 5. A third ogre and the off-duty slaves are in the pit at point 6.

Will you take your purchases and leave the store? Negotiate further? Or start something overtly hostile?

Rixxil Kas hasn't formally invoked hospitality, tried to cheat you, and is dealing in slaves, so probably no karmic penalties for attacking. If you really want to play it safe on that front, you could issue some sort of formal challenge... although, of course, that has some tactical drawbacks.
>>
No. 727434 ID: cea69d

>>727422
Does Rix react in any way to Riv's outburst about the ogre in the pit?
>>
No. 727447 ID: a107fd

>>727434
Yes, with calm, carefully-worded orders to hand off the cleanup job to the orcs, then proceed with whatever repairs were waiting on platinum.
>>
No. 727478 ID: 0ae7f9

Anything to bribe the ogres guarding the entrance with? If not we can just have the rest of our party lure the two ogres and just book it.
>>
No. 727479 ID: 0ae7f9

Yes this is the character playing Than, just on vacation
>>
No. 727513 ID: a107fd

>>727478
>bribe the ogres
Between Marijke and Letkra you've got over 250 gold coins, and a fair amount of silver besides. Hiring a family of ten ogres to serve as a squad of mercenaries would typically cost 40-50 gold per month, all told, maybe less with a long-term contract and/or shares of plunder. You can probably afford to offer these two more than their current employers are paying, at least short-term... unless coercion or other nonmonetary compensation is involved, in which case things get complicated.
>>
No. 727520 ID: cea69d

rolled 2, 2, 3 = 7

>>727513
I'd like to act, but after the party decides what to do with the ogres, so I'll put it here for the time being and ask that it happens after the ogre-bribe situation is figured out, if that's not too unreasonable time wise.

Riv, upon seeing a less than distracted Rix hardly react to her attempt to draw him away realizes she will in deed have to do this the hard and dirty way. She will bow to Rix slightly as a form of acknowledgement of the order, and turn as if to leave, hoping that Rix's attention is diverted back towards the traders. Riv will then (hopefully) surprise them and glass Rix in the face with a bottle of fish gunk. Assuming this works out RIv will head towards the exit guarded by the two ogres as fast as possible and attempt to talk her way out the door
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No. 727522 ID: cea69d

To clarify the roll is only for the attempt to smash the bottle into Rix's face, not to talk to the ogres; I'll roll for that again if I can make it to the door, as well as add some more specific dialog- I just wanted to make it clear she wasn't going to try to brute force her way past the ogres. Does Riv know if they're bound by anything more serious than money?
>>
No. 727602 ID: a107fd

Nico has dismissed the stone-swimmer and summoned the Avatar at this point. A vague humanoid shape, outlined by yellow rags, advances toward the ogres.

"Hey, that's a pretty cool mask. Are you here to tra..."

>I̘̺̭ͅ ̗͗w̤͚͚̩͕̮̦ͮͩ͐̓͑͒ͫe̛͍̥̫͔͚̟ͤͭ͗̑a̶͚͙̱̬͎͊ͦ̓̆͌̋̑r̖͕͉͔̗̯̾̊̂̏ͅ ͓͓̮͛ͭ̋̈͂̅n̪͈̠̝̣͎̓ͭ̏̿ͅo̹͇͈̻̩̥ͬ́ ͒ͤ҉̣m͖̭͔̋̔͜ͅǎ̫̹͎ͅŝ̉͗ͯͫ͘k̢̤̈́̒̈̂̐.̤̣̘̩̽͋ͣ

Both ogres scramble upright, tripping over each other in their haste to get out of the way. The one with the cudgel charges off into the waves, while the one with the ballista throws it aside and climbs frantically inland.

The beetle-monster, hearing a disturbance, steps outside. It kneels upon seeing the Avatar and produces chittering sounds which Nico understands to mean "Your Majesty, we had not expected you to arrive yet." While it's thus distracted, Acolyte Goris mutters "all glory to the True Prince," tiptoes up and taps the beetle-thing with two fingers, causing it to collapse, limp, facedown in the sand. Then, she plunges her steel rod into a soft spot in the chitin, producing a spurt of green blood... but the rod comes back out covered in ash.

This entrance is now unguarded, except by PCs.
>>
No. 727809 ID: a107fd

>>727520
Not a direct hit, but close enough to splash. There's an overwhelming stench of dead fish and rotten eggs. Rixxil Kas shudders in disgust and horror, whimpering "My fur! That gunk'll take days to clean out, and I'm not sure we even have any more of the right kinds of dye..."

Riv, roll to resist mind control.
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No. 727840 ID: a075ba

So looks like we're answering the insult of being cheated with violence and piracy, then. (Works for me, I don't like having my familiar on the tip of the spear without casting).

>>727602
"Well that was effective. Good work, you two."

Marijke will advise Than and 'Lectra over whisper-web that we're following them in, the ogres and the beetle thing are no longer a problem.

Eadric is advised to take flight, up and out of the way, when things go down.

Not sure of the exact marching order, but Nico's avatar should probably be in the front.

Marijke will have the jade amulet and idol in-hand.

Sorry for my absence, my computer went and died on me.
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No. 727857 ID: cea69d

rolled 2, 2, 3 = 7

>>727809
Riv, not getting the gagging and retching she was hoping for does her best not to focus on Rix and make a mad dash towards the door, mentally reciting the table of elements based on malleability, skipping ones that start with the letter M to add an extra layer of distraction to her practiced mental fortification routine
>>
No. 727865 ID: a107fd

>>727857
Alright, that's enough to resist Rixxil Kas's mental powers, OR the fear of the King, but not quite enough for both at once, particularly when they're driving in approximately the same direction. So, Riv ducks into the tunnel leading out the front entrance, sees Something Bad, then doubles back and heads for the shipyard cove.

Question is, why? Option A, Fear, means she's likely to drop something, and Rixxil Kas will know the jig is up, but she could shake that off enough to be functional and free-willed again in a few minutes, at worst. Option B, mind bondage, is orderly and predictable, lasts for several days (with the obvious option to renew), or until some command violates the subject's core principles, but it could also be rendered irrelevant if Rixxil Kas is subjugated or slain... which might plausibly be happening in the next few seconds.
>>
No. 727920 ID: cea69d

Gonna resist the effects emanating from Rixxil Kas which I believe are the mind bondage ones, correct?

Riv, having some practice resisting Rix in the past months, manages to shake off the shackles of control emanating from its rather terrifying form, but as she runs away a terrifying presence overwhelms her in her already shaken state, and she scrambles away as fast as she can while still avoiding Rix
>>
No. 728093 ID: a075ba

rolled 6, 6, 1 = 13

Oh, since we're heading into a potentially dangerous situation and have a little prep / approach time, it occurs to me there's no reason for Marijke not to spam Fool's Luck on everyone with her, time permitting (herself, Snake, Nico, Goris).
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No. 728109 ID: 0ae7f9

rolled 1, 2, 4 = 7

>>727602
Hearing the commotion
>>727809
Then looking at Rixxil and the smell
>>727840
And listening that they were coming and to go aggressive.

Than shrugs then draws her bow and aims straight for a death blow on Rixxil.
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No. 728132 ID: a107fd

>>727920
Rixxil Kas feels the mind bondage fail to take hold, and abandons all pretense of salesmanship to shout a warning for it's confederates. Nico, still (for the moment) outside in the howling storm, hears "Escape! The four-armed engineer is escaping!" but everybody else just hears randomly modulated buzzes.

>>728109
Rixxil Kas attempts to dodge, without success, and eel-ticks turn out to be squishy rather than chitinous. Than's arrow hits squarely on Rixxil's center of mass, overpenetrates, and embeds itself in an adjacent crate. Rixxil is not dead, perhaps not even mortally wounded, but clearly impaled and immobilized. The outraged buzz trails off into pained gurgling.

The orcish stevedors flee, following Riv toward the cove.

A dull red tentacle, studded with suckers and toothy hooks, silently emerges from the water and loops around Than's ankle.
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No. 728151 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 3, 2, 5 = 10

>>728132
Our group was approaching in the tunnel. Is Marijke close enough to Eadric to pass spells through him?

Because hitting the giant octopus with a friendship curse sounds like a good idea.
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No. 728155 ID: cea69d

Does that work on animals and such?
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No. 728186 ID: a075ba

>>728155
Well, the giant octopus didn't make a move until someone was attacked and/or the alarm was sounded.

That suggests it's either intelligent enough to assess the situation on it's own, intelligent enough to be trained, or under someone's mental influence already.
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No. 728200 ID: 0ae7f9

rolled 1, 4, 5 = 10

>>728132
Shit. Try to get Than's ankle out of that.

Anything else going on besides immediate danger?
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No. 728245 ID: a107fd

>>728151
>close enough to Eadric
By now, sure. It'd only take about five seconds to close the distance at a dead run, now that the guards are cleared out of the way.

>>728155
The version that works on animals is not the version Marijke has available.

>>728186
Also, one or more of those factors apply.

>>728200
Just trying to pull away, or stomp on it, or kneel down and peel the tentacle loose with fingers and knife, or what?
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No. 728267 ID: 0ae7f9

>>728245
Anything that removes the tentacle, without further agitating said octopus
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No. 728280 ID: 24aec8

Being in the cove and under the effects of fear are there any rolls I need to make or actions I can preform?
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No. 728295 ID: a107fd

>>728267
Than hops away from the water's edge, but is at a disadvantage in terms of raw strength. She hugs the nearest barrel, as an anchor, which prevents her from being dragged away by the octopus. Unfortunately this also puts her in melee range of Rixxil Kas, who bites her left forearm. Roll to resist poison.

