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Mists of War - DM Downrightamazed

Game Master downrightamazed

Three groups of gaijin approach the Son of the Heavens, ruler of the Empire of Mists, in his palace in far Lanzhu. A great war is underway in the west, this is known, but what could these strangers want?

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First things first. Just so it's all in one place:

SiegOshagairea, a Fetchling Ninja from the plane of Shadows, and Rose's husband.
RoseOshagairea, an Allurin Samurai in the Palace Guard in the Inner City, and Sieg's Wife
DavethAshvale, a Half-Fiend Rogue from parts unknown
KyrasErodel, a Human Power-Word Sorcerer from Warbane
TokineNagano, a Human Cleric of Shelyn and Curator of the Imperial Temple of Cultural Exchange, from Lanzhu, in the Empire
ShanChongde, a Human Magus Samurai, also in the Palace Guard in the Inner City
ShotoImuri, a Human Samurai and Ninja, businessman, and scion of the noble Shoto family, from Lanzhu, in the Empire

The map, and what you know about the world in general.

There are many stories about the mists.

Some say they are the remains of a mighty war between the original inhabitants of this land and a fierce lord of the Water Plane, the defeated elementals now unable to leave the Material Plane but also unable to coalesce, forever doomed to rise and fall at the whims of the winds.

Others say the mists are the tortured souls of those killed by the weapons manufactured and sold around The Land by the Enhathladi, the Empire's brutal elven neighbors to the north.

The mists have been mistaken by some for benign wisps of the fey, curious zephyrs so enamored of mortalkind they disguise themselves -- barely -- as mists so they can cavort openly amongst the residents of the Empire as they go about their business.

Perhaps most popular is the legend that states the mists are all that's left of the denizens of the Old Land, that wasteland of Tane and Fey and Saur that lies immediately west of the Empire, and which is as responsible for the slow trickle of trade and cultural exchange that passes for relations between the Empire and all of the west as anything else might be. It is thought that originally, in time long past remembering, all the ley lines in The Land were contained in the Old Land, but that some catastrophe befell that place and the ley lines were loosed, and all the Wild Magic along with them, to forever change The Land; to ruin its weather and terrain and rock and soil, its inhabitants and enemies and seasons forever changed and changing due to the arcane power of those primal walls of magical force.

As was said; there are stories.

The first thing visitors notice about the mists is that they smell differently at different times, in different places. Sometimes rosewater and jasmine, other times a delightful tea, sometimes steel and blood and stone, still others plum blossoms. Some gaijin have tried to document the shifting of the mists, hoping to deduce some reason for it, or infer some celestial pattern from it. Always have their efforts been in vain, but still they try. Gaijin do that sort of thing.

While an actual phenomena, the mists are metaphorical as well. They describe the endless swirl and shroud of politics and intrigue that masks intent and meaning between businessmen and politicians and warriors and citizens. Everyone, it is a well-known fact, has their angle on things. From the huge and well-off Artists' District to the Univeristy District, from the Inner City, where the palace lay, out to the Market District and the smaller Focus Schools and the Residences. In all these places the citizens of the Empire watch as their fortunes rise and fall and fade and draw, and cannot help but see in the mists mirrored patterns of their own lives.

Being cut off from the west by the impassable Great Trackless Woods to the north, the lethal land of Enhathlad to the north and northwest, and the ruined and terrifying Old Land to the west and south, the Empire has been largely free of strife, pace the odd dynastic scuffle or familial rivaly, and as such has been free to pursue the perfection of the Mortal Arts; painting, music, dance, architecture, writing and poetry, swordsmanship and martial mastery and theater, gardening and landscaping. If there is a territory in all The Land more beloved to Shelyn than the Empire, well, that would certainly be a place to see.

So it comes to pass that tidings of war have reached the ear of the Empire, the Empire, which is used to such tidings and used to ignoring them. This time, however, the messages and terrified whispers from the west are more urgent, the stakes said to be higher. Agents of the Emperor leave and do not return, their fate unknown. Wizards speak of terrible arcane disturbances, the mists smell of swampgas and dead things, the people are on edge. It is of some concern, then, though little surprise, that three groups of Gaijin have arrived in Lanzhu, all arrayed and caparisoned in ways too fantastic to believe: One group, it is said, came on horseback, and are led by an elven princess too beautiful to be believed but of such poor stature and manners her claims to royalty must surely be false. She travels with brigands.

The second group is obviously very noble. They are clad in fine armor the color of blackest obsidian with gilt piping and they carry weapons of exotic build and obvious quality. They came on exotic flying beasts of tremendous power and acumen; Western Dragons (not True Dragons, who everyone knows are long and slim and elegant) whose very jaws drip acid and whose eyes glow green with arcane power and intelligence. Their leader is also a beautiful elven woman, nearly as much so as the supposed princess but possessed of much more elegant bearing and perfect manners, clad in flowing fabrics of the finest silk and most modestly flattering cut. The seamstresses already seek to copy her gown for the coming dance season and Arts Festival.

The third group are zealots of some sort, and are treated with barely disguised contempt by most of the palace staff. Clad in ostentatious silver plate mail emblazoned with a crude western longsword and capped by a gaudy crimson shoulder-cape, these gaijin have come with the worst manners, pleading their case before even their feet hit the ground off the back of their silver Western Dragon, itself as guady and strident in appearance and word as the gaijin who rode in on its inelegant back.

This information all finds its way out of the Inner City and into the mouths and ears of the gossips, and so makes its way around the Empire. Of equal worth to those who speak of such things is this tidbit; Tokine Nagano, the Flower of Culture, Curator of the Imperial Temple of Cultural Exchange has herself been summoned to the Inner City tonight by no less authority than First Governor Li Fang. It is also said that many noble houses will have representatives at this meeting, including the enormously popular and impetuous, the talented and charismatic Shoto Imuri, who in stature is challenged only by the crushingly beautiful Sira Zhiongzhe, eldest daughter of Clan Sira, succesful merchants and explorers. These people all are summoned to a trio of audiences. Over three days, each group of gaijin will be allowed to speak with the First Governor and the Council, with the observers in the gallery, and state their business in the empire, why they have all come at once, and what it is they seek.

Please begin with a paragraph describing how it is you awake, and what you are doing on this fine morning.

Tokine and Imuri:
Your summons is for this evening, at precisely the dinner hour. Both of you are well-versed in the manners and etiquette of the palace, being frequent visitors, so this summons will be for you neither new nor particularly noteworthy aside from the bizarre rumors that surround it.

Shan and Rose:
You will both be on guard duty in the council chambers for all three audiences, starting (of course) tonight. ALL guards have been instructed to look as imposing and lovely and lethal as they possibly can.

Kyras had been dreaming again.
This time it hadn't started off so badly. He had dreamed he was flying, the pure majesty and power of his flight was intoxicating. How tiny did those below seem. How insignificant. The powerful beat of his wings matched the slow rythym of his heart, and he exulted in the feeling, letting loose a roar of pure joy. In this distance, he could hear an answering bellow.

