A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Spoiler: A Very Brief History of Khorvaire Lately
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    Old Khorvaire

    One hundred and four years ago (894 YK), King Jarot of Galifar, ruler over the five human nations, died. On his deathbed, he appointed one of his five children as his successor, but the other four children didn’t take too kindly to that. War broke out between the five children and the nations each one ruled. After one hundred and two years of war, a devastating magical catastrophe transformed the nation of Cyre into a twisted magical hellscape now called the Mournland. The Treaty of Thronehold was signed soon after, ending the Last War and establishing some semblance of peace. The treaty defined the borders of the four remaining human nations as well as a number of new nations devoted to other races and causes. The treaty has held for two years up to present day (998 YK) and travel between the civilized nations is relatively easy.

    New Khorvaire


    During the war, the twelve Dragonmarked houses remained neutral in the conflict. Several of the houses greatly profited from the war by helping all sides with things like healing, transportation, living construct armies, and even flying warships. A major shift in the balance of power between House Orien and House Lyrandar happened during the war. In wartime, House Orien made a fortune transporting troops and supplies with their lightning railroads and elemental-bound wagons. When Cyre was destroyed, House Orien took a significant hit from lost railway, roads, and personnel. At the same time, House Lyrandar, who had been bound to the dangerous seas, took to the skies with their new airship technology. Now, as House Orien struggles to rebuild and maintain their monopoly on terrestrial travel, more and more Lyrandar airships fill the skies...


    Our adventure begins on the crisp mid-spring morning of Far, the 27th of Eyre (Friday, April 27th). You stand on the deck of a brand new, top-of-the-line House Lyrandar airship. As the Lone Gander climbs away from the docking tower, the city of Fairhaven spreads out below you. The capital of Aundair was the penultimate stop on the Gander’s maiden voyage and now she turns northwest, headed for the relatively unknown settlement of Merylsward in the Eldeen Reaches.

    Before the war, the Eldeen Reaches were part of Aundair’s untamed western holdings. When the war taxed Aundair’s military resources, most of its troops withdrew from the western reaches, leaving the area open to bandits and raiding groups from other nations. When it seemed that the region would descend into utter chaos, an army of druids and rangers emerged from the Towering Wood, rallied the Aundairian farmers, and crushed the bandit armies. These farmers abandoned their allegiances to the nation that abandoned them and knelt to the Great Druid and the Wardens of the Woods instead. Despite Aundair’s repeated attempts to retake the area during the war, the Eldeen Reaches maintained their independence until they were formally recognized in the Treaty of Thronehold as an independent nation.

    Other than the many druid sects that live in the Towering Woods, the hearty farmers that till the fertile fields, and the sizable population of shifters that call the region home, House Vadalis is the major power broker of the Eldeen Reaches. Specializing in animal husbandry thanks to the Mark of Handling, this human dragonmarked house breeds and trains animals of all shapes and sizes. From magebred draft horses of astounding strength and endurance to exotic pets from the depths of the Towering Wood, House Vadalis peddles them all. Most of the house’s holdings are situated around Lake Galifar in the southern portion of the Eldeen Reaches, but Merylsward is its northern base of operations. Why have each of you boarded an airship bound for this modest frontier town?

    Spoiler: Brasha d’Tharashk
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    Determined to get far away from the Shadow Marches and see as much of the world as you can, you decide to trek the eastern shores of Lake Galifar. From poleing through marshes in a small canoe to flying through the sky in massive airship, you’ve certainly come a long way from home. You are confident your house will have some kind of presence in such a remote town, but whether that will be one distant cousin or a whole enclave remains to be seen.


    Spoiler: Kaelin d’Lyrandar
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    While most of the passengers have boarded fairly recently, you’ve been aboard the Lonely Gander since it first left birth. You were assigned as additional security about the airship’s maiden voyage. Though you’re part of the quartet of additional guards brought along for the trip, you weren’t told why it was needed. Once the Gander reaches Merylsward, you are to report to Tishwyn, head of the d’Lyrandar outpost, for instructions.


    Spoiler: Odine d’Ghallanda
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    Having recently completed your arcane studies beneath the floating towers at Arcanix, you have cast about in Aundair looking for fresh leads on your studies of the Draconic Prophecy. After several dead-end pursuits, you’ve caught wind of mysterious draconic symbols that have recently appeared on a cliff face near Merylsward. As if the Prophecy was trying to lead you right to it, you found an airship bound for the frontier town almost as soon as you started looking.


    Spoiler: Thenedine d’Deneith
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    At your father’s behest, you are on your way to Merlysward to deliver the byeshk warhammer he’s entrusted to you. The mysterious crate that appeared on the front door of the family shop contained just enough ore to craft the hammer’s head and enough gold to pay for it to be shipped back. However, your father insisted that you deliver the hammer personally. The note inside instructed that the hammer be shipped to a post office number at the House Sivis messanger station. You hopped the lightning rail right from Sharn for the 2,254 mile trip to Fairhaven. After four days on a train, the airship is a welcome change of scene.