>>728280
Rain's still pouring down. Beetle monster, uphill to your left, wants to escort you toward the ship to begin repairs, as previously scheduled. Has some questions about the delays, why you came through the wrong door, and what's up with the alarm.

You've recovered enough composure to speak coherently and otherwise choose your own actions, but not enough to seem calm, or confidently spin a line of BS. Nod submissively and proceed toward the work shack in silence? Try to explain yourself with ominous incoherent ranting about the King In Rags And Tatters? Pick a fight, most likely by spending another glue bomb? Flee?
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No. 728326 ID: f77a39

>>728295
If I return to work, I risk loosing my chance at freedom, and I do not want to flee further into the compound not do I want to flee towards The King- both options seem grim in terms of freedom or survivability. Direct armed conflict is dubious at best- even if I'm surround by Orc workers, there's no guarantee they will help, and they may even fight against me to appease their masters; in turn my manufactured weapons hardly seem sufficient and I'm feeling to scattered and panicked to throw out any sort of magic confidently. Riv mentally flips through her options and settles on explaining the presence of attackers in the base- if I can use my very really terror of The King, and group him in with the Pirates raiding the base, perhaps the beetle creature will consider running to the aid of Rix, especially if I elaborate to say that Rix is wounded but fighting back.
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No. 728336 ID: a075ba

rolled 1, 2, 1 = 4

>The version that works on animals is not the version Marijke has available.
Drat?
>Also, one or more of [these] factors apply:
>it's either intelligent enough to assess the situation on it's own, intelligent enough to be trained, or under someone's mental influence already.
I was thinking in the first case it's sapient enough to be put under the curse of friendship as per normal, in the second case that intelligent animals can still form friendships and/or that the closest equivalent would be the spell giving myself the comparable status as the trainer, and in the last case, that if they can do it, why can't I try and steal their control (or at least mess it up).

If my first plan isn't workable, I'd like a better tactical picture, please. How far are Than and Rixxil from the water? How far is our entrance? (It's important if it's close enough to water to be within the octopus' known reach). How far away is Lectra?

If I'm close enough to see, does Marijke's mage sight pick up anything? (Combat situation, I'm not going to spend time standing around to study spell effects in detail).
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No. 728371 ID: 0ae7f9

rolled 2, 1, 5 = 8

>>728295
Bash in Rixxil's head while Than is at resisting the poison too.
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No. 728387 ID: cea69d

rolled 2, 3, 4 = 9

>>728326
dice roll because I forgot the dice command doesn't work if you post from a mobile device
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No. 728401 ID: a107fd

>>728336
Crit success! Within the class specialty, even, and with fool's luck active besides. Through a miraculous moment of clarity you can actually see the telepathic tendril extending from Rixxil to the giant octopus, in such sharp relief that you could confidently attempt to meddle with it directly. Haven't got raw power enough to break the enslavement outright, but could tweak Friendship Curse and slip it in there spoofed to seem like part of the command channel, or the feedback channel, or maybe try something else tricky.

As for contingency plans and the tactical situation, Than and Rixxil are at that middle cluster of cargo, right near the number 2 here:
>>727422
Marijke could probably move from the front entrance, to the passage leading up to the back room, without passing through the octopus's reach, assuming it doesn't climb any further out of the water. Playing it safe would involve clambering over the southernmost set of crates.
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No. 728404 ID: a107fd

>>728387
The beetle-monster listens, cracks it's chitinous knuckles, and points imperiously at the shack, chittering "Get back to work. I'll deal with the unexpected guests." As soon as Riv begins to move toward the assigned post, it turns and lumbers into the front room, prepared for the worst.

>>728371
Than grabs Rixxil Kas's slimy eel neck in her right hand, prepares to smash that miserable mango-sized skull against the iron hoop at the barrel's upper edge with a hammerblow from her left fist... but it slips out of the way at the last moment, and she bruises her fingers almost as much as the intended target. The double-dealing eel-tick's lower jaw appears to be broken, at least.

Now lacking handholds, she faceplants in the sand, and is promptly dragged two or three feet closer to the water by the octopus.

As for poison: Than's heart is pounding, eyes and nose are watery, she feels jittery and hyper-alert. No mechanical penalty yet.
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No. 728407 ID: a075ba

rolled 2, 6, 2 = 10

Rixxil's got some impressive mental focus to have kept up its control spells up despite the arrow and the beating.

>could tweak Friendship Curse and slip it in there spoofed to seem like part of the command channel, or the feedback channel
What would the difference there be? I'm assuming dropping the curse in the command signal would make the octopus react / transmit the curse as if Rixxil had ordered it to treat Marijke as a friendly (and the curse aspect would prevent the Eel-tick from quickly or easily countermanding that, if and when it realized what happened). Feedback would... allow me a direct line to dump the curse on Rixxil, bypassing its normal defenses?

Suborning Rixxil might grant effective control over the base and his minions, but he might not be much use as a puppet in its current condition. Befriending the octopus doesn't grant me control over it (especially if it turns out I have no means of communication), but it should allow me to shield the party if it's unwilling to harm me.

>Now lacking handholds, [Than] faceplants in the sand, and is promptly dragged two or three feet closer to the water by the octopus.
Electra could probably place her force shield in between Than and the water to keep her from being dragged off before I finish my spell.

>what do
Marijke will advance from the tunnel coming around the crates, grade amulet held aloft, calling Eadric back to her emphatically. She will pass the Friendship curse to her familiar, and then dropping her arm, send him cutting right across the mental command tether to drop his payload into the command channel.

(I'm assuming meeting my avian familiar partway and sending him flying back is faster than closing the full distance myself).

In Seatongue "Please release my scout, friend."

>what else do
Between 'Lectra, the king, Snake, Goris and Nico someone should be able to kill or disable Rixxil before it causes any more trouble.
>>
No. 728486 ID: a107fd

rolled 4, 6, 6 = 16

>>where is Lectra?
She's still standing over by Than, a little to the north.

>>Marijke will advise Than and 'Lectra over whisper-web that we're following them in, the ogres and the beetle thing are no longer a problem.

Letkra isn't sure what that means, since she thought Mister Bug Man and the Ogres weren't a problem anyway. They were friendly about letting us in, right?

>> glass Rix in the face with a bottle of fish gunk
>> Than shrugs then draws her bow and aims straight for a death blow on Rixxil.

Letkra stares dumbfoundedly, then slaps her hand to her forehead. "Wait, what's going on here?? Why are we attacking a Merchant? You can't do that! (also, why is nobody in formation?)"

Noticing the other beetle-monster approaching from the north, she says, "Now the Invincible Town Guards are coming to get us! See?"

>>tentacle
Letkra sees Than struggling, so she pulls her glaive from her back and makes a big overhead chop to try to sever the tentacle (aiming more towards the water than towards Than's leg).

>> Electra Letkra could probably place her force shield in between Than and the water to keep her from being dragged off before I finish my spell.
Her shield can't really slam into and puncture things, so it's not so good for disentangling Than's leg. Also, it's a little bit slow to move around in a hurry since she hadn't finished recalling it from outside yet; Marijke might've outrun it on the way in. That said, she'd start trying to retrieve it around the time the fighting started.
>>
No. 728504 ID: a107fd

>>728407
> I'm assuming dropping the curse in the command signal would make the octopus react / transmit the curse as if Rixxil had ordered it to treat Marijke as a friendly (and the curse aspect would prevent the Eel-tick from quickly or easily countermanding that, if and when it realized what happened). Feedback would... allow me a direct line to dump the curse on Rixxil, bypassing its normal defenses?
Yes.
>(I'm assuming meeting my avian familiar partway and sending him flying back is faster than closing the full distance myself).
It certainly doesn't hurt.
>In Seatongue "Please release my scout, friend."
The octopus does not understand seatongue, or any other spoken language. Friendship Curse is partially successful: elvenoids in general (and Marijke in particular) have been reclassified, in the octopus's mind, from "food" to "potential mate." This creates an immediate conflict with Rixxil Kas's order to attack Than. The tentacle remains in place, but stops pulling.

>>728486
>big overhead chop to try to sever the tentacle
>rolled 4, 6, 6 = 16
The telescoping haft extends an extra foot or so in mid-swing, causing the blade to miss it's mark entirely, instead putting a useless, and very temporary, gouge in the wet sandy floor.

>might've outrun it on the way in
Yeah. Extended out to a 7-yard radius, Letkra's shield can only move (or resize) one yard per second. Seven foot radius, three yards per second. One yard radius, seven yards per second. One inch radius, 250 yards per second, but pretty much only as 'goalkeeper' armor.

Rixxil Kas gurgles piteously, coughing up green gunk in between attempts to address Marijke in seatongue. "Sorceress! You command this raid, and subvert my own slaves? Spare my unworthy life, claim it by right of conquest, and my share in the enterprise becomes yours. Gold and potions, hidden and locked tight, impossible to extract without either my cooperation, or far more expensive violence!"

Goris and White Snake scramble over that heap of crates and up into the back room, then announce via whisperweb that there's some sort of shark-man, down in a pit, who appears to have just singlehandedly mauled an ogre (other slaves are present too, but they're cowering or trying to hide, rather than covered in blood) and he wants to join the crew. Requesting the captain's permission before lowering a ladder to extract him.

