Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?   Posted by Segev Stormlord.Group: 0
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 726 posts
Mon 4 May 2015
at 17:20
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Silent Thunder Leaves, having shed her disguise as a humble serving-woman, was ready to depart the moment everybody arrived. In an almost surprisingly accommodating way, she did not complain about having to travel on foot thanks to Beatrix and Azalea's lack of aerial capability. The pace she set was brisk, heading north by northwest straight through farm fields unless called upon to utilize the roads.

Unless somebody deliberately woke them, the children (Hun, Poe, Freverick, Ned, any collected princes) were not on Silent Thunder Leaves's list of people upon whom to wait, and very likely the much-reduced party made its departure much earlier than any of them were awake. Sevastian, for his part, stayed behind to look after his brother and Beatrix's young attendants (who doubtless will be quite offended at being left behind).

Thus, even taking roadways rather than the Lunar guide's favored direct route, as the dawn breaks in the east, the edge of civilization gives way to light forests. It is then that Silent Thunder Leaves attempts an uncharacteristic bit of...politeness? "Thank you," she says perfunctorily. A few seconds later, long enough for it to become uncomfortable but not quite long enough to demand somebody else fill the silence, she continues, "for coming. This will make my task complete. It has been trying."
Azalea
 player, 181 posts
Mon 4 May 2015
at 20:34
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Azalea doesn't seem disturbed about the early departure. In fact, she seems well prepared, and in fact in a pretty good mood.


She does seem a little puzzled about the task, but she doesn't inquire. Yet. It's quite possible someone will explain more in time, so she just follows in silence.
Austringer
 player, 49 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 01:22
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Austringer masters himself before he can respond to the other Lunar's comment with an acid retort.  Instead, he strives to remain vigilant to protect the others, especially the obviously noncombatant Azalea.  Their oricalcum artifacts confirm his suspicions that they are Solars.  While he knows Lawgivers are no slouches in dangerous situations, Austringer also suspects he has a much clearer sense of the little party's danger than any of his companions.  Every modern Silver Pact Lunar has heard stories about the Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi.  The wild and sometimes unbelievable details vary, but few of those stories end happily for trespassers.

He tries not to think at all about what he might do if the Wolf turns out to be the one who slaughtered most of the people he grew up with-- he can't let that stand, but he knows he can't survive a throwdown against a competent, if deranged, Elder, either.

"How much further do we need to travel?" he asks in what he hopes is an even, sensible voice.  He has been wondering.  The Goat-Wolf doesn't seem like the type to simply meet a potential rival Exalt by himself in a clearing in some ordinary woodland.  The whole situation feels more and more unnerving as they draw further north and west.

Somewhere beneath his fingers, Austringer feels his feathers itch.  Walking at the back of the group, where he can keep an eye on everyone, he surreptitiously scans Silent Thunder Leaves and the surrounding trees and brush carefully for danger ... or any sign of anything out of the ordinary.

((OOC: This is either PER+Awareness or PER+Survival, but the number of dice is the same for Austringer regardless.  21:20, Tue 12 May 2015: Austringer rolled 6 successes using 5d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7 ((10,4,7,9,10)).  If there's anything proceeding surreptitiously through the woods or even anything odd going on with STL, I imagine he sees it!))
Merlin
 player, 436 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 13 May 2015
at 23:28
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
In reply to Austringer (msg # 3):

And equally uncharacteristic for Merlin, usually, "Your welcome."

He does his best to stay walking as well, although he is tempted to take flight or at least leap into the trees almost as much as his Lunar companions. His eyes flicker from and there.

OOC: Every half hour or so, he will put up Air Dragon's Sight and concentrate for a minute or so, then catch back up with the others.

Segev Stormlord
 GM, 727 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 23:34
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
The rising sun's light casts extremely long shadows in the woodland, and Silent Thunder Leaves replies almost cordially to Austringer's question with, "At this pace, several weeks. The Lair is many leagues north of here." Unusually, given her normal impatience, she doesn't seem to mind.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 414 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 14 May 2015
at 04:46
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Beatrix sketches a bow for Silent Thunder Leaves. "I had noticed the task was beginning to take its toll upon you, and am happy to oblige you in this manner. I've also dealt with intolerable jobs, and would not wish them upon others."

