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File 171393897216.png - (208.16KB , 329x327 , hundredkingdomsthousandmiles.png )
1089578 No. 1089578 ID: 521475

Despite some of you being complete strangers, you've all been seated together at a restaurant in Nexus, due to the law against dining alone after sundown. Some guy tried to sell you a memory crystal containing a treasure map.
A pretty lady at another table (who turned out to be dragon-blooded) bought him a drink (which turned out to contain yozi venom) and then, while he was dying, grabbed the crystal and ran off. Might want to be out of town before her employer realizes that one of you actually managed to boot it up first, and got a pretty good look at the map.
Site's over a thousand miles away, but most of that would be river travel, and there's an underground manse, so it should be easy enough to zero in on with geomantic surveying tools even if the map, or your memory or navigational skills, end up a few miles off-target.
If somebody's willing to pay for yozi venom (which is not cheap!) to cover it up, gotta be something seriously valuable out there.

Destination is ~800 mi southeast of Nexus as the crow flies, and half that far north-northeast of the ruins of Denandsor, right in the middle of rocky uplands between the headwaters of the Rolling River and a minor tributary of the Grey River.
So, you could take a more direct route up the Grey, but then face a longer trek overland,
or start by going up the Yellow past Great Forks and then turn south along the Rolling.
Or try something more complicated, to take advantage of esoteric travel options and/or throw off potential pursuit.

Houserule hub: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10VAUEYEqWYWcQ9gz4bk9uok8OkAIYl1cy50KEw2y75o
Expand all images
No. 1089595 ID: 4f80d6
File 171396799013.jpg - (55.83KB , 664x1540 , Cold.jpg )

The young man who has spent the early evening putting on the airs of a Prince of the Earth leans back in his chair that creaks under his shifting weight. His granite eyes flick to cooling corpse & the others at his table, his hand is never far from the hilt of the oversized sword in a battered, brass tipped, leather scabbard.

"Anyone else get a good look at that map?"

While his words are clearly spoken in Riverspeak, the heavy accent of High Realm is unmistakable. He raises an eyebrow as he sips his still steaming cup of tea.

"I will surely need assistance if I am to beat... whoever it was that funded that lady's services, to the prize."
No. 1089598 ID: 4f80d6

No. 1089599 ID: ee10ae
File 171396993283.jpg - (2.26MB , 1500x2200 , __fu_hua_and_fu_hua_honkai_and_1_more_drawn_by_zha.jpg )


Ten Thousand Maws was once an aspiring martial artist - a pupil of the Golden Janissary style, not so much for any real desire to become a hero who fights the creatures of darkness; but to hold in the veneer of one to grant herself undeserved authority among other mortals, a cheap way to importance among her peers that did not require to be born in a privileged position. For years, she abused her position as a protector of the people, but when she finally had to confront a demon, despite it being within her power... she fled. She told valiant stories about how she had been the only one to walk away from the fight to drive the demon away, and none remained to contradict her - until the demon returned. Instead of the end she expected to meet, she was given the power she'd always desired. Without having to work for it - power. Without having to be born into it - status. Without having to earn it - wealth. She is not a fighter, and certainly never will be, coward as she is. Maws was wisely chosen as something that suits her more; the voice of subversion, a Fiend.

Her mind reshaped by exaltation, in the years since, she has lived with a new sense of purpose. Indulgent, but now driven, she has magnified her riches working in and around Nexus, gathered followers, and applied herself to tasks in ways she never had before. Truly, knowing one's place in life changes you. Her superiority - her inferiority - her knowledge of who she is and what she was, with no questions, lead her not to waste her time dreaming of more, but also to take pleasure in what she has. Though she has undoubtedly become a 'better' person by her exaltation, that far from makes her a 'good' person - quite the opposite, for as an Infernal, she is a Villain, and she revels in that fact.

"Oh, quite the good look indeed." The woman known as Thousand Maws gives a razor-toothed grin as she approaches. "With such an expense taken to defend their ill-gotten gains, this absolutely reeks of profit." Her cold red eyes scan the others around them. "Anyone else think they have what it takes to oppose that Prince of the Earth and claim the riches that await?" She offers, seeing if anyone moves to accept.
No. 1089605 ID: 43fe43

rolled 5, 4, 1, 1, 4, 5, 6, 5, 9, 3, 6, 4, 8, 8, 10, 4, 3, 5, 10, 10, 8, 4, 5, 4, 1, 10, 10, 7, 1, 2, 9, 9, 8, 10, 3, 6, 5, 1, 6, 6, 10, 3, 3, 4, 8, 2, 4, 4, 4, 7 = 275

The burning Champion is a young enough woman wearing extravagant red clothing and a temper short enough to match her height. The oldest daughter of a Naval officer in Wavecrest who stole a ship to run off to the opposite side of the world to pursue her own fortune as far away from any accusations of Nepotism as she possibly can.


The Champ would take one look at the situation that befell the man, poisoned as he was after she was trying loudly (and in vain) to haggle the treasure map down from the price he was charging to something much more reasonable to a down on her luck would be bandit.

"Sure, I got about as good a look at the map as you probably can get, but I'm going to get that map back regardless. Finder's Keepers, and we had our eyes on it first."

With that, she would break off in hot pursuit of the fleeing Exalt, not willing to so easily let this lead go.
No. 1089610 ID: 094811
File 171399559447.jpg - (126.66KB , 600x847 , E83C01C2-3222-47D7-8077-EDEA6A33A55D.jpg )

*The woman laid back in her chair was…well rather beautiful, to say the least. Her long blonde hair was tied back in a ponytail, and her cyan eyes glistened in the light. Her clothes were a kimono of sorts, but she wore it differently. The sleeves were currently hanging behind her, and the skirt was shorter than others, only hanging to about her knees. She was just laid back in her chair, smiling at the sight of the exalt running away.*

“Well then, seems we’ve all taken a look. And we all want the prize. But well…I want the map. Can’t exactly let someone else have all the chase.”

And with that, the woman got out of her chair, joining the champ in pursuit.
No. 1089611 ID: 094811

No. 1089612 ID: 094811

dice 50d10
No. 1089613 ID: 094811

rolled 7, 9, 2, 1, 4, 5, 7, 1, 2, 9, 3, 2, 8, 2, 10, 1, 2, 7, 7, 4, 6, 10, 1, 1, 6, 5, 1, 6, 6, 7, 8, 3, 1, 2, 9, 5, 2, 3, 10, 2, 10, 5, 9, 3, 5, 4, 1, 6, 7, 8 = 245

No. 1089617 ID: 37a599
File 171400002203.png - (1.79MB , 1024x1024 , Seeker of Wind and Woe.png )

Yet another woman is also at the table, half-sitting, half-squatting the wrong way on a chair: a Westerner with dark skin and hair, and a long green cloak that matches her eyes. Like Kisasa, she's very beautiful, but in a rougher, more unrefined manner. Humming, her eyes start shining, and her lips curl around her teeth into a crooked smile. Her eyes flash between the two members of the table giving chase, the newly-dead body, and the others remaining behind.


She leans over the table lazily, propping her chin up with her palms and elbows, and addresses the ones who remain in a too-high, uncouth tone of voice: "Do you think those two jokers will actually catch that woman? Never mind - I didn't memorize the map, so I guess I'm with you now, Serious Mr. Dynast and Greedy Ms. Greed."

She cocks her head, and her eyes grow thinner as her smile grows wider.

"Name's Woe."

No. 1089640 ID: 5cdee5

The stone prince places his tea upon the table, returning his hand to inside his pocket.

"Greetings to you, Woe. I am travelling under the moniker of Cold Blooded, it tends to keep others from bothering me for trivialities."

《Activating Flawless Pickpocketing Technique to go through the pockets of the poisoned man, cost: 3m personal》
No. 1089649 ID: 37a599

As Cold Blooded goes for the corpse, Woe dextrously twists in her chair, spinning it away from the corpse, and activating Sacred Kamilla's Inhalation (dissolves a corpse into the wind as you move away from it, leaving all of its possessions behind) and drawing its breath into her body. Then she taps her temple a few times, nodding at her new companion.

"Think, Cold Blooded, think. That guy obviously got his map from somewhere... And if it's worth killing HIM for, then it's worth killing US for. Better that no trace of him exist at all, except what's useful for us."

She motions toward the items the body would have left behind.

[Spent 1m on Sacred Kamilla's Inhalation]
No. 1089651 ID: ee10ae

"Woe. Please, call me Thousand Maws. I am a merchant, not 'Greedy Ms. Greed." The woman corrects her, gently, the first time. And only the first time.

Her eyes had followed the beautiful woman who had run off, but once she was gone her attention turned back to Woe's serious lack of respect.
No. 1089657 ID: 521475

rolled 7, 7, 9, 1, 3, 2, 7, 3, 2, 8, 3, 10, 3, 7, 8, 4, 6, 4, 4, 1, 1, 9, 5, 2, 1, 4, 10, 9 = 140

Rolling for the dragon-blood's getaway - hopping across oily flotsam in a canal, which her blazing footprints ignite, then up a wall and along the pulley-car line like a tightrope.
No. 1089658 ID: 521475

rolled 5, 1, 4, 10, 5, 10, 2, 2, 1, 10, 5, 4, 8, 7 = 74

rolling for her stealth on turn two of the chase, with four bonus successes from Dragon Shroud Technique, and two more specifically against the champ thanks to Distracting Breeze Meditation, while the champ is at -8 dice to notice due to distance
No. 1089659 ID: fbc9ce

Woe's eyes slide back to Thousand Maws, and she smiles, revealing a set of perfectly white teeth.

"Alright, Thousand Maws," she says, nodding. "I didn't mean it disrespectfully... Well, maybe a little. But I apologize. I shouldn't have assumed."

She offers a hand to shake.

"Let's start over. In fact, let's be best friends."
No. 1089661 ID: ee10ae

She returns the gesture - a nice, firm handshake. "To a prosperous partnership." Thousand Maws grins, the razor-like teeth clearly noticeable at this distance. "Can I leave it to you to let me know if they recover the map? I have some... people to gather, for such an expedition."

With that, she leaves the address of her workplace behind for Woe, and moves to start gathering up her entourage from across the city.
No. 1089667 ID: 094811

*And trudging back to the table, looking annoyed, was Kisara, her silver tail drooped as if in sadness.*

“They got away…..well, at least we saw the map. Dunno where the champ is, I lost her in the chase.”

*She sat back down, putting her hands behind her head.*
No. 1089669 ID: 43fe43

rolled 5, 9, 4, 3, 6, 10, 5, 9, 1, 5, 3, 4, 8, 3, 7, 8, 5, 8, 8, 9, 2, 7, 6, 3, 2, 4, 6, 5, 1, 1, 6, 9, 6, 7, 1, 4, 1, 8, 7, 5, 1, 2, 8, 9, 7, 6, 8, 4, 6, 9 = 271

It is after no small amount of time of searching for her, following that artful escape, that the Champ would come back to the bar, still glowing with a dangerous green anima bright enough to cast the whole room into the light of Hell, caste mark glowing brightly and with thick scales and wings to pick up where she left off, the seat audibly straining as she sat back down.

"Turns out, she was really stealthy, which is frustrating. Also she set a river on fire, so it was a good thing I flew instead. Gonna steal her boots if we find her again, they seemed pretty cool."

She was about as nonchalant with that proclamation as she could be, visible frustration and impossible confidence on her face.

"Anyway, I'm going to head out to the treasure when I'm done eating. Anyone interested, or are you going to get left in the dust?"
No. 1089670 ID: 4f80d6

Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun looks to the returning lady in the kimono.

"Well, Thousand Maws has left to gather some people for the expedition. I take it you would like to hunt for the prize as well?"

He offers a chair at the table for her.

"I am Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun," He motions to the lady from the far east. "and this is Woe. If we are to quest together, we should greet each other properly, if not formally get to know one anothers skill set."

He sits back in his chair, having collected his tea cup once more.

"For example, I am a trader in curios & a seeker of things lost & forgotten."