The King, and the other beetle-monster, are both observing all this chaos with some degree of calm detachment, and slowly advancing to meet each other at the center of the room.
>>
No. 728515 ID: a075ba

rolled 3, 2, 2 = 7

>The octopus does not understand seatongue, or any other spoken language.
I figured that was probably the case, but it was low cost to try.

>elvenoids in general (and Marijke in particular) have been reclassified, in the octopus's mind, from "food" to "potential mate.
I apologize in advance if anyone if subjected to amorous advances or worse. (OOC, of course. Can't afford to show weakness in front of the enemy, and I'm not sure Marijke realizes, in character, exactly how the octopus parsed that).

>energy shield move rate
She can't choose to dismiss / release it and then reform it at default / close range?

>he wants to join the crew. Requesting the captain's permission before lowering a ladder to extract him.
Granted. Turning any of the slaves here against their master works to our advantage here. I trust you can handle him if he's lying.

>Rixxil Kas gurgles piteously, coughing up green gunk in between attempts to address Marijke in seatongue. "Sorceress! You command this raid, and subvert my own slaves? Spare my unworthy life, claim it by right of conquest, and my share in the enterprise becomes yours. Gold and potions, hidden and locked tight, impossible to extract without either my cooperation, or far more expensive violence!"
I'm impressed it can still speak. That is one tough mofo.

Whisper-web: Than, lie check?

Marijke, brandishing her idol, replies: "Know that you brought this raid upon your own head, with your brazen attempt to cheat my representative. You are fortunate you have a means other than blood to repay this insult."

Assuming Than doesn't indicate Rixxil is lying, I'll accept the surrender. Assuming no funny business, first order of business will be extricating Than, and casting staunch bleeding to stabilize the prisoner.
>>
No. 728524 ID: 0ae7f9

rolled 2, 1, 6 = 9

>>728515
Than looks at him to detect if he's lying and how alive he is.

Look at the shark too while we're at it. Roll to resist poison and if you need it, to check for lies.
>>
No. 728562 ID: a107fd

>>728515
>She can't choose to dismiss / release it and then reform it at default / close range?
No. It doesn't have an 'off mode,' the way Than's bow disappears when not being actively wielded; Lektra can no more dismiss the shield by will alone than Marijke could stop having a familiar, or Eadric could choose to stop casting a shadow while flying in direct sunlight.

>Granted.
Ravenous Llyr is now in play.

>impressed it can still speak
Speech organs don't seem to have much to do with the mouth.

>one tough mofo
Truer than you know! Ask about 'great old masters' some time.

> "Know that you brought this raid upon your own head, with your brazen attempt to cheat my representative. You are fortunate you have a means other than blood to repay this insult."

It meekly nods along and makes agreeably penitent noises until Marijke seems to have wrapped up her litany of recriminations. "With all that settled, mistress, and," another wet cough, "related to the subject of payment in blood, will I be permitted any sort of medical care?" Greenish hemolymph, leaking from both ends of the arrow wound and elsewhere, is pooling on top of the barrel, coagulating into a crusty purple-black mess as dries.

>staunch bleeding to stabilize the prisoner
"This one is most grateful."

Giant octopus disengages and withdraws, but the beetle-thing steps over Than's prone form to meet the Avatar of the King almost nose-to-mandible. "We are a very great distance apart from Ĉ̞͓̫̘͖̝̣a̡͔̠̼͚ṟ̯̪̭͎̗͖̓͂ͦͮc̠̩͎̭͐o͈͙̩̲̒̔͒̎̽ͤ̍s͍̰͔̏̆ͤ̏̈͡a here, Your Majesty. What brings you so soon?"

>>728524
Than is now experiencing blurred vision, in addition to the previous symptoms, and proved unable to detect a lie on Rixxil Kas's part even before being poisoned.
>>
No. 728588 ID: cea69d

Riv reluctantly turns and pretends to head in towards the ship, before doubling back and returning to the cove- how much of what's going on would I be aware of? From the looks of the map I don't think I'd be able to see anything, but it's possible I could still hear what's going on, or notice a change in behavior of the Orcs, etc. What am I aware of currently?
>>
No. 728618 ID: a075ba

rolled 5, 4, 4 = 13

Marijke has staunched our prisoner's bleeding, but I would be more comfortable if I could get one of our more martial members standing over him in case Rixxil tries something. (Snake is carrying rope, right? Might be prudent to bind it).

Frowning at Than's difficulty Marijke will whisper "someone help her up, please" Aloud, to Rixxil: "Your bite. How much jeopardy is my archer in?"

Goris might want to use her prayer against poison.

Once we've helped Than and secured the prisoner, the next most important questions to ask Rixxil is if there's anyone else who's going to violently object to our presence here. And where this hidden cache of gold and potions is supposed to be. (Verbal only, don't let him lead us anywhere, yet).
>>
No. 728715 ID: a107fd

>>728588
Beetle-monsters can hear footfalls through the sand, but not so clearly in rain, or much at all beyond, at most, twenty yards. Riv could sneak back and be peeking in to the front room, with an excuse ready about having forgotten some tool.

>>728618
>How much jeopardy is my archer in?
If she was not already in poor health, or under the effects of some other powerful stimulant, almost none. Recovery sufficient for combat duty could reasonably be expected within a day or two, assuming bed rest and competent medical care, or in a matter of minutes with suitable healing spells no higher than the second circle. Rixxil is quite familiar with the effects of it's own poison, and anyone with diagnostic skills can confirm that Than seems a little twitchy and loopy, but is not deteriorating further.

>Might be prudent to bind it
Rixxil Kas offers to solemnize the surrender by using it's telepathic enslavement ability "in reverse," allowing Marijke to communicate with her new toy silently, at arbitrary distance, and issue nonnegotiable commands. Alternatively, as a further humiliation, the link could be delegated to some other member of her crew.

>anyone else who's going to violently object to our presence
"Not if you explain, mistress, that you came only to trade, were provoked to violence by my own clumsy deceit, and ceased hostilities upon my surrender."

>where this hidden cache
"An iron coffer up in the back room holds the readily severable portion of this one's recent contribution to your material wealth, mistress. Would it be permissible to instruct a domestic umber," gesturing toward the beetle-monster engaged in a staring contest with the strangely regal perambulatory pile of dirty laundry, "to retrieve the box in question, so that you may peruse your winnings without further exertion?"
>>
No. 728724 ID: cea69d

Now Nico's avatar is still visible in the room correct? Do I need to roll to resist fear once again? Or has the terrifying presence ceased to effect me so viscerally?
>>
No. 728736 ID: a107fd

>>728724
Frightful Presence only activates as part of some visibly aggressive action, and doesn't affect allies. It's extraordinary intimidation, not magic fear-beams.
>>
No. 728781 ID: cea69d

rolled 4, 5, 3 = 12

>>728736
In that case, Riv will confer with the Orcs who fled in her direction, in their tongue if possible/necessary:
"Compound is invaded. Rixxil surrenders. Suggest you follow my lead, ask to join crew."
She then precedes to walk cautiously out into the main room- making sure to obvious about her approach- while locking eyes on Marijke and doing her best to avoid letting Rix into her field of view. Upon entering the room she will announce loudly:
"Hear me! I wish to offer my skills as an alchemist; permit me to join you, so we may both gain."
>>
No. 728790 ID: 0ae7f9

Than tries wiggling or moving around a little. Any paralysis still there?
>>
No. 728830 ID: a107fd

>>728781
>Suggest you follow my lead
>rolled 4, 5, 3 = 12
"Nope! I seen what they do to resisters."

>"Hear me! I wish to offer my skills as an alchemist; permit me to join you, so we may both gain."

You've successfully (?) made it clear to everyone in earshot that you're rebelling against the eel-ticks, but are also not yet under anyone else's protection.

The beetle-monster in the center of the room glances back and forth between Riv and Marijke in momentary disbelief, then charges, swinging at Riv's legs with a foreclaw. Roll to dodge.
>>
No. 728831 ID: a107fd

>>728790
No paralysis at all, just jittery overstimulation. Maybe some swelling around the bite. She could walk, though it might take a bit of conscious effort not to break into a run.
>>
No. 728874 ID: 0ae7f9

rolled 3, 4, 2 = 9

>>728830
"Heyyyyy! Don't you want to go back to your staring contest with the intimidating rag man?"

Or some motion signifying what she just said if the beetle didn't understand her.
>>
No. 728876 ID: cea69d

rolled 5, 2, 2 = 9

Riv, seeing the openly hostile Ell-tic charge her is moderately surprised- she was walking cautiously, trying to stay away from threats and put her self in a safe location just for an attack of this nature but she didn't think the creatures would attack her without anything to gain; all that will happen now if she is wounded is a loss of resources to both parties, and she was hoping the creature would be a little more receptive to this.
She does her best to dodge out of the way and put some distance between her and her assailant, preferable positioning herself with someone between herself and the beetle monster. She will cry out to everyone occupying the room:
"Oaf, my death harms all! Rix, end this, you destroy resources for your new masters, and presume you have the authority to answer form them as if you think them incapable! Do not insult them further with these offences worm"
>>
No. 728885 ID: a075ba

>>728830
>>728876
Marijke finds herself distracted from her inner musings on the morality of slave taking, the potential usefulness of a telepathic minion, and the ridiculous risk of letting a creature she doesn't trust cast any kind of mind magic on her (and the leader of the group) to stare incredulously at the performance in front of her.

"Who is that?" she asks.

