Sandpoint Cleric

Herald of the empire's page

97 posts. Alias of Metamorphosis.


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The servant is one Zalmoxis per Oros, an elderly servant/slave who has been in your family since you were a youth.
Make a sense motive check.

After a few minutes a feeble light appears around the frame of the stout timbers followed by a scraping as the bolt is withdrawn. Opening a crack a thin grey haired face thus out of the void. For an instant the face stares unseeingly into to the night. Then the gaze focuses and settles upon up you.
“Welcome back”. The elder gentle bows deeply almost loosing his balance as he does.
“It is good to see you back and I see that you have brought some friends. Will they be staying Master Gnaeus, emm I mean Papyrus. And shall it be for long if I maybe so boldly inquire?”


From your original examination you’re pretty certain that a small blade honed to razor sharpness inflicted the wounds.


Many a lowlife eyes the wagon but non seriously take any threatening actions. Perhaps quite a wise course with such an armed compliment.

Obviously a little put off by the lack of response Agrippa stays silent for the rest of the trip.

The wagon creaks and the tiles rattle as the cart climbs up the cut stone street of one of Constantinople’s hills until reaching the Domos/town house Papier had indicated.

“Here you are.” Agrippa adds a tad glumly.

The building seems dark but it is hard to say as it has no exterior windows as is the Roman norm. Its whitewashed facade and heavy green painted door presenting a completely anonymous mien to the outside world.

Looking wistful Agrippa adds “The Goths must be a test from god... I cannot see how they could have gained the upper hand against us if it where not for Valens wickedness.
I don’t know, but I feel that Theodosius will be good for the empire. He is a good Roman Christian from what I heard and that’s a blessing. Long have eastern heresies figure to predominately here in Nople. Just what we need by my reckoning to set our house in order so things can go back to being good like when Augustus of old ruled.
It does my heart good to know that he has drawn a host to Thessalonica and soon once the grass is green will march forth against them. My heart quails when I think of the terror those towns that have been cut off from the empire unable to harvest must know. And while it might be unchristian like the sooner those Goths paint the sands of arenas throughout out the empire all the better I say.
Of course I don’t mean any offence to your tame ones.”

“…And Marcellus visited, right under Basil’s nose wooing sweet Julia. Never did Basil the purveyor of spices become suspicious how Marcellus’s buttons would need to be reattached every other day. Funny that.”
The Cart drive Flavius Agrippa by name has been regaling you with stories the whole trip and you‘re certain that that you must know the doings of every neighbour, slave or beggar on this street.

Turning to you he asks. “Now what are your thoughts about Theodosius? Do you think he will make those Goths bend their knees to us?”



Great Patrick. That set up works perfectly for me.

I am an owner of Collapse too! Along with Diamonds other book Guns, Germs and Steel and thoroughly enjoy reading both of them.


No problem with that idea. I had imagined that perhaps Modius, Hrothgar and yourself might have been lodging at the same inn and thus your acquaintance. But your suggestion works fine.



Thanks Taliesin, that background is fine. More so then any other character because of his slave background I had a bit of trouble trying to place Rufinus within society. And I didn’t want to take any liberties with this past.
But this fills the wholes in my knowledge just great.

“You seem in plenty of a rush and not very chatty. Haha I can't say that has ever afflicted me, some of my friends call me the mouth of the Mese.” The cart drive cheerily adds.
“But just to show you Roman hospitality isn’t dead perhaps I can lighten your load. I and Germanicus aren’t in any rush.” He gives the ox an affectionate pat on the rump.
“Its a lot easier and will attract far less attention then luging him across town. I’m surprised the the ol’keepers of order haven’t beset you yet. ”
“Don’t worry there are only roof titles in the back so he cannot do them any harm. What do you say?”


The mans pocket are empty. Conspicuously so...


The man seems genuinely curious but his motive seems more that of seeking entertainment rather then concern or helpfulness.
He doesn’t strike you as a person to put much trust in.

Sorry for not replying sooner.

Yes your definitely right even thought there is no emperor on the throne in the east it is obvious Constantinople is a good place to be and its only going to get better. Sure your family can have a villa in Constantinople.

