[IC] In Ballarad.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 28 posts
 Storyteller
 Keeper of the Weird
Tue 12 Sep 2017
at 04:20
[IC] In Ballarad
Five years ago, in the Steadfast nation of Navarene, the Jade Colossus emerged from the earth in the town of Ballarad.  Quite literally in the town, as parts of it were utterly wrecked from the structure's arrival.  But the town has survived, rebuilt, grown, and now thrives on the explorers who attempt to map the Colossus and bring out its wonders.  In the town there are many factions, two that stand out: The Jade Protectors believe all relics found within the Colossus deserve to be studied, preserved, and protected.  The Heritors of the Jade Colossus believes anything found there should be used.  Though the Jade Protectors are also part of the ruling Salvation Council of Ballarad, it doesn't stop both factions from sending their own explorers into the Colossus to protect, or extract, everything they can.

The enormity of the Colossus makes this possible.  While in five years some areas into the Colossus have been mapped, and some massive relics discovered (The Mouth of Exultation, Hand of Fury, the Eye of Transcendence, amongst other, lesser-known massive body parts), there is still so much more to be explored that it makes a being's head spin.

One does not even need to use the Midnight Gate to gain entrance, though it is by certain the safest route.  But safe is not the only way to power, money, glory, or discovery.

All of you have gotten together at the Five Voices inn, at the behest of a young man with an intense demeanor, hair like plant tendrils, and eyes that glow a faint green.  He's known to all of you as Emerald, and from little you know of him, that is not the name given to him at birth.  Emerald had accosted your group as you had emerged from a recent trek into the Colossus by the well-known Wranna's Way, stopping you by the simple expedient of offering you a midnight stone (a form of contained void energy with a number of surprising effects if broken) and begging you to hear him out.

The Five Voices inn has several half-secluded pods to ensure privacy, curtained by thin, movable walls which seem to deaden the surrounding crowd noise from the otherwise busy inn.

Now the table was covered with platters of fried airfish, frillgrass noodles with a frothy berry sauce, bowls of savory, aromatic giant bean paste with raw spears of pinkish ves root to dip in it, and a collection of tiny ripe green melons with edible silver seeds.  Emerald has been fidgeting with a device on his wrist, a soft green synth-and-cable item that made soft popping sounds as he toyed with strumming the cables at differing speeds.

"I know of you, by reputation at least.  I know you know a thing or three about the Colossus and I-.  Well, I have something I need investigated.  I have a... workshop in the Wreckage," he says, naming a part of Ballarad where the Colossus emerged, a tangle of destroyed buildings that is half-abandoned, half slum and hideaway for those who don't wish to be found.  "I was studying things that had, well, spalled off the Colossus.  Sometimes it was just whatever material makes up the Colossus.  Sometimes it was something else.  This time, I had found something which triggered some bright beams of light.  I managed to turn them off again, but not an hour later, my workshop was invaded.  I scarcely saw the thieves, as they were well-concealed beyond belief, but I had a cypher that let me track my prize!  I followed that to the edge of the Colossus itself, and then I saw several winged creatures, no bigger than I, swoop down upon those sneaky little thieves."

Emerald pauses in his recitation and twists his other wrist.  "I have been stolen from twice.  My prize was taken by the winged things into a far-flung arm of the Colossus, and there my tracker could no longer penetrate.  But!" he says, looking excited, "It showed me one thing before it stopped working: a new way inside.  That is my offer to you.  If you will undertake to bring me back my prize, I will show you a new way into the Colossus, never before trod by human feet."

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:08, Fri 17 Nov 2017.

Guddus
 Nano, 7 posts
 Obsessive Nano who
 Talks to Machines
Tue 12 Sep 2017
at 13:12
[IC] In Ballarad
"Hmm..." Guddus says as he looks around at the group, "another way into the Colossus. It would be nice to be able to leave without any found items absconded by the Protectors and uselessly stuffed into some museum."

