Who Watches the Watch Hill?   Posted by Segev Stormlord.Group: 0
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 378 posts
Mon 20 Aug 2012
at 01:42
Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The knights arrayed their men-at-arms to assist the peasants and protect them, with Clavien devoting most of his men to aid while Methius took point on perimeter defense. Vaniel remained aloof, but dispatched Nathier to oversee the actual organization of the peasants and ordered his men to help where Clavien's men couldn't.

This slowed them down, however, and it was nightfall when they finally reached the castle, which really was farther away than it looked. The tower loomed enormous above what must look to be plains below, so much did it dwarf the hills. They were given rooms as befit the station of guests of Knights of the Duchy, though there was no formal greeting until almost noon the next day. The Knights, on the other hand, were called to closed court almost before breakfast; their squires were the only others unfortunate enough to be invited.

Lunch turned out to be a hastily-prepared banquet, however, with formal trappings, to welcome the "diplomatic envoy" from Trademeet Dale. The Duke and his son are the only true nobility present, seated at the head of the table with in-castle sub-nobility filling out the halls.

"My apologies for the simple fare," says the severe looking Duke Lothus dressed all in somber tones, his goatee making him look almost sinister. His tone sounds like he does not think it too meager, though those used to the Maharishi's informal luncheons might disagree. "We were not expecting diplomats to return with our Knights. They tell me you know nothing of these increased raids, Madame LeSchaye. And that you travel with quite the entourage of Exalted. We do not see many Exalted around here, only beastmen and the accursed servants of the wolf-goat. Try the veal; it was hunted just yesterday, before your party arrived."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 237 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 22 Aug 2012
at 01:02
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix, whose plate is already half-empty without having made any noticeable movement to make it thus, holds her hand up. "No apologies are necessary, sir. The veal is excellent; I confess I have never had wild lamb before, and now I find myself poorer for having never tasted it until now."

"As for your knights, they are good men, and they speak truth to you; when we happened upon them, their say-so was the first anyone in Trademeet had heard of these events. As one of the Council, I tend to keep my ear to the ground; of news of such a thing had made it to the Dale, I would have heard of it. Understandably, I find myself distressed by this news; If nothing else, it would not be much more of a journey for the bestmen to come and raid our own farms and villages, which I confess have not been so rigorously defended as Falan."

"With regard to my traveling companions, I will allow them to speak for themselves. I will only say that we are a band of very capable individuals who have been given cause to take an interest in the problems of Watch Hill," she finishes diplomatically, not actually *saying* that she is furious about the abduction of her nation's citizens.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 379 posts
Wed 22 Aug 2012
at 02:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"The ease of reaching your significantly less-well defended lands is part of why we are suspicious of your complicity," replies the Duke bluntly. Vaniel winces notably at his tone, while Methius simply nods and Clavien restrains his reactions. He takes a small, sparing bite of the veal, himself, savoring it methodically for a moment before swallowing with a sip of his wine. "I am told, however, that you have recently made arrangements to have the Seventh Legion begin aiding you in that matter. What troubles are you expecting?"

The Duke's son, a boy somewhere in his mid teens, looks up with a stony expression. His right eye is bloodshot to the point of lacking any visible white, but his tone is genuine. "By the way, we wanted to thank you for rescuing the peasants on the road. It was amazing how you disrupted those bandits so completely."

He turned his red-eyed gaze on Alistr, calmly and sedately. "Sir Blacksmith, tell us more about this bear you were hunting, please. It was quite remarkable that it aided your companions before loping off and losing you."

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:09, Sat 25 Aug 2012.

Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 72 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Wed 22 Aug 2012
at 15:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
  "It a far less interesting story then it sounds. The fact is that I think that the bear just happened to be wandering through on his way somewhere and came across our little bands locked in battle. Truth is I just merely scared it a very little. Smashed it's toes a couple of times with my hammer and it decided to run for it. Pain wasn't worth the meal. It was very big after all and probably wasn't used to too much of a fight from it's food. Speaking of which this is the best veal that I have had in many a moon." Alistr says while grinning from under his beard.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 380 posts
Thu 23 Aug 2012
at 13:13
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Amazing!" said the prince, leaning forward in poorly-feigned delight. "But, you were not at the battle until it was done. What prompted you to chase the bear all the way to the fight, then let it go when you found it not there?"

The assembled castle officials look from one to the other uncomfortably, while the three Knights look from their lord's son to Alistr and back in confusion. Sir Vaniel finally pipes up, "My lord, I am sure his hunting was not meant to poach on your royal preserves. Indeed, bear are not usually the choice game." He holds up a bite of the veal before making a show of savoring it in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Nathier follows suit, dutifully commenting, "This is very good!"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 239 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 24 Aug 2012
at 17:02
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Well," Beatrix says, intervening in the son's discussion with Alistr and seeming somewhat abashed, "I admit to making rather a spectacle of myself at the time in order to intimidate the bandits who were accosting your citizens, young lord. It would not have been difficult for Alistr, whose hearing is keen, to hear me berating them; and from there it would have been simple for him to understand that there was a fight that was, if not happening already, then very nearly about to begin. That he was able to direct the bear at the fight, rather than merely abandoning the creature to its own devices, was quite a feat. We may need to concoct some manner of fanciful title to bestow upon him, now."

"As for your questions; yes, we are not a strongly defended nation. We have no martial history to draw upon; we have traditionally relied on greater distance from the beastman tribes to defend us from them, and on mercenaries and good intentions for the rest. We have been able to establish ourselves as being more valuable to other nations as trade partners than as serfs, and this has served us well. This is also something that should make it obvious that we are not complicit in the attacks on you; distance is really the only thing protecting us from the beastman tribes. If they were willing to cross that distance, then rather than making deals with us they would likely simply sack us. It is highly unlikely that we could convince them to attack a much more difficult target in exchange for trinkets that, to my knowledge, they do not even value - especially when we would likely be unable to keep them from simply taking them by force."

"It is in part a growing awareness of this fact that has lead me to contract with the Seventh Legion. And this in turn is due to the discovery of resources we wish to exploit that we will, we believe, make us a more appealing target to many - although I don't believe the beastmen will be among those, rather fearing raids from assorted robber kings to our west and of course pirates on the Yanaze, which have always been a problem for us. I believe that the Seventh Legion will be more than adequate to the task of protecting us; usually their name alone is enough to discourage bandits."

( OOC: Beatrix activates Violet Wall of Text Prana! )
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 381 posts
Sat 25 Aug 2012
at 22:37
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Duke Lothus laid a hand on his son's wrist, and the prince leaned back, sipping his wine rather than continuing his verbal probes. His eye turned consideringly on Beatrix as his father spoke, however. "You are the one financing the new operation south of Oredol, in the Yanaze, then?" asked the middle-aged man. "What is it you're panning for out there? My sources have said it's everything from soulsteel to silver to a secret plot to uncover an ancient Scavenger-Lands hoard.

"I've also heard rumors that the Guild is involved, either selling slave labor to that operation, or using it as a clandestine slave-trading point with the Fair Folk."

Merlin
 player, 261 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sun 26 Aug 2012
at 02:26
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Merlin chuckles a bit and says the following as the lady finishes chewing a piece of meat.

"Well, we all know how rumor spreads and magnifies in the absence of actual facts m'Lord. I believe that such has happened in this case."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 240 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 26 Aug 2012
at 02:58
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix nods to Merlin's comment, managing to curb her usual anger over the subject of slavery being brought up (and once again in the form of an accusation against her). "Just so, Merlin," she says. "Even if I were willing to tolerate slave labor at a site I am invested in - which I am most certainly not - it is ultimately unnecessary. I have ensured a streamlined operation allowing us to provide wages for the laborers which are, for unskilled labor, rather exceptional. The guild, as an organization, is not involved in the operation, although it is not out of the question that one of the investors may have personal ties with them that are not a direct factor in this operation."
"To the other rumors, I shall also dismiss them - Soulsteel is not mined, but refined. I do not know the process myself, but I am assured it is dreadful. Silver is usually found in large copper deposits and I have never heard of it being panned for, and if we find a ruin underneath the sand bar, I should be delighted, but it is not something I am expecting. And considering any entrance to such a place would be below the level of the river, getting into any such ruin without flooding it with water and silt would be quite a bother at any rate."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 382 posts
Sun 26 Aug 2012
at 04:13
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"That it does, Merlin," replies the Duke.

His son frowns. "You would know of things that fly on wings, I suppose," he began argumentitively before the Duke's disapproving glower silenced the youth again.

"Forgive Deen's rudeness," offered Lothus with cold courtesy but no apology in his voice. "He speaks his mind before he filters his thoughts through wisdom normally gained with age. I expect he will grow out of it." Looking to Beatrix, he served himself a rasher of spiced and cooked apples before sending a servant to her side to offer the same to her. "I am surprised to hear you would invest so heavily in unskilled labor. But Trademeet is famous for its profitable businesses. Tell me, what is this valuable commodity you are gathering? And if you are not dealing with the Guild on this venture, how are they operating in Trademeet Dale's circle of influence to enrich the Beastmen?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 241 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 28 Aug 2012
at 02:42
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix seems confused for a moment, before realization dawns on her.
"Ah! Er, yes, well," she says, apparently fighting to remain polite in the face of some sort of rising ...emotion, "The Guild operates where they will, and we could hardly stop them if we wished to; if we did not deal with them openly, they would simply turn to smuggling, and it would be an enormous bother for both of us. Instead we welcome trade with them, so long as they respect our laws, especially those regarding slavery."
For a moment she pauses and sips her drink, apparently trying to determine how to explain something, before settling on; "You see, trade means profit, and consequently, more trade with more people means more profit. Trying to keep them out would be Bad for Business, as they represent an immense market for our goods. In turn they agree to work with us rather than against us because it is more profitable for them; violating our laws would be expensive and bothersome, whereas following them and trading openly with us while avoiding contraband is lucrative and hassle-free. While we often compete with them, this is not the same manner of competition as may exist between nations; we have no real problem with doing business with one another, and we do not engage one another with force of arms. In truth, like any trade organization, people within the Guild often compete with each other as well; it is not a monolithic group. Likewise, all merchants within Trademeet naturally compete against each other. That's just how it works."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 384 posts
Wed 29 Aug 2012
at 04:10
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Dubious and confused whispers greet Beatrix's explanation. The Duke speaks moments before his son can say anything more, shifting to more pressing business. "So, then. You have as much reason to get to the bottom of this as I, if the Guild is violating your laws in kidnapping our people within your realm of trade.

"How many amongst your number are Exalted? We have not had Exalted in our lands in recorded history; perhaps we can put this to good use and finally push back the Beastmen tribes."


((OOC: Intelligence+Lore[Realm or Immaculate Order] rolls, please. Target is two successes.))

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:12, Wed 29 Aug 2012.

Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 73 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Wed 29 Aug 2012
at 04:37
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
  "Sir I assure you I had no poaching aspirations. I am sorry if I offended you. If you would like when I get back to my forge I will forge a masterpiece heirloom armor and sword set if you don't yet have one. I'm sure I can find a way to make it right. As for the rest I'm afraid I rather recently joined Beatrix's little group." Alistr adds as soon as he takes a breath from the meal.

OOC: I got 4 successes. On a straight Intelligence+Lore roll.
Merlin
 player, 263 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 30 Aug 2012
at 01:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Alistr Hamrsoung (msg # 13):

Merlin keeps his own council as he knows little concerning the current conversation topics. He does, however, pay particular attention to peoples body language as the Duke speaks.



20:34, Today: Merlin rolled 1 success using 5d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Int+Lore (Some Immaculate).
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 389 posts
Sun 2 Sep 2012
at 20:25
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"I have no doubt that, were you poaching, my knights would have already dealt with you, blacksmith," responds the Duke. "It is just strange, and strange things are rarely good."

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:34, Mon 03 Sept 2012.

