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  #76  
Old Nov 1st, 2020, 04:45 AM
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Ouzo, In Brahms' Room
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Ouzo seemed to relax. At least his posture, anyways. His face scrunched as he tried to piece together all the new discoveries and possibilities. "And here I was so sure you were possessed, dear Brahms," he said aloud, though more to himself and Rhii. "But these are not signs of any possession I have seen. Nor would I imagine a man of your habits to be so great in will power that you could resist a demon carving into your mind. No offense, friend. The shifts between mumbling and babbling... The strain of being beckoned back to the present moment... No, it would seem you have been the subject of some arcane curse." He sighed and unbottoned the top few buttons of his duster. It seemed he was returning to his laissez-faire demeanor, despite his continued meddling. "An insanity curse. A spreading insanity curse. I would bet money on it. Rhii, do you know anything of curses? Or perhaps more specifically, of breaking or resolving such a curse?"

"Miss Rhii, in your healing craft and affinity for tea, have you the means to brew up a sleeping drought? I cannot know if a waking madness is worse than a sleeping madness, but perhaps a strong enough sleeping agent could knock him unconscious entirely." Then having heard his thoughts out loud, he added, "Well, I suppose they could also try feeding him that swill downstairs to get him some sleep," he shrugged.

It was only a few paces to the other side of the room, but Ouzo found a spot on the wall opposite Brahms to lean on. The miner seemed to be breathing well enough, so no need to inconvenience his visitors. With a freshly lit smoke, the Spaniard tried sort out his thoughts out loud. "This room is perhaps the safest for us to speak," he said, looking over the blue sheen of the silencing ward between them and the miners posted outside. "If this man does indeed suffer from a magically-inflicted insanity, it could mean the demons have access to some very nasty tricks. Or, some of the ill-effects of raw Hellstone got through their wards. Perhaps through error, or perhaps through tampering, or perhaps through... some contact with Hellstone that was unapproved for a humble miner. But there is another possibility to this: that this curse was deliberate. If so, this would mean there has been someone about town recently with the means and interest to keep Mr. Brahms here incapacitated." Ouzo gave another great sigh, and so in turn, did he take another great drag. "And this Mr. Croup. Hmph. I should be interested to hear about a Mr. Croup from a reliable source, first - perhaps Slatterbaugh himself - than have it be known that Brahms here is capable of some speech yet and gave, of all things, that name."

Then he hummed at some other thought in his head and pushed himself from the wall, approaching the babbling, fidgeting Brahms directly. "My apologies if this upsets you further," he offered, though it was difficult to tell if he meant it or not, before pulling back the yellow blanket covering Brahms. Thick fiber ropes tied to his wrists and ankles. The ropes disapepared into holes into the tops of the crates. They seemed strong enough and gave little to no freedom of movement. Then
Dice Ouzo | PER/Searching:
3d6+2 (6, 3, 5)+2 Total = 16
Ouzo began a thorough search of both Brahm's person and the room entirely. "If the madness is coming from the Hellstone..." he said while turning over the blanket and flapping it out, "It would suggest there there may be some Hellstone still nearby..." he said while patting down and searching underneath Brahms, "That perhaps he intended to keep..." he said while peering at the trim around the door, his nose almost touching it, "... or perhaps was planted upon him."

After resetting the room, taking care to return the blanket to its original position around the miner, Ouzo turned to Rhii. "I believe I may be done with Brahms for now. Have you any other questions for the infirmed?"

Should it be made clear that Rhii was done also, Ouzo would took a seat at the edge of Brahm's bed, looking down on him, seemingly unbothered. "And here I was ready to games with whatever entity had invaded your mind. Huh. A different sort of lie for you, then," The conman raised his hands and with a cigarette still between his fingers, began to Ouzo casts Figment!cast a spell of his own. Before the supine convalescent there materialized a scene, as if he were sitting upright. A table littered with steins and two figures sitting on the other end - the tall, strong woman, though without her bandages, as well as the muroidea-anthro. "Your name is Brahms. You, Brahms, live in Yellow Ledge. You, Brahms, have simply drank too much again and must sleep it off. Rest your mind now, Brahms, and when you awake, your friends will be waiting to have another drink with you... cabrón pobre... "

Ouzo, In the HallwayOutside the room, Dr. Ouzo then leaned on the wall opposite the other miners. It was then he realized that, in his reaction to seeing Brahms' state, they never even asked for the other miners' names. Well enough. They were next in his investigations anyways. "Your friend is apostando con los diablos. That is, your friend trying to rest now. Oh, perdóname - mi alma tiene pedos - I am terribly rude and have not even allowed us to be introduced! My name is Dr. Ouzo and we now have the same employer. That would make us colleagues now, yes? Please, new colleagues, let us together spend some time and talk:
  • "What are your names? How long have you worked in these mines?"

