Game Thread Gehenna Interlude - RPG Crossing
RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
twitter facebook

Notices

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-27-2020, 08:19 AM
4eyedBadger's Avatar
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-14-2020
RPXP: 2989
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger
Posts: 2,088
Gehenna Interlude

Ron, Bellamy, Verdigris, and TaliaEven with his eyes closed, the gentle, rocking motion is intensely familiar to Verdigris. The creaking of wood and the slosh of water confirm what he already knows instinctively. He is on a boat.

Consciousness returns to Verdigris, and with it, the intense nausea. His mind is not yet ready to face this new reality. The last thing he remembers is Doc leaping toward Ron in the Wrettis laboratory. And then the flash of green flame! Then darkness and nothing.

The ravenite allows his other senses to wake before forcing his heavy eyelids to open. Flexing his fingers, he feels the grain of the rounded wood beneath him. He smells the hot air, laden with moisture and vapor and smoke.

Listening past the creaking wood and lapping water, Verdigris hears the subtle sounds of his companions; Talia’s near purr-like murmuring, Ron’s chuffing and sleepy grunts, and Bellamy’s steady breath. In the distance, a constant hiss draws nearer.

He feels the boat moving faster through the water, the gentle rocking becoming jerky and forceful.

Willing his eyes open, Verdigris blinks to clear the foggy haze in his vision. But the haze remains; a red, glowing haze of steam and smoke obscures the darkness above. Billowing banks of warm fog roll past his eyes, seemingly just above the gunwales at his periphery. The vapor glows bright orange, as if lit from below.

Groaning with pain and dizziness, the druid sits up. Looking immediately at himself, he appears unharmed. His staff lies across his thighs. To his left is Talia, to his right is Ron, and beyond the thug, collapsed on top of her shield, is Bellamy. All of his companions’ eyes are closed, but the rise and fall of their torsos dispels his immediate fear.

Blinking the stupor away as best he can, Verdigris surveys his surroundings. A small boat, no more than twenty feet from bow to stern. A simple hull. Shallow draft. A barge.

And at the front, the boatman stands, his back to Verdigris, holding a pole...or an oar...it’s hard to tell with the end in the water. Whatever it is, the upper portion of the implement burns like a torch. The boatman’s tattered robes billow against his thin body in the smoky air as the bow crests a choppy wave.

Foul smelling spray from the river hits Verdigris’ scales, and for a brief moment he is confused about who he is; what he is doing. But the confusion passes quickly.

Sitting up further, Verdigris looks beyond the sides of the barge, through the thick, crimson air, toward the banks of the river.

A blasted landscape of twisted, rocky slopes, ashen cliffs, broken gorges, and burning rivers of molten rock stretch in every direction! Nowhere is the land flat. Red and grey rock is thrust up from the ground in a dizzying phalanx of crags!

The river that is carrying them faster and faster cuts through the terrible land violently, its now rushing waters hemmed in by steep banks on either side. To the starboard, a stream of molten lava spills from the bank, fifty feet above, to crash into the frothy, brown waters with a constant hiss! A tremendous gout of steam rises from the blackening lava as it flash-boils the river water. The steam mixes with the miasma of gases and smoke and vapor filling the air, as the red light of flames reflect off the low clouds.

"Hells," Verdigris whispers softly, almost without thought. Whether he meant the word as a statement or a curse, even he cannot say.

The boatman turns. From within his hood, bright eyes in sunken sockets look out from a sallow, jaundiced face. The haunting, otherworldly expression of the fiend shows no emotion as he looks down on Verdigris. The boatman’s voice carries doom and certainty as he corrects the ravenite slowly, "Nay... Gehenna."



OOC
 

Last edited by 4eyedBadger; 02-27-2020 at 09:14 AM.
  #2  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:25 AM
Drachenspirit's Avatar
Drachenspirit Drachenspirit is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-14-2020
RPXP: 14840
Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit
Posts: 14,593
Talia
left-aligned image
Talia was enjoying her new footwear and was thinking of asking the others in the group to call her something catchy when her wall and ceiling walking skills were needed.
"Taliabat", came to mind, but it just wasn't catchy enough. The many bug names came and went until she too heard the hissing and her feline senses picked up the scent of blood in the room.
She wondered what Ron had done now, and stepped closer to him.
Talia was fast, and could have jumped clear - or so she'd argue later - but Ron was there, and so was Doc and Verdi. Yeah, that's why she jumped clear, not because she though Ron might have opened some kind of crypt with treasure behind the magical opening.
--------------------
She slowly drifted out of her reverie, the noises, and smoky air interrupting her sound sleep.

