Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory.   Posted by Gatekeeper.Group: archive 1
Kares Perian
 player, 7 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2009
at 08:05
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"I certainly will meet them," Perian replies, "And as far as their manners go... you are somewhat more famous than I, Free. So it's to be expected that they'd ask for you. Still, we want allies, so it may be best not to, ah, impress them too much. And when they are ready to move, I'll bring our newmade friends along, so that we can cleanse the temple and the town together."

Perian does not bow before Free as he readies himself to leave the manse's sanctum. After all, once all are free, why grant another authority over yourself? On the other hand, Perian is a Celestial, and has served more than adequately as Free's face in the past.

"Besides, for all that they have set things in motion, they should not believe that we are at their beck and call. So if you meet them, Free, it is best to view them as another pack - worthy of respect if strong."


After his last exchange with Free, Perian heads towards the Vault. In order to skew the odds as far as possible in his favor, there are some stories and gifts he wishes to gather. And it would be rude, or possibly unhealthy, to force Volya to wait while he acquires supplies from Riven.

[Private to GM: The plan sounds workable.

I'll note that Social Combat can be rather slow, mechanics-wise. Each 'attack' costs 1 Loyalty (and Loyalty = Willpower), so it would take at least 5 rounds to overcome a moderate group (Willpower 5 is not hard to acquire). Assuming each attack succeeds, at that.

If you want to roll things ahead of time, or in batches, feel free.
]

This message was last edited by the player at 08:08, Wed 03 June 2009.

Gatekeeper
 GM, 941 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Sat 13 Jun 2009
at 23:58
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Free doesn't seem at all concerned about rank, so hardly even waves Perian off when it's his time to go. It's the Freerunners that have determined such things, not the man himself. He prefers to be more flexible. Though 'flexible' in some cases is interpreted as 'insane' by most mortal standards.

Yet he is a visionary, despite his quirks. Organization is needed to bring his whims to fruition -- but organization is not something he has a head or a care for. His 'children' have filled this role up until now, but if they ever overstepped their bounds, or betrayed his purposes, Perian has no doubt Free would kill them without remorse. That lack of hesitation is part of what makes Free so effective, and so frightening to some.
Gatekeeper
 GM, 942 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Sat 13 Jun 2009
at 23:59
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Walking away from the hearthroom, Perian makes his way to the local Freerunner Vault. The tunnels of Ama-Inu's Burrow wind confusingly, but he has long since memorized the proper number of turns, the protocols to pass secret doors and so on. Here, he is at home. Several Freerunners he recognizes, both beastman and human, meet his eyes as he passes, a quiet, gesture-less form of acknowledgement. The younger ones -- less careful, more personable -- even nod and smile, grateful for his efforts to help keep their organization fed and supplied.

The front facade of the Vault is a solid metal door embedded into the earth, and next to it a caged window of equally thick steel. Behind the window, Riven Shard sits at his desk, working, while a pair of Freerunner guards stands watch outside. One of them makes a half barking, half grunting noise, alerting Riven to rise from his chair. He is a rather dour, sharp-faced, hawk-nosed man of dark hair and noble stature, and leans toward the window to address Perian. "I have heard you will be heading out soon, Perian. What can I provide for you? We can meet inside."

The solid metal door buzzes to allow him into the inner corridor leading to Riven's office. Perian knows to move quickly, as lingering in the corridor too long would trigger some rather crude and unpleasant safety mechanisms.

[Private to Kares Perian: Oh, there's enough flexibility to allow for social combat time at this point. I'm not making everything happen in exact second synchronicity with one another. That's unrealistic -- especially in play-by-post. The only thing that'd be unrealistic at this point would be using charms that'd take days to work rather than hours or less.

I do have a plan to give the PCs something to do while Perian is working solo, too.

Anyway, here you can describe what you need in terms of Resources. Then we'll have you meet with Volya, then on to your mission.
]
Kares Perian
 player, 9 posts
Sun 14 Jun 2009
at 03:34
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Perian enters Riven's office at a reasonable pace, balancing prudence, self confidence, and the need to assert his posiiton by taking some risk. He nods at Free's esteemed record keeper, and speaks.

"Things are going to become even more interesting than usual, Riven. Supplies... I'll be heading out into trouble with Volya and a scale or so runners, so we'll need the basics for, hm, three days."

"Beside that, I'm going to be asking for a few favors and telling some tales. So I could put a bottle or two of our best wines to good use. Each one has to be different, of course, or they'll get jealous."

"Do you have a map of upper Earth levels? I'd like to consult it, at least, since we may head that way and I'd prefer not to give Volya another opportunity to tell tales about the 'befuddled outlander'. Even if I should have known better."

