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Thread: Part: 2, Act: 1, Scene 1

  1. #16
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    Post Wrenwil

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    The wake from the larger ship slams into you like a wet fist, drenching you and knocking your grip loose from the gunwhale sending you pinwheeling across the deck with the rest of the passengers. A random elbow collides painfully against your ribs. (Take 1 point of damage) Your pack also tumbles away from your grasp and gets lost in the mass of scrambling limbs.

    A random voice screams
    "Aiyeeeee!" as someone tumbles over the gunwhale into the swift moving current. Meanwhile the riverboat captain curses as his pilot is knocked away from the rudder allowing the strong current to begin turning the boat. The captain bellows as loudly as he can (still speaking Maharathan) but his sailors are so busy shoving against all the paniced passengers they are delayed regaining control of the rudder.

    If the riverboat turns against the current it'll drift out of control. Normally that wouldn't be a huge issue because the river is so open and wide, but the last merchant ship moving past you is only the first in a small flotilla! Four more merchants ships are sailing towards you at full speed leaving very little space for your riverboat to pass between them. If Your much smaller riverboat gets broadsided it will be smashed to smitherines!
    There are only 3 rounds (roughly 18 seconds) before the other merchants ships bear down upon you. (You happen to be near enough to where the rudder is at the stern to make a grab for it if you wish?)

    Going for the rudder
    Going for the rudder will require a full round action and another Balance check at DC 15. Regaining control of the steering and maneuvering the ship between the larger merchant ships will require a DC 16 Strength Check + a DC 15 Profession (Sailor) Check as a full round action

    Swimming
    Alternatively you could abandon the boat and swim for shore, but you would be swimming for at least 200 yards in strong current. (Technically by the rules that would require 40 seperate swim skill checks. To be reasonable I will reduce that number to 4)
    Fast-moving water is dangerous. [It requires a DC 15 Swim check each round to stay afloat but fighting the current deals 1d3 points of nonlethal damage every round you are swimming.]

    Success means you may swim at up to one-half your speed (as a full-round action) or at one-quarter your speed (as a move action). If you fail by 4 or less, you make no progress through the water. If you fail by 5 or more, you go underwater.
    Once you go under, you can hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to twice your constitution modifier. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check every round in order to continue holding your breath. Each round, the DC increases by 1.
    If you fail your Constitution check, you begin to drown. In the first round, you fall unconscious (0 hp). In the following round,you drop to -1 hit points and are dying. In the third round, you drown.


    Finding your Pack
    Also, finding your pack will require a DC 14 Search Check in addition to a DC 15 balance check as a full round action.

    Other Options?
    There's a very slim chance you could dive for a rope trailing in the water from the larger merchant ship that just passed you and haul yourself aboard with it. But DC 16 swim and strength checks would be necessary to successfully grab it.

    [What do you do?]

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    Wrenwil

    ~My pack! No!~ Wrenwil watched as his bag of prized possessions slid away into the chaotic fury.

    The despair and shock was quickly replaced by pain. Swearing profusely, he quickly felt his chest with his left hand. Yep, definitely tender. ~Who the!~ There was no time to eyeball or reprimand the fool responsible, in fact Wrenwil noted that time was quickly slipping away, a potential catastrophe imminent. If ever there was a time to man-up, it was now. As a torrent of movement and frenzy whirled around him, Wrenwil made his next move. Perhaps for once in his life Wrenwil could be the hero here, do something constructive, have a tale of his own to tell.

    The rudder was quickly turning to full-lock, if only he could grab it. Dropping his walking stick, he made a leap of faith.

    Fate frowned, yet again, it was not to be.

    [Balance Check = 8 (+2 Dex) = 10]
    Last edited by Ivan; 05-24-2015 at 11:15 PM.

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    Post Zie'Chael

    The bouncer gives you a strange look but does not block your way up the steps into the tavern. Immediately upon entry pleasing scents tease your senses. Bowls of complimentary honey-nut-cakes and cups for hot cider are placed on each of the common rooms tables (there are 3 tables & 3 booths) along with smoldering coals of spiced Akhenaten incense. There is also a small bar that seats eight, a hearth with four chairs placed before it, and three doors. One door is marked 'Kitchen', the other is marked 'Lavatory' and the third is marked 'Private'.

