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  #16  
Old Aug 26th, 2020, 08:58 PM
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Captivity and Yellow Ledge
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It seemed the rest of the group was in agreement that they should help the townsfolk and take Slatterbaugh’s offer, even if Rhii seemed more to be spitefully resigned. Nao couldn’t say she blamed her, really. This sort of yokai, Fae, it seemed they were calling her, was outside of Nao’s tradition but she knew better than to judge someone based on size or appearance. When Posey bent down to deliver some very, very thinly veiled threats, Nao could feel her hair stand on end. If there was ever a showdown between the tiefling and the Pixie, Nao was unsure of who would win but she was sure she wanted no part of it. It was a shame, really. The way Posey talked about Yellow Ridge made it clear that this was her home and she would fight for it. Nao envied that. She also envied the Pixie’s self assurance. Nao wanted to be able to know herself well enough to say “I am what I am.”

Nao almost jumped out of her skin when the giant Gerhard’s voice boomed out and she had to school her expression to hide her shock and amusement at his words. Could the man fit any more innuendos into that speech? Did he think women actually liked such things? She glanced at Jie. Ah, or perhaps it was some sort of manly, brotherly encouragement. She would have to remember that in case it came in handy when she was shifted as a man. Poor Jie, he looked extremely uncomfortable but he soldiered on anyway. Nao had to hide another shock when Jie revealed he had horns. Oh, she had questions for the tacturn Chinaman now. How was his experience similar or not from what she herself had gone through? Was it at the same time as the world changed? How was he coping with such a change? She was staring hard enough at him that she caught his eye, so she saluted him by thumping her fist over her heart and grinning, hoping he got the message that she was encouraging him as well. She glanced back and forth between him and Posey, wondering how the sheriff would react. This situation just keeps getting more and more interesting.


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Last edited by Reistar; Sep 11th, 2020 at 10:00 PM.
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Old Aug 28th, 2020, 10:43 AM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
"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. Tell this pretty lady. If that hunter don't catch you, I will."
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The litany of vulgarities spewed forth by the German prisoner brought a scathing glare from the Sheriff, her head whipped down towards his cell and held the giant's gaze for several seconds. She didn't seem to rise to the remarks, merely expressing her disgust in silence. Likely she was used to this kind of speech from the miners that inevitably ended up in these cells after a night of drowning their meager existence in libations.

"I will fight the demons that plague Yellow Ledge and protect the folk."

It wasn't until the strange man with mixed heritage at the other end of the cells spoke that Posey broke her stare. She took a few steps towards Li Jie until she was once again standing in front of the cell containing the two women, facing him at a diagonal. Her slow nod in response to his pledge was somber and grateful, if platonic, though on the upswing A curious recognition of the macho display?one of her eyebrows raised along with her head in response to his chest thump.

"I see you, a strong, beautiful woman with uhm… these."

Her other eyebrow joined the first with the sudden and successive revelations of Li Jie's physical attraction to her as well as their physical similarities, followed closely by her jaw dropping slightly. The words that spilled out of her open mouth were quiet, as if speaking to herself, though she kept her gaze on him. "I remember reading that one of you was like me... a If any of your PC's speak urdu this would translate as "demon blood".shi'tan ka'hun. You're..." she searched her mind to put a name to the face that had, until now, been just one more in a line-up of criminals she was forced to allow into her town. "Li Jie, right?"

She might have been preparing to say more, but Jie's breaking of their eye contact snapped her out of whatever reverie she was in. Realizing she had displayed a vulnerable state of mind, even if just for a moment, Posey coughed and flattened out her robes in an attempt to re-assert her impartial attitude. "Yes, perhaps we will Mr. Li." Then, looking back over the rest of the cells, "Now, if you'll excuse me, it sounds like you lot are ready to discuss terms with Mr. Slatterbaugh. I'll retrieve him."

Quickly walking towards the front of the room, passing the two deputies that still keep watch over your group, she opens the door and motions a quick "come here" gesture. Your prospective employer must have been waiting just outside, since he steps in after a few seconds and nods to the Sheriff before approaching the cells once more, Posey following behind him.

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"Well, that didn't take too long. I hope y'all had a productive conversation? Before I hear yer answer, let's make ourselves a bit more comfortable, eh? As a sign of good faith on my part, I think we can talk terms on more equal footing." The unspoken promise of "run and there will be consequences" hangs heavy in the air, but he doesn't put voice to it. Slatterbaugh steps up to the right-most cell containing the large Gerhard and as he does so he reaches inside his vest and withdraws a slender metallic rod, about eight inches long, that appears to be attached to the inside of his vest with a small chain. "If you would, Mr. Eisenhand?" He appears to be asking the Jötunn to present his cuffed wrists and as he does so the Baron lightly taps the rod onto the manacles, which immediately open and fall to the floor, along with the ones on his ankles. Instantly Gerhard can feel his connection to the arcane snap back into place like two strong magnets that were forced apart and then released. As he moves to the next cell and repeats the process for Dr. Ouzo, Sheriff Posey unlocks Gerhard's cell and opens the door for him.

