Evening of an empire, the eagle in autumnn


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Male

Rufinus whispers : "I will hold them and follow you. Go! I will meet you all where coins are in bone. Let me buy you time!"
He will not be budged.

Nothing hinders your dash up the ladder and along to the exit.

From the street in front of Paper's house come crowd sounds. Angry voices were heard earlier, but this time there are many and they are co-ordinated. The local fuller and his boys have rounded up every local with something sharp or heavy, and mustered to defend the honour of the Via Mercere tenants.

Via Concord is busy with foot traffic, and a sweaty, angry jam of immobile oxcarts and wagons shouting insults and threats out of old habit.

The rain has slowed down. An enterprising young blonde is selling cloaks, and the people who cook street food are lighting their fires under makeshift awnings. The corner of Via Concord and one of the main avenues of the city is only fifty feet away from the exit you have used. A small army of twenty legionnaires thunder past the street you are in, primed for trouble. The decurion is the son of one of Paper's army friends. They are obviously going to check out the unrest in front of Paper's house. They are looking straight ahead, and will not see you.

Isat: Seperate Perception check dc 20.

Isat, Modius, Hrothgar and Paper. Perception checks.


Male Human Cleric 4

Isat's solo perception check [8,6] = (14) - sorry guys

Isat's other perception check [11,6] = (17)


Perception (1d20+3=9)

Hrothgar isn't really minding his surroundings.


Male

For Paper: 14+3=17, from the rolls he left. Good idea that. I am going to be thinking about how to improve this game over my weekend.

Levi Bram: 1d20+1=3


Male

All of you walk in the rain in a somber, reflective mood. The haze of battle has lifted, and although you are still in danger, you find yourselves ready to take on whatever the world has in store.

Level up.


Perception (1d20 4=19)


Male

Modius.

Spoiler:
In the press of traffic and oxcarts, one of the Oxen is Germanicus. Agrippa the wagoneer is on the far side of the wagon, talking to a fat Greek in a wet robe, with a bald pate and three chins. The fat man seems angry at something, but Agrippa is nonchalantly counting out coins for the man, and is not really listening to him.

Agrippa has not seen any of you. He is about fifty feet away, and if it werent for his ox, you would not have seen him. He is on the corner of the main avenue,and the others were too distracted by the legion to see him. It seems he must have left as soon as your location was confirmed by rafi.

Everybody.
You are collectively all very aware of your surroundings at the moment and are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are not being followed. Your attackers have probable withdrawn.

There is no sign of Rufinus here, but he left a cryptic clue for Isat about coins and bone.

Levi is much better. Suspiciously so. Could he have faked his injuries?

The street is coming alive as the cool of the night wakes the people who ply their trades by torch and lamplight.


"Think we should go look for Rufinus?"


Male Human Cleric 4

"I know where to find Rufinus. We've found ourselves a lot of trouble brothers. Isn't that fun?"

Isat looks at his companions.

"I think a little patching up is needed. Paper dear chap, I need to get that knife out of your face. It may be the height of fashion, but it's mightily conspicuous. Modius, I've told you before, don't turn the other cheek when the other man is holding a knife. You too Red."

He glances up and down the busy street. "I don't think this is the proper place. Can we find somewhere a little quieter for me to do some emergency patchwork? To take your minds of the inevitable agonising pain, Levi has a story to tell you all. I think you're going to like it."

Like a lot of you, I won't be around much today. I'll be able to check back this evening (GMT+1).


Male

Places to go to.

I am going to say that Constantinople has a sort of informal curfew. There are markets that go till late at night, and many other night time entertainments, but for the most part, they are in the heart of the city. In the outskirts, patrols and militias and neighbourhood watches will stop any suspicious group of people and ask questions.
There is a bewildering morass of conflicting jurisdictions and rules and some of the regulations are not enforced, while other things can get a man killed at the whim of an official. You will need to choose a place to go to.

Rev

Spoiler:

Isat has a small room above the baths with a fat loud b&%#@ of a landlady that waddles up the rickety stairs to check on him.

Radavel.

Spoiler:

Hrothgar paid some silver to have a room on the third floor of a tenement right next to the old walls. He chose it because it is easy to overlook the door to the building, which is in an alley clogged with laundry. There are windows on the south and north walls, which look out at the streets on either side. It is whitewashed, but unfurnished, except for a straw mattress and chamberpot, and is about 15 foot square. The windows are both easy to climb in and out of. From the South window, someone like a barbarian warrior could leap onto the old wall, eight feet away. As a fugitive, finding a place like that was a stroke of luck. As an added bonus, the landlord is blind and nearly deaf.

