Athame hears the sound of two pieces of meat hitting the water, and slumps a little bit. I hate it when they get away.
She walks over and grabs two city guards, showing them her badge. ”Follow those two idiots for a bit, and make sure they find their way out of the city or into a holding cell.”
Athame returns to the group and shakes Grimsley’s hand, ”Thanks for the heads up. I don’t know what these three were planning, but they clearly thought it was a pretty bad offense. I mean, who would want to voluntarily jump into that nasty water?”
”Anyway, before you go, what are the dockers unloading that justifies the sudden increase in hours?”
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Grimsley shakes his head, "King Aodhan has always been fascinated by Danor’s technology. In his youth, he lured a steam-powered warship into a kraken’s reef lair. He waited for the crew to abandon ship, then beat back the kraken and single-handedly piloted the scarred vessel to the harbor of Flint. Once he took the crown, Aodhan pushed for industrial investment to keep up with Danor, but regional governors forced him to keep foreign technologies out of Slate. Flint became the next most obvious choice."
Grimsley's voice drops to a whisper, "But there are those who believe in the power of the old ways, of the druids and the Unseen Court. Those who see the king's passion for technology as heresy. But the king is not a fool. He and his allies are making ready - as should you, young sorceress." With a salute, Grimsley turns, and is soon lost in the crowd.
Sorry for the slow posts from Laurie and I, it has been a busy couple of days.
"So, now that we are done with those to fools and the place is crawling with city guards why don't we go have ourselves some fun?
I turn and survey the strange sight that we make, a dwarf, a bald guy, and two women. All we need is a priest and we would be the start of a bad joke when we walk into a bar.
"We could always hit up a few local bars I know, they may have a little to much...character... for some us," as I look meaningfully at Molpaedia, "but I'm sure I can show you all a good time if you want to come with. Or we can stay here, watch the royal show. I'm sure we can find something to amuse ourselves either way."
Athame smiles, ”Hmmm, a tour of the local establishments or a parade. I think we’d better bolt before responsibility finds us. Lead on Gavrilo. You can tell us why you aren’t running the RHC yet.”
Looking at Molpaedia, ”Ma’am, you should come along as well to make sure his stories are in the same township as the truth.”
”This is Tane, and my name is Athame. We’re still relatively new...”
Athame glances to the right, mid sentence, ”Oh.”
Iscalio, in cuffs, still stands there with the flatfoot assigned to take him to jail. Both of them are clearly miserable.
”Right, hmm, yes...” She clears her throat.”No, he’s not a high priority, but don’t let him out until he talks. I want to know what stupid prank these three were planning.”
Athame starts moving away from the parade scene. Turning to the group as a whole, while skulking backwards, she whispers, ”Quick, before Delf sees us.”
|DM Thomas Broderick|
A couple minutes later, you see Stover Delft eyeing a halfling chef who is carrying a tray of chocolate confections toward the docked Coaltongue. His attention turns to you, and he smiles. “Only the finest for our king, right? Now then, I heard about this business with the dockers from Garradon, and I appreciate you taking care of it. But now we’re about to truly earn our pay. Lots of nobles about, so first, don’t make a scene, and definitely don’t talk to any of the nobility unless they address you first." Delft works some tobacco into his cheek and continues,
“Second, if something does go wrong, try to handle it yourselves, would you? I’m going to be busy applying my not-inconsiderable charms to very important people. The Constabulary doesn’t get by with just good will and pretty faces, you know. Before I leave, I’ve got a surprise for you.”
He grabs his cane and leads you to the gangplank of the Coaltongue. Ahead of you waits Principal Minister Harkover Lee, the king’s chief advisor and personal bodyguard. Lee is a man in his 60s, regally dressed in a red and gold robe. He is carrying a small, golden orb in his left hand.
After introductions, in which Delft cheerily refers to Lee as “the old man,” the Principal Minister says "I trust everything is in order?" Delft nods agreeably. "Still, I would like some representatives of the RHC aboard this evening. After the fireworks and
banquet, the king is planning a major announcement. I need some extra eyes and ears tonight, so I can get a gauge of how certain 'persons of interest' in the crowd react." He turns to your group and asks, "Can I count on your support?"
After the fiasco that ensued on the docks, spending the evening keeping the two new recruits and Gavrilo out of trouble during such an important event is not high on my list of things I'd ever want to do. Though the sorceress Athame intrigues me, and I'm curious what kind of ally or enemy she could prove to be in the future, this is not the environment in which I was hoping to assess her potential. But, any fool would know that a suggestion from the Principal Minister is an order from the Principal Minister. I step forward from the group before any of my fellow Constables have a chance to put a foot in their mouth.
"Minister Lee, we are at your disposal, and will use the utmost discretion."
I wonder who the Minister's "persons of interest" could be. Lords know that aboard the ship we'd only really have access to nobility and dignitaries. I decide it's best to keep my mouth shut. People tend to reveal more when they have a good listener, and I am all ears. My companions look less-than-enthused at my volunteering them. Looks like their fun will have to wait.
Athame stands at attention while Delft talks to some old noble. If only we’d been faster. We’d be out drinking and partying right now, but instead we’re working.
