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  #226  
Old Aug 5th, 2021, 02:20 PM
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Bander
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The application of a little battlefield first aid and an hour’s nap and Bander is feeling half way human again, instead of the walking corpse that Haela helped carry into the temple. He climbs off the couch in Dash’s office with a groan and a quick questioning of his life choices as his stiff muscles protest at the movement. Walking stiff legged out into the sanctuary of the temple, Bander arrives just in time to hear the odd dwarf’s comments about joining his squad. The old soldier leans wearily against the door frame and hawks up a mouth full of spit and phlegm and is about to spit it out onto the floor of the temple, to show his thoughts on the matter of the odd dwarf, when he suddenly realizes where he is and catches sight of Sarandash.

Oh bloody hells…I forking hate temples.

Bander grimaces and swallows the viscous mouthful. Then looking this Joachim dwarf over, the scar faced soldier...

(Can I even keep calling myself that after all that has happened to me? Damn I don’t have time to think about that…but soon, real soon I’m going have to find the time…)

...the scar faced soldier says,

”I don’t forking know you from a bearded gnome…Dash there says you’re ok, but I don’t forking know him either. Tru says he’s all good, but damn it all to the coldest pit of the Nine Hells, I barely know anyone here.” Bander reaches up and runs a hand down his scar puckered face with a bone weary sigh. ”Ah what the fork does it matter? We started with a walking, talking bird; I got a goliath, who either is walking around naked or dressing as a woman, in the squad; while my soul seems to be owned by some goat humping, tweed jacket wearing devil who collects eye balls…with all of that, what’s a poetry spouting, fig cookie making dwarf? Maybe you will prove the sanest of us all.”

Turning to his companions and the priest, Bander pushes off the door frame and walks over to the altar rail area to join them. He is about to clear his throat again, but catches himself just in time so as not to repeat that unpleasant experience.

”Before I closed my eye for a cat nap, last I remember, our priest here was planning on going out in a big forking blaze of hugging and gentle recriminations. Is that still the forkingly stupid, arse backwards plan or have you talked some forking sense into his thick arse hat of a head?”


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  #227  
Old Aug 5th, 2021, 03:00 PM
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The temple is close, and has a courtyard where they can stash the birds. But. She has to get them all there. Then the pounding at the window starts---

Mincy panics Tru, a little bit. The widow. Urg. She is not sorry she killed the Speaker, not a speck, considering he was using the blue crystal. She has it wrapped in a bit of fur, and she takes it out, careful to keep the fur between it and her gloved hand. A bad tool used by bad people for bad ends. Mincy is better off. But she doesn’t want to harm this lady that she knows zero about.

She looks from the crystal to the cleric, standing over the smoking, perforated body of a bad man. Zuisudra holds an equally bad tool in his hand. But the black ice dagger is being used for good ends. Like Bander’s creepy eye.

And anyway she can’t do ends-and-means philosophy right now. She has to do bird math... How many blackcoats died in the lunch? 3? Or 4? And this guy here is super dead. So 5 or 6 left. Bad. And it’s just her and Zuis. Very bad. And she has little magic and no wild and Osco is on fumes and she and Zuis are both hurt. Bad Bad Bad.

But, they have faith, both of them.

What if this! She stuffs the crystal back and rattles out a plan, Frank, Zuis overheard like two or three of talking ---she tells him exactly where--- and one came here. So one or two are alone. Run go find him or them, and try to get them to come here, fast. We will set up for another ambush. Don’t bring more than one or two. You can tell them some turdy little teenager is stealing a bird---this is Easthaven, they will believe that, and they won’t run around finding all their buddies to confront one kid. Especially if they think it’s happening immediately. What do you think, Zuis?

If Zuisudra agrees to this plan, she will send Frank off and get out the dusty mints and stress eat one, then hand the tin to Kieran. Kieran, what is Mincy like? Can you go soothe her? Here is some apologetic soothing candy. Just get her to calm her ****---OH! GOT IT! GO tell her bad danger is happening, murder and thieves in the garden, and Frank went for help, and the two of you need to hide under a bed until it’s over!

