Poisoning the Well.   Posted by Segev Stormlord.Group: 0
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 529 posts
Thu 25 Apr 2013
at 16:02
Poisoning the Well
Merlin passed Hun and Po on their borrowed steeds some distance back; they should catch up with the party at the steady pace of their riding a few hours after dusk. His own flight brought him and the Prince to the group within an hour.

The trip on foot for most has been uneventful since splitting up near Watch Hill, and also much quieter since Matield parted ways to go "get her things" from "home." The road the army took is easily followed; not only is it well-traveled, but the trample of feet and hooves makes it clearly marked with prints and crushed grass to either side. With only a day's head start on the group, they should catch up to the army sometime tomorrow.

As the sun turns the far hills ahead red, a tiny village made up mostly of a wayfarer's inn and the two or three trading post shops and other services that spring up near such locales comes into view. Reaching the bottom of the hill, however, a hastily constructed sign seems to be trying to bar the way. Physically, it is ineffectual, however, the symbol of Saturn circumscribed by a circle bearing a warding sign of Mercury etched into it in charcoal might have a more profound effect. "Quarantine: Plague."
Azalea
 player, 96 posts
Fri 26 Apr 2013
at 03:22
Re: Poisoning the Well

Azalea pauses to look at the sign.

With a small widening of her eyes and a muttered exclamation, and not the least bit of hesitation, she increases her pace towards the village.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 530 posts
Fri 26 Apr 2013
at 14:25
Re: Poisoning the Well
"Doesn't that sign mean we should stay away from the village?" asks Freverick as Azalea picks up her pace.

"She knows that," responds Sevastian, laying a hand on his brother's shoulder.

The sign was placed in the saddle point between the hills along which the road was trampled, and the trek up is somewhat steep. It would probably be easier, if the road were actually constructed rather than merely tramped down, if it spiraled around the hill. It's probably a good quarter mile to the stables that are the nearest structure.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:12, Sat 27 Apr 2013.

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 330 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 3 May 2013
at 17:12
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix frowns, seeming worried. "Azalea, what are you intending to do?"
Azalea
 player, 97 posts
Fri 3 May 2013
at 17:26
Re: Poisoning the Well

She looks at Beatrix with a puzzled expression, without breaking her pace.

"Well, help, of course."

The puzzled expression remains for a few moments, with an unspoken 'what else?' lingering in her eyes before she turns back towards where she's going.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 531 posts
Mon 6 May 2013
at 03:36
Re: Poisoning the Well
Coming to the top of the hill, the town seems...quiet. Honestly, too quiet. There are only four buildings - five, if you count the stables as separate from the inn - in this tiny waystation, and a large stone well in the middle of it, covered by a small roof to keep the sun from evaporating the water within.

The inn is the largest building, with a blacksmithy, a shrine, and a storehouse making up the remainder of this little stop-over point for weary travelers.
Azalea
 player, 98 posts
Mon 6 May 2013
at 08:28
Re: Poisoning the Well

Azalea pauses at the hill's crest, taking a few moments to observe the villageling from the benefit of distance, trying to discern movement. Any movement.

If there is none, she will increase her pace even more, to almost jogging, muttering something along the lines of "I hope it's not too late."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 532 posts
Mon 6 May 2013
at 13:52
Re: Poisoning the Well
As Azalea's unsutble footsteps tread on the hard dirt that tops the hill, a badly sunburnt man steps out of the inn. "What're you, blind, woman! Did you not see the quarantine sign?" he asks, his voice raspy, and quieter than the amount of breath he's putting into it should make it be. He leans against the inn's sturdy door frame for support, obviously physically tired.
Azalea
 player, 99 posts
Mon 6 May 2013
at 16:08
Re: Poisoning the Well

She seems more relieved than anything else to see someone alive, even in such a condition. Obviously unworried, she even goes so far as to reach out to help him stabilize himself.

Her smile is warm and confident.

"It's all right. I'm a healer. I can help. Let's get you in to get some rest while you explain the situation?"

For the trained eye, even as she helps him get his footing, she is examining him.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 533 posts
Mon 6 May 2013
at 17:51
Re: Poisoning the Well
The man winces as she reaches out for him, trying to stay back, but sighs and allows her to support him once she touches him. "Too late now, I suppose," he says ruefully. "You know you can't leave an' spread this to the kingdom now, right?"

Inside, a dozen or so makeshift beds made of blankets and pillows have been laid out on the floor, the inn's tables shoved aside to make room. Nine are filled: Three grown men, two grown women, a youth about the age of the red-eyed prince, and three young children, laid out between one of the men and women. Their hair is falling out, and the smallest are nearly skeletal and visibly feverish. The empty "bed" has been laid out somewhat carelessly, but doesn't look like it's yet been occupied.

"Oran," grunts the largest of the men, struggling to sit up and leaving the last of his balding head's hair on the pillow, "Why did you bring her IN?" He coughs, and rasps, "Now one more will--" he coughs again, "--will fall prey to whatever-this-is." One of the kids turns to look, the only one conscious at the moment, and tries to grin in practiced welcome, but the rot overtaking his teeth is very...off-putting.
Azalea
 player, 100 posts
Mon 6 May 2013
at 22:21
Re: Poisoning the Well
She looks around carefully, her eyes going over details, but she keeps a warm, reassuring smile.

"I have seen this before. Don't worry, I can help. I need some water. A bucket or two, for now. Where can I get it?"

She picks one of her small pouches from her belt and opens it, taking a pinch of some herbs and rubs them between her fingers, then kneels next to the children and lets them smell the sweet scent.

"You'll be fine," she half whispers, and uses her own waterskin to give them a drink for now.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 534 posts
Tue 7 May 2013
at 03:59
Re: Poisoning the Well
The herbs have their desired effect, and the child relaxes a bit. The other two cease their shivering in their sleep.

"You're a healer?" asks the large man, whose skin flakes under even Azalea's gentle touch. "Are you sure you won't catch this?" He's actually somewhat delirious, though concentrating hard to hide it. He probably didn't really parse her request.

The burly man - Oran - who she helped inside slumps back towards the door. "Water's in the well. Wine and ale in the barrels behind Luee's bar, if you need alcohol instead," he says, moving to go out and get the water. "This is everybody in the waypoint. Thank the small gods, the army left before this hit."
Azalea
 player, 101 posts
Tue 7 May 2013
at 08:10
Re: Poisoning the Well

She smiles to reassure the worried man.

"Don't worry. We will all get out of this fine."

Then she looks at Oran.

"This is everyone in the village?"

She is somewhat sad that everyone is sick, but at the same time relieved that they are all together.

She stands up and heads to the door and towards the well. If her companions are nearby by that time, she raises a hand and speaks from some distance away.

"Perhaps it would be prudent not to go inside. They will be fine, we got here in time, so there is no need to cause unrest."

She then heads towards the well to get some water.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 535 posts
Wed 8 May 2013
at 02:21
Re: Poisoning the Well
The well has plenty of water, filling the bucket heavily as Azalea pulls it up. Some rocks roll lazily around in the bottom of it.
Azalea
 player, 102 posts
Wed 8 May 2013
at 11:24
Re: Poisoning the Well


Before she steps back inside, she plants her staff on the ground nearby and lets it grow. There might be need for filling food, and she is not aware if anyone was in good enough condition to provide.

She heads back inside and begins proper treatment for everyone, offering plenty of water and boiling some infusion to alleviate symptoms and ease suffering, all the while speaking to them to maintain their hope or give them more.

Whenever she has a chance, and someone is well enough to speak, she asks about how and when this happened, and if there was anyone else sick before she arrived, or anyone that might have breached the impromptu quarantine.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 331 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 9 May 2013
at 16:22
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix frowns worriedly at all this, although she does so from what she hopes is a safe distance, and it's hard to see her face through the scented handkerchief she has tied over her nose and mouth.
"Azalea," she says, "Are you certain there is anything you can do for these people?"
Azalea
 player, 103 posts
Thu 9 May 2013
at 20:47
Re: Poisoning the Well

At some point that Azalea can be seen from outside, she looks at Beatrix curiously.

"Well... of course."


She then continues on her treatment, until a little bit later, that she comes outside again, frowning at the bucket.


"...it's in the water."

She looks around and sighs.

"Boiling this will help for now, and the people will be all right now, but we need to find the source if we want to stop it properly."

Then she heads for the well.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 537 posts
Sun 12 May 2013
at 21:55
Re: Poisoning the Well
Boiling the water, when performed, happens far too rapidly, and the unhealthy humors therein only become enflamed. Fortunately, Azalea detects this before she administers any of it.
Azalea
 player, 104 posts
Mon 13 May 2013
at 13:41
Re: Poisoning the Well

She looks at Beatrix, her expression betraying worry.

"Such a thing doesn't occur naturally. Who could have done it? And why?"

She looks at the well.

"I... I am not certain how to locate the source of the problem. Those affected now will be all right, but if we don't fix the problem, they will just get sick again later."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 538 posts
Mon 13 May 2013
at 16:55
Re: Poisoning the Well
((Anybody investigating the water or the well may roll either Perception+Investigation or Intelligence+Survival.))
Azalea
 player, 105 posts
Mon 13 May 2013
at 17:57
Re: Poisoning the Well
((20:56, Today: Azalea rolled 2 successes using 8d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Int + Survival.