    Behind the bar is an girthy Akhenaten in his early fourties, bearded with hints of grey at his cheeks. When he smiles at you his teeth are very white and nicely shaped. His dark hair is thick and well trimmed with golden studs inside into his ears. His clothes are also clearly upper class but far from tacky. He is
    dressed in a loose cream-colored tunic with gold trim, billowy brown sirwal leggings, and an apron around his waist. He also wears golden bracers and there is a jeweled dagger tucked into his waistband. He immediately welcomes you to the tavern and introduces himself.

    Isra:
    "Welcome to The Good Guys Tavern!" He says pleasantly. "I am Isra Zaide, your humble bartender. Please make yourself comfortable!"

    There are three others sitting at the bar, a foreigner who looks to be Caishian, and two hill dwarves. Around the rest of the common room are several locals, respectable professionals by the look of them, enjoying an early morning meal with business partners before the days trade commences.

    A very pretty Akhenaten girl approaches with pretty pearl moon earrings bearing a kettle of hot cider.

    Table Maid:
    "Hello whats your name? Wow your feathers are so pretty! Would you like some hot cider? Sit anywhere you want and sample some of our complimentary honey-nut-cakes." She encourages with a sweet smile.

    [Zie'Chal: What do you do?]

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    Post Ersun

    Ersun quietly digest the information. Mind flayers and dragons are scary enough separately, and now he is told there is a dragon with mind flayer powers around. “I see.” He has to keep himself from pacing and letting his thoughts run wild, that would be unseemly.

    “Who else knows of this from the tribe? Also, it has been hinted often enough to me that there are mind flayer spies among us, and it seems they have more than enough force to take us on effortlessly. What would keep them from doing so, do they have such an abundance of slaves and opulence that they are content? And to be honest, the thing that feels most off is why would you decide not to ever speak of it to anyone?”

    He would like to think all the spy suspicion is just the paranoia of the leadership, but that just sounds too hopeful. It might make more sense about why they are trying to reach for allies so desperately, although the extreme secrecy about it is still fishy. On the other hand, if they would be not so afraid of spies everywhere, they could’ve already formed a coalition with the other tribes. Also, he can’t help but feel a grudge against everyone who knew of this during their tribe’s life here, since despite the knowledge their defences feel very inadequate to deal with it. He also has a tingling that Crusher is somehow at fault in that, even if that was not his intention.

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    Zie'Chael:

    Entering the tavern with a chuckle, the expressions that humans and their ilk can pull never fail to amuse the Keu, Zie'Chael heads directly towards the bar, scanning the room for his employer. Nodding to acknowledge the 'humble' bar-keep's greeting... ~For one so humble he displays an awful lot of wealth!~... he heads towards an empty table. The smell of the food and the sounds of drink fuelled revelry send a pang of regret through the Keu's stomach, having finally saved up enough to purchase a ring of sustenance it has been several days since he bothered to eat or drink letting the magic of the ring provide all the nourishment he needs, still the benefits of only requiring two short hours rest each night has been a real boost to his studies.

    Giving the friendly bar-maid the Keu equivalent of a smile, raised eye feathers and a short melodic 'chirp', Zie'Chael can't help but be taken in by her charm "Why thank you my dear, your earrings are beautiful, i've always been fond of pearls, such an interesting stone". He politely accepts the drink and a couple of cakes, while not needing food and drink there is no harm in enjoying it for the luxury it is.

    "Pray tell me miss, has Jarahdrin arrived yet, I am to meet him here..." Confident that the, no doubt knowledgable, young woman would know of whom he is speaking Zie'Chael scans the room once more awaiting her reply.

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    Post Ania, Crusher, Ersun

    Crusher: Huffs "Illithids are never content! Don't imagine for a second they think like you do. They are incapable of happiness as you know it, what to speak of mercy, respect, or compassion. They are abberant, vile, miserable creatures driven by a great desire to dominate all and feed on our minds."

    "Of course I shouldn't expect you to understand evil. Compared to my kind, you underfolk are like toothless gerbils! One must know evil to truly comprehend it and how to use it.
    Duergar like myself are capable of great evil there is no doubt. My clan commited many vile acts of domination on weaker races before it was our turn. The irony of my situation now is not lost on me, but don't mistake cooperation on my part for remorse. I don't care about your tribe and have no desire to adopt your sense of fairness or morality. I only care about survival and revenge against those Illithid monsters. Fact is your leaders won't launch a mass attack against Kor'inthdelmah even if they knew the truth. You have no wish to conquer, only to live in peace."