  • "Are there any other spellcasters in Yellow Ledge, besides Nestor? Anyone with a talent or interest in the arcane in the slightest?"

  • "Is Brahms eating? Drinking? Sleeping?"

  • "Has anyone else been by to see Brahms? Feed him, change his sheets? For any reason at all?"

  • "Who put up this silencing ward?"

  • "Are wards normal in mines or only in Hellstone mines?"

  • "What are the effects of Hellstone exposure?"

  • "You mentioned earlier something about moth demons. What are these moth demons? How do you know of them?"

  • "You mentioned earlier that a 'claimant' said Hellstone was supposed to be in the western tunnel. Who is this claimant? How are Hellstone plots normally determines and who decides where to mine?"

  • "When were Brahms' babbling and mumbling first seen? Was he mumbling and unable to focus within the mines? Outside on the trek back to Yellow Ledge? Or did it seem to worsen at any point? This is very important - please, think. You must place yourself back in those moments."

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  #77  
Old Nov 1st, 2020, 08:52 PM
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Early Evening, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate - Gerhard Eisenhand
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ᚷᛖᚱᚺᚨᚱᛞ caught Jie's inquiring look, and shrugged. "I find fresh air always clears my head." he said, innocuously enough while implying something by his words with a continued look at Jie. 'Who knows? Maybe he would tell us something that he wouldn't tell Agave?' Once Nestor began speaking, Gerhard's attention was focused on the man. Within the span of a few short, lilting, phrases a number of curious things fell into place for Ragnar. Contrary to what he had assumed would be the case, the hell-mage seemed to have little - or indeed no - first hand experience with demons or their kind. 'If this was his first time seeing them first hand then there is more to what is underway here than we first suspected. he thought in response to the surprising information. 'Raises the question, is this typical or just localised to this particular region?' The first hand description of how many demons there were was moderately shocking, but Ragnar had accepted his mission knowing that he could well be outnumbered. The current circumstances were a testament to that very cause, making allies and finding potential manipulable associates that could be used to bolster any action he may to take against the demons.

"You're Danish? You came by way of Oosterpacht and those snobbish fish? Don’t see many of you on the mainland..." Ordinarily, it would have been in keeping with his Gerhard façade to react to the comment about Danes. Ordinarily the opportunity to observe a unique form of magic and, presumably, a general description of its function did not present itself. Ragnar had expected to encounter the magic eventually, but hadn't anticipated it might take the form of a diagrammatic sigil. Catching his breath deeply, his eyes focused on Nestor's airy design, one of his own thick fingers tracing the design against his leg as a mnemonic. T
Dice INT (Memorise):
3d6+2sch15 (3, 4, 4)+2 Total = 13
hey might not be exactly match but the Runes could roughly fit most designs, sufficiently at least to try and help memorise something opportunistically.

Exhaling his held breath, Gerhart took the chance to cover his tracks and put on a quizzical face before ostensibly under his breath but loud enough to be deliberately overheard. "Rødgrød med fløde..." Tilting his head, he brought his hands up and started to count off the things that Nestor had said. "I'm sorry my friend, you speak like Swede saying 'red berry porridge'. You say... You never seen demons before now, that there were many many demons and your friend 'Lolita' is missing?" Pausing for breath with one finger unfolded and touched by the opposite hand's forefinger, indicating 'one', Jie's own response indicated that Gerhard had heard correctly for the most part. When it came to Nestor's comments about Danes, particularly those from Oosterpacht, Ragnar himself couldn't help himself. "No offence taken. You have a good ear, and the right of it. Danes are naturally an insular sort, we can often seem aloof albeit untinentionally. Oosterpacht on the other hand, does often bring out the worst in us." Dutch or Danish, it matters not what they think Gerhard is, so long as he comes from Oostepacht' Ragnar thought before continuing.