But in the way of dreams, this scene was fleeting, and replaced with a familiar one.

Underwater, he struggled for air. Struggled to reach the light above. But the binding chains would not let him go. And then those chains turned into hands. Cold grasping hands, holding down their betrayer. He saw the faces of those he'd sworn to protect. Those he had betrayed in blood, steel, and fire. At the exact moment when he could hold back no longer, and his mouth opened to take in the soothing water, he awoke.

Ugh, again. Standing, Kyras moved to the washbasin, and splashed his face. Using the supplied cloth, he wiped the sweat from his body, focusing on the mundane task until his hands stopped shaking. As he dressed himself, he pondered the dream, still fresh in his mind. He hadn't dreamed for over a century, and it was like he was making up for lost time. At least this time it had started pleasant enough.

Kyras headed downstairs into the inn's common room, and ordered up some breakfast. The smells from the kitchen were appealing, and his stomach growled in anticipation. He'd had to leave his last resting place in a hurry the previous day. The demands by various magicians were getting more insistent, and he wasn't sure how long it would be before they lost patience - and he didn't want to be around when they did.

At least today would be more fruitful, he hoped, as he tucked into a solid breakfast. He had a lead on his sister's whereabouts now, and he should be able to find her soon, hopefully. As much as he missed her, it wasn't a reunion he was looking forward to. Knowing her, she'd probably try an kill him for vanishing the way he did.

After breakfast, Kyras has a man to talk to in the markets. Apparently the guy has moved good for his sister, so he should be a good lead.

Also, sorry for the monster-post, I just needed to get his voice on paper, and set his tone.

As Tokine finishes her meditations, a small furrow creases her brow. She looks down at the caligraphy before her, "The crane stands tall and beautiful above the water, while its feet are in the mud." She does not remember writing it, but that is often the case during her meditations.

Typically she finds a platitude praising beauty or the joy of creation, but this one seems different, as if the message is directed at her.

Next to her work space is a ribbon-tied scroll, an invitation to the palace. An acolyte must have left it here, appreciatively not disturbing her in the process. She wonders if this has to do with all the visitors of late. If there is to be a function tonight, she plans on getting over there this morning. Visitors should see the new silks Kasue has created and Hiroki's painted screen.

She refreshes in the bathhouse. Back in her quarters, her servant helps wrestle her thick blue and white hair while Tokine stabs it through with Kanzashi hairpins in an attempt to keep it in place. Her servant giggles that Tokine's father must have been a River Spirit to bestow such hair on her. Tokine laughs as they have this struggle every morning, but she does not expand on it. Not knowing who or even what her father was, has always meant that she was different, belonging nowhere. But it is what also resulted in her being left in Shelyn's care, so some good does come from it.

Her servant looks to help her don her armor. The azure-blue chain mail, created here in the temple, shimmers like flowing water. The kimono drapes overs this, a majestic crane above a swirl of blue water with koi. Finally, she takes her gold-bladed naginata off its velvet-lined rack.

She spends some time in the temple, visiting friends and examining new art. Then Tokine makes arrangements to have the silks and screen ported over to the Palace.

Tokine returns to her quarters long enough to grab her invitation, and on a whim, rolls up her morning calligraphy as well. She then sets out to enjoy that nice tea house whose proprietor has developed a new blend that he wished her to try, thinking of nothing better than blessing his endeavor on this morning, momentarily chasing out thought of strange visitors.

Female Human Magus/6 [Samurai]

Still too young.

How many times had Chongde heard that since seeking honor for her family on her own, with the permission of her master?

"Four hundred, thirty three," moaned Chongde as she was slowly drawn from sleep by answering her own question. Dark eyes blinked back the heaviness of sleep, but the young woman continued to lay on her bed, looking up at the ceiling above her. What was the question she had awakened to answer again?

Sighing, Chongde shifting on her mat, sitting up and rolling her neck as she did so. Dark eyes darted to the window, noting that dawn was breaking. It was time to wake anyway, and going back to sleep at this point would be useless.

Rising, caring for her needs, and setting her small room in order took only a few moments for the Palace Guard. Next to the rack of her armor, a small shrine to the gods and her ancestors was set, and in front of this, Chongde knelt, her hands pressed together as she lit some incense. "Oh please, Great Ones," she whispered, pleading earnestly, "Let me not make a fool of our House this day. Let me serve with Honor and prove the strength of our House, our Loyalty, and our Honor." It was the same prayer as every day ... but today she had been appointed to stand guard over an important meeting, and so today she truly meant it.

It took a little while for Chongde to dress in her Palace Guard Garb. After all, everything had to be immaculate, and in perfect order. Chongde even went so far as to lightly powder her face, applying hints of the makeup that noblewomen wore, and geisha wore to a greater degree. Terrifying and beautiful were the orders.

Walking out of her room, and sliding the door closed behind her, Chongde was immediately greeted with the sight of her Captain walking down the hallway. Bowing, as was appropriate, Chongde waited for the man to pass her by, as he often did.

That did not happen today, instead he paused in front of Chongde, though he did not give her leave to rise. So bent as she was, Chongde only saw how he held his knees and and the stance of his feet. Finally, Aikogawa-sama, a man of great honor whom Chongde had been trying to impress since arriving in Lanzhan, put a hand on the back of her head. HE -HAD- noticed her.

"You will do well, Shan," he offered softly to her. "For there is no failure in your duty today. Be prepared for tricks of these geijin, and you will no doubt shine." Aikogawa-sama ruffled his underling's hair playfully, like a father to a child, or elder brother to a younger sister perhaps. He paused, though, tapping the back of Chongde's neck, noticing, for not the first time, the scales starting to grow there. "You will do well," he offered before turning to leave.

For several long moments, Chongde stared at the tatami mats in the hallway, still bent at he waist. The importance of the attention, even the seriousness of his words were lost on the young woman for many long moments. All her mind could dwell upon was 'He noticed me!' and her heart pounded loudly in her ears at such an awareness.

Male Half-Human, Half-Erinyes Burglar Lv4, Skirmisher Lv2

Daveth sighed as he lay on his bed staring into his pillow, he was at a rather annoying impasse. His body wished to get up and get a bit of a workout perhaps do some stretches and then spend some time bustling about the inn doing what needed to be done... his mind however wanted nothing more than to say F**k that and have him remain as he was now and while the mind made quite a good argument for it's case Daveth chose to pull himself out of bed as he knew that within an hour or two he'd be needed downstairs and he had no intention of annoying Lan Piu, the man was willing to accept him despite his appearance and that rated the Innkeeper pretty high on his short list of people he liked. Letting out a loud yawn Daveth began his morning stretches. After his warm-up stretches a significantly more awake Daveth shuffled over to his bag and from it produced a silken shirt, a exquisitely crafted shirt of mithril chain, a pair of odd looking goggles, a ring, and finally a single smoke pellet.