Those are good observations both of these were tools much latter in the consolidation of power of European kings. Gunpowder developed out of a particularity of Chinese culture as a medicine of all things. I while it didn’t produce health benefits it wasn’t long before others uses for it where being imagined. But it was quite awhile before it was successfully developed into an affective weapon. I don’t think they would have had the time to successfully develop it had they discovered it.

True paper but especial print would have really helped them in my humble opinion as long as it was monopolized by the state. As a medium to ease communication, thus propaganda and record keeping it could have been just the thing needed to bring the fractions together again and strife the corruption that had bleed them of their strength.

Personally I think there are a lot of commonalities between china and Rome in the first place. Both had the best managerial and logistical skill of ancient times as their success illustrates. Even measured against today the stake up favourably, who is to say our society or nation state will survive 800 years.

An oxen cart stops beside you and a short bull doggish looking man calls out in a rustic accent to you.

“Aye, having difficultly friends?”

Giving a short nod to the unconscious man and a shy wink “I know it might be a bit of a gamble but if you were murders looking to pitch him into the horn I wouldn’t be thinking you’d be a traipsing as bold as a rutting boar down the Mese.”

“Nople can be rough on people who don’t know her ways. If you don’t mine and old busy body asking, what happened to your pal?”

Night settles over Constantinople like the snuffing of a candle and the rain begins to taper.
With darkness the city slow but surely churns to life and the streets being to fill with traffic as the prohibition against wheeled traffic lifted for the day and those who duties require nocturnal a life begin to stir.

Hey Kruelaid, I have no problem with you replacing inside connection with something that fits your character concept better.

Patrick I don’t see why Paper/Papier’s family couldn’t have a residence in Constantinople.

In the classical era great minds, intellectual freedom and patronage all seemed to come together in a few places in the world illustrating the timelessness of genius. I didn’t know that they had come to believe the Antikythera Mechanism was an astrological measuring device, last time I had read of it they believed it to be an ancient adding machine. Thanks kruelaid.
If you found the interesting here are a few more wonders of the ancients that perhaps you haven’t heard of, the Baghdad battery and hero’s engine.

Miraculously but never the less assuredly the strangers colour begins to return and this breathing becomes soft and rhythmic once more. Unconscious he may be but the drujs of Ahriman shall not claim this one, at least not this day.

Applying pressure to the wound, the blood flow begins to abate. You have bought yourself time but the stranger still is slipping. He is still very wreak and growing cold, maybe all of his blood has been spent?
Elysium calls out or wherever he believes his soul will rest, and his body seeks to oblige.

To stabilize him you may make another heal check. Isat can gain the same aided another bonus

I am signing off for the night. Sorry that my time zone might not allow me to be preasent when the majority of you are active. Let me know what you are going to do. It can be flavourful just don’t assume the resolution of any action. Tomorrow I will response and let you know what is required, what happens and so on.
Again give me time to respond. It will not be tonight/day depending. but I will not let the plot advance without you either.

You all stand gathered around the fallen man. Dark curly hair lies slickly against the crown of his head. While his skin is of an olive complexion common to many of the warmer parts of the empire. His dark clothing are simple workman’s things: a grey cloak, a tunic tied with a rope belt and simple soft sold leather shoes.

His breath comes in short jagged gasps and his chest wound gushes blood uninhibitedly. Even the untrained eye can tell he is not going to be long for this world unless he receives some urgent aid.

No you cannot. I probably should say it might not play out exactly as before either ;)

I have resumed posting on the thread

Maybe to if I indication some non even local to leave things at either today or tomorrow where you could just roleplay among yourselves for a while after I sign off for the day how would that be received?

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
Would it help if we change to a one post per day model, where you start off each round, and we respond to you? Perhaps the bunch of us getting into character with multiple posts as we have, with no combat to complicate the timeline? We keep what we started, and move on after a break?

What I am learning towards at the moment is posting in rounds. I will present a piece of the narrative then I will give you a chance for all of you to respond. Then I will respond to your actions followed by another post to advance things. Inside of combat the initiative system pretty much dictates the flow of things.

This way neither you or I will get cut out of the loop during our down time, and allow for multiple posts during a day or whatever is the convenient pace for everyone.