    Ania: "He's right Ersun. Our leadership lacks the resolve to go on the offensive. Although it is innevitable the mind flayers will come after our tribe, Crusher's clan was a more tempting target back then we are now. Of course that may change as we grow wealthier and more populous.
    But for now it is best that there are only a few others who know the whole truth. Izel and my father are not among them. It is the leadership after all who will be watched most closely by the Illithids."

    Crusher: "As a whole, your Kezzarat Theocracy would be more than a match for the mind flayers. Yet so long as all your governers and chiefs won't fight together and your Potentate continues to preach peace and order they don't see you as a threat. We can change that however, if you're willing to do what it takes? For now however, allow me to bring us back to the subject of Izels mission. I have a suspicion about where the mind flayers will strike next beneath the Kingdom of Vulkh."

    [Ersun:
    What do you do?]
    Last edited by Narayan; 05-25-2015 at 06:04 PM.

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    Post Ersun

    “Fair enough.” He grunts and crosses arms at changing back to the main topic. “What do you think they will do, and what makes you think it?” He gestures with a palm that he is playing along and letting him talk.

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    Wrenwil

    Like a sack of old bones he slid across the deckboards, mud, muck and churning river water conspiring to keep him on his knees. With a quick glance ahead Wrenwil was horrified. They had moments left before being rammed into extinction.

    In life changing moments, it is strange the games one's mind plays. Weighing up the options at hand, Wrenwil knew all too well that none of them presented a likely or clear path. Pentos had no answers for this one. Perhaps he would die here with his dreams unfulfilled and far from home. His funeral would have a solitary attendee, the sad face of his friend Jarahdrin making a cameo appearance deep in his subconscious.

    Wrenwil wasn't blind though. He was a watcher, an observer of life from a safe distance. Some thought him a borderline pervert perhaps, but one thing was for sure, he had a knack for detail, analysis and imitation. In the weeks preceding he had studied the movements, gestures and expert seamanship on display in the merchant vessel. He'd chatted with crew, even offered a hand at times. With this, Wrenwil talked himself into it, trying to generate a false sense of security. ~I can leap like vermin and sink like lead, or face death head on, accept the fate I have been served. Do one good thing with my wasted years.~

    He grunted, swore, and made one last ditch effort to get to the tiller. Nothing would stop him this time. ~Nothing!~ Rising and bending his knees, he plowed his way to the controls, leaning against the hull movement and extending his arms for balance. He'd learned a thing or two from his nights spent watching dancing girls. He twisted sideways to slide between passengers flailing around on deck, took a small jump over someones abandoned pack and found himself next to the crude steering mechanism. The vessel was pitching up hard by now, leaning a little downstream from the abrupt change of course. He took the faded timber control into both hands, breathed in, and with great strength exhaled and pulled it towards him.

    To his amazement, the boat came about and pointed dead ahead, upstream out of harms path. ~How's that for keeping a low profile... heh.~

    [2nd Balance Check DC15 = 20 (+2 Dex) = 22]
    [Strength Check DC16 = 16 (+3 Str) = 19]
    [Profession (sailor) Check DC15 = 14 (+4) = 18]
    Last edited by Ivan; 05-26-2015 at 12:52 AM.

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    Post Zie'Chael

    Table Maid: "Oh you have come to meet Jarahdrin? Please follow me!" She says leading you to the door marked 'Private' before knocking. A porthole opens and another bouncer looks through."Mr. Jarahdrin has a visitor!" She explains gesturing to you before they open the door and step aside.

    Beyond the door is a very plush seating room with a separate hearth and four semi-circular tables each with four comfortable high-backed chairs. This room has three doors, marked 'lavatory', 'kitchen', and 'courtyard'. The floor is made of beautifully arranged mosaic tiles with expensive rugs laid over it. In one corner there is a raised dais where a stunningly beautiful young akhenaten woman stands singing softly while an older man sits beside her expertly strumming an Oud.

    Jarahdrin is seated at one of the tables with an older akhenatemen man. Your employer rarely talks about himself but after a few months y
    ou've learned a few things about him from his associates. Apparently his father was a very successful akhenaten trader named Hadi Masoud but his mother was a gray-elven artist from the Elven Kingdom of Seillon to the north. Thus, Jarahdrin is only half akhenaten and half gray-elf.
    Jarahdrin is sixty years old technically, but because of his grey-elven blood he barely looks a day over thirty and is likely to go on living for at least 200 years. He has his fathers dark hair, cut long so it covers slightly pointed ears. His eyes are amber, like his mothers, and he inherited her greyish hue to his skin which many mistake for poor health. Nothing could be further from the truth, but few realize how fit and healthy he actually is because of his calm countenance and quiet demeanor. Besides that, you've never seen him smile.