He then turns back to gazing at the device on Emerald's wrist that he has been fiddling with. Guddus has made no overtures toward partaking in any of the delectables in the spread on the table. "I would very much like to pursue this new way in, but of course it would be contingent on the agreement of the rest of the party, as clearly I don't have the fortitude to take on a number of winged creatures on my own." He raises his eyebrows, or rather, the skin on his forehead where his eyebrows would have been had he had them. "You also mentioned a 'midnight stone' you are willing to give us?"
Lassa Crim
 Jack, 27 posts
 Might 12 Speed 12
 Intellect 14
Tue 12 Sep 2017
at 13:21
[IC] In Ballarad
"That sounds amazing, a new way in. We could map whole new sections. These flying creatures what did they look like? How did they attack the original thieves? Every little bit of information could be helpful to us. I say we go for it and help this person get their property back."

"Perhaps this is a bit too personal, but Emerald the green glow to your eyes did that come from some exposure to the Jade Colossus?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:29, Wed 13 Sept 2017.

Emerald
Wed 13 Sep 2017
at 16:43
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Guddus:
"Hmm..." Guddus says as he looks around at the group, "another way into the Colossus. It would be nice to be able to leave without any found items absconded by the Protectors and uselessly stuffed into some museum."

He then turns back to gazing at the device on Emerald's wrist that he has been fiddling with. Guddus has made no overtures toward partaking in any of the delectables in the spread on the table. "I would very much like to pursue this new way in, but of course it would be contingent on the agreement of the rest of the party, as clearly I don't have the fortitude to take on a number of winged creatures on my own." He raises his eyebrows, or rather, the skin on his forehead where his eyebrows would have been had he had them. "You also mentioned a 'midnight stone' you are willing to give us?"


"Ah, yes, yes.  The large one I found was near where my prize entered the Colossus, and I am willing to give it to you as a down payment, if you will," Emerald says.

OOC: Midnight stones are green-black stones that look like the same hard "synth" material that the Jade Colossus is made from.  They contain void matter, and can be used to power devices, or drain them, heal someone, or mutate them.  Their effects seem random, but skilled people with a strong will can direct their effects.  Midnight stones are common throughout the Jade Colossus, but are obviously less so on the more heavily-traveled areas.

Lassa Crim:
"That sounds amazing, a new way in. We could map whole new sections. These flying creatures what did they look like? How did they attack the original thieves? Every little bit of information could be helpful to us. I say we go for it and help this person get their property back."


"If you will come back and tell me what you found, I would gladly pay for that information as well.  Now, the thieves were well-camouflaged, but quite small, perhaps knee-high to me.  The flying creatures were larger, but not much more than a child, though their wings made them look somewhat bigger.  The flying creatures swooped down upon the thieves from on high, trying to snatch my prize, until one finally succeeded.  They tried to retreat back into the Colossus when one of the thieves managed to wound one of the slower fighting creatures.  I didn't see a weapon or a cypher, so perhaps the thief had claws.  At any rate, it struck the creature, and it just fell to the ground, shaking and shivering.  I think some of the thieves must have crept closer, even though I couldn't see them, because suddenly the flying thing leaped into the air and began to lay about with fang and claw and hideous screeching.  The other flying creatures fled very quickly, and I believe the thieves did too, because there were some skittering sounds.  I fled as well, and in a few moments, the screeching cut off very sharply.  I don't know if the flying creature was killed or just fled."  Emerald produces a few discordant notes from the device on his wrist, hanging in the air like sour fruit and sad songs, and abruptly clamps his hand over the thing.

quote:
"Perhaps this is a bit too personal, but Emerald the green glow to your eyes did that come from some exposure to the Jade Colossus?"