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 243 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 12 Sep 2012
at 23:50
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Essentially, yes," says Beatrix with a nod. The Duke had finally stopped being an adversary; now to make him an ally. "There are other reasons, of course. Falan is a trade partner and neighbor, and we would be remiss not to help you when in need. To be honest, I am not even certain that the Guild is involved... but I fully intend to find out, if you will but allow it."
"As for how many Exalted we have... well." Here she smiles charmingly. "Enough, good sir. We have enough."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 394 posts
Thu 13 Sep 2012
at 00:46
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The Duke's son's eyes widen briefly, perhaps at the stunning display of breath control, while the Duke's own narrow and he eyes Beatrix, then the others in her entourage. His expression is considering and not entirely pleasant. "Very well. You have my leave to investigate. See to it that no more of my serfs go...missing," he says, finally. "Duke Amaran is too soft, but he is a good judge of character. If he thought you capable of--"

"Father, we need to ready the garrison," interrupts Deen, punctuating his remark with a sudden clasping of Duke Lothus's wrist. "The Beastmen are coming for Bloody Glade. They'll be there by night fall."

Lothus frowned, looking down at his son's red eye. "You were not to be using the Viewing Mask today, Deen. You will have to bleed again too soon."

"Father!" the boy tried to sound insistant rather than whiny. "Salf's using the other eye. With this going on, we wanted to get word quickly! He's maintaining--"

"No need to explain, my son," cut off the Duke with a sharp glance towards the strangers in their midst. "I will take it over. Banthazine, see to our guests' comfort. Sir Vaniel, your men will want to ride with mine; see that they get horses. Methius, since you and Sir Clavien are here as well, I will take your men. We will crush this little raid. Clavien, you will remain here; if this is a feint, I will be sending you to deal with any other problems." The Duke had risen smoothly but swiftly to his feet, and barked out commands with cold precision before turning and sweeping out of the room.

Deen started after him, but seemed to think better of it. "Sorry, Salf," he muttered to himself. "You can deal with Father on your own."

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:50, Thu 13 Sept 2012.

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 244 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 13 Sep 2012
at 02:04
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"So," says Beatrix, smiling. "Who is this Salf fellow? He sounds quite helpful. Is he one of your father's knights?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 395 posts
Thu 13 Sep 2012
at 02:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Yeah, we wish," snorts the teenaged prince. "He's my brother. I guess he's helpful when he's not being a..." he trails off before actually calling his brother names in front of foreign dignitaries.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 245 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 13 Sep 2012
at 02:35
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"A bother?," Beatrix supplies helpfully. Descriptive but not injurious. "Sounds like a sibling, true enough. What manner of things does he help with?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 396 posts
Thu 13 Sep 2012
at 02:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"He's a prince like me. So he helps with...things princes do," replied Deen, trailing off in the middle before getting more vague than he might have originally intended. "Whatever Father needs us to do, really. We help defend the Duchy, attend knights' council meetings, train for combat and to lead men in combat, that sort of thing." He puffs his chest out a little, obviously hoping to impress.

Nathier, meanwhile, waves a subtle good-bye to the prince as he finishes gathering up Vaniel's things. Panil, Methius's squire, helps the younger squire with a couple loose bits as the knights head after the Duke.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 246 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 16 Sep 2012
at 05:58
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"And the Mask?" asks Beatrix, continuing on as though suddenly bringing up what sounds like a scrying artifact that requires blood sacrifice were the most natural thing in the world (and in fairness, the young prince had brought it up at the dinner table in the first place). "It sounds like it may be of considerable use to our mission. Could this be so?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 398 posts
Sun 16 Sep 2012
at 06:03
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The boy replies a little discouragingly, "I don't think so, Lady LeSchaye. It only works if you put the drops attuned to the family bloodline into your eye. I can see only because Salf is directing it at the top of the Watch Tower. Father is upset because it is Salf's week, but we will just get more drawn to set in the vials tonight.

"I don't think you would want to use it even if you could, my Lady,"
he finishes with a slight bow, mimicking his father's cold formality in a way that comes off more as stiff than uncaring.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:29, Sun 16 Sept 2012.

Merlin
 player, 270 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sun 16 Sep 2012
at 17:51
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 23):

"But of course, the famed Watch Tower and its ever vigilant wardens are known far and wide. Here nearer to the edges of creation such ancient devices are necessary to the good governance and stability of the region. Having such a system to forewarn Falan's rulers provides its citizens with a comfort few other states can provide. The Haslanti League and its flying ships and scouts provide such for its peoples, although at a much greater cost in manpower."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 399 posts
Sun 16 Sep 2012
at 19:13
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"There isn't anything like the Watch Tower East of Lookshy," proclaims Deen proudly. "It was a gift to the first Duke of Watch Hill and his family, as the first line of defense against the return of the demons."

Sir Clavien frowns, adding diplomatically, "I doubt that it is 'famed' anywhere, either. Watch Hill's tower is not widely advertised, and the Viewing Mask is something of a state secret." He looks at the prince meaningfully, and the youth tries his best to merely return a calm acknowledging nod despite looking a bit rebuked.
Merlin
 player, 272 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sun 16 Sep 2012
at 19:57
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 25):

"Perhaps not in the West, but I have heard of it and I am from the North.."

Perhaps Merlin overheard of it from some Captain wistfully wishing he had one instead of having to brave the coldest of days aboard airship. Perhaps not.

"Sir Clavien, do you think the Duke would appreciate aerial reconnaissance, such that I can provide?"

Sir Clavien would have certainly seen the display of piloting skill at the previous Dukes estates.
Sir Clavien
 player, 4 posts
Mon 17 Sep 2012
at 00:40
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"It would not be remiss. We cannot communicate from the Tower to the field; it is just an early warning system," says the middle-aged knight, carefully. He raises a hand to silence some of the castellan's men. "They will find out if they wish to, and Trademeet Dale has more to lose from betraying any of our trust than we do at the moment. And Merlin--"

"You're the one who flew in last night, then? How did you move so quickly?" interjected Deen, forgetting his assumed calm in a moment of excitement. "And Salf and I can dual-operate the Tower to get communication to the field, Sir Clav...ien..." he trailed off at a stern glare from the knight.

"That development is new." Sir Clavien clearly doesn't like this line of conversation, and changes the subject less than delicately. "As your liaison, I will speak to the Duke's men, if you wish to offer that aid." When Deen opened his mouth, Clavien raised his voice. "More eyes are always helpful. Unless he's needed wherever Lady LeSchaye is going."

The prince forced his expression back to the cold false neutrality he'd assumed before. "Of course."

This message was last edited by the player at 03:30, Mon 17 Sept 2012.

Merlin
 player, 273 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Mon 17 Sep 2012
at 02:00
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Merlin smiles at Deen and gives him a nod. "Young prince, I use a glider, built by Haslanti League artisans. It was my privilege to display some of my skill in piloting it for another Duke's son some leagues from here. It was later that day that the young prince of that duchy exalted. Perhaps the spark inside of him was inspired....perhaps not."

Perhaps Sir Clavien will appreciate his changing of the subject, but perhaps not in the direction that he just did.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 400 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2012
at 03:15
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Seln really Exalted?" Deen's response is subdued by must standards, but the effort he put into not exclaiming is painful to witness. He doesn't manage the nonchalant single-eyebrow-raise, but he manages to keep his smile politely pleased. "I'm glad for him. I wonder if his father would agree to let him Squire for one of our knights; we could use an Exalt on the border.

"But it was not on a glider that you flew in. Salf and I saw you through the Mask; your wings became your cape,"
he says calmly. "It was stunning."
Merlin
 player, 274 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 19 Sep 2012
at 00:55
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 29):

"He did indeed Exalt as an Air Aspect. It was my privilege to teach him more than a little of what I learned from the Immaculate Monks of the Blessed Isle. He still has much to learn as he is comparatively young to even exalt from my understandings."

Merlin looks back to Sir Clavien, "Perhaps we should seek out the Duke?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 252 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 19 Sep 2012
at 15:14
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"I'm sure that would be a most excellent idea," says Beatrix in response to Merlin's question. She inclines her head in the direction that the Duke had recently departed in affirmation of things unsaid.
Sir Clavien
 player, 5 posts
Wed 19 Sep 2012
at 16:12
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Right this way," agreed the knight, leading any who would follow out the door.

Unwilling to let the thread go, however, Deen walked up to Merlin and looked up at the older man to meet his eyes. "Do you need both means of flight for this mission?"
Merlin
 player, 276 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 19 Sep 2012
at 23:20
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Sir Clavien (msg # 32):

On his way out, he makes sure that the side that Deen is walking on comes up against a wall. In parting he says, "There is a large gulf between need and want young prince. Best to need little and want much than to need much and want little."

With that cryptic reply Merlin has left Deen behind the lady, whom it would be impolite of which to run ahead.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 405 posts
Thu 20 Sep 2012
at 20:31
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Deen walks along with purposeful determination behind Merlin, definitely not watching Beatrix walk. Sir Clavien leads the way as his squire helps organize his men and separate the contingent from those of the other knights. "The princes are ever-devoted to living up to their father's stalwart example," explains the knight as he leads the way across an open courtyard between the main castle and the enormous central tower. From this close, it makes the outer castle structure seem so small it's a wonder nobody struck their heads inside. The barracks building and the stables seem toy-like, nestled here and there in the deceptively large open space. Deen hustles around to walk beside the group again once the way is opened up, but flushes proudly at Clavien's praise. "They will grow up to protect Watch Hill very well, if they continue to heed their father and their instructors as well as they have so far."

The Watch Tower is a five-sided structure, but the sides are easily two hundred feet in length, each. Their height is hard to judge, stretching up to a degree that, even at nearly three hundred feet away, the top requires craning one's neck nearly vertically to see. The top itself is so narrow from this low perspective as to make detail impossible to make out, but each side seems to be a single piece of smoothly-polished white sandstone with Old Realm glyphs scribed decoratively in enormous print on the sides.

The gateway in the near side is open, and guarded only by a pair of men-at-arms who salute as the prince and the knight escort the guests up. Inside, a red carpet leads down a spacious hall lined with a mural depicting a tale similar to those outlined in the tapestries back at Castle Oredol. "My ancestor helped through back the demons," explains Deen eagerly, indicating each stage of the progressive murals as he passes. The style is definitely in a much older format than all save a few of Oredol's tapestries, with element-twisting demons battling six heroes in stylized masks in numerous confrontations.

"These were painted before the First King cursed the demons' servants to be more beast than man to mark them out from his faithful and honest subjects," the prince explains. "This last one shows the reason my ancestor asked for this Tower as a boon, to watch for the demons' return should it ever happen." Indeed, the murals converge along with the hallway on an oddly striking depiction of the tower once more. It looks really odd from a distance, but as one approaches, the perspective-painting aligns such that the mural on the walls and ceiling indeed form a dizzyingly realistic portrayal of the tower as seen from its entry-gate. However, the top is depicted here as a frightful mask with burning red eyes that cast back along the hall, the gaze - unnoticed before the perspectives aligned - seeming to cut through the ranks of the enemies in all the prior paintings.

Clavien claps the youth on the shoulder, and the boy with one red eye grins as he opens the door. "Don't walk too much in here," warns the knight. "Let the Duke pace as he will; conversation is easy enough within a few steps."

Inside, the room is well-lit by windows scored in the top of a dozens-of-feet-high chamber. They're hard to see, however, against yet another mural, this one of a painfully clear blue sky that matches the view of the same through the window. The floor is strewn with a thick layer of silver-white sand that puffs daintily beneath footsteps, and the mural on the walls continues the illusion of sand out to the distant horizon. Above the window to the right is a painting of an emerald sphere. Around the periphery of the sand-strewn floor, just by the walls, paces the Duke of Watch Hill. And you're sure of the count?" he's asking, his progress unhurried.

"Yes, father," says Deen from across the room, standing just inside the wall. But a double-take to check that Deen is still beside Merlin and a careful examination of the seeming doppelganger reveals that the one across the sandy floor has the opposite eye filled with red where the white should be. "Ask Deen if you don't believe me; he can see it, too," he adds, nodding at the approaching party.

The prince next to Merlin edges over to stand between the Night Caste and Beatrix, standing on tip-toes to whisper, "That's Salf. He's my brother." As people step into the room, the images on the walls almost seem to shift, as if the walls were clear windows. As soon as one ceases to walk, however, it's obvious they're just still paintings, and the faint dry breeze is just the footsteps of the walker kicking up some of the sand. Clavien takes a moment to bow and explain the reason for everyone's presence as the Duke's progress brings him around to join them.