>Rix, end this
Technically, Rix surrendered its share in the enterprise, I'm not sure it has the authority to tell the attacker to stand down anymore. Marijke might, if she's taken his place in their organization by conquest (I'm not clear on if what Rixxil was offering constituted a transfer of his shares, or liquidating his assets and cashing them out to hand over).

If I have taken Rixxil's place, letting slaves join my crew isn't so much acquiring resources as moving them around. There's also the question of how long Rixxil's former confederates would tolerate the newcomer allowing slaves to escape and undercutting authority.
>>
No. 728911 ID: a107fd

>>728876
>my death harms all
Your survival, after such a bold claim of self-determination, would hurt the eel-ticks' credibility, and thus their capacity to keep other slaves under control. They tolerated petty misbehavior and "mistakes" before because you had rare, mission-critical skills, but now your symbolic status as a defector is just as much a threat to their organization as if you'd deliberately set something expensive on fire.

Beetle-monster's got the overwhelming advantage in strength, speed, and reach, and you can't look straight at it safely, but it blatantly telegraphed that first swing, so you just barely manage to get out of the way. Are you
A) Climbing the crates for high ground advantage and possible access to the main exit, in which case you'll need to closely watch the enforcer's movements, and thus, roll to resist gaze attack?
B) Diving in to the water, which will have unpleasant effects on mummified physiology, but forces Rixxil Kas's octopus to get involved?
C) Fleeing back toward the cove, counting on someone else to delay pursuit? In a footrace on level ground your odds would be very bad, and even if you could keep ahead, there's nowhere to hide out that way, other than inside the repair tents or the ship itself.

>>728885
Even with telepathy already in place, Rixxil couldn't fully explain the relevant nuances of accountancy and social protocol in the few seconds before the current fight is resolved. It did, however, already strongly imply retention of sufficient authority to order the beetle-monster to retrieve that box of gold and potions from the back room.
>>
No. 728914 ID: a107fd

rolled 3, 3, 4 = 10

> Combat seemingly concludes

Letkra hefts her glaive from the sand and scratches the back of her head apologetically. She also retrieves her shield holds it at about tower-shield size, like around 6' diameter maybe if that can be moved around quickly.

> Riv asks to form an alliance and is promptly assaulted

"What the- don't you people have any sense of etiquette?" She turns to Marijke and asks, "She's trying to Join The Party, so we help her, right? We're fighting a battle with that Beetle Person now?"

If possible to do quickly enough, Letkra will try to run over and interpose herself in between Riv and her attacker, with the shield up to block further attacks. She doesn't attack, though, just trying to block.
>>
No. 728919 ID: a107fd

>>728914
This will noticeably improve Riv's chances, and presents at least one new option:
D) riding the shield somewhere above the surface of the water.
>>
No. 728938 ID: a075ba

rolled 6, 1, 2 = 9

>crewmate puts herself between the apparent crazy person and her attacker.
Marijke sighs, and then gestures to Rixxil.

"If you retain the authority to call off that attack, do so."

>Your survival, after such a bold claim of self-determination, would hurt the eel-ticks' credibility, and thus their capacity to keep other slaves under control.
Assuming Rixxil gets the other one to stop its aggression "As of now, your tax for foolishly attempting to cheat us has grown to the transfer of ownership of one... apparently mad slave. Now let us dispense with this foolishness before it grows further or any more violence breaks out.

To Riv: "And you. You will behave yourself with no further outbursts until we are done here or I have half a mind to hand you back over."

>Wait, what's going on here?? Why are we attacking a Merchant? You can't do that!
>Town Guard
>We're fighting a battle with that Beetle Person now?
In response to her naive companions recent questioning: "we attacked the merchant because it attempted to steal from us, and as we are not inside a town, there is no guard nor anyone else to punish that crime but ourselves. Now, it has surrendered, and has agreed to pay us a fine, so there will be no further fighting."

Assuming that puts a stop to the fighting, Rixxil can send for our payment to be brought here.

Put Letkra on prisoner guarding duty. I'm pretty sure she can't be poisoned, and as a construct, her mind might not be eligible for telepathic attacks either.

If Than is still struggling to get up, I'd like to send Snake and Goris to help her.

(For the moment, I think I have to table the offer of allowing Rixxil to tie itself to anyone in telepathic bondage. Too much immediate risk, although if we don't trust it or bind it more thoroughly, there's going to be risk taking it with us as well).
>>
No. 728989 ID: 4201a2

Not sure where Llyr currently is or what he's doing, but this seems like a pretty good time to try and acquire a weapon of some sort. What was the ogre carrying?
>>
No. 728999 ID: a075ba

>>728989
I was assuming Than and Goris lower the rope down to you, so assuming you climbed up it, you'd be in the rear of the same room with the octopus pool we're all in.
>>
No. 729124 ID: a107fd

>>728938
>If you retain the authority
Rixxil nods meekly, "Yes, mistress," then pivots and draws itself up to address the beetle-monster. "I am haggler second class Rixxil Kas, of the Neogi! YOU were born with no other purpose but to toil, suffer, and die at the merest whim of me and my kin! Cease this brawling immediately. Instead, retrieve my personal coffer and other possessions from the climate-controlled storage area." Then, turning back to Marijke and resuming the submissive tone just as abruptly, "Alas, mistress, delaying the matter for some minutes is the limit of my power at this time."

(Riv still needs to pick a strategy for surviving the seconds while Rixxil and Marijke are talking.)

>>728989
Ogre was carrying a six-yard leather whip. Not especially practical in close quarters. White Snake has spare knives, though.
>>
No. 729132 ID: 4201a2

>>728999
>together with everyone
As Llyr was requesting to join the crew before being rescued from the pit, he jumps to the conclusion that being rescued means he must have just been recruited.
"Thanks for liftin' me out o' there. That means I'm one o' you now, yeah? I always wanted to be a pirate."

>>729124
>Llyr has a whip. White Snake has some spare knives.
With a toothy, blood-spattered shark grin: "Trade ya for them knives."
>>
No. 729147 ID: a075ba

>"Alas, mistress, delaying the matter for some minutes is the limit of my power at this time."
Thank you, that will do.

Assuming Riv doesn't crit fail on not getting killed before its attacker leaves to retrieve the storage container, I'm going to strongly advise that Riv makes sure they're not here when it gets back. Out, door is that way. I already got an agreement to cease hostilities, and I'm not fighting the whole group here for your sake.
>>
No. 729231 ID: a107fd

>>729132
White Snake is initially reluctant to break up the set, until Goris quietly points out that it's a very well-crafted whip, made from what appears to be kangaroo leather.

Llyr now has two knives. Handles are awkwardly thin, optimized for throwing, but it's fine steel, kept sharp and clean. No scabbards, other than Snake's bandolier, but it's easy enough to hold both in one hand, or clenched between humanform teeth, if (for whatever reason) you felt like a situation demanded grabbing rather than stabbing.

>>728999
>assuming Than and Goris lower the rope

Than's in the front room, with the cargo and most of the action. Goris and Dimitry went up a steep, narrow tunnel to the ledge in the central room, above the slave pit. The floor of the slave pit is at the same level as the sand in the front room (it'd be flooded if it were any lower) but the only way in and out is by having someone on the ledge lower the wooden ladder, which is explicitly called out on the map's illustrated key back here:
>>727422
>>
No. 729248 ID: a107fd

As Riv scrambles up the pile of crates behind magical cover, the umber beetle focuses on Letkra as a more immediate threat. She hops over it's initial leg-sweep, kicks off the wall for a lunge. The beetle steps back, parries with an massive armored forearm, and counters, throwing her straight up in the air. After a very brief three-point landing on the cavern ceiling, Lektra rebounds, spearpoint downward for an unblockable dragoon-strike... only to have the beetle-monster burrow into the sand with uncanny speed, leaving her "trapped" in a crude pentagram which it sketched out with footwork during the duel.

It re-emerges from the ground, leaving no visible tunnel, right where Riv is starting to think about how best to use Letkra's shield for a game of 'the floor is lava.' Then, Marijke and Rixxil provide an opportunity to escape, as previously described.
>>729124
Unfortunately, it's still raining outside, and Riv realizes she won't make it far if she's soaking wet, swollen, and her joints get locked up. Ransack the mundane supplies for a raincoat, bring Letkra along for the shield, or beg a casting of Bestow Shadow Armor from Marijke or Nico?
>>
No. 729255 ID: a107fd

Letkra notices she's landed on the crudely drawn pentagram. She flails around the air above the circle like some sort of mime.

"Ahhhh! I'm trapped!"

She stands and steadies her glaive to be ready for further attack, but remains on the spot.
>>
No. 729274 ID: cea69d

rolled 3, 1, 5 = 9

"And you. You will behave yourself with no further outbursts until we are done here or I have half a mind to hand you back over."
Riv struggles to reply while scrambling to avoid what is likely certain death, even with the help of Letkra, doing her best to state, through awkward climbing and grunts of exertion that: "Would be no trouble if not for unwarranted aggression- misunderstood the hierarchy and Rix's level of command, apologize for further inconveniences."
She then goes on to express her gratitude once the rather impressive display of coordination leaves Letkra trapped
"Very grateful, did not anticipate such hostilities, your intervention on my behalf will be repaid in full. My services, yours."
She then does her best to scuff the lines of the pentagram, unsure exactly how the shape traps her savior but recognizing that it in some way inhibits her, before going on to search for something usable as a raincoat.
>>
No. 729284 ID: a075ba

rolled 5, 4, 1 = 10

>>729231
Sorry, typo. I meant Snake and Goris.

