Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew.   Posted by the Creator.Group: 0
Timaria
 PC, 14 posts
 ???
 Ranger, Rogue
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 19:17
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Timaria spends a few hours window shopping, but doesn't buy anything, and returns to the ship afterwards.

Honestly, I have no idea what I might need.
Perophi
 PC, 12 posts
Sun 5 Feb 2017
at 20:25
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
{Retropunk Theme Song : LazerHawk - King of the Streets]

The passing days increases the khobold's excitement to no end, and his frequent pacing on the ship's deck becomes a familiar sight, as is his constant pinching of his beard.  At night, he measures the stars, eager for their progress, and his memory for them is great, so that he and the navigator talk shop, and it seems there are few stars with which he lacks acquaintance.

So frequent are his passes onto the deck, that even the heavy storm does not dissuade him from his nightly pacing.  He gains a reputation for a strange trait, then:  the water falls away from him, leaving his fine clothes dry and untouched.

"Aye, it is magic, " he admits.  "I sweated and suffered in the wilds for years for that 'small' trick!"

OOC:  He made his save.

At dock, the gregarious wizard cannot pass up an opportunity for profit.  "You need your power restored?" he asks, coyly.  "Then I could give you a measure, by the Earth!  Let us bargain."  Rubbing his hands together, he jumps to it, and warning Timaria and the Princess to leave this troublesome matter to his less than humble hands.

OOC:  Using Trading.

In terms of trade goods, he buys a Power Stone and a dose of Purple Lotus, which he dries and puts into his Trickstaff.  If there is time, he gets out and visits the city's temple of the Good Earth.
the Creator
 GM, 168 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Fri 10 Feb 2017
at 06:38
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
I apologize for the latest delay. I have no excuse. I'll make certain to get another post which resolves this part of the journey out tomorrow.
the Creator
 GM, 169 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 04:47
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Luca and Chen encounter small groups of travelers and pilgrims praying quietly at both temples. There are some differences in this city from the Good Earth temples that Luca knows, but the differences are not significant. Here, the religion of the Good Earth is less nature oriented and more structured in its worship practices. A beautiful mural in the Good Earth temple depicts the Dragon (intelligent spirit of the universe itself) overlooking the city's skyline like a guardian. Namo, the Sidhe spirit who awoke the Dragon in legend, is not mentioned. A smaller fresco depicts heroes of the First Age representing different races who -- guided by the Dragon -- rebel against their Death Horde slave masters. Luca notices that the artist's depiction of the Death Horde soldiers is completely wrong.

At the agnostic shrine, Chen meets with a group of caravan merchants traveling from Rotath (the next city on the group's route). The merchants travel with some guards who practice Black Wyrm martial arts and are competent but not on Chen's level. They share news of the political situation in Rotath and what the group can expect there when arriving.

Timaria has good time stretching her legs in the dark city streets despite the weather. In one dark corner, she is almost pickpocketed by a local scoundrel. He picked the wrong target. Timaria ends up walking away with all of her possessions, his coin purse, his set of lock picks, and an ivory smoking pipe.

Perophi gets a chance to show of his skill, haggling with the sea captain. The crafty adventurer ends up securing the bloodstones and ironwood for himself and Luca at half of the captain's asking prices. To the party's supplies, we may add an ignot of Ironwood (about half the size of a toaster) and a small sack full of uncut bloodstones. In the right port, reselling these exotic items could turn a large profit, or they could just be kept and hoarded.

Everyone may add this captain to their Contacts list if they like.

P.S. I had not thought of stuffing the trick stick with a purple lotus. This should work fairly well (and comically) if used offensively. Inhaling the dried and crushed lotus will involve a Constitution Saving Throw to avoid falling asleep, and a very pleasant buzz either way.
the Creator
 GM, 170 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 05:32
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
After the storm finally breaks, the Surfdancer II is able to shove off and continue its journey westward. The next leg of the journey is uneventful and more gentle. The ship sails past many insignificant fishing villages. After another week of sailing, the winds finally bring the ship to the great walled city-state of Rotath.

