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Old Oct 25th, 2021, 09:32 PM
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Chapter 4: Assault on Summitstone

GM
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And so the Familiars find themselves once again under the long shadow of Mount Myrddin, at the silvery gates of the Summitstone Academy for the Magically Adept. With every able-bodied human in the village gathered along the Guild Row (either to help fight the series of devastating structure-fires or otherwise gawk at the unscheduled fireworks display) the animals could have trotted right up Main Street without risk of harassment. Loath to tempt fate, however, the Familiars instead stick to the fringes—alleys, gutters, and the like—with Andy flying ahead as scout. Now, hunkered behind the same broad rain-barrel that they’d used for cover when tailing Geoff and his lackeys, the animals take stock of their situation.

The sun has fully risen, and the white stone of the Academy’s classrooms, libraries, dormitories, and theaters gleams brilliantly; the cliffs to which these ancient structures cling twinkle with morning dew. Barring the way to Myrddin’s escarpments, of course, is the soaring perimeter wall. The two sullen-looking guards who attend the silver gates have strayed slightly from their post to peer resentfully down the street, taking turns at a bronze spyglass. The Familiars can hear them bickering from their nearby hiding spot:

“I can’t see a whoring thing! This peeper’s busted.”

“Turn it over to me, then. Hey, you’ve had your turn! That glass belongs to me, anyhow!”

“We must be the only two unlucky bastards in town missing all— Ho! You see there?! Another rocket! That’s two silver you owe me now. I told you there was more hadn’t gone off yet!”

“Give it! Let me see!”

“Ho-ho! Peace, my deficient friend, peace! No need to get grabby! If you want it so badly, just take it, eh?”


The taller of the two men dangles the spyglass high over his companion’s head, taunting him. The shorter jumps for it, flailing his arms to no avail. The disagreement quickly devolves into a not-quite-friendly wrestling match punctuated by a tête-à-tête concerning the relative purity of each man’s mother, and soon both are sprawled breathless and covered in mud in the street. The men rest a while, panting. They seem in no hurry to resume the full scope of their assigned duties.

Rocco looks to his animal companions and shrugs, as if to say, Now?
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Last edited by Mallothi; Oct 27th, 2021 at 10:14 PM.
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 12:32 PM
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Brie the Arsonist
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All animals were deathly afraid of fire and with good reason. First of all, they didn’t really need it, having thick fur or fluffy feathers to protect them from the cold and being used to eating their food uncooked. More importantly, they could not control it. A wildfire usually meant that all living creatures in a burning forest had to abandon their homes and their painstakingly collected and hoarded food provisions and flee as quickly as possible or suffer a horrible death.

As Brie watched the flames engulf one house after another, however, a feeling, which was only partially awe, grew inside him. Was it wrong of him to enjoy the spectacle as fire caused the humans‘ mighty buildings to collapse in heaps of ash and cinders? Perhaps, but the humans had certainly earned this punishment. A little fox with a slight streak of pyromania had been enough to show them that their mastery over fire and the natural world was incomplete.

"Now, that is what I call a grand finale to the dairy festival, Briji! Who would have thought that some of the pharmacist‘s concoctions could prove so flammable? And to think that they were meant to be imbibed or applied on one‘s skin. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Charlatan…"

The rat cackled maliciously and why not? When Mother was so cruelly burnt, no human shed a tear. When Beau was… killed, -he still had difficulty admitting it- no one cared. Why should he feel badly for the misfortune of others? No, Brie only cared for the completion of their mission. They were so close now, their goal being just on the opposite side of a street that was empty but for the two dullards guarding the entrance to Summitstone Academy.

"Andy, Andy!", squeaked Brie as he waved his paw and tail, hoping to be seen or heard by the owl. "How about you fly me to this open window you mentioned, while Ernest, Brijida and Rocco try their luck with these potions you brew? No more waiting. The time for vengeance has finally come!"


 


 
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Old Oct 31st, 2021, 11:29 AM
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Ernest the Cat
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With each BOOM, BA—BOOM! Ernest’s tail grew larger in circumference and he jumped slightly. "I’m glad you enjoy the show, rat, but we all know that cat’s. Hate. Fireworks!" He hissed, slinking further into the shadows, yellow eyes reflecting the light of summitstone.

"Indeed, this plan is a good one, I feel. I could distract the humans by encourage a bit of a scratch? That fat one has a lap prime for plopping into. I can charm them while you use the potions, yes Briji?"



 
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Old Nov 1st, 2021, 10:19 AM
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Zorandicus
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'On that we agree, cat,' the owl scowled, less than pleased with the fireworks. 'Humans, inventing tools with which to set the sky alight? The audacity,' he continues to rant. 'They should know their place, not try and devise weapons with which to harrass their betters. Let us hope that, for now, they will think twice before building their loud, inelegant arsenal anew.'

