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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Meet the party

    Monday the 13th of Sylvanus (11/14), year 23

    Spoiler: Days, dates and months
    Show

    The year count reset with the return of magic. We're now in the year 23.
    A solar year has 403 days and is made up of 14 months.
    That slightly matters, for lore reasons and because lunar cycles will occasionally grant minor benefits in certain months/seasons.


    Beyond that, none of the below truly matters for game purposes. I'm just putting it in because it's fun for me.

    The months are: Moroz, Mab, Chione, Damh, Nathair, Venestra, Viridios, Pelor, Oberon, Titiana, Sylvanus, Thor, Loki and Auril.

    Months have either 29 or 30 days.
    The 1st of Damh marks the start of spring.
    The 1st of Pelor marks the start of summer.
    The 1st of Sylvanus marks the start of fall.
    The 1st of Auril marks the start of winter.

    A week has 7 days and uses earth-names for convenience. Sunday is the rest day.


    Spoiler: DC 10 prof. navigator/astrology
    Show

    Lunar cycle:
    Racha: new moon, Dione: new moon, Thyone: first quarter, Helike: waning gibbous, Ymir: waxing gibbous, Umbriel: new moon, Deimos: first quarter

    Spoiler: DC 20 kn. arcana, spellcraft or prof. astrology (your choice but 1 roll)
    Show

    With a small ritual that takes 10 minutes to perform, you can add a +1 luck bonus to your search, spot and listen checks until Racha is in new moon again (11 days from now).


    Spoiler: Notable places in Hirane
    Show

    Trench's End - local tavern.
    Church of Pelor - where all the light clerics go
    Church of Dola - essentially the bank
    Guild halls - of the Arcane order, the Purple flame and the Espers
    Airship tower and airship mechanics
    Gilded dragon - hotel for nobles.
    Guard house, barracks, city walls, jail.
    Blacksmith
    Stables
    Warehouses for several mechant companies.


    The night was dark. Racha and Dione, the two largest and brightest of the seven moons, weren't visible tonight.

    The night was quiet. At least, outdoors. There was no wildlife around Hirane frontier and most buildings were sound-proofed to some degree. On your way to the Gilded Dragon the only thing that could be heard was the creaking of the ropes from the airships docked to the tower above you.

    Anywhere else, time would be money, and money would move the law. Not so in Hirane. The local guard captain, an orc by the name of Grohm "Two-Horse" Grohmson, commands a great deal of respect from his men. Guards are virtually immune to bribes and enforce his simple rule of "Lights out, no sound." after dark.

    After a small trek through quiet Hirane, you entered the exorbitantly extravagant lobby of the Gilded Dragon. The concierge quickly funnels you out of sight and into a meeting-annex-class room.

    The left side of the room has three illusory 'windows' showing a contiguous fish tank.
    At the head of the room, behind a desk and under one of the two lanterns hanging from the ceiling, stands a rotund nobleman in bright red courtier's clothing who is currently struggling with a piece of self-animating chalk, trying to get it to write on the blackboard.

    A middle-aged human in a guards' tunic with officer's stripes and a large scar on the left side of his face is facepalming in a seat in the corner of the room.

    Beyond that, the room has 12 desk and chair combinations, each medium sized and chairs sturdy enough to carry about 200 pounds of weight. On each of the desks lie a few blank sheets of paper, and ink bottle and a quill, just in case you wanted to take notes.

    The briefing will start once you've all arrived. Feel free to introduce yourselves to each other. It is entirely up to you if you've been in Hirane for a while or if you've only just arrived.

    Spoiler: DC 10 kn. arcana
    Show

    That chalk the noble is struggling with is meant to illustrate his intentions, floating on its own. He's currently trying to control it by waving his hands while holding the chalk, so the chalk is attempting to draw hand motions. But it can't because he's holding it.


    Spoiler: DC 15 kn. nobility or prof. noble
    Show
    The heraldry on his clothing marks the noble as a member of the Thurbane family. He is likely related to the Marquis of Servas, who is rumored to have a good deal of money invested in the founding of Hirane.

