|vagrant-poet Dedicated Voter Season 9|
Luca shuffles in behind Alejandro, his head still bowed, eyes wide, and his body language similar to that of a frightened deer.
'Yessir, I am tha'. Dagnar sir, I bin servin' for Master Endrin. Yessir.'
Luca stays still a stride behind Alejandro and to his right. Don't mess this up Endrin! You'd best be as good a liar as you were a soldier, because we're in a war of propoganda and misdirection now. To think you avoided such noble pursuits for so long to engage in them from the outside. Your still playing the game now old friend. So don't get yourself killed, and more importantly, Luca glances up at the Hellknight leader, Don't get me killed. I like my skin attached.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
The Hellknight grabs Luca by the arm, pulling him up violently. "If you're a servant, why have you got teeth like a noble?" The other Hellknight moves to his side, halberd at the ready. Their faces are entirely hidden by their helmets, making their intentions diidicult to guess. The one with a hold of Luca demands an answer with a shake. "Who are you really and what are you doing here?"
This was almost a very Book from Firefly moment.
'Ah!' Luca yelps, though he is certainly heavier than he looks the hellknight easily rattles his lean form.
'I bin a servant forever sir. Master Endrin feeds us well, and makes sure we look after ourselves sir, he double checks. I'm not as poor as I dress sir, I got me own apartment an all. He don't like dressin' fancy, and don't like for his servants to either sir. I'm sorry sir, I'm sorry, I didn't meant to have nice teeth, I don't even like washin' em, please don't kill me sir, I'll never clean em again.'
Bluff 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Round 3, Initiative 19
Hellknight #3: AC20/T11/19FF, hp 54/57, 7F/2R/1W
Elrith's arrow cut into the Hellknight, but not deeply enough to cause him much pause. The Hellknights of the Order of the Nail are a tough and relentlessly unyielding group. Without missing a beat, he takes out a horn and lets out three short bursts on it, followed by two longer bursts. He steps around the corner to get away from Elrith's arrows.
Round 3, Initiative 15
Hellknight #1: AC20/T11/19FF, hp 57/57, 7F/2R/1W
FA: Drop Halberd
MA: Draw Crossbow
SA: Crossbow vs. Elrith 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
--> Damage 1d10 ⇒ 7
The second Hellknight stops following Senjin at his ally's warning. He turns and spots Elrith shooting an arrow from the rooftop. He drops his halberd with a loud clang on the stone ground of the small square and pulls a heavy crossbow from where it is clasped to his armor. He squares his feet, aims at the elf, and squeezes the trigger slowly. With a loud twang, the bolt shoots from the ground to the rooftop, barely missing the edge of the roof, and strikes her in the stomach. Blood drips around the shaft of the bolt to the tiled rooftop, dripping off the edge into the alleyway.
Round 3, Initiative 11
Hellknight #2: AC20/T11/19FF, hp 57/57, 7F/2R/1W
The third Hellknight follows Senjin, knowing that his heavy armor will prevent him from following onto the ladder and the rooftops. As an experienced veteran of urban warfare, he knows that the next best thing is to form a strong perimeter to not allow him to escape. He maneuvers into the street, gaining a solid view and preventing Senjin from escaping via the avenue to the south.
The Hellknight releases Luca, apparently satisfied with his answer. "Return to your homes or you will be treated as insurrectionists. Order will return to these streets at all costs!" He hears the horn of the other Hellknights and points at its source. He and his companions enter the alleyway to assist their other squad mates, turning a final time to issue their final warning to Rica, Alejandro, and Luca before disappearing. "You can check with the Lictor at Eodred's Walk if your neighborhood is secure. If not, you must wait there until you are granted permission to return."
As her arrow flies true, Elrith feels peace. She prepares herself to watch the man's death as her throat shot flies true...until it is turned by a hidden collar. Shock and dismay fill her. The other Hellknight, blocked from consciousness to focus on her shot, comes crashing back into her mind as his bolt crashes into her gut. She's knocked off balance, and nearly drops her bow from the shock. With one hand trying to hold her insides together, she backs away from the edge of the rooftop, out of crossbow fire, and follows Senjin.
