Jump to content

Recommended Posts

It took Lysa a moment to notice what made the tavern unique, so engrossed was she in her own thoughts as she entered. The odd configuration of smoke bothered her. It was surely just the same phenomenon that let people see faces or other recognizable shapes in clouds. People were sensitive to patterns, sometimes seeing them when there was nothing.

Just...a dragonmark? She had no real exposure to them, save for spotting the Mark of Making on some of the people her father had worked with. Of all the patterns to see, why that? It didn't feel like something she'd normally pick out. And to that, she had to add the troubling reality that she didn't know which Mark it was. Could you pattern-recognize a pattern that you...didn't recognize?

She went to the bar and took out the little scrollcase she kept her 'sketch parchment' in. Her quill scritched the pattern she'd seen into the parchment without ink at first...just to make sure she'd set it down while it was still reasonably fresh. Preparing ink took a few minutes.

As Lysa worked, a voice came from in front of her. Asking if it could get her anything.

Oh right. Tavern. I'm in a tavern. For a meeting.

She looked up and was momentarily taken aback by the warforged bartender. His empty eye, to be specific. It was immediately, uh, eye-catching, and threw her off balance.

"Uh...I don't really...drink..." Lysa stammered uncertainly. Then she quickly added, "I'm here to meet some friends though, some of whom do drink."

I'm not wasting your time, coming here when I can't partake in your services sir.

She looked at her parchment. The ink was finally dry. She didn't have the necessary equipment to blow on it to speed the process up. Maybe she could make something for that. Funny the little things you missed sometimes. She couldn't even blow out a candle.

"I'll just go...join them now. Thank you. For your...kind...time...offer..."

The parchment was quickly rolled up and put back in the scroll case, and Lysa hurriedly went to the table where Ebeneezer and the human had already gathered.

She couldn't blush either...so it wasn't all bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz lurked in the shadows toward the back of the inn, wearing a nondescript human face and a suit as formal as he could get away with in a place like this without drawing attention. He was drinking something that tasted similar to chicken broth but which could also get you drunk (he really didn't care for Karnathi cuisine, but felt compelled to go with what the locals were having).

After Eb showed up he waited a few minutes before approaching. His patience was rewarded as the two concerned citizens from earlier arrived. With that he affected a convincing tavern stagger and approached the bar. Just as he arrived his face flowed into his default Changeling, timed carefully so that nobody except maybe the bartender would catch sight of it, making it seem he had come out of nowhere.

"Ebeneezer! So good to see you again, you're looking fit as ever. I'm glad you could make it. I wasn't sure if my message would get through." He smiled widely, "I'm sure you understand my hesitance to visit you at your place of work." He glanced over Eb's shoulder at Lysa and Tobias and waved at them. "Who are your friends?"

Dealing with vampires was tricky business, in social situations and otherwise. Faz had determined that the best way to deal with Eb was to remain just cheerful enough to be almost irritating. This was his approach to most officials he worked with, but with vampires you had to be extra careful not to stray into 'actually irritating' territory.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Welcome. This is Lysa - " Ebeneezer indicated her. "And Tobias. Tobias, Lysa, my... associate, here, likes to try on new names like others try on clothes, so I'll let them introduce themselves."

Ebeneezer took a sip of his drink, then set it down, taking care to keep it on the cork coaster. He waited for introductions to conclude, then spoke again.

"As I mentioned, we believe that the Order of the Emerald Claw and the Children of Winter are working together. Droth is the key. Recently, a cell of theirs was discovered and they fled, before burning the building to the ground. Everything was lost, except for a small lockbox - "

He pulled a lockbox out from underneath his chair, depositing it carefully on the table. "We haven't been able to get it open. The lock is magecraft and the six sides are reinforced. So I suppose my first question to you is: can any of you get this thing open?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lysa reached out for the box, saying, "I might be able to. I've some experience with magecraft...lets see..."

