Evening of an empire, the eagle in autumnn


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Male Human Cleric 4

"Right Red. Hold him when I tell you. I don't want to put out an eye. He's going to meet a few very distracting demons."

Waiting until Paper is immobilised, Isat probes swiftly round the ragged flesh and pulls. Strength check [17] = (17)

He grins at Red. "Not such a weakling - thought I'd be needing your muscles."

Hrothgar heal check: [20,10] = (30)
Levi heal check: [14,10] = (24)
Paper heal check: [20,10] = (30)
I have honestly never seen anything like those rolls. How very bizarre.

Isat completes his work and looks around with satisfaction. "Clearly my choice of profession was a good one."

He looks at Hrothgar. "Brother mine - we have a whole pack of interesting trouble. Let's talk."

And with that he tells Red Levi's story. As he finishes, he adds very quietly. "There's something only you and Modius need to know as well. When he gets here."



Uncluttered Map of Constantinople.

Male Human Cleric 4

Any chance of a "you are here" arrow? Those are long walls.

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
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.

Climb: (1d20 5=21)

Despite his injuries Modius mounts the wall like a cat. Wrapped in his cloak (minus the strip he tore off to cover his wound), he watches the fire for a while.

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:

One of the people in the chain is Rufinus.

What do you do now?

Modius drops carefully down to the streets again. He's going to surveil Rufinus, and more importantly, try to determine if anyone else seems to be doing so.

Perception: 1d20 7=17, Stealth: 1d20 10=22

Isat Vastra wrote:

Hrothgar (30)

Levi (24)
Paper (30)

So Hrothgar and Paper will gain three HP immediately.

Levi will gain two.

Hrothgar and Paper will recover more HP from a night's rest than normal. I misread the feat 'Hale and Hearty'. It just adds constitution modifier to the healing for a night.

They will therefore gain (level x 2)+Con mod in HP for resting the night.

D20SRD wrote:

Natural Healing
With a full night’s rest (8 hours of sleep or more), you recover 1 hit point per character level. Any significant interruption during your rest prevents you from healing that night.

If you undergo complete bed rest for an entire day and night, you recover twice your character level in hit points.


For Modius. The Goth is covered in soot. He is slick with sweat and has blisters on his face and hands. His hair is unsinged, so he must have just got into great heat, not open flame. He is working hard, but every now and then, he looks at a pile of things that he rescued from the house. Your cloaks, some bedding, and a few of the ancestral masks, althogh the heat has damaged them badly.

There is no sign of covert surveillance on him at first, but as you cover your eyes from the light, allowing your night vision to recover, you see a single figure on the rooftop of the tenement you escaped through earlier. The man must have climbed up there to hide, but has passed out for some reason. He is lying on his back. His face looks strange from this distance. He is wearing metal armour, and seems to be the large man from the attack on the house. His large cloak is stuck to him by the rain. You are about forty yards from him. You could navigate the rooftops if you wish. they are all about level with the wall top. It would take a single jump check, DC 14 to make the jump. Fail by less than five and you can make a grab for the edge with a reflex save, DC 10. Fail by more than five, and the DC goes up to 20. You are three stories up. 2d6 fall if you fail.


Hrothgar's hide is by the Neorion Harbour, within spitting distance of the sea. It is right next to the Sept. Severus, or Greek wall.

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:

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.

The bolded sentence is not valid. I mis-remembered what the 'Hale and Hearty' feat of Rob's did. It is not a multiple. It is simply the con bonus as an add. Disregard the bolded sentence. It is no kin of mine. I know it not. I have cast it from my house and disowned it.

Male Human Cleric 4

How would you like Isat to recover spells? If you want fluff, you shall have it. I can never remember how that works - which is partly why I don't play spell casters very often.

"Lord you have watched over me and my friends this night. Would it be too much to ask that it last just a few more minutes? I shall not kill him. I just want to steal his sword."