>only to have the beetle-monster burrow into the sand with uncanny speed, leaving her "trapped" in a crude pentagram which it sketched out with footwork during the duel.
Huh. How did it know that she would be scared / restrained by that? A fear-sense ability? Rixxil?

>Ransack the mundane supplies for a raincoat, bring Letkra along for the shield, or beg a casting of Bestow Shadow Armor from Marijke or Nico?
Riv can craft a raincoat or get a kobold to craft a raincoat later, assuming she takes the supplies. Marijke isn't about to send one of her escorts and the group's rain shield with a single person, either.

So sure, I'll cast a shadow armor on Riv, in the interest of her laving faster.

And if I have time while we're waiting for the luggage carrier to return, I might as well buff our two newest party members with Fool's Luck.
>>
No. 729299 ID: a107fd

>>729274
> unsure exactly how the shape traps her savior
It doesn't. A quick examination clearly reveals that there's no magic at all involved with the diagram in question, the seeming impossibility of which attracts Nico Nashville's interest. He moves to interfere with Riv's attempts to obliterate the diagram.

Riv could attempt to grab Letkra with her free hand, dragging her over the sandy lines by force, or simply flee solo. Once she's out the front entrance, will she be running along the beach, or taking the first reasonable opportunity to climb inland?
>>
No. 729312 ID: 0ae7f9

rolled 3, 4, 3 = 10

>massive armored forearm
Have Than take a good look at the beetle.
Any perceivable points to cripple the beetle as it is not ceasing hostilities?
>>
No. 729379 ID: a107fd

>>726261
>overwhelming (albeit mercifully brief) hallucinations and/or compulsions, typically resulting in violent or otherwise profoundly antisocial behavior
>>728911
>can't look straight at it safely
>roll to resist gaze attack
>>729312
>take a good look at the beetle
>rolled 3, 4, 3 = 10

As Riv and the beetle-monster depart, to the south and southwest respectively, Than simply watches, and in so doing, attains an epiphanic understanding of why her target-seeking eyes have not been functioning properly on eel-ticks and their umber thralls: those un-insect abominations are from a different world. A different ecosystem. An utterly alien spark guides subtle energy through flesh by unfamiliar laws. In time, she could learn to interpret the corresponding signs of weakness, seeing their lies and hearing vital points as easily as she does to normal creatures.

Than does not feel that she has sufficient time. The knowledge is too much, a weight that will crush her unless set aside quickly. Only obvious way to do so is the cleansing ecstasy of nearby death.

Than has gained the Confused affliction, and will attack (or, in subsequent rounds, possibly take other actions) without distinction between friend and foe. Who is standing closest?
>>
No. 729401 ID: 0ae7f9

>>729379
Rixxil and/or Marijke are closest(?).
I can only pray other characters will notice or Than doesn't die somehow. Oh well.
>>
No. 729418 ID: cea69d

rolled 2, 3, 2 = 7

>He moves to interfere
WHile Riv was looking to do the bare minimum of scuff the sand immediately at her feet to break the lines, if this is not enough, or if she was unable to finish this before Nico intervenes, then she will stare at him for a moment before scurrying away to search for a rain coat.

>I'll cast a shadow armor on Riv
If Riv had found a raincoat before this, then she will don it anyway and rush out the door; otherwise, riv freezes in her tracks for a moment before staring at Marijke and then rushing out the door wordlessly.

>I'm going to strongly advise that Riv makes sure they're not here when it gets back
>will she be running along the beach, or taking the first reasonable opportunity to climb inland?
After rushing out the door Riv will try to take cover within any nearby foliage sufficient to hide her, roughly 30 feet from the entrance. On her way out she will uncork a stink bomb and splash some on the side of the cave entrance and then throw it in a direction suitably far from her position- she is beginning to think they don't track through smell, but if there's any chance that can throw off pursuers then it's worth a bottle of rotten fish. After finding cover in the nearby leaves she will do her best to mash some of the leaves to make their scent stronger and use it to mask any lingering stink or scent she can detect. Finally she'll attempt to cover her tracks with rain and mud and such, hoping to look as inconspicuous as possible .
>>
No. 729440 ID: a107fd

>>729418
>elaborate trail-covering
Granted. Which direction?

>>729401
Than's about to fire a broadhead arrow, loaded with some random magical poison, straight into Marijke's heart. Nico's Avatar of the King is coiling His wrappings in preparation to entangle Than, but this will come too late.

Will Marijke attempt to dodge, or grab Than's bow and force it out of line, or...?
>>
No. 729441 ID: cea69d

>>729440
Towards the shore if that is suitably opposed to my hiding place
>>
No. 729446 ID: 4201a2

rolled 3, 3, 5 = 11

>>729440
"Mutiny already? Bein' a pirate is excitin'!"

Targeted knife throw at Than's hand.
>>
No. 729452 ID: a075ba

rolled 1, 2, 4 = 7

I just want to say I was sorely tempted to simply execute Rixxil, thus triggering Than's convulsive response to a death, but drawing a dagger and knifing him is probably more prone to failure than anything else I could try, (given that I'm not a primary melee fighter, it would very likely have a chance to react, I'd be leaving Than free to act unopposed, and if I screwed it up, I'd be facing two combatants).

So instead, Marijke stands her ground, thrust the arm holding the jade amulet forward and cast.

"I DEMAND you give me your bow."

I'm betting on confusion and struggling with poison tanking Than's will score. And on Fool's Luck being on my side but not hers. (Making a sudden demand to someone about to shoot you seems more eligible than trying to resist mental domination).

Considering Than's bow can be dismissed and resumed from hammerspace, demand gift won't disarm her for long, but it should be long enough to prevent a fatal shot before Than is immobilized by the king, or we can get Goris to cast paralysis on her.

(I'm not sure on the order of event resolution: if Lyr disarms or overwise stops Than before Marijke can cast, I'll abort the spell).

>Assuming I'm still standing after this exchange
Marijke whirls back to Rixxil, expression angry. "Explain."
>>
No. 729458 ID: a107fd

>>729446
Figuring a base skill of 10 for starting-soldier proficiency, -2 for unfamiliar weapon, -3 for seven yard range, -4 for a target the size of a hand, no time to aim for more than +1...

Llyr's thrown knife whistles through the air less than an inch from Marijke's nose. In conjunction with that comment about mutiny, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that he thinks it's everybody-stab-the-captain time.
>>
No. 729465 ID: a075ba

>>729458
Pfff. To append my actions in reaction to that: before whirling on Rixxil, Llyr just earned himself a glare. When it becomes apparent he isn't suffering the same confusion / compulsion as Than and isn't pressing his attack, I'll move to demanding an explanation from the obvious suspect.

(Uh, unless Marijke can somehow tell what happened on her own. Then no need to demand answers?).
>>
No. 729471 ID: a107fd

>>729452
It's over in a blink. Than's arrow passes smoothly through Marijke's amulet, producing a sharp pain in her chest, but there's no visible wound. The arrow, and bow, have simply vanished. Amulet is intact, but it's material has changed from a gleaming pale-green opacity to translucent dark yellow, with faint suggestions of movement at the center.

Than can hear someone far away, screaming. Everyone else can hear Than screaming.

>whirls back to Rixxil
Cowering, foreclaws over it's head. "Wasn't me! Wasn't me! You people just go crazy from looking at stuff sometimes, don't know why!" After a bit of hyperventilating, and awkward gestures toward Than's previous arrow, upon which Rixxil Kas's abdomen is still impaled: "Mistress, if this one were capable of commanding your archer, don't you think that might have been done sooner?"
>>
No. 729477 ID: 4201a2

rolled 6, 5, 5 = 16

>>729458
>-2 for unfamiliar weapon
It's not unfamiliar. Llyr had a bandolier of knives in his starting kit.

>>729471
>Than's weapon has been magicked away by Marijke, and Than is apparently screaming in dismay over being disarmed?
"Oh, it's over already. I guess you're not captain for nothin', hahaha."

Tackle Than and bludgeon her unconscious.
>>
No. 729490 ID: a075ba

>outright stole the hammerspace bow as a knife flies by my face
Damn. That's pretty badass visual, though possibly awkward later.

>knife by my face
>aimed at Than's hand
Could we please stop trying to "help" party members with attacks that have a high chance or hurting them, whether they work or fail? Remember what happened to Nick? Don't tempt the horror setting.

>Mistress, if this one were capable of commanding your archer, don't you think that might have been done sooner?
...granted. My apologies for the outburst, my crew pointing weapons at my face *glares at Than and Llyr* puts me in poor humor.

>You people just go crazy from looking at stuff sometimes, don't know why!
Everyone please please avoid looking too closely at our hosts, it's apparently not good for your mental health. We're leaving as soon as we've secured our payoff, before anything else can go wrong.
>>
No. 729493 ID: a075ba

Where is everybody, at this point? Lektra is 'bound' in the pentegram, Nico is examining it, Than is standing near Marijke and Rixxil, the King is about to restrain her, Llyr is... somewhere within knife throwing distance but probably further than the King? Did Snake and Goris return with Llyr?
>>
No. 729494 ID: a107fd

>>729477
>familiarity
Llry's not new to the idea of a throwing knife. Give 'im a few hours to practice, figure out how to properly grip the thinner handles, different balance, and so on, penalty goes away.
>Tackle Than and bludgeon her unconscious
>rolled 6, 5, 5 = 16
As Llyr approaches, Than drops into a crouch, eyes wide but unfocused, hands over her ears. Without apparent conscious effort, she deflects the tackle over her head, sending Llyr into the water.
>>
No. 729495 ID: a075ba

>>729494
Right, so Than is still up and cuckoo.