"Også, grifters and how you say... snake-oil sellers, are common in your field of magisch-werk. You do your magic and hellstone problem goes away for 12 hours... You and other mage took turns to ward the mine, and it was easy money. " Gerhard took a moment to process, or seemingly to process. Although trying to memorise the mage's working design had preoccupied him for a moment, the hell-mage's stylistic speech was easier for him to follow than he let on. The pretence of checking what Nestor had said gave him the opportunity to consider what had been reported, and the questions that arose from that consideration. All he needed was an opening, something which Jie neatly provided in turn.

"Rita, where do you think she went?" Clearing his throat with a quiet deliberateness, Gerhard took the opening Jie's question provided. "That raise a good point. You say this thing you do last 12 hours, and there be another med whom you work. 12 hours on, 12 hours off. I wonder... If your magic last so reliably, how could demons attack?" Gerhard let the question hang in the air for a moment before continuing. "Måske I have misunderstood? Your magic only work on the hell-stone only, or against demon too?" Gerhard's face shifted from its slightly gregarious expression to a more sombre one as he knelt down, bringing himself to roughly the same height as Nestor himself. "If you worry for this Lolita, I think perhaps you should let us know everything that is on your mind ja? Our job is to save Lolita as much as it is to save the mine. And it sound like more than mere accident happened."
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Old Nov 2nd, 2020, 02:27 PM
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Early Evening, 18th of August, 1885.
Rhii and Dr. Ouzo
 

Jie & Gerhard
 

Nao
 



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Map of Yellow Ledge

Lore Entry Unlocked: Demonika Lepidoptera! (info gained from Nao's conversation with Alcina included as well)

Dr. Ouzo's successful Deception test has positively affected Brahms' Attitude!

 


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Old Nov 3rd, 2020, 07:35 PM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Life was brutal in the West. Jie was accustomed to hardship, disease and violence from the gold claims in Australia and so was inured to it. As, it appeared, was Nestor. Jie was surprised that, after losing a leg, the hellstone wizard could remain so calm. He supposed that Nestor was like himself years ago, naïve and happy-go-lucky and under his father’s protection. His awakening to the cruel world had involved permanent disability and he’d never heard of anyone in this crazy world who’d manage to get a limb back on. Especially not as it was still presumably in a demon’s innards. Jie once again expressed inward gratitude, ’Someone is always worse off than yourself.’

"Nothin’ that’ll save me from a demon’s bite. You got somethin’ to protect in a fight?"

Nestor’s carelessness and the general unfairness of his situation grated on Jie. He also felt the stirrings of an unwanted and ill-understood sentiment. "A mage should have a shield against attacks. The West is dangerous." Jie frowned, conflicted between sharing his arcana and potentially gaining one. He felt jealousy guarding his benevolence, although he didn’t fully grasp the impetus behind it. He gruffly avoided Nestor’s implication that they might share wards… he wasn’t even sure he could teach his powers to others.

It seemed like they’d learned what they could from Nestor and Jie felt a little disappointed. He’d imagined a hellstone mage would be a great scholar, but here they’d found a man with basic arcane skills and seemingly little knowledge of the field in which he worked. He was glib rather than studious; interesting rather than interested. Jie was determined not to be like him. He was dedicated to his learnings as a means to understand himself and prepare for upcoming battles.

"We go to Mine Twelve soon. If there’s any more information you have that could help us…" Jie made ready to leave. He wondered whether the others had learned more than himself and Gerhard and was keen to meet up with them again. He was impatient as, once their questioning was complete, he could go in search of Posey.

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Old Nov 3rd, 2020, 10:34 PM
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Early Evening, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate - Gerhard Eisenhand
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ᛗᛇᚱᛊᚺᛖᚾ. Fairy stories. Tyskland and the League had learned quickly, and sometimes the hard way, that such things could not - and should not - be disregarded as fiction. Das Trollsereignis in 1872 was a punctuating reminder that even the smallest kernel of a rumour can become a hubris shattering reality with devastating consequences. "We go to Mine Twelve soon. If there’s any more information you have that could help us…" Ragnar dearly wanted to hear the myths and legends Nestor was hinting at; despite the mage's claim that they were just myths and legends, compared to what was widely known in Tyskland about the demons and their presence myths and legends may well prove crucial in uncovering further more actionable information. One of Ragnar's Drive Quality things.Duty impelled him to take a chance where his better judgement might lead him to be more cautious.

