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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Miraqariftsky's Avatar

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    "HRRMGRRHM!" Rico rumbles, crouching and readying the Fist of Fox. A small voice in the back of her head still marvels at the wonder of divine healing.

    Making sure her greater bulk and armour can serve as her comrade's bulwark, she waits for the inevitable storm of stone, then surges beneath it, attempting to bind the battering limbs with a shield slam...

    ...and from behind it, slashes in a horizontal arc with a draw-cut of the wave-edged sword.

    Spoiler
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    Rock and roll! Taking OFF the Power Attack for now.

    (1d20+14)[22]
    (1d10+7)[8]

    (1d20+8)[17]
    (1d10+7)[10]
    Avatarcred: HELL YEAH to THE Oneris! Ma'am, thank you, ma'am.
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  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    Wincing apologetically as Chanda's rope falls into the void below, the tiefling instinctively reaches out a hand to push the elder Allin flush against the wall as the bell falls and narrowly misses them both. Knowing that her friends are still fighting, Setsuna doesn't hestitate as she takes a breath and starts running up the stairs that still remain, "We need to hurry!" Seeing that the strais are still in horrible condition ahead and missing places, she calls out again, "Please tell me you have more rope!"

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    Move? Double move? Not sure where Chanda will set up more rope, assuming she has more. If she doesn't we're kinda SoL until Naya gets to us...
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    . . . . . .
    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    Rico

    Spoiler
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    ... Sorry, guys. AC 24 is hard to beat.


    Even with half of its body wedged fast in the wall, the gargoyle proves itself to be no slouch, no sitting duck stuck in a crack. The instant Rico moves to plant her shield and skewer it from within the murderous radius of its four slashing arms, the creature twists its ugly scowling visage in her direction, its jaws agape in a soundless roar of fury. Planting the wicked talons of its two upper arms into the crumbling plaster and stone of the walls, the gargoyle swipes back at Rico, its pitted knuckles chipping tiny shards of stone as they recklessly slap aside first her shield, then the flat of her blade.

    *****

    Chanda

    Spoiler
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    Move - retrieve arrow
    Chanda fires grappling arrow, Area AC 5 vs Attack: (1d20+11)[18] - arrow catches on appropriate area


    Having her brains nearly splatted across the stairs of the Shadow Clock has not done much to abate Chanda's usual terse sarcasm. "D'I look like a friggin' handy-store? Eesh." Despite her face being a few shades paler than usual and there being an unwonted tremor in her usually brash movements, Chanda is quick to fumble out another of the unusual arrows from her quiver.

    "Best hurry. These stairs don't seem like to stay up much longer," mutters the thief as she sights upward and fires, the pale grey of the silk rope attached to the arrow looping upwards as the arrow arcs unerringly upward and around the banister of the next level.

    *****

    Initiative Order:
    22 - Chanda
    > 28 - Setsuna
    20 - Red
    20 - G1
    19 - Naya
    17 - Brin
    3 - Rico


    It is now Setsuna's turn.


    *****

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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    As Chanda looses another grapnel, Setsuna follows after her, doing her best to climb the rope as swiftly as possible but ultimately failing to make any progress. Silently shouting at herself, the tiefling resolves to train in climbing ropes in addition to other things once they're done here.
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    . . . . . .
    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    Setsuna does not make any progress up the rope.

    *****

    Red
    HP: 28/55
    AC: 21 +4 MA = 25


    Spoiler
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    5 foot step
    Plus 2 from flanking
    Attack: (1d20+11)[29], Damage: (1d4+4)[8] - hit
    Attack: (1d20+11)[31], Damage: (1d4+4)[6] - hit
    Attack: (1d20+6)[11], Damage: (1d4+4)[6] - miss
    Attack: (1d20+6)[22], Damage: (1d4+4)[6] - miss
    If hit, SA damage: (2d6)[7] and (2d6)[4] and (2d6)[7] and (2d6)[6]


    A gargoyle's moss-strewn stumpy hindquarters and its ridged back weren't in themselves particularly scary things to behold. But to Red, unable to see what was going on inside the tower, with only the occasional crack of stone breaking and the incessant screaming of terrified ravens, anything and everything was possible.

    The thoughts race wildly through her mind. The gargoyle was here. Rico wasn't here. That meant that Rico was injured, or worse. And Brin was still trapped in the tower, like a little mouse waiting for the cat's paw to snag it out of its hole.

    Naya had said to get ready and to duck. She didn't have her rope either. She'd forgotten to tie herself back to it before climbing the stairs. But if she waited any longer, Miss Brin and Rico... they might...

    Fighting past the ache in her head, Red hurls herself at the gargoyle's back with all the strength in her short legs, hacking at its wings with her kukris and burying the curved blades deep in its back, even as the creature bucked and shuddered under her clenched fists. "Naya! Hurry-"

    *****

    G1

    Spoiler
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    Attack: (1d20+15)[32], Damage: (1d6+6)[7]
    Attack: (1d20+15)[16], Damage: (1d6+6)[12]
    Attack: (1d20+15)[16], Damage: (1d6+6)[8]
    Attack: (1d20+15)[28], Damage: (1d6+6)[11]
    Rend if two or more attacks hit: (1d6+6)[8]


    Faced with an assault from the rear, the gargoyle finally senses the peril of its position. Shooting a glowering stare at Rico, it clumsily clambers backward, freely just enough of its body to lash out at Red, smashing her body against the side of the tower in a flurry of claws and craggy arms.