The owl bobbed his head at Brie's request. 'Yes, little rat. Come into my talons- I shall take you where you need to go...' Then he looked up and around, trying to find the wizard's window from memory. 'Ah- there it is,' he spoke peering into the distance, beyond what any of the familiars could see.

'You know,' the owl started, staring at the wiserats. 'I would think such lofty mode of transportation would be an honour for your underlings as well. What do you say I make a few round trips, transporting the lot of them? And-' he added, a hungry look appearing in his eyes once more. 'How many of these would your Donriko deem expendable?'

 

 
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Old Nov 3rd, 2021, 10:47 PM
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BrijidaThe orange light of the burning buildings reflected beautifully in the large brown irises of their maker. The vixen, who was like a vibrant blaze herself, stood behind her friends frozen in awe. The tip of her tail flicked back and forth another indicator of her emotional state.

"Now, that is what I call a grand finale to the dairy festival, Briji!"

Brie's praise warmed Brijida's heart. It was Mistress Mother's best gift and seemed quite fitting that it should be a tool to their revenge in her name.

"Yes, yes. It's beautiful. For Mistress Mother. For Sweet Beau." Brijida whispered to her friends. She watched for a few seconds, entranced by the beauty of her creation until the sudden BOOM BOOM KABOOOOM of the fireworks startled the fox back to the moment.

"Indeed, this plan is a good one, I feel. I could distract the humans by encourage a bit of a scratch? That fat one has a lap prime for plopping into. I can charm them while you use the potions, yes Briji?" Ernest, a big poofy ball of a cat, had been saying something. Too embarrassed to admit she wasn't paying attention, Brijida just nodded her assent.

"Oh. Yes, yes. I will do while you do. Be careful, Brie."

Brijida grabbed the potions she was meant to use. Before Andy the owl and Brie took off, she hand her rodent friend a dose of the powder she had found in the now ruined apothecary.
OOC and StatsI forget what the powder is that Brijida found and what it does. OOPS.
 
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Old Nov 21st, 2021, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elanir View Post
"Andy, Andy!", squeaked Brie as he waved his paw and tail, hoping to be seen or heard by the owl. "How about you fly me to this open window you mentioned, while Ernest, Brijida and Rocco try their luck with these potions you brew? No more waiting. The time for vengeance has finally come!"
GMObtaining the power of flight had always been one of Abigail’s most fervent and elusive ambitions. Try as she might to coax some form of predictable levitation from her broom, mop, or garden rake, all of the Witch’s endeavors inevitably ended in disaster. It seemed no cleaning implement—however good-humored—could be begged, bribed, or bullied into serving as conveyance. The Familiars had always indulged their Witch in her vain attempts at aeronautical transport, however, because struggling at it seemed to bring her such joy. Now, clutched firmly in the vice-grip of Zorandicus’ talons, his ears and tail snapping in the wind, Brie can’t fathom why any human would fantasize about flying. This was every rodent’s worst nightmare: to be borne skyward in the claws of a raptor, watching in mute terror as the world spirals nauseatingly and falls away beneath your paws. Next to him, in Andy’s other talon, Wesley and Dale wriggle and squeal, certain that they’ve been duped by the powerful bird. “This is the end, brother!” squeaks Dale. “We’re dead! Owl pellets!” Wensley rages at his brother’s side, cursing Brie, Rico Rattin, and all the gods above and below for their part in his misfortune. But for all his righteous indignation, Wensley might as well be a cricket chirping at a church-bell; his ferment is lost on the wind, swept away unheeded by animal and treacherous deity alike.

Suddenly, Andy stops beating his broad, white wings. The air around the rats becomes quiet and still, and for a moment they feel almost weightless, buoyed by a gentle updraft. Brie dares a peek down and is stunned by the beauty of what he sees. Stretched out below is Sweetbriar Forest, a patchwork quilt worked in leaves of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. Whitebridge Village lies nestled within that autumnal expanse, looking impossibly cozy and inviting at this distance—nothing like the blighted hell-hole that Brie knows it to be up close. At the human town’s northern edge, Mount Myrddin soars skyward, a sheer palisade of glittering stone that scrapes the very vault of heaven. Presently—and without a peep of warning—Zorandicus banks sharply toward the cliffs, tucks his wings, and enters a stomach-churning dive. The rats reel with vertigo as the white-walled buildings that cling to Myrddin’s escarpments rush up to meet them. The twins resume their pitiful caterwauling, and this time Brie nearly joins their chorus. Surely there isn’t any practical reason why the owl must fly with such abandon, or dip and wheel so violently; and certainly such breakneck maneuvers needn’t be performed so close to the cliffs. It seems to Brie that, barred from eating the rats, Andy has instead contented himself to torture them.

