Sorry, Paizo wasn't letting my into the game boards for some reason, don't know if others had that problem.
Smoke continues to yank on the door, his palms heating at the fires growing within.
Round 3 Strength: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Round 4 Strength, although Gethric will make it on his own anyways: 1d20 ⇒ 13
As the group strains to rip open the door the flames begin to slowly grow into their full flesh to ash rendering glory. 3d6 ⇒ (3, 3, 3) = 9 Gethric takes this much before he is finally freed.
The half orc coughs and sputters as he clambers out of the smoking oven. At least, it was smoking. A brief look inside reveals a hole more reminiscent of a tomb then a clean oven and as cold as the grave. Piles of ash barely cover skulls and bones of various shapes and sizes. It doesn't take an autopsy to identify some of them as children.
As you take a moment to breath Csiza is still staring at a dark corner when she makes a startled gurgling noise in the back of her throat. A voice comes from her direction.
"This place does not officially exist on any record in the empire. Though if the rumors are to be believed when Queen Abrogail chose Egorian as her new capital those who would not abandon their homes before her majesty's grand reconstruction found their own fate was shared by their homes. Whether this place was erased out of shame or to remind people of how little they mean to her majesty I am afraid has never been of enough concern to me to find out."
As each of you turn towards the voice. You see Csiza standing before a tall figure draped in a billowy and diaphanous black robe. He would appear like a shade or some other shadowy interloper if it were not for the mithril plated gauntlets and mask he wore. The mask is a simple dome that fits over a humanoid face. No holes on the mask for breathing or seeing are immediately apparent. Ethched into the fine mithril is a spider web pattern set with a fat spider sitting in the middle. The gauntlets he wears are etched with fine elven filigree and end in wickied claws. His hands are clasped together in front of him and his voice and demeanor show no signs of shock, fear, or even any emotion at all other than perhaps the standing of a man who is simply making a walk through his own living room.
|Lilith the Blind|
9 damage drops Gethric to -2; though Ferocity should allow him one final door kick to open the oven though...
Gethric kicks open the oven door with a strength born of final desperate intent. Half-dragged and half-propelling himself out of the hungry portal Gethric wavers on his feet, clothes smoking and flesh charred as he breathes heavy. Eyes attempting to focus upon the newcomer for a few moments before they go glassy and the half-orc crumples to the floor.
Stabilization: 1d20 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 - 2 = 18 - stable
The figure chuckles at Psyana's directness. "Did you just admit to committing murder for money to a complete stranger? And more saying you would like to kill a child? Perhaps that man was important to the house of thrune hrm? Perhaps I'm some hired assassin to make a colorful example out of the thugs who broke into the mans home, killed most of his body guards, and slew the man with a spiked cudgel in his sleep? PErhaps I am some hellknight here to lay in the harsh boot of the law deep into skulls of law breakers?"
The figure pauses briefly to let the words sink in before he waves a hand dismissively. "No little girl you are not fit smash a fly for a copper let alone do the work you are to be trained for. But enough of such talk here amid the ghosts. Let us retreat to a more secure location where we can discuss things such as your future and payment."
The figure moves soundlessly past you adn reaches into the oven. After a brief dig through the skulls he manipulates some kind of mechanism and a stone tile on the floor quietly lifts up on hinges and reveals a darkened staircase.
"If you would kindly pick up your orc and step into my parlor we can continue this conversation in earnest."
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
As I pass Spawn I reach down and cast Cure Light Wounds on him and also Message.
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Whisper via Message: Get up, I need you as the rest of these incompetents are just going to get themselves killed. We can communicate via whispers should you wish.
|Lilith the Blind|
Well, so much for Candy's gesture.
Candy Untrained Perception 1d20 ⇒ 4 ALL RIGHT!!
Candy, seeing that another is wielding healing magics on Spawn, or would she without spellcraft, never get how you're supposed to roll spellcraft for spells you can cast yourself steps forward.
"Is that not what the spider said to the fly?" she wonders, concerning the symbol on his mask, and his speech about Hellknights.
Pulled back to the world of the wakened, Gethric rises painfully from his brief nap. Unaware of exactly what has transpired while he was unconscious, he falls in with the rest to follow the figure. He does not respond to Squid's hushed tones.
