Nerosyan in general, is more military than other cities its size, of course, you noticed that right away. But given their sitting on the border of the Worldwound, and are constantly at war with the taint from there... it is not surprising, or unexpected.
Nothing you have seen screams military action, anyway.
Floria looks flustered at displaying ignorance, and looks to her new friends to explain herself.
"I'm afraid you'll think me terribly naive, but from the way it's talked about at home I had the impression the world wound was all but closed, a place where noble sons can go and fight and show how pious they are. We're over a hundred miles from Threshold here!"
She looks embarrassed at the dumbfounded looks she's presumably getting and gulps visibly.
What have I gotten myself into?
Holy walls of text, Batman!
"The thing that's always worried me about the whole War against the Demons thing, is can't a lot of them just teleport around? Hard to have a war when the other side doesn't have to show up until you've taken your armor off for a nap.
"That's how I'd do it anyways."
Velther leans in close to Kara, nodding. "Oh, believe it all." He advises. "But I doubt he's anywhere near this operation. Seems way to legitimate for them to call on him."
A grizzled older man, who looks like he's been through the wringer a few times, siting in the second row, beside Floria, suddenly pipes in. "Oh, don't listen to Abranci." He says with a roll of his eyes, kicking the back of Velthar's chair. "He's just sore cause Thurl caught him cheating at cards, and he couldn't talk his way out of it."
Velthar gives him a withering glare. "I wasn't cheating." He blurts out angrily. "Was just a misunderstanding... and look what that sotted dwarf does. Blackballs me, and gets me stuck on the front line of this damnable place."
The older man just laughs, shaking his head slightly, as he leans back in his chair, as if intending to nap.
"Screw you, Clay." Velthar mutters.
There is uncomfortable silence for a while, as Velther sits stewing for a while, not interested in talking to anyone... though eventually when Sangkip muses on the nature of demonic teleportation, he seems unable to keep himself out of it.
"They say the wardstones keep 'em from doin' just that." He blurts out, grumpily. "Dunno if that's the case, but has to be something, right?"
"They've had to walk..." he grimaces slightly, "... or fly... like everyone else."
Eamon can hear the chattering of several of his fellow Pathfinders in his row of seats while they wait for the next speaker. Mildly annoyed Eamon shoots one or two of them a stern gaze. When they fail to seem to notice his dignified efforts to quiet their chattering, Eamon resorts to his companions obtuse and base nature, Shhh!... Do you mind? This is hardly your conformation or you wouldn't have been assigned to Nerosyan... Eamon pauses emphasizing an audible *sniff*.. If you want to continue to *cluck*, like hens...please do it out in the practice yard with the other farm animals. Eamon neither smiles nor frowns, while addressing his fellow Pathfinders. He simply turns back to the stage ignoring their existence.
Up to each player if they want to play they were seated in Eamon's row when he delivered his uptight message. If you'd prefer a more cooperative tone throughout the adventure...I'd suggest you didn't hear Eamon get uppity.. however, if you're into role-playing with a total douche of a character... Eamon may just be your guy!
We were encouraged to *cluck* and be comfortably seated, friend. Perhaps you are not yet comfortable, having sat on something. Join us over here. We need a foil to Floria and Kara's charm. Alessio waves him over.
|Kara Saint-Germaine SF|
The presentation hasn't even started yet. If you think we're loud now, you haven't heard what I can do when I try.
Under her breath,
I'm considering casting it regardless.
Floria just rolls her eyes at Eamon's outburst, and focuses on not reading anyone's thoughts while waiting for the briefing.
Remember when that Qadiran envoy caught you poking around in his head at father's dinner party? You don't want to get thrown out.
“Welcome one and all, to the city of Nerosyan. I am Jorsal, Venture-Captain of Starrise Spire. I know you all have questions about why you’ve been sent here, and I intend to spend the evening answering those questions".
“I shall start by telling you why the Society has sent so many skilled agents to Mendev. Intrepid agents recently uncovered information that points to a startling find in the old nation of Sarkoris, now known as the Worldwound. These agents have discovered that a dwarven Sky Citadel, one of the rarest sites on the planet, rests within the Worldwound. It is known to us as Jormurdun.
“It is the will of the Decemvirate that we should come together and find the exact site of thi—”
The speech is interrupted by a distant explosion and the sounding of war horns!