The rats’ winged chaperone swoops toward one of the buildings—a squat and modern-looking addition that seems bleak and garish compared to the rest of the college’s palatial structures. The Volothamp building, Andy explains, is home to several schools of academic focus, including Fanciful Creature Studies, the domain of Adjunct Professor Ulrich von Furchtbar. He labels each of the major features of the building as they scream past—laboratories, offices, and the main lecture hall—all in the sort of maddeningly calm tone that’s reserved for the truly sadistic. Brie burns the image into his mind, straining to glean some sense of the building’s layout from the design of its exterior. The black rat knows that the Witch-Hunter’s office lies somewhere just inside. Absent any viable means of ingress, however, the animals are forced to fly on; Andy sails past the School of Fanciful Creature Studies and rounds the next corner. There, on the opposite face of the Volothamp building, the owl points out a gently sloping roof capped with a series of windowed dormers. One of those windows, he notes, belongs to the absent-minded warlock who will serve as the Familiars’ unwitting accomplice. And indeed, Brie can see the wiserats gathered on one of the sills, peering tentatively inside. Andy dives again, plummeting toward the roof and eliciting an instinctual wail from Rattin’s mercenaries. At the last second he unfurls his wings, scoops air to halt his decent, and then unceremoniously dumps his cargo beside their trembling kin.

“C’mon, fellas! This way!” There’s no time to recuperate from the flight, because as soon as Brie’s paws hit the roof he’s being ushered inside the nearest window by one of Rico’s Not-So-Goodfellas. “The coast is clear, jus’ hop down this shelf ‘ere.” Brie is pulled inside, and Andy follows close behind, squeezing through the narrow opening. The chamber inside is strangely dim, and the animals notice that all the windows have been papered over. The walls, too, are shaggy with parchment—celestial maps and esoteric star-charts have been pinned to every vertical surface. The room is crammed with astronomical accoutrements, from sundials to sextants to astrolabes to an array of ponderous telescopes each bigger than a man. The office is silent until—whether out of misguided courtesy or for fear of being followed—Dale swings the window closed. The weathered hinges squeal, the window clicks shut, and all is plunged into total darkness. “Damnit, Dale!” Wensley hisses. “Open that thing ba—” Wensley stops short, grinning. He holds up a paw to still the other rats. “Look!” he breathes, gesturing toward the opposite wall. A soft, colorful light plays over the whole room, glowing red and yellow near the ceiling, shifting to a beautiful azure near the floor. As the animals’ eyes adjust to the low light, the mirage that dances over the assorted tools and cluttered tabletops resolves into a definitive image—it is a complete, moving facsimile of the outside world, projected upside-down on the walls of the darkened chamber. Magic!

The animals have precious little time to wonder at the illusion, for just moments later they begin to hear the low rumble of human voices, and the sound is drawing nearer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lydklein View Post
"Indeed, this plan is a good one, I feel. I could distract the humans by encourage a bit of a scratch? That fat one has a lap prime for plopping into. I can charm them while you use the potions, yes Briji?" Ernest, a big poofy ball of a cat, had been saying something. Too embarrassed to admit she wasn't paying attention, Brijida just nodded her assent.

"Oh. Yes, yes. I will do while you do. Be careful, Brie."
GM - Outside the GatesThe two guardsmen lay sprawled in the street, gasping for breath and quietly cursing one another. At long last, the taller one grunts, “Here, take the whoring thing, if it means so much to you,” and tosses the spyglass carelessly atop his companion’s supine form. The shorter man fumbles for the monocular, catches hold of it, and presses it against his chest. “It was a gift from the wife, not that you give a damn.” He sits up, buffing the brass with his filthy shirtsleeve. “Now if you’re through molesting my personal effects, we best get back to sitting the gate.” The taller man huffs his assent, and the pair rise. They spend a few moments raking great fistfuls of mud from their uniforms before they trudge wordlessly back to their post. One man takes up a position near the perimeter wall, slouching against the stone and sneaking little nips from a well-worn flask. The other settles atop a short stack of apple crates near the academy’s extravagant silver entranceway and fusses with a wooden pipe, trying the clear the bowl of muck.

Now Ernest sees his opportunity: Scraped free of grime, the guards’ shins are ripe for nuzzling, and the one reclining on the crates looks like he wouldn’t say no to a little friendly thigh-kneading. Ah, yes, purrs the old tom. The stage is set for feline intervention.

GM - OOCBefore we proceed, please confirm that the Familiars’ newfound potions and supplies are divvied up correctly and notated in the appropriate Quick Stat blocks.