    Spoiler: DC 20 kn. nobility or prof. noble
    Show
    His name is Henry Thurbane, first son of Theodorus Thurbane, the Marquis of Servas. After several generations of financial mishaps and extravagance, the Thurbane family found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy. Recently, though, they've been doing much better, ever since Theodorus married Marie, a regentess originally hired to tutor Henry (the man who is now here). Marie has taken control of the Thurbanes finances and has given birth to two more children who are rumored to be excellent mages. But Henry being the firstborn is the klutz who is going to inherit everything. Henry himself should be about 25-26 years old, so is too old to be a mage.


    Spoiler: DC 15 kn. local
    Show
    The man with the scar is lieutenant Gregor, one of the officers of the guard. He is rumored to have gotten that scar in his early teens and has been guarding the edge of the Scar ever since. Most would describe him as a fair and hard-working man.


    Spoiler: DC 10 spot
    Show
    Some of the desks have carvings in them:
    A <3 G.
    Mr Chem is BORING.
    Psycho Swordsman
    1 + 1 = 3
    G <3 H

    There's also buttons next to one of the 'windows' that say: 'Aquarium', 'Courtyard', 'Grassy hill', 'Rainy street'.
    Last edited by Tyrann; 2019-12-23 at 08:32 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    With a quiet word of thanks to the concierge, Simric steps into the annex to the sound of softly creaking leather. The tall youth walks to one of the desks along the left side, near the apparent aquarium, and looks skeptically down at the chair before settling his pack against the wall. He still wears his sword on his right hip, though he places a finely crafted shortspear and en enormous bow down with his pack.

    Simric scans the room, taking in the other arriving hunters, the nobleman, and the guard officer. He gives each their own smile and slight nod, but feels sure than can tell how nervous he is. Unable to remain still while waiting for the meeting to begin, he leans toward the aquarium and studies the glass and labelled buttons. Simric's left hand resting atop the harp case suspended from his belt, he gently taps the glass to see if the fish react.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AmberVael's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    It only took Zoisite a moment to read the situation after she entered the room. On the surface it was the mere fumbling of a man unfamiliar with magic, but Zoisite thought the implications ran a bit deeper. She knew who the man was and who he stood for, and she thought it read ill for him that he was struggling with something so simple, and more so that the attending guard was so obviously showing disrespect. Maybe this was only a small thing, a passing moment... but it got her thinking. Though she knew exactly where he was going wrong with the chalk, she said nothing, preferring to see how the situation played out - whether he would figure it out on his own, gracefully work around his ignorance, or just keep stumbling.

    "Lord Henry Thurbane." Zoisite gave a shallow bow, maybe one not quite deep enough if all the formalities and proper etiquette of noble society were being played out. But, not all hunters were known for their exacting etiquette and this was hardly a royal court, even if both Henry and Zoisite were currently dressed well. Most of Zoisite's attire was obscured by the cloak she wore (a concession to the cool night), but the cloak itself was stark white wool with deep blue accents and gold embroidery along its edge. She paused briefly in case he wanted to return the greeting, curious (and mildly dubious) about his ability to name her in turn. Then she turned her attention to her peers.

    Or peer, rather, seeing as Simric was the only other hunter who had arrived so far. Zoisite moved to join him in front of the fish tank and offered him a nod of greeting, her blue eyes examining him curiously. If Simric studied her in turn, he might notice a faint gleam of white light moving through her otherwise inky black hair. "Zoisite verch Wealdhall." She introduced herself quietly, offering a hand to Simric. "You're also joining the expedition, I take it?"

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

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    The youth smiles as he straightens to his full height, before taking the proffered hand and giving a slight but courtly bow. "A pleasure, Lady Zoisite. I am Simric, of Eshrav, and have been granted leave to join the expedition." Simric looks around breifly before pitching his voice in a lower, almost conspiratorial tone for Zoisite's alone, "Though that last bit took a bit of convincing, as I've only just arrived at Hirane." Any implication of inexperience the words might have carried, however, is inconsistent with the well-calloused hand he had used to greet her. While the heavy robe Simric wore might be too warm for most denizens of Hirane, he shows no sign of discomfort. Zoisite would also notice an faint glow and the blue-black lines of tattoos across both of Simrics palms, one a spiral of jagged, branching lines and the other geometric in construction.

