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Old Jun 8th, 2022, 02:01 AM
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Chapter 1 - Lost

Yesterday
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"Oh, by the hundred-and-eleven gods and goddesses of lust ... of the house of Grimzinta. Scribe, Translator and cartographer of the Radiant Moon... name is Damien Buranta. I'm hoping to parlay... I said it before, I'm not much of a brawler... too bad that you decided your words were about my brothers... shovel and the hoe first but eventually I was taught the spear..."

"And you know what you're doing? Get the Chest of Majab Ig Grun to the Eight Dragon Inn. Can't be that hard. I'm sending two of my bouncers with you. I'll know if you decide to steal from me!"

"... declare any goods you are taking across this bridge! By order of Prince Undiara, declare any goods..."

"... chest is full of contraband! Oi! Rush them! Now!"

And the drumming of clubs and the stamping of feet on all of your heads. This is all you remember of your first day working in...

THE LAWLESS CITY



Chapter 1 - Lost


Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino J9 Harvest 102 of 120 4:11pm Sunny

The Dead Mermaid's Casino
left-aligned image
"... and when they wake up, I wanna know! And make sure they..."

"... change this bowl. Fletcher said fresh water..."

"Hey! They're coming to!"

And that's the first thing that is heard as you all return to consciousness.

The small band find themselves in a small bedroom which has been improvised to be a ward. DAMIEN AND VYEGGER share a king-size bed, with LIANA by their feet. GRIM is laid across an ottoman. KARA & TARBIN are on the floor, upon several blankets. No one is armed with their usual equipment - no one's even in their regular clothes, but seemingly whatever gown fit them. The room itself is barely lit by a few candles, bathing the red walls, floor and the bedding with a dim light. The only window lets in only what gold sunlight the curtains allow in. The revelry of the casino operating at its fullest can be heard both from the walls and from outside as queues of drunks stumble about from bar to bar in the city's great port district.

This is all much too confusing. Where's the daylight? Where are the city guards at the checkpoint of the bridge? Where is the chest that...

... and that's when realisation hits you all at once. The Chest is long gone, and has been for hours. All thanks to those city guards, if that's who they really were.

Aside from the small group of would-be box-escorts, there are not many people in this room. There is a dwarven man who, despite holding aloft several bandages, looks more like a carpenter, with both his grey beard and his leather apron covered in wood shavings. Some handsome men in scarlet loincloths and pretty women in equally skimpy outfits stand by the walls - with the way they watch with fascination, their necks almost look like they're made of rubber. By the door is a beautiful elven woman who Grim, Liana, Damien and Vyeggar immediately recognise - Sandraminae.

Sandraminae has something about her that suggests maturity and age. It's in her gorgeous profile, with a slight love-heart shape to her head emphasised by blonde hair that falls to her shoulders like waves of butter. It's in her heavier-set, more sure stance than her peers. It just shouts of leadership. Her curvaceous form is barely covered by her uniform, which is only different to the other workers by the gold trim around the edges. Her rank is shown by her demeanour. And at the moment, that demeanour is a mixture of concern and irritation.

"You've done... adequately, Mister Fletcher," she grumbles, before tossing a light bag of coin to the carpenter. The carpenter immediately leaves in a hurry. Her eyes shift to the rest of the workers. "Well, boys and girls, if you've got nothing better to do, get them cleaned and get some water! And some tell Tilly they're awake!"

Everyone dives for a cupboard near the bed - it seems no one wants to be the one to talk to Tilly. Sandraminae has to grab someone by their hair just to stop them, before throwing them out of the room. You can spy your own equipment and clothes neatly tucked in said cupboard, but those aren't what's drawn. Instead it's bowls of wood and amphoras of wine and water. In moments, each of you has at least one or two scantily-clad attendants cleaning your wounds and redressing your bandages. At least the damage is mostly cosmetic by now - light bruising, some cuts, a dreadful headache and a wasted day in bed.

Sandraminae is yet to move. She doesn't seem to know where to look. Finally, she just says, "Good work, everyone. You'd all better get out of here before Tilly gets in. She's going to be loud."

right-aligned image
There is a muffled shout from the other side of the door. "Bloody right she will be!"

The elf stiffens, and then she regards all of you with, oddly enough, sympathy. The same, however, cannot be said of the people tending to your wounds. They back away. Everyone holds their breath, which just makes the jangling of keys all the louder and it gets closer and closer. One heavy boot-stomp at a time.

Then the door swings open. In it, as wide as the frame, is a short, stocky orc. The only thing that gives away her age is the tumbling silver and grey locks that fall messily about her thick head - she clearly has not lost any of vigour from her youth. Each of her muscles is strong, with biceps almost the size of her head and legs like tree-trunks. She wears a simple orange cotton shirt and trousers under her thick leather apron. She doesn't need fancy clothes to show her power - it's in the scars that are all over her, from head to toe, worn proudly, and the eyepatch that instantly tells you who she is.

Tilly One-eye Gansog. Matriarch of the Dead Mermaid's Casino.

With a snarl that bares both of her huge tusks.

She doesn't say anything at first. She just stomps into the room, commanding it silently. Every step is accompanied by the jingle-jangle of a set of keys, and the huff of her nostrils expanding, releasing, hot breath after hot breath. Then, quietly, she explains, "The Chest of Majab Ig Grun both is and contains a very precious... family heirloom is probably the best word for it. Not a family anyone's heard of, mind, but still. It's important. I paid a hefty price for it. Thousands of gold pieces. The owners of the Eight Dragon Inn were going to pay me an even heftier price for it. And yesterday... I give it to you six."

One of the exotically dressed men steps forward. A young thing, boyish and beautiful. Sandraminae notices him moving forward and lowly growls, "Raul, don't..."

He does. "Umm... Ma-Madam... what's actually in the..."

BAM! He can't even finish the sentence before Tilly's fist has smashed his face open. She hits him hard enough to take him off of his feet, and he smacks in the wall. Sandraminae is on him immediately, concerned though tutting at him for being an idiot. Tilly doesn't even notice, and wheels back around to all of you.

"ALL I NEED TO KNOW!" Tilly bellows, barely comprehensible. She then takes a pause to wipe her glove free of blood, and starts again. "All I need to know right now is - what did you idiots do with it, and how are you going to pay me for it?! Sandraminae's taken your measurements already, unless you've got better ideas!"

Out Of CharacterWelcome to The Lawless City! I have ensured that none of you have lost your initial items or anything. It is just The Chest that is missing. There are plenty of specifics about the robbery - each of you should have them in Secret Texts. But any other details, such as party order, or how the box was taken to the bridge, etc, you are free to go wild so long as you don't massively contradict each other. If you want to discuss something in OOC, feel free.

Oh, and you may choose to make retroactive Perception rolls to see if you noticed anything odd when escorting the Chest of Majab Ig Grun, Knowledge History rolls to see if you know what the Chest actually is, and Knowledge Local for any suspicious characters or events you may have seen yesterday.
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Old Jun 8th, 2022, 03:49 AM
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Liana curtseys at the big boss
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(Before Tully arrives) Liana blinked, her mind a momentary fog. It was so bright. Did she drink too much, again? What happened last night ... was it good, or bad.

The light gets to her eyes and she feels it coming, an involuntary sneeze. It comes out as an an incredibly high pitched and loud shout that hits her so hard she is momentarily incapacitated. "aaahh -- chooo!". If the others are not awake, they were shocked awake now.

"Sorry," she said. "The light, I can't help it." Sitting up. she blinks rapidly, and pinches her nose, until she adjusts and the urge to sneeze recedes.

She looked around in alarm, until memories flooded back and she reconstructed what she could of the story.

