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Dragon's Egg - Act IV

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

  1. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Bladhart

    I hold the girl close. "We can write it ourselves when this is done."

    She truly believes her mother can be saved. No need to piddle on that parade. "About your mother… I can't tell you what will happen when we face her, so I won't try to mentally prepare you for it. Not now.

    "I think I should mentally prepare the dwarves. I'm going to tell Brok who you are. I suppose since Tumi, Callan and Marius have all learned this today, what's a few more dwarves?

    "Maybe Masama's rubbing off on me, or maybe you—you always said you'd be truthful always even when I was willing to do whatever it took to win a battle or protect you or others. Now I want to be fully honest not just with friends, but with foes.

    "Did I tell you I was completely honest with those dark elves? When they surrendered to me, I never gave them the false hope I was going to spare them. You should have seen the first one who 'yielded' to me. I reminded him of the children who died after yielding to him—while strangling him to death, which he clearly wasn't expecting. I guess that's also part of the reason my people are called barbarians. We don't take prisoners. But barbaric as our ways seem to the world, I can tell you there is no safer place for a little girl to grow up than a mountain full of burly, axe-wielding Freya-worshippers.

    "When you're well into your teens, then I'll worry. Promise me that you won't ever get too close to a boyfriend until he's met your big sister, and I'll worry less."

    I'm sure she'll have plenty to say, and I'll listen. But once she's said her piece, I'll encourage her to sleep.
     
  2. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    Marius

    Having put the child to bed, Marius prepares to sleep as well. He unrolls a bedroll tied to his pack. Unfortunately it is still somewhat damp from his trek across a river earlier in the day so he decides to put it near the fire and sleep out on the grass. He overhears the story about strangling the drow as he waits for sleep to take him and thinks, Is that why they call them Barbarians. I always thought it was because they are supposed to sound like they are saying 'bar bar bar' when they talk. This one doesn't sound like that though. Sounds like perfectly serviceable common if you ask me.

    Marius' thoughts continue to ramble and drift until finally he passes out for the night.
     
  3. tbgg

    tbgg Sage

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    Cali

    I quickly say, "I'm Cali Norling, and I'm the woman who Rik delivered the note for earlier. I think I may be able to help amuse the children who are with you. I don't know what's troubling you, but I'm willing to either listen while you talk or just interact with the kids if you'd prefer to have a good cry by yourself. I was raised by my grandparents, and when I was 12, my uncle was arrested for treason and then executed, claiming his innocence the whole while. That made for a lot of sadness in our house. Two years later, we learned my uncle had been telling the truth all along. My grandmother and aunt joined a group organized by one of the wives of a Knight for wives and girlfriends of Knights and Paladins who died for the sake of supporting each other through their grief. In time, they both started feeling better, and my grandmother was instrumental in setting up a parallel group for mothers whose Paladin or Knight child had died while my aunt and some other women even organized groups for the children of Knight and Paladins who died to talk about their grief. My grandmother regularly had women over to our house who were going through a rough time with their grief. My grandfa got irrationally angry about the whole thing and snapped at us for months. I've heard wild keening and sobbing, shouts of anger, and even shrieking from people who were in the depths of pain. I seriously doubt you have any crazier behavior than anything I've already experienced. But it's up to you if you want to take a chance on me," I gaze at the young woman calmly, yet steadily.

    [​IMG]

    I continue, "I'd offer to take the kids to my room to give you some privacy, but you only just met me, and you don't know if I have plans to kidnap or otherwise harm them. So I won't make that offer." I give the young woman my best winning smile.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Woods

    Burnbright returns Baldhart's hug. "I know you don't agree with me, Baldhart, but I think we can still save her. If anyone can, we can." She smiles. "As for telling the dwarves who I am, I trust you. Do what you think is best. If they need to know, that's OK with me. I'm glad you tell the truth, even to those nasty drow. I know you'll never lie to me."

    Her cheeks color a bit, visible even in the firelight, when Baldhart talks about bringing boyfriends over. "I'm not even interested in boys. Jofurr used to try to grab my butt back in Srilkind. What a jerk..." She trails off, memories going back to the village that was once her home. She shakes herself free of them and gives Baldhart another hug, then lays down to sleep.

    As everyone settles down for the evening and the first watch takes its place at the perimeter of the camp, Brok stands just at the edge of the firelight, running a thick thumb along the runes on his staff and staring into the darkness.

