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Everything posted by Charlotte

  1. It’s mid afternoon, towards the end of August, in Prince’s Landing, and all was not well. The town has two major means of trade; mining, assisted somewhat with the town’s exoskeleton, a worn-down patched-together not-fit-for-combat suit from the bad times after the coming of the Rifts. It ran on jury-rigged e-clips and would probably disintegrate if you stared at it for too long, but it could break rocks and lift them, and that was enough to get the local zinc vein mined without back breaking labor from the other miners, who mostly ran the less dangerous parts of the job. Except presently it wasn’t enough – the left hip actuator was out and it had been officially deemed unsafe after the last miner to use it had suffered injury. It was currently up on a rack in the foreman’s house in town, and the foreman – a human named William Marks – stared at it a lot before heading off to work, as the town debated who to ask for help: the more open and tolerant Kingsdale that was finding its political fortunes on the wane with consolidation of Coalition strength in the region, or the more prosperous Whykin, which was putting a lot more skulls on its armed forces lately. The other major means of trade was agriculture. Barley was a boring thing to farm, but it paid the bills – and was assisted by the local hedge mage, a demonic-looking woman called Ianoko. She knew one spell expertly, and it was a spell that blessed fertilizer. It was an inglorious spell compared to shooting lightning or fire, but it helped the town immensely. But recently she was attacked on the street by assailants unknown, the one eyewitness saying that they wore makeshift skull masks and shouted phrases like “you’re not pulling your weight” and “go back to your home planet.” Ianoko is expected to fully heal, but as someone who is pacifist even for a d’norr, she was badly shaken by the incident and there’s rumors that she’s considering taking their advice and moving back to the small town in the Federation of Magic that she was born in. Regardless, it’s true that she’s scared to go outside alone. She lives in a modest house on the far end of down, the interior full of strange knickknacks that are nonmagical but of spiritual significance. Finally, in the local watering hole, where they serve surprisingly good beer made from the local crop of barley, some newcomers have drifted in and out of the town. But there’s two regulars: the bartender Grep, a trimadore of nonbinary gender who is a very good listener and answers to “they” and “them,” and a young woman whose stage name is Glitter Girl and dresses in what she calls “Golden Age glam rock” style, and who is always trying to put on some kind of show to lift spirits… … fairly unsuccessfully, since everyone in the town knows things are bad. The local tavern is adjacent to the local flophouse, which is run by a fairly easygoing older man, named Simon - no last name known - who cooks breakfast for everyone staying there. He's not a great cook, but the food is included in lodging, at least, and he's pleasant enough to be around. He gets nervous around weaponry and open displays of psionic or magical power, though, and the hitch in his step combined with the strictness of his routine lead people to believe that he's an ex-military man who has no desire to ever see another firefight up close.
  2. Savage Rifts: Here Comes Tomorrow OOC Thread

    For the sake of visual aids, here's what a typical female d'norr looks like: And a trimadore of neutral or indeterminate gender: Trimadores have a reputation for being good with machines, but their unusual physiology means that most armors and vehicles aren't built for them, deterring many from a more adventuresome lifestyle. D'norr are often called "devil people," but those who know more about them know that they're very empathic and in many cases all but pacifist.
  3. Here's the official OOC thread for the game! Now, what I'd like from folks, for easy categorization, is to post your characters in their own individual threads, to make things easier to track.
  4. D'norr

    From the album Rifts

  5. Rifts

    A depository of Rifts pictures.