Jump: (1d20=18)

Modius slides to a stop and drops to his knees. His heart hammering so loudly in his ears he worries the world can hear.

He whispers: "Thank you Lord. I lied this morning to Isat and Hrothgar when I said I had killed a man before, I swear I'll straighten that out. And the lies to that beautiful flower, Aminta, in the Church. I'll never lie in Church again. Amen."

He stands slowly eyes on the napping spotter.

"But please keep such beauties away from me Lord."

No streets, no people, no bonus for face in the crowd: Stealth: (1d20 8=21)


eight minus wisdom modifier hours of rest, followed by a period of quiet reflection and meditation for a few minutes. Fluff is welcome. I enjoy clothing the rules skeleton with narrative meat.

Isat will probably need to pass out.

Modius keeps his eyes out for anyone that might notice him. He's ready to make tracks.

Perception: (1d20 7=19)

He intends to steal the man's sword.

Theft: (1d20 8=19)

And any other weapons the man carries.

I need to either send a cheque to Invisible Castle or get myself into a Church. Can these rolls last?


As modius creeps like a shadow toward the man, he hears the man's ragged breathing. You can see now why the man's face looked strange in the distance. Something fast and heavy has hit the man and demolished his face. His jaw is intact, but his nose, brows and eyes are mushy and indistinct. He has lost a lot of blood, and the skin has puffed and bulged into a purple gourd of agony. His eyes are swollen shut, and he has no way of seeing anything. He is not comatose, just resting. He has a sword in the belt by his side. In his hand is a small wooden crucifix, in the orthodox style. His lips move occasionally, as he breathes a prayer.

"Save me from the heretics and witches, my lord. Grant me a chance to redeem myself, and kill in your name again. I am an instrument of your will. The unclean shall be cut down. Save me from the heretics and witches, my lord. Grant me a chance...."

He is cold, and in shock.

Evil, evil DM.

Modius removes his crucifix so the man can see it and pulls up his hood to hide his face in shadow, remaining far enough away to leave flight swift and uncomplicated.

He whispers to himself: "Lord, why do your children misunderstand."

To the man: "Psst, brother."

"What are you doing here? You need help."

Modius will try to get information. I'll play it out but here's the bones on it. I've got to go home now, had a late class, will check in before bed.

Diplomacy: (1d20 8=21)

Male Human Cleric 4

Watching Paper in his delusional world, Isat wills himself back to the time two years earlier when his life took a different turn.

I have to tell Modius and Red what they're dealing with. I was so arrogant. So sure I knew everthing.

Isat laughs inwardly at his younger self and deliberately allows memory to flow back, knowing as he does so that he will pass temporarily into unconsciousness.

Darkness. The caves. Procession. Walking, walking, following the path, down into the dark, down into winter, down into death. Follow the goddess. Leave this world and trust. Put down the rational. Down, follow down. No resistance. Allow the irrational. Let it guide you. Now.

A chamber. People. Many, many people. Silence. We are at the threshold. All will pass one day. Guardians offering safe passage. Only the reckless, the foolish and doomed take that offer. I am all three. I accept. I take the sacred drink. I throw myself into the arms of the goddess. Let her hold me if that is her will.

The Guardians laughing, no more people. No more anything. Nothing holding me up. Fall. Float. Be taken. Be devoured. Nothing left. No Isat. Death. Nothing.

Return. The hardest journey ever taken. Back to the world. Reluctant. Changed. So changed. Goddess I offer you nothing, I am not your creature. So wrong. I am your creature. You change me, you make me yours. My Wise Lord cannot save me from you. I am yours. Eleusis.

He gets worse if he goes into a major trance.


For Modius.

The mangled man picks his head up slightly, but he decides it is safer to have his head flat on the ground. He speaks. His greek is perfect, but accented. His skin is dark and his hair curly black. He cannot see you.

"I am a ruined man. I fought with a demon worshipper from the North. He had infernal strength. Now I am blinded and I cannot find my way to my people." "Are you a God fearing man? Or a fiend sent to tempt me?"