Rotath is a vital fulcrum of trade for the Second Age, connecting the great continent to the more civilized world. Dark gods are worshiped here, both out of fear and out of respect. The infamous Shadowhawk Guild has established its headquarters in this city, and from here it teaches apprentice mages the arts of Battlemagic, Astromancy, Necromancy and others. This is the second largest and most advanced school for magic in the known world after the Collegium in Zengara. Black Wyrm dojos also thrive here wherein secret masters instruct their hand-picked students in the darkest martial arts. No temples to the Good Earth exist here, only temples of the Dark Earth religion. Ironically, street crime is lowest here among all the great city-states because those with power brutally keep it in check except when very expensive bribes are paid.

Geographically, the terrain turns much dryer here. The desert rocks are visible in the distance in the continent's interior. The great Jaffir-Joffa river empties here into the Sea of Storms. The party's path takes them upriver from here, but your ship's skipper advises that her ship cannot sail up this river due to untamed cataracts. Either a series of ferries can carry the party upriver, or someone can invest in camels to walk the river bank.

The mostly human population is known for being hardy soldiers and fine sailors but also for being superstitious. The city is ruled by the mysterious Sand Kings who never appear in public but act through the city guard. Members of the Shadowhawk Guild, wealthy merchants (including slave traders) enjoy life near the top of the social ladder. Mercenaries (both land and naval) and priests of the Dark Earth are not farther down that ladder. There is a significant minority of slaves inhabiting the city, but most manual labor is performed by undead.

Rotath is a city of pyramids. There is official artwork for this place, but it isn't very detailed. These two landscape pieces I found on Deviant Art come close enough:

http://www.deviantart.com/brow...ramids&offset=45

http://silinde-ar-feiniel.devi...-of-Helion-654749829
Luca
 PC, 39 posts
 Sidhe
 Sorceror,???
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 16:40
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
For once, Luca shows little interest in going about the city.  Surrounded by slaves and worse, she stays to the docks near the ship where mixed company serves to at least somewhat dilute the atmosphere of the city.  She does occasionally grumble about the Shadowhawk Guild and their "academic dishonesty".  There appear to be some issues between said guild and the Collegium on matters of who discovered what and when - and the kind that end in explosions rather than just heated words.
Timaria
 PC, 15 posts
 ???
 Ranger, Rogue
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 23:24
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Timaria was the first one off the ship, though she didn't go far, as she took to directing the placement of the groups supplies after they were unloaded. She was careful not to direct the crew on how to unload, but she did tell them where she needed it. This would allow her to organize things for the best placement and distribution during their journey.

I had asked the princess a question during my intro, and never received an answer. I would need that information now please? Where are we going? What is our final destination?
Luca
 PC, 40 posts
 Sidhe
 Sorceror,???
Wed 15 Feb 2017
at 00:06
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
In reply to Timaria (msg # 26):

OOC: I... don't actually know where we're going.  I know it was said at some point, but Timaria would have the same map as everyone else (according to the first post).  I assume it's to explore some ruins and look for lost lore/tech.

One thing she would pick up early on is that it's meant to be a quiet expedition.  There isn't a huge baggage train or a lot of servants, with an eye toward not standing out too much, being waylaid, and held for ransom.

Perophi
 PC, 13 posts
Wed 15 Feb 2017
at 02:19
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
OOC:  Here is the current plot I thought?


Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)

(Quoting GM)
Here is how I see things shake out. Luca has been developing and teaching the lost techno-science of sorcery, but she has exhausted all of her source without find any complete higher order spells. Enter Chen who has been wandering the Dragon's Peninsula and learning all he can about local martial arts. During his travels, he learns about a remote mountain range in which an old Death Horde research station was located. Chen even has a map gifted to him from an elderly martial artist of Gargoyle blood. The mountain range lies across a great desert but nearby the city-state of Amalax. The party may brave the dark streets of a city ruled by an evil immortal wizard since the First Age, and if they do, a guide can be hired to take them through the trade caravan routes of the desert. If they prefer to trailblaze, the infamous desert known as the Shifting Sands awaits with unknown hazards. Fortunately, they know a guy (a girl). Timaria has contacts in both the theives' guild of Alamax and among the band of rangers who have traveled the desert before. The mountain was inhabited by Khazaks during the First Age right up until the Weirding Wars which ended that age. (We are currently in the Second Age). Their distant relations still lay a claim to hollow mountain, and Perophi has documentation to prove that he is its rightful heir. The mountain range remained uninhabited for thousands of years until a tribe of Gargoyles settled there. At this Gargoyle community, they practice a martial art unique to Gargoyle-kind, and this should interest Chen greatly.

So, Luca is looking to gain new insight in Sorcery. Chen can learn about an entirely new martial art tradition. Perophi might reclaim his birthright. Tamaria would get paid just for making some introductions.


This message was last edited by the player at 02:23, Wed 15 Feb.

Chen Zen
 PC, 64 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 ZenMaster,WitchHuntr
Wed 15 Feb 2017
at 03:43
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Chen turns his nose up at the fact that the city is so unbalanced, and fights his urge to start eliminating the undead they see. Chen will work on the ship, unloading with Timaria, and making sure no one that the group doesn't want near them gets near them. He is an imposing figure to be sure.
the Creator
 GM, 171 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Sun 19 Feb 2017
at 08:16
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
By sticking to themselves mostly and carefully avoiding the more dangerous parts of the city, the group is able to pass through Rotath without incident. Biting their tongues around the locals seems to be working.

Because the expedition is traveling light and has already used most of its supplies on the boat ride, renting a few camels will suffice from here. The journey upriver leads them away from Rotath and into the Wastes. The river valley is bountiful with many small farms around them, but on the horizon is every direction is barren blasted ground. Within another two days, they reach the gates of the final city-state on their map.

For mood, you may see Map for Groups 1 and 5 while listening to this theme:
https://youtu.be/gl8w-cMqNfI?list=RDZeZL2R9jDJM

The river brings you to the gates of Amalax. This walled city-state is the last vestiage of civilization before the wilderness of the Shifting Sands and the unnamed mountains beyond. In fact, the mountain peaks can barely been seen to the west on the horizon.

AMALAX
Population: 50,000
Human: 33%
Others: 67%
The city was so named in the early First Age as an anagram for the name of the city’s paranoid founder, the great Shadar wizard Maalax, who refused to directly lend his
magickal name to the city for fear of his being “named” by all those who said the city’s name. At this stage of history, Maalax still rules within these walls as an unaging king of flesh and blood.

Whereas Rotath was a city of pyramids, Amalax is a city of ziggarauts. These stepped structures poke out above great city wells, fifty feet thick at their bases. Beautiful green gardens cover many of the these steps. Travelers pass through the busy city gate (there is only one) in waves.

The population is composed of a few races. Humans, Demonians, Taurans, and Sauran all live here. The Humans have a distinctive look about them in their elaborate clothing and headresses. The Taurans (minotaurs) don't bother wearing much at all, but some of them do have Alamaxan beards. Demonians (elf-like creatures with dark blue complexion and horns) are the least numerous but hold positions of importance among the city's clergy and its warriors. The Saurans are a race which is new to some of the player-characters, a rugged species of reptilians who look more like geckos than men. Most of the Saurans are dressed like barbarians and leading lizard-like pack animals called Slors. The gate guards are Saurans also. No other Khobolds nor Nezar Ethans are here. There are also no gargoyles here either.