She glances at the Coaltongue, It is a nice looking ship. I bet it’s got one hell of a fire in its belly. I wonder if I can sneak on to see it.
Suddenly the noble asks, "Can I count on your support?"
Athame wasn’t really listening, Crap, look excited. No, professional, maybe bored? Her face goes through too many emotions and ends up clashing with itself. There’s no telling what impression it conveyed.
She settles on resigned by the time Molpaedia volunteers the group. I hope she signed us up for something fun.
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Minister Lee flashes a brief smile at Molpaedia’s enthusiastic response. ”Glad to hear it. If you’ll excuse me, I have a few things to take care of before the king’s arrival.” With a curt salute, and a quick flash from his orb, Lee vanishes from sight.
Over the next half hour, more people arrive. All told, the hundred person crowd consists of about thirty dignitaries (nobles, wealthy merchants, and prestigious military folks) and 70 personal servants/retinue. Wine is flowing freely, and you pick up on a few different conversations taking place from your current location.
- The first involves a tiefling surrounded by naval officers and a few industrialist-types who appears to be showing off a small wand.
- The second involves two men smoking cigars and a reference to “the skyseers.”
- A little further off, you see a woman you know to be the king’s sister, Duchess Ethelyn of Shale, being attended to by several ladies of the court.
If you would like to listen to, or participate in any of these conversations, you can do so now. Or if you want to take some other action, just narrate appropriately. Note, you cannot yet explore the Coaltongue, as the king has not arrived to formally launch it yet. If you feel that a roll is appropriate, go ahead and make it.
Pete and Laurie, not sure if you saw that there is a dice rolling utility built into the forum system. Simply type [dizzice]1d20+1[/dizzice] (minus the Snoop Dogg reference) to make your roll. You will see the result of your roll if you choose Preview so you can narrate accordingly.
Tane cannot help but find it amusing that some of these barbarians consider themselves "noble," and talking to them was obviously never on the table.
And obviously we're going to handle any problems ourselves. Most of these "nobles" look totally useless in a fight.
"Can I count on your support?"
Tane looks to Athame. I bet she wasn't even listening. What the hell is wrong with her face? Must be some crazy demon incantation.
Luckily, Molpaedia gives what every one of them knew was the only acceptable response.
As people arrive, Tane takes note of three different conversations.
Perception on the tiefling: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Perception on the cigar smokers: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Perception on the Duchess: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
"Can I count on your support?"
Bah, these stupid nobles don't know a thing about having any fun. Although, with a backpack full of fireworks and a boat load of drunken nobles might be a pretty fun combination.
"Minister Lee, we are at your disposal, and will use the utmost discretion." He heard Molpaedia say.
Ah, now this one he was going to have some fun with. Hopefully there will be something he can work into some type of mayhem.
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Tane is able to hear the first conversation much more clearly than either of the other two. The tiefling speaks with a Danoran accent and appears to have had quite a bit of wine already. ”Isn’t technology a thing of grandeur?” he says to one of the naval officers next to him. The younger man replies, ”Your ship is a marvel, Massarde, but I can’t help but wonder how it will hold up in combat.”
”The ship? Oh heavens no, old boy, I was referring to my new *hiccup* wand here. Show me your glass.” The officer reluctantly offers up his whiskey glass. Massarde places the wand on the bottom of the glass and says ”Kuldegrad.” The glass immediately starts to frost over and the startled officer nearly drops it. Massarde laughs airily and takes another sip from his own glass.
As Athame glides through the crowd she muses, At least I get to go to one party this evening. Molpaedia did alright. Acquiring a flute of some sparkling drink with a fruity aroma, she casually flits from group to group eavesdropping on conversations.
Something about ‘skyseers’, catches her attention, and Athame strolls towards the two men who mentioned it. She glances around the crowd making quick eye contact with the other RHC members to ensure nothing is amiss, and then inserts herself into the conversation.
”Gentlemen, those cigars smell divine. Where did you acquire them?”
|DM Thomas Broderick|
A black bearded dwarf turns to Athame and says, ”If I’m not mistaken, Captain Smith here must have acquired these on the Avery Coast of Drakr. There’s just a hint of spice that only grows in the Shawl Mountains. Am I right, Captain?”
Dressed in his naval finest, Captain Rutger Smith cuts a bold figure against the evening sun. ”Very good, Triegen, but I suppose who else but a dwarf would know the peaks and valleys of Drakr? The debonair Captain of the ship then smiles broadly at Athame and says, ”Young lady, I would ask your opinion of a philosophical matter that has been in some dispute this evening. Would you grace us with your thoughts? My dwarven comrade studied in the Eschatol tradition and holds that chaos is inevitable and even the most ordered system must eventually break down. I, on the other hand, believe that sufficient understanding between conflicting groups can prevent such an occurrence. What say you?”
Athame is slightly taken aback, ”Such deep thoughts while the night is still young. I can’t wait to hear our discussion once everyone has settled and they start serving port wine.”
”To address your question, I would argue that chaos, like fire, is its own organization; that just because you or I can’t see the pattern doesn’t prove a pattern doesn’t exist.”
