Odol greets the citizens of Delve as they welcome him to the city. When we are finally alone in the room, he remarks, "Aye, not much of a fan of that myself Damrang. Many amazing constructions here, but they are spells to read one's mind. I find it strange they need our blood. Perhaps it has something to do with an ability to see someone as they truly are?" Odol studies the device considering what to do, but also working through his mind how it might work.
Knowledge (Engineering) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Casts detect magic
Spellcraft 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Vhailor pokes out his tongue as he comes to Delve's defense "Not powered by blood - just marked... like.. like a favorite hat, or a really distinctive scarf." before grumping "Well I'm excited... even if you aren't"
He pauses petulantly before attempting another means to coax "You dwarfies like ale right? Mrs Hettika said this thingy can get you that from the Sun" referring to the map and finding the place in the Upper Tiers - Crown District "Would that make you happier? - shall we get drunk?" clearly the gnome is just attempting to please the dour ones and is unaware of how condescending he is sounding at present.
Enginehouse - as an aside, can we get a link to the maps put into Campaign Info?
Gregory glances around constantly, taking in everything that he can.
This place is truly marvelous! Imagine what I could do with some of the technology here...
"I imagine that the only way that the retirement plan we were presented with could work, would be if relatively few individuals made it to retirement age, for one reason or another; of course, given that the city is at war, that is not hard to believe..."
He smiles when he regards Vhailor, who looks like the cat that ate the cream.
"I, too, am excited; I would, nonetheless, suggest caution: I recommend that none of us wander off alone - we were warned that some districts are a... tad... lawless at present, and I, for one, would feel more comfortable being around those that I can trust..."
Gregory glances at Damrang.
He frowns at the Dwarves' exchange.
"I do not think it would be powered by our blood; they are simply using it as a means of personal identification. For example, there is a spell called Blood Biography which, with a drop of blood, can tell you all sorts of information about the body it came from."
links are up. I'll do some sort of nifty summary at some point as well.
Odol, from what you can tell Gregory hit the nail on the head. There's a faint aura of divination on the tickers similar to that of the blood biography spell - but only on those that have not yet had images etched onto them. The one that Damrang used is non-magical.
The dials are adjusted via small keyholes. There is another, much more complex keyhole that appears to allow the device to be rewound. Over this keyhole is a wax seal bearing an intricate geometric design. These are clearly measures to stop the device being tampered with.
Vhailor, each of the tickers is currently set to 100 - including the added weaponry dial.
Let me know how much combat gear you're carrying when you head out. Since you're approved mercenaries, you are allowed to carry weapons in public in Delve. This is mainly due to a (probably misguided) belief amongst the authorities that swords, hammers and bow aren't effective weapons compared with the firearms of the enforcers.
You leave back down the stairs. You don't pass anyone until you get out onto the street. You begin to walk back towards the hoist, intending to go to the shrouded sun if you don't spot a suitable drinking hole along the way. You don't get far - a few hundred yards down the street you see a three story building with it's walls almost entirely made of large windows. A magically-glowing sign hangs over it's double-doored enterence: Amber Gardens.
Through the windows bright light pours, illuminating tables of people drinking and chatting. You can see humans, dwarves and halflings amongst them. Through one of the ground floor ones you see a group of gnomes playing drums, pipes and stringed instruments and a half-elven woman singing. More importantly, you can see a sizable bar in there which doesn't look too crowded.
As lavish as Amber Gardens may be, you can't help but notice that it's not the only pub on the main street. Further down towards the Hoist, you can see a more traditional pub sign illuminated by small glass-encased torches: The Resting Hammer.
Obadiah draws a bead on the steam-jotunn as it approaches;
Mother Winter's Teats! - is t'er nay end to t' infernal mechanisations! I fear my comrades 'ave failed in t'er task...
The preacher aims at the behemoth lumbering forth;
Elk-Father let my arras fly true and pierce this brutes metallic 'ide... Invokes Smiting Judgement
Readied Bow Attack - MW Arra: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 5
The five of you walk into the warm interior of Amber Gardens. You enter shortly after the band strikes up a quick and merry tune. Their singer's voice can be clearly heard over it. She sings of young love and peaceful, shimmering caverns.
