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Dragon's Egg - Act IV

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Steerpike, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    Marius
    Not being much of a conversationalist or negotiator, Marius keeps his mouth shut and eyes focused. He just wishes he didn't have to pee.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Orc Camp

    Liadan hears Baldhart and company returning before the orcs do. Korgak hefts the dwarven hammer a few time as Baldhart enters camp, then hand the hammer off to one of his red-sashed orcs. Korgak's eyes appraise Baldhart's armor as she approaches and he is clearly impressed with the look of it.

    Burnbright gives Baldhart a welcoming nod and Korgak approaches Baldhart. The orc feels the bronze plates in the armor, testing them between his fingers and rapping his knuckles against them. Too, he tests the leather that binds the plates and holds the suit of armor together. Seemingly satisfied, he grunts.

    "I will make the trade," he says, speaking through Liadan as translator. "If you wish to speak to the dwarves first, go to them now." He gestures toward the cage. "Then leave the armor, take the stunties, and leave this camp."

    Some of Korgak's guards look less than pleased at the idea of letting the dwarves go, but none object to his words. They, too, seem impressed with the armor.

    The clothed dwarf continues to glower from his cage, and when Baldhart approaches he nudges his friend and they both turn to glare.

    The Woods

    Tumi seems impressed by Nissa's tales of other Valkyries. "If the north keeps going the way it is, we may have need of yer sisters before it's all over. I hope it won't come to that. But I'll be glad to have you and yer friends on my side if things good poorly for Ballara. Oil and fire from the sky would be something to see - kind o' like the old myths of dragons. Long as you don't turn the town down." He grins.

    Masama continues watching the woods on the other side of the camp from the direction Aliron disappeared. Branwen seems to have made a game of moving quietly when she sees someone using stealth and now she creeps along behind Aliron as he moves to his hiding place. The little harpy isn't completely quiet, but she's not bad. She mimics Aliron's foot steps, stops when he stops, and then stares quizzically into the woods when Aliron takes up his position.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Liadan

    I sigh in relief as Baldhart and the others return, and look on as Korgak appraises the armor. I translate his words for Baldhart, then speak to her softly in the common tongue.

    "I tried to bargain with Korgak myself, and trade my flail and silver pendant for one of the dwarves' hammers. Foolish of me to forget I left the flail in town." I'm still kicking myself for that one. "If there's any way we can get both hammers without stealing or killing, I'll gladly hear ideas."
     
  4. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    I tell Liadan, "We're saving their lives. We must leave it at that."

    I turn to the dwarves, "My purpose here was to make peace between the Grey Wolf Orcs and Ballara. The moment I saw you held captive, I thought of a means to get you out alive. The dirty looks and the cursing didn't dissuade me. And my plan worked. I am sorry about your friend and your hammers. There is nothing I can do about that. But surely you recognize that my sacrifice is the reason you will leave this camp alive.

    "I hate to say you owe me, but we've worn out our welcome here so there isn't time for dancing around the phrase 'life debt.' I will take the time to tell you why I am asking Korgak for a truce with Ballara. My friends and I, in our travels, rescued four orphans from the drow who were keeping them for a ritual sacrifice. One little girl had her heart ripped out. We didn't arrive in time to save five, but the survivors are in Ballara. If my words can grant Ballara one less enemy... maybe those children can have their warm beds and a moment of peace to grieve.

    "Know this about me. I serve Brynhild. I save innocent lives because it's right, and I never ask for a reward. I'm not going to ask you for a reward either. Just a promise: tell me you will not undermine my talks of peace with these orcs before returning to the Delve. In other words, don't provoke a fight with the orcs. If you do, you risk more lives than your own.

    "When we're at a safe distance, I'll tell you more so you don't think me dangerously naive. I believe Brok understands our motives and honors what we are doing, at least after hearing the whole story. What about you, do I have your word?"
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Nissa

    I tell Tumi, "It pains me to say it, but you might see me defending Ballara this night, or maybe not until daybreak if we're lucky. I'm sure everyone I arrived with will take turns on watch duties, so you'll have an extra pair of eyes during our stay.

