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Dragon's Egg - Side Treks

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Nihal, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    ((The intimidate was directed at Ankari. Failure to roll a 14 prime/20 non results in -2 to all rolls while Baldhart is in sight.

    I'm not sure if her walking away changes that, though.))
     
  2. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    "Wait." I am unsure of what just transpired between the two. They are both wounded in some way, like a wolf with a bald patch of fur from a burn, flinching away from the sight of a flame. They will have to seek their healing in another more forgiving time and location. Now, a force threatens Catli, and the party that would carry the burden of her protection.

    "Catli is out of town and with our own people. That was wise of you, Baldhart. We have a few moments until the fallen knight kills himself against the spears of our enemies. Before we can continue, we need to create a uniform front within our ranks, if for no other reason than Catli."

    The two bandy about accusations like two women fighting over a lover. Their heated words indicate a need for reassuring validation, for acceptance. Would that I could find them men willing to put up with their fragile egos.

    I move in between the two. Even unaware, the gesture gives the impression of equality and balance. "I make no excuses for what I have done other than I felt a member of my company threatened. I acted, and ended that threat. Now, you say that the gnolls wish to attack this poor excuse of a collection of pebbles and twigs. I understand your need for facing that threat, and so will aid you. It's Catli, and nothing else."

    It's too late to intercept Gisla. I piece together my words meant for her, hoping it would reach her later. "The gnolls attacked Srilikind, and these people waited and watched like cowards hiding in the mud of a swamp, waiting for the dogs to end their feast on the weak. Would that I line up their elders, slit their necks and spit in their eyes. Would that I bury my axe in every follower of Tyr for their malformed notion of honor and courage. Courage. A word that means little to men who would kill a child for being.

    "Do you understand me? I would carve my judgement in their skulls and sing their punishment over the resulting screams. Then Mauve came. She has spoken words that have revealed the errors in doing this. They must live because Catli must live.

    "You may say they have women and children. That the elderly among them deserve the mercy of our intervention. But, ask yourself Baldhart, why show mercy to those who show none? The village of Srilkind is just a short walk in that direction. In the climax of the assault, the fires would have shone against the horizon, the screams would ride the bitter winds, sending a chill along their spines not from the cold. Yet they gathered like curs fearing the bite of a wolf!

    "I will aid you, Baldhart, because you are of my own. Yes, you tried to kill me, but you show courage where these piles of dung would not. Let them know. The wraith that has stolen their priest's life will save them from the need to bloody their hands for fear of forming a callus." It is a hard thing to keep the bitterness from my voice. I can't imagine I succeeded.

    Stretching out my hand, I continue. "I promise you this. I also promise to resume our quest, to keep Catli safe, to never harm any of my company unless they act against the quest, to protect one another, and to die before I allow evil to take this land." Even though they care little for one another's well being. I leave that unsaid. Better to iron out the present wrinkles and reform this group.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    He's not intimidated at all. In fact, Ankari is the voice of reason. I'm glad I get a chance to talk to him. I accept the hand shake, if that's what it is.

    "I want our unity to be more than a front… and… I didn't want to kill you or fight you, Ankari. I made that oath to Gisla so our entire party wouldn't be stigmatized by your act. Most of our party fled, but fleeing would have meant exposing or abandoning Burnbright. As for the specifics of my oath to Gisla, it's that my sword is in her service as long as I am in Arendal or at her side, under the condition that none of our party is condemned 'guilty by association.' It was to protect the rest of the party—not to go against you! I thought you'd have fled before I had time to get to the temple, so I didn't think I'd be bound by oath to attack you. I should have known you'd be braver than that. I'm glad… I'm glad your safe.

    "The people of Arendal won't forgive you, but yes, I'll tell Gisla you're helping us if you wish it. I trust her not to send the militia after you, if you mean to deliver my message. What you said to me—about courage and Mauve correcting you and everything? Is that for Gisla's ears too?"

    I show Ankari my drawing and letter.

    "Ankari, you'd really be helping a great deal if you can find Cadell. All you need to do is see that this message gets to the gnolls, and say that the meeting is at midnight. The gnolls would need to march three hours west along the main road.

    "I can't go into every detail—I need to move—but know this: I'm the one who will be on the trapped boat. If something goes wrong, the rest of the party is at sea and Burnbright is nowhere that the enemy can see her, off to the next town.