This does not include a specialty of 2 in Herbalism if it is relevant.))

Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 332 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 13 May 2013
at 20:12
Re: Poisoning the Well
Bea is now looking over Azalea's shoulder, her face a tangle of conflicting emotions. She's frightened, and ought to know better than to walk into a plague land, but her curiosity and desire to help have gotten the better of her.

"These rocks in the bucket," she says, pointing. "I have done enough prospecting in this region to know they are not indigenous. At least, I have never seen their like. Their color is wrong. Perhaps they are making the water more apt to boil somehow?" After a pause she says, with brow furrowed, "What are the symptoms you have observed?"
Azalea
 player, 106 posts
Tue 14 May 2013
at 00:17
Re: Poisoning the Well

"...rocks."

She picks one up and observes it, especially its interaction with her skin.

"You are right. These seem... familiar. I've seen them before, near my village."

She settles it down and begins a small examination (making sure to cleanse herself after she's done to avoid spreading disease, of course), all the while giving Beatrix a comprehensive list of the observed symptoms, along with personal observations.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 539 posts
Sat 18 May 2013
at 16:44
Re: Poisoning the Well
Investigating the scene helps, sometimes, to identify the infection by finding the source thereof. It is possible, if the rocks are not natural to the area, that they could be the source. If so, and if they're in the well, they'd need to be removed before cures would have any enduring effect.

The blacksmith, looking worse than when Azalea arrived, but still moving, lumbers across to his forge. "Too cold," he mutters, his fever probably getting to him. "It'll be warmer near the forge."

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:45, Sat 18 May 2013.

Azalea
 player, 107 posts
Sun 19 May 2013
at 19:07
Re: Poisoning the Well

She frowns.

"...no... not near my village. Oh dear."

Looking around, now she seems worried.

"Where do you think the nearest river is? And... since it may prove relevant... is any of our group handy against Demons...?"
Merlin
 player, 321 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sun 19 May 2013
at 22:10
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 25):

From one of the shadows Merlin appears walking towards the pair of ladies.

"That depends on the demon, but in general I am."

Merlin allows the two ladies their moment of 'where, who, damn' before continuing.

"I suspect that the same entities that are responsible here are also responsible for the Duke and his men being sick."

Merlin gives them further information gleaned using his essence visor. "It seems the duke and his men have a luminous, pale green "light" seems to break forth from their flesh. On closer examination, it is their sweat that appears as cracks in their skin, however. Actual cracks, as if they were parched to the point of dehydration, or were badly sunburnt, are harder to see unless they have cracked to the point of bleeding."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 333 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 20 May 2013
at 14:49
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix frowns. "Demons? The blessings of the Sun have made me of fair use against them. And the nearest river I know of is a tributary of the Yanaze, some ways north of here. It is... likely where the Duke's men will encounter the Beastmen, as it is the functional northern border of the kingdom."
"If the Duke and his men were ill, they showed no signs. These people are lethargic. Certainly not so with the Duke. Perhaps he is... well, no. I did no see any signs of demonic influence in the Duke or his men - Aside from that awfully ominous tower - nor is there any history of this sort of thing in his family."
Azalea
 player, 108 posts
Mon 20 May 2013
at 16:09
Re: Poisoning the Well

She blinks at Merlin's sudden appearance, but doesn't comment on it other than nodding at his words, thoughtful.

At Beatrix's comment she sighs a little.

"A few days north might be a little far, and without another source of water, these people will just get sick again as soon as we leave.
Although that's not the main reason I need a river."

She heads to the well and leans in, trying to hear if there are the telltale sounds of an underwater stream being the source of the water, or a sitting pocket of it.

...after all, underwater rivers are still rivers that can be crossed.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 540 posts
Mon 20 May 2013
at 18:11
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 28):

((Perception+[Awareness or Survival]; Azalea gets a 2-die stunt bonus.))
Azalea
 player, 109 posts
Mon 20 May 2013
at 19:33
Re: Poisoning the Well
(( 22:32, Today: Azalea rolled 4 successes using 8d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Perc + Survival. ))
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 541 posts
Mon 20 May 2013
at 19:35
Re: Poisoning the Well
It's faint, but the burble of the water has the tell-tale undercurrent of a river flowing a few dozen feet below its standing-water line in this well. Below the level of the ground-water at this point, it nonetheless flows. There is an underground stream here.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 334 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 20 May 2013
at 21:31
Re: Poisoning the Well
"An underground stream, you think? Perhaps we can remove the taint at the source," offers Beatrix, her earlier anxiety over the situation apparently having fled. After all, if this is a problem that can be solved...
Azalea
 player, 110 posts
Mon 20 May 2013
at 22:36
Re: Poisoning the Well

She smiles and nods.

"Yes, finding the source is important."

Then she takes a leaf and carefully scribbles something with a piece of sharp wood on it. She gets back to the well and drops the leaf inside, murmurs something, then smiles to Beatrix - and Merlin, if he's still in sight.

"Of course, having friends that know a little more about this specific situation can be useful, too."
Merlin
 player, 322 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Mon 20 May 2013
at 23:14
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 33):

Behind the mask there is nothing one can tell about Merlin's facial expressions. Long practice and even longer habit offer no clues from his body language, if such could be seen beneath the cloak. Only the ladies familiarity with him outside of his Night Caste persona give them any comfort.

"Shall we attempt to contact the local water gods and gather what information we can? They would be able, if conscious, to tell us the locus of our problem."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 542 posts
Fri 24 May 2013
at 04:20
Re: Poisoning the Well
Five fruits fall from the tree that grew from Azalea's staff. Each is a date, and they blow in the wind to roll across the road. Possibly crossing, one after the other, the underground river flowing beneath the well.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 335 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Fri 24 May 2013
at 20:57
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix smiles. "I believe our Azalea may have beaten you to that conclusion, Merlin."
Azalea
 player, 111 posts
Fri 24 May 2013
at 22:31
Re: Poisoning the Well

She smiles a little, then looks at the dates.

"I was never particularly adept at deciphering signs, but it seems evident that the source of the trouble has gone that way. Five days ago, perhaps?"

She ponders.

"I am not so certain about the time, but I am pretty certain that crossing this way happened. What do you think?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 336 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 29 May 2013
at 19:45
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix sighs after a moment of concentration. "I believe your deduction is a good one. I certainly cannot figure out anything further."

"We should endeavor to locate the source of this problem, and in the meantime perhaps relocate the people of this hamlet somewhere that hasn't been touched by it. If the well water is the cause of their malady, then perhaps clean water will help them recover their health?"
Azalea
 player, 112 posts
Thu 30 May 2013
at 07:04
Re: Poisoning the Well

She nods

"Although clean now, they need to recuperate. Certainly, clean water will help with that. And even more so, this well water will infect them again.

But... how do we relocate them? Where?"
Merlin
 player, 324 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 1 Jun 2013
at 00:00
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 39):

"Well those dates seemed to have rolled in the general direction of the Duke's army camp. The men likely drank from the well. I am not certain, but I would say the army traveled through here less than 5 days ago."

Merlin looks for signs of passage of that large of a group of men to confirm, if necessary.
Azalea
 player, 113 posts
Sat 1 Jun 2013
at 03:45
Re: Poisoning the Well

"Oh dear. That can't be good."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 544 posts
Sun 2 Jun 2013
at 01:48
Re: Poisoning the Well
The road through town is exceptionally well-travelled, so it's nearly impossible to tell if a large group came through within a specific timeframe. That said, there is the blacksmith, hammering away with increasing rapidity in his forge. He might know.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 545 posts
Tue 4 Jun 2013
at 12:13
Re: Poisoning the Well
The clanging in the forge continues at its fevered tempo, yet contains a driving rhythm of purpose, not mere flailing about. Leaning heavily on the door frame of the inn, a child whose gender is hard to determine due to the loss of hair and the distortion of features created by badly peeling skin (as in a third degree sunburn) looks worried. Another child, a year or so older, perhaps, and in similarly ill condition, stumbles to the other side of the door frame, shaking hands holding a tankard of watery ale. The first child helps steady it, and they support each other, carrying it across the dusty way, past the well, to the forge.
Merlin
 player, 325 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 01:56
Re: Poisoning the Well
Merlin, not one to dwadle heads over to the smith and ask him when the army came though, about how many days ago. He looks on at the kids and examines the 'watery ale' to see if it is glowing or looks strange as well.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 546 posts
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 13:03
Re: Poisoning the Well
Up close, the kids look actually a bit healthier than from a distance. The blisters are already healing and, where hair was missing, a peach fuzz is coming in. The ale looks, as far as Merlin can tell, perfectly normal.

The smith looks up as the mysterious man enters. He's not sweating, and gratefully accepts the ale. When Merlin asks, he holds up a hand in a "wait" gesture while he chugs the rest of the beverage. Exhaling and breathing heavily when he finishes, he says, "The Duke and his army came through about five hours before the medicine woman arrived. Why?"
Azalea
 player, 114 posts
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 22:40
Re: Poisoning the Well

Azalea looks at Beatrix.

"Hours, not days. Much easier to follow, no?"

Then she approaches the blacksmith with a worried expression.

"I suggested rest for a reason. You're dehydrated, you shouldn't be working in this heat."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 547 posts
Thu 6 Jun 2013
at 12:52
Re: Poisoning the Well
The blacksmith wipes his brow as the hydration lets him start to sweat a little. "I just..." he shakes his head. "No, you're right, I don't know what I was thinking. Let me get some more ale and I'll lay down after that."

One of the children seems confused. "What happened to us, Miss?" she - at least, the length of the hair that hadn't fallen out is that of a girl - asks of Azalea. "We were gonna help Mr. Smith, 'cause we're feeling better, but is he still sick?"
Azalea
 player, 115 posts
Thu 6 Jun 2013
at 21:49
Re: Poisoning the Well

She lowers to an almost kneeling stance, resting on her heels without letting her knees touch the ground and brushes a fringe behind the girl's ear with a warm smile.


"There was something bad with the water. You're not sick anymore, but my friends and I will have to find out what happened to the water and fix it, so you won't get sick again."


She stands again, and looks at the smith.

"Which reminds me, how was this ale made?"


As an afterthought, she glances at what the smith was making.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 548 posts
Thu 6 Jun 2013
at 23:35
Re: Poisoning the Well
The other child, with more missing hair and thus harder to distinguish a gender for, says, "Dad brews it himself from the stuff the farmers deliver."
Azalea
 player, 116 posts
Fri 7 Jun 2013
at 05:22
Re: Poisoning the Well

She sighs softly, offers an apologetic smile to the rest, and checks the three for renewed infection.
Azalea
 player, 117 posts
Sun 9 Jun 2013
at 01:01
Re: Poisoning the Well

...and promptly proceeds to retreat them.


"We need to find at least some source of clean water for these people until we find the source of the problem. Any ideas?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 339 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 10 Jun 2013
at 16:51
Re: Poisoning the Well
"Well, there is the river, if we can secure pack animals to carry the water for us. Or perhaps carry the people. I will happily forgo my own horse and walk if it means we can save some lives."
With a small frown, she turns to Merlin. "I don't suppose that you, as a sorcerer, can conjure water?"
Merlin
 player, 326 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 12 Jun 2013
at 02:31
Re: Poisoning the Well
Merlin says this in a most matter of fact kind of way.

"Unfortunately I do not count the summoning of water to be amongst my abilities, nor the curing of this kind of poison. I am thinking that boiling the water and removal of the stones might just do the trick."
Azalea
 player, 118 posts
Wed 12 Jun 2013
at 03:30
Re: Poisoning the Well

"Boiling doesn't work. I tried. It's quite clear the source is supernatural, so mundane means of sterilization won't affect it. I can cure such things from patients, but not from..."

She trails off, pondering. Likely of a means to be able to do so in the future.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 549 posts
Thu 13 Jun 2013
at 18:43
Re: Poisoning the Well
The blacksmith stares longingly back at his forge, even as he lets the two young kids lead him back to the inn to lie down once more.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 552 posts
Sun 23 Jun 2013
at 16:39
Re: Poisoning the Well
With the waystation contaminated, the only short-term fix is to label the well water as tainted and leave signs to warn people away. It will slow down travel from Watch Tower to the hinterlands, which is dangerous with the hazard of beastman raids, but is less hazardous than letting armies become poisoned and sick. So for now, Sevastian and Ocean Soul and Fire Soul are taking the less-than-a-dozen citizens of this tiny hilltop back to the capitol of the Duchy for care and cleaner water.

This leaves only Merlin, Beatrix, Azalea, Freverick, and Ned (and Suzy and Billy) to continue on to the Duke's army.

There, Azalea immediately recognizes severe signs of this illness sweeping the camp, with open sores and blistered skin and soldiers losing their hair right and left. Where these ravages have not left individuals bed-ridden, with blood loss through means best left unspoken leading to dehydration and exhaustion, it seems instead to have driven them into frenzied activity. Soldiers polish and sharpen their weapons to mirror shines and razor edges; camp cooks debate and madly concoct over cook pots as if they were cauldrons, and some of the odors coming from them smell more savory than what one normally might find with the highest-quality of foods.

And the Duke's frenzied plans within his tent have only grown more intricate. No longer does he discard ideas as he gets through with them, but Seln and his generals pour over them to find elements to re-incorporate in the newest ones. Maps - dozens of the same map, with more being drafted by a dazed but highly driven (and frighteningly precise) military cartographer (whose feminine sex was nearly unnoticeable with her emaciated body and nearly-bald head where parchment thin layers of scalp sloughed away with her hair) at a constant, nearly mechanical rate.

Seln looks relieved when he sees Merlin arrive with the others. Face red, and eye leaking crimson tears, he strides up boldly and purposefully to say, "Merlin, my father's gotten worse. I have been able to help Linya - the cartographer - with better views from the Tower, but Father is still not happy with his plans. And I know we can do better with our scouting. I just need to..." he breaks into a cough, and quenches it with water taken from a servant almost without looking. "I need to get a better look. The Tower only sees so far. I need you to take me further on your sky-board," he desperately declares.
Azalea
 player, 121 posts
Sun 23 Jun 2013
at 18:30
Re: Poisoning the Well

"...oh dear..."

She looks at Beatrix.


"Will you please let them know I can help? I will go make preparations for such numbers."

She heads off without any hesitation, gathering materials.

"I hope they have access to clean water here..."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 553 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2013
at 05:06
Re: Poisoning the Well
The soldiers who are weak, rather than fervid, are grateful for even the hope of relief. The others are too dedicated to whatever tasks they pursue with energy beyond that which they have to care much.

As for clean water...the barrels, when Azalea checks them, all have those stone flakes resting in the bottom, leeching their poisonous disease into the whole army's supply.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:09, Mon 24 June 2013.

Azalea
 player, 122 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2013
at 12:31
Re: Poisoning the Well

"Well, that's not going to work, unless we're nearer to a river or something like that now..."

She observes a barrel, thoughtful.

"Boiling doesn't work, but I need to find a way to filter the water."

She takes a sample and begins testing various cleansing techniques, such as evaporation and recondensation, dense silk filtering, soil filtering, or anything else she can attempt with what she has available.

Of course, she makes sure the worst cases are stabilized first.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 554 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2013
at 14:26
Re: Poisoning the Well
It's a fair amount of work to unseal even one water barrel to look inside it for the flakes of stone, but fortunately, the spigots on the side make taking samples (for drinking or for experimentation) easy. Filtering and re-storing might be a challenge, even if a filtering method can be found.

As she works, however, she finds some of the patients are getting a little more energetic, even offering to help with Azalea's experiments.
Merlin
 player, 327 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 04:34
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 58):

Merlin lets Azalea know, "The water that I generally see is a black color, when viewed through an essence lens, but this stuff, it's veridian in color. I am baffled as to what his might mean at this point.....I will return."

A thought has come to Merlin. Disease, even supernatural illness will have some kind of spirit. Merlin activates Spirit Detecting Glance and searches the camp for a spirit of illness to somehow kill.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 343 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 05:58
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix helps Azalea get going on her end before she begins looking into things in her own way. Going about and (somewhat awkwardly) helping with preparations, she speaks to the soldiers and their retainers about what has been happening, when the change started, and how everyone feels about the coming engagement and their odds, and even the weather - checking mainly to see who is feverish and whether there's a current of optimism or pessimism among the men.
In this way she seeks opportunities to exploit so that, once a treatment is ready, she can convince people to make use of it. Or, should they seek to head out before then, she may be able to get them to wait for recovery instead.
Azalea
 player, 123 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 10:58
Re: Poisoning the Well

She nods to Merlin.

"It is supernatural, and I suspect demonic in origin."

Delegation is nice. If people wish to help her, she gives them easy legwork to do, especially the straightforward tasks of helping the recuperation of others, and spreading awareness of the water.

Perhaps if it rains sometime soon...
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 555 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 15:04
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix finds that the camp is in general agreement - except for those so delirious that they cannot form coherent responses - that they are sick. The manic ones are doing some truly spectacular work, trying to make up for their illness with preparation, because they know facing the beastmen while ill is a losing proposition.

Azalea meets with a bit more difficulty, as while some are horrified that their water is the source of this, others are so thirsty that they seem not to care, or even to pretend to until she turns her back and then try to sneak drinks. Some are even forming elaborate schemes to secure water undetected, while others really get into the water-purification techniques, inventing new prayers, trying odd thaumaturgical procedures based on little more than old wives' tales, and even attempting to improvise duplicate tools for Azalea's own techniques to run them in parallel.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 344 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 16:56
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix goes back to Azalea with what she has learned. "Well. It would seem that Merlin is certainly following the right trail in this; the men all seem to believe the barrels of water have remained sealed since they left the castle. It is likely they did not fill up at the waypost, and so it would seem that either someone has opened and resealed all the barrels without anyone noticing (and I should think that would make a somewhat noticeable noise, in truth), or something has deposited the hazardous material in the barrels without need of opening them, say perhaps by being in spirit form."
She sighs. "The good news in all of this is that, once you have concocted a treatment, I do not believe they will seek to avoid it."
Azalea
 player, 124 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 18:24
Re: Poisoning the Well
She nods a little.

"Like a demon."

Small sigh.

"I have no problem in treating someone, but such numbers won't be easy. So I need to find a mundane, easily applicable treatment for a supernatural disease that works more like a poison. And I can't really ask people to just stop drinking water, if we don't find another source. It's... not easy."

That doesn't stop her, of course. Gathering what materials she can use is easier with the supplies of an army, especially from their medics.
When she goes to work, she does so with impressive efficiency.

((
Activating Craftsman Needs No Tools
Azalea has a survival specialty of (herbalism), a craft water specialty of (medicine), and a second excellency in both medicine and craft which she will be using in any relevant rolls.
Of course, with Craftsman Needs No Tools needing 7 motes, that means that she goes to peripheral if she needs to enhance more than one roll with an excellency. No, she won't hesitate.
))

Merlin
 player, 328 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 27 Jun 2013
at 18:27
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 66):

Merlin slinks out of the command tend and goes to find the others. He rounds them up with hand signals near Azalea.

"I have discovered a demon, immaterial, in the command tent."

He describes it as a long-limbed bipedal entity with green-flaming hair and four arms - one pair of which is constantly plucking grey slate off of his body and working it in meltingly-hot fires into various tools, which are then discarded and burn up. The creature is obviously immaterial, and dressed in a cross between a smith's or cook's apron and a suit of armor. Where it plucks its slate-flesh away, weeping sores pour a burning puss out until it re-hardens as more stone-skin.

"With charms I can harm the creature even though it is dematerialized. Can anybody else aid in combat? If not then I would like those unable to serve and get everybody out of the tent when I engage the being."
Azalea
 player, 125 posts
Thu 27 Jun 2013
at 21:53
Re: Poisoning the Well


Azalea doesn't stop what she's doing, but she does think over the information.

"Demonic for certain, then. I'm afraid I can't help in combat at all. All I can do is help the injured. Quickly, if necessary."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 556 posts
Thu 27 Jun 2013
at 22:54
Re: Poisoning the Well
Prince Seln comes running up as Azalea finishes commenting on the demonic nature of this infection. "Doubtless summoned by the Beastmen and sent ahead to waylay us, then. Merlin, please, you've got to take me up to scout them out!" the boy says as he catches his breath.

Ned, meanwhile, is pulling on the collars of his goats, keeping them back from some water. "No, it'll make you sick!" he scolds them. "What's this about a demon?" he adds, bobbing his head to try to adjust his large round straw hat back to a centered position atop it.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 345 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sat 29 Jun 2013
at 02:46
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix smirks a bit. "I can cause it to materialize. That should give us enough opportunity to do it in. Should we simply confront it in the tent or draw it out first? I am not sure if we want to give it the opportunity to flee."
Merlin
 player, 329 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 29 Jun 2013
at 19:30
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 70):

"I would suggest a major distraction, such that the Duke and his retainers would want to exit the tent. Perhaps to see some demonstration of healing, song, anything."

Looking to LeSchaye, "Is it bound to the material plane? I can not destroy its soul as of yet, but we can rid its influence in the here and now, certainly."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 346 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 30 Jun 2013
at 05:22
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix looks thoughtful. "Merlin, make ready to attack; enter the tent once the men come out. Azalea, you will be our distraction; when the men come out, begin your treatment. They will be convinced that it will give them even more energy to work with, so do try and play along with that. I suppose it will be technically true once they've recovered."
After a brief moment the men come piling out, eager for some of Azalea's sweet, sweet medicine. Or something roughly along that venue.
Azalea
 player, 127 posts
Sun 30 Jun 2013
at 12:54
Re: Poisoning the Well

She blinks.

"Uhm... I guess...?"


She has certainly paused in her brewing more than once to take care of someone. She's happy to do it a few more times if it means taking care of the demon.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 559 posts
Tue 2 Jul 2013
at 13:46
Re: Poisoning the Well
The Duke and his inner council gather around Azalea with barely-restrained impatience. The Duke himself, Azalea has difficulty identifying from memory at first; his hair is already half fallen out and his face is cracked and dry with horrid sunburn-like rashes. "Hurry, girl," he says brusquely (though not with cruelty, merely coldness), "We do not have enough time. Cure us so we can get back to planning!"

"While she cures Father and his men, Merlin," says Seln, tugging on the Exalt's cape, "we should be in the air, scouting!"

Meanwhile, in the tent, only Beatrix seems to remain. At least, to mortal sight. The maps and war-figures scattered everywhere make the entire floor space treacherous.
Azalea
 player, 128 posts
Tue 2 Jul 2013
at 14:47
Re: Poisoning the Well

Although she blinks a few times at the sudden surge of patients, she seems practiced to maintaining control and treating people not by order of political or otherwise importance, but progress of illness and critical status of their condition.


She doesn't have to delay her procedure to give the rest time to deal with the demon; it is a lengthy procedure anyway if not sped up by Charms.

Of course, she tries to involve all patients, explaining what she can of each step to prevent anyone from being bored or frustrated.
Merlin
 player, 330 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Tue 2 Jul 2013
at 18:36
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 74):

"Prince Seln, that is a good idea and something we shall see to in a moment. Please go outside and find 6 round stones and take them to the glider. I will be along shortly."

Once Seln leaves Merlin enters the tent as well, stealthily and activates Air Dragon Form.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 347 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 3 Jul 2013
at 21:29
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix nods to Merlin once she sees him enter, and then draws her sword. Gesturing to the center of the tent, shouts "Materialize, spirit!" in a commanding tone of voice. As she does this she begins radiating light and heavenly authority, and the sign of the full sun appears on her forehead...
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 560 posts
Wed 3 Jul 2013
at 22:03
Re: Poisoning the Well
For a moment, nothing seems to happen except to those who can see the immaterial, as the spirit was about to exit. But it seems to decide to appear dramatically at this bold challenge, and moves itself to the center of the room, right where Beatrix is pointing.

In a flash of green light and a wave of oppressive, painfully dry heat, it erupts into existance, scattering flakes of stone from its outer layer of pebbled flesh everywhere. With two arms, it gesticulates as it declares, "Oh, hohoho, I thought I smelled something else invading my workshop, but this is much more interesting!" With two other arms, it is sculpting something out of hard grey slate that melts in the heat of its grasp to form like putty. It is gaunt, and its cracked flesh drips green blood that stains the ground like boiling acid. Periodically, without thought, it plucks a flake of skin away with a wet, sucking sound, trailing more burning vitriol as it hands the bit of seared stone to the sculpture.

Looking about with a nearly triangular head too loose on its spindly neck and wraith-like shoulders, it takes in Merlin and Beatrix with a laugh that hisses on the inhale and resonates like a forge-fire on the exhale. "A little Chosen of the usurper dares confront the Blood of the Forge. And you bring an ancient bit of primitive magic with you," he says dismissively, twisting his little sculpture momentarily into a mockery of Merlin's armor's mask. "Did you bring the little trollop that seems so fascinated by my work? Is she cowering outside while a real woman appreciates my art?"

Everything organic feels dry, like ancient parchment beneath a desert sun, in this creature's presence. Sound seems oppressed, as if by silent roaring of flames all around, but unheard. When the demon speaks, his words seem to have a weight, like the clicking of a thousand locusts or something more primal and squamous. It almost sounds like a warning in and of itself.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 349 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 4 Jul 2013
at 03:52
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix cocks an eyebrow. "You speak with the pretense of authority here, so tell me; on whose say-so are you acting here?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 561 posts
Thu 4 Jul 2013
at 04:04
Re: Poisoning the Well
"When genius works itself to death, the Blood of the Forge flows forth to witness its magnum opus," proclaims the elongated figure proudly. "But the scent of meddlesome golden girls is also quite alluring. I smell the stench of the Warden's concubine, but she may or may not be the one who has earned my ire. Who are you and with whom do you travel? What impassioned work fires your loins and drives you to grandeur?"

Outside, Seln is gathering the stones Merlin sent him for. He shoves a small handful into Ned's arms. "Go see which of these are what he needs," he orders brusquely, returning to his task. The small goatherd meeps and rushes off with alacrity that puts frightened page-boys to shame.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 352 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 9 Jul 2013
at 19:28
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix's long, slender ears twitch, and she kicks the flap opening of the tent so that it slides closed, without turning from the demon or taking her eyes off him; hopefully the Goat-Lord Resplendent in Aspect of Yokelhood will take that as a sign to keep out.
To the demon, then, she says, "And what, pray tell, was done to you to fill your mind with such vengeful thoughts?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 563 posts
Wed 10 Jul 2013
at 12:55
Re: Poisoning the Well
A slight yelp of surprise is barely audible outside as the tent-flap closes.

"Vengeance?" chuckles the demon disingenously, "I seek no vengeance. If some trollop wishes to cost Creation the potential of its river crossings becoming truly magnificent, what is it to me? I inspire, but you mortals have a saying about leading a yeddim to water and being unable to make them think, so..." he shrugs. It is a particularly unusual motion due to having two sets of arms and thus two sets of shoulders, creating a rippling wave that cracks and sheds some more of his stone skin in wafer-thin flakes. Despite their light landing, the oppressively dry heat wafting off of them as they hit the ground makes them seem heavy.

Observant types might notice the heavy canvas tent flap jostling just a bit, and a crack large enough for a small eye to peer through form between its left edge and the left edge of the tent's opening.
Merlin
 player, 336 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 10 Jul 2013
at 21:26
Re: Poisoning the Well
Merlin smiles behind his mask. This creation was cunning. Then his smile turns to a frown. Was its previous comment about ancient magic meant to intimidate or push a sour spot?

Merlin relaxes his stance ever so slightly.

"You know whom we serve and it is obvious that we travel together."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 564 posts
Mon 15 Jul 2013
at 20:39
Re: Poisoning the Well
"Oh," chortles the demon, his four arms rattling with flaking stone-skin. He didn't seem to expect that reaction. "You-- you really are new at this. You still believe in that traitorous faker, that he cares about what you're doing!" The object he was molding is crushed and shatters to the floor as he loses control and laughs uproariously.

In motions disjointed and nearly too fast for the eye to see, the laughter stops and the scarecrow-thin body ratchets through the air to stand behind Merlin. "Then where did you get this primitive artifact?" he asks, lower hands caressing the armor the Solar wears.

Somehow, without lengthening, but as if reaching across a much narrower space than is really there, its upper hand caresses Beatrix's hair. "Could be the right color for the trollop..." he muses, his voice carried by the desert heat to both Exalts' ears. "But not the one who denied me my prize. Perhaps you'd like me to sample and judge your quality?"
Azalea
 player, 130 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2013
at 03:42
Re: Poisoning the Well

Azalea continues her work diligently, making sure to explain the interesting parts of the process in layman's terms, and offer amusing tidbits of other parts of medical lore to keep everyone engaged, both to make the process appear quicker and easier than it is and to give time for her companions to work.

She does give the occasional glance that way, though, even if she conceals her worry as she has learned to do so well. Letting your worry show is like an illness, spreading to any patient you handle.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 565 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2013
at 12:43
Re: Poisoning the Well
There is interest in Azalea's explanations, and more than a little morbid fascination with their own condition from her patients (who are also eager to become nurses as long as it involves lots of activity). When she glances over at the tent, she can see Ned crouched down by the closed flap, pushing it just open enough to peer through. He glances back at Prince Salf, who gestures impatiently for the younger boy to go on in while the Prince goes back to scouring the ground for stones.

A dry cough interrupts her thoughts, and a young man in a soldier's tabard offers her what appears to be a surgeon's knife lashed together from a broken and bundled arrow-shaft and one of those slate stones honed to an obsidian edge. His pleased grin as he holds it out to her is marred by a cough that dislodges a couple of teeth.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 354 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 17 Jul 2013
at 18:50
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix's face, only moments ago a portrait in calm self-control, contorts in horror and fury as the disgusting plague-demon paws her with its filthy, disease-spawning hands. Without another word, her sword whips around in a smooth motion to strike at the offending appendage.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 566 posts
Thu 18 Jul 2013
at 04:04
Re: Poisoning the Well
The demon's arm is knocked away with a painful ringing, the sword's edge grinding on its stone flesh and sending chips flying. The demon leaps back and shakes it in pain, bumping into the tent flap - which yelps a bit in surprise - putting space between himself and the two Solars. Green fire runs like blood down the edge of Beatrix's blade, withering in the golden light of her anima.

"You dare strike me, wench?" hisses the gaunt creature. If its next sounds are words, they are surely foul, but they make no sense to either of the Exalted present. With sickening snapping sounds, like petrified twigs, it snaps off first its damaged arm, then with eye-blurring speed that stop-frames at just the most gruesome breakages, uses its other arms to snap each other off. From each stump grows four more, and it snaps those off, as well, with freshly-grown counterparts. Repeating the process multiple times, as it throws its dismembered sedimentary limbs about the tent, where their flame-bleeding ends root into everything they touch. A bristling forest of nauseating flame and stone arms no wider than saplings writhe on nearly every surface.

Bea's own sword's runnels sprout tiny heads and arms that mewl in infantile pain where the demon's burning ichor evaporates away in her anima's power. They reach blindly for her.

The arms nearest Merlin grasp each other and twist like clay in their better-rooted siblings' grasp into a tool that would fit the rivet-joins of his armor very well.



The tent itself SHAKES visibly, outside, as it belches vile shimmering hot air from every seam. Ned scrambles back from the tent flap on hands and feet, crab-walking in panicked grace only a child can manage so awkwardly.

Things resembling burning twigs made of stone shoot out on pinecone-green fiery rockets, ripping holes in the tent and shredding its door-flap. Desperately, Ned whips the stones Salf gave him at them, knocking them out of the air and batting at them with his shepherd's crook. But he's only a kid, and desperation only goes so far. While Ned is barely pinning down one that tried to grab him with the last of his smooth stones, several of the hideously crackling branches reach - like clawed, grasping hands - for the soldiers near Azalea.
Azalea
 player, 131 posts
Thu 18 Jul 2013
at 06:28
Re: Poisoning the Well

"Oh dear..."

Azalea stands up and runs towards the tent at the sight, mainly to drag Ned back towards a safer area. She interposes herself between the branches and Ned - and anyone behind her, urging them to get further back, to safety. And take those that can't walk, for that matter.

Not that she seems to know much about defending herself.


Then again, she is more worried about something more imminent. She looks towards the shaking, ripping tent.

"Bea? Are you guys alright in there?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 355 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 18 Jul 2013
at 18:22
Re: Poisoning the Well
"Azalea!" Beatrix shouts, managing for now to push aside her concern over the fact that her attack did not nearly accomplish what she had hoped, and her concern over whether her sword can still be used; "All who cannot fight, move them away from the tent! Clear out!"
Merlin
 player, 337 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 18 Jul 2013
at 21:51
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 90):

Merlin extends his wings and flaps them just to get into the air above the hands and arms on the ground. Maps and papers goes flying everywhere, but that is intentional for Merlin wishes the demon to be distracted by them. From off his bandleader fly two chakrum from each hand. Each set thrown in such a fashion as to make one or the other unable to be dodged by mortal means. Unfortunately the demon is not moral. Merlin enhances each attack with his own essence using Spirit Cutting Attack.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:52, Thu 18 July 2013.

Segev Stormlord
 GM, 568 posts
Mon 22 Jul 2013
at 01:48
Re: Poisoning the Well
Merlin's attacks manage to find gaps in the grasping arms and twisting fingers of the crackling, burning stone forest that has sprouted from the walls and floor of the tent. Unfortunately, the whirling motions also belied the position of the Blood of the Forge, and strikes so accurate that no mortal could have dodged them fly wide indeed from his willowy corporeal form.

"Aha!" exclaims the demon, suddenly delighted once again. "So this is your passion! Death and its dealing! I shall provide you an exquisite canvas on which to work your art!" The voice of this creature rose in pitch to a hyena's laugh at the end, exultant in a way that brings out one's desire to join in the revelry.

The arms growing from every internal surface sway as one, rippling like wheat in the wind and weaving a carpet of smoldering stone reeds from Beatrix to the door. With a sickening tearing and hideous cracking noise, the limbs in the walls rend and re-weave the tent entrance into a grand, self-supporting stage curtain. The arms nearest pull it up in a grand motion as at the start of the play, and through the opening skitters the Blood of the Forge on far, far too many limbs, almost dissolving within them like a cow being devoured by land-walking piranha mixed with the worse sort of spiders.

Azalea's efforts only barely pull Ned out of this all-too familiar monster's path, and the arm he was trying to smash scurries off towards one of the soldiers feverishly drawing his weapons. Unable to strike the stop-motion thing, he smashes his weapon into the ground only to have it crawl up the haft, up his arm, and force its way down his throat, where he begins to choke and cough up burning green bile.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:52, Mon 22 July 2013.

Azalea
 player, 133 posts
Mon 22 Jul 2013
at 07:21
Re: Poisoning the Well
"No! Nonono, not again."

With a bubbling feeling of too familiar uselessness in a fight, Azalea pulls Ned further back and behind her and shouts at the rest of the soldiers "Do not fight it, get back, get to safety, and take those that can't with you!", even as she goes to the one that is grappled.


She has no way to fight, but removing obstructions, even mobile, poisonous ones, is not beyond her skills. She treats the offending tentabranch as such, taking a scalpel to cut it and proceed to extract it and treat the patient.

The soldier's life is a priority right now, even if it means opening new airpaths for him, or dissolving poison as it goes in his system.

Now, if only she manages to do all that before a second attack distracts her...


((Azalea can use Instant Treatment Methodology to apply an hour-long medical proceedure instantly, along with, as required, healing (to keep him alive) and poison removal. Of course, assuming she has spent more or less her personal motes in the scene before, she goes to at least the 8+ level immediately, possibly iconic if the other Charms are needed too.))
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 570 posts
Mon 22 Jul 2013
at 12:26
Re: Poisoning the Well
Her quick action dislodges the obstruction and contains the burning vitriol before it can do too much damage, and the man may need to breathe through the new hole she made for a little while while his throat stops swelling from the rejection of the demon-poison she induced, but he'll otherwise be largely fine.

Salf has taken up Azalea's command, drawing the men away with as much organization as he can. His forehead is damp with sweat that gleams against skin made pale in the viridian light of flaming stone-twig arms. The most avid of the soldiers still try to fight, weaving into almost beautiful techniques to hold the tide of the hideous limbs as they fall back, while those Azalea had already treated successfully take up a more dedicated flight.

Scrambling on sandaled feet that just barely dodge the hands' grasp as he trots over them, Ned frantically uses his stick to keep from being grabbed as he tries to join in the retreat. "Suzy! Billy! Run!" he screams. Three more arms leap for soldiers too dehydrated to sweat as their rictus grins of beatific inspiration make them seem almost grateful for the chance to demonstrate their killing arts. One shatters his assailant with a graceful sword arc, and another lunges to pull the small goatherd out of the way, hooking his own assailant with the boy's crooked staff almost by accident, but the third falters, and the hand claws its way into his belly and cauterizes the wound behind itself.

His stomach distends with poisonous fiery light from within as he doubles over in agony.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 357 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 22 Jul 2013
at 22:03
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix, not wishing to leave through a portal framed in grasping arms, instead elects to exit via another route. Taking a brief moment to scrape the arms off of the tent post, she then leaps and proceed to to scramble up the central support and cut an exit out of the top, the only area free of claws. Leaping out and all but riding the blast of superheated air that leaves along with her, she arcs out and, with a flip, brings her sword down on the Blood of the Forge.
Merlin
 player, 343 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 24 Jul 2013
at 01:59
Re: Poisoning the Well
Infusing his armor with the gift of the Unconquered Sun's essence Merlin sweeps once inside the tent and then rides the current of hot air out only moments behind Beatrix. However, he flies in a loop to the other side of the tent before coming around to the side with Forge. In fact he does his best to surprise the ancient demon before attacking from the invisibility cloaking of his armor. That he can come from either side of the tent or over it only aids him in this.

The might of the Unconquered Sun flows through him as three sets of dull chakrum whirl through the air at the Demon seemingly out of thin air and from multiple directions.

A magnificent golden glow exudes from somewhere yet nowhere about 30ft in the air behind the demon.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 576 posts
Sat 27 Jul 2013
at 22:01
Re: Poisoning the Well
The first of the attacks - seemingly out of nowhere - clips the demon under the jaw and flips its triangular head up above the swarming mass of clicking, breaking, melting, and re-forming arms. It twists out of the way, seeing the second incoming, but two more embed themselves within its morass of extra limbs with sickening snapping sounds. Looking at the flaring Solar with the burning hollow circle visible through the forehead of the artifact helmet, the Blood of the Forge rotates disjointedly, head turning up and over the body to face Merlin upside-down. As it swivels with neck-popping sounds to make a log in a fire seem calm, its lips move to utter, "I'll show you how to make better toys later. Wait your turn!"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 579 posts
Mon 29 Jul 2013
at 21:08
Re: Poisoning the Well
As the monster skitters to the side, it seems surprised and irritated that some of its limbs are left behind. However, more grow, making it seem almost lop-sided where most of Merlin's blades hit.

"Still, it is rude of me to demand you hold back," it says in a smooth voice. "Here. Let me provide you your atelier!"

With that, the Blood of the Forge's head vanishes to all save those who can see spirits; to them, it drops through the pulsating mass of limbs and down into the ground. The cracking, burning, breaking noises eerily halt all at once, and all goes still for a moment. Just as Azalea finishes purging her patient of the horrid, burning bile, the limbs littering the ground ignite in painfully dry flames, while those piled together where the demon stood scatter with barely a whisper. Ned yelps and blocks his mouth with his crooked staff, but soldiers are less lucky. Even the Duke and his son are accosted by a dozen or more each. They seem to ignore the Exalted, but the sick are pinned and the arms force their way in; the soldiers of Watch Hill cramp into fetal positions around bloated bellies.
Azalea
 player, 136 posts
Tue 30 Jul 2013
at 19:03
Re: Poisoning the Well

Azalea, quite evidently, is quickly overwhelmed.

She watches in horror for a few moments, considering how many she can possibly attempt to help before she needs to rest, and a mere glance lets her know it won't be nearly enough.

Still, she can't give up. You can do nothing more than your best, he likes to say, and she intends to do that.

The next attempt at rapid surgery is much more obvious than before as a burst of light encompasses her in the soft colors of a sunset while wings of bright white light seem to sprout from her back, sending glowing feathers drifting to the ground before they fade.
Pretenses of medical implements and imbibed medicine are quickly forgotten before the potency of Solar medicine, Azalea now curing maladies with but a touch.


She only hopes her companions take care of the source of the problem quickly.
Merlin
 player, 354 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Mon 12 Aug 2013
at 23:48
Re: Poisoning the Well
Merlin hovers in the air and unleashes a torrent of attacks, sending 6 chakrum at various arms that are attacking the soldiers and others. This leaves only two actual chakrum on his bandoleer left, just in case. He starts with the highest ranked of those that are being attacked. His aura moves with him as the huge flying mask with golden hawk eyes peers at each target he is attacking. The wings reflect and refract the gleaming sunlight from his aura splintering light shafts in a kaleidoscope of colors and brilliance that nearly blinds any who looks directly at him.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:12, Thu 15 Aug 2013.

Segev Stormlord
 GM, 587 posts
Mon 19 Aug 2013
at 15:57
Re: Poisoning the Well
Duke Lothus and Prince Salf are (briefly) spared the onslaught of the arms coming for them, as is Sir Methius, but Merlin's blades are having to strike multiple limbs away to protect people even as they shred through the slender stone appendages with the ease of a scythe through wheat.

Those less fortunate begin to have their skin crack with fire cooling from green to red, and some of the most violently infected begin picking themselves up, demonic stone-faced visages grinning with unholy lusts as they draw weapons with the sound of stone on wood.

Azalea's efforts spare many, as well, but others are only arrested, and Beatrix finds herself being leered at by at least a half-dozen of the infernal hell-spawn that used to be men.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 363 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 25 Aug 2013
at 02:34
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix busied herself with protecting as many people as possible from the tendrils, focusing her efforts on Duke Lothus, the Prince and their immediate entrouage, even knowing that it would ultimately not be enough. She cuts one apart with her damaged saber before batting another away from its target, all while simple stamping upon a third to keep it occupied; the demon-fronds apparently don't appreciate her efforts and let her know, and she is forced to fend off a branch that launches itself at her face, keeping her occupied while the others continue about their grisly work.

Soon, despite her paltry efforts to save some few, she is confronted with an army of leering demonspawn. Trying to figure out what can be done with them, she asks "Azalea? Can you save them anymore? Or are they too far gone?"
Azalea
 player, 137 posts
Sun 25 Aug 2013
at 05:42
Re: Poisoning the Well

"I am not certain, but in either case, I can only attempt that so many times. It won't make any difference until the source of the illness is taken care of!"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 588 posts
Mon 26 Aug 2013
at 19:37
Re: Poisoning the Well
For just a moment, after seconds of frantic fighting, defending, and scrambling to keep limbs from faces, things go calm. Like flowers drained of water, the cracking claws fall limply to the earth. The command-tent collapses under their internal weight, and the field takes on a charnal appearance. Many soldiers collapse in exhaustion, and just as it seems things might be over, Azalea and Beatrix feel a pinch on their respective backsides. Standing where the soldiers they were unable to save were are leering, grotesque dwarves with large brazen jaws and no hair, pot-bellies protruding from what remains if their armor. <darkred>"Oi! What 'ave we 'ere?"</darkred> asks one, licking his lips with a moist, grinding sound.

The Duke pushes his son behind him, leveling the halberd he picked up during the scuffle, and staring about with eyes far more wild than his cold and businesslike tone. "Stand down, all enemies of Falan, or perish." He seems mostly to be trying to restore order.
Merlin
 player, 358 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 4 Sep 2013
at 22:43
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 104):

Now that he does not have to guard the duke and princes from their own men and creepy crawly things, he focuses on the new threat. Using his wings to boost him into a flying leap kick he attempts to land a blow against the dwarf on the left, with his left heel. Using that kick as another point of momentum he shifts a kick out to the one on the right with his right leg, which catapults him straight up where to where he hovers some 20 feet above them giving each their own rude finger gesture.




17:41, Today: Merlin rolled 2 successes using 2d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Attack#2 on right Dwarf.
17:41, Today: Merlin botched using 10d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Ermm, 10 more dice, sorry. (This adds to the other 2)

17:41, Today: Merlin rolled 6 successes using 13d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Attack#1 on Left Dwarf.

Base damage is 6L I believe.

PS: This dice roller sucks :-P

EDIT
17:36, Today: Merlin failed (no successes) using 1d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Stun for Attack #1.

17:36, Today: Merlin failed (no successes) using 1d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Stun for Attack #2.

take 2 motes :-)


This message was last edited by the player at 22:37, Fri 06 Sept 2013.

Segev Stormlord
 GM, 592 posts
Thu 5 Sep 2013
at 16:29
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Merlin (msg # 105):

((OOC: 1-die stunt! I'll need to check the stats on these things this evening and post the response then.))
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 595 posts
Wed 11 Sep 2013
at 03:40
Re: Poisoning the Well
Chiseled - literally - jaws cracking, the two kicked dwarf-things, rub at them and glare up irately. "Oi! Ow! What was THAT for?" demands one. The other hefts a hammer. "You wan' we should reshape that mask o' yours into a bra for the lady?" That one pats Beatrix on the stomach to indicate which one. From how he was reaching behind him, he probably meant to aim higher.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 365 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 15 Sep 2013
at 21:55
Re: Poisoning the Well
Bea is busy trying to get a headcount of who is still present when she turns just in time to be pawed by the stone... guy... thing. With a jump and a start, eyes widening in surprise, she swings her blade down at the offending limb.