  6. Trimadore

    From the album Rifts

  7. After the town militia, consisting of a few men and women in the cheapest armor possible and armed with laser rifles about half a step above a flashlight, determined there was no way they could stop either Adam or Kensie in a fight, they waved them through. They were directed to the trading post, which was run out of the flophouse that Simon oversaw. Simon was at the post, currently fidgeting with the refractory prism in some kind of ion weapon. There were not a lot of weapons or armor on the walls - most of what Simon had were dried rations, a stack of books, e-clips in various states of charge, jars of universal composite which was often used to patch armor, and the usual trading essentials. The mining shift changed, and BB was informed that a group of miners were going down to Grep's for a drink. A few of them mentioned live entertainment, which caused BB's audio receptors to perk up, but it was explained that they meant local theatre. Still: booze. At Grep's proper, things were starting to pick up a little. Grep kept their booze relatively cold, a source of constant back-and-forth debate between Grep, who felt that chilling the booze killed the taste, and the town, who felt that the whole point of a cold drink was that it was cold. Currently the town was winning, on this front at least. On the stage, Glitter Girl was setting up what looked to be a minimalist play, and judging by the two props - one, a stick with a star tied to it, and the other a stick with a battery tied to it - it was the one-act play "Who Killed The World." The premise was that two actors would play Magic and Technology, respectively, and each would argue with the other over whose fault it was that the apocalypse had happened. There were many different versions favoring one side or another, and since it was the first performance, no one knew which way the eccentric performer would go. At the bar, the trimadore nodded at Firanis as they provided the twin drinks. "You'd need a T262 actuator, along with a BX-98A adapter, I'd reckon. Suppose both Kingsdale and Whykin would have something like that. I'd recommend Kingsdale, but there's been 'bandit trouble' on that road lately." They made single quote gestures with their fingers at that. "Strange way to refer to Coalition mercenaries, if you ask me - " "No one asked you, monkey boy." The words came from someone else at the bar, a young looking man glaring daggers at the bartender, while his drinking companion froze in mid-sup. Slowly, Grep turned to the man. "Don't call me 'boy.'" "Sorry, sorry. He, uh, we just got back from Whykin, and he talked to a deadboy recruiter - " The man's companion turned to his friend. "Sy, c'mon, this isn't the place - " "Your friend isn't welcome," said Grep, with some firmness to their voice. "And if you're his friend, you aren't either." There was silence for a long moment. Towards the back of the establishment, a d'norr woman - recognizable as Ianoko - slid back into her booth, trying to disappear.
  8. Savage Rifts: Here Comes Tomorrow OOC Thread

    Thanks for the character posts, all. I have two rumors and need four more - again, one true rumor and one false rumor per "group," so I can pass them around and get us all started!
  9. The Premise: The war is over, and the wrong side won. Tolkeen, a bastion of magical theory and learning, where mystic practicioners, other-dimensional refugees, misfits and malcontents could live in peace, was forced into warfare with the human supremacist Coalition States, who had recently begun expanding after years of consolodating their gains and delving into Golden Age technological stores to upgrade their weapons and robots. The people of Tolkeen knew what occupation would mean for an empire founded on the notion of the eradication of anything that didn't fit the Coalition's narrow definition of sentient life, so they used every means available to protect themselves, including long-forbidden magics involving blood sacrifice and pacts with ancient demons. They told themselves it would be worth it when the Coalition was driven back, that the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) genies could be put back in the bottle. It wasn't enough. The Coalition was battered, but ultimately triumphant. Tolkeen was razed. The monsters it summoned now roam free; the people clinging to it for stability are scattered and being hunted by the Coalition. The cyber-knights have been shattered, with a significant number having joined the Tolkeen war effort and having lost their way; no one has seen or heard about their founder, or his closest associates, in many months. Even more troubling, Lord Dunscon - self-proclaimed ruler of the Federation of Magic - has begun a campaign of consolidation of his own, seeking to unite the cities of the Federation of Magic under his own tyrannical rule, pointing out that if the only alternative is destruction by the expansionist Coalition States, his rule will at least allow free cities such as Dweomer and Stormspire to exist - even if it is the rule of a man whose chief criticism of Tolkeen was that it was too soft. Some people joke that the second apocalypse is upon us. But it's a joke no one laughs at. Those outside the borders of the Federation and the Coalition wonder if they'll be next, and what, if anything, can be done about it. Those within said borders who don't toe the party line are wondering where they can go. Everything in North America is in flux, and no one knows what will come out the other side. The Setting: A sizable settlement called Prince's Landing, chiefly an argicultural and mining town. The primary crop is barley, and the local stout is noteworthy; the primary mining export is a vein of zinc which is often used in the maintenance of advanced technology. Limited robotics are used to mine, and the local hedge mage has helped ensure that harvests are reliable. It's a relatively small town, and like most small towns in the world of Rifts, can't affort to be overtly picky about who stays there - many don't have