Before leaving, Beatrix spoke to the kids, and also to Azalea; she filled the healer in on what's up as she had Merlin and Austringer, and made the same offer; if she doesn't want to go on this dangerous, dangerous mission, she can stay behind. She was relieved that Azalea was coming along, however.

She has also spent some time talking to the brooding Lunar. She's certainly asking about what her life under Ma-Ha-Suchi is like; she's probably trying to assess what she can of the wolf's forces from what Leaves knows; she could also be trying to ingratiate the party to her. It is sometimes difficult to be sure.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 729 posts
Mon 18 May 2015
at 02:16
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"It is not work with which I am comfortable," agrees the Lunar woman. "Hunting truth is not at all like hunting game." She strides through the thickening woods with well-practiced ease, definitely more cheerful than anyone present has ever seen her. Her scowl is reduced to a firmly professional press of her lips to each other, and doesn't even touch her eyes!

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 05:00, Tue 19 May 2015.

Azalea
 player, 182 posts
Mon 18 May 2015
at 16:54
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Azalea nods to Beatrix's explanations. She does get a crease on her brow for a bit, but she doesn't seem to hesitate about following; her smile returns before too long.


"...we do have a plan of approach, I hope?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 730 posts
Wed 20 May 2015
at 02:57
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"I'll lead you there," replies Silent Thunder Leaves, perhaps answering the wrong question.
Merlin
 player, 438 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 23 May 2015
at 03:36
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 9):

"Perhaps she is suggesting that we have a plan for what we want when we get there.....should we survive."

Merlin keeps an eye out on the underbrush and such.
Azalea
 player, 183 posts
Sat 23 May 2015
at 19:54
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

She nods.


"And, ideally, survival should be part of said plan."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 731 posts
Wed 27 May 2015
at 00:49
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Silent Thunder Leaves snorts at that.
Austringer
 player, 50 posts
Thu 28 May 2015
at 00:52
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"Survival is a foundation of the Silver Way," Austringer says sententiously (and somewhat meaninglessly), trying to calm things down so that Beatrix's questioning can proceed unobtrusively.  Being the voice of reason is a new experience for him, and he's not sure he likes it.

As he glances at a fox in the underbrush, he says, in what he hopes is a casual tone, "No, hunting truth definitely isn't like hunting game ... How did you, a Full Moon, come to this task in the first place?  I would think your master has plenty of Changing Moons and others in his service to handle this kind of work."

If she's unwilling to be forthcoming to Lady LeSchaye, maybe that will draw her into revealing something about the Goat-Wolf's forces, or at least what goes on at the Nameless Lair.  Even with all the pressures on him, Austringer can't help a certain curiosity, too.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:02, Sun 31 May 2015.

Segev Stormlord
 GM, 732 posts
Thu 28 May 2015
at 02:34
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
The Lunar - smaller-seeming when she's not bristling - snorts with almost juvenile disdain, "Only three, but they sure are more than plenty...except when they're needed." She sidesteps a sinkhole and glides through the narrowing path for just long enough that it almost seemed a response was required before continuing, "But they're all doing something else. One's in Nexus, trying to placate the Praying Matron, one is on some pointless errand that keeps him on the Blessed Isle, and one... I don't know where she is. He just told me she was," and here Silent Thunder Leaves's voice gets mock-gravelly, presumably immitating Ma-Ha-Suchi, "'occupied.'"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 415 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 03:26
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Beatrix chuckles at Leave's imitation. "Is that really what he sounds like?" she asks, sounding amused. "Really? And to give such an unhelpful answer to someone right before sending them on an important mission." She tsks at the thought.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 733 posts
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 16:36
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"It's need-to-know," she replies after an uncomfortable silence. She's going for brusque and business-like, but it doesn't take an expert at reading people to recognize that Beatrix has hit a sore point in Silent Thunder Leaves's pride.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 735 posts
Thu 25 Jun 2015
at 02:03
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
((OOC: Also, if people would roll me a perception+awareness or perception+survival check, I would appreciate it.))
Azalea
 player, 184 posts
Fri 26 Jun 2015
at 16:51
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