    Naya can use Shocking Hands now if she wishes.

    *****

    Initiative Order:
    22 - Chanda
    28 - Setsuna
    20 - Red
    20 - G1
    > 19 - Naya
    17 - Brin
    3 - Rico


    It is now Naya's turn.


    *****

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    Avatar by the awesome Strawberries.

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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin
    18/35 HP
    19 AC


    Brin winces as the gargoyle tears into Red, returning the favor of her attack two-fold. Now wasn't the time for triage, though. Everyone here was down to their last reserve, and the only way to make sure Brin's side was the surviving one was to end to make sure the enemy died first. Just one blow! Please! I'm at the end of my rope here! She shrieks in her mind as she jabs Xanesha's spear wildly at the stone-skinned monstrocity tearing her friends apart.

    Spoiler
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    5' step to left for a clear shot and attack

    (1d20+6)[15] edit: I neglected to include any bonus from the spear's magic...so another +1 to attack and damage, right?
    (1d8+1)[9]

    Crit:
    (1d20+6)[24]
    (2d8+2)[13]

    Last edited by Bhaakon; 2016-05-23 at 01:09 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Naya
    HP 24/24
    AC 16 (FF 11, Touch 15)


    Naya had little doubt Red would be able to dodge her spell. But that was when Red was in better condition; right now, though... it wasn't a risk she was willing to take. More careful approach was needed... even if it was more risky one.

    The sylph dashes forward, getting ready to unleash two spells almost at the same time. First, as she dives under the gargolyle's claw, balancing on the very edge of the stairs (Good thing I'm not afraid of heights...), to avoid... most of the inevitable blow, at least. Second, as she thrusts her arm forward, touching the gargoyle and channeling the electric charge directly inside the beast, ensuring it won't hit Red by accident.

    Or so was the plan. All the stress of the fight, added to the effort of thinking of two spells at once, makes Naya's magic fizzle, and turns what was supposed to be a deadly charge into a punch that hurts Naya's hand much more than the gargoyle it was armed at.

    Luckily, Brin was there to cover for her mistake... "That... that did it, right?" Naya lets out a sigh of relief, sitting down on the edge of the abyss, breathing heavily, "Miss Red... are you alright?"
    Spoiler
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    Move to directly to the north of Red; there seems to be space on the edge of the stairs. In case of AoO, Windy escape for DR 10.

    Defensive cast Shocking grasp: concentration (1d20+12)[16]
    Touch attack (1d20+2)[20], damage (5d6)[22]
    Last edited by jamieth; 2016-05-23 at 01:56 AM.
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

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  8. - Top - End - #278
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    Naya and Brin

    Years of dungeon delving and crypt raiding had taught Naya to know well the dry whisper of bones, whether animated by unquiet spirits or stilled by Pharasma's hand. She knew well the brittle branch-like snap as they shattered under blows or crunched to powder underfoot. Still, there was still nothing quite like the muted crick of bones breaking when still encased in living flesh. It touched an odd, raw nerve in her. Sent repressed shivers down her spine. It was something about pain. Being weighted down. Broken.

    As such, when the sylph hears rather than sees Red hammered against the wall by the gargoyle's paw, she moves, buoyed by instinct as much as thought. Throwing caution to the wind, Naya finds herself bobbing and weaving past the gargoyle's slashing arms, her face uplit by bolts of blue lightning that gather and dance along the palm of her hands as she pulls together the threads of a spell. It is a move exceedingly bold for the slender sylph, who would easily be crushed by a single touch of those claws. But Naya is driven by righteous anger now, to stop this fiend that was wounding her new friends, and she would not be allayed by the mere prospect of her death.

    A final lunge - and Naya slaps her hand against the pitted side of the gargoyle, only to groan in mingled pain and panic as her concentration slips, causing the spell to sputter and fizzle feebly out.

    The distraction is all the beleaguered Brin needs, however. The Lady of Graves, ever mysterious in her ways, had frustrated Brin's spells all night. But now, as if to suddenly extend the hand of grace to her acolyte's most plain-spoken and desperate prayer, a sudden feeling of inexplicable calm settles upon Brin, coursing through her veins like a narcotic stupor. Having already drawn the spear back to strike, Brin finds herself blinking, all of a sudden acutely aware of the smooth grain of the spear shaft in her palms, the midnight gleam of its barbed point, the rapid tattoo of her heart as it thumps against her ribs, the flex and push of her leg as she thrusts forward once, hard...

    The spear catches the gargoyle under its chest scales and easily pierces through like a knife through butter, lodging deep in the creature's chest. Gaping its stone fangs in a silent scream, the gargoyle struggles weakly, attempting to claw the point out of its flesh before swaying and crumpling to its knees, crashing forward into the tower and nearly crushing Brin with its dead bulk.