"Ah crap." Velthar exclaims, at the sound. "That ain't good. Those are the proximity alarms... and a lot of them... from all sides." He looks just as concerned as he sounds.
But he doesn't say much more, as the entire room quickly descends into confused chaos. Pathfinders look around, unsure exactly what is going on, or what they are to do... until some of the more organized, or level-headed ones, start gathering folks in to smaller groups, and assigning tasks, to keep folks calm.
As most of you are right up at the front, the Venture-Captain himself steps your way.
"Ah crap, again." Your new chelaxian friend mutters, and quickly ducks out and loses himself in the milling crowds, clearly not wanting to be sitting next to you when the VC arrives.
"You there, my friends." Jorsal of Lauterbury exclaims, nodding towards Kara and Huni up front. "It appears the city is under attack. by the sounds of the alarms a force of demons from the Worldwound much greater than we've hard here in a long long time!"
He waves to Sangkip, Floria, and Alessio to gather as well.
"How such a thing is possible, I do not yet know," He shakes his head, clearly concerned. "But I do know that we can not sit idly by. Our treaty with the crusaders of Mendev binds us to join the battle."
"Give me some time to rally our agents as best I can, and in the meantime I trust you to pick where your skills can best be put to use." He nods, taking a moment to take your measure, then frowns. "Though this seems a little light..." He scans the nearby area, then points at Eamon a few rows back, much to some of your dismay. "You there, Pathfinder. You can work with these fine agents."
He nods. "There, that should make a fine foray team. Go forth into Nerosyan or hasten to the skirmishes outside, or gods forbid, inside its walls. Aid where you can. I shall summon you again, or send out word, when I know how to best combat this threat."
He turns to head out, but stops and adds, "And keep an eye out for Venture-Captain Thurl. If he is not already helping, ensure that he’s not pinned down."
Jorsal digs out a small map, and hands it to Alessio. "Here. That shows the districts. Each of them have their own defense forces, they've learned to keep things compartmentalized. Help where you can. This sounds bad. So many alarms should not be able to sound at once." He stops, a frown on his face. "Not with the wards in place." With that, he gets a worried look, and turns, hurrying to leave.
At this point, you guys are on your own. The map is a basic overlay of Nerosyan, showing the main defense districts.
You guys will have to decide where to go each time. Though try not to spend too much time on the decision!
Though I don't usually like to present Knowledge checks like this, am doing so here, just for alacrity's sake!
Those four amalgamated districts include the Egelsee District to the southeast, Confluence District to the southwest, Woundward District to the northwest, and Battle District to the northeast.
- Battle Tower: The northernmost point of the city is the most likely to weather an assault by land. Earthen revetments surround three layers of nested towers, making the tower the most heavily fortified site in Mendev.
- Confluence Tower: Geared towards defending Nerosyan from attacks across the two rivers that meet at its base. The tower has held its own through several riparian attacks from Dread Barges and other Abyssal craft that periodically swarm up from the Sarkora River. At its base is the Crusader's Quay, a set of military wharves that offer shelter for the small crusader navy in ingenious covered slips.
- Egelsee Tower: Located at the eastern point of the Nerosyan diamond, Egelsee tower serves a second purpose as a rapid-response staging area for Nerosyan's cavalry, which can ride out at a moment's notice through special large-scale sally ports built into its outer walls.
- Woundward Tower: Almost completely surrounded by the West Sellen river, the Woundward Tower defends the city against aerial assaults. The tower bristles with spyglasses that scan the skies, as well as the most advanced siege engines and the best archers in Nerosyan. The city's wardstone is housed in this tower, as close to the border as possible.
Your choices to start, are any of the four main defensive districts (Battle, Confluence, Egelsee, or Woundward) as well you can choose to go outside the walls, and take the fight to whatever is happening in the Outer District.
Try to decide quickly =)
Oh, and added a map link at the top of the page.
Knowledge (engineering): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
"If we can take the fight to the enemy, our people inside will be better off."
Knowledge (engineering): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
Floria jumps out of her chair when pointed at by the venture captain and vaults over the chairs in front to muster. She tries not to let her nervousness show too much as he talks.
When Jorsal leaves she replies to Huni:
"That's true, but I would think the walls our best defence, we're not sure what we might face beyond them. What if we went to Battle District which is on the way and assessed the situation there first?"