He smiles broadly, awaiting a reply from the others.
No. 1089677 ID: fbc9ce

"Sure, sure," Woe says, as Thousand Maws makes her exit.


(When the others return)

"Heheh... Champion of Being Seen, maybe." Woe clicks her tongue. "Well, our friend and her buddies'll know about you at least for sure, now. Better hope they don't know how to prepare for Malfeas."

(When Cold Blooded does the introductions)

"I'm a treasure hunter and a freedom fighter--sorry, those are the same things." Woe smiles toothily. "Nothing makes me prouder than freeing innocent people of the chains that bind them unjustly. I'm an expert in every field that's ever existed, and unbearably beautiful, to boot."

Woe brushes a few fingers through her hair, and snickers.

No. 1089679 ID: 094811

“I’m interested in the prize as well, as I’ve stated already. Kisara Moonfire. Princess, badass, friend. Unless you’re trying to kill me…please don’t try and kill me.”

She chuckles to herself a bit, her ears perking up as she does, before holding out her hands to Cold Blooded and Woe.
No. 1089681 ID: 3afa72

rolled 2, 2, 9, 4, 8, 5, 4, 10, 4, 9, 1, 1, 8, 9, 8, 8, 6, 7, 2, 1, 3, 7, 8, 1, 2, 4, 3, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 9, 1, 9, 6, 4, 4, 5, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 8, 6, 1, 4, 9, 5 = 243

> Some guy tried to sell you a memory crystal containing a treasure map.
> A pretty lady at another table (who turned out to be dragon-blooded) bought him a drink (which turned out to contain yozi venom) and then, while he was dying, grabbed the crystal and ran off.
As the would-be salesman collapses, a southern woman in robes who had previously been listening politely, shoots up abruptly, shoving past the opportune vultures crowding her patient, and pulling out her medical kit.

"Let me through, I'm a healer! Hands to yourself, he's not dead yet, and you can't check vitals in his pockets."

Rolling to attempt emergency intervention! (Perception 4 + Medicine 5) and Flawless Diagnosis Technique for diagnosis (unless we already know it's Yozi venom from the prompt). (Intelligence 5 + Medicine 5) for the treatment, bolstered with Instant Treatment Methodology to make intervention possible before the poison runs its course, Body-Purifying Admonitions to make the attempt supernatural (if this works like tracking, I assume non-supernatural healing would fail regardless in the face of a supernatural poison?) and Contagion-Curing Touch (she's still applying her normal paraphernalia and tools, despite not actually having Yozi antivemon on hand). Surprisingly, some current of air(?) Essence seems to be active in his body, which facilitates the dissolution and seamless extraction of damaged tissues. Willing to burn motes on a full Excellency activation, if needed.

No. 1089682 ID: 521475

>(Perception 4 + Medicine 5) and Flawless Diagnosis Technique
>rolled 2, 2, 9, 4, 8, 5, 4, 10, 4,
Four successes is enough to ID the poison...
>(Intelligence 5 + Medicine 5)
>full Excellency activation
>Instant Treatment Methodology
>Body-Purifying Admonitions
>and Contagion-Curing Touch
>rolled 9, 1, 1, 8, 9, 8, 8, 6, 7, 2, 1, 3,
...and then eleven successes is more than enough to extract the poison, saving the map-seller's life (for now), though he's still down by two aggravated health levels.
Also, you spent 25 motes in the process. How much of that was peripheral?
No. 1089683 ID: 43fe43

rolled 5, 7, 8, 3, 6, 5, 10, 8, 4, 3, 4, 1, 2, 9, 6, 1, 6, 10, 8, 6, 7, 8, 5, 10, 5, 3, 1, 9, 2, 3, 9, 7, 8, 2, 5, 10, 7, 10, 8, 4, 1, 5, 9, 5, 10, 7, 3, 2, 8, 4 = 289

"Yeah, of course I'm the best at being seen. What's the point in having power if nobody knows you have it?" She shrugs her shoulders as if that was an obvious thing. "Anyway, I'm the champion. A weird eye came up, offered a way off my island if I become a bandit lord, I figure that's basically like a land pirate, and now I'm here.

"Treasure's basically on a parallel line to a river bend, so the faster we get on a boat the better. I kind of doubt that she can keep up that pace for the whole trip, and I just happen to know how to take a boat most of the way there."

She would quickly scarf down the entirety of her remaining food and down a bottle of wine, swirling it to chug faster than if it was a straight pour.

"And now I'm good to go ahead and head off. I'll go size up a boat real quick, how many people are joining up?"
No. 1089684 ID: 094811

“If you’re talking about just us, no idea if anyone else is joining us apart from us, so prep for more, I’d say. And if we’re including entourages….Hundred at least, depending on how many troops I can round up. But at most a hundred. They’re eager, I can promise that.”
No. 1089688 ID: ee10ae

Thousand Maws arrives back onto the scene with her trademark sharp grin, eyes scanning the assembled group, and Kisara especially.

"Any luck recovering the map? I have someone on gathering a small entourage of people for me, now." She closes the distance with the Lunar, one hand twitching slightly. "I don't believe we've yet been introduced. Thousand Maws, at your service. If there's anything you need for this... mission, I'm sure I can supply it."
No. 1089689 ID: 094811

“Kisara. Nice to meet you!”

She smiled, ears perking up again as she shook Thousand Maws’s hand.

“That might be useful, but I think I can scrounge some supplies for us as well when I grab up the troops. It won’t take long travelling east to gather them. My tribe, I mean. There’ll be people who’ll want in on this, and the more the merrier, right?”
No. 1089692 ID: ee10ae

Thousand Maws tries her best to not slip into her signature look of superiority when she mentions a *tribe*. Didn't give the look of one from such a group of barbarians, but all kinds are in Nexus, it seems. Still, she'd rather be on the good side of a beautiful woman (for now), barbarian or no.

"Ah, yes. It's always good to have more." More cannon fodder, that is.
No. 1089693 ID: 43fe43

rolled 2, 4, 7, 2, 1, 4, 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 3, 2, 4, 2, 9, 2, 8, 4, 1, 2, 5, 4, 7, 6, 5, 8, 10, 7, 7, 6, 6, 1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 8, 8, 9, 8, 2, 10, 8, 5, 7, 6, 7, 2, 8 = 263

"Alright, so a ship that can house... Say 120 people? That sound about right for retinue stuff? Alright, I will go look for a ship, and everyone should be prepared to row because I am sure that Port Authority will be in hot pursuit if we steal a ship that big."

And as she said that she was counting something on her fingers as she started making for the doorx clearly in no less of a rush than she ever had been, but not fast enough to deny people a chance to interject before breaking into a dead sprint outside to go to the port and look for a ship
No. 1089696 ID: ee10ae

Maws moves to hold her up. "Wait, I'll be taking about two dozen of my own retinue as well."
No. 1089697 ID: fbc9ce

rolled 7, 2, 5, 7, 5, 8, 5, 6, 7, 10, 2, 7, 5, 5, 9, 9 = 99

Woe watches the healer do her work, vaguely interested in what's happening. When the man starts breathing again, Woe jumps over to him, impressed that the doctor actually pulled it off.

"Not bad, lady! You actually saved someone from demon poison."

Woe will activate Tragic Love Amusement on this map salesman guy, giving herself an intimacy of "sincere love" toward him. Eyes large and watering, she raises her hands underneath her chin.

"It's so lucky you survived, Guy! If you hadn't, I don't know what I would've done!" She passes her arm over her forehead, almost fainting. "Imagine what horrors await you if the would-be killer's friends learn you survived..." Woe pauses. "So, tell us where you got that map, and who else knows about it. And then maybe thank what's-her-name for saving you."

[Rolling a persuasion check to make him spill anything he knows, supplemented by 6 dice from First Adorjan Excellency (Woe threatens him with the *catastrophes* that *inevitably* await if he doesn't tell them, her appearance over him was *sudden*, and her instant and inexplicable love for him is somewhat *whimsical*)]
No. 1089698 ID: a9be28

Yet another woman joins them. Unbeknownst to all but Kisara, it is Brilliant Garnet, the most beautiful, talented, and charming thief in all of Nexus.
"Kisara," she says, strolling up to the table. "How's the drink in this-" she pauses. "Venus weeps, you made a lot of friends. Anyone I otta care about? "
No. 1089699 ID: 094811


Her ears perking up yet again, she gets up, hugging Garnet.

“Eh, a couple. Some sap got poisoned, tried to sell us a map. We all looked at it though, so we’re going on a treasure hunt. I’m going to send a message to my tribe, get some troops.”
No. 1089700 ID: a9be28

She returns the hug. Kisara dwarfs her wiry form; her kimono a strange contrast to Garnet's raggedy red dress.

"Sounds fun, what'r we getting?"
She leans closer to Kisara to covertly whisper in her ear: "An' anything we can take off of them?"
No. 1089701 ID: 094811

And Kisara giggles, whispering back to Garnet.

“Probably, but eyes on the prize at the end of it all, Garnet. Wouldn’t do to annoy the people who are actually getting us there.”

And she dropped her whisper now.

“Don’t know what we’re getting, all I know is if it’s something to poison someone over, it’s probably intriguing.”
No. 1089703 ID: d02655

"That is an impressive display of healing prowess, but perhaps we should move somewhere less frought with Anathema? Some might begin to think we are somehow involved in this excitement"

He looks over at the glowing members, noting the green light emanating from Burning Champion.

"Soon, speed will be of utmost priority, not just to reach the prize first, but to keep ahead of Immaculate fanatics too."
No. 1089706 ID: 85c2a3
File 171409065708.jpg - (87.08KB , 1080x1528 , 7d7dd3f2c23c37f43938d37f3ae2646c.jpg )


Ash used Loom-snarling Deception to appear as an old Thaumaturge for the purpose of interacting with people in Nexus.

Surprisingly, the old man did not seem particularly perturbed by the sudden death, noting the poisoning with almost idle interest before taking another sip from his cup of tea.

"Oh dear, it seems we are not the only ones interested in the map."

Looking to cold blooded the infernal in the disguise of an old man offered a polite smile before talking to him in notably accentless Riverspeak.

"Seeing as you are planning to pursue this map I would offer my assistance, I am sure you could use a man of my skillset on this journey."
No. 1089707 ID: d02655

Cold moves in his seat to view the elder.

"Well, a lot depends on what your skill set is. This may well be quite the dangerous venture. But I have no issue with another joining us. Please note, I suspect there will not be enough to sufficiently reward all who journey with us."
No. 1089711 ID: 85c2a3

The man stroked his beard and chuckled.

"If I only wished to be wealthy I could ply my trade to the rich and be set for life, I am rather more interested in esoteric knowledge and arts which is incidentally where my skills lie."

After giving the other individuals around the table a somewhat dubious look he continued.

"I rather doubt that any of these fellows know too much about dealing with spirits, elementals and the like. But if you're concerned about us, don't worry, me and my manservant can handle ourselves quite well in the wilds."

He pointed towards an improbably broad man sitting at the next table who looked like he could carry the weight of an ox and seemed to peak up at the infernals mention.
No. 1089718 ID: 521475

Mr. Fleegman is immensely grateful for the rescue, and starts spilling everything he knows that's even remotely relevant. Unfortunately, he's still a bit loopy from the aftereffects of the poison, and even if he were having a good day, there seems to be an unfavorable ratio of paranoiac ranting to useful intel. Assuming you keep him alive, and keep listening, for at least the next few hours...

-Four main factions active around the site, two human and two beastfolk.
-One of the human factions, the "forest witches," has bound demons to prevent other outside groups from getting involved. Five so far:
a tomescu,
a spider with hallucinogenic venom,
something small (but only physically!), hides in people, trusted to wield a powerful artifact with limited charges for emergencies,
and two others whose types he doesn't know, beyond one being more active and the other dull, but were considered obvious given the nature of the task
-The forest witches build nothing, sustained as they are by the garden of flesh.
-One of the beastfolk factions have their own garden, lesser but more secure.
-The caverns are no more than two levels deep.
-Other human faction lacks capability of binding demons. Instead they do "something cool" to their armor.
-They're capable of banishing and/or slaying demons, though, which is why the bound guards will start ignoring anyone who gets close enough.
-Lookshy could easily crush all of them put together, and might feel obligated to if they knew what was up, but is choosing to remain ignorant.