Boys deployed, animal handling dirty 20!she tries to get the birds in the stable so she won’t accidentally blow one up. That would be just awful. Once they are locked in, she can leave the gate cracked. The blackcoat will hear some birds in the building, but the cracked gate will back Frank's story. He will come in to count and---BLAMMO.

Osco re-hides. She runs to the wagon and pats the stick pile and speaks in druidic. You are being perfect, Willow in Snow! Keep being sticks, you perfect thing. Then she uses the Frank-pile staircase of bucket to crate to gutter to get back on the roof----UNLESS.

Unless Zuis has a better plan. Then she will recallibrate or combine.

 


 

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  #228  
Old Aug 5th, 2021, 06:32 PM
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Zius stood above the body of the Blackcoat, his glance flicking in the direction of the house at the plaintive cries of the Speaker's widow. He moved over to stand with Tru as she took control of the panicked avian mounts, his expression serious and solemn as he listened to her directives. Letting Kieran handle the Mincy was smart and Zius Guidance on Kieranpressed a hand to the back of Kieran's shoulder, giving him a small blessing as he headed off to distract the widow. Say what you think will distract her best.

To Frank and Tru. "Wait. The ambush went well, but it won't go as smoothly a second time." The path always shifts and the drop of dew never rolled the same way twice. "We must make our move now, while we are in control. While Mincy is distracted and the axebeaks are under our control, let us make our way to rejoin our other companions. Back roads, with Frank giving Help Actionscouting ahead to give us fair warning."

Once they were ready to move, he would take up space next to Tru and invoke the knowledge of the records, then help her lead the controlled Axebeaks through the streets in a path that
Dice Stealth:
2d20+5kh1 (6, 13 (keeping 13) )+5 Total = 18
1d4t 1 Running Total = 19
keeps them unseen by the Blackcoats.


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  #229  
Old Aug 5th, 2021, 10:15 PM
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Oar lines up his hand against the horizon, scans for the ... and laughs at himself.

There was, of course, no way to tell what time it was using the hand, horizon and sun trick because there was no sun. Well, not one he could see anyway. Standing on the ferry deck, Oar closed his eyes and recalled his memory of the sun, the times when it blanketed a deck in incandescent fury, the times when it boldly broken through twirling storm clouds in a miraculous pillar, and the times when it gently peeked over the horizon as Oar stood on his tiptoes in the crow's nest begging for a spot of land to be illuminated in his line of sight.

Filled with these memories, Oar threw open his eyelids hoping that his retina would retain some sense of where the sun was and allow him to determine the time.

That, of course, didn't happen.

It was Ten Town dark just as before.

But his tummy did rumble, telling him with no uncertainty that it was at least 2 or maybe even 3 o'clock.

What was keeping everyone?

Well, no harm in putting on a pot of tea to tide him over. And maybe to welcome them.

Oar brewed up two. One was the dubious leaves of the captain's cabin. The other was his yet-unsipped magical tea.

"Now then," Oar said to the magic tea as he swished around its leaves, "let's see what wonders you are ready to share. Because, I think, my friends could use some mercy now."


 


 


 
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  #230  
Old Aug 6th, 2021, 02:04 AM
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Afternoon in EasthavenOar, the horizon is dull as you sip your tea. A lake breeze. Cold. The sky is dull grey and flat, and moving. As the wind picks up, the clouds boil over the city of Easthaven, sour yellow over the weak torchlights. A few snowflakes, could be just the wind picking up spray from the lake, but then... more snow. Flakes brush against your face and tap, tiny icy bits. The tea is cooling. Your feet are floating. Not just the motion of the boat, lift and drag, but actually floating, not touching the deck. The wind blows a taut gust over you and you drift a little, where you hang in the air, stung all over with snowflakes. You can move by pulling yourself along the rail, or go back down to land, feet solid, braced against the coming storm.