She turns to the dwarf, ”Perhaps chaos isn’t to be feared, but instead the heralding of a new order.”
|DM Thomas Broderick|
The dwarf Triegen strokes his beard at Athame's words and seems to be considering them carefully. He takes a long puff on his cigar and says, "Patterns in the chaos, eh? The acolytes at the academy in Trekhom would spend weeks trying to get to the bottom of that. If you ever find yourself in the lovely country of Drakr, you should be sure to visit."
Captain Smith weighs in with, "My dear, if you are still around after the king's speech, I would love to hear more of your delightful new philosophy."
For the remainder of the evening, Athame receives a +2 bonus to diplomacy checks with both men.
After a couple minutes, Gavrilo and Molpaedia are approached by the Duchess Ethelyn. Her elven handmaiden is at her side. The Duchess is wearing a pair of extravagant diamond earrings that vaguely resemble the stars in the sky. She introduces herself, then says, “It is my understanding that you have some sway over the arrangements of this event. If you could do an old lady a kindness, the air here is already leaving me winded, and the company is already giving me a headache. I know my brother’s party is going to run late, so I need a room I can nap in. I’d be very grateful if you’d arrange this for me.”
Oh, but what a setup this is. I hope she can't see the wheels churning in my head. The trouble that I could get into off of this one is unbelievable. I notice her earrings and just about trip over myself.
Appraise Check on the Earrings: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 +2 (greed) = 25
Perception check looking for anything else of value on her or the servent: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8 Critical Failure?
Her earrings alone are worth more than everything I own, not to mention she has an Elf! If I could get her alone for just a few seconds, I could strip enough wealth off of her, or probably even her servent, to finally get myself out of this gods forsaken town.
I shake my head and look at Molpaedia, that hulk of a women will never let me anywhere near this lady or her Elven servent.
"Molpaedia, would you give her a hand with that? I don't really have time to play nanny for any uppity ladies."
I turn and address the lady directly.
"I could find you somewhere to gamble or drink in but that is probably not good enough for a lady such as yourself. My companion would be much better at finding something you would like. "
I scan the deck looking and listening for the loudest group. When I find it I turn and walk off, but pause when I get a few steps away I pause and look back.
"Then again if you do want to have some fun, I can help with that. What vices do you have?"
And there it is...the reason Gavrilo, while being a seasoned veteran of the HRC, is also one of the lowest ranked. He just can't keep out of trouble, and he has absolutely zero tact or respect for authority figures. That dwarf just doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. If he keeps it up he's going to get kicked off the ship...or worse. Looks like I'm going to have to do damage control.
I turn to make my apologies and am shocked speechless. A FEMALE ELF! I knew the Duchess had wealth and power, but to flaunt such a rare and sought-after creature is true excess, and an invitation for a knife in the back. I stumble over my thoughts for just a moment, then remember myself.
"I beg your pardon, Duchess. Gavrilo was just leaving". I glance back and stare daggers at Gavrilo, and move myself between the dwarf and the Duchess. Easily blocking him from the Duchess' view with all 6'2 of me. "I will happily ask the captain where you would be the most comfortable. I won't be but a moment."
After a curt nod from the Duchess, I turn to walk over to Captain Smith, but not before making a hand gesture that my Elven father taught me. The handmaiden shows recognition on her face, and I know she understands I'm at her service. I start toward the Captain, and quickly remember that Gavrilo is standing but 15 feet from the Duchess. The last thing I need is for him to draw any more attention to himself, so I sweep over and grab him by the scruff dragging him along with me. As I approach Captain Smith with Gavrilo, I notice that Athame has made herself quite at home amongst the men.
Tane hears the duchess bring her request to Molpaedia, and watches Gavrilo employ all the tact he has come to expect from these barbarians.
Can't argue with the air quality, but it's probably even worse outside in this filthy city. Still, none of these barbarians are to be trusted, even the elderly women...
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
|DM Thomas Broderick|
The Duchess arches an eyebrow at Gavrilo, but appears more bemused than insulted by his behavior. Her handmaiden barely manages to suppress a laugh at his question regarding the Duchess's vices. Molpaedia's quick intervention prevents the ensuing awkward silence from drawing out too long. Tane listens intently, but senses nothing amiss with the Duchess. As they walk past the tiefling Massarde, everyone hears the Duchess whisper to her elven companion, "The only thing keeping this monstrosity afloat is that hellspawn's infernal magic."
Captain Smith sees the Duchess approaching with two constables and immediately shifts into "officer mode." He bows formally before the king's sister and asks how he may be of service. After Molpaedia explains the nature of their request, he calls over a porter and informs her that the Duchess has need of her room early and that she is to report back to him once the Duchess is situated.
At last, the trumpets blare to announce the arrival of the king. With great pomp and grandeur, the royal carriage door opens, and King Aodhan steps out to greet his people. Though he is in his 70s, the king radiates vigor and strength. The crowds cheer as he walks toward the gangplank, accompanied by Minister Lee. A children's choir begins singing the traditional anthem of Risur.
