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Crab

DM - Voice of the Voiceless's page

9,759 posts. Alias of Mark Sweetman.


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Minor Crab-beast

The man sighs "Snake men typically no, but all manner of sh1te comes out especially in Scurvy once the night falls. Any reason as to why you stayed here and didn't scarper after it happened? - don't tell me you're concerned citizens my heart couldn't take the shock."


Minor Crab-beast

As far as you all can recollect, the Bloody Jack killings stopped at the time that coincides closely with the date of the soothsaying of Madam Larua. Killings obviously occur all the time, even ritualistic killings... but none that matched the Bloody Jack fingerprint.

Fiterri's offer draws an avaricious furrowed brow from the Madam. "Zhe true sight, I cannot call to it... sometimes it comes.. sometimes I cannot see wha.." her pronunciation interrupted by the whole flimsy building shaking as if it had just been struck by a gust of wind from a violent storm front.

Before any of you can react or act, a large tentacle bursts through the hovel's tiny window and wraps itself around Madam Larua’s neck. She is able to let out only a small, “Urk!” before being pulled bodily through the window with the sound of much snapping of bone.

Visual Reference

Can you give me a round's worth of intended actions?


Minor Crab-beast

Change yes... potentially of the pack everything you own into little boxes and put it on a ship type change... hopefully positive as well.


Minor Crab-beast

Just a short note to let you know that I'm still here - just a very rocky start to 2017, work turmoil and potential significant changes, etc, etc.

I should hopefully even out to a level keel soon though.


Minor Crab-beast

Just a short note to let you know that I'm still here - just a very rocky start to 2017, work turmoil and potential significant changes, etc, etc.

I should hopefully even out to a level keel soon though.


Minor Crab-beast

Still shaking the dregs of 2016 from my boots - post will be up before the close of the weekend with apologies for the delay.


Minor Crab-beast

The Madam Larua stands and accepts the liquid encouragement, sequestering it to the side of her hovel before ushering you through the curtain into a small room in the back of her stall. It actually sits upon wooden scaffolds out over the precipice. It has only a rude cot, a small table and chairs, a single window with a thin curtain, and a locked steamer trunk. A bolted door leads to stairs descending down into the Skew.

She produces a key from her girdle and opens the steamer trunk. Within are dozens of parchment rolls secured with bits of string or ribbon. Each bears a date carefully written on the outside. "All of zhese are the 'true' readings that Madam has had... so many portents and possibilities no?"

The washed up teller of fortunes then rummages through the bottom of the trunk until she finds one pulling it out. The outside of the yellowed parchment shows a date 30 years ago. She pauses and considers with shaking hand for a moment before thrusting it towards you. "Take it, it is yours now..."

Content of Fortune Told:
“You will soon lay down the knife as your time is done. Another is to come who will return to the scene of the crime and take up the bloody business again.”

Knowledge Local DC20:
The date on the parchment corresponds to roughly a week after the last known Bloody Jack killing.


Minor Crab-beast

There isn't much show of emotion on the guard's face as he adds "And when did you land in Freeport then? No encounters with the degenerates before this evenin?" clearly using the degenerate term to specifically refer to the serpent creatures.


Minor Crab-beast

Apologies for the wee delay - busy New Year plus work based uncertainties.

It take a good span of twenty to thirty minutes of waiting before the watch finally decides to arrive into the Casino... clearly word of mouth doesn't travel at breakneck speeds in Scurvytown. Upon arrival the watchmen are taken to one side by the woman of stature for a quiet discussion out of your earshot. Given the body language involved there is a healthy amount of deference shown towards her. After a couple of minutes talk (which involves a few pointed glances and gestures in your direction) the watch captain gives a nod to both the lady and his underlings. The underlings head into the passage that the snake-man retreated through with a couple of the casino's thugs... while the watch captain heads in your direction on his own.

A stern faced man with deep frown lines creasing his weathered face he queries "Right... might as well get your side as well... out wi' it then."


Minor Crab-beast

Madame Larua sighs "He did not share and Madame Larua thought best not to ask too deeply on zhese things. He came once a month for years, sometimes twice or thrice a week even... times as zhey are, one does not want to scare away zhe custom no?"