(( 19:50, Today: Azalea rolled 7 successes using 6d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Perc + Survival.  ))
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 736 posts
Sat 27 Jun 2015
at 05:32
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
After traveling for days and days (Merlin, in particular, knows he could have covered much more ground than this on his own), Silent Thunder Leaves suddenly tenses, then visibly forces herself to pretend to relax.
Austringer
 player, 51 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2015
at 23:24
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
((OOC: 19:24, Sun 28 June 2015: Austringer rolled 4 successes using 6d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7 ((8,6,1,4,10,7)).))
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 416 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 29 Jun 2015
at 01:56
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Beatrix sniffs the air, and her ears perk up. "Someone is cooking up ahead. And it smells delightful."
Peddles
 player, 1 post
Mon 29 Jun 2015
at 07:28
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
     Your noses lead you in the direction of a very homey, hearty smell; some kind of thick hot vegetable broth of the kind that would complement beef very nicely.

     Once you clear a rise, you find a wide, shallow bowl of a clearing before you.  At first, all you see in the grassy circle is a ridiculously huge green and brown backpack sitting next to a largish cookpot sustained by a wood fire. Then, with a distant tinkling, the backpack shifts and moves as if alive.  It raises a few inches off of the ground and turns, and then you see a small tanned woman somehow managing to wear and move the pack; she is cooking the delicious-smelling meal.

     She is a little shorter than the average woman, but her build is difficult to determine; she is swaddled in voluminous green and yellow robes and what appears to be bandages.  There seem to be a few locks of red hair visible beneath the wide brim of her hat.  Her feet and hands are covered in oversized soft leather gloves and boots.

     The more paranoid of you notice that she is armed with a self bow, left strung and draped over her shoulders.  Hanging from her various straps and chains, she also has a visible hatchet and dagger.  The fletching of arrows occasionally peeks from slits in her oversized clothing.

     She seems relaxed and cheerful, singing some old folk song in a young clear voice as she begins to spoon up the food for herself, and retrieves an expensive-looking jug of wine from the pack.  Curiously, she seems to have cooked much more than she can likely eat by herself.
Merlin
 player, 439 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 2 Jul 2015
at 22:12
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Merlin activates Air Dragon Sight and then clears his throat to let the woman know that they are there, if she did not already.

"Whatever it is you are cooking, I have script to buy a meal...."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 417 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 5 Jul 2015
at 19:26
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"Well!" Beatrix says with an unusually chipper tone. "Perhaps this would be a good place and time to make camp for the evening?" Perhaps, despite all her business savvy, nobody ever warned her about strangers with food.

Extending her hand to the mysterious stranger with the tempting food, she says, "Greetings and well met, madam. I am Beatrix LeSchaye; How may I call you?"
Azalea
 player, 185 posts
Sun 5 Jul 2015
at 20:35
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Azalea comes to the clearing behind the two, smiling.


"Hello. This smells wonderful indeed."
Peddles
 player, 2 posts
Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 21:16
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
The young lady smiles broadly and giggles lightly.  Setting her bowl down,she wriggles free of her enormous pack and spreads her arms and hands wide and empty before you, before giving an exagerrated bow.

In Riverspeak, she says "I am called Peddles, for that is my trade," she says.  "I am pleased to share with you, and humbly beg that you neither rob nor abuse a friendly traveler."

She pauses a moment, then adds, "But if you are offering script, I will be glad to have it, to the degree my offerings please you!"

Hesitantly, she clasps hands with Beatrix.
Austringer
 player, 52 posts
Tue 7 Jul 2015
at 00:38
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"And most people call me 'Austringer,' for that is my trade," he says.  "Um ... if it isn't too forward of me to ask ... what brings you way out here, to these Dragons-forsaken woods?"  Austringer glances at Silent Thunder Leaves from the corner of his eye.  "You do know beastmen and more terrible things prowl these woods, yes?"
Peddles
 player, 3 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2015
at 20:16
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Peddles regards Austringer warmly.  "Beast men and more terrible things?  I certainly hope so!"  She begins taking more bowls out of her pack.  "If the gods abd Dragons favor me, they will find tradin with me easier and less painful than raiding villages."

