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  1. - Top - End - #811
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Vargath Hubrecht
    Half-Orc Rune Knight Fighter
    AC: 19 HP: 48/49
    PP: 12 PIv: 12 PIs: 10
    Conditions: Infected (Lycanthropy), -1 INT
    Concentrating: --

    Vargath hesitates for a moment before raising his own cup in return. "Vargath Hubrecht, of the Bloodwolf Tribe. I'm not sure about hero though." He takes a long gulp, before setting the liquid down. Still tastes awful. If anything it's worse than last night. Rancid. Something he needs to suffer through for the sake of his body's health. It was plain to see she wasn't a local girl in a number of ways, but if anything that just made her even more likely to be useful. "Is it just this village, or would you fight elsewhere?" He lets the question linger for a heartbeat before deciding that it would be simpler to just ask plainly, no dancing around the concept or details. "The threats to the village have been, for the moment, removed, but we've received information that vampires - lugat, bloodsuckers of the night - are in the capital, with a far reach that, supposedly goes all the way up to the nobility. Would this be something your Order," he uses the term as much to denote a group as a cause, "would seek to remove?"
    Last edited by Amnestic; 2021-05-09 at 05:25 PM.
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    RHoD IC | OOC
    Playing:
    ToNG IC | OOC
    MoMiWoM IC | OOC
    OotA IC | OOC

  2. - Top - End - #812
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Selissa Betula
    Wood Elf Scout Rogue
    AC: 16 HP: 16/31
    PP: 16
    Conditions: None
    Concentrating: --

    Selissa looked at the gnome for a moment when the medicine was given, and finally inclined her head in a nod. A moment later, almost begrudgingly, she muttered a quiet: "Thanks."


    Back at town

    A paladin from a foreign land. She'd seen one with that symbolism before - but she'd never talked to them. Jonath had, interested in the strange sword they'd carried, but at the time the wood elf had only the most basic grasp of Common.

    "Stay a night is best," she said to the Chief, fighting down the urge to clutch at her wounded flesh arm. "Leave in the morning. First light."

    She needed to treat her wounds, which even now gave the sharp throb of deep injury. She needed to sort of what was in the little house she'd lived in the past five years. She figured both could wait an hour.

    "Tell successor," she spoke up again to the Chief, "Whoever needs my house can have it. Anything left behind, same. Don't think I'll be back after this. Not to stay."


    After talking to the Chief, she too entered the pub. She gave a terse nod to Horace.
    "Spirits," she said shortly. "Bottle."
    Once she'd received her beverage, she took a seat at a table close enough to Vargath and the paladin they could include her in conversation if they wished - but not so much she'd be clearly joining in. She retrieved the medicines and ointment the gnome had given her, and tentatively unwrapped some of her arm - the impromptu bandages were discoloured with blood.

    Eurgh. What a pain. At least they hadn't chewed off Hans' or Hildegard's - Hildebrand's? - heads, though the forest elf had no wish for a second wooden arm for her part either: the first one had already cost her too dearly.
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

  3. - Top - End - #813
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 17 HP: 34/34
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: Iumenta Pox (currently no symptoms)
    Concentration: Hex (Demon 1, Dexterity impacted)

    Dam'ess Square

    Set listens as Doctor Madaras explains his possible solution to Hans' disability. Despite himself, Set can't help feeling hopeful for the man who'd joined them in a fight beyond his capability and suffered the price for it. If Set had been dealt the same blow, he would surely cling to such hope, if only because the alternative was so grim. What would he be without his spear hand?

    "Doctor, what would you need to build such a thing?" Set pauses a moment to put his thoughts in order, opening his mouth and shutting it rather than speaking openly of the Ebon Keys in a public square. "There is a shield made of Ebonstone, but it is already heavily laden with magic and cursed besides. It probably isn't suitable to reforge into a hand, but then, I don't know what would be."

    Set locks eyes briefly with Mal, reminded of the tiefling's own curse. "You may wish to take a look as well. Perhaps you've dealt with Ebonstone in the past, but it is unlike anything I've seen before." Mouth twitching behind his shemagh, Set wonders just what sort of Elder the tiefling calls master, but he would have to be careful about being too direct. Mal seemed as sharp as the eldritch beam he wielded. He'd only chosen to reveal his own power after Set had demonstrated his, and he'd only used it once. It was a sign, surely. He wished to be known to Set, but he did not wish to speak of their affliction further. Set could certainly appreciate that. In the meantime, he could wait and study Mal, learning what he can of the tiefling's master until the other man was ready to speak.

    Set snorts audibly as Maus speaks of not betraying a pact. He takes the news that the Chief would be joining them in stride. It seemed Maus had finally taken an interest in seeing things for himself, but Set couldn't congratulate the man. The most he could do was to try to stop himself from antagonizing Maus further.

    "Another night here would give more time to study the shield and Dr. Fixer's elixer," Set offers weakly before shrugging. "I will stay here if they do," Set reveals, getting to the heart of it as he gestures after Evergreen and the Mighty. "In the meantime, if we're not traveling immediately I could use a drink," Set admits without moving from his spot, looking back and forth between Ignacius and Mal while ignoring Maus.