She automatically makes any DC5 Acrobatics checks, and can take 10 to cross any 10-foot gaps.
Sorry, right about the take 10, I just figured we were put of combat with Elrith out of bowshot. Either way, she goes as fast as possible towards Senjin, choosing five foot gaps wherever possible. For some reason, the character tokens don't show up of I look at the map on my phone.
Swearing under his breath as the HellKnights move off, Alejandro straightens himself up, before turning the way they had been headed. "It is the streets from here I guess. Come on...!" Moving quickly, Alejandro begins to follow the rooftop path, but from the street, taking roads that lead along the route they were on.
Round 3, Initiative 7
Elrith Acrobatics 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Elrith easily clears the short gap between buildings, despite the crossbow bolt buried in her stomach. She barely makes any noise as she darts across the sloped roof and makes her way towards Senjin. For the moment, the Hellknights are not in view.
Round 4, Initiative 24
From above Senjin and Elrith, who are separated only by a small empty alleyway, a loud screech echoes the air. They look up to see a griffon rider hovering above them, pointing a drawn arrow directly towards them. The Sable Company marine looks around the arrow and quickly brings it back into an undrawn position. "Senjin?" Sergeant Fristwell, his face marred by a nasty-looking cut above one of his eyes that has dripped now-dried blood down his face and into his graying mustache, looks down at the stable boy he sent out earlier in the day. He lands his hippogriff on the roof, the creature's talons tapping against the tile. He lowers his voice to not carry over to the Hellknights below. "What the hell are you doing up here? When I heard the horn call for an air unit, I didn't think I'd find you running from the Hellknights!"
With the hippogriff rider approaching, Senjin lowers his scarf fully revealing his face. To Elerith, "Lower your bow, let me handle this."
"Ho Sergeant! Am I glad to see you. You look probably as rough as I do. What a night."
Senjin walks up letting the 'griff get a good sense of his scent before patting him. "Hiya Saberwing, just like the old times, huh boy?'
He then looks up at the rider. "Yeah Sarge, them Hellknights don't care who you are. The alarm caught me down south here. And get this, them Hellknights were in sight of the city gates in mere moments after the cry of the King's Death went up. Well, with the riot under way, I have been doing what I could. With some help, we dispersed a riot at the pantheon and I broke down the door to get some kids our of the burning Jade Circle. For my trouble, a knife in the gut." He indicates his bloody shirt.
"Got some healing, but then the word spread of a lynch mob heading for Old Korvosa. Me, without Saberwing here, was reduced to hoofing it. These roofs can only get you so far and well, Hellknights rule the roads. Got chased for my trouble down there and as you can see, my friend got shot. That's their form of pacification. And yet we still want to get north and help cut off this mob. A few thrown torches and the whole island will burn, including our stables." He emphasizes this point with a vigorous scratch around Saberwing's eye.
Sergeant Fristwell looks long and hard at Senjin for what seems like an uncomfortably long time. He takes a long, hard look at Elrith, then back to Senjin. He nods slowly, having made up his mind about what to do. He shouts down into the alleyway below to the Hellknights. "There! I see them heading west along Field Marshal Avenue! They're going to make it into the Shingles and into one of the houses unless we hurry!" With a few powerful flaps of Saberwing's feathered wings, he raises a few feet off the rooftops. He speaks again, his voice muffled to carry onto to Senjin. "I don't know what's going on, but I trust you. I'll get them off your back, but I expect a full detailing once this all settles down. Good hunting!" Fristwell taps his feet on Saberwing's sides and pulls the reins to the left. The hippogriff takes off like a rocket, chasing Fristwell's false lead.
