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  #1  
Old 05-01-2020, 10:08 AM
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West of the Last Eerie House

-The Violet City is the end of the Right Road. It is a city of great prosperity, of trade, of magic, of opulence... and also one of great poverty. There are no roads that venture West of the city, only the tracks left by caravans who travel ever-closer to the eternal sunset of the Black City.

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Avobena, Mexoryl, Urch, Berkeley, and Éclate find themselves at the palatial Casa del Gato. The structure was from the Long Ago, and a marvel to modern rainbowlanders. Built by Post-Ling folk in the Spring of Monarchies in celebration of the Inter-Tactilism styles, special considerations were made to the sense of touch, moreso than sight (in fact; the structure is made of solidified shadow - every surface eigengrau). Every dark surface features a unique texture, grit or smooth or patterned. Nobleflies with glowing abdomens fluttered through the halls. Their neon red and argon purple light created constrast on the architecture, color upon shadow.

Two horned purplelanders lead the party down winding staircases to the warehouses that held the Parasol Shrine Association's goods.

One purplelander, Enrike i'Creati, was wearing short-cropped ceremonial garb and cradled a calico cat in his arms. Two other felines perched on his shoulders. The one in his arms watched the party carefully, calculatingly with brilliant violet eyes. Its little human hands folded and drummed about eachother. It's tail flicked threateningly, in part due to the tip being a rattle-snake's head. The other two cats were blue-gray and had a single horn on their head like a rhinoceros beetle.

The second purplelander, Robiya i'Creati (assumedly Enrike's twin), wore matching garb, and carried a tome that lie somewhere between holy script and business ledger.

"To clarify," Robiya explained, "Although this appeases the travel goddess in the east, this isn't a missionary journey. Think of it as more of an investment in our intertwined futures- and to sate our... Robiya trailed off, her eyes and the cat's eyes locked. The cat nodded, and its snake-head tail flicked. "Our own curiosities."

The inside of the warehouse was dark and dense with the smell of exotic spice and incense, "To send you off well, we've prepared this parcel of cat coffee beans, ten stone of it. Two-thousand cash worth; yours to trade as you may." She slapped a box made of dense lavender-wood; a sigil of Parasol was stamped on the side, along with the advertisement image of a black cat with wild firework eyes.

"We expect you pay for it in the future four-fold, at a time of your discretion; and with news and stories of the west steppes, in lieu of interest payment."

A deal like this was rare in the Violet City; it was interest free, no concrete payment plan, and goods provided up front. There was a lot of good faith expected of the party. Was it naiveté, confidence, or some third thing that made these two purplelanders (and the calico) so willing to part with a crate of coffee beans?


OOC - Inventory, and the Violet CityThey're going to be giving you 150lbs of cat coffee; which has a base price of 2000 cash. Inside the big box are smaller sacks, if you need to distribute the weight between different characters/carts/pack animals.

While in the Violet City, you can stay there for as low as 1c a day (slumming with Blueland exiles), and the sky is the upper limit. If you do hang around, you can schmooze some of the locals to get information about what cat coffee goes for at the Low Road and High or the Steppe of the Lime Nomads with a DC10 Persuasion or Investigation check.

If the party spends a week in the Violet City and passes the same check, they can hear rumors up to three points out - even beyond the Porcelain Citadel to hear about either The Last Serai or the Trail of Vomish Dreams (what those are, how far they are, and how much they'll pay for cat coffee).

Feel free to interact with the NPCs here; and I can answer OOC questions in the OOC thread.

Last edited by Inuvash255; 05-01-2020 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:06 PM
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Urch
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Urch was excited on her trip to the Casa del Gato. She'd always wondered what was inside, especially since Artemis came along. In fact, she might not have felt such excitement since she found herself in the Violet City. Finally, a chance for some answers, and maybe a chance to make enough cash to leave sleeping on the streets behind her.

She felt uncomfortably heavy. She hadn't carried so much equipment in her life, but she was curious to try out her new dungeoneer's pack. As for the rest, she had collected plenty of things over her time living on the streets. You'd be AMAZED at the things people just throw away. She'd fashioned an entire leather coat from scraps found thrown in the streets. Her belt held two daggers as well as a crossbow, all given to her as payment for running an errand for one of the armorer meritocrats. She spent the rest of her stipend on as many rations as she could carry.