    As the ship passes above the clouds and the deck levels out, the two dozen passengers standing at the guard rail begin to disperse. While the ship wouldn’t normally be carrying so many, over half the passengers on board are gnomes. They begin to file back below deck, eager to get back to their studies. What do the rest of you do?

    P.S. Don’t forget to describe what your character looks like!
    Last edited by King Tius; 2018-01-23 at 11:27 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Odine, a Lightfoot Halfing Wizard, sets up a makeshift workspace in the Gander's small library. Though she is a scholar, used to long nights spent in stiff chairs reading, Odine's Halfling ways and her hospitality background from her family's house leads her to fret over the state of the library, which is too showy and grandiose by half. The cushions seem made for decoration, not comfort, but Odine manages to gather a few squishier ones to prop up her short, thick frame at the desk she's chosen.

    With a deep and purposeful breath, Odine clears her mind and sets to reviewing the texts she brought with her for the voyage to Merylsward. There are drawings of draconic symbols, histories of Merylsward's past, stories about House Vadalis, and several worn, battered notebooks full of Odine's own tight, messy scrawl, documenting her own obsession with the Draconic Prophecy. Her hands tangle in the thick dark hair that reaches to her stout waist, and her thoughts drift to the new symbols. What adventure, what discovery, what knowledge awaits her in Merylsward? Before long, though, a rumbling stomach leads Odine to find the dining hall, and a new thought occurs: what knowledge is on board the Gander with her, already? Other scholars? Perhaps even those with Marks of their own to share?

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Thenedine cautiously settles onto a bench in a corner of the mess hall, snatching up a nearby napkin to blot a fresh stain on his mundane-looking tunic. He appears a bit disheveled, with a short patchy beard, greasy-looking dark hair that falls just above his eyebrows, and a noticeable sheen of sweat on his face. He unbuckles the tarnished clasp on an overstuffed tool belt dangling from his waist and places it upon the table for brief inspection. Satisfied, he turns back to the cold meal in front of him, pausing periodically for deep breaths as he brings an enormous bite of brown bread to his mouth. As the airship smoothly enters a starboard turn, Thenedine sighs heavily, dropping the hunk of bread onto his plate and rushes, one hand to his pale face, to a nearby exit.

    After a few minutes, the young blacksmith returns to his plate of food. “Travel by air they said, it’ll be faster” he mumbles to himself with a groan, snatching up his napkin once more.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Brasha grasps the railing of the Gander as the wind picks up, causing one of her thick, black braids to whip the gnome standing to her right. He quickly shuffles away and walks back into the airship while rubbing his cheek, careful to stay out of range of the half-orc's wild hair. Brasha smiles as her green eyes scan the cloudy field that spans below her. She had never thought about how large the sky was when she was living in The Shadow Marches. The memory of her homeland makes her face fall and she lets out a large sigh as she begins fidgeting with a large, brass signet ring on her right hand that is engraved with her house symbol - a roaring dragonne.

    As the sky begins to grow dark Brasha realizes, for the first time, how cold it is on the balcony of the Gander. She pulls her grey, fur cloak more tightly around her broad shoulders and wanders inside. Although Brasha towers over the gnomes (and most of the other passengers) on the ship her large leather boots make no noise as she walks. She quickly and silently walks towards the mess hall and a couple of very intimate looking gnomes jump as she passes. "I hope there's ale on this ship," she mumbles to herself as she saunters past.
    Last edited by Ashe Mistbow; 2018-01-14 at 04:55 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    It's good Odine brought her research with her because the Lonely Gander's library was not particularly well-stocked with books for its maiden voyage. The decor is sufficiently opulent for luxury travel, but the texts leave something to be desired. Other than a four-volume collection on the history of Khorvaire and a tattered old tome on maritime navigation, the shelves are bare. Odine has a hunch that the gnomes on board are of a scholarly bent, judging by their clothing and the snippets of conversation she overheard on deck. When she enters the Gander's galley, she sees that some of the gnomes have piled in for their first meal and have dealt with the human-sized furniture. They've taken benches from the long galley tables and stacked them on top of each other so they are a comfortable height for small-sized folk to sit at. The gnomes have crammed around one table on two sets of benches and are having a heated discussion in Gnomish as they dig into their meals. The oldest gnome catches sight of Odine and practically leaps off of his perch, bowing low and offering her the seat.

    "Please, take my seat, Miss. We've already engineered optimal seating conditions!"

    Before Odine has a chance to react, another gnome vaults off the communal bench and offers his seat as well.

    "Chief! You're too old to give up your seat. She can have mine!"


    This second gnome triggers a chain reaction, causing all the remaining gnomes to hop down and offer their seats to Odine, a more senior gnome, or both. The heated conversation from up at the table seems to resume on the floor as tempers slowly rise and the gnomes switch back to Gnomish, yelling at each other in a competition for politeness.