    G1 is dead. Finally! Combat is over, initiative ends.

    *****

    Setsuna and Chanda

    "Yer a right done frakken piece of horse-d-"

    Chanda nearly explodes with impatience when she sees Setsuna slipping back down the rope. Crouching on her heels at the top of the rope, she turns and growls irritably back down the rope at her. "Just grab hold, damn yer. I'll pull yer up, faster that way. I swear, even a kid..."

    By the time the tiefling and the thief make it past the ruined belfry and to where the rest of you are, Chanda seems to have calmed down somewhat, merely raising an eyebrow as she lets Setsuna lead the way, stepping over the remains of the gargoyle and the smashed stairs. "Missed a load of nasty fightin' did we?"

    Party reunited. Phew.
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    MINE:
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    jamieth's Avatar

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Naya

    "More than I'd like... much more", Naya says, her breath more or less regained by now, but her mood still down, "Splitting... was a mistake after all. But... it seems it's over now... Let's go. We still have to do what we came here for... there's the last floor still unexplored. If Xanesha made some kind of a lair here, that would be the most likely place... that is, miss Red, if you can walk?"
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

    "Jamie" is fine. TH is mostly there to make sure the name would be free on any forum I'd want to register :-)

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  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Miraqariftsky's Avatar

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    At well-honed warcraft's failing
    Rico grinds her teeth, groaning
    Her shield against the retaliation raising
    All the while a rain-drowned rant a-cursing

    Raging against the void of sight
    Cursing all the loss of light
    But not losing the will to fight
    Ship-wise feet wary of the long drop to the right

    Blasting hot breath in raggest gasps
    Sword against stone wall rasps
    As back she sways
    Shudders 'gainst the beast's plays

    Red-haired lightning strikes
    Ripping into its back with twin steel shrikes
    Stormbringer's punch soon after spikes
    The deathblow, divinely inspired, forward Brin pikes

    But hearing the creaking and the grinding of the toppling beast about to fall,
    Rico, gritting her teeth, anchors her sword deep into the wall
    And lunges, grabs Brin by cloak and shawl
    Hard she hauls, away from harm's call

    "Errybody arright?" Rico calls out.

    "Brin, ye good? Thanks fer the save. Please see ta Red's hurts." she almost does shout.

    "Mistake?" She echoes Naya's doubt.
    "Dunt think so. Bugger had th' option ta crush us wi' rocks from high up.
    An' as we done so now, took 'im inna pincehr. Just as planned."
    Last edited by Miraqariftsky; 2016-06-14 at 12:08 PM.
    Avatarcred: HELL YEAH to THE Oneris! Ma'am, thank you, ma'am.
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  11. - Top - End - #281
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    Biting her tongue at Chanda's comments, Setsuna rushes the rest of the way up the broken stair as best she can before finally arriving, too late to help, where the rest of the party is gathered and catching their collective breath. Still, the fact that they are breathing, makes her sigh in relief. "No, it was a mistake...I am sorry I was so delayed, but...I am glad you all made it through."

    On the subject of Xanesha's lair though, she develops something that could be reasonably called a scowl and nods. The sooner they'd left this place the sooner she could try to put the foul memory of the lamia behind her, but Naya's concern for Red causes the tiefling to notice her injuries and move closer to offer support if she needs it.
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    . . . . . .
    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Red

    Spoiler
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    We're clean out of healing magic, aren't we?

    CLW potion: (1d8)[2] (1d8)[3]


    "I am a-" Even with her ribs all a-fire and black flecks speckling her vision, at the sound of her sister's voice, something on her neck prickles and Red's first instinct is to shoot off the claim that she is feeling quite well enough, thank you. Only that even the merest act of opening her mouth immediately causes her to cough violently, shivering as she chokes on bloody spume, every drawn breath an agony of crackling ribs. Squinting down at the dark mess on her clothes, Red sighs inwardly - slowly, painfully, she shrugs her pack off her shoulders to begin the awkward scrabble for the thin vials of healing potion secured somewhere in one of its pockets. "N-no. N-not really..."

    She doesn't bother to uncork the vials properly but uses her teeth to bite down on the corks, tearing and spitting them out with savage rue before scarfing down the bitter concoction. Between getting jailed in the Hells all those years ago and almost dying, she was definitely going to have to rethink whether Magnimar was still one of her favourite cities to visit.

    Even a little bit less pain was good. Red rakes her splayed fingers wearily through her sweat-matted hair and tries smiling at Setsuna, a part of her dreading the inevitable moment when Chanda would say something nasty again. "We... did make it. It was h-hard, but... you did not get hit... by the bells? T-then... we did... all right."
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2016-06-10 at 02:01 PM.
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    MINE:
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    Finally noticing how injured Red appears to be, Setsuna moves over to her to help support the rogue if she'll let her. "No, we managed to get out of the way, although it was close," she says in response to Red's question about the bells. "The bigger issue was all the missing stairs. I did not realize how badly damaged they were, if not for Chanda-san I never would have made it up here by foot."


