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Old Aug 3rd, 2020, 06:48 PM
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Pilot Episode: Monsters Under The Bed

Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.The carriage ride was... unpleasant to say the least. It was a long two days from Denver, longer depending on where you were coming from. The entire time was spent in a cramped, enclosed wagon with barred windows, and in all that time it never stopped jostling along whatever path it was on. The late Summer season kept it uncomfortably warm in your mobile cell, and it didn't take long for your unwashed scent to mingle with the baked-in odor of who knows how many others that had spent time in here.
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Efforts to access your arcane powers were met with failure. Summoning up even just a trickle of energy to activate your smallest trick or spell was like watching sand slip between your open fingers, unable to grasp the ethereal flows of energy that should come as second-nature to you. Your hands and feet were PER (Seeing), INT (Crafting: Smithing, Sabotage, Occultism), STR (Might). TN 11 (Average).


shackled, the shackles chained together and then bolted to the floor. You had just enough slack to sit on your bench built into the side wall or lay down in a fetal position and not much else. At least your INT (Security, Tactics), PER (Empathy, Hearing). TN 15 (Hard).escort was not malicious or cruel; you were kept fairly well-fed with hardtack, dry, chewy jerky, and plenty of water fed through a slot in the wagon's front wall. A bedpan was provided for your unmentionable business and they even had the courtesy to empty it when you presented it through the same slot, though the imagery of your food and your excrement being delivered through the same hole was disturbing, and best not dwelt on for too long.

Any attempts at conversation with those in charge of your transfer were met with silence. In fact, there was no communication whatsoever unless escape was attempted at which point INT (Short Hafted, Engineering, Physics, Security, Tinkering) TN 13 (Challenging).
If using the Security focus, just roll once and I'll apply it to both the "escort" test and the "metal batons" test.
metal batons were inserted into your cage from any of the barred windows. Physical contact or even close proximity with said batons released an electrical discharge that left your vision white and your muscles spasming.



Eventually the jostling did stop, and you're brought out into the world once more. A sun well past its zenith shines down from a blue sky dappled with the white, fluffy clouds that don't threaten rain but rather accentuate calm, clear weather. A strong breeze brings a much needed reprieve to the the stuffy interior of your tiny prison. Looking around, you find yourself in a small town surrounded by dry brush land. Much of the visible vegetation is scrawny and drought-resistant, though blossoms of INT (Crafting: Cooking, Crafting: Alchemy, Biology, Medicine). TN 9 (Easy).yellow cactus flowers bring an element of natural beauty to the landscape. To the West you can see rising foothills giving way to larger ridges which in turn are dwarfed by snow-capped mountain tops. The community is small enough to warrant just a single, dusty road that you can see both ends of, and it appears to be clear of anyone else at the moment. A few dozen wood-slat buildings crowd each side of the street with wooden walkways connecting every three or four structures in a row. Everything looks like it was either constructed haphazardly or left in negligence, you can't tell which.


You aren't given more than a few breaths to stretch your legs and your back before you're hustled, still chained at the wrist and ankle, into a structure that identifies itself with a simple hanging wooden sign. Inside, two austere desks sit to either side of the entrance with a staircase along the left wall and four double-occupancy cells in the back, all connected in a line and separated from each other by more bars. Some of which are occupied with other poor, captured souls like yourself. Your captors lead you through the room, past INT (Security, Tactics). TN 11 (Average).
PER (Empathy, Seeing). TN 15 (Hard).
four armed individuals who, based on the sign on the building, you assume to be the Sheriff and deputies of this town, and into I determined these randomly
Cell #1 (Left-most): Li Jie, Eoin
Cell #2: Rhii, Nao
Cell #3: Dr. Ouzo
Cell #4 (right-most): Gerhard
one of the cells. The four lawgivers all wear badges though only three of them are dressed similarly; a light-skinned male and female human, and a dark-skinned female dwarf all wear identical dusters. Each of them also carries a shotgun in their hands, though none of them are pointed directly at any of you currently. The fourth is clearly a tiefling wearing dark, flowing robes with the hood back and one flap pulled to the side showing a belt holster and revolver. Her long, ridged horns sweep straight back from her forehead over brown hair. Thin gold chains encircle her forehead and connect piercings in her nose and ear. Her bronzed skin and dark eye shadow finish off quite the exotic look.

Apparently six prisoners is the magic number, since by the time all of you are assembled your previous guards leave, followed closely by the human man. It takes less than five minutes for him to return, and hot on his heels is someone new. PER (Empathy) TN 13 (Challenging).This gentleman could be "cowboy" personified. A PER (Crafting: Millinery). TN 11 (Average).
white cattleman with leather cording sits atop a head of short hair that's more salt than pepper. Heavy crow's feet and a thick, bristly mustache reinforce his advanced age, though the man walks with a casual and confident gait without cane or limp. His PER (Art, Crafting: Tailoring, Crafting: Leather Working). TN 11 (Average).simple denim clothes are clean and pressed with a brown leather vest and riding boots. He wears no duster or overcoat, and you can see he openly wears a belt holster with an PER (Pistols, Light Blades) TN 13 (Challenging).
PER (Seeing). TN 17 (Formidable).
ornate looking six shooter on one hip and an equally adorned bowie knife on the other.

left-aligned image
"Thank you, Sheriff Posey. That'll be all fer now. I'd like a few minutes alone with our guests." He speaks calmly, addressing the tiefling with a slight Texas drawl and a deep bass tone. She opens her mouth to speak, looking as if she's ready to have unkind words with this man. What follows instead is a silent staring match between the man and this Sheriff Posey before she gathers her deputies and leaves through the front door.

He takes a chair from one of the desks and brings it in front of the cells. Sitting with an ankle on one knee and crossed arms he regards the six of you casually. "Well. Here we all are. Finally. Name's INT (Current Affairs). TN 13 (Challenging).Slatterbaugh. Some folk call me Baron Slatterbaugh, though I don't care fer the title." He casually drops the bombshell like he's talking about what he had for breakfast this morning. Sitting in front of you is one of the actual Ore Barons! "You're in the town of Yellow Ledge, in case you didn't know that, and I've gone to not-inconsiderable lengths to bring y'all here because you're accused criminals." Reaching over to the nearby desk, the Ore Baron picks up a folder and idly leafs through the papers within, reading from them. "Trespassing on government property. Unlicensed weaponry. Illegal immigration. Loitering with intent. Public drunkeness. Revelrous debauchery. Solicitation of a non-registered madame. Failure to register as a trans-dimensional being. Unauthorized international diplomacy. Impersonating a soiled dove. Person of interest in a gunfight. Look at this one... Runic graffiti?" With a shake of his head in disbelief he tosses the folder aside and turns back to the group. "Quite the list of trussed up charges. You lot seem to have a way with the Law in these parts... Well, lucky fer you I've also brought you here because I need your help. I own a mine just outside o' town. Hellstone. Two weeks ago my miners broke through int' an existing passage. The ones that made it back alive couldn't say what was in there, other than a host o' flyin' demons that didn't hesitate in devourin' everyone in sight. I lost most of a full crew, includin' one o' my INT (Current Affairs, Occultism). TN 11 (Average).
hellstone mages, n' the other's laid up fer who knows how long. I sent a team in eleven days ago to clean up the mess. Haven't heard word one from 'em."
Slatterbaugh removes his hat, holding it in both hands and leans forward in his chair, putting his elbows on his knees. He takes a deep breath and exhales most of it in a long sigh. "'N t' top it off, the foreman that made it out up 'n vanished two days ago. Took her man with her, but left all their worldly possessions. Just disappeared like the shadow thrown by a passing cloud. Now I'm done wasting my time and my resources on this problem with nothin' t' show for it." You can hear his tone pick up a noticeable twinge of frustration and anger in this last sentence. "I've hand-picked the six of you because you've shown unique talents not often seen in the Protectorate. And because you're all in need of a favor from someone like me. Head out to Mine Twelve, find out exactly what's keepin' my miners from doin' their job, and remove the obstacle. In return you'll not only receive generous hazard pay fer a dangerous job, but I'll expunge your troubles with the law." He gives Dr. Ouzo a side-glance. "Your current troubles."