    Thenedine returns to the galley as the gnomes resume their argument, crumpling into a seat and trying to keep his food down. As he's struggling to keep his composure, a woman sits down across from him and pulls a small wooden box out of her overcoat. She opens the lid and offers it towards Thenedine. Inside, there are some dried and sliced bits of tree root. The woman wears a tricorn hat atop a blond ponytail that braids halfway down her back. The duster she wears is in the hottest style of Sharn's upper class with an exaggerated collar and an apparent lack of buttons. While all this might fly right over Thenedine's head, one thing about the coat doesn't escape his notice; the left sleeve of the coat comes down to her wrist while the right ends at the elbow. She wears a normal leather glove on her left hand and a matching elbow-length glove on her right to compliment the odd jacket. Thenedine recognizes her from when he first boarded the ship. She is Rys d'Lyrandar, the Lonely Gander's captain.

    "First time off the rock? Chew on one of these to settle your nerves. It's soarwood root. Same featherweight timber the Gander's made of."

    Brasha enters the galley silent and unnoticed among the gnomish kerfuffle. Heading to the counter, she finds one of the crew dolling out lunch. She doesn't see any ale out on the tables, but a slight frown and a shake of her head when he offers her a cup of water earns her a mug of dark brown beer instead. As he's sliding her the drink, the cook's eyes focus on someone entering the gallery and they grow wide in surprise. With a slight turn of her head, Brasha catches a glimpse of the hobgoblin and goblin duo that just walked in. Even the Gnomish dispute dies down a bit when the goblinoids arrive. The two are dressed like mercenaries and approach the galley window paying no notice to anyone around them. The hobgoblin catches sight of the beer and cracks a wicked smile.

    "Two more of those and something meaty to go with it."

    He leans on the bar, gives Brasha a quick once over, and grunts with a nod of approval. Picking up his mug of beer, he offers her a toast.

    "za slavu carstva!"

    Spoiler: Translation if you speak/understand Goblin
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    <"For the glory of the empire!">


    Spoiler: TL:DR about goblinoids
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    Goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears hail from the goblinoid nation of Darguun. They are a harsh and militaristic people but have cities and culture of their own. They are generally frowned upon by polite society for their slave trade and more monstrous nature, but are otherwise just another group of people cautiously enjoying the post-war peace. Long ago their empire stretched from shore to shore across Khorvaire but now they largely just keep to themselves. House Deneith frequently employs them as mercenaries.
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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
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Thenedine straightens up and begins collecting a few loose tools and trinkets into a neat pile as the captain addresses him. “Soarwood?” Thenedine marvels as he plucks a few bits of root from the box, “I’ve hearda this stuff from me pa. Pricey, innit?” With a grimace, his eyes water as he chews a leathery bite. It takes a few seconds for the fibers to begin breaking down, but a pleasant earthy aroma releases from the root, and a soothing sensation washes over him. Nostalgic images of a distant and ancient forest briefly flash through his mind before hunger returns to him with newfound strength. Thenedine grabs the remaining root from his mouth, drops it back into the wooden box, and dives back into his meal. “Fanks, cap’n!”

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Odine watches, first amused, then frustrated, as the gnomes fight with each other. She pauses, seeing if she can remember any gnomeish phrases, but decides to stick to common and sits quickly in a vacated seat. Please, new friends, thank you for your hospitality. Let's all be seated together. What brings you on this voyage? She turns and addresses the oldest gnome who stood first. Is it your studies? I hope you don't think me forward, but I'm a scholar myself!

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    As the youngest of the guards aboard the airship, Kaelin's duties erred on the side of most undesirable. She was relegated to night patrols to ensure no passenger left their rooms in the small hours of the morning without explanation or, barring that, a trustworthy look on their face. They'd have no unsavory thieves lifting anyone's purse. The sun broke the horizon just at the end of her shift and she collapsed into one of the empty bottom bunks in the barracks.

    She jerked awake at the sound of a fist pounding into the wood near her head. "What the-," she started before a harsh gravelly voice interrupted. "We need your ass in the mess hall," the foreboding figure of the guard Captain took a step back from her bunk. "Missing one after last night. Prick couldn't hold his drink. You've got ten minutes." The demand brooked no argument as his bootfalls receded out of the room and down the hall.

    Groaning into her hands, she pushed her dark hair out of her face and squeezed her brown eyes shut. "Fuuuh," she muttered before rolling out of bed and pulling on her tunic and trousers. Strapping her double scimitar to her back, Kaelin trudged into the crowded mess. She felt the eyes dart toward her and pulled herself up into a more respectable stance with a carefully neutral expression despite the cacophony hammering at her sensitive ears.

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    DruidGirl

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    Brasha eyes the mercenaries and quickly tips her glass towards them before shifting her gaze out towards the crowd of passengers, who all seem to have returned to their conversations. She has no idea what they were toasting to, but she does know that she doesn't want to be associated with these goblinoids. She notices a tired looking guard with messy hair in the corner of the room looking intently in their direction. Wanting to avoid involvement with these creatures, she grabs her mug and swiftly walks up to one of the few tables in the hall that has not been altered by the gnomes.