Luca swears a sailors curse, in a deep gruff accent probably borrowed from the same sailor as Alejandro takes off, leaving him and Rica alone in the street. He turns to the woman and stands tall, though his hip screams agony at him, when not hunched Lucadeno's height is suprising, taking the edge of his ragged garb, he bows seriously and politely towards Rica and says in an strong Taldan accent with all the ponderous grace associated with that. 'Madame, I must oblige you to take the path ahead of me, it would not be seemly for a gentleman such as I but to escort such a beauty through these tumultous times, you must go ahead, lest I look back in worry and am blinded by the glory of your visage,' gesturing with a flourish, his eyes remain everywhere but on Rica's face, as is custom in the far away center of needless formality.
Luca is clearly in pain maintaining the pose, but a twinkle in his eyes gives away the amount of humor he is deriving from the rdiculous figure he cuts in the middle of the riots, clad in beggars rags.
Elrith does as Senjin directs. She listens to the exchange, trying to note all details, but the pain makes that difficult. After the Sergeant flies away, she says, "You didn't mention you were a Sable Marine," but is cut off by an out-pouring of blood from her throat.
With frightened eyes, she looks up at him and pleads, "Please, Senjin, get me to Luca!"
Her knees start to buckle.
Alistair stayed back as the rest made their attempt at crossing the street. He would've tried to stop them, but his voice would surely have warned the Hellknights of their presence, just as much as tempting to rush across the street. Waiting in the shadows, Alistair ponders what he is to do and hoping the knights would somehow, someway be willing to show a little mercy. But in Alistair's heart, he knew they would not.
Still, as luck would have it, Alejandro, Rica, and Luca manage to bluff their way to freedom. But Senjin and Elrith are being chased, and Alistair doesn't quite know where they are. Time to find them and see if I can be of any help.
Alistair crosses the street and climbs back up to the rooftops, looking for Senjin and Elrith.
Stealth: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Heal check -> 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Senjin goes to pull the arrow out, figuring they could move easier. But her gasp of pain as he grasps the crossbow bolt shaft, causes him to stop. "All right, all right, let's find Luca and the others before I do that."
He picks her up and begins to hustle along the rooftop but trying to minimize the bouncing for Elrith. "I'll get us down as soon as I can. The Sergeant led the Hellknights off..hopefully. But we can't expect such courtesy from then next Sable Marine."
He negotiates a slope that requires his concentration, but then continues. "Thing is, I am not a Marine, and possibly never will be. I have neither the money nor connections to enroll in the training academy. But I do work there, in the stables with the Hippogriffs. Sergeant Fristwell took me in, when I had no where else to go. Half the reason I have been wearing the mask tonight was to protect my position there and him, if this all turned into nothing but words and smoke."
Stealth check -> 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Perception check -> 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
(Hopefully) seeing Alistair on a neighboring rooftop. Senjin heads that way. "Alistair, a Hellknight bolt caught her. She's bleeding pretty bad."
Alistair sees Senjin heading his way with Elrith. His eyes go wide when he sees the kind of injury The Arrow has sustained. Alistair helps Senjin lay Elrith down on the rooftop before getting to work.
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
"This is only going to hurt for a second." Before Elrith can respond, Alistair pulls the bolt free. This would normally be a bad idea, but he knows that Milani will lend her aid to him once more. Alistair lays his hand over Elrith's wound. He whispers a prayer, out loud this time. "Milani, bring this woman comfort and healing, for the fight lives on in her still. May you be ever victorious."
A rose red light emanates from beneath Alistair's hand, pulsing slightly. Only seconds later, the light vanishes and Alistair removes his hand. Dried blood is all that remains of the wound.
Elrith let's out a small cry as the bolt is ripped free, then stifles it. After the healing, she sucks in a huge lungful of air, examines her fully-healed belly, and sits up. Wordlessly, she gives each man a small kiss on the cheek in thanks, then, wiping away the few tears from her face, the cold exterior slams back into place.
Standing, she mutters, "Alright then. Let's get the f$%& out of here!"