Without opening an eye, a finger-less gloved hand came up and grabbed the side of the boat. It tapped left and then right, searching for something.

Her treasure wasn't there! A thought interrupted her fear, Why am I sleeping in my work gloves? Did I drink with Ron again?

She bolted up to a seated position, then a coiled crouch as daggers were drawn into each of her hands. She hadn't even bothered on trying to obscure where they came from, no sleight of hand here. She was out for blood for whomever had stolen from her.

She saw the figure with the lit staff, and then everyone else around her - no, not everyone.
This was all wrong. She should be on their airship, rocking in her hammock, not in some... hellish nightmare. She thought that if she could just go back to sleep it would all go away maybe. Still, she didn't let her guard down.

She hissed, and at no one in particular. It was a hiss of frustration. Where was she?

To anyone who would answer, she said something that didn't go with her guarded stance and bared teeth. "Where is my hammock?"

 
__________________
Posting Status: Normal

Last edited by Drachenspirit; 02-27-2020 at 10:26 AM.
  #3  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:10 AM
hafrogman's Avatar
hafrogman hafrogman is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-15-2020
RPXP: 8237
hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman
Posts: 2,222
Verdigris
right-aligned image
The sensation of being on the water was at once familiar and deeply unsettling. His muddled mind could come up with no body of water for him to be on. Even the airship, despite its name and physical similarities, felt distinctly different. As more and more of his surroundings filtered in, the ravenite could only gape in surprise. This was like no place he had ever experienced before.

The voice spoke, and he turned to face it. Gehanna? Was that a place? Before he could respond however, the noise of Talia waking up pulled him back to his friends. She took a typically aggressive response, and he held up a calming hand. Daggers wouldn't get them out of here, not that he could see. "Hammock?" He shook his head. "Not here. We are..."

He turned back to the ferryman. "Where are you taking us?"

OOC
 

 
__________________
Characters: VerdigrisGwarcMincemeatDel CorganIris KetteringCaleb ShawOtis von Hoyt

Last edited by hafrogman; 02-27-2020 at 11:11 AM.
  #4  
Old 02-27-2020, 03:55 PM
kymrel's Avatar
kymrel kymrel is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-15-2020
RPXP: 5161
kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel
Posts: 2,834
Ronald ‘One-Bone’ Devyn
right-aligned image
There is something about the rocking motion of the boat that’s soothing. And it’s almost enough to make Ron forget about the trap and how he screwed up. Again. Only now it’s not just him that’s in trouble because he’s a big stupid moron. His friends may pay the price for his stupidity with him. He messed up badly this time.

He keeps his eyes shut for a moment. Even people who know him well would assume he was asleep. Faking sleep was a survival method for little Ron, back when his momma was still alive. As he hears the others stirring, he slowly sits up. The right side of his face is numb from where he apparently slept on Ronda’s head. Not for the first time, and hopefully not for the last. Assuming they survive whatever is about to happen.

As he looks over the surroundings, the place looks mighty strange to him. Not like any place he’s ever been to before. Perhaps they are close to A city north of StilbenDrynna. He vaguely recalls someone saying there are plains and rivers there, although he doesn’t seem to remember anything about flowing lava.

“Hells,” Verdigris says, looking over the strange landscape. Ron knows far more interesting curses, but something tells him this isn’t the time to show off the more colorful one. The strange boatman with the flaming oar makes a strange sneezing noise and Ron automatically replies the way his mother taught him. "Bless you" he says quietly.

The enforcer sits up straight and then gets up on his knees, slowly maneuvering closer to the boatman, getting in between him and Horse and the others, dragging Ronda behind. He’s been in many scraps before, and recognizes the disadvantage they’d be at, trying to fight in a barge like that. It might very well capsize the boat, and that doesn’t sound like a healthy thing to do. Still, if there’s going to be a fight, he’ll at least try to drag that boatman into the water with him. He looks like a nasty piece of work.

"How did we get here? Where’s Cyprian and the others?" he mutters, hoping the others understand better what’s going on here.

OOC
 
__________________
People say I'm evil and twisted, but I really have the heart of a young boy. In a jar, on my desk.

I have taken the Oath of Sangus.

Last edited by kymrel; 02-27-2020 at 03:56 PM.
  #5  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:32 PM
Vislands's Avatar
Vislands Vislands is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-15-2020
RPXP: 5908
Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands
Posts: 2,565
"****" That was the first thing Doc said as she opened her eyes. The last few moments of consciousness were coming back to her in a jumble at first, but soon enough she was able to piece together everything that happened. Only...it felt like it had happened only moments ago. Where am I? She sat up slowly, reaching for her shield instinctively.

