Finding acting work in Chicago has been harder than you expected. There are casting agencies, of course, but most of them want to fly you back to LA for the gig. Luckily you still had a sizable savings account from your Hollywood success or you'd be homeless by now.
Lately you've been auditioning for theatre, and it's been going much better. You haven't gotten a call-back, but you think it's only a matter of time. It's friday night and you're walking home to your apartment after an audition and a bus ride, hands in your pockets, just a few blocks to go. You think it went really well. You're replaying the audition in your head over and over, picking at any perceived mistakes, when a payphone rings loudly right next to you.
You glance around at the dark, wet streets. Cars and buses coast busily past but this particular stretch is mostly dead of foot traffic. It's just you, and this ringing payphone.
You realize you're being watched. They wait to see if you nod.
Sang-mi stopped startled by the first phone. She looked at it puzzled, then looked around. Thinking better of it she continued walking on.
As she passes the second one, and it too begins to ring, she stops dead in her tracks. She watches a bus drive by and looks around again, slowly she reaches forward toward the phone and rests her hand on it a moment. As it continues to ring she anxiously picks it up. "Hello?" She says wondering who it might be.
When the voice responds with its chilling message she freezes. "How!? I was so careful, I'm on the other side of the world! How could they find me!?" she thinks as she stares at the phone. Too afraid to look around again she nods slowly at the phone, wondering if there's a camera or something hidden within, then waits.
The passing bus sprays water in its wake. It rained yesterday, but it feels like a serious downpour is still to come. The clouds are heavy and black in the night sky.
The distorted voice is rushed now, speaking hurriedly but with clear concise pronunciation, "Keep walking past your apartment, they're waiting for you there. Go to a bar called Sundown one block down. Sit at the bar, second stool from the far left, and ask for an orange juice. Drink half."
A man in a grey hoodie walks past, not paying you any attention as he speaks angrily to himself under his breath. You realize the voice on the phone has waited until he's gone before continuing.
"Shortly after sitting, someone will buy you a drink, or bump into you as they walk past. They'll find a way to distract you while they poison your drink. You're going to let them. Drink it." The voice lowers, "There's no reason we would tell you all of this if we wished you harm. But it's your choice to trust us or not."
Even though it's not particularly quiet out, it feels like jarring silence when the voice cuts off--you can hear your own heartbeat.
"Who...." is all Sang-mi gets out before the phone clicks. She slowly hangs up the phone and looks out. She's only a few blocks away from her apartment, turn the corner and she'd be able to see the windows from the road.
She begins walking following the instructions, however she deviates to avoid being visible from her apartment, and walks to the bar.
Arriving, she's too distracted to notice any features beyond the name placard, and heads toward the seat she was told to sit at.
"Olr-ange juice." She'd normally be embarrassed by her accent, but right now all she can think about is the KCP agents that might be at her heels.
Sundown bar isn't a dive, not fancy either. It's clean enough, and there's a handful of people inside. Certainly a far stretch from any Hollywood bar.
The bartender is a pretty brunette with one sleeve of tattoos in a black tank top. "Sure hun," she replies with a friendly smile and takes an already poured glass from under the bar, setting it in front of you, then turns her attention to other customers. She gives you a worried glance over her shoulder as she goes.
If you look around at the other customers, no one really catches your eye as suspicious. One man sitting with a friend seems to be working up the courage to talk to you, but changes his mind when he sees your expression.
You have a glass of (supposedly) orange juice in front of you.
Sang waits for the woman to drop down the orange juice then tries to grab her hand as she's setting it down.
Deception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20 Attempting to play distracted to catch the bar tender by surprise
Easy enough, she wasn't expecting it
You startle her, "What...?" she looks worried and pulls her hand free with more strength than you expected, but she doesn't leave. "I don't know what you're talking about."
You can roll Insight (Wisdom) on her if you think she's lying,
or you can press her further, maybe with an Intimidate or Persuasion.
Deception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
It seems like she really doesn't know what you meant, but at the same time you can see the worry in her face clearly now. Her expression softens after a moment of tension and she leans on the bar to speak quietly to you.
"Look, I thought you were in on...whatever this is. Otherwise I swear I wouldn't have had anything to do with this, no matter how much money they offered. I thought it was some weird sex thing. Okay, this guy in sunglasses and a ball cap came in, said an asian chick would sit in that exact seat and ask for an orange juice, he described you, and he payed me...a lot...to serve the glass he prepared. God it sounds awful saying it out loud. I'm sorry. You want me to dump this in the sink?"
I assume you're still watching her closely trying to discern her motives:
She seems a little afraid, and desperate for you to let her off the hook and reveal it was all a joke--or indeed, a 'weird sex thing'.
