Risk Chronicles

Session 13

(6:34:29 PM) Oryn: Oryn hears Kir stop at the camp, leaning out the wagon with his eyebrows raised. “…I take it things got complicated quickly?”
(6:35:48 PM) Logos: When we last left our heroes, Sanaz was examining the offerings left at a small shrine to an unknown human god – offerings that, from the state of decay in which he found them, were several decades old – as humans reckoned time, in any event. Meanwhile, Shirin and Konstantin had found a small elven music box, which was still operational – a fact which led Shirin to believe that it was left fairly recently, given that music boxes te
(6:35:48 PM) Logos: nded to stop working after a few centuries to force you to buy an upgrade.
(6:36:12 PM) *Tora is looking happy. Because DEER RIDE.
(6:38:49 PM) Oryn: “…Or perhaps you are just enjoying riding a great deer!” He nodded. Oryn crawled his way out of the back of the wagon and dusted himself off. “So what happened you odd boy you?”
(6:40:12 PM) *
Tora looks around, confused “…Wait. Kir, why’d you take me back to the camp?”
(6:41:26 PM) Logos: Kir looks up at Tora and makes a snuffling sound, his head inclined slightly to one side. Then he shakes his mane and dumps him in the cart.
(6:42:43 PM) Shirin: “…So, creepy music box in a ruin, what do you want to bet this is a trap?”
(6:43:11 PM) *Tora lands back-first on something that sounds fragile and breakable. “Oh, come on! I’m not that helpless…”
(6:45:13 PM) *
Tora turns his head to Oryn. “…so I was put on the deer after I had trouble getting through some of the plants there. And then had me follow Sanaz. And then at some point Kir stopped following him and took me back here.”
(6:46:23 PM) Oryn: Oryn sighs and runs a hand over his face. “Kir why did you do that you great fuzzball?” He tilts his head evne though he knows he won’t receive an answer. “Hmmm, well Tora perhaps he thinks you needed me? Maybe he will take us back to the others?” He stretches his hand up towards the deer. “Kir will you lead us back with your animal familiarly senses?”
(6:47:07 PM) Logos: As far as Shirin can tell, the music box looks like it’s of fairly recent construction. These devices rely on elven magic rather than the mechanical acumen of the gnomes, so it’s difficult to tell its exact age, but there’s not a lot of dust on it – it’s been handled recently, or at least frequently.
(6:51:43 PM) Bassist1591 is now known as Konstantin
(6:54:16 PM) Logos: Though the specifics of the deity’s name and history escape him, Sanaz is pretty sure that this shrine was dedicated to some kind of protector goddess – humans being the fragile, short-lived things they are have many gods to protect them from things like disease and war, and this seems to be one of the latter – a protector against disease.
(6:56:02 PM) Shirin: “…” That points to whoever last used it…still being nearby. Which meant, with them split up…“…Konstantin?”
(6:56:54 PM) Shirin: “Could you do me the favor of tracking down my brother and keeping them safe?” Of course, she says that while starting to look for something to track, because tracking something on her own had never gotten her in trouble before.
(6:57:01 PM) Logos: Konstantin might be a little distracted right now – his finely tuned part-vampire senses are telling him that the sun is starting to set rapidly.
(6:57:42 PM) Sanaz: …a protector against disease.
(6:58:14 PM) Konstantin: “Mmm, yes?” He was a bit preoccupied with checking the rest of the room, and, well, yes. That. “We may wish to leave.”
(7:00:23 PM) Sanaz: He frowns to himself, over all the possibilities of how this settlement had gone abandoned in such a hurry.
(7:01:34 PM) Shirin: “Why are you—sunset, isn’t it? Shit.” …Well, she’ll take the music box with her. “Probably the best idea.”
(7:05:30 PM) Logos: The sun is starting to set and Oryn and Tora are still the only members of the party still back at their camp. As Tora pulls himself up and out of the cart, though, he can clearly hear sounds coming from the forest around the campsite – scraping, shuffling sounds, low vocalizations that are clearly not animal.
(7:06:54 PM) ***Tora quickly draws his dagger and focus, turning towards the approaching sounds. “Oi, Oryn. Something or someone’s coming.”
(7:07:59 PM) Oryn: Oryn narrows his eyes as he looks in the direction Tora does, flexing his focus-glove and feeling magical energy sparking through it. “Something or someone? Someone we know or something to strike?”
(7:08:30 PM) Tora: “Well, it’s not exactly any animal I know.”
(7:09:23 PM) Logos: As Sanaz looks over the shrine, his keen elf ears pick up the sound of someone walking toward him – they’re making no effort to conceal their presence. In fact, their footsteps are heavy, thudding against the packed dirt of the village street.
(7:12:23 PM) Tora: “And I don’t think our friends just…drag their feet like that.”
(7:13:06 PM) Sanaz: He doesn’t quite have his sister’s gift for stealth, but he’s loathe to remain out in the open at this point – he doesn’t know what is approaching him
(7:19:00 PM) Logos: A quick check of the area around him tells Sanaz that the best place to hide is going to be in the building behind the shrine – it’s difficult to tell, given the amount of overgrowth covering it, but it looks like it was once some kind of house, and one of the windows has already fallen into disrepair, allowing the slender elf to scramble in.
(7:19:56 PM) Logos: Lights have begun to appear in the forest around the campsite – faint green wisps of light dancing among the trees between the campsite and the abandoned village.
(7:23:31 PM) Logos: As Shirin and Konstantin emerge into the street, they see Sanaz duck into a building not far from them – just as several forms emerge from the woods at the edge of the village. Their clothes are in tatters and their gait is…strange, not exactly shuffling so much as stumbling. With their nightvision, the two can clearly make out weapons in the new arrivals’ hands.
(7:24:50 PM) Oryn: Oryn backs towards Tora, keeping close to him. “An illusion or a swarm of monsters?”
(7:26:30 PM) Shirin: “…What in the name of the Hunter is…” …Right. Drawing bow.
(7:28:38 PM) Logos: Shirin quickly identifies them as some sort of undead creature – given that she can catch flashes of bone underneath the rotten armor they’re wearing, they appear to be skeletons. The creatures surrounding the campsite are not unknown to Tora – they’re Will-o-Wisps, shards of dead souls trapped in despair.
(7:29:38 PM) Tora: “…oh. Wow. Didn’t think I’d ever see these things.”
(7:30:52 PM) Sanaz: …oh, good. He can see his sister just across the street: he can also see whatever things are…stumbling down the street. Glories be, what /are/ those things?
(7:31:03 PM) Konstantin: Pulling his sword, then. This is the last thing he wanted. “As I suspected… lesser undead.”
(7:31:19 PM) Shirin: “So, I don’t know much about paladins, I’ll admit. But I don’t suppose the rumors about smiting undead are true?”
(7:32:08 PM) Tora: “Wisps. Or, well, Will-o-Wisps.” You’d be surprised what trivia you’d pick up. “Wonder what made the people of that village so despondent as to trap them this way…”
(7:32:13 PM) Shirin: “And are you going to stomp on their heads like the hag, either way? Because I don’t think we have the time for it.” She narrows her eyes, and adjusts her shot…aim for the glowing thing seems to be the best idea.
(7:33:59 PM) Oryn: "
(7:34:04 PM) Sanaz: If he stays here much longer, he is going to get trapped in this building: his best chance is to make a break for it and get to Shirin and Konstantin.
(7:34:47 PM) Oryn: “Ah, Will o the Wisps. I should have known.” But he didn’t. “So something seriously dark is going on here… Is it safe to go among them? Maybe if we head towards that village we’ll meet up with the others?”
(7:35:57 PM) Tora: “Only one way to find out.” Is Kir still there? If so, he’s going to try and hitch another ride on the deer.
(7:36:24 PM) Logos: Kir is still here, and also stamping at the ground rather irritably.
(7:36:52 PM) Konstantin: “Oh, no. Those rumors are very much true.” he just doesn’t have veyr much use for the skill, usually. How’d it go again?
(7:38:54 PM) Oryn: “Maybe you shouldn’t go near Kir right now Tora? He looks ready to stamp off feet or perhaps an entire gnome!”
(7:39:19 PM) Tora: “You know a faster way to get to the others?”
(7:40:53 PM) Shirin: “Glad to hear it.” She can see Sanaz…and as soon as he’s clear, she’ll take the shot.
(7:43:35 PM) Oryn: “Death is only the fastest way out of a situation when you’re going to be remembered for it forever or when you’re out of money.”
(7:54:24 PM) Logos: Two of the skeletons stop and raise short, human-made recurve bows, launching arrows in smooth arcs at Shirin and Konstantin. The arrow aimed at Konstantin flies through his cape and buries itself in the ground behind his feet, while the one aimed at Shirin manages to cut along across her bicep before hitting the dry-rotted wood of the building behind her with a thwang.
(7:55:28 PM) Logos: Of the three will-o-wisps currently hovering between the town and camp, two suddenly vanish – disappearing completely from sight. The third starts hovering closer to the firelight as the snap-hum of electrical charge can be heard building up around it.
(7:55:34 PM) Shirin: “<…oh,>< Forgive me. >”
(9:34:04 PM) Logos: The arrow slams into the skeletal horse’s knee hard enough to buckle it, sending its rider forward and onto the ground. The horse wheels and starts charging toward Shirin.
(9:40:58 PM) Shirin: “…This may not have been my best plan.”
(9:46:55 PM) ***Sanaz winds the beads of the rosary where his focus crystal hangs through his fingers, and calls out to the goddesses that have ever been in his head. “<o>”
(9:47:29 PM) Konstantin: “What a fiend you are…” It’s easy for the layman to assume Konstantin’s response is to hack wildly through the air at the monster he fights, but in reality it’s nothing more than an attempt to test it’s defenses, physical and magical – and at the right moment, he’ll bring the blade down for a severing strike, the charged air resonating with a holy crackle.
(9:48:45 PM) Logos: Kir turns on the Wisp that Tora attacked, making another charge – and nearly trampling Tora in the process.
(9:50:02 PM) Tora: “AAAAAAAAAA!” Tora lets out a quite unmanly yell as he tries to dodge Death by Deer.

Session 12
In Which Fiddles Are Questionably Made

(6:38:25 PM) Logos: Three days ago, Our Heroes left the city of Laozhan Fal after a harrowing experience with the tower’s automated defense systems – one that exposed them to the core of their darkest desires and forced them to learn things about themselves that they never knew. More importantly, Oryn scored some really quite amazing trade concessions which will allow him to afford an actual office in the foreigner’s quarter of Ra-Zehman, once they reach the Elven capital in the next few days. With some travel still ahead of them, Our Heroes have built camp for the night in a small clearing in the western forests.
(6:39:48 PM) Plushiemancer is now known as Sanaz
(6:40:57 PM) Shirin: The closer they get, the better mood Shirin seems to be in. When she helped set up camp, she was //smiling//. And //whistling.//
(6:41:16 PM) Sanaz: Sanaz, on the other hand, is not nearly so sanguine
(6:42:06 PM) Tora is side-eyeing the very…happy Shirin, and asiding to Sanaz “…she’s never like this. Why is she like this?”
(6:42:22 PM) Shirin: " < …Look, Sanaz, you can go meet Deimos and Xanthos before I make you go talk to them? I have a house, you can all stay there. >"
(6:43:29 PM) Sanaz: “She’s happy because she’s going home.” Sanaz says, quietly. And the look on his face at the idea of meeting her pet dinosaurs is…a thing.
(6:44:51 PM) Shirin: Look, Xanthos was perfectly cuddly.
(6:45:19 PM) Tora: “Oh, okay.” Tora keeps going on, oblivious to cuddly terrors
(6:46:00 PM) Oryn: “Maybe I’ll buy an elf sized desk and a chair that can crank all the way to the top of it!” Oryn is humming to himself too, also cheerful for obvious reasons. “Saving lives and filling pockets, the life for me indeed.”
(6:46:05 PM) Sanaz: …perfectly cuddly to /you/.
(6:46:25 PM) Sanaz: “< I would prefer not to lose a hand /before/ I’m inevitably doomed, sister.”
(6:47:32 PM) Tora: “…oh, wait.” Tora’s eyes widen as he pulls out the primer that Shirin had placed on his head while he was asleep a few nights ago. Time to cram for Elven Etiquette Training.
(6:49:29 PM) Shirin: “< She’s never bitten //you// .>” Shirin glances out over at Tora, and snickers.
(6:52:15 PM) Sanaz: “< I’m not taking that chance.” > pause. “< …he shouldn’t have procrastinated on that.” >
(6:53:41 PM) Shirin: “< Shouldn’t have, but did. >” She tosses another log in the fire. "Oy, Tora. You know there’s gonna be a quiz on that in the morning.
(6:54:38 PM) Tora: “I know” he replies from behind the primer, “That’s why I’m reading over it now.”
(6:56:56 PM) Bassist159 is now known as Konstantin
(7:02:09 PM) Logos: Oryn, Konstantin, and Tora all hear a sound coming from deeper in the woods – it’s faint, but musical, as though someone were singing quietly not far from the campsite.
(7:03:16 PM) *Tora blinks, turning his head towards the singing, half paying attention to the primer now
(7:04:26 PM) Oryn: Oryn sits up from the back of the wagon, half hanging over the edge. “Singing… Someone lost? Or perhaps a creature of the forest?”
(7:06:24 PM) Konstantin: “When has singing ever been a good sign?”
(7:06:48 PM) Tora: “Sounds worth checking out anyway?” Tora stuffs the primer back in his pack
(7:07:01 PM) Shirin: “…Look, if it’s that bad, you could have told me to stop.”
(7:08:17 PM) Oryn: “Shirin if you would kindly take the lead to investigate? Konstantin, Tora, do keep on guard! Who knows what is lurking in these woods? Whoooooo~” Oryn makes spooky hand motions but clearly doesn’t look worried about whatever it is.
(7:09:08 PM) Shirin: “Right, right…Oryn, you should probably stay here with Sanaz. If you’re with an elf, the dryads probably won’t try to eat you.”
(7:09:26 PM) Tora: “Dryads?”
(7:09:27 PM) Shirin: Siiigh. Time to stand up and whistle for Kir.
(7:09:30 PM) Shirin: “Dryads.”
(7:09:42 PM) Oryn: …“Is there anything that doesn’t eat gnomes? I’m seriously wondering now.”
(7:09:53 PM) Oryn: “What is it about my people that makes us naturally delicious?”
(7:09:58 PM) Shirin: “They don’t, but they can’t see very well, and you’re about the size of their preferred prey.”
(7:10:01 PM) Shirin: “Children.”
(7:11:07 PM) Logos: Kir shambles out of the woods near the clearing, where he had been happily munching on underbrush. His lips are stained with some kind of strange berry juice which he then proceeds to rub on Shirin’s face.
(7:11:47 PM) Shirin: She ain’t even mad. Onto the stag. “C’mon, Kir, let’s find what’s out there.”
(7:11:48 PM) Konstantin: “…Is this normal?”
(7:12:03 PM) Shirin: “The nuzzling? Yes?”
(7:12:17 PM) Tora: “…after he eats?”
(7:12:31 PM) Shirin: “…You’ve never been around deer before have you?”
(7:12:46 PM) Tora: “Deer aren’t where I come from.”
(7:13:01 PM) Shirin: “Camels?”
(7:13:06 PM) Sanaz: “The deer is rather tame for what she usually brought home.”
(7:13:54 PM) Shirin: She’s already heading out to search for signs, but she calls back. “The quetzalcoatl was one time!”
(7:14:24 PM) Tora: “What’s a quetzalcoatl?” Tora’s following along
(7:14:26 PM) Sanaz: “And only because mother put her foot down. You brought home three landsharks after that!”
(7:14:57 PM) *
Sanaz is going to stay with Oryn, then.
(7:15:29 PM) Tora: “Oh, landsharks. I’ve had those. They’re a pain to get open but they’re good cooked.”
(7:16:44 PM) Logos: The forest around the clearing is unusually dense once you get away from the elven-roads that the group had been traveling on – Sanaz,Shirin and Kir have very little problem with it, but for the rest the trees are packed tightly enough to be claustrophobic, and the underbrush is a tangle of Jack-in-the-Pulpit and creeper vines.
(7:20:04 PM) Tora: “Gggh—” Tora pushes himself through some of the tangled vine clusters. Not much over 5 feet tall, he’s still having some difficulty getting through the damn plants
(7:20:58 PM) Shirin: Shirin sighs, slightly, and turns Kir around to fish Tora our of the underbrush onto the elk.
(7:21:40 PM) *Tora is now on an elk
(7:24:21 PM) Logos: Things begin to lighten somewhat as the sound of singing becomes clearer – clear enough that Sanaz and Shirin can both make out the tune of an old elven folk-song. Like most elven folk-songs it doesn’t translate well out of elvish, but – speaking on it generally – it’s a tune about two sisters who had a falling out over a young elfboy that they both fancied, with a resultant escalating series of murders. It’s really quite pretty.
(7:26:49 PM) Shirin: “…Oh, I know this one.” She hums faintly, before whistling three times—-two long, and one short. A call common among the Guides and Wardens as a signal.
(7:28:24 PM) Sanaz: …oh, that song. He’d never particularly cared for it.
(7:29:03 PM) Tora: “It’s a pretty song.”
(7:29:30 PM) Tora has no idea of what’s actually being sung, but
(7:32:22 PM) Shirin: “You should hear the bit where they make her into a fiddle, that’s the next verse~”
(7:34:29 PM) Tora: “Somebody gets turned into a fiddle?”
(7:35:40 PM) Sanaz: “Yes.”
(7:36:21 PM) Tora: “It doesn’t sound like it…”
(7:36:22 PM) Shirin: “Yep!”
(7:36:38 PM) Shirin: “…I have //got// to remember to teach you elvish.”
(7:38:00 PM) Logos: Buildings have started to appear among the trees – human-built wooden structures, crumbling and entwined with creeper vines. The buildings look like they’ve been abandoned for…well, a while, but some of them still bear the standard of the kingdom that sponsored this settlement painted on the side – a declaration that whomever challenged the settlers challenged King Matthias, Savior of the Elves.
(7:39:12 PM) Shirin: “…Aha.”
(7:39:29 PM) Shirin: “Oh, dear…”
(7:40:10 PM) Sanaz: …oh dear was right.
(7:40:23 PM) Konstantin: “…Hm. It’s been some time since anyone’s been through here.”
(7:42:35 PM) Shirin: “This must have been built after the seige…” Shirin dismounts, leaving Tora alone with Kir, and creeps a little farther forward into the settlement, towards the standard.
(7:43:05 PM) Tora: “It looks…pretty ruined. I wonder why someone’d be singing here.”
(7:43:30 PM) Logos: The singing appears to be coming from somewhere in the settlement – or everywhere in the settle, the acoustics are such that it’s difficult to tell for sure where the sound is coming fromt exactly.
(7:46:25 PM) Shirin: “…Tora, Kir, go with Sanaz. Konstantin, come with me, we should comb the settlement.”
(7:48:43 PM) *
Sanaz sighs long-sufferingly. “< Keep focused, Shirin.” > he calls after her, quietly, and he’ll go a different way, along with the other sorcerer and the deer.
(7:49:52 PM) Konstantin: Oh boy, ruins!
(7:50:21 PM) Tora: “Okay then?” Tora blinks, riding over to Sanaz atop an elk stag
(7:53:17 PM) Shirin: “…Konstantin, I don’t suppose you have anything on you that like, obviously mark you as the Prince? Just…in case.”
(7:53:53 PM) Sanaz: “This way.” he says.
(7:55:11 PM) Shirin: Hopefully, Kir will decide he likes Tora and Sanaz enough not to mess with them.
(7:55:48 PM) Konstantin: “I have a mark of writ. I also look rather like my father, when he was young and.. more alive.”
(7:56:14 PM) Shirin: “I…I don’t think anyone here is going to recognize that, he was pretty dead when he showed up here.”
(7:56:19 PM) *Tora is pretty happy riding on Kir right now. And rather oblivious to a lot of the going-ons
(7:58:32 PM) Logos: The buildings were not only abandoned, they were abandoned in a hurry – there’s no sign of corpses, or any useful sign of struggle, but there are plates and (rotten) food set out on tables, mending abandoned and half-burned beside now cold fireplaces, a blacksmith’s forge that looks like it was half-burned when fire ran out of control. As Konstantin and Shirin push their way through the half-rotten door of one of those homes, the l
(7:58:32 PM) Logos: ocation of the singing becomes clearer – it seems like it’s coming from one of the back rooms.
(7:59:06 PM) Shirin: “…So, bets it’s a ghost?”
(8:00:42 PM) Konstantin: “It could be a giant plant.”
(8:01:06 PM) Konstantin: “Or werewolves.”
(8:01:28 PM) Konstantin: “Maybe those strange parasites that get in water supplies, scaring off the remaining populace….”
(8:01:36 PM) Shirin: “I’d rather the former, I’m fresh out of dog treats.”
(8:03:31 PM) *
Tora continues to ride an elk happily, humming some tune all the while distractedly
(8:03:57 PM) Shirin: She edges toward the back rooms, trying to peer in to see whaty’s going on. Why isn’t she letting the guy with the sword go first? It is a mystery.
(8:07:19 PM) Logos: Sanaz, meanwhile, has found that Tora and Kir have wandered off…somewhere, leaving him alone near a small shrine of some kind. It’s a little wooden box – little more than a crate, with an elaborate painting depicting some human deity that he’s not familiar with. Wilted flowers and other offerings sit scattered around the shrine.
(8:09:00 PM) Sanaz: …Shirin will never let him hear the end of it for losing her deer and the human. But he’s going to take a closer look at the shrine – he doesn’t know who the deity is, but that’s not what concerns him. He’s taking a closer look at the offerings, to try to figure out how old they are.
(8:13:55 PM) Logos: As Sanaz inspects the offerings, one of the flowers – which looks like it was some kind of water lily – disintegrates at his touch. These offerings have been here a long time – at least by human standards. Possibly since shortly after the Siege.
(8:15:12 PM) Logos: Meanwhile, Shirin and Konstantin edge into the back room – it was a bedroom, though the sheets are little more than moth-eaten rags and the wooden furniture has rotted with age and moisture. There’s a small elven music box sitting on the floor, which seems to be the source of the sound.\
(8:15:28 PM) Konstantin: “…Ominous.”
(8:15:48 PM) Shirin: Well that’s not incredibly creepy or anything. “…That’s a bit of an understatement.”
(8:16:27 PM) Shirin: She walks out to the music box, to pick it up. “…When was this even made…? How would it still //work//?”
(8:17:45 PM) Sanaz: Hmm.
(8:18:20 PM) Sanaz: Fifty-year old offerings, a years-untended shrine…where could the occupants have /gone/?