Kruelaid.

Spoiler:

Although Modius is homeless, he is also streetwise and could find a place for everyone to lie low while they heal. The city also has catacombs and Sewers, which were used by Christians for a long time, and are still inhabited by some poor wretches. You have not yet explored these, however. Staying outside the city walls is also possible, but it is hard to get out after curfew. There is a thriving moorish and spanish neighbourhood close to the slave market and slaughterhouses, with a lot of people who hold great stock in nationality, and could be paid for a place to stay. Discretion on their part is more expensive than rent, however.

Gnaeus Cornelius Papyrus is a name that will open many doors after dark. Questions will follow, however.

Patrick.

Spoiler:
You forged deep and powerful bonds with the men you served with. There was a young legionnaire who fell in with a bad crowd in the VIth, and was charged along with them for rape in peacetime. He was castrated and flogged with them, took it hard and got into the poppy in a big way after his discharge. You know he is in the sprawl of tenements nearby, and would gladly help you. A mutual friend recently told you that Arrosus the eunuch has become a poet and artist and that his luck has turned. He appreciates you because you know he is innocent. His place is four blocks away down Via Concordat.
You have three other legion buddies in town, but none live alone or close.

Edit. Thought in hindsight that this thread is more appropraite for this post.


Never trust a junkie, Patrick.


Can I assume I've been healed by Isat?


Male

None of you have a chance for healing until you get off the street.

The time is about ten in the evening.

You are on a slightly crowded street with a broad pavement on your side that is used as a food and clothing market after dark. It is lit by lamps on stakes and by occasional torches and lamps lit in the stalls. Drainage is great, and there is almost no rainwater on the street. A slight wind has built up, and the air is a little chilly, which is a luxury in Constantinople.

People will probably see you all whichever way you go. Modius has just seen someone...

Paper can't really function at his level of pain.

Modius is light headed from blood loss, and something in his belly is grinding painfully.

Hrothgar's cut was deep, but not serious.

Levi is still in a bad way, but can walk for maybe a quarter of an hour or so before he gives out.


Male

Also, most of you had your outerclothes drying on the side of the stove back at the Papyrus villa. No cloaks.

Levi and Isat have Togas. All of their clothing is still back at the house, as they had the blood washed off of them last.

Isat has all his healing kit, except no twine for stitches. That was being boiled in the cauldron back in the kitchen.

All of you that had armour still have it. You were in a state of readiness.

Paper may not make any perception checks based on sight until he has the blade removed from his skull.


"Anyone got suggestions where we can take our friend here?" Hrothgar points to the scribe.


Male

There is an orange glow on the low clouds as the Papyrus mansion leaps into flame. The straw insulation must have caught. You are on the far side of the block.

Modius

Spoiler:
If immediate action is not taken, you may lose sight of Agrippa. The traffic on the avenue is starting to move again, and his fat contact is waddling back to a small three storey house built onto the side of another, larger tenement. Agrippa is perpendicular to the street you are on, on the far side of the traffic. That street is only sluggish where carts turn onto the street you are on. He will pass the corner in a moment. He is in an ox cart however, so he will be easy to catch if you wish to, or track.

Paper won't be able to see that his house is burning if nobody tells him so. He sees better if he only uses the unobstructed eye.


"That man."

Modius motions toward Agrippa.

"Paid Germanicus, the cart driver. We need to follow him to the enemy."

Looks at Isat and Hrothgar.

"Brothers? Time to gather information. I'll follow him, you follow me."

Modius rips a piece of his cloak off and stuffs it under his leather breastplate to stop his blood a little. We walks toward Agrippa stealthily, hoping his friends follow.

Ideally, the rest should be able to keep good distance.

Perception, Stealth: (1d20 7=23, 1d20 8=25)


"I hate all this skulking around but we'll do it your way, this one time. Anyone familiar with this part of town?"


Male
Modius Larci wrote:

"That man."

Modius motions toward Agrippa.

"Paid Germanicus, the cart driver. We need to follow him to the enemy."

OOPS. Germanicus is the Ox. Agrippa is the drover. You do not know the man he was talking to, but Agrippa the drover was paying him. This works, and is quite funny, however because Modius did not ride in the cart with the others and so would never have heard the ox's name. He followed the cart earlier, and would not be privy to the conversations on it.


Male

Modius can get within a foot of him without being seen. With those rolls, he could climb in the cart unnoticed or cut a piece of Agrippa's hair. Whatever you plan to do, you will have the drop on him.

you have taken four points of damage so far. You still have twelve, now that you have levelled.