"Of what the readings where... I do not know. Sometimes someone come in, gives me five pils, I close my eyes, say some grand words, and send zem on zeir way no better or worse zan zey came. Zey came wanting entertainment and a touch of mystery, and I gave it to zem..." pausing to wet her lips with an aged and leathery tongue "But sometimes... sometimes someone come in, and ze Spirit world really want to talk to zem. When zat happen, I say zings... zings I don’t know and don’t remember. My mother had ze Sight, and it touch me sometimes like zat. I don’t charge anyzing more for zese readings because if ze gods want to talk to someone, far be it from me to interfere. But when ze spirits decide to talk, you don’t get your own front row seat. You’re just ze carriage; ze spirits become ze driver.”

Eyeing Gnitt's bottle hungrily "When ze spirits drive me... might be zhat Madame keeps quill and paper for zhe writing... not for me to read but for zhe posterity no? Bad luck for Madame to read of zhese, so I have kept them locked away..." you get an inkling that for the price of the fine liquor Gnitt has, she might overlook what luck might come from letting you read the scroll.


Minor Crab-beast

Fickle Hand of Fate:
2d20 ⇒ (7, 18) = 25

Quillin's request is met with a simple shrug of the shoulders by the cashier - any peculiarity in the request flying firmly over their head.

Any last discussion / side-talk before the watch arrive?


Minor Crab-beast

Just a quick one to state a hope that your Christmastimes were enjoyable, I'm back in the saddle and recovering from my short holiday - though I understand we probably won't get back up and running until we've left the year of 2016 behind us.


Minor Crab-beast

Just a quick one to state a hope that your Christmastimes were enjoyable, I'm back in the saddle and recovering from my short holiday - though I understand we probably won't get back up and running until we've left the year of 2016 behind us.


Minor Crab-beast

Growing melancholy and sombre with recollection Madame Larua expounds "Always asking about sin... how he could find ze 'naughty children'. Pressing pressing, where are zhey, how can zhey be found. It iz why I remember him..." taking another swig of her libation "Perhaps zhat is why Madame remembers after all zhis time... intense, dark and pressing pressing 'Where are zhey... ze naughty ones'. Zhat and zhe talk of Bloody Jack Carver all over Festival..." grunting a dirty chuckle "Madame Larua had always had a thought, what if zhe Bill was actually Bloody himself no?"


Minor Crab-beast

Just a quick one - I'll be off for a short holiday sojourn down to Singapore starting tomorrow and stretching through to the 27th of December. As expected I'll be a wee bit incommunicado through that time and probably won't be posting.

Merry Christmas to all regardless and I hope that you all get to descend into tryptophanic nirvana.


Minor Crab-beast

Just a quick one - I'll be off for a short holiday sojourn down to Singapore starting tomorrow and stretching through to the 27th of December. As expected I'll be a wee bit incommunicado through that time and probably won't be posting.

Merry Christmas to all regardless and I hope that you all get to descend into tryptophanic nirvana.


Minor Crab-beast

Gnitt's request for more of the same but better is initially met with a wrinkled brow and confusion - after all the liquor she drinks is not meant for taste but strength. After being pressed though, they are able to furnish him with an older, dustier bottle that serves for purpose. 3 gp spent

The return of Tania is met with a softening of her features and a smile "Bless you child" holding out a hand to take the bottle, then licking her lips before opening it and drinking of the rot-gut's aroma. "Ah yes, ze spirits speak to me now... you are in luck my children, Madame Larua remembers."

Taking a tot of liquor before setting heavy in her chair "Zis Bill which you speak of, he came here many times... troubled he was, always intense and dark. Madame did not enjoy the readings, no... ze spirits were not calmed in his presence."


Minor Crab-beast

Tania:
You find a vendor nearby who is able to furnish you with what you're after. A bottle of the same (middling rotgut) sets you back a full coin in gold.


Minor Crab-beast

The lady demurely nods and gestures you to the bar where despite the tumult of the floor and night, the barman appears to have maintained his senses and position. The bar is relatively well stocked with liquor and mixers both - furnishing your libatory desires swiftly.

Tipene's desire to drag the man out to the floor is forestalled by security from the casino doing the same for him. The bloodied man is left propped up against a wall, and as of yet doesn't show any sign of wakening.

Quillin's desire to cash in chips is able to be served... but he's given slight pause. It's the same cashier in the cage that cashed in his chits just before all hell broke loose...

As to the woman of stature, she can be seen directing her men to secure the building and proceeds to the serpent's exit point at least once or twice to discuss in hushed tones something beyond overhearing with the men there. Time drags on though, as you finish your drinks and wait for the watch.


Minor Crab-beast

With a lazy eyed smile the Madame responds "Such trouble I have forming words when the silver cannot be seen... you would not insult me such surely no?" clearly not looking to speak until the coin is physical, real and has changed hands.

