DM Brainiac's War for the Crown: Table 1 (Inactive)

Game Master Brainiac

Current Date: 21 Kuthona, 4718 AR

Maps on Google Slides


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"I can confirm that the Immaculate Circle's former stronghold is warded against divinations," Drinae says. "Your enemies will be unable to find you here."

Eutropia seems both angry and worried by these recent turn of events. "The Imperial Palace is the most heavily defended building in all of Taldor. It won't be a simple matter of just walking or teleporting inside. We're going to have our work cut out for us. Let's rest for now, though--and perhaps find me something more to wear than just a cloak."

You rest within the safety of the Circle's sanctum, recovering your strength. Reflecting upon your recent trials, you find yourselves stronger and prepared to take on the ultimate challenges that lie ahead.

Everybody has gained enough XP to reach level 17!

While your friends and close associates likely believe you innocent of the regicide laid at your feet, most of Taldor is more skeptical. The wounded nation is ready to move back to a place of familiarity and stability, and a male heir of royal blood, with no living elder siblings, eliminates all the messy questions of succession raised by the conflict between Eutropia and Maxillar. Given Carrius’s superhuman charisma and the assumption of your villainy, even a living, breathing Eutropia will be viewed as a hoax until you win some support to their side. The back of Martella's letter outlines seven major forces that have intertwined to undermine you and shelter Carrius.

Public Perception: The Taldan public sees Carrius as some combination of a return to normalcy, a tragic figure, and a divine omen, garnering him structural support and stability.

Paid Informants: A number of minor nobles and enterprising servants earn a few gold on the side reporting disloyalty to Carrius’s professional agents and Taldan security forces.

Professional Investigators: Carrius has co-opted much of Eutropia’s intelligence network to serve him, and he has bolstered these resources with agents of the Sleepless Agency, detectives renowned across Avistan for their mercenary loyalty.

First Imperial Arcanists’ Guild: The Imperial Palace is crisscrossed with some of the most advanced magical alarms, guards, and wards on the continent, bolstered and maintained by the First Imperial Arcanists’ Guild.

Palace Servants: In addition to their obvious duties, the servants of the Imperial Palace are well paid for their loyalty and discretion. They serve as a living alarm system, with eyes in almost every room at any given time of day or night.

Royal Guard: The bravest, most trustworthy, and deadliest members of the Taldan Horse and Taldan Phalanx swear their lives to protecting the palace from all intruders.

Ulfen Guard: Secured within the Imperial Palace and theoretically beyond corruption and bribery, the Ulfen Guard are the ultimate line of defense for whoever sits upon the throne.

Dismantling these protections is the only way to get inside the palace and get close enough to Carrius to either cure or kill the possessed tyrant, and doing so will require all the cunning, guile, and social graces you have carefully honed.

THE INQUISTION:
Targeting and undermining Carrius’s supporters takes time; all the while the emperor-to-be targets the PCs’ own supporters and resources. PCs can target Carrius’s seven pillars of support as if they were individuals, making bold public statements or blackmailing, bribing, threatening, or allying with key figures important to each. Each turn of this social combat takes approximately 3 to 4 hours, giving PCs 3 social turns each day. At the end of each day, Carrius’s forces corrupt, detain, or kill 2d6 agents loyal to each PC. Lost agents can be replaced using the Recover Agents operation, but only once per Persona Phase (once per week). Once a PC has no agents left, the stress of the situation begins to quickly take a toll, inflicting 1d4 Charisma damage at the end of each day until the PC recovers agents or flees Taldor entirely to recuperate (losing any accumulated successes); this Charisma loss cannot be healed via magic until the character spends at least 1 week outside Taldor. Both forms of damage are more severe, increased by 2, if the PCs are in Oppara itself rather than operating from afar. This damage increase is negated if the PCs shift the general public’s attitude to at least friendly, allowing them to personally operate within the capital without severe consequence.

The PCs are free to focus on the forces targeting them or on those forces protecting Carrius, but either way, time is of the essence. Carrius’s coronation is scheduled for the seventh day after the PCs complete their attack on the Immaculate Circle, and while a grand prince is no more immortal than a prince, he is considerably better guarded and can wield the full power of the Primogen Crown!

The PCs do not gain support or resources until they render at least one entity friendly and three more indifferent or better; until then, there are no gaps in the palace defenses large enough to allow a direct attack without hundreds of soldiers and spellcasters flocking to the prince’s aid. As the PCs win support, however, citizens protest or riot, spies leak security details, and factions within the guard abandon their post.

SUBTERFUGE AT RANGE

The PCs are safer from Carrius’s inquisition if they remain outside of Oppara entirely, but doing so requires the use of agents to complete an agenda on their behalf. As with Operation checks, using agents to perform social combat requires one agent for every +1 bonus the PC wishes to apply; if a PC has fewer agents, the maximum bonus the PCs can apply at range is capped, and the party must either accept this limitation or enter Oppara to conduct their business in person. Once an agent is committed to a task, that agent remains committed for the rest of the day. For example, agents committed to discovery checks on the Professional Investigators can only continue to attempt discovery checks against the Professional Investigators, but can do so each turn until the end of the day.

OLD ALLIES

The PCs may have found many allies over the course of War for the Crown who can aid them now in Oppara. For each of the following characters still alive and on good terms with the PCs, the PCs gain a specific bonus to influence various elements of the city.

Count Bartelby Lotheed: One automatic success to influence the First Imperial Arcanists’ Guild.

Lieutenant Gallindra Jonrek: +2 on discovery checks attempted against the Royal Guard and Ulfen Guard.

Baron Kalbio of Breezy Creek: +5 on influence checks against Public Perception and Palace Servants.

Kathann Zalar: +1 on all discovery checks.

Duke Leonard Centimus: +1 on influence checks against Paid Informants and the First Imperial Arcanist Guild.