Keep in mind he may be wrong about some of this.
No. 1089721 ID: ee10ae

"Ah, an enlightened elder." Thousand Maws grins her grin. "More for me, then. Welcome to my little group here."
No. 1089725 ID: fbc9ce

"Hm, hm, thanks, thanks. Some of that might be useful... but who knows."

Woe turns around, activating Freedom Lets Go, and terminating her momentarily-sincere love for the man. Then, she sits down to wait for the others to scrounge up a ship.
No. 1089726 ID: 094811

“New person? Name’s Kisara.”

She smiled, holding her hand out to the man.
No. 1089735 ID: d02655

The young Dynast apparent raises an eyebrow at Thousand Maws comments regarding ownership or leadership over the group, but smiles & looks away, keeping an eye on the door. He remembers his uncles saying, 'only a fool says the quiet part outloud'
No. 1089737 ID: ee10ae

Thousand Maws claps her hands together to get people's attention.

"Well! It seems we won't have much time since the Prince of the Earth was in such a hurry, so let's make sure to get any arrangements needed in place as fast as we can. Does anyone need any help with supplies for travel?"
No. 1089746 ID: fbc9ce

"Just some food'll be enough," Woe responds absently, flipping a piece of silverware through her fingers. "I'm fine, besides that."
No. 1089748 ID: 094811

“Eh, all I need to do is go send a messenger, tell my people to gather their stuff.”

And with that, she bounded off, to see one of the people she has in the city.
No. 1089829 ID: a9be28

"You heard of the Forest Witches?"
Brilliant Garnet grins at the group.

"I have. They're wicked sorcerors who rip out people's hearts. An' eat them. Or feed'em to demons, but all sorcerers do that."
No. 1089862 ID: 521475

What mundane equipment are you bringing for the expedition? Food and tools and so on.
No. 1089865 ID: 094811

Survival stuff. Food and water for a couple days, unless anyone thinks I should bring more.
No. 1089868 ID: 521475

A bit more specific detail than that, please. Encumbrance rules are here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10VAUEYEqWYWcQ9gz4bk9uok8OkAIYl1cy50KEw2y75o/edit#heading=h.q8d6c4rxemay Expedition into unfriendly territory means if there's something you forgot to bring, might not be able to go back for it.
No. 1089869 ID: 094811

Can’t access it.
No. 1089870 ID: 094811

Now I can.
No. 1089871 ID: fbc9ce

Woe will bring two weeks' worth of food and water, some climbing equipment, a lantern, and a sleeping bag. Who needs more than that?
No. 1089872 ID: 094811

How much can we bring? We’re using stormwind rider, right?
No. 1089874 ID: 094811

rolled 4, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 6, 4, 9, 3, 1, 1, 7, 2, 10, 5, 8, 6, 4, 10, 10, 7, 3, 8, 8, 4, 4, 4, 3, 6, 4, 7, 9, 6, 2, 8, 2, 4, 5, 5, 2, 9, 10, 3, 9, 9, 4, 4, 4, 8 = 288

No. 1089876 ID: 8db15b

Rolling to see if I know anything about the area on the map, geological details, animals, hazards, etcetera. And using intelligence and Survival, I guess? If that’s what’s meant by relevant traits.
No. 1089877 ID: 8db15b

Forgot to put my username in, sorry.
No. 1089881 ID: bdc80a

As Kisara goes over the map to plot the route, Woe will lean over her shoulder to look over her work.

“Don’t know much about navigation,” she’ll admit. “But I do know a little bit about the local legends and stories about the dangers outside of the city. Mortals love talking about that kinda stuff.”

Woe will then relate any lore she’s heard about this subject, some of which I imagine might relate to dangerous hazards or animals or spirits.
No. 1089882 ID: 094811

Intelligence 3, and Survival 3.
No. 1089883 ID: bdc80a

Woe’s dice pool is 3 (Int 2 + Lore 1). No other relevant traits.
No. 1089886 ID: 521475

Four successes. Immediate area of interest is a jungle - warm and wet, far more so than the surrounding lowlands, even though you'd normally expect higher altitudes to be cooler and drier. Long suspected to be partly due to a dragon line coming from deep underground, but the associated volcanic vent or hot spring was never definitively located. Maybe you'll be the first outsiders to see it in hundreds of years.
"Other human faction" would presumably be the People of the Bronze-Veiled Skull, necrolatrist tribal culture notable for heavily armored warrior-aristocrats, believed to be descended from Shogunate-era Thracians.
In terms of dangerous wildlife, it's too humid for bears or burrow loks, and too far south for giant bats. Regular-size bats mostly just eat tiny flying insects or fruit, but could spread disease, or cause trouble in panicked self-defense if you bring sudden bright lights into caves where they're sleeping. Blade vines may be a concern, or leech hounds in standing water.
Unconfirmed rumors of some exceptionally stealthy predatory lizard the size of a large man or small horse. Maybe ought to avoid killing if such a thing is encountered, just in case it's sacred to Arilak the Unseen.
No. 1089894 ID: 4f80d6

dice 4d10
Int+Lore check to discern Cold's knowledge of the area

Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun finishes his tea as he watches the others discuss logistical issues. He thinks back to what he has heard of that area, enjoying his moment out of the limelight.
No. 1089895 ID: 4f80d6

Dice 4d10
No. 1089898 ID: 4f80d6

Int+Lore check to discern Cold's knowledge of the area
No. 1089899 ID: 4f80d6

rolled 2, 3, 10, 2 = 17

Int+Lore check to discern Cold's knowledge of the area
No. 1089916 ID: 094811

From that knowledge, still bringing food and water for a few days, maybe a couple lanterns or torches to burn away the vines and scare the insects away. And I’ll also bring some stuff to help with the diseases. Antitoxins and such, so our medic has some extra supplies.
No. 1089965 ID: 2175dd

Cold clears his throat to advise he is ready to speak

"So, as time moves inexorably forwards, are we decided on how we are to continue? I see that we will be bringing a somewhat considerable amount of associates, so are we to obtain a small fleet of 3 or so rivercraft? I am able to carry a core group as an advance patrol, so the boats can catch up later, giving us a chance to scout put the path ahead a few days or even weeks in advance."
No. 1089972 ID: 5b58e7

Kisara returned quite quickly, sitting back down in her chair again.
“Message is sent. And I would agree. We scout ahead, the troops catch up on boats.”
No. 1090014 ID: 0b12aa

Woe waves her hand, absently.

"Leave the nobodies to catch up on their own. The actually useful people run ahead and get everything ready."
No. 1090032 ID: 7ce054
File 171445067822.png - (1.91MB , 816x1456 , a4bef83dcabfc0561265bf36190ba96d.png )

A blonde woman draped in a heavy cloak steps away from an adjacent table and approaches the small group where the man had been poisoned. "Please excuse me. I have been listening from nearby. If you would have one more, I would like to be there when this thief makes her move again."
No. 1090033 ID: 4f80d6

The young exalt turns to see the armoured blonde offer her support[i/]

"The more the merrier. I am called Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun, I would best describe myself in interpretative dance, but in linguistically stated terms, my skill set is as a dabbler of things of an esoteric nature & procurer of lost things. How would you best describe your best interests?"

[i]Whilst speaking in Riverspeak, the tongue of this region of the Eastern Scavenger lands, his speech is heavily accented with High Realm intonations.

No. 1090038 ID: 521475

Teamwork bonus adds an extra die to the primary actor.
>rolled [...] 9
In addition to confirming some of what the others recalled, stony young man has heard there was a ruin of the prehuman Dragon Kings in that area. Supposedly already cleared out and repurposed during the Shogunate, but it is said they have long memories. Might be one of the "beastfolk" factions.
No. 1090040 ID: 7ce054

"It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Caitlyn, and I aspire to be advocate of peace. Well, I should get to gathering what supplies that I can. I have donated all of my money to charity since arriving in Nexus" She said a bit sheepishly. For someone who claimed to committed to peace, Caitlyn was heavily armed and prepared for war.
No. 1090045 ID: fbc9ce

"'Aspire to be an advocate for peace,'" Woe chuckles, listening in. "So in other words, you wanna be peaceful one day, but not anytime soon, eh?"
No. 1090061 ID: fbc9ce

Woe will brush off her clothes, and walk out of the restaurant.

"I'll be back later," she says, vaguely bored, and waves a hand without looking back. "I got somewhere to be before we go."

I'm going to call upon my Spies background in Nexus. My patron Yozi, Adorjan, should have a "spy network" active in this area, and I'd like to ask them if they know anything about the DB woman who ran off, about the map, anything the would-be seller told us, or where the DB might have gotten that poison from.
No. 1090063 ID: fbc9ce

rolled 6, 2, 8, 10, 1, 7, 4, 9, 2 = 49

Here's a roll to see the quality of spy or luck with spies I have in utilizing my contact. Assuming this is Perception + Socialize, but I can reroll if either is deemed inappropriate. I will apply 3m of Adorjan Excellency to my contacting the spy network by keeping in mind that, to Woe, the purpose of this expedition will involve *scouring* the area of the treasure others seek, and to *lay low the proud* Dragon-bloods who control the world.
No. 1090065 ID: 521475

Local spy-network contacts say subtle alchemical taggants in the yozi venom residue on Mr. Fleegman's cup indicate that it was purchased through the Cult of the Syrinx Prophet Executioner, an Adorjani Reclamation front organization operating in the Northeast, up near Bloody River or Ardeleth. They've got their own plans in progress for dealing with the main force of the Forest Witches, and would prefer that you not interfere at this time. Any operation south of the Yellow River should be fine, though.
Based on your description, the actual assassin was Sesus Rafara. Seems to be in the area on some other business, working with the Forest Witches on a short-term mercenary basis in exchange for other clandestine considerations to the benefit of the Vermillion Legion.
No. 1090068 ID: 7ce054

"In a way. I am simply willing to fight so that others might know the peace that was stolen from me. This world only understands force, so that is the language I will chastise it with."
No. 1090069 ID: 7ce054

character sheet
No. 1090074 ID: ee10ae

"I'll use some of my ships to bring anyone who wants to come." Thousand Maws generously offers - she is framing herself as the patron of this little expedition; she was the first one to step up to the plate, to organize an attempt to start finding it first. Such a position requires providing aid, after all.

But most importantly, she *wants* it. She doesn't know what it is, but since somebody else wants it, *she wants it too*. It's an *impulse*, an *instinct*, a *hunger*. Spending some of her considerable resources to grease the wheels of this meal is hardly a problem to her.

Maws herself is already gathering a group of about twenty, a mix of her personal slaves and those who work under her who she thinks might be useful here, whether to carry things or because of a general familiarity with the area. Those attendants are, via her instructions she'd left earlier, to be divided in half as 'beasts of burden', across ten servants she has four high-quality sets of mountaineering gear so that her group can go in two pairs of two if climbing in the craggy highlands is needed, two slots of rations per porter, including more expensive meals that can be eaten on the go for herself, tents, changes of clothes sleeping bags for each member of the group, lanterns, a way to light them without resorting to magic, axes for firewood, some knives and cooking utensils like pans, and shovels. With them, there will be enough larger tents for them to sleep comfortably, including Maws' personal tent, and then a further, larger tent for meetings and collapsible furniture for that and her personal tent. They - and anyone else who wants to - will be transported downriver by one of Thousand Maws' personal ships that she uses for trade in the area.
No. 1090075 ID: 7ce054

Caitlyn turns to the woman offering portage "That is very generous of you, and I am pleased to accept. It would be my pleasure to take some of the burden from your servants as I can stow a large load within my cloak - I even keep a small camp fire stored in it." Caitlyn stated with deranged honesty, unconcerned about how odd her words sounded.
No. 1090076 ID: fbc9ce

I will ask the spies if they know Sesus Rafara's whereabouts, like what inn she might've been staying at, or anything about her in general.
No. 1090082 ID: fbc9ce

rolled 3, 3, 2, 4, 5 = 17

Whether or not the spies know anything about her, I'll also go out into the town to gather information about whatever might be known about her, either publicly or as rumors, etc. Particularly looking for where she might've been staying.