Slowing, but not stopping, his walk, Duke Lothus extends his hand to Merlin. "Your offer of scouting assistance is welcome. Can your liege-lady truly spare you?" he asks, nodding to Beatrix.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 254 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 23 Sep 2012
at 03:56
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix smirks just a bit as she says "Merlin goes where he will. There are no servants among us; we are allies. We have a mutual cause we journey to further, and if he believes the best way to further it is to aid you against this raid, well, I can hardly fault his reasoning."
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 81 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Sun 23 Sep 2012
at 07:47
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Lady LeSchayle I believe I shall ask Goodman Merlin if he needs any help on his diversion. If not I shall meet you a little later." Alistr smiles as he turns to leave.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 408 posts
Mon 24 Sep 2012
at 13:37
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
As Alistr turns, he is treated to a momentarily-dizzying display as the murals seem to come alive.
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 82 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Mon 24 Sep 2012
at 15:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
 Caught by a momentary dizzy spell Alistr pauses them continues while deep in thought.
Merlin
 player, 278 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Tue 25 Sep 2012
at 00:43
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 35):

Merlin is not far behind, in fact he is not more than 2 paces behind the Lady of Trademeet.

"I would be happy to fly my glider and drop information down to you. If I would be the honored recipient of a rudimentary lesson in your flag system I could even relay messages over difficult terrain features. It is my wish to see the barbarian forces for myself, either way."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 410 posts
Thu 27 Sep 2012
at 03:44
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The duke continues his slow pace around the moderate-sized room, silver sand shifting under his weight as it carries him past the party once more. "Our military messages are carried by trumpet or by rider. We could arrange for a page with a trumpet to accompany you, however."
Merlin
 player, 280 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 27 Sep 2012
at 22:50
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 40):

"Certainly. If he were a seasoned rider without a fear of heights it would help. I am sure he will be able to translate for me should you want you send a message that direction."

Pausing for a moment Merlin asks in a seemingly absent curiosity, "Where ever was such silverish sands found your grace and do you have to replace it often?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 411 posts
Thu 27 Sep 2012
at 22:58
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"I will do it, Father," say both of the twin princes from opposite sides of the room, before exchanging mirrored one-red-eye glances and frowning.

"One of you must stay in the Tower. Salf, it is your turn at that duty," replies the duke.

"Yes!" exclaims Deen.
"Rats!" declaims Salf.

"The sand is a part of the tower," Lothus continues smoothly into an answer to Merlin's question. "Part of the same construction methods my ancestor and the first king used to build it in the first place. It never needs replenishing because not a grain has ever crossed the threshold to leave this chamber. Why do you ask?"
Merlin
 player, 281 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 27 Sep 2012
at 23:15
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 42):

"With all of the walking you and your ancestors have done, at least I assume, it would seem that some of it would be lost here and there. Over the years this could become an issue. Forgive me if I am needlessly farsighted concerning such things. I worry for the defense of not just your realm, but others should the barbarians and beastmen remain unchallenged."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 412 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 04:13
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Salf, across the chamber, snickers, "Go ahead and try to take a handful out of the room."

Deen looks askance at his brother. "Salf...!"
Merlin
 player, 282 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 04:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 44):

Merlin picks up a handful of the stuff and activates Air Dragon Sight. Taking a pace towards the door he uses his momentum and a swift toss to 'throw' the sand out the doorway. He is prepared to get out of the way, should something violent happen.

Here goes nothing....or well that might be the idea.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 413 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 05:07
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Deen groans resignedly and hastily ducks out of the way as Merlin scoops up the sand. Sir Clavien also stands well aside. When thrown, the sand scatters like exceptionally dry sand will in such circumstances, glittering in the air as it flies, then floats, then violently flies back as if in a gale blowing through the open door that only the sand can feel. Anybody who didn't take precaution finds it blowing into their eyes, faces, hair, clothes, and anything else exposed.

"Prince Salf, that was cruel," admonishes the Knight. The Duke grimly glowers at his son, who is snickering.

"Try to brush as much off of yourselves as you can before you leave," advises Deen. "Like Father said: not a grain will pass that threshold. Supposedly the god of each individual grain swore an oath to that effect. I think it's just a part of the artifact, myself," he finishes mostly for Beatrix's benefit, though everyone but the duke and Salf is close enough to also hear.
Merlin
 player, 283 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 19:49
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 46):

His augmented senses scream in anticipation of the particles coming his direction. Merlin uses his ankle length cloak to deflect the vast majority of the grit as it comes back. The silvery warm stuff scatters and bounces down and around the cloak. Looking back up from under his cloak, there is a mischievous grin pointed at Self. It seems that Merlin enjoyed the 'surprise'.

I will remind myself in the future that the bloodline appreciates practical jokes...

"An interesting response, regardless of the actual mechanics of it. Where would you have me gliding your grace?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 414 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 23:47
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Continuing his measured pace around the room, the duke's disapproving glare does not leave the prince on the far side of the room. Nevertheless, his answer is directed at Merlin: "When I come back down from the tower, I will inform you. In the mean time, show Prince Deen how to handle himself properly as he serves as your messenger in the air. I will not have him recklessly hurt himself."



Meanwhile, outside the castle...

A guard heading off-duty after the morning shift spots a surprisingly clean woman and a small goat-herder walking up and advises, "The Duke's readying his forces to go deal with some Beastmen on the far reaches of the Duchy; the castellan won't be looking to buy any goat's milk until late this afternoon, after they've left," obviously making some assumptions about the duo's purpose here.

The goat-herder in the large inverted-bowl straw hat looks a little disappointed, but defers to the grown-up woman wearing the golden amulet in replying to the stranger.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:09, Sat 29 Sept 2012.

Azalea
 player, 10 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 02:14
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

The woman seems a little puzzled for a few moments, exchanging a glance with the goat-herder before looking back to the guard.

"Ah, no, we are not here to sell milk. I merely heard that the recently arrived group has been here and was wondering if I could see them, or should wait.
But... there are troubles with Beastmen? I am a healer, I might be of aid?"

She gives the guard a small smile, although worry is evident in her expression now.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 415 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 02:18
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The guard's smile was friendly as he shook his head. "A healer, huh? Maybe when we get back, but while the Beastmen'll probably need one, I'm afraid we'd be rather put out if they got one. "You're looking for the Exalted from Trademeet Dale?"
Azalea
 player, 11 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 02:26
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"Ah"

She nodded a little, some of the worry alleviating. Or transferring.

"You sound confident. That is always good."

She considered the term he used for a few moments, before letting her expression brighten.

"Mmhmm. Are they here? Are they available?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 416 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 03:01
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The guard frowns. Then he sighs. "I'm just going off-shift. C'mon, I'll take you in."

The goat-boy asks, "Can my goat come in, too?"

The guard chuckles ruefully. "Sure, why not. We've got thick rushes down." He leads the way into the castle, and sends a page ahead to inform the party they have a healer looking for them.

Said page waits scrupulously on the carpeted side of the doorway to the sand-filled room as he bows to the Duke and the Knight and the Princes. "Forgive me, m'lords, but the Lady LeSchaye and party have a healer who wishes to meet with them," he says professionally and a little breathlessly, carefully watching so he doesn't cross so much as an eyelash over the threshold.
Merlin
 player, 284 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 22:27
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 52):

Merlin nods to the Duke and gives Prince Deen a signal to follow him. They head down the stairs, passing the woman, child, and goat. Merlin gives them both a look, but decides that if they are with a guardsman they must be here on purpose....even the goat.

Outside Merlin takes the Prince to the wagon where the glider is stored. He asks where there might be a location where they can attain some height nearby to launch from. Once the Prince replies Merlin will head that direction with the crate and its little dolly. Where ever they end up, Merlin will unfold the glider and being instructing Prince Deen on how to act, which basically boils down to not moving a whole lot.

"Any other questions about the glider? Do you need both hands to trumpet?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 417 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 23:00
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The goat boy actually looks kind-of familiar. At least, his big round hat does. He waves at Merlin as the grown-up passes. Deen, for his part, ignores the child but inclines his head politely at the woman as he passes.

Deen points out a high tower from which to launch, but asks, "Why not use your cape?" when Merlin indicates the use of the glider. "I can play the trumpet with but one hand, but if we're leaving now and won't be back, I should get it from my chambers before we leave," he replies to the question about how many hands he needs.
Azalea
 player, 12 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 23:08
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She smiles politely at anyone who acknowledges her, but her eyes seem to linger on Merlin, as if trying to place him.
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 83 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 01:00
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
   Having been waiting outside the room when Merlin threw the handfull of sand Alistr ducks as the handful comes flying at him. Then just glares at the rogue-ish Merlin. Then stops and starts to examine the doorway. When the Duke mentions the least god Alistr pauses and starts to say something and thinks better of it. When Merlin leaves Alistr follows. When the Lordling mentions the need to fetch his trumpet Alistr says "That would be a great idea my lord we shall meet you in the courtyard."

    As they pass the goat and his boy Alistr nods.

  "Merlin tell me that you know what kind of sand you were just playing with was? We are in big trouble Merlin. If this falls the way that it might we are screwed."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 418 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 01:10
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Incidentally, Merlin did feel a bit of a tugging all over as he left the tower room. Alistr, with his craftsman's eye, can probably notice pinprick holes and abrasions in Merlin's clothing. Nothing serious, but definitely wear. Like he'd walked through a sand storm. Alistr, himself, come to think of it, felt a bit of a drag on his feet when he stepped out of the room.

Any examination reveals not a single grain of the silver sand on anybody who's left the room.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 419 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 01:19
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
((OOC: Just to clarify the situation, nobody went up in the tower. They entered the tower, walked down a hallway, and entered a room filled with silver sand. The Duke was walking around it slowly, and the other Prince was on the far side of it. When you left, any sand on your persons scraped of at the threshold; those who exit have none on them. Nobody went "up" in the tower.))
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 255 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 01:54
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Alistr, I haven't the faintest idea as to what could have you so concerned," says Beatrix as she walks down the hall with the others. She pauses by the goat boy. "Unless it is this little fellow. Still following us, I see?" Her tone of voice and wry smile shows that she's clearly joking. "We are on to you, you know. But who is your new accomplice?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 420 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 01:59
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Actually, I'm following her," replies the boy. "Azalea was nice enough to walk me up here to try to barter for a she-goat. She wanted to meet you and the others in your party." Turning to the woman with the amulet, he gestures to Beatrix and says in adorable peasant efforts at formality, "Miss Azalea, please meet Lady LeSchaye. And vice-versa." Then he remembers to doff his had in the presence of ladies. It's a bit awkward, since the hat is almost half as wide as he is tall. His short-cropped brown hair is a mess.
Azalea
 player, 13 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 04:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She brings a hand to her lips to conceal the amused grin at the boy's introduction, then offers a small wave to Beatrix -obviously not one of courtly manners, but still polite.

"Very nice to meet you, lady LeSchaye."

She glances at the boy. "She is the one that helped you find your goat, I take it? At Trademeet Dale?"

She glances back to Beatrix, with a smile that more or less betrays that she has found something she has been looking for.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 421 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 14:41
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The boy bobs his head in response to Azalea's question. "Yes, ma'am," he says, before looking back at Beatrix to add, "Thank you again, ma'am. I haven't lost him again, see?" He pats his goat fondly between the horns, grinning.
Azalea
 player, 14 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 19:21
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She chuckles slightly at the boy's comment, then her eyes return to Beatrix and her smile brightens.

"Ah, you have a symbol of the Sun?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 256 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 20:01
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"A pleasure to meet you as well, Azalea." Beatrix gives Azalea a small bow. "As to your observation, you are perspicacious; I do indeed wear a symbol of the sun. I am a priestess in His service, although it may not be obvious. If I may ask, what is the significance of your own amulet?"

As an aside to the young man, she adds "As for you, young man, while I am quite glad to hear that you have not let anyone get your goat, I fear I am remiss in not having asked your name."
Azalea
 player, 15 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 20:09
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea tries to return the bow, although it is evident that she is merely copying the gesture, rather than knowing it.