Unfortunately ... she A 1 on perceptionhad seen nothing else beyond her initial memories of the event. She had been flirting with Tarbin in a casual, non-serious way. (Fool halfling, should have kept your eyes on business!) Neither alertness nor common sense were her strongest talents.

(When Tully arrives.)

Liana looked around. A few of these people, in a few short hours, have become her friends. And they were all in deep water together. (Even the half-orc, whom she at least halfway hated.) She took a deep breath, and the Fools for Friends traitpresence of comrades steadied her.

She focused her mind: not just concentration, but a psionic discipline.

"Madame, we are your servants; we have done nothing intentional to cause you loss but we fell victim to a sudden ambush. The others can perhaps add some details, but this is what I remember."

"The six of us assigned to the Chest of Majab Ig Grun, had travelled some way. The Chest was heavy but your bouncers, Ah'butt and Kustallo, were helpful bearing the burden, as was he. "(She nodded to the half orc, but disliked him enough to omit his name.) "We reached the nearest bridge to the casino. We were ordered by people who seemed to be bridge guards to declare any goods they were bearing. The places was chaotic, crowds of people, and some fighting."

"The bouncers Ah'butt and Kustallo's left on their own -- they were chasing some skirts. What I noticed was Ah'butt elbowing Kustallo roughly. Ah'butt whispered "Hey! Hey! Guess who I see over there?" And Kustallo said, "No bleeding way! It's her! The way she's dressed, I'd bet she'd say agree to get in bed with both of us!"
And Ah'butt answered, "... yeah, she probably would!" These sleezebags grunted and chortled, and the two just wandered off. I swear by the hundred end eleven gods of love and lust that this is the plain truth. I would guess they were drawn off by a deliberate ploy. "


"Then the guard inspecting had a very odd gaze about him. He took one look at the Chest of Majab Ig Grun and, without pause he shouted "This chest is full of contraband! Everyone! Rush them!" We were overwhelmed by a sudden rush. We fought as best we could but were outnumbered and caught flatfooted, clubbed and taken down."

"To put it plain, we were ambushed, and I think likely these enemies had advanced knowledge and full intent to steal the chest. We are sorry for our failure, but it was due to circumstances beyond our power to fight. Speaking for myself, and I hope the others all agree, surely there must be some way we can put matters right."

She tried, to the best of her psionically enhanced natural abilities, to put the most soothing, conciliatory and respectful tone to her speech.

 

Last edited by CatCanCook; Jun 10th, 2022 at 04:09 AM.
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Old Jun 8th, 2022, 08:33 AM
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Tarbin Haldar
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As Tarbin slowly returned to consciousness being tended to by a less than official looking healer and his body throbbing all over with pain the situation felt remarkably familiar to the currently battered young man. "Did I win? Have I got another fight coming up..." Tarbin mumbled out as he struggled to sit up before the situation he currently found himself had fully sunk in.

Spitting out a glob full of blood, Tarbin groaned slightly as he stretched. This was by far was not the worst beating he had ever taken in his life a fact that the ill fitting robe the large young man had been provided with proved as now that he was wearing a lot less than he usually wore a litany of scars were revealed criss crossed across his entire body and it was plain to see that a lot of them were not recent.

As the first attendant approached him Tarbin held out a large hand and warded them off while he stumbled to his feet. "It was an ambush... Is everyone ok?" Tarbin muttered out as he desperately glanced around the room. The young man's gaze first sought out Kara and Liana and he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that they were both present and still breathing. Still Tarbin did not relax though and he did not allow the attendants treat his wounds until he confirmed that both Damien and Grim were present aswell. Vyegger... well he was there too but Tarbin had to admit he was not too concerned about the half-orcs well being.

"Sorry about that... please do what you must..." Tarbin then declared almost tiredly as he slumped back down to sit on the floor once he was sure that everyone had made it. There Tarbin remained slumped until after Tilly had entered the room and only after the poor boy Raul had been knocked of his feet did Tarbin stand back up.

Tilly might have been the boss but in that moment Tarbin did not appreciate how she treated her staff. Taking half a step forwards Tarbin felt his muscles tightening as he placed his own muscular form between Tilly and the rest of his battered group.

"It was an ambush... a trap..." Tarbin spoke up once Liana had said her piece. "We were being followed by a kobold, a kobold with a big scar. He must have been working with the guards. If they really were official guards... not that the official guards are any better than your average bandit..." Tarbin muutered with an intense frown as he attempted to remember anything important.




OoC
Dice Retrospective perception:
1d20+2 (2)+2 Total = 4


Do knowledge history/local require ranks in the skill inorder to roll for it?

Last edited by Alatere; Jun 8th, 2022 at 08:33 AM.
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Old Jun 8th, 2022, 09:17 AM
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Damien Buranta
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Damien let out a feeble grunt as he slowly regained consciousness. A moment's pause... and then the vishkanya shot upright, arms thrusting out and alarming the nearby attendants, yellow eyes darting around as the events on the bridge came rushing back.

"...!" Breathing beginning to steady, Damien slowly collected himself and took in the situation. It wasn't difficult to realize what was going on... particularly as he noticed Sandraminae overseeing. Far from the flirtatious, warm personage she'd been at their first meeting, the elf was the picture of authority, seemingly keeping things running smoothly until Tilly arrived... which he could only assume would be shortly. Nothing then to be done but wait and prepare for the worst. Sighing, Damien glanced over at his two bedmates, and around at the others as he confirmed their presence. All accounted for... and all to be held to account for what had happened.

There were bad first days at work... and then there was "getting beaten by half the guards in town and letting your dangerous boss' prized possession get stolen on your watch" days.

Damien slowly layed back down, allowing his superficial wounds to be attended to as he wordlessly stared up at the ceiling. Externally, the vishkanya was rather calm. He knew how to keep his composure... even if he was seething on the inside. That damned kobold... who the hell was that? With nothing else to do as they waited for their interrogation, Damien laid and silently thought about the stranger he'd seen casing them before the bridge... who could they have been? Who might they be working for? Someone well connected with guards on their payroll at least... the guard who'd called them out wasn't just tipped off. No no, that maneuver had been PLANNED and EXECUTED entirely by some opportunist's design.



Damien said nothing as Tilly entered, slowly sitting up to face their employer and waiting for her to address them. He maintained his composure and calm... hoping it would pay off. He still didn't know Tilly well enough to be sure she wouldn't see it as a lack of respect, but in Damien's experience, guilty parties acted nervous... and people in control didn't. He didn't even flinch as she struck the idiot who had spoken out of turn, keeping a steady gaze on the orc as she demanded an explanation for what had happened... and why she shouldn't take the lost revenue straight out of their flesh.

Liana was the first to speak, and Damien looked to the woman as she did an admirable job of laying out the events as they happened... keeping her cool in the process. When the halfling had finished, Damien gave her a soft pat on the shoulder, waiting for Tarbin to finish his addition before he looked back to Tilly, slowly getting to his feet.

"Ma'am... couldn't put it better than Liana did myself. Her account's entirely accurate. Things were going as planned. No guards on alert. No complications... at first. On our way to the bridge however, we had an... interested party. The kobold with a large, discolored scar across their face that Tarbin mentioned. Walked by us two times on our trip. It was after that when things went south." Damien gestured to himself, then back at the others, emphasizing the degree of their injuries. "I'd like to say we fought at our best... but we never got the chance. This wasn't just a guard with a tip... it was a coordinated ambush planned by someone who knew. Knew about the chest. Knew we'd be going that way. Knew to draw off our biggest muscle... and knew EXACTLY who to hit first."

Damien's fist was clenched in front of him, nails digging into his palm hard enough to mark it before he took a breath, relaxing his grip.

