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Old 04-14-2021, 08:55 AM   #241
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 59 (2021-04-09)

Thoughts on October 21st

I got up early today, too. I usually prefer to sleep a little longer, although I’m no Lady Karita. She seldom rose before lunch, if she could avoid it. But today, I had a mission. I transformed into Fabian and put on male clothes to Olivia’s disgust, but I still got a good-bye kiss before I left. I brought Scorchmark in case of trouble, an empty backpack and a fat purse.

It wasn’t hard reaching the palisade without being seen. Dawn was near, but the sun was still hiding. I ran at the wall, leapt off the ground, and set a foot against the palisade to boost me up to the top. I peeked over, but saw nobody nearby, so I slipped over and headed for the adventurers’ guild. I found an alley nearby and changed back to Mattea.

It was too early in the morning, so the door was locked. I checked my pouch and found my lockpicks and began to make my way inside. One of the rods broke and a piece got stuck in the lock. I considered running away, but noticed that a woman had seen me, so I decided to wait for Gnomus and confess what I’d done.

When the guild master arrived, the first thing I said was that I had broken his door and was sorry. He glanced at the door, and seeing no obvious damage, he tried to insert his key to unlock it, but that didn’t work. I explained that since I shouldn’t be in town, I had wanted to go inside, and had tried to pick the lock. Since the key didn’t work anymore, I tried to remove the stuck piece of metal. It came away surprisingly easily.

We went inside, and Gnomus locked the door behind us so we could speak privately, in case other adventurers were coming. After giving me a lecture about the guildhall protecting large values, Gnomus asked what business I had here today. I told him I had come to buy potions and gave him the list that Olivia had compiled for me. Gnomus went into the back room and fetched my orders. However, he only had two flight potions in stock. He said he’d make a note of it and promised that there’d be more available soon.

I took the opportunity to check out the quest board while I was there. There wasn’t anything particularly tempting, although I noticed one about tracking down the escaped bandits, and one about going out to the burned-down encampment to verify that we really had done what we said we did. I felt a little insulted by that last one. Didn’t they trust us?

I asked Gnomus about the guard routine outside town. Did they check people’s identities when they left as well as when they arrived? Gnomus said they did, so I decided to take the same way out as I had come in. Gnomus asked if I had any trouble with the soldiers. I said no. It wasn’t entirely truthful, but I figured I could avoid them easily enough.

When the first adventurers started to come in, to do business or just hang out with their kin, I excused myself and left. It went against every fiber of my being, but Leopold and Va’lyndra had warned me about drawing attention to myself. I returned to the alley and turned back into Fabian. Then I sauntered through the streets before climbing the palisade again, making sure nobody saw me.

Back at the knowledge guild, I handed out the potions I had bought for everyone and explained about the lack of potions of flight. We agreed that Va’lyndra could take one and I the other.


Thoughts on October 22nd

I can’t say I was getting bored with waiting. I spent my free time these last few days with Olivia, or practicing or performing acrobatics, and it was wonderful. Still, I was relieved when Va’lyndra informed the rest of us around noon that the demonologist had arrived. He had been on the road for a while and Va’lyndra was going to treat him to a better meal for dinner. Since the room I shared with Olivia was the largest of our private rooms, we were eating there, Va’lyndra decided. In that case, we had better tidy up, I declared. Olivia rolled her eyes at me. She keeps our room spotless despite my attempts to make a mess, and knew what I was planning. She was on her feet as quickly as me, though, and squeezed my butt playfully when I didn’t unlock the door fast enough to suit her.

Leopold, Ilzo and Va’lyndra arrived well before the meal, and we made small talk until someone knocked on the door. Outside stood a man in farmer’s garb, but he was well-groomed and had clearly had time to clean up after his travels. His name was Herbert. Va’lyndra gave him our names.

Someone had messed up the order, for when dinner arrived, it was grilled chicken for everyone. It was a luxurious feast, but Va’lyndra glared at her plate sullenly and forked up the vegetables, avoiding the meat. I haven’t seen many elves at the knowledge guild, but surely, they must know about the elven diet?

While professing to be an expert on demons, Herbert admitted that he had never heard of Serals before. He was like everyone else in the world in that regard. He needed to be brought up to speed on what we knew already, and Leopold was more than happy to oblige.

Herbert asked if any of us were medically competent. I immediately pointed at Olivia, but Herbert elaborated that he needed someone to monitor the vital signs of the demon, and that made Olivia hesitate. Leopold asked her to instruct him, though, and Olivia sighed with relief.

Herbert told us he would use our Chaos knife to make Neriel in the mood to answer our questions, but he wanted us to ask the questions ourselves. He recommended we write a list of things we wanted to learn while he prepared. Before we could interrogate the demon, Herbert had to perform a magic ritual making it difficult for any gods to observe what we were doing. If Neriel’s god took notice, they could kill Neriel to stop him from talking. Herbert had to gather up some supplies for that ritual. He asked if he could see the Chaos knife, and Leopold handed it over. Herbert felt uncomfortable holding it, just like Leopold had reported earlier. Unlike Va’lyndra and me, neither of them were beings of Chaos.

We should formulate precise questions without leeway to wiggle out of answering what we actually wanted to know, Herbert said. Demons seldom lied, in his opinion, but it could be tricky to get straight answers out of them. Before he left, Herbert demanded fifteen thousand for assisting us in this endeavor. He seemed surprised when nobody tried to negotiate, and Ilzo just counted out a hundred and fifty gold. We agreed to meet up in a quarter of an hour before going into the woods to find a suitable location for the interrogation.

After we had made our list of questions, Ilzo, Va’lyndra and I stood up to prepare ourselves. Leopold was going to remain here to learn from Olivia, but he was so curious about the obscuring ritual that he convinced Va’lyndra to swap duties with him.

And so, it was Leopold, Ilzo and I who left the compound with Herbert. I wore my swamp wurm leather armor, and had Scorchmark and the cornucopia quiver fastened at my waist. I had my bow in my left hand and my usual suite of battle brews in my pouch. If mayhem needed to be released, I was as ready as I had ever been to open the floodgates.

After a couple of minutes, we arrived at a small clearing that Herbert said would do. I asked if it wasn’t a little close to the guild compound, and he agreed. We walked a few more minutes and found another clearing.

Herbert took a small stone out of his backpack and began doing magic. I retreated carefully among the trees, in order to have a better view of the clearing. Herbert worked his ritual for an hour before sitting down for a short rest. He pulled a device from his pack and placed it on the ground. It looked like metal rods welded together to form a pyramid. It was obviously magical. He prayed to Solus for the sun god to shine his light down here to blind others from seeing what happened. Then he told us he fervently wished that Solus wasn’t Neriel’s god.

Now was the time to fetch the Seral, and healing salves to keep him alive. I asked Herbert if he was fine being alone in the woods. He didn’t mind me staying with him. Ilzo could carry Neriel, and Leopold could carry Ilzo’s new stash of healing potions. I had bought more than thirty for him, although less than half of those were salves.