Making a slight assumption that payment will be forthcoming

Madame takes the silver in one hand, closing her other over the proferring appendage and smiling "Bless you child." keeping grip on Lucetta's hand with one of her own, she tucks the silver into her girdle tightly before making bleary eye contact with Lucetta. Holding pose for a few moments she then closes her eyes and states in a monotone "Look for a change in your future as ze hidden strength of your character catch ze attention of someone important"

With a tired and trite flourish she opens her eyes and drops away Lucetta's hand "Such iz the spirits will." reaching to the floor behind her and clumsily taking a tot of fluid from the emptying bottle. Grinning yellowed teeth she adds "The past iz so grey and clouded no? If only Madame Larua had something of substance to help her remember."

Sense Motive DC 10:
The drunk seems to be shaking you down for more silver or gold before divulging anything else.

Sense Motive DC 12:
Those beset by the demons of drink oft weigh it's virtue more heavily than actual coin.

Sense Motive DC 18:
You get a hunch that despite the situation... something might be important here, and that the charlatan is connected in some way.

Joseph doesn't spy anything untoward or out of the ordinary in terms of the Skew's natural chaotic activity.

Fiterri sees the usual trappings of a fortune teller, and that they appear, though dinted and old, to be appropriate. As he knows too well though, the power is not of the tool but of the wielder... and regardless of how fiercly the lady's candle burnt before - it is at low ebb now.


Minor Crab-beast

The lady holds up a hand to ward away the offer "My men will see to my house... I'm sure you understand that I wouldn't want any man off the street wandering through my house's nether regions." pausing slightly to reassess before pressing "The House is closed for the night... though the watch will likely need to see to the bodies. You're free to stay until we talk through the matter with them?"


Minor Crab-beast

You don't spy any nearby sewer openings - though knocking on the door elicits a slightly slurred response "It iz open child, come in" Pushing the portal open the interior is revealed to you.

It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the dim interior of this flimsy structure. The floor creaks, and the floorboards sag noticeably near the back wall where they extend out over the edge of the precipice of Festival. The rear wall even bows slightly from this warping, though much of it is covered by a thick, moth-eaten curtain. The side walls are likewise covered in this manner, and the ceiling is swathed in old, dusty bolts of muslin, giving the entire room the feeling of the inside of a gypsy caravan wagon.

Before the rear curtain stands a small, cloth-covered table. Upon it rests a dust-covered crystal ball with a few wellthumbed, illuminated cards splayed out before it, along with an inkwell and old quill.

Behind the table sits a bedraggled, white-haired old woman in threadbare finery and a colourful bandana. Her sharp features sag and have been dulled by age and drink. You assume her to be the aforementioned Madam Larua, but clearly many years have passed since the portrait on the sign above the door was painted. She thumps a halfempty bottle to the floor behind the table and fixes a bleary eye upon you.

"Greetings my children, come, come... who wishez to know ze future? Cross my palm with five silver pilasters and the visions will come to me." the spidery veins on her nose and cheeks would reveal her long association with strong drink even if her fetid breath didn’t.


Minor Crab-beast

Quillin:
Sorry... missed that
Quillin finds the usual pocket lint, half used pomade and comb... plus 2d20 ⇒ (13, 12) = 25 gp worth of house chips on the man's person. No reason can be seen for the serpent's interest.

Grimly the lady measures your words, but ultimately swallows them well enough "No... this is the first I've seen of them." suspiciously sounding like 'something's being held back, but clearly unwilling to entertain the discussion further "My security was containing the situation, though one supposes your presence was of some help... you can see the barman for a tot on your way out."


Minor Crab-beast

Quillin's snark brings a sneer from the thugs and a deepening of disposition, but that it tempered by the unveiling of the serpentfolk lying cold and stark upon the floor. As adrenaline fades the scent of slimy fishguts mixes with the inimitable odour of ordure and makes the scene even more bizarre. The thug follows up with a "Rules is rules gnome, like we told the heathen" indicating Tipene "But he didn't listen..." the muscleman looks like he might be seeking to escalate the situation before he's interrupted by a better dressed lady emerging.

"Gord" the thug turns to listen to the lady "leave them to me - go and check below" settling a gaze of hidden meaning imparted onto the thug - who begrudgingly nods and leaves the rest of you with a sneer. He heads towards the passageway that Quillin and the serpent danced among.

The lady clicks her tongue and turns back to you "I take it this had nothing to do with you?" arching an eyebrow.