The party will need a guide to lead it through the Shifting Sands.
the Creator
 GM, 173 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Wed 22 Feb 2017
at 06:18
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Anyone who wants to remain outside of the city walls and camp near the gate may do so. Someone needs to go inside in order to find the guide who will lead the party through the shifting sands.

When the PCs pass through the city gates, they find that the guards take no action to limit anyones access to the city. Those who are aware of their own reserves (Perophi, Luca, and Chen Zen) will notice that they each lose a single Power Point (or Ki Point) when they pass through the city gate. This magic drain is a tax which is gathered automatically from all who enter the city by the artificed gate.

The inside of the city is quite beautiful with many gardens and parks, marble-paved roads, and city guards with gleaming polished bronze weapons on every corner. Songbirds of unfamiliar species gather gather on every rooftop and zigurat terrace. Merchants in shaded alcoves sell Amalaxian rugs, Rotathian silk robes, and gemstones from the desert.

Perophi (if he goes into the city) notices something unusual about a statue. The statue is a portrait of a Maalax, the city's immortal ruler. The statue stands in the intersection of two roads. The statues hands are formed into a gesture which is familiar to Perophi. It's the same Gesture of Power that he performs when casting the spell of the same name.

Chen Zen (if he goes into the city) notices a demonstration held in one of the city's parks. A martial artist is showing off some moves. The artist, a Demonian male, is clearly performing moves from the Black Wyrm school of combat. One move he shows off is one of the few disciplines which Chen doesn't already know. It's called the Venom Stare. When the martial artist does this, he channels his Ki through his own eyes and towards a victim. The victim of the attack is stuck in place as if glued to the ground for as long as the stare is maintained.

Luca (if she goes into the city) is attracted by the draw of magic to the alcove of one of the rug merchants. A very old Demonian woman is there, pedaling rugs and tapestries higher quality than her competitors. Also, some of her rugs are magic. She has two small Carpets of Flying, one in blue and one in orange. She is asking 500,000 silver for each.

Timaria (if she goes into the city) soon finds a small office rented by the Order of Sylvan Specialists. Inside this tiny office space, she finds a comfortable room in which members spend their time waiting to be hired or waiting for orders to be issued. Her contact, a lanky Sauran male named Slysilslathus (or Sly for short), is waiting here for her.

If anyone remains outside the city, they will be approached by beggars very soon. These pathetic-looking humans claim that they were residents of this city and loyal servants of the Dark Earth Temple until recently. Then the god-king banished their families for no reason. They need money to make a pilgrimage to Rotath where they hope to start new lives.
Luca
 PC, 41 posts
 Sidhe
 Sorceror,???
Wed 22 Feb 2017
at 13:35
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Luca was reluctant to enter the city - unaging sorcerer kings were not known for their benevolence, as a rule.  However, necessity eventually pushed her in with a party to search for a guide.  She spent a little time browsing the market as others negotiated, making note of the rugs, but not having the small fortune required to purchase one of them on hand.

Instead, she purchased a few small baubles and left it at that.
Chen Zen
 PC, 65 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 ZenMaster,WitchHuntr
Wed 22 Feb 2017
at 17:32
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Chen will approach the martial artist, giving a polite half bow, "That technique is not one I have seen in my travels, would it be possible for me to study with you, for a while. My friends and I are passing through. It would be an honor, if you would allow me."
the Creator
 GM, 174 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Mon 27 Feb 2017
at 08:11
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
The other martial artist eyes Chen Zen up and down. The Nazar Ethan's toned and bronze physique makes him difficult to dismiss. Indeed, Chen seems to be gathering as much attention from the crowd without doing anything as the performer does showing off.

The Dark Wyrm martial artist finally says, "Seeking new students is the entire reason I was sent to perform here. Learning this technique will take weeks. If you have the time, and if you have the coin, my teacher will show you his ways."