With Senjin in the lead, they return to the Shingles on the north side of the road. The West Dock Shingles are far more developed than any in the city except for those of Old Korvosa. The apartment buildings are tightly packed and tall, each holding dozens of families inside in shabby one-room units. Once in the Shingles, one can navigate quickly all the way up to the University district, where the density (and thus the Shingles) lessens. As they cross across the rickety improvised bridges, Castle Korvosa looms to the west while the Acadamae grows closer to the north. They are built on the two highest points of the city, with the Acadamae built on the tallest hill on the peninsula and Castle Korvosa built atop a great pyramid that predated the Chelaxian settlers who came to the area 300 years ago. The slums creep all the way up to South Castle Street, where the southern corner of the pyramid crumbled many years ago. Any Korvosan knows that the poor do not cross South Castle Street under any circumstances, lest they desire to have the King's guards upon them.
On this day, things are no different. With the Queen's determination to quell the uprising made clear by her invitation of the Hellknights, the poor citizenry is too fearful to actually approach the base of the pyramid. Domina Square, on the north side of the pyramid, is deserted. On a normal day, hundreds flood into Domina Square just to be near the castle. It is where announcements are made, public executions are carried out, and ceremonies are conducted. (If the city survives, it is where Eodred's funeral will be.) Tonight, though, only a small handful of mourners quietly pray for the late monarch. The rest of the city is gripped in anarchy, most of them trying to simply survive.
The trip through the Shingles is quick, with no one stopping them. Most of the thugs that call the Shingles home are down on street level, likely robbing and burning the city with little regard for life. The few that remain are too craven to try to stop six travelers, several of whom appear quite dangerous. The rest of the inhabitants of the Shingles are those too old, too young, too weak, and too sick to go down into the city. Normally, the little lean-tos and shanties are brimming with people, but the Shingles are almost deserted tonight. With no one stopping them, they arrive at the end of the West Dock Shingles. Clambering down a wobbly wooden staircase, they arrive at University Way, just east of the University of Korvosa campus. The Acadamae sits behind its walls to the west, a quiet monolith untouched by the chaos. The Jeggare Museum, the largest museum in the city, sits to the north.
The University campus is quiet. Most of the students and instructors are likely out in the city. Most of them are likely just caught in the chaos, but a few of the more radical ones are surely doing their part to add to the chaos. The two largest buildings of the University stand out in the tree-lined campus, visible from their current location. One is a black marble building, as austere and monolithic as every other similar building built in recent years. The other is an older building made of brick and marble, with a pair of statues flanking the main entrance. Fortunately, since it is summer, most of the students are at their homes. Otherwise, some of the students, with their well-meaning naivete, would likely cause more problems in the city by trying to help.
'Somebody's robbin' a whole load of books? They could have evil magicks in em. More'n ever, if'n we're gonna be running around the streets tonight, maybe a nice central location that we could meet up is a good place to have. If'n ya catch my drift?'
Luca hobbles up from the back of the group, hunched and leaning on his cane once more. The library. Not to many thugs would think to rob books, books aren't easy to fence, and most common folk wouldn't know them for their value, let alone the rare ones. These are noble, or highly professional thieves.
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
"It would take more than some looters to breach the Acadamae's walls," Rica mutters, raising a brow at Elrith. "Strange though, that library deals more in mundane books than magic. Those books must be valuable though, the Acadamae rents out some of it's Abjeration students to guard the place." She looks to Luca and then nods. "If we're going in, then allow me a minute to summon."
Barring any objections, Rica starts to mutter to herself, walking away to an area where she can begin to pace in a rough 8 foot diameter circle.
'The libararians aren't lives? The people who work and live on the estate? When do we start pickin' and choosin'? I ken that we go in quickly, find out the situation. Then if its just books we can leave, if we can help and stop the theft we do. Yeah? Great!' Luca leaves little time for a reply before bursting into a large smile.
'Let's be heroes, Lord's know this city needs them.'
He turns towards the estate and gestures at Alejandro, kindly requesting he lead the way, he winks at the man as he does, before coughing wretchedly.