"His name is Ned." She smiles to the boy. "Since you introduced me, I thought I should return the favor."

Her hand goes to her amulet and her eyes lose their focus for a few moments.

"It is a keepsake. A heirloom. I can't say I was aware of its significance until I was chosen, though. Now I know that it is significant, but I can't claim I understand how or why."

She looks at Beatrix again, perhaps judging her reactions for a few moments.

"I was hoping more experienced ones might help on this matter."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 257 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 20:19
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix smiles. "Well met, Ned. And Azalea, I was just about to offer. If you do not mind taking it off a moment, I will examine it for you."
Azalea
 player, 16 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 20:24
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She seems a little puzzled for a few moments, perhaps expecting a different reaction, but she nods and removes the amulet.

"Please."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 258 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 20:53
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix pulls out a jeweler's monocle and looks the necklace over. "Oh my, these are quite rare. I assume you knew it was enchanted?"
Azalea
 player, 17 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 20:59
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She nods a little.

"It seems to keep me clean."

She allows Beatrix ample time to examine her amulet before she puts it around her neck again.

"But tell me, what brings you here, if I may ask?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 259 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 21:20
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix looks as though she's holding herself back. "I... would normally make an offer to buy something such as this immediately; I have been looking for one of my own for some time. However, as you have stated that it has personal significance, I shall refrain. This is a Necklace of Dawn's Cleansing Light. As you say, it keeps you clean. They're more common on the Blessed Isle, where there are more who can afford such things. They are rarer to find made of Orihalcum; these days most are of jade. Is that what you wished to know, or is there more you would ask?"
She looks thoughtful a moment. "As to why I and my allies are here, there was... let us call it a misunderstanding, for using any stronger language would be rude to the lord of the house. We came here to rectify it, as well as to investigate certain worrisome events which have lead to the occurrence of the aforementioned misunderstanding."
Azalea
 player, 18 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 21:30
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"Ah," she offers an apologetic smile, "I apologize, I can't really sell it. Cleansing Light, you say? I like the name. But... I was more wondering why my mother had such an item, so far in the East, without being chosen."

She glances at the amulet, then back to Beatrix, keeping the apologetic smile.

"Not that I would expect to get such answers from a simple appraisal. Thank you for what you told me of it."

She nods a little at the explanation.

"Misunderstanding. Not a single one, I presume. I met a wounded man a little while before I reached the town. A bandit, I came to learn later."

She shakes her head slightly, as if dismissing a point.

"But is there a way I could be of help? I am a healer, if not much else."

Pauses, pondering.

"And a cook, I guess."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 260 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 21:44
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix shrugs. "There are, unfortunately, many reasons your mother could have had such a thing. It may have been a gift, or in the family for some time. She may have simply found it; ancient wonders do occasionally turn up, or else the scavenger lords would be out of business. Do you know of anyone who may know your family history?"
"And no, it was not a simple misunderstanding. The bandit... may have had something to do with it. As to helping, I do not know. Healers are always welcome, I suppose, but..." and then she pauses, and her ears perk up intently. "Did you say a cook?"
Azalea
 player, 19 posts
Sun 30 Sep 2012
at 21:50
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?


She nods a little.

"Not much of a history, no. I guess there's not even a trail to follow. It... it doesn't matter, I guess. I'll make do with what I have."

Then she blinks at the apparent surprise.

"Uh... yes? I think I was pretty good before, too, but I believe I am even better now."

She chuckles a little.

"Strangest thing, I didn't think I would be chosen for my culinary skills."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 261 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 1 Oct 2012
at 13:28
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Ah, then you mistake the importance of eating well to those on a mission. And I assure you, we are on a mission. We will be confronting the forces of Ma-Ha-Suchi, as well as other unsavories, and I fully believe that we will be able to triumph." Here she smiles somewhat boastfully. "After all, he is a beast; we are the Exalted."
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 84 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Mon 1 Oct 2012
at 16:25
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
   "Maybe you are my Lady and Merlin is most likely as well. I am nothing more than a simple blacksmith. While very skilled in some lost arts I have some medium level of skill. Not enough by far to attract the notice of such as the Elemental Dragons. I think I have some life experience to gain still yet." the mirth in his voice evident Alistr tries his hardest to say the above with a straight face. "As for my fears my Lady only a few that are valid thank the Dragons. But those few are fairly scary indeed."
Azalea
 player, 20 posts
Mon 1 Oct 2012
at 23:09
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She seems a little puzzled.

"The forces of Mahasuchi? Is he a warlord?"

Then she looks at Alistr, and seems even more puzzled.
Merlin
 player, 285 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Tue 2 Oct 2012
at 01:49
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Azalea (msg # 76):

If the young Princeling has wondered off as he was politely invited to, Merlin will blink once at Alister's question. It is a simple affirmative, but gives nothing away.

"It might be best, Miss Azalea that you accompany the Lady for a time. I am going to be flying off in my glider with the young prince that just left to provide reconnaissance. When I return, I would like to make your acquaintance more fully."

With that he signals for Alister to follow him and continues on. Once out of earshot and around a few corners he says, "Speak nothing of the matter until we can do so unsupervised. Just remember that many throughout creation use such as servants....."

Once Alister replies Merlin will return to a location easily found by the young prince.
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 85 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Fri 5 Oct 2012
at 13:48
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
    "Diplomacy isn't my strong suit Merlin. If you say shut my trap well then I trust that to a greater extent than if I kept running my mouth."
Merlin
 player, 286 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Fri 5 Oct 2012
at 22:25
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Alistr Hamrsoung (msg # 78):

"It is only my instincts that suggest such. The artifact can certainly 'see', as was aptly proved by the prince and his knowledge that I joined the caravan. However, we do not know if it can 'hear' as well, let alone if those watching can see such minute details as lips moving or even reading thoughts. Such things are possible from what lore I do know, even if I know very little of the specific lore of this."

With the last word he motions to their surroundings.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 424 posts
Sat 6 Oct 2012
at 01:09
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Less than ten minutes later, Deen comes scampering back out to catch up wearing a very subdued tabard that seems to have inverted the usual black-on-red for red-on-black with Watch Hill's tower-and-eye in mere line art. He has a long brass straight-horn slung over his back, and a bow and quiver over the other shoulder. His eager grin has overwhelmed his attempt at mimicking his father's cold demeanor as he cheerfully calls out, "Merlin! I'm ready to go!" The sight of his blood-red eye over his grin is almost more unnerving than with his earlier attitude.

The prince stands at attention, looking at the glider and trying to attend Merlin's instructions.
Merlin
 player, 288 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 6 Oct 2012
at 02:58
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 80):

Merlin turns towards the prince and can't help but grin himself. Such an eager young lad and already steeped in the mysteries of his own family. The eye was unnerving, but less strange than some of the other things he had seen in his life.

"So, I see. Come, I will show you how to get in, then we can launch from the wall with the aid of some of your fathers guards."

Merlin shows the young prince how to get in and out of the craft. There is a slot for his bow, although his quiver and horn will be stuck in his lap. Merlin also gives him a pair of goggles to protect against the wind, which can be considerable despite the craft being a glider.

Merlin has located the craft along a wall that will take them over the various smithies and bakeries in the town. The heat generated by these should be sufficient to give them some additional lift that the normal cobble stone streets would not. They will have to circle the tower a few times to get some altitude unless they can find an updraft created by the air's movement against the tower.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 425 posts
Sat 6 Oct 2012
at 04:22
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Strapping himself in according to Merlin's instructions, Deen's red eye unfocuses for a minute before he points back across the castle, towards the west. "Angle out that way when we get airborn; the beastmen are somewhere close to 250 miles out. They'll clash with Father's forces in a little over half a week if they come straight in; almost a week if the neighboring Knights can mobilize militia to slow them down...or they take their time pillaging," he says matter-of-factly, his voice losing its business-like edge only at the end when the boy's tense shoulders indicate a suppressed shudder.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 262 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sat 6 Oct 2012
at 15:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix frowns a moment. "Ah, if you would pardon me a moment, Azalea - or perhaps better, accompany me - I have remembered that there is some matter I ought to speak with the Duke upon before setting out."
Azalea
 player, 23 posts
Sat 6 Oct 2012
at 15:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"Certainly."


Not having received an answer about this Mahasuchi, she shrugs a little to Ned and smiles, then follows Beatrix.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 263 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sat 6 Oct 2012
at 23:55
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix strides purposefully away from the young man and his goat, back into the hallways and through them. "My apologies for not answering your question sooner, but I did not wish to needlessly worry Ned. Ma-Ha-Suchi is the lord of many of the beastman tribes out here, most of which worship as a god. He is no such thing, but he is powerful enough that the distinction is a moot point. Additionally, he seems to be up to something, lately, which is never good."
Azalea
 player, 24 posts
Sun 7 Oct 2012
at 00:20
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Her eyes betray some worry, but some hints of confusion remain.

"He is Fair Folk, then? Do you... have a plan?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 264 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 7 Oct 2012
at 01:57
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix shakes her head. "No, he is not of the Raksha. He hates them as much as he hates anything else... which is a great deal, if what I know is any guide. As for plans? The first is simple; do not confront the man himself. There will be other ways to disrupt what is going on here. But before that, I must conduct further investigation, and before that, I must make sure that certain relationships do not exist. For that, I must ask the Duke."
She walks a moment further in silence. "I have said what Ma-Ha-Suchi is not. I will elaborate on what Ma-Ha-Suchi is, once we are out of the castle and away from prying ears. I hope I do not trouble you in this."
Azalea
 player, 25 posts
Sun 7 Oct 2012
at 02:06
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She shakes her head no and glances around, as if expecting to see people close enough to eavesdrop, but keeps following without commenting further.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 265 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 01:47
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix turns back into the tower, and finds the Duke where she left him; pacing a circle around the room with the sands and murals. She falls into line behind him before speaking up; "Begging your pardon sir, but I have a question I ought to ask regarding something I  have learned."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 426 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 01:51
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
As Beatrix begins to pace around the room, she gets an almost dizzying sensation as the murals on the walls start to move, as if she were looking through windows rather than at paintings of a silver-sanded desert. The light glinting off the image of the emerald orb gets almost painfully bright if she glances up at it...and has it moved to a different wall?

"Keep track of the time you spend walking," advises the Duke without any other preamble. "You have three minutes before I will join Salf at the top of the tower; if you wish to speak beyond that time, you will have to walk another 22 minutes in this direction to join us.

"My apologies for the rudeness, but I do not have time to wait for you to catch up,"
he says smoothly. "You may ask your questions," he adds after a moment, as if suddenly realizing he had not answered her question.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 266 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 02:03
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix offers the dexter half of a smile; while the Duke cannot see it, it is in her voice when she speaks. "A challenge, is it? Very well then, I shall endeavor to make this reasonably brief. You recall of course the attack on some peasants that your knights, my companions and myself thwarted. One of my companions followed them back to their camp, where they found Guild crests on their tack and horses. While there, he overheard distressing talk from them, and it would seem that they were after something of the peasant's, and that they plan a coup of sorts in Trademeet. As they are in your land, I would beg your permission to go and have words with them, possibly of an unkind nature." This last part is emphasized by an audible tap on the pommel of her sword, marking it as a euphemism for violence.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 427 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 02:12
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The Duke's unhurried pace carries him another circuit around the room as Beatrix speaks. The hot wind blowing in from the open doorway shifts some sand around and dries out the Lady's skin unpleasantly. "I know little to nothing of these. The Guild is not unknown in my lands, but there has been no formal presentation announcing their presence to me in months; if these are sponsoring bandit activities, I would count it a favor for you to deal with them, if you feel yourself up to the task." His steps carry him around to his son's side, and he nods as he passes, walking around a corner as if the five sides of this room were not joined properly at that point. Slipping through that gap, he is out of sight.

Salf holds up a hand to halt Beatrix's progress as she draws next to him, looking up at her. His blood-red eye is his right one. Trying hard not to blush nor to grin mischievously, the teenaged prince says, "Do not walk directly out of the door at this time. You've come too far, but not far enough, and you would get lost in the endless desert. Continue for another 22 minutes and join Father and I at the top, or return back for three and exit out the door to the hall once again."