Male Human Cleric 4

Following at a discreet distance behind Modius, Isat looks resignedly at Hrothgar.

"You know Modius. Let him do things his way. This needs to be a short outing. He and Paper need my care and attention. I think he's just putting off the evil moment."

He glances at Paper. "I hate to tell you this, but we may have destroyed your villa. It's gone up in flames. Possibly just as well you can't see."

He looks down at his shameful toga. "I really need some proper clothes and a bit of space to work. Anyone got ideas? My landlady won't relish me opening up a hospital above the baths."


Levi is walking steadily, trying to ignore the significant pain he must be in. He looks toward the fire, then speaks in a soft voice that will not carry far.

"Once we retrieve my stash, I will buy clothes for all of you. You saved my life, and possibly more. One of you has lost the roof he let me under out of kindness. One of you may have gone to his reward. I will not let such a debt go unpaid. There is great wealth for the taking in this world, and I will make sure none of you go hungry again. Lycugus is a threat to all we know. That must be my focus, but I know things that others have forgot, or never knew. I know where great treasures are hidden from mortal eyes, and I know how to find them. The book is one such treasure. We can talk more when we know we are safe. I must save my breath."

He looks at Isat with a frank look on his face.
"There is also great knowledge, which makes wealth look like autumn leaves by comparison."


Male Human Cleric 4

"Modius would tell us that those that seek shall find. I do seek knowledge, but it is a dangerous desire, leading down strange paths. A man might fear what he finds there."

Despite his words, Isat's longing is plain for Levi to see.

"Red. We need to get Modius back. Do you think he's had his fun yet?"


shall I stop him guys?


Male Human Cleric 4

Let him have his fun. Since you're bleeding and Paper is pretty much incapacitated, and Levi's only got a few minutes before he collapses again, I guess it should be quick fun. Just see if you can learn anything useful and leg it back. My 2cps worth, but others with more experience may think differently.

EDIT - those are good rolls, shame to waste them if you can pick up any handy information.


I think I should follow him, Horthgar can carry the Hebrew guy, can't he?


M Human Fighter 4

Paper feels dizzy from his wound and the fact that his family's villa is burning.

"I do not know what I will tell my father ... "

Paper is just a little dazed right now, he will take a bit to recover his bearings.


Modius uses a hand signal to tell the others to wait for him while he does some spying.

If they have to move, Modius knows where Hrothgar lives and will reconnect with them there.


Gnaeus Cornelius Papyrus wrote:

Paper feels dizzy from his wound and the fact that his family's villa is burning.

"I do not know what I will tell my father ... "

Paper is just a little dazed right now, he will take a bit to recover his bearings.

I'm almost tempted to say I'm illiterate.


Modius Larci wrote:
I think I should follow him, Horthgar can carry the Hebrew guy, can't he?

Yes, I can do that. But it also means I'm armed with an improvised weapon.


Hrothgar the Red wrote:
Modius Larci wrote:
I think I should follow him, Horthgar can carry the Hebrew guy, can't he?
Yes, I can do that. But it also means I'm armed with an improvised weapon.

lol. I guess he's 2 handed. How much damage does a Hebrew do again?


Male Human Cleric 4
Hrothgar the Red wrote:
Modius Larci wrote:
I think I should follow him, Horthgar can carry the Hebrew guy, can't he?
Yes, I can do that. But it also means I'm armed with an improvised weapon.

Who has the closest safe house? Hroth or Paper? Isat's a non-starter. I'd say start heading towards that to get everyone fixed up, Modius can tag after wagon guy and catch us up.

We need to share information soon and get to Rufinus in the graveyard (which none of you bar Isat and Levi know about yet). We look like a freak show at the moment as well, even by Constantinople's standards.


Hrothgar's place is more convenient for fugitives.


Male Human Cleric 4

Isat casts a concerned glance at Levi and Paper.

"Red, can you somehow let Modius know we're heading to your place? He'll find us. He always does. Usually before he gets too badly damaged."

Looking at Modius he adds under his breath "Take care brother. Join us soon."

Off to Hroth's palatial residence. Let's try not to burn this one down. Assuming Modius will catch up before too long and gives enough time to start dealing out some agonising healing to Paper, Red and Levi.


Modius Larci wrote:


Perception, Stealth: (1d20 7=23, 1d20 8=25)

This stealth roll is actually 27 because of "Face in the Crowd", one of the spare feats Herald opened to us.


Hrothgar, not wanting to disrupt Modius' clever plan, simply shrugs, "He know my place."


Male Human Cleric 4

"Let's move then."