Herbert told me he had been to one of my shows. That made me happy, so I gave him another one for free, and he was a very good spectator, displaying wonder and astonishment at my performance. I displayed a limited repertoire. Wearing armor wasn’t much of a hindrance, as I didn’t plan to do any contortion today, but I didn’t have any of my equipment, not even my rope. Still, Herbert applauded and cheered. Not too loudly, of course. It was night in the Bewitched Forest, after all. We didn’t want to attract any of its habitants.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:09 AM   #242
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 59 (2021-04-09)

The others returned with Neriel half an hour later. Ilzo put Neriel where Herbert directed. Ilzo’s task would be to hold Neriel still during the interrogation. My knots and handcuffs held the demon as well now as they had when I saw him last, but he could still thrash about.

Herbert asked for a healing salve and made Va’lyndra check Neriel’s vital signs before and after he applied it. She didn’t notice much of a difference, she said, so Herbert gave Neriel another salve. Va’lyndra thought the Seral seemed healthier after the second one.

Herbert put the flat of the Chaos knife on Neriel’s arm, and a cloud of purple Chaos energy streamed into the creature of Order, who was clearly pained. Va’lyndra reported that the treatment physically harmed Neriel as well as giving pain, and Herbert gave him another salve before reapplying the knife. He scratched his head and repeated the treatment. Salve, then knife. To nobody in particular, he asked if it was time to remove the gag. Neriel glared at him but didn’t speak. Herbert threatened with the knife, and Neriel nodded agreement to speak.

Leopold asked who Neriel’s god was. “Adan,” Neriel replied. That name didn’t mean anything to me, so I looked at the others. They didn’t seem to recognize it either. Leopold asked if Adan was known by other names. “The Fist of Law,” Neriel answered. I didn’t recognize that name either, but Va’lyndra reminded me that in the vision that we had shared with Lady Karita and Kine, that was the god of the people we saved from the fire demons and who gave Lady Karita a sword in gratitude. Those people were going to perform a ritual to that god.

Our next question was whether all the Serals belonged to Neriel’s god. Neriel’s goodwill, if that was what it was, had run out, and he refused to answer. Herbert gave him another treatment, five rounds of knife and salve. Leopold repeated his question and got an affirmative answer.

What was the Serals’ end goal, we wanted to know. Neriel’s answer was dystopic: A world where nobody breaks the law, where everything is under control. Simply a world where nobody can do anything. Leopold asked who would exist in this world, and Neriel said only the Serals, and they’d only watch over the world. Ilzo commented that this world sounded boring. I couldn’t agree more.

Next, we asked for and received the identities of the thirty other Serals that Neriel knew, both here and across the sea, in the Old World. There were none here in Virendia, but there was one in the new nation to the north, Free Tamburin. That one was “recently hired” to put it in human terms.

Leopold asked Neriel which laws the Serals were responsible for and what new ones were in the making. He didn’t get any replies. Neriel had paled visibly and his feathers had begun to loosen from his wings and fall to the ground. Ilzo proposed more healing salves, but Herbert doubted it would help much. Still, he put the knife back on Neriel’s arm, applied four salves and then the knife again. The Seral trembled and more feathers hit the ground.

Leopold repeated the question of what the Serals had done recently. The last thing they orchestrated was the conference in Fort Glory, intended to stabilize the situation here. They formalized debt slavery and took control over Tamburin’s military forces. They next planned to raise a large army and invade the spider people. I had never heard of them, but there were rumors of the undead to the south, that they included spiders in their numbers. After this invasion, the “Elendus cult” was to be destroyed, as their god could put a spanner in the works of the Serals’ machinations. Tamburin was to be used for this purpose.

Since the Serals favored order over anything, Leopold asked about their hierarchy. Who called the shots among them? Neriel explained that two of his ilk were known as Arch Serals, and he answered to them. They could communicate by magic, but that was difficult, for some reason I didn’t even try to understand. Therefore, they usually communicated by letter, writing in a language that only the Serals knew. Leopold was trying to decipher that language, having taken possession of a book from Neriel’s study.

We asked how can we identify a Seral in disguise. Neriel explained that we could detect the divine magic used for the disguise, or we could observe that they neither ate, drank, slept nor drew breath. Asking about the Serals’ strengths and weaknesses, we learned that they are resistant to physical injury, but not immune. That was obvious, as I had been able to knock Neriel out with a fist to the skull, even without brass knuckles. Magic could harm the Serals, as could poison, although many of the normal poisoning vectors were impossible to use, since they didn’t eat, drink or breathe.

Leopold returned to the Serals’ actions. We learned that before staging the conference, they had been behind the alliance with the undead, allowing all the nations to join Virendia in the war against the Tamburin invaders. One point of interest was that the Serals apparently had some measure of control over the undead realm for quite some time already. The Serals thought of the undead as a means to an end.

Before the war against Tamburin, the Serals had been behind the Church’s rounding up of divine artifacts, with the intention of destroying them to severe the link between other gods and this world. I recalled the checkpoint that was set up at the exit from the mines at Garuk. At the time, I had been opposed to the others’ plan of smuggling stuff out, but now I was glad I had gone along.

The Serals had minimized their own presence near the ancient night elf empire in the caves under Garuk’s mountains. That was because they were afraid of “waking Chaos”. Apparently, the Serals didn’t want to rip up in the wounds they made the last time they tried (and failed) to subjugate the world. They wanted to progress carefully this time.

Leopold asked if the ritual sites we had found in the mines had anything to do with that. Neriel was about to answer, but then he clammed up again. He just glared contemptuously at Leopold. Leopold tried to ask if their failure had anything to do with the night elves turning into the elves of today, but he got no reply. Herbert gave Neriel another dose before Leopold repeated the question. Neriel sneered and hissed at him. Herbert slapped three healing salves on the weakening Seral before touching the knife to his arm again. He thought we had come to the end of the road, but still tried one more round of healing and hurting.

We got out of Neriel that the ritual in the mines was meant to wake Chaos. “We fear that the gods will counter-attack,” he sputtered, and began shaking violently. Va’lyndra said this was it. Leopold tried to jam in another few questions, but Neriel was too busy dying to reply.

I asked Leopold if he was going to write all this in a letter to Karl Morgenstern, but he ignored me for the moment. Instead of answering me, he asked Herbert if it was possible to learn this ritual of protection. Herbert replied, asking if Leopold knew anything about the “school of gates”. Leopold confessed he knew nothing about that. Then it would be difficult to teach him, Herbert said, for it required a lifetime of study to even begin to comprehend the ritual.

Herbert recommended that we destroyed the corpse, in case Adan looked this way after the obscuring ritual wore off. I offered to run back to the compound to get some oil. Olivia and I still had several sacks of lamp oil that we hadn’t had use for since acquiring Surkalpi. I took one of those, stole a kiss from my wife, and returned to the woods. The others had prepared a pyre in the meantime. I dumped the oil unceremoniously on the carcass, and Va’lyndra set fire to it.

