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Noir

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  1. So I am inspired to run a game of more street-level heroes, very heavily inspired by the various Marvel shows on Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Defenders, Punisher). We would likely be using Adventure! With some slight tweaks to character generation but nothing incredibly severe. Do not worried about Z-waves or any of that stuff. We're just using Adventure! As a famework to represent the very special abilities or training or the like that the PCs may have. If you have intrest, let me know and I can elaborate further. You can also ask me questions in chat or PM me.
  2. Modern setting, likely New York or a fiction city. The setting is custom. I am sure you have the ability to play one, but for this game, the PC are heroes. That means, at the very least, basically good. Also, I am not saying that killing is 100% off limits, but setting out to kill every criminal you meet, or killing casually, is likely not going to work. In fights though, sometimes things happen, and on occasion, there may not be a choice in the matter. PC can range from people with training, to martial art chi masters, to minor super powered people (results of accidents, experiments, mutation), to the possessor of some mystic item, or just average people who take a stand and try to forge themselves into heroes or just make up for ability with lots of courage and heart, and so on. This is much more street level vigilante, so PC probably try to conceal their identity, at least to some degree, to protect those around them. Odds are, the PCs have day jobs and such too. In general, it is a bit more gritty and down to earth (like the Marvel shows on Netflix).
  3. It all began two days ago, at The Crossing. It was a typical day at the Boar's Run Tavern with some patrons catching a midday meal and others simply relaxed and enjoyed the fine beers offered by the dwarven propriators while one of the half-elven girls sang. Good spirits, aided by the good beer and plentiful food made it quite a enjoyable atmopshere, as was common for the establishment. A young man and woman had entered the tavern and stood out, as they were not regulars. They were dressed simply and both looked to be under twenty years of age and both showed a hint of fatigue. They pair addressed the room and asked for help, explaining their village was in need. People had gone missing and they feared some terrible creature had taken up resident in the nearby shelter. They were upfront that they had little to offer as payment, other than a bed, homecooked meals and the gratitude of their village. Five rose to answer their call, each for their own reasons. After a small bit of discussion and some gathering of supplies the temple of Bahamut offered, the party set out for the village that day. Along the way the pair explained some more of what happened, that Toral, their Wizard, had not been seen in days. He lived in the shelter still, seeing as a safer place to conduct his experiments and he enjoyed the quiet for his research. One of the village women, who was a bit sweet on Toral, went into the shelter to bring him a fresh cooked meal. She was know to do that, lets Toral get to caught up in his work that he would forget to eat. She, and her two children, went into the shelter, but never returned. That was when fear began to spread among the village and they sent Arturs and Meghan to The Crossing for help. They knew it was a dangerous trip for the pair to make, but armed with a shortsword and dagger, and Arturs' magic (since he was an apprentice wizard), the pair successfully made the trip. Arturs and Meghan, explained that they had done their best to follow a seldom used trail from their village to The Crossing. They had lost, and again found, the trail many times on their journey, but had arrived safely in The Crossing. With their guidance, and the keen eyes and skills of the others, they arrived back at the village by dusk of the second day, and were greeted by the village and its elders. Alrid, the head elder, led you to the Village Hall, where they had strung a curtain along the back wall and brought in beds and trucks, making temporary quarters, while the rest of the hall was being re-arranged, with the tables in a rough U-shape for the dinner and celebration tonight, thanking those who had come to their aid. Afterward they would speak of more serious matters, but for now, Alrid expressed that the village needed this release and hope. That night the village gather in the hall for the meal, with many of them bringing various prepared dishes. By the look of it, the food was rustic, but hearty and fairly plentiful, even for this gathering; red meats, fowl, fish, savory meat pies, stew, all manner (mostly root) of vegetables and many breads and baked goods, including fruit cobblers. Water, fresh juice and even ale is offered as well, a dwarven stout ale by the look, smell and taste of it. In the enclosed area between the tables small performances take place throughout the night, from simple comedic skits to music and/or dancing, making for a fairly joyous, relaxed atmosphere. As the meal began to wind down the singing, dancing and skits turn into storytelling. They tell the story of their village and how it was once a small town of humans and a few elves and half-elves, though not a sign of the town remains. They prepared their shelter with the help of a group of druids, shaping rock, bringing forth springs and starting the growth of food and such while two wizards prepared the wards. With the shelter prepared the townsfolk waited as long as they could to enter it, and just as they were about to, three more arrived; a pair of orcs who had lost their tribe to a Horror and promised to cooperate and coexist peacefully within the shelter, and a lone male dwarf, a roguish bard named Ardis Softnote. According to the story, he made a name for himself battling Horrors in the last days before the shelters were sealed, and found himself in Jarendale as they were entering their shelter. With time growing short, Ardis asked and was accepted into the shelter. As the townsfolk, Orcs and dwarf entered the shelter, it is said that a Horror found it and attacked, with Ardis fighting it off, wounding it and causing it to withdraw as he and the other fled into the shelter, sealing the doors, empowering the wards and setting traps behind them. Life was not easy within the shelter, but in time, people settled into patterns and made do. They had fresh