Session 11
In which there is a Montage

(6:14:32 PM) Logos: Eventually, after giving several reports to orange-Marked city guards and very serious looking Elves, Our Heroes stumbled back to their inn and collapsed. When they woke up the next morning, there was breakfast waiting for them at the table in the central room of their suite – clotted cream, thin sweet bread, hot tea and coffee and small beer, grilled fish on a stick and piles of rice. There are also several wrapped packages repres
(6:14:33 PM) Logos: enting their reward from EDEN, along with a note from 19-C indicating that he will send someone by to bring them to the Tower.
(6:16:42 PM) Shirin: Shirin did eventually let Oryn out of her packback the night before, and wanders, bleary-eyed and with only half a shirt on, out to breakfast. From the wrong room. “…Coooffeeeeeeee?”
(6:17:39 PM) Oryn: Oryn was looking no worse for wear despite the battle in the jungle and being stuffed into a backpack while unconscious. This morning he set out their Elven IKEA package and the unidentified scroll along with their reward packages, planning on identifying everything that needed identifying.
(6:18:30 PM) Sanaz: “…missing something, sister?” Sanaz asks, raising an eyebrow.
(6:18:45 PM) *Tora , on the other hand, is still asleep. And drooling on his pillow while doing so.
(6:18:46 PM) Shirin: “Mm…?” Look down. “…Eh.”
(6:19:12 PM) Shirin: “My breasts won’t spoil the coffee.”
(6:19:30 PM) Shirin: She wanders over to Tora’s door and kicks it. Hard. “Up!”
(6:20:04 PM) *
Tora continues to sleep
(6:20:16 PM) Shirin: “…”
(6:20:20 PM) Shirin: “Sanaz?”
(6:20:29 PM) Shirin: “Remember how you used to wake me up in the mornings?”
(6:20:39 PM) Konstantin: The dhampir, on the other hand, walks out of the room quietly. Also shirtless. “Good morning.”
(6:20:59 PM) Sanaz: “…you want me to inflict it on him?”
(6:21:09 PM) Shirin: “Yes.”
(6:22:15 PM) *Sanaz shrugs fluidly as he gets up to get some of the coffee water. Hot, but not scalding, just hot enough to be shocking.
(6:22:20 PM) Shirin: She’s just going to stand here and clutch this coffee to her. Sweet precious beautiful coffee.
(6:22:56 PM) Oryn: Oryn was fully clothed in a loose-sleeved white shirt and a form-fitting leather vest with matching boots and trousers. He waggles his eyebrows. “You tallfolk do take to your nudity in the mornings!”
(6:23:40 PM) *
Sanaz gives a few warning knocks before walking in and dumping the water on Tora.
(6:24:10 PM) Shirin: Shirin looks down at herself, and shrugs. “I don’t understand why you smallfolk get so strange about it.”
(6:24:38 PM) Shirin: “Besides, you’re not interested in my boobs, Tora is Tora, and Sanaz is my brother.”
(6:25:09 PM) *Tora sputters a bit before rolling off the side of the bed and standing up, holding up the bedsheet to cover himself. Gaaah! I’m up!"
(6:25:40 PM) Konstantin: “It’s rather pleasant without the additional clothing, given the warmth, actually.”
(6:26:04 PM) Shirin: “…It’s only going to be warmer at the capital, you know that, right?”
(6:26:08 PM) Sanaz: “At last,” Sanaz says, dryly. “That’s how I used to wake up my sister. I’d suggest you rise earlier in future.”
(6:26:15 PM) Logos: Konstantin is right. It’s actually rather hot for mid-morning, which does make the spicy strips of sizzling meat quite tasty.
(6:26:18 PM) *
Sanaz turns and leaves him to get dressed
(6:26:29 PM) Konstantin: “I am aware. I imagine I will be shirtless quite often.”
(6:26:54 PM) Shirin: “Hmm.” Shirin manages to keep a relatively straight face. “We’ll see.”
(6:26:54 PM) Oryn: “That would be appreciated!”
(6:27:38 PM) *Tora grimaces awkwardly as he moves to get dressed, having one hand on the bedsheet regardless
(6:29:00 PM) Shirin: Well then. She’ll just…peer in and have a look. “…Tora, how old are you?”
(6:30:34 PM) Tora: “…” blushing and awkward grimace as Tora hurries to throw the rest of his clothes on “I’m nineteen!”
(6:30:52 PM) Oryn: “Adorable.”
(6:31:09 PM) Shirin: “…” She looks back to Konstantin. “How…how adult is nineteen?”
(6:33:25 PM) Oryn: “In humans? Fairly adult, but just not-adult enough to be cute and foolish.”
(6:33:35 PM) Oryn: He looks to Konstantin as if seeking confirmation.
(6:34:26 PM) Shirin: “…So like…50?”
(6:35:02 PM) Konstantin: “About that.”
(6:35:11 PM) Sanaz: Such sweet, long-ago days.
(6:35:29 PM) *
Tora emerges from his room with messily-put-on clothes. “…why’d you guys need me up?”
(6:35:52 PM) Shirin: “Right.” …She’ll just keep looking at Konstantin. This view was nice.
(6:35:58 PM) Shirin: “Because it’s breakfast, Tora.”
(6:36:00 PM) Oryn: “Do you not like presents?” Oryn gestures to the table.
(6:36:04 PM) Konstantin: “So you would not miss breakfast.”
(6:36:46 PM) Tora: “Oh. What is for breakfast?” He idly notes, fairly certain the manticore isn’t going to keep that well.
(6:37:00 PM) Shirin: “Coffee.”
(6:37:25 PM) Sanaz: “You’re rather focused for not having had your coffee yet, sister.”
(6:37:30 PM) Shirin: “…What.”
(6:37:33 PM) Tora: “…isn’t there…food?”
(6:38:08 PM) Shirin: “Toast, cream, fish, rice.” She’s now glaring down her brother. “Excuse me, Sanaz, what was that?”
(6:38:32 PM) Sanaz: “Very intent, even.” Was that glare supposed to intimidate him?
(6:39:05 PM) Shirin: “State your meaning clearly, brother.” Wow, someone who makes her more angry than Oryn.
(6:39:21 PM) *Tora grabs some of the fish and starts chowing down on that
(6:39:41 PM) Oryn: Oryn watches Sanaz and Shirin while spreading cream on his bread. Nomnom.
(6:40:06 PM) Sanaz: He leans back and drinks his tea. “You’re staring, sister.”
(6:40:18 PM) Konstantin: …Konstantin thinks better of getting involved and grabs his coffee, silent as death.
(6:40:24 PM) Shirin: Wow, she just went red to the tips of her ears. “I am not!”
(6:40:41 PM) Sanaz: “I know staring when I see it.”
(6:40:50 PM) *
Tora asides to Konstantin “…why did she want to know how old I was, anyway?”
(6:41:11 PM) Shirin: “What—what would you know!”
(6:41:43 PM) Konstantin: …He places a well-meaning, naked arm around Tora. “Elves are mysterious, Tora. Even I find them somewhat inscrutable.”
(6:42:07 PM) Oryn: “I think Elves find every other race’s age ranges amusing somehow.”
(6:42:17 PM) Sanaz: “…because I’ve spent a fair chunk of the last several decades being paid to be stared at?”
(6:42:43 PM) Shirin: “That—is actually a fair point but I don’t see why your job concerns me or my hypothetical staring.”
(6:42:45 PM) *Tora jumps a bit at the sudden cold feeling, before continuing to eat his fish
(6:43:38 PM) Sanaz: Sipppp of tea. “Because it means I know what hypothetical staring looks like? Or, rather, more than hypothetical.”
(6:44:34 PM) Shirin: “…I mean, what’s it matter who I may or may not be staring at, anyway? I’m 114 years old, I can do as I please!”
(6:44:55 PM) Konstantin: Tora can actually feel Konstantin’s body warm up from having hot coffee poured down his throat. It’s kind of disconcerting; thankfully he lets him go in short order.
(6:45:14 PM) Oryn: “This is fascinating.” He whispers to the boys as he shoves rice into his maw.
(6:45:45 PM) Sanaz: “I never said you couldn’t.” very much cat-smile. “But I never said anything about not teasing you about it, little sister.”
(6:46:15 PM) Konstantin: “I know.” Says the amazing talking abs. I mean Konstantin.
(6:46:26 PM) *
Tora stifles the impulse to do any number of things out of reaction to the odd temperature changes.
(6:47:00 PM) Shirin: …Well now.
(6:47:08 PM) Konstantin: It’s okay, Tora. It’s only natural.
(6:47:10 PM) Tora: largely grimacing
(6:47:19 PM) Shirin: “Teasing? Teasing?”
(6:47:31 PM) Shirin: “What’s there to tease about?!”
(6:48:14 PM) Oryn: “Do elves not work out deals to overcome familial disputes? This argument is taking quite a while.” He side-mouths to Konstantin. “Mysterious. Maybe it’s because they live so long.”
(6:48:43 PM) Sanaz: “Little sister’s grown up and starting to notice men.” he knows he’s walking on pretty thin ice at this point, but as long as she doesn’t ruin his expensive dancing clothes with coffee, he won’t get angry.
(6:48:46 PM) Konstantin: “It is taking quite awhile; I’m wondering when they duel over it.” #Undeadproblems.
(6:49:07 PM) Shirin: Pointing over to the peanut gallery. “You, shut up.”
(6:49:19 PM) *Tora gets back to eating his fish. “…the last time i remember seeing a family argument was when my father was thrown out of the house for bringing someone else over with him…”
(6:49:25 PM) Oryn: “Well I have paperwork to do.” As in working on paper. He picks up the scroll and tries to figure out what spell it is.
(6:50:44 PM) Shirin: Back to Sanaz. “I’ve done plenty more than //notice// men! You’re not the only one who gets to go around gallavanting with whomever!”
(6:51:00 PM) Shirin: …That may have been more of an admission than she meant it to be.
(6:51:49 PM) Sanaz: That cat-smile only widens. “Did you truly mean to admit that? I’m touched.”
(6:52:03 PM) Shirin: “Admit…what…” …Oh no.
(6:52:07 PM) Tora: “…” blink. watch. grab toast. munch.
(6:52:38 PM) Konstantin: “Hmm… it appears that I am whomever now.” He comments quietly to Oryn. “Good thing I’m not on your payroll; I think scale for a working party is rather tortuous on coffers.”
(6:52:56 PM) Shirin: …
(6:53:27 PM) Shirin: Now she just turned a shade of red hitherto unknown to the mortal races, dumped her coffee in Sanaz’ lap, and marched back into…whomever’s room.
(6:53:31 PM) Shirin: She’s going to hide now.
(6:53:42 PM) Shirin: Alone with her pride.
(6:53:44 PM) Sanaz: …ow.
(6:53:49 PM) Sanaz: But this was entirely worth it.
(6:53:50 PM) Tora: “Shirin, are you okay? You look more red than when Konstantin spoke elvish!” Tora calls back after her
(6:53:57 PM) Oryn: “…I’m fairly happy with that fact as well, quite suddenly.”
(6:53:59 PM) Shirin: “< SHUT YOUR FACE .>”
(6:54:10 PM) Konstantin: “Tora, my friend?”
(6:54:21 PM) Sanaz: He’s not laughing at her, at least?
(6:54:27 PM) Konstantin: “Please. Stop for your own sake.”
(6:54:28 PM) *
Tora blinks. “…what’d she just say?”
(6:54:46 PM) Sanaz: “Told me to hold my tongue.”
(6:54:58 PM) Konstantin: “Told Tora, I believe.”
(6:55:07 PM) Tora: “Oh. Is she okay?”
(6:55:08 PM) Shirin: “< DIDN’T DISCRIMINATE.” >
(6:55:17 PM) Konstantin: “…is that what that’s a colloquialism for, Sanaz?”
(6:55:38 PM) Konstantin: “I mean she literally told the both of you to fill in a seed-hole.”
(6:55:51 PM) Tora: “…”
(6:56:05 PM) Tora: “Er…i’ve never heard that one before.”
(6:56:11 PM) Sanaz: “Yes. Yes, it is.” going to sip his tea.
(6:56:20 PM) Oryn: “My, in gnomish that means something COMPLETELY different.”
(6:56:49 PM) Konstantin: “That could lead to awkward moments.” Siiiip.
(6:57:11 PM) Shirin: She’s just going to stay in here and…try to find where the hell her shirt went.
(6:57:18 PM) Shirin: …What was she wearing? This isn’t her shirt.
(6:57:47 PM) Sanaz: It’s kind of surreal how he’s soaked in coffee. “I’ve rather missed having those discussions with her.” he says, quieter.
(6:58:29 PM) Oryn: Oryn raises a hand and an eyebrow at the same time, waving it and wringing out Sanaz’ clothes with prestidigitation. “Elves are mysterious people, indeed.”
(6:58:33 PM) Tora: “That sounded kind of angry for a discussion.”
(6:59:03 PM) Konstantin: “Ah, siblings…”
(6:59:04 PM) Sanaz: “That was actually rather mild. She would have shot one of our other siblings.”
(6:59:17 PM) Tora: “…Elven discussions are very dangerous things.”
(6:59:35 PM) Oryn: “…goodness. Why DID your little talk sound like two tinkers trying to outbid the same gear salesman anyway?”
(7:00:44 PM) Sanaz: “It’s been fifty years since I’ve been able to tease her like that. I suppose I grew rather carried away.” his own fault, really.
(7:01:43 PM) Tora: “So…wait, if she would’ve shot one of the others, did she not like them or does she like you?”
(7:02:54 PM) Oryn: “And more importantly, are you SURE she wouldn’t still shoot you? That looked like bear baiting for a while.”
(7:03:34 PM) Sanaz: “I suppose I’m her favorite sibling. And fairly certain.” pause. “She didn’t go right back to get her bow.”
(7:03:58 PM) Shirin: Alright. Shirt found. Composure…mostly regained. Operation: slink out to retreive toast: go.
(7:04:12 PM) Tora: “…” blink. Return to eating last piece of toast
(7:05:33 PM) Shirin: …Dammit.
(7:05:49 PM) Shirin: Well then she’ll just take the /entire/ pot of coffee, then.
(7:06:44 PM) Oryn: Oryn nods a good morning to her cheerfully. He’s slathering sweet cream on rice and enjoying it heartily.
(7:07:24 PM) Shirin: She’ll just stand over here. With her coffee. Making eye contact with no one.
(7:07:30 PM) Shirin: She might still be embarrassed.
(7:08:24 PM) Tora: “Where do they get this fish, anyway? The only fish I’ve had before was landshark…is that a fish? It has shark in the name…”
(7:09:17 PM) Shirin: “…” Eartwitch. No. Do not engage.
(7:11:08 PM) Sanaz: He’s going to give her some peace for now and eat his breakfast and drink his tea.
(7:14:06 PM) Shirin: Well, good.
(7:14:08 PM) Shirin: …
(7:14:19 PM) Shirin: Maybe she can steal Konstantin’s coffee mug…
(7:15:08 PM) Konstantin: Those are fangs he’s showing.
(7:15:30 PM) Shirin: Right.
(7:15:36 PM) Shirin: Not that coffee.
(7:16:15 PM) *Tora reclines in his chair after having finished …way too much fish and toast
(7:18:56 PM) Logos: There’s a polite knock on the door.
(7:19:04 PM) Shirin: …Very quietly, after some time has passed, a significantly quieter elf speaks. “< …I ah. Should apologize for my outburs— >” DAMMIT.
(7:21:39 PM) *
Tora looks over to the door
(7:21:46 PM) Shirin: “…Someone answer that.”
(7:21:49 PM) Oryn: Oryn pops himself right up and trots over to the door, opening it a slice to look out. “Yes~?”
(7:25:38 PM) Logos: 19-C smiles. Blinks, then looks down at Oryn. “Hello, little friend!”
(7:26:01 PM) Oryn: “Oh, hello my numerically designated friend! Come in, come in!”
(7:26:11 PM) Oryn: He opens the door and invites him in.
(7:26:32 PM) Shirin: …Okay, putting on a shirt was a good idea, she is glad she did so.
(7:26:57 PM) Shirin: She’ll also wander back into Konstantin’s room and come back with one of //his//shirts and just pass it to him. Helpfelf.
(7:27:47 PM) Tora: “Hey.” Tora raises a hand in greeting to the guy who looks…just like that guy they killed back in Rolt’s place. He still can’t get that out of his head!
(7:30:13 PM) Logos: “Hello everyone! I’m glad to see you’re enjoying a meal after all the hard work you’ve done on EDEN’s behalf”
(7:31:10 PM) Konstantin: He will put on his shirt, fiiiine.
(7:31:23 PM) Tora: “Well, the manticore wasn’t salted so it doesn’t exactly keep for long…”
(7:31:28 PM) Shirin: Look she can’t be staring at you all the time when they’re working!
(7:33:25 PM) Logos: “…I’ll make note of that.”
(7:33:30 PM) Logos: “Is that coffee?”
(7:33:43 PM) Shirin: “Yes.”
(7:33:51 PM) Shirin: She stares him down.
(7:33:54 PM) Shirin: It’s hers.
(7:33:56 PM) Logos: “C..can I smell it?”
(7:34:00 PM) Shirin: “…”
(7:34:08 PM) Shirin: “Have…have you never had it?”
(7:34:17 PM) Logos: “I don’t eat or drink, but I enjoy the smell of coffee”
(7:34:18 PM) *Tora looks on…she’s going to have a debate with him as well, isn’t she?
(7:34:27 PM) Shirin: “…” She holds out the pot to him. :(
(7:34:40 PM) *
Tora blinks
(7:34:40 PM) Oryn: Oryn is visually displeased that Konstantin has put on his shirt. "Goodness, that seems like an incomplete sort of experience.
(7:34:50 PM) Sanaz: …that poor man.
(7:35:02 PM) Logos: 19-C bends over and wafts the steam of the coffee toward his nose, smiling. “Thank you~ In any event, I have good news”
(7:35:49 PM) Tora: “The guys at the tower heard about last night and are letting us in?”
(7:39:19 PM) Oryn: “We’re getting paid handsomely for saving literally all of your lives?”
(7:40:08 PM) Shirin: “All of the above?”
(7:41:08 PM) Logos: “Yes, actually. I see that your payment has already arrived.” he motions to the pile of packages “And I have made arrangements for you to meet with one of the Veined Lords in the Tower”
(7:44:15 PM) *Tora blinks. “That…is a lot of stuff.”
(7:47:30 PM) Tora: “…wait, when are they expecting us?”
(7:47:50 PM) Shirin: She looks down at her shirt. And then heads back in to find a nicer one.
(7:48:01 PM) Shirin: …She doesn’t own a nicer one.
(7:48:13 PM) Logos: “Well, traditionally, you would present yourself at the Tower and then they will come to you when they have time,”
(7:48:28 PM) Shirin: “How formally are we expected to be dressed?”
(7:48:42 PM) Oryn: Veined Lord? Excellent! “When they have time? So they don’t have appointments I suppose?”
(7:48:54 PM) Shirin: Seriously where are her good clothe—in Ra-Zehman.
(7:48:56 PM) Logos: “I believe that Dr. Masud would say that you are adventurers, and thus expected to be somewhat filthy”
(7:49:02 PM) Shirin: She knew she forgot something.
(7:49:12 PM) Sanaz: Shirin has formal clothes?
(7:49:20 PM) Shirin: Mother made her.
(7:50:12 PM) Tora: “Well…I suppose it’s for the better, since I kind of only have these.”
(7:50:43 PM) Shirin: “…” Shirin stares at Oryn. Please help her on this matter.
(7:50:54 PM) Shirin: They have time to get proper clothes, don’t they?
(7:50:57 PM) Shirin: DON’T THEY?!
(7:52:04 PM) Oryn: Oryn shrugs and sighs. “Can’t be helped. Let’s go get you into a nice dress Shirin. Yes it has to be a dress. Yes you can still keep weapons under the skirt.”
(7:52:13 PM) Oryn: “In some places that’s considered only polite, you know!”
(7:52:49 PM) Shirin: “Well, of course.” She sighs. “Konstantin, Sanaz, can you…take care of Tora?”
(7:53:00 PM) Shirin: "…Do I have to get the fancy arrows?
(7:53:31 PM) Oryn: “I think silver fletching will do!”
(7:54:13 PM) Sanaz: “…I can /try/, at least.” really, he’s not the best person to ask in regards to /clothing/.
(7:54:27 PM) Tora: “…eh? What do I need help with?”
(7:54:28 PM) Shirin: “Silver…will they even have proper designs here?” Well, off they go to get a dress.
(7:54:42 PM) Shirin: She just…gestures to all of Tora. “That.”
(7:54:56 PM) Tora: “…you just motioned to me.”
(7:55:09 PM) Shirin: “Yes.”
(7:56:55 PM) Tora: “…I don’t get it.”
(7:57:07 PM) Oryn: Oryn gesticulates as he leads the way. “I will leave arrow selection to you, I’m sure they’ll make nice accessories if we can find a gown to fit your figure.” And into the city for shopping time!
(7:58:41 PM) Shirin: SHOPPING MONTAGE
(7:59:12 PM) Konstantin: Even Elminster had a Montage.
(7:59:19 PM) Konstantin: (Montage~)
(7:59:26 PM) Tora: (Montage~)
(8:01:16 PM) Shirin: TO THE TOWER.
(8:06:22 PM) *
Tora is tugging at the dark blue clothing he’s been put in as of the most recent shopping trip. “This still doesn’t feel right…” And his hair’s been put through an appointment as well.
(8:08:19 PM) Oryn: Oryn nods approvingly at how punishingly tight Shirin’s corset is laced. “It’s important that any prospective trade partners know you can undertake a tremendous amount of discomfort!”
(8:08:21 PM) Shirin: Shirin is in an incredibly slinky dress (with enough length to hide her bowl. it even had special straps for that purpose!), with a neckline that…went damn near to her waist.
(8:08:34 PM) Oryn: Oryn was PROUD of that neckline.
(8:08:36 PM) Shirin: Okay maybe just into the corset.
(8:08:40 PM) Shirin: it’s hard to say.
(8:08:45 PM) Logos: Once you’re near the tower, its immensity is really brought into scope – from a distance, it was simple a large, jagged spike looming over the city, but as you approach the Plaza of the Beast’s Heart, the word “cyclopean” springs immediately to mind. The buildings surrounding the plaza are easily as tall as many of the towers of Ra-Zehman, and the Tower itself dwarfs them all. A statue of a man in armor, kneeling as his sides are p
(8:08:45 PM) Logos: ierced with several swords , has been erected in front of the broad, red marble platform leading up to the Tower’s entrance.
(8:08:53 PM) Shirin: “Oryn, when this is over, I’m putting //you// in the corset.”
(8:09:09 PM) Logos: And it only takes a few moments to realize that you are the only people who aren’t covered in House Markings in the entire plaza.
(8:09:17 PM) Shirin: …Oh yay.
(8:09:22 PM) Oryn: “I’m sorry my dear I prefer men~”
(8:12:47 PM) Tora: “I don’t think there’s anything that’d keep us from standing out.”
(8:13:01 PM) Tora: more sleeve-tugging.
(8:13:51 PM) Logos: Two orange-Marked guards move to stop Our Heroes as they approach the tower. “State your name and purpose?”
(8:14:59 PM) Oryn: “Oryn Doublelock and associates, saviors of the EDEN facility, here to meet with the Veined Lords!”
(8:16:46 PM) Logos: “Ahh yes, we have you on the list. The Veined Lords are in an important meeting, at the moment, but perhaps you would like to wait in one of the public studies?”
(8:18:24 PM) Shirin: Do the public studies involve less impractical shoes?
(8:18:29 PM) Oryn: “Well you know what they say about keeping busy and being successful, but I suppose we have to wait if we have to. Please show us the way, good sirs!”
(8:20:50 PM) Tora: “Well, okay then?” Tora keeps pulling at his outfit, before asiding to Konstantin “…what do you do in a study, anyway?”
(8:23:38 PM) Logos: The guards sideeye Kir before opening the gates and leading the group inside. The interior of the Tower is constructed of some kind of strange, solid material – metallic, but warm to the touch with no sign of seam or masonry. Rather than torches or traditional elctric lights, the corridors are lit by bright blue streams of light that run through both the ceiling and floor. The public study has comfortable chairs, a full bar and wa
(8:23:38 PM) Logos: lls piled high with books on the lore and history of Laozhan Fal and its environs, with more conventional electrical lights suspended from a large chandelier that has been attached to the room’s central cross support.
(8:24:12 PM) Shirin: “…” Electricity? Really?
(8:24:36 PM) Shirin: That was just being inefficient showoffs.
(8:24:53 PM) Shirin: Shirin sighs, and makes her way right on over to the bar.
(8:25:15 PM) *Tora blinks at the electrical lights. “How do those work?”
(8:25:19 PM) Sanaz: Of course she does.
(8:25:46 PM) Sanaz: He joins her, pulling her boots out of his backpack. “Sister.”
(8:26:00 PM) Shirin: “This is why you’re my favorite, Sanaz.”
(8:26:17 PM) Shirin: She takes her boots, but then proceeds to go back to looking over the bar’s stock.
(8:26:22 PM) Sanaz: “You’ll shoot me last?”
(8:26:34 PM) Shirin: “If you keep this up.”
(8:27:08 PM) Oryn: “Seeing electric lights with no nearby steamvents is just a little… unnerving.”
(8:27:23 PM) Oryn: “How is one to sleep without the comforting hissing and grinding?” He sighs sadly.
(8:28:22 PM) Tora: “Oooh, electricity powers those? That stuff’s neat. Kind of weird to touch though.”
(8:28:33 PM) Shirin: “…To touch?”
(8:28:43 PM) Tora: “…yeah?”
(8:32:51 PM) Shirin: “Where are you touching elec—you know what, nevermind.” She is going to take this wine, sit down, and try to keep herself from glancing over at the dhampir.
(8:33:05 PM) Shirin: She’s not succeeding.
(8:35:00 PM) Sanaz: You’re adorable, sister.
(8:35:01 PM) *
Tora browses the varied books collected to see if any titles catch his interest
(8:35:13 PM) Bassist159 [~Mark@MagicStar-BDA77630.hsd1.tx.comcast.net] entered the room.
(8:38:13 PM) Oryn: Oryn will mix himself a nice gin drink.
(8:38:35 PM) Logos: Most of the books are related to the history of the city post Towerfall, details of the major Houses and their struggles, and histories and information about Laozhan Fal’s closest neighbor.

Session 10
In which a hag gets burnt, and lit on fire.

