Ileosa smiled down at Coloua as Triss brought her back around. "Take your time." Ileosa said gently.
Then she noticed the Captain looking their way. Ileosa offered her own respectful not to his, as a form of understanding.
After thanking Triss, Ella picks off one of the bugs that has adopted her as a new home and drops it back on Coloua's head. The large woman considers going down stairs, but stops. Looking at the elemental ice she asks the mages "Is it worth anything as ingredients?" as a not living thing she has little interest in it, so the question is just passing curiosity.
Coloua, feeling more refreshed, is also about to head downstairs to huddle up and start getting warm. "It seems to be just normal ice now that the life force is gone. I don't think it has any special use"
"I'm glad you're not badly hurt, Coloua. As for the ice, likely not." Godfrey watches the little witch as she makes her way below. "It's good she's well, that was a fierce blow she took." He watches the captain a moment, then finds his way below deck as well, seeking peace and quiet. Not that I'm likely to find it on this thrice-damned ship.
"Though if the creatures where summoned they might hold some thing to their original plane." Ileosa commented as she left the group, slowly following after Godfrey.
"I had hoped this would be a simple trip, maybe a thing here or there, but this..." She began as she haunted Godfrey's steps. "is starting to get ridiculous..."
Ella starts to follow the others down, but stops. Ileosa is right, this trip is bad, and getting worse. So instead of seeking the comfort of sleep and warmth, she'll keep an eye out on deck for a few hours at least. To make sure nasty ice rat doesn't come back. Ash rubs up against her legs, then settles in her lap to wait with her.
Bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Godfrey tries (and probably fails) to hide the resigned sigh as he is followed into the hold. "I suppose their remains might still have traces of their home plane' -whichever that is- energy about them. Planar creatures and their binding are something I've not had the opportunity to study in any great depth." He shrugs, nonchalantly, but his scowl belies his lack of concern at his own ignorance. "And yes, we seem to be encountering far too much for what was to have been a simple passage north. If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was intentional..."
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
"Ah, so you've assumed so as well." Ileosa said with a nod, before being silent for a moment and saying "You know you can tell me you want to be alone."
You have stuck your foot in your mouth, fool man. You're not amidst a bunch of foppish rubes anymore and you'd best remember that if you're going to try to deceive them. Godfrey's nonplussed cough into his hand and the flush of red that tinges his cheeks make his embarrassment at his faux pas clear. He bows his head to his companion in contrition, "My apologies, I let my frustration at the escape of our foe bleed over where it doesn't belong. I must beg your forgiveness."
"As to your observation, it's more of a nagging suspicion then any kind of assumption or certainty. We've had far too many encounters with foes for me to assume its dumb luck, but short of the captain's interference-" Godfrey's contrite smile droops into a hateful scowl at the man's mention, "-I see no way for us to have been intentionally led so far astray. The thought did cross my mind that this might be some test of the Cardinal's..."
"I did not thing of the Cardinal." Ileosa admitted with a small shrug of her shoulders. "Though I am a bit ashamed that I didn't. As for the captain interference... I don't think he is that good of an actor." She said with a shake of her head.
After a moment however Ileosa took Godfrey's hand in one of hers and placed her other hand on top of it. "Our kind may not work together particularly well, but those here do need to remember that our lives are intertwined now. Just as a knot. So, if you need a moment to yourself or maybe you wish company, speak." Ileosa told him. "I've been known to be a good listener." She smiled.
"And, of course, we cannot eliminate simple bad luck... or fate... from our list of possibilities. More's the pity."
Godfrey tenses slightly as Ileosa takes his hand, though he relaxes as she speaks. He's silent for a moment, then nods firmly once. "Our success demands we're at our best. I'll be sure to do my utmost to be ready. If the downfall of Mitra requires me to be clear with you and the others when I need a moment of quiet, then clearly that's what I will do. As for the other, it hasn't happened yet but if it does, you'll be the first to know."
"On that note, I'd like a moment to review my spells and mull over that last encounter on my own. I'm not happy with how ineffectual my magical options were against a flying foe and it needs rectifying."
|Jing the Evil GM|
And thus the night comes to an end. Even though Ella stays up and on watch for a while, she never sees the Fey make his appearance once more with more of his ice elemental friends. After a few boring and cold hours standing on deck, she too descends and the day is done for our party.