    "Korgak's orcs won't be the threat, assuming releasing the dwarves means the talk's working out. I suspect it'll be Aslaug's orcs."
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Orc Camp

    The dwarves stiffen when Baldhart reaches them, and their expressions go from bad to worse when she talks about peace with the orcs. They hear Baldhart out, however, and a significant glance passes between the two when Baldhart mentions the drow.

    "So you'd have us go back to the Delve unarmed, our heads held low" asks the clothed dwarf, speaking in a low but forceful tone, not loud enough for the orcs to overhear. "Brok can't command us on this. A dwarf's honor is..."

    The naked dwarf, who looks weary and all the worse for the beating he received at the hands of the orc but not at all self-conscious, places a thick hand on his comrade's shoulder. "Peace. There's bigger issues at work here. Things this lass and her friends have seen...word of that ought to reach the Delve, 'specially now."

    "And she and her friends can take it there," responds the clothed dwarf. "Brok'll lead 'em to it, and we'll stay here and smash orc heads."

    "And what about what we know? What Ondur gave his life to find out. Word of that ought to reach Dain's ears as well."

    The clothed dwarf spins on his comrade. "Then we tell 'em and they'll carry the word to the Delve."

    The nude dwarf grasps his friend's shoulders in both hands and says something in the dwarven tongue. This is followed by a heated argument between the two. The word "Brok" is repeated multiple times. Finally the clothed dwarf looks frustrated and stares at his own clenched fists.

    The unclothed dwarf turns back to Baldhart. "We ain't friends of orcs - not these, and not any others. But we won't upset whatever peace you worked out here. I'll not swear an oath against fighting these Grey Wolves. There will be a reckoning, and if I don't bring it to 'em myself, then my son will do it, or his son after him.

    "But I can see you've worked to get us out of here, and for my part I won't dishonor you or put the human town at risk by turnin' against what you done once they let us loose. Besides, you've got a dwarf friend in yer group, if he came by that token honestly, and that's no small thing.

    "We will swear not to attack if we're released, and to go back to the Delve without a fight. Beyond that we swear nothing. If our paths cross with these Grey Wolves some later day, we'll not hold our weapons. You tell that to the orc, and if he agrees we'll go with you."

    The clothed dwarf clenches and unclenches his fist a few times, then turns to Baldhart. "Agreed," he says, seeming to force the words out. "But my word holds only so long as the orcs honor their own. Any sign of treachery - which ain't unlikely dealing with orcs - and we're released from our oaths. Agreed?"

    "And they give us Ondur," says the naked dwarf, looking in the direction the orcs tossed the body of their friend.

    Burnbright looks on anxiously, unable to overhear the conversation. She looks more than ready to leave the camp.

    The Woods

    Tumi grimaces at the mention of Aslaug. "The sooner that witch is done for, the better." Then something seems to occur to him, and his face pales. "You don't think she'll come herself do you? With her magic and all? Orcs is one thing, but standing against the Witch..." he shakes his head. "Let's just hope she stays put fer a while, eh?"

    Apart from the conversation, things are quiet around the camp. It is near dark now, particularly beneath the canopy of trees that surround the orc camp, and the temperature is dropping quickly, as it does when the sun goes down in the North.
     
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Liadan

    I listen without speaking as the dwarves speak to Baldhart, and wait for her response and anything else she might wish me to tell Korgak.
     
  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Bladhart

    "That is exactly the oath I was asking for. Live. See your son. You and he can carry out the reckoning together, if the truce cannot last. As for your friend who fell, they won't give him to you. They might give him to me, if I ask in the right way. Do not put me in the Book of Grudges."

    [​IMG]
    I tear off the lower portion of my shirt, revealing more flesh than I meant to. No matter. Let the orcs see the muscle definition. It helps more than hurts.