"UnHAND me, ruffian!", she cries as she strikes.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 596 posts
Sun 15 Sep 2013
at 22:56
Re: Poisoning the Well
A bit of molten lava drips like blood from the gash Beatrix's indignant sword-swap cuts in the demon's arm. 'Ey, now! 'At's no way t' treat a gent!" he exclaims, rubbing his other hand over the wound. "Not when 'e's jus' ap'reciat'n' y'r aesthetic lines!"
Merlin
 player, 363 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Tue 8 Oct 2013
at 00:15
Re: Poisoning the Well
The masked man speak, but as he does so he winds his way around the campground picking up his chakrum.

"So, this is what the Forge left us to deal with to cover his ass while he retreats in shame? How pathetic! The two of you could barely make a horseshoe between the two of you, let alone some kind of actual weapon that could be of any useful purpose. Seriously now....what have you got, between you, that might entertain me for a few moments?"

Merlin points at their weapons, like they are all but meaningless, but could be entertaining.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 601 posts
Thu 10 Oct 2013
at 18:23
Re: Poisoning the Well
The two dwarfish creatures being addressed look at each other, and shift position a bit. "Between us? A couple o' lovely broads!" says the one nearest Azalea. The one by Beatrix hops a bit out of reach, cradling his wounded arm. "Though you might find this one more entertaining without the pointy bits! 'Spose we could brew somethin' out of the weak stuff these mortals've got, too. Wait for a few more of our brethren to 'atch and we should 'ave a real party!"
Azalea
 player, 140 posts
Thu 10 Oct 2013
at 18:39
Re: Poisoning the Well

Somewhat tense, she shifts a little towards Beatrix.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 602 posts
Thu 10 Oct 2013
at 20:01
Re: Poisoning the Well
"Aw, don' be like that, love!" cajoles the granite creature. "You're all glowy; you could take it an' 'ave a roight good time of it! Pretty thing like you... You evah been to a party before? Wine and song, an' o' course women such as yo'self, if us gents're lucky! Roight, mate?" he directs that last bit to Merlin.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 603 posts
Wed 23 Oct 2013
at 20:18
Re: Poisoning the Well
Recovering a bit, the Duke shakes his head. "What...was that? What are those?"
Azalea
 player, 141 posts
Thu 24 Oct 2013
at 11:11
Re: Poisoning the Well

Quite uncertain of the answer herself, Azalea lets someone better qualified answer.
Merlin
 player, 364 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 30 Nov 2013
at 03:14
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 115):

"Demon's your grace, demons."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 604 posts
Sat 30 Nov 2013
at 04:33
Re: Poisoning the Well
"The armies of the goat-wolf have already advanced their scouts so far?" the Duke asks, preparing for battle once more. "But no," he pauses, "These bear not the bestial markings of that Anathema. What manner be these?"

"Hey, now, guv'na, that's a right bit rude. We just got 'ere, ourselves. If'n ya be wantin' a fight, we can give as good as we get," one of the rock-demons says, smacking a fist against a chest with a sound like distant thunder, "but we'd rather party, if it's all the same to you. Bring out the wine and women! Well, we've got the women," he leers at Beatrix and Azalea, "So just bring out the wine!"
Azalea
 player, 144 posts
Sat 30 Nov 2013
at 09:57
Re: Poisoning the Well

She sighs a little, somewhat too weary to be bothered by two rude little creatures.

She does stay behind Beatrix -and her blade- nevertheless.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 367 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 15 Jan 2014
at 05:18
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix, for her part, holds a defensive posture for some time glowering at the new demons and prepared for combat, whatever it is worth; she hasn't felt so exhausted in years, but she manages to keep it from showing. Slowly, realization creeps upon per countenance and she says, "Harrenhals. You are Harrenhals."

She considers this briefly for a while before saying, "I have heard that your ilk can perform fantastic feats with flame. I have heard that you can work fire itself as though it were metal."

With perhaps just a bit of hope in her voice, she continues. "These lands, as well as the men thereof, are afflicted with a queer and pernicious heat that drives them to feverish deaths. Could you craft the flame into something like a lodestone, that would draw the flame to it, like to like, and thus allow it to be disposed of somewhere? I would see you very well rewarded."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 609 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2014
at 05:43
Re: Poisoning the Well
One of the two scratches his chin. "I'm not so sure that's the kind of--" he starts, before the other, larger one elbows him.

Looking Beatrix up and down lasciviously - and sparing a leer or two for Azalea behind her - the larger one asks speculatively, "Just how well rewarded are we talking, here?"
Azalea
 player, 146 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2014
at 15:52
Re: Poisoning the Well

She looks at the two - now named - demons warily, then at Beatrix.
Merlin
 player, 369 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 16 Jan 2014
at 01:31
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 121):

"That depends on how you want to be paid....," says Merlin. If it wasn't for his mask you could easily image him smiling. Then you would have to wonder why he was....
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 610 posts
Thu 16 Jan 2014
at 13:48
Re: Poisoning the Well
"Booze and boobs are a good start!" is the larger one's reply, punctuated by the rasping sound of stone on stone as he licks his lips. The smaller one is eyeing the green embers that still burn in the air and around the landscape, frowning in what is probably thoughtfulness. The ugly, almost cartoonish faces of these demons are strangely expressive.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 369 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 2 Feb 2014
at 02:18
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 123):

Beatrix considers this for a moment. "I am certain I can obtain suitable recompense for you. The finest wine or cheapest swill, the most exquisite courtesans or trashy harlots, such as this mortal world can offer."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 612 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2014
at 14:07
Re: Poisoning the Well
With much "subtle" elbowing and "clandestine" shared lecherous grins, the two demons Beatrix labeled as "harrenhal" agree to help out. The larger one seems about to make some further demand when the smaller one "accidentally" steps on its foot and nods to the panopoly of weapons and (at least in Beatrix's case) still-visible glow of peripheral essence expenditure, and they agree to take Beatrix on her word.

They both spit into their hands and hold them out to shake.
Azalea
 player, 148 posts
Tue 4 Feb 2014
at 00:39
Re: Poisoning the Well

Seeing that situation somewhat resolved, and not in the slightest interested in shaking a demon's spat hand, she starts checking her medicine pouches, and heads off towards the ill and injured.

So many of those and limited essence to go around means she'll have to treat most of them the natural way - as natural as her healing touch can be - and keep more proactive means of restoration for any critical or urgent situations.
Merlin
 player, 371 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Fri 7 Feb 2014
at 01:29
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 126):

Merlin leaves the hand shaking and deal making to those most suited towards it. He heads over to the Duke.

"Your Grace, it would seem that distracting the Beast-men while your army recuperates is the next order of business...."

His voice trails off letting the Duke give suggestions.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 614 posts
Fri 7 Feb 2014
at 04:32
Re: Poisoning the Well
The duke gestures at the prince, and the youth draws closer. "I'm afraid he's right, your Grace," he says, covering his normal-hued eye while the one with red scalera scans some unseen distant vista. "The beasts are not making camp; they proceed apace. They will come upon us unready if we do not fortify now."

"Then we'll fortify. The plans I drew up - there's one that involved a distraction. I can't quite remember the details. It might be no good, but we'll need our best men to try something, at least. Who's most healthy?" he asks louder, forcing himself to his feet and shedding hair from a flaking scalp as he does so.
Azalea
 player, 149 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2014
at 01:25
Re: Poisoning the Well

Azalea gestures towards those further into recuperation from those she already treated. As healthy as anyone else may seem, it's possible they are incubating. And in either case, they would be susceptible still. Those already treated are more likely to shake off reinfection.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 615 posts
Fri 21 Feb 2014
at 03:15
Re: Poisoning the Well
The Duke stumbles to his feet, and gestures for them to gather 'round. "Merlin, study this, and scout out the enemy. We need a place to set fortifications," he orders, sweating with the exertion in his exhausted state. His men are little better, though they are at least standing. This is more than can be said for those Azalea is still treating.

As they nurse the teas she brewed, they do seem to be perking up. The work goes faster as she can delegate more and more of it to the increasingly-healthy soldiers.
Merlin
 player, 372 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 22 Feb 2014
at 17:46
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 130):

Merlin studies what the Duke wishes him to study. He traces a few things with his finger and says, "Of course your grace. I will return as soon as possible."

With that he heads off using his own wings, as it were.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 616 posts
Mon 24 Feb 2014
at 15:20
Re: Poisoning the Well
((OOC: Again, sorry for the slow posting; I've been hunting for a car and it's eaten most of my time when I'm not at work. Anyway, feel free to stunt up improvisations to whatever you like in the Duke's plans; if I'm non-specific, that means I probably don't have a definite detail in mind.))


The beastmen have started setting up a camp about six more hours' march to the north-west, which Merlin's winged vantage can see long before even his flying speed would get him there. They are not being subtle, though their numbers are maybe 3/4 what the Duke has brought with him.

Shifting through his armor's night-vision and essence-enhanced senses, Merlin can see that a scouting party of more night-vision-enabled animal-headed creatures are advancing in two directions. From this height, it's impossible to tell if they're screening for an advance or hunting for dinner.

The raiding force's encampment is scattered across a half-dozen clearings, some of which look fresh-cleared by the felled trees serving as center-posts to drape skins for tents from. The scouts are visible mainly because they're just now making their way, as the sun sets behind them, out of the wooded regions and into the outskirts of tilled land.
Merlin
 player, 373 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 1 Mar 2014
at 17:36
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 132):

Merlin continues to watch to see which of the scouting and hunting parties is headed towards the Duke's group. He also spends the time to see what they are actually doing; scouting, hunting, gathing, etc. He will get closer, if he needs to, to find out who is leading the enemy using his skills and magical abilities as necessary.