If the King has closed, he should probably grapple. If that doesn't adequately restrain her, I'll direct Goris to use her paralysis spell.
>>
No. 729522 ID: a107fd

>>729495
Avatar's already moving in to grapple Than, I'm waiting for her player on how she's going to respond to that.

White Snake and Goris come in from the north entrance, carrying Llry's personal effects (spare clothes, a three-pronged spear, set of knives, and an S-shaped piece of jade with a hole through the center) and a scouting report about the cove.

There's something in there, under construction or major repairs, big as frigate, made out of mostly wood and rope and cloth, but no way was it ever meant to go in the water. You're familiar with the idea of a ship in a bottle? Picture such a project, half-complete. A mutilated scorpion crawls into the bottle, shrivels up and dies. The bottle is sealed and sent as a gift to the elven king of a high forested plateau, whose subjects know nothing about either scorpions or sailing. The mad king decides to devote all the resources of his realm to scientific and artistic innovation, in an effort to recreate and improve upon the vessel apparently depicted in miniature within that bottle. He supervises the project closely for decades, living on a strict diet of wine, honey, and hallucinogenic mushrooms, and somehow remaining ignorant of any body of water larger than a five gallon bucket through all that time. The resultant twisted abortion of naval architecture so offends the very gods who look upon it that they send a cataclysm to wipe out his kingdom, crushing the charred bones of the Grand Endeavor itself against a distant rocky shore, right here, maybe two weeks ago. Probably not what actually happened, but it's the first approximation that sprang to mind.

Goris's paralysis spell is already spent; she used it on the beetle at the front door.
>>
No. 729529 ID: 0ae7f9

rolled 5, 5, 1 = 11

>>729522
Struggle while closing her eyes. The beetle did this to her, what would the King do to her?

"So cold... So much darkness... I can't understand yet! I WON'T UNDERSTAND YET!"

Continue screaming and babbling as well. She mostly just wants to curl up and sit, but she doesn't really know what's going on right now. Everyone else's face is obscured by shadow, but Llyr looks more shark and less man to Than in his shadowy form.
>>
No. 729551 ID: a107fd

By the time the umber thrall gets back with Rixxil's little iron box of valuables, Than has mostly calmed down, curled up in the fetal position, and is tangled onto the King like a backpack. She could probably tear free, but the tattered yellow silk is surprisingly comfortable, and so luxuriously soft... through closed eyes, she sees a creature traveling through a desert of silver sand, under a sky studded with black stars. It has no ears, no eyes, no arms, no legs, no head, no chest, no tail, and barely any hair, but she immediately recognizes it as herself.

In addition to the box, Administrarch Neex Hist sends it's regards, along with a humble request that you leave immediately and never return.
>>
No. 729571 ID: a075ba

>>729551
First thing to do before we leave is check that the box actually contains valuables.

>Administrarch Neex Hist sends it's regards, along with a humble request that you leave immediately and never return.
I for one am perfectly fine with that. Although if they want to buy back their former colleague t this point, I'm willing to entertain offers.

Assuming they don't go for that (or if Rixxil protests, more afraid to return to them than go with us):

I'm ordering Nico to stop playing in the sand and let Lektra out already. Then we're all getting the hell out of here.
>>
No. 729574 ID: 4201a2

rolled 2, 1, 1 = 4

With the octopus already subdued, there's not really anything actively keeping Llyr from leaving the lake, so he'll swim to the edge and climb back out.

I assume this will pretty much wash the blood off his face as well.
>>
No. 729587 ID: a107fd

>check that the box actually contains valuables
It's 6" square and a foot long, and weighs somewhere between 30 and 35 pounds. Marijke can tell that at least 15-20% of that weight is coins (as opposed to, say, gravel) just by the sound of it shifting and rattling inside. Two keyholes, and Rixxil Kas has a ring with nine elaborate keys, all of which are needed, in a specific sequence of combinations, to disengage the mechanism. Years of practice streamlined the procedure to a point where it usually takes less than five minutes.

>buy back their former colleague
"Thanks for the offer, but we prefer to be on the other end of the kidnapping and protection rackets and such. Maybe eventually, probably through proxies. Where will you be heading?"

>octopus already subdued
Ordered to withdraw, but not tired or hurt at all. Could be an important distinction. That being said, with a crit success Ravenous Llyr exits the ocean and returns to shore in a suitably majestic manner, well before the giant octopus makes any lecherous advances. He even manages to retrieve the second throwing knife, which he was still holding when Than's judo resulted in him abruptly shifting into a non-anthro shark.
>>
No. 729616 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 5, 1, 1 = 7

If I can tell the box has ~6 pounds of coinage, that's enough to make this worth our while. It's not worth the ten minutes to check now, when we've overstayed our welcome. We can do inventory back at base when we divy the loot. We're leaving.

>"Thanks for the offer, but we prefer to be on the other end of the kidnapping and protection rackets and such. Maybe eventually, probably through proxies. Where will you be heading?"
For the moment, we have unfinished business with the local coven. Then, likely island. We'll send you a messager.

(Don't want to be too specific, in case we invite counter attack. If they're on poor terms with the coven, hopefully that keeps them from searching their territory. Rain should cover our tracks pretty well, but let's not head in a straight line to our camp).

>well before the giant octopus makes any lecherous advances
I was wondering if a shark morph would be elfinoid enough to count.
>>
No. 729617 ID: 3d2d5f

>Then, likely island
INLAND. Damn you, auto correct. I'd delete and repost to fix that, except I already rolled.
>>
No. 729622 ID: a107fd

Alright. You trek back to your own cave and regroup as the storm is finally dying down. Rixxil's octopus rescues a half-drowned ogre, who seems likely to be amenable to recruitment, assuming treatment for hypothermia and some coral-related injuries is successful.

Marty the Tiny Adorable Talking Shark shows up just as you're breaking camp. "When I asked about compromising security, I was thinking you'd come back with... I dunno, a sketchy map, or a lock of hair from a guard, not eviscerate their whole front end! Favor done, and then some. Stop in any time you'd like. Anywhere along the coast, to about two hundred miles south of here, I'll be able to find you."

Where to next?
>>
No. 729626 ID: cea69d

>You trek back to your own cave and regroup as the storm is finally dying down.

Is Riv included her or am I still separated? If so I'd liked to have followed them back
>>
No. 729627 ID: 4201a2

>>729522
>>729622
Llyr is very pleased to reacquire his belongings. Once in the cave, he'll take the time to change out of his ragged slave clothes and into his probably-also-ragged regular clothes, as well as to re-string and wear his jade.

He'll also cheerfully meet and greet with everyone new. He's probably dried off enough to revert to human form by now.
>>
No. 729654 ID: a075ba

rolled 1, 4, 1 = 6

>grabbed an ogre and Rixxil brought the octopus
Dang are we collecting npcs at an alarming rate. (I'm going to need to make a table or something to keep track of them all). ...how did we transport the octopus, it just followed along the coast?

>assuming treatment for hypothermia and some coral-related injuries is successful.
I can dish out staunch bleeding, but assuming hypothermia requires at least a least true healing or a protection from the elements, that would have to come from one one of the acolytes.

>Where to next?
Don't we still have to wait out the remainder of the storm? The entire group is pretty big now to completely cover with shadow armors / force shields / protection from the elements?

I would ask for a reminder as to our options, and what opinions the crew has. (New members might have information about the area we didn't before).

The obvious next thing to do might be to cache in our favor with the coven, since several people have questions they might like answered.

Eswic was the one who was gung ho about the pirate charter stuff before, she should probably explain the basics to the newbies.

Marijke should examine and appraise our the loot we recovered (I'll have to wait for the next day to prepare the spell, though). Division of loot goes to the quartermaster. Don't know if Nico's player will be around to do that, but it would make sense to me that people who participated in the raid get a bigger cut than those that didn't, and Than / Lektra get a little more for volunteering to be the tip of the spear.

If there's any other lingering healing that needs doing (Ogre, Rixxil, maybe Than?) I'll delegate to the acolytes for now.

After the loot, Marijke's next interest would be investigating what the hell she did with Than's bow. (Order of investigation would probably be: apply mage sight, ask Than how she summons it, have Than try to summon it, have Marijke try to summon it, consult with Nico, acolytes, maybe Riv).

Do have have to deal with level ups?

(I just said a million thing, I don't even know which one I'm rolling for).
>>
No. 729670 ID: a107fd

>>729627
>dried off enough to revert to human form
Still on the beach? Still default to sharkman. Cave might be enough to tip it over into full-human default, especially if there's a fire going. Up on the hills definitely would be.
>>729626
Yeah, Riv's there too. Even if she was running ahead with no directions, that big sail-tent on the beach is hard to miss.

>>729654
>which one I'm rolling for
I take the roll as a guideline for assessing the overall success of all your intended actions. If it'd require multiple rolls by strict GURPS rules, I'll eyeball the potential failure-points, and overall probability distribution, accordingly.

> level ups
Lessee... main thing is two umber hulks, pair of ogres and a neogi were certainly also significant... giant octopus wasn't involved as much, but it's pretty tough... no extravagant indulgences of note... let's say the new PCs (Letkra, Ravenous Llyr, and Riv) are caught up to 3rd level. Everybody else learned something, but not enough to advance.