It's a few days of traveling before they see the final leg towards the bugbear camp, the ice choked entrance to the River Taiga. Kargeld proves himself a worthy captain nimbly sailing the heavily laden craft through fields of floating jagged ice. He barks orders in norspik and his sailors scramble to comply. Again and again he turns the boat at just the right moment to pass between the broken shards calved from ancient glaciers.
Finally, after nerve-wracking hours of this, the boat pushes through the dangerous headwaters of the Taiga into the clear water of this almost uncharted mighty river.Beyond the headwaters is a land of savage wonders. The Taiga winds through a great northern forest that to the best of anyone’s knowledge has no name.
After miles and miles of picturesque pine trees frosted with new fallen snow, the ship comes to a great mountain range. This river flows through a great rift in the mountains that looks as if some impossible huge primordial giant smashed a pass through the grey slate.
With all the movement it takes some time for those without a compass but the group finds themselves heading south now, though the biting cold shows no difference in changing despite hours of swift travel. Godfrey with the help of peering at some of the maps that Captain Kargeld reluctantly allows the group to see pinpoints themselves headed towards the great interior sea of Talingarde - Lake Tarik as it is known. To the south of that lake sits the Watch Wall. And on the northern banks in a wide wooded valley is the boat's first destination. The camp of the bugbear army.
As the boat starts to come closer, it's clear to see THOUSANDS of bugbears are already assembled. These savage humanoids are not pleased to see outsiders, especially humans. Worse, there are more than just bugbears here. The occasional polar bear lumbers around the camp untended. Fur-clad goblins scamper here and there, laughing with frenetic glee. Even a few hill giants gather at the camp’s fringes.
There is only one place to dock the boat, a crudely made pier that juts into the river. As you start to pull closer, four bugbears make a "welcoming party". The looks upon their face, it's easy enough for Ileosa to inform the group of their displeasure and probable ill intent. That intent becomes obvious quickly as the ship weighs anchor finally.
They begin conversing in Goblin and laughing loudly, saliva dripping from their mouths and the hair of their face.
"It's our lucky day boys, who ordered a fresh shipment of fresh meat? So nice of them to deliver themselves to us for us to eat."
"Ooo, yea I think I asked for them a few or so back. They sure took their time." the other replies back laughing. The entire group laughs loudly now.
The "Welcoming Party" grabs their clubs and uses their hands to give a come hither in welcome.
Deciding that any interaction with these creatures might go better if they feel they are dealing with definite non-Mitrans, Coloua forgoes any disguise and shows her true, unusual looking, self. She strides to the top of the gangplank and stares at the four bugbears while she waits for her companions to join her.
As she watches them, her familiar crawls out of her nose and hides in her hair, making sure to show itself but then disappearing from view.
AFTER the familiar is hidden again, using Beast of Ill Omen hex (next enemy to see it must make Will save vs DC15 or take -1 penalty to attack rolls and saves vs fear effects for 3 minutes.) As I assume we have a whole 2 rounds of actions before any possible combat occurs, also casting Mage Armor (+4 to AC for 3 hours)
Seeing the hordes of bugbears, Ella whistles lowly. "That is too many to kill... if it comes to that." she realizes why knots exist. She will be of little use here.
On the gangplank, she reaches down on puts Ash into her bag. Glaring at him to stay put and not end up as a snack. She then downs one of her potions Comprehend Languages. Her illusion remains as a large green skinned woman with tusks, bulging arms, and clawed gauntlets.
As the welcome party speaks, she barks back LOUDLY "I am not your meat. And I will GUT the first dozen of you that try."
Pointing at Ileosa, she barks again, Slowly so they understand "This woman is IMPORTANT. She brings you WEAPONS. Harm her and I won't be the only one to laughing at your screams."
diplomacy is not her thing. Spoken in common
intimidation: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31
|Jing the Evil GM|
The gangplank drops and the bugbears start to move, then steps forwards a large Half Orc woman. The bugbears stop and stare at her, dressed for combat and covered in metal. It wasn't until she began speaking that the chill ran through their spines.
Her threats dripped with literal blood and the smell of old blood poured off this woman. But Bugbears are proud people and they stared at each other. One showing visible signs of fear, the others showing it in their demeanor but it takes all to back away. Hidden away in last bugbears eyes, he too saw fear. In a seemingly telepathic manner, they all chose a different direction and decided they were never there.
The loud voice however began to draw more attention and quickly bugbears and even some goblins start to move in curious and insatiable for exercise and violence. They start to crowd around the end of the pier and by the time a few start to trickle onto the pier itself intent on doing what the others had chosen to be too smart to do...A large, hulking black furred bugbear can be seen parting the crowd.
If looks alone did not move the bugbears around him, the slap against an open furred area with his flaming axe sent them and everyone around in a close area quickly away. The crowds broke at the pier and the six bugbears who made it out onto the shoddy pier turned their attention backwards to see the commotion and immediately gave room and bowed their heads in respect.
He came to where the gangplank touched the pier and stared up into Ella's eyes and then slowly scanned seeing the others. He lifted the great fiery axe and pointed it at them "WHO SENT YOU?" he bellows out his demand. The bugbears near him, flinch.
"You must be Sakkarot." Ileosa said as she stepped forth, a smile upon her face. "I am Ileosa, and we came from the Cardinal. We come with gifts." She said as she motioned for people to get the cargo that had been smuggled this far up on deck. "We want the same thing you do dear Sakkarot, and we've come to ensure you have an even greater advantage. After all you alone are a great advantage to your kind." She declared.
Ileosa took another step and told Sakkarot "We can do even more, if you're willing to entertain us long enough to plan?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Godfrey smiles grimly at the retreating backs of the no-longer-threatening bugbears with his sword's pommel clenched in a white-knuckled fist. Good that our first impression is not indiscriminate slaughter. Or our own bloody murder, given the relative numbers. He watches the approach of what can only be the bugbear chief with a shiver of trepidation. Yes, I can see how these savage creatures could cause mass havoc once they slip past the Watchwall. The slaughter and chaos will be immense.
He steps up with Ileosa, keeping a pace back and to the side as if he were a bodyguard. When she makes her introduction, he bows respectfully to the chief adding, "With the incredible might of your horde supplemented by our tribute, all shall tremble before the Warlord Sakkarot."
Diplomacy(aid another): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
|Jing the Evil GM|
Sakkarot lets their words linger in the air for a few moments, then he smiles a nasty toothy grin "You use to many words...But you are welcome here" he said before turning around.
He stared at the horde behind him "THESE FURLESS ONES ARE MY GUESTS. I WILL DEAL WITH ANYONE WHO HARMS THEM. THEY ARE OUR ALLIES!" he bellows to his men. The bugbears look a bit stunned and look back and forth between them confused and stunned.
Sakkarot stomps up the gangplank to one of the waiting boxes of weapons and armor. He rips open the crate easily with one arm and reaches into pull out one of the finely made axes with in. He looks it over with intelligent eyes before stepping to the railing and sending it spinning to bury into the pier in front of the feet of the nearest bugbear. "BEHOLD, THEY BRING US STEEL!" The bugbears stare down at the axe and then back up at their Warlord. Suddenly, there is a terrifying chorus of growls and cheers from the monstrous assembly. The sound is near deafening, one would have to shout for even the slightest chance of being hear.
Sakkarot motions to the party and they follow him down to the pier where bugbears are lining up to begin unloading the boat. Bugbears, already scared from victories and armored in patchwork style bark orders and distribute what is in the crates to the clans around them. Sakkarot moves them from the front of the horde and pauses staring back towards the boat. The party of villains are given a moment to watch as a horde of what was once thousands of bugbear savages are turned into bugbear soldiers each adorned with new weapons and shields adorned with the emblem of the fire axe. The site is truly terrifying...it's a good thing they are on the villains side.
Sakkarot takes them slowly through the camps, clans of bugbears with family emblems barely visible under Sakkarot's emblem. It was when passing by one of the goblin camps that a rather odd sight is found. A dark green kobold sits alone in a cage built to contain the polar bears. The creature covered in scars over his form. He sits there seething, not fearful and stares up at Sakkarot and the villains with his one remaining eye, the other socket starting to scar over.
Sakkarot continues on, ignoring everything around him but the humanoids he drags along behind him. He mentions there will be a feast in the honor of the war supplies and their allies.
As they move along, Coloua strides forward and walks near the bugbear. Pausing as they pass the polar bear cages she clears her throat to get his attention. "Excuse me. The strength of your army is impressive, and now that they are armed they will be a true force of devastation. I do have to ask about one thing however. I'm curious about that little dragon man over there, the one in the cage missing an eye." She gestures in the general direction of the cage. "It seems to me that if he was an ally he'd be free, and if he was an enemy he'd be dead. What kind of circumstance would put him in a situation like the one he is in?"
As they weave through the base, Ella nods at Godfrey taking up the protection of Ileosa, so she stays rear guard in case some grunt gets a stray stupid thought about their littlest member.
When they stop, she comes up to the others and says, honestly to Fire-Axe "This is... truly impressive.". The hordes, the barely contained violence in each and every one one them magnified a thousand fold by sheer numbers. It is Intoxicating . While Ella strives to understand the world, to use her intelligence, it is her anger that has saved her more than anything. In this world, she could fit, could thrive...
But no. She already has a place.
"You will bring hell upon these lands." said as compliment, a giving of respect.
She is also impressed at Coloua's attention to detail, stepping aside she listens and waits to see what the bugbear has to say.
Godfrey snorts in amusement at the bugbear's criticism, feeling a little of the tension he's been holding in bleeding away. A few words too many for this audience, I suppose.
The monstrous display as the horde of bugbears arms itself erases any sense of well-being that Godfrey had, however. The fearsome sight of a fully armed horde of bugbear soldiers is like a gut check to the smug arcanist. The devastation will be nigh incalculable. To disrupt the Mitrans, this will go far. He joins the rest of his party on its tour, maintaining his defensive posture and keeping his hand on his scabbard, his cloak held back to make drawing it easy.
At Coloua's questioning of the chief, he stops to study the kobold. He waits, curious, to see what the chief's answer is.
As they move through the camp, Godfrey makes note of the various clan symbols adorning shields and equipment. He also notes the dominance of the fire axe and it's clear symbology. As they near the end of the tour, he asks, "Your mighty horde has many clans. You united them all? Are all of your people's fighters here?"
knowledge local about bugbears: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
"They do say actions speak louder than words. But we all enjoy what we're good at." Ileosa said as she followed the bugbear, keeping in step. For the moment she allowed others to ask questions that she might have, since their new ally didn't care too much for words.
Though she did make on comment "I am glad to see those arms and armors put to proper use."
|Jing the Evil GM|
Sakkarot is pulled out of auto-pilot like daze of walking through his encampment at the sudden speaking. He pauses and listens before walking back to where the others saw the 'dragon man'.
He stared down at the cage holding the kobold and tilted his head. He knew what it was, just not what it was doing in his encampment. He looked around and snatched up a nearby goblin and began demanding why he wasn't informed of a prisoner. There is some whimpering and such before two more goblins show up to see the hopeful destruction of the first.
Before long, there is threats upon them and one of the Goblin's who speak common recounts the situation. "The kobold, it did not respect it's place beneath us goblins. We went to attack it and kill it for it's foolishness. His wolf appeared from the forest and they began killing goblins! They killed many then the bugbears stepped in! Still, the wolf managed to two more before it was slain. They managed to wrestle the kobold to the ground and were going to enslave him...until he bit one of them! Acid dripped from his mouth like he was a dragon, then the bugbears killed him. But, we founds him in the meat pile and he began to stir! So we beats him unconscious and make him pet. We ate wolf too, very good. Made him eats wolf and took his eye to sooth our tribe's fury. It was fun!!!" they say together, each saying a bit of it before another goblin takes over the story and so on till it was the end.
The bugbear looks at them with much scrutiny and annoyed disbelief. He looked to the villains and shook his head "Again too long, it's a tall tale. I'll save him the mercy of being destroyed by the troops and have him sacrificed at dinner for our entertainment." he said grinning twistedly.
"This story interests me. Would you allow me to speak with it before it is sacrificed? I could do so at dinner if you do not want to delay now." She grins back at Sakkarot just as twistedly. "And depending on what it has to say, at least I might be able to taste Kobold. It is a meat I haven't had the pleasure of trying yet."
Godfrey listens to the goblin's tale with evident interest, eyeing the kobold from time to time. A loyal wolf and the power to oppose many when outnumbered. Defiance too, even in the face of death. Brave. With a bow to Sakkarot, he says, "I too am interested, but unlike my companion I've never had the gift of patience. If you would be so kind, gracious Warlord, I would speak to the prisoner in its tongue."
"Vos iz deyn geshikhte, umdershrokn eyner? Vi hot ir gekumen tsu kaptsherd durkh di gablinz?" The harsh Draconic tongue sounds odd, coming from the mouth the nobleman, but it's clear that he is well versed in its speech.
Using Yiddish for Draconic via translate.
Seeing Godfrey starting up a conversation, Coloua walks over and quietly asks ""Would you be kind enough to translate his tale? If it would take too much time you can just give me the gist of it. I am especially interested to see if there was any truth in the goblins' story of acidic saliva." She looks back around at the bugbears "and if you wish to keep this conversation from everyone, I believe you and I both speak abyssal and infernal so we could still keep his story among the three of us"
|Jing the Evil GM|
Sakkarot raised a brow and looked at them "Do as you wish, you are my guest." he says as he with a thick muscled finger snaps the neck of the whimpering Goblin.
The other nearby Goblins squeal in glee at the sudden violence and then seem rather disappointed no blood or further anything happened. The dead goblin was tossed aside and the others seem to get disinterested in the Longshanks. They proceeded to move over to kicked and laughing and stabbing their dead friend.
Sakkarot stands by but for how long his patience will last. Godfrey begins speaking in Draconic which causes the one good eye of the kobold to swivel over to the villains. He licked at some of the wounds around his maw before speaking.
"I hunt the forests nearby. Wolf and I stay deep to stay away from bugbears. Too many to fight, not interested in dying worthless death. Goblins laid trap near where I killed boar, was ambushed and deceived with promise of position in war tribe. Chose to take chance to prove strength instead of hide. Goblins made bigger ambush, tried to kill. Wolf and I kill many, more than hands can show. Lost daggers in them. Bugbears came to find fun among screams. Wolf kill two bugbears before death, I use ignorance of this kobold's true strength to kill another to die warrior death. Death did not come, woke up in pile of dead and then Goblins overwhelm in weak state."
Godfrey translates quietly for Coloua in the Infernal tongue. When the kobold's tale is done, he asks in Draconic,
|Jing the Evil GM|
Sakkarot stands there looking nonplussed for the moment.
The kobold opens his maw and there are obvious signs of acid burn scars long calloused and adapted to repeated acid burns. "I grow strong, very strong for Kobold, strong for Goblin. But is strongest with Wolf, need find another Wolf for true strength. I hunt, survive, kill. Many things I could do. Feed, Assassinate, track. I know some magic, make Wolf stronger so I and Wolf can kill many foes. Can twist Wolf and I's body, make stronger."
The kobold stares at the others, though his words tell of the weakness of his current state, he still does not fear death. Even if it's a given to happen soon.
Godfrey studies the kobold's open maw with interest, mind running over what he can recall of such abnormalities in his past studies. To Coloua, he says,
Almost ready to turn away and leave, he stops cold, having just finished translating the creature's words for Coloua. Twisting "Wolf" and twisting "I"? He turns on his heel, studying the kobold intensely. Huffing a small breath of irritation, he turns to the bugbear chief and bows, "Great chief, I would not waste more of your time, but the creature's jabbering amuses me. Might I ask you to release him to my custody? Your goblins' tale undersell the strength of this warrior, if he is to be believed. If he can prove his strength, he might be valuable to us."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
|Jing the Evil GM|
Sakkarot looks at Godfrey and watches him bare his neck before speaking. The words amuse him given the 'warrior' this human speaks of. "Bold of you, but never bare your neck before an Ally of an Ally. The dirt may be the last thing you see." he said in all seriousness.
He looked back to the kobold "What do you offer for this prisoner, this sacrifice?" he asked. "The weapons are given from Thorn, what tribute do you offer?" he said starring, smirking.
Godfrey stands stiffly, eyeing the warlord warily given his serious warning. You wouldn't kill me, given that you need my services still. But I can't forget that we are not among the honorable fools of Talingarde anymore. He follows the bugbear's gaze, mulling over what he had on his person as he studies the unusual kobold. After a moment's hesitation, he runs his hand along the vials and weapons strapped to his bandolier until his hand stops to pull a iron vial from its harness. "For the great Warlord Sakkarot, I offer to you a gift of vitality that your reign may be long and all may come to tremble at your name. Drink this in a moment of ill health, when you have been wounded by treachery, or by the blade of a worthy foe. Drink it and be healed."
He offers to vial to the warlord, then waits to see how he responds.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
|Jing the Evil GM|
Sakkarot stares for a moment listening to the human standing before him. He turns his head barks some orders at the Goblins having fun with their dead ally. Both of them squeal in terror and run off in different directions and soon enough, one of them comes back with a Goblin with a look in his eyes that claims that he is mad even by Goblin standards.
Sakkarot says something to him in Goblin, and the Goblin reaches up his feeble hands for the vial. He looks at it, licking the glass and rolling his head around as he keeps his one enlarged eye on the contents. He nods excitedly and responds back in Goblin. Sakkarot looks pleased and takes the vial back before waving the Goblin away.
"A surprising gift, useful, something few in the horde could provide. A high price to offer for a one eyed kobold. I will accept." he says pointing to the goblins and quickly they unlock the cage.
Sakkarot stands before the cage "This man saved your life, don't make me extinguish it." he says with pure, dripping, violent intent.
The kobold walks out silently in hand and leg manacles. He looks around before quietly walking up and behind Godfrey.
"I'm glad my tribute is to your liking." He watches the kobold a moment before he begins to speak quietly to it in the harsh language of dragons. Even for that language, his words are sharp and full of implied menace.
He waits for the answer, then also asks in the Common tongue. "And do you speak common?"
He turns back to the others, "I apologize for the delay, but this creature may prove useful to us in our work. Shall we continue?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24 Even needed?
untrained Knowledge(Local): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
|Jing the Evil GM|
|Jing the Evil GM|
With the others lack of interest in the Kobold at the moment and the silence lingering in the air after the Kobold's words Sakkarot speaks "It is time for the feast, come you will sit at my table." he says, not a command but not a request. He moves forwards and it is clear, it would be best not to test a bunch of blood thirsty bugbears and goblins on their loyalty to his commands.
Sakkarot holds a feast in honor of the weapons shipment and their allies. The feast is a brutal, savage affair with bugbears fighting each other and all manner of monsters in attendance. The highlight of the party is when a great shaggy dire boar recently captured from the
northern woods is brought in shackles.
One ton of angry pig is led in by a dozen bugbears who drag the beast before Sakkarot. Sakkarot beheads the already wounded animal in one mighty stroke with his fire axe. Were it not for the enchantments upon the blade, surely the entire table in which Sakkarot and the Villains sit would have been sprayed with blood. The head is left to sit where it fell, it's dead eyes staring up at the group.
The food is almost flavorless aside from the taste of smoke and fire and the drink reeks of something akin to poison. Despite any academical reassurances from Triss that it won't kill you, there is something in the way she says it that you would likely still get fairly ill and she herself does not partake. Sakkarot pays no mind to if you eat or drink at his feast and after about an hour, he motions to everyone to follow him.
Once they are led to his hut, obviously built larger and with better resources and care, he lets out a deep growl dismissing all of his guards and servants. Furred blankets are laid out in front of a throne of bones and furs. He moves to his throne and sits, welcoming you all to sit as well. Once he feels everyone is comfortable (the Kobold sitting quietly behind Godfrey), it seems he has finally come to a moment he has been waiting for privacy for.
"You are traitors to your own kind. You must know that. When Balentyne falls and my horde pours through its shattered gates, we will slaughter the Talireans by the thousands. Yet I see no regret in your eyes. Tell me, how can this be?” he asks, his curiosity genuine. He words and demeanor show no sign of looking down at the group or of superiority in this moment.
Coloua thoroughly enjoys the feast, gorging herself on the food and only pausing for a second to arch an eyebrow at Triss before drinking. Every fight is watched; she picks a winner and bets small bone trinkets with anyone willing to wager with her. Something in the revelry seems to sit well with her as her eyes almost glow with pleasure as she lets loose in ways the knot has not previously seen.
Mysterious Fort roll GM made me do: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Other mysterious roll probably because I didn't really listen to Triss: 2d4 ⇒ (4, 1) = 5
When they retire to Sakkarot's hut, she settles comfortably on the furred blankets with a grin. "I cannot speak for all of my companions here, but you can see that I am different from the fools that choke the life out of this land. I'm not truly betraying 'my kind.' I do have reasons for my actions however. They have stolen everything from me; my clan is gone, my friends and followers are dead, and for a short time they took my freedom." She shoots a glance at the kobold to see if any of this resonates with him. "Now I work with my friends here under direction from Thorne. The overall plot may be his, but I use it to get my revenge on those that have wronged me, and to free other oppressed and abused souls from the suffocation that they like to mask under the guise of government." She lifts her drink and takes a deep gulp, looking around at the others.
I'm assuming we were allowed to bring drinks from the feast. If not, then ignore that last part.
A wall of steel and muscle is the image Ella portrays at the feasts, standing with arms crossed, clawed gauntlets sprayed out and tapping so no one gets the idea she is unarmed. The wall is meant to make sure no one drunk enough to get ideas wanders too close to her knot.
The dire boar gets her attention, making her move forward, leaning against the table between Godfrey and Ileose. "It is... stunning, isn't it. How a normal creature of nature can get that big." its decapitation ends her fascination "Disappointing" is all she adds before returning to her post.
She does try and keep track of Coloua, but that is harder than understanding Godfrey's sudden interest in kobolds. Ileose had the squire and now Godfrey adopts a kobold. Nobles are just odd.
At the tent, she knows this is a moment meant for the others with ease of words, and is not wrong once Coloua answers. She does add "They are not mine, either." whether she is talking about her being a changling, not being a member of their religion, or just not claiming the country as a whole, she leaves that unsaid.
Godfrey's time at the feast is a trial for the magus. Surrounded by the outrageous din of fighting bugbears and cackling goblins, there is none of the exquisite dishes and refined conversation that the former noble associates with the word, "feast". The boar, massive and struggling mightily, earns an inquisitive glance. To Ella, he replies with an uncertain voice that betrays how out of place the noble is, "Yes, it is impressive specimen"
Godfey flinches, already preparing the spells necessary to clean himself of the shower of boar blood that must surely be in the air, but instead he's only greeted by the sudden stench of scorched, charred meat. The dead eyes of the creature, glassy in death, kill what little remains of Godfrey's appetite and he declines both food and drink for the remainder of the feast.
After they retire to the warlord's tent, Godfrey positions himself so he can keep an eye on his newfound 'ward' while he listens to the bugbear chief. He smiles grimly at the question posed, taking a moment to consider as the others answer. What is his motive? Does he test us? Is the truth best, in either case? Uncertain, but cautiously leaning towards curiosity as the explanation for the warlord's question, Godfrey decides on truth as the most expedient. He begins to answer in a calm quiet voice. But as he answer, he begins to grow more animated and forceful. By the end of his faux-sermon, he is practically raving. "While I might still think of myself as a Talingardian, the nation that is Talingarde now is not one I recognize as being worthy of that name. The weak-willed and soft-hearted dictate to all that mediocrity and obsequious fawning are the only true callings. The natural desire to expand the realms of knowledge are arbitrarily curtailed out of misguided moral dickering. It is a nation rotten under the weight of its feigned superiority and the only way to cleanse the taint in its heartblood is to lance it. Either they will survive, or they will not. But if they do, they will be worthy"
Cleaning his throat, he composes hiself before finishing. "I regret the deaths that will be necessary, but without them the healing cannot begin, ever."
Ileosa could not help the fact this... dinning show, did nothing for any appetit. The glassy eyes of the boar made it all the worse, it wasn't remorse or anything such as that it was simply the fact it was in poor taste. At least to her and Ileosa was intelligent enough to recognize that. "Yes Ella, it was." Ileosa commented after Ella stated her disappointment.
She did bit eat or drink, thinking her reaction to the food would be more disrespectful than simply not eating. When Sakkarot had them follow him once more to his tent, Ileosa had to say she was glad to get away from a bugbear's idea of a feast.
Surprise covered Ileosa's far when Sakkarot asked why they didn't care about what would happen, why there was no guilt. While her allies spoke she simply waited. Allowing then to speak their pieces in full before beginning on her own. "Lives are lost every day. They do not weep for those lives I would even remotely begin to care about. Why would I week for them? A smile will grace my lips as you bring them pain and destruction, let them know what they bring upon others. Tis only fair."
|Jing the Evil GM|
Sakkarot sits there listening intently, his elbows on the arms of his throne and his body leaning forwards so that his head rests on one closed fist.
He nods at Coloua's words, raises a brow at Ella's lack of words, and then grins at both Godfrey's and Ileosa's speeches. He offers a small applause at the conclusion of their answers.
"All have lost under this Mitrian rule. It is a plague. And we are the cure." he said as he sat up some. One clawed hand reached for his breastplate and pulled it up on one side to reveal a large symbol of Asmodeus scarified upon his chest.
He looked at them all and then looked out the 'door' of his hut. "I am the only member of this Knot, the rest are just fodder for the cause. Bugbears...we are a solitary race, bringing this many together shows Asmodeus' will and my own strength." he said looking morose.
He growled in annoyance "There will be many of my kind who die soon, they may never recover to this number when this is done. But, I do not care...they are weak, why should I worry for the weak. The future bugbears will be stronger for the cleanse."
He looked back at Godfrey "I will try to leave some humans alive for your kind to repopulate with a better understanding of this world and their true god." he offered before laughing in confidence.
Ileosa smiled slightly when Sakkarot revealed that he was one of their own and even a Knot member. "I take it you prefer to work alone, as you said Bugbears are more solitary... I'm actually surprised so many have remained in the same area without mass loss of life this end... though I do think the promise of greater numbers to kill would help." She stated.
"If you do leave people alive, trying to ensure they're more child than adult. Children are easier to mold into the proper generation. [b]"Though I'm sure either way this will end well for us." Ileosa said proudly.
|Jing the Evil GM|
There is a low guttural chittering noise, like a cat spying something it's about to hunt and the joy it brings.
"Children are the best to keep alive...for a time, the fear they feel, the smell it brings, it is finer than any alcohol or procreation attempt. Do not worry, we will keep them alive for a VERY long time. Do not worry, they will live and those of us that survive will watch them, VERY carefully to ensure they grow up with that fear." he says salivating at the thought.
Coloua giggles as Sakkarot mentions fear and smell. Keeping quiet for now, she just sits on her furred blanket and smiles.
Godfrey arches an eyebrow in surprise at the scarred symbol carved deeply into the chest of the warlord. No simple brute then. With fresh eyes, he appraises the warlord as he finishes his speech. "Those who live will be those who've earned the right by strength of arms or cunning of mind. There should be no need for you to spare any. The worthy will manage on their own."
Despite his bold words, Godfrey looks slightly queasy at the pleasure the bugbear takes in imagining he scent of Talingardian fear. It is one thing to recognize that steps must be taken to rectify a sickness of spirit. It is another entirely to revel in the unpleasantries that the cure entails.
As the group settles in to a relaxed state, Coloua stands and addresses Sakkarot in a more serious manner.
"Chief, thank you for such a welcome. That drink of yours was especially interesting. I honestly would like to be able to take some with me for special occasions if that would be possible. But now it is time for business. You have your shipment of arms, but we need to address our other reason for coming."
She gestures towards the rest of the group and continues.
"We have been sent to infiltrate Balentyne tower. We will eliminate as many of the threats there as possible and attempt to open the gates for your horde. We need to discuss how to synchronize our attack with yours. Anything that you know about what we will face while there would also be useful."
|Jing the Evil GM|
Sakkarot offers no words of comfort to Godfrey's words. What he had said was the way of the beasts that would soon fall upon Talingarde and he would not sweeten any words with honeyed lies.
Coloua's request is an odd one, at least to Sakkarot. He smiles in a knowing way as he knew that she did not know what was in store for her with this drink she had drained and then even sipped on another. His smile turns a bit wicked "I'll do better, I'll give you a barrel and the special ingredient needed for the drink. As well as the basic recipe...most change it from such to their own personal tastes..." he offered.
When it came to them bringing up Balentyne, he looked pissed at what she asked. He snarled and looked beyond them at the door of his hut "I can offer you nothing, scouts had been sent but even with my most careful scouts it only takes one equally skilled tracker to bring then right back to us. It would be an unwise risk. I was told you are a resourceful lot. You will manage without my failures to provide extra information." he said, his clenched clawed hand threatening to break the arm of his throne out of anger or perhaps shame from a potential perception of cowardliness.
He raised a finger in a request for a moment. His hand slackened over time from what seemed like ages. The bugbear's gaze finally moved back to them, his eyes still hardened with hatred.
"Tomorrow you must depart this camp. It will never be truly safe for you here. Over the next week, more tribes will rally to my banner. I will promise them blood and give them steel. Then at last I will be ready to march. A week after that – I will be poised to strike. I will move my horde to the valley just north of Balentyne. There we will wait for your signal. Fire this rocket into the air. Within the hour, we will attack. Make sure that the way is ready."
"After we gather, my horde will be idle and start to grow anxious. I can hold them together for another two weeks. After that, I expect desertions and squabbling. Get your work done before then. You have one month to infiltrate and destroy Balentyne."
Sakkarot stands up slowly, he walks over to a chest with purpose and opens it. He reaches in and pulls out something wrapped in linen cloth. He walks over and stares at the Villains before handing it to Ileosa.
"There is one useful thing about Goblins, they know how to make a signal despite their attempts to make such causing explosions and loses. Hidden in that cloth, a goblin firework of surprising power. Set it off when you have opened the way." he said reemphasizing the plan.
He takes back his seat and slowly looks from one person to the next
"Can you do this? In one month can you break the Watch Wall?" he asks in the most serious tone and gaze the Villains have seen from the creature.
"Asmodeus desires it. So it will be done." Ella answer promptly and without hesitation. They will either do it or die, along with suffering damnation for their failures. Simple really.