Baron Nikolaus Okerra: +2 on influence checks against the Ulfen Guard.

The Night Swan: +2 on discovery and influence checks against Professional Investigators.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

"So..." Melodie says, after reading both the front and back of Martella's letter carefully. "I think the process is fairly clear. The most important group here is the public at large. I say we move into Oppara tomorrow, make contact with Martella and work hard on public opinion. Eutropia, we'll need you to make some strategic public appearances. Sara, you and I will need to whip up the crowds as much as we can too. If we can get the people on side then that should make staying in the city much safer. Once we have them on side we can start working on the rest. Zhi, Maria, can you two focus on the informants intially? If we can blunt their efforts that will keep us safer. Zil - you know people, do what you think is best for this. Maybe work with Bartelby on the Enchanters? We need to get the public and blunt the informers first. Once that's done, and quickly!, then we can focus on the palace and suborning the defences temporarily."

She looks around for agreement or suggestions.

"Oh, and I'm keeping the lions for now. Their symbolic value should be huge."

Zhi:
{"And they're so cute!"}


ADVENTURE PATH COMPLETE

Zileska nods her assent.

"Do we stay in Oppara? Or do we appear just long enough to make our voice heard, then vanish like the wind?" asks the priestess.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

"In and out may be safer until we can blunt popular opinion." Melodie agrees, "If we can deal with the informants and get the people on pur side then we should be safe because all the other groups are concentrated on the palace and if they leave to find us then they open themselves and the palace up to infiltration. Hence my choice of targets."


"Before we begin operations in Oppara, we should check in with Martella and our other allies at the Vagabond Camp," Eutropia says. "We're going to need all the help we can get to combat the forces my brother has mustered against us." She pauses, then, a look of sorrow washing over her face. "How much of Carrius is actually still left in there, I wonder?"


About to leave work so posting this now:

You travel briskly through the Plane of Shadow, emerging after several hours at the Grandbridge Vagabond Camp just outside Oppara's city walls. Your arrival causes quite the stir, especially the pair of enormous golden-furred lions following in your wake!

You make your way to a large, shabby tent in the center of the camp. Martella stands next to a table covered with parchments and letters, studying a map of Imperial Square. Her makeup gone and her hair tied up in a plain headscarf, she could be one of a thousand commoners in the city. A few guards from the Palace of Birdsong are here, along with several of the allies you have made during the War for the Crown. Lieutenant Gallindra swaps war stories with Baron Okerra, while Bartelby confers with Duke Centimus and Kathann Zalar. Kalbio of Breezy Creek gapes at all the esteemed personages milling about, while the Night Swan stands off to the side, glaring at the nobles distrustfully.

Martella looks up when you enter, her face drawn and eyes worried. Her expression lightens at the sight of you, and she says, "Thank the gods. I knew you'd make it through." When she sees Eutropia, her eyes widen and she tears up as she rushes to embrace her best friend. "I thought I'd lost you for good! Don't scare me like that ever again!" she chastises the princess.

"I'm sorry I had to keep you in the dark about my plan. It won't hapen again," Eutropia promises. She quickly explains everything that occurred within the Immaculate Circle's stronghold. Once that's done, it's Martella's turn.

"It was only a few hours after you left that Carrius was named the heir. In one swoop, Eutropia's murder was laid at your feet and the advisors unanimously declared Carrius the true heir. The nobles are scrambling, I know, but it's hard to argue the fact when all the divinations and tests are showing Carrius to be who he says he is.

"The thing is..." Martella frowns, thinking hard as she speaks. "The way it happened, so quickly and precisely, Carrius himself must have set it up. He waited for you to be out of the way, then declared you criminals and set himself in position for the crown. Even I believed him.... It's as if there was a shadow hiding behind him the whole time, letting the child play a role on its behalf and quietly making these preparations. I never thought he could betray us like this."

"It's not his fault. The Circle did this to him. We have to undo the damage they've caused," Eutropia says resolutely. "Melodie believes that they can go into the mindscape Panivar created and destroy the spirits that inhabit him. That would free Carrius from their influence and put Taldor back under our control. But..." She turns to you with a grave expression. "If such a task is imposible, at least lay him to rest. He doesn't deserve tihs tormented half-life."

Martella presents you with a pair of matching rings. "I smuggled these out of the Imperial Palace on the only reconnaisance mission I was able ot manage. I hope they will be of use to you."

They are a pair of rings of friend shield.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

"There's a lot that needs to be done." Melodie agrees, moving to Martella's map table. "We need to demonstrate that Her Highness is alive and well. That should immediately damage the worst crimes against us - no crime committed if the target is alive. Sara and I should lead that effort, we have the most followers and, frankly, we're the best at public relations. Maria is going to take the lead on dealing with the various informants - she's got the background for it. Can you work with her on that? I'm sure you and Lady Morella know the information power-brokers in the city. Your Highness," She turns to Eutropia, "Your Highness, I hope you'll work with me and Sara on this. We need public appearances from you and your best speeches."

"Zileska and Zhi are going to work some more subtle channels while the rest of us go public."

Zhi:
{"Take the Marquis, sweetheart. Go look at the bank box if you get a moment, but find your father. You deserve it. And if you can get the Brotherhood of Silence shutting down some of Carrius' informers while you're at it..."} Melodie's mental voice trails off and she glances up from the map table briefly. I love you. She mouths

One hand absentmindedly stroking the huge lion tail poking into the tent beside her Melodie starts strategising, suggesting natural meeting points and seeking Martella's input.

"Well, what are you all waiting for? We only have a week to take control of the city. Get going!"


Game Concluded

With a quick kiss and a bow, Zhi heads off into the city with the Marquis in tow.