the power to resist powerful forces such as pilots with their own power armor suits, or mages with a reasonable grasp of spellcraft, and as long as people are willing to work or have credits to spend, people tend to live and let live. There is reasonably close proximity to a ley line, but it's a weak ley line and it hasn't caused any trouble in living memory. However, Prince's Landing is sandwiched in between the two Coalition states of Missouri and El Dorado, and to the east is the Federation of Magic. Furthermore, their two major trading partners - the city-states of Kingsdale and Whykin - are on opposite sides of "the Coalition issue," with Kingsdale a more tolerant city and with Whykin more fully embracing the Coalition ambassadors that come calling. The current mayor of Prince's Landing favors Kingsdale, but without any support from any other major powers, the Coalition could decide to wipe them both off the map with ease - and many people in Prince's Landing are in favor of taking Whykin's side, with hate crime incidents on the rise. The d-bees and freethinking scholars and radicals in the region are all waiting to hear a metaphorical pin fly out of a possibly literal grenade. Your Characters: I'm looking for four to six players who can post relatively often and work well enough together. This is a cooperative game, though you need not know each other at game start; you could have met in the war (as mercenaries employed by either side, or even on opposite sides.) The Tomorrow Legion is going to factor in at some point, though all anyone's heard at this point are rumors, if that. You've wound up in town and are trying to figure out what to do next - or a way to do what you want to do next, if only you could catch a break. To create a character in the Savage Worlds version of Rifts, you'll probably need the Savage Worlds rules and the Tomorrow Legion Player's Guide. Character creation starts on page 11 on the Player's Guide. You can select a template from the following choices: Combat Cyborg: Heavy combat man-machine, greatly enhanced by cybernetics. Crazy: Psionically enhanced supersoldier, mentally unstable but able to take great advantage of it. Cyber-Knight: Part holy warrior, part psionic martial artist with an energy sword, and all kinds of trouble for enemies using tech weapons. Glitter Boy: Owner of the ultimate powered armor and personal ranged weapon, though with drawbacks in terms of mobility and side effects. Juicer: Born to die, a live-fast, fight-hard super soldier with the ability to burn her life force for truly heroic moments. M.A.R.S.: The mercenaries, adventurers, rogues, and scholars of Rifts who have less raw power but more experience and variety. Burster: Raw, awesome firepower. A super powerful pyrokinetic for a world gone mad. Mind Melter: A true master of psionic power, employing unparalleled telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Ley Line Walker: Master of magic, they can interface with ley lines effortlessly for nearly unlimited power. Mystic: Combines faith-driven magic with psionic power, intertwining two Arcane Backgrounds with a spirituality others do not comprehend. Techno-Wizard: The ultimate gadgeteer, combining arcane science with an innate talent for tools and machines. Flame Wind Dragon Hatchling: A newborn dragon seeking its place in the world. Yes, a dragon. In addition, the various races - humans, mutants, d-bees and aliens - are available. Custom races are potentially available upon request, and even if you're human, no one says you have to be a human born on this Earth - or from this time, since rifts that bend time are not unheard of. There are two house rules I've added, one at character generation and one at character advancement. The latter is that that buying a new skill no longer consumes one entire advance; instead, it's treated like buying a single skill point in an existing skill, so you can buy a new skill and raise another. This is to encourage people to branch out into new skills should they realize they forgot to acquire a useful one or that there's a critical skill no one in the group's covered. The at-character generation rule is this: at the start of the game, your character is down and out and not at their best, the circumstances of which I'll work out with individual players (though I'll take suggestions.) This is a temporary drawback and should be gone by the end of the first adventure. Examples include being a rookie cyber-knight who's unable to yet summon their psi-sword; a glitter boy whose bracing system for the boom gun is miscalibrated, rendering it unable to fire; a magic or psychic who encounters something bad every time they use their powers, a dragon that for some reason can't remember how one of their instintive abilities works, and so forth. I'll work with you to find one you want to roleplay through - the idea being that life has temporarily set you on the back foot, and the first adventure features you in part getting your footing back. If you have questions or comments, let me know!
  10. I pretty much have every character in background if not in terms of full mechanics, so we should be good to go shortly. I just need a couple of things: First, let me know if you're just entering the town now, or have been there for a little while, so I know how to intro you. Secondly, the six of you seem to be divided up neatly into three pairs, so I'd like each pair to work out, then send to me, two rumors - one true rumor and one false rumor. These'll then be sent to the other two groups as prior foreknowledge (or misinformation) about your characters. Obviously tell me which rumors are false and which are true, but other players will have to work that out in-game. I'll have a forum for us shortly. Thanks!
  11. Also, upon further reflection, I've decided that the temporary hindrances thing I was considering is unnecessary - everyone seems to have done a great job of creating hard-luck heroes on the back foot on their own, and I've got every confidence that you'll be good at playing them as such in the game proper.