We watched the fire burn down. Leopold said he was going to write out his report. A copy of it would go to Lord Karl. When that was done, we needed to figure out what to do next. I mentioned bandits and trolls. Leopold said we might want to warn the elves of the Elendus cult about the Serals’ plans. Without thinking, I asked if there were elves in the Old World, too. Va’lyndra just glared at me. I hoped we didn’t have to travel far to warn the elves. Maybe we could do it by letter? Olivia wouldn’t appreciate a lengthy journey at this time.

Herbert and Va’lyndra remained in the forest to talk while the rest of us walked back. Va’lyndra came and interrupted my prayer to Sulla to inform Olivia and me that she was going to tell the guild management here about what we’d done and learned; she had already spoken to Ilzo and Leopold. I said that was fine, looking meaningfully at the door behind her. She also wanted us to know that the Church knew we were the ones to raid the vault in Landfall. I said that was fine, too. I didn’t care, not at the moment. I was about to have sex.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:50 AM   #243
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 60 (2021-04-16)

Thoughts on October 23rd

I rose well before dawn and went to see Leopold. I didn’t want to wake anyone else, so I didn’t knock that hard on his door and consequently, it took some time before he opened, bleary-eyed. I asked if he had finished writing the message to Lord Karl. If so, I could run into town before the guards woke up. Leopold said he had only written a first draft, and wanted to go back to sleep. I went back to Olivia and woke her instead.

At breakfast, Leopold told everyone of his progress, and said he was going to finish the reports after the meal. He didn’t want to risk spilling food or drink on them. The rest of us didn’t have anything important to take care of.

It was cold outside and raining, but I decided to set up my gear and practice anyway. While I was balancing on a line, Leopold came out and handed me two letters, both for Lord Karl. I stuffed them in my pouch and kept balancing. I preferred to sneak into town under cover of darkness.

When the shadows began to lengthen, I looked for Va’lyndra, but I couldn’t find her. She was probably “dancing” in the woods with Ilzo again. Sure enough, they came in together late. I asked her if I should run to Urdon now to deliver the letters, but she asked why me. “Because you can’t disguise yourself as Fabian?” I replied. She wanted to know why we shouldn’t use a messenger. I thought that Lord Karl might have a reply that he didn’t want to tell any outsiders, but Va’lyndra said he could write it in a sealed letter for the messenger to bring back. This was getting complicated, so I gave her the letters and went to bed.


Thoughts on October 24th

“What do we do now?” I asked at the breakfast table, eager to return to adventuring. Va’lyndra reminded me that we were waiting for a reply from Lord Karl Morgenstern. Leopold was working on translating Neriel’s book, and he wanted to research the rituals we had found in the mines, so we could reproduce them if necessary. I didn’t think messing around with magic was wise, but said nothing. My friends wouldn’t take my advice on intellectual matters.

Instead, I told Olivia that I wanted to spend the day in devotion to Sulla, and I needed her help. One can’t make love alone. We stayed in our room until dinner. Apart from the obvious, and more obvious, we talked about what the future held in store for us. Olivia has six brothers and sisters, but they are all older than her, and my own little sister was born after I ran away from home – I’ve only met Nelietta once, so neither of us has had any experience with taking care of a baby. Fortunately, Olivia learned much from that midwife who tutored her. She said that newborns have weak necks and that we have to support their heads at all times. And under no circumstance ever was I allowed to do acrobatics with our child without Olivia’s say-so.

At dinner, Va’lyndra informed us that Lord Karl had replied. He wasn’t completely satisfied with our “evidence” and wanted us to visit him tomorrow evening. I asked how the others planned to sneak into Urdon. Va’lyndra said she could make a hole in the palisade with her plant magic. She could even close it behind us. Tonight, there was to be a meeting here at the knowledge guild. Va’lyndra explained that it was going to be a theoretical discussion with much debating. She made it sound really boring, so I said I’d pass, if that was all right, but Leopold thought it sounded exciting. Ilzo was too curious to stay away. Personally, I’d much rather return to my room and to my devotion.


Thoughts on October 25th

Olivia and I worshipped Sulla most of the day. Once again, I counted myself blessed to have found a god that suited me so perfectly. Va’lyndra knocked on our door when it was time to go. I got dressed and kissed Olivia goodbye.

Then we were off towards Urdon. We sneaked up to the palisade where I had gone over the last time. I jumped up and took a look at the alley on the other side. There were three teenagers sitting on crates and smoking. We decided to check out the next alley. There were people there, too. Ilzo suggested going under the palisade. How he envisioned that being less conspicuous than going through, I did not know. Leopold just pointed out that we had put on clothes appropriate to a visit with a lord, and he didn’t want to crawl in the dirt.

Va’lyndra asked about the teens. Were they all boys? I confirmed that they were, and she asked if I could distract them. I sneaked over the palisade and walked up to the boys on silent feet. They were a bit startled when I suddenly stood over them, but they recognized me immediately. Even though they looked at me like they’d appreciate the offer, handing out blowjobs to random people wouldn’t exactly put me in Olivia’s good graces. Instead, I asked if they wanted to see a trick. They sure did. I moved to the other side of them, so they wouldn’t see my friends making a hole in the palisade, and stood on one hand, jumping up and down.

Va’lyndra made a small hole in the wood, and seeing the boys’ backs turned, she widened the hole and brought Leopold and Ilzo through, before closing up the hole again. The alley wasn’t very wide, so Ilzo bumped into one of the boys, knocking him off the crate, when he tried to pass. The boys looked up at his looming figure, and one of them asked if he was the “gold troll”. Ilzo said he was. Va’lyndra pointed at me. “Look! There’s Mattea Vishi!” The boys ignored her. Insulted that the “gold troll” was more interesting, I flipped back to my feet.

One of the boys asked Ilzo for a gold coin, and Ilzo said he’d trade it for their tobacco, which they promptly handed over. Ilzo turned to Va’lyndra and asked if we should make sure they couldn’t tell on us. Va’lyndra rolled her eyes. “What do you mean, Ilzo? We’re just passing through here!” They boys assured us of their loyalty to the “gold troll” and promised not to mention seeing us. Ilzo promised them more gold if they came to the arena to practice next week. They said they’d be there.

I’m sure Ilzo and I were recognized when we made our way to Lord Karl’s home, but nobody approached us.

We knocked on the door and the butler invited us to wait in the lounge. Lord Karl arrived after a couple of minutes, and servants brought fruit juice when he asked what we refreshments we preferred. After shooing out the servants, Lord Karl repeated that our report wasn’t exactly what he had hoped for in terms of evidence, but he had enough now that he could take matters into his own hands.

Lord Karl indicated that he needed something done in Fort Glory, but he wasn’t going to force us to go if we had other plans. He also needed spies in Garuk, but Leopold said we didn’t qualify. Some of us were famous, and there were people looking for us. I added that the Church knew that we were responsible for the raid in Landfall. In that case, Lord Karl said, we weren’t the right people to go to Fort Glory either. Our report was sufficient that others could handle things there. Lord Karl liked how one could identify a Seral by observing them not to eat, drink or breathe.