Bander you prove yourself not to be a spitter. Whatever Mincy Waylan does with the phlegmy result of clearing her throat, it's not what you do. Not in a church anyway.

"You're okay by me, old man," says Joachim Ringelnatz. His coat is leather, fur, with a purplish hue. A little flared. A little fancy. He carefully installs a black fedora on his head. No earflaps. "Sounds like I'm about to be the least weird guy in your squad. I always knew this day would come. And I'm ready for it. Going to toll that bell curve. Going to hit that... arithmetic mean."

Sarandash welcomes you to the sanctuary where it's warm and bright, as candles and incense are still being recklessly burned.

"Is there anything else I can do for you before you travel on, my friend?" he asks.

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Tru, you lay out your play to your allies, unless Ziusudra has a different one, which he does. So you recalculate, switching from Operation Blackcoat Bait to Operation Axebeak Boost. Moving among the birds, you try to calm them, communicate with them, and Kieran helps. These birds are not entirely unfamiliar to you, but you've never ridden one. Hey, you're a druid and these are animals. How hard can it be?

"This is Whitney, he's old, see he's got a broken crest, but he's solid as silver, is Whitney, here he is." He moves to a different bird, hand hanging from the halter as the axebeak lifts its head high, as if spooked. "This is Roadrunner, he will play up and be dramatic, but he's nothing scared, he's never going to bolt, he just will have his moment, here he is, very calm, see. Watch the feet. If they have nervous feet, that's the one you have to worry about."

He's a hollow-eyed kid but he is a natural with these animals, and helps you get to know them a little bit, even as Frank Brown is slapping on saddles and hurrying things along. You with your 20 animal handlingwork out that each of you can ride one and lead two others. "This is Tracker Three," Kieran tells you. "This is Sweets." You mount up, and pull Willow on Snow up behind you, so its rooty hands can wrap around your waist.

Ziusudra you settle this nervous child's bubbling recitations with your hand on his shoulder, pressing down into him in the golden clarity of your god, and giving instructions. He looks up at you, bedraggled and scrawny, taller than Frank Brown and less agile, in fact a little awkward of limbs. He stumbles over his boots as he moves between the axebeaks. But he's looking at you truly, and for a few seconds at least, he understands.

"Yes, I'll tell her, I'll tell her that Mr. Einar is here and he's coming up to see her. That will surely get her away from the window, until she's got her hair on anyway." He trots toward the door, sleeves and pantlegs just a bit too short, shoes a bit too tight, mumbling as if he's rehearsing lines. He did a pretty good job! She crit on insight though.He goes inside.

Do you mount up, ranger? With two more to control by lead ropes attached to their halters, plus the reins, this will be a handful. You happen to get two to lead that don't like each other much, so they're jostling to see which will be first, one pecks at the other, and they have a tendency to squawk.

You send Frank ahead through the dark streets, looking out for you, scouting. He presses forward and the birds come up, bumping and jostling each other, waiting. When he peeks around a corner and waves a hand, you move forward. Breath freezes in the air. There are squawks and clucks and high whistling bird calls that echo down the alleys as you pass the ones that Frank has cleared. There are doors that open and close again.

Frank slips out of sight between two buildings, and one axebeak you're leading takes a swipe at the other one, its eyes narrowed and steely. When you look back at the street you see Frank again, but he's not alone. A large man in a black coat steps out of the shadows with him, and stands in the center of the way, holding the boy by the neck. Franks feet are lifted off the ground and he makes a strangling noise.

"Been searching for me?" He rattles Frank back and forth. The Blackcoat's hood is thrown back, showing his weird ring of hair, beard into bangs, with nothing in back. His ears are big, coarse. "The lady and I saw what you did to Nils. Regret it now? Hey, I gotta get outta here, and you're sitting on my ride. You keep your fireballs in your pocket and let me take one of those birds, I'll dump this scrap in a snowbank outside town on my way out. Deal? Or do I dump him in that snowbank over there, after I snap his little chicken neck!"