He stands smoothly and puts his hat back on his head. "Take some time. Think it over and talk amongst yerselves. I imagine you'll want to get acquainted, or re-acquainted with each other. Just let the Sheriff or one of the deputies know when you're ready t' give me an answer and we can talk specifics. If any of you decide to refuse, no hard feelings. You'll be shipped back to your jurisdiction of origin to answer for your crimes." Slatterbaugh walks to the door, but before opening it he adds, "Oh, and I had a little bonus brought in t' sweeten the deal. Helping out an Ore Baron can have its perks." He gives a small, quick smile before exiting.

As he leaves Sheriff Posey and two of her deputies re-enter the office, all of them carrying covered trays. They set one tray on the floor outside each your cells and uncover them to reveal a delectable feast before sliding them under the open slot at the bottom of the bars. Seared meats, cooked to perfection and dripping with juices. Sliced fruits and vegetables, many out of season or from exotic locations. Cubed cheeses and slices of thick, soft bread. An array of sweet pastries covered in different colored jams. And a few tin cups, each filled with a different strong-smelling liquor. The Sheriff gives all of you a displeasing look before retreating to the front of the room with her subordinates. They keep an eye on you, but are far enough away to give the group a modicum of privacy. At Slatterbaugh's request, no doubt.

OOC
 

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Last edited by MoldyNolds; Aug 15th, 2020 at 01:10 PM.
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Old Aug 15th, 2020, 11:20 AM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Li Jie

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etween his toes or his teeth, one might find a similar flavour. Jie had been arrested after a drunken night with Ouzo, his 'drinking buddy', confidante, and delver after secrets. As he passed his tongue over his teeth, he could taste a mélange of each and every thing that'd passed his lips the night before. One couldn’t mix whiskey, tequila and whatever that last mind-wipe spirit the Doctor offered (did he say 'Chartreuse'?), without ending up with a mouth like a curry-house toilet.

Poor, long suffering Jie was cramped up on the rough bench, his large stature and wide girth not accustomed to being so constrained. He was Chinese, with black hair and a round face, but his skin was impossibly burnished brown making some second-guess his provenance. The man was around six feet tall and thick set although he'd once been a lean and tanned prospector with calloused hands. His belly had grown round from the alcohol he’d used to try to alleviate the cold burn of his shame. Jie had become slovenly in his long wanderings and was only now regaining some condition.

Jie's long plait had fallen out years ago without his father to braid it for him, 'Or for me to braid his.' he often lamented to himself. He'd grown a beard, which due to his strange affliction and poor personal hygiene had grown bushy and wild, just like his hair. His eyes were piercing and dark, showing too much white when he was put in a stressful situation (which was most days as he traveled the new world). To summarise, Jie looked demonic at worst, and at best, when he’d taken the time to wear his hat, stroke his beard and hair down and straighten his coat, weird, foreign and crazed. The type you crossed the road to avoid.

He wore a lambskin coat which he'd bought after assessing what others in the Empire wore. He also bought some denim 'jeans' which, it seemed, all the labourers and cowboys were wearing. He also owned a couple of plain shirts, one dyed blue and the other unbleached. The last of his money bought good leather boots and a wide-brimmed hat which he decided would fulfill the dual requirement of helping him fit in, and cover up his short horns, of which he'd never grown accustomed.


He’d been surprised to find the others in the wagon, for he’d known nearly all of them from his short time in the West. Other bounty hunters such as Nao, whom he’d previously teamed up with to complete a hunt. And Eoin, whom he’d also vied with trying to secure bounties. Also, there was the giant Gerhard. Blacksmith. He’d wanted to discuss Hellstone with this man and now it seemed like he might be blessed with an opportunity. But not here in prison. Jie decided they’d discuss it when they were free men once more.

He grunted and nodded at each of them, displaying a fierce respect, but too irritable to reach out with words. In fact the only sound that escaped his lips that day was, "Waorrh!?" when he put a hand outside the cage only to have it electrified by their guard. It was a mixture of pain and surprise at the technology; wonders that he’d hitherto not been exposed to. After that he settled back to
Dice PER seeing:
3d6+3sch11 (5, 4, 1)+3 Total = 13
consider the arcana of the shackles and why they sapped his demonic powers. Given the opportunity, he might have used those powers against the guard. He'd not been chained before and suffered it only with the greatest indignity.

He chewed long and thoughtfully at the jerkie which was similar, but not as good as, the làròu of his birthplace. Long into the night he relived his time in Australia before his passage to North America aboard a steam ship via south-east Asia, India, the west Coast of Africa and the Moroccan port of Casablanca. He was homeless and without roots, except for his mother so far away. For a Confucian to be so adrift was a unique and cruel form of torture. To survive he would need to rebuild a social structure around him beginning with family and friends.

He exchanged a small amount of general conversation with the others on the second day. Demons. Hellstone. Where they might be headed. Learning of all the fantastic things in this new place occupied Jie's days as he solemnly tried to commit every detail to memory. He had the heart, if not the training, of a scholar. And these folk knew a lot. Between them they’d had lifetimes of experiences. Jie was extraordinarily grateful to have fallen into their company.


After that painful drive he unfolded himself from the wagon and was ushered inside and to waiting cells where he was deposited with Eoin. He took note of the horned woman, 'A Tiefling,' he'd heard horned ones called. 'Was that what she was? Is that what I am?' She made no attempt at familiarity so he simply watched her intently and before long, the perpetrator of their undignified capture and incarceration appeared.

'An Ore Baron!' Jie silently exclaimed. Their predicament became more interesting. He tuned his ear to his accent and listened carefully to the introduction and list of criminal offences. Jie had heard this place was wild and lawless, not lawful! He was shocked. It was impossible to understand how one might legally immigrate to America, even having employed a lawyer! The other crimes he dismissed as not being his own, partly due to a lack of understanding of the accented English the man spoke. So he looked curiously at the others. He thought he knew the man well enough to vouch that they couldn't all be Ouzo's crimes!

But when Slatterbaugh outlined what he wanted it all became clear. He wanted this group of people, and himself, to vanquish demons from one of his mines! Once again he looked around at the others, assessing them and deciding 'Yes! We might achieve that.' In return, an Ore Baron’s favour and a healthy pay cheque. Although he retained his crazed expression, it would be impossible for others not to see the hopeful anticipation that possessed his spirit. Here was an opportunity to continue the employment he'd enjoyed since arriving on these shores, whilst working with a team of professionals. Whilst! He reminded himself, learning as much as he could about the demons that afflicted the region and, he felt, he was somehow connected to.


Jie was hungry and so when the food and liquor came he made sure Eoin had his serve before he began to eat. He ate carefully and long while listening to the others discuss this auspicious turn of fortune. He had only one question so far, "Did he say how many dollars we would be paid?"

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Old Aug 16th, 2020, 01:13 AM
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RhiiThe trip had been unpleasant for Rhii, who had to suffer the indignity of the entire trip inside a cage built for one a fraction of her size… Which gave her a lot of time to think, and her frustration at her inability to access her magic left her angry. Fae were not meant to be in cages, and fae were not meant to be without their magic… And by the court of summer she was going to make her displeasure known… Eventually.

The first time they passed the jerky though the cage bars, her stomach flipped as she fought the urge to vomit… And it quickly was pushed outside the cage bars as far as she could push it… Which surprised her as the cage gave much more than she thought it would. She filed it away for future reference as there would be a moment to escape, and that moment was not quite here yet. The last thing that she wanted was to give the guards the heads up that she had a way out of her situation. So she rode quietly, made nice, ate the hardtack that provided much less nourishment than she needed and bided her time.