    "Have you been into the Scar before? Any advice on what to expect?" The questions come without any hint of worry or fear, just curiosity and interest.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AmberVael's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    "I have, but not far in." Not many times either. Zoisite had some experience as a hunter, but only small jobs, and not a great many of them. Still, between that and her father's training she knew what to expect and had confidence in her abilities. "It earned its name, and if you're not careful, you'll be covered in undead. But if you keep quiet and your wits handy, you should be alright. They're not intelligent, and you can outrun many of them. Frankly, I say we just avoid every fight we can; we're here to hunt relics, after all, not monsters."

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

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Simric

    Both the guard officer and the noble return Simric's friendly nod, though the noble does still seem mostly focused on getting the piece of chalk to work.

    When Simric taps the 'window' his hand goes straight through, and he notices that the aquarium is actually an illusion projected over three hollow wooden recesses. Now that Simric has seen through the illusion, it takes some mental effort to convince his own mind to view the hologram as an actual aquarium again. But after the youth has done so, he notices the fish don't react to anything he does.

    Zoisite

    "Ah, you must be the Angel from Wealdhall. It is a pleasure. I hope your journey here was a comfortable one?" Henry returns the bow with a charming smile, looking slightly uncomfortable for having been caught while struggling with the chalk. "Please forgive my inexperience with all matters magical as I get acquainted with the local equipment. This room is normally used as a classroom, and alas, when I was last in such a room chalk did not yet move itself."

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Anomander's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Alphonse floats up to the door and takes a deep breath. Walking in the armor without causing great echoing clanks was nigh impossible, and the suit's flight controls were clumsy. Thankfully no one seemed to have seen him bob and weave his way through the air.

    "I'm an experience, capable, zombie-crushing machine of destruction. Machine of destruction. Grizzled expert. That's me. Fonz Tell."

    He schooled his face to fierceness inside the cowl even though not much of his face was visible inside the rocky armor.

    The stone armor is perfectly jointed and articulated, and is striated with a subtle blend of soft blues, greens, pinks, and speckles of mica across the grey sandstone-like surface. Alphonse was very proud of it, but even he would not try to defend it as 'quiet' to move in.

    With at best a 'quiet-ish' walk, he clumps his way through the inn to the meeting room and sighs with relief that the nobleman isn't one he knows.

    "Greetings. Sorry I'm , ahem, um," he roughens his voice from its less-than-imposing normal state. "Had something come up. Uh, I'm Fonz Tell. Here to crush zombies."

    Alphonse thought that had sounded good as he'd repeated it to himself earlier. Now? It sounded stupid.

    "Here to join the expedition," he trailed off, his voice reverting to its lighter tone.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Unceremoniously, a raven haired, azure eyed woman of surprisingly small stature stomps into the room. She wears armor forged of hundreds of metal links, her sword visible in its scabbard hanging from her belt and a shield bearing the emblem of the Von Caedus house. She exudes a strange aura that makes those who have never been to the Scar's hair stand on end.

    After taking a couple of steps into the room she announces herself with a salute, not even glancing at the Hunters who arrived previously.

    "Artemisia, sent by the house Von Caedus, reporting for duty." With that out of the way, she marches a couple of steps and stands at attention near one of the walls where she can see all other parties in the room. Her eyes begin scanning the room in silence.

    Spoiler: Skill checks
    Show
    Knowledge Arcana (1d20+4)[9]

    Spot (1d20+2)[20]
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatwarforged View Post
    You sir are a True Pirate Lord.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    FearlessGnome's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    A light blue fey creature pulls open the door and zooms in before slowing down. She makes an effort to look serious as she examines the room, but when she sees the 'aquarium' she forgets herself and flies over to study it with delight. She is just about to ask if the fish are real when she witnesses Simric put a hand through the 'glass' without touching anything.

    Disappointed by the fake fish, she turns and looks over the people present. Fancy red man at the head of the room is presumably the leader. The rest of the people have varied looks as well, but none are as bright as the man in red.

    She takes a 'seat'... though she has to stand on the chair to see over the bench. Grabbing a sheet of paper and a quill the length of her arm, Suzette is ready to go.
    Throw the dice high.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    'Oh, she's a serious veteran,' he thinks and walks over next to her. 'Fonz' doesn't quite stand at attention, but he stands up straight a few feet away from her.

    "Good looking gear," he gruffly says in a low voice. "Looks like you're ready for the Scar."