"Friend Nestor, disse ting seem just stories. Stol på mig.
Dice COM (Deception) vs. Nestor PER (Empathy):
3d6+2 (3, 3, 1)+2 Total = 9
I know myself, these things are no more just stories. In less than een lifetime stories become real, myth become life. What more, we are not from here. What is known to you likely unknown to us. Perhaps you are so used to disse myths being myths, legends being legends, dat something in them does not stand out no-more? Stunt: Ah-ha! 1ptBrief or long, such stores might be useful to us if not to you."
The line between Gerhard and Ragnar was rubbing thin, and he knew it. Gerhard was, is, Oostepacht but if pressed Ragnar would be hard pressed to tell as convincing a story about how Gerhard's encounter with something comparable. Ragnar himself on the other hand had plenty, not just Das Trollsereignis, but to share them would jeopardise the secrecy of his mission. Duty had won over Secrecy in the end.

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Old Nov 9th, 2020, 03:05 AM
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Ouzo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannarly
"You gotta do sumfin' for 'im, doc. No one else's gonna help 'im..."
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"And that we shall, of course. You are true and brave, Dannarly and Hinsky, to tend to and watch over your friend." The nobility speech wasn't usually Ouzo's preferred approach, but it seemed like they'd respond to it well enough. He felt confident they'd seen the illusion of themselves cast before their bedridden friend, and that it may have bought him some good grace. "Consider this an infirmary, and should you feel unwell after tending to Brahms, you must isolate as well. Have Nestor expand the wards if needed. You have shared much with us of interest. We shall return." Ouzo began to make his way back downstairs, but after a step, paused, and spun on his heels. He added as an afterthought, "And if you find anyone besides yourselves attempting to gain access to Brahms, you must inform Sherrif Posey or ourselves immediately," He nodded instead of sharing any context for his final requestand went back downstairs. There was little to say to the guards loitering on the second floor now, deep in thought about everything they'd just learned. Not even a side eye in jest as he passed. Just the swaying of his loosened duster and a trail of renewed smoke.

Once Ouzo and Rhii were outside, he turned to the blue fairy as they walked. "We will have to ask the others more about curses. Perhaps their unique talents and histories with demon-kind will provide some additional insight. If this madness curse truly does spread and worsen - reza por cualquier otra cosa - Yellow Ledge may be in more danger than they realize... as would be our payment, también. I've only one last question to ask before suggesting we reunite with the others..." He took another drag of his smoke for a dramatic pause, and looked up to the sheriff's office before them.

Inside, Ouzo sought out Sheriff Posey, and if he was still there, Slatterbaugh as well. if either of them were there, Ouzo would make a simple introduction without any of the wordplay from earlier. "Another question, if we might? Dreadfully relevant, I assure you. What can you tell me about a Mr. Coup? Anything and everything, if you'd please."

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Old Nov 10th, 2020, 07:51 PM
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The Foremans' Dorms
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The whole situation was a bit unsettling, and Nao was glad she was not alone on this job. Then again, she never would have attempted something like this by herself. She noticed Agave’s nervousness and joined her at the window, looking down at Nestor, Jie and Gerhard. ”Well, I think I’ve learned everything I’m likely to here. Perhaps we should go back down and join your brother and the boys. I am very thankful for your company and assistance. We will do all we can to rid the mines of this menace so you may return to your work.” She gave the Mine Mistress what she hoped was a reassuring smile. Perhaps once they had vanquished the demons Nao could invite the other woman for a drink and learn more about her. She gestured politely for Agave to precede her down the stairs, although her ulterior motive was to watch her backside again.



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Old Nov 10th, 2020, 09:15 PM
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Evening, 18th of August, 1885.
Gerhard, Jie, & Nao
 

Dr. Ouzo & Rhii
 

Dead Man's Happiness



By the time everyone had regrouped night had come to Yellow Ledge. The wind remained somewhere in between a breeze and a gale, occasionally picking up enough strength to catch someone's duster or long hair and give it a good flap in the air. The sun's absence brought a bit of relief to the hot August atmosphere, though no one would call it 'cool'. Inside Dead Man's Happiness the patrons remained plentiful and though the pianist continued to plink away the mood remained tense. The room had become noticeably warmer than the outside, as full as it was, and the air was tinged with body odor and beer. A few games of chance continued, though there were noticeably less than earlier as more people seemed to shift into full-tilt drinking, either due to losing enough money for one day or simply to focus on drowning their apprehensions. As each half of the group came back to the scene they were able to find an empty table and convene. Rhii perched herself on one ear of an empty chair while Knuddelmaus leaned casually against a nearby wall, close enough to hear if he was asked a direct question yet just far enough away to prevent himself from being mistaken as part of the group.

