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Dragon's Egg - Act II

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Steerpike, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    (Feel free to keep posting in Act I to wrap up the day's events in Srilkind. I'm moving forward to the evening before the departure for the temple)).

    At the Hooded Crow

    The party is finally gathered together again, a somber mood settling in contemplation of tomorrow's trip to the old temple. It is late and the Crow is largely empty. Townsfolk are dead tired after working hard all day to clear out the remains of the temple of Tyr, and the deaths of Finn and Koli appear to have taken an emotional toll as well. Earlier in the evening, after Finn and Koli were set in the ground, the Crow was briefly filled beyond capacity, with men and women alike drinking, singing songs, and telling stories of Finn and Koli. Father Harald led the group in fond remembrance of the men, and even the priestess Soma, helped by her assistant, made an appearance, though she did not drink.

    Now, only the party remains, except for Burnbright, whose bruised face shines in the firelight. She looks increasingly troubled as the night wears on. Grim and his wife each make their way to her over the course of the evening, whispering in her ear, but she shakes her head and they leave her alone. Finally, as the tavern empties, she rises from her seat. She faces the party and, looking a bit nervous, knocks her fist against the table to get everyone's attention.

    When every stops talking and looks at her, she swallows and says "Um...I just wanted to say something to everyone, since you're taking me with you and everything. I know you're all warriors. You've fought and killed monsters and stuff. Some of you are quick and sneaky, and some of you are noble elves like in the old stories." She looks to Baldhart. "We even have the best shieldmaiden we probably ever seen since the Great War." Burnbright starts fidgeting, uncharacteristically. "It's just that...well, since we're all going to be counting on each other and stuff...I guess you all ought to know..." She swallows again, and her eyes brim with tears though none fall to her cheeks. Then, she blurts out: "I never wrestled any bears! I've never even fought nothing! The only things I've ever killed are rabbits and stuff to eat. I never ever saw a monster before yesterday, at least not that I can remember. And I've never seen orcs, or goblins, or trolls, or nothing like that. I've seen bears, but they're scary and I stayed away from them. And now we're heading up close to the Taint and you're taking me with you because you think I can wrestle bears and fight stuff, only I can't do none of it!"

    When she finishes, her lip is trembling. Grim stands quietly behind the bar, expression blank. His wife looks like she wants to run over to the girl, but Grim places a hand on her shoulder and she stays where she is.
     
  2. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    I sit calmly while I listen to Burnbright, while the recent news about her had made me consider the posibilty of her wrestling bears to be true, this new revelation wasn't totally unexpected.
    "While you may be inexperienced now, while your stories may have been false, even if they were true that is not why I would have brought you. You have great potential, and I think with training and experience that one day, you will become a great warrior."
     
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "Why, thank you, Burnbright. I never thought of myself as a shield maiden. I prefer a sword that requires both arms. But then… this new armor suit may make my body a shield.

    "Still… I am not comfortable with the thought of you coming with us. I will insist on discussing basic tactics with you before we depart."

    I whip out a piece of chalk…
     
  4. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    [​IMG]
    "Now, whenever we enter a room, Sir Matthew and I will take the lead. Matthew is on defense because he has a shield. I am on offense because I'm an easy target, so I need to crush everything in my path if I'm to… put off becoming a Valkyrie for a few years. So, Matthew deflects an attack with his shield or I charge. Either way, we're the first two to enter a room.

    "Archers come in next. Aliron is our sharpshooter and he's sneaky. He is third–or even first if stealth is our best option. In an open room like the one pictured, archers are best off in the corner. Cadell would stand by Aliron, and you would join Ankari." –seeing how it was his idea to bring you to Death's door.

    "Rydh is…" –No one in this room has an issue with Rydh's healing spells, but still, I need to make a habit of not discussing magic– "…our medic. He has a sword and shield, so he may join Matthew and I on the front. Regardless, his best position is a place where he can reach anyone.

    "Also, we will not always have the convenient protection of walls, so his central position also prevents him from being taken by surprise.