She picked it up and brought it close to her face, examining the lock, then each of the sides in turn. She was no spellcaster, but you couldn't be a magewright without being familiar with symbolwork and arcana.

(Roll of 18 on Expertise: Magic)

Examining The Box: 1d20+10 18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Result of Lysa's examination:

Spoiler

Lysa doesn't get much, but she does get this: this box is locked via magic, and specifically, it's divine magic, not arcane, done by a bonafide Believer with enough faith to tap into the sources of magic in the world.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After several minutes of her 'hmming' and turning it over, and tracing little runes with metal fingers, she sets the box down.

"Well," she says, "I don't know how to open it. But I know why I don't know how. It's not magecraft."

The warforged reached out to turn the box to face the others at the table and indicated a few mystical-looking symbols etched into the decor along the facing edge.

"These are invocations...it's divine magic, not arcane. Given time and a proper workshop I could probably improvise something and get it open, but to open it properly we're going to need someone with enough faith to work miracles. I mean, miracles in the sense of divinely-inspired magic. Not literal miracles."

She made a sighing noise.

"You know what I mean."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Divine. Hmmm. That would explain why my teeth itch, just touching it." Ebeneezer slid it over to Tobias. "What do you reckon then, preacher?"

Tobias touched the box, and frowned in concentration.

Spoiler

Tobias can confirm what Lysa stated - this is definitely divine magic. Tobias gets a sense of (selfishness? Self-interest?) and an impression of (red - no, blood) influencing the magic. Whoever did this was a believer in the Blood of Vol.

It's potentially possible for Tobias to use his own divine powers to temporarily supress the power of the Blood of Vol - but it won't be easy. And it would still leave the box locked via a conventional lock, so they'd need a lockpicker or the key.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tobias' eyes widened as he recognized the source. The twisted sensation of copper tang told him far too much. "This is the work of the Blood of Vol. I could suppress it - with difficulty, and you would need the lock picked or the key at the same time. Perhaps you might have access to those skilled in the former more likely than the latter."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I'm a magewright," Lysa said, "not a locksmith. Short of smashing it open, or trying to build something that could open it, that's outside my expertise."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz grimaced upon hearing confirmation of the collusion between the various unpleasant groups.

As the respective experts examined the device he leaned in between their shoulders and said quietly, "I've had a bit of experience dealing with evil cultist types. They tend to be paranoid and vindictive. I suggest not picking or forcing that thing in the vicinity of potential collateral damage." He tilted his head meaningfully toward the bar patrons. "I nearly got eaten from the inside out by a parasitic tree not a week ago thanks to what passes for failsafe security among the Children of Winter. I'd hate to see what the BoV drips cook up."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz added after a moment's thought. "I could try my hand at picking that lock if you like. No guarantees, but I've dabbled in that field a bit."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lysa looked at the others, then shrugged and pushed the box over to Faz.

"You seem to know what you're about. Where's a safe place to give this a try?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz examined the box warily as he replied, "Yes, giving that impression is a major part of my job. Ebeneezer, is there somewhere nearby we could risk trying to open this thing, away from potential casualties and prying eyes? Not that I mistrust your general citizenry, but the Children of Winter tend to be a bit skittish and if word gets out they're being tracked I may lose my mark. This operation has personal stakes for me so I'd rather be extra careful."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Hmmmm. There's always the rooftop, I find. Not a lot of snoops up there. Bit cold this time of day, though. Or a park a few blocks from here. Or, I suppose, we could rent a room at the hotel. You're the ones who'll be breaking into the thing, so I leave it up to you. I'd rather not use my abode, if that's fine with you all; I have... issues... with inviting guests."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz turned to his erstwhile comrades. "Shall we to the roof then? I think it has a nice combination of emptiness and escapability." He glanced up at the rafters. "Also insuredness, I hope."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Assuming the others are amicable...)

The three of you, plus Ebeneezer, wind up on the roof, the slight winter's chill turning into rather more than that, as you sit around the box.