Now that he had everything that he 'needed' for the day Daveth slipped on his silk shirt first, then the chain shirt quickly followed however just as Daveth fitted himself with the armor it shimmered for a moment before morphing into a pair of well tailored black pants beneath a averagely tailored black cloak the cloak itself seemed to be just bulky enough to reasonably hide Daveth's wings as he smoothed them down against his back. While he loved what he was capable of doing with the help of his wings they REALLY were quite inconvenient when it came to trying to hide out. With a sigh Daveth and a shake of the head Daveth slipped his goggles and the smoke pellet into one of the cloaks inside pockets, and slipped his family ring onto his right ring finger.

"Well I suppose there's no point in keeping Lan Piu waiting." Daveth said to himself as he tied his hair back into a ponytail and headed out of his room and down into the Inn itself in search of Lan Piu to see what he needed done first, as it was a bit early in the morning there was a fair chance he'd be doing a bit of bussing due to those who came down to eat breakfast at the thought of food Daveths stomach rumbled. "Yeah... I should probably get some of that food for myself while I'm at it." Daveth said as he also caught the scent of food being prepared. As Daveth made his way towards the kitchen to grab something quick to eat he would keep a lookout for Lan Piu if he managed to spot the innkeeper he'd head over to him first otherwise he'd just grab something quick to eat in the kitchens and then actively seek out the Innkeeper.

Question, is there a particular way Lan Piu prefers to be refereed to that he would make known to Daveth? Such as "Sir" or MR.Piu?

kayal (Fetchling)

Sieg rolled muttering while asleep as his wife sleeps beside him. It was the same dream that had plagued him for the last 2 years. Everyone he had ever killed for Savian replayed in his mind.

A dark room with fresh blood on his fingers a body lying on the ground dagger clutched in its lifeless hand, a bathtub full of red water a man half submerged in the water is throat cut from one ear to the other. They began to flash by so quickly it was hard to tell where one began and the other ended their was just blood. The memories stopped one one of a small child whose face was one of terror her blood on the dagger in his hand.

"No!!! He screams as he bolts up in the blade thrashing in the bed causing the covers to be jerked violently from Rose.

@Kyras: The man you are looking for is Xun Rui Bao. He owns a business that subcontracts unskilled workers for various needs; construction laborers, movers, etc. He has an office in a not-so-terrific area in the market district. As you are walking across town in the shimmering dawn light, caught by the ever-present mists, something catches your eye.

Give me a perception check, please.

@Tokine: "I'm telling you it's worth a fortune! I don't care if the brushwork is primitive! Would you say that about a geolith? About the poetry of trees? Work with me, here!" As you approach the temple en route to the inner city, you can hear the raised voice of a man -- gaijin, by his tongue -- speaking with one of the junior curators. As you approach, you cannot help but gasp. Peeking out of the top of a masterwork scroll case, just barely visible, is a smidge of a very familiar painting style. This man--er, elf, actually, as you take note of his ears, has a painting of the same style as yours! The pride of the temple! And he has one by the same artist just rolled up in a scroll case. He has not noticed you, but the junior curator bows and gives you a desperate look as you approach, clearly seeking your help in getting away from this loud (why are they always so loud?) gaijin.

@Shan: As you are completing morning drills, a watch captain approaches you. She is not your superior in skill, but she is your superior in rank, albeit just barely. It is difficult to not roll your eyes in exasperation as she approaches because she is someone who does not like you at all, but for what reason or reasons you do not know. Always she tries to make your life difficult, but is usually stymied by vagaries of scheduling. Her name is He Mu Li.

"Hello, Chongde-shi. How are you this fine morning?" She says this in a rude tone, and with an impersonal address. Not awaiting your reply, she brings her clipboard up to her face and continues. "Do you know what? Today, you are assigned to my duty. Your Aikogawa has you on his detail tonight for the dinner, but I get you all day. And do you know what? I have here the emperor's shopping list. Can you read, peasant?" She drops the list at your feet. It is very long. "You will take Kong Zhen with you, he is a superb accountant. And you better get going, this all needs to be back before evening or the cook will hide you."

Kong Zhen, you know, has a huge crush on you. He is a junior accountant, and nice enough, but...really not your type. At all. You see him come out a door and into the courtyard. He smiles moonily and waves. He Mu Li is still standing in front of you, and is smiling in a very self-satisfied manner.

Today, it appears, is not your lucky day.

@Daveth: On your way to Lan Piu's, you notice strange smell in the air, it is something you have not smelled in a very long time, something...achingly familiar. Like a scorchy, burny kind of smell, but not wood, more like...

Oh no. That can't be it.

You smell brimstone and cordite, steel and blood and pain, and there is only one creature you are personally aware of that smells like this: An Erinyes. Up ahead are voices, and rounding a corner is a majestic pair of black wings, just like yours except somehow darker, and fuller, and a bit larger.

You are in a small side street, but there are alleys to your left and right, as well as shops you could duck into. Also, it being quite early, the streets are not heavily populated.

You have mere seconds before this winged being rounds the corner. Give me a perception check and let me know what you wish to do.

Xun Rui Bao. Not the sort of name that just rolls of the tongue. Even if that person was skilled in the modern version of the language. Any Kyras was certainly not that.

Then again, the changes in dialect from a century of evolution were the least of his language problems. Total fluency in Varesh'makai, or "Draconic" as it was more commonly known was what troubled him. Mainly because he'd never bothered to learn it. But now, it seemed, he could read it, write it, and speak it with the fluency of one's native tongue. In fact, sometimes he found himself partway through a sentence, only to find he was speaking in the dragon's tongue, or writing it down. It troubled him deeply. There was knowledge in his head that should be there. And it wasn't going away.

Pulling himself from his own thoughts, Kyras' sharp eyes spotted something, and on instinct, his hand had reached for his sword before he'd had a chance to think about it.

Perception check ->1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20

Male Half-Human, Half-Erinyes Burglar Lv4, Skirmisher Lv2

Daveths face fell and his chest tightened the very second that his brain registered the source of the new scent. He took a few moments to catch his breath as he took a moment to remind himself that it probably was not his mother, it was simply a coincidence, hell has hundreds of Erinyes and the chances of his mother deciding to pay a visit to this place were minuscule. It wasn't that he hated her or anything it was simply the fact that any time she visited it always ended painfully for him, she wished for him to act more like her people, to perhaps even JOIN them... and he couldn't help but feel a pull towards doing so and were it not for his fathers influence he was certain he'd have gone to them without even a seconds thought but thankfully that was not the case.

"Food and work will have to wait, this is far too interesting to not check out... Daveth thought as he casually moved to follow the wings and the strong scent. The fact that an Erinyes was in town was more than likely NOT a good thing for this place, they were most certainly not messengers of any sort the Erinyes' ranks were made up of some of hells most horrible warriors and torturers.

Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17

Tokina smiles and nods thanks to her assistant. Turning to the agitated elf and his artwork she give a bow and her hair makes a valiant attempt to break its confinement. "Greetings. I am Tokine Nagano, Head Curator here. If I may presume, you were allowing us permission to examine your artwork. Oh thank you, we would be most honored.

Are you the artist or are you bringing them here to share with us?"

She flashes a smile, her eyes firmly on the Elf, although she really wished to get a better look at his scrolls.

Diplomacy to calm the man 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (7) + 15 = 22
Sense Motive to determine his connection to the art 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20

@Kyras: a black shadow flitted by and up, drawing your eyes into the clear morning sky, where you see...birds? Possibly? Three...VERY...large black birds, each one easily the size of a human and possessed of a 12' wingspan if it's an inch.

While puzzling over the three flying figures you overhear a conversation:
"Hahahaaa, so does the sister know?"
"Not a clue."
"And you are certain it is him."
"Beyond a doubt. The teachers would not make this mistake."
"We must test him."
"Of course, master."
"I will inform our guests, this will change much at the bargaining table. You are certain you can...handle this?"
"This is a great deal of money."
"It is good."

On these cobblestone streets, with the metal and stone and wood all around, it is impossible to tell where the conversation has come from.

On the plus side, you are close to the address you were given as being Xun Rui Bao's place of business. A ways up the street you see a "Steerage, Cargo, Labor" sign over a plain door.

@Daveth: Just to be clear, the Erinyes is coming towards you. Do you wish to hide? Or does it not matter to you if she sees you?

@Tokine: Looking relieved to be speaking to someone with authority, the elf bows deeply and with surprisingly impeccable form, though his technique is old-fashioned. Rising back up, he looks you square in the face. He is quite handsome, in a way that manages to be simultaneously bookish and rakish. He pushes his glasses up his nose and brushes back his hair. "Madame Curator, my name is Rhon Tai. I am originally from the elven land of Tuatha, to the far west, but these days I make my home in Mamban. I have here an exceedingly rare bit of artwork, done by -- I swear it is true -- the Telestari themselves, that I have retrieved at great personal risk from the crypt under the Nameless City on the Isla Des La Mil Voces in Trident Bay south of Katapesh, south of the islands where the Faradwenni water elves live. I believe this painting belongs in a temple such as this, where it will be safe. I...ah...I have other pieces as well, by different artists, that I believe are deserving of similar honors, though I admit my impetuousness in presuming such a thing." Again that odd, out-of-style bow. "If I could but have some of your time...?" He pulls the painting out and flattens on the table. It is undoubtedly of the same compositional style and done with the same or similar paints as yours, though you believe the artist was different.

Appraise check to learn more. You cannot take 10 or 20.

Turning your attention from the painting to its current owner, you see an interesting dichotomy in his person. In his shoulder bag many tools are visible; lockpicks, caltrops, pitons, magnifying glasses, books of translation, hastily rolled-up scrolls with the latest essays out of Lesotho and Stormfare and Izmir and even lesser universities. Over his other shoulder is a well-worn wizard's spellbook and at his hip is a rapier of exquisite build, clearly magicked. his studded leather armor is well-worn and filled with nicks and cuts but overall in good repair. Back-up weapons are strategically placed in small pockets; daggers and shuriken.

It is your esteemed opinion that you are looking at a representative of what you thought was a dying breed; a Scholar-Adventurer. Regardless of whether his fantastical tale of surviving the horrors of the Isla Des Las Mil Voces is true, you feel confident he did indeed get this painting knowing full well its value beforehand. You also know he did not paint it. Whatever he might do with his hands, he assuredly does not paint.

Female Human Magus/6 [Samurai]

Chongde must concentrate on her breathing, and keep her gaze steady upon the ground at He Mu Li's feet. The arrogance of the woman! Calling her a peasant! Certainly her House was not one of the strong nobility, but it was a good house, an honorable house, an -OLD- house - certainly older than this woman's. Still, the woman was her superior in rank.

But only barely. Chongde made the conscious decision to straighten, to only a partial bow to her superior. She did not need to scrape at this woman's feet, despite her arrogant desire for Chongde to do so. "Of course, He-kun," offered Chongde, using the male superior form consciously, "All of the children of Lóng Zài Shan are taught to read and write as well as artisitic calligraphy, philosophy, and history of the Empire. It would be a dishonor /NOT/ to do so with one's progeny," says the mountain-born young woman as smoothely as she can. Mentally, she derides herself for not having listened more to the lessons on Diplomacy and the Art of Wordplay.

Dark eyes slide over towards the approaching accountant. Poor Kong Zhen, besotted hopelessly as he was. Still, he was more preferable company than He Mu Li. "With your permission, as you said, this must be done quickly, Kong-sama and I shall depart on this most important errand. After all, we would not want to despair the Emperor of providing poor food to his guests. That would be a disgrace to the Palace Guard and her officers, like yourself, whom I work with and under. And we would not wish to disgrace you, He-kun."

Still, the thought of disgracing He-kun on purpose by sabotaging the order did cross Chongde's mind. She dismissed it, though likely not for the only time this day.

Straightening completely, Chongde turned away from He Mu Li, dismissed or not, and nodded to Kong Zhen, before scooping up the list. "It appears we have much work to do today, Kong-sama. Come. Let us spend some time over the list, and decide the most efficient way of procuring what the Emporer needs of us this day."

@DMDRA: Do they actually look like birds? Or do they look like humans with big-ass wings?

The Empire was definitely a strange place. abnormally large birds, strange mists, and stranger customs. It takes all kinds. He supposed. Just up ahead, Kyras spotted the sign pointing him to his destination. Hopefully he'd get some answers now. He missed his sister.

Shaking the strange birds, and stranger voices from his mind, Kyras carried on.

Didn't have much for this one. Just keeping on keeping on.

@Kyras: Birds, definitely. No mistake in your mind. As you approach the shop, you hear idle whistling and smell a delightfully hardy tea steeping. You open the door and step into a small room, about 12' wide and 8' deep, with a low ceiling you almost bonk your head into. There is a second door, which is closed, set into the wall across from you. An older fellow seated to your left looks up as you enter. His moustache and beard are both full but well-trimmed, and salted with grey hair. His clothing is plain, but neat. He is seated at a plain wooden desk and there is a tea service behind him on a small stand of sorts. There are mats in front of him for guests to sit on, as well as -- oddly enough -- actual chairs(!) against the wall. When he speaks, his voice is low and gruff, but not in an unkind way. It is the voice of a working man, a laborer, who has worked his way up through the social strata of the city until he is now a respected business owner, but who has never lost touch with his humble roots. "Good morning, sir, how may I assist you?"

Kyras nodded a wordless greeting to the old man before speaking up, pulling back the hood of his cloak so that the man could clearly see his face. He might have been asleep for a century, but he hadn't forgotten his manners.
"Good morning, sir." He began, unsure of exactly how to start. Then again, the simple truth was probably best. "I am looking for a man called Xun Roi Bao. I need his help in finding someone." He explained.