Male

Hello all. I need a few days away from this. Will resume on Thursday. I have a lot of work to do and have been sleeping badly. If I post now, it won't be up to the standards I try for. This game is really great fun for me. I played my meatspace game on Sunday, and wanted to shake them and say "Play in character damnit." See you all soon.

Apart from Modius, everyone gets safely to Hrothgar's small room by the Greek wall. The greek wall is the oldest part of the city. Literally within the walls that survived the last four hundred years. His room overlooks the wall, and is about thirty feet from the sea. To stave off the heat, almost all the houses in the area are painted white, and have flat walled roofs that cascade away from the wall. There is no lock on the door, but there is a sliding bar made of wood with a knob. The door and windowframes are painted blue. Laundry is hung on many of the rooftops when it is not raining.

About a hundred years ago, a second wall was built. It is called the Konstantos Wall. Since Constantinople became capital of the Empire, construction has begun on the "Theodosian" wall. There are now three walls, and the city has never been growing as fast.

Getting there unnoticed was easier than might have been, because of the fire. So many people went to watch the show, that the streets were very quiet. The rain started up again, which helped you all to avoid notice even more.

The room has window holes with weathered woodstained shutters. It is not warm, and has no cooking facilities. The window on the wall is the bathroom. All the windows on that side are used that way, which ensures that nobody in their right minds would walk between the wall and building.

Pulling out the blade under Papers eye an hour after midnight is where we will start again. Isat found twine and leather thongs at a stall on Via Concordat on the way here, and can have stocked up as much as he wishes for two copper.

You have all had an hour of safety and rest in the rooftop room. Feel free to do whatever talking and planning you see fit. All the small wounds, like Hrothgar's are patched up. Modius has not arrived yet.

Isat will be gearing up to pull the blade out of Paper's face when we start up again, so that will be the first event in my posts on thursday.

Before then, I am hoping to have a bit of a side quest with Kruelaid in his stealth mission. I will post something for him tommorow. He is not with the rest of you until further notice, so regretably cannot talk to you all in character until then.

One more thing. Rufinus said he would meet you at a temple. Levi said he had hidden some coins in a bone tube on the rooftop of a temple. Rufinus said he would meet you where coin is in bone. He was not thinking clearly, and needed something that the Armenians couldn't reveal. Sorry for the confusion.

I recommend to you all to go and reread the thread now. We will continue soon with a Chapter 2, and I would like loose threads tied up before then. Please go back and make sure your characters share all the information they have.


Male Human Cleric 4

Couple of questions.

First - with his permission, I'd like to drug Paper so I can remove the blade without him screaming the place down. I have opium available to do that.

How long does that need to work and how long will it take him to recover from the effects?

Second - Forgive me, I'm having a dumb moment and am really confused about the temple/bone/coin/Rufinus/Armenians thing. Levi can clarify while telling us his story maybe...

Will wait to hear back on the opium thing before posting.


M Human Fighter 4

drug away. Paper has seem enough battle injuries to see the need for it


Male Human Cleric 4

Once Taliesin lets me know how long that's going to incapacitate you, you can consider yourself opiated. Hroth just got the standard Isat "this will be remarkably painful - don't touch my scalpels" treatment.

I'm sure we'll be up and away shortly after Modius rejoins we happy few, so it'd be nice if you could operate at a fairly normal level. Given what's happened so far, I think we can count on needing combatants.


Male

For the lone rogue: Agrippa heads onto the mese, the long thin strip of raised terrain that bisects constantinople, and heads inland, through the Greek Wall to the middle of the ward between the Greek and Konstantos walls, then heads south toward the coast. He follows main roads the whole way. Close to the southern harbours, he parks the wagon and unhitches Germanicus. He whips the ox along, more than is necessary, and swears at it, saying things like: "Just like a Goth, You lazy brute!" as he leads it thtough a wooden stick gate to a communal grazing ground. There are a few fires for drovers, but he heads past them to a small house of maybe three rooms. A piece of tarp covers a hole in the roof. It is a dark shingled house of wood and brick, Poor in materials and execution, but large for a man of small means such as him. A young boy wearing nothing but a tunic, with a snotty face and matted hair, runs to greet him. You are still well hidden from all, and are watching from a short distance away, in the grass. The rain has made everything muddy. A dumpy, pale and fat greek woman opens the door and looks miserably at her husband. Smoke and fatty smells come out of the house when she opens the door. the hole in the roof is actually meant as a chimney.
The garden is not cultivated. It is all grazing for the oxen. She asks him about his day, and he ushers her inside. The door closes, with all of them inside. You have found where he lives. The cut in your gut is hurting.