[Appearance + Investigation]
No. 1090108 ID: 965bce

rolled 5, 2, 5, 8, 10, 9, 2, 5, 5, 3, 6, 9, 4, 8, 10, 9, 2, 6, 8, 3 = 119

>Also, you spent 25 motes in the process. How much of that was peripheral?
16 personal, 9 peripheral, so anima banner is at the torch level of illumination.

Her patient stabilized, the woman once too-rushed to introduce herself finally turns her attention to the others around the crowded table. She bears no visible armaments nor wonders wrought of the magical materials, but the golden icon blazing on her brow, and the still-breathing victim of Yozi venom leave little doubt as to what she is.

"Spinel Caryatid, healer and Twilight Caste... as is regrettably obvious at this point." She spares an annoyed glance in the aptly-named Burning Champion's direction—how is it the aspiring bandit was shining brighter for having accomplished less? "I would be interested to see what wonders were worth attempted concealment by such an exorbitant poison, but I think we may need to relocate soon."

>"Not bad, lady! You actually saved someone from demon poison."
"It's what I do."

Spinel is going to encourage Mr. Fleegman to come with us: if someone was that determined to silence him, they're likely going to try again, no point leaving him behind to be robbed and murdered right after saving his life.
No. 1090127 ID: d060ab

Cold Blooded nods appreciatively to Spinel and their healing prowess.

"Welcome, and thank you for the curing of this man."

He turns to the others gathered around

"I intend to leave at dawns first light tomorrow morning. If you are able to join me, gather your supplies & meet at the waterside pavilion on the outskirts of town. Please note that I will be taking neither hordes of minions nor caravans of supplies with me, so pack lightly & make other arrangements if more cargo is required."

He then waves one of the serving staff over & orders another pitcher of wine & a platter of dried fruits, paying with local coinage of silver to cover his days refreshments.
it is obvious he has no pmans to be leaving withon the next half hour or so
No. 1090145 ID: fbc9ce

Assuming Woe's attempts at gathering more information fail, she'll return to the bar and kick in the door. Whomever is still there, she'll flex at and smile.

"Yo, losers and losettes! Using some of my amazing intelligence and daring-do, I was able to learn that the Deeb assassin lady who ran off was named Sesus Rafara, and she's been working with the Forest Witches. So, whoever knows about how to track people using their names or whatever, I leave that to you."

"Yeah, yeah, Fancypants, I'll be there. Though, you're gonna have competition for 'leader,' I'm afraid."

That said, she'll disappear for now, back into the city to prepare herself for the journey the next day.
No. 1090169 ID: cfc7cc

Original waitress is cowering somewhere. Several other customers have fled, overturning at least one table in the process. Grizzled bartender approaches with the dried fruit in a to-go bag (and an axe slung on his back), politely but firmly asking you all to pay your tabs and get out. Nothing personal, see, it's just that some of this place's regulars are Dynasts or Lookshyans, and they tend to tip generously. Got a reputation to think of.
No. 1090172 ID: 7ce054

"Sesus Rafara. Isnt that a realm name? Can we find out if this Sesus is working alone or under orders before we leave? I can go fetch some realm soldiers from their estates to question." Caitlyn offered in Riverspeak, completely serious in her intentions. "If we are going to do that then we better head out now - it could take a while to clean up."
No. 1090175 ID: 638be3

rolled 3, 5, 1, 1 = 10

"Naturally my good Barkeep, completely understandable. I apologise for my..." Cold Blooded gestures with his hand towards those on his vicinity"associates indiscretion."

He graciously accepts the offered bottle & bundle of dried fruits, collects his things & heads towards the front door, pondering what the name Sesus is associated with.
(Rolling Lore + Int to see what Cold knows about the Dynast families relevant to this Sesus character)

moves towards the front door, pondering the origin of the name Sesus[
No. 1090177 ID: cfc7cc

>rolled 3, 5, 1
You think House Sesus is primarily fire-aspected, and militarily weak, especially after their recent crushing defeat up north at the Battle of Futile Blood, but traditionally more than makes up for it with various forms of soft power. Their main allies within the Scarlet Dynasty are Tepet (Air-aspected, mostly a bunch of nerds but occasionally stack up enough esoteric tricks to produce a terrifying powerhouse like that Windtamer guy) and Nellens (Water-aspected, obnoxiously hardcore immaculate believers with a stranglehold on commercial sea traffic). Unless... maybe you've got those mixed up somehow?
>rolled 1
No, you're pretty sure that's right.
No. 1090286 ID: 4f80d6

Cold looks to Caitlin with a shake of his head, speaking confidently

"Don't worry about House Sesus, they are militarily weak & beneath our concern, particularly after their display at the battle of Futile Blood. No, I am sure they will be preoccupied with keeping out of our way & beneath our notice."
No. 1090293 ID: 7ce054
File 171484544873.png - (1.91MB , 816x1456 , a4bef83dcabfc0561265bf36190ba96d.png )

She laid her hand on the pommel of her sword for just a moment, contemplating his words. "Well it "It would be nice to learn of their intentions before leaving, but breaking the peace would be unfortunate." Caitlyn then relaxed to a neutral position "Lets go store up on hot fresh meals and cold drinks. They will be refreshing out in the field wherever we are going."
No. 1090307 ID: 094811

“Agreed…let’s get out of here.”

Kisara got up, placed her money on the table in front of the bartender, and headed outside.
No. 1090339 ID: 7ce054

"It may be difficult to find supplies in bulk at this hour, but we could buy lots of street food. Ramen, soups, pot stickers, pork buns. There are lots of great food that we can store and keep hot in elsewhere and this will let us get a variety of meals so we wont get bored. Naturally we will want some jugs of beer, sake, and clean water. I never did find one of the Everclean Necklaces, so I better buy some soap. Maybe some rope and tackle? Anything else?"
No. 1090364 ID: 45d138

The old man gave cold blooded a nod before leaving the restaurant.

"We will meet when this group departs, for now I still have some business to attend to."

After leaving the infernal would send her henchman to acquire two weeks worth of food and supplies for the both of them and thaumaturgical supplies for her rituals.

The Infernal herself would retire to her own acommodations rented during her stay in Nexus to summon a demonic bodyguard in preparation for struggles to come.

(Going for summoning a Sesselja with knowledge of the victorious concession style as discussed previously - spending 20m, 10 base, 10 to lower it's resistance pool by two @strange.)
No. 1090398 ID: 965bce

rolled 6, 10, 6, 9, 3, 5, 2, 10, 8, 9, 2, 10, 7, 1, 6, 6, 4, 9, 10, 6 = 129

At the meeting in the bar, Spinel is carrying her Physician’s Kit, a limited selection of tools, and writing supplies, all of which fits in a single pack. She's not currently carrying rations, because she wasn't planning on needing to leave Nexus in a hurry. Her current level of illumination seems like it would make shopping unwise, however. She's going to trust on other members of the expedition to see to provisioning, and focus instead on getting out-of-sight.

>politely but firmly asking you all to pay your tabs and get out.
The Twilight Caste does so, escorting her still somewhat loopy patient.

"Travel by sorcery and by ship were both mentioned. Are we headed for the docks, or to the nearest open place we can assemble? ...or someplace to lay low while those who can secure out exit?"
No. 1090409 ID: fbc9ce

rolled 2, 10, 4, 4, 5, 2 = 27

Someone suggested this in the Discord, so I'll try it.


Woe, who has the power to not flare her anima banner thanks to her caste, will disappear into the shadows near the bar, and wait. She's going to follow the anima-flaring people at a distance, watching out for anyone ELSE who is following, both in terms of the people who might be associated with the assassin, and anyone else who might hate Anathema.

(Don't know if you'd want a Stealth or Awareness roll; I can only do one at a time, so here's a Perception + Awareness check. I can do an additional Stealth check if you'd like)
No. 1090425 ID: cfc7cc

> I can only do one at a time
When there are multiple rolled actions you want to specify with a single post, just roll 50+ dice and I'll figure out which ones go to which dice pool. Erring on the side of too many dice also saves hassle if there are bonuses you overlooked, such as stunts, or the +1 circumstantial bonus die to Perception + Awareness for being fully focused on guard duty.
Figuring out exact dice pools before rolling is more important on discord, because the dice bot there sorts the results from lowest to highest rather than reporting them in the order they were rolled.
No. 1090443 ID: 37a599

rolled 5, 9, 3, 7, 8, 10, 9, 10, 7, 6, 10, 6, 8, 3 = 101

Oh okay, here's an additional [Stealth + Manipulation] roll. I'll just throw 5 extra dice into it in case you decide something I don't expect, but I expect 9 dice here from the ability and attribute.
No. 1090561 ID: 094811

“I may have a suggestion on where to meet. My people are stationed in barracks out on the edge of nexus. It would save moving a bunch of troops if we meet there, and it’ll be good in case we need any last minute prep. Any objections?”
No. 1090565 ID: 4f80d6

"That sounds perfect, Kisara, I will collect my trunks and meet you there, after a bit of last minute supply gatgering, naturally."

He helps gather things, & looks to the glowing Twilight

"Wish to join me?"
No. 1090567 ID: 5c2a32

“Well, meet you there, Cold! Everyone, meet me on the west edge of Nexus, where the city meets the plains. The barracks aren’t hard to find. Anyone who wants to head there right now, follow me!”

And thus, off skipped Kisara, her tail flowing behind her like a silver river.
No. 1090569 ID: cfc7cc

Fleegman attempts to follow Woe, under the mistaken impression she still cares, then gets very confused when she seemingly vanishes behind a lamppost less than two yards away from him. He's hoping to pick up a few things from his apartment before leaving the city, but, given the recent assassination attempt, would prefer not to go anywhere without a supernaturally competent bodyguard.

Follow-up report from Seeker of Wind and Woe's spy network. About an hour after the excitement started, and twenty minutes after you got kicked out of the restaurant, Sesus Rafara contacted a Lookshyan dragonblood (who is widely known, in certain circles, to have chronic trouble with gambling debts) to send a message via Wind-Carried Words Technique. Recipient unconfirmed, but easy to guess. Message contents as follows:
"Mission success,"
then four nonsense words presumably from some prearranged codebook, and finally
"If he's not dead after drinking that, you aren't paying me enough to go back and find out why."
No. 1090575 ID: 4f80d6

Seeing Fleegman's concerns, Cold approaches him

"Welcome Mister Fleegman, would you mind if I accompany you? I would find it bothe useful & enjoyable to travel Nexus with a local, but I would like to return to recover my items at some point in our wandering, before we all rendezvous with the others"
No. 1090607 ID: 7ce054

"I think it would be best if I join you there, I dont think Nexus and I see eye to eye on everything and you know how my temper can run."
No. 1090611 ID: 44407b

"You are always welcome! Let us enjoy what the day brings together, perhaps we may find a chilled wine we all agree upon?"
No. 1090617 ID: 44407b

rolled 1, 1, 6, 6, 7, 3, 3 + 3 = 30

(Wits+Socialize+3dice for stunts to Navigate Nexus to escort Fleegman, complete basic resupply of stock & collect Cold' equipment)
No. 1090632 ID: e5fb2d

rolled 9, 6, 5, 4, 1, 2, 2, 8, 9, 9, 3, 5, 1, 9, 5, 6, 10, 7, 4 = 105

And amid all this, Fate's strings tugged. One of the Earth's chosen lingered in earshot on a whim, lingered around one of his fellows, and heard Sesus Rafara's words to the man he was just speaking to. And perhaps Fate's strings tugged on him again when he took interest as well. He's the kind of man to investigate things of that nature, certainly, but he's also fickle. I, at least, would say that chance played a significant factor.