The ceremony goes off without a hitch. The king takes a champagne bottle, announces that the ship shall be formally known as the Royal Naval Ship Coaltongue, then smashes the bottle across the bow. At that precise moment a steam whistle sounds, and black smoke begins to roil out of the ship’s stacks.
Once everyone is aboard, it sweeps toward the center of the harbor, where eight traditional fourmasted ships enter formation with it. Against their white sails, the black clouds from the Coaltongue’s smokestacks makes for a dramatic image, as the small fleet sets a course out of the harbor, toward open sea.
I have posted a handout showing the layout of the ship on G+. I presume that all of you would participate in the formal tour of the ship, and this represents the information you would acquire during that time. If you would like to ask a specific question, just narrate that part of the tour and I will have the tour guide respond. Otherwise, write up what you're doing in the hour or so prior to dinner.
As I tour the Coaltongue, I keep a sharp eye out for anywhere someone could be hiding or have hidden something.
Perception Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
If I were to assassinate the king I would try to blow this monstrosity of a ship to the moon. I'm sure that boot licker the King has an advisor has looked all over this ship with his magic, but anyone even half intelligent would try something else if they were really serious about killing him. I would rather go back to living in gods forsaken Drakr then be killed because I was unlucky enough to get caught up in something meant for him.
When to tour reaches the engine room, I pay particular attention to how the engines work. Maybe it is the Illuminator in me but fire and contained explosion is just awesome to see. I find one of the crewmen and chat with them about the engines before the tour moves on.
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Gavrilo meets a young technician in the engine room who introduces himself as Fitzcairn Luckshore. Luckshore is a little scrawny for someone whose main job is shoveling firegems into a boiler, but he makes up for his lack of size with an overabundance of enthusiasm. As soon Gavrilo questions him about the engine, his two co-workers roll their eyes. They know what's coming next.
"It's such an honor just to be on this ship, right guys? There has NEVER been a ship like this in Risuri history. That means, that we are making history, just shoveling these gems. I don't want to bore you with too many technical details, unless...? I mean, if you want the technical details, it will totally blow your mind how intricate this whole system is."
Luckshore spends the next fifteen minutes overwhelming you with minutiae about the boiler, the engine, the sorcery required to create firegems, and his own studies as an engineer in Flint. It's not until a shovel load of firegems hits him in the back that he realizes that he's been shirking his actual duty. He sheepishly apologizes and says that he should probably get back to work before they throw him in the boiler and make him "one with the ship."
Thanks to your new friend, Gavrilo receives a +3 bonus to all Knowledge(Engineering) checks related to the ship's engine.
Athame strolls across the deck of the Coaltongue while enjoying a fine cigar from Captain Smith. She’d finally been chased out of the engine room by the technicians who claimed she was ‘in the way’.
What a glorious fire, she muses with a sigh. Regular campfires no longer hold the comfort they use to. Ever since she learned to literally play with fire, the dangerous part of the campfire had disappeared. It was no longer mysterious.
The fire down below actually burned me. That was real heat. I think I’ll sneak back down there when the rest of the ship is asleep.
But, the firebox is certainly not the only interesting thing on this ship, she thinks to herself as she spies the capacitor.
Athame walks into the crystal half cylinder running her hand along the sides. She trails her fingers along the metallic etchings feeling the flow of magic as it slowly and arduously converts heat into usable magical energy.
hmmm... She stops and stares. I wonder... Athame reaches out with her mind and attempts to sip some of the magical energy from the capacitor.
|DM Thomas Broderick|
The power of the capacitor threatens to overwhelm Athame at first as it rushes in. The crackle of energy causes a faint whiff of ozone to permeate the chamber. Athame can feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand at attention. After twenty seconds or so, the sensation lessens as you reach a kind of equilibrium with the ethereal forces in the chamber.
A sentry passing by glances in, does a double take, and then rushes over to ensure that Athame is ok. He escorts her back to the main deck and says no fewer than three times that Athame is "Lucky to be alive."
The enervation from the chamber grants you +1 to your caster level for the next three hours.
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Near nine o’clock, the Coaltongue sits anchored just within sight of shore, surrounded by its eight-ship escort. The starry blanket of night hovers overheard, and a quarter moon peeks above the eastern horizon. The crew have set up an outdoor kitchen on the aft maindeck, and a whistle from the bridge sets off motion as nearly the entire crew starts to line up around the outer deck, carrying horns, drums, and woodwinds.
The king and his Principal Minister move for the front of the banquet hall, and Tane overhears the king complaining about indigestion. “One of the local archfey is upset I parked my ship here,” he guesses, laughing it off. “One of the burdens of kingship; the fey can really let me know when they’ve got an opinion. I always get burps that taste like fish when I sail these days.”
Stover Delft detaches himself from a trio of military veterans arguing about small-unit tactics and seeks out your table. He points out that the duchess hasn’t gotten back yet from the nap she went to an hour ago. He suggests that you go to the observation room at the aft of the gundeck, where the duchess is napping, to check on her and make sure she’s not trying to embarrass the king by hiding during his big speech.
I'm sure the uppity lady is just waiting for someone to come fetch her so she can arrive with an entourage. Either that or she found some entertainment with someone on the crew and said she needed a "nap" as a chance to slip away. Maybe I'll be lucky and she will be so sick from being on the water she is puking her guts out.