    Rik's Place


    The woman Cali is speaking to is quiet a moment, glancing quickly over her shoulder into the room. Then she says, "I can't right now...I mean, I'm sure you learned a lot from your grandmother and aunt, and I'm sure you're a good person to talk to, I just...I mean, right now I just need to be alone. Me and the kids I mean. I'm sorry, but you better go."

    She begins to close the door.
     
  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    When Burnbright says she's not interest in boys, I say, "I was sixteen when I vowed… oh, never mind. You need rest." I let Burnbright sleep.

    I say to Brok, "Next watch, we talk." I take a nap myself.


    Nissa

    I thank Callan for providing the meal, and offer to take a watch with her. I then circle the area once before getting some sleep myself. ((If Callan's on first watch or Nissa sees something, she stays awake.))

    [​IMG]
     
  6. tbgg

    tbgg Sage

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    Cali

    I quickly ask, "Is there more to your need to be alone than whatever you're feeling sad about? And would it make any difference to you if I told you I might be interested in joining your party? That's what the note that Rik delivered to you earlier for me is about - I want to talk to whoever is leading this group and ask some questions to see if I'd be a good fit. And if you're worried about the man who Rik said was asking after your party, I could help you keep the children with you safe, just until your party returns. I spent some time as a costumer, and I'm good with disguises, so that could be useful. Are not two heads better than one?"

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Woods

    Callan offers to remain awake during the first watch, saying "I don't think I can sleep yet. As long as we're OK for the later watches..." She looks around.

    Masama, seeing the number of people set for the first watch, decided to rest and prepare for a later watch. He makes a place for himself near the fire, saying "I will never get used to the cold in these lands." Before laying down, he turns himself to face the east, then offers a few words to Asra. Satisfied, the big man lays down to rest.

    Brok remains at the edge of the camp, content to remain awake for now. He tells Baldhart " I will wait for you. Rest easy - we have many eyes on the woods this night."

    Burnbright also goes to sleep, and she calls Branwen over to cuddle up with her next to the fire. Burnbright is asleep long before Branwen, but the little harpy seems content to lay in the warmth of the fire next to the older child. Branwen fumbles with her copper coin as she lays there.

    Soon, everyone is situated for the first watch. Callan moves to the edge of the camp at Masama's old position, getting just far enough from the firelight that it doesn't hurt her night vision. She pulls her clothing close. "Your company is welcome," she tells Nissa. She turns to face the darkness, eyes intent on the woods beyond the fire.

    Rik's Place

    Dalla pauses a moment, then turns her head slightly. She looks back to Cali, frowning, but she says. "OK, come on in." She steps back so that Cali can enter the room. Dalla's eyes flick to her left again as she waits for Cali.
     
  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Nissa

    Callan looks out into the darkness. I definitely see better through my own eyes than I did through Baldhart's, but I won't bother telling Callan how much better I see.

    I simply look out there.

    [​IMG]

    If I see nothing, I leave it up to Callan what I do next. "I can fly over the area, if you'd like. Or, just stay close."

    If she wants to chat, that's fine with me as well.
     
  9. tbgg

    tbgg Sage

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    Cali

    Quickly I step through the door so that this young woman can close it. I don't want her to regret trusting me. "Pardon me still having dinner," I say, glancing at the plate and goblet in my hands. "Rik had just brought my meal when he mentioned being concerned about you, and since the patrons were looking pretty eager for some attention from him, I offered to come up here right away."

    I then regard the young woman. "I don't believe I heard your name." Then looking around the room for the children, I say, "Or those of the kids you have with you, either. I'm Calinniel, but you can call me Cali, and as I was just telling your friend here, I may be joining the party you are with. I'm wondering if you children like to play dress up at all." And I gaze at them expectantly, a smile on my face to show that I want to be their friend.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Woods

    Callan considers for a moment, then says to Nissa: "Can't hurt to have a look around from above. I don't like sleeping this close to the orc camp, though I guess those dwarves weren't in any shape to walk back to Ballara. I heard you talkin' to Tumi. What's your interest in getting that old cur to find religion?" She smirks. "Or to find him a woman, for that matter?"

    Rik's Place

    Dalla steps aside so Cali can enter, then closes the door behind her. She doesn't say anything as Cali speaks, just waiting until Cali turns so that her eyes fall on the children...both of whom are bound and gagged. The young boy is sitting on the floor glaring up at a thin, wiry man all in brown leather with gray-white hair and a pale scar running through one thick eyebrow. The bound and gagged little girl is on her feet, hands behind her being held by the white-haired man. The man has a profoundly sharp, long dagger in his hand, and he motions Cali toward a chair on the other side of the bed. "Why don't you have a seat over there, Miss, and keep quiet a minute."