So this is basically a team-based skill challenge, and the rules are thus: Tobias has to use his divine powers to suppress the magic of the Blood of Vol - effectively a DC 20 check. He can use Expertise: Theology to make this check. Faz also needs to pick the lock at the same time, and the lock is of high quality: it's DC 25.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tobias exhaled a breath, looking to the private investigator with a nod. He placed his hands over the box and began to focus. Silver flame wafted out and pushed against the supernatural cold emanating from the box. It fought against Tobias' own conduit, and to his surprise, Tobias had not expected such a strong ward.

But determined, he began to recite the old chant to strengthen his focus.

"With righteous might, in good's own name
We stand against the powers profane
Where most is needed acts humane
There shall we fight -
With Silver Flame!"

 

Spoiler

[Jeremy] 12:07 am: Expertise: Theology
Jeremy *rolls* 1d20: 3+9: 12

That's no good, so I'm spending an HP for the reroll - thanks to the minimum of 11, the reroll autopasses.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz returned Tobias's nod and knelt down beside him, putting his eye up to the box's keyhole. "This could be tricky." he muttered quietly as he leaned back. "If I fail and something horrible manifests to kill us for tampering with Vol's loot, I saw a straw cart parked jumping distance from the south edge of the roof."

He held up his index fingers as if calling for silence. The flesh and nails drew back from the fingers revealing smooth white bone and this began to deform as if it were clay being pressed into an unseen mold. In a moment the tips of his fingers had been replaced by a pair of fine if somewhat organic looking lock-picks.

He jammed the ends of his fingers into his lock, furrowing his formerly featureless brow and sticking his pale tongue out of the corner of his mouth in deep concentration. Quiet clicking, scraping sounds issued from within...

Spoiler

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile, Lysa stood behind them, watching intently...both out of professional curiosity and an intent to intervene if things went wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tobias succeeded, isolating the spark of divinity from the Blood of Vol. It spoke of self-reliance, of not depending on anything outside of oneself for divine guidance and power, but there was a selfishness behind that individualism that left a metallic taste in his mouth. Not evil so much as the absence of a belief in the greater good; the Silver Flame within him flared at its presence.

That was all the time that Faz needed to pop the lock open. As they carefully inspected the box to make sure it wasn't about to explode, Ebeneezer gave a curious grunt at Faz. "Now, I have seen a lot of changelings do a lot of amazing things, but I've never seen one do that. Curious."

Meanwhile, Lysa - on lookout - was the one to spot a large, expensive-looking, self-driven cart, stop in front of the bar, and a group of men and women emerge wearing cloaks and robes that obscured their features. But everything about the way they moved - the hand signals the leader gave, the way the all but prowled towards the bar - said military. Or ex-military...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz peered at the box, excited to see its contents. But he left the initial opening and riffling to the acolyte. He wasn't about to go tearing into someone else's hard won clue. Especially when it might still be full of traps.

"Oh, that's not a changeling trick." he replied to Ebeneezer distractedly as his fingers returned to normal. "Just creative use of a thing my crew picked up on one of their digs. Comes in handy sometimes."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Uh," Lysa said, leaning over a bit to get a better look at the men below. "Ebeneezer? Did you happen to send for a squad of soldiers to come make sure we're not interrupted in this?"

"Because if not then we'd better think of a good way off the roof."

She looked back at the others at the table. "I can probably carry two, if it's just a short flight. Not so much a problem of weight as balance."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Well, I can turn into mist, so if one of you weighs about as much as a fine sneeze, I can - "

There was shouting from the bar below, and Lysa could make out a variety of anti-warforged slurs being shouted. Then there was a sound like a crossbow being fired, except the report sounded different, with a deep thrummm behind it.

"... I can contact dispatch. That doesn't sound like a normal fight."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz grimaced at the sounds from below and nodded at Eb. "Yeah, good idea." He looked back at Lysa and Tobias. "No transportation for me, thanks. Keep that thing safe." He pointed at the unlocked box and then turned toward the way back inside the building.