Looking at the stranger: Perhaps you should reconsider my words. You inquiry demonstrates a severe lack of knowledge of the adherence the devil worshippers have for the word of law. If you seek to pervert to words of others, then you admit you are also at fault. I am sure that the Hellknights would provide you with the same accommodation you claim I am due.
Smoke growls in his throat before finally speaking up, the quiet man's voice low and harsh. You certainly like to run your mouth don't you, Fish? How's about we hear the man's words before you start slinging insults and threats? Maybe you're itching for a fight but I'd like to get paid in this lifetime. Brushing past her he makes his way down the stairs after the stranger.
Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 11
"Though if you want to take the matter up with the Hellknights then by all means feel free to do so. I don't believe I've seen the curse melt someones eyeballs from there head in quite a while."
As you descend down into whatever lair the stranger has set up for himself Csiza scribbles frantically on her slate being the only sound outside of your foot steps.
I can hear him in my head!
The stairs do not go as far as you fear. Or if they do the long walk was perhaps cut short due to the strange company.
When you reach the bottom of the stairs you find...a parlor.
The room is not very large and is sparse save a small table encircled by a group of comfy chairs. A jaunty fire place flickers as you enter the room by what appears to be the only entrance and exit. The table is covered with what appears to be a mithril tea set made in the egorian style with plain black and red tea cups surrounding the centerpiece of a highly decorated tea pot covered in devilish imagery. Three bowls sit on the outer circle of this set and appear to be filled with lemon slices, sugar, and honey respectively.
As the stranger sits in one of the chairs a cat whom previously was unseen saunters out of the darkness and purrs as it rubs against his leg. It sits by his feet and stares at Felgrael hungrily licking its jaws in that casual manner of cats trying to determine whether the creature in front of it will be providing food or becoming it.
As the stranger settles in he reaches under his seat and pulls a leather case from under it and lays it in his lap before gesturing towards the teaset and the seats. "Please have a seat. Would you care for soem tea? I admit I have not been able to enjoy the fruits of my labor for a long time but I still manage to enjoy the craft. So I often ask for the opinions of those I meet"
Even as he speaks he begins pouring cups filling the small room with an aromatic smell.
Squid moves over and takes a seat on the side where she can keep an eye on the stranger, the cat and her companions. Seeing the cat, Mrrith squawks once and then finds a place high near the roof with no access by a feline to sit. She watches everyone else and ignores the offered tea.
Felgrael represses a shudder at the sight of the cat, his previous encounter with them still weighing on his mind. Taking an offered seat he pours himself a cup of tea and adds some sugar and lemon to it before sipping. Nodding to their host he settles back in his chair. Very delicious, although I can not claim to be an expert on the subject.
While it could be poisoned, I have to think with everything else we've seen, he could have killed us easily without the need for tricks. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
Gethric is at ease, he knows that the death trap in the oven has brought him close to the great dark... but he takes an internal pleasure in the fire of pain that still burns across his skin. Even if he were not injured... he'd wager that he would be easy prey for the one opposite. Taking a tea cup his brow furrows in some confusion as to what is intended... he settles for pouring an unhealthy amount of honey into the cup and takes a slurp of the sickly sweet tea-water that results. At their hosts question, Gethric merely gives a non-committal shrug of his shoulders.
|Lilith the Blind|
Candy takes the tea as it is offered, quite inured to unsatisfactory tastes of late. The copper of blood had yet to leave her nose, and the copper per coupling she took in the slums in her attempt to distance herself from the incident had steeled her stomach. And Galt was not known for luxury in abundance among the lower classes. While the others take their seats, Candy feigns the motions of sweetening her tea, using her fingers as the material components for Cure Light Wounds and dispenses the charge on Spawn as she brushes past.
Candy Sleight of Hand 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Candy Cure Light Wounds restoring 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3 HP to Spawn.
Up to 4/12 HP
Perception: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 6 + 2 = 21 Not sure if this still counts as Urban?
Gethric sees past the subterfuge and notes that Candy's movements were something more, and the flush of energy suffusing him washes away some more of the oven's burns. Although his eyes narrow slightly in thought, Gethric respects her intent of hiding her casting and does not openly comment upon it.
|Lilith the Blind|
That sounds like a strong desire to be facing Pugwampi's in the very near future.
As candy brushes against Spawn her words echo a bit too loudly in the chamber. If the figure notices he does not appear to care. Sensing the apprehension in the room he shrugs at the comments of the tea and seems to visibly wince under his robes as Gethric makes tea flavored honey. With a sigh he shakes his head.
"Though I wonder sometimes if my craft can be appreciated by the company I am often forced to keep. Such are the annoyances of my existence. Very well then. You have questions. I will allow one from each of you before we get on with the heart of why you are here."
Returning the cup to the table as it would appear that Gethric has ruined it, his mind turns over thoughts for a few moments before settling on a question. Gesturing at the cup of tea streaked honey, he asks "Do you have anything stronger?" said with a disposition that clearly shows he is committed to the journey at hand.
Gethric leaves his cup on the table, shrugs and relaxes back into his chair.
|Lilith the Blind|
"Hmmmm? It conceals the truth my dear. Truth of my existence. If you see magic as a form of truth than yes it conceals that as well. As far as anyone is concerned I'm a myth. A dark legend told by those who claim to know too much when in truth they know next to nothing. You will come to learn in time that the only way to succeed in our work is by shedding off nearly all identity and becoming myth. The more that people claim you do not exist, the better you are at your job."
"You may refer to me as Father Spider. Apologies for the dramatic but that is my official title in this organization. I will not go into any details upon your own official title but I am sure you are intelligent enough to know you rank somewhere between the bottom of the ladder and a corpse."
Csiza scribbles on her slate for and turns it around.
"Ah, a fair question. I will not tell you it is because of your talent; you have none. Or your unique abilities; you're not unique at all. Or your skills; they're laughable. What I will tell you is that you have been chosen partly for your attitude. You have treated this with at least some discretion and at least professionally. But, mostly for the potential you possess. I pride myself as something of a talent seeker. There are many aspects of this profession that can be trained into you. Stealth, guile, anatomy, proper knife work, camouflage, these are all aspects of the profession that can easily be trained into you. But the will to kill for no other reason than payment? That is a rarity indeed. We live ina world where perfect silence and invisibility are a mere gesture and word away but no magic yet has been able to give someone a true killer's instinct."
As he finishes his domed face turns to Psyana. "Is there something on your mind? You were so happy to speak earlier this silence of yours seems remarkably uncharacteristic. Do you worry about the poison in the tea? Please, I would not ruin my work simply to have you vomit it out on my carpet before you convulse and twitch your last breath for the entertainment of my cat. If I intended to kill you I've had plenty of easier opportunities before now."
Gethric listens as Father Spider elaborates. The half-orc finds the words laden with truth, but his brow furrows slightly as there is talk of knife work... in his mind Gethric is true to his chain, not just for it's brutal efficiency... but also for it's meaning as a supplicant of the god of pain.
The domed faced figure gazes at Psyana for a moment and then laughs. "Actually free information is quite abundant. It just depends upon how you harvest it. Very well, spare your question than. There are other matters to attend to."
With that Father Spider snaps opens the case and places a jingling bag of coins on the table. "Five thousand gold in chelaxian denomination. One half of the price paid for the mans life. Half always goes to the assassins. The other half goes to fund the various strands of the web and other such things. Divide it how you please though I would suggest evenly to prevent any more harsh feelings. So how did you do? Or would you prefer me to tell you how you did?"
Gethric shrugged "Pretty fecking poorly all things considered... though none that saw me survived the night."
In her usual cold voice:
We could have used a little better communication and preparation. Having never worked together, we did not know how other's would respond under pressure. There was more, far more bloodshed than I would have liked, but in the end we all walked away uninjured and they are looking for people which at best vaguely resemble us.
I had my face covered while talking to the charmed guard, so I would assume that the best description he would have had would have been a dark skinned tiefling, of which this town has many.
Felgrael snorts at the thought of the job. There were too many chefs in the kitchen with that one.
He nods towards Psyana. She's right in that we were too new together to know how to work well with each other. We could barely come together on the location of the hit, much less the approach to accomplish it. Hopefully with more time to prep and clearer heads throughout the next job won't have as many issues.
