rdknight's page

Organized Play Member. 206 posts (7,835 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Organized Play characters. 43 aliases.

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Human Bard (Archaeologist) 4 / Inquisitor 1 | HP: 40/40 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 (+6 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +3 | Perc: +10, SM: +6 | Speed 30' | Luck: 13/13

Ro is a little aggravated while she makes her check on the low, harder to reach portions of the piano. She’s ruminating on how the simplest of things seemed to require so much management, and explanation, and cat herding.

Yes, Ro had plinked each of the piano keys, but she was not playing the piano. She was checking to see if any of them were dead, or noticeably more out of key, things that might happen if it was used as a release for a compartment in the piano.

And Lia decides that's an invitation for a recital. Meanwhile everyone else is standing around gawking, or wandering in circles, or beheading taxidermies. Just about any friggin’ permutation of ‘not useful’ possible, which means I have to either do everything myself or specifically direct someone to do every little thing, which means I might as well be doing it myself…

Ro continues her internal muttering until she notices a change in what Lia is playing. At first she thinks Lia is simply starting to really hit her full stride with the piano. Huh, I think I’ve heard that tune before, what is it?

It only takes a few more bars though for Ro to realize a couple of things. I know I’ve heard that song many times before and all that can’t be played with just two hands. Lia hasn’t changed what she’s doing at all!

The second thing prickles Ro’s flesh. She very much doubts anyone else in the room plays piano, much less that well, and even less at this time and place. Something’s here! What is that song? I’ve heard it a million times before.

Ro gets to her feet and moves back from the instrument, but with that song playing she can’t help but add some sashay to her steps back. "That's not just you playing. It's time to leave it alone and back away." And listen to the song.

Ro realizes she can’t catch what the song is because Lia is playing through it and everyone else is gabbing on over it. ’Do this’, ‘don’t do this do that’, ‘look at that’, nag nag, blah blah


By the time Ro's outburst comes, she's moving much more vigorously, not just swaying to the tune but finding its rhythm, finding steps to a dance she knows she doesn't know. This scares her. She isn't dancing, her body is dancing her, moving of its own accord.

It's frightening, but that feeling is dulled by her anger. Edgar is fairly close so she turns to him to vent. A double twirl takes her right to him, but once she's there all she can utter is to him is "Listen to the music." as she pulls herself onto him and shimmies up and down his body.

Ro knows in the back of her mind this is completely mortifying, but she realizes she simply can't fight against what her body is doing as she swirls away from Edgar and onward. She manages to find a moment of clarity, pushing back the song and her anger long enough to think of something she might be able to do.

She can't fight against her body but maybe she can help it too much. Ro ceases her resistance to the dancing, even as it intensifies. Instead she joins with the dance, pushing even more. Then when she sees her moment, she pushes as hard as she can into the dancing, moving her body a little farther in the direction she must go. It's just enough more to put her over a chair she have otherwise skirted.

Ro goes down in a tumble, tripped by the chair. But the hard crash into the floor breaks her from the grip of the song and dance.

WILL: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24 Add +2 if this is a Charm or Compulsion.

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Female NG Aasimar (Azata-Blooded) Bard (Dawnflower Dervish) 1 / Cleric (Herald Caller) 1 | HP: 19/19 | AC: 17 (13 T, 14 F) | CMB: -1, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +5, W: +6 | Init: +3| Perc: +7, SM: +6 | Performance 6/6 | Channel 5/5

Average for Zhalet. She’s always lived more or less communally before, at temple in Gurat. This will be a great and luxurious treat for her!

What about “bronzed” steel? It seems a little odd for Iblydos, which is not isolated or poor, to simply pass on improved technology for aesthetic reasons. But if they have a preference for bronze colored arms and armor, tradition or whatever, so they color the steel to look that way?

Bottom line for me though is it doesn’t matter to me, so do what you prefer.

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Female NG Aasimar (Azata-Blooded) Bard (Dawnflower Dervish) 1 / Cleric (Herald Caller) 1 | HP: 19/19 | AC: 17 (13 T, 14 F) | CMB: -1, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +5, W: +6 | Init: +3| Perc: +7, SM: +6 | Performance 6/6 | Channel 5/5

Alright, I believe I'm all set. I won't add the wand to Zhalet's gear until I hear from Mahzuzi and !Kutlwisi on the subject.

@D-L: I've given Zhalet 2 vials of holy water free of charge since she can make her own. I figure there would have been downtime to allow the spell to be cast at some point. Sound reasonable?

I can see Zhalet really liking this group! Admiration for Thyste, she's tough, experienced, and battle-tested, something Zhalet certainly is not yet, but hopes to be. Great ideological compatibility with !Kutwisi (except for the putting oneself out of business goal), and he's pretty darn adorable otherwise. Mahzuzi is practically a soul mate! Zhalet would never have imagined she'd end up in the company of another Musetouched, or even ever meet one!

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Female NG Aasimar (Azata-Blooded) Bard (Dawnflower Dervish) 1 / Cleric (Herald Caller) 1 | HP: 19/19 | AC: 17 (13 T, 14 F) | CMB: -1, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +5, W: +6 | Init: +3| Perc: +7, SM: +6 | Performance 6/6 | Channel 5/5

Thanks for choosing me D-L!

Hello Everyone!

I should have gear and formatting done by the end of tomorrow if not tonight.

All Players: How do you feel about setting aside a portion of your starting money to purchase a team wand of Cure Light Wounds? It's 750 so a 4 way split would be 187.

Both Zhalet and Mahzuzi can cast it (if he has it) but that's not many times considering Zhalet is a 1st level cleric. Her archetype doesn't have spontaneous cure spells. She can also channel but that's not very reliable for significant healing at low levels.

It might save a life, but mostly it allows us to have longer adventure days without stopping for rest.

Thyste: Here are a couple of links on languages with click consonants. They're cool!


Xhosa Spoken

Zhalet is also a traicky name to get right. It's Persian. 'Zha-' sounds like the 'Ja' is the French name Jacques. the '-let' has a silent T so it sounds like the end or 'Sorbet' but with an L rather than a B.

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Good luck everyone!

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

If asked before it happened, Kaska would never have guessed the forcible removal of liquid from one’s body would be all that terrible, at least compared to plenty of other things she could name. As it turns out, it’s actually agonizingly painful. Enough so to force a scream from Kaska.

This is not to say there is no upside at all to her circumstances. Without the pain to divert her attention Kaska might have been extremely concerned about just how close the manic Holg’s sword was coming to her as he a Fireday tore apart the creature. At least she didn’t have to put up a struggle, the thing was dead before she could recover her wits enough to react.

Kaska is still on the floor nursing a thundrous headache and desperately sucking down water from her kit as Holg rampages on into the next room.She pulls herself to standing and hurries after him.

Right after she enters and identifies the threat, she stops stock still and stares at the thing Holg seems so upset about.

Will: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10

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Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 53/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Sure Nebbin, looks like your AC is considerably lower than Emi's.

Thanks for finding that Kayleigh, I'm so miserably bad at keeping track of loot I probably wouldn't even realized the stuff was unaccounted for.

Looking at saves I'd say the cloak should probably go to Nebbin too, although Tassira could benefit as well.

I like the slippers for Tassira. They would be an excellent quick escape if she found herself threatened.

