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Thread: Deadly Shadows

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Deadly Shadows

    It's midnight in the City's Stonemarket district.

    In the distance, a constant murmur of grinding metal can be heard coming from the Hammerite's beloved clocktower. Closer at hand, Terces' courtyard reverberates to the sound of a city guardsman as he stamps across the cobbles, whistling tunelessly to himself as he paces, backwards and forwards... It's almost as though he had some reason to watch this particular spot - after all, the night guards usually had entire districts to watch, not one tiny little patch of green...


    ...Soon enough, the problem was solved, as the guard muttered quietly to himself and moved away to the East. Silence reigned in the little clearing. All was still.

    Except the gargoyle statue in the center of the clearing was suddenly holding a small, shielded lantern.

    It was your signal. The Keeper had given you the agreed all-clear. If you looked closely enough, you could just make out the black-robed figure standing beside the statue, waiting. It was time to get your next mission...

    The guard's parting words (Listen DC 15)
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    "Taffer must have been dreaming. Haunt of suspicious men, indeed... hah! Waste of my time..."
    Last edited by whoiam; 2011-08-10 at 04:27 PM.

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    deleted...
    Last edited by bigstipidfighte; 2011-08-10 at 06:37 PM.

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    (1d20+4)[7]


    Edward watched as the guard moved way, the twinge of nervousness he felt upon seeing the lawman fading along with his footsteps. Even so, it was several seconds after the signal was given that the young man finally moved toward the light, descending from the balcony where he had been lurking. Once upon a time the second-story terrace had led to a barbershop, but the building was empty now. Reaching the bottom of the steps; stone steps that would not creak and betray his presence; he spared a backward glance at the old building. A breeze stirred the air, and Edward thought he caught the scent of old blood wafting from the barber pole. Most likely it was his imagination, but perhaps not. He had always been blessed with an uncanny sense of smell.

    A few more steps forward and Edward was fully exposed in the lamplight. He wore a finely woven grey cloak with a brass buckle, seemingly in stark contrast with the peasant clothes beneath it. A melancholy mood overtook him as he approached the black-robed figure. The night was young, and if the Keepers had called on his services, it likely meant there was killing to be done. For some reason the idea brought him no pleasure tonight. All in all, he would rather have been home.

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    OOC: Since Edward hesitated before approaching, anyone who wants to beat him to the Keeper can easily do so.
    Last edited by bigstipidfighte; 2011-08-10 at 07:15 PM.

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    Listen:(1d20+8)[21]
    EDIT: Golawyn finds the guards remarks ironic, but does not smile. Since the incident that scarred her face, she has found that any expression she makes appears as a horrid grimace, and her face has become an inexpressive mask.


    Golawyn's heart flutters when she sees the signal, but it is a small flutter, and she is pleased that her pulse no longer races the way it did when she was first called. She stands from her cross-legged position and is striding forward all in one fluid movement, and it is as if she materialized from an archway. A stray cat hisses at her sudden appearance, and darts off into the night.

    Her cloak, which appears to be the epitome of plain and unobtrusive when observed from a distance, is in actuality a fine garment made of a light yet durable and warm material that is very popular among the younger nobles of the city. It covers dark clothes that blend easily against the shadows and deep purple of the night sky. The clothes are worn but are meticulously clean, and are just loose enough to allow her easy movement. Her boots make no sound as she approaches the meeting spot.

    She reaches the meeting spot first, and sees Edward emerge from the darkness. She raises her chin in greeting, although inwardly she grimaces. He is a killer, and you don't send a killer on a mission if you don't need his particular skills. She is not afraid to kill; she has killed several on her journey to where she is today, but she takes no pleasure from it and avoids it when possible.

    A breeze catches her cloak, and she pulls it tighter around herself. She wonders what the night has in store for her.
    Last edited by ArcanistSupreme; 2011-08-10 at 09:54 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    (1d20+3)[16] Listen


    A tall, thin, white-haired man wearing a mud-brown overcoat and cheap cloth shoes steps out of the shadow of a nearby shop. Suspicious men? In this respectable place? I think not.