    "Hello, sir, is this seat taken?" she pleasantly asks a human quickly gobbling a bowl of stew - one of the more normal, albeit greasy looking, passengers aboard the ship.

    "Oh, pardon me, Captain. How are you this evening?", she says with a slight bow, "I'm sorry, I have been so disoriented since we've been in the air I didn't realize you were sitting here as well. Do you mind if I join you two?"

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Captain Rys gives Thenedine a coy smile as he starts chewing on the soarwood. "I'd say it's worth its weight in gold, but since it floats, that's not much is it?" She tries to keep a straight face, but can't fully suppress her grin. "It's a fickle tree found only in the jungles of Aerenal...or at least that's the line we're going with." Rys's grin widens further but then a thought seems to dawn on her. Her friendly demeanor dissolves into suspicion. "You're...here as part of the construction crew...right?"

    Before Thenedine gets a chance to swallow his food and respond, Brasha takes a seat next to him. The Captain brightens up at the half-orc's arrival and responds to her, seeming to forget her question to Thenedine. "Have a seat. Those gnomes are supposed to take up half the space, but they're using twice the benches! You can sit wherever you like on my ship, as long as it isn't at the helm, in my quarters, in the binding stone chamber, in the cargo hold, on the binding struts..." She trails off and winks at Brasha. "Better just stick to the common areas and your bunk." Pleased with her own bit, she slides the soarwood root box to Brasha. "You two need to get your feathers about you. We can't call them sea legs since we're up in the air. Speaking of which..."

    Captain Rys turns her gaze on Kaelin and gives her a "come here" move with her head. "Greenhorn, find the Quartermaster and make sure the five passengers who boarded in Fairhaven are issued feather tokens." The Captain spots the small clay token hanging on a simple leather cord around Kaelin's neck and frowns. "And while you're down there, see that he issues you a proper house pendant. This isn't some second-rate Orien farmer's wagon. The Ganderis the newest jewel in the fleet and her crew will present themselves accordingly. Dismissed." Her stern demeanor evaporates as she turns a pleasant smile back towards her two passengers.



    The gnomes settle down and welcome Odine to their table. One of them ends up summoning a floating disk of force energy that lifts him up to the table. The old gnome sits right next to our halfling wizard and opens his mouth to speak. His words catch in his throat as he realizes that Odine has no food in front of her. He gestures at the blank space emphatically with his head and eyebrows to the floating gnome, who catches on quickly and hovers over to the galley, returning a moment later with a plate of food for the young lady. Satisfied, the senior gnome launches into his answer, leaning in to Odine and replying in a voice only slightly louder than a conspiratorial whisper.

    "We are indeed here for our research, my inquisitive child! House Lyrandar has hired us for a construction project, but we can't say what! I'll give you a hint, but you must promise to keep it a secret." He leans in closer for a real whisper this time. "We're all elemental binders!" Returning his voice to normal volume, he points at Odine with his oversized (human-sized) fork. "Now what are YOU here to study?"



    As the meal continues, a hulking pile of wood and metal lumbers into the galley. It's a warforged, a living construct that resembles a fully-armored knight. Built as soldiers during the war, they are now left with new freedom and no orders. This one appears to have been built particularly burly and was clearly used as a frontline fighter in its military days. Its metal plates are covered in dents and some of the wood in its leg appears to be charred. It pauses in the doorway, seeming unsure what to do as it pivots its head back and forth, its glowing green eyes surveying the room. The two goblinoid mercenaries glower at the automaton and the goblin begins muttering under his breath and reaching for his belt dagger. The hobgoblin stands up, grabs the goblin by the neck and half drags, half carries his smaller companion out the galley's far door.
    Last edited by King Tius; 2018-01-23 at 11:42 PM.
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    "Hello, there. You seem to be in the middle of something overtly magical. Is this a bad time to talk?"
    Drawing OOTS Avatars Guide


  11. - Top - End - #11
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Grateful for the meal, Odine humbly bows her head in thanks to the floating gnome who has fetched her meal, before turning back to the elder gnome. "Elemental--!" She stops, lowering her voice. "Your work sounds most fascinating. Perhaps in time you'll be able to share more."

    Odine takes a large bite of bread before continuing. "My own research involves Dragonmarks. I've been studying the history around the Draconic Prophecy for some time, and the news of the Draconic Symbols near Meryslward was too exciting to pass up." She pauses, wipes her hands and face, and extends a palm to her new friend. "Odine d'Ghallanda, by the way. I hope we'll be able to speak more about our studies! The library here is... well, I'm glad I brought my own books, and I'm happy to share anything you might find interesting."

    As she continues to eat, Odine listens to the what the gnome has to say, but starts to look around the galley, spotting the Captain at another table with some others, before narrowing her eyes at the warforged. She watches it move, transfixed by the articulation of its limbs and the interaction of the different materials that form it. After she's done her meal, Odine plans to approach the Captain to ask about the warforged.
    Last edited by Queen Tius; 2018-01-24 at 05:31 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    BardGuy

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    Half-listening to the conversations around him as he finishes up his meal, Thenedine’s attention is drawn immediately to the new guest in the galley. His eyes widen to take in the mechanical splendor of the weathered construct. Back at the family forge, a warforged patron was a rarity and would show up after-hours when Thenedine’s father, the famous Alfonse Dell, was the only hand permitted in the smithy.

