View Full Version : Catechism of Konigsdottir: Chapter the Second: When it Rains....

06-20-2011, 01:19 AM
There is darkness...

...not the cold emptiness...

...but rather a comforting companion...

...much like the voice of a friend in the dark.

There is a sensation of objects moving around you. This sense resolves into a distinct awareness of pane-shaped moments floating and drifting about, mostly in a generally downward direction. This in turn evolves into a sense that the moments are yours, actual memories of your life, and you are suspended among them. The movement becomes more pronounced and you realize that the moments are not moving... you are. There is an upward surge, and the darkness flares and fades to light.

Your eyes open with an abrupt click. There is a vague humming sound in your ear which warbles in pitch and then fades to the background of your awareness. Vision is unfocused, and you can feel your eyes attempt to focus independent of each other. After a brief discomfort, focus returns, and with it, vision. Everything seems loud, impossibly so, but this too swiftly fades. There is a rustling sound, and it feels as if a blanket were pulled off of you, taking some warmth with it. The chill on the skin exposed by your clothing heralds the return of your awareness of touch. You seem to be laying on a bed, or at least the wooden area where a mattress or bed might be placed in a ship. Despite the hard wood underneath, it seem surprisingly comfortable to you.

After a bit, you recognize the room you are in as the room you had been speaking with the circle of crew before, and where you had been just before... whatever it was that happened. The memory seems to be there, but at a remove, with a vague fuzzy feel to it, just out of your mental grasp; much like the feel of a word upon the tip of a tongue which is yet to be recalled. Shaking it off momentarily, you feel more mobile and are able to sit up. The room seems more bare than you recall it previously being. Then you note that the decorations and other personal effects that were present in the background are no longer there.

The nook where you are sitting is currently in shadow from the light entering through the slats at the back of the room. The gentle rocking and wind-boat sounds reveal that you are still at sea. You appear to be alone.

02-29-2012, 03:19 PM
Rilde attempts to calm her mind and prays briefly to Kord, then takes stock again. When you say "personal effects", what do you mean? Specifically, what equipment does she have left? And does this seem to be the same room she was in before?

After taking stock, she calls out. "Ran-po? San-ji?"

06-24-2012, 04:34 PM
{{{Personal effects mean the various small decorations and other items which were in the room on the previous occasions you have seen or visited it, not your equipment. You have whatever you had with you when you were escorted to the wall panels, though your clothing seems to have been changed at some point during your unconsciousness. You are now wearing an outfit closely modeled upon the garments worn by the rest of the crew, though longer and somewhat more feminine in cut and style. This consists of loose trouser-like pants cinched at waist and ankles, a form fitting and supportive shirt of some sheer but opaque material, over which is a thicker dress-like top which is snug on the torso but flares into a knee-length skirt. You can tell that you are wearing some kind of briefs. The undertop is sleeveless and slightly scoop necked revealing your collar bones, while the overtop has more of an angle cut collar and has short sleeves halfway down your upper arms. The outfit is all in creamy wood tones; darker on top, lighter underneath. There is also a sash wrapped tightly around your waist with trailing ends touching your knees in a vivid multi-colored green. This is the same room you were in prior to your saving throws.}}}

There is silence in response to your request. You are alone. After a few moments you hear a clattering and there is a light tap at the door. You hear a muffled, "You summoned us, Lady?"

08-01-2013, 05:53 PM
{Apologies for taking so long to respond}
"What in the name of bloody battle just happened? I was considering what it meant to be the Ship's Lady, and looking at the artwork and patterns on your wall, when I...became dizzy and it felt like the world changed around me. Are we under attack?!"

08-02-2013, 01:52 PM
The door opens, revealing both Ran-po and San-ji with somewhat anxious expressions. They relax slightly and smile to see you up and about. San-ji speaks, "No, Lady, we are not under attack. You have simply become Ship's Lady, though it seems that the bonding is not perfect, as you do not recall what happened, exactly? If we may make request of you, would you humor us and move into the light from the windows...?"

Ran-po nods eagerly.

08-02-2013, 02:19 PM
Rilde, curious, moves into the light. If possible, she also positions herself so that she can look outside.

08-14-2013, 02:35 PM
You approach the wide bay windows and feel a sudden surge of warmth and energy as you enter the rays of light streaming through. It is so welcoming a feeling, that you involuntarily spread your arms as if to embrace the light. You jump as the unbound hair from your head slides forward of its own volition along your sides and arms into the light, and you realize that it is so long that it must reach to your knees... and that it has a distinct greenish tinge. Your attention is drawn to your outstretched bare arms, which have a dark pattern of whorling through your skin. Your bare feet seem finely attuned to the texture and grain of the wood planking under your feet, and your balance perfectly shifts with the ship, as if you know before-hand how it is about to move.

Outside you can see the ship-wake cutting through the medium swells of water and you feel a sense of intuitive understanding of the complex harmony of being under full sail. You get a sensation of wind through the sails, and a depth of water beneath you, and even small flickers of brightness above and beneath. One group of flickers suddenly superimposes over a group of birds you can see out of the window.

08-14-2013, 03:08 PM
Rilde blinks in startlement. "I look like some combination of a tree and a fairy! I can feel the ship and water around me. What has happened?"
{OOC I can guess, but she doesn't know it. :-) }

08-14-2013, 03:58 PM
Ran-po murmurs, "Better than we hoped, or expected."

San-ji continues unperturbed, "You have become Ship's Lady. Wave's Foam is in you, and you are now part of Wave's Foam. It is a nearly perfect bonding... a celebrated event. You will probably find that there are many small changes, such as your sensing what Wave's Foam perceives. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, though Wave's Foam may be better able to aid you in adjusting."

"Shall we go on deck?" Ran-po asks.

08-15-2013, 01:52 PM
"Of course. Let's go on deck, and I'll see what I can learn from Wave's Foam. I'm not used to being on a ship, much less part of one!" She walks towards the deck--then stops, untangles strands of her newly-long hair from her sash and other places around her, and continues. "I need to do something with this hair."

08-15-2013, 09:52 PM
The untangling reveals another slightly disconcerting aspect of your transformation... you are receiving tactile and very primitive visual (light/dark) feedback from your hair. Your hair is very smooth, and seems thicker than it was before. At your comment, your hair promptly writhes and wiggles its way into a loose braid straight down your back, with a knot of some sort at the end. (Prof: Sailor or Use Rope check to identify)

You notice that you have a distinct impression of the interior of the ship as well, not only do you know exactly how to get to the deck, you can sense the location of every other being on the ship.

Stepping out of your quarters presents the next surprise. The oddly hypnotic mural directly across from what is now apparently 'your' quarters seems soothing, rather than disturbing. Your eyes give a distinct internal twitch and you seem to hear something, words both familiar and unfamiliar, and suddenly, you can see an actual picture in the wall with astonishing acuity and depth. It is a collage of images which seem to drift and change. The images seem mostly to be of the ship, many feature women, a few have men, and a sprinkling of the images are so strange you are not sure what to make of them or what they are supposed to be of. In the background over all looms a beautiful mermaid with her arms and tail stretched out to cup and hold all the drifting images. The serene eyes shift and seem to look right at you... then one eye winks at you.

08-16-2013, 02:27 PM
Rilde starts and says, "I see more in that picture than before. There's a mermaid who just winked at me. Is a mermaid among the...revered figures here?"

She continues as she walks, "I feel a need to see the entire ship. I can feel her now, but I want to understand her by walking around and seeing her for myself."

She proceeds to tour the ship, thoroughly and carefully, unless something/someone stops her for some reason. As she goes, she will continue to ask what things are expected of her, with a special emphasis on any deeds of bravery or strength that might be required. (She tries not to overemphasize the latter, but it probably slips through anyway.)

08-19-2013, 11:06 AM
Ran-po seems delighted, though San-ji maintains his dignified composure. "It is well that you can see her. None but a Ship's Lady can perceive anything but a pattern in that mural." Your tour of the ship is well received by the crew, especially at your insistence at seeing every part of the ship, and you gain an increasing sense of closeness with Wave's Foam as you personally walk all the areas. You note that there are no female crew members at all, you appear to be the only one. As part of your tour, you view the figurehead, which is a near exact replica of the mermaid in the mural. You half expect it to wink at you too, it is so realistic, but nothing happens.

Your inquiries reveal that the ship seems to be regarded as a living being with a will and purpose, and that you are more or less a figurehead or interpreter of some sort for that will. But you also appear to be expected to act much as any other Captain would with regard to the Crew. It is almost as if you are to be a mediator or even a priestess standing between the Crew and the Ship, negotiating between their disparate wills; with the ship being revered with nearly the same sort of regard that other people reserve for worship... though it is clear that they do not worship the ship in a religious sense.

You also catch some mention of a Great Tournament, though the crew seems to be avoiding detailed answers about it. Even San-ji and Ran-po are less than forthcoming, struggling manfully to hide uncomfortable looks.

Your tour ends, appropriately, with your taking over the wheel from the sailor there. The sense of the rushing water transmitting vibrations through the keel and up into the wheel is exhilarating. As you look around about, you feel a sudden tugging sensation in your heart pulling you along the wake of the ship, though there is nothing to be seen but wind, waves, and distant shadowy lands on the horizon. Your attention is distracted by the sight of a very transparent woman flickering into and out of view; no, rather a familiar mermaid, perched on the railing to one side, staring intently at your chest. "So that is what that is for..." she comments, her voice is pitched low, tuned to the rushing sounds of water and wind, and somewhat startlingly seems to be coming from inside your head. It is somewhat hard to make out.

None of the others on the upper deck seem to notice or hear her at all.

08-21-2013, 08:01 AM
She looks bemused at her own chest. (I don't recall any special emblems/symbols/whatever being inscribed on her shirt.) Does she see anything special?

Also, she thinks at the mermaid: "Can you hear me? Who are you?" If there's no response, she goes over to where she saw the mermaid and says that quietly, out loud.

If this doesn't give any results, then she tells Ran-po and San-ji, "I seem to be somewhat in charge of the ship, but I don't know how to captain it! I have much to learn. Can you and the crew teach me?" At the same time, she's remaining open to any more messages.

08-21-2013, 10:35 AM
You do not see anything special. Though the feeling abates slightly, any time you turn or look towards it's direction, it twitches and strengthens for a bit.

Your thought seems to catch the attention of the mermaid, but the perplexed face she makes causes you to go and lean casually on the railing and attempt speech. "Ah, aoun agu perceive me. I was worried aoun apa'unpb pou. The linkage is pouna avpor af, but this arga promising... perhaps you a'on aounap upr into it. It is naou enpoaf uaf speak, that uad organize ghio iofeu." As she speaks and she flickers into and out of existence, her speech is likewise garbled. She gives you a friendly smile. "Aine fienr Wave's Foam. Ienof Foleon, that's me."

When you step aside and speak to the thin air, Ran-po, San-ji, and the sailor retreat a bit, with the attitudes of giving you privacy; but not before you catch a significant glance between the two, and a flashing grin from Ran-po. Even San-ji seems to be smiling.