Our report had set things in motion. Lord Karl was leaving Urdon and asked if there was anything he could do for us first. Va’lyndra informed him (and me) that the meeting at the knowledge guild last night had concluded that they wanted to cooperate with him. She tried to phrase this in a way that made it seem advantageous to him. I could tell she didn’t have much experience dealing with nobility, but she handled herself well.

The knowledge guild wanted Lord Karl’s permission to raise an army. How they were going to pay for it all wasn’t mentioned, and I couldn’t imagine it would be cheap. Lord Karl said he could sign a mustering permit as payment for the work we had done for him. I frowned at that. I hadn’t expected him to pay us for this.

Lord Karl said we had to find someone of status to be responsible for the army. He couldn’t make out the permit to some random person. I was about to suggest myself, but thought the better of it. I didn’t want to be responsible for an entire army – one baby in the near future was intimidating enough – and I didn’t think fame would suffice as status in this setting.

Va’lyndra said we needed to bring this to the knowledge guild, for we didn’t have any names to suggest at the moment. Lord Karl said he needed to leave as soon as possible, and gave us a week to come up with a name. If we couldn’t think of anything better, the town of Urdon, represented by the Sidel family, could be responsible. Situated on the edge of the Bewitched Forest, and lately tormented by bandits, Urdon had legitimate reasons for raising an army.

Ilzo had to suggest himself, of course. Va’lyndra, Leopold and Lord Karl spoke on top of one another to explain to him why that was a bad idea.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:01 AM   #244
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 60 (2021-04-16)

Lord Karl asked if there was anything else we wanted. The mustering permit was a big deal, so he didn’t want to offer anything nearly as substantial, but if there was some small favor he could add to our reward, he’d be happy to oblige. I mentioned that Va’lyndra needed new arrows, but the others said she could buy that herself. Arrows were neither expensive nor hard to come by. While we pondered what reward we might require of him, Lord Karl mentioned that if we captured another Seral, he could use a live one in about six to eight months.

Since we didn’t think of anything, Lord Karl offered something from his cellar. Va’lyndra took a bottle of apple brandy and Ilzo got strong beer. I asked for another bottle of the juice we had sampled already, planning to share it with Olivia tonight. She has completely stopped drinking alcohol and says it’s because she’s pregnant. It’s my baby too, but she hasn’t told me to stay away from the beer and the wine. I don’t understand, but I don’t complain. I’m not a heavy drinker, but I do enjoy a mug or a glass with my dinner.

Va’lyndra asked if there was anything Olivia wanted. “Medical license!” I blurted out. I didn’t know how Lord Karl could give her that, but he was a nobleman, so there might be a way. He asked us to wait, and left the room. When he returned a few minutes later, he gave me a sealed envelope. The address written on the front was in Surd. Lord Karl explained that it was a letter of introduction which would ensure that she could take her exam at any time. She would still have to pay for it, though. I opened my mouth to speak, but then I remembered that Olivia said her skills had to be tested before she could get her license. It wasn’t an examination of her health.

We said goodbye and good night to Lord Karl and began walking through the night-shrouded streets. “Do we have time to stop by the Golden Swan?” I asked. Leopold said that was a bad idea. We didn’t want to be observed more than necessary. I could tell he knew I wanted to perform.

Leopold and Va’lyndra wanted to see if the shops were still open. Va’lyndra needed arrows and Leopold needed new notebooks. The bookstore was closed, but the weaponsmith was still open for business. Va’lyndra began to put in an order for twenty masterwork arrows, but the smith said he had that in store, so she could have them immediately.

Ilzo asked for a crossbow his size. The smith said that had to be commissioned from Garuk and would take a couple of weeks. I reminded the others we had things to do around here, so if Ilzo wanted the crossbow, we could take the second bandit quest, for instance. Ilzo said it wasn’t that important with the crossbow.

The smith began to offer armor, but I asked what bows he had available. I wasn’t expecting much, as my arm strength exceeds what’s usually found in a fighting man (or woman). But, as luck had it, there was one bow that suited my pull strength requirement. We just had to check out the ogre section. This bow was similar to my old bow, but should be able to shoot just a little farther. I said I’d take it if my friends could lend me the money. The weaponsmith said I could have a discount if I told people where I bought it. Still, Ilzo had to dish out fifty-seven gold and six silver. I promised to repay him as soon as we got back to Olivia. I amended the promise immediately. “Will tomorrow morning do?”

Va’lyndra did want armor, and tried on light plate. At least, she tried on the part that protects the groin. She was sick and tired of goblins and skeletons attacking her there. I quite understood. I don’t think Va’lyndra wants anyone but Ilzo to penetrate her.

Going back through town, Va’lyndra asked if she could inherit my old bow. “Sure…” I said. She isn’t as strong as me, so I imagined she might have some trouble drawing it. Although, come to think of it, elves generally have a talent for using powerful bows. The alley was empty when we reached it, and we made our way out unseen.

I ran up to our room when we got back to the knowledge guild compound. Olivia was still awake. We sat down to talk, passing the fruit juice bottle back and forth. Olivia was far less enthusiastic about my new bow than me, and couldn’t understand why I needed a new one. I had wrought havoc with my old one in the bandit camp, just two weeks ago, she said. “Yes, but with this one, I can reliably hit a human-sized target at five hundred meters,” I boasted. “And you promised your old one to Va’lyndra? ’ll give it to her in the morning,” Olivia sighed. “I’ll make sure Ilzo gets repaid, too.”

“Ooh! I almost forgot!” I opened my pouch and pulled out the letter of introduction. “With this, you can get your medical license any time! We just have to go to Surd, which is … troublesome, for the time being. Although, if we can ascertain that you’re not on the wanted list, Fabian can take you.” Olivia said she didn’t mind waiting. She had other things to occupy her for the foreseeable future. She patted her belly, then grabbed my hand. “Can you feel the baby kicking?” she asked excitedly. I smiled and nodded, too choked up with happiness to speak.


Thoughts on October 26th

“Are we going to kick some bandit butt now?” I asked in the morning, not quite awake yet. Va’lyndra reminded me that she was going to speak to the guild leaders about who could be put in charge of the army. Darn it. I was eager to do something.

Va’lyndra returned soon, though. Olivia and I hadn’t even gone up to our room yet; we had let breakfast drag out. We fetched Leopold and Ilzo, and then Va’lyndra asked if everyone was good with going to Alvheim. “What are we doing there? And where is Alvheim, by the way?” I countered. Va’lyndra explained that we had to go to that town farther down along the Silent Lake, to warn them about the Serals’ plan. It was just a few days by boat, she said. I had been hesitant to embark on a longer journey now that Olivia was in her last trimester, but this sounded doable. Olivia thought so, too.

Since everyone didn’t have to go back to Urdon to inform Lord Karl about whatever the guild leaders had decided, Va’lyndra only brought Leopold. He still needed new things to write on, and he was quite particular about what he wanted. Olivia and I spent the rest of the morning in worship.