It looks to you like the man is a drover who hires other drovers and runs his own business. The amount of coin he gave to the fat man earlier would be a lot of money for a man with this lifestyle.

What do you want to do? It is about ten past eleven.


Male

For the ones holed up in Hrothgars fifteen foot digs.

Opium takes a short time to get you high, but a lot of time and resin to get you numb. Paper will be in a very strange mindscape for the operation. The skull and face have a lot of nerves, which is why this wound is so damn sore. Big burly men are going to have to hold him still, especially his head, drugs or no.

He will probably pass out and need to sleep a night to recover.


Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
What do you want to do? It is about ten past eleven.

I ain't John Maclean.

Modius is going to head back to Hrothgar's, making sure he avoids patrols and keeping the handle of his gladius visible outside of his robes so that thieves will not think him an easy mark.

Perception, stealth: (1d20 7=17, 1d20 10=20)


M Human Fighter 4

Paper inhales the arcid smoke from the pipe that Isat urges on him. The fumes make him wheeze, and his mind drifts away from the cramped hovel he finds himself in. The pattern of cracks on the wall next to him fascinate him for a time, then he begins to feel a faint nagging pain as Isat begins his minstrations. His numina seeks shelter from the present, flying into the recesses of his mind.

Suddenly, Paper finds himself standing on the field of Adrianople once again. There is no color in this scene, only washed out greys. He sees his comrades lurching to their feet, solemn faced. Some are missing a limb, some bear hideous smiles from a facial wound. The revenants all begin to move slowly towards a black river that has sprung up at the far end of the charnel field. A large boat plys the dark waters, at its' helm Charon, Pluto's ferryman. Paper realizes the river must be the Styx. He walks with his mangled brothers until he reaches the dark riverbank. Although thousands of dead soldiers wait their turn to cross, it seems to Paper as if no time elapses before he stands before the bony boatman.

Charon looks at Paper, his robes hiding his visage, save for bright eyes burning like coals in the recesses of his cowl. His voice caresses Paper in a sibilant whisper.

"Your time is not now, Gnaeus Cornelius Papyrus. The farther shore must wait your footstep. Your cord of fate has not been cut by Atropos yet."

The scene whirls away from Paper as pain strikes him like a hammer.

Hope that's not too melodramatic


Male

For Modius. You are forced to dodge a patrol and must climb over the Konstantos wall. Climb check DC 12 or take 1d6 falling damage.

From the top of the wall, you can see the last remains of Paper's house fire. A chain of people had come to pour water and sand on the fire. They have won. Most of the house is still structurally sound, but the kitchen side has been gutted. One of the people in the chain is Rufinus. He is running back and forth with water, over a patch of rubble. You see this from about 200 yards away. He is bigger than most. The crew of volunteers have been working for a few hours now. It looks like some of the neigbours have brought blankets and are not trying to put out the fire, but are just maintaining a fire break. Some of the local legion have joined in, and others watch their equipment and the crowd for trouble. You see all of this from the wall. the light from the fire made it all visible from so far away.

What do you do now?


Male Human Cleric 4

Dang. Kind of need him more functional than that. Any chance I can lay hands on some kind of coca leaf or similar? Just want a local anaesthetic really. Booze isn't much better than the opium - still going to leave him wrecked with wonky reflexes.

EDIT Too late. Paper's taken the opium route. That's fine. Will roll with this now.


Male

Sorry, but coca is American. Opiates are the best painkillers and anaesthetics available to you.

Isat works for about an hour, patching up the wounded. Please make a heal check for Hrothgar, one for Levi, and one for Paper.

All heal checks are difficulty 15. If the check is sucessful, they will recover double the hit points for a day of rest. Those who have the 'Hale and Hearty' feat will gain triple.

As a bonus, for every five points above 15, I will allow an extra hit point cured, instantly.

The aid another action is allowable in heal checks, but you all need to provide fluff that explains how you are helping. The aid another can be done untrained, as you are following Isat's instructions

Hrothgar will be needed to hold Paper's head down while Isat pulls out the broken blade with a pair of pliers. That is an example of an aid another action.

Isat needs to make a DC 8 strength check, to pull it out.


Male

Mere minutes after everyone stopped walking and got to Hrothgar's hideout, Levi Bram lay down against the South wall and fell into a very deep sleep. Walking has done him a bit of harm, and pulled some of the stitches, but Isat's magic has done a lot of good.


Male

After the surgeries and bandagings and stitches are done, Hrothgar and Isat are the only ones still awake. The city is asleep.

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