Evening of an empire, the eagle in autumnn


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Male

Paper.

Zal was not expecting you this early, so was indulging in his usual vice.

Make a spot check.

Dc 15

Spoiler:
The stew has already been eaten, and by more than one person. There is a rim of thin grease where the pot was filled to. Peppers were chopped and added to pad the stew and disguise this.

Dc 20

Spoiler:
In the kitchen, there are pegs for outerwear. Under one of the pegs, a patch on the floor has been mopped dry, but there is no coat there at the moment.


M Human Fighter 4

Spot=1d20-1=10

Paper frowns at the smell of hashish in the air.

I am glad I didn't bring home a valuable contact to the house. Paper thinks to himself, vaguely embarrased by the home's deserted look and the smell of cheap slave drugs in the air.


Male Human Cleric 4

Examining his patient's wounds properly for the first time, Isat draws a sharp breath.

This is horrific, worse than I thought ...

He speaks quickly. "Whatever made the wounds was small, but lethally sharp. The real danger is infection. See here, the intestines have been pierced. I need to clean the wound thoroughly and stitch as much together as I can. There isn't going to be a lot of time."

A mixture of fear and exaltation fills him. Without doubt this is will be the hardest piece of surgery he's ever attempted. And if I can save this one, I can really call myself a doctor. Greek Ascelpius himself would bow to me.

"I need boiling water and alcohol. Now." he says over his shoulder, his mind already on his work.

OK. Let's start with a heal and profession (doctor) and see if he can pull this off without recourse to wierdness. In general Isat won't use his powers unless there is no other choice. He's really good at what he does and he loves his job. He'll make further checks based on progress.
Heal check: [10,9] = (19)
Prof (doc): [16,6] = (22)


"Nice place, Paper. When did you last see your family?"


Male

Zalmoxis the slave brings alcohol and hot water to the makeshift surgery. A lamp is lit with the good oil, which gives the illumination Isat needs. It takes an hour and half of very nervous work, and all of your hemp twine, but the jigsaw puzzle of the man's guts slowly comes together. After the job is completed, the man's breathing grows steadier and he shows signs of recovery. He will need rest and supervision, but after a few nights of bandage changes, his body will mend the damage. Rufinus Galsius watched the operation with avid interest. He seems very relieved that the man will live.


Hrothgar sees Modius. In a low voice, "Did you know that they have hashish in this place?"


Hrothgar the Red wrote:
Hrothgar sees Modius. In a low voice, "Did you know that they have hashish in this place?"

"You've a good nose, Hrothgar. Perhaps you can sniff in out and we could partake."


"You think we should ask Paper for some. Makes it easier."


"Hey Paper, it smells nice in here, would you be hiding some hashish by any chance?"


"Yeah... give us some."


Male Human Cleric 4

Assured that his patient is stable and understandably pleased with himself, Isat emerges from the room.

"Rufinus - my thanks. You're a good assistant. Modius tends to black out and Red gets easily distracted. We did good work there, I think he'll live if he gets reasonable care."

He shakes his head sadly at his ruined robe. "I paid a lot for this. It'll never be the same."

"Rufinus, we need to find Paper and make sure there is someone able to look after our wounded friend. Then as a matter of extreme urgency I need a bath, food and some time to relax a little while we all talk. You too I think, if you'll forgive my saying so."

Isat sniffs the air delicately. After their recent activities, neither he nor Rufinus look or smell good.

I'm going to need more twine as well. Is it likely there'll be any in the house?


M Human Fighter 4

Paper looks at Modius

"My father and brother are currently exploring business opportunities in Alexandria. My mother and sisters are in Rome at our main villa. Zalmoxius is a caretaker of this villa, and I fear I am taxing his abilities by using this villa as a resting place."

Paper looks at his new acquaintences and frowns

"If you wish to partake in that particular vice you will have to beseech my slave. I can offer you some nice Chian wine or some good old fashioned vinegar."


Male Human Cleric 4

There's probably a bit of a time lapse going on here, since Rufinus and I have been busy being angels of mercy for an hour and a half. No idea what Modius and Hroth got up to during that time (and I don't want to know either). Anyhow, catching up with Paper at last...

"Paper. My apologies for my appearance and for turning your villa into a hospital. The man should live, given careful care."

Isat is sincerely pained to be appearing in this condition.

"If I may impose further? A bath is essential before I'm fit for civilised company. If you can provide me with that and perhaps a glass of the Chian wine you surely keep, then I think we all need to talk."


Male

The rain above is a constant roar on the rooftops. The best rain in months. As Rufinus and Isat come aching from the small surgery, Zal the slave cooks a proper meal for guests, this time with some variety.

vinegar and rosepetal soup. Hummus and flat breads in the hebrew style. Olive paste and goat milk cheese with cumin and coreander.