"Last thing I saw before I took a boot to the face was the same kobold, just standing there and watching... and I'm positive that wherever they went after, they had a certain chest with them. Which brings us to the second part of your question... your payment. This isn't just about the money... until the Eight Dragons Inn paid your fee, that chest was your property... and someone thought they could steal Tilly One-eye Gansog's property and get away with it. If you truly want to leave it at that and collect payment from us Ma'am, not one of us with half a brain cell is going to say a word against it... but if you want your property back, with INTEREST... then I assure you the last thing you want to do is take the ones best qualified to find these disrespectful fools off the street to earn a you a fraction of what you're owed, a few coins at a time."

Damien put his hand to his chest, lowering his head to Tilly respectfully.

"I don't forget a face. Ever. I'm going to find that kobold... and they're going to tell me... everything."
Rolls & Actions
Damien tries to recall if he's heard anything about a kobold matching the one he saw working with the local law (or the local underworld)
Knowledge - Local: 11

Damien tries to convince Tilly it's in her best interest to let them try and recover the chest instead of disposing of or having them work off their debt through "other methods".
Diplomacy: 30
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Last edited by Touketsu; Jun 8th, 2022 at 09:19 AM.
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Old Jun 8th, 2022, 09:47 AM
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Vaerdis Vaerdis is offline
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Kara Kurdst
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Kara, groaning and hardly girlish getting up reaches a hand to her sore head, and her other grasps for something that is no longer there. Almost like she is sleep talking, she asks and complains in one tone, "Pants..."

Her eyes open to get a view of the new room she is in. The grogginess of waking fades, but not the pain as she sits up, and tries to stand. Unfortunately for her there are attendants trying to keep her presentable and harmless at the same time. She resisted their pull and aid like a cat being forced into a bath. But for her bruises, resistance was about as painful as being administered the painful sting of alcohol to any wound. That was when she was beginning to recall the events that brought her here.

Kara looked about the room, her first sight was meeting eyes with Tarbin, then seeing all the others in the room. The only persons not here were the bouncers, Ah'butt and Kustallo. All the better because their talk about their tastes in pleasuring women nearly drove Kara to plant arrows in their eyes. She never got such a chance due to...guards? No, there hooded person paying a pale woman dressed like a guard. There is every chance that there are far smarter brigands in the city than herself.

"How better to rob a caravan, than do so dressed as guards?" Kara asks herself with a groan. While she would love to be capable of bragging to the contrary, the fight didn't last long enough for her. Splitting the main force of guards in two with an enchanted wall of stone was a master stroke, but she was not great enough with her axe to best the number of guards still in her reach. Next time, she won't follow the requests of those orcs. Kara must be distant from any caravan she guards so she can simply feather anyone that tries to rob them.

When Tilly appeared. Kara wanted greatly to madly dash to her clothes. It felt demeaning to be wearing this one garment of cloth. She sat up on her blanket, crosslegged, watching the orc woman's display of violence. Kara tightened her hands about her ankles to resist any immediate attempts to join this man, Raul's fate.

Tilly's talk involved something about measurements. Kara was mainly ignorant as to what that meant until remembering a bit after Hoya left the ring. She asked to be there instead of working the floor. Which meant...was Tilly planning on having Kara of all people be a pleasure girl? Her face swiftly turned to a grimace.

Kara listened to Liana and Damien try to placate Tilly telling them what they saw. Her information was far less valuable, but perhaps as telling, "You both saw a kobold with a scar that interested you and...I think I remember that one, big ol gash running from one eye to the other. Not only that, I saw a person in wearing hood paying off the guard, if they really were the city guard. A handful of gold pieces was given to a woman that did not fit her suit of armor. She was a pale woman, but I could not forget her face. Find her, and we find the one that paid these 'guards' to steal your chest."

Last edited by Vaerdis; Jun 8th, 2022 at 09:58 AM.
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Old Jun 8th, 2022, 01:38 PM
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Grims Big City Adventure
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The world slowly starts to return to Grim, slowly and painfully as his head pounds and throbs and the rest of him swiftly follows. There doesn't seem to be an inch of his diminutive body that doesn't ache from the barrage of clubs and boots which assaulted him before he passed out. He knows he must be awake or he wouldn't feel remotely this bad but the world is still black and it takes him a moment or two to realise the reason

Grim is laying face down on a firmly padded bed, his eyes pressed into the cushions from the sheer weight of his previously unconscious head. Attempting to push himself upright proves too difficult right now so he does the most reasonable thing, roll over in the bed and take in his surroundings. A maneuver which results in more protests from his bruised aching body and a sudden brief sensation of falling and an impact with the hard floor taking his breath away

"Ahhh! Umphh!! Oww!!" It is another few moments before Grim can figure out what is going on. it seems he wasn't laying down on a large firm bed after all but a small ottoman barely big enough to hold even his small frame, and of course like all Ottoman's there were no sides or back to prevent him rolling right off it when he woke up so that's exactly what he did.

After groggily climbing to his feet, barely managing to avoid falling again, this time over the excess material of the human sized robe he was now wearing for some reason, Grim looked around the room, noticing the rest of his group was there, the 6 new companions who had been selected to escort the Chest of Majab Ig Grun to its destination. Unsuccessfully is seems if they are all here and from the looks of things his friends had all received the same beating he had as well.

Holding his head in his hands, Grim sits back down on the Ottoman and gives Sandraminae a slow smile, as she looks his way "Thank you for taking care of us Lady Sandraminae, I take if from the expressions on the faces of everyone here that Ah'Butt and Kustallo didn't manage to escape and return the chest to Mistress Gansog?" he asked with a touch of hope, which was quickly dashed at the entrance of Tilly One-Eye herself

Grim was about to speak up when the unfortunately young Raul beat him too it and seeing her response, he decided that perhaps he would be best suited to remaining quiet for a moment longer and gathering his thoughts before stating his case, as his memories of the event started to resurface and he was able to organise them, he made his way to the cabinet where he had seen his satchel, ignoring the looks he was getting from Tilly and Sandraminae as he did. Luckily Liana, Tarbin and Damien choose this moment to speak and put forth an exceptionally diplomatic and impassioned speech in defence of the group.

Although it was news to him that their escorts had left before the ambush had happened and he had not seen a Kobold watching them either, he had to agree with them that the ambush had been well coordinated and planned out, and as Kara spoke up he found himself nodding along at her description of the Pale woman. her he had seen.
Opening his Journal, Grim started to draw an image of her face onto the page with his quill and after a moment, he tapped into his magic once more and conjured a small image of her face into the palm of his free hand to help him picture her, copying it down onto the parchment.

The resulting image was passable but by no means a flawless image of her face and definitely not his best work, but then his usual medium was maps and charts and not faces and he was not normally so rushed to produce a piece and did it without the pain of the previous nights beating in his head. Tearing the page from the Journal, Grim held it up for Tilly to see, finally speaking up

"Lady Kara is quite right. I do not know anything about this Kobold with the scar but i also saw this woman taking what appeared to be a bribe from a hooded figure. coincidentally just before the guards called out and started the assault, thought i don't think it was actually him who did that, there was something unusual about his eyes just before. I think he was being influenced somehow to target us specifically"

Giving Tilly his most charming smile, Grim spread his arms and made a show of looking himself up and down in his oversized robes

"I am of course extremely flattered that you believe a man such as myself could earn you money with this physique Mistress Gansog, but i agree with Mr Buranta that our talents would be best suited in the task of retrieving your missing property and enacting a not small measure of retribution against the parties involved"


RollsRolls here
Perception to see anything suspicious prior to ambush and Knowledge Local to be aware of suspicious characters/events
Perception: 5
Knowledge - Local: 7

Grim attempts to copy the image of the pale womans face from a small illusion to his journal
Profession - Scribe: 10



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Old Jun 9th, 2022, 10:03 AM
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Vyeggar Vugmuk
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Credit to @TSRodriguez14


Consciousness drifted down to Vyeggar Vugmuk like the first few drops of rain. Whatever was happening nearby seemed very far away, compared to what felt like a growing warmth and a buzzing or tingling in the general vicinity of Vyeggar's head. In the distance, light-years away, Vyeggar's cauliflower green ears were detecting alien broadcasts traveling on cosmic rays. "... and when they wake up, I wanna know! And make sure they..." Curious. It almost resembled common, but there was no one out here in space. Vyeggar looked up. He was adrift, naked and cold, his muscular green body covered in cool motes of frost. He should have been shivering out here in space, but as he turned his head ever so slightly, he beheld the massive glowing orange and red orb directly in his path. A star, burning hellish and bright, deadly radiation and massive solar flares arcing off as the half-orc looked on. His head, which had formerly borne jagged shards of ice, seemed to be absorbing this heat in pulsing waves. The ice was gone, and now he was sweating.