Also, you’ll need to determine which group (if any) takes Rocco along. Whatever he’s carrying should also be accounted for in someone’s Quick Stats.
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 05:47 PM
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Brie
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Andy, Andy! How about you fly me to this open window you mentioned…?

Brie had never regretted something so much in his life as the words he had spoken to the crazy owl. No, not even biting his own tail as a baby to see if it was edible or creating his own „pizza fourteenquattordici formaggi“ and then devouring it, mold, dirt, rubbish and all, before he was discovered by his siblings and had to share, had caused him so much anguish -and stomach ache- as his folly of agreeing to the featherbrain‘s plan of sneaking inside the academy through the window that was high, far too high above the ground.

What had he expected?

There was no other species as unreliable as birdkind, though humans, cats and dogs were pretty high up that list as well. Just because they could fly, and they did so because contrary to other animals their heads were filled with nothing but air, they thought themselves better than anyone else. Did that „kamikaze“ owl have to fly at such a breakneck speed? Probably not, but Brie was certain that cruel „beakface“ enjoyed torturing the poor rats that were totally defenseless in his sharp claws.

These were the thoughts that would have passed through the black rat‘s mind had he been able to think straight during his „odyssey“ above the roofs of Whitebridge. As it was, he could not, „straight“ obviously being a word the owl could simply not comprehend. Though his eyes were shut in a desperate attempt to keep himself from succumbing to vertigo, his stomach could unfortunately feel every twist, turn and dive the sky tyrant performed and reacted accordingly, threatening to empty its contents every ten of Brie’s heartbeats or so. It would have served Andy right to have the rat vomiting all over his talons, but the rat was afraid that such an action might cause the owl to let go of him and let him plunge all the way to the ground. And though he couldn’t see anything through his closed eyelids, he suspected that it was a long, long way down.

How long did Brie suffer? Even an eternity seemed simply too short to describe such an experience, an experience the rat swore never, ever, ever to repeat again.

Safely standing upon his own four paws once more, the rat reluctantly opened his eyes only to realize that the whole room was madly spinning, no doubt because of some spell the mages had cast to ward it from trespassers. Trying to focus on something next to him to counter the spell‘s effect, Brie started counting the rats that had reached the room before him.

"Wen- Wensley, Ddddale, one, tw- two, three, fffour, five, six Wiserats. Sssix? Why six…?"

It must be the constant movement of the room, reasoned Brie. It doesn’t allow me to concentrate. I had better count them again. One, two, three…

And suddenly, with a noise that made all numbers in the dark rat‘s head get even more tangled up, the window closed and the room grew as dark as the inside of a cat‘s stomach. And then it grew… magical.

The room finally stopped spinning and Brie stared in awe at the unexpected spectacle. Whitebridge, this lair of murderous humans, greedy underground bosses and cruel rat-killers, looked calm, peaceful, almost beautiful.

Brie sighed and… smiled. Beau would have loved seeing such a sight. She would have placed her delicate paws on her cheeks, gently wiggled her small pink nose and her kind eyes would have lit up.

Oh Beau, where are you? Do you rest in Mother’s lap? Can you see us from up high? What I wouldn’t give to hear your sweet voice once more…

And indeed, he could hear her! She was whispering to him. Telling him… What did she tell him? Why did her voice sound suspiciously like the voice of…

"Humans!", cried out Brie, the panic in his voice making obvious the fact that he hadn’t forgotten his last encounter with the two-legs. "Hide!"

Not waiting to see whether the others followed his advice or not, the rat immediately started looking for a good hiding place. It shouldn’t be too difficult to disappear in a dark room so full of strange stuff, right? Wrong!Right?


 


 
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Last edited by Elanir; Nov 28th, 2021 at 01:51 AM.
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Old Nov 26th, 2021, 07:40 AM
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Zorandicus
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Zorandicus stood in the center of the room, basking in the gratitude of the small rodents. True, their supplication took the form of high-pitched squeaking, excited jumping, and generally making a mess of the carpet, but that was simply the rodents' way, the owl decided. Truly, it didn't bother him much- ever since that third flight, he felt far more... Satisfied, and felt ready to continue with their endeavour. A small hiccup smelling faintly of rat escaped his beak, then suddenly, the room went dark.

Eyes wide with terror, the owl spun his head around at the rat who had so foolishly closed the window behind them. 'Ignorant, trice-cursed rodent!' the owl chided Dale, towering over the rat. 'How do you propose we get back out, now?' The owl was about to make another meal of the poor rat, when suddenly he heard voices coming from the hall.