Her arrival in town was less exciting for the small statured Rhii who went from one cage to a cage within a cage. It seems my luck is not improving much. she thought to herself as the mortal made his offer of clearing their names. And I did not even seek to get into this situation of my own power, and they lock me in a cage, and demand that I perform tricks for them in order to absolve myself of crimes I did not willingly commit. She felt her blood start to boil as she shoved her entire weight against the prison that contained her.

With a running start, she shoved the cage with it’s mesh lining onto its side with a loud BANG as the mesh cage hit the ground. She could see the progress, and was undeterred as she could almost smell the freedom. ”I do not prefer to negotiate with those who take innocents as prisoners.” Rhii exclaimed as she got one dainty hand out into the free air.

It is then that an onlooker might catch the first unrestrained glances of Rhii. She was, as best as one could guess, approximately a foot tall humanoid for one who might glance between the bars and mesh that enclosed her prison. Freedom is so close!! She wiggled and attempted to squeeze her way through the bent and broken mesh, though she was finding her progress was being stymied by how little it wanted to give and her inability to access her magics.

”I have no interest in your paper with pictures on it, and I have no interest in being on this cursed plane of existence. I would just as happily go along my merry way if you could deport me back to where I belong!” She exclaimed in frustrated tones. ”That is how your immigration system works is it not? Send me home if I am not supposed to be here. I will go willingly!” She thrashed at the mesh and gravity took over and the cage started to roll, and she cried out ”No! No!” As she quickly withdrew her body back into the cage to avoid something being crushed.

Rhii's StatblockName: Rhii | Level: 1 | Health: 16/16 | Fatigue Accumulation: 0 | SP: 0 | Conviction: 3
Force: 14 | Speed: 12 | Defense: 12 | Toughness: 1 | Weapons: Damage: 1d6+3, Ballistic/Wound
RoF: SS
Range: 200 yards
Capacity: -
Reload: Minor
Resources TN: 13
Requires: STR 2
Longbow | Armor: 1I/2B, due to mythical nature does not protect against cold ironFae-weave Dress
ACC: 2 | COM: 1 | CON: 1 | DEX: 2 | FIG: 0 | INT: 3 | PER: 1 | STR: 2 | WIL: 4
Background: Random Benefit: Intelligence Focus (Research)
Focus: Intelligence (Occultism)
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement (Water Arcana)
Ability: +1 INT
Academic | Social Class: Upper | Profession: Focus: Intelligence (Medicine)
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement (Healing Arcana)
Expert | Drive: Talent: Emergency Care
Improvement: Reputation: Hippocratic Fae
Quality: Compassion
Downfall: Self-Sacrifice
Caregiver
Foci: Research, Medicine, Occultism | Resources: 8 | Medic's kit, medical/apothecary scrolls, paper and writing utensils, herbs for treatment, spare arrowsEquipment
Talents: Your magic can knit wounds and even restore life to the dying.

Novice: You gain two Novice-degree Healing Arcana spells.
Healing Arcana | You mystically wield water as a tool and a weapon.

Novice: You gain two Novice-degree Water Arcana spells.
Water Arcana | You can treat wounds and illnesses in the field.

Novice: You have trained as an emergency medical technician, and your aid is swift and sure. First Aid is a minor action for you.
Emergency Care | Powers: Healing Touch

Requirement: Healing Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 1-3PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 10
Test: None

Your touch channels energy to heals and and restores the subject. You can choose to spend up to 3 PP when you cast Healing Touch. For each PP spent, the target regains 1d6 Health. You can cast Healing Touch on yourself.
Healing Touch | Revival

Requirement: Healing Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 5PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 14
Test: None

Your touch helps restore life to the fallen. A dying character you touch after successfully casting Revival immediately regains 10 + their Constitution + your Willpower in Health. Since dying characters cannot take actions, you cannot cast this spell on yourself.
Revival | Fairy Lights

Requirement: Water Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 2PP per hour
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 8
Test: None

You illuminate the area around you with a steady light, similar to a torch or lantern. The spell illuminates a 10 yard radius centered on you. Fairy Lights lasts for 1 hour, but can be extended for 2 PP per additional hour.
Fairy Lights | | Water Geyser

Requirement: Water Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 4PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 12
Test: Dexterity (acrobatics) VS Force

A burst of water erupts from your outstretched hands. The Water Geyser is 8 yards long and 2 yards wide. Anyone hit by the blast takes 2d6+1 damage. Targets who make a successful Dex (acrobatics) test vs. your Force take only 1d6+1 damage.
Water Geyser |
Reputation: Hippocratic Fae (1) | Memberships: none | Ties: TBDOuzo, There are many senses that those whose blood runs towards the primal that mortals… And among those was the sense when others of fae blood that were in near proximity to Rhii. While she has never met Eoin, or even know the name of the man… She is aware of his existence. Every time it felt like that she was close to locating him, he would disappear as if into thin air. To say that it was quite frustrating was beyond words… For here was someone who shared a kinship that was actively avoiding her.

Complicating things is that the two share a similar bloodline… Albeit one that is fairly far removed from one another. While Rhii’s kin lived in the realm of the fae, a distant scion of her family set off into the mortal realm to make their living before travel between the realms became almost impossible. For mortal readers, they are typically viewed to be second cousins, once removed.
Eoin ‘The Wild Hunter’ Dermott | Relationships: (0/1)
Goals: [b]Meet another full blooded faeShort-term Goal 1 | Find an expert in portal magicShort-term Goal 2 | Find a way homeLong-term Goal 1
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Old Aug 17th, 2020, 08:39 PM
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Ouzo's Ride OutEven the most gentle tug on the manacles made it clear that a direct escape wasn't an option. Not many people could make two days of living in your own filth look good, but Ouzo was always up for a challenge.

The first few times a hand reached out to exchange trays of food or waste, Ouzo sat upright as much as the chains would allow, offering what little hospitality he could at the sign of another living person. But after seeing the same gloved hand over and over, with no face, no provocation, no slip-ups of any kind, it was clear that his captors were no strangers to a solid routine.

"A good day to good sirs!" He called out, trying the obvious approach first. No luck. He ran through most of the usual maneuvers.

"It is clear you are veterans on the job - one so rarely has the pleasure of working with fellow professionals. Let us talk business then. I've fresh news on a transport of gold ingots, disguised as sculptor's stone of all things, merely to keep low the cost of muscle. What if our carriage was, perhaps, waylaid by bandits, and your cargo were lost on the road, in search of more lucrative ends...?"

"I don't suppose you could spare a smoke? It would seem to be my very last..."

"Since we're going to be such traveling companions, why not exchange tales? War stories? Help pass the drive where our scenery fails. I've a good one about the virgin midwife-turned-bandit and the born-again circus performer..."

"It is surprisingly chilly in these lonely nights. You know, with so few other travelers on the road, we could stop by the next creek, tucked away, and keep warm...?"

So much for talking any information out of them, much less out of this mess. Ouzo didn't try openly provoking them into conversation, for fear of them no longer taking his filled bedpans. Or worse. Without lockpicks, arcana, or a responsive conversation partner, it seemed there was little choice but to enjoy the trip. And so in the dank privacy of his little cell, lost in the drone of clomping horseshoes and rolling carriage wheels and little else, Ouzo reclined on the bench and scowled. He'd been bested in both capture and secrets. "... mierda."

Ouzo Arrives in Yellow LedgeWhen that damnable carriage cell that was his entire world came to a smooth halt, Ouzo could hardly believe it. He quickly wiped the grimace from his face and sat upright.

