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  #106  
Old 12-06-2017, 12:58 PM
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The barricade has little to offer as far as help, but they do what they can. The leader speaks.

"It's not a game, and I'm sorry to do this to you if you're truly and honestly not a shapeshifter, but we have to be safe. The shapeshifters aren't even the worst problem. There's the cannibals, the cultists.... We've got other things too, things I can't describe. So we gotta be careful. If you're somethin', you're shapeshifters, and we gotta be careful about that." The man moves, his head becoming visible. He is middle-aged or old, his hair graying though once it was a sandy brown. His eyes are tired, but gentle. "You do this, you're good by our books. Even if it's suicidal, it's decent." This latest comment does not seem aimed at them.

The one-eyed woman turning back after she and Samaris consult the rest of the group, there are questions that need answering. "You really don't remember much, do you? Well, you got the furnace, you got the washeteria, the laundromat, a few offices and closets.... I think that about covers it. But who knows what else there is? The walls may have cracked open, allowing you access to the northern hedgeway, or to the north'western tower. None of those rooms may be there. The earthquake and the destruction... couldn't tell you. We didn't get too far past the furnace room; that's the first room on your left, there. Found some clothes and then moved on." He sighs, moving up and removing a clean shot to his face by a bladed weapon.

"What we do know is that Oathsday is out there, somewhere, and he, she, whatever, wants in here. And the other shapeshifters under him, too." He says no more.
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  #107  
Old 12-07-2017, 09:13 AM
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Murder Squad"Fine." She practically spits the word, then follows it up with greater force. "Fine! We'll be your damned murder squad." Her hands are on her hips again, fingers brushing against the grips of her short blades. Why was that motion so comforting? Turning away from the barricade, she scans the hallway behind them. There was ample space, plenty of doors. Could be skinshifters anywhere in that direction. Her keen vision studies the area for movement, but her instinct tells her that anything moving within shooting distance of this barricade is likely already dead.

"I'd just as soon not go back outside if it can be avoided. Shall we check this hallway and the doors here first?" She's already taking a couple steps in that direction as she asks the question. The others needed light to see. Their struggle in the cellar made that clear. She had no such restriction. "I can scout ahead a bit. Report back anything that needs slaying." She jabs a finger in the direction of the other redhead, focusing her will on building a connection mind-to-mind. It'd be easier if she didn't have to shout her findings. Unless objections are raised, she starts off in the opposite direction from the barricade
Dice Stealth:
1d20+6 (17)+6 Total = 23
with soft steps.
OOCCast Message on Vicky.
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  #108  
Old 12-08-2017, 05:44 AM
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Coin looked wary as he followed the others a bit away from the makeshift barricade. Only when he was out of hearing did he clear his throat.

"Did you hear the woman back there? If the nurse we slew below was a patient here, and she claims to have been her roommate that means she was one too. And the clothes they where wearing? Patients too. Only what kind of hospital is armed to the teeth like that? I mean, the weapons they had must have been some they had lying around if they could grab them and barricade up like that. That's not brought in from the outside." Coin shook his head with his brow furrowed. "So some form of armory was located here. And that means guards as well. Hells, what is this place?"

Keeping his grip tight on his rapier, the swordsman gave his comrade a chance to get a however much is needed not to foil Pop's stealth attempt.bit of lead, before following suit.
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  #109  
Old 12-11-2017, 08:38 AM
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"Shapeshifters, cannibals and cultists... this didn't just happen over night, must've been a long time coming." the mage purrs in his nasal accent. He shrugs at Coin, wondering the same "Would like to know that, but I'm guessing it's an isolated institute and possibly privately funded. This woman must have been from a ward that treated, erhm... shall we say less damaged individuals? Almost sounds as if this Scaen lady was here to rest while she got back to her usual old self." he flickers a stray lock of hair away from his face "Well I guess we're about to find out just how bad this place is, right?"

He makes sure to stay between Coin and Victoria as they trail after their scout, knowing full well that he has exhausted most of his spells for the day and is - at best - useless in a fight.
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  #110  
Old 12-13-2017, 02:15 PM
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Off they go to continue their journey through this maddening madhouse, seeking for a way out. Hopefully their wild goose chase would end with them actually having found some geese and not turn out to be an act of futility.

Victoria acknowledged the spell that Nip had cast on her with a short nod and took up the rearguard of their little group. Trusting that loud noises from ahead would notify her if something was amiss there, she kept most of her attention focused on the barricade behind - just in case. Who knew what weird surprises the house still had in store for them. "The sooner the better, too. I hate this feeling of thinking that I should know more but… coming up empty."
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  #111  
Old 12-14-2017, 03:36 PM
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The comment "murder squad" seems to upset them, but as the four unknowns turn away, they don't hear many of the protests. They see only the darkness ahead, illuminated only by flickering light. Though the bright-eyed red head can see further than the rest, there's not much to see. It's a monotonous hallway, and it's not as if shapeshifters are jumping out of every crack and cranny.