  4. - Top - End - #814
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    In Dam'ess Square

    The Chief nods at Selissa's words, with a look bordering on regret in his eyes. "I was honored to lead this community, and you will always be a part of it, Selissa, no matter how far you roam. But I will tell them." Maus seems to accept Set's disregard, almost as though he expected it.

    In the Oaken Larder

    Horace finds an old dusty bottle of something resembling gin for Selissa, handing it over without a word. He knew her well enough that he wouldn't engage her with words unless she opened up first.

    Uluthando considers Vargath's words for a moment, but it is a very brief moment. "Vampires are the spawn of Orcus, Ukufa Nkosi, demon lord of undeath. It would be my duty to exterminate such things. But it is not up to me." She lifts her cup a bit higher and speaks in a language you have never heard before in some sort of drinking salute before she takes a sip of her wine. As soon as she does her face scrunches up in distaste and her eyes close slowly before opening wide. "Amanzi. Sour as vinegar." She pushes the wine aside and motions for Horace to return. "Something sweet if you have it. Water if you do not. I presume it will be clean either way?"

    Horace bows, apologizes, and removes the glass, heading behind the bar to pour the paladin a cider. While he is away, Ulu turns to Selissa at the next table, her features still rigid but her eyes appraising. "You are wounded, umuntu wesihlahla. In exchange for a silver coin, I will heal your wounds. I do not mean to offend you by requesting money, but it is customary to my people to not give magic for nothing." The cider arrives and the representative of Order lifts it, gives it an experimental sniff, then takes a long drink, tipping the mug upwards. She releases a pleased sigh before reaching into a pouch at her belt and handing Horace a golden coin off foreign manufacturing- it looks more like a eight sided die than a round coin you would all be familiar with. "You should throw out your wine or charge less coppers for it. It is swill." Horace bows, apologizes again, scoops up the odd coin, and returns to the business of eavesdropping from behind the bar.

    After a brief pause for another sip, Uluthando adjusts her chair so that she is facing Vargath, Selissa, and anyone else who has wandered in at this point. "I am a soldier, and I take instruction from my superior. Currently, she resides in Harumburg, surveying the area and deciding where my blades would be most useful. If you would ride with me in my stagecoach back to the capital of this Harumvale, you may meet her and present your case. If she thinks there is wisdom in your report, she may decide that I should assist you. But I can make no promises. Pale Night... Ubusuku Obuphaphathekile ... moves openly in this land, and I am sure that there are other places in need of cleansing." She takes another sip of cider, allowing you all time to consider her offer.
    The Bear is Back.

  5. - Top - End - #815
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)



    Doctor Ignacius Madaras, Medicus Extravagant!
    Gnome Alchemist Artificer | Raven Homunculus
    AC: 14 HP: 27/27 | AC 13 HP: 9/9
    PP: 11 PIv: 16 PIs: 11 | PP: 14 PIv: 10 PIs: 10
    Conditions: -
    Concentration: -

    With Hans and Hildegard

    Madaras initially refuses the gift, but after Hildegard pushes it onto him, he obliges. You know I am unsure if I can find ever back to the flock. But if you are willing to part with this at least for the time being, I will gladly accept it. He thanks the couple and leaves a few pain killers. Hans would need to struggle with the pain on his own, but it was a bit to cover the worst parts.

    At the square

    If I had a better understanding at how the ebonstone works, I would be more comfortable. It seems I got lucky with Alvis, but he does have a bit of a mind on his own. Ignacius confesses. It is hard to find uncharged ebonstone, and if it is used to channel spirits into a body, I can see a mechanical arm starting to have a mind on its own. And this could very well not be an improvement for Hans.

    Madaras begins to dream about options, his gaze vacant and daydreaming. If I can find newer ebonstone, or dare I say, produce it myself, the possibilities could be endless.

    Though a drink could not go amiss. I prefer a tea myself.





    At the larder

    Madaras takes Selissa aside for a moment inside the Larder. Even if these people didn't mind, he was there to provide some knowledge and hygiene. He pulled out a small simple leather bag for the dirty bandages, and redressed the wounds properly, this time taking charge. If any of these are bloodied tonight or morning, you will call me. Plus, you never manage your bloodied wounds at the same table used to eat and drink.

    Somewhat mad, he pours a bit of gin onto a clean rag and disinfects the table. He orders tea, and adds yet another bit of gin to his tea, maybe to calm his nerves a bit. The warrior offers to heal, and Madaras nods. At your exchange rate for mystical healing, you will either die a poor woman, or be exposed like a fraud. the gnome smiles, hinting at his own hustle.

