A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default The Sun Sets [IC]

    The rain poured outside, the constant pattering of water against stone dulling all other sounds. It had been raining for days, the sun obscured from sight. A bad omen, by the reckoning of the priests who mutter in their cloisters. A bad omen, by the reckoning of the caravan of halflings, just about to leave the city but now blocked by muddy roads and flooded rivers. A bad omen, by the reckoning of farmers, losing precious days of harvest. But, perhaps it is just weather.

    That is what people tell themselves, when the wind blows and almost carries them off their feet, when raindrops sneak their stinging way into their eyes and the chill runs right through their bones. It's just weather.

    Luckily for you six, you have a warm fire and stone walls to keep the weather off you. The Waters estate of Lakton has proven a welcome home in the past weeks. A thousand acres of decent farmland and small forests just outside the capital city, a small town, and a castle of decent size. Just outside the watch of the guards of the capital, small enough that Duke Kasgrov pays it little attention. A good place to be, for those who wish to avoid notice.

    The rain starts to grow harder. Six individuals of great power, gathered in one place, each with their own vendettas and plans. On another world, there is a curse which goes 'May you live in interesting times'. For Talos, the coming times are sure to be interesting indeed.

    Spoiler: Claire Waters
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    You have been keeping your ear to the ground, listening for rumors of unrest, intrigue, anything that could prove useful. You have heard that the Crown Prince has sent ambassadors to several of the Western Kingdoms, laden with gifts, and that the rains have likely delayed them – though you have yet to glean the reason for this visit. You have also heard that Duke Darton of Greywater grows more and more aggressive in his motions to deal with what he calls the 'savage tribes to the south'. Many in court grow uncomfortable with his war-mongering, and many others are moving in support of the old man. Your second, Jeannine, reports that there is a contingent of wererats among the halfling caravan currently residing in the capital city, and that one of them has requested a meeting with 'The Alpha of Lakton Pack'. Jeannine does not know how the wererats know there is a pack in Lakton.

    In addition, you gain the following:

    Favored in Court:
    Having made yourself seen and known in polite society within Talos, you gain a +2 to Diplomacy checks made against persons with titles. In addition, you have a contact within the court of the Crown Prince(tbd), and a working relationship with Duke Kasgrov of Greenbelt, who is nominally your direct superior in the chain of fealty.


    Spoiler: Cantora Valiar
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    Your travels have occasionally taken you among the elves, and you have heard mutterings in Ra'Taure that a group calling themselves the Reclaimers have been causing trouble for the crown. Militant eco-terrorists who want to split from the wasteful Peloric League, apparently. Of more interesting note is that these Reclaimers may also possess psionic power.
    During your last trip to the Astral Plane, you felt something watching you. It disappeared before you could divine more information about it, but you got the sense that it was not hostile – merely curious.

    In addition, you gain the following:

    The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me: You gain a +2 to Diplomacy checks against psionic creatures. In addition, with ten minutes of meditation, you can manifest Augury as a PLA. You also sometimes receive prophetic dreams in your sleep.


    Spoiler: Caries Mordenheim
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    It is hard to shake the feeling that you're still there, in the Mists, and that this is not all some kind of prank by the Dark Ones. Especially the past couple of days, with mists drawing close around the castle and the sun obscured. Still, the Hate is strong, and despite your discomfort, you have been working. The Assembly has been in communication with you – they say there is a possible job for you in the coming weeks. Something about a recently discovered ruin, with interesting implications regarding the Church of Pelor. Very hush hush at the moment, but they trust you. In addition, you've been keeping in touch with some of the other clerics of Pelor. Some rather...interesting religious debates are happening at the moment. There's a firebrand, one Caius Ardes, who is proclaiming that the interpretations of Pelor worshipped by the elves and halflings are heretical, and must be stamped out. While his faction thus far has only advocated for peaceful conversion to the 'One True Pelor', the tension is obvious.

    In addition, you gain the following:

    Heretic in Sheep's Clothing: You gain a +2 to Bluff checks against members of the Church of Pelor. In addition, so long as you hold your holy symbol, you are immune to your phobia of large mists, and gain a +4 Profane Bonus on Saving Throws against Fear Effects.


    Spoiler: Lucien Wormwood
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    The dreams have been getting worse, of late. A palace, covered in ice, windswept. Endless snow, endless white, endless cold. A woman's face – beautiful, but terrifying. And a whispered name: 'Pazuzu'. You know the name, of course – the Demon Lord who created the Morrigan, five hundred years ago. Every child has heard the name. But why this, why now?