It's quiet and dark, but there are people about. The birds stamp and shift, edge sideways and have to be pulled back. The standoff is lit by feeble torches, and dusted by light snow.


 
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Old Aug 6th, 2021, 07:16 PM
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In the cabin's empty box that aspires to hold a spyglass, Oar finds an extra coil of rigging line.

He ties one end to his ankle and slings the rest over his shoulder before climbing to the top of the ferry's main mast.

There, he wraps the other end in a cleat hitch around a fixture on the crow's nest, pulls out his teapot and chugs the liquid straight from the spout.

The most mystifying part of his rise into the air is that it continues at a slow, regular pace ... not usurped by inertia or any other physics known or observed by sailors anywhere. He is simply 5 feet, then 5 feet higher, then another 5 feet higher above the ferry.

But the wind has sway, and as it rises it blows Oar's ascent into an inclined climb. Slack forms in the rope as he moves perhaps two Oar lengths horizontally for each Oar length he rises.

Testing the easy, unhurried nature of the levitation, Oar leans back his neck and shoulders and then snaps! them forward as he throws his arms into and across his chest. The sudden self-projectory propels his body into an inclined somersault, where perfect circle spins come with a slightly counterwumpus adjustments as the levitation raises his rotation just a foot or so every time his head and shoulders reach the top. He's an egg-shaped planet in an egg-shaped orbit, in a world without a sun, so his belly has become the center of the universe.

It is snowing at this height. And a few renegade snowflakes, which should follow the laws of gravity, are taken in by Oar's force and—for a second or two—whirl around his body, tracing out the pattern of his spins, rising to a peak and then hurrying back downward to catch up with their buddies whom they left behind. Good thing each of them is unique and thus easy for one another to find. Nobody needs to be alone up here in the air, particularly if they are falling to the ground because that would be a long journey with nobody beside you to point out the view and, more importantly, who knows what outrages and disappointments are waiting for us down below. Sure, some fortunate snowflakes will fall into pure, liquid creeks and stream over moss-carpeted stones that tickle the last remnants of ice off of them as they merge with warm, southern rivers. But others will fall into a courtyard and be shat upon by large birds.

Even as a snowflake, life is a cruel gamble and better endured in pairs.


 


 


 
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  #232  
Old Aug 7th, 2021, 09:00 PM
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Oar
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Each of them is unique, separately made, and individual. As if each one were a little sprite, two arms, two legs, and an ice spear, riding the wind, beloved by its creator. The storm descends on the lake, and you rise, high on the magical effects of the tea. The wind gusts around you, drags at your tether, pierces you like a thousand hooks, each a little sprite of cold. You have made yourself into a balloon. You're getting closer to it now, the storm. It rumbles around you, cold everywhere.

Where is the storm located, when it seems to come from every direction at once? How do you say: here it is, or there. A somersault turns you upside down twice, then halfway back, then sideways, until it's just like being underwater, when there is darkness everywhere, and no up. You have seen snow. Bright blue. And you never forgot the pleasure of it. You see yourself as a snowflake. But there's still a rope around your ankle. This was your precaution. Something to hold you back from traversing the world.

At the end of your tether, you bob. A spirit speaks into the wind, the secret names of ice. Her talons reach into clouds, her breath whispers into your ear: Oh, there you are. My Goliath. You blink, eyelashes feathered with snow and ice, and a shadow in the clouds seems to be a figure. Two figures. You blink. It's like you're seeing twice, once for a mundane snowstorm, and once for a presence solidifying in the swirling flakes. Then you figure it out: if you close your brown eye, you can see her plain. If you close your blue eye, you see nothing but mist.

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Through your blue eye: A female form, austere, face painted in the way of the northern tribes of your people. Beside her, a giant white wolf. Is it the kind that stalks and glowers and runs from fire? Unite the clans, she says. Be my champion. Bring your people together, blessed by me. I will give you griffons, I will give you the gifts of Midwinter. I will give you a boon.