    Just know that you will improve this town's attitude towards your Order, when you stay polite, no matter how amateurish their distilled alcohol is. He takes a sip of his tea. Despite I assume the distillery just needs a few new items. Ever tried to get lead crystal in this area?
    Last edited by Spore; 2021-05-10 at 06:45 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #816
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Mal
    Levistus Tiefling Bard 4
    AC: 14 HP: 34/34
    PP: 11 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Spell Slots: 1st - 3/4 2nd - 2/3
    Magic Initiate: 1/1
    Fey Touched: 1st - 0/1 2nd - 1/1
    Levistus Legacy: 2nd - 1/1
    Bardic Inspiration: 0/4
    Healer's Kit: 20/20
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating:

    Maledictus watched events unfold in the square. The band of Moira's trusted appeared an enthusiastic lot in their actions, despite several of their disaffected demeanors. He processed the proceedings even as he surveyed the village in its quieter iteration. Another nameless speck not worthy of an ink blot on a map, yet this is the foreground to Lady Bo'tel's demense. The roads must remain serviceable between here and Harumburg if a coach can arrive. The implications stirred up considerations on the occasions one would need to render these passages unserviceable or protect their trafficability to marshal troops. This range of planning, along with the review of the day's skirmish with the abyssal apes, hedged out any true consideration of the balanced scale. Besides, the moths flock to the novel flame. I am sure the true nature of the emblem and its bearer will become known soon enough.

    "I would like to inspect this ebon ward whenever the opportunity presents itself. These items seem concentrated around this Vale," Mal answered the shrouded spearman.

    When Set looked to the attache and the doctor, Mal gave a subtle nod of polite acknowledgment. He, however, did not move to follow to the drink hall as Madaras and his construct did. He instead said politely, "It would be a privilege to learn the drinking customs of your people, scion of Abydos. I shall join you shortly."

    The tiefling let the procession pass through the door of the tavern before he spoke to the elder. His tone remained pleasant and conversational, as if speaking to a traveling partner. Mal's gaze passed from the inn, to the carriage, and then finally settled on Maus as he spoke.


    "Even mercenaries find themselves drawn to a new face. As much as I would like to trade stories with the tight-lipped knight, I am sure I will have the opportunity given our intention to stay the evening. I would ask a few questions of you, Elder. As your succession will have import for Dam'ess, perhaps we could conclude that matter and then discuss these, as well as other topics prior to our departure."

    Mal produced the carefully wrapped bundle in which a pair of heavy rings pressed their silhouettes.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show



    Spoiler: Mal's Notes
    Show
    Set: outcast of Abydos / Romantic connection for Moira?
    Selissa: Blighted or reconstructed wood elf? Purported Scout.
    Vargath: Afflicted Lycanthrope seeking to suspend his curse
    Mandaras: Rival to Dr. Fixer.
    Dr. Fixer: Moira's lieutenant and cultivates relations with the locals of Vale.
    Elder Maus: Seeks to kill Moira. Hired mercenaries who betrayed him.
    --Healed to his full 9ft height.
    --Disbelieves Moira's insights; seeks to end her directly or indirectly.
    --Seeks us to verify the truths of Moira's claims--or stop her by any means necessary.

    Barlgura: Demon loosed by summoning ritual on the road to Dam'ess. Slain with its summoned partner by team. (Bless helped with accuracy issues due to invisibility. In the future, layer mind sliver to aid with saves.)
    Brazen Hart: Spirit of the wild wood around Dam'ess. Seeks to test the party's mettle by forcing an open fight with the Barlgura.

    Report daily updates to Mistress Moira at last light.

    Last edited by Theophilus; 2021-05-10 at 07:55 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #817
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    In Dam'ess Square

    Maus takes the golden arm bands slowly, one in each hand, and looks over them. They are massive, but look like they could fit appropriately on him, at the very least. "From the demon? You'll want these identified before anyone uses them. It would be just like a fiend to leave behind cursed treasure. I don't have that spell, but I can prepare it tomorrow. I have a fresh water pearl from the lake that I can dig into. I'll let you know what it is in the morning."
    The Bear is Back.

  8. - Top - End - #818
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Mal
    Levistus Tiefling Bard 4
    AC: 14 HP: 34/34
    PP: 11 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Spell Slots: 1st - 3/4 2nd - 2/3
    Magic Initiate: 1/1
    Fey Touched: 1st - 0/1 2nd - 1/1
    Levistus Legacy: 2nd - 1/1
    Bardic Inspiration: 0/4
    Healer's Kit: 20/20
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating:

    Maledictus smiled large, revealing his gratitude. The tiefling passed along the bands and watched Maus' inspection. His thanks was in part for revealing the elder's knowledge and insights, confirming something the attache had heard. He replied, "Indeed, poisoned fruit falls from such wicked branches. Thank you for the generosity of inspecting these. I would prefer to know what hazards the barlgura left behind in its bloody wake."

    Mal shifted to follow Maus should he appear prepared to locate his successor. The bard added as he did so, "Where did you learn the art of arcane identification? It is a valuable skill to possess.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show



    Spoiler: Mal's Notes
    Show
    Set: outcast of Abydos / Romantic connection for Moira?
    Selissa: Blighted or reconstructed wood elf? Purported Scout.
    Vargath: Afflicted Lycanthrope seeking to suspend his curse
    Mandaras: Rival to Dr. Fixer.
    Dr. Fixer: Moira's lieutenant and cultivates relations with the locals of Vale.
    Elder Maus: Seeks to kill Moira. Hired mercenaries who betrayed him.
    --Healed to his full 9ft height.
    --Disbelieves Moira's insights; seeks to end her directly or indirectly.
    --Seeks us to verify the truths of Moira's claims--or stop her by any means necessary.