"Sweet Mother of Ravens..." The half-orc looked around, the light of the lava reflecting off the water and illuminating her aghast face. She gave Ron a cross look, before sitting up completely. "Ron!" It seemed Verdigris and Talia had been caught in whatever magic was unleashed by Ron's blood. That was a relief. Doc took a deep, aggravated breath and moved towards the thing that seemed to be driving the boat. She invoked a small charm of the Matron's magic and
Dice Guidance + History:
1d20+5 (5)+5 Total = 10
1d4t 3 Running Total = 13
tried to recall if she'd ever read anything of this "Gehanna".


StatBlock
 
  #6  
Old 03-01-2020, 02:02 AM
4eyedBadger's Avatar
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-14-2020
RPXP: 2989
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger
Posts: 2,088
Gehenna

The boatman is silent.

The little barge heads into the faster moving waters of the dark river, the haze and smoke clearing slightly. The bow dips as they follow a swift moving channel down, the boatman fending off rocks that protrude from the surface...or lie just below it. With grim skill and the experience of countless years plying these waters, the master of the ferry anticipates every twist and swirl of the river.

The rapids are short-lived, and the boat is soon floating peacefully on the filthy, slow moving surface water. Only now does the boatman speak, answering Verdigris. "Where the river wills. It delivered you to my charge, and it will not be defied." He turns to face his unwilling passengers. "To the Slave City of Lao Shu Po. Where mortals may bargain in the markets of Jacarkas. The currency is souls, but on that account, your purses are full."

Movement on the red rocky bank draws the attention of those on the boat. Only a large epicenter of ripples remains to be seen, and the occasional bubble rising to the oily surface from the unseen depths. The trail of disturbed water is quickly approaching their boat.

Ron grips his weapon tighter, anticipating the coming fight. He gains his feet, unsteady in the moving boat. The ripples draw nearer. Twenty feet. Ten!

Bursting through the surface in a spray of oily, grey water, a large, froglike creature leaps at the boat, the water running down its open mouth and sharp teeth like black saliva! It shrieks and the hot air and viscous mucous from its mouth mixes with the shedding water to hurl dark spray toward the boat! The terrible thing looks to Bellamy for all the world like a bullywug that has been consigned to the Abyss to be twisted and tortured!

 

The watery projectile falls short, splashing over the gunwales and filling the bottom of the boat with an inch of foul liquid!

It is then that the boatman leaps between the demonic frog and his passengers, raising his flaming staff, his voice booming in rebuke! "You defy The Way, daemon! You defy Charon! None may hunt those who partake of the trade!"

The water daemon casts a long, hungry glare past the pilot’s fiery staff. But he turns and dives back below the water without a word of protest.

The boat drifts downstream with the current, carried toward fate and the dread city. The boatman speaks. "The travelers’ accord must be sealed. Payment must be made for passage."

Ahead, on a rise of red rock that forms the left bank, a hunched figure stands, watching the boat. Her flesh is the sickly grey color of a moonless night. Horns curl back from her forehead, mixing in the thin, tangled hair that spills from her head. A pointed nose, drawn lips that do not conceal her wicked teeth.

A night hag.

Verdigris remembers the lonely girl in the K’Tawl Swamp. He holds Melora’s Blessing tightly, a gift from Luna. Is this form to be her fate as well. She had said she was coming of age, and was afraid of what transformation that would bring.

Beside the hag, two large beasts with bodies like dogs and the twisted heads of men bare their teeth at the passing barge. But the night hag restrains them with a word. The hellish trio turn and walk away from the river as the barge continues downstream.

The boatman points with his bony finger. Through the lifting haze and widening landscape, amongst the crags and smoking volcanoes, a vast city lies adjacent to the river ahead.

Still several miles off, the scale of the metropolis of Gehenna is incredible! It is many times the size of the largest cities of Tal’Dorei. Strange, disturbing architecture defies comprehension, as impossibly tall ziggurats vent strange, pale smoke into the hazy air. Towers with sharp protrusions look like taloned arms grasping upward from the broken ground. Open spaces are filled with dull pavilions surrounding circular arenas. And around it all, a red earthen wall runs from the bank of the black river.

"Lao Shu Po," the boatman says solemnly. "It is time to pay the toll. The rate of the dead; a single penny."

OOC
 

Last edited by 4eyedBadger; 03-01-2020 at 10:23 AM.
  #7  
Old 03-01-2020, 01:41 PM
Drachenspirit's Avatar
Drachenspirit Drachenspirit is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-14-2020
RPXP: 14840
Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit
Posts: 14,593
Talia
left-aligned image
Talia knew power when she saw it. Their boatman obviously commanded great power with how he turned away the foul frog-thing. Even the Night hag let him go on his way as they floated along.