"Would you be he?" He asked, hoping that his search would be over soon.

"I am Xun, though I am more known for my skills in moving things, not finding people. Will you have some tea, Mr...?" He stands and turns, fetching the teapot. He pours a mug and pushes it out towards you, then pours one for himself. Apparently it was not a question. He motions towards the rather dusty chairs against the wall. "Please, have a seat if you wish. Forgive my impertinence, but you do not appear to be from Lanzhu, or anywhere else in the empire, so I would guess you would be more comfortable in a chair." He sits back down and delicately sips his tea, making a pleased face as he does so. "Aahhhhh. So good. Now, by your size, I would guess you are from the north, but by your face, I would guess the west. Are you, then, from the northwest? And who is it you are looking for that a man such as myself could help you find?"

"Erodel. Kyras Erodel." He smiled, and knelt on the mat opposite Xun. When in Katapesh... Went the old saying. Taking a sip of the tea, Kyras was delighted to find that it was full of subtle flavours, the combinations of which tingled on his tongue.
"My thanks for the tea."

Taking a moment to sip his tea some more, Kyras dove right in to his story. "I am from Warbane, yes. You have a good eye, master Xun. But I came to you in search of my sister. The last I heard of her, she had come to the Empire in search of new trading partners, and goods that would be in demand back west." He explained, pausing to sip the delightful tea again. "Her name is Bethayne. Bethayne Erodel. I was given to understand that you and her had worked together before, and that you may have some idea as to her whereabouts..." Kyras trailed off, hoping that the tradesman would jump in to help him out.

@Shan: He Mu Li's black eyes are flashing with anger as Kong Zhen comes running up and the two of you walk away. The young man (he is barely 18, you know this because he never ceases to tell you every possible thing he can about himself at every possible opportunity) is wearing a backpack and has a large grocery sack over his shoulder. After you gather your armor and weapons and re-equip, caparisoned in your official capacity as a palace guard, the two of you exit the inner city and begin the trek to the market district. It is not a particularly long walk, but while the trip out will be fast, the trip back, you know, will be tedious since the streets will crowd with people looking to buy supplies for the dance being thrown tonight in honor of all the palace guests.

As you walk along your steps are strong and purposeful, your carriage and posture flawless, throwing into stark relief the clumsy stride of the bookish Zhen. He keeps up a steady stream of chatter as you go, which fades in and out of the rising crescendo of noise in the awakening city. You reach the markets while they are still quiet, and begin going through the chefs' exhausting list of supplies and ingredients.

Once cured meats get added to the list, it's clear Zhen is not up to the task of carrying everything, and he hands the heavier bag to you, the admiration for your superior strength clear in his young face. "Chongde-longti, you are so strong. It is inoxica-I mean so very impressive."

Suddenly something catches your eye; down a street you see two men and a woman talking. This would not have grabbed your attention except for the tattoos they wear, visible only briefly as they greet each other.

They are Burakumin - undesirables. Gangsters. And they are not allowed in the market district.

While you are not a police officer, per se, you do have a dispensation to enforce the laws of the city if no gendarmes are present. Before you can move, these three start away down the street, further into the markets, silent as shadows and swift as the winter wind.

Zhen looks at you. "What is it Chongde-wansuiye? What do you see? Did you find the paprika-stuffed eggplant? I can never locate that vendor..."

What do you do? Also, give me a Perception check, please.

@Kyras: Xun looks thoughtful for a moment. "Erodel..." He reaches into a drawer built into the desk and takes out a large ledger. He turns a few pages, tracing along the writing with his index finger. Suddenly he stops. "Yes. Erodel, Bethayne. Cartage, 2 tons, six laborers, one foreman, storage; 1000 cubic feet, indeterminate time, paid in advance. I recall now, she was leaving on a trip, after my initial meeting with her, all the affairs were handled by her assistant, a Fox Spirit named Vu. She still has her rented space here, but I fear I cannot open it for you; policy, you understand. However, if you visit this Vu, she may open it for you. Would you like her address? Perhaps she can help. I am afraid this is all I know."

I am using Vulpinal Agathions from Bestiary 2 as Fox Spirits, if you wish to look them up.

Tokine looks between the man and the painting, sizing up the pair and deciding this is definitely a special opportunity.

"You did well by bringing this here. We house a similar painting, which up till, now I thought had been quite unique."

She pulls a pin from her hair and points out features she sees that are shared with her painting. A strand of hair breaks free to dandle over her cheek.

"The Telestari...hmmm. The ruins I visited did not yield much to suggest this, but would like to hear your theories. But first, by your tone, are you suggesting that these paintings and thereby you, are in danger? Is our painting here in similar danger?"

Appraise the painting-> 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Knowledge History on the Telestari (what would she know)-> 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18

Male Half-Human, Half-Erinyes Burglar Lv4, Skirmisher Lv2
DM Downrightamazed wrote:
@Daveth: Just to be clear, the Erinyes is coming towards you. Do you wish to hide? Or does it not matter to you if she sees you?

OH! Wow, I guess I got a bit mixed up xD sorry about that. In that case Daveth will pull his hood down a bit more and attempt to mingle amongst the crowd still moving in the same general direction as the Erinyes hoping to get a chance to follow her for the same reasons I stated in my post. If you want me to make a new post I'll do just that but for the most part it will be the same.

Food and work will have to wait, this is far too interesting to not check out... Daveth thought as he as casually as possible grabbed the tip of his hood and pulled it down a bit, as if the sun had suddenly gotten in his eyes and he was simply adjusting his hood accordingly. He made no moves other than that as if he was going to see for what reason an Erinyes was in the city he'd need to follow her and the best way to do so would be to position himself behind her.

Daveth Ashvale wrote:
DM Downrightamazed wrote:
@Daveth: Just to be clear, the Erinyes is coming towards you. Do you wish to hide? Or does it not matter to you if she sees you?

** spoiler omitted **

Food and work will have to wait, this is far too interesting to not check out... Daveth thought as he as casually as possible grabbed the tip of his hood and pulled it down a bit, as if the sun had suddenly gotten in his eyes and he was simply adjusting his hood accordingly. He made no moves other than that as if he was going to see for what reason an Erinyes was in the city he'd need to follow her and the best way to do so would be to position himself behind her.

Gotcha. Give me a Bluff check, please, and a Perception check.


"A trip? Did she say where she was going?" He asked, obviously somewhat disappointed. "If this 'Vu' can help me get in touch with Betha, perhaps I should see her. Yes, I would be greatly appreciative if you could supply me with her address."

Kyras sipped his tea some more, thinking about what he had learned so far. Although she seemed to have moved on to somewhere else, at least he had a solid lead. Hopefully this assistant would be able to shed some light on Betha's whereabouts.

Male Half-Human, Half-Erinyes Burglar Lv4, Skirmisher Lv2


Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20

Wooo crit on the Bluff xD! I should totally give up hiding what I am and just make people not believe I have wings >_>!