    Barlgura: Demon loosed by summoning ritual on the road to Dam'ess. Slain with its summoned partner by team. (Bless helped with accuracy issues due to invisibility. In the future, layer mind sliver to aid with saves.)
    Brazen Hart: Spirit of the wild wood around Dam'ess. Seeks to test the party's mettle by forcing an open fight with the Barlgura.

    Report daily updates to Mistress Moira at last light.


  9. - Top - End - #819
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Vargath Hubrecht
    Half-Orc Rune Knight Fighter
    AC: 19 HP: 48/49
    PP: 12 PIv: 12 PIs: 10
    Conditions: Infected (Lycanthropy), -1 INT
    Concentrating: --

    Strange that they'd send her to this town without any support, given the varied list of threats. Just how would she have dealt with them alone? Overpowered through sheer might? It seemed unlikely, but maybe she did have that sort of strength and mind. He didn't fancy her chances against those wolves on her own though. "I, at least, am heading to the capital tomorrow, I wouldn't turn down a ride if offered...though I'm not sure your stagecoach could fit us all." Including Uluthando and Maus they were seven in total, and though Madaras didn't take up much space, the same could not be said for Vargath or Maus. He struggles through another drink of the rancid piss ale, fighting off the urge to wretch it back up again, if only to save it from covering his tongue a second time. A gnawing temptation enters his belly to leave his work on the door, leave the conversation here, and just go hunt. Find a fresh deer, maybe a rabbit or two, and drink deep of something that doesn't make him want to throw up. Deep breath. Calm. He pushes the temptation away. It wouldn't do to embrace the beast inside, no matter what it visited upon him in the meantime.


    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    RHoD IC | OOC
    Playing:
    ToNG IC | OOC
    MoMiWoM IC | OOC
    OotA IC | OOC

  10. - Top - End - #820
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    [QUOTE=Awful;25040536]
    Selissa Betula
    Wood Elf Scout Rogue
    AC: 16 HP: 16/31
    PP: 16
    Conditions: None
    Concentrating: --

    Selissa frowned at the gnome's fussing, judged the situation, and clearly came to the conclusion that letting him do it would just be the least amount of trouble.
    "Stop fussing. Could deal with it." she grumbled quietly, but only withdrew her injured arm once she was done.

    To the paladin, she didn't have to consider the offer long. She was not, as a rule, particularly attached to most physical possessions, and especially not money, which was not typically used amongst the forest elves. She was, however, attached to her blood, and she'd already paid more of that than she cared to to a giant evil monkey.

    She retrieved a silver coin, held it up between two fingers, and placed it on the table. After a second, she extended her wounded meat-arm.

    "Far from Nguni," the moon-pale stoic, expressionless woman said to the dark-skinned stoic, expressionless woman. "Long roots from home."
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

  11. - Top - End - #821
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 17 HP: 34/34
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: Iumenta Pox (currently no symptoms)
    Concentration: Hex (Demon 1, Dexterity impacted)

    Oaken Larder

    Set wanders in after Ignacius in time to hear the knight's address. Pausing in the doorway, Set's eyes are taken immediately by the woman with skin like Ebonstone sitting across from Vargath. In all his travels northward, Set had only seen human skin grow paler, not darker. He'd heard her accent in the Square, of course, but any lingering doubts that she might be from a region nearby fade. With Evergreen sitting close by, however, Set's attention lapses as the gash on her arm is revealed. "<Ant musab?>" He watches Doctor Madaras take the situation in hand, but Set's gut still twists momentarily as he realizes he doesn't even know how close Selissa came to losing her arm.

    "When I saw you dive into the trees like a falcon after a mouse, I thought you'd escaped mostly unscathed," Set says almost apologetically, examining the wound over the doctor's shoulder as Madaras busies himself dressing it regardless of her wishes. He isn't sure it would've made a difference if he had known, but it still comes as a bit of a shock. Set quickly finds himself in the way and moves a couple paces off, wary of giving Ignacius and the knight room to work, but his concern is plain.

    "We are obviously not soldiers," Set explains, collecting himself after listening to Vargath and Selissa respond first. "Not really," he continues, thinking of their part in Moira's cause, "which is why Vargath can't speak for the rest of us. Nor can I, but I believe we are committed to finding the truth in Harumburg." Somehow they'd even convinced Maus to join them after Set had left the Chief's home. "If the vampires are a threat there, I hope your superior will join us in thinking it is a threat deserving of attention," Set says diplomatically. "Until then, it would seem we can at least help each other reach the capital safely."

    Any enemy of Pale Night would be welcome company on the road, but Set couldn't help thinking that there was more to be gained than one woman's sword. The name Nguni was like an itch in the back of his mind, but he couldn't place it, nor would he have guessed that Evergreen would be the one to guess her origin. In any case, both Set and this woman were far from home, but she was a soldier in service to something larger. A soldier in Harumvale, but not one of the king's own. It was like when the Khartou traversed Abydos with the changing of the seasons. They were permitted to ride through and trade unmolested, but they did not answer to the king. Such an arrangement always made some people uneasy given how fragile peace could be. Set wonders how many more soldiers roam Harumvale, loyal to their commander rather than the king.