Better go take a look. If Delft makes a "suggestion" its is really an order, and if I don't follow his orders he likes to put me in a holding cell for a couple of days so that I can "Think about my commitment to the RHC."
"Alright, who is going with me so we can find the lady who can't get out of bed on time?"
Leave it to the barbarians to make a ship that actually uses filth production as a means of propulsion.
After the tour, Tane goes up to the deck to take a look at the escort ships. I bet this ship has been combed over a thousand times, but they may not have been so careful with these escort ships.
Perception on the escort ships: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
I tour the ship with little interest. I never did have a knack for magic or machinery. Brute force, tactics, and intimidation are more my strong points. I pay little attention to what the tour guides tell us, and spend my time scanning for any sign of trouble while keeping a close eye on Gravilo.
Perception on Crowd and Workers Seen on Tour 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Tane’s view of the escort ships is hampered by the dimming light. While he is unable to see any untoward actions onboard any of the other ships, he does notice a large, dark shape trailing the Coaltongue under the water.
As Molpaedia walks along the tour, she sees many persons of interest. But Sokana’s words continue to ring in her ears and she has a hard time focusing on any specific threats.
Gavrilo’s request goes unheard by the rest of the party as a military band begins tuning up their instruments. With a grunt and a none-too-subtle racket, he rises to check on the Duchess. As he approaches her chamber, the elven handmaiden Sokana is just leaving the room. She turns to Gavrilo and apologizes that the Duchess is still sleeping.
Gavrilo’s Perception check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Gavrilo's ears perk up as he hears voices from inside the room:
Male voice: "Engine room secured m'lady. Time to make your exit."
Duchess: "See this through and you'll have your prize Ilton."
Liquid fire courses through Athame’s veins as she stumbles to the foredeck. Her mind flooded with the complicated layout of the ley lines running throughout the entire ship, centering on the node where she had touched.
Like dunking my head in the sun. Holy crap that was stupid.
Every surface she touched discharged a little energy in the form of a static shock, as she made her way to the railing. Steadying herself on the metal handrail, Athame ‘pushs’ on the power humming insider her, compressing it with her mind. The feeling of a bladder about to burst fades, and she is able to stand straight again.
Reviewing the complicated weave of channels, she makes out at least 3 magical access ports on the ship: one on the command deck and two on the gun deck: fore and aft.
At least I learned something; the safe places to play with all that power. Well, safer anyways.
Athame turns and heads back to the main deck, towards the sounds of eating and conversation. She spots Gavrilo making his way to the back of the ship, and picks up her pace to catch up.
It’s probably about time I reconnected with the real world and find out what’s happening.
Tane hears Gavrilo say something, but is more interested in finding Athame.
Most sea creatures would be scared off by this ship's size, if not its filth. I need a magical opinion on whatever is following us.
Catching up to Athame before she reaches the dwarf, Tane grabs her attention.
Well that is interesting. Perhaps I won't be bored on this trip after all.
"Thanks, I'll let the king know. By the way, if you get bored while the uppity lady is sleeping, let me know", I say with a leer. I turn and swagger away.
Once I'm out of site of the elf, and out of ear shot, I hop the rail on the side of the ship and climb up the side, leaping from port holes to grapple points, the climb is easy. My target is the Duchess' port hole and once I reach it, I peer in to see who she is talking to. Maybe if I'm lucky I can place the face with the name Ilton. If nothing else, maybe I can get a piece of the "prize" she mentioned. That is, if the prize isn't a sharp knife through the spine.
Acrobatic Check 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27
Climb Check 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Knowledge Local Check 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Athema loses sight of the dwarf, so she redoubles her pace.
Where is he running off to in such a hur- Someone grabs her by the shoulder. Already on edge, Athame turns with fire in her eyes, to find the serene face of Tane.
“Kossuth’s flaming *ss Tane, stomp your feet or something when you’re approaching.”
He ignores her outburst and calmly leads her to the railing. Leaning out, Tane points to a dark shape in the water. Athame peers into the blackness behind the boat. Spying the inky shadow, she says, “Now what in the hell is that?”
Look for any details visible through the waves: lights, fins above the water, etc - Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Is it a magical construct? - Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Athame and Tane study the dark shape as it glides along side the ship. The dying light at this late hour makes it difficult to ascertain anything other than "It's big." Athame runs through her mental list of arcane constructs trying to place the object when suddenly...
An enormous blue-gray tentacle lashes out from the deep and attaches itself to the side of the ship. An eye the size of a dinner plate emerges from the water followed by a beak with a tongue covered in razors. The giant kraken appears to have a rider as well. From this distance, it appears to be a fey creature, perhaps a sea nymph.
Meanwhile, Gavrilo's time as a "second story dwarf" pays off with several successful maneuvers up and around the ship. He navigates the port holes with ease and makes his way over to the Duchess's cabin. As he peers into the cabin, he sees that the Duchess has changed from her earlier formal gown into a much more functional outfit. "Ilton" reveals himself to be a halfling clothed in all black. He moves with the swagger of a trained soldier and constantly scans his surroundings. The diamond earrings the duchess is wearing suddenly flash with illumination and you hear her say, "My ride is here. Remember, Ilton, the king must go down with the ship."