Without any style, flourish of skill or display, Talia put away her daggers. Sitting in the boat she replied to Ron, "The others weren't caught in the trap. We'll just have to ride this out." Her tone was even, but not so much fearful as one who has resigned themselves to their fate.
She could do nothing on this boat, and even though the probable destination ahead might be evil ground, it was still ground.

She cautiously stepped forward and offered four copper from her pouch. Most of her coin had been left on the ship, but she always had some on her person.
Offering the coins she said, "I'll pay for us all, if that's acceptable." She gestured for the others to keep a watchful eye outside the boat. She wasn't a ranged fighter by any means, and even though she could be quite deadly with her daggers, there was no way she was throwing them away out here. So, while her gesture was a good one, there was purpose behind it. It was after all, just a copper.

As she sat back down, hand resting lazily on her twin swords, she actually smiled. If this is how she was to meet her fate, then she'd come a long way. Never had she imagined there'd be a day when she'd pay out a copper, and actually think that it was... just a copper.
She got the look of her companions and took their measure. There was no weighing their purpose, or they worth to her. They were friends. Each unique in so many ways, she trusted them with her life and her livelihood. A glance past the boatman to the shore confirmed that she'd most likely have to trust them if she was to live, or... continue in death??... through what was to come.
She thought of asking Bellamy if they were dead and somehow continuing to fight in the afterlife like so many tales she had heard, but decided it didn't matter. The pommel of her blades felt real in her palm, and the hardness of the boat under her graceful arse felt way too real.
This wasn't paradise, and if she had to fight for it, she would.

 
__________________
Posting Status: Normal

Last edited by Drachenspirit; 03-21-2020 at 04:26 PM.
  #8  
Old 03-02-2020, 12:30 PM
hafrogman's Avatar
hafrogman hafrogman is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-15-2020
RPXP: 8237
hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman
Posts: 2,222
Verdigris
right-aligned image
Verdigris kept his gaze fixed on he boatman awaiting an answer, even as the others stirred behind him. The suddenly they were going down the rapids and the dragonborn's attention was diverted as he held on. The brief spray he had first felt convinced him that this river was not the blessed waters of life. This was something else entirely. When the boatman spoke again, Verdigirs recoiled away, chilled to the bone by the response received. Slaves? Always slaves.

Movement from the shore drew his attention once more, and he witnessed the boatman spring to their defense with some surprise. Clearly the boatman took his charge seriously, and although the inhabitants of this realm did not seemed pleased, they were unwilling to cross the mysterious figure's will... or perhaps it was the accord itself they did not dare break. Even the Hag turned away from their passage, bringing a long buried concern back to the surface. Just what was for sale in this cursed place? Could another Hag break the curse upon Luna?

The payment was due. 'The rate of the dead' caused him to quirk one eyebrow and he poked a finger at his own chest thoughtfully. He was reasonably sure he was still alive, but he would not question the cost. Verdigris reached into his pouch with a pair of clawed hands. He should have a copper piece in there somewhere. Given the ferocity with which the boatman had defended them, he was in no hurry to be the first to break this strange contact they had found themselves entered into. He looked up in surprise as Talia was the one volunteering to pay the price for all of them.

Talia was a fierce and loyal friend, but he would not have counted generosity among her best qualities. At least not when it came to material goods. Still, he nodded his thanks and looked towards the city.

"We walk from here?"

OOC
 

 
__________________
Characters: VerdigrisGwarcMincemeatDel CorganIris KetteringCaleb ShawOtis von Hoyt
  #9  
Old 03-04-2020, 02:31 AM
Vislands's Avatar
Vislands Vislands is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-15-2020
RPXP: 5908
Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands
Posts: 2,565
Bellamy was tense, focused. The four Knaves were in a sudden and dangerous position. Wherever they had been sent, it was hostile territory. The specter that served as the captain of his ship and their shepherd seemed to serve a more neutral purpose, but when they encountered the monstrous aberration of a bullywug it was clear that he was likely the exception to the infernal rule.

Her mind was working in overtime as they went down the river and came to the night hag. Before she got too close she spoke quietly to her three companions. "We are another plane, I believe, but not the realm of the dead. Not truly - I do not feel the Matron's power over this place." She looked sharply at the night hag who demanded a toll. "The Raven Queen is not the only one who deals in souls. Careful, this domain - Gehanna - seems to be a place of rules. It may be dangerous to break those laws." With those words, Doc put a gentle, but firm hand on Ron's muscled arm.