Va’lyndra and Leopold were back before lunch, and filled us in over the meal. This consisted of Va’lyndra saying that they had accomplished what they went to town for, and said we should plan the trip to Alvheim. Leopold pointed out that we might as well ride along the coast instead of taking ship. I guess we might need to go somewhere else afterwards, for nobody mentioned the possibility of leaving the animals here. We could buy provisions along the way, stopping at farms, so we didn’t have to burden the guild with that or return to town. Leopold said that since it was well past noon, we might as well leave tomorrow morning. I suppose not everyone is as tidy as Olivia, who consequently is ready to leave on short notice.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:23 AM   #245
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 60 (2021-04-16)

Thoughts on October 27th

I had a vivid dream last night, and told Olivia about it when we woke up. She and I had danced. There had been many people around, but we ignored them. The people were miserable that they didn’t get to participate in the dance, but Olivia and I had a great time. Olivia thought this dream was strange. I asked if she wanted to dance with me now, but she said no, glancing down at her bulk. That was perhaps just as well, for we were supposed to depart early.

Va’lyndra exchanged a few last words with her boss while the rest of us loaded up the horses. Va’lyndra relayed the information she received about Alvheim. It wasn’t a very prosperous town, and its peculiarity was that it had two managements, one for elves and one for non-elves.

Travel went smoothly, for we had decent weather, even though it wasn’t very warm. I practiced contortion, standing with one hand on the cantle and the other on the pommel of Marvin’s saddle until my arms were sore. We found a farm when it was getting dark, and bought provisions there, as well as somewhere safe to stay for the night.

I dove into our luggage, searching for “Silent Whispers” to have Olivia read it to me, but I only found other books: “Drama in the House of Bromstein”, “Karlus Bromstein Returns”, “Sir Peter’s Crusade Against the Cultists” and “100 Bird Species and their Characteristics”. I asked Olivia, “Where are my books? And where did all these come from? Did you raid Leopold’s private library? Some of them don’t sound dull enough for him. Was he doing research? Why did you filch them?”

Olivia put her finger on my lips to let me know I was babbling. I sucked on her finger and teased it with my tongue, allowing her to speak. “I got them in Urdon before the bandit raid. You were there with me, remember?” I murmured around her finger, “Mhm…” Olivia pulled it out. “I don’t think this is a good idea. The walls here are so thin. Can we wait until tomorrow? We can stop for a quickie as soon as we put this farm behind us.” “Yes, and we can say to the others that you have to tinkle, and I can come along and protect you from the forest,” I exclaimed eagerly. “I don’t think we’ll fool them,” Olivia concluded.


Thoughts on October 28th

I got my quickie, as promised. Ilzo offered to come with us for additional protection, but Va’lyndra held him back and whispered in his ear. Maybe she told him that she and Leopold needed protection, too. Or maybe she warned him that we’d murder him if he followed us.

After a few of hours of travel, we passed a tiny hamlet. The people there were engaged in a large construction project. It looked like they were building a harbor, far too big for their needs. Ilzo was curious as usual, but Va’lyndra thought it was obvious what they were doing, and managed to keep him going.

In the afternoon, we passed the last houses in Urdon’s sphere of interest. Now waited wilderness, although Va’lyndra and Ilzo saw signs of people traveling further. We agreed to do the usual watch routine at night.


Thoughts on October 29th

The only thing of interest today, apart from my acrobatic antics to entertain Olivia and the others, was spotting ships sailing the Silent Lake. Three of them, in total.


Thoughts on October 30th

It was the middle of the day when we started to notice buildings in the distance. Va’lyndra said we’d reach Alvheim today. She was right.

At the first farm we passed, I jumped up on the saddle and began showing off. A man sitting on the porch, smoking his pipe, knocked on the door and shouted that riders were coming from the forest. His family streamed out and stared at us. I gave them a quick show while we rode by.

The first buildings we saw were rather shabby, and there was little order in how they were placed. Already, the stench of the town assaulted our nostrils, a mixture of rotten fish and human waste. The buildings looked better constructed the farther we got, but the smell was just as bad, if not worse.

We followed the main road up from the harbor, and passed the town hall and a couple of inns. I don’t know what Va’lyndra was looking for, but Leopold said that we should prioritize finding somewhere to stay. I asked the nearest person where the best inn in town was. He gave us three names, two of which we recognized from just before. I thanked the man and we turned around.

There was nowhere to stable the horses in the town center, but the innkeeper at the Leaping Trout advised us to talk to farmers a little further out. Olivia, Va’lyndra and I took care of the baggage while Ilzo and Leopold went to find somewhere for the horses. Va’lyndra said we had to watch out for thieves.

I asked about performing at the inn. The innkeeper didn’t mind me showing for tips, but didn’t seem very enthusiastic. He hadn’t seen me perform yet. The show was well received by the locals, and the common room was packed. Tomorrow, I’ll set up my gear for a show outside. I was looking forward to that. Not so much, though, that I couldn’t stop talking when Olivia began to flirt.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:22 AM   #246
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 61 (2021-04-23)

Thoughts on October 31st

Va’lyndra leaned over the breakfast table in the crowded common room, and told us about a dream she had last night. A voice from the deep of the Silent Lake had commanded her to come, but an invisible barrier stood in her way.

Glancing around the room, I noticed that several of the townspeople looked unhealthy. Some of them coughed, too, as if to emphasize it. But they all watched us and talked about us. We were a peculiar group, and would have been considered wealthy even if Ilzo hadn’t been wearing his gold-plated bone armor. Someone mentioned my show last night, and that made me smile.

Leopold left the table to speak with one of the locals, a boy in his late teens. Va’lyndra watched them carefully, in case Leopold said something he shouldn’t. I turned my attention to Olivia. Ilzo, presumably feeling left out, asked a man at the next table if there were people with spider legs in town. There weren’t, but if he was looking for exotic people, there were a few avians in town, bird people. I sighed. What wouldn’t I give to be able to soar across the skies again? I had a potion of flight, of course, but that precious liquid was too expensive to drink just for fun. And showing off magic was a big no-no.

Ilzo decided to find these avians, but Leopold ran after him and got him to come back. Ilzo climbed up on a chair and was about to say something, but the chair broke and Va’lyndra asked him not to say anything. Instead, she bought him liquor. Leopold exclaimed that it was too early in the morning for that, but Va’lyndra ignored him as she haggled with the innkeeper. Olivia whispered in my ear, “I think Lyn fixed the chair to break.”

Leopold suggested that we went to find the elves. He knew where “the immigration” was, and added that they ate peasants there sometimes. We should prepare before going, I thought. Leopold said we should stuff all our artifacts and other valuables inside Va’lyndra’s block of living wood, so they wouldn’t be stolen while we were out. Va’lyndra replied that she needed to rest for a bit before venturing out, if she was to magic the things inside the wood.

Since it would take a few hours before Va’lyndra would be ready to go, Ilzo and Leopold decided to spend the time exploring Alvheim. Va’lyndra suggested I go with them, but I chose to stay at the inn, since I wanted to perform. Olivia dropped off our valuables in Va’lyndra’s room while I changed into my performance costume, and then she helped me set up my gear outside. She brought a chair and a book, and made me exert myself to pull her attention away from it. A crowd gathered around to watch. Normally, Olivia would have walked around with a cap to gather tips, but we didn’t really need the money, and she was so heavy now that it would have been a struggle.