    I give the torn cloth to the naked dwarf so he can cover up, then I turn to Korgak.

    "I came here to speak of peace with Ballara, but it is good you had enemies here. It gave me a chance to show that I am true to my word, and when the people of Ballara see these dwarves, they will see you are true to yours, Korgak.

    "You said you will consider what we spoke of, so I will tell the people of Ballara about our conversation. You want to know that humans will agree to peace. Liadan and I can return here, if you wish, or we can agree to meet a messenger. If you send a messenger, he should come alone, bearing a while flag. The people of Ballara may otherwise assume they are raiders, or Aslaug's orcs—we expect to meet Aslaug's orcs soon, and I will not be so diplomatic to those who work for her."

    I tell Liadan that, in addition to wanting to know how to communicate with the Grey Wolf orcs, I want the fallen dwarf's body for my own reasons.

    "I will speak in Drimmen-Delve as well. I make no guarantees, but I will tell him that you have no interest in the Delve, so he should have no reason to attack you. I know neither your people nor the dwarves will fight alongside each other. If you both see the benefits of keeping a distance and protecting your own from a common enemy, that is best. Aslaug and the drow will take advantage of two forces fighting, attacking the winner as they recover from their wounds. That is truthful, and if the dwarves king recognizes this truth, a truce is possible. Should the truce outlast Aslaug and the drow, what happens afterward is out of my hands. Likely I will be dead or heading to my mountain. If dwarves and orcs need a third party to speak for them, provided that both sides honor the truce, I will do this—if I am still alive, of course."

    I point toward a home where a child was rushed inside by her parents.

    "I do this for that orc girl I saw earlier, and young innocents like her. It is why I will go through great lengths and take great risks to keep peace where it should be, and battle where it should be. I will go through such lengths now, Korgak, if you do not object."

    I point in the direction of the body.

    "Your people discarded the dead one. He is rubbish to you, but insurance to me. I will trade my armor for the two dwarves and leave as we agreed. Let me take the dead one. As long as the body is in my possession, the dwarves will not leave my side. It is the only way I can be sure they won't undermine my efforts at peace."
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Orc Camp

    Korgak looks in the direction Baldhart points - where the body was thrown. "If you want the stuntie's body, take it. Or leave it for the birds. It makes no difference to me."

    Once Korgak has the bronze armor in his possession, he motions to one of his red-sashed orcs to approach the cage. The orc does so with a dagger drawn. Holding the blade in his mouth, he unlocks the cage. The once-naked dwarf has covered himself as best he can in the strip of cloth Baldhart provided. It doesn't do much, but he is able to tie it around his waist. As the cage is opened, that dwarf lays a hand on his comrade's shoulder. Both dwarves glower but emerge from the cage quietly. They move to where Baldhart and Liadan stand, eyes smoldering and fixed on Korgak. The dwarf wearing Baldhart's ripped cloth is battered and bruised, that much is evident even in the dim light.

    Korgak orders the body of the other dwarf retrieved from where it was tossed. The dwarves tense as the body is brought forward. The dead dwarf is a bloodied mess, and as one of the red-sashed orc brings the body forward the dwarves move forward to take the body from him. One of the dwarves shoves the red-sashed orc roughly away once the body is taken, and the orc growls and drops a hand to his dagger. Korgak barks at the orc, and orc takes a step back and moves his hand away from his knife. Now he's glowering too.

    Tension is thick in the air, with every red-sashed orc now near at hand and looking at Korgak, as though waiting for a cue. A few orc archers materialize at the edges of the camp, arrows nocked, also watching. Korgak makes a calming gesture toward the camp as a whole, but it doesn't do much to ease the tension.

    "You should go," Korgak says, speaking orcish to Liadan. "If the humans have agreed to a peace, send word to this camp. If I do not hear from you, I will assume they have refused."