She had to get them out of here and back to the safety (hah) of Wrettis.


StatBlock
 
  #10  
Old 03-04-2020, 03:40 PM
4eyedBadger's Avatar
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-14-2020
RPXP: 2989
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger
Posts: 2,088
The Soul Markets of Lao Shu PoThe boatman accepts the coppers from Talia’s proffered hand wordlessly and without even a nod of acknowledgement.

As they draw nearer the city of Lao Shu Po, the sheer size of it becomes even more apparent. What had from a distance looked to be sentries walking outside the walls are revealed to be massive machines of war, bristling with giant axes and crushing maces weighing several tons. The fires of their engines burn within chests, twenty feet across, and black smoke rises into the hazy sky from their squat necks. Each of the walking sentry constructs drags a whip-like weapon formed of twisted, rusty metal fibers as they patrol the walls. A crack of that metal cord would break a strong man’s spine.

The city has no docks; only places where the thirty foot banks of the river are cut into a slope of artificial beach. The boatman runs the barge aground on the damp red, volcanic soil. "Guard your souls here like you would a purse. They are your most valuable commodity. Spend them well."

The hooded figure says no more as the four wayward companions step onto the beach. The offloaded weight makes the barge sit higher in the dark brown, lapping water, lifting free of the sloping bank. The boatman pushes off and continues downriver without even a backwards glance.

The four Knaves are left to walk up the earthen ramp to the city proper by themselves. As they do, they emerge into a bustling quarter of the vast marketplaces of Lao Shu Po.

Shouts of hawkers and haggling merchants fill the smoky air with a din of languages from throughout the Planes. But the majority of words they hear are the harsh, guttural sounds of Abyssal.

Stranger than the sounds is the sight of an entire city filled with creatures that would each be cause for nightmares in Tal’Dorei. A humanoid fiend with rippling muscles, the head of a diseased, tusked lion, and broad, red, featherless wings folded into his back, shouts at a pig-faced dwarfish thing covered in burst pustules, dripping green pus down its moisture slick skin.

Across the open square, a three-legged vulture, nine feet tall, drags a chained pair of wretched humans, nearly naked in their rags and bare feet, their dead eyes never lifting from the red stones of the street.

Everywhere Ron looks is something that he would typically smash with Ronda on sight. Monstrous forms and walking horrors move among booths filled with strange wares; from suspicious-looking candles and containers, to cages of every size, filled with creatures no less monstrous than those who buy and sell them, including the canine things with human faces that accompanied the night hag earlier.

But most of the cages are filled with humans! Bellamy looks through the bars and sees hate-filled faces looking back at her. Cruel, remorseless faces that hate her and would choke the life from her if given the chance. Her connection with the Raven Queen beats within her, and suddenly she understands. These are pale, wretched shells of once living men and women; petitioner souls condemned to the plane of Gehenna to be hunted and consumed into nothing. They are the true currency of this market, this city, and this plane.

It does not take long for the new arrivals to be noticed. No other humans or demi-humans seem to walk free here. And the four new arrivals, armed and filled with the vibrancy of life quickly attract the attentions of the denizens of the city. The shouts die down as most turn to look at Ron, Verdigris, Talia, and Doc. Twisted scowls promise death, torture, pain and oblivion. The diseased lion-man actually licks his lips in hunger at the sight of them.

What keeps them at bay? What law or custom can be holding back the tide of malevolence waiting to break over them now?

After several seconds of near silence in the square, under the ravenous gaze of a hundred fiends, one approaches them.

left-aligned image
She is tall, graceful, and pleasant of form, especially considering the rest of this population. With skin a pale, powdery blue, and her lithe body showing from beneath a nearly sheer gown, she reminds one of an elf...that is, except for a few eccentric features. Where many creatures would have a tail, a large snake writhes back and forth alongside her as she walks toward them. And two thick horns curl back from her forehead. Finally, a third eye, between and above the normal two, glows red over her brow. The gathered host watches her, some with amusement, some with envy, and still others with obvious longing.

As she passes alongside Talia, she smiles. Holding her arms out to her sides as she walks, iridescent tattoos of intricate design wrap around her limbs and body.

"How delightful," she says smoothly. "Have you come to buy..." She traces her fingers across Verdigris’ back as she walks around the group. "...or to sell?"