(7:41:07 PM) Logos: EDEN prides itself in making the artificial biomes that it creates as realistic as possible, which is probably why the swamp biome smells sharply of rotting plant matter, dark, musty earth and something that’s simultaneously sweet and vaguely animal-like. The bullywugs lead Our Heroes through thick, muddy, knee-deep water, and the mazelike patches of trees make it easy to get lost quickly as the frog-like creatures walk in relative
(7:41:07 PM) Logos: silence, occasionally ribbiting to one another in their strange languiage. Eventually, the ground beneath their feet begins to feel more solid and the ground slopes upward toward a rounded islet covered in patchy green moss and dark, twisted trees, densely packed enough to make seeing beyond them nearly impossible.
(7:44:58 PM) Tora will never get used to walking through thick, muddy, knee-deep water. Ever.
(7:47:00 PM) Shirin: It’s so much like her father’s last gardening project it’s kind of eerie. Idly, Shirin wonders if mother ever forgave him for the rose hydra.
(7:47:50 PM) Shirin: …It seems unlikely.
(7:53:29 PM) Tora: or the weird navigation, or…okay he just doesn’t like swamps really.
(7:57:29 PM) Shirin: “< …It’s really a very pretty swamp. >”
(7:58:10 PM) Logos: Two of the creatures move forward and begin pushing through the densely packed treeline, opening a path for their fellows and their captives. On the other side stands several tall, wicker torches and a number of bullywugs standing at attention. The islet rises to a crest at the center of the grove, where stands a blocky concrete structure with a heavy iron door facing Our Heroes. Standing next to the structure, looking down at a sm
(7:58:10 PM) Logos: all crystal sphere, is Dr. Masud, his lips pursed in concentration.
(7:58:20 PM) *Miali quietly follows along, watching the bullywugs cautiously.
(7:58:58 PM) Shirin: “…< Sir?>”
(7:59:07 PM) Sanaz: …well.
(8:00:00 PM) *Tora blinks at the Dr. Masud, caring not for his concentration. “Hi there?”
(8:00:19 PM) Shirin: This was going nowhere good, was it?
(8:00:50 PM) Shirin: She leans over to Sanaz. “…Bets he’s behind the attacks? I’ll put down two gold.”
(8:01:03 PM) Bassist159 is now known as Konstantin
(8:01:32 PM) Tora: “Hellooo.” Tora waves a hand in front of Dr. Masud’s face.
(8:02:00 PM) Shirin: “Tora don’t be rude.”
(8:02:00 PM) Shirin: Yet.
(8:02:08 PM) Sanaz: “I’m not taking that bet, sister.” he murmurs at her.
(8:02:19 PM) Sanaz: The least of which being he doesn’t exactly have the /money/ for that bet.
(8:03:48 PM) Shirin: Being a Guide pays //well//.
(8:03:53 PM) Logos: Dr. Masud looks up from the ball, smiling grimly. “Well then. You weren’t the ones I expected to make it this far, but I suppose you’ll do,”
(8:04:46 PM) Sanaz: And that’s all very well and good for you, but he’s still owed money for his latest contract as a dancer and he doesn’t actually expect to see any of it now.
(8:05:19 PM) Tora: “Who did you expect, then?”
(8:07:50 PM) Shirin: “…You common’s gotten a lot better.” Siiighing. “I suppose this is the part where you explain?”
(8:09:03 PM) Logos: “Only what you need to know, I’m afraid. Really, I’m glad you found the dancer. I needed two elves to access the lower vault, and I didn’t relish waiting around any longer than I had to…” he looks around “They aren’t exceptional conversationists, you see”
(8:10:39 PM) Tora: “It sounds like you have an agreement of some sort going on with the frogpeople there then?” Tora’s…not quite sure
(8:11:53 PM) Shirin: “Were you behind the attack?” Rubbing a couple fingers to her forehead. “To get something out of the lower vault? Couldn’t you open it on your own?”
(8:12:32 PM) Shirin: She glances over at Konstantin. Maybe if he ate Masud they could say a monster did it.
(8:13:01 PM) Tora: “What’s in the lower vault?”
(8:16:29 PM) Logos: Dr. Masud’s face…ripples, his sharp, dark-skinned elven features replaced by warty, dark-green skin and stringy black hair, a long, crooked nose and jaundiced eyes with wide, black pupils. The creature is tall, dressed in the sodden tatters of a once-white dress. It – she? – rises up to her full height and looks down at Our Heroes. “I’m afraid I don’t qualify for access. As for what’s in it, I’m afraid that you don’t need to know
(8:16:29 PM) Logos: that, dearie”
(8:19:42 PM) Tora: “But how do we know what to bring you if we don’t know what? I mean, I take it you want us to bring you something from the lower vault?”
(8:20:19 PM) Konstantin: “Tora, I believe diplomacy may have just failed.”
(8:20:56 PM) Tora: “er…oh…crap…”
(8:21:16 PM) Sanaz: …shapeshifting frog witch? /Glories/.
(8:21:43 PM) Shirin: “…I…” She holds up a finger, and then then puts it down. “…//Was// there a Dr. Masud? Out of curiosity.”
(8:21:47 PM) Sanaz: Make them open it, kill them after, he’s pretty sure. (also part of him is glad that he didn’t take that bet).
(8:22:58 PM) *Miali tenses a moment, watching cautiously. Best not to let on she knows anything while in earshot. Not that she knows much
(8:24:42 PM) Tora: “…you are suddenly very, very green.”
(8:25:19 PM) Shirin: “Thank you, Tora.”
(8:25:47 PM) Sanaz: “< Does he always state the obvious?”>
(8:26:10 PM) Miali: “< Part of his charm.>”she murmurs.
(8:26:20 PM) Logos: “In any event, dearie. I just don’t have all day to stand around flapping my jaw,” she turns to one of the bullywugs. “Three of you come with me and bring the elves. You can eat the rest of them,”
(8:26:21 PM) Shirin: “< I fear he’s rather sheltered…>”
(8:26:29 PM) Shirin: “Nnno.”
(8:27:03 PM) Shirin: “No I don’t think that’s gonna work.”
(8:27:16 PM) Logos: The Hag tilts her head to the side, eyes narrowing. “Would you prefer they eat your friends in front of you? Because that can be arranged,”
(8:28:45 PM) Miali: Miali mutters under her breath, a loud snap and crack coming from the swampland to the side.
(8:29:09 PM) Shirin: “Wasn’t my first plan. But you need elves.” She smiles, bitterly. “And I swear to you I’ll die right here before you get anything from me if they die.”
(8:30:58 PM) Tora: “\\I wouldn’t be very good to eat. Too much bones. I’ve been told that, by the by, so I’m not making it up.\\”
(8:32:01 PM) Logos: “..I can see you’re going to be a tough nut to crack,” she motions toward two of the bullywugs “Go check out that noise. Who knows how many friends they brought with them?” she turns back to Shirin, her momentary distraction is all that Miali needs to slip quietly back into the grove of trees. The group’s weapons have been stacked in a pile between two torches, over which one of the bullywugs is standing nervous guard, his back to
(8:32:01 PM) Logos: the trees.
(8:32:46 PM) Miali: Miali slips up to the bullywug, abruptly popping into his face. “RUN.” she hisses intimidatingly, catching him offguard..
(8:33:01 PM) Shirin: “I’ve been called stubborn as a stone by scarier things than you, miss.”
(8:33:23 PM) Shirin: Juuust keep talking. Keep her paying attention to her.
(8:34:28 PM) Konstantin: “She’s not honestly that particularly impressive.” He adds. He’s either as fearless as being a Paladin would imply or he’s just bluffing, hard to say.
(8:37:42 PM) Shirin: …Given his father, she’s pretty sure he’s seen scarier as a toddler.
(8:37:55 PM) Shirin: Why did they let Matthias have children?
(8:38:00 PM) Tora: “She’s just kind of tall and green. Not that scary.”
(8:38:28 PM) Logos: The bullywug’s eyes widen and roll back into its frog-like head as it crumples to the ground. The Hag, focused on Shirin with a strangely…hungry look in her eye…doesn’t seem to notice that her guard is dead. “Careful, dearie. I don’t prefer the taste of humans, but I will eat anything in a pinch.”
(8:39:29 PM) Shirin: “Eat //him//?” She glances at Konstantin, and just…laughs. “Oh, honey, no, that’s not really a very credible threat.”
(8:40:06 PM) Konstantin: “No, no. I don’t care much for what you’re attempting to imply.” He steps forward. “Because honestly, all I see here is a large, green bottomfeeder, in a dwindling pond that thinks itself a touch more clever than it is. My nanny was objectively scarier. The elves have seen worse. Tora,” gesturing behind him. “Has bedded worse and bragged about it.”
(8:40:11 PM) Miali: Miali scoops up the weapons as the bullywug flops over foaming at the mouth and twitching, gauging the layout. Can she set a faerie fire to target the hag?
(8:40:16 PM) Shirin: “And you really just don’t //want// to eat the short one. Seriously, this kid tries to eat manticore, I don’t know what he’s got rattling around in there.”
(8:40:33 PM) *Tora blinks. HOW DOES HE KNOW.
(8:40:46 PM) Sanaz left the room (quit: Client exited).
(8:41:03 PM) Konstantin: “And if you’re truly got some inkling thought in that mucky head that you’re going to eat me.” He opens his mouth and lets his fangs pop. “I’m not sure you’ll quite like that avenue, ‘dearie.’”
(8:41:16 PM) Sanaz [Sanaz@MagicStar-61C1A1A2.washdc.fios.verizon.net] entered the room.
(8:41:31 PM) Shirin: Shirin feels very strangely proud right now.
(8:42:40 PM) Shirin: The smug could probably be tracked via air.
(8:43:38 PM) Miali: Faint violet light suddenly engulfs the hag, outlining her as Miali ducks into cover. “Weapons, free!”
(8:44:32 PM) Shirin: “Right back.” MAD DASH FOR HER BOW.
(8:45:26 PM) Logos: Three bullywugs scramble to try and cut Miali and the weapons off from the rest of the group as the Hag screams in rage, attempting to hide herself – even though the corona of violet light clearly marks her outline as she moves.
(8:47:10 PM) *Tora chants, trying to get away from the weird feeling that Konstantin knows his secret…and forms a trio of scale-shaped darts of red-orange light, throwing them the hag’s way
(8:47:16 PM) Shirin: Getting past the bullywugs is a little…harder than she’d anticipated, but she ends up rolling into grabbing her bow and quiver, coming up and nocking an arrow to fire almost immediately.
(8:48:00 PM) *Sanaz murmurs under his breath and flings his hand out, flinging a bolt of bluish-white light at one of the bullywugs trying to cut Miali off (preferably the biggest, meanest-looking one of the three of them, but he’s not picky)
(8:48:18 PM) Konstantin: “And thank you, by the way, for falling for the oldest trick in history!” He doesn’t even care, he will stomp through the bullywogs and get his sword and board back. Dealing with lower orders of undead or things that are mistaken for him always ruined his mood.
(8:51:29 PM) Logos: The Hag howls in pain as the burning rays of light blister her skin, and Sanaz’s bolt explodes into the back of one of the bullywugs, clearing the way for Konstantine to press through and grab his arms.
(8:54:00 PM) Shirin: Shirin murmurs under her breath, focusing on the Hag. She had her prey…and there would be no escape. “< Eagle guide my eyes…>”
(9:01:19 PM) *Sanaz moves quickly, towards Shirin, Konstantin, and Miali, grasping the crystal around his neck, and murmurs under his breath. “< Glories, grant them an echo of your light…”>
(9:04:52 PM) *Tora , palming a diamond from his pocket, chants once more as lightning encircles it in a ball, before firing the ball, once more at the hag. Hag is now going to be electrocuted, hopefully…
(9:08:04 PM) Logos: The Hag screams one more time and reappears, crumpling to the ground as her skin begins to smoke and bubble.
(9:10:07 PM) Shirin: Shirin draws another arrow and stares down the bullywugs. “Are we //done//?”
(9:10:35 PM) Logos: There’s a rustling in the trees to Shirin’s left, followed by the two bullywugs that the Hag had sent out to check on Miali’s illusion as they’re thrown against the concrete bunker. An enormous, deerlike creature with white fur and an impressive rack pushes its way through the trees and scraps is hoof against the ground, as though daring them to get up again.
(9:10:59 PM) Shirin: …Well.
(9:11:08 PM) Shirin: That’d be the stag.
(9:11:20 PM) Konstantin: “Right, so. Your leader’s dead. Care to surrender?” He kind of shrugs, brandishing the sword as an extension of his bodily motion and thus how little of a shit he cares.
(9:11:43 PM) Sanaz left the room (quit: Connection reset by peer).
(9:11:52 PM) Tora: “Uwaaa…is that the deer you warned me about, Shirin?”
(9:12:27 PM) Shirin: “Don’t attack it and for the love of whatever gods humans worship right now don’t just //stare// at it.”
(9:12:30 PM) Sanaz [Sanaz@MagicStar-61C1A1A2.washdc.fios.verizon.net] entered the room.
(9:13:01 PM) *Miali levels her rapier at the bullywugs, eyes narrowed, moving to interpose Konstantin between herself and the aggressive interlopers some. “Suggestion, run.”
(9:13:24 PM) *Tora quickly averts his head
(9:16:29 PM) Logos: The bullywugs ribbit at each other nervously for a moment, and then run.
(9:17:24 PM) *Miali sheaths her blade to avoid appearing hostile to the ragealope.
(9:17:51 PM) Shirin: Shirin takes a slow breath, and murmurs, very quietly. “…Konstantin, Miali. Back away from him, slowly as you can, and try not to make eye contact.”
(9:17:53 PM) *Tora is now putting his hands in his pockets and avoiding eye contact with the ragelope
(9:18:37 PM) Shirin: “Hands out where they can be seen, Tora.”
(9:19:05 PM) *Sanaz is not making eye contact with the stag and has his hands where they are visible.
(9:19:15 PM) Tora: “Gah!” He returns to his “don’t shoot me” position
(9:19:21 PM) Shirin: She doesn’t look it in the eye, but she steps into it’s field of view…and ducks her head low, eyes only trained up enough to see the stags reaction.
(9:20:14 PM) *Miali steps back some, letting Shirin handle it.
(9:22:10 PM) Logos: The stag turns and looks at Shirin, its head tilted to the side.
(9:22:13 PM) *Konstantin sheathes his sword and backs away slowly, as he was asked.
(9:24:01 PM) Shirin: “< …We’re not threat to your herd, pretty one.>” She looks back up, carefully, and cautiously takes a step forward, one hand held out for inspection. “< We are not hunting prey.”
(9:24:40 PM) Logos: He sniffs Shirin’s hand for a moment and then steps closer, bumping his nose lightly against her forehead.
(9:25:39 PM) Shirin: “Oh…” She chuckles a little on reflex-that tickles, but at least he didn’t go for the ears. “Friendly, huh…?”
(9:26:18 PM) Shirin: “…If you hold out a hand to let him sniff, he won’t hurt you.”
(9:26:35 PM) Tora: “can we stop not-looking yet?” his neck was getting a bit stiff.
(9:26:47 PM) Shirin: It may be the first time many of them have seen Shirin look relaxed and…happy?
(9:27:04 PM) Shirin: “Just don’t make prolonged eye-contact. It’d be rude.”
(9:27:06 PM) Logos: The stag takes up a position next to Shirin, standing stoically as it watches the rest of her herd.
(9:27:21 PM) Shirin: …Wait.
(9:27:22 PM) Shirin: …
(9:27:29 PM) Shirin: Oh god the scientists were going to throw a //fit//.
(9:27:37 PM) Konstantin: “I will pass. Animals and I tend not to get along.” With a few exceptions! Comes with the territory.
(9:28:10 PM) *Tora looks over at the stag finally, before quickly turning his head away again. It looked pretty!
(9:28:14 PM) Sanaz: He’s glad to see his sister relaxed and happy, even if this is an…odd circumstance for it.
(9:28:17 PM) Shirin: “< Dunno, the camels thought your father was a //fantastic// toy.>”
(9:28:38 PM) *Sanaz holds his hand out for the stag to sniff, carefully.
(9:29:15 PM) Shirin: She glances up at the stag. “< …So you intend to stay with me, then?>”
(9:29:42 PM) Shirin: “< I may finally beat out my brother in causing the priesthood to tear their hair out if you do.>”
(9:29:52 PM) Shirin: She knows damn well Sanaz can hear her.
(9:30:22 PM) Logos: The stag nods.
(9:30:31 PM) Shirin: Welp.
(9:31:16 PM) Shirin: “…I don’t suppose you have a preference for a name? Or shall we figure it out as we go? We //do// need to find out if the director’s still aliv-right, the hag!”
(9:31:21 PM) Sanaz left the room (quit: Client exited).
(9:31:25 PM) Sanaz [Sanaz@MagicStar-61C1A1A2.washdc.fios.verizon.net] entered the room.
(9:32:15 PM) Shirin: Going to casually walk over to wherever the hag was arrowed to the ground. “Hey, dearie, I’m gonna need some questions answered.”
(9:32:20 PM) Tora: “…wait, you’re naming the deer? I thought we were supposed to avoid them?” Tora has that surprised look again
(9:32:54 PM) Shirin: “…I’ll explain in more detail later, but he’s staying with me.”
(9:33:02 PM) Tora: jaw drops
(9:33:06 PM) Shirin: "So you may want to introduce yourselves.
(9:33:06 PM) Logos: The hag was currently trying to get to her feet. The stag walks over and casually puts one hoof against her throat, pushing her back down. “..I’m not answering any of your questions, elf.”
(9:33:41 PM) *Sanaz rolls his eyes at Shirin’s muttering. It’ll take a bit more than that to beat him out in making the priesthood angry, sister.
(9:33:42 PM) Shirin: “Really? You want to. I’m //way// nicer than Konstantin’s gonna be, you’ve pissed him //right// off.”
(9:34:02 PM) Shirin: A sacred white stag is a pretty good start.
(9:34:03 PM) *Miali smiles and makes her way over to the hag. “Offer: Questions, answered; or, body, dissected; blood, drained. Sale value, high. Gnome, clever businessman.”
(9:35:05 PM) Tora: “Tall angry green lady, I think you should probably answer the questions? They…don’t have much patience you know.”
(9:35:09 PM) Sanaz: A very good start, but they’d find a way to spin it to their advantage.
(9:35:36 PM) *Sanaz just aims a firebolt at the *water
surrounding the hag’s feet. Brief, enough to heat up the water to boiling.
(9:35:42 PM) Shirin: Too bad Stag didn’t fall under the priest’s jurisdiction.
(9:35:43 PM) Shirin: …
(9:35:47 PM) Shirin: Just their mother’s.
(9:35:54 PM) Shirin: Maybe she preferred the priests.
(9:36:39 PM) Logos: The Hag spits. “Very well, ask you smooth-skinned bitch”
(9:37:37 PM) Shirin: “You noticed! I’m flattered.” She rolls her eyes. “Three things. What’s in the lower vaults, what’s happened to Dr. Masud, and //what//-” she picks up the crystal…thing the hag had held earlier. “Is this?”
(9:37:53 PM) Konstantin: “Language. I can still mount your head on a tree branch.”
(9:38:26 PM) Sanaz: Don’t worry, sister, mother was going to kill him first.
(9:38:29 PM) Sanaz: That would give you time to run.
(9:38:50 PM) Shirin: Your sacrifice shall be remembered.
(9:39:09 PM) Tora: “…I told you they don’t have much patience…” Tora grimaces awkwardly
(9:40:10 PM) Logos: “Dr. Masud died months ago when I replaced him. As for what’s in the vault – why not open it and find out for yourself? My job was just to wreck the place and get inside it.” the Hag snarls. “That sphere is how I communicated with my employer”
(9:40:57 PM) Shirin: “Annnd who’s your employer?”
(9:42:55 PM) Logos: The Hag’s eyes go blank and she smiles up at Shirin. “That would be telling~” the voice isn’t her own, however. It’s a masculine voice, deeper than the Hags and more melodic. Then, her head explodes.
(9:43:15 PM) Shirin: …Oh god, and she’s right in the blast zone.
(9:43:17 PM) Shirin: This is gross.
(9:43:34 PM) Logos: The stag looks a little grossed out.
(9:43:38 PM) Shirin: “…Covered in hag brain was one thing I wasn’t planning on being today.”
(9:43:55 PM) Shirin: She’ll just…go over to the swamp water and start trying to clean things up.
(9:44:30 PM) Shirin: "…We need to get to the maintenance shaft still. Do any of you want to break into the vault to see what’s there, or assume we’ll get answers from the directors here?
(9:44:48 PM) Konstantin: “…Well, saves me the trouble of decapitating her.”
(9:46:33 PM) Shirin: “I would have liked your way better,” Shirin notes dryly.
(9:48:36 PM) Sanaz: “…I wouldn’t assume that we would get any answers.” Given the track record of finding anything else out useful so far…
(9:49:17 PM) Logos: It is true, as far as Sanaz and Shirin know, that most EDEN facilities do not have secure underground vaults.
(9:49:23 PM) Shirin: “One vote for adding breaking and entering to the agenda.”
(9:50:26 PM) Shirin: She stands up, looks over the stag, and hums. “…Kir?”
(9:50:34 PM) Tora: “Well, it sounds like we could get in? Should we do this before or after getting the maintenance shaft dealt with?”
(9:50:52 PM) *Miali wipes herself clean. Ech.
(9:51:01 PM) Shirin: “It’d probably be about in the same direction anyway.”
(9:51:22 PM) Shirin: “I can’t think where else an access point would be that wouldn’t be noticed by the scientists.”
(9:52:00 PM) Logos: The stag nods its head and bumps Shirin slightly. Kir seems to work.
(9:52:06 PM) Tora: “Well, okay then? I guess I can go for that?”
(9:52:46 PM) Shirin: “…I should be clear.”
(9:53:02 PM) Shirin: “We’re not planning on taking whatever’s in there.”
(9:53:17 PM) Shirin: “I mean, this isn’t directed at anyone specifically.”
(9:53:36 PM) Tora: “Oh, okay! I have no problem seeing what’s in there.”
(9:54:05 PM) Konstantin: “Really, what could have been so important she was trying to take hostages?”
(9:56:10 PM) Tora: “…treasure?”
(9:56:38 PM) Shirin: “…Given where we are? Could be anything. Dead god, ancient artifact of untold power, a sword in an anvil one of us will accidentally pull out and claim the divine right of kings-probably you, you’ve got the pants for it.” Gesturing at Konstantin. “Or seeds.”
(9:56:45 PM) Miali: “Importance adequate, remove kill, hide involvement.”
(9:57:20 PM) Shirin: Shirin bounces the crystal. “What do we do with this? Don’t want to leave it, but I’d rather we not be watched through it.”
(9:57:36 PM) Konstantin: “Break it.”
(9:57:43 PM) Konstantin: “We’ve no use for it.”
(9:58:14 PM) Miali: “Salable, possibly? Reworkable, sever link?”
(9:59:58 PM) Tora: “I…don’t know how you’d do that though. I mean, I don’t see anything to cut, Miali.”
(10:00:21 PM) Shirin: Break it seems safer."
(10:01:12 PM) *Miali frowns, holding out her hand. “Can stomp it, later, if solution impossible. Location, today, known; range, limited..”
(10:02:55 PM) Konstantin: “I’m not sure that’s prudent, but… If you think you can turn it to our advantage.”
(10:03:19 PM) Sanaz: “…put it /in/ something for now, preferably opaque?”
(10:03:24 PM) Shirin: She tosses it over to Miali, then.
(10:03:35 PM) Shirin: “It’s yours for now, then.”
(10:04:12 PM) *Miali shrugs. “Without attempt, can’t know.” She catches the crystal, sticking it in the center of her bedroll and restashing it.
(10:05:36 PM) Shirin: “Well then. Shall we find that shaft and get right down it?”
(10:08:47 PM) Logos: The shaft is inside the concrete bunker where you found the Hag – it’s narrow enough that you have to climb down the metal ladder one at a time to reach the mesh catwalk below. The tunnel is dark, and the catwalk runs underneath clusters of piping and cables that carry vital materials and magical energy throughout the facility. The only lighting comes from dim red bulbs which leave Tora all but blind.
(10:09:26 PM) *Tora chants a light spell on his dagger, having it shine magical light as well
(10:10:00 PM) *Miali advances some to stay out of the light, better to stay hidden.
(10:10:01 PM) Logos: Signs printed in elvish on the walls indicate that the left-hand passage leads to a “Restricted Area – Access by order of the Queens only”, making use of the rarely used plural of Queen, while the right-hand passage leads to the central core.
(10:10:19 PM) Shirin: “…”
(10:10:22 PM) Shirin: “So.”
(10:10:32 PM) Shirin: “Who’s up for treason tonight?”
(10:10:50 PM) Shirin: This was…a little less what she was willing to do.
(10:11:00 PM) Tora: “I…uh…”
(10:11:06 PM) Shirin: If how her ears just drooped is anything to go by.
(10:12:30 PM) Sanaz: …yeah, he’s not exactly happy with that idea either.
(10:12:50 PM) Miali: “Pass, barring necessity.”
(10:13:15 PM) Shirin: “…To the right, then.”
(10:13:16 PM) Tora: “…I’m sorry. Maybe given the fact that someone’s tried to force us to break in, that’d give us a right to ask the queen what’s in this vault?”
(10:13:51 PM) Miali: “Protecting vault, ownership of vault, no correlation.”
(10:14:08 PM) You are now known as Kitsunemimi-Maiden
(10:14:25 PM) NekomimiMobile [~Alexis@MagicStar-52066B2E.pools.spcsdns.net] entered the room.
(10:14:40 PM) NekomimiMobile is now known as Miali
(10:17:46 PM) Tora: “It’s not the same, but…”
(10:17:47 PM) Shirin: “My job is to get them access into the capital. Hard to do when we’ve gone and done this.”
(10:18:24 PM) Tora: “I mean, we may be asked to deal with this problem some more, and it’d kind of be nice to know what’s at stake? Maybe?”
(10:19:22 PM) Tora: “But…no point in breaking in, no.”
(10:19:38 PM) Konstantin: “It doesn’t seem prudent, no.”
(10:25:24 PM) Shirin: Well then. Down the non-treasony passageway to the core goes this elf.
(10:25:37 PM) Tora: Non-treasony passageway it is
(10:26:13 PM) Konstantin: I enjoy obeying laws!
(10:26:36 PM) Miali: also, not yet able to pick locks
(10:26:39 PM) Sanaz: He’s not very good at laws, but he also enjoys living.
(10:26:55 PM) Sanaz: And treason usually carries with it the death penalty.
(10:27:21 PM) Logos: The path widens as the group heads toward the central core, eventually opening into a large, hectagonal room. Several display consoles are arranged around the core itself, a crystilline structure that seems to be part tree, part generator and part glowing blue crystal. There are a few dead elves scattered on the floor – it looks like the hag cleared them out before she went back upstairs to wait for someone with authorization to a
(10:27:22 PM) Logos: ccess the the vault.
(10:27:50 PM) Shirin: …Well, that looks bad.
(10:28:13 PM) *Miali frowns some.
(10:28:24 PM) *Tora blinks. “That…can’t be good.”
(10:28:38 PM) *Shirin kneels by one of the elves, looking for something to bring back as identification.
(10:32:38 PM) Logos: All of the elves are carrying ID badges – including the central maintenance officer and, it appears, the original Dr. Masud, both of whose badges are needed to reboot the generator.
(10:36:06 PM) Shirin: Well, that does make it easier. She’ll get the badges off them…and make sure they’re at least turned up right. No need to leave them face-down. “Sanaz, help me with the cards.”
(10:36:45 PM) Sanaz: “Understood,” he says, and comes to help her with them.
(10:38:32 PM) Tora: Tora looks up, staring at the glowy blue crystal.
(10:39:26 PM) Konstantin: “So…”
(10:39:37 PM) Konstantin: “…We really are no closer to finding Masud, are we?”
(10:40:10 PM) Miali: “Masud, found. Find value, negative.”
(10:40:30 PM) Konstantin: “No known survivors, then…”
(10:40:56 PM) Logos: Fortunately, the interface is farily user friendly, and within moments, 19-C’s voice is coming over the intercomm “Good work! It looks like the system is fully restored and operational, so we’re purging the unknown biologicals and the rest of the survivors are regrouping in the main chamber. We owe you a great debt”
(10:41:04 PM) Tora: “Well, we at least dealt with the attacker? …before her…its head exploded, anyway.”
(10:41:37 PM) Konstantin: “…” he’s not saying it.
(10:41:46 PM) Konstantin: He’s trying not to think it.
(10:42:45 PM) Shirin: “That’s Masud right there.”
(10:42:56 PM) Shirin: Pointing at one of the bodies.
(10:43:08 PM) Shirin: “I’m sorry, 19-C. There’s…much we’ll need to discuss.”
(10:43:35 PM) Shirin: She scrubs at her face. “…Main chamber, then?”
(10:43:47 PM) Shirin: “And then maybe a bath and booze and a shitton of answers?”
(10:43:50 PM) Logos: “…I see. Tell me, is the vault secure? Dr. Masud was very clear with me when I started here that it was not to be opened for any reason”
(10:44:07 PM) Shirin: “It is. What killed him…could not access it.”
(10:44:08 PM) Konstantin: “I’ve the strangest feeling our work’s not yet done. And to the best of our knowledge it has not been opened.”
(10:44:26 PM) Shirin: “I would rather not discuss further over the intercom.”
(10:44:42 PM) Shirin: “< Let me dream, Konstantin. Let me dream.>”
(10:45:24 PM) *Tora looks to the floor with that sinking feeling of not really having won.
(10:48:33 PM) Logos: Getting back to the main chamber is surprisingly easy now that most of the dangerous intruders have been slaughtered or driven off and the dangerous locals have been corraled – the number of survivors waiting in the main chamber is depressingly small, and 19-C quickly makes his way through the crowd to find the group once they emerge from the dome access. He stands there awkwardly for a minute, rather at a loss for what to say.
(10:49:34 PM) Shirin: The large white maned stag likely doesn’t help.
(10:49:41 PM) Shirin: “…I’m sorry.”
(10:49:52 PM) Shirin: “If what she said is true…he’s been dead for months.”
(10:52:12 PM) Logos: “I…had my suspicions. Dr. Masud used to be a very kind man, as such things go. He considered me a confidant rather than a piece of furniture,”
(10:52:46 PM) Konstantin: “What worries me, is that it seems this was only part of a larger plan…”
(10:54:15 PM) Shirin: …Awkwardly putting a hand on 19-C’s shoulders. “< Your mourning speaks volumes of the kind of man he was. We are…poorer, for his loss. The Stag will surely guide him home.>”
(10:54:48 PM) Shirin: “But,” She pauses. "…Konstantin is right. The queens must be informed of what happened here…as soon as is possible.
(10:55:18 PM) Tora: “is this going to be before or after we request entry to the tower?”
(10:55:24 PM) Shirin: “And I will…need to speak with those in charge of the specimens here, in his loss.” Clearing her throat.
(10:55:46 PM) Shirin: “…If I had my way we’d forget about the tower, but we can discuss //that// after we’ve rested.”
(10:57:15 PM) Sanaz: There is a lot of discussion to be had, for certain. He doesn’t entirely know what is going on, still a bit lost, and he’s certain his sister will kill him if he just tries to…slip away quietly in the dead of night.
(10:57:46 PM) Logos: “I will make any arrangements necessary to get you access to the tower. For now, I recommend that you return to your lodging and recuperate. I will be in touch,”
(10:58:17 PM) Shirin: “< Don’t even think about it, Sanaz.>”
(10:58:48 PM) Tora: “Bed sounds nice after this.” …Tora plans to swipe more paper from Oryn’s cart. He’s tired, but it felt right to give another letter at this juncture. …even if he didn’t have any treasure to send back this time.
(10:59:06 PM) Sanaz: “< I was not seriously considering the possibility.>”
(10:59:18 PM) Logos: “Ahhh, about that…”
(10:59:32 PM) Konstantin: “Yes?”
(10:59:35 PM) *Tora blinks. “About what?”
(10:59:36 PM) Logos: “I am authorized to provide compensation, at contractor rates”
(11:00:18 PM) Konstantin: “Ah, first bit of good news all day.”
(11:00:24 PM) Shirin: “It would be most appreciated.”
(11:00:37 PM) Tora: “Oooooh.”
(11:00:43 PM) Sanaz: …and he realizes just then that since the real Doctor Masud has been unfortunately dead for weeks, the imposter had signed his contract
(11:00:51 PM) Sanaz: …which meant it was null and void.
(11:01:10 PM) Sanaz: …quiet exhaling of breath.
(11:01:53 PM) Shirin: “< Oryn is rich, you know.>”
(11:02:06 PM) Shirin: “< And I get paid a decent amount for being a Guide.>”
(11:05:07 PM) *Sanaz just gives his sister a look. He knows what she means. “< Some of those scientists had no idea what ’don’t touch the dancer’ meant. And I couldn’t stab them more than a little.”>
(11:05:35 PM) Shirin: “< I promise you, there won’t be those problems with this lot.>”
(11:06:24 PM) Shirin: “< …I think you’re only Oryn’s type anyway and I don’t think he can //reach//.>”
(11:07:02 PM) Konstantin: “< Gnomes are clever.>”
(11:07:06 PM) Sanaz: “< A refreshing change. And I should hope not – I don’t fancy gnomes in that way, anyway.”>
(11:09:21 PM) Logos: "I’ll have your payment cashed in an assortment of magical items, currency and portable goods and delivered to your lodgings.
(11:09:42 PM) Tora: “That…sounds convenient?”
(11:10:07 PM) Shirin: “Thank you.” She bows properly, and looks over at Kir. “…I suppose I might as well inform you but this one is, ah.”
(11:10:37 PM) Shirin: “He has indicated that he is to be my companion.” Most guides had companions. They were not usually stag.
(11:10:44 PM) Shirin: Almost never, in fact.
(11:10:52 PM) Logos: “…I see.”
(11:11:09 PM) Shirin: “…I’m very sorry for the inconvenience?”
(11:11:19 PM) Logos: “Well, I recommend you leave before someone who will actually get angry about that notices. I’ll make sure the paperwork is filed correctly with the home office,”
(11:11:51 PM) Shirin: “Thank you. I’m…fairly certain the inn has a stable.” She motions to Kir. “Come on, the world is about to get a lot stranger for both of us.”
(11:12:52 PM) Logos: Kir chuffs and allows Shirin to lead him away.
(11:13:04 PM) Shirin: …And then she murmurs, far more quietly and in elven, something in the stag’s ear. Something about being nice to the prince? Niceish. Nice-esque.
(11:13:17 PM) Shirin: Also, earscritches.
(11:16:31 PM) *Tora tries petting the stag. He looked fluffy and pettable
(11:18:46 PM) *Konstantin eyes the stag warily.

Session 9
In which frogs.