spring water to drink and water the various crops, most types of fungi that grew on the walls. They had some animal pens to raise them for the slaughter as well as a small fishery. Food was prepared in a large kitchen and meals were taken communally. And with Ardis’ encouragement, space was made for a small brewery where he taught the inhabitants to craft fine dwarven stout (or at least a close proximity given the limited supplies to work with). Curious about how the wizard fits in to the story of the village, Rhosh seeks out Arturs to fill in the missing pieces away from the gathering to not dampen the mood. "Arturs, the story of your village is pretty impressive, but there doesn't seem to be any mention of the wizard. Who is he, and how does he fit in?" the Dragonborn asked. "Well, I am told we started with two wizards. They set the wards and provided other magical assistance than an isolated shelter might need, from healing to fixing things and so on. I am sure you know the utility of a wizard. They each tried to take an apprentice if enough children showed aptitude, so that their knowledge could be passed on and the ward maintained. Over time, there was only one wizard, as often only one child might show aptitude, with Toral being the last one trained within the shelter. He did not have an apprentice until just before we exited the shelter. That was when he found me. and began my instruction. He.. I don't know.. he always seemed.. eager, I guess, for me to learn , when he was not obsessed with some experiment or something, locking himself away in his study. I suppose he feared passing before he could teach me much, and then the village would be left without the magical aid he provided." Arturs answered. The meal went on for a couple of hours, though it was more than a meal, granting the villagers a much needed chance to vent. That is not to say that they were carefree now, but at least they had some solid hope now as they looked at the four brave souls that answered their call for help. Rhosh certain got his share of looks. Not is a bad way, but more of just curiosity at the races they had never seen before. The villagers were very accepting though, and certain made them all feel welcomed. Krusk’s armor also drew attention, being the only full suit that most had ever seen. There did not seem to be much metal around the village, and where there was tended to be in the shape of tool heads and nails, so seeing a full suit of armor was unusual and a bit fascinating for them. The meal ended and the villagers returned to their homes, tidying up a bit, but leaving the majority of the cleanup for the morning. When they had departed only Alrid, Arturs and Meghan remained in the hall with you, gathered around your table while Meghan walked around, gathering up whole pieces of fruit. Alrid took a drink of his cup of ale, sat it down on the table and sighed. “Again, thank you all for coming to our aid. We are not sure what is happening, but I will tell you what we know.” The older man said, looking at each of you, one by one. “We opened the shelter over a year ago, and began building this village and preparing the land while still living within the shelter. I think we all needed time to get used to living outside again, so it permitted us that. In time, we moved out of the shelter and into the village, though Toral, the wizard, tended to stay in his quarters in the shelter where he could do his studies and experiment is relative safety. Toral would often get too focused on his work, and he would forget to eat, and even sleep. Mari would often bring him food and make sure he would eat. After her husband passed just before we left the shelter, she had taken an interest in him, and he seemed to return it. Several days ago, Toral had been inside the shelter for some time, and so Mari went to bring him some lunch. She would often bring her children with her, and let them play in the shelter while she visited with Toral, and this day was no different. The next morning, she was not seen tending to her chores, which was unusual. We checked her home, and neither she nor her children were there. So Leode, a fellow elder, went into the shelter to look for her and ask Toral if he had seen her. Leode never returned. Jared and went in with a few more villagers, to look for Leode and see what happened. Only Jared made it back out. He was terrified and babbling incomprehensibly. His mind was… gone. We were not sure what was happening, but it was clear we could not handle it. So we send Arturs and Meghan, the most capable of the young people of the village, to fetch help, so that the rest of the men could remain to guard us. I or some of the elder would have went along, but we would have only slowed them down. Toral has not been seen in days, and Mari, Leode and the others who have not returned only a day or two less so. We have not dared to set foot in the shelter since. We have barred and locked our doors at night, afraid of what was happening, and sometimes, in the morning, we find scratches on our doors and shutters. Please. We do not know what is happening, or what may rest inside the shelter, but please liberate us from this fear… this evil.” Alrid pleads. OOC note:
  4. Arturs nodded and cast his spell. He looked around the room, but shook his head. "I do not see a magic trigger or the like. Hmm. If there is some sort of concealed passage, then I think it may be by mundane means." Artus explained. As Arturs cast his spell and looked around, Krusk had already began to inspect the room and its contents, moving and carefully replacing things in a respectful manner, rather than some haphazard search. He eventually found his way to a large bookcase, where he paused for a moment, sniffing at the air. "I can spell incense, yet I see no braziers, or even ash." he commented as he focused his attention on the bookcase, checking the frame and each shelf methodically until finally he noticed a rather worn knot in the wood on the side of the case. Cautiously he pressed it and a small *click* could be heard as the bookcase shifted, as if it were on hinges. The others looked over as Krusk began to swing the bookcase open, revealing a passageway behind it, from down which sobbing could be heard. Cautiously they proceeded down the passage which widened into another small room after twenty feet or so. In each corner was a silver incense brazier and the floor was covered in a large rug, in the middle of which a woman law on her side, motionless, with two small children huddled over her, backs to the party, as they sobbed.