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    Sorry, I use posts to remind me to, well, post, and people are being slow! I'll have to get back on this to move it along!
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    . . . . . .
    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  14. - Top - End - #284
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    "Ain't no mistake to have split," remarks Chanda carelessly in response to Naya, running her fingertips lightly over the teeth of one of the big gear wheels and squinting at the blood-red rust that flakes off onto her fingertips. "Din'tcher say that yer magic cloak could've only taken a handful of us and no more? Sides, if even snow white here couldn't manage climbing and hauling up, I doubt yer would've too, not with the constable's size'n weight. Nevermind them bells falling on our heads like frakken' fruits in ripe-time. Damn straight, snow white wouldn't have made it up in one piece without me."

    Having gently shook her head to refuse Setsuna's offer of support, Red looks up from where she stands, swaying slightly as she shivers in her blood-damp clothing, one hand cradling her cracked ribs and the other patting Setsuna's arm. Her voice is thin with pain, but sincere enough. "...Then... w-we must... thank you. F-for taking care... of Setsuna."

    For the first time since Xanesha fell, Chanda glances directly at her sister, her mouth twitching sharply at one corner as their eyes meet. While Red's gaze is half-glazed over with mingled exhaustion and pain, Chanda's remains inscrutable behind the dark lens - perhaps for good reason. Eventually, the older thief scowls, thrusting out her jaw fiercely. "Yeh," she grunts reluctantly. "She wouldn't have. Yer should teachs her how to bandy a rope proper. Lucky for her, it's only stairs what have no handholds up from here."

    Shooting a glance towards the frazzled ravens hopping agitatedly about their miraculously intact closet, Chanda spins on her heels and stomps towards the flight of steps that the rest of you had first landed on, not bothering to check if any of you are following. "C'mon. Let's be done with this bloody wreck."

    *****

    You carefully tread up the stairs that lead to the gaping hole in the roof, above which the statue of Soralyon stands as pathetic sentinel, his angelic features so caked with grime and seagull droppings that one might have easily mistaken him for a fiend from the pits. Given how dilapidated the rest of the tower has proved, however, you are surprised to find that the space beneath the broken roof suffers from no such decay.

    Ducking your head as you stoop beneath the twisted beams and the moss-slick tiles, you discover yourself in a damp attic of sorts (E6). While those of you who cannot see in the dark can discern little more than smooth floor panels streaked with age in the moonlight from where you stand, those of you for whom an absence of light is no obstacle, you can easily make out a shell-like hollow at least forty feet wide as it is long. This attic - surprisingly clean, given the state of the lower floors - is devoid of all furnishings save for what looks like a crude hand-broom made of dried river reeds bound with twine by the entrance, as well as a nest of flattened cushions and brightly coloured silk sheets with sunburst Katapeshi motifs on the far end. To the left of this nest, pushed neatly against the wall, sits a line of ornamental sea-chests coated with black lacquer, padlocked and with their decorative silver filigree long since scraped away.

    With Xanesha's mangled corpse outside stiffening in the rain and her head destined for a storage in a piss-pot (if Rico had anything to say about the matter), all her remaining worldly possessions are legitimately up for grabs. And if you are to find any answers as to who exactly she was and why she really had orchestrated so many murders at all without a priest's casting, rifling through her things is probably as good as it gets.

    Chanda whistles a jolly tune under her breath as she slips out the ring of keys confiscated earlier from Xanesha's corpse. Kneeling in front of each chest, she lightly passes her hands over each of them in turn, tapping here and there on the lid and sides with the precise care of a chirurgeon before grinning over her shoulder at the rest of you. "Clean. You wanna do them honours?"

    The bronze padlock clicks open sweetly with nary a whisper, the metal cool and heavy in your hands as you unhook the shank and gingerly lift the lid of the first chest. You're not quite sure what you'd expected to find, but fat bags of clinking money wrapped in oilskin drawstring purses is quite a good start.

    "Sweet Calistria's honeyed thighs," breathes Chanda, tapping her shoulder right to left in a gesture of blasphemous reverence as you pop open another chest, and another, revealing yet more coins bulging in oilskin. It would seem that every one of the chests is filled to the brim with money, save for the last - which instead contains a kukri sized for a halfling, along with several small velvet pouches filled with gemstones and jewellery. There has got to be at least a hundred platinum coins worth in these chests, never mind the price of the gems and jewels and all the smaller currency.

    Perception DC 15 (increase to DC 20 if PC cannot see in the dark)
    Spoiler
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    The treasure chests are indeed a sight to draw all eyes, but yours remain sharp enough to spot the crumpled wad of parchment within the nest of silk sheets, nearly hidden by the shadow of a gold tasseled cushion.

    Should you deign to sidle over and pry open the parchment to read, the words on the unsigned missive are enough to make your blood run cold despite the shelter that the attic affords from the wind outside...

    Spoiler: The Crushed Parchment...
    Show


    *****

    Map
    Spoiler
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    Avatar by the awesome Strawberries.

