After a moment's pause, Nime hands the cup to Calendula. "So," she says, seemingly contemplating her question. "Would you ever ...? Um ..." she trails off. "Do you think ...?" Again, she trails off.
She looks up at the scarred woman, her face full of turmoil. "I have so many questions that ... But I don't want ..." She sighs.
"Someone else ask Calendula a question. I feel all fuzzy and I don't think I want to play any more," she finally says, wiping at her nose.
She gets up from the table, but not before leaning in to the paladin. "I'm sorry if I've done anything to make you uncomfortable," she says in a slurred voice. "I would never want to make you feel bad. I love you too much to do that to you." She kisses the woman's forehead and then stumbles off to watch the crowd a little more, swaying to some music heard off in the distance.
"No, no, you c'n ask-" the scarred woman begins, before Nime leaves. She frowns sourly and folds her arms, ready for questioning.
Since she was the last person to win a round Shenuska takes up the question again. "If you were a ruler, would you want to be loved, feared or respected?" She asks, "And no, you can't have more than one - for the purposes of the question at least."
Calendula narrows her eyes and drinks from the cup. "This a weird question, Shenuska. But I'd rather be loved, I s'ppose."
Fort, Drink Deep, Mingled: 1d20 + 13 + 2 - 5 ⇒ (3) + 13 + 2 - 5 = 13
Oh yeah - I pass my last check because of the +4 bonus from mingling :)
"I believe you, simply because you don't care otherwise." Shenuska replies, a slight smile on her lips. "Stab the table and don't spill, then you get to pick someone else to answer your question."
Calendula smirks. "I was lyin. Figgered somebody better start spicing this game up." She lifts the cup and stabs it down, but spills some. "Damn. Me again then?"
Dex: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9
The paladin drinks deep once more, handling her liquour just fine.
Fort: 1d20 + 13 + 2 - 5 ⇒ (19) + 13 + 2 - 5 = 29
"Which Runelord was the worst, and why?" Shenuska asks, pouting slightly at the fact that Calendula played her.
|2 people marked this as a favorite.|
"'M not as savvy with Thass'lonian histry as you or Theo, or no doubt Sorshen here. I don't know any of their deeds, nor the great evils they worked, but rather than name names, I c'n tell you which sin stands out as the worst in my mind, if that suits you."
She sits back and thinks a moment, staring at each of her fellows around the table in turn. "Lust's done the most evil, and Pride has the best potential for good," she decides. "As for why, lust encompasses more than just physical desire. Physical desire is to be celebrated, I s'ppose, though you folk are a bit more public about it than I'm used to, but lust's underbelly is by far the most insidious. It destroys things- people, countries, relationships, and it's always personal. Lust is similar to greed in its worst sense, but greed just wants, and it takes everythin it c'n lay its grubby hands on, whereas lust is compulsive; your eye catches somethin and it becomes your whole goal, and you'll do anything fer it to be accomplished, no matter the consequences."
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (8) + 17 = 25 Since that beats 23 (your max) I'll assume she gets a correct read - although this is entirely for her own ego!.
Wary of how Calendula played her last time Shenuska watches the woman carefully, examining her for clues and tells. She takes a long time to decide for nodding carefully, rejoicing internally at the Paladin's answer which is exactly what she hoped for. Given that, her benevolence extends to Calendula getting off the hook - if she can.
Stab the table. And thank you for the answer :D
She smirks when you choose to not call her out on the lie, but goes along with it and doesn't come forward.
Dex: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (19) - 1 = 18
Her gnarled and knotted hands eagerly thump the cup into the table without spilling a drop. She refills it and looks at Rudrik, curiously.
"Let's get more awkward and intimate, I think," she cackles, enjoying stirring the pot. "Tell me somethin you dislike about each of us at this table: me, th twins- is Theo playing? Him too if'n he is."
|4 people marked this as a favorite.|
Rudrik mulls over the question for a moment, then finally says, "Well, I don't like how you push people away. I get it, you have this horrible wasting sickness, you don't want folks to suffer so you want to push them away to keep them safe, and that seems to me like the martyr in you, doing your paladin-ly thing of saying 'oh I have to take the weight of the world on my shoulders so nobody else can suffer, I'll sit in my cot alone and cough up black bile but at least I won't make it hurt anyone else!'"
"It's kinda blatantly nonsense, we all have to figure out how to come to grips with death in our own way and our own time, and the specter of mortality is, like, a shadow over the lives of most of us. So isolating ourselves isn't going to make it better. It just makes us lonely until we die."