'Humans,' he hissed, his eyes narrowing into a predatory gaze before remembering where they were. 'This confined space is no place to challenge them- especially since we cannot risk them sounding the alarm. And while the wizard's mind is addled, his eyes are still fine. Quick, hide!' he called out, searching for a cabinet, a bed, a table- anything!- Sly: 11 (natural 10!)to hide behind or under...

 

 
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Old Dec 15th, 2021, 12:56 AM
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Humans! Hide!

With the sound of Brie’s desperate squeak, any sense of wonder at the camera obscura’s prismatic illusion is undone, shattered by a pang of dread. The animals find themselves unprotected, perched atop a high bookshelf, positioned at the corner of the absentminded warlock’s office. The rough human voices grow louder. On instinct, the animals scatter, scrambling to camouflage themselves among the chamber’s clutter. The bookshelf becomes a riot of squirming rat bodies as the Not-So-Goodfellas clamber over one another, jockeying for position behind what meager cover can be found there. The Familiars know the cabinet won’t hide them all—it’s too exposed, and there are too many rats.

Brie leaps from the bookshelf to a nearby wall sconce, then deftly bounds to a table below. He ducks behind the first solid object he sees—a crystal sphere resting on a low, clawed stand of brass. As he curls himself around the metal base, Brie’s back brushes the smooth underbelly of the sphere and it flares to life, pulsing with bright, arcane light. Brie recoils, hissing at the treacherous globe. His shocked expression is reflected on the artifact’s opposite hemisphere as a magnified, fish-eyed caricature, blinking comically. Far from providing concealment, the crystal ball is a veritable beacon—the glowing sun at the nucleus of a diabolic planetarium.

The Not-So-Goodfellas fare no better. Those too slow to claim shelter behind the scant knickknacks atop the bookshelf are forced to descend, scurrying down the face of the cabinet in a ragged queue. They drop to the next-highest shelf and begin nosing their way behind a row of musty books. The hiding space is far too cramped for all six rodents; as each rat piles into the narrow gap the books shift forward, bit-by-bit, until they’re teetering at the edge of the shelf. Keys jangle on the other side of the chamber door. The wiserats freeze, drawing a sharp, collective breath. The books seesaw precariously, their heavy spines dipping over the yawning void. The doorknob rattles. All at once the books slip over the side, toppling to the ground with a thunderous clatter. The rats are left completely open, rooted in place and on display like so many whiskered baubles.

Andy’s wide, round eyes dart between Brie and the wiserats. The doorknob begins to rotate, squealing. Andy hears the sharp Click! of the latch bolt. The owl knows he only has a second or two to react—not nearly enough time to save both Brie and Rico’s mercenaries. Without hesitation he dives from his perch, a feathery flash of white in the gloom. No more than five minutes after swearing off air travel forever, Brie finds himself hastening skyward again, yanked from behind the luminous orb—which immediately winks out—and hauled away in Andy’s powerful grip. Zorandicus crosses the room with one beat of his powerful wings, then wheels around in a sharp arc, coming alongside a large roll-top desk. In one fluid motion he tosses Brie onto the desk and touches down just behind him, throwing his wings around the rat to cradle him gently as they come to a skidding stop together. Their landing jostles the desk’s tambour loose, and the slatted wood cover rattles shut—concealing the pair while leaving a tiny crack for them to peek through. The chamber door bangs open.

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Daylight spills into the forgetful warlock’s study, carrying with it a sour waft of woodsmoke. The old wizard, a beleaguered man with droopy eyes and even droopier mustaches, is shoved inside. Andy understands his whimpering: “Easy!” he moans. “No need to be rough! These keys are tricky.” He smooths his voluminous sleeves with a wounded huff. “This is my office, after all. I’m only making it available to you ruffians as a kindness to my colleague—your boss. Behind him, four particularly unsavory-looking humans shoulder their way into the room. “Yeah,” a familiar, gravelly voice drawls. “Yeah, this’ll do fine, thanks.” Geoff, Furchtbar’s hatchet-wielding human lieutenant, grabs the warlock by the shoulders and spins him in a quick about-face. “We been bunkin’ in ol’ Ulrich’s office, but he’s got business to see to. Puttin’ out fires is a tiresome business, and these fellers need their beauty sleep.” The other three men begin casually circling the room, picking up and carelessly tossing aside instruments, shuffling papers, and tramping mud through the rugs. Geoff claps the warlock on the shoulder. “You can go on and git. We’ll make ourselves at home.” He pushes the older man roughly toward the door.

“Don’t you worry,” he calls after the retreating wizard, “We’ll be just as quiet and careful as a couple’a mice!”


GM - OOCBrie would recognize the men as Furchtbar’s lackeys—the same posse from the clearing in Sweetbriar Forest where the Familiars rescued Colette and the goblins. The men were presumably dispatched to help fight the fire at the alchemist’s shop and have now returned to the academy to sleep off the last of their hangovers.