(6:48:30 PM) Logos: As it turns out, the Elves didn’t cut a very good path from the lake up to the safe spot that Shirin saw at the top of the hill, and the dense foliage required Shirin to hack it away with her scimitar – and Tora somewhat less effectively with his dagger. Ever-so-often, a sound emerged from the forest – a broken branch or rustling leaves
(6:48:54 PM) Logos: usually, it’s a squirrel or a small bird, but it’s certainly enough to remind Our Heroes that the minotaur is still somewhere out there, tracking them.
(6:49:30 PM) Oryn: Oryn has the energy of a spell prepared, ready to loose a Cloud of Daggers into the path of the minotaur should it charge.
(6:50:25 PM) Shirin: She hated minotaurs. She hated minotaurs a great deal. Give her a pack of wolves, any day, they could be //reasoned// with. After about the third rustle, Shirin started setting snares along the path behind them. Nothing deadly, but certainly enough to slow down or confuse most predators. She hoped.
(6:52:48 PM) Tora: Tora…struggles to hack through the damned foliage. Having only a dagger isn’t exactly conducive to getting rid of trees, and he was certain setting some of it ablaze would get him killed in short order
(6:53:23 PM) Shirin: “Don’t even think about it.”
(6:55:08 PM) Tora: ‘I didn’t even say anything!"
(6:55:38 PM) Oryn: "Your eyes are screaming “fire good, tree bad” though."
(6:58:18 PM) Logos: The sound of a powerful, bestial bellow about twenty feet back as the minotaur pushes its way onto the path Shirin had cleared brings a swift conclusion to the conversation.
(6:58:52 PM) Shirin: “…Everybody up a tree, //now//!”
(7:00:06 PM) *Miali bolts to climb one.
(7:00:22 PM) Sanaz: …things he thankfully hasn’t forgotten how to do (because muscle memory is a thing): climb a tree.
(7:00:57 PM) Shirin: Shirin will grab the researcher Konstantin had been carrying while she heads up a tree.
(7:01:02 PM) Shirin: “Tora, grab Oryn!”
(7:04:46 PM) *Tora , noticing some people not getting up the trees as far as Shirin’s order goes, grabs one of those potions that they looted from the displacer beast’s lair way back then, drinking it and moving to get between the minotaur’s seeming path and the rest of the party who hasn’t gotten in a tree yet
(7:05:00 PM) Logos: The trees are sturdy, but exceptionally dense – even the most nimble elves would have a hard time squeezing up the branches, and Shirin, Sanaz and Miali only make it to the lowest branches. Konstantin briefly transforms into a vaprorous mist and reappears next to Shirin seconds before the minotaur charges…
(7:05:19 PM) Oryn: Oryn’s focus-glove surges with nearly-invisible force and he casts a cloud of whirling blades like shards of glass in the Minotaur’s charging path, to try and deter it or hurt it at least.
(7:11:29 PM) Logos: The creature’s hide is pierced by Shriin’s sharpened wooden stakes and Oryn’s magically created daggers as it charges toward the group. With Tora left as its only target, it hits him right as he finishes the cooly metallic tasting potion and – rather than goring him – its horns…barely scrape his skin.
(7:12:08 PM) *Tora is knocked off-balance, surprised that the potion was THAT effective
(7:13:45 PM) Shirin: Shirin wastes no time, firing for the creature’s eyes.
(7:14:14 PM) Logos: The creature howls in pain as Shirin’s arrow hits its mark, blinding it in one eye.
(7:14:36 PM) Tora: Tora, using the sudden impact, lunges his dagger forth, trying to get the knife into some vitals of the minotaur
(7:14:41 PM) Oryn: Oryn jumps as poor Tora is bowled over, readying another spell, black flame wreathing his fingertips. “Now you just sit down, beefsteak!”
(7:19:41 PM) *Sanaz murmurs under his breath and gestures, flinging a sharp beam of blue-white light, ice distilled down, at the minotaur.
(7:20:09 PM) Konstantin: And for good measure, Konstantin looses a Javelin; turns out the bastard has an arm like a cannon.
(7:22:00 PM) *Miali invokes a semi-familiar spell, attempting to put the minotaur to sleep.
(7:22:17 PM) Logos: The creature staggers back under Our Heroes’ onslaught, and then falls over and starts snoring lightly.
(7:23:18 PM) *Miali sighs in relief, slowly climbing down. “Hopefully, alone…”
(7:23:23 PM) Shirin: “….He’s not gonna be happy when he wakes up. I suggest we not be here anymore.”
(7:23:52 PM) Tora: “It tracked us down before.”
(7:24:34 PM) Oryn: Oryn smiles approvingly at Miali. “Excellent.” He looks at Tora. “It takes a considerable amount of time or effort to wake someone from sleeping magic. There are reasons there are versions of that spell that literally last forever. Save something pesky like true love’s kiss, that seems to cure everything.”
(7:24:59 PM) Oryn: He looks down at the minotaur, sighing. “A pity, what a pity. I don’t have time to draw a picture. Or collect the horns, those are worth something you know.”
(7:25:21 PM) Miali: “Alternate option?” She glances to the others. “Tie up, slit throat, leave bleeding.”
(7:25:22 PM) Shirin: “I’d wager a bet it just wants us out of it’s territory.”
(7:26:01 PM) Tora: “We don’t know where the guys we’re looking for are at, and for all we know they may be further in its territory.”
(7:26:33 PM) Konstantin: “It wouldn’t show us any mercy, were our positions reversed….”
(7:26:58 PM) Oryn: “This is a nature preserve, I don’t think EDEN would like us slaughtering all of their specimins.”
(7:27:37 PM) *Tora looks to Sanaz. “I think there may be an exception for when they’re slaughtering people inside.”
(7:28:57 PM) Tora: “Let’s just tie it up for now.”
(7:29:02 PM) Shirin: Shirin hops down out of the tree. “…Of course not. Mercy isn’t the way of the Hunter.” She sighs, deeply. “I won’t stop you. But if you want this done, you’ll be the one doing it.”
(7:30:16 PM) Oryn: Oryn crosses his arms. “I gain nothing through its death. When it was attacking killing it was a bargain, now that it’s helpless I won’t have its blood on my hands. Let’s just get to resetting security and stop wasting time on this.”
(7:31:55 PM) Shirin: “…Wait what am I saying it’s a goddamn minotaur.”
(7:32:15 PM) Shirin: “Kill it, it’s a fucking cultist.”
(7:32:43 PM) Oryn: “Oh. Well then yes, death to it and then let’s move on, we’ve tarried long enough. Time is gold!”
(7:32:58 PM) Tora: “Wait what? …” blink. gritting his teeth, he chants once more, firing an electrical orb at it from point-blank range
(7:33:08 PM) *Sanaz carefully tries to make his way down from the tree. “…it made its choice.” And it can live, or rather die, with it.
(7:33:20 PM) *Miali pulls her blade out, driving it into the thing’s spine.
(7:33:53 PM) Shirin: “Right. Now, we’ve got a scientist to find.”
(7:38:01 PM) Oryn: “And some magical machinery to kick start!”
(7:38:01 PM) Oryn: And some gratitude to harvest, though he doesn’t say that part out loud.
(7:38:01 PM) Logos: It doesn’t take long for the group to reach the clearing up ahead. It appears, however, that the clearing has already been occupied – a number of elves in the blue and red uniforms of EDEN scientists have set up large wooden barricades around the clearing and are, presently, pointing bows at Our Heroes as they approach.
(7:38:08 PM) *Tora stops and puts his hands up, with an expression that cries “DON’T SHOOT ME SHIRIN’S BEEN IMPLICITLY THREATENING TO DO IT”
(7:40:24 PM) Oryn: “HO FRIENDS! We’ve come to help! We’re looking for a way down to maintenance, mind pointing us in the right direction?”
(7:40:24 PM) Shirin: She holds her hands up, clearly visible. “< Do not shoot. We’re trying to locate Dr. Masud.>”
(7:40:55 PM) Tora: “Oryn stop talking they are ready to shoot us!”
(7:43:02 PM) *Sanaz definitely has his hands where they are visible.
(7:43:49 PM) *Miali also has her hands visible, frowning.
(7:43:55 PM) Logos: It takes a moment for the elves to register the presence of an Elven Guide and stand down. “Sorry, we thought you were more of those monsters.” one of the elves, a stern-faced woman in blue robes, opens a small section of the barricade “Hurry up and get inside”
(7:44:03 PM) Oryn: Oryn has his hands up and his index fingers tucked under his thumbs, Wizard universal sign for ‘I have magic but I won’t twiddle death at you with them.’
(7:44:30 PM) Oryn: And bustle inside, bustlebustle.
(7:45:25 PM) Shirin: Inside they go. “It’s understandable. A minotaur attacked us on the way here. It’s dead now, but.”
(7:45:33 PM) Konstantin: Really he should have said something, but sometimes it’s hard to react to normal people threatening you. “Thank you.”
(7:46:25 PM) *Sanaz inclines his head in acknowledgement.
(7:47:21 PM) *Tora nods, quickly getting into the barricade
(7:47:23 PM) Logos: “We’re not sure where they’ve come from – Blighted plants, minotaurs. Let me get a team to tend to your wounded and we’ll see what I can find out about Director Masud”
(7:48:11 PM) Tora: “Also a manticore. It’s delicious.”
(7:48:43 PM) Oryn: “Wait, so you didn’t put these things in your dome?”
(7:48:49 PM) Shirin: “We appreciate it.” She sighs, deeply, and finds a place to sit while they wait. “< …Not exactly the reunion I pictured after 50 years, brother. >”
(7:49:18 PM) Oryn: Oryn raises an eyebrow and crosses his arms. “I assumed since this is the dangerous critters wing they were your monsters to study. They’re not supposed to be here?”
(7:50:14 PM) Logos: “We only study dangerous, natural creatures – owlbears, lions, maned deer. Supernatural creatures are outside our purview”
(7:51:05 PM) Shirin: “It sounds like sabotage. Does EDEN have that many enemies here?”
(7:51:07 PM) Oryn: …In what plane were owlbears natural!? “Ah-hah, I see. So someone smuggled them in.” He looks around at the state of emergency. “Or bashed them in at any rate. Unwanted stock spoils the whole shipment!”
(7:52:02 PM) Sanaz: “< …not in the least.>” he sighs. Though he hadn’t really actually /had/ an idea of what reuniting with his favorite sibling after so long would have been like. He’d been expecting another few decades before the inevitable happened. …and ah, /wonderful/. Unexplained supernatural monsters.
(7:52:30 PM) Logos: “We’ve always enjoyed good relations with the local power structure. I don’t think this attack is local – the Veined Lords dislike powerful wizards, and whomever staged this attack teleported their forces in through our screens”
(7:53:10 PM) Tora: “…what about that guy who was talking to the bandit lord we got rid of?”
(7:53:33 PM) Tora: “He was like one of those same-looking guys here…”
(7:54:09 PM) Logos: “Towerians? I hardly think so – they’re not even able to harm another living being,”
(7:54:24 PM) Shirin: “Well, one did stab us most happily.”
(7:54:39 PM) Logos: “That’s impossible”
(7:54:49 PM) Konstantin: “I assure you, it’s not.”
(7:55:27 PM) Tora: “He was reporting from someone to a guy named Rolt, it sounded like.”
(7:55:27 PM) Shirin: “Is it not?” She glances at the elf. “< I wouldn’t like to be thought of as a liar, ma’am. Not a good reputation for a Guide. >”
(7:56:24 PM) Logos: Several Elves in red robes have started touching the group, checking them for injuries and triaging the most badly harmed. The blue-clad elf-woman frowns “To my knowledge, Towerians are incapable of violence. They can’t even learn magic that could cause another harm, doing so causes them incredible pain”
(7:57:10 PM) Oryn: “Teleporting someone else’s assets in isn’t causing harm directly. Could that skirt some oath they’ve taken?”
(7:57:16 PM) Shirin: “Either this Towerian’s master found a loophole…or he enjoyed the pain.”
(7:57:46 PM) Shirin: Shirin glances at Oryn. “I don’t wish to blame the Towerians as a whole. But someone with one in their employ may be connected to this.”
(7:58:19 PM) Tora: “It’s kind of the only thing linking things here I can think of.”
(7:59:45 PM) Konstantin: “The loophole seems more likely. Possibly conditioning them to only recognize certain beings as valid for that pain response, or some kind of bizarre long view that allows violence for a greater good… Would it be possible?”
(8:00:26 PM) Logos: She nods. “The only way we’d be able to find out would be to look at the records of sale and training procedures, which are kept in the Tower, and to do that, we’re going to have to end this lockdown.” she speaks quietly to some of the other blue-clad elves, who reply quickly. “According to my scouts, Masud was last seen in the swamp biome”
(8:00:50 PM) Logos: “I would recommend against going to the swamp biome”
(8:01:26 PM) Tora: “What got in there?”
(8:02:48 PM) Logos: “I worked that section, before I was able to escape, whatever had been teleported in had released the mycosentients”
(8:03:06 PM) Oryn: “If profit was easy to get no one would die pursuing it.” Oryn grins roguishly, especially for a wizard. “We’ll just have to handle it. I do hope you’ll prepare a proper payment for all the work we’re doing, mind you.” He waggles his eyebrows at the elf.
(8:03:51 PM) Shirin: “…Unfortunately, 19-C was very insistent we find the Director. And we’ve business with him as well. So the swamp biome it is.”
(8:04:36 PM) Tora: “Mycosentients?”
(8:04:53 PM) Logos: A slender young elven boy in red robes grins at Miali as he offers her a small handful of grainy-looking green pills. Similar pills are handed out to the others. “Try these, they’re restoratives”
(8:05:29 PM) Shirin: “…” Welp. Might as well. Let’s pop the pill.
(8:05:32 PM) Logos: “Mobile fungus monsters,”
(8:05:40 PM) *Tora starts to bite down on the pill
(8:06:02 PM) Oryn: Oryn leans towards Miali and speaks Gnomish. “(So do your people age quickly or slowly? I have no idea if I’m looking at a child or not.)”
(8:07:09 PM) *Miali blinks. “(I’m not wholly certain myself.)” She takes the pill, looking over it and glancing to the others before taking it.
(8:07:39 PM) Konstantin: Putting weird things in your mouth? Kind of part of the mostly-undead experience! Down the pills go.
(8:07:42 PM) *Sanaz examines the pill before he eats it.
(8:08:35 PM) *Tora eats the rest of it, feeling oddly invigorated
(8:08:59 PM) Logos: “Well, if that’s the case, the swamp biome is just past this encampment, on the other side of the hill.”
(8:09:31 PM) Shirin: “Understood. And how might we restore the security systems, while we’re traipsing into dangerous areas anyway?”
(8:10:34 PM) Oryn: Oryn follows suit with his pill. This could be fun, or it could be like that time in Sandhill-by-the-Sea where he woke up in a pile of people in a similar state. That was NOT fun.
(8:11:10 PM) *Miali bloinks. “Impressive.”
(8:13:49 PM) Oryn: “Oooh, now that’s a pick me up. I feel like I could cast a dozen fireballs!”
(8:14:00 PM) Tora: "You can cast fireballs?
(8:15:46 PM) Shirin: “Please don’t cast fireballs.”
(8:16:17 PM) Oryn: “Don’t worry I can’t cast fireballs.” HE pauses. “Yet.”
(8:16:57 PM) Tora: “…you don’t really strike me as the kind of person to go for fireballs anyway.”
(8:18:51 PM) Oryn: “It is rather hard to salvage slag nowadays.” He nods sagely.
(8:19:34 PM) Shirin: …Shirin slowly just…puts her face in her hands. “< Stag preserve me. >”
(8:21:26 PM) Shirin: “< Why do I never get to guide anyone normal? The job before this was an //entire// gnomish acapella band //why do they keep giving me gnomes//. >”
(8:21:45 PM) *Sanaz glances at Shirin. “< …I was about to ask if this was normal for those people.”>
(8:21:55 PM) Shirin: “< YES. >”
(8:22:31 PM) *Tora takes a bit of the cooked, wrapped-up manticore out of his pack, eating some of it.
(8:22:49 PM) Shirin: “< The most normal one here is Konstantin, I swear to the Hunter. That one cooked a damned manticore!>” She gestures at Tora.
(8:23:02 PM) Shirin: “< What do they //teach// humans these days?>”
(8:24:39 PM) Sanaz: < “…he-”> facepalm. < “…I’m not certain.”>
(8:25:58 PM) Shirin: < “Wouldn’t you know better than I would?”>
(8:26:15 PM) Oryn: Oryn huffs. “One day I’ll learn this musical lilting you call talk you know.”
(8:28:21 PM) Konstantin: “It’s honestly not that difficult once you understand that the grammar is nothing like our own.” He offers helpfully.
(8:28:22 PM) Sanaz: “One day.” he says, evenly. < “I lived among humans, but that didn’t mean I paid attention to their education system.”>
(8:28:28 PM) *Tora tilts his head
(8:29:06 PM) Shirin: “And on that day, I’ll start speaking Sylvan.” She makes a face at Konstantin, but looks back to Sanaz. < “It’s still more than I have. What you learn from soldiers isn’t that applicable.”>
(8:29:57 PM) Konstantin: “For example, in common the phrase is ‘I love you’ but the Elves say < ‘I don’t understand how the supposedly most advanced civilization on the planet sleeps in trees.‘> which means roughly the same thing, but would be better translated as, ’my soul has found it’s pair for a hundred lifetimes.’ I think it’s rather poetic.”
(8:30:09 PM) Konstantin: He said all of that frighteningly deadpan.
(8:30:41 PM) Shirin: “< Konstantin, I’m going to kill you.>”
(8:31:48 PM) Tora: “Oh, wow. I didn’t know that. Sounds like a lot for a little in Common.”
(8:32:00 PM) Shirin: “< I slept in a tree //once//! Once!>”
(8:32:21 PM) Konstantin: “It’s a very florid, ornamental language, Tora.”
(8:32:45 PM) Shirin: < “STOP TELLING HIM LIES.”>
(8:32:48 PM) Sanaz: Ah, Shirin’s temper. This should be entertaining.
(8:33:13 PM) Logos: “I like sleeping in trees, but that’s beside the point. There’s a shaft that runs directly from the swamp biome to the maintenance area. It’s used for drainage”
(8:34:10 PM) Oryn: Oryn is just taking notes honestly.
(8:34:53 PM) Shirin: Well Shirin is making an attempt to catch Konstantin in a headlock, so if those notes include elven flirtation rituals.
(8:35:04 PM) Logos: “Once you’re in the maintenance area you’ll need to find the control keys – there are two of them. Dr. Masud has one, and the chief ecological engineer has the other,”
(8:35:32 PM) Shirin: “And where might we find the Chief ecological engineer?”
(8:35:42 PM) Oryn: “Too much to hope they might be here, yes?”
(8:36:03 PM) Logos: "They’re more than likely holed up in the maintenance area, if they’re still alive.
(8:36:14 PM) Tora: “How do we get there from the swamp?”
(8:36:29 PM) Logos: “….”
(8:36:34 PM) Logos: “Through the drainage shaft”
(8:37:12 PM) Tora: “…oh.” He was spacing out for a second watching the elven flirtation rituals
(8:39:26 PM) Shirin: She can headlock dhampir princes, she’s an adult. “Right. Anything else we should look out for?”
(8:39:26 PM) Oryn: “Drainage. Ugh.” He rubs his arms and shudders. “I hope this is worth it. I mean nothing is more important than your health.” HE pauses. “Except for your money.”
(8:39:48 PM) Shirin: “…Oryn.”
(8:39:55 PM) Logos: “Be careful of maned deer, they’re quite dangerous and some may have gotten into the swamp”
(8:40:10 PM) Tora: “If you don’t want to go, Oryn, you can probably stay here.”
(8:41:40 PM) Oryn: “I never said I wasn’t going. Honestly Tora, when have I displayed even the smallest hint of cowardice~?” He shoots him a look. “Don’t answer that.”
(8:41:41 PM) Shirin: “…Do you have a stag for the herd?” PLease say no, please say no.
(8:41:41 PM) Tora: “Well…”
(8:41:41 PM) Logos: “Yes, actually”
(8:41:41 PM) Shirin: “…Just one?”
(8:42:04 PM) Logos: “Yes. Transporting them was far too difficult to bring more”
(8:43:21 PM) Tora: “…is that better or worse than mushroom monsters?”
(8:43:21 PM) Shirin: “I’d imagine so.” She rubs at her face. “We can’t kill the stag. We can kill the mushroom monsters.”
(8:43:21 PM) Sanaz: …oh, /fantastic/. And he can imagine his sister’s screaming at this news, too.
(8:43:21 PM) Tora: “Oh.”
(8:44:16 PM) Shirin: “Stags are sacred, Tora. And also, maned deer are territorial, proud, and frighteningly intelligent.”
(8:44:25 PM) Shirin: “If we hurt them, they /will/ remember.”
(8:44:57 PM) Tora: “Okay, so we can’t zap them, got it…”
(8:45:33 PM) Oryn: “Well we don’t want the cervine mafia after us. They’re the worst of all mafias, you know.”
(8:45:58 PM) Shirin: “The good news is unlike minotaurs they’re not supernatural and evil. So just…let me handle it if we run into one.”
(8:47:17 PM) Shirin: She looks down at Oryn with a completely straight face. “So you’ve heard of it. Good, that means less explaining.”
(8:53:40 PM) Oryn: …Oryn tries not to sweat.
(8:55:25 PM) Miali: “So, drain pipe to swamp, spare deer, kill fungi.”
(8:55:49 PM) Tora: “And find Masud.”
(8:56:11 PM) Shirin: “Then drain pipe to maitnance, save day.”
(8:57:56 PM) Tora: “That sounds like the plan.”
(8:58:19 PM) Logos: “Very well, I’ll have someone move the barricade so you can continue on. Good luck”
(8:59:57 PM) Tora: “Thanks!”
(9:01:51 PM) Oryn: “Wonderful!”
(9:05:07 PM) Shirin: “Let’s get this show on the road.” One final noogie for the dhampir, and off we go.
(9:07:00 PM) Konstantin: Give him a second to unmuss his hair and he’ll follow. “Thank you for everything.”
(9:07:16 PM) *Miali bows her head to them before following after.
(9:08:10 PM) Oryn: “Do have a letter of mark ready for us on the way out, yes? We’ll return successful saviors!”
(9:09:14 PM) Tora: “Oryn.” Tora comments dryly, “Don’t try to profiteer from this.”
(9:09:29 PM) Shirin: “Do not ask for commendations…”
(9:09:34 PM) Logos: Elves move to clear the barricade in order to let the group pass. The stern-faced leader shakes her head. “< Gnomes>”
(9:10:31 PM) Konstantin: He pauses for just a second, barely a slowing of his stride, to look at the leader. “< We’re evacuating you last.>”
(9:11:26 PM) Shirin: “< Insulting him is //my// job, ma’am.>” Just keep on walkin’.
(9:16:12 PM) Sanaz: and just going to follow after.
(9:16:34 PM) Logos: Not far from the barricade, the foliage begins to change – the trees become twisted and gnarled, the leaves of the underbrush are thick and rubbery, the ground is slicky, muddy. The air starts getting warmer too, even as it fills with a thick mist. The birds and squirrels of the forest region are replaced by strange slurping sounds and the ribbiting of frogs.
(9:17:57 PM) *Tora changes his gait for a bit at first, unused to the suction of the swamp ground
(9:19:36 PM) Shirin: “< …I am suddenly filled with unpleasant childhood memories…>” She had never gotten along with swamps.
(9:21:10 PM) Sanaz: He had absolutely nothing to do with most of those unpleasant childhood memories. Mostly.
(9:21:15 PM) *Miali grimaces a little , following along after.
(9:21:22 PM) Tora: “I’m not sure I like walking in swamps.”
(9:21:43 PM) Sanaz: …he really doesn’t like swamps either. And he’s not exactly wearing proper shoes to be walking in swamps. No help for it.
(9:21:55 PM) Shirin: The bees were absolutely his fault.
(9:22:06 PM) Konstantin: This is just a damn joy, covered in leather and metal as he is, to be trecking through the swamps.
(9:22:27 PM) Shirin: “No one likes walking in swamps, it can’t be helped.” She sighs, and starts looking for signs to track the dear director.
(9:25:50 PM) Logos: Pretty much everyone but Konstantin is pretty sure that the group is being watched right now by something
(9:26:48 PM) Shirin: …Shirin holds up a hand for them to stop moving.
(9:28:08 PM) *Tora stops without hesitation
(9:28:41 PM) *Sanaz stops instantly, or as instantly as he can.
(9:29:07 PM) *Konstantin stops after a step.
(9:29:11 PM) Oryn: Oryn just sees butts. He always sees butts with this group. Why were there no other Small people around? He stops when gestured to do so!
(9:29:47 PM) Shirin: At least they’re nice butts.
(9:31:19 PM) Shirin: “< …I know you’re watching. Where are you…?>” Shirin mostly murmurs it to herself, looking around for whatever’s following them, listening for any sound that might give it away.
(9:32:06 PM) Logos: There’s a ripple across the surface of the muddy swamp water swirling around Shirin’s ankles as something slimy brushes against her leg.
(9:32:35 PM) Shirin: …Wonderful.
(9:32:59 PM) Shirin: Do not panic. Carefully, calmly, step back onto a bank instead of in the swamp water.
(9:36:03 PM) Logos: The water starts to swirl quickly as forms rise up from the muddy depths – seven altogether. Bipedal, with dark green skin and broad, froglike features, large chests and extremely sharp spears.
(9:36:13 PM) *Miali follows suit in her position, frowning.
(9:36:18 PM) Shirin: “…Hello.”
(9:36:52 PM) *Tora blinks. “Ehhh? \\Frog-people?\\”
(9:37:03 PM) Oryn: “Gentlemen?” He hoped they were gentlemen. “I don’t suppose you’re here to take us to your leader?”
(9:37:04 PM) Shirin: “Tora don’t be so incredulous that’s rude.”
(9:40:37 PM) *Miali frowns, watching them. “< Intentions are probably hostile. They’re most likely invaders.>”
(9:42:02 PM) Miali: “< Unless they’re being charitably repatriated by EDEN, I can’t imagine why the elves would provide them with a new home…>”
(9:42:56 PM) Shirin: “< Would rather not fight if we can avoid it, they have the advantage here.”>
(9:43:44 PM) Konstantin: “< Then what do you advise? I don’t believe we can outrun them.”>
(9:43:52 PM) *Tora blinks, wondering what everyone else is saying
(9:43:59 PM) *Miali steps forward, hands up. “Territory, yours?”
(9:44:40 PM) Logos: The bullywug responds with a series of rapid-fire ribbits.
(9:44:49 PM) Shirin: ….Oh dear.
(9:46:30 PM) Logos: And makes threatening gestures with its spear before pointing toward a point deeper in the swamp.
(9:48:06 PM) Tora: “…I think that is what they’re saying, Miali.”
(9:48:14 PM) Shirin: “….I assume that means we’re supposed to go that way?”
(9:49:16 PM) Oryn: “Do you think we could take them?” He whispers up to Shirin.
(9:49:19 PM) *Miali gestures towards herself and the othres then towards the deeper direction, inquisitively. Maybe they have an elder who can actually be spoken and negotiated with…
(9:49:30 PM) Shirin: “No.”
(9:49:38 PM) Shirin: “Not in this situation, anyway.”
(9:50:57 PM) Logos: Through a series of angry gestures and body language, the bullywug seems to be communicating that it is taking Miali and her companions prisoner and that they are to follow the frog-creature under pain of death.
(9:51:18 PM) Shirin: Welp.
(9:51:51 PM) Oryn: “I hope one of them can speak common back to us.” He huffs.
(9:52:19 PM) Tora: “…\\I wonder if they’re responsible.\\” Tora muses to himself
(9:52:32 PM) Miali: “Well, we’re apparently prisoners. If I can find someone to talk to I may be able to persuade them to give us freedom, but.”
(9:53:56 PM) Shirin: “We don’t have a lot of options here. We’ll go along.” The ‘for now’ is implied but not spoken-it looks like they understood common just fine.