    "Forgive me," Set says, inclining his head slightly, "I did not receive your name. I am Set Al-Sayyid of Abydos, far to the south," he says, watching her carefully for any sign of recognition. Normally in this land, he could speak his name freely without worry, but a fellow traveler could always be a danger. Still, it was better to admit it to her face and watch her carefully than have her find the answer when he wasn't aware. It probably wasn't an issue. Nguni didn't sound like a place he'd ever heard before.

  12. - Top - End - #822
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    In Dam'ess Square

    Maus seems surprised that Mal chooses to walk with him instead of joining his companions in the tavern, but with a shrug he turns south and starts heading for the small riverfront of the village. He makes no attempt to shorten his stride, leading to Mal having to beat a quick pace to keep up. "When my back was bent by Moira's vile curse, I nearly ended my own life. My entire concept of self was built around being a big, strong leader of men. I wallowed in my own self pity for years before the spirits gave me the wisdom to see the only cage I was in was one of my own design. So instead I read. Every book I could get my hands on, on every topic I could find, from nature and magic to architecture and engineering. I left the village to travel the Vale and find more books. When I felt I was done reading for the moment, I journeyed into the wilds and took up residence with a small circle of druids to learn their arts. When I returned to the village, my back was even more bent, but my mind and my connection to the spirits was keener than ever. When Chief Edeir fell ill, he named me his successor, and I took my place as the spiritual leader of Dam'ess."

    The journey isn't far, just to one of the larger shacks situated next to the river. There are a bevy of children playing out front, ranging from mid teens to barely walking. The crowd runs up when they see Maus, and the Chief and Mal are beset by questions from tiny mouths- about how tall Maus was, about Mal's fiend touched skin, and many more. Maus laughs out loud and leans down to start scooping up the smaller children so they can ride across his shoulders as he strides up to the doorway to knock. A few seconds later, a woman with smile lines around her eyes and grey in her auburn hair opens the door. "Chief Moeller! I wasn't expecting you! Let me make some tea for you and your... friend..."

    Maus shakes his head. "Not today, Maulei. I've come with news. I am going to be leaving the village tomorrow for Harumburg. I do not know when I will return. It is time this village had a new chief, and I am picking you." The woman looks shocked and begins to protest. "But Maus... I don't know how to lead services... or all the rituals and rites that you know! I don't know a third of your knowledge!" Maus begins plucking children from his back, neck, and shoulders, gently placing them down with one hand. "And when I became chief I didn't know an eighth of what Edeir knew. You'll learn. I'll leave books for you to read. Even if you doubt yourself, even if you doubt me, do not doubt the will of the spirits. It was them who guided me to choose you." Maulei looks slightly sick, but she bows. "I will follow their will..."

    Maus turns to Mal, now free of hanging monkeys, and scootches down to look him eye to eye. "I need have words with the new chief. Private words, in regards to the people she will be stewarding and protecting. Is there anything else you need of me? I feel we will have plenty of time to exchange lore on the road, if that is what stirs your hunger."

    In the Oaken Larder

    Ulu looks to the gnome with the same detached, impassive gaze that she has held the entire time her helm was off. "I save my politeness for those who have earned it. I did not insult the man, only told the truth about his wine. Honesty is a beautiful thing, whether it is gentle as a uvemvane or cruel as isiphepho. To tell him otherwise would be a lie, and members of my organization do not lie." She sips her cider and turns to answer Vargath. "The stage coach seats six in the carriage and two in the front. Gear gets strapped on top. Unless you plan on bringing half the village with you, we will fit. Do not worry. The stallions are strong. They will not waver before we reach the next stop on the coach line to switch horses." Next she turns to Selissa. "My home travels with me wherever I go, so long as I remember who I am. One day I may return to Nguni, but until that day I can only strive to represent my people's values in this strange land." Lastly she responds to Set. "Well met, Set of Abydos. I am Uluthando Mikoso, paladin of Order, and I travel from the land of Nguni, as your tree elf friend seems to be aware." You're beginning to pick up on subtle pops, clucks, and clicks when she speaks in her native language or says her name, something that none of you have come across linguistically on Mund.
    The Bear is Back.

  13. - Top - End - #823
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)



    Doctor Ignacius Madaras, Medicus Extravagant!
    Gnome Alchemist Artificer | Raven Homunculus
    AC: 14 HP: 27/27 | AC 13 HP: 9/9
    PP: 11 PIv: 16 PIs: 11 | PP: 14 PIv: 10 PIs: 10
    Conditions: -
    Concentration: -

    I am as much travelled as you are, Ma'am Mikoso, just not from as afar. And I have learned to add myself to the local customs instead of trying to convert everyone. Besides, your truth and honesty is subjective. What if you deem this gin of poor quality, yet it is enjoyed here? Objective criteria are different. 2 parts wood spirits 3 parts alcohol and 4 parts water may be one part methyl alcohol too much for objectively decent drinking, but as long as it improves my tea, and I stay under the - say - 5 drinks it takes before I risk my eye sight, I am fine.