"That?  No, no.  Just a side-effect from some items I was working on.  I was working with a plant spore and trying to grow an unusual plant... well, no need to bore you with the details of my research.  So, what about the rest of you, do you have interest in my proposal?" he asks.
Lassa Crim
 Jack, 29 posts
 Might 12 Speed 12
 Intellect 14
Wed 13 Sep 2017
at 16:48
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
"Oh, interesting I just think your eyes looked pretty like that. It doesn't seem boring though I understand your focus is on getting back what was taken. What was taken by the way ?"

Lassa was obviously excited to be part of an actual adventure.
Niall who Moves the World
 Nano, 5 posts
 Graceful
 Mind Over Matter
Wed 13 Sep 2017
at 17:15
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Niall enters a little late, but settles down at the table to hear the young man's proposal. The dust between the boards rises up into wisps near his worn boots. The liquid in his small horn cup spins idly. Only the spoon rotates hovering just above the table's surface.

He listens carefully to Emerald's hopes to recover his work. Niall worries a bit about the man's eyes as well and his reply is only somewhat mollifying. In the end, Niall agrees with Guddus.

"I would love to explore a new part of the Colossus. Retrieving something that would earn us some shin would be nice. I understand there are some thieves that took your work and flying creatures that took it from the thieves. It would be helpful if you could provide some form of drawing to help us identify the flying creatures that actually have your work."

"About that...are there precautions we need to take to protect ourselves from the items that were stolen?"

Game Master
 GM, 31 posts
 Storyteller
 Keeper of the Weird
Thu 14 Sep 2017
at 12:46
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Lassa Crim:
"Oh, interesting I just think your eyes looked pretty like that. It doesn't seem boring though I understand your focus is on getting back what was taken. What was taken by the way ?"

Lassa was obviously excited to be part of an actual adventure.


Emerald blinks at Lassa for a moment, then brightens.  Literally, his eyes glow a bit brighter when he speaks.  “Oh yes!  I have a picture – made it for my notes, of course.”  He brings out a thin sheet of white, opaque synth, with a precisely rendered drawing in black and white of a cluster of regular crystals set in a quadruple helix pattern, the whole of it capped with larger crystals on the top and bottom.  A few hair-fine wavy lines emanate from it at random points.  “My prize,” he says proudly.  “It’s about half a cubit long, weighs as much as an aneen heart, and it’s warm to the touch.  There should be, unless those flying creatures managed to dislodge something, a round nodule on one end.  That is the tracking cypher I put on it.  I wasn’t meant to last more than a day, so I don’t expect it to still be active when you go inside, but I will give you the companion piece to it regardless, just in case some of the latent energy may have extended its usefulness.”  He’ll spend a moment showing you what seems to be a plane of glass, and will explain that the tracker, if still active, will show up as a yellow dot that will illuminate its surroundings in a simple map upon the glass.

OOC:  Emerald’s “prize” is about eight inches long, and weighs about 25 pounds.

An aneen is a common pack and riding animal in the Ninth World.  Think of an ostrich.  But it’s fifteen feet tall.  Instead of feathers, smooth brown cowhide.  No long neck.  The neck and face of a cow with long, floppy ears.  No tail.  Tiny T-Rex arms.  That’s an aneen.


Niall who Moves the World:
Niall enters a little late, but settles down at the table to hear the young man's proposal. The dust between the boards rises up into wisps near his worn boots. The liquid in his small horn cup spins idly. Only the spoon rotates hovering just above the table's surface.

He listens carefully to Emerald's hopes to recover his work. Niall worries a bit about the man's eyes as well and his reply is only somewhat mollifying. In the end, Niall agrees with Guddus.

"I would love to explore a new part of the Colossus. Retrieving something that would earn us some shin would be nice. I understand there are some thieves that took your work and flying creatures that took it from the thieves. It would be helpful if you could provide some form of drawing to help us identify the flying creatures that actually have your work."

"About that...are there precautions we need to take to protect ourselves from the items that were stolen?"