The man himself was one Cynis Taitapet. Menace of many a House Cynis gambling night, he's a profoundly average looking young man. A slight splash of neoteny shaken in, him looking a touch younger than the age most Exalts "lock in" at, his foot appearing to have not quite crossed over the line separating adolesence from what's beyond quite yet. In reality he's been a man for over 5 years now, but his minor baby face and slightly off proportions are as if he's frozen in time. Trapped in that specific moment...

Taitapet inquired around after his chance overhearing of Sesus Rafara's relay. About poison, about assassinations and, without any evidence for their involvement, about Anathema (his bias on the topic, you see). Ordinarily his skills would need to come to bear in this, and perhaps they still will, but...

An anathema and something possibly much worse screamed down the street today. A child could uncover that.

And so Taitapet soon finds himself at the barracks of the hundred-odd folk loyal to Kisara Moonfire. That's the anathema that had screamed down the street if you're keeping track. Coincidentally, he was in the exact place that the motley treasure hunting crew had agreed to meet. Fate's strings again?

Rolling an excessive quantity of dice to determine the efficacy of Taitapet's initial investigation, ST discretion for the Stunt and Destiny values. Due to the obviousness of the main piece of evidence I petition that he should get there even with 0 successes, but he might be under the impression the whole party are the assassins in such a scenario?

Base dicepool of Wits + Investigation + First Excel 4 (2m) = 11.
No. 1090633 ID: e5fb2d

No. 1090654 ID: 7ce054

There are some with the philosophy that charity is the greatest display of power and wealth. The woman who approached him had a bearing of peaceful confidence which might reflect such an outlook. "Excuse me, I do not believe we have met before, is there something I can help you with?"
No. 1090655 ID: fbc9ce

Woe will nod to and leave the informants without more than that. Beyond that, she's on the lookout for anyone following her new "friends."
No. 1090656 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet responds in perfectly passable Riverspeak, though with a noticeable high-class twang to the way he says some words. And the less said of his speaking style the better. "It would certainly be a turn if we had so no, I don't think I know you." Taitapet touches his chest with three fingers. "My name is Cynis Taitapet, though my family and I aren't on the best of speaking terms."

He seems like a pleasant enough soul, but his eyes have a certain character to them. It isn't immediately apparent what that is, but it complicates his otherwise personable image. "I was hoping to speak with the woman in charge of the forces here? I heard some very strange rumors..."
No. 1090667 ID: 094811

And skipping nearby, came Kisara.
“Then meet her you shall. Kisara Moonfire. Nice to meet you.”
She held out her hand to Cynis, offering a handshake.
No. 1090675 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet takes her hand and shakes it, firmly but friendly. "I heard about you and... I assume that was some manner of ally, though maybe one of circumstance? You certainly did make a racket." He's referring to Kisara and the Champion chasing down the assassin it seems.

Will poke ST elsewhere to try to get a confirm on what Taitapet knows and doesn't know, as it'll be hard to say anything else as him without knowing if he knows about the map.
No. 1090676 ID: cfc7cc

Fleegman initially assumes Cynis Taltapet is here to kill him, and blurts out enough in resultant panic that it's adequately clear what's happening, at least to such a master investigator.
No. 1090677 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet takes note of what Fleegman is saying and chooses his next words carefully. They're not directed toward Fleegman of course, but rather the others. "Would you mind if I joined in on your treasure hunt? A scion of the realm might be helpful if the journey leads us back to civilization at some stage, and I'm quite good with my hands." Iselsi Makö (or Cold Blooded as he is known to the group) isn't exactly identifiable on sight, so the Dragon-Blooded's argument is a touch flawed, they already have a scion of the Realm, but still mostly works. "There's little love between myself and the Dynasty, but I have yet to even approach being disowned, so I believe there are scenarios, admittedly unlikely ones granted, but scenarios where I could be an invaluable aid." The next natural question would be to ask what he hopes to gain, if he seeks a cut of the treasure or what have you, but that can be skipped past if that isn't too much of a concern.
No. 1090678 ID: 7bff7f

“…..I wouldn’t mind it, myself. The more the merrier. But what do you get out of this, if you don’t mind me asking?”
She smiled slightly at Cynis, crossing her arms and staring him down inquisitively.
No. 1090679 ID: cfc7cc

cold blooded in the blaze of the sun is carrying
-hundred pounds of mostly random trinkets and rocks, practical utility dubious
-[empty slot]
-[empty slot]

cargo (~600lb each):
10x foxmen tent w/ two sets of group basics - shelter and food-prep for 14 people each
1x adept-level geomantic survey kit + basic carpentry tools + 20lb reagents, glue, nails, etc + 20x shovels + 10x mattocks
1x barrel w/ 64 gallons of water

1x cold's pavilion tent w/ accessories including fifty yards of spare rope and a sledgehammer
1x cold's fine-quality field kitchen, plus food, water, and fuel for no more than a week
1x cold's wardrobe, office supplies, camp furniture including chairs, table, cot, and bathtub

kisara moonfire is carrying
- food for a week (two if eaten while in fox form)
- set of lenses

>strange7person — 04/28/2024 5:59 PM
>For the "spyglass or binoculars or something," how about saying you've got a padded case full of an assortment of lenses, worth resources 2 and qualifying as a suitable exotic ingredient for construction of a 1- or maybe 2-dot vision-related artifact? Can't alter the lenses themselves with your shapeshifting, beyond storing them Elsewhere when in forms which couldn't easily carry them (you're pretty sure they're made of something other than ordinary glass, though maybe not certain exactly what), but Changing Plumage Mastery can rearrange the carrying-case as if it were clothing, yielding monocle or eyeglasses frames, telescopes, microscopes, etc. with appropriate lenses neatly slotted in place, and the unused ones still tucked away safe.

100x foxmen wear chain hauberk, personally carry
- axe and bundle of javelins,
- a week's fermented pemmican (not safe for humans),
- and a wheelbarrow each
note that they run faster (wolf's pace), but have worse night vision (baseline human), than northern wolfmen
mobility penalty is -2 from armor, no extra from encumbrance

Ten Thousand Maws is carrying
- sleeping bag, concealing scroll case with important papers and a knife

10x porters (strength 3, stamina 4, athletics 4) are carrying
- food for a week (or three weeks for the scrawnier servants)
- another unit of food
- spare clothes (for self, plus part of Maws' wardrobe) and a sleeping bag
- five-gallon barrel rigged as a backpack plus hands-free siphon (takes up a second slot while more than 3/4 full)
- each carries a further 50lb bundle: [20 yds rope + 10x climbing gear], [10x swamp shoes], [25x lantern], [keg of oil], 2x [16x 6' pole], 4x [half a 20-man tent]
and suffer a -1 mobility penalty with full load of water, but that won't last long

4x servants (strength 2, stamina 2, athletics 1) are carrying
- spare clothes and a sleeping bag
- office supplies and initiate-level ward construction/maintenance kits

Seeker of Wind and Woe is carrying
- fine-quality mountaineering/burglary gear, helmet-mounted lantern, and bedroll
- food for a week
- food for another week
- five-gallon barrel rigged as a backpack, plus a one-gallon wineskin and hands-free siphon
- three gallons of water in the above - might last one person four days in a hot climate
- three more gallons of water
and, with only Athletics 4, suffering a -1 mobility penalty

Spinel Caryatid is carrying
- elaborate medkit, counts as exceptional for first aid, basic for surgery
- hyperion key, for ergonomic adjustments to discreet essence armor, in a padded case
- initiate-level portable alchemy kit
- copious quantity of alchemical reagents, disinfectants, supplies for lesser wards vs. insects
and with Athletics 0, suffering a -3 mobility penalty

the burning champion is carrying

Caitlyn is carrying nothing but her artifacts conventionally
in the Infinite Resplendence Amulet's starmetal Elsewhere pockets:
- 150 man-days of assorted highly perishable fresh food (raw fish, farm-fresh eggs, etc.) and pre-cooked snacks
- quarter-mile-long steel cable w/ cargo hook, pulleys, and mounting brackets rated for tens of tons
- 200 bottles of beer
- block of soap the size and shape of a blacksmith's anvil, which some third-rate sorcerer seemed eager to get rid of

ashen mercy is wearing an exceptional chain shirt and carrying
- 7x concealed knives

henchman kronk is wearing lamellar and carrying
- food for a week
- exceptional hammer w/ integral walkaway charm
- exceptional short spear
- true jade talent engraved with a summoning circle + 50lb bondage gear, counts as exceptional tools for calling up 1CDs
mobility penalty is -2 from armor, no extra from encumbrance
No. 1090680 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet answers quickly and curtly. "I wish to travel with Anathema. See what manner of people you are. I have personal circumstances (that I won't bore you with) that make the journey reward enough." He doesn't seem to be lying...
No. 1090681 ID: 7ce054

"Do you believe that Anathema are indeed evil beings, and if so then why would we want to welcome an individual seeking such company?" Caitlyn asked as she stepped closer to comfort Fleegman and offer him a sense of safety "Need I remind you that it was a Dynast who poisoned this man, not Anathema?" The woman wasn't being aggressive towards Taitapet, but she was looking for something more substantial than a casual 'trust me'. "This man is the one who was harmed and has the most at risk, so if you can convince him of your good intentions then you have my approval as well."
No. 1090682 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet frowns for moment, contemplating what exactly the woman in armor half-accosting him wants him to say, and then speaks. "Someone very important to me appeared before me, now an Anathema, and told me... she said various things about the world, its history and the nature of Anathema before departing. I journey to learn of the veracity, one way or the other, of her words." He smiles. "So an alliance should be mutually beneficial I think."

Taitapet doesn't speak of his deeper feelings toward the Realm, his overall goals or even what kind of Exalt the woman he mentioned was. He spoke the minimum needed to answer Caitlyn and seem open about his past, cards still close to his chest. He maintained a smile and sincere eyes though, and wasn't even holding back too much so it's likely only a very astute listener would detect it but... it is detectable. Sincere, but not giving the full picture.
No. 1090683 ID: 7ce054

"If you wish to observe the nature of Anathema then you are welcome to keep my company, though I would caution you to refrain from that general term and simply use the term of chosen. There are those in our number who take offense to the Anathema moniker and I cannot ensure your safety from the eldest of those who stride across Creation."
No. 1090684 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet bows a little at that, just showing respect. "Very well, I can go along with that."

"The advice is appreciated, Chosen..." He pauses. "Chosen certainly, but Chosen by anything specific?"
No. 1090685 ID: 7ce054

Caitlyn spoke with deep conviction and pride, completely bereft of misdirection. By realm standards, she might come across as simplistic and unrefined, but her confidence was allowed to shine through. "I am a priestess of Venus and champion of her cause. It is my calling to deliver her message of peace and joy to those who only understand violence."
No. 1090713 ID: 965bce

rolled 7, 8, 6, 10, 6, 4, 4, 10, 3, 3, 5, 8, 1, 7, 10, 9, 5, 2, 5, 7, 1, 6, 3, 6, 2, 1, 1, 2, 4, 9 = 155

For the moment, Spinel is hanging back with Kisara's followers, hood up to conceal her lack of bestial traits, and allowing the other Exalted to confront the newly arrived dynast—either. Her anima banner has finally receded to the point where blending into a crowed is possible, and as either a physician or ranged combatant, her place is not on the front lines. (Dexterity 5 + Stealth 1)

>He doesn't seem to be lying...
What does reading motivation have to say about that? (Perception 4 + Investigation 1). Perhaps Caitlyn's interrogation provides a cooperation bonus die?

While Spinel is not going to step forward to offer the suggestion yet, if they wishes to ensure the Dragon-Blood is not here to harm, spy on, or otherwise betray the group, an Eclipse oath would solve the problem. ...surely in such an overlarge circle, one of their number is an Eclipse?
No. 1090720 ID: fbc9ce

That looks correct for me.
No. 1090723 ID: e0c5dd

rolled 3, 7, 7, 1, 5, 10, 10, 4, 2, 6 = 55

Rolling for my followers to notice Spinel among them. Bit of a wasted exercise, but it’s just in case. Perception 3 and Awareness 3, plus 4 extra dice in case of any bonuses.
No. 1090741 ID: 231662

Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun arrives after completed his last minite browsing. He seems refreshed, even after having lugged 3 large crates across town. He quickly notices the presence of Taitapet among his companions.