Whoa! what are the chances!? double 11s!
Sang-mi looks a little dejected that the woman doesn't recognize her as Jade Dagger from her movie House of flying daggers.
"No... leave it. I'll wait for him." She sits back down and sighs.
She sits back down and turns her attention to the OJ. "What do I do" she wonders observing the glass. Any unusual sound causing her to glance about nervously.
She seems relieved, and starts to ask if you're sure when another customer flags her down to order a drink. She gives you an apologetic smile and hurries off. "Let me know if you need anything else love."
The bar still isn't too crowded for a Friday night. Nothing noteworthy happens for almost ten minutes.
There's a drunk woman talking to a man behind you and to your right. Her drink is sloshing and she stumbles occasionally as she giggles high-pitched and loudly. Finally her heel clips a barstool leg and she stumbles right at you, about to spill her drink on you...
Since you noticed and were wary of her ahead of time, you can Dex Save to try to avoid it/catch her/etc., if you so choose. Either way:
She apologizes profusely and drunkenly. She's a normal-looking soccer-mom type, 40's, in a very small dress and a lot of makeup. "Oh my god, I'm so so sorry--"
Carrying on that very high perception roll, plus being forewarned about it:
She takes your hand (and you recognize it as a tactic to draw your attention and distract you) as she very subtly dumps a vial of something into your half-empty orange juice. You barely saw it in your peripheral vision. "Can I buy you a drink, or something?" The man she was talking to seems to lose interest and returns to his friends.
(If you did not prevent her from spilling her drink on you, she continues apologizing profusely about your clothes and offering to give you money for them or have them laundered for you.)
Dex: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13 She will attempt to catch the woman but allow her to spill the drink on Sang. If she catches the woman, sang wants to keep a firm grip on the woman.
Insight: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12 Trying to discern if the drunken stupor is genuine or not.
"Oh!!", she exclaims surprised by the woman's stumble.
"No,no,no... it's okay. Please, help me clean this." Sang smiles, lifting her blouse where the stain is. She then attempts to guide the woman to the bathroom.
Either manually if Sang-mi has a hold on the lady, or through body language if not (she will even try to take the woman's hand if she needs to)
DC would have been 15, but since you saw what was going on it's only 10.
You deftly catch her from falling, but the drink spills in the exchange. When she speaks you can smell the alcohol on her breath. She seems pretty drunk.
"Oh, yes of course, of course! I think I have some wipes in my purse..."
She goes with you to the bathroom without resistance. It's a small unisex bathroom with a pale yellow light and black pipes along the ceiling. Somewhat clean.
1d20 ⇒ 14+mods
1d20 ⇒ 5+mods
perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Sang-mi waits till both are inside the restroom then she locks the door. Turning to the woman she smiles then lunges at her.
Grapple: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
if advantage for unawares
Grapple: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
She grabs the woman and smashes her into the wall near the toilet.
"Who is he!?" she hisses through clenched teeth, trying not to shout.
Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
She tries to recover from the lunge with haste to stop the woman from escaping.
This may change your action, so I won't address the grapple yet
You notice the sound of the door shutting behind you takes a little too long, like it was held open for just a second, and turn. There's a nondescript, middle-aged, dark-haired man in plain clothes standing in the bathroom behind the two of you. About 5'9 with average build. He locks the door (from the inside), and turns to you. The woman has dropped her drunk-act and looks very sober.
You have a moment to speak or act first, if you choose.
Sang-mi steps away from the two of them and strikes a defensive pose. She'd never been in a fight before but this is what her training had prepared her for.
In Cantonese "Who are you!? How do you know me? What's going on here!?" she demands.
Her eyes dart back and forth between the two of them, attempting to anticipate their first move.
After a tense moment, all three of you burst into action.
The man lunges at you with a spinning back kick, still managing to get the drop on you with his speed. His heel clips your jaw with enough force to knock a regular person unconscious.
The woman looks like she's about to throw a punch.
You take 2 damage.
Strength is correct.
She slips to your left, moving around you with trained fluidity. Your kick smashes the paper towel dispenser off the wall. She takes a sharp jab at your midsection as she moves, scoring a clean hit.
you take 1 damage.
The man presses in, trying to overwhelm you quickly while you fend off two foes at once in a cramped space, but you deflect his punch into the mirror. It cracks with spiderwebs and a smear of blood. He grimaces with determination.
You're up again.
1d20 ⇒ 15
1d20 ⇒ 2
Before he can pull back from his swing you smash him in the face with an elbow, breaking his nose and knocking him against the door with a thud and a grunt. He looks hurt, and badly staggered.
The woman kicks forward at your midsection where she jabbed you before, and you feel a weakened rib crack.