There are four stairways leading out of the large bar area you find yourselves in. There are several large tables laid out, most of which have groups of people around them. A young-looking dwarf rises from the group nearest to you and walks over, drink still in hand. He's wearing part of the white uniform of the enforcers, though the jacket and helmet are gone and coller of the shirt is loosened:
"You're that new merc outfit just down from the surface, right? Sig Delwin, at your service. Cradle enforcer division. If you guys are looking for more company, come join us once you've got your drinks."
He gestures to a table where two other dwarves and a human, all of them clearly off-duty enforcers. They raise their glasses to you as you look in their direction as Sig goes back to join them.
There are four people working on the bar, all of them in a simple uniform. One of them - an older human man - greets you as you approach and takes out a key.
"Good shift, gentlemen. What'll it be?"
Vhailor, you note that the place has been built to accomodate gnomes and halflings as well as larger folk. It looks like the stools in front of the bar and the chairs around the tables can be made to move up and down by pulling a lever under the seat, and there's a high, narrow step running the length of the bar that lets you stand sholder to sholder with your companions.
Obadiah, the smoke-spewing metal giant stomps towards the edge of Iadenveigh. Around you men and women are pouring into the street ready to defend their homes with bow or blade.
In the haze behind the oncoming machine you can see a human-sized figure in armour and a long coat surrounded by a magical glow. It carries a small engine on it's back. Any Iron Kingdoms fans in the audience?
An elegent male voice, amplified with magic, booms down over the clatter of steamworks and the shouts of the townsfolk:
"IADENVEIGH, FROM THIS MOMENT YOUR FREEDOM IS AT AN END. RETURN TO YOUR HOMES AND WAIT FOR YOUR FIRST ORDERS! YOU HAVE ONLY MOMENTS TO DO AS I COMMAND!"
There must be two hundred or more archers arrayed before him, and their answer is to fill the air with arrows. Obadiah, you release your own and with expert eyes track it through the swarm of shafts. It flies true, but disappears with a flash of blue light and a wisp of smoke as it reaches the humanoid figure. A dozen others are likeswise foiled. Many more strike the hulking war machine but bounce off it's armour like raindrops.
The spellcaster walks briskly behind the machine, out of sight of the mob. It raises it's right arm, and you see a enormous gun slide into position with a clang. There's a crash of thunder and a deafening explosion scatters chunks of dirt and the shredded remains of two dozen of your fellow citizens across the field.
Panic begins to set in and a handful of people flee back into their houses. Many more, though, listen to Tarrand as he screams over the din.
"FORWARD! SPREAD OUT! SURROUND IT!"
Vhailor half opens his mouth to the barkeep before catching sight of the mechanical stools. He walks quizzically over and sits atop one, lowering and raising it a few times giggling. When he notices the barkeep once more he ventures "What do you have good man? - anything you recommend?"
Iron Kingdoms - love it... more of that vibe please :)
Obadiah scours the mechanical giant with cold eyes;
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Sensing the spellcaster has control of the iron death dealer, the preacher searches his faith and teachings for a course of action to best the mage and his piston-puppet;
Knowledge - Arcana; 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
The barkeep pulls a pair of pints for Damrang and Odol. He takes your tickers from you and uses a key to click down the provisions dial from 100 to 99. You can't really tell if that's good value or not. It's a rich ruby ale with a plesant flavour and, strangely, a faintly coppery aftertaste.
There's no need to track the provisions, furniture and entertainments dials unless you want to do something outlandish. It's only the weaponry dial that you need to keep track of. One block is equal to 10GP, so you've got enough for 1000GP's worth of gear at present. Nobody's yet told you where you can fence the loot from the crypt raid.
Yes, this means that in Delve a beer costs as much as a battleaxe. That's the result of machines churning out blades automatically and wheat having to be magically cultivated on ground that could be used to hold back starvation.
The barkeep smiles as Vhailor enjoys the stool. He answers the wizard's question:
"We've got a bottle of wine back there, snatched from a Helix tent on a surface raid. 25 blocks will get you a glass, 100 blocks will net you the bottle."
Another member of staff joins the barkeep pouring your drinks:
"Evening sirs. There's a group of gentlemen in the third story lounge who'd like to meet you. I think they're down from the crown"
He sounds slightly excited by this.
Obadiah, it's clear the machine itself is totally immune to mundane arrows. What's more, it seems to be doing an effective job of covering it's master from any that target him. Those that get by it are stopped by the spell which you're sure is protection from arrows. Someone will have to risk getting close to have a chance of felling him.