The smell of roasting lamb and lemon comes wafting form the kitchen.

Rufinus has found the wooden bathtubs and gone out into the rain to bring buckets of water from the shadouf in the courtyard.

Those who wish to bath may do so now.

The old housekeeper has also washed the clothes that were brought to his attention and is drying them on the side of the clay oven in the kitchen.

He approaches Paper and whispers into his ear.

Spoiler:
Master, will your friends be staying the night? I will need to air out the bedding for them if they are.


Male Ostrogoth Barbarian 2

Looking pleased with something, Rufinus is humming to himself as he carries water for everyone.
He approaches Isat quietly and speaks to him.

Spoiler:
"You are a great man. A great healer. I want to learn what you do to heal. I am smart and good with my hands. They do not shake and they do as I bid them. I will go where you go to learn from you if you will have a student."


Male

I am going to rule that Hrothgar and Modius have managed to get some hashish if they so desire. Food has been presented, the victim is safe, and now is a good time for all to come together, clean and fed and discuss their next moves. Two hours have passed. It is now three in the afternoon. The rain shows no sign of letting up. The room is warm with two braziers in the corners and flat morrocan cushioned rugs are laid on the wooden benches. Paper has a high backed chair at the head of a low quartz inlaid table loaded with meditteranean food.


"Modius, how much do you think we'd get for this hashish?"


Male

Paper.

Spoiler:
Zalmoxis is not usually this efficient or friendly.

Isat.
Spoiler:
The curtain to the patients room is open and you can see him from where you sit in the common room. His breathing is a little irregualar, and he is sweating, but there is nothing more to do now. If he wakes, you will see him.

Modius
Spoiler:
The hash is way better than a slave should have. it is probably Ethiopian rather than Afghani or local. He also has more than would be normal for personal use.

Hrothgar
Spoiler:
I need to know what you are looking out for or on the watch for among your companions.


Male Human Cleric 4

Rufinus

Spoiler:
In an unusually serious mood Isat listens to Rufinus and thinks carefully before replying.

"You flatter me too much Rufinus. I admit I'm proud of the work I did today and grateful, very grateful for the help you gave me. I will most willingly teach you what I know, but you must understand that there are ... I suppose mysteries is the word ... yes, mysteries involved. Whether I can teach you those is not in my power to say. The practical skills I can and will gladly share with you."

Isat pauses and reverts to his more familiar cynical self.

"With Modius and Hrothgar around, we're not likely to need any other patients for you to practice on. They attract trouble the way honey attracts wasps."

Isat bathes gratefully and joins the others for their meal. Sniffing the air he takes a long look at Modius and Hrothgar.

"You two have been enjoying yourselves I see. Paper, my tastes are less exotic - could you pour me some wine and accept my thanks for the bath and the meal?"

He sips carefully and slowly, always keeping one eye on his patient.

"Rufinus, watch that the pulse does not quicken unduly. At this stage we can do little, but if fever develops, we will need to act. Rufinus was an able assistant this afternoon." he adds to the table at large.


Hrothgar the Red wrote:
"Modius, how much do you think we'd get for this hashish?"

"This is too much for one man. It couldn't all be his. It even too much for you Hrothgar. Smells good too."

When he gets a chance to speak to Paper surreptitiously he will comment on the quantity and quality of hashish. Is there a hookah or pipe about? Or if he can find a red hot poker in the fire he'll break off a little piece and try it out. He'll even reimburse the slave if this turns out to be an honest patime.

Great, my character is getting stoned.


M Human Fighter 4

Paper whispers to Zal

"Aye, best that we get the beds aired. I imagine they will stay."

Paper follows the slave with a frown on his face as he leaves.

Is it my imagination or does he look like the cat that ate the canary? Paper thinks to himself

Paper acts the gracious host, pouring Isat some Chian wine and ignoring the social gaffes of the hashish scroungers. While eating he takes a moment to cast his gaze around the villa, his suspicious soldier's mind smelling something fishy in Constantinople


For Taliesin

Spoiler:
Hrothgar is a happy-go-lucky fellow. He accepts his friends for what they are and is willing to give them a benefit of a doubt. Though past experience teaches him to be on guard for treachery, especially as there is still that bounty oh his head.


Male

The man in the infirmary lifts his arms and starts to call out.
"Ruth!" "Ruth!"
He is looking aghast at his surroundings and seems to not notice his terrible injuries.
Isat can see that the man is short sighted, which contributes to his obvious terror at his new surroundings.
The man is in his fifties. He is clearly not a man who labours for his keep. His hands are soft and uncallussed. He has thin arms and a fat belly. Being stabbed in the belly is what saved him, but he lost a lot of blood. His only calluses are from holding a pen. His clothes were not fashionable, but were well made and possibly Thracian or Macedonian in cut.

He calls out again, in Koine.
"Who are you people and what do you want with me? You cannot have them!"

He sees the wreckage of his stomach and starts to pray. His prayers are in Hebrew, but he was not wearing any of the jewish paraphernalia of faith.

Isat: Knowledge Religion or Arcane check please.
Modius: Deception check.
Paper: Knowledge local or nobility check.

These checks are all free actions, and you are all free to react however you see fit.

Hrothgar is closest to the man and can act fastest.

Zalmoxis has gone to attend to the bedding and is not in the room.


Male

For Paper.

Spoiler:
You have come to the sudden realisation that Zalmoxis is not stoned at the moment. He is sober. His strange energy and vigor comes from not being under the influence. You could clearly smell the drug when you came in. His eyes are clear though.


Male Ostrogoth Barbarian 2

"You are at a safe place. None will harm you here."


"Relax, brother. You would be a dead man had the Lord not brought us to you."

Deception: 1d20 5=6


Male Human Cleric 4

Know(arc) [10,7] = (17),
Know(rel) [14,7] = (21)

"Stay still," commands Isat. "You are safe here, but your wounds will open again if you move." And if they do, I doubt I can patch you up a second time. "Tell us how we can help you."


"Your Ruth is safe. And you will be too, if you don't move too much. But what do I know, I'm no healer."

Hrothgar maintains a distance of a few feet from the injured man. He does not want to provoke the injured man into doing something stupid, like fighting him, as he'll knock him down no questions asked.


Male

The man lifts his hands to the stumps of his ears. He seems to hear you all fine though. The only one who is close enough to the man for his bleary eyes to see is Hrothgar. His eyes fix on Hrothgar's face and he seems reassured.
"The enemy does not have truck with Goths. Are you senator Hibernius' men? You say there is a doctor here? Please come close so I can see you."
The man's voice is clear and trained. His labourer guise does not fit the voice. He is clearly disguised.

Isat. There is a patch of blood on the man's bandages. He moved too much, but there is no urgency. It can get fixed any time in the next hour or so. There is twine in the kitchen, but you will need to boil it and coat it with some beeswax. You have plenty of beeswax.

Hrothgar. The man seemed relieved to see you. It was like a weight off his shoulders to see a Goth. You are not used to that reaction.

Modius. Your roll was poor. I am going to rule that you misread this guy and think he is exactly what he first appeared to be. A labourer in the wrong place with coins.

Isat.

Spoiler:
What sounded like praying in Hebrew was actually not mainstream Judaism. The man seems to be a Kabbalist. It was a chant to ward off evil and it carried mystical power. This man cast a spell and disguised it as prayer. You have never seen magic like it before. The use of the sephiroth Keter repeatedly in the chant seems to indicate some sort of mental protection. He is the second being you have ever met with magical ability.


Male Human Cleric 4

"Red, come with me. You seem to be a calming influence - oddly enough." There is a touch of Isat's usual cynicism in the last remark as he tries to mask his extreme unease at hearing the wounded man's "prayer".

"Rufinus - can you find clean twine and boil it for me? Then coat it with beeswax from my bag."

Moving close enough to the man so his face can be seen and his words followed easily, Isat says

"We will help you if we can, but you must help yourself by ceasing to struggle. Shortly I will be able to look at your wound again, but while we wait for my assistant to return, tell us what you fear. As you see, Red is large enough to flatten anyone foolish enough to try and attack you here."

Spoiler:
When Rufinus gets back with the waxed twine, Isat will take the opportunity to try and find out what the man was casting. He will do this only when they are alone together.


Male Ostrogoth Barbarian 2

Rufinus was looking intently at the man. He starts when he hears Isat's voice.

" I will do that. I will make the twine thin, like what you used to sew the man."


"My name is Levi. I am from far away. Judea of old. There are men after me. Are you sure this place is safe?"


Male Human Cleric 4

"Red? You and Modius had more chance to look around than me. Is it?"


"I shall endeavor to discover."

Modius goes for a walk around the grounds.

Perception: (1d20 4=10)


"Safe? It is safe. I am here"


Male

Modius. As you walk out to check the house, you see no one obviously threatening. The rain has cleared most people from the street. The exception is a youth of about fourteen or sixteen who sits across the street, looking at the housefront and the green door. You have gone out the alley door and can see him watching. It does not look like idle curiosity either. No door is that interesting. I am assuming that you have chosen to keep a low profile in your reconnoiter. You are peeking past the edge of the alley into the square in front. There is almost no light on you, so there is no need for a hide check. The boy only pauses once, to spit onto the ground. He is chewing on some mint leaves or aniseed or something. He reaches down into the box he is sitting on to check something. He has a wooden whistle clutched in his fist. Lucky for you, he chose his hide when the light was different and did not notice the shift after the sun moved. He has a skinny scrawny street look to him, and a scar on his scalp. A verandah on a tenement is what shelters him from the rain.


"The last thing I remember was Rafi stabbing me before I could get to the senator. Everything went black. I thought I was on my way to the other side. I did not feel him cut my ears off. Is He here? Hibernius is here?"

The man looks like the blood loss has affected him more than he knows. His hands clutch reflexively at his side, like they are used to finding something there but it is missing. He suddenly looks scared again.

"Who are you? You want to find them don't you?"


Male

Modius.

Spoiler:
A man from your past walks into the square. You are terrified to see the man who killed your senator mentor step swiftly toward the boy. At his heels are four men dressed in waxed cloaks of linen with wool linings. They are all armed with gladii and lorica segmenta, but there is no company insignia and the armours are not identical. Scurrying behind them ingratiatingly is the bastard wagondriver that carried you all here. Despite your shock, you will need to snap out of it and hide. I would like you to make a will save to get your s@~+ together. DC 10. On a fail, you stand still and on a success you have a chance to make a hide check to get back in the house.


Male

Hrothgar, Paper, Isat and Rufinus need to make Perception (listen) checks.

DC 19 for Isat and Hrothgar.
DC 17 for Paper and Rufinus.


Male Human Cleric 4

Concentrating on Levi, Isat is oblivious to the world beyond the small room.

Perception [2,6] = (8)


M Human Fighter 4

Knowlege Local: 1d20+4=21

Sorry I haven't been keeping up, I will endeavor to keep the post level up! :)

Something about the man tugs at Paper's memory

EDIT:Perception: 1d20+5=18

I think therse bonuses are right, but paper is still kinda unformed after the shakeup.


Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
Modius. ** spoiler omitted **

Will, Stealth: (1d20=19, 1d20 7=20)

Modius slinks back into the house as briskly and quietly as possible.


Male

Modius.

Spoiler:
The men seem to be waiting and were not advancing toward the house when you slinked back inside like a ferret. It looks to you like they are either waiting for orders, or waiting for confirmation.

Paper.

Spoiler:
This man is probably of aristocratic blood, but you are absolutely certain beyond a doubt that he is not part of any power structure you have ever encountered, in Rome, Germania, Your stint in Egypt or the Sudan. What he most reminds you of is not royalty, but church.

Paper, and anyone who passes the perception check.

Spoiler:

Paper suddenly hears Zalmoxis talking in whispers to someone in one of the sealed bedrooms. The whisper was unmistakeably the words "No, Please, No." You are chilled to hear another voice in your house whisper "Yes". No-one has entered. The stranger has been here the whole time.

Paper only.

Spoiler:

When your family visited this house in Springs gone by, you could always hear the servant gossip in your sister's room because of a weird acoustic trick of the house. Zal would know that you can hear him, but someone not of the house would not.


Male

Please all catch up on the discussion thread before you carry on. I have added some background hooks for all of you.


Perception (Listen) (1d20+3=18)


Male Human Cleric 4

"Levi, what were you carrying when they attacked you?"

Aside to Red

"He's not going to rest until he's told us what he knows. If he doesn't rest he won't heal. Man's guts are a mess - I can't put them back together again."

At least not in any way I can explain.


Male Human Cleric 4

Perverse. He can't hear anything, but his init is OK.

Isat's init roll: [15] = (15)

He'll probably just try and protect Levi any way he can and hope that others are better at sorting trouble. That would be once he's twigged there's anything going on at all.


Init (1d20+7=14)


Male

I have learned my lesson and will never attempt to make ascii art in Paizo again.

My post has dissapeared, so here is a new one.

I asked for initiative. Thank you to both of you.
Initiative will help us keep things in sync.

Here is a summary of how things stand.

In the southwest corner of the house is the room where Levi Bram the victim, Isat, Hrothgar and Rufinus are. Levi is calling out in fear and asking again who is there.

In the next room, the lounge, Paper is in his chair. He and Hrothgar and Rufinus have all heard voices in a room to the northwest. It is one room removed from the room Levi is in. Paper knows that the people in the room include one stranger who has been hidden here the whole time.

Modius has just come in the kitchen door. He saw some things he will need to tell you all about pretty quickly. The kitchen door is to the East of the house, and opens up into a small slave alley.

To the south of the house, there is a square. Enemies are gathered there. I know that these lines somehow rhyme. It happens to me all the time.

Combat has not begun. Initiative is solely so we can keep track of events.


Thanks Fezzik. Whenever Modius arrives inside again:

Initiative (1d20 3=15)

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