Minor Crab-beast

I believe consensus holds for Madame Larua

Deciding to leave the filth and rot of the sewagers to tomorrow, you proceed with due haste towards Madame Larua. Your destination is on the upper edge of the Skew, 200 feet of steeply rising streets built upon the edge of the great Festival Pier leading up to the Great Fayre at its summit. The streets are haphazard, full of switchbacks and dead ends, built up on elevated walks around, between and on top of the jumble of buildings crammed onto this artificial precipice. Fortunately, Madam Larua’s stall is near the top at the inner edge of this hodge-podge of construction making it 'comparatively' fairly easy to locate.

The last gleam of twilight has given way to nightfall by the time you finish the climb from the banks of the Great Lyme River below up through the tangle of streets that is the Skew to the summit of Festival. The ramshackle streets and elevated walks you climbed rose steeply between the countless hovels and shops, built upon each other like a seemingly never-ending stack of precarious children’s blocks. The creaks of ancient timbers shoring up sections of this cobbled-together mass and the all-too-obvious warping and groaning of massive bolts holding key structural elements of the conglomeration together give the entire journey a feeling of taking one’s life into his or her own hands. It is not a pleasant sensation, and you are stunned to realize the masses of people that live and work in and among this house of cards. The dailies frequently speak of collapses in sections of the Skew, but they in no way capture the true peril that lurks incessantly among its rising byways and the atrocious loss of life that must occur.

Surmounting the Skew brings you to the summit of the great pier that is the Festival District, and only a few hundred feet away lays the entrance to the Great Fayre, a riot of colour and lights, attractions and screams of delight against a background of never-ending, tuneless calliope music and the lingering smell of urine and fried treats.

However, here at the very verge of the summit, set up outside the limits of the Great Fayre, are endless rows of vendor stalls, many occupied, some abandoned, but all burdened with years of grime and disenchantment. One in particular catches your eye — a ramshackle wooden affair with its back end virtually hanging out over the drop of the Skew below. Faded bunting that was once some shade of purple flutters feebly in the first breezes of the night around a hand-painted sign — long since faded and peeling — that shows an elaborately dressed, sharp-featured young gypsy woman peering deeply into the ubiquitous crystal ball. Still barely legible next to this image are the words, “Madam Larua — Teller of Fortunes and Diviner of Secrets.” You have found it.

Though the door is presently closed, you can spy the faint dancing radiance of candlelight shining through beneath the door.


Minor Crab-beast

Apologies - wee swirl of cold, flu, kids, otherwise.

Tordek's ministrations of both ice and wolf-given tooth serve purpose well and render the serpentfolk insensate. Similarly Tipene takes advantage of the distraction offered by Lysandra's miss to deliver a bone-snapping blow that drives their serpent into the floor. It also ceases to move bar the ragged drawing of breath thereafter.

Quillin's attempts are less successful, as his summoned wind-bag fails to further mar the beast and his corrosive spittle only burns a black mark into the wall.

All of you hear a piercing high-pitched whistle emanating from the corridors where Quillin remains with the unconscious pirate. The serpent piques to the noise, hissing before slithering away and deeper into the bowels of the casino at haste.

The mist that plied the casino also begins to ebb and fade, dissipating slowly. The thugs that Tipene left in his wake force their way through the thinning press and with menacing tone growl "No weapons on the floor... drop 'em." they bear cudgel and bludgeon themselves, but are awaiting your reaction before reasoning whether they need to use them...

Round 4: Tordek, Lysandra, Tipene, Quillin, Serpentfolk, Guards

Quillin - do you hare off after the serpentfolk on your own? - or consolidate?
For those on the main floor - there are no hostile serpents in view that aren't unconscious - and those that are broken are in view of the thugs.


Minor Crab-beast

Apologies - wee swirl of cold, flu, kids, otherwise.

Everett regains a small amount of solidity with your reassurance, and offers a set of directions rather than specifically leading you towards the icon where he luncheons. Business completed, you take your leave of Grindylow's and chance a small glance skywards - noting that the sun had now moved past the zenith and was beginning it's slow snail-like descent through the polluted skies. Measuring the time remaining in the day and relative distances involved - you realise that you're unlikely to be able to visit both the sewer entrance and the fortune teller today... especially if the intent is still to make it down to the Queen's Own for a night-cap.

Assuming continuance to the Sewager's entrance? - leaving the fortune teller until tomorrow?