She seems to grow, or you feel yourself shrinking, until you are that fragment of ice, buffeted on the wind, and she is a cliff, glacier, a mountain of ice. The cleric is for the town. The druid is for the tundra. But I will be worshiped on the mountaintop. Bow to me. Take my blessing.


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  #233  
Old Aug 7th, 2021, 09:57 PM
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Frank Brown. Feeders of Tanners and Teetees. Nascent spy. Blooming rogue. Half-a-Hin.

Ingetrude Frostblossom loves this tough, sweet-hearted kid. Her own heart stutters and shifts.

She sits on top of Tracker Three, Willow in Snow pressed tight to her back. She feels the rustle of Willow’s foliage. She hums soft druidic words to the birds, to the bush. Peace, peace. Do not be afraid. Osco hums with her, a growling hum, circling behind, wary, angry, but still trying to soothe the animals and the awakened shrub.

Put that f*** in the ground, Osco says into her mind in a low roiling voice. It is the least he’s ever sounded like her brother. She is afraid, though. She is clamped onto T3 with her leg muscles, one hand holding Whitney’s rope, another holding onto---is it Roadrunner? Yes. Roadrunner.

She watches the blackcoat, willing her eyes not to shift to Frank, willing her expression to stay calm, and bored, and jaded. The blackcoat looks from her to Zuis, from her to Zuis, threatening, and Frank hangs from his hand, big-eyed and choking and kicking.

She times it. When the Blackcoat’s gaze flicks to Zuis, hers flies to Frank. She drops a fast wink, merry. Reassuring. Inside, she is reeling. But she tries to get her gaze back to the Blackcoat before his eyes shift back to her. Tries to look not at all fussed.

She wants the boy to know she has him. (She isn’t sure she has him.) She doesn’t want him to be so afraid he goes tharn and stops thinking. (She is so afraid, she’s almost tharn.)

That’s not my kid, she tells the blackcoat. That’s a street brat. I gave him two gold to help me steal these pricey birds; if you snap his neck, I want my coin back. She grins, hard and mean. You want a mount? Offer me a thing I care about. You got money? Something magic? We can deal. Or, kill that kid, fine. I’ll take it as you offering me violence instead of a jingling purse. I have plenty of that to trade back. Believe it.

If Zuis makes a move, she will drop Roadrunner’s line and back his play--- Kiernan said Roadrunner was the one who would never bolt. Maybe the other birds will follow his example and be cool if flames start flying. She has the loose ones following her trio of birds in a pretty good pod with Zuis holding Sweets and---whoever that is. Maybe they will stay calm when violence breaks out. And unless the blackcoat lets go of Frank Brown close to instantly - well. She stares him down. Waits to see his play.

 


 

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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 05:41 PM
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Ziusudra lead the two cantankerous bird, while mounted on a third with Animal Handling was a 12 with disadvantage.perhaps less than disastrous results considering how bone-tired he felt. His senses were dulled as were his reaction speeds. And now they were faced with another of the Blackcoats, who seemed to swarm about this town like so many cockroaches. Tru attempted a facade, but the genuine concern for frank practically oozed from her every pore - it was clear she was no callous trade.

Ziusudra's mind turned as quickly as it could, but he failed to see a better move than the one he was about to take. They simply had too much to lose and their allies were too far. The southerner spurred his mount forward, ignoring any protests from his halfing companion or the hostage Frank. He came within a few feet of the hostile man and threw one of the axebeaks' lead ropes, one of the squalling pair's, forward onto the churned snow and muddy ground between them.

"Take it. But if he is dead or harmed when we find him, I will hunt you down personally." The disciple's voice was calm as he spoke, almost business-polite. But there was no deception in his words.