"And if you can manage it, I'd like a climbing kit too. Rope, pitons, and the like. I don't expect to need them, but it's so much easier to move about when I don't have to punch my handholds in the stone. Besides, I feel it might be rude in some cases."


Having made his requests, Perian looks about the office with interest, as he has rarely had the opportunity to visit this deep in the bookkeeper's domain.

"Oh, yes. I expect there is going to be a fair bit of fighting soon - so you'd best be prepared for the runners to ask for arms, armor, and the like."

[Private to GM: Since Solar Hero style is unarmed (or close enough) or improvised weapons, I'll assume Perian has a pair of Cestus (does not allow lethal parries without stunt, Acc +0, +3B damage, Defence +2, Rate 2), in the form of reinforced gloves, or some such.

And welcome back!
]

This message was last edited by the player at 03:35, Sun 14 June 2009.

Gatekeeper
 GM, 947 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 15 Jun 2009
at 04:59
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Riven Shard's office is a somber affair, with few furnishings but what is necessary. The entirety is metal-plated, suggesting that the vault may have formerly served some sort of military use before being overtaken by the Freerunners. The centerpiece of the office is his desk, of a smoothly varnished dark wood likely grown two Districts above, speaking of the wealth Riven Shard had come from before changing his name. Four matching cushioned chairs are distributed in the room, the only one with armrests serving as Riven's desk chair.

Those are the only organic items apparent in the room. The ubiquitous file cabinets (as the rebels are largely dependent on mundane data storage) are primarily metal-bound, with each folder protected by lock and key. Even the bookshelf is locked up in an embedded nook in the wall, behind a glass and metal-reinforced pane so that Perian can still read the spines.

Some of them, he can see, are reprinted tomes on Realm (circa Scarlet Dynasty) economics, history and politics, copies of the Immaculate Texts and the Imperial Registry. Others are books he knows to be restricted, or downright taboo: mostly knowledge pertaining to regions outside the Realm, beliefs counter to the Immaculate Order, such things that Immaculates would not want the general populace to know. The more recent volumes, printed in the Coils itself, pertain to general topics of accounting and resource management, dictionaries for the known Realm languages, books on Peace Force protocol and training techniques, and a current edition of Five Coils laws and regulations.
Gatekeeper
 GM, 948 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 15 Jun 2009
at 05:00
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Riven frowns when Perian's eyes wander the room, but otherwise listens closely to all that he asks. Drawing out a ledger from one of the cabinets (Perian gets a glimpse of his keyring, bristling with keys) he flips to a marked page and scans the carefully scribed letters and numbers. "The supplies should be easily enough arranged. I will ensure it is prepared for your departure and divided in compact carryables, and will ensure climbing equipment is part of your kit. Such things are not difficult to come by on a mining level."

"The maps we have of floors B23 and B22 only cover the perimeter outside the Inner Temple to any accurate extent. The rest, and the map of B21, is not complete." This time he opens a drawer, leafs through a few documents and produces a set of three neatly folded, hand drawn maps. "I will have new ones drawn for myself; you'd best not lose these. I've not had access to a proper printing press for... quite some time now."

"As for your request for spirits..." The dark haired man lets out a drawn out sigh, flips a few pages forward. "How soon will you need it? We do not have such at this location. As you must well know the majority of our wine is contraband -- and, let us say, permanently borrowed goods. Mister Mockingbird is the man who would have the best on hand."

[Private to Kares Perian: Thanks for the welcome! You can easily assume you have the cesti already, that's no problem. Also, give me a Perception+Invest. or Socialize roll.

Oh, right. I should also explain. In the lower Districts, alcohol is actually regimented. Laborers get vouchers as part of their pay, which they can trade for it. So, legally, only a Coils citizen employed on the right side of the law can even have access to alcohol (and the amount they can have is strictly controlled). In fact, at least in Earth District there is no 'real' currency on the laborer level; one has to have some social weight to be trading in jade.
]

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:07, Mon 15 June 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 11 posts
Mon 15 Jun 2009
at 06:12
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"Efficient as ever, Riven," says Perian as maps and lists begin to form in front of him. "I'd bet that most of the runners owe their skins to your work, even if they'd never admit it. There was that time when we used the spare lights you'd prepared as a decoy for the patrols... but never mind that."

He picks up the maps with care, and studies them for a while, tracing paths up and down, noting dangerous areas and places that are heavily guarded. "These will prove most useful, I'm sure. And much as it hurts me to contemplate, I'll make sure to destroy them if we run into trouble. Can't have the other side knowing what we do, can we?"

