@Nylie The Gray Maidens drag Nylie through the streets roughly, making no effort to hide themselves. Onlookers gape at the brazen kidnapping, but no one speaks against it. The citizens that they pass seem paralyzed by fear. Nylie might be able to start a commotion, or slow them down, or something, but would it do any good? They will be at Castle Korvosa, which looms ever-larger to the east, in a quarter-hour or less.
hp 4/8 Half-dead, Nylie still retains all of her dignity, even as she's dragged through the streets. Through their emotional link, she feels Felicia's confidence at following her, which emboldens the bloody gnome. She begins to speak out at passersby. "Is this what you want? For people to be assaulted and unlawfully restrained for their words? Do something! They can only do what you allow! And what you allow against me, could be used against you!" Her voice nearly squeaking at the end, the desperate wizard can't help using the words of her collegiate studies, although she hopes to make the choice stark. What the hell, use Inner Beauty for Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26 "Wow" doesn't even begin to cover it.
Elrith is not so cold or hateful towards her former homeland that the burning of its embassy doesn't faze her a bit, but she steels herself.
"Gazing at these branches has given me comfort many a day, but now we're just like the rest of the Korvosans, having to fight for our homes. Vaen, is it? Where do your loyalties lie? What do you fight for?"
"Vaenathis actually, but Vaen is fine," the magus cannot help to correct the other elf, though he quickly adds, "I have grown somewhat fond of the shorter name."
"And you do ask questions with such easy answers, Elessariel," he replies with but a hint of sarcasm. "So far, I suppose I have fought for my people and my land and, occasionally, for those that had need of someone to fight for them. Now?"
He lets the question hang a little, pausing as he too watches the fire and smoke rising from the Enclave's trees. As he does so, he seems to be calm, impassive even, yet his words are tinged with anger when next he speaks. "Now my loyalties lie with whoever is opposed to the ones responsible for this."
He turns to look at the archer again. "Whether my answer satisfies you or not, I suppose that is your choice to make. But I have a question for you as well. You mentioned friends?"
"Well, it's either bring you along or kill you here, and I don't feel like killing any elves today. We have to hurry. Cover up anything you're wearing or carrying that says Mierani and follow me."
"Damn you, Jope, for getting me into this," she mutters under her breath, forgetting about elven hearing for a moment.
More loudly, she adds, "And when we get where we're going, if anybody there is alive, remember that anger you have against those Grey Maidens and make sure they see it, or you won't leave alive."
Senjin gives a grim smile of understanding and catches himself before he can give a salute. "I will take Myra and get the old girl away from the stress of this constant alert. I will let you know of our return to let you I am back on duty."
Senjin nearly runs back to the stables and finds sweet Myra in her pen. Taking a deep breath, he tries to calm himself. Then he opens the stall door and calmly greets the older hippogriff. He is careful not show her his excitement, as he carefully readies her with saddle and bridle, letting her assume this is nothing but a typical training flight. But knowing better, Senjin straps on his bardiche and grabs a clutch of javelins from the armory...Spying on the Grey Maidens Senjin couldn't swear that he would not take the opportunity to get involved...again.
Walking Myra to the far side of the yard, Senjin mounts and awaits the launch of the next patrol. He spies his little friendly psuedodragon sunning along the top of the wall and keeping a lazy eye on him. During the flurry of activity surrounding the landing of one shift and departure of another, Myra quietly lifts off and skims low over the school wall, low enough to a playful kick at the sunning lizard. The psuedodragon, well aware of all the tricks of the big and grumpy hippogriffs, rolls off the wall and spreads its wings into a glide below them. Myra slowly gains in elevation, with Senjin's eyes constantly scanning the streets below.
"Ah, now I am intrigued," Vaenathis retorts with a wry smile as he follows closely behind the elven woman. "Thankfully, my attire is rather nondescript, so we should have no problem as far as that goes."
As he moves, his eyes dart around, trying to keep himself alert as the two of them move through the city streets. "Anything you would care to share about your friends? You did not really answer my question, after all. Not that I have a problem following you blindly into who knows where, mind you..." He keeps his voice low, not particularly interested in having their conversation overheard by random passers-by.