Perception was also better than before, awesome :D

Edit: OH dear... just checked something, Erinyes have True Seeing D:! Yeaaaah... I'm gonna need that 30....

@Tokine: "Danger?! Did...did I say that? Ohhhhhnononononono. No way. Well Maybe. Okay fine; yes. Ah. I don't...know how much of this you know, but there's a...w-...a wa-...okay look. I'm messing this all up. By the Hunter's Hawk, Mina would be having a field day with me right now. Let's just sayyyy that 'the current market is very hostile to non-durable holdings.'" Rhon seems quite pleased with himself at coming up with this turn of phrase. "...and as such, I would like to gift you these paintings in this scroll case. To be under your prot...your curatorship."

The painting seems to lack the refinement and lustre of the one you found. You are not certain it is up to your standards, unique arifact or no. You notice that Rhon, not waiting for your reply, has already started scrutinizing the nearest paintings, taking out a magnifying glass and getting in a bit closer than you might like. He scribbles notes in a chapbook as he does this, precariously balancing the glass and the pen (ACK! a PEN! INK!) and the chapbook.

What you know about the Telestari:
The Telestari, it is said by westerners, were the First People to come to the land. They are also called Drow Orcs, but typically only in history texts of low quality, that use "Drow" simply to mean "opposite," implying that as brutish and horrid as Orcs are, the Drow Orcs were peaceful, intelligent, and accomplished.

The Telestari disappeared 2,500 years ago, not long before the Sundering left the kingdom of Rassnynyankh cut in two, into the desert of Rass-La to the south and the now-nameless woodland to the north. They left behind wonders; great necropoli, works of art, wondrous items of high, wild magic, and a legacy of being masters of the arcane arts and the martial arts.

Their language is extraordinarily difficult to learn, but appears in many places of power and on many strange artifacts. It is one of very few languages that Linguistics skill checks cannot help with.

As it happens, Telestari scholarship is also a hot topic in the universities these days.

Kyras Erodel wrote:


"A trip? Did she say where she was going?" He asked, obviously somewhat disappointed. "If this 'Vu' can help me get in touch with Betha, perhaps I should see her. Yes, I would be greatly appreciative if you could supply me with her address."

"Not to me, no. I was only given the address from which to remove boxes and crates and such, and the money to pay for my services. Except for our one, rather distracted conversation, I did not speak with your sister." He is writing something on a scrap of paper. "Here is Vu's address, it is not in a very nice part of town, I am afraid. I will send a guide with you to help you avoid the worst parts, but you will have to find your own way back, as I need him back here before nightfall. He has work to finish, and besides he is frightened to be out after dark." Xun goes to the other door and opens it. Beyond you can see a vast warehouse lined with crates, carts, boxes, string, rope, anything a moving company could need. "Lu! Lu! Come to the front please, I have a task for you." After a moment, a Dumb fellow comes to the office. His eyes are large and watery, and he has a lame leg. He breathes loudly through his mouth and does not speak. Xun points to the address in your hand. "Take this man to this place, Lu, then you come right back. This is down by Auntie Gkikka's, you know auntie's?" Lu nods earnestly. "Okay then, you come right back." Xun turns to address you again. "Good luck, Erodel-sama. Please do not hesitate to return if I can be of further assistance. Or, if you need help moving." He smiles. Lu shuffles out the door and looks carefully left and right before starting off down the street, to the right, not waiting to see if you are following.

@Daveth: as you melt backward into the shadows, the winged figure does come around the corner and sure enough; it is an Erinyes. You had...forgotten...just how terribly beautiful they are. This Erinyes is clad in her armor, but the armor is polished to a blinding sheen and is of an odd design; it is more like traditional plate mail, with a cleaner line, gold piping, and a strange insignia, like a stylized black dragon. She keeps flexing her mighty wings and tossing her long, jet-black hair, much to the delight of the half-dozen men following her around, clearly utterly taken in. One man, walking just in front of her, is telling her about the city, though she pays him little attention. She seems to be looking for something.

Suddenly, three people in dark-grey keikogi rush by. None of the men in the company of the Erinyes notice, but you can tell she does. Her eyes narrow and her wings fidget. Paying no mind to her thralls, she turns to follow the three who ran past, speeding up just enough to keep pace.

Female Human Magus/6 [Samurai]

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9

Chongde can only just nod to the compliment on her strength. "I must be, to carry the peace of the Empire with my fellow Guards," she says, felling like she needs some levity to this day.

However, when she spies the Burakumin, Chongde's desire for mirth disappears. Instead she watches the three, before moving to a vendor, and putting the bag down, looking at the merchant. "This is the Emperor's. None but myself or Kong Zhen here may take it," she states first and foremost.

Dark eyes glide towards the Burakumin as they start to leave. "No, Kong-kun," notes Chongde. "I wish that is what I had found," she notes with a sigh. "Stay here, I shall be back shortly," is noted, before Chongde turns around and walks away from where the three were, hoping to find another side-street to move in the same direction.

Male Half-Human, Half-Erinyes Burglar Lv4, Skirmisher Lv2

Daveth sighed as he watched the men fawn over the Erinyes, while he had to admit she was quite attractive he at the very least had no plans to actually meet this woman, between what information hed garnered from his father, what his mother had told him openly, and his own research he knew that it was quite unlikely for an Erinyes to be 'his type'. But that was not important what WAS imporant was A) The insignia on that armor she was wearing, and B) The fact that she was now following the three who had just rushed by. Daveth racked his brain for a reason as to WHY a devil would wear an insignia bearing a Dragon as he moved to follow the Erinyes, thankfully with her little entourage he could fall back a bit further than he'd though he would have to due to the entourage that she had with her making following her movements significantly easier.

Not sure what check I would make to figure out a connection with the insignia? I suppose Knowledge(The Planes) might be the closes I have if possible.

" Eep!" Hairpin still in hand, she gently intercedes to move the ink bottle away from the painting. "Please, work space can be made available for your notes. Please, Please! There are curation standards!"

She attempts to steer him toward a work table and away from the painting. Gently drawing his arm, she will attempt to read his notes.

"These works will be curated here, if that is your wish...they are of a similar style, but lacking some of the subtly of ours...but by your enthusiasm, I see you already have perceived that. We are quite proud of it, and the effort it took to recover it."

Perception to attempt to read notes (if possible) -> 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

Tokine curses her hair, as more falls free, landing on her and Rhon's shoulders and blocking most of her vision. He catches the scent of cherry blossoms and jasmine. She deftly winds the errant stand around her Kanzashi and jabs it back into her flowing hair.