    “Oy, scooch, yeah?” the young blacksmith whispers, elbowing Brasha and nodding to the vacant space next to her. Maintaining a watchful eye on the warforged passenger, Thenedine fishes a pen from his pack and begins sketching furiously in the vacant spaces of a long, well-used scroll.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    DruidGirl

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    Brasha politely moves to the vacant seat next to her, and continues to quietly sip her beer, as she takes in her surroundings. She is surprised to see a warforged on the ship, as she had only ever seen one other in her life at her clan home when a representative from House Cannith came to visit her father - although this one looks to be significantly more beat up.

    She glances at her dining companion and is surprised that he can read. "My name is Brasha, by the way. Are you a priest?" she asks, assuming he isn't a scholar by the looks of him.

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Kaelin keeps a watchful eye on the goblinoids, knowing full well how quickly an innocuous interaction between strangers could turn sour in close quarters. The half-orc taking her beer and breaking from the pair catches her attention before she settles down next to the Captain while she chats amiably with the pair of them. Still fuzzy with sleep, it takes a moment before Kaelin recognizes Captain Rys' nod as come here. She crosses the room with a confident stride but swallows hard as she's acknowledged.

    "Yes, of course. I'll have those feather pendants straight away," she replies quickly. Once the attention turns to her pendant and the implication it isn't quite up to snuff, Kaelin clenches her jaw but doesn't dare rebut. A flush rises to her cheeks at the suggestion she looks anything besides an appropriately outfitted guard. She dares a glance past her Captain to eye up the untidy man at her side. "Understood, Captain," she salutes before turning sharply on her heel and heading toward the exit.

    Tracing her thumb over the ridges of her pendant, her distracted mind only registers the Warforged as she walks past. Her step hesitates and she stares for a moment, catching the glowing green eyes as they scan the room. The Captain's instructions ring in her ears again. Kaelin forces her feet to move again and heads off in the direction of the Quartermaster's rooms.
    Last edited by gaspofwind; 2018-01-28 at 03:12 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    The old gnome takes Odine's hand and gives it an enthusiastic shake. Even being well on in his years, he still displays some of the token gnome exictableness that Odine has heard about. "Chief Architect Bizgim Shimmerview, Master of the Fifth Order, at your humble service. But please, I can barely stop my team from using all my titles, so just Bizgrim will do, Odine. Dragonmarks you say? I actually might have a book that would be of interest to you! Perhaps you can come down and conduct your studies with us if you find the library lonely. We would always welcome the company!"

    This offer draws troubled looks from the floating gnome and the other two that were sort of paying attention to the general conversation. The younger gnome sitting next to Bizgim leans in and begins whispering furiously in gnomish, causing Bizgim's face to cloud with anger after only a few words. He cuts the younger man off with an annoyed wave of his hand. "I know the risks! This halfling is unlikely to be a member of the Trust, and we're doing nothing wrong! We must not forget our manners in our mission, least of all to a Ghallanda!"



    Thenedine and Brasha make room for the warforged to sit but the living construct seems to have no interest in eating or conversing. It gives the room one final sweep before turning and leaving, clanking down the hallway and out of sight before Odine can pull herself away from the gnomes. Captain Rys gives a shrug as the warforged departs and stands up herself.

    "Even for a 'forged that one's big and quiet. If I could I'd have a whole crew of 'em. No need to feed them and they don't need to sleep! Think of how much space that'd free up between bunks and rations. Esravash would never go for it, though. Too high a chance of mutiny."

    The Captain gives you two a nod as she saunters out of the room towards the deck. Since you are both from dragonmarked houses, you know that Baron Esravash d'Lyrandar is the current and surprisingly young matriarch of the house.



    Airships run with considerably less crew than traditional ships on account of the bound fire elemental providing all the propulsion. Although there is less rigging, there is still enough routine maintenance on a vessel of this size to merit constant work. Kaelin finds the quartermaster inspecting one of the binding struts on deck. He makes Kaelin stand and wait while he finishes his task before leading her back below deck. The quartermaster hands Kaelin four additional feather pendants to hand out to the passengers in addition to the one she is currently wearing. These passenger pendants he has hanging by the dozens on a peg in his stock closet. He then pulls an ornate box from a small cabinet that has stylized tentacles carved around it.

    From this Lyrandar-themed box he draws a pendant hanging on a golden chain. Much like the box itself, the pendant is an intricate tangle of kraken tentacles, though these are wrapped around a small pink gemstone, known as an eberron dragonshard. He hands it to Kaelin and shrugs. "Not sure if you're 'marked or not, Coz, but that's the best I got with me. It'll let you featherfall three times a day, and unlike the passenger ones, you can cast it on other people. Now remember, always do yourself before you try and save other crew or passengers!"

