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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    d6 [IC] Ninth Company


    Spoiler: Prologue
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    Evening two days ago, the captain asked around the garrison for the scout leader. When the leader was nowhere to be found, the captain sighed and left for the nearby town of Cuneo, expecting the leader to be drunk at some tavern thereabouts. The captain never returned.

    Lieutenant Isner, the scout leader, returned later that evening. He stumbled into bed, drunk. When he woke up yesterday morning, the garrison had realized the captain was missing. Isner took command and ordered the garrison's members not to go out drinking any more. He sent a squad to Cuneo. They returned empty handed. Unsure of what else to do, Isner sent a report to Castle Respisa.

    This morning they were loudly awaken by shouting. The lieutenant groggily awoke but reached for his sword.

    "You don't need that, Lieutenant," said Major Kuyomi.

    Kuyomi was a mage of the Sixth Cadre, Third Battalion. She was a striking woman, definitely foreign. Isner was foreign as well, but he came from a nearby region. Kuyomi, on the other hand, was from across the world, and spoke without an accent, a testament to the reach and power of the Empire.

    All the more appropriate, then, the Kuyomi was a high ranking officer in the Sixth. While not as "prestigious" as the Ninth, the Sixth nonetheless commanded quite a bit of respect, maintained a solid public image, and performed at a higher level than most other mage divisions. It was where most wizards wanted to end up after graduation.

    "Ma'am," said Isner, stifling a yawn, "the captó"

    "I'm aware. We will find him in due time, Lieutenant. I was looking for documents, delivered here two days ago by our mages."

    Isner had not heard of this. But someone else had.

    A garrison soldier, who had been timidly looking at Kuyomi and blushing, said, "Uh, m-ma'am?"

    "What's your name, soldier?" said Kuyomi, her face impassive.

    "J-Jared. I received the f-file and gave it t-to the captain."

    "And then?"

    "And then he looked for me," said Isner, not wishing to hear Jared stutter any longer. "Unfortunately, I was dead drunk in a Cuneo tavern. Horseman's Flagon."

    "Your honesty is impressive," said Kuyomi. "You wrote in your report you were drunk when you were supposed to be on duty."

    "Yes, ma'am. I accept full responsibility for my actions."

    "Then maintain the garrison here. Your division general will assign reinforcements and a new ranking officer."

    "Yes, ma'am."

    "May I take a seat? It is reasonable to assume Captain Yeslav is dead or kidnapped. We've searched his office and found that you are missing the document we've delivered. Unfortunately for us, that document was top secret. We had mages looking for it, but Supreme Command ordered us back. They want the Ninth investigating this."

    Isner felt a chill. The Ninth. They were not brought in without good reason. Tales of this elite group's exploits traveled far and wide, and most of them were shrouded in shadow and secrecy. Citizens of the Empire loudly declaimed their unethical behavior, but at the same time acknowledged their presence as "necessary", often uttering some variant of, "Oh, sure it's evil, but someone's got to do it." Prestige came with the public perception overly-romanticizing the Ninth's work.

    Even within the military the soldiers and officers had a great respect for members of the Ninth and what they did. As well as fear and wariness.

    Kuyomi waved in front of Isner, interrupting his thoughts. "Pay attention, Lieutenant. Can you locate the Ninth? They are out of contact right now, as they are undertaking a dangerous mission. But this takes priority, so we must find them."

    "I can try, ma'am."

    "Good, then let us leave immediately. Get dressed and find your gear. Bring four of your men; I'll leave some battlemages here to ensure the watchtower's safety."


    ~~~~~~~~

    AREZZO LOW-LANDS

    Captain Spaztrov sat by the fire. The camp was set up against a rock face and at an obtuse angle to a rocky passage with respect to two wide willow trees. This provided good camouflage, but was otherwise uncomfortable, due to the numerous insects and summertime humidity whose effects were multiplied in this area. The fire was not for warmth; it was to keep the insects away.

    Spaztrov sat back against the rock, his eyes shut, napping. Or was he? Those who knew him could never tell. He liked to joke that he spends his days, eyes shut, reminiscing about his homeland, where true men tested their mettle by wrestling bears. His colleagues could not tell if he was joking.