Cracks are a plenty on these walls: heading further from the barricade, the damage outside becomes clear inside. The walls on the right side of the hallway, as they walk down, shows signs of severe wear and tear, a crack running from one door to the other. Past the door they entered, there are two rooms very close to one another, and a crack between them. Across the way, closer to the door they came from, there is another room that shows less sign of damage. As they move further down along that right side there comes more evidence of destruction: part of the ceiling has fallen through, though more rubble has fallen atop that hole, preventing the yellow fog from entering and thus allowing a view of the maelstrom above. Afterwards, the hallway enters out into a larger chamber.

It might have once gone into a longer, more continuous hallway, anyway, and the chamber might have once been a separate room. But with no evidence of a door and with the ceiling having fallen in there too, they must enter that room if they wish to continue down the hall. And there is something that smells, coming from it. An odor that smells familiar, metallic. Something they remember from their waking lives, since the dark shadows took them in their dreams.

Which door, which way?
 
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  #112  
Old 12-25-2017, 04:33 PM
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Whispers in the Dark"Clear so far." Her voice is hushed, just a whisper against her own teeth, but Victoria can hear her and she trusts that is enough. They'd all been together in a dream that felt more real than their current wakeful state. There was something between them, even if their minds couldn't grasp the whole of it. They were, quite literally, all they have in the world. As her nose draws in the linger stink of metal her hands draw the blades from their sheathes. Something about it puts her nerves on edge, a soft clanking sound resonating from deep inside her fractured memory. She doesn't let herself become distracted by the doors. If danger lay behind them, it would have to open them to get out and that wouldn't be quiet given the state of the surrounding walls.

"Moving forward to the end of the hall." And so she does, eyes accommodating the dim light readily. It is natural for her, this lack of illumination, though she cannot say exactly why she finds the dark so inviting. She
Dice Perception:
1d20+8 (16)+8 Total = 24
remains as alert as her nerves will allow, hoping there is nothing to justify the anxiety. That wariness spurs something in her, something in the wiring of her brain that sparks electric behind her eyes. Her breathing slows as she reaches out, her mind seeking others where her eyes might fail.
OOCCasting Detect Thoughts (1 minute max) and focusing on the hallway and room ahead of her as she moves, seeking any thinking creatures.
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  #113  
Old 01-02-2018, 06:57 AM
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Victoria found that waiting while someone else was doing the scouting and doing pretty much nothing in the meantime was not something she enjoyed terribly much. It made sense of course, especially since she was pretty sure that she herself wasn’t the quietest person around. Better to come upon some danger taking it by surprise than advertising ones approach from far away.

"She’s checking out where the hallway goes," she quietly told the other two, keeping them as apprised of what their scout was doing as was possible. Her own attention continued to be on the barricade and what doors she could see from her current position.



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  #114  
Old 01-04-2018, 06:39 AM
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Samaris shrugs at Vitcoria's comment, leaning lazily against the wall as they wait with his eyes half closed. He bites back a quip, it would do no good here and with everyone already on the edge his best move would be to keep his mouth shut. So the crimson headed mage adjusts his glasses and smiles while they wait.
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  #115  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:20 AM
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And so, they move, carefully, slowly, at a creeping pace.

Juniper leading the way with Coin, Samaris, and Victoria following, she is quick to ignore the doors. Doors can only lead so far, and having no idea how large this place is, it's better to go where they can see and come back later, if necessary. Juniper may not have all of her faculties but she has enough to keep them moving, keep them alive, and keep them safe. The others follow, looking and watching as they go forward, with Victoria keeping an eye on the doors as they pass them. There is nothing coming out of them, and there appears to be no attempts to double cross or ambush them from behind. A fair choice, all in all, and shows their integrity. That might get them killed, but not today. Not by these four.

There are no thoughts to detect as they go forward, and as she enters the final room, Juniper begins to wonder if she wasted the spell on carefulness needlessly.

Then she sees the first hand.

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Then she sees the first hand
The room might have been pleasant, compared to the rest of the hallway once. But that was before the collapse, before it all came tumbling down. The walls between the hall and this office have largely collapsed, exposing debris-cluttered desks, toppled lockers, and several bodies that almost look human. Most of them are, in fact. Human, Half-Elf, a Halfling; it's hard to tell, between it all, but most of the bodies are buried. Not all of them, but most of them. A thin layer of smoke rises over it all, throughout the whole room, as if the dust has not yet settled here. The collapse was recent; recent enough, anyway. They've felt nothing of the sort, and a wall collapse of this size would have been felt even below them. From the looks of things, most of the people here wore coats similar to what the woman downstairs wore; the shapeshifter, the one called Ilesi Scaen. A quick, cursory glance from Victoria reveals that all of them, the ones that they can see, anyway, that aren't almost fully submerged in rubble, have their name tags. All but one; a woman, blond in hair, her head crushed and hidden underneath a particularly large brick. She died instantly, most likely.

More interesting are the bodies that do not appear to be fully Humanoid, at least not fully. They are silver, as was Ilesi downstairs, and each of them wears clothes; but unlike Ilesi, they wear the clothes of prisoners, or inmates, whatever those at the barricade mostly wore. They are closer to the top, the rubble atop them more damning, more deadly. The rubble therein is large chunks, as if falling from the room; afterthoughts, from aftershocks, most likely, catching unsuspecting shapeshifters. Perhaps Ilesi was the lone survivor of this group. There are four of them, in total, and each one is very, very dead to her eyes. How many did they need again? Three? How convenient is this?