"I'll make you a deal," she says to the no-longer-charmed-but-still-geased Masked Marquis as they move through the crowds. "You've seen the power my friends and I wield. I could kill you and still get what I want. You know who we are, but we know who you are - you're no longer faceless to us. Once your magical obligation is completed and we've reached somewhere safe, I'll release you to return to your organization. Run it as you see fit - keeping away from the notice of us and the powers-that-be. All I'm asking for is my father loosed from whatever contract he's made with you - free and clear. That seems to be a quite fair trade. In fact, I may have contracts in the future that would be profitable for you."

She stops and looks the man in the eye.

"However, if you attempt to interfere with our lives as payback? We'll burn both you and your group to the ground."

The rogue turns and continues on her way with the man following.

"That sounds like a fair trade to me."

~~~~~

Zhi will spend most of the morning fencing the various items and sundry at scattered shops across the city. She'll also make a stop at the temple of Abadar to investigate just what's in the secure box she's currently holding a key for.

Once those tasks are completed, she'll direct her companion to conclude his compulsion in the safest and most expedient manner possible.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

The first step of any job is information. As such Melodie turns Bartelby and her agents to taking the pulse of Oppara, finding out who is interested in what.

Perception for Crowd influence skills: 1d20 + 23 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 23 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 48 (2 for bias, 2 for the party day, 2 for Bartelby)


The Masked Marquis nods in agreement with Zhi's proposal. "A fair trade, indeed. I am grateful for my life and I will honor the terms of this agreement."

With the fetchling in tow, it's a simple matter to convince him to turn over the contents of his security box in the temple of Abadar. The box holds a rod of splendor, 7,855 gp in assorted gems, and 2,502 pp.

Afterwards, the guildmaster disappears into the city to fulfill his geas. He promises to make contact later tonight at the Vagabond Camp to confirm that the deed has been done.

***

With aid from Bartelby and Kathann Zalar, Melodie learns that the public is weary and tired of conflict, and still loves good stories that reinforce Taldor’s exceptionalism and great history. Even citizens who didn’t necessarily want Eutropia as empress still mourn her loss as a noteworthy public figure. The public will readily reject any information that conflicts with the narrative they've already heard, but they adore a storybook-style conclusion to dread news.

You can use Perform (any) or Knowledge (local) to influence the public perception.

Sara spends the early morning catching up with her old supporters from her protest days. She spreads word of Eutropia's return, hoping they will share the good news.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 45 ⇒ (14) + 45 = 59

2 successes towards shifting public perception to indifferent.

Melodie and Zhi may take their actions for the second influence round. Maria and Zileska may still take actions for the first as well as the second.


Game Concluded

After leaving the Masked Marquis, Zhi wanders a bit to get a feel for how the common people are taking the announcement of Eutropia's return.

She talks to some of her agents that pass along that the servants of the palace seem more amenable to the ladies' cause now that it's been announced that Eutropia is alive. They're now Indifferent, right?

Palace Servants - Discovery - Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Melodie meanwhile takes up position in one of the largest market squares and the mystic power of her voice soon draws a great crowd as she starts to weave the story of the brave Princess Eutropia and her selfless sacrifice for her people. She brings many listeners to sniffles and tears before revealing the dramatic twist in the tale, the princesses faithful friends who resurrect her thanks to the power of the First Emperor!

With a final flourish she drags aside a strategically placed curtain and reveals the Princess in the flesh, sitting astride a huge golden lion and every inch the heroic figure of legend.

Perform Oratory: 1d20 + 27 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 27 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 48 And any bonus for biases. Diplomacy is statistically better but hey... :D


Female Rakshasa-spawn Tiefling Investigator 17 | HP 103/105 | AC 34 T 17 FF 29 | Fort +11 Ref +20 Will +16 | Initiative +9 | Perception +20 (free Insp) | Sense Motive +23 (free Insp)

People operating covertly like the Informants were a challenge - hard to influence people when you have difficulty even finding them.

Thankfully, difficult did not mean impossible and it seemed there was an overlap between the informants and a number of contacts Maria and her dad had made over the years. And if they weren't informants themselves then those contacts knew people who were.

Discovery via Diplomacy: 1d20 + 24 ⇒ (15) + 24 = 39

EDIT because I forgot the second round:
And bribed a few of them while she was at it just to get her proverbial foot in the door.
Do I need to roll for this or just lose the 500gp?


ADVENTURE PATH COMPLETE

Zileska's part in the war starts at home: She bustles about the encampment, seeing to the needs of the sick and injured, checking on children, and doing her best to make sure that the people in their entourage are at least as healthy as can be expected given that they're encamped outside of the bounds of Taldor's civic infrastructure. With her powerful priestly magic she not only knits wounds and cures ailments, but she conjures walls of stone to help create more secure structures (or just for use as building material) so that people aren't encamped out in the open with no shelter.

She splits her time assisting the encampment with short jaunts out with the other ladies, but focuses her efforts on the servants, palace staff, and common laborers. Using her insight for petty vendettas, slights, and social gaffes, she disguises herself with her appearance-changing armor and magic to lay a few suggestions here, give a bit of advice there; with spells to divine people's desires and encourage them to spill information, or even to charm them and befuddle them temporarily, she starts a slow campaign of sorting out the useful from the adversarial and then engineering the webs of petty drama between them to start a tiny civil war of palace intrigue that will sweep away opposition. Always, of course, in the guise of helpful advice, or helping someone to get what they want.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 29 ⇒ (11) + 29 = 40


Unfortunately, Zhi finds it difficult to make headway with the close-lipped servants. She’s not sure exactly what would be best to sway them to your side. Zileska seems to be doing a fine job on her own, though. Several of the employees are beginning to join your cause.

2 successes for the servants.

***

Sara Diplomacy: 1d20 + 45 ⇒ (18) + 45 = 63

Meanwhile, Melodie’s dramatic performance and Sara’s rallies continue to influence public opinion. The people are no longer as openly resistant to the narrative you are spreading, and some whisper hopefully of Eutropia’s return.

4 successes for the public. They are now indifferent. 2 more successes will make them friendly.

***

Oppara’s informants love to know who said what and when, without much care about context or consequence. A few informants are genuinely interested in maintaining the peace and prosperity of the empire, but the vast majority simply want to improve their own standing by taking well-timed digs at others.