The cough is not an affectation, its horible rasp is genuine, and catches Luica genuninely by suprise, and even illicits a moment of fear in him.
"Let's go ahead and check out the library. I don't expect it'll take us long to find out if anyone is in there." Alistair is itching to be on, but a short detour to the library shouldn't delay them for too long.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Before moving on, Alistair will pull Luca aside briefly. "Are you okay? Do you need to take a break? That cough doesn't sound too good..."
Perception:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Elrith brushes past Luca and Alistair, not hearing their exchange, nor probably seeing anything going on inside the library. She waits impatiently while Rica completes whatever it is she's doing.
'All this running around. We have bigger devilfish in the harbour today. Let's get about this before our Shoanti friend bursts a vein!' With and easy grin Luca pats Alistair on the shoulder, and voices a silent thanks to him for his concern, before following after Alejandro to the entrance where they wait for Rica and the others.
Luca keeps his eyes peeled as he goes, he's been in the library before, but it was never a place he visited often, and he is careful to watch for signs of the intruders or the staff.
Perception 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
The group clambers into the broken window, making their way into the Jeggare Library the same way that the intruder did. Every step seems to echo through the dark stacks of books. The first floor of the library is laid out with dozens of bookshelves in an alternating pattern, with a number of tables in the main corridor between them. The library likely houses thousands and thousands of books, though it is in the other floors (especially the underground vault) that the more valuable items are held. Without light, however, there is little to see.
Give me some Stealth and Perception rolls.
Who would want to read all this? Also, who would buy all this just to give it away?
Senjin walked cautiously at the back of the group, allowing those more familiar to lead the way. Sneaking through empty buildings is something he has some uncomfortable experience with.
Stealth -> 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Perception -> 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Stealth again? Hahaha! We may as well just ring a HUGE bell!
Stealth-1d20 - 3 ⇒ (3) - 3 = 0
Perception-1d20 + 0 ⇒ (19) + 0 = 19
Crawling through the window had been a great idea. Well... till his foot had gotten caught on the windowsil. Crashing to the floor, Alejandro knocked over a large china vase, only narrowly manageing to avoid the shards, as it smashed. Lying, face down on the ground, Alejandro sighed in agitation.
"I should have shouted and kicked in the door... Atleast then I would not be face down on the ground once more!" Swearing softly to himself in several diffrent languages, Alejandro began to push himself up off the floor.
I do not believe it... -Sigh- Sorry guys!
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Stealth: 1d20 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (10) + 7 - 1 = 16
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
"Clumsy ox!" Elrith mutters under her breath. "Quickly! Everybody else hide themselves. You on your face, look like a City Guard or something. You can be bait."
Stealth: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Alistair quickly but carefully enters the library and moves into the shadows. He finds himself a particularly good spot to hide, in a corner where the bookshelves don't quite reach all the way to the wall and where the shadows cover him entirely. Unfortunately, his haste didn't allow him much time to get a look around the area.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Stealth: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Luca manages to get in the window, but when Alejandro falls he can't hold himself in place and tumbles in after the man, his leg crying out at the effort. Following Alejandro's curses, he takes a long look around to see if they've been noticed.
Rica finally finishes her ritual with a muttered command, causing a sudden manifestation of dark green smoke to appear before her in the center of the unmarked circle. The smoke slowly hardens and forms into a strange, wolf like creature with thick, dark green fur and yellow eyes. The creature immediately bows it's head at the sight of Rica, pulling it's unusually large ears back. Rica smiles with pride, and turns around to meet the other's admiration only to find that...oh, they're already heading inside. Rica curses to herself and then barks out a command to the creature in Draconic.
She then enters the building, with the creature following right behind her, its head still down.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
The creature manages to get past the window easily, but Rica lightly scratches her leg against the glass, causing her to let out a sharp intake of breath, and a hissed curse.
"Smooooth." The voice comes out of the shadows, startling the group. Stepping out of a corner into the dim light from the street, a masked man clad all in black points a rapier at them. "I offer lessons, you know. Nominal fee, guaranteed results." Despite his genial words, the rapier is no joke. "Now, seeing as I'm the lookout on this breaking-and-entering, I feel compelled.to ask who exactly you are."
