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File 148674700193.png - (8.34KB , 600x600 , Temple of Final Sacrament exterior view by strngy.png )
778485 No. 778485 ID: d36af7

It was a dark and stormy night...
New players still being accepted, see thread 4 and discussion thread 2 for details.
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No. 778491 ID: d36af7

...yesterday. During the few hours while Decaro Vos was wandering off on his own (carrying with him a rope of braided red hair which symbolizes Eric Grimwald's fealty to the undead sorceress Aaphia), the tunnels from which you recently emerged seemed to seethe with fragmentary shadows which no amount of light could dispel. The effect imposed a hard cutoff of visibility at 40' away, and even within that range penalized visual perception by -4.

What little rain fell on or near that ominous pavilion of black marble was bitter, with a smell like burnt metal, and did nothing to wash away whatever blood and corruption had long ago soaked into the ground. Fortunately, such an unwholesome quality was just right for Daniel Agate's aura of purification to act as an umbrella. At least, until anyone got more than fifty yards away from the top of that barren hill, where normal clean rain fell through the aura unimpeded.

The next day was dreary and overcast, but reasonably dry, and mercifully free of further excitement. You've mapped out a 6-mile radius around the dungeon entrance, which is to say, a single 12-mile-wide hex on the overworld map. Predominant terrain type here is rolling hills, with a thin coating of topsoil and grass plus a few scattered trees. Everyone who made it to the surface has had a chance to rest, recover from minor injuries or afflictions, and catch up a bit on what could be learned, from the ordeal, about themselves and each other - in mechanical terms, to level up. Any questions or requests about character advancement should come first, before you commit to other action.

Hexes immediately to the west and northwest look like more hills, possibly with narrow and rocky natural harbors of the sort favored by pirates and smugglers. Thanks to Yisheng Ji's gliding and Davina's rapid short-range portals, aerial views have been available, through which you can see ocean two hexes to the west and beyond, broken up by the occasional reef or sandbar. (Proper mapping, however, requires a view from up close, or at least directly overhead.) The Old Coast Road runs through adjacent hexes to the east (swampy, with a monastery some ways off the far side of the road) and northeast (forested, possibly home to some manner of spirit court). The Stoneheart River runs through both hexes immediately to the south, and the Coast Road has a bridge across the river two hexes away to the east-south-east. The heart of civilized lands is more than a thousand miles away to the north, and the city of Passholdt is about 150 miles (12 or 13 hexes) to the east. You can't quite see the city itself from here, but those mountains which surround it comprise much of the eastern horizon.
No. 778504 ID: 77f1b6

So I'm unsure as to what happens when Maru levels up. She's a townie, so I don't know what relevant boxes get bumped up really. So I guess to put it into question form: What does leveling up do to Maru?

With passholdt being about 150 miles away, if they go at a good pace, that's 30 miles a day, we could expect to reach it in 5 days or so. Travel time will be significantly increased however by needing to forage for food- you could expect that trip to take a month easily, when most of their day has to be spent searching for food. Maru thinks passholdt isn't a bad long term goal, but they should try the monastery first, see if they can't exchange labor and services for food and shelter, get a chance to stock up before heading out for a long trip. What do the others think?
No. 778511 ID: af6e04

I'm assuming Vos was found while the group was mapping the area?

Likewise, I'm not sure what leveling up entails.
No. 778519 ID: 3abd97
File 148675892249.png - (10.14KB , 730x562 , Overworld map 01.png )

Here's a crude map of what was just described. Just grids and text for now- might upgrade to something fancier later with different types of terrain colored and little icons for things.

>The heart of civilized lands is more than a thousand miles away to the north, and the city of Passholdt is about 150 miles (12 or 13 hexes) to the east
Straight distance is less important to use than how accommodating the terrain is for portalling, since we can use that turn a walk into 60 mph travel (a hundred-yard step per three seconds) >>/questdis/107142 . Obviously the mountains are one such possible obstacle, but do we know what the terrain on the other side of that is like? Or what kind of terrain we might expect heading north?

(I doubt anyone has committed a detailed atlas to memory, but we might be reasonably expected to know things like "there's a massive golden sea of savana land south of civilization", or "there be Mirkwood, won't be able to see far ahead that way" or "Passholdt is famous for being surrounded by obscuring fog or mist").

>Any questions or requests about character advancement should come first
Yes please. What's Davina gained and/or what choices do I have to make?

Possible ideas I've had for advancement: (not necessarily stuff that could be achieved in a single level, but in general)

Davina gaining some measure of control over her phasing so it becomes more of an ability and less of a mutation. (Possibly through some kind of meditation, or appealing Ji for assistance in teaching her to control her medical condition, since he seems to have some affinity for to working with it). Might allow tricks like allowing attacks to flicker fight through herself, or phasing her weapon through armor or attempts to block.

There's her parasite maturing or growing in power, increasing the effectiveness of existing effects or possibly adding new ones. (Increased portal range, more control of duration, the ability to collapse portals, tearing space as an attack, increased ability to interact with the world while out of phase, some kind of spacial perception, etc. There's a million ways that could go). Possibly increased complications as well.

Unrelated to her parasite, there's the possibility increased mastery or affinity could unlock additional secrets or bonuses withing Davina's ancestral weapon. I assume right now it's just treated as an expensive plus whatever sword, but it's old, and the prized symbol of a noble line. Who knows what forgotten enchantments may be slumbering there?

As a bard, it occurred to me Maru might benefit from some increased ability to affect the emotions of others. Fits thematically with her weapon effect, has uses in intimidation or diplomacy, and possible interactions with some of the abilities of other party members.

And don't sometimes skalds / bards unlock casting levels?

Assuming yes, we found Vos, he's getting a hug, heedless of the mud. And an admonition that he needs to be more careful running off oh his own from now on.
No. 778522 ID: 716fdd

Or, just refrain from running off on his own, says Maru. Buddy system does wonders to prevent death from snakebite
No. 778526 ID: 094652

Hore regrets her minimal participation in last night's events, and feels she has skimped on her studies. If she were smarter, she could have fixed the plasma pistol in her left arm hours ago.

Having placed the copper wire Djan made in hopes that her basic nanomachines can now skip that part (absorbing copper poison from the liver and placing it in a wire shape one nanobot at a time takes a @#$%-ton of patience), Hore resolves to be of more use, especially now that she is out of the dungeon and basking in the sun. But maybe she'll think about what she wants to study first.

... Actually, if the rest of the party plans to go back down there this year, Hore will seriously consider leaving and just go back to her usual mercenary work. She's okay with going on another adventure with the party, but could they please explore the local countryside for artifacts that may have moved from the dungeon over centuries of magic and sedimentary shifts instead of another round of diseased moss and one-hit-kill D.R.B.s?

After looking at Davina's basic Map, Hore stipulates that the safest route is away from the trees and cliffs. They can travel south to the river, stock up on water and rations, then move west to the ocean and finally move north along the beach to reach the port city.
No. 778551 ID: d36af7

Well, we could go with the Skald hybrid class from Pathfinder's Advanced Class Guide. Main feature is, instead of the full range of bardic music powers, you sing a battle-hymn that works like slightly weaker barbarian rage for all willing (or unconscious) nearby allies.

>travel time
Davina could plausibly reach Passholdt in three or four hours, through rapid-fire portals along good roads or riverbanks. Otherwise accurate.
No. 778566 ID: 24aec8

I doubt this will come as a surprise, but the effect I was going for with the the battle hymn produced by the ax was pretty much exactly that- it makes everyone angry and want to keep fighting, to cut out the fluff. Dunno if I did a good job translating that effect into flavor text for the ax power, but I was doing my best to actually make a pathfinder skald
No. 778583 ID: af6e04

Vos enthusiastically returns the hug and promises to be more careful. He mentions that he did have a nice little camping trip while he was gone though.

I'm completely unfamiliar with Pathfinder but I've played a lot of 5e. Standard Paladin stuff like disease immunity seems like it would work out fine. Faster healing or otherwise improved constitution makes sense too. The homebrew class Vos' concept was based on grants extra damage against enemies that have harmed my companions instead of classic smites.

More control over the flesh blessing or ability to use it at range would be welcome, though both options might remove some of the flavor of the ability.
No. 778587 ID: d36af7

>Vos was found

Given the knight-in-glistening-chitinous-armor thing, I was thinking Vos would advance mainly as a paladin. There are two archetypes from the horror-genre sourcebook for Pathfinder which I'd be interested in trying out, but they go in opposite directions: Martyr drops the ability to smite in favor of bigger and better protection / inspiration auras, and ranged healing, but loses personal immunities, and has a self-destructive side. Conversely, the Tortured Crusader trades away many support/teamwork powers in favor of self-sufficiency, practical applications of occult lore, and grim determination to persist against impossible odds, with self-healing quick enough to react in the moment between being struck and collapsing. Which seems more appropriate? Or, should it be some other direction entirely?

>What has Davina gained and what choices do I have to make?
She's learning to rotate herself around yet another axis perpendicular to conventionally observable dimensions, alternately presenting a comely face for socialization, or a monstrous, vengeful aspect for confrontation with enemies. Transition between personae takes only about 30 seconds, but is overtly unnatural, disturbing to watch, and noisy. The otherworldly symbiote has also extended a limb outside her body, of which only one fingertip touches known reality. It could almost be mistaken for a small ordinary animal. Some oddly deformed toad, perhaps, or a venomous snake whose colored bands aren't always in the same order. It whispers to her secret techniques of manipulating the warp and weft of space, subtler and slower but ultimately more powerful than tearing holes straight through. In mechanical terms: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/vigilante/archetypes/vigilante-archetypes---paizo-inc/magical-chi

I'd suggest the "comfort for the lonely" social talent (an hour of physical intimacy with a consenting partner steadies her mind, providing a few rerolls on social influence or will saves during the next 24 hours) and the "nothing can stop me" vigilante talent (reflexively slashing aside obstacles without breaking stride, which might be particularly useful if you run afoul of thorny underbrush or sticky webbing).

Map is accurate. Main obstacle between coastal hills and the mountains is the "Forest of Hope," which was named either ironically, or by someone who'd never actually been there. Bandits, giant spiders, man-wise dire wolves... it's a bad place to be lost. Desperate outlaws take shelter under the trees when storms pound the coast. Road along the south side of the Stoneheart River is relatively safe, though, thanks to regular patrols.

River is more than a mile wide where the Old Coast Road crosses it, on a bridge that's sturdy enough for the heaviest cargo wagons, and wide enough for two such wagons to pass each other with room to spare, yet composed almost entirely of spindly latticework. Some miracle of antediluvian engineering, presumably. This is significant in that Davina can't 'port from one side of the river to the other just anywhere.
No. 778594 ID: af6e04

Martyr actually seems right up Vos' alley.
No. 778605 ID: d36af7

In that case, the most immediate effect is that in lieu of Smite Evil he gains something very similar to the bard-song abilities Countersong, Distraction, and Inspire Courage, picking up where Maru Red's musical versatility drops off, but with the disadvantage that he takes ongoing damage from bleeding stigma while singing.
No. 778607 ID: 3abd97

>that magical child template
My goodness. This is full on magical girl class, complete with transformation sequence and animal guide. I rolled a magical girl. By accident.

Excuse me, I'm busy laughing my ass off. This is great. Does seem a good fit for Dav, overall.

This talks about summoner class abilities. So planned future development would be along the lines of tapping the symbiote's more direct intervention in things?

>I'd suggest the "comfort for the lonely" social talent
Sounds good. Gives a mechanical justification / application for her lower ambition.

>"nothing can stop me" vigilante talent
Also sounds good, especially as portalling might end up placing her in the way of such obstacles.

>The otherworldly symbiote has also extended a limb outside her body, of which only one fingertip touches known reality. It could almost be mistaken for a small ordinary animal. Some oddly deformed toad, perhaps, or a venomous snake whose colored bands aren't always in the same order.
Is this something only she can see, or that's visible to others?

Is the spirit guide / familiar is supposed to have a fixed form, or is it different every time someone looks at it (or for very person who looks at it)? I'd prefer something insectoid, thematically. A bee might be appropriate for a fencer (though that might be too small), or some kind of mantis as a swordswoman analog. Maybe a spider for whispering secrets about the weave of space?

>nice face versus vengeful face
So a bonus to charisma one way, and an intimidation bonus the other way? With some translocation flashiness in between.
No. 778625 ID: d36af7

>summoner class abilities
You get full Summoner-stule spellcasting, with three first-circle spells known at 2nd level. I'd recommend Feather Fall, Mage Armor, and Unseen Servant. All three fit into a region of conceptual overlap between theme and utility. Five at-will minor effects, those are up to you.

>familiar is supposed to have a fixed form
It's every bit as physical, visible, and changeable as Davina's elvenoid body. The familiar's 'social' face will remain fixed, but it's 'vengeful' face will become stranger and more glorious as her legend grows.

Perhaps a millipede? She can't quite understand why everyone else doesn't find it so adorable. http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/i-guarantee-jared-inspired-her-to-name-it-mr-bug

>So a bonus to charisma one way, and an intimidation bonus the other way?
There's more to it than a flat bonus to social skills. The two sides are as thoroughly distinct as Batman is from Millionaire Playboy Bruce Wayne. Main reason I thought of vigilante, actually, is Davina's ambition of rebuilding her family's name. What other class can gain wealth and fame as ironclad class features?
No. 778629 ID: 094652

Hore is actually supposed to be an intellectual with sociopathic tendencies and near-berserk fighting styles. I feel that a few unlucky throws and bad decisions meant that she was unable to use her plasma pistol and scared of dying in combat and suddenly became useless, so she should level up this time in such a way that makes her more useful in terms of survival and research skills.

I'm new to pathfinder, so I didn't actually know what I was doing when I said "Outsider Shaman". That represents Hore's knowledge of the cosmos, alternate universes, and other such advanced knowledge that boarders on Oracle. But actually, she plays like a Hybrid-Hybrid with her first class as a Swashbuckler (tactical-based melee skills with a hint of PLASMA every time she needs a gun), and her second class as a Machinesmith (Complex understanding of cybernetics and how to improve them with tech or magic), or a Shaman with a focus on planar knowledge if you prefer.

In this case, Hore's combat skills are fair enough - she managed to kill a giant boar with the tools at her disposal. It's her brains that are currently lacking. With the next leg of her journey being a simple walk through the wilderness to town, she'll want to hone her skills in using the environment, collecting metals and plants and using them to create new potions or inventions, and possibly selling them when they get to civilization. What would you recommend?
No. 778677 ID: 3abd97

>I'd recommend Feather Fall, Mage Armor, and Unseen Servant.
Oh my gosh yes, no more worrying about portalling myself into a deadly fall and/or telefragging everything to survive.

>Five at-will minor effects, those are up to you.
Right, I'm not exactly sure what would count as minor enough, or what everything would be called in this system, so I'm just gonna toss some ideas and see what sticks.

Dancing Lights? Flavored as globs of translocation energy, or pinpricks holes in reality, or glowbugs? The party has other ways to produce light, but Dav's main trick does depend on being able to see.

Some kind of Mend or Clean? The dirt and mud fall away, wrinkles in clothes unfold themselves, jewellery and armor shines as if freshly polished. A girl's got to look her best, even on the road. (Could be flavored as flickering out from under the dirt and grime. Maybe could be used to reproduce the phasing out her clothes trick by adjusting the target, though using it to escape restraints seems like it would be a step too far for a zeroth level spell).

Portal Projectile? (Ie, a throwing dagger would take a portal shortcut to it's target). Ordinarily, I don't think that would be zeroth circle, but arguably, Davina's ability would be doing most of the heavy lifting. The spell would just be constraining it to the travel of a projectile through a small portal, instead of the usual travel of herself through a larger one.

Detect compatible? Sort of an inverse detect poison, used to check if something is compatible with her biology. (Not sure if that's minor, and plausible targets that need examining might come up too infrequently to be worth having this).

Momentary Immobility? Absolute footing. Useful for opening a portal without following through, or stopping a charge you wouldn't otherwise be able to. (Another one that's maybe too good to be minor?).

I'm open to suggestions if I'm missing anything obvious or thematic.

Hmm. Would sort of make sense for the "social" face to be a cute or friendly bug. Wild stuff like a Phantasmal Bee or Scintillating Mantis could be saved for vengeful transformations.

At different points in her life Davina has resented or been disgusted by the idea of her 'passenger'. Having it actually reach out to communicate to her, in a form she finds endearing, after her recent revelatory experience? Some mending of fences there.

>What other class can gain wealth and fame as ironclad class features?
Sold. Also, Batman is a surprisingly appropriate archetype, what with the dead parents, and the legacy he builds with his various sidekicks / apprentices / surrogate kids.
No. 778687 ID: 24aec8

If we can choose traits, I'd like to choose one of the handful of traits that gives you and extra level 0 spell, and go for something like Ray of frost or jolt or acid splash, but with a fire descriptor. After giving level progress some thought, I'd like to send Mary down a combination of the Skald and the brawlers advancements, giving her bonus to unarmed strikes, and giving her the ability to goad enemies into going after her, improved intimidation as well as the improvements to reflex saves, damage resistances, rage powers etc. The fire cantrip is a bit of a nod to her demonic heritage, so maybe at some point progression in that realm as well- resistances to fire and poison, maybe even self immolation at some point, or other thematically appropriate advancements. I know lucky is a 5e feat, but that was also something I was interested in; she's a more brash person and having some extra luck to balance out bad decisions and dire predicaments would be cool
No. 778696 ID: d36af7

I was planning on modeling the effects of Hore's plasma pistol, and other cybernetics, with the Kineticist class from Occult Adventures. Long story short, firebending. Immediate benefit would be channeling waste heat to damage anyone who strikes or grapples her, and on the skill side, bonuses to slipping out of restraints, identification of fire elementals, and general knowledge of the natural world. Most of the advancement is direct damage (which could certainly come in handy), including charge-up shots, but as early as 6th level she'll also be able to use vectored plasma jets to fly at will, like the machine gun from Cave Story.

How about Dancing Lights, contextually-tweaked Detect Poison (highlights anything metabolically dangerous, but can't distinguish nutritious from inert), Mending, Whisperweb, and a custom spell? Sort of a hybrid of Mage Hand, weaker one-off Unseen Servant, and Prestidigitation's cleaning functions. Take 30 seconds to cast it on an object you're wearing or wielding, no more than 2 kg or so, and within a few minutes after you stop wearing or wielding it, the object will be cleaned off, given any appropriate minor maintenance (but not actual repairs), and properly tucked away in storage. If you portal away, it'll always follow before the portal closes, but other obstacles or forms of rapid movement may thwart the retrieval effect. Thrown knives are polished and oiled as they find their way back to the sheath, boots lost to sucking mud show up again clean and dry. For larger items (such as the breastplate) or her own skin, Unseen Servant or mundane grooming efforts would still be necessary, and it's likely to encourage bad habits that will come back to bite her in a null-magic zone, or if an area dispel shatters all the bindings and peels that legion of petty spirits off her gear without other symptoms.
No. 778705 ID: af6e04

Sounds good. Not sure what to do for traits. Any ideas?
No. 778714 ID: 094652

Not my first choice, but that will make her more versatile. I guess she awakens to the Kineticist class from the death ray she took in the dungeon, and learns the skills required by fiddling with her broken plasma pistol and discovering new techniques?
No. 778725 ID: 3abd97

So slaps a returning brand on possessions with bonus cleaning? (Entropic Preservation, maybe?) Sounds neat. Although I don't see a good reason not to spam it first thing in the morning so all her gear is (probably) protected from accidental loss. Nice bonus if the maintenance replenishes the missing poison in the jewellery, although that might be reaching.

I'm not really feeling Wisperweb. It works, thematically, as some kind of spacial distortion carrying sound back and forth, but it feels like too much overlap with Marijke. Any alternatives?
No. 778733 ID: d36af7

It's purely technological, not actual firebending. Hore's implanted plasma pistol currently only does 1d6+1 damage, to a single target no more than ten yards away or everything in a five-yard cone. If it was working up to spec it would put huge glowing holes through inch-thick steel plates at 150 yards. Further leveling up will incrementally unlock that potential, and restore various peripheral functions on the way.

>So slaps a returning brand on possessions with bonus cleaning?

>I don't see a good reason not to spam it first thing in the morning so all her gear is (probably) protected from accidental loss.
Working as intended. Don't forget to reapply after any given item has been retrieved. The exiled noblewoman compulsively micromanages her crew of imaginary maids, and coincidences conspire to indulge her delusions.

>Nice bonus if the maintenance replenishes the missing poison in the jewellery, although that might be reaching.
Default setting would be to remove poison, like any other contaminant, though you could instruct it to apply oil (which just so happens to be toxic) as a maintenance task. Any such consumable materials need to be provided the normal way, though. Minor effects can't directly produce any real, lasting objects, not even as small and simple as a drop of oil.

>I'm not really feeling Wisperweb. It works, thematically, as some kind of spacial distortion carrying sound back and forth, but it feels like too much overlap with Marijke. Any alternatives?

How about Arcane Mark? Think "mark of Zorro," minus the fiddly challenge of carving a legible letter D with your sword.
No. 778745 ID: 3abd97

>The exiled noblewoman compulsively micromanages her crew of imaginary maids, and coincidences conspire to indulge her delusions.
Pfff. That's perfect. And incidentally, "Imaginary Maid" works well as a spell name.

>Default setting would be to remove poison, like any other contaminant
Even if it's a container specifically designed to hold said poison? I mean, presumably the spell wouldn't empty food from a satchel, or wash out a potion bottle.

But yeah, not conjuring materials out of thin air is reasonable.

>Arcane Mark
Sure, that fits the flavor. Makes sense to sign your work if you're specifically trying to build a name for yourself. And might have clever applications in tracking or targeting if combined the right way with other effects.

Probably would use the family crest or seal (as on the signet ring) as the mark produced.

Okay, I think that's my level up stuff sorted. When everyone else is finished, I'd say we probably want to head towards Passholdt? A big town or city to ressupply before we head out again / take some kind of quest or mission. Assuming the Old Coast Road turns that way and follows a path through or around the mountains, we could make good time along it with portals.

OOC request: Hey, strngy, now that the portal bug is (partially) out in the open as a familiar, Vos should aura check it at some point. I wanna see how his power parses it.
No. 778747 ID: 67456a

Haha, okay, I have no fucking idea what I'm gonna do with Maria and Daniel. I assume Maria would work well as an Inquisitor, and Daniel as a Cleric or Oracle, though.
No. 778764 ID: 77f1b6

Maru agrees, as long as davina doesn't mind doing the heavy lifting. Drawing ovals with your sword for 6 hours straight isn't a task she envies. As long as no one minds though, she'll do some tale spinning and song singing to help with the long, assumedly boring march.


"De name's Daniel, right gov? Listen, I got dis stone in my possession, and I reckon it's worf a pretty penny. Fing is dough, I can't seem to find a buyer. I fink it might be cursed or somefin of de sort- ya fink ya can help me out? Maybe check it for nasty spells or somefin like dat, make sure when we get to town I can make use of it?"
She's got in her possession a large ruby she believes to be of some value, but is can't find anyone willing to buy it. She's thinking it might be cursed, and given his purifying capabilities, she was hoping he could lift any curses plaguing it.

Was there a decision on what actually happened when Maru leveled up? I just wanna be clear on my capabilities and what I can reasonably expect to be able to do. When you jump off a cliff assuming you can fly you better damn well hope you're not wrong on that front.
No. 778766 ID: d36af7

>Assuming the Old Coast Road turns that way and follows a path through or around the mountains,
Old Coast Road goes north-south, parallel to the coast (hence the name) and also approximately parallel to the mountain range. Passholdt is off to the east, more than a hundred miles inland from the coast road. Just follow the Stoneheart River upstream, you can't miss it. It's situated on one of the few easy paths across the mountains. Most people assume that's where the city's name comes from ("hold the pass") but the literal translation is "place of walking trees."

I was actually thinking Kineticist again for Maria, with aether as her element, reskinned and tweaked to be holy fire instead of telekinetic force. With the 'kinetic healer' utility power, she can heal damage for a willing subject by touch (as much as a blast would normally inflict) but then either she or the patient have to take some nonlethal damage that can't heal without a full night's sleep. Could be interpreted as sacred cauterization, closing the physical wound but leaving the unworthy flesh weak and penitent.

As for Daniel, how about Oracle with the curse of Tongues (while under stress, such as combat, he can only speak Abyssal) and the mystery of the Heavens, starting with the Coat of Many Stars revelation which is basically sparkly self-only Mage Armor for an hour per level per day? If that sounds adequate, pick five minor and two 1st circle spells off the cleric list, plus Least True Healing and Color Spray.
No. 778779 ID: 84aebf

rolled 5, 2, 4 = 11

Alrighty, aura scan! I think the ability's passive anyway, but I'll go ahead and roll.

Passholdt sounds good. Vos has not seen too many human cities so he's pretty excited.
No. 778824 ID: d36af7

Davina's familiar has no aura.

Or, more precisely, no distinct aura. It appears to be an extension of her body.

>Was there a decision on what actually happened when Maru leveled up?
You should pick out spells known, as for a 2nd level bard. http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/skald
No. 778830 ID: 74621b

Traveling to Passholdt is a fine idea. Yisheng Ji finds it worth noting, however, the party did not make any actual money, nor acquire anything particularly valuable during their time in the labyrinth, and is curious as to where the party's budget for supplies is going to come from.
No. 778832 ID: 18b06a

Maru says, in a voice even more cavalier and needlessly loud than usual, that they have " information "

Knowledge of the dungeon alone can be sold for a livable wage to the right parties. A rough map, with descriptors of dangers? That should net them enough money to get food and board for a few months if they play their cards rights.
No. 778861 ID: 3abd97

Total loot accumulated:

* 1 length of magic rope (Eric's property and symbol of fealty to Queen Aaphia, probably not fungible as a result)
* 1 Sun Stone (Vos and Hore probably have the strongest claim. Fungible, but also a useful tool we might prefer to keep)
* 1 Fire Hawk Emblem (Maru's). Returning that to their local chapter, along with news of the passing of their warrior, might be worth goodwill or a favor or recompense.
* As per Maru, information about the dungeon and/or maps which hold value to the right buyer. (Possibly the Fire Hawks, so two birds in one trip). Geeze I gotta catch up my OOC mapmaking for that.

It's not as convenient as if we'd escaped with a collection of gold and gems, but it's something. In addition to loot collected, we also have the preexisting resources of several characters to tap.

* Davina's coin purse (gold)
* Eric's coin purse (gold)
* Maru's coin purse (cursed ruby, fungible if Daniel can uncurse it)

Granted, there's a limit to how much personal funds can be considered available to the group. (Like, Davina could probably be persuaded to pick up the tab for a meal, or a night at an inn. But not to buy new equipment for everyone).

Then there's the fact we're a group of people with varied and useful talents and abilities. If we don't have enough money to get by, there's lots of options for various kinds of grifting. We could have the bard sing for our supper, at the simplest. And there's bound to be paying mercenary work of some kind.
No. 778877 ID: 094652

Hore instantly calls dibs on the Sun Brick, having plans to develop a lighting system in the city and make a huge profit.

Aether seems like the appropriate element, seeing as how her mother was planeshifted and thus Hore has a deep fascination with physics. However, the website states that Plasma is associated with Fire and Air, so... tough call.

Okay, I think starting out with fire will work because Hore associates her Plasma Pistol with burning and armor penetration. Problem is, I'm not sure which utility wild talent to take. Or should I choose Aether and get a telekinetic ability for defense?
No. 778901 ID: af6e04

>Hore instantly calls dibs on the Sun Brick
"Can not call 'dibs'. It is for group to decide."

>taking stock
Vos points out that we have all gained stalwart allies, which is more valuable than any amount of money.

He also reminds Maru that she owes him a drink.
No. 778908 ID: d36af7

>which utility wild talent to take
The universal one to boost skills. I already described it's effects, just didn't mention by name.

>(cursed ruby, fungible if Daniel can uncurse it)
Extrapolating the usual price curves for size and quality, it should be worth about five or ten pounds of gold. One pound of gold is $20,000, living expenses at a decent inn are $150 per person per week, plus another $5 per meal for Davina's unusual dietary requirements. Close inspection of that mysterious ruby by all the casters currently on the team confirms that there's no evidence of an actual magical curse. The trouble with selling it must be something extrinsic, a reputation somehow associated with that type of gem, or it's region of origin.
No. 778948 ID: 77f1b6

>pick out spells known

Cantrips: Daze, Lullaby message, read magic, spark
Level 1: chord of shards, compell hostility, swallow your fear

>she owes him a drink.

Of course! Maru doesn't forget a debt! Although she's not exactly sure what Eel men drink if she's honest.
No. 778965 ID: 67456a

Alright, that all sounds good. For Daniel's spells, I'll take...

Level 0: Create Water, Detect Poison, Light, Purify Food and Drink, Spark

Level 1: Bless, Remove Sickness

Everything you suggested for Maria sounds perfect, too.
No. 778971 ID: 094652

So, Hore will select the fire element for now, get skilled kineticist to help her fire her plasma pistol with lower chance of failure and overheat (and to fix the damn thing), and when she can get the air element at level 7 that means her understanding of plasma awakens and she can use her plasma pistol with ease. Anything I missed?
No. 778976 ID: 3abd97

For easy reference, I made a quick list of what appears to have been decided thus far. (More complicated stats pages with everything might come later).


Updates pending anyone telling me I got it wrong, further clarifications, or further decisions being made. Mostly this is just so people can see at a glance what holes they might have left to fill, or things they might want to still ask about.

(Am I the only one amused that in a party full of mages, the swordswoman was the only one to end up with a familiar)?
No. 779055 ID: d36af7

A few houserules for the spells:
Spark is a 30' ray that deals 1d6-3 (min 1) fire damage. It's usable as an attack in combat, but if you're trying to injure something that's not specifically weak to fire, throwing a rock would usually be more effective. One point of fire damage will ignite dry tinder, three points is enough to light kindling with no tinder or a puddle of oil with no wick. Prolonged concentration (and expenditure of FP) will ignite almost anything that can burn, potentially even damp cloth and green wood.

Daze doesn't outright prohibit action. It freezes the victim's long-term memory (no read, no write), and then flags the current contents of short-term memory as invalid on the way out. A berzerker might continue to attack, anyone could fight in self-defense, and someone who tends to remember dreams might be able to remember what was happening while they were dazed.

Create Water is more accurately called Condense Water. It manipulates heat and pressure to pull moisture out of the air, usually a few minutes per gallon. Fast and easy in fog or rain, slower and more difficult in extremely hot or arid conditions, won't work at all in a vacuum, various bizarre results in contaminated or entirely unnatural atmospheres.
No. 779081 ID: 18b06a

Got it- basically 6 seconds of amnesia right?

Also, how possible would you say it is to make a party face that operates who uses intimidate to ease through social situations, as opposed to something like diplomacy/persuasion? Further down the line, once we're a little more robust, I'd like to build Maru to get better prices at stores and convince people to do her favors on the virtue of not wanting to see what happens if they don't, but I don't know how feasible/viable that is. I was also thinking about taking a social spell rather than chord of shards, something like aspect of nightengale or adoration, but it seems on of the things we lack as a group is AOE capabilities so I was a bit torn. What does everyone think?
No. 779166 ID: d36af7

Last sentence of the description of the Intimidation skill in the GURPS Basic Set is "Requests for aid are always at -3 or worse." Fear is a handy thing to have in your toolbox, but if all you have is a hammer, sooner or later you're going to be screwed.

Intimidation works best on spineless cowards, people you could legitimately beat in a fight, and fools who'll take your word for it when you say they're in that second category. Y'know, the sort of people who fall to pieces in any real emergency. Courageous, clever, disciplined folks - such as professional soldiers, frontiersmen, and those who willingly go on adventures - tend to be more resistant to that sort of influence.

Diplomacy is difficult and slow, but it's also safe, and when it works the results tend to be lasting. Fast-talk, intimidation, sex appeal, subculture-specific skills like Streetwise and the various Savoir-Faire specialties, are all easier to learn and quicker to apply, but when they fail (surely we've all seen by now how fickle the dice can be?) someone who could have been friendly, or at least neutral, may suddenly see you as a fraud, a threat, an enemy. Diplomacy can't backfire like that.

Teal deer, if you want Maru to be the "face," start by developing some conflict-resolution strategies more delicate and subtle than beating the noncompliant party unconscious. >>766796
No. 779286 ID: d36af7

Maria and Hore don't get actual spells, just kineticist powers. Hore already has a 'charge-up shot' in the form of that cone attack: doing it properly requires both hands free and two seconds of concentration, complete with a stealth-defeating but otherwise harmless light show. It can be done without that setup, inflicting just as much damage on the target, at the cost of an increment of gauss field turbulence, which is the basis of all her limited-use-per-day powers. Maria has a similar option for increased range.

Daniel gets five 1st circle spells per day. Maru Red gets three 1st circle spells, plus eight breaths of inspired song. One breath is enough for a few seconds of furious battle, or (at 3rd level) an hour of overland travel with all the speed of a forced march and none of the fatigue.

Main limit on Decaro Vos's stigmata is how much blood he's willing to lose. Mutagenic touch is still at-will, but the only reliable medical benefit is staunching wounds or replacing crippled / severed limbs. He can also squirt some sort of sanctified bodily fluid five times a day, out to 7 yards through air or 15 yards (and to a limited extent around corners) underwater. Currently it's equivalent to a basic alchemical healing potion, apart from being absorbed through skin (and thin or porous clothing) rather than ingested. Healing capabilities will improve considerably with further levels. Range for his protective aura is also 7 yards, and currently it only it only works against perception-based hazards: enchanting music, rhetoric, writing, gaze attacks, nausea-inducing sonic weapons, that sort of thing. Doesn't help with otherwise harmless illusions. At 3rd level the bonus will also apply to resisting disease and fear, which should be particularly helpful considering how many weird phobias are present.

Djan and Eric's players can discuss level-gain stuff when they show up again. I'll run them as NPCs (probably not particularly proactive ones) until then.
No. 779291 ID: 3abd97

Okay, last round of bookeeping then:

Dav's spells per day?

Is protective aura always on, or something Vos has to choose to activate with stigmata?

Does sanctified healing squirts cost stigmata, or just per day reserves as his body "naturally" produces it?

>kineticist powers
So somewhat open ended holy-flame/plasma throwing/bending plus the specific applications listed before?
No. 779353 ID: 52a82f

rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11

Notes about intimidation vs diplomacy are taken into consideration and much appreciated. Just so the rest of the party knows, I don't plan on doing more than dabbling with diplomacy, so Davina is probably where it's at, considering she has a social face specifically designed for interacting with people and also she's not a slimy eel man.

I'd also like a better understanding on what a breath of inspired song does- is it like inspiration from 5e or more like raging song for the skald in pathfinder? And, in that vein, does her ax also give the raging song effect as well, or does this part of her power have a different sort of effect?
>which sings a battle dirge to inspire her allies and intimidate her foes

Aside from all that, I believe all of the present characters have agreed passholdt is the place to be.

Rolling in case I need it.
No. 779357 ID: 67456a

Daniel feels much more powerful now, his flames giving him access to abilities far beyond what he once had. And with Vos returned, he's feeling much better emotionally, too!

He approaches Vos a bit nervously, looking down at his hands. "Vos... I... I want you to be more careful, okay? I... I care about you! And I don't want you to get hurt! So... m-maybe stay with us in the future? So we can keep track of you?"

Maria scowls openly at the eel man as her brother finishes speaking. Apparently she doesn't quite approve of her brother's crush.
No. 779378 ID: 094652

"Hore will also stay! Away from the dungeon. Seriously, I'm not going back down there. Can we go somewhere else, hit a bandit outpost or enlist in a war or anything that doesn't involve supernatural death by nigh-indestructible monsters and diseases?"

Hore gives Vos a light hug and nuzzles him lightly.

"Also, if you want to go steady, please turn this cloaca into a canine vagina. *Ahem* When we get to town, of course."
No. 779429 ID: af6e04

>I... I care about you!
Vos makes happy eel sounds. "You are very kind Daniel. Next time I run off, will bring you with. Sounds good?"

