Story [Prologue] The Belly of the Iron Dragon (Redwater) - Page 3 - RPG Crossing
RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
Go Back   RPG Crossing > Games > Pathfinder: 1e > Stories of Sanctum
twitter facebook

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #31  
Old 12-23-2014, 10:07 AM
DaMavster's Avatar
DaMavster DaMavster is offline
Sometimes, I eat cake
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 03-31-2020
RPXP: 6078
DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster
Posts: 6,010
Julian
The train lurches about wildly once again as somewhere someone shouts for all aboard to brace. Too late. Julian, hands behind his head, is unable to brace at all against the mechanical violence. The mass of steel and iron is far stronger than the half-elf and the lurching tosses him right out of his seat. Towards Lyn. Time seems to slow, but Julian can do nothing about his predicament as Lyn's lap slowly begins to fill his vision. He has just enough time to think, 'Uh-oh' before his face is smothered by the material of Lyn's pants.

Unable to see, Julian hurriedly extricates himself from Lyn's lap by placing a hand on her knee and shoulder and lifting himself back into a sitting position. His vision obscured as it was, the cutthroat has missed Flick's use of magic, though not the tension in the car after. But it's not Flick Julian is worried about at the moment. He faces Lyn and shrugs, trying his best to look completely unfazed. "Sorry."

Aisling walks through the train-car, checking on the recruits. And explaining the reason for the stop. 'Kraigholme?' If Julian had dog ears, they would have shot straight up into the air, alert and attentive. Turning from the activity in the car and pressing his face against the window, Julian peers out into the burned and broken ruins of his once home. For several seconds, he quietly takes in the sight. '... It's been so long... I don't even recognize it anymore.' Memories long suppressed return, of childhood friends turned tormentors. Of adults shuttering windows as he passed. Of his mother, the only family he ever knew, face broken and bloody. Of her murderer, screaming as the knife slipped into his back...

With a violence as sudden and unexpected as the train's a moment ago, Julian slams his fist against the wall of the iron dragon. A dull thud is the only reward for his action, bruised knuckles his consequence. With only the slightest of delays, he turns to Lyn, face stoic and composed as normal.

"... Let's go."
__________________

Posting Status: Available
Playing: Law of the Jungle || Recruiting: The Shattered Worlds
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 12-28-2014, 11:08 AM
Kilgore Trout's Avatar
Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
So it goes
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 11-13-2019
RPXP: 5091
Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout
Posts: 1,094
Korrin

"Scrap?!," Korrin exclaimed as he scratched his head. "Ah, boy, we don’t want to scrap against you, we want to scrap WITH—"

He heard the shout to brace seconds before his mind registered the meaning of the word, and was only just able to grab onto the table. Clenching his teeth, his mind sifted through a hundred applicable curses suitable for the situation. Despite their mode of transportation, most of the morning’s forlorn mood had lifted: the banter with Brodi, Flick’s arrival, the game of dice, and even some of his wistful memories of the Vale had done much to scatter the grime and stain of betrayal that Korrin associated with the locomotive.

As they violently screeched to a halt (which not only hopelessly scattered Korrin’s dice and coins throughout the passenger car but also caused the dwarf’s head to smack loudly against the window), that dark bruise of hurt surfaced again on his psyche, and he slammed his fists down in response, causing the last of his dice, one of which had miraculously teetered on the edge of the table, to fall to the floor, presumably lost forever among the many feet that were now stomping through the narrow passage between the seats.

"Damn this black iron and the Li—" Korrin caught himself before he shouted something he might regret later, depending on who could hear him. Seething, his sat up and spat the words in a whisper that only Brodi and perhaps Flick might be able to hear. "And the Light which gave it Life." Korrin stared with wide wild eyes at the half-elf – not because of the demonstration of magic (had the dwarf had more time to process, he might have expressed admiration and even a touch of envy) but because Flick happened to be in the general direction of his gaze when the shock of the moment had subsided and Korrin had time for anything other than his visceral reaction.

"FINN!" As he clambered on top of the table, faster than one might think a dwarf of his size (at just under four feet, Korrin was short, even by dwarvish standards), armored no less, would be able to accomplish, he swiftly reached up into the top compartment and brought down his greatsword. Ensuring it was secured in the specially-designed scabbard that hung over his back, he hopped down and made his way through the larger men, firmly pushing when needed and even shoving one of the younger recruits aside, until he stood before Shepherd Leani.

"Shepherd Leani," he stated, with more harshness in his voice than he had intended – while he would know, in his gut and his heart, if Finn had been seriously harmed, that it no way lessened the urgency of his errand, and that urgency came through as he addressed his commanding officer. "Permission to take my leave, to the stable car." It was at times like these that Korrin could do without the protocol of a military unit, but he also knew that he was bonded to the Redwater as firmly as he was bonded to Finn, and that structure was necessary for survival. "Finn and I, we can meet you outside the forward car." While he had never served under this particular Shepherd, Korrin had been around the Redwater long enough that most had heard of the Valean dwarf who strode across the battlefield on the back of a massive wolf, and he presumed Leani was no different. While he wasn’t useless on foot (far from it), Finn was as much a part of their company as any two-legged soldier, and if they were going to explore the devastation of Kraigholme, Korrin was sure this new Shepherd would want them both. "In four minutes," he finished, and couldn’t help but wink, letting a small smile tug at the corners of his face.

Tensed and coiled, he stood ready to sprint back to the stables to check on his friend as soon as Leani gave her permission.
__________________
On indefinite hiatus
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-01-2015, 06:16 PM
Aeternis's Avatar
Aeternis Aeternis is offline
Ancient Azure Anathema
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-17-2020
RPXP: 22739
Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis
Posts: 10,488
Cameron BeckettWhen the call to brace echoes through the cabin, Cameron grabs the edge of the table and his pack, just in time to be thrown from side to side by the lurching of the train. Wincing as his shoulder smashes painfully into the outer wall, he doesn't bother to hide his annoyance at the disruption, which seems to bring an end to the conversation, as Shepherd Gayn is called away soon afterwards.