Urch marveled at the sight of her new compatriots. She'd been told she wouldn't be working alone, but just look at these people! What was an urch doing with people like this?

She listens to the i'Creati's task intently, but doesn't speak. She barely makes herself known in the room, as that was about as much as others cared to acknowledge an urch. Artemis, however, makes herself right at home. An all-black cat appears from Urch's coat and jumps down, trying to touch noses with the others cats in greeting.

Job sounds easy 'nough, I've worked much mer dangerous jobs'n this. Why so many'f us fer such an easy job?

On her way out, she makes heads back toward the slums to ask around where and how-best to sell the coffee. She doesn't even think to talk to the others on the job, since most folks never want to speak with her.


Dice Persuasion (for coffee-related questioning):
1d20+5 (17)+5 Total = 22


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Last edited by InertZero; 05-06-2020 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Fix formatting
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:05 PM
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Berkeley
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All these little people, chasing stories and lore from beyond the roads, thinking they can weaponise it for their little commerce ventures. Our stories would be old before it reaches their ears. Our lore would mix with the Long Ago before they could make use of it.

But, we get a cloud of cat coffee out of their vanity, so what the heck.


The Violet City has not agreed with Berk. He tried to suck in the haze that wafted in from the sea but found it didn't stay in his chest. He watched the disinterested decadence of the well-to-do and wondered if they saw anything at all when they painted their eyeballs with so many luminescent colours. Berk knew true decadence. This was a plodding masquerade.

The whole city has been an interwoven disappointment - a mess of people burdened with things they have no idea what to do with.

So now, being laden with the suspicious little black beans and a vague notion of investments and curiosities, Berk waves an ivory hand dismissively. "I could give you stories right now, cat-stool. I could pluck a whole damned book from my brain and some of it might even be the truth. But you want to send us west anyway, I'll oblige. No place I'd rather be right now. Though I'm curious why we're the ones you trust with the collecting and telling ..." The rest trails in the air, waiting for the i'Creati cat-stools to fill in the details.

When there's silence, an undulating whisper seeps into the room, barely discernible. "The unmarked road will never bend. West, forever and ever, until blackness. No stories, because all stories should cease."

Berk mostly knows the voice is there because of the tickle somewhere behind his jaw. He salutes the cats and their blank-faced cat-stools, sauntering outside to check up on his mule. He can see the animal's heart thump under translucent skin. "Offer, you always pick the worst time to get poetic," Berk rebukes. "Where do you get this nonsense from, anyway?"

"We will find nothing and it will be the wrong nothing," the mule continues mournfully, looking at Berk with glazed eyes.

Berk is a little rattled by that, and gives the mule a curt shove with his mind. The creature takes the psychic jostle in its stride; the mouth stops talking and starts chewing idly.

From out of the casa, the little horned waif shoots along, eyes downcast. She's apparently to be a fellow traveller into the endless stretch. How will someone used to making herself invisible against a steaming pile of buildings reconcile herself with the glasslands? For now, she makes herself scarce in the monochromatic streets of the Violet City as Berk watches. Curious kid. Shame she's a cat-stool as well, by the look of it.

"Well, when the others come out, tell them I'm making preparations and'll be back in a couple of hours."

"Can do, boss," says Offer, still soft but in his more agreeable voice.

Berk pats the mule on the back, just under where his mostly-empty chest of personal effects lies strapped to the Offer's harness. At least he can put some coffee in it now if needed. He plunges back into the Violet City, feeling the wafting breaths of air from the deep alleys and smelling the scented cat droppings on wide, flat windowsills forever kept open. He loves cities, he hates cities. They burn out his boredom but replace it twofold when the novelty is gone. He'll try one last time to wean out the most interesting possibilities from the shifting streets, but he'll be glad to see the back of this city - the last one before the last march.


OOCBerk doesn't care enough about the coffee to ask about that - his Persuasion was to try learning about more exotic trade possibilities. Only got a 7 though.

Also as an RP note - Offer will converse with anyone openly, using his green voice, and will be very pleasant and eager to please.


 
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:24 AM
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Berk waves an ivory hand dismissively. "Though I'm curious why we're the ones you trust with the collecting and telling ..." The rest trails in the air, waiting for the i'Creati cat-stools to fill in the details.