The light from the rising sun slowly removed the dew from the carefully strewn rocks of the Imperial garden. When the terrace was completely dry, San Pen rose as well from his resting place within the gravel of the shallow hillside.
His day was fully scheduled. First was a meeting between the southern Ministers (he would accidentally drift by, make his apologizes, and subtly remind them of the Senior Officials insistence on tolerance).
Mid morning was a treat- tea with the Honored Lady Tokine- she had promised to once again attempt to explain the subtleties of the anarchist school of line drawings which he found still baffled him. If only she would stop offering that beverage- it was so wet- but no social event in the Empire was considered civilized without tea. And the dusting of gemstone did add a definite something.
Lunch would occur in the lecture halls of the school for Imperial scribes- he was to answer questions to help the youngsters prepare for the Examinations.
Lastly, would be a session with the architects who were planning the new Summerhouse, to discuss the placement of the structures to best make use of the underlying strata.

Hrrum, hrrum, hrrum he hummed. So the day is begun. Striding in the sun. Hrrum, hrrum hrrum. Hop-hop-hop. Shuffling is a slow moving spin, he headed towards his ‘rooms’ to retrieve his robes and begin his duties.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

A cheerful giggle erupts from the crowd of geisha near the firepit of the Plum Wine teahouse. As the crowd of bonge and ji-samurai look on, a pair of smiling geisha play their stringed biwa masterfully. The laughter comes from their samurai companion - a joyful young man with green eyes and a seductive smile. His expensive kimono is all black silk, with red trim and gold kanji embroidered around its edges. More embroidery marks him as a man of station and training, though it is difficult to tell what the mons stand for from a distance.

The samurai follows as closely as he can on his biwa, but the geisha are too skilled, and enjoy teasing him with musical movements beyond his experience. As he and those around him laugh on, those familiar with the samurai life wonder, what burdens could such a mirthful member of the nobility possibly carry outside a place such as this?

"Who is that?" repeats the teamistress. "His name is Shoto Imuri-sama. His family owns many rice farms and tea houses. The have geisha, they trade with gaijin. They do everything. He graduated as champion of his dojo."

Something in her eyes suggests that there is more to the story, but she simply refills your tea and moves on.

Knowledge (local):1d20 + 6 &#8658; (11) + 6 = 17

Imuri will finish his errands and socializing. After the subtle (and annoyingly cheerful) blackmail of a rival merchant, he will seek out a magistrate or yoriki to get the skinny on these gaijin. Are they a nationality the Shoto trade with? Do they pose a threat, or are they just more meat-eating barbarians, useful to line Imperial coffers and manipulate into poor business decisions?

He considers the usual routine, make a contact, engineer a duel with a lesser samurai who hates gaijin, kill the offending traditionalist "honorably", and take the grateful foreigners to a Shoto geisha house for relaxation and culture. Get them drunk, enamor them with women trained in the art of teasing, and then extract business favors from them while their focus is shattered.

Imuri thinks of a geisha with a broken reputation. Not only can he ingratiate himself with her owner by offering her work, but the big white men seem drawn to lonely and disadvantaged women. Perhaps he can involve one of the gaijin inappropriately and then demand audience with his commanding officer, explaining that certain gestures must be made to cleanse the honor of the poor heimin girl.

Yes, think Imuri. Always best to skip the first few gaijin idiots and deal with their lords. And always easy to manipulate the underlings of a culture that prides itself on taking instead of hospitality.

@Daveth: Knowledge(HIstory) or Knowledge(Local) will each do as checks to see if you know what the insignia means.
Since you're going to follow the Erinyes, give me a Stealth check, please.

@Shan: Stepping ahead a short ways, you quickly locate a parallel alley down which you can go to follow the Burakumin. You noted they had another tattoo of some sort, but they hid it too quickly for you to catch what it was.

The three gangsters have a bit of a head start on you, but you are confident you can catch them. Despite being from the mountains, you have been in Lanzhu long enough to know her ins and outs like the back of your hand.

Are you going to be stealthy in your pursuit? If so, give me a Stealth check, please.

@Tokine: As you gently steer Rhon away from the painting he was jeopardizing, you are able to get a clear look at his notes. Unfortunately they are in some form of Elvish you don't recognize.

As you struggle to get your thick, glossy mane of hair to behave, Rhon intercedes. "H-here...may I...?" With startling quickness he loops your hair into a tight topknot and replaces the kanzashi. Then with a flick of his hands he pulls the rest of your hair back into a loose braid. It is a...very rough style, suited more to a warrior in the woods than one attending the day's business in a temple, but at least the lush river of your hair is behaving, for the moment. "...please, forgive my impertinence. But I have a...good friend, with hair not dissimilar to yours, though the coloration is not nearly as exotic, or rich, as yours." He backs away a step or two. "Anyway, I think if you take more time, you'll find the Telestari painting I've brought to be virtually identical in workmanship to yours. They were remarkably consistent as artists. The other pieces are from all over The Land. I have rare Dwarven etchings from the Forgelands, a charcoal piece from the Frost Kingdom, carvings from Allemagh...things from all over. The...the Land isn't in good shape right now. That's part of why I'm here. I haven't been here in some years, it's changed a fair bit, but it's still safe, and it's still so hard to get here. ...So hard." He sort of trails off for a moment, then remembers himself. "Anyway, if you could curate these pieces, it would mean a lot. I hope desperately that my bringing them here is completely unnecessary, but I'd rather be safe than sorry."

DC10 Sense Motive check:
He is being completely sincere, and definitely means you no harm. Though rough around the edges, he has some skill with body language, and he is clearly communicating that he is not a threat, and is not lying.

Rhon turns back to his notes. "Anyway, I'm staying at the inn of a man named Lan Piu if you wish to speak further, or discuss a price for any of these pieces to stay here that do not meet your standards for display. They really must stay, you see."

Male Half-Human, Half-Erinyes Burglar Lv4, Skirmisher Lv2

I have neither of those so I suppose I'll just make that stealth check xD

Stealth:1d20 + 14 ⇒ (7) + 14 = 21

@Daveth: as you move quietly from shadow to shadow, you see the Erinyes is gesturing toward various stores and sending the men into them. Each one dashes into his respective store and begins proclaiming loudly to the shopowner some ridiculous request or other. After a bit, she only has her erstwhile guide with her. Turning down an alley and in towards a part of town you're not super familiar with, she suddenly grabs him by the throat and lifts him up against a wall. He cannot scream -- he can only make strangled burbling noises. Wordlessly she takes out a dagger and slices four enormous gashes in his legs, then drops him harshly to the ground. He rolls on the ground making a weird mewling noise. As he does so, the Erinyes lashes him with a lasso made from her hair; you've seen those things in action before and know they are not to be messed with.

After several harsh strappings, beating the man until his shirt is torn and his body an intricate lacework of thin scars, the devil suddenly stops. You can make out the man saying something over and over: ""

Suddenly a Samurai of the Palace Guard runs down a parallel street, in the same direction the three keikogi-clad people went but a block further down. The Erinyes hears the Guard's armor-clad footsteps and narrows her eyes. Leaving her...victim? on the ground, she breaks into a light trot and rejoins the chase.