"Speak with the inquisitiors." Great. "Of course, Ma'am. I look forward to it." Cameron stands with a nod, mentally kicking himself that the subtle reaction he undoubtedly made at that announcement was detected by his commander. With an intentionally sloppy salute, heads in the opposite direction from her, blinking as the focus of the elixir still in his system becomes clear. Compared to its hyper-observation of the Shepherd's body language and mannerisms, his normally careful attention to the dispositions of others in the car seems fuzzy and pale by comparison. Relax. But relaxation is hardly a likely outcome, given the inquisitors waiting ahead. While it's unlikely a rank and file inquisitor - one of a different tabard than the one he once wore - would recognize him, the chance is still there, and Beckett doubts that Redwater could or would protect him from the consequences if he is recognized.

Luckily, I have some countermeasures - I just need to keep quiet that I'm using them. Like Gayn's elixirs, Cameron can mix a few tricks of his own - but his grasp of the science of alchemy is haphazard and born of necessity, not of formal education or apprenticeship.

Finding the indicated second, Mr. Lam, across the cabin Cameron gets close enough to hear any spoken orders or to follow any movements, then ducks into a set of recently-emptied seats to check the contents of his pack. The stoppered glass tubes of oily, dark liquid inside are intact, owing to their padded compartments. While pretending to re-organize the bag as everyone else shuffles into some semblance of order, the recruit covertly pours a few drops from a metal container into one of the small oily vials. The oily, dark material inside produces a few bubbles, then becomes a silky gray color. After slipping this vial into a pocket of his loose jacket, Cameron re-closes and shoulders his pack. The best countermeasure for the situation is probably the subtlest.
OOCCameron has prepared a Youthful Appearance extract. I'll roll dice if I need to (Sleight of hand to hide this action) but I'm still going based on the "we don't roll dice in this scene" concept.
__________________
Adjusting to relocation and new job. I appreciate your patience.
--[ A Guide to Applications ]--
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 01-02-2015, 05:03 PM
Sir Alex's Avatar
Sir Alex Sir Alex is offline
The Pen Is Mightier
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 05-15-2016
RPXP: 5731
Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex
Posts: 3,914
Brodi
Brodi shakes his head at Korrin’s dice toss and wonders at the cavalier's terse words. Korrin speaks of the Vale like a lost paradise. What freedom did he have there that could not be found here? Brodi wonders. I’ll bet he followed orders there, same as here, and defended kin and lands. Except they weren’t his kin, were they? And they weren’t his lands. Maybe that’s what he means by freedom? False gods and elves take me, I never felt free in Greypine when…huh. Bah. Let’s save the moping for another day, aye?

Brodi leans back, casting his gaze at each man around the narrow table, putting on a smile and feeling himself settle into the game. The weight of his armor seems to vanish to a feather's press. This is how it should be. This is true freedom. At ease with old friends and sharing ridiculous tales. Likewise at ease with the new recruits, tossing the same tales to them like scraps of meat to a hungry puppy.

“Not to worry, Flick,” he says. “You’ll see more combat than you like soon enough, and…” The lurching train takes Brodi entirely by surpise. His head flies backward, barking itself against a bulkhead and then bouncing forward again. He sees everyone else in the compartment bounce with him, as if the moment were a choreographed dance of mayhem. Men and women tumble into each other, gear shifts or falls, and shouts of indignation pipe up everywhere. Flick’s eyes go blue and he stops an errant dagger with magic. The blade would have pierced a man's face for sure. Interesting. Bit of a free hand with the magic, are we?

“Korrin,” Brodi whispers in the wake of his friend's outburst, “ease up on the heresy, aye? It’s got a time and a place, but here and now is neither.” He gives the dwarf a hand up and sends him on his way. “Go on. See to Finn.”

Grabbing up his pack, Brodi steps past Ahran and Flick, ruffling the the boy’s hair along the way. “Saw what you did. That was exactly what I meant by watching each other’s backs. Nice catch.” Then he is stepping over a canteen and a toppled halberd to find the others in his squad. Fortunately, none of them seem the worse for wear. He gives each one a nod.

“Lyn. Julian. Beckett. You heard the Shepherd. Pack your gear and let’s go. We’ll meet with Korrin and his shaggy beast up by the forward car.” His eyes roam the chaos inside the train car. “Might as well head out there now, while this mess is getting cleaned up. Any questions?”

Last edited by Sir Alex; 01-07-2015 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Forgot to format
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-06-2015, 10:46 PM
Captain Devonin's Avatar
Captain Devonin Captain Devonin is offline
"Not just a pretty face."
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 04-01-2020
RPXP: 16375
Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin
Posts: 18,005
Cordelia 'Lyn' Blake
The retreating form of Shepherd Fettel goes ignored by Cordelia; her attention is mostly focused on the little elven rat elsewhere in the train, though she spares slight amount for the man she sits beside given the 'conversation' they seem to be having. In part, she wishes she had remained silent and let his last words go unanswered, it isn't like she's learned much at all useful. She's learned more of the mageling, trying to eavesdrop best she can without making it obvious. 'Ain't a smart magelin', that's for sure... '

"Mmm," she answers to Julian's little display, and his mention of Sanctum--it could easily be taken for someone no longer paying him any mind, but that was the opposite for the few moments when the knife came out. Delia's one hand drifted down near her gun, seemingly to scratch an itch. At least she has a reason to be uneasy and tense now--trouble is a few seats down--the fact that she was tense even before noticing Flick doesn't help at all though. Lyn's too busy looking around for other knife-ears she might have missed to catch Julian's episode, however brief, probably because it was brief.