The twins exchange a meaningful glance at each other, then turn back to eye the skeletal man with a haughty air that matches their cats.

"Oh they don't trust you, dear. Don't flatter yourself." a strong sultry voice laughs, coming from a diminutive fairy, only a couple of feet tall. Her smooth lavender skin looks untouched by the harsh sun of the grasslands, despite the mid- thigh length flowing skirt and plunge cut bodice she wears. She walks with an air of grandeur up to the twins and signs her name in a large sprawling script into the holy ledger: Avobena.
"My deepest honor and gratitude to the Parasol Shrine Association! I take these goods as a testament to my faith and business acumen and pledge to you the four-fold returns of the goddess' desires. May the Shrines always supply the weary traveler and increase the profits of the Association, in her name." she recites the appropriate lines, spoken loudly and passionately as if a congregation were before her. The twins nod curtly with approval then turn a snarky smile toward Berk.

The fairy claps her hands twice and a behemoth of a man, easily 8 feet tall, jogs quickly through the warehouse, navigating between the piles of crates, barrels and sacks. "Coming, Priestess."

His thick black hair is streaked with silver, although he is young. He wears a jacket of tough leather, with vent holes cut in thin strips across it's surface upon which is interlaced large metal hoops and rings of all different sizes. Polished brass pipe rings glint, old cut coil springs from the Long Ago gleam with a curated patina. As he steps into the circle of people it is clear why he is so tall. Light grey fur covers the horse shaped portion of his lower body, ending in dark black colored markings from knee to hoof.

The burly centaur hefts the 150 pound lavendar-wood crate marked the sigil of Parasol up and heads for a cart parked to the side of the warehouse. It too, bears the mark of Parasol and is hitched to a well-muscled donkey calmly chewing her cud. The centaur reaches into the cart and rustles around a bit until a loud thump and the definitive click of a lock echo from inside its shaded covering.

"Thank you, Mexoryl. You're a doll." the diminutive priestess flaps her gossamer wings and flies up to alight on the Centaur's back, patting his cheek as she floats by. Now eye-level with the rest of the caravan, she speaks with grandeur, "It pleases me greatly that such adventurous souls should join us on this most-holy of voyages. I am Avobena, priestess of Parasol. This is my devout protector, Mexoryl, of the Protectorate Brotherhood."She smiles sanguinely at the caravan, or what's left of it. A small hint of annoyance crosses her face as she notices the little horned urchin dart out during her introduction.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:50 AM
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With delighted fingers trailing along the alternating smooth and bubbled masonry of the Casa del Gato, Éclate followed behind her strange new companions and savored the pungent aroma of the place taking occasions to stop and take deep breaths. One of the i'Creati looked back, she couldn't tell which one it was, and the priestess quickly pulled her hand from the shadow stonework as if she had done something wrong. No,she thought to herself. My hands are my own now, and she placed her fingers back into the crevices of the shadow wall as they descended into the warehouse.

Once the terms were laid out, the priestess paid her obeisances to the Cat lord and allowed the Purplelanders their ambiguity. "We are grateful for your magnanimity and intend to satisfy your...interests." She bowed low again exposing the gorget of the ceremonial armor which she still wore under her billowing white clothes.

It was hard for Éclate to believe that not two weeks ago she had first determined to leave the coven and already had the fortune to fall into a caravan to the West. Surely the goddess approved of her actions or her luck would not have held. Tis a strange group even for the Violet City, she thought to herself while the skeleton-man openly insulted the patronlings. But, perhaps there is much of the city that I have missed... Her thoughts are interrupted by the sudden announcement and subsequent introduction of the Parasol devotees and she slides back into the ranks of the group.

While the centaur took the crate to the cart, she watched the young one struggle with her pack for a moment before hurrying over and helping to support the weight. "Come now, little sister, you need not carry the load all on your own. If you carry it a little higher and stand taller..." She pushed on the girl's back and pulled the straps tighter. "...it shouldn't feel as heavy." She smiled softly at the girl before heading outside to the cart.
__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

Once they had left the Casa del Gato, Éclate spoke with her companions, again bowing. "It is a pleasure to meet you and your footman. My name is Éclate and I do hope the small one returns soon. I envisioned us leaving immediately, yes? Unless, we should first determine where we should go?"
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:20 PM
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UrchOne of the horned cats jumps down to touch noses with Artemis just before Urch runs off to get information from the local slums. There, she finds an outcast camp.