And so on down the line it goes; Slatterbaugh releasing the magic-inhibiting bonds and Posey opening the cell doors until everyone has a sense of freedom (both physical and arcane) that they haven't felt in days. As the Sheriff opens Jie's door she gives him a slight nod that might not have been offered to the others before stepping back towards the entrance where her deputies appear re-dedicated to keeping an eye on the proceedings. Posey herself swishes one side of her robes open, revealing her revolver. She rests her hand on the holster, but doesn't appear provocative or anticipating a commotion, she just watches with the other two from a distance.

Slatterbaugh steps back and moves the chair he was sitting in back over to a desk and sits behind it; a business man making a job offer. "You've heard my terms. You've had a chance to talk it over. If yer keen on takin' the job I can answer any questions ya might have?"

OOC
  • Li Jie's In reaction to your test, the GM reveals the current attitude or intention, or a mood indicator for one present character of your choice. You can choose this stunt multiple times per roll. Characters with the Communication (Deception) or Willpower (Self-Discipline) focus may roll vs. your Perception (Empathy) to avoid this.Read the Room Stunt reveals Posey's Attitude as -1 to all Social testsStandoffish (7)!
  • Li Jie's successful COM (Seduction) test shifts Sheriff's Posey's Attitude by +2 points to No modifier to Social testsNeutral (9)!
  • Li Jie's Your test implies a promise or olive branch, temporarily shifting the target’s attitude toward you up by one per SP spent (even if this test already shifted it). It shifts back by the same amount as soon as you fail a social test against them (or as soon as they leave the scene). Inapplicable when performing a grand gesture.Make an Offer Stunt (3SP) temporarily shifts Sheriff Posey's Attitude by +3 points to +1 to all Social testsOpen (12) for Li Jie!
 

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Last edited by MoldyNolds; Aug 28th, 2020 at 10:44 AM.
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  #18  
Old Aug 28th, 2020, 10:46 PM
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Rhii, mostly cleanRhii had given up paying attention when Slatterbaugh reentered the prison room… She just did not care and for a few moments did not notice that her prison was open for a few moments. Drip. She heard, and stretched her senses out to feel the movement of water. Drip. Rhii heard again, and looked around, feeling the calm, cooling presence of her natural element. Yes… She thought to herself as she made her way out of her prison cage and held out a hand. Like taking a deep breath, she called on her magic and drew moisture from the air to pool into her hand. Rolling the water around in her palm, she quickly formed it into three small balls and began to juggle them just to make sure that her magic was back under her control.

 


The drops of water plummeted quickly towards the ground before she managed to catch them and brought them back to her hand. Summoning a little more water to her hand, she quickly formed it into a ball of water about an inch and a half in diameter and quickly rotated the fluid before sticking her left hand into it. With a small motion, she slid the ball up the arm as she quickly scraped a few days worth of traveling off her skin. As she reached her shoulder, Rhii removed her arm from the ball of water and gently stretched her wings out.

She gently tossed the ball of water from her right hand to her left and repeated the process of cleaning herself off. She quickly shook out the ball to dislodge any excess dirt, sweat, and dead skin from it before she quickly dunked her head into the ball to clean her face and hair. Rhii extracted her head from the ball and let out a deep breath with a small sigh. Running her fingers through her wet hair, she quickly extracted the majority of the moisture from it to dry it out. Extending one leg then the other, she quickly finished cleaning off everything save her torso, and was feeling marginally better.

Extending her wings and giving them a few quick flaps she launched herself up into the air. Taking to the air was a familiar and comforting feeling in this world of giants… Around home everything was much smaller and closer together, but here everything seemed spread out to the point where only clumsy children would have difficulty maneuvering around.. Finding a crossbar to sit herself down on, she dangled her feet over the edge as she started to take in the sight of the others and their jailors for the first time.

”I did say I would listen if you let me out of my cage, and would attempt in good faith to find terms that were acceptable.” Rhii said as she attempted (unsuccessfully) to sit comfortably on the flat steel crossbeam. It was not that it was offensive like a particular object on a particular individual, more that it had no support. ”So if you wished to make an offer, you can make one. But you should know I have no desire for your coins.”

She took a few moments to look around at the others in the prison for the first time. The woman who was in the same cell as herself (plus or minus as her cell could not contain her), and had not said much... That she remembered anyways. The horned ones carried a little bit of attention as they seemed to be flirting… Not particularly interesting, enough she kept the location of the female one in her mind clearly knowing the threat. Among the human prisoners… Neither the poorly flirting one or scarred one caught her attention… But the third…

”What smells like the ocean?” She asked curiously as her senses attempted to make sense of what she was sensing.
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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Last edited by KellyCat; Aug 29th, 2020 at 09:44 PM.
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  #19  
Old Aug 29th, 2020, 07:00 PM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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"So if you wished to make an offer, you can make one. But you should know I have no desire for your coins."

The Baron's mustache flexed in what could have been a small smile. Or a pursing of the lips. It was hard to tell under all that bristly hair, but his tone suggested interest in Rhii's open-ended consent to their bargain. "I'm not opposed to trading favors or information instead of coin. I'll admit know a bit about you Ms. Rhii, as I do each of ya, but I'd prefer not to make guesses. Why don't you tell me what you want and I'll let you know if I can provide it for ya?"