For Hrothgar.


Isat is sweating a pearly white liquid. It gives off light. He is twitching, as if he dreams himself drowning. There are two drops of the liquid on the middle of his forehead.

M Human Fighter 4

Paper sleeps uneasily, the opium and the pain of his wound warring in his battered body. Faces of old companions, snarling Goths, dour Christian priests, smiling girls from his youth all swirl and meld in a hallucinogenic haze. His body knits as he lays troubled, his efficient constitution and the skillful hands of Isat hastening the healing process.

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:

"I am a ruined man. I fought with a demon worshipper from the North. He had infernal strength. Now I am blinded and I cannot find my way to my people." "Are you a God fearing man? Or a fiend sent to tempt me?"

"God fearing.... I know such men well. They are ever dangerous and wild."

Modius puts away the cross. He's going to worry more about watching his back now.

"Do you know people who will help you? Perhaps I can take you to them."


For Modius: The man rambles, part plea and part confessional.

"If you are God fearing, you can help me. I need a doctor, or barber. My master has doctors, and can send one with you. Can you get word to him? or a doctor to me? My master is called Carpus Thanasius. He is a prelate, and a holy man. He will help me. I am sure he will help me! But don't tell Rafi where I am. He will be angry. I let the devil get through. I let the devil strike me. Curse that Jewish witch! I should be back in Sidon, not here among these pagan apostates. None of them are true Christians!"

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:

For Hrothgar.

** spoiler omitted **

"Isat, you alright? You're kinda dripping something weird." Hrothgar shivers a little bringing this matter.

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
My master is called Carpus Thanasius. He is a prelate, and a holy man. He will help me.

"If you want him quickly tell me where to find him, brother. And to whom is he sending aid?"


"He has a mansion in between the old hippodrome and the church of St Sergius. The one that used to be the temple to Bacchus." The wounded man waves weakly toward the Southeast.
"My name is Alcaeus. I am...was... one of Rafi Angelo's crew, but I failed. Lycurgus and Rafi are..."
The pain overwhelms him, and he passes out.

Modius can't bear to do nothing to help this man, but will try to find a middleman nearby the mansion to pass the news of Alcaeus on to the prelate so he himself is not seen. He's worried that he'll meet someone who recognizes him.


Kruelaid, I need to wrap up the side quest, and re-unite you with the group. I need to know in detail what you plan to do about Alcaeus and Rufinus, Then once I know, we can get some downtime and healing and start chapter 2.

Let's try this instead. Modius will go down to street level and point out the wounded man on the roof and call out for a doctor. All Modius wants to do is ensure that the man does not die because he was abandoned. On the other hand he wants to keep his distance from people who know the man and will act accordingly.

Calling attention to the wounded man will no doubt cause a clamor, so while people are gawking and medical attention is being found Modius will approach Rufinus.

Will that speed it up enough?


There are legion about, but none of them have night vision worth a damn after fighting the fire. Modius grabs a volunteer firefighter who was resting, and picking at his burnt blanket. He tells the man about Alcaeus and can move on.

Rufinus is now trying to bundle all the stuff he saved from the fire into a bundle he can carry. People are withdrawing, and new people are arriving. The crowd is all hard to distinguish with the bright light, shadows, and heat shimmers. The blistered northerner is only fifty feet away, but is right in the most visible part of the square. The fire reflects in the inches of water that cover the cobbles. The shadouf has broken from overuse, and buckets and salvaged blankets lie all over. There are about seventy people there, half helping and half watching.

Perception check.

Modius makes his way toward Rufinus with the ebb and flow of the crowd.

Perception: (1d20 7=15)

Stealth (w/face in the crowd feat): (1d20 8 2=19)

To Rufinus: "Do you need a hand with that, sir?"


Behind you, the labourer you told is calling out "Man on the roof. There is one of the men on the roof."

Some soldiers have moved closer to him. All the focus is on this new development.