At the center of the camp is a small pile of translucent rocks that glow faint azure and shed the barest amount of heat. Surrounding the rockpile are bluelanders; their twisted, goblin-like features and jagged teeth highlighted by the incandescent stones. Everyone knows they aren't to be pitied; the bluelanders know what they did.

A simple compliment, sincere or false, draws out what good inside them hasn't been twisted by the madness of the betrayed blue god. A bluelander, wrapped like a mummy in xanthous bandages, answers Urch's questions honestly, "Lime nomads don't drink the cat's coffee in their own steppes. Cult belief tells them it soils their bodies, their minds, and their land. It's not illegal, though."


OOCIn the Steppe of the Lime Nomad, the multiplier on selling coffee is x0.


i'CreatiThe twins gaze at Berkeley humorlessly and egolessly. It's hard to say whether they're ignoring his insult, practicing patience, or simply can't 'cat-stool' as an insult in the first place. The calico looks amused, though.

"We don't desire stories from the East, Mister Berkeley, only from the West."

Robiya handed the ledger out to Avobena, and takes it back when the book is signed, then stand aside as the cat coffee is collected and hauled away.

Soon, the rest of the party leaves the warehouses of Casa del Gato with a haul of coffee.

Berkeley spends some time looking for interesting tips and exciting ventures, but nothing particularly juicy comes up. The only thing anyone wants to talk about is the new flavor of yellow beer shipped in from the Last Chair Salon, just day out of the city, beyond the cat coffee farms.



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Old 05-04-2020, 12:45 AM
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Avobena"Leave immediately?!" Avobena shakes her head and waves her hands in an overly dramatic way. "Darling, we just got here!" The tiny fairy eyes Éclate suspiciously then gets a tiny grin.

"Mex, would you stock us up and protect the caravan? You better wait around here for that little one to come back. Although, it seems she knows her way around the city. Oh, and do a little market research for our deliveries, would you sugar?" She pats his whithers as she floats off his back and toward Éclate.

"I prefer not to leave your side, Priestess. This city is crawling with dangerous folk." Mexoryl protests and takes a few steps towards the fairy as her tiny wings thrum, propelling her softly away from him.

"I'll be fine, Mexoryl! I have this fine woman here to protect me!" Avobena dismissively laughs and hovers over to link arms with Éclate. "We'll be back before dinner." she says over her shoulder with a smile, blowing him a kiss and a wink.

The centaur grits his teeth and answers begrudgingly, "Yes, Priestess, of course." Turning back he leads their donkey and cart down the street to the South toward the stables and outfitters.

Avobena turns the tall priestess gently to walk into the city streets toward the boutiques in the West, tugging her arm a little and hovering along. "I'm thinking maybe this is your first time in the city and you might need some pointers on where to go, hmm? We ladies need a little personal time before setting off on a journey, I always say. Luxuries don't come often on the road, so it's best to start it off right. Come on!"

She smiles broadly at her new friend and says casually, "Maybe you have a reason to leave quickly though, dear?" an innocent look to her eyes, full of compassion. Then she leans in and adds in a conspiratorial whisper, "Running from something, sister?" the fairy grins and pats the woman's arm gently.


Mexoryl
Trudging down the street, his hoof clops and the donkey's mingling together with his mumbling"No regard for safety...or my feelings...doesn't even know that woman.", the dejected centaur passes one of the first stables: "Eldun's Exotic Equestrian Emporium."

Eyeing the stables as he passes idly by, with a clatter of hooves Mexoryl stops dead in his tracks. Rucio the donkey nearly runs into him and brays with surprise. Inside the stall is a horse; Mexoryl staring at it with his mouth open. A nicely shaped mare chews on her hay with no particularly special markings other than her smooth, lilac fur and rich lavender mane.

The recently rejected centaur looks up and down the street, then trots to the back of the stable to find the owner. "I need to stable a donkey and park a cart for a day. And uh...say...what'll it take to get me 5 minutes with that purple pony you got there? I'll be gentle..." He smiles and slides a few silver across the table.