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

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Simric breaks into a broad, friendly grin as he watches the heavily armored Fonz enter and introduce himself, and raises a hand in a greeting. There's nothing mocking in the smile, though is shaded with relief as he is starting to think he may not be the only one about to enter the Scar for the first time. The smile falters a little as Artemisia enters and introduces herself, something about her presence unsettling in a way Simric is unable to quite identify.

    His eyes go a bit wide at the entry of the blue fey, and he opens his mouth as if to greet her as she examines the illusions but she has flitted over to the desk before he has a chance. Returning his attention to the front of the room, Simric feels a swell of sympathy for Lord Thurbane and leans to rustle through his pack a moment, withdrawing a small wooden box containing several pieces of clean (and thoroughly nonmagical) chalk. He steps to the front of the room and extends both a wink and the box of chalk to the struggling nobleman, "Lord Thurbane, the chalk you asked me to bring. I'm sure it will be a bit less ... independent." After giving the Lord a chance to accept the chalk, Simric withdraws back toward the illusory fishtanks and waits leaning against the wall for the meeting to begin, still not trusting the chairs to handle his considerable bulk.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    The intention here is to give Lord Thurbane both a usable bit of chalk and a chance to save face, as though he had anticipated the problem with the magical chalk. I think it would be the "deliver a secret message" use of the bluff skill and taking 10 if possible to let him know that (resulting Bluff check = 21). The chalk is a highly specific thing to have, but it is listed as part of the mapmaker's kit I picked up. I'll assume I can restock it for negligible cost after the meeting unless told otherwise.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Artemisia briefly glances at Alphonse with an unfriendly scowl before returning her gaze to the goings on and responding quietly enough that others would need to listen intently to hear.

    "Nobody is ever ready for the Scar. I'm ready to fight tooth and nail to survive and complete the mission. Then, if I'm lucky, return with breath still in my body."
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatwarforged View Post
    You sir are a True Pirate Lord.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    The door opens to permit a tall, middle-aged man of a slightly-tanned complexion. His longish, shaggy hair is almost translucent, like living glass, and is covered by a hat of grand appearances. A magnificent drum hangs from his hip and a lute is slung across his back. His clothing is fine and well-worn, and in a style that is decades out of fashion. A pistol is holstered on his leg, and another from his belt.

    With a smile like a sun he beams at the room. He sounds off a few beats from the drum and bows to the room at large. "It seems I am fashionably late," he says. "Excellent. Ewan of the Scar, at your service. Looking forward to working with you all."

    He walks around the room toward the aquarium, and notices the buttons below. He seems to consider pushing them, but noticeably decides against it. Any he passes by may notice he smells vaguely of beer and ale, even though he does not walk with the least bit of stagger.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    The thought is that Ewan will have spent the past few hours gathering info at the Trench's End. Gather Information roll, (1d20+9)[28], to get a sense for the recent events and what the layman take on what potential jobs the group's employer may be sending them on.
    Last edited by Thokk_Smash; 2019-12-30 at 01:06 PM.
    Saber avatar courtesy of Prime32

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

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    "Ah, thank you ever so much!" The noble replies gratefully to Simric and accepts the chalk.

    "Ahem. Well, then. Ladies and gentlemen, please make yourselves comfortable after your own fashion." He checks his pocket watch after Ewan has walked in. "It would seem we're all here now. Let us start the briefing.

    As all of you know, you are here on an open contract. The site of your mission will be a fortress or rather the ruins thereof - about 25 miles South-East of Hirane Frontier. For some unknown reason, this fort seems to be pulling undead towards it. Your primary mission is to figure out the reason behind this pull and end it.
    "

    Meanwhile he chalks on the board.

    Primary mission
    Enter fortress. End pull on undead.

    "There is, however, a secondary objective if you choose to accept it. This is the first you'll hear of this, as we've taken some effort to keep this out of the news. We apologize for only dropping this on you now. Our aim was to avoid a panic."

    He pauses and looks around the room.

    "We know we cannot prevent you from doing so, but we ask that you do not share what we are about to tell you.

    A few days ago, an airship was shot down near the fortress.