They hauled him out under an open sky, with daylight and a fresh breeze. He may as well have been a new man... but he'd be the last to let it show. Leaning over to one of the escorts, he commented matter-of-factly, "I wouldn't recommend the Denver service. In fact, I may have to request a refu-" A quick shove kept him moving forward, though for all his nonchalance, his gait was kept strained by the rattling chains at his feet.

left-aligned image
After being escorted directly into a cell, the slender gentleman stretched leisurely, slightly humming, and lounged onto one of the benches like any Sunday afternoon. The man known as Dr. Ouzo was of average height and average build. Unlike so many after the Attunement, he seemed to remain an ordinary human. He had dark skin, darker hair, and kept himself well enough groomed, even despite the unforgiving journey. His trousers and mostly-buttoned shirt were plain and his vest was just busy enough to be forgettable. Over them, he wore a single-breasted duster, hanging open lazily by a few buttons, which resembled the collar of some great, ostentatious cloak. He seemed like he could be young but it was difficult to determine his age just by appearances. He may once have had entirely striking features, but the remains of an old scar covered one eye from brow to cheek, and both eyes had begun to hang heavy from too much drink, too much smoke, too little sleep, and some burden carried from long ago. Though through it all, those eyes still kept a vivacious, knowing sparkle.

He knew he was being sized up by the other unusual suspects, so Ouzo eyed them over in turn.

"There's Jie. He seems to be holding up as well as could be expected. I wonder if he knows that this isn't what it's like every time you're arrested. I wonder if he's only here because of me...?"

"The blond man with him seems... unaccustomed to the hospitality of the law, as well." Ouzo went to take a drag of his cigarette, only to remember they were still confiscated.

"A fairy? I'd never heard of such a being to be real. More and more each day, it seems, the Attunement reveals our world to be a mystery."

"Is that... the hustler from the Hilbrener Job?" The last time he'd seen her, the woman in black was dressed as a brothel-girl, apprehending some goon in a gun fight. Now, making eye contact from across the bars, Ouzo merely inclined his head low towards the lady. A formality that seemed out of place considering their soiled and detained conditions, though he didn't make any attempt to hide his grin and raised eyebrow. "So we are still pursuing trouble and crossing paths, she and I. How very interesting."

"And... a very large man. Terribly conspicuous, compared to the rest of us. Some manner of smith or cook. Perhaps the grime is no bother to this one. Pero es un bastinazo - why would someone go to such lengths to gather an artisan alongside a fairy, a researcher, a con artist, an adventurer, and a well-to-do?"

It was at that moment that their host arrived and revealed his intentions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ore Baron Slatterbaugh View Post
"... and I've gone to not-inconsiderable lengths to bring y'all here because you're accused criminals."
Ouzo gasped loudly, glancing in each of the other's directions with much dismay. But he let the Baron go on all the same. The list of charges were largely unremarkable - a sleight to his portfolio of work, really - but one in particular stood out. "Failure to register as a trans-dimensional being? Trans-dimensional..." During the Ore Baron's exposition, there was one other particular moment in which Ouzo snapped to attention, something catching his very serious interest, but only for a moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ore Baron Slatterbaugh View Post
... In return you'll not only receive generous hazard pay fer a dangerous job, but I'll expunge your troubles with the law." He gives Dr. Ouzo a side-glance. "Your current troubles."
Ouzo drew a hand to his chest and gave an offended scoff. (Though in truth he took it as flattery.) When the old tycoon finally finished and had their feast delivered, Ouzo wasted no time in sampling his platter's various liquors before promptly downing half of them in single gulps. "Yes, quite the display to make it known that we are each now desperate and disposable, while he is a man of means and sole salvation," he said, hastening and slowing and matter-of-factly, in that low, thick, peninsular accent that caused his words to come out from his lips in an unabated saunter. Between charcuterie nibbles, he looked to the hallway beyond their bars. "Say, respectable lawpersons of Yellow If he had any wherewithal that he'd misspoken, he didn't let it show.Ridge, I do not suppose the good Baron permitted us a smoke with this meal? Two days without, and besides, it would be an affront to the palette without such a little death."

Kneeling at the door to his jail cell, the dusky Spaniard turned back to the others. "Oh, of course. My name is Ouzo," he offered with a bow.

Ouzo and the Group
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Originally Posted by Blue-Haired Fairy View Post
”... Send me home if I am not supposed to be here. I will go willingly!” She thrashed at the mesh and gravity took over and the cage started to roll, and she cried out ”No! No!”
Ouzo glanced over at the blue-haired fairy as she raged in her cage, but when she mentioned something about planes of existence, his ears perked up. She had his full attention now. He waited for her most recent outburst to calm before commenting. "Miss, ah, Spritely One," he glanced around to see if his pun was appreciated, "These 'papers with pictures' are less for the job and more to buy off any thought of betrayal, no doubt. The good Baron could not have simply asked us, no ni na. It should go without saying that one who took such troubles, to covertly select and disappear six strangers without trail, will not risk news of his affairs to spread, now that he's so generously shared so much with us. It wasn't really a proposition, I'd wager, and so returning to whence he stole us is not really an option." He bit an already-tiny cheese cube in half - some blend of horseradish, burning and fresh, even for its small size - as he let his take on their circumstances sink in.

"I suppose that was you, the 'failure to register as a trans-dimensional being'? What a preposterous regulation to have allegedly violated! I, for one, am willing to believe in our innocence," he consoled tenderly, quietly inserting himself into an otherwise "royal we."

"But forgive me, miss, for my rudeness in interrupting you..." (he hadn't) "... as you were going on about curses and this-or-that plane of existence?" (She wasn't.)


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Old Aug 18th, 2020, 10:12 AM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
When Rhii began bashing and rocking her cage to the point that it might tip over Sheriff Posey and the two deputies reacted, jumping slightly and paying closer attention to the far end of the room where the cells were located. Despite the deputies raising their shotguns a few inches higher they didn't look inclined to intervene, at least not until the Spaniard engaged them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Ouzo
"Say, respectable lawpersons of Yellow Ridge, I do not suppose the good Baron permitted us a smoke with this meal? Two days without, and besides, it would be an affront to the palette without such a little death."
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Sheriff Posey eyed Dr. Ouzo with a moment's silence, considering his request, before she and the dark-skinned Dwarven woman exchanged a few quiet words. Something changed hands between the two before the Tiefling approached his cage and held out a small, white stick of something. While not a true cigarillo, it no doubt met the requirements he was looking for. If the offer was accepted Posey revealed, in the same hand, a decorative matchbook case made of a brassy metal and engraved with a stylized feather on the front. She flicked open the top, pulled a match, and struck a flame for Dr. Ouzo, keeping an eye on him the whole time and taking a step back once the cigarette took on its own small blaze.

She took another step back, moving to retreat towards the front of building once more, but she stopped suddenly. Turning back around she met the eyes of everyone in each cell before settling on Rhii's gaze. It was clear by her expression she was having a hard time deciding if she should say anything, but eventually she did. "I don't know anything about any of you, except what's in those files..." Her voice comes out clear and crisp with sharp enunciations. There's the West in there for sure but also a strong dose of Central Asia... Middle Eastern? Indian? "Maybe you're guilty of every single crime in those files, maybe not. All I will say is Mr. Slatterbaugh is not the one responsible for your accusations or your imprisonment. If you truly believe you are inculpable, this is perhaps your best chance at liberation. There are good people in this town. Innocent people. We need someone's help, and you're here, now."



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Old Aug 20th, 2020, 03:03 PM
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Eoin ‘Wild Hunter’ Dermott
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The particular details of how Eoin found himself locked in a carriage headed for Denver was lost to him behind the not-too-unfamiliar alcohol induced haze. If his overindulgence had been the reason for his arrest, or if it had been something else, he hadn’t the memory for a clue. This wasn’t the first occurrence, of course. Though, it was the first time he found himself in a strange and mixed company on a lengthy trip. As Eoin sat among the others, it turned out he knew most of the fellow occupants in one form or another. A giant man he had shared drinks with on occasion, a rugged Chinese hunter, a soft looking Spaniard--whom he was sure he’d never met, a fellow Rifle enthusiast, and...a Pixie.

Eoin's irritated thoughts coursed through his mind at the sight of the winged rat. Aren’t you the Devil…Nách mór an diabhal thú...

While the travel was uneventful (in other words it was a boring one) the main complaint Eoin had was the lack of a brisk drink. Everything aside from the clothes on his back and shoes on his feet had been confiscated, and that meant his prized silver-plated flask had been taken. Curses. The overall discomfort of the jolly roll toward Denver wasn’t that horrible aside from that inconvenience. As it turned out, there could be much worse ways to end up anywhere. Throughout the unfolding events of being carted away, unloaded and put into jail, it didn’t outwardly appear that the blond-haired Irish hunter was concerned in the slightest.

From onlookers, it was as if Eoin figured this was how his recent days were supposed to go-- or at least wasn’t surprised by the circumstances. He sprawled across the hard, wooden bench that doubled as a bed as he laced his hands behind his head. Eoin didn’t have much of a comment as Baron Slatterbaugh laid out his terms. It seemed pretty straight forward, in his book. None of them had much leverage to counteroffer, either. Do it, and be done with it, then. Eoin only popped up immediately when drink and food were offered-- slugging down the cheap booze first.

The Irishman shrugged a shoulder at Jie’s question. With the slightest accent, he answered, "Haven’ a clue how much he’d be willin’ to pay. I doubt it’ll matter much, at least for me. Crispy dollars is great and all, but I’ll be wantin’ my freedom back as soon as possible, eh?"

He sat back down and let out a heavy breath, now content with drink and a set mind. The Spaniard started speaking in an eloquent way-- the sort of way Eoin thought a snake oil salesmen would use. He chuckled to himself and said, "You’re as thick as manure but only half as useful if yer thinkin’ that by talkin’ to a pixie you’ll be doin’ yourself a favor there, boy-o." He smiled as he stared down at the half-empty drink. "Or do. It’s your torment."


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Old Aug 20th, 2020, 03:57 PM
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Captivity and Yellow Ledge
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It was not the first time that Nao had been shackled and contained; however, it was the first time since her “change” as she thought of it, that she had been unable to access her shifting powers. She didn’t like it, not one bit. Which was something of a surprise to her because until now she had considered her powers to be a curse, something to hide. She would have even said she hated them. Yet now, being unable to tap into them left her feeling vaguely powerless, in multiple senses of the word. It did not make her inclined to be friendly to her captors and it seemed they were not inclined to be friendly to her which suited her fine. She spent most of the two days to….wherever they were heading, either sleeping or pondering what she would do when free. She could hear others in the wagon which perversely made her feel better. At least she wasn’t alone in captivity this time.

When they finally reached a town, and another jail cell, Nao took stock of herself. Still a Japanese female samurai, although her weapon had been confiscated. Her appearance looks to be somewhere in her 20’s but it’s hard to know for sure. Long black hair in a ponytail tied in an intricate knot, although after two days it could use a brushing. Armor reminiscent of ancient samurai, with a slimmed down and feminine flair. At least they had left that since it was mostly hard leather and she wouldn’t be wearing much of anything without it. Black eyes with a larger pupil than most, which unnerved some people. Stiff from the shackles and small space but nothing a few stretches wouldn’t cure.

She did a double take when she realized the sheriff was actually a being she had come to know as a tiefling. A non-human in a position of power. Either the sheriff was a very powerful being or the people here were less concerned with who you were and more if you could get the job done. She hoped it was the latter but wasn’t going to hold her breath.

She listened to Slatturbaugh’s “request” warily. She was quite unimpressed that he was a Baron. Her own family had titles too and look where that got her. The charges didn’t concern her much. She probably was guilty of impersonating a soiled dove, as she had paid the original girl to take her place, and perhaps some of the public drunkenness since she couldn't remember everything that had happened the night she sat down with that crazy Irishman. But Nao had lost faith in “law and order.” As far as she was concerned, the rules only mattered if you got caught. And until now she was quite good at not getting caught. She’d just have to tough this situation out until she could escape. Although exploring a new mine with potentially unknown yokai did pique her curiosity.

When the cowboy left the room, she took the opportunity to size up her fellow prisoners, since he had said something about them getting “reacquainted.”

”Ah! There’s the crazy Irishman, hmmm Eoin, I think it was, and Jie. Hard to forget those two; I know them indeed. They could be quite useful in yokai hunting.”

Just then, the small cage in the cell with Nao started rocking and revealed it was holding a small, blue haired winged person. ”Kuso!” Nao swore and jumped back against the wall. She watched the faery? nervously but the other being seemed to be in a good amount of distress. When she mentioned wanting to go home, Nao felt a small bit of kinship with her. She knew what it was like to want a home. Still, she was some sort of yokai, and not exactly in the best mood right now so better to keep an eye on her.

She glanced into the next cell and caught the eye of the card shark who had materialized from a wall during the soiled dove job. She returned his acknowledgment with a raised eyebrow and nod of her own ”Well that one is certainly interesting. And a smooth talker too. I bet he could charm his way out of many a situation.”

Nao turned her attention to the final cell and had to look up and up some more. The person inside was a mountain of a man. ”Goodness what a motley crew we are. Well I’m sure we do have talents not seen in the protectorate.”

When Sheriff Posey said there were good people in the town in need of help, Nao scowled. The tiefling couldn’t have picked a better argument if she’d tried. It was the common folk, the ones who were just trying to better their lives that Nao would fight for. ”Guess I’m gonna have to take the job now.”

She sighed, and addressed the others. ”Good to see some of you again. For those that don’t know me, call me Nao. I don’t much care for the baron but I’m inclined to take the job. Sounds like I can learn something and help the town out. What are your thoughts?”


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Old Aug 20th, 2020, 05:26 PM
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Rhii, homesickRhii’s struggling against the bars stopped as the sheriff began to speak. Were one sharp of hearing they might have heard the small pixie’s teeth grinding together. ”Are we here to help the people, or are we here to bargain with a powerful man?” Rhii asked as she weighed the words of the other woman. ”If you wish to negotiate on behalf of these good people, let me out of this cage and I will hear an acceptable offer and attempt in good faith to find terms that are acceptable.” Rhii said, the narrowing of her eyes hidden behind the mesh of her cagelike prison.

”Because I see a large difference between helping one who is able to purchase chattel because it serves his purposes, and one who serves the good of the people.” Rhii said, putting her body into popping a few more parts of the mesh enclosure as she looked at the sheriff. ”Because I will not negotiate if you keep me caged like an animal, and you will have to do without my skills for whatever it is you wish to accomplish.”

Rhii leaned back against what used to be the bottom of her cage-like enclosure. At this rate, I am never going to get home. She thought to herself as she looked at the damaged prison and let out a small breath that would only be audible to those much closer to her than anyone present. She was beyond frustrated, and it seemed like every event was trying to pull her farther and farther from that which meant everything to her. She muttered a few words in a language that none of the others should have been able to speak.
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Old Aug 21st, 2020, 12:38 AM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheriff Posey
We need someone’s help, and you're here, now.
Jie was quite taken by the horned sheriff. Her earnest plea struck a chord with him and he found himself staring at her a little too long. His curiosity about her origin; how she’d been transformed; whether she’d been a sheriff before she changed, these thoughts dominated his mind. Of course he’d help! But rival impulses fought for supremacy. He needed to get paid to survive and to save and send money home. He needed to learn more about his condition and the visions. He needed to learn more about others with similar afflictions, like Posey. And he needed to understand the why of the demons. Surely the demonic traits he and Posey possessed had some pertinence! He'd find out.