You take 1 damage
When you flinch, the man rushes at you, blood all over his face now. He tries to grab, twist, and throw you to the ground.
Roll athletics or acrobatics vs. 12. If you succeed, feel free to describe how you beat the throw attempt. Otherwise you are prone. It's your turn.
1d20 ⇒ 19
1d20 ⇒ 11
You can only faintly hear the bar's music through the door. The grunts, squeaking shoes, thuds, and shouts of hand-to-hand combat echo dully inside the tiny yellow-lit bathroom. Droplets of blood trace down the cracks in the smashed mirror. There's barely enough room for all of you to stand comfortably, yet a life-and-death fight is happening inside.
Your opponents thought this would be over quickly, but you're still standing--and fighting back. Someone didn't brief them properly on the threat you posed.
updated most of the character sheet to reflect changes, hard to edit on phone x_x
Also eww, gross bathroom
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
"Heeeyaaah!" Sang-mi shouts as she darts back and hops onto the toilet and springs up over the man's lunging arms. Using the momentum Sang-mi brings her leg down in an axe-heel kicks toward the man's head.
Axe Kick!: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25damage: 1d1 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Just doubles the 1 base damage
With a thump like a hammer hitting a hollow log, the man crumples straight down into an unconscious heap.
I think that hit could be lethal, given that kind of crit while he's low already. It's your choice whether you want him to be dead or just knocked out.
The woman curses under her breath and quickly pulls a taser from her purse, realizing how badly she underestimated you. As she thrusts it at you, you catch her wrist under your arm and twist it out of her grasp. It clatters to the floor.
You're up again.
1d20 ⇒ 1
Sang-mi thinks this is life or death, so she's not holding back. That said she's not a trained killer so I think it's best left to fate to see whether he's dead or alive
Sang-mi's eyes get wide as the woman draws the weapon but the assailant made a predictable mistake. After disarming the woman Sang-mi in one fluid motion scoops up the taser and throws a knife-hand strike.
knife-hand!: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20damage: 1d1 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
As Sang-mi follows through with a flourish she hits the button on the taser to make it crackle. "Answer me!"
As the man crumples, his head cracks into the edge of the porcelain sink, smashing off the corner with a crash. As he lay on the floor, a pool of blood spreads out from the head wound. The broken sink is spraying water from some newly cracked pipe.
The woman grunts from your hit, but doesn't answer you, just a grim angry expression. She tries to circle and jab at your cracked rib again, but almost trips on her partner's body and the punch falls short. It makes her tactic clear, and you instinctively guard your injured rib a little more closely.
You're up again
1d20 ⇒ 5Fate
1d20 ⇒ 6+mods
There is indeed an audible crack from her collar bone as you land a clean strike, she gasps in pain but surprisingly doesn't go down. She steels herself, feints a blow to your ribs, then jabs you hard in the mouth with her good arm, splitting your lip when you move to defend your cracked rib.
You take 1 damage.
1d10 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2Second Wind
1d20 ⇒ 17+mods
When you kick out, she moves in, grabbing your leg under her arm. "Jun Xifeng," she spits, drawing a knife from just under her dress, near the thigh, and thrusting at your armpit. You manage to break free and push off of her just in time. She glares, coming at you aggressively now.
While at first it seemed like they were aiming to take you alive, the plan appears to have changed.
1d20 ⇒ 3+mods
You ARE from the 90's!
As both combatants realize the end of this fight is near, one way or another, there's a quick flurry of strikes, deflections, and counterblows between taser and knife. You're both breathing heavily and your shoes are slick in the blood of the dead man on the floor as you struggle for leverage and the slightest advantage.
The two of you clinch up, pressed together and grappling at each-others weapons with your free hands. Slowly you are pressed back against the sink, further, as the knife is pushed closer and closer towards your neck.
The door to the bathroom rattles as someone tries to enter and the woman's eyes leave yours to glance over--
Advantage on your next attack.
1d20 ⇒ 1+mods
Attack!: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Advantage!: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Sang-mi seizes the opportunity at the momentary distraction and headbutts the woman on the nose, but this is just to disorient her. The moment the woman is dazed Sang-mi wrenches her Taser hand free and slams it into the woman's neck discharging it.
Not sure what the damage roll is
Her grip weakens momentarily when you break her nose with your forehead, just enough to close in with the taser. Her body convulses then crumples limply to the ground.
The rattling on the door turns to knocking, "Hello? Uh everything alright in there?" A man's voice.
1d4 ⇒ 2
1d20 ⇒ 15+mods
For future reference: 1d4 Lightning damage and the target must make a Con save DC 13 or be incapacitated. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns until successful.
"Yes! OK!" Sang-mi's English is failing her at the moment, she's too distracted by the adrenaline and pain.