  12. Thanks for your patience, all - the end of the year is always a weird time for me, and doubly so this year since I'm wrapping up my job. Max, overall looks good - I'm not 100% sure that a TW weapon is available via MARS Fortune & Glory, but I don't see why you wouldn't have it - though you might have a good story for why a forbidden weapon wound up in the hands of a Coalition member of Psi-Bat. Kensie, B, Phere, all looks good. Dave, I might need a few more details - a bit more background (where does he come from, where did he get the sword, who're his enemies, etc) and I think if you're taking the Mystic background you get more psi-powers. Asarasa, did you have anything for the character you were considering?
  13. Edited the OP to more fully flesh out where you're all starting, as well as the current state of play in Rifts North America.
  14. One thing that might be tripping Dave up is that the character creation system for the Rifts version of Savage Worlds is contained in the Tomorrow Legion Player's Guide, which uses templates (i.e. character classes.) The way it works is that you select a class/template, select a race, then distribute 5 points in stats and 15 in skills unless your template says differently. There are more details on page 11 of the Tomorrow Legion Player's Guide, which you can snag here. The closest to "champion with sword and pseudo-mystical powers" is the cyber-knight; there's also the Mystic, which covers the magic side of things even if it's a less melee-ish character.
  15. "Bunks, right. Hold on - " Sunshine waves them along, munching as she went. She looked confident, but not fully so, as she led them along. "So first things first, the decontamination suite is good, but this is an interplanetary ship and bugs are gonna happen. If you find any bedbugs in your cot, let us know and we'll tie it to the hull. Couple of hours at absolute zero out in the Suck oughta kill any bedbugs, and anything the Suck doesn't kill is probably gonna give us bigger problems than an itchy mattress. Around this way - wait, this way - " Sunshine looked momentarily confused, following the signs to the living space. "Sorry, spend most of my time on the bridge. Where you all going to be stationed, then?"
  16. Savage Worlds: Rifts?

    Any game where I get to shoot post-apocalyptic neo-Nazis is therefore: good.
  17. It was called the Last War as a warning. For a hundred years, ever since the rite of succession in the Five Kingdoms was ignored and a thousand years of relative peace came to an end, the continent of Khorvaire has been seized by war. Desperation pushed the limits of magic to destructive heights undreamed of, birthing a new race of animate constructs, delivering new modes of flying transport, and culminating in an unclaimed act of magical terrorism, wiping the nation of Cyre off the face of the continent. Sick and weary of war, two years ago the Treaty of Thronehold was signed, putting an end to the Last War, with the best of intentions of ensuring it was the Last War - because another, on the scale witnessed, could end all life on the world of Eberron. The magical constructs called the warforged have been granted personhood, and struggle to adapt to a world without war - as does everyone else. With a hundred years of grudges across national lines, with everyone knowing someone who died or suffered in the war, there are a lot of people in Khorvaire not willing to let bygones be bygones. Those are just the threats within the Five Nations. The emissaries from Sarlona are eagerly stepping in to help with refugees and shortages, but nothing comes without a price. The lost continent of Xen'drix is opening to exploration, and could contain anything - including nothing more than a sad repeat of the history of colonialism against its drow natives. There are stirrings of activity within the Cult of the Dragon Below, their long-term insane goal being the revival of the dread wyrm Tiamat - and the dragons of Argonessen are thought to be taking an unusual interest in the affairs in Khorvaire. There are tales of a warforged god building a nation in the ruins of Cyre, and the Dragonmarked houses - centers of magical trade, and relatively unscathed by war - are up to something. To hold the world together may be an impossible task. But to some of the exceptional people emerging worldwide, only nothing is impossible. What's the game? A superhero game set in Eberron. Why Eberron? Eberron is a setting for Dungeons and Dragons that advances the general feel and timeline of the "fantasy consensus universe" from medieval Ye Olden Times to the stories of the post-World War 1 pulp era. Less Bilbo Baggins and more Indiana Jones. In the consciousness of Western society, the pulp heroes gave way to the superheroes in the late 1930s and early 1940's. This is a game about Eberron making that transition. Why superheroes? They're awesome, and I feel that a pulp fantasy universe allows for fresh possibilities with the genre, either taking fantasy archtypes up to the level of superheroics, or lending superheroic archtypes a fresh perspective within Eberron's borders. Where