In frustration he broke his gaze from the woman and bad-temperedly reached for the liquor. He realised his hand was shaking as it approached the tin cup. ’No. You must remain sober.’ he admonished himself as he’d been drinking far too much lately and was suffering some memory loss. He managed a gruff and croaky, "May I have some water?" to Posey, breaking eye contact the moment she looked at him.

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Li Jie
Jie was glad when Eoin spoke, as it broke his perceived indignity. Regarding payment Jie said, "A hunt is no good for us without a bounty," and tried a smile, which came out as a green-toothed grimace. He then tried in vain to order his priorities, now having to add ‘freedom’ to them. He supposed that was a part of the task they’d been offered. Another more immediate desire rose from a deep inner well. Jie stank. He’d been living in his own sweat and grime, the dust of the road later plastered over the top. He deeply longed to swim in a stream and wash his clothes. After that he’d surely be thinking more clearly and ready to track the, ’host o' flyin' demons’.

"It is good to see you again too, Nao." Jie replied to the lithe woman. He might have considered the rivalry and enmity between Nippon and Zhong Guo and whether that might play out in their relationship. However, the world was too changed for it to matter much anymore. He shrugged. Along the north coast of Australia he’d crossed paths with Japanese who often worked boats. They had a reputation for hard work and fearlessness, sometimes working as divers for pearl shell which was said to be a lucrative but extremely dangerous pursuit. Similarly, he knew from past interactions that Nao was dedicated and fearless. He’d enjoy hunting the yokai with her, as she called them.

Then Jie leaned in to get a closer look at the small fairy struggling with its cage. Creatures such as these featured in his father’s fire-side tales. "Mogwai." The fairy wanted to go home. "What is your name… and where is ‘home’?" Jie had always felt a duty to protect and defend others, which is why his shame at his father’s death still burned so cold. Given an opportunity Jie would protect the fairy, and all the others for that matter, although some seemed to need his protection less. Just one spark of friendship would be all that the wayward wanderer needed to put his soul and body on the line. Once found, that spark would ignite the tinder inside the man’s core that he might find the fire to begin over.

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Old Aug 21st, 2020, 07:21 PM
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Ouzo, Posey, and Jie
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The good Dr. Ouzo stood to accept the hand-rolled smoke, and with it secured between his lips, leaned in ever-so-gently to breathe in the flame. With the match light catching his face at an intimate angle, he peered upwards to keep the sheriff's gaze, inhaling slow.

He shifted his weight away from the bars, shut his eyes, and let out the smoke out from the side of his mouth. Then he gave a purr that one might expect after the first bite of some savory steak, or the nibble of a little pastry. When he opened his eyes again, he gestured to the matchbook with his chin. "A brass feather? For the dove that makes peace? Or the raven, a harbinger of something darker? Hmm..." He murmured absently, perhaps to no one.

By now, he'd returned the cigarette to that familiar space between his pointer and middle fingers, feeling much like a rider returning to a saddle, as he imagined. "Forgive me, it was Yellow Ledge, was it not? A fine town, at least from the window seat, anyways." In truth, he purposely misstated the town's name earlier in an attempt to draw the sheriff into conversation, though as it turned out, she and her guards weren't so standoffish as to ignore them outright. "Yellow Ledge..." he repeated, returning his gaze to Sheriff Posey's. "As if on the end of the very world. It must be as the golden cactus flowers surrounding, then. Harsh. And beautiful."

Ouzo gestured with the cigarette and gave a gentlemanly bow of his head, in thanks and as if a formal conclusion to their social engagement before having to go on to his next appointment of the day, though when he turned away, it was only to an empty jail cell.

When Sheriff Posey turned back to speak to the needs of the town, Ouzo listened from over his shoulder and said nothing. Since he was facing to the side already, it was easy enough to spot Jie unknowingly making a face at the sheriff. Ouzo looked back to Sheriff Posey, then back to Jie. "Oh, Jie..." Ouzo grinned at the starstruck field scholar. He shook his head ever-so-faintly. He took another drag.

Ouzo, the Well Dressed Well-to-Do, and the Spritely One
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eoin View Post
"You’re as thick as manure but only half as useful if yer thinkin’ that by talkin’ to a pixie you’ll be doin’ yourself a favor there, boy-o." He smiled as he stared down at the half-empty drink. "Or do. It’s your torment."
Ouzo shrugged and returned the smile. "Perhaps," was all he said in his heavy accent.

But it seemed the little blue fairy could only fixate on her imprisonment, ignoring Ouzo's invitation to talk more about planes of existence. Ouzo raised a snifter of something cheap in his cigarette hand, gesturing it towards the well dressed well-to-do from across their cells. "So you are no stranger to fairies. Hmm... Thick as, then," he echoed the stranger's phrasing in a little toast, inclined his head, then drained the booze.

When Jie attempted a similar conversation with the Spritely One, Ouzo listened intently.

Ouzo and the GroupHe was trying to piece it together. "Is everyone here an immigrant to the New World? And, at least for most of us, connected in some bond or another? Each with some specialized means...? How very curious..." He wondered as to how they were synchronously tracked and detained. The "Slatterbaugh... Slatterbaugh... Haven't I heard that name somewhere, even before learning he was an Ore Baron? Perhaps an official somewhere, or a headmaster...?"Baron's network of informers must have been far-reaching. Organized. Perhaps they were tracked through their encounters with the law. Especially if the baron was able to... persuade... the goodly Sheriff of Yellow Ledge to keep a handful of out-of-town criminals in her little tucked-away town, when she clearly didn't consider Slatterbaugh to be a friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reistar View Post
"What are your thoughts?”
Ouzo was reclining on his cell's bench, his legs crossed, nursing the last of his drink. "The baron has work. The baron has money. And more importantly, the baron knows people. Important people. I may not seek his guidance the next time I need to make confession, buuut, a little (Read: a getaway from local law enforcers and bounty hunters.)vacation from the usual routine is good for the spirit. What's to dislike?" He took another slow drag, then picked a particulate of something from his between his lips. "It is the mark of an amateur inmate to fight against the bars when the door is laid open. Besides, these smokes are cheap, I'm almost out of drink, and I want a bath. I, for one, am ready to summon back our host."


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Old Aug 21st, 2020, 10:02 PM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Posey listened to the Spaniard with a stock-still posture and raised eyebrows that seemed to raise higher with each completed sentence. When he culminated with correcting the town's name and the narrative flourish of poetry she let out a single restrained exhale in a breathy, incredulous laugh that suggested more derision than any genuine amusement. "Phfff! I'm sure you must have heard this before, but you talk too much." Though the words came out dry and her mouth remained straight, she couldn't keep the twinkle from her eyes that said that she found his palaver proficient, if also annoying at the same time.

Pocketing the matchbook without addressing the feather comment, she turned her attention towards Li Jie and nodded at his request, though he may not have seen after averting his gaze so quickly. Nonetheless she moved along the cells speaking without looking at anyone, though the words were clearly in response to Ouzo. "Yes, Yellow Ledge." She repeated his emphasis with a noticeable bite. "I wouldn't expect any of you to have heard the name before. The mine used to produce silver for Samuel Lott when he founded the settlement almost fifteen years ago. But, that dried up after a decade and people started abandoning the settlement. When I was posted here three years ago there were only twelve poor souls left, too stubborn or proud to leave what they had built." As she reached the side wall her eyes darkened and she stared into nothingness for a half-second before she bent down and retrieved a metallic ladle with a deep cup from a wooden bucket. With the liquid inside overflowing and droplets pattering along the floor she returned and offered it to Jie with a hint of authentic concern in her eyes. "I am sorry, I should have offered you water before the... meal." The water was cool and clean-tasting, and it did wonders to soothe his throat. "It was soon after my posting that Slatterbaugh's surveyors came through and asked to investigate the mine. They must have found something because before the month was up he had purchased the rights from Lott and started to move men and equipment in by the wagonload. And with interest and investment came followers. There are sixty-three of us now. True citizens of Yellow Ledge, not counting the miners and lackeys Slatterbaugh employs. This town won't disappear from the maps, not on my watch. Demons or no demons." The edge in her voice suggested the decree was said more for herself than the group.