  5. Weeks ago... -Shiro Kitsuki, “Last Step Castle”- The old man looked down at the letter and spoke to Toshi without even looking at him, “So what brings a Scorpion to the door of my dojo wishing to study the ways of the Kitsuki?” “I have learned the value of evidence, Kitsuki-sama. Had it not been for a single bead and some disturbed dust, I might have not been able to properly carry out my duties given to me by the Son of Heaven himself the murder of a daimyo may have gone unsolved and a noble family of the Lion would have been lost..” Toshi replied. “Evidence does not lie, Little Scorpion. Men do. One would think that the Scorpion would find testimony more… agreeable… to their methods.” suggested the old man. “Perhaps, Kitsuki-sama, but that does not mean we do not desire to know the truth as well. As you said, men lie. But men can lie to anybody. Evidence, on the other hand, simply tells it’s tale to any who are willing to listen. It has no reason to lie." Toshi countered. “Hmm..." the old sensei said as he contemplated the kneeling Scorpion courtier for a moment before speaking once more, "Come inside then, Shusuro-kun. There may be hope for you yet, Little Scorpion.” “Domo arigato gozaimasu, Kitsuki-sensei.” Toshi said with a deep bow before stepping through the doors of the Dojo of the First Glance... Toshi found the Kitsuki sharp senses and a keen intellect. Under their tutelage he learned to focus his perceptions not only on his surroundings, but also those around him. He learned that the smallest bits of evidence could speak volumes and the most subtle and insignificant of reactions and gestures could reveal even more. He began to understand the Kitsuki and came to see why they posed such difficulties to even the best plans and manipulations of the Scorpion. The Kitsuki were masters at detecting deception and discerning motivations and as said in the beginning, evidence does not lie to those willing to listen. The Kitsuki were indeed worthy opponents for the Scorpion and certainly worthy of their respect. In a few weeks time he completed his lesson and learned the fundamentals of the Kitsuki school, completing the first stage of his training and then departing for Tsuma once more. -Iron Mountain Doji, less than a mile from Shiro Mirumoto, “Last Glance Castle”- "It is not often we are visited by the Kakita, much less a prized pupil of Kakita Toshimoko and the Topaz Champion, aside from those wishing to be taught a less, of course." the Dragon sensei said. "I have accompanied my friend, Rin-san, here to her dojo so that she may further train and had hoped that I might be able to improve my own skill and 'no mind' technique while I was here. The mountains are quite beautiful in their austerity, and the Dragon are well known for their wisdom and meditation " Zoyu explained. "Here? With the rivalry of our Family schools, one might think this would be the last place a Kakita might seek to learn." the Dragon suggested. "A rivalry, yes. But it is not a rivalry born from ill will. Merely a difference in philosophy. A good rivalry causes both sides to improve, which only benefits the Empire as a whole, and a rivalry does not mean there is a lack of respect for your rival. And Rin-san certainly did your dojo proud. I only narrowly defeated her in the iaijutsu tournament and the Topaz Championship itself." the Crane replied. The sensei bowed with a small smile and turned his attention to Rin, taking a moment to size her up and look her over. “Rin-kun,” Mirumoto-sensei said as he rested a hand on her shoulder, “I am not even sure why you return. It seems that each time I try to provide you with instruction, you are already lessons ahead.” “You are my sensei. I have never meant to be disrespectful to you or the dojo. Without your instruction I would not be where I am today.” Rin said. “You are the finest student I have ever had. Niten comes naturally to you as if you developed the style yourself. I can only imagine where your talent will lead you, but I suspect that one day you may be the sensei and I may be the student...” Rin's training was relatively short, as was common for her, but as her sensei reviewed the fundamentals of Niten the sensei stopped and questioned her. "What is it, Sensei?" Rin asked curiously with just a hint of fear that she made have made some fundamental mistake. "Your guard. It is subtly different. I do not think most would even see it. Why did you change it?" "You always said that holding your swords should be natural, like holding a teacup. Since graduation I have made sure to practice each day and sparred with others. This guard just felt natural to me." Rin explained. "It is not just natural, Rin-san, it is better." the Sensei pointed out, using the -san honorific for the first time when speaking to her. "The difference is small, but noticeable. I had seen you doing so since I began your training. Like you said, I thought it was just what felt natural to you or that you might grow out of it in time, but I can see now that as your skill and understanding has improved, so has that guard. And I suspect it will only continue to improve." he said. "Sensei.. I do not know what to say." Rin said, caught off guard. "What to say? That is simple. You will explain that guard to me. How and why it feels natural to you and how you use it so that I my record it for the Dojo and future students and sensei." he said before calling in a young students and sending him to fetch a writing kit and table. "It seems I may be prophetic, as here I am learning from you, Rin-san." he said with a faint smile peeking through his calm demeanor. Rin spent the next several days in seclusion with the sensei, demonstrating her guard. He recorded it on a scroll once he understood it fully and would practice it himself before returning to her training. In her study of the blade and though meditation she came to see and understand more of the elements around her. The rudimentary lessons in Spellcraft she had received in Tsuma had somewhat opened her eyes to elemental energies, at least on a basic level. She could see how they interacted fundamentally and how a shugenja managed to focus and direct those energies, even beyond what she had learned in her Spellcraft lessons. She came to understand that, with focus, she could aid or disrupt those energies around herself as well, a feat which astounded her Sensei. "I do not know why I am surprised by you any more, RIn-san. You already fight with no mind, and from that comes speed, for thinking is slow. You already understand this lesson before I have even began teaching it to you. So I review it with you and do my best to clean up any imperfections and here you are already intuitively understanding lessons that those who graduated years before you are only just now learning with the aid of the Agasha." the sensei said with a faint smile as he shook his head. "I do not know how much longer I will even be able to teach you anything, Rin-san." he mused. While Rin trained Zoyu was a guest of the Mirumoto. The austere and ascetic lands, homes, dojo and lifestyle of the Dragon was in stark contrast to the lush and opulent lands of the Crane, but it had a minimalist beauty and seemed to give the Dragon focus. In general they had a serenity about them and almost seemed to be more like warrior monks than your typical bushi. They fought with no mind, which gave them speed, but also fought with a casual confidence and placed no particular consideration on footwork or a 'special stepping technique' such as those employed by so many styles. Even beyond the use of both swords, the difference in the Mirumoto style, stance, philosophy and even teaching style was strikingly different from the Kakita. It seemed to work for them though, as Zoyu could attest to from facing Rin in both sparring matches and the iaijutsu tournament itself. "Do not look for the perfect moment strike your opponent. Searching for that moment is still thinking, and thought is slow to react. Instead just relax and let him come to you. Your body, your mind, your arm and your sword will simply know the right moment and you will find your cut without a thought." the Sensei explained to Zoyu when she asked about the Mirumoto approach to fighting with no mind. After a