{{{as you did produce results, i'll assume you do not yet give your last statements and question. }}}

08-21-2013, 10:23 PM
Rilde can't be sure, but she feels that perhaps she needs to focus her thoughts. She attempts to focus, concentrate and speak calmly, only in her head. "Is...this...more...clear?" In case it's relevant: Concentration check

08-27-2013, 04:31 PM
The mermaid glances aside, a quick flick of the eyes, seeing you know not what. She smiles again, "That apoun quite good. No akwre onat projection. The reception onarfgn paoisn onos itself over iuna asou uoas to ouabsub each other. Unare me show you." She reaches out and seems to touch something. Several pictures appear before her, floating in the air, a mildly confusing mass of colors and motion and patterns. She touches several pictures in rapid succession, causing changes to occur each time. She grabs one picture and pulls it up and away from the rest, making it bigger, and turning it to face you. You are not sure what you are looking at, but the picture has two halves, the upper has a calming flow of cool colors moving away from an oval mass of squiggles contained inside smooth bands, while the lower half has the same colors moving towards a similar oval but breaking up into a mess of flashing red symbols and orange symbols. She says some more things, but stops when she sees the incomprehension on your face. She taps her chin with a shapely finger a few times, then points to the upper half and slowly says, "Speaking aair me." Pointing to the lower half, she says, "Hearing me."

08-28-2013, 09:10 AM
Rilde shrugs and both concentrates on and touches the upper half (if possible--not clear if it's physical or not). She speaks out loud: "I am Rilde Konigsdottir." Then she says the same thing in her head. After that she touches and focuses on the lower half and waits for an answer.

08-28-2013, 10:12 AM
Attempting to touch it yields nothing but the faintest of tingling sensations as your fingers pass through. Positioning your fingers appropriately, you note the top half pulses more vigorously as you speak and as you think. Her welcoming answer, still sporadically broken up, is matched by similar pulses in the lower half. As you are paying close attention, you are confident that the symbols pulse and proliferate in time with her fading out of your senses, though the picture fades along with her as well, making it a bit tricky. With a rueful cant to her smile, she gestures towards San-ji and Ran-po, "In time anoe nionl heal." With a swift series of touches, the pictures dwindle to points of light and then disappear.

08-29-2013, 12:37 AM
She summarizes what just happened to the two goblinoids. "I begin to understand some of what she's telling me, but it's still unclear. She gestured towards both of you and said, 'In time anoe nionl heal', although I think that's my lack of understanding. I will continue to talk with her. In the meantime, I still wish to view the ship." She does both of the above, continuing to concentrate on the mermaid when she has a spare moment and touring the ship thoroughly.

08-29-2013, 10:07 AM
The pair seem delighted that you can communicate with Wave's Foam, and even see her; apparently not all Ship's Ladies are equal. They assure you that in time things should become more clear. Your tour of the ship is very thorough. It seems that before long you will be adding sailor to your list of abilities. By the end of your tour, it is clear that you have a lot of studying to do. Each post has numerous tasks associated with it, and there are a surprising number of posts on the ship. It is much like a little village. During your tour, you discover that all the texts are written in a Goblinoid tongue of an unfamiliar mode. The mermaid also accompanies you, flitting in and out of view, and even occasionally pointing out something to you that needs adjusting or cleaning. You note that your 'landing spot' has already been straightened up. You also discover the ship's previous port, current heading, and intended destination while reviewing the charts in navigation.

It appears that you are on a large inland sea, mostly landlocked, though there are a lengthy series of straights leading out into the southern ocean. The most recent port was an island in the eastern portion of the sea, on the southwest side of which is a location marked as the City of Stars. Your destination is given as one Home Harbor, on the northern side of the far west shore of the inner sea, and Wave's Foam is making a fairly straight course directly towards it.

08-29-2013, 10:28 AM
Rilde will spend whatever time is available talking with the mermaid, learning about the ship, and trying to understand the context of everything she's dealing with. Questions (asked as convenient): What are Home Harbor and the City of Stars? What kinds of beings inhabit them both? Is this area all one country, or several? And some obvious questions she's been too distracted to ask: Are there any other humans here? If so, where are they? For that matter, what about your standard races (dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, half-orc, etc.)? In a larger sense, what is her/their purpose here? She's now the Ship's Lady of Wave's Foam, which she enjoys, but what is the purpose of the ship? Trade? Warfare? Diplomacy? Communication? Any or all of the above? {Sorry for the barrage of questions; it will probably take a while for you to answer.}

08-29-2013, 06:05 PM
{{{if there is nothing else specific that you wish to do or accomplish in the short term, other than get your questions answered, the journey will take a few weeks, between wind and oar. (if there is something, please specify.) over that duration of time it would be assumed that you are studying the language, texts, knots, ship-lore, and sailing, as well as joining your crew in the twice daily workout/combat training sessions. you will also find that as time passes, the communication between you and Wave's Foam is improving. A few items of notable strangeness: one, your bunk is a simple slab of wood, though of an unusual kind, with no padding and only a single blanket - despite this, you are quite comfortable on it; two, you seem to be learning the language, including writing, with astonishing rapidity, and your memory seems to be much sharper than before; some aspects of the language seem oddly familiar, but it is not enough to trigger a recollection of what it reminds you of; the charts also bother you for some reason, they don't look exactly familiar, but there is something about them....

As to your questions:

Home Harbor is their main enclave in this part of the world. They appear to be a semi-nomadic people, with Ships and ships being associated with families and clans as well as organizations. It is the gathering place where they meet every five years, and exchange news, goods, and bloodlines. It not only serves as a safe harbor, shipyard, and capital city, it is also a massive faire, bazaar, matchmaking hotspot, and olympic competition.
The City of Stars is the name of the sole city of a strange and independent island nation with peculiar notions of progress and rule. Most of the People avoid them, fearing that they will lose Crew to the beguiling notions that they espouse, but due to "cough-certain-cough-reasons", this Ship made their last stop for trade there.
The inner sea (referred to as the "Naval of the World" in the language of the Crew) borders many lands, some claimed, some not.
They puzzle over your race-names, but descriptions of racial characteristics yields that they have heard of and/or interacted with (you're not quite sure) dwarves, elves, and humans of some kind. Halflings seem a maybe, but they are clueless about half-orcs. They also list off a barrage of race-names and descriptions which completely lose you, though some sound vaguely like certain monstrous races, unknown kinds of humanoids, or animals.
The main purpose in general seems to be trade, though there are elements of combat in some descriptions, particularly regarding the upcoming Gathering. Securing new and lucrative trade routes also figures largely in the wistful sharing of various crew members.
Additional information: Though the crew is loathe to speak of it leaking only hints and allusions, after a long series of frustratingly vague avoidances, a direct approach to Wave's Foam (after your perception ability improves enough,) pieces together most what the Crew was trying to avoid telling you: It seems that the ruling council for this people is comprised of representatives of those who do well in the upcoming Gathering, who then establish certain policies and practices for the next five years. (As an interesting historical side note, it seems that these Gatherings and contests long ago replaced a raider-pirate sort of existence alluded to previously in the story of that one Lady you were told.)

Wave's Foam is on the brink of being decommissioned, due to not having someone in your position for a certain length of time, despite some moderately successful trade runs. The fact that certain contests can only be participated in by someone in your position hampers the Crew's ability to score well enough to either save themselves or gain enough influence. Apparently, it is a fairly recent practice of certain families to act in concert to squash or forcibly incorporate independents and weaker Ships, ships, families, and groups into their holdings and control; and it is this by which she is threatened.

It seems that Wave's Foam is one of the oldest Ships still functional and in active service, which has its own special prestige. It is also apparent that neither her nor the crew wish to be owned by any of these families, having successfully avoided numerous offers, enticements, and outright hostile takeovers. This is even further complicated by Ran-po's potential romance, which was also previously alluded to, who herself is a ranking member (a soon-to-retire Ship's Lady no less) of one such powerful conglomerate. Wave's Foam's precarious position and the accruing disfavor of various powerful and influential have dissuaded female crewmembers from joining (while not quite matriarchal, women occupy a special and biased position in this society).

Wave's Foam is furthermore an old-fashioned Ship, being much more martial in orientation, which mode and fashion is no longer popular, but happens to suit you very well, indeed. She has a long memory, remarkably intact, and knows many things that only her or certain older ships might know. }}}

09-03-2013, 11:48 PM
Rilde has more questions. Who are the people trying to take over Wave's Foam? How can they be challenged? Are there perhaps duels involved, friendly or otherwise? Are they considered business rivals or sworn enemies? In either case, can we expect trouble--either covert (subtle sabotage, getting crew drunk/distracted/whatever, bureaucratic obstacles) or overt (attacks on Wave's Foam)? And what can we do about it? If a good showing in various games is important, then by Kord we'd better do well in them! (Perhaps that's why the combat, etc. drills, which she heartily approves of.) She's still thinking in terms of fighting, of course, but being aware of the uncertain local feelings about it, she tries to avoid suggestions like "Which opponents do we kill to solve this problem?"

09-04-2013, 03:17 PM
{{{There have been a number of offers, most of which were from minor Families. You gather from your studies and talks while working with the Crew that the government consists of about five major families, and between two and three times as many minor families - a number of which border on being considered major themselves. Each family brings what it can spare to the Gathering. The success of each family is measured by a combination of what it donates to the gatherings, what each family can earn during the gathering, and a number of votes that each person possesses which are apparently split among the entire population using some complicated method that completely passes over your head - except for the part about winning contests.

There is one vote per person, but there are also a fixed number of special votes, and winners of contests gain titles, each title thus won controls an associated number of votes. The rarity, value, usefulness, and largess of the offerings (donated and sold) is also taken into account. The final tallies determine in some fashion how much influence, represented by seats on various councils, any given family has over the various areas of authority. As each council oversees a different aspect, this yields a complicated political structure which is very difficult to win a dominating position in. There are apparently rules preventing more than certain percentages of control over any given council by a given family.

It rather brings to mind a vision of what would happen if all the jarls back in your homeland could potentially jockey for the highest position, and if there was a large number of highest positions. It sounds extremely chaotic.

The main point amidst all the complicated explanations that sticks with you is that Wave's Foam and the Crew have been doing rather successfully at trade, which has won them almost enough profit. However, at each of the past three Gatherings, the limit has been raised bit by bit, which has started edging out the poorer and less successful independents and even some family ships. This limit, incidentally, is the averaged cost of outfitting and repairs for ships, which is done at each Gathering without charge to the Ships and ships benefiting, but in return each must show a profit matching or exceeding that limit or risk being considered in social debt, thereby open to being acquired by others, or being decommissioned if no one is willing (or able) to take on the burden and commitment. This being in social debt is only tolerated for so long before a Ship or ship is forcibly docked until acquisition, decommissioning, or somehow the debt is dealt with.

Wave's Foam is somewhat independent, which is why they have not joined any of the recent Consortiums of lesser families and independents attempting to win influence in the Councils, and thus lower the limit again; though apparently, the major Families are thus far successfully waging a polite if bitter war against losing influence to said consortiums. Her success thus far has prevented any acquisition attempts and enabled her to continue to refuse offers, but with the latest changes to the limit, and to the policies of challenge, she may no longer be able to legally retain her independence.