Once the demon hunter had his fill Posey took the ladle back, returning it to it's home in the bucket. When she spoke again, this time it was directed at Rhii. "The two situations you speak of are not mutually exclusive, Miss Fae. I would argue they are two side of the same coin. Slatterbaugh is a powerful man and yes, he can purchase... chattel to fulfill his wishes. However, in this case, bargaining with him will also serve the good of those that live here. I don't know if you truly come from the Fairy realms of myth, but here in the West there is no black and white. Everything is compromise. Do you think I wanted dangerous individuals accused of a litany of crimes brought here into my town? Absolutely not! But if it means a chance at ending whatever threat is in that mine, I was willing to give Slatterbaugh some leeway." Slatterbaugh's status and the tense, if brief, stare-down they shared earlier suggests 'giving leeway' might be a generous term.

The Tiefling ended her pacing in front of the cell containing Rhii and Nao and she squatted down in front of the blue-haired pixie, bringing their faces close together with little more than the cell bars and the mesh cage separating them. She spoke softly, making it hard for the others to hear, except perhaps Nao.
Posey reached down to her belt holster and popped one of the bullets out of its strapping. She held it in between their faces for a moment before returning it.

Popping back to a standing position the Sheriff backed up to a desk and leaned against it casually, crossing her arms. "In any case, I'm not the one you need to make the deal with. Slatterbaugh has taken responsibility for the lot of you while you're in Yellow Ledge. He says if you go free or go back to Denver in another mobile prison cell. If you've all made up your mind I can retrieve him?"



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Additional lore unlocked: Yellow Ledge!

 

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Old Aug 22nd, 2020, 07:58 AM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate - Gerhard Eisenhand: Hellstone cometh to he who helps?
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ᛞᚢᛚᛚaches and pains were familiar friends for Gerhard, from the callouses on his hands to the tattoos around his gigantic body, to the pulse-like throbbing in his head. Memories rolled from one side of his head to the other with interspersions of raucous laughter and tankards clanging, enthusiastic if vacuous conversation with 'The Wild Hunter' and hazier recollections of behaviour the nature of which was only suggested at. The wagon had been a tighter squeeze than ideal, however the forced state of relaxation brought about by the guard's immediate application of metal baton helped. His headache had cleared by the time he awoke again and the lesson was learned: don't stretch your leg.

The second day felt easier. Cramps and hunger had exhausted themselves and the smell was no better or worse than a day on the wharves. He could recognise some of the figures trapped in the wagon with him, the Fox and the furtive 'doctor' and the Chinaman from a strange place. The other two he had not seen previously but mostly matched the mis-matched menagerie of misfits and misfortunates meaninglessly meandering and mouldering on meagre, measly meals. The heat was the most difficult for Gerhard, the oppressive beating of the sun was interminable and drained his energy more than the travel rations and cramped conditions did.

There was a glorious moment of relief when they arrived at their destination and the giant could stand on his own two feet and bask in the afternoon sky for a short time. Crusted and dry with the residue of his own sweat Gerhard was so far greatly unimpressed with the Continent of Promise. That ambivalence would change several times before the sun set on the second day.
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 01:21 AM
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Rhii, apatheticRhii listened to the sheriff speak, and followed it up with a disinterested shrug. ”Then we have nothing more to discuss.” Rhii said as she rested her back against what used to be the bottom of her cage. ”I find I understand my spouse much better having spoken to you… And I am not sure if I should thank you or apologize. I am what I am… The inability to believe or understand does not change that.” Rhii shrugged again, though none would be able to clearly see the movements of her thin shoulders as she looked up at the ceiling through the mesh lining of her cage. ”Eventually I will breathe free air, and for that I will be grateful.”

The tiny fae let out a small sigh as she muttered a few words in her native tongue. ”Two more days of travel back to Denver.” The tiny healer said with a small sigh. ”I hate this stupid plane more with each passing day I am trapped here.”
Rhii's StatblockName: Rhii | Level: 1 | Health: 16/16 | Fatigue Accumulation: 0 | SP: 0 | Conviction: 3
Force: 14 | Speed: 12 | Defense: 12 | Toughness: 1 | Weapons: Damage: 1d6+3, Ballistic/Wound
RoF: SS
Range: 200 yards
Capacity: -
Reload: Minor
Resources TN: 13
Requires: STR 2
Longbow | Armor: 1I/2B, due to mythical nature does not protect against cold ironFae-weave Dress
ACC: 2 | COM: 1 | CON: 1 | DEX: 2 | FIG: 0 | INT: 3 | PER: 1 | STR: 2 | WIL: 4
Background: Random Benefit: Intelligence Focus (Research)
Focus: Intelligence (Occultism)
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement (Water Arcana)
Ability: +1 INT
Academic | Social Class: Upper | Profession: Focus: Intelligence (Medicine)
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement (Healing Arcana)
Expert | Drive: Talent: Emergency Care
Improvement: Reputation: Hippocratic Fae
Quality: Compassion
Downfall: Self-Sacrifice
Caregiver
Foci: Research, Medicine, Occultism | Resources: 8 | Medic's kit, medical/apothecary scrolls, paper and writing utensils, herbs for treatment, spare arrowsEquipment
Talents: Your magic can knit wounds and even restore life to the dying.

Novice: You gain two Novice-degree Healing Arcana spells.
Healing Arcana | You mystically wield water as a tool and a weapon.

Novice: You gain two Novice-degree Water Arcana spells.
Water Arcana | You can treat wounds and illnesses in the field.

Novice: You have trained as an emergency medical technician, and your aid is swift and sure. First Aid is a minor action for you.
Emergency Care | Powers: Healing Touch

Requirement: Healing Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 1-3PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 10
Test: None

Your touch channels energy to heals and and restores the subject. You can choose to spend up to 3 PP when you cast Healing Touch. For each PP spent, the target regains 1d6 Health. You can cast Healing Touch on yourself.
Healing Touch | Revival

Requirement: Healing Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 5PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 14
Test: None

Your touch helps restore life to the fallen. A dying character you touch after successfully casting Revival immediately regains 10 + their Constitution + your Willpower in Health. Since dying characters cannot take actions, you cannot cast this spell on yourself.
Revival | Fairy Lights

Requirement: Water Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 2PP per hour
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 8
Test: None

You illuminate the area around you with a steady light, similar to a torch or lantern. The spell illuminates a 10 yard radius centered on you. Fairy Lights lasts for 1 hour, but can be extended for 2 PP per additional hour.
Fairy Lights | | Water Geyser

Requirement: Water Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 4PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 12
Test: Dexterity (acrobatics) VS Force

A burst of water erupts from your outstretched hands. The Water Geyser is 8 yards long and 2 yards wide. Anyone hit by the blast takes 2d6+1 damage. Targets who make a successful Dex (acrobatics) test vs. your Force take only 1d6+1 damage.
Water Geyser |
Reputation: Hippocratic Fae (1) | Memberships: none | Ties: TBDOuzo, There are many senses that those whose blood runs towards the primal that mortals… And among those was the sense when others of fae blood that were in near proximity to Rhii. While she has never met Eoin, or even know the name of the man… She is aware of his existence. Every time it felt like that she was close to locating him, he would disappear as if into thin air. To say that it was quite frustrating was beyond words… For here was someone who shared a kinship that was actively avoiding her.