Session 8
In which Miali takes the bull by the horns

(8:21:53 PM) Logos: Oryn was busy doing currency conversions to prepare for the trip back when the alarms went off. Laozhan Fal’s marketplace wasn’t far from the EDEN facility where his employees had gone to hug trees or whatever it is Elves do in giant white domes, so close that the domes were clearly visible – which made it easy to see when they turned bright red and started blaring clarion calls.
(8:24:20 PM) Logos: The merchant that Oryn is working with – a heavy-set man with oiled mustaches and blue Markings – blanches a little when he hears it. “We should clear the area,”
(8:25:11 PM) Oryn: “Wow they REALLY want everyone to know when something goes down over there.” Oryn snapped his ledger shut and took to his unimpressively short gnomish legs. When it came time for a gnome to rely on running things went wrong, but he couldn’t very well not go. His employees were in those shiny hippy-spheres! “I apologise sir but my crew was going to visit EDEN last I knew, I must meet
(8:25:11 PM) Oryn: them posthaste! It’s been a pleasure working with you!”
(8:29:16 PM) Oryn: Bustlebustlebustle. Sadly a gnome could really only move at what could be called a vigorous bustle.
(8:29:46 PM) Logos: The man calls out after Oryn, his voice lost by the time the gnome has cleared half of the market square. Elves in blue and red robes have clustered around the front gates, and are currently trying to prise them open, occasionally – haphazardly – hurling spells at the gate, only to watch them crackle and fizz inches from the door.
(8:33:17 PM) Oryn: Caution was never one of the gnome’s strong points. Oryn furrows his brow as he looks up at the gates. “Oi! Pardon, Oryn Doublelock, merchant and magecrafter extraordinaire. What exactly is happening here!? My employees are in there!”
(8:35:59 PM) Logos: “Then they’re likely dead, gnome,” one of the elves turns away from the door, wiping soot off of his face. “The doors are sealed, the power is off, and monsters have infiltrated the facility. Our scientists and a number of civilian visitors are trapped inside – your employees included, I wager”
(8:37:58 PM) Oryn: “Monsters?! Infiltrated!? Well…” Oryn grinned brightly. “Those poor dumb beasts. < 3” He hummed to himself though, scratching his goatee. “There’s no way to open the gates without any sort of power, then? What about alternate entrances? Is there any other way inside?”
(8:38:17 PM) Shirin: Somewhere, faintly in the distance, one could almost swear they hear swearing about the stupidest fucking safety measures this side of the last century.
(8:40:36 PM) Logos: “Tch. There are external ventillation shafts that lead into the gardens, but they’re far too small to use as access,” he stops and looks down at Oryn “At least for anyone who could do something useful,”
(8:45:45 PM) Oryn: Oryn looks dead into the elf’s face, his (adorable) gnomish features hard, then soft. Saccharine soft. He grips the guy’s belt (dangerously close to fisting his sensitive bits) and tugs him to make him crouch. “I’m going in there and I’m going to lift this lockdown and save my friends and if I do then Merchant Below take you, you WILL take me out to dinner afterwards.” He shoves the
(8:45:46 PM) Oryn: elf away and starts to look for a vent shaft. “A slight earned is fairly given, a slight given in vain has to be paid for.”
(8:46:52 PM) Logos: The elf blinks and then makes a gesture toward a blank section of curved wall a few feet off the ground, which vanishes to reveal a small ventilation shaft. “It’s your funeral, gnome,”
(8:48:33 PM) Oryn: “It’s your pocketbook, elf.” Oryn uses his adorable smallness to squeeze as quickly as possible into the vent!
(8:53:14 PM) Logos: The squeeze is tight, even for a gnome, but pretty soon Oryn is crawling on knees and elbows through the ventilation shaft. Soon, he can hear the sounds of fighting coming from inside the facility – the familiar sound of Shirin’s bowstring and Konstantin shouting taunts at whatever beast they’re killing. Unfortunately, it appears that th shaft becomes verticle – he’s going to have to climb.
(9:00:57 PM) Logos: Struggling a bit as he reaches the top of the shaft, Oryn finally finds a grate and sees Shirin and Konstantin – both bloodied and punctured by several large black spines, right as Konstantin hurls his long sword right through the heart of a manticore. Oryn is about twenty feet above a large, floating crystal sphere, beneath which his two employees are standing (cont.)
(9:01:10 PM) Logos: amidst a room full of dead elves and destroyed natural history exhibits.
(9:02:58 PM) Oryn: “…What in the name of the Merchant Below have I MISSED!? I am never doing paperwork while everyone else is awake again.”
(9:03:21 PM) Oryn: “Konstantin! Shir! It’s a long drop but I can help from here with magic! How do I help!?”
(9:04:34 PM) Shirin: “…” Of all the fucking. “YOU’RE LATE.”
(9:04:36 PM) Shirin: “JUMP.”
(9:05:17 PM) Oryn: “I’m LATE?! Everyone is going insane outside!”
(9:05:41 PM) Oryn: Oryn huffed. A drop was a much longer drop for a little guy. “Konstantin, catch me if you please!”
(9:06:05 PM) Oryn: And he waffled his way off the side of the vent, held on to the lip of it for a moment then let go, eyes shut.
(9:07:26 PM) *Tora has arrived…and started cooking the manticore
(9:11:20 PM) Logos: …Annnnd Oryn lands about five feet to Konstantin’s left, in the arms of a stuffed tyrannosaurus, with a dull thud.
(9:11:42 PM) *Mialisyne winces. “Painful.”
(9:12:04 PM) Shirin: “…Ouch.”
(9:12:28 PM) Konstantin: Konstantin looks over, slowly.
(9:12:34 PM) Konstantin: He puts his arms down, just as slowly.
(9:12:38 PM) Oryn: “Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwww owowowowowowowow”
(9:12:42 PM) Konstantin: And seems to just ruminate on what happened.
(9:12:49 PM) Oryn: “C-coming out… of your… paycheck…”
(9:12:58 PM) *Tora winces as he hears the whump, continuing to cook the exsanguinated manticore. “Please don’t fall over and die.”
(9:13:02 PM) Oryn: Oryn rolls out of the dino arms and whimpers.
(9:13:04 PM) Shirin: "< …That was graceful, right up until the landing. > " Shirin snorts. “//You// missed.”
(9:13:06 PM) Konstantin: “I’m not on your payroll.”
(9:13:30 PM) Logos: The man that Konstantin ate about a month ago comes over and starts trying to help Oryn off of the tyrannosaurus. “Are you okay?”
(9:15:17 PM) Oryn: Oryn flails. “BUH! You got eaten!” Oryn articulates VERY elegantly, trembling finger pointing at the man as he tries to declaw himself by himself.
(9:16:01 PM) Shirin: “…Oryn, it’s not him.”
(9:16:09 PM) Shirin: “He’s a Towerian.”
(9:16:25 PM) Oryn: …
(9:16:37 PM) Oryn: “He’s a very familiar Towerian.”
(9:16:52 PM) Shirin: “Yeah, I know.”
(9:16:59 PM) Shirin: “But Konstantin didn’t eat this one.”
(9:17:03 PM) Logos: “I believe you may have met one of my siblings. I am told we look very similar,”
(9:17:33 PM) Tora: “He looks the same but…isn’t. It’s…kind of weird, yeah.” Tora finishes the cooking of the first batch of manticore. “Anyone want some?”
(9:18:29 PM) Oryn: “Siblings. UH huh…” Oryn tentatively allows himself to be aided.
(9:18:40 PM) Shirin: “Tora, is this really the ti-” She cuts herself off, and sighs. “…We can explain more later, but there’s someone we need to rescue, Oryn. To do that, we need to override the security systems.”
(9:19:57 PM) Logos: “There are over five thousand of us,” he nods affirmatively at Shirin’s statement. “Professor Masud is currently located in the primary Dome. The facility’s sensors tell me that there are also some civilian guests trapped there,”
(9:21:22 PM) Shirin: “Do you think you can break open the doors to the primary dome? You said something about power cells..”
(9:21:30 PM) Oryn: “Ah-huh. Well then.” Oryn hops to his feet and dusts himself off. “I suppose we have some gratitude to extract from our soon-to-be-rescued friends!” The little wizard nods sagely.
(9:21:55 PM) Tora: “…by which you mean money?” Tora dryly replies
(9:23:53 PM) Oryn: “Ah Tora, you will have to learn that wealth isn’t measured in gold alone. …Just for the most part!”
(9:25:30 PM) Logos: “I’m afraid that I am not able to open the door to the dome while we are on emergency power. I will have to rely on you to find a way to bypass it,”
(9:26:10 PM) Oryn: “Do you know where we should start looking for that?”
(9:27:28 PM) Logos: 19-C motions for them to follow him and moves toward the Doom access. Unlike the access gate that Miali and Tora used to reach the other dome, this one is…substantial. Large, made entirely of mithril, and designed to iris open. It’s also covered with warnings in Elven.
(9:27:54 PM) Tora: “Well, you don’t suppose you know where the power to the doors is, do you?” Tora is wrapping up the already-cooked manticore for later consumption before heading with the others.
(9:28:13 PM) Tora: “…Oh, wow. That is a really large door.”
(9:28:58 PM) Logos: “The main magical generators are located underneath the Domes,” he nods toward Tora. “This Dome houses our dangerous and experimental samples.”
(9:29:08 PM) Shirin: “…Why is there a warning not to lick it?”
(9:29:09 PM) Oryn: “Why is there a door to access Doom? That seems fiscally unsound.”
(9:29:50 PM) Shirin: “Oryn, Doom is incredibly important to scientific advancements.”
(9:29:54 PM) Tora: “Is that what that says? And by experimental samples, do you mean bigger and angrier plant zombies?”
(9:30:07 PM) Shirin: “There’s a lot of warnings.”
(9:30:20 PM) Oryn: “Excessive warnings.”
(9:30:35 PM) Oryn: “Aaaaand we’re going in there I suppose because we can’t get under the domes from here!”
(9:31:34 PM) Logos: “The only access to the maintenance level is from inside this dome, yes”
(9:31:49 PM) Tora: “So does that door need power as well?”
(9:32:03 PM) Shirin: “19-C, is there a list of the civilians in the primary Dome?”
(9:32:37 PM) Oryn: “The… the only way to perform maintenance on the facility is to cut through the most dangerous area possible.”
(9:32:52 PM) Logos: “Readings indicate Dr. Masud and three other civilian guests – two humans from Laozhan Fal, and another elf visiting from the capital”
(9:33:32 PM) Mialisyne: “Unimaginable.” She sighs, looking over the warnings and the door. “But necessary.”
(9:33:49 PM) Logos: “Ideally, this facility should not need maintenance except in the case of sabotage.”
(9:35:31 PM) Shirin: “Names? I’d like to know to be able to verify identities.”
(9:36:03 PM) Oryn: “Well! Hopefully after we pull your purses out of the pick’s pocket you’ll dig some new tunnels.”
(9:37:01 PM) Logos: “I’m afraid I do not have that information, Guide Shirin. They are wearing visitor’s badges which do not record personal information. I’m told that one of them is well-regarded in Elven circles. The child of a luminary in court,”
(9:38:16 PM) Shirin: “…A luminary?” Blehhh, he’d be useless, then. “Oh well.”
(9:38:32 PM) Tora: “What’s a luminary?”
(9:39:15 PM) Oryn: “Isn’t that generally an important thing?”
(9:39:17 PM) Logos: It takes Oryn and Miali a few minutes to figure out the mechanism. They can open the door without power, but it will require a pretty powerful thaumo-electric current.
(9:40:03 PM) *Mialisyne hms. “Magic shock, needed.”
(9:40:12 PM) Oryn: “Hotwiring powerful Elven magitech. This can’t possibly go awry!”
(9:40:22 PM) Tora: “Electricity? I can help! …I think.”
(9:40:25 PM) Shirin: “Oh, stop complaining, it’s plenty of fun.”
(9:40:31 PM) Shirin: “Now step back from Tora.”
(9:40:44 PM) *Mialisyne steps out of the way.
(9:41:04 PM) Oryn: “Lightning is your specialty!” Scootscootscootscoot.
(9:41:46 PM) *Tora starts chanting again in draconic after being pointed out what to electrocute. “\Raging thunder, rip and tear! Azure Claw!\”
(9:43:15 PM) Logos: The door shudders as Tora’s current passes through it, and begins to iris open slowly, revealing a dense, humid forest packed with brightly colored trees and flowers. “This is what Laozhan Fal looked like before the Towerfall. I’m told. Be careful,”
(9:44:01 PM) Oryn: “Alright, let’s save some dignitaries, friends!” Oryn throws his hands up encouragingly then waits to let everyone else go first!
(9:44:07 PM) Tora: “So there’s worse zombie things out there?”
(9:44:11 PM) Shirin: “Yes.”
(9:44:27 PM) Logos: “The zombie things aren’t native to this region.”
(9:44:36 PM) Logos: “Besides, I imagine that the dinosaurs would eat them”
(9:44:51 PM) *Mialisyne nods, ducking into the side and beginning to slip forward. “Will signal.”
(9:45:01 PM) Kaji [~Jay@A23AF80A.F10ACAF7.A16685E0.IP] entered the room.
(9:45:10 PM) Kaji: “19-C, please barricade yourself in the main office.”
(9:45:19 PM) Kaji is now known as Shirin_Najafi
(9:45:58 PM) Tora: “…oh wow, dinosaurs?” …he’s leaving out the part where he heard they’re inferior big lizards.
(9:46:05 PM) Logos: “Yes, of course,”
(9:46:10 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Shh.”
(9:50:58 PM) Logos: The path through this section of the dome is narrow and winding, leading through densely packed foliage in a myriad of colors – large rubber trees and strange, crooked trees with yellow-black flowers that buzz slightly when someone brushes against them. “I hope none of you are allergic to bees,” 19-C’s voice pops into your head. “The brees can cause anaphylactic shock”
(9:52:21 PM) Shirin left the room (quit: Ping timeout: 482 seconds).
(9:53:27 PM) *Mialisyne blinks. Why would you hybridize- never mind. She shakes her head, carefully avoiding the brees and gesturing for the others to move up, staying alert for anything unpleasant
(9:53:37 PM) Tora: “So they’re electric bees?”
(9:53:42 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…Tora?”
(9:53:47 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Please shut up.”
(9:54:01 PM) Mialisyne: “Shock, medical, not electric.”
(9:54:09 PM) Tora: “Oh.”
(9:54:56 PM) Logos: Konstantin can smell blood up ahead, and about twenty feet past the point where the group can no longer see the exit, they begin to hear the sound of water splashing, as well as high pitched screams.
(9:57:32 PM) Oryn: “…I hope those sounds aren’t connected. That’s more splashing than I want to hear from any body.” Oryn shivered.
(9:57:52 PM) Mialisyne: “…unpleasant.” She frowns, carefully hastening to get a look at the source of the splashing
(9:58:36 PM) Tora: Are those…human screams?
(9:58:55 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “This is going to get ugly.” Oryn is set down and bow is drawn as Shirin moves to follow Miali forward, trying to see what’s happening.
(9:59:25 PM) Oryn: Oryn’s hands crackle with shadow as he ‘arms’ himself as well, ready to draw magic in.
(9:59:40 PM) Tora: Tora draws his dagger in preparation for the worst
(10:00:29 PM) Logos: The path begins to widen, opening onto a large glade dominated by an artificial pool of water. banyan trees and willows surround the pool, creating a wall of leaves that the group has to push through to get a good look. At the center of the pool is a grass-covered island, and on the island are two shirtless elven men, one of whom has been cut badly and is screaming shrilly.
(10:02:46 PM) Logos: Standing midway between the island and the shore, the water up to its knees, is a muscular, bull-headed creature wearing only a loin-cloth and carrying an enormous axe that’s easily bigger than any of them, the head of the axe dripping with blood.
(10:03:49 PM) Oryn: …
(10:03:59 PM) Oryn: “I’m suddenly extremely distracted, who am I shooting?”
(10:05:08 PM) *Sanaz is busy tending to the wound of the screaming elf, murmuing a prayer under his breath.
(10:05:27 PM) Sanaz: Over the past few days, even before this had happened, he really hadn’t been paid enough for this.
(10:05:30 PM) Sanaz: And especially not now.
(10:06:46 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…” Is that.
(10:06:49 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “SANAZ.”
(10:07:14 PM) Shirin_Najafi: So much for sneaking.
(10:07:20 PM) Sanaz: He’s busy healing, he’ll notice the little sister screaming at him in a moment or two.
(10:07:42 PM) Shirin_Najafi: That’s it. Shooting the minotaur.
(10:07:44 PM) Tora: “Guys, there’s a giant angry bull-man with an axe that just killed someone here…”
(10:09:50 PM) Oryn: “Sooooo we can’t make friends with him and keep him as a pet? Curses.”
(10:11:06 PM) Mialisyne: “Like cow, fighting!” She smirks, drawing her sword and holding it out defensively. One of these days insulting someone would work.
(10:12:12 PM) Logos: The arrow buries itself in the creature’s shoulder, causing it to howl loudly. The fact that Miali just called it a cow doesn’t help much either, and it turns toward the group, charging.
(10:15:32 PM) Logos: Miali is caught by the creature’s horns as it charges and thrown – painfully – into the lake.
(10:16:09 PM) Logos: The creature keeps running, though, crashing into the underbrush and – somehow? – vanishing into the labyrinthine forest.
(10:18:06 PM) Oryn: “MIALI!”
(10:18:31 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Miali!”
(10:18:39 PM) Oryn: Oryn stands shocked for a second before dashing over to her side, magic at the ready. “It disappeared into the brush! Get ready!”
(10:19:30 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “It won’t be coming back yet, but stay on your guard.” Right, diving into the lake to get Miali.
(10:19:54 PM) Tora: “ohcrapohcrapohcrap” Tora runs over to the lake to try and get the battered-as-hell Miali
(10:20:05 PM) *Miali lands in an ungainly splash, water red around her as she staggers to her feet. “Shirin… high ground!” she winces, holding her viciously gouged side and cursing softly.
(10:21:04 PM) Sanaz: He’s still half-distracted, so he’s not paying attention to faces, but murmurs under his breath – if he focuses, he won’t need to touch the girl to heal her from here.
(10:21:10 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “We need to get away from here. Somewhere it can’t follow or charge.”
(10:21:34 PM) Miali: “Tora, bad idea? Now, good idea.”
(10:22:15 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…What bad idea?”
(10:22:39 PM) Oryn: “If we can get somewhere we can funnel it towards us and keep it from charging…”
(10:22:43 PM) Miali: “< When your enemy runs to ground, leave him no ground to run to.>”
(10:22:44 PM) Shirin_Najafi: She’ll pass Miali to Tora, and then go over to Sanaz and his new friend. Let’s see what the damage is.
(10:23:10 PM) Shirin_Najafi: < “We don’t know what else is in there to piss off.” >
(10:23:27 PM) *Tora helps Miali stand after that hell of a hit she took, looking at the water. “How deep is that?”
(10:23:33 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “< And I don’t want to transport a civilian through this.>”
(10:24:10 PM) Tora: “Because I don’t think it could swim that fast.”
(10:24:38 PM) Sanaz: …once he’s sure that /both/ wounded people are stable, he’s going to get his armor on. Before he does /anything/ else.
(10:25:05 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Konstantin, can you carry the screechy one?”
(10:25:21 PM) Logos: Sanaz’s “friend” appears to be fine, but is showing signs of psychological shock – he appears to be one of the EDEN scientists, judging by the blue robes piled up on the island where he’s laying. He’s handsome enough, but his breath smells heavily of wine.
(10:25:53 PM) Konstantin: “If you wish.” He will approach this screeching one, arms spread some. They can do this one of two ways…
(10:26:13 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “< Sanaz, given the circumstances, I’m not going to ask you what you’re doing here, but I’m gonna need you to go take a look at Mialisyne. >”
(10:26:22 PM) Shirin_Najafi: Stress the name a little there.
(10:26:31 PM) Sanaz: …
(10:26:44 PM) Sanaz: The look on his face probably says everything.
(10:26:47 PM) *Miali takes a breath, invoking her own healing.
(10:26:57 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “< There’s nowhere to run in here. Get moving. >”
(10:27:35 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “< And introduce yourself to Oryn. I’m going to see if I can’t find a game trail I can move you all on. >”
(10:28:25 PM) Sanaz: …this is quite possibly one of the most awkward moments of his life. “< I wasn’t going to run, little sister.”>
(10:29:02 PM) Shirin_Najafi: She makes a shooing motion. Go introduce yourself to the others, brother.
(10:30:00 PM) *Miali – mercifully – does not seem to recognize the name. The advantage of orphaning?
(10:30:13 PM) Logos: The island seems to be in a shallow basin within the dome. Pretty much anywhere you go will lead to higher ground, but Shirin does note a large outcropping of older trees west of their current location that looks like it might be able to provide a defensible location, or perhaps access to another section of the dome.
(10:30:20 PM) Sanaz: But he’s going to do as she says.
(10:30:43 PM) Logos: The scientist scrambles to grab his robe and allows Konstantin to carry him, helping him as best he’s able.
(10:31:08 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…We’ll want to head west. We should be able to defend ourselves there, or at least get out of here.”
(10:31:15 PM) Konstantin: And carry off the scientist, he will!
(10:31:29 PM) *Miali gets up and wrings some of the excess water from her clothes, looking to Shirin and nodding
(10:32:55 PM) Sanaz: “…a rather bad time for introductions,” Sanaz says – and he’s going to assess Miali’s wound while he talks. “…but I’m Sanaz Najafi. Shirin’s oldest brother.”

Session 7
In which We Learn about 50 Scales of Grey

(7:41:43 PM) Logos: Even without directions, the EDEN facilities in Laozhan Fal wouldn’t be hard to find – they consist primarily of three large, brightly colored marble domes carved with geometric designs. The central dome, which houses the offices and control systems, faces the city streets with a pair of enormous doors of spun glass and silver filigree.
(7:42:44 PM) Tora: “Wowww.” Tora looks at the domes with wide eyed amazement, at the very least. “Is that what elven buildings normally look like?”
(7:42:58 PM) Shirin: “Only the ones built for foreigners.”
(7:43:17 PM) Shirin: “…And the Party Dome but you’re not ready to learn about the Party Dome.”
(7:43:43 PM) *Mialisyne glances aside with a blush, coughing softly.
(7:44:11 PM) Tora: “Wait, so the ones in the homeland are more impressive?”
(7:44:40 PM) Shirin: “…” She pats Tora’s shoulder solemly. “You’ll see.”
(7:45:14 PM) Shirin: Anyway, let’s open this door and herd everyone on in. WHere they’d lost Oryn, she didn’t know, but he probably couldn’t get into /too/ much trouble.
(7:47:38 PM) Logos: The door opens as Shirin reaches up to touch it, and a porter in gray robes bows low in greet. “Welcome to the EDEN facilities, Guide Shirin. We hope your travels find you well,” the porter rises up….to reveal the face of the man that Konstantin ate in Rolt’s war-room. The hair’s different, of course, but the facial features are identical.
(7:48:12 PM) *Tora is easily herded in “Why am I not ready to learn about the Party Dome? I’m guessing that’s where the post-hunt celebration you mentioned on your prime—-whaaaaa—”
(7:49:04 PM) *Tora looks in disbelief. He’s CERTAIN that has to practically be the guy who Konstantin ate
(7:49:32 PM) Shirin: “…< What is the meaning of this.>” She is somewhat less than amused.
(7:51:27 PM) Logos: “< I’m not certain what you mean, Guide Shirin. I am>” he switches back to Common “19-C, < and I was asked by Dr. Masud to bring you and your guests to the central offices for an official welcome>”
(7:52:38 PM) Shirin: < …By all the glories.>" She pinches the bridge of her nose…and then sighs. “Very well. I would very much like to speak to Dr. Masud, I believe.”
(7:53:06 PM) *Mialisyne decides to stay silent for the moment, studying body language and the like.
(7:53:50 PM) *Tora resists the urge to speak his thoughts—if it was the same guy, he’d be hacked to pieces again!
(7:57:44 PM) Logos: Well, 19-C – or whatever his name is – doesn’t seem to recognize Tora or Konstantine, and you imagine that he’d atl east remember him. He turns, and leads the group into the EDEN complex. The interior hall is lined with a mural displaying an approximation of the evolutionary history of the plant and animal life in this region, with an explosion of new plant and animal life in the moment the Tower landed.
(8:01:38 PM) Shirin: Shirin herself is fairly tense and alert, since something strange is going on, which is a shame. Because that is a very interesting mural.
(8:02:03 PM) *Mialisyne pauses some to study the mural in fascination.
(8:02:12 PM) *Tora is looking at the mural in fascination
(8:02:34 PM) Bassist159 is now known as Konstantin
(8:02:39 PM) Konstantin: Konstantin was confused. he had eaten that man, and dismemembered him. He even remembered the fire!
(8:02:45 PM) Konstantin: Perhaps a twin?
(8:04:00 PM) Shirin: Or something… “…19-C, how long have you been here?” Just. Idly curious.
(8:04:50 PM) Logos: “I have served the EDEN facility for the last fifteen years, Guide Shirin”
(8:05:27 PM) Shirin: “I see.” So barely any time at all. Hmm….
(8:08:58 PM) *Mialisyne hmms softly. “Interesting.”
(8:09:25 PM) *Tora hmmns. 19-C is a really funny name.
(8:09:32 PM) Logos: The entrance hallway opens into a large central chamber packed with three dimensional, animated exhibits of extinct life forms from the region, tracing back as far as the oldest elven habitation in the region – which, apparently, was quite a long time ago. Hovering above the displays, connected by a staircase made entirely out of gold wire…
(8:10:21 PM) Logos: is an enormous, translucent crystal sphere, which houses the central offices and hums quietly as it levitates eight feet off the ground.
(8:11:16 PM) *Tora can’t help but gawk at the exhibits and surroundings. “…how do you guys make all this stuff, anyway?”
(8:11:27 PM) Logos: A number of elves are wandering around the exhibits, dressed in clothing similar to Shirin’s but dyed red and blue – marking them as exhibitors and tour guides for the public areas of the EDEN facility.
(8:11:38 PM) Shirin: “Oh, they made the offices old-school…” Shirin sighs, and heads for the stairs. “…Magic, Tora.”
(8:11:39 PM) Shirin: “Magic.”
(8:12:06 PM) Tora: “…I didn’t know magic could do that.”
(8:13:24 PM) Konstantin: “Magic can make all manner of things possible.”
(8:13:27 PM) Shirin: “…Where have you //been//, Tora?”
(8:15:18 PM) Tora: “Well, I grew up in Westplains for a while, then I spent about four or five years in the desert, and then I started adventuring.”
(8:15:51 PM) Mialisyne: " < Sorcerers. > "
(8:15:59 PM) Shirin: “…Do they just not have architects in Westplain—no, don’t answer that.” She nudges him towards the stairs. “Up you go. I feel the good doctor is like to be up that way.”
(8:16:34 PM) Shirin: " < Sorcery doesn’t do //this//. >"
(8:16:48 PM) Mialisyne: " < Precisely. >" She nods to Tora.
(8:17:17 PM) *Tora starts heading up the stairs. “Westplains wasn’t really that big of a place.”
(8:19:27 PM) Shirin: “Evidently not.” Nudging Miali and Konstantin up next. Cranky lady with bow in back.
(8:19:40 PM) *Mialisyne follows after as well.
(8:19:53 PM) Konstantin: He’ll head up, completely oblivious.
(8:19:59 PM) Shirin: :3
(8:20:50 PM) Logos: The interior of the crystal sphere is…surprisingly normal. The walls display several different areas of the connected domes, showing real-time recordings of the various biomes being replicated in the facility. Parts of the facility are also set aside as labs, and images of elven researchers studying the alien plantlife and mutant animals brought by the Towerfall are displayed alongside the vast forests of native plants.
(8:21:13 PM) Mialisyne: " < No peeking. >" She jokes, smoothing her skirt.
(8:21:34 PM) Shirin: “< Too late~ >”
(8:21:56 PM) Shirin: “…Dr. Masud?”
(8:23:47 PM) Logos: An elf in a blue lab coat looks up from a display screen showing temperature and humidity readings for the swamp on the third level and turns toward Shirin. He’s tall, even b y elven standards, and looks like he could probably grapple an owlbear with his bare hands. “Hello! Guide! < Please tell me your companions speak Elvish, this is embarrassing>”
(8:26:01 PM) Shirin: “< Miali speaks Elvish. >” Best she can do you for. “< I can translate, if you prefer, but I’ve…some questions we might dearly need answered. >”
(8:27:49 PM) Logos: “< Of course, of course. Anything to help the Guide Service. Did you know that you’re the first Guide we’ve ever had this far out? It’s quite exciting. I’ve got a four thousand year old bottle of crystallized wine from an extinct species of berry once found in the Homelands that we’ll have to break out and you can tell me what news comes from Ra-Zehman>”
(8:28:50 PM) Konstantin: " < I apologize for being so blunt, sir, but this is far from a courtesy call. I do believe these fine ladies can explain the situation? > "
(8:28:55 PM) Konstantin: Wait, what?
(8:29:12 PM) Shirin: “< Doctor, I’m flattered, but—//what//. >”
(8:29:14 PM) Shirin: Oh god.
(8:29:18 PM) Shirin: Oh dear god.
(8:29:49 PM) Shirin: Shirin is…just about paralyzed. And turning a progressively darker and darker shade of red.
(8:29:55 PM) *Tora blinks, realizing that just about everyone but him speaks this language.
(8:30:02 PM) Tora: “…Shirin, are you okay?”
(8:30:08 PM) Shirin: “I—I.”
(8:30:15 PM) *Mialisyne is also turning beet red, and quickly dives into staring at a readout
(8:30:17 PM) Shirin: “I didn’t know he spoke Elvish…”
(8:31:27 PM) Konstantin: " < It was very common in the court that I grew up in. Now… we have matters to attend to, do we not? > "
(8:32:02 PM) Mialisyne: “Shocking truth…” she murmurs.
(8:32:20 PM) Shirin: Right. Right, translating. Shaking Konstantin like the smug bloodsucking motherfucker he is later. “Uh—we’re just going to ask him about 19-C and our…friend from before.” Turning back to Masud. “< …He is right. We ran into someone who looked exactly like your assistant serving a bandit king in a settlement back out the way. How did 19-C come to be here? >”
(8:32:35 PM) *Tora wonders if something is seriously wrong.
(8:33:15 PM) Shirin: She’s just going to kill her ward later, Tora.
(8:33:18 PM) Shirin: This is fine.
(8:33:21 PM) Shirin: Everything is fine.
(8:34:30 PM) Logos: “< Ahh yes. 19-C is a….the word they use here is ‘Towerian’. He’s a creation of the Veined Ones, using the tower’s technology. They often give them as gifts to dignitaries and allies, or sell them as slaves to the Western Kingdoms. I’m not surprised you met someone who looks like him – all Towerians are identical>”
(8:35:27 PM) Mialisyne: “< That’s just a little unnerving.>” She finally calms herself and pulls away from the display.
(8:36:18 PM) Shirin: “< Well //that’s// disturbing. And lends more…urgency to our original reason for being here. I have…misplaced our gnome, but he wishes to delve into the Tower. If the Veined Ones are connected to the plan this Towerian spoke of…I’d much like to see the tower myself, now. Which leaves us the problem of getting permission to get in. >”
(8:37:47 PM) Logos: "< Ahhh. That’s a difficult request to grant – even I haven’t been allowed into the Tower since the Bad Old Days, as they call them around here, but if you would like to rest for a while, I can reach out to my allies within the government, perhaps, and ask to see if an audience can be arranged?>
(8:39:04 PM) Shirin: “< It would be greatly appreciated. If there is more going on here than I had assumed, it’s news I should discover to take back to Ra-Zehman. >” She smiles, a little wryly. “< And perhaps if we survive the trouble I’m sure to be getting into, we can see about that bottle of wine. >”
(8:42:32 PM) Shirin: A pause. “The man we met in Rolt’s castle was a person called a ‘Towerian’, which are a bunch of identical creations of the Veined Ones. They give them as gifts or sell them as slaves, and we don’t know what our friend was, unfortunately, but he didn’t look very slavelike.”
(8:42:56 PM) Logos: Masud nods and points to 19-C “19-C! Guests! Receiviing! Dome A!” he makes the appropriate apologetic gestures to Shirin, Konstantin and Miali before hurrying off to his private offices.
(8:43:07 PM) Shirin: “The good doctor has offered to try and reach out to his government contacts to get us an audience, to see if we can’t get inside the tower.”
(8:44:38 PM) Tora: “Ahhhhhh, I see…then who was he a gift to?”
(8:44:41 PM) Shirin: “So now we get to lounge around. I’m sure they won’t mind if we actually have a look around Dome A.” Which would be…over on the far side, if the layout was still standard."
(8:44:43 PM) Shirin: “We don’t know.”
(8:44:52 PM) Shirin: “Finding out…may be very important.”
(8:45:10 PM) Tora: “Since it sounded like he was speaking for someone else.”
(8:45:54 PM) *Mialisyne hms. “Get inside, find information?”
(8:46:54 PM) Tora: “I guess that’s what we’re planning on?” Tora shrugs.
(8:47:20 PM) Shirin: “That would be the plan.”
(8:47:34 PM) Konstantin: “It’s the best we’ve got.”
(8:48:19 PM) *Mialisyne smiles. “Simple, then. Exploring domes! Don’t wait!” And she’s taking off. Leaving Shirin with Konstantin [and Tora but]]
(8:48:35 PM) Shirin: “…Tora, go follow Miali.”
(8:48:41 PM) Shirin: “You could learn a lot in the domes.”
(8:49:10 PM) Shirin: “And also someone needs to make sure she doesn’t combust from embarrassment when she’s in private.”
(8:49:19 PM) Tora: “Embarassment about what?”
(8:49:53 PM) Shirin: “Why don’t you ask //her//?” Making shooing motions. “Quickly, she’s getting away.”
(8:50:38 PM) Tora: “Er, okay!” Tora heads off to follow Miali
(8:51:13 PM) Shirin: "…So, then. " Inhale. Exhale. “< You heard every damn thing, didn’t you? >”
(8:51:28 PM) Konstantin: < “Enough of it.” >
(8:52:24 PM) *Tora eventually catches up. “Miali! Shirin said you were embarassed about something?”
(8:52:41 PM) Shirin: < “…Hunter take me.” > On the one hand, she wanted to be angry. On the other… < “And never said a word about any of it. I’m honestly kind of impressed.” >
(8:53:19 PM) *Mialisyne blinks as she’s caught up with, glancing back. “Embarassment, over! Commentary, unimportant! Callibpygian nickname irrelevant! Tora! How is?”
(8:55:39 PM) Tora: “Well…” he scratches the back of his head. “I guess I’m fine. I didn’t really know most of what that conversation in there was about. Is this something that only I don’t know how to speak or something?”
(8:56:05 PM) Konstantin: < “Why give it away? You and Mialisyne seemed to be enjoying yourselves.” >
(8:56:17 PM) Logos: Dome A contains a number of biomes, and Miali and Tora pretty quickly find themselves wandering through a fairly dense forest – thick, gnarled trees, wet loamy ground beneath an artificial sky, the sound of frogs making horrific noises in the distance.
(8:56:59 PM) Shirin: < “Most people would be a little upset to have listened to their ass being commented on…and their employer disparaged, I guess.” >
(8:57:27 PM) Shirin: < “…I mean, I’m not going to stop staring at it unless you specifically tell me to. That ass is a treasure and must be admired.” >
(8:58:13 PM) Mialisyne: “Elven, unknown?” Relieved sigh. She looks over the trees in some curiousity, enjoying the more humid conditions in the dome. Better than dry desert air. “Konstantin knows. < Too much>. Primer, may write?”
(9:01:14 PM) Konstantin: < “Oh, no. It was quite flattering, listening to you two go on. I can hardly say I minded.” >This smug shitlord of a paladin’s just going to brush his hair out of his face. < “Maybe we should find the others?” >
(9:01:32 PM) Tora: “Yeah, I don’t know Elven. Sometimes it feels like i’m the only person who doesn’t.” a bit of an nervous chuckle punctuates that as Tora continues. “And, er…if you write this primer, you’re not going to stick it on my face when I’m sleeping, are you?”
(9:02:17 PM) Mialisyne: “Unlikely. Drool, ruin. Suffocation, counterproductive.”
(9:02:54 PM) Tora: “I don’t drool in my sleep. …that much…”
(9:03:19 PM) Shirin: < "You //ass//. > She shakes her head, and swats the smugadin. Right on the ass. < “Right! Let’s get moving.” >
(9:03:45 PM) Mialisyne: “Uncertain. Precautions, wise!” She grins back to him, before exploring the flora. “Reclaiming desert, maybe?”
(9:07:07 PM) Logos: Up ahead on the path, Tora and Miali can both make out a figured hunched over beside one of the trees. From a distance, it looks like it’s wearing some kind of large, dark coat, but Miali’s keen elven eyes can make out something…odd, about it. Large, jagged outgrowths are covering its body, similar in shape to nettles. Moreover, Miali can detect another, similar shape moving in the shadows beyond the trees.
(9:07:53 PM) Mialisyne: …Interesting., And unnerving. If they don’t appear to have taken notice, she’ll duck into the shade of a tree.
(9:07:57 PM) Logos: Meanwhile, back in the control center, the orb that Shirin and Konstantin are currently standing in shudders and seems to…dip, almost like there was a sudden earthquake.
(9:08:36 PM) Tora: “Huh, there’s a guy there. In a coat.”
(9:08:42 PM) Shirin: “…That’s mildly disturbing.”
(9:09:54 PM) Logos: 19-C looks at a panel and looks up, looking worried. “It appears that we’ve suffered power loss. We’re currently switched to auxiliary reserves”
(9:10:58 PM) *Mialisyne carefully steps closer, gesturing for Tora to stay back. She’d like to know what it was that they might be running in terror from before they ran in terror, after all.
(9:11:06 PM) Logos: The “man in the coat” stands and starts shambling toward Tora, swaying slightly as it walks. It doesn’t seem to notice Miali at all, or if it does, it makes no move toward her.
(9:12:34 PM) *Tora follows Miali’s gesture, stepping back as the guy advances toward him. “Miali, why is he coming toward me?” He ponders casting a Light spell to illuminate this
(9:12:44 PM) Mialisyne: She studies its’ movements, trying to get an idea of what it was.
(9:15:36 PM) Logos: As the creature approaches , its features are more easily recognizable. Standing over six feet tall, its “coat” is two large, rose petal-like wings or flaps. Its skin is covered in those nettle like protrusions, and it has no eyes, just a large, empty mouth full of thorns. Miali is pretty sure she’s heard something about creatures like this, plant-like beasts animated by necrotic energy…
(9:17:47 PM) Tora: “wait, what is that?” Tora’s hands reach for his dagger as that thing gets closer.
(9:17:49 PM) Mialisyne: Miali’s voice originates from behind Tora, magically thrown. “Careful! Dead plants, dangerous!”
(9:19:52 PM) Shirin: “…That’s not good.” She immediately turns and starts //sprinting// for Dome A.
(9:20:16 PM) Shirin: “19-C! What specimens do you keep in Dome A?”
(9:20:36 PM) Konstantin: “A power loss…” He’ll head for the now running elf, with only a nod about the situation.
(9:21:19 PM) Logos: “Dome A is our control dome. Nothing dangerous, no mutations! But the door will have already sealed!”
(9:21:33 PM) Tora: well, in such a case, it’s probably safe to murderize the advancing dangerous “dead plant”. And so, keeping his distance, he chants in Draconic, “\\Burning Light, become my daggers to pierce! Burn Scale!\\” As soon as that finish, three roughly feather/scale-shaped objects of pure orange light appear between the fingers in his off-hand, which he then throws toward the advancing
(9:21:33 PM) Tora: plant-thing.
(9:22:46 PM) Shirin: “Then I’ll //force them open!// You know they’re not equipped to handle even A-rank creatures!”
(9:28:25 PM) Logos: Several large vines begin moving on the tree branches behind Tora, lashing out in an attempt to grab him. Fortunately for him, all they manage to grab is several of his belt buckles, snapping them open.
(9:28:48 PM) Shirin: BELTS SOLVE PROBLEMS.
(9:29:18 PM) Logos: The first creature takes the momentary distraction caused by these vines to leap forward, the thorns on its forearms bristling as it tries to claw Tora’s eyes out.
(9:30:24 PM) Logos: “I’m afraid forcing them open won’t do any good, Guide Shirin. We will need to reroute power from the auxiliary reserves to the doors. Are you or your companion familiar with thaumic circuits?”
(9:31:31 PM) Shirin: “Thaumic…no, the mages are the ones inside. I wasn’t trained for that.”
(9:31:55 PM) Logos: The second shape emerges from the shadows not far from Tora and raises an arm. Several of its thorns burst forth from its arm, flying toward Tora, trailing thick, green ichor behind them.
(9:31:59 PM) Shirin: “Isn’t there an override? An…emergency exit?”
(9:33:15 PM) Logos: Although he’s able to weave away from the lunging beast, the flying thorns catch Tora off-guard, and he feels three burning points of pain in his side as they bury themselves deep.
(9:34:01 PM) Logos: 19-C frowns “We can override the controls, but I’ll need a transmission crystal to patch into it. I’ll get my equipment and set up at the door, can you retrieve the crystal from storage?”
(9:34:21 PM) *Tora cringes as he’s needled in the side by…something
(9:34:36 PM) Shirin: “…” long sigh. “I’ll be right back.” Storage would be…over there. Right. Let’s go get that.
(9:34:55 PM) Mialisyne: Miali lunges from surprise, striking at the vined being in front of Tora, seeing if she can strike at the heartwood or the like.
(9:35:02 PM) Mialisyne: “Tora, strike!”
(9:36:48 PM) Shirin: Storage, storage, storage….what the fuck one of these was a transmission crystal?!
(9:37:26 PM) Logos: The needle creature’s side gives way with a loud crack. It doesn’t go down, but it seems to be leaking sap pretty freely as it turns toward Miali.
(9:38:50 PM) Logos: As Shirin steps out of the control center, it shudders again before righting itself. Things downstairs….do not like good. In fact, it looks like some kind of explosive device was detonated. There’s dead elves everywhere, and most of the exhibits are overturned or destroyed.
(9:39:10 PM) Shirin: < “MOTHERFUCKER.” >
(9:39:55 PM) Tora: Tora, taking advantage of the opening given by the needle creature’s sudden encounter with Miali’s rapier, ducks back and away while fighting through the needly pain, before throwing several featherlike or scalelike darts of energy at the needleman that was all up in his face.
(9:39:59 PM) Shirin: She turns back to 19-C. “Barricade yourself in here until I return with the crystal. Whoever caused this is likely to still be here.”
(9:40:32 PM) Shirin: Going alone into hostile territory: the best of suggestions.
(9:43:44 PM) Shirin: …Wait no that’s stupid. “Konstantin, come with me, I’m not letting anyone else get out of my sight right now.”
(9:44:04 PM) Konstantin: “If you wish.” He can follow her!
(9:44:37 PM) Logos: The creature in front of Tora bursts into flame, incinerated by his spell. The vines behind him have formed into an enormous, nine foot tall creature formed of coiled, fleshy plant material which is now trying to grab Tora and slam him into a tree. Also, two of the trees behind the needle thing that Tora just destroyed are now on fire.
(9:44:51 PM) Mialisyne: …well, that was not the best of plans.
(9:45:40 PM) Shirin: < “You are my ward. I’m not leaving you alone and unguarded while someone’s detonating government buildings.” > Right, to storage.
(9:46:33 PM) Logos: The creature snatches Tora up and slams him into the tree hard, pinning him there with its vines. The other needle creature dives away from the now-burning tree that it was standing in front of and launches a volley of spikes at Miali.
(9:47:22 PM) Logos: It is apparently not cut out to be action-hero plant because the spikes bury themselves in a tree about three inches to Miali’s left.
(9:47:39 PM) Mialisyne: Miali glances between the flames and the plantmen. Ideally, she’d like to convince them the group wasn’t hostile – she steps aside, letting the spikes slam into a tree – but wasn’t sure if they were actually sapient enough to grasp what she’d be doing…
(9:49:58 PM) Mialisyne: She frowns. Probably not intelligent. Best to stay safe. She begins to intone unnervingly, a curse settling on the plant-things.
(9:51:22 PM) Mialisyne: “Stay safe, Tora! Stopping fire!”
(9:54:05 PM) Logos: As they reach the bottom of the stairs, Konstantin notices that the elves were killed not by concusive force but by foot long black barbs. Shirin, on the other hand, notices the flap of wings from somewhere above them.
(9:54:56 PM) *Tora , used to…situations involving being held by much larger things, tightens himself up and slips through the vines’ grasp before it can crush him against the tree further
(9:57:43 PM) Logos: The vine creature turns to face Tora and the ground around him erupts with clinging vines, limiting his ability to move. The needle beast launches another volley of its thorns at Miali as it begins to close on her.
(9:58:26 PM) Shirin: “….Konstantin?”
(9:58:32 PM) Shirin: “Arm yourself.”
(9:58:37 PM) Shirin: “Really quickly.”
(9:58:50 PM) Konstantin: “Far ahead of you.” Sword’s out, let’s go.
(9:59:36 PM) Mialisyne: Miali glances back to the fire, one hand swatting the needly thorny limbs aside as the other… snaps out to grab the thing by the back of the neck. “Fire, toasty.”
(9:59:50 PM) Shirin: “It’s above.” She draws and strings her bow, quickly looking up to scan for their new friend.
(10:02:22 PM) Konstantin: “Javelins, then?” Because that worked so well. He’ll just hurl his up at the thing, though.
(10:03:50 PM) Logos: The beast flying around the top of the dome is a bizarre hybrid of a dragon and a lion, and it is flying in circles around the dome. The javelin kind of ruins its day though – or at least makes it pay attention to Konstantin. As Shirin’s arrow soars past it, it unleashes a torrent of spikes at the ground, showering both Shirin and Konstantin.
(10:04:00 PM) Shirin: It’s not like her shot makes it’s mark, she can’t complain about minispears. “Might as well, until we can get it dow—Augh!”
(10:08:27 PM) Tora: Tora, pressed in melee with the vineblight, uses his old standby for dealing with things up close to him—knife. It is difficult to outsmart knife.
(10:10:16 PM) Logos: The sound that the thing makes when Tora’s dagger strikes home is a…truly unique one. Who knew plants could scream?
(10:10:45 PM) Logos: The creature responds by uncoiling several of its vines from its body, attempting to slam Tora back into the ground.
(10:11:07 PM) Tora: Apparently they REALLY scream
(10:11:36 PM) Logos: The needle creature that Miali tried to grapple turns and brings up its arms, attempting to shred her midsection with its thorns.
(10:12:10 PM) *Tora ducks and rolls to the side of the wild slam attempt of the vines against him before they could smash him into the ground
(10:12:48 PM) Mialisyne: Miali shifts around to flank the creature from the fire…a nd shrieks a metal wail in its’ face.
(10:14:26 PM) Logos: The creature breaks away as quickly as it can from the crazy screaming elf-lady, running…directly into the burning trees. This won’t end well of it.