Intimidate or Bluff can be used to influence the informants. Maria, the 500 gp bribe gives you +2 on influence checks for a round but doesn’t count as an action.

Maria and Zileska still have their round 2 action available, plus everybody may act in round 3.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Bluff you say... well I know what Mel.is doing tomorrow!

Melodie is plenty sharp enough to feel the tide turning in their favour and pushed home the advantage at another impromptu performance near the palace itself, although not too near to be open provocation.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 37 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 37 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 51


Game Concluded

Annoyed that the servants gave her the brush-off, Zhi decides to try something different. With her increasing arcane ability she spends some time to see if she can find out anything about the Arcanists Guild.

Discovery - Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28


Female Rakshasa-spawn Tiefling Investigator 17 | HP 103/105 | AC 34 T 17 FF 29 | Fort +11 Ref +20 Will +16 | Initiative +9 | Perception +20 (free Insp) | Sense Motive +23 (free Insp)

With inroads made, Maria started to undermine the informants by turning them against each other - spreading misinformation that had them fingering fellow informants rather than the people they were supposed to be looking for.

Round 2 Influence, Bluff: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (5) + 22 = 27
Round 3 Influence, Bluff: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (14) + 22 = 36

Not sure if Inspiration applies here but if it does, then she gets the higher of two d8s on each of those for free thanks to an Investigator Talent.


Game Concluded

Later that evening ...

Attempting to take her mind off what might be happening with her father, Zhi draws her wife away from the others as they prepare for the evening meal.

Melodie:
"I've got a surprise for you," she says with a smile as she leads her to a small clearing. Holding out a bejeweled rod, she gives a command word and a gesture. Before their eyes an elaborate tent appears, fit for a queen. "This rod was in the lockbox in the temple of Abadar," she says as she takes Melodie by the arm and escorts her into the elegantly furnished magical abode. "It can only do this once a week, but I wanted to do something special for you." The enticing aroma of rich food fills the space inside, along with rich furs and soft cushions.

"Now you just take a seat and get comfortable," she says with a grin, pulling Melodie in close and wrapping her arms around her. She stretches up on her toes to give the woman a gentle kiss. "And by comfortable, I mean ..." Zhi smirks and Mel can feel that the bindings of her dress have been loosened and the garment is threatening to fall to the floor. The rogue continues to smile as she releases Melodie's hands and moves to another part of the tent where the food has been prepared.

"I was struggling today to figure out how to deal with so many different people and with all their different points of view," she says as she fills two bowls with a thick venison stew. "But I just kept asking myself, 'What would Mel do?'. You are so amazing to watch when you're talking to people. I could do it all day."

She returns with the two bowls and two glasses of wine.

"I even watched you give one of your speeches for a little bit," she continues, joining her wife on the soft pillows. "I had to spur myself on to get busy with what I needed to do, 'cause it was so tempting just to stand there and listen to you." She looks Melodie in the eyes. "If we didn't already have someone that we were trying to put on the throne, you could be the one, you know? You could rule this city ... this country." Her voice is thick with admiration as she leans in closer. "People would kill and die for you. I know I would." The young woman shrugs and grins again. "Of course then I'd have to share you even more than I do and I don't know if I could stand that. You're my princess, Printesa Mea and I'm going to have to share you enough when Harmony comes along."

"However," she continues, holding up a finger, "Every princess should have a crown, so ..." She reaches back and pulls from her bag the gemstone-encrusted tiara that they'd recovered from the archives. "For you, Your Majesty," she says with a grin as she holds it up to place on Melodie's head. Once the adornment is sitting in its place of honor, she touches her wife's lips with her own in a soft kiss filled with promise.

"I plan to spend the rest of our lives giving you beautiful things like this," she says when she finally pulls away, her eyes filled with love. "But nothing will ever compare to the beauty that I see right here in front of me." One hand reaches out to cup the side of Mel's face. "Like gilding the rose, they add nothing to that which is perfect by its very nature."

Her smile widens a bit.

"Now eat your stew before it gets cold," she says, drawing her glass to her lips.


Sara Diplomacy: 1d20 + 45 ⇒ (13) + 45 = 58
Maria Inspiration: 2d8 ⇒ (1, 6) = 72d8 ⇒ (2, 6) = 8

Melodie and Sara continue to sway the public, and by the end of the day, nearly all of the common folk of Oppara are buzzing about the princess’s return.

Public Perception is now friendly! You no longer take additional damage from working inside Oppara. 2 more successes will make them helpful.

***

Zhi learns that while the wards around the palace themselves are neutral, the devious minds who envision and construct new ways to bind, punish, or kill trespassers lean toward overconfidence and casual cruelty. The guild welcomes the prestige and wealth that comes with helping protect the Imperial Palace, as well as the opportunity and funding to test out new theories. The guild treasures the chance to refine magical theory and practice, and might be easily swayed if convinced that a new ruler might mean a new perspective on magical defenses.

Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) can be used to influence the arcanists.

***

Maria makes progress in turning the informants against each other, but there is still a ways to go to counteract the damage they can do to your support network.

3 successes. 1 more will make them indifferent.

Zileska has two more checks to make before we wrap up the first day. I will also deal with the situation with Zhi’s father then.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Zhi:
"It's wonderful." Melodie says with a wide smile as Zhi creates a tent out of thin air. "And that smells... amazing." She inhales deeply, seemingly trying to consume the smell alone.

Once Zhi starts interfering with her clothing, Mel crosses her arms coyly under her breasts, preventing any more than a slight slip of the neckline. She does as her wife says however, and sinks into a pile of cushions - her posture perfect as always, although one hand remains tucked into her chest to preserve her modesty.

As Zhi eulogises her Melodie looks down into her stew and the flush of pink creeping up her neck and along her cheek bones shows just how much the praise means to her. The shy girl of a year ago doesn't blush much any more.

"I love you so much." She says, drawing her wife forwards into a kiss. "I don't want anyone dying for me, and especially not you darling. You're far too precious to me for that, and I certainly don't intend to share you with anyone." The kiss lasts a long time, until Zhi finally pulls away to deliver Mel's present.

Melodie's mismatched eyes open wide when Zhi produces the tiara, "I... you..." She bites her tongue and says nothing else until Zhi has placed the crown on her head. She glances upwards towards where it sits gently and a smile curves across her lips as Zhi says some truly lovely things. She relaxes and, instead of trying to explain in words, lets her emotions flow through their telepathic bond - bathing Zhi in her absolute love and appreciation.