Gripping the unconscious woman she lowers her gingerly to the floor. Thinking hastily she calls back, "One moment." then turns her attention back to the woman.
Sang-mi quickly starts digging through the pockets of the two individuals looking for some kind of identification, then searching through the woman's purse.
do you want a search roll?
*Knife in the man's boot (1d4 slashing, Finesse, light)
*Fallen knife from the woman (1d4 slashing, Finesse, light)
*Tiny vial of unknown powder
*Tiny vial of unknown liquid
*Small makeup kit
*Small 'holdout' pistol from behind the man's back( 2d6 piercing (range 20/100), reload (2 internal), light)
*Their drivers licenses and credit cards
*Assorted cash, about $130 no need to track the exact amount.
*Business card from the woman's purse
*Fancy looking matchbook with "ROME" in bold letters on it, from the man's pocket
*A pager from the man's belt
Lic. No.: T144-7839-4998
Male, 5'10, 140lbs
Lic. No.: T121-5489-2390
Female, 5'7, 125lbs
and cocktail lounge
51 Hudson Street
Your choice what to take. That's everything after a quick rifling through, but if you want to spend more time searching thoroughly you can roll an Investigation (Intelligence). It'll take a few more minutes.
Sang-mi takes the assorted ID cards, matchbook, and a handful of cash then heads out of the bathroom. Limping slightly she makes her way toward the bar and sits at the stool she started in.
She glances over at the barkeep, "Dey offered to clean wit club soda." she said dryly and takes the glass of OJ. She almost takes a drink of it but then remembers the tampering and sets it down and slides it away.
"Vodka, please.. and a pen and paper if you could." she slaps a crumpled mass of bills on the counter and lays the IDs down aswell.
When you exit, there's an older bearded man, maybe 60, waiting outside. His jaw drops when he sees the inside of the bathroom.
The barkeep smiles, apparently oblivious to what happened, but her expression turns to shock as she notices your split lip, bloody and bruised face. "Oh my God, what happened. Are you okay?" She quickly gets you a pen and paper, and a glass of vodka. [B]"On the house darling. Do you want me to call someone? What can I do. I have to call the police."
She seems like she's offering to not call the police, if they what you want. Or at least wait to do it.
Sang-mi sips on the vodka as she copies down the information from the ID cards and match book. Without making eye contact with the woman Sang-mi responds, "Take me to deh hospital please, no 9-11."
After she finishes copying the information she looks up to the barkeeper, "I leave these here for police." she pushes the notes forward and pockets the IDs. As she reaches to stow them away she winces in pain from the cracked rib.
"Um y-yeah, hang on," she looked a little thrown off, confused by this very strange night. She retrieves her small leather jacket and purse, then makes a short phone call.
There's a small crowd gathered outside the bathroom door now, talking and glancing back at you. You can't catch most of what they're saying, but one phrase breaks through the noise: She killed him.
A hand sets gently on your shoulder. The bartender. "Hey, can you walk okay?" She offers her support if you need it. "I'm parked just around the corner."
The two of you leave. The bar's unattended and the crowd is still leering at the wrecked bathroom and broken corpse with morbid curiosity and fascination. Outside, the cold night air is a refreshing change from the stale warmth of the bar. The dark clouds above are even heavier than they were before. A rainstorm was inevitable.
"I'm Sandy, by the way."
The two of you turn the street corner and she leads you to an old red Volkswagen Golf, opening the passenger door for you and helping you in. When she shuts the door after you, the sound and cold of the street is cut off. You see her walk around to the drivers side and get in, cold rushing in until the door shuts again. She starts the car and immediately lowers the blasting volume of punk music.
"Sorry. Hey," she turns to you. "You...want to tell me what happened? Who did that to you?" The car idles steadily, and gradually warmer air blows from the vents.
"Yes, I can walk." Sang-mi says, but still accepts the offered help. The adrenaline was beginning to fade and her head was throbbing from the aftershock and the blows.
As the two of them exit Sang-mi allows Sandy to lead her, her focus being on breathing and appreciating the coolness of the night. Her focus steers back toward Sandy as she speaks.
"Thank you Sandy." She says as the two of the approach the car. Once inside she hesitantly pulls the seat belt, mostly due to the pain of stretching for it.
As Sandy asks her question Sang-mi exhales a deep breath, then glances to the woman. "I do not know who dey were. A woman spilled her drink on me, and drugged my drink. I figure I would get a jump on her in da bathroom but she broughd her friend. I may have killed him."
Sang-mi leaned back in the chair and rolled her head toward the window. "Deh knew about my past, dese are very dangerous people. After you drop me off you should go, take some time off."
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20