"... change this bowl. Fletcher said fresh water..." Another transmission, this one louder, closer. It sounds so much like common, the spirit of his mind thought, but then, who would be speaking out here in space? Vyeggar looked about. No one here but him, the sun, and the darkness of space. Only that wasn’t quite right. The sun's light seemed to be growing, its heat increasing. Massive arcs of solar flares lashed out like tendrils while dark, cooler coronas stared sightlessly like the malevolent eyes of some old god. Vyeggar was too close, he realized; the gravity of this massive, celestial body was pulling him indifferently toward it, as if he was just another piece of flotsam to burn up miles from its surface.

Vyeggar began to thrash. The heat had skipped over uncomfortable and gone right to painful. The deadly radiation - or perhaps it was simply the light itself - made his eyes begin to dry and shrivel. No, no, he said into the void, his words pulled away from his lips by the powerful gravity that was wrenching his body forward at intolerable speed. There was no shutting his eyes against the light, for his eyelids had burned to ashes. No, no, I did not ask for this, I tried to do my best, tried to be the best brother and father I could, I'm sorry, Veklin, Valdik, I tried my best, I I i im sorry i tried so hard and i let you both down im so sorry

His body was thrashing so hard to get away from the heat, his eyes had shriveled to raisins yet he could not avoid that immense light. Pain wracked his brain as the cerebrospinal fluid began to boil, his skin turned flaky and black, and the moisture in his teeth expanded and made them pop like kernels of corn. He screamed into the light, the all consuming light, his body was aflame, his muscles twitching and thrashing, he screamed and burned and screamed and screamed and his head his head oh gods his head he screamed the pain the pain the PAINNNNNNN

"Hey! They're coming to!"

Vyeggar awoke and rose up like he'd come to the surface of some black, cavernous ocean. He awoke to darkness, his eyes obstructed and dark despite the bright, all-consuming light of the sun's fire. His thrashing arms reached toward his face and felt only pain and some foreign feeling wrapper of some kind. The burned and blackened ash of my skin, he knew, the vision still resonating through his mind like ripples on dark water. His face had been burned away, and his mind throbbed sickeningly. He tried to sit up, but instead found himself rolling over onto his side and vomiting onto the floor. His brain felt like it had been put at the end of a powerful spring that had been released, sending it careening against the inside of his skull again and again. Vyeggar had been drunk before and had endured the misery of a hangover. He had been struck in the head before and suffered the nauseating aftereffects of a concussion. This was the worst of both of those, magnified a hundred-fold. He was vaguely aware he was in a bed, his body stripped to the underclothes. He kept his eyes shut and oh so tenderly brushed his fingertips across his face. The lightningbolt of pain made him gasp and retch, but his stomach was empty and he could only gag as he dry-heaved. His center of gravity was nonexistent without being able to see, and his arms flailed about trying to grab ahold of something or someone. He had heard voices, strange and distant and disconnected, but clearly he was not in space, and either the voices had been part of the nightmare-

"You've done... adequately, Mister Fletcher," a voice interrupted.

-or something very bad had happened and Vyeggar was now in a spot of trouble. He shuddered in pain, the traces of memory returning to him. They had been attacked, he had been beaten, and... something else, just out of grasp of his memory. His head throbbed and he wondered why his attackers had been so cruel as to not make sure he was dead after inflicting such agony.

The alien voice - female, commanding, nervous? continued. "Well, boys and girls, if you've got nothing better to do, get them cleaned and get some water! And someone tell Tilly they're awake!" Hands began to touch him, gentle and soft, but he could not see and waved weakly to try to get them to stop. "no," he wheezed, his dry throat unable to rise any higher in volume. A glass of water was tipped toward what felt like cracked lips. He tried to drink quickly, the cool liquid soaking his sandpaper throat. The gentle hands pulled the cup away, not wanting him to drink too much and risk a cramp. He licked his swollen, cracked lips and winced. "M-more. Please." He was too weak and in pain to feel shame at his helplessness. A few more sips graced his lips, and ever so slowly he began to feel true consciousness return.

"Where... where?" It was all the question he could muster before the woman's voice from before rose again.

"Good work, everyone. You'd all better get out of here before Tilly gets in. She's going to be loud."

Tilly? The name was - no. Oh no. The chest. What had happened to the ch-

"Bloody right she will be!" bellowed a voice that echoed like a building full of cymbals falling from the sky. The door did little and less to soften the shout. Perhaps, had Vyeggar not been suffering from the most savage beating of his life, if he'd not been enduring one hell of a concussion, he might have been less affected by the angry shout. Then again, Vyeggar was an ornery cuss, and that side of him was coming back as well. So whether he'd have said the next line if he'd felt better or not, who could say?

"Hell, someone tell that bitch to shut up!" he thundered - not as loudly as he'd have done when healthy, but plenty loud enough to be heard.




What followed were more recriminations and raised voices and even some light violence. Vyeggar tried to shut it all out. He had shut his eyes under the bandages and held his strong fingers up to his temples, trying to massage the pain away after his outburst. He wished the guards had just killed him. No. No, that wasn’t true. He wished that Valdik had worked somewhere different, somewhere safer, because now he was missing and Vyeggar had come to find him. There was a lot of blame being thrown around, but at the moment it was all being directed at them.

Still holding his temples as if they might split apart, the half-orc spoke evenly and as gently as he could to avoid any further ache in his jaw. His tongue traced over the bloody gaps where a few teeth had been only hours before.

"Why don't. You ask. Those. Godsbedamned. Useless. Numbskull. Bodyguards. You sent. With us. Oh, yes. That's right. You can't. Because they. Buggered off. To go bugger. Some whore." He took a deep breath, and with a groan of pain and rage he forced himself to sit up. He turned his head in the direction of where Tilly's voice had been, and pulled down the bandage covering his eyes. One eye was completely swelled shut, the other red and bloody but still able to see.

"Or maybe you could ask the town guard who were waiting on the south bridge for us to pass. They set upon us as soon as those useless guards of yours scurried off. And who picked that route anyway? I don't- I don't-" And that was all his head could stand. Vyeggar rolled to his side and vomited again on the floor, his battered head a throbbing pulp.

"Just kill me and get it over with," he whispered through the bloodstained bandages. "Just kill me like you killed my baby brother." The half-orc let out a broken whimper, and mercifully, consciousness left Vyeggar once more.



 

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Old Jun 10th, 2022, 04:36 AM
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Liana reacts; and starts quietly forming connections
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Liana was pleased, for the most part, with her new companions poise through a wretched condition. (It was, at least, no more stressful than her induction into the Cirque had been.) In particular, Damian was well-spoken and Liana was cautiously hopeful that this random bunch of mercenaries might pull together some tolerable settlement of the day's crisis.

But his half-orc, this vile creature. Every word from his mouth was an offense; everything he did could hardly be calculated but to make matters worse. She watched him with contempt: so big, so muscled, and so weak of mind and decency.

However, as the half-orc dissolved into a useless puddle of self-pity, she paused, scornfully regarding the monster. His innermost thoughts, embarrassingly unfit to babble out of his mouth, nonetheless spilled out. With derision, she thought: it was almost as it he were farting or excreting out his inner soul. Vyeggar Vugmuk, a name not half as ugly as the reality it denoted. Then, reluctantly, very slowly, looking at the unconscious form, she felt a small strand of actual pity.

She quickly looked away.

(Establishing the Traveling Troupe)

Looking ahead over the next ten minutes -- if we get out of a crisis with Tilly; if there are moments when people are not shouting and there is some pause in the rush of events, she will individually make an offer to each member of the company -- excluding of course the unworthy half-orc. She speaks quietly, and one by one to each individual. Her offer is simple: "While we are on further missions together, I may be able to help you better, if you join my Traveling Troupe. It is a gentle, non-intrusive community-of-mind. You can leave any time, and I have no access to your thoughts or feelings, only a general sense of your location and health. I may be able to help you should we again come into combat, or I may be able to help the actions you take better effect. All I ask in return is that you do no unjustified harm or unprovoked offense to dancers, performers, prostitutes, or circus members. These are Family, and sacred to me under Erotes. I suggest you consent, we may need every edge "



 

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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 02:55 AM
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Location Map Season Day Time Weather
The Dead Mermaid's Casino J9 Harvest 102 of 120 4:13pm Sunny

The Dead Mermaid's CasinoTilly One-Eye Gansog did something that she rarely did. She listened. However, her expression never changed as she did - rage across her face as if she was trying to turn her own head into a clenched fist. She doesn't so much breath as pant, growls hot enough to see steam escaping her gritted teeth. Her only movements were her eyes, darting to each person in turn, one by one, as they told their story of an ambush.

At least until Vyegger speaks.

"And what are you implying?! I'll force-feed your own foot!" Tilly suddenly roared, and she tried to shoulder through Tarbin to get to the half-orc. Before she could even connect, a hand planted on her shoulder.

"I think the vishkanya's right!"

That stopped her, whereas it's unlikely anything else than a steel door would. Slowly, Tilly turned her one eye, which looked like it was about to bulge out of its socket. It settled on Sandraminae and seemed to suck all of the warmth out of the room. There were shuffles to either side from the other workers. For a moment, even the elf looked a little unnerved. But then her back straightened, as if a lieutenant in an regiment reporting to her commander, and the report was, "About paying off the debt. The vishkanya has a point."

Time slowed to a crawl. Then, even more slowly, Tilly moved. One long, hard step. Another long, hard step. Each one echoed through the room, with her boots reverberating through the wooden walls and her keys jingling excitedly. As she passed Sandraminae, her arm suddenly snapped out like a striking cobra. The elf weaved towards Tilly, her long ears listening eagerly to several growled, hushed words.

The two of them exchanged whispers, stepping slowly. As they do, Sandraminae locked eyes with you all in turn. To Damien, with tempered admiration. To Vyegger and Tarbin, several sly glances for each. To Grim, with amusement. Tilly then turned her own head. First she was looking at Liana, hearing some details given to her by Sandraminae. The eye turned to Kara after and the explanation continued. Then, without warning, there was a sudden laugh. It was a singular, loud, semi-amused bark of a laugh that landed in the room as if launched from a catapult. Every worker in the room jolted in fear and surprise. They then parted away while Tilly and Sandraminae carried on their talk. It carried on and on, until they were out of the door, which suddenly slammed shut.

They had left the room in an uneasy quiet. Without their masters to stop them, the casino workers fully peered at each of their potential new colleagues in turn. Every one of you was looked at as if they were seeing criminals lined up on the gallows. Little titterings from the group, gossip and pity.

"What was Tilly thinking? I mean, the two humans look tough, but the gnome? Why'd she give him the chest?"

"Is that halfling the one who talked about Erotes? M-m-maybe he'll look kindly on her?"

"Which one do you think Sandraminae will bang first? The snake or the dead guy? Hey, they're green, don't put it past her!"

They immediately stopped when the door was thrown open once again. Tilly charged over and, without a word, grabbed Grim by the wrist. Her hand was like a shark's jaw with how hard it snapped shut, and with her power she was easily able to lift him up to her eye level. The drawing was still in his grip, and she took a few seconds to quietly commit it to memory. Then, without warning, she dropped him.

"Say thank you to Sandraminae for saving your worthless skins!" Tilly bellowed, making her workers flinch. She gestured vaguely to Sandraminae's direction as the elf stepped back into the room. "You lot live here now! I want you all close, so I can make sure you don't bugger anything else up! You work when Sandraminae tells you to! What she tells you to! And in your off hours, you can go out into the city and get my money!"

Tilly stormed out, only briefly stopping at the door. "I dare all of you to piss me off again! I'll have you on your backs! Whether it's in that bed, or in a shallow bloody grave!" And with that she slammed the door shut. It was hard enough to knock one of the screws loose.

Sandraminae's whole body was tense for a few moments more. Then, in a single gasp, she relaxed. Her blue eyes met all of yours in turn quickly, and her full lips crooked just a little. "I think she likes you - after all, no one's dead." Then she looked back to her sub-ordinates. "Remind me, do you get paid for gossiping? Water, wine, bandages!"

The attendants began to scurry all over you again with slender fingers and wooden cups being held towards your lips.

"Just so you know, though, you owe me, too!" Sandraminae pointed out. She was considerably softer than Tilly, but still her sub-ordinates cowed a little all the same. "And tonight is going to be a very busy shift, so I'll want some help at some point tonight! I don't know what leads you have, so you can either work now or work in a few hours - Tilly's obviously up to something herself so I'm in charge. I'll give you a tour first, though, just to make sure you lot don't go where you shouldn't. What sort of casino games are you good at... unless the cuter ones amongst you really don't mind prostitution."
OOCI'll be putting up the results and such for the Casino Mini-Games in a little bit, should you want to play them.

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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 08:46 AM
Dylan Scott Dylan Scott is offline
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Grims Big City Adventure
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At the entrance and tirade from Tilly, everyone had the sense to wait for their moment and keep their responses civil and even submissive under her justifiable anger, everyone of course except for the Half Orc Vyeggar, who was his usual belligerent self and drew her anger even more. For the briefest fleeting moment Grim had the thought that he should intercede when Tilly tried to stalk over to the half orc but then his more rational side took over and reminded him that being between an Angry Orc and a wounded Half Orc looking to pick a fight was not a good place to be, and despite his bluff earlier with Vyeggar, he was sure Tilly would not be so easily fooled by parlour tricks and he held his place.

Luckily for them all Sandraminae diverted Tilly's wrath deftly and drew her aside to fight their case for them, his hearing acute enough to make out the majority of their words and thankfully he is fluent in both their tongues and can follow along when they mix their use of common with the other languages as their exchange becomes more heated, mostly on the part of Tilly.

Grim can't help smiling as he hears Sandraminae tell Tilly about his use of magic to stop You-Know-who from winning with amusement in her voice, and he wonders who You-Know-Who is, something he will investigate later he thinks before he hears her next words about his skill with illusions. Anyone looking at Grim in this instance would not be able to miss the smile disappearing from his face and the look of pain and embarrassment that flash in his eyes at her words, of course the Elven hostess has no way of knowing but that comment cuts him deeply, his own secret shame being so inferior to other members of his race at what should come naturally to him, and at what comes so supernaturally easily to Nalia.

Turning away from the group, Grim tries to blink the tears forming from his eyes without been seen and is lost in thought when Tilly comes storming back into the room, making her way towards him and catching him unaware as she grips his wrist and pulls him from his feet before he even knows whats going on. His surprised reaction is to Vanish, and that's exactly what he does, or attempts too. his physical form seems to flicker for a moment or two but the crushing grip on his wrist is too painful for him to focus properly and Tilly is far too experienced to let his sudden disappearance shock her and her fingers stay closed on his wrist, not dropping him in surprise like most would. a second later he returns and he realises that despite her angry look she is not trying to hurt him, merely memorise the face on the parchment he had forgotten he was holding. taking several long moments to memorise it before unceremoniously dropping him to the floor

For the second time the sudden brief sensation of falling and an impact with the hard floor "Ahhh! Umphh!! Oww!!

Deciding he has had enough for one day, Grim remains where he is laying on the floor, waving away the attendants as they flit around and try to look after him, becoming uncharacteristically angry by their incessant hovering, snapping at them with unrecognisable words which no one in the room recognises but by the tone clearly not civilised ones.

it is only later when things have settled a little and Liana comes over does he seem to respond, pushing himself into sitting up as the Halfling sits beside him on the floor and speaking in her native tongue quietly makes her offer for Grim to join her "Traveling Troupe", he has seen her moving around the room talking to the others and suspects she has made the offer to the others as well, though she seems to have avoided talking to the Half Orc so far. Considering their interactions so far he isn't surprised but he is intrigued with the idea of this community of minds and gives the exotic young woman a smile, also replying in the Hin Language

"It is a very kind offer Lady Liana, I have heard of such things in my travels though i've never truly known anyone who could accomplish such a feat. Is this perhaps something unique to the Circus of Smoke? does this mean i would be classed as a member of that illustrious group as well..if only for the briefest time? I must admit that would be a wonderful experience to have. My Uncle Hobble would be so jealous of me, he has quite the fascination with the Cirque de la Fumé"

"I would be honoured to take part of course my Lady, and of course the stipulations asked for go without question, whether this melding of minds was on offer or not. I hope you also benefit from this connection the way you say we will, though i do not know what i will be able to bring to the group"

Pushing himself to his feet, with more noise than he is comfortable with as his bruised body protests, Grim stands before offering Liana his hand, both to aid her to her feet and to shake on agreement of her offer. A Handshake from a Grimzinta is more binding than a contract as his family always says.

Looking over to Sandraminae, Grim offers her a soft smile "I think we both know my skill at the games of chance here is just that, random chance more than competence on my part, and while i would consider myself one of the cuter ones, thank you for that Lady Sandraminae, and have no aversion to pleasure of any sort, we also both know that gnomish gentlemen are a very niche market and to repay Mistress Gansog that way would require more years than even your race are blessed with"

"Perhaps i can be of more use finding out whats happening in the casino itself or locating the missing chest? I have ways of observing and overhearing a lot more than people realise and of learning things from unusual sources, given the time i may be able to learn a great deal about this pale lady guard or the hooded figure, perhaps even this Kobold with the Scar from these sources?"


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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 09:16 AM
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Damien Buranta
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The vishkanya was utterly silent in the the of impending judgement. Even with the consistency of their stories, overwhelming evidence of foul play, and a logical plea for mutual benefit, it seemed Tilly's primary concern now was collecting her pound of flesh one way or the other. Not that their response was totally flawless either... and as Vyeggar returned to unconsciousness, Damien was relieved that collateral damage could be kept at a minimal. He stared back at the man for a while, wondering, if they managed to survive this, how long their luck would last with someone so emotionally unstable and volatile counted amongst them.

To his mild surprise, the lovely Sandraminae came to the group's defense... and as her bold words reached Tilly in a way none of theirs had any hope of, Damien found himself slowly relaxing. They weren't out of the woods, but... it was a start. Regardless, Damien kept composure long enough for the pair of women to exit. Largely ignoring the muttering of the attendants around them, the vishkanya turned his attention back to the others.

"Alright, the plan from here. Assuming of course that we just got scooped out of the fire... we need to talk as a group and go over EVERYTHING that happened. Any little detail about what went down could be a clue. Something we can use to identify the stupid bastards who did this... and if anybody knows more than they're saying, it's getting sussed out now. I assume nobody has a problem with that." Damien waited a beat before continuing. "Second priority... us. We're all in this together for now, and if you watch my back, I'll watch yours. We work as a team, we get the job done... and we don't do or say anything STUPID to get ourselves in deeper with Tilly along the way. Agreed?" Damien's eyes flicked over to the unconscious half-orc again. He could only hope if Vyeggar decided to run his mouth to Tilly again, she'd have the presence of mind to deal with him individually... or at least give them the chance to.

There wasn't time for Damien to say much else as Tilly and Sandraminae returned. Sure enough, as Tilly continued to rage at them, her words conveyed their future situation... and in doing so, confirmed they'd at least live to see tomorrow as "free" people. Now all they had to do was track down the culprits in an entire city of scum and villainy, and then take the chest back from a group powerful and connected enough to orchestrate a mass ambush and criminal acquisition of hot merchandise by the town guard in broad daylight. Easy day.

Once Tilly was gone, Sandraminae expounded a bit on their situation. As she spoke Damien, watched the elf with curiosity, wondering what her motivation for helping them had been. Genuine recognition of his common sense? Maybe... but there was more to it than that. The vishkanya wasn't sure if there really might be anything to the looks she had given him during the proceedings, but if he had a reliable and connected ally like Sandraminae in his corner, he wasn't in much of a position to over-concern himself with the why. When she had finished speaking, Damien approached the elf, cocking his head slightly.

"We really DO owe you... thanks of course, but a bit more than that. I guess the question is... what you want with us? Other than the benefit of extra labor of course. An intelligent woman in your position isn't simply trying to fill staff on a schedule after all." His tone carried slight suspicion, but Damien certainly wasn't being unpleasant; simply curious. Unfortunately, life had taught the man that true generosity was rare, and most didn't help others without reaping some kind of benefit from it.



When the opportunity arose, Liana spoke to the group of joining her troupe. At face value it sounded a bit much for Damien, but knowing the benefits that lay behind it and given what they had to face going forward, it was undoubtably a smart move.

"I can't say I'd agree for just anyone, but... from what I've seen of you so far Liana, you handle yourself effectively and intelligently. I'll give this troupe of yours a chance... and thank you." Smiling at the halfling, he extended a hand to shake before looking to Grim. "And you my friend... looks like we'll be in this together. Of all the people up in that casino that I could have ended up in this mess with, I'm slightly more comforted that you stand amongst us. There's an unfortunate shortage of people in this city with a good head on their shoulders... at least where they're needed."
Rolls & ActionsWhen it comes to the chest being stolen, Damien's definitely out for blood... but he's also fine with putting in a night's work at the casino as a favor to Sandraminae and to cool Tilly's blood a bit. His goal was to work for her and... one way or another, he is. In the interim though, he definitely wants to compare notes with the others and get a full picture of what took place with as much collective detail as possible to begin forming a plan of where to start looking for the thieves.
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 02:49 PM
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Kara Kurdst
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Aside from Vyeggar passing out from his injuries, he lasting the longest in the fight due to tenacious heritage, the attempts to talk someone down seemed to have an effect. Not that Kara herself was responsible. Tilly is showing herself to be a poor first client, especially so in the thoughts and forgiveness category. Kara had no prior prejudice against orcs, but the likes of Tilly and her bodyguards was building up a decent case.

To their rescue, the elven aid of Tilly's, one that Kara had hardly been introduced to. Save for the gnome calling her Lady Sandraminae. It appears a debt is owed to her. At the very least, for saving Kara from being fated to lie with people for coin. Every word of the conversation between Tilly and Sandraminae was picked up by Kara's ears. It was...greatly disappointing to hear that at the end of it all, her defense was merely that she would permanently emasculate any man that tried to point his thing in her direction. She doesn't mind the sentiment, but does she truly have that rough of an impression? Kara's thoughts drift to Hoya from earlier, whether or not they were being seen as the same thing. Truly, that catfolk needed someone to aid her. Such was the content of Kara's silent prayer.

The other occupants of the room, the unwounded ones, the casino workers. Their words caused Kara's ears to prickle and she resorted to exercising her neck by stretching it, simply to clear the awkward whispers in the air from her head. The snake-man that the servants talked about in such crude terms spoke up, and Kara could easily pay attention to his words as they were not simply filled with nonsense. She opens her mouth to speak in some agreement or possibly to explain what she had seen, as Damien requested, but Tilly had returned.

When Tilly had, Kara's eyes opened wide seeing the orc charge immediately toward Grim. Kara hopped to her feet and was at the ready to come to his defense. Though she hadn't even uttered a word of incantation before Tilly dropped the gnome. The tension in the air, however, did not drop immediately. It barely dropped to a simmer by Tilly leaving the room. Kara dropped her stance, rubbing the back of her neck, "Can hardly pay you or get the chest back when dead." She responded to the now absent Tilly.

Kara looks toward Sandraminae after she speaks, "You mean, nobody is entirely dead." She looks at both Paul's body and Vyeggar both. Her command was entirely unnecessary to aid Kara. She gives either servant that approaches her a grave look in the eye. She snatches from one of their hands a cup for water. She says, before taking a drink, "I'm not an invalid."

Kara nearly coughs up a mouthful of water as Sandraminae openly mentions prostitution as one of the "possible" jobs. She quickly volunteers, "I already fought in your arena, but I can cook and clean." Damien, thankfully, already asked a question on her own mind. As had Grim. Kara certainly remembers the people in question to a decent extent, though the person in a hood definitely would be trouble to find, it is difficult to imagine that a gangster out here had much more of importance than some exotic good in the chest. Who knew about it's transport plans to make so thorough of an ambush?

A question not asked, however, was more important, considering the gentle passing of air that could be felt on her flesh, "Am I good to get dressed in my attire? Or do we have-" She looks to the servants around that were all too touchy with treating wounds, "Uniforms?"


Later, in the casino proper, Liana broached the subject about her mental network to Kara. This caused her crimson brow to slightly furrow in some confusion. So she voiced her concerns as a question, "Is this how your magic works? Some kind of mental bond?" She lets out a sigh at any affirmation, resting her hands on her hips as she looks downward, pondering for a moment. She raises her gaze so that she is still looking down at Liana properly, "Your terms are acceptable, as long as you speak true. I have no qualms against bodily performers. I suppose this, if nothing else satisfies Tilly's requirement of us being close." She then crosses her arms, "What do I need to do to get it to work?"
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 12:50 AM
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Vyeggar Vugmuk
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Credit to @TSRodriguez14

Two hours later

Events were transpiring around the wounded orc, discussions and secret treaties which he might never know about. It didn’t matter. On the half-orc slept, his wounded mind insensate to the world around him. Someone, perhaps Kara, perhaps Sandramine, or simply one of the nameless, faceless, gutless lackeys who scurried about like rats in a cargo hold – someone had drawn the blinds, blown out the candles, left a pitcher of cool water on the nightstand, and had even had the decency to post someone outside to keep others from entering. The cool grey quiet did wonders for Vyeggar’s concussed head. When he awoke with a snort some time later, it was to the comforting gloom of an unfamiliar room. Something was obstructing his vision, something soft wrapped around his face. He reached up curiously to brush against whatever the object was and had to stifle a gasp as his fingers brushed against the raw flesh of his cheek. Gods that stung! His memory was hazy, recalling only bits and pieces of the last few days. His fingers brushed against the bandages again. The gauze was stiff with dried blood and some sort of analgesic ointment that had been rubbed on his wounds. Who had done that? Vyeggar sat up in bed and winced. His back was stiff, and his neck felt like it was full of ground glass. But he was alive – bent, yes, but not broken. Whoever had done this had underestimated him, something that many had done, to their eventual regret.

His hand found the end of the bandage and began to gingerly pull at the gauze wrapping which smelled of iron and aloe. He peeled slowly, hissing breath at each catch on flesh the bandage made. The electric agony of new scabs being pulled had fully awakened him, and despite his efforts to go slowly there was no let-up in the pain. With an impatient grunt he took a deep breath and yanked the rest of the stuck-on bandage from his forehead. The ensuing scream of pain and fury brought the attendant sitting in the hall running in to the room.

”Everything alright? I heard a-“ the nameless figure began, before blanching at the sight of Vyeggar’s bare, bruised, bloody face. ”Oh gods,” he continued weakly. The figure took a step back from the wounded half-orc looming in the darkness. Lit by the dim hallway lights, Vyeggar’s face was a malevolent mask one might wear for the all-hallows eve celebration. His glowing golden-brown eyes blazed in pain and rage. A flap of torn flesh hung limply from his forehead, with drops of blood the size of copper pieces splattering on the floor. His cheeks and forehead were lumpen with swollen bruises, violent hues of violet on a canvas of pale green. His normally perfect wiry black hair was matted down with sweat and blood and lotion into abstract tufts. Coming out of the darkness like he did with his gritted teeth, looming eyes and that pulverized face, the nameless attendant backed away as though seeing a tiger emerging from the underbrush. His feet tangled together and he fell backwards onto the floor.

”What’s the matter?” Vyeggar boomed hoarsely. ”Something funny with my face?”

The nameless figure scooted backward along the floor on his ass like some ridiculous crab walk. His back contacted with the door jamb and he gave an instinctual little scream before scrambling to his feet and bolting from the room. ”T-TILLY! TILLY, HE’S AWAKE!” his voice hollered down the hallway.

Vyeggar watched him go with a flat expression on his ruined face. He knew it must be bad. Normally they didn’t run like that until after he’d hurt them. His eyes scanned the room, curious to see if there was a mirror. There was, and his eyes only needed a glimpse. A glimpse was plenty. He lashed out with his fist once, twice, a third time, until the mirror was but bits of glass on the floor. His fist dripped small beads of blood to match the larger drops from his torn open face. He was in the present now. He knew where he was, somewhere in the back of the casino, or perhaps an outbuilding adjacent to it. The mosaic shards of his memory were coming back, and though he could not remember the details of the day, he knew he was in trouble. Those damned useless bodyguards. The crew they put me with. And those traitorous city guard. His fists clenched in rage. The chest had been taken in the ambush he presumed, to what purpose he could not have guessed. If the contents were what had mattered, and they were of enough value to require an outside guard force, then could it have not simply been transported in a plain wood box? The chest was an overly elaborate boondoggle that just screamed “STEAL ME!” from the outset. Vyeggar had not seen all that his companions had seen, but he’d observed enough to know that the events that had led to the capture were beyond coincidence. This was coordinated. I aim to find out who was pulling the strings.

Vyeggar found his clothing folded on a bench and saw that it was just as rough looking as he himself. From collar to navel, his white silk shirt was stained brown with his blood. His black slacks were ripped at the knees and covered with road filth. His leather boots were scuffed and dusty. His comb looked like it had fallen in the mud at one point. What did it matter? He’d been an ugly soul on the inside for years; now his exterior matched as well. I have gone full monstrosity, he concluded.

No, they already think you’re a monster. Now you’re just reaffirming what they already thought.

Well, if that’s true… He grinned, the grin turned into a chuckle, the chuckle into a full belly laugh, and by the end of it he was howling.

Wait’ll they get a load of me now,” he cackled.

Vyeggar dressed in the ruined remains of his once fashionable clothing. He debated finding some more bandages for the ruined pulp of his face, then shook his head. Nah, this? I’ll wear it out just like it is. After all, this is the new me, right? The monster that everyone already thinks I am? The boogeyman parents tell their kids about to keep them in line. The Bad Man. Yes. Every story has a bad man, the one people point to as he walks down the street. “Keep away from him, he’s a Bad Man.”

”But at least I know what I am. At least I don’t have to live a lie like the rest of these punks.” he muttered to no one but the sconces in the wall. The grin was a grimace now. Well, time to go meet my adoring fans, he thought resignedly, and with a push on the two double doors which separated the back of the house from the casino floor, Vyeggar stepped forward into the room, into whatever the rest of his new life held.

(OOC: I don’t really feel like roleplaying out the scene but that night Vyeggar will do the wrestling job.

 

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  #14  
Old Jun 13th, 2022, 05:59 AM
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Tarbin Haldar
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After saying his piece Tarbin was content to let the others speak, he was no silver tongued poet or weaver of words and he knew it. He was a simple man who let his actions or his fists do the talking and unfortunately due to the sheer amount of bodies that had been thrown at him his fists had already failed him. He did however take particular note of the other individuals besides the kobold that his companions mentioned. Tarbin as was becoming a pattern had once again been wronged though this time he was determined there would be a reckoning. Clenching his jaw in determination the large man focused on the image of the kobold and the guards that had attacked them commiting their faces to memory. He would not forget!

When Vyeggar awoke Tarbin had to admit he agreed with the Half-Orcs sentiment the body guards had been worse than useless as they had abandoned their posts and endangered everyone else though even Tarbin knew that the way that Vyeggar had delivered his feeling was unlikely to improve the situation that they were in.

What had surprised Tarbin the most however was the way that Vyeggar suddenly and completely broke down. An intense wave of pity suddenly rushed through the large man as he looked at the pathetic sight of the half-orc and he couldn't help but hear his words. 'Perhaps I have misjudged him... he is broken... incredibly so... he is broken and needs to be reforged..." Tarbin thought to himself as a brief look of pity quickly transformed to one of determination.

Tilly was then suddenly charging straight towards him and Tarbin's instincts kicked in, without even thinking about it the large man adjusted his footing firming up his stance as he brought his arms up to better protect his torso. His muscles then clenched transforming his body in to a wall of muscle making the multitude of scars scattered across his body even more prominent. 'She's strong but reckless... my best chance is to use her strength against her...' Tarbin silently thought to himself as he assessed the charging orc sizing her up as a possible opponent. Fortunately the juggernaut of an orc never reached him and was stopped by the lightest touch of the elf who seemed to be her opposite in every single way.

With the mad charge stopped Tarbin relaxed slightly but not completely though he did his best to not make it appear as though he were expecting to block a blow at any moment. It was not until Tilly and Sandraminae left the room did the large man let out a long breath of relief before glancing around at the other guardians of the box.

Tarbin then frowned when left to their own devices the other workers began to titter amongst themselves. "Now I do beg your pardon but my ma always taught me that it was rude to gossip..." Tarbin announced to the room with a frown. "Now I respect the fact that your not doing it behind our backs but we can hear you you know..." Tarbin added before reaching up to adjust his hat only to realise that it was not currently perched upon his head.

Tilly's sudden return caught Tarbin by surprise otherwise he would have likely placed himself between the gnome and the charging orc though fortunately Grim was released almost as swiftly as he had been grabbed. Though the action did make Tarbin frown once again.

"A free room... as punishments go it's not the worst..." Tarbin commented with a shrug of his shoulders after Tilly left the room.

As the attendants attempted to return Tarbin shook his head. "Thankyou but I will take it from here..." Tarbin declared as he fended them off once again. Tarbin then strode straight towards where he had spotted his pack and his equipment. Rummaging through the pile Tarbin retrieved a small carved wooden figure of a woman carrying a spear. Tarbin then returned to the center of the room and without a word he crouched down and bowed his head while holding the figure between his large hands. "By Otoma's Strength may your wounds trouble you no more so that you may fight another day..." Tarbin declared in a voice barely above a whisper. A wave of energy then seems to waft outwards from Tarbin reinvigorating those around him and helping the smaller cuts, scratches and bruises on their bodies to slowly fade away.

Feeling stronger Tarbin then climbed back to his feet and rather than allowing himself to be tended to he reached out and took one of the cups of water with a grateful nod before slowly sipping from it.

"You can put me in the ring if you must, I am used to fighting for the enjoyment of others..." Tarbin eventually responded to Sandraminae with a slight shrug of his shoulders.

As the survivors of the box fiasco began to gather together and start the beginnings of a plan Tarbin huddled up with the rest. "I'm not as smart as the rest of you..." Tarbin readily admitted. "But if you can track down the kobold or the hooded figure or hell even one of the guards that ambushed us I'll go in and grab them for you..." Tarbin offered.

"Now this is just me thinking but shouldn't we put a watch on the guard... if they were truly involved they are our biggest lead are they not? At the very least we should be able to work out if they truly were the ones that ambushed us or not..." The large man suggested. "Though if they were the guard howcome we didn't end up getting thrown in to a cell?" Tarbin then questioned.




At Liana's suggestion Tarbin frowned slightly. "How does it work?" Tarbin questioned. "Do I just not fight you if I sense you probing at the edges of my mind? Will it allow me to sense the location and the wellbeing of others aswell?" the large man asked.

"I don't do unjustified harm or unprovoked offense to anyone..." Tarbin responded. "Unless they have wronged me or those I care about first that it is..." Tarbin added as he crossed his arms infront of his chest.




OoC
Dice Channel energy - healing all within 30ft:
1d6 6




Last edited by Alatere; Jun 13th, 2022 at 06:04 AM.
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  #15  
Old Jun 15th, 2022, 08:01 AM
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The crazy mad boss
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Liana watched the volatile powerful mad-woman carefully. She admired strength in a leader, but pure fear-based leadership, could that win over inspiring people? Fearmongering crosses easily over into some more destructive actions.

Sandraminae, though, that was a woman to admire. Thoughtfulness and control, balance. Hmm... wasn't Sandraminae here even longer than Tilly?

(Later)

Grim asks questions about her collective. She explains, "My Traveling Troupe is really my own personal knack. It is a psychic bond I can develop work with others, and I can help bring out the best in them, at various times. It is not really anything specifically to do with the Cirque, though as a member I've helped many others with their performances -- in acrobatics, in dance, sometimes in striking deals with marks ... uh ... customers. As for the Cirque -- well, the performances are spectacular. What more can be said?"

She added Grim, and Damien Buranta to the Collective.

Kara seemed cautious and willing to consider joining, as along as the matter was explained with some care. "It is a weak telepathic bond, an innate ability fueled by my faith in Erotes. I can't speak through the bond, not yet. And you can leave it whenever you wish. If you wish to try a few dance moves, or combat katas or sparring, I will show you how much I can give an edge through the Traveling Troupe. Try it, you'll like it! I promise. And if you like it now, you're going to love it later."
 


To Tarbin she said "You will feel an awareness of a connection with me, but it gives no sense of the others. You will simply feel inspiration from time to time, as I realize opportunities for you to be more effective, either at achieving things you are trying, or resisting things that may harm you. It won't cause you to hurt anyone else, unless, well, you are already trying to hurt them. And then, isn't help with that a good thing?

Come on, don't be a sourpuss. I'll help you. It's natural to be shy, the first time. But I think you'll come to appreciate how I can share the blessings of Erotes."


The flow of Tarbin's healing energy was soothing, and she appreciated it as bumps or bruises disappeared.

When it came to working the floor, she served as a burlesque performer. She found that the odds seem stacked against that role ... the audience was tough. Some of the other functions might be better money-makers. She also offered her inspiration to at least one other person woking the floor in one of their duties. If she could show her support, she hoped both to build trust in the Traveling Troupe, and maybe earn some kickbacks.

 

Last edited by CatCanCook; Jun 16th, 2022 at 01:13 AM.
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