Vincent shakes his head, "No sir. Only myself and this man, Adurus," he gestures to Adurus as the group makes their way out. After Sampson introduces himself, Vincent introduces each of the rest of their company.
"This is Corporal Pentwert of the Fusiliers. Behind him is the mage Zeltresh, as well as Nathmir, a priest of Nethys. Lastly, a civilian, Arzazel. He has proven quite helpful so far in helping us. We subdued an enchanted soldier and a destroyed group of the...smoke elementals...as well as apprehended some ne'er do wells looting the dead. But, more importantly, some of our number, I believe the Corporal and the Priest, rescued your nephew. He is currently being escorted to safety by another Field-Squire of the March." Vincent doesn't use Izalem's name, instead adding emphasis to the word.
Eldred stands to, eyeing the rank and file under the Bailiff's command. A couple he recognized from the court, all of whom were more than competent combatants. Problem is, the gunslinger wonders if he's going to recognize some of the loonies hold up in the Foundry. Was he going to have to put 'em down like rabid dogs?
He nods greeting and then knuckles a salute to the Bailiff. There would definitely be a bonus to seeing the man's face. The armor and the voice checks out, but Eldred wonders if the man's eyes are wide with mania under the visor of the helm.
"Your boys know how or when that steam pipe got shut down, sir?" Eldred simply nods to the immense steam pipe feeding into the Foundry's main hall. The gunslinger gestures for those in the grouping to stay secluded by the Bailiff's shield-men, so those on the opposite line aren't watching them. "Feeds right into the vestibule tub. Could be a way in, maybe we can reconnoiter the place."
The steam pipe in question is tall enough for an orc to stand upright and pass through.
Sense Motive (untrained): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Profession (solider): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20 ...if I need the roll
At the mention of his own name, Adurus straightens and gives Sir Ravnagask a quick salute. After that he pulls his helmet a little lower and turns to face the Foundry instead in an obvious effort to try and shield his eyes from the Bailiff. Though he was accepted into the order, Adurus recalls that not everyone was accepting of him, remembering words like "cripple" and "useless" which he picked up from conversations he was not meant to hear. If their group is to go on a dangerous mission now, Adurus hopes that Bailiff Ravnagask was not one of the men who thought of Adurus as a liability; Adurus is ready to do his duty along with the others inside the Foundry, if it comes to that. He stands straight, looking in the direction of the Foundry, though he is still not close enough to afford a look at it.
Nathmir simply observes and listens, he had little interest in formalities or rank. His position generally kept him outside such things and he had no problems with that. Still he remained alert as the situation was far from resolved.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Will take 20 if I can.
Arzazel nods to the bailiff when introduced while thinking that has to be one of the craziest days that he has ever lived starting with the order from the Silver Agent to now. He had thought to get some rest and relaxation, but it's been pure looney entertainment. Spending most of his life as a slave taught him to live life in the moment. The past and the future were always too depressing to think about.
That Chelish outfitter really knew his business selling me this Molthune parade armor. It feels like I'm almost in their military. He wonders to himself while waiting for the deciders to figure out what to do next. His instinctive vigilance restarts after his brief reverie, and he begins to survey the scene.
Perception take 20+6=26
Zeltresh bows his head when he is introduced, his hands nervously straightening the warmage robes he is wearing. Thinking it wise to not create any doubt in Vincent's authority in this situation he remains quiet during the exchange.
As they continue to talk he scans the crowd looking at the troops arrayed behind the Baillif. With everything they have seen so far, the gnome would not be surprised to see a previously loyal person flip their alliances under the strong magics around them. He is especially looking for other warmages knowing that even a single one can be quite a threat.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5 will also Take 20 if possible
Terandar seems to remain mostly stationary and passive as introductions are made or doled out. Most of those men loyal to the Braganzan Bailiff return their attention to the presumably maddened contingent of soldiers and guards that hold a defensive perimeter around Rud's Wastewares. As introductions conclude, Bailiff Ravnagask inclines his head slightly as a cordial greeting, despite his prominent position demanding no such gesture. The kindness is soon followed by aging fellow's voice, a deep and authoritative boom that speaks well to decades of familiarity with addressing and commanding other men and women. His words rise to greet all with a hollow ring, owing to the helmet that completely encases his head.