"Ah, Kisara, is this one of our hirelings? A captain or other quality specialist i assume. Please advise of an appropriate time for introduction ls once we have all completed our respective duties."

He dusts his hands off & looks to see if there are any minions requiring either assistance or supervision, currently standing near the group, but with a look to about to step away at any moment
No. 1090743 ID: e0c5dd

“Uh, no. This is someone who wants in on the hunt. They’re a dynast…but they’re not going to kill us. I think…”
She nervously looked towards Cold, glancing at Taitapet as well.
No. 1090744 ID: 231662

He raises an eyebrow & speaks in a more elegant tongue than the colloquial RiverSpeak he has been addressing others in before
《High Realm》

"Oh, a Dynast, I knew it, I could just smell the quality. Where are you from? I understand most usually ask what house, but I find that your location of upbringing is far more revealing of ones character, wouldn't you agree?"
"I am known as Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun, an affectation I use when dealing with those of the Threshold. Not that I look down upon them, you see, I too am a provincial, raised in Thorns before..."

His face darkens as he seems distracted by unsettling thoughts & memories, before making eye contact again with his stones, granite coloured eyes & mustering up an uneasy smile.

"Well, since then I am presenting with my Threshold moniker."
No. 1090761 ID: 231662

hundred pounds of mostly random trinkets and rocks, practical utility dubious
- Big bag of dried foods (fruit, fish & goat jerky etc)
- Big waterskin of freshwater
No. 1090768 ID: cfc7cc

Worth noting, if you're scaling the load to your strength and stamina with Unbreakable Bones of Stone active, but your metabolic needs are still based on natural ratings, that could be upwards of six weeks of food per slot.
Or maybe two of those five-gallon backpack-barrels of water, one slung on each shoulder, with a couple weeks of trail rations stacked on top of each?
No. 1090771 ID: 231662

(The two barrels of water with food stacked on top sounds perfect. Cold will do that)
No. 1090773 ID: e5fb2d

"I mostly grew up bouncing around The House of High Waves." He then stops for a moment, before adopting a very sheepish expression. "Not as an employee you understand..."


"I was sent to the Imperial City for schooling soon after, but that isn't really connected to your question now, is it? So I won't bore you with those details." Even though his eyes clearly want to! He isn't remotely trying to hide that!

They must be pleasant memories.
No. 1090831 ID: 91d957

He swaps back into RiverSpeak as he gestures to the others

"Well, if thry have already welcomed you, I see no reason for me not to do the same. We discuss about your upbringing once we arrive & camp has been set up."
No. 1090835 ID: cfc7cc

>The Burning Champion — 05/11/2024 6:17 PM
>As for what I am carrying, about as much food and water as I can carry, and a fancy compass with all 5 elemental poles marked on it that she stole off a ship on her journey eastward from the Ocean
No. 1090878 ID: cfc7cc

rolled 6, 4, 6, 1, 10, 9, 1, 10, 10, 10, 4, 8, 6, 5, 10, 5, 8, 10, 1, 4, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10, 6, 7, 1, 4, 1, 3, 9, 6, 6, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 2, 9, 3, 6, 6, 7, 8, 6, 9, 2, 2 = 292

Three young men with buff jackets, tetsubos, and hostile intent are loitering in or near Fleegman's apartment. Roll for Stealth and Awareness to see who spots who first.
Short of flight, teleportation, or demolishing walls, there are two ways in or out of the apartment: the building's interior stairs and hallways, which are dark and cramped, involving a lot of locked doors and blind corners... or the rear fire escape, skeletal catwalks of iron-hard black resin resembling ladders or thornbushes more than stairs, dangling over an alley knee-deep with oily stagnant water, and leading to a window which definitely isn't meant to be opened from the outside, but at least there's moonlight. How are you approaching?
No. 1090978 ID: 1bf782

rolled 4, 8, 2, 3, 5, 6 = 28

Perception + Awareness +3 dice for extras
No. 1090979 ID: 1bf782

rolled 4, 8, 1, 9, 9, 7, 4 = 42

Dex + Stealth (-1 penalty) +3 for extras
No. 1090980 ID: 1bf782

Cold looks around, noticing at the last moment the somewhat unexpected reception. He signals to the others to hang back a moment behind a stack of boxes nefore they are all seen.
No. 1090988 ID: e5fb2d

The men chuckle to themselves at the sight of someone gazing in that sort of way at the place they're guarding. They both approach, one of them is posted inside precisely to give them this sort of flexibility.
No. 1090990 ID: e5fb2d

(Join Debate)
No. 1090992 ID: e5fb2d

rolled 7, 2, 8, 8, 9, 10, 1, 7, 1, 8, 9, 5, 6, 7, 9, 3, 8, 8, 2, 6 = 124

No. 1090997 ID: 1bf782

Seeing the sentries approach, Cold resigns himself to having a discussion. He signals to his guide to wait behind him as he confidently strides towards them. Leaning on a wall with his flinty stare hinting at his displeasure of being delayed
No. 1091001 ID: cfc7cc

After some initial attempts at diplomacy, one of the goons smashes a hole through the wall where Cold's head was a moment earlier. Cold then steals a knife off the man's belt and stabs him with it for four levels of lethal damage.

The other goon panics and flees, while a third (who was waiting inside) attempts to negotiate a surrender, in exchange for his friend getting urgently needed medical attention.
No. 1091040 ID: cfc7cc

Wounded goon who organized the ambush at Fleegman's apartment is stabilized. Might eventually regain full use of his left arm, with luck or further treatment. Both of his buddies, plus the girlfriend of the one who ran off in a panic, have been disarmed and are surrounded by enough huge beastmen that they don't dare make trouble... at least for the moment. What will you do with them?

All the expedition crew and equipment - or at least everything you'll be able to find on such short notice, more than enough to fill a casting of Stormwind Rider to capacity - has been assembled and packed. Will you be setting out immediately via spell, before dawn?
Or loading it onto a ship first (to lay a false trail and/or bring reinforcements closer to the destination), then launching from the deck once you're outside the city?
There's enough moonlight that high-speed overland navigation is possible, but it won't be easy.
No. 1091050 ID: 0b12aa

Woe would vote to leave as soon as possible, but I (the player) vote for the ship plan.
No. 1091082 ID: 965bce

rolled 6, 1, 1, 10, 2, 9, 5, 9, 5, 4, 10, 8, 5, 5, 6, 9, 10, 7, 3, 3 = 118

>Wounded goon who organized the ambush at Fleegman's apartment is stabilized.
>Second medical emergency within two hours
"Is this going to be a pattern?"

>Wounded goon who organized the ambush at Fleegman's apartment is stabilized. Might eventually regain full use of his left arm, with luck or further treatment.
With bleeding staunched and immediate death off the table, let's see bad the rest of it is. (Perception 4 + Medicine 5), plus Flawless Diagnosis Technique. How bad is the crippling wound, how many health levels is he down?

>"What will you do with them?"
"To be clear, I did not keep him from Lethe just so someone could add further knives. I'm not in the business of facilitating torture."

> lay a false trail and/or bring reinforcements closer to the destination
"A feint might help in reducing the rate of medical interventions."
No. 1091094 ID: cfc7cc

"No, my friend wasn't running away from a back-alley knife fight! He's no coward! And, um, also we aren't criminals and definitely would never be involved with such a thing. Some fey horseman came from the firewander district, lanced and trampled him."
"Well, that does sound fairly consistent with him having been struck first in the shoulder, with superhuman force focused on a sharp point, knocked down by the impact onto cobblestones, and then crushed by something weighing several hundred pounds moving at about 20mph, but...
>Flawless Diagnosis Technique
"...something's not quite right."
"What do you mean? There's even a clear hoofprint on his jacket right there."
"That definitely is an impression from a horseshoe, but it doesn't quite line up with the deepest bruising."

After some further alchemical tests...

"Aha! There's no traces of wyld taint in the wound. And who ever heard of a fae horse with iron shoes?"

Turns out that Cold had a horseshoe he was carrying around on a string, intending to eventually enchant it. Inflicted the puncture wound (and concomitant shattered scapula) with a knife, rather than a cavalry lance, and apparently managed to put a cavalry charge's worth of force behind it with a jump from a standing start. If not for a sturdy mammoth-hide jacket, might have torn open the brachial artery, killed that poor bastard on the spot.

In mechanical terms, the patient is down five lethal health levels - four from the initial strike, plus one from subsequent bleeding - and if that broken shoulderblade is allowed to heal wrong, he'll be at a persistent -2 wound penalty due to chronic pain and reduced range of motion in his left arm and back.
No. 1091139 ID: 7ce054

"A fey noble rampaging around Nexus sounds like a real problem. Perhaps we should delay our departure long enough to take care of this threat? I would hate to bring further strife to this city, such as it is, but this may be the only way to ultimately bring about peace for all." Caitlyn suggests, taking the thug's description seriously.
No. 1091140 ID: 094811

“Yeah….that’s bad. I also say we deal with this, the wyld can be….problematic. Believe me. I know more than most.”
She was just standing nearby, leaning against the wall of the barracks, her ears dropped down a bit in worry.
No. 1091141 ID: 094811

*Drooped, sorry.
No. 1091290 ID: 7ce054

"Please, can you tell me more of this fey knight? I shall hunt down this fiend while I have time before departure."
No. 1091333 ID: 81376c

“Well, on the subject of our departure, allow me to suggest. I say we leave by ship, lay a false trail. Might throw off any pursuers, allow last minute decisions. Unless anyone has any objections?”
Kisara was clearly taking charge, her ears had pricked up, her tone of voice had changed slightly, etcetera.
No. 1091335 ID: ee10ae

"A valid and useful idea." Thousand Maws gives her a smile in support. "I happen to have a ship I could use for the purpose, as well, if everyone wishes."
No. 1091341 ID: e28b6f

"Yeah, sure."
No. 1091457 ID: cfc7cc

Spinel Caryatid's Flawless Diagnosis Technique has determined that there was no such horseman, and Fleegman can confirm.
No. 1091511 ID: 253151

Cold, having seen the medical emergency been resolved, left to continue packing. He returns shortly after, with a great leap to near Caitlyn, pnce seeing she was readying to hunt the mysterious assailant of the injured. With a wave for her to come closer, he quietly explains the situation

"Ah, Caitlyn, so valiant of you to seek justice, but I cant help but feel I am somewhat responsible for this. When Fkeegman & I approached his residence, there were three armed & aggressive men awaiting us. As I moved forward to discuss the options if them looking away, they attacked me , so I acquired a dagger from the soon to be wounded warrior which caused him to realise he was out matched & flee, so I leapt & struck him but once, but he fell mightily to the ground with grave injury. My heart softened to see his plight, so we hurtied here for medical attention, taking his two accomplices with us I believe. In all the excitement I am not quite sure who accompanied us. The tale invented of the Fae was an invention of these men, I suppose for the purpose of deflection of their nefarious intent upon Fleegman & I, or to dissuade others of the notion of Exalted being involved, eitherway, a little bit of duplicitous rumour will aid us in maintaining what few shreds of anonymity remains about is & our intentions. I couldn't bear you to put yourself at risk seeking a fable that has little bearing to the truth."
No. 1091513 ID: 965bce

rolled 1, 1, 6, 2, 5, 5, 2, 7, 8, 5, 9, 6, 3, 4, 9, 4, 2, 2, 10, 2, 9, 2, 7, 5, 10, 6, 7, 7, 4, 10 = 160

As it doesn't seem the expedition is going to be rushing off immediately, Spinel Caryatid is going to commandeer part of the barracks' kitchen and break out her alchemy kit, to whip up some hero's recovery to treat the broken shoulder blade. Along the way, she borrows Cold's horseshoe for inclusion in the ritual, muttering about "sympathetic resonances" (the iron struck a blow but did not cause the injury in the intended recipient- that's symbolism she can use).