>Hore jumps in
Vos soaks in all the attention. Perhaps he should get lost more often? He tucks the idea away for later. "Hore is right. Let's get away from dungeon. Town is much better!"
No. 779461 ID: d36af7

It is absolutely exactly like the skald's raging song from Pathfinder. I have no appreciable familiarity with 5e.

The ax is simply a summonable tool, allowing Maru to produce music with Perform (Guitar) and inflict wounds with Melee Weapon (Two-Handed Axe/Mace) without worrying about encumbrance, maintenance, theft, or anyone who'd prefer she be temporarily disarmed for security reasons.

>Dav's spells per day?
Three first circle. Might also want to think about name and style for Davina's alter ego.

If you're heading straight to Passholdt, gimme a roll for navigation. Sixty miles an hour on foot with a lot of flickering discontinuities does present some risk of getting lost, particularly with road signs not arranged for convenient viewing at such speeds and distances.

>Is protective aura always on, or something Vos has to choose to activate with stigmata?
Aura is the passive defense, always up whenever he's conscious. Stigmata is active buffs or countermeasures, almost certainly less than minute at a time.
>Does sanctified healing squirts cost stigmata, or just per day reserves as his body "naturally" produces it?
The second thing. They're separate abilities. He can use the healing goop on himself, including to recover stigmatic damage, even while more is accumulating, but the application is no quicker or easier than healing someone else.
No. 779467 ID: 67456a

Daniel blushes at the idea of running off with Vos... alone... with nobody else. "Uh, yeah! That sounds great!" he says, blushing lightly.

Maria scowls deeper.
No. 779579 ID: b9aa79

rolled 4, 6, 4 = 14

Not sure if it's applicable since davina is the one in the drivers seat, but I'll throw a roll out there to see if I can aid or assist in the navigation process
No. 779587 ID: 3abd97

rolled 1, 1, 6 = 8

>If you're heading straight to Passholdt, gimme a roll for navigation. Sixty miles an hour on foot with a lot of flickering discontinuities does present some risk of getting lost, particularly with road signs not arranged for convenient viewing at such speeds and distances.
We're sort of boxed in, aren't we? If we head E, we hit the road, which we can follow S to the bridge crossing, and then E along the river until we find the pass. If we head S we hit the river, which we can follow eat until we see a pass. If we somehow head W, we hit the ocean. And the river we're following is a mile wide, and the road is... how wide? Unless there's a lot of branch points, and we stay in fairly open territory I don't think we'd lose either, or end up going in circles. Plus Djan means we can make a simple compass, if he hasn't already.


>mechanics of rapid overland portal transit
Since sound doesn't carry through the portals well, and Davina will be necessarily looking ahead, that means she might not notice if something goes wrong behind her (an ambush hits the middle of the marching order a portal or two back, or someone lags and misses a portal before it closes, etc). As such, it's probably necessary for there to be semi-regular periods where she waits to let everyone catch up / make sure we haven't lost anyone / nothing has gone wrong.

This can be partially mitigated now that I have a familiar. The millipede can watch her back and tell Davina if it sees something going wrong behind her.
No. 779649 ID: d36af7

Three hours and a gate toll later you're in Passholdt, on the elven side of town. Broad avenues at ground level are shaded by layer after layer of pedestrian bridges woven from leafy living vines.

The chapterhouse is easy enough to find. Central image on the signboard out front matches their emblem, with the words "Fire Hawks Company" above it and "Escort & Exploration" below. The door is unlocked, and some tiny spring-loaded bell rings when you open it.

A young half-elven woman with dark skin and teal hair is sitting behind the front desk, hastily concealing the mechanical puzzle she was fiddling with. "Hello! I'm sorry, the fire hawks are away on business right now, expected back early next month. If you're here about a job offer which can wait that long, I'd be happy to take a message and,"

She sees the charred emblem. "...oh." A slightly nervous customer-service smile melts away into shock. "Oh dear. Is that...?"
No. 779679 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 4, 5 = 11

Hore breathes a sigh of relief as town finally comes into view. She looks around for various alchemy shops (and possibly cyber stores) that could help fix her arm.
No. 779689 ID: 383927

rolled 4, 4, 4 = 12

Maru displays affect and mood which is rather different from her normal composure; she speak at an appropriate volume, someone quietly even, and is rather more reserved than you've seen her before

"Aye mate. We found it in de bloodmist labrynf, figured ya people would appreciate 'avin it back. We don't know much- dis was de best we could salvage, but if ya have any question or de crew needs some solance when dey get back, ya can find us at *instert appropriate local tavern here*. If ya crew is interested in goin in, we 'ave some basic mapping and some notes about traps and dangers we encountered dat we can offer in return for compensation appropriate to the level of risk and detail involved. Ya need a minute gov?"

Genuine concern and sympathy paint her words, if it makes a difference. Death is part of living, but that doesn't make it any easier.
No. 779703 ID: 3abd97

rolled 3, 2, 3 = 8

>Three hours and a gate toll later you're in Passholdt
What did we do with the flesh puppets? I'm not sure we could have brought those into town without inciting a panic, or least attracting a lot of attention.

>She sees the charred emblem. "...oh." A slightly nervous customer-service smile melts away into shock. "Oh dear. Is that...?"
Davina will append Maru's condolences with a physical description of the fallen warrior (orc, full plate, approximate height) for identification as well as the manner of his passing (some manner of combat with goblins, finished in a fireball. From the traces, he had a more agile companion with handaxes who survived the battle).
No. 779979 ID: 74621b

rolled 6, 3, 2 = 11

Yisheng Ji will stroll off to replenish any and all medical supplies consumed in the dungeon. If he's capable of creating any of it from raw materials, he'll just buy the materials instead of the finished product, along with whatever tools necessary to do so that he may lack. As it is primarily for the party's benefit, he has no qualms whatsoever about spending the party's money on it.
No. 780013 ID: b9aa79

I don't believe the party has consolidated any group funds into a pool or anything yet- assuming we get some kind of buyer for the mapping information while we're at the firehawks office though, we may be in business
No. 780016 ID: af6e04

"Brought no money, Ji. Only faith. Sorry!"
No. 780198 ID: 67456a

Daniel decides to stick with the main group, though Maria heads to whatever the equivalent of a religious district is. If there's somewhere to make general offerings, she will light a small bonfire with her flame abilities, and offer a few prayers to Agatia, thanking her ancestor for providing safe passage to herself and her brother.

Daniel seems to mostly stick by Vos, a bit overwhelmed by everything that's been happening recently. Occasionally, he will reach out and gently brush Vos' arm or shoulder, as if trying to stabilize himself. It seems the gentle, delicate priest is a bit shaken.
No. 780216 ID: d36af7

Under GURPS Dungeon Fantasy rules, activity in town goes by in increments of weeks. You can do several things in parallel during a week, but retrying a search or negotiation generally requires waiting until the next week. For each week in town, you need to either pay $150 for basic food and lodging, or find someone with whom you have a claim to hospitality (including, but not necessarily limited to, the other PCs) and persuade them to cover the cost, or sleep outdoors and eat garbage (roll for Urban Survival to avoid health problems from such a lifestyle, and expect social complications as well).

>cyber stores
Nope. Local prosthetic tech seems to involve a lot of woodcarving and unpowered hinges, or else morbid magitech that's completely incompatible. Fortunately, a wide variety of refined metals are available: copper, zinc, even tungsten. Soon enough the plasma pistol is back in working condition.

Shortly after she's confirmed this, a watchman from the Ministry of Punctuality drops by to point out that further 'tests' inside city limits could easily be construed as reckless endangerment, or even attempted arson.

"I mever... no, I already knew something was wrong. Since I started using that 'early next month' line, really. Azarthraine's gotten caught up in some project and forgotten the check-in schedule plenty of times before, but not for so long at a stretch."
>physical description of the fallen warrior
"That'd be Master Sergeant Oldaric, and the one who got away is probably Corporal Adrenai.

"She joined the company while they were on contract as part of a joint operation between the ministries of Equity and Modesty, hunting down a ring of crooked merchants, coin-shavers and counterfeiters. One of the targets, seemingly cornered, suddenly whips out a second pair of arms, starts throwing around force bolts like they're going out of style, melts a hole in a wall and runs off down some alley. Then Adrenai, lying in wait, pounces on the target, strangles 'em half to death, grabs the purse, checks inside... we found out later she had no idea the op was going on, it was just opportunistic mugging and dumb luck.

"The rest of the team gets there, target's tied up face down in the muck, being sat on by some street rat, who's coughing and sneezing with a face full of silver dust. Lt. Mezuryk was on point, 'cause whenever somebody flees down a secret passage like that, safe bet is it's full of traps, and he could hardly stop laughing long enough to report the successful capture. Sister Kalina, the chaplain, basically asked 'are we going to let this kid have the bounty all to herself, or are we going to hire her?' and so Captain Azarthraine made it a new rule that when somebody jumps in and finishes a job the Fire Hawks should've already been doing, faster and better, the new kid gets a few shares of stock from everybody they upstaged if they agree to join up and share credit for the deed itself. Wrote it into the charter and everything.

"Recovering the fallen is everybody's job. So, technically, you own something like half the company. Oh, man, I'm going to have to do so much paperwork now! Ugh." She slumps over, forehead on the desk, and mumbles "Why'd those idiots have to go and get themselves lost or killed in such a complicated, ambiguous way."

>What did we do with the flesh puppets?
Lord Grimwald and his entourage (along with the red rope) stopped off about halfway up the river, at the Black Boar Inn, to say hello to his old friend Ulman. Davina was already a mile away when Eric said he'd meet up again later.

The Fire Hawks Company has a longstanding line of credit at a local alchemy supply wholesaler. Bandages and other basic items are easy enough to restock on the company's dime, along with the ingredients for greekfire, but a key component for brass balm is on back-order. Shipments from upriver keep getting intercepted by gugs. Investigation into possible alternative sources is ongoing, possible 10% finder's fee for information leading to a reliable and cost-effective...

That second irritating voice in the back of his mind, which Yisheng Ji had been ignoring and almost forgotten about, suddenly perks up. It wants a piece of parchment at least 6" square, a writing utensil, and control of his left hand for five minutes. Nobody will be directly hurt, the voice will leave him alone forever after that, and there's potentially a lot of money to be gained. Allow it? Or repress the urge, hoarding those intrusive yet inexplicably insightful thoughts for some future problem?
No. 780238 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 6, 4, 1 = 11

>assign a week's worth of activity

>technically, you own something like half the company. Oh, man, I'm going to have to do so much paperwork now! Ugh.
Well if there's one thing a good noble upbringing should prepare one for, it's managing holdings (gotta be able to run things, and tell if anyone working for you is cooking the books). Davina will step up and take point on figuring out the finer details of existing contracts, transfer of ownership, and helping our new secretary get through the paperwork. (A signet ring and/or arcane mark will save some trouble with signing things, and it occurs to me Invisible Maids can be used to keep paperwork from getting lost, out of order, or ruined by spills). Get our house in order, figure out what we have, what obligations are looming, etc. Socialite / administrator mode, go.

Might want to include a permit for Eric being able to bring undead into the city? I imagine there are laws pertaining to that kind of thing.

Secondary pursuits:

Should probably indulge in a casual sensual dalliance (or more than one in that span of time). Enjoying oneself by indulging in a lower ambition after how knows long away from civilization makes sense character wise, and mechanically, the comfort for the lonely bonus is pertinent to the actual work Davina will be doing. (The secretary herself might be a possible contender for a liaison, although depending on how she takes the death and/or disappearances of her friends and coworkers, that might not be possible).

Definitely need to restock on q-rations. And to buy poison for the concealed weapons in Davina's jewellery. (Preferably a poison Davina can confirm with her variant of detect poison isn't effective against her own biology). Might need to update wardrobe for her social side look. At the very least, I need to correct having a mismatched (and possibly missized) replacement boot. At least look into the costs of repairing the damage to her plate and weapon, although that might be more than I can afford to reverse cosmetic damage right now (although I suppose mending might work? On the one hand, it doesn't seem like cantrips should be sufficient for a high end weapon, on the other, the damage is relatively minor).

Might need to contrive to distract Maria at some point so Vos and Daniel get some time together. Play wingwoman for eel-bro.

I have no idea what I'm rolling for in a week's worth of stuff, but have a roll nonetheless.
No. 780251 ID: b9aa79

rolled 4, 1, 3 = 8

Maru is kind of stunned- she's never really owned anything before.

"Well shite. If we have shares, what does dat mean for us? We got a uniform or somefin? I wouldn't mind 'avin work to do if it means coin but like. Is dere a contract I gotta sign or somefin? What's dis all mean?"

In the meantime, Maru is flat broke. 4 gold pieces is enough for room and board for the entire group for a week, 7 makes 2 weeks. Eric is off on his own, with his portion of gold, and Maru cannot sell her ruby for the time being. The crest has earned us a hefty share in a decent company, but no imediate gold.

So by count our resources are now:

Mapping info
Possibly magic rope
Davinas coin purse

By my counts the Sunbrick is worth holding onto, at least for now, ruby can't be immediately sold, and the rope might leave our possession with Eric.

Coin purse is obviously the easiest resource pool to draw on should Davina wish to share, but the mapping is one that I'm not really sure on. For one it can be sold to an interested party/s, and we can still use it to our benefit. The flipside of that is if we're mercenaries now, and we have information other people don't, that may give us an advantage in securing future contracts. Exclusivity has it's own benefits I imagine, even if they're not immediate. Just something for us to think on.

For this first week, Maru is gonna recount their daring adventures to the patrons at the black boar inn, in an effort to make enough money to first secure food and drink, and then a room if she's able. Rolling a preform oratory check, if that's the appropriate roll to make.
No. 780279 ID: d36af7

Weapon and armor repairs can also be done on credit through existing Fire Hawks business contacts.

>Definitely need to restock on q-rations.
Green elven distaste aside, quintessential food is far too useful, and too easy to ship long distances or store in ordinary warehouses, to be unavailable in a major city. One gold gets you twelve pounds of the stuff, and one pound is enough food for two days.

>And to buy poison for the concealed weapons in Davina's jewellery. (Preferably a poison Davina can confirm with her variant of detect poison isn't effective against her own biology)

Wide range of options for poison. At the low end there's rat-slayer oil, an anticoagulant derived from giant spiders. Single dose would be very unlikely to kill an otherwise healthy adult, especially if they got any sort of medical attention in a timely manner, but it's a cheap way to turn a light scratch into a credible threat. Ingested rat-slayer oil tends to result in intestinal bleeding which makes anyone not wearing absorbent pants (e.g. wild animals) much easier to track. One gold gets you twenty doses.

At the high end there's anatoxin-a, better known as Swift Green Death. Neurotoxin derived from pond scum. Water-soluble, should be stored in sterilized glass vials, potency not guaranteed if exposed to direct sunlight. Convulsions within minutes, perhaps even seconds if delivered by a sword-thrust close enough to the heart, followed by respiratory paralysis and death within hours. After the first five or ten minutes, the poison's direct effects are done, and saving the victim's life at that point would require a casting of Osseous Auditor (meaning transport to a specialized facility; there is no known suitable circle of standing stones within sixty miles or more of Passholdt), but they're still alive and continuing to deteriorate due to secondary effects, which may lead an enemy force without an unusually astute and cold-blooded medic to waste various lesser healing magic or alchemical antitoxins. Two and a half gold per lethal dose, and it's only for sale at all because smaller controlled doses have legitimate medical applications, so seeing it in a knife wound would automatically bump any homicide investigation up to premeditated murder.

Divination indicates that neither of those poisons will have any adverse effect on Davina's biology, and they're both equally effective when ingested as when introduced to an open wound.

(Listing cash prices because "are there any zero-down payment plans available for this massive jar of poison" is one of those lines any credible merchant's guild will warn recruits about in early training, much like "can I try on this cloak of invisibility for just a second")
No. 780297 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 6, 1 = 11

"Got it, stop shooting in public, don't know what came over me. But yeah, where's the nearest shooting range? I'd rather test my weapons and magic BEFORE I head out into the bandit-filled wilderness."

Hore's new plan is to build a solar-thermal generator out of the sun brick, then sell the energy for cash by renting out the device. She can also work on a flashlight and batteries so the whole team gets reusable torches. Hore has found a few good metallurgy stores, roll to determine if she can find the necessary metallic ores and chemicals.
No. 780308 ID: 3d2d5f

Davina is willing to cover room and board for anyone on the team who can't otherwise can't, at least for the first week. I mean, they did all play a part in her getting out of the dungeon alive. (Much past that point, baring extenuating circumstances, I expect that's enough time for people to find some way to sustain themselves, or to do something useful for the company so they can draw a paycheck. ...depending on if the company we inherited has capital on the books).

I'd be willing to be even more flexible in Maru's case, since she's only penniless as a direct result of sacrificing the contents of her purse for the group, and if she really needed to, she could borrow against the future sale of the ruby. (Although I imagine you're more than capable of singing for your supper).

Uh, how do the poisons compare from a perspective of shutting someone down? I mean, if the rat killer is "that scratch is gonna be nasty later" it doesn't really stop the target from counterattacking the socialite who scratched them in melee range, does it? Can you get away with a smaller does of A-a if the goal is more to shut down someone's ability to present a threat as a combatant versus ensuring death?

What's my budget here? (Personal, what the company has to work with is pending until after we've sorted the books and such).

>Batteries, flashlights for the group
If Hore's going to start doing research that would put her on a dragon's hit list, we're going to have to cut ties and disavow her before she gets us all killed.
No. 780317 ID: 383927

That was more me as a player sizing up what the situation is as I see it, so if I'm misunderstanding anything someone can help me get back on the right track

Maru makes it clear though that while she won't turn down free money, especially not from a friend, she doesn't do the whole "debt" thing. She doesn't like the idea of credit or borrowing from a future self; she's slept on the streets before and if she can't pay her own way she'd do it again. Worst comes to worst she's sure there'll be work sooner or later, so indefinite poverty isn't too hard a pill to swallow when you just got out of a death trap that threw horrors at you with every turn.

She would however, like a favor. Maru isn't the most discrete person, and while she's penniless preforming for tips on a bar she's worried about letting on she has anything valuable in her possession. As such, she's a little out of her comfort zone trying to ask around about potential ruby buyers, or do much reasearch into figuring out why no one wants the blasted thing. If Davina could just keep her ears open, let Maru know if she has any leads, well, Maru would owe her another one on the growing list of favors to repay
No. 780325 ID: 74621b

rolled 5, 4, 3 = 12

>irritating voice
Yisheng Ji will fetch the resources it requires and grant its request. "Make your peace and begone, spirit."

>week's worth of activity
Having purchased the supplies and lodging he requires, (sans the brass balm ingredients, obviously) Yisheng Ji will set to work alchemizing finished products from raw materials. If this is something he finds he can actually do consistently, he will continue to do so until the group makes a collective decision about where to go, purchasing raw materials and selling useful goods, using the profits to pay back the money spent on materials. If the party bothers to ask his input on where to go next, his vote will be to travel upriver and re-secure the brass balm supply.
No. 780328 ID: b9aa79

>travel upriver and re-secure the brass balm supply.

>Shipments from upriver keep getting intercepted by gugs
>Investigation into possible alternative sources is ongoing, possible 10% finder's fee for information leading to a reliable and cost-effective...

Maru likes the idea, there could be good money to be made there, but if they wanna keep their bodies intact they might be better off looking for another source. From the stories she's heard, Gug's aren't creatures to be trifled with. Maru imagines that everyone in the party would need to be capable of casting 4th circle spells before they could be reasonably expected to take a single Gug head on. Realistically, it's likely we'd need a lot more fire power and some really clever ideas if we wanted to free up a supply line under siege.
No. 780333 ID: 67456a

Daniel does not like the idea of taking on gugs. His healing and purification only goes so far, and he's pretty sure if a Gug mauled someone he'd only really be good for cremating the body.

He feels like there has to be something less dangerous they could do. Something that would be rewarding, but less likely to end in people being torn to meaty ribbons.
No. 780347 ID: 094652

"... What?"

Davina assaults Hore for working on solar energy. Hore is confused at first, but learns that research into electronic technology is taboo at best and outright persecuted at worst. Hore had no idea of this, seeing as how most of her technological research has been done in bandit camps and wartime and she hasn't been in a civilized party until the expedition.

Hore spends her week researching the sun brick, developing her theories on local thermodynamics (+increase to fire-based attacks), and purchasing raw metals and chemicals to experiment on(chance of developing breakthrough in alchemy and/or metallurgy), reinforcing her armor with the scraps from her tests(+increase to armor).
No. 780353 ID: 3abd97

Yeah, that was intended to be OOC / conditional on people actually making requests. Since you brought up the question of spending Davina's money, I thought I'd make my position clear for the rest of the group.

>inquire about the Ruby
Yeah, I figure Davina will have had to have made some local contacts before we can find a buyer. It's on the list, but it's at least a second week priority. First week has to be getting a hold on the business we just inherited.

So Davina agrees to request, but warns it may take some time to bear fruit.

To be fair, that's assuming we try to lift the blockade by force. It's possible it might be resolved in some other means (say, by investigating addressing whatever bothered the gugs enough to start the blockade in the first place).

But yeah, it's just one possible plot hook. (You're certainly free to take action gathering information or looking for hooks on your own- there must be lots of ways a mercanry company can make coin).

>Davina assaults
No, she didn't. You got a verbal warning at most, even if we assume that exchange took place IC.
No. 780427 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 1, 4 = 6

>Davina is willing to cover room and board for anyone on the team who can't otherwise can't
Vos is very grateful. He shows an undue amount of wonder and excitement for the shabby little inn's amenities. He says he's fine sharing rooms with one or more of his companions if it'll save money. Can't imagine having such a big living space all to himself.

>What are you doing this week, Vos?

Well let's see. He'll take Maru up on that drink. Then he'll stick around listening to her performances and stories of the party's dungeon exploits, only occasionally chiming in to say something stupid like "Is true." or "Grace of Tittivila sustained us."

Because of his newfound belief in the buddy system, he will try to keep Daniel with him at all times, and (if he ever finds respite from Maria's wrathful gaze) spend a long evening explaining to Daniel the beliefs and values of the followers of Tittivila, bearing his heartfelt testimony and describing in great detail the many carnal sacraments.

Vos will also tell the story of how he was impaled through the heart by the very spear he now carries, and that the eye on his chest is the miraculous result of the flesh blessing that saved his life. "Was blessed Priestess of Tittivila who saved me. My faith is not strong enough to perform such miracles. Perhaps someday."

He'll of course spend much time with Hore, asking multiple times for clarification on what a 'battery' is and what it's supposed to do. Can't quite seem to grasp the concept. He'll also try to get her cloaca situation straightened out if she ever makes up her mind on what she wants.

He'll try to take in the town. Or at least as much as he can without any money. And of course, he'll try to find out if there's a local chapter of Tittivila worshipers.
No. 780673 ID: 67456a

Daniel offers to share the room with Vos, if he wouldn't mind too much. Maria... does not seem thrilled, but apparently decides she's ultimately okat with it.

Assuming Daniel does get to hear about Tittivila's worship, he finds it all a bit fascinating! And suggests that, perhaps, they maybe try one or two of those carnal sacraments? Just... if Vos would want to?
No. 780779 ID: d36af7

The sun brick's total energy output is less than a kilowatt, and Hore does not have the technical expertise to build TL 7+ photovoltaic cells, or even portable electric lights, with mostly TL 4 tools and materials. If she did have all the relevant skills, and a vast budget for R&D, a process of 'building the tools to build the tools' could be reasonably be expected to take two years per TL step. Might have workable prototypes before then, but no more than one TL ahead without some rare genius getting involved.

A steam turbine might be possible, but selling torque in Passholdt means competing with that ten-story-tall overshot waterwheel, and selling heat for industrial purposes means competing with the divine fires of Philista in her Burning aspect. Since she came to the city and took over directly powering the smelters, reduced charcoal consumption has allowed nearby forests to regrow faster than they were being harvested, even as the population expands.

If you want more conveniently portable permanent light sources, standard enchantment costs 20 gold ($8000), produces as much light as a torch, and requires about two square inches of otherwise smooth metal to engrave runes on. That could be an amulet, a lantern, a piece of plate armor, the tip of a sword, both sides of a small knife's blade, or any number of other things. Tucking a weapon away in it's sheathe is usually enough to cover the glow, although some stealth-minded people wrap a heavy cloth around it for redundancy. For an additional 25 gold you can get a spell-blocking sheathe which suppresses any magic on the blade inside, and incidentally stops it from being detected or targeted by most magic from outside. If you don't feel like paying that much, you could try stealing one of the streetlights.

>where's the nearest shooting range?
If you really want to do some exotic weapons testing indoors, but aren't already on good terms with local aristocrats, go out the east gate and follow the aqueduct about thirty miles downhill to Orcmeet. That's where they keep the arena, behemoth containment, military academy, proving grounds, and round-the-clock parties.

>What's my budget here?
Personally, about ten gold in cash and non-sentimental jewelry. Fire Hawks liquid assets are a bit over four hundred gold worth of various fungible supplies and store credit among local merchants, plus another thirty gold in actual cash. License fees, rent for office and storage space, and other overhead expenses average about 140 gold per month, of which 120 is completely non-negotiable.

The company's total assets (not including gear taken along on the ill-fated expedition) add up to somewhere around two thousand gold on paper, but for most of it you'd be lucky to get even 20%-30% of that nominal value back at fire-sale prices, and if Captain Azarthraine did eventually make it back alive (or undead), he'd be upset with you for plundering his bedroom.

>how do the poisons compare from a perspective of shutting someone down?
Rat-slayer oil is an anticoagulant, it works by interfering with the blood's ability to clot. Untreated, in an open wound, it'll incapacitate someone exactly as fast as blood loss would if they were a hemophiliac. Swift Green Death will incapacitate very quickly, but if you're trying to stun someone without murdering them, it's the wrong tool for the job.

If you want to take somebody out of a fight fast, without hurting them too badly, the best option is probably magically-induced sleep. Unless they're an elf, or you haven't got the budget for a rechargeable magic wand. Second-best option might be coating the bladed jewelry in huajiao. Getting that stuff in an open wound would immediately cause intense pain, but there's no risk of lasting harm... or at least, no more so than a shallow cut with some dirt in it. One gold gets you two and two-thirds ounce of the raw plant, or about one ounce of concentrated extract, depending on exactly how concentrated it is. Figuring out how many effective applications that adds up to may take some experimentation, but probably more than one. Downside is, the active ingredient (capsaicin) is achiral, so Davina is at risk of accidentally exposing herself.

>research that would put her on a dragon's hit list
Tech to shun, in priority order:
1)Explosives (incendiaries are fine)
2)Astrological and biological weapons of mass destruction, or deep research into the theoretical underpinnings of magic which might uncover new categories of comparable horror
3)Idiot-proof anti-dragon weaponry, such as poisons specific to draconic physiology or dragonbane blade enchantments
4)Fiat currency, or anything else that might shift the world economy off the gold standard

Excessive interest in those latter two categories will probably be met with subtle discouragement rather than secret murder squads. Electric and electronic devices are perfectly acceptable to work on, but seldom cost-effective because there's no relevant infrastructure in place, nor much incentive to build it when permanent magic items can do many of the same things better and/or cheaper.

>For this first week, Maru is gonna recount their daring adventures to the patrons at the black boar inn,
Black Boar Inn is the one you passed on the way upriver, a tiny little outpost far enough from Passholdt to have a degree of political independence. Eric Grimwald stopped there. If you're looking to make money, there are larger and richer audiences available in taverns and theaters inside Passholdt.
>rolled 4, 1, 3 = 8
Maru earns $100 for the novelty value of the story itself, plus another $10 per night spent performing during this first week.

It would also be possible to try gambling. One roll per day, double or nothing, a quick contest opposed by skill 12 for wagers up to $25, skill 13 for up to $50, 14 up to $100, and so on (higher stakes attract sharks) up to skill 25 if you're betting that ruby. Some grandmaster card-shark would still be failing on a 17 and botching on an 18, since everybody has bad days, so even if you're nowhere near that good, there's something like a one-in-fifty chance you'd be able to win a great big heap of gold without even losing the actual ruby.

>Vos will also tell the story
>rolled 1, 1, 4 = 6
Vos's storytelling skills aren't quite up to the same level as Maru's are, but the two of them coordinate well, and he likewise earns $100 one-time plus $10 per night during that first week.
>without any money
Not anymore!
No. 780823 ID: 383927

rolled 3, 5, 6, 6, 4, 5, 5, 5, 2, 2, 2, 6, 5, 6, 5, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6 = 92

>Black Boar Inn is the one you passed on the way upriver

Whoops, noted. Next week I'll make my way into town to try and a richer crowd

> $100 for the novelty value of the story itself, plus another $10 per night

Alright, so $170 covers me for the first week, with 20 left over. I assume $10 for a nice mixed drink for Vos, as promised, $5 dollars for penance for the poor, and $5 dollars to do some gambling.

> One roll per day, double or nothing, a quick contest opposed by skill 12 for wagers up to $25

Maru is an experienced gambler- she's never really had the money for anything more high stakes than the 50 bucks range, but she's played her fair share of street games and friendly bets between her and her adoptive orcish family. $5 bucks in, every time she wins she keeps half to throw back in for gambling, and gives the other half to the poor/charity/tips/what have yous

She's not got much capital and the stuff she does make she tends to be a bit loosey goosey with, so she's not gonna be doing much while the company is getting sorted and looking for work. Rolling the 7 3d6 for 7 days of gambling all in this post, to save time and not clog things up. If she fails to make back the 5 she puts in at any point she's gonna call it quits for the week. I'll make a separate roll to preform at a new tavern in passholtd this time once the others sort their first week out and make their posts for next week.
No. 780826 ID: 3abd97

>Personally, about ten gold in cash and non-sentimental jewelry.
Was afraid of that. I'll take one dose of the expensive SGD, and buy a bottle of RSO to cover the rest of the jewellery. (I'll just have to be choosy in application till I have the budget for good stuff everywhere). Then I think we're good to resolve the social and bookkeeping stuff from >>780238 .

...if we want to save someone who's been poisoned (ie "talk if you want the antidote"), I assume Daniel's skills would be appropriate for purging it?

>thirty gold in actual cash. License fees, rent for office and storage space, and other overhead expenses average about 140 gold per month, of which 120 is completely non-negotiable.
With the other guys missing for a month, I'm guessing Davina and the (as yet unnamed) secretary's verdict after going over the books is "we need some paying work."

>various fungible supplies
Any of those immediately useful or pertinent to us? (Say if there are any obvious equipment upgrades for party members just sitting on a shelf? Maps or notes on the dungeon beyond what we discovered the hard way?)
No. 780870 ID: 67456a

rolled 2, 6, 1, 1, 3, 5 = 18

Maria spends her time in the week mostly lurking around the closest thing this place has to a religious district, saying prayers, giving offerings, and generally speaking just being a religious loner stick-in-the-mud. If anyone needs her for anything, though, she can definitely set aside some time in her "Busy" schedule.

Daniel, meanwhile, sticks with Vos, though at one point he politely asks Davina if she'd be willing to let him test his purification abilities on the poisons she purchased. Just to be sure he can cure their effects.

If she allows it, here are the rolls.
No. 780872 ID: 67456a

rolled 4, 4, 4, 2, 6, 3 = 23

Obviously, he also only tests the purification on a drop or so of each poison. He wouldn't purify all of it.
No. 780875 ID: 67456a

Please ignore the dice rolling in my last post, that was an accident.
No. 780877 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 2, 6, 3, 6, 4, 1, 1, 5 = 33

Okay, scrap those ideas. Hore will spend her first week in Orcmeet, taking on arena matches for coin and combat experience. The arena has its own rental armory of steel axes and other weapons, so Hore is expected to do well in an endurance challenge. She will also spend any money she earns at the arena on survival lessons at the academy and practice her plasma throwing skills at the proving grounds (to learn the cone ability proper).

Oh, and looking out for her friend Pog, in case he and Azure were in town. Places like this have caught Azure's fancy, so it's worth a look.

First Roll: Arena Matches (High chance of success)
Second Roll: Lessons at the academy (expensive but effective, usually)
Third Roll: News about a harpy and an orc (small chance of discovering where Azure went)
No. 781047 ID: d36af7

>rolled 3, 5, 6, 6, 4, 5, 5, 5, 2, 2, 2, 6, 5, 6, 5, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6 = 92
>rolled 2, 6, 1, 1, 3, 5 = 18
>rolled 5, 2, 6, 3, 6, 4, 1, 1, 5 = 33

ONE roll of 3d6 per post, please. It's much easier for me to parse that way.

Maru breaks even the first night, loses the second. Day three she finally accumulates enough tips to buy that fancy drink for Vos. Day four she meets a traveling bookseller who pays five silver for a handwritten copy of her story, then has a lucky streak at knucklebones and walks away with a total of ten silver! Day five is one petty catastrophe after another, shouldn't even have gotten out of bed. No gambling. Day six, block-printed copies of the story she's been telling become available, time to pay off her tab and come up with a new act. Night seven, some pickpocket makes off with her purse (five silver) and evades the innkeeper's hired guards south into the wild Forest of Hope. Pursue?

>if we want to save someone who's been poisoned
Completely neutralizing poison that's already in somebody's bloodstream usually requires either a counter-agent specific to the type of poison, prepared in advance, or 3rd circle magic. Daniel's aura might be up to the task. Holding poison in abeyance for a few hours is a 2nd circle effect, so Yisheng Ji would be able to stall the biochemistry long enough to possibly travel back to a town, or scrounge up some herbs and prepare an antidote.

>Any of those [fungible supplies] immediately useful or pertinent to us?
The Fire Hawks weren't exactly planning to get lost and need to be rescued by complete strangers, so they took all the best adventuring equipment, and anything specifically relevant to the intended destination, along with them.

Estimated lethal dose for the expensive stuff is single-digit milligrams, so one drop isn't really an insignificant quantity.

Gladiatorial combat seems like one of those things that should probably be played out in more detail than a single roll. Lemme get back to you on the details of that.

>survival lessons at the academy
Informal training is available as part of fighting at the arena.

The standard Academy experience is, first you pay an application fee and take a big tricky entrance exam, if you score well enough they run a background check, then if you seem like the kind of person they're looking for, you swear some solemn oaths and spend almost every waking minute for the next four years studying strategy, history, heraldry, logistics, tactics, and so on and so forth, in a fairly rigid curriculum. After you're done with that, pass some more exams to prove it, go through a big graduation ceremony, swear an even more formal oath, and maybe get a tattoo, then you can start on eight or more years of mandatory service as a junior officer in Passholdt's army, reporting to some senior officer who in turn reports to the Minister of Security, known as Sasha Green-Iron, who finally reports to Prince Aaron IV, sovereign ruler of Orcmeet, Passholdt, and some 2500 square miles of associated hinterlands.

>News about a harpy and an orc
>rolled 1, 1, 5 = 7
Vague description soon turns up five former suitors. They've got a carefully-preserved feather from Azure's butt, suitable as a blood link for sympathetic-range spells, and are eager verging on desperate to get back in touch with her, or at least find out how she's doing.
Kome, if you want to use OOC knowledge or arbitrary miracles to get your various characters back on the same page in a timely manner, please review the range of bribery options on my Patreon.
No. 781138 ID: af6e04

rolled 5, 3, 5 = 13

>Not anymore!
Nice! Vos will tuck most of the money away for next week's living expenses, but he'll spare some cash to purchase more oil for his lantern and also to gather materials for the ceremonies he'll be participating in with Daniel.

Guessing there aren't any worshipers in Passholdt. Vos won't go proselytizing in the streets, but he'll bring up his faith to anybody who asks about his travels or his presence here.

If we're already looking at week two, Vos will look for some sort of labor job in the city to pay further living expenses. Storytelling was fun but he probably can't sustain it the way Maru can. He can handle lifting heavy things and putting them down well enough though.

Going to confront the Gugs sounds good, but Vos makes it clear that he's foremost an agent of peace and not a hired killer.
No. 781187 ID: d36af7

>"we need some paying work."
Fortunately the company has some contract offers already in hand.