short time Rin completed her training and the pair traveled back to Tsuma and the Kakita Dueling Academy. -Kyuden Isawa- "So good to see you again, Akari-kun. We have all heard of your brave actions and personal appointment by the Emperor." the sensei greeted. "I only seek to bring honor to my family and dojo, Sensei." Akari offered. "And I see you have brought a friend with you." "Yes. This is Kuni Taka, a fellow Jade Magistrate. His knowledge was instrumental to our successful protection of the Lord Prince. He has come to see the Library and make use of it while I study so that we may better carry out the duties appointed to us by the Son of Heaven." "Ah. I see..." she said. "Welcome, Kuni-san." she said to the Crab in greeting with a smile that did not appear to be forced (though it was). "Our Library is, of course, at the disposal of the Jade Magistrates. May the knowledge contained within help Jade Magistrates." Taka bowed politely. "Then let us see to your studies so that you may be on your way and back to the business of the Jade Magistrates. I am sure two shugenja are sorely missed..." Akari's lessons continued under her sensei and with that new found ability came the chance to select several new spells, expanding her magical repertoire. Her greater skill and new spells would serve the Jade Magistrates well, while Taka took advantage of the magical knowledge stored within the Isawa Library to begin research on a new spell which he had been contemplating for some time. "As a jade Magistrate you are working with other shugenja, Akari-kun. So do not forget the benefit of working together with ritual magic. We Isawa are the most skilled shugenja in the Empire, but never underestimate the benefit of sharing strength and burden." her Sensei reminded. Soon enough though they found themselves on the road back to Tsuma as well to meet up with their fellow Magistrates. -Kakita Dueling Academy, across the Tengu River from Tsuma- "I have returned to continue my lessons, Sensei." Zoyu said with a bow. "You have returned already? It seems you just graduated and here you stand mere months later ready to continue. You are possibly the finest student I have every taught, Zoyu-chan. You make an old sensei proud." Toshimoko said with a smile and nod. "You flatter me, Sensei. I simply seek to be a worthy vessel to receive what you have to teach." Zoyu said with a shy smile. "And your fellow Magistrate?" he asked "She is a Jade Magistrates, yes, but also my friends and a student of the sword as I am sure you had seen during the Topaz Championship. I had traveled with her to the Iron Mountain Dojo for her to continue her training and studied more of the 'no mind' while I was there. When the next level of her instruction was complete, she journeyed with me here." Zoyu explained. "Really? Occasionally Zoyu-chan, you...hmmm... I am not sure if the right word is... 'surprise' or 'worry' me." Toshimoko said with a warm smile. "Then it is only fitting that we show the same courtesy to one of their finest students." "Welcome, Mirumoto Rin." he said to the Dragon with a polite bow. "Your swordsmanship during the tests of the Topaz Championship was impressive. You bested one my personal students in the Weapons test and showed quite well in the Iaijutsu tournament, only falling to a prized pupil of mine in the final duel. You brought much honor and glory to your dojo." the aging sensei explained. "Anybody of such skill and devotion to the blade at such an early age certainly has my respect." he added with a deep, respectful bow. "Thank you, Toshimoko-sama. You flatter me. I only seek to serve the Empire to the best of my ability." Rin replied. "I must see to my pupil's instruction, but afterwards perhaps we call all learn from one another. A student of the blade is never done learning, after all. And then afterwards I'll introduce you both to the okasan in town. Even the most diligent student needs a break now and then." Toshimoko said flashing a easy, roguish smile. Zoyu continued her studies under the tutelage of her sensei, Kakita Toshimoko. With his training she perfected the "Sudden Strike" of the Kakita, expanding her already considerable understanding of the iaijutsu duel. It was during one of these training sessions that Toshimoko spoke to Zoyu about her progression. "I can see some of myself in you, Zoyu-chan." Toshimoko said as he sat on a rock and looked out at the river they had been training beside. "I was full of confidence and swagger. I knew I was skilled and I used that skill to bully and intimidate. I was young and brash and thought I could not fail." he said thoughtfully. "It took several hard lessons for me to grow up and understand some things... things I wish to share with you." the old man explained as he pulled his arm out of the sleeve of his kimono and rested it inside, against his chest. "You have great skill and potential, but you must understand that with this skill and ability comes a responsibility, not just to your lord and the clan, but to the the Empire and honor itself. At times it can be as much of a burden as it is a boon. The taking of a life is never something to be done lightly, and should be done with dignity and respect. I have taken lives of those I respected and even loved, because honor demanded it. I did not wish their death. I would have given my life in order to have not taken their's, but we are samurai, and our lives are not our's to give, they belong to our Lord. So I dueled them, as honor required, knowing full well what the outcome would be, and I took those lives, That was when I truly understood regret and asked for permission to commit seppuku. My request was denied, so I vowed to live the rest of my life without regret, living each day to the fullest." "You are still so very young, Zoyu-chan. I know these are just words of an old man, but please try to learn from my mistakes while you are still young. I would not wish you to waste so much of your life as I did." "And as word of your skill spreads, people will wish to duel you just to test their skill and prove themselves your better. Don't let them. Overestimating one's skill is already dangerous enough and you do not want to be the one with their death on your hands just so they could learn that lesson. You have nothing to prove to anybody, especially not anymore. You graduated at the top of your class, your won the Topaz Championship and proved your Iaijutsu in front of the Emperor and daimyo. Duel if you must, and I sure there will be times that you must, but only when you must, because you do not want too much blood on those pretty hands..." In the meantime Rin gained a new insight into the Kakita and their style with the instruction from and sparring with Toshimoko. Whereas the Mirumoto let their opponent come to them, the Kakita would seek the perfect moment to strike. They placed a greater emphasis on the duel, in which they were unparalleled, but their philosophy translated into all forms of their swordplay, even in a kenjutsu skirmish the Kakita treated each strike like an iaijutsu duel, allowing them to strike with great speed and precision only to often return their katana to its saya where it awaited the next draw and strike. Despite his position and age, or maybe because of it, Toshimoko was a jovial and relaxed man. He was at least a couple of decades past retirement age, but continued to serve the Crane. He was a very fit and even good looking man, looking younger than his actual age in general, but he also had a relaxed demeanor about him (a stark contrast to his brother in-law, Lord Doji Satsume). He was not a stuffy or rigid man in the slightest and when not teaching at the dojo would often be found in the arms of a geisha or carousing at a sake house. It was a side of him that all the Empire knew about and many found distasteful, but it seemed he was too set in his ways and far too valuable as a sensei for anybody to try and do anything about it. Strangest of all to Rin is that she seemed to have a odd familiarity with the aging sensei. She had seen him before during the Topaz Championship, but had never really spoken with him though. Maybe it was simply his easy going nature and friendly demeanor, but Rin could not help but feel as if she knew him already...