She eats surprisingly quickly, swallows her wine deeply and grins at her wife. "That was delicious. Could I have some more wine please?"

When Zhi returns from the other compartment, she finds Melodie reclining on the cushions, wearing her tiara and nothing else. {"I've changed my mind."} Her mental voice is heavy with promise. {"Let's skip straight to dessert."}


ADVENTURE PATH COMPLETE

Zileska continues her program of needling the palace servants, building petty jealousies and rivalries that she then helps to resolve - creating her own opportunities to be the worst best friend that any cook or stableboy or scullery-maid could ever need.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 29 ⇒ (9) + 29 = 38

For the evening she takes a different tack. Knowing that the Royal Guard have a high-stress, high-visibility job, she expects that they also have a high pressure release mechanism. To that end she decides to get salacious rumors the usual old-fashioned way: by finding wherever the Guard go to let off steam, and getting close enough to listen in on their scuttlebutt, whether by magic or by being invited to adorn someone's evening. This likely winds up involving a lot of drinking and very little clothing.

Discovery check, Royal Guard, Diplomacy: 1d20 + 29 ⇒ (19) + 29 = 48


Game Concluded

Melodie:
Zhi stands gaping for a moment, holding the two glasses of wine as she looks over her wife. Finally a smile spreads over her face. "Always in a rush to get to dessert, Printesa Mea, tsk, tsk, tsk," she says, clucking her tongue in mock admonition. She sets the glasses aside, ignoring the fact that they fall over and spill their contents across a plush fur.

"But your desire is my command," she continues as she begins pulling her tunic over her head.

FTB ... most likely to be interrupted.


Zileska’s continued efforts bring more servants over to her side, though more is still needed to fully influence them.

2 successes for the servants. One more will make them friendly.

The Calistrian finds that most of the royal guard are disciplined, honest, and supremely focused, with little time for socializing. But there’s always at least one in a crowd. Later, after carousing with and bedding the man, he lets slip that Captain Tren Fille himself has a great difficulty remaining loyal to his husband, and risks a title and sizable lands if his indiscretions come to light. Zileska could definitely use this to her advantage. The guards also have a weakness for those with courtly graces or performers.

Exploiting the captain’s weakness adds +4 on attempts to influence the guard. Knowledge (nobility) or Perform (sing, strings, or wind) can influence them.

At day’s end, it’s clear that Carrius’s forces are already working to counter your efforts. The night passes without event, luckily, and you prepare for your second day of influence.

Loyalty Damage: 2d6 ⇒ (6, 1) = 72d6 ⇒ (1, 1) = 22d6 ⇒ (5, 4) = 92d6 ⇒ (3, 3) = 62d6 ⇒ (6, 6) = 12

Loyalty Damage is as follows: 7 to Zhi, 2 to Melodie, 9 to Maria, 6 to Sara, 12 to Zileska. (Sorry!) Everybody may now take social actions for the first round of day 2. I will retroactively post about Zhi’s father tomorrow when I have more time.


Game Concluded

So Zhi is at 56 Loyalty less 7 damage for 49.

The next day, Zhi continues her crusade to influence the arcane guild via conversations revealing her connection with the Princess and the possible influence she may have if the woman takes her rightful place on the throne.

Influence - Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 10 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 10 + 2 = 27

Question: If Zhi keeps the rod (paying cash to balance her share), which has a +4 Charisma enhancement bonus, would that increase her Loyalty points by +4?


Yes, that would increase her Loyalty points.

The arcanists express disdain for Zhi's connections, but the rogue can sense a glimmer of curiosity among haughty mages.

One success--barely--for the arcanists. Two more will shift them to unfriendly.

Mel, Maria, and Zileska are still up for the first round.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Mel loyalty: 57

With the public nearly swayed, and eating out of Sara's hand, Melodie leaves the fighter to finish that job and sets to confusing the informants instead. It's actually rather fun, putting her bluffing abilities to full use!

Bluff!: 1d20 + 48 ⇒ (1) + 48 = 49 Hah!


Female Rakshasa-spawn Tiefling Investigator 17 | HP 103/105 | AC 34 T 17 FF 29 | Fort +11 Ref +20 Will +16 | Initiative +9 | Perception +20 (free Insp) | Sense Motive +23 (free Insp)

Maria kept up her efforts against the informants, using what she'd learnt about particular individuals in the "network" to try and stir up some rivalries.

Bluff: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (14) + 22 = 36
Inspiration: 2d8 ⇒ (7, 5) = 12

So that's a total of 43.


Melodie and Maria both work to sow dissent among Carrius's paid informants. The focus their efforts on notorious gossip Lord Winchell Tetimus and gossip write Menarie Gusairne, who server as information hubs, and it doesn't take long for false rumors to begin overwhelming real reports.

4 total successes for the informants. They are now indifferent, with 2 more successes needed to make them friendly.

Sara, meanwhile, is able to get the public completely on Eutropia's side. Baron Kalbio takes charge of organizing riots and protests against Carrius's sudden takeover, forcing the prince to scramble extra men to try to quell the unrest.

The public is now helpful! The public will now actively begin hiding your loyalists and operatives, reducing the amount of Loyalty damage each day by 2. The riots will also delay the coronation an extra day.

You technically have met the minimum support requirements to assault the palace now, but you may continue influencing organizations if you'd like to make your task easier.

If you choose to proceed, Zileska may still act in the first round, and everybody may also now act in the second round.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Melodie continues her work tying the investigators up in knots.

Bluff: 1d20 + 48 ⇒ (14) + 48 = 62

I say we get an extra success for every 5 points we beat the dc by, not just once!


Game Concluded

Zhi continues to attempt to ingratiate herself withing the Arcanists Guild, but she feels their derision and it's hard to ignore.

Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 10 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 10 + 2 = 26

The night in the tent - interrupted ...

Melodie:

As Zhi finishes tossing the last of her garments across the tent in preparation to join her wife in the furs, she hears twigs snap outside the tent and tenses up. "Uh... Ladies d'Valois?" a woman's voice calls out nervously from just outside the tent entrance.

Melodie's eyes roll in irritation. "Yes? Is there any reason this can't wait?" she calls out, her irritation clear.

"W-we have a guest here that would like to speak with ..." the voice continues, but is interrupted by another voice. A man's voice. "I need no one's permission to see that my daughter is well and unharmed," he says as he bursts through the tent flap. The Tian man has black hair tied back in a single ponytail with tendrils of gray scattered through it. His face is handsome with a small black goatee. He's slender but not tall. Even so, there's a sense of presence about the man.