Biggest payoff would be a commission job, from Philista in her Weeping aspect, for a customized exodimensional sanctum. Probably not possible to even attempt without high-circle magic.

A thousand gold plus "reasonable expenses" to retrieve a single pearl of particular specifications from a cave just south of the mouth of the Stoneheart River. Plenty of intel: detailed maps, a nearly complete TOE for the enemy force, extensive divinations of their defensive plans. It could be a single-day job, with Davina's powers. On the other hand, word on the street is a fully loaded platoon of griffon knights went in there and got eaten alive.

Caravan escort work, of course. Three major routes:
Tungsten ingots down the river and north along the coast to Overmire, where they make Immovable Rods. Mostly pirates and eelmen bandits, usually more a matter of posturing than hard combat. Captain Azarthraine usually figured that job was too easy and the pay was too low to be worth the time, but that might be just about right now.
Spice road across the desert, notably better pay but only if you can provide your own water. Mostly giant scorpions, hobgoblin cavalry archers, and white elven owl-riders.
And, of course, upriver to Robert II's subterranean domain, running the gug blockade.

There's also bounty hunting. Venom glands and raw silk from giant spiders are worth two silver per pound, in good condition, a single spider might reasonably have dozens of pounds of such material, and they're constantly encroaching on outlying farms near the forest. Chitin's not as easy to convert directly to cash, but Decaro Vos knows how to tan it, carve it into strips, and lace the strips together in overlapping rows for decent semi-flexible armor.

There's no shortage of bandits worth 25 gold dead or 30 alive, more for particularly infamous leaders or sorcerers, and their equipment is usually 'finders keepers.' One group is rumored to have a Catgut Legion, a type of enchanted harp used for heavy construction work, which they use to relocate their base of operations on a weekly basis. Maru would know how to play it.
No. 781195 ID: 383927

Does the secretary know where the 6 missing charter members are/were headed? Contract work is good an all, but Maru doesn't think it'd really be proper to go about doing regular contract work while half the charter is stranded somewhere out there.

Assuming however we find out they're lost somewhere completely out of their depth like a gug blockade, Maru likes caravan work best out of all of them- killing spiders is good and all, but even if they manage to keep the money making bits intact, it's probably less than 2 gold a spider; they'd need to be killing and selling 3-5 spiders a day, every day, just to break even on overhead costs. She highly doubts that retrieving that pearl wouldn't come without loss of life if they managed to retrieve it at all, given the fates of those much better trained and armed. And tracking down bandits isn't something she likes the idea of; trading people's lives to cover the cost of your lease doesn't sit right with her.

She feels like cutting their teeth on that tungston ingot route would be their best bet if they're not in a position to go after the missing crew.
No. 781201 ID: 094652

Hore will easily take on the bandit takedown job. She's suited for warfare on small bandit camps, and can guide the other members of the party with guerilla tactics and close-to-mid-combat supremacy.

In Hore's experience, stealth is ALWAYS an option, even if you suck at it. In almost all her raids on bandit outposts, she starts out by prioritizing the enemies that need to die first, usually mages or archers but sometimes the tanks of the group, using subterfuge and cheap poisons to attack the leader (but no direct sneak attacks, as she's sure that bandit leaders are constantly paranoid about sneak attacks as she is), and striking with brutal sadism at her first few targets to sow terror into the masses. At this point she just goes berserk and goads the armies to her bottleneck while any allies she has take a full assault on the local flank. This strategy hasn't failed her so far, and she's worked with leaders who can complete a mission in full stealth.

Of course, she's confused by the price tag. Normally, She earns about $200 when neutralizing a small mob of bandit noobs, most of which comes from selling their pathetic gear for scrap with a $5 reward per kill for brutally murdering and raping a threat to society (which is more than acceptable given that Hore isn't constantly arrested for war crimes), what job pays $10,000 per HEAD?

Hore's Vote:
1) Bandit camps in search of the Harp
2) Caravan Escort (Hore has experience fighting and defending caravans)
Hore does not want to go into any dungeon.

So how did Hore do on the gladiator challenge?
No. 781219 ID: 3abd97

Maru's concern for their unmet compatriots is admirable, but we're currently less well informed, less well equipped, and less experiences than they were when they set out on their ill fated expedition. And it's already been a month.

Paying the bills seems like it would take priority in the immediate short term, and hopefully we'll be in a better position to render aid, or at least determine their fates, at a later date. (Being able to return to the dungeon better supplied, and maybe to pay for some divinations seem like necessary preparatory steps).

>possible jobs
For a shakedown mission, it seems to me we want to make enough to cover expenses and buy a little financial breathing room before we try things that require more up-front costs, instigation, or that are higher risk. (For instance, it's hard to play the social game trying to find a buyer for the ruby if we're being foreclosed on).

Perl retrieval seems too high risk high reward. We currently lack casters of suitable level and/or specialization to construct an exodimensional sanctum (although the implication that our missing compatriots did not is interesting). The escort work seems the most appropriate, at the moment. Gug running might be pushing it too much.

Would Daniel's Condense Water be sufficient to get us through the desert crossing? (Might be able to buy some water-rich fruit and combine with plums to peaches for additional hydration).

The downside of a caravan mission is their vehicles are probably too large to portal, so we can't rapid travel unless we convince them downgrade to smaller carts or carrying. And that might still not be feasible, depending on what's being transported, and caravan size.

>Impressed by bandit takedown prices
Note we'd need 5 or 6 of them to just cover rent and business expenses, and more if we feel like eating or having any spending money.

Should I assume Dav's efforts in finding some "comfort for the lonely" were successful? Seems silly not to indulge a carnal low ambition when in town.
No. 781265 ID: 84aebf

Ingot caravan job seems safe and reliable. Vos has no moral objections with tracking down murderous bandits. Killing spiders sounds fine too. He mentions that the hemolymph should be consumed quickly lest it spoil.

When Davina mentions a desert, Vos says he won't be accompanying the group for that job if they choose to take it and wishes them good luck.
No. 781495 ID: d36af7

>Does the secretary know where the 6 missing charter members are/were headed?

Acolyte Galanodel (Sister Kalina's apprentice in the worship of a minor divinity best known for promoting the construction of public libraries, doing clerical work to pay for room and board until she's fully initiated) does indeed know where the expedition was headed: out near the coast and Down The Well, just like everyone knows you shouldn't. Captain Azarthraine had been planning and prepping for this trip for years, maybe even before he founded the company. His beloved mentor, Zelkor of the Green Tassels, disappeared into those caves more than a century ago.

>they'd need to be killing and selling 3-5 spiders a day, every day, just to break even on overhead costs
The web-spinning spiders tend to cluster in groups of between 5 and 15, around watering holes, salt licks, or tasty wild vegetation that attracts goats and dire bees. The Fire Hawks could easily clear two or three clusters per day, using no magic above the 3rd circle, once they hammered out some effective team tactics.

>what job pays $10,000 per HEAD?
Dealing with hardened soldiers, turned wild and desperate by chronic unemployment after the war ended, is more difficult and dangerous than a massacre of malnourished underage pickpockets. The pay is correspondingly better.

>Would Daniel's Condense Water be sufficient to get us through the desert crossing?
Possibly. A quick trip with Davina out beyond Orcmeet (which is more 'grassland' than 'desert' but still reasonably arid) reveals that, during the hottest part of the day, he can pull a gallon per thirty minutes out of the air, contrasted with five minutes per gallon in areas that support lush green vegetation. Out in the desert, working up a sweat in combat, minimum safe ration quickly climbs above a gallon per person per day. That's just for drinking. Bathing or laundry would be far more.

>hard to play the social game trying to find a buyer for the ruby if we're being foreclosed on
Might be able to simply trade that ruby directly for the company's rent, licensing fees, and other non-negotiable expenses being paid up for the next four months in advance, with an appeal to the Ministry of Thunder, which is responsible for sorting out situations where someone has done nothing wrong yet stumbled into a bureaucratic double-bind, or done everything wrong yet escaped any meaningful consequence.
No. 781562 ID: 3abd97

>Down The Well, just like everyone knows you shouldn't.
>possibly prepping for up to a century
Yeah we're so not prepared for a rescue attempt.

>Might be able to simply trade that ruby directly for the company's rent, licensing fees, and other non-negotiable expenses being paid up for the next four months in advance, with an appeal to the Ministry of Thunder
Presuming Maru is willing to sink her personal wealth into bankrolling the company. It's hers to sell (even if Dav and/or the company would have been getting a percentage for facilitating a sale, otherwise).
No. 782579 ID: 72a406

rolled 4, 2, 3 = 9

Hore continues her training, wondering if Maru's new position means a permanent job offer for Hore. As the week passes, she wonders if they will ever get started on their next mission.

Her first challenge went poorly. Hore breezed through the combat, but may have insulted the audience on multiple occasions, which may explain why they shouted in disgust when she won the gauntlet. Hore wasn't paid very much because of the damage to the arena's PR, though they won't properly explain what "teabagging" means. Hore will try again, this time parading herself as a supervillainess that the audience can jeer and boo at. The staff rented her a costume and everything.

Not that she will let the gladiators end her. Hore wonders when the party will get on with the next mission, waiting to make the cash to find Azure, the red feather safely in the Fire Hawks' vault.
No. 782730 ID: 383927

>some pickpocket makes off with her purse (five silver) and evades the innkeeper's hired guards south into the wild Forest of Hope. Pursue?

Ah feck. Not worth chasin some shmuck into that death trap, especially not for 5 silver. Shit luck, but she shoulda been watchin. It's a shame the bugger got away without a fight, she hasn't had a good tavern brawl and after some r'n'r she's feelin about ready to knock some heads together.

>Might be able to simply trade that ruby directly for the company's rent, licensing fees, and other non-negotiable expenses being paid up for the next four months in advance, with an appeal to the Ministry of Thunder

After approaching her for help with her un-sellable ruby, Davina said she'd be willing to oblige, but currently had more pressing matters to deal with; namely, stopping their newly obtained company from going under next month. These two worlds happened to come about in such a way that a two-birds-one-precious-gemstone situation arose; should Maru be willing, it might be possible to trade her small fortune to the ministry of Thunder, and for a value somewhat higher than she might get if it weren't so hard to get hid of. Maru never liked being stingy, but the ruby represented a lot of money, and with that, a lot of opportunities for her to live comfortably and make a name for herself. She felt ashamed to admit it once she came to her ultimate decision, but she needed a good nights sleep to think about it.

Thing is, she wasn't getting any use of it as it were, and she undoubtedly owed Davina her life. Maru was better at making people angry with her than making them like her, so she wasn't too sure about about making the appeal, but should Davina be up for it, the ruby was up for trade.

> Maru's new position
Not sure what Hore is referring to here
No. 782777 ID: e22b1d

>Maru's new position
>Not sure what Hore is referring to here
I think she might be insinuating you own the company.

Which might be accurate, considering you personally recovered the emblem that gave us a stake. Especially if opt to bankroll the company with personal funds.
No. 782970 ID: d36af7

Yisheng Ji's left hand traces out a dizzyingly complex diagram while he's wrapping up his business at the alchemy wholesaler. Dwarf behind the counter is able to parse it as some sort of map, and calls in a higher tier of management.

Apparently it would be possible for a group of 150 people to reach the location specified by traveling physically through the medium of dreams, but only one such attempt could be made per day, and even then with a 75% chance of failure. Since failure on the return trip means being stranded in a hostile alien environment for at least a day, potentially with various psychological injuries, they'll be setting up the initial expedition very carefully. Assuming that the price of the material in question holds steady at about half it's own weight in silver, and that the location specified has abundant quantities, that finder's fee could add up to somewhere between a thousand and twelve hundred gold coins, payout in three months' time.

It might be possible to wring further profit from this situation by investment in commodities futures. Or, if you guess wrong, to suffer ruinous losses.
No. 783023 ID: 74621b

>finder's fee could add up to somewhere between a thousand and twelve hundred gold coins, payout in three months' time
Good deal.

>may suffer ruinous losses
Considering Yisheng Ji owns only the clothes on his back and the meagre contents of his satchel, "ruinous losses" isn't much of a threat to him. The party members with money can do as they please.

>location specified has abundant quantities of valuable material, and even if you fail, you're just stranded in a strange place for a day or two
Compared to the labyrinth of perpetual deathtraps he just recently escaped, Yisheng Ji finds these conditions quite palatable, and in fact, will even accompany the first expedition. He is intrigued by the concept of the journey, and certainly, a little extra pocket money from personally fetching some material would be quite welcome. (It would also allow him to refill his personal brass balm supply for free.) In preparation, he'll stock up on some extra preserved fruit, to consume in the likely event of being temporarily stranded.
No. 783067 ID: d36af7

Procedure for meeting with a dragon on official business is very simple, bordering on idiot-proof (though we all know fools can be dreadfully inventive). First, as you approach the meeting site, mutter softly to yourself something vaguely related to the issue at hand. If there is an item or document you intend to display or offer, have it out and ready before you step inside. Once inside, close your mouth, breathe only through your nose, kneel, stare at the ground, and shiver as if in mortal terror. Actually being in mortal terror is not strictly necessary - and she'll definitely be able to tell - but it's polite to pretend regardless. Answer any questions put to you by nodding for yes, shaking your head for no, or lifting your eyes from the ground (without moving any other part of your body, besides continuing to shiver) as a request for permission to speak aloud. Do not look at the other petitioners. If any other petitioners speak, do not move your ears to focus on them. Do not attempt to retrieve anything from your pockets. If you absolutely need to be carrying something in a pocket, wear clothes you can afford to replace. In general, take no action except as explicitly ordered. Refined courtly graces are unnecessary, and possibly counterproductive; some statistical studies suggest that plain-spoken farmers and soldiers actually face a slightly lower rate of summary execution.

The Minister of Thunder's greeting could be translated as "You must be the representative of the Fire Hawks," but to say it in such a way doesn't quite capture the full subtext. That particular ritual phrase in Low Draconic, among a few others, is grammatically unusual in that it's simultaneously indicative, imperative, and optative. As casual as 'nice weather we're having' yet as legally binding as 'I now pronounce you man and wife.' There's no magic involved, but these are nonetheless words of power, keystones of an entire language forged with the express purpose of entrenching and legitimizing ultimate political authority. When such a simple phrase can harmoniously combine "I wish it were so," "it seems so," and "you are ordered to maintain it so," who could doubt that the one speaking is justified in expectation of instant and total compliance? Whether or not you were representing the Fire Hawks before, you officially are now, and you'd better carry out the responsibilities of that position to the utmost.

Chrysomelkarcalchaxis has some questions, in ascending order of difficulty:
Are you going to rescue the original Fire Hawks, when you have the means?
Are you going to pay your taxes on time, after this gem's value is spent?
Are you going to hurt people?
Are you going to make mistakes?
Do you know where this gem came from?
No. 783123 ID: 383927

Please note, I am assuming Davina is the one in the room because Maru would not step foot into the area that requires those rules to be followed, lest you be executed; not out of a moral objection, but out of a very real fear that she would forget herself or the rules and thus be quickly relieved of her mortal needs and desires. She will be waiting at the closest distance outside that does not require such restrictive behavior.
No. 783124 ID: d36af7

You won't be killed for an honest mistake or minor lapse in etiquette. At worst, the request would be denied. The summary execution thing is like heart disease: rare and random enough that it's hard to study, but you can take one look at some fat old chain-smoking bastard who just can't get enough cheeseburgers, or smug princess who's always prancing around technicalities and half-truths about her nefarious schemes, and know that the consequences of such a lifestyle will catch up with them sooner or later.
No. 783127 ID: 383927

Fear that her impetuous nature would result in being denied is the reason Maru suggested Davina should be the one to make the appeal in the first place; of course, if Davina herself upon hear the rules of engagement wouldn't be willing to put herself in a situation of that nature, Maru would be more than understanding. She's not asking Davina do do something she herself wouldn't do, simply presenting the option should Davina wish to take her up on it. How the princess chooses to respond is up to her discretion.
No. 783135 ID: 3abd97

>meeting with a dragon

>Please note, I am assuming Davina is the one in the room
To be fair, I wasn't assuming I was dragging any of you along, either. I mean, Dav's the one playing the upper class social game, and whose upbringing presumably covered speaking with the dragons at some point. I mean, it's sort of expected nobles would have to interact with those above them at some point, right?

>Are you going to rescue the original Fire Hawks, when you have the means?
"Rescue or recovery of company members is a responsibility written into our charter. Means presents the challenge, as what evidence we have suggests their last expedition was Down The Well, and was years in the making."

>Are you going to pay your taxes on time, after this gem's value is spent?
The obvious answer, when facing down a powerful representative of an unforgiving government asking if you plan to pay your taxes is a simple "yes".

The more nuanced answer may depend on what Dav and 'Nodel found going over the books. Do we have back taxes or other financial messes left over from the previous administration that would interfere?

>Are you going to hurt people?
In the immortal words of Sergent Schlock:
>we're mercenaries. "Hurt people and break things" it says, right in the handbook

More seriously, an IC response seems like it might be constrained by my OOC lack of knowledge on the regulations and laws regarding personal injury, violence and killings in the dracocracy. And what rights or exceptions are allowed for private military companies. If I'm not missing important context, an appropriate answer might be something like:

"Within the scope of our commission and contracts, it is likely we will. Force is a tool to be meted out carefully and deliberately, but it rather unlikely our company will be able to get by without its application at all."

>Are you going to make mistakes?
"Only a fool believes themselves incapable of error, Minister. The proper way to offset such mistakes is to proceed with thought and care in one's dealings and actions, to consider consul other than one's own, to have contingencies to fall back on if necessary, and to not be too proud to change course or learn if a mistake is realized."

>Do you know where this gem came from?
Before I answer this question (honestly or not), I have to ask if Davina does knows, IC, where it comes from. I'm not sure if Maru shared her story of revenge and patricide? Or that she's an escaped criminal? (From what jurisdiction might suddenly matter too).
No. 783139 ID: d36af7

Best response would have been four 'yes' followed by a 'no,' all expressed in the form of quick head movements (as those etiquette instructions described), but that was apparently also acceptable. "Motion granted, details will be seen to, get out of my office."

It comes out, in the course of subsequent discussion with lower-ranking agents of the Ministry of Thunder, that gems such as this one are used by Denizens of the Plateau to purchase... well, accounts vary, but in each case it's something that shouldn't be for sale, at any price. Those rubies are the very worst sort of blood money. Some suspect the Denizens may have a technique for producing synthetic gemstones of arbitrary size and quality.
No. 783362 ID: d36af7

Hore Wutashi returns after that first week competing in the arena with her non-weaponized arm in a sling. Simple fracture, should be good as new in a month or two. She grins, with a tooth missing, and explains that she lasted slightly longer than any of the bookies were expecting in a match against the current mixed-melee champion, a half-orc called 'Ratbag' Amphoranung. Very flashy style, using something like a quarterstaff but with double-bitted axeheads on both ends, He mostly twirls it around like a baton, while doing dance moves in full plate that most people couldn't manage stark naked. Surprisingly effective, especially against multiple opponents at once. Figured out just enough of the rhythm to dodge and spit fire at the right moment, cool new scar a handspan below her breasts instead of being eviscerated. Fun times overall.

Most of her winnings were seized to cover various fees, penalties for poor sportsmanship, and medical bills for one of the semifinalists, a pair of conjoined twins or something. She snuck into the burn ward after everyone was asleep to "apologize" and give that new orifice a test-ride. Fortunately the spacing between her former opponent's cocks lined up just perfectly.

Hore is now 3rd level. Base damage for the plasma pistol has increased to 2d6+2, and aperture control settings are starting to come back on line. What's your priority? Options are longer range pulse shots, tight focus for a short-range 'sword,' tweaking turbulence and fringe dispersion to maximize incendiary effect, or "ISRU" which is an acronym for something.
No. 783532 ID: 74621b

rolled 6, 7 + 3 = 16

>Simple fracture, should be good as new in a month or two.
Alternatively, how about right now? Yisheng Ji frowns deeply as soon as he lays eyes on Hore's sling. "It hasn't even been a week yet. What have you been doing with your time?" As she starts to grin and regale him with the tale, however, he cuts her off. "No, nevermind, I don't want to hear how you got it. Hold still for a moment, and keep that other hand to yourself." With a glowing surge of power, and very little flourish, Yisheng Ji invokes lesser true healing upon the arm beneath the sling, to mend the fractured bone and restore Hore the use of her arm. "Try not to let it happen again."
No. 783564 ID: d36af7

Now that Davina and Acolyte Galanodel have sorted out the paperwork and reviewed the company's assets, it's clear what the Fire Hawks left behind. The chapterhouse inventory, lease to a small dockside warehouse, business contacts and contracts, part-time employees scattered around the city, all that adds up to the supply lines for a sage, a priestess, and the squad of elite heavy infantry which watched their backs out in the field. You've got a logistics force with the capacity to deliver $112,000 worth of supplies per month, by land, but with no corresponding income source to draw those supplies from and no army to receive them. Assuming a standard of equipment with quality and dignity befitting a noble's honor guard, but some reasonable concessions to efficient frugality, and counting by 10-man squads except as noted:
medium infantry or siege-rated miners would cost $12k per month,
bowmen, heavy infantry, or a single semi-portable ballista would be $16k,
ninjas or man-wise wolves would be $20k,
swamp trolls or a single heavy catapult (and the draft team necessary to move it) would be $22k,
pikemen or eelfolk marines would be $24k,
birdfolk scouts or light cavalry would be $40k,
horseback archers would be $48k,
medium cavalry or blink dogs would be $60k, heavy cavalry or dynastic sorcerers (specialized in artillery and tactical scrying) would be $80k,
and flying cavalry (griffon knights) would be $120k.
A field command post (map table, candles enchanted for long-range communication, and everything else essential to planning and coordination for a large force) would be $40k, but that's a lot of bulky stuff and not enough staffers to carry it all at once. Team of pack mules ($12k) or giant bees ($80k) or other method of transportation sold separately. A cargo wagon would be the cheapest option by far, but couldn't fit through Davina's portals.

It would be possible to cut various corners and reduce these prices by up to a factor of 8, more boots on the ground for less money, but combat effectiveness would decline proportionately.

Recruitment/replacement cost is usually at least as much as five months' supplies, paid up front, but since there are so many soldiers and adventurers looking for work after the war, and the Fire Hawks have a reputation for taking good care of new recruits rather than sending them off to die pointlessly, anything on that list (except heavy catapults or griffon knights) could be hired off the street, already trained and mostly equipped, by committing to a 2-year contract and adding 25% to the listed upkeep cost during that time. That extra cost doesn't count against logistical capacity, it mostly represents extra wages to attract the more competent/less deranged vets and training time needed to forge individual skills into a cohesive whole.

Replacement cost for dire bees is only 3 months of maintenance, because they're fairly common nonsapient livestock. Swarm instincts make unit-cohesion training unnecessary. They're unsuited for true airborne cavalry because a typical adult human is too heavy for a single bee to lift, and it's extremely impractical to fight while dangling between two of them. A single unit of bees could fly back and forth to transport several units of infantry across a river or other obstacle, but can't lift cavalry, trolls, or heavy catapults at all. Bees patrol freely out to a hundred-mile (8 hex) radius from their hive, but the hive itself can only move on a strategic scale at infantry movement speeds.

In addition to contract offers already in hand, you could spend a week searching for new prospects. After all, the best jobs don't just sit around out in public indefinitely.

True Healing clears up soft tissue damage, which Hore had no shortage of, but the bone has already started to knit so it's too late for low-circle magic to accelerate the process.
No. 783566 ID: d36af7

>a wasted charge
She didn't really notice at the time, but the entire rest of her body now feels much less like it's recently been tenderized with a hammer. So, no, not at all wasted.
>is Hore's arm healed wrong
Also no. Cheap alchemical potions can have side effects or per-day safe dose limits, but True Healing spells (and the significantly smaller, more expensive potions based on them) will never ever make a mundane medical situation worse, apart from minor inconveniences like needing to re-open an incision if someone was healed midway through surgery. True Healing spells are harmful to undead, and someone could conceivably set up a curse or something to activate when the subject is healed, but for plain mechanical damage, worst case is the spell simply fails to fix it all. In the case of a broken bone that's already been treated and begun to knit, true healing can't significantly accelerate the process of calcium and phosphates being shuffled around. Same sort of reason you can't get a highway built in less than half the usual time by bribing the guy who drives the paving machine with energy drinks, not even a whole crate full.

Lymphatic Auditor is a bit closer, but ultimately, instant repair of a crippled limb is beyond what the party can currently do in-house. If you're willing to spend some money or trade favors, though, and consider this an urgent problem, there's about 25-30 thousand people in Passholdt and another ten thousand in Orcmeet, including at least a few higher-circle casters whose services are available for hire.
No. 783618 ID: b4735e

>Various scattered assets
>Unorganized part-time workforce
>Solid trading routes, no dedicated suppliers or clients
>Perceived wealth, unpayable debt
Well that explains why the boss threw himself into a suicide mission.

Hore suggests they invest 25% of their potential revenue in defense on their first mission, to test how badly things can go.

She also considers a unique investment: taking on construction work for the city! If they can guard roadwork and build outposts on major conflict areas, they can earn revenue on a steadily decreasing building supplies inventory, figure out the market in the other city, buy what they know in the current city to be coveted, and zoom back on the completed road as the first to know it even exists!
No. 783650 ID: 3abd97

>You've got a logistics force with the capacity to deliver $112,000 worth of supplies per month, by land, but with no corresponding income source to draw those supplies from and no army to receive them.
So we have a pipeline, but no oil to pump through it, and no cars.

Probably a bad idea to take on dependents before we have the means to pay or supply them. Stiffing recruits will ruin that good reputation we're currently leaning on. First step still looks like we need to raise capital.

>In addition to contract offers already in hand, you could spend a week searching for new prospects. After all, the best jobs don't just sit around out in public indefinitely.
Um, on the meta-level, I'm not keen to sit around planning versus doing a mission. Kills momentum if we do that too long. And I'd kind of feel more comfortable exploring our options in town if we had some more coin in our pockets.

Last tally the vote seemed in favor of the tungsten escort mission. Do we want to stick with that, or do we want to kick around town another week and look for better offers?

We don't have significant capital to invest, and if we really wanted to focus on civic improvement, there's probably more efficient and profitable ways to do it than protecting road crews as they work. (Like we could track down the magic instrument used for construction).

Considering one of our current advantages is reasonably rapid transit, I'm not sure investing in roads right now serves our selfish self interest. Making trade easier for everyone may have long term benefits, but in the short term, that's a disproportionate investment of our own resources that undercuts our competitive advantage.
No. 783657 ID: b9aa79

Maru votes yes for Tungston- she's jumping at the bit to earn enough money to put a good roof over her head- and plus she'd like to invest in some better equipment if she's gonna make a living out of this adventuring shit. She kinda came into this business off the street.

Assuming she's been getting high about once a night since their arrival in town, how much pipeweed would Maru have left? I was imagining she'd have enough for about a month for I don't think it was every clearly outlined

Secondarily but on the same topic, do the firehawks have any suitable pots or such she could plant her seeds in? Or will she need to find herself her own more suitable housing/buy gardening supplies to being growing her own strain?
No. 783811 ID: af6e04

Vos votes for tungsten escort mission as well. He'll get the chance to travel and maybe spread word of Tittivila!
No. 783846 ID: fda3da

Maria and Daniel also support the escort mission. Maria always enjoys smiting a bitch, and Daniel just goes with what seems to be the majority opinion.
No. 783950 ID: 094652

Hore wonders if she should sit this one out with her broken arm. But if she can sit in the caravan and throw knives, she'll go with the tungsten job as well. Honestly, she wonders if she should just buy some of the tungsten in bulk here and now for use in her cybernetics.

Maybe some tungsten-plated fingers.
No. 783957 ID: 3abd97

As it was described, ideally this job is mostly bluster to keep bandits and lowlifes from risking a confrontation. A plasma shot probably makes a suitably impressive deterrent. (Although that depends on if you need your off-hand to manipulate the gun-arm).
No. 784092 ID: 094652

Nope, Hore's plasma pistol is designed for Swashbuckler-based combat. It can't hold under sustained fire, but it can be used about once a minute to stuff an opponent's ranged opening with pure DPS plasma in the heat of battle, without requiring the user to unequip their current weapon, especially while they're using it to parry/block attacks.
No. 784094 ID: d36af7

Tungsten run it is. The shipping company's negotiator isn't happy to hear that Azarthraine won't be coming along personally, and offers $2500 per day for "the rest of you," payable on arrival. It's usually an 80-day round trip, with ingots and spices northbound, finished immovable rods and assorted textiles southbound, so if all goes well you'll be back in Passholdt less than three months later with 500 gold. For each leg of the journey in which you can prevent hostile forces from setting foot or spilling blood onto the deck, however briefly, you'll also receive a (slightly substandard) immovable rod as a bonus. Weighs fifteen pounds, supports almost a hundred times that much in midair. They seldom sell for less than four thousand gold, and are nearly priceless to those avant-garde architects whose dearest wish is to spit in the face of gravity.

Terms acceptable?
No. 784097 ID: 094652

Hore has taken harder jobs for less cash. Though, she's not sure how much she gets paid as an employee.
No. 784099 ID: 74621b

>500 gp for 80 day trip
So, 6.25 gp per day. Split between 7 people makes 0.89 gp per person per day.

Can we request an even 1 gp per person per day? That'd be 560 gp total and would keep any particular party member from getting stiffed. And by "we", I mean Davina, who has both the diplomatic skills and authority to request it.
No. 784133 ID: 3d2d5f

...three months work for 500 gold? Considering our rent / upkeep costs are 140 gold / month, that's... not great. I mean sure, we paid the rent several months in advance, but we should be using this time to build up funds. Line our pockets and refill the company coffers. This spends most our time for little profit, squandering the opportunity.

Might be worth it if we can drastically cut down on transit time by offering portal services, but applying that to shipping is potentially logistically complex (if the load / workforce is too large, they won't all fit through a portal before it closes, slowing things down. Material might be too much to move without big carts, which can't fit). Is accelerating travel with portals possible?

Also, "payable on arrival" means we'll be broke and unable to afford to eat long before we complete the job.

>immovable rod as a bonus. Weighs fifteen pounds, supports almost a hundred times that much in midair. They seldom sell for less than four thousand gold
Okay, that's more like it. If we get the bonus on both legs, that's 8500 gold. Say, 1000 each and 1500 for the company coffers.

Kinda not good business if it's only worth it if we get an uncertain bonus, tho.
No. 784161 ID: 7b3d8f

>1000 each
The eel man is having trouble picturing that much gold existing let alone being within his possession. He asks Davina what one would even do with so much money? He'll probably end up giving the majority of it away.
No. 784168 ID: d36af7

>Is accelerating travel with portals possible?
Should be, and the prospect is intriguing, but that's a whole different business model. How many pack animals can you bring along at once? Do they need special training? How far in a day? What allowances for weather? Where would you be spending nights, and how would you handle perimeter security? If you're stopping at a town every night, what sort of taxes and local laws might apply? Might be able to adapt some math from the blink dog sled teams who carry ore and provisions to and from all those isolated mines in the mountains around Passholdt, but that's lower-value cargo, in short hops, and blink dog psychology permits an unusually low fraud rate.

>Also, "payable on arrival" means we'll be broke and unable to afford to eat long before we complete the job.
Bunk space for ten people and meals shared with the crew are covered in the contract, since you couldn't very well be expected to defend a ship you're not allowed to travel on. If you want pickled gryph eggs for breakfast and quintessential rations for dessert, all served in a private cabin, or any other luxuries (within reason), that can be arranged quite easily by deducting costs from your final pay.
No. 784278 ID: 3abd97

Oh, right. Those are gonna be too big for portals, and it would require a major retooling to move everything overland instead. (Not even sure I can safely portal on a ship either, as a moving reference frame and all. Depends on how fast the ships are moving, and what the threshold speed is?).

That's counting your eggs before they hatch (and return from the sea), Vos. That's the best outcome, not necessarily the one we'll get. (I mean, a single ambush where a crazy pirate takes a flying leap onto the ship costs us a pretty penny, and there's only so much we can do to stop that from happening).

Obvious higher value expenditures for Vos might include better or more permanent living arrangements, equipment (maybe pay for supplies to make things specifically sanctified to Tittivila?), or found a church, perhaps?

>possible anti bandit measures
If the bonus depends on their not being combat on the ship, we'd want preventative measures.

Ground team scouting ahead faster than the ship can move with portals, to chase off bandits before the ship encounters them? Have Maria ward the ship? Have Ji do aerial scouting, or skipping from treetop to treetop? Bardsong? (Although Maru's more focused on encouraging aggression than preventing it). Not sure if any of Ji's protective spells are relevant on the scale of a mode of transport versus a patient. Put Hore up in the crows nest, to blast at or over anything that tries to approach with intimidating fire? (Although a miss would be bad for a wooden ship).

>what do
Davina's of the opinion this is too long a commitment for too little pay. She'd prefer spending a week trying to scrounge up a contract that better utilizes the group's unique talents.

Are people willing to do another week of city stuff while I see if that works? If not, I'll roll for haggling and see if we can get a better price, or anything up front, out the mission giver here.
No. 784296 ID: 60bbe7

>Not sure if any of Ji's protective spells are relevant
I don't think Yisheng Ji has any magic that could be remotely classified as abjuration. He's more of a "pound of cure" than an "ounce of prevention" type of caster.

>aerial scouting, or skipping from treetop to treetop
This is fully within his capacity.

>too long a commitment for too little pay
Yisheng Ji agrees. He finds continued pennilessness an unattractive proposal, and would like to go on the dream-journey instead, which promises handsome profits for survivors, and with any luck would be a significantly smaller time investment.
No. 784348 ID: d36af7

>Put Hore up in the crows nest, to blast at or over anything that tries to approach with intimidating fire?
Even if she took the increased range option (still waiting on that decision, by the way), the beam would lose cohesion at 40 yards, which is rather less than the typical ship-to-ship combat range.

>too long a commitment for too little pay
Azarthraine thought so too, remember, and the shipping company's negotiator is probably trying to lowball you, even compared to previous rates. It wouldn't take a genius to realize that the Fire Hawks are, at the very least, not in top form right now, and nobody's actually rolled for the haggling process yet.

It's also possible you'll get lucky and collect the max payout without ever encountering pirates at all. The tungsten run is an 80-day round trip: three days down the Stoneheart River (two days of "river" and one day of "swamp"), 34 days along the coast, 3 days docked in Overmire, 34 days along the coast, six days back up the river (towed by submerged golems, two days of "swamp" and then four days of "river"). In most areas outside a city, encounters occur on a roll of 1 or 2, rolled on a d6 once per day or a d12 once per night. On the coast, an encounter roll of 2 is something on shore which could be easily avoided by sailing out of sight of land. When an encounter is indicated, a further d8 will be rolled, with results dependent on terrain type. For the ocean, a 1 indicates another ship (or group of ships), 8 is a dragon, and 2-7 mostly wildlife. but also encompassing various spirits and weather problems. Among ships, about half are merchant traffic (and the occasional diplomat or explorer) neither equipped for nor inclined to piracy, and two-thirds of the remainder are relatively legitimate military forces or privateers who respect overall Drakocratic law. Most of those, the shipping company has some previous arrangement with. so they either won't attack, or will extort some minor favors and move on. Worst-case is they'll take a few prisoners for ransom, bloody a few noses to "teach a lesson" if someone resisted, and leave you just enough supplies to make it to a safe harbor. You won't be paid at all if things go that far south, of course, but you'd survive. It's that last 17% you need to worry about: the really hardcore career pirates, half-mad barbarians in a wooden hull, who'd be given a fair trial and then publicly executed if they were ever caught. They respect strength, and sometimes a specific religion, but not much else. Good news there is, they've got no pride nor honor to compel them into a fight they might lose, so a clear display of confidence, discipline, and unfamiliar magic will persuade them to back off in favor of easier prey... unless they're hungry and desperate, or fanatics led by a priest.
No. 784372 ID: 3abd97

rolled 4, 1, 6 = 11

>nobody's actually rolled for the haggling process yet.
Honestly, I didn't think I could reasonably move the price high enough to shift my not-worth-it calculus. But if you want a roll, okay. Let's see if social-side Dav can charm him into a better offer.
No. 784443 ID: d36af7

Davina proposes a quick exhibition match to demonstrate what they're bringing to the table. Six mops are acquired and dipped in a bucket of cheap water-soluble paint. She and Yisheng Ji climb onto an office building's balcony while the negotiator, plus two soft-spoken green elves who wear smallswords and move with martial grace, take up a position on a rooftop across the street. The balcony represents the ship, with a pair of tightropes across the gap, grappling lines for boarders to cross. Mops represent polearms, dealing symbolic wounds. The defending team's task is to 'disable' attackers, or somehow persuade them to surrender, ideally before they can even touch the balcony railing.