    Leon Varrick is used to feeling nervous. He remembered the nervousness he had felt as he presented his very first invention as a child, a specialized water clock to his father. Even in his civilian life as an architect, he still had the jitters when he delivered a new blueprint or floor plan to some senior builder. But nothing in his past could compare to how he is feeling now; he had expected his pulse to quicken and his heart to pound. Instead, he felt a curious feeling of separation, as if his mind was floating somewhere overhead while his body went about its business. When he spotted the agreed-upon signal, perched in the gargoyle's clutches, he strode across, looking almost calm even as his insides felt like a sack of ice chips.

    He manages to smooth over his nerves just enough to take notice of the two others who had already arrived at the meeting spot. At least, he thinks they were there for the same purpose. For all he knows, they could be holidaymakers, or muggers, or cutpurses.

    He frowns. The woman looks too immaculate in her fine, dark clothes to be a robber. The man didn't look that threatening either. I'm sure I'm just worried over nothing. Leon thinks to himself. He forces himself to grin, a little too widely, and even manages a gentle sort of wave at the others.
    Last edited by Steward; 2011-08-10 at 11:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Deadly Shadows

    Seeing the newcomer, she replies with a curt nod. Her eyes take in every detail of him, from his third-rate clothes to his nervous manner. She makes no further acknowledgement of his presence, friendly or otherwise, but she doesn't take her eyes off of him either.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    "Just three? Odd, we invited five..."

    The Keeper waved for three to come closer to the statue. "Edward, Golawyn, Leon, " he greeted them. "There has been an... accident. One of our acolytes is... no longer with us. Of rather more pressing concern, he had with him something which we must recover.

    In return, we offer the standard agreement - a small fee for survices rendered, and free, no-questions asked fencing services for any supplementary items recovered in the persuit of our goal. I will offer you this final chance to back out, if you would prefer to leave now...
    "

    There's a near-imperceptible shift, as the Keeper appears to lean idly against the Gargoyle statue. It's a little unusual to see a Keeper out in the open, like this one, display no sense of urgency...

    Listen check DC 10:
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    "...then you'll probably pass the other two as you leave... if they ever arrive..."

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    "I'm in," Golawyn says without taking her eyes off of the newcomer. "Although I do expect you to explain that last comment. I'm not one for surprises." Her voice is surprisingly soft, given her gruff exterior, but there is no mistaking the seriousness of her tone.

    Listen:
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    (1d20+8)[26]
    Last edited by ArcanistSupreme; 2011-08-12 at 07:41 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    "This is not 'petty', comrade. We are fighting for the fate of our honorable city, after all! At least, so we are told..." Leon says. To their overseer, he says, "I will do as you command. But... I think it would be easier to fulfill your request if we knew what we were expected to take."

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    Edward quickly assessed the white-haired man- Leon, the Keeper had called him. While he didn't look like anything special, the younger man noticed that Leon at least carried himself with the grace one would expect of someone well practiced in escaping the notice of others. He inclined his head slightly toward the man in what might have passed as a greeting.

    As soon as Leon opened his mouth, Edward groaned inwardly. At times he had sensed a certain disapproval from fellow agents, but he was nearly certain this man would be voicing that disapproval out loud. Nevertheless he agreed with the sentiments the others had expressed- thus far the Keeper had given them no useful information whatsoever.

    "Indeed it would. If it matters, I'll need to know who this acolyte was and the circumstances of his... departure." His tone was perhaps a little more demanding than appropriate, his mood not having been improved by his compatriots. "If not, just tell us what the item is, anything you know about it's current location, and any complications we might face getting it back. Then we can get started."

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Slowly, the Keeper's hand is raised to his face, and he rubs his nose between the thumb and forefinger. "Please tell me you just had a long day." Those listening particularly carefully would probably hear the faintest hint of a sigh before he continued. "As I said initially, I had invited FIVE people to this meeting. You are three. So, how many people do you think could potentially be turning up late?

    Anyway, I have, indeed, told you next to nothing. Why? Because I wanted you to agree to take this mission *before* I told you what you are seeking and where.
    "

    From somewhere under his cloak, the Keeper produces a small book and a quill-pen. He opens the book to a blank page, and holds the pen out to the hirees.

    "Please sign here."