    It was still dark but sunrise was coming.
    Last edited by cosmonuts; 2014-05-21 at 12:56 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    AREZZO LOW-LANDS

    The mission was simple. Barbarians held the southern half of the Arezzo forest, and the Imperial Legion and Auxiliary would be marching through in five days to eradicate barbarian forces. The Ninth was to pave the way for the main force by eliminating the barbarians' strategic advantages.

    Major Stillwell led the Ninth's ground forces, a unit which would engage the barbarians on the open field. Major Nuri's unit spent its time damaging the barbarians' supply lines. Colonel Rosken led his personal squad of the Ninth's elite to capture or kill the suspected organizers of the barbarian forces.

    Major Nuri divided her unit into several groups. Captain Spaztrov was one of these groups' leader, and he was to lead his squad to destroy barbarian bridges along the Arezzo River. The specific bridge targeted for tonight was a large wooden one suspended fifty feet above calm water.

    The squad was to find a way to collapse the bridge, which was likely guarded. Spaztrov, in the meantime, would be targeting another smaller one a few miles upstream by himself. He was confident they could get two bridges in one night. When the deeds were done, the squad and the captain would regroup back at Nuri's camp, twenty miles to the north, in a small glade they knew well.

    Spaztrov opened his eyes. He surveyed the squad in front of him. "All awake?" he said. "Good. Then it's time to go."

    The nighttime sky was obscured by clouds and trees. The oak and willow forest was pitch black. In the background all one could hear was crickets and the occasional animal sound.

    Spaztrov collected his belongings and put out the fire. The light died and everyone stood in pitch black.

    "Alright, now," said Spaztrov's voice. "The bridge is easy to find. It's four miles southeast in a straight line. Watch out for patrols. Questions?"

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Asthelion

    Asthelion, who had been lounging in the crook of a tree, grabs a small branch, snaps it, and jumps down to join his company. He walks over to his group and begins to draw in the dirt.

    Alright so here's what we got he begins and draws two parallel lines that are spaced apart This here's the bridge, feel free to admire my drawing. You know I was actually asked to be an artist before I became part of the Ninth. Anyway, these are my highly detailed insurgents who are currently controlling the bridge. He simulates the positions of the defenders by drawing X's on the bridge and on either side.

    Now, I'm partial to a decoy plan myself, drawing a large portion of them to one side and sabotaging them from the other. However any defender with a brain would know better than to send everyone over to one side of the bridge leaving the other unprotected, so we'd need a saboteur and a way to take out, or sneak past, the remaining defenders on the sabotaging side. The decoy's would only need to hold off the ruse until the bridge is burning beyond the point of repair. After that I imagine the insurrectionists would be either too confused to keep fighting or they would run to the bridge in a futile attempt to put it out.

    The elf then pauses for a second looking at his rudimentary blueprint and looks at Axis who had stalked up beside him.

    Oh you have a better plan I suppose? the elf asks his companion sarcastically. The elven dog simply looks at Asthelion, That's right, this is why I'm the smart one and not you.

    He then turns back to the company I could sneak past the guards on the other side but that would mean I wouldn't be able to help draw them out and, well, I know these woods and feel like that could help with such things. The lighting should prove relatively simple, all I would need to do would be to splash some oil on the bridge to speed up the burning process, light a torch, and there you have it, another bridge burned in the name of the Empire. What do you think?
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    u-b's Avatar

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Michael was in his armor and ready a few minutes before the fire went off. He could not see a thing of what Asthelion was supposedly drawing on the groung, but was paying attention to every word.

    "Keep it simple. Really. The simpler the better. We take one side of the bridge and down it. If we don't take one side, we rinse and repeat."

    Michael does not say that like if he is objecting, but rather like he does not care much about nuances.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    The small embers of the fire flicked up into the air, and slowly vanished. Dieing. Nothing but the ashes of their memory left behind. The cloaked dwarf stared at them as they vanished, looking out into space rather than looking at this companions as they spoke. There would be much work tonight... so many to bury...

    "A distraction would be sufficient," Worog replied, turning his gaze back down to Asthelion. "I think I have a few companions who could help us with it... but I don't think we can attack from both sides as easily as you think. If the bridge could be circled so easily, it would be pointless to remove."