Davina, holding two mops, says "Wait a moment, I need to give this one to my bodyguard," opens the balcony door and seemingly wanders off into the office building. One of the elves smirks, starts to advance.

Davina's bodyguard appears on the rooftop as if from nowhere, bops the other elf and the negotiator over the head with a mop before they can react, then chops through the rope with her sword while the first elf is only halfway across. He somehow breaks into a run even as the rope is going slack and falling, grabs on, dangling about four feet below the balcony, and starts to climb... until Yisheng Ji casually mop-bops him. Flawless victory.

Back indoors, after some washing up, the negotiator speculates aloud about Davina's bodyguard being a bound demon, or other spooky pet project of Azarthraine's, presumably sent as a shakedown mission. Davina declines to comment on trade secrets, but is confident the portals would work just as well in actual naval combat to preempt a boarding action. Relative velocity doesn't matter, so long as there's a consistent framework of some sort around both ends, such as the hull and rigging of a typical sailing ship.

New offer is $7000 per day, or a total of 1400 gold and two immovable rods if all goes well, plus a small yet well-furnished cabin with a window, q-rations for two, and a favorable 'plunder rights' clause for whatever material goods you manage to extract from an attacker.
No. 784494 ID: 3d2d5f

Hmm. Nearly triple the initial offer. Much better than I was expecting. (I didn't expect haggling could move the price more than 50%).

1400 gold divides neatly into ten groups of 140. One share for each of us, and 3 for the company pot for 3 more months of rent. And that's not even factoring in a bonus if things go well.

I'm persuaded this is worth our while, now. How about you, Ji? We could always use a doctor, and your skills are invaluable on a ship or over water.
No. 784520 ID: 094652

70 bucks a day isn't much, but Hore feels this is a REALLY good deal when most of her 'work time' will be spent in the cabin playing games and fapping. Seeing as how she was planning to take a vacation for a month, she's game.
No. 784600 ID: d36af7

The cabin is reserved for Davina and her "mysterious bodyguard," Hore will more likely be sleeping in a hammock with much less privacy.

As to the pay, you seem to have misplaced both the decimal point and the cultural reference point. If she was being paid $70 per day every day, that'd be over five gold a month, which is on the upper end of pay rates for doctors, priests, journeyman armorers, and other highly-skilled, respected, strategically indispensable professions. If the total pay is $7k per day and Hore Wutashi will be getting a tenth share, that's seven hundred bucks a day. Of course, it's also gross, not net, so whether that's better depends on the expenses.
No. 784662 ID: 74621b

>We could always use a doctor
"Everyone could always use a doctor. However, I will accompany you this time. The unknown is better faced with the known by one's side. I will do as I can to keep our complement in good health, so long as the effort is returned in kind."

>over five gold a month, which is on the upper end of pay rates for doctors
By the way, where does Yisheng Ji fall on this scale? Is he capable of doing freelance medical work at this income level between adventures, or is there a structured clinic system that keeps him out?
No. 784706 ID: 3abd97

rolled 4, 1, 2 = 7

>The cabin is reserved for Davina and her "mysterious bodyguard,"
I wonder how long it will be till someone starts the obvious, and a0musing, rumor that they're sleeping together.

>attempting to retroactively establish various things as having happened during the previous week
Emerging from the underground onto the surface for the first time in her life, Rhea is temporarily blinded. It's bright up here! And the light is different. And... there's this vault in the air. The sky. It just goes up forever, it's wide open, and pale blue, there's no ceiling and it's everywhere and... and... there's...

Rhea lacks words. She lacks comprehension. She has seen the sun, and she stares.

As she stands stock still, the wisps of flame around Rhea slowly cease their irregular, roving dance and grow quiescent, slowly sifting until they take up stationary positions behind her. A particularly observant witness might notice that they sit at the vertices of a perfect, regular polygon.

And that they number exactly four.

She doesn't know how long she stood there like that, but eventually someone noticed the small goblin girl standing there, lost in her own- well not her world- and shook her out of it and told her to get a move on.

Since then, Rhea's been adjusting to coping with her unexpected fascination with the sun. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't always there. Well almost always. It's distracting. Temping. Makes it hard to focus when she's outside.

Whoo, low ambition. I've had this bit planned since chargen.

>A week later, Rhea, Azure, and Nick are together in a rowboat. Azure has acquired a new crossbow and some minimal clothing, but there are no oars available. Due to some navigational mishap, they headed down the mill-race rather than toward the docks. Accordingly, they're about to fall off the top of Passholdt's ten-story-tall waterwheel and into the next thread.
What's Nick actually look like, in better lighting? Is he a mutant crustacean-man now or not?

Roll for uh, a spot check? Do we have anything in the boat besides oars? (An anchor? Rope?). How wide, and deep, is the mill-race, and what's it made of? What's adjacent to the race? How fast are we moving?

How recently did Rhea meet up with Azure and Nick, and does she know anything about what they're capable of? Has Rhea tried talking to Azure's flames, and were there any interesting interactions from that?
No. 784737 ID: d36af7

Passholdt has a central hospital on the desert-facing side of the midtown ridge, and a few smaller clinics on the elven side of town, totaling about 75 full-time medical workers citywide, of whom only 15 are official Healer's Guild licensed doctors. Public health in general, and periodic compulsory charity-clinic work, falls under the Ministry of Mobility, but education, licensing, and malpractice investigation is done by the Ministry of Heredity, while miraculous healing, and doctors of such skill that they're legally considered gods, are a matter for the Ministry of Piety. Behind the scenes, there's constant ideological tension between Duskblade and Dawnweaver factions over resilience vs. specialization, and occasional pushes from the Nighthammer faction in favor of, essentially, burning it all down. A grand mess of conflicting agendas and jurisdictions, at least on paper.

For practical purposes, though, any bureaucratic infighting that would hamper essential services gets quashed by the Ministry of Thunder sooner or later, to no faction's benefit, so given that Yisheng Ji actually has the relevant skills and professional ethics, he could probably start up his own private practice without too much trouble, subletting space from the Fire Hawks. Should bring in around four gold a month by providing mundane medical care on a freelance basis (possibly a lot more for magic but demand isn't as consistent) then turn around and spend three gold a month maintaining an appropriate standard of living. Nicer clothes and meals, taxes, a few servants, personal hygiene, modest yet adequate townhouse in an unfashionable neighborhood or a more spacious place at least an hour's walk outside the city walls, all that sort of thing. Won't be taken seriously as a doctor if you don't look the part, and skill doesn't matter if you can't attract customers.
No. 784776 ID: d36af7

>What's Nick actually look like, in better lighting? Is he a mutant crustacean-man now or not?
Imagine if Yojanba from http://bladeundermask.com/?p=characters and https://wiki.erfworld.com/Bill had a kid, who was then infected with a relatively benign strain of that stuff from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_of_Us

He's hunched over, wearing a heavy backpack that's completely encrusted with shelf fungi. It's growing on his clothes, bursting out of sores on his skin. He's also got a magic helmet that keeps a bubble of air within a few inches of his head clear and breathable, even under water. It incorporates a pair of circular lenses that can fold out to cover the eyes, and a non-fire-based light source on the forehead.

>Roll for uh, a spot check? Do we have anything in the boat besides oars? (An anchor? Rope?).
Half a dozen partially treated cave fisher filaments, each of which is basically a thin 20-yard silk rope rated for two or three hundred pounds, No anchor or grappling hook, but Nick brought an axe snd a five-pound sack of gold,
>How wide, and deep, is the mill-race, and what's it made of? What's adjacent to the race? How fast are we moving?
Alright, I'm gonna have to show my work on this one.

It's powering an overshot waterwheel which is 95'8.5" in diameter, the upper limit of TL 4 engineering. Based on the scaling factors in GURPS Low-Tech Companion 3: Daily Life and Economics, that's Strength 245, basic lift almost exactly six tons. According to the rules in GURPS Infinite Worlds for recharging a parachronic conveyor's energy banks with low-tech infrastructure when fuel cells fail, TL 4 machinery is only about 20% efficient, so if the wheel can lift six tons a second, it's probably powered by thirty tons of falling water per second, or 57,624 cubic feet per minute, which according to http://www.eng.auburn.edu/~xzf0001/Handbook/Channels.html means that a semicircular chute 12' in internal diameter, carved and polished from the hollow trunk of a massive tree, descending slightly more than 3' over it's 200' length, with the water level two feet below the rim, would be carrying you along at ten yards per second. Even apart from the sky, it's an amazing vista out over the city, second only to purpose-built observation platforms on that castle atop the midtown ridge.

>How recently did Rhea meet up with Azure and Nick,
Six days ago, in or near Greznek and the gug embassy thereto.
>and does she know anything about what they're capable of?
Nick can apparently talk to scavenging vermin much the same way Rhea can talk to fire, keep his wits about him in an ambush, swing that axe around to dismember ghouls with remarkable efficiency and intensity, and then fail to keep his wits about him in perfectly calm and ordinary situations, somehow convinced that he's trapped in never-ending nightmare. He has meekly apologized for "screaming so much" several times, despite never speaking above an ordinary conversational volume, and has addressed every gug thus far encountered as "Sir Edgar" regardless of instructions to the contrary, even when several were present simultaneously, except for one specific gug (about whom Rhea noticed nothing else unusual) who he consistently identified as "Sir Luke."
>Has Rhea tried talking to Azure's flames, and were there any interesting interactions from that?
Azure's blood doesn't really have s mind of it's own, but to Rhea's ears it often mutters random obscenities, flirtatious threats of vivisection, or blurts out the truth behind a blatant lie.
No. 784817 ID: 3abd97

rolled 6, 3, 6 = 15

>12' in internal diameter
Okay, so we can't arrest our forward movement by creating a jam of some kind, not with what we have on hand, anyways. The channel is too much bigger than any reasonable assumption of the rowboat's size.

>Half a dozen partially treated cave fisher filaments, each of which is basically a thin 20-yard silk rope rated for two or three hundred pounds
So if we braided those together, or otherwise used them in a way that distributed the load, we'd be able to support 1200 to 1800 lbs. Assuming each adventurer with gear weighs at most 200 lbs, and the wooden rowboat is say, up to 300 lbs, we could support our weight if we wanted to lift the boat and everything in it.

Problem is, is we want to improvise an anchor or grapple, and jerk to a halt by hooking onto the raceway's support structure, it isn't the load of the dead weight on the cable we have to worry about. It's a question if the cable will snap under the shock load of suddenly jerking a mass moving at 20.5 mph to a halt. (Which is fun, as I'm not familiar with calculating that, and my research so far pretty quickly drops down a rabbit hole of complex engineering or approximations for climbers).

To our advantage, these ropes are made our of spider silk, which should mean they're pretty stretchy. That means we come to a stop slower, so the force from the impulse is spread out more (a less violent slam on the breaks).

>What do
Encourage the bird-brain to take flight. If the medic doesn't crash with the rest of us, she can offer aid afterwards (hopefully). Or maybe recruit some help nearby.

Twist the rope into a cable, tie it to the shaft of the axe, tie the other end down, and have Nick see if he can toss it around something to bring us to a stop before we go over the edge.

Rhea can't offer much directly to this effort besides holding on, and offering prayers for safety.

Rhea will confide in Nick "Um. If we go over the edge. I can't swim."
No. 784846 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 2, 2 = 9

Azure needs no further incentive to fly off. She holds onto some rope and has Rhea hold the other end so she can climb up while Azure tries to find something to tie it to.
No. 784851 ID: d36af7

Cave fishers are somewhat like spiders, but also somewhat like those polyp things from Half-Life. Their raw silk is naturally adhesive, and has excellent shock load tolerance. Snatching things out of the water, or off a boat, as they drift past on the current is literally exactly what it's made for.
>rolled 6, 3, 6 = 15
Unfortunately, you don't have raw cave fisher filaments. You have cave fisher filaments that have been simmering for days in a specialized broth intended to make them slightly less stretchy, much less sticky, and more durable for long-term use. Working with it in a wild hurry is like trying to braid cables out of a bowl of ramen noodles flavored with the dreadlocked hair that somebody decided to shave off rather than attempt to separate from a wad of bubblegum.

In desperation, Rhea grabs a tangled fistful of the stuff and slaps it directly onto the wooden wall of the aqueduct. Good news is, she's not going to be falling ten stories any time soon, because her hand is securely stuck. Less good news, the boat and her shoes have continued downstream without her, the shoulder of her dominant arm has been dislocated, and her face is halfway down into the water, so drowning remains a distinct possibility.
No. 784910 ID: 094652

rolled 6, 6, 5 = 17

Azure grabs Rhea's body with her talons and flaps upward.

"NICK, get to shore and wait for us! Rhea, find a way to climb up! I can't hold out for much longer!"
No. 784929 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11

This is why they don't let people below certain heights or with supernatural vulnerabilities to drowning ride the log flume.

Rhea is basically dead without outside intervention at this point. Even if she manages to keep her head above water, being submerged up to her face with her supernatural vulnerability can't be good. Not having to survive the fall is nice , but downing up here, below the rim of the race, means no one on the ground can even see there's someone to haul out of the water.


Rhea will try her best to... not drown. And to avoid the clumsy bird talons coming to kill her.

Let's send the flame wisps up above the lip of the race, too. Maybe someone will em?
No. 785262 ID: d36af7

>Azure grabs Rhea's body with her talons and flaps upward.
>rolled 6, 6, 5 = 17
Azure sprains some critical flight muscle, disabling her left wing, and grabs Rhea's shoes.
>NICK, get to shore and wait for us!
Nick clambers off the boat, onto the edge of the aqueduct, tries to get his balance on narrow, wet, polished wood, slips, and plummets out of sight toward the jungle-like cityscape below.

>Rhea will try her best to... not drown.
>rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11
All the ligaments and nerves are still intact, so she manages to bend the dislocated arm's elbow enough to lift her nose and mouth out of the stream for a moment and catch a lungful of air with barely any water in it. Should be okay on that front for the next 15 seconds at least.
>And to avoid the clumsy bird talons coming to kill her.
Rescue attempt successfully dodged. Azure has also now been kicked in the face and punched in the left boob, which doesn't do that pectoral muscle any favors.
>Let's send the flame wisps up above the lip of the race, too.
Between Rhea's powers and Azure's nosebleed, the rowboat and rim of the wooden aqueduct are now on fire, which is clearly visible to half the city, and may have wider economic and political ramifications.
No. 785266 ID: 3abd97

I DIDN'T DROWN! Yet. Whooooooooo!

Man I've been waiting to see all day if that crit was going to kill me.

>the wooden aqueduct are now on fire, which is clearly visible to half the city
Okay, the important question to bring this disaster to a swift and merciful (and plot uniting) end: is the main party among the half of the city that can see this? How far away are we?

>Nick falling ten stories
Welp. That's gonna hurt.
No. 785296 ID: d36af7

> is the main party among the half of the city that can see this?

So is Einsoku Amphoranung, who, in his capacity as a powerful dynastic sorcerer, can teleport (with some limitations that aren't relevant in this case), and in his capacity as Minister of Punctuality, will have a lot of questions for anyone whose first priority, after cooperating with gugs to sneak into the city, was apparently a spectacular act of arson.

>How far away are we?
About three-quarters of a mile. Davina could plausibly get there in less than a minute, with a decent roll.
No. 785298 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 3, 3 = 10

NOW is the time to use Azure's Charm Person skills in public! Preening her feathers and puffing her chest, Azure shrieks in the most damsel-like manner she possibly can:

"SAVE US!!!"

The mind control can be justified in court as an act of self defense, of course.
No. 785302 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 5, 2 = 9

>less than a minute
By my math, Nick only has about 3 seconds before impact (depending on mass and depending on if he hits a building), so, too late to feather fall him.

>About three-quarters of a mile. Davina could plausibly get there in less than a minute, with a decent roll.
Well, responding to a threat versus public infrastructure that risks shutting down industry and flooding part of town is good for reputation, so why not.

Shift to vigilante mode, roll for traversal. If I get there before the authorities have teleported in, probably can use unseen servant to haul Rhea up to the edge? If the authorities port in and resolve it before she gets there, break off. If I arrive and find the authorities there, defer to him.
No. 785303 ID: 3abd97

rolled 1, 6, 6 = 13

>the rowboat and rim of the wooden aqueduct are now on fire
>spectacular act of arson
How big has the fire gotten, anyways? Hasn't it only been a few seconds?

In between trying not to drown (or after someone has pulled her out) Rhea will try and persuade the flames to stop burning the wooden structure, dropping her to her death when it breaks, and flooding the nice surface person city. (To go out, if she can make them do so).

She'll suppress her own flames too.
No. 785366 ID: d36af7

Rhea fails to persuade the uncontrolled fires to commit suicide. They do slow down, at least. Then she inhales water and blacks out.

An hour later she'll wake up facedown on a grimy bunk, missing most of her equipment and about a square foot of skin off her upper back, inside a 10' cubic stone cell. One of the walls is actually a grid of iron bars. There's a pair of yellow stripes painted down the length of the hallway beyond, parallel to the wall of bars.

Her shoulder has been popped back into it's socket, and the missing section of skin has been covered with a bandage, but the cave fisher filaments are still gummed up all over her hand. No idea whether they'll be salvageable.

Davina's bodyguard steps off a sloping tile roof in the industrial district, onto a small burning boat, and then immediately rides it back through the same portal. The rowboat skids to a stop along the roof, knocking a cascade of tiles loose, then falls twelve feet and shatters against a brick floor, right between the bulbous bronze-caged violet glass of a crucible projector and five very startled orc stevedores. The burning boat fragments are thoroughly doused by about thirty thousand cubic feet of water over the next minute as the portal heals shut. A phoenix-harpy and five pound sack of gold have thus been acquired, with no serious injuries.

The Minister of Punctuality is whispering in her ear from farther away than would normally be possible. He does that to people, sometimes. He already knows she's some new high-mobility asset of the Fire Hawks (how is he so sure of that, so quickly? The exhibition match was less than an hour ago, and while it was out on a public street, there wasn't enough advance warning to draw a crowd of spectators), and is formally deputizing her.

He says it's possible that the incendiary attack was a diversion, buying time for some sort of fungal bioweapon to spread out and dig in. Might be headed for the southside tunnels, toward the black market and the slums. Wherever that thing went, try to bring it in intact enough for questioning. He hasn't had time yet to liaise with Pickled Locust and discuss exact quarantine procedures, but... be careful, and pay attention to who or what might have been contaminated.
No. 785377 ID: 3abd97

First things first, Rhea says her prayers. She's lucky to be alive after that mess, and glad someone rescued her. Even if they did stick her in a cell afterwards.

How's her cell lit? Are there torches or other flames Rhea could ask for information? Like, where she is, how she got here, who brought here here, etc?

Are there any people around to talk to, outside the bars?

If there's no one, Rhea will settle in to pray and meditate and wait.
No. 785383 ID: 3abd97

On the chance his communication spell is two-way, or he's scrying on me, our magical girl will nod and speak "Acknowledged".

Grab the gold, grab the avian suspect (she was on fire, meaning she was very likely involved, or a witness at the epicenter) and return to the rest of the party to inform them of our mission. And allowing their players to participate, again.

Daniel's Aura should be useful if there is a fungal contaminant of some kind.

Might be worth field interrogating the Avian, and/or allowing Ji to treat her injuries. How much setup is involved with Maria's binding someone to speak only the truth trick?
No. 785386 ID: accf6d

Once saved, Azure quickly explains that she and her party were WAY in over their heads. A string of bad luck left them unable to find an exit to the nearby dungeons until they did the stupid thing and rode a boat out, which somehow lead straight to the surface and down this waterfall. Rhea is a pure pyromancer and Azure is just a healer, so after Azure screamed her head off with a muscle cramp and nobody answered while Rhea was drowning with a broken arm, Rhea panicked and started throwing signal flares and one of them happened to set fire to an oil store or something.

Azure insists they look downstream for the third member of their party, a mutant whose toughened aquatic exoskeleton might have given him enough force resistance to survive the fall.
No. 785421 ID: af6e04

rolled 3, 5, 3 = 11

>return to the rest of the party to inform them of our mission.
Aahhh, Vos can swim! He can help look for it.
No. 785737 ID: 4ecc34

>heal and interrogate the arsonists
"Has it already become necessary to extract information through such extreme methods? I cannot guarantee it is within the realm of my experience, but for the sake of the security of this locale, I will attempt to draw out the identities of their allies and what their malevolent plans may entail." Yisheng Ji goes off to fetch his surgical tools, along with a tarp (to minimize cleanup), and to requisition a restraining table through Davina's deputized status.
No. 785752 ID: 3d2d5f

Bit of a misunderstanding, I think. She's already injured, and an interrogation does not necessarily mean torture (especially if since she's already talking, or if we have other ways to make sure she's being truthful).
No. 785797 ID: d36af7

There's an illusory flame in one of the upper corners, above a hole in the floor (which presumably serves as latrine, if smell is anything to go by). It's not too bright, and under strict orders never to discuss matters of potential strategic significance, but considers Rhea very pretty.

Few minutes later, a uniformed guard stops by, walking along the hallway between the two yellow lines. Pale skin, dark hair (hard to judge the exact color by torchlight), narrow pointed ears... must be a surface elf.
"Welcome to the principality of Passholdt, the city of the same name, and the Ministry of Hospitality therein. Much as I'd like to send you on your way immediately, you're staying here as a prisoner of war, so there are some formal procedures which must be seen to first. Is there anyone you'd prefer be notified of your stay here? A brief sending can be delivered to and returned from anywhere in the world, or most places beyond, within ten to fifteen minutes, given an unambiguous description of the intended recipient. Once that's settled, would you be willing to testify on the subject of your recent activities, and any prior dealings with gugs, under a compulsion to speak truthfully?"
No. 785819 ID: 3abd97

>considers Rhea very pretty
"Oh! Thank you, you're very nice."

>you're staying here as a prisoner of war
Huh. Rhea didn't realize she was walking into a warzone. Then again, it's not like she knows much about surface politics.

>talking with the surface elf
"Thank you very much for rescuing me from that uh, flying river. That was a close call!"

Rhea will take the surface elf up on that offer, and inform Mom's high priest back home that she made it to the surface safely (who of course would pass word to friends and family). If the sending is long enough, she'll ask word be passed along to the goyles and trolls with the next available supply run, they were helpful and will be glad to hear it.

>would you be willing to testify on the subject of your recent activities, and any prior dealings with gugs, under a compulsion to speak truthfully?
"Sure. Honesty is generally the best policy."
No. 786668 ID: d36af7

Anyone not participating in the trial is trial can take another week of miscellaneous activities in town.

Nick is located quickly enough, since he has an extremely distinctive appearance and isn't actually trying to hide. He's neither contagious nor mentally competent to stand trial, so it seems like a lot of wasted effort... apart from being an opportunity to run through the black market as a temporary agent of the Ministry of Punctuality, poking into dark corners and threatening to quarantine people. Looking for anything else, as long as you're there?

Main interrogation tools are a chair which compels anyone sitting in it not to knowingly speak falsehoods (it has some significant flaws with regard to self-deception, half-truths, evasion, and declining to speak at all, but any competent prosecutor already knows to look out for that sort of thing) and a 2nd circle spell which turns part of a dead creature's skin into a map reflecting their knowledge of the area and what they considered most valuable.

Rhea was technically dead for a few minutes, and the map extracted from her revealed almost nothing about gug military assets. The point where the mill-race split off from the river was labeled "should have gone other way here" with a sketchy arrow pointing toward "actual docks I guess?" Accordingly, she and Azure were soon enough formally determined not to be guilty of conspiring with Passholdt's enemies, willful disruption of commerce and industry, arson, etc.

With that settled, there's the comparatively minor matter of paying for the few thousand gold in damages caused by negligence, and by efforts of a deputy (who really should have some sort of name, or at least a title for ease of reference) to prevent greater harm. Apart from the obvious fire, that portal interrupted the flow of water over the big wheel enough to alter the rhythm of machinery it was powering. Trip-hammers and bellows skipped a beat, so reduced airflow may have disrupted various heat-treatment processes, introducing subtle flaws into the final product. Flood of water through the portal knocked tiles off a roof and a force wall projector out of line, cracking open an immaterial crucible, spilling a quantity of molten tungsten (worth $400 per pound, and it tears through refractory ceramic bricks like piss through fresh snow), injuring several workers, and so on. Philista, patron goddess of local forgeworks, personally visits the courtroom in her Weeping aspect to read off the full list. Her Laughing and Burning aspects are busy coordinating the repairs, and applying her standard blessings to continued operation of the undamaged areas, respectively.

Obvious options include handing over that serpentfolk relic scrying device, or swearing allegiance to Philista and serving her unconditionally for an extended period of time (not forever, but we're probably talking decades unless you've got some exceptionally valuable relevant skills), or going on a diplomatic mission to the gugs and either successfully persuading them to relax the blockade (which would probably involve figuring out why they started the blockade), or extracting information that could be sufficiently useful in future military action against them. The full range of possible payment plans is essentially limitless, though if a proposal involves leaving town without an escort (cost of which will be added to the tab), you'll need to be geas-bound to diligently carry out your side of the deal.
No. 786683 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 3, 1 = 6

A thousand gold is quite serious, even to Azure. It's like 10% of her inheritance! Well, aside from being the heir to the Youngmason building company, and all the assets that the 50% controlling stockholder holds, but she's sure that her dad has found a worthier heir or had another kid by now. Azure will attempt to convince the court that any debts with interest can be paid now by the Youngmason Company under her private account, but with all the politicians and lie detectors she can't use her compelling voice and she seriously doubts that they will take her word about her title.

And of course, most of her on-hand money was stolen by that air elemental, which sucks. Whatever she earned doing surgery was mostly spent back as gifts to earn their favor (in the event that they eventually do business with the Youngmason company). After learning about the Fire Hawks from Davina, Azure decides she'd like to pay off her portion of the debt by working for them, as her surgical abilities are worthy of a doctorate. Not her medicinal abilities, though. Since her time with the goblins and the effectiveness of their medicines with her surgical actions, she has been considering a pursuit in an actual doctorate. Might make her father reconsider her as an heir when she gets back.

But really, it's because the Fire Hawks are so WEIRD that they probably won't rat her out as the red-feathered mistress of the psycho-goliath who murdered a bunch of innocent people last week. Azure is also depressed that she won't be able to purchase her beloved phoenix-red feather-dyes any time soon, let alone afford them. She looks like a patchwork mutt without her trademark red-and-white! Well, she might be able to purchase the white feather-dyes for her down feathers...
No. 786684 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 4, 3 = 8

Meanwhile, Hore's broken arm has left her BORED. With nothing violent to do, Hore decides to go shopping with Vos and/or Ji for research material for augmenting her arm. She's going to go on a long trip in a wooden boat, so she'll need to learn how to fire plasma shots that are longer-range or at least flashy, and find something that will decrease her chances of shooting the wooden floor in the event of close-range swashbuckling. She will also look into cannonball design, see if there could be something to do to make them stronger, more useful in combat. Flechette rounds, for instance.

Of course, she'll also ease the tensions of the Fire Hawks by offering sex.
No. 786870 ID: 3abd97

rolled 5, 3, 1 = 9

>who really should have some sort of name, or at least a title for ease of reference
When asked for a name when giving her report and handing over the prisoners, Davina's bodyguard gives her name simply as "Viste".

>Anyone not participating in the trial is trial can take another week of miscellaneous activities in town.
So is Davina clear to do something, or is she being called to testify as her deputized alter-ego?

>Nick's neither contagious nor mentally competent to stand trial
So was he involuntarily committed for mental health treatment, then? (There's also the question of who legally ends up holding his sack of gold we recovered).

>an opportunity to run through the black market as a temporary agent of the Ministry of Punctuality, poking into dark corners and threatening to quarantine people. Looking for anything else, as long as you're there?
We already know the minister has some scary-effective intelligence gathering resources at his disposal, possibly including scrying / remote viewing, and it's not unreasonable to assume we might have some of his attention on us while deputized. So any abuse of our authority for shakedowns can't be flagrant.

Profitable information is probably better currency to try and pick up than contraband, in those circumstances.

>But really, it's because the Fire Hawks are so WEIRD that they probably won't rat her out as the red-feathered mistress of the psycho-goliath who murdered a bunch of innocent people last week.
I'm assuming that's meant to be introspection, because if Azure really confessed aloud to involvement in multiple murders while in custody, we have little to no reason not to pass that pertinent information on to the authorities when we handed her over for arson and terrorism trial. (There might be a bounty on her, and catching a murderer is more impressive than catching a hapless not-actually-a-terrorist).

>Azure decides she'd like to pay off her portion of the debt by working for [the Fire Hawks]
How are you selling that to the Fire Hawks? (Not to be a jerk about it, but we weren't actively recruiting, hiring the accidental arsonists isn't the best PR move, and a massive navigational failure coupled with accidental fire-starting is pretty much the worst thing to have on your resume when apply for a ship-based escort mission).
No. 786886 ID: 0031ce

Of course she won't just tell anyone about the incident! Or the other incidents. But if anyone figures out who she is, she has a feeling the others won't rat her out on the spot.

As for getting hired, Azure doesn't want to go on any adventures yet. Even if she did, she usually brings Pog or at least a competent bodyguard with her. Nick will likely be declared a ward of the state, and his money will likely be spent on psychiatric services to fix his mind, as it should. Not that she doesn't want to keep him, but even if the state can fix his addled mind, he might start thinking clearly about how Azure bought handful of gold and a life debt out of him with two fish and a fake sob story.

So she wants to apply as a receptionist / guild doctor; she can take up lodgings at the guild, discuss business with clients (with good charisma), help any incoming injured (great surgical skills), or even do some basic accounting (raised by dwarves).

Given Azure's (current) public face, having her recount her tales at the front desk while looking as sexy as ever will attract many weird customers who are looking for someone who can go to their rivals and @#$% ^&*( up and look sexy doing it. It could hurt general PR, but then, the guild is meant for customers with abnormal issues who can pay large amounts of gold, not for regular joes who pay $30-$50 for a meal or buy a few items and leave.
No. 786887 ID: 74621b

rolled 6, 2, 6 = 14

>everything already handled by local authorities much more efficiently
Ah, alright. Yisheng Ji will pay it no further mind then.

>Hore decides to go shopping with Vos and/or Ji for research material for augmenting her arm
Yisheng Ji finds Hore's hobbies and lifestyle to be distasteful, but is very much interested in her augmented body structure from a medical perspective. He will accompany her, though strictly for research purposes.
No. 786907 ID: 3abd97

We already have an acolyte scribe on payroll as a dedicated, non-combat secretary, and she's got the more relevant experience, and more seniority in the company than the rest of us put together (and she's sleeping with Davina). There's little chance you're getting her job.

You're a newcomer we don't owe any favors to, asking for a cushy non-combat job not taking risks with the rest of us, and you expect to be trusted as point-of-contact with clients, and managing our money? (And doing the jobs Lady Davina and Acolyte Galanodel are already handling)? Those sort of aren't positions you put people you don't already trust in.

Davina informs Azure they are not currently hiring non-field positions. If Azure wants to work for us as a medic, travel will be mandatory. And, at a bare minimum (since you don't have a doctorate or other medical credentials) she'll need to be vetted by Yisheng Ji, the doctor we already have on payroll, to prove she knows her stuff.

Sorry if I'm being a dick in-character, Kome. But our characters are on opposite sides of a job interview, here.
No. 786940 ID: 3abd97

>self-deception, half-truths, evasion, and declining to speak at all
Rhea's perfectly willing to chat about her trip, and little reason to lie. The interrogator probably had more difficulty with keeping her on topics of strategic interest than getting her to talk. Or the times when they ran into the limits of her humish.

>swearing allegiance to Philista and serving her unconditionally for an extended period of time
Rhea would certainly be interested in chatting with another fire divinity (and would like to make a better impression than accidentally breaking her things), but even she isn't guileless enough to think swearing unconditional service to someone you just met is a good idea.

>exceptionally valuable relevant skills
Being able to regulate the temperature of fire and fine tune them in other ways would probably be relevant to this kind of industry, but I can't imagine it would be exceptional on top of the blessing and divine support Philista already offers.

>going on a diplomatic mission to the gugs and either successfully persuading them to relax the blockade (which would probably involve figuring out why they started the blockade)
Rhea's certainly willing to go ask the gugs why they started the blockade and if there are any peaceful avenues towards relaxing it, on behalf of the government here. The gugs were reasonable and straightforward in her past dealings with them.

There's um. The awkward obstacle of navigating back up the river, though. In light of her recent drowning, Rhea's somewhat more apprehensive about getting there.

>extracting information that could be sufficiently useful in future military action against them
Nope. Spying on the gugs is a poor way to repay their earlier help, and will probably cause political problems back home.

...if Azure successfully gets her rich father to pay off the fines from afar, hanging out with her until the favor has been repaid is certainly an option.

>Fire Hawks involvement
Hey, those were the people who left the advice on the chess puzzle, that Mom advised her to heed! (Maybe it's a sign I should follow their example / advice again?)
No. 786980 ID: d36af7

> they probably won't rat her out as the red-feathered mistress of the psycho-goliath who murdered a bunch of innocent people
So, when the prosecutor asks who you are, and whether you've participated in or knowingly supported violence against Passholdt in the past, you're planning to say...?
>last week
As a technicality, that would've been at least two or three weeks ago by now.
No. 786993 ID: af6e04

>job interview

If Vos gets the chance he'll inform Azure that the Passholdt branch of the Church of Tittivila (which solely consists of himself and a couple of his traveling companions) extends fellowship to her and her arsonist friends.
No. 787032 ID: 094652

(I'm guessing my previous roll will be counted here?)
Luckily, Azure isn't exactly the type to give out her real name to nobodies, what with all the kidnapping potential. Most assume her name is Ruby or something red. She only trusts her Youngmason family name with those that (A) she trusts enough to consider developing new company relationships with, usually after an extended period of time together, or (B) are planning to kick her ass for non-related issues anyway.

As for the violence thing?
"I liked betting at the arena, so yes, I did willingly support violence against Passholdt. Specifically, against the strong and stupid. Past that though: No, I did not have any intention to endanger the city in any way. My main intent in coming here was to sample the wares, see the sights, @#$% new people. I am lady Azure Youngmason, and the truth is that I am a hedonistic tourist."

If the court asks what other intents she has, she will quickly explain that she is technically a liason to her father's company and is looking for other companies to seal partnerships with. Finally, as for what she was doing below ground, she will explain that she decided to follow the adventurers she overheard boast loudly about their new and exciting quest. Big mistake, she got separated from her crew and was mauled to near-death just a few hours in. Past that, she met Nick, found a nice goblin clan, rolled in the hay with them, and joined Miss Rhea the soon-to-be pastry chef in hopes of new patisserie delights.

If they ask about any accompanying companions, Azure will stay silent, explaining that she does not want to give out the personal information of her employees, it's unprofessional and dangerous. Last time she blabbed about one of her father's workers, he flung into a rage and got a few hits in before he was caught and fired. Note that Azure does NOT support Pog's childish rampages, she's just negligent.
No. 787058 ID: d36af7

> yes, I did willingly support violence against Passholdt
"So, just to be perfectly clear here, have you or your direct associates ever killed any citizen of Passholdt, outside the context of sporting events where the risk of that outcome was understood in advance by all involved?"