With a roar the people of Iadenveigh charge across the field, ringing around the machine and sending volley after volley at it. Constant flashes of blue flare around the spellcaster and you think you see him recast his defensive spell at least once, maybe twice. As he does so the cannon of his guardian roars again but, though the blast still inflicts a tragic toll, the townsfolk have spread out and the damage is lessened.
Suddenly the blue flares cease and you see arrows begin bouncing one by one from the figure's armour. Then, he staggers slightly as one wounds him. A cheer rises from the embattled mob, and it grows in volume as you see the magic carpet of the flameslingers soar into view over the rooftops.
Vhailor's left eyebrow rises as he mentally counts the comparative costs... the eyebrow only rising higher when he realizes that the dwarf requests the equivalent of a hundred pints for a simple bottle of wine. That's over twice his body weight in beer... for just a simple glass container with some elvish flower wine that may or may not have vinegared in the bottle.
Allowing his trembling eyebrow to gradually return to it's place of customary rest, Vhailor swallows to settle himself... adam's apple bobbing in a convulsive fashion reminiscent of a yacht bobbing on the surface of the ocean in a storm. Through force of will he calms his voice to as close a monotone as possible and opens his vocular portal to utter "Pint, please" he squeaks in a tremulously high-pitched tone.
At the new arrivals mention of the people above, Vhailor spins on his stool to face him and beams a most genial smile "Excellent good, do run back to them and tell them that there are a group of gentlemen at the bar that would dearly love to meet them also... When will they be coming down?"
Vhailor turns to Odol with a suddenly severe expression "By all means Odol... if you are a dog to be called at their bidding, feel free" sweeping towards the stairs with one arm with a sarcastically grandiose gesture "But I am not... and I would not want to meet with any who do not think me worthy to approach in person" holding gaze for but a few scant moments before he pops up on his stool as a meercat and cranes his neck "Where did the music players get to?..." finding the lass who sings so sweetly and tapping his fingers on the bar to the beat.
Gregory is impressed by the set-up in the bar.
They have even put thought into how to accommodate the smaller folk. This place is proving to be remarkably egalitarian.
Like the others, he steps up to the bar and accepts a flagon of the ale, raising an eyebrow at the somewhat inflated price, but otherwise savoring its slightly unusual taste.
Not quite the same tang as I remember back in Earthfall, but it does have a pleasantly surprising aftertaste
When Vhailor starts to become indignant, Gregory raises a hand peaceably.
"Hold, Vhailor. I agree, we are noone's dogs, but by the same token, we are new to the area, and still need to sort out the lay of the land... It is possible that they wish to discuss things that are best not spoken aloud in the main tavern..."
He then leans closer.
"...not to mention, we have a few items we need to 'offload' from our recent foray..."
"So of you or all of you are equally welcome. Follow me, sirs"
The barkeep bearing the message leads away Odol, Gregory and anyone else who decides to head for the top level. They ascend up a wide flight of stairs. Expressive tapestries line the walls which muffle the music and chatter coming from below. You pass another large space which is partly filled by people (mostly couples, it seems) dining, and then finally reach the top of the stairs. Three doors lead off of the small landing you find yourselves on. One is opened for you and you are beckoned inside.
Another, smaller bar is on the other side. You expect to smell purfume, cigar smoke and other scents of the rich but instead the air, though warm and dry, smells fresh and carries the faint scent of the forest. You suppose that in Delve the smell of fresh air is the surest sign of wealth.
There are five tables in the room but only one - which sits by the window - is occupied. There are three men sat around it: A halfling with a strong build and faint healing-scars, a dwarf in more jewelry than you've seen on anyone in Delve so far and a half orc who, in stark contrast to the dignified Mrs Hettika, has bulk and ferocious tusks almost equal to those of a pure-blooded orc. All three of them wear fine, well cut clothing and are well into middle age. They are engrossed in quiet conversation and haven't yet noticed you enter.
Meanwhile, Vhailor and anyone else who chose to remain in the bar see that the band have dispersed. The half-elven singer and two of her gnome band-mates have come to the bar, whilst the other two gnomes stay on the low stage. They've pulled up a big trunk and seem to be setting up machinery of some sort.
The barkeep pours the three their drinks without them having to order. One of the gnomes - the drummer - has wound up his stool next to Vhailor. Like the rest of his bandmates, his hair is dyed brightly (in his case florescent green) and he wears lightly coloured and somewhat tight clothing.