"One of the most promising and lauded names among the Most Noble Order accompanied by his flame-scarred second; A surviving member of the "Black Death" Company alongside a surviving Ramgate Fusilier; our resident would-be shepherd of the arcane; the most innately talented pyromancer Brigadier-General Lundven has ever seen; and one of Thelton's personal recommendations." It becomes quickly evident that Terandar is not only a well-informed man, but in possession of an uncanny wit and recollection. "All come before me not by orders, but by mere providence, coincidence, and random luck. I begin to wonder if Desna's hand is upon our city as well as this muddled malaise of madness that afflicts my home thusly."
At the mention of Izalem, Terandar tenses noticeably, though the forthcoming explanation assuages his concerns almost as quickly as they manifested. "I am glad to hear it, Ser Teldas. Izalem is of stout heart and talent, but I dared not risk his life in the pursuit of cleansing our city of this mysterious ailment. You will, of course, be given proper due and commendation when circumstance affords us such an opportunity; for now, we should allow our focus to remain on expediting a return to sanity for everyone's sake."
When Eldred makes mention of the dormant steam pipe, Terandar's head snaps towards the snaking metal to verify the scarred soldier's assessment. He begins nodding, at first slowly, before turning his attention back to Eldred. "An astute observation, Corporal Pentwert. One that has somehow managed to elude my highly trained engineers in the time we have spent seeking purchase into Rud's foundries. We have dared not force our way in for fear of the needless slaughter of so many, and sought alternate egress."
A bright flash of blueish light emanates from within the enormous structure at the end of the street—faint, but easily visible through one of the grated-windows given the darkness of night. As the occurrence draws the attention of most present, Terandar mutters something mostly inaudible under his breath before speaking clearly, "Our own hesitance is not a compunction shared by Rud, I fear. If the sounds that billow out from within his foundry are to be relied upon, it would seem the Alkenstar gentleman is mounting a stolid resistance of his own against the mind-tainted patriots attempting to force their way in ahead of us."
"Forgive my callousness, but anyone sensible would offer resistance given the circumstances. They may be cursed with madness, but they will still kill you if you let them. I imagine it's quite difficult to subdue someone with a firearm," Sampson says, looking to Eldred for confirmation.
"Old Rud probably had his nethers replaced with a gun. No, if he can still load, he'll still be fighting." Eldred grins and waggles his trigger finger. "Only takes a finger."
The gunslinger turns back to the Bailiff. "I'll volunteer to go and take a look-see, sir. Might be better fore we commit. It may be Rud shut it down for us, or it could be a mass of loonies are waiting on the other side to ambush someone taking the bait."
Adurus frowns at the situation ahead of the group; it seems like fighting with crazed guardsmen will become inevitable at this part of the journey. He only hopes that, should the group gain entry to the foundry, Rud will not open fire on them. Adurus has heard of the power of guns, and doesn't care for a personal demonstration.
Arzazel's eyebrows arch at the mention of his former master. He unconsciously nods in surprise to himself. Then, he awakes from his brief reverie and repeats, "steam pipe?" and then asks, "Isn't that normally used by steam, that hot water that burns, right? How do we know that it will stay shut down?"
Vincent stands quietly as the bailiff compliments the group before him. When the man hints at reward for the care of Izalem, Vincent becomes a bit uncomfortable.
"I had very little to do with it. I'm not certain, but I believe it was Corporal Pentwert and Nathmir...if any commendations are not granted to those truly responsible, I will have to make it right..."
When Eldred mentions the pipe, Vincent turns to assess the potential entryway as well. "It could work...risky, but possible..."
As Eldred volunteers to scout ahead alone, Vincent nods. He knew that Eldred could handle it. He had more field experience than anyone else here, save possibly Sampson. But he would not let him risk his life without some back up.
"Ser Ravnagask, I would also like to volunteer to take a team into the vent and reclaim the foundry and hopefully end this madness. If it is true that the cause of this is in there," Vincent points at the foundry, "then I will do whatever is necessary to put an end to this and spare as many Braganzan lives as possible."