    Jarahdrin is dressed in his usual traditional akhenaten Kurta, sirwal leggings and a broad sash with comfortable shoes. He carries no weapons besides a rare and very beautiful adamantine elvish dagger.
    One of his usual bodyguards stands nearby watching foot traffic through a window. Jarahdrin gestures for you to approach which is when you get a closer look at the older man sitting with him who is likely in his early sixties. You also notice he's missing half his left leg which explains why there is a tall crutch leaning up against his chair. The mans smile reminds you of the bartender so you guess this man may be his father.

    Jarahdrin: "Good of you to make it Zie'Chael." He says before turning to the other man. "Please excuse us Ubayullah, we'll speak more later."

    Ubayullah: "Take your time!" He says graciously leaning over to grab his crutch and makes ready to go before addressing you. "Nice to meet you Zie'Chael, I'm the owner of this establishment. Jarahdrin mentions you've been a big help to him. He's a dear friend of mine so please don't hesitate to ask if there's anything I can do for you."

    [Zie'Chael: What do you do?]


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    Zie'Chael

    One of the advantages of feathers is that no-one can see when you blush. Being addressed with such respect by one so successful certainly takes Zie'Chael aback, before he can catch himself he chirrups a "Thank-You." in Keu, seeing the look of confusion on Ubayullah's face, and the amusement evident in Jarahdrin's eyes even if it doesn't make it all the way to his mouth, the Keu catches himself and mutters a self-conscious "Thank-You." again, this time in the common tongue.

    Standing across the table from his employer ~it never does to sit before being asked to do so... especially when it comes to employers!~ Zie'Chael addresses Jarahdrin directly: "I apologise if I am late sir, I was delayed in the common room, those honey-nut-cakes are exceptional..." holding up his hand with the magical ring on it up for Jarahdrin to see he continues "I almost regret not having an appetite anymore, although there is something to be said for being able to enjoy them as a luxury."

    Bowing slightly, but not so much that his head bobs below the table edge ~one of the curses of being a small humanoid in a generally average humanoid world he thinks to himself *sigh*~ "I must thank you for asking me to meet you here, having heard the stories of the finery of this place I was most excited to receive your summons. To what, may I ask, do I owe the pleasure of such an auspicious meeting place?"

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    Post Wrenwil

    Aided by adrenaline (or possibly the strength and blessings of Pentos himself) you manage to straighten the overladen riverboat back on course not a moment too soon! White-knuckled, you maneuver it between a pair of larger merchant ships that once again swamp it with large wakes. Nevertheless, the majority of its passengers let out loud cheers as other ships pass and you remain afloat. There are a few other ships still heading towards you further upstream, but from this point on the river straightens out more and there should be no more near misses.

    Now that the danger has passed, many grateful passengers reach for you to pat you heartily on the back, some with tears in their eyes! The captain shoves his way over with a grin as wide as the river, speaking common to you now that he sees you are a foreigner.

    Captain: "A thousand blessings upon you my friend!" He says falling to his knees and holding his hands up towards you in the universal gesture of prayer. "You saved us!" More cheers follow.

    It is almost amusing how these poor miserable wretches suddenly act like life the most precious thing in the world after a near death experience, (though there is also weeping and lamenting for lost passengers who fell overboard). All the sailors curse at the top of their lungs (speaking Maharathan) shaking their fists at the ships quickly drawing away into the distance downstream.

    Captain: Explains to you in common. "Those curs would've drowned us all without a second thought!" He remarks bitterly. "The larger merchant ships always act like they own the damn river, disregarding the safety of the smaller riverboats, especially north of Maharatha... but still, for so many of them to race away like that from Masaeus under full sail, something must be happening? Perhaps we should turn back?" He wonders out loud scratching at his stringy beard. "What is your name and where do you hail from?" He asks relieving you from the rudder.

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    Wrenwil

    Wrenwil was more than happy to stand to the side and hand over the controls, good things tended to come in small doses after all.