Last edited by 4eyedBadger; 03-05-2020 at 01:18 AM.
  #11  
Old 03-05-2020, 01:34 PM
kymrel's Avatar
kymrel kymrel is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-15-2020
RPXP: 5161
kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel kymrel
Posts: 2,834
Ronald ‘One-Bone’ Devyn
right-aligned image
Feeling overwhelmed and not entirely sure what’s going on, Ron stays silent while the others deal with the boat man. When Talia pays him with her own money, not money she just stole from the boatman himself, he knows something is very, very wrong.

A slave city, the boatman said. Bargaining for souls. Just before he drove off the frog-thing that apparently wanted to get a taste of Ronda’s tender mercies. And then the clincher. They are paying the rate of the dead. Despite Bellamy’s reassurances, the enforcer from Stilben is certain the trap killed them all. Although he’s glad the others survived, it pains him beyond words that his stupidity apparently doomed Doc, Horse and Cat alongside himself.

As they step off the boat, Ron is gloomier than ever. "I still think we’re all dead. This is the afterlife," he says stubbornly. It’s not like him to state an opinion contrary to that offered by his betters, but there is something about this place that changes the rules. They are all dead, he knows it.. This isn’t how this was supposed to end. No last, impossible battle where Asdis comes to claim his soul in the afterlife. Instead there is apparently a slave market. Ron has never been a slave, but he gathers it isn’t something to aspire to.

When they get closer to the city Ron is in awe of the size of the place, and the insane-looking architecture. Westruun had been a huge city compared to Stilben, and Westruun looked like a small country hamlet in comparison to this monstrosity of a city. The thug grips his hammer tightly. He might need it very soon.

The people in Westruun were strange, speaking with an unfamiliar accent that made Ron feel uncomfortable. And yet this is nothing compared to the nightmarish selection of creatures shouting in a tongue he has never heard before. "I don’t want to be here any more," Ron mutters quietly as they walk through the market place. "Can’t we pay the boatman to take us somewhere else? Anywhere else?" the burly enforcer continues, on the verge of tears.

As the crowd falls silent, watching the for newcomers, Ron can almost smell the hostility in the market place. Like many so used to violence, Ron tends to have a good sense for when things are about to kick off. And things are about to kick off. The thug pushes his way to the front of the group, Ronda held in both hands across his chest, and spits on the ground in front of him. "Come on then," he growls. He’s understood almost nothing about what’s happening, the prospect of violence is a prospect of normalcy for Ron. Kill or be killed. Simple.

When the blue three-eyed horned woman steps forward, Ron relaxes a little. If they want to talk first he can wait. And then he’ll cave her head in.

OOC
 
__________________
People say I'm evil and twisted, but I really have the heart of a young boy. In a jar, on my desk.

I have taken the Oath of Sangus.
  #12  
Old 03-06-2020, 12:04 PM
Drachenspirit's Avatar
Drachenspirit Drachenspirit is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-14-2020
RPXP: 14840
Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit Drachenspirit
Posts: 14,593
Talia
left-aligned image
Talia got off the boat and felt better, but only for about a hot minute. The odd looking manner of... people(?) around her caused her to instinctively "Shift", taking on a more feline look.
She still didn't fit in.

She fell in line a step behind Ron as he was the largest one of the group. Though the same height as Verdigris, he was wider.
Her left hand stayed on the pommels of her swords, while her right stayed close to her body, ready to pull a dagger if the need arose.

When Ron said he wanted to go anywhere else, she moved to his left side, touching his upper bicep with the palm of her left hand and slightly gripping his thick corded muscles with her elongated fingernails.
"It's jussst another placssse Big Guy", she said as she showed teeth and fangs, hissing at those who came close. "We jussst need to learn the rulesss, and we'll be fine."

As the woman approached, she moved back to her position behind and slightly to Ron's left side, her grip letting go and falling back to her swords.

She quickly answered the woman, knowing that the boatman said they only dealt in Souls here. She stopped hissing and spoke plainly. "Our souls are nonnegotiable, not for sale. We'd be buyers, depending on the price, and as long as it's not a soul."

Talia wasn't entirely sure what a soul was. Sure, she had heard and read things, but it had only taken one telling of why a former thief turned serial killer - he sold his soul - that had solidified any conversation she'd have since then. And that was, her soul, wasn't for sale.


 
__________________
Posting Status: Normal

Last edited by Drachenspirit; 03-06-2020 at 12:05 PM.
  #13  
Old 03-06-2020, 01:54 PM
hafrogman's Avatar
hafrogman hafrogman is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-15-2020
RPXP: 8237
hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman
Posts: 2,222
Verdigris
right-aligned image
Verdigris looked around with a mixture of awe and terror. Ever since he had left the Draconian ship, he had felt out of place. His scales and features marked him as decidedly different from the humans, elves and dwarves that lived on Tal'Dorei. Even Talia with her animal features was more recognizable as a shared heritage with the continent's main inhabitants. But here, in this city, Verdigris seemed refreshingly commonplace. The creatures that crowded its streets were truly monstrous and alien. Nothing of Exandria's native creatures showed though, except where twisted into foul mockeries and superficial similarities.