The ghoulish bartender, Gallteeth, eventually made his way to the table during one of his rounds about the floor and served drinks if requested. A perceptive member of the group could catch Slatterbaugh on the balcony, leaning against the railing and overlooking the saloon as if he owned it; he gave a nod and slightly raised his own glass if anyone caught his gaze. It seemed all eyes, or at least many eyes, were on the Baron's new independent contractors. However, whereas earlier in the day they were singled out for their motley and varied appearance, this time there was more of an expectant air. As if the miners and townsfolk were waiting for one of you to stand up and miraculously announce that the mine could re-open and all their problems were solved.



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Map of Yellow Ledge

 


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Old Nov 14th, 2020, 04:10 AM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Li Jie
Listening to Gerhard’s parting questions of Nestor, Jie was further intrigued about him and the Oosterpacht mythology. What parallels were there between their heritage and folk stories? Were there common morals and behaviours expressed? Jie suspected that all human experience shared common threads which over millennia had been woven into the rich histories of nations and their peoples. There never seemed time since meeting the giant, but he hoped that before this endeavour was over he could learn a lot more about his culture.

They made to take their leave while the words, ’There is always a hierarchy.’ rang in his head like a plucked guzheng string. It was likely that this attack was not random but rather directed. So, the commander of the demons, if what Nestor implied was true, chose to strike at Slatterbaugh’s mine. Why. That was the question. The obvious answer was hellstone. Which was why Jie had been so keen to speak with the mage, but that had become a dead-end. The simplest motive was that they were drawn to it instinctively. The most complicated reason could go beyond any of the team to imagine. Jie decided that a determining a motive for the attack might be folly at this point. Returning to the hierarchy, he concluded that the team would need to find and cut the head from the snake.

Jie peeled away from Gerhard and Nao as they returned to the Dead Man’s Happiness with a mumbled excuse, "…meet you there soon…" Under a darkening sky, he skirted the edge of the stabledge and looked across the road to the Sheriff’s where, as chance would have it, Posey emerged, seemingly for a breath of fresh air. She leant against the railing and watched, the lights from the bar illuminating her face and glinting off her facial piercings and chains. He took a moment to watch her before leaving the shadow and crossing over to her.

He’d decided he didn’t want anything from her she didn’t want to give. He gave a simple greeting, "G’night." He watched her for a moment to try and Observation check?assess her mood before continuing, "I’ve toured your town and I find the people very interesting. They respect you." He paused trying to seem nonchalant. He hoped to draw her into conversation of the type where they might get to know one another better. "Where are you from? I was born in China but went with my father and others to Australia where we prospected for gold. Some of my family are back in Guangdong." He purposely left his father’s fate out of the conversation. "Where did you learn Sheriffing?" He felt awkward but decided to take a chance. "Do you get lonely out here..?" The implication was clear, especially given their previous interaction, and he held her gaze. His heart beat strong in his chest as he waited, hardly breathing, for her response.

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Old Nov 15th, 2020, 01:17 PM
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Evening, 18th of August, 1885.
Li Jie
 



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Map of Yellow Ledge

 


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Old Nov 15th, 2020, 03:27 PM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Li Jie
Jie was grateful that she’d not dismissed him and rather had begun and in-depth conversation. "Sheriff Posey, would you please call me Jie."

She was a beauty, but as they spoke, he was increasingly delighted by her passion and conviction, for Jie sought someone who had been tested as he had. ’The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials.’ Jie was aware of her every move and tried not to stare. It was plain that she would assess him, as she had every right. He only hoped that he survived the trial.

’Slatterbaugh was the catalyst for revival, but the people here made it happen on their own.’

"You endorse Slatterbaugh and this raises my esteem for him. Under him, and yourself, the town prospers. This is good, as the people I’ve met today seem virtuous and hard-working."

’I hope your efforts were fruitful. And now you're here, in the West?’

"My father and I found gold. Enough to make our family wealthy. But… evil men took it and… my father’s life… I shouldn’t tell you this… I hardly know you." Jie’s eyes cast down, remembering his shame. "When the Awakening happened. When I changed." He snatched his hat from his head to show his short horns and held her gaze as if she could break the riddle of his transformation. "I’m here to try again."

‘I graduated from West Point with honors and a degree in law enforcement, hoping to make a difference.’

