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Old Jan 10th, 2021, 04:02 PM
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Chapter 3: The World Beyond the Wall

GM
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After several hours of rest and recuperation in the safety of the goblin's underground abode, the Familiars find themselves perched atop the Impossibly High Stone Wall, looking out at the menacing human world beyond. The lights of the village wink like diamonds scattered across the foothills of Mount Myrddin. The jutting summit looms above the city, haloed in a wisp of cloud lit by a low, pallid moon. The hour hovers somewhere between very late and very early. The streets of Whitebridge are teeming with men - some staggering home, howling their drinking-songs, others dragging the implements of their labor toward a day of drudgery just beginning.

The goblin Rocco stands perched on the wall beside the Familiars, dressed in a tablecloth tunic and a wig fashioned from a dirty mop-head. Apart from the greenish pallor of his skin, the creature can pass as a human child, so long as he doesn't flash his rows of knitting-needle teeth. Rocco shrugs loose his bindle - a sack with rope secured at its corners to form a crude approximation of a knapsack. Within the Familiars have stashed their pear-a-shoots and the racoon paw.

Back in the hidey-hole there had been some spirited debate regarding the wisdom of a pear-a-shoot test-run. The most practical critters had suggested that Rocco could simply lower the smaller animals from the top of the wall to the ground by hand, while the more adventuresome Familiars argued that practicing on a relatively short descent might actually be the most prudent course of action. Ultimately it was decided that each creature should determine for him or herself how best to proceed. Rocco rifles through the sack now, withdrawing the neat bundles of fuligin cloth.

Before leaving the protection of Sweetbriar Forest, the animals take one last look back. Brijida is conspicuously absent, already out and about, searching for a moss or other greenery that will make an acceptable stuffing for their doll - something at once sturdy and substantial and also irresistibly snuggly, just like the late Witch. The other two goblins, Niles and Garth, stand on the ground below, leaning against their shovels. They will begin the work of digging a secret tunnel beneath the wall as soon as the Familiars depart, marking its location with the human symbols AF in honor of Abigail. Colette stands on Niles' shoulder, trying to look cheerful, despite deep misgivings about the Familiars' chances of success. "Salut!" she cries, wiping away a tear, "Ciao! Adieu! Good luck with your murdering!"

There is no more cause to delay. The world beyond the wall--and sweet vengeance--awaits.

GM - MechanicsTo clarify, Rocco will accompany the Familiars to the village, and remain with the group until he has been released from his life-debt or is killed in the course of his duty. He only speaks goblin, but seems to understand simple directions and is a very adept mime. The other two goblins (Niles and Garth) will remain on the forest-side of the wall, to dig an escape tunnel. This passage can be used to make a hasty retreat on the return trip, assuming any Familiars survive the perils of the village and the wrath of the Witch-Hunter. Colette, too, will remain in the woods, doing what she can to assist Brijida in the creation of the doll.

Regarding pear-a-shoots: In your next post you can either choose to be lowered to the ground by Rocco or to test your pear-a-shoot. If you elect to perform a test-jump, roll a straight d10 (no modifier, no Blessing). The result will affect the DC of any future pear-a-shoot jumps. Under normal (non-test) circumstances, using a pear-a-shoot will require a DC 8 check and is DANGEROUS. For this test, there is no danger of bodily harm because of the controlled conditions - you will be jumping from a low height onto soft leafy groundcover.

For test-jumps roll an unmodified d10 and consult the table below for the outcome:

RollReactionResult
1Never again!The pear-a-shoot rips, and you will never willingly use one again
2-3That was terrifying!It works, but using a pear-a-shoot from now on will require a DC 10 check and is DANGEROUS
4-6What just happened? Is it over?No effect; using a pear-a-shoot from now on still requires the standard DC 8 check and is DANGEROUS
7-9That was great!Using a pear-a-shoot from now on will only require a DC 5 check but it is still DANGEROUS
10I should've been a bird!Using a pear-a-shoot from now on will only required a DC 5 check and is no longer DANGEROUS
NANo way! Not me!Rocco gently lowers you to the ground. No effect; using a pear-a-shoot in the future will require the standard DC 8 check and is DANGEROUS
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Last edited by Mallothi; Feb 11th, 2022 at 11:48 PM.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2021, 02:19 PM
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Meanwhile, somewhere in Whitebridge Village...

Meanwhile, somewhere in Whitebridge Village...

Raindrops on Roses
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A peculiar twist of fate, Raindrops on Roses laments as he bounces and jostles within his inky confines.

Certainly the old tales included the odd shanghai, hijacking, or kidnapping, but it was usually a hapless maiden and not the protagonist who was spirited away by the enemy. No matter, the hare resolves. This complication merely sets the stage for a more compelling and dramatic display of heroism! Raindrops clears his throat, and, doing his best to sound valorous despite his woeful circumstances, shouts, "Unhand me, you beastly reprobates, or suffer the ferocity of my swift justice!"

To the henchman Geoff, sitting tall upon his horse, the ultimatum sounds like a few pitiful squeaks coming from within the sack tied to his saddle. He gives the bundle a sharp kick with the heel of his boot, which spurs the horse it's lashed to and sets the bag to bouncing ever more violently. "Shut up, damnit! We're almost there."

Most peculiar indeed. The fiend must not be able to hear me over the cacophonous clatter of this charger. Oh, would that I spoke a little horse... Lost in his dejected reverie, Raindrops scarcely registers the sounds of clopping of hooves over wood and the scraping of large, heavy doors; auditory cues that would indicate his captors have entered some massive man-made structure - a courtyard or keep. Neither does he notice when the sack is roughly disentangled from the saddle and marched up countless spiraling stairwells, echoing with the sound of heavy footfalls.

In fact, it's not until the sack is lobbed, hare-and-all to the floor with a dust-scattering Thump! that Raindrops begins to understand the circumstances of his capture. Light streams into the bag, a pinprick at first, almost blinding. The brilliant aperture widens, bit-by-bit, as the drawstring is tugged loose. Finally the bag falls completely open, and Raindrops is confronted with the full sum of his plight.

"HONK!"

The vile creature stands before him, leering at Raindrops with his unmarred right eye. His cracked beak seems to twist into a sneer at the corners.

"What cheer, Master Hare?"

...
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Old Feb 3rd, 2021, 10:56 AM
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Brie
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Once in a lifetime there comes a day when a rat is much more than a rodent with an insatiable appetite and a preference for the dark and filthy places of this world. There comes a day when said rodent accomplishes something extraordinary, magnificent, incredible. There comes a day when a rat is not simply a rat, but a pioneer, an explorer, a living legend!

That was not such a day for Brie. First of all, the Impossibly High Wall surrounding the village of Whitebridge could only be characterized as „moderately high“ at best. Secondly, climbing it was much less challenging than the dark rat had expected or rather not challenging at all, since both rats and the cat were safely placed upon it by their new goblin companion, Rocco.

Approaching the edge of the Wall, Brie tried to ignore Colette’s multilingual well-wishes and the sounds of digging and instead embrace the vast wilderness that opened up before his eyes… Okay, „vast wilderness“ would not be the most accurate way to describe what the rat saw, because barely a few feet away from the Wall stood another wall, more ordinary perhaps, since it belonged to a house, but even larger than the one the animals were sitting on and made of bricks. Inhaling the village smells, especially the aroma of fresh milk and aged cheese, Brie suddenly felt a strange urge to Sorry, couldn’t resist!piss off the Wall, but thought better of it after a few sidelong glances at the other familiars. None of them would welcome such a childish gesture, he was sure of that.

Despite not feeling the awe he had felt when he saw Whitebridge’s wall for the first time -from inside the village- Brie couldn’t help but feel a certain unease when he pictured himself jumping off the wall with a piece of cloth tied on his back. Suddenly, Beau’s suggestion of Rocco carefully lowering them to the ground seemed much more prudent. Cautious the dark rat certainly was, but he was also no coward. He had been the one to mention his sister’s idea and to ignore it now would embarrass him before sweet Beau – not to mention Ernest, who would never stop teasing him as long as he lived.

Beckoning to Rocco to help him wear the per-a-chute -and not pear-a-shoot, since Tresse had first used this contraption to more safely slide down a chute!-, Brie took a deep, very deep breath -hoping that the air inside him would better keep him airborne-, closed his eyes and jumped…

The per-a-chute’s cloth filled with air, billowed behind him and rolling a lucky seven!gently carried the adventurous rodent to the ground. Tresse had been right! For a few moments Brie felt incredibly light, as if he could actually „walk on air“. Peaking out of the per-a-chute that had covered his whole body like a blanket, Brie offered his companions a gigantic grin.

"That was fun! Who’s next?"


 
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Old Feb 4th, 2021, 11:10 AM
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Beau
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Standing on top of the Impossibly High Wall, Beau was faced with a nightmarish spectacle- dozens upon dozens of gangly, loud, boorish humans! Abigail had truly been one of a kind, a paragon of her species. It was little wonder so many humans had sought to hurt her- fueled, no doubt, by a jealousy at seeing her majesty compared to their own wretchedness. Her whiskers trembling, tail lashing nervously, she looked down to the ground. She turned around one last time, whispering her thanks to the goblins, then looked ahead.

Emboldened by Brie's words, Beau threw herself off the wall and pulled at the cord of her pear-a-shoot. Which, promptly, got stuck on a nail hammered into the wall. Before Beau had a chance to consider why anyone who put a nail into the wall, the fabric of the pear-a-shoot tore, the lines snapped, and Beau impacted onto the ground with a squeak of pain and surprise.

Her little heart pounding, she looked to Brie, then back to the top of the wall, then at Brie again. 'Never again!' she swore, her eyes wide with fright.


 
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Old Feb 5th, 2021, 10:47 AM
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Ernest the Now Embarrassed and Quite Grumpy Cat
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Having watched the two rats jump from the Impossibly High Stone Wall with quite different outcomes, the old Tom found the reliability of the pear-a-shoots to be highly suspect, at best. He rose from his hindquarters, allowing Rocco to fasten the contraption to the cat's back.

"Is this entirely necessary, lad? Have you never seen a feline jump from a wall? Why, back in my young days, I would leap to and from walls such as these with little to no issue! And certainly with nothing to cushion the initial contact with the ground!"

Ernest took a moment to survey the view, mentally preparing for his leap and subsequent return to Whitebridge. He looked down at the two rats whose whiskers twitched with anticipation of the cat's descent. Beau's tumble had made him feel nervous, but best to not let that show.

He took a deep breath and readied to jump, quickly shifting his weight back and forth between his two back paws. He inhaled deeply and -POP!- As he lept from the Impossibly High Stone Wall, the old Tom's left hip made a horrid and most audible cracking sound. As bone gave way to air within the cat's joints, his paws simultaneously left the safety of the wall and he writhed and spun in the air. His waist twisted causing his bottom half to spin like a top while his front paws grasped upwards for the pear-a-shoot's cord, but instead his made contact with the shoot.

-WHOMPF!- the cat hit the ground heavily with a thud. He found himself underneath the pear-a-shoot, grappling and fighting with it out of anger and embarrassment. "Brrrrrroooowwwl! Curse this useless device!" As his head emerged from a hole in the pear-a-shoot, he glared up at the goblins on the wall. "Well, Rocco? Will you release me from this thing and we can get on our way?"


 
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Old Feb 5th, 2021, 11:08 PM
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I always feel like somebody's watching me / Who's playing tricks on me?

GMRocco winces as Beau hits the ground, kicking up a little flurry of dead leaves with a Crunch! Ernest doesn't fare any better, landing roughly in a tangle of black fabric, yowling curses. The goblin buries his head in his hands, exasperated. After a moment's consideration Rocco removes his pear-a-shoot altogether and folds it neatly inside his knapsack. He drops to his rump and scoots over the edge of the wall, landing softly on his feet. He throws his arms wide in a dramatic Ta-da! motion before hurrying over to help the others.

Once all the pear-a-shoots are stowed, it's only a short trek over a few gently rolling hills before the Familiars enter the village proper, plunging into the shadows between looming homes and businesses. The buildings are charming, in a decidedly human way; all dark wood and white stone. Most are shut tight against the chill of the autumn air, blue curlicues of chimney-smoke hinting at the delicious warmth within. The animals wend their way through the town, keeping to the inky patches of darkness between the slanting swaths of window-light that fall over the cobbled avenues.

The streets, as the Familiars noted from their vantage atop the wall, are unusually active for the late hour. A steady stream of drunks stagger homeward, laughing and clapping each other on the backs, brushing shoulders with the town's laborers who plod humorlessly toward the mines. The animals stick to the lesser-traveled alleyways whenever possible, only daring to scurry across main thoroughfares when the human foot traffic lulls. The entire city is draped in colorful bunting and tremendous banners emblazoned with manic advertisements for the dairy festival, now well underway. Vendors' carts line the streets, packed together in clusters at intersections and in front of the town's most popular shops. All manner of toothsome aromas waft from the wheeled kiosks, and each is decked with tempting illustrations of the delicacies within. Sadly, all the best-smelling carts are cinched up tight under heavy tarpaulins.

The Familiars press on, deep into the heart of the village, using the gloomy silhouette of Mount Myrddin as their waypoint. They are spotted only once, by a haggard-looking miner who catches a glimpse of the strange procession as they dart across a brightly-lit street. Quick as a wink, Rocco hooks his foot around the rats, scooping them beneath the billow of his tablecloth tunic. At the same time he snatches up Ernest, who he begins to scrub vigorously while cooing a kind of demented baby-talk in the old tom's ear. The miner does a double-take, raising a hand to shield his rheumy eyes against the lamp-light. He squints suspiciously at the goblin. Rocco affects child-like nonchalance by whistling tunelessly and casting darting looks all around the street, petting Ernest all the while. After several long moments the man grunts his disapproval and resumes his trudging.

As the Familiars near the mine's entrance the way becomes suddenly steep, pitched against the foot of the mountain. They climb on, skillfully avoiding further notice. At last, in the near-distance, the mouth of the diamond mine yawns open, black as the fuligin cloth of their (arguably useless) pear-a-shoots. The animals breathe a collective sigh of relief as they approach the last block of the town's main street. They're nearly there! They skirt along the left-hand side of the road, tucked against the darkened facade of a booksellers. Success! Suddenly, on the opposite side of the street, the very last door bursts open. A yellow light spills out, cutting a brilliant slash across their path. A familiar voice bawls, "All right, all right! We know when we ain't wanted no more! C'mon, fellers, out with ya!"

Geoff, a human
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Furchtbar's henchman, Geoff, stumbles out of the building (the What's Mine is Yours Tavern, as it happens), his lackeys close behind. The ruffians hoot and howl as they lurch out of the bar, using one another for support. "Gods," one of them shouts, "but that goose gives me the creeps!" The man stops short, reeling. He tucks his hands in his armpits and sticks out his chin, then begins to furiously flap his elbows. "HONK! HONK!" The other men collapse in a fit of hysterical laughter. All of them save Geoff, that is, who looks abruptly pale and horror-stricken. He grabs the prankster by the ear and hauls him to his feet, glaring at him savagely. "You shut your filthy gob!" he growls. "You wanna get us all killed?!" Geoff tosses the man back into the pile of cackling goons, then glances about anxiously, eyes wide and white. "The Butcher is always listening," he seethes. The other man blows a loud, wet raspberry and dismisses Geoff with a wave. "Pfah!"

Geoff continues to search the shadows nervously, swaying in place. Then, all at once, he stops. He straightens, standing stock-still and glares into the shadows near the booksellers. It might only be a terrifying trick of the light, but his eyes seem trained on the Familiars. "Ssshhh!" he grates, stilling his companions with an outstretched hand. "Did you hear that?"

GM - MechanicsYou are welcome to proceed however you wish. Any action taken in view of the henchmen will likely require a roll and will be DANGEROUS. Feel free to deliberate in the OOC thread. Here are the DCs of the most obvious courses of action, for your planning purposes:
  • DC 8 Sly to hide, DANGEROUS
  • DC 10 Quick to run away, DANGEROUS
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Old Feb 8th, 2021, 05:31 PM
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Brie
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Whitebridge was the largest rat/human settlement in Brie‘s (rather small) world - as in the only rat/human settlement he had ever lived at or visited. His twin brothers, both actual names of types of cheese!Adelost and Asiago, travelers and explorers extraordinairé, the only rats Brie knew to have left Whitebridge, survived the journey and returned to tell about it, claimed that the place of their birth was in fact tiny and that there were many more towns and cities a hundred or even a thousand times the size of their home village. Brie couldn’t help but scoff at such shameless exaggeration. His rat brain couldn’t conceive a place large enough for so many thousands of brutish, clumsy humans to live in close proximity. According to his own experience a small family of ten or twelve humans (parents, grandparents and only six or so children) could barely stay long enough under the same roof! Rats, being much more socially inclined, not to mention adept, didn’t have such restrictions of course and could live with their much larger extended families of several hundreds of individuals quite peacefully (as far as a shortage of food wasn’t an issue) in places small enough to earn the somewhat derogatory term „ratholes“. Humans were simply unable to achieve this, though the current state of Whitebridge made Brie seriously reconsider what he thought possible for the human race and what not.

Running from shadowy corner to shadowy corner and hiding behind wells, walls and willows (and other trees) had the benefit of keeping the dark rat athletic and alert, but after some time it started to grate on Brie‘s nerves. The dairy festival seemed to have attracted great numbers of humans, who, despite the occasion, seemed to be mainly consuming alcohol- and not milk-based beverages, which led them to wander about the streets of Whitebridge even after sundown, stumbling, shouting and laughing nonsensically. This in itself was strange. The peace of every rat/human settlement was based on a simple, unwritten agreement: humans were mainly active during the day and rats during the night. There were exceptions of course, but they existed only to prove the rule. Humans were creatures of sunlight. That didn’t mean that they were shiny or bright, merely that they couldn’t see well enough in the dark. Rats, clearly the superior of the two species, could see equally well in light and darkness and being the more generous party (some might also say smaller and weaker) had graciously granted the humans the right to go about their business (whatever that was) during the day. Nighttime however was theirs and even this sacred right was disregarded at the moment by the inebriated humans, visitors and locals alike.

The indignation and righteous fury Brie felt at the humans’ blatant disregard for rodent rights, dignity, values and natural habitat was so great that he wasn’t paying any attention when a tavern‘s door suddenly opened, flooding the dusty square with light. A deer would have simply stared at the bright light, completely paralyzed and unable to move a muscle, but Brie wasn’t a deer. He was a rat and rats are made 99% of instinct. Even before the bright light had touched him the rodent was simply gone. It was as if he had vanished into thin air and suddenly rematerialized behind a flower bed right in front of the bookseller’s shop. Its owner had no doubt meant it to grant some charm to the place, though Brie‘s sensitive nose detected the unmistakable smell of urine and a variety of half-digested alcoholic liquids. It was good that the humans‘ sense of smell was as bad as their eyesight or else the bookseller might have gotten rid of it as soon as he got a whiff of the „perfume“ it emanated, depriving the rat of a perfectly good hiding place.

"Hide, hide!", whispered Brie to his companions, hoping that they would react more like rats and less like deer.


OOC actionsBrie successfully hides from the light (Result:10).


 
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  #8  
Old Feb 9th, 2021, 02:43 PM
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Ernest the less embarassed but still grumpy cat
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Ernest, now recovered from his less than graceful tumble, slinked and skulked alongside the goblin as they made their way across Whitebridge. While it had been quite some time since the cat had taken up residence in the town, its passages and alleyways were familiar. They all wreaked with the memories from before he had come into the good graces of the mistress, some good, someLike... that time he lost an eye all together unpleasant.

When Rocco scopped up the cat and scrubbed behind his ears, Ernest instinctively leaned into the goblin's hands. Normally the infantile talk would have made him scamper away, but it had been so long since someone with opposable thumbs had scratched his itches, so he allowed it. The cat was just raising his chin to suggest a good jaw massage, when - HOOMPH - he was tossed back to the ground. Ever a disappointment, those bipeds. The chin rub would have to wait.

"Ssshhh!" The grizzled hiss sliced through the air just as the yellow light did the stone and dirt of the street. The cat's belly shot low to the ground, his eyes narrowing and ears twisting about, searching for the source. It was then, when the male rate cried out to hide, that Ernest saw Geoff.

The cat darted into the darkness natural 10 sly for a total of 13 - woop woop!with such speed and grace that made one forget the earlier regrettable incident with the parachute. The sable blackness of his fur made him all but disappear as he dipped into a shadow, all but hidden except for his one, gleaming eye.


 
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Old Feb 12th, 2021, 09:54 AM
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Beau
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Pressing her body low against the cobblestone street in fright at the sight of the men- and moreso at the dreadful cry of Bart. Even mimicked poorly by one of the abomination's bootlicker's, it was still a horrid sound, striking fear into the hearts of any sane creature.

But, the white rat thought to herself, perhaps they know where we can find their master? 'Don't make a sound,' she warned the others, keeping her pink eyes on Furchtbar's henchmen. 'We have no idea where Furchtbar is- if we follow them, maybe they will lead us to their master? Your friends will be far more likely to help us if we have a plan,' she explained, 'and to make a plan, we need to at least know where we can find Furchtbar.'

Sly: 12!Quietly, she creeped after the men, staying in the shadows where their drunken gaze would not find her...


 
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Old Feb 16th, 2021, 08:55 PM
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Well, we got no class / And we got no principals

GMThe instant the tavern door crashes open the Familiars melt into the shadows, possessed by pure animal flight instinct. For a moment, the village is deathly silent. The henchmen all hold their breath, frozen mid-stagger. Geoff squints into the darkness, his body poised for an attack. Then he relaxes, dropping his hand and slumping at the shoulders. "Heh," he chuckles sheepishly, knuckling his bleary eyes. "Swore I heard somethin'." He turns back to regard his men. "Let's go, you rotten milksops. Back to Summitstone we go, heigh-ho. Long day tomorrow! All those pixie traps we set ain't gonna empty themselves!"

Furchtbar's men stumble away, climbing the steep main street toward the mine entrance. At Beau's suggestion the Familiars creep behind, trailing the posse at a safe distance. After several hundred yards, the humans take a sharp left turn onto a smaller side street, veering away from the mine. Looming in the distance, glimpsed between the rows of buildings that line the narrow avenue, is the Summitstone Academy for the Magically Adept. The storied wizarding college is centuries old, built of Whitebridge's signature stone and set against one of Mount Myrddin's most formidable escarpments. The college is stately and impressive, even by animal measures. The complex of classrooms, libraries, dormitories, and theaters seem to cling to the cliffside, either by dint of magic or else a truly remarkable feat of human engineering. From the looks of it, that's where Geoff and his cronies are headed.

"Who'd've though," one of the men slurs. "Me, a college student! Ha!"

Geoff slugs the man on the shoulder. "Sleepin' on the floor of Furchtbar's office ain't th'same thing's goin' to college, you moron."

"Pfah! Ol' Furchtbar sleeps there an' he's a adjunk professor of monster-killin'," the man retorts.

"Adjunct, you utter gollumpus!" Geoff strikes the man again. "Adjunct Professor of Fanciful Creature Studies! An' he only sleeps in his office 'cause he's runnin' himself ragged keepin' this town safe fer the festival-goers. You could take a lesson in dedication."

The men have reached the campus gates - large silvery doors set within a truly impossibly high stone wall. The gates stand open, guarded by two other men with halberds. In truth, "guarded" is far too generous a characterization - the halberds lean against the wall while the men make a game of tossing cheese curds into one another's mouths. They wave Geoff and his crew inside with little more than a glance. Beau and the others stop short of entering the academy. They linger in the shadows behind a rain-barrel and watch Geoff pass through the gate and out of sight. As he disappears beyond the wall they hear him shout, "I mean it! Knock it off with the goose stuff! He's always prowlin' 'round the Volothamp buildin'. Bird never sleeps, I swear it."

Once the men have gone, Rocco ushers the animals into a huddle. While none of the Familiars speak human, Rocco seems to understand much of their language, and he is able to pantomime the gist of the henchmen's conversation. He pinches his nose, feigning disgust. He curls his hands into claws and sneers. Furchtbar! Rocco points toward the college, indicating a squat, newish addition to the campus. He traces the shape of a box with an outstretched finger, then adds a pointed top. House. Home. Furchtbar is living here, inside Summitstone! The goblin throws his arms around the animals and pulls them in tighter, visibly shaken. He puts the back of his hand against his face, opening and shutting his fingers slowly. He whispers, "Honk!"

The Butcher is here, too.

GM - OOCIt's safe to assume that the Familiars know everything that was said by Geoff and his men, thanks to Rocco's impeccable mime skills.

The Familiars currently find themselves across the street from the Summistone Academy gates, hiding behind a rain-barrel. The barrel is positioned at the corner of some kind of residential building. To approach the gates they would need to cross an open, well-lit street. To return to the mines they would simply follow their previous path in reverse (no roll required).
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  #11  
Old Feb 17th, 2021, 02:48 PM
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Ernest the Damp and Once Again Grumpy Cat
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The time between the old cat's naps were growing longer than he was accustomed to, and with such he let out a long yawn, his pink velvety tongue curling and extending from his mouth. As Rocco finished his flailing and gesturing, it was clear: Furchtbar was here. And so was that damn feathered monstrosity.

Ernest turned to the two rats and sat back on his haunches. "I think... I think he means that Furchtbar AND that goose are here. Behind the gates. " A trickle of water caught his eye as it trailed down the side of the barrel. He noticed it creating a small puddle, and moved to space himself from the most unpleasant experience of accidentally dampening his fur. "We can't do this alone. Shall we look for that Rico, in the mines? " The puddle grew now, but focused on conversation, the cat did notice. "Beau, didn't you say you have family close to the mines? Could they show us the way or possibly introduce us to this Rico?"

And then.. the trail of rainwater met Ernests paw. He stood up quickly, flicking his front left leg rapidly and repeatedly to rid himself of the detestable sensation of a wet paw. YACK.


 
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  #12  
Old Feb 21st, 2021, 06:54 AM
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Brie
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The chance encounter with Furchtbar‘s doltish henchmen had proven a blessing in disguise. Thanks to their honed animal instincts and their incredible camouflage skills, the familiars, followed by the goblin, had been able to discover their enemy‘s whereabouts: the Summitstone Academy for the Magically Adept - or the „School of wizardly businessWiz-Biz“ as the locals usually called it when they were certain that none of the „wiz‘s“ were around.

This was mixed news as far as Brie was concerned. Dealing with an entire academy of wizards in addition to the ruthless witch-hunter, his brutes and the Butcher seemed to be a challenge far surpassing the familiars‘ abilities, but at the same time opened up several new possibilities. There was no place in Whitebridge that was more dangerous than this madhouse of mysterious arcane artifacts, unstable potions and potentially explosive experiments, so dangerous in fact that should a certain witch-hunter suffer an unfortunate accident no eyebrows would be raised. It was no wonder that the most famous proverb in the village was that "A little magical knowledgeknowledge is dangerous, a lot is bound to make you or combust or melt down or lose your mind or another one of a number of terrible fatesexplode." Brie could still recall the stories of a student called who could that be?Henry Ceramicist, who had gotten himself in trouble at Summitstone so many times that several books had been written about his escapades. It was all trash, of course, but the illustrations had been quite nice and the paper crispy - not to mention that one of the protagonists had a rat familiar (!), which had at the time made little Brie‘s heart beat faster and given birth to dreams of a career in magical studies.

Turning to face his companions, Brie‘s eyes narrowed, the gears inside his head turning. "Summitstone Academy… We will definitely need help and Rico Rattin is just the rat to provide it." Ernest’s comment about Brie having family inside the mine he decided to ignore. It was true that he had many, many relatives living in the labyrinthine passages under the mountain, most of them named after various types of cheese just like he was. The thing was, there was some bad blood between his family and himself - a fact that not even Mother had been aware of. Brie‘s (true) mother had at one time insisted that he marry the daughter of the wealthiest (in cheese and other edibles) rat in the mines, nicknamed the „King Under the Mountain“. Lady Olive-Clementine Canapés was the most fatenormous rat he had ever encountered in his life and even though that in itself was a most admirable quality, he could not imagine himself next to a rodent so huge and immobile that it took eight to ten servant mice to carry her around. To escape this nightmarish prospect the dark rat had left the mines and after a time Whitebridge itself. Who knew for the GM to decide!who had ended up marrying the portly rat lady?

"Trust me, Ernest, no one enters the mines undetected by the Rafia. All we have to do is wait and Rico will contact us soon enough." At least Brie hoped that Rico would speak to them first and not shoot them with pebbles and olives stones on sight. "It wouldn’t hurt though if you were to tie a piece of white cloth on your tail to signify that we come in peace. Most Rafia members are… somewhat ill-disposed towards felines of all shapes and stripes, believing them members of the Catmorra. It‘s up to you, of course, but if you don’t want any trouble…" Brie shrugged. He was certain the cat would make the right decision and if he didn’t… well it would be his whiskers at stake. "There‘s no use waiting, I guess. Shall we?"


OOC actionsJust roleplaying.


 
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  #13  
Old Feb 22nd, 2021, 09:13 AM
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Beau
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Beau let out an involuntary, terrified squeak at the mention of Bart. Quickly, her eyes darted from the campus building where Furchtbar apparently lived, to the academy, to the shadows around her, as if the dread goose might just step out of the darkness and eat them all alive. It certainly seemed like the sort of thing the abomination might do.

'Ah, well,' she started, considering Ernest's question about her family. 'It might be best to try Brie's suggestion first, really,' she admitted weakly. 'My family, well, ah... They were never really all that happy with me before I left, and I don't think leaving made them any friendlier- if they care at all.' In truth, she had been happy to be rid of the boorish, reckless, less-than-intelligent family she had grown up with. For Abigail, she would suffer through a reunion with them... Unless other options were available.


 
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Old Mar 2nd, 2021, 11:27 PM
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Aw, rats!

GM
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The sounds of Geoff and his hangers-on grow soft and distant as the men retreat deep into the sprawling Summitstone campus. Eventually the two guards abandon their game of curd-catch and settle into a halfhearted patrol, pacing a short track back and forth in front of the college gates.

Meanwhile, still hidden in the shadows of a nearby residential building, the Familiars plot their next steps. Having discovered the location of Furchtbar's base of operations, the animals decide to return to the mines at Mount Myrddin to seek out allies. Retracing their route back is simple enough, and the animals are able to pass without attracting any unwanted human attention. When they arrive, the Familiars shelter behind an abandoned wheelbarrow, a stone's-throw from the mine's entrance. The entry is a great yawning mouth, shored up by massive wooden braces, intricately carved with human letters and ornate decorations. A steady stream of laborers pass beneath the arch, toting tools and chatting noisily. From their hiding-spot behind the wooden cart, the Familiars contemplate their strategy. Rocco offers the first proposal: The goblin makes a scooping gesture at the animals, then pantomimes hefting the wheelbarrow. He shrugs hesitantly. Well? The group briefly considers this suggestion, but quickly decides that a "human" of Rocco's stature would likely be reckoned a child - the risk of being shooed away by a concerned miner is too high with such a direct approach.

Ultimately the Familiars decide to avoid the main entrance altogether, and instead search the surrounding foothills for any explicitly animal ingress. After a short while, they discover a small crevice in the rock, just large enough for Rocco to squirm through on hands and knees. The ground inside the fissure is abundant with animal sign - shed fur and numerous paw-prints indicate that they're on the right track. The Familiars slip through the cleft and disappear into the mountainside. Within, the tunnel winds alongside the human excavation, occasionally intersecting the main mineshaft. At these points the animals wait in the shadows for any pitmen to pass, then dart between carts, tools, and barrels, picking up the path on the opposite wall. Deeper and deeper into the mountain they steadily creep.

Eventually, the animal trackway veers away from the mineshaft altogether. After several hundred yards of steep descent, the tunnel opens into a large grotto, bisected by an underground rivulet of icy mountain runoff, burbling softly. The chamber is pitch dark. The animals squint in the blackness, trying to discern the way forward. Then, all of a sudden, there is a Scraaaatch! and a flash of yellow light. The chamber is instantly bathed in a warm glow. Now visible, two rats stand perched atop a high stone, leering down at the Familiars - one holds a lit match high above its head.

"Hello, cousin," he snarls.

Wensley & Dale, rats both
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Though it's been ages since Brie has seen his extended family, the rats' pointed, scabby snouts and threatening black eyes are unmistakable - here before him stand his churlish twin cousins, Wensley and Dale. Wensley sweeps the match in a wide arc, scrutinizing Brie's companions. "Now here's an odd bunch," he coos. Dale titters nervously at his brother's side. "Strange company you're keeping these days, Brie-Brie." The rat glances at Ernest, then wrinkles his crusty snout and sucks his yellow teeth loudly. From behind his back he unslings a (relatively) large metal instrument - a silver dog-whistle that he wields with both paws like a heavy weapon.

Wensley steps forward, grinning. "I'm sure you know, dear cousin, that no one passes through this mine unnoticed. Mister Rattin will want a confab. And before you try anything funny"--he reaches back with his free paw to pat Dale's whistle--"I should warn you that the humans have a bloodhound in here with them. Mister Rattin graciously provides the old pooch vittles enough to keep him friendly toward us rats, but cats and goblins? Tsk-tsk-tsk," he clicks his tongue. "I can't promise Rufus would like your friends." Dale chortles at this, the whistle glinting menacingly in the amber light.

"So tell me," Wensley squeaks, "to what do we owe this happy reunion, Brie-Brie?" The rat waves the match toward the other animals. "And just who are all of you?"
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Last edited by Mallothi; Mar 3rd, 2021 at 09:34 AM.
  #15  
Old Mar 6th, 2021, 02:33 PM
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Beau
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Startled by the harsh voice of these scabrous newcomers, Beau pushed herself flat against the ground. She tried studying the pair, but found it hard to look past the fact they were brandishing a burning stick- which hadn't been burning a moment before! The flash had momentarily blinded her, but when Beau's vision came back, she could see there was no mistake about it- the pair was carrying some man-made contraption, used to make fire. Trembling, the white rat wondered whether these were those fabled "magic wands" she had heard Raindrops mention from time to time. Back then, she had believed them to be little more than the fanciful imagings of writers- but now, in close proximity to the human wizard's school... Perhaps there was more to the rabbit's stories?

'H-hello,' she tried, weakly. The threat of the hound left Beau unnerved- could these rats really command such brutes? The burning wand they carried certainly lent credence to their claim- what other magic tricks might they conjure? 'My name is Beau. Brie here told us of- of you all, living down here. And we, ah, we... We were wondering if you and mister Rattin might help us?' Hearing the pair speak of territories, of titles like "mister" and of bribing hounds... She couldn't help but consider them the power-hungry kind. Which worked in their favor. 'A, ah... Business proposition,' she tried, 'one which will help us both?'


 
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