  6. Arturs nodded to Shayuri. "Indeed. He has a study, but I have not yet seen it. Toral was a bit protective it. Or maybe I thought I would get into sometime dangerous. I think the entrance to it is in this room though. There are times that I left something for him here and then remembered I forgot something a few moments later, and when I returned he was in this room." Artus said as he looked about the room from where he stood. I am not sure if the entrance in magical or mundane, but I do know a spell that reveals enchantments to me." he adds. While they speak, Krusk's senses reach out, but detects nothing new.
  7. "Of course, Kakita-sama." the innkeeper said with a bow and then shoot a look to his wife who disappeared for a few moments and returned with a small, slanted tabletop writing table. Withing a drawer at the base was several sheets of a paper, an inkpot, a stick of ink and a brush. She placed it on the table and bowed before backing away. "Please, be my guest. If you are in a hurry and so wish, I will hand deliver your messages myself." the innkeeper offered.
  8. Arturs nodded and allowed everybody to exit the inner chamber, saying a small prayer and giving his dead master one last glance before he closed the door, locking it place. They then gathered around the outer door and Arturs reached out, his hands drifting over the carvings and runes, bringing forth an occasional *click* until finally the door shifted just slightly. With a push, the door swung open to reveal... nothing. Just darkness, and the charred corpse that lay on the floor from before, undisturbed. "Who... who would have locked us in? And why?" Arturs asked himself softly as he glanced around, fully expecting some other creature to come storming out of the darkness at then. Instead, there was nothing. "It is this way. Across the market and through the hall." Artus explained, pointing ahead as he began to carefully walk across the massive chamber. Shayuri's glowing rock illuminated around them for several dozen feet in all directions as they moved toward the village hall. What was once a simple marketplace was now nothing more that scraps or wood, rags, tattered cloth and broken bits of wares that were once for sale. It had an eerie feeling, the gigantic room so silent and littered with the detritus of generations of life in the shelter. The light cast from Shayuri's stone caused even the smallest of objects to cast long, dark shadows, only further enhanced the haunting feeling the place had. "This was the market, where the residents would barter with one another for goods and services. It is a large part of why we have such little money. Within the shelter, coins lost much of their value. Over there," Artus said, pointing off in the distance a bit, "was were Lorn would offer the tiny clay figurines he would sculpt. I traded many hours of chores in return for some of them, so that as a child, I could recreate the stories I had heard." he remembered fondly. "And over there, Morina would offer the small bits of sweet root that she would candy with its own juices. She has begun a small bakery in town. When this is all done, you should try some." Arturs said, looking back over his should with a smile that faded as he caught a glimpse of Dread's rather unimpressed expression. "I am sure it will be delicious." Krusk said, giving the apprentice wizard a reassuring pat on the shoulder. The room was a couple of hundred feet across or so, and by the crude map Arturs had drawn, that was the short way across. The wall came into view and was followed for a few dozen paces until the opening to the village hall was found. The former hall was a large chamber, but not nearly as big as the market, and had rows of simple benches made from long, crudely formed stone blocks. At one end was a raised area and to either wide were hallways. Arturs chose the hallway on the right and led the others down it and through what had once been simple living quarters; a large room that has been separated mostly but screens and curtains into individual living quarters of various sizes. "The elders and their families lived in these quarters, off of the village hall, and the quarters for the wizards' connects them both. At one time there was more than one wizard, but over time it became difficult to find apprentices to train, so eventually there was only one wizard." Arturs explained as he pointed to another hallway at the other side of the living quarters as they neared it. "Through there is the Toral's' quarters." Arturs said, pointing at the hallway. "Finally. We are getting somewhere." Dread groaned, which prompted an eye roll from Eon. Arturs drew his dagger and led the others down the hall to a closed, door. He tried it, but the door did not budge. "The wizard's quarters are one of the few places in the entire shelter with an actual door, and a locking one at that." the young apprentice said as he reached into a pouch on his belt, "But I have the key have the key." he said as he produced a key and slipped it into the lock. "Toral gave it to me when I achieved a new level in my training." he added. "Be ready. We do not know what may lay beyond." he warned and unlocked the door, pushing it open. Light flooded out of from the room an into to the hall. it was not overly bright, but it was easily the most well lit room they had encountered thus far. The room itself was large for a living quarters and well maintained with a desk and chair, some smaller tables, a bookcase, an armmoir, and two beds with a footlocker at the end of each. On the ground, near one of the beds, sat a cloth-lined basket with a crusty loaf of bread, a couple of pieces of well overripe fruit, a ceramic bottle and a few other items wrapped in cloth. It stood out somewhat because it was the only thing in the room that seemed to have a lady's touch. On the table was several dishes with bits of half eaten food, but aside from that, the room was very neat and tidy. The light was cast by several glowing crystals set into the walls, making it easy to read withing the room. On the opposite wall was another door and several tapestries of various sizes covered the stone walls, which, along with the furniture and several overlapping rugs covered the floor, softened the room great deal, making it much more inviting. "Trough there is a hall leading to more living quarters and back to the Village Hall. Toral always kept it locked. Hopefully there is some clue here has to what is going on here." Arturs said as he looked around with a faint sadness on his face.