Minor Crab-beast

Lucetta tests the blue power and is able to definitively classify it as an extract of blue whinnis - specifically designed for administration via inhalation. If a victim were to take a full blooded breath of the dust then they'd likely fall insensate for a few hours, left unresisting to whatever would follow thereafter. The rag that had stoppered the bottle shows an old blue stain at it's center... clearly suggesting it's been used as means of delivery.

Gnitt combs his memory of child kidnapping and other urbane pursuits and does not find much that helps to clarify the situation. Sure, the wee ones born to the Blight are predated upon in everywhich way - but the situation doesn't match. Why the cart, why the drug and why connected to a tinker that lives within a hovel? Gnitt doesn't believe that this matches with any organised ring of which he's aware.

As you speak among yourselves you notice that Everett has gone quiet and pale... clearly the situation has deepened most violently from an amusing tale of a gear long ago repaired... and into more sinister mien. He shakes his head muttering "Ain't right... I don't know what the bugger it is... but it ain't right all the same." shaking his head and knuckling his brow. After a few deep breaths he peers inward again and spies the sigil on the key... experiencing a flash of recognition before confusedly adding "Eh... I seen that afore an all... one jus like it near where I takes me lunch."

Lastly the group of you recall an old nursery rhyme told by nursemaids wanting to provoke obedience... that of Bloody Jack Carver...

Bloody Jack Carver
Went down to the harbour
Taking some children to play.
An eel popped up its head
And ate them instead,
While Jack tip-toed away.


Minor Crab-beast

The serpentfolk by Tordek evades both the flung bolt of ice as well as the flailing jaws of the summoned wolf. It hisses before attempting to drag Tordek away...
Grapple: 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 + 4 = 14
...though it's grasping claws gain no purchase upon the prone dwarf.

The serpent by Tipene and Lysandra attempts this time to put the tulita upon the ground...
Trip: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
...failing miserably at it's task, unable to even get a touch on the bigger man.

The last of the serpentfolk grasps again for the prone and unconscious pirate...
Grapple: 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 + 4 = 15
...re-establishing it's grip at first before the augmented slippery exterior of the humanoid proves too much for it.

For each of you the actions of the creatures seems to betray a certain... denseness and lack of adequate thought? Singleminded outside of ability or affect of their actions.

Round 3: Tordek, Lysandra, Tipene, Quillin, Serpentfolk

There's three mini-knots of activity.
Tordek + wolf + one serpent (in the mist)
Lysandra + Tipene + another serpent (in the mist)
Quillin + last serpent + prone pirate + air elemental (in side room and out of view - no mist due to air elemental stirring the air)


Minor Crab-beast

Answers and enlightenment will come in thread.... after a bit of sleep :P


Minor Crab-beast

DM has sucked this end of the week and I apologize, but there shall be a post up on the morrow.


Minor Crab-beast

Tania can detect no sign nor taint of magic upon any of the contents within the cart.

In removing the bottle from the belt the cloth stopper is disturbed enough to fall free. Peering down the neck of the bottle you see a dried remnant of blue powder within.

The key on the other hand is large and made of iron with a decorative bow. Cast into the key’s bow is an intricate sigil of a plumb bob and hammer.

Knowledge (local) DC 10:
The sigil is that of the city’s old Guild of Sewagers and Ironmongers, which can still be seen on the lock-gates on many of the older sewer tunnels and drainage channels throughout the city, if one knows where to look.

DC 15 Knowledge (local) or DC 10 Knowledge (history):
The guild is known to have been extremely corrupt and both built and managed the sewers and underground drainage systems of the city for centuries before finally being replaced by the city’s Office of Sanitation by order of the infamous Crown Justice Moravan. The key appears to be one of the old master keys that belonged to the guild for use in accessing the city’s sewer lock-gates.

Finally the parchment that the key was wrapped in is also of interest. It is actually a piece torn from a 30-year-old broadsheet that bears an advertisement for one “Madam Larua — Teller of Fortunes and Diviner of Secrets”. The broadsheet gives the location of her fortune-telling stall as being located near the edge of the Skew at the summit of the Festival Pier.

Flyer


Minor Crab-beast

Everett takes the gear with a chuckle "Don't even know if we still gots a use for it... but thanks?" before being distracted by Lucetta's discovery. Everett shows his lack of knowledge about the existence of the hollow with a "Well I'll be buggered..."

With dextrous turn and a light thump Lucetta sees the secret compartment laid bare. Once opened a hollow is revealed, as expected, but a more seasoned look elicits more troubling features....