@Nylie The gnome's protestations seem to gain a bit of the attention of the crowd, who begin to amass. They begin to grumble, even shout a few mumbled words of displeasure, at the actions of the Gray Maidens. Stories of their oppressive tactics have already burned through the city like wildfire, making them fairly unpopular figures. The Gray Maidens, recognizing that they are outnumbered twenty to one with the citizens coming to investigate more and more, draw their swords and move together. Vavana shouts through the covered helm, "Out of the way! This is official business!"
This rebuke seems to get them even more riled up, with one of the citizens throwing a bottle at the Gray Maidens. It shatters against the shield of the one next to Vavana, thrown by a scared-looking boy no older than fifteen. "Screw off!" he shouts, getting a rise of shouted support from the crowd. The Gray Maiden that was the target of the thrown glass bottle swiftly moves forward, raising her sword and slashing at the boy after closing the short distance between them. He collapses on the ground, bleeding heavily - too heavily to survive more than a few moments - from the neck.
The shouts turn to both fear and anger, with a number of the citizens outright attacking the Gray Maidens. Vavana curses under her breath, grabbing the rope holding Nylie with her shield hand, and drags them forward. The citizens attack with everything they've got, largely improvised but without any sort of training or discipline. The Gray Maidens start defensively, and move inexorably forward through the crowd slashing and cutting their way to freedom - the very thing that the rioting citizens are fighting for.
@Senjin There is a still, deadly silence over the air throughout the city. The actions and atrocities of the last few days have placed the people of Korvosa in fear. Gone is the city of bustling trade and activity, replaced by paralysis from fear. The sun beats overhead, but the streets are as quiet as they are at midnight. Myra dutifully follows Senjin's commands as he searches through the city streets for signs of the new-found enemies. Northpoint is still all but shut down. Senjin thinks of poor Alistair, not knowing if he is lying dead in the street or taken captive. He steers the hippogriff to where he last saw his ally, only to find nothing more than a smeared pool of blood where Alistair last laid. It's clear that he was dragged away, but that doesn't tell Senjin whether he was alive or dead at the time.
After doing a few more loops around Northpoint and finding no trace of the Gray Maidens or Alistair, Senjin hears shouting from the south. At first, he can't tell which side of the river bank it is on, so he skims the water as they fly southbound. Eventually, as they get closer, the shouting seems to be coming from East Shore, a bit inside the ward. He presses Myra forward until he arrives at the source of the noise suddenly.
There is a full-blown riot going on, with about four or five dozen people feverishly attacking a trio of Gray Maidens with whatever weapons they can get their hands on. The Gray Maidens seem quite focused on getting out of the situation they find themselves in, cutting and slashing while maintaining the cover of their shields. Every time a rioter swarms in, their steel swords lash out and either cut them down or at least ward them back. Several of the rioters lay either cut down or retreat bleeding, but the rest press onwards. The Gray Maidens seem to be jealously guarding something between themselves, which Senjin can't see at first. He swoops a second time and spots their prize: a wild-haired gnome woman, barely more than a few feet tall, tied up and held onto by one of the Gray Maidens.
"All you need to know is that my friends and I support a free Korvosa that hasn't been sold to the Hellknights by a corrupt fool of a queen. And now these armoured women as well it seems. We are the resistance, and if you want to fight for a Korvosa restored and allied once again with the Mierani, you'll be welcome, otherwise...it would probably be best if you snuck off now."
Alejandro frowned before sighing softly.
"Fine... Yes I am using these Dusters to pose as a Duster. Why? Because there is a Chapel of Priests out there about to be slaughtered. Why do I care? Because, you know who I am and who my father and grandfather were, that is why. Other than that, there is not much else I can tell you. I was almost arrested on the walk here. I went to great lengths to give you my money. I know you have the upper hand here. I know you can refuse me. You are not a man to be swayed by the thoughts of a couple dead priests, I know this too. But tell me..."
Alejandro leaned forward, his hands tightening in to fists on the table.
"How do you sit with the Gods? They watch us, weigh us and in the end, we all end up on the block. Is your immortal soul doomed for eternity or, through this, can you save yourself? Now, give me the damn Dusters, if you please!"
Senjin banks Myra over the conflict. This must not stand. This cannot stand. Another will not be dragged off for torture and death. Seeing a chance to make up from being so outnumbered with Ala
He doesn't want to directly implicate the Sable Marines with an attack from the back of a Hippogriff, so he lands nearby. Dismounting, he runs toward the sound of the fighting, pulling his axe free as he goes. Coming up behind the three warriors, he yells out, "Don't let them go. They take one of us, they will com for all of us. We can swarm them with our numbers."