He seems earnest, if a bit ruder than his twin.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 267 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 02:17
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix quirks an eyebrow. "Oh? I must have lost count. Thank you for the warning, then. And your Lordship, I assure you that the problem will be dealt with, one way or another. Good day to you both."
Azalea
 player, 26 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 02:18
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea looks around, blinking, and appears to be utterly befuddled.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 428 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 02:22
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Azalea (msg # 94):

Salf looks across the room at Azalea, and looks even more discomfitted by yet another young woman being in here. "Miss, you didn't follow the Lady around, so you should be able to exit safely. Or you can walk around for twenty-five minutes and come out on top, as well.

"Lady LeSchaye, it's up to you whether you wish to see the Viewing Mask or not, since Father invited you to join us up there,"
he adds, trying to hide that he's secretly wanting to show it off and maybe impress the girls, "Either way, I bid you farewell for a time, as I must join Father."

With that, he turns to follow the Duke's path that took him around the corner as if a hidden passage lay between the two walls. The emerald orb is painted over one of the two walls that form said join, and as one walks in the room, it seems to flicker and shine, like a flame or a sun. But when one stops, like the sand in the murals, it freezes, just a painting once more.
Azalea
 player, 27 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 02:51
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She gives Salf a very confused smile, glances at the exit, then at the room, and finally at Beatrix.

"I'm... not certain. What is the purpose of walking around?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 268 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 02:53
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix considers a moment, but in the end her curiosity gets the better of her and she follows along.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 429 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 03:07
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Inspection of the corner around which the Prince and the Duke vanished reveals no gap, just a tightly-pressed seam of one slab of monolithic stone against another in the angle of a regular pentagram.

Continuing around, the walk is tedious, despite the mystifying motion of the sand and the green sun as one proceeds. Twenty-two to twenty-five minutes later (for Beatrix and Azalea, respectively, if either progressed this way), the two markers that label the difference between any of the walls - the door at ground level and the emerald orb painted above one of the windows - have definitely changed alignment. The doorway is directly under the emerald orb, and now opens onto a wide, open room.

Stepping out into it, the chamber with the sand floor is in the center of a larger room with black-tiled floor that is as large in radius as the hallway leading in from the exterior of the tower was long. Windows line the exterior, looking out over Falan and its northwestern border. This surely must be the chamber atop the tower; Mount Meru is faintly visible in the distance, with no trees nor anything else tall enough to obstruct the view.

The Duke and Prince Salf stand in front of a complex but small altar-like device with a literal mask staring out of the window in a mostly-northern direction. The Duke waves them over as they step out of the sand-filled chamber. "Welcome to Watch Hill's greatest treasure," he says without elaboration.

Walking the hundred or so feet necessary to reach the pair, the small altar seems to have several crystal vials, two filled with blood, stored between a pair of orichalcum handles. A gaudy mask of blue jade and more orichalcum is attached to the handles, such that it can be turned with them. On its brow is a hollow orichalcum circle, and its eyes are filled by two crystal orbs, each filled with blood. The entire aparatus is rooted by a single post in a track that runs around the entire circumference of the floor, such that the mask can be positioned to look out in any direction.

Prince Salf tries futilely to suppress his grin, but it his his father who goes on, "Where did you say this group that was behind those bandits you fought was seen?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 269 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 03:22
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix responds with the location Merlin had given her.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 430 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 03:34
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Salf explains eagerly, "The Viewing Mask can be moved around to look out anywhere, including back over there." A faint but non-destructive grinding sound comes from the pole as he shifts it along the track to face more south-east, towards the stated location. "Whoever's performed the attunement ceremony and given his blood to the eyes can see through the Mask to any distance within its reach...and yes, I can see the place they were camping. Let me try to track them; 'cause they've uprooted...they've split up, but most of them headed south. Looks like they're going to camp on the Hidden Rill, just north of the border with Riverwind Duchy, if they keep going at that pace."

He had his non-red eye closed while he was describing that, to which the Duke looked on disapprovingly. Salf pretends not to notice, and looks back to Beatrix and Azalea, obviously hoping to see them being impressed. "The right eye has my blood in it right now. Deen's is in the left. Father's turn is two weeks from now because Deen's is next week. We have to perform the ritual to fill the vial and maintain attunement. The handle twists like so," he says, demonstrating a twist of the two orichalcum handles which causes them to extrude soulsteel thorns, "and fills a vial." He points to the vials resting between them.

"Salf," says the Duke warningly, "I am sure the Ladies have more pressing matters. Forgive the boy," he says in a tone that is trying to be softer but only barely succeeds, "He and Deen are very proud of their heritage and their duty, and do not get to discuss it much."
Azalea
 player, 28 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 10:10
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea does seem impressed, in almost every bit of the way.

The only time a slight frown marrs her fascinated expression is the mention of blood, and the sight of Soulsteel, which she approaches to examine curiously.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 431 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 12:52
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The prince is thrilled at Azalea's interest, and puts on a macho veneer to explain, "Each of us only contributes blood once every three weeks. So it does not hurt...much." He shows her the spider-track of mostly-healed pricks in his palms and the insides of his fingers. "This week's mine. We fill a cycle ahead, just to be sure."
Azalea
 player, 29 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 15:25
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
She looks at the injured -however superficially- hand and holds it if allowed, then takes a couple of pinkish flower petals and places them on the injury for a few moments.

"Why blood, if I may ask? And what is that metal that seems to be... moaning?"

She removes the petals and wipes the hand with a soft cloth before releasing his hand, offering no comment at her procedure but a gentle smile instead.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 432 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2012
at 18:40
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The youth permits the ministration to his hands, trying hard to boldly meet the woman's gaze and not stammer, "The metal moans in thirst for the offering; through our blood, we see from its eyes."

He rubs his palms together after she's done, gently. "We drop it in our eye and share it with the Mask, and let it attune to our blood so we can use it."
Azalea
 player, 30 posts
Tue 9 Oct 2012
at 00:03
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"I... see. Strange."

She looks back to Beatrix, unwilling to interrupt the purpose that brought them here further.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 433 posts
Tue 9 Oct 2012
at 12:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Sensing she doesn't quite share his enthusiasm for the Artifact, Salf trails off with, "Thanks for washing my hands, Miss."

The Duke looks to the ladies, and asks, "Was there anything else? It is a twenty-five minute walk back down. Do not short-change it. Before you deal with these bandit conspirators, speak with my chamberlain; he will give you a writ of authority to handle it legally."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 270 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 10 Oct 2012
at 16:37
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Utterly fascinating," Beatrix mutters while making notes in a sketchbook; she's made rough drawings of the mask and of several of the tapestries and wall paintings, and she's smiling a genuine smile about something. "This is quite a thing you have here, sirs. I certainly understand why you would be so excited about it, Salf, but do be careful. Someone obviously went to stupendous lengths to safeguard this area, and..." she trails off, her thoughts apparently wandering a moment before she shakes her head, as if clearing something out of it.
Recovering her composure, she asks Salf, "You said that most of the bandit encampment was headed south; where is the other part heading, and what does this smaller group look like?"
Azalea
 player, 31 posts
Wed 10 Oct 2012
at 21:58
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Although she remains silent as Beatrix speaks, she observes around curiously, mainly for evidence on whether there is anything wrong with an artifact that uses human blood and moaning metals...
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 434 posts
Thu 11 Oct 2012
at 12:14
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Salf covers his normal-looking eye with one hand and his red eye shifts a bit to his right. "Two people, riding west. They're not maintaining a constant pace, to judge by their horses' tracks, so they're likely doing a long-distance ride and pacing their horses to go as fast as they safely can," he says, proud of his analytical skills but not letting that impede a professional tone. There is a ghost of a smile on the Duke's face as his son speaks.
Captain August Galen
 player, 112 posts
Sat 13 Oct 2012
at 10:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Outside the tower:

The Bush stood silently, as bushes are want to do. The Bush knew it needed to not draw attention to itself, so it concentrates on it's photosynthesis.

Mmmmmmm... Sunlight is so tasty.

The Bush concentrates, imagining it's glorious antenna complexes light-harvesting captured, unsuspecting photons from the Sun's bountiful rays. Ah, the poor, unsuspecting photons. The Bush looked forward to greedily savoring them. How they're least Gods must tremble when devoured by this green titan.


((OOC - Hide Roll while wearing bush branches: [Dexterity + Stealth]
06:36, Today: Captain August Galen rolled 3 successes using 6d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Hide as a bush.
))

This message was last edited by the player at 10:41, Sat 13 Oct 2012.

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 271 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 14 Oct 2012
at 16:53
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix frowns and checks over her shoulder briefly for something that isn't there. "Odd," she thinks to herself, "Whence this feeling of sudden dread?"
Shaking the momentary feeling off, she returns to the matter at hand. "Young master Salf, one more question. Can your keen eyes tell me anything of the appearance of the two who broke off from the pack, so that we may recognize them if we come upon them in person?"
Azalea
 player, 32 posts
Sun 14 Oct 2012
at 18:00
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Glad that she doesn't feel anything terribly out of place, she returns her attention to the conversation, although she remains silent.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 435 posts
Mon 15 Oct 2012
at 23:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Salf looks like he's not sure what to make of being called "young master," but pretends to take it in stride as he covers his normal-looking eye again and lets his red one drift. "They're both in hooded cloaks. Good quality, deep hoods. One is a very pretty woman, with expensive taste in clothing and cosmetics. The other is a large man, on a larger steed to match. The woman carries a mystic jewel of some sort. She's blond with hazel eyes." The Duke clears his throat, and Salf's eye focuses blindly but briefly on Beatrix. The boy blushes before hastily continuing, "The man has common dark green hair and ruddy skin likely tanned from days in the sun. He is also dressed expensively, but not as delicately. His horse likely cost more than the woman's, if the salesman knew what he was selling.

"The woman's horse has a holy symbol embroidered in its saddle bags..."
he squints his one eye, bending a bit awkwardly as if to see around something. "It's...a peach on a pillow?" He shakes his head in confusion, obviously not recognizing the symbol. Neither, apparently, does the Duke, as he keeps his silence.

The young man continues, "The man's tack bears the emblem of one of the Guild trading consortia. We don't do much business with that one; I fear I do not know their common trade, nor why they're here. But the manacle and coin aurum crossed by argent quill is Pelenast Inner Sea Financiers," he says with more certainty than he feels. The Duke's subtle nod of pride indicates that he thinks his son is exactly right, however. "She's got a self bow and a long knife, mostly decorative, I think, but he's got a sword just barely small enough that he doesn't have to be a Seventh Legionnaire to wield it."

The boy trails off, blinking his open eye and rubbing his covered one as they refocus, seeing the room proper again. He looks between the two female guests to try to gauge their reactions, a tiny tear of blood pooling in his red eye's outer corner. The top of it is showing white again.
Azalea
 player, 33 posts
Tue 16 Oct 2012
at 00:49
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Seems very very lost about the whole of the description, looking between those gathered puzzledly.
When it is obvious that the scrying has finished, she mutters "You... can see all that?..."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 436 posts
Tue 16 Oct 2012
at 02:12
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Blinking, and trying not to be obvious about wiping the red tear from his eye when he accidentally squeezes it out, Salf nods once. "The Viewing Mask is very good at seeing anything within the Duchy. And a bit beyond; it is part of how we are always ready to defend our lands. Which is why the increased raids that stretch our forces thin and even slip--" he coughs, clearing his throat before continuing, "are very frustrating. We've got to find out why they're so much more...more...eager lately."
Azalea
 player, 34 posts
Tue 16 Oct 2012
at 02:46
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She looks at Beatrix, somewhat worried.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 272 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 17 Oct 2012
at 22:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix frowns in thought for a moment. "The holy symbol represents Ystara, goddess of luxury products; she is popular with the wealthy and nobility, and rather influential as gods go. The Pelenast Inner Sea Financiers are actually a front group for slavers. ...I believe I know what is going on now, at least in part. Thank you very much for your help, Lordship, Salf. I should go and begin attending to this at once. Twenty-three minutes of walking, was it?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 437 posts
Wed 17 Oct 2012
at 22:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Twenty-five," corrects the Duke. "You had been following me for two when I stepped out. Will you need anything to facilitate your journey?"