    Kaelin saw three of the new passengers in the mess hall (Brasha, Odine, and Thenedine). She knows that the other two passengers who boarded in Fairhaven were both humans, though they have separate quarters and didn't appear to be travelling together. She also can add a Lesser House Featherfall Pendant to her inventory.

    OOC: Next time I post I am going to move things along a bit and get to the action!
    Last edited by King Tius; 2018-01-28 at 11:43 PM.
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    Thenedine lets out a frustrated sigh as his eyes follow the exiting warforged. He draws his head back to eye the latest section of his scroll containing a close-up sketch of a mechanical elbow joint. “Best save that fer later,” he mutters under his breath as he wraps his scroll and drawing utensils for storing. He nods and gives the captain a casual salute before addressing Brasha. “Priest?” Thenedine chuckles, making a fist and driving his thumb to his chest, “naw, I’m a blacksmith! Though right now I’m naught more’n a delivery boy.” he adds, deflating, “Nice t’meet yeh, name’s Thenedine, but you can call me ‘Dine.”

    With his toolbelt in place, Thenedine muscles the final clasp on his pack closed before removing it from the table and setting it next to him on the bench. He gives the room a quick scan and connects from Brasha’s mannerisms and attire that she may be someone of importance. “So, are you a, uh, princess er sump’m?”

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    Odine sees the other gnomes look askance at each other and raises her hands in a gesture of conciliation. "I'm glad to know my House precedes me, Chief Bizgrim. And thank you for your generous offer! Studying is, in my opinion, so much more enjoyable when done with others, and I owe most of what I know to shared knowledge from other scholars." She opens her mouth again to ask about this Trust, then thinks better of it at the dark expression on the whispering gnomes' face. "It was a pleasure sharing a meal with you all. Now, if you'll excuse me..."

    Odine gets up quickly, but doesn't make it to the Captain's table before she leaves. Instead, she drops into an unoccupied table near the disheveled man and the tall half-orc, pulls out a notebook, and writes down what she remembers of the warforged's plates.

    ooc: does the mention of the Trust ring any bells for Odine?

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    Spoiler: Results of Odine's History Roll (19)
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    The Trust is a national, non-military organization charged with the safety and security of Zilargo and its people. When Zilargo was recognized as a nation-state, the various gnomish cities allied with one another on paper but this did not entirely quell the long-standing feuds between various factions. To prevent these feuds from creating problems for the new nation, the Trust was created. Each Triumvir of the major cities was given the power to select agents from their own city to create a corps of secret police. These secret police place the interests of the nation above all else. The Trust soon gained control of all law enforcement and national security. The Trust is the one that punishes the guilty, and its justice is swift and merciless. There is no court of law. Any Zil citizen could be an agent of the Trust and, thanks to that, Zilargo has the lowest crime rate in Khorvaire. The Trust acts only if something threatens society and they often use blackmail and intrigue to destroy their threats covertly.
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    The rest of your evening passes by at a leisurely pace. While the temperature drops as the sun goes down, it's not too cold to spend an hour or two enjoying the starlit voyage. The giant fire elemental ring provides plenty of illumination on deck if you'd like to feel the wind in your hair, but the Lonely Gander also features a forward observation deck with a glass floor to watch the countryside sweep by. Most airships were built during the war and thus were military in nature. When the war ended, demand for war vessels subsided enough that production began on other lines of airships.

    Spoiler: A Typical Airship
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    The Lonely Gander was built specifically as a passenger and cargo vessel. With a sizable hold that can be subdivided into additional passenger space if needed, the Gander is a part of Lyrandar's push to extend their naval dominance to the open skies. Though it isn't built to run as swiftly as its military counterparts, the Gander will still reach Merylsward tomorrow around midday. After finishing your evenings however you see fit, you eventually return to your private quarters for what the captain promise to be a smooth voyage that "will have you sleeping in the clouds."

    Even Kaelin, despite being the rookie on board, finds herself off shift for the night. Earlier that evening, she delivered a feather token necklace to each of you, as well as to the two other new passengers. They were both human, one man and one woman, who had separate quarters and did not seem to be travelling together.



    You awake in the middle of the night to the crack of thunder. The ship shudders with the sound and promptly pitches upward and rolls starboard, putting the deck at a suddenly unpleasant and steep angle. Lightning begins flashing all around the Gander, causing her to shake violently as her windows go white from the bolts of electricity raging about. An alarm bell begins to toll as people begin shouting and springing into action all around the ship.

    Those of you in the passengers' quarters here someone shout down your hallway: "Please stay in your rooms! We'll be up and out of this storm in a minute! REMAIN CALM."