>So is Davina clear to do something, or is she being called to testify as her deputized alter-ego?
The latter. No shortage of tricky paperwork for a case like this, even if it does turn out to be mostly a misunderstanding.
>So was he involuntarily committed for mental health treatment, then?
Legally that ruling puts him in the "nonsapient mammal" category, along with most horses, oxen, and very young children. Treated as property in most respects, can be sold but not as an interchangeable commodity, cruelty or neglect result in relatively mild criminal penalties backed by social stigma ("What kind of monster/contemptible apostate/scumbag could do such a thing to an innocent animal/child/fool?"), that sort of thing. If no relatives or obvious best-match guardian can be found, his custodial rights will be auctioned off to recoup court costs. Maybe somebody with a plan to put his mind back together and give him a job, maybe some friendly little cult which sees something holy in that mess and wants to dote on him as a living shintai of their faith.
>(There's also the question of who legally ends up holding his sack of gold we recovered).
All those who were in the same boat testified, under compulsion to speak truthfully, that the gold was Nick's as far back as they knew. He'd given a few coins to Azure under the misapprehension that they were less precious metal (and that she was a barmaid), so the court instructed her to give all but one of those back. Whoever gets custody of Nick will also most likely be holding his money in trust.
No. 787065 ID: 094652

"... Like I said, I am neither obligated nor inclined to explain the personal histories of my employees. All I can tell you as at no point have I ever condoned, performed, or ordered the murder of a citizen. Whatever my employees have actually done in the past, I don't know.

Please understand, my family and their reputation could be socially destroyed for your inquisition into matters that do not directly relate to the evidence requested in this trial. I have been taught by my father that company matters like this should be kept discreet until the lawyers come to explain things in precise terms, even if we have the evidence to strongly support our innocence, because no matter the actual truth, anyone who listens in on court proceedings (which is basically everyone in Passholdt, given the publicity of this trial) has the potential to slander the defendant using the evidence supported in their claim, having known that it is referenced as 'possibly true' by a court of law. In short, if I explain what I merely suspected my employees have been doing, of which I am not absolutely sure, I risk destroying my family's reputation with rumors and speculation."

Funnily enough, Azure has never actually caught Pog in the act of slaughtering innocents. She just comes back from whatever pursuit she was distracted from to witness a pile of corpses, and possibly Pog @#$%ing one.
No. 787149 ID: d36af7

>Whatever my employees have actually done in the past, I don't knnn...
>rolled 2, 3, 1 = 6

She tries again.

>"I'm not totally cerrr..."

It would seem they've marginally upgraded the truth-compulsion chair since last time she was accused of complicity in some petty atrocity.

>"...gone five minutes! Pile of corpses! He was fucking one of them!"

She coughs awkwardly after involuntarily blurting that out, preens feathers in an effort to regain composure, and clams up, saying only
>"I want a lawyer."
until one arrives.

With the benefit of some proper legal advice, Azure Youngmason, rather than dig herself even deeper, opts to maintain her technical prisoner-of-war status and send a notification/ransom request to her father.

>Nope. Spying on the gugs is a poor way to repay their earlier help, and will probably cause political problems back home.

Are you willing to share whatever the relic device may have already incidentally recorded?
No. 787203 ID: 383927

rolled 4, 2, 5 = 11

After a solid week of sleeping indoors without getting into any bar fights, Maru decided that she had gotten more than enough rest and was itching for some extra excitement while trying to keep a roof over her head. She wasn't really for arena fighting- blood sports always rubbed her the wrong way- but a few bets here and there about arm wrestling, drinking, brawling even, never really seemed like a bad way to spend her money.

When she heard "Viste" had flooded a couple forges and caught a band of arsonists working with the Gugs? She was honestly jealous more than anything else. Instead of going on vigilante missions straight out of a bardic tale, and sleeping cuddled up next to someone warm she was cursing some poor idiot about to get themselves killed trying to make off with the last of her money. So when the opportunity to do a little back alley questioning came around, she she did her best to stay close to the action and not miss out on any of the hero shit everyone else seemed to be getting involved in.

She didn't really want to get involved in the trial- she never really got along well with the law in that regard, and she hardly saw anything anyways- but she still figured she could use this opportunity to get some info that might be otherwise challenging. Specifically, news regarding her family. The town they parted ways in isn't really close to their current location, for obvious reasons, but she could at least hope for some info. Looking for news of small time orcish bandits in hooded animal masks, particularly news of wealthy assholes getting mugged, a traders animals going missing/being released, that sort of thing. Wouldn't be anywhere near passholdt probably, but who knows where they moved to and who they made connections with in the months since they parted ways. Hooking up with them again would a pleasant reunion now that she was at least some distance away from her pretty damning act of revenge.

Also, she needs to look for a good tavern or venue to preform in, so she can somewhat more easily afford to eat and drink away from the weather this week. What kinda opportunities does she have to make a living off her current skill set this week?
No. 787351 ID: 3abd97

>Are you willing to share whatever the relic device may have already incidentally recorded?
Rheas considers this, and supposes it's more like a more detailed retelling of her own experiences than spying, and it would be limited to areas the gug were willing to show her anyways. (And it's not like the gug were stopping to let her scan every room in her territory they passed though). She's willing.

Um. Do I have scans of the inside of the gug embassy? I'm not sure it's appropriate to share those, embassies are supposed to be subject to certain protections, if they're anything like ours.

It's been, what, a week since Rhea obtained the relics though? Mode might be in need of an eyeball or turn-crank recharge if she was taking scans all that time. (Not that I expect either of those would be a significant obstacle to the state intelligence department interested in this information).

Have they tried talking to the gug? Aside from the odd tradition of establishing their physical superiority at the start of even peaceful encounters, they seemed pretty practical.
No. 787353 ID: 3abd97

>No shortage of tricky paperwork for a case like this, even if it does turn out to be mostly a misunderstanding.
Our heroine reflects on the irony of establishing separate identities for administrative tasks and vigilantism, but still ending up doing paperwork in the later.
No. 787492 ID: d36af7

>Have they tried talking to the gug?
Yes. Repeatedly. Thus far, such incidents fall into three categories:
First, and presumed most common, is immediate violence, or disengagement from superior force.
Second, ambiguous signals for parley are used to lure command staff out of defensible positions into ambushes, and other perfidious tactics.
Third, apparently successful preliminary contact provides a festering heap of misinformation, and the emissary eventually turns out to have been subverted by some sort of parasite or drug addiction and/or replaced by a shapeshifter.

Gugs have occasionally been captured alive, but never held long enough to be usefully interrogated. Mind-probing, to the extent that it's even available and legal, is severely hampered by lack of familiarity with their native language.

It would seem gugs are less friendly to surface-dwelling elvenoids than to goblins or troll-kin, and since ripping an arm off to beat the owner's friends over the head with it is their idea of saying hello, "less friendly" is pretty severe.

If this was just a matter of running down to the neighbors to borrow a cup of sugar, it wouldn't be enough the clear the debt for that collateral damage. For that matter, a religious fanatic, from an historically troublesome rogue state, who only knows Humish from books, probably wouldn't be their first choice for any diplomatic mission. Good news is, the valuable intel Passholdt's ministries of Modesty, Security, and Symmetry are looking for might be something as morally palatable as "Why are we being attacked? What would they accept as payment, to stop killing our dudes and worse?"
No. 787778 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 6, 2 = 12

Azure is in jail. She doesn't want to be in jail. Hopefully this won't be for nothing, getting a pardon in the form of a ransom payment might allow her to walk among the citizens of Passholdt, knowing that her reasoning of this being an accident was admitted in court and adjourned. She doesn't like the implication that most of her fortune will be spent on a dragon who has even less appreciation of gold than her because she couldn't keep her mouth shut - earning valuable life experience by making horrible and expensive mistakes is a sign of failure in her eyes.

While she waits for her father to pay the ransom, she will work on her studies. She requests a simple book on herbal medicines to pass the time, and allows the guards 'excessive inspection' to earn their trust.

Of course, she requests that they get themselves tested for diseases or curses first.
No. 789266 ID: d36af7

rolled 2, 5, 3, 6, 6, 4, 3, 3, 4, 4, 1, 3, 5, 4, 5, 4, 6, 6, 6, 2, 4, 4, 4, 3, 5, 6, 3, 3, 3, 6, 3, 4, 5, 6, 4, 5, 4, 6, 1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 2, 4, 2, 5, 4, 2, 5, 6, 5, 3, 3, 1, 1, 3, 4, 3, 5, 4, 6, 3, 2, 5, 6, 6, 2, 6, 1, 3, 3, 1, 5, 4, 5, 6 = 295

Rolling for daytime encounters on the tungsten run.
No. 789267 ID: d36af7

rolled 10, 11, 6, 12, 4, 5, 8, 2, 7, 7, 11, 1, 2, 12, 12, 6, 5, 3, 12, 9, 8, 11, 10, 3, 3, 11, 7, 2, 11, 9, 2, 8, 8, 8, 7, 12, 1, 3, 1, 7, 9, 12, 8, 10, 11, 7, 4, 4, 9, 3, 12, 4, 2, 9, 7, 5, 7, 1, 6, 6, 10, 8, 1, 5, 3, 8, 4, 3, 10, 5, 10, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 11 = 515

And nighttime encounters. I'll go back and double check that I'm not missing any relevant activities in town before that encounter on day 1 starts, just trying to restore a bit of momentum. If you've got any last-minute purchases or operational plans, now's the time to say something.
No. 789428 ID: 094652

Nah, we're good. High rolls on this part are good, right?

And I suggest that everyone refrain from telling Hore that the "lovable redheaded rich little sister" she loves to chat about was in the Fire Hawks last week and got herself arrested. Knowing this will cause Hore to panic.
No. 790263 ID: d36af7

rolled 7, 5, 7, 8, 4, 4, 4, 5, 8, 7, 2, 4, 1, 4, 1, 3, 2, 7, 2, 5, 7, 5, 7, 8, 4, 2, 5 = 128

>High rolls on this part are good, right?
High rolls there mean tedious days and quiet nights. Good in the sense that you're getting paid to sit around, less good in that you're not earning XP or productive reputation.

Rolling for composition of random adventures on tungsten run mission day 1 (riverside, inside Passholdt's territory), day 3 (swamp), night 8 (coast), day 11 (sea), night 12 (sea), night 13 (coast), day 20 (coast), night 28 (coast), night 31 (coast), night 37 (sea, just before arrival at Overmire), night 41 (sea, just after departing Overmire), day 42 (sea), day 43 (sea), day 45 (sea), day 47 (coast), day 49 (coast), day 52 (coast), night 56 (coast), day 58 (sea), day 59 (sea), night 61 (sea), night 66 (sea), day 67 (coast), day 71 (coast), day 73 (sea), day 75 (swamp), and day 76 (swamp), in that order.
No. 790287 ID: d36af7

Day one, on the road beside the river you see a caravan of about a dozen fancifully-decorated wagons coming the other way. Seems to be a traveling circus or something along those lines. Crowd of farmers' kids and off-duty lumberjacks has congregated. There's a sudden crunching noise, apparently an axle snapping, as the cage-wagon slumps over and splits open.

A single tiger, loose on the shore, doesn't pose any immediate danger to the ship you're being paid to guard, but those bystanders might be in deep trouble. Stay at your posts, or portal over to render assistance?
No. 790337 ID: b9aa79

rolled 2, 2, 1 = 5

Maru suggests, contrary to her previous stance within the dungeon, that perhaps splitting up to deal with this might be appropriate. It's not likely that there's any planned sabotage or a feint of any kind going on, but it doesn't look good when your guards leave their post while still within view of the city.

So, assuming we have Davina, Maru, Vos, Ji, Hore, Maria, David, Maru thinks Davina Vos and David would be well off enough to handle a tiger. She strongly suggests Hore stays away from civilians, and refrains from attempting any sort of ranged combat either. Maru, Ji, Hore and Maria can stay on high alert with the ship, watching for any possible boarders or other threats to their employer's cargo. It's possible there are town guards nearby who might come in to assist, but we are likely a tad bit faster and in a better position to prevent civilian casualties.

Rolling for instinct and perception.
No. 790356 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 2, 1 = 6

Hore reluctantly agrees to stay behind. She wanted to fight a tiger...

Hore suggests that Davina and company capture the tiger alive, or track down its pack and steal all the baby tigers. Meanwhile, Hore will patrol the deck with Ji and a sailor in case this is somehow a feint. Hore also attempts to persuade the captain to put the night shift crew on high alert, in case Viste needs backup to capture the tiger.

Roll for perception and persuasion. (does the sailor get his own roll?)
No. 790380 ID: af6e04

rolled 5, 6, 3 = 14

Aww yeah, Vos is ready to save the circus! Slithering through the portal after Davina.

Vos recommends that he and whoever else comes along form a protective net between the tiger and civilians. Vos would prefer to herd it back into its cage rather than kill it. He'll take primary position (since he has a spear) and will try to direct the tiger back to its cage.
No. 790388 ID: 3abd97

rolled 1, 6, 6 = 13

Priority 1 is our paying job, which Maru rightly attended too. This likely isn't a ploy to draw us out, but it's better to be prepared and not let all the guards be drawn off to investigate someone else's problem.

Priority 2 is the safety of the civilians (assuming we don't want to watch children get mauled), Priority 3 is taking the tiger alive, since the circus is more likely to reward returning escaped property than putting it down.

Also worth noting this is a partially trained / domesticated animal, which means we can't accurately guess how it will respond to this situation.

Ji has Speak with Animals in his repertoire, might be the most reliable way of capturing the tiger alive.

>what do
Davina will use the distraction to transform, and will cross with Vos. Since he's intent on taking point, I'll hit him up with mage armor. (Might allow snake-grappling the tiger without getting scratched or bit to pieces if it comes to that). Standing behind and to the side of Vos, presumably between the civilians and the tiger.
No. 790423 ID: 67456a

Maria and Daniel will stay behind. Maria's only good for melting things, and Daniel can't really be much help with his aura. Though he does fret after Vos quite a bit.
No. 790433 ID: 74621b

rolled 1, 3, 6 = 10

>stay on high alert with the ship
>might be a feint
>Priority 1 is our paying job
Yisheng Ji will fly up to the crow's nest and take a sharp look around for the appearance of any duplicitous adversaries.
No. 790523 ID: d36af7

>perception/tactical assessment

Ship set out at dawn, and it's early afternoon now. You're about 40 miles downstream from the city of Passholdt, so it's visible only as a smoky smudge on the horizon between two mountains. The twelve-mile hex surrounding the city itself, and that first adjacent hex, were both hilly with extensive orchards and terraced farmland, but right now you're in the second of five hexes of 'domesticated' forest in a line following the river. Shipping company's plan is to dock for the night at a small fort in the fifth forest hex, which marks the downstream edge of Passholdt's territory. In peacetime (which, gug problems aside, the current month qualifies as) up to 5% of the ship's 20-ton rated cargo capacity can be requisitioned by Passholdt's government for carrying mail, relief supplies, etc., so they'll be loading and/or unloading a little bit of freight at the fort.

To be traveling on the road, these wagons must have passed inspection at that fort in the past day or two, which severely limits how much of a military threat might be concealed inside them.

A few small fishing boats are scattered around, close enough for Viste to use as stepping-stones to reach either bank of the river, but they aren't approaching or behaving suspiciously. No other actual ships are within plausible range for a conventional boarding attack. Might be a team of iron siege-men marching downstream, concealed under the muck, but all they normally do is drag anchor-chains to assist upstream river traffic. Even if they were physically capable of swimming up and climbing aboard, which is uncertain, that would amount to an attack by Passholdt's own military, and probably above your pay grade to deal with.

Many of the off-duty lumberjacks are carrying axes or other dangerous tools, and there's probably at least one hunter with a longbow within shouting distance. Common saying among military strategists is "there's no such thing as a civilian elf," referring to the fact that random accountants and fishwives in an elven village, even adolescent apprentices, often have more formal training at swordplay and archery than adult humans, orcs, sometimes even dwarves, who consider themselves career soldiers. So, you're not looking at a situation where that tiger is going to slaughter the entire crowd of hapless peasants without heroic intervention. More likely, it'll just maul whoever gets in it's way, maybe chase after somebody who flees in panic to administer a neck-snapping bite (an instinctive pattern of behavior which mundane training would have difficulty suppressing), and then either flee or be hacked to pieces when the mob remembers that they've got superior numbers.

>rolled 1, 6, 6 = 13
Viste steps over to a slightly precarious perch atop the toppled cage, then Decaro Vos slithers past her and swings down to block the tiger's most obvious exit path.
>rolled 5, 6, 3 = 14
Tiger tackles him, and at first glance it looks like he's been eviscerated by hind-claws and had his head bitten clean off, but there's no blood. In truth, he's barely scratched, thanks to those plates of spatial distortion provided by Viste's magic. Still has five hundred pounds of very frustrated tiger standing on his chest, though, and he's flat on his back by the muddy side of the road.
No. 790625 ID: af6e04

rolled 4, 6, 4 = 14

Vos coils up his long tail and uses it to push off the ground and move the tiger off of him. Then he'll try to pin / restrain it.
No. 790756 ID: 3abd97

rolled 4, 3, 4 = 11

Right. Closing to melee range doesn't seem practical right now. Between Vos bucking, his tail's reach, and the effective reach of a leaping tiger, that's a considerable disadvantage.

I'll exploit the fact the tiger is standing on top of / above Vos, and I'm still up on top of the cage. That puts the tiger between Vos and I, putting the odds in favor of hitting it, rather than Vos.

Throwing a throwing dagger at the tiger. Hopefully that distracts it enough to let Vos grapple it and end this.
No. 790922 ID: 094652

... Hore considers calling Viste to open a portal and let her fire. But risking an opening for the tiger to pounce on the ship would cost her paycheck.

Hore wonders what Azure and Pog are doing right now...

Meanwhile, Azure is BORED. A whole week with nothing to do but torturous exercise. Why don't the guards just give her a few pages of a medical book so she can at least study? "Isn't jail supposed to teach criminal minds how to become upstanding citizens, or something"? Azure glares at the prison guard who says that the purpose of a prison is to enslave the wicked so that they cannot interfere with the lives of just and innocent citizens anymore. Azure is starting to feel contempt at the prison system. There's nothing just about the rapes, mainly on female prisoners, and how the guards justify their actions by claiming the prisoners are slave-unworthy filth. Not that Azure would mind a quick @#$% but she's unsure of what STDs they picked up from fucking that squelching thing in the extra-fortified cell with quadruple wards that a single varying guard sneaks into each week, with squelching wet noises giving way to loud, cacophonous honks followed by a brief creaking moan that sounds like the walls were breaking. Luckily, the guards have barely enough sense to realize that raping a multimillionaire's daughter would cause them and/or their families to have an 'accident', thanks to the standard notifications that the judge gave to the prison.

Azure decides to look around during lunch for Rhea. Hopefully she has a plan to fix the current mess... or perhaps they can go on that Gug adventure after all.
No. 790942 ID: 3abd97

>Hore considers calling Viste to open a portal and let her fire.
OOC, but there's a reasonable chance that there's still time to follow through the portal that Vos and Viste already used if you really wanted to.
No. 790948 ID: a0ab09

Eh, what the hell. Hore quickly decides to join Viste and Vos now that it's clear the tiger is winning.

Hore will hang back with her spear in her jaw. For now, she must be patient. She'll wait for the opportunity to fire her plasma pistol with minimal risk of hitting a civilian, then fire once Davina or Vos can stagger the beast, aiming for the legs to cripple the tiger rather than kill it outright, unless someone with money orders her to kill. If the tiger charges, she'll grab her spear out of her mouth and attempt to punch into the tiger's mouth, with the intent of releasing the spear inside, pushing her arm past it, and firing a plasma shot and instantly killing the beast. The combination of the spear stuck horizontally in the tiger's jaw and the metal framework of her cybernetic arm mean that if this works, the tiger will not crunch Hore's arm with its dying breath unless it's super-dire.

(What are the rules for preparing a sniper attack? I can't just have Hore fire plasma beams while people are still running from the fight, but Hore is busy looking for a clean line of fire and the means of keeping it accurate.)
No. 791129 ID: d36af7

The tiger, with a knife sticking out of it's back, painful stinging sensation in the wound from Acolyte Galanodel's favorite massage oil, and dawning horror at the idea that it just picked a fight with something almost the same size as itself which won't die in one good hit, yowls and attempts to flee. Vos's tail stays looped around the great cat's waist as his upper body is dragged along the ground like an anchor. Viste jaunts ahead, http://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0241.html herding it as much as possible away from innocents, and a few minutes later the tiger collapses, exhausted.

>no roll
Hore steps out onto the unsteady cage, attempts to balance with one arm still in a sling, falls about three feet and catches an iron bar with her crotch. During the resultant agony, a spectacular plume of plasma is discharged straight up into the air. Bystanders whistle and clap at the fireworks, reassured that this is somehow all part of a show.

The immediate crisis has been resolved. Nobody's dead, or even all that seriously hurt. Any closing statements, either openly to the crowd or in private to the circus's leadership, before returning to the ship and proceeding onward?
No. 791132 ID: f9612b

rolled 2, 1, 4 = 7

"... Does this mean we get popcorn? Ow..."

Hore gets up, disappointed she missed the fight AND got hurt in the process. She'll go over to Viste and complain about opening portals above a set of iron bars.

Hopefully there's something to do in town...

This dice roll is for Azure's search for Rhea at the cafeteria because apparently house rules state that all ignored dice rolls count as automatic failures.
No. 791164 ID: 7b3d8f

rolled 3, 2, 1 = 6

Yes all according to plan. Vos will offer to heal the tiger with his blessed goo.

Back on the ship he'll physically thank Hore for coming to his rescue again.
No. 791170 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 6, 3, 6 = 15

>all part of the show
After dismounting her somewhat precarious perch, Viste will play into this perception, doffing her hat, and performing a sword flourish with a bow, before assisting her fellow performers in exiting, stage portal.

(No closing statement, Viste's more the quiet and mysterious type).

Mildly, and without rancor (or much sympathy) Viste responds: "Look before you leap. Or work on your footwork."

Davina will accompany Vos to the circus management as he offers to heal the tiger. How fortunate that such a frightening event was a planned part of the show, that a valuable piece of circus property was not lost or permanently damaged, and that no patrons were injured or scared off, isn't it? (Let's see if we get anything for our assistance and/or discretion).

Retrieve the dagger if Invisible Maid doesn't do it automatically (not sure if the returning will kick in while embedded or not), and the cantrip will need to be recast on it when we're on our way again.
No. 791197 ID: b9aa79

>Any closing statements

>Maru, Ji, Hore and Maria can stay on high alert with the ship

>A few small fishing boats are scattered around, close enough for Viste to use as stepping-stones to reach either bank of the river

If Viste needed to use boats as stepping stones to get to shore, Maru is probably too far away to even see what's going on with any sort of detail, much less be heard from that distance. Had she been there though, she totally would have said something cool. Totally.
No. 791410 ID: d36af7

>Viste will play into this perception, doffing her hat,
>rolled 6, 3, 6 = 15
She fumbles and drops the hat, provoking a scattered shower of coins, http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20081031 which the imaginary maid promptly dumps out before returning the hat to her head. This leaves the audience somewhat confused, and Viste herself visibly embarrassed. Departure is otherwise orderly and uneventful.

>(not sure if the returning will kick in while embedded or not)
It can't exert much force, and is intelligent enough to wait for an appropriate opportunity. Wouldn't have removed the knife while the tiger was still running around, but might have after it collapsed, depending on how thoroughly the blade was stuck in there. If somebody steals an item, the imaginary maid will usually attempt to steal it back only after the thief sets it down somewhere and stops paying attention.

>Yes all according to plan. Vos will offer to heal the tiger with his blessed goo.
>rolled 3, 2, 1 = 6
Offer is accepted, healing (and application of alchemical sedatives, for everyone's safety until the wagon is repaired) proceeds without complications. Animal trainer listens intently to an 'elevator pitch' summary of Tittivila's articles of faith, then pledges to study the subject further and incorporate it into her act.

Azure is being held as a prisoner of war, whereas Rhea is simply facing civil penalties for recklessness and property damage. They're not routinely eating in the same cafeteria.

Prisoners of war have certain protections, comparable to the RL Geneva Conventions, all throughout the Drakocracy. Sexual assault is right up there on the "not to be tolerated" list along with torture and dangerous forced labor, such as clearing minefields. Some polities make it a strategic priority to maintain an ironclad reputation for exceeding those basic standards, thereby encouraging surrender and undermining enemy morale. More than one border skirmish has turned farcical when the commanders on both sides conspired to march their armies politely past each other, laying siege to each others' cities with spoon and quill rather than axe and shovel. Such foolishness most often ends when a third party rolls in to conquer them both.

In Passholdt's case, most of the time there aren't any visible guards at all. Azure's living quarters consist of a 20' square cabin, magically conjured anew every day or two (the exact schedule varies, seemingly at random) with Spartan but adequate furnishings, including a minimal kitchen, dining table, and writing desk. The walls look like adobe but are sturdy as stone. There's an attached greenhouse, since POWs are expected to cultivate and prepare their own food as much as reasonably possible, but the 'glass' walls and ceiling are actually solid plates of nearly-unbreakable mountain copper, enchanted with permanent invisibility.

She shares this space with three other POWs. One is a versatile shapeshifter who prefers vulpine affectations, but erupts into a tangle of sour-smelling adhesive tentacles when provoked. The other two are elves, a married couple, with ash blond hair and blue-black skin like a deep bruise. It's usually easy to tell which is which because the male elf's left eyesocket is empty, covered by a gilded patch, but elven androgyny and loose white robes cover other identifiers. Male elf mostly cooks and practices some sort of harsh angular dance or possibly unarmed fighting style, female elf mostly fiddles with plumbing in the greenhouse, sometimes taking a break to read about the stars or impenetrably complex math and philosophy, shapeshifter takes complete and exclusive responsibility for laundry and other cleaning chores, but mostly lazes around making unsolicited sardonic or flirtatious comments and sporadically playing the flute.

Medical textbooks and a variety of other reading materials are available on loan from local libraries, conditional on good behavior, which Azure has successfully maintained.
No. 791412 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 4, 1 = 6

Huh. I figured POWs would be treated even worse than regular prisoners behind closed bars, then mind-wiped at the very end, or executed if negotiations go sour. See, technically the POW is a single individual serving a greater overall sentence for the crimes committed by their faction or government (namely, being at war with the state that is currently imprisoning them). So technically they don't need to remember their crime because in the broad sense, they are currently "legally innocent" of all individual crimes (and may be found guilty of their actual war / personal crimes at a later date) and therefore the state doesn't really have to worry about "tampering with the evidence" when mind-wiping the POWs with no war / personal crimes because there ISN'T any valid evidence of their faction's / government's 'crimes' in their brains. And the government gets to set the laws, so brainwashing prisoners who have no further impending trials, and calling it neural rehabilitation, can be legalized with sufficient obfuscating bureaucracy.

Azure will now spend the week cultivating medicinal plants as her homework, using the medicinal textbook to study materials. She'll also talk to the other POWs in hopes of making friends.

Roll to determine how much Azure learns and cultivates from her studies.

Use the previous unused roll >>791132 when making friends, since the intent was for diplomatic purposes.
No. 791413 ID: 094652

Oh, and Hore asks why Viste didn't take the chump change. She wanted to spend it on a restaurant meal for the team AND the entire crew. Might have been useful as raw metal...

I remember that strip. Never did find out if the enraged mother was raised by Jaegars...
No. 791426 ID: 3d2d5f

Pfff. Hat will also get a rephreshed casting once we're away.

Hore gets an annoyed look in in return.

OOC, because clumsiness and her gear cleaning spell kicked in. And because she's too proud to embarrass herself further scraping the spilled coinage off the ground.

If Hore's less self conscious she's welcome to try collecting it herself.

No. 791453 ID: d36af7

The shapeshifter ("Kseniia the Fox, no relation to Renard") cheerfully explains to Azure his (?) perspective on the larger economies and ecologies of death, devastation, war, and horror. Civilized dragons want to make sure there's a steady supply of large-scale bloodshed, to maintain the health and fertility of the Blood Mire whose sacred number is two. So, lots of relatively pointless wars, but never escalation to the point that both sides couldn't go back to being friends afterward. Dragons also don't want to back some king who'd win a war at all costs, 'cause they're bankers, so all those costs are coming out of their own investments. Now, the gugs, where they live is the Scaled Ocean whose sacred number is five. All those huge caves are just the dry part of the ocean, everybody knows that. Different Old God, different necessities of life, different paradigm of warfare. It's a fish-eat-fish world down there, with all the atrocities you suggested and worse. Water or blood, magic or agonizing corrosion, it's all just two sides of the same coin, and that's exactly the kind of currency gugs know how to gather and redirect.
No. 792518 ID: d36af7

rolled 7, 4, 2 = 13

The Stoneheart River is relatively broad and shallow as it passes near the swamp. Less than two yards of clear water separate the ship's keel from the muddy bottom, in some places. Decaro Vos, swimming alongside, spots animated elvenoid skeletons waiting in one of those places and moving to intercept the ship. First d10 worth wield rusted short swords and kite shields of elaborately carved teak-wood, second d10 worth have patchy chain shirts and long poles with a heavy bronze hook on the end, final d10 worth are clad in the green monastic vestments of Tittivila's slothful nemesis, the frog-demon Tsathoggua, and appear to be unarmed (apart from an unwholesome light which glitters in their eyesockets).
No. 792570 ID: af6e04

rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13

Abominations! Probably here to put a stop to Vos' evangelism. He'll poke his head above the water and shriek a quick warning to the crew. Something along the lines of "Thirteen hostile skeletons underwater!"

The skeletons outnumber Vos, but he has the superior maneuverability. He'll line up a swimming lunge and try to rocket into one of the bone clerics, scooping it up and continuing forward to a safe distance, hopefully before the others can react. Then he'll try to constrict/crush it with his tail.
No. 792585 ID: 3abd97

rolled 3, 5, 1 = 9

"It's so much simpler when they bleed."

>Less than two yards of clear water separate the ship's keel from the muddy bottom
So skellies and other things that don't need to breath can walk right across and try to scale the side.

>relatively broad and shallow as it passes near the swamp
How far away is shore, then? How far away are the zombies? If they're in the water, how deep is it where they are?

Distance and placement kind of factors into our defensive choices, and where / if portalling might be an option. (Need both an appropriate exit, and ground to fight on).

Ji (waterwalking) and to some extent Vos (naga swimming) aren't impeded fighting on/in water, but the rest of us would be.

Maria's holy flame is the obvious counter to these things, but they might be able to shield themselves by staying under the water till they get close. Bless water on the river might be a fun counter, but I don't know that it would be effective over this volume, and I'm not sure we have the silver needed handy.

So 7 sword and shield, 4 with pole hooks for boarding, pulling people overboard, or trapping the ship, and two likely divine spellcasters.

>Tittivila's slothful nemesis, the frog-demon Tsathgua
Do we know any lore on that deity, or it's followers / creations / thralls? (Vos would be the most likely, but he might have talked about it at some point).
No. 792599 ID: 74621b

rolled 1, 1, 5 = 7

Responding quickly to Vos's alarm, Yisheng Ji (leaping down into range, onto the surface of the water if necessary) curls one hand into a claw shape and twists, hooking his metaphysical fingers into the tangled weave of unholy magic animating one of the pole-wielding skeletons. With a surge of second-circle divine energy, he attempts to hijack the mindless skeleton to turn and attack one of the green-robed skeletons behind it, with emphasis on those glowing skulls.
No. 793359 ID: d36af7

>How far away is shore, then?
Only dry land (for broad values of "dry") within portal range is a reed-choked sandbar off the port side.
>How far away are the zombies? If they're in the water, how deep is it where they are?
Close enough, and shallow enough, that three of them are already reaching up to hook those poles over the sides of the ship.
>Tsathoggua lore
>rolled 3, 5, 1 = 9
Nothing tactically relevant. These seem to be basic chump-tier undead, attacking mindlessly.

Yisheng Ji successfully hijacks one of the pole-wielding skeletons. It smashes apart one of the 'monks' and one of the sword-wielders (thus providing Viste with the additional option of porting onto, and perhaps acquiring, a floating teakwood shield), and accidentally whacks Vos in the face, before being dispatched by it's fellows.

Vos's expanded tail provides an exhilarating boost of power and speed when swimming, so much so that he misjudges how much space he'll need to slow down. He crashes through the crowd of skeletons, dealing non-critical damage to several and successfully grappling the other 'monk.'

Six sword-skeletons stow their blades inside their chests (transfixing the space where living soldiers would have hearts) and begin climbing, two to each pole.
No. 793360 ID: d244dc

rolled 2, 2, 4 = 8

Hore was below deck and playing cards when she heard Vos screaming. She rallies the other allies in the cabins to get the @#$% up and kill for coinage! Roll to determine if her badgering gets them and the crew prepared to face nightmares! (Charisma isn't exactly a good stat in this case, Hore is going for the Drill Sergeant approach.)
No. 793390 ID: d76f79

rolled 5, 4, 2 = 11

Maru was fumbling around with her sling, attempting to find where she stowed her bullets, but by the time she managed to grab the neccisary components and get ready to make a plan of attack, the poles had already reached the ship. Changing tactics, she grits her teeth and uses her pen knife to score the top of her thigh, bloodying herself and summoning her demonic weapon, after which she attempts to wield it and chop the boarding poles so that they can no longer be used to board. Battle music ensues
No. 793544 ID: af6e04

rolled 2, 1, 2 = 5

Vos will twist apart the skeleton monk with his crab claw and then lunge back into position to protect Ji.
No. 793587 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 1, 1, 2 = 4

This is the right idea. Preventing the boarders from boarding is both tactically sound, and important if we want our bonus.

>what do
Joining in attempting to repel boarders. Regrettably, Viste isn't really equipped to bash skellies to pieces, or slice off boarding hooks. They seem to need two hands to climb, though, so forcing them to defend themselves, or targetting delicate hand-bones should slow them down.

And all I really need to do is buy time for Maru to cut the poles down, for Ji and Vos to finish them from behind, or Maria to incinerate them.

"Lady Agate, fire."
No. 793625 ID: 21a035

rolled 4, 6, 1 = 11

>using fire on dripping wet skeletons on the side of a wooden ship
Are you sure that's the best course of action? Unless the Agate divine fire has no effect on mundane flammables, it may be better to opt for normal force. It is more important to keep them from boarding than to destroy them outright.

As Yisheng Ji calls out a comment to that effect, he again performs an incantation gesture to attempt to seize control of another skeleton: one of the climbing ones on the upper end of one of the poles Maru is not currently chopping. Ideally, he will force it to slide down the pole and knock both itself and the skeleton below it off into the water, then engage with its former companion to prevent it from climbing again. Even if it loses the duel, Vos can easily finish off the other.
No. 793700 ID: d36af7

Glowing eyes flare brighter, then gutter out as the skull pops like a grape. Remaining bones disarticulate and scatter, pale autumn leaves in the river's current.

One of the boat-hooks is severed, while the other two are retained as choke points. Hore and Maru hold one, smashing skeletons as they attempt to climb over the rail.
>rolled 4, 6, 1 = 11
Maria Agate guards the other pole, efficiently disintegrating the undead with (conveniently, non-incendiary) coruscating golden light. Unfortunately this includes the one Yisheng Ji attempted to seize control of, too soon to be sure whether it worked.

>rolled 1, 1, 2 = 4
Viste coordinates the action, darting in to cover whenever someone slips up. At least one heart - how many does she have? - beats in time with Maru Red's furious song.

Soon enough it's over. A few bruises and scrapes - mostly on Vos - and minor damage to the ship, but the bosun examines the area of the battle in meticulous detail and can't find a single spot of blood staining the wooden deck. Later, while cleaning her ancestral blade, Davina realizes that when Hore or Maru took a clawed finger-bone to the forearm, she somehow caught each crimson droplet in mid-air. Looks like that conditional bonus might actually apply.