She had succeeded at her studies indicating determination and a vision for herself. This also appealed to Jie. He’d never had the opportunity, but he wanted nothing more than to study and planned to devote much of his future to learning more about his transformation, the Awakening and demons. He’d seek learned and studious folk as he went. He was excited about his future.

’…hoping to make a difference. This position... isn't what I had in mind, but I've come to care for these people and this town."

Posey was honest, beautiful and virtuous. She had a vision for herself and dedication to see it through. She was solid. That’s what Jie wanted to be. He saw qualities within her to which he aspired.

’Mr. Li! I... are you...?’

Jie almost turned and ran but forced the flutters in his chest down and held his place on the street. He waited to see what she’d say next. The silence was more difficult than facing any demon.

’…do you act from a place of moral right and compassion, or from a place of selfishness and disregard?’

There was no pause or inner debate within Jie regarding the question, but he chose his words to display his own virtue, to try to match her. "’Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.’" He quoted Confucius, a modicum of whose philosophy he’d learnt from his father. "You said earlier, ‘We need someone's help, and you're here,’ and I heard you, more than I heard Slatterbaugh. Once I’ve given my word I won’t go back." People saw different things in other’s eyes. One might see fanaticism or madness in Jie. Seeing truly into him would reveal fanaticism regarding demons and his transformation, and shame, sorrow, loss and solitude verging on madness from his father’s death. He had been badly damaged but, in his heart, he wanted better for himself and others.

He saw Slatterbaugh’s offer as an opportunity rather than a deal. Here was the chance to show that he cared and what he was capable of. He saw this moment as his opportunity to succeed and hoped to do this by Posey’s side. He wanted nothing more than to find succour in her arms but first must wait to see whether he passed her test.
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Old Nov 16th, 2020, 10:55 AM
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Evening, 18th of August, 1885.
Li Jie
 



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Map of Yellow Ledge

Posey's Attitude has been permanently increased to +1 to all Social testsOpen (12) for the Party and +2 to all Social testsFriendly (15) for Li Jie!

 


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Old Nov 17th, 2020, 12:37 PM
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Ouzo
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Having thanked Sheriff Posey and returned to the Dead Man's Happiness, Dr. Ouzo took a table. Though he seemed somewhat less animated than earlier. With a nod, he invited Miss Rhii as well as any other members of their group if they were present, where he ordered another round of drinks (for only himself): a large for sipping and a short for shooting. "Is this the happiness of a dead man? The good afterlife is a thinning crowd before an open bar." He downed the short immediately and huddled over his remaining drink with his elbows on the table.

He spoke his thoughts out loud: " We've learned several things in this short time. 1) The sole surviving miner of the breakthrough, Brahms, was afflicted intentionally with a magical madness, that spreads to others as if a contagious disease, and renders one incapacitated with hallucinations and mumbling. 2) In his mumbles, he put to words a single name: one Mr. Croup. Though, ah, in my suspicion, I asked only the good sheriff about this name, to which she was unfamiliar. 3) The subject endured no physical injuries except for what appeared to be countless injections sites covering his feet and ankles, of all places. Not typically known for their... fleshiness, however. 4) Determining where to mine and where the Hellstone may be is the prerogative of the baron, through means beyond the mining teams here. 5) The known demons in the region are the Demonika Leipdoptera: the demon moth, who hides in the darkness, are drawn to sources of isolated light, and devour mortal flesh in mere moments."

"I imagine two scenarios," he began, sifting his drink by swirling the glass in absent, circular motions. No sound came from it. Even if the meager bar did have ice, it wouldn't have survived this heat. It did not seem to be the first time that the fell doctor played the game of deducing possibilities from a small smattering of facts. "The first is the obvious: that poor Brahms was the last of his ill-fated crew to come upon a dormant moth swarm. He suffers many assaults from their probosci, perhaps by climbing out of a hole, but otherwise manages to escape. The moths have some venom or plague that transferred into his system via the distal extremities, and so our sole threat as we enter into the mines will be to keep light sources away from us, and perhaps be capable of burning something that produces much fumes with little light, should we need to smoke them away from us." Poetically, he took another drag and loosed a long, thin stream of poison. His first theory was as hazy as the air between them. "But this does not explain the magical nature of Brahm's madness, his moment of lucidity in naming one Mr. Croup, nor that the demon moth are said consume their prey in a frenzy and not with a delicate proboscis. There is another course of events, then, that could have taken place: Brahms - or perhaps others attached to the mining operation - were intentionally silenced with a maddening curse, with a contagion borne from either malice, or worse, incompetence. The injection sites at Brahms' feet may be an attempt at a cover-up, then, to make plain his incapacitation. This would mean that, in addition to the regional demon moth, we have another threat: an amateur spellcaster inexperienced with drug use, with something to gain from the dispatching of miners. Silencing a discovered theft of the mines' contents, most likely. And so the forewoman Henrietta's absence may be more than some coincidental elopement... hm. Perhaps Nestor has some counter-curse to share with us..."