"Sanctum, but I've drifted round' these parts a lot." Drifted probably isn't the right word all things considered, but she's no desire to find the right one--it'll get her message across well enough. She has been all over, on this rail many times, she probably can't even name half the places she's seen. Some places she can't forget though, some things she's seen she can't forget--like her first trip near the Thornwood. Nobody said anything about the young girl losing her breakfast, she wasn't the only one. 'Ain't sure if it is good or bad it don't bother me no more... '

Considering the conversation done, Delia turns her focus to the last of what she's doing before packing things in. Her last thought shifting to that of Valerie. She never did ask what had happened in that wagon exactly that day, what had Valerie seen? What'd those scum do to her mother and brothers? Was it quick, or did they make them suffer? Then, it isn't exactly a topic she knows how to bring up. Not sure it's her place to bring it up either--or is it? 'Reckon someone round' here ought to have a kid... Hope she's doin' alright... '

Cordelia glances toward the window, looking out in the direction of Sanctum. 'Never crossed my mind there'd be a point where I wanted to go back to that city.'

'The Vale is freedom?' Delia's eyes go back to the game elsewhere in the train car upon hearing the dwarf's words. She makes a note to ask him about that later, maybe living in Sanctum isn't the best idea, though it's the only world she really knows. Well that, and this rail; at the call to brace Cordelia does just that, taking a pretty educated guess as to the reason. Her seatmate though--he doesn't, and she soon finds him thrown into her lap while she herself is tossed to the side. Bristling once she straightens out, her eyes slowly turn down toward him and follow him even after he's excused himself; a breath let out through clenched teeth follows, and once he's up she shrugs his hand off her shoulder. 'Seriously?'

The bronze-skinned woman's stare breaks away from Julian for a moment, she'd heard Flick's cry, and she searches for the reason. The looks the rat gets are enough for her to put two and two together, but Julian's spared further from any remarks as Aisling enters. 'Kraigholme,' she mouths the words after they're spoken, and she's one of those in the traincar glancing out a window. She honestly couldn't recall ever visiting, but that don't matter when she knows someone who has; it looks like she did learn something useful after all. Delia finally turns back to Julian after the order to get ready, noting his--anger?--with a qurik of her brow. She answers his 'let's go,' with a simple: "Tell me about Kraigholme."

A dwarf hurriedly making his way through the cabin keeps her seated for a moment longer, then she stands, and motions for Julian to go ahead having no interest in letting him walk behind her. Mention of her name makes her twist around, and she offers a nod to Brodi. "Yes, sir."

Probably unnecessary here, but she's been somewhere to give her the habit longer. Whether or not Julian starts walking, or even starts speaking of Kraigholme, she adds, matter-of-factly: "Wouldn't do that again, best brace next time."

Last edited by Captain Devonin; 01-06-2015 at 11:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 01-10-2015, 10:26 AM
Darkling's Avatar
Darkling Darkling is offline
Whiskey Jack
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 05-10-2019
RPXP: 11442
Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling
Posts: 4,370
The Iron Dragon
"Take care, now." Ahran says resolutely to your group as you depart from the train car, though the way he continues to glare at others shooting dirty looks at Flick, it might double as a veiled threat to any who would seek to do the halfbreed harm. He pays special attention to Lyn and her pistol, noting her both for her possession of a blackpowder piece, but also for the undue attention she's been granting his charge - he doesn't seem remotely pleased about it. Still, no more words are shed, and the five of you are quick to get going. The last notable sight within the car would be Fettel, of course, giving a steady guffaw into his glove after having watched Julian make an ass out of himself.

While Korrin heads for the rear, the rest of you move to the fore of the train, planning to meet him and his dear wolf on the outside. You move through what you can only describe as a firing cart, slotted on both sides with murderholes shielded with angled plating, numerous slats and iron bulwarks designed to be pulled down and over the narrow spaces at a moment's notice. The more perceptive might notice a couple pockmarks and grooves on the interior of the walls, made by what one can only assume are the result of return fire, the elves finding purchase with their arrows even within the limited gaps of the firing ports. Any other evidence, such as blood, has long been scrubbed clean - the Protectorate will never be seen to bleed so long as the Queen reigns in Sanctum.

For Korrin, the conditions of the 'stable' car are not quite as appalling as he might've imagined, but they do not seem overly pleasant either. The awful stench is one thing, but the confined spaces for the animals do no favours for their nature, even if the dwarven design of the individual cages and harnesses do keep them well secured from being tossed about during sharp maneuvers. The dwarf has little trouble in locating his companion, the beast gently whimpering, both paws covering its nose as it tries to bury its face into the straw. At the sound of footsteps up go the ears, and the moment Korrin should speak, up bounds Finn. She's practically bouncing off the cage walls, back and forth, and Korrin has to take at least a moment to calm her down before he can release her. When he does let her out, she runs amok all over him for at least a few moments before reins her in, the wolf licking at his face before her training is remembered.

Spirited and rankling in her shackles, a true Vaelen at heart.

The train has come to a proper halt now, though the waystation can barely be called such, the stone marker is the only thing left standing of the place. Seems the elves burned that, too, if the stories are to be believed. The boarding ramp slides down with a clank, and Leani is the first off, taking a deep breath of the air as a cold smile comes to her lips. The dawn graces you now, the red warmth of the Faith's Undying Sun blooming on the horizon. Scarlet tinged clouds make for a beautiful sight, but the view of burned and gutted buildings in the distance make it seem more akin to blood, a vicious and violent marker for the auspicious events that you follow in the wake of.