    Now, I could tell you what happened, but we have someone in the room who eye-witnessed these events. Lieutenant, if you could elaborate?
    "

    "Well, yes. It err..
    'T were a beam 'o red light what cut right through the bow 'o the ship as if 't were butter 'gainst a hot knife. Ship caught flame an' crashed. She were gone from our sight in seconds. Almost as quick as it took Timmy to shi-
    "

    "Quite, yes. Thank you lieutenant. That airship had 22 people on board. Alas, as of right now, the only reward on offer is for the lives of Giovanni and Jennifer Auguste. 6000 gp for the pair, or 3000 gp for one of them.
    I shall personally add an additional 100 gp per crew member saved.

    My own main interest in this is more pragmatic, however, namely to prevent a repeat occurrence. Your secondary objective, if you choose to accept it, will be to either gain control over the cannon in such a fashion that it can be used to aid in the defense of Hirane, or if that seems impossible, to destroy it. In either case, if you succeed in this secondary objective, I shall personally pay you 5000 gold each. This being all in addition to your open contract, which allows you to keep everything you find in the ruins.
    "

    He writes on the board:

    Secondary mission
    Capture or destroy beam weapon. 5k each.

    Additional rewards: rescue crashed airship crew. 3k per Auguste saved. 100 gp per other crew member saved.

    "As for practicalities, Gregor has offered to show you a hidden path that should get you across the canyon fairly undetected provided you don't go in err.. what was the terminology again, Luitenant?"

    "Guns ablazing like dumb shi-."

    "Right. So. Questions?"

    Spoiler: DC 10 kn. engineering or DC 15 kn. local
    Show

    The Auguste family is involved in airship production and while not the largest player in that game, they are certainly not doing bad for themselves.


    Spoiler: Simric
    Show
    You can replace the chalk for negligible cost, of course.


    Spoiler: Ewan's gather info
    Show

    Actually, almost nobody in the Trench's End seemed too concerned with the swell of undead, because Hirane is built along a canyon and the fort (and the swell of undead) is on the other side of that canyon. There are rumors about undead with strange blue eyes over that way, though. Undead that are smarter than they should be.
    Last edited by Tyrann; 2019-12-30 at 04:21 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Artemisia continues to stand at attention, though her mouth twists into an even more intense scowl at the mention of the ship being "shot down". A weapon like that hinted at intelligent enemies in the Scar.

    She committed the names of the primary rescue targets to memory before giving a salute to draw attention and responding with a question.

    "What are the descriptions of Giovanni and Jennifer Auguste for identification purposes?"

    After a very momentary pause, she adds "Are there maps of the terrain around the fortress and do we know where the location of the crash site? I don't want to attract fire from that weapon if we have to search outside the fortress for survivors, so it will be best if we can stay out of sight. Knowing the terrain might help."
    Last edited by Aegis013; 2019-12-30 at 08:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatwarforged View Post
    You sir are a True Pirate Lord.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    "This be the best we have for a map." Gregor folds out a sturdy piece of printed leather.

    Spoiler: Map
    Show

    Map is 25x25 miles

    "Unfortunately, we're lackin' in manpower so we don't have maps wit more detail. We do know there be sev'ral stone and iron walls 'round the fort, when approached from the West. That's also the side where the main gate be.

    Ye have three options if ya wish cross the canyon.
    - Ye can take the skybridge. What that means is, we fly ye across by airship and ye fight yer way through whatever horde that attracts.
    - Ye can drop down by rope ladder down into the canyon and fight yer way through. There be a trail that lead up the other side.
    - Ye can take the hidden mountain path and cross at the ancient bridge, a wee bit to the West. That bridge should be fairly clear o' roamers since they all be movin' towards the fort now.

    We sometimes use the bunkers as a place to patch up or sleep a night. They can be fortified quite well once yer inside. Though the last expedition reported some unusually intelligent undead near them, with blue glowing eyes.

    We've never actually been inside the fort ourselves. There be a few larger roamers down that way. Too dangerous ta risk the men.
    "

    "As for descriptions of the Giovanni," the noble hands you two portaits. Both have olive skin, the man with a highly groomed grey mustache and chin patch, the woman with a long black braid and fairly distinctive tusks."The lady is a half-orc. The gentleman a silver-tongued merchant. Both quite act their parts."