The rub is the new policies of challenge (spoken of with many dark looks and muttering) seem to be specifically aimed at borderline Ships and ships such as Wave's Foam. It adapts the policy of challenging crew-people deemed unfit, unworthy, or of lesser ability for their position, adding caveats that permits a Ship's Lady to challenge another Ship's Lady on grounds of insufficient profitability now being considered "unfit and unworthy". The stipulation of it only being allowed to a Ship's Lady gives a large advantage to those who are bound to Ships, as opposed to those who merely helm ships, which has enabled a number of recent acquisitions, supposedly for the "good of the whole", but with losing Crews and crews frequently finding themselves supplanted by the nepotistic tendencies of the winning Families over time. It also "incidentally" prevents Crews and crews without a Ship's Lady from defending themselves against the challenge of acquisition... unless they can find a capable Ship's Lady within the allotted time. And even if they do somehow manage to find one who is not warned or scared off, the usual response to a challenge is a trial in the aspect thus challenged. And with profitability being challenged, a trade run of both ships along the same route is the standard challenge, which the Family then pours in resources that the challenged cannot match to ensure a victory.

While Ran-po hopes that his ongoing relationship with the object of his affections will provide them with a new Ship's Lady, as there are rumors that she is about to step down from her current position in favor of a new likely prospect of her Family, San-ji privately confides his fears to you - carefully hidden from Ran-po out of consideration for his feelings - that she may seek just such an acquisition in Wave's Foam... and her family is one which has been part and parcel of the limit hikes, and the new policy. San-ji has even managed to speak with some former Crew and crew who where "ashored", even discovering that there is a secret payoff being given to "ashored" Crew and crew to keep their mouths shut till after the next gathering. San-ji feels that if they can present eminently successful trade runs on routes thus acquired as proof-of-concept, that they can make the new policy stick, even tighten it more, despite any protests by the majority. After all, winning enough titles can tilt the balance enough to outweigh the general vote.

Wave's Foam is aware of San-ji's thoughts, and seems to harbor fears that his view is too shallow yet, and makes it quite clear that she would not tolerate a Ship's Lady unsuitable to her preferences - which in her view can only end in her decommissioning, being stripped for parts, and being dry-docked in the Hall of Ships forever more. She further mentions specifically to you, that while such challenges are normally in the area of expertise challenged, tradition dating back to the original Lady clearly preserves the right to a non-lethal trial by combat, one of the caveats instituted by the Lady and her Followers to encourage adherence to the Way from the warlike tribes of yore. This is where you come in, or so hopes Wave's Foam. She is literally staking her livelihood, and from what you understand her literal existence as it currently is, on you and your abilities.

Wave's Foam is of a distinct military bent, something which appears to be increasingly rare according to what you are gathering, something which hails back to a past that she avoids speaking the details of. You get the distinct impression that she has some sort of long laid plan, and is walking a difficult and dangerous path, all towards a goal which she does not even let a hint of drop. As such, she fully expects trouble of all possible sorts up to and including espionage and sabotage and red tape - though she hopes to catch them all off-guard with you as her Ship's Lady. One thing she does mention is that your position, indeed all positions, did not originally belong to any one gender or even race, and that Laws older than even the Way yet still in force should prevent them from denying you any rights as a Ship's Lady. This is something which apparently few, if any, of the People know, thought the wording of the original Texts supports it. You also get an incidental impression that she does not care much for the newer Ships, as she mutters vehemently against them as much as any old geezer complaining about the newest generation might.

From your studies of the Texts, you realize that practically all forms of lethal combat are philosophically forbidden, except in strict self-defense against a repeated aggressor. From the watered down versions in the Texts, supplemented by docudramas from what are apparently actual memories of the times in questions by Wave's Foam (which you find much more entertaining and engrossing than the versions you are reading, but just how old is Wave's Foam, really?) it appears that the Lady and her Followers did serious amounts of butt-kicking and brow-beating to get their points across. Almost all non-lethally to boot, which was deliberately designed as a way of proving the superior skills, ways, and means of the new Way. From this you get a clear impression that while there is no particular issue with fighting per se, killing would not aid you or Wave Foam.}}}

09-05-2013, 03:18 PM
At some convenient point, Rilde talks to Ran-po. "You mentioned that your ladymight become a Ship's Lady. Assuming she does so, would her ship be allied with Wave's Foam and your clan? Or would you and Wave's Foam become part of her clan? I'm not clear about the relationship." {She is explicitly not mentioning the possibility that Wave's Foam herself might be the lady's desired new ship.}

She also tries to clarify, with both Ran-po and San-ji, the effect of Wave's Foam having a good trade run. So if Wave's Foam is profitable enough, and has a Ship's Lady, that would stop a hostile takeover?

Finally, she tries to clarify with Wave's Foam: What is the point of the trial-by-combat? Is the point to prevent an unsuitable Ship's Lady from being foisted on her, or to prevent a hostile economic takeover, or both? Who would fight in it? Is it a single combat, Rilde (presumably) against a designated champion, or some sort of ship-to-ship or crew-to-crew conflict? Also, who among the crew is aware of the ancient trial-by-combat rules? Until Rilde is sure about all this, she keeps the idea of trial-by-combat to herself, not telling the crew.

09-09-2013, 03:35 PM
From Ran-po you learn that his interest is the blossom of womanhood, a comely and demure young lady of position and wealth, compared to whom he feels most unworthy, though even her family has been kind to him. She is apparently accomplished in artistic writing, decorating, is soft spoken, the epitome of manners, has a blinding smile, and is generous. Her hand is sought by many, though she has confided in him that while her position requires that she meet with all possible suitors, she considers him to be her special suitor. This listing of attributes interspersed with occasional commentaries on conversations had, and his hopes and dreams continues for some time. Somewhere in between you manage to catch that she is already a Ship's Lady, having just become one at the previous Gathering five years ago. It seems that her family has more suitable candidates than available Ships, so they rotate them through Crews and land-bound duties. It is Ran-po's understanding or interpretation of their conversations that she would join Wave's Foam, though obviously no longer as Ship's Lady, now that you have successfully occupied that position. Wave's Foam has always been independent of the Families and various consortiums for some reason, so obviously his love interest would want to join with Wave's Foam. There are still a number of suitable positions for a woman of her merits and accomplishments in the Crew, or those who occupy the position by default, lacking a woman for the spot.

They have had a profitable trade run, which would be enough under the rules of the Gathering before last, but with the last Gathering's changes {{{afore mentioned}}} it will no longer be enough without a Ship's Lady to meet any challenges of profitability, specifically due to the fact that it requires a Ship's Lady to respond to challenges limited to Ladies. Your presence means that they can no longer be declared unprofitable by default, despite the richness of their cargo. There may still be challenges from those hoping to take over certain Ships and ships by use of the new technicalities, especially if they do not know of you. (San-ji privately mentions that it might be wise to hide the fact that you are Ship's Lady, and in fact, to hide your presence completely, to retain the element of tactical surprise.)

You notice that the more you sleep on your matress-less bunk, the better your communication with Wave's Foam gets. She finally reveals to you that the bunk is a direct link to her, made as it is from unbroken Issashaharashtarren wood which is a part of her. She is able to do a number of things for you when you are in direct connection, such as modify you, like in this case, healing the imperfect connections. Once the connections are completely healed, she hopes to be able to restore most of the memories of your bonding, as there was apparently some trauma associated with the experience. The only reason she has not taken you back into the * is because she wants to be fully integrated with you first, to prevent any reoccurrence of what happened before. ( * = the word she used translates in your head as 'bridge', but the impression you get is of the stern deck where a ship is steered which is somewhat confusing for you.) This location is apparently behind the mermaid picture that only a Ship's Lady can see.

She heartily endorses San-ji's suggestion of secrecy and hopes that you will instruct all the Crew accordingly. It may also be wise not to grant shore leave until after the cargo is fully logged and registered, something which Wave's Foam warns you will be unpopular with some of the Crew. Drink and well deserved relaxation will surely loosen some of even the most loyal tongues, reasons Wave's Foam.

As was pointed out by San-ji, without a Ship's Lady, any challenge designated as restricted to Ladies must be met by a Ship's Lady. Any Ship or ship without one loses by default, exposing them to anything from, being forced to give up some or all of their cargo, having ownership taken over by the challenger, to being replaced, or even being retired. She worries that should the challenge come from a Family sufficiently wealthy or powerful, they may have used various sneaky methods to boost the trade output of their challenger sufficiently to ensure victory, even against the unusually rich cargo she holds this time around.

The more recent generations have moved away from their warrior traditions in favor of economic tactics and wars of words. This is something that Wave's Foam speaks of with some bitterness, the shadow of some other memory in her voice. She fully supports the Way, she explains, but she does not like how it is currently being practiced (or not practiced, in her view). Oddly, you catch a musing about 'must support the Way, it is almost all that is left'.

The trial by combat option is an ancient tradition, one which has not been invoked for nearly a century, and not for some time before that either. Wave's Foam plans for you to use it to cut through any attempt to make the challenge into an economic or trade based contest, shifting the challenge from an area of strength for the Families, to an area of strength of hers, and yours. The purpose of the trade-based challenge is usually to either discover what routes, ports, and contacts the independents have, to take over the Ship or ship outright, or both. Her purpose is to defeat any such attempt, and if possible, to reverse it, stealing one of the newer Ships away from a Family. You catch another musing about 'seeing what is really going on'.

Such a combat would be an arena contest between two Ship's Ladies, with any combat abilities allowed, but only if used in a non-lethal fashion. If Wave's Foam is challenged, you as the Ship's Lady get to pick the kind of contest, something which they won't expect, and something which they likely will not have prepared for. Wave's Foam has never heard the Crew mention any stories of the last trial-by-combat which took place nearly a century ago, so she thinks that either they don't know about it, or have discounted it as an older legend or story. Certainly, none of the Crew, even the oldest, were more than children at the time. Considering how freely the Crew speaks in her presence, she is pretty confident about her supposition.

09-11-2013, 10:30 AM
OK. Here's what Rilde will be doing as we travel:

1) There's one problem with hiding Rilde's presence: She's very distinctive. Aside from her being very tall for a human, these are goblinoids here; she'll stand out like a sore thumb. So, the only way for her presence to be secret is for her to remain on Wave's Foam during the trade meet unless/until her presence becomes necessary. She's willing to do this for a while, but eventually she'll want to leave the ship!

2) She will try to be friendly and helpful with the crew: Using both magical and nonmagical healing as necessary, casting other helpful spells, etc. Other than this, she instructs the crew accordingly: Leave her presence a surprise, and no shore leave until the cargo is completely logged and registered. If the crew doesn't like this, she reminds them that what's at stake is their reputation and freedom, not to mention Wave's Foam herself! She also emphasizes that shore leave is not cancelled, only delayed--and when they succeed at defending their independence, they'll really have something to celebrate. In case it becomes necessary, a Diplomacy check aided by a Guidance orison (cantrip): Diplomacy

3) She tries to find out more about the capabilities of the various Ship's Ladies whom she might need to challenge. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Also, when/if a trial becomes necessary, she'll try to figure out a wording that does not exclude spellcasting. For instance: An unarmed combat match. She might state the conditions as: Nonlethal combat only (of course); no weapons, armor or outside assistance allowed; no drugs or poisons; each person may prepare in any desired fashion for 30 seconds before the combat begins. She can then surprise her opponent with Enlarge and Bull's Strength spells, rendering grappling a very powerful choice. Or would this be considered unethical, even if it's not actually cheating?

4) A side note: What about spellcasting in this world? Are the people generally familiar with spellcasting in the ordinary D&D sense? Do they understand what a cleric is, and what Rilde's spellcasting abilities are?

5) She'll keep Ran-Po talking about his lady-love.