Leopold pushed his way through the crowd and addressed me when he and Ilzo returned from their sight-seeing trip. He asked if I was ready to go. I said I had to change first. I put on traveling garb, then my leather armor. I strung my bow and strapped Scorchmark and the cornucopia quiver around my waist. Finally, I put my combat potions in my pouch. If anyone tried to take a bite out of Olivia, they’d regret it.

Olivia didn’t walk as fast as she used to, and was annoyed when I tried to help. We found the immigration soon enough, which turned out to be a small district in the western part of town. Behind it was a wooden palisade separating the elven part of town from this part. Leopold asked an elf standing guard where we should go, but the elf was too haughty to give an answer. Leopold tried another elf guard, who was more polite and directed us to a large hall.

Inside the hall were several queues of varying lengths leading up to counters with elves sitting behind them. Leopold asked Va’lyndra if she wanted to immigrate, or if we should go stand in the other line. She took us to the other line. I was dying to ask why she picked the longest line – it was surely a hundred people ahead of us – but my attention had to be focused on the room. Everyone looked normal, as far as I could tell, and nobody looked like they were about to dine on us, but appearances could deceive. I thought the others looked far too relaxed, considering that someone here liked to eat people, but perhaps it was an act.

Leopold talked to the guy in front of us to pass the time. This man was a woodcutter, and wanted to apply for a larger area where he could chop down trees. Leopold also engaged the man behind us in conversation, a trader of farming implements. I tripped anxiously, hovering my hand over the apparently empty quiver.

Olivia grew irritated while we waited. I whispered to ask what was wrong, and she told me she was getting tired, standing upright for so long. I looked around for a chair to fetch, but only saw benches along some of the walls. I asked the others if it was all right if Olivia and I went to sit there, and Va’lyndra said it was fine. Olivia sighed with relief when she sat down. I remained on my feet, in case the cannibals arrived and I had to fight.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:31 AM   #247
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 61 (2021-04-23)

Ilzo, Va’lyndra and Leopold eventually reached the counter. They talked for a while with the elven woman behind it, but she couldn’t help them, Va’lyndra informed me when they joined us at the bench. Ilzo asked why they hadn’t warned her of the threat, but Leopold said she wasn’t capable of handling it.

Va’lyndra said we should reach out to our contacts in town. I didn’t know we had any, and assumed she was talking knowledge guild business. Outside, we saw a finer inn. Leopold said we should check it out. Perhaps here, we didn’t have to worry about our valuables. I wondered why we hadn’t been directed here when I asked for the best inn in town.

Leopold and Va’lyndra talked to the elf behind the bar, who said the inn was full. Va’lyndra could get a room if she wanted, but she said she preferred to stay with us. Ilzo began to pile up gold coins, and didn’t understand why this elf didn’t take the bribe. Handing out gold had always gotten him what he wanted before.

I asked Va’lyndra if she thought the elves here were interested in hearing about the threat to Alvheim, but she said no. We should go. I had intentionally not lowered my voice. Leopold would like to stop by the marketplace here before we left the immigration district. He also gave a brief description of the town, warning us not to visit the district called the Pond. Not even the guards dared go there. I asked if the people at the Pond ate people, but didn’t receive an answer. I vowed to myself never to take Olivia there.

Talking to the contacts was more important than going shopping, so we left the immigration district. Leopold led the way, having learned the lay of the land. The buildings and people became poorer and poorer as we walked, and suddenly Leopold declared that we had entered the Pond. I shot an angry glare at him before scanning the surroundings. There were no obvious threats nearby, but I made sure to remain close to Olivia.

We stopped at a shed with a small vegetable garden and a chicken coop. This was one of the finest domiciles in sight. The door even had a lock. I asked what we were doing here, still angry at Leopold for bringing Olivia into danger. Va’lyndra’s contacts lived here, he said.

Va’lyndra knocked on the door, but got no reply, so Leopold asked if we should return to the inn to check on our stuff. I said that Olivia and I were certainly going, for this wasn’t a safe place to stay. Nobody came with us when we left. I guess Va’lyndra and Leopold thought Ilzo was protection enough. And Ilzo probably longed for a fight.

Back at the inn, I asked Olivia what she wanted to do. I could perform for her, or we could perform together, up in our room, I suggested. Olivia wanted to find a doctor, so we asked the innkeeper, and learned that there was a hospital nearby, as well as one on the hill. I asked Olivia if something was wrong, but she said she was looking for work.

We checked out the nearby hospital. It was a quite large building, at least compared to others here in Alvheim. We entered, and took our places at the end of the line. I got some glances, armed and armored as I was, but nobody bothered us. When it was our turn, the woman behind the counter asked if Olivia needed a check-up. Olivia said she was looking for work. The woman couldn’t help with that. We had to speak with one of the doctors, she said. “Then that check-up wouldn’t be such a bad idea,” I told her.

Olivia got her examination. The doctor said everything was fine. Both mother and child seemed completely healthy. “So, there’s no reason why she can’t work?” I asked. “Not at all,” said the doctor. “So, how much do you pay?” I asked him. He didn’t understand, so Olivia explained. The doctor asked her about lots of things I didn’t understand at all, and finally said she could start working whenever it suited her. I got the impression that she knew more about medicine than most doctors, not just here, but everywhere. The doctor was impressed with her book learning.

The two of them took care of the details, so Olivia could begin working, then we returned to the inn. I removed my arms and armor and changed into my dazzling costume, and went outside to perform. The street clogged up with spectators, and from the height, I saw that there were far more people around corners who wanted to watch. At least they could see me when I wasn’t dipping below the rooftops.

Ilzo and the others returned after a while, and he offered to throw me into the air like he had done before, so more people could see more of me. We had a great time with that, but only for a couple of minutes. Then, a guard complained that I was blocking traffic. Ah, well. It was about time to retire for the night, anyway. The guard informed me that there were other places better suited for my performances, and he gave directions. I raised my voice and told the crowd that I was going to perform on the Hill, tomorrow. The spectators cheered, and began to disperse, understanding that there would be no more to see tonight. I went to find Olivia.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:52 AM   #248
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 62 (2021-05-07)

Thoughts on November 1st

At breakfast, I told the other I wanted to perform on the Hill tonight. Did the others have anything more important for us to do? Va’lyndra and Leopold told me that we should go to the city hall after the meal, to see if we could find someone to inform about the Tamburin invasion threat. Olivia went to work at the hospital, practically next door to the Leaping Trout, but the rest of us went to the city hall.

There were several lines of people waiting to do business there. We went past the lines and looked inside. There were people behind counters answering questions and applications, and Va’lyndra and Leopold figured out which line to join. The lines stretched all the way outside the building, so I went around the corner and began to perform, hoping that some of the people in front of my friends would prioritize a fabulous show over standing in line. I think it helped, at least a little.