    ~Oh Pentos, I shall not forget this.~


    "Captain, there is no need to thank me, just doing what anyone would have done in the same predicament. I'm so sorry for the souls we have lost here today at no fault of our own." Wrenwil thought on this a moment, coming to the conclusion that attempting to stop, slow down or rescue those overboard would probably only place more lives at risk. ~A tragedy.~

    "The name's Nik, from nowhere in particular, just travelin north to see the sights and explore Masaeus." He shrugged, gave a coy look and added, "I sailed a bit a long time ago, when I was a whipper snapper, once you learn you never forget eh?" Wren winked at the Captain, took off his trusty hat and started twisting the water out of it. "How much further to Masaeus?" he asked, before scanning the deck for his stick and pack. "I have no idea what has caused the rush to head south, only one way to find out eh? Mmm... I need to find my humble belongings."
    Last edited by Ivan; 05-26-2015 at 09:15 PM.

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    Post Ania, Crusher, Ersun

    Crusher: "There is a large city in the east of Vulkh known as Masaeus presently ruled by a Mgorongoron merchant lord named Baron Zomok. Mountain dwarves built this city for the Vul during the second age after the last Summaran king was overthrown. It took a decade to lay its foundations and plan its layout exactly the way the Vul wanted it, and fifty years to build. Masaeus also happens to sit atop a huge underground network of caverns connected to the lake where Garethche is buried."

    "The Vul decided to build atop these caverns because of their rich natural wealth. They’ve been explored and mined with slave labor ever since for at least three hundred years. They’ve also been home to a criminal underworld and nests of wererats for nearly as long. The thieves guild of Masaeus has had lycanthropes (primarily wererats) in their leadership for most of its history. These alpha wererats formed clans beneath them who act as their thugs so they can rule various domains and neighborhoods within the undercity."

    "Eventually one of those alpha wererats seized absolute power over the undercity. His name is King Kyser and he is quite possibly the strongest wererat ever known to history.
    When King Kyser rose to power he united the wererats under his rule which gave him the strength to push out the baron from the mining operation altogether until he recognized the undercity as Kysers domain. Now they split the mining profits and rule their separate levels in an uneasy truce. The Vul only tolerate that arrangement because it’s a well known fact they hate going underground and must rely on someone else to handle the mines."

    "Kyser tied his government, the thieves guild and the favorite cult of his wererat followers together as one organization. Together they mobilize hoards of slave labor nonstop
    with cruel efficiency . Kyser is no fool though, he is known to employ many subterranean demihuman (and humanoid) specialists to keep things running smoothly."

    "As such you can imagine how easy it might have been for the Illithids to get spies in their midst! My clan of course had our own sources in his court, a few of which I have managed to regain contact with. They tell me there are many signs of imminent attack by the mind flayers who lusted after Kysers wealth a very long time indeed. They predict it will most assuredly happen within the year, possibly much sooner."

    "If the Illithids manage to conquer the undercity it will boost their numbers thrice-fold and create a whole other army of thralls to contend with! If we allow this to happen, they will certainly have the strength required to crush us and begin an invasion of the Kezzarat Theocracy!"

    [Ersun: What do you do?]

    (
    By the way, you'll have to make a knowledge check to know much about what a Wererat is since you've encountered one before)
    Last edited by Narayan; 05-27-2015 at 08:35 AM.

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    Ersun

    “And do you assume I will be sent to Masaesus, or am I merely to keep an ear and eye out for it? Either way, as for the reports, how would we keep contact? And how would you ensure that I am doing my job properly?” he asks stoicly.

    [Nature Knowledge; Wererats: 13]
    [He is untrained it, or if it's arcane knowledge instead, well he is untrained in that too]
    Last edited by p3sent; 05-28-2015 at 05:12 AM.

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    Post Wrenwil

    As you search the deck for your pack many of the passengers crowd around the captain arguing. Though you can't understand the language, its clear to you some of the passengers are very insistent, even threatening about the issue about whether or not the riverboat should turn around. The captain and his sailors are outnumbered so it may flare up into a mutiny.

    You spot your pack lying beside a wooden crate towards the bow of the ship. The crate belongs to a stout, hooded figure of short stature, similar in build to a dwarf (yet not quite short enough to be a dwarf). You didn't pay much attention to him earlier because he seemed to be a rather gruff fellow who preferred his own company. For most of the voyage he remained seated beside his crate draped in a lightweight, threadbare, heavily stained travel cloak that conceals his form and his features quite well.

    As you approach to collect your pack you see a small, gangly arm slip out of the crate through a knothole. Its skin tone is ocher, with thin, clawed fingers which it uses to begin picking at the straps and buckles of your pack trying to rummage through it. The figure beside the crate doesn't notice it from where he sits on the opposite side.

    [Wrenwil: What do you do?] (If you attempt to attack the creature you must include an initiative roll in your reply)

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