"What smells like the ocean?"

Slatterbaugh didn't respond to the pixie's question, though he did stick his nose out and give a few sniffs in curiosity.

OOC
 

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Old Aug 29th, 2020, 10:00 PM
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Rhii, negociatingRhii quickly filed the lack of response from the giant with the oversized hat into the back of her mind. I do not think he can smell it... she thought as she kept her expression blank. Therefor I am not actually smelling things that mortals can... fae? Something else? Rhii's mind raced for a few moments before she focused on what was going on in front of her.

"As I explained to the horned one." Rhii said simply, trying to avoid making what could be an accidental double entendre, "I want to go home." Tossing a small ball of water into the air, she let it drop down into the palm of her hand. "So tell me mortal, what do you offer that might be worthwhile in achieving my objective?" Rhii asked, cutting straight to the point of her position as she tried to keep her frustration at having been locked in a cage for the last two days from her voice... And partially failing.

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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Consider nominating someone yourself when they do an amazing job! Nominate here!

Last edited by KellyCat; Aug 29th, 2020 at 10:00 PM.
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Old Aug 30th, 2020, 08:21 AM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
right-aligned image
Li Jie
'Posey, a floral arrangement.' Jie sought the meaning behind the name and smiled with what came to mind. Although his pleasant reverie was doomed to be interrupted as he knew, 'Good things never last,' his memory roamed over the sunlight prairie of that first exchange.

He was glad to see her offense at Gerhard’s words but also deep inside appreciated his encouragement. Maybe he’d never had the courage to speak up without him. He offered up a silent thanks to the big blacksmith. Her offense spoke of virtue, rare in this world where so much had seemed to have been destroyed, tradition replaced with opportunism.

He felt that she’d accepted and encouraged his alliance with her cause, and had also acknowledged his admiration, even though he’d handled it so clumsily. And that they were similar '…one of you was like me…' His heart fluttered with the revelation. He felt so much less alone!

'…a shi'tan ka'hun.' What was the language she spoke? "Yes I am Li Jie," he'd responded. Her arched eyebrows and surprise at the horns had softened her features. Her manners, the way she said 'excuse me'; important for a man like Jie that he associate with well mannered people. Strong, similar, alluring while underneath he thought he sensed passion and compassion.

Now was not the time to pursue something more with the Tiefling Sheriff, but he hoped he’d be seeing a lot more of her. His gaze never left her vicinity while they were released and Jie regained his powers.

He took his eyes away to witness the exchange between the Mogwai and the Ore-Baron. The little creature juggled balls of liquid water. Fascinating! And carried on an unorthodox negotiation with Slatterbaugh. For good or bad, he'd played his cards already. Impassioned by Posey's plea to aid the 'good, innocent people' of Yellow Ledge he'd assented, for he had a deep instinct to protect those in trouble. He'd also been lost, adrift and looking for a cause. Finding this woman, similar to him, in a quest against demons, completed the busted puzzle that was Li Jie. At least for a time. He straightened his back, sucked his gut in and waited for the others to negotiate, a calm smile on his lips.

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Old Sep 1st, 2020, 02:16 AM
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Ouzo
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Something about the sheriff struck the Spaniard. Something nostalgic. Horns aside, she seemed so similar and yet so different to that of his own peoples, who tended to their own in those cramped market streets under the plaza's eternal scaffolding, always sharing news from across the straits. Her humble dignity reminded him that all his memories from the marketplace, so long ago, were from a perspective no more than waist high. Always looking up at the bottom of chins, to all the perfume traders, and cousins reuniting for the first time in years, and travelers returning from a homeland far away.

Suddenly unnerved, the sometimes-gentleman clicked his tongue and looked away.

Ouzo was content enough to watch the others' interactions play out from across their cell bars. His reactions were mostly a series of muted faces - a studious look broken into a grin for the large meaty one, a sideways glance of interest at the small winged one for her casual control over the elements, and a raised eyebrow for Jie. Though, a house full of smelly rabble-rousers wouldn't have been new to the sheriff. "How very forward for Mr. Li. How very uncharacteristic..." Any discussion with Jie would have to wait until they were out. Instead, he looked for a reaction from the other prisoners when the tiefling revealed his horns, watching more on instinct than expectation considering their shared alien nature.