'Once my essence regenerates I could attack the one heading away from the Duke. They would head that direction thinking that the Duke was in that direction. This might give the Duke a half of a day to rally his troops.'

Once he ascertains what the groups are doing he will report back and offer his idea to the Duke.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 617 posts
Tue 4 Mar 2014
at 13:44
Re: Poisoning the Well
The scouting parties are splitting off in an expanding, advancing screen. Two are likely to pass close enough to the Duke's camp to notice him. Hunting seems to not be an issue for this group, as they're pulling supplies - meager, for so large a group, but supplies - to consume. It looks like the last of them, too; they'll be hungry and need to get replacements tomorrow.

The camp itself lacks real discipline, looking almost more like a party the night before a sporting event than a military activity. It's hard to pick out any one leader. A few cliques are obvious, with 1-3 apparent leaders amongst them in a social, alpha-male sense. These butt heads and shout imprecations, braggadocio, and encouragement at each other in hard-to-understand, goat-bleat and wolf-snarl voices.

It isn't until Merlin is turning back and passing over the scouting parties most dangerous to the human army that he notices the military precision of that screen. The leader is amongst one of those two parties: a goat-headed beastman with a mantle of an enormous wolf draped over his shoulders and with his horns poking through the skin's ears. He almost looks a wolf from above, and would have been the least remarkable of them to a lesser-trained scout.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 371 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 11 Mar 2014
at 05:25
Re: Poisoning the Well
"Gentlemen," says Beatrix to the assembled... well, gentlemen, "I would like to point out that we have some eager Harrenhals, and that they are able to craft fire into solid objects. Solid objects that are still fire. Where would you place the ideal defensive structures, for the coming fight against the beastmen?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 620 posts
Tue 11 Mar 2014
at 05:33
Re: Poisoning the Well
The Duke looks up, the tiredness around his eyes belied by the strength he forces in his voice. "I have plans drawn up in my tent. The..." he thinks a moment, "The defense line designed for entrapment, I think. It's in the pile on top of my cot."

A moment or two later, another thought occurs to him, and he looks to the rock-hewn demons. "Can you REALLY carve fire?"

"If it's worth our while," says the smaller one, wary but snide.

The Duke looks to Vaniel. "Get the men stoking the camp fires and building new ones. Give these...sculptors...their material."

With a leery look, the young Knight carefully drapes the cloth he wears to cover his missing hair and bows to his Duke before turning to begin shouting orders to his men.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 373 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 12 Mar 2014
at 05:36
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix turns to the Harrenhals and throws her arms out. "Forgemasters, I entreat you! If we are to secure your rewards we must first deal with our enemies! I will not ask you to fight; that would be a disservice to you, if truth be known. However, I beg that you assist us in fortifying this position! And in return, let me tell you what we'll get for you..."
What follows is a storied description of every lascivious activity available from here to Great Forks, and promises of every sort of raunchy splendor known to mortal man, as Beatrix seeks to inspire the demons by, ah, fanning the flames, so to speak. Beatrix commences to instructing where to place the walls and emplacements, via a song-and-dance routine where she traipses energetically around the campsite pointing out what needs to be done and marking things with her sword to show where and how they ought to be built. This, in turn, eventually leads into a bawdy 'inspirational' number that actually does have the soldiers blushing, complete with impromptu chorus line, finishing eventually with--
"I've got the money, babes, I've got the clout!
An' I know some girls who'll make ya holler, scream an' shout!
An' all this an' more can be yours!
If you'll just
heeeeeelp
uuuuuus
oooooooout!
"
As she belts the ending lines out, she jumps forwards and slides to her knees, holding her sheathed blade up like a vaudeville cane in one hand while cradling a hat to her bosom in the other (where did she get that, anyway?). Her anima banner, still shining bright, erupts into fireworks to punctuate the song's end, a big finish indeed!
Beatrix rises, takes her bows before the excited Harrenhals, and then as they commence to channel their energy into work via the wonders of sublimation, she slinks off and collapses onto her cot in her tent; on the way, she drops her badly damaged sword (and the hat), apparently too tired to think of them anymore. She is likely asleep before her head hits the pillow.
Azalea
 player, 152 posts
Wed 12 Mar 2014
at 07:24
Re: Poisoning the Well

Azalea looks up from the wound she is currently binding, blinking at the performance.

She manages to contain herself from asking the man whose wound she is binding just what that was all about, but she does applaud after it's finished.
Merlin
 player, 380 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 12 Mar 2014
at 16:09
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 138):

Meanwhile, Merlin returns and informs the Duke of the situation. He also informs him of the options to harass the enemy and see if he can't pull them away from the camp for a time. It could prove a boon.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 621 posts
Wed 12 Mar 2014
at 19:11
Re: Poisoning the Well
As Beatrix's song and dance routine picks up, the two dwarfish demons seem to be getting into it. They follow her routine and trail after, moving their hands as if imagining the offered...activities. The Zenith's performance manages to make them - and the increasingly interested soldiers - look like choreographed parts of her routine.

Azalea notices a distinct rise in the blood pressure and temperature of the young men she's treating as they follow the performance, as well. Dilated pupils, flushed cheeks... but her treatments are working, so it's not a relapse.

Merlin, for his part, can't help but hear the end of the performance as Beatrix's voice belts out over the trees, his augmented sensors in his armor bringing it to him in crystal clarity. As he lands, the larger demon is picking up the discarded sword and heaving his stony belly over to the nearest fire. The smaller one follows quickly after, and they begin pulling handfuls of flame from the pit to start forming bricks. "Come on, then! Hop to it!" says the smaller one, gesturing to the soldiers, "Light some more fires!"

The duke clears his throat, obviously NOT following Beatrix with his eyes as she heads into the tent to rest, and replies to Merlin, "Two? Yes, distract them. The longer we have to fortify before they know we're here, the safer we'll be. If you can get them to go back and report finding nothing, we might even catch them by surprise while they march tomorrow morning.

"What do you think, Salf?"
he asks of his son. The boy's jaw is still dangling open, staring (along with half the camp) at the tent where Beatrix went. "Salf?" prods the Duke, a little louder.

"Huh? Er, I think she--er, I mean, we should..." he trails off sheepishly, looking to Merlin as if hoping to find the answer to his question written on the Night Caste's helmet.
Merlin
 player, 381 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 20 Mar 2014
at 22:12
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 140):

Merlin tells the Duke, in a respectful manner, that he needs to rest for a bit to regain his strength. Merlin will rest about half as long as he estimates it will take for the Scouting parties to get near the Dukes camp. Then he will take off and utilize his skills, talents, artifacts, and whatnot to harass the force that is heading towards the encampment, but from the side of that force that is away from the Encampment. He will attempt to lead them off in a different direction. In fact he will see if he can not get them to make a zig-zag pattern away from the camp, such that it does not appear that he is leading them in any direction in specific.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 623 posts
Fri 21 Mar 2014
at 16:33
Re: Poisoning the Well
Leading the scouting groups away proves to be of mixed difficulty. With Merlin's training and skills, one of them is easily tricked into thinking it has found signs of victims to ravage. The goat-man in the wolf skin leading the other group, however, does not permit them to run off half-cocked. In a guttural language that Merlin recognizes as Forresttongue, but so badly distorted by the bleating accent of the beastman that he has trouble making out one word in five, it browbeats and orders them to fan out. He does catch the words "report" and "others," and finds that he almost has to play a game of second-guessing; the scouts are well-trained, and it takes laying legitimate trails and relying on his own stealth to have them pass him by before laying another false trail for them to find but ignore.

Notably, he is certain they are unbothered by the dark, and at least some in each group track and move by scent more than sight.

Before dawn, however, Merlin is certain he's managed to lead them so astray that they won't find the Duke's forces until their forward screens come upon them during the advance of the whole group, late the next morning.



Back at camp, the walls of fire forged by the hands of the harrenhal still provide light and warmth, but are creepy in how static they are. Wood cannot be laid against them without catching fire, but well-designed incorporations of local rocks and earthen mounds provide places for spearmen and archers to defend the walls.

Ned, the goad-herder, runs about (mostly at Azalea's instruction) to give water and help her spread her treatments to those who still need it. He and Salf periodically check on Beatrix, as does Sir Vaniel and several other of the men. Making sure she's comfortable but - at Ned's exasperated insistence - staying out and not waking her.

Azalea, meanwhile, is probably feeling the strain of being up all night (unless her Exalted metabolism allows her to ignore such mortal frailties), but has the soldiers all but restored. Even those who should have needed days of rest are at least able to run chores, hyped up on Solar medicinal concoctions that are carefully balanced for each of them to replenish without further draining.

((OOC: And if anybody wants to add anything, feel free. Let me know if there's anything else you want to accomplish, even fluff or story or interaction-wise; you have until about mid-morning before the enemy arrives.))
Azalea
 player, 154 posts
Sat 22 Mar 2014
at 03:10
Re: Poisoning the Well

Being Exalted certainly helped, but Azalea's body is hardly used to hardships, and it shows.

By the time she has finished her standard treatment of anyone involved, she is obviously weary, remaining seated whenever she can, and attempting to delegate any tasks that do not necessiate her personal involvement.