More terrifying, Victoria realizes, is that the skin has been stripped away from some of the dead; both shapeshifter and Human, arm skin has been stripped away by uneven ripping, tearing, by a sharp instrument of some sort. It is ghoulish, and it is fresh. The blood has not had a chance to coagulate in the veins yet, at least, of the non-humanoid ones.

Unfortunately, the one furthest away, closest to the in-tact door further north in the room, lays still, a wound on its head of some sort, bleeding the strange blood of the shapeshifters. To Victoria, Samaris, and Coin, it is very dead, like everything else here.

To Juniper, it is trying very, very hard to remain still, and make them think it is dead. It is alive, and thinking very loudly these thoughts. How clever it is, how smart, how dumb these fools, unenlightened, unchosen!

How foolish, to be so open with one's thoughts.
 
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  #116  
Old 01-21-2018, 07:20 AM
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The farther they proceed the more weird things get. Not that she expected differently by now. A cave in that hasn’t been felt? Well, par for the course, really. And not much to be done about it. The fresh mutilations, though, they could be trouble. "What do you think did that?" Victoria asked the others. She considered the question herself while looking around the carnage without failing to note that they had just found what they needed to get behind the barricade. If they wanted to do that without more looking around.

For starters, she was a lot more interested in what might be contained in the desks and lockers. Hopefully some documents. Something, anything really, that might give another hint at what this place was and where and how they had gotten there.


 

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  #117  
Old 01-21-2018, 03:15 PM
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Rubble TroubleHer steps are slow and cautious, a sweep low across the floor that slides broken stone and scattered debris away as quiet as possible. The room is wider as leaves the hallway behind, but the contents of it are far more horrific. Bodies, flayed with precision and left to rot, lay among the rock and dust. It should not be the shock that it is, having experienced the meticulously cruel nature of these creatures upon waking, but she still tastes bile in her throat as she looks them over.

The others advance and the light they bear gives the room something it lacked to her darkvision. Shadows dance across the walls, formed from cracked masonry and battered bodies. As they approach her, Juniper holds up a hand and turns toward them. Her eyes are narrow and, with her back to the thinking creature, she holds up one finger, then motions behind her to the body. Her fingers close around the grips of her blades again and she takes a step to the side, keeping the creature in her peripheral vision as she goes about in an effort to seem investigatory.

"Not much luck for anyone here. Looks like they all died ugly." A small cough as dust tickles the back of her throat, her legs tensing as she readies herself for the attack. She has no intention of leading it, but she will be ready to throw in when someone else does. All the while, the creature's thoughts form a grating soundtrack to her efforts. Another side step,a hand on the wall near the intact door as if to steady herself from a stumble. The shortblade clanks metallic against the stone.
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  #118  
Old 01-25-2018, 04:34 AM
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"Jackpot!" he says with a mock gusto as he takes in the carnage around them, this must have been caused by the earthquake that woman spoke of, but the torn skin is something else. He moves closer to get a better look, his curiosity peaked "Not sure my dear," he says in response to Victoria's question "I am neither a doctor nor a skinner, so I'm as clueless as you lot." Samaris scratches his chin and cocks his head to the side "The real question is do we dig them out or cut them into more manageable pieces?" despite the gleam in his eyes and the grin on his face he doesn't seem to be joking.
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  #119  
Old 02-02-2018, 04:14 AM
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The only indication that Victoria had seen Juniper’s signs and understood them was a single nod of the head that might just as well also have been her shifting the direction her gaze was going. She surveyed the room, asked her question and moved towards one of the damaged drawers. To go through it required free hands and she replaced the crossbow at her belt. Even if the creature was lying still and not too far away, she did not trust her aim with all the debris in the way and the issue of having to aim with one eye.

Going for her sword would be a risk, sure, but she felt more certain that she could make it. Shifting a little closer still, she continued to rummage through the debris. Samaris’ answer made her think of something. Maybe she could get her sword out without alerting the creature after all. "We might be lacking shovels for the former, but this," she slid the blade from its sheath, ready to lunge for the buried creature at a moments notice if her bluff failed, "should work well enough to get the latter done." With just a little luck, the creature would not notice the impending danger and allow her to get the drop on it without resistance. After what had happened down below, she figured they were owed some answers. A sword to the throat might well help to elicit some cooperation, she figured.


 
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Old 02-02-2018, 07:07 AM
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Coin noticed the signals being sent by Juniper. Eyes darting quickly towards the indicated corpse, he nodded once before moving ahead. Red was already on the move, so the one-armed warrior sidled up next to her as deftly as he could and gingerly made his way forward, ready to snap up his blade and plunge it forward the second the body moved.

"I know they said bodies, but don't you reckon just the heads will do?" Coin drawled as he moved, doing his best to make his saunter appear, for all intents and purposes,
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to be the swagger of an unworried man.

"I don't really see us carting about dead shapeshifters in our current condition after all."



 
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