The wood surrounding the space is double-layered to make it sturdier and proofed against sound and light. The additional thickness of the wood makes the compartment interior no bigger than could hold a small child.

Secondly, the inside is smeared in many places with old flaky brown stains, suspiciously like old blood, and there are many scratch marks in the wood as if something had tried to escape.

Perception DC 15:
Shining a bit of light t'wards the compartment leads to a stark discovery. Within one of the brown smears is a clear child-sized handprint.

Also lying within the compartment is an old tool belt. Though the belt is mostly empty, two of it's many pockets and sleeves are filled. Within one is a small clay bottle with a rag stuffed into its neck to serve as a stopper. And a second holds a strangely crafted iron key wrapped in a piece of parchment.


Minor Crab-beast

Sorry for the wee delay - was cake baking last night

Lysandra's words infuse Tipene's heart and arms with power... that's unfortunately misused as the man's tewhatewha thuds into the floor beside the slinking degenerate serpent.

Quillin skulks forwards to coat the insensate and dragged pirate with lubricant, which combined with the elemental's continued blows serves to jolt the man from the serpent's grasp.

Tordek's wolf appears...
Tordek - the serpent dragging the pirate is out of your line of sight (he went round a corner), and the one that assaulted Lysandra is also out of LoS (below the mist). The most pertinent threat is the snake that just tripped you (which is adjacent) - you don't detect any other threats.
Want to direct the wolf at that? - also need round 2 actions for you.

Round 2: Tordek, Lysandra, Tipene, Quillin, Serpentfolk


Minor Crab-beast

Everett shakes his head to Joseph "Ain't no way knowin what went where an ain't no way we goan recognize which is what this far removed now innit?" before Gnitt's request stirs a lightbulb recognition within him "Say, you know what we do still got the bloody thing an all. Taint been touched in years like, jus gatherin dust out the back. Come wi' me an I'll show ye."

Everett leads you in behind the main grinding building to the leftmost of a row of storage sheds. Straining he forces the door and in among the clutter you see it. Crammed into the back of the shed, stacked with old cans of dried paint and jars of grease is Old Bill’s tinker cart. It is a two-wheeled pushcart approximately 4 feet long by 2 feet wide with a bin occupying the front 2 feet of it for holding items to be repaired, and the back half consisting of a large wooden box with dozens of pegs on the outside for hanging the tools of his trade from.

The tools are long since gone, and the cart is now covered in spatters of paint, old grease, and rust flakes from its years of service at the grinding house. At first glance there is nothing of particular interest about the cart... it just looks as you think it would - a serviceable and aging repairman's cart... albeit naked and devoid of tools, instead stained with years of paint and grease driven indignity.

The Cart

Perception DC 20:
Although knocking on the wooden box that the tools hung from initially suggests it's hollow, a closer inspection reveals a secret catch in the back that could potentially allow it to be opened.
Requires either Disable Device or more 'robust' means to force though.


Minor Crab-beast

The old man squints at the gear and furrows his brow in thought for a few moments before a spark of realization spreads mirth and amusement across his face. Chuckling he explains "Aye, I remembers this well enough... Old Man Grindlylow docked me two weeks wage o'er it. We hired Old Bill true enough, he were to take the gear back... work on it, then bring it back next day for his money. Turns out the bugger didn't come back at all!"

Shrugging Ev continues "Weren't much we could do about it though - we hired Bill when he were on his rounds wi' his cart... didn't have half a clue where he lived an all. I mean youse have been through East Endin, how are ye goin to find a single soul in all that mess without some idea. The Old Man huffed and puffed before he blew me wage away an just bought a new one."

Smiling and a sparkle to his eye he chuckles again before continuing "Joke were on Old Bill in the end though - Eustus kept his tinkerin cart as surety ye see, so he went through an took every tool an scrap o' metal off that cart he could to pawn off and make up the loss. Even repurposed the cart like into a new bench for our paint cans an grease pots." a slight misty look to the eye as Everett remembers.


Minor Crab-beast
Tordek Holderhek wrote:
Am I still casting my spell or was it interrupted by the trip? Or is it a concentration check?

Concentration check to hold it - we'll call it 'vigorous motion while casting', so a DC 12 check.


Minor Crab-beast

Mollified that you're not in search of payment the man chews his cud a hand of moments before a slow flowing molasses realization forms "No records M'Sir, least not o' that time ago. But might be yer in luck. Oi, Ev! Some folks to see to ye." calling out to the side before finishing "'Es been workin here all my life an more, might be he'll be better help than I."