    "Note that archers are positioned in a place where they won't shoot the fighters. In this drawing, you and Ankari are aiming at the left monster. Aliron and Cadell aim at the right. Us fighters will either focus on the center, or each of us can take on a monster.

    "Ideally, we crush one enemy before moving on to the next. The ones that are unconscious or dead can't hit us.

    "Any questions?"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  5. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    "What of Burnbright? I assume that if we run into any battle before she is properly trained, that she would stay in the back and use the crossbow I gave her, but you made no mention of her."
     
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "She's the little one next to Ankari."

    No mention? Was I mumbling, Nissa?

    No. If anything, you're a little on the loud side.

    "The pink one! I used pink chalk to draw girls!"
     
  7. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    "Ah, yes, I see her in the drawing now. It seems a fair arrangement, but I can't speak for the others. I seem to recall Ankari using axes in our first battle, he may not be content to stay in the back.
     
  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "Just showing our future shieldmaiden some basic tactics. You and I know that once a battle starts, it's not so easy to hold a formation.

    "But getting back to my student…"

    She is scared. I don't know why she felt compelled to come with us, but she's having second thoughts. I think even the men who wanted to bring her will see that it is foolish to bring her in this state. The poor thing is trembling!

    "…Burnbright, I prefer you stay safe. There is no shame in staying behind. Training. Living to fight when you've had a childhood of training. Or joy. There is no shame in it if you never fight. If you never train.

    "Please. Live well and leave this difficult task to us."

    I give her a hug and whisper, "I only saw my first monster a few days before you did."
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Burnbright nods and Matthew and gives him a faint smile. Then she slinks back into her chair, intent on Baldhart's lesson. She regains a bit of her composure as the talk turns to battle and tactics. When Baldhart whispers to her, she whispers back "I'm not afraid to go with you, I'm just afraid I won't be any good."
     
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    She will come.

    "You have a mind of your own, child. If you come, just follow orders. And do not follow me. See the chalk? You stay with the archers. Use the bow. Don't shoot if I'm blocking the shot!"


    ((EDIT - bow, not crossbow))
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    ((OK, before I get going with the journey to the temple, let me know if any of you want to do anything the night before leaving. Also the time you plan to leave (the trip will take about 6 hours) and a general order of travel - who's in front, that sort of thing)).
     
  12. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    ((I knew the chalk would come in handy!

    I vote we get on our way in the hour after sunrise. That way we'll still have a lot of daylight left if we need it. As for travel order, I think LS had Baldhart put it best both for battle and travel: Matthew and Baldhart in the lead, then the archers. Rydh can bring up the rear, but (like Baldhart said) it would be best if he's in a position to reach everyone should someone need healing. Whaddya think?))

    *****​

    "Fear? Ha! It is fear that defines courage, my friend. Fearlessness is admirable, but courage is the virtue to aspire to. Fearless ones know nothing of danger and are reckless. Courageous ones know the danger all too well, and still they rise to meet it.

    Fear? I'll keep my fear, Volarian. I need it."

    1st of Battles - Codex 4:173


    *****​

    Burnbright's confession warms my heart in a way she cannot know at her age. It took everything she had to tell us, and she's better for having done it. I just smile at her, for I can think of no words that can match hers. I hope that none of us let her down. She deserves to see the best in us on display, and I for one intend to show by my actions what it means to help people in need.

    Baldhart's strategy seems both self-aware and sound, though I'd prefer to be on the front line. That gives me an idea...

    "Shouldn't we have someone else with heavier armor toward the rear? Cadell has already shown his ability to remain stalwart when face-to-face with enemies, but we'll still be hard pressed if flanked. I could cover one flank and Cadell the other. Is that reasonable?"
     
  13. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "Well, Rydh... that was more of a basic tactic for entering a room. An open area changes things, and every archer keeps an axe or sword with him. But you are right in saying that Cadell is the first who would draw his sword. His armor and his refusal to back down--even without a blade!--make him perfect for the front.

    "As for you, Rydh... position yourself anywhere you wish. Your sword is welcome on the front line. But we can't afford to have you fall. If you fall, our best bet is to stabilize your wound and retreat.