Vhailor, you notice two things about him: first, whatever he uses to dye his hair smells a lot like the wierd fluids that bled from the construct you wrecked coming down from topside. Secondly, though everyone in Delve is pale this gnome's blue irises also look pale and faded. He's showing the first signs of Bleaching. He sips his drink and speaks to Vhailor:
"Welcome to Delve! If the mud on your boots wasn't enough of a givaway, your enjoyment of the bar stood certainly was. The watchmen drinking over there tell me you and your team are the best kind of dangerous"
Obadiah, am I right in saying you're waiting to see what happens next?
Vhailor giggles and smiles as he sips daintily from his pint glass. Replying to the gnome "Perhaps we might be." listening to the response to Damrang's query before adding with a slightly tremulous and squeaky voice "I like your hair" trying to not let his inner tinge of terror show. He was sitting next to the precursor of his worst nightmare... the slow descent into blandness that the bleaching foretold.
Gregory raises an eyebrow, when he sees the group who wanted to 'speak' with them.
They look more like politicians, or retirees, than former warriors...
He stops a discrete distance away, waits until he catches someone's eye, and then bobs his head politely.
"Greetings; I believe that you wished to have words with us? Gregory Leichardt, at your service."
Unsurprisingly it's the dwarf in the jewelry that answers your greeting.
"Ah, so you're Obadiah's Eyes! I thought there'd be more of you? Come, take a seat, drink some win, take in the sights, make some money..."
They've paid for clean air but this still smells shady...
The Gnome answers Vhailor first:
"Thanks. This stuff ain't cheap, but it pops more than what they call dye. Gives the old brain a bit of a buzz too, before it dries."
Then he replies to Damrang:
"The best kind of dangerous is the kind that goes where it wants and fights who it chooses. I tell you, mercenaries from the surface...you must have been in half the wars they showed in the Mirrorhall. Seen most of the world, I bet. You could teach our ranks and files of grenadiers a thing or two"
He looks over at his two band mates, who've stood some wierd cage-like boxes up and are now fiddling with a bulky lute.
"You're going to love that when they get it running. If it works this time..."
He turns back to you.
"So what sort of fighting do you all do? Spells or shots? Wait, it would be...spells or blades, I guess. I'm particularly interested if you've got anyone of a bardic pursuasion..."
The beautiful half elven woman - the singer for the band - calls over from one of the other tables. Shouts, really:
"Vrintie! Mama's still thirsty!"
The gnome glowers and beckons to the barman
"Particularly one who sings"
Obadiah, you close the distance across the blood-specked field. Ahead of you your quarry has got his defences back up and the arrows once again bounce harmlessly from him. You know his spell won't save him from you, though. Seconds after you set off Tarrand follows your example and a whole mob follows his. You run at the head of a full blown charge.
Then a pinprick of light shoots from the magic carpet, over your head and into the centre of your comrades. You feel heat on your back and hear the screams of men burning.
More fireballs shoot from the Flameslingers carpet, sending flames blasting through the milita along with the never-ending cannon fire. It's too much for them to take. Tarrand, singed but standing, is shouting something but he can't make himself heard over the panic. People are starting to scatter.
Ahead of you, the caster shouts in his magically amplified voice
"RETURN! TO YOUR HOMES! AND WAIT! FOR YOUR ORDERS!"
Every pauses is punctuated by his monsterous servant's cannon. The steel beast is marching forwards now...leaving him exposed 20' behind it. You're running along but you're only 30' away.
Now that you're close, you can see the figure's white hair, slender features and dark purple skin through the slits in his helm. You're facing a Drow.
Vhailor listens to the gnome's discussion with Damrang curiously... it seems that the band man has grossly overestimated their impact in the world above...
Vhailor chuckles before leaning closely and conspiratorially replying "No singer unfortunately... but I could arrange for the diva to not be able to perform anymore tonight?... nothing too harmful of course... maybe..." sitting back up straight and shaking his head before continuing "I dabble in magic... though I'm most interested in your boomsticks, do all of you get to play? or is it only the soldiers?"
Gregory approaches cautiously.
"There are more of us, but the others decided to stay down below, and take in some of the... sights."
He turns, eyeing all three warily.
"What exactly did you have in mind?"