Slatterbaugh's quick entrance aroused Ouzo's suspicions. "Listening at the door...? Not like the usual bloated aristocrat. This one has already decided how all these events will end, so no improvised plays." He punctuated the thought with a faint snort but otherwise said nothing. When the baron freed them, Ouzo made sure to note of the hairy giant's name, Mr. Eisenhand, and the spritely one's name, Ms. Rhii, but was otherwise unimpressed at their unshackling. Just another display. They weren't really free. Ouzo Ouzo rolls an Intelligence (Current Affairs) check to recall information on Ore Baron Slatterbaugh, succeeding with a 13!studied Slatterbaugh during the exchange with Rhii, thinking through all the information he'd been running recently. He fidgeted with the butt between his digits that was long-since smoked to death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ore Baron Slatterbaugh View Post
"You've heard my terms. You've had a chance to talk it over. If yer keen on takin' the job I can answer any questions ya might have?"
Dr. Ouzo nodded lazily. He waited to see if others would speak up, then in his thick accent, he chimed in. Over, and over, and over again. It wasn't often that those with information offered it up freely, after all. "I would share questions as to the job:
  • "What is a hellstone mage? Who is the surviving hellstone mage, and where do they recover?"
  • "The team you sent, consisting of your own resources, as you say... who were they? How many in number? How did they prepare for the mines?"
  • "Tell us of this foreman. Who was she? Where did she live? Who was her man?"
  • "Who were the miners that survived? Would they have any further description of these demons?"
  • "What can you tell us of your Mine Twelve? Its geography, its surroundings, its history? Previous owner? When you, ah, procured it, and when it became known that it contained hellstone?"
  • "Who within Yellow Ledge knows the stories of this land? Perhaps, this land before it became the Yellow Ledge we see today?"
"Oh, and the terms of the payment. What constitutes a job complete? Certainly, the amenities you arrange for us outside these bars, including the bath, will be without deduction to this generous compensation you are so dangling."

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Old Sep 1st, 2020, 03:12 PM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
"I want to go home. So tell me mortal, what do you offer that might be worthwhile in achieving my objective?"

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The Baron sat silent for a few long moments, staring at Rhii. If the "mortal" comment rattled him he didn't show it. Except for the occasional rise and fall of his chest, the man could have been a statue. Or dead. The group gets the distinct impression that from the relatively short series of interactions so far, Slatterbaugh is a man who chooses his words carefully. He contemplates before speaking, and anything he omits from his dialogue he does so with purpose.

A shifting of his posture and a folding of his arms alerts the pixie that he is ready to speak, and he does. "Someone in my position becomes privy to a great many things, whether they choose to or not. I'd wager I know more about the Fae than most anyone in the West, though my knowledge on the subject wouldn't fill a single sheet of paper. And none of that has anything t' do with the practicalities of where you come from 'r how one might bridge the two worlds. However," He nods his head at that word to emphasize his point, "I also have connections. I can open certain doors that should prove useful to you. There're two places in Denver that could set you on a path towards achieving yer objective, as you put it. One is a library, the largest in th' entire Protectorate. Their... independence from the Empire allows them t' maintain contacts and copy texts from across the world that even the Empire won't have access to. I could arrange for a one-time invitation into their restricted floors for you. The other is an academy. Academy of Mysteries they call themselves. They make it their mission to uncover, catalog, and define anything that has to do with the Attunement of the past two decades. You do me the favor of gettin' my mine back in order and I'll call in a favor with either 'f those organizations for ya. In lieu of monetary payment."



Thinking back on the name Slatterbaugh, Dr. Ouzo does recall some information that has previously come his way. As he quick-fires his questions the Baron answers them just as quick with the certainty of one who knows what he is talking about.

"What is a hellstone mage? Who is the surviving hellstone mage, and where do they recover?"
"A hellstone mage specializes in creating and maintaining wards that prevent the mutations raw hellstone emits. This specific school of the arcane is rare and still being developed. Strictly economically speaking a practicing hellstone mage is more costly than the average replacements to miners that succumb to mutation, to the point they are no longer effective at their job. However, I've found that if you factor in miner morale, over time the gains you receive in trust and honest labor more than offset the pricetag. Nestor is the one that survived, he's recovering in the executive dorm where the mages n' foremen live for this project."

"The team you sent, consisting of your own resources, as you say... who were they? How many in number? How did they prepare for the mines?"
"There was eight of 'em; former lawgivers, mercenaries, soldiers... People that I've vetted and have proven themselves reasonably trustworthy and intelligent. I gave them the same information I'm giving you and they had leave to prepare in whatever way they saw fit. There's always at least one or two in each team with arcane abilities, though certainly no group is as... unique as the six of you."

"Tell us of this foreman. Who was she? Where did she live? Who was her man?"
"Her name was Henrietta Ballad, lived in the dorm with th' other foreman 'n the mages. Married to Rico, a small-time harmonica player. Like I said, she made it out with the handful of survivors, but her 'n Rico just disappeared two days ago as I was arrangin' fer y'all to make the trip out here. Far as I can tell they left all their stuff behind, too. Didn't even take the pay she'd been stashing."

"Who were the miners that survived? Would they have any further description of these demons?"
"Five survivors made it out alive. Nestor, Henrietta, 'n three miners. Nestor wasn't close enough t' the action t' give any useful accounting of events. He'd placed his wards for the shift and was hangin' back in the staging area when it all went down. You can try askin' the others, only one survived that actually witnessed 'em first hand. The poor bastard's so traumatized I don't know if his head'll ever get right, jes keep spoutin' the same gibberish about flyin' demons. I had to sequester him in a room at the motel 'cause he was spookin' the others."