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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 12:10 PM
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Bander
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Bander sighs in frustrated resignation when it appears that no one has been able to get any sense through the forking cleric’s head. For a moment, just a moment, his hands tighten on the altar rail, his knuckles turning white, then he mutters under his breath, ”Ah fork it all…I’m getting tired anyway.” Bander then straightens his back, releases his grip on the rail, and sets his face into a grim mask of determination. Turning to Sarandash, he motions the cleric to walk a bit to the side with him. Once they are far enough from the others to not be easily over heard, Bander asks,

”So what do you know about devils or demons or that forking sort of mess? Have you ever heard of something like that with all black eyes and a scorpion tail? Maybe one that hangs out in a library, and has a collection of eyeballs?”

As Bander waits for the cleric to answer, he glances towards the temple door...Tru and the Southern, Ziusudra, should have been back by now. The old soldier is beginning to worry for his squad members. There are still Blackcoats around that need dealing with before the owl cleric shows up. Much longer and Bander is going to need to go hunting for his friends and for some Blackcoats to kill.

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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 03:44 PM
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Haela Starshield
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Haela frowned. It didn't feel like the old priest was agreeing with her. Of course it wasn't her place to keep a courageous man from dying in battle, but being dragged out on to the ice and left to freeze - as these wintry fanatics seemed to be so keen on doing, to those who pledged devotion to them as much as to those who stood against - seemed a cold and lonely way to go.

She tapped the haft of The Killie Special, trying not to show any signs of worry.

"These cookies," she eventually broke her silence to ask, "Baked hard all the way through, or with gooey bits?"

Haela glared at Joachim from her post at the temple doorway, waiting for his response. She was History Check: 4almost certain she had never heard of any clan Ringelnatz, so she thought to pass the time until Tru and the others returned by setting him this simple test of skill, honour, and personal integrity.

It was nice to be chatting in Dwarvish again.


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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 09:54 PM
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Orwinton 'Oar' Grinstyrwi
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Lordy. If it wasn't one god, it was another.

Worship me or I kill you! says the owl god. Unite my people, cause I'm too busy, says skylady with the wolf. Light fires and die in futile resistance, apparently says another.

Don't they have enough to do on their own little planes and heights?

Oar closes his blue eye, untethers himself to the rope, and allows the breeze to bring him closer to town.

He isn't trying to call attention to himself. But, well, he's never had such an audience before.

So, confidently, but not intrusively, performance roll = 11, could have been worse! sorry, citizens with ears!he sings as the levitation-tea loses effect and he lowers DM affirmed wind directioninto the edge of town.

There once was a giant lady in the sky!
She had a giant cup and poured a giant drink!
She had a giant wolf, who gnawed a giant bone!
And together they called us to atone!

Go here! Do this, then that, then this, say I!
She was bossy, godly, imperious and succinct!
I guess we'd better obey and tremble in fear
For if we don't then our end is near ...
(or in the meantime we could have another beer!)









 


 


 
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  #238  
Old Aug 10th, 2021, 03:00 AM
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In the Alley
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Tru and Ziusudra, the thickening snow falls in the dark, quieting everything. The sound of the birds milling anxiously in the road is dulled, even the squawks. The slap of the reins as Ziusudra passes them over is a thud. The low grunt of the Blackcoat leaning heavily into the saddle and straddling his mount, and the little cry that comes out of Frank Brown as the brute yanks him up across the bird's neck, splayed helplessly and pushed down into the saddle.

That little sound, almost lost in the night. And his arms jerking out wildly to catch himself, but he can't before his face is ground down into the bird's shoulder. That little sound is enraging, and condemning, and raw, but then -- what? you see that jerking hand that couldn't save the boy from this undignified pose just slips lightly into the black leather pocket and emerge with a cloth purse? The man is fighting the reins and having a hard time getting the bird under control -- because Frank is pinching it with the other hand! This kid!