    "Now, about traveling on the open road when attacks are not expected..."

    I mostly intended my lesson for Burnbright, but it is important that we discuss this as adults. We really need to be aware of each other's strengths.

    "...Ankari, being a ranger, will likely lead the group. I would want Matthew close to the front as well, as his sword and shield are needed there. Perhaps Aliron would be on the front as well. He is stealthy. He could scout for danger unseen, and... that new bow of his could come in handy against an enemy that has not yet spotted us.

    "Strangely, and I hate to suggest this, I may be the best person to bring up the rear. One of the first things a warrior learns on my mountain is a turning strike used to crush a sneaky back-stabber. An enemy would regret sneaking up on us with me at the back."

    I turn to Rydh.

    "You definitely stay where I can see you when we travel. You're the only...medic we've got!"
     
  14. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Look out for the lives of your fellow True Soldiers. Some of your comrades may fall; do not allow this to dampen your willingness to lay down your life for them. Work together to keep the innocents free of the enemy, and Betula will smile upon you.

    Engagements - Codex 1:97


    *****​

    I can't help but to chuckle. She's protective, I'll give her that. But Baldhart is also smart about tactics, and it seems as if she's thought this through.

    "Alright, alright," I say. "That's a good plan for travel, I think." Then I shoot Baldhart a wink. "Just remember that I can fight too, you know."

    I then turn to the rest of the group. "What do you say, everyone? Should we be off at dawn? Does this plan suffice?"
     
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I listen to the others discussion, and smile as I look over Baldhart's brightly-colored diagram. It is easy to forget just how young she is, between her height and her skill as both a warrior and tactician.

    When Matthew speaks, I look at him and nod. "All seems fair to me."
     
  16. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "One more thing about travel. Oh... I know I'm probably better in the back becuse I'm not easy to surprise, but we'll be out in the wild.

    "Ankari and Aliron made good use of my grappling hook. To tell the truth, I don't know why I wasted a coin on that thing. I'm not good at climbing ropes, and... I'm always afraid the hook will... fall. Because of my weight.

    "But you should have seem me conquer the Iron Mountain! I was only 14! But I could climb any cliff with even the most miniscule foothold. I'm usually clumsy, but... if we ever need to climb, Ankari, don't go up without me.



    "And, yes, Rydh. We should leave in the morning so you'll be well rested. We may depend on your...medic...ation?" Just say it, Baldy! "Your prayers! You know what I mean!"

    I'm no good at discretion!






    ((About climbing...

    Ankari is our top climber. He can climb cliffs without a check, or with a check if it's a difficult climb. That's the "scale" skill.

    Aliron can climb anything Ankari can but, a check is required for all surfaces. That's the "climb" skill.

    The "deer stalker" skill means Baldy can do lots of things, including scaling climbable cliffs. I think it's safe to assume that a "climbable cliff" is the kind that doesn't require a DEX check for Ankari. The near-impossible climbs that do require a DEX check for Ankari are totally impossible for Baldhart.



    I find the name of the skill amusing. Baldhart is a 6'9" woman who never uses a bow for religious reasons, yet she stalks deer. I'm picturing her lumbering around the woods disguised as a tree trying to smash a deer with her sword, and of course the deer is startled before she can get within a hundred yards!))
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  17. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    "It is because you use magic, Drusillia. You throw your spells when you should swing your sword. The way of the sword is the way of Betula. Would you deny the very will of your God? You're called True Soldier, but you will never truly be one with Betula. A half-breed elf with magic as her weapon could never earn the favor of one so great as our Battle-Father."

    3rd of Battles - Codex 6:45


    *****​

    I'm laughing out loud now.

    "Yes, I know what you mean. My 'prayers.' I can heal you all a bit, but let's try not to get hurt in the first place, right?"

    I look around, and no one else seems to think this is funny. Perhaps I shouldn't either. I just see some humor in using magic to heal and being looked down upon for it by the townsfolk. I wonder: Would they hold to that opinion if I healed a hurt child or cured a sick mother? If magic was used for their benefit, would they still revile me?

    "Alright then. I'll do my best to be available to everyone for healing."
     