Session 6
In which Konstantin is not a vampyr

(5:36:29 PM) Logos: After embarrassing the mayor of (AS YET UNNAMED SETTLEMENT) and defeating the corrupt royal representative, Our Heroes set off on Yet Furthere Adventurese. The path that Shirin and Oryn plotted out took them through a number of small settlements in the Arisia region, and Oryn was able to turn a tidy profit, trading on the gold and jewels they recovered from the Displacer Beast’s lair and the spoils of their adventure.
(5:37:33 PM) Oryn: All that glitters is all Oryn wants~
(5:38:16 PM) Logos: So by the time that they reached the Tower of Laozhan Fal, the group – or rather Oryn, who kept “forgetting” to share the profits out – was feeling rather well-heeled – until they saw the tower itself, which (to be fair) dwarfs even Oryn’s lust for gold and Konstantin’s lust for those delicious bean buns they had in the last town over.
(5:38:33 PM) Tora: “…you do know you haven’t paid me yet, right?”
(5:38:38 PM) Shirin: Shirin is perfectly happy to spend the time scounting ahead of the cart, and ocassionally taking notes on the state of the ecology here.
(5:40:23 PM) Logos: The Tower of Laozhan Fal stands at a slight – let’s call it 65 degree – angle, and yet still manages to rise several hundred feet in the air. It is so immense, in fact, that trying to get a good look at it from a distance isn’t just difficult, but rather it makes your eyes water a little bit, and moreover, it stands amidst a field of bone, dwarfing the immense ribcage that is all that remains of whatever beast it slew when it fell.
(5:40:29 PM) Shirin: “Tora you’re going to have to be more direct than that.” What even //were// these plants? They weren’t native to this region at all.
(5:40:57 PM) Mialisyne: “Gnome, money; difficult to part.”
(5:42:14 PM) Logos: The most common plant in the region – which, as Shirin helpfully pointed out, isn’t actually native to anywhere that elves have records for, is an endemic vine known as “Shadow Lover”, a name earned by its fondness for growing in near or completely near darkness, and because of stories that claim that, if you walk alone at night too far from the edges of the city, the Shadow Lover will whisper to you, and if you hear it you will neve
(5:42:34 PM) Mialisyne: *parting, difficult."
(5:43:22 PM) Logos: Rumors persist that the Veined Lords of Laozhan Fal harvest the Shadow Lover for use in their initiation rituals, but no one is really sure what it is they actually do.
(5:43:42 PM) Shirin: Welp. Collecting some samples to take home.
(5:43:59 PM) Shirin: “Still want to go in the giant ominous doom tower, Doublelock?”
(5:44:24 PM) Logos: The city itself is built amidet the bones and wreckage of the Starsinger, the beast that was killed when the Tower fell from the heavens. No record remains to say what it looked like, but given that the multi-storeyed mansions of Laozhan Fal hang in glittering cages from the tips of its ribs – it was probably pretty big.
(5:47:20 PM) Shirin: After a moment or two, Shirin’s stood up-not just with collected samples of the Shadow Lover, but some lovely, slightly glowing lilies, which she sticks on the rest of the party, stopping when she gets to tucking one into Konstantin’s armor. (Oryn’s she’d had to put in his hair).
(5:47:34 PM) Shirin: Her strange good mood might be more unnerving than the weird plants.
(5:48:22 PM) Logos: For those not wealthy enough to inhabit a Cage-Mansion, life is lived on the streets below, in a city bisected by the creature’s spine, which rises like a hill running through the urban sprawl, and – even after centuries of decay – the occasional “Rotting Rain” of decayed flesh and ancient, spoiled blood. Fortunately, the risk of a Rot-Rain seems relatively slim today, as the spring wind is calm and the sun is shining high in the sky
(5:49:17 PM) Tora: Tora quirks an eyebrow, looking at the flower which had been stuck on him. Glowiiiiing
(5:50:30 PM) Shirin: It’s a lily. It’s about palm-sized.
(5:51:59 PM) Shirin: “At least these people make use of everything about this body…” She’s kind of judging the cage-mansions.
(5:52:42 PM) Logos: The guards that come out of the checkpoint station to greet Oryn’s wagon are dressed in the black and red breastplates of the Laozhan Fal Citizen’s Guard, and after stopping the wagon, their Captain approaches Oryn. “Are you here for business or pleasure, sir?” The Captain is a surprisingly young woman with dark hair, her face covered by an intricate, vine-like henna pattern.
(5:52:47 PM) Oryn: Oryn is in the back of the wagon, digging around in the gold chest. “I am indeed very excited to go to this deathtower! Imagine the commodities available here that are undreamed of anywhere else in the world! There’s no place else like the tower of Laozhan Fal.” He nods sagely.
(5:54:00 PM) Shirin: “….That’s be business, Ma’am.”
(5:54:21 PM) Shirin: Maybe the people of Laozhan Fal won’t freak out about the elf?
(5:54:28 PM) Shirin: Bracing for impact, either way.
(5:54:30 PM) Tora: “I’d guess business?”
(5:54:32 PM) Oryn: The gnome clambers into the front of the wagon and crosses his arms. “Oryn Doublelock of the Doublelock trading company and these are my compatriots and employees. We’re here to trade and experience your fine city!”
(5:58:13 PM) Logos: The Captain cracks a smile, making the fact that the henna traced along her lips as well all the more obvious. “Well, welcome to Laozhan Fal,” she reaches out a hand for Oryn’s papers and continues. “You came at a good time, we don’t get too many merchants this time of year, so the inns are all running cut rates – my brother owns the Goldfern just down Rattlecage Lane, if you tell him I sent you by he might even set me up with a free
(6:00:26 PM) Logos: drink later,”
(6:01:07 PM) *Mialisyne chuckles softly at that.
(6:01:14 PM) Oryn: “The Goldfern, we’ll do that ma’am! And you are~?” He grins and holds his hand out.
(6:01:24 PM) Shirin: “Drinks?” Ears suddenly perked.
(6:02:22 PM) Tora: “The Goldfern’s a tavern?”
(6:02:59 PM) Logos: “Yin-Fao, Captain, Xing Family,” she recites rather quickly, shaking Oryn’s hand as she returns his documentation. “Is this your first time in Laozhan Fal?”
(6:04:39 PM) Tora: “It’s my first time here! What kind of stuff is here, anyway?” Tora pipes up, standing taller than the gnome on the cart
(6:05:20 PM) Oryn: Oryn huffs at Tora. “It is for all of us I believe, miss.” He nods and puts his papers away.
(6:07:06 PM) Logos: “Well, we have a giant tower, and a big stinking monster corpse,” she says, with a laugh. “But if you’re looking for sights to see, I recommend the Elven Developmental Ecology Network’s botanical gardens, and there’s also the Cavarane if bloodsport is more your speed. I meant no offense, but as a warning, it’s rather rude to ask someone their name when they’re Marked like myself,”
(6:07:20 PM) Shirin: “Wait.”
(6:07:27 PM) Shirin: “The Eden’s here?”
(6:07:47 PM) Shirin: “Give me directions.” A beat. “please.”
(6:08:24 PM) Tora: “Marked?”
(6:08:29 PM) Oryn: Oryn blinks his big eyes at the guard. “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with your ways. What is the significance of being Marked?”
(6:09:21 PM) Logos: She nods “It’s only a small outpost, but they requested that we allow them to preserve the natural wildlife of the area before it was completely wiped out by the creatures and plants spawned from the Tower-Fall.” she writes down directions in Elvish and hands a piece of paper to Shirin. “There you go. The Marked are the city’s nobles, our markings” she motions to the henna on her arm "Denote our family, by color, our name and any soc
(6:09:40 PM) *Mialisyne nods to Shirin. She glances to the henna, analyzing it swiftly.
(6:10:47 PM) Tora: “Ahhh, neat.” Tora comments
(6:11:02 PM) Oryn: Oryn raises his eyebrows at that. “I see! I shall have to learn the markings well then, I apologize for having to ask your name.” He bows gently.
(6:11:04 PM) Shirin: “I’m not surprised. These plants are invasive as anything I’ve ever seen.” She bows, a strange formal sweep. “Shirin Najafi, Guide from the southern forests.”
(6:11:26 PM) Logos: “Xing is red-gold, you’ll see us a lot in the lower quarter because we contract with the Veined Ones to provide the bulk of security services in the city. Diyu have green Markings, and despite being untrustworthy scumbags pretty much run most of the city’s trade. The last major family is the Fao, which have blue markings – they’d also just as soon kill outsiders as look at them, so try not to get on their bad sides”
(6:12:39 PM) Mialisyne: “Mialisyne, musician. Travelling.”
(6:13:38 PM) Logos: “Well, your papers are in order and I don’t think you’re likely to get into any duels as long as you keep your noses clean, so I won’t keep you any longer. Remember! The Goldfern on Rattlecage! Best curry in the city,”
(6:13:38 PM) *Shirin surreptitiously elbows Konstantin.
(6:14:09 PM) Konstantin: “…Konstantin. Questing Paladin.” He is clearly not one for introductions.
(6:14:23 PM) Tora: “Duels? Oh, and…name’s Tora!”
(6:14:24 PM) Logos: “…wait. Paladin?”
(6:14:26 PM) Oryn: Oryn files that all away in his near-perfect mental notebook. “Goodness, well I’ll feel safe around red-gold marks then and be very careful around the others. Thank you for your help, we’ll be the best of guests!” He nods sagely.
(6:15:09 PM) Logos: “..did your companion – the pretty one that I thought was deaf-mute – just say he’s a paladin?”
(6:15:24 PM) Tora: “Yes?”
(6:15:50 PM) Oryn: “He’s quite mighty as well.”
(6:15:58 PM) Shirin: “…Yesss?” Sliding quietly in front of the dhampir.
(6:18:36 PM) Logos: “Well, there’s no law against it, I suppose, but I recommend taking extra care with that information if you’re talking to anyone but me. I like to consider myself a forward thinker, but a lot of people remember the Bad Old Days and don’t much like people who call themselves ‘Paladin’ around here”
(6:20:49 PM) Shirin: “Lovely.” That’s a tone of voice that suggests those people might get shot. “Appreciate the warning.”
(6:21:20 PM) Oryn: Oryn raises his eyebrows and looks over at Konstantin. “Huh. Well I assure you, Konstantin is nothing if not a superb gentleman. I don’t think he would do anything Bad Old Anything.”
(6:21:26 PM) Logos: She nods “Well, be safe all of you. Come by the Guardhouse later, we outsource a lot, so there might some work available if you’re interested”
(6:21:46 PM) Tora: “Okay then!”
(6:22:00 PM) Oryn: “More capital is good capital!” Oryn states firmly.
(6:22:01 PM) *Mialisyne bows her head to Yin-Fao in acknowledgement.
(6:22:56 PM) Oryn: Speaking of which. Oryn ducks back into the wagon and comes back out flinging sacks at people. Everyone gets one with 127 GP of coinage inside. “Don’t spend it all in one place!”
(6:23:40 PM) *Tora catches the sack of coin
(6:24:45 PM) Logos: Yin-Fao waves for the barricade to be lifted, allowing Our Heroes to pass into the city. There are two more checkpoints before reaching the city proper, but both of them let the group through without incident, thanks to Messages sent by the Captain. After the last checkpoint, the Ribcage rises up like mountains all around you, and the road turns from dirt to a cobblestone street, marking the beginning of the sprawl.
(6:25:38 PM) Shirin: “…Once we find the inn I want to go to Eden, but all things considered, I’d like to keep Konstantin with me. THe rest of you are welcome to come if you’ve actually read the primer.”
(6:26:58 PM) Konstantin: “I will go where I am needed.” He says quietly. “Though when we have acquired an inn room, I feel it would be better if I did not withhold further explanations from you.”
(6:27:18 PM) Tora: “When are we getting quizzed on it?”
(6:27:30 PM) Shirin: “…After he explains, then.”
(6:27:58 PM) Logos: Rattlecage Lane actually isn’t far from the road Oryn’s wagon was on as it entered the city, and the Goldfern sits on the corner – in any other city, it would seem quaint, but in Laozhan Fal they build with quarried stone and burn plant matter in their lamps that give them an eerie, greenish cast, so the inn looks a bit more like a mausoleum than, well, an inn.
(6:28:02 PM) Shirin: Placing a flower crown on Miali’s head. This would be a sign to those who know her well that she’s kind of nervous.
(6:28:50 PM) Logos: Or would, if there weren’t a hanging sign out front with the picture of a golden fern leaf and several small markings which, in the Common Tongue, indicate the presence of food, lodging, and both armed guards and affection at negotiable rates.
(6:31:35 PM) Shirin: “…They sell love here?”
(6:31:40 PM) Shirin: What even //is// this concept?
(6:31:50 PM) Shirin: “Why would you /sell/ a hookup? Are you not hot enough?”
(6:32:19 PM) Mialisyne: “Unfortunate, purchasing.” She murmurs to Shirin.
(6:32:37 PM) Tora: “…I don’t understand. I mean, you can send gifts but is that the same as buying love? …can you buy love?”
(6:33:21 PM) Oryn: “Ah-hah, well some people just enjoy the wham-bam of a no-strings-attached equitable exchange of gold for backside, sans all the romance.”
(6:33:45 PM) Shirin: “They mean sex.” Shirin shrugs. “I know //that// just fine, I’m a soldier.”
(6:33:49 PM) Shirin: "Why charge money for it?
(6:34:25 PM) Mialisyne: “Earn living.” she pats her instrument. “Play, free; empty belly. Play, paid; comfortable inn.”
(6:34:51 PM) Tora: Tora blinks, confused at this.
(6:36:21 PM) *Oryn nods at Miali.
(6:36:52 PM) Oryn: “Miali could play her music for free, or she could accept gold for her talent and sing for supper as well as art!”
(6:37:43 PM) Oryn: “You could shoot fireballs out of your rump at passing bandits for free and let evil mayors extort their townsfolk, or you could get paid to do so!”
(6:37:57 PM) Tora: “but music and heroism aren’t the same as…that.”
(6:38:04 PM) Oryn: “Hopefully while deposing said mayors~”
(6:38:16 PM) Mialisyne: “Adventurers, /crazy/. Distinction.”
(6:38:19 PM) Shirin: “I understand the concept, but I think the quality of fuck you’d get from people who’d pay for it isn’t much fun.” Kind of blandly. “But I suppose it takes all kinds.”
(6:39:13 PM) Konstantin: “Some don’t care. Others, can’t afford to.”
(6:40:30 PM) Tora: “…people do that for fun? I thought that was the sort of thing one does out of the highest expressions of passion. …Or something.”
(6:40:44 PM) Shirin: “…Yes?” Oh, Tora.
(6:40:48 PM) Shirin: You poor naive child.
(6:40:57 PM) Oryn: “Oh no it is LOTS of fun. And to be fair, someone who does it for a living gets VERY good at it.”
(6:41:34 PM) Shirin: “I’m not worried about the person selling.” Shaking her head. “But shouldn’t we actually get rooms and then discuss the economics here?”
(6:41:50 PM) Logos: The interior of the inn is somewhat less drab than the outside – the lanterns are still that weird green color – but there are heavy, brightly colored tapestries on the wall and a roaring, thankfully normal colored, fire in the fire place. This time of day, and in this season, most of the inn is empty. There’s one table occupied by four scantily clad young people – a half-elven man, two human women and a gnome that looks young enough
(6:41:54 PM) *Mialisyne gestures to the inn they’d arrived at while discussing, leading the way in
(6:43:40 PM) *Tora follows them on the way in, mind boggling
(6:44:02 PM) Shirin: That gnome did not look hold enough to be in here.
(6:44:06 PM) Logos: Aside from them, a few obvious soldier-types – more or less completely sexless in their armor kit – are largely drinking alone and avoiding making eye contact with each other. There’s a young woman in a light blue sun dress cleaning tables and humming quietly to herself and, sitting behind the bar is a slender, beardless young man covered in the same sorts of henna markings that Yin-Fao was wearing.
(6:45:49 PM) Oryn: Oryn shoots the gnome youth a look askance. It was his business what he sold but wow, he did look way too young for this line of work. Wow.
(6:47:17 PM) Oryn: He calls out in gnomish. " < Hey there little brother, profit finding you well? > "
(6:49:21 PM) Shirin: With Oryn distracted, Shirin will go up to the man at the bard. “Sir? I’m lead to believe you have the best rooms in the city.”
(6:49:44 PM) *Mialisyne makes her way over alongside Shirin, letting her handle the discussion for now.
(6:53:08 PM) Logos: Miali is pretty sure she recognizes some of the same patterns in the innkeeper’s Markings that she saw in the Captain’s, it looks like she’s starting to get a grasp of how this works!
(6:54:52 PM) Logos: The gnome looks up, startled to hear gnomish and then looking sheepishly at the bottle of wine. " < As well as can be expected, elder brother. Merchant? I’m Aric Coilspring. Scholar, Business Administration > "
(6:57:08 PM) Logos: The bartender grins and waves over the young woman who’s cleaning tables. “Mira! Customers!” he turns to Shirin, bowing “Welcome to the Goldfern. As you are foreigners, I presume that you were warned by my esteemable sister that it’s impolite to ask my name?” he bows with a flourish “Well, you can call me Sai-Yin, husband of Mira, brother of Yin-Fao.”
(6:57:48 PM) Oryn: Mmmhmmmm. He knew he shouldn’t be in there. Oryn stroked his little goatee, a clear and proud sign of his obvious manliness (ahahahahaha) and nodded. " < Oryn Doublelock, merchant and conjuror. And freelancer. For now. Where gold comes from you go, right? > " He grinned crookedly. " < Business administration, hnn? Administrating the business end of others are you? > "
(6:59:17 PM) *Tora idly looks around, looking for a menu in this place. They said there was food here.
(6:59:35 PM) *Mialisyne bows her head to Sai-Yin. “Brother, informed; best curry! Best rooms! If available; stay, honored!”
(6:59:42 PM) Logos: " < Generally speaking. There’s not much call for merchants or administrators out here, sad to say, but where there’s a will and a gnome, there’s a profit > ," he gestures to the others at the table " < At the moment, I’m having a meeting with my clients to help them diversify their holdings and extend their savings until trade returns > "
(6:59:42 PM) Shirin: “We were, naturally.” She smiles, friendly enough, and repeats that same sweeping bow-an elven bow, in fact. “Shirin Najafi, Guide of the Southern Forests, third daughter of Cyrus Najafi, Gardenkeeper of Ra-Zehman. And these…” She gestures around the Inn. “…Are my associates.”
(7:00:25 PM) Shirin: “We’re looking for a place to stay, for our time here, while Mr. Doublelock does his business.”
(7:00:48 PM) Shirin: She’s polite and diplomatic and Oryn’s not even here to see her.
(7:00:54 PM) Shirin: The secret is safe, and so is her reputation.
(7:01:28 PM) Logos: “You associate with a strange crowd, Shirin Elf-Daughter, but you’re all welcome under my roof. We have clean rooms and an enviable selection of wines and spirits. We serve curry in the Laozhan Fal style, have you had it before?”
(7:01:32 PM) *Tora turns and introduces himself on Shirin’s cue. “I’m Tora.”
(7:03:17 PM) Shirin: “Not in at least fifty years.” She laughs, and grins. “I’ll be happy to try it again.”
(7:04:18 PM) Tora: “Laozhan Fal style curry? I’ll take two.”
(7:05:03 PM) Logos: Mira pops into the kitchen, emerging a few moments later amid a cloud that smells of spice and coriander and cumin, carrying a tray loaded down with plates of bright red curry, loaded with peppers, potatoes and strips of fish, a large bowl of black and white rice, and several pieces of flat bread. She brings it to a large table near the ball, motioning for Shirin’s party to come sit.
(7:05:25 PM) Shirin: …That is the best smelling thing she’s smelled all month.
(7:05:36 PM) Logos: “Will you take wine or spirits, or would you prefer coffee? We have a wonderful blend from the Western Kingdoms. The last of its kind in the city, I believe, until the summer”
(7:06:04 PM) Shirin: Let’s grab Oryn and Konstantin. By arms if need be. “Western Kingdom coffee…goodness, I’d love some.”
(7:06:08 PM) Oryn: Well that was a relief to be certain. Oryn should have known better than to suspect a gnome of being so foolishly illicit! " < Well as they say: a wise gnome can hear profit in the wind. I am happy to see such a young gnome making his start already! > " He crosses his arms and puffs out his chest proudly, as if this young gnome really WAS his younger brother. Gnome took an inordinate amount
(7:06:08 PM) Oryn: of pride in the success of other gnomes at times. " < Just remember not to sample the product or become desperate enough to BECOME it. You’re cute, but give yourself a little time to grow into yourself, aye? > "
(7:06:14 PM) Shirin: " < Miali, curry! Come eat. > "
(7:09:10 PM) *Mialisyne grins to Shrin. " < Smells good. Nice man, no? > " She turns to the bartender. “Offer, entertainment? Music, song?”
(7:09:40 PM) Konstantin: What? Being dragged. He’ll sit down, though, a bit surprised.
(7:12:17 PM) Shirin: “Have you had curry before, Konstantin?” //Someone’s// excited.
(7:12:39 PM) *Tora sits down, excitedly
(7:13:42 PM) Konstantin: “I… no. What is it like?” He seems a bit concerned by this.
(7:14:06 PM) Tora: “It smells good!”
(7:14:13 PM) Shirin: “Spicy.” She gestures at the food before him. “Try it.”
(7:16:05 PM) *Mialisyne settles down to take her delicious-looking plate, taking a bite with a slight cringe. “…Curry, /very/ good!”
(7:17:24 PM) Shirin: She’s just going to plate some and happily eat it.
(7:17:38 PM) Tora: “Spicy? I haven’t been able to find much in the way of spices before I joined up with this group.” Tora tries some of his curry…
(7:18:02 PM) Logos: “Very spicy.” Mira answers, smiling at Konstantin. “Lots of spices from the West, whole peppers. Our rice is very flavorful, so we compensate in our curries”
(7:19:14 PM) Tora: Tora is now devouring it quickly. As in “lifting up the plate to eat it faster” quickly
(7:20:41 PM) Logos: Sai-Yin brings out a platter with a large carafe of coffee and bowl-like cups for everyone. “I’ll go see to your rooms – will five be needed or fewer?”
(7:21:16 PM) Mialisyne: She pauses her eating, glancing to Shirin. " < Are you planning on sharing a room with him? > "
(7:22:09 PM) Shirin: " < …Not without permission, I’m not. > " Just casually picking up a cup and totally not flushing. " < Tora and Oryn can probably room together too. Put Oryn in a suitcase. > "
(7:24:05 PM) Shirin: " < Call it three. can share with you if he wants to sleep on his own. Economical’ll make Oryn happy. Everyone happy, right?" >
(7:24:07 PM) Konstantin: Right. Right then. Moment of truth it is. Time for him to try this curry!
(7:24:38 PM) Tora: “Can I have a second plate?”
(7:24:58 PM) Shirin: “…Let Konstantin have some first before you have seconds, Tora.”
(7:26:09 PM) Mialisyne: “Three rooms, adequate.” She smiles to Sai-Yin.
(7:26:10 PM) Konstantin: …
(7:26:29 PM) Konstantin: ….His eyes are watering.
(7:26:56 PM) Konstantin: His pale skin has taken on a ghastly flush.
(7:27:03 PM) Logos: Mira claps delightedly “Of course! Have as much as you want, I always cook too much for our regulars” she runs off to the kitchen to fix more before Shirin can get a word in edgewise. Sai-Yin grins at Shirin knowingly " < Three rooms then. I’ll draw up a tab for your company. Traditionally, you can pay in goods or coin before you leave the city. There’s a slight discount for elves, which I’ll apply to your total tab. Oh, and our bath-h
(7:27:12 PM) Konstantin: His fangs have extended on reflex. “This… is amazing!”
(7:27:50 PM) Logos: and our bath-house is mixed, in case you were wondering > "
(7:28:06 PM) Shirin: “…Konstantin.” Coughing, and gesturing to his face before turning /amazingly/ red.
(7:28:19 PM) *Mialisyne blushes, though she covers it with feigning fanning her lips from the spicy curry.
(7:28:23 PM) Shirin: " < …Thank you, ma’am. My apologies for the language. > "
(7:28:36 PM) Shirin: Thank the gods for her skintone hiding her blush.
(7:28:43 PM) Konstantin: He manages to close his mouth and when it opens again they’re gone. “This is fantastic!”
(7:31:03 PM) Shirin: “I’m glad you like it.” She manages not to chuckle.
(7:31:21 PM) Logos: Sai-Yin leans up against the bar. “When I saw you were an Elf, I assumed you were an EDEN research partner. Are you planning on visiting the gardens?”
(7:33:18 PM) Shirin: “I’m planning on it…I don’t think my brothers are assigned here. But I’m a Guide, not with EDEN, I’m afraid.” Gesturing at Oryn. “He wanted to see the Tower.”
(7:34:04 PM) Logos: “That’s a tall order. You don’t usually get /into/ the Tower unless you catch the eye of one of the Veined Ones,” he shudders a little bit “Though, in the Bad Old Days, it was different”
(7:35:33 PM) Tora: “Veined Ones?”
(7:36:10 PM) Shirin: “Them what need the reagents inside, I’m guessing.”
(7:36:37 PM) *Mialisyne finally has had enough of the curry [or perhaps forced herself to not take a second plate], looking to Sai-Yin. " < Would it be alright if I offered common room entertainment as a means of showing gratitude for your wonderful cooking? > "
(7:37:35 PM) Logos: “The Veined Lords of Laozhan Fal? The rulers of the city,” Sai-Yin smiled at Miali “Of course, be my guest. I’ll take any tips you get out of your tab, if you’d like to play a little while you’re here. Assuming you’re good,”
(7:38:40 PM) *Tora has happily finished two plates of the curry. “Ahhhh, Okay, so you’d have to do something really heroic to catch their eyes, I guess.”
(7:40:04 PM) Logos: “Or really stupid, I suppose, but yes. They don’t often take visitors in the Tower,”
(7:41:22 PM) Shirin: “Well, that can be sorted out come morning. I’ve not much a mind to bother anyone during dinner.”
(7:41:54 PM) Oryn: “What exactly is IN the Tower anyway? It is just where these veined ones live?” Oryn joined the others with a plate of curry after chatting up the young gnome and ruffling his hair for good measure.
(7:42:05 PM) *Mialisyne stands and bows her head, making her way to an empty table and unslinging her guitar, studying the room a moment with a practiced eye. She begins to lightly tap one foot as her fingers glide over the strings, a soft drumbeat beginning to set the tempo and beat as she accompanies with her guitar, beginning… interesting, a travelling song in gnomish singing of horizons yet
(7:42:06 PM) Mialisyne: to be seen [and taken advantage of] and a faraway home…
(7:48:36 PM) Logos: The young gnome in the crowd has been brought to tears, and the rest – even the grizzled mercenaries – clap appreciatively. Even some people from outside come in to listen, and – Sai-Yin notes with a happy tear – drink. “Well, no one knows except the Veined Lords. They only occupy the lowest levels though. Before…well, I shouldn’t bore you with stories”
(7:50:02 PM) *Tora watches Mialisyne with amazement. Holy crap that had to be one of the best musical performances he had heard, ever.