    The gnome finishes his tea, in which he drowned the poor workmanship, and jumps up. Regardless, my friend paid you for your services, and I don't expect such generous help again, but I believe you promised her some Nguni magic.

  14. - Top - End - #824
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Mal
    Levistus Tiefling Bard 4
    AC: 14 HP: 34/34
    PP: 11 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Spell Slots: 1st - 3/4 2nd - 2/3
    Magic Initiate: 1/1
    Fey Touched: 1st - 0/1 2nd - 0/1
    Levistus Legacy: 2nd - 1/1
    Bardic Inspiration: 0/4
    Healer's Kit: 20/20
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating:

    The Walk to Maulei

    Maledictus listened respectfully to the story, double-timing his strides with swift precision to keep in gait with the loping elder. He looked a lynx kiting alongside a bear. The attache thought back to the hut as Maus unveiled his travels, mentally cataloguing what items may have import to this roving pedigree of self-education. Individual initiative was a quality his masters' sought to cultivate, though they also ground in a strong dose of deference--a rising pupil may suddenly displace an incautious teacher. Yet, for his part, he volunteered none of this comparison in his demeanor or words. Instead, the arcanist replied cordially, "This fine tale reflects a thorough mind. You have accomplished much in your journeys. You have strode the whole of the Vale, and brought back tomes from each part? It is a pity to miss seeing such accumulated knowledge before we survey the current state of affairs beyond Dam'ess."

    When the children peppered with questions, he drew a bit of lint from his pouch and began forming images to punctuate his stories. He told them a very brief tragedy of a great heroine succored by a repentant frost devil, whose ultimately sacrificed his life in her protection from the cold fury of his brothers. This woman bore a child of their union, which has sired many of the progenitor's traits down the line (Yes, those horns. Yes, this hue. No, no hooves. Ah, yes, frost magic! No, I can't do that here. Too dangerous). Mal shifted to silence, plucking a child's grasp from his tail before swishing it to the other side...only to remove another child's hand from the sweeping appendage. In the end, he curled the tail under his cloak to deter wandering, grubby hands from soiling his skin. He nodded politely to the apparent successor, allowing the exchange undergo unimpeded.

    When Maus made a point to address him face to face, the tiefling neither flinched or strayed his golden gaze. He kindly remarked, "Thank you for the privilege of witnessing this passing of the torch. It has been insightful. I have other business to attend, but I am sure we shall converse in our travels, as you have said."

    He address the woman as he moved to leave, "I congratulate you, Chieftain Maulei, on your ascension to protectoress of Dam'ess. May your leadership be one of beneficence and bounty for your people."

    In order to extract himself from the knot of children, the tiefling bowed with a flourish and vanished in a puff of frosty mist like a wintry fog. He reappeared a spear's toss away, where he gestured and produced a phantasmal song in pianissimo for the benefit of the children. The jovial melody played for a minute after his departure and hinted at the pleasant opportunities of spring and good cheer.

    The Walk Back

    On his return journey, Mal contemplated the revelations. This village saturated in animistic shamanism. Whatever learning Maus obtained across the Vale, he had syncretized the arcane lore with druidic knowledge. The tiefling would like to unravel the grove-tongue and see what insights the tree-lurkers kept to themselves. A temptation wormed its way into his consciousness. He could attempt to infiltrate Maus' hut, rifle its contents, and find what gems he may. Yes, then he could see what secrets the Elder had, add those to his quiver in case he should need to expose the man, some germ of truth for a poisoned lie...but no, Dam'ess was small and the elder's hut conspicuous. He had many arts, but invisibility was not one. A disguise would be a decent middle ground. Indeed...

    Mal produced his violin, strumming and tuning its strings. He drew the bow across the surface, producing a sonorous and soporific tune. The notes suggested rest from strife, toil, and trouble. The tiefling approached the town proper and flit his eyes from person to beast. When a a tree rodent scurried a bowshot away from the bard, he whispered an infernal curse as he concluded the stanza and whispered something about the critter's debased parentage. Mal let the notes strangle themselves in the breeze as he stowed his instrument, leaving the squirrel for some cat to ferry off. Then he turned his attention to his true target.

    The Tavern

    Maledictus entered the bar without pomp or circumstance. His gilded eyes roved the hall until they alighted on the strange paladin. Then he moved to the bartender, saying, "Would a song or a tale of the hawkeyed Hildegard and dauntless Hans suffice for a pitcher of your finest for those brave souls at the tables?"

    Once he satisfied his conversation with the barkeep, he shifted his will-diluting art to the paladin. Mal busied himself with sharing some of his wit with the occupants at the rail before finally making his way to the group. He settled in next to Set and offered a smile to the dour paladin. "A fair evening, Lady of Order. It is good to finally make your acquaintance. You may call me Mal."

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Minor Illusion (Image) to portray ice sculptures of his heroine, the frost devil, the devil's cruel brothers, and the supposed scion of their union.

    Misty Step, followed by Minor Illusion (Sound) of a soft melody at a point that benefitted the children while did not disturb the elders.

    Edited: Hex (Wisdom checks) followed with Vicious Mockery on the squirrel, then shift to the paladin.