6) Finally, she'll continue doing the things that you (the DM) suggested: Talking with Wave's Foam, combat training, learning her way around the ship, knots, ship-lore, sailing, etc., etc.

7) Somewhere in there, she'll try to find time to eat and sleep. ;-)

09-11-2013, 12:25 PM
One more thing: During this trip, she'd like to talk about weapons and armor, just in case the ship is attacked, e.g. by pirates. Her favored weapon is the heavy poleaxe (Complete Warrior). Failing that, any two-handed weapon will do; she's bad at ranged combat. Also, light armor (in which she can at least have a chance of swimming) would be nice.

09-13-2013, 12:27 PM
1) Wave's Foam agrees, and after the cargo is taken care of, can undertake to get you ashore. The only caveat is that you'll have to hide your skin throughly, as the whorled marks are a dead giveaway to any of the People.

2) There is some grumbling, but most of it seems to be accompanied by a sort of pleasure. The Crew seems happy to have a Ship's Lady again.

3) The abilities seem to largely depend on the capabilities of both the person and the Ship. There seems to be the basic enhancements: speed, strength, agility, toughness, healing, knowledge and remote communication... it seems that other abilities have gotten more and more rare over the last century or two and Wave's Foam does not think there are many left. The most common one left is that of boosting your physical and mental abilities. The way it is described almost sounds like a time stop effect, or more accurately a time slow effect. And there is something else that she could do for you... (see 8).

4) What you learn is disquieting. Spellcasting is not unknown, but it seems to be of the more spontaneous sort. What is spoken of does not even resemble the methods you are used to. {{{in game terms, they don't seem to have ever heard of the concepts of spell memorization, spell slots, nor most of the religions and Powers (as in powers-that-be) that you mention. Metamagic also seems unknown as a separate ability, you get blank looks and responses along the lines of, 'but everyone who has that power can do that'...}}} Oddly enough, various magical abilities and powers are attributed to the Lady spoken of in the Texts, as well as to some of her Disciples.

Wave's Foam is also concerned, pulling up lots of pictures around her and studying you intently whenever you cast a spell. You notice that when you cast a spell, you temporarily lose the ability to interact with Wave's Foam, and you feel much weaker. It also takes you much longer to recover spells than normal - the more you expend, the longer it takes. After some experimentation, Wave's Foam is able to somewhat explain - what you gather from her detailed and nearly incomprehensible conversation (you've never had a conversation before in your life where so many words obviously mean something other than what you think they mean...) is that the connection between you and her must take up the same channels that you have been using to access magic.

This appears to have been a major contributing factor to your initial difficulty in syncing with her. She says that because of that difficulty, she decided to gradually duplicate, then eventually replace the connections to improve your link with her, but it seems to be one or the other... it also seems that active Ship's Ladies have never numbered among what spellcasters exist in this world, though some have become such after they permanently retire. She has not yet started replacing the connections, but fears that if the process is not completed, it may do irreparable damage. In the mean time, she will not be able to successfully augment you or communicate with you if you continue to cast spells. On the other hand, her augmentations are rather useful and powerful in and of themselves, you can definitely see combat potential in them.

Last in the realm of magic, you cannot feel any sense of presence of your deity, instead feeling a sense of vast distance. Praying feels like shouting down a long and echoing hall. Though you do not seem to be getting any sort of personalized intelligible answers, you do feel a bit of the power, sort of like looking at a star.

5) All you have to do is listen, and make the occasional noise once you get him started. You get the sense that he may be seeing things differently than her.

6 & 7) Somehow....

8) As you near the Gathering, ships become much more common, with shouted conversations, brags, and mostly good-natured sniping carrying over the waves, necessitating your being below deck more and more. To offset your grumpiness at this the Crew surprises you with a set of armor which has been tailored to fit you perfectly. It is a combination of leather with unusual wooden plates and strips, all connected with fine wooden chains under the armor. It proves to be much stronger than it looks. Apparently the wooden sections are all crafted from a single piece of wood, and worked carefully into their final shape. It appears to be made of the same peculiar wood as your bunk. The wooden sections are somewhat small for you, but there is enough slack to the wooden chains to accommodate even a person of your bulk, with some room left over.

Wave's Foam surprises you with a weapon also made of a single piece of that peculiar wood, modeled somewhat after your descriptions of your favored weapon. She explains that this wood has special properties, is very rare and difficult to obtain, and is the only wood which can be used to repair Ships; indeed, the species seems to be dying out and this piece comes from what little remains of her personal store. The blade portion of the polearm has a thicker cross section and is blunt, being taller (stretched out along the shaft) and narrower (does not protrude far from the shaft) than you are used to. It also has a leaf shaped spear tip for thrusting which blends into the blade, and on the back side forms a thick hook. The opposite end has four thick pegs a bit up from the end which form a cross.

{{{i will need to know what you decide to do about magic... if she will give up magic for now in favor of a solid connection with Wave's Foam, or if she will keep using it and deal with a poor connection and possible damage. this will also affect the 'special properties' and 'other things she could do for you' aspects previously mentioned. also, you have more or less arrived, given all that you have been doing... which will curtail the amount of available information due to lack of time. }}}

09-13-2013, 02:42 PM
Rilde is willing to give up magic for the time being, although it upsets her. She still continues to pray to Kord and work out in his name, however. Questions:
1) What about her other clerical abilities? In particular, turning undead, her once/day luck reroll (Luck domain) and her once/day strength boost (Strength domain)? She tries these out, if she hasn't already.
2) What about the act of prayer? Not even praying for spells per se, just trying to make a contact. Does that also interfere with the bond?
3) During her experiments, was she in fact able to memorize new spells, even though the connection to Kord was strange? She doesn't need to try this now; she would already have found out the results.
4) The weapon: She is extremly grateful and praises Wave's Foam, showing it off to the crew. Of course she also spends some time practicing with it. In game terms, does it function as a heavy poleaxe, or can her Exotic Weapon Proficiency (hvy. poleaxe) be changed to match this unique weapon? She names it Storm Surge.
5) How tall are the goblinoids? I hadn't actually asked, but I had assumed that she was rather bigger than they were. Note that while she's huge for a woman, she's only somewhat above average male height--armor made to fit a man would usually fit her just fine. Then again, if she's bigger than the goblinoids, height would make her stand out anyway.

09-19-2013, 10:55 AM
1) Channelling positive energy works without interference, though there is an odd feeling to it, sort of unrestrained, almost overwhelming feel to the flow of it, like it might break free of your control and do who-knows-what if you lose concentration for even a moment, and it gives you a bit of a headache. Your domain powers also seem to work, oddly, though domain spellcasting is affected the same as the rest of your spellcasting.

2) The simple act of prayer does not interfere, though it feels like you are speaking or shouting down a long echoing hallway.

3) Yes, you were able to re-memorize, despite the odd feeling and the drastic time increase required to do so. {{{ Keep in mind that by giving up spellcasting, you will eventually (not immediately) lose access to it completely for the duration that you are Ship's Lady. On the other hand, you will gain distant access to communication with Wave's Foam even when you are not on board, plus the 'other things' hinted at by her. }}}

4) It was specifically designed to be close to a heavy poleaxe, though it is somewhat shorter and a touch lighter. With only a little practice you will be able to adapt to it (yes, your pole-axe feats may apply to it). The hook is intended to enable you to slide down lines and ropes without damaging them, incidentally. The pegs make an excellent foot rest when doing so. It can additionally be used for trip attempts.

5) They are mixed. A couple are a bit taller than hobgoblins, some are shorter, but still taller than goblins, with most in-between... there are at least four distinctly different kinds of goblinoids in your Crew. All are clean and straight of limb and body, smooth of face and skin (with dusky earthy skin tones), and tend towards the lean wiry build which gives a tall-ish impression, even if they are not compared to you. Even those whose eye-teeth protrude still have a graceful, almost handsome cast to their features, including the teeth. {{{ think slightly above 5 feet to almost 7 feet in height, averaging between 140 and 200 pounds. }}}


Wave's Foam arrives. There is quite a settlement in place. Beyond the permanent docks, warehouses, and structures which form a part of the town, the semi-permanent and transitory structures are quite extensive. There is gaily colored bunting and banners, cords and flags everywhere, clashing in a wild riot of color. Even passing near the docks you can hear throngs of people, animals, and cargo forming a dull roar of sound.

You discover that she is able to share some of her senses with you, as you are cooped up in your quarters, she offers to let you see through her 'eyes'. You can tell that she is keeping most of her senses away from you, as hers seem to be global which you can dimly sense. She is mostly sitting on the side of the railing giving you a good view of the town and docks nearly full. Her occasional swoop as she 'swims' to another perch gives you a touch of vertigo, but overall it is quite the sight. Her running commentary is interesting, but full of names and personalities which are too many at once to recall with certainty, if a bit distracted.

The slip assigned is at the near end of the most distant set of docks from the Gathering, distant because you are an independent, nearer portion of those because you are a Ship. Most of those assigned to your section are mere ships, and some of them are pretty ragged. Upon arrival Wave's Foam becomes unusually tight lipped and it occurs to you that she was searching the docks as you sailed by. Whatever she was looking for, she did not find it. San-ji and some of the older Crew commence with the cargo as previously instructed.

09-19-2013, 12:19 PM
Rilde simply waits and watches. She asks the crew and Wave's Foam to keep her informed as to what's going on, especially any challenges.

09-19-2013, 02:20 PM
One more thing: When possible without being seen, she'll go to areas where she can work out and exercise.

09-23-2013, 04:49 PM
The first event of note happens shortly after docking, after the Heads of the Crew, including San-ji, troop off to meet with the Dockmaster to arrange for the inspectors to come and certify and validate the cargo. The seconds are left in nominal charge, in accordance with your instructions to keep your presence hidden. The Crew has been shifting cargo to make ready for inspection and to make offloading easier, and someone thoughtfully made a small clear area below-decks, sufficient for you to exercise in. (The weapon will not fit, however.) A group of stevedores arrives and loudly demands admittance to the cargo hold to begin transferring the cargo to a warehouse, where the inspectors will validate the cargo. You can hear them, but your angle of view is somewhat restricted, until Wave's Foam sends you her vision and hearing.

Ran-po seems somewhat nervous, but challenges this change in procedure, citing the departed Heads of the Crew meeting with the Dockmaster. The lead stevedore smoothly replies that they were sent ahead so that arrangements can be expedited. Ran-po thinks on this, and the stevedore approaches close enough to mount the end of the gangplank, as if he would board. There is a general surge forward of the group behind him. Ran-po demands to see his documentation proving his claim. This halts the stevedores, and after an almost unnoticeable pause, the lead stevedore claims that the documentation will obviously be forthcoming when the Heads return, as the stevedores were sent ahead. Ran-po firms up and denies them from boarding without documentation.

The lead stevedore gets a frustrated and angry look on his face. After working his jaw a few times, he flatly states that they are obstructing honest men in their duties, and manages to imply without stating it outright that there are likely to be fines and other penalties for doing so. Ran-po's body language seems nervous, but his voice is firm as he denies them again. At this point a runner comes up and speaks to the lead stevedore. He glares at Ran-po and indicates that he will regret obstructing them in their duties, but he turns and waves his group off, and they all swiftly depart another way, leaving only rude gestures and muttered insults in their wake.

After the return of the Heads of the Crew, the story is shared and many worried comments and wagging of heads are shared among the Crew, but San-ji upholds Ran-po's decision, whereupon he seems to be much relieved.