(7:50:29 PM) Shirin: Shirin is quietly appreciative, before she speaks. " < …Do you know the Moon and the Hunter, Miali? > " Old elven ballads weeee.
(7:50:55 PM) Shirin: ….Why she picked the one about the time the moon fell in love with a hunter and turned him into a river when he died fucking up a boar hunt is anyone’s guess.
(7:52:17 PM) *Mialisyne smiles and nods to Shirin, bringing the first song to a close before continuing the next. She can play all night long! Just… don’t ask her to sing in common.
(7:53:53 PM) Shirin: Well, Konstantin did have something he wanted to share with the class when they get to their rooms.
(7:58:04 PM) Konstantin: Right, and he’ll be ready, after that meal. “I wish to begin with an apology. I have not been forthright with you about myself.”
(7:58:05 PM) Logos: By the time Mia finished her set, she had drawn a pretty impressive crowd, and the party had really gotten started, giving Our Heroes a chance to slip away quietly to their rooms. Like many inns, the Goldfern had an “Adventurer’s Suite” of three bedrooms arranged around a central private room dominated by a large round table. It was this suite that Sai-Yin had prepared for them.
(7:58:45 PM) Shirin: Well then. She’ll just take a comfortable seat, and settle in for now. “…”
(7:59:54 PM) *Mialisyne contentedly settles in as well, looking fairly pleased with herself.
(8:00:49 PM) Oryn: Ahhhhh, armchair~ Well, gnome, so more of a handchair really. Still, Oryn takes it up and reclines!
(8:01:13 PM) Konstantin: “My name is Konstantin, true. And I am a paladin on a quest. These are not lies, merely halftruths. But I should let you know, I am Konstantin von Aravalle, of the kingdom Aravalle. My quest is to gather the strength needed to wrest the lands from my father, Mathias von Aravalle.”
(8:01:54 PM) Konstantin: “And my father’s name should put light to the rather… unexpected end to our fight, in the bandit camp. I apologize for having decieved you all, but I needed to be certain I could trust you.”
(8:03:09 PM) Konstantin: “…That is all.”
(8:03:28 PM) Tora: “So…why did you eat that guy’s neck, anyway?”
(8:03:35 PM) Shirin: …
(8:03:41 PM) Shirin: Face, meet palm.
(8:03:46 PM) Logos: For those Adventurers just tuning in: Mathias von Aravalle is the Hero of the Great Betrayal, who broke the siege on the Elven city of Ra Zehman and killed the Betrayer in single combat. He is also, as luck would have it, a vampire, though that doesn’t seem to have affected the fact that his kingdom is one of the most well-run in the East.
(8:04:35 PM) Konstantin: “My father is among the undead, and has been since before my birth. I share this fate, to an extent, by our blood.”
(8:04:56 PM) Tora: “…oh.”
(8:05:18 PM) Shirin: “For the record, I already knew all of this. Mathias asked for a guide to accompany Konstantin as he traveled. I believe, mostly to keep someone from trying to stab him with sharpened pieces of wood.”
(8:05:36 PM) Mialisyne: “Shocking truth!”
(8:06:01 PM) Tora: well…that explained a good bit.
(8:07:13 PM) *Mialisyne pauses. “But, seen coming.” She smiles. “Not bitten; many opportunities. Paladin code. Secret, safe.” Bardic wandering did increase tolerances for weird companions.
(8:12:13 PM) Oryn: Wait, so Konstantin’s dad was rich this whole time? “Wait so your dad was rich this whole time?” Inside voice inside Oryn! Inside voice inside! “Ahem, pardon me. I would just like to let you know that gnome blood is not something I’m willing to negotiate into your contract but you’re perfectly welcome to nibble on the throat of anyone who vexes us! This changes little, you are still an
(8:12:13 PM) Oryn: honorable man and a good employee.” He nods firmly. “Besides anyone who has dodged the dues of the Trader Below deserves respect.”
(8:12:45 PM) Oryn: “That’s in reference to your father, obviously. I hope you haven’t been near death yet. Any nearer than your current state. Yes. That.” He nods again as if that all made sense.
(8:12:56 PM) Shirin: “…Oryn why is that the first thing you focus on?”
(8:13:19 PM) Oryn: “Because I am a patriot.”
(8:13:26 PM) Shirin: “To /whom/?”
(8:13:28 PM) Tora: “…” Sideeyeing the gnome “Oryn, you have a single-track mind.”
(8:13:30 PM) Oryn: “Gnome pride!”
(8:13:37 PM) Shirin: “//Oryn//.”
(8:13:41 PM) Tora: “that’s not patriotism.”
(8:13:42 PM) *Mialisyne stifles a soft laugh
(8:13:55 PM) Oryn: “It sounds better than the alternative!” He grins brightly.
(8:13:59 PM) Konstantin: He pauses and smiles, and then laughs after a moment. “Thank you… Thank you all.”
(8:15:46 PM) Shirin: “Breathe a little easier with that out in the open, eh, Your Highness?” Given the grin she just gave Konstantin, that title was not at all respectful.
(8:20:20 PM) Konstantin: “Yes, to an extent.”
(8:23:13 PM) Tora: “Er…so what do we call you now anyway?”
(8:23:28 PM) Shirin: Mouths ‘Told you’ at him, and then leans back. “Well. I still wish to visit EDEN…and then we’ll have to figure out what to do about the Tower.”
(8:23:39 PM) Konstantin: “Konstantin will suffice.”
(8:23:52 PM) Mialisyne: “Konstantin, probably? Royalty, hidden; purpose.”
(8:25:17 PM) Tora: “Ah, okay then!” Tora seems to be taking this well in stride.
(8:26:01 PM) MalmsVovokosi left the room (quit: Ping timeout: 183 seconds).
(8:26:12 PM) Mialisyne: She sizes up Tora’s response a moment, before relaxing back on the divan.
(8:27:34 PM) Shirin: " < .. .So question. How did you figure to ask where I was sleeping, Miali? > "
(8:31:59 PM) Mialisyne: " < Equal number of stares at the royal hindquarters- > " Ooh, a suffix added. " < -so I made a guess. > "
(8:34:18 PM) Shirin: " < Can you /blame/ me? > " Seriously, dat ass. " < Others know? …Well, Oryn. I don’t think Tora’s noticed. > "
(8:34:52 PM) *Mialisyne stifles a soft laugh.
(8:37:07 PM) Shirin: < “Don’t laugh at me! I gotta hope he hasn’t noticed, Prince hasn’t won //that// much.” >
(8:37:22 PM) *Tora blinks, looking over and wondering what the elven Mean Girls are saying
(8:37:49 PM) Oryn: Oryn needed to pick up Elven one of these days!
(8:38:43 PM) Shirin: Well they keep peering over at Konstantin so it’s anyone’s guess.
(8:39:24 PM) Logos: Maybe Elves have some weird social mores about vampires? Who knows.
(8:39:39 PM) Tora: Or about princes. Or vampire princes.
(8:39:50 PM) Shirin: She said Oryn and Tora’s name, too. Huh.
(8:43:25 PM) Logos: Well, “Aaron” and "Taara"m Elvish is weird about long o sounds.
(8:44:05 PM) Konstantin: …Elves are townies? Or kennedeys?
(8:45:18 PM) Tora: Yeah, that was a thing.
(8:45:52 PM) Shirin: “Oryn, what //are// we doing about the tower?”
(8:46:08 PM) Shirin: “If you’re not already dreaming about the profits in there.”
(8:46:25 PM) Mialisyne: “Perform, impress?”
(8:46:42 PM) Tora: “He’s already dreamed about it, twice, I imagine.”
(8:48:06 PM) Oryn: Oryn scratched his goatee and sat back. “Getting in there could be a one-way ticket to the Merchant’s hand, or we could be looking at a bounty in ancient heavenly treasures.” He rubs his hands together. “I think we should get in there~”
(8:48:08 PM) Shirin: “It was incredible, Miali.” She smiles, gently.
(8:48:21 PM) Shirin: “…And how do you propose to /do/ that?”
(8:48:35 PM) Shirin: “I’m not helping you break in.”
(8:48:48 PM) Oryn: “Well… If we have to be invited by one of these Veined Lords to get in, we should start by ingratiating ourselves to one.”
(8:49:04 PM) Oryn: “Don’t be silly, breaking in is against the law!”
(8:51:21 PM) *Mialisyne pauses, realizing her intended effort hadn’t come across. “For tower. Play outside.” Well, it was an idea, and she did pride herself on her music.
(8:51:30 PM) Tora: “Think we should go and see about what you were going to meet about tomorrow, Shirin? That’d sound like a good starting point, anyway.”
(8:52:16 PM) Oryn: Oryn nods at Miali. “That is a way we could ingratiate ourselves, indeed!”
(8:52:19 PM) Tora: “Ah…do you mean playing to distract them, or playing to impress the nobles, Miali?”
(8:53:03 PM) Shirin: “EDEN…they might be able to get us in to talk to the Veined Ones, I suppose. I can’t guarantee it.”
(8:53:19 PM) Shirin: “Can’t guarantee they’ll be willing to help you, either. But I can get you in to ask them for thelp.”
(8:53:42 PM) Shirin: She shrugs. “If we want to go, we should tonight, tho. They’ll be taking visitors now, in the evening.”
(8:53:47 PM) Shirin: “Not in daylight.”
(8:55:09 PM) Mialisyne: “Impress, preferably. Distraction, alternate?”
(8:59:27 PM) Tora: “Ah, okay then. I suppose we should go now?” Tora stands up
(9:00:24 PM) *Mialisyne nods, getting to her feet.
(9:01:01 PM) Shirin: “Yes. This isn’t a desert, but they’ll keep the same hours.”
(9:01:31 PM) Tora: “Yeah, I know how it is in the desert.”
(9:02:09 PM) Shirin: …Side-eying Tora.
(9:02:17 PM) Tora: “Wake up at dawn, get food, head to shelter for the day, sleep again, wake up at dusk, go back before it gets too cold out there.”

Session 5
In which Head is g-PHRASING

(8:12:01 PM) Logos: When Oryn’s wagon rolled back into town with most of the town’s wealth loaded into it, there was much rejoicing. The mayor even made a speech…where he told the town that he had hired these stalwart adventurers to save their town from Rolt’s protection racket and how he was completely responsible for the entire affair.
(8:12:33 PM) Oryn: Oryn’s face darkened dangerously.
(8:13:10 PM) *Mialisyne smiles sweetly. “Indeed! Mayor, promise: All wealth, for Rolf! YOUR wealth.”
(8:13:46 PM) Oryn: “Your mayor lies to you. He didn’t hire us. He’s the one who’s been taking your gold to give in protection money to the man whose HEAD we took. After we broke into a heavily fortified fortress he was too scared to brave himself with all his vaunted ‘adventuring’ experience. Or was that a lie too, Mr. Mayor?”
(8:15:46 PM) Shirin_Najafi: "… < Miali, can I shoot him? > "
(8:15:48 PM) *Tora is largely glad to just not have to hold the severed head anymore
(8:16:55 PM) *Oryn lets Miali speak but interjects frequently, basically translating her passionate assertions!
(8:17:51 PM) Shirin_Najafi: Shirin looks menacing. Or half-asleep and still under the weather from blood loss. It’s /really/ hard to tell.
(8:18:11 PM) Mialisyne: " < If the crowd turns on him. > "
(8:18:27 PM) Shirin_Najafi: " < If they turn I’ll let them have him. > "
(8:18:44 PM) Mialisyne: " < Leg shot so he can’t run away. > "
(8:19:50 PM) Shirin left the room (quit: Ping timeout: 484 seconds).
(8:22:09 PM) Logos: The Mayor doesn’t really have a response to their claims, and mostly just stands there, looking chagrined and gesticulating wildly as the settlement’s inhabitants – led by his maid – start to carry him off, while some of the larger men start unloading Oryn’s cart and redistributing the town’s wealth. The owner of the general store comes up, wiping his hands and offering to shake with the heroes in turn. “Thank ye, fer yer help”
(8:23:10 PM) Oryn: Oryn pulls out a ledger and responsibly asks who is missing what so it can be properly redistributed. “All in a day’s work for the Doublelock Trading Company.” He pauses then adds. “Apparently.”
(8:23:19 PM) *Tora blinks. “His story about his friend opening a lizardman preserve was kind of silly when I think about it.”
(8:23:40 PM) *Mialisyne bows her head to the owner of the general store, shaking his hand in return. “Assistance, our pleasure. Punishment, probable?”
(8:24:10 PM) *Shirin_Najafi stares at his hand for a minute before remembering to shake it. “…The only thanks I’d need is a good night’s sleep and something alcoholic.” She actually manages a real smile. “I haven’t much patience with banditry and extortion…it was my pleasure, believe me.”
(8:25:09 PM) Logos: “Well, you’re welcome to stay overnight in town, if you’d like. We’ll put the mayor under house arrest until the king can send a new representative, but I feel like I should set you off with some kind of reward”
(8:25:48 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…” Looks down at her ruined hair tie, and then over at Tora and Konstantin’s…tent and lack of shirt, respectively.
(8:26:21 PM) Konstantin: “I believe the lion’s share of the reward belongs to Mister Doublelock and the elves, but we’re in no position to refuse somewhere to rest and plan our next course of action.” He smiles a bit wanly but, genuine enough.
(8:27:09 PM) *Mialisyne pats Oryn on the shoulder, murmuring in Gnomish. “(‘Good repeat customers are rare as mithril. Treasure them’.)” She grins some, before stretching some. “Inn, rest?”
(8:28:29 PM) Tora: “I guess we could do that. Wonder what food they have.”
(8:28:32 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Inn, rest, plan next stop.” She shrugs. “Oryn, you’re stilll aiming for Ra Zehman, right?”
(8:29:05 PM) Oryn: He sighs a bit as he scratches into his ledger. “(Ah but you forget the first rules that I am breaking dear Miali. ‘Once you have their money, never give it back.’)”
(8:29:06 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “After all this, I’ll vouch for all of you into the capital, but we’ll still need to get there, and it’s…a hike.”
(8:31:21 PM) Logos: “We don’t have an inn, but I’ll set you up in the old Nagh place and have the Ladies Auxilliary bring ’round some food and shirts and things,” he coughed uncomfortably, noticing Konstantin. “Couple of shirts, maybe”
(8:32:05 PM) Konstantin: “It is appreciated. Chainmail is… a touch uncomfortable, when worn in this manner.”
(8:33:47 PM) *Mialisyne nods to Shriin, bowing her head to the major. “Appreciated.” She leads the way there.
(8:34:05 PM) *Tora looks to Oryn “What were we going to do at Ra Zehman again?”
(8:35:35 PM) Oryn: Oryn looks up from his ledger. “As you know this whole area was once the site of a major human-elf conflict. Relations are still strained at the best of times between the two people. It’s my hope that the Doublelock Merchant Company can help ease the strain and introduce mutually beneficial trade agreements between two ailing communities.” He smiled. “And rake in a tidy profit at the
(8:35:36 PM) Oryn: same time, of course~”
(8:36:39 PM) Logos: According to the maps that Oryn has available, the nearest towns are the Tower of Laozhan Fal and a small community on the side of Lake Alen which is, appropriately, called Lakeside. Ra Zehman is quite a distance back the way they came, though there are other smaller settlements like this one that are nearby.
(8:38:26 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “It’s also the capital.” Shirin notes dryly, and shrugs.
(8:41:42 PM) *Tora puzzles over the maps. “So which are we going to next?”
(8:42:05 PM) Konstantin: “What is our current route, then? I realize Mister Doublelock has to turn a profit for this trip or the whole venture is a waste for him…”
(8:45:12 PM) Tora: “I’m guessing he’s planning on that profit being at Ra Zehman, but…”
(8:45:46 PM) Oryn: “Needless to say there’s a lot of opportunity to connect the capital with these outer settlements. We won’t be going back there until we visit the other towns.”
(8:45:53 PM) Oryn: He nods sagely.
(8:46:15 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…The capital could connect to these towns if they wanted to on their own.” Eartwitch.
(8:47:03 PM) Mialisyne: “Road, return; along way, visit towns?” She looks over the maps as well. Little actual profit had been turned thus far. “Identify opportunities, form trade networks.” She glances to Shirin. “Nobles, illusions: Self-sufficient. Opportunities ignored. Making connections, seizing opportunity, profitable.”
(8:47:37 PM) Oryn: Oryn nods firmly. “Just as Mialisyne says. At least one of you knows what you’re talking about!”
(8:47:50 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Cannot promise connections without actually speaking to the council.”
(8:48:22 PM) Mialisyne: “Scout first, identify potential, request marque.”
(8:48:24 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “The oathbreaker might not mean much to //you//, Oryn, but all of us still remember.”
(8:49:26 PM) Oryn: He shrugs. “I’m not human or elf so the war had no stake with me. I’m the perfect spark to relight the fires of industry around here! The smoulders of the broken oath will be forgotten in such a blaze!”
(8:50:39 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…” The look Shirin is giving him suggests she can’t decide whether to be offended or amazed at that level of arrogance.
(8:51:35 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Doublelock, //I// fought in that war.”
(8:52:04 PM) Oryn: “Then you will be flush with delight in seeing the scars smoothed over from it!” He nodded.
(8:52:16 PM) Tora: “I…don’t think people’d forget a war that quickly, Oryn. Especially if they feel you’re trying to leverage it to make a profit…”
(8:52:24 PM) Shirin_Najafi: Okay, no, she’s definitely mad now.
(8:52:28 PM) Konstantin: “I believe Mister Doublelock is speaking from a place of optimism, not assumption, Shirin.” He sighs a bit. He suddenly longed for the bandits to murder.
(8:53:26 PM) Shirin_Najafi: " < Arrogant stuffed-shirt overly presumptious profit-mongering //gnome//! > " Deep breath. Do not shoot the gnome.
(8:54:20 PM) *Mialisyne pats Shrin’s back. " < There, there. He is banking on human forgetfulness and elven magnaminity."
(8:54:28 PM) Shirin_Najafi: Think about the route. Nice forests. Hardly any dryads.
(8:54:39 PM) Shirin_Najafi: " < //What// magnaminity has he even /met/ the council? >
(8:55:10 PM) Mialisyne: " < He’s hoping to flatter them into deciding letting him scurry around makes them look better for it."
(8:55:47 PM) Oryn: “Precisely so Mr. Konstantin! Now if anyone here wants to get paid, myself included, we should be looking for capital! Capital! The warlocks of the fallen tower harvest rare reagents that could go for a big price in the city and I bet they haven’t seen a good spice card in ages.” He pats the side of the Doublelock Cart.
(8:56:01 PM) Oryn: “I say we pay them a visit!”
(8:56:14 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…” She pinches the bridge of her nose.
(8:56:59 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Well, I was going to say, that the hunting trails are clear this time of year and should be used enough even for that ridiculous cart of yours, but if you want to go siteseeing, far be it from your //guide// to stop you.”
(8:58:03 PM) *Mialisyne sits back in thought. “Valuable reagents, no merchants? Fishy.”
(8:58:31 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Probably dangerous, full of monsters, and traps.”
(8:58:34 PM) Mialisyne: " < ….you might get to shoot more bandits and ne’er do wells, on the plus side? > "
(8:58:45 PM) Tora: “…what kind of people are warlocks anyway?”
(8:59:38 PM) Konstantin: “Not as terrible as most would think.”
(8:59:41 PM) Mialisyne: “Bargainers, great forces, dangerous forces, beyond ken, jeapardous deals.”
(8:59:44 PM) Mialisyne: “…..merchants!”
(8:59:45 PM) Oryn: “Creepy.” He says simply as if that’s the whole story. “Anyway it’s hardly sightseeing, it’s work, work! And besides, the warlocks might just be having trouble in their tower and if we help them solve it, well~ (Good repeat customers are as good as mythril.)” He winks at Miali.
(8:59:51 PM) Shirin_Najafi: " < Also more opportunity for the person I’m supposed to be getting to the capital to get stabbed. > "
(9:00:16 PM) Oryn: “Merchants and warlocks DO get along surprisingly well…” He rubs his goatee and grumbles to himself at Miali’s words.
(9:01:30 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…Oryn, hand me your map.”
(9:01:43 PM) Tora: “Oh? Wow. All I’ve heard is that they’re ‘talentless hacks who have to stoop to getting power in the easiest way possible.’” …he left out the more…‘colorful’ words Mari used to describe them.
(9:02:44 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Been talking to wizards?”
(9:02:44 PM) Oryn: “Kind of like how sorcerers are shills and layabouts banking on nothing but their heritage to get them what they want like lazy second sons?” Oryn raised an eyebrow accusingly.
(9:02:57 PM) Tora: “No.”
(9:03:00 PM) *Mialisyne stifles a laugh.
(9:03:08 PM) Oryn: Oryn hands Shirin his map, eyebrow still raised.
(9:04:06 PM) Shirin_Najafi: Shirin takes the map, hums for a minute, and then produces a piece of chalk. From the current town, to the town closest between it and the tower, to the tower, to the next town, then a route drawn in the quickest possible path to ra zehman that still stopped at towns.
(9:04:26 PM) Shirin_Najafi: "Assuming we don’t get killed or sidetracked, that should be moon, maybe half another moon ‘till we get there.
(9:05:19 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “And if the tower proves too dangerous, I will //carry// you out, profit or no profit.”
(9:05:30 PM) Oryn: “Brilliant! This is what I pay you for, Shirin! That and shooting fools with sharp things!” He takes the map and nods firmly. "Now, shall we al enjoy some rest and the tender mercies of the Ladies’ Auxiliary before we move on?"
(9:05:39 PM) Mialisyne: “Wrong. I carry. You shoot. Konstantin, swords.”
(9:06:02 PM) Oryn: He pouts like a 12 year old. “Alright, alright, maybe I am a little incautious in my pursuit of profit.”
(9:06:13 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “A //little//?”
(9:06:17 PM) Mialisyne: “Shocking truth!”
(9:06:20 PM) Tora: “…what do I do?”
(9:06:23 PM) Oryn: “But any gnome SHOULD be! The saying goes: ‘A gnome without profit is nothing!’”
(9:06:33 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Oryn you’d chop down a dryad’s tree to sell the wood!”
(9:06:58 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “A dead gnome has no profit!”
(9:07:09 PM) Mialisyne: She glances to Tora. “Zappy thing? Stabby thing?”
(9:07:37 PM) Shirin_Najafi: " < Bait. > "
(9:08:00 PM) Mialisyne: " < I admittedly presumed he’d have been the first to get stabbed that led to us retreating. >
(9:08:04 PM) Shirin_Najafi: She’s already heading to the indicated building to rest.
(9:08:33 PM) Oryn: Oryn yawwwwwns and goes to brush down his mare before bed. “Come on princess, it’s oats and a nice barn for you tonight.”
(9:08:56 PM) *Mialisyne nods and stretches some, following after.
(9:09:32 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…” A pause. Wandering back to Oryn’s cart and rummaging around for ribbon.
(9:09:33 PM) *Tora follows Shirin, oblivious to the fact that he has been labeled bait.
(9:09:39 PM) Shirin_Najafi: If found, she’s leaving a coin.
(9:09:55 PM) Shirin_Najafi: And taking it to tie her hair off after she braids it.
(9:16:48 PM) Tora: “…i wonder if there’s a courier service where we’re going.” Tora idly asks to nobody in particular
(9:17:35 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Probably not, but I can see if any of the messenger hawks are flying through and borrow one, if it’s important.”
(9:18:22 PM) Shirin_Najafi: Once inside, Shirin is basically immediately finding a chair near the fire and curling up into it. How a six-foot-six elf scrunches herself into about three feet of elfball is a mystery.
(9:20:35 PM) *Mialisyne finds herself somewhere comfortable to lay down for the night as well, stripping off her armor before resting.
(9:22:01 PM) Shirin_Najafi: Shirin has forgotten that armor part.
(9:22:13 PM) Tora: “Kinda…but I guess it’s not that important if you’d need to borrow someone else’s bird.” Tora seems to be happy enough just laying on the floor in front of the fire
(9:23:08 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Guides have right to use the messengers if I see ’em.”
(9:27:12 PM) Tora: “it’s not that important, I guess.” …chances are the bird would get eaten anyway.
(9:28:31 PM) Shirin_Najafi: She stretches out again so she can lean over the back of the chair to peer at Tora. “Whaaat, wanna send a letter home to a sweetheart? No need to be shy.”
(9:30:01 PM) *Tora buries his face in his arms. “It’s not that, it’s just that it’s not that important…”
(9:30:43 PM) *Mialisyne smiles, tossing her head to peek out from her bangs. “Romance, important!”
(9:32:00 PM) *Tora buries his face into his arms harder as if that would make the situation any better
(9:32:04 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “You’re not a very good liar, Tora.”
(9:32:17 PM) Shirin_Najafi: Some day, Karma was going to catch up with her.
(9:32:32 PM) Shirin_Najafi: But she’s perfectly happy to ignore that fact.
(9:33:24 PM) Konstantin: “There’s nothing wrong with attending to matters of the heart, Tora.” He’s made himself comfortable far from the fire, actually.
(9:35:03 PM) Tora: “Where’d you come from all of a sudden?” Tora turned his head towards Konstantin as much as his current position would allow.
(9:35:30 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “…He’s been here the whole time?”
(9:37:06 PM) Tora: “…” stupid useless human eyes and ears. Tora resumes his now somewhat-pouting position on the floor
(9:38:06 PM) Shirin_Najafi: She giggles a little, and actually disentangles from her chair to come over and poke the sorcerer. “Come on now, don’t pout!”
(9:39:05 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Why get embarrassed about love? We’re all made t’feel it, some point or another.”
(9:43:34 PM) *Tora is poked and rolls over to maintain his laying-down position. “Because it’s not something I just tell anyone and everyone.”
(9:46:02 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Just broadcast it, obviously, to the world.” She shrugs, and stands back up, finally remembering to peel out of her armor.
(9:46:58 PM) Konstantin: “My apologies. I forget that my presence is sometimes… elusive.” He sighs. “But I can understand wanting privacy…”
(9:48:12 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “I don’t know there’s much to be had here, unless there are more rooms I’ve missed…” Glancing over at Konstantin at the word ‘privacy’.
(9:49:31 PM) *Tora gets up and starts back out the door…largely to ‘borrow’ a paper and a writing device from the cart.
(9:51:00 PM) Tora: …at which point he resumes his position laying down in front of the fire, starting to write
(9:53:37 PM) *Mialisyne chuckles some, stretching out a bit. “Privacy elusive. Not uncommon, adventuring. Get comfortable, best possible?”
(9:59:14 PM) Shirin_Najafi: “Comfortable, cuddly, make a new friend, Miali?”
(9:59:35 PM) *Mialisyne blinks and blushes, glancing aside. “…imposition, unintended.”
(10:04:25 PM) Shirin_Najafi: She laughs, shaking her head. " < You don’t need to apologize, Miali. I can behave in close-quarters."
(10:06:06 PM) *Tora swats away an ember that tried to land on the paper as he continues writing, trying to not turn around to see what the conversation going on behind him is about