Complicating things is that the two share a similar bloodline… Albeit one that is fairly far removed from one another. While Rhii’s kin lived in the realm of the fae, a distant scion of her family set off into the mortal realm to make their living before travel between the realms became almost impossible. For mortal readers, they are typically viewed to be second cousins, once removed.
Eoin ‘The Wild Hunter’ Dermott | Relationships: (0/1)
Goals: [b]Meet another full blooded faeShort-term Goal 1 | Find an expert in portal magicShort-term Goal 2 | Find a way homeLong-term Goal 1
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 09:05 AM
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Oghain Oghain is offline
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate - Gerhard Eisenhand: Hellstone cometh to he who helps?
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ᛗᚨᚢᚦᚹᚨᛏᛖᚱᛁᚾᚷ food did nothing to distract Gerhard's attention. His will was made of far stronger discipline than to be swayed by a simple meal, even one meant to tempt it's beholder as these clearly were. Although the 'baron's' words spoke of crimes, and Gerhard could certainly remember a few indiscretions more clearly than when their journey started, there was much to the man's words that struck him as posturing of some kind.

"You're in the town of Yellow Ledge, in case you didn't know that, and I've gone to not-inconsiderable lengths to bring y'all here because you're accused criminals." 'Ja, Hier. Ein town two days travel from the place you 'found' us? What secrets are you keeping Herr 'Baron', what makes you need the likes of them, and I, to do this task I wonder...' Gerhard thought to himself as he peered through the bars of his cell. Such drastic action spoke to either the ease with which they could be disposed, or 'forgotten', or something more particular to the problem at hand. 'Ich bin sicher, you have a game you play Herr. Perhaps we can play together...Vielleicht wir können zusammen spielen...'

Ragnar was inherently suspicious of the zufall of the situation. The Gerhard cover and himself both had enough reason to accept the offer as it stood. Doing so maintained his position and got him closer to one of his primary objectives on the Continent. But whether because of an innate suspicion of things coming too easily, without effort, or a wariness that the mission may have been compromised, caution remained at the forefront of his mind.

"Haven’ a clue how much he’d be willin’ to pay. I doubt it’ll matter much, at least for me. Crispy dollars is great and all, but I’ll be wantin’ my freedom back as soon as possible, eh?" The voice was immediately recognisable to Gerhard. Looking through the bars to his left, he could only see the disreputable 'doktor' and some cells further down the room. Leaning forward he called out loudly, heedless of the volume of his voice in the confined area. "Is that you Fox?Ben jij dat Vos? I know your voice anywhere. Think you owe me, het is worst hangover yet!" The 'Oosterpachter's' voice rumbled deep and loudly even before his thundering chuckle. The Irishman he called Vos or Fox, had been a recent drinking companion and thanks to his size Gerhard had been able to keep up with him more than others had. "Echter, you still winning I think..."

Over the course of a relatively short time the pair had started keeping score of who 'won', or had the least worst hangover the following morning. Gerhard had yet to draw ahead of the Irishman, but he hadn't yet stopped trying. The man might have been almost as secretive as the 'doktor', in so far as his unwillingness to speak of himself, but Ragnar could recognise that a bounty hunter could prove to be a useful cats-paw in tackling a demon. With a put upon groaning Gerhard let his size and weight pull him back against the wall of his cell, facing down the room. "The good Baron could not have simply asked us, no ni na. It should go without saying that one who took such troubles, to covertly select and disappear six strangers without trail, will not risk news of his affairs to spread, now that he's so generously shared so much with us." The 'doktor' was his immediate neighbour and seemed to likewise suspect the 'baron' was keeping secrets beyond the simple disruption of his mines.

Beyond him, Gerhard could just spy the ladies of the next cell, one which he recognised by sight and the other by reputation. 'Vlindermeisje, know you not how to be silent?' He had not seen much of the winged one before their wagon ride, but her voice carried and grated on him. Given their current situation her complaints seemed petty and grated more than they might have otherwise. Noisome though she was, what caught his attention like the smell of freshly baked lebkuchen however, was Jie's voice and the dusky sheriff that Gerhard could just slightly glimpse from his cell. "May I have some water?" A wry smile crossed Gerhard's face and shuffled to the front of his cell. The angle wasn't much but he was himself a red-blooded sort and could guess the source of Jie's strained voice.

"
Dice COM (Leadership):
3d6+4sch9 (4, 4, 1)+4 Total = 13
Ah, my friend! De horny demonette, she seem pretty. Maybe she like that big curved sword you have eh?"
Gerhard laughed lowly. "Mooie vrouw, pretty lady. Way to his heart not water, it be his hellstones. Ja, you get a good hold of those and he wrapped around your finger." Inwardly Ragnar made a note to apologise to Jie, he was useful to Gerhard but the leverage the Chinaman's apparent infatuation with the Sherif afforded them in the situation could be more immediately useful. "Tell this pretty lady. If that hunter don't catch you, I will." The words were lewd but jovial, less about provoking the Sheriff and more for Jie's benefit. 'Old man wants Hellstones. She could take us right to them. If he takes his chance now.'
OOCAction: COM (Leadership) - Provoking Jie to flirt harder with the Sheriff.

Last edited by Oghain; Aug 26th, 2020 at 10:11 AM.
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 10:27 AM
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Niyaga Niyaga is offline
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Li Jie
Jie watched Ouzo closely as he took the smoke and metal matchbook from Posey. The traveler was observant down to the finest details and noticed the brass and engraved feather. During that interaction he noticed many other details about Posey; the dark robe, her brown hair, the piercings and gold chains; her tanned skin, from the dusty wildlands outside, or an asiatic bloodline; the sound of her clear voice. He was sure she wasn’t from Yellow Ledge. He was captivated and curious. And staring.

He began more seriously considering her origin. She appeared confident, assured, virtuous. She wore the pistol like a sheriff should. But the dark robes reminded him of a mystic. Someone with knowledge of the arcane arts, such as himself. Perhaps the ability to wield them, such as himself. He yearned to know but could not ask. Too forward, impolite to discuss in front of everyone. In a jail. He’d need to ask around to learn more. In time.

’As if on the end of the very world. It must be as the golden cactus flowers surrounding, then. Harsh. And beautiful. Jie felt jealous of Ouzo’s easy charisma. Women and men looked at him, listened to him. He was handsome and normal looking. The tiefling sheriff reacted immediately with a dismissive laugh which brought a gormless smile to Jie’s lips. The smile remained and he kept staring but, deep inside he realised that whatever her reaction, it was towards Ouzo and not him. He glanced an almost imperceptible venom at the Doctor before returning his gaze to the Sheriff.

Then she came with the water dipper and Jie drank deeply, washing dust, dirt and dehydration from his gullet. "Thank you." He said and held her gaze for a moment as he returned the ladle to her. Her concern flattered Jie and touched a well deep within him. Family, duty, fidelity, love. His focus narrowed and others in the room blurred out of focus. He listened closely as she gave some background and made another statement which struck him, ’This town won't disappear from the maps, not on my watch. Demons or no demons.’ He decided they were, ’What did the Americans say? Cut from the same cloth.’

’Ah, my friend! De horny demonette, she seem pretty. Maybe she like that big curved sword you have eh?’ Gerhard laughed. ’Mooie vrouw, pretty lady. Way to his heart not water, it be his hellstones. Ja, you get a good hold of those and he wrapped around your finger.’ Jie was disgusted by the big man’s crass remarks but ignored them and soldiered on with what he truly felt needed to be said (and he was a man of few words).

"I will fight the demons that plague Yellow Ledge and protect the folk." He beat his chest and a puff of dust came off his lambswool jacket. "I see you, a strong, beautiful woman with uhm… these." He removed his hat to show the short horns among his wild black hair. "We are… similar and have a common goal. I… uhm… hope we may learn more of these demons, together." There. He’d said it. He’d heard himself say the words as if issuing from outside himself. He agreed with the sentiment. Oh yes. But he’d made a mess of it? Ouzo would have said it better. His cheeks burned and he broke her gaze with lowered head. ’Ach. What am I doing here.’

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