Sidenote: Chen does not have the weeks it would normally require to learn this technique. Being a Zen Master, however, he has an extensive background in copying techniques. If he makes a success Perception Save, he will be able to figure it out from what he has already observed. If he doesn't make the save, he has the option of staying in the city-state for a while after returning from the mountains and studying with the Black Wyrm martial artists then.b
Timaria
 PC, 17 posts
 ???
 Ranger, Rogue
Mon 27 Feb 2017
at 08:59
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Timaria enters the gate, and heads towards the Order of Sylvan Specialists, where she expects to meet her old friend Slysilslathus. As she enters she sees him there. "Sly you old lizard how are you doing!" She exclaims in genuine happiness to see him. "You still running from Kristhlious or has she finally gotten you to clutch with her?"

Kristhlious had been nagging Slysilslathus for years to settle down and provide her with offspring. The females selected their mates in his culture, and he had often been kidded by Timaria as to this. Saying that he would one day grow too slow to outrun her. Not that he was totally opposed to the idea.
Chen Zen
 PC, 66 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 ZenMaster,WitchHuntr
Mon 27 Feb 2017
at 12:50
Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Chen eyes the martial artist carefully, confidently, but not arrogantly. "Tell me how this looks sir." Chen mimics the movements the best he can, choosing the martial arts master to be the target of his technique.


07:49, Today: Chen Zen rolled 18 using 1d20.  perception check.
Perophi
 PC, 14 posts
Fri 3 Mar 2017
at 00:25
Re: Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
the Creator:
Perophi (if he goes into the city) notices something unusual about a statue. The statue is a portrait of a Maalax, the city's immortal ruler. The statue stands in the intersection of two roads. The statues hands are formed into a gesture which is familiar to Perophi. It's the same Gesture of Power that he performs when casting the spell of the same name.


The khobold leans on his staff, peering up blearily at the statue for some time.  "Most astounding, " he mutters, with unaccustomed softness.  In his experience, there is little good from meeting another of his kind.  They are too used to secrets and holding them, being protective at best and violent at worst.

But he considers... yes, a statue like this would be very nice in his own city one day.

He touches the statue briefly, almost reverently, but this is how Khobolds "feel" magic.  It is a fine thing, their delicate sense of touch, better than any human's by far.
the Creator
 GM, 175 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Sat 4 Mar 2017
at 06:59
Re: Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
The statue which Perophi touches is exceedingly mundane. It lacks any magic, and it is in need of some attention. It probably looked great when it was new, centuries ago.

Chen Zen mimicks the movement almost perfectly. He feels the ki turning dark as it reaches out towards his target and forms into a chain that pins the martial artist in his spot. The stranger after failing his own saving throw becomes rooted to the spot. He takes offense. "You already knew this technique! Why do you mock me? Release me now, or you will have the Order of the Desert Wyrms at your throat!"

Luca's baubles are particularly beautiful. The city has some very skilled glassblowers and coppersmiths.

***
The ranger is enthused to see Timaria. "Old friend, I welcome you to my homeland. You should try the grapes they grow here. We also have fried beetles, a fresh batch just arrived."

"As for the Krisliouiss, I believe there is an old human joke. I need not outrun a bear. I need only to outrun the other person running from the bear. Kristhlious caught a different mate, and she has two hatchlings already."

The ranger introduces a second Sauran. "This is her brother, Krasthlious. He will be following us and learning my ways." The younger Sauran is a shorter but remarkably broad in the shoulders. He probably weighs as much as the lanky Slysilslathus. Krasthlious is missing a hand, but it is already growing back, a testament to the regenerative abilities of his species.

Slysilslathus asks, "When would you like to leave?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:01, Sat 04 Mar.

Timaria
 PC, 18 posts
 ???
 Ranger, Rogue
Sat 4 Mar 2017
at 15:11
Re: Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Laughing at Slysilslathus's joke, she responds with a chuckling, "You may one day learn to regret that you let her catch another, for I know you fancied her. But enough about that, your apprentice eh?" Looking Krasthlious over, she indicates with her chin. "How did he lose the hand?" Her question didn't have any connotations of judgement, more idle curiosity.