    MINE:
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  15. - Top - End - #285
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    jamieth's Avatar

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Naya

    Coins and gems, they were nice of course; but, well, Naya wasn't used to luxury, and what little niceties of life she deed seek, were either inexpensive enough that she was pretty much set fire life already or, alternatively, weren't for sale at all. So, riches didn't distract her for long, and while Chanda was busy opening the chests, sylph discovered the parchment and was reading it... And I've she finished, she called out the wisps of light almost without thinking, and without looking, unable to look away from the document. "Everyone..." she called out in a weak voice, "look at this. Xanesha... Was only a party of a bigger plan... What... What should we do about that? Authorities... Are there someone we can trust? And... Can local authorities even act in... Fort Rannick?" judging by her voice, though, she hasn't much hope it'll be that easy.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Drawing everyone's attention to the parchment, to waive the need for Perception check, and casting Dancing Lights do so everyone could read it
    Last edited by jamieth; 2016-06-11 at 07:42 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #286
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    Are yeh fookin' kiddin' meh? Rico snorts as she listens, then gropes about, asking simply, "Y'all are talkin' easy now an' no stony grindin' demon thing gratin' towards us. Yeah. Safe. Yey. Won. Good fookin' jahb."

    "Friggin' hellsteeth this is humiliating..." she says, then pauses while sheathing her sword, and carefully unbuckling it from her belt, winding the strap about one hand and using it ever so carefully as a blind man uses a cane.

    "Hey. Hallo?" Poking and groping around, she asks aloud, "Anybody seen Brin? Is she arright? She still alive? I didn't hear somebody fall...?"

    Finally, the halforc constable coughs as she finds Red's head at just the right height and pats her. "How many pieces izzat stone demon in? This is... er... sorry... can't see. Ye mind me usin' ye as a livin' cane fer a while?"
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    Setsuna

    Looking worriedly at Rico, realizing for the first time that she'd been blinded, Setsuna moves to her side and does her best to help the much larger and heavier woman find balance. "Brin is okay, and you will be too. It is not a difficult spell to restore sight, I am sure she will be able to call upon her goddess' power to do it tomorrow..."

    She doesn't answer the question about the gargoyle, however, as she's distracted by Naya's note. Reading it outloud for Rico's benefit she purses her lips and generally looks irritated, though the irritation stemmed more from the events of this morning more so than the letter itself, and the fact that she'd thought they could finally rest a little so the realization that this goes deeper is not a pleasant one for her. "We should...tell the lord-mayor. He is apparently a high priority target for these monsters, we must at least warn him. But then we should go to the fort ourselves, I think." Turning to look out the window in the direction of Xanesha's corpse she continues somberly, "The note says 'sister'...the authorities are not strong enough to deal with that even if the ones here have any ability to try."
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  18. - Top - End - #288
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    Seeing the damnable statue-beast at least fall lifeless elicits a similar reaction from Brin. Shoulders slump, arms fall nearly limp, the spear almost clatters to the floor as the exhaustion of the fight washes over her in one great, cresting wave. It was rather amazing how much energy a person could expend in just a few short seconds of desperate struggle. Brin feels like she could sleep for a week, eat a horse, and drain an entire tun of Taldan rosť all at once. And that she was actually considering how to accomplish the feat just goes to show that the fatigue was mental as well as physical.

    "Alive." She mumbles in response to Rico, "And tapped. Setsuna's right. The Lady fix yuh tomorrow, or you can try and find a healer who isn't dead on her feet." Then she staggers numbly after the others up the stairs, numb, silent, and just hoping that this will be the end of it. Even the sight of the coins can only lift her torpor so far.

    She does read over the letter, though. She's alert enough to do that. "I don't know if they can act, but they'll want to know. Zanesha was corrupting the city's High Justice, after all. They'll probably want more answer. Maybe reward us..."

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    Red

    "It was... the g-gargoyle's bite... right? Then you will be fine... in a bit. I was too." The weight of Rico's chapped paw on her head is oddly comforting. Red reaches up to gently pat her friend's hand, tapping the knuckles by way of comforting her, before turning her attention to the chests and the crushed paper thing Naya had found.

    She didn't know where this Fort Rannick was. But she knew about Turtleback Ferry. It was a little rundown backwater, barely even a town, almost three hundred miles away... much further than she'd care to travel right now. All she wanted to do was to go back to Aunt Vera's and curl up in front of the fire to sleep. Then work on helping mister Sirus get back from being a statue. Then back to Sandpoint, then maybe take the south-east road to Korvosa... it would be winter soon, and she could do with some warmer weather. The trade caravans would be hiring...

    "Miss Naya. Setsuna... This is... beyond us." The strength of feeling in Red's voice startles her, but she bites her lip and pushes on, determined to have her say. "We f-fought X-xanesha... and look. Mister Sirus... Mister Simatzu. Then we came here. To make her stop. But..." She looks wearily down at her feet, dully noting how that blood has stiffened and crusted on her clothes, coating the links of her armour like rust. "We almost died... T-three times today, I... fell. Miss Brin - her blessing... it saved me. B-but I think... t-three times... M-more than that. Mister Cayden's luck... it is not w-wise. To play like this. And... I am tired. We s-should... t-tell the Watch, so they can... save M-mayor Gorby. Then we... save Mister Sirus. Get our r-reward. And then go home."