Planning to gather up the skeletons' equipment?
No. 793707 ID: f6a086

rolled 1, 6, 2 = 9

Hore asks Vos to sanctify / consecrate / holy purification stuff / whatever the undead weapons so she can take it. She'll also look around for any scouts or equipment which may be listening in on them. Roll for perception check!
No. 793710 ID: af6e04

rolled 6, 4, 6 = 16

Sure. Vos will swim around and gather up the skellies' weapons and pray to Tittivila for their reconsecration. He'll glaze them all down with some of his holy goo as well. Doesn't really have any use for them himself - they'll probably just get in the way or get used against him while he's trying to wrestle.

>caught each crimson droplet in mid-air
No. 793732 ID: 0ccca4

Maru will ask, in her usual unfettered tone of voice, if the others think this attack was a coincidence or a coordinated assault.
"Aye, anyone got a bit of a stink wonderin why dere were a bunch 'a feckers wid poles wanderin around 'ere? We don't fink dere's any sort a necro-fuckers about do we?
No. 793745 ID: 3abd97

>Planning to gather up the skeletons' equipment?
If we can verify it isn't cursed or otherwise doesn't ping as magically problematic to any of our holy types, Viste can assist in gathering it. If Maria can generate conveniently non-incendiary holy fire, a flame test might be the simplest way to check.

Rusty swords aren't great, but they might do for those without any better options (Maru might have found that spare weapon her player was looking for before).

The shields are a good find, though. Teak has good durability and water resistance. Potentially useful as actual shields (if say, the ship is taking arrow fire) raw materials for patching limited damage to the ship, as floating teleport lilypads, or for sale (depends on how nice those intricate carvings are). Not sure if there's any magical or spiritual significance, in this setting.

>how many [hearts] does she have?
Davina gives her familiar a look and then opts to not think too deeply about that.

...maybe it would be wise to arrange for the company doctor to examine her altered stated sometime before she takes an injury, if her biology is that divergent.

"The dead were certainly equipped to attack passing vessels, though I see no evidence they sought us in particular. There was some malice at work here, but it is likely unfocused."
No. 793747 ID: af6e04

rolled 5, 3, 4 = 12

>"The dead were certainly equipped to attack passing vessels, though I see no evidence they sought us in particular. There was some malice at work here, but it is likely unfocused."

"Fleshless abominations were sent by Tsathoggua, enemy of Tittivila! Attack was no coincidence, I think."

I'll roll to see how much Vos knows about the vile frog demon. At least, assuming he didn't impale himself with that 16 in my last post.
No. 793748 ID: b002f1

rolled 1, 1, 2 = 4

>bosun examines the area of the battle in meticulous detail
So not only are we not allowed to let anyone board the ship, we aren't even allowed to bleed on it? Across 154 encounters? From the beginning, he was never intending to give us the bonus at all, was he?

Encounter over, Yisheng Ji silently returns back to the crow's nest to keep watch until the group rotates shifts for the night.
No. 793752 ID: 3abd97

Those were the terms of the bonus, yes.

>For each leg of the journey in which you can prevent hostile forces from setting foot or spilling blood onto the deck, however briefly, you'll also receive a (slightly substandard) immovable rod as a bonus

It's worded that way to be a non-combat bonus. They want the defenders motivated to make sure there's no fight, either by finding diplomatic solutions, or removing threats preemptively. It's not a cynical attempt to not pay us much (well, it's not just that); it's a cynical attempt to appeal to mercenary wallets, rather than hearts, to act in the ship's best interest.

Maxim 28: If the price of collateral damage is high enough, you might be able to get paid for bringing ammunition home with you.
No. 793772 ID: 74621b

>prevent hostile forces from setting foot or spilling blood onto the deck
Sure, but why are we also considered hostile forces for the blood-spilling part? If we get injured protecting the deck from being boarded, we shouldn't lose our bonus for that. In the long run, it's harmful to our employers too, because once they take away our bonus, we simply will no longer have any incentive to care if the deck gets boarded in any future event. Especially if the bosun takes our bonus away on a triviality in order to stiff us, why should we, as mercenaries, expend the extra effort and risk to keep them completely off? It's more tactically sound to allow a few enemies onboard at a time, so our fighters have an advantage in dispatching them.

In other words, I think the real threat to both our bonus (and by extension the welfare of the ship) is the greedy bosun. It'd be a shame if something happened to him.
No. 796206 ID: d36af7

Ship stops at a fishing village to deliver mail, restock fresh water and so on. You're about 10% of the way through the round-trip tungsten run. Mail includes a notification to the village elders that their request for assistance with a rat infestation isn't high enough priority to warrant any sort of prompt official response. Who wants to go hunt rats, who's carousing at the local tavern (the booze mostly smells like sour potatoes but it's got a nice kick) for less XP with almost no risk, and who's taking the opportunity to simply sleep in a bed that's not damp and swaying on the waves?

rolled 6, 4, 6 = 16
Only two chainmail tunics and four rusty swords are successfully retrieved; three of the swords are intact enough to be usable, while one is snapped off inches from the hilt due to Vos's mishandling.
With Viste's help, all seven shields and three intact polearms are also salvaged. Nothing seems notably unholy except for the green robes, which were poor quality cloth anyway. Carvings on the shields seem to be an abstract geometric pattern. All similar, interchangeable at a glance, but no two exactly identical. Possibly preparation for enchantments which were never applied, or have since been removed.

If there are any spies watching, they must be far off and/or particularly well hidden.

Where Tittivila is associated with flowing saltwater and blood, Tsathoggua is associated with stagnant freshwater and phlegm. Tittivila heals, transforms, and enriches the living; Tsathoggua befouls, preserves, and eventually consumes the dead. His most positive quality is a sort of vigilance, countless wart-like eyes too lazy to close their lids. Graven idols of otherworldly green soapstone watch over tombs, vaults, and treasure-caves long lost to history. Before the First Heretic (of which Vos does not know a full story, or even a name) and the Titanomachy, Tsathoggua's cult was vast and respectable, with a strict policy of only offering up as sacrifices those who were truly willing, whereas at that time Tittivila was dismissed by most as a mere demon and her faithful were widely persecuted.

>rolled 1, 1, 2 = 4
Shift on watch goes well enough, nothing to report. Afterward, Yisheng Ji notices a thin bracelet of braided hair around his left wrist. There's no knot, nor other fastening, as if the braid were somehow spliced together in place. Not quite enough to interfere with circulation, but far too tight to come off without cutting. He definitely doesn't remember putting it on.
>154 encounters
Not sure where you're getting that number. I rolled ten encounters on the northbound leg, of which you've already gotten through two. That leaves eight more, five of which (including the current one) are on shore and, like the tiger, might not have any real means or motive to even approach the ship. So, really just three possible sea monster or pirate attacks until the first bonus immovable rod is secure. Southbound will be trickier, but you may well have more resources available by then.
No. 796209 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 6, 6 = 16

Hore decides the chainmail vest would go great with her leather armor. For once, not having soft and plushy fur is a bonus; Most of her tribe used chainmail they salvaged as fishing nets or roof tiles because fur being pulled out by hundreds of tiny metal hoops feels like being ripped apart. She'll look over the broken sword, it might be refashioned into a set of throwing knives.

Hore decides a night of debauchery at the tavern would be less boring and dangerous than hunting a bunch of tetanus-infested regular-sized rats. She'll try to compete at the local tavern games though.

Meanwhile, Azure decided to make some culinary herbal treats for the other inmates, using the ingredients she will cultivate this week. Rosemary apple pie, for instance. Or maybe a green tea sarsaparilla. This will be a learning experience - hopefully it won't kill them.

Roll to determine the quality of the treats. Note that Azure knows how to cook, but her specialty is broth and other on-the-road campfire recipes. Either Pog's sense of taste is really sensitive, or he's a crybaby when it comes to bitter / spicy / poisonous food. Either way, Azure knows how to make food sweet and crunchy but she's not a master chef.
No. 796236 ID: 28b883

rolled 3, 1, 3 = 7

Maru will express interest in helping out with the villages rat problem, but she'd like some back up. Hore is already entertaining herself at the tavern, and Maru is happy enough to be somewhere else. Not sure if getting people together and heading to the village is non-trivial; roll is simply in case it's needed
No. 796268 ID: af6e04

rolled 6, 1, 4 = 11

>Tsathoggua is associated with stagnant freshwater and phlegm.
Our enmity runs deep. Vos takes note to keep a watchful eye out for anymore signs of Tsathoggua's followers!

Vos will gladly help kill the rats. He is always willing to lend a hand when it is needed, and the crew would probably appreciate a fresh meal as well.
No. 796270 ID: 3abd97

rolled 1, 5, 3 = 9

Davina will indulge in a shore-side bed.

Possibly not alone, if she finds a suitable local partner before retiring.
No. 796313 ID: 74621b

rolled 6, 6, 2 = 14

>154 encounters
I got that number from the two sets of 77 encounter dice rolled here:

>sudden unremovable bracelet of braided hair
Yisheng Ji is quite the curse-magnet, it seems. Perhaps Tsathoggua disapproved of him muscling in on their divine turf with the skeletons? With my luck, it's probably one of those lifeline-tied ones, where carelessly cutting it kills you instantly, or at least forces you to suffer serious backlash. Since the party has no access to curse removal services, he'll just have to bear with it until we reach a place that does. Roll to try to identify the bracelet's effect.
No. 796334 ID: 325f02

I thought it was the result of a critical success, and likely a boon, not a curse. That being said, Daniel is specialized in purification and the removal of curses.
No. 796603 ID: d36af7

Maru Red's axe-song draws the rats out of hiding by inspiring them to heroic heights of wrath... only to be promptly massacred by a dozen militiamen armed with mostly carpentry tools and fish-gutting knives. The larger rats, comparable to small dogs and limned with flickering orange radiance, turn to flee once it's clear they've been lured into an ambush. Vos slithers after them, down deep winding tunnels into the seaside cliffs, and discovers at the heart of their burrow a crude shrine holding a chalice carved from chalcedony.

Once the battle is over and the chalice has been retrieved, while wounds are being treated, the village's priestess/wise woman claims it's a holy relic, capable of detoxifying anything placed within, which went missing many years ago and must be returned to it's proper place in her modest temple. This would quite neatly explain why poisoned bait wasn't working to deter the rats from raiding the village granary. The other elders agree, but... hesitantly. They're hiding something.

From a broader legal standpoint, Decaro Vos would be within his rights to claim the chalice as spoils of war.

Twin sisters, Anya and Eska. One sews clothes, the other cobbles shoes, and they make a little game of obscuring which is which. Pale skin, dark hair, seemingly the only two people in town without heavy calluses on their hands. Shy at first, exuberantly entranced with the taste of q-rations. Cottage is far from luxurious in most ways, but their bedsheets are fine fabric, clean and free of vermin, on a broad sturdy frame, and quite warm with three bodies pressed together.

Noticing it was the result of a critical success.
>identify the bracelet's effect
>rolled 6, 6, 2 = 14
It lets you command skeletons. Probably does other stuff, too. Details unclear. Cutting it off would not result in immediate death or even serious injury (unless the knife slipped) but might have long-term effects, details unclear.
No. 796627 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 2, 1 = 7

Hore decides to gather information about the chalice at the pub. There should be a storyteller somewhere.

Azure decides to bake a regular cake today. Make friends and stuff. Bake the [horrible] herbal cake at the end of the week.
No. 796635 ID: d36af7

>ambitious project to impress fellow prisoners
>limited tools and materials
>not a master chef
>rolled 4, 6, 6 = 16
The pie is over-spiced to the point of being completely unpalatable, wasting a lot of that elf's hard work in the greenhouse to grow those herbs. Azure also manages to mishandle a hot pan so badly as to set the writing desk on fire, though this is less of a lasting problem since a replacement desk will be provided automatically when the whole cabin is conjured anew each day.

>Hore decides to gather information about the chalice at the pub. There should be a storyteller somewhere.
>rolled 4, 2, 1 = 7
Besotted amateur theologian recounts a garbled legend of St. Ysbel defeating some toad-demon in a drinking contest. The saint's lips were permanently stained azure in the process, hecklers claim that happened in a completely different part of her myth cycle, there's a long and mostly irrelevant digression about different vintages of pear brandy, and, finally, the chalice she drank from was sanctified to such an extent that it miraculously converted a pint or more of high-proof potato vodka into moonwater, which of course is violently baneful to all unclean things (such as a toad-demon's internal organs) and yet harmless, or even beneficial in various esoteric ways, to the pure or holy.
No. 796656 ID: 094652

Hore suggests they 'rent the chalice', and pay a yearly sum for its usage. Think of all the alchemy! Hore is anxious to see if using cobalt or other poisonous and common metals will yield useful crafting materials.

Which brings us to the question: If the chalice is capable of turning any poison into a healing potion, why has nobody stolen the damn thing to make basic 5HP healing potions out of poorly-brewed $2 beer? Someone might have stolen this and hid it only for the rats to find it... but then why hasn't the village put more effort into finding it? Why did they bother to tell the story if it risks Vos claiming it by crusader dibs?
No. 796667 ID: 383927

rolled 4, 3, 1 = 8

Maru wasn't gonna give a shit about the town's fancy rat cup, but she doesn't like being lied to. She figures if something is going on, Ji is pretty canny around people and could probably figure out both that's up with the chalice and the shifty elders. Agate siblings also have a background in magic, so they might be able to help out to. She tells Vos and the towns people that she thinks the cup might still be dangerous; after all, rats don't normally swarm on their own, and they don't usually come in the large and intelligent variety. They have someone aboard the ship who's good with curses, after they check it out they can return the cup. Maru doesn't intend to steal the cup or anything, but she is giving a half-assed excuse to try and get the cup away from the villagers, and get someone with better people shills to figure out what's up with is weird rat cup situation.

Storyteller by trade, Maru is immediatly interested in the tale of St. Ysbel; is she familiar with this story in any more detail and/or can she learn more about it?

Roll is to get get the cup back to the ship.
No. 796668 ID: 52b3ad

rolled 3, 6, 1 = 10

Likewise, Vos isn't particularly interested in the chalice (historically, definitions for words like 'holy' and especially 'pure' usually exclude his faith) but he's weary of their dishonesty. While Maru is gone with the (legally acquired) chalice, he will try to visit a few of the elders individually and ask if they remember specific date and circumstances of the chalice's disappearance. Roll is for diplomacy, not intimidation.
No. 796671 ID: 3d2d5f

Well someone is going to be acting like the cat who got the canary later.

>garbled legend of St. Ysbel
>completely different part of her myth cycle
So we're not covering her tryst with Sarah, the planewalker and psion? :v
No. 796730 ID: d36af7

>not covering
A drunken fishwife's fragmentary recollection of the teachings of a mystery cult which died out more than a generation ago should not be misconstrued as proper scholarly exegesis. Also, you can only stay at this village about ten hours, from the end of one high tide to the beginning of the next, if you're planning to stick with the ship you're being paid to defend.
No. 796736 ID: 74621b

rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11

Bummer we have to choose between bonus exp and a full rest. I suppose Yisheng Ji will give up his bonus for the good of the team and rest to restore his spell slots.

Before he does so, however, he will expend all of his remaining spells. His two remaining 2nd circle spells will be used to cast Diligent Vermifuge on the bracelet, and then Sense Madness on himself, in that order. All of his 1st circle spells will be spent ripening plums into peaches to improve our overall fruit rations.
No. 796738 ID: 094652

rolled 6, 4, 3 = 13

Given Hore's temporary absence of combat, exp is currently preferred to well-rested status. Hore will assist Maru and Vos in their

Investigation of the Skaven-Spangled Chalice

*ahem* by taking an analytical approach, and firing her plasma pistol for intimidation when required by Vos or Maru. Roll for competence in this investigation.
No. 796883 ID: 3abd97

If that includes bolstering Davina's limited and non-renewable supply of levorotatory fruit, Yisheng Ji has her gratitude.
No. 797604 ID: d36af7

> try to visit a few of the elders individually and ask if they remember specific date and circumstances of the chalice's disappearance. Roll is for diplomacy, not intimidation.
>rolled 3, 6, 1 = 10
Diplomacy is at least partly successful, even with penalties for the similarity of your prior behavior to their negative stereotype of eelmen raiders. They're willing to talk, but attempts to nail down the timeline of the chalice's disappearance continually get sidetracked into other amusing anecdotes of local history rather than producing hard numbers. It's possible this was a deliberate tactic, on their part, to waste your time. Depart on schedule and worry about it later, stay behind so as to convince them that stalling and bafflegab won't work, or accept Hore's help in keeping their attention on the matter at hand?

>Roll is to get get the cup back to the ship
>rolled 4, 3, 1 = 8
When the tide rises, the cup is on the ship.

>Diligent Vermifuge on the bracelet
No apparent effect.
>Sense Madness on himself
Self-assessment of sanity is a tricky issue even with magical assistance, but everything seems to be within normal limits.
>All of his 1st circle spells will be spent ripening plums into peaches to improve our overall fruit rations.
>rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11
Repeated applications over the past weeks have finally enhanced Davina's stash of levorotatory trail rations to the point of saturation. While provisions are being loaded, Yisheng Ji takes an opportunity to select a nice juicy pear from the local orchard, boost it to the gustatory equal of a grand nine-course banquet, and offer it to the overzealous bosun along with a little talk about what "any blood shed onto the deck" really ought to mean. Once the time has come to set off again, they've reached an agreement that if any injuries were sufficiently minor, say, healed the next day without lasting impairment, there's no need to report the exact details.
No. 797620 ID: 383927

>Ji re-stocks the more valuable food, comes to an agreement with the bosum not to fuck us over, and has use of his magically vouched-for sanity

Maru is impressed at the mans ability to get down to brass tacks, and is re-considering her position on his cursed and less than trustworthy status. Not that he cares at all.

>Cup on the ship

Nice. In all her running around, she wasn't thinking about the timing with the tides and all. Pass it around the crew, see if anyone can get any further insight? Out of everyone, Vos is probably bessed equipped to run it back to the village if he feels guilty about us taking it; Maru does to an extent, but not enough to delay the ship. If they wanted their cup they shouldn't have acted all shifty like about it.
No. 797623 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 5, 6 = 14

Hore could threaten to seduce their sons and daughters, or fire plasma bolts at trees and call it farming, or just lick them like a dog.

But she'll settle for her Terrifying Presence. Roll to determine if she can scare the elders into blabbing.
No. 797641 ID: 3abd97

Davina returns to the ship the next day, smiling.

She'll be somewhere on deck, out of the crew's way, idly playing with her familiar as it moves over her hands (it's not quite cat's cradle if the string is alive), as she waits for everyone else to get back and the ship to cast off.
No. 797649 ID: 383927

Noticing Dav's good mood, Maru gives her a playful elbow and makes a remark about "Having dinner at the Y". She laments wasting time podering around some back water town brushing rats off a cup when she now knows she could have spent a night "getting sloshed with her nose in a flower". On that note though, she's curious about what Dav might have to say about their magic chalice. She's doubtful the swordwoman will get weepy about the town loosing their magic cup, especially when it seems like it could be useful tender, albeit a bit posh to simply carry around everywhere. Maybe her finger friend will have an interesting reaction. Could be the cup makes food Davina can stomach as well, although she risks a night of sea-sickness trying to find out.
No. 797665 ID: 3abd97

Davina humors Maru's enthusiastic vulgarity with good cheer.

>She's doubtful the swordwoman will get weepy about the town losing their magic cup
Of course not. Vos is well within his right to claim the chalice as spoils. If anything, what's interesting is the simple fact that the "rightful" owners apparently conducted themselves poorly enough to overcome his ordinarily charitable nature.

>Could be the cup makes food Davina can stomach as well
For that to work, the chalice would have to contextually detect what counts as a toxin to remove, or it would have to convert foodstuffs to something like q-rations (magically and universally nutritious). A higher level of complexity than I would expect.

>although she risks a night of sea-sickness trying to find out.
Actually, Dav got a contextually-tweaked detect poison as a cantrip, so that's easy to test without averse side effects. Dav drops something edible (to everyone else) in, sees if it still pings as metabolically incompatible afterwards.
No. 797668 ID: af6e04

rolled 4, 1, 2 = 7

Something's fishy here, but Vos isn't about to go terrorizing people over a magic cup. He'll try to reign Hore in and then return to the ship to inform his companions that he's bringing the chalice back to the elders. They're hiding something, but he doesn't have time to figure out what.
No. 797729 ID: b6d522

If it comes down to a crew vote, Maru will side with Vos. Whatever's going on, it seems like a bit of a dick move to take their magic flask. Townsfolk could probably benifit from having clean water and safe food. And besides, it technically belongs to Vos. The eelman gets do decide what he wants to do with his treasure.

Might have to write some sort of poem about this st and her cup though. Lotta good double entendres and inuendo could fit in there, bound to go over well at a less upscale bar somewhere
No. 797735 ID: d36af7

>Dav drops something edible (to everyone else) in, sees if it still pings as metabolically incompatible afterwards.
The hardtack remains indigestible, but smells slightly different (to Davina at least), and leaves a painful blister when Maru tries to pick it up, as if it were hot metal or oil rather than cold bread.
No. 797857 ID: 3abd97

Fascinating. It is context dependent. It tried to remove everything from the hardtack it considered toxic to Davina leaving behind something... incomplete. Alchemically unstable.

After seeing Maru and her injured digit to Ji's tender mercies, Davina will offer the opinion that perhaps we should retain the chalice.

(Although of course final decision is Vos' and he already made his call. Just adding Dav's in-character weighing in).

>Lotta good double entendres and inuendo could fit in there, bound to go over well at a less upscale bar somewhere
Would certainly fit the source material.
No. 797867 ID: 74621b

rolled 2 = 2

>a painful blister on the finger
>Davina sends Maru to Ji for treatment
>Maru is still actively considering her position on his cursed and less than trustworthy status
Yisheng Ji awakens well-rested and in good humor after his success with the bosun. Why, his brow scarcely furrows at all when Maru's voice frantically shatters the morning air with a "medical emergency" that turns out to be little more than a burnt and blistered finger. He takes a very long moment of consideration about whether or not to treat the exceedingly minor injury suffered by the person who has been consistently mistreating him since day one, and despite everything he's done so far, still apparently does not trust him.

1 - With a sigh, Yisheng Ji opens his kit of medical supplies, and sets about cleaning, lancing, draining, and dressing the afflicted area. Better to keep one's allies in peak condition, even if you are allies only by a common goal.
2 - With a frown and a dismissive flick of his sleeve, Yisheng Ji will give his professional opinion that Maru should walk it off and call him when there is a genuine concern.

Regardless of which he does, he will afterward flit back up to the crow's nest of the ship to keep watch. He has rather taken a liking to the peaceful pseudo-solitude of the post.

>tomfoolery about some local chalice
Yisheng Ji abstains from providing an opinion, as he is more concerned about the unholy device strapped to his arm than whether or not the party should exercise their claim to the local village treasure on the basis of a hunch that the villagers may be withholding information from them.
No. 797869 ID: 094652

Hore was absentminded, thinking about her diet. Are gnoll livers better or worse than a human's? Do gnolls digest vegetables like harpies? How fat can a gnoll get before heart disease becomes a problem? If the chalice could be altered, maybe she can turn a full-course junk meal into a chocolate ration bar with no additives.

Of course, when Hore hears the screams she decides that discovering a new chemical isn't as good as it sounds when magic is geared to harm any safety equipment. Or biological matter. Still, Hore suggests they check it for curses and just keep it; the old temple to the south of Passholdt might be a good altar to place it and experiment far away from civilization. Or even better, they could just give it to the undead queen. Giving her something to clean her mansion without requiring an acre of soap each time would be worth five boons.
No. 797894 ID: b9aa79

rolled 1, 6, 2 = 9

Maru hisses a bit and shakes her finger- no doubt she can thank her mom's side of the family for that one. She was set on returning back to her bunk to start working on a new composition, when Davina suggested she have Ji take a look. She almost scoffed- it's not like she hasn't had a blister before, sir stick-in-the-ass would hardly be nessicary; an idea occurred though. It certainly would be fun to crow about, and make a big fuss of things, acting like a blister was the end of days. The doctor would likely take the thing so seriously he'd never realize she was doing a bit

15 minutes later after a dismissive wave from their resident medical expert, Maru returns to her bunk with a smile and begins working on her newest composition, a poem about a saint beating a demon in a drinking contest, with a Shakespeareian layer added so that all the references about drinking can also be understood as various forms of oral sex.
No. 797949 ID: 0ce872

Vos approaches Maru while she's composing (still kinda lost on the whole concept of privacy). "Heard you were injured by chalice and Ji would not help. Would you prefer flesh blessing or sacred fluids of Tittivila?" as he tries to steal a glance at what she's writing.
No. 797956 ID: 67456a

Maria approaches Hore, a... look on her face. "You. Hore. I want you to listen carefully. I don't forgive you for what you did. I love Daniel more than I love even myself, and I would do anything for his safety, but..." she sighs. "I want you to know I still think there's a chance for us to cooperate." She jabs a finger hard into the gnoll's chest, not in a "sensual boob prod" and more of an "ow this actually hurts she may be trying to jab you in the heart" way. "But if you try anything like you did when we met, ever again, not even that damnable eel will stop me from burning you to your bones."

Meanwhile, Daniel tends to hover around Vos a little, the young man still a bit scared of everyone and sticking to the only person he's ever known that's shown him non-familial affection. Though if the eel-man ever indicates the priest's presence is unwelcome he decides to go find somebody else to talk to.
No. 797983 ID: b9aa79

Maru never liked the idea of privacy anyways- she didn't do much knocking on doors when she was traveling with her adoptive family. The eel-man's presence is always welcome, and she always gets a kick of seeing the agate brother's head peaking around from a feet behind. Like a lost puppy that one. She's more than happy to share her writing, but when offered healing she makes it clear she was exaggerating a very small blister just to toy with Ji a bit. No goo or mutations needed, thank you.

Last time she preformed with Vos he was pretty damn good- she asks if he has any advice for her composition, or any good eel man stories she could spin into a fun oral composition? The agate boy is welcome in as well, although it may be a bit cramped for 3 people in a cargo ships crew bunk. She's always ready and willing to burn the ears of an alter boy with something salacious, although she mentions that she's guessing he'd prefer a story with less lady folk before giving him a playful nudge. Maybe she could write him a story about a poor prince in distress, all alone, only to be saved by the valiant eel-man knight in shining armor, who professes their love for the price and shares a long passionate with him after the rescue. Normally she charges for that sort of thing, but it might be worth it depending on how red she can turn his face, and how angry she can make his self righteous sister. Always fun seeing folks of the cloth go off after leaving crude stories in all their holy books. Why, she swears one time she had a man so angry he irrigated a new farm with all the pacing and yelling he was doing.
No. 798026 ID: 67456a

Daniel immediately lights up with blush when Maru calls attention to his "proclivities". "Well... I suppose I am more... interested in the male form, yes..." he admits, his face bright red. "I... it's been a bit difficult to come to terms with it, with my family, but..." he smiles. "I think I'm finally starting to be comfortable with it. Maria's helped a lot with that..." he glances at Vos. "And Vos as well. He's shown me so many new things, and... it's really helped me be okay with myself."

If Maru mentions her story idea about the "Prince" and "Knight", he goes an even deeper red. "U-um, well, if you'd like to write a story along those lines, I suppose I'd read it! I m-mean... if that's alright..." he says, trying not to sound eager about the idea of getting his hands on some smut.
No. 798108 ID: af6e04

rolled 6, 4, 4 = 14

Vos says he'd love to help Maru compose, after he runs back the chalice and the journey resumes. He has plenty of eel-man stories to tell. First thing that comes to mind is famous fisher eel Calias Rikt who singlehandedly slayed a whale and carried it to a starving village.

Vos will go to return the chalice, final decision. He'll invite the blushing Prince Daniel to accompany him.
No. 798134 ID: d36af7

Chalice is returned, villagers are appropriately (which is to say, less than perfectly, given all that literal eleventh-hour back-and-forth) grateful, and timing is tight enough that Daniel ends up needing to ride on Vos's back as they swim off to catch the departing ship.

Three days later, a bronze dragon flies by with a set of elaborately lacquered iron tablets which clang as she casually flicks through them and screech when she engraves notes with her bare claws. She's relatively young, only about the size of a horse. With the bosun's permission she comes aboard, checks licenses, registration, cursory inspection to confirm consistency of the cargo manifest with what's actually present in the hold, and so on. Everything seems to be in order. Anything you'd like to bring to official attention, as long as she's here?
No. 798187 ID: b9aa79

rolled 3, 5, 5 = 13

Maru is pretty sure the dragons don't care about her personal infractions in the past, but pretty sure still leaves room for doubt. She's going to be smoking in her cabin for the next several hours. Anyone who wants to share and can fit in her cabin are welcome, but she's going to stay inside for a bit.

Rolling to work on a 50 shades of grey style erotic story for Daniel. The focus being the same general storyline she outlined before, with Daniel being the prince and Vos being the eel man knight rescuing him for a night of passion.
No. 798191 ID: 3abd97

...is there anything we've seen that we'd be legally obligated to report? I'm guessing not, but we kind of have to lean on in-character knowledge.

(I can't imagine a circus non-accident, a single band of skeletons, or a minor rat infestation and misplaced artifact is particularly noteworthy).

Since she's designated as speaking for the Fire Hawks, Davina will be on hand if the inspector has any questions for the security team. But it seems like the appropriate course of action is to be polite, stay out of the way, and allow the inspector to go over what she needs to with the bosun.
No. 798192 ID: 214b69

rolled 5, 5, 1 = 11

Hore thinks the dragon is cute. Hore offers to clean the dragon's little scales (and take a few loose ones for crafting purposes). At the dragon's request for gold for the honor of grooming a dragon, Hore pouts and absentmindedly comments about Youngmason's small bag of gold and if she'd be so crass as to roll around on it.

Hore will now scan the dragon for cyberware. You never know...
No. 798494 ID: d36af7

>Maru's cabin
The ship isn't very big. Davina and Viste share a small cabin, per the contract, but everybody else is in hammocks.

Eighteen years old, and true dragons hit puberty at fifty, so, yeah, "cute" is about right. She's proportioned a little bit like a puppy, head (particularly eyes) and extremities oversized relative to torso, long bones in the limbs still growing.

>Hore offers to clean the dragon's little scales
The offer is accepted. In her time as a slave owned by the Port Authority, she hasn't normally been offered bribes after an inspection, particularly not after everything has already gone smoothly, so this is a pleasant surprise.

>loose scales for crafting purposes
None of her readily accessible scales are ripe for shedding. Poke around more sensitive parts of her anatomy? Yank out whichever scale seems the loosest among those you've found so far (which might feel, to the dragon, like you just interrupted a sensual massage with hardcore dentistry or thumbscrews)? Settle for some scrapings rather than a whole scale?

>scan the dragon for cyberware
None conclusively detected. Lot of electrical interference, though, might be shielded somehow.
No. 798514 ID: b9aa79

>everybody else is in hammocks

Chillin in a hammock then, but still smoking a fair bit
No. 798525 ID: 0ce872

rolled 5, 6, 1 = 12

Vos actually will report the skeleton attack, in case the minions of Tsathoggua pose a threat to other ships in the area. Roll is to turn the topic into an opportunity to proselytize.
No. 798532 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 2, 4 = 10

Hore will play it safe and just take the scrapings. No sense angering a dragon.

Hore analyzes the dragon while she cleans the scales. Anatomy lessons up close like this will be useful in the future.

>Electrical interference
Interesting... That tidbit of information could be worth thousands to the right person. Hore will keep it a secret for now.
No. 798641 ID: d36af7

She's swimming along on her back, next to the ship, listening to Vos's account with her eyes closed, periodically nodding and murmuring acknowledgment. The incident is dismissed with "sounds like you handled it easily enough, and anyway that swamp is outside my owner's jurisdi..." then trails off into giggling when Hore, straddling her belly, finds a particularly ticklish spot. No notes are taken, and the proselytizing is mostly ignored.
>keep it a secret
The fact that bronze (and blue) dragons breathe lightning is relatively common knowledge.
No. 798769 ID: d36af7

2d6 sharks show up, but don't smell any blood or electrically perceive any panicked thrashing, and depart without incident.

Two nights after the dragon, ship stops for the night at the former location of another small fishing village, now abandoned (within the last month or so) apart from a belligerent hive of giant bees. They're basically like flying sheep or goats, but chitin instead of wool, and a poisoned dagger for a tail instead of a reinforced ramming prow.

Smoke wards them off, and there's no shortage of damp driftwood with which to start a big smoky campsite-protecting bonfire. Who's on defense, who wants to investigate and/or plunder the abandoned houses, who wants to raid the beehive for XP, honey, and maybe even some royal jelly (rumored to be somewhere between q-rations and alchemical healing potions)?
No. 798776 ID: 0ce872

rolled 2, 3, 3 = 8

At least I tried. Not everybody's ready to hear the message.

Let's go fight some bees! Vos won't go alone, but surely Maru and Hore are up for it.
No. 798780 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 3, 6 = 12

Hore can test out her new flamethrower abilities! She'll join as ranged crowd control.
No. 798788 ID: 3abd97

rolled 4, 6, 3 = 13

Holding her familiar, Davina asks it "I don't suppose you have any special insight into bees?"

(Not sure if a buggy familiar would have an insect lore score, or if it would share a language, especially considering this one's unusual origins. Also we haven't seen how strange and glorious its vengeful face is yet / if it can take on a bee-like shape, which might be exploitable here. Or heck, if Viste's vaguely insect-like theming is exploitable here).

Portals might be useful for giving the away team mobility, but someone has to stay on guard duty. Waiting to see if anyone else volunteers to go, and on what the millipede has to say before I make a final decision.
No. 798801 ID: 87aaf2

Maru's preference is, in order of most desirable mission to participate in:




She agrees that Davina will probably be a bigger asset in the hive given her strong mobility elements and ability to easily get between pieces of chitin. So she's willingly give up her position fight crew if she can go looting in the town. Plus, that has the added bonus of not being close to the Gnoll woman's murder boner. She'd like to have Daniel with her for magic spotting, making the loadout

Vos, Hore and Davina on attack

Maru and Daniel Looting

Maria and Ji keeping an eye on the camp.

Everyone down with that loadout?

Also, does Ji have any spells in his loadout that could signal them if the boat is under attack? Obviously that's a thousand gold priority, so if he can work out long distance signaling or communication that would be a good way of ensuring their defense is strong
No. 798806 ID: 3abd97

Division of labor seems reasonable. Away team has healing, the tank, the blaster, and rapid retreat. Looting team has a mage and someone who grew up with bandits to spot things. Defense team has the doctor and the holy flame priestess to keep the fire burning.

With that division of labor, Maria would probably be better at putting up an emergency signal flare than Ji. Just send a big blast of holy fire skyward.

In the other groups, Daniel lighting up or Hore blasting an SOS in plasma would probably work.
No. 798827 ID: 67456a

Division of labor seems good. Though Daniel being able to just light up like a fucking torch whenever he pleases might also do a good job of keeping bees away.

Maria can keep the fire burning as long as needed, as long as she has access to something to burn.
No. 798849 ID: d36af7

Most of the village is up in trees or on stilts, accessible by ladders and rickety catwalks reinforced by living vines. Traditional low-rent elven architecture, elegant and defensible (assuming the attacker's not willing to burn it all down), but requires a lot of maintenance. Neglected vines seem to have reached their roots down to drink salt water, and as a result are shriveling and dying in places, leaving bridges unsteady, at least one already collapsed.

Only building with a stone foundation is a 40' wide bell-shaped brick dome. Ground-level door is barricaded with debris, gaps sealed with wax. There's only one significant window, on the upper north side where sun could shine in through most of the day. Might have been a granary, smokehouse, sundial/calendar, meeting hall, temple... quite possibly two or more of the above. Now, it's just a beehive. What's your plan of attack?

>insect lore
It's nighttime, and sorta chilly in the sea breeze, so most of the bees are probably inside.
>how strange and glorious its vengeful face is
So far her familiar's "vengeful aspect" seems to be limited to a change in coloration and a bit of resistance to hostile magic. Main intriguing difference is those intangible heat-ripples with the form and function of a dragonfly's wings.
No. 798862 ID: af6e04

rolled 4, 2, 4 = 10

Well Vos isn't going to attempt to do any climbing. Hore could probably melt the barricade and Davina might be able to get us to that window. For now, I'll just scan the building with aura sight.
No. 798865 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 6, 5 = 13

The window is going to be the bees' front door, and will likely be guarded, possibly with defender-beneficial construction.