His eyes quickly left the cruel things holding the chains and fell upon the wretched creatures that were their captives. Even enslaved by his own people, he had felt more hope than these held in their eyes... those few that even met his gaze. His heart broke, and he longed to do something... anything for these people. But he had no idea what to even attempt. Soon, he had other concerns.

Verdigris froze in place and stared straight ahead at the approach of the strange woman. He had been many creatures in his time. Monsters of the swamp, sea and land. Things that were feared by their prey. But there was something infinitely more predatory in her posture. She would make even the greatest of Melora's creatures tremble. He longed to shy away, to hide, but he couldn't move. She ran a finger down his back and old scars puckered and ached in response.

He shook, first in terror, then to try and clear his mind. Talia spoke and seemed to break whatever spell the woman held over him. He whirled to face the demoness, trying to keep out of reach. He kept his tone light, desperate to keep his primal responses reined in. "Passing through."

OOC
 

 
__________________
Characters: VerdigrisGwarcMincemeatDel CorganIris KetteringCaleb ShawOtis von Hoyt
  #14  
Old 03-06-2020, 05:10 PM
Vislands's Avatar
Vislands Vislands is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-15-2020
RPXP: 5908
Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands
Posts: 2,565
A mix of terror and disgust swirled within Doc's gut as they walked through the 'market'. The caged humans weren't much more than shells, that she could tell, but the healer in her found it hard to think of any life that deserved to end in such a place and in such a state. Bellamy walked closely to the other three, her shield wielded and her eyes looking around at the monstrosities around them. She hid her fear by rage and thankfully she was well practiced at such.

Because she was deeply afraid. As was Ron, who sounded close to breaking. Thankfully, Talia stepped in and comforted the man and Doc chimed in soon after. "That's right Ron, we'll be back to Boss and everyone soon. Just don't hit anything unless we say so, ok?"

Doc froze as the feminine creature approached them. Her instincts cried out for this creature to be struck down, but her rational mind knew that anything aggressive action here would result simply in the four of them being torn apart. The half-orc waited, tension running up her neck and back, for their terrifying host to speak to Talia's response.


StatBlock
 
  #15  
Old 03-07-2020, 11:53 AM
4eyedBadger's Avatar
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-14-2020
RPXP: 2989
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger
Posts: 2,088
Lao Shu PoThe blue fiend woman lifts her fingers from Verdigris’ back and turns to face Talia. She steps toward the shifter slowly, her smile more menacing than the openly-hostile sneers of the crowd of onlookers. The woman’s snake-tail remains near Verdigris, writhing and coiling dangerously near the bronze-scaled skin of his leg.

"Everything...is negotiable, dear," she says to Talia. Her two “normal” eyes, shimmering like amethyst, stare hard into the rogue’s eyes. The third, central red eye on the fiend’s forehead looks up and down Talia’s now feline form. The terrible scene feels frozen in tableau; Ron gripping his maul across his chest looking about uncertainly, Verdigris shaking with unnatural fear of remembered pain and sorrow, Bellamy, with her jaw clenched, holding the horror at bay with summoned ferocity in the glare she passes over the crowd, and Talia, staring down the daemonic woman with the confident, narrowed eyes of a dangerous cat.

For a moment it seems the tide can turn either way. The monstrous hordes looking on seem to be waiting for a sign that they may break whatever conventions bind them and rush at the newcomers in a ravenous frenzy. But Talia, like a cat aloof to danger, does not break. In the end, it is the fiend who gives her the slightest nod.

"I am Az’goneth," says the blue woman. The menace in her voice is lessened now, but none of the Knaves count her any less dangerous for it. Az’goneth turns her attention to the gathered hosts around them and calls out, "They have business here!"

Slowly, and with groans of disappointment, the merchants and patrons of the Abyss return to their dark dealings with fervor. The shouts of negotiations and hawking build until the marketplace looks and sounds much as it did before their arrival, although the one with the head of a diseased lion watches them longer than the rest.

"I’m afraid we have little to offer..." Az’goneth’s voice is mocking now, "...to mortal merchants who are ‘passing through’ and do not deal in souls." Her snake tail flicks and raises to the same level as her own head. "There is one who might have interest in you. But you may have to loosen those precious purse strings a bit. Come. I will take you to her."