The prince struggles not to beam under the thanks of the lovely lady, and instead looks to Azalea. "Is something the matter, Miss?"
Azalea
 player, 35 posts
Wed 17 Oct 2012
at 23:24
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"What? Oh, uh, no. I don't know?"

She looks between the lord and Salf

"It's just that the situation seems rather worrisome, for some reason that I can't really understand yet."

She looks thoughtful for a moment.

"...why twenty five?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 438 posts
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 00:01
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"If you leave the sand tower before you've walked for twenty-five minutes, you won't come out on the bottom floor of the tower. Or in the tower at all," explains Salf, ominously.
Azalea
 player, 36 posts
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 00:03
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"...where will you end up?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 273 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 00:24
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Ah, thank you for the correction, your Lordship," says Beatrix. "As for assistance... prayers for our success would be most welcome. If I am right, there may be a conspiracy of gods working against us in this matter. I will not let it deter me, however. Come, Azalea! Our work load has seemingly increased, and we ought to set upon it immediately."
That said, Beatrix turns and heads out the door, back into the mysterious sands.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 439 posts
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 00:42
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Someplace from which you'll never return," is Salf's only - and somewhat pretentious - reply.

The Duke inclines his head. "We will help as we can. If it is gods that are your foes, prayers may not be your best of friends."


The silver sands are much as the duo last saw them. As they walk, the murals once again move as if they were windows, and the door and the green orb shift positions on the walls relative to each other.

Twenty-five minutes later, they step out of the door and into the long hallway leading out to the courtyard.
Azalea
 player, 37 posts
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 00:44
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"I... ah..."

She looks between Beatrix walking away and Salf, then follows Beatrix.

"...okay...?"

She glances back to Salf, perhaps for a trailing explanation, then blinks and looks at Beatrix again.

"Wait, what? Conspiracy of Gods?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 274 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 03:15
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix adopts a wry smile on the way out. "Oh, we shall simply pray to different gods. They are a contentious lot, I've been told, and have rivalries much as we do."

She puts off answering Azalea's question until they're a bit into the walk. "There is, I am told, a group calling themselves the 'five-score fellowship'. If those I've heard about it from are to be believed, they are a group of gods who take it upon themselves to police other gods, and evidently to meddle in the affairs of mortals. One of their agents came to me for economic advice, and moreover to attempt to convince me to assist in a plan they had for Falan."

"You see," she says as she continues, and it's evident as she goes that she is counting time on he right hand, "I've come to realize they were aware of the beastman raids and the effect they are having on Falan. They believed this would lead Falan to invade other nations in order to abduct warm bodies to pad their borders with. This I now realize is true, and I see it because our host has already made such an attempt in small scale. This is in great part what brought me here."

"Their solution to this problem was to greatly increase the trade of slaves in this region, via Trademeet. They needed my assistance in this because slavery is illegal in trademeet, and they thought that perhaps I could circumvent this somehow. I declined to help them and declared my intent to find another solution. My initial plan will not work, because I see now this isn't a plan that money will solve on its own. But I've learned much and believe I have the beginnings of another solution."
Azalea
 player, 38 posts
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 03:30
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She nods occasionally to show she's paying attention, but remains silent as she tries to take all that in.

Only after it becomes apparent that Beatrix is done, she speaks.

"So, that fellowship wants to prevent Falan from invading other countries by making sure it gets slaves for what they believe they need? Namely, defense against Beastmen?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 275 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 03:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix nods. "Primarily. The case was made to me that the goal was to stave off the nation's economic collapse, but it's now clear that the cause for this in the first place is the recent increase of barbarian activity. Salf described them as 'eager', and the boy has a good eye. They've apparently found a new motivation, and we ought to see what it is."
Azalea
 player, 39 posts
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 04:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"...so how can we help?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 440 posts
Thu 18 Oct 2012
at 12:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
During one of the cycles around the sandy room, one of the mural-walls changes. There's something moving out there. When they stop moving for a better look, it's just a dark spot in the sky, but after a minute of walking, it's resolved into a large airship of obviously magical construction. It's on the same wall as the one with the green orb painted above the same window.

Stopping to study it reveals it's painted into the mural as much as any of the rest of the fresco, but moving makes it almost seem to jump, appearing larger or closer and higher up on the wall.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 276 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 01:26
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix continues along and then stops to examine the ship. "We can help by... ah, what splendid timing! We can help by finding out what these conspirators know and then seeing how much of it is useful. The most important thing to learn now is what is driving the tribes."
She continues on after this. "I believe that is the ship of a friend. He should be willing to help us chase our quarry, which is quite fortunate."
Azalea
 player, 40 posts
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 01:33
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She peers at the ship for a few moments, then looks at Beatrix stranely.

"Friend? That's good, I guess. How can I help? I don't know how I could find anything about anything discussed."

She considers that for a few moments, following Beatrix.

"Except perhaps to ask a friend about the fellowship, I guess?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 277 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 01:55
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Oh?" Beatrix smiles. "If you have friends who might know, then by all means let us ask them. Once we are out of here, at least, which ought to take another eight minutes if I have not miscounted."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 441 posts
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 02:29
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The ship sails right up, looming over the tower, seemingly, in the painting...but just as its painting would overlap the window, a little fuzzy creature pokes its nose in from outside the window and scurries down the wall. Sniffing a bit, it scampers up Azalea's leg, then leaps across to Beatrix's...balcony. Where it sits and looks between the two women.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 278 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 03:16
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix looks to the window and then back to the small, adorable fuzzy critter on her chest. "Well. Apparently the captain was not exaggerating. Hello, little Carabas." She scratches the creature behind its ears before continuing. "I take it you are well? I did not know one could enter the tower through the windows. Is it because you can fly? Or is it a more esoteric trick?"
Azalea
 player, 41 posts
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 04:00
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea looks at the creature with a small "ah" of pleasant surprise (as opposed to a yelp of startling surprise), and doesn't move when it scampers up her leg.

"How cute. Carabas, you said?"

She blinks.

"Wait, what captain?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 279 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 05:20
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Captain August Galen," says Beatrix, moving to skritch the small creature under its chin. "The friend I spoke of. He is Carabas'... 'marquis' is the term he used. Although he was profoundly inebriated at the time and the entire discussion was rather odd. The fine and darling Carabas here can turn himself into an airship, and apparently likes to get to places he oughtn't, hence his being here. These things are both most excellent as far as I am concerned."
Azalea
 player, 42 posts
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 06:24
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She blinks again.

"...Airship...?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 442 posts
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 19:53
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"I was just patrolling the borders, and I smelled you in here," says the little critter in a soft, child's voice. "How's you get out here? You should get back."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 280 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 19 Oct 2012
at 20:35
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"We got here by walking," says Beatrix. "And that's also how we are getting out. Whatever this is, the walkway in this tower goes through it. Are you willing to come with us from this place? And where is here, in any event?" She punctuates this last question with more skritching behind the ears, to put the little creature in an amenable mood.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 443 posts
Sat 20 Oct 2012
at 03:07
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"It's a tower on the edge of the Endless Desert," says Carabas, leaning into the skritching. "So we're almost out, and it looked clear."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 281 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sat 20 Oct 2012
at 12:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"The Endless Desert, eh? And where is that?"
Azalea
 player, 43 posts
Sat 20 Oct 2012
at 15:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"...why do I have a bad feeling about this?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 444 posts
Sat 20 Oct 2012
at 18:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"It's one of Creation's borders," explains the critter. "And you've got a bad feeling because it means you're outside of Creation. You really should finish going back. Just a few more minutes."

Indeed, the hallway looks like it leads to the familiar doors at the far end, and the position of the doorway and the emerald orb in the fresco relative to each other look like they did when the women first entered to follow the Duke around in circles, after just a few more minutes of travel. The Solars' sense of the Sun's position tells them it has been 24 and a half minutes since they started walking on this return journey.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 282 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 21 Oct 2012
at 01:43
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Very well, Carabas," says Beatrix. "Would it please you to come with us?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 445 posts
Sun 21 Oct 2012
at 04:25
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Please!"

((OOC: Feel free to get on outside and rejoin the others; I don't have anything planned here, unless you two need to speak privately for some reason.))
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 283 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 21 Oct 2012
at 19:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Very well then," says Beatrix and she resumes walking, prompting Azalea to follow (and continuing to scratch Carabas's chin).
"Azalea, if you're feeling out of place due to any of this, do not worry; soon enough it will seem natural."
Azalea
 player, 44 posts
Sun 21 Oct 2012
at 20:15
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"...I... am not sure if I should be relieved or worried."

She keeps following, and sooner or later either joins in or takes over the scratching.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 284 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 23 Oct 2012
at 00:15
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix strides out the door with resplendent healer and small fuzzy creature in tow. She immediately begins looking for Alistr and Captain Galen.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 446 posts
Tue 23 Oct 2012
at 13:21
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Alistr can be seen with Merlin as the latter helps Salf - no, that must be Deen, since Salf is still in the tower - finish strapping in and begins to take off. There is a bush that is entirely non-suspicious to anybody who doesn't get at least three successes on a Perception+Investigation[The Game's Afoot!] roll. It is non-suspiciously near the other named characters, and equally unsuspiciously not anywhere near various nameless figures doing nameless duties around the large court-yard.

There is also a large force of infantry forming up around a few mounted knights near one of the gates. Deen is pointing at them and explaining to Merlin how they'll be traveling, and listening studiously to anything Merlin has to say on the subject of scouting for them. It seems it will take days to march to the border, which is expected to be just in time to meet with and stop the Beastmen. ...or so Prince Deen hopes, anyway.
Azalea
 player, 45 posts
Tue 23 Oct 2012
at 18:24
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea notices anything but the bush, which remains unsuspiciously in her peripheral vision at all times. ((botch))

"Huh. They're still here? I thought we were gone for a while..."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 447 posts
Tue 23 Oct 2012
at 19:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
A passing stablehand escorting horses to the Knights offers, "You were, Miss, but the Duke is traveling with the soldiers, so they're waiting for him."
Captain August Galen
 player, 114 posts
Wed 24 Oct 2012
at 19:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The Bush observes two women and a small fuzzy animal leaving the tower. Two of these bipedal beings presence begins to jog some memory in the Bush's mind, and the fuzzy thing's partially rodent-like form strikes fear in The Great Bush.

Oh, to have grown tall and full for so many summers to only be ravaged & devoured by the long, square teeth of this small vermin! The tragedy was thick. Would any one know The Bush's suffering? Who would remember?

The Bush was supposed to be doing something. The slow, but great sap-thoughts moved. The one woman & creature were of import. It would have to brave it's own end and follow them.


((OOC: 15:35, Today: Captain August Galen rolled 4 successes using 6d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Dex+Stealth Bush sneakily follows. ))
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 285 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 26 Oct 2012
at 22:11
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Greetings," Beatrix greets Alistr and Merlin. "I see you are still preparing; good. Merlin, Alistr, it is my pleasure to introduce Azalea, a cook and healer who will be joining with us on our endeavors. Azalea, this is Alistr, a capable smith and fighter, and Merlin, a man of many excellent talents. And I see Galen has caught up as well; this is also good." She does not, however, indicate where Galen may be; that would be inconsiderate.
Azalea
 player, 46 posts
Fri 26 Oct 2012
at 23:14
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea smiles and nods at Alistr and Merlin in turn at the formal interaction.

"Nice to meet you!"


Then she looks around for the mysterious stranger introduced.

"Uh... who?"
Merlin
 player, 290 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 27 Oct 2012
at 04:50
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Azalea (msg # 154):

"Greetings again and this is the dukes other son, which you have most likely heard much about. Is there something new we should know about m'Lady?"

