Who Watches the Watch Hill?   Posted by Segev Stormlord.Group: 0
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."