"Oh?" Vaenathis quips. "And where would I sneak off to, pray tell? And what chance would one man on his own have of making a difference in this mess the human Queen is responsible for?"
There is a soft chuckle, though not one of amusement. "No, your... resistance sounds like exactly where I should be, given the circumstances."
"Still, I hope your friends are prepared for this. These Grey Maidens are not to be taken lightly, at least going by what I saw at the Enclave. They are disciplined, capable and not easily deterred from their course of action. And what is equally important, they seem to have the numbers necessary to enforce their will."
Opposed Str check to break Vavana's grip on the rope: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12 plus possible circumstance bonus for poorly-held?
Having gotten what she wanted, Nylie stares shocked, her awareness full of the consequences: a human adolescent dying before her eyes. My fault. Then the cacophony of the riot crashes into her, breaking the spell, and she begins to struggle in fear. "No! Let me go!" The little gnome digs in her heels and tries to pull the rope out of Vavana's hand, now that the Gray Maiden is distracted (and doesn't have three hands).
Felicia hides from the scrum at a safe distance, unable to see any way to get close to her big sister safely. Then a massive shadow passes over the street, and the little familiar makes herself very small indeed. A very large two-legs runs toward Nylie, vocalizing loudly; his coat is rougher and less shiny than the ones that leashed her, and his coloration is neither as dramatic nor as even. He's like an alley cat next to show cats -- but if the well-bred ones are bad, and he's so different, then maybe he'll be good? Felicia waits uncertain and anxious, same as before.
Mob 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Nylie 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Senjin 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Vanara & Gray Maidens 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
7 Gray Maidens
Gray Maidens: 30/30 hp; AC 22/11T/21FF; +5F/+2R/+4W; CMD 17
Vanara: 32/32 hp; AC 24/11T/23FF; +4F/+2R/+3W; CMD 17
Nylie's attempts to get free only earn her more rough treatment from Vanara, who has the rope twisted around her shield arm. The gnome is making it difficult for her to move quickly, but they are almost impregnable in their armor. The mob moves around them, not willing to risk their lives but not wanting to simply pack up and let the Gray Maidens do whatever they wish.
If you want to slip free, make a CMB check of 17 or better.
Round 1, Init. 8
Senjin charges in. He knows the odds against attacking these fully armored foes is poor, but he ran when Alistair went down...not again. At least not with so many people on the line. Not when they drag off a child. They need a spark....Time to bring it.
"THE QUEEN CANNOT DO THIS! LET HER GO!"
Senjin closes within 10' and pokes his bardiche through the crowd, straight at Vanara's feet. As the Gray Maiden struggles with the captive's rope, she fails to see the flash of steel before it clangs off her knee. In the next instant she is on cobbles, at the feet of the mob.
Trip Attack vs Favored Enemy -> 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 5 + 2 = 20
Senjin looks to the child and sees that it is in fact a Gnome. Not expecting that, Senjin gives his head a little shake before saying, "RUN!
Status: AC 17, T 13, FF 14, HP 11/11, CMD 18, Combat Reflexes 4/4
Round 1, Initiative 7
Vavana: 32/32 hp; AC 24/11T/23FF; +4F/+2R/+3W; CMD 17
MA: Stand up from prone
> Senjin AOO: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
SwA: Arcane Armor Training (-10% SF)
SA: Cast spell
> 40% SF 1d100 - 40 ⇒ (31) - 40 = -9
The Gray Maiden tripped by Senjin leaps to her feet confidently, bringing her shield up to bear as he tries to take advantage of her vulnerability. The metal clangs hard on the shield as she wards the blow off. Much to Senjin's surprise, she does not move in for a counterattack, but rather starts maneuvering her hands like some sort of sorcerer. The metal armor is too much, though, and the shield gets in the way of the complex motions. Whatever arcane power she was drawing together, she loses it amidst the chaos. She grips her sword more tightly, seemingly prepared to attack him in a more tradition manner.
Gray Maidens: 30/30 hp; AC 22/11T/21FF; +5F/+2R/+4W; CMD 17
The other Gray Maidens hold back, warding off the mob while maintaining strength in numbers. It is a testament to their discipline - and perhaps to the faith in their armor - that they do not break and simply slash their way to freedom through the crowd. They stay at the side of their leader and their prize.