Paying 2m (per houserules) activation cost for the ritual, spending 1 wp on an autosuccess. (Intelligence 5 + Occult 1 + Art of Alchemy + 1 + Stunt). Could potentially add a cooperation die or or two if anyone with dots in Occult wants to assist in an hour of potion making.

Assuming that succeeds, I'd be willing to throw Wound-Mending Care Technique at wrapping things up. ...are we discharging/releasing the surrendered assailants back to Nexus and their employers, or brining them along for the ride?

> If you're forming up most of the expedition as a single unit, who's the leader?
> And who's in special character slots?
Willing to assign Spinel as a sorcerer/specialist. If we don't have enough relays, could swap to that role, but she does have a ranged option.
No. 1091521 ID: 7ce054

rolled 4, 4, 6, 2, 7, 8, 3, 9, 4, 8, 10 = 65

"I see, thank you for the clarification." Caityln then approaches the one who had told the tale of the fey "While we are taking a moment to explore the truth, why dont we discuss why you were waiting for Fleegman to return to his home? Please seize this opportunity for redemption as I abhor violence."

=======[ OOC ]=======

Charisma 3 + Presence 0 + Stone of Humble Glory 5
Channel Compassion +5 Successes
Appearance 5
-1 WP
-1 Compassion Channel
No. 1091531 ID: cfc7cc

Treatment successful, despite some unexpected challenges. A less astute alchemist would likely have seen the potion spoiled by contamination from Nexus's miasma.
>Could potentially add a cooperation die or or two if anyone with dots in Occult wants to assist in an hour of potion making.
They'd need to know the specific procedure to be able to help, though not necessarily the full corresponding degree.
No. 1091563 ID: 43fe43

rolled 2, 10, 6, 5, 2, 1, 10, 6, 10, 9, 1, 7, 2, 6, 5, 4, 9, 3, 8, 1, 6, 5, 3, 2, 10, 10, 3, 5, 8, 2, 3, 5, 6, 2, 5, 7, 3, 7, 1, 5, 3, 6, 8, 7, 10, 1, 6, 7, 8, 5 = 266

Champion is going to take a simple route to preparing for the oncoming voyage. Much as she stated she was going to do in >>1089693 she is going to pursue looking for a big enough ship for the party to steal in order to take care of 150 people, and the far simpler problem of food and drink she's going to handle by just waiting until she no longer is obviously a dragon, and just walking up to a prepared pile of food barrels and water that aren't quite being loaded yet, and hefting a barrel over each shoulder, food on the left water on the right, and walking off like she owned the place.

Just walking around with stolen barrels in hand, she was going to find the tallest building she could climb, and go looking out at the horizon in order to make sure that the weather was going to be good in the south by south east direction.
No. 1091565 ID: c1fc91

Kisara then stepped in next to the goon.
“Look. We won’t kill you. We promise. But you’re not coming out of this without giving something up. So, since I’m the ruling authority in this place, under the rules of my people, you owe us a life-debt. Me and my friend here.”
She gestured to Cold.
“So, you work for us, and everything’s okay. Deal?”
No. 1091603 ID: 3c020a

rolled 5, 10, 10, 7, 9, 7, 4, 7, 6, 7, 8, 7, 2, 3, 6 = 98

Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun puts down his three crates, pushing them into place like they were light cartons & not the thick, weathered wooden crates they were & nods meaningfully at Kisara's words, the hilt of his large sword looming ominously over his shoulder

"I think you understand how we are better friends than opponents"

《OoC Cha + Presence to Influence them, +10 dice for binus/stunts/modifiers》
No. 1091617 ID: aa29a7

Cold crosses his arms

"You understand that at my great personal restraint, you three are here, alive & mostly well. Ergo, you each owe me a great boon, as do I owe our alchemically inclined medic here for her gift to me."

He puts his hands upon his hips as he turns to face Spinel, giving a deep nod in appreciation, before returning a stern gaze to the three

"Do as Kisara commands..." He nods in the direction of Kisara to clearly identify of whom he is referring to "& your debt to me will be squared, as I will entreat Spinel to offer her terms for negating my debt to her"
No. 1091618 ID: 7ce054

Caitlyn gently pulls Cold to the side and speaks softly

"Are you certain this is a good idea? We don't know this individual's situation. They may not be trustworthy at all, or if they are then they may have children depending on them. We should learn more of their situation before any proclamations, dont you think?"
No. 1091619 ID: aa29a7

His granite eyes open wide with realisation as he hurriedly turns for hushed whispers to Caitlyn

"You may well be right? But it isn't unknown for one to claim they have dependents to lessen their obligation to others. What do you recommend? I am of the mind that while they are with us, it is harder for them to pass information back to their original employer"
No. 1091620 ID: 7ce054

"I am not certain. Let us ask them of their situation an employer. We will either have a better understanding of their commitments, or if they have an unreliable character. I worry about taking such an individual into the field."
No. 1091669 ID: cfc7cc

Ten successes against MDV 0. Last thing he remembers, he was laying in the street, face-down in a puddle of his own blood, then there was a bright light and he was floating through the air above the rooftops. Most of the pain is gone now, and he's on a clean, soft bed, surrounded by wolves who walk like men, while a beautiful, terrible, golden angel commands him to confess his sins and repent.

Not quite what he was expecting from the afterlife, but then again it's not like he was some pious scholar. Surprises happen.

He starts spilling as much of his life story as he can remember, with particular emphasis on anything memorably meritorious (small kindnesses to monks or orphans, defending his friends through thick and thin, sporadically attending immaculate services, a few imperfectly-recalled sutras) or shameful (mostly drugs, opportunistic violence, clandestine affair with his buddy's girlfriend's mother-in-law) under the apparent impression that leaving anything significant out might get him torn apart by those celestial beastmen, then reincarnated as some sort of fish.

As for Fleegman's apartment, well, guy who lives there stole something from his dealer's boss. Might've been a reward if they got it back, or captured the guy in order to make an example of him.
No. 1091937 ID: 094811

Kisara was just talking to the guy himself, listening to what he has to say.
“Well….we’ll try to make things okay for you. Just two things. You follow our rules. And my orders. I’m in charge. Okay? Name’s Kisara.”
No. 1091939 ID: 094811

“Well….if you don’t mind, people….I’m gonna change.”
And with that, without even looking away from everyone, Kisara just waves her hand around, her white and cyan kimono suddenly turning…almost liquid in nature, becoming this mass of flowing silver, flowing, changing, until it become a much more practical looking outfit. Her skirt had turned to white shorts, her sleeves had turned to these white gloves or arm wraps of sorts, going from her hand to her elbow, and the rest had turned into a white and cyan top that didn’t exactly go down to her waist, but covered the rest rather well.
No. 1091940 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet, eager to prove himself to his new allies that are still understandably cautious around him, gives his aid to their navigations wherever he can. He's moderately skilled in the area, significantly more of an outdoorsman than they might expect a Dynast attendee of The Spiral Academy to be. His insight is useful, stirring the thoughts of his (admittedly more capable) allies, an extra line of defense that any mistakes would have to get past.
No. 1091941 ID: ee10ae

Thousand Maws gives Kisara a little look. "I do believe I'm the one paying for all of these supplies - and the boats. As an expedition, without me, who started organizing for it, it would fall apart. I'm the one in charge, though I make it a point to not be restrictive with my peers - after all, it's better if I do not need to supervise everything, and have people I can trust to handle things they are good at themselves." She corrects her.

"Since I am a merchant more than anything, this means that when it comes to areas of controlling these people and directing things like battle, I will be relying upon you, and will not interfere in your judgment. Does that sound agreeable?"

Of course, her eyes linger a bit upon the lunar's body when she changes clothes without caring. Thousand Maws doesn't seem very hard to sway to her, perhaps by her own intent.
No. 1091942 ID: 094811

“Eh, point. Alright, just don’t start telling my people what to do, and we’re fine.”
She just smiles at Thousand Maws, her ears pricking up in happiness….either she’s really naive to be this friendly with someone she just met earlier today, shared interests or not, or she’s just that outgoing….probably the latter, all things considered.
No. 1091943 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet, meanwhile, barely even notices Kisara's flash of nakedness. It'll take more than that to catch the attention of the average Dynast, let alone one of House Cynis.
No. 1091944 ID: ee10ae

rolled 5, 2, 6, 5, 6, 9, 5, 7, 6, 4, 5, 3, 4, 2, 3, 6, 5, 5, 8, 7 = 103

"Only if absolutely necessary." Maws concedes, more than willing to cede her that ground. The smile is returned as well, though hers has some very sharp, almost sharklike teeth to go with it.

"Now, about the map..." Her instincts are quite good, but when it comes to navigation, Ten Thousand Maws is best at using her head. The time of day and the precise time they've been traveling, the general speed they move, and more, go into her calculations to allow her to track down the directions they should be taking as they head towards the location that had been marked-
-and most importantly, all this thinking is brought about by a serious sense of Purpose. She *Wants* this; it doesn't matter what it is, though it's almost certainly valuable. The fact that someone went through such effort to try and refuse it to her makes her want it even if the value was only sentimental. This absolute *drive* to snatch it up, as fast as she can, to take it from those who also wanted it, and *Have* it, even if she didn't need it, kept her alert and attentive to the slightest details of the journey.
No. 1091945 ID: cfc7cc

rolled 8, 2, 4, 1, 5, 5, 4, 9, 7, 10, 10, 4, 7, 2, 2 = 80

Ten Thousand Maws glimpses a white stag, reassuringly (?) reminiscent of her Coadjutor. It directs her, and by extension the whole stormwind-borne group, toward an oversized hedge maze of glossy black thorns.
No. 1091946 ID: cfc7cc

Eight successes to two is a loss by six, so the stormwind-rider group suffers two wilderness mishaps before midday. Options include:
- damage from a high-speed collision with the thorns
- can't find the maze exit, need to stop for lunch, unpack the surveying tools and/or demolish a wall
- opposition gets a good look at you, starts learning details about what you're capable of
No. 1091947 ID: e5fb2d

"To be clear. For the record. For any listening. I was opposed to following the 'good omen'."
No. 1091949 ID: cfc7cc

>10x foxmen tent w/ two sets of group basics - shelter and food-prep for 14 people each
One of these bundles was snagged against a thorny obstacle and lost somewhere in the maze, reducing the count to 9x.

At the center of the maze you find... an empty sinkhole, half an acre wide and twenty yards deep. Too high for Stormwind Rider alone to jump over, too many sharp bits to safely climb, and the way you came in seems to have already closed up.

You're still hundreds of miles away from the destination. How are you going to get out? Mundane brute-force approach would be to unpack picks and shovels, roll Craft (Earth) to dig a ramp. Charms, sorcery, and cleverness may provide other possibilities.
No. 1091986 ID: 0b12aa

Woe lays on the stormwind rider cloud, yawning and looking over the side.

"This thing takes all the excitement outta traveling..." She winks. "I see the appeal."
No. 1091988 ID: 0e6df4

rolled 3, 10, 10, 5, 6, 10, 6, 4, 5, 8, 3, 10, 1, 4, 6, 6, 10, 3, 5, 3, 9, 5, 2, 6, 3, 7, 10, 5, 6, 3, 6, 9, 3, 3, 3, 3, 8, 9, 4, 8, 2, 1, 1, 4, 4, 4, 2, 4, 6, 2 = 260

The southern healer grumbles something about northerners never seeming to dress warmly enough for the climate.

>One of these bundles was snagged against a thorny obstacle and lost somewhere in the maze, reducing the count to 9x.
While the other address the issue of the sinkhole, Spinel opts to send her familiar scouting, to see if she can relocate the misplaced supplies before the group moves on. A small metal bird emerging from within her robes is met by an affectionate smile (perhaps the first her new companions have seen) before it takes flight and quickly disappears in the thorny expanse.