"Twenty minutes walk from here to town center." Gayn says matter of factly, moving forward, flashing an almost reproachful look at Korrin when he finally shows. If she has anything to say of it, she makes no motion to do so, instead shouldering her pack and moving to lead the way.
"I don't know much about Kraigholme. Been here twice before, though it wasn't a smouldering ruin then, as you might imagine." Leani continues, a little drearily, sparing a wave back to the train to signal for the attendants to bring the boarding ramp back up.

"I only know what I've been told. We're to meet with Knight-Inquisitor Thain, and his Squire, a young woman named Gail. Thain is steadfast, determined, loyal...perhaps a little softer in nature when chatting to a woman." She pauses, quirking a brow in a humourless display, looking pointedly at Cameron for reasons he can't quite know. Whatever her intent, she looks back to the others, addressing the party as a whole as they trudge (or trot in Finn's case) towards the ruins.
"Our Headswoman knew him, apparently, though she'd rather you not spread it around. Thain's a member of the Greywatch, tasked more specifically with rooting out rebels closer to home in his official capacity, but Kraigholme's his assignment by request."

"Given his kinder disposition to the fairer sex, which I think influenced his choice in Squire, I'm going to be speaking with him. No offence, Lyn, but I like you for your bite more than your bark." she says sharply, eyeing the woman's pistol, dipping her hand into her pack to draw out a potion. As she walks, she mixes something up, a simple matter of pouring two vials into one another to 'activate' the concoction.
"You all will split off, poke around the ruins a bit, see if you can see anything the Inquisitors don't tell us. But I need one of you, and I don't care who it is, to talk to Gail. She's young, and trying her very best to prove herself to her Knight, and I think she's more than a bit of a show-off. If you can wheedle something out of her, I'd appreciate it. Why all the cloak and dagger, you might ask?" she asks to nobody in particular, but all the same, she guesses everyone would answer in the affirmative to that query. Another cold smile, there, apparently your Shepherd quite likes being the one to withhold and bandy about secrets upon her whims.

"Our Headswoman is distrustful over how little we know about our Redwater contract with the Thornkeep. It's through the state, but from what we've heard, Knight-Commander Hawthorne is funding this thing with a pretty bit of silver from his own treasury. Simply put, this is a contract for the State that reeks of a petty Baron's call to arms, and Aisling wants to know as much as we can glean from elsewhere. If the elves are responsible for this sacking...we might find a few clues here." Your Shepherd continues on, the time passing more swiftly than one might like, the remains of Kraigholme looming ever closer. The stench of ash and burnt flesh starts to permeate the air, and Finn gives a light whimper, clearly hit by it harder than anyone walking on two legs.

"There's also a few church attendants about. Laymen, mostly, an Acolyte or two heading the proceedings. They're finding the dead, gathering their bodies or bones, and burying or cremating them with rites - they're going through the whole town's census to account for those dead and missing. If you can help them, do so, learn what you can. So, someone sweet-talks or baits our little Squire, I chat to the Knight-Inquisitor, and the rest of you do what you can. Understood?" Leani asks, shooting a rather piercing gaze at Lam, expecting him to take charge on one of the tasks she's set before the team. Seems you have a few minutes to deliberate amongst yourselves, at least, or perhaps tie some rags about your mouths and noses before the scent of barbecued human overcomes your senses entirely. If Fettel was here, he'd probably make some comparison to his late wife's cooking, and how the stench wouldn't wash out of your clothes for weeks.

It's likely that more than one of you is pleased that Fettel isn't here.
__________________
A Silvered Tongue
"What'd I learn from my own kind? Spells, swordplay, and a disdain for the law and its keepers. From the humans? Alcoholism, how to pick a lock, and ways to use the common tongue to incite men into leaping upon my blade. It's been an exciting decade for me."
~Morrigan, the Witch of Blades

Last edited by Darkling; 01-10-2015 at 10:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 01-12-2015, 03:56 AM
Aeternis's Avatar
Aeternis Aeternis is offline
Ancient Azure Anathema
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-17-2020
RPXP: 22739
Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis
Posts: 10,488
Cameron BeckettThe situation which Beckett feared has not vanished, but knowledge that Shepherd Gayn will be the one conversing directly with the Inquisiton knight on scene does much to calm his nerves. A squire. Someone has to talk to the squire... hmm. He realizes that he can avoid even this interaction simply by staying silent, letting someone else get the task. But there is also a distinct advantage to be found, paradoxically enough, in diving headlong into the now diminished risk. After all, Cameron has no idea how much the Redwatch has advertised the failures that led up to his sudden change in careers - the Grays could be totally ignorant, or they could be keeping watchful eyes on each train out of the city, waiting for one wayward squire of the Red to fall into their custody. Both extremes are unlikely, but I can't spend the rest of my life going out of my way to avoid the Blacks and the Greys. They'd see that as an admission of guilt if they noticed. This is the best chance I might ever get to test the waters. Obviously, he has no intention of interrogating the young squire or anything of the sort - but as with the conversation with the shepherd, he is confident in his ability to learn useful information from what isn't said.

Several seconds pass, and no-one jumps up to volunteer. "Fine, fine, I'm the new guy. I'll go." "Cameron" holds up his hands in mock defeat, having made up his mind. "Since no-one else seems to be jumping up to volunteer."

If Shepherd Gayn, still under the influence of her own concoction, notices the conflict behind his mock nonchalance, she doesn't comment on it. The real risk, Cameron knows, is in her conversation with the Knight of the Grey. I should have been more careful with what she could deduce. Bah. Still, he knows that he has no choice but to trust that the woman's team building exercise was not for show. There's no profit in going out of her way to sell me out right now. Anyone would if they came looking for me specifically, but that's probably not going to happen today. And if it does... well, I'll burn that bridge when I cross it.
__________________
Adjusting to relocation and new job. I appreciate your patience.
--[ A Guide to Applications ]--
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 01-13-2015, 02:20 PM
DaMavster's Avatar
DaMavster DaMavster is offline
Sometimes, I eat cake
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 03-31-2020
RPXP: 6078
DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster DaMavster
Posts: 6,010
Julian
Lyn's request to tell her about Kraigholme doesn't elicit much of a response. "Nothing to tell. I was born here. Left when my mother died. It was a long time ago." 'All true.'