As the topic of spirits comes up, Perian nods sympathetically. "Just another means to control the people, I suppose. And quite a shame, too. Well, I'd need it as soon as possible, or on the way, even. It's not for us, nor for bribes - so the origin will not cause any trouble."

After a moment's thought, he adds, "Well, if wine isn't possible, how about herbs and incense? I don't know those as well, but they might work. I'd need a metal or stone disc for those, however."

[Private to GM: 4 successes on Perception + Socialize

And I quite understand about wine being hard to get. It's part of the point - an offering to the gods should be difficult to pull off, or it's not significant.

Alternately, if you're Mitsumi, an offering is superfluous becuase you're just that good. But that's an age and a game away!
]
Gatekeeper
 GM, 950 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 15 Jun 2009
at 22:30
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Riven's dour demeanor lessens somewhat in severity at the appreciation Perian shows for his work. But Perian catches just a hint of hesitation on his part about the availability of wine. [Private to Kares Perian: You just barely caught it, so you can't tell much beyond that. But feel free to press him a bit with some socialize tactics if you want. One hint I'll give is that you know he came from nobility; he's used to a more luxurious life than he's had as Free's bookkeeper.]

"Incense and, yes I believe even herbs we do have. Though herbs in this case are mostly those taken from medical storage. A stone disc? Hrmph, something can be arranged, I believe. It may have to be improvised. Would a stone plate, or pot lid suffice?"

"As for the maps, well..." He shrugs, glancing at the maps Perian just accepted. "Our enemies would have better maps than we. They own the Coils, after all. If only we could capture one of their printing facilities."
Kares Perian
 player, 12 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2009
at 08:51
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"Medicinals? No, I'm afraid that won't work - the ones I hope to speak to have refined tastes, as far as I understand them. The kind that would care for healing balms are the kind that would not be able to help the runners *before* trouble happens. Besides, what matters to them is that the gifts have value to us. The cup I use when bringing them drink is one I carved myself, from rare woods. You'd be surprised at how, ah, efficient, they can be when they feel slighted."

Perian paces thoughtfully in the office space, then brightens, perhaps even literally, though such is hard to ascertain. "I know! Riven, from what I've heard of your life before joining Free, you must be more familiar than I with the goods and qualities that are valued by the Terrestrial and Immaculate leaders. Do we have anything that would be suitably symbolic? Food, perhaps? Or artwork? I'd prefer not to lose anything irreplaceable, but Free wants this to work."

"And Free can be very ornery when minor details get in the way of his plans. Especially this one."


Again, Perian looks at the maps, commiting what he can to memory. "Even so, these maps are excellent. Printing facilities, you say? Are there any nearby? In fact, I must confess that I'm not too familiar with the codes - which is for the best. Are these symbols markers for some of our caches? Do you think we might resupply there, or find more supplies?"

Perian pauses, then smiles disarmingly. "I do beg your pardon for the attention. It's just that this is a significant mission in Free's plans, and he's liable to be all over the place, popping up as only he can to make sure that everything, and everyone, is doing what he expects them to. Plus, this is my first insight into issues like this."

"I'm good at talking to people, getting them to see our side of matters, and other things besides. But matters like organizing supplies for such a large group, planting caches, arranging for messengers to communicate with each other... that's all new to me, and just as essential."


Finally, he stops in front of Riven, and discusses his needs.

"Well, if we can't get any wine at all, and there's none hidden nearby where we can collect it on the way, we'll have to make do. I'm sure Mockingbird will have an interesting time explaining things to Free, there. So, definitely incense. Do we have a wheel or some such claimed from an automaton? That would work as a suitable disk. Not too bulky, as intact as possible - and from the nastiest device we can, of course. And then, I am open to suggestions as to what food, beverage, or minor artwork would be most suited."

[Private to GM:
OOC: Hinting that Free is not going to be happy if things go wrong because someone didn't hand out wine on hand.

OOC: Plus, Perian is providing excuses for Riven to arrange for the wine to happen. 'It's in a nearby cache', 'I'll have a messenger deliver it once we get it' are all face saving ways to get Perian what he wants while maintaining the fiction that there is no alcohol to be had here. Face saving may be literal, if Free gets annoyed...

OOC: Finally, asking for advice on other suitable trappings of being rich - some of which would make suitable offerings.