Assuming the Bailiff is ok with us...you know...playing the game...and okays our undertaking.
He looks to those who had fought at his side all night, and remembers the reluctance he had noted earlier regarding taking orders. He then continues, "I hope you all will volunteer to join me, but I hold no authority over most of you," he looks to Adurus then continues, "and even if I did, I wouldn't order it of you. What I intend to do, it's not a normal mission. There are sons and daughters of Braganza in there, suffering the same affliction of the mind we saw earlier. Unless presented another option, I do not want to see their lives taken. To risk your lives in an endeavor to subdue someone trying to kill you is not something to take lightly. If you volunteer for this, you are agreeing to work together as a team in order to overcome an enormous endeavor that the city of Braganza will surely not forget."
After a brief pause, Vincent continues, "The smoke creatures are a separate matter. They are not of this realm, and are a threat to the city that can be met with lethal force."
At Arzazel's inquiry, Vincent looks to Eldred and then says, "Unless the Corporal has any other information to enlighten us on its functionality, it is another risk of this operation. So, are any of you willing to join us?"
The pipe in question leads in from an off-site boiler. There are several of these arrayed around the place—a lot of the energy sources are remote in the interest of not compromising the primary structure too much in case one of them decide to explode or something equally devastating. Unfortunately, without Knowledge (engineering) you won't know much as to what specific purpose it serves. You merely recall that the pipe itself feeds into a huge tank of some sort in the massive vestibule of the foundries.
Eldred tips the brim of his hat to Arzazel and grins, rolling another smoke while they prepare. "Hells, Arzazel, if we don't get steamed, gutted, burned, flayed, mauled or dismembered? First round's on me. I'm sure the Swan's Gristle's still open in all this mess."
Out of habit, he draws ole Lia and clears her action, checking the hammer and trigger mechanisms, pulling the load and verifying the barrel was clean. Then he reloads her and gives her a spin before slipping her back in the holster. "Atta girl..." he mutters and draws on his cigarette.
"As for the steam pipes? They trail in from over yonder, big boilers maybe a hair's breath bigger than the Sarge here," he nods to Sampson. "Less we send someone over there to make sure they don't start up business again, there's no way of tellin' if we make it through clean or end up like them steambuns that fella Lau from Tian Xa cooks up on the weekends." He shrugs and checks his other weapons. "Sides, it's a quick process, gettin' steam cooked I mean."
Nathmir was unfazed by the whole thing. It did annoy him how certain persons were connected to events that did not involve them. None the less he cared only for the glory and due of Nethys.
"So long as my actions, work, and lost leave are taken into account concerning what I am owed. I am willing to continue. That reminds me, their are spirits of the dead that I need to take care of. Should I be unable to, you may want have another priest take care of it. The dead won't rest without proper attention."
A creak of armor padding, leather straps, and plates scraping together pronounce Terandar's glance towards Nathmir. He pauses but a moment in thought, before saying curtly, "Matters appropriate for your commanding officer's ears, to be sure. Restless spirits are another matter entirely; in this you have my undivided attention. Our experience has been mostly man, woman, and smoke. Where do the dead linger overlong?"
To the matter of the steam pipes and questions of their dormancy, the Bailiff raises a hand as if to cut off Eldred and Vincent from voicing further concerns. "The source from which the steam is fed is not twenty yards beyond where we stand now. Sparing enough men to ensure the fires remain unlit is a simple matter."
Turning to his left, the Bailiff gestures one of his archers closer, leaning in close to whisper something low into his subordinate's ear.
Vincent nods at the Bailiff as he says his men can ensure the steam vents remain inactive.
At Nathmir's continued complaints regarding his due to Nethys, Vincent cannot help but be annoyed. "I know he is not a son of this city, but he continues to complain about going out of his way to help her in her time of need. If it bothers him so bad, why not just flee? If he expects to have a life here, then surely he should WANT to end this madness. And does he not know that, should we come out of this alive, that the leadership of this city would be grateful to those who took up arms in her defense? Or does he expect her good graces as if he were entitled to them?"