You hear footsteps behind you. A rough voice speaks. "Going somewhere, traitor?" You spin around in time to see a troll looming over you in the alley. It is clad in the same armor as the Erinyes, only sized to cover the beast's massive, rough frame.

Roll initiative!
Init for the troll: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6

@San Pen: as you are starting your day, a minor functionary approaches you, carrying a scroll with a ribbon tied in a style you know very well.

"Sifu San Pen, honorable teacher and philosoph. I was instructed to bring you this scroll by another functionary, though he would not explain its origin or purpose. Please forgive my interruption, Sifu." The man bows low before you.

The scroll:
You recognize the tie as belonging to the Emperor, and the message bears this out. It is a common practice for him to have a message routed through several people so as to increase the odds of someone gossiping about it, and decrease the odds of any actual truth getting out as the message inevitably gets blurred in the passing from person to person.

This message is a simple, polite summons:
"San Pen, my dear friend. I do not wish to interrupt your day unduly, especially not your scheduled tea with mistress Tokine, but there is a matter we must speak on. Please come to the room with no doors before you leave for tea; the conversation shall not be overly long. Thank you."

@Shoto Imuri: Word has been passed to you from higher in the family. You are to attend the dinner at the palace this evening. Clan Shoto and Clan Sera will both be there so you must be your most subtle and winning. These new gaijin, it is said, have been here before, and are not here for trade. What they want is unknown. They come, however, with steel and warriors and western dragons, so they are not subtle.

Your mother has heard word of new items at the Temple of Cultural Exchange, and has asked you, as favored son, to inspect them and inform her if they will be worth her while to venture out to see.

Male Half-Human, Half-Erinyes Burglar Lv4, Skirmisher Lv2

Daveth watches the Erinyes cut and whip the man with a look of mild disgust, while he was fine with the idea of beating his opponents into a bloody pulp that was only fun when they actually stood some sort of a chance, beating on a weakling was almost always a waste of time... also the fact that the guy seemed to be enjoying it was creepy and distracting enough that it took him far too long to notice those foot steps. When he finally did hear them and heard the rough voice of the creature they belonged to he groaned at his lack of awareness and whipped around to get a look at the likely very big person who had managed to sneak up on him

. His jaw drops a bit as he recognizes the creature, a troll.. those things were notoriously difficult to kill even if you managed to get the jump on them and this one had managed to catch HIM off guard. Wonderful, just freaking wonderful! "Traitor? What the hell are you talking about?" Daveth snarls at the troll a bit as he uses his wings to puff up his cloak a bit hoping to make himself look a bit bigger than he really was. He was rather tempted to just attack the Troll or perhaps try to escape it but it was rather likely that the Erinyes would be far too difficult to catch up with now and perhaps if this guy was dumb enough he could gleam a bit of information out of him. As well the fact that he'd been called a traitor was.. interesting to say the least, he'd never outright acted against anyone wearing that insignia that he could remember. Depending on the big guys reaction hopefully he would be able to gauge it's level of intelligence, with luck perhaps he could even trick it into believing that he worked for them and had simply been shadowing the Erinyes to ensure her safety... a bit unlikely but still if the troll was dumb enough that might just work.

Initiative:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13

@Daveth: you have initiative, sir. Your move!

Tokine gives her head a shake and smiles at the lack of hair cascading down. She give a small bow.

Sense Motive ->1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22

"This is a fascinating collection. Of course we will see to all the works, 'There are no poor compositions in Shelyn's eyes'" The platitude rolls out, one that she typically give to new acolytes or those trying new mediums. Of course that does not really apply to these with such a rich history.

"If I could presume to you. I would love to gather the provenience on these items and your connection to them. But I am due for tea with a good friend. Perhaps you would like to accompany me? He is very interested in historic art as well, and with your wide traveled background, you will likely find him...interesting as well." Her smile is shy but inviting. Rhon could easily tell she was enjoying a private joke.

Male Half-Human, Half-Erinyes Burglar Lv4, Skirmisher Lv2
DM Downrightamazed wrote:
@Daveth: you have initiative, sir. Your move!

I pretty much did what I intended to do with my turn in my last post, Daveth is going to try to see what information he can get from the Troll if any, combat wise I suppose I'd be taking a full defense right now though Daveth will try to make it seem as if he does not expect the Troll to attack(In keeping with his plan to possibly trick it into believing he's on it's side so that he can get more information)

Female Human Magus/6 [Samurai]

Oh sure... why not try, eh? *facepalms* Famous last words.

Stealth: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21

Doing her best to keep up with the Undesirables, Chongde also does her best to keep an eye out for any nearby gendarmes. This is a delicate matter, after all. Getting seen by the Burakumin would mean they just scatter. 'Poor Kong Zhen has no idea what is going on, either. But then, if he knew, he would probably be more enamored of me,' thinks Chongde to herself.

So it is that Chongde tries to wend her way through the maze of the Market in Lanzhan following the filth that brings crime to her Emporer's prized city.

Female Human Samurai 11, HP: 84/128, 3/4 Resolve, 1/4 challenges

The bloody crimson and silver burst across the lightening sky as an explosion of energy from the horizon, burning into her mind with all the terrible power of a day undetermined by the gods, a new day that held untold possibility…

Azami’s grey eyes click open to the real dawn, a dull hazy glow in the distance that seemed less real than the dawn behind her eyes just moments ago. She rises quietly, the hollow crunch of the tatami mat lost in the susurrus of morning activity across the series of small rooms in this hall. It seems somehow disrespectful to raise a voice during this time of gathering, and thus she prepares herself and her space as the silent image of a bloody dawn fades back into the recesses of her dreams.

Once appropriately attired, Azami kneels before a small shrine that burns with fresh incense. Her prayers are rote, a ritual necessary and observed, recognizing the gods and ancestors as they deserve, calling for the daily blessing to the House, the Emperor, and her fellow soldiers. Then, she turns to her banner – a silver sunburst across a red field— eyes focused on the poorly rendered image. Whatever god or spirit owns her, she devotes herself to it once again through this ritual, and once again the scars across her flesh ache.

Today is a day of some interest, for there are groups of Gaijin emissaries, fast on the heels of rumors of unrest and war in the West. She will be there, having demonstrated her skills even as a ronin among the palace guard. This must be where it begins, she thinks, eyes closing briefly as if to will it to be true.

Azami leaves to the morning drills, taking her place among the others as she submits herself to the focus of breath and steel.

With a slight smile, accidentally causing terror in a passing servant I return to the garden.

Perrhaps a shorrt soak will imprrove my mood. (To conceal my destination.)

My concern at the hasty summons is offset by an odd thrill at this break in routine.

Kyras finished his tea, and then stood, bowing at the waist to his helper. "You have my thanks." He said, reaching into the pouch on his belt, and tossing a silver coin onto the table.
"For the tea. And the help. I will ensure that your employee has pleanty of time to make it back before dark."

Moving to the door, he gestured to his guide, smiling at him. "Lu, is it? Lead the way!"

Removed a SP from my sheet.

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