    The dwarves have laid out the body of their kinsman as best they can, wiping at some of the blood and dirt on the body. They pick the corpse up between them and prepare to depart. The exchange a few words in dwarven, and then the dwarf wrapped in Baldhart's cloth says to Liadan "We honor our word. But a day will come when Korgak will pay for these deeds. You tell him that."

    Burnbright looks anxious to get out of there.

    The Woods

    All remains quiet, and ever colder, as the evening darkness sets in.
     
  10. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Aliron
    Continues to watch and listen from his concealment, also checking Branwen to make sure she isn't giving away their position.

    Bressel:
    (
    I think we had a fire)
    Bressel stokes up the fire, uncertain how much longer it would be.
    "Might as well be comfortable."

    (Is Branwen visible to the group? I don't know if Harpy's can "hide" or not.)
     
  11. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    I tell the dwarves, "We will honor your friend when we are far from here, and see to your wounds. We leave now, I have no more long speeches for the orcs."

    I take Burnbright by the hand. "Sister, I have no right to speak for Brynhild as Nissa does, but I believe you are one step closer to earning your wings. Be proud of the way you handled yourself."

    I turn to Korgak. "Tomorrow then. We bring good news, or none at all."
     
    tbgg likes this.
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    ((Given that it is dark, and you're in the woods, the group around the fire can't see Branwen. She's crouching, and very still, alongside Aliron. It's not so much that she's good at hiding - if someone from the camp were to talk out into the woods, they might well see her even though they don't see Aliron - it's just that circumstances are such that she can't be seen. Though she would have been seen when she initially followed after Aliron)).
     
  13. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Liadan

    I translate back and forth between Korgak and Baldhart, though I phrase the dwarf's warning with rather more tact. Once everything is settled, I slide my hand into Cadell's as we leave the orc camp again.

    Once we're out of earshot of the camp, I speak to Baldhart, so the dwarves can hear. "This may be overly optimistic, but I wonder if it would be worthwhile to try bargaining with Korgak for the hammers tomorrow? He was very interested until I remembered part of my bargain was in town. Whomever we send as messenger could easily bring it with them, and what else I wished to trade."
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  14. Philster401

    Philster401 Maester

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    (Should Zoran be back at the group's camp or the orcs camp)
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    ((Zoran is at the group's camp in the woods))
     
  16. tbgg

    tbgg Sage

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    Reaching beside me, I idly scratch Uala’s ears. “Look, there’s Ballara just up ahead. You can rest soon, girl.”

    My mule turns her limpid brown eyes on me and snorts as if to say, ‘It's about time already.’

    I’ve been pushing her hard the past few days, and I know she deserves a rest. I’ve just been afraid that if I do not, I will fail to reach my quarry in time.

    Thinking of my quarry, my stomach knots up and I notice that I am tugging at the end of my tunic again. I really hope she is a better leader than Sir Matthew made her sound like. Though he did admit she is quite fierce in battle and kind to children. But as I knew well from my grandfather, being good in battle did not necessarily make one a good leader. Of course, it didn’t preclude it, either. And the kindness to children is an encouraging sign.

    Taking a deep breath to steady my nerves, I straighten my shoulders as grandmother taught me. I can see that the guard has noticed me and is watching my and Uala’s approach.

    When I reach the guard, I force the corners of my mouth up into a smile and say, “Greetings. What news is there in fair Ballara?”

    ((Charisma check, just so I can get used to posting roll results))
    [​IMG]
    ((I’m not sure if she gets the +2 racial empathy bonus for this kind of CHA roll, but even if not, I think this is still a pass))

    That felt more natural than I expected. Here’s to hoping this guard has a soft spot for blondes!
     
  17. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    I tell Liadan, "We got the dwarves out alive. That is enough of a victory. If Ballara agrees peace is best, then I think you can make a trade with Korgak. It's best he is not told it is a favor for the dwarves. I don't know how long a truce will last, but a truce is all I dare ask of the dwarven king."