Eventually, the inspectors arrive along with a crew of stevedores... none of whom were in the previous group; headed by a fussy individual with a nasal and irritating voice. You are relegated to your quarters for the duration as they will be in the cargo holds. Wave's Foam rolls her eyes at you, and sticks out her tongue. She relates that this inspector is irritating, very picky, but as far as she knows, aboveboard. With the arrival of the inspectors San-ji and Ran-po relate the event previous, but the response is surprising. The inspector questions why the Crew would collude in illegally offloading some of their cargo and evading proper inspection procedures. The fact that the names and company that the lead stevedore gave are all unknown to the inspectors and stevedores does not help matters. After much confusion, veiled accusations, and explanations, the inspection finally commences.

The head inspector seems determined to go over everything with a fine tooth comb, even challenging the crew about the cleared exercise space, wanting to know where that cargo was moved to, again implying that the Crew was evading procedures and colluding with imaginary stevedores or some black market interest, and going as far as measuring the cargo, marks on the floor, and hold spaces. He hovers over the shoulders of his fellow inspectors in addition to inspecting his own portion, as if he is afraid of missing a single thing. The tallies do not seem to be making the inspector happy, as he becomes more and more sour and snappish with each validated crate.

Eventually one of the stevedores quietly reveals that someone high up at the Inspectionmaster's office was tipped off about a rumor that independents were illegally avoiding inspections in order to sneak in extra cargo to boost their ratings and avoid running afoul of the new tighter limits and regulations. This inspector is determined to root out any shenanigans, and has been most put out that he has been unable to find anything yet. This unexpected source dries up when the inspector notices that he is not moving inspected cargo, and gets on his case loudly, and the unfortunate stevedore jumps back to task.

The portion of the cargo from the City of Stars raises another minor uproar with the inspectors, who do not seem to want to validate anything procured from said location. While it is not officially embargoed, it is certainly not something that any right-thinking and upright being would bring to a Gathering. San-ji carefully explains that the cargo was brought to that location for them to pick up, and manages to imply that the cargo was not necessarily anything actually traded with the City of Stars itself, while never actually precluding the possibility of trade with his wording. Wave's Foam chuckles and explains that while at the City of Stars, he had insisted on dealing with "non-local" individuals and groups, whom may or may not have represented locals, but he certainly could not have known such a thing, with certainty. You are reminded of some of your earlier conversations with him, realizing that he has carefully chosen his words around you, too. Wave's Foam comments that he is a wise old scoundrel.

At long last the cargo is done, all is validated, certified, and transferred, and the inspectors and stevedores have left. As per instructions, some of the Crew is given leave, though it seems that the Heads of the Crew have divided up leave into shifts on their own recognizance, and a given shift cannot go on leave until all of the previous shift returns... a stern motivation for keeping their heads, and keeping tabs on each other. This will only last the three days until the Gathering proper begins.

It seems that the rest of the day, or the evening that is left of it, will be quiet.

{{{ this assumes that you stayed put in your quarters throughout. if you had any input you wanted to inject, we can take care of it now and alter anything accordingly. }}}

09-25-2013, 09:44 PM
Rilde would not have interfered, only watching. After they leave, she goes to talk to Ran-po, San-ji, or any other crewmember who seems to be in charge. "It seems the inspectors were giving us a lot of trouble. Is this normal, or are the attempts to block us already beginning? Also, what do we expect to happen next, and can I help?"

09-26-2013, 01:06 PM
From your conversation with the Heads of the Crew and Ran-po, you gather that specific inspector has always been a pain, though the matter of smuggling by independents smacks of collusion and lurking-in-deep-water. It could be a specific move against Wave's Foam, or a more general move against independents, though the latter seems to be the consensus. That first group of stevedores, however, was a definite attempt at interference, but by whom is unclear.

From here on out, they wonder if the cargo will really be safe, despite being validated... after all, damaged, vandalized, or missing goods can't generate profit. That and the possibility of a Challenge has everyone worried. Your Crew feels that they need a plan of some kind that will protect the cargo in the warehouse, keep at least the minimal number of people needed on the Ship - both to prevent intruders and to answer any challenges properly, and allow some to get some leave - and maybe gather more information while they are at it....

{{{ your Crew consists of 23 individuals, the Heads: Lore master, Cabin master, Wood wright, Navigator, Healer, Speaker, and Beacher; and their groups. The Lore master, Wood wright, Navigator, and Speaker have two each, while the Cabin master and Healer have but one each, and the Beacher has six.

The Lore master is in charge of history, records, and knowledge in general, and that group all seem to have minor (magical?) abilities of various sorts. The Wood wright cares for the Ship and the various parts thereof, as well as other sorts of repairs. The Navigator (San-ji, and Ran-po is one of his group) works closely with the Lore master, but focuses on the charts, stars, and geography. The Cabin master not only is the cook, but maintains the cabins, as well as supplies for the Crew. The Speaker is in charge of the cargo, and that group does the majority of the buying, selling, and negotiation. The Healer monitors the health and well being of the Crew and they both also have some special abilities, mostly focused on healing. The Beacher and that group is in charge of safety it seems, being some combination of scout, bodyguard, and stevedore. They also lead the various martial sessions.

Your Crew all pitch in and take turns with general labors, and even cross train to some degree, which you learn is seldom the case, especially with the Family controlled interests. It is one of the few apparently "modern" attitudes held by Wave's Foam, who heartily approves the practice. The usual method seems to be an almost caste or guild like approach where duties are strictly adhered to and trespassing is soundly punished. }}}

09-29-2013, 12:43 AM
Rilde discusses the following points with the crew:
1) Rilde is probably one of the more physically capable crewmembers in a fight. {Note: Is this true? She probably has some idea from sparring matches.}
2) This would make her ideally suited to guard the cargo, but
3) This would A) open her to public scrutiny (unless there were a way to guard the cargo without people seeing her--e.g. she only is seen if she needs to fight someone) and B) separate her from Wave's Foam. Given that,
4) It seems like a good idea for the Beacher and several of his crew to manage guarding the goods at the warehouse or whatever structure the goods are stored in, leaving Rilde and a few others to take care of the ship (she can presumably do quite a few tasks without being seen). There should certainly be a (much) heavier guard than usual on the goods, and the Beacher's crew, being partially stevedores, would probably need to spend time with the goods anyway.

Do other people feel that her reasoning is sound?

09-30-2013, 03:23 PM
1) A few of the crew is more capable than you overall, unsurprisingly most in the Beacher's group, but with your weapon, it throws the other crew off enough that you can defeat them most of the time. Without it, however, their unarmed training wins out about half the time. San-ji, the notable exception outside of the Beacher's group, is a sly, sneaky old fart, using various dirty tricks more often than not, which give you no end of grief. He maintains his cheerful politeness and gallant demeanor even when he has dumped you on your rear yet again.

2) The agree with you on this.

3) They think that you could be passed off as, or mistaken for, a hired guard, so long as you cloak your armor and weapon with a cover of some kind. While not everyone is familiar with Shipwood, any Crew or crew would recognize it immediately. Wave's Foam assures you that she can remain in contact with you even if you went to the warehouse; in fact, anywhere you are likely to go in Gathering (the town and event are both called this) should not prevent her from communicating with you, now that the connection issue has been resolved.

4) They feel that this is also sound logic, though they agree about needing a heavier guard on the cargo, just in case. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

09-30-2013, 10:09 PM
OK. Rilde will talk with the others. Basically: Is the cargo the most likely point of interference? Is anything else more likely, in their opinions? It seems to Rilde that outright sabotage of the ship is unlikely--these people may be rivals, but damaging a ship, if they were caught at it, would make the opponents VERY unpopular. Do they agree? Also, Rilde is still learning her way around the ship; if the ship were sabotaged, she'd be less likely to spot it than others.

Given all that, she's leaning towards helping to guard the cargo after all. I'm thinking that she could cover her weapon with a thin leather coating or something similar, with the (true) excuse that it will make the weapon less likely to kill someone--when guarding, she doesn't want to kill thieves if she can help it. If not, she can just use a quarterstaff or something similar--the weapon isn't THAT important. Similarly, she can wear a cloak over her armor and/or some sort of other garment--perhaps an oversized shirt of some kind. If she does guard, she'll be quiet and stay in the shadows when other people are likely to observe her. Of course, she has to sleep and won't be the only guard.

Of course, she wouldn't be the only guard. She's going to (regretfully) inform the crew that we need extra guards, and ask for an extra effort in protecting both the ship and the cargo. Noncombative crew can still help guard the ship by just staying on board, perhaps walking a patrol (they know the ship, of course), and looking for out-of-the-ordinary things; she'll make it clear that their only duty in this case is to notice and report oddities and to immediately get help from combat-trained personnel if there are problems. In addition, she's going to ask for an extra effort and (essentially) overtime from Beacher's group to help with guarding, and she'll ask (quietly) if there's any way to arrange a bonus for them once the money from the trip and trading starts coming in--they'll have earned it.

What I'm thinking for guards:
On the cargo--Rilde and 4 members of Beacher's crew working 12-hour shifts, with Rilde and one other covering the day while others (3) cover the night. She feels that interference during the night is more likely, but she'll be much less useful due to her lack of darkvision, so she'll cover the day with just one other. (Is this correct? For instance, if the cargo area is well-lit and she can lay hands on a continual-flame stone, nighttime might not be such an issue, and it would be easier to hide her during the night. Do others agree that nighttime is more likely to be a problem?)
On the ship--Beacher and the other 2 of his crew, with other crewmembers helping out as their duties permit; again, the noncombatant crew is helping out by being extra alert and working extra to keep watch, reporting problems to Beacher and crew; they are not to get involved in any sort of fighting, as they're not trained for it.

What does the crew think? Would 6 at the cargo and 2 on the ship be a better division? (Actually, 6 and 2 might be better anyway, if they'd be needed to manage the cargo regardless--they are stevedores too.) What about the plan in general?

Finally, she has for the moment given up spellcasting--what has she gotten in return? In particular, is there anything that would help her at night?

09-30-2013, 11:00 PM
One more thing--in case it's relevant, a Diplomacy check for her attempting to persuade the crew. (She's not really very good at it. :-( )
Diplomacy to convince the crew of extra effort

10-10-2013, 06:56 PM
The Crew understands, and all agree to limit and keep tame their shore leave; none want something to happen to the cargo, or to them. All of the crew is technically combat trained, though most of them are of limited experience outside the occasional brawl. They seem to appreciate that you are trying to protect the maximum number possible from harm.

Your plan of six with the cargo and two with the Ship seems to meet with everyone's approval.

You have an in-depth talk with Wave's Foam. She indicates that since she has been proceeding carefully, and as previously mentioned, has not yet fully replaced the 'connections' that she needs, you are not yet at full strength with her. If you permit it, over your next two sleep periods, she can finish the work. While she could do it all at once, she would like to make sure there are no further unanticipated side-effects like the previous happening (which you still can't remember). In the meantime, you can access all the abilities of a Ship's Lady, but they will be weaker and you will tire quickly. With a smug gleam in her eye, she hints that her Ship's Lady has a few more abilities than most.

Wave's Foam's explanation is a little confusing as she is using words in ways that leave you questioning if they mean what you think they mean... but the gist seems to be that she does something to your senses that somehow makes you faster, stronger, as well as see, hear, taste, touch, and smell better than you can now. You are not quite certain how changing what you sense could make you faster and stronger, but she seems confident. Whatever it is, she warns you not to fully engage it except at great need, as it will drain you quickly.