A few minutes later and with a jaunty trot, Mexoryl heads toward a local pub. His winning smile and relaxed attitude shine through as the centaur buys a couple of the new yellow beers and talks shop with other traders coming and going from the grasslands.
Dice Persuasion:
1d20+4 (4)+4 Total = 8
Looking for tips on cat-coffee he steers the conversation that way whenever he can, but his romp and the ale distract him considerably.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:24 PM
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Urch returned to the group relatively quickly. She knew all the quick ways around the city, and generally knew who to talk to in the slums for information. The slums were the only place that made any sense to her, the only place she had any kind of confidence. That confidence was immediately shaken upon returning to the group. Her eyes dart around, alternating between Berk, ground, Avobena, ground, Eclate, ground, round and round, never focusing on anything in particular.

I...uhh..ummm...we....uh...cawfee...uhh...

Artemis, who had been enjoying a nice nap in Urch's hood, wakes up and climbs onto Urch's shoulder, licking Urch just below her temple.

It's okay. You can tell them. They want to make some cash too!

Urch turns her head, eyeing Artemis. She swallows the lump in her throat, nodding in agreement. She looks back down at the ground and sighs, re-centering herself. She looks back up, confidently giving each party member eye contact.

Nomads'f th' Lime Steppe don't drink cawfee, won't buy no cawfee, we'd be better off headin' fer th' Low Road 'n High.

Urch breathes a sigh of relief, glad to express even that much. Dunno where ah'd be'f not fer Arty.


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Old 05-06-2020, 07:57 AM
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Éclate stiffens at being called a priestess, but softens her face into a smile and lets the fairy pull her in close. If she's willing to part from her protector, then she's surely not going to reveal anything..yet. "Perhaps you are right. I would relish a tour of the wonders of this city if time can be spared."
The fairy drags Éclate into bustle of the city and directs them down avenues where there are no street sellers, only proper indoor shops. Here it was less busy too and Éclate felt safe enough to respond to the little priestess' question. "Is it so obvious? I thought that I would blend in enough here. I had heard tales of the Violet City and its unconventionality. I presumed that none would even pay me heed if I kept under the radar." Normally Éclate would be more suspicious of Avobena, but the fairy's actions led her to believe that she had her own mission at heart.

The pair enter into a long and thin miniatures shop filled from floor to ceiling with tiny cubes containing figurines of great queens of the past. A fitting shop for two priestesses. The storekeeper, a well dressed rainbowlander with a prominent nose extension so long it almost knocks over the figures at every turn, flits about the shoppers offering them silver water and misting the air with a mild sedative. Éclate breathes deep and lets her shoulders relax as she observes the stolid faces of the figures. "In truth Avobena, what brings you on this dangerous road? To have a protector too, you must be highly prized by your cult."
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:34 PM
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Yellow beer? Tanned almost to the point of amber? Who ever heard of such a ridiculous thing! Berkeley fancies himself as someone open to new experiences but this city is stuck, stuck, stuck. He meant to delicately pry details of the hot new trades, but with everyone talking about this damned swill he just becomes bored.

He doesn't head back immediately. The sky is somewhere between magenta and navy when he finds himself wandering back to the Casa del Gato. He doesn't quite remember what he's been doing in the time since, but he smells like some sort of flower and he thinks he's learned a little something of the post-transcendentalist literary movement in Violet City. Did he punch one of the poets in the mouth? Maybe.

The coffee has been hauled out and is mostly secure to the caravan's odds and ends, although no one seems to be around right now. He silently stuffs what he can into the chest on Offer's back. "Double the load if you like, I'm good for it," Offer chimes in happily.

"No you're not, you long-nosed runt," Berk grumbles. "You probably don't want to follow me to the end. Stop being so damned happy about being dragged along."

It's apparently time for the others to return. The horse-man is first, looking distracted, and Berk recognises some form of long-nursed distress. "Whatever's gnawing away at your headspace, it won't follow us on the road," Berk declares to him. "Doesn't matter what it is or what you think you're carrying. New rules, new roads. You know, the post-transcendentalists here write about the blank book that was thrown down by the gods, and that if we write in it ..." He stops. "Although you're probably not looking for death as release. Look, there's a metaphor in there about new paradigms, I think I hit the guy before he finished explaining it to me."

Two of the women, one of them the petite winged gnat who thinks she has some sort of station over Berk, saunter along as well. Berk ignores them for now.