Brie and Andy are concealed in the roll-top desk with no risk of being spotted. Anything they do outside the desk, however, will be considered DANGEROUS.

The wiserats are on the bookshelf, totally exposed. They are in imminent danger of being spotted. You, the PCs, will dictate their actions going forward. I’ve included a Quick Stats block for the wiserats below, including a link to the rules governing their use. Anything they do now will be considered DANGEROUS.

 
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Old Dec 15th, 2021, 07:37 AM
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Zorandicus
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'Be still.' Zorandicus' usual, almost theatrically loud voice sounded almost alien in such a hushed whisper, but the owl was all too aware of their current predicament. 'If they are going to sleep, then we can wait until they are soundly dreaming. I am... Sorry, about these wiserats,' the owl claims, though there is little conviction or concern in his voice. 'But endangering ourselves will not aid them, nor further our cause.'

'And besides,' the owl mentions off-handedly. 'In the end, it is you and I, and your friends down in the streets, who truly matter. The ones with command of magic, those who stand above the rest. But there are always more ungifted rodents,' the owl scoffs.

 

 
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  #11  
Old Dec 16th, 2021, 04:18 PM
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Brie the Thief
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From the very moment the rat race was created, fate had been especially cruel to it. The rodents‘ small size and the lack of natural weapons and defenses placed them squarely at the bottom of the food pyramid, dooming them to become a prime meal for every animal that was larger, stronger or quicker. Everything the rats had been able to accomplish had been built in the deep, dark places of the world and paid for with innumerable lives. It was the way things were and it could not be changed.

Brie, ever the cynic, was aware of it of course. His cousins and the Wiserats were clearly doomed. No one could do anything about it, least of all he. The owl was right. Doing something heroic, something stupid, would only endanger the two of them as well. Besides, what difference did it make if seven or twenty or even a hundred rats were lost? None at all. No one really cared, not even Rico Rattin, the one who had ordered his goons to aid the ambitious group of Familiars. Except Brie did. He had lost so much lately and every time he thought he was getting somewhere, fate made certain to remind him that his life was in the hands of some some call this entity „god“, but those who know better call them GM!all-knowing and all-powerful individual, who had no interest in seeing the dreams of a small, insignificant creature realized. Seven lives were seven lives and he would sacrifice not even one of them, not if he could help it.

Not bothering to reply to Andy‘s irrefutable logic, Brie the stealthy, Brie the thief, dashed towards the big bird, squeezed himself underneath the plumage of his powerful chest and came out from underneath his feathery tail, a small container filled with ointment tightly held in his jaws. Before the owl had the chance to say or do anything, the black rat smashed the container against the wood of the desk and without paying any attention to the shards, covered himself in Bonnie‘s Good Luck Lip Balm. Not waiting to see whether the ointment was truly magical or not, Brie silently exited the roll-top desk and waved his little paw to catch the Not-So-Goodfellas‘ attention. The placing of his finger before his mouth could not have been misinterpreted even in the poor light - "Silence!"

Opening himself to the arcane energies all around him, the energies Mother had taught him to weave with a flick of his tail, Brie closed his eyes and pictured his rat companions surrounded by the magicks of illusion, magicks that would hide them from the horrible humans.

One after another the Wiserats turned invisiblevanished. Just like that. One moment they were there and the next… gone, simply gone, „magicked“ away…

In the years to come the particulars of the story would be forgotten. No one would remember Brie the wizard, Andy the alchemist, Brijida the firebrand and Ernest one-eyed any more. But the „disappearance of the seven rats“ would become legend and forever immortalized in a children’s song told by ratlings in Whitebridge and beyond.

Sitting on a bookshelf were seven rats.
Small and afraid, none of them acts.
With a flick of the tail, and two soft pats.
Instantly gone are the seven rats.



 


 
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  #12  
Old Dec 20th, 2021, 05:48 PM
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Brijida
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Brijida, Rocco and a very dusty Ernest watched the guards at the Summitstone Academy. The two humans were completely unaware of the six pairs of eyes studying them from around the corner. Brijida wasn't particularly clever. Not as much as some of her friends, but an idea came to her as the tip of Ernest's tail flicked back and forth. A tiny cloud of pocket dust trailing after the movements.

Pocket sand! The Owl had said it did... something. What did he say it did again? Her tongue lolled and her large eyes squinting into dark slits as the fox tried her best to remember what the owl had said... 'It blinds!

Tippy tap tap went her little white paws from her excitement. "Ernest!" Brijida did her best to whisper. "Ernest! Pocket dust! Men like cats. You go say 'Hi', yes? Oh yes, yes! Then they don't see Rocco and me put sleepy potion in their drinks. We run away fast, fast! Then we wait for them to go to sleep! Oh, yes, yes!! Is a good plan! I can be clever too, Ernest. Soon we'll be with Brie and the Bird to help Mistress Mother."