But ultimately the target's dead, so messy or not, the job got done.
|Lilith the Blind|
"I would like to hear your perspective," Candy said in a clear voice when the others have spoken. "I am a woman who by nature of her profession cannot be completely divested of passion," she continued and sighed. "There are standards to maintain," she jested in a dulcet tone of voice.
"Care to say I've no interest in allowing this delightful bit of theatre to resemble that of my former home in any way."
Well, it is really quite simple. If we wish to be thugs and murderers, then we continue as we did tonight. I am sure that our compensation will be commiserate with the brutality of our techniques. If we are to be professional assassins with the appropriate compensation, then we must learn to use appropriate techniques.
Turning and looking at Spawn: While your skill with you chain was apparent, next time we should have an alternative so that if an opponent is not our target, we can leave them unconscious, not dead. Brass knuckles, a mace, a sap, or anything similar would be effective. While the dead are said to tell no tales, we all know that this is not true. Many competent practitioners of the necromantic arts are quite skilled at making the dead talk. Thus, while killing to keep a person quiet may be effective with the lower echelons of society for whom paying a necromancer would not be possible, it is unlikely the same technique will hold true with our targets. If our hits involve nobility or members of the Asmodean church, it is better to never be seen - stealth, invisibility, and speed will be our friends and of the utmost importance.
Gethric ignores most of what the witch has to say, correcting her only on one point "Next time you should have an alternative."
|Lilith the Blind|
Candy resists the urge to roll her sightless eyes when Squid speaks. "There is that issue of communication again," she observes. "Our host asked if we would hear his perspective, and I answered in the affirmative.
"No slight intended to you, Squid, but for once today I am not speaking to hear myself."
"Mmmmm yes this lot definitely has some issues to work out with itself. " Reaching into the leather case again he pulls out a few pieces of paper and looks them over. "So you truly wish to hear my opinion than? Very well."
"Candy - Your ability to make snide remarks is match only by your ability to allow others to do the work while you contemplate abandoning them to their fate. Altogether not entirely different from what you do normally in your other position. Had you made use of your abilities rather than whine about what others have done you might have found your abilities to be an asset whether you wished to attack the group on the road, infiltrate the gladiatorial stable or sneak in the mans home as you did."
"Silence - Your handicaps not withstanding your ability to contribute has been admirable. But lacking, had you learned to speak up rather than attempt damage control you might have found yourself riding the whirlwind rather than being carried up in it. You might have stood as a center of balance between competing egos but instead stuck to your name and allowed the egos to mess things about."
"Spawn - While I'm sure your preference to the chain is in homage to your god I believe you'll find that not only is it among the messiest and loudest weapons at your disposal. While I will not comment on the alternatives of lethal versus non-lethal armanents I will say that in your case it might have been better to have perhaps used a nice quiet sword? A dagger perhaps? An axe if that is your inclination? Beyond that you really need to learn to control your temper. Had you decided to make use of your chain rather than your fist to put that black eye on your mouthy compatriot the curse on your arm would have triggered and well...let us just say we would not be having this conversation. We do not appreciate zealots in this organization Mr. Ortred if you wish to "feel" rather than "think" please do so in your spare time. In fact if there are particular flavors of "feeling" you'd like to experience there's always room in our organization for that in one form or another. Simply do not practice it on the ones who are suppose to aid you in the killing."
"Smoke - That was a handy trick diving into the window you managed to cover in blood and closing it behind you. Did it ever occur to you that what may lie on the other side would be far more hazardous to your health than what was outside? What if that small pack of fluffy felines was replaced by the man's sizable collection of pet imps? Or bears? How were you to know the man was not secretly something far more malevolent than any of your surveillance revealed? A reckless disregard for your fellows love them or hate them is often far more hazardous to your own health. I would suggest in the future you discard any notions of immediate abandonment for the sake of your continued unlife or is it life? I can never tell in the matters of your kind."