Perhaps if another member of the team is more knowledgeable they can help us make a more informed decision :)
|Kara Saint-Germaine SF|
Knowledge Engineering: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Kara quickly relates what little she knows. First and second spoilers
I'm afraid I agree with my friend Floria. If we see nothing in the Battle District we may freely choose to continue outside the walls.
Two votes for Battle District
Alessio, meant to add it, but forgot, but I'd allow a profession soldier to substitute for the Knowledge check from my previous post. Thoguh at this point, you've only missed the DC 20 info.
With at least the start of a plan of action in place, you quickly depart the Starrise spire as a group, heading towards the Battle District, with the eventual goal of checking on those stuck outside the walls.
The city is ripe with activity, though not nearly the chaos you would normally expect. Clearly the denizens of the Diamond City are well-versed in potential demonic incursions, most of them having assigned tasks and duties to perform in just such events. It is only the occasional visiting merchant or dignitary that seems totally lost, and most of them are wise enough, or quickly directed, to stay indoors.
By the time you hit the battlements in the Battle District, the air is heavy with the smell of smoke from the city below. Alessio's been on enough battlefields to realize the problem almost right away, as crusaders run with vigor across the ramparts, many of them mobilizing to move back into the city where attacks are already going on.
Even as you see all of this, a grizzled old female soldier approaches you form one of the massed units.
"You lot from Starrise?" She asks with a scowl. "Never mind. Doesn't matter."
"I'm Commander Neylan." She states, her eyes scanning what's happening inside the city with concern. "You have any intel on what the f~##'s going on? Our orders are to come to the wall when the alarms sound, but there's something wrong. Things are already inside, aren't there?" She swears colorfully, already knowing the answer. "I am already redeploying some of my men back that way, but I fear not all of the Commanders are going to be so willing to do so, even if they do notice. I've been through this grinder before, but most of them are new to this, or useless."
"You think you could go get their attentions? Get them to comply?" She eyes you questioningly. "They're sitting ducks back there without some assistance."
"And demons love duck." She adds, humorlessly.
|Kara Saint-Germaine SF|
We were only instructed to go forth and provide what aid we are able, to expect instructions from Venture-Captain Jorsal, and to watch for Venture-Captain Thurl.
Alas I have no spells prepared for quick communication, but I am happy to run to the other commanders to relay your warning.
If Kara has time, she uses her wand of Mage Armor on herself and anyone else who requests it.
Alessio walks up to the commander and extends a hand for greeting. A salute would be inappropriate out of uniform.
Commander, we'll go get them out of there. "Not willing to do so" is an unacceptable response in a military outfit. We'll persuade them to follow orders. Even as a medic, Alessio understands the importance of chain-of-command.
"Dunno who they are," Neylan responds, as Kara mentions the Venture Captain's names. "But I'll take all the help we can get! Make sure they realize what's happening, and that they need to get some folks down into the city to help, before it goes even more pear-shaped."
"Antonick's squad is the next one over, towards the Battle Tower. He grew up in Nerosyan, so should be used to all this, then Barre. New kid, but shows promise." She explains, pointing to the northwest, then turns to look southeast. "The rest should be arrayed along the wall towards the Egelsee Tower. The elf first, then Montvale." She frowns slightly, at the last name, clearly not a fan. "Watch that one."
"Anyway, best hurry, things will escalate if we can't get some help down there!"
She gives Alessio a nod, clearly recognizing his soldier bearing, then turns abruptly to return to her own post, calling out orders even as she's moving.
Alessio checks the bolt in his crossbow and is ready to move on to Antonick. Keep up and keep your heads down. Battlefields are dangerous places.
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"We're pathfinders Commander, and we're here to help in any way we can. We'll do our best to convince these others commanders."
To the others she says "Right we'd best get moving, shall we start with Antonick then work our way back to the Egelsee tower?"
She starts off at a light jog. As she's doing so she's searching the city for signs of demon attacks within the walls she might be able to use to convince the commanders.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
"I do have a scroll that allows for instantaneous communication of a good deal of information, it may help us to convince one of the commanders if they doubt our words" And they let you cast a spell on them...
"This I just don't understand. You sign up to be a soldier. And you don't want to go fight? Just find another job!
"But don't worry, we'll put boot to tail."
Kara, you're fine to use the wand, time-wise
Sangkip, the problem is not whether they want to fight... its that they're supposed to be manning the battlements, not going into the city.
For reference, from northwest to southeast along the battlement:
The Battle Tower -- Barre -- Antonick -- Neylan -- 'elf' -- Montvale -- The Egelsee Tower
|Kara Saint-Germaine SF|
I think Barre is on our way to Antonick. Let's find them first.
Let's go in that order: Barre -- Antonick -- Neylan -- 'elf' -- Montvale
I agree with Alessio. If the hard cases see the others doing it, they're more likely to follow suit.
You quickly turn to the northwest, following the wall and battlement towards the Battle Tower, visible off in the distance.
Even as you make your way along, you can see the smoke and hear the sounds of battle echoing from deeper in the city itself. It is quite clear that the invaders have managed to get past the walls.
When you do reach the next squad, you find them all up in the battlements, most of their eyes looking outwards and upwards with concern. When you call for Commander Antonick, you get no immediate response, though a couple of the soldiers point you towards the nearby guard post.
Entering, you see a few more soldiers, and the man obviously in charge, all looking worriedly at the boarded up windows, obviously concerned about the sounds of chaos outside.
"Who... who are you?" The man finally says. "You know what's going on out there? It ain't good, is it?"
He doesn't even wait for an answer, his mind filling it in before you even say anything. "I knew it. S+!*, we're all gonna die."
You've seen this sort of thing before. New recruits, especially officers, put on the front line, with no actual field experience. Usuallly more common among those with well-to-do, sheltered upbringings... then when the crap hits the fan, they start to turtle out of fear... unable to make any sort of decision at all.
Commander Antiock? Alessio Imeroni, formerly of the 43rd Taldan Phalanx, Captain, medical corps. We were sent down by Commander Neylan by way of Venture-Captain Jorsal. What are your orders and current status? Alessio recalling his military training as best as possible. It's been a few years and I can feel it.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Floria listens to the others make their case before contributing her own attempt at persuasion.
"Commander Antonick, I'm afraid we don't know exactly what's going on, only that an attacking force has breached the walls and are within the city limits. We have a strong force of Pathfinders here at present who are contributing to the defence, but Commander Neylan has asked us to inform you of the situation so that your forces can be redirected to the city defence too. I'm sure that between us we'll have it under control shortly"
Floria will attempt to aid someone to convince this commander, whomever looks like they're taking the lead
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Heh. I had to look up whether a captain outranks a commander! Turns out its one step up!
Commander Antiock does his best to pull himself together, in the presence of another officer, though he still flinches a little at the occasional unexpected noise from outside.
"Captain." He says, offering a salute. "You seem a little out of your stomping grounds. Our orders are to guard this section of the battlement against demonic invaders. So far we have been successful, though larger forces are due any moment."
"This is bad, isn't it?" He asks, lowering his voice slightly. "This feels like a bad one."
When Floria expands on the situation again, his face falls a little. "They're inside the walls already? But the wardstones are supposed to keep them out... right? S#+#."
Soldier, there are no good ones or bad ones. I've retired from the service. You are in charge here and your orders are to repel the invading force. The walls weren't the protection, YOU ARE. Collect your forces and address the invaders. We are calling your other Commanders to do the same. Alessio stands tall.
Profession Soldier in place of Diplomacy?: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Ah, perhaps I am interpreting incorrectly. It looked like they were abandoning their posts. I'll follow up with a minor redirection.
Send what you can spare as ordered by Neylan and we'll get them back as fast as we can.
That's how I read it too - Luckily I hadn't shot my mouth off to the actual soldiers yet...
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Ugh, soft words to coddle cowards, my specialty.
"Look, the city hasn't fallen before, right? That's because they plan for this kind of thing. Follow the plan, and get a portion of your troops back into the city. As long as the big hats up top know where everyone's soldiers are, they'll make sure you get the support you need."
Aid Alessio: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (14) - 3 = 11
|Kara Saint-Germaine SF|
The good Captain is correct.
Diplomacy, Aid Another: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Commander Antonick wipes his brow nervously, eyeing the door with trepidation, and the other soldiers, all watching him closely.
"The good captain is retired, and not part of the chain of command." He says, indignantly, giving Alessio a look. "And I've only your word that Neylen is asking us to do this. I don't know you."
He notices a few of the other soldiers nod slightly, and he seems to take some confidence from that.
"Still, if the demons are getting inside the walls, I suppose we should send some additional forces to help." He concedes finally. "Though god save us all if it is just a distraction to cause us to do just that. None of this will turn out right then."
He gives a few commends to the others, who nod hesitantly, then race off to partition the squad so as to send some back into town to help with the cities interior defenses, and the rest remain on post here at the battlements.
Hm... I reread the stuff a little closer, and realized I'd made a mistake on what these guys' rank is (they all started with C, I just kinda skimmed the rest of the letters it seems!) ... Anyway, that changes my response a fair bit. Went back and edited the previous post to be more appropriate.
They are not all commanders. These guys, and all the rest, are under Neylen, as you suggest!
"Okay, next time I'm just going to tell them they have orders to do this. Who's the appropriate high-muckety-muck?" Sangkip grouses on the way to the next
You are a credit to your service, Antiock. We will be off. Is there anything you can offer that we can show the others a symbol of your support? Alessio is hoping for a trinket or insignia of his detachment that will make convincing others easier.
It doesn't take long to reach that next squad Sangkip was griping about... manning the battlements at the northwest end of the wall, under the shadow of the Battle Tower itself.
Of course, once you arrive, you find the entire place in barely controlled chaos. Soldiers are hurrying about, carrying supplies, or looking for supplies, or generally not ready for what is happening. A quick request with some of them, leads you to the nearby guard post, much like with Antonick, but as you approach it, you see a constant stream of people moving in and out, with varying degrees of harried looks on their faces.
Crusader Barres' is very young woman, and looks completely overwhelmed as you arrive.
"What do you mean you can't find the arrows?" She says in exasperation to another soldier. "We got two shipments of them just this morning? Where did Jayce put the damnable things? Gah!"
"Broken?" She bemoans, to a second soldier. "All of them? Now? How the hell did you manage that?"
You quickly get the impression that they are having some equipment issues, and she has everyone running around trying to resolve the issue.
When she finally notices you, she stands up smartly. "We'll be ready shortly, don't worry. Just a minute."
She then turns back to another soldier, pointing at a piece of paper. "No over here, on this end. I told you this already." She says, with a slight groan.
Well met, Crusader Barres. We are Pathfinders sent by Venture-Captain Jorsal. We've only just come from Crusader Antiock. We bid for a squad of your detachment to join the battle in the city. As a military vet myself, I know how harrying these times can be. We must remember our duty and our training. Can we help with anything before we go? Alessio tries to offer a more calm tone for Barres to ease the situation.
Profession Soldier: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
It wasn't Antiock, it was Antonick!
"What?" She exclaims at Alessio's words, a look of concern on her face. "In the city? They're inside already? Son of a..." She looks at her squad, and the chaos around her, and looks almost ready to cry in exasperation.
"I'd love to, but we're not even quite ready here yet." She says, before adding hastily, "Though should be soon, for sure."
She eyes you all hopefully. "Don't suppose you could help with that? We seem to have misplaced a few crates of supplies, a few extra eyes to find them would sure help."
She takes a moment to describe the crates that apparently have gotten misplaced.
"I don't suppose any of you have any skill at fixing broken armor? Or weapons?" She adds, a moment later. "No one bothered to check some of the armaments before we hauled them over, and turns out we got supply castoffs from another squad's previous engagement."
"Just one thing after another at the moment." She shakes her head. "Most of it is in serious need of repair! And with no time to return for a new batch. I don't want to send my squad into battle, with demons no less, with broken equipment! Especially if we can't find the misplaced stuff! Hell, at this point, even a temporary fix is better than what we got."
Anyone can help find the missing stuff, with Perception (and taking the time to look) ... or they can help with fixing some of the broken equipment with appropriate crafing skills (and taking the a fore mentioned time to do so). You can't do both! DC's are different for each.
Sangkip mightily strains to avoid rolling his eyes, then sets to work. Vanaran
"Supposed to be a treasure finder... looking for half-fletched arrows instead... ...pawing around for some grunt's shiny codpiece... ...I killed a dragon once..."
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24