Az’goneth leads them away from the banks of the river, deeper into the city. As they move from street to street through the sprawling market, they see more and more exotically terrifying sights; pale meats hung from strings of barbed chains, colored jars containing strange powders or cloudy liquids, open-stall armories filled with hooked weapons or whips or implements of pain, rather than war.

And everywhere are the despondent petitioner souls used as currency here. But not all of those bought and sold and dragged by chains look to be the hollow shells of the once-lived. Some may still be living mortals, captured or indentured somehow to this wicked plane. Although these ones look no less hopeless than the rest of the Hunted.

right-aligned image
Az’goneth leads them beyond the markets to a district filled with buildings of rough, ovular construction. Open iron scaffolding and stretched leather tarpaulins combine to form these strange structures. Cheers and shouts and groans and screams issue from within. Looking through an open gateway to the interior of one as they pass, the Knaves see a sight of brutal violence! A wolf-headed monster with the waxy, fleshy body of an eel, drips ichor from its own extruded guts, which are wrapped around the lifeless body of what may once have been a humanoid, a broken spear laying in the blood-soaked dirt nearby. The crowd of daemons in the ascending seats of the structure jeer and boo at the swift conclusion of the exhibition below.

Pit-fighting arenas.

Az’goneth watches the group for reactions. She then addresses Talia, who walks closest to her. "The one I am taking you to see runs one of the largest of these arenas. She is powerful, and likely able to provide whatever it is you seek in Lao Shu Po. But at a cost. Her slave markets supply the fighting pits. She has been known to offer a powerful gift to mortals who can defeat her or her champions in the arenas. None succeed. And the cost of failure is a quick death at the roar of the crowd, or a long life of slavery in the mines of her world. But she has no interest in souls, and so may be the only merchant worth your speaking to."

Their fiendish guide leads them toward a large, tan pavilion, one of several erected between the arenas. The approach to the pavilion is lined with sneering, grotesque statues, each about five feet tall. The statues look like devils, their wings spread behind them or folded, open mouths filled with sharp stone teeth. Passing between the statues toward the open flap entrance, Ron is certain that the silent sentries move in his periphery, turning their heavy, stone heads to watch him.

Az’goneth pays the statues little heed, and passes through the flap of the pavilion. Following her into the large tent, Ron and Verdigris struggle to see in the comparative darkness. But Talia and Doc quickly survey the austere, spacious interior. The floor is brown dirt, without any carpets, although the plazas outside are made of reddish stone. In such a hellish cityscape, the plain brown earth is almost a welcome sight. Distant sections of the pavilion are partitioned off by opaque hanging fabrics. But the main chamber in which they stand is barely furnished. In fact, raised earthen mounds seem to be the only seats, and a large granite slab, the only table-like surface. Foods are laid out on the stone table; exotic fruits and thinly sliced, salted meats.

left-aligned image
The room itself is unremarkable. It’s occupants, however, are something else entirely! A huge female, her thick, dusk-colored skin covered by red robes, sits on the earthenwork lounge. Gold torcs wrap around her biceps, which are easily as big as Ron’s thighs! Her squat neck supports a chiseled head. Harsh angular features surround eyes of such bright white they seem to cast moonlight on the earth around her. Near at hand, a hammer with a head so large Talia doubts two strong men could lift it, leans against the granite slab.

right-aligned image
Her companion is even more striking. Bare-chested, the man stands over seven feet tall! Chains wrap around his torso and broken links trail away from thick manacles on his wrists! His skin burns red where the metal touches it, perhaps lending to the pained, malevolent scowl that he turns on the newcomers. Angelic wings of ashen grey twitch from his scarred back, and a halo of black light surrounds his head.

Az’goneth allows a moment to pass as the two sides survey each other silently. Then she addresses the dusk-skinned female. "Radeni, these...merchants...arrived in the city this day. They hold their souls dear, but would barter for what they seek." She looks back at the group she has brought with her. "That would seem to leave them with precious little currency. But they may provide suitable entertainment in the pits. Will you treat with them?"

Radeni rises from her dais of dirt, seeming to carry some of it with her as she strides toward the group. The chained angel remains standing behind her as Radeni takes stock of Talia, Bellamy, Verdigris and Ron. When she speaks, her voice is a grinding of stone, vibrating the floor beneath them slightly. "I will." She nods to Az’goneth. Looking back to Talia, her tone turns mocking and condescending. "What bargain do you seek with Radeni the Cruel, Mortals of the Precious Soul?"

OOC
 

Last edited by 4eyedBadger; 03-08-2020 at 01:45 PM.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:26 AM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.(© 2009-2012)


RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2020, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB