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  #76  
Old Feb 13th, 2023, 06:33 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
right-aligned image
Five families plus some murdering dwarves and the swamp gnomes means a bunch of humans are left and may the gods help them. Bingle does not really see any reason why little nice fairies like Mad Robin shouldn't get to come in and out of anywhere as much as they want. But there are scryings and teleportings that probably would make things difficult, magic from the back of the spellbook that Bingle doesn't yet fully graps. For this reason, she couldn't for example take Mad Robin home to meet her family, because they could get scryed on by the vapmire or worse, put also she could get scryed on, by anyone, so she just has to make sure that she and her friends kill everything threatening in the whole world, and then they can go wherever they want. First Nexa Banishae. Then Xolec, just to be sure.

The Blood Moon story is making her think of home.

She politely thanks Rowena and Aubreck Drallion, and if Rowena wants braids she helps Mad Robin do that and then they go to the party.

1. First order of business: Go backstage and school everyone on their lines another time and shove scribbled parchments in their faces and insist they inflect this way (UP!) and hold their shoulders that way (SQUARE!) and be louder and not look down (AGAIN!). And not sidle away! (BANX!) Halran is the best. Mad Robin is second best. Banx is the worst but she has encouraging things lest he sidle even more, and when he has at least made a reliably upright shape in his costume for the designated amount of time, she calls and end to the rehearsal.

2. Second order of business: Get Mad Robin some food. Bingle finds some cherry preserves that are pretty nice, and some maple lozenges that are fine, as big as Robin's head. The fairy may not really want mushroom frills or stonecrop, but will maybe chew a dandelion. They all drink fizzy cider and Bingle brups unexpectedly and blames Banx.

3. Third order of business: During this important party behavior, Bingle sends Harlan to flutter around any banners or decorations or tree branches or maybe the backs of nearby chairs that Creativity might be walking past with his constructs, or while talking to Felice. She doesn't trust Felice, and wants to spy. If Harlan gets close enough to either Creativity or Felice, she'll put her arm on Banx's arm and warg in to try and listen.



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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  #77  
Old Feb 13th, 2023, 11:59 PM
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Feelin' festive, makin' merry
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Falco nodded his acknowledgment and agreement that th' election were hard on Pearl but he had th' feelin' sittin' on th' council wouldn't prove no easier fer her neither. "Aye, disappointment be a bitter draught." Then, he were back t' all smiles when Gellan brought up a nice bottle. "Ye know me well enough t' understand that's a thing I can't refuse."

Then, to Melise, he said, "I can't imagine livin' that way meself, too much t' see an' do t' get caught up takin' things too seriously. Th' world be serious enough fer all o' us. But, I will say, it can be nice t' have th' hard stubborn types around t' even th' keel a bit." Falco's thinking about Fela an' jus' how close they came t' losin' her. "Also th' kind ye want standin' beside ye when things get sideways. She seems t' want t' help people, I'm sure she'll find a way."

Th' liquor were better'n he'd been expectin'. Better even than what were in Gellan's flask th' night before. This one were tart an' tickled th' back o' yer jaw as it went down, warmin' th' body as it settled. "I won't ruin th' party with business but, tomorrow, I'd like t' talk about a faerie we befriended beyond th' wards. We learned a few things from her, me friends an' I, an' she braided me hair." Falco shook 'is head t' rattle th' beads a bit an' stayed long enough fer another drink before makin' 'is way over t' th' Vissir-Solmar greetin' tent.

While weavin' through th' crowd, Falco helped 'imself t' a small sandwich, some deviled eggs, little sausages on sticks, an' somethin' tiny 'n' sweet. O' course, he had some champagne too. It's a party, ain't it?

Finally, at th' dais, Falco shook Ander's hand an' bowed slightly t' Shella Vissir. "Pleased t' meet ye. Falco Goldenbairn, corsair extraordinaire atcher service." He lifted 'is hat an' flashed a grin. "Anders has spoke very highly o' ye an' now I can see that if anythin' he were undersellin'. Yer letters were probably th' only thing keepin' 'im alive with that bout o' red lung. Well, 'til we killed that swamp hag anyways. Too bad couriers can be so unreliable." He looked up at Skerrin an' asked, "Say, who were goin' out t' see Peth fer th' calmin' drops? I only ask since I were able t' save a bottle." An' because he were Insight: 14watchin' fer some sort o' reaction.

Mechanics
Drink Counter: 3/3
5 temporary hit points.
Advantage on Charisma ability and skill checks and saving throws.
Advantage on saving throws made against fear.
Resistance to Psychic Damage.

Disadvantage on Wisdom and Dexterity saving throws.
Disadvantage on Intelligence and Wisdom skill checks
Liquid Courage for 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

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  #78  
Old Feb 14th, 2023, 11:56 PM
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Festival
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1-Food Stalls 2-Dance/Chat Spaces 3 Posh Pavilion 4-Stage 5-Ships N to South Gellan's, Eda's, Anders' & the Wailing Maiden
Everyone, the stage is built on stilts out in the calm, shallow water of the inlet, in front of Sharkfin Bridge. All day, different bands play every hour. The booths have been cleared from both the Saints Day and the Green Market to make space for dancing and chatting. Come sunset, people will set out picnic blankets here, or bring chairs and pack onto the piers or the decks of the berthed ships to hear your stories.

As the day progresses, Captain Innovation makes sure to find each of you and explain the set up; she designed it at Gellan's request, this rigorous little organizer.

There was once a way to access the Weave, now out of favor, called Alteration, Innovation explains. Phidira of the Undine Mouth remembers some of those old forms from her girlhood; that faint disk of light shimmering around the band is an Alteration spell called Amplify. At sunset, Phidira will refresh it for storytime, and also stay to do illusion work to project you up huge against the dark sky so all can see your faces, expressions, or any visual elements or costumes you include. You will be lit by drift globes, but after, they will be doused and you can stay on the stage or go to one of the greens and lie back and watch the fireworks.

Falco, This is your kind of party. There is no sit down dinner. No formalities. Just a lot of sessionable ales and shandies, a lot of wonderfully greasy street food as well as posh delicacies in the tent reception, music, games, puppet shows. A fair, like they have at Frog Hollow during Flower Festival, or Maypole Festival, or High Summer Hunt, or---Hin sure like festivals. A party like this requires stamina and commitment, so after a nip of the good stuff, Gellan returns to Ann's low-gravity cider.

Both Primewaters are alarmed when you say you have befriended a fairy, Melisse more than Gellan, who knows you better. He does want a description, focused on her size. If you tell him she's just small, aDance, like a flower, neither of them will give it a second thought. But yes, come by in the morning, by all means.

Shella seems shy, sweet, calm. Her eyes are very limpid, her expressions contained. She says she is pleased to meet you, and Anders burbles all over you with joy, holding her cool, still hand. When you bring up the Nervous Drops, he answers, laughing, Oh I don't need them anymore. Thanks to you and your friends, I am fully set to rights! You look to Skerrin. Nothing. Nothing. Nothi---a flicker? Like a nictating membrane closing fast over his eyes, barely seen and then gone, a coldness flashes. In that brief flash, you suspect this man would murder you right now to close your mouth if there not so many witnesses. he, too rolled 14 lol, BUT PLAYER takes the tie so yeah, Falco sees a flash of something...Then it is as if you imagined it.

The cousin, Ms Vissir, is older, swathed in austere black silk. She says, Well I for one could use some nervous drops. Such a wild place. Are you offering?

right-aligned image
Bingle once inside the wards, Mad unfolds into her larger self, and does braids for Rowena with you, and wants to walk between you and Banx, holding hands, arms swinging, while you go to practice. When you get to the stage, it has no back, and there is a band playing loud-loud-loud. Well, you own a bar with a quiet downstairs, there are rooms at the Saltwinds, and most of the town is congregated near the festivities. You can find a spot.

Off you go, MARCH-N-SNOOCH! In her bigger form, the scree-scraw celtic punk of her viola wings lowers to a soothing cello at a soft, mild volume. But as soon as you are at your rehearsal space, she shrinks to her small fierce feral-faced self, cackling; you have zero doubt which form is the more honest.

When you go to get snacks, she grows two feet tall again, minces and simpers, takes a tiny lick of jam, sniffs the candy. People (tourists!) smile at her pale, bland prettiness, and the locals are polite. She is the difference between Blood Flower and Buddleja flipped back and forth for you to examine. As soon as MARCH becomes SNOOCH, she shrinks and gobbles everything you bought her. Then she points at your face with one blue-tipped shivery finger, her mouth smeared red with preserves: Pretty is a power, and you have it. Makes people not see the teeth. But you have teeth! You both do, you big snoochers. GOOD. Teeth are even better to have than pretty, and better hidden unless you are among your own.

Banx straightens his evil robes, and you suspect part of him agrees. At any rate, he is happy in the hedgerow. He says, Falco has that stone. That Sending Stone. We could call Tifapine, but I don't know exactly what to ask, do you? Since she is the cleric, the current cleric, maybe she would have stories, legends of her family and that house that will make it make sense why that Vapmire can't get out.

Halran hears nothing of interest. BLAND BORING BLAH BLAH under the insniffing noses of constructs and the watchful broach.

Fela, Briony says, They mean well. They've been worried about me. The last two years, I haven't been dating. Or even interested in anyone. Not until---well. She laughs, blushes, and says, I think they're just relieved to see me acting like I have a pulse. Come on! She hurries to the "Meet Shella Vissir" pavilion where she snags two glasses of bubble-y wine splashed with pomegranate juice from a silver tray carried by--Oh hey! it's Waiterkin! --and then the two of you wander the festival, sipping and chatting. Here is the right girl, or at least, an acceptable one. Oldest daughter of a well respected family being squired about by a visiting a Springer. Smiles for you everywhere you go.

She listens more than she talks, wanting to hear about your order, the dragon fight, your promotion, your dad, your mother---if you tell her, she has true empathy as a orphan. She talks a little about her parents' sad but accidental deaths, but doesn't linger there. Why doesn't she sail? Could you go back to the schoolroom after Cleiophane? It's hard to be crew once you've captained. And there's no "work your way up," or I would do it. The captains own the boats. Their kids are their first mates. If I could--- She cuts off abruptly and then says, Oh, hey, 'Vatia! with genuine pleasure.

Vatia? Unde---No. Plain Captain Innovation, stepping into your path. Well, it's a small town. Of course they know each other. Innovation doesn't bat an eye to see you holding hands with Briony. She was expecting to see you together? A very small town.

Heyas, Bri! Fela. I got your letter. It's more the promotion and the news that I don't have to go to war or worse, home, that makes me want to call for peace between our houses. She grins. The tiefling whose heart you "tore to shreds" is being breezy and pleasant, and just then you are joined by a willowy half-elf in slim-cut Savoien pants, carrying two drinks. She hands one to Innovation, who introduces her as Celidrielle. Not a local. "Anyway, I need to tell you about the stage and the Amplification spell...

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Last edited by Fillyjonk; Feb 15th, 2023 at 12:18 AM.
  #79  
Old Feb 15th, 2023, 05:42 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
right-aligned image
"Um... noooo," Bingle says when Banx suggests doing a Sending to Tifapine. "It would probably be really terrible to find out that your family is on the run from a bad fey that wants them dead. I can't even imagine what you must be going through."

She puts a small, sympathetic hand onto Banx's arm. They are lying on their backs on the river bank, with their feet in the water and their great evil boots beside them. Bingle's fireflies are floating about as the dusk falls. They got Mad Robin doing hair braids at the party and Bingle made a huge magic mushroom for her clients to sit on, very cute, but then had to move away from it to get it in the right spot, so they snooched down here. They can see her, up in the square, fluttering around, tweedling her little blue fingers scrintching her tiny toes. But no one can probably see them, where they are, because of the reeds and such.

"The people here seem to like fey," she says, watching folks shyly approach Mad Robin, pull themselves up onto the mushroom, turn their backs to her to present their hair. "But yet, they think they're so dangerous, they need wards to protect them." Not Dr. Pillows. He was nice. She looks at Banx's pointed ear. "I guess we're pretty dangerous too," she says, remembering those rabbit-eating dwarves. Remembering those looks she got in Glotten. She grins and rolls onto her stomach, digging her toes into the mud. The sun is setting. "But remember I am just a little more dangerous than you."

While they're down there peeling river weed and watching Mad go to town on the milkmaids' hair, she'll keep an eye out in the water to see if there are any Kua Toa around. If there are, she'll play up to the kids, give them some Prestidigitated bubbles, or cnady if there's any left. And when it's time to go back to the party and get on stage, they'll lace up their boots, collect the fairy, and join the group.


ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


ۜ\(ಠ_ಠ)/ۜ
 
[/QUOTE]
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  #80  
Old Feb 15th, 2023, 08:03 PM
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Fela, failing to live in the now
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Walking around the party with Briony should be an easy, welcome respite from everything else in Fela's life. They're young, they clearly like each other, everyone around them is having a good time for the festival. Much less fraught than fighting a dragon, being charmed by a vampire, giving a speech or hijacking a boat filled with automatons. And once she gets started talking, it's easy. Briony's a good listener, and Fela's thrilled to have her attention. When Briony asks about Fela's own parents, she gushes about her dad, how his own conquests in the day put Fela's recent exploits to shame, his important work as a leader now. And her mom -- "I...feel like I never really knew her? I mean, it wasn't that long ago that she died, but she was always...tired. Quiet. She'd had it awhile, they could never figure out exactly what it was...but to hear my dad talk about her, she was so lively and energetic" (and stubborn and argumentative...he'd often compare Fela to her in loving exasperation in resignation) "before Finn and I...childbirth really..." And it's Fela's turn not to linger. But this is prickly Fela -- even bringing it up at all says something about her comfort and ease with Briony. It is mostly nice and easy, being with Briony.

But there's just one thing. Fela never ever does nothing nice and easy. She always does it tortured and guilty. So as much as she's enjoying the moment, other parts of her keep worrying. Where is this going, this thing with Briony? Her family is happy to see her acting alive, but surely Fela's going to mess that up somehow, hurt her somehow: saying the wrong thing, Nexa's mark reacting to a kiss, some other danger. Or just: leaving eventually. Should she be having fun, anyway, with so much going on? And Briony gives her whole other things to fret about, with her comments about captains and crew. "I hadn't thought of that...would first mate or some other office work? I...I might know a ship needing a good crew, soon, officers included...I could put a word in for you, if it comes to pass?" But this is too far. They don't have the ship yet, she hasn't talked to Falco about it....switch gears. "But you've made me curious -- I've only really been...'free' ... these last few weeks. No hierarchy, no obligations from court. And it's been much better than the "banishment" I thought it would be. Will I be able to go back, after being my own 'captain?'"

So Fela was never going to be able to really relax, but she does well if you're grading on a curve.

And then there's Innovation. Fela's bracing for a confrontation, and the easy manner leaves her spluttering. "Vatia? Bri? You two know each other...I mean, it's a small town, of course you do, but you know each other well?" And then there's someone else already? She can't help feeling a little hurt, even with Innovation being gracious, and it flashes across her face before Polite Etiquette Training kicks in "And what brings you to Saltmarsh, Celidrielle?"