Ouzo reclined in the old, rickety chair, draping an elbow over the chair's back and revealing a pit stain in the droning pattern of his shirt. He took another sip. It was half-empty by now, after all his musings, and his eyelids began to glisten with some ill combination of oil and sweat.

"If only you hadn't spilled your medicine bag, no Miss Rhii? No worry. The baron will see it replenished, no doubt, if only for his own ends. Besides, a panacea for poor Brahms or discovering the missing forewoman would make for too easy of a mystery. Even if nothing else, we can still know the truth if we delve into the baron's mines. If we find full corpses with wounds from only their own equipment, we might know that they and Brahms suffered a crime at the hands of a sentient spellcaster. If all that remains are the shredded messes after a moth swarm's feeding, then perhaps all Brahms and the baron's operation suffered was a simple fit a of bad lack. Unless... unless more information has been discovered?" Ouzo looked to anyone else that may have joined them at the table with a raised eyebrow.

Pleased with his arrangement of the few facts they did have, the Spaniard's sly grin returned.

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Old Nov 20th, 2020, 02:01 PM
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Dead Man's Happiness
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When Jie took his leave from Nao and Gerhard, a very mischievous and amused grin lit up Nao’s face. She gave Jie a wink, but she wasn’t sure the Chinaman saw it as he hurried away. Chuckling, she turned to Gerhard. ”Come, let us share a drink and information while we hope for Jie’s success with his lady.”

She got drinks from the bartender, who she learned was called Gallteeth. That name is surely fitting. I wonder if he chose it himself. She sipped and listened to Ouzo, frowning as he explained the curse of madness. ”That doesn’t sound good at all. I wonder if there is a way to ward off such insanity, a spell or herbs perhaps? I’m afraid I wasn’t able to uncover much. I have a feeling that the forman’s disappearance is somehow related to the demons, but I have no proof.”

When Jie returned, looking like the cat who got the cream, Nao waved at him enthusiastically. ”Hey, hey it’s the conquering hero! I take it your courting of our dear sheriff was successful? Were you able to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement?” She snickered to herself then sobered slightly. ”Seriously though, I am quite happy for you. It feels like a good omen in the midst of this calamityTensai.”

For the rest of the evening, Nao drank and talked with her companions, building a camaraderie with them.


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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 07:27 AM
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Early Evening, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate - Gerhard Eisenhand
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ᚷᛖᚱᚺᚨᚱᛞ scoffed quietly and leaned back with an almost disdainful folding of him arms. "Naught be had from Nestor I think. That one many things, some good, but no source of wisdom." Though he couldn't say as much aloud, Ragnar was particularly put out by the lackadaisical quality of the Hellmage. Though he couldn't deny the man's savvy in finding what, until recently at least, seemed to be a relatively well suited job for his character another part of him was well rankled. Though Nestor had not known it, both men were professionals in Ragnar's eyes and where he had been expecting the likes of which he would find in his homeland, he hand instead found only Nestor. ...then perhaps all Brahms and the baron's operation suffered was a simple fit a of bad lack...

"I think it not bad luck. He might be an idiot, but he a thorough idiot. Een Hellmage hvem har ikke seen a demon. Until this incident here. Nestor had veel to say, though little of use. He og an other Hellmage, their warding function for 12 hours. Med de twee, a full working day covered. This make me think it not bad luck." Though he had no drink of his own, Gerhard's hands again gesticulated as he spoke, seemingly turning something over again and again in his hands despite them being empty. "There is no reason to think han snurrer månestråler, he demonstrate his power for us. Perhaps he underestimate his own power? I say nee. With only two I think this happen much sooner. More likely there was coordination involved. Consider too, something he revealed only by chance. 'We may not understand the intentions of demons, but that does not mean there is none. Even those with the most basest of instincts were directed with purpose. There is always a hierarchy.'"
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