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  #31  
Old May 22nd, 2015, 11:53 AM
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Roadside FortificationThick brambles climb the side of the stone walls, and closer to the sentry point the trio can see patchy thornbushes growing along the road. The growths look to be cut back regularly where they meet its edge, but thin spiking tendrils occasionally rise up between the cobbled stones.

The man in the 'tower' calls down as the party continues its approach. "Private road, state your business!" he shouts, as though he imagines himself to be calling from a much higher altitude. A crossbow rests amid the crenellations, though the man does not seem to be in any hurry to point it anywhere.
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  #32  
Old May 25th, 2015, 03:05 PM
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VictorThe tower looked like it had been here for quite a while, but it was well kept and not over grown. The man shouting at them didn't seem to realize that the small party was actually quite close and could hear him just fine. But it could also have been an alarm to others to keep an eye on them; best to be on guard.

Victor remembered they had decided to not play the deception game any more, but where did that leave them? Why were they here? The truth was, they were here because of that monster that sent them here; that was all. "We were sent here by some creature that seems to have teleported us. We know we have come quite a far way west from where we originated and are just looking for help to get back."
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  #33  
Old May 25th, 2015, 11:36 PM
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Kosk WolfhookKosk had to resist the urge to laugh at the man in the tower, then shrugged and confirmed what Victor had said, "Basically, we are lost. Or we know where we are, but not how to get back to where we were." He sincerely hoped the man was not looking for a fight. On his first venture far away from his home marsh and bam, teleported halfway across the known world (his known world, anyway).
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  #34  
Old May 26th, 2015, 02:23 PM
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Vyxleoux Caus'thaereon Xanderfell
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Vyxl eyes the crossbow, but since it wasn't currently aimed at him he had no current care for it. "As my allies have stated," Vyxl begins with a half cocked smile, "We're not from around here, and require knowledge at the very least, or supplies and transportation at the very most."

Dice Diplomacy:
1d20-1 (18)-1 Total = 17

 

Last edited by Samurai Zero; May 26th, 2015 at 02:24 PM.
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  #35  
Old May 28th, 2015, 01:10 PM
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Adigal's fortress
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The sentry listens to your stories, and pulls a horn from his belt. "Might be we could find some help for you then..." he says, thoughtfully, "though good help doesn't come easy. Chief Engineer Gilliam handles maps, but if you're not in the legion he's not likely to deal with you. Rare enough he deals with us who aren't sappers. You can find him somewhere near the Arsenal. Otherwise, Archivist Mira might know a trick or two, but she'll claim to be busy with her studies."

He blows two short sharp notes from the horn, followed by a long drawn out blast, leaving your ears ringing from something other than just his voice. "Head on up to the gate, you'll be permitted entry. Don't touch anything, don't bother anyone, and you should get home just fine."

Further up the road, the group finds the gate open, though a pair of guards stand in front of it with their halberds crossed. They step aside as the trio approach, allowing passage into the fortress. A third meets you inside.
"Bonjour sirs, Runner Thomos." he states by way of introduction. The lanky young human has dulled green eyes and a pock-marked face, whether from acne or actual pox you cannot tell. "It is my duty to act as chaperone for your visit."

The fortress itself is impeccably presented, all wide open spaces and clusters of stone buildings resembling those from 500 years ago. The body of it is split into a lower and an upper level, with a bridge traversing a chasm between the two.
Soldiers drill in the parade ground, while others mill about on lawns shaded by flowering trees. Still more tinker in workshops and spar against each other in the quadrangles.

At the edges of the fortress town, overlooking the valleys below, sit a number of fat metal cannons. A pair of soldiers walk the perimeter checking each fuse and ensuring the wheels are secured as they go.
 

Last edited by TempestBob; Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:08 AM.
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  #36  
Old May 28th, 2015, 04:01 PM
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Vyxleoux Caus'thaereon Xanderfell
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Vyxl nods in agreement of the terms, after all this place might be of use to him in the future, and he wouldn't want to screw anything up too soon. Not having to be told twice, he makes his way to the gate, giving the guards a wink and moving past them.