"Ow, mister!" he says, laying it on thick, and as the bird spins and bucks, you see him flash you a wink. The same wink Tru gave him. I got you. We're on the same team. This is for show. Einar gathers himself, and gets his mount under control. He looks back at you with steely eyes, digs his heels in, and the axebeak jumps into motion in big leaps down this side street toward the Eastway. Before the snow and darkness obscure your vision, you see Frank wriggle and jerk again and you hear Einar curse. A black shape goes hurtling off the bird, landing with surprising grace in the snowy street, and then seems to blink away, dodging into an alley, and it's gone.


OarOar you shut your blue eye, cut the tether, and you float there in the wind, like a balloon without a string, blown this way and that. You sing a funny song. In her wind. Cold and quiet except for your voice. As if she has gone. You go end over end, lazy and then faster. And then -- whack.

Balloons don't work as baseballs. But you do. You feel her weapon strike your back, the bite of it as it tears into you, and so cold, even for you. Freezing. And you go flying. Faster than the wind. Faster than the storm, right over the harbor, the docks. You're still in a long somersault now, so you rotate back to see it coming toward you from the lake: a blue crystal chasing you, big and bigger as it approaches, and then it's on you, and you see nothing.


At the TempleFalfen, you went outside. Nervous for your friends, wondering where they have gotten to, and you stand still, watching as the snow begins. It's no strange experience for you to stand a watch in the snow like this, as the landscape changes around you and the air thickens. More flakes, more wind. The fur on your hood blows. The temperature drops and gusts off the lake are fierce. You are awake and aware, alert -- to the sight of a Goliath wafting through the air over the harbor like a weather balloon, but in a lazy spin, singing at the top of his lungs. Suddenly his body changes -- he bends in half at a wrong angle, lurches forward through the air like a thrown projectile for just a few seconds before a blue crystal, also appearing to be thrown from over the lake overtakes him, envelopes him, and continues on its trajectory, whistling over your head.

Crash -- crash!! Two huge concussions sound out in the harbor as ice shatters, docks smash, huge shelves of ice are fractured and upended, sounds of wood bending and ice cracking split the night. More smashing. You can't see very well what's happening out there, but you hear screaming.

Bander, inside the temple you ask the priest about your vision. He doesn't blink or hesitate to step aside with you, although he does study your face when you mention the bowl of eyes.

"Scorpion tail?" he asks, rubbing his chin. "Sounds like a bone devil to me. A lesser fiend, maybe in the employ of a more important lord of the hells. Although it's hard to be sure -- shape shifting can be a blessing from the gods, but also not uncommon among the beasts who dwell there. I wouldn't know anything about a library or a bowl of eyes, but my friend, would you like me to pray with you, and ask for guidance from my goddess? I won't do it unless I have your permission. I believe you are troubled, and I would have you at peace. Has this fiend spoken to you? Have you met?"

Haela, you have never heard of any clan Ringelnatz. Nor Fingelnatz or Ringelbatz or anything remotely akin to such a name. Dwarven names make sense in Dwarvish. Starshield. Ironsword. Blackboots. Battlehammer. Ringelnatz doesn't make sense in any language you know. But he is a dwarf: sturdy, lithe, strong, and even with his velvet lounge suit and fancy jacket, he's got a certain gravitas that hangs about your people. You don't ask him about this -- you ask him about cookies.

"Ah, consider... the figs," he begins, as if launching into the introduction to a manifesto. "Too firm, they're dry. Too raw, they're messy. The texture that you want in a fig filled cookie, Haela Starshield, if I may call you that, and I hope I may, is mucilaginous. Formed, but dare I say chewy?" He puts his chin down thoughtfully, looking up at you with big eyes under bushy brows. "Chewy, but here's the thing -- not sticky. Simple folk like you and me, we don't want a cookie to put up a fight, do you know? I have often said to myself--"

Just then a huge blue crystal comes hurtling through the long stained glass windows and embeds itself in the floor of the temple sanctuary. Glass shatters and falls all around. The fires in all the braziers jump and flicker as frigid wind sweeps through the room. Many candles are blown out. Snow invades. The parishioners duck, screaming between the pews. The priest calls out, "No, you are not welcome here, darkness. This is a sanctuary of the Everlight!" And in this moment, Joachim Ringelnatz runs toward the crystal, pulling a ridiculous dagger with a pearl handle, and brandishing it.