    "I risk my own life, but with Nissa… and the instructions I will give as the gnolls board, even if they draw their weapons, I can swim and Nissa can torch the boat so they can't follow. If they board the boat, they're doomed, and there's a chance of disarming the goblins as well.

    "Will you find Cadell and get my message to the gnolls? Err… just the letter. I want to keep the drawing."

    I await his answer.



    Hmm… maybe I can get Mauve's stuff on the way back. Better not promise that, though. If I'm forced to take a detour, she'll think I deceived her. Damn. I never thought I'd see the day that Ankari is so agreeable while Mauve is so…

    I did.

    Nissa!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  4. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Ankari puts himself between us, as if I would dirty my hands with the barbarian. I retreat further in the shadows, towards the wood. They look forward to become a big happy family—until the next opportunity to stick a dagger at a back appears.

    I can't stay put and hear the absurdities that woman is shoving down our throats. I raise my hands over my head, exasperated. It's too much to bear, I don't have the mind to smile, pretend and hopelessly try show the right way, I don't have the stomach to be vilified then kicked like a worthless stray dog every single time I disagree with them, if I refuse wish to risk my neck and mind for such despicable people. Gratitude is not something they know. I close my hands and lower them.

    Gaping at this nonsense won't help me. I have work to do. While they chat I start towards Arendal, walking on light feet, in a wide arc to avoid the two...

    [​IMG]

    ...then, my foot gets caught in a root. Typical.
     
  5. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Off to Arendal

    ((So, assuming her botched attempt to sneak away from the two didn't matter: ))

    I take my time to study the militias patrolling pattern. I know better than believe they are just like an organized army; had these peasants have the required caution or simply the intelligence to deal with a mage they would have me chained and gagged. They will have gaps in their defense and I'll find it.

    As soon I identify a consistent gap I approach the town, always walking in the shadows, looking forward to enter the inn by the back door of I've heard so much about. A small visit to the blacksmith after I've recovered everything wouldn't hurt either.
     
  6. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    "I'll do my best. Point me in the direction of the gnolls. I'll look for any tracks I can find." I glance at the patch of night Mauve is fading into. "Baldhart, you need to make amends. You bandy about oaths as if they are meant to heighten your honor, not spend it. You're previous oath nearly saw me dead, and Branwen's fate uncertain. Not to mention you have created a chasm between you and Mauve.

    "You are returning to the village. Find her and apologize. The blame has no other perch but your shoulders to weigh upon."
     
  7. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    He blames me, when he's the one who committed murder. But Mauve… I don't even know if she'd accept my apology. I don't know if…

    "The chasm was already there. I just made it much wider with my big mouth. Yes, I'll apologize and see her stuff gets to her.

    "Thank you." But point him in–? I'm not… "I lack your tracking skills and didn't see Cadell leave, but he left the stable quietly enough that I never heard him either. I assume if he went into the woods, you'd have heard him. Likely, he left town on the road, then… who knows where he went from there? If you need to check the stables to track him properly, I came from the stables to get here. If I wasn't spotted, I'm sure you won't be.

    "And don't be. The militia men will go into a panic if they see you, and the gnolls will be emboldened by their weakness. It might be worth checking the road to the east. If you see fresh eastbound tracks, you can follow from there without risk of being spotted by militia."

    I check the paper in my hand. Yup, I did give Ankari the letter and not the drawing. That would've been bad.

    Before parting, I say, "Even if Cadell already met them, see if he'll still pass on the message–or you can if you want. I suspect Cadell will attempt to get the gnolls to leave. Failing that, they'll come for Burnbright. It's possible that Cadell spoke of forming an alliance with the gnolls, so don't be completely surprised if they march with him, hoping to fulfill their agenda with little resistance.

    "Oh, and if Cadell snuck off because he overheard my intentions, and he mentions his suspicion in earshot of the gnolls, be sure to thank him for killing me."

    Or Ankari can set me up to die if he wants to. If he has thoughts of revenge, better to give him the opportunity now. If he doesn't take it, I won't need to sleep with one eye open. Or maybe I wouldn't anyway. I am too trusting, aren't I?

    If Ankari has nothing to say, I head back. Gisla first, then the boats. I hope Aliron and Bressel are there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Back to Arendal…

    Has my faith in Ankari been misplaced? Will he try but fail? Did Cadell actually have a sensible plan regarding his peace talk–one that gets them out of our way, not looming over us waiting for a handover?