This is what I am going to try for the moment. I hope it works out alright for every one else.

As the occupants of the portico suddenly realise what is happening there is an eruption of pointing and silent whispers. As innocuously as possible people being slipping away, their aversion to the rain suddenly forgotten.
Whether because illusions of safety in the days fading hours have tarnished here on Constantinople’s main drag, or because of fear of scrutinized by the legal authorities who now sure must be on their way, who can say.

I acknowledge the considerable investment in the characterizing your characters and their interactions so I have decided that tomorrow I am going to pick things up right after this post :

Rufinus cracks a smile and looks visibly relieved that he will not bear financial responsibility for the stranger. Seeing the legionnaire and sprightly Hibernian eying the alley, he says "I can carry him alone. it is easier on his wounds. Go look for his attackers if you will so" He takes a tin pan out of his toolkit and puts it under a trickle from the roof to collect water and brings it to the doctor. "My name is Rufinus, late in the possession of the Galsii. Janus smiles on a man who has no coin, if he finds a doctor who wants none" "Let me know when you need help to carry him. He is light." He does not offer his hand to the doctor, as there is probably blood on it.

Rufinus has taken off his poncho to lay under the wounded man. He is bare-chested now. His back is a riot of scars.

Unless you would prefer to continue where the thread actually ends. As things had diverged into two distinctive directions

Rev Rosey wrote:

Excellent news. Although as Kruelaid points out, the nature of rpg means that nothing will ever go quite as you plan :D Which is why we're not all playing snakes and ladders.

Let us know what sort of posting scheme you have in mind.

Yes I guess I just expected play to be like it is under Kobold Cleaver in the pbp that I am a character in. No, you guy have an amazingly fertile imaginations. To the point you could run yourselves without Dm involvement at all.

I am going to hold off until the weekend before I start posting on the campaign thread again. And I think I will use the model Taliesin suggested as well, at least for the time being.

Rev Rosey wrote:
Like Taliesin, I've only just started pbp, so it's all new to me. It was a lot of fun and just as a side note, made me go and read a lot more about Roman/Persian history than I'd done for a while. Which is good. See - rpgs broaden the mind.

I am really am glad to have been partly the catalyst for that :)

On a side note this whole campaign is an out growth of my discontent that the Caesar/Augustus and to a lesser extent Nero era is the only one which has even been amply covered.

Fear not, I have returned.

I am going to give this another try. If you all are still willing. I have a story and I do want to tell.

I do think there is merit in what Taliesin suggests. A different posting scheme would work better for me.

I think part of the problem was that I left you without and defined introduction to one another and it was natural for you want to create a relationship between your characters in play.
I had intended to start off by immediately leading you in to the action. But by the end of my first day posting no one at that point had interacted with the distant figure and decide to pick that up the next morning. I guess I just got a little over whelmed when I saw how much events had precipitated without my presence during the night.

I have thought things over. And I think that it is best that I drop the Empire in evening. It has turned out to be a much more demanding endeavour then I had originally imagined. I have been out of the loop for a while having not Dm since 2ed. between researching rules, the campaign backdrop, composing my entries and my daily to living obligations I don’t seem to have enough time to adequately keep abreast with the posts and provide the experience you deserve.

I really appreciate the fullness of attention that you folks here have given the campaign and the creativities of characters and role-playing.

My sincerest apologies.

Yes I can seen what your saying. Just give a moment to think things over

Rufinus has already made his spot check and fail and thus is surprised. No one else has line of sight. Papier and Isat may make a listen check (DC 25) In order to see if they are surprised as well. Also roll initiative. Hrothgar in the portico is automatically surprised.

As you rush towards the fallen figure a savage snarl erupts from the threshold of the alley. A dirty man in a tattered smock materializes from the gloom. A crimson pugio/dagger clenched in his fist like a beast with but a single claw. He has been watching your approach with intently.

Events have gotten somewhat ahead of themselves.
Isat: Approaching the wounded man (about half way)
Rufinus: At the wounded figure.
Hrothgar: Flexing his muscles upon the portico.
Modius: Approaching the wounded man(about half way).
Paper. Approaching the wounded man(about half way).
The Fallen man is about 250ft. from the portico.