Merlin seems rather nonchalant in his demeanor, but he also seems to be able to tell that something or someone has changed.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 449 posts
Sat 27 Oct 2012
at 23:26
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The young man Merlin indicates as the Duke's "other son" looks just like Salf, save that the opposite eye is red. "Are you chasing after the man and woman on horseback south of here?" he asks of Beatrix. He also extends a hand to Azalea, offering, "I'm Deen. Pleased to meet you. If you're Azalea, your goat-herd friend was looking for you. I don't think he'll find a she-goat here for sale, though, not just for studding-fee. We need all we have for the coming winter."
Azalea
 player, 47 posts
Sun 28 Oct 2012
at 00:05
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea smiles at Deen, after a few moments of puzzled staring, and places her hand in his.

"Likewise. Where is he? I was wondering why he didn't come with us."

She considers, for a moment, what a studding fee may be, but she decides it is likely irrelevant. She takes a small pouch from her belt and opens it, then shows it to Deen.

"Would these be enough for a female goat? I am quite certain they would help to cover winter needs."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 450 posts
Sun 28 Oct 2012
at 13:25
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Deen examines the gems in the pouch dispassionately before responding matter-of-factly, "That would just barely cover a goat, yes, but you're like to find more eager recipients in one of the villages south and east of here. Our quartermasters would just have to go and spend it to replace the goat, where a serf or a peasant would find many uses for that sort of windfall. Don't let somebody trick you into paying that and charging a studding fee, though. Peasants can be greedy, and, no offense, Miss, but offering gems like that makes you seem naive."

The youth offers a smile to try to take any sting from his words, and blushes just barely enough to make the fact that he holds her gaze mildly impressive. Either that, or he's not shy.

Carabas, meanwhile, looks up from his perch on Beatrix's blouse. "Where's the captain?" the little creature asks in a soft child's voice.
Azalea
 player, 48 posts
Sun 28 Oct 2012
at 13:53
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She nods a little.

"Thank you."

Then she smiles.

"I guess I am."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 451 posts
Mon 29 Oct 2012
at 00:14
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Deen takes her hand briefly and continues to meet her gaze. "Then, Miss, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I will always endeavor to give you an honest answer, to the best of my humble knowledge," he says, clearly meaning 'humble' as an understatement. He manages to kiss the back of her hand - if she allows it - with only a minor amount of awkwardness as he attempts to be the sure and courteous noble he's obviously been raised to be.
Captain August Galen
 player, 115 posts
Mon 29 Oct 2012
at 09:53
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Segev Stormlord:
Carabas, meanwhile, looks up from his perch on Beatrix's blouse. "Where's the captain?" the little creature asks in a soft child's voice.


The spoken name strikes the great mind of The Great Bush like a harpoon through an air whale's eye. An existential crisis of yeddim proportions broke its' mind in twain. The Great Bush was not born from strong seed, not raised nobly out of the good earth by the nourishing rays of the Day Star, but born in blood and goop, a warm, crying, mewling thing. A teat sucking, discussing, noisy parasite. Oh, what horror, to be able to dream you are a noble Cornus sericea, only to be cursed to remember one's origin as a crud Hominidae.

((OOC: 05:35, Today: Captain August Galen rolled 3 successes using 7d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Intel+Integ Remember. ))

"Bah. I am right here, you bipedal omnivorous." murmurs The Captain, whom is crouched next to Beatrix, with limbs of dogwood tied and taped to Galen's red cloak.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:49, Mon 29 Oct 2012.

Azalea
 player, 49 posts
Mon 29 Oct 2012
at 14:35
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea gasps in surprise and looks at the captain.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 286 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 29 Oct 2012
at 21:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Azalea," says Beatrix, "Captain August Galen. Captain Galen, it is my honor to introduce Amelia. And do not be so rude to Carabas when he is busily being adorable." This comment is of course accompanied by further scritchings.
"And Azalea, if you do not mind, I am sure I can give you better for those gems. I will cheerfully pay for the goat on your behalf in the meanwhile, if you wish; it is really nothing."
Azalea
 player, 50 posts
Mon 29 Oct 2012
at 21:45
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"Uh..."

She eventually overcomes the surprise, and smiles a little, although it's pretty hesitant.

"A... pleasure?"

She then smiles more brightly to Beatrix, thankful for the change of topic - she wasn't certain if asking about the camouflage would be polite - and nods to her.

"If these gems can get a female goat for Ned, I am certainly happy to give them to you."
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 89 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Tue 30 Oct 2012
at 00:39
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
  A hairy large-ish man carrying a hammer walks up and claps Galen on the back. "I was wondering where you had run off to. Good to see you again Galen and you as well Carabas. No hard feelings over your umm. Recalibration."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 452 posts
Tue 30 Oct 2012
at 12:15
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Carabas writhes in pleasure under the scritchings. "No hard feelings?" asks the little thing, as if unsure what's even meant. "I was just patrolling the borders. Everything looked secure, Sir!" it adds, trying to salute the Captain while being scritched behind the ears, which is awkward to say the least since it doesn't want to disrupt the attentions.

Deen looks from Azalea to Beatrix, trying hard to maintain his gentlemanly aplomb despite being a bit overwhelmed by the unfamiliar presence of all these people. "That's remarkably generous of you, Lady LeSchaye. How will you get more value for them?" he asks in genuine curiosity. "Oh, the duo you were watching just crossed the south road and is turning a bit to the north, going east-by-north-east now," he offers as a helpful aside, his red eye wandering in a purposeful way, as if tracking them through the walls and hills and distance.
Captain August Galen
 player, 116 posts
Tue 30 Oct 2012
at 19:36
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix LeSchaye:
"Captain August Galen. Captain Galen, it is my honor to introduce Amelia."


Azalea:
"Uh..."

She eventually overcomes the surprise, and smiles a little, although it's pretty hesitant.

"A... pleasure?"


Social pleasantries swapped the mask & mindset of The Great Bush off of the great performer's mind, and replaced it with that of the mask of Galen. The body posture changes from standoffish to magnificent in the flap of a hummingbird's wings.

The privateer warmly grasps Azalea's hand while simultaneously using the other arm to throw Galen's red cape to the side and graciously bow on one knee to the woman.

"Captain Augustus Galen-ious The Fifth, at your service..." the tall figure pressed Azalea's hand to lips and gave a gentle kiss before looking up "...and the pleasure, is all mine. Azalea..." Galen absently strokes her hand if she let's the Captain... "...such a lovely name. What does it mean?"


Alistr Hamrsoung:
"I was wondering where you had run off to. Good to see you again Galen and you as well Carabas. No hard feelings over your umm. Recalibration."


"Ah! Hamrsoung!" Galen steps to the man and gives him a hearty smack on the arm. If the man permits, the Captain will try to give him a bear hug as well. "It is wonderful to be among good friends once more! And I thank you for your help with that Recalibration business. It got sticky, but I think everything turned out right in the end. From now on, I run a tighter ship, as it were."

Segev Stormlord:
Carabas writhes in pleasure under the scritchings. "No hard feelings?" asks the little thing, as if unsure what's even meant. "I was just patrolling the borders. Everything looked secure, Sir!" it adds, trying to salute the Captain while being scritched behind the ears, which is awkward to say the least since it doesn't want to disrupt the attentions.



"Patrol? Very good! Very good show, then! I think I shall promote you to the duel positions of ship's Bo'sun, & ship proper and all that. Yes, indeed! And a reward! Yes. Tell me, are cucumbers in quantity in this area?"
The Captain asks this in general to those around.

Azalea
 player, 51 posts
Wed 31 Oct 2012
at 04:28
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea stares, speechless for the majority of Galen's introduction, with a tinge of red shading her cheeks. Her hand remains in Galen's care for as long as he holds it, the other grasping her amulet absently.

"...mean? Oh, it's... it's a flower."

That seems to give her some confidence, the kind that someone familiar with a subject feels when it becomes the topic of discussion.

"It's the flower from a bush, usually red or pink, which blooms in the east during the late Air or early Water months. It can even survive snow, which makes it a wonderful sight, spots of pink or red in a blanket of white."

She looks at him for a moment before looking slightly away again.

"I am told I was born in a particularly harsh Ascending Water, thus the name."


She eventually giggles at the bear hug, attempted or successful.
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 90 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Wed 31 Oct 2012
at 16:12
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
  "one hopes that we won't have to do that again." he pauses and sees Azalea for the first time as Galen introduces himself. "A flower that survives in snow huh. That really must be a sight. Alistr Hamrsoung and I can make my hammer sing."
Azalea
 player, 52 posts
Wed 31 Oct 2012
at 20:06
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"Hammersong?"

She smiles a little and nods.

"Very fitting name, then. Nice to meet you."

She is pretty obviously wondering how a hammer can sing.
Merlin
 player, 291 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 1 Nov 2012
at 01:28
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Azalea (msg # 170):

Merlin keeps his own council. His red hair and freckles give nothing away as the others talk. However, his eyes are everywhere seeing who is listening in....and who is not appearing to listen in!
Captain August Galen
 player, 118 posts
Sat 3 Nov 2012
at 13:01
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Azalea:
Azalea stares, speechless for the majority of Galen's introduction, with a tinge of red shading her cheeks. Her hand remains in Galen's care for as long as he holds it, the other grasping her amulet absently.

"...mean? Oh, it's... it's a flower."


Galen's checks redden suddenly. I... I've gone too far in my roll, again!

The Captain jumps back and laughs boisterously out-loud. "Ho-ho! So, what is on the agenda for today! What can we do to be of assistance?" The Captain gives a big thumbs up and winks.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:17, Sat 10 Nov 2012.

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 287 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 5 Nov 2012
at 03:26
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix looks up from discussing gemcutting with Deen. "There are some things I have learned which I believe we ought to discuss. I have discovered who is behind the camp you found, Merlin; I am no longer certain we ought to confront them. While I do believe they are engaged in activities that I believe none of us would approve of, I believe they are doing so in response to the current problems here in Falan; they are not themselves the cause. If we find the cause and end it, then their activities should end as well." After a pause she frowns. "And if they do not then I shall be most cross."
Merlin
 player, 293 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Mon 5 Nov 2012
at 03:57
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 173):

"You may not like where that leads us m'Lady," says Merlin with a heavy Skytongue accent. Merlin's cryptic comment is almost nerve racking given his almost universally upbeat, can do attitude. He has never spoken this way to any of those present and its a bit unsettling.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 288 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 5 Nov 2012
at 15:38
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Entirely possible," says Beatrix. "We should really go somewhere relatively private and discuss this."
Merlin
 player, 295 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 04:46
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 175):

Some time later there is a masked man, many know to be Merlin's alternate identity, who just happens by when certain young princes and goat herders are not around.

"Companions. I am afraid that I had a very disturbing thought. This tower, which contains the sands of the malfean desert, may very well be the source of this regions problems. What demons it was constructed to defend against are unclear. It is not far enough out to be effective against the Fae and the Wyld at the time it was built. It is not near a shadow land or any dangerous portal of which they or we know about. My memories, of long ago were sparked, by the tale of this tower and what it was suppose to do. I fear that the beast men are attacking in this direction because they are attracted to the nature of the tower or that their master wants to destroy it without getting involved personally. If the tower did not exist to fight the 'demons' then the demons would not be coming to fight its defenders. Certainly there are easier targets for the beast men than this kingdom with its advanced warning system."

"
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 91 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 05:53
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"That explains a few things at least to me. Without seeing the inner workings I can't begin to fix or at least slowdown the problem. Telling the Duke that I all of a sudden gained a Terrestrial Exaltation would be unwise. So where do we go from here."
Azalea
 player, 55 posts
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 11:17
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea - assuming she's included in the conversation - seems worried.


"I knew it felt peculiar, but demons?"
Captain August Galen
 player, 122 posts
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 13:37
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
When Galen follows the others to meet the Masked Stranger™ the brigand eyes the person suspiciously throughout, and seems quite taken-back that this man should dare to talk with familiarity.  Still, it seems The Captain's allies seem to recognize him. Did Galen meet & forget this person? It's happened before.

In reply to Alistr Hamrsoung (msg # 177):

"Well, we could tell the royals the truth. They already know we are hiding a lot about how many and what type of Exalted we have in our group.

I have to say I'm very impressed that they haven't pushed the subject. They've been surprisingly open and honest about a great many things.

We could also just rephrase the inquiry, while being discreet on the particular, and make sure the royals feel in the loop on our progress. I'm very much against lying to them, but it's obvious they know we are keeping some information close to our chests and are currently comfortable with that.