He was more than a little hesitant to march down into the bar. He didn't really want to. He wanted to run and hide and maybe track down the malcontents later and incapacitate them in their sleep. The 'direct approach' felt too much like 'the proper channels' for his taste, and was much more likely to get him shot, or blasted as the case might be. But at the moment other people were getting shot (or blasted) and as much as he wanted to tell himself that wasn't his problem, he didn't want to tell anyone else that. So he plastered his best confident smirk on his face and began to descend...

 

Spoiler

Faz is trying to be stealthy and keep to the shadows once he's on the stairs. If foes are already hitting the stairwell he'll draw back to ambush. He wants a good look at as many of the attackers as he can get before they see him, and a headcount if possible. He isn't expecting anyone else on the roof to hang around but would pause his descent for alternate tactical suggestions if they are forthcoming.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The plates that could swivel down to protect Lysa's eyes from danger, that looked a little like eyebrows in the right light, clacked halfway into place for a moment.

"For a given value of normal," the warforged said wryly to Ebeneezer. "I'm glad it's not normal here at least. I'll head down and try to get their attention away from the people in the bar."

The vanes of her wings spread out behind her as she stood up, walked to the edge of the balcony, and leaped off...cushioning her landing with magical energy that seemed to vent out from the soles of her feet. Even thus cushioned, she made a good sized THOOM on impact...and with full intent to do so.

"Fellas," she called at the men just inside. "I'm going to have to ask you guys to step outside."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stealth roll for Faz. Success means you're in position to catch them unawares. The headcount is as follows.

The leader turned around. So did the other six that were with him. In one arm was a dangerous looking crossbow that looked enchanted. He drew back his hood with his free hand, and that's when everyone could see the helmet: the claw encircling one eye, that belong to the Emerald Claw.

Stuck in the wall was the bolt from the crossbow. Also stuck in the wall, their arm pinned by the impact of the bolt, was the warforged bouncer.

"Finally, the rustbucket we're looking for. Where is the box?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Word gets around fast in this city," Lysa commented. "If you want the box, you will have to take it from me. Myself, I wouldn't recommend it. But free will means having the opportunity to make terrible, terrible mistakes, so..."

She extended a hand and made a beckoning gesture.

"...feel free."

(OOC - Making a Dodge action this turn, hoping to lure these guys out into the street.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tobias took the box and looked to Ebenezer. "Unfortunately, I weight a bit more. Does what you carry in a pocket become mist with you?" What mattered was what was in the box, which Tobias pried open to inspect the fell contents thereof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faz crept down the stairs, eyeing the troops and weighing his options even as his features and clothing adjusted to appear like one of the nearer Claw troopers. His options got better as the warforged... had he caught its name? Ly-something? ...dropped down and began drawing attention. He didn't remember ever seeing one that could fly like that. Worth keeping an eye on...

 

Changeling Descending a Staircase (Stealth): 1D20+9 = [7]+9 = 16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spoiler

 

Barricade Perception roll.: 1D20+10 = [10]+10 = 20

That's a success, so Barricade (the leader) spots Faz.

 

Tobias pried open the lockbox to find a map of the city with a specific location circled, as well as a collection of notes. That's as far as he got before things got interesting.

"The one that made a mistake here, is you." With that, the leader pulled off his helmet.

He was half-man, half product of artifice, with steel and copper and gold replacing part of his skull, his shoulders and his arm, and that's just what Lysa could see. The crossbow wasn't something he was holding, it was part of his arm. It reconfigured into a sword, which he pointed at Lysa.

"Terror Claws! Kill the shapeshifter." He pointed directly at Faz. "Use codewords to differentiate yourselves." Barricade then shouted at the self-propelled cart out front. "Eagle Claws! Take to the air! Secure the perimeter!"

The tarp on the cart was drawn back, and two soldiers emerged, sitting in what looked liked rickety contraptions that were missing something to pilot - until some kind of spherical translucent telekinetic force fields sprang into being around each one. They levitated, and Tobias knew that if they got high enough to see onto the roof they would spot him and Ebeneezer in a second.