  9. "I think that may be the best course of action. It seems these moon cultists were rather sure of the success of their plan, and rightly so. Had it not been for the Shosuro... acquiring... the masks, and our fortuitous presences in Royoko Owari for the festival, and at the same inn as the Cran merchants, it world have almost certainly succeeded, so they had every reason to celebrate with the sake they most enjoyed, so the sake is the best lead we have at the moment, if somewhat vague. Akari-san, Okimoto-san and myself will bring the large mask we collected to Tsuma for safe storage and study, and likely eventual destruction. I believe I can arrange for swift travel with a Yasuki vessel. There are many here in Ryoko Owari, and they can be.. discrete. Given what has happened, I think I shall then return home and seek to learn the ways of the witch-hunter to better assist us, as well as inquired with my Clan to see if they have seen anything like the large mask. I must say, it troubles me.." Kuni Taka said as he rose from the table and bowed, excusing himself. The twins sent for their things with the other packed, cutting short their several day in Ryoko Owari that was meant to be reward for all of their hard work. The irony was not lost on them. As they gathered downstairs, the innkeeper stepped forward, holding two sets of bokken daisho. "Kakita-sama. Mirumoto-sama. I did not wish to interrupt your private conversation earlier, but these arrived while you were out." the man said, bowing his head and offering up the sets of wooden daisho. "They are gifts from Kitsuki Jotomon. She wished to present them herself, but I informed her that you were out on business, so she left them with me to deliver." he explained as they each took a set. The sets were finely made and balanced, and each had an inscription carved into the blade. On the katana 'blade' was written, Do not practice until you get it right and on the wakizashi was written, Practice until you cannot get it wrong "It would seem that you made an impression on Kitsuki-sama." Kageko mused with a faint smile.
  10. Arturs positioned himself between Eon and Dread, raising his hands in a gesture asking for calm. "Toral and myself were the caretakers of this tomb, and since my master is dead, that leaves me, I guess. I would rather not have Adris' remains further damaged or defaced if we can avoid it, especially the severing of the head. I think there is wisdom in Shayuri's words. It may be wise to retain the dagger for now. When we depart the tomb, I will close the doors behind us to protect the remains of the dead, and possibly us from them. After all said and done, and we have slain, banished or destroyed whatever evil we find here, I will return the dagger to the tomb, with the supervision of Alrid, and Krusk if he may be so kind, as we lack a cleric in the village. For now, let us leave this tomb and find whatever has been doing this to the village, and then there will be time for reverence of the dead and proper burials" Arturs said with a surprising amount of newfound confidence. Arturs pulled out the dagger that Dread gave him and looked it for a moment before sticking it back in his belt. "If it is agreed that Toral's quarters would be best sought out next, then I know the way." he said, her expression more serious as he blinked away the tears, his focus on on finding whatever did this to his mater and making sure it met and appropriately gruesome end.
  11. Krusk focused and asked Bahamut's aid and his eyes were drawn to the dwarven dagger in Eon's hand, sensing the touch of the divine on it, but aside from that, nothing else was brought to his senses. The dagger... Arturs shook his head as Dread spoke and waited for him to finish. "And how did they get past both locked doors? Only Toral, Alrid and I know how to open the tomb doors. And if this person did manage to open the doors, then how would Toral know to come and stop him? Why write the note? Tried? Trapped? Failed? It does not fit." Artus said, his mind shifting to more analytical for a moment, so as to not dwell on the sight of his dead master. "And why the zombies? Who or what made them? Why was the other chamber full of them? Who or what sealed us inside with them, like a staged trap? This charred body may have been one. And there was a charred body outside the tomb too, remember?" And why did they want me dead so badly? I own nothing of value, have offended nobody and the only things of note I know are a smattering of magic and Toral, but Alrid knows him better I think." Arturs asked, still confused. "And how to open the Tomb too, I guess." the young apprentice added with a shrug.
  12. ardis_dagger.jpg

    From the album D&D 5e: A New Age

  13. D&D 5e: A New Age

  14. Arturs listened to Eon, but looked confused for a moment. "Toral knew how to open it from the inside, just as I do." he corrected.. Arturs looked at the carvings and thought for a moment, recalling the stories of Adris Softnote and nodded. "Well, the dagger was Adris' weapon of choice, a gift from his father when he left Silver Hill. He carried it on his journeys and adventures, and it served him well. While his companions favored other weapons, Jhulae and her dual swords, Nolim and his magic, and Bowlloff and his Hammerblade, Ardis always trusted in his dagger. Together, the four of them had many adventures, and when the Horrors began to appear, they opposed them. For years they battled against them, and in time, only Ardis remained. Even alone he fought against the Horrors, with the aid of his magic and stealth, his dagger would often find its way into their vulnerable spots, wounding and slaying many and even wounding and driving off Neth'ka when it attacked as our shelter was being sealed. it served him well in his time before the shelter, and even during his time with us in the shelter, it is said that dagger never left his side." he stated, reciting parts of the story of Ardis that he learned so well in his studies.