Brijida couldn't help but give a little hop, but she stopped shy of giving a yip. Instead she dropped to the ground and smiled up at her feline friend waiting for his praises that were sure to flow her way. She was such a brilliant little fox! Yes, yes.
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  #13  
Old Dec 26th, 2021, 08:17 PM
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Ernest the Cat
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Ernest rises from his seated position, where he had been lazily cleaning between the pads of his paws. The filth of the city, makes me sick! He grumbled to himself. He leaned backwards, stretching out his front limbs as far as they would go, and then quickly snapped to stand again. He then shook his entire body with vigor, the shake and shimmy starting at the tip of his velveteen nose and ending all the way at the tip of his tail "Oh, fine," he yawned. "Even the oldest and wisest of creatures finds it hard to say no to the opportunity for a wee scritchy scratch behind the ‘ole ears."

He approached the man leaning against the wall, and grimaced as he felt a drop of whatever putrid liquid the man drank land between his eyes. He shook his head, flinging the wetness into the air, and let out a high pitched trill, nearly a chirp while circling the guard’s legs. He did this several times, making figure eights between the man’s feet, until finally, the human looked down. Upon eye contact, the old Tom sat back and conjured up a trick from his past - known as It is well known the world over that when a cat makes eye contact with a human in this way, they make their eyes as round and unassuming as possible. This causes nearly every person on the planet to go “awwwh! C’mere cute kitty!” And pick the cat up for a good scrubbing.the cute kitty factor.

It worked, and before he knew it the man had scooped Ernest up in arms and was giving the cat just what he’d asked for, a scratch behind the ears. He began to knead into the man’s chest with his front paws and purr, looking over his shoulder to make sure that Brijida could carry out her own plans.





 
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  #14  
Old Jan 9th, 2022, 12:36 AM
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GM - In the Warlock’s OfficeThe Familiars can hear the aged warlock withdraw, his indignant muttering echoing softly through the academy’s long, vaulted halls as he hobbles away. “Hang it all! Rotten scoundrels, the lot…” Geoff chuckles to himself and presses the door closed. The latch clicks softly. He reaches for the iron deadbolt, fingering the heavy slide. CLANG! One of Geoff’s men whirls around, flashing his compeers a sheepish grin. “Oops!” He stoops to retrieve a metal alidade from where it’s landed on the floor. “Looks expensive, dunnit?” he laughs, before chucking the instrument onto a nearby workbench. BANG! Geoff’s hand slips from the latch, the lock forgotten. He turns and wags his finger at his delinquent companion. “Everyone just keep your filthy nose-pickers off the wizard’s things,” he scolds, plucking a robe from the coatrack that stands near the door. He unfurls the luxurious garment with a snap and regards it at arm’s length, lips pursed. The others continue their halfhearted ransacking, circling the warlock’s office like half-drunk sharks.

Before long, one of the men sidles up to the tall bookshelf. He pauses to inspect the shelves, face-to-face with the seven ensorcelled rats. His face pinches into a bewildered sneer. He leans closer—close enough that Brie can smell the flecks of cured meat in his teeth, and that despite the reek of stale ale that hangs over his person like a rank cloud. He grunts in confusion, utterly baffled at whatever he’s seeing. “Hey!” Geoff barks, the mirth drained from his voice. “I said leave it be.” Geoff approaches the low, wine-colored couch near the center of the chamber and slaps the boots of the goon already lounging there. The man grumbles an apology and gives up his spot. Geoff drops onto the couch and covers himself with the robe. “What’s so interesting over there, anyhow? None of them books have nearly enough pictures for the likes of you.” He sighs contentedly and pulls the robe’s tasseled hem up tight under his chin. “Settle in, fellers.” The man snorts angrily, takes one last look at the bookshelf, and moves away. “Better get your winks while y’can,” Geoff warns. “Soon as ol’ Furchtbar’s done torturing that Raindrops on Rosesmagic rabbit to death, he’ll want us all out on the street for the festival finale.” A low rumble of laughter rolls through the room.

By and by, the rest of the Witch-Hunter’s goons take their places, content to doze uncovered on the floor.

GM - Outside the Academy Gates“Hey, that’s a good kitty, huh?” the guardsman coos, cradling Ernest against his chest and scrubbing the old tom vigorously. “Oh, you’re a good boy, aren’t you?” He punctuates his emphatic flattery by occasionally hunching over to give Ernest little boops on the nose. “Yes, indeed, that’s a good kitty.” A touch rough around the ears, perhaps—and more than a little presumptuous going for the belly rub on a first encounter—but all-in-all not a bad scratch, the old tom concedes. Agreeable enough, in fact, that Ernest forgets his own ruse, if only for a moment. He’s purring contentedly when the guard begins sniffling, then sneezing. With each stroke of Ernest’s black coat, the hapless human unwittingly disperses a fine spray of the blinding powder concealed in the cat’s fur, until finally the cumulative effect of the aerosolized Pocket Sand is too much for the poor bastard. The guard’s eyes well with tears. He blinks desperately, then begins grinding at his reddening sockets with the heel of his free hand. “Oooh,” he groans pitifully. His face swells at an alarming rate, becoming an almost featureless mass in a matter of seconds. “Uuuugh!” he gurgles through bloated, drooling lips. “Bad kittahhh!” The man tosses Ernest roughly away.

The second guard, still sore from the men’s previous altercation, is slow to acknowledge his companion’s pained cries. When he finally rouses himself, his friend is staggering toward the gate, his head replaced by something akin to a gelatinous, bloodshot cauliflower. “Merciful gods!” he yelps. “What’s wrong with your face?! Then he spies Ernest, absently licking his paws near the perimeter wall. “Damnit, man! You know you’re allergic!” The first guard continues lurching toward the gate, arms flailing, head wobbling. “Waaaattahhh!” he moans. The other retreats a few uneasy steps, warding away the blind abomination with open hands. “Steady! Stay right there!” he pleads. He stumbles backward, landing heavily on his rump, then flips over and scrambles on all fours back to the stack of apple crates. He begins hunting for his canteen. “Right! Water!” he shouts, regaining some composure. “It’s around here somewhere.” He curses, flinging his sundry possessions across the road.

“Steady now. Just, ah, try not to rub your eyes, eh?”

GM - OOCOne dose each of Good Luck Balm and Pocket Sand have been expended. The blinding effect of the Pocket Sand lasts nine minutes.

Anything the Familiars do now in the presence of humans (either group) should be considered DANGEROUS.

For the group in the warlock’s office: Geoff and his men will all fall asleep in a matter of minutes. If you still intend to bide your time until then, you can simply pick up the narrative assuming they’ve drifted off.

 
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Last edited by Mallothi; Jan 9th, 2022 at 12:38 AM.
  #15  
Old Jan 9th, 2022, 12:10 PM
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Brie
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The burning in his lungs and the feeling that he was about to burst made Brie realize that he had been holding his breath the whole time. With a sound very similar to the one a bellows makes when used to start a fire, the rat finally exhaled, releasing the tension that was truly enormous for such a tiny body. He knew that Andy was probably mad at him for ruining a perfectly good lip balm, though to tell the truth the owl wouldn’t have a means of using it anyway, but Brie didn’t care. What use was magick if it couldn’t save the lives of innocent (which was a debatable term) people - or, in this case, rats.

Giving the big bad bird a sheepish grin as an apology of sorts, Brie waited for the snoring that signified that the four scoundrels were sleeping before heading over to the Wiserats as silently as possible.

"Are you all right?", he whispered through clenched teeth, his whiskers moving up and down rapidly. "It seems that Mother‘s trick has saved your lives. Be careful from now on and silent as… well… rats!"

Trusting his cousins to keep the rest of the gang in check, Brie returned to Andy, hoping that the feathered alchemist had calmed down.

"Right, so far so good!"

Brie realized of course that finding themselves inside a room along with four murderous humans who would gladly kill the Familiars as soon as they detected them wasn’t all that good, but he decided to begin on a positive note.

"We could probably just leave, but we are bound to meet these four again if we don’t find a way of incapacitating them. As for the I assume that Andy shared this critical piece of information with Brie„magic rabbit“ you heard mentioned, that can be no other than „Drops“, another one of my magic-using friends. We must save him by any means -even if we are going to regret it once he opens his mouth- and that would be certainly easier if we wouldn’t have to worry about reinforcements coming to the witch hunter‘s aid. You know, I‘m going to look around inside this room. With so much jun… ahem… arcane paraphernalia I mean, there is bound to be something of use here. A poison, a wand of fireballs or bolts of lighting, a bottle full of petrifying basilisk breath, anything really that could serve as a weapon against the humans. I don’t know, I‘m feeling lucky. As for you… well, you should do what you do best. Perhaps if Andy were to drink the strength potion, he would be able to turn the handle and open the doorThink of a way of getting out this room."

Giving the Not-So-Goodfellas a rather bossy look, the black rat signaled them to stay put. He couldn’t risk them waking Ulrich‘s goons by mistake. This was a task requiring elegance and finesse, making him and only him the prime candidate.


 


 
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