    How then to destroy it? "The best approach would indeed be distraction and sabotage, but it would all need to occur on a single side. A small distraction enough to draw some men away while others stay, and turn their gaze away from those of us who embrace the shadows to cut the ropes or light them ablaze. Alternatively I could simply conjure a firebomb, so to speak... there are many possibilities. I would highly suggest we take the approach that results in fewer people being put towards their final rest however... I have no interest in working all night with so many enemies in the area."

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Asthelion

    After hearing Morog's speech the elf turns to him, Morbid, really. Try not to get too happy now.
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    The dwarf turned back to the elf, before going on in his usual voice - one that wouldn't be inappropriate performing a eulogy. "I apologize if the reality of lifeless corpses slain in battles makes you... unhappy. It does to me as well, which is why I intend to dig as many graves as it takes to ensure it happens as little as possible. Even an unmarked grave is better than being left to rot."

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Asthelion

    The elf shakes his head and chuckles.

    No my grim friend, I am eagerly anticipating the chance to do what I do best. The problem with doing everything on the same side is that if we can't drag them out far enough it will just become congested making it difficult to carry out the action of lighting the bridge. We do have someone who might glide over the river acknowledging Djanriss unfortunately you're louder than, well, a dragon in all that armor, no offense, so it may prove difficult for you to sneak around and light the bridge.
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Djarniss rises up from his seat on the ground. Towering well over his comrades he hefted his equipment and flexed his wings. Although massive in size he was not a dumb brute and enjoyed the tactics of a raid and melee combat.

    "Simpler is good. We'll have to get closer to see what we are actually dealing with. Controlling one end and using the bridge as a choke point would help us. Maybe we'll get lucky and can take both sides. If the bridge is that big they may have the means to destroy it in case our army wants to cross there. We'll just have to find it. Let's head out."

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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    "Ah, action. A great privilege of those of us fortunate enough to live. Very well, let's move," he agreed, slowly bringing himself to his feet. He could feel his weary joint creaking... he had done far too much labor in his time to feel so old yet be so young. "We can make better plans when we know that the enemy has in store for us."

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    d6 Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Rose, who's been listening, shakes her head.

    "Well then, boys - sneaky point-ears on point, no?" She grins and winks at Ashtelion. "Let's put some leather to this. We at least know squads - we can suss the rest when we've done recon."

    She cuts a quick salute. "If that's all right, Captain."
    Last edited by JanusJones; 2014-05-24 at 04:52 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Asthelion

    After hearing Worog's response to Djanriss' comment, he shakes his head smiling.

    Honestly? We have to find you a woman. It'll take your mind off all this death talk. I don't know many eligible dwarven females, or dwarves in general, being an elf and all, but the next city we're in or when we get back to the capital, I'll pull some strings just for you.

    He then turns to look at Rose and snorts If you think you can keep up.
    Last edited by Oseyerys; 2014-05-24 at 05:28 PM.
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

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    Zombie

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    She rolls her eyes at Ash, turning to Worog. "And he gives you tough talk about ladies? Such a charmer. No wonder your dog's the only one warming your bedroll." The last is clearly to Ash.

    She turns to the group. "Look, I'd love to stick around and flirt, but you're honestly awful at it, and we got a job to do, no?" She grins and winks, then saunters off into the dark.
    Last edited by JanusJones; 2014-05-24 at 05:57 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Asthelion

    At the insult, the elf turns to Axis who simply looks at him and thumps his tail on the ground a few times, And what are you laughing at?

    After Rose turns and walks away Asthelion nudges Worog and says You need a woman with a personality like that. He then grabs his bow and stands up to follow her, first saluting Captain Spaztrov. Axis follows at his heels.

    Good luck to you Captain he says then with a straight face adds and if you beat us back... I think I heard Michael offer to buy the first round.
    Last edited by Oseyerys; 2014-05-24 at 06:36 PM.
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    "...some days I long for the day I will have a crypt to call my own. If only to evade the attention of the living," Worog muttered to himself, falling in line with the rest of the group.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    AREZZO LOW-LANDS

    "This damned heat," muttered Spaztrov's voice, as his footsteps began walking away. Eventually Spaztrov disappeared into the jungle, melding with the background noise.