  15. Arturs managed a small smile and nodded. "Thank you. Thank you all." Arturs said with another nodd to the party. Arturs then turned to the door and moved his hands hands over the carvings, pressing here and there, causing an occasional audible *click* or some other sounds of a mechanism being triggered inside the door. He paused for a moment and looked over his shoulder at the others. "Uhhh... it is almost unlocked. I am not sure what might be waiting on the other side, so I will press the last trigger and then push the door open. Be ready." he said. The others readied weapons and prepared spells in anticipation and Arturs turned back to the door, said a small prayer, pressed a carved rune and pushed. Just like the entrance door, this interior door was heavy and made of stone, but remarkably well balanced, allowing Arturs to push it open without too much effort. The light from Shayuri's glowing stone spilled into the much smaller room as the smell of decay wafted out of it. Hands tightened on weapons at the smell and Arturs spun to the side as they waited for any sound or movement, half expecting zombies to come pouring out of the small, inner chamber. Dread rolled his eyes and strode through the doorway, ready for all on comers, but he was met with just still silence. The others entered behind him, allowing Shayuri's stone to illuminate the small room. The walls were covered it more relief carvings and dwarvish writing and in the middle of the room sat a stone sarcophagus, with the lid slid half off. Inside was the skeleton of a being of short stature, held together by remains of desiccated sinew, Ardis Softnote apparently, along with some bits of jewelry and a remarkably well preserved cloak, set of boots and leather armor. Even at a glance it was apparent the remains had been disturbed, the hands crossed over his chest having seemingly held something at one point were now empty.. In the far corner on the inner chamber was two bodies. The first lay on its back, severely charred,, male as best as anybody could guess. The other was slumped against the wall , a much older human male with a dagger tucked into his belt and his robes ripped open to bare his chest, where a dagger was plunged through his heart. One palm was cut, and on the stone wall next to the body, written over part of the story of Ardis that was carved into the wall, in blood where the words, I TRIED TRAPPED HERE NOW I'VE FAILED YOU ALL PLEASE FORGIVE ME "Master!" Arturs exclaimed as he pushed his way through the others and knelt at the side of his dead master, trembling hands reaching out for the body, but unsure of what to do. "This.. It is.. was... Toral." Arturs said as he fought to hold back tears at the sight of dead master.
  16. "There are no necromancers here. Toral and myself are the only ones with any training or skill in magic even." Arturs said as he cautiously kicked at one of the corpses with a toe. "And I certainly haven't garnered anybody's ire, especially not a necromancer. I'm just an apprentice wizard, and most of the time I am with Toral I am studying or doing menial work or something. I don't really have a time or a way to piss of anybody." he explained as he carefully wiped off his dagger and slipped it back into his belt. "And how could I be dangerous to anybody? I'm no evoker or war mage. All I know are cantrips and one spell. I make sparks, warm a cup of coffee, clean a shirt, fix a broken tool or tell if something is magical. Not exactly fear inducing power. " Artus added and looked down at himself. "And all I have is what you see, aside from a couple of changes of clothes in a chest back home. Clothes, a gambison, a dagger, spellbook with one spell in it and a few coins. That's it. So I cannot father why those things wanted me dead so badly."
  17. The giant warrior cursed to himself as one of the zombies slipped past his guard and took a swipe at Arturs. He'd told the boy to fight defensively and, of course, what did the apprentice do? The exact opposite. His an angry sigh and a heave he kicked the zombie in it's right flank. As it staggered off balance he took a swing at it with a wide arc, hid blade digging deep into it's side, shearing it's arm off in the process. It slammed against the wall with a squishy thud, and moaned, gurgling up fluids. When it pushed itself off the wall in a lazy gait Dread rolled his eyes. He'd already had enough of these things and they just wouldn't quit. He bellowed his annoyance with a shout as he threw his dagger into the shambling corpse. It pierced its skull all the way to the hilt and when the cross guard prevented it from burying further it carried the zombies head with it all the way back to the wall, lifting the zombie with it. The dagger lodged into the stone wall and the zombie hung from it like cloak in a homes foyer. He was now in a position to guard Arturs from further attacks. He swung his about his hand, looking to the others who had finally take one down. "Should I slow down, maybe give you guys some time to catch up? There's four of you over there... quit screwing around!" "Amateurs." He shook his head then looked to Arturs. "You. Stay put." Eon tisked in derision. "You know, Dread. I think I understand why you have to compensate so much. Maybe if you took some of the dick out of your personality, you'd have been able to satisfy some of those poor women." He casually steps to the side, the tip of his blade a flicker of glinting steel as it first tears the throat of one of the zombies and then pierces through the eyesocket and punches clean through the back of it's head. The zombie gives a briefly terminated groan as he withdraws the blade and it drops like a sack of potatos. "Besides. I thought your were supposed to be awesome? Am I supposed to be impressed yet? What stories I will be able to tell. Brave and mighty Dread. OF such skill that he was overcome by zombies and needed his party to bail him out. Tisk tisk." The derision in his voice was thick enough to be a physical thing. Could have been, if he had projected it a bit more. "Hurt is hurt, if it makes them easier to kill, stop bitching and fucking kill them." With the last two undead consumed clawing at the walls in a pathetic attempt to flee from the glow of Krusk's holy symbol, they were easily dispatched by the adventurers' superior numbers. A few seconds later they lay on the ground, finally fully dead as the attention of some shifted to Arturs, still backed in the corner by the interior door with several dead zombies littered all around him. OOC Note
  18. LOL! The zombie fails it's Undread Fortitude save. #6 is dead! Undead recap #1: ~ DEAD ~ #2: ~ DEAD ~ #3: ~ DEAD ~ #4: 15 HP remaining + TURNED until round 11 (or takes damage) #5: 15 HP remaining + TURNED until round 11 (or takes damage) #6: ~ DEAD ~ Okay. This is round #3 and the last two undead are at 115 HP and turned. I know full well you can just curb stomp them as a group,since you can all attack one before it acts, and then do the same with the other, so no need to play it all out. By the end of Round 4 at the latest, they are all dead, or double dead or whatever. Heh. This was to get a feel for combat and so people could see how it goes. Good job everybody.