    The effort of saying so much drains her more than she'd care to admit. Closing her eyes, Red wraps her arms around herself, unaware that she sways in exhaustion on her feet where she stands.
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    Setsuna

    For everything that they'd been through so far, Setsuna hadn't really considered the possibility of reward very much. It was odd to hear Brin and Red talking about one now, but, she supposed on reflection, not something she should've been surprised by. Nor an unreasonable assumption, they had done and risked quite a lot to help after all, and discovered a plot that endangered everyone in the city from commoners to the lord mayor himself.

    But they weren't done. She wasn't at least, regardless of what Red thought. Putting a comforting hand on the red-head's shoulder, she does her best to give a comforting, reassuring smile. "You are wrong, this is not beyond us. We stopped them here, and we did not know what we were looking for or what our enemy was after. This time we know who, where, and what, and have the element of surprise." Pausing for a moment, taking in the human's wounds, suggesting that Red stay behind to rest while she goes to fight crosses her mind...but the rogue wasn't the only one who nearly died today even if she'd come closer to it, and even Setsuna wanted to rest. "But...maybe it would be better to just inform the authorities and take some time to recover first."
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  21. - Top - End - #291
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    "I agree with Miss Setsuna", Naya nods, "we do need to recover, of course, and we have to tell the authorities... but if they can't do anything? Yes, it was hard. And dangerous. But... Xanesha's dead. Whatever foul plan she had for this city, we stopped it. We can do it again. But first... rest. We're not in the condition to meet the lord-mayor right now, let alone fight anyone. Let's gather up everything of value here, it's our rightful trophys after all, and I'll get everyone down... and after that... does anyone know of a good bathhouse here? I'm sick of this rain..."
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    Slowly slumping onto the nearest bit of debris, Rico releases a sigh and a snort into the night. She smiles tiredly up at Red then massages her own forehead. Idly, she ponders aloud, "All dis bitin'... Can ye imagine havin' teeth but bein' unable ta eat? Just a livin' weapon, that damned bugger."

    "Dunno if y'all spotted..." she begins, her voice hoarse with exhaustion. "His lordship is bein' FATTENED. Dey HARVEST 'im soon, it said. We shouldn't 'xpect DAT next bit ta be easy neither. If they've TURNED 'im arreddy, well, ye can figger."

    "An' aye. Agreed." she nods. "We need ta rest up afore we get on our next step, woteva dat might be."

    "Fookin' 'ellsteeth." she grumbles. "Wot in Asmodeus' arse jus' 'appened ta good ol' PLAIN-ASS thievery an' in-yer-face murders. Damn all these mad-murderin' cultist cosspirashees."

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    Rest was an attractive proposition. There were plenty of good festhalls in Magnimar they could visit, after a nap, of course. But the contents of that note...

    "They're stealing away spirits of the dead."
    Brin says, her tone flat. "I can't take a vacation while they're doing that. I know I'm not exactly the fire and brimstone, dour, temple-tending type, but there are SOME rules I follow, you know, and 'don't stand by while someone diverts the river of souls' is damned near the top of the list."

    "I've had enough trouble callin' on the Lady as it is. Wasting time while this is going on...She'd cut me off altogether."
    She shakes her head. "I don't know if it's beyond us or not, but there's no way I can let it lie."

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    "I'm not saying we should rest for long", Naya explains, "but... we can't go anywhere, let alone into the enemy's stronghold, as we are right now. Even with your magic, Miss Red's wounds will take time to heal, and then we would want to go out at full strength. So... today, to rest, make ourselves presentable and try to explain everything to the Lord-Mayor. Tomorrow, to heal the wounded and make the preparations for the journey. On the third morning, we might be ready. No earlier, Miss Brin."
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    Her arms crossed over her chest, Rico bows, huffs in thought.

    "Aye, wot she said." she grunts and adds, "Are we sure dat ain't a bit TOO long a wait? We don't want wot happ'd back with Foxglove an' THAT delay ta happ' again, do we?"
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    Red

    "We should still... take care of Mister Sirus..." Thrusting out her jaw, Red looks away from the others, an uneasy line drawn taut across her forehead. Perhaps killing Xanesha would have made whatever magic spell that had transformed Sirus to stone undo itself. Perhaps they'd go back to the little house and find Sirus shivering on the big stuffed chair with a blanket around him and that slow scowl on his face because he'd missed the fight as they walked in. But somehow, deep in her heart, Red felt a dread chill spreading and knew it was not so.

    Sirus had been kind to Red. He was a friend. And Red did not believe in leaving her friends behind - not like this. But here the rest were, all so ready to run off just because of some stupid words on a stupid bit of paper... Well, they could run off. She'd take care of Sirus first. She couldn't break the spell, but she would have gold soon. Taladron's aunt, she was clever, she lived next to the Stone of the Seers. Surely she would know the right people. And Red would be able to pay, as long as they got a little something for doing this Xanesha in.

    But Rico was her friend too. So was Setsuna. And Brin. She still wasn't sure about the lady Naya. Either way, abandoning them on a dangerous fight to take care of Sirus... it didn't seem right.

    Red sighs under her breath, pressing the grimy heel of one palm to her forehead as her shoulders slump in silent defeat. She needed to sleep. It would make the pain go away. And everything would look better in the morning, or at least she sure hoped it would.

    *****

    GM post

    The news borne in the crumple parchment about more murder and intrigue brewing at Fort Rannick doesn't seem to bother Chanda very much. Squatting on her haunches as she paws blithely through the last chest, she holds one of the gold coins up to her goggle lens, turning it between thumb and finger such that the coin winks with the faintest gleam of moonlight. A cursory gnaw between the teeth leaves Chanda satisfied as to the coin's authenticity and she idly tosses it back into the chest before pushing her goggles up over her brow, her dark Tien eyes ringed with crimson flecks from where the eyepiece had pressed against her skin, glancing first at Naya, then at Brin as you all discuss what to do next.

    "Yes, yes, all very nobby and nice of yer lot to do more dog-work for the Watch," she interrupts Rico with an irked wave of her gloved hand. "And I wishes you the best of luck in making things right with yer Lady goddess and in wringing platties from Fat Gorby's greasy pig mitts. Still. Yer dreaming if yer thinks he's gonna toss out what writ to head north-east. Grateful, aye. But he ain't gonna like his guards bein' made out as weaklings what can't save their own mayor's piggy bum, never yer mind all that hornpipe down in the streets 'bout a rotten Justice. Yer gotta think 'bout the politics. But I'm just a humble thief. Whadda do I know?"

    Chanda shrugs with mock humility before reaching back to a side-pocket on her knapsack, plucking forth a ragged and bloody scaled tunic stiff with blood in one hand and Xanesha's Sihedron medallion in the other. "My employ's at an end. Here's the rest of the bitch's gear what you didn't bring along just now. There's still her creep mask, but I'm keeping that. First pick, remember? And I'll be toting a certain sack of gold that snow white decided wasn't good 'nough for yer lot on me way out. Don't let it be said I'm a tight-fist now, eh? So everything else - s'all yours. Good luck getting them boxes down." She haphazardly stuffs the tunic and medallion into Brin's arms, pats the priestess on the head, then sweeps her body low in a bravo's salutatory bow towards the rest of you.

    "Welp. It's been a bloody pain in the arse workin' with yer lot. May our paths never cross no more, or tear me a new one and call me a Kuthite. Have fun saving the world from more snake-ladies now."

    *****

    Even if she was as likeable as an ornery hedgepig on account of being exceedingly prickly in deed and word, Chanda certainly moved much swifter than the little beast even on her short limbs. Saving but the briefest of cryptic glances and muttered words in Tien for her sister, the thief is swift to retreat from the attic on noiseless feet, apparently intent on returning down the same stairs she'd used to ascend. While the more suspicious among you might well wonder if she had more than one reason to depart so swiftly, the fact that the events of the night must now be reported to Captain Uriana in order to save (or slay) Lord-Mayor Gorboras has not been lost on those of you of a more practical bent. The presence of a wanted criminal, even if she had lent her strength towards bringing the head of a coterie of dangerous murderers down, would probably be more trouble than it was worth - a fact which the annoying know-it-all thief had probably thought of in advance, as usual. The earlier she was gone, the fewer questions would be asked and all for the better.

    Descending the Shadow Clock, even with five of you and more ropes this time, turns out to be an agonisingly slow and painful process, given your wounds and with leaden exhaustion beginning to set in. And there was still Xanesha's corpse to take care of and the long trek back through the scummy Underbridge to the refuge of Aunt Vera's house, not to mention the question of how to hold on to and move all of Xanesha's riches - now yours by the rights of lawful conquest...

    *****

    Day 39: Lamashan 31, 4707

    It is now 0900hrs.

    Two hectic days have passed. As things had turned out, instead of setting out on the road to Fort Rannick as Naya had tentatively planned and as Brin would no doubt prefer, you find yourselves still caught in limbo, waiting frustratedly in Aunt Vera's house for some kind of response from Lord-Mayor Gorboras that would tell you what to do next. Having related all you knew and what you had done to Xanesha to the City Watch, which had led to a flurried lock-down and scouring of the Shadow Clock, it is odd indeed that the authorities have sent no word. Xanesha's head and letter, on top of Ironbriar's confession and the savagery at the Seven's Mill, should have been all the proof that was needed. And yet there was nary a knock at Aunt Vera's door, not even a messenger bird or words blown in on a magical wind.

    It is thus, perhaps with no small amount of sourness or cynicism, that you find yourself entertaining a rather red-faced and haggard looking Captain Uriana in Aunt Vera's sitting room. The head of the City Watch refuses the offer of a seat, preferring to remain standing at attention with her dented helm under her arm, looking around the room at each of you in turn as she speaks.