    It was customary for him not to leave parting words.

    In the pitch black, the only ones able to see were Worog and Rose. The constant chirps of crickets and the stifling humidity made for poor companions to the dark.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Pretty sure the only ones with darkvision are Worog and Rose.
    Last edited by cosmonuts; 2014-05-25 at 12:40 AM.

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    Zombie

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    "Follow - I'll let you know when there's something to know."

    Rose stalks off into the jungle.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Hide (1d20+6)[21], Move Silently (1d20+6)[12]

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Michael, being quite accustomed to this type of bickering, ignores it as he usually does. He gets into the saddle and rides southeast (or at least what he believes to be southeast), at a moderate pace, keeping his head down to Sivko's neck to avoid bumping the helm against branches. He generally tries to remain with the rest of the party and produces enough noise for everyone trying to walk ahead, behind, or beside him to easily do so.
    Last edited by u-b; 2014-05-25 at 01:14 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Asthelion

    The elf falls in line behind Rose. He doesn't call attention to the fact that, with no light she would have the upper hand in the little things like being able to see and thus more effective in combat. The elf feels such things are implied and, having worked with Rose for a while now, he knows her strengths. He liked to mess with everyone in the company but Rose, who was most like him in combat and skill set, he liked to joke with the most. She could take his taunts and dish them right back.

    As the company moves Asthelion keeps glancing at Michael making all his racket. He knows it's necessary but at the same time, with every shift of his saddle and every step of Sivko, his steed, Asthelion feels like bombs are going off behind him and, always liking to take the silent way or be subtle, the elf has to grind his teeth to avoid saying something. He makes a quiet whistling sound to Axis who then takes his leave of Asthelion and disappears into the underbrush. Axis stays with the group but hidden from anyone who might be targeting the company.

    Spoiler: Sneaky Sneaky
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    For Asthelion
    (+4 Spot, Listen and MS due to favored Terrain)
    Move Silently: (1d20+16)[36]
    Hide: (1d20+13)[15]
    Listen: (1d20+13)[20]

    For Axis (if necessary)
    Move Silently: (1d20+11)[25]
    Spot: (1d20+8)[10]
    Listen: (1d20+8)[25]
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

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    Time Blossom's Avatar

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Rheiska remains silent throughout the planning period, listening to the banter of her comrades with an amused smile. People could say whatever they liked about the Ninth; any group who could make jokes on the eve of a coming battle were a group worthy of respect.

    As they line up for the mission, she brings up the back of the column, giving up her initial place on the front line out of grudging respect for the fact that she was atrociously unsuited to stealth work.

    She lets out a whispered dwarven swear as her mount slips in some unseen mess of terrain. "A pox on whatever god invented mud," she mutters with a glance down. Then, remembering that Asthelion's dog was somewhere in the dark, she adds "That had better have been mud."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Illumian sigils normally put out light as bright as a candle. She has them suppressed for the purposes of the march, and is thus relying on her puny human eyes. Guess it's lucky the sun's coming up soon.

    Since we're riding, I'm not sure how the relevant rolls apply; I'd assume our mounts would need to roll too at some point, but that might need a handle animal roll? Stealth in general is kind of wacky when you have a bunch of creatures involved, so I dunno.

    Anyway, I'll roll for Rheiska, at least:

    Hide: (d20-8)[12]
    Move Silently: (d20-8)[2]

    And if they're needed...

    Ride: (d20-8)[3]
    Handle Animal: (d20+2)[4]

    At least the last one doesn't have an armor check penalty! :D
    Awesome Gourmand Avatar by The Architect!

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Anduriel

    The elf hears Rheiska's mutterings and the implications of having not stepped in mud and says Yeah... Sivko.
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    It was some time until they would get to the bridge... stealth was irrelevant, for now. Even if it wasn't, there was no way he could keep his mount from making noise. So for now all he could do was follow along with his mount at a steady pace, accustomed to the darkness.

    On the one hand, if they were ambushed because he was noisy he would worry for his companions. On the other hand, he amended to himself as they marched along, he could sing a dirge at the top of his lungs and still be more quiet than Rheiska.