  19. This there is for resolution of combat, posting saving throws and so forth.
  20. Nice hits! #1 gets to make a Will save for Undead Fortitude to see if it dies or not. 1D20-2 => (13 - 2) = 11 = FAIL! #1 is dead! Undead recap #1: ~ DEAD ~ #2: ~ DEAD ~ #3: ~ DEAD ~ #4: 15 HP remaining + TURNED until round 11 (or takes damage) #5: 15 HP remaining + TURNED until round 11 (or takes damage) #6: 7 HP remaining #1 and #6 will be able to act/attack this round, unless they are killed before their turn. Eon is up!
  21. The blade of Dread's sword pierced under the zombie's jaw and penetrated the top of it's skull with a shower of gore. With feral tenacity he held the undead aloft and drew his dagger from his belt. He thrust downward several times, hollowing out it's chest until finally spearing it several times in the abdomen. With a bellow of victory (or anger, it was hard to tell with him) he lifted the zombie and flung it over his shoulder, casting it into the zombie behind him. They crashed to the floor, tumbling over the other leaking fluids and viscera. Only one of the zombie stood up... shambling towards him as he stood in a wide stance, welcoming all challengers. "Defend yourself, and do not strike back, you'll expose your weaknesses. Most of all boy, stay calm. Your wits are your greatest strength in a battle." "Don't strike back!? They're trying to kill me!" Arturs countered, clutching his dagger more tightly and stabbed at the belly of the zombie beside him, but the steel failed to find purchase int the undead flesh, glancing off of a leather belt. Turning to the Zombie doing his utmost to chew Artur's face off, Eon raises one eyebrow. "You know, Arturs, it's sort of alarming how they seem to be fixating on you a bit. Something we should know?" letting our a piercing whistle to catch the Zombies attention, he continues. "I see the gods really broke the mold when they were making you.... have you tried asking for your money back?" "How should I know!? I'm just an apprentice! I can barely cast a spell, much less anything that could hurt these things, or anybody really!" Arturs replied. As the majority of the group bunches in, Rhosh focuses his effort on the corpse in the corner next to him. He lifts his sword and swiftly brings it down, digging into the putrid flesh for the undead as it seemed to try and push itself through the wall in order to get away from Krusk. The steel slicing into its shoulder seemed to snap the creature out of it's overriding fear of Krusk, it's attention now focused on the rogue. With a gargling hiss, the thing raised its gnarled claws toward Rhosh as Shayuri clapped her hands together and snarled a single word, and lightning exploded from between her palms, crawling around her fingers and arms. She reached out to touch the nearby zombie, and a lick of lightning snapped out and grazed over its decayed flesh. With a scowl she reached her other hand out as well, resulting in another torrent of electricity that dazes and scorches the creature, pausing it for a moment before it continued on its coursed and grabbed at Rhosh, only to find the rouge's reflexes more than a match for its decayed agility. As his momentum from the swing of the fleeing zombie turns him slightly, Krusk sees Arturs cornered and Delgath starting to move to help him. The large Half-orc begins to run toward Zombie #3 and prepares for a great attack. Above all else, Arturs must not be harmed for he is both innocent and the charge of these adventurers. He brings down his heavy sword on the zombie, imbuing his holy gift from Bahamut onto the forsaken enemy. As the steel touched the undead flesh the blade glowed and then flashed, hacking into the zombie and cleaving it half from the right shoulder to its left hip. The bottom half fell to the ground while the thing's left hand reached out and grasped at Arturs, clutching his gambison, hanging from that grip for a moment before finally falling to the floor before him. Arturs shook visibly and pushed himself against the stone wall as the thing finally released, watching it fall to the floor and looking back up in time to realize that another zombie had been approaching. It's desiccated hands reached out for the apprentice wizard, but managed only to claw uselessly at the stone wall beside him. "Why do they keep coming after me?!" he exclaimed in fear and confusion.
  22. Thanks to the effect of Shayuri's Shocking Grasp spell, #6 cannot take reactions, so Krusk moves away from #6 without it getting an attack of opportunity on him. Krusk deals 13 Slashing + 12 Radiant damage to #3. #3 is DEAD #1 moves to 3B and attacks Arturs with a Slam (with Disadvantage). Attack roll #1: 1D20+2 => (18 + 3) = 21 = Hit Attack roll #2: 1D20+3 => 4 = Miss! With Disadvantage (thanks to Eon's Vicious Mockery spell), it must take the lower of the 2 rolls, so it misses Arturs! #6 attacks Rhosh with a Slam Attack vs AC 15: 1D20+3 => (6 + 3) = 9 = Miss! End of Round 2. Undead recap #1: 14 HP remaining #2: ~ DEAD ~ #3: ~ DEAD ~ #4: 15 HP remaining + TURNED until round 11 (or takes damage) #5: 15 HP remaining + TURNED until round 11 (or takes damage) #6: 7 HP remaining #1 and #6 will be able to act/attack this round, unless they are killed before their turn. Round 3 begins! Dread is up!
  23. battle_map3.jpg

    From the album D&D 5e: A New Age

  24. Shayuri does 4 damage to #6 Arturs stabs #3 with his dagger. Attack vs AC 10: 1D20 => (9) = 9 = Miss! Undead recap #1: 14 HP remaining + Disadvantage on its attack this round #2: ~ DEAD ~ #3: 20 HP remaining + Disadvantage on very next attack through Round 3 #4:15 HP remaining + TURNED #5: 15 HP remaining + TURNED #6: 7 HP remaining + Cannot take Reactions (such as attack of opportunity) So far, #1, #3 and #6 will be able to act/attack after Krusk this round, unless they are killed. Krusk is up.
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