Her explanation about your weapon and armor is much easier to grasp. By expending some of your energy, you can 'charge' either or both. When 'charged' the weapon can be used lethally, also, it is less likely to break even with rough use. When the armor is charged, it is then able to protect you from most things as well. When activated they put a small but continual strain on your reserves, but when you strike, or are struck - it will takes more energy from you.

{{{how many spell slots of what levels do you have?

In game terms she can boost your senses temporarily to various levels and adjust your body slightly. This has various effects upon you. At your current state of linkage, you can temporarily and variously gain an expanded low light vision, the ability to track, the scent ability, acute hearing, an ability to measure things, very short range blindsight, something similar to bull's strength and cat's grace, as well as a few skill boosts relating to movement and senses. }}}

10-16-2013, 03:44 PM
Rilde will spend the next 2 sleep periods allowing Wave's Foam to finish the "connections". In the meantime, we'll go with the plan of 6 at the warehouse/2 on ship, with other crew helping to patrol the ship; Rilde will use her new senses to guard the warehouse. She'll take a night shift, if her new senses make this practical. She'll coat her weapon with leather to hide the outlines; it will probably give her a penalty to hit/damage, but oh well. Same for her armor.

One slightly alarming thing about the weapon: Do I understand correctly that the weapon inflicts lethal damage only when charged? This would seem to be a real problem! Not that it matters right now, but lethal damage is what she does best. Of course, this depends on what "charging" actually involves--e.g. requiring a 1st-level spell slot to make it lethal for 24 hours is not really a problem; requiring a 3rd-level slot to make it lethal for 1 minute is a serious problem.

Spell slots: 5 0th, 4+1 1st, 3+1 2nd, 2+1 3rd.

10-17-2013, 05:28 PM
One more comment: When she sets up the guard rotation at the cargo warehouse(s), she'll make sure that the guard changes never result in a complete changing of the guard. I'm thinking something like this:
Guard #s 1 & 2: 12 AM-12 PM
Guard #3: 6 AM-6 PM
Guard #s 4 & 5: 12 PM-12 AM
Rilde: 6 PM-6 AM
This ensures that there's no time at which the guard changes completely--guard changes are a natural time for anyone trying funny business to make their move.

10-17-2013, 05:29 PM
{{{Both the weapon and armor require charges to be fully effective. A charge is a 1st level spell slot equivalent of energy, which sheathes the weapon or armor in a force effect for one minute, or ten successful hits, which ever happens first (that is, 1/10 charge = 1 round, unless you hit which consumes 1/10 of a charge). Whenever charged to any degree, the weapon / armor counts as magic, the armor does not count as wearing armor for the purposes of class features, and the weapon counts as a light slashing/piercing weapon for all purposes. Higher level slots counts as that number of 1st level slots, ie: a 3rd level spell slot is the same as three 1st level spell slots.

You can also manipulate charges in the following fashion:

A zero level slot will provide charge for half duration, ie: thirty seconds / five successful hits, whichever comes first.
A first level slot converted to a charge counts as a +1 magic item for all purposes, in addition to the effects above.
Greater numbers of charges (3, 5, 7, or 9) may be used to increase the "flux density" (not sure what Wave's Foam means by that, but having tried it out, you see it increases effectiveness) causing the item to become respectively a +2, +3, +4, or +5 magic item for all purposes, though the duration of effect remains unchanged.
Greater numbers of charges may instead be used to proved an "extended charge" of longer than normal duration. For each charge expended, the duration can be extended for an additional minute / ten successful hits. However if the flux density is increased, the same number of charges must be used to extend duration as was used to increase the density.

Before the first sleep, it is a full action to charge. After the first and before the second it is a standard action to charge. Once the second sleep is finished, it is a move action.

Uncharged, the weapon can be used to deal non-lethal damage without penalty, or deal normal bludgeoning damage as a quarterstaff - but Wave's Foam is quite clear that using it uncharged in this fashion will risk damage and breakage; apparently the wood is fragile when thinned down to weapon or armor shapes and sizes. (The weapon takes damage on a natural 1-5 when uncharged, as does your armor - you will have to roll a check each time you are struck while the armor is uncharged.) The weapon sheath of force closely matches the shape of the wood, and extends out from it only a little at striking edges.

Interestingly, according to Wave's Foam, the weapon can effectively convert all lethal force damage to non-lethal, even when charged, if you wish. This is something she strongly recommends to you, as killing a sentient here at the Gathering, even in self-defense, would be a great hinderance and cause a lot of trouble. Some further conversation reveals that the current social setup strongly frowns upon killing in general, though there are a few exceptions. Namely, food animals (they only kill and eat old animals) and those who have committed murder or manslaughter or were publicly caught attempting such. The idea that you can only kill an enemy after they have killed someone does not set well with you, but you can see how it follows from the "respect living things" and "non-violent resolutions" concepts that you have been studying in the Texts.

Uncharged, the armor is the equivalent of normal studded leather.

The basic sensory boosts do not require any effort or energy on your part: scent, tracking, acute hearing, acute vision (low light vision x2 and a two-step reduction in spot penalties for range) & measuring. You can access a basic strength and dexterity boost (same numerical benefit to the stat as the spell), as well as a skill boost of +5 to a skill based on one of the three physical stats; they all require one charge apiece for one minute per charge. The blindsight effect (5' radius) requires three charges for one minute. You can expend an additional three charges to increase the radius by 5' for every three charges expended.

You cannot yet fully access the sensory thing she spoke of, not until after she is finished.

Leather will not work to cover the weapon and armor, but cloth will, which the Crew has and happily provides. }}}

When informed of the request, the inspector loudly complains, protests, blusters, and grumbles... but eventually gives in to what is apparently an old, if little exercised, right. He seems to take a mean pleasure in informing you that additional guards will be assigned to the storehouse to ensure that you are unable to engage in any "duplicitous or illicit activities", as previously alluded to, and that penalties will be promptly enforced if anything untoward happens. The Crew manages not to respond to these allegations.

The first night, a guard escorts you from the Ship to the storehouse. Your hooded and veiled appearance is questioned by the guards already at the storehouse, but they are much less rigid than the inspector, and upon being vouchsafed by the escorting guard that you came from off the ship with the Crew, they allow you pass. Your first night passes uneventfully, the fallover lanterns set around by the Crew slowly burn down. The guards stop by on patrol occasionally, which is the only thing that happens until the next shift comes to relieve you all.

The next night, however, the guards do not stop by after the second hour of the night. All is quiet and still. Completely quiet....

10-18-2013, 08:35 AM
Rilde just continues to watch. The silence is putting her on edge; she reminds her compatriots to be ready.
{A few comments:
1) "Completely quiet"--does this seem like a silence spell, i.e. completely quiet? If so, she immediately charges her weapon (only to +1 for now) and alerts the others by touch!
2) The weapon is a "light slashing/piercing weapon for all purposes". Are you sure about that? That's a very bad thing for Rilde--she can't get her 1.5x strength bonus and can't power attack in that case!
3) The use of charges--they're nice, but with what you've outlined, her spell slots will go fast. She has 22 total charges to use through the day; depending on how she distributes them, that's at most 22 minutes of "charged time" to use for the entire day (rather less if she charges her weapon to more than +1 and/or uses blindsight). Again, I'll gladly work with them--just commenting. }

10-18-2013, 01:42 PM
{{{ hmmm, let's see. the weapon and armor function when charged do reduce the effective mass from the wielder's perspective. The actual mass of the weapon does not change, but this special wood does have different properties than normal wood, including density, mass, fragility, and a few other things, hence the force sheath for protective use. I do not see where that the specific properties would prevent you from wielding it two handed and applying extra strength thereby to a strike, so my phrasing was poorly considered from a rules perspective, apologies. I rather intended for my phrasing to mean "that when it is advantageous, it counts as a light slashing/piercing weapon for all advantageous purposes". should that be sufficient clarification, then please use that version as errata to my previous statement. }}}

Silent as in, no guards, no sounds, a sense of anticipation... but not the unnatural silence of a spell. Your words of caution prove well founded when you suddenly hear movement, and someone steps into the edge of the fallover lantern's light. (The lanterns being placed in a circle around where the cargo is stashed, leaving the actual cargo in dimness, and making a ring of pools of non-overlapping light. With your newly enhanced nightvision, this provides you with a ring of visible area.) The person is veiled in such a fashion that they can see through, but their face is obscured. They are carrying a large sap, which they are smacking into their other hand. The person chuckles and says, "Well, well, well. What have we here? Some really dense types who just won't take a hint." You can only see one person.

{{{ the cargo takes up an area about 50' square, and is 10' high around the edge, 20' high inside that, and 30' high in the center. the lanterns are placed such that the edges of the cargo are outside of the lanterns radius, but inside the low-light area. The corners protrude into the lighted areas, and the low-light areas of the lanterns overlap. This person entered the bare edge of the outer low-light area of the lanterns on the east side, the side that the guards would usually appear from.

Please make a listen check in addition to any other action you will take. }}}

10-19-2013, 10:57 PM
{A few questions. This is the second day, correct? So charging is a standard action? Also, where are her fellow guards? Finally, what is the type of the Str and Dex boosts? I ask because one of her domain abilities is a +5 enhancement bonus to Str for one round.}
She tries to stay alert. "I'm just a guard. What hints do you mean? Do you need something?"
{She's playing for time. First, she hopes her voice will alert her fellow guards. Second, she will charge weapon, Dex and armor at a minimum level, once each, as time allows, while she keeps them talking. Basically she tries to play it cool up until the moment they actually attack, charging and preparing for trouble as she goes and keeping her opponent talking as long as possible.}

10-23-2013, 02:50 PM
{{{There is one guard with you, as you have been surrounding the cargo in a loose triangle, changing partners every so often. The other four are certain to hear your voice as well as be likely to see you, as you have been keeping within the ring of light.

This is after your first sleep/adjustment, but before your second sleep and final adjustment.

The bonuses are insight, what with how the work via the senses... thank you for asking and apologies for forgetting to specifically mention earlier.

I only mention this for amusement value, but if soliloquies take no time and speaking is a free action, technically no time passes while you chat... ;D }}}

"Ooh? They've stooped so low as to hire a mystery guard. They can't do anything by themselves. That's what comes of not having a proper Lady." The figure puts his hands on his hips and laughs nastily. "What I need? More a matter of what you need... to leave. I wouldn't want a woman, even a foreign woman, to get hurt unnecessarily. But my gentlemanly restraint only goes so far. Leave now, or otherwise I won't be responsible for what happens next. I only need to 'speak' with actual Crew."

10-26-2013, 10:38 PM
A couple of quick comments:
1) I realize that normally speaking "takes no time", but I think you missed my point: Rilde is trying to draw out the conversation as much as possible in order to activate any abilities she can.
2) There would presumably only be 2 other guards with her--remember that we work 12 hour shifts; we have to sleep sometime!

In any case, Rilde continues to activate abilities and concentrate, while saying, "My reputation as a mercenary would not be worth much if I deserted my charge at the first opportunity! In any case, I refuse to leave my duties for the sake of bullies and cowards who smear the reputation of a good ship and crew. Leave or you will regret the consequences."