    Spoiler: What to do next
    Show

    Majority votes, we move forward in 24 hours.
    Last edited by Tyrann; 2020-01-06 at 05:44 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Anomander's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Alphonse leans over the map estimating distances as best he can from his minimal knowledge of the Scar area.

    "The undead aren't a problem unless ya' get a smart one or they gang up on ya'," he says, trying to sound knowledgeable based on what he's heard. "A bit more walking or flapping along is worth it to me if we don't have a horde of the critters trying to overrun us."

    He taps the Ancient Bridge.

    "Yup, definitely the way to go if we don't mind the extra walking time. It might even be a faster route since we can move quicker if we aren't fighting off piles of undead. Yup, definitely."

    He says this trying to sound confident and knowledgeable, but then ruins the effort.

    "A-at least that's my thought. What do, um, you guys think?"

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    "I agree that the hidden path would be the best," Ewan says, nodding the affirmative. "I hope that we are able to find most of the crew alive." Even if Thurbane hadn't offered a reward, Ewan would have done his best to encourage the group to find as many crewmen as they could. The thought of leaving anyone to the tender mercies of the Scar leaves a pit in Ewan's stomach.

    "We may need to be a bit more careful on the way back, depending on how many we're able to find. Hopefully we don't attract too many with our antics at the fort."
    Saber avatar courtesy of Prime32

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Simric seems about to protest doing things the 'safe' way, but then thinks better of it; "The hidden path is our best chance to do this right. We can trek to the Southwest bunker first (and clear it if needed) so that there is a safe place for any of the survivors to wait while we deal with the Fort."

    The young man reaches a hand up and scratches under one ear, "I think I need to make a stop on the way out of Hirane. I have an idea that may help us find any survivors."

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Picking up the dog to try and track them by scent is the idea, in case that was unclear.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    The noble signals to Lieutenant Gregor to go with you, and wishes you all the best of luck.

    Gregor then takes you to the stables, where Artemisia purchases two horses and Simric purchases a tracking dog.

    Both the horses and the dog come with leather bags bound over their feet. If anyone asks why, the stable keeper will explain that the Scar's sands drain the life out of living creatures.

    It's not the sand itself that does the draining, as a bit of sand in your boots isn't a problem. But direct contact with the 'ground' should be avoided when possible.

    Spoiler: In mechanical terms
    Show

    4+ hours of direct contact with the ground per day causes living creatures to not gain any natural healing after resting, and to still be fatigued after rest.

    If they opt not to rest, they lose HP equal to their HD and become exhausted. This is a negative energy effect.

    Undead heal their HD per day, fluffed as veeery slow fast healing while inside the Scar.


    The dog is called buddy, an enthusiastic brown retriever with flopsy ears and a healthy dose of doggy breath. The horses are both grey and are called Apples and Cloudy.

    After your visit to the stables, the Lieutenant shows you beyond the gates, to a small path that snakes up the mountain behind Hirane.

    If you look up on the mountain, it seems there used to be a pass here, but it's been completely filled with rubble. By the looks of it with heavy explosives, as the top of the former pass is all craters and jagged blackened rocks.

    Halfway along the trail, however, Gregor stops by a large rock and gives it a push on the side. It slides away surprisingly lightly, to reveal a rather beautiful tunnel. Though filled with chalky dust from the cracked ceiling, this tunnel is clearly ancient. The walls have interspaced columns ornamented with leaves, and between these columns float dancing wisps of light for as far as you can see. The roof is a mural depicting various elven gods, the floor is intricate mosaics and marble, only cracked where parts of the ceiling fell down.

    Most historians would give a limb to spend their morning in here. But you have other plans today.

    "'Tis impressive, isn't it? Elves sure knew how ta build. If ye follow this tunnel straight ahead, ye'll end up near the ancient bridge in about an hour. Don't go roaming into the side tunnels, though. From what we've gathered, this place used ta be a shelter fer Elven infirm and children. The side tunnels all lead ta shelters. And all o' them be trapped ta high hell ta keep 'em safe. Might be a few ghosts down there too, I reckon."

    Spoiler: If you do take a side tunnel
    Show
    Search checks for traps from whoever is in the lead, please.


    Spoiler: If you continue straight ahead
    Show


    You end up at the other side of the tunnel. The door on the other side rolls out of your way as if it has just been serviced and oiled.