    25 persuasion with bartender to barter a song or tale for pitchers of his finest drink to the party.


    Spoiler: Mal's Notes
    Show
    Set: outcast of Abydos / Romantic connection for Moira?
    Selissa: Blighted or reconstructed wood elf? Purported Scout.
    Vargath: Afflicted Lycanthrope seeking to suspend his curse
    Mandaras: Rival to Dr. Fixer.
    Dr. Fixer: Moira's lieutenant and cultivates relations with the locals of Vale.
    Elder Maus: Seeks to kill Moira. Hired mercenaries who betrayed him.
    --Healed to his full 9ft height.
    --Disbelieves Moira's insights; seeks to end her directly or indirectly.
    --Seeks us to verify the truths of Moira's claims--or stop her by any means necessary.
    Maulei: Successor to Elder Maus as elder of Dam'ess.

    Barlgura: Demon loosed by summoning ritual on the road to Dam'ess. Slain with its summoned partner by team. (Bless helped with accuracy issues due to invisibility. In the future, layer mind sliver to aid with saves.)
    Brazen Hart: Spirit of the wild wood around Dam'ess. Seeks to test the party's mettle by forcing an open fight with the Barlgura.

    Report daily updates to Mistress Moira at last light.

    Last edited by Theophilus; 2021-05-11 at 02:30 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #825
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    The Frozen Northlands
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    Male

    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    In the Oaken Larder

    Ulu's eyes shift an iota towards annoyance when Ignacius speaks of converting people, but it is barely perceivable before she extends a hand and touches Selissa's arm. She stamps her foot and strikes a quick beat against the metal plates on her side for a few seconds, closing her eyes and emitting a hum from deep in her chest. Selissa's wounds heal almost instantaneously as a deep gray light wraps around her wounds and suffuses into them. Her skin feels oddly cold, as though the grey light were fresh fallen snow. Mal walks in just as this magic is finishing, and Selissa is fully healed. As the paladin turns to view the newcomer, her stony demeanor falters for a moment.

    She reaches a hand to her side and grips the curved dagger that resides there, and a look of shocked surprise crosses her face. She quickly stands up, nearly upsetting the table and knocking over her chair. Then, as quickly as open emotion comes over her, it is gone. She releases her dagger, adjusts her chair, and accepts Mal's introduction. She returns it, and perhaps with a bit more warmth than with anyone else. "It is good to meet you, Mal. I am Uluthando Mikoso, though you may call me Ulu for short. Excuse my surprise. Tieflings are... treated differently where I am from." She gives him the same salute that she did in the street, with her fist coming up to meet her chest, but this time she inclines her head a fraction of an inch, sending her beaded braids on the right side of her head jangling against each other. Then the cold, detached demeanor returns. "Are there any more of your party? I tire of introducing myself."
    The Bear is Back.

  16. - Top - End - #826
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Mal
    Levistus Tiefling Bard 4
    AC: 14 HP: 34/34
    PP: 11 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Spell Slots: 1st - 3/4 2nd - 2/3
    Magic Initiate: 1/1
    Fey Touched: 1st - 0/1 2nd - 0/1
    Levistus Legacy: 2nd - 1/1
    Bardic Inspiration: 0/4
    Healer's Kit: 20/20
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating:

    The Tavern

    Mal smile remains unbroken despite the reaction. He waves dismissively and replies with friendly cordiality, "Do not be troubled, Ulu. My presence stirs a poignant response most places I venture. I should be the last echo this evening. My apologies for troubling you to make introductions a habit for a road-worn traveler."

    He settled back and looked to the others so as not to force the guest to catch him up should the group deign to review their previous conversation with the knight of Order. The tiefling asked, "What discussion have I interrupted with my delayed arrival?"

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    20 insight and 28 (nat 20) deception to study her reaction and not react.


    Spoiler: Mal's Notes
    Show
    Set: outcast of Abydos / Romantic connection for Moira?
    Selissa: Blighted or reconstructed wood elf? Purported Scout.
    Vargath: Afflicted Lycanthrope seeking to suspend his curse
    Mandaras: Rival to Dr. Fixer.
    Dr. Fixer: Moira's lieutenant and cultivates relations with the locals of Vale.
    Elder Maus: Seeks to kill Moira. Hired mercenaries who betrayed him.
    --Healed to his full 9ft height.
    --Disbelieves Moira's insights; seeks to end her directly or indirectly.
    --Seeks us to verify the truths of Moira's claims--or stop her by any means necessary.
    Maulei: Successor to Elder Maus as elder of Dam'ess.
    Uluthando Mikoso "Ulu:" Paladin? of Order. From beyond the Vale. Reacts by gripping her dagger and declaring Tieflings are treated differently...Lawful (N/E?) Order?

    Barlgura: Demon loosed by summoning ritual on the road to Dam'ess. Slain with its summoned partner by team. (Bless helped with accuracy issues due to invisibility. In the future, layer mind sliver to aid with saves.)
    Brazen Hart: Spirit of the wild wood around Dam'ess. Seeks to test the party's mettle by forcing an open fight with the Barlgura.

    Report daily updates to Mistress Moira at last light.