Athame’s eye’s widen in disbelief, ”Oh, sh*t.”
Maybe they were invited? Hesitating only a heartbeat before crushing that line of thought, she sprints towards the command deck.
”Turn the ship! Man the guns!”, she cried to no one in particular while rushing through the throng on the deck.
Spying Captain Smith, Athame changes course and grabs him by the arms pleading, ”Captain! We need a rolling broadside into that creature’s face. Do not stop until we run out of shot!”
Staring past the Captain, Athame’s panic peaks as she spies the king.
”Get the king below deck!”
Going through the motions on the ship, I try my best to keep within close range of Sokana should anyone aboard get any ideas, including herself. She is valuable property, and seems to have her mind set on vengeance. I'm pacing and making the rounds when suddenly I see it....a giant tentacle raises out of the water and slaps against the side of the ship! People aboard are rocked off their feet, and champagne glasses shatter to the ground.
My first thought goes to protecting the king, but a sense of duty to my father beckons me to find the elf and bring her home. Athame is shouting at Smith, and barks orders to get the king below deck. Good girl...now to find Sokana. If this isn't the perfect time for her to make an escape, I don't know when is. Even if the ship isn't sunk, people could have been knocked overboard and drowned. Her disappearance would not be suspicious, and everyone would assume her dead. With the creature focused on the ship, I could easily ditch the armor and swim for it with Sokana. Now, if I can only find her! She was here just a moment ago. I scan the crowd desperately searching for the missing elf.
Perception Check 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
Holy crap, that is a big fish. I do not want to be on the outside of this ship with that thing. With a sharp jab, I shove the window in and follow up by leaping into the state room the Duchess and halfling are in. I draw one of my knives as I come to my feet.
Initiative1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
"I told myself earlier that I wasn't going to die because someone wanted to kill the king. Personally I could care less about him, but that giant fish outside puts me in danger and that puts me into a really bad mood."
Those earrings of hers must be controlling the beast, or at least key to her getting out of her if I can get them off of her then today might not turn out to bad for her. I leap at her and try to rip the earring from her ears.
Combat Maneuver Steal1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
|DM Thomas Broderick|
The arrival of the kraken has gone unnoticed by the crowd due to the music of the military band playing up on deck. The sudden rocking of the ship is mistaken for a rogue wave, several of which have already hit the ship tonight. Athame's voice is partially drowned out by the noise and Captain Smith struggles to understand her hysterical shouting. It's not until he hears the words "the king" that he starts to grasp the seriousness of the situation. He yells out "What about the king? What are you raving about woman!?"
With a crack of broken glass, Gavrilo bursts into the Duchess's room intent on snatching her earrings. Unfortunately, his attempt to reach her is impeded by a swift reaction from Ilton the halfling. Despite his diminutive size, Ilton deftly engages Gavrilo with short sword drawn.
Ilton initiative: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Ilton attack roll against Gavrilo: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Damage from short sword: 1d4 ⇒ 2
The rogue's blade catches Gavrilo in mid-stride, raking across his hip.
Spooked by the dwarf's arrival, the duchess breaks into a run for a few steps and then hastily leaps off the ship and plunges into the water below.
Molpaedia finally spies Sokana as she starts to climb down a ladder heading toward the engine deck. The elven woman glances up and freezes just long enough to make an Elven hand gesture of remorse.
Since I don't know where Tane is at this point, I have to assume that he is following Athame, but if you want to narrate differently, go for it. Gavrilo, you're up in the initiative order.
Crap, the beast is partially hidden by the command deck. Stepping back from the Captain, Athame changes her tactic.
”Krordyz Ryyka”, she says in a low voice, casting a simple spell.
Athame clears her throat, and the sound rolls across the deck like a landslide. Assuming the posture of a herald delivering the day’s news, she begins issuing orders in a voice that is loud enough to dominate the sea and shore line.
”Lords and Ladies, we have a slight situation. Please, could all guests and non-essential personnel retire below deck. Gun Captains make ready your crew and cast loose your guns. Master at Arms, alert the marines that they are needed on deck.”
Folks standing near Athame fall back from the sheer volume of the announcement. She projects her voice even further and turns to each side of the ship.
”Flagship escorts, prepare for battle and support of the Coaltounge.”
Her voice returns to normal in the relative silence left by her performance. The Captain stood with hands clapped over his ears, and Athame addresses him in conversational tones, ”Captain Smith, you’re needed on the Command Bridge.”
’Krordyz Ryyka’ is Infernal for Phantom Noise. Ghost Sound is 4 humans per caster level. 16 humans from 3 caster levels + 1 from the Capacitor.
Tane winces at Athame's magically enhances shouting, but sees another opportunity.
Anyone not surprised and terrified is someone to watch out for. And what is that tiefling doing? He seemed like he might be a capable ally...or enemy.
Perception on the crowd: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Perception on Massarde: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
I almost had the earrings and that women, if not for this tiny little pest of a halfing. His whole species is always so sickeningly nice that I hate all of them. The audacity he must have to think he can hurt me with that little balde of his. I promise myself that women is going to die the next time I see her, no questions asked.