Best bet might be to go in the 'back' via the barricaded door. If the wax is transparent, or if we can poke a hole in the wax with sword or spear, Viste could portal the group in. (Or Hore could carefully melt a viewing hole with plasma. A full blast would cost us the element of surprise, though).

This is a raid, yes? The objective is to secure what we can of value and depart, not to make sure the hive is exterminated. (Important that we agree on what we're doing before we're in the thick of it).

Viste probably should have dancing lights and mage armor on before we breach.
No. 798879 ID: af6e04

rolled 5, 5, 2 = 12

>This is a raid, yes? The objective is to secure what we can of value and depart, not to make sure the hive is exterminated.
Well, might be worth clearing out the hive so the area can be resettled. If enough damage is done the bees might cut their losses and migrate.

>or if we can poke a hole in the wax with sword or spear
Good thinking. Roll is to stab the wax.
No. 798945 ID: d36af7

>have dancing lights and mage armor on before we breach
>if we can poke a hole in the wax with sword or spear, Viste could portal the group in.
Spatial-distortion armor is donned, peephole is opened, eerie lights are sent through, and there seems to be adequate space in there, so moments later the portal is...


No portal appears. Next thing she knows, Viste is laying flat on her back on the (mercifully soft) sand, bleeding from a million stinging papercuts inside her fancy armor. There's also a sensation somewhere between a sinus headache and a stubbed toe, all along her sword-arm from neck to wrist.

Some jackass must have warded the... probable former temple and/or important storehouse. Right. Obvious in hindsight.
No. 798947 ID: 094652

Hore helps Viste sit up. As Viste removes her helmet, Hore witnesses scars. Lots of tiny scars. Hore asks if Viste can do that again but give Hore the million-papercut backlash. Viste just stares at Hore. Hore excuses herself and asks Vos to squirt some healing goo while Yisheng Ji does a dimensional link with Viste to search for any internal injuries.

Hore suggests they shuffle the party roster, seeing as how Viste is now on defense and may need a medic in case that dimensional backfire twisted an intestine or something.
No. 798952 ID: af6e04

rolled 5, 4, 6 = 15

With a concerned demeanor, Vos will try to survey the damage and apply healing goo. "Are you okay? Can you stand?"
No. 798974 ID: 3abd97

rolled 1, 2, 2 = 5

Something that will detect wards before she slams right into them just jumped sharply up Viste's wishlist.

Viste will accept Vos' hand, helping herself into a sitting or standing position (as relevant / capable) with her right arm, while assessing her range of motion / usability of her swordarm. How well does it respond, how badly does she think any swordsplay would be impacted?

>Are you okay?
"I feel as if I lost a bout with the papercut fairy and my arm is sore, but I'll live. Thank you, Vos.

"The building is warded; I am unsure I can enter. What did your eye see?"

I'm afraid Hore is seeing things again, as Viste doesn't wear a helmet, nor does she possess a rapid healing factor that would turn a collection of seconds old paper-cuts into scars that quickly.
No. 799009 ID: d36af7

>assessing her range of motion / usability of her swordarm. How well does it respond, how badly does she think any swordsplay would be impacted?
>rolled 1, 2, 2 = 5

After a dose of Vos's (non-mutagenic) medical care, and a few minutes of gentle stretching exercises, everything seems to be fine. Cuts were painful but superficial, muscles were sprained but not torn. Might even be possible to walk in through this door the old-fashioned way, just not by teleporting.

>Something that will detect wards before she slams right into them
Of the current party members, Maria probably knows the most about ward analysis, but Vos or Yisheng Ji or maybe other people could at least check for magical auras which might indicate the presence of a ward. Possible to conceal the ward's aura with another spell, and that spell's aura with yet another, recursively, until the whole mess is indistinguishable from background noise, but that "Sunset Hibiscus" technique is complicated and expensive enough, particularly when it needs to be stable for more than a day or two, that it's hardly ever used outside specialized military and espionage work.
No. 799060 ID: 094652

rolled 6, 1, 3 = 10

Hore switches her cybernetics to scan for heat signatures. This won't do much besides tell where all the hot stuff is, but they can plan caution around excessively large heat signatures and prioritize humanoid-temperature signatures first.
No. 799352 ID: 290e43

rolled 3, 2, 2 = 7

>Yisheng Ji and Maria on guard duty
As you wish. Yisheng Ji has no communication spells, but Maria can handle signalling. Roll for perception.

>dimensional link with Viste to search for any internal injuries
>Yisheng Ji or maybe other people could at least check for magical auras
Given he's been left on the ship, Yisheng Ji is not present for any of this. Unless you've all decided to give up and come back, he's not really capable of interacting with the party in any meaningful way. I don't think dimensional manipulation is within his capacity anyway.
No. 799364 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 1, 3 = 5

Vos will try to scan the building with aura sight again and try to get a clue on whether or not it's safe for Davina to proceed.
No. 800710 ID: d36af7

Hore confirms that nothing in the abandoned village is on fire. She still needs to pick how to prioritize the benefits of improved aperture control. >>783362

The building is warded against scrying, teleportation, and intrusion by vermin, though there's a keyed exception allowing giant bees to enter through that window up top.

If the bees could be pacified or otherwise dealt with, this structure would be a more than adequate foundation for that shrine he needs to be building.
It's close to the sea, ancient and sturdy but marked by repeated reconfiguration and re-use, probably a bit womb-like in there with so few windows...
No. 800764 ID: 3abd97

>warded against scrying, teleportation, and intrusion by vermin
Not outsiders, demons, or the like, so Viste can probably enter if she avoids portaling.

>there's a keyed exception allowing giant bees to enter through that window up top.
This suggests the bees are supposed to be here (or at least, whoever set that particular ward up thought they should be). They may have coexisted with the town, which might increase our odds of harvesting without a fight, if they were once domesticated or were used to the elves taking some of their stores.

Downside is if the bees moving in didn't trigger the town being abandoned, we don't know what did, and it might still be a problem for us.

>If the bees could be pacified or otherwise dealt with, this structure would be a more than adequate foundation for that shrine he needs to be building.
In lieu of portals, Hore can probably open the door. Basic engineering application to dissemble the barricade the bees made, with waste heat manipulation or a weak plasma torch used to melt the wax holding things together.

If we wanna pacify the bees instead of simply killing and/or stealing from them... um. Flood the building with smoke, then Vos goes in and mutates them into a bunch of cuddly tentacle guardians in a shrine consecration ritual? Or swap someone for Ji and see if diplomacy via speak with animals works?

(Don't think this is my call to make. If Vos decides to try and make a shrine here, he should be the one deciding how to handle the current residents and what tone to set).
No. 800785 ID: af6e04

rolled 3, 4, 6 = 13

>though there's a keyed exception allowing giant bees to enter through that window up top.
This place must have been intended as a hive all along then. Or the bees are smart enough to use magic? How aggressive have these bees been so far?

>It's close to the sea, ancient and sturdy but marked by repeated reconfiguration and re-use, probably a bit womb-like in there with so few windows...
It truly is perfect, though it feels wrong to build a shrine to Tittivila on top of the site of a violent conquest. Pacification is probably the way to go. A few ideas that immediately spring to mind...

1. Somehow find a way to induce swarming behavior. Bees are actually pretty docile when migrating to a new hive.

2. Some sort of pacification / consecration ritual as Viste suggested

3. Using aura sight, try to learn the waggle dance in order to communicate with bees

4. Seduce the queen

Either way, probably a good idea to get inside and try to find clues on exactly what purpose this building served before the elves abandoned it. Roll is to try to clear the barricade (with Hore), and also knowledge check on what I know about giant beekeeping.
No. 800792 ID: fc3fc0

rolled 3, 6, 1 = 10

Maru wants to do a quick ground scan, checking to see if she notices any less decrepit walkways and anchor points to climb up into, searching for any buildings that look especially "juicy" or ping with Daniels mage sight. Case the joint basically before they choose an entry point.
No. 800793 ID: 094652

A stronger flamethrower would be really useful right now, but Hore will select Sniper Rounds. On the open seas, having something that has an actual chance of hitting something 40 yards away is a good deterrent.

Best way to beat a hive is to kill the queen. Then you break out the flamethrower and go to town while the drones are panicking over broken rulership and desperately force-feeding all the princesses with whatever's left of Royal Jelly. Hore can get the flamethrower on a higher level.

Hore heavily suggests they focus on one of two objectives: steal the honeycombs and other assets, or pacify the bees for today to build a shrine. The hive is a symbol of growth and nature, so destroying it to build the shrine would be like bulldozing a holy ruin to build a cathedral with money. As followers, they should put it to a vote. Hore votes they just steal the honey and make a profit, then build a "Warning: Giant Bees" signpost near the roads so other travelers know not to come near and damage the hive.
No. 800810 ID: 3abd97

>4. Seduce the queen
Viste pauses, gives Vos an odd look, and then lets this pass without comment.

>As followers, they should put it to a vote.
Viste votes they allow Vos to make his... diplomatic overture. Should he be rejected, there may still be opportunity to claim what spoils we can.
No. 801222 ID: d36af7

>clear the barricade (with Hore)
It's mostly just wax and jumbled driftwood. Only tricky part is keeping Hore's frustration and pyromania in check, which narrowly succeeds. Plasma fire softens the wax without igniting it in any serious way, and a man-sized hole is soon opened, with no friendly casualties. Maybe a little more noise than you'd prefer.

>knowledge check on what I know about giant beekeeping
Seducing the queen might be as simple as convincing her of your genetic compatibility, which mostly comes down to pheromones. Hore's nose could analyze giant bee pheromones, but you've got no reliable way to synthesize an arbitrary artificial scent. The usual method for wrangling giant bees revolves around overcoats slathered with wax and other techniques for containing and/or neutralizing your non-bee smell (particularly any sign that you eat meat - Viste's hygiene kit might be relevant) and then stacking barrels inside the hive, open on one end. Bees identify the barrels as honeycomb cells, use them for storage, then you remove the barrels full of honey and roll 'em away to sell. Take too much and the bees starve, don't take enough and they get overcrowded, then send half the fight-y bees off to set up a new colony, even if they've barely got enough to hold the current site. If you get too close during the day, or go inside at night, while smelling like a meat-eater, they'll all go crazy trying to sting you to death. Stinger's basically the equivalent of a weakly poisoned dagger: chainmail will stop it, usually takes at least two or three good hits to reliably kill somebody who wasn't already small or sickly. Bees aren't smart enough to deliberately target eyes, vital organs, or arteries, which is how one-hit knife kills happen, but everyone gets lucky sometimes, and if the stinger is hitting hard armor instead of meat, they'll notice and try to work around.

There's probably a lot more to it, but eelmen tend to encounter apiculture more often in the context of raid targets, rather than gainful employment and tradecraft.

No magical pings from the wooden houses, and none of the walls or floors seem like they could plausibly be three feet thick, so anything enchanted would have to be buried deep, or inside a lead-lined barrel or flask, or a very heavy box made of some other base metal. The bigger, sturdier, and slightly fancier houses seem to be furthest from the shore, but there are only about fifty buildings total, none of which seem likely to have more than four rooms.
No. 801238 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 4, 1 = 6

Hore wonders if the honey or the wax sealing it away is more valuable. Considering the tensile strength required to keep an exponential weight of honey in a single giant cell compared to a regular bee, it could be used as a gloss or insulation to hold other liquids. Hore suggests they craft steel barrels with internal honeycomb insulation, a wood interior to prevent internal metallic poisoning, and some honey on the sides for preservation purposes.

But yes, Hore would like to lick a Honey Popsicle later.

Roll for intelligence check - can Hore figure out a means of stealing the honey faster than the barrel method? It may take more than 10 hours. Hore can easily carry a medium sized barrel of honey, but wants to carry one at a time lest she fumble something.

Perhaps a test; Hore asks for permission to use her flamethrower to heat up (but not alight) specific parts of the room, then see if the bees prioritize the hot spots or the colder ones. (She does NOT begin using her flamethrower)
No. 801262 ID: d36af7

>Hore can easily carry a medium sized barrel of honey, but wants to carry one at a time lest she fumble something.
The ground's relatively sandy and smooth, and we're talking about barrels that weigh almost 400 pounds when they're full. Absent superhuman strength, heavy equipment, or appropriate magic, the only plausible way to move such a load any significant distance is by rolling, rather than lifting and carrying.

>can Hore figure out a means of stealing the honey faster than the barrel method?
Probably not. Barrels are just about the easiest way to move liquids apart from pipelines, and constructing a pipeline, then somehow tricking the bees into depositing their honey into it, seems implausible. Even if some other superior container was at hand, you've got to consider the time and effort of transferring material from one container to the other. You're not going to figure out a technique that countless generations of experienced professionals somehow missed. At least not without better information on current best practices, and common mistakes, and more than one night to think it all over.

>It may take more than 10 hours.
Anyone who stays behind when the ship leaves, which is at the next high tide (that's not very negotiable, due to the shipping company's other contractual obligations), probably won't be paid for guarding the ship. At least not as much.

>intelligence check
>rolled 1, 4, 1 = 6
The usable space inside that stone building is probably a little under fifteen thousand cubic feet. Factoring in Decaro Vos's experience and secondhand knowledge, you might be looking at 75 sheep-sized bees, all with reusable stingers.

If you wake up a platoon-strength group of irritable knife-tailed flying idiots, in the middle of the night, by setting their house on fire, they'll probably panic. Part of that panic will result in you being repeatedly stabbed.
No. 801292 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 2, 3, 3 = 8

>Hore's nose could analyze giant bee pheromones, but you've got no reliable way to synthesize an arbitrary artificial scent
What if Vos tried to hit himself with a holy mutation for a bee pheromone generation?

>particularly any sign that you eat meat
Technically, Dav wouldn't have since before the accident (although I'm not sure if Q-rations magically provide meat equivalent proteins as part of complete nutrition or if it skips further ahead, or if the nose would tell the difference either way).

Hygiene kit application and a portal jaunt back to the river as needed for washing up will be provided.

>trick bees into filling barrels
I assume that takes longer than we have? (Leave em one night, come back another). We're here to take existing stores. If we're really lucky, the last set of barrels the villagers left might still be here.
No. 801361 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 5, 6 = 12

>What if Vos tried to hit himself with a holy mutation for a bee pheromone generation?
>what if Vos tried to channel a divine mutation from Tittivila to actually be genetically compatible?

>Hygiene kit application and a portal jaunt back to the river as needed for washing up will be provided.

Okay, after we're all cleaned up it might be a good idea to slather ourselves with wax to further neutralize our smell. Then Vos will spend some time performing appropriate prayers and rituals, and will apply the flesh blessing. Roll is to make myself genetically compatible with bees.
No. 801393 ID: e05fac

No magic. Bummer. Let's find a way up then, and get down to business. Rolling to get up to house level, and stay that way.
No. 801406 ID: 094652

rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13

Hore accompanies Viste.

And I'm rolling for Santova.
No. 801435 ID: 2907d3

Whoops! Thank you !
No. 802077 ID: d36af7

After the ritual, Vos has a wiry boar-bristle mane all down his spine, with swirling black and yellow stripes, and some sort of scent-glands swell under the... armpits?... of his spiked lower limbs. Remains to be seen how well this will be received.

>since before the accident
>rolled 2, 3, 3 = 8
In the course of helping clear debris, Viste found a few scraps of orange peel. She didn't immediately recognize them as such because they lack the horrid paint-thinner smell of normal oranges. The scent in this case is actually quite pleasant, evoking fragmentary nostalgia.

>rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13
A few close calls with the climbing, but no serious delays or injuries. Houses look surprisingly orderly inside, as if people had at least a few days to pack and prepare rather than evacuating in a mad rush. In terms of loot, there's no significant coinage, jewelry, silverware, or other obviously valuable manufactured goods readily to be found, apart from a single tiny glass phial of perfume in one of the fancier bedrooms, but there's more food left behind than you'd expect. Bread, cheese, olives, gourds, root vegetables, jars of spices, all that kind of thing. Some spices can be worth their weight in silver or more. All the little clay jars are stamped with labels, but obscure abbreviations in excessively stylized elvish script have been partially eroded in places, so gimme another roll to identify the good stuff.
No. 802187 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 6, 3 = 10

Hore can smell a feast in a bottle... mmm...

She pants eagerly, waiting for the OK from the others to start grabbing bottles and breads and anything that can be eaten. She'll try to recognize scents and prioritize cost-to-weight ratio. Roll for perception check.
No. 802302 ID: af6e04

Vos slithers in a circle admiring his luxurious new hair and singing Tittivila's praise.

>Hore wanders back toward the village at the scent of food
"Well," Vos sighs "suppose we won't need her unless bees attack. Right?"
No. 802776 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 5, 3 = 10

You're not in the room with Maru, and they're sealed containers. I doubt you can smell any of it from here.

>"Well," Vos sighs "suppose we won't need her unless bees attack. Right?"
"Yes, but I would rather have numbers on our side in case they do.

"Hore, focus, please."

>what do
Roll for vigilance / perception / etc, take two on entering the hive, sans portal this time. Any bees or loot beyond the door?
No. 802783 ID: d36af7

A certain amount of confusion could reasonably be attributed to Hore's limited understanding of the elvish language and culinary arts, but her nose knows something deeper is wrong here. One jar is clearly labeled "dill seeds," which are NOT supposed to smell minty.
No. 802786 ID: d9d76d

rolled 5, 2, 6 = 13

Maru, somewhat disappointed already by the lack of obviously, brag worthy treasure, is further perturbed by Hores sudden appearance. After some confusion, I assume both Hore and Maru+Daniel are caught up on each others respective situations. Already having determined there's no visible threats and little of interest, Maru leaves Hore to violate the jars by herself, and helps Daniel down from the trees so he can go purify or lift any curses that result from the soon to union between snakEel and giant Bee. Maru stays behind to scavenge at whatever area in the dilapidated village is furthest from the Gnoll. Rolling for tree maneuverings.
No. 802799 ID: d36af7

The interior of the hive could be summarized as a warm, waxy wine-cellar. North-south aisles a little over three feet wide, alternating with hexagonal-grid shelving. East-west passages are crawlspaces about four feet in diameter. The first few worker bees vigilantly tickle Viste and Vos with scent-sensitive antennae, but are apparently satisfied that they don't pose a threat.

There's enough room to move around in there, and the ward causes no further injury, but Viste can definitely feel it. Unpleasantly comparable to wearing a corset, or being pinned between two plates of unbreakable glass under a microscope.

All the most readily accessible barrels, those right by the door, seem to be empty. Vos slithers further in and checks the next row, where knocking with his ear pressed to various lids confirms many are full or nearly so. How much honey are you going to try to remove, and how are you going to maneuver heavy barrels through tight spaces? Planning to seek out the queen, the higher-value-density 'royal jelly,' or do a comprehensive survey of the interior with aura sight? Might take a while, since the walls are too thick to see through, and bees tend to accumulate a confusing melange of minor aura traces (along with all that pollen) which then soaks into the wax. That receptivity is why beeswax makes such an ideal base material for far-speech candles, and is so notoriously risky (yet tempting, due to low costs and potential to imitate the translucence of living flesh) in necrolithography.
No. 802801 ID: d36af7

Maru negotiates the vine bridges safely, and locates a slightly decrepit yet serviceable wheelbarrow.
>further perturbed by Hores sudden appearance.
The whole village is only a few hundred feet across, the scrounging group seemed to need one more person with a good sense of smell, and the beehive group seemed to need one less aggressive carnivore with the ability to abruptly set everything on fire.
No. 802810 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 3, 4 = 11

Well, Hore's not going to eat anything now that she's paranoid about the food. Still, this warrants scientific study. Something is clearly wrong about these bottles, but they'll keep. Hore grabs a few bedsheets and other clean rags, using them as padding for the bottles when she puts them in her bag. Hore decides to take everything she smelled (in case it was poisoned and she needs a cure), then prioritizes the bottles with the least amount of materials (because it stands to reason that expensive or useful spices would be found in smaller quantities in a standard jar, due to short supply). She'll have them appraised later.

Hore is dismayed at Maru's dislike of her. Maybe Hore should talk about it on the boat. For now, Hore gives a friendly bark / wave to Maru and Daniel.

While waiting for Maru and Daniel to come back, Hore sniffs around for anything else they might have missed, using her cyber scan in a wide area while standing on firm ground. Roll for perception check.
No. 802851 ID: 3abd97

rolled 1, 3, 4 = 8

>The first few worker bees vigilantly tickle Viste and Vos with scent-sensitive antennae
Well, while I have apparently non-hostile bees in close proximity, let's cast Detect Poison*. See if their poison is one of the ones that works on Viste or not.

>how are you going to maneuver heavy barrels through tight spaces?
Hmm. Well, google says barrels come in around 33-35 inches in height, so we should be able to roll them, though it will be a tight in the north-south part. (Well, we can roll them, if there are lids or plugs on top. It occurs to me the barrels would have been left open for the bees to fill). Bigger inconvenience is the barrels are probably several hundred pounds each if full.

Unseen Servant could be used as an assist, although the 100 pound limit means it can't lift a barrel on it's own.

We do have the advantage that Vos is a grappler, and a snake now. Maneuvering and moving though the 4'' side passages shouldn't actually impede him, and he's sort of made for manhandling thing. (And he has a block of soap if we need to squeeze past a tight corner). Once we have a straight shot at the door, anyone can probably roll one carefully out.

>How much honey are you going to try to remove
Doesn't seem like we should take more than a few barrels if we don't want to harm the hive.

>Planning to seek out the queen, the higher-value-density 'royal jelly,' or do a comprehensive survey of the interior with aura sight?
Vos' call if he wants to go through with that idea.
No. 802887 ID: d36af7

>See if their poison is one of the ones that works on Viste
It is.

>Unseen Servant
>100 pound limit
I'm using the somewhat finer-grained GURPS rules for lifting and encumbrance, under which an Unseen Servant is treated as an amorphous creature with Strength 7, so it can lift 19.6 pounds with "both hands" and carry 24.5 pounds long distances (slowly and with visible difficulty), but can exert much more force when it's simply pushing on a broad flat surface without need for lateral control. Flipping a 120-pound crate over onto it's side, for example, or (under ideal conditions) rigging crude sails onto a two- or even three-ton cargo wagon and then inching it along a smooth road.
>it can't lift a barrel on it's own.
This remains true. Being able to wedge into tight spaces and complement Vos's leverage helps quite a bit, though.
>rolled 1, 3, 4 = 8
An hour or so past midnight, after a lot of exhausting sweaty work, you've maneuvered two barrels out of the hive. Rolling them down to the seashore is comparatively easy.

When you start bringing stuff back and making ready to load it onto the ship, though, the bosun takes an experimental bite of some of the bread, then almost immediately spits it out and categorically denies permission to bring along anything you found here, claiming that it's probably cursed, they've already got adequate provisions, and no space to spare for tramp freight anyhow.
No. 802891 ID: af6e04

rolled 4, 4, 1 = 9

>Planning to seek out the queen
Yes of course, I didn't mutate myself for nothing!

>or do a comprehensive survey of the interior with aura sight?
I would like to, but we are on a time crunch. Unless I can get it done in an hour or so then it might have to wait. As far as royal jelly, only if I'm pretty sure taking the larvae's food won't cause harm to the hive. Rolling to find the queen.
No. 802897 ID: 3d2d5f

>something a PC has seen before
>the oranges didn't smell wrong
>poison compatible
>honey tastes terrible to a normal person
>"dill seeds," which are NOT supposed to smell minty.
>downright bizarre (though consistent) distortions of smell and taste
Viste pauses, and then casts Detect Poison* on the honey to check for metabolic compatibility.
No. 802911 ID: 8bfaf0

rolled 1, 6, 2 = 9

And Hore will help. Hopefully the bottles aren't cursed...
No. 802983 ID: d36af7

>rolled 4, 4, 1 = 9
An hour later, Vos's seahorse-like abdominal pouch (he can't remember exactly when Tittivila gave him that particular blessing, but it feels good, so the details aren't really all that important) has been pumped full of bee eggs.

Magical analysis indicates that the honey is nontoxic. This is unsurprising. Honey actually has well-known disinfectant properties. which is why it never rots, unlike most other forms of nearly pure sugar. Viste's magic cannot yet determine whether a given is nutritious, or will simply pass through her digestive tract inert.
No. 803002 ID: 3abd97

Well inert is better than the "actively detrimental" status I imagine a lot of mirrored food would pick up.

Take a sample of honey, apply sniff test, if it passes, taste test.
No. 803091 ID: d36af7

The honey is sweet and delicious, sending a ripple of goosebumps and transient golden translucence cascading from Viste's ankles up to the top of her head. Honey is one of the foods that didn't seem to change how it tasted after the incident, so this doesn't prove much one way or another.
No. 803112 ID: 3abd97

rolled 5, 4, 5 = 14

Well I didn't react the way the bosson did, so that's saying something.

"I don't think it's cursed. I think this place was made like home."

If the village (but not the people) got reflected, they had to abandon the place because they couldn't safely eat the food anymore than Viste could eat almost anything.

If the bosson won't let us load the barrels and they're potentially no good for resale anyways, cache them somewhere near the docks, I suppose. Maybe we can pay to have them picked up on the return trip, or I can to bring them with then. I'll fill a jar's worth for personal use now if I can, though.

For more conclusive results Viste could examine the collection of jars Hore gathered >>802911 >>802810 (if Hore went and collected stuff Viste can actually eat, I think she earned a place in her good books for the first time), or she could ask Daniel or Ji to cast Detect Poison on a a bee (if the bees read as non-poisonous, that supports my theory. If they still read poisonous, it's inconclusive).

Or you know, the simplest test might be to look for books, manuscripts, anything written. See if it's backwards.

Might be a good location to build the new family holding eventually. Probably can buy or claim the area at bargain basement prices since it's worthless to anyone else right now. And being near a planer boundary might have other advantages with her powerset.

(Once I'm done trying to confirm my theory, do we have anything left to do here? Was Maru going to look for more stuff, or was Vos going to try to consecrate the hive as a shrine? ...or did seducing the Queen already do that)?
No. 803219 ID: af6e04

rolled 6, 1, 4 = 11

>pumped full of bee eggs.
Vos will respectfully promise to safely carry the queen's offspring and return when they have grown. Then he'll collect some royal jelly with which to feed them. After that he'll pray to have the hive consecrated as a shrine to Tittivila.

Once this is all taken care of, Vos will return to the ship to excitedly relate everything that happened, sparing no detail.
No. 803255 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 6, 1 = 11

>Opportunity to earn favor from Davina
Hore attempts to sort out the food so Davina can eat it. An application of interdimensional physics and scent recognition might be enough to figure out what was 'reflected' as tasty for phase-shifted.
No. 803286 ID: d36af7

Apart from being mirrored, the bread is stale and in some cases moldy, but otherwise fine for Davina to eat. Jars of spices, unfortunately, seem to be mostly contaminated by a mix of mirrored and un-mirrored material. Moot point for the time being if you're leaving it all behind, per the bosun's insistence.

A week after the empty village with the bees, almost three weeks since leaving Passholdt, you've traveled a total of fifteen hundred miles up the coast, and should be well into civilized lands. I say "should be" because the next little coastal settlement you were planning to stop and spend the night at appears to be under attack by a small army of bandits.
No. 803298 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 3, 5 = 13

Hore prepares her equipment as she waits for the inevitable request from the party to charge in and save the settlement with glorified mass murder. A pity her arm is still unhealed, but she knows bandit tactics and she's fairly certain the party can take them on with guerrilla tactics.

Meanwhile, Azure has chosen to study more on medical skills this week. After two weeks without treating Pog or any other patient in some way, she's worried her skills may get rusty. Azure will request materials for building splints, salves, gauze bandages, and other such medical supplies so she can apply them more effectively on the field. If any of that is deemed too dangerous, she'll just ask for a book on intermediate emergency aid and ask the other cellmates to quiz her. Roll to determine how well she studies.

Also, Azure is considering the Gug missions, but wants to hear from Rhea.
No. 803304 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 5, 1 = 8

>the next little coastal settlement you were planning to stop and spend the night at appears to be under attack by a small army of bandits
Spot check please.

How big is the village, how many bandits do we see? Do they appear land bound, or does it look they came in by sea (pirates or vikings). Are there ships they might intercept us with if we try to sail past? Seize weapons they could sink us with? What's the scale of destruction we can see? Have we been noticed yet? How wide is the river here?

tldr- insufficient information to decide on fight or flight or to plan specific tactics.
No. 803350 ID: fc3fc0

Maru squares her shoulders and prepares to disembark with a grimace on her face. She's itching for a fight, true, but she doesn't like the idea of killing people for coin. Being someone else's goon is never an appealing prospect, but cutting other people down for money is just distasteful. Not much she can do about it now though- loyalty to the crew she's signed up with takes precedence over personal feelings. She makes a comment to Davina though regarding her dissatisfaction with what they have to do.
No. 803386 ID: d36af7

>How wide is the river here?
You left the mouth of the Stoneheart River three days after leaving Passholdt, and for the subsequent seventeen days, have been traveling along the coast of a major body of saltwater which is hundreds or possibly thousands of miles wide. Sailing out of sight of land would not normally be advisable on such a small ship, but is certainly physically possible.

>How big is the village
Two or three hundred people, mostly noncombatants.
>how many bandits do we see?
Roughly a hundred infantry, thirty or forty light cavalry, one low-to-mid level magic user.
>Do they appear land bound,
Almost certainly. They're attacking from the land side, through crude fortifications, rather than the docks.
>Are there ships they might intercept us with if we try to sail past?
Not unless piddly little fishing boats overloaded with women and children are a lot faster and more dangerous than they look.
>Seize weapons they could sink us with?
Doesn't seem to be any significant artillery in action on either side.
>What's the scale of destruction we can see?
There's a thatched-roof house burning, probably from a volley of flaming arrows, and a line of people with buckets trying to put it out or at least contain it. Looks like the serious fighting is just getting started.
>Have we been noticed yet?
Viste and Yisheng Ji have had enough time to work out a routine of scouting ahead with portals in a nautical context, so probably not.
No. 803390 ID: 094652

Alright, Hore's got a game plan.

The wizard is the crux of the enemy's army. One wizard can buff and command a hundred bandits, so he needs to be taken out stealthily and quickly. They shouldn't reveal their presence to the greater horde until the wizard is confirmed dead.

Many bandits tend to have a violent superstitious attitude about religion, and so they'll target churches and town halls first, both as a means of 'absolving' themselves of guilt from the religion of the people they're pillaging, and because the sheeple tend to congregate in those places with all their loot and no military-grade weapons when there's a war going on. So the team needs to hit the churches and other social areas first, defeat the bandits there before it's too late.

Finally, the cavalry. This is Hore's job. Horseback mendicant knights (aka assholes riding dicks) tend to be stronger, smarter, and faster than the average mook. In turn, their mounts are stronger, faster and stupider than them. Scare the horse with some magic tricks or a plasma bolt, and they'll panic from something they haven't been trained for. Hore can fire into their central ranks, while Viste can set up portals behind them, to drop them from the air, which should scare the ground troops with falling horses and men splattering all over the ground. If the horses aren't scared of a little green lightning, Vos can use a mutation to put the fear in the horses.

Now for tactics: Viste, Vos, and Hore will scout out the cavalry, waiting for an appropriate time to use their special moves to disable and terrorize the shock troopers. Maria, Daniel, and Ji, are to find the nearest church and start evacuating refugees to a safer area. Maru, find the wizard and do whatever to stop his magic. If anyone has a better idea, go ahead - Hore isn't sure who should go where but the primary mission objectives are clear.

Primary Mission: Kill the chain of command and send the horde fleeing
Objective A: Kill / incapacitate the wizard
Objective B: Neutralize / terrorize the cavalry / infantry.
Secondary Mission: Evacuate the majority of civilians and escape.
No. 803405 ID: 3abd97

>Being someone else's goon is never an appealing prospect, but cutting other people down for money is just distasteful.
"Far more distasteful may be standing by and doing nothing as others are cut down for money. Which is what I think we are looking at."

We're outnumbered worse than 10 to 1 if we decide to intervene. The bandits are occupied, and have no apparent easy means to intercept our vessel if we choose to sail past. If we don't need to stop here, we shouldn't.

Best outcome for intervention would be identifying leadership and/or heavy hitters (like the caster), mounting a surgical strike to remove them, and hoping that causes the rest to break and retreat. But we have little assurance the others will let up on their pillaging, and any intervention places ourselves and our charges at greater risk.

Primary objective is to do our job and keep our merchant vessel safe. Secondary objective is to keep ourselves hale and healthy.

Or possibly swapped around, but we don't admit that in front of clients.

Interceding on behalf of civilians in a fight we can avoid and don't have the power to win flat out is very far down the list of tertiary concerns.
No. 803408 ID: d22dc0

I was under the impression we needed somewhere to stop for the time being- if we can keep sailing it might be a better choice, but making land two hours down the shore isn't a sure fire way to avoid the bandit army.

>Far more distasteful may be standing by and doing nothing as others are cut down for money.

"Different outlooks I 'spose. I doubt de townsfolk are saints demselves. Arseholes killin arseholes is what I see. It's different when ya out dere, tryna scrape by in de trees. Sure, dem folks got 'orses an such, but we don't 'ave much to go on oder dan "peoeple w' swords are killin people w'out swords". Plenta times in 'istory dats been de good folk I'm sure."

If we don't have to fight, we probably shouldn't. I'm not conviced simply sailing away is a safe option though- if we get spotted, no doubt the bandits will wait for us to make landfall, and we'll be risking not only our bonus, but our lives. If we have to engage, portaling in offers us a safer retreat option and means that the bandits have other targets. Once our ship is in range of flaming arrows and magic users though, we're in deep. Worth considering that we may have a better chance to secure our cargo, and be hopefully a bit safer, if we're fighting in the town. If it comes down to a vote, Maru will side with Davina.
No. 803410 ID: 3abd97

Fair point that we need to check with the captain / bosun if we're able to simply skip this port. (If there's enough light to reach somewhere else, if we can safely sail through the night, if the crew has the endurance to keep going, if they were depending on resupplying, etc).

If it's simply a matter of needing to stop for supplies or fresh water- condense water should be working pretty much optimally at sea, and we can reach land with portals in other locations, even without a port or natural harbor.
No. 803413 ID: af6e04

Vos is going to go help stop these bandits no matter who goes with him. Anybody who agrees to help will be rewarded with many eelman hugs and nuzzles.
No. 803419 ID: 3abd97

"I seem to remember us making promises that run counter to that Vos."

"I will not open a portal just for you to get yourself killed.

"We engage with a viable plan or not at all. No running off alone."
No. 803437 ID: af6e04

Vos sighs as he's reminded of the promise he made to Davina and vice versa. "Suppose you have me by the tail this time. But there must be something we can do to help?"

Vos points out that despite their vastly superior arms, the bandits are still outnumbered. Maybe if the leader is killed then the attack will be called off. Perhaps we could persuade the bandit leader into a duel?
No. 803471 ID: 74621b

>bandits would have difficulty engaging us
>they only have a single wizard
>facing down their army is impossible
>persuade the bandit leader into a duel?

Yisheng Ji notes that we are mercenaries, not heroes or saints, and are not beholden to sacrifice ourselves against overwhelming odds in the name of justice. Furthermore, drawing attention to ourselves is likely to be actively detrimental to our current mission (for which we are being paid). However, that doesn't mean it is outside of our capacity to help. Though, we lack the firepower to fight an entire army, it is certainly within our means to assassinate their wizard and thus de-power the bandit army to mundane status for another, stronger and more righteous group to more easily clean up in the future.