Finally, the little horned cat-stool creeps into their circle, announcing (if it can be called as such) that the lime steppes are no place to sell coffee. Useful little sprite. "Taking the road, eh? Think I've been along there before, although I don't remember much. Offer here will probably volunteer more, except he's a mule and an idiot, so I'm not sure you want to ask. Hope there's refreshments along the way. Any of you rubes ever try this new yellow beer they're talking about?"


OOCI am this close to asking Inuvash to allow an automatic advantage for anyone wanting to smack Berk to shut him up.


 
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:26 AM
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Mexoryl
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The centaur protector canters up jauntily, but immediately a look of concern crosses his face. He rears up on his hind legs for a moment, gaining some height to survey the roadway then sidesteps and shifts around, sizing up the meeting place.

"Whatever's gnawing away at your headspace, it won't follow us on the road," Berk declares to him sagely.

"This problem goes where I go. I find my ways to deal with it.", the centaur eyes the blabbery skeleton sidelong and stamps his feet, showing his annoyance as the man continues to drone on.

The skeletal man rambles on, Mexoryl struggling to follow him and nodding along semi-politely, his eyes shifting and distracted on the lookout for Avobena.



Avobena
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"Is it so obvious? I thought that I would blend in enough here. I had heard tales of the Violet City and its unconventionality. I presumed that none would even pay me heed if I kept under the radar." Éclate said frankly and with a bit of disappointment. Is she nervous? Avobena wondered.

"I'll just put it out there for you to consider: that's a pretty fancy necklace you're wearin' and not one I've seen on the fashion trends, if you get the wave of my grass." Avobena winks as they enter a small figurine shop. The heavy perfumes have little effect on the fey woman, but have a clear result in loosening the shoulders and the tongue of the enigmatic priestess towering over her.

"In truth Avobena, what brings you on this dangerous road? To have a protector too, you must be highly prized by your cult."

Avobena smiles at her usage of the word cult and pats the woman's arm. "Some... cults are different than others, sweetheart. Mine's pretty easy going and everything is written down in the trade negotiations, policy and procedure rites and independent shrine contracts. " she nods as if that were a short list of things to know.

They wander around the room, eyeing the merchandise and the fairy steers the woman past the merchant spraying sedatives a few more times. "Ooh, how about this one?" Avobena giggles and jabs a tiny elbow out, nodding toward a sculpted figure of a cybernetic horse ridden by a man with a pointed chin, large black hat and a very long, curved sword.

"He's quite the figure. But as you say, I've got my own knight in radiation armor. I'm blessed to be one of the few that doesn't get stuck in some dingy, run down, piece of salvrodite shrine in the middle of Burned Folk Eglep." the look of disgust is visible on her face, her tiny lips curl up to uncover sharp white teeth.

Calmly and proudly, she continues, "I'm a Traveler. I go where I like and that means I get a Protectorate Brother to accompany me, my footman as you call him." she sighs happily and blushes slightly, then catches herself and casts a sidelong glance at the merchant and his perfume bottle.

"Éclate, how about you? Are you sent out to spread the word of your sisterhood, too? Maybe build a congregation and an empire?" she says charmingly to the now very happy and relaxed woman as they leave the shop and head toward a nice restaurant. "Let's get a nice bite of the exotic flavors of Violet city before we live off rations for who knows how long, hmm?"


Meeting place
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The caravan members slowly gather, milling around. Berkeley's jaw clattering and yammering on as Mexoryl stands on high alert, scanning the crowd for the rest of the members. Urch slinks up from out of nowhere, much to the centaur's surprise.

Finally, Avobena and Eclate saunter up casually, in no apparent hurry and with no concern for their tardiness; laughing quite uncontrollably. Mexoryl stamps again, but his posture relaxes.

As the group mills about and discusses their plans for the next day, the little horned girl fidgets, nuzzles her cat and finally speaks, startling everyone gathered.

Nomads'f th' Lime Steppe don't drink cawfee, won't buy no cawfee, we'd be better off headin' fer th' Low Road 'n High. Urch announces with pressed speech, then breathes a sigh of relief.

"Well, that is lovely dear. Well done! We'll take the Low and High West, then? Anyone else?" Avobena says, recovering quickly from the shock of hearing the small girl speak. Mexoryl looks around, gives a small shrug and guiltily shakes his head.