    I must act as if success is possible. I'll need to find the others. Perhaps Aliron first–assuming Bressel brought him back. Who better to build the trap? Or… maybe get Mauve her stuff.

    I head toward the Maiden's Spear…
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Maiden's Spear

    The inn has been closed down for the evening, and is empty of patrons and staff when Baldhart returns. Though it isn't open for business, Gisla has not locked the place up. Gisla herself is presumably in still in the temple of Tyr, which is where she was last seen. Aga has gone into hiding with the rest of the village. Once of the militia patrols passes in front of the inn every minute or so, but there is no patrol that passes by the rear.

    Arendal - Mauve

    The militia patrols are easy to anticipate. They're in groups of two, around a minute apart at any given location in Arendal. It is easy enough on this dark night for Mauve to move further into Arendal without being seen, simply by planning her movements when the nearest patrols are at their further point. Conversation has all but vanished, with snippets of talk coming from the temple of Tyr but the militia men patrolling in silence.

    Arendal - Ankari

    Finding evidence of Llucheden's movements near the stable is easy enough. The horse was apparently led away between the stables and the inn, toward the back of the Maiden's Spear and into the trees to the west of the village. Although it is easy enough to track the horse within town, the night is dark enough that tracking the creature's movements through the trees will be tedious, though not impossible.

    ((A roll might result in an increased rate of tracking)).
     
  10. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    The crunch of snow, and the whistle of the wind, replace the avalanche of words shared with the two women. Nature has its own language, something subtle and beyond our understanding, and consisting of seemingly unrelated sounds. We are as flies trying to contemplate the ocean. Best to float along the currents and accept ignorance.

    But I can't accept the fallen knight. In his loss, he embraces cowardice. In his fear, false hope. Would that I convinced the others to leave him with the children at Aslaug's temple. Then the two knights can trade heroic stories on how they stood in the face of mortal danger and watched. They will clap each other on the shoulder and applaud the creatives ways of sighing in despondent reflection.

    And when he chooses to act, he does this.

    [​IMG]

    The tracks of his horse are because of light screaming for attention, much like the man who rides the animal. I cast thoughts of the fallen knight from my mind, lest my rage awakens. He may yet serve a function.
     
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  11. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Arendal

    Two men moving in the town; then, they're gone. Other two patrols, there. Gone. Again. Gone. My heart flutters in my chest, pumping blood to my tensed muscles. Patrols. Gone.

    Now.

    I cover the remaining distance to the town, picking my way with care. Patrols. I wait in the darkness. Gone. Now. It's an endless game of hide and seek, endless like this day. The morning greeted me still in the tunnels under the temple, the first sign of my corruption was revealed, I've traveled, walked on the smoking ruins, felt that shadow creeping a little closer. The inn is close now. I slip to another shadow. Boats, demons, nap, fear, discovery, ranger. The men disappear at a corner.

    I move again, finally reaching the inn's back door and sneaking through it.
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Ankari

    Your eyes and mind are exceptionally acute tonight, and you are able to pick out Llucheden's trail and follow it swiftly to the west. The trail leaves through the trees, over fallen deadwood, and across short stretches of grass, leaving you tell-tale broken branches and earth and plants trodden under hoof. After a time, you hear the faint murmur of flowing water, and a moment later come to a small stream running from the north toward the sea to the south. Lluchenden's tracks indicate that the animal turned northward here, following the banks of the stream.
     
  13. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    The fallen knight leaves a trail readable by the blind. What kind of secret meeting is this if anyone can track it. A horse? On moist earth?

    I continue to follow the trail, focused for the first sign of gnolls. They are cursed with animal traits, often making involuntary sounds like the dogs they resemble.

    [​IMG]

    Upon hearing any odd sounds, I lighten my steps and make sure I don't step on any debris that may make a sound.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Aliron
    When close to the hideout, Aliron will move to the spot he was at when Bressel came. Sit there for several minutes to watch for anyone following. Listening for any sound in the hideout also. (never trust anyone completely, and always assume there is a trap waiting.) He will look at the footprints to see if any new ones are there.