    I turn to the dwarves. "There are some atrocities that can never be forgiven. Let us take Ondur far from here and honor him. I am a nun in Brynhild's service; Liadan is a priestess. If you permit, we will help you honor him. If helping means staying out of the way so the two of you and Brok can honor him your own way... We help on your terms. For now, I will help carry him, if you would like." To the naked one, I add, "At the very least, you should let Liadan see to your wounds."

    I only help if permitted. The dwarves have been forced enough...
     
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Ballara

    Ballara is dark and quiet, at least from Cali's vantage point. The town abuts the edge of a river, then spreads outward from there, a partially-finished palisade defining its perimeter. Fallen logs are scattered near openings in the palisade - the final pieces remaining to be put into place. Given the gaps in the palisade, it appears Ballara could be entered from off the road, but the guard is posted at the gate nonetheless.

    The guard takes one of a pair of torches flanking the gate and raises it as Cali nears. His hard gaze softens a bit, though his bearded mouth remains set in a straight line, when he sees who approaches. When Cali calls out, a second guard steps out from just inside the gate, standing a few feet behind the first. The men are armed with long knives set in scabbards on their belts. They make no move to draw their weapons.

    The first guard's mouth turns up slightly when Cali smiles. "Orcs and strangers, that's the news here of late. What's a lass such as yerself doing on the road alone after dark? Ain't exactly safe if you don't mind me saying." He motions Cali forward, eyes scanning her mule and belongings, as though looking for a threat. "You looking for a place to put up? I don't recommend sleeping outside the walls."

    The Woods

    Despite being obviously weary, Burnbright allows a tight smile and straightens her shoulders when Baldhart complements her. Korgak dismisses the party without ceremony, agreeing to wait for word the next day. The rescued dwarves shrug off any attempt to look at their wounds. "When we get to yer camp," says the barely clothed dwarf.

    The group from the orc camp is able to reunite with the remainder of the party in the woods, though it is slow going in the dark, the two dwarves moving slowly so as not to stumble with their fallen comrade. The two dwarves refuse to let Baldhart help carry their kin, but the one Baldhart clothed responds when she talks of honoring the dead dwarf. "We'll get him back to the Delve and see him placed beside his fathers. No place around here fit for a dwarf's last rest."

    Brok joins the group about halfway back to the camp, emerging from the dark trees with a crow perched inexplicably on his shoulder. When the other dwarves see that crow, they pull up short for a moment and exchange low words in the dwarvish tongue. Brok checks the other two dwarves, as well as the dead one, as they talk, then nods and the group begins moving again.

    "You convinced them, I see." Brok says to Baldhart and Liadan. "I'm almost surprised ye did, but if you can talk an orc out of his dwarf prisoners then I reckon you can talk a dwarf out of his vengeance - at least for a time. It may prove a good thing that you did."

    Brok lifts a finger up to the crow on his shoulder and feeds it a small bit of something - just what is hard to make out in the dark.

    When the group returns to camp, everyone is there except Aliron and Branwen. Masama can be seen just at the far edge, facing downhill in the direction of Ballara (though the town isn't visible). Burnbright makes for the fire, sinking down onto the hard ground near it.

    Hidden from the view of all, Aliron is able to see the return of his friends to camp. Branwen gets fidgety when she sees Burnbright, clearly checking an impulse to dash to greet her friend. But, after a few restless movements, she settles back into a near-still position, trying to mimic Aliron. She looks up at the dwarf expectantly, her wide eyes shining in what little light there is.
     
  19. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Liadan

    When we return to camp, I speak to the dwarves. "I'll tend to your wounds now, if you'll let me."

    If they wish, I cast Cure Light Wounds on each of them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well, that could be better. I try again:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ((Liadan is currently down to 8 MP.))
     
  20. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    Marius
    Bursting out of the darkness, Marius screams, "WHAAAAAAAAAAT?! You can fix cuts and bruises with MAGIC?! ITS A WITCH! Do you weigh as much as a duck? Can you drown? Wait wait, I bet you melt in water... but you didnt earlier... Hmmm... where is your cat?"
     
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