The emergent gentleman is a bent-over, older and grizzled worker... face and arms showing the wrinkles of a life spent hard at labour. He squints and offers a partial toothed grimace as Horatius adds "Everett Schimp, our Grindin Foreman. Now official bus'ness or no, it'd be pleasing if ye didn't take too much of our time aye? Common folks still got work tae do." giving the grizzled gent a nod before he excuses himself back the way he came.

Everett holds pose blinking in the light wiping his dusty hands off on coveralls and asking "Whats this'n all about eh?"


Minor Crab-beast

Nope - you're still standing.

For my ease of reference could you make a reference to that bonus next to your CMD on the sheet?


Minor Crab-beast

Tipene and Lysandra meet halfway, taking a modicum of care to avoid bric a brac just out of view below the surface of the mist. Weapons are redistributed and burden lessened, while behind the tulita the scrum of people hold back the casino thugs from gaining entry to the floor.
Consider the both of you rearmed and dangerous.

Tordek's mouth is filled with words of summoning, seeking to call upon a creature from the First World as Quillin surges after his elemental towards the serpentfolk. The gnome unleashes a gobbet of corrosive spittle, that unfortunately sails wide of the mark. The elemental has better luck, striking a glancing blow against the scaled beast's side. It hisses with anger but doesn't release it's charge yet.

The one serpent in view withdraws around the corner of the passage it's in... drawing an opportunistic swing from it's airy foe...
AoO for Airy

Within the mist coating the casino floor, the cloaking mist roils and moves as a susurrant hiss of scales on wood can be heard. Both Tordek and Lysandra feel the solid thump of a scaled tail crunching into their legs - seeking to put them prone...
Trip on Tordek: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Trip on Lysandra: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
...Tordek's distraction making him an easy target, while Lysandra from a more stable platform is similarly unable to stop dropping to the floor.

Adjacent to each of the tripped souls is another of the degenerate serpentfolk, teeth exposed and clawed limbs surging to close...
While adjacent they have concealment (20% miss chance) from the mist

There is a tulmult and confusion on the first floor, as some of the staff have seen both scaled and fleshy activities on the floor. They seem to be making for the stairs to the ground level.

Round 2: Tordek, Lysandra, Tipene, Quillin, Serpentfolk


Minor Crab-beast

Gruffly but not unkindly the man responds after an affirmatory nod that he is indeed Horatius "Well bit late like... Da's been cold and dead some eight winters. Whatever it was got repaired I hope yer not lookin for payment. Not matter what it was we would've been made to buy new." narrowing his eyes to try and figure out if you're here for payment, or other purpose.

Lucetta doesn't spy anything out of the ordinary within view.

Tania's read on Messer Grindylow is that he's speaking honest and unvarnished without subtext. On the subject of Eustus Grindylow, there's little that she can recall about the topic. Especially now with Horatius' answer that the man's 8 years dead - suggests that he lived a life unremarkable and likely rarely outside the cacophonous walls of his grinding shop.


Minor Crab-beast

Tipene barges through the worst of the scrum around the door and spills back into the main chamber of the casino just as the rest of you stir to action against the foes.

Initiative Block:
Quillin: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Tipene: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Serpentfolk: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Tordek: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Lysandra: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17

Round 1: Tordek, Lysandra, Tipene, Quillin, Serpentfolk

For those that haven't combatted with me - I run 'theater of the mind' maps for the most part as it's easier and takes less time for me to whip up. Positioning is fairly fluid, and you can 'generally' achieve what you want as long as it's reasonable.
I run an action tracker - as per above - where if your name is in bold you are yet to act, and when you have it gets changed to normal type. Left to right the turn runs, though feel free to state your intent ahead of time and I'll fold it on at the appropriate point. Please make sure you only post for the current round though - and wait for the bad guys to act before continuing on.
In this case you're all up before the serpentfolk get their turn.

As the scene trains to affray you take stock. The serpentfolk dragging the man off is about 40ft ahead of you and outside of the mist near where Quillin's air elemental still swirls. The fog has rolled back in to cloud your legs though - rendering you in slightly less certain conditions. Tipene is off towards the door, a good thirty odd feet from where you stand.

The hissing came from behind you in amongst the mist... somewhere...

At this point the acid spit and summoning of the wolf has not yet occurred, though you can keep those as your round 1 if you wish.
Tordek - unless there's another ability you have that I'm missing the Summon should be a 1 round cast?