"What can you tell us of your Mine Twelve? Its geography, its surroundings, its history? Previous owner? When you, ah, procured it, and when it became known that it contained hellstone?"
"Bought it from the Mayor, Lott. Used t' be a silver mine but it dried up 'fore too long the way he tells it. My surveyors came across in April of '83, identified it as having potential for hellstone. I bought it from Lott n' started investing in its production immediately. It's at the bottom of a ravine an hour West 'f town. Wagon tracks'll lead you straight there. Horses 'n wagons can get up 'n down easy enough with the switchback trail. Got less than 500 feet of looped track inside... here" Slatterbaugh grabs a sheet of paper from the desk along with a pencil and began to make a quick sketch, continuing his description. "We only just got up 'n running int' full operation in the Spring. There's two excavations at the North end of the mine, here 'n here. You'll find hellstone deposits there, best t' steer clear unless you've got immunity or 'r feeling risky. The tunnel they broke into was on the West side, here. The staging area's at the end of the loop, got a small split section of track 'n they keep extra tools, mine carts, rations, 'n whatnot in there."

Before Ouzo gets to his next question Slatterbaugh holds up a hand to stop him and adds, "I hope this goes without sayin' but just so we're clear; the hellstone in there? It belongs to me. Any inklin' gets back t' me that any one o' ya pocketed even a shard 'f the stuff without my say so 'n when you leave that mine you better just start runnin'." He lowers his hand, indicating Ouzo can continue. Strangely enough, during the warning Slatterbaugh's tone didn't get more menacing or intimidating. He didn't lean forward or glower. He spoke as plainly as he has been during this entire conversation.

"Who within Yellow Ledge knows the stories of this land? Perhaps, this land before it became the Yellow Ledge we see today?"
Up until now the exchange has remained rather utilitarian. Dr. Ouzo asks questions and Slatterbaugh answers without much in the way of commentary or expression. When the Spaniard asks about the history of the Yellow Ledge and even the land before the town's founding, Slatterbaugh turns his body towards Ouzo and gives him undivided attention. Whether the Baron regards Ouzo's questions as clever or long-winded is hard to determine, the man's face remains rather expressionless. Nonetheless, after a moment's silence he continues with the briefing. "There's a bathhouse in town, run by Mrs. Alcina Kerrisk. She's been a resident of Yellow Ledge since its inception, no one would know more about the history of the town then her. 'Cept Samuel Lott himself. As for the region before Yellow Ledge was here?" Slatterbaugh pauses here, but for the first time you get the impression its because he actually has to consider if he knows the answer as opposed to pausing for appraisal of someone or selecting what information to give and what to withhold. "There's a stablemaster, centaur by the name of Kraith. She's a young one, but she's got native blood 'n her Grandmother's tribe settled in these parts before they all migrated North. Arapaho, unless I'm mistaken. She'd be yer best bet."

"Oh, and the terms of the payment. What constitutes a job complete? Certainly, the amenities you arrange for us outside these bars, including the bath, will be without deduction to this generous compensation you are so dangling."
This time Slatterbaugh actually smirks, one corner of his mustache ticks up and he holds it there as he nods. "Baths, I've even arranged for rooms at Dead Man's Happiness for tonight. Feel free to use 'em fer a good night's sleep either before or after the job. As for a job completed, that's tough t' nail down without knowin' all what's in there. Like I said, I'll need you to remove the obstacles preventing my miners from doing their job, be they demons or whatever you find down there. To that end, and because I've already lost good people, I've arranged fer my right hand man to accompany you. I hope you don't take too much offense from a babysitter, consider him my eyes and ears. Whatever else you do, before you head out go to Dead Man's Happiness and look fer The "K" and "S" are both silent.Knuddelmaus. Don't worry, you'll know him when you see him. He'll make sure you have access to the miners, Nestor, dorms, whoever 'n whatever you need to prepare. If you complete the job to his satisfaction you'll each be walking away with a clean slate 'n The 500 dollars is purely narrative. In terms of game mechanics, you can choose one of the following bonuses to your Resource score (see pg24-26 for Resource rules):
  • A permanent +1 increase.
  • An ongoing +3 increase until you fail your first Resource test, at which point your Resources drops by -3. Any reduction in Resource score due to the "Resource Depletion" rule is in addition to this -3.
  • A total of 6 Resource points you can add to your score for the purposes of one or more "Automatic Success" purchases. Once you use each of these points it is gone and can't be used again.
And you don't have to make your choice now. Think about it and you can decide at the end of the adventure.
500 dollars..."
He then looks towards Rhii, "Or a favor."

After answering all of Dr. Ouzo's questions Slatterbaugh remains seated and quiet, looking over the group and waiting for additional questions or for an agreement to the terms.

OOC
Additional Lore Recorded: Yellow Ledge!
Lore Entry Unlocked for Dr. Ouzo: Baron Slatterbaugh!

 

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Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 05:30 PM
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Captivity and Yellow Ledge
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When the manacles came off, Nao could feel her power return, ripples of possibility running through her body like tiny lightenings, or a series of goosebumps. She shook herself, turning the movement into a stretch and then was completely distracted as the small fae demonstrated some of her power. Nao froze mid-stretch, in a rather comical position with her mouth hanging open. She was mesmerized by the floating balls of water. It was beautiful. She hadn’t realized that power could be beautiful. It was a tool, entirely practical, not something to be in awe over. She realized Rhii was washing herself off and unfroze with a slightly chagrined look. Well that was entirely practical and now Nao was a bit jealous. She wanted to soak in a hot bath so badly. Oh how she missed Onsen. ”Your magic is both beautiful and useful,” she said deferentially to Rhii, softly enough that the pixie could respond or ignore it as she chose.