After an hour or two, Ilzo plowed through the spectators to make way for Va’lyndra and Leopold, and they told me they had made an appointment to see someone this afternoon. Ilzo declared that he was going to track down the bird people in the meantime, and wandered off. Va’lyndra followed him. Leopold and I returned to the inn, and I changed into my performance outfit before heading out to advertise tonight’s performance.

On my tour through the city, two men came up to me and asked if I wanted to have sex with them. They weren’t quite so blunt about it, but that was their meaning. I said yes. I usually prefer one-on-one sessions, but I can take both two, three or four at a time if I have to. Afterwards, they tried to pay me, but I refused their money. I may be loose, but I’m not a whore.

Everyone except for Olivia met up back at the inn, and we walked to the meeting together. I armed and armored myself, in case we were going to one of the cannibal districts. At the meeting, the woman the others had talked to at the city hall introduced the other person present, a lieutenant in charge of the town’s security. I was a little bit upset that they didn’t recognize me when I took my helmet off, and we all had to state our names.

Va’lyndra said that we knew of a threat from Tamburin, and the lieutenant invited us to an interrogation room. Ilzo asked if we had to pay a fine, for he had always had to do that before, when he’d been to such rooms. Va’lyndra ignored him and told the lieutenant that Karl Morgenstern had sent us to inform Alvheim about the Tamburin threat. Leopold corrected her and said that while Lord Karl had asked us to find out about the Serals, it was Umber – the knowledge guild – who had sent us here to forge an alliance to counter Tamburin. Va’lyndra glared at him. I don’t think she intended for all of that to be told.

The lieutenant asked why Umber was interested in protecting Alvheim, and what proof we had for the threat. Va’lyndra replied that Leopold had written a report about it all. The lieutenant thought we should talk to the elves about this, or the city council. As an elf, Va’lyndra should be able to get inside the elven part of town. We had already tried to get in there, and said that we’d rather talk to the council.

Since he didn’t know us, the lieutenant decided to test us. The town has trouble with crime, he said. “And cannibalism,” I added. I told him about the people at the immigration district who ate peasants. My companions seemed to have forgotten all about that, and the lieutenant told me not to listen to such rumors.

He wanted us to deal with a criminal gang operating out of the Pond district. But he didn’t want to find bodies in the streets. He must have had experience with adventurers before. I said we had two challenges: Finding the criminals, and keeping Ilzo from murdering them all. The lieutenant gave us what information he had about the gang. He had a stack of papers that he gave to Va’lyndra, and said they were mostly up to extortion and theft, and harassing young maidens. The guards had captured some of the gang members before, but only for minor crimes, so they had to be let go after a whipping. Then they returned to their old habits, which the lieutenant found annoying. The gang counted forty-three identified members, elves, dwarves and humans, mostly ranging from thirteen to twenty-five years of age. Two of them were known leaders, but the actual shot-caller was not identified. Our task was to give the gang a real setback. If we could do that, he’d introduce us to the council.

It was about time for me to go to the hill, and I convinced the others to come. Ilzo helped me carry my equipment and set it up. I asked Ilzo and Va’lyndra to collect the entrance fee, but Leopold pointed out that I couldn’t charge admission to a public place, so I amended their task to going around begging. Leopold returned to the inn to catch up on his reading, but the others got to see my show. It went well, and afterwards I mingled with my fans, then Ilzo helped me carry my gear back downhill.

I found Olivia in our room. Uncharacteristically, I didn’t feel very guilty about sleeping with those two men earlier. I told Olivia about it, and said I had felt like I had done a good deed. It had to be Sulla speaking to me through my emotions. I had to pray about it tonight. Olivia just sighed and forgave me. I took a bath before joining her in bed. The “tub” at this inn was only a bucket to stand in while washing, but even had it been a proper bathtub, Olivia wouldn’t have joined me. For the first part, she was too large now, and for the other, I had to wash away the filth before touching her.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:01 AM   #249
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 62 (2021-05-07)

Thoughts on November 2nd

Va’lyndra found out where two of the bandits lived. It matched with the information we got from the lieutenant, but neither of them were among the two leader types. Still, I asked if we should go and say hello. Va’lyndra asked if I was planning to join the gang. I opened my mouth, but Ilzo spoke first, saying we should take over the gang. I thought both ideas sounded good, but Va’lyndra said that prominent people shouldn’t show interest for them. I asked if she was talking about me or Ilzo, and she said both.

I suggested that Va’lyndra tried to seduce the two leaders to figure out who was actually in charge; we knew where they lived. I didn’t want to volunteer myself for the task, for I’d only sleep with them and disappoint Olivia. While she’s quite stunning to look at, Va’lyndra isn’t trained in seduction, but she has wrangled Ilzo, so a bandit or two shouldn’t prove too difficult.

Va’lyndra proposed instead that Ilzo put on his gold-plated armor and wandered about hoping the bandits would try to rob him. I frowned at that, for the lieutenant had said he didn’t want us to kill all the bandits, and Va’lyndra admitted she wasn’t serious. She went back to the seduction idea, but said I should take point, being an accomplished seductress.

This ended up being the plan. I hoped I could manage to extract the information we wanted without sleeping with anyone, and thought that getting the intel would be the easier part. As there were two candidates, Va’lyndra asked which one I’d go for. I picked the human over the dwarf, and she called me a racist. She also warned me that the human was known to be violent, according to the notes, but I said that if he tried to hit me, I’d hit back. I decided not to take the bait for the racism debate.

I chose to go unarmed and unarmored when we left for the Pond district. Part of seduction is to inspire trust, and weapons and armor tend to get in the way of that. Ilzo had his gold armor, but left Surkalpi behind. Va’lyndra and Leopold also went unarmored, but Va’lyndra had her staff and Leopold his knife in case of trouble. After all, we were going to one of the cannibal districts.

Someone had erected a wooden fence across the street when we got near where the bandit leader lived. His house wasn’t far from there, so I cracked my fingers and jumped the fence. That was easier than opening the gate. There were a few men loitering nearby, and one of them began to protest my intrusion, but once he had looked me over, he suggested I come with him instead. Ilzo and Va’lyndra got into a shouting match with some of the other bandit guards, but I trusted Va’lyndra to keep Ilzo reined in.

The guard brought me inside a small dirt hut. I gave him the name of the bandit leader and asked if he could take me to him, or if he wanted sex first. He definitely wanted sex first. I stood on tiptoe on one leg and wrapped the other around him while he rammed me against the wall.

The angry voices outside rose, and I thought it was going to come to blows. Couldn’t Ilzo have waited to stir up trouble until after I was done here? While it sounded like reinforcements were arriving for the bandits, I was more afraid that Ilzo would get us difficulties with the lieutenant. I rolled my hips, trying to finish what I had started, so I could go outside and defuse the situation.

Then actual fighting sounds drifted into the hut, and a deep voice boomed encouragement for the bandits to attack Ilzo. It seemed that Va’lyndra and Leopold had fled, or else the voice didn’t consider them threatening. I wrestled my partner to the ground and straddled him, not that he had any desire to go outside and help his friends. I could tell he had heard what was happening outside, but like me, he was fully committed to our private duel.