"That man told me." The man is pointing at you. Rufinus sees you now, and shouts out, hoarse but loud:

"Quick everybody! Help the man on the roof. The man on the roof!" He drags the bundle, then says to Modius, and three Farrier apprentices, "Help me lift this out of the water. Get this out of the water." He has drawn attention to himself.

Some of the soldiers seem to be plotting how to get up to the rooftop. Alcaeus' arm has swung out over the edge.

You get Rufinus and self out inconspicuously in a knot of other people carrying the bundle. He doesn't even look at you once.

A few lads in the crowd were looking at the bundle, but it is now moving, and they have lost interest.

Stealth (w/face in the crowd): (1d20 8 2=26)

Male Ostrogoth Barbarian 2

You get the bundle a way along Via Mercere before the farriers say their farewells and head back to the square. You can have a quick, unobserved, talk in the corner of the fruit market.

Rufinus says quietly: "I killed some men. Never had to do that before. They got into the room through the door. The rest had gone to set the fire. They were shouting in another language. I hit one in the face. He was the big one. The other tried to get behind him, but i hit him on the hip and broke him. Their boss was the only one left, and he saw me and ran out the front. I thought I chased him off, but then I heard the crowd roaring for blood. The fire was getting large, but some men came in the front to help. In the smoke, I just joined in. I told them to save stuff, so we dragged some things into the square. I went to get our stuff from the kitchen, but the fire grew faster than I thought, and I got cooked a little. It looks worse than it feels, except the hands. They hurt."

He breaks into a grin: "I am glad you are alive."


Wrapped in the bundle are his hammer, and the body of Zalmoxis, folded and stuck in a bed. He discards everything he used as cover, and says

"Where do you go, and where do we go?"

Rufinus Galsius. wrote:

He breaks into a grin: "I am glad you are alive."

Killing. Modius remembers his lie again.

"I'm glad you're alive too, but we're both in danger. I still need some mending and there are definitly people looking out for us. We need to find a safe place for this, I have coin for someone to store it. Then the two of us need to see Isat, he's the doctor.... Well, sort of. The term doesn't do him justice really."

Modius casts about for a cheap room to rent, a back alley with ample shadow, or anything along those lines wherein a body might be hidden long enough for them to get away unseen.

If you need something like a diplomacy roll to wrap this up and move us along go ahead. Whatever: (1d20=19) Praise Jesus! I feel like I'm playing craps at Baptist camp.

Male Human Cleric 4

"I'm what?

Seeing Hrothgar's expression.

"Don't worry Red. Just a quick visit to the past - not always such a good thing - but this time who knows."

Isat expertly touches his face and finds the pale drops. His eyes grow wide with shock and pleasure.

"They said this was impossible." and then again off Red's expression.
"In my bag - one of those small flasks. Oddly enough, there may be great virtue in this stuff."

With great delicacy he transfers the drops into the flask, wishing not for the first time he was a defter man. He looks at the room and smiles. Levi is deeply asleep against one wall, Paper seems to be calmer but is still sleeping heavily.

"Red - you sleep. You've spent enough time in a room with men visiting demons. Go and play with your own. I'll watch for Modius. Relax mighty one."

Isat stands quietly wondering what on earth has just happened.


Haggling quickly with a woodcarver who was walking home from fighting the fire, Modius gets to store the bulky furnishings
and bedding before skulking back to Hrothgar's residence.

Rufinus has said that he will take the body to the temple, and will also get the coins that Levi stashed. he says he will meet you all at midday tomorrow at the back wall of the New Hagia Sophia church. That is close to where you all met, this morning, and a lifetime ago.

He refuses to go with Modius, saying he is too easy to spot, and would hate to draw attention to where the others are. He also takes a moment to bandage Modius' wound in the moonlight.


The bandages and cleaning will double what you get from resting later, and will reduce the workload carried by our young Persian enigma.

Modius gets safely onto the roof outside Hrothgar's at two in the morning. It looks like the fire is completely gone.