    "That's the plain matter of fact of it," she finishes up bitterly, with the weary doggedness of one who knows that there is still much work to be done. "Don't get me wrong. Gorby's no fool and he knows he's got you lot to thank for his hide and health. If he could call up a parade and feast you all before the city, cover you in gold, he'd do it. But he's fighting the Council of Ushers and the Justice Court every step. They won't have it go down in the history books or the alehouses that Ironbriar was rotten to the core, nor that a group of... well, outsider mercenaries managed to do in two days what the City Watch could not for a score months. To hell with 'em - I'm grateful, if those bastards ain't. You kept my city safe." The Captain bows as she thumps a clenched fist on her breastplate with a loud clang that makes Qistala sit up and chirrup in alarm. "But I'm sorry... it don't look like you're getting no permission to march to Fort Rannick. Turtleback Ferry's a Magnimarian holding and the rangers up at Rannick are our men. The Council and Court believe that the letter you found could be naught but a trick, and will permit Gorby to make no move until we have word from Commander Bayden that all is well."
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    4707AR, Lamashan 30 (Day 38), circa 11 am
    Golarion, Varisia, Magnimar, Aunt Vera's home
    Naya


    After all the yesterday's official business, and the evening of rest with no real strength to do anything, and the mostly sleepless night, and the morning full of Brin's magic, and the breakfast - if only of courtesy - well, Naya felt way better. Good enough, in fact, that the idea of just sitting in place all day - worse, sitting inside all day - was simply unbearable.

    "So... if there's nothing we can do until hearing the response from that Lord Mayor... does anyone want to take a stroll? Miss Setsuna, do you feel better? Perhaps let's hit some magical shops? New gear's the best thing to clear depression and self-doubt, or so I heard. Miss Red, perhaps we could search for a cure for Mister Sirus there as well? Everyone, how about some restaurant? We do have a right to celebrate, after all, don't tell me we don't. Or, as I told yesterday, a bathhouse to relax and calm down?"
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  28. - Top - End - #298
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    Setsuna

    Lamashan 29 (Day 37) - At the Tower


    Nodding at Red, "You are right. We need to make sure that he is at least being cared for if we can not find anyone with sufficient magical ability to cure him." The rogue wasn't the only one who needed to rest, though she probably needed it the most, and Setsuna placed a comforting hand on her shoulder until they were ready to move out, too mentally exhausted to care too much about the spoils right away.


    Lamashan 30 - With Naya

    She'd been going insane. They needed to rest, even Setsuna understood that, but waiting for approval was hardly restful, if anything it was more taxing than fighting. So even if she was still trying to sort out her mind from the events of the day before, when Naya offered a way to temporarily aleviate the stress of waiting, the tiefling jumped at the chance. "I am afraid that I do not know this city well myself. I have only been here about as long as you have, but if you want to explore I will be happy to go with you...searching for a cure, eating, and bathing all sound nice."


    Lamashan 31 - With Uriana

    Setsuna sat and listened to the captain. Outside of Rico she hadn't exactly had much experience with the guards of Varisia, but she was glad to see that her half-orc companion seemed to be a fairly typical member in terms of friendliness. It wasn't exactly good news she delivered though, and the reason for that was obvious even to the usually oblivious Setsuna. "Wait, but...if we will not get permission to go until the commander of the Fort confirms that everything is well there...what do they expect to do if things are not well? It will be at least a month before we hear anything at all!"
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    Naya

    Day 38


    "Exploring's what I do, Miss Setsuna", Naya smiled, "well, did, before getting tangled in this... whatever that thing we got ourselves into is called. So, anyone wants to join us in a little crawl through Manimar's more pleasant places?"

    Day 39


    "Not to mention..." Naya was every bit as surprised to hear the explanation, "what if the fort's commander is in the same situation as Ironbriar was? Then of course he would claim everything's fine!"
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    Two nights ago...

    Rico waved a salute to Chanda as she went--- the pinkie, forefinger and thumb of the left hand raised--- a mock-up of the Calistrian symbol.

    Numb, she helped haul down load after load of material. Helped the others get dwon the tricky turns of the crumbling tower.

    Out in the street, in the mud, in the rain, she tilted her head up and closed her eyes. Just let the storm wash over everything, the dripping drowning out her ears.

    One night ago...

    Lathered in sweat, and aching all over, but in a good way, she'd taken that day to rest...

    ...if by "rest", one meant spending an inordinate amount of time poring over notes, rattling out and polishing paperwork, cleaning and keeping her kit in working order. She'd also spent a good chunk of the day getting acquainted with Xanesha's former spear. A few twists and a lot of thrusts, bracing and poking, much lighter than what she's used to.

    Fun with the others... textbook R&R... that could wait. SOMEbody needs to do maintenance and paperwork.

    Towards the end of that evening, though, there came a rapping on Red's door. "Hey? Red? Ya got a li'l time?"

    Presently...

    Rico sits slouched and scowling. The cup of coffee by her hand slowly runs cold.

    She meets the captain's eyes, blinks and nods, returning her respect. But drawls, "Aye. Wot she sedd. What'll you do, ma'am. If this 'ere rot runs deep?"
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