    "I'm sorry," Dalla mutters, "he was...."

    "And that's enough out of you, too," the man snaps. "Everyone just stay still and no one be a hero. As soon as I find out where this girl is..."

    "I told you I don't know who you're looking for," Dalla says.

    "And you're lyin'," the man replies. "So save your breath." He turns to Cali. "What about you? You're lookin' for the leader of this group? What do you know, and why are you after her?"
     
  11. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Nissa

    "Just making conversation," I reply with a shrug. "He kept going on about how beautiful I am, and I love a good compliment—don't get me wrong. But then he asked if all valkyries look like me, and the only thing that got his mind off of valkyries was Baldy in her undies.

    "He's more interested in finding a mate than discussing religion, but religion's more my area of expertise." I lower my voice when I say, "Freya's a good choice for him, though I understand She's not too popular where we're headed. Darin once told Baldy he was brought up to believe Freya stole from the dwarves. I wouldn't know, and it's not my place to ask.

    "It's probably not my place to ask why we're spending the whole night here when we could be in an inn, but I'm with you, Callan. I'd rather not be here all night unless the dwarves we rescued really can't handle the trip to town. They do need rest, but do you think we should give the dwarves half a night's rest—I mean move out in a couple hours? Baldy's going on watch with Brok, so I suppose I could have her ask him."
     
  12. tbgg

    tbgg Sage

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    Cali

    As I move toward the chair, I slip my hand into my spell component pouch and pull out two marbles. I then turn back around as though to sit in the chair, and chant the pattern for Color Spray, hoping it doesn't knock out any of the children if I am successful.

    [​IMG]

    Yes! I think exultantly at my success.

    # of Creatures Affected
    [​IMG]

    Let's see how Mr. Scarman responds to THIS!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Rik's Place

    A cone of rainbow light surges from Cali's hand toward the white-haired man. Dalla and the children let out shrieks of alarm:

    [​IMG]

    ((not sure why that isn't showing up. It is a WIS save for the man. The result was 9))

    The man crumples into a heap on the floor, his dagger rolling from his hands. Both children are silenced mid-scream. The boy slumps motionless to one side, and the girl folds onto herself and slides to the floor just like the white haired man.

    Dalla, not in the direct line of the spell, remains on her feet. She cries out again, yelling "The children!" as she throws herself toward the two motionless forms. The colors from Cali's hand fade and the room returns to its normal dimly-lit condition.
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Woods

    "Tumi is about as thick as they come," Callan tells Nissa. "But I suppose he's harmless. I don't see him settling down, but I suppose a man will surprise you sometimes. As for the dwarves...well, I can't really say what they believe. Humans gods aren't much popular with them...at least not with the dwarves of the Delve. And you're right that they have no love of Freya, though I've never heard the story behind it.

    "The folk of the Delve tend to keep to themselves, and you don't find 'em much in human villages. I half think the reason we're stuck out here is that Brok and his kinfolk would just rather not stay in Ballara. Me, I wouldn't mind a nice bed in an inn. If you want to try to set out midway through the night, I won't say no to it. But crossing that river in the dark's going to be a challenge. If we're to try it, we need to take extra precautions. Someone gets swept off that rope in the dark, we might not get 'em back."

    As the conversation between Nissa and Callan goes on, Branwen starts to slip into sleep. She clutches her copper coin tightly in her hand, which she tucks under her chin, and closes her eyes.
     
  15. tbgg

    tbgg Sage

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    Cali

    I say calmly to the woman as I grab the man's dagger, "Don't be alarmed. I am very sorry I had to do that, but I wasn't about to let him harm the children or you if I could help it. I am not sure how long this will last, so let me run down and get help as quickly as I can, because physically, I'm no match for him. If I were you, I'd tie him up as quickly as possible."

    I gaze sadly at the plate I had to throw down to get my spell components out. Hopefully Rik can get me another. Hastily I make my way out of the room and down the stairs, calling out loudly, "INTRUDER UPSTAIRS IN ROOM 4 HARASSING A WOMAN AND INNOCENT CHILDREN. PLEASE GET THE CONSTABLE AND WE NEED SOME MEN TO GO TO THE ROOM ASAP TO GET THE INTRUDER UNDER PERMANENT CONTROL. PLEASE HELP!"
     