    If no signs of being followed, he will move next to the rope and hide there, listening for sounds of trouble from the cave.
    If nothing concerning he will climb down and pause outside the cave to make a planned shot difficult (hold a bow string in pulled position it taxes the arm)
    Then again if nothing of concern he will enter, ready to draw his sword.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Liadan

    I stay on Cadell's trail, but look left and right as I go, as well as listening for any sign of someone behind or ahead -- be it Cadell or Ankari, I want to be ready.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ((What's up with that?! Get it together, woman!))
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Ankari

    You continue to follow the trail, moving against the direction of the stream as it flows toward the ocean. You've not gone five more minutes when you hear the distant sound of approaching horse hooves. The night is dark, and even your elven eyes do not make out the source of the sound yet, but it is moving in your direction at a steady pace.

    Mauve

    Your initial inspection of the blacksmith's shop yields no sign of the gold you deposited for the man's work. There is no pouch, strongbox, or other likely container in the front room of the shop, nor amongst the tools that litter the man's work space. Whatever he has done with it, it is not readily apparent.

    ((If you want to continue to search the shop, you can do so. Just let me know how you want to search. If you want to head west of the village and into the trees, you can do that easily enough by timing your movements against those of the guards on patrol)).

    Aliron

    All is quiet atop the cliffs near the cave. Descending the rope, you do hear voices, but you make them out quickly as those of Masama and Burnbright. Moving quietly to the mouth of the cave, you see the two of them near the fire, and Branwen sleeping in the far corner away from the flames.

    Masama has his hands up in a fighting position, and Burnbright is in a similar stance opposite him. He says to her: "I will strike you now. How will you defend yourself?"

    Burnbright says nothing, and Masama strikes at her with a heavy swing that would have just missed had she not raised her arms to try to block it. The blow knocks her back a couple of steps and she lets out a yelp.

    "No," Masama says. "Looks and, and then look at yourself, child. How can you block my attacks? How can you stand toe to toe with me? I am too large for you. Too strong. If you try to fight me like that I will put you down with a second blow. Do you see? You must be fast. And when I swing, you must not be where I am swinging. Instead, use my weight and the force of my blow to position me where you want me. Like I showed you."

    Burnbright huffs and resumes her fighting stance. "It's hard. This isn't fair."

    Masama shrugs. "When you meet an orc in the mountains, fairness will not be its chief concern."
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  17. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    "First rule of fighting, fairness are in the eye of the survivor. Someone is always bigger then you, stronger then you. You must be smarter and faster...or more stealthy." Aliron smiles. "Fairness can be argued only by the one still breathing."

    "I am only here for short time. The battle could be near, Baldhart requests an item from you." I point to the necklace and signal for silence. "The book" I shake my head and point to the necklace again,"She believes it might be the key to survive the gnolls."

    [if the necklace can be a locator, couldn't it also be used as a listening device? There is magic that could be used. Clairaudience isn't it?]
     
  18. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Woods

    ((The timeline is quite off now. Mauve left for the shop before Líadan and Baldhart finished their conversation, so I believe she has some chance to see Líadan entering the woods. If somehow she doesn't see her and only the tracks:

    [​IMG]

    ))
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Mauve

    ((OK, looking at the main thread I think it is plausible you're out of the shop by the time Liadan leaves)).

    You leave the blacksmith's shop without your gold, threading your way back through the buildings, staying out of sight of the guards, and making your way toward the western edge of the village. As you pass to the south of the stables, moving toward the western wood, a movement catches your eye. Even in the dim light, you can see it is Liadan, also moving west away from the village and seeming to follow tracks on the ground.

    Aliron

    Masama looks over when you enter, at which point Burnbright punches him hard in the sternum. He grunts and turns back to her, saying "Now that was not fair, young lady."

    Burnbright smirks. "I'm only doing what an orc would do." At that, Masama responds with his characteristic deep chuckle.

    When you ask for the necklace, Burnbright's hand moves to her pocket, where she keeps it safe. "My necklace? But...this belonged to my mother. It's all I have of her, really. How is it going to help against the gnolls?"
     
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  20. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Líadan

    I'm growing too upset to track properly, that much is certain. I don't know whether I'm more angry at Baldhart or frightened for Cadell. I halt for a moment, trying to push those feeling back and focus on tracking -- and on making sure no one is tracking me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I can't see much of anything in the darkness, but I can hear quite a bit. I'm definitely not alone out here.
     
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