"Bonjour Runner Thomas, you may call me Vyxl. These are my allies, Kosk is the dirty one, the pretty-boy right there is Victor," he says making his own introduction. His eyes are always moving, checking out as many details as he can, stopping only to check out the cannons rolling between places. "It looks as if you're in preparation for war, is there something we should know about?"

No wonder they call it a fortress, he thought, Either they would make a powerful ally or a deadly enemy.

"This fortress is magnificently well built, I'm sure you do not get many attackers, as only a determined fool would be daring enough to try." he continued. "Do you know how long of a stay we're being granted, and information on what's restricted?"

 

Last edited by Samurai Zero; May 28th, 2015 at 04:01 PM.
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  #37  
Old May 31st, 2015, 07:40 AM
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VictorThe blasts from the horn caused the inquisitors' ears to ring as it reverberated off the walls around them. But it didn't matter, they had gained access to the fortress and that was the main goal. The rules were fairly strict about touching, and the help offered was dismally oblique, but it was better than their other options.

Inside the gates they met the scrawney Tomoso who was to serve as chaperone. While it seemed childish to have to be watched over, at least Thomos knew the city and could take them where they wished to go.

Victor grunted at the introduction given by Vyxl but replied in turn with a nod of his head, "Greetings."

It seemed the demonkin was trying to get in good with the runner as he asked made many comments about the grandness of the fortress. While it was very well build, the angelkin didn't really see it as any more superior than some of the other castle fortresses he had seen in the old world.

The last question was what caused Victor's attention to snap back to the conversation. The duration of the stay and restrictions were of utmost importance, second only to the information they would hopefully receive from meeting with Mira or Gilliam.
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  #38  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 10:10 AM
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The Fortress"Not quite war," Thomos replies, "the surrounding area may look idyllic, but there are all manner of beasts lurking in the wilds. It can take more than blade and bow to keep our people safe, and as such we are in a constant state of preparedness."

Looking around, Vyxl notices that there are few others among the army that don't quite fit. Short stocky men, axes hanging at their hips while they carry long tubes of steel attached to wooden stocks that would be more at home on a crossbow. Some sort of ranged weapon, surely. Man-portable cannons?
At any rate, these men wear a strict uniform, in opposition to the near-ramshackle appearance of Adigal's mercenary army. Each wears an iron cuirass, blackened and then trimmed in copper, with matching sabatons and gauntlets.
It would be fair to assume they were dwarfs, but for them being completely bald, and their faces clean shaven...

"The Palace is completely off limits, to all but our lord's court and their honoured guests." Thomos then informs the group, clearly referring to the dwarfen visitors. "As are the accommodations, research, and training facilities. Anywhere you have no business being, essentially. You have until dusk, at which time you will be escorted back to Santmare. Now, what do you wish to do first?"
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  #39  
Old Jun 4th, 2015, 09:03 AM
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VictorIt sure seemed to Victor that the short men with the black and copper armor were somehow more in charge than most of the others here. If the opportunity presented itself, there were definite questions he had in mind about them. Instead, they continued to walk a bit more as Thomos listed off the banned places in a general sort of way.

"We are seeking help to return to where we came from which is quite a long journey East. We were told that Chief Engineer Gilliam handles maps and Archivist Mira might be able to help us as well," the angelkin stated. "What we really would prefer is a quicker route than walking as we seem to have been teleported here in the first place. Maps would be nice to familiarize ourselves with the area here and between where we came from, but probably less helpful than we need. Do you know of anyone in the city that knows the secrets of the large ruins just outside of Santmare?"

There was little else to do other than just stating the facts. If things got ugly there was nothing they could do other than surrender. The fortress was quite large and the number of people living in it was more than enough to subdue the three outsiders. Still, he tried to keep his senses at the ready for any sign that they were walking into a hornet's nest.


OOC
Dice Sense Motive - Tomos' answers to my questions:
1d20+14 (8)+14 Total = 22

Dice Perception - Are we being followed/do I sense any sort of danger:
1d20+14 (20)+14 Total = 34
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  #40  
Old Jun 5th, 2015, 01:53 PM
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Vyxleoux Caus'thaereon Xanderfell
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Vyxl eyed the odd weapons for a bit. Surely if they were man-portable cannons, they would be very powerful, and very expensive. He thought for a second about wanting to obtain one himself, but quickly realized he would have no idea how to use it. Besides, Tyranus might get a little territorial, as he does whenever Vyxl uses weaponry other than himself.