"Little man that was the worst mistake of you life." My knife flashes up to a strike into Ilton's belly.
Attack role 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23 hurray for increased critical threat range
Damage 1d3 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 *2+3 (killer) = 9
As the blade sinks into his belly, the blow is heavy enough that I actually lift him off the floor slightly. Once the blade is in I twist it to make him hurt even more.
"I'll teach to stab me, you little prig!" I yell at him.
|DM Thomas Broderick|
The deafening sound of Athame's voice reverberates through the crowd of nobles. The band's jaunty tune comes to an abrupt halt and everyone is now staring at her with a mix of awe and panic. Minister Harkover Lee is the first to take action. "You heard the constable, we're under attack. Protect your king!" he shouts. Lee then plants a telepathic message in Athame's mind.
Harkover Lee takes the king's arm, his orb glows, and then Lee vanishes. The king looks around, perplexed. His calm demeanor cracks a little as he says,"Lee? Where did you go? What the hell is going on?"
Four members of the king's personal guard rush over to him. They immediately surround him and start escorting Aodhan toward Athame and the Captain. The king turns to Smith, Athame, and Tane saying, "I'm not sure who my friends and who my enemies are right now, but I have to trust someone. What are we dealing with and how can I help?"
Tane spots Massarde through the tumult and it's clear that he's had a few too many drinks. He stumbles over a noble's wife and lands hard on the deck. He tries to get up, but struggles to regain his footing. Tane hears him cursing someone he refers to as, "That crafty b*tch Divi... elven liqueur - ha!" He looks up and realizes Tane is watching him. He blurts out, "Get over here, you stupid grunt. I've been... poisoned."
Tane also sees Stover Delft slumped over, still in his seat in the front row where the band was playing.
Ilton howls in pain, rage, and perhaps fear at the twisting blade of Gavrilo. His face contorts in fury and he lashes out again with his sword.
Ilton's attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
The agony flaring in Ilton's midsection causes his arm to spasm at the last moment, so that when his sword hand hits Gavrilo's armor, he loses his grip on the pommel and it clatters to the ground.
FYI Gav, your Killer feat only grants you 2 extra points of damage when you're using your dagger since it has a lower crit modifier than your ax. So your last attack did 8 damage.
Where you at, girl? :)
Finally spotting Sokana scrambling down a ladder, we make eye contact and she flashes me a gesture I know only to mean she has played a part in this hysteria. Now, my choice is easy. I must catch her for my duty to both my father and the king, whose life she has endangered.
First I think to apprehend her alone, but I didn't pay much attention during the tour. If Sokana means to do damage to the engines, which is where she's heading, I'll need someone a little better acquainted with the ship whom I can trust. The moment the thought crosses my mind, my ears are accosted by the trumpeting of Athame almost as if she were answering my call. I've got to be quick.
I rush over to Athame. "No time to explain. I need you to follow me now. The elf is heading to the engines, and I suspect she means to do damage." I don't have time to debate, so I make sure the message is clear that she needs to come with me NOW.
Intimidate 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Lee’s final message still reverberated in Athame’s mind. How did he teleport off the ship. The tour guide was very clear about the gold barrier.
Maybe he didn’t leave, she thought. Invisibility is significantly easier than teleportation.
Her musings are interrupted by an unnatural lurch of the ship and the arrival of the king.
”Your Majesty, we need to get you off of the deck. If you could fol-”
Suddenly Molpaedia was in her face, ”I need you to follow me now.” Her intensity was so strong Athame took a step back.
Black flames, she’s like Aunt Hecate in a rage.
Perhaps not the safest place, but these things are relative.
”Your Majesty, follow us.” Gathering up the king’s guards with her eyes, Athame says, ”Ok, Molpaedia, let’s go.”
I don't have time to deal with this. They are trying to sabotage the engines, and if there is as much power in the fire gems as I think there is we are going to get blown to the moon. I sigh, let go of my knife leaving it in Ilton's belly and say, "Sorry little man but I need to cut this short." I chuckle to myself as I grab Ilton by his belt and prepare to throw him out the porthole.
Grapple 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Sorry, tiefling, I do not have the training to help you.
Tane considers checking on the Assistant Chief Inspector, but before he can do so, he hears Molpaedia tell Athame to follow her.
Interesting that she is ordering around Athame but not me. Someone in the RHC who knew about us must have talked to her. But there's only one reason to stage this whole attack, and that's to kill the king, so it looks like I'll be following them regardless.
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Gavrilo’s change in tactics catches the halfling off guard. Despite his agility, Ilton’s small frame makes it easy for Gavrilo to pick him up. Ilton flails around, cursing and spitting, as he realizes what Gavrilo means to do with him. Having been bounced from many a tavern, Gavrilo knows exactly how to hold his foe and with a final shove, ejects him from the porthole.
The rest of you
After about a minute, you all reach the lowest deck. At this point, one of the king’s guards says,”Your majesty, we need to get you into a lifeboat. Maybe these folks can save the ship and maybe not, but we cannot risk your life too.” The king shakes his head. He replies,”My sister and that foul beast are out in that water, just waiting for me to flee. This ship is our only refuge now.”