    Spoiler: What Kaelin Knows
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    Though you've only been on this airship for a few weeks, you know something is immediately wrong. First of all, thunder storms are very easy to avoid since you can see them coming from miles and miles away. They are relatively easy to fly around, or if the front is too big, to just fly over. Being caught in the middle of one, especially one this active, doesn't make any sense to you. Second, the alarm bell you hear is ringing the cadence for active battle stations and not inclement weather. Why the Captain isn't ringing the batten hatches bell is confusing to you, but you know that if you don't get up on deck in a hurry, there will be hell to pay. Though you've never had to grab one, you know there are crossbows on a rack in the crew quarters for such an occasion.
    Last edited by King Tius; 2018-02-20 at 08:33 PM.
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    Odine shoots out of bed, white-hot panic roiling in her stomach. She racks her still-sleepy brain for any possible helpful thoughts about weather, but nothing comes to mind. Her antsiness, though, won't let her return to sleep, and she cracks the door to her berth and slips into the hallway to see what's happening, if only to distract herself from her worries.

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    Thenedine wakes to a dark room, rubbing the sleep from his face and sitting up on his cot. He immediately notices a pair of glowing purple eyes at the foot of his bed begin to grow. As his vision adjusts, he can distinguish the form of a war-torn warforged knight. Beneath its eyes, the chest cavity of the knight spreads a wide mouth laden with jagged metallic teeth that begin engulfing the bed. Thenedine lets out a muffled scream as his limbs sluggishly move him away from the creature and up against the wall of his room. The room itself slowly turns to mist as Thenedine gets up and tries to run from the knight, stumbling on a pile of brightly-colored fabrics. Hundreds of spires close in on his vision and a distant light flashes before the world fades to black.

    A loud thunderclap shocks Thenedine awake and a flash of light briefly illuminates his small guest room aboard the Gander. A bead of sweat crawls down his back as he controls his breathing and begins to chew a bit of soarwood root stashed in his bedside table drawer. Alarmed by the siren, he throws on his clothes and takes inventory on his belongings. He lets out a brief sigh of relief and cracks open his door to assess the situation.

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    Brasha lays with her eyes open, listening to the approaching thunderstorm. She thinks of the storms that roll in across the Shadow Marshes in the summertime. She would often stand in front of the open window of her room as the breeze sprayed droplets of water on her face. The storms always brought relief in the sticky, buggy summers of the swamp. She tries to cling to those memories, but when the airship begins to shake, her stomach drops. She hears the sound of footsteps rush past her door. "Maybe I shouldn't have left the swamp, after all," she says out loud as she sits up and reaches for her cloak.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Despite the crewman's warning, almost every door in the passenger hallway is ajar with a face peering out. The goblin is shouting obscenities in his native tongue back over his shoulder into his room. During a quiet lull between the near-constant sound of thunder, you can hear the heaves and retches of the hobgoblin, causing the goblin to scream all the louder. Both of the human passengers you haven't had a chance to meet yet are also half out of their rooms. One appears to be a middle-aged man dressed in a fancy evening robe. He is harrumphing and grumbling about not paying for such an unpleasant experience, but nobody is paying him any mind. The other passenger is a human woman in her twenties. Unlike the nobleman, she is fully dressed in pragmatic travel clothes. Her blonde hair is somewhat disheveled and she seems a little dazed as she clutches the door frame with both hands. The one passenger door that hasn't been opened smashes off its hinges as the hulking warforged stomps out its room, headed for the deck. The young woman's eyes refocus and she takes off after the warforged, pulling a backpack off a peg by her door as she goes.

    The gnomes are set up in a different hallway a deck below you. When the ship violently rolls back hard to port, you hear most of the gnomes shout and go tumbling back down the stairs that lead up into this hallway. The hobgoblin shoves the goblin into the hallway, wiping his mouth and grabbing the wall as he does so. He manages to catch himself from vomiting and yells at the goblin in Common. "If this thing goes down, I'm not squeezin' through that damn porthole. Get out on deck!" He stumbles against the pitching of the deck and starts making his way outside.

    A particularly vigorous shudder rocks the ship accompanied by a clap of thunder so loud your ears ring afterwards. The sound of splintering wood and shouting crewman accompany another sharp change in velocity. Above all the commotion, you hear the captain shout from out on the deck. "We've been hit! Fire on the aft observation deck. Where's that damn wand?"
    Last edited by King Tius; 2018-02-12 at 10:23 PM.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Odine watches the blonde woman dash down the hallway, and, frightened by the Captain's call about getting hit, looks around to see who else is in the hallway. She recognizes some of the faces she sees in the hallway, particularly the half-orc woman and scruffy young man she's seen sitting together in the galley. Another loud crash from overhead makes Odine jump, and she slumps against the doorway as the airship pitches again. She hears the low rumble of an angered warforged, and grimly casts mage armor on herself.

    Odine makes eye contact with her hallmates, and yells to them both over the scrum. "Hey! Are you both okay?" She sweeps her gaze over each of them, satisfied that she can see no visible injuries. "We should stick together! Safety in numbers!"

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    Still dazed from sleep, Thenedine gives a blank nod to Odine and backs into his room. We’ve been hit? He throws on his traveling clothes, and rifles through his pack for his chain mail shirt. With a deep breath, he closes his eyes and mutters a quick prayer to Onatar. Thenedine casts Blessing of the Forge (+1 AC). Intense heat wells up within him and the metal links begin to glow warmly. Once tempered, he slips the chain mail over his padded cloth shirt, slings his shield onto his back, and grabs his warhammer.