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
The gnome cannot help the smile that comes across his face. Brigadier-General Lundven said that.....?
After recovering from the compliment, Zeltresh looks over to Vincent and gives a slight bow. "I don't have much that can subdue an enchanted friend but those smoke creatures did not seem to like that frost spell of mine. While not my favorite magic, it could be useful in there. I'm with you."
He cranes his neck to look the Field-Squire in the eye. "Sir."
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31
Nathmir felt no need to correct or clarify himself on the former matter but he was not above other matters. He answered in regard to the spirits.
"Terandar's Bulwark where Eldred and myself found Izalem. In the mess hall to be exact. You may wish to be wary of animated suits of armor while your there as well. We encountered a few of them. If I may who is this Rutilus?
That's why they call him the all seeing. ;P
"Worry you not, then. The Bulwark's care is my responsibility, and I will see that any unliving horrors therein are given final rest. In this, we shall commit the full weight of Abadar's faithful."
Just then a great grinding of metal can be heard from within the depths of Rud's foundries, punctuated by a deep boom that seems to rattle the entire district. (If you've ever heard a garbage truck dropping a trash bin, the sound is in that ballpark) Terandar reflexively jerks around to look at the looming structure, but is treated to no more explanation than any other sharing in the futile look. "Abadar preserve us. What matter of monstrosities does this Rud have in his employ?" It is a rhetorical question that is readily dismissed by the Bailiff's shaking head.
"Rutilus Leroung is an emissary from Cheliax that has proven crucial inexposing weaknesses in these strange horrors of smoke and fire that have laid siege to Braganza. I'll wager any attempts at hemming in this threat shall be better served by his company." The middle-aged Bailiff thankfully chooses to overlook the rudeness of his orders being eavesdropped. Bigger things were at stake tonight.
Vincent nods a thanks to Zeltresh, and notes a flare in the gnome's eye that reminds him of that day at the gates. "I wonder if he has complete control of the power within him. For that matter, I wonder the same for myself..."
Vincent wheels to face the Foundry at the loud crash, half expecting something to have burst forth from its depths. Seeing nothing, Vincent says to Terendar, "No offense, Ser, but whoever he is, I hope he gets here soon. I think we are going to need to make a move sooner than later..."
Adurus dutifully nods at Vincent when he implores the group to use nonlethal means on the guards; Adurus had expected nothing else in this situation.
Adurus wheels around at the loud boom and peers into the darkness beyond his vision, seeing as much for it as the others. He says quietly, "What was that?" But the others seem to know as much as Adurus about the noise, and the conversation moves on.
Adurus is curious about the Chelaxian, they say that people from that land are devil-worshippers, but Adurus usually doesn't put stock in rumor like that. Adurus wonders what this emissary will be like.
Sorry for not saying much; not much more needs to be said by Adurus.
Eldred thinks on the announcement of a new addition to the group. Devil worshippin' scum whorin' themselves out to the highest positioned demon. Cheliax could stand with a bit of burnin', but the place where they're bound...guess they'll get what's comin'.
We've used worse in the north, Dread. Frig offers, tone unusually dark for the dead halfling.
Yup. Sure did didn't we?
We all got it coming, Dread. All the things we saw...all the things we did...
"Yeah..." He draws on his smoke and eyes the Wastewares. "...we all got it comin' tonight."
Pinching the end of of his cigarette between his teeth, Eldred nods agreement regarding the addition of the Chelaxian. "Borders on sense, sir." the gunslinger responds to Terandar, voice tinged with darkness like the staining of blood in wood fibers. "Takes the chef to know what went wrong with the cookin'."
The gunslinger eyes Nathmir for a moment, the comments he'd made a moment ago catching up to his though process. Quite the mercenary point of view, eh? You're good in a scrap, bunkie, you healed me up tight and I'm obliged. But I have a feelin'... He drops the remainder of this cigarette on the ground and toes it out. Way I see it, what you're 'owed' on this little dance is a plain-spun sack to scoop up what's left of ya so's old Nethys can do what he wants with your soul-dust.