Zhi squeals and scrambles to cover herself. Her embarassment and annoyance vanish almost instantly, though. In that moment, Melodie feels a jolt of intense joy flood through the telepathic connection with her wife. "Kaa-san!" she cries out and leaps to her feet, attempting to keep herself covered with one of the furs, forgetting her magic in that moment. She stumbles forward to stand in front of him. Her awkward attempt to bow spoiled by the heavy fur wrapped around herself and her swelling belly.

*Father,* she says in formal Minkaian, tipping her head. *I am so very pleased to see you well. I have missed you.*

*Uh ... Zhi,* Zhen responds in kind, stumbling on his words a bit as he takes in the scene and averts his eyes from Melodie's prone form. *Ah, Ladies d'Valois. I see. It is good to see you too,* he continues, an artificial smoothness settling into his voice. *May we speak a moment?* he asks, gesturing off to the side of the tent.

Zhi looks back at Mel and gives her a reassuring smile. {"I think he misunderstands."}

*Yes, Father,* she says, taking a couple of steps away from Melodie and allowing her wife a moment to cover herself more appropriately.

*What are you doing, Zhi-chan?* he hisses at her. *You're swimming in dangerous waters trying to work a grift on these people. I'll help how I can, but I need to know more.*

Zhi steps back from the man and smiles. "There is no grift, Father," she says, reverting to Taldan. "No con. No game. And she speaks perfect Minkaian so there's need for that." The rogue steps back to Melodie as Zhen looks even more confused. "Father ... Mai Zhen, may I introduce you to the Lady Melodie d'Valois ... my love and my wife."

Her smile broadens and she allows just enough of the furs wrapped around her to shift to let the swell of her belly show through.

"And the mother of my child," she adds.

The man's smooth vaneer fails as he stands there attempting to take in everything Zhi is telling him. His mouth opens and closes once or twice before gathers himself enough to answer. "What are you doing, Zhi-chan? These people will take everything you have and leave you with nothing. That's all they know how to do - take. Rich, entitled women like her think that everyone must bend to their whim." His face twists into a sneer. "Just like your mother."

"She's nothing like Mother!" Zhi yells back, her joy transforming into anger. "Mother left! Melodie won't leave - she promised!"

"So did your mother," Zhen says quietly.

All I have ... for now. :)


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Zhi:
Melodie keeps her calm quite well as Zhen bursts in, although the way she disappears beneath the furs may have some sort of magical origin, leaving just her slender neck and head, still topped with the tiara, poking out.

As a connoisseur of voice and nuance her eyebrows climb rapidly when Zhen adopts his 'professional' tone and while she musters a smile for her wife, her eyes remained narrowed.

As the father and daughter speak Melodie takes advantage of the moment to slip back into her undergown, which does at least preserve her modesty. *"It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr Mai."* She offers when Zhi introduces her, making a point to address the man by his family name, rather than the more informal personal name which she hasn't been given permission to use.

This polite veneer stays in place as Zhen speaks, but Zhi can feel Melodie's anger and it surges upwards with remarkable speed as he accuses her of being like Zhi's mother. The sheer intensity of Melodie's anger is startling even to her wife, and she strides forward as magic ripples from her blazing eyes and scorn filled tone.

*"What about you, Mai Zhen? You failed your daughter! It is not her fault that her mother left. That is your problem, and hers. Your daughter is the victim here! I've seen the hovel she grew up in! I've met her real family! She idolises you, you unworthy piece of pig sh*t. Your daughter has risked life and limb for you! She's summoned help from other planes to help you. And I've been there - every step of the way for a year now! I love her Mai Zhen. More than you do! I don't care about you, and I don't care what happened to Zhi's mother. But I care about her, and about our daughter. I will break this world in half for my wife and for my child. That is what a parent should do, not run like a startled cockroach! Not force their daughter into crime and let her be raped in a prison cell!"*

The magic pouring off Melodie forces both Zhi and Zhen down onto the carpet in the face of her fury. The man remains prostrate, unable to speak as Melodie glares at him in a rage. She pulls the thick platinum band from around her neck, leaving an instant bruise springing up on her pale skin, and hurls it contemptuously in front of the grey-streaked head.

"That cost me twenty five thousand golden pieces." She says, dropping the minkian in favor of her native Taldan, and her voice has never been colder. "If this is the way you greet your daughter after a year or more, then take it and leave, because you will never come near my family again! If not... then you have one final chance. One!"

With that Melodie turns and stalks out of the tent. The sudden absence of her magic pressing down on everything in the room is shocking and heavy silence fills the magical dwelling for a few long moments...


Game Concluded

The night in the tent - continued ...

Melodie:

Zhi cringes as she feels Melodie's anger building, but can't bring herself to intervene. Like a glass heated to the point that a single touch will shatter it, Melodie can sense Zhi attempting to hide behind her own walls of anger. But no other communication flows through the telepathic link they share until she reveals Zhi's private shame.

{"No!"} Zhi desperate voice cries out as she looks at Mel with an expression of shock. Her eyes close a moment later and remain that way until after Melodie leaves the tent.

"You see, Zhi?" Zhen finally manages to say after recovering and slowly rising to his feet. "People like her don't care about you. What happened while I was gone? You allowed yourself to get arrested and ... and shamed?" Zhen says, looking at her in disgust. "Is that where this ... thing came from?" He gestures towards her belly.

Zhi turns and wraps her arms around herself.

"No, it ... it happened when ..." she begins but is interrupted as Zhen rages on. "That woman is lucky that she caught me unawares with her witchery. Otherwise, I would have beat her to within an inch of her life."

"What did you say?" Zhi says, her voice still quiet, but grown cold.

"I said that if she speaks to me again like that I'll thrash her until ... what are you doing?" Zhen questions as he sees his daughter reach among the furs and the sound of a blade clearing its sheath is loud in the tent. Zhi turns, the black blade of her rapier held out in front of her in a ready position. Her modesty is forgotten as the furs that are wrapped around her hang loose.

*You have threatened my love,* Zhi says in a soft voice. *Is that correct?*

"What do you think you're playing at?" Zhen says with a sneer.

*You have threatened my love and the price is blood.*

"Put that thing away before I take it away myself and then you'll regret it."

Mere moments later and the man is gasping on the ground as blood flows from a dozen punctures covering his body. None of which would be fatal, but each seems to be targeted to cause as much pain as possible.

*You will never touch my love. You will never approach my love. You will not speak her name. You will touch nothing that belongs to her and that includes me,* Zhi says in a commanding voice. With a flick of her wrist, her blade catches the collar that Melodie left and it flies across the tent to land in the furs. *You will leave Oppara and never come back. The Raven has agents all over this city and she will hear if you have not followed my commands.*

"The Raven? Zhi-chan, what happened while I was gone?" Zhen says, looking up as his daughter stands over him imperiously.

"I grew up, Father."