When you reach the engine room, you see Sokana and one of the engine room workers standing next to the boiler, watching a second worker who appears to be sealing the door of the boiler shut with some kind of stick. The bound body of young Fitzcairn lies bled out in the far right corner of the room.
DC 14 Knowledge (Nature) check:
When Sokana sees you, she yells to her cohorts, ”Pick up those shovels and bash in their heads, boys!” The king’s guards pull him back into the hallway, and assume a defensive formation around him.
Sokana:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Engine workers: 1d20 ⇒ 7
Athame:1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Molpaedia:1d20 ⇒ 19
Tane:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
So the order is Athame, Molpaedia, bad guys, Tane. I've posted a map on G+ to show everyone where things are at. Rather than try to grid things out, just tell me how many squares you want to move up or down and right or left and we'll figure things out from there. As far as the environment, the big box full of red stuff is a huge crate of firegems. The two black lines protruding from it are handles, but you can leap over them and they don't block line of sight. The gold thing that looks like a washing machine is the boiler itself. Let me know if you have other questions..
Athame smiles, ”Shovels?” She turns conspiratorially to Molpaedia, leaning close so she’s talking into the her ear. ”Try not to be scared of the gardening tools.”
She pauses a moment, looking towards the ceiling. Then she speaks softly to Molpaedia’s shoulder, “Just focus on all the little old ladies who use shovels.”
“I guess weeds and flowers would be afraid of shovels,” she mused to the Constable’s elbow.
Finally looking up into Molpaedia’s face, now almost 6 feet above the sorceress, ”But you’re no flower, are you.”
Stepping back, Athame examines the gigantic warrior like a sculptor examining her work. ”Careful you don’t puncture the boat,” she said breaking into a manic grin.
Molpaedia, you’re now roughly 12 feet tall weighing 1000+ pounds in your armor.
Your Strength is now 22.
Your AC is 17
Your Longsword does more damage, but your attack bonus remains the same:
Medium 2d6 + 6
Critical 19-20 x2
Melee Attack +9
Your ‘reach’ is now 10 feet instead of 5. You only get one attack of opportunity per round so move accordingly.
Also, you take up 4 squares instead of one, but there seems to be plenty of room down here. Allies can move through shared squares, so don’t worry a whole lot about blocking us. However, keep in mind we cannot end our move on the same square as you.
I watch Ilton hit the water and leave the room. With a quick look, I check to see what the kraken is doing.
Perception Check 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
When the way is clear of kraken tentacles I use my size and agility to dodge through equipment and personnel on the way to the engine room. I'm the only one that was paying any attention during the tour, if the elf manages to do anything to the engines I might be able to stop it before it gets out of control.
I was always used to being the tallest in my class, but after Athame works her charms on me I'm feeling pretty invincible. A couple of guys with shovels are hardly a match for me, but I have no intention of wasting my energy on them when the Elf is ripe for the taking. I don't want to leave my cohorts to battle it out in a fair fight, though, so as I rush my way over to the Elven maid, I pummel into the unsavory gentleman on the right. The Elf has little time to gasp, much less run away, as I reach out my enormous hand and grab her by the hair.
Grapple 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
I unsheathe my longsword with my free hand in anticipation of an attack by the Elf's cronies.
|DM Thomas Broderick|
Gavrilo proceeds with all due haste toward the engine room, bounding over obstacles and shimmying down ladders with great agility.
Gav, since you spent two rounds in combat with Ilton, I’m going to have you arrive in Round 3 of this engagement. Feel free to narrate anything that happens on the way there.
Molpaedia’s rapid growth and imposing size cause trembles of fear and a panicked look of uncertainty amongst the two engine workers. Their cocky smirks have been replaced by the universal expression of “Oh sh*t.” But they are slightly emboldened by the fact that she seems intent on dealing with the elf Sokana first.
Molpaedia succeeds in grabbing an oversized handful of Sokana’s hair, causing the elf to yelp in pain, rather than futilely struggling to free herself, Sokana tries to compose her thoughts and speaks the Elven word ”Wilja”
Sokana’s concentration check to cast Daze on Molpaedia vs DC 18:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
The searing pain in her scalp and the heat of the engine room overwhelm Sokana's ability to focus and she remains in Molpaedia's grasp.
The engine worker nearest to Sokana takes a quick diagonal step in order to get behind Molpaedia’s enlarged body and brings his shovel down on her back.
Worker 1’s attack role vs Molpaedia's AC 17:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Crit damage for weapon dealing 1d6+1 = 7 points (max damage, not double due to house rule)
Years of wielding his shovel finally pay off for the worker as his strike connects with the back of Molpaedia's neck.
The second worker decides that Athame makes a more appealing target and with a scowl of determination, rushes toward her with shovel at the ready.
Worker 2's charge attack vs Athame's AC 13:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Damage roll: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Another shovel finds open flesh as iron collides with Athame's collarbone.
Tane, you're up. I've also posted a new map to G+ to show everyone's current locations (and size).