in Eberron is this set? Initially, Khorvaire. Not to say that you have to come from there, but that you have to wind up there by the time the team is ready to form. What's this about a team? One of the unusual things I want to do with this game is that I want to run it comics-universe style - as in, every character initially has a solo thread where you have your own adventure, then you get together with the team in a group thread, then we have both your solo thread and your group thread going simultaneously. Like how members of the Justice League or the Avengers have their solo books and then the team book - or if movies are your frame of reference, how we get Captain America or Superman movies in between Avengers and Justice League films. So how will that work? Like this. Solo threads: origin story for you Then team thread: the team comes together for its first big adventure. Then solo threads and team thread running in parallel: or close to parallel, with perhaps a month or two off in between. Future story ideas may be seeded in group threads and followed through in solo threads, or vice versa. If something life-changing happens in one thread, we assume that the other thread took place before that. That's a little unusual. It is! But play-by-post gives us an ideal place to pursue it, since the slower pace means more attention can be focused on the individual members. Also, if you don't want a solo thread, you don't have to have one past your introduction, so if you think it's a bad idea, it won't directly affect you. If you don't want to be in the group thread, that's also something I can accomodate. What system are you using? Depends on the feedback I get. I'm weighing either FATE Accelerated, with some superhero specific tweaks, or Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition, also with some tweaks. What style or tone of play are you looking for? Akin to the DC Animated Universe of the 90's and 00's, or the better Marvel movies. Realistic on an emotional level - as in "this crazy thing that happened is crazy" - but not necessarily on a physics level ("what tensile strength is required for Big Crazy Thing to be real?") and with the social impact level limited so that it doesn't get in the way of the genre. Essentially, the core truth of the game's tone is that it's a world with superheroes and that needs superheroes. How many people are you looking for? About five to six to start with. I am interested! That's great! I'm not interested! Okay. I have questions! Ask them below.
  18. Date: Olarune the 6th, 998YK Location: Off the coast of Sharn Dawn broke over the bow of the good ship Springtime Belladonna, and Isstia knew this by the faint tingle of irritation that the sunlight gave her, even down in the cargo hold. She had completed her exercise and training for the moment and was resting, keeping her breathing quiet enough that nothing short of a hound would hear it – and the Springtime Belladonna kept a ship’s cat instead, to deal with rats. The cat never hissed at her, but it never stuck around long enough for Isstia to get to know it well either. It, and Soluzek, were the only two faces she’d seen on her journey. The secret knock at the wooden panels was given, and Soluzek herself made her way into the small stretch of the cargo hold that Isstia had carved out. The female elf wasn’t like her – Soluzek’s skin was pale and a little freckled, and her hair was red with black streaks. She had strange gods – something called the Undying Court – but she had recognized in Isstia a kindred spirit, and had kept her hidden and helped her on her quest. Soluzek sat crosslegged on the floor. She pulled out a small package of jerky. “Here. It’s your favorite. I was saving it for today; it’s the big day. We’re going to be docking at Sharn by the end of the day.” Isstia knew little of Sharn; she knew that it fed ships to and from Stormreach, the city of the pale strangers, and she knew that it was where her quarry had travelled. But what Soluzek had told her still seemed fantastical – buildings the size of small mountains, flying skiffs, people of all races pressed together. All roads led to Sharn, the saying went. Including the roads travelled by the killers of her tribe, and the thieves of the holy totem of Vulkoor.
  19. I've been putting off this post for a while now, but I can't really any more. For a while now, the fun of running JLE has gone out of the game for me, and I kept going in the hopes that it would return. But it hasn't, and after some consideration, I've decided to shutter the game. I considered putting it on hold, but honestly: the chance of a game that's gone on hold coming back is so small it seems wrong to hold out false promise. I'm glad for the times we've had, and I'm sorry that we won't be having more of them for the foreseeable future. I especially have to apologize to KahlessNestor, who came over to this site from another one and who sadly hasn't seen the other side of their intro thread. I may run something else and I may not, but I'm glad for everyone who took a chance on my weird idea for a game and stuck around. Thanks again.