Sorry for the delay. I thought that it was Nylie's turn, for some reason.
@Alejandro & Luca Vancaskerkin strokes his chin softly, seemingly thinking to himself. He snaps his fingers and the door opens behind them. "Very well. I will gladly sell you what you ask of. Baldrago, please fetch my guests the spare dusters that we have in the storage room. How many will you be needing, and what payment have you?" The last question is as probing as any others, and it is clear that he is fishing for more information about Alejandro's allies.
Round 1, Initiative 6
SA?: slip bonds vs. DC 17 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
MA?: exercise prestidigitation
Nylie watches in horror as Vavana tries to work magic in her heavy armor. They're spell-casters, like me! They weren't kidding about re-education... Dragging her attention back to the now, the clever gnome attempts three gambits at once: slipping out of her bonds, distracting Vavana, and inspiring the humans to more effective action.
Unfortunately, the academic wizard finds herself unable to work the ropes, having not practiced much with more practical skills. So, she turns to what she knows -- magic -- and makes good use of her still-active prestidigitation. Well, "good" is debatable; she coats the Gray Maidens' leader's helmet in virtual dog poo.
Then, for good measure, Nylie exhorts the surrounding crowd. "There are twenty of you for each of them! Just dogpile them! Armor is no use against the rope in my backpack!" My reading is that mechanics-wise, they'd each get one AoO, and then be subject to a score of Aid Another vs. AC 10. Grappled, pinned, tied up, and helpless in short order. Just a matter of the civilians having the courage to follow through -- or fear of the queen's women getting away to identify them (which is why I didn't roll, since self-interest is at play now).
hp 4/8, AC 6?, helpless
Err, slight retcon... I forgot that I actually made a character without rope, for once. She thought that she'd gone into a field of work where she wouldn't need it. Little did she know that she was going to become an adventurer... "There are twenty of you for each of them! Just dogpile them! Armor is no use against rope!" But it might make it chafe less, I suppose. Wait, how is that relevant? Focus!
I guess I'll take advantage of the pause to retcon in a little reaction on Senjin's turn, round 1 init 8.
Nylie's face brightens with glee when Vavana suddenly has her legs swept out from under her by a tall, well-armed, rough-looking man. Then he yells at her to run -- so she looks down at the rope that is wrapped around the Gray Maiden's shield arm, back at him, back at the rope, shrugs, and starts trying to work her wrists out of the knots. But that isn't all...
Non-random Q: Since the rope isn't entirely under Vavana's control -- being also "held" by Nylie -- would its AC be determined like an unattended item (pg. 173)?
Bursting the rope would be a DC 23 Strength check. It has 2 hp but has DR 5/slashing, with an AC of 5 for not being entirely unattended. A spell could do it, but you'll have to make the DC (15 + spell level) concentration check for being entangled.
Round 1, Initiative 0
The crowd presses forward but still gives them some space, keeping just far enough away to keep from being slashed but not so far as to allow the Gray Maidens free movement. A few of them start pelting the Gray Maidens with rocks and stones, though they bounce off their armor and shields without effect. With Senjin fighting, some of them seem more ready to rush in - but no one has made the charge yet.
@Alejandro & Lucadeno Vancaskerkin gestures with a nod to Baldrago, who heads to wherever they have the dusters stashed. An awkward silence grows, though their host doesn't seem uncomfortable to simply turn his perceptive gaze upon them. The lackey comes back within a few minutes, a package wrapped in butcher paper in his arms. Vancaskerkin offers his hand to Alejandro. "I hope that you find them of use. Should you need anything, my friend, you are free to come to me at any time."
Round 2 Init 8
Stay down....stay down.. But all too quickly the warrior is back on her feet with murder in her eyes. The Gnome shows some signs of a fight, but Senjin sees a rope keeps her from running. With no real hope against these armored foes, escape is the only hope....escape for all.
The rope...it wriggled where it attached to captor and captive, but on the cobblestones, there it could be struck.
Attack rope -> 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Damage rope -> 1d10 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
The axe crashes down with a clang and sparks on the street...the two new halves of the rope pull away from the edge.
He nods for the Gnome to move away and turns his attention to the warrior. "Your quarry is free. We are not the ones bringing blood to these streets today. GO! Before that changes and the whole city moves to stop you."
Status: AC 17, T 13, FF 14, HP 11/11, CMD 18, Combat Reflexes 4/4