Yes you can try to discern more about Lupius . But it will require another knowledge (local) as he is a different subject then which the previous roll was towards.

Dc 10


Lupius is the closest thing Constantinople has to a tribune, often breaking rank with his class and supporting plebeian causes. This have given time a reputation as a maverick, if a fair and level headed one. Yet despite these traits he has not been fully accepted by the plebs either.
Lupius was pleased that Theodius was appoint as the Commander of the eastern empires soldiers and favours him over Valens heir for the New Augustus.

]DC 15

Lupius is quite wealthy like most senators but yet received a small inheritance and nor seeming to possess any major sources of revenue. The source of this revenue is a mystery.
Every one.

Dc 20


Lupius and a faithful member of the Roman church and often has directly opposed to political appointments of those that espouse other doctrines. Thought he has always been careful to maintain the imagine of doing so upon other grounds.

Rufinus or spot DC 15


From the mouth of a dark alley way staggers a damp dark figure of a man. His grey haik clinging to him like a second skin as the reels towards you in a most convoluted path

Rufinus or spot DC 20
The reason of his distress soon becomes apparent, besides a darken stain at his chest his cheeks and temples are awash with blood, the one remaining trace of the ears he once bore!

Herald of the empire wrote:
knowledge checks are trained only.

This was a reply to Papyrus question eairly. It did look like it was an answer to your request. Sorry for the confusion.

Anyone trying to recall information about victor can.

knowledge checks are trained only.

Isat only, use only the best result you qualify for.
Knowledge (local): DC 10

You have heard:
Centurion Victor was a disloyal commanded within the leftwing at the battle of Ardianople. As the centre and right wing engage the Goths fortified camp he and those under him fled the field even before tasting battle.
He could not stomach the idea of fighting under Valens an Arian. Victor being of the Roman church knowing Gratian the western emperor (a co believer) was near by. Constantly and cravenly had argued against the engagement until they could combine their ranks. Valens saw easily within this words that he wish to let the pompous Gratian steal the credit of victory.

Knowledge (local): DC 15

You have heard:
Flavius Iulius Valens was not truly emperor it should have belonged to Procopius whom emperor Jovian had bequeathed it. We all in Constantinople despised him for usurping the crown and his holding of heresies. He believe that if he won alone against the Goths that he would have been showered with the affection due to a saviour, and could beguile us to believe god favoured his belief.
Victor commander of horses knew the insecure imbecile was marching in to disaster. He challenged his wisdom of not stalling until the to imperial armies where linked. Gratian his fellow empire was no more then 2 days away. But eager to have all of the glory for himself the sage wisdom fell on deaf ears. Victor knowing the engagement was doom fled with his soldiers. Westward he rode to assist Gratian. But alas he disappeared.

Listen dc 15

Maybe it is but a trick of the weather but you could have swore you heard a scream.

Listen dc 18

The murmuring rain smothers much of the sounds of the city. But on the wind, faint it as the sound is, unmistakable a human voice calls out in agony.

Knowledge (Local) dc 15

It is surprise that Lupius has appeared in public unaccompanied. There have been several attempts upon the lives of Arian politicians such as him.

“I concur with you Ateus. there are many lights to which to see Victors desertion. But he will never see trial, if in fact he is still alive. For I believe him to be dead. Executed in secret, for as long as he is missing tempers will simmer for sure, but they will never boil.” The senator finishes.

"Any more questions?"

Rufinus, Hrothgar and Modius

There seems little rhyme or reason of the gather just a chaotic assemble. Intentional or not you cannot say.

The gather doesn’t seem staged, just an impromptu meeting of people. The ambiance is one of pleasure as the weather has thrown together unlikely pairs of people. Unexpected opportunities have flourished in such fertile soil.
Most are excited to have such a high authority present and are eager not to relinquish their opportunity to procure juicy conversation for later dinner parties.
While your presence has been accepted, many a whispered comment and harsh you has been cast towards your barbarian friends.

Make a listen check and a knowledge: local check.