If someone (perhaps Viste, as the most mobile) is willing to perform a swift surprise attack on the wizard when we enter a close enough range, Yisheng Ji will expend a Sanctuary spell to act as a temporary shield until you make contact. It will disperse very quickly (and immediately upon attacking, if it hasn't already expired by that time), so you will be on your own for the return trip. However, when you return, Yisheng Ji will do what he can to heal whatever injuries you sustain. Make sure not to step back on the deck before that happens though, or your injuries will lose us our bonus.

It is a shame we cannot wipe them out as we are now, but at the very least, future loss of innocent life will be reduced if we succeed.
No. 803482 ID: d36af7

Bosun says there's no strict requirement to stop here, or really anywhere, except for mail delivery and the main destination at Overmire. Can't safely sail through the night, but it's simple enough to anchor the ship and wait for morning. Main benefits of frequent overnight shore leave is supplementing the hardtack and salted meat with fresh fruits and vegetables, which is for health and morale rather than an immediate necessity of survival.
No. 803493 ID: 3abd97

Now that we've convinced Vos not to run off solo, at least, we have two options.

Option 1 is to sail past at a safe distance and put down anchor at sea.

Option 2 would be intervention.

A surgical strike via portal on the bandit leadership and/or caster might throw them into disarray. Viste for surprise attack and transport, Maria and Hore if we want flashy pyrotechnics to try and scare the others. Portaling Maru among the defenders to buff them with battle hymn might be a good force multiplier, but splitting up is another risk / complication. Disengaging after the portal hit strikes me as maybe the trickiest part. We can be pursued through portals by infantry.

If the bandits had any important infrastructure or vehicles Ji might be able to do an aerial bombing run with greekfire with impunity. Or he could place a Least Geometric Atrocity in front of the city walls to make life hard on bandits (although I suspect casting range and/or time will make this unfeasible). Using sanctuary for lite invulnerability on an assassination run is clever (unless portal slashes count as an attack to the spell's logic).

I'm pretty sure options: "take the army on head on", or "assist the bandits" are off the table.

Current vote is Davina and Maru leaning against intervention, Vos Hore and Ji for? Baring anyone flipping on specific proposed plans or the Agate voting block setting it. And no one has seen fit to give the millipede a vote, and Davina's not about to try an claim and extra ballot for Viste.
No. 803502 ID: 094652

Hore feels that their talents are wasted when there's a town to counter-pillage and civilians to save, but they're not ready to take on the entire bandit army at a singe time, so if Davina and the others can't find a way to break the chain of command or even save a few civilians, then they should just focus on the lifeboats and escort the currently fleeing civilians to safer shores.

So if they have a stealth plan, then do it, if not, then focus on the boats.
No. 803503 ID: af6e04

>Disengaging after the portal hit strikes me as maybe the trickiest part. We can be pursued through portals by infantry.
Viste could portal out into the water, where Vos would be waiting to quickly swim her back to shore. Added bonus would be that pursuing bandits would end up far away from the main force, surprised and floundering. Warding is a possibility though if they have a caster. Wonder if Vos would be able to detect it from a long distance with aura sight?
No. 803504 ID: af6e04

>quickly swim her back to shore
Or to the ship, rather
No. 803509 ID: 3abd97

Evacuating civilians is a problem solved by logistics, supplies, and large scale transport capacity. We don't have those. We have a single merchant ship with whose carrying capacity is already spoken for.

Escape portaling into water would make us hard to pursue, yeah. Hard part from there is getting back on the ship. (I guess we could bring along a teak shield to set up as a lily pad). Makes evacuating any of our own wounded harder if any of us get hurt, though.

And yes, it's pretty necessary to have Vos and Maria try to check for wards before we send a strike team. (Also important to check where our target is. If the bandit chief and/or the caster is say, standing right in the middle of a large infantry formation, for example, I don't see how we hit them without being stabbed from every direction right after).
No. 803513 ID: 74621b

>aerial bombing run with greekfire
Not much of a bombing run with only two flasks. And as we've seen on two previous occasions, greekfire does negligible damage to enemies. It's really only useful for destroying items that are already lumped into a convenient heap. If there were a dry wooden storeroom somewhere, maybe greekfire could ruin some supplies, but that's the limit. Think of them as "faster flint and tinder", not grenades.

>place a Least Geometric Atrocity in front of the city walls to make life hard on bandits
>I suspect casting range and/or time will make this unfeasible
That, and if by some chance the bandits are actually defeated, it would make life hard on whoever comes afterward. Not much point to reclaiming salted earth.

Yisheng Ji is willing to be the person going out to take on the wizard if Viste does not, as he is the next most mobile. He is rather less confident about his ability to perform a clean hit, however, as he has no life-threatening abilities. He'll go fetch a knife and sheath it in his belt before standing by the railing of the ship at the ready, raising his eyebrows meaningfully towards Davina as he does so.
No. 803515 ID: af6e04

>Makes evacuating any of our own wounded harder if any of us get hurt, though.
Vos will have his healing abilities on standby. We could even have Ji out there, standing on top of a floating leaf or something.
No. 803522 ID: 3abd97

Fair analysis on the greekfire, we don't have a good target for it. (I want the option to firebomb a hostile pirate ship or such in the future, anyways).

As I understand it, LGA only lasts a day unless specifically reinforced, which makes it viable as a temporary ground-denial tactic rather than salted earth. (Bigger problem is getting into position to cast it, I think).

>Ji's bit at the end there
Davina bristles and flickers for a moment, then shakes her head.

"No, if we're doing this, Viste is the correct choice."

Okay so far:

* Viste portals to bandit caster (not directly from the ship), buffed with mage armor and sanctuary
* Vos as backup, also mage armor, carrying a teak shield (strapped to back?) (I like a strike team better than going in solo if there's any resistance or anything goes wrong).
* Assassinate
* Portal to ocean- projectiles won't traverse portal effectively, and pursuers will be at a big disadvantage to Vos in the water.
* Use shield as a lily pad to portal to ship (we're pouring some water over the deck if we do this, but a ship should be built to handle that).


* Maria and/or Vos need to check if the attack site is warded
* We need to check where our target is / bandit distribution before we attack. Enemy formation may make current plan non-viable.
* Are we taking anyone else? (Obviously there's a trade off of firepower versus how quickly the group can pass through a portal). Are we doing anything else at the same time?
No. 803536 ID: af6e04

Vos thinks this plan is good, but he's not confident in his ward detecting skills from this far away. Might be better to stealthily go ashore first to perform a better survey with aura sight. Also might be worthwhile to inform the villagers of our intentions.
No. 803546 ID: 3abd97

We want a shore-side staging area to initiate the attack from (so we don't leave an open portal to the ship) in the ambush, which would allow a closer ward check.

It occurs to me we then have 3 retreat options as necessary: (1) step back through the original portal, (2) open new portal somewhere on land or (3) portal to open water, and then in all three cases hold it till it closes then portal to the ship.

>coordinate with the town
Unless we plan to aid their defense directly (Maru using battle-hymn, or Daniel casting bless to buff defenders?) I think that complicates more than it helps.
No. 803552 ID: fc3fc0

Maru is gonna stay put on the boat- she'd likely make things worse if she went down with Vos and "Viste". Hore seems eager for the fight though, and it might help to have 3 people down there with you. We're assuming you can just portal in, do a bit of stabbing and portal out but wizards are tricky business. We can't assume the caster is going to be a pushover just because you have the advantage of surprise. Prepare yourself mentally at least for an actual fight.

Can Maru give everyone a pep talk, and apply a dose of bardic inspiration to each person on the away team? She should have enough if only 2-3 of them are going, but I wasn't sure how long it lasted
No. 803554 ID: d36af7

>no life-threatening abilities
Pressure point techniques can temporarily paralyze a limb; lacking a functional hand to perform necessary gestures impairs the ability to cast many spells. While they're distracted wondering how you did that, and by watching a miscast spell backfire, shove something sharp into their unarmored neck, or maybe a kidney, with surgical precision.
No. 803556 ID: d36af7

Maru's inspired rage applies equally to all allies in earshot, no matter how many that is, for a flat rate of 1 breath per 6 seconds in combat. It's a song you sing during the battle, not rationed out beforehand. If you're planning tricky stuff with the bandit's rear area or command structure, best place to put Maru might be among the town's defenders, rallying a big distracting counterattack. Heroic fury doesn't necessarily mix well with disciplined hit-and-fade tactics.
No. 803559 ID: d22dc0

Gottcha, I misunderstood the nature of the ability; I was under the impression it worked like a 5e bard ability that either gave people extra dice on rolls or let them re-roll certain die. I thought it was a completely separate ability from her the song of rage aspect of her guitar.

I agree though, it seems counter intuitive to send the person who makes everyone angry and bloodlust and want to fight and kill more into the bandit army slaughtering civilians. Maru also doesn't want to go in and summon her ax, but that's mainly because she uses it when she bears malice towards someone, and wants to cause them pain or kill them. She doesn't want to kill the bandits, and thusly doesn't want to go down and use her ax. She doesn't have any knuckle dusters or anything like that for unarmed combat though, so she's not gonna do much good down on shore for the goals the team wants to accomplish.
No. 803560 ID: d36af7

All allies in earshot. It won't affect the bandits, just make the defenders more willing and able to fight back.
No. 803578 ID: 3d2d5f

Considering morale and being less battle hardened than the bandits (even if the No Civilian Elves trope is potentially in effect, depending on the makeup of the village) is likely one of the defender's big disadvantages, this seems like a good idea to me.

Possibly drop Hore and Maria in town too, for the shock and awe effect of pyrotechnics coming over the wall?

Unexpectedly strong resistance with unexpected firepower followed by a surprise attack from the rear by alien looking creatures with strange magic (Viste already has been mistaken for a bound demon, Vos is pretty wild looking, and I bet the shimmering planes of force effect of the mage armor only exacerbates things) is probably our best bet for someone deciding "this is not the easy target we expected / this is not the opposition we planned for" and sounding a retreat. Or for bandit forces breaking in a panic.

If we score a psychological victory or break enemy morale we potentially score a win. I think we'll be forced to withdraw if we don't though. As Ji said, we can hurt the bandits, but we lack the power to win a straight up fight versus an army.
No. 803651 ID: 67456a

Maria is mostly good for melting down individual enemies, and Daniel can probably heal people (while also keeping his AC up with Coat of Many Stars).

I'll leave the tactics up to everyone else, I'm terrible at that sort of thing.
No. 804828 ID: d36af7

Viste steps out of a portal behind the bandit leader, on top of a roughly elephant-sized boulder where he's looking over the battlefield, and sticks her sword through his back. Misses his spine by about the width of three fingers. She can feel the blade as it punctures through a heavy leather coat, the muscles below his right shoulderblade, scrapes between ribs, the frothy pink meringue of a lung, more ribs, pectoral muscle, two more layers of armor-weight leather, and finally emerges to open air on the other side. A surge of triumphant pride sets the blade flickering out of phase as she slashes up and to the left, so his heart and spinal cord only get a ghostly tickle instead of being cleaved in half, but even so, that's not the sort of wound normal people just walk away from. The motion carries through to flick his blood across the crowd of his followers.

Apparently this bandit leader is not a normal person. He turns to face her, and his expression is pure rage, without a trace of confusion or fear, even when he tries to speak and nothing but gurgling red foam comes out. Apart from the hole through his chest, he's got a mark on his forehead, like somebody carved a complicated symbol with a dull knife and then kept trying to re-do it for weeks until it got infected, His left sideburn and about two-thirds of his right jaw are clean shaven, while the rest is a scraggly mess of two-inch-long unkempt beard. His coat is dark mottled orange, which might make decent camouflage and light armor for scouts or couriers in certain rocky deserts, or autumnal woodlands, but against a backdrop of gloriously verdant cropland and dark grey stone it clashes. His eyes are pure cobalt-glass blue, without whites or pupils. He's got a sword of his own, a bronze scimitar with five jangling rings along the back edge and strange crooked protrusions from the handguard. He's holding the blade low, almost horizontal, and slipping his left hand into a coat pocket.
No. 804856 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 6, 3 = 10

Slithering in after Viste, Vos will attempt to grapple the bandit leader when he sees things haven't gone entirely according to plan.
No. 804866 ID: d36af7

Upon emerging from the portal, Vos is stunned for a few crucial seconds by the aura-sight equivalent of crashing into a cartload of manure.
No. 804875 ID: 3abd97

rolled 5, 6, 1 = 12

So. Physically tough enough and/or magically reinforced enough to fight on through what would normally be a fatal injury. Current inability to speak is good- casting often has a spoken component, and it prevents him from speaking orders. Possible enchanted weapon- rings on the back edge couldn't serve much other practical purpose.

He'll likely pursue if we tried to disengage, and we're committed at this point. If he refuses to die properly I suppose we take him to pieces until he can't fight back, or until we can destroy what's reinforcing him (rune on the forehead?).

If he's a construct, or artificially augmented, or an undead, Tittivila's blessing might be harmful to what's keeping him together once Vos gets a grip on him.

>what do
>slipping his left hand into a coat pocket
Well, if he thinks whatever is in his pocket is worth having in the middle of a fight, it's probably worth trying to deny him it.

Let's try and disable, main, or otherwise injure his left arm. (If we're facing reach other, and Viste is left handed while he's holding his sword right handed, his left side is the hardest for him to guard until he pivots to put his off hand behind him. Which he might not immediately do if he's trying to bring a weapon or tool to bear from the left).
No. 804881 ID: fc3fc0

rolled 2, 6, 4 = 12

Stepping out from one of the portals Viste chained together to drop everyone off, Maru goes along with her part of the plan, rally the towns defenders for a big counter attack, hopefully ensuring that it takes some pressure off Davina Hore and Vos if they get surrounded.

Rolling to make it to the defenders, convince them I'm on their side, and doll a breath of inspired song to unify their forces and make a push against the attackers.
No. 804884 ID: f51003

rolled 6, 5, 2 = 13

Not sure if I'm stunned for this whole round. I'll post an action just in case.

May Tittivila soothe this man's damaged soul, Vos will go for the grapple again. If Viste can't finish him with the next strike, it might be wise to pull him through a portal to finish the job on the other side.
No. 804911 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 2, 1 = 6

Hore quickly scans the battlefield for a sniper, aims while everyone is distracted by the Bandit Leader and Viste, and fires her new sniper plasma round! As the bandits quickly turn in her direction, Hore uses her terrifying presence and a frightening Gnoll laugh, demanding the bandits run lest she @#$% their corpses and bury the living in pools of ... well, she's out of scorpions. Guess she'll have to make do with the crate of week-starved poison-drugged rats! Oh, they've finally reached the tipping point where they alternate between bashing their heads to dull the pain and eating the pregnant rats, fetuses and all!!!

Hore will stick close to Vos as she snipes out archers. The bandits stupid enough to charge in get a cone attack followed by Hore's expertise in close-quarters crowd control.
No. 804942 ID: d36af7

There's a watchtower with an iron bell that's clearly audible everywhere in town. It was already ringing, of course, just in case anyone was still asleep in hed who might have otherwise been able to contribute to the defense, but Maru takes over for some junior monk and adds a more complex rhythm to the tintinnabulation.
Hore, meanwhile, is up on the wall, setting fire to anyone on the attacking side who looks like a squad leader or siege engineer.

Viste's sword cuts into the bandit leader's left upper arm, drawing more blood, but not quite deep enough to sever muscles around the shoulder joint and stop him from lifting the arm. He counterattacks, lunging between her and the portal she arrived through, then a series of broad sweeping slashes, forcing her to retreat onto the precariously sloped edge of the boulder, but she simply opens a new portal positioned to outflank him. He can't quite pivot around fast enough to face her, but flips the scimitar into a reversed grip to deflect a second backstab.
Following Viste's cue, Vos grabs the bandit leader's left arm, attempting to twist it around into some less useful and/or more painful position, with limited success. The possessed man flicks his thumb to remove the cork from a shot-glass-sized bottle and moves it, inch by inch, closer to his lips.

Viste simultaneously goes on the offensive, but he deflects every serious attack, sees right through the subtlest feints, even manages a riposte to test her own defenses... all while distracted by trying to handle that potion, partly immobilized by a grappler, AND mortally wounded. You're not sure you can take this guy.
No. 804956 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 6, 6 = 14

>You're not sure you can take this guy.
No, I'm not. But I'm also pretty sure that means we can't disengage unless he lets us. Plan "portal to the ocean" might work, assuming he can't walk on water, or fly.

>a shot-glass-sized bottle and moves it, inch by inch, closer to his lips
Then we have a few seconds before it gets there, and Vos is already in touch range with a grapple.

"Bless his hand."

Call it Tittivila's judgement. If he's truly irredeemable, or if he's using necromancy or some other foul art to reinforce his body (and resist change) the blessing will harm him. If he can change? It's his chance at redemption- to adapt or die. To be other than the bandit he has been, or to die fighting to cling to the past.

On our more practical level all we need is for him to fumble, drop or spill the potion. Less than a radical reconstruction of his hand (or arm) could accomplish that. A radical reconstruction (flipper, hoof) surely will.

Another possible tactic might be to open a portal to Hore for a fire-cone attack. The bandit boss can't dodge an AOE attack while grappled, Vos' mage armor should shield him from the worst of it, and if the potion-bottle shatters from the heat, or the potion is boiled off, it's no good to the boss.

Roll for continued swordplay.
No. 804967 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 5, 5 = 11

Hore is doing fairly well with one arm, burying her axe in an enemy, followed by a cone of plasma or a sniper shot at an enemy in the back row, then drawing her axe or a dropped weapon and continuing again. But her arm is getting tired, and the frequent plasma blasts are generating more heat than the cooldown can compensate for. When was the last time she ever fought in a war with one hand tied? Oh that's right, never.

Hore shouts to the nearby town guards to rally around her, and switches to sniper mode. Viste and the others had better finish this fight soon, or she'll abandon her position and attempt to escort them out of the combat zone. She could shoot the Bandit Leader, but given all the magic and enchantments and buffs he stuffed into himself, Hore is fairly certain the bolt would be absorbed or reflect back at her or curve around into Vos' head or turn those baby bees into boot squash. Hore will fire at the Bandit Leader if Vos or Viste yells at her to take the damn shot.
No. 804973 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 5, 3 = 9

>"Bless his hand."

Vos nods and performs the flesh blessing. Roll is to channel a flood of uncontrolled divine mutagenic energy through this bandit leader's hand, allowing Tittivila's judgement to flow freely.
No. 805112 ID: d36af7

Blades lock together, and he's just about to use those hilt-barbs to twist Viste's sword out of her hand...
...when his left arm melts into a club-ended tentacle, with a pocket of skin fully enclosing the potion vial. Vos lets go, and the bandit leader obligingly punches himself in the face.
No. 805118 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 2, 5 = 8

Hore is far from exhausted but she's still losing steam as her stamina depletes and her pistol overheats. She resorts to her throwing knives to give herself time to recuperate.

Roll to determine how well she is currently doing, now that she's on the defensive.
No. 805168 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13

>Well, he just punched himself in the face. Can you stab him now?

Viste will exploit her foe's temporary disadvantage to escape from lock and score what additional damage she can.
No. 805170 ID: af6e04

rolled 2, 3, 6 = 11

No more screwing around. Vos will pick his spear back up and run it through the bandit leader's side while he's engaged with Viste.
No. 805232 ID: d36af7

The bandits were expecting a relatively easy victory. Now that they're facing unexpected ferocity from the town guards, and sniper fire, and their leader's distracted by a duel, morale is starting to crumble.

A sixteen-year-old girl flies up onto the wall. She's got a row of tiny red dragon scales down the bridge of her nose, a softball-sized glob of smoldering purple goo floating over her left hand, and a slinky black dress that seems completely inappropriate for battlefield conditions right up until one of Hore's thrown knives bounces off it without leaving a mark.

His head's recoiling from the punch, and that reversed grip would make it difficult to parry high-angle attacks even if his blade wasn't so far out of line as it is at the moment. Viste sees, and seizes, what seems like the best opening she's gotten since the fight started: a thrust to the throat that might very well take the bandit leader's head clean off.
>rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13
He catches the blade with the fused lump of his off-hand. The tip penetrates tumorous flesh to strike glass inside. An oversized blister tears open, the potion vial pops out, lands in his mouth. Tentacle-arm tightens around the sword, wrenching it out of her hand. He kicks her in the stomach, hard enough to knock her back to the edge of the platform furthest from those three existing portals, while pivoting to face Vos.

And not a moment too soon. He half-dodges the spear aimed at his own gut, catching it between the two layers of the front of his coat, then coughs, spits out a now-empty potion vial along with quite a lot of frothy blood, and croaks "We had a deal, eel-man. Or are you not from around here?"
No. 805248 ID: af6e04

rolled 2, 2, 3 = 7

Vos will immediately and viciously bull rush the bandit leader with intent to tackle him off the boulder on which the three are fighting.

Vos will try to land in such a way as to not squish his bee children.
No. 805296 ID: d22dc0

rolled 2, 3, 3 = 8

Maru has been doing her best to observe the chaos as she rallys the people from her place in the bell tower, but after about 30 seconds she can't sit by while everyone endangers themselves.

She Davina and Vos seem to be in deep shit with the bandit leader, but if whoever this chick with the black night gown and the force field has magic, that's a serious threat to our livelihood. Maru makes the call, and goes to try to neutralize the caster. If the wall is tall enough that a fall looks like it may leave her unable to move afterwards, she's going to try to run full speed at the girl and try to tackle her.

If the wall looks like a reasonable distance to fall, say 20 feet or less, Maru is going to try to tackle this girl off the wall.
No. 805378 ID: d36af7

The Knight of Tittivila pushes off with his tail like a coil spring, chitinous claw pinching the bandit's sword aside. It cuts into the joint, but that's nothing a bit of healing goo won't fix. The two of them fall together through the portal by which Viste initially arrived, then out of a tall tree, after which Vos rides the bandit leader like a toboggan, head-first down a rocky slope toward the beachside staging area. They come to a stop surrounded by Yisheng Ji, the Agate siblings, and half a dozen halberd-wielding guardsmen from the town (acting as liaisons).

The bandit leader is, amazingly, still alive, conscious, even manages to squirm out from under Vos and stand up on his own, but is looking much worse for wear. He shakily spreads his hands in a nonthreatening manner, but still has the sword's hilt hooked over one thumb.
No. 805380 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 3, 4 = 8

Realizing that Maru is just twenty feet away from air-assassinating the dragon girl, Hore opts for a distraction. Hore aims her plasma pistol at the bandit leader, looks at the girl, and says with a gnollish grin:

"You had better surrender now. Because when I'm done with him, he will beg me to kill you, for fear of how far I can defile YOU."

Hore aimed for center mass... but as the dragon girl charges, Hore fired without looking, requiring a bolt of green more than a direct hit (hoping to get the attention of the gang), and shifts her target to the dragon girl, grabbing her axe and chopping the girl in the lower torso just as Maru connects.
No. 805400 ID: 258faf

rolled 5, 5, 6 = 16

Vos will quickly snatch the bandit's sword away and pat him down for anymore weapons. I assume getting back up to the portal is unlikely, but can Vos see Viste from here?
No. 805415 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 5, 4, 6 = 15

So I can I assume the bandit chief dropped my sword somewhere in that tackle and fall and an Invisible Maid has returned it to my side?

>He shakily spreads his hands in a nonthreatening manner, but still has the sword's hilt hooked over one thumb.
Viste arrives on scene, portalling through portals.

"If you would yield, surrender your weapon."

Stay on high alert, here. As long as this man is armed, and even when he isn't, he remains dangerous.
No. 805524 ID: d36af7

Belltower is near the center of town, not attached to the wall. Which path is Maru taking on her way to assist Hore: back-tracing the portals through which they initially deployed, jumping between rooftops, or the slow safe way down at street level?

Viste falls off the boulder into a mob of dozens of angry bandits armed with spears and axes. Her sword hasn't returned just yet.

>rolled 5, 5, 6 = 16
Vos retrieves his spear and both swords from the surrendering bandit leader, sets them aside, and spends a minute or so thoroughly searching the man without locating any items of interest. He's pretty sure that if there were weapons or other dangerous surprises hidden in that voluminous long-sleeved coat, he would've found them.

The spear's still where he left it, in plain sight out on the sand, but, despite all the witnesses, and clear illumination provided by the Agate siblings amid the fading pink-orange glory of sunset, nobody's quite sure where either of those two swords went.
No. 805554 ID: fc3fc0

rolled 2, 1, 4 = 7

Ah, thanks for the clarification, I thought they were attached. In that case, given that the portals likely decayed before Maru decided to leave the bell tower, Maru will change tactics. She'll yell out to Hore, assuming she can see the surrender of the bandit leader and davinas tumble into a pile of armed bandits before she leaves the bell tower.


The second sentence is a bluff, made with the hope of misleading or confusing any of the numerous foes within earshot, but notably the mage. Hopefully Hore realizes she's not actually implying that they backtrack on land to meet up with someone they've never referenced or mentioned before.

After that, she'll rush to Davinas aid, and from about 40 feet away, use her pen knife to score herself, summon her ax, and cast compel hostility on one of the bandits threatening Viste
No. 805557 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 5, 6 = 15

Hore's been in enough raids to know that open communication is usually cream-filled with blatant lies because soldiers are conditioned to believe superior officers, even if those officers happen to be on the opposing side. Makes playing both sides easier when there's little to no chance of the infantry realizing they're just pieces of meat for the generals to fry and feed each other. So, the time has come to retreat. Good. Hore can't fight three minutes longer without risking her fingers - and consequently, her life.

Still, this girl seems familiar. Hore has never seen her before. But she has heard stories. As the heiress to a grand fortune, Azure trusts less than a dozen people, Hore most of all. But there was one who came in at a close second.

Hore begins a conversation with the dragon girl as she retreats, ordering the town guard to fall back with her:

"And so the die is cast, two unrepentant sinners cast on different flags with no cause but the ones we whim to follow. You know - excuse me for a moment. VOS! TAKE OFF HIS COAT, IT MIGHT HAVE NINJA GAS SPELL-WEAVED INSIDE OR SOMETHING!!! Right. You know, a little birdie told me a story about a friend she made, someone who I could trust if we ever met: the step-daughter of a legendary bandit king, an aspiring elementalist who dreamt of becoming a dragoness made of pure aether. You wouldn't happen to know the one about the parrot harpy and the pig-faced orc, would you?"
No. 805581 ID: 13d7b7

rolled 1, 1, 6 = 8

He must think Vos is an idiot. Unless the sword grew legs and walked away, the bandit obviously figured out some way to retrieve it.

Normally the eel-man would play this silly game, but Davina hasn't yet returned and something must have gone wrong. "I do not have time for hide and seek. Please give me your sword, or I will invoke wrath of Tittivila once again."
No. 805589 ID: 74621b

rolled 4, 1, 4 = 9

Oh, I get to do something. While the bandit chief is being pinned by Vos, Yisheng Ji will seize control of his skeleton and force his joints to dislocate themselves so he doesn't go anywhere for the time being.

Then, Yisheng Ji will enshroud himself with divine sanctuary and dart out over the battlefield to locate Viste. Or perhaps more accurately, he'll look for the two very large and noisy individuals who are accompanying Viste and then scan their locales.
No. 805677 ID: d36af7

Maru Red leads a wedge formation of town guards and militia, cutting into the heart of the invading army toward Viste's last known position. Enough of the bandits are dead, maimed, or fleeing that they've lost overall cohesion, but there are still some pockets of resistance.

Such as that sorceress, who nails Hore in the upper back with a glob of boiling acid (turning away from your nearest opponent to talk to someone else presents certain dangers) and spouts a witticism hinging on the word "scald."
No. 805681 ID: d22dc0

rolled 5, 6, 1 = 12

It seemed to me that Hore had her eyes trained on the dragon girl the whole time, and was charging in for melee attacks with her ax either before during or after her little speech implying a connection to Azure.

Maru, leading the towns defenders focuses on trying to encircle the bandits attacking Davina to hopefully giver her a chance to get her sword
No. 805718 ID: 3abd97

rolled 3, 2, 2 = 7

>Viste falls off the boulder into a mob of dozens of angry bandits armed with spears and axes. Her sword hasn't returned just yet.
Draw a dagger, and attempt to portal out of trouble. Fleeing until she gets her sword back or reunites with allies (Maru's wedge, perhaps) is a more attractive option than trying to hold her ground against multiple opponents with superior reach.

Let's not head atop the wall, or back to the staging area. Opening a direct route for enemy combatants to either of those locations seems like a bad idea.
No. 805724 ID: 270a5c

rolled 4, 2, 4 = 10

This is going to be costly.

Hore quickly throws herself into melee range, flailing the axe around. But she is charging her plasma pistol. At the right time, she'll open her hand and fire, regardless of the damage to the axe.
No. 805987 ID: d36af7

>Unless the sword grew legs and walked away
He claims it did just that, for it was a type of earthbound demon called 'raktavarna' which can disguise itself as a bejeweled weapon or art object (in order to infiltrate treasure hoards), secrete memory-stealing poison, and share it's senses with a distant master. The bandit leader also glibly explains that the sword's departure is a sign his patron has disavowed and forsaken him, presumably due to this pathetic failure at what should have been an easy task, and as such he'd be willing to share what he knows of that former patron's active schemes and potential weaknesses - in exchange for leniency, or other appropriate considerations, that is.

Vos casts the spell successfully, and the bandit leader looks quizzically down at his own right hand as it reaches over to grip his relatively unchanged left upper arm. His solid blue eyes go wide, and after the left shoulder audibly pops out of it's socket he screams, briefly, through clenched teeth. As his rubbery left arm reaches over to repeat the process, he mutters "no, no, no..." and grimaces in anticipation, but doesn't scream a second time. He remains stiffly upright like a soldier at attention until both hands reach down toward his right hip, at which point he falls to his knees on the sand, with a faint smell of burning hair. "What the fuck! Can't you people even afford proper manacles?" Then he licks his upper lip, wiping away a bit of snot or blood that was dripping from his nose.

Maria Agate sanctimoniously points out that suffering of the flesh purifies the soul, which the bandit leader rebuts with an assertion that he likes his soul just fine the way it is, same way he prefers beer you can actually taste over distilled spirits strong enough to strip paint. She offers to pop his shoulders back in and provide some magical healing after he submits to being tied up with ropes, and he agrees.

Hore jumps off the town wall, scrambles up the side of a barn-sized head of cabbage, and runs along falling stalks of wheat as thick as redwood trees in pursuit of the sorceress, forcing her to retreat and make full use of the evasive options inherent in effortless aerial mobility, even scoring a few glancing hits. Eventually the chase leads into a dark loamy-walled tunnel (something as the back of Hore's mind wonders where all these giant plants are coming from, and what just happened to the sky) where the sorceress seems to be exhausted and cornered, when suddenly a thick wall of some fungal material snaps shut between them like jaws. Applying plasma to the fungus produces noxious smoke and rapid regrowth rather than any immediately useful result.

Viste draws her (clean and freshly polished) sword along with a main-gauche, flips back up onto her feet, and prepares to defend against an army... which has mysteriously vanished. How convenient. The elephant-sized boulder is still there at her back, but now it's in the center of an equilateral triangle of massive ancient trees whose roots form six archways wide enough for wagons. Sunlight is streaming straight down through a canopy of leaves (wasn't it late evening a moment ago?) about 150' overhead.

Maru Red cleaves one of the bandits in half at the waist, producing an earthshaking power chord, then steps over his body onto a rope bridge and meets Hore Wutashi coming the other way. Both handrails of the bridge have some sort of yellowish-gray gourds hanging off as if they grew there, each gourd carved with a single letter in High Draconic.

>dart out over the battlefield to locate Viste
Yisheng Ji glides in and perches on one support rope/vine/handrail of the bridge (Maru's right, Hore's left). Viste is 60' directly below him, and the other side of the bridge is on fire.
No. 806035 ID: af6e04

rolled 4, 6, 6 = 16

>a type of earthbound demon called 'raktavarna'
Sounds plausible. Vos would like to hear more about this 'raktavarna', as well as the deal the bandit mentioned after things settle down.

>Vos casts the spell successfully
I know it's probably a typo but for the record Ji is the one who forced the guy to pull apart his own skeleton!

>Tied up now
Vos will tell Maria and Daniel to keep a close eye on the bandit leader, then he'll rush back into the battlefield which is apparently looking a little more edible than he recalls. Roll is to reunite with his friends.
No. 806037 ID: d36af7

>probably a typo
Yes. I have had less and lower-quality food than I would prefer, this past week or so. Probably related.
>Roll is to reunite with his friends.
>rolled 4, 6, 6 = 16
Even taking into account the fact that it's some sort of non-Euclidean nightmare vortex, Decaro Vos manages to get himself hopelessly lost in those new woods with remarkable speed and efficiency. Two hours later, the first sapient creature he encounters is a sixteen-year-old girl with a slinky black dress, a row of red scales down the bridge of her nose, and fresh scars and welts all along her forearms. She seems immensely relieved, and greets him as a long-lost ally.
No. 806058 ID: c77c2a

rolled 6, 4, 2 = 12

Maru, upon seeing the magical fungus land sprout around them, is worried.
"Shite. Dat bint probly cast some sort a spell to keep us seperated while she and co get out of 'ere"
Upon conferring with Hore that the grill woman cannot blast them out, and that it didn't look as though the dragon lady was responsible, she is more delighted than ever before to see Ju. Exclamations of joy, a quick sharing of her take on the situation, and the reuniting of everyone makes this situation sufficiently more tolerable. She calls out to Davina and tries to get everyone in the same place, most likely through portals
No. 806070 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11

Hore mutters under her breath. The sorceress has field advantage. If she grew this thing, then she could easily snipe Hore. She hopes she can talk to the sorceress later, but for now it is time to leave.

Hore heads for the exit, moving abnormally for fear of cheap shots from behind again, looking for traps and noting any scientific anomalies. This strange plant phenomenon around her is worth a small study.

Roll for perception check.
No. 806148 ID: 4fbc13

rolled 1, 4, 2 = 7

Vos greets the dragon girl with the same warmness, giving his name and offering to heal her arms with healing goo. He asks what happened to her, how she got here, and if she's seen his companions.
No. 807002 ID: d36af7

>perception check
>rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11
Everything smells like a compost heap or freshly-plowed field, only more so. No birdsong, nor old tracks, nor small animal smells, almost like the whole place was created from nothing moments earlier. If the sorceress did this, she'd have to be capable of at least 5th or 6th circle magic, despite showing no sign of anything above 3rd in the actual battle. There's no clouds or blue sky up above the canopy of leaves, just dazzling golden glare. The six ground-level archways and two bridge passages aren't as well lit, so it's hard to see anything more than a few feet inside without another light source, or angling some big mirror to redirect sunlight, or simply walking in there and waiting for your eyes to adjust.

She graciously accepts the healing, and offers to use some magic of her own to thoroughly explain everything she can remember about the excitement of the past few days, in less than ten seconds from an outside perspective. Only catch is, the spell requires kissing. With, y'know, tongues.

>rolled 1, 4, 2 = 7
Vos has never heard of a spell which works like that, and he has heard pf http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/demon/succubus Nonetheless, she seems sincere, and only faintly evil.
No. 807070 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 2, 5 = 8

>With, y'know, tongues.
Pfff a smooth seductress! Vos says he is willing to try the spell. (assuming aura sight isn't raising any bright red flags) He points out his lack of a tongue though. Vos also points out that the dragon girl has not told him her name yet.
No. 807073 ID: 80c7c1

Don't forget the alien style second jaw down there. Makes for a hell of a surprise when playing tonsil jockey
No. 807087 ID: 3abd97

Viste will take advantage of this (momentary?) lull in hostilities and disappearance of her enemies to reapply the cantrip on her sword.

>[Maru] calls out to Davina and tries to get everyone in the same place, most likely through portals
>There's no clouds or blue sky up above the canopy of leaves, just dazzling golden glare.
If the bridge above isn't hidden from sight by the glare of the sky, she'll accommodate by opening a portal from the ground to bridge.

>the other side of the bridge is on fire
The handrail (vinerail?) directly across from Ji, or one of the ends, behind Hore or Maru?
No. 807151 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 3, 2 = 10

Hore is absentminded again. She's busy studying the local flora out of curiousity. Roll to determine if she discovers anything useful.
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