    Spoiler
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    Worog will just take ten on everything, for a total of... well, 10 for his stealth skills. And 9 for his Perception skills.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    FOREST WALK

    The group's journey in the dark was accompanied by their own footsteps, soft, irregular, and uneven, with Michael's and Rheiska's steeds attempting to find paths between the trees, Cavir walking carefully behind the horses, Axis to the side in the underbrush, and Rose and Asthelion in the front.

    The group walked for ten minutes, leaves brushing against their faces, the forest seeming small and restrictive in the dark.

    Spoiler: Asthelion
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    Asthelion heard a soft footstep which did not belong to the group, but could not see the source. Axis stopped and looked around, apparently having heard the noise as well.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    u-b's Avatar

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Michael continues to ride at the same moderate pace until and unless something indicates that he shouldn't.

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    I'll be AFK from monday to early friday, so here are some guidelines in case I won't be able to post something meaningful from the phone (I probably will be, but just to be on the safe side...)
    1. The general intent will be to disengage, but only if the rest of the party does not seem to be sticking around to fight.
    2. Michael does not mind casting Light on a dart and using it to see where he's riding if the speed he can do without light will be too slow to break from the engagement.
    3. He does not mind if somebody holds onto a stirrup in the process.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Asthelion

    At the sound of the footstep and the confirmation from Axis that the noise was not simply in his head, Asthelion grips his bow a little tighter and nudges Rose whispering into her ear Company.

    He then turns to climb up the nearest tree but not before saying over his shoulder I thought you were going to keep up this time.

    Once Asthelion climbs the tree he again listens for the same footsteps he heard before to try and isolate on which side of the group it came from so that he might warn Worog or Rose, who could still see better in this blasted dark. He makes a tsk-ing sound to Axis who then takes his cue and begins to track whatever made the noise, moving like a ghost through the foliage.

    Spoiler: rollin', rollin', rollin', RAWHIDE!!!!
    Show
    (+4 Climb, Listen, Spot, MS and Hide)
    For Asthelion:
    Climb: (1d20+12)[19]
    Listen: (1d20+13)[31]
    Hide: (1d20+13)[22]

    For Axis (if necessary Axis is using his Track trick, so he is trained to do this):
    Listen: (1d20+8)[22]
    Spot: (1d20+8)[11]
    Move Silently: (1d20+11)[30]
    Last edited by Oseyerys; 2014-05-25 at 04:05 PM.
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    FOREST WALK

    Spoiler: Asthelion
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    The soft footsteps stopped. Asthelion could not hear any movement.

    Axis seemed to scent something in the forward direction, and began moving forward towards the source of the smell. After a few moments in silence, Axis stopped in front of a bush.

    The bush was perfectly still.

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    Time Blossom's Avatar

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Rheiska, meanwhile, having heard neither the sound of footsteps, nor the sound of rustling bushes, nor the sound of a very stealthy hunting dog, nor any warning from the point along the lines of "caw caw," continues riding onwards, completely oblivious to any danger.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Ya know, unless she does hear any of those things.

    (1d20)[15]
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Asthelion

    Seeing Axis stop before the bush Asthelion whistles in a alternating low pitch-high pitch tone that Axis recognizes. The dog then circles around to some fifteen feet behind the bush.

    Then, seeing that Rose has decided to keep all the fun to herself, Asthelion looks down at his un-knowing group, cups his hands, puts them to his mouth and gives one of the warning bird calls the group has used countless times signaling to stop due to potential danger. He then pulls out an arrow, nocks it in his bow string and directs his companions' attention to the bush in question.

    Spoiler
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    Axis is using the Flank trick he knows, maintaining distance so as not to disturb whatever nasty beasty may be in the bush but at the same time remaining close enough to close off it's escape if it decides to run.
    Crazy people don't know they're crazy. I know I'm crazy therefore I am not crazy, isn't that crazy?

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    Zombie

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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    Rose silently takes up position.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Readying an action to cut the throat of anything that comes out.


    "At this point," she whispers to the bush, "you might want to try talking with us - best chance of this not going south."

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [IC] Ninth Company

    FOREST WALK

    The bush rustled in response to Rose's whisper, and then remained still.

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