She thinks a moment while spooning up meals for everyone.  "If not, then I hope I'm tasty!"  She grins at her joke.

Looking over the group of travellers, she says, "You all seem to have found strength in numbers.  Let me see; no uniforms, so not scouts.  Polite, so not bandits.  Wealthy, so not exiles..."  She furrows her brow in thought.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 739 posts
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 23:49
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
The woman in the forest-green hooded cape sniffs the air appreciatively. "What is it you hope to trade, and to trade for, with the beastmen?" she asks, attempting to sound disinterested when she really sounds extremely suspicious.
Peddles
 player, 4 posts
Mon 13 Jul 2015
at 11:43
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Peddles grins.

With practiced flourishes, as if by magic, she begins to produce an unlikely sample set of goods from her pack via various hidden pouches and openings.  These she arranges on the ground before her in an aesthetic display:

Hunting Gear, such as self bows with fowling arrows.  Fishing gear, such as lines and nets.  Filled water and wine skins.  Cord and bandages.  Toys and dolls.

"Everything one could hope to need to produce a happy and peaceful society", she says after a few moments, bowing and spreading her hands.  It is a gross exaggeration, but the principle applies to the selection, if not the quantity of goods.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 740 posts
Mon 13 Jul 2015
at 13:05
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Unable to hide her surprise, the woman's eyes narrow suspiciously as she asks with poorly-feined nonchalance, "Those are very fine items for these parts. Civilization's wares are hard to come by. What do you hope to get from the Beastmen? Are you trading for slaves?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 418 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 14 Jul 2015
at 14:59
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"That is a relevant question, Silent Thunder Leaves," offers Beatrice while already purchasing food because mmmm, food.

"What is it that brings a traveling merchant out all this way? The area is dangerous, as of late. There is a certain tension brewing, you see," she advises, while handing over a full dinar - probably far more than the food is worth, but she doesn't seem to mind.
Peddles
 player, 5 posts
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 05:16
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Peddles chuckles.  "Slaves?  My pack isn't THAT big.  Although..."

She ponders a moment.

"If I buy fewer slaves than I sell camping gear, I could free them afterward and give them gear to make it home with.  Once they made it back to their villages, that would be wonderful advertising!  That's a great idea!"

She dishes Silent Thunder Leaves an extra helping of stew, beaming.  "Thank you!"

She gratefully accepts the dinar from Beatrix, clasping her hands respectfully and bowing low.  She pauses a moment to retrieve some especially nice utensils for her use.

"You have noticed the quality of my wares.  That is precisely because I travel so far and wide, learning what I can about distant cultures.  I am industrious, and if that has earned me a few scars, then so be it."

"As to a 'certain tension', I have heard something about that.  Perhaps you could tell me more?  If it is likely to endanger my dear friends, like Duke Lothus, I'd like to help in dispelling whatever it is."

This message was last edited by the player at 06:39, Wed 15 July 2015.

Merlin
 player, 441 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 14:39
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
In reply to Peddles (msg # 33):

"The beast-men are out marauding. A group of them were just defeated in a major battle."
Peddles
 player, 6 posts
Fri 17 Jul 2015
at 17:11
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Peddles absorbs the information with a sober nod.  "Aren't you guys afraid of being marauded?  If so, I would be willing to take you under my wing.  I am an experienced traveler and could do much to help keep you safe."

She then smirks.

"Of course, I would need recompense for my expenses in doing so."
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 419 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 03:19
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Beatrix quirks an eyebrow. "As it happens, we ourselves have proven fairly resistant to marauding. However, if you are sincere in your offer to play bodyguard while we venture into the Wolf's Den to parley with Ma-Ha Suchi, and if you are confident in your ability to do battle with what we may encounter there, then I should be delighted to retain your services. If you are not confident in your ability to do battle there, but are willing to come along, then I should instead be delighted to retain your services as a chef. If you are not willing to go there, then I would advise you to make haste away from this part of the East, to safeguard yourself against the unhappy chance that the Wolf finds what we have to say objectionable."

After a pause, she adds "This is very good soup."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 741 posts
Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 03:23
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Silent Thunder Leaves bristles for a moment, but then shrugs, as if hefting a weight off her shoulders. "That is between you and Ma Ha Suchi," she says, eating some more of the soup. Her compliment of it is how fast she devours it and the way she holds out the bowl for more.
Merlin
 player, 442 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 03:27
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Merlin smiles and reiterates the compliment on the soup, but looks at the woman critically with his enhanced senses.

OOC: Perception+Awareness Roll with Air Dragon Sight augmenting:
22:26, Today: Merlin rolled 9 successes using 13d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7. Per+Awa.

Peddles
 player, 7 posts
Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 12:19
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Peddles scrambles to serve everyone quickly and cheerfully.  "If you can get me an audience with the leader of the local beast men, then I shall be most grateful. It would make working out a trade deal much easier!  I can accompany you, and we can try to protect each other from any undeserved marauding.  I will gladly be your chef, in return for my expenses."

She looks thoughtful for a moment.

"I cannot confidently do battle with foes I do not know, but I will act to preserve my customer base.  May I assume you do not currently intend to harm or anger this person?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 742 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 22:21
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"Leader of the 'local' Beastmen," snorts the green-cloaked woman. "Sure. They'll be doing that."
Merlin
 player, 443 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 22:25
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 40):

"Negotiate. I doubt lasting harm would be possible."

He smiles, "I was wondering what hair grooming product you might use to give your locks such fascinating coloring?"
Peddles
 player, 8 posts
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 13:00
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
In reply to Merlin (msg # 41):

Peddles blushes, looking both mortified and happily surprised.

She ducks her head, her face and hair disappearing beneath the wide brim of her oversized hat.  "It's uh, natural."

However, she recovers quickly, although she does begin to peek at Merlin more speculatively with her one visible eye.  "But if you want some hair coloring for your betrothed, I am confident I can find you some!"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 420 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 20:30
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Beatrix shares a bemused look with Silent Thunder Leaves over the 'local' comment before turning back to Peddles.

"No, we hope that there will be no violence there. However, you never know what may happen, and while I will strive for the best, I would like to prepare for the worst as well. You are provisionally hired, pending further negotiations at a later time. But for now, you may resume flirting."
Merlin
 player, 444 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 13:16
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
In reply to Peddles (msg # 42):

Merlin had been looking at Peddles, thinking of Lunar and their 'tells', when Beatrix's comment snaps him out of that line of thought. He looks over at Beatrix, then back at Peddles and does a little of his own blushing.

"Ummm, there is no betrothed....currently."
Peddles
 player, 9 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 23:17
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"F-flirting!?  Th-that would be unseemly.  I am sworn to my beloved, despite the lonely distance between us."

She busies herself by rummaging inside her pack, her cheeks reddening once more.  "I was just presuming that such a handsome gentleman had no interest in dying his own locks."

She glances at Beatrix.  "Moreover, what man could look at such as I when you are present?"  Her voice carries both wonder and a hint of mild jealousy.

"In any case, I am quite pleased to travel and work with you all.  This will be interesing!"

She produces a small red cake, wrapped in bandages, resembling a smooth rock.  The bandages are stained a mildly disturbing crimson.  "Is this the dye?"  She sniffs at it, uncertain.
Merlin
 player, 445 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 23:41
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
There is a twinkle in Merlin's eye.

"Interesting indeed Trader Peddles."

Merlin sets up his own tent and then crawls in to have a good night sleep.
Peddles
 player, 10 posts
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 14:31
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
In reply to Merlin (msg # 46):

Peddles shrugs at the small red stone/cake, carefully rewraps it and stows it away.  She then pulls camping gear out of her backpack and follows Merlin's example (after pouring any leftover stew out a good distance from the camping area).

Just before bedding down, she will go to wherever Beatrix is preparing to sleep, bearing a small stuffed doll.  She will squat/kneel a short distance away from her sleeping area, proffering it with a bowed head.

"To being friends?"  She asks, enthusiastically but respectfully.

She places the doll carefully on the ground, saying, "As young ladies travelling in the company of men, we should have a private conversation at your convenience.  Girl stuff, you know?"   Then she backs away and goes to her tent.
Austringer
 player, 53 posts
Tue 25 Aug 2015
at 23:16
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
During the conversation, Austringer has surreptitiously examined Peddles, looking for Tells or anything else unusual (aside from the bright red hair).  It seems unlikely that another Lunar would be in the Wolf's domain without Silent Thunder Leaves' knowing, but one can never be too careful.

((Austringer rolled 5 successes using 6d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7.  Per+Awa.  If this had been an actual Lunar, there would've been a +2 MDV adjustment against the Tell for "looking for Lunars."))

As the party begins to retire, Austringer remains awake so long as Silent Thunder Leaves does, keeping an eye on her without, hopefully, being too obvious about it.  He's particularly interested in the Full Moon's reaction (if any) to Peddles' comment about "girl stuff" (assuming both could hear it).

This message was last edited by the player at 23:21, Tue 25 Aug 2015.

Segev Stormlord
 GM, 744 posts
Wed 26 Aug 2015
at 02:45
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
The remainder of the trip provides ample opportunity for Peddles to demonstrate the efficacy of her protection. The ever-thickening beastman patrols are better equipped and generally filled with more impressive physical specimens - some as much grotesque as grand - that more resemble a combination of goat and wolf than any other beasts, but they travel amiably for a time before breaking off.

It does not take long before one of the groups of beastmen are escorting another, less grand set of them, which seem to have human prisoners...
Peddles
 player, 11 posts
Wed 26 Aug 2015
at 17:23
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Peddles crouches down, so that hopefully her giant backpack utterly conceals her from a distance (it actually does a fair job up close) and/or resembles an immobile boulder.

Slowly and carefully to avoid the noisy jangling that normally accompanies her gait, she duck-walks next to Bea and whispers.  "Trade and negotiation?  Or violence?  Or are we focused elsewhere right now?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 421 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 27 Aug 2015
at 17:55
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Beatrix actually startles a bit, evidently having been lost in thought. She accepts the dolls with a murmur of 'friends', and then, more clearly, says "My apologies, Peddles. I was considering... possibilities. We go to seek negotiation. Trade is doubtful but possible; the only coin I know the wolf to care for is one I refuse to deal in. Similarly, I do not believe he will take kindly to negotiation. But this is by reputation only; I have never dealt with him face to face."
Merlin
 player, 446 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 29 Aug 2015
at 15:49
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Merlin is nowhere to be found. He was just here a few moments ago? Of course, for his normal traveling companions, this is nothing new.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 745 posts
Wed 2 Sep 2015
at 00:24
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"You'll have that honor soon; we are less than a half day's trek to the Nameless Lair," comments Silent Thunder Leaves.
Austringer
 player, 54 posts
Wed 2 Sep 2015
at 01:56
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"'Honor?'" murmurs Austringer.

Aloud, he address the other Lunar.  "Silent Thunder Leaves, why do you follow him?  You say the Praying Matron scribed your tattoos, and you don't seem to be, well, a barbarian.  But here you stand, assigned this unworthy mission to deal with this issue of slaves while your fellow acolytes pursue work on the Blessed Isle and in Nexus itself!  Why are you serving someone who allows--" he gestures at the distant beastmen and their coffle of captives-- "that?  I've seen your power first hand.  This is beneath you.  What did Ma-Ha-Suchi do for you?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 746 posts
Fri 4 Sep 2015
at 03:02
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"This was an unusual mission," replies the Lunar with a diffident tone that contains acknowledgement of Austringer's point. "Ma-Ha-Suchi is direct. The Praying Matron is too focused on civilization and its debauchery; she tattooed me, but her life and ways are not for me. The wilderness is honest. Pure. Without pretense." She trails off abruptly, as if exhausting a very limited reservoir of words.
Merlin
 player, 447 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Fri 4 Sep 2015
at 12:22
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
From his vantage point Merlin starts looking for a specific prisoner among the children.

'This will complicate things...', he thinks.
Merlin
 player, 448 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 5 Sep 2015
at 03:41
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
It does not take long before he finds the boy that he is looking for and heads back to his companions. A whisper in the midst of them he says, "They have Ned and his goats. Looks like there will be more to negotiate for unless you want me to find a way to get him."
Peddles
 player, 12 posts
Mon 7 Sep 2015
at 20:05
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Peddles looks over at Merlin with concern.  This Ned is a friend?  Is he... as well as could be hoped?

Then she blinks, and a sly, foxlike grin spreads across her features.  "How fortuitous that a high ranking member of Ma Ha Suchi's court is here to assist us."

Facing Silent Thunder Leaves directly, she quietly and almost innocently asks. "You could simply order those slaves remanded to our care, could you not?  Were you so inclined?  Such is within your power?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 747 posts
Sun 13 Sep 2015
at 02:16
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
"Delivery of the slaves is the high-breeds' duty," replies the quietly-moving Lunar with a look of discomfort. "Why would we order them to hand their duty to us? Most of you do not even serve the Horned Wolf."

She glances over the exhausted individuals in the slave-driving troop, and frowns. "Though maybe it would not hurt to have Azalea look them over. They don't look entirely healthy."

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:18, Sun 13 Sept 2015.

Peddles
 player, 13 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 21:13
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Peddles bows as deeply and graciously as she can without overbalancing and being crushed under her pack.

"My gratitude to the powerful and gracious Silent Thunder Leaves."

She backs away respectfully.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 748 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 22:54
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Suiting action to words, Silent Thunder Leaves stalks over to the healer. "Azalea," she addresses the smaller woman brusquely, "Would you be willing to examine the health of the slaves being brought in? They look unwell to me."

She begins leading the way towards the most large-and-in-charge of the beastmen, without even looking to see if Azalea agreed or is following.
Azalea
 player, 186 posts
Wed 7 Oct 2015
at 02:17
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

"Of course."


There's not even a hint of hesitation, as she falls in stride, looking through her satchel for supplies she may need.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 750 posts
Wed 7 Oct 2015
at 13:23
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Even as Silent Thunder Leaves accosts the largest beast man, Azalea's immediate impression is that the people - humans and smaller, more diversely fauna-influenced beastmen alike - are suffering from extreme exhaustion and some mild dehydration. A few may be malnourished, but at worst most look like they're merely suffering from a day or two of deprivation. Her expert opinion is that most are moving faster than their energy levels permit, despite the by-now trudging pace, and that the strongest-looking look the most weary; they may not have slept.

Fortunately, despite her relatively smaller size, the Lunar's descent upon the beastman quickly overwhelms his belligerence with her greater aggression (and a none-too-subtle slap across his nose accompanied by a flare of strength-enhancing Essence that illuminates a silver circle on her brow). She places herself between Azalea and the beastman, leaving Azalea a less-obstructed path to her potential patients.

Merlin and the others may (with a success on any sort of perception or awareness check) notice that other large, goat- and wolf-themed Beastmen seem to be looming menacingly in Azalea's direction, but have not quite yet moved to interfere.
Azalea
 player, 188 posts
Sat 10 Oct 2015
at 22:53
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?


It's not entirely clear if Azalea is unpertrubed by the hostility, or missed it entirely due to concern for the injured, but it's quite likely she has been a frontline medic before.

At least her focus suggests something among these lines, as she goes from the worst case towards the best one, administering what relief and advice she can give all the while observing the current and the next patient.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 751 posts
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 12:45
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
There are a few dozen. The worst are on litters, being dragged by those who are in not-so-bad condition. All of the worst are human, and most are adolescents. The worst are victims of long-term malnourishment. Not total starvation, and that deprivation is recent, but merely the difficulty that many peasant farmers have getting all of the essentials, especially in bad years (or when their crops are repeatedly trampled).

At least one beastman (who seems some sort of rabbit-snake thing with viper fangs for buck teeth and long, scaled ears) who was doing the travois-dragging was one of her early patients, just due to clearly needing some vital vitamins to avoid a rather permanent collapse. Something about the way Silent Thunder Leaves introduced and unleashed Azalea has him eyeing her nervously as he nods to her advice and takes whatever she gives him. He seems very uncomfortable letting a more hale beastman take his travois, flinching at that one's glare.

Azalea's focus and efficiency is such that it might take her a moment to realize that she recognizes one of the youngest patients. Even if she doesn't without his hat, the young goat-boy blinks blearily when she wakes him to administer treatment. "A-- Azalea?" he asks, working moisture into his mouth. "Did they capture you, too?"
Azalea
 player, 189 posts
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 17:16
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Azalea was making mental notes about the mother of all vitamin-enriched soups she was planning to prepare later, when said specific patient dragged her out of her line of thought.

"Wha-? What are you doing here? I thought we left you somewhere safe!"


Earlier assumptions about the nature of the boy had progressively given way to more rational thoughts in Azalea's mind; he was just a boy that liked goats, and getting mixed in this wasn't good.

In fact, she looks around for his goat.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 752 posts
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 21:29
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Now that she's looking for them, spotting two goats being carried on the backs of two people - one beastman and one put-upon human - is fairly easy. The goats look like they're only not vociferously complaining because they've complained so much that they've run out of things to say. Or have worn out their voices, at least. Neither looks pleased to be carried.

Ned sits up a bit. "Y-you did. I just was going out to some farms to trade, while you were out, and I got caught up with these raiders." He gratefully takes more potable liquid to wet his mouth a bit, before looking up at Azalea sheepishly. "Sorry. ...how'd you get captured? Isn't Merlin watching out for you and Lady LeSchaye?"
Azalea
 player, 190 posts
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 11:47
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

"We're not cap-... well, it's kind of complicated. Farms, you say? How were they?"


The questions are a common diversion for patients - it lets them focus on something other than their discomfort.

While she does listen and does take care of Ned, however, she tries to catch Beatrix' attention and point to Ned and the goats - since she likely can't find Merlin, unaware that he had already informed of their presence.
Peddles
 player, 14 posts
Fri 23 Oct 2015
at 17:03
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Still crouching and ostensibly hidden, Peddles fidgets.

"If the place where these slaves are bound for is nearby, It might be good to escort them.  So that they arrive safely.", Peddles says, as if to the air itself.

Fishing in her pack, she pulls out a small doll that looks not entirely unlike a tiny goat.

"Perhaps a gift is in order, to ensure good feelings..." she muses.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 755 posts
Sat 21 Nov 2015
at 12:15
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Ned looks puzzled, but answers, "I only got to one estate. It looked okay, I guess, but then the beastmen...and well..." he gestures to the captors and captives. As he wakes up, he seems a bit stronger, especially with Azalea's administration of restoratives.

The large beastman and Silent Thunder Leaves are exchanging terse grunts and monosyllabic words, but seem to be getting some sort of point across to each other. It's hard to tell if they're glaring or just if they don't do expressions other than "taciturn."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 756 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2015
at 15:38
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Silent Thunder Leaves's ears twitch at Peddles's words, and she snarls something at the beastman, who calls a brief halt to allow Azalea and anybody helping her a few minutes to better perform her ministrations. The Lunar woman's oddly silent motions make it easy to think she's sneaking up on Peddles when she draws suddenly near. "What did you have in mind? A gift for Ma Ha Suchi's hospitality would be proper. We could exchange some with these tributaries to bring some captives of our own as a sign of respect."
Peddles
 player, 16 posts
Thu 10 Dec 2015
at 19:17
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 71):

Moving from a crouch to a kneeling position, Peddles offers the tiny goat, now joined by a tiny wolf, to STL in the attitude of an humble supplicant.  But she speaks quickly.

"I was thinking some symbols of our respect as so, but may I confer privately with Lady Beatrix, my leader first?  I would ask permission and take care not to offend with details.  She is much more skilled in diplomacy and the ways of trade than I."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 757 posts
Wed 16 Dec 2015
at 03:56
Re: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Silent Thunder Leaves's expression isn't exactly turning up her nose at the offerings, but is definitely discomfitted and probably confused by them. "Of course. Talk to Beatrix," she says brusquely, clearly uncomfortable and uncertain with this interaction.