  20. Time: Early Therendor, 998 YK (the month following Olarune) Places: Karrnath, Breland Steel Falcon "Thanks for meeting me on such short notice... 'Steel Falcon.'" Ezi smiled a bit at the name. "No, no, I'm not making fun! I like it." He hung up his coat at the rack that Lysa kept at the door to her quarters, then took off his hat. "So I have a lead. It's in Karrnath, and I understand if you don't want to leave the country with your legal status all - " He tilted his hand back and forth, then he took a deep breath. "It's about your father. I went off the descriptions of the other people you said were meeting with him and I may have something. One of them fits the description of one Benjamin Droth, a functionary who was caught with his pants down and that blunted his political fortunes, which is how the paper's Karrnath office found him. He is confirmed to still be alive as of the Day of Mourning, so I don't think he was in Cyre. "The thing is, ever since that incident he was rumored - nothing printable, but he was rumored to be mixed up with some more radical elements. He might have a connection to the Order of the Emerald Claw, the disgraced shock troopers and knights of the nation - since they were disowned and went into hiding they've become radicalized too. They're dangerous news, even for someone who fought Xander Troy's prototype warsuit and won. But it's the best lead to finding more about your father that I've found." Tobias Tobias told himself that nothing good was ever easy, and it helped as he and the priests and priestesses worked to establish the Silver Hearth. Korth was an ideal place to start, close to the border as it was and the capital of the nation. But it had taken extensive negotiation to even get a foothold, and even then, it was the Low District. Tobias didn't mind - the Low District was where help was needed most - but it did rankle some of the others. Currently he was using his powers to cure several particularly nasty cases of maggot fever, a disease that often affected the sick of Karrnath - the infestation taking root in the stomach and making it impossible for victims to keep any food down, letting them slowly starve in anticipation of the maggots' next meal. But the maggots were cleansed by the Silver Flame, and they were day in and day out the mightiest army Tobias had faced. As he tended to the victims of each in turn, one of the priests entered - a young half-elf man named Melv, who was steadfastly faithful but who tended to drink too much. He surveyed those Tobias was tending too, and shook his head. "Horrible. It's spread by bread that's been on the shelf too long. I wish they didn't eat it - no, I wish they didn't have to eat it. But I can't blame them." Faz Faz stepped off the platform of the lightning rail, the air still thick with the lightning elemental's discharge. He watched as other passengers fought to keep themselves from being stung by static lightning. Dr. K stepped out behind him, muttering as he adjusted his collar. "I swear that the damn elementals do that on purpose. Yes, I'm aware that they're little more than roaring bundles of instinct when bound to these things, let a man be mad at something. All right, let's see..." The doctor toted his bags further away from the platform. "Faz, do keep an eye out for pickpockets? I would rather not lose my identification papers while stranded in a strange land where they probably still collect corpses for the army. Now, ah yes, here we go." Dr. K unfolded a piece of paper that had a carefully illustrated picture of a halfling, dressed in leaves and bark, with a seed replacing one eye and an expression that spoke of the lack of mirth one found on a halfling's face only when House Jorasco informed you your coin purse was empty. "Well, he won't be hard to find. Where to?"
  21. Isstia was distracted by the unfamiliar scents and smells of the restaurant/tavern, so she was taken completely by surprise when a voice spoke to her from a few feet behind her. "You're drow. How interesting. You're a long way from where you belong, aren't you?" The voice was a woman's, and it had the particular inflections of an elf... and Isstia knew, deep down, that she'd found her half-drow, and that the woman had the drop on her.
  22. "I've no idea if that's a safe house, or a place with a safe. But I do know the location." Ebeneezer tapped the map with a fingernail. "We can be there within the hour. Unless any of you have other business to wrap up?"
  23. "Well, complainin' with me on your back might have ended in me gettin' dropped. THere's laws against cab drivers doin' that." Penda went inside to grab drinks at the bar, while Isstia followed. The restaurant-slash-tavern was at partial capacity, so Isstia didn't have much trouble blending in as long as she stuck to the shadows. She scanned the room, looking for signs of her target.
  24. "Let's take to the rooftops," says Ebeneezer. "They never check up there. There's a particularly nice gargoyle up that-a-way - not an actual gargoyle, mind, this isn't that part of the city." The group regrouped, atop the building, far enough up that the drop in teperature was felt more acutely by those who still felt the touch of winter. Up there, Ebeneezer opened the lockbox. Inside was a collection of notes that seemed to do with artifice, something to do with a "Ruby Ray," some kind of pocket-sized magical device - though deciphering further would take some effort - and equally important, there was a map with a location inside the city circled. Scrawled on it was one note: "safe."