Transferring 10m personal to the automaton's pools, which then establishes stealth and begins scouting around for the missing bundle (or anything else of note nearby). (Dexterity 5 + Stealth 5) for Stealth, I'd guess the (Hiding +3) applies to something like lying in wait vs moving around, possibly Perception 4, Awareness 3 (While Undetected +3) and/or Survival 1 (Tracking +3) relevant for the search.
No. 1092009 ID: aa29a7

As the gusts of wind die down, Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun steps out to take a look at the Sink Hole, judging how hard it would be to leap it by himself. He then looks to the thorny brambles that have barred their way

"Anyone good for us to spend some time chopping down some trees? We can either try & smash a path around the sink hole, or use the materials to build somekind of ramp or bridge"
No. 1092023 ID: 7ce054

Caitlyn silently watched the discussion of leadership with distant interest. It didnt matter who paid for what, or brought what to which table - the real leader of the group would become apparant in due time and ownership wouldnt be the basis.

As they came across the hedge Caitlyn took a moment to inspect it more carefully - something seemed to be rather unnatural about it.

ooc: Int 2 + occult 4
No. 1092024 ID: 7ce054

rolled 1, 4, 1, 4, 8, 2, 5, 7, 5, 4 = 41

ooc: corrected dice syntax for occult action above
No. 1092028 ID: cfc7cc

>rolled 1, 4, 1, 4, 8, 2, 5
Sinkhole itself and most of the surrounding vegetation looks normal enough, but the way those black spikes catch the sunlight isn't. Some minor demon deliberately positioned them as enhancements to a trap. Can't quite remember the specific species of demon it would have to have been, though... like it's stuck on the tip of your tongue. Some type of beetle? No, that's not right.
No. 1092080 ID: efdd74

Seeing Caitlyn approach the thorny brambles, Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun moves to her side, to share his observations

"Caitlyn, what you say about these brambles & thorns? I am unconvinced they are of natural origin, but whether they are from some mythical creatures, such as the Firmin or some Wyld ywosted barbarians, I just don't know... Coukt it be natural? I do not recall ever travelling this way before, maybe it does have a small region of fast growing plants? Sadly, my Dynastic education was sparse on the details of Eastward foliage."
No. 1092081 ID: efdd74

(Adding a Teamwork bonus to the Academic Knowledge / Obscurity roll)
No. 1092085 ID: cfc7cc

With that prompting, and some further back-and-forth discussion, Caitlyn and Cold soon recall pretty much everything there is to know about Firmin, the Needlemakers. The species' full description in Books of Sorcery 5 can be considered in-character knowledge, along with various other trivia.

Notably, firmin resin is sturdy enough to make weapons out of (which is probably the main reason sorcerers summon them), and can even be molded into armor, but is extremely difficult to repair or otherwise reshape after it solidifies. Flames hot enough to melt iron barely soften it.

If you just want to destroy the stuff, though, there's an apprentice-level alchemy procedure: moonlight focused through a magnifying lens, onto a splinter of orichalcum acting as a wick, will start it burning as easily as candle-wax, with a bizarre purplish flame that rises bright in the cold and damp, but gutters low and gives off unpleasant smoke when conditions are warm and dry. Injuries it causes resemble frostbite or acid more than conventional charring. Such flame almost never spreads to natural wood.
No. 1092302 ID: 0c3640

"Heheh, unlucky demons. So, are we killing them, or killing them AND making stuff out of their bodies?"
No. 1092346 ID: cfc7cc

>rolled 3, 10, 10, 5, 6, 10, 6, 4
Palm-sized automaton slips through spiky hedges easily enough, and manages to locate the lost crate of supplies. Unfortunately, said crate hit something very solid and/or sharp at 100mph, apparently without the Stormwind Rider spell's usual cushioning. What used to be inside is widely scattered, and in poor enough shape that it's probably not worth the effort to retrieve.
Could possibly use the kingfisher to carry fragments back one at a time and reassemble them, if one of the team's sorcerers knows the Incantation of Effective Restoration? Sort of silly, given that there's still enough to go around, and none of the stuff in that crate was especially expensive.
No. 1092408 ID: 0e6df4

>Could possibly use the kingfisher to carry fragments back one at a time and reassemble them
If she were feeling particularly whimsical, she supposes her familiar could gather fabric for a nest.

"The lost crate isn't recoverable" Spinel announces as her metallic kingfisher returns to her shoulder, earning an affectionate pat on its head.

"Was... someone going to put our labor force to work?" the healer asks, unsure at her companions' hesitation. "This seems like an obstacle readily solved with hands and shovels. Unless you happen to know Raising the Earth's Bones as well, Cold?"
No. 1092466 ID: 094811

rolled 4, 10, 9, 10, 2, 1, 1, 6, 3, 9, 10, 1, 7, 2, 1, 2, 1, 8, 7, 3, 3, 8, 8, 1, 2, 5, 3, 3, 5, 9, 4, 6, 4, 6, 10, 7, 3, 5, 9, 3, 10, 1, 8, 2, 9, 3, 1, 5, 6, 7 = 253

Kisara looked around them, then looked towards her beastmen. And as she looked around at her people, her mind went back. Far, far back, to a time before Luna. A time before travels. A time when she was just a little girl, in a wandering tribe of beastmen. She thought of the memories she’s shared with all of these people. The times she’s played, frolicking in the dirt and grass, her tribe-mates chasing her through trees and mud. She tried to remember who was good at this sort of thing. Who was the best diggers, among all these beastmen that had followed her. She knew her family. So now all she had to remember was what they were best at.
No. 1092467 ID: 094811

For the record, rolling for appearance plus…something, with an attempt at a stunt to remember who was good at digging and such among my followers.
No. 1092476 ID: 7ce054

Caitlyn looks to her long time companion Cold. "With the right materials we could set all of these thorns to burn. It would probably be a nasty affair we would want to back away from, but should do the trick. It doesnt matter though, I dont have a lab with me."
No. 1092490 ID: cfc7cc

>rolled 4, 10, 9, 10, 2
A few have one or two dots in Craft (Earth) - eager diggers from childhood, followed up with occasional day-labor hauling stones or shaping bricks during the tribe's time in Nexus. Could have them try carving a ramp, but they know enough to understand the potential risks of undermining an overhang with incomplete knowledge of the geology involved. Worst-case, if the walls collapsed, sliding debris might sweep across the entire floor of the pit, leaving no safe place to retreat to.

"Hello? Is someone down there?"
A voice from just outside the sinkhole, figure peering through the hedge - human, middle-aged, accent from somewhere a little ways north of Great Forks.
"I saw... or thought I saw, a tiny jeweled bird, carrying a soup-ladle much larger than itself, and followed it here in hopes it was an omen of some spirit's generous hospitality. My name is Jacques Lyle la'Rue."
You've heard that name before - famed throughout the Hundred Kingdoms as a designer of temples, palaces, dams, and bridges. In mechanical terms, Craft (Earth) 5.

Over the course of further conversation it comes out that his most recent patron took a competing bid from someone who turned out to be an agent of the Walker in Darkness. The resulting design, while impeccable in terms of physical solidity and superficial aesthetic appeal, had terrible geomantic consequences which seemed particularly inclined to extend along paved roadways. Mr. la'Rue barely managed to flee before the screaming started, and hasn't had a decent meal in days.
No. 1092554 ID: 1f1d9a

Cold turns to Spinel, hands outstretched in an apology.

"Forgive me Spinel, I am but a mere dabbler of many arts, the Occult being just one of them. Sadly, I am untrained in the use of that spell, having barely passed the rites of the Terrestrial Circle. No great Magi am I. But if goven time & access to your patience, I may be able to learn it eventually."

He looks to the voice above, recognising the famed Architect by sight. He answers in his own heavily accented Riverspeak

"Hark, is that the famed architect Lyle La'rue? Your name echoes greatly, beyond the Hundred Kingdoms domain & into the Threshold true. It is an honour to meet you."

"I am known by the moniker 'Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun', a mere trader of curios & dabbler in history. But my companions & I have befallen a trap of demonic design. These spike are more dangerous than they at first appear! I, for one, would greatly appreciate your wise mind being directed at assisting our escape."
No. 1092559 ID: 1f1d9a

rolled 5, 9, 7, 4, 8, 5, 10, 8, 2, 3, 4, 9, 7, 4 = 85

(OoC rroll Charisma + Presence + 10 what if's dice flto convice assistance from Lyle la'Rue)
No. 1092564 ID: cfc7cc

"Why certainly, I'd be glad to lend my expertise - if you can give me your word you are not, yourselves, agents of the Walker in Darkness, that is. Initial assessment of the problem in exchange for lunch, perhaps, and then we can discuss whether fixed-fee, or shares in your endeavor's profits, would be a more appropriate payment structure?"
No. 1092566 ID: 1f1d9a

rolled 3, 9, 8, 9, 10, 4, 8, 3, 7, 8, 9, 2, 7, 1 = 88

(OoC roll Intelligence + Lore + 10 What if's dice for Cold to recall any info about Walker in Darkness
No. 1092580 ID: ee10ae

Ten Thousand Maws gives her best professional smile, though it shows some teeth. "Oh don't worry. I am Thousand Maws - you may have heard of my trading company. A simple architectural issue like this is not a particular problem in terms of *Payment*...
No. 1092588 ID: 7ce054

rolled 6, 3, 7, 4, 1, 10, 2, 2, 8, 8, 10, 7, 4, 9, 4 = 85


OOC: Cha 3 + Performance 3 + Stone of Humble Glory 5 | appearance 9

Caitlyn pulls a frosty cold beer from beneath her cloak and sharply opens it with a slight hiss before taking a long sensuous sip from it, letting the light of the sun glimmer off her gleaming figure while making a show of being deeply refreshed.
"It sure is hot out here. Would anyone else like a cold beer?" She asked, inviting all those nearby to gather around her, particularly one Lyle La'rue.
No. 1092593 ID: 37a599

Woe will take a beer, and watch events unfold between the others.
No. 1092594 ID: 094811

Kisara also takes one, smiling.
“Thanks Caitlyn!”
She suddenly just hugs her, still smiling.
No. 1092603 ID: aa29a7

Cold signals for two of the large Wolfmen to assist as he grabs a cold drink from Caitlyn. With a deep draught he swallows it all before grabbing one of his trunks & hoist it over his shoulder

"Thanks for the drink Caitlyn, I am going topside to meet our celebrity crafter"

Cold then nods to the two large Wolfmen & lightly steps upon their open hands or them to give him a great heave upwards. Harnessing the power of his Exaltation, Cold feels the power surge to his limbs as he makes a mighty leap upward, clearing the pit & landing at the edge of the sinkhole. He puts his crate down & looks at Lyle la'Rue

"Well met! How fortunate you were wandering through this maze of thorns! How can we help each other?"

[OoC Cold activates leaps Strength + Athletics + Leaping specialty + 2 from assist x2 from Monkey Leap = 20]
No. 1092645 ID: 0e6df4

rolled 5, 7, 3, 3, 5, 4, 1, 5, 4, 10, 2, 1, 1, 6, 4, 8, 4, 6, 7, 10, 7, 10, 5, 3, 2, 9, 5, 7, 9, 6 = 159

Spinel blinks. "No need to apologize for my own ignorance; you can hardly be expected to have every spell at your disposal."

>if you can give me your word you are not, yourselves, agents of the Walker in Darkness
"I give my word that we do not serve any Deathlord."
No. 1092903 ID: cfc7cc

rolled 3, 10, 5, 3, 9, 8, 1, 9 = 48

Rolling Craft (Earth) for the ramp construction
No. 1092904 ID: cfc7cc

rolled 2, 6, 4, 10, 2, 10, 5, 10, 8, 5, 8, 10 = 80

Ramp construction proceeds as smoothly as it plausibly could have, and you're back out of the sinkhole barely two hours after first falling in. Architect and meager remaining possessions weigh less than the lost cargo, so he's easy enough to bring along. You're still four hundred miles or so from "x marks the spot," but might be able to make it there before sundown if nothing else goes wrong.

Of course, there's also abundant reason to believe someone is actively encouraging things to go wrong for you, so it's time to roll for the next 5-hour interval of the navigation / tracking contest.
No. 1092955 ID: aa6a72

(Hey, if anyone’s wondering where I’ve been, my discord account got hacked. So, I’m not done with this. Just can’t get to discord for a while.)

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