    You have always had a strong connection to the wild places of the world, to the spirits. You can feel them now. Uneasy, wary, tense. They know something is coming. You've seen sprites and pixies coming close to the castle, watching. And, last night, there was a tiny arrow lodged in your window. A piece of parchment attatched, with 'We are ready' written upon it in Sylvan.

    In your travels, you found a man who professed to be a cultist of the Morrigan. The two of you helped each other escape from the pursuit of paladins, and the warrior promised you the aid of the Black Claws if you should need it. You still have the small black stone he gave you, a single use of Sending that will reach him, and only him.

    In addition, you gain the following:

    Spirit-Touched: You gain a +2 to Diplomacy checks with spirits – this includes most Fey, most Outsiders, and certain incoporeal Undead. In addition, with a small ceremony taking ten minutes, you can always find a Spirit to speak with when out of sight of any structures built by mortal hands – though you have no control of what Spirit finds you, or if they will be amendable to your requests. Such meetings never result in violence, however.


    Spoiler: Lydia Grey
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    When you first arrived on this world, you allied yourself with the forces of the Morrigan. And were felled. The chains of gold bound you, and the cold took your limbs as you froze in place. Awake, aware, just barely, of time passing alone in the dark. Enough to drive a lesser creature mad. And now, a young man comes, and frees you from your bondage. Back into this strange, strange world, far from your own, far from Rashemen. Far from where your beloved lies buried.

    You can feel them out there. The remnants of the Morrigan's forces. Even now, five hundred years later, her presence can still be felt on the land. Some cells in Talos, some out in the Western Kingdoms, where the Morrigan began her failed conquest. Some might know of you. At the very least, you still have her Mark, the black coin she gave to those who led her forces.

    You also remember Pelor, from your own world. The other side of Pelor. Your new associate, Caries, follows him as the Burning Hate – a Hate you know well. Other cults of the Hate surely have their roots somewhere in Talos, and you learned enough from your father to seek them out. They could be useful pawns, certainly.

    In addition, you gain the following:

    Stranger in a Strange Land: You gain a +1 Profane Bonus on Saving Throws against spells cast by followers of Pelor. In addition, anyone who fails a Saving Throw against one of your spells takes a -1 Penalty to Saving Throws against your spells for 24 hours. This does not stack with itself.


    Spoiler: Jeduthun
    Show

    You are finally free from the black pit you had been imprisoned in. Free to take your vengeance against those who abandoned and betrayed you. This Claire Waters, who freed you, has offered sanctuary in her home, among her pack. It is...different, from your memories of running with the other hounds, but not unpleasent.

    You remember the layout of the capital city. There are many secrets, there. Tunnels, leading in and out of the palace. Hidden prisons below the streets, safehouses designed for use in case of an enemy occupation. You could direct people in and out, a staging ground for an assault, or use them for spying.

    You also remember the locations of many prisons created during the Last Crusade. Places where great evils were sealed away, both creatures and artifacts. Like you, you suppose. They might prove useful, in the future.

    You also feel two presences. The first, a black streak in the back of your mind, is Arackanus, your torturer. The second, a painfully bright light, is Bathaniel, the one who sealed you away. Both are still on this cursed plane, somewhere. No doubt they also know of your release.

    In addition, you gain the following:

    Lost But Not Forgotten: You gain a +2 to Intimidate against servants of Pelor. In addition, Outsiders with the Good subtype will never initiate battle with you – though once you strike them, they will defend themselves.
    ATTENTION ANYONE WHO I'M PLAYING WITH:
    No news is good news.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Ionbound's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Claire frowns as Jeanine delivers her the news in the solar and nods as she replies, "I suppose then, that they'll have their meeting. If nothing else, I am curious as to how they know we even exist." She stands up and chuckles, continuing, "I doubt that furs would be appropriate attire, though," as she meanders over in the direction of a wardrobe, looking for a sensible, functional, but fancy enough outfit to meet someone that she thinks of as a leader of a separate nation, in essence if not in fact.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Lydia stretches and yawns, sitting comfortably on a sofa. Crossing her legs, she wanders with her bored eyes across the room, from one of her new allies to another. Her gaze stopped for a moment on the young cleric of Burning Hate.
    -Tell me, priest boy. - She started nonchalantly. - It must be ironic to be a worshiper of Pelor in a land dedicated to him, but yet know if you'll speak the truth about your faith, you will be branded as a heretic. - It takes a lot of her to hold off the disgust when she speaks name of her former god. At least, from what she could tell, she was not the only person in the room, to have sour feelings towards him. That priviledge would belong to Jeduthm. Or Jed, as they took to calling him. - Wouldn't you want to seek some, say, like-minded, friends?
    She then notices their host received some news and apparently started preparing for leaving.
    -Need some company, whenever you are going? - She asked. She could use to stretch her legs a bit. Besides, nobles and their matters have this thing, that they can easily get quite bloody. And if anything bad happens to young lady Waters, it will probably mean farewell to this nice mansion they're hiding in and welcome to life on the run. And as much as she disliked hiding like rats from her enemies, she hated thought of running from them even more. Especially in that weather.