"Since you proposed a loaded question that basically is like, five questions or something all in one, I guess I'm on the hook to get everyone to hate me now, so fine," continues the half-orc. "And gimme that cup."
He turns to Nime and says, "I hate that you can't seem to understand that you come into people's lives and you change them and then you hurt them and leave and you don't seem to get the effect you have. It's frustrating and it makes me angry to watch you keep doing it to people, you meet new people and you win them over with 'love and friendship and free-range boobs' and then you just move on because you don't get that other people are looking for different things out of their relationships, that for some of us that just makes us sadder and more lonely when someone bright comes into our lives and then just moves on without a care because everyone is special to you but it makes us all feel like none of us are special."
"An' Theo, this is the dumbest thing, I don't dislike anything about him at all! I kinda wish we were brothers. Not because I wish I grew up with money or anything. But because he can take serious things seriously and at the same time he knows when to not be serious. He has his thing together. I guess they call it a 'good work-life balance.' An' he's smart, an' witty, an' has all kinds of clever magical skills. And even with all that he doesn't make me feel like I'm just a dumb thug when I'm around him. I like having him around, I like being friends with him, an' so it makes me feel bad that I'm not more like him, and then I feel bad for feeling bad."
"You," he says to Shenuska, seemingly able to tell which one is the clone without much effort, "scare me. Now this isn't an insult. You have an extraordinary power to crawl into poeple's minds, an' through a weird roll of chance you got a brand-new body, too, an' that's all great, but I can't help but wonder if more baggage comes with the body? Like, what would happen if one day you just decided... maybe you want to read my mind? Well there's nothing really going on up in this skull, so bad example, but you could just... know what people want, what they need, what they are hiding; an' you could make 'em do whatever you like. An' I get the impression it wouldn't be very hard. And I don't think you're the kind of person to do that except, since your body changed, I don't know what kind of person you are? I don't know if I should be scared? I don't know what I could do if I did have to actually worry about it? An' I hate myself for feeling that way about a friend. Which sucks. But nobody can do anything about it."
"As for you," he says, rounding on the Runelord(!), "I think we all have strong feelings about what the Runelords got up to the last time around, and we aren't exactly happy with the notion of a whole new Thassilonian war popping up and engulfing a continent full of people just trying to get on with their lives. Like, we are all supposed to feel like insignificant ants next to you, but here the ants are, talking about their lives and their worries and their fears, 'cuz these things matter, our world matters, people matter, and that's the whole problem with lust: It's about satisfying yourself instead of satisfying everyone you can. It's selfish and controlling and it's about using poeple's weaknesses against themselves, and that, frankly, sucks."
He drains the entire cup in one giant gulp...
Strength: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
... bounces it off the table and accidentally stabs himself in the hand. His brownish-red blood stains the pointy end as he flips the cup upside-down in his other hand and unceremoniously deposits it on the table face-down and says, "An' now I'll excuse myself, because this isn't the first party where I've been bounced after saying something that got me uninvited."
He turns and ambles out the door.
Nime continues facing away from Rudrik as he begins his answer. She doesn't turn around even when his critique turns to her. As he leaves, it doesn't take but a moment before the woman hastens to catch up with him.
"Rudrik, wait," she says, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Please?"
When he pauses (hopefully), her voice grows quiet. "What you said back there, was that ... true?" She hesitates before continuing. "Have I ... have I hurt you?" she asks. Her hand shakes where it touches him, whether from the drink she's already consumed or in anticipation of his answer is hard to tell.
Rudrik pauses, massaging his bleeding hand and says, "Of course you did. What did you think? But that's all right."
"People place value on their friendships and their relationships in different ways. Very few people are like you, Blue, just loving everyone all the time at the drop of a hat. We can't all do that. Not because there's anything wrong with it, but because no matter what we think we can't always control what we feel."
"You're like a shooting star that nobody can catch. Those of us living down here on the ground eventually figure out how to find a light that'll keep us warm. It's just a sad moment when you realize the star is always gonna fly, and you never will."
Tears begin brimming in Nime's eyes.
"I-I'm sorry. I didn't ..." she stammers out. One hand reaches up to wipe her eyes. "It's not all right. I didn't realize. The last thing I wanted was to hurt anyone."
She steps close as if to give the man a hug, but then looks down at herself. "Oh boogers," she declares in frustration. With a shake of her head, misty wings appear and she takes to the night sky, vanishing into the darkness.
Nime flies up to the top of the tallest tower she can see and takes a seat near some house drakes to reflect on life. She stays there thinking and listening for Shelyn's voice on the wind until dawn.
Rudrik watches Nime wing her way up into the night and just mutters to himself, "Fly away, shooting star," before he goes to find some place seedy to drink.
Calendula frowns at Rudrik's leaving. "I didn't expect him to work himself inta such a fervor," she murmurs, glancing round at the other players.
She hands the bloody cup to Sorshen, filling it entirely.
"What is your secret shame?"
Fortitude: 1d20 + 6 - 5 ⇒ (5) + 6 - 5 = 6
Sorshen drinks deeply from the lying cup, looking a little woozy aterwards. "My secret shame is that I counted Runelord Karzoug amongst my many lovers. Though outwardly we were rivals, I invited him into my bedchambers many a night without any of our subjects being the wiser. He was a repulsive man and I am not proud of our dalliances."
Calendula squints, leaning forward. "I imagine I'd have a hard time discernin truth out your lips on the best of days. But I believe you, if only because the pictures I seen of Kar-whoever are butt ugly."
Fort, Mingled: 1d20 + 6 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 6 + 4 = 29
"Yes." Replies Shenuska with a slight smile. The bluff is sadly transparent however.
Bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Table, Mingled: 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 + 4 = 18
Second Question Fort, Mingled: 1d20 + 6 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 6 + 4 = 23
Should cover all possibilities?
"I utterly despire the nearest thing I have to a parent." Shenuksa replies. While she doesn't consider it a sin particularly she's well aware that matricide is generally considered a high crime. And she's definitely considered matricide in numerous ways - the fact that she wouldn't go through with it is neither here nor there.
Ref, Mingled: 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 + 4 = 10
The cup skips off a hard knot in the table and spills the remaining liquid, Shenuska says something short and unrepeatable.
|Theodric Silvui d'Ontalen|
Theo had disappeared from the table at the mention of a drinking game, returning with a bottle of wine in time to catch Rudrik's part and the subsequent departure of him and Nime.
He debated going after them but he didn't know what he'd say to either of them, so instead just sat down to watch the mayhem.
"Calendula, who has you greatest lover been and why?" Shen asks, reaching for the easy questions as her patience for the game grows thin. Unfortunately her pride won't let her simply leave, not without reaching the last two.
Calendula folds her arms and scowls. "Me," she offers without elaboration. She quaffs the cup and, starting to become affected, sighs and continues. "'M not the best at communicatin and gettin off a couple times right and quick helps warm me up and fall asleep when I've no one there beside me."
Fort, Drink Deep, Mingled: 1d20 + 13 - 5 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 13 - 5 + 2 = 11 I'm going to say the nat one means I fail, otherwise she could drink forever with the mingling bonus
Sorry. Thought I'd posted this yesterday!
SM: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (10) + 17 = 27 So I get the correct answer...
Shenuska cocks an eyebrow and allows the question by unchallenged.
STAB!: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8
"Damn," she growls, spilling some of the drink on the table. "Me again."
"Who would be the best lover? Sorshen or Me?" Shenuska asks, grinning outright this time.
Calendula shrugs. "There's no contest there, Shenuska, Sorshen's been around thousands of years and sex is her whole deal, not to assume, mind you but she is the Lord of Lust, I think that's a safe assumption."
Fort, Drink Deep, Mingled, Tipsy: 1d20 + 13 + 2 - 5 - 1 ⇒ (4) + 13 + 2 - 5 - 1 = 13
??: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11 +relevant modifier
Stabby Stabby: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (18) - 1 = 17
|Theodric Silvui d'Ontalen|
Shenuska smirks, and waves for Calendula to ask the next question.
She hands the cup to the clone with a gnarled grubby hand, not wanting to repeat the same triangle over again. "What are you most insecure about, Shenuska?"
"Whether or not Sorshen can displace me from my own body at a moment's notice." Shenuska replies, having taken a deep drink from the tankard.
Drink, Mingle: 1d20 + 6 + 2 - 5 ⇒ (17) + 6 + 2 - 5 = 20
It doesn't take much effort to tell that she isn't lying, and might well explain the hostility that she has been showing to the Runelord all evening.
Stab: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 1 + 2 = 11
Her stab is unsteady and the cup wobbles, but doesn't spill thanks to Shen drinking deeply first.
"So," Shenuska asks, turning to the Runelord. "When you take over a clone's body, what happens to their soul?" Her question has veered into the factual, rather than the more ethical questions of the evening, but she's getting past the point of caring.
Drink Deep: 1d20 + 6 - 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 - 6 = 9
Sorshen drinks deeply from the cup and lets out a little hiccup as the alcohol begins to take more effect. "Fortunately, I have never had the need to occupy one of the numerous clones I had commissioned over the centuries. My original body remains alive and unspoiled." The runelord considers the cup with a frown and then looks up at Shenuska. "The clones were supposed to be soulless husks, mere receptacles for my spirit and nothing more. That something went wrong with the magic and consigned your soul to one of them is a unique development. I do not believe I could usurp the body you inhabit while you still live."
SM: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (8) + 17 = 25
Shenuska watches her progenitor very closely, desperate to determine whether Sorshen is telling the truth.
"Go on then." The psychic says, trying not to look concerned.
Bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Dexterity: 1d20 + 3 - 5 ⇒ (2) + 3 - 5 = 0
Sorshen bungles the spike, giggling as she refills the glass and drinks again.
Drink Deep: 1d20 + 6 - 10 ⇒ (3) + 6 - 10 = -1
"Whoa... This fire stuff's the real deal," she says, slurring her words. "I am quite soused! Hit me with another question, Shenny darling!"
Shenuska considers for a moment and then shakes her head.
"No. I can't." She pulls an empty purse from her belt. "I don't have any more stakes. Ask Calendula something embarassing for me."
As she stands the psychic leans over Calendula to whisper in her ear. "She'll appreciate you if she wins. You know what you said about centuries of experience..."
Calendula drinks up, grimacing.
Drink Deep, Mingled, Tipsy: 1d20 + 13 + 2 - 5 - 1 ⇒ (19) + 13 + 2 - 5 - 1 = 28
"What are you asking? What evils I've done? Or the 'naughtiest' I've been?"
No! The second one. The second one! ;P
"I ain't e'en been a squeaky clean paladin this year," she grumbles through cracked and scarred lips.
"Well I was cursed by Iomedae fer abandonin my men and my post which is, you know, hard to forgive, but, come twenty years along and she, ah, she did. Fer me this tho, this is the worst I done."
She gives her hand to the Runelord, displaying her brand on the inside of her palm, the Sword and Shield marks, showing off her devotion to the ideals and protection of Lastwall. "When the Watcher an my moms refused to let me join the Crusades at the Worldwound, I took my sword, the sword I carry at my hip, the sword my mommas gave me, and cut through these marks, severing my ties with my family, my home, my land, and if Iomedae herself hadn't given me the calling to die at the Worldwound, it would have meant severing my connection to god as well. That's my shame."
She stabs the table without much fanfare.
Dex: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
"Why should we help you, Sorshen?"
Sorshen squeezes Calendula's hand in a comforting gesture. "You poor dear. I didn't mean to bring up unpleasant memories for you. I believe I'm more drunk than I intended to be, and as such, I shall concede the game to you. But I'll give you an answer as a courtesy.
"You should help me for in doing so, you will end up helping not only yourselves, but all of Varisia if not the world. The other runelords are not nearly as magnanimous as I, and Zutha is not the only one who stirs. Runelords Xanderghul and Alaznist are also active, and in time, you will need to face them. I promise I will help in those confrontations, but you must be cautious not to move against these powerful foes too soon. Of Runelord Belimarius, at least, you have little to fear--she remains trapped in her timeless realm of Crystilan. In time, though, you may need to confront her as well."
The runelord nods and then claps in delight. "Well, now! That was a rousing game, was it not? Here, each of you please take one of these. It will help you sober up." She offers each of you a potion of lesser restoration.
The bells toll 11:00 PM, and the festival is still going strong as the statue of Queen Ileosa is inspected and prepared for its burning at midnight. With the big event only an hour away, Sorshen decides to spend some time resting and relaxing after the previous 5 hours of shenanigans. "I believe I will take a break for the time being. Shenuska, you should join me that we may speak further about the topics that trouble you. The rest of you are welcome to come too, if you desire."
Sorshen walks to a nearby five-story stone tower that has a partially secluded walkway overlooking the plaza. The runelord's scarf sparkles with light, and she levitates up to the tower's rooftop, alighting on the edge and then sitting down with her feet dangling off the side.
Shenuska simply walks into the air as though it were the most natural thing in the world and comes to rest lightly next to the Runelord. She too sits, but straight backed, her hands resting in her lap almost as though she were preparing for a meditation.
"So you said why, but not why." She comments evenly as she stares across the square. "Why are you doing this? I know just how prepared you are. You have resources across your old land - why work with us? You could wait and then claim what you want from the ashes."
It's easier to go on the offensive than actually talk to Sorshen. There's a niggling feeling in her breast that the two of them are quite similar, beyond just the body - but that is one kettle of fish Shenuska does not want to deal with just yet.