"Squid - You believe yourself to be clever don't you? Swimming at the bottom of a river like a lake scavenger and mouthing like a fish in the open air all your opinions without noticing what a filthy animal you are? Amusing. Do yourself a favor and look in the mirror. See that creature there staring at you like some underwater predator. See it's ego. See how it believes itself the biggest fish in the pond. See how it swims separately from the school how it thinks its clever in the way it deceives the larger predators, how it laughs at its tricks. But wait something breaks the surface! What could it be? Something else to decieve? To charm? To mock?" As Father spider speaks he picks up the still steaming tea cup meant for Psyana in his oddly shaped and now you realized backward hand holding it before him. "Regardless the other fish do as they want. They scatter, they flee together in another direction. But does the fish in the mirror flee? Does she work with the wisdom of her kin rather than mock there choices? No. And just like that" And just like the Father Spider closes his gauntleted hand and crushes the delicate tea cup into a fine dust. "But here I am being dramatic again. Squid you've not the requisite centuries of existence to count yourself as clever. Might I suggest simply taking the simple route before you make the mistake of leaving survivors in a situation where none should be left? I suggest you take a page from your silent friend here and listen to your fellow fi- I mean assassins before deciding that their lives are unimportant."
As he tosses the pile of ceramic dust and chips into the fire he continues. "So yes, overall it was a botched job salvaged only by the fact you at least made sure your target was a part of the massacre. Against a more competent or deadly target I can only imagine most if not all of you would be dead by now. So, I think before I introduce you to real killers it might be best if you go on a field trip s you get to know one another better. One more corpse to make before you get to know the family. What do you say about that?"
Squid listens to Father Spider speak and then sits back thinking.
I truly do not care whether we leave a trail of blood or a clean kill. I just want to make sure that we are all on the same page before we move forward. While I appreciate your patronage Father Spider, if I am dead, all the gold in the world would not be sufficient payment. If the parameters of the hit allow for collateral damage, then bloodshed is irrelevant. If it is to be a surgical strike, then it will require a completely different tactic, one we did not use on the last hit. So, please tell us exactly what this field trip may involve. If it is slaying a great wyrm or the devil himself, then I must decline. If it is something that we can handle, then I shall await my companions decisions before making mine.
If it's all the same to you Fish, I would prefer not leaving a trail of corpses that will end at our door. A clean kill is always preferable and if that isn't something you can appreciate, you might have chosen the wrong profession. A simple arm-breaker is easy enough to find in this town and there will always be demand for another.
Smoke nods to Father Spider. As to your evaluation of my performance, I can find no fault in it. As you say, I was indeed lucky to have survived alone as I did. While our methods differ greatly, I too can recognize the potential our group can have if we can manage to somehow work together.
Smoke sips his tea again. With that in mind, a little "team building" would probably serve us well. So what kind of field trip did you have in mind for us?
|Lilith the Blind|
Candy recalled asking for more days to survey every option available to them before committing to the operation, and how suddenly, after exhausting only one alternative, they had gone with the most dangerous and disadvantageous location. She wished to say that that was not the f*cking that she was expecting that evening, but kept her mouth shut. Had she been allowed some freedom to perform real reconnaissance, perhaps...
"Will we be given the same amount of time to surveil the target?" Candy inquired. "I believe where we lacked most was our research," she opined and then shrugged. "I know it is least favorable for us to be spotted by our mark during this delicate process, but there are alternative means of gleaning information."
Gethric is quiet during his chastisement and does not speak against or countermand it.
He nods his assent to the prospect of a field trip though he knows that there is no real choice - if he did not acquiesce, then the curse inflicted would end him regardless. So his continued existence is reliant upon walking the path...
Is that something that you're looking to change up for this PbP?
"As far as I'm concerned you have as much time as required. Though I would not suggest taking long. The target in question is no devil or great wyrm dragon though such contracts pass my hands from time to time. No your target is a simple gnome. Well, no such thing as a simple gnome. But this particular gnome is an interesting case. He lives in a mansion about ten miles west of the city. His name is Garganzon the Amazing. HE has apparently never left his home in nearly thirty years. And now it seems someone has put a contract out on his life."
I'll have him pick up a cestus at an appropriate point.
Also - was thinking on it and I could have the chain of the spiked chain threaded with leather as shown so that it retains it's flexibility, but the leather keeps the chain from rattling so much.
Is that do-able?
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6