Behind the screen:
Wenduag: Bluff: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (11) - 3 = 8
Anarya: Perception (non-sound): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Avelina: Perception: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (18) - 2 = 16
Ellena: Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13
Franti: Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Franti: Perception, traps: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Karas: Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Tauni: Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Anevia: Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Horgus: Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Wenduag said nothing to Franti's joke, but anyone who glanced back at her noticed her crack a smile and then scowl with a perplexed look as she watched Franti from behind.
"When was the last time you saw sunlight, Wendy? " He spun his saps, almost juggling them as he walked. “You'll have to do my face paint before this ends. Once in a lifetime opportunity for both of us. Shame to see it slip though our fingers before this journey ends."
Wenduag did not immediately answer as she appeared to study Franti for several breaths. "Sunlight hurts my eyes. As for your face, I expect the demons controlling the city will carve it up before I have a chance." Whether she meant before she had the chance to paint it or carve it up, she left hanging.
Behind the screen:
Wenduag: DC 20 Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Will: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
"As far as I know, the only thing down there is the water. I occasionally shot fish with arrows with ropes tied to them, for food. There are two large fish, too large for me to try to kill with a bow, so if you do climb down, keep on the rock. Not sure where the river comes from or goes to, as it would require holding your breath to swim underwater to try to explore it."
Behind the screen:
Bluff: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (7) - 3 = 4 (+2 vs. Human)
Anarya: Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 17
Avelina: Sense Motive: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (19) - 2 = 17
Ellena: Sense Motive: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (16) - 2 = 14
Franti: Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
Karas: Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Tauni: Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Anevia: Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Aravashnial: Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Horgus: Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Wenduag says nothing to the various statements made to her or for her benefit by Anarya, Karas, Ellena, and Avelina. She watches and seems perhaps amused at the earnest way each one seems to believe what he or she says. The hostility she exuded palpably drained away, as if the energy to maintain it were too much. She sat and said nothing, perhaps because nothing had been asked of her. Her alien features made it hard to read her, but for the moment, she seemed to relax and perhaps trust you.
For some reason, Tauni still thinks she might be harboring sinister thoughts and intentions, just very well hidden behind her mongrel features.
"My mother hoped I could serve in the fight against the demons and prove that our folk are worthy of a place in the light. I was only ten, so I found my way to an orphanage and told them I had wandered in from the Worldwound after my parents died. They took me in. The orphanage was run by a young idealistic man who said many things that encouraged me, much as you have just done. He tried to convince the other children to accept me as I was, although they never really did. When my body started to mature, many new deformities manifested and some crusaders began to train me to be a ranger. They intended me to be a spy, really, hoping the cultists and traitors they suspected were in the city would try to recruit me."
"It was during my training, once away from the caring eye of the orphanage's principle that I learned what crusaders were really like. I vowed if I found any cultists I would help them rather than report them. A few years later, I met the orphanage's principle again. He had been sent to fight with the crusaders and was away in the Worldwound for long periods of time. When he saw me he almost didn't recognize me. I barely recognized him. The warm glow of love I saw in his eyes and heard in his words had gone out. He invited me to have a drink, but when others in the bar objected to my presence, he abandoned any pretense of friendship and let them call me names and throw food at me until I left."
"I now know what happened to that man who had been my friend. When he faced the demons of the Worldwound, it was like holding a mirror to his face and he saw what he was really like on the inside. His ideals were stripped away like the inquisitor strips a captive before applying his scourge. He discovered that his own life was more important than his lofty words about love and forgiveness. I will accompany you to the surface, but I predict you will see your reflection in the demons who must surely be controlling the city by now. You will break your vow before the week is out."
Wenduag's attitude toward you has changed from hostile to indifferent. Per the rules, this may not last more than a few hours, but that depends partly on how she is treated.
Franti the Fool wrote:
The fool smiled under his mask. I say it isn't a redemption, yet her name means "redeem"... The joke isn't lost on your servant, Picoperi. The fire around him began to smolder, and his pale shoulders showed beneath some of the burnt clothing. As she went on, the fool found himself unable to respond, somewhat hollowed by her words. The crusades certainly weren't without their demons, Worldwound aside. He began to breath uneasily, and when he spoke, it was no longer intimidating, but rather inquisitive, curious, and perhaps almost caring. "And what of your concerns, Hokana?"
Wenduag glared at Franti. Hokana is dead. I serve Baphomet.
Wenduag regards the outburst with a smirk and perhaps pity. "The Usurper's Legion does tolerate such behavior simply by failing to patrol the streets at night. And if you want to locate those who commit these acts, just walk alone on any dark street at night without a weapon or armor and they will find you. I don't suppose your exalted parents would allow you to be in such dangerous places or even let you know that they exist."
Wenduag's expression changed from pity to disgust. "Oh you poor man. I'm so sorry. You were offered salvation and you rejected it. Don't you know, torture shows you who you really are! They offered you a gift, just as those crusaders who tortured me gave me the gift of knowing what they thought of me. And yes, I am a tool. A tool of Baphomet, and proud of it."
As Wenduag watched and listened to Anarya, the smirk faded and her face was as emotional as a stone statue. Her face had multiple eyes which glowed green, making it look almost as if her features were being reflected in a broken mirror. It was hard to tell her emotional state, but some of her insectoid limbs that stuck out of her torso gave little twitches and her rat-like tail switched back and forth slowly.
"It's not our way to torture or threaten, and yet we just showed you we're capable of doing just that. We're no better than those who broke their vows and tortured you as a child... but we can do better than this. Hokana, we're not going to torture you, or hurt you anymore. You don't have to help us. But if you do help us, and guide us to the safehouses, you'll be helping us protect more innocent children from coming to harm. Our mission is not to punish, but to protect, even our enemies." She looked to the door, to where the other mongrels lay unconscious but alive. "Your fellow tribesmen are alive, Hokana, and I swear we will not harm them either." She looked directly into Hokana's eyes. "Will you help us? We do not need to be enemies. Let us prove to you that we can be better than those who have wronged you before."
Wenduag considered what reply to give for a number of slow breathes. Then she said solemnly, "I will cooperate with you if you will the others are not killed. Although if you deliver them to Neathholm, they are likely to be executed. But I can show you the way to the surface. I will do so, but mostly so you can see the justice that has already been wrought by the demon armies."
She spoke more softly, so those listening had to step closer to hear. "Let me tell you a story..."
Continued in next post.
"Crusaders. On other days, I would address such a multitude by listing others such as lords and ladies, citizens and pilgrims. But today, on Armasse, we are all crusaders. Today we return to the tradition of learning the lessons of war and the techniques of battle, for just as this impending storm threatens to ..."