She pulls Briony away soon after Innovation's done explaining things, but refuses any more drinks, and has trouble summoning the easy manner back. "Sorry...I'm just stressed. Telling a story? About the moon? In front of the whole town? I'd rather face another dragon. I'll be more fun once it's over, promise..." but she doesn't sound so sure of herself.

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  #81  
Old Feb 15th, 2023, 11:48 PM
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Makin' th' rounds
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Falco assured th' Primewaters there were no reason fer concern over their new fey friend, "Oh, she's just a wee thing what can fit in me hand." He held 'is palm out fer scale. "Like one o' th' Market Flowers, a Dance she called 'erself. She's taken a shine t' me group but I said I wouldn't go 'nto it tonight. Enjoy th' evenin', I'm sure there be plenty others waitin' fer me t' move on so they might congratulate an' have yer ears."

In th' tent fer meetin' an' greetin', Falco thought he caught a glimpse o' somethin' slippin' in Skerrin but it were fleetin', whatever it were. Maybe th' talk o' Red Lung riled 'im up, or mayhaps there really were somethin' untoward happenin'. Hard t' tell either way. He laughed softly when th' cousin chaperone asked about th' drops. "Ah, now them drops might dull th' wildness too much fer ye. Don't want ye t' go an' miss th' stories later. Tell ye what, if'n ye go t' th' Ten Fang Fury stall Anne, our manager, makes some delightfully bubbly cider that'll set ye right. Tell her Falco sent ye fer a pair o' cold ones, it's on me."

He turned t' th' beamin' Anders an' th' quiet Shella with a grin an' nod. "I've already taken up too much o' yer time but it's good t' see ye smilin' Anders. An' nice t' finally put a face t' th' name Shella. I'm sure me friend, a paladin, no Springer o' Saliber will be anxious t' speak t' ye soon, given th' shared interests." Then, he left th' formal pavilion fer th' louder, an' wilder, areas.

On 'is way t' find more things t' sip an' munch, Falco spotted a lil Dance o' th' Drift tyin' braids an' had t' do a double take. "Mad Robin! Ye made it t' th' party!" He trotted over an' gave her a hug before floppin' down t' watch th' crowds while th' lazy sun hung heavy in th' sky. "If'n ye like doin' this, ye could probably trade fer memories an' such on market days. Quietly, o' course. I'll be talkin' t' th' council t'morrow about th' problem underground an' how ye helped out with that. Hopin' t' get ye a recurrin' pass."

He thought about th' story he would tell an' how th' stage set-up would help. Projection an' amplification, now this were how parties should be!

Mechanics
Drink Counter: 3/3
5 temporary hit points.
Advantage on Charisma ability and skill checks and saving throws.
Advantage on saving throws made against fear.
Resistance to Psychic Damage.

Disadvantage on Wisdom and Dexterity saving throws.
Disadvantage on Intelligence and Wisdom skill checks
Liquid Courage for 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

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  #82  
Old Feb 16th, 2023, 09:06 PM
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Sunset
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Bingle,
there are many ships still in harbor, many tourists charmed and delighted to have Mad Robin in her taller form twittering and braiding as the sun sinks lower.

You try to commiserate but Banx is sanguine about it. The ones in most danger are the descendants of the family that did the Blood Magic on the bridge, right? Got to be the Wigglepockets. They have the cleric. Anyway, my people have stayed out of her way for 1,000 years; champion snoochers, all us Swamp Gnomes.

I’m glad you got Fiz home though—a gnome whose blood powers the wards back in the town after the Archfey thought that box was checked? Wandering all over town with you guys…”
He shudders.

Better collect your fairy and head for the stage…

Falco, you make the rounds feeeeeling verrrrryyyy cheeeryyyy then go flop down by Mad Robin. She likes the idea of a booth on Market Day.

I can do nails, too, I can make a magic lacquer in a hundred shades, so pretty and nice… but she trills laughter when you suggest she trade for memories. Ohhhh I am goos a lickle ickle pickle icicle! She pats the hair she is braiding reassuringly, as the sailor who owns it is looking alarmed. It takes a Market Fey to slither out a memory, make it wine. Anyway, a loud person got all shirty when I just asked for tears—mortal tears are useful, Falco! But the Loudsaid NO NO NO! NO Kisses, NO blood, either, or I must go OUT OUT OUT. I am only supposed to trade for silly worthless things like money, in the wards. Look, I have some if you want it!

Sure enough, the ground around her is sprinkled with gold and silver coins that she has hurled down in a scatter.

You are sobering up and the sun is going down. Best get another round if you want to keep your buzz on before you head to the stage…

Fela, Briony is a good listener. She hears the subtext in what you say about your mom and lets you talk, not trying to fix it, just there. She lights up when you say you know of a boat looking for officers; she would love it if you recommended her for a post.

You aren’t really asking her about how it might feel to you in Templetome now, are you? Maybe you are asking you. Rickardt has no idea, none, what you have been up to. Which means your father doesn’t either. Finn is no rat.

Does Templetome seem a little tight on your strong arms, like an old dress from before you got serious about using a full size broadsword for the forms each morning? When you place your hand on these quasi-miscreants you travel with, Saliber shines magic through you into them with no hesitation. No one here is ashamed or anxious of your fey problem; they trust you will use it for good; You were trained to stand with your Order. Trust only them with your life, trust only their shields and swords—-but this rabble that has collected around you has not let you down yet, while the head of the Order, your own father, sent you away.

Oh, here is Innovation, telling you about the stage …Celidrielle, when you ask, says she came in with her ship to trade her spices at the Saints Day Market and met Innovation, who talked her into staying for the fireworks.

It’s just one evening. I haven’t the the power to ruin a girl, not thoroughly, in just one evening, Innovation says. To you? Or just in general? Impossible to tell; you have never had Finn’s gift for insight, and Innovation is cool-headed for a creature that otherwise runs so hot. Like holding a girl with a slight fever, you remember.

Well. I hope you’re going to try,
Celidfrielle says, flirting in that easy way all Eladrin can, and Innovation laughs, light.

We’re just friends, Briony says quickly, as they disappear into the crowd together. I know you went out with her. We talked. We talk. It’s fine. Or? Maybe you think, in a town this size, not a lot of girls to choose from, maybe you think she and I went out as well. But no. When she was first stationed here I was—not okay. I needed a friend. And she ihas been a very good friend to me. She takes a deep breath, speaks quickly to the ground.I'm a year or two older than you, I think? I'm twenty-one.

When I was just a kid, I fell in love with my best friend, Emma. Farmer's daughter, landiest lubber ever born, but we just knew. You know? One day, I was whining again, blah blah if I only had my ship back, we could be married, start our lives for real, all that. She decided to go to Lily Market, make a fey deal, get me a ship. Locals almost never do that. She wanted to surprise me. Slipped away. She could have at least asked Gand to take her. He would have. He took Fee, when she insisted like a crazy person—anyway. Emma grew up in the wards, never left them. It was a story to her. She was… Innocent. Anyway, she never made it to the market. Not even halfway. The swamps---. That was more than two years ago. Until you showed up I haven’t...I’ve been kinda sunk into myself. Just wanting to be at sea and not thinking or feeling. This is why my family is being so...
She swallows and says, Anyway. I guess you better get on stage?

She’s walked you to it while you were talking. Here it is. The stage. Where now you have to speak. Heh.