    “Better safe’n sorry, eh?” he says to Odine with a shrug before heading up to the main deck.

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    Brasha nods in agreement at Odine and quickly grabs her pack and her longbow. "Let's see if the crew needs our assistance," she yells over the storm, as she rushes after Thenedine, longbow in hand.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    With buffing spells cast and gear gathered, our heroes stagger out onto the deck of the Lonely Gander. As you exit the relative safety of the cabin area, a blast of wind buffets you sideways. Fortunately, airships come with excellent guard rails. The scene on deck is one of barely-contained chaos! A scattering of crew rush around attending to fires and other emergencies as the ship pitches and rolls. Lightning and thunder keep the scene awash in light and sound, though no rain batters the decks. You see the two goblinkin hanging on for dear life on the portside handrail. The warforged stands dead center on the main deck in a defensive posture, two swords at the ready. When a flash of lightning illuminates it, you can see that its hands have split right down the palms, two fingers to a side, and have hinged out sideways to either side of its wrists, forming cross guards for the blades that slid directly out of its forearms. Its head swivels around as it looks to the tumultuous skies, searching for something.

    Behind you on the poop deck the captain stands at the wheel, continuing to shout out orders. The gnomes come pouring out of the door behind you with yelps of surprise at the raging tempest. They have tied themselves together with lengths of rope to form a twenty-gnome chain of confused and frightened little folk. Another bolt of lightning strikes the ship, this time towards the foredeck. Captain Rys sends the Gander turning and diving, causing everyone on board to scramble to keep their feet.

    Time to grab on to something or be thrown prone and go sliding across the deck!

    Spoiler: DC 15 Reflex Saving Throws
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    Brasha: (1d20+5)[19]
    Kaelin: (1d20)[12] + ? (still need Kaelin’s sheet!)
    Odine: (1d20+1)[11]
    Thenedine: (1d20)[20]

    Spoiler: DC 10 Perception Check
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    Spoiler: Perception Check Results
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    Brasha: (1d20+4)[14]
    Kaelin: (1d20)[16] + ? (still need Kaelin’s sheet!)
    Odine: (1d20+1)[21]
    Thenedine: (1d20+3)[14]

    Spoiler: Read if you passed…
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    Despite the clashing of thunder, the howl of the wind, and the screaming of the Captain and her crew, another noise reaches your ears. It’s faint at first but even as you focus on it, you can hear it slowly rising in intensity. Born upon the air and seeming to come from all around, you hear the chanting of many voices in a strange tongue that you do not immediately recognize.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    The Gander's sudden dip sends Odine scrabbling for a handhold as she sprawls along the deck.. She calls frantically to the gnomes, who have pressed themselves to the taffrails at the deck's edges. "Bizgrim! Please! Help me!" The gnome's leader sets his jaw and nods. He spools out a yard of rope to throw, but the ship's rocking continues, and he looks beseechingly at Odine. A sudden idea, bright as lightning, flashes across Odine's face. She closes her eyes, brings a hand to her chest, and mutters a few words under her breath, before thrusting that hand forward, casting Mage Hand. A ghostly mirror of her hand appears in front of her, and Odine directs it towards Bizgrim to retrieve the rope and bring it back to her.

    Once the rope is firmly tied around her waist, Odine dismisses the hand and crawls towards the gnomes. She looks around to see if her companions have found safe purchase, gripping the extra end of the rope to throw, if need be. As she catches her breath, she catches once more the faint, strange chanting beneath the storm's wail. Taking a deep breath, she focuses all her spare mental energy on the words she hears.

    ooc: can Odine get an INT check to see if she recognizes the language being spoken?
    Last edited by Queen Tius; 2018-02-20 at 08:59 PM.

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    Trying to maintain balance, Thenedine drops to a low stance and plants the head of his warhammer hard onto the wooden deck of the Gander, gripping it with both hands. With a violent shifting the ship, he skids to a halt and notices Odine’s nearby exchange with the gnomes. Dine looks around frantically and shouts to the group, “Storm but no rain? Hell’s goin’ on out here!?” Between the loud crashing of the storm above and the shouting of the crew, Thenedine becomes aware of an unnatural hum surrounding him. Somethin' told me this trip was a bad idea.

    Thenedine readies his shield and takes a deep breath, feeling a calm wash over him as he casts Guidance with a prayer to Onatar. He tries to shut out the world around him to glean any information he can from the malevolent chanting.

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    Brasha stands firmly with her back against the side of the ship. She still holds her bow in her right hand, and her left fist is clenched around a handrail. "One hand for you, one for the ship," she remembers a distant sailing lesson she had with her father at Zarash Bay. She sees the goblins across the deck, hanging on for dear life, and quickly puts away her bow and bounds across the deck. She quickly grasps the railing with her left hand, and grabs the hand of the goblin with her right.

    OOC: STR check to pull the goblin up onto the deck?

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