Minor Crab-beast

Setting off you turn your compass the direction of the Great Lyme River, navigating as much by scent as you are by eyes or road. The rumble of a millstone and the screeching of metal grinding metal fill the air as you draw near to your destination. A much-repaired retaining wall surrounds a courtyard before a two-storey building whose own walls show many patches of mismatched brick. The wooden roof of the long main building sags in the middle, and just below its eaves faded, flaking lettering has been painted directly onto the brick, identifying the establishment as “Grindlylow’s Grinders.”

Below this a patch of brick wall has been painted over and additional lettering added more recently, “Horatius Grindlylow, Prop.” A wrought-iron gate stands open allowing entry to the hardpacked dirt of the courtyard before the building’s barnlike doors. Within its dust-clouded interior can be seen large mechanisms driven by long canvas belts running over pulleys and powered by a large waterwheel in the back. Numerous small outbuildings cluster along the edges of the courtyard.

As you enter the courtyard a dusty, middle-aged man in a worker's smock walks out from the bowels of the dimly lit main building. Squinting at you his eyes are clearly taking their time adjusting to the light as he queries "Eh? Whatcher after Sirs and Ladies? Got some goods need grindin'?"


Minor Crab-beast

Slammed after a relatively epic week - will be passing out on the couch shortly... and shall have the post up tomorrow!


Minor Crab-beast

Slammed after a relatively epic week - will be passing out on the couch shortly... and shall have the post up tomorrow!


Minor Crab-beast

There were no signs of the taint of magic within Ol' Bill's hovel, neither in his house nor upon his body.


Minor Crab-beast

Activity requiring initiative ensues - it's bedtime for me and I've a fairly hectic workaday tomorrow, so will get it up when and whence I can.


Minor Crab-beast

For clarity the Queen's Own is a fair hike away - by comparison Grindylow's Gears is only a few blocks distant.

As you look to leave the crime scene, a squad of constables arrives. These officers of the Watch eye you with a suspicious mien, but clearly have been read in to your role and give you no pause nor questioning. Once you're clear they move in to secure the crime scene, not seeming to take much issue at the state of it beyond confirming that the body's still on the floor.

Unfortunately, despite your efforts, a search of the neighborhood reveals that Muncy’s report is essentially correct. Nobody lives nearby that might have heard or seen anything, those you do meet don't have very much worth saying at all. Old Bill kept to himself, wasn't working anymore and eked a living day to day by what soup kitchens that function within Castorhage. You take the measure of those you speak to and get the sense that they're telling you what they know without varnish or obfuscation.

Even checking in with the nearest Watch Station finds that the street sweepers who found the body were questioned and released after confirming that they did not know any additional information beyond what your own eyes could already see.


Minor Crab-beast

Tordek looks over the gunge and seems fairly certain that it's from the sewers, or somewhere similarly coated in faecal matter and grime. Quillin's summoned beastie swirls through the mist and reveals just swiftly enough a retreating figure dragging the dropped man into a side corridor. The creature is six feet tall and built muscular, though slender. Naked though covered in grime, sh1t and muck... and scales the creature has the head of a snake upon a slender elongated scaled neck.

And just like that it slides around the corner and out of view...

Perception DC 17:
You hear a hissing coming from the mist on the opposite side of where you saw the serpentfolk disappear.

Can you give me a combat round's worth of actions please

Tipene:

Though the thug is there, you wager that with a bit of a shove and deployment of your elbows you could force your way back inside. The thugs would be able to follow, sure - but they might be momentarily held back by the crowd of people.

You can attempt to bull rush through the crowd back in if you choose to. You can 'just' pick out the others inside and can note that Quillin's seen fit to summon an elemental to play.


Minor Crab-beast

Tipene:

The thug looks over his shoulder for a moment, before turning back and sneering "You ain't goin in with them cutters. Just a bit of mist is all, now bugger orf"

Within:

Tordek finds his foot suddenly exposed!... as Quillin's summoned friend begins to whir in imitation of the gnome's pantomime. The whirlwind sucks at the nearby fog - clearing it and dispersing it in a radius of a good 15-20 feet and providing some degree of clarity. Apart from the expected detritus, spilled drinks, overturned tables and the like - there are a few key items that draw your attention.

Across the floor are streaks of brownish black muck... as though something filthy had been crawling through the casino. The number of trails suggests more than just a single creature too. The second is a small pool of blood that trails off into the mist from where you saw the man disappear. A cleared area along the path suggests that the man was dragged away.

There's still mist between you and the entrance - and mist between you and the wall along the drag path.
Quillin's elemental can clear out in one direction next turn, but not both at the same time.

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