"I suppose that settles it then." the diminutive fairy nods and smiles as she flutters back to Mexoryl, standing on his whithers. "I hope you all have a wonderful rest. Sounds like we're all anxious to be off early tomorrow." she grins at Eclate, as they both suppress small giggles.

"Any of you rubes ever try this new yellow beer they're talking about?" Berk ponders awkwardly, changing the conversation abruptly, but with a clear disdain for the topic.

"Yeah, I had some. Kind of...bitter." Mexoryl answers with a shrug, killing the momentum of the question.
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:15 PM
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Trail to a Trail

After convening the following morning, the unlikely party find the beaten paths that stretch west of the Violet City. They are the only caravan heading east this morning. Indigo grasses and flowers dance in the easterly wind. Mindaro clouds roll over the distant hills that divide the valleys and craters ahead. The zingy scent of ozone carries on the wind; there is rain in the future.

Later that day, a light drizzle of rain soured by ash catches them, but doesn't last long. This off-and-on wet weather lasts until the fourth day, and is instead replaced with umber skies and whirlwinds of ash. Weather or no, the trails here are trodden well enough until they reach the east-most expanse of the low road. Ancient gray pavement winds between rocks and hills. Frail shoots of violet grasses poke up from cracks in the ancient stonework; the rusty dirt around the low road is reluctant to support foliage.


Misfortune CheckOn these trails, more may befall the party than melancholy and wet clothes.

Roll one of these checks, and reference the table below for the outcome: Wisdom(Survival), Intelligence(Nature), Strength(Athletics), or Constitution.


Dice Roll Result
1 Sour rain spoils a week's worth of rations.
2 A scorpion spider in your boot bites you with it's venom. Make a CON save vs. DC 10. If you fail, you're poisoned, and can repeat the save each day.
3-4 One of your pack animals lames itself in a prairie dog hole (add +1 day to the journey)
5-6 Bad luck, you sprain your leg on a prarie dog hole (add +1 day to the journey, or take 1d4 bludgeoning damage, your choice)
7 Obsidian debris cuts your foot (take 1d6 damage), but within the rubble, you find a treasure.
8-12 You catch a rattling cough. It's ultimately harmless, and will pass within a week's time.
13-20 You avoid the dangers of the trip, but nothing protects you from seeing the crumbs of lost civilizations. Their fate will someday be your fate.
21+ A feral steppe puppy imprints on the hero, and it's a real cutie.



On the fifth day, the easterly winds carry more ash, and pillars and ruins of the high road begin to present themselves, but not in their full majesty quite yet. As the party winds around a cliffside, they see that there are two somethings stopped on the road.

The first something looks like an oasis on tank treads. Palm trees rise tall from the top of the vehicle, and cyan sand sparkles beneath indigo huts. A rim of rusted metal holds the oasis in place on top of the terrain-chewing base. A fellow in violet camouflage brandishing a rifle of some sort stands at the edge in conversation.

The second something is a tall, pale creature with sky-blue swirling veins; a giraffe made of the finest china. A glass howdah on the animal holds three people, all in black with obsidian helmets that glint in the sunlight. Porcelain Princes. At the feet of the fragile-looking beast of burden stand eight rainbowlanders hunch-backed with sacks of supplies. They're huddled on the far side of the glass animal. They look skittish.


OOCThe way is semi-blocked ahead. You can observe, and try to figure out what the situation is. You can also attempt to avoid the situation altogether. Alternatively, you might walk right in and become a third party to whatever is going on. Or maybe there's a fourth path?

Feel free to field questions and discuss in OOC.


DateSpring - Week 1 - Day 5
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:53 AM
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Berkeley
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The land shimmers as the dust dances along the ground, kicked up around the flowers and jagged grasses. Every time the wind blows, the Low Road is swept with ash and a bitter tang that Berk supposes is the taste of ancient history ground into a fine acrid powder.

And then the rain comes. It barely leaves.

Berk doesn't care much about the rain. The ash-laden water leaves his bones dirtier than before, but he's on the road now - no need to fuss too much about immaculate appearances. But some of it gets into his jawbone, and he can't shake this cough that's come over him.