Standing slowly, turning to face the Thief, Alejandro frowns softly.
Knowledge(Local)untrained-1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
"Blackjack hmm? My Grandfather was sure you existed... He tried to make contact with you more than once, during his later years, I believe. But of course you would not want to let yourself be known to him, hmm?" Grinning, Alejandro stretches and sighs. "Alejandro Endrin, at your service. But I must make it clear... I am here to stop this theft!"
Blackjack grins, his strong chin and mouth visible under the cowl. "Endrin, eh? That means your grandfather was Eduardo Endrin, I take it. Funny man. Good sense of style. Great hair, which I see you've inherited. He did find me, actually. Eduardo and I got into some trouble together back in the day. Any grandson of his probably turned out all right, but I'm not sure about your friends. Some of you are sneakier than others, but I counted at least five, plus someone's pet. Come out of the shadows, now. It's no place for a group of youngsters on such an interesting evening." He beckons them forward while putting his rapier aside.
"One thing doesn't make sense to me," Elrith says, coming out of the shadows with an arrow knocked and drawn. "The Blackjack is a notorious criminal and champion of the people. He doesn't serve as a look-out for looters. I can see why one such as yourself would be in a place like this on a night like this, but not as some lackey for a band of burglars. What are you doing here? There's no certainty that you and us should be at odds."
Sheathing his sword, Alejandro steps between Elrith and Blackjack, his back to the woman. "Put it up Arrow. No need for that now, one thinks!"
Turning to appraise the criminal once again, Alejandro frowns. "Quick eyes indeed. I know I told Arrow to stay her shot, but I would appreciate you answering her questions just the same. If you knew my Grandfather, then you know what kind of man I am. Please, just answer the quesions!"
Blackjack eyes Elrith's longsword from behind his mask. The amusement is evident in his eyes. "Well, you know, I was passing by and I thought to myself, 'I need some old dusty books to liven my flat up!' And I don't appreciate being called a criminal. Sure, I break the law on occasion, but they're not really just laws. I think "roguish charmer and champion of the common man" has a better ring to it. " He winks at Elrith, seemingly nonplussed by her aggressive hostility. "Truth be told, I'm here with a friend. We needed some ancient journal to see if his hunch plans out. I do plan on returning it when this is done."
"I see... Well that will be fine then, I am sure. If my Grandfather could trust you, I suppose I can too..." Nodding his head, Alejandro relaxes for a moment.
"But that is yet to be seen. I'll trust you till you betray me, but then I will kill you. This is not a threat, just honesty, the best way to start off a partnership, wouldn't you say?" Grinning broadly, Alejandro straightens.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here... If something does not sit right with the rest of you, feel free to ignore this...
"You are a defender of the downtrodden, that much about you is known, so I have a proposition for you... Right now there are a group of young well to do upstarts, planning the erradication of some common men and women. They are heading for Old Korvosa as we speak, with murder in mind!" Alejandro pauses for a moment, staring at the man, before continuing.
"We have no time to sit here and bicker with you, or your friend. No time to spare what so ever. So here is what I propose... You come with us, or rather, ahead of us. You move well and see sharply. I am sure you can make it where we need to be, faster than we could. It is within everyones interest, should this situation be stopped..." Nodding softly, Alejandro tightens the straps on his armor, giving himself a second to think.
"We already stopped a group, lead by a Shoanti, attempting to murder the children of some of the Nobles, now we must do the opposite. We did not kill any of the first group, we do not plan to kill any of the second, I tell you this, so you know how we are planning on approaching this. So, do you think you could aid us in this? It is in your best interest too, I would reckon!" Nodding softly, he extends his hand towards the man, all business.
Diplomacy-1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Alejandros first flaw becomes clear! (First? Riiight! :P) Alejandro trusts anyone who his grandfather/father trusted, without question!