Eldred's thoughts are cut off as something crashes with tremendous effect within the Wastewares. Teldas the younger speaks up in the wake of the crashing sound. He sees Adurus tense, muttering his question. Eldred claps the younger man on the shoulder and chuckles. "Sounds like Rud's droppin' a wrench or two. Better get in there quick before the old bastard breaks the city in half."
"Apparently, the offense is on you, ser knight, for your eyesight is awfully lacking." The deep, almost growling voice accompanies a gentle touch on the shoulder that startles Vincent, unexpecting as he was to be accosted from the shadows he was standing next to. "For I have been here this entire time, unnoticed by your lacking perceptive abilities."
Turning around to see who touched him probably startles Vincent even more than the surprise tap on the shoulder, for standing behind him is some sort of... humanoid fiend. Standing a mere five feet, with roughly the build of a tall dwarf, Rutilous is draped in ornate robes of black and blood-red that extend down to his ankles, failing to cover his clawed feat at the end of his digitigrade legs. Completely covered in red scales, some finer and softer than others, the tiefling's fiendish face is half concealed from his robe's raised collar, though it fails to hide his rather bestial appearance. Adorning his head is a pair of large, black horns that extend backwards from his forehead before curving foward. Slick, black hair covers the rest of his head. Though his mouth is thankfully hidden behind his collar, his fiery eyes make him seem to be smiling with a wicked gleam in his eye.
"Though, you are forgiven for your lack of perception, for at least your priest noticed me standing here in the shadows, though it seems he did not feel the need to tell you. I, am Rutilus Leroung, emissary from Cheliax and expert on arcane matters. Needless to say, tonight has been a rather fun night for me." He gives a small, almost imperceptible bow towards Vincent as he introduces himself.
Stealth: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
Still working on my background.
Vincent jumps at the touch to his shoulder and unexpected voice in his ear. As he turns and sees the creature speaking so closely to him, Vincent spins and raises his blade reflexively. The spear shaped point of the cold iron longsword is leveled directly at his verbal assailant's throat, and the entire blade and Vincent's eyes flare to life in a white energy.
As the creature, unflinching to Vincent's blade, continues speaking and introduces itself, Vincent allows the magic to subside, and lowers his blade slowly. He cannot help but cast a sidelong glance Nathmir's direction when Rutilus claims the priest saw him and said nothing, before saying, "I apologize for my reaction...it's been a long night." It is obvious by his tone that Vincent only half heartedly meant his apology.
"What in the name of Abadar is this!?!? Have we grown so desperate in our war that we turn to demons like the Chelaxians? Whose to say this...thing...isn't to blame for all this?"
Eldred's gun is out faster than he can think, hammer cocked, finger at 3/4 the trigger pull. When Vincent lowers his blade, Eldred thumbs the hammer down and slips his gun back into its holster. But his hand remains close.
"Gettin' a little fresh, eh Chuckles?" He eyes the Teifling then Terandar. "After all, it's only our first date."
Devil-humpin' tieflings now? Kind of convenient him popping in like this...
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4 ...Rutilus
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21 ...Terandar, does the trust Rutilus
Zeltresh's eye go wide at the figure of the tiefling appearing as if from no where. He's heard of tieflings of course, and the variety of physical features their devilish heritage can manifest, but having never seen one in person such an extreme example is a shocking first exposure.
But it is Rutilus's words that most interest the gnome. Almost everything he knows about magic comes from intuition and gut instinct, making him very curious to spend time with an 'expert in arcane matters'. He thinks back to his first conversations with Arzazel about being a scholar and starts to view the strange newcomer as quite the learning opportunity.
Arzazel avoids eyeballing the tiefling who causes conflict for the orc. On the one hand, he is described to be an emissary of Cheliax where Arzazel lived most of his life as a slave. On the other hand, tieflings were socially little better than slaves in Cheliax.
He decides to wait and see how the tiefling behaves. However if he keeps up with his introduction, Vincent or Eldred might render his internal conflict moot.
Adurus is as shocked as any at the appearance of Rutilus; he gasps audibly as it seems at first Rutilus is a devil himself, come to attack the group. Once the nature of the tiefling as their emissary from Cheliax becomes apparent, Adurus shuts his agape mouth and spends many moments marvelling at Rutilus, saying a prayer to Abadar as he does so. Adurus thinks to himself, Well, sometimes the rumors are much truer than you would think. The depictions of tieflings in those books Novennia showed me don't really do them justice. Adurus unconsciously shifts away from the tiefling as the conversation continues. He notices that the tiefling is aware of his own staring, and Adurus turns his head away, looking everywhere but Rutilus.
Though very much intimidated by Rutilus's form, Adurus nonetheless knows he must make good with the man; he is supposed to be the best person for dealing with whatever affliction the city is under. Adurus decides he should make a better show of welcoming the new member.
Adurus gulps audibly, then steps forward after Sampson chides the group. He looks straight ahead to Rutilus as he says, "I-I'm Adurus Krupt, of the Most Noble Order of the Exalted March. I hope we can, uh, get to the source of this problem together." You recognize the visibly nervous boy's surname as that of a minor noble house in Cheliax; indeed, the boy is of Chelish descent as well. His fire-scarred eyes look almost pained as they gaze to you.
"Your reactions were expected, have been noted, and are forgiven."
Unflinching even as the weapons were arrayed against him, Rutilus turns to look over each of the group in kind, his fiery eyes burning with such an intense focus that, for all they know, he might as well be burning a hole in their soul. However, while his appearance may be intimidating, he attempts to be polite, and gives the group a short bow.
"In fact, I am quite glad to see that your reflexes are swift. I believe that such level of skill will come in handy in the near future. Certainly it will prove useful for taking out the source of this problem, no? I would not want to be protected by a bunch of sloths, after all. That would just not do."
His eyes turning their attention to focus directly on Adurus after he speaks up, he gives the man a nod. "It is good to see a fellow countryman from my homeland, Adurus, though I must sadly admit I am only faintly familiar with your noble House. I have always been more focused on scholarly and arcane studies than that of politics or nobility. In particular, I focus on the art of Conjuration and study of my Diabolic forebears. As is readily noticed, my heritage manifested itself rather strongly in my case."
However, realizing that he has nearly began some sort of intellectual lecture, he closes his eyes and waves his hand, dismissing himself. Though previously unnoticed, there appear to be small juts of spiked bone coming from his knuckles, and he has two thumbs per hand, the second, unnatural ones replacing what would have been his pinky-fingers, though these extra thumbs are as small as the fingers they replaced. "The Sergeant is right. We probably should not delay much longer."
Nathmir simply waits, it mattered little to him what someone was. His own appearance far from the norm, granted his was not as much as a handicap as a fiendish one would be. Still such things seemed hardly fit for the situation, yet he kept that to himself. If Rutilus sudden appearance had not taught them their lesson of the battlefield then perhaps the cost in lives would, their own or others.
He adjusted his shield and armor to make sure they were secured and in place. The task at hand his only concern.
Adurus nods to the sentiment that the group should get along; he takes out his shield and mace as he prepares himself for another combat. This time he may be able to use his oracular powers, though he reminds himself not to seriously injure any of the guardsmen.
Turning to Terendar, Vincent gives him the standard military salute, then calls out to Eldred, "Corporal, lead the way. We will wait for your signal to advance at this end of the pipe."
As the group moves out, Vincent puts a hand up to Sampson's shoulder to hold him back. Once the others, namely their demonic newcomer and the bailiff, are a good distance away, Vincent whispers to the large man, "Keep an eye on this Rutilus. He has Lord Ravnagask's trust, but he seems too happy about all this. He may yet prove to have some involvement in what's happening."
Likely no update tonight unless I'm feeling froggy. 'Tis my birthday, so I'll likely be lazy all night. I will briefly cover ground on Eldred's Sense Motive, however.
You do not get the impression that he is necessarily fond of the tiefling, though that does not necessarily mean he dislikes him either. As far as it relates to the matter at hand, however, he seems to have placed implicit trust in Rutilus and his capacity to diagnose and handle whatever it is that is causing the strange elementals to materialize.
In a nutshell: Terandar is not very familiar with Rutilus. The fact that he's a tiefling does not bother him, and he has apparently done nothing to arouse suspicion in the time the Bailiff has spent with him.
Not getting a read on the tiefling, Eldred thinks on Terandar's manner around him. At the least, there's enough there to make the gunslinger think this Rutilus was an asset...for now.
Eldred nods and hefts his boat spear to hit the steam pipe. "Keep an eye at the end of the pipe here. I'll light a tinder twig and flash it twice if it's clear." He points to Arzazel then nods to Vincent. "If he's willin', and you're amiable, I could use Arzazel's eyes up front with me."
In either case, he'll move off.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Stealth: 1d20 ⇒ 16
Rutilus puts a hand on Eldred's shoulder as he prepares to take off. "Hold, a moment, ah.. I did not catch your name. Regardless, I believe it would be better if we let my familiar go first. He is quite small and hard to spot. Plus, he can communicate with me empathically, letting me know of danger or allies. I can relay that to the group as needed." With that, he holds out his sleeved arm and a massive centipede crawls out of the sleeve. At least the size of a house cat, the centipede rears up on his outstretched arm and looks at Eldred, clicking its horrid mandibles.
"His name is Baazul, by the way. I think he likes you."
My familiar and I have a few easy-to-use codes to communicate with each other empathically. Hate = Enemies, Love = Allies, Eagerness = Something Interesting, Fear = Something Scary, Hunger = Dead People, etc. Though he only has 6 intelligence, he is smart enough to scout reliably, though he's not perfect. But with a +23 Stealth skill, he'll be almost impossible to spot without tremorsense/blindsense/etc.
Rutilis isn't afraid to scout either, with his +13 Stealth check. He just prefers to avoid close combat, and would retreat in such an instance. I would also like to add that my familiar has a +11 Perception, while I have +10 when he's in arms reach.
Edit: Plus, he has a 40 ft move and climb speed. Little bastard could out crawl us. XD
Arzazel nods to Eldred to accompany him but is checked by the tiefling's pet. He looks at the insect, to the tiefling, to Eldred, to Vincent, to Zeltresh, and back to the insect. Entertaining. This evening could not get weirder.
Once Vincent catches up to the others, and is greeted with the dilemma, he pauses to consider his options.
"Normally, I'd much prefer risk the life of some bug than a soldier of Molthune. But the creature could be a signal to any enemies down there should this Rutilus be a spy."
"Eldred and Arzazel have done a fine job so far. They can take point."
You creeped Vincent out, Rutilus. This is your punishment. :-P
Rutilus shrugs, not seeking to further the issue. "Very well, though I will remain right behind them to provide two extra pairs of eyes, as well as be able to quickly see anything my expertise would prove useful for." He takes a step back and gives Eldred and Arzazel a curt bow, outstretching his arm in a gesture of 'after you'. The gesture may or may not be slightly sarcastic in its execution.
After he falls in behind Eldred and Arzazel, those walking behind him notice his tail, which had previously been unseen. Sticking out from a specially-made hole in his robe, it is at least a few feet long and covered in rough, red scales. It rolls around as he moves, showing that he is apparently in full control of the rather dextrous prehensile limb.
His centipede, meanwhile, climbs back into his sleeve and, a few seconds later, pops its head out of the back of his robe's collar, looking behind him. To those walking behind the tiefling, it almost looks as if he has a second head sticking out from his collar. Indeed, none have yet seen the tail-end of this familiar, so for all they know, it might be a part of him afterall.
Though not taking point, he will still attempt to remain stealthy as well. He's going to take 10 while stealthing for a total of 23 on his check. His familiar will be riding within his robe, with its head sticking out the back of his collar keeping watch behind him, while also being ready to climb out of his robe to enter combat if necessary. I will be rolling perception checks for both of them:
Rutilus' Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
Baazul's Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
Little critter likes you, Dread. Is that the first thing to admit that?
Shove it, Frig. Eldred grins at the dead Halfling's joke. [ì] Hells, if the little demon and his pet wanna go first, who am I to say no? [/I]
But if Eldred had stuck with his gun in the Bulwark instead of going with his spear, that empty suit might have put a hurt on him. His philosophy was to use any weapon available. He hadn't survived this long being choosie.
"Name's Eldred," the gunslinger responds. Then he grins at Vincent. "Don't worry boss, I'm sure Rudy here's got more
sense than to start a fracas. He's welcome to tag along."
He gives Vincent a meaningful look as they move off. Besides, kid, first sign of a double cross and I'll put one in his brain case, Terandar or no. He waits Vincent's go ahead before nodding to Rutilus to fall in behind him and Arzazel. "C'mon, Arzazel, the quicker we get this over with the sooner we can hoist a victory pint."
Sampson nods to Vincent, and keeping his eyes on the tielfing as best he can trails the others at a distance of fifteen paces. While no ninja, he's not horribly obtrusive either. He flits from shadow to shadow, corner to corner. Many of the obstacles are a little too small to completely hide him and a canny observer would clearly pick him out.
Following the rear-most scout at 30' taking 10 on stealth for a 13.
Adurus waits behind for now; if he were to follow the pointmen within his 30' view distance he would likely give them away with his noisesome armor, and following further would mean he can't see any signaling and thus might wander too close. For now he sheepishly speaks to Bailiff Terandar, saying, "Ah, do you have any soldiers who are mortally wounded? I, ah, I can soothe their wounds."
Can use heal skill to provide first aid on any dying characters, taking 10 for a 15. If needed, I might also use magical healing. To be clear, I only intend to spend a minute or two tending to any injured before following the party.
Terandar shakes his head at Adurus' offer before resting his hand along the hilt of the most ornately designed bastard sword you've ever laid eyes upon. "We are grateful for such a selfless offer, young Ser, but I assure you that the Abadaran clergymen among our number are more than sufficient for repairing our number. Best that you reserve such strategies for the needs of your companions here. Even without the added complication of a city gone mad, Rud headquarters in a labyrinth rife with defenses and protectors. It is unlikely his guardians will distinguish friend from foe, regardless of their intent. Best of luck to you all. We will keep the deranged occupied out here to afford you some time to do what must be done."
Terandar offers a salute to everyone as they approach the massive pipe that is to be their means of gaining entry into Rud's foundries. He hesitates for a moment more, turning to call out above the din of conflicts raging on further up the street, "And I'm sure I need not remind you, but Rud's survival takes precedent over all else. His value to Molthune is immutable." His accompaniment of tower shield toting justiciars resume their vigil around the Bailiff as he continues on his way. True to his word, a score of guardsman soon come down the street in his wake, intent on making sure that none gain entry into the boiler room to follow or kindle the fires.
The structure containing the boiler looms three stories tall and square, devoid of the usual ostentatious designs that the rest of the city is famous for. It seems many of the subsequent additions to the district after Rud's arrival have maintained a very practical design philosophy, even if the subjects in question are strange, almost alien knots of pipes, tubes, and steamworks. An immense boiler dominates the center of the room, an eerie silence compared to the usual hums, hisses, and thumps that accompany its operation. The primary feed from the boiler extends out and immediately cuts a right angle into an adjoining wall, presumably continuing its course outside and directly into the vestibule of Rud's Wastewares.
Now, the question of the moment: How intend ye to get inside of the pipe?
Zeltresh remains quiet as the Bailiff finishes his instructions. The gnome begins to understand the appeal of being in the military as he is filled with a sense of pride by the man's compliments and confident manner. It is a new feeling for him, belonging, and he intends to explore it further.
As they enter the boiler room his strong curiosity about the black powder begins to rise again. An inside view at where the weapons are made. A rare gift indeed!
Approaching the boiler that curiosity shifts to the more practical question of their next steps.
"Rud needs to make sure this thing is in good working order right? Maybe even make repairs when it's lit....are there tunnels the workers use to get into the hard to reach places?
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11 looking for maintenance access panels or anything like that
Perception take 20+6=26
While the Bailiff is talking, Arzazel ignores him and looks for a hatch into the massive steam pipe. The sooner into the pipe, the sooner away from the regulars and toward entertainment.