~~~~~

Melodie feels the gentle touch of her wife's mind a little while later.

{"Please come back."}


Melodie continues to effortlessly subvert the paid informants, ensuring that their efforts are more focused on undermining each other than your support network. Meanwhile, Zhi makes a few inroads with the arcanist's guild, and Sara charms the palace servants.

Sara Diplomacy: 1d20 + 45 ⇒ (14) + 45 = 59

2 successes for the informants, who are now friendly. The daily damage inflicted to your Loyalty scores is reduced to 1d6. 4 successes will make them helpful.

1 success for the arcanist's guild.

2 successes for the palace staff. They are now friendly. They pass along gossip, granting the PCs a +2 bonus on discovery checks against the First Imperial Arcanists’ Guild, Royal Guard, and Ulfen Guard. 4 more successes will make them helpful.

Melodie and Zhi may take actions for the third round. Maria may still act in the second and third round, and Zileska may act in all 3 rounds.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Zhi, Tentus-Interuptus:
{"Of course sweetheart."} Melodie reappears in a couple of minutes, now garbed in a thicker coat. She takes her wife gently in her arms and cradles her close.

"I'm sorry sweetheart. This should have been... I just got so angry. He was horrible, to you, to me and to Harmony." Her hand slides protectively over her wife's belly. "I couldn't just let him say those things. But I'm sorry. It wasn't my secret to tell."

She holds her wife for a long embrace and then tips her face upwards to meet Melodie's own mismatched eyes. "Can you forgive me?"

Melodie leaves Maria to finish the good work with the informants, and moves on to dealing with the Royal Guard. She does so with her father's help, garbed in all the trappings of nobility.

Perform Sing: 1d20 + 27 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 27 + 2 = 37

That night Melodie is passed a note from Bartelby which she takes care to read privately. 'Job done.' It says. 'The cost was 1000. I've withdrawn the funds. He won't be a problem again. Wording as discussed.'

Melodie's smile is worthy of her birth mother...


Game Concluded

Melodie:
Burying her face into her wife's shoulder, she begins to sob. {"It's ok. He was horrible. I'm sorry you had to see him like that. He won't be back."}

When she asks for forgiveness, Zhi looks up at her and a ghost of a smile reappears on her face through the tears. "You're my love, Printesa Mea. How could I ever do anything but forgive you?"

Stepping away, she pulls Melodie by the hand into the furs, shedding the one she was using to cover her nakedness.