Barricade advanced on Lysa. "I'm Barricade. This is the Order of the Emerald Claw. And we are the future. We're leaving here with the lockbox and there's nothing you can do to stop us!"

Quote

Initiative time! Need rolls for Tobias, Faz and Steel Falcon.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Faz sighed internally. The direct approach then. His new face betrayed only confused shock at Barricade's order followed by dawning horror as he glanced directly at the soldier whose face he had copied. Just because it hadn't worked was no reason to drop a perfectly good role. He tried to gauge who was going where and figure out his best tactical option. Running away was definitely still on the table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tobias looked out and saw the artificial devices rising, the man in front of Steel Falcon being quite less so now, and the lack of time now. Quickly he passed the map and notes to Lieutenant Ebenezer. "Take these and go. May the Silver Flame defend you." Because he was the only one who could slip away with the precious information without the Claw noticing.

Meanwhile, Tobias readied himself to fight those who dedicated themselves to the wrong and evil.

Spoiler

Initiative
Jeremy *rolls* 1d20: 18+6: 24

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I'll find you," said Ebeneezer, moved from his ennui by the stir of action. He dissolved into mist and wisked away, before the eagle claws could crest the top of the building.

Quote

 

The order of actions is:

Tobias: 24

Eagle Claws: 13

Terror Claws: 13

Barricade: 11

Faz: 9

Steel Falcon: 8

Tobias, you have the initiative. What is your action?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tobias turned back to face the Eagle Claws rising up. With a focused use of the flame inside, he made tongues of silver roll out and wrap around the first one to crest the top.

Spoiler

Silver Bonds: Jeremy *rolls* 1d20: 14+10: 24
Dodge DC 20

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spoiler

 

Eagle Claw 1 Dodge Roll: 1D20+7 = [19]+7 = 26

Eagle Claw #1 successfully dodges.

Eagle Claw attacks on Tobias:

Eagle Claw attacks (DC 21 Toughness): 1D20+6 = [14]+6 = 20
1D20+6 = [9]+6 = 15

One of them gets past his Dodge; the other doesn't.

 

The silver bands almost formed around one of the telekinetic spheres, but it was too agile, and slipped past.

The Eagle Claws sighted him, and high-powered military-grade crossbow bolters poked their barrels out past the telekinetic spheres. Tobias dodged one, but the other struck true.

Down in the bar, the Terror Claws mobilized as one against the shapeshifter in their midst, and Faz found himself under assault from multiple blades - but only three were able to get in close enough to have a chance of succeeding, and none of those were able to get past Faz's melee skills.

The leader of the cell struck at Steel Falcon, his arm reconfiguring into a giant maul, that struck her square in the breastplate.

Quote

Roll necessary Toughness saves or other saves on your turn. Faz, you have the initiative. What is your action?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(OOC - Sure! What are the results of Lysa's toughness save? You didn't have a DC in your post, so I dunno if her roll of 22 has consequences that'll affect her actions.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(OOC - Eh, I'll assume Lysa can take at least a single action (ie, she may be Dazed, but she's not incapacitated))

Steel Falcon is hit hard by the maul. Though she manages to parry the worst of it, the force of the strike is still sufficient to knock her reeling for a moment. She does not, Lysa decides, want that to hit her squarely.

The downside with such a heavy weapon though is that, even with inhuman strength driving it, momentum makes it slow to recover from an attack. Lysa exploits that weakness as she reverses herself and counterattacks!

 

Attack roll: 1d20+10 19

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

Ah, sorry. Toughness save was DC 24, and that's included on the line with the attack roll. So you are Wounded at -1 but you're otherwise okay.

Also: the hammer isn't held in his hand, so much as IS his hand - his arm has a reconfiguring, morphing weapons system. Essentially it's a reskin of an innate Damage power. So you can't disarm him, but you may choose a different action.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...