When the rain finally does ebb, it's been four days and Berk is irate. His travelling companions aren't exactly the fun or talkative types - that sprite doesn't count, she talks all fancy and carefree but Berk still has a notion to ignore her - and they haven't reached anything interesting yet.

When they finally do, Berk's so lost in his own pent-up frustration that he doesn't even notice it at first. He keeps walking, and stops short when he realises with some grumpiness that the road in front of him is blocked. He looks up slowly to take in the giant porcelain creature barely twenty paces away. Then the vehicle with the oasis atop its rusted frame.

Now this is interesting.

He sees armaments and stress in the meeting, and has a notion to get back and see if there's about to be a nice fire-show for him - his companions are already further back, did he wander on without them? Yeah, that'd be a good notion. No point in him being this close just ye-

"HUUURGH HRA HRA HRA," he spews out, unbidden and without warning. He feels eyes on him now. Damn cough is going to get his detached skull spinning all the way back to Violet City. "Yeah, yeah, I'm here, relax. Interrupting a trade? Got some trading of my own: stories, words, good times. And some ... HRA HRA HRA ... stuff back there with the mules and mule-heads as well. Maybe I'll sell you a far-too-jovial fairy-lady as well if the money's good."


 
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Old 05-09-2020, 03:43 PM
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Mexoryl
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"Hey, Berkley....Berk!" the centaur protector whispers hoarsely toward the skeletal vagabond with no effect. Berk continues to move forward mumbling to himself and grumbling, getting closer and closer to the road block.

"What the bruck is he doing?" Mexoryl turns to Avobena and grunts. He halts the caravan near a large rubble pile, mostly concealing them from the negotiations happening ahead. "Let's let them sort their own problems out and go around this. No business of ours."

The centaur eyes the surrounding ruin of past generations, slowly being overtaken by rough purple grasses and thorny shrubs. If we're not careful, we'll rot away out here, as well. The tiny weight of the fairy shifts as she flys up to sit on his shoulder. Her soft hand rests on his neck gently. Dammit, she wants to go, too...



Avobena
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"Maybe he knows them? It could be a good chance to make some trades. Let's go talk to 'em!" Avobena perches on Mexoryl's shoulder for a better view, supporting herself on his strong thick neck. There's no way he'll let us go up there.

Avobena's smile is weak and forced. "I'm sure it's fine, right?" she nods at the rest of the group, but lacks her usual self-assured airs. Even the new caravaneers who barely know her can sense the tension and hesitation in her voice.

Mexoryl snorts and casts a sidelong glance at the priestess, backing up for better cover and taking Rucio's reins. The donkey chews her cud obediently and waits in the cool shade of the ruined pillar.

Avobena shades her eyes from the harsh sun and peers at the skeletal figure now some distance ahead of them. She examines the two parties, now shortly turning to three, as she tries to
Dice Insight check:
1d20+2 (12)+2 Total = 14
read the situation.
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:54 PM
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Urch
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Finally on the road, and Urch was loving the first bit of the journey. The sights outside of the Violet City could scarcely be believed. It was normal to the rest of the group, though. Knowing she was from a different place (or time?) made the sights that much more wondrous.

She listened intently to her new companions, even if she didn't say much. They were all so interesting! Even if a little annoying. Mebbe ahh kin make some real friends on this journey!

Not even the rain could get to her, if this could even be called rain. Her sleeping place in the streets had been flooded away numerous times due to storms. Things started to change with the ash, though. Thankfully, Artemis reminded Urch to use a part of her hood to shield her mouth, so she kept from inhaling the stuff, but then she started to notice the ruins of lost civilizations.

So menny lahves snuffed owt, so menny stories over before 'n end. Who'm ahh t' think ah'm any diff'rent? Ahh'll die in these here plains, ahh was a fewl fer takin' this jawb.

Before Urch can have a full-blown existential crisis, the party stumbles upon a tense situation in the road, Berk quite literally stumbling into it. She's about to move forward to help Berk. Living in the streets, Urch had developed how to read people and de-escalate situations. If not for that, she'd certainly have perished. Artemis stops her, however, pushing claws just into Urch's shoulder.

Hold back a minute, see how this develops. See what everyone's motives are. Have I taught you nothing? We're better from back here if this ends in a fight, anyhow.

Urch nods in agreement, watching the situation unfold.


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