You take the ring Regeris, you mentioned it back when, and also the portion of gaseous form?

Emi can take the elixir of love. It could come in handy for intel gathering under the right circumstances.

Just my suggestions :)

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Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 53/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

I'm also committed to going all the way to the end of this campaign. I've probably been the weakest link for the last few months. The reason is too much going on all at once in RL rather than a lack of interest. But if it comes down to it, I'll drop another campaign or two to free up more time for this one.

My thinking is the same as Regeris and Nebbin's. I'm torn because on one hand the density and detail of this campaign is a big part of what makes it so great. It's more like a novel than a comic book. I'm not knocking comic books, I'm a fan, but it's fairly easy to find campaigns that run at that level, and I've seen precious few to no others that do what this one is doing.

But right now I think we have come to a point where we no longer know how to sort out all the information we have, and all the directions it's pulling us in. It is decision paralysis, everything seems equally urgent and equally unsolvable in the short term. And yeah, the plague is enough of an ongoing drain on our time, readiness and resources that it's hard to go after any of the plot threads in a committed fashion.

I really don't want to sacrifice plot density or the campaign's feel. The claustrophobia and foreboding are great elements in the campaign's flavor, but right at this moment we may need some sort of deus ex machina kick at the log jam to break things open and move the plot along again.

My feeling is that most of the plot threads do tie together in some way, maybe one small break or victory so we can cross something off our list of things to do would be the fix.

Alternatively, if messing around with the plot would be difficult, just some relief from saves rolled and spells used for the plague could help us get some momentum back.

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Female Half-Elf Investigator 3 / Swashbuckler 1 | HP: 36/36 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +4 | Init: +7 | Perc: +9, SM: +10 | Speed 30' | Inspiration 4/5 | Panache 5/5

It looks like Greenly has stopped posting across all her games with no mention on any of them about why. Hopefully Photine is still planning to return after RL calms down as she’s previously posted.

I’m absolutely ready to continue on with the campaign. I’ve been waiting to post in gameplay until there were others from players and the GM. Hopefully we can keep going. While I was weak about posting for a while due to RL, this is one of my favorite campaigns on the boards and I’d hate to see it shut down.

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Female Human Bard 1 / Swashbuckler 1| HP: 23/23 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 15) | CMB: +0, CMD: 14 | F: +2, R: +8, W: +2 (+5 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +4 | Perc: +4, SM: 0 | Speed 30'| Performance 7/7 | Panache 4/4

Signy smiles at Jaethal and gives her a nod. She calls out after Tartuccio as he retreats.

"STEAL YOUR people? People aren't things owned by some or stolen by others! Jaethal made a CHOICE! You'll always fail because you don't understand this Tartuccio!"

Finally, Signy draws her rapier. "Alright mercenary guys, if we're really going to do this, lets get to it. I think we all know how it's going to end. Even your boss doesn't have enough faith in you to stick around and see which way this goes."

"The sad part is you feel like you have to die here because the gnome is paying you. But he would've found a way to screw you out of your pay anyway. So here you are about to be killed over something you don't believe in, and won't profit from."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

What we do mostly depends on how to robots react to us. If they will leave the room to attack us then the doorway is a bottleneck that gives us a chance to destroy, or mostly destroy the first one through before the second one can arrive in the melee.

If the robots won't follow us out, for example they're set to guard the room and ignore what's not in the room, we'll need to change things up.

They're armed with shields and hammers so we don't have to worry about ranged attacks. Things are starting to hit harder and limiting the enemy's ability to have multiple foes in the fight at the same time will cut down on the healing we need to do and potentially save a life or more as time goes on.

Kaska is really into longevity as a personal goal. :)

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Human Bard (Archaeologist) 4 / Inquisitor 1 | HP: 40/40 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 (+6 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +3 | Perc: +10, SM: +6 | Speed 30' | Luck: 13/13

Her search in the barn leaves Ro feeling sick and, well, old. She seconds Lia's opinion. "There's no sorting among the living and dead to do. Everyone who was here is dead, and identifying who was who from what's left won't be possible. Might as well let it burn."

She doesn't know if all of Lia's predictions about the place will turn out to be true, but she figures they're close enough in the short term that the details won't matter.

A look at the note, the carved sihedron symbol, and the ghast's possessions foreclose any further doubts for Ro. She replies to Karmid's question in the affirmative.

"Lia's figured it was Aldern Foxglove for a while now. It made some sense to me, but I think now there's no real doubt. The notes have all been aimed at Lia, and he was the one who was taken with her. We saw that clearly. Now this one, dressed like a personal servant and carrying the family crest is here, not just as a ghoul but leading the rest."

"The thing that scares me is this was the outcome he expected. We were supposed to make it through all this alive. Otherwise why leave the note where we'd only be able to read it after the place was cleared. So if this was just a show he was putting on to impress us or whatever, how much worse does it get when we find him?"

"I'm going to go check on Lia. We need to get going back to Sandpoint real soon. Ghoul fever will take the two we saved if we don't get them some help."

Ro walks over to find Lia and see how she's handling things. Her comments about the house, on target as they might be, sounded pretty disturbing.

So I think I'm starting to finally get it Mother Moon. You and your pals didn't mark us and put us here because there was some great evil that had to be defeated. We don't pay our dues, get it done, then we're free to go out own ways. It's actually going to be an endless procession of awful, s!++ty things like this. One problem down, the next just around the corner. Always some darkness on the edge of town. We never get to leave do we?

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Kaska doden't know what exactly she's looking at, but it is quite beautiful. She feels there is something special about the moth. Kaska walks closer to it than the others and says "I am Kaska, Chief of the Red Talons Clan. We found this place on a map. Some giants we killed had made a map and planned to come here to fight with you. We came to see what they wanted to harm, and to find out why."

K Arcana: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14

Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 20

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Thanks Fireday! It's a house Holg, I'm moved in now and finally have internet service. Things are about back to normal.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

After the robot is down, Kaska works on the pile of machinery for a few minutes.

"There, so when we go back to claim that 'magic sword' that they must surely have" she says sarcastically, "let's offer to bring them here to see it as proof. If they don't cough one up, let's fall back to the far side of the machine from them and goad them to fight. I've trapped the robot to give them a nasty little surprise if they come close to it."

After Holg shows them the part, Kaska adds "if you don't believe us, come along and we'll show you."

Disable Device: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (9) + 15 = 24 Success DC for building the trap is 10+Construct's HD

It's probably a long shot to get them to the trap. But that's Kaska's new class ability. It's ridiculously situational and the damage isn't anything great, but maybe she can pull off using it at least once. :p

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Kaska pats Fireday on the back. "Thank you Fireday. You have great courage."

"I think we have good reasons to pause here. We should try to start the power to this place. We also must send the air spirit home. It is important we keep our word."

She begins to look around the area for any hints on how to restore power.

Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29

K Engineering: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30

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Female Human Bard 1 / Swashbuckler 1| HP: 23/23 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 15) | CMB: +0, CMD: 14 | F: +2, R: +8, W: +2 (+5 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +4 | Perc: +4, SM: 0 | Speed 30'| Performance 7/7 | Panache 4/4

Signy is apoplectic.

"Ooooh, I see. I'm so relieved that you were able to take care of all that hard thinking stuff for all the rest of us, and then seize the initiative like a snake under a log."