Hmmm... They know Lady LeSchaye is Exalted. What if we tell the Duke we have a concern that the Beastman are interested in the magic that powers the tower? The Lady and Mr. Hamrsoung could tell the Duke that she wishes to take her technical assistant, (Mr. Hamsoung) and see what is what in the tower, with someone the Duke trusts to assist, of course."

This message was last edited by the player at 13:38, Thu 15 Nov 2012.

Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 92 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 15:02
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
  "They didn't take it well when I told the kid that I saved well at all Captain. As for actually fixing or altering it that might not be possible. It was a thought to look into. If I knew more about this device I might be able to make a more accurate guess. Fact is I am still training in this area and this would be an enormous task."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 291 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 15:49
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix pays for the goat and the gems before coming to speak with the others. She also gives Ned (a.k.a. Radiant Goat-Lord Clad In Peasant Attire) some money to feed himself with on the way back home, since he's probably been on the road longer than expected already.

"A remarkable and excellent insight, Merlin," says Beatrix after hearing what the man has to say. "My main concern, should your feeling prove true, is that these stepped-up invasions are a recent occurrence; something has changed to make this place a greater target." After a brief pause, she says "I wonder how recently Deen and Salf took over the role of using the device? Likely very recently; Sir Clavien mentioned that the two of them being able to use the device in tandem was new to him, which means it likely happened after he left for Trademeet."

After thinking a bit longer, she says. "Mmm. Sand from Malfeas. Would that be the border you were patrolling, little Carrabas?" She scritches the creature affectionately. "I believe I recall it being said there are no gods in Malfeas. Please, anyone correct me if they know otherwise, but if so I believe this would explain... well, nearly everything."

"If you will all forgive a brief diversion, I must ensure everyone is on the same page, now. There is, I am told, a group calling themselves the 'Five-Score Fellowship'. If those I've heard about it from are to be believed, they are a group of gods who take it upon themselves to police other gods, and evidently to meddle in the affairs of mortals. One of their agents came to me for economic advice, and moreover to attempt to convince me to assist in a plan they had for Falan."

"You see," she says as she continues, and it's evident as she goes that she is counting time on he right hand, "I've come to realize they were aware of the beastman raids and the effect they are having on Falan. They believed this would lead Falan to invade other nations in order to abduct warm bodies to pad their borders with. This I now realize is true, and I see it because our host has already made such an attempt in small scale. This is in great part what brought me here."

"Their proposed solution to this problem was to greatly increase the trade of slaves in this region, via Trademeet. They needed my assistance in this because slavery is illegal in trademeet, and they thought that perhaps I could circumvent this somehow. I declined to help them and declared my intent to find another solution. My initial plan will not work, because I see now this isn't a plan that money will solve on its own. But I've learned much and believe I have the beginnings of another solution."

"However, if the Tower is the source of all this trouble, then their plan, aside from being immoral, would also be entirely inadequate to dealing with the problem; instead of solving anything it would simply prolong a war, at least until whatever powerful force is directing the Beastmen becomes involved personally. However, if they are unaware of the Tower's nature due to its connection to Malfeas, then it would explain this error in judgement."
Captain August Galen
 player, 123 posts
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 16:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Alistr Hamrsoung (msg # 180):

"Hmmm... It does sound like a very involved and time consuming effort, and it could turn out to be just a coincidence. Perhaps we should concentrate on investigating the Beastmen & discovering their reason for invading this area, first. If it does have to do with the Infernal nature of the tower, then we can more easily persuade the Duke to allow us access, yes?"

In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 181):

"I must admit, I'm starting to suspect the interest in the tower is due to it's strategic advantages, rather then it's power source. I worry that a practiced Shapeshifter, like the one controlling the Beastmen, might be able to mimic a member of the Duke's family that they can use its power. Or they could intend on simply kidnapping and forcing the family to obey.

Or they may instead simply want to destroy it as a threat to a larger expansion move.

Either way, it's looking like we need more direct intelligence from the enemy themselves.

I wounder if we can secure a spy among them?"

This message was last edited by the player at 16:34, Thu 15 Nov 2012.

Azalea
 player, 56 posts
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 16:44
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Seems very puzzled throughout the conversation, but she doesn't ask anything in particular.
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 93 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Thu 15 Nov 2012
at 17:22
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
  "It's not likely that He has anyone that can shift into a member of the Duke's family. He would have had to get a hold of one of them and then hunt and kill them. Far to time consuming for him or his normal methods. As to the Infernal nature pulling the Beastmen here I can't say, but I think that it has more to it than that."
Merlin
 player, 296 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Fri 16 Nov 2012
at 00:23
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Alistr Hamrsoung (msg # 184):

The masked man, 'hrrrmmms'.

"The strategic use of the tower is a factor, but more of a detrimental one to the enemy. If it is true that only the blood of the Duke's family can utilize it then one would have to be subverted in order for it to be useful. Of course, if its built with magical materials or as part of a manse then almost any essence wielder to utilize it give access or atunement.

How do we make sure that Suchi is the master of these beast men? Rumor would have it that this is somewhere near Suchi's territory, but that is unconfirmed, of course.
"
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 94 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Sun 18 Nov 2012
at 10:40
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
  "If they are WolfGoatmen then they are Ma-Ha-Suchi's. Do not doubt that. If he found out that another Lunar was breeding WolfGoatmen to give him a bad name he would have a fit. The offender would not likely survive. MHS's Lair is nearish. I tend to think that this is built on or near a manse to draw some power from."
Captain August Galen
 player, 124 posts
Wed 21 Nov 2012
at 11:33
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Alistr Hamrsoung:
  "It's not likely that He has anyone that can shift into a member of the Duke's family. He would have had to get a hold of one of them and then hunt and kill them. Far to time consuming for him or his normal methods. As to the Infernal nature pulling the Beastmen here I can't say, but I think that it has more to it than that."


"THAT is how Lunar Shapeshifting works? Ewwwwww..." Galen shudders and shakes gloved hands as though something disgusting and gross had to be touched with them. The Captain then stops and has a thoughtful moment.

"Do elders have the same limits?"


Alistr Hamrsoung:
  "If they are WolfGoatmen then they are Ma-Ha-Suchi's. Do not doubt that. If he found out that another Lunar was breeding WolfGoatmen to give him a bad name he would have a fit. The offender would not likely survive. MHS's Lair is nearish. I tend to think that this is built on or near a manse to draw some power from."


"Huh. Well, if we are going to investigate him, what's the best way? I admit, I don't know much about the man's temperament. Is a direct approach best? Or sneakery?"

This message was last edited by the player at 11:34, Wed 21 Nov 2012.

Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 95 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Wed 21 Nov 2012
at 15:05
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"I have never heard of MHS learning any other way to acquire a form. That doesn't mean he hasn't mind you. Vital fluids are all that are really required for some of the more esoteric demons and Raksha. As for investigating him. Sneaky cause if you get caught you are dead as well a door nail. MHS is generally accepted to be insane. He is an Elder of the Silver Pact so we let him live."
Azalea
 player, 57 posts
Wed 21 Nov 2012
at 15:46
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She looks at Beatrix curiously, keeping her voice low to avoid interrupting the conversation.

"What do they mean 'aquire a form'?"
Captain August Galen
 player, 125 posts
Wed 21 Nov 2012
at 16:31
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Alistr Hamrsoung:
"I have never heard of MHS learning any other way to acquire a form. That doesn't mean he hasn't mind you. Vital fluids are all that are really required for some of the more esoteric demons and Raksha.


"Bodily fluids? That's kind of... kinky." Galen looks a little sheepish in posture, and averts eyes away from everyone. The Captain may be blushing under the unseemly high collar. "That makes Lunars like sparkly, silver vampires. Oh, I want one..."


Alistr Hamrsoung:
As for investigating him. Sneaky cause if you get caught you are dead as well a door nail. MHS is generally accepted to be insane. He is an Elder of the Silver Pact so we let him live."


"Huh. But, if he's a part of this Silver Pact, could we seek an audience with them if we have their blessing?"

This message was last edited by the player at 13:53, Thu 22 Nov 2012.

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 292 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 22 Nov 2012
at 00:14
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Azalea (msg # 189):

Beatrix looks up from her contemplation, her long ears twitching. "Ah? Oh, my pardons. They are referring, I think, to the ability of the Chosen of Luna to adopt the shapes of other beings. I am honestly not entirely clear on the details; Alistr would know more, being himself a Lunar."
Azalea
 player, 58 posts
Thu 22 Nov 2012
at 13:24
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

She looks at Alistr, then, surprise evident by the size of her eyes.

"Really?"

She proceeds to stare curiously.
Captain August Galen
 player, 126 posts
Thu 22 Nov 2012
at 14:26
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Is it possible to get approval from this Silver Pack organization to get an official audience with the esteemed Ma-ha-Suki?

If not, I'm feeling a little bored, and I'd like to attack & kidnap some of his lieutenants to find out more about him & his possible interest in the tower. I need to punch things."

This message was last edited by the player at 13:22, Tue 27 Nov 2012.

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 293 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 27 Nov 2012
at 14:59
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"I am uncertain," says Beatrix. "Ma-Ha-Suchi is not portrayed as one prone to diplomacy, generally speaking. I suppose it would be worth the attempt, if only to see what we may learn by it."
She turns to the Lunar of the group. "Alistr, what say you? Is such a thing possible?"
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 97 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Tue 27 Nov 2012
at 16:41
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
   "Possible sure. So is Malfeas actually repenting. Neither is very likely. MHS doesn't deal kindly with a certain type of shiny Anathema if you get my drift. If I of all Lunars showed up with shiny Anathema well it would be bad all around. For them and worse for me. Diplomacy is possible sure. I just don't like the odds." Alistr shivers when he mentions the consequences for shiny Anathema and shivers worse yet when he mentions his own consequences. While he may not be the most valorous of the group he most certainly isn't afraid often or by a whole lot.
Captain August Galen
 player, 129 posts
Tue 27 Nov 2012
at 17:02
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Oh. OK.

So, kidnapping and interrogation, then?"


Galen enthusiastically raises a hand in a thumbs up.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:22, Tue 27 Nov 2012.

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 295 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 27 Nov 2012
at 18:04
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix nods. "That is as good as a 'no' for negotiating with Ma-Ha-Suchi himself, then. We shall see what we can get out of his followers, but we should be prepared for the violence that seems likely to occur. Gathering information is our foremost priority, so it seems Galen's suggestion is the most likely to succeed. We could attempt to discern what about the tower is wanted by the beastmen ourselves, but asking them would be much simpler."
"Let us be about it, then."
Captain August Galen
 player, 130 posts
Tue 27 Nov 2012
at 18:30
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 197):

"Y-eeeeeess!

Ha, ha! Punching!"


Galen holds up a clenched fist with glee, then starts talking to it, intimately. "Oh, enemies faces, how my fist has missed you?"

Galen puts the pointer finger from the other hand onto the fist to shush it. "No, no. Shush, my love. There is no other. I know I have not done the dance of fun with you in a while, but there is no one but you.

What? My friends? No, violence is not for them. Only for the bad peoples. Only you, my pet. Only you. Kiss, kiss."
And Galen slowly kisses the gloved hand.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:31, Tue 27 Nov 2012.

Azalea
 player, 60 posts
Tue 27 Nov 2012
at 20:18
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

Azalea observes Galen's... affections with a surprised, confused expression.

...and more than a little worry.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 296 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 27 Nov 2012
at 20:48
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix observes Galen with a carefully neutral expression before coughing into her hand and simply heading back.
Captain August Galen
 player, 132 posts
Tue 27 Nov 2012
at 22:50
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 200):

Hearing the cough, Galen suddenly remembers not being alone & looks around. The Captain then straightens up, adjusts the red coat, and jaunts away, like a clumsy cat whom has fallen, then pretends it never occurred.
Merlin
 player, 297 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 28 Nov 2012
at 01:51
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Captain August Galen (msg # 201):

The masked man betrays nothing from behind the mask, but one hand can be seen caressing a throwing chakrum. It almost seems that he would like to use it.....almost. As the group dissolves so does the masked man as he heads into the evening.