Julian cocks his head as Brodi call calls his name. "On it." With no gear to pack, Julian simply shuffles out after Lyn.

The cutthroat listens with interest as their Shepherd gives the rundown of the situation. 'Sounds like we're going in blind. Great. The exact opposite of how I like to operate. Too many variables.'

Cameron's mock defeat volunteer act doesn't fool Julian for one second, though the cutthroat does get Cameron's reasoning wrong. 'Dog. Sees an opportunity to go after a piece of ass before we really begin our tour and there's no more time for women. Can't really blame him though. I might have done the same if I wasn't so damn elven under my clothes.'

Julian raises a hand. "I'll scout around the outskirts of town near the forest." 'Damn. Just went ahead and volunteered to check out the area around where I grew up without thinking. Brilliant. I mean, it's not like I expect to find anything other than a burned out husk.' The half-elf lets out a quiet sigh.
__________________

Posting Status: Available
Playing: Law of the Jungle || Recruiting: The Shattered Worlds
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 01-15-2015, 02:31 PM
Captain Devonin's Avatar
Captain Devonin Captain Devonin is offline
"Not just a pretty face."
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 04-01-2020
RPXP: 16375
Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin Captain Devonin
Posts: 18,005
Cordelia 'Lyn' Blake
It's difficult for Cordelia to say what sort of answer she expected from Julian, perhaps a bit about the area, but his answer only elicits a nod from her for now. They're arriving in the aftermath, nothing she could learn from him would likely be relevant, but more, she doesn't care enough to press--it isn't like she's always known about the places she'd been, more than a few battles she went in blind, including the one where...

Delia shakes her head, casting away the memory. It doesn't matter now. They're dead, she's not--what would Ella have thought about her deserting, though? 'Heh. Stupid girl shoulda listened to me... Ain't nothin' more than a ghost now, a ghost and a memory.'

A slight grin briefly comes to her face as she makes her way off the dragon to the ashes of the city; Ahran's looks to make her pause for a moment, and she stares at him, more a look of indifference than issuing some kind of challenge. Long as the rat doesn't bother her, she won't bother him, but that don't mean she won't keep an eye on him. It won't matter in a few minutes anyway, she's getting off, and he doesn't seem to be. The firing cart threatens to dredge up some other memories, but Lyn pushes them back down, turning her thoughts to Val to keep her at ease. 'Do the job, go home... Got a promise to keep.'

Brown eyes search the ruins of Kraigholme from a distance, as well as occasionally drifting to the sky as Lyn listens to Leani speak--the mention of Inquisitors being around isn't all that surprising, but it does leave Delia grinding her teeth together a little, she'll have to keep her head down, avoid them. She offers a shrug at Leani's words on Thain. "Yes ma'am, ain't much into talking anyhow."

It's as quickly brushed off as the notion of speaking with Gail. though the mention of elves perhaps being responsible is something she focuses on; the chances of them coming back? Slim, she's sure, but she'll have to be on guard anyway. 'M'sure we'll find something, Inquisitors I've met weren't too forthcoming... '

"Yes ma'am," Lyn echoes when Leani asks 'understood?' She considers what she might do for a moment--well, best to play to her strengths, right? And it ain't talking to people, or burying the dead, that part she never liked. If Julian's going to cover the outskirts of town, then... "I'll poke round' the interior. Ain't thinkin' there much to find with all the boots gone through, but I've got somethin' from less before."

'Havin' a good eye is probably why I was sent scoutin' so much... ' Delia figures, planning to wait around a moment to see if there's anything else before she heads toward the burned-out interior of Kraigholme--hand on her gun, scratching at the wood a bit.

'Hope I can find somethin'... give me a good reason to approach our Headswoman.'

Last edited by Captain Devonin; 01-15-2015 at 02:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 01-17-2015, 08:59 AM
Sir Alex's Avatar
Sir Alex Sir Alex is offline
The Pen Is Mightier
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 05-15-2016
RPXP: 5731
Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex Sir Alex
Posts: 3,914
Brodi
As Gayn lays out the political situation, Brodi feels a shadow pass over his excitement, as if he were a rabbit noticing the hawk soaring far overhead. Not that he is that excited to poke through a massacred village for clues. It is strange, though, that Redwater would be needed here when Kraigholme is already crawling with Inquisition sniffers. The Knight-Commander can spend his coin as he chooses, aye, and it sounds like he’s tipped his purse to get Redwater Company out here to help. Why keep us in the dark, though? Is it Politics? Some plot or another? Or just an upper crust disdain for mercenaries?

Brodi raises an eyebrow as Beckett volunteers for romance duty. Huh. Wouldn’t have pegged him for that sort. He eyes the unassuming man; the fellow’s unremarkable appearance gives no clues as to Beckett’s sudden interest, nor how he will go about sweet-talking the Squire. He nods slowly, then quirks his lips into a smirk. Plying a young woman of the Inquisition for information? Truly, a trial by fire for the new recruit.

Brodi is quietly glad to shirk that duty, in any case. He has his own reasons to steer clear of the Faith’s most rabid servants. The Greywatch? He doubts Wickam will be here. The odds are laughably small. Still, that bastard had presided over the dismantling of another fine town. Long ago, in another place. Greypine had not burned, no, but its soul had been crushed all the same.