"Nice story. The thing is though, I witnessed all of it. You couldn't, or wouldn't, control yourself. She slighted your little club so you went at her, no weapon in her hand. But! There happened to be someone in the way, just standing there. So you cut them down instead. Then when your ass was getting handed to you, the rest of us were forced to step in and save it."

"You got all pissy about what she said. That's the deal. I myself disagree with you about whether or not things were 'always going to come to blows'. See, she ran and told her people to do the same when you made your move. Doesn't seem like they were itching for a real fight all that badly. But we'll never know now who was right because we can't ask them can we?"

"The part that really gets me, aside from your eagerness to kill people who aren't prepared to defend themselves, is this. You decided our lives were worth settling your petty little grudge. I can't seriously believe you are so insane that you actually thought you were going to handle them all. You expected us to jump in. I, or any of us, could have been killed when we did. We mean less to you than your ego."

"If you are in any way representative of the Aldori, I have no respect for them anymore either. And mark my words, if you ever pull that kind of crap again, I will not have your back. That's a vow."

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Female Human Bard 1 / Swashbuckler 1| HP: 23/23 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 15) | CMB: +0, CMD: 14 | F: +2, R: +8, W: +2 (+5 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +4 | Perc: +4, SM: 0 | Speed 30'| Performance 7/7 | Panache 4/4
Galahad0430 wrote:
Signy, you do realize you've been hired to kill all the bandits in the Stolen Lands, right?

Oh sure, on a meta level I don't doubt that's where things are eventually going to go. But I don't murderhobo. The hows and whys of things still matter. Signy's a Caydenite, which actually involves a code of conduct. Condoning what Pyros did is way far outside her wheelhouse, to the point that if he were fighting all alone: well he picked it, he can finish it. His choice, his consequences. However, others are going to get involved to help him, and she's not going to stand by and let them get hurt. I mean if ethical choices and weighing the consequences of different courses of action don't have a place in this game, and we're just gonna kill stuff because that's the surest, fastest way to bot on down the AP road, this isn't the game for me. So if I'm in the minority on this, everyone might as well let me know now so I can get out of your way.

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Female Human Bard 1 / Swashbuckler 1| HP: 23/23 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 15) | CMB: +0, CMD: 14 | F: +2, R: +8, W: +2 (+5 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +4 | Perc: +4, SM: 0 | Speed 30'| Performance 7/7 | Panache 4/4

Signy finds most everything on their journey, no matter how mundane, very interesting. She comments on all the new things she comes across as the group travels. Given the frequency of these comments, it isn't hard to conclude that Signy has spent almost no time in places that aren't cities. She talks about deer, opossums, birds and their calls, moss of unusual colors, and the rushing water of streams. Every time she finds a newest "biggest tree I've ever seen" she stops to walk around it and touch it.

Her always positive comments about nature plus her chatting with the others members of her group add up so that Signy hardly stops talking at all. Admittedly most of the talking is done with Linzi. It doesn't take long for Signy to realize the rest of her companions aren't much for talking. She still finds a way to view the issue from a comparatively glass half full perspective though.

"Poor Amiri. I think she's going to be sorry she went with that other group. She'll just end up killing the gnome. And until she does she'll be stuck with some really miserable company. Maybe that creepy elf will get lost in the wilderness. She's not even alive!"

Signy also tells Linzo her ambition is to see a deer, a fox, a raccoon, and a bear. She's seen drawings of them in picture books and they look really nice and wild.


Signy watches the old man, puzzled by his behavior. "He doesn't seem to put much stock in his fort does he?"

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Human Bard (Archaeologist) 4 / Inquisitor 1 | HP: 40/40 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 (+6 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +3 | Perc: +10, SM: +6 | Speed 30' | Luck: 13/13

Karmid, if you get yourself killed Ro will have you raised, absolutely murder you, and have you raised again.

DM: Yup, I'm fine with those hero point rules.

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So, looking over Lian's character sheet for options, she has no points in firearms, weapons, or scuffling. Can she do those things at all? She does have points in fleeing, preparedness, and athletics. Do those provide any options here? On the bright side, I was wrong about driving, she can. She seems to be quite capable at electrical repair, and her credit rating seems to be excellent. Does the flying creature care that she's responsible with money? :p

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Coming across the pack of gearsmen in the mist and discovering they also have spears shocks Kaska pun intended, she had been expecting to close on them and that they would only have the lasers.

She backs away from the mob, closer to Firedat and Holg. Her haphazard slash at the lead gearsman just bounces off it.

"I'm alright, just surprised they came at me."

Power Attack: 1d20 + 12 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (1) + 12 + 4 - 2 = 15

Damage: 1d10 + 6 + 6 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 6 + 6 + 4 = 19

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

"And hopefully we just happened to find the most crowded part of this place first. That was a lot of nastiness packed into only a little bit of space."

Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18

Well not quite as soon as Thursday, but I'm back. I plead weariness for the lag.

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Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 53/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Emi wanders past the doorway inside, looking grumpy and haggard. When she sees the priest at the door with Kayleigh she pauses to give him the stink eye just because.

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Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 53/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Emi sits up for a while after everyone else has gone to sleep. She has half of the wine in a bottle sitting beside her on the kitchen table, but mostly she broods. She's really not liking the current lay of things. It feels to her like they're paralyzed, not knowing what they should do, or can do. All they know is doing nothing will be catastrophic.

As she sits and thinks, she also plays with her new harrow card, flipping it back to front and studying every detail of it.

The Paladin. Somebody's got a sense of humor.

That somebody has a sense of humor and could act on it as they have goes to the heart of the matter for her. It's like the card sums up everything in a single piece of paper. Emi doesn't believe enough, or perhaps know enough, about magic to accept the card just appearing out of thin air.

Somebody knew where I was at exactly that time, got into Vencarlo's house, snuck up close enough to me to lay this down, and just left without either of us knowing. What the f%**? Why?

It gives her chills, their utter vulnerability at that moment when the card was laid down. She could imagine Rolth or his elf doing it as some king of sick joke. Except it happened before as well, when he couldn't possibly have known or cared who any of them were.


The next morning Emi is chewing on a piece of bread and preparing to leave for Kayleigh's place as Nebbin paces around complaining. She swallows her bite and agrees with him. "Yeah, this is absolutely the worst. I've felt this useless before, but not often. I just don't know what to do."

She walks over to him and draws out the harrow card. "I've reached the point where I'm thinking we should take out Madame Zellara's harrow deck and have a reading. We keep getting these, it has to mean something right? I'm that desperate. I don't see what we have to lose by it, could we look or feel any more foolish than we do now anyway?"

Female Half-Elf Investigator 3 / Swashbuckler 1 | HP: 36/36 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +4 | Init: +7 | Perc: +9, SM: +10 | Speed 30' | Inspiration 4/5 | Panache 5/5

Of course Amandine noticed immediately when Lady Olivia turned cold toward her. It isn't hard for her to guess why either. Amandine is disappointed, Olivia seems nice enough all in all, but she can't be very surprised. In some ways the point of being upfront about things is to prevent them from being surprises later on when they can be more hurtful in a developed relationship.

At least I now know where not to try too hard because my efforts won't be reciprocated.

Still, it is also possible Lady Olivia reacted to something she found very shocking in the moment, but will adjust to given time. Amandine decides to leave a bridge open just in case it might be so. She's certainly not going to apologize to her for anything. Amandine isn't sorry about any of her past choices, and isn't going to become so just because the people she's now rubbing shoulders with might think she should be. There's been little Amandine has seen that would suggest even those with considerable empathy among Lady Olivia's class have any real notion of how the world works for most everyone who isn't a member of their tiny little sliver of humanity. But it could be possible to arrive at some limited mutual understanding.

Amandine lets the subject rest for a while, saying nothing and steering as clear of Olivia much as the other woman seems to desire. But eventually when the chance to speak with Oivia alone arises on the journey to Merrat, she does so in a way she hopes will leave a future opening between them.

"Lady Olivia, Thank you for the time and attention you've given to Calix recently. I know he's very taken with you. It has made him happy. I appreciate what you've done as well. It's a very difficult age for him. He may be 14 years, but he isn't in the same way those who are fully human are. His friends are moving onward toward adulthood faster. They're leaving him behind and he feels it. I remember his age well. It's very painful. For a while now I've been worried he would try to compensate by doing foolish, risky things to keep their attention. Now that he's out of our old neighborhood I'm less concerned. But it has been wonderful to see you and Greenly especially show him he's worthwhile. I can't do that all by myself."

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"Sure, sure, the pigs can wait some. As long as I can get them around he first of next month that'll be fine. I've got a couple of elk right now and they'll keep me busy for a while."

"I don't know anything in particular about the ghost, nothing you'd not hear from just about anyone else around that is. People saw Sir Roderic appear at the Market. Anybody's guess why, but in the past he's always appeared to warn about some kind of trouble. He was always the town' protector, and it seems that hasn't stopped even after his death."

"Now about those murders at the Circle, yeah I did see something. Every night I have to come down and check the fires here. So I was walking along on my way a while after midnight." Ladia seems quite eager to tell her tale.

"And when I got near the Circle, I see several people running fast as they could away from there. I figured they were up to no good, else why would they be running off late at night you know? Well, when I get to the circle, and I'm calling out to the people running off to stop the whole time, I see all these bodies on the ground."

"There were six in all, and I recognized every one of them from around town. A couple of them I knew by name. Gower was one, and he used to work for me a good while back. Decent man all in all, but poor attitude about things. He always had something or other to complain about. Ozias did odd jobs around town, whatever someone needed done and didn't want to do themself. All of them were part of that Horned Fangs gang that hangs around."

"I never got a good look at any of the other ones who were running off. I stopped chasing when I saw they'd killed people. But I did keep yelling until the Watch and some other people showed up."

"A couple of things struck me about the whole thing. First of all, I don't know what the Horned Fangs are all about, they fairly shifty looking. But aside from complaining about the wages paid for jobs, I've never heard they were accused of anything that could be proven. And I've not heard anybody ever suggest they were violent types. But who knows right?"

"The other thing is the ones that ran away ran into the woods. You'll hear people saying the killers must have been down from Riddleport, and they're trying to start some trouble here again. But if it was pirates from Riddleport, they would have come by ship. So why were they running for the woods instead of the docks? It don't think they were from Riddleport at all."

When Ladia is done with her tale, both Roya and Genevieva are left with a feeling that maybe Ladia hasn't told everything she could. If you want to pursue this, make a Diplomacy check.

GM Dice:
1d20 ⇒ 5, 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16, 1d20 ⇒ 18, 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13

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Female Half-Elf Investigator 3 / Swashbuckler 1 | HP: 36/36 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +4 | Init: +7 | Perc: +9, SM: +10 | Speed 30' | Inspiration 4/5 | Panache 5/5

I started the post above, then got called away before I could finish it. This post is the complete one. Editing for the original timed out before I could get back to it. Hopefully the original skill check can count rather than the one in this post? It's for Persona Development (Subterfuge): Sabotage Opponent.

Amandine arranges to meet with her contact who works as a junior steward at the Senate. After a short conversation with him, she has the name of a mail clerk who will exactly meet her needs.

A couple of days later she goes to the Senate herself, two letters in her possession. She finds an out of sight place where she spends a few minutes weeping in order to redden her eyes. Now prepared for her encounter with him, she places herself on the route the mail clerk takes every day and waits.

When he approaches Amandine walks over to him, all nervousness and despair. "Please Sir, I must get a note to my cousin." She raises her hand to show him one of the letters. Fighting to keep her face from crumpling into tears again, she continues haltingly. "Circumstances have arisen", she moves her other hand to cover her belly, "and I face ruin if he will not intervene with his assistance. I dare not send this letter to his home or elsewhere. Only here in the Senate can I be assured he alone will see it. Will you please add it to your deliveries today?"

Amandine chose this particular clerk for his soft-heartedness and the fact that he has three daughters. While it isn't procedure for mail to be added post-sorting, during a delivery, he can't deny the poor young woman in front of him her request. "Of course my dear, I'll see it delivered myself. Give it to me."

Amandine hands over the letter and watches closely as he thumbs through the mail in his bag to find it's place among the other envelopes for Baron Godefroy. When the letter is in place, Amandine thanks the clerk profusely, breaking down into tears again and throwing herself against him in a grateful embrace. She buries her face against his shoulder in such a way so she has a view of his mail bag. As the clerk tries to comfort her, she quickly thumbs through the mail herself. Using Godefroy's position in the bag as a reference point, she quickly finds a second name, Ingelger, and places the second letter to be sandwiched between others for that baron.

With the task completed, Amandine releases the clerk and finds her composure. With a teary smile she thanks him again for his great kindness before departing.

Later that day Baron Ingelger finds a letter mistakenly delivered to him. Normally he would think little of such a thing and return the letter to be correctly delivered. But this letter is addressed to Baron Godefroy, a man he hates, and it carries the scent of perfume. He opens it of course.

Letter to Baron Godefroy #1:

My Dearest Bellay,

I am so happy and relieved to finally have word you survived the horrible events at the Senate. Rumor has it you were not on the Senate floor when the massacre occurred. I suppose our tryst, away from the crowds was responsible? I assume so since the felwil we shared went to your head so. But, before you slept, what ardor you showed me! It was a brief encounter this time, but one I know neither of us will forget.

I am returning the handkerchief you lent me that evening. I part with this keepsake only because I will borrow a new one from you when we meet again. I pray you will not deny me my keepsake for many more days, in my soul I know you cannot.

Our hearts are twined forever, and I await the day, hopefully soon, when I will have you as fully my own.

All my love,


Along with the letter Baron Ingelger finds a monogrammed handkerchief.

Meanwhile on the same day, Baron Godefroy finds the letter from Amandine in his mail.

Letter to Baron Godefroy #2:

Good Day to you Baron Godefroy.

Soon you will become aware that it well within my means to destroy you. What you will experience in the near future will be harmful without a doubt, but it is only a small offering of what I know about your shadier dealings.

I wish to offer you my sympathies, and assure you I take no pleasure in your misfortune. It is a matter of business only. I will limit the harm I do you to the extent you allow me to, through your cooperation. If you are conscientious about carrying out my requests, you will only suffer the embarrassments about to be visited upon you and no more. If you do not adhere to my requests the more sordid financial information will come to light. Attempting to contact me or discover my identity will result in the same disastrous outcome for you.

I will contact you again at a time of my choosing. Check your mail diligently, your future depends upon it.


Baron Ingelger wasted no time in making the letter he had "mistakenly" received public. The contents of the letter to Godefroy not only damaged the other noble, but went to the heart of Ingelger bitterness toward him. The two had been rivals for the hand of Godefroy's now-wife.

Godefroy had handed out a few bribes to keep quiet his discovery in the aftermath of the Senate massacre. He had been found down a hallway, unconscious with his trousers around his ankles. Ingelger only had to spread some some coin of his own around to find out the truth, and confirm the contents of the letter.

Amadine had kept a solid vote against Princess Eutropia off the Senate floor when she lured Godefroy down that dark hallway and given him the tainted felwil that evening. Lady Lotheed had tasked her with the job because, among her new recruits, Amandine was the one with both the skillset and willingness to carry it out.

Before she left him though, Amandine had taken his handkerchief. She reasoned that she could only use the current method once. But it could be a springboard to a longer relationship. Now Godefroy will see the light and become a reliable vote for Princess Eutropia's interests if his sense of self-preservation is as strong as she suspects.

Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 8 + (3) = 12

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Female Half-Elf Investigator 3 / Swashbuckler 1 | HP: 36/36 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +4 | Init: +7 | Perc: +9, SM: +10 | Speed 30' | Inspiration 4/5 | Panache 5/5

Amandine begins to toss around an idea that comes to her shortly after the meeting with Princess Eutropia. She would like to do something special for Malaprop, who has in many ways been the most important adult in her life for many years. The best thing she can think of is something that will boost the profile of his bookstore. Bookseller is not an easy way of life, and anything that will bring positive attention, and therefore potential customers, is most welcome.

As harrowing and dangerous as the escape through the Senate's bowls had been, it was also an uniquely historical experience. The place is forgotten, and along with it all its contents. There are historians and aficionados who would consider the tour of the place she had taken to be an opportunity of a lifetime, albeit if taken under less dangerous conditions.

She would probably have discarded the idea of a lecture on the subject if she didn't have numerous artifacts to present. Most serious scholars would probably consider what she could tell hem to be preposterous if they would have to take her at her word alone. But with the supporting material evidence, She believes she has both a substantial historical contribution, and a compelling story.

Amandine draws up a detailed layout of the chambers under the Senate from memory and builds descriptions of each of the rooms and halls within. Based on their contents and other information revealed to them while there, she reconstructs to the best of her ability the dates and uses of the areas.

In order to prove her story, she gathers a number of artifacts including her Senate badge, the magical hand axe and shield, the key, and a door lock coin among a few others. At the point in her preparations when she's sure she has enough content to make a lecture work, she advertises the event at the bookstore and to some of its best customers, letting word of mouth do the rest.

When Amandine delivers the lecture, she does takes the audience on an imaginary walking tour through the Senate underground. Her original drawing of the layout has been greatly enlarged to a version using multiple large sheets of paper, suitable for viewing by an audience. She begins where they were transported to, in the safe room. However, she excludes anything suggesting her exploration was connected to the recent Senate massacre. It is best if all current political affiliations are erased from the talk.

Amandine leaves in many of the hazards to spice things up, the fey trickster posing as Aroden is a good comic flourish. Other things such as the traps and animate objects set to defend rooms are emphasized because she wants to discourage any thoughts of looting. She has nebulous plans for preserving the location and its contents at some point in the future. Amandine uses the long dead wizard and his remaining awakened rat familiar in the same way, both to add dramatic tension to the story, and to impress on the audience to dangers of the place.

One thing Amandine alters in order to fully disguise how the under-Senate can be accessed is how she left it. She claims the Senate badge can be used for a single round trip rather than a single one way trip, implying there is no physical access to the chambers.

Persona Action (Genius): Give Lecture.

K History + Inspiration: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (12) + 8 + (5) = 25

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Human Bard (Archaeologist) 4 / Inquisitor 1 | HP: 40/40 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 (+6 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +3 | Perc: +10, SM: +6 | Speed 30' | Luck: 13/13
GM BrOp wrote:
Matrim of Shadows wrote:
I try to post when I see something relevant to me, as Matrim. But I also back down and let others do the talking if Matrim wouldn't contribute to the story/action.
While that's fine, anything you contribute de facto BECOMES the story line, as you all are the main characters of this game. Thinking about how your character would react to a situation and posting his or her response even if, and sometimes especially if your contribution does not seem relevant, can have a huge impact on the development of the story and everyone's enjoyment of it. Playing a PC as a real person with real fears, desires, quirks, and other character traits increases the verisimilitude of the game and IMO deepens everyone's enjoyment of it. Then it feels like you're not just a jumble of abilities and stat blocks but a real person interacting with a real world.

This is very much how I see things, and it's one of the reasons I like PbP campaigns so much. Playing at a table for 4 hours a week or so means that time to move the game forward is finite and extra time spent on one or two characters RP takes time away from others. There's always a competition between moving the game forward and enriching characters and their interactions.

In PbP that constraint isn't really there. Sure, extra posts devoted to pure RP take up some extra space in the thread, but that's all. Everyone is free to spend as much time doing things with their characters as they want. I'm personally all for taking advantage of it. Having a character well rounded out gives the player more to work with when acting or reacting to what's happening, even if they won't be the one rolling the skill check involved at the moment. It also gives other players more to work with, more hooks, when character interactions happen.

About the best analogy I can think of is an episode from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I always held the show to be an outstanding example of a serialized heroic/quest narrative. But the single episode that really stands out in my memory is Tales of Ba Sing Se, and episode where almost nothing happens to advance the larger narrative arc. It's a day in which the characters are split up doing their own things, none of which are significant for defeating the Fire Kingdom, blah blah blah. But the nothings they spend the day on do a tremendous job of helping make the characters understandable and relatable in new ways. So, if any of you have ever wondered why Ro spends time doing trivial, mundane things, that's where the idea came from. It's supposed to tell you a little something about her. Whether it mostly works or not is another matter. :)

As for getting out of combat postings up, I'm not sure. It seems to me there's sort of a chicken and egg problem. Ro often drives the direction of things, but I'm not sure if it's because people want it that way or it happens by default. A lot of times Ro makes decisions for the group because nobody else is posting any decisions. I'll go ahead and post because it's been a while and nobody has chimed in, and maybe it's become expected that Ro will decide so others are waiting?

As I remember it, making Ro the leader was originally about making the group better in combat, more a tactical role for specific situations. But over time it's continued to expand into other areas. I think it cuts down on opportunities for other players if Ro is making all the group's decisions. Fewer opportunities means fewer posts by other players because it creates a feeling that the course will be set in a particular way by Ro regardless.

The flip side is that group decisions based on consensus require timely posts from more players. If others want a say in things, they need to say it sooner or we'll have to move on as decided by Ro just to keep the game going forward.

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Louise watches the vague shapes that roll by outside the backseat window. She strains to make out details from the shadows to keep her mind active on the long drive. Louise doesn't like the dark. Not that she fears darkness, rather it frustrates her. If she could photograph darkness she wouldn't mind it at all.

Interesting but not delightful. Louise's recent mantra to herself floats through her head again. It's the most condensed summary of America west of the Eastern Seaboard she has been able to come up with.

New York City is the greatest place on earth as far as Louise is concerned. Shanghai is not far behind, but it is plagued with the kinds of troubles New Yorkers can hardly imagine. To Louise New York feels fresh, a place that is freer, easier, and more casual than Shanghai. It's possible to move, do things, experience novelty in ways that make anything seem possible.

New York was not without it's ironies for Louise though. As much as she would have loved to go to Chinatown for a familiar meal, or to hear and speak Chinese, it wasn't safe for her there. The Chinese Exclusion Act ensured an extreme scarcity of women in Chinatown. It was a community of bachelors. While Louise is used to eyes on her wherever she goes in the city, their curiosity, or puzzlement, or hostility she can deal with. But in Chinatown the eyes are hungry. After only one brief trip there with her roommate Ruth, she knew it would only be a matter of time before someone would act on that hunger in ways that would be very bad for her.

The car might be cramped with people, but Louise doesn't mind, especially in places like Ohio or Indiana. These places are empty, with too much sky overhead and too many unbroken horizontal lines stretching on forever. The geometry of the midwest (she supposes that's where she is?) is little more than a quick sketch of a place. There's little proportion, sometimes hardly even any perspective for her camera to grab onto. Flat spaces that one could tumble into forever.

Louise sighs and begins to run through the rules of baseball in her head again. She needs to be minimally knowledgable about the game in order to have conversations, but it's also impossibly convoluted and difficult to understand.

Lian Chao uses the English name Louise. She used to use the name Lisa, but after seeing a screening of the film Pandora's Box there was only one name that would do, so she changed to Louise after arriving in the United States.

Louise is from Shanghai, where her father is a financier principally invested in rubber. Her kindred spirit in the family though is her uncle Chao Feng, a professor of sociology. He was instrumental in convincing her parents to let her attend university in the U.S. He argued that not only would it benefit Lian, but potentially the whole family. Entrepreneurs like Lian's father are increasingly squeezed between Nationalist income extraction to support the army, and economic disruptions due to communist party sponsored labor strikes. Chao Feng pointed out it could be a great benefit for the family to have one foot in another country in case the situation continues to deteriorate. Since that time, a Japanese invasion of Manchuria is making it look more and more like a wise investment.

Lian is in her second year at Hunter College. Aside from her major in fine arts, she carries a major in economics, a condition of her parents' support. She has completed her freshman year. While she had hoped to intern in photography documenting the effects of the Great Depression on the American working class, a sort of pictorial anthropology, she got baseball. Oh well, eventually she'll be an upperclassman and rate better assignments.

Lian's english, learned in Singapore, carries a strong British cast.

Louise: Self-Portrait Taken With a Timer.

Louise carries three cameras when she expects to be doing serious work.

For portraits, landscapes, and architecture she has a newly purchased Nagel Recomar 18, which can be fitted to a tripod.

Her workhorse, and her first serious camera, is a Le Furet V2.

She carries a Kodac Brownie No. 2 as a backup in case her Le Furet malfunctions or there is no time to change film rolls. It's a folding camera small enough to fit in a pocket.

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Female Human Bard 1 / Swashbuckler 1| HP: 23/23 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 15) | CMB: +0, CMD: 14 | F: +2, R: +8, W: +2 (+5 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +4 | Perc: +4, SM: 0 | Speed 30'| Performance 7/7 | Panache 4/4

Signy laughs at Pyros's question. "I'm not a stranger I'm Signy, we've met. Oh, I know it's a dueling sword. I've seen quite a few of them by now. I know quite a few of the duelists and they've let me see their swords. I can be very persuasive I guess."

None of what Signy says comes off as critical of Pyros or like bragging. She just seems delighted to have found a subject of common interest with him.

"I don't recall seeing you around Restov but if you know people there you might have heard of Jurgis Morozov? Jurgis is a practitioner and watching his Falling Water Gambit is completely to die for. He's absolutely my best friend there. Actually it's due to him I'm going on this expedition. We'd been boinking regularly for a while but he has to get married, bunch of family stuff going on. I guess our thing was making him feel awkward about the wedding so he needed to stop. But he felt bad about stopping too so he gave me a charter to go along on this expedition. He also gave me a family sword as a present." Signy draws it out and hands it over to Pyros. Signy is beaming about the rapier, but Pyros can tell there's nothing the least bit extraordinary about the weapon. "Jurgis is just the sweetest guy ever!"

Signy, who seems to talk a little on the loud side, doesn't bother to lower her voice during any of this. Unless there's a deaf person in the room it would be almost impossible for anyone there to not have heard every word.

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Female Half-Elf Investigator 3 / Swashbuckler 1 | HP: 36/36 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +4 | Init: +7 | Perc: +9, SM: +10 | Speed 30' | Inspiration 4/5 | Panache 5/5

Calix does his best to fight boredom at Photine's house. But the longer his stay there lasts, the more uphill the battle. At first the grandness of the house, and sharing it with so many strange women, is a bit overwhelming so Calix mostly keeps to himself. But with constant exposure to them, Calix's shyness fades. Besides they are all rather interesting in various ways and he has questions for them.

The one who most quickly catches his attention is Greenly. Eventually he comments to her "you're like my sister and me aren't you? Elf blood." Then, with his opening made he asks her what's really on his mind. "What happened that your ear got bent?" He would like to know what to avoid so he doesn't share her fate.

Barely behind Greenly is Chana, but really it's Snips. Calix has never imagined any response to a rat except strict avoidance. When she plies him with questions about Amandine he answers them, but without much enthusiasm. Calix rates Amandine better than regular parents, at least as far as he's seen with friends because she never smacks him around. She generally pretty nice, but orders him around a lot without really explaining why to his satisfaction. She can get grumpy if she's working a lot because she gets tired and doesn't sleep enough. Sometimes she works all day then works again at night too.

When he believes he's said enough for the her questions to be marked answered, he moves on to his real interest. "Can I pet your rat? Where did you find it?"

Photine and Olivia are interesting in more diffuse ways. Photine owns the house, which must mean she's very rich. He's heard of such people, and he's surprised at how strangely she speaks and behaves. And there are the cards. he asks her what kinds of games can be played with them.

Olivia of course has very cool armor, which invites all sorts of questions about fighting.

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Best of luck everyone!

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

I've been there as well Fireday. I think Coen and Viv make good points, and I'll add that it's best not to conflate party role with role play.

As for the former, Fireday really should be the one speaking for the party. He's far and away better equipped to do it compared to Kaska. She's had a couple of successes lately, but that's pure luck. Any time she tries it's as likely to go terribly as well.

As for role play, I see Fireday as the level-headed, sensible one. It may not sound terrifically exciting, but it's very needed. Coen and Viv have their issues, Holg is more than half crazy, and I have no idea why anyone thinks Kaska is a good leader. Her mental space is mostly taken up by a cluster of suspicion, anger, embarrassment, and hormones. All she has going for her is being more rational than not usually, and not being wantonly violent. She's going to need some help, and Fireday is a good rudder.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

"That's better" she tells the bound woman.

Kaska pulls herself up off Ilarris and onto her knees. She sits back on her curled under feet and relaxes.

"Oof, that was a bit of a workout. Feels good."

She looks at the woman's face and tells her "You'll probably look like a raccoon for a few days, but when the bruise fades there's no lasting harm done."

Kaska is glad she didn't shatter the woman's nose, which could have easily happened. Sometimes when she's completely in the moment with her adrenaline up, she can go a little overboard.

Kaska will be fatigued for 8 rounds.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Kaska did headbutt her, but it was nothing personal! She would have done the same to any stupid, seductive, Varisian dancing girl.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Kaska tosses aside the piece of skirt and goes hard after the woman. She might be entangled, but Kaska wants insurance. She grabs and holds the woman, perhaps harder and rougher than is completely necessary. Some might think it's because the woman is a stupid, seductive Varisian dancing girl, but they would be wrong. Nope, it has nothing to do with it at all.

Grapple: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 11 + 2 = 26

If I understand the rules correctly, Kaska will have to wait until the next round to pin her, but that's next.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Kaska is still trying to figure out what kinds of questions to ask when all the spell casting and countering breaks out. When the woman turns to run, Kaska's adrenaline kicks in and she goes after the woman at a sprint.

I guess Coen DOES know about Varisian dancing girls!

She quickly closes the distance between herself and the woman and jumps on her, going for a tackle!

Grapple: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 11 + 2 = 19

Starting Rage as a free action, move 40', standard action to grapple.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Of course Coen knows all about seductive Varisian dancing girls, and it doesn't bother Kaska at all. Not one iota, nope.


Kaska can't really argue with the man about his assessment of their purpose there, so she doesn't try. She figures she can downplay it though.

"That pretty much sums it up I guess. You know them better than we do. Look, we were asked to come out and talk to the people staying here in return for a favor we need from the town that has nothing to do with this. We don't want to be here anymore than you want us here. So if you'll let us get this done, we'll be on our way quick as we can be."

Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 13

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Female Human Oracle (Spirit Guide) 2 | HP: 20/20 | AC: 13 (T: 16, F: 13) | CMB: +1, CMD: 14 | F: +2, R: +3, W: +3 (+6 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +7 | Perc: +1, SM: +0 | Speed 30'

La la la, badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom...

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 6

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 4

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Human Bard (Archaeologist) 4 / Inquisitor 1 | HP: 40/40 | AC: 18 (T: 13, F: 15) | CMB: +3, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 (+6 vs Charm/Compulsion) | Init: +3 | Perc: +10, SM: +6 | Speed 30' | Luck: 13/13

I'd love to go but never have. I live in Portland so it's an easy trip, but having kids tends to eat up vacation time.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Kaska doesn't come out of her room for the rest of the evening. When Viv tries to say goodbye, Kaska's slightly panicky voice stops her at the door, ordering/pleading "you can't come in here please! Thank you! Goodnight!"

Gelati leaves early in the morning for work, but Kaska stays on in her room to sleep a little longer, and then to wait out Brok. Only after she's sure he has left as well does she come out. She just couldn't pick up the conversation about the tribe with him where it had left off. She needed to do some thinking before she would have anything more to say on the subject.

Kaska nibbles absently on some leftovers from last night. She looks at the thin bronze circlet Coen had brought, It's a pretty thing, I'll give him that, and puts it on. Maybe it will help me decide what to do.

The Coen part of her troubles are the easy part. Kaska washes her hands of him. It was something she wanted, but she could not have it. There's nothing to do but move on.

She hadn't even complained about him to Gelati. She could have, they have long been friends and he is a sympathetic listener, but it seemed a bit rude to do so considering what she and Gelati were getting up to in her room. It wasn't the first time, there had been benefits along with their friendship a couple of times in the past. But he and Kaska both knew there was nothing about it that would shift their relationship to anything more serious than it had been before.

From the time she ran into him on up on Black Hill and invited him to dinner, Kaska had every intention of sleeping with Gelati last night. Although lust and the idea of prodding Coen to try to get a reaction figured into it, they were not the whole of her reasons. Kaska needed to balance her Mana. She knew she had collected much Belobog Mana since she and her companions had set out to relight the flame atop Black Hill, she had the fetishes dangling from her falx to prove it. But little had happened that would let her gather Chernobog Mana, and balance is important.

Belobog comes from conflict: warfare, hunting, vanquishing enemies. It is the spilling of blood, extremely powerful but alone and untempered it becomes a twisted, dark thing. Chernobog affirms life. Sexual prowess is rich with it, thus the final part of her decision about Gelati. It also comes from respect for one's elders, animal husbandry and those other things that make life more than survival.

Kaska sometimes wonders how conscious Holg is of the need for balance. Maybe his god protects him from from the risks of constant pursuit of unlimited Belobog Mana, she doesn't know. But she won't take such risks. Kaska is sure she has the favor of the Lady on the Elk, her bond with Darzee proves it. But Kaska has chosen to take the path of violence, continuing onward with her companions. She must take care the Lady doesn't turn her face from her as she steeps herself in Belobog.

Eventually Kaska stirs herself to go find Holg. It's time she spoke to him about the previous evening.

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Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 53/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Emi returns Vencarlo’s smile and steps forward, into conversation range. ”It’s been a very busy and eventful few days.” She digs inside her shirt and pulls out the bundle of letters. ”Here are Amprei’s letters.” Emi hands them over.

”Things didn’t go the way we wanted them to with Barvasi, but we got them. I’m sure you know by now he’s dead. I don’t know if that will be for the better or worse going forward, but it’s hard to imagine it’s for the worse. At the least we didn’t have to pay him for the letters so you’ll get your money back.”

Emi pulls the bottle of wine for her bag and raises it. ”The details will take some time in the telling, but if it’s not an imposition I’d like to lay them out for you. We could use some advice I think. Maybe this bottle will help things along, and I don’t have anywhere I need to be until tomorrow.” As she says the last part Emi looks at Vencarlo in what she thinks is an approximately demure way, hoping he will pick up on what she means.

Assuming he isn’t otherwise engaged and wants to hear her out…”

Once they’re settled with their glasses, Emi begins the story from the beginning, at their initial meeting with Barvasi. ”He was far more hostile to us than I expected, but then he did agree to sell the letters, and with very little bargaining. In hindsight I guess it should have seemed fishier than it did, but it wasn’t until Tiora told us about the bounty that we really understood what he was planning.”

Emi explains who Tiora is, as well as her revelation of a bounty placed on them by Pilts Swastel. She relates their preparations for the worst ahead of their meeting to make the exchange with Barvasi, as well as Madame Helvara’s assistance.

”Of course Barvasi had not intended to turn over the letters. He didn’t even try hard to disguise his intentions.”

She describes the fight that broke out and it’s outcome. Then she moves on to her offer to protect the businesses at Eel’s End and the owners' reactions.

”So Eel’s End is empty except for Bezzeraty. Since he’s all but refused to stop selling shiver, I’ll have to remove him soon enough as well. I thought we’d be better received by the business owners, but I must admit I’m relieved we won’t be getting involved there. We’re probably not quite so popular as we used to be in Old Dock though” Emi adds with a rueful smile.

”We are also still left with the problem of competition to fill the empty space Barvasi left behind. Things could get ugly in our part of town if there are many rivals fro his position, and the violence gets ugly. And of course there’s still Pilts Swastel behind all of this stuff, offering to pay anyone who wants to try collecting our heads.”

Emi pours herself a second, heavy glass. ”That’s Act I. Act II began this morning. We were summoned by Cressida Kroft. I think she’s mostly alright with what happened at Eel’s End. If she isn’t, she’s at least more interested in having us investigate a new murder than in berating us. You may not have heard this yet, but Kentarion Jeggare was murdered last night at the family museum. It was the Key-Lock Killer.”

Emi skips the meeting with the Pharasmans, it would be too difficult for her to relate it all clearly. Besides, the basic arc of events doesn’t require it for Vencarlo to understand what’s happening. She quickly relates the events involved with Tassira’s brother’s murder and that investigation. She tells him briefly about the discovery of Rolth’s “laboratory”, and their (almost) certainty that he is the Key-Lock Killer. Then she continues by filling him in on the investigation earlier in the day. Unlike the Eel’s End story, where Emi edited out details that didn’t matter to the outcome, she lays out the murder investigation and everything surrounding it in as much careful detail as she can. She hopes something will catch Vencarlo’s notice that they did not see, or prod his memory about the Jeggare family, their associations, and/or their history.

”So yes, the last couple of days have been eventful to put it mildly. It’s all so frustrating because every time we seem to have solved a problem, another looms right behind it. There are so many urgent, hazardous things competing for our attention that we’re always reacting to events rather than taking the initiative. Anyway, we would be grateful for any advice you might have concerning any of these things.”

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I was just trying to butter up Shadow. Besides, Gen is Shorshen and that's supposed to mean something.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Fireday: I wasn't thinking about the two-weapon fighting part of the equation at all. I've also only played above 10th level once very briefly and with a wizard. I'd say Holg and Coen are right.

Since we're on the subject. What do you all think Kaska should do? Stick with light or go to medium? Sounds like mithril breatplate is her best option too? What about elven chain with enchantments added?

Holg: Ha! I should have guessed. Sigrun is the only character I've ever made who's more amazonian than Kaska.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Early the next morning Kaska makes her way up Black Hill along with all the smiths and porters to place an order. She seeks out Bartek, a skymetal smith who makes only blades, and whom Kaska believes to be the most skilled.

Her instructions to him are to reproduce her falx exactly, except with a blade forged from adamantine. He must not reproduce the handle, but instead use the exact one from her current weapon. There is too much Mana bound into it and the three tokens that dangle from the end of the handle, to let any part of it go. From short colored cords tied around the wooden handle's end are respectively, a small swatch of cloth cut from Meyanda's clothing, a piece of leather strap taken from Nalakai's armor, and a small piece of metal from Hellion's casing.

Leaving her falx with Bartek makes Kaska a little anxious, but there is no other way she can get the weapon she wants. To distract herself from it she finds an old friend of hers Galeti, who is an apprenticed smith. She chats with him for a little while, and ends up inviting him to dinner that evening as well.

Later Kaska goes back to the Foundry and leaves two small bags, each holding 50 gold coins with Khonnir. Kaska has never explicitly agreed to continue on to search for Casandalee with the others, but she has now made the decision to do so. Always before, while away in Scrapwall, she had imagined she would settle back into her old life in Torch once the threat to Torch was dealt with. But in her short time back, she has realized she can't.

There is no way she can unsee the things she's seen, or forget what she knows about the world outside Torch. Despite her earlier predictions about herself, Kaska has to admit she wants more than just the tiniest taste of what's out there. Kaska suddenly has a shocking amount of money, enough for her uncle and her to live the rest of their lives comfortably enough, but it seems to Kaska it would be a cramped little life, at least right now.

Leaving again does raise a problem for Kaska though. She needs to provide money for her uncle. The loss of the income from her previous job pinches the household's budget badly. On the other hand, Kaska worries about giving him too much at once. Her Uncle Brok never really adjusted to living in Torch. He never tried to fit in, to make friends and find a place. His time went to raising her and making a living for them. Without her here, and without the need to work, he might become rudderless. With too much time on his hands Brok tended to dwell on the past too much, and sink into dark thoughts.

Thus her plan involving Khonnir. Before leaving she will give her uncle 50 in gold, telling him it will be for the next couple of months while she's gone. If she is gone for longer, she will send more, which he can collect from Khonnir. She tells Khonnir that he must not reveal to Brok the money has been with him all along. It is the best way she can think of to make his life better, but not too good, while preserving his dignity. Brok must not feel like he must go begging to Khonnir.

After leaving the Foundry Kaska finds Indri, a friend of hers who does domestic work just as Kaska used to until so recently. She arranges to pay Indri to go to Brok's home to clean three times a week. Brok has never shown much talent for keeping up a home, and at his age she doubts he will start now just because she won't be there to do it instead.

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Oh I always read spoilers. It's not difficult at all to keep IC and OOC separate. After all, Kaska did still wish Holg a nice helmet that makes him yet louder, even after the tattoo conversation :)

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Female Human (Kellid) Human Ranger 7 / Barbarian 1| HP: 70/85 | AC: 19 (T: 14, F: 16) | CMB: +12, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +8, W: +5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +13, SM: +8 | Speed 40'

Kaska is last to arrive at the Foundry Tavern. She’ none the wiser about Holg and Viv’s engineering of the seating, leaving an open place beside Coen as her only choice. She takes her place at the table with her cup, and barely has time to say her hellos before Holg hands out the bags of money from the things he and Viv have sold.

When he gives Kaska hers, Holg tells her not to spend it all on fancy clothing, clearly referencing the way she’s dressed. She doesn’t understand what he’s getting at since she’s wearing a plain tunic and trousers with sandals.

Is he making fun because I don’t have anything like that? Does he think this is fancy because I’m not in armor? What is it supposed to mean? Kaska lets it go, just smiling in that awkward way people do when they don’t understand something but want to pretend they do get it.

She doesn’t say too much, much Kaska drinks some and joins in with the happy mood and relaxed atmosphere, laughing at the jokes and listening to the stories and reminisces. She makes a face at Holg’s question to Coen about being ethereal and passing through her. ”That sounds creepy and I’m sure it would feel even worse! No experimenting on me!”

Something in the back of her mind starts to bother Kaska before too long. The only open seat, the enthusiasm with which Holg keeps filling her Coen’s cups… Kaska never manages to get hers more than half empty. There are sometimes looks from Holg and Viv that seem a little pointed, and some whispering between them she can’t hear. She can’t figure out what it’s about though, and after some more sips from her cup she stops wondering about it. It must just be her imagination.

”Hm, a gift for each of you…” Kaska works her way counterclockwise around the table. For you Fireday I would get a magical token, maybe a symbol like the one you carry now. It would let you know the mind of your god on all things. Then you would not have to worry so much about her being unhappy with you.”

For you Holg I would get something like a great helmet. It would make your voice very loud so it could always be heard, even in the worst noise of battle. With it you could always make your enemies afraid.”

”For you Viv, I would get some clothes, an outfit with little electric lights like robots and control panels have woven into the cloth. They would be different colors and would flash on and off.”

”For you Coen,” and this is almost the first time in the entire evening she has looked directly at him, ”I would get a mirror. With it you would be able to see your family and talk to them, and they would be able to do the same with you. It would be better than writing so many letters.”

By the time Fireday makes his toast, Kaska is feeling warm and cheery and rosy cheeked. She joins it enthusiastically. "Hear hear! Torchbearers!", even though she abhors that name.

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