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Claire shrugs and replies to Lydia, "I doubt it. Just a meeting with some..." She coughs, then continues, "Merchants that might be sympathetic to my cause. You can come if you'd like, but I doubt it'll turn sideways. And even if it does, I can always play the hero."

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    "Wouldn't mind stretching my legs a bit." Lydia shrugs. Besides, she also wants to see Claire "at work", so to speak. She looks at the others, getting up from the couch. "Anyone else wanna join us?" She asks.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DoctorGlock's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    A lithe winged figure lay slouched across a pew in a dilapidated chapel of a plush mansion. This room at least saw very little use.

    Pazuzu... All children knew that name. In a convoluted way, he was responsible for the great crusade and the cleansing of the world. Anyone with a religious education would know it well, and Lucien was no different. Given how often they learned the verses it would be no surprise to hear it in his dreams.

    If he dreamed like anyone else that was. The name was a new addition to the familiar repertoire of frigid horrors. He twirled a tiny arrow like a toothpick in his slender fingers. If he could ask his Father, or their librarian, surely they might have some answers.

    But no. That ship had sailed, Lucien remembered with a pang of regret and pain. His former 'family' would see him dead if they saw him ever again. And since then had had fallen in with a new family of sorts, and he wasn't certain if he could blame the paladins given the nature of his new companions.

    You will need powerful allies for what comes ahead, popped unbidden into his mind. Besides, they weren't trying to kill him, another part rationalized.

    Ah, there was the answer! The Archon would know something, certainly. Lucien leaped to his feet and dropped the tiny weapon. He'd figure that part out later, away from prying eyes. His soft footsteps pattered towards the solar. The others could often be found there. He reached the door and pushed it open just in time to hear Lydia speak.

    'Where are you going?' Lucien asked.
    I work very irregular hours and usually very long ones at that. If I do not respond to something in a timely manner pester me in an OOC thread. If something big is happening in the Middle East I will probably be busy for a few days because I am the idiot wearing kevlar and interviewing people on the fronts.

    Do you like MTG? Do you like Gitp? We have a Discord server for like minded players.

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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    "Oh you know, shopping and other girly things." Lydia joked. She didn't understood why, but she always felt some strange familiarity with Lucien. Maybe she was getting soft. Getting attached to people never does you any good. But she could use knowing those people better. "Wanna join us?" She asks with a teasing voice.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    No. You have far more important matters to concern yourself with. You cannot waste time with frivolities. ran the cold undercurrent of his thoughts. Besides, something about Lydia always made him feel paranoid. No, not paranoid, territorial. It made him tense, part of him screamed to just... No, focus on the task at hand. Ask Jeduthun about Pazuzu, then call up one of the little folk, then...

    'Sure, why not,' Lucien said. Yes, a distraction, that was the ticket!
    I work very irregular hours and usually very long ones at that. If I do not respond to something in a timely manner pester me in an OOC thread. If something big is happening in the Middle East I will probably be busy for a few days because I am the idiot wearing kevlar and interviewing people on the fronts.

    Do you like MTG? Do you like Gitp? We have a Discord server for like minded players.

    Currently Running: Through the Faerie Ring

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Jed paced back and forth, back and forth. He was happy he was out, able to move again, not confined in that pit of sorrow and misery.

    And this group was interesting, most where mortal flesh, pining for a taste of revenge, of spreading their pitiful sorrow to the others that wronged them.

    Pfft, they knew nothing of being wronged, they knew nothing of sorrow.

    The one that freed him, he was planning on toppling her, taking her pack from her, what right did she have to laud over him? But, she had freed him, he would play the puppy until such time he could turn the tables, perhaps he could watch her in this meeting, he yearned to lope through the nearby woods, but that would come, plans, plans took time to cultivate, and so he needed to start with a seed.

    Lydia intrigued him, if not only because they shared a former god, he would need to keep any eye on her, abrupt changes in ones alignment showed an inherent weakness...