“Alright, folks, sounds like we’ve got our jobs. Beckett’s off to flatter a girl. The rest of us will keep our eyes and ears open in town. You know what to look for. High ratio of arrow wounds to blade strokes. Elven arrowheads lodged in buildings or in bones. Tracks at the outskirts of town, and the like. Let’s get to the town and get to it.”

I just hope there aren’t too many dead children among the corpses, Brodi thinks as his troop plods onward. He exerts a bit of determination and keeps a smile on his face. I hate it when there’s dead children.

Last edited by Sir Alex; 01-17-2015 at 09:02 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 01-17-2015, 10:27 AM
Kilgore Trout's Avatar
Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
So it goes
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 11-13-2019
RPXP: 5091
Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout
Posts: 1,094
Korrin

Korrin shook his head as he entered the stable, wrinkling his nose and rubbing the sweat that started to bead under his beard. No way for any of us to travel, but the mounts have the worst of it, strapped in like a Barmy. While he didn't know where the handlers had placed Finn, he didn't need to. He knew. She could be stored in the maze of the Low Quarters on a moonless night behind a minstrel's riddle and Korrin could find her. She'd only be lost to him in the nether-realms and, as he fingered Hamil's strands of hair, remembering his old friend, he'd bet his best dice he could find her there, too.

"That's a girl," he said, briefly burying his head in the dusky white fur under her neck while scratching her back. "OK, Finn, not enough time for a proper acquaintance. There's work to be done.

Korrin took a deep breath to clear his head of the stable car's gloom and grinned. Free of the stuffy confines that had reeked of dung, sweat, and fear, Finn's tongue lolled out of her mouth, lips curled back into what could only be called a smile as they left the train, bounding out into the open and startling a couple of recruits lining up in formation. Quickly joining the others, Korrin shrugged at the Shep's sideway glance and focused on the devastation in the distance. As they made their way toward the ruins, the elation at leaving the Iron Devil quickly faded as the smell of death hung in the air like the cloying claws of a hot humid morning with no sun.

Cradling his lance, forged by a Valean blacksmith for Korrin before he left the Vale, the dwarf listened to the Shepherd give her speech. Likes to use ten words when two will do. Finn's eyes darted from one to the other as they spoke, eyes narrowing at Julian as he volunteered to search the forest, giving a slight snort and turning back to look at Korrin. He scratched her behind her ear. Aye, girl, you're right. There's something about that man... He didn't try to hide his frown as the others chose their assignments. Tactically, he disagreed. Having their marksmen in the confines of the city and the man who liked to play with knives out in the open wasn't putting the resources of their squad to its best uses. Still, Korrin kept his mouth shut - he'd gotten into trouble more than once for speaking his mind, and he didn't want to say something that might make Brodi look bad in front of the others.

"Me and Finn, we'll take the outskirts with Julian," Korrin said with a nod toward the man that tugged at his memory. Maybe find out why he's so familiar.

Positioning his lance for movement, the pair broke out and away from the others, slowly circling the group as they made final preparations - Finn sniffing at the ground, her ears upright and alert for signs of danger while Korrin waited for the order to break off, wondering what lay in store for them in Kraigholme.
__________________
On indefinite hiatus
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 01-17-2015, 03:27 PM
Aeternis's Avatar
Aeternis Aeternis is offline
Ancient Azure Anathema
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-17-2020
RPXP: 22739
Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis
Posts: 10,488
Cameron BeckettThe senior mercenary's quip elicits a sigh from its intended target, but no other response. The only person that might have any idea how annoyed he truly is at the allegation would be Shepherd Gayn - the idea of becoming romantically entangled with someone inside the organization that would want him dead if they knew he still lived doesn't really appeal to him. To say nothing of Octavia. It's true, Cameron does not expect to see his former lover ever again - and it's safer for both of them if that continues to be the case - but what scraps of warped honor he yet retains frown on the idea of "romancing" anyone else. Play-acting a bit to get useful information is fair game, of course. Can't let honor take tools out of my toolbox, not against the Inquisition.

As he moves away in the indicated direction to find the squire of the Grey, Cameron palms the phial he hurriedly mixed on the train, debating whether or not to use it. Against a Red, I wouldn't dare. Too many of them know alchemy as well as they know witchcraft. But here? Probably safe. Sure, it's a risk, but the reward is also important - the contents will make Cameron look less like himself, in a way that has nothing to do with the illusion magic which Inquisitors are often trained to see through. It also has the power to make him look younger - and while the difference for someone who is not yet thirty is subtle, subtle details are, in many cases, the most important ones.

The reason the phial stays in his hand unopened, though, is that he realizes that he might be called upon to speak with the squire again later - and its effects don't last forever. I can't be someone massively different to this squire and to Redwater. And though I don't look quite like myself on any given day, someone's bound to catch on. No, this is not a time for alchemy. This is not a time for being totally nondescript. This is a situation where it'll be more valuable to be something else - honest. Honest in the most deceiving of ways. With this thought, he slips the admixture into his pocket, close at hand if he does happen to need it later.
__________________
Adjusting to relocation and new job. I appreciate your patience.
--[ A Guide to Applications ]--
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 01-28-2015, 11:03 PM
Darkling's Avatar
Darkling Darkling is offline
Whiskey Jack
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 05-10-2019
RPXP: 11442
Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling Darkling
Posts: 4,370
The Ruins of Kraigholme
As everyone assigns themselves, Leani gives a curt nod to Julian and Korrin, apparently satisfied with the arrangements but not caring much for who goes where other than expecting to see results.
"Good. If you two are brushing the outskirts, then Lam, stick with Lyn. I don't want any lone wolves on this unless they're in the company of an Inquisitor. Move, people." She gives a sharp, yet friendly sounding order, turning on her heel to continue leading the way. The devastation is complete, you all realise, trudging through the corpse of a town. A few hundred people lived here, not all that long ago, and now they're all gracing the earth in charred bone or burnt flesh. The gutted buildings loom on all sides, scorched ropes hanging loosely from posts and seen vaguely within the rafters of ruined barns, and it's not too difficult to picture them as nooses since cut free by the Laymen from Sanctum.