She glanced around at the others in the room, noticing that Jie was trying to present his good side to the sheriff. Nao held up a hand to cover her smile. Even the smooth Spaniard seemed to have his attention caught by the horned woman. Nao cocked her head, considering Posey. She’s attractive, all right but too uptight. she finally decided. Plus she and Jie would be insanely cute together.

Nao drew in a sharp breath when Slatterbaugh mentioned calling in a favor for Rhii. She practically vibrated with excitement. This Academy of Mysteries sounded like just the organization she was looking for. If they had records of things that related to the Attunement, perhaps she could discover what exactly had happened to her and if there were other shifters. She felt grateful to the pixie for uncovering this option.

She was about to ask Slatterbaugh if she could have a favor in lieu of payment as well when Ouzo snapped out of his reverie and started grilling the oil baron. The flood of information came fast and Nao’s eyes started to glaze over. However, a few interesting facts surfaced for the shifter. First was Slatterbaugh’s admission that financially speaking it was cheaper to not employ a hellstone mage...but he did so anyway. He was still calculating value in good will and trust, but that tipped the balance slightly in his favor for Nao. If he treated his miners that way he would likely see a benefit in being mostly fair and keeping his agreements with her and the rest of the group.

The second was the disappearance of the foreman and her man. If they didn’t even take their things, it argued that there was a mystery there; they didn’t just leave out of fear. Nao both loved and hated mysteries. She was intensely curious by nature and wanted to know...well, everything. However, when she didn’t understand something it was very frustrating. Was this an effect of the demons? Could they lure people back? Make them disappear? Was someone else behind their disappearance? Nao growled softly in annoyance. Something to keep in mind. Perhaps she would discover what had happened to those two when they figured out what was going on in the mine.

Lastly was the existence of a centaur who might know what Yellow Ledge was like before the Attunement. Nao hadn’t personally met a centaur before but the descriptions of them seemed like a very useful shape to have. And she had native blood. Nao could practically hear the stories that she could learn from talking to such a one. She wanted to talk to this Kraith before heading to the mine.

Nao couldn’t hide her desire when Slatterbaugh spoke of baths. She spoke up finally, ”I, for one, will be extremely happy to be clean, thank you. I also think gathering information and preparing would be to our benefit. I do not want to try to deal with demons in the dark and a good night’s sleep would help our mental and physical state. I deeply appreciate all the information you have been willing to give us; it will help us get to the bottom of this. Would the offer of a favor apply to me as well?”



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Old Sep 3rd, 2020, 11:16 AM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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With a welcoming nod Slatterbaugh acknowledged the Japanese woman's gratitude. When she asked for her favor the Baron thought for a moment. "I'm not sure if two favors from those organizations instead of hard cash would work out in my favor or not... But, considering what I'd be gettin' from you in return I'd say it's still a fair trade. Consider it done."

Looking to the male members of this little group forming Slatterbaugh adds, "Any other questions? If not I'll consider a verbal agreement binding on your honor 'n I can release your effects immediately."

OOC
 

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Old Sep 3rd, 2020, 11:07 PM
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Eoin ‘Wild Hunter’ Dermott
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Eoin mostly finished his drink before he leaned over to peek through the bars, unsuccessfully, as a deep and familiar voice called from across the jailhouse. "Ben jij dat Vos? I know your voice anywhere. Think you owe me, het is worst hangover yet! Echter, you still winning I think…"

Eoin broke into a good natured laugh. "You’ll just be havin’ ta hold your liquor better, eh? For a big man you’be swept under a log there, I see. Tell ya what. Best two out’ta three when we get out of this mess. I’ll even let’cha have a head start."

The Irishman held a rueful smile as he leaned back against the cell wall, and to his unexpected surprise, Eoin had to bite his lips to hold back his intense bemusement as Jie began to woo the sheriff-- not only that, but Ragnar egged him on in a gutter-minded display. It actually seemed to work as Eoin’s attention flicked toward the momentary speechless Tiefling.

Eoin chuckled quietly to himself, shaking his head as he stood up and proceeded to nonchalantly walk toward the back of the cell. The thing about drinking was, at the end of it all, everyone had to piss. As he proceeded to unbuckle his belt, Eoin let the others figure out the logistics, questions of who, what, where and why. After all, why should he do the heavy work when everyone else was so eager? In fact, it seemed like Dr. Ouzo was by far the most enthusiastic about taking up that particular weight.

Eoin rolled his shoulders and the conversation continued, and Eoin chose that moment let loose a loud torrent, verging on punitive disruption, inside a humble bucket as ‘The Baron’ Slatterbaugh answered the doctor’s questions. Over the course of many answers, it accompanied the rather unpleasant sound of liquid hitting a hollow, wooden bucket. Nearing the end of Slatterbaugh's monologue, Eoin broke his silence with a biting laugh to himself. It was sounding more and more like a suicide mission. But, did they have a choice in the matter, being strong-armed by some grubby titan of industry?

The Irishman shook off before strapping back up. Was potential death better than being locked up? Depending on the death versus the cage, he supposed. After his purposeful business was over with, Eoin sauntered over toward the bars of the cell and leaned against it with a forearm raised over his head, now more intent and waiting to be released-- unless any more heavy lifting wanted to be done in the form of answers.