"It's a Goliath!" he calls out when he gets close. "My god, it's a hairy one! A great hairy Goliath is in this crystal! Come on, help me smash it!"


OOCBadger, Oar is stunned. She did 36 points of damage. You had 32 hp according to your stat block, so that hit would take you to zero, but you can roll Stone's Endurance if you like, and regain some. (Can you put Stone's Endurance in your stat block to help me remember and also to mark off when you've used it?) The Stun is a result of the crystal's ice stasis, not the damage.

Vislands and Jonk, Einar the Blackcoat has ridden off with one of the axebeaks. That leaves 9. Roll a d4 and that's the number that will have gotten spooked and run off during the confrontation. You can carry on with the birds to the temple without further incident if that's where you'd like to go. When you get there you'd see the smashed glass, etc.

Therru and Chrystrom, I'm not going to make you roll to avoid a frozen Goliath projectile, but if you want to RP something like that feel free.

Atrayn, Falfen would have seen the crystal smash into the temple, and you would also see Tru and Ziusudra and the birds coming your way, if that's where they decide to go.
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  #239  
Old Aug 10th, 2021, 05:25 PM
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Haela Starshield
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Haela Starshield was lost for words.

Dwarven tradition demanded that cookies be baked hard all the way through. This was the technique that had been handed down from the ancients, in unbroken line since the days of Moradin himself. Tried, tested, and true. But Haela was no doctrinaire: she would willingly concede that an undercooked cookie might, upon occasion, be somedwarf's preference. They were technically inferior, of course, and so it would be wrong - rationally wrong, a failure of judgement - to enjoy such a cookie more than (or even as much as) one properly prepared in accordance with tradition, but sometimes even a change for the worse could be instructive. Refreshing, even.

What Joachim Ringelnatz was proposing was something else entirely.

The apparently clanless dwarf before her stood not in arrogant defiance of tradition. A claim that gooey was outright better than baked would have caused her to instantly lose all respect for him; but this was not his assertion. Nor was it that sometimes an inferior cookie was what you were in the mood for. This was... something else. A respectful understanding of the traditional approach, combined with a willingness to take those techniques to their utmost limits - disregarding nothing, willing to examine even the inferior cookie to find glimmering grain of insight that had led their forefathers another step along the path of mastery all those countless years ago...

Formed, but chewy. Chewy, but not sticky. Mucilaginous.

The dwarf was a genius.

Fortunately, Haela was saved from having to give voice to this sudden conviction by Oar's sudden, unexpected entrance. She got her shield up in time to protect the nearby townsfolk from flying shards of glass and ice - and, oh, flagstones - then leapt forwards to hack her friend free.

Just a half step behind, Haela couldn't help but notice, Joachim Ringelnatz...



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  #240  
Old Aug 10th, 2021, 05:46 PM
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Orwinton 'Oar' Grinstyrwi
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Oar's biggest concern as the ice enveloped him and he sped toward the church like a plummeting wyrm was ... would he remember this?

In a sense, he hoped he wouldn't.

Telling stories about outrageous things that happened to you is one thing.

Having stories told to you about outrageous things that happened to you that you don't remember—that's on an entirely different level. Sometimes even a good one.

Somehow, despite the sticky, burning freezing sensations that clung to his skin and despite the impact of the landing, Oar found himself able to note his surroundings. He calmly waited to see if his body would rise (either from levitation tea or from being dead and angelic), but soon found his body wasn't/couldn't rise anywhere or in any direction.

The only thing he could think to do was to rage, wild magic surge = 13channel his battle tizzy. Who knows, maybe it would trigger some unexpected exit? Who knows, maybe it would just make him ice again. Then he would be ice in ice. Now that would be a story to have told to you.





 


 


 
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