{Yes, she was originally playing for time, but she's activated whatever she can and is tired of these people pushing her around! She keeps charging until done or until they do something.}

10-29-2013, 02:46 PM
{{{heh. rather, knowing that you knew of that rule, i was only teasing you with ironic impossibility of your action in light of the technical interpretation of the rules.

ah, yes, thank you for reminding me of that aspect of the numbers versus shifts. i had misapplied it. }}}

The figure's voice takes on an irritated tone, one which catches at your memory, "Don't be a fool, mercenary. It is best to know when you are outmatched and when to retreat." He gestures with the sap, and smacks it back into his hand again. Around him, a number of other figures step into the edge of the light, with your enhanced vision, you are able to tell that there are six of them. "Are you sure you won't reconsider? This is your last chance." He raises his voice to address the other two with you, "Show some honor and dismiss this mercenary, that we not risk hurt to a woman. Otherwise her fate is upon your hands.​"

11-03-2013, 10:24 PM
{I still am not clear what charges Rilde managed to get off. The 4 she would want to do are: weapon, Str, armor and Dex, in that order. For now I am assuming that at least the 1st 2 did go off.}

Rilde's actions actually depend on physical positioning. Here is what she wants to do: I am under the impression that she and the guards are together in one group and that the intruders are between them and the exit. If that is, in fact, the case, then she says, "All right, all right! I'm not being paid enough for this. You're on your own." (Talking to her fellow guards and winking at them.) She then slowly and cautiously walks towards the exit, maneuvering to put the intruders between her and the guards. As soon as she is in flanking position and 5' away from an opponent, preferably the leader (bear in mind her 10' reach with her poleaxe--5' between her and the opponent), she yells, activates her once/day strength boost, and attacks! She hopes the guards will pick up her cues; in any case, she tells them to attack but take them alive. (We're all using subdual damage.) Finally, as the last thing in her round she takes a 5' step away; with her 10' reach, anyone attacking her in melee without a reach weapon will draw an AOO.

If this physical positioning bluff won't work (e.g. they're not between her and the door), she'll try to at least go to one side of the groups of enemies and attack anyway.

I'm rolling Bluff (if necessary) and attack rolls; the attack rolls assume that she is buffed with Str and weapon activated as above, and that she has a +2 bonus from flanking. She is power attacking for 1 and hoping her attack will catch her by surprise. Finally, note the 2nd attack in case she gets a Cleave from her 1st attack.

Finally, note that her buffs all stack to a lot! She's at +1 to hit from her weapon being magic, +4 to Str from buff and +5 to Str from her special once/day boost; in addition, with luck her opponents are flat-footed. Finally, add +2 from flanking if that applies (I am assuming it does). Also, she will not power attack at all unless she has all buffs/positioning bonuses in place.

Bluff check
Attack roll, power attacking for 1
Damage from attack
Confirmation roll if 1st attack is a crit
Bonus damage if 1st attack is confirmed crit
2nd attack roll (only if she Cleaves from 1st attack), power attacking for 1
Damage from 2nd attack
Confirmation roll if 2nd attack is a crit
Bonus damage if 2nd attack is confirmed crit

11-06-2013, 04:29 PM
{{{my kidding around aside, i'm going with however long it would take to actually say the stuff everyone has been tossing around, plus dramatic pauses and actions. so, i make it about 5-6 rounds-ish. }}}

Your companions are quick on the uptake, and respond as if surprised, one saying that they expected you to help them out, and the other saying that you should just go over there while they do something about this. They both stride forward, swinging arms and legs, and otherwise warming up - keeping the attention on them while you quietly stroll off to the side. The stranger on the end of the line that you walk past gives you an appreciative leer. You strike just as he turns his attention back to the other two.

Your well timed blow catches him completely off guard in the back of the head, and smashes him flat to the ground, unconscious. Your reactive strike into the next guard is partly blocked, but not well. Your flanking companion throws a punch at one, and spins into a nicely placed kick knocking out the one you just struck. Your other companion manages to trip one of the two he is facing, but not the other, who reflexively dodges. The two in the middle shout in surprise and fury.

{{{initiative, please}}}

11-06-2013, 05:11 PM
Rilde yells, "Kord and Wave's Foam send their best wishes! GOOD NIGHT!" She proceeds with the attack, moving to flank if possible--she only gets 1 attack anyway. (Obviously her attack roll is dependent on events; she will attack if possible, help her companions if not.)

Initiative; she has a -6 penalty as a flaw]
[roll=1d20+11]Attack; no power attack
Damage from attackAttack; no power attack
Crit confirmation if applicable
Damage from crit
Attack from Cleave if applicable
Damage from Cleave attackAttack; no power attack
Crit confirmation from Cleave if applicable
Damage from crit on Cleave if applicable

11-06-2013, 05:13 PM
Oops, initiative didn't resolve properly. Init:
Initiative with -6 penalty due to flaw

11-06-2013, 05:20 PM
Oops, slight mistake in attack rolls. 2 attack rolls were irrelevant. Here's what the rolls above should have read:
Attack; no power attack: 1d20 (5)+ 11 (11) = 16
Damage from attack: 2d6 (1,5 = 6) + 8 (8) = 14
Crit confirmation if applicable: 1d20 (17)+ 11 (11) = 28
Damage from crit: 4d6 (2,1,1,5 = 9) + 16 (16) = 25
Attack from Cleave if applicable: 1d20 (6)+ 11 (11) = 17
Damage from Cleave attack: 2d6 (2,6 = 8) + 8 (8) = 16
Crit confirmation from Cleave if applicable: 1d20 (19)+ 11 (11) = 30
Damage from crit on Cleave if applicable: 4d6 (6,2,3,4 = 15) + 16 (16) = 31

11-15-2013, 11:11 AM
{{{unsurprisingly, you are last in the initiative. unless you decide to provoke an AoO and move to attack the leader (the only one who can be flanked at the moment), i'll assume that your attack applies to the individual attacking you. }}}

The leader moves to exchange blows with your two companions, buying time for the tripped one to get back up unmolested, who then begins to circle around to get a flanking position on the two. The leader seems to be a very competent combatant, as he is able to hold off both of your companions simultaneously. The remaining one engages you, launching a pair of swift kicks at you.

Opponent first strike + damage.
Opponent second strike + damage.

11-15-2013, 12:00 PM
Both attacks are misses, of course. Question: In game terms, what kind of armor is she now wearing? In any case, it's +1 thanks to buffs and +2 from Dex.

Also, a thought crossed my mind: It's a significant disadvantage that her armor and weapon are subject to breakage if she doesn't buff. It effectively means that she's required to use spell slots and time just to make her equipment as effective as normal, +1 equipment. Is there anything to be done about this?

In any case, her attack has already been outlined, and I see no reason to change it.

11-18-2013, 05:57 PM
{{{as mentioned previously, the armor is equivalent to studded leather when uncharged. any 'charged' bonuses stack on top of that. the breakage issue is mostly because of the wooden components connected with the charging effect, and a bit because of the age of the armor in question - it is quite old, if recently refurbished. Once you are fully synced with Wave's Foam, she can start teaching you autohypnosis, which will eventually enable you to set up a sensory sub-routine which will scan for incoming attacks and drain a charge from you automatically to minimally charge the armor, with or without your conscious consent. }}}

Your heavy blow staggers your immediate opponent, who steps back from you and shakes it off. (ie: 5' adjusted back) This brings him directly between you and the leader, and right behind him. The leader, busy with your two companions, seems unaware of his proximity.

You noted in passing that the leader took at least one hit, but is otherwise dishing out much worse than he is receiving.

{{{state your next round actions, please. }}}

11-21-2013, 09:50 AM
If I understand correctly, Rilde is now 10' from her initial opponent, with the leader another 5' behind that. What she'd like to do (30' movement rate) is move so that she is A) 5' from both opponents so that if she drops one she can Cleave to the other and B) flanking with an ally, A) being more important. If she can't do that, she'll just attack whichever opponent she can flank, preferably the leader. Note that if she can attack both, she attacks the weaker one first in hopes of dropping him. Still subdual only.

These rolls assume that she IS flanking; -2 if she isn't.
Initial attack
Initial damage
Confirmation if critical threat
Extra crit damage if applicable
Cleave attack if applicable
Cleave damage
Confirmation if critical threat on Cleave
Extra crit damage from Cleave if applicable

11-27-2013, 10:27 AM
From what glimpses you can catch, your companions are very much on the defensive, only managing the occasional strike, but concentrating mostly on dodge, block, and parry. You see the leader land a powerful blow on one of your Crew, which staggers him, but he manages to recover. A fourth figure leaps from the shadows, but fails to catch your other Crew member by surprise. Both of your Crew are now flanked with the leader by the two attackers behind them.

Your opponent attacks again:

Opponent's first strike
Opponent's second strike

You manage to land a solid blow on your opponent, forcing him on the defensive, but failing to drop him.

11-30-2013, 10:14 AM
The 16 was a hit; the 13, a miss. Rilde winces slightly, but the wound is minor. She counters with another heavy blow, adding a 1-point power attack in frustration. {Note: I am assuming the same flanking, positioning, etc. as last time; apply a -2 penalty if she's not flanking.}

She yells, "Keep it up! We can take them!"

1st attack
1st attack damage
Crit confirmation for 1st attack if applicable
Extra critical damage if applicable
Cleave attack
Cleave attack damage
Crit confirmation for Cleave attack if applicable
Extra critical damage if applicable

11-30-2013, 10:14 AM
{ooc what a lousy set of rolls! Oh well, maybe the 1st attack hit, anyway.}

12-19-2013, 03:22 PM
When you leaped up onto your staff, balancing precariously, to dodge a sweep, it caught your opponent by surprise... as does your releasing the staff with your hands in order to press it down with your feet and thwacking him soundly in the pate with the end of the staff. Luck must be with you this day as the impact of your strike knocks him into the leader behind him; knocking askew a deadly blow which instead renders your crewmember merely unconscious, and staggering the leader. Your opponent is out cold.

12-21-2013, 11:15 PM
She'll change her tactics. Since her new weapon has a hook, she'll try a trip on the leader.
Touch attack for trip
Str check for trip assuming successful touch
If my count is correct, we have 3 opponents including the leader, plus the one she just knocked out; there are 2 of us. Hopefully the trip will put the leader at a disadvantage. If the trip works, she'll yell at her companion, "Don't let him get up!"

12-21-2013, 11:16 PM
{ooc I'm getting really tired of these lousy rolls.}

12-30-2013, 10:58 AM
You manage to hook the leader, but he performs a complicated maneuver, apparently designed to block an expected follow up attack and sliding the weapon down to the floor. You blink at this blinding fast movement, but realize that your weapon's hook is still well positioned for a trip, so you simply pull. Your brute force tug, though feeling weak to you, apparently was as unexpected as your failure to multi-attack, and he lands painfully on his rear, with a comically surprised expression on his face.

Your remaining crew member leaps for the leader, attempting to put him in a choke hold.

{{{ do you get an AoO on the leader? your crew member does, but your attack would come in before his, so i won't put down the results of his AoO yet. }}}

12-30-2013, 11:31 AM
{No, she doesn't get an AOO--she doesn't have Improved Trip. AOO away, my stalwart crew member! :D}

12-30-2013, 12:09 PM
He manages to get a grip, but is unable to secure the hold.