"What he said, but also. Could you tell me how one might gain an audience with your king, or whoever makes the decisions of diplomacy around here?"

It was obvious that this nation, and the Dwarven one were allies. Knowing what he knows about Dwarves, it's possible they're the ones supplying this fortress with the "hand-cannons". Vyxl saw the Dwarves as powerful allies, the question was: "What could we provide them in exchange?"

 

Last edited by Samurai Zero; Jun 5th, 2015 at 01:55 PM.
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  #41  
Old Jun 7th, 2015, 11:13 PM
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The Fortress"Archivist Mira would know more about the ruin, yes. How you got past Thunder though, that is a mystery." He raises an eyebrow, as though you three had just bent the rules of possibility. "Probably better that I don't know. I will escort you to Archivist Mira now."

Runner Thomos leads you up the mountain, over the bridge into the Upper Fortress. "Chanceller Ouromi, could possibly assist you to meet our lord, but he too is busy entertaining the Sennic Envoy. You have come at an inopportune time." he tells Vyxl along the way.
You pass the Sutlership, where the Sutler offers spare provisions for sale to soldiers, past the apothecary and stables, past the baker where the scent of fresh bread fills the nose, and across the parade ground to the schoolhouse. The party gets their first view of children existing in the fortress proper. Not many, but some. Boys and girls of various heritage. Most have thick knives strapped to their belts even while they study their books.

Runner Thomos greets the teacher, apologises for your intrusion, and leads you down a flight of stairs. The Archivist is a slight older woman who wears thick lensed glasses under a dark woollen hood. She is going over an old manuscript when you enter, taking extreme care making minor adjustments to it with her quill pen and coloured inks.
"Yes?" She asks in a hoarse voice, not raising her head from her work.

Last edited by TempestBob; Jun 7th, 2015 at 11:14 PM.
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  #42  
Old Jun 8th, 2015, 01:10 PM
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VictorAh, Old Thunder must be the gatekeeper then, Victor thought at the rhetorical question posed by Tomos about their entry to the fortress. It seemed the man was at least slightly important, but not one that had too much pull overall. While they continued through the fortress it became more clear that it was a fairly self sustaining system they had created inside the walls. Of course additional resources would have to be gathered from the outside as well, but it was almost like a little town of it's own as there were shops everywhere.

Until they reached the school, it hadn't really donned on Victor that there was a lack of children anywhere else. Not that it was unheard of, but typically armies wanted to begin training as soon as possible. He brushed the thought aside though as they finally met with the Archivist. "We were told that you might be able to help us operate the ruins outside of town so that we may return to where we came from." His words, though slightly vague, were straight to the point. Understanding how to return to the others was the main objective for now, even if meeting with the lord of the fortress and asking questions about the bald dwarves were fairly high on his list as well.
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  #43  
Old Jun 9th, 2015, 11:23 PM
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Kosk WolfhookQuiet as he took it all in, Kosk followed Victor and Vyxl through the fortress. Nice place, he thought, even if they all need to loosen up. They didn't seem to see the three of them as a threat, and were even being kinder than necessary. Somewhat reassuring, somewhat worrying. Entering the archivist's nook, Kosk nodded in agreement with Victor. "Nasty beast, it was. Activated some kind of runes on a platform - and here we are." Kosk remembered the words of the sentry and hoped that mention of runes might make the archivist interested.
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  #44  
Old Jun 11th, 2015, 04:09 PM
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Vyxleoux Caus'thaereon Xanderfell
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Vyxl nods, pulling out his journal and scratching the name down for future reference. "Worry not, I was not planning on gaining an audience yet, merely just looking for a point of contact for future reference."

The fortress was bigger than he expected, but rightfully so. It wasn't much longer before he started to get bored, as peaceful as it was, he knew he wasn't ready for such a thing just yet.

Upon reaching the Archivist, Vyxl remained quiet, speaking only a short greeting as it seemed that his allies were doing a good job with the 'why.'

 
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Old Jun 13th, 2015, 01:39 AM
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The Archivist"I cannot teach you to work the runes, that is beyond the scope of my abilities." The aging woman responds. "I can, though, teach you the history behind them." She rises, and hobbles her way toward a shelf stacked neatly with scrolls and books.