The voices seeping through my haze indicated that the fight was going badly for my friends. A small voice inside my head asked what I’d do if the bandits killed all my friends, but I ignored it. If they were stupid enough to pick a fight without me, they only had themselves to blame. Then the bandits declared someone dead. It had to be Ilzo, for the sounds of fighting subsided substantially before finally stopping. Had they subdued Va’lyndra and Leopold? I was desperate to find out, but I had unfinished business in the hut.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 05-17-2021 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 05-17-2021, 03:50 AM   #250
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 63 (2021-05-13)

Thoughts on November 2nd (continued)

My partner managed a look outside and swore. Perhaps things weren’t going as badly as I thought? I tried to get him to focus on what we were doing, but while he was still a willing participant, he wasn’t as into it as before. Someone knocked on the door a little later, but they went away when I told them to.

I called out for Sulla, the three-faced god of love, when we reached the pinnacle of our performance. Then I slid contentedly off my partner and took a few breaths before I began to dress. My partner was eager to get away, but I grabbed his arm and held him back. “It’s best if you don’t run away quite yet,” I told him.

I looked outside, cautiously. Va’lyndra and Leopold were doing first aid on fallen bandits. Ilzo had sunk into the ground – only his hands and head stuck out from the dirt – and he was unconscious. I wondered how he had managed to get into that position, but since my friends seemed to have the situation under control, I remained where I was, making sure the last bandit didn’t bolt.

Va’lyndra asked Leopold to make a deep hole to hide the three corpses, and she ransacked the bodies, but it didn’t look like she found much. Then she came over to me and said I needed to stop my partner from seeing what she and Leopold were doing. She spoke so forcefully, my partner turned away. I got the impression that not even Olivia should learn what Va’lyndra was going to do, so I closed the door. I couldn’t tell her what I didn’t see myself. I asked the bandit if he wanted another round, but discovered that he was crying. I asked why, but got no reply.

Leopold arrived while I was practicing contortion, and asked if I could help him unbury Ilzo. We didn’t have any shovels, but Leopold just asked me to pull Ilzo out. I took hold of one of his hands and pulled as hard as I could, but he was completely stuck. Meanwhile, Leopold told my partner that they’d given first aid to his friends, and asked him to take care of them. Did he know a place where they could rest? Leopold said it wasn’t our intention to harm anyone. They had only fought back when the bandits attacked.

Va’lyndra said that an armed crowd had gathered to take us, and it was time to go. Leopold asked my partner if those guys were friends of his, but he just shrugged. I asked if I should run to the inn to get a staff or something, but Leopold had enough energy to loosen the earth around Ilzo, so we managed to pull him up. I heaved the orc over my shoulders and began staggering towards the inn. Va’lyndra was exhausted and didn’t move much faster than me, but neither she nor Leopold looked very hurt.

The watching crowd began to run, and Leopold said they were going to intercept us. I seemed to remember that Va’lyndra knew some people in the area, and asked if we could go there to hide. She didn’t want to bring a mob to their door. Leopold proposed that we paid someone to hide us.

A sudden hailstorm struck, and we seized the opportunity to change directions while the weather covered us from sight. I asked Leopold if any of the bandits they fought had knives, and asked him to run back to fetch one for me, in case we had to fight. That mob had leather armor and clubs, so it would be prudent to have a weapon. I was so slow under Ilzo’s load that we only had gone about thirty meters from the battlefield. Leopold returned quickly and gave the knife to Va’lyndra, who put it in my hand.

The hail stopped as suddenly as it had begun, and we saw that the mob were now heading straight for us. Va’lyndra looked for a hiding place. We were in a garden. Leopold tested the back door to the adjoining house; it was locked. I told him to knock. Va’lyndra offered ten gold if they let us in. Leopold said we knew they were in there and promised that we weren’t going to rob them. Va’lyndra even jingled her pouch, but nobody opened. I asked Leopold if he had enough energy left to make a cave for them to hide in while I ran back to the inn to get supplies.

We didn’t have time to linger, and went around the corner. Va’lyndra said the mob hadn’t seen us yet, despite coming in our direction. A single bandit was running straight for us, and he was too surprised to defend himself when Leopold cut through his armor and Va’lyndra whirled her staff up between his legs. The blow was so hard, he didn’t even have time to register the pain before passing out. Passersby looked at us with shock.

Va’lyndra pointed at another bandit, fifty meters away. He was going to alert the others to our presence, she said, and asked if I could take him if she carried Ilzo. I asked what I should do with him. “Capture him, knock him unconscious. Just don’t kill him.” I could do that.

I dropped Ilzo and dashed off. I was over half-way there when he reacted and shouted for his friends. He stood ready with his club when I got within reach. He swung for me twice, but I dodged both attacks easily. My return slash cut past his parry and through the leather. Blood sprayed onto the street and people around us began to scatter. A woman dropped her basket.

The bandit tried to retaliate, but I dodged again. I began pulling back towards Va’lyndra and Leopold, for I didn’t think my opponent could remain standing for long, not with the gash I had given him. I guessed right; he managed another feeble swing of his club before collapsing.

I turned around. Between my friends and me were five more bandits, and two of them were aiming bows at me. They hadn’t seen my friends yet, but if I just took off, they would certainly look around and spot them, so I ducked and weaved, making myself as hard a target as possible, while still allowing them to try.

Leopold came charging at the archers, but someone behind a house called out that a gnome was behind them. The archers loosed, and I only dodged one arrow. The other stuck out from my stomach. Shocked with pain, I didn’t even try to attack the two club-wielders who came into reach. I dodged them easily enough.

I gave one of them a light slash and continued to dance backwards. They ran to surround me, swinging wildly, but they both missed. I attacked the same one as before and gave him a deeper cut, taking him out of the fight. Dancing backwards, we had now rounded a corner, but Leopold had run for the other side of this house, keeping the attention of the other bandits away from Va’lyndra. The bandit swung his club again, but I ducked under the blow and cut his thigh. He fell, and while he was still awake, I considered him no longer a combatant.

I charged back into the street. The archers were now aiming for Leopold, who was getting away, pursued by one club-man. Another lay on the ground. I rushed the closest archer and made a wild swing, which missed. The archer turned and shot, but he missed, having not had time to take aim. Leopold made it around the corner, and I didn’t see Va’lyndra anywhere, so I waved my knife in the archer’s general direction and took off. Neither archer got a shot off before I turned the corner.

The one whose thigh I cut tried to throw his club at me as I passed, but he failed to even come close. I rounded the next corner, and saw Leopold in melee with another club-wielder. I ran up to them and swung at the bandit, but missed. Leopold swung and missed, too. The bandit copied our failed moves and retreated a few steps. I followed and slashed his thigh. He fell and screamed.

Leopold peeked around the corner, but couldn’t see the archers, so I checked the other corner. The archers were there, standing near the two bandits I had taken down earlier. I yelled for them to put their weapons down, or else I would come and take them. One archer threw down his weapon and ran for it, but the other attempted a shot. He fumbled and dropped his weapon, and took off when I charged towards him, knife raised and howling as orcishly as I could.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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