The young Nubian languid smile dissolves as you shadow falls over him. Startledy he climbs to his feet, leaving whatever idyllic thoughts that had occupied him behind. Searching earth coloured eyes bore in to you.

“Are you one of dem, or one of me?” Sourly, his tongue running roughly over the words.

I am open the pbp thread. Good luck all of you and I hope you enjoy.

The dark sky ominously rumbles as its continual tears fall on the uncertain populous below. Two years previously the unimaginable happened Valens Augustus fell vaingloriously upon the fields of Adrianople to rabble, that a strong Roman sneeze should have scattered to the four winds.

Now Theodoseous the younger, a man who has never known Constantinople, commands the armies of the east. Will he be enough to extinguish the fire that burns in the gothic heart and tame their unbridled souls, or will he follow Valens to the land of his ancestors? Where will his allegiances lay in matters of faith? For in this land every creed has felt the oppression of the state. These and others questions hung heavy in the mind of the men of Constantinople. The world had turned upside down; long and far ranging will be its repercussions. But a for few, their only thoughts for the moment are where to escape the rain….

Constantinople, the Kalendes of Aprilis, in the year of our lord Iesous Christos 380 ad

In the shadowy portico of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles had gathered a collection of beings, fruit that only a city such as Constantinople could have bore.
Among the manicured Greeks stood tall and pale northmen, while dark eyed Syrians animatedly quarrelled in their inflected tongue. Even a Nubian porter had set aside his bundle to repose against a marble column.

All had gathered to escape the rain and wait for the storm to break; a storm that had transformed the Mese from road to a silvery stream as the over burdened storm drains struggled to keep up with the torrent.
Luckily for what might have been a tedious wait, among the crowd was one Flavious Lupius Hibernius predominant and esteemed member of the senate. His reputation for amiability, candour and Patrician sensibilities had for once proven to be true. Even those who had been much critical now stood in rapt attention eager for their turn to gain plainspoken answers from someone truly in the know. An oddity in such a byzantine city.

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
I still need to know what kind of point buy we use. Please see my post above. I would like to get the stats out of the way.

Sorry Taliesin, I missed your post regarding the point buy. And I didn’t mean to imply there was a rush. I wouldn’t start with out you.

Herald of the empire wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Herald of the Empire wrote:

Hey Patrick I just looked over your skills and they are looking good until I get to the languages. You have spent 16 skill point out of 18 available including the 2 from the pupil of the learned (koine or latin I am taking as your native language, then the other +1 rank to speak language, +1 rank to speak language syraic and then 4 for literacy in 2 languages). So that is 4 over.

I don’t think is that big of a problem, unless someone feels I am being unfair. Even if I instituted the rule I don’t mind letting it by, since it fits your background concept so well.
Do humans get an extra 4 skill points starting? Or since we're all humans is this rule gone? I am kinda fuzzy on 3.5, I thought I had 22 points, but if that doesn't hold I will rejigger my stat scores.

base 2 +1 int bonus=3, 3x4=12, 12+4human bonus=16, 16 + non adept Pupil of the learned +2=18 points.

I believe this is correct.

Perhaps you were thinking fighters had a base of 4 skill points rather then 2.

Patrick Curtin wrote:
Herald of the Empire wrote:

Hey Patrick I just looked over your skills and they are looking good until I get to the languages. You have spent 16 skill point out of 18 available including the 2 from the pupil of the learned (koine or latin I am taking as your native language, then the other +1 rank to speak language, +1 rank to speak language syraic and then 4 for literacy in 2 languages). So that is 4 over.

I don’t think is that big of a problem, unless someone feels I am being unfair. Even if I instituted the rule I don’t mind letting it by, since it fits your background concept so well.
Do humans get an extra 4 skill points starting? Or since we're all humans is this rule gone? I am kinda fuzzy on 3.5, I thought I had 22 points, but if that doesn't hold I will rejigger my stat scores.

base 2 +1 int bonus=3, 3x4=12, 12+4human bonus=16, 16 + non adept Pupil of the learned +2=18 points.

I believe this is correct.

Everything seems to be coming together quite nicely. All things being equal we will open up to actually play tomorrow.

Story awards for both Modius and Hrothgar the Red.

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