    Once you're outside, you find that you're on a ledge-like path, about 10 feet wide, and then a 60 foot drop straight down, into what appears to be a giant walkway for zombies, about 300 feet wide before the cliff on the opposite side goes straight up.

    There are a few scattered walkers down there, but they haven't noticed you and they all seem to be headed in the same direction.

    If you look in that same direction, you can see the Ancient Bridge in the distance.

    Like the tunnel, it is a testament to Elven architecture. It is truly massive, comprised of blocks of stone larger than the average house. The bottom is made up of five giant arches that are firmly planted in the canyon below. The top is about 300 feet wide, tiled, and still even enough that you could easily ride a wagon across, save for the marks of war that have left craters, debris and toppled statues.

    Speaking of statues, there are giant statues of elves along the length of the bridge, along both sides and in the middle.

    In the very middle of the bridge are three particularly huge statues of dragons, two of them with most of their torso blow off, and one still mostly intact save for half of its face and its left wing.

    The path you're on takes you towards the bridge without too much trouble. It angles down to the point that you could drop 5 feet down into the walkway, just as it starts sloping up towards the bridge.

    The roamers haven't seen you yet, and are reasonably interspersed, about 50 feet on average between them.

    As soon as you make the drop down, they very likely will see you.

    Link for map:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
    Last edited by Tyrann; 2020-01-07 at 04:25 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    "No point in taking unnecessary risks by venturing off the beaten path." Artemisia states flatly, completely unfazed or uncaring toward the breathtaking elven craftsmanship. Artemisia has saddled up Apples and if the passage is sufficiently spacious, she rides the beast while guiding Cloudy along with them. If there isn't sufficient space, she walks the two horses.

    She heads straight down the path, keeping a watch for any unexpected movement or perceived threats.

    No longer in the confines of the city, she relaxes her hold on her aura of Evil and her Necrocarnum Circlet appears to float like a dark halo just around her head. A strange crystalline stone with spider-like legs crawls out of her garb and climbs onto her shoulder, scanning the area, though with no obvious eyes or orifices it appears to simply rotate slowly to onlookers. Even the Psicrystal appears to have a similar dark halo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatwarforged View Post
    You sir are a True Pirate Lord.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Alphonse shivers inside his armor at the sight of the large, pustule-covered zombies. He'd gotten himself mentally geared up to face regular zombies; he'd seen enough drawings and heard of their descriptions that they were a familiar thing even though he'd never come even close to fighting them before. Those big ones weren't regular zombies, though!

    "They're pretty slow, and I imagine we could probably charge across without them managing to gather enough to stop us or gather into a significant mob. We aren't here to wipe out all the zombies along the way, just to get through to rescue our targets. Keep running, and we can get past the zombies on the bridge without them touching us. After we get past them, keep moving quickly until we lose them."

    That was pretty obvious, he thought, and he said that with some confidence.

    "The, um, those big ones might be different, though. Anyone think they'll be faster moving or able to move and attack quickly," he asked with trepidation.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Artemisia shades her eyes and looks over the long bridge infested with zombies. "If any one of us falls behind, that would be the end of them. We're going to need as many of us as possible to destroy that weapon and protect our rescue charges on our way back. Plus, as you implied, Fonz, if those large zombies move with any hint of intelligence, of if we're just unlucky, we'll end up surrounded and that could well be the end of us."

    She dismounts from Apples and pets the horses momentarily to ensure they stay calm.

    "It may be best to stick together and fight our way through as a unit. It'll be easier to destroy them all now than it would be while protecting civilians during our return. By keeping a tight formation we should be able to ensure we always have an escape route in an emergency. If you're not up to the task, you can run back to Hirane with your tail between your legs." she lets out a soft sigh "Unless one of you has a better idea?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatwarforged View Post
    You sir are a True Pirate Lord.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Alphose nods eagerly with the statements of the clear veteran.

    Until she mentions destroying them now so the group doesn't need to fight them later.

    "Oh! That reminds me of a paper submitted by High Seat Barbarican of Allifrond University that very successfully modelled the distribution of undead in the Scar by the formulae of magnetic field patterns in an ionized ferric gas chamber! She took over two thousand reports from adventurers from the Scar with their undead encounter records. It showed that the zombie population was evenly distributed with incursion perturbations being evened out to a homeostatic field within a timeframe that varied according to the localized density of the field lines - the field lines representing the localized zombie population.