12-31-2013, 08:39 AM
{I'm confused. Is it my turn? Or are the bad guys still doing something? Rilde will press the attack if possible; let me know when she can act.}

01-02-2014, 11:32 AM
The remaining two enemies move to aid the leader, one getting kicked soundly for his trouble, but the other manages to break the grip that your crew member has on the leader; who promptly rolls away, kips up, and reassess the situation.

{{{ the three of them (two enemies and your conscious crew member) are now between you and the enemy leader. It is now your turn. }}}

01-05-2014, 11:37 PM
Attack yet again! If either non-leader enemy is injured, she attacks that one first in hopes of a Cleave. Once again, she positions herself so as to gain flank and Cleave as applicable. I am assuming that her initial attack is flanking and that her Cleave attack (if applicable) is not. Assuming that she can drop at least one, she continues to press the attack. {Note: I recall that our enemies took out one of her fellow guardsmen. I am assuming that his wounds are not immediately life-threatening. If they are, let me know and her action will change.}
Initial attack roll
Initial damage if hit
Initial attack crit confirmation if applicable
Bonus crit damage if applicable
Cleave attack roll if applicable
Cleave damage if hit
Cleave crit confirmation if applicable
Bonus crit damage from Cleave if applicable

01-22-2014, 10:03 AM
A quick adjustment step and you attack the one who is moving less agilely and score a solid blow despite his attempt to redirect your weapon. He spins and falls to the ground, out for the count. Your rebound catches the other one off guard and staggers him right into another blow from your companion, but he remains on his feet. The remaining enemy fires off a rapid flurry of strikes, most of which are parried, but the last jab catches your remaining companion an unlucky blow on the chin and he hits the ground hard. He reorients, expecting an attack from you. The leader sees this, and unexpectedly turns and sprints off into the dark at top speed.

01-28-2014, 01:33 PM
Rilde growls in frustration and decides to let the leader go--she can't leave her companion alone with a conscious enemy. "You chose the wrong targets and you will regret it!" Then she presses the attack against her sole remaining attacker. {ooc: It does not seem that Wave's Foam's gifts are catch strong enough for her to chase after the leader and still come back in time to defend her companion.} She has no flank this time.
Initial attack roll
Crit confirmation if applicable
Crit bonus damage if applicable

02-03-2014, 01:21 PM
Your final attack overwhelms the last remaining foe. You stand there amidst the unconscious bodies of friend and foe, trying to ignore the already fading sounds of the leader's footsteps. You jump slightly as there is a sudden series of small flashes of light and the sounds of glass breaking from the bodies of your foes in the vicinity of their heads.

02-04-2014, 10:31 PM
This doesn't sound good. Rilde swears harshly enough to blister paint and checks her opponents. She tries to heal them--nonmagically if possible, magically if not.
Heal check

02-05-2014, 11:25 AM
You go from person to person confirming that no one is dying, as you do so, you can hear the loud rush of many feet quickly approaching. The guards seem to have 'finally' noticed something was going on. The leader seeing you bent over the bodies starts shouting out for you to halt and step away, but this trails off in some confusion as he realizes that you are binding wounds. His reaction strikes you as that of one who was primed to expect something else. Perhaps this entire attack was yet another attempt to frame your Crew. You continue binding wounds as he restarts his statement, demanding an accounting of what just happened. You had just time to notice that there are small broken ornaments attached to the scarves and hoods the attackers were wearing, and there is a passing oder in the air, which makes you blink and almost forget what you are doing for a second.

02-19-2014, 08:13 PM
(Sorry, forgot it was my turn to post.) "I'm Rilde, serving on Wave's Foam; these are my compatriots. We were set upon by these ruffians demanding that we leave our valuable cargo." She gives a brief, truthful statement of what happened, leaving out only the fact that she is a Ship's Lady. If she thinks it's likely to succeed, she'll grab one of the small ornaments. She's aware that her pickpocketing skills are nonexistent, so she'll only try it if she thinks she can get away with it. She'll also take a closer look at her opponents: height, markings, identifying marks or symbols on clothing, etc.

In case it's relevant:
Dex check to grab an ornament

02-25-2014, 03:38 PM
{{{ Assuming you palm the item while you are wrapping bandages and so forth, you think you succeed, at least, no one seems to react and there is no outcry. }}}

The guards react with some confusion. After some questions, which make it clear that they were expecting armed robbery or similar on the part of your party, they finally follow the course of guards from time immemorial: pass the buck. They insist on everyone waiting until this is resolved.

{{{ time passes... doing anything in particular during this time? }}}

03-13-2014, 08:23 AM
Sorry for the delayed post. One thing: Rilde already described the robbery, but she also describes the leader and comments that he escaped. She keeps binding wounds: hers, her allies and her opponents. She also asks that the watch contact the crew on Wave's Foam for her, since she and her shipmates can't leave yet. Otherwise, she waits and watches.

03-13-2014, 11:20 AM
The guards are not willing to send anyone away. As time passes the less wounded awaken, yours and theirs, and when questioned by the guards, seem to have no recollection of anything after greeting the guards outside the warehouse; they were coming to retrieve some of their stored cargo. They seem honestly confused, and then angry at their state, and flatly deny ever attacking anyone. Your relief shows up, but is kept at a remove - though one of you are allowed to talk briefly with one of them... with a guard hovering at your shoulder. In the interest of not revealing certain details, this limits conversation to confirmations of health and safety. The guards intervene when attempting to tell them of the events, insisting on waiting until the proper authorities show, no creating biases, and so forth.

It seems like a long time, but from the rushed and ever so slightly askew appearance of your very own personal and "favorite" inspector, it is evident that much speed was had. He starts off with some fine glares and 'muttered' pronouncements of you being caught red handed. You can't help but feel a smidge of respect, though, when once a chair and table is brought and he is seated, he insists on hearing all three sides, starting with the guards. The guard reporting gives a reasonably factual account of what they witnessed, omitting the details of the claims of both sides - saying only that the stories conflicted. Your opponents give detailed accounts of their evening, up to when they were requested to retrieve certain parts of their cargo to resupply their booths. After that, they can recall what they intended, and their cargo is indeed in this warehouse, if in a different part than yours, but they have no recollection of meeting you; indeed cannot seem to recall anything after greeting the outside guards. Your relief is also questioned briefly, but as they witnessed nothing, are not allowed any further comment. The Inspector turns to the three of you, it is now your turn. He indicates that since you are a foreigner and apparently a mercenary (as indicated by previous testimony) you will speak after the Crew.

{{{ please indicate what the Crewmember says, and what you say, separately. }}}

04-09-2014, 03:02 PM
(Sorry for the long delay.) I see no reason why we shouldn't all tell the truth, leaving out only the fact that she is the Ship's Lady. (We don't lie, we just don't mention it.) The guards mention the leader's contemptuous, bullying tone and otherwise mentions that we were told to abandon our cargo and refused, and that they weren't just stealing cargo--she reminds them about the leader's words that we "weren't taking a hint".

An important detail is the fact that Rilde actually struck first. (I didn't think at the time that this might be a bad idea.) I don't feel comfortable telling the DM exactly what the guards will say in this circumstance. Here's the thing: Rilde's tendency would be to simply admit outright that she didn't feel like being pushed around and saw no problem with attacking a hostile force that outnumbered us--she didn't use lethal force, after all. The guards might A) simply admit that Rilde struck first with their blessing or B) try to obscure the fact. I feel that most likely they'll end up admitting who struck first, but it's partially DM's discretion--and Rilde won't talk until they're done. If they are clearly going out of their way to avoid the issue, Rilde will follow; if it's just not mentioned, or if they explicitly admit who struck first, Rilde will just admit it.

Does this make sense?

05-25-2014, 04:32 PM
The proceedings are interesting to say the least. You are finding yourself tempted to give grudging respect to your "favorite" inspector whom, despite his obvious prejudices against your group, and the skewed amount of time spent trying to find fault with you and yours as opposed to your opponents; when he is unable to find proof of misconduct and is unable to conjure any recollection of events from your opponents after they approached the warehouse... he reluctantly drops the matter with strong verbal warnings and the formal injunction that both parties must relocate their cargo at their own expense from this warehouse, and to ensure that they are not housed in the same or nearby locations for the duration of the festival. Finally he departs, but not before warning your group that if there are any further serious disturbances, he will be strongly inclined to simply lock up the participating individuals - to be sorted out after the festival is over.

You are feeling most tired after all of this ruckus.

06-05-2014, 10:14 AM
Rilde rather grumpily agrees with the inspector and asks if any of the unconscious opponents are known to him. "I and my crewmates would like to know who attacked us and why, and who hired them, when you find out." Then she begins the process of moving the cargo, with whatever crewmates can help and arranges for the next shift of guards. She tells her crewmates what happened and asks them if they have any ideas who the attackers might be. Of course, they were presumably hired by those desiring to discredit Wave's Foam, but who, specifically?

Then she gets a meal and some sleep, and awaits further developments.

06-16-2014, 11:24 PM
The inspector grudgingly agrees to convey any official results to the Navigator of your crew.

The Crew is not able to provide much in the way of detail, though at least one interesting tidbit is unearthed. The item you swiped contained an herb which causes sleep, with a loss of recent memory being a side effect of too much. It had apparently been enhanced in some fashion beyond it's normal efficacy. This fascinates you as it does not seem to have been in any way magical, neither arcane nor divine. This sort of item is not cheap, nor is it usually legal except in certain extreme medical cases. This indicates at a minimum that one of the Major Houses, or someone with access to a House's resources, is involved. There is more muttering about recent stories of Independents losing to the Houses, and very rarely, winning against them.

You sleep rather later than you had expected. You feel... odd... when you finally awake.

09-11-2014, 11:14 PM
She contacts Wave's Foam. "Does anything about me feel...odd?" She also examines herself.

09-21-2014, 03:06 PM
You feel a tap upon your shoulder from behind.

10-09-2014, 12:14 AM
Rilde spins around, jumpy, her hand going to her weapon.

11-01-2014, 11:56 AM
Waves Foam is floating there for the first time as clear and solid seeming as any other of the crew, though somehow you can sense that she is not actually a solid entity. You are momentarily distracted by suddenly realizing that you can"feel"where everyone on the ship is, indeed you can actually feel the gentle slap of the waves against the hull and the swirling currents of the air against the masts. She smiles at you and indicates that unless you wish to practice that you won't need the weapon just now.

11-12-2014, 07:07 PM
Rilde, somewhat stunned, puts her weapon aside and begins to concentrate further, bewildered by the flood of sensations. She attempts to make sense of all the feelings and figure out more details about the people: Where they are, what they're doing, Wave's Foam herself, the sensation of water and wind...

12-20-2014, 01:43 PM
Waves Foam watches approvingly until it appears to be too much, and she advises you to start with focusing on a few things at once, and just let the other things wash over and past you like background noises. She explains that you are now tapping into her senses to a certain degree, though she is holding some of it back as you don't have the referents necessary to understand certain of her senses. You start to see how her previous explanation about changing your senses could improve your ability to fight. It would be very hard to sneak up on your now!

She also cautions you that your senses are strongest aboard her, will be weaker debarked, and potentially weakest aboard another Ship, assuming a degree of unfriendliness. When questioned about her touching you, she gives you a somewhat complicated and long speech about actuating nerve fiber endings via artificial inductance of your enhanced sensory apparatus to create the illusion of being touched... most of which simply passes over your head, and reinforces your previous observation about sometimes her words not meaning what you (or she) thinks they mean.