    ---After the three have signed---
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    "Alright, details. The lost acolyte is dead. We sent him into a set of tunnels under the Docks for reconnaisance purposes. He was one of several: The others returned but he did not. His stealth was, it seems, lacking.

    Unfortunately, he had an item upon him that we need to recover - a small book with a black leather binding. None of you can read its contents - its written in glyphs instead of letters - which should be the easiest way to identify it if you are unsure which book it is.

    The tunnels themselves appear to be a favoured haunt of outlaws. Certainly it was a band of thieves that attacked the Keeper we lost. The survivors report they had some kind of dwelling in those tunnels, but did not remain long enough to do more than basic reconnaisance.

    I am afraid we have no complete map of that area - the team were creating one when they discovered these thieves. They mapped enough to get you from the surface to the site where the acolyte fell: Beyond this point you are on your own.

    Now, you may begin immediately if you wish, wait for the other two I invited to join you, or reconvene at a later point to begin your descent. I should caution you that we will have to take steps if you delay for more than a day, however - we cannot afford to give them time to sell this book on to a fence...
    "

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    "I apologize," Golawyn mutters as she waits her turn to sign. "But given the implication that one of our acolytes had fallen, I feared for the lives of the other two."

    Once the other two have signed and the Keeper has said his piece, Golawyn speaks again, "I motion to leave tonight as three." She is confident in her own ability to act with stealth, and she fears that more agents will draw more attention. Again she eyes Leon. Provided that he doesn't give up the game before it starts, she thinks darkly.
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    Edward eyed the book carefully. Probably enchanted. After a moment he decided he trusted this man enough to sign, but made a promise to himself as he did so; that if this was a setup he would survive, and he would exact his revenge.

    After the Keeper said his piece, Edward was somewhat soothed. This mission didn't sound so bad, though it certainly sounded as if the Keepers wanted this notebook back badly. Or at least, didn't want it to fall into enemy hands.

    "I agree, we should move quickly on this. Did the thieves take anything else of note? It's likely anything they stole that night will still be in the same pile waiting to be fenced. A set of objects would be easier to locate among their camp than a single book."
    Last edited by bigstipidfighte; 2011-08-12 at 10:20 AM.

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    A book of glyphs? Leon muses as he signs his name in neat draftsman's print. It sounds magical. Maybe I can search it out with a spell. But not now... Aloud he says, "Maybe it is indeed wise to be leaving earlier." He pauses. "As she notes, three might move more stealthily than five, though others may bring to the task resources that we three lack. Quite a conundrum. I feel as if Providence will decide whether our brothers and sisters reach this place in time to join us."

    He ponders the Keeper's explanation of their mission. "Forgive my questions, but I must ask about this acolyte... are you are certain he is dead?" It occurs to him that the bandits might have saved the injured man's life, so as to force him to decipher the glyphs for them.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    "We are certain he is dead, " was the Keeper's rather final reply. "Besides the book he had nothing of note about his person: A few writing implements and some loose parchment, his clothes and a small dagger. Nothing of import or value.

    If they do possess a 'loot pile', then the majority of its contents will be of non-Keeper origin, and I can provide no clue as to what it may contain.
    "

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    "Unless you have further questions, I suggest we leave immediately." She glances in the direction the map points to. "The longer we wait, the further the book moves."

    OOC:
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    I love how Leon can read Golawyn's thoughts
    Last edited by ArcanistSupreme; 2011-08-12 at 01:09 PM.
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    ''Excuse me.'' A roughed up-looking man appears from a nearby sideway. ''I still had some business with another assignment I had to take care of.'' As if to proof it, he shows a dagger to the group, clearly covered in blood.

    ''Can you tell what our mission is, again?'' After a quick explaining, Takis nods. ''That seems easy enough.'' He seems in thought for a few seconds, then poses a question. ''How long is it since the acolyte was killed?''

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    Sorry I'm late guys, I didn't actually notice there was thread already.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2011-08-12 at 03:13 PM.

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    Alarmed by the sudden appearance of a knife-wielding stranger, Edward's hands moved instinctively but subtly toward his own concealed weapons. Only when the Keeper acknowledged him as an expected ally would he relax his guard. He waited a moment for the situation to be re-explained to the newcomer, then turned to Golawyn.