  16. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Nissa

    "True... we did have some close calls with the children. Well, Brynhild didn't give me these wings so I could fly off to an inn and abandon everyone.

    "I think it was a reward--this body, I mean. I used to use the magic in Baldhart, what little there is, to appear for a few minutes. When a bunch of fish demons attacked Arendal, I did that as the monsters went after the children. I had to fight naked. Should I tell Tumi that story?

    "Anyway, I guess this body will last until I die, Baldy dies, or Brynhild changes my assignment. I don't expect her to, but if Baldy manages to survive all this, I don't think she'll need me."
     
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Rik's Place

    Dalla seems to have only half heard what Cali is saying. She puts her hand on each child's throat, checking for a pulse, and asking "What did you do to them?" Her voice is high and tight with concern. She pulls back each child's eyelids, then sets about untying them as Cali heads downstairs.

    The common room erupts with commotion, some villagers craning their necks to see what the fuss is about as Cali comes downstairs. Others jump from their seats, one man dragging a large woodcutting axe from where he kept it beneath his bench. Rik thumps a couple of tankards onto one of the tables, sloshing ale, and rushes to meet Cali at the bottom of the stairs. "What is it, Miss? What's happened." He takes a good look at Cali and calls over his shoulder "Someone send for the guard!"

    The stable boy, who was sitting at one of the tables with his own dinner, rushes out the door. The man with the axe asks "Intruder? Is he still up there?" And without waiting for an answer he bounds up the stairs, taking them two at a time.
     
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Woods

    "You speak of death easily," Callan says to Nissa. "I suppose it doesn't hold any fear for you. You already know what's on the other side. Strange to have proof of the gods here with us. I've often been scared of dying, just before a battle. My Da used to say those who aren't scared are fools. I was never a coward. I never ran from a fight. But there's always a fear in that last moment before there's nothing left to think about except staying alive. I guess you don't have anything to be afraid of anymore."

    She is silent a moment, then smirks. "Please don't tell Tumi about your naked battle. If the man keels over here in the woods we'll have to haul his carcass all the way back to Ballara."
     
  19. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Nissa

    "I talked about this with other Valkyries. They said it's a halfling thing... I mean, not scaring easily. They call it 'fearlessness' but I call that bulshit. No one is without fear.

    "This came up because, in my first battle, I took on an orc. We both took advantage of our relative heights. He hit me on the head and I woke up years later, but was no longer in my body. I did land the first attack, though... picture yourself about to be killed by a man three times your height. You know you can't outrun him. He spreads his legs to lower his stance. I suppose it's considered dishonorable to target that obvious vulnerable area, but it wasn't like I wanted to fight him or anybody. My mother's sword was just a thing I liked to carry on me.

    "I'm sure my father wishes he advised me as your father did. Losing me broke him. Near-fearlessness and the insatiable desire to kill are an ugly combination."

    I manage a smile.

    "I don't want to be such a downer. We can talk about anything but death, if you'd like. The funny thing is I'm considered one of the more sensitive Valkyries when I'm with fallen warriors, but of course it's different now. I'm with people who can live their lives, and I want that for all of you. Well, I want Baldy to get a pair of wings and work with me, but it can be years from now. Decades, even.

    "I haven't told anyone this, but I think I know why you fear death. You fear the unknown. For me, life is the unknown. My ability to protect life is unknown. In that sense, I'm as scared as you are."

    I try not to laugh at myself.

    "Sorry. I was trying not to talk about death, and I blew it, didn't I?"
     
  20. tbgg

    tbgg Sage

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    Cali

    I run back up to Dalla's room and peer inside. In the event the man with the axe is in league with the scarred man, I don't want to be caught off-guard again. Just in case, I grab two more marbles from my spell component pouch.

    If the man with the axe is tying up or otherwise restraining the scarred man, I step inside and whisper to Dalla, "The children should only be unconscious. Don't worry, the effect is temporary. Unfortunately, it is only temporary for the scarred man, too."

    If the man with the axe is threatening or restraining or harming Dalla or the children, I again begin the chant for Color Spray from out in the hallway:

    Spell Check
    [​IMG]

    I think, Oh crud!

    Saving throw for runaway magic
    [​IMG]

    ((Here's to hoping Axeman is friendly, LOL))
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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