Session 4
In which Shirin duels

(6:57:56 PM) *Mialisyne directs the others into an ambush position [Help to gain Advantage: Dex (Stealth)], before taking up her own position and beginning to invoke an Illusion – the sounds of grumbling and commotion starting in the mess hall, before rising to a fevered, shouting pitch.
(7:00:01 PM) Tora: …Tora, for his short stature, is amazingly not stealthy. Somehow.
(7:01:13 PM) Oryn: Oryn is even shorter though and he is!
(7:01:50 PM) Shirin: …//Civilians//.
(7:07:09 PM) Logos: After several minutes of tense waiting, the door to the war room opens and two large, fair-skinned men covered with tribal tattoos and wearing long braids in their hair emerge, crossbows resting on their shoulders and hands resting on the hilts of heavy, looking spiked maces. They take the stairs two at a time, looking around for any sign of what’s causing the commotion.
(7:09:42 PM) Shirin: Well, that’s going as planned, so far. Shirin waits, quiet and crouched, for them to pass by her hiding place. Wait until they pass, then…strike!
(7:09:56 PM) *Mialisyne adjusts her spell, making the sound of breaking glass in the mess hall to lure them that way.
(7:12:39 PM) Tora: Tora had slipped over an unidentifiable mess hall stain, but stays down, unnoticed behind some tables
(7:13:01 PM) Oryn: Oryn breathes an icy mist as he prepares the energy for a spell, waiting to summon it up since the incantation would cause too much noise.
(7:20:08 PM) *Mialisyne steps out first, playing a discordant, reverberating note on her guitar and matching it with her voice that resonates viciously through the thugs’ armor.
(7:20:54 PM) Tora: Tora turns around, seeing the intruders, and sees Oryn chanting…and figures this must be the time to strike. Leaping over the table, with a shout of " < Storm Claw > !" he swings an electrified clawed hand at the nearer of the two men
(7:22:57 PM) Shirin: As Miali steps out, Shirin moves, drawing, knocking and firing in one single smooth second.
(7:24:21 PM) Oryn: Oryn stands from his hiding place and holds his hand back, an ornate dagger of ice forming from his arcane focus glove, then he casts it forward towards the two guards, trying to hit one of them in the shoulder.
(7:27:12 PM) Logos: One of the two thugs has enough time to register that they’re under attack before he gets impaled on an arrow and then a knife made of ice buries itself in his shoulder, and explodes, taking most of the shoulder with it as it peppers his friend with icy shrapnel. Said friend tries to dodge out of the way, and avoids the worst of it as he goes for his mace.
(7:28:58 PM) Logos: And then he gets mildly electrocuted. He’s not having a good day.
(7:33:44 PM) Konstantin: And in the chaos, Konstantin lunges forward, blade going for the slit in the man’s armor. Nobody said a Paladin couldn’t be efficient, after all.
(7:37:04 PM) Logos: The man grunted in pain as he gets yet another impaling wound and turns to face Konstantin, his mace drawn.
(7:39:26 PM) Shirin: Draw a mace, get shot in the face.
(7:40:10 PM) Logos: He wheels around as Shirin’s arrow hits him squarely in the back, turning on her. He’s not down yet, but he’s staggering around rather alarmingly.
(7:41:00 PM) Shirin: “…Make this easier on yourself and die quietly,” she murmurs, eyes narrowing.
(7:45:41 PM) Konstantin: “Please.” He’s going for anoter quick stab, in the neck this time.
(7:49:59 PM) Tora: “…well, guess we should head up before they figure out their guys aren’t coming back?”
(7:50:07 PM) Oryn: Oryn brushed his hands off. “Well that was horrifyingly efficient.”
(7:50:17 PM) *Mialisyne nods. “Swift; iron, hot!” She nods to the stairs, ascending up the stairs, keeping an ear out.
(7:50:19 PM) Oryn: “Lead the way!” He nods firmly.
(7:50:51 PM) Tora: Tora heads up the stairs, dagger drawn. In retrospect, electrocuting people by hand isn’t too effective yet
(7:51:06 PM) Shirin: “Quickly, quietly. As owl in the night, no?” She murmurs, following her cousin up the steps.
(7:51:42 PM) *Tora isn’t the most quiet, as proven. But he isn’t too bad on the quickness front!
(7:52:41 PM) Tora: “It…still feels weird fighting people up close.”
(7:53:07 PM) Shirin: “You’ll have plenty of time to practice, sparks.”
(7:53:59 PM) Tora: “It’s not the lack of practice in fighting up close at all so much as just…” he grimaces awkwardly.
(7:54:05 PM) Konstantin: He’s just going to follow the others, then, sword and shield at the ready. “In time, the notion of killing from so close will become less discomforting.”
(7:55:18 PM) Tora: “…I hope so.” Mari’d probably laugh at him if she heard.
(7:55:57 PM) Konstantin: “I can assure you that it does.” You know, that’d be more comforting if he wasn’t saying it like he was talking about the weather changing.
(7:56:05 PM) Shirin: " < To the hunter, honor, to the prey, peace. > " It’s an old Elvish saying, and not particularly helpful, but it’s the best she has right now. “Remember the reasons you’re fighting.”
(7:56:45 PM) *Mialisyne nods as she advances up the stairs. “Defeat Rolf, free village. Opposition, brook not.”
(7:57:06 PM) Logos: Rolt’s war room is dominated by a large map table depicting much of the western expanse, with flags and stands marking important trade routes and towns. It’s apparent that the man has big plans – which probably matches he’s stature. He’s standing by the table, bent over, and still appears to be head and shoulders taller than Konstantin. He’s dressed in well-kept, expensive looking armor covered gilt.
(7:57:55 PM) Tora: “…wa…” …Tora had never seen a man so huge. Hugeman is huge.
(7:58:09 PM) Logos: Across from him, in far more practical armor, is a shorter man with long, white hair, leaning one arm on the hilt of a long sword. Under his armor, he must be extremely thin – even the bulk of the metal doesn’t make him look very broad, especially compared to the horrific man-ape he’s talking to.
(7:58:29 PM) Shirin: Hand over Tora’s mouth.
(8:01:33 PM) *Mialisyne holds out her hand, halting the others.
(8:04:10 PM) Oryn: Oryn stops his creeping.
(8:04:54 PM) *Mialisyne whispers. “Shirin. Take the shot?”
(8:05:00 PM) Tora: Tora stops, blocked by both Mia’s arm and astonishment at how someone could be so damn big
(8:05:29 PM) Logos: It doesn’t look like either man has noticed the adventurers standing just below line of sight in the stairwell leading to the bottom level. They appear to be having some kind of heated discussion, with Rolt making broad, sweeping gestures at the map while the white-haired man quietly explains that his plan – whatever it is isn’t clear today – is “overreaching, unauthorized and foolish”
(8:08:09 PM) Shirin: “…” She nods, and silently draws, searching for a chink in that armor. Everyone needs to be ready for the fight as soon as she lets fly, so making it count was important.
(8:08:38 PM) Shirin: She gestures to her ear. Listen and wait.
(8:13:42 PM) Logos: "…Rolt, you weren’t paid to think, and you certainly weren’t paid to try to use our resources to build your own kingdom. I have a feeling that all that gold you’re wearing has had some toxic effects on your brain. Or maybe it’s the smoke from all these damn lanterns. In any event, you’re to continue doing as you have been, and you are NOT to ask again about this plan. Otherwise, they won’t send someone as pleasant as me, next time,
(8:15:30 PM) Shirin: …Iinnnteresting.
(8:16:24 PM) Shirin: Shirin gestures towards the white-haired man. They need to take him alive for information.
(8:19:11 PM) *Mialisyne nods. She takes a breath, fingers weaving a spell to try and drop the white-haired man safely
(8:21:15 PM) Logos: The man with the white hair looks up, as though sensing something, and scans the room “Where did your guards go?”
(8:22:46 PM) Mialisyne: Damn. She gestures, and if she can get another spell off, Faerie Fire to illuminate the two for her allies. “Magic, spent…”
(8:22:46 PM) Konstantin: Right. Nobody is responding, it seems the plan failed. So, he stares rather dispassionately at the both of them, and then raises his sword and steps forward. “They’ve been dispatched, I’m afraid.”
(8:25:10 PM) Tora: “…better now before they see us.”
(8:26:52 PM) Shirin: “Stay in back, then…” She blinks at Konstantin, and stands to draw her bow. “You could both save us some time and just surrender.”
(8:29:08 PM) Konstantin: Right. Stepping ahead of the others, then. “Your men lie dead. You are alone, and outnumbered. I would ask, though I suspect that you won’t, that you surrender and come quietly. The alternative is death. I will not extend this courtesy to you again. Make your choice.”
(8:37:38 PM) Logos: Rolt spins and grabs his sword from the table, drawing the long curved blade out of its sheathe and producing a dagger from somewhere at the same time. The white haired man moves more cautiously, arching an eyebrow at Konstantin’s proclamation and flicking his sword an inch out of its sheathe. "Regrettably, I’m unable to surrender in this matter. I’m impressed that you made it this far, but I will not allow you to leave this room ali
(8:39:45 PM) Tora: Tora holds onto his knife, sighing. “I knew you’d say that.” At which point, he chants in draconic once more, firing a sphere of lightning at Rolt.
(8:44:24 PM) Logos: The lightning strikes Rolt, throwing him off his charge and making him roll his should back with a groan.
(8:45:56 PM) Shirin: Shirin rolls her eyes, and looses her arrow at Rolt. “What’s it like to always be wrong?”
(8:47:05 PM) Logos: Rolt reached up and broke off the arrow shaft, leaving a few inches of it left in his shoulder. “I’m going to kill both of you, now”
(8:48:16 PM) Shirin: " < Get fucked and die in a hole. > "
(8:49:49 PM) Tora: “Please don’t. You’d piss off someone you really don’t want to piss off if you did that.”
(8:51:23 PM) Logos: He charges forward, swinging his blades wildly at Tora and Shirin, seemingly enraged by the the attacks against him.
(8:52:11 PM) Tora: Tora dodges back from the scimitar slice, not getting hit
(8:52:19 PM) Shirin: “…” Casually steps out of Rolt’s way.
(8:52:22 PM) Shirin: “Was that it?”
(8:53:22 PM) Konstantin: Of course, Konstantin had tried to put himself in the way… and then Rolt kind of stumbled. Now he’s just sighing exasperatedly. “This has been a comedy of errors.”
(8:55:17 PM) Mialisyne: Mialisyne’s blade slips free, striking Rolf on the ass with the flat. “Give up.” she hmpfs.
(8:56:01 PM) Logos: Rolt is thrashing around like a fan at a heavy metal concert, but words hurt too Miali.
(8:59:33 PM) Oryn: Oryn snaps his fingers and summons a trio of black sparks. “We’ve literally neutralized every single one of your guards, Rolt. Your filthy little bandit kingdom dies here before it gets born. Trade will be unimpeded by your particular brand of idiocy.” He gestures sharply and they unerringly slam into his torso.
(9:02:29 PM) Logos: Rolt is staggered, but still standing, bleeding from several wounds, burned in a few places, and his left eye is twitching. The white haired man steps around him and drawing his swords – a long thin blade and a short blade that looks like it was made for chopping meat, He brings the long blade down in an arc on Konstantin’s head first.
(9:04:55 PM) Logos: After his blade strikes home on the dhampir, he steps forward, moving almost too fast for anyone but Miali and Shirin to follow and swings the shorter, chopping blade at Tora while pirouetting to draw the longer, thinner blade across Shirin’s pulling arm.
(9:06:14 PM) Tora: Tora ducks underneath the chopping blade, barely having recovered from his past dodge
(9:07:18 PM) Shirin: The blade slices through her arm guards, and the blood coming out is…alarming.
(9:07:22 PM) Shirin: “…You’ll pay for that.”
(9:07:53 PM) Oryn: “Oh dear. How dare you harm my employees!?”
(9:08:18 PM) Shirin: “Your concern for me is touching, Oryn, truly.”
(9:09:20 PM) Tora: Tora chants quickly from his crouching position, once more in draconic, " < The fury of the Blue in my hand, Storm Claw! > "
(9:09:42 PM) Tora: …right before attempting to practically uppercut Rolt with a lightning-clawed hand
(9:11:26 PM) Logos: Rolt takes the hit like a champ, staggering back but keeping his feet, even though gold proves to be an excellent conductor.
(9:13:21 PM) Shirin: Shirin takes out her hair tie, letting her ponytail fall in a cascade of hair, and uses it to tie around her arm and stem the bleeding…before drawing and shooting the white-haired man right in the goddamn nads.
(9:15:44 PM) Logos: If the man just got shot in the testicles, it doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. He sweeps one sword down, slicing the arrow shaft so that it doesn’t impede him, and then launches himself forward, keeping Shirin and Tora’s focus on him while Rolt martials himself and does his cuisineart routine on the two of them again.
(9:17:07 PM) SpardAsleep [Oryn@MagicStar-5D626CF8.hsd1.ca.comcast.net] entered the room.
(9:17:30 PM) Oryn left the room (quit: Ping timeout: 180 seconds).
(9:17:51 PM) SpardAsleep is now known as Oryn
(9:22:23 PM) Tora: Tora bites down as the dagger portion of Rolt’s cuisinart cuts into his upper arm, leaving an unpleasant gash
(9:23:01 PM) Konstantin: “No.” Konstantin suddenly rushes forward, trying to drive his sword through the gilded man repeatedly, less anything elegant and more just a brutal, less-than-efficient murder. “This has gone on long enough.” More stabbing, repeatedly, maybe a shield bash to put him down, and then a few stomps or stabs for good measure. “You will plague this world no more.”
(9:23:24 PM) Shirin: …Oh dear.
(9:23:27 PM) Shirin: He was very angry.
(9:23:44 PM) *Mialisyne flicks her blade towards the white-haired man inquisitively. “Surrender?”
(9:24:11 PM) *Tora reflexively clutches his arm, eyes widening as Konstantin flat-out murderizes Rolt
(9:24:40 PM) Mialisyne: She circles around if she can to position herself on the opposite side of the party as the white-haired man
(9:25:16 PM) Oryn: Oryn begins fanning himself. His height is just perfect for admiring certain posterior things.
(9:25:41 PM) Logos: “…wait,” he looks at Konstantin “Is your pet elf challenging me to a duel?”
(9:26:07 PM) Shirin: “…Okay, now /I/ am.”
(9:26:08 PM) Mialisyne: “Understood.” She began to intone under her voice, her fixed stare and soft invocation growing unnervingly dissonant.
(9:26:30 PM) Shirin: “No one calls her a pet.” She snarls, low and growled like something feral and significantly wilder than your average elf.
(9:28:14 PM) Konstantin: “I would ask we take a moment, for posterity.” He glances at the others, then back at the white haired man.
(9:28:23 PM) Logos: “Very well, I accept,” he turns to Shirin, raising his blade. “Swords. To the death. You can select a champion, if you’d prefer, but once you’ve chosen the rest of your friends can’t interfere”
(9:28:40 PM) Konstantin: “It’s rare that a man so unknowingly begs for death.”
(9:30:31 PM) Shirin: “…” Shirin considers this, long and hard. “A champion…?” She’s bleeding, and no one else can use a sword well enough to match him except. “Konstantin, do you accept the terms?” If he didn’t, she’d just shoot him.
(9:30:37 PM) Shirin: Arrow was a fitting champion.
(9:31:06 PM) Mialisyne: “Honorless, feigns honor.”
(9:31:12 PM) Oryn: Oryn raises an eyebrow. “I don’t understand how WE profit from this.”
(9:31:18 PM) Tora: “…wait, a duel?” Tora blinks
(9:31:19 PM) Oryn: “We outnumber you. A duel profits only yourself.”
(9:31:36 PM) Shirin: “Oh, I should have mentioned.”
(9:31:41 PM) Oryn: “We have no reason to comply.” He sumons a spark of fulminating shadow and casually juggles it between his hands.
(9:31:44 PM) Shirin: She draws her bow in one smooth motion and shoots him.
(9:31:50 PM) Shirin: “I don’t obey human laws.”
(9:31:58 PM) Oryn: “Thank you Shirin~”
(9:33:50 PM) Logos: The arrow penetrates at his shoulder, inches from a vital organ somewhere. “Well, as far as plans went, you can’t blame me for trying,”\
(9:34:40 PM) Konstantin: “It was a clever enough ploy, I suppose.”
(9:35:02 PM) Oryn: “It wasn’t a bad tactic to be sure, but sometimes negotiations fail.” He swings that spark of darkness around and throws it, transforming it into a black skeletal hand that sails through the air to grip his throat in an icy hold.
(9:40:25 PM) Logos: He shrugged and took a look at the five people arrayed around him. Then he started – first lunging at Konstantin with his long blade, then spinning and making a cut at Tora before taking a running leap and swinging the short blade down in an arc aimed to split open Oryn’s skull.
(9:42:33 PM) Oryn: Oryn doesn’t even dodge, he just lets the blade come down and is stopped by a barrier that springs into rippling life for a moment. “No, I’m afraid not.”
(9:42:37 PM) Logos: And then he’s making a run for the window.
(9:42:48 PM) Shirin: …SHOOT HIM
(9:42:51 PM) Shirin: “TORA!”
(9:45:17 PM) Tora: “Kgh…” Tora is kind of busy with that slash in his chest right now. Weirdly wasn’t as deep as one’d think for how directly he took that hit. But he wildly swings his knife as the assailant runs for the window, scoring a lucky graze
(9:46:19 PM) Tora: Focusing through the pain of several cuts now, he chants again, firing another lightning ball at the fleeing swordsman…
(9:48:33 PM) Konstantin: Konstantin pauses. Looks down. Realizes he’s been he’s been run through completely. Oh, he’s rather mad now, holding pooling heartsblood in his hand in a vain attempt to keep it in. You know he’s mad because the fangs are out. “Tora you murder that man /immediately/.”
(9:48:34 PM) Logos: He flies forward thanks to the impact of Tora’s spell and slams into the floor, but manages to roll to his feet, wheeling on the five of them even as he continues backing toward the window.
(9:50:46 PM) Shirin: She’s a little distracted by the fact her ward is kind of bleeding profusely over there, but another arrow whizzes into the man before she turns to try and help the poor dhampir up. “{By the hunter, don’t make this any worse, come on}”
(9:53:09 PM) Mialisyne: Sheathing her sword as Konstantin cuts the white-haired bastard down, Miali sighs in relief, looking around. “… five lieutenants. Two or three. Caution, advised.” She steps over to the plans to look over them, seeing as Shirin was checking on the heavily wounded paladin.
(9:53:25 PM) Konstantin: Konstantin rasps angrily rather than respond, his shield clattering across the ground as he manages to leap the distance the man ran effortlessly. The sword, for the record, strikes true! Inasmuch as it was aimed to take the blade out of his hands. Now no longer bothering with his weapons, he’ll finish him properly – with fangs.
(9:53:33 PM) Konstantin: The squeamish may want to look away.
(9:53:46 PM) Shirin: …Well this was a new one for the books.
(9:54:19 PM) Tora: “…” Tora is too winded from casting spells while fairly bloodied to look away
(9:54:23 PM) Shirin: “…{Miali, close the door and make sure it’s barred.}”
(9:54:35 PM) Shirin: “{And we’ll need Rolt’s head.}”
(9:54:56 PM) Oryn: “…I am unsure how to feel about this.” The gnome mutters out as he stares at Konstantin totally eating a dude.
(9:55:11 PM) Konstantin: Just give him a minute. He’s unsurprisingly really into this.
(9:55:16 PM) Mialisyne: She makes her way over to the door to close and bar it if possible, as well as barricade with a chair. She glances over to Konstantin in surprise.
(9:55:48 PM) Shirin: She’s holding her arm to her chest, and sighs out, shakily. “…Actually, I’ll do it. Konstantin-you have an audience.” She turns, and walks over to Rolt’s body, picking up one of his swords to, ah.
(9:55:59 PM) Shirin: Collect proof the deed is done.
(9:56:03 PM) Tora: Tora is in many states of mind right now. Pain. Adrenaline. Pain. Oh god the guy’s eating a guy’s neck
(9:56:39 PM) Konstantin: And a a few moments later he’ll drop the poor man. If they wanted two heads, this job is more than halfway done. “My apologies. That was… unbecoming of a paladin.”
(9:59:12 PM) Tora: …words fail Tora right now. He definitely hasn’t heard of anything like that. “Er…okay…but i thought we were supposed to take that guy alive for…something?”
(9:59:14 PM) Shirin: Shirin makes half a shrug. “I can’t really say he didn’t earn it. But we’ll need to find a way to carry rolt’s head back.”
(9:59:40 PM) Shirin: “We can find the information other ways. That was simply easiest. Oryn! Do you have a sack.”
(9:59:43 PM) Mialisyne: “…” She glances to Shirin. “{Explanation later, I hope..}” Door barred, she makes her way to search the room for anything of value. “Blankets, curtains, sheets, cloaks?”
(9:59:59 PM) Shirin: “{Ask him, he’ll probably tell you.}”
(10:00:18 PM) Shirin: “{Especially after all //that//.}”
(10:01:43 PM) Tora: “…also we have a treasury to redistribute, I think?” Tora is idly trying to remove the gold armor from Rolt.
(10:02:03 PM) Konstantin: …He’s actually going to take this time to retrieve his sword and decapitate the bandit king he just used as a snack. No need to chance him coming back. He shouldn’t, but.
(10:02:10 PM) Konstantin: You know. Just in case.
(10:02:52 PM) Shirin: “Likely. But you might notice, three of us are bleeding profusely.”
(10:03:55 PM) Tora: “…didn’t we get potions?” Tora’s trying to adjust his shirt to press down on the bleeding cut on his chest
(10:04:17 PM) Shirin: She rips up part of the rug, and uses it to finish bandaging her arm. “Ack, and I need a new hair tie…I’m not drinking an unidentified potion right now.”
(10:04:22 PM) Shirin: “If you wanna, go ahead.”
(10:05:19 PM) Shirin: Head…in the rest of the rug. And handed to Tora. “You carry that.”
(10:05:57 PM) *Tora is slightly disturbed that he now has head-carrying duty
(10:06:28 PM) Shirin: It builds character, she’s bleeding from an arm and needs both if they’re attacked, and Konstantin just ate a dude and is not allowed to carry fresh heads.
(10:07:16 PM) Tora: Character or not, he’s not looking comfortable with the notion
(10:07:30 PM) *Mialisyne rolls up the map after reading over it, tucking it away in her pack for safekeeping. Will read more in-depth later.
(10:08:00 PM) Shirin: She can’t give it to Oryn it’s his size!
(10:08:54 PM) Shirin: “Konstantin.” She sounds a little…tired. “We’ll need rest. Do you want to tell them, or should I?”
(10:10:44 PM) Konstantin: “In the morning. We should… rest for now.”
(10:11:29 PM) Tora: “Someone should probably keep a look out in case he had more guys.”
(10:12:10 PM) Shirin: “Rotate watches, then. Miali, can you get first watch?”
(10:12:26 PM) Shirin: “…Wait maybe we can find the bedroom first.”
(10:12:47 PM) Mialisyne: “Hour rest, bandage up, then return? Villagers, waiting…” She nods.
(10:13:16 PM) You are now known as Kitsunemimi-Maiden
(10:13:20 PM) Shirin: “Find bedroom, two hours.”
(10:13:34 PM) Shirin: These were not one hour injuries.
(10:16:49 PM) Tora: Tora trying to press his now-bloody clothing onto the wounds definitely illustrates that point
(10:18:11 PM) *Mialisyne spends first watch tending to wounds and humming a soothing song as she does so


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