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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default {IC} From the Dark


    A bitter wind blows in from the east. The old barn, half-charred and half overgrown with woody vines, at least provides some shelter from the howling cold. But this is the place. It's got to be.

    We know.

    -S
    The only message on the lilac-scented card, with only a date, a time, and brief instructions to this old, burned-out homestead on the reverse. Just after sundown, the last day of the month of Aryth, and by the looks of it the year's first winter storm is rolling in, and whoever S is, they're already a half-hour late. Suspecting the other four got the same strange message only fuels the unnatural tension.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Thianin stands with his arms clasped behind his back, facing the cold wind head on. Being from the desert, the cold is something he's rarely encountered and the newness and thrill of it has yet to subside. He takes a deep breath of the wind, feels it burning inside his lungs, and exhales noisily. Turning to the four other strangers gathered in the skeleton of the barn, he holds his arms out at his side and asks with a laugh.

    "So what is it they know? These theatrics don't impress me and if someone doesn't explain themselves or start swinging a blade at me, I fear I will grow very bored."
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    Quote Originally Posted by mshady View Post
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    "Hello, there. You seem to be in the middle of something overtly magical. Is this a bad time to talk?"
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: {IC} From the Dark

    Simon leans against the eastern side of the barn, letting the wind play through his hair as he keeps an eye to the east. His sleeves and pants fully open, he lets the wind blow through his clothes as it had on many a windy day in Cyre. Eventually, the chill of winter starts to bother him, so he pulls his hands apart and utters an unintelligible incantation under his breath. Almost immediately, his shirt begins to warm, and he aids it by pulling the drawstrings to tighten the sleeves about his wrists, tying them off before repeating the action with his pant legs. He takes one last look to the east before picking up his bag and staff and heading inside.

    He looks at the gathered strangers, strangers to him at least and judging by their lack of inclination to speak to or stay near one another, strangers to one another. Simon was no exception to this rule, so he sits on an unused barrel and pulls three stones out of his pocket. He tosses them into the air one at a time and passes control over to the spell he had cast earlier, juggling them with magic where a circus performer might use his hands. Among other things, the spell was an accurate timer, and if the stones fell, it just meant that he had wasted an hour of his time.

    Confident in his ability to keep the stones in motion without looking at them, he closes his eyes and leans his head against the wall of the barn. In this position, he wonders what sort of secrets these people might have that would bring them out here on such a night. In the end, it is the same, however; they all had something they wanted to keep to themselves, and someone had to spoil an otherwise perfect evening by sending an entirely too vague note.

    Then again, maybe that was the point. Maybe such a note was sent to a much wider range, and he and the four others were the only ones who felt threatened by those two simple words. It didn't matter. He was here, and the sender did not appear to be. Right now, all that mattered was juggling those stones.
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    Last edited by Diful Takveh; 2014-07-20 at 08:55 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    When the others had arrived, Fix had already been sitting in the barn, quietly working on her crossbow. The warforged seemed quite ordinary; perhaps especially well-made, if one paid close attention, but her belts and tools obscured that fairly well. She was tall and strong, built like a soldier, but she carried scrolls at her hip and she bore no weapons other than the bow. As each other person arrived, she watched them for a several long minutes before returning to her efforts. After a while working on the crossbow she switches to her own left knee, then she takes out a scroll and studies it for damage, then she re-attaches a belt buckle that had become loose. Constantly working, and moving, and never speaking.

    Until finally the party was a group of five, and someone finally spoke up; the warrior elf with the double-bladed weapon. She tightens her belt, stands, and walks over to Thianin. The movement is quite threatening, at first; she is the tallest person in the room, built of stone and metal and wood, with an inscrutable expression. But she offers her three-fingered hand to shake, and when she speaks her voice is surprisingly high and articulate. She sounds like a student at an academy, not a tough warforged warrior. "I have been impolite, I am sorry. My name is Fix, and I prefer female pronouns. Are you here to kill me?"
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    The loosely-garbed elf spares a sidelong glance at the twirling stones but his eyes focus intently on the warforged as she approaches. His demeanor is that of relaxed readiness, always prepared to leap into action but not anxiously set like a coiled spring. It's the same feeling one gets from seeing the larger species of cats; even when they're licking their paws they are ready to strike. He makes no move for his weapon when Fix approaches and takes her offered hand firmly. "Thianin of the Valiant Spears. I've yet to be hired to kill anyone here, but if you'd like to do the deadly dance, I am always happy to oblige." He bows slightly at the waist during his introduction, a subtle gesture of courtesy without being overly dramatic.
    Last edited by King Tius; 2014-07-20 at 10:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mshady View Post
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    "Hello, there. You seem to be in the middle of something overtly magical. Is this a bad time to talk?"
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Fix rubs the back of her head, clearly a nervous gesture. She takes a slight step back from Thianin, giving the elf some more personal space. "I am not exactly eager to die, don't misunderstand me. But I received a message today from someone who claims that they 'know', and the only thing I have ever done is run away. So I assumed that the person I ran from has found me."

    She looks over the occupants of the room again, narrowing her eyes slightly. "But it seems that everyone here is waiting for someone. We have all been given a message by someone who signed their name with an 'S', is that correct? I do not see what qualms my maker would have with each of you. Have any of you associated yourselves with House Cannith in the past?"
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: {IC} From the Dark

    So, the warforged, Fix as it had introduced itself--as she had introduced herself, rather, had run away from House Cannith. Interesting. If that was the case, then at least two of the five gathered had broken a contract with the house, and Simon had a sinking suspicion that the other three might have as well. He looks them over again: a gnome who looks to be more at home in a library than out here in this barn; an elf, Thianin by name, who looks to be from Valenar, given his attire; and the human woman who, like the elf, seems to be more of a warrior than a craftsman. Given the latter two, Simon relaxes slightly. It didn't appear that Cannith was the instigator behind this. Now, he could sit here and speculate, or...

    No, he would wait until someone else denied their connection with House Cannith. If he spoke up now, he would be put in the awkward position of having to defend his position using words as yet unspoken by his peers, and when asked why he didn't use his own lack of dealings with Cannith, it would force out truth that otherwise might remain hidden and safe. Until he knew what S knew, he wouldn't go spouting off secrets that might cast a less-than-favorable light on him.

    Simon adds pulls another three stones from a pouch at his belt and starts juggling them in the same manner, perpendicular to and completely within the first ring.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: {IC} From the Dark

    Maria stands impassively near the side of the barn, one hand holding a card like everyone else. She faces away from the wind, arms crossed, tapping a finger idly to pass the time. She seems expressionless, simply waiting. She doesn't mind the cold, or for that matter, the somewhat sinister circumstances of this group's meeting.

    When it first arrived, the letter was just surprising. She had thought of the possibility of being found, but not in this manner. Could Mina have had friends looking for her? Another lover? Maria had tried to think of all possibilities. It was unlikely to be a local member of the Watch (or however the local security force was called in Aundair) - a cryptic message seemed more secretive and personal. A vigilante or the like seemed right out as well. If someone wanted revenge on her, alerting her seemed rather counterproductive. She could have run away if she wanted to - unless 'S' expected her to just go to this location of her own will, like a meal jumping upon a silver plate, ready to be killed?

    It would have been very fitting, considering what she had done to Mina... But no, she got the impression that if someone wanted her dead, she already would be. Upon further consideration, the message was also rather vague. The more she had thought about it, the less sense it made. That thought calmed her. She could either leave town, get away from whoever thought to give her this message... or she could face it head-on, and not run away.

    And frankly, that was better than just aimlessly wondering. Now, she had a direction. So she had come to this place, even if it did mean possibly walking into a trap.

    When the other four people came here, she'd been assured of what she'd thought. She hadn't been the only one to receive this message. Between that and other things, she felt rather calm, if uncomfortable. The conversation between the elf and the warforged piqued her interest, however.

    She shakes her head at Fix. "I've no association with the Cannith, as far as I know. I wouldn't jump to conclusions, if I were you," she says, holding up her card. "A message as simple as this could apply to almost everyone. Surely everyone holds secrets or things they don't want revealed... I'd say it is possible that whoever sent this isn't related to us, and sent it to attract our attention, for some reason."

    Maria takes a good look at Fix then, and tilts her head in Thianin's direction. "You asked him if he was here to kill you, and then if anyone here had a relation to House Cannith. But that seems strange - if House Cannith wanted to find you or see you dead, surely they would have enough resources to do so more... efficiently?"

    Maria ponders this before realizing something. "Ah, I forgot my manners. I'm Maria, by the way."
    Last edited by Crinias; 2014-07-20 at 12:48 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    A moment of patience payed off. With a few words, the woman, Maria, had crossed off one thing this S person might have known, or at least moved it down the list of the most probable reasons for being out here. It didn't really mean much. There were plenty of secrets he would like to keep, many of them he would choose to keep, even if it meant revealing his dealings with House Cannith.

    Continuing to twirl the stones, Simon looks up at the warforged, Fix, and affirms what Maria had said, "The statement itself is generic and relies upon the reader to complete it with pertinent information. It is likely that whoever sent these notes does not, in fact, know that which his brought us out here, and is utilizing trickery in order to put the five of us in a room together. The reason we are here is in the off chance that this S actually knows whatever it is we thought of when we read these cards."

    He keeps his eyes closed and his head against the wall. There was no point in introducing himself if this was indeed a scam, and if it wasn't, there would be time to do so later after this potential blackmailer told them what was wanted. No need to worry yet. He shifts the path of the second trio of stones, so they rotate in the same plane as the first in a smaller, faster orbit opposite of the outside ones.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Fix frowns, or at least she approximates a frown. Her face seems to have a little more articulation than is common among warforged, but it still pales in comparison to an organic expression. "I understand what you are saying, and I see the duplicity. By leaving their statement open ended, it allows each of us to fill in the unknown information with what is closest to our minds. Is that how deception works? I will remember that." She seems almost excited to have been tricked; or at least, her interest in the new information outweighs any other feelings.

    "So, then, shall we dissemble the meaning behind us being here? We could prepare for our eventual encounter with the note-sender. I am working from the assumption that we were not brought together to be killed or captured, as that would be easier to accomplish one at a time. Additionally, we seem to be disparate individuals; we are of several different races and our clothing and items were all manufactured in different regions by different craftsmen."

    She looks out at the surrounding area. "And... we are probably being watched. Why else leave us alone for so long? If they have the faculty to put a note inside one of my pouches, they certainly have the wherewithal to come to an appointment on time." Fix's eyes light up- literally, though it is subtle. "A group of individuals with seemingly different skills and areas of expertise and who respond to strange messages? Merrix did not allow me to read many history books, but I have seen this pattern before. We are going to be offered a job."

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    Now watch her be utterly wrong. Secretly Saskia's just going to kill us all off and cackle madly while holding a fluffy white cat.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: {IC} From the Dark

    Not really thinking, Simon answers one of her rhetorical questions, "They could also be trying to prove a point. By making us wait, they are implying that they are confident that we will remain here, despite their being late, and when they do arrive, they will likely give a false apology for being late in the expectation that we will accept it and move on because they have some piece of knowledge that kept us here for so long, and something like that will keep us in line. People are strange like that, using inefficiency to prove that they have some measure of power."
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Thianin nods in Simon's direction, agreeing with his statement. "I have not been in your lands long, but in my brief time here I have seen that you humans posture at one another like preening birds. In the desert your merit is measured by your blade." He sighs wistfully as he reaches a hand up behind him and runs his finger along one of the blades of his double scimitar. "The Talenta understand this well. Never underestimate a man by his size. He smiles in the direction of the curious gnome who has yet to speak. "It has been too long since I've fought someone worthwhile, regardless of their height."
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    Quote Originally Posted by mshady View Post
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    "Hello, there. You seem to be in the middle of something overtly magical. Is this a bad time to talk?"
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Dr. Phinneas Kessler

    "Shh."

    The feeble protest for quiet comes from a huddled figure with his collar pulled up around his head. He pulls it in tight, finding little solace against the wind. He clutches the paper in his hands, turning it over and over. With each pass, he squints and studies the paper intently.

    Decipher Script - (1d20+10)[23]

    Youth, always flapping their gums about their own self-aggrandizing theories and whatever strikes their fancy. Never taking any time to think before they speak, that's the problem with them these days. If they could just quit their yapping, I could get a quiet minute to try re-attacking this thing. Could it be that simple? A simple letter substitution? What if S was not a signatory or even a pseudonym, but the key? It's so simple! Then the letter would translate to "Ow Cfgo." So not Common, but could it be any other tongue? None I know of have phonotactics that would call for a C-F-G. Gnomish has a few F-G clusters, but none with the C prefix. A stacking cipher is unlikely, given the brevity of the note.

    Perhaps it's best to take it at face value? Anyone could have been in that classroom, could have seen what happened with that poor girl. Nothing worth writing home about, though; it certainly wouldn't be the first time someone ascribed phenomenal significance to coincidental happenings. It was coincidental, of course. Had to be. No other explanation.

    Turning his attention back to the task at hand, it seemed that the letter wasn't encoded. Instead, they had all been gathered because something was known about them. The warforged had already admitted that it had gone off-program and run from its creator. Phinneas scoffed at the idea of calling such a contraption by the same pronouns he'd use for a living thing. The elf was chatty enough that, given time, he'd probably spill each and every bean he had--it already sounded like he had taken on the yoke of a sellsword for at least a time in his life. The two humans seemed like typical magicians--hucksters and street performers. One was trying to pull the old "floating rocks" gag, but Phinneas narrowed his eyes to darts and tried to make out the thin strings that were often used to conjure up such an effect.

    While it was barely sentient, the warforged hadn't floated a half-bad idea. Phinneas arches his eyebrows and postulates, "A job, eh? Hmph. Plausible enough--if you recall, many a society in Eberron first formed with such clandestine meetings, from the Red Watchers to the Chamber. In fact, some have theorized that Galifar II held such cloak-and-dagger meetings, eventually leading to the multiplicity and backroom dealings that eventually did him in. You see, his Minister of Information was highly involved with the inner workings of a few of the more nefarious elements in play at the time.

    I must be entirely honest, though, I'm afraid that I wouldn't be well-suited for the type of chicanery that seems well within your respective wheelhouses. I'm simply waiting for this S fellow to give him a good tongue lashing and be on my way. This is taking away valuable time from my most recent dissertation."
    The last sentence seemed like more of a question than a statement, the inflection of the angry gnome's voice practically beggin the listener to inquire as to the subject of said dissertation.
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2014-07-21 at 09:01 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Fix listens to the old gnome with a faintly fascinated expression; he is one of the first she has interacted with, though she had heard much about the skills and techniques of the gnomish people during her training. "Dissertation? What is it about, may I inquire? And, curious, do you know anything about elemental binding? It's a bit of a puzzle even for Merrix, and though he says that he knows how it works he's never actually accomplished it for himself. But even if it utilized a magical nature unique to gnomes, such a thing should still be possible to duplicate by a skilled artificer. Quite the mystery."

    She catches herself chattering and flinches back, as if she expects to be hit. When nothing strikes her she relaxes a bit and continues, abashed."I'm sorry, I shouldn't ask questions like that; magical secrets are not the kind of things to tell to strangers. I was being... rude? Nosy? Overly inquisitive."
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Among the warforged's words, Maria can't help but think she's misheard something. She's never thought much of their kind, but she could tell Fix was very unusual even by their standards. For one, she seemed to have greater clarity of speech alongside a boldness that was rare among them. For another, with her self-confessed escape from her masters, she was obviously unused to society, but seemed to adapt very quickly to any concepts explained to her.

    But Fix mentioned a name that made Maria make a double-take. She casually said it, so Maria thought she might be mistaken. However, when talking to the gnome, she said it again. Once can be a coincidence, but two times surely isn't.

    "Sorry," said Maria bluntly, not answering her question, "but when you say 'Merrix', surely you're not referring to the Merrix d'Cannith, are you?" Maria seems slightly agitated when asking this. "Because if you are, I think being rude or inquisitive should be the least of your concerns."
    Last edited by Crinias; 2014-07-21 at 10:47 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    "Dissertation? What is it about, may I inquire?"
    The gnome's face beams at the request. "It's quite simple, actually. I've conducted a thorough linguistic study of the dragon-worshipping human barbarian tribes of Argonessen and compared their dialectical differences as juxtaposed against a history of the use of cryptography among the dragons of The Chamber. I've actually found a correlation between coded language among the dragons and increased glottal stops throughout the languages of these human tribes. Vis a vis the Draconic Prophecy, though, the implications are fascinating. I'm going to contend in this dissertation the possibility that the actual content of the Prophecy is a gloss, carefully constructed to mask the true meaning of the Prophecy (which is hidden behind one or more layers of ciphering in the original Draconic language). The next stage of research would be to acquire some of the older extant manuscripts and spend some time in the original Draconic to try out a few angles on deciphering..." Phinneas catches himself in the midst of his self-aggrandizement and scoffs a bit. "Heh, but here I am going on, and to a machine, no less." He says the M word with a layer of disdain that he makes no efforts to conceal.

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    "And, curious, do you know anything about elemental binding? It's a bit of a puzzle even for Merrix, and though he says that he knows how it works he's never actually accomplished it for himself. But even if it utilized a magical nature unique to gnomes, such a thing should still be possible to duplicate by a skilled artificer. Quite the mystery."
    "Now see, that's the type of thing I'd expect a machine to show interest in. The Technical Guilds know more of the minutiae, but I'd hardly call it 'magical,'" Another "M" word is spat out of his mouth like lukewarm coffee. "It's a question of finding a way to siphon the energy from elemental creatures. For example, if one wishes to bind a fire elemental the main requirement is heat shielding. Confine a creature of pure fire within a sphere of resilient material, and there you have an unending supply of heat you can tap as you see fit. 'Magic...'phooey.

    Not surprised that Cannith boy couldn't crack it, though, he's always so caught up on innovation that he misses issues of infrastructure. Just like his father, that one. Did you know Arren was so focused on giving the appearance of sentience to your kind that he completely ignored research into energy efficiency that could have increased your functionality exponentially? Of course you didn't; they didn't program you to remember that. Merrix, Sr. never would have stood for such frivolity. When he forged the first of you, it was purely a matter of utility. Now look at how far we've come--a warforged asking about manners!"


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    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    She catches herself chattering and flinches back, as if she expects to be hit. When nothing strikes her she relaxes a bit and continues, abashed."I'm sorry, I shouldn't ask questions like that; magical secrets are not the kind of things to tell to strangers. I was being... rude? Nosy? Overly inquisitive."
    "Don't worry, I'm not going to strike you. After all, I don't kick my endtables or bash my bookcases, now do I? There's no such thing as being overly inquisitive; burn that into your receptors and don't let anyone tell you differently." Despite his outmoded view of warforged as objects, he seems to be warming ever-so-slightly to this particular model.

    Don't know how they managed to program gumption into them, but it's not half bad. Almost sounds like talking to a living thing, even. But a focus divided is more a pair of spectacles than a magnifying glass. Focus, Phin. S. A corporate identity of some sort? Sarlona, The Seven Caves, most items beginning with "S" were place names. Instead, we're looking for a group. Sivis? The Soldorak Clan? Those damned avaricious dwarves, it could be. The Stillborn?

    A shiver goes up Phinneas' spine at the thought that he could have been summoned here by a band of death-obsessed elves allied with the Blood of Vol. It was probably the worst case scenario, but Dr. Kessler had learned long ago that always expecting the worst allowed one to frequently be pleasantly surprised. It was when you started following silly notions like "hope" and "optimism" that things started to disappoint you. For an old cynic like him, things were either exactly as he expected or better.

    Knowledge History - (1d20+12)[28] for possible information on a group that starts with "S" and trades in secrets
    Knowledge History - (1d20+12)[24] Trivial Knowledge
    Knowledge Local - (1d20+10)[26] if more appropriate
    Knowledge Local - (1d20+10)[12] Trivial Knowledge
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2014-07-22 at 06:49 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Fix seems a little taken aback by Dr. Kessler's discussion; partially because it was more of an angry rant. She glances back to Maria when the gnome has subsided. "I believe people can share first names, so there may be multiple Merrixes of the House Cannith. Mine lived in... Sharn, was the name. Beneath the city, in a large laboratory and magical facility. He is the true scion of the house; or at least, that was what he always told me, and his researchers agreed. I am no longer certain of anything he told me."

    She leaves that thought, as if she had said nothing of importance, and looks back to Phinneas. "Excuse me, sir, but I think you may be partially mistaken about the nature of warforged. An, um, about the nature of elementally bound items, but I will ignore that for now. Just to clarify, I don't actually have any moving components, so I do not fit many definitions of machine; my brain, for example, is a crystal matrix made primarily of psionically resonant crystal, for apt mental function, with tracery elements of dragonshards, to help stimulate my magical potential. I would expound on the nature of living constructs, but I believe the others are either nervous or anxious about the person who contacted us, and would not appreciated more technical chatter."
    Last edited by RaggedAngel; 2014-07-22 at 10:17 AM.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Thianin stands listening to the two babble away about magic and can't help but yawn. He turns to Maria and regards the scimitar on her hip. He nods towards it as he crosses his arms. "I am glad to see I am not the only one who prefers to solve my problems with steel instead of sorcery."
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    Fix turns on her heel to address Thianin, her attention apparently on the entire room, and eager to talk with people. "Oh, I'm more of a maker than a spellcaster. Infusions aren't like arcane or divine magic; they're a little more pure than that. But if you care about armor and weapons, I can make all sorts of things for you. Don't even need a forge for most things. Did you make your blade yourself?"

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    Fix is not exactly used to conversation.
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    Thianin smiles at Fix as he draws the blade from his back. "I did. My people treat battle as art, and every painter should know how to make their own brushes." He gives his blade a quick twirl before handing it over to the warforged for inspection. Giving up one's weapon to a stranger might seem foolish, especially for an outsider like the Valenar, but Thianin has a healthy respect for the walking weapons that are the warforged. Besides, if these people wanted to kill him, they would have done so already. All of his enemies rode dinosaurs and were very far away from here. He has nothing to fear.
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    Maria all but boggles at Fix, and then at the gnome, who is clearly both slightly mad and very well-read. She only managed to understand a portion of that conversation. Her training had involved the study of Khorvaire's basic history, but not many. Some bits she could reason out from context, but for the most part the two might as well be speaking in Draconic.

    "Ooh, these two are saying really outrageous things with straight faces," Maria says at no one in particular, while covering her face with one hand.

    At Thianin's words, and Fix's interest in his weapon Maria finds herself nodding, and manages to calm down. Solve problems with steel... well, she'd certainly done that in the past.

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    Psst, Ragged - Phinneas hasn't actually said his name yet.
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    Well then, the gnome, like himself, had yet to give his name. Maybe he was being cautious, or maybe he just forgot his manners. The latter seemed more likely as he didn't seem to hold his tongue about anything else or his prejudice for that matter. His disdain for the warforged and magic seemed so tangible that it could be wielded as any other weapon. It certainly wasn't the kind of attitude one would expect from a scholar; this kind of hostility generally led to stale and dogmatic thoughts and beliefs, the bane of any real researcher.

    The warforged--Fix, Simon quickly reminds himself--like the scholar seems to be quite unique in her personality, and that fact is quite refreshing. In fact, she reminds him of his gnomish instructor, always curious, always ready to create something. He smiles as he recalls his time as her student: she always seemed to have something new, and when Simon tried to understand and copy it, she hit him over the head with a book (despite the height difference) and told him to make something new.

    Bored with juggling, Simon instead starts stacking the rocks floating down to form a tower on the ground in front of him, a tower six rocks high, and with the rocks he pulls from his side pouch, soon grows to seven then eight and continues on from there. One rock floats to the top of the tower at a time.

    Still, what Fix had said earlier about a job... there was a high ratio of intellectuals to non-intellectuals in the room: three or more to two, well, two and a half. The gnome's dogmatic vision might prove to cloud his mind, but on the other hand, he might be more open to other thoughts. But more to the point, were they a prospective research team? If so, it was bound to be dangerous in some aspect or another as there were two who seemed to be more like bodyguards than scholars. At the same time, it was likely not going to be too dangerous as there were only two. Then again, maybe the reason someone had formed this group was because in the end it was disposable.

    The tower had grown to eleven, but at this time, the second stone slipped out, leaving what would have been the twelfth stone floating in the air. It floats gently downward to become the new second stone, and the tower starts to grow again. He doesn't need to be thinking about stuff like that.
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    Whoops about the name. Fixed my post. (Pun sort of intended?)


    Fix takes the offered blade delicately, her three-fingered hands somehow as deft as any humans; more so, when holding the weapon. She isn't familiar with its use, but she holds it like someone comfortable with blades. As she does, a pair of faint lines under her eyes shimmer slightly, and a faint bluish tinge rises in front of her eyes. The effect looks distinctly like a pair of half-moon spectacles. She inspects the grip of the double-blade, balancing it on one finger perfectly for a moment, then running the edge of the blade against her 'thumb'.

    She then hands the blade back, presenting it properly with the blades to the side and the grip untouched. "This is a difficult sort of weapon to make. The balance must be very hard to get right, and you did an excellent job. The steel you used is slightly carbon-heavy for the purpose, but that is difficult to control without magic or an industrial forge. The leather-weave of the grip is ingenious, by the way; it seems like it grants a lot of additional grip often lacked by leather, while being easier on the hands than wire."

    She clearly knows what she is talking about; not surprising, given the fact that she is made out of wood and metal. "If we aren't killed or captured here, I would be happy to show you some of the things I have learned. You have the potential to make some really impressive weapons, and your projected life span means that you will have plenty of time to practice and perfect your craft." Her tone remains perfectly cheerful, even when she discusses being captured.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    She leaves that thought, as if she had said nothing of importance, and looks back to Phinneas. "Excuse me, sir, but I think you may be partially mistaken about the nature of warforged. An, um, about the nature of elementally bound items, but I will ignore that for now. Just to clarify, I don't actually have any moving components, so I do not fit many definitions of machine; my brain, for example, is a crystal matrix made primarily of psionically resonant crystal, for apt mental function, with tracery elements of dragonshards, to help stimulate my magical potential. I would expound on the nature of living constructs, but I believe the others are either nervous or anxious about the person who contacted us, and would not appreciated more technical chatter."
    Phinneas raises an eyebrow at the precocious construct. "So you're more of a sculpture than a machine?" he asks, completely missing the point of Fix's words. "But I digress. I agree that we shan't belabor the point; we're all intrigued to know more about the matter of this letter."

    Quote Originally Posted by Diful Takveh View Post
    Bored with juggling, Simon instead starts stacking the rocks floating down to form a tower on the ground in front of him, a tower six rocks high, and with the rocks he pulls from his side pouch, soon grows to seven then eight and continues on from there. One rock floats to the top of the tower at a time...The tower had grown to eleven, but at this time, the second stone slipped out, leaving what would have been the twelfth stone floating in the air. It floats gently downward to become the new second stone, and the tower starts to grow again. He doesn't need to be thinking about stuff like that.
    Phin scoffs to himself as he watches the business with the stones. Hmph, combining the old invisible string with a few simple balancing tricks, now are we? he muses silently to himself.
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    "Apologies for the wait, my friends." The dark and melodious voice comes from a tall man with deep-set eyes and a long, snug coat, an elf, by his figure, appearing from nowhere in the group's midst as if the space around him wrenched itself free of him. He brushes the sleeves of his coat off and adds "And I apologize for the ridiculous means of contacting you fine people, but my employer insists on all this skulking and sorcery. My name is Sevruul, and the lady of steel is quite correct, at least in one respect. I am here to make an offer, but not something as base as a job. What I offer is an opportunity." As if the refined gentleman with the unmistakably Cyran accent seemed not quite out of place enough, he snaps his fingers with a fluid motion, causing a smoking pipe to materialize in much the same fashion as he and fall into his hand. "The last war devastated much of Khorvaire. Obviously we all know that, and failing that knowledge, the landscapes dotted with these burned-out husks are evidence enough. I am sure that we also all sense the growing tension that this family or that principality feel as though they were treated unfairly in the Treaty of Thronehold. Failure to recognize independent states by the remaining Four Nations is a mistake that will cost everyone when nobody recognizes the vulnerable governments and organizations manipulated into proxy wars, and everyone worships Galifar the Great now even more than ever. You'd think he pissed rivers of gold, the way people yearn for days long past."

    As another frigid gust blows in, Sevruul leans against a post holding up what remains of the loft and lights his pipe. "Certain groups are looking to exploit this tenuous peace, but you all know that. Followers of the Dark Six are among them, and we have reason to believe one of their merry band cultivates itself around Fairhaven even as we speak." He pauses to savor a long drag from his pipe; whether to sate substance addiction or compulsion for dramatic flair is difficult to tell. "You will, of course, be heroes. Fury-followers are not well-loved, and this particular congress does not appear to be especially organized or dangerous—not yet, anyway."
    Last edited by Saskia; 2014-08-01 at 11:23 PM.

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    Fix seems unperturbed by the sudden teleportation into the middle of the group; if anything, the display of magic simply perks her interest. She listens expressionlessly; not a difficult feat for a warforged. When Sevruul finishes she waits a beat, looking around the room to see if anyone is willing to speak first. After a moment or two it becomes clear that she has managed a rare feat for warforged by being the most personable person in the room.

    "Good evening, Sevruul," she begins, pacing slightly to put herself beside the others, so that Sevruul can face them all at once. "I am generally aware of the destabilizing effects of the Last War, though what I know may be false in part or totality. I know about the Dark Six, however, and I understand that the threat of cultists in a populated area cannot be understated."

    She looks to the others around her, shrugs, and then looks back to Sevruul. "I am not sure how to put this politely, but if we were to, as you said, be heroes, it implies that our actions would carry an inherent risk to our health and safety. What compensation can we expect?"

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    Spellcraft, for the teleport: (1d20+9)[25]

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    That's right. Helping people is cool and all, but Fix was raised to care about personal profit.
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    Simon stands, letting his tower of rocks tumble to the ground, a silent affair as he uses magic to catch each the instant before it strikes the ground. It was customary to stand when someone entered a room, and in addition, would serve to help him blend in with the others more. There were many more questions Simon had about this man than answers, and he would prefer to shift that balance before he spoke. The latecomer, Sevruul (possibly an alias but matched the note nonetheless) of Cyre (unless he was faking his accent), employed by some unknown figure to contact five individuals, who seemed to have no connection with one another beyond this burned-out building, and have them attack a not-yet-dangerous group of cultists. Given his sudden appearance and further actions, it would seem he had some command over magic (certainly more than Simon had) or some magical implement that facilitated such displays. If it was the former, Sevruul's time would likely be better spent going after the cultists himself, and in either case, Sevruul's employer would likely have enough funds to-- Simon almost berates himself for a moment of sheer stupidity-- hire some mercenaries. It did raise the question: Why them? They weren't mercenaries (or at least he wasn't). Why not a pre-established force?
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    Maria's head jerks back an inch in surprise at the sudden appearance of the man, but as he starts speaking, Maria feels inwardly relieved. Her suspicions were right, in the end. This man and his message have nothing to do with the personal lives of anyone in this room. The only remaining question was why this man's employer wished to contact five complete strangers and offer them an 'opportunity'.

    To be frank, she'd been wandering enough over the past few weeks that if approached in a more honest and straightforward manner, she'd probably have immediately agreed. She needed something to do, some direction to take.

    But something about this whole situation seemed odd . Unfamiliar as she was with arcane matters, this elf's magic was more than anything she'd ever seen before. He had said that Fix's suspicions were right, which implied that he had been watching the group for the past few minutes. Between that and his appearance, it indicated some great level of skill, or great resources. And finally, that name - Servuul. Unless her studies failed her, here was a notorious member of House Phiarlan, sprung out of a history book.

    Maria watches him impassively. Something is up here. "Can you tell us more? Surely you can't expect us to go along with your offer without more information and details. For starters, who is your employer, and why did they choose to contact us in this manner?"
    Last edited by Crinias; 2014-08-03 at 10:52 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    "Phiarlan," Phinneas says with a chuckle. "His employer is House Phiarlan, the elder elven bearers of the Mark of Shadow." The gnomish professor's eyes bounce back and forth between Sevruul and the letter; something here wasn't quite matching up. "What of the letters, then, Sevruul?" the gnome asks. "Initial analysis of the retrograde slant of the letters tells me it was written with the left hand, while you hold your pipe in your right. Also, the flourish in the bottom whirl of the 'S' indicates that the script was written by a female. So who in the House wrote these letters, and what do they claim to know?

    You see, I'm always happy to prevent the spread of the Dark Six, but for more pragmatic reasons. The spike in crime rates around Wildnight, for instance, are despicable. It all came to a head about threescore years ago with the murder of the Alvarez sisters. Crying shame, that was...but I digress. I am leery about a war criminal stepping out of the shadows to offer me a quick path to heroism. It reminds me of a certain Brelish trade embargo you circumvented to the detriment of the entire nation and the fledgling House Thuranni. If I recall correctly, you initially presented the Brelish with a bevy of promises that turned out to be hollow, so forgive me if I'm slow to trust this opportunity."
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    Hot damn, OMG. That is what 20 Int should look like.


    Fix flicks her attention away from the mysterious human to the gnome, reevaluating the little man. He was profoundly misinformed on the nature of warforged, but it seemed that his knowledge of mortal affairs was almost uncanny. She made a mental note to interrogate him further, once the excitement of the evening was over. If nothing else, she would be able to tell how much of what Merrix had told her was truth, and how much of it was tale.
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