    "It was ...."

    He remembers himself. He's not Alphonse - geek fugitive. He's 'Fonz' - grizzled zombie killer. He drops his voice back to gruffness.

    "It was something, um, George, my last companion was really into. Couldn't follow it all. Um, basically, zombies fill back in places where they've been killed. Even if we kill all of these, unless we can get in and out really quickly, new zombies will probably wander in.

    "Um, so, yeah. What you said, Artemisia."

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Zoisite had kept quiet and to herself for some time, sticking to observation and contemplation rather than mingling. She asked no questions during the meeting, but Henry's presentation raised her evaluation of him. She simply nodded as the others suggested stealth and discretion, and followed along as the journey to their target began. But as soon as they ran into their first problem, she stepped up. She scanned the area while Artemisia and Alphonse discussed, then backed off to join the discussion.

    "They shouldn't be intelligent, so I imagine they'll chase and attack the first thing they see. I can summon a being to pull them to one side of the bridge, and we can cross on the other side. Even if they come after us, we should have enough space to keep our distance. If we're lucky I might be able to lead them out of sight entirely."

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Simric breaks into a toothy grin at Zoisite's suggestion: efficient and relatively safe. He draws a finely wrought silver blade and nods to her, "I like it. Just give the word when you're ready for us to start the run."

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    "Fonz, how long do you think we'd have until the zombies repopulate the bridge? Artemisia asks flatly. "Our primary objective is to safely return the civilians and securing a path back could improve our chances as long as we can prevent them from retaking the bridge. There's enough rubble to make a makeshift barricade at the bridge's end and we have the horses to help move it."

    She seems to think hard for a moment "Though reaching the civilians sooner should improve their chances of survival."

    She looks out over the bridge again. "If we're going to use a lure and run past, let's use more than one if we can. Otherwise, we'll have to try to run past before they finish gathering. This many zombies in a cluster may be able to block passage across the bridge entirely, giving them an advantage if it turns into a fight."
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatwarforged View Post
    You sir are a True Pirate Lord.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Waiting until after Zoisite has summoned and sent out her distraction, Simric drops to the ground with a graceful (and patently unnecessary) flip, hitting the ground with his feet already in motion to launch himself at the nearest enemy to buy his allies time to get started.

    Spoiler: Rolls
    Show
    Attack: (1d20+11)[12] including charge bonus
    Slashing Damage: (3d6+3)[14]

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    "No! I don't, I mean, it was George who.... " He realizes his pretence of not being an academic is thoroughly shot. "Fine. Just don't tell anyone I like this stuff."

    He closes his eyes, remembering the formulas he used to work with frequently and the papers he loved to read in his spare time. He begins mumbling to himself: "Zombie speed is average pressure ... random walk spread reduced at square of radius over four .... zombie interaction distance of 200 feet.... Local density of, um," He counts the zombies out on the bridge quickly. "One per 8000 square feet. Average Scar density is ... um. Homeostasis would be restored within, um, 40. Standard error bars would make it between .... 32 and 48 hours.

    "A few zombies will be back on the bridge within an hour or two. 36 hours and zombies will have spread back into the area, restoring to about the same as they are now. I'd say we charge through."

    He nods. "Distract the zombies, drawing them toward the eastern side. We run down the west side and only have to deal with one or two, and hopefully no zombies that can hook and reel us in."

    He tries not to think about possibly facing an actual zombie in just seconds, his stomach ready to puke. It helped to run numbers in his head to occupy himself.

    He waits for the distraction to happen and then runs forward with the rest, running on the outside edge of the group.

    OOC: 6 squares per round * 4 with running = 24 squares. Group should be able to get down to around K20, but will stay with group.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Hunters of the World Scar IC

    Artemisia simply grunts to Fonz, rather ambiguously, leaving it unclear if she's ceding that securing the bridge was likely an exercise in futility or if she's agreeing to keep his secret. She quickly jumps back onto Apples' saddle and grabs Cloudy's reigns.

    "I'll take the rear guard." Artemisia says authoritatively as the group begins to move.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatwarforged View Post
    You sir are a True Pirate Lord.

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