This town was butchered.

As you make your way over cinders and ash, you start to approach the courtyard that served as the town square, but before Julian and Korrin can split off to search the outskirts it seems that your Shepherd has another idea.
"Meet the Inquisitor, first, then get going. It'll be brief." she promises, though whether that's meant to reassure or otherwise, only Cameron seems to be able to perceive it as an effort to calm anyone feeling skittish. There are a number of tents pitched in the center of the square, most of them are small and quaint affairs made of tan and beige canvas. The markings of the Church of the Undying Faith adorn them, though underneath is the sigil of the Hand of Healing, a smaller sect of mostly volunteer healers and faithful. At this rate, it's unlikely any true clerics number among them, but perhaps some orisons or fervent prayer could be offered to the dead and dying. Given the lack of wounded in favour of simply 'dead', it is unlikely that the absence of true healing magic will go noticed, such is the tragic loss witnessed at Kraigholme.

As you enter deeper into the encampment, a few folks start to glance your way, the laymen and laywomen barely old enough to be considered true adults. Adolescents at best, it seems, though an older man of the church does emerge from his tent to make a mark of the Faithful in the air as he sees you approach. Rather than greet you personally, however, the Acolyte rushes off to another more ostentatious tent. Larger than the others, and decorated with bright splashes of red and gold, the markings of the Greywatch Inquisition can be seen rather clearly from where you all stand. Leani motions for you all to halt, loose formation, but to stand at attention. You might not be true military folk, but it doesn't hurt to show a sign of discipline, even if you lack a uniform and ceremonial weapon to make the display more impressive.

From the tent strides a figure, a man of average height, exemplifying the notion of 'clean-cut'. No stubble marks
Knight-Inquisitor Thain
his features, and his dark brown hair is cropped short in true military fashion, giving his chiseled and rather stern look even more gravitas. He calls out something inaudible over his shoulder, and shortly thereafter,
Squire-Inquisitor Gail
a young woman steps out after him. Blonde hair, cut to chin-length, and fair skin that identifies her as a Crownlander. The pair of them have detailed breastplates for armour concealed lightly by traveling coats and slight decoration, but while the young woman wears a tricorn hat decorated with a Squire's insignia, the man seems to have forgotten such formality while traveling the countryside.

"Honoured warriors of the Redwater, I presume." The man speaks loudly and almost with a hint of facetiousness, his voice having little trouble adopting a commanding and self-assured tone, folding his hands behind his back as he examines you all. "I am Knight-Inquisitor Thain of the Greywatch, and this is my Squire, Lady Gail." He gets the introductions well out of the way, and the Squire simply nods, her hand moving to rest upon the grip of her pistol. Her fingers drum the weapon, as if she's agitated, her eyes piercing through any she stares at. In particular, she pays close mind to Korrin, tilting her head ever so slightly as she surveys him with all the curiosity of a raptor.

Leani steps forward, exchanging pleasantries, introducing herself as Shepherd Gayn and the lot of you as 'Briarburn Unit'. A brief bit of banter is exchanged, but Thain does crack a warm smile at Leani, and motion for her to follow into the tent.
"You're all free to explore Kraigholme as you wish, mercenaries, though you'll find precious little other than ash and misery." The Inquisitor intones dully, leaving the Squire outside, her hand still resting on her pistol as she glances about the lot of you. Leani motions for you all to get going, and as she does so, Gail excuses herself to busy herself elsewhere.
"I've got prisoners to check on." The young woman says sharply, and as your Shepherd and the Knight disappear within the pavilion tent, Gail moves off to trudge towards the western end of the village.

The laymen and women all shuffle about and away from the brief flash of excitement, returning to their solemn duty, digging amongst the earth for charred bones or clues to what transpired.
__________________
A Silvered Tongue
"What'd I learn from my own kind? Spells, swordplay, and a disdain for the law and its keepers. From the humans? Alcoholism, how to pick a lock, and ways to use the common tongue to incite men into leaping upon my blade. It's been an exciting decade for me."
~Morrigan, the Witch of Blades

Last edited by Darkling; 01-29-2015 at 12:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 01-29-2015, 10:02 AM
Kilgore Trout's Avatar
Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
So it goes
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 11-13-2019
RPXP: 5091
Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout
Posts: 1,094
Korrin

Echoes of blood and pain were everywhere as they made their way through the blasted ruins. As Finn side-stepped the remnants of destruction, Korrin remembered...


A Memory

"Well, it's not stealing, not really. Think of it as repossession," Corym said as he polished the crystal goblet that, when not empty, held a variety of heavily-salted Harvest Seeds for the Inn's patrons to consume while they drank their escape, solace, poison, or all three for some unlucky bastards.

"Humph," Korrin snorted. "Sounds like you're sellin' me somethin' I don't wanna buy."

"Now, Korrin." The owner of the Tallowed Inn, a bright spot in the Low Quarter for thieves, gamblers, and their brethern, put down the towel and looked at the dwarf. "I know for a fact he obtained the jewels in a dishonest fashion. Apparently while staying as a guest in an Ashari palace. Can't quite pronounce the city. Think it's the one that means 'wind'. Regardless, because of the speck of noble blood the little whelp possesses, the Prince, because of some bull-shite rules of diplomacy that they all like to play in, is unable to take direct action. That's where we come in."