Everyone, The sun is gone. Phidira is there with Ann, resetting the spells and will stay close. You see the upper class folks hobbing and bobbing the decks of the close-berthed pleasure barges. Most people are on the greens with blankets and drinks and snacks. Creativity and Captain Innovation and her fate are on the Primewater’s closest boat, Eda has her girls on hers, Anders has invited Fee and Jasker onto his.

And the moon is rising red.
left-aligned image
1-Food Stalls 2-Dance/Chat Spaces 3 Posh Pavilion 4-Stage 5-Ships N to South Gellan's, Eda's, Anders' & the Wailing Maiden


OOCLet me know the order you go in, and where you want to sit for the fireworks. You of course will be welcome with anyone you care to join—people not mentioned on the boats are on the green
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  #83  
Old Feb 18th, 2023, 01:15 AM
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Moonrise
right-aligned image

Falco laughed at Mad's lamentations about bein' showered with coin, "It ain't all that worthless t' us mortals but, aye, it may be a bit silly." He noticed th' sun dramatically sinkin' lower on th' horizon an' settin' th' sky alight in festive colors an' knew that soon he'd need t' be at th' bridge so, with a shrug, he scooped up a few silver pieces. They'd be handed directly t' th' next vendor what had a pint o' ale.

Drink in hand, Falco wound 'is way closer t' th' bridge. Th' air felt different in th' space between day 'n' night an' the voice o' th' crowd were holdin' its breath. Th' music slowed t' muted tones. Th' clouds seemed t' move aside as th' sky darkened. Ever'thing knew that somethin' were about t' happen. Soon enough, th' sun gave way t' th' blanket o' night an' stars began twinklin' t' life across th' sky. This were his time an' there, out in th' sea, a red moon were risin'.

He emerged from th' crowd downin' th' last dregs o' 'is pint an' waved at 'is friends. Near th' stage, Falco winked an' said, "I'll warm 'em up fer ye." Then, he turned an' took 'is place under th' cherry moon.

"Friends, sailors, Saltmarsh!" Falco held 'is arms out as if t' hug th' crowd. "I've been up 'n' down th' coast o' Kivalia an' all around th' seas. But lemme tell ye, this town be th' best port in th' world!" He took a moment here t' bask in moonlight an' gather 'is thoughts. "Now, I imagine that ye heard as many o' these stories as I have an' I've heard a different one on every dockside."

"We've probably heard about th' great Lunar battle where th' moon runs red with blood. Maybe ye even heard like me about how there be a massive dragon flyin' through th' night sky what lives in th' moon. Sometimes it even eats it up but th' moon is magic so it grows back. An' sometimes, when th' dragon is with egg, it fills its lair with fire t' speed th' process so th' moon glows red." He held out 'is hand an' on th' last two words, reached out t' th' weave an' produced a handful o' flame.

Falco closed 'is hand an' dismissed th' flame. Then' in a lower, yet still projected, voice he asked Saltmarsh, "Now, tell me have ye ever heard o' th' ancient sleeping vampire?"

"Varcolac has slumbered fer millennia. So long that he left 'is body behind as it slept. His spirit hungered fer somethin' bigger'n any sheep or person. He turns 'is fangs t' th' moon when it grows plump an' full. But how can ye fight somethin' what can shed its body an' feast on moonbeams? An' what might happen if'n he drinks it dry?" Faclo paused t' look up at th' moon, it really was magnificent.

"Would it wither in th' sky an' disappear? There ain't no such arrow or magic what might reach t' where Varcolac greedily drinks th' blood moon. How can we stop it? We have t' wake 'im up! His spirit will be pulled back t' 'is body if'n we can rouse th' ancient sleeper! Now Saltmarsh, now! Fer th' Moon! Fer us! Fer yerselves! Let's make enough noise in our celebration t' wake evr'one across th' wide world!" Falco let out a whooping cheer an' stomped 'is feet on th' stage along with the crowd.

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Drink Counter: 3/3
5 temporary hit points.
Advantage on Charisma ability and skill checks and saving throws.
Advantage on saving throws made against fear.
Resistance to Psychic Damage.

Disadvantage on Wisdom and Dexterity saving throws.
Disadvantage on Intelligence and Wisdom skill checks
Liquid Courage for 1 hour.

 

 

 

 

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Last edited by AnotherDragoon; Feb 18th, 2023 at 01:17 AM.
  #84  
Old Feb 18th, 2023, 04:50 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/WarlockBingle hoots and hollers for Falco's story, and Mad Robin loses her mind screaming to bring back Varcolac to his body. Mad Robin is the best audience ever, but Banx is the worst. When Bingle turns to take the stage, he's nowhere to be found, and she has to pull him up from under the platform by his hair. She does a forehead-to-forehead knock to bring his wits back to him, and then crams the kid-size helmet on his head. "You look great," she snaps. "Very believable."

A tiny white fairy flies out to center stage, flanked by a handful of fireflies that circle around her. The scent of swamp grass puffs out over the first row.

right-aligned image
"Deep in the swamps, not far away, a horror is born on the full moon nights. White, round, and hungry, the terrible creatures the gnomes call Night Brood. These globulous bandits smell like worms and sour milk, and sound like whispers. Their round heads grow in the glowing spots made by the moon on clear nights, flicking and forming with every bright beam onto swampy trees, and swampy hillocks, swampy stones and swampy ponds, until they can blink, and breathe, and slip away into shadows. They hunt little children who put their fat fingers down into the ferns or between the tree roots or in puddles, hunting mushrooms or treasures or minnows, and snap! They bite off fingers, noses, toeses. They're sneaky and sly, blowing up just a bit with every piece they snitch, until when the moon reaches its zenith in the sky, they are fully alive! They can see through walls! Chew through earth and stone! Feel no pain! Then the whole child goeses."

Bingle creeps around the stage, masked as a Night Brood, trailed by the fireflies, making a great show of gnashing her teeth and clawing at the air. In case the folks in the front row aren't screaming, Bingle seeds a few gasps and shrieks into the audience with a spell. Banx stands off stage, shifting in his armor unhappily.

left-aligned image
"The gnomes got tired of losing their fingers and toes and their children on full moon nights. They cried to their god, Baervan Wildwanderer. Send us someone! Someone to save us from the Night Brood!" Mad Robin pauses. She looks off stage. "They cried for someone! Send! Help! Please! Oh my god, please send someone! NOW! SEND SOMEONE!" Banx staggers onto the stage, wearing his armor and lofting his spear. "The gnomes looked in vain for a hero to come from the towns or the cities to help them. No! Their savior came from their own family, as finally a young gnome named Bonk Tosselbanx put on some armor that his grandmother knit for him, and swore himself a paladin, who would fight for the gnomes." There is a sound of trumpets! A scent of lavender! The fireflies hover furiously in a star formation!

(This is a wild departure from the traditional gnome tale about the blood moon that Bingle had learned. (In the traditional gnome tale, there is no hero, (and therefore no hope), and the Night Brood are why you don't go into the swamp on full moon nights, (ever, at all).))

"Bonky T did battle with the Night Brood, in the streams and shallows, in the thickets and hollows. Though they were wicked, he was mighty. Bravely he stabbed them, shattering their magic, and blessed by the Father of the Forest, he began to prevail." Banx lifts his arms weakly and wafts his spear bravely. Bingle seeds more gasps while pretending to get stabbed. "But the Brood were many and the night was long. Constantly they emerged from the places where the moonlight flickered on the water, and in waves they poured from the shining green leaves. He began to be overwhelmed."

Bingle dashes around the stage, harrassing Banx, who runs from her. The outline of a cave appears on the stage in silver light, and Banx runs into it, pulling the shield in front of him like a door.

right-aligned image
"The paladin took refuge in a cave, and with a sigh of relief pulled shut the clever door the gnomes had crafted from stones and reeds, that on any other night would completely hide him from the world. But because of the full moon, and the special powers of the Night Brood, the door could not hide him at all! And he was revealed to them in the moonlight!"

A ring of bright light surrounds the shield and outlines Banx as he cowers behind it. Strings shriek. Thunder cracks. Bingle disappears, leaving silver outlines of many Nightbrood hovering around Banx, teeth sharp and claws ready, and reappears offstage, switching out her mask for a cute racoon before hopping back onstage.

"It would not be long before they chewed through his hiding place, and ended him! The paladin prayed to Baervan Wildwanderer, who sent his racoon companion to take care of the faithful gnome. Chiktikka Fastpaws himself came to the rescue! The clever racoon walked all around the paladin's cave, testing out the Night Brood and deciding what to do. Then this amazing animal, who was smaller than a pea and also bigger than all the world, grabbed the bitter moon like a moss burger and took a big sharp bite. Blood poured from one edge to the other, casting a rusty shadow over the swamp!"

The racoon disappears. Bingle switches out her mask. The fireflies change their hue to red.

left-aligned image
"The foul creatures began to pinken and fade as the blood moon's rays fell on them. Their eyes were ringed with red and their vision faded. They could no longer see through stone or chew through the earth. They grew fat bonnets over their heads and long pink capes dragged the earth behind them. Their mouths were shut permanently. They stumbled around in the swamp like old travelers, bent and worn. Some dropped back into puddles where the red moon's reflection wavered. Some stepped into trees and were gone, never to return. Without sustenance, without power on that night, they would eat the gnome children no more."

(This was another extravagant departure from the actual story, in which the Night Brood became even more powerful during the Blood Moon (which was caused by the splashes from their feeding frenzy). The Night Brood with red rimmed eyes were ten feet tall. With no paladin to intervene, their bonnets were made of the skin of their victims. (Bingle edited this.))

"The Father of the Forest praised his friend the racoon, and gave him honey and mushrooms, for thinking so fast and chewing so hard. The paladin came out of the cave to bask in the red light of the blood moon, that had preserved him from being seen by his enemies. And all through time forever, the gnomes remembered the danger of the bright white light in the sky, but they also recalled the fierce teeth of Chiktikka Fastpaws, and the resolute paladin that had saved them all."



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


ۜ\(ಠ_ಠ)/ۜ
 
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  #85  
Old Feb 18th, 2023, 08:19 AM
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Fela, stealing the preacher's aura
left-aligned image

Fela's silent while Briony tells her about Innovation and Emma. The speed at which she's speaking -- it's like it'd been damned up inside her and was rushing to get out and Fela was afraid that if she interrupted it it would all dry up again. But also: what could she say, that would ease this pain?

She's still struggling to answer that question when Briony's guided her to the stage, and she has to go up, like Briony had planned it that way, and all Fela has time to do is squeeze her hand, once, tight, give her a weak smile, and call out over her shoulder "Don't disappear -- I'll need a drink after this!"

When it's her turn to speak she's a bit stiff and awkward, holding herself a little too upright, clearing her throat awkwardly a few moments before beginning, getting used to the amplification magic. She speaks similarly -- her cadence a bit too formal, stealing the patterns of formal after dinner speeches she's heard, of weekly sermons.


"I have to apologize, I don’t have the stagecraft and magic tricks and costumes of the last talks. For that you’d want my brother here – he’s the storyteller, the devotee of Luminar. He’d be in his element – a cheerful party, a wonderful captive audience – you’d lap his story up, whether it was traditional or made up on the spot. My celebrations have always been a bit more reserved and formal – a service at the temple at Saliber, where the priest would read a holy text and discuss it. "

"I am not a priest or cleric, and don’t have such a text at hand, but I do have a little passage memorized that will work. It’s not, Gods forgive, from a holy text, but from a play my brother rehearsed endlessly. But it fits tonight’s theme, and it’s a way to have my brother here, helping me. So here’s the passage, from one of the great playwright Billy Wigglelance’s lesser works, Tinom of Anseth."

"I’ll example you with thievery:
The sun’s a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea; the moon’s an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun;
The sea’s a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears; the earth’s a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
From general excrement: each thing’s a thief."


"You can see why I, a follower of Saliber, would love to quote it at him, with Lunimar’s light being but a pale reflection of the glory of Saliber. Finn liked the poop. And the thievery, but mostly the poop. Anyway, it will do as a starting point, a bit of stolen sunshine and compost from which to grow our talk."

"But I’m supposed to explain why the moon is red tonight. And our verse tells us Luminar doesn’t make Her own light, but borrows it. One answer, then, that a few dark and twisted souls hold, is that there’s something else out there, red and evil and powerful, that the moon steals its light from tonight. A dragon. A vampire. The Night Brood. But why don’t we see this thing otherwise, why only tonight, why is it something sinister when you just need to feel the atmosphere around Saltmarsh tonight to know that the cause is anything but?"

"The answer, then, is that something else swipes the light of Saliber before it can get to Lunimar, and it’s right there in our verse, the earth. The scholars talk of the complex dance of sun and earth and moon, spins and do-si-dos and allemandes, that move the stars and make the moon wax and wane, and sometimes, they say, the earth's right in between the moon and the sun, balanced between Saliber and Lunimar. And so that’s why color’s different tonight, why everything feels special: we’re stealing some of Saliber’s light from Lunimar."

"And then, the priest would always take the verse and spin it into a lesson, something you can apply to your lives. So – all this thievery. Maybe it makes you uncomfortable, the thought that we’re stealing Saliber’s light from Lunimar, humans meddling in the affairs of gods. It’s certainly not something I condone, theft. So it’s worth stepping back and thinking about the context of the verse, which is another thing that the sermon would always do anyway. So the speaker is Tinom of Anseth, and in the first half of the play he was rich and throwing banquets and showering money and gifts on all his friends, just as Saliber showers us with her light. But then he runs out of money, and asks for help to pay his creditors from those who were at his banquet, but nobody helps, and he runs off to a cave in the country by himself and is bitter and nihilistic and plots the destruction of the city. The passage comes from this second half, and the half-mad Tinom is addressing robbers out to take what little he has left."

"So although they sound pretty, maybe we shouldn’t exactly trust the words in this passage, and think closer on whether these are really examples of theft. Saliber’s light is freely given, we don’t hurt Her by enjoying its warmth. And sure, a little bit less light is making it to Lunimar, but have we made Her the poorer for it? I'd say She's more glorious, draped in red velvet for the night. The sin of the party guests was not in accepting Tinom’s gifts, but in not using them properly, not helping him out in turn when he needed it, not reflecting his light back to him, like Lunimar to Saliber, or the midnight water in turn reflecting Lunimar’s light back yet again. "

"Tinom’s examples are not of thievery, but of community, of the interconnectedness of all things, all people. How lonely Saliber would be, without Lunimar to dance with. How tired, without a Sister to illuminate us during night so that She can rest. How bored, without us to watch Their noble ballet, and having the gawky jigs of our earthly drama to watch in turn. "

"There. That sounded appropriately Cleric-y. It didn’t stick together quite as well as I might have hoped, but it will have to do. Accept the gift of their grace, Saliber’s warmth or Lunimar’s beauty or the fleeting, in-between moments of their Brothers, Dawn and Dusk. You haven’t diminished them in the least by taking it." (Now, for the first time, Fela finds Briony in the crowd, looks straight at her) "Or maybe you’ve lost someone, someone sacrificed themselves for you, without your asking to, and you feel guilty – you shouldn’t. Guilt doesn’t help them. But use their sacrifice, what they’ve given you… "

(Mom. Finn, with that damn crazy fiance of his. And Dad, always Dad, always working... Saliber’s sake, Fela, you’re almost done. Don’t make yourself cry…)

"So remember what they’ve given you, and listen for when they’re in need of you, and reflect it back at them and raise their Glory. Amen, and I’ll be quiet now and you can go back to enjoying the festivities."

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  #86  
Old Feb 20th, 2023, 12:21 AM
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After
left-aligned image
Falco, it is moonrise, the blood-fat orb rising up up higher and higher, until it hangs over Saltmarsh behind you as you go to speak. The crowd is tipsy and rowdy, the children sugar-drunk and restless. They are settling on blankets, trying to get invited onto the pleasure boats, getting their snacks arrayed, finding good spots for chairs and blankets, finding various spouses or dates or friends or children. You come on strong and loud, friendly and merry, and by the time your tale reaches the Vampire, you have them.

Call and response is a great idea! They hoot and yell and focus on the stage, and by the time you are done, the crowd has tuurned their faces your way, warm and interested. As you come off stage, you see Felice has been sent to wait for you.

Come to Gellan's barge and have a drink, watch the fireworks? It was his idea to ask that your party do the traditional storytelling, and it's plain already this is going to do him credit. You have won goodwill for him and, of course, the town's newest council-person. Well done.

Falco, whether you accept or no, on the way to where you want to be, there is a flicker from your charts, then a flare, then a sustained pale heat. Bramble's chart has lit. Steady. It holds. It points straight out to sea to the Northeast.

Bingle, Phidira and Welllllll 98% Phidira...Ann use illusionwork to spread a wide projection of your fairy-tale across the sky. You have invented Knitted Pixar. Knixar? The yarnies are a good choice, scary enough to send the littles dashing into the arms of their mothers, but not crying. The crowd is staring up, open-mouthed, excited, as your story plays out with the deep dark sky and the huge moon as a backdrop. You have them all, you feel it! They cheer wildly for the paladin, and then cheer just the tiniest titch more wildly for the bold raccoon.

Your revisions to the real tale are optimistic crowd pleasers aimed at a crowd your Hin has put into a mood to be pleased. They adore it. Even Banx comes off the stage flushed with what might be triumph. Or relief. But at least a little triumph! Well, I hated that, he says, but cheery, and---come on, he's pleased. It is there, in the way he ducks his head and smiles at his own long, skinny feet in their fake plate boots, then glances up at you through his wild hair.

Immediately after the paladin speaks, Ann and I plan to go back to the Tower. Banx, you can go home now, if you like,
says Phidira. She invites Mad Robin to leave with her and be interviewed.

WHAT IS THAT IS IT FANCY DOES EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION TO JUST ME AND HANG ON EVERY WORD I SAY? she wants to know. She wants to do this, and will go with Phidira to the tower after Fela speaks if you don't mind. To your surprise, Banx wants to stay and see fireworks. He has never seen anything like, except from the tower as vague sparkles and booms. Bingle, do you want to see? Back home in your village, they loved to shoot off fireworks EXACTLY NEVER and under ZERO CIRCUMSTANCES. You heard of them in books, though.

Banx has found a little patch of bushes with a hole in the top near the stage, and he stuffed it with a Phidira's knitted throws and bags of candied pecans. We can lie there and see up to the fireworks but not be seen by anyone, because we have been seen plenty. Will you go with him, or do you have a better place or plan? If you go, as Fela finishes and the moment comes for LOUD and LIGHT and BOOM and OOOOH and AHHH, you feel him reaching through the darkness for your hand.

Fela, by the time you come on, the smallest children are getting tired. They stay in the arms of parents and older siblings, maybe dozing, and this is fitting; your talk is close to a sermon. But a really good sermon. It is lovely and true, but not solemn. There is laughter, there are smiles of understanding. Everyone who was het up by Falco, suspended in tension and then relieved by Bingle, is ready now to be quiet and listen, and you hear murmurs of interest and assent move like ripples across the crowd.

At the end, you look to Briony, who has settled on a blanket on the closest green. She lies back alone on a small blanket, of a size for two, and beside her is a bottle of good wine. You look to her, and you cannot read her expression from the stage, but you know she can read yours as the projected image of you looks toward her as well. As you finish, Phidira, who is packing up to go, says, Well done, and Ann says, An't you a marvel.

If you are going to join Briony, you have to hurry, as the parents of the youngest babies are heading home before it gets too loud and scary, and Rist Saltwind is on the stage, telling everyone to settle and kill all their lanterns and candles. Fireworks are old hat to you, city girl, but you know Briony is very excited about them. Gellan ordered them special from Vallos. The moon is over the town, and now everyone turns the other way to look out at the perfect black over the sea. The vallos team that will set off the display have set up on the little island with the standing stones. It gets darker and darker as you make you way toward your date, so dark that you startle when some weird, large, rustling bug zooms down out of the night sky to shove itself into your hand. Do you remember the tiny bat? Do you think, Vampire! He figured it out, the door, and he has come for you!

But no. It is only a paper bird.

In the night, you all wait. The world fades halfway toward grayscale for the gnomes, very dim reddish light for human and Hin. It's very dark. It's very quiet. A hush before it begins. A long hush. A too long hush.

People begin to murmur and fuss, sitting up from blankets, standing up from deck chairs.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

The people around you mutter and question, unworried, inconvenienced, tipsy and impatient or amused or even mildly belligerent. But no, the night feels wrong. Too quiet. Too still. Like a held breath. You three, seasoned adventurers all, you feel it in your marrow: something wicked this way comes.


OOCI am not sure where you wanted to be to watch the fireworks, so I have tentatively have placed you in a location that seem reasonable based on your relationships. If you want to be elsewhere, you can.

Here is the map. Those are 20 foot squares. The purple patches are 300 or so people, some local, some tourists from the boats that stayed. If you would rather not be where I placed you, move yourself to your preferred point and tell me why your character went there instead.

Here is the map of the town.
The fireworks team is supposed to be on the island near the standing stones.

We are not in action economy but please confine your next post to what your character would do in the next two minutes. Everyone give me a roll to go with those actions.
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High Fantasy. Low Stakes. RPGX Book Club

Last edited by Fillyjonk; Feb 20th, 2023 at 12:43 AM.
  #87  
Old Feb 20th, 2023, 11:49 PM
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Th' big finish
right-aligned image

Falco fed th' crowd an' got back even more in return. His energy magnified and echoed back leavin' 'im feelin' light an' effervescent as he left th' stage t' merge with th' people again. His smile couldn't stretch any wider but he nodded vigorusly at Felice, "There's nowhere else I'd rather be exceptin' fer me own ship o' course. All in due time, though." A wink an' they were on their way.

He felt it at first; th' warmth emenatin' from 'is fey made star chart. Then he saw th' glow. It weren't like th' lil flashes or flickers before. This time it were shinin' like a guidin' star. Falco almost stumbled in 'is excitement as he held it up t' find th' headin'. North-East. He needs that boat now.

Instead o' goin' directly t' claim th' Wailin' Maiden, Falco followed Felice t' th' Primewater's ship. Th' mood was light an' he were full o' libations an' celebration but he were distracted. His eyes were lookin' from sea t' sky t' ship. Somewhere out there his strange stars waited an' under 'em well, maybe he'd find Garrick.

He almost didn't notice th' delay with th' fireworks, as excited t' see 'em as he were moments earlier. But, they deifinitely should've been boomin' out over th' sea by now. Up in th' night th' moon reflected its red light across th' tranquil waves makin' th' sea look like it were streaked with blood. That's when it hit 'im, blood in th' water. Sahuaguin. Falco looked at Gellan an' Melise, "Somethin' ain't right, I need t' gather me friends. Let's not raise a panic just yet but, I think this be th' work o' th' Fishmen."

Mechanics
Drink Counter: 3/3
5 temporary hit points.
Advantage on Charisma ability and skill checks and saving throws.
Advantage on saving throws made against fear.
Resistance to Psychic Damage.

Disadvantage on Wisdom and Dexterity saving throws.
Disadvantage on Intelligence and Wisdom skill checks
Liquid Courage for 1 hour.

 

 

 

 

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  #88  
Old Feb 21st, 2023, 06:27 AM
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Fela, watchful scarecrow
left-aligned image

She pulled it off. Xo hadn't helped any, she didn't have the whoops of Falco or the costumes and magical display of Bingle but they'd paid attention and seemed to like it anyway. Though she holds her back straight, still in the view of everyone as she descends, she can feel the rest of her body release it's stress, and it feels like a scarecrow, empty and loose and hanging from the frame of her spine.

A brisk beeline to Briony's blanket. Phidra and Ann thank her and she smiles, opens her mouth to reply but then turns to look to Briony again, turns back to the wizards, gnome and fair-buttered, and replies just with her face, apologetic eyes but with a hunger to them, a desperation, and hurries on. They were young once, they'd understand.

But she can't get there fast enough, not before she's interrupted again. The paper-bird reaches her hand as her momentum carries her to Briony, laughing in joy and triumph "You saved some for me! It better not be your brother's foul--" stopping short as she realizes what's in her hand, holds the bird up for Briony to see. "It--it's from my brother or my dad...can I read it while you pour me a glass?" plopping onto the blanket and unfolding it to read without waiting for a response.

right-aligned image
"Thanks, and sorry...there's just a lot going on...but I can't do anything about it now, and I need this drink, and this time with you, and..." she's folded the letter away immediately, pushing its contents down for later, she should have waited, she's here with Briony, and turns to look at her, a dip gulp of the wine giving her time to just take her in, time to try to work that last wooden post of stiffness and alertness out of her body, to stop being the hay-stuffed scarecrow watching over the field to be someone sneaking off to the hayloft instead. To set down the Duty of a Watcher and just be a teenager for once. But she can't quite let go. "Your dress is so beautiful, but are you warm enough? I've always keep an extra blanket around..." and digging through her bag looking for it before waiting for an answer she's can't help but giggle at her awkwardness and fussiness and she feels it loosen, that last bit of tension, and as if the scarecrow's frame has been released she flops down, just a suit of armor empty of all stress and worry for once, and rests her head in Briony's lap. "I hope this ok..."

left-aligned image
Three breaths. That's how long she gets to just be before it starts to feel wrong. Not Briony, Briony feels amazing, soft and the dress smells sweet but she can feel the strength and hardness from being a sailor, feels like they could maybe understand each other, that despite the obvious differences in their lives there was some commonality and belonging and sense of safety. No, something else was wrong. Something in the air...

She snaps up just as abruptly as she'd fallen, as the tension returns to her body like one of those toys, animals or soldiers or a skeleton she'd seen, wood pieces threaded through with a taut string that collapse or rise up as you push or release a button to that changes the tension of the string. "The fireworks should have started, right? Can you feel it...something's wrong? Do they always shoot them from the island?" Fela's rising to her feet now, hand checking that sword and shield are still there, glad she's in her armor and not a dress, instinctively clutching her amulet and murmuring a prayer as she scans the crowd, though surely nothing bad could be this close yet..."Where are Falco and Bingle? We've got to check the island..."

Actions, etc.

Uses Detect Magic, though not expecting to see any Celestial, Fiend or Undead within 60', then scans for any sign of trouble:

Dice Perception, listening and looking for trouble, and also for Bingle and Falco:
d20-1 (6)-1 Total = 5

 

Last edited by ptwiddle; Feb 21st, 2023 at 06:27 AM.
  #89  
Old Feb 21st, 2023, 08:32 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
right-aligned image
For all she has determined to loud and public, and do great deeds and never to return, it's cozy in the little clump of shrubs with Banx. It's restorative to be hidden away in a natural landscape feature, after being on stage and horking back and forth between costumes, listening to Mad Robin's wild vocal gesticulations, and urping out all that magic so fast. The pendulum swings between evil (Prestidigitation) and good (Minor Illusion) had made her a little seasick (one discreet expulsion of fizzy cider tinged with cherries into a dark puddle later, it's better) and it's fine to lie on her back again on the earth, as if the whole performance had been just an interlude of insanity between stints of solitude with her friend.

His hand creeps over to hers and takes hold. Aww, he must be scraed.

In forest gnome culture, if you hold hands with someone, you're basically married. The things that happened in Jelbi Gimble's worldly novels were vague scratchings on a cave wall, compared to all the real life examples Bingle had seen of romantic love: Chaste. Practical. Secret. But with Banx it's different, she reminds herself. They've hugged, traded socks, jumped into void pits together, knocked foreheads for bravery, worshipped an archfiend knee to knee. A hand reaching out to another hand between them isn't a boy shooting his shot with a girl -- it's just regular old fear. Which she can understand, with only a pint of condescension, not a gallon. She has never seen fireworks either. She can only imagine what Uncle Pucker would have called them: Death magnets. Peril bangs. Surrender flags. So, there's nothing shameful in being terrified of a bunch sparks in a spherical arrangement. For Banx to feel this way, it's okay with her.

He reaches for her hand, and she grabs it, then rolls toward him and slaps her other palm over his eyes, crowing, "Boo booby boo, scraedy boo, scraedy boo!" Their laughter has time to die down and simmer back into patient waiting, fingers entwined, before Bingle feels the tinge of worry.

"The murder booms should have started up by now," she says. She sits up, sensing unease around her. There are whispers out there among the big people, nervous coughing, and -- she stands up. She sees Fela and Falco, looking for her and each other. "Come on, get your shoes on. We've got to go."

Teaming up, wordlessly acknowledging that something is off, they head down the road toward the sea, past the Ten Fang Fury, and out onto the promontory. At the last house before the open road curves around the cliff, they tuck themselves around a corner and peer out, trying to get a view of the fireworks barge, or see what's goin on in the harbor from this vantage point. She sends Harlan flying into the evening air, a little bird among the moths and bats, to see what he can see.



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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Last edited by lostcheerio; Feb 21st, 2023 at 08:47 AM.
  #90  
Old Feb 21st, 2023, 09:48 PM
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By Light of the Blood Moon Fela, after a flash of excitement, you realize the bird can't be from Finn or your father. Yours, if they were lucky, are only now arriving in Templetome. The earliest you can expect to hear back is tomorrow. But when you open it and read, you know it is from Finn:

Paper BirdThey hit us yesterday; Kasja nearly died. We split up and ran already, so I’m way ahead of you; nothing new there. (KIDDING!) I wouldn’t take my betrotheds “protection,” so consider my engagement past broke. Shattered. She’s...mad. Expect big repercussions. Sis, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t. I do love you.


right-aligned image
Nothing to be done this second. You offer Briony a blanket but she says, I'm warm enough. We do have fireworks every year, but they were always made local. This is special," and you lie down with your head in her lap. Its nice. Easy. Not like Sally, who made you feel like an exposed nerve, wondering. Briony isn't coy or a flirt. She just likes you.

On a throw nearby, you see Rist and Raya with Nell, pretending not to watch you while watching you more than the sky, but she can laugh this off. She plays with your hair while you talk, both of you slowly sipping wine. Crap, there's Rickardt too, watching over you from an approving distance, likely taking notes to trumpet about your appropriate behavior this evening, your appropriate date. Here you are, making the right choice, doing the right thing. Again. While Finn---

It's been too long. Your senses activate; trouble is near. Not near enough for your paladin ability to show you... but when you speak, Briony is alarmed. This is Saltmarsh, the fey frontier. She knows. Nell is here. Lots of kids are. What kind of trouble?

You look for your friends, but -- you have no idea where they went to watch the fireworks, and you are surrounded by a 100 or maybe even 150 people, milling, reclining, sitting, standing, talking, drinking. Kids run in circles, hooting. Your friends are probably to far to hear if you call, not over the buzz of a hundred conversations.

All you see is the crowd, Commoners and tourists here on the green, more across the river. A happy scene---but you know, you know. You feel it. It's about to get bad...

Is my family safe? Is it fey or---? Fela, what's happening? What do we do?asks Briony.

Falco, Bramble's path is lit. All you need is the boat---You go onto the pleasure yacht. Here are Gellan, Melisse, Felice, Innovation, Creativity, a couple of constructs, five or six visiting lords and ladies from Vallos, all in comfy reclining deck chairs, ready to be pleased by fireworks. Gellan is much deeper in his cups than you are, expansive, chatty, charming.

When the wait stretches too long, you are the first one to think the word, to say it: Sahuagin. They came for the Kua-Toa. They came for Coast Colony. Are they here? You look for your friends, but there is no way you can find them in this crowd unless you take a good ten or twenty minutes to go looking, and your corsair's instincts say, you do not have that kind of time.

Gellan shakes his head like a big drunk bear, but Felice materializes at your elbow. Sahuagin, she echoes n her Savoien accent. Here?

She peers around, but her eyes are not as sharp as yours. She gives you a searching look, and you see her decide to trust you, like a click. Melisse, she says, so sharp her mistress stops beguiling a visiting lord and turns to her. Not shirty, as one would be to one's maid if she interrupted. Instead, she is instantly on guard. She has been giggly and expansive, but now you wonder if the newest coucilperson has has more than a sip of wine all night. You repeat your warning.

Melisse neither questions nor quails. Captain Innovation, help me with with Gellan? Get up love, we need to move! Falco, should we barricade ourselves in the hold while you stand guard? Or leave the boat and run to town hall? Or---

Felice looks to you. Everyone looks to you. Whatever you decide, as Innovation and Melisse get Gellan up between them (he is saying. But Pearl! WHERE IS PEARL!) Felice ties up the long skirt of her silk dress, getting it out of her way. Under, she is wearing a set of the thin, effective leather that rogues call skins. She pushes her full sleeves up and you see she has wicked, flat daggers sheathed, one on each wrist. I have your back, corsair. I am not without skills. What do we do?

Falco, these people trust you, and there are two more boats in the harbor, Eda's and Ander's, full of all the government Saltmarsh owns---and likely every single damn member of every family of the Blood

left-aligned image
Bingle, you and Banx run parallel to the road, in and out of the braken, past the Ten Fang Fury. You are trying to be quiet, trusting your evil clothes to make you harder to see. Banx is---it's easy to forget how Banx is, inside Saltmarsh. The farther you go from the lights and crowd, the more he becomes himself. He grins at you as you dash directly at danger, whispering a battlecry: Death before twon!

As you hasten through the Luz compound you are being pretty quiet. Pretty great. Until you barrel into Greed, sneaking home through the same shrubberies, eating a duck leg he is dipping in a pot of jam. Oh hi, Bingle, hi Banx, he says loudly, louding. Where are you two --- You keep going, Greed hurrying in your wake, saying, Are you scared of the fireworks, too? Want to come into my place and play dice games. I have snacks! Why are we running?

You can't see the island or the coast or the harbor from the last Luz building because there is an upslope, but at the crest of the hill, there is much good gorse, and you can tuck in and SEE. First, due east of you, past the little channel that you took Kreb's boat through, the ocean is alive with lights. It's like the fireworks are all being set off down there instead of in the sky. What the WHAT! breathes Greed, puzzled, but you and Banx are Undine Mouth, and magic doesn't puzzle you. This is battle, magic against magic, cantrips blasting back and forth: fire bolt, ice bolt, sprays of poison.

right-aligned image
guiding bolt killing the creature Bingle saw
Banx says, Spiritual Weapon, pointing to a trio of swirling light-infused tridents down in the deeps.

But. Bingle, you see a glow you know. Intimately. The glow that hit you when you ignored everything Bongle ever said to you and stood up in a boat. Guiding bolt is happening down there, and you see it slam into a slim, betailed form. It lights her up. She jerks once and then stills, sinking away into the darkness, too dead to stay limned in its foul glow. The magic battle is pressing now against the edge fo the island. Perhaps also raging on the island.

Sahuagin! says Banx, pointing back to the town. Yes, you can make out slim forms beyond the channel hurrying through the harbor. Banx begins to cast his Magic Missile, but you see what he does not and stop him. These forms are too small and lithe for fishmen. They look like the one you saw die to a guiding bolt, fleeing toward the harbor.

In all the ambient light from spells, your sharp eyes can make out the forms of Sahuagin, farther east, casting and hurling nets and tridents and advancing and advancing toward the channel, toward the fleeing tail-people. Just then a deep, rolling wave of thunder sounds beneath the water, between the fishmen and their prey. This? This is power magic. It pushes the front line of fishmen back, and you see some stop and sink. A few more of the little runners slip into the channel.

WHAT IS HAPPENING! shrieks Greed. Worst, Snoocher. Ever. WHAT DO WE DO?



OOC I KNOW THIS IS COMPLICATED! I am available in OOC here or on discord.


Green circle, Fela
Blue circle, Falco
Purple circle, Bingle
Red Circle, where you think the fireworks team from Vallos has set up

Pink areas have 100+ people, many tiddly, lying on blankets.

The first 3 big boats each have 12 - 20 people aboard. Last boat, Wailing Maiden, is currently empty save for constructs.

The blue stars are the fight-lights in the water Bingle saw. The thunder noise happened here in these lights, close to the island.

The arrows are the forms Banx and Bingle saw moving under the water that he thought were Sahuagin. She knows better with her 20.

You are not in action economy, BUT your time is limited. Last round, you had two minutes. Fela and Falco spent a few seconds to talk to an NPC, thinking they could use the time to find the party. It isn't possible. That map is 20 foot squares, which puts all your characters about a football field away from each other, + it is night, + there is a crowd of about 300 tiddly people packing the harbor, green spaces, and boats, and none of you know where your friends went to watch the fireworks.

Since Fela and Falco did not actually use the time, they can have four minutes this round. If you want to try a thing but aren't sure you can manage it in 4 minutes, talk to me in OOC. I will tell you yes or no or ask for rolls.

Team Gnome used their minutes, so they have two minutes this round.

Falco, Felice is here. Bingle, Banx is here. Fela, Briony uses the NOBLE stat block, and she is beloved in the town. She has advantage on any social interaction with townfolk.

These NPCs are yours this round. You can use them to make your rolls with advantage or to make a different roll from your character's.

cheerio, Greed has a commoner stat block and will do what you say, unless it is dangerous, which will requires a persuade or intimidate. The latter has a lower DC. In the same way, P~ and Goons, you can also expect any NPCs you have cultivated to trust you and do what you say. Felice will back Falco 100%, as long as his orders do not put Melisse in danger.

At the end of this round, I should know exactly where your character and your NPC(s) are on the owlbear map or an approximation of your location on the BIG map here in OOC
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Last edited by Fillyjonk; Feb 22nd, 2023 at 08:18 AM.
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