FTB
~~~~~~~

Zhi continues to focus her attention on convincing the Arcanists Guild that she has a legitimate claim to arcane ability, but seems quite distracted.

Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 10 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 10 + 2 + 2 = 17


ADVENTURE PATH COMPLETE

Zileska, it seems, had the same idea as Melodie, and indeed she shows up at the same time to continue her interactions with the Royal Guard. She quickly slides into a performative role, introducing Melodie (under an alias) to her "contact," and saying that the two of them have something for the Guardsmen - a small performance to share that might help lift spirits. She has chosen a particular song that is a mournful melody speaking of the history and ideal of Taldor, about the longing for something lost, and about loyalty to ideals rather than people.

Her performance is raw, untrained, yet... it seems like somehow she knows just which song to pick and just where to emphasize it.

Perform (sing), moment of prescience: 1d20 + 4 + 17 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 17 = 25
Perform (sing) good fortune reroll, moment of prescience: 1d20 + 4 + 17 ⇒ (13) + 4 + 17 = 34

After having brunch with her paramour and leaving open the possibility of whether they will or won't cross paths again, she meets up with Sara to continue working on the palace servants, hoping that maybe this will provide a way into the palace for the eventual confrontation.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 29 ⇒ (7) + 29 = 36
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 29 ⇒ (12) + 29 = 41


Female Rakshasa-spawn Tiefling Investigator 17 | HP 103/105 | AC 34 T 17 FF 29 | Fort +11 Ref +20 Will +16 | Initiative +9 | Perception +20 (free Insp) | Sense Motive +23 (free Insp)

Maria kept up her work on the Informants, now starting to try and shift their overall opinion and turn the network towards helping them instead of Carrius.

Bluff, Round 2: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (8) + 22 = 30
Inspiration: 2d8 ⇒ (7, 3) = 10

Bluff, Round 3: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (5) + 22 = 27
Inspiration: 2d8 ⇒ (4, 6) = 10


Female Rakshasa-spawn Tiefling Investigator 17 | HP 103/105 | AC 34 T 17 FF 29 | Fort +11 Ref +20 Will +16 | Initiative +9 | Perception +20 (free Insp) | Sense Motive +23 (free Insp)

Totals for those are 37 and 33.


Maria is able to fully get the informants on her side by the end of the day. Their network is now yours to command.

The informants are now helpful. Starting tomorrow, you have access to a subtle intelligence network, granting each PC one free turn each day that can only be used for a discovery check.

***

Zhi’s efforts with the guild are stymied once more.

***

Melodie and Zileska’s stirring performance begins the difficult process of thawing the royal guards’ cold hearts. Sara spends some time glad handing and greasing palms to speed the process along.

The royal guard is now unfriendly. 6 successes will make them indifferent.

The priestess then goes on to fully sway the palace staff!

The staff is now helpful. Their quiet network of whispers and flattery works quietly on the palace’s guardians even while the PCs are absent, granting each PC a bonus action each day to attempt discovery or influence checks against the First Imperial Arcanists’ Guild, Royal Guards, or Ulfen Guard, but with a –5 penalty. Helpful servants also mention that many doors in the palace—especially for secure areas— are concealed behind illusory walls.

You regroup at the end of the night, and the next day, you prepare to further increase your influence in Oppara.

Everybody may take their bonus actions from the informants and the staff, as well as their first social round action of the day. Will roll Loyalty Damage and update the attitudes in the campaign info tab tomorrow.


Game Concluded

Zhi spends some time at a tavern that she knows the palace staff frequent in an attempt to find out just what she's misunderstanding about the Arcanists Guild.

Free Discovery against the Arcanists Guild

Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 10 + 2 + 2 - 5 ⇒ (19) + 10 + 2 + 2 - 5 = 28


The palace staff reveals that the arcanists are impressed by those who are able to bypass or dismantle the wards that they create. They would appreciate tips to make their magical traps stronger and more resilient.

Bluff and Disable Device can be used to influence the arcanists!


Game Concluded

Zhi is much happier now as she proceeds to demonstrate to the crusty old men just how easy it is to bypass their defenses.

Influence Arcanists Guild - DD: 1d20 + 36 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 36 + 2 + 2 = 55


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

With the servants help Melodie starts sending out her own feelers to the arcanist's guild. With her wife's information she has no trouble bamboozling the overly pompous wizards.

Bluff to Influence: 1d20 + 47 - 5 ⇒ (14) + 47 - 5 = 56

Melodie meanwhile continues her work on the Royal Guard, carefully expounding Eutropia's claim to the throne and sounding out the guard's loyalties.

Perform Sing: 1d20 + 27 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 27 + 2 = 37


Melodie and Zhi make great inroads with the arcanist's guild, while the mesmerist also continues to influence the royal guard.

4 successes for the arcanists, who are now unfriendly. 2 for the royal guard, who remain unfriendly.

Mel took her round 2 action already so Zhi may do so as well. Maria and Zileska may take actions for rounds 1 and 2.


Game Concluded

Having broken through the ice, Zhi is quite enthusiastic and thinks nothing of splurging on fine wine at the elderly wizards choice of drinking establishment. Ignoring the raised eyebrows that her casually pregnant appearance engenders, she continues to expound upon the exploits she's discovered in just a casual examination.

Influence Arcanists Guild - DD: 1d20 + 36 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 36 + 2 + 2 = 46


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

According to your last post we were doing our first action of the new day. I did the servants bonus one and then my turn 1? At least that's what I thought I did! :)


The bonus action was a discovery check only, but that's okay. You can still make that check. :)


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 RETIRED | HP:71/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +44(49), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 7/8, 2: 6/7, 3: 5/7, 4: 4/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 1/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 10/17+1; Words: 10/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation
DM Brainiac wrote:
The staff is now helpful. Their quiet network of whispers and flattery works quietly on the palace’s guardians even while the PCs are absent, granting each PC a bonus action each day to attempt discovery or influence checks against the First Imperial Arcanists’ Guild, Royal Guards, or Ulfen Guard, but with a –5 penalty.

Thanks boss. :)

Melodie continues her work on the Royal Guard. More so than almost anyone else she wants them on side - hopefully the Ring she claimed from Duke Lotheed will avoid any need to confront the Ulfen Guard, but any way into the palace is going to require dealing with the Royal Guard.

Perform Sing: 1d20 + 27 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 27 + 2 = 45


Female Rakshasa-spawn Tiefling Investigator 17 | HP 103/105 | AC 34 T 17 FF 29 | Fort +11 Ref +20 Will +16 | Initiative +9 | Perception +20 (free Insp) | Sense Motive +23 (free Insp)

Not sure who Maria should start working over next. Any suggestions?

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