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    A cold wind blows outside when everyone retires for the evening. Anticipation of the journey to the old temple of Gefjon is high, but neither that anticipation nor the howling winds outside prevent the party members from sleeping soundly. The party gathers in the common room at the appointed time. Grim, being aware of your departure, has roused himself early as well, and a fire blazes in one of the hearths. The smell of a thick, meaty stew fills the air.

    "Eat yourself a good helping before you head out. Snow's comin' down again. Not much, but it'll be fearsome cold on the way up to the temple. Gonna take you about six hours to get up there, I reckon. I'm making each o' you a pack with some salted fish and some fresh bread. I won't hear of any payment for it. You're going up there to try to help all of us, and it's the least I can do."

    Burnbright is already in the common room, and by the look of things has been up and ready to go longer than anyone. She's wearing her new leather armor, which fits her nicely. She seems pleased with her new weapons as well. Most of her bruises have begun to fade to yellow around the edges, though dark areas remain just below her eyes.

    The journey to the temple is indeed cold, if uneventful. The old road is rutted and slippery with the falling snow. A large moon hangs in the sky, though you see only the briefest of glimpses through the clouds, and even those are lost as you enter the wooded area north of Srilkind, following the winding road that will take you to the temple.

    As the hours pass, daylight filters through the gray clouds and the snowfall becomes little more than flurries, though you find an inch or so of cover as you push along the road. The terrain goes from flat to rolling, and walking uphill proves even more slippery except for Matthew and Cadell, who are on horseback. At least the trees keep the worst of the wind at bay.

    Finally, some hours into your journey, you crest a small rise and the trees fall away before you, exposing an open space of pure white snow-cover stretching perhaps a mile across the rolling landscape. Perched atop a hill at the edge of this expanse of white sits the temple. From where you stand it looks like a ruin of older than ten years, its stone blocks lifeless, stark against the white snow. There appears to be one central building surrounded by a crumbling stone wall that also forms a courtyard. The road you are on continues past the temple, but a small offshoot winds up the hill and leads directly into the temple courtyard. There is no sign of life.

    In the distance beyond the temple is an unsettling sight. Although the sky is cloudy where you stand, the daylight filtering through the clouds reflects on the snow to give the land a certain brightness. Not so beyond the temple. The sky is darker beyond the temple, forming an almost tangible border as though a dirty mist hangs over the land. This 'mist' stretches to your left and right as far as the eye can see, slicing across the lifeless plain. As you stand there looking at the temple, the wind kicks up again, numbing your faces and reminding you of how cold the journey has been.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  19. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    ((From the looks of things, you'll need to change it back))

    I dismount my horse and look around. This whole journey has been unsettling; I'm not used to enemies so, unhuman. The temple is even worse, I feel as if the place is unnaturally cold, it could simply be fear, but that is equally unnatural for me. I feel as if some horrible foe will jump out from behind every corner. Still, we must press on. I take the lead as I'm accustomed to, not because it's the most honorable, but because my duty is to protect and the front is most dangerous.
    "So," I say turning to my companions, "what do you purpose we do now?"
     
  20. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Keep moving

    Ever onward towards the darkness

    Through the shadows

    And bitter rain

    Until you defeat your enemy

    And find the light.

    Psalms of War - Codex 7:475


    *****​

    Not long after we left, I lost the feeling in my nose. The sun came up, and I lost the feeling in my ears despite having my cloak's hood up. Now, as we approach our destination, I can't feel my face. Thankfully I bought these heavy clothes before the journey to Srilkind. I've little doubt they're saving my life right now.

    Looking at the lay of the land, I find myself at a loss. I knew in my heart that the people of this land needed help, so I didn't need proof. Now I see the proof, and I hang my head. How can I fight this? There is corruption here unlike anything I've seen or heard of. What can I do against such a foul sickening of the land itself?

    I feel a chill inside me, and not one brought on my this Gods-forsaken wind.

    "It looks easy enough to get into," I say to Matthew. "Let's head up the path all together. There's something evil here, I just know it, and dividing our numbers right now seems like a bad idea."
     
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