    Last edited by Theophilus; 2021-05-11 at 02:54 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #827
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 17 HP: 34/34
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: Iumenta Pox (currently no symptoms)
    Concentration:

    As Doctor Madaras elaborates on the subjectivity of truth Set perks up and pays close attention, but it does him little good. He invariably seemed to grow dizzy listening to the gnome, and today was no exception. Two parts wood mixed with four parts water made for one part too much or too little meth-a-something alcohol? Thankfully, Ulu quickly steps into the void left after the doctor falls silent. He couldn't understand her magic any better than he understood the good doctor, but the cold, deep gray had a familiarity to it. Set's smile at Selissa's good health is short-lived, however, as Ulu's chair clatters to the ground. Her hand quickly finds her dagger as she stares past him.

    Set looks back and forth between Mal and Ulu, watching both carefully before surreptitiously dropping his hand from the hatchet still looped in his belt. He'd never left his seat, but he felt his heart hammering at the thought of being thrust into a fight when he'd felt at ease moments before. He bites the inside of his cheek, forcing his heart to slow as the situation ramps back down into a seemingly pleasant introduction.

    Set's gaze lingers on the tiefling a moment longer. Mal had kept his cool through their battle with the barlgura, but in that case they'd been the hunters. They had all known a demon lurked ahead and had ample time to prepare themselves for the coming struggle. Here, Mal had walked into a tavern, presumably expecting nothing more troubling than weak ale, and yet he still remained colder than ice when threatened. Set still couldn't be sure what that was from Ulu or whether Mal had truly been in danger, but the tiefling hadn't so much as flinched either way. He was still carrying the same smile he'd walked in with.

    The silence stretches out for a beat before Set fills it. "We were just discussing travel arrangements to Harumburg. Uluthando," he says, using the name he was given, "is headed back there and has generously offered her stagecoach." He waits another beat to see if Mal objects or excuses himself from such an offer given the recent sequence of events, but Set couldn't tell if the tiefling's pulse had even risen through the entire exchange. "She has also offered to introduce us to her superior, who may or may not see the wisdom in pursuing vampires and aiding us further." At one time, Set had wondered if he could ever provoke a response from Mal. Now it was finally clear to him that Iceblood only responded when he wished to.

    "Horace," Set calls out, "bring some food as well, will you? Mal's tale should cover a pitcher, at least, but I've gold for the food."

    Set turns to Ulu, regarding her warily. Still, he's able to easily overlook the actions of a foreigner who's culture was different from his own, especially one who healed Evergreen and had yet to shed blood. "Will you break bread with us? I am quite hungry. I do not know if you have pancakes in your land, but I tried them for the first time this morning. They are quite good, just cakes of flour with syrup and jelly, but I did not eat enough."
    Last edited by Riggdgames; 2021-05-11 at 09:28 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #828
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)



    Doctor Ignacius Madaras, Medicus Extravagant!
    Gnome Alchemist Artificer | Raven Homunculus
    AC: 14 HP: 27/27 | AC 13 HP: 9/9
    PP: 11 PIv: 16 PIs: 11 | PP: 14 PIv: 10 PIs: 10
    Conditions: -
    Concentration: -

    As his tea is finished, Madaras extracts himself from the situation. Once outside he decides to check the local traders for some alchemical ingredients. If they are to travel tomorrow, he should need some items to actually create a few more potions than he actually carries. That is to say none at all. If nothing worthwhile or payable shows up, he decides to go into the nearest woods to find some magic ingredients.

    For the others he leaves his mechanical companion so they can inform him if they make a move by simply sending Alvis towards the gnome.

  19. - Top - End - #829
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Somewhere Strange

    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Selissa Betula
    Wood Elf Scout Rogue
    AC: 16 HP: 16/31
    PP: 16
    Conditions: None
    Concentrating: --

    Selissa retreated from the personal contact as soon as the healing was done. Experimentally, she flexed her arm, and poked at her bare stomach. No pain. Impressive trick.
    "Thanks," she said tersely before she introduced herself at last. "Selissa Betula."

    If Set managed to score them food, she stayed. Otherwise (and alternatively much later, post-meal) the elf rose to her feet with the easy smoothness her pre-injury movements had always demonstrated. She left enough money for the gin and took the bottle with her.

    She headed back to the little house that she technically owned, and sorted through what was there for anything worth taking - some hides to trade, perhaps, more dried meats and foraged goods, more arrows, a good skinning knife. A comfortable cushion and spare clothing. All this went into a different, slightly backpack rather than the sling of pouches she normally used.

    Then she sat on her furs, drank the gin, and thought on recent events - on the undead and the demons, on the werewolves and the dead. Slowly, in a mental exercise similar to tracing, she separated up those memories, went over each part until they lost their power of her. She retrieved that doll, and feeling vaguely foolish, placed it in the cruck of her crossed legs, hoping it would truly give her comfort.


    Spoiler: ooc
    Show

    Selissa tried to undo some mental damage, hopefully getting advantage from the alcohol and doll.

    She'll also gather up any decent but light enough stuff in her home, depending on whether you think she'll have much worth trading based on previous descriptions in older posts.
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

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