"Aye, Corym, I appreciate all you've done for me. 'Specially in the state I was in when you found me. And I don't mind servin' as your muscle or running parcels of Honey past the Guard. But stealin'? Doesn't seem quite right."

"Quit calling it stealing!" Corym placed his hands on the bar. "Sullies my trade - I don't run a band of common thieves you daft dwarf! Any slice of scum in the Quarter can do that." His voice raised - not out of anger, but passion. "I provide discrete services to the highest bidders. This man lost something that belongs to him and he wants it back. Simple as that."

Korrin sat in silence for a moment, hands wrapped around a cold mug of Bluepine Ale. A rarity, anymore, but Korrin had done well in the service of Corym, and so only paid a fraction of the listed price.

"Alright then. I suppose you've convinced me." Corym's black mustache, trimmed in a thick and bushy fashion that had gone out of style in Sanctum twenty years past, bristled joyfully at Korrin's reply. It had taken the better part of the morning, but Corym had his man.

"Excellent! I knew you'd come around. Your partner should be here any minute."

"Partner? I already have a partner. Dammit, Corym, you just happened to leave that part out now didn't ya?"

"Can those stubby little fingers handle a lockpick? Don't think so."

"Hamil's not going to be happy about this," Korrin fumed as he finished his ale in one long swallow.

"You really think you're taking that mangy thing through the Velvet District? This one requires a bit more subtlety, my friend."

The door to the Inn opened and Korrin turned around. The man was tall, at least two feet taller than Korrin, but not imposing - not at first glance anyway. Swaying into the room, as deftly as a knife's polished blade might catch the light, his emerald eyes were obvious even at a distance, piercing and calculating as he approached the bar.

"Korrin, I'd like you to meet..."



The dwarf was roused from his memory as the group approached the tent. Doing his best to sit straight in his saddle, motioning Finn with the slightest movement of his knees - a gentle squeeze, nothing more - to stand still, Korrin appeared calm and at attention on the outside, but in his mind he was wrestling with the memory, wondering why it had appeared at that moment, uninvited, a bruised taint on an even darker time...a soil that refused to be scrubbed out, no matter how hard he tried. Probably the only job he'd consider 'botched,' and that was putting it lightly.

Noticing the Squire's gaze, Korrin smiled back. "Milady," he said, slightly bowing his head in the manner of greeting appropriate for the situation. For a moment, he regretted not volunteering for the job of interviewing her. While he'd spent most of his life in the Vale, he'd been trained in the courtly arts before being traded to the North, serving as a bartering chip in a war that was long past. Not to mention that the Valean arts of parlay and diplomacy were held in almost as high a regard as the noble intrigues of Sanctum. While he hadn't been blessed with the velvet tongue that some had, Korrin could more than carry himself when it came to dancing with words.

Then, as they were dismissed, the memory straightened.

Became corporeal.

"Aye," he stated, his voice loud and clear. "Let's go explore, shall we?" Directing his gaze and his voice at Julian. "We might discover something more than blood and ash if we look hard enough." Finn let out a low-throated growl, nearly imperceptible to anyone other than Korrin.

"We might even find something we recognize..." The growl rumbled, became louder. Depending on how the wind blew at that moment, maybe the others could hear it. Maybe not.

"Julian."
__________________
On indefinite hiatus
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 02-01-2015, 05:17 PM
Aeternis's Avatar
Aeternis Aeternis is offline
Ancient Azure Anathema
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-17-2020
RPXP: 22739
Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis Aeternis
Posts: 10,488
Cameron BeckettThe young woman with the squire's insignia on her cap makes Cameron fight, for the briefest instant, a stab of jealousy. A similar insignia, trimmed in red and not gray, once adorned his own attire, but only when he was not undercover. Yes, he knows that his own actions were as much at fault for his fall from grace with the Inquisitors of the Red as those of his superior officer, but that means little. Confronted with the galling realization that for someone in his position a squire is someone to be deferred to and saluted, Cameron Beckett has to fight hard to discard his instinctual hatred of Squire Gail.

This fight lasts only a fraction of the time between Gail's introduction and Beckett's own introduction by Shepherd Gayn. By the time his name is announced, Cameron has once again composed himself, and when the focus of the gathering is on him, his sly, slightly bemused and reserved bearing is firmly back in place, though the internal adjustment's only outward-facing symptom is a subtle flicker in his demeanor. The Grays and the Reds are vastly different organizations which hire vastly different people. She's obviously nothing like I was when I was a squire, and I doubt I could do what she's been tasked with either. Armed with this forced understanding to keep his envious side at bay, and firmly clamping down on any of the simmering concerns that might crack his exterior calm, Beckett watches the brief gathering disperse, and, not without trepidation, turns to follow the squire.

"Mind if I go with you, ma'am? Redwater's coming into this almost blind, and if you've caught some of the knife-ears that did all this, might give us some idea what we're up against." Calling a woman who is about five years his junior "ma'am" is more than a little galling, but Beckett swallows his ego for the moment and uses the honorific anyway. The request is respectful and carefully tailored - he deliberately avoids referring to elves using any positive or even neutral descriptor, lest he establish in the squire's mind the possibility that he might have sympathy for them, in the same way that one must be careful how one speaks about mages around an Inquisitor of the Red. Not that, as a city-dweller for most of his life, Cameron Beckett has any particular dislike of elvenkind - but if they truly massacred the town still smoking all around him, then he suspects he'll have one before this assignment ends. And if that's really what happened here, someone screwed up and failed to catch the warning signs. Kraigholme is near the border, but it was supposed to be protected. I wonder how much of the Grays' mission here is to keep their order from being implicated in the failure to stop this atrocity.
__________________
Adjusting to relocation and new job. I appreciate your patience.
--[ A Guide to Applications ]--
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:13 PM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.(© 2009-2012)


RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2020, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB