OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi.   Posted by Segev Stormlord.Group: 0
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 758 posts
Thu 4 Feb 2016
at 00:55
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
So, it's been a bit since we've updated. I can skip ahead to arriving at Ma-Ha-Suchi's lair, if that will help. But I don't want to cut anybody's plans out of the loop. I will post a new thread by this weekend if I don't hear any reason not to; we can still use the old one for what's going on there if anybody thinks of anything they need to wrap up.
Merlin
 player, 450 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 6 Feb 2016
at 01:01
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Yes, please skip ahead.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 760 posts
Mon 4 Apr 2016
at 03:30
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Sorry for taking so long, everybody. I have no real excuse. I have been wrestling with how to present this, because I know the Nameless Lair will reveal some of the worst of Ma-Ha-Suchi's madness and evil right from the get-go. He is not exactly subtle about it.

However, I also have a plot-related decision to make, and I have been trying to figure out how to base it on PC action in a sort of test. But I have not been able to come up with something that doesn't really automatically have me already have made the choice and tailor what I am pretty sure PCs will do to the outcomes.

So...in the interest of moving this along, I am going to sacrifice OOC "surprise" to ask the players what they want.

I have two "past life" elements coming up here shortly. One is frankly quite imminent. One of the PCs, if you are willing, is going to turn out to be Ma-Ha-Suchi's solar bondmate. Another is going to discover a connection to Yu Shan (which I will not be more explicit about at this time) in their past life. My original intention is for one of these to be Azalea, and the other Beatrix (though I had not yet decided which was to be which), but - particularly for the bondmate to the wolf of the roses - I am open to any Solar filling the roles.

I apologize doubly, here: once (again) for the lengthy delay since the last posting, and a second time for basically ripping open what should have been an in-game reveal in an OOC question to the players. But since this is something that will impact PC development and plot hooks, I don't want to just arbitrarily assign backstory without player input.

If it would be preferred that I do so in the future, please let me know. If you don't mind me springing "past life" surprises on you of this potential nature, I'll do it without telling you ahead of time as things come up later. But I am sensitive to the risk of damaging a character concept, so this time...I'm laying it open to OOC discussion.
Merlin
 player, 451 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Mon 4 Apr 2016
at 22:50
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Merlin already has at least some connection to the Sid's via his previous incarnations written diary. He just needs to learn Old Realm and he will be able to read it and then know that the Sid's orchestrated the entire shit-storm of the Usurpation. If that information was handed to his previous incarnation by a highly placed Sidereal that was opposed to the Usurpation, that would certainly be an interesting connection to a Sid in Yu Shan.....unless you were looking for another kind of conntection.

My personal, player, opinion is that Azalea would be a good bondmate. She could develop (or might have) the necessary charms to cure Ma-Ha-Suchi's madness. Finding information on that kind of charm and then rediscovering it could take us anywhere in creation (Rathass comes to mind) as does that Twilight City that makes people go crazy (starts with a D).

Just ideas.



PS: And now that 5 Conviction and 1 Compassion hits home! :-P

This message was last edited by the player at 23:11, Mon 04 Apr 2016.

Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 101 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Mon 4 Apr 2016
at 23:54
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
In reply to Merlin (msg # 4):

Dendasor.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 761 posts
Tue 5 Apr 2016
at 15:42
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
The tie to Yu Shan is specific, but I don't want to spoil it yet; the Ma Ha Suchi bondmate thing could have been a surprise/count as a spoiler, but to be fair, it's well within the kind of thing people might posit or expect as a near-standard trope of Exalted games. However, I will say that it is not necessarily unrelated to Merlin's ancient notes. >_> <_<
Austringer
 player, 57 posts
Wed 6 Apr 2016
at 02:24
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
I'll just toss out here that I had been expecting some kind of tie to Yu-Shan for Beatrix and something about one of the NPC Lunars being one of the PC Solars' mates ever since reading the back-threads.  It just has a certain narrative logic to it.

And while Merlin's dealing with Conviction 5 and Compassion 1, we see Austringer expressing his usual solution for when someone else is in danger, i.e., attack whatever is causing the problem with as little forethought as possible.  Compassion/Valor is fun if you like going off half-cocked!
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 423 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Thu 7 Apr 2016
at 18:05
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Depending on what sort of connection it is, I do think Bea might work at it. She is a political animal, after all, and her nature might be good for getting her into trouble this way. ...and maybe already has.

I also like Azalea for MHS's ex-ex. If she can survive the initial reunion, she has the best chance to make a difference.

...in other news, someone needs to be actively ensuring Azalea's safety at all times. :|
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 763 posts
Fri 8 Apr 2016
at 15:22
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Barring any obvious provocations or extraneous events, are there any pro-active things people want their PCs to do on the way down to the stone spire that serves as the central structure of the Lair?
Azalea
 player, 192 posts
Mon 11 Apr 2016
at 14:50
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi

Oho! We're still going!


I have to admit I need a refresher on my character

*checks sheet*
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 424 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 11 Apr 2016
at 17:58
OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Yay, Azalea's back!

Also;

Austringer:
But the captured mortals, especially the kid with the goats, have to be his first concern.  Rescue, then punishment.  He leans over to Beatrix and says, sotto voce, "I hope you have an actual plan for getting all these people out of here.  Or should I just dive in and start carving these monsters up?"


Beatrix frowns contemplatively. "One moment," she says. "Let me spend some XP on a few dots in War." Her ears slowly rotate in a full circle while a clicking sound can be heard; once they've finished their revolution, there is a loud 'ding!'.

"Nope. Still got nothin'."

More seriously, I'm going to be getting said dots, making some rolls, and using a Charm or two to figure out exactly what we're up against and how everything fits together. My hope is that there's some group we can exploit to at least smuggle our current crowd out, or some lever we can use for it. Azalea might be able to help with that.

If I remember right, Merlin already had War; he might be able to come up with a better impression than Bea of the overall disposition of forces, although Bea's angle will probably work better on finding and exploiting local social conflict. Teamwork!

And if worse comes to worst, we might be looking at making this a scouting mission so we know what we're up against once we put together an army capable of fighting this madness.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 764 posts
Mon 11 Apr 2016
at 18:03
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Azalea:
Oho! We're still going!


I have to admit I need a refresher on my character

*checks sheet*

Ah! Good! That's everybody responding! We can get back on track!


If you would like to discuss, OOC, what plans and approaches you might like to take, feel free. We can try that here, which would let us off the "hook" of having to justify all things IC before we even consider them. We can then use the IC thread to "show" any aspects of plan-sharing we want to, and begin execution.

In short: in the name of keeping things rolling, let's go ahead and discuss things openly here rather than trying to translate everything into "in character." I have noticed a few times when that filter has slowed down communication.
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 102 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Mon 11 Apr 2016
at 23:33
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 12):
Merlin
 player, 453 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Tue 12 Apr 2016
at 00:42
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Merlin has 0 War and it is not favored and can not be instantly increased,. Occult 3, Lore 2, Resistance, MA, and Throw as favored.

He is sitting on 63XP and if the GM allowed I am sure I could come up with some kind of Throw Combo that would piss Ma-Ha-Suchi off, but actually fighting the guy/girl....would end badly for all of us.

Cascade of Cutting Terror + 1st Excellency, from 'surprise' with Falling Icicle Strike, is a real bitch. Channeling Conviction......for another 5 dice and I am pretty sure that Merlin could hit him and hurt him....but not enough.  Now if my character had another 100 odd motes of essence to spend....that might be a bit different.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 425 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 12 Apr 2016
at 15:56
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Weird. I could swear someone in this party had dots in War already. ...and now that I think about it, it was probably the Captain. Dang.

I mean, unless Azalea is about to rally us to glorious victory. I'm not sure if that's quite her style, although it would definitely make for a great painting.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 766 posts
Tue 12 Apr 2016
at 18:15
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Oh, hey! Hi, Alistr! You're welcome in the game if you wish to return. We'll work you in when possible. Been a while! How're you?
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 767 posts
Tue 12 Apr 2016
at 18:17
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Alright. Beatrix, you're making some War and Investigation rolls. Do you have anything specific you're looking for, or do you want me to just exposit on a general analysis?
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 426 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 12 Apr 2016
at 18:34
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Generally, Bea wants to know what we're up against. More specifically, she wants to keep an eye on escape routes, and what our chances of getting any mortals out of here alive are. More on the Investigate side, she wants to see if there's any divisions within the locals she could exploit to cover a hasty retreat, or perhaps make enough confusion to get mortals out safely.

If you just want to do a big infodump here, that's totally fine.
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 103 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Tue 12 Apr 2016
at 19:43
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 16):

I nearly died a couple of times. Other than that and another kid on the way I'm good.
Austringer
 player, 58 posts
Wed 13 Apr 2016
at 02:29
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Zowie, Alistr!

***

Personally, I'm less concerned about Ma-Ha-Suchi himself (aside from eventually wanting to see him to maybe resolve some mysteries in Austringer's personal arc, but if that ends up being put off, that almost makes it more dramatic) than about the horde of followers.  The heroes could presumably run away, maybe even taking some captives with them, before the Wolf himself can get out of that giant melted stalagmite-thing, as well as tackle a few zillion beastman extras, but MHS also has other Lunars and goodness knows what else lurking around here, too.

With that in mind, Austringer, while worrying about what's going to happen to Ned and the goats and the other captured folks, will look around for other Lunars or anything else that looks unusual or out place ... though that's gotta be a relative term, given where the characters are.  Let me know if you need rolls, also keeping in mind, if it's relevant here, that he has a Lore specialty in "the Exalted."

Austringer doesn't have any dots in War, either, despite being mostly a combat specialist.  However, he can turn into a lot of stuff- his Heart's Blood library has everything from a tyrant lizard to a platypus to "a generic Eastern barbarian."  Also, he has Life of the Hummingbird and Prey's Skin Disguise, meaning he can potentially double almost anyone or anything in the scene we need him to, assuming he can drink the heart's blood unobtrusively somehow.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 768 posts
Wed 13 Apr 2016
at 17:27
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Beatrix LeSchaye:
Generally, Bea wants to know what we're up against. More specifically, she wants to keep an eye on escape routes, and what our chances of getting any mortals out of here alive are. More on the Investigate side, she wants to see if there's any divisions within the locals she could exploit to cover a hasty retreat, or perhaps make enough confusion to get mortals out safely.

If you just want to do a big infodump here, that's totally fine.


Escape routes are fairy open; the security - such as it is - seems based on numbers of presumably-loyal beastmen swarming over the area, and the sheer amount of open terrain in the caldera to cover from the spire to the pits to the edges. As she turns her attention to it, however, Beatrix notices that the game trails and natural paths through the forest are more reminiscent of a defensive labyrinth. In fact, looking up at the sky, either the sun has decided to traverse North to South, or they've walked quite a distance around the caldera from the direction they seemed to have been approaching, before the foliage became clear enough to see it below.

If rumors of First Age artifacts and weapons of war are true, they are not visible in the obvious open spaces surrounding the Lair, but it is large enough that giants could conceivably call it a home.

Those whose minds are more on threats from the air than most who dwell in the Age of Sorrows will, eventually, however, look closely at the treeline of the woods surrounding this barren place, and notice towering figures with head and shoulders rising above the canopy, positioned in places which would give them an excellent view of the surroundings and allow - with sufficient range on any weapons they might wield - a deadly crossfire to any interlopers...or unwelcome aerial scouts.

The beastmen look more uniform in towards the center, favoring mixes of goat and wolf that are almost grotesquely handsome. More variation (and smaller sizes) are common in the ramshackle camps round about the exterior, though no structures nor shelters of any sort exist for the annulus that forms half the distance from the edge of the stripped bowl to its center. Beatrix also notices a...pattern...to the beastmen "using" the breeding pits: they have particular traits around each pit, with the central group of larger beastmen apparently carefully selecting the more varied sorts to breed with. Her keen eye picks out an examination of infant and toddling beast-children in the pits that are examined before adult beastmen are "chosen." This seems a complex breeding program, with design belying its apparent chaos.

The beastmen of the "varied" sort only seem so in the center area. Almost like there is some invisible filter, most congregate and coagulate into groups of like animal traits as things get further out into the camps, and where there aren't the large goat- and wolf-like creatures keeping order, there are no-beast's-lands across which visible hollering can be observed.

If there is any hope of getting mortals out without official permission, it lies either in so terrifying any pursuers that they don't want to find the absconding party, or in exploiting the ...tribal?... tensions and keeping the favored horde at the center from establishing order.

This whole structure would be a dream for siege engines, it seems, with the spire's base at the nadir of a killing ground, rather than its peak, but the sheer numbers and the lack of space to set up with any cover belies that. Rules of war state that armies move on their stomachs; the supply lines for a sieging force would be prohibitive this far from...anywhere. Though perhaps they could hunt. That raises a question, though: how are the denizens of the Lair kept fed?

It also doesn't appear that there's really "order" so much as brute force and a pecking order. What organization there is seems to be of the self-made kind, with tribes avoiding each other. Even as Beatrix watches, one encampment is loping off, leaving rough-dug burrows of shelters behind, apparently taking little with them as they head up the slope some forty degrees from where the party stands. It seems like the beastmen herding this group of captured humans are about to start fighting amongst themselves over dibs on the abandoned site, though they keep glancing at the larger ones that have gathered the disparate groups of raiders together, and keep the bickering to a low murmur.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 769 posts
Fri 15 Apr 2016
at 21:25
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Austringer:
Austringer... will look around for other Lunars or anything else that looks unusual or out place ... though that's gotta be a relative term, given where the characters are.  Let me know if you need rolls, also keeping in mind, if it's relevant here, that he has a Lore specialty in "the Exalted."
It's surprisingly easy for Austringer to pick out one or two more Lunars in the few minutes since the party arrived at this vista: they have moonsilver tattoos. But the vast majority of activity seems to be beastmen, or, in some cases, humans. The humans look universally downtrodden, and the LUCKY ones are merely bent-backed servants or slaves hustling about on whatever duties they have as they try to stay out of the way of the clear masters of this place.

Let me review some notes, and I'll get back to you on any specifics about Lunars present that might be relevant and notable.

Austringer:
Austringer doesn't have any dots in War, either, despite being mostly a combat specialist.  However, he can turn into a lot of stuff- his Heart's Blood library has everything from a tyrant lizard to a platypus to "a generic Eastern barbarian."  Also, he has Life of the Hummingbird and Prey's Skin Disguise, meaning he can potentially double almost anyone or anything in the scene we need him to, assuming he can drink the heart's blood unobtrusively somehow.

So we have at least one potential spy or infiltrator, if needs be.


Just to review what I believe the party's goals are, here: Do something about MHS's constant slave raiding (possibly persuade him to stop?); rescue or do reconnaissance for a rescue of the prisoners here; discover if Austringer really has a personal vendetta against MHS, and if so, how deep it runs; get as many of the people as they can out of here alive.

Am I missing anything? Are any of those not on your "to-do" list for this excursion?
Merlin
 player, 454 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sat 16 Apr 2016
at 01:00
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Merlin has no illusions about getting any large number free. He is HOPING that they can get the current lot that belongs to the 'Duke' back.....most of that as a 'professional favor'. Beyond that getting MHS to stop attacking in that direction would be a bonus.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 770 posts
Tue 19 Apr 2016
at 16:20
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
It takes a bit to realize what he's seeing, but Austringer is able to pick out four shaman-types working their way around the breeding pits, performing some sort of periodic ritual blessings on various captives being...selected...from them, and in one case helping with what looks to be a rather difficult birth. The three are heavily shrouded in pelts, which hides most of their features, but the specifics of some of the ritual behaviors called to mind some of the training in the Silver Way he received. When he finally gets a glimpse of one when a gust of wind blows the wolf-head hood back, he sees not only that its no beastman, but that the figure is tattooed and bears a hollow silver circle on his forehead.

It's unclear if the others are similar, or are more mortal shamanic priests, but their manner of dress does stand out in its similarity.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 427 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 20 Apr 2016
at 17:36
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 22):

Pretty much.
Peddles
 player, 17 posts
Wed 11 May 2016
at 12:49
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Segev:  Peddles has instigated the Deceptive Plan you and I discussed.  She outlined the plan to Beatrix privately, including letting Bea know what she really is.

Therefore currently, she is being quietly cheerful and helpful, pulling a seemingly endless supply of medicines and snacks from her pack as needed for the refugees/hostages and her party.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 785 posts
Mon 15 Aug 2016
at 03:14
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
My apologies to all for my sudden disappearance again. This last week, I have a personal reasons excuse for, but not for the week prior. I'll try to get up replies tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience!
Merlin
 player, 461 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Sun 18 Sep 2016
at 23:37
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
I apologize for my disappearance.

Will catch up ASAP.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 793 posts
Wed 12 Oct 2016
at 14:19
Re: OOC Thread: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Mostly posting just to say I'm still around. We're approaching the holiday season, and that often wreaks havoc with posting schedules, but I am still interested in running if people are still interested in playing. In fact, if I can coincide the rejoining of Alistr to the party with the party meeting up with Ma Ha Suchi (assuming they manage to get past the She-Goat Who Builds Paper Barriers of Impenetrable Bureaucracy), it will hopefully reveal some interesting questions to the PCs.