"This one." She states, setting a musty old tome down up a lectern. A wisp of light comes into existence above it, conjured to aid in its reading. "Hundreds of years ago, the world was torn apart by the forces of Heaven and Hell.The sky rained fire and vengeance, and the earth spewed forth demons and devils both. I suspect you remember that from your lessons. She looks at Vyxl and Victor before continuing.
"In the years that followed, war raged. Angel slaughtered devil, devil slaughtered angel, and while they were not, each turned their wrath on man and beast alike. Eventually they had slain enough, the devils became bored, and the angels wondered why they had not been recalled. They looked for answers from their superiors, but none came. The devils could make no further contact with Hell, and angels were denied their return to the Heavens. Those that came to Earth for the glory of their heritage found themselves abandoned, stranded, cut off from their place of origin.

"The early devils, being a worldlier sort, took to a life devoid of infernal command easiest. They began to settle here. Build lives for themselves. The Archdevils built great castles and cities, turned themselves into Kings. The angels were not so happy. Rather than revelling in freedom, they felt betrayed. A life of service to the Gods they once knew could not be parted with so easily. Mira looks up at the group, and apologises. "Of course, you know all this, yes? I will skip through to the matter at hand." She flips through several pages before finding the appropriate text.

"In the days after the fall, the devil Eligos and the angel Azariah fell afoul of each other. Both were explorers, wandering the scorched earth, revealing the sites that would become sacred to their kind. They fought for possession of these sites, continually engaging in bloody skirmishes and guerilla warfare. Months passed, and each expedition grew weaker every day as they lost men to the other side. Eventually Eligos and his winged steed were the only fiends remaining, and Azariah the only archon."

"In time, both became restless with this constant fighting. Eligos searched for a goat with pale fur, as a symbol of his goodwill. Taming it, and tying a missive to its neck, he sent the animal to Azariah's camp. Azariah slew the goat, eating of its flesh and sacrificing the organs to his god in another vain attempt to contact the Heavens. He then read Eligos' message, which presented his challenge to Azariah. The two would race across the known world, planting stone tokens as they went to track their passage. They met the next night, and toiled a week to create their markers. In Azariah's pride, he fashioned stones that would grow into monuments, places of pilgrimage that would bring glory to his god and kin."

Archivist Mira's wrinkled face twists into a smirk as she continues reading.
"This is my favourite part. Eligos presented to Azariah with arrogance when they were to begin. He offered the Angel a day to begin his journey before the devil would depart, wagering that the Steed of Abigor could carry him faster than the Azariah's angelic wings. Azariah merely laughed at Eligos, damning him to failure. And so they raced.

Azariah planted his first token in the hills above Sennica, before taking flight to the ruins of Castila. Eligos rode in the morning after, and set to work on the monument the angel had set down. Working his infernal magic over the bright white stones, they turned grey, and emblazoned with runes. Calling a wild beast from surrounding lands, he slaughtered it on the keystone, offering a prayer to a higher power. Not to a being of Heaven or Hell, but to those of Stone and Air and Fire and Water. He then left, knowing his work there was done. For 8 months and 8 days, the devil followed the angel, corrupting his monuments.

Arriving back at the hills of Sennica, Azariah was furious to find his stones altered, and moreso when he saw their guardian. A deformed lamb, with the bastard blood of Heaven and Hell coursing through its veins. As if this were not enough of an affront, it also bore the mark of the elements. Its wool slick and wet, hooves of clay, and a flame burning above its brow. In a fit of rage, the angel slew the misbegotten creature. As its blood ran down the grey stone floor, Azariah swore a curse on Eligos, and promptly vanished from the Earth."


Mira chuckles weakly to herself. "You see, Azariah set the creature as the guardian of the stones, but it was Eligos that changed its nature. The lamb that was meant to be a guide for pilgrims was transformed into a guide to the Earth. Eligos gave us the gift of far-travelling, though we require a guide to utilise it. The stones in the hills above Sennica cannot be travelled from, as they possess no guide. Our nearest guide sits upon Mount Kamus, the beast known as Thunder. It is only by his permission that one can travel through the paths within."
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