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Old Sep 5th, 2020, 09:04 AM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate - Gerhard Eisenhand: Jawohl, Fengt Wir das Spiel an!
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ᛞᛁᛊᛖᛈᛟᛃᚾᛏᛁᚾᚷᛚᛁ the deceitful 'doktor' demonstrated derivative deliberation, deliberately directing due discourse down the drollest direction. 'Sound questions Herr 'Doktor' aber, less salient than you think. Typish. Wasted chance.' thought Gerhard as he leaned to the side and rested his large, fiery maned head against the bars. He watched and listened as the 'doktor' asked each of his questions. The what and who of hellmages was irrelevant to him, the name alone was enough to infer their function. Who was sent and how many was information the 'baron' would have to have given them regardless. 'Logisch, success hangs on information. How many to rescue, this he would tell us without asking. Doch, was meinst du bei diese Frage? Foreman, woman, noch mal. Herr tell us because necessary. Genau so the miners'. Though he kept an impassive expression on his face, the questions from the 'doktor' were more banal than Gerhard had expected they would be.

His third question however, hinted mildly at the man's underlying nature and the history both the Sheriff and the 'baron' not so subtly had alluded to. 'Ach, so... at last an interesting one. You think to find your own mine? Or etwas andere?. Ostensibly Gerhard was interested in the hellstone, it certainly might have some interesting properties, but there were sufficient legitimate ways of acquiring it that such underhandedness was not necessary. Yet. The man's final question was the most curious of the bunch. Gerhard could imagine a few reasons why such things would be useful albeit not for their most immediate concern. If the demons were long term inhabitants of the area, well it would be unlikely the 'baron' didn't know or that Yellow Ridge could have grown into a town proper. The most interesting part however, was only just about to arrive. Jawohl. Du bist dran Herr. Your move.

"A hellstone mage specializes in creating and maintaining wards that prevent the mutations raw hellstone emits..." Gerhard listened closely as the 'baron' answered the first question, unsurprised by their function though admittedly curious about their acranism. Unique magic was never uninteresting. There was, as Gerhard had predicted, ultimately little learned about the miners they would not have learned otherwise. Such details would have been turned over to them anyway if the 'baron' had any real expectation of them being able to do the task before them. A throwaway response that he likely anticipated being asked one way or another. It was the man's next response that was his first true move. "We only just got up 'n running int' full operation in the Spring. There's two excavations at the North end of the mine, here 'n here." Ragnar's eyes narrowed, considering the possibilities of what the 'baron' had just offered up.

'Logisch, good businessman would need problem solved as soon as possible, if is true he only started full operation in Spring. Would explain his opportunism. Doch, he could be relying on strangers in a remote region not knowing wie lange his mine has been worked. If he need job done quick, why kidnap us. If something secret in mine, perhaps we expendable? Gerhard considered as the man's responses continued to come. 'Hellstone valuable, ja, but such a threat Herr. Seems excessive I think. The more the man spoke the more Ragnar was convinced that either the man was keeping something secret about the mine, or that their selection was no mere accident. The 'baron's' final response was all that Gerhard needed to make his move. If you complete the job to his satisfaction you'll each be walking away with a clean slate 'n 500 dollars... Or a favor."

'Zugzwang herr. Danke schön' thought Ragnar as he smiled more fully in his cell. Groaning and making a bit show of rising to his feet, he rested his large manacled hands against the bars with a clang. "I have question yet. Why take me 'Baron'?" Gerhard gestured with a finger to the other cells as he continued. "Hunters, 'doktor', the butterfly girl. Easy to figure some function of theirs in your problem solve. Me? Am a blacksmith. Not so suited to possibly fighting demons. Unless you have design for me to work the Hellstone?" Anyone observing closely would notice that while Gerhard's voice is moderate give the confined space, his hands are quite active. Seemingly counting off the other members of the cell, reasons, and then isolating one finger on the other hand as he speaks.

'If you so well informed you know more about me than they, I learn something about you Herr. You know about Runenkraft I still learn something. If also, you chose us particularly we learn something again. Either you tell us something you don't want to, or I learn more about you than you wanted to share. Point to me no matter how you answer I think, Herr 'baron'.
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Dice What does the Baron know? (COM):
3d6+3sch15 (1, 2, 2)+3 Total = 8

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Old Sep 5th, 2020, 11:50 PM
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Rhii listened quietly to the Baron’s offer and for a few moments debated expanding on the request to make it more likely that she would find a way home… And then the other woman in her cell asked for a favor as well, and gaged that her odds of success were much less than she thought she’d prefer. She rolled a few balls of water in her hand as she turned to address the asian woman. ”Thank you for your kind words. Given a few centuries, I might even be able to teach you if you wished.” Rhii said, bouncing the ball of water as her senses started to tingle at the flow of water.

She looked over and was… Not thrilled at the sight of the Irishman relieving himself into the bucket. There were many things that were just bad manners, and undignified. ”I heard that mortals were not supposed to be that small. I suppose the legends of your people were wrong in that regard.” She said in an effort to distract him from pulling on the moisture in the bucket, attempting to topple it over onto the man’s boots.

”With a few minor adjustments… That if the mission appears suicidal or can not be completed to your satisfaction there can be no retribution if we are unable to complete your task. And similarly if those conditions hold true… the attempt at it clears any criminal charges against myself or the others.” Rhii said, approaching this from the perspective of a fae who is one that makes agreements should make sure that it doesn’t bite them in the rear. ”And lastly… I want you to find out which of those two is more likely to have the answer to my problem. Given I know little of either organization, I prefer not to chase wisps.”

Extending her small arm outwards towards the Baron, she looked him in the eyes. ”If those terms are acceptable, I will agree to assist with your project as described.”
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Old Sep 6th, 2020, 10:45 AM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Li Jie
Jie realised that, however captivating Posey was '...aah… the sound of her name… there were bigger events unfolding around him. The smile snapped into Jie’s typical set determination (although it was by no means forgotten) as he mustered his concentration and focus. Listening to Ouzo’s questions he was reminded why he liked the astute and forthright doctor. Why he’d enjoyed his company to date. They’d sought information on demons every step they’d walked in the short time he’d known him and here he was, stripping the Ore Baron of what he knew. "Mmm hmm." he grunted in appreciative agreement.

The man spoke of powerful connections and knowledge he could unlock through the "Academy of Mysteries". This place he’d only just heard the name of, piqued his curiosity. For he wanted to know all he could about what he’d become, and the changes that had happened to the world. He wanted to know about the visions of demons and ghosts and would seek out any who knew more. Hellstone Mages too. Fascinating. He’d strive to share a space with Nestor if only to be able to ask some questions.

When Slatterbaugh warned about running off with Hellstone, Jie’s eyes turned to Gerhard who questioned the Baron about why he was involved. Jie could have said, 'Because you possess something that the rest of us do not,' but did not voice it. Yet to be tested, their group was talented and each member unique. Not unlike Sun Wukong, the Monkey King and his travelling companions. Each had a specialty that contributed to the success of the whole. The Scandinavian would bring something, beyond his immense size, that was perhaps critical to their coming tests. In his new state of comfortable calm, Jie inclined his head and, making eye contact with Gerhard, gave him a look of reassurance. His look told him that he was part of the group and part of the plan.

Jie’s sense of calm and purpose rode on the hope of a future with Posey and gave him strength and confidence. She’d blessed him and he could act now with surety. They belonged here and walked a set path down that 500 feet of looped track... 'āi yā!' His noble thoughts were shattered by the sounds of Eoin’s urination and he turned with disgust. 'Couldn't he have waited until after the negotiation!?' But he considered that this might be a way of transacting in this strange world, in this strange country. Through disrespect. He looked at Posey to judge her reaction at the display before lowering his eyes and blushing.

The the Mogwai spoke and with great assiduity. '…if the mission appears suicidal or can not be completed to your satisfaction there can be no retribution if we are unable to complete your task. And similarly if those conditions hold true… the attempt at it clears any criminal charges against myself or the others.' Jie raised his eyebrows and released a "Waorrh!" of appreciation for her astute evaluation of the situation. To echo her sentiment, he spoke. "Success is not guaranteed. We’ll work to learn all we can and remove this obstacle, and you will honour our agreement." He held Slatterbaugh’s gaze with confidence whilst hoping that Posey was watching him.

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Old Sep 8th, 2020, 01:49 AM
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Ouzo
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Ouzo Ouzo succeeded on an Empathy check vs. Slatterbaugh's selection methods! Associated roll/prompt in OOC.studied Slatterbaugh's responses, searching for any haste or hesitation - any tell at all - but a familiar sound of liquid relief seemed to interrupt the entire scene. Ouzo paused mid-question to glance at the source. Cooing with a raised eyebrow, "Oh, other conjurers of water, elemental..." He lingered over his shoulder for another moment before returning to the baron, back to business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ore Baron Slatterbaugh View Post
"... I'll consider a verbal agreement binding on your honor 'n I can release your effects immediately."
Ouzo gave a faint shrug with open palms turned upwards. "Very well. I verbally agree." The gentleman approached the cell doors expectantly.



At some point after they'd concluded their negotiations, Ouzo looked to the others. "Arfavo, I would be grateful to share the company of friends, Ouzo's gaze lingered on Jie, smiling with his eyes.new and old, as it seems we now have much to discuss. Alas, I apologize for being so un-presentable, and would rather that we smell less of one another and more of the air, fresh and unbarred. For Ouzo winked at Rhii.those of us who must draw water from mundane means, would it be so acceptable to meet after refreshing ourselves? Perhaps, in this Dead Man's Happiness for una drink, after a half hour's time?"

Indeed, they did have much to discuss. Perhaps best not around so many ears.

OOC
 
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Pronouns: He/Him | Posting Status: :) | PCs: Dr. Ouzo, The Altrix Dunyazad, Varley, Old Man Ingo
cottontailwind: "So there's this thing called a collective bargaining unit..." GM: "No unionizing the kobolds!"

Last edited by cottontailwind; Sep 8th, 2020 at 08:21 PM. Reason: few word fixes, and fixes his proposal to meet since they just ate XD
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