Emerald taps his chin, then strums a few of the strands of the device on his wrist.  A scratchy, monochromatic picture forms briefly in the air, showing a scrawny winged humanoid at a distance.  Its arms and hands are its wings, so as the picture swoops, it tries to grasp something with its long-toed feet.  The picture doesn't have enough detail to see much else, but the silhouette is distinctive.

"That's the best image I was able to capture.  Now, as for my prize, you'd be advised to wear gloves, put it in a bag, and try to touch it as little as possible.  I know the temptation may be great, but please, I need it intact and at full power."
Guddus
 Nano, 9 posts
 Obsessive Nano who
 Talks to Machines
Thu 14 Sep 2017
at 13:13
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Guddus gazes at the instrument on Emerald's wrist and marvels at its ability to project the image. After a few seconds he tears his attention away from the device.

"Very well," he says nodding to Lassa and Niall, "provided the rest of our party is in agreement, we will be willing to retrieve this item for you. Once we receive the 'down payment' you've assured us, of course.

"I am curious as to why you are not considering retrieving it yourself. From your accounts, the thieves and winged creatures are smaller than you. Do you not consider yourself well equipped to challenge them physically? Rather, if it is about your inability to reach the arm, how do you suppose we would be able to reach it? If you have something that could assist us in reaching the arm if it requires flight to do so, that would be much appreciated."

Game Master
 GM, 32 posts
 Storyteller
 Keeper of the Weird
Thu 14 Sep 2017
at 13:54
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
"No, it is more a matter of... science.  And society.  For one, an uncharted way into the Colossus is bound to be dangerous.  I am no warrior.  I believe I could solve some riddles of the numenera inside, but I am more scholar than explorer.  Shall I use a cypher to descend to some deep level in search of my prize and find myself trapped and unable to get up, with no one to aid me?  Shall I go with you, an established group of explorers, and get in your way, causing us all harm?  And most importantly, I have some rivals who explore within the Colossus.  If they face you, they would back down.  If they were to see me?  They would go out of their way to cause me trouble.  I see no need to borrow more trouble than I can handle.  I leave that to the hands and minds of the experts," Emerald says, raising an eyebrow at you and nodding.
Lassa Crim
 Jack, 31 posts
 Might 12 Speed 12
 Intellect 14
Thu 14 Sep 2017
at 13:57
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Lassa smiles and looks at the drawing. She tries to keep it in her mind then holds out one of her hands trying to make a 3D presentation of the device and works with Emerald to try and get the image as close as possible. She tries the same thing with the flying creatures.

She then listened as Guddus and Emerald spoke of why they were being hired.

"I thought, that may have been the case." Then to Guddus, "Do you know how the voidstones work ?"
Niall who Moves the World
 Nano, 7 posts
 Graceful
 Mind Over Matter
Fri 15 Sep 2017
at 01:10
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Niall looks the creatures over carefully hoping he will be able to recall the image later. The dust near his feet starts forming a vaguely winged shape. It's not very clear and it dissipates as soon as he turns his attention away from the image.

He is satisfied with Emerald's answer, and nods in agreement with Guddus, "I'd like to go along as well."
Lassa Crim
 Jack, 32 posts
 Might 12 Speed 12
 Intellect 14
Sat 16 Sep 2017
at 15:42
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Lassa looked excited, "This is going to be great."
Guddus
 Nano, 10 posts
 Obsessive Nano who
 Talks to Machines
Sat 16 Sep 2017
at 17:36
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Guddus turns to Lassa. "Yes, well it is also going to be potentially dangerous. I suppose that would give me opportunity to learn how the voidstone works. Though that may not be the best time for a learning curve."

He then looks to the rest of the group. "Shall we consider the undertaking of this mission as approved by majority decision?"
Niall who Moves the World
 Nano, 8 posts
 Graceful
 Mind Over Matter
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 00:26
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Niall cants his head to the side, looks over the group, then replies, "Majority? It seemed like it was unanimous to me."
Guddus
 Nano, 11 posts
 Obsessive Nano who
 Talks to Machines
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 01:26
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Guddus nods dismissively to Niall. "Yes, well then unanimous it is." He turns back to Emerald. "We have agreed to this undertaking and to your terms. You will provide us with the stone, we will retrieve your prize and return it to you, then you will show us this newly found passage into the Colossus."

He rises from his seat at the table, never having taken any the food from the spread before him. "Show us the arm of the Colossus to where these winged creatures fled."
Game Master
 GM, 33 posts
 Storyteller
 Keeper of the Weird
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 02:34
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
"Ah!" Emerald says, looking pleased.  He brings out the midnight stone, as big as two fists, and places it on the table.  "I will serve you twice at once, as I believe my prize went inside the new entrance.  Now, as I cannot take that knowledge from you once I give it, and while I'm certain you are honorable people, as I've heard nothing to the contrary and you are known around here, there is the rub that once I give you the entrance, there is no particular reason to return my prize, other than your honor.  But!  I believe in honor.  And I believe in your honor.  So for the sake of that honor, if you say you will return my prize to me, then I send you willingly."

He hands over the companion tracer piece to Guddus, and then takes out a dossi scale (a dossi being a large quadriped with large thin, flat scales, raised for its meat, milk, and its ubiquitous scales) with a careful path etched upon it.  "This is a path from the door of this inn, through the Wreckage, away from the Midnight Gate, and around to the entrance I discovered.  If the tracker is still active once you are inside, it can guide you further to the prize."  Emerald will bow to each of you, and push away from the table, intending to go if no one else has anything further to ask.
Lassa Crim
 Jack, 33 posts
 Might 12 Speed 12
 Intellect 14
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 07:33
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
"Don't worry Emerald if it is at all possible to get your artifact back we shall do so. You gave us the primary mission the call to adventure."

Lassa smiled to Emerald.

She looked to her companions.

"Lets gather what we might need then pick a place to meet. Maybe even leave the settlement seperatly to draw less attention."
Guddus
 Nano, 12 posts
 Obsessive Nano who
 Talks to Machines
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 12:58
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
Guddus looks at Lassa the quickly studies the spread on the table before him, which he had hardly paid attention to throughout their meeting.

"I have everything I need save for some food for our travels. I believe some of this may keep for a couple days." He peruses the various items and picks through the melons and spears, stuffing them in a small box, then placing the box in his bag.

"I'm not sure what all you need, Lassa. I am anxious to make our journey, so whatever it is you need, hopefully you can obtain it in short order. We are a small party; I'm doubtful that we will draw much attention when so many are focused on getting in and out of the Colossus itself. We are more likely to draw attention if we tarry. My suggestion would be that we get whatever it is we need on our way out of town. Would you agree, Niall, or do you have a different thought?"
Lassa Crim
 Jack, 34 posts
 Might 12 Speed 12
 Intellect 14
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 13:12
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
"I just need to stop by my tent. To gather my things. Won't take long at all."

She ate some of the meal happily and took some along with her to eat later.

When she got to her home she made sure to strap on her rapier and got her crossbow.
She made sure everything was packed and slung her back pack on before seeking out the others.
Lavan Unbreakable
 Glaive, 1 post
 Tough
 Masters Defense
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 18:22
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
"I'm in too. If you want me."  The big ugly man had deep basso voice.  "Might as well see if I can't earn a little while we're at it."
Lassa Crim
 Jack, 35 posts
 Might 12 Speed 12
 Intellect 14
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 18:27
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
"Of course, wow you look like a glaive." She then smiled, "Always a welcome addition to a group."
Lavan Unbreakable
 Glaive, 2 posts
 Tough
 Masters Defense
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 18:53
Re: [IC] In Ballarad
"Lassa?  Lassa Crim?"  He holds out a hand.  "No hard feelings about last time?"