    Without another thought, he walked towards Claire "I'll be coming along as well" he simply growled, as he did so, his form shifted into that of a scarred Bull Mastiff, one that a noble would keep around the house, except maybe, without the scars, and he pads over to her side, ready to go, as if he were always a loyal dog in her house.
    "I have a high art; I hurt with cruelty those who would damage me." -Archilochus
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    Bel's Compendium
    Homebrew sig
    Epic items of interest
    Sir cowabunga of clubs
    ENTJ-A

    “Take but degree away, untune that string, And, hark, what discord follows!” -Shakespeare

    “Gnyðja mundu nú grísir, ef þeir vissi, hvat inn gamli þyldi”
    Threat, Timer, Treat
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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Claire blinks as the quick meeting she had intended to go to became a group outing in it's own right, and then frowns as a thought strikes her and says, "Hold on, we might have to belay the shopping trip. Jeanine, did they say anything about 'come alone' or anything like that?"

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Staring out of the window at the rain, Cantora's mind still strayed back to the strange sensations of the Astral Plane. It was the only time something like that had ever happened, and it would be a lie to say that she wasn't at least a little bit apprehensive. She only broke from her reverie when Lydia mentioned shopping, looking curiously over at her. "Hm? Shopping?"
    Avatar of Furude Setsuna, by Telasi.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mephit View Post
    Don't worry, I like my characters the way I like my coffee: Strong, but with no cheese in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Akagi
    Don't hesitate to tell the people you care about the feelings you have for them, because they may not be there tomorrow.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Jeannine frowns. "They did not say anything about going alone. They did ask to meet with the pack alpha, not with...outsiders. But they smelled desperate. I'm sure whatever you decide will be fine. They wait in the forest just outside the town borders. Shall I direct them here, or will we meet them in the field?"

    Lightning flashes across the sky. The storm is in full force now, wind rattling the window shutters ever so slightly.
    ATTENTION ANYONE WHO I'M PLAYING WITH:
    No news is good news.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    "Not my place to speak, but forest sounds a lot nicer for a bunch of people, no offense to those who aren't, hiding from the law." Lydia says in a lighthearted tone, passing a suggestion to Claire.

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Claire listens to the thunder, then sighs and says, "Mm. I'll meet them out there. Inviting them here means that if things go poorly I can't just play the 'oh, I discovered a nest of were-rats and am in the processing of killing them off' card."

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    "Ah, plausible deniability." Cantora nodded and stood up, stretching out with a yawn. She brushed out the wrinkles in her dress and beams at Claire. "Do you think you'll need me to push the meeting in our favor?"
    Avatar of Furude Setsuna, by Telasi.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mephit View Post
    Don't worry, I like my characters the way I like my coffee: Strong, but with no cheese in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Akagi
    Don't hesitate to tell the people you care about the feelings you have for them, because they may not be there tomorrow.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    "I like the way you're thinking, dear." A cruel smile shows on Lydia's face. "Lets go everyone, we'll make this a team-bonding excercise."

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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Claire nods and disappears for a moment into her personal quarters, reappearing a few minutes later in clothing more suited to adventuring than her simple lounging clothes, and says, "Right. This should be fun, one way or another. But please...If it goes well, don't interfere. I don't want to burn bridges that I don't have to, and allies are better than corpses."

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Jed listens, with not a little bit of impatience, he didn't show it of course, he had long ago perfected the art of patience, long, long ago....

    He merely watched from his form, he like dit that way, people forgot about the dog on the floor, and so he could listen and watch most things go by without notice.

    He smiled, letting his tongue hang out, and moved up towards claire, as if he was ready to go.
    "I have a high art; I hurt with cruelty those who would damage me." -Archilochus
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    Bel's Compendium
    Homebrew sig
    Epic items of interest
    Sir cowabunga of clubs
    ENTJ-A

    “Take but degree away, untune that string, And, hark, what discord follows!” -Shakespeare

    “Gnyðja mundu nú grísir, ef þeir vissi, hvat inn gamli þyldi”
    Threat, Timer, Treat
    Discord

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: The Sun Sets [IC]

    Ah. It was to be that sort of meeting. He was starting to get used to it. Lucien shoot this. Lucien blast that. Lucien make his bits freeze solid and drop off. He didn't think they all deserved it. Well, not entirely.

    Admit it, you enjoy it. The rush, the thrill... the kill.

    No. Distraction might be tempting, but counterproductive. Still, Jed was going. It wasn't like he could stay behind an go play with the faeries or something.

    'Yeah, let's go,' Lucien piped up, pulling his armor out of his bags with a rustle of fine silvery rings.
    I work very irregular hours and usually very long ones at that. If I do not respond to something in a timely manner pester me in an OOC thread. If something big is happening in the Middle East I will probably be busy for a few days because I am the idiot wearing kevlar and interviewing people on the fronts.

    Do you like MTG? Do you like Gitp? We have a Discord server for like minded players.

    Currently Running: Through the Faerie Ring

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