>cash in our favor with the coven
Marty just implied they're based somewhere around a hundred miles to the south. That's probably at least a week on foot, even with good weather.

>reminder as to our options
Here's Marty's map:
>>721109
Crew consensus is leaning toward returning to civilization for resupply, and, long story short, that means following the river. You could get to the bridge in a day's march without too much trouble. From there, your shortest route to a proper bed is another day along the swampy north bank to an out-of-the way monastery. The Black Boar Inn is two days' march upstream from the bridge, but it's easier going along the south bank: a dirt road wide enough for wagons, instead of a swampy single-file footpath.

>hypothermia requires at least a least true healing or a protection from the elements
True Healing would only help with hypothermia itself if you're looking at necrotic tissue from frostbite. Marijke can hand out 'free samples' even when she doesn't have a true healing spell prepared, though, and the patient's got enough other bruises and abrasions and hypoxia and whatnot to make it worthwhile. The elemental-protection prayer prevents hypothermia from getting worse, under any otherwise remotely survivable conditions, but doesn't accelerate recovery. For actually raising core temp back up to safe levels, you'll want at least two of mundane nursing skill, a regulated heat source, and Lymphatic Auditor. Nico can dismiss the King to bring in another fire elemental, no prob, and there's no shortage of water, so all three are available, and thus the ogre's prognosis looks pretty good.

>need to make a table or something
Indeed.
>>718694
>The group is large and diverse enough that you might also want to think about chain of command.

While fiddling with keys, Rixxil Kas volunteers to interview everyone, assess relevant skills, and draw up a proper orgchart.
The box finally opens to reveal 350 gold coins, thirty 6-carat gems (bloodstones, mostly), four potions of Least True Healing, a potion of Lymphatic Auditor, and a grooming kit including various pigments for skin and hair, which would all add up to be worth approximately 275 pounds of silver. The potions represent 80 of that, so, probably emergencies-only. As a cashbox, it can safely hold some two thousand five hundred standard-size coins, neatly organized in racks and shelves and trays, along with fifty single-ounce vials, so it's only a little over 10% full at the moment. The actual lock (which occupies the entire front face of the box and underside of the lid) is a dizzying masterpiece of multilayered brass clockwork and crystalline rod-logic which might be worth over 300 pounds of silver in itself, to the right collector.
>>
No. 729671 ID: 0ae7f9

rolled 1, 3, 2 = 6

Might as well have Than make a table from whatever wood is left around. Shouldn't be too difficult with the small knife and her proficiency in making bare minimum.

>>729654
"You disarmed me for a while, but the bow is with me until the day I die." Is all she tells Marijke.
>>
No. 729682 ID: cea69d

Riv, upon reaching the cave would like to quickly survey the surrounding area and people around- who is in the cave? what is in the cave?
Because I really only read the second thread I am actually in the dark on a lot of that so any details are appreciated
>>
No. 729729 ID: a075ba

rolled 5, 2, 1 = 8

Okay then, heading to town where we can buy some supplies and the crew can actually spend some loot as soon as the weather permits sounds like a good plan. Oracular reward caching in comes after.

>2 day proper road to the inn
>1 day single file through a swamp to the monastery
I think I'd prefer not to snake though a swamp, thanks. Especially since I'm not even sure every member of our group would even be welcome in a monastery.

>>729671
Marijke isn't really surprised to get a cold shoulder from Than after what Marijke sees as her accidental magic weapon theft. Disappointing, but not unexpected.

Rollin for Marijke's own examination. Apply mage sight, maybe the appraisal spell. Possibly consult with others. (Nico loves weird stuff like this, and the other casters might have insight).

>>Marijke can hand out 'free samples' even when she doesn't have a true healing spell prepared
I can?! (I figured it needed to be prepared to proc)!

What's the restriction on that- only one use ever on given person? What's the full list of spells I have that are eligible for free samples?
>>
No. 729731 ID: a107fd

>>729682
Looks like we're heading toward wrapping up this thread, so how about everybody poses as a team? By which I mean, textually recapitulates their appearance and other relevant qualities for ease of reference.

As for NPCs, they break down into three groups of three:
Rixxil Kas, it's mind-bondaged giant octopus, and Gunderbag the half-drowned ogre were described earlier in this same thread. The acolytes, Goris, Eswic, and Altsoba, and the kobold slaves specialized in stitching, hammering, and chemistry, are described here:
>>718024
with the main changes being that the kobolds have been encouraged to a higher degree of self-determination, and are under Sir Garaile's protection, and Acolyte Goris has become romantically entangled with Dimitry Nicola.
>>
No. 729741 ID: a107fd

>>729729
>What's the restriction on that- only one use ever on given person?
One use, per customer, per day. Just like Eadric said.
>What's the full list of spells I have that are eligible for free samples?
Currently? Least True Healing and a weaksauce version of Friendship Curse.
>appraisal
It's not jade anymore. Completely different crystalline structure.
>mage sight
That's definitely the same magic weapon which you first saw at the bottom of a pit, and which Than has been using.
>Nico
Says it resembles an hourglass full of silver sand, or a bug stuck in amber, or a scrying pool focused on the lunar surface.
>other casters
The acolytes know of a type of stone that can bind ghosts and demons. Same color, but it has to be chunky and angular. A thin, rounded shape like that wouldn't work right at all.
>>
No. 729777 ID: 4201a2

>>729731
>textual recapitulation

"Sir" Garaile (with audible quotes) is a grim-faced soldier with a strong sense of justice and something of an ego, as well as some level of supernatural endurance and spiritual power backing it up. Tends to look down on others, but respects authority. Close ties with Marijke and Nico. Speaks with an outrageous accent and has dreams of being a famous hero. Notably wears a disgusting necklace of ears and wields an axe with a giant rat skull attached to the hilt. Has sworn an oath to protect the kobolds from any harm, until such time as they willingly waive that protection. (Possibly has a thing for kobolds, but unlikely to admit it.)

Ravenous Llyr is a brutish wereshark fisherman-turned-slave-turned-pirate. Preferred form is a grotesque shark-faced biped, but shifts to full shark when fully submerged, and sharp-toothed human when dry and away from water. Aggressive and eager to participate in any sort of violence. Not very smart and has poor social skills, but is good at hunting and living off the grid. Preferred weapons are spears, knives, and his own teeth. Longs for a lover to share a meaty carcass with.
>>
No. 729783 ID: cea69d

Riv could be described by some as a "small, teenage girl", on the condition that your idea of teenage girls includes disturbing, leathery skin, and a shriveled extra set of arms. A shock of short black hair sits in stringy clumps, giving the impression that she grooms herself with nothing but a rusty bread knife and some dirt. Bandages adorn her body, some crusted onto the flesh by a pungent blue substance from what could possibly be old wounds- it's hard to tell for sure. Her second pair of arms is small and withered, and appear as though they lack the strength to do much offensively; however the small hands and thin fingers are incredibly thin and dexterous, and look like they would allow her to work on complex and delicate machinery with ease. She is seemingly always on guard, constantly scanning her surroundings and hunched down as if ready to flee or fight at any moment. Her eyes seem to drink in the surroundings, studying everything in sight, pouring over every available detail. Finally, she seems to be constantly fiddling with a small mechanical device, roughly the size of a fist, with so many complex gears and mechanisms it's hard to follow what she's even doing to it. Her paranoid and alienating behavior is all but inviting, however she seems to show deference, cower even, when addressed by Marijke.

Upon entering the cave she will approach Marijke and lower herself onto one knee, bow her head, and wait to be addressed.
>>
No. 729826 ID: a075ba

>The acolytes, Goris, Eswic, and Altsoba, and the kobold slaves specialized in stitching, hammering, and chemistry, are described here:
>>718024
Hmm. That link isn't working for me when it should be. Let's try...
>>/questarch/718024

>pose as a team because we just scored a lot of money and the thread is ending
Marijke is a young human woman, with frizzy and (currently) unkempt shoulder length dark hair, and green eyes the color of her jade amulet. (Well, once-color of her formerly-jade amulet). She seems to have a mercantile background and training (a fact incongruous with her apparent financial status and class when she entered the dungeon) and rather less training in the magical arts, though her dabbling has proven rather effective lately.

Her current tattered state of dress and apparent fashion sense might favorably be described as somewhere cross between "hobo" and "hippie". A scarlet macaw, large in size and raucous in color, looms on one shoulder. A dark yellow, translucent amulet hangs from her neck, and seems to display an unusual, unsettling depth if focused on for too long. A hand not infrequently return to the coin purse hanging from her waist, when they aren't occupied in some other task, or turning over a small idol.

It is an amazing coincidence (or perhaps a divine joke) that in her shabby outfit, coupled with her parrot, framed against a beach, a chest of loot, and a ragtag crew that she very nearly looks the part of the pirate captain she fell into.

Peer deep into her eyes and you will find someone still surprised at her recent reversal of fortunes and that people are listening to her (without her making them).

>Upon entering the cave she will approach Marijke and lower herself onto one knee, bow her head, and wait to be addressed.
Speaking of which.

"Can I help you?"
>>
No. 729913 ID: 0ae7f9

Than is an elf with a slim figure, silver hair, and blue and red eyes. Normally she would wear a mask to cover her face, but has none at the moment. Everything she has is linked to where she came from. She wears ranger clothes that were usually well kept, but after all the incidents should be tattered and in need of new clothing now.

The bow and allowing her to be incapacitated is linked to the incident that left remnants of an eternal life ritual that backfired letting her absorb traces of life and death magic while she took down her former family, friends, and others.