As if remembering the question about when they were to leave she responds before they can answer. "Oh. We will be leaving as soon as the rest of the group have finished their business. I'll be able to tell you soon. Are there any reasons to delay on your part?"
Chen Zen
 PC, 67 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 ZenMaster,WitchHuntr
Sat 4 Mar 2017
at 18:25
Re: Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Chen arches an eyebrow, his bronze face otherwise expressionless. "Oh, I did NOT know the technique. It is rather basic. I watched you. I learned it. Do not let your ego cause you problems. Why would I mislead you about knowing a technique? I have nothing to gain... and please. Do not threaten me. The last to do so was a Jotunn and now lies dead in his icy crypt. If you wish to be released, it is simple. Say please." Chen did NOT take kindly to being threatened.
the Creator
 GM, 176 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 08:19
Re: Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
Chen Zen and the Black Wyrm martial artist are attempting to intimidate each other now. There is a game mechanic for this. It's called a Presence Attack. The Black Wyrm martial artist was sent out because he is very impressive (for a human) with a Presence of 14. Chen has a Presence attribute of 16. Each will roll a D20 saving throw with the target being their own Presence Save. The character who wins by the higher degree of success can cower the other.

03:11, Today: the Creator, for the NPC desert wyrm, rolled 11 using 1d20 ((11)).

The martial artist made his roll by 3 points.

Timaria is greeted with a prostate bow by a humbled Sauran. Kras confesses, "Noble Sylvan Specialist, I acted with foolishness. I and some other youths tracked a Bramble Beast in the Yellow Desert. Instead of leaving its destruction to the rangers, we attacked the monster ourselves. I lost merely a hand, the least price paid by any of us. My sister threatened to take the other, but she sent me away to serve Ranger Slysilslathus instead. This is my punishment for not knowing my place and endangering my nestmates. After one year and one day, my status will be reviewed, and then I will be judged on both my humility and my work."
Chen Zen
 PC, 68 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 ZenMaster,WitchHuntr
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 03:03
Re: Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
OOC dammit...
22:01, Today: Chen Zen rolled 19 using 1d20 ((19)).

Chen Zen takes a brief step back, "Very well, call me a liar again and all your desert worms can't save you." Chen intentionally said worm and not wyrm.
the Creator
 GM, 179 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Sun 12 Mar 2017
at 10:00
Re: Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
That's a good roll. Chen only had to roll a 5 or higher to save. The Presence Attack is explained in detail on Page 252 if anyone wants to look it up. Chen cleared his target number by 14 points. That becomes a modifier to the NPC's save, meaning that his success by 4 points becomes instead a failure by 9 points. The NPC is the one intimidated, and all of his actions are pushed back in initiative as a result. That's intimidated hesitation. If he lost by one more point, he would have lost his actions entirely for the entire round.

The martial artist seems to take Chen's threat seriously. He looks around for assistance from the crowd. Some members of the crowd slip away to hide, but no one comes to the martial artist's aid. The man hangs his head in shame and says, "I beg forgiveness, sir. I was mistaken to challenge you." The crowd gasps in surprise at this change in attitude.

Don't forget that Chen Zen just earned himself another Fate Point for learning something new about martial arts.

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:15, Sun 12 Mar.

Chen Zen
 PC, 70 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 ZenMaster,WitchHuntr
Sun 12 Mar 2017
at 16:08
Re: Act II, Scene 1: Journeys Anew
OOC I messed that all up lol Thanks for the clarification!

Chen gives the martial artist a half bow. Releasing him from the grasp of the power, "Thank you for realizing your mistake sir. You are free of my power, now please remember this meeting and the lesson you learned... Things are not always what they seem." Chen will give the crowd a polite half bow as well.