Hrothgar is the only one awake in the small room. He and Modius see each other at the same time.

Hrothgar nods and slumps on the side of a wall and proceeds to drift into sleep.


Taking turns resting, all recovering from your wounds, You all delay the moment when you all need to get up. You wake, one by one, mouth your hellos, then gather together at about nine in the morning. Healing has been successful, so none of you are in as dire a situation as you were during your panicky flight last night. The rain has broken completely, and there are almost no clouds in the intense blue sky. The room is bright, but cool, and a breeze from the sea carries the sound of creaking ships and shrieking gulls in through the blue windows. Children and Fishwives can be heard, but the room feels still and calm. Although there was only one, hard bed, the floor was smooth. Many of you went cold through the night, as there was almost no bedding, but your clothes and cloaks from the house were brought back by Modius in the night. It is time for all of you to talk, plan and confess. Levi is still out of it. He is a bit sick, feverish, and running hot. He is not going to be much help for another hour or so.

Modius is the last to wake. He is fully clothed.

Male Human Cleric 4

"I'm going to need a new robe. Better than Paper's bedclothes, but not by very much."

Critically checking out Modius.

"Who did this? That's nice work. You'll heal well."


Modius will tell his story, including confessing his lie as promised.You guys want me to write that out? Modius talks a lot and will embellish, so it's a lot shorter to read the above. Nor, for that matter, do I have time to write short stories right now.

Male Human Cleric 4

"Well, if we're going to bare our souls ..."

Isat admits he thinks he's a witch.

"Which may put a damper on our relationship Modius. You're not supposed to let me live. As a friend and brother, can I ask that if you want to kill me, do it now. I don't want to have to watch my back for you, of all people."

"Don't sweat it, Isat. It's the Lord doing it, you just haven't come to accept it, yet. I mean come on, would demons let you do the good works you do? Of course not: this is the work of JESUS."

Modius fills his mouth with figs then continues with his mouth full.

"And what good would I be spending my time with the converted, I mean they already see the light. The Lord sent me to bring his word to you."

Modius doesn't quite know what the word is and worse, his sect's doctrine on the resurrection is sketchy at best. He knows his proverbs and some of the miracle stories, but the scripture he possesses is a bunch of Gnostic cosmological gobbledygook.

M Human Fighter 4

Paper grunts, his injuries making him cranky.

"Personally Isat, I like you just fine as a witch if that means you can heal me like you did. The gods have given you a great gift."

Paper turns Modius

"And none of your talk about that crucified rabbi either you, I'm not in the mood."

Gotta run ... use Paper as you need folks ... enjoy your day!

Male Human Cleric 4

"Sweat is exactly the problem brothers mine. Or something like it anyway. You may be right about Jesus, but only if he's had a radical change of gender. Still if you can live with Red's hangovers and rages, I suppose you can live with my trances and babbling. After all, we put up with your sneaking and evangelism. Breakfast?"

Gnaeus Cornelius Papyrus wrote:

"And none of your talk about that crucified rabbi either you, I'm not in the mood."

"A smart man can't possibly avoid seeing the light. Still, out of respect I shall desist. Maybe later when you're face doesn't look like a butcher's table and your house isn't burned down."

Male Human Cleric 4

"That's my best copper wire holding his face together. You're going to start a new fashion Paper and deflect lightning from Modius's vengeful Lord."

M Human Fighter 4

Paper finger's Isat's fancy copper stiches.

"Be a nice addition to the scars I am collecting."

Paper winces at the bruises and contusions he picked up during the flight last night.

"I'll need to go back to my family's villa to see what is left."

Hrothgar simply watches everything with typical barbarian reserve.

Gnaeus Cornelius Papyrus wrote:

"I'll need to go back to my family's villa to see what is left."

"I'll go with you."

"Friends, I know you are all concerned for those left behind. But would you not postpone your departure this later in the evening? People will not recognize you so readily under the cover of darkness."

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