She has a different view on the world in other words people see her as crazy and poor social skills due to long isolation throughout her travels, not to mention being accompanied by undead that were reanimated but still themselves when they were alive in front of other adventurers/travelers as well before meeting the group. She is not afraid of death after seeing so much of it, and is willing to take in her eyes a best case scenario, even if it could potentially kill her or others. It doesn't mean she's a masochist or sadist of any kind though.

She trusts Marijke the most at the moment due to her healing, Lektra a little since she's also different, Snake because she was with her during their escape, and the rest are middle ground. She'll follow orders but not strictly, which may be trouble in an actual negotiation.
>>
No. 729915 ID: 0ae7f9

Since the thread is ending, and i'm too lazy, Than does like reading as well. She likes reading a lot. Books were her only friend while hunting the undead.
>>
No. 729916 ID: 1843cb

Thanks for the working link! I think the older thread got archived or something which means we keep having problems bringing it up

Riv stays on one knee, looking straight ahead rather than making eye contact- whether this is a form of anti-social behavior, an act of deference, or some other cryptic message hidden in her body language is hard to tell.
my rash and foolish behavior greatly complicated your recent effort to infiltrate the compound. My services are all I can offer in repayment for traynsgressions, but you have full command of my abilities. I will do my best to repay my debt to you in full however you see fit. What would you ask of me?
>>
No. 730068 ID: a075ba

>>729916
Marijke is a little taken aback at what is probably the most formal request to join to date (heck, more than half us didn't ask), and at the apology for a slight that has been largely forgotten since inventorying our haul.

"Uh, apology accepted, and welcome to the crew. Rise."
>>
No. 730107 ID: 2334fe

>>730068
Riv too is shocked at this response and freezes up for a moment before collecting herself and rising- eyes still divorced towards the ground even though her short statue would make it easy to avoid eye contact in other ways. She stays in this position, and awaits further instruction.

others are welcome to join in on this as well- it's happening in the middle of the cave and is not ment to be a closed off or secretive discussion- Riv is simply only directly addressing Marijke at this point
>>
No. 730349 ID: a107fd

Reviewing the timeline:
day 0: game starts, underground hilarity
night 0: goblin outpost, attempted sacrifice
day 1: reached surface at dawn, cliffside berries, thunderstorm
night 1: sleep in cave
day 2: Than finds broken-off topsail, adds front porch to cave, doubling available shelter space
night 2: cave sterilized by fire as prep for Nico's tongue surgery
day 3: winds escalate to gale-force
night 3: meeting with Marty
day 4: raid on shipwreck cove
night 4: recovery from raid, integration of freed slaves and captured slaver-bug into crew

It's now morning on day 5. Still drizzling rain, a little bit windy, and notably colder, but that means the worst of the storm is over. Are you going to wait for tomorrow, when it'll be calm and overcast? Or set out immediately, hoping to make it through these seaside hills to the main north-south road while bloodsucking striges and sheep-sized dire bees remain in their nests?

Garaile's diligently counted and repackaged the food, so, before deducting breakfast, you've got exactly 700 individually-wrapped meals, mostly goblin shroom-starch, plus two jars of mystery meat. Six PCs and three acolytes need three meals per day each to stay battle-ready, and a little extra tends to improve morale. Letkra's got a separate supply of oil. Rixxil Kas's octopus can take care of herself, given access to a body of water with a healthy population of fish. Rixxil seems to have some tricky internal injuries, and is unable or unwilling to choke down trail rations. So, with reasonable rations but no significant supplementary foraging, food will run out in three, maybe three and a half weeks. Or, it would, except that Gunderbag the ogre thinks mushroom-bread is the most delicious thing he's ever tasted, and will eagerly gobble down more of it than the rest of the group put together. You're only three days out from the nearest inn, though, so that should be fine. Good news is, having an ogre along means you can easily bring along the sail and chunk of mast as a crude umbrella.
>>
No. 730575 ID: a075ba

rolled 4, 5, 2 = 11

>Or set out immediately, hoping to make it through these seaside hills to the main north-south road while bloodsucking striges and sheep-sized dire bees remain in their nests?
That seems prudent, honestly.

>Rixxil Kas's octopus can take care of herself, given access to a body of water with a healthy population of fish
I'm not sure how we'd transport the octopus at all without a body of water. We have the river for now, but we're not gonna follow it forever.

>Good news is, having an ogre along means you can easily bring along the sail and chunk of mast as a crude umbrella.
Seems worth it.

>Thanks for the working link! I think the older thread got archived or something which means we keep having problems bringing it up
Yes. There's supposed to be automatic redirects between /quest/, /graveyard/ and /questarch/, but sometimes they don't work.

>spells for the day
0: staunch bleeding, gum-fire, bestow fool's luck, experimental miscellany
1: least true healing, bite-the-pinecone curse, bestow shadow armor
2: demand gift, spit spiders

For travel actions over the day, I'll spam some fool's luck around, do some humish lessons with Eadric (the maccaw), chat with crewmates, examine the amulet further with miscellany.
>>
No. 730583 ID: a107fd

rolled 1, 6, 4 = 11

>Pose as a team / describe self
Letkra is a tall elvenoid-seeming woman, around 6'. However, her physical features appear unnatural; simplified, and composed of a smooth simplistic material. Her eyes are very large and glassy, her ears stick out too far, and she has no nose. Her hands look more like gloves and her feet look more like socks. The most likely explanation that would occur to most people is that she's some sort of golem made to resemble an elf. She has pale skin, brown hair, toned abdominal muscles, and wears some sort of metal bikini that doesn't look like effective armor. She carries a telescoping metal glaive with a tip that can change into many different things, and controls a transparent roughly-circular (adjustable to an oval) force shield that can expand, but at the cost of being moved more slowly.

She has very strange ideas about how things work, possibly because she claims she's from another world, but she takes her role as an adventurer very seriously, trying to explore, defend others, and contribute in combat. She also works to be kind and helpful, and is starting to get weirded out by the social dynamics she's seeing in this world. She very badly wants to return to her own world, and has no very little idea how to actually do that, so she's trying to help out and work together with the most reasonable-seeming group of adventurers she's found so far.

> Rixxil Kas volunteers to interview everyone, assess relevant skills, and draw up a proper orgchart.
Sounds perfectly legit to Letkra (in her eyes it's one of the sanest things anyone's suggested all day!). She will cooperate fully if this occurs, or if he asks her directly.

She also still seems to think Rixxil Kas is some sort of Merchant, and asks what pronouns they'd prefer to be addressed by.

(Roll for diplomacy, maybe?)

(Also, is Rixxil Kas medically stable? There was that impaling and all. If it looks like they're dying she's gonna point that out and suggest Marijke cast "the Spell of Heal")

> Riv joins the party, possibly also an ogre and an octopus and stuff
"Hooray!"

As far as what to do next, Letkra's very much in favor of heading to town soon. She specifically thinks going to an Inn is important for some reason, also.

She's going to spend some of the intermittent downtime in power save mode, too, slumping over limply in the corner in a sitting position.
>>
No. 730590 ID: 0ae7f9

> Riv joins the party, possibly also an ogre and an octopus and stuff
Nodding is her only reply.
"So, to the inn we go?" while looking around at whatever anyone is doing.
>>
No. 730603 ID: a107fd

Alright, around lunchtime you come across a group of maybe 15-20 guys, camped out on a hilltop. They've got a fire lit, so you saw them before they saw you. Easy enough to circle around and avoid.

Assuming you do so, no more trouble until you're just about to take the ferry across a little tributary river to the Black Boar Inn. You meet a law-enforcement patrol, coming the other way. Three on horseback, with chainmail, longswords, and Surgis County heraldry. Eight on foot, with bronze-reinforced buff jackets, longspears, and light hunting crossbows. Lots of pointed questions, mainly on the subject of the ogre and the eel-tick. Eswic, Altsoba, and Goris have concealed their Orcusite paraphernalia, but couldn't pass a thorough search.

Fast-talk? Bribe? Two gold coins would be a reasonable day's pay for a patrol such as this. A fight might be winnable, but definitely not quickly and quietly enough to avoid folks at the inn noticing. Magic? Rixxil can attempt the mind bondage thing three times a day, and the footmen seem to follow orders from knights without much question, so you could try subverting the leadership that way.

>>730583
>is Rixxil Kas medically stable?
Answer hazy, ask a trained xenobiologist.
> pronouns
It/It's
>Heal
Yep, that's a spell which exists. Fixes just about everything that can be fixed, all at once, no muss no fuss. Unfortunately, it's sixth circle, far beyond anyone around here.
>>
No. 730645 ID: cea69d

Riv would suggest bribery- easy, fast, and not too much off the our bottom line.
>>
No. 730647 ID: a075ba

rolled 3, 5, 4 = 12

>assuming you circle around
Avoiding an unnecessary engagement with a group roughly the size of our own seems reasonable, yes.

>Fast-talk? Bribe? Magic?
I'd say let Nico be charming while Marijke slips them a few gold along with the weakened free sample version of the friendship curse to make them better inclined to be friendly to us.

(And from here we pick up in the next thread I suppose, since that's up and we've already reached the inn there).
>>
No. 730680 ID: a107fd

>>730647
Nico manages to convince the patrol that Rixxil Kas is not actually a living creature at all, but rather, a prop for an elaborate ventriloquism act. You're four gold poorer and will be held responsible for any damages the ogre causes, but otherwise allowed to pass.
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