    "Unless anyone has any objections, I think it's time we were off. Golawyn, your eyes are sharper than mine." As if to accentuate the point he adjusts his glasses slightly. "Perhaps you could lead the way?"

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    "Agreed. We may be off, then." said Leon. His eyes widen as their apparent fourth member arrives, carrying a bloody dagger. He must have just come from some important business for the Keeper. Or perhaps he is just a mugger. Who can tell these days? "Are you fit for service, comrade?" He asks the newcomer.

    OOC:
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    Whoops!

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    ''Fit for service? If I wasn't I would be dead already.'' He starts hiding his dagger in his boot. ''Trust me, I'm always ready. For anything.''

    Sleight of hand check to hide dagger
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    (1d20+15)[16]

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    Spot:
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    (1d20+8)[27]


    "If you are finished with the theatrics," Golawyn says with an icy stare, "we do have a mission to perform. Yes, Edward, I will be leading." Making a mental note of where the fool hid his weapon, she turns and strides off toward their destination.

    OOC:
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    According to your sheet, your modifier for sleight of hand bonus is only +13. Bummer that you rolled a 1 for your first impression
    Last edited by ArcanistSupreme; 2011-08-13 at 09:29 AM.
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    ''Hmph. Theatrics? I'm just informing you of my capabilities. But you are right, we should start the search as soon as possible.'' Takis looks at his boot, clearly unsatified with his work, then follows along.

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    Daggers give a +2 on the check to hide them.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2011-08-13 at 12:52 PM.

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    OOC:

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    Whoops, my bad.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    I'm pretty sure that +2 isn't relevant if the other party gets to *watch* you hide it.

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    I didn't hide it from the party. It's more of a backup in case something happens.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2011-08-13 at 11:10 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    OOC:
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    All mundate equipment from the PHB can be bought freely 'between missions', even if you don't RP the trip to the shops along the way. Just provide a list of what you bought in your first post of the mission. I'd suggest torches or lanterns, seeing as how this is an underground mission.


    Within the first two turns of the surface, the light has dropped down to near-nonexistant levels. Most caverns bear a faint amount of light - a phospherescent lichen keeps the darkness from ever reaching total levels. It is, however, too weak to be a proper substitute for moonlight.

    OOC: -5 on spot checks unless you use another light source, or -3 against moving objects. Remember, this works both ways - NPCs have the same penalty. If you can see a bright light, it doubles the penalties for anything not in the light. Again, works on NPCs as well.

    There is just enough light to read the map without needing an additional light source on the way down, so you reach the first chamber without incident. The tunnels on the way down were obviously man-made - looking suspiciously like a drainage or sewerage system that never quite got finished. But where the map ends is a wide open cavern - some natural cave that the workmen must have stumbled across while digging the tunnels above.

    The cave you are facing is around 100m across, but only 10m tall in the centre, with the roof describing a vaguely dome-like shape as it tapers down towards the walls. There are five (obvious) exits including the one that you approached through: Two side-by-side on the wall opposite your entrance, one smaller tunnel on the wall to the far right, and a hole slightly offset from the center of the cave. The two opposite your location appear to be more brightly lit than the other three.

    OOC:
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    Because your characters don't have a map for this 'level', I won't be providing one. I've got one, but you can't see it:p You are, however, free to make your own map up as we go along. In fact, that's probably a pretty good idea if you don't want to get lost on the way back out...

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    Default Re: Deadly Shadows

    "Four choices, two of which are well-lit.," Golawyn whispers as she considers each passage. "I would prefer to leave light sources unlit so as not to draw attention. My vote is the left-most passage that will allow us to see more easily."
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    ''The acolyte could have gone anywhere. But brighter tunnels do indeed sound more pleasant than the others. Let's hope the acolyte thought the same way.''

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    "One tunnel ith ath good ath another to me," Edward muttered, intentionally lisping his words so they woudn't carry as far. "We know the bandith travel through thith cavern, we could wait here and thee which direction they come from."

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    "Yeth." Leon agrees, nodding. He pauses, clears his throat, and says, "Er, I mean 'yes'. Should we leave a mark or something in the tunnel, so that we can keep track of our location?"

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