OOC: Feel free to make any relevant rolls for me, if such apply. Or ask for them, of course.
]
Gatekeeper
 GM, 953 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Wed 17 Jun 2009
at 09:19
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Riven Shard listens with his usual pensive silence as Perian launches into his additional requests and... much more subtle implications. After a moment he nods blithely, pointing to various positions on the map and explaining its purposefully obfuscating legend. He points out their current position at Ama-Inu's Burrow, within 2-3 hours travel on foot to Pasiap's Resolve Northeast Sector 2; two more major Freerunner locations lie some distance to the south (near Sector 5) and the west (lying an hour or so outside the cusp of Sectors 7 and 8). Smaller triangular symbols show locations to smaller caches, some of them within the city itself.

"Printing presses tend not to be found in the Earth District," he continues to explain. "This is the Laborer's District, and our current regime is one that wishes to keep tight control over what its populace knows or does not know. Particularly the common folk so deep underground. The unfortunate truth is that very, very few laborers even know how to read. Yet another form of control, as you mentioned before."

Riven does seem to consider rather seriously Free's determination for this plan to bear fruit. The dour man raises his dark eyebrows, folding his hands in front of him. "You are misunderstanding me if you believe I have any desire for the rebellion not to succeed. In fact, this is exactly what I have worked toward for twelve long years. Perhaps you think I am downplaying the importance of your mission. But I am simply being honest about what we have immediately available in this facility. Allow me to rethink for a moment what I can offer you."

A few moments pass; he fetches two more volumes of ledgers, reading through them carefully. "Incense, we have in good quantity from our previous raid upon the Temple of Mela. You may take as much as you need. Herbs of the quality you are seeking are nowhere near so common in our stores, sadly. I will inquire further to be certain. But your request for an automaton part to serve as a wheel, I believe we can manage that."

"As for gifts for the Terrestrials. The first individual you will be meeting with is a Peace Force Officer, correct? Likely having spent the majority of her days in the Earth or Fire Districts. She may well be satisfied by an item of upper District origin, but on the other hand may be more drawn toward items of practical use. This said--" he flips toward a record that appears to be rather dated, the numbers upon it rather large. "I've a few ideas that we do have on hand here, part of our storage marked for potential liquidation, mostly paintings and rare books that predate the Descent. Follow me and we will move to the inner vault." He stands and signals to two of his Freerunner guards, who move swiftly down the corridor outside to open the way for them.

"The Immaculates are not often known to desire material things. I believe they will be more swayed by rhetoric than by gifts. In this case the symbolism must be chosen carefully, as they may very well still believe in the Philosophy, but disagree with the decisions of the Council..."

[Private to Kares Perian: Since this is already long, I'll resolve the wine issue in my next post and also give you a choice of gifts to choose from. I did roll for you -- but I decided incidentally that your wording would have made him reconsider his hesitation as against his motivation. You did get a +2 stunt but... not sure you spent any motes/wp at this point!]

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:19, Wed 17 June 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 13 posts
Thu 18 Jun 2009
at 04:21
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Perian willingly spends time on the map, reasoning that it is best to spend time now and know what to expect, than to be surprised later. He traces a few routes, realizes that they are less than optimal, and lets Riven show his ability by indicating better paths. Still, Perian has no trouble identifying the major ways used by the Freerunners, as such incompetence would have been lethal long ago.

"I don't mistrust you in the least, Riven. It's because you are so competent that I thought to explain things. You know what Free is like... he knows what he is doing, but each and every notion, to him, is of utter importance. We are the ones who turn his plans into reality, me by seeing how they can be executed, you by assigning the proper resources."

"Free could send a dozen scales to clear an unoccupied corridor - because, when he sets out a future attack, our people will need to move fast. You need to assign only the men necessary, so that Free has the bodies and resources for his attack. And that is why I have to tell you that *this* plan is going to change everything down here. So you know what priority to assign to it."


Perian makes to follow Riven further in the vault, listening attentively to the Freerunner's bookeeper. "Once again, I rely entirely on your expertise. My perspective would be that it might be best to use art, rather than books - we know what the current order thinks of books. And until we can make copies, we don't know what might prove useful within them. For the monks, I can manage the rhetoric. It would probably be rude to offer any relics they have recently... misplaced, but something older might work. Of course, that's without knowing the parties involved, or what we actually have on hand - and you likely know all this already."

[Private to GM: I wasn't sure if you were waiting for a reply before posting more, so here you go.

No motes spent yet.

I am certainly having fun doing the social thing so far! Perian is gladly buttering up Riven, since he is a) competent and b) doing what Perian wants. So it's just as well to epxress approval.
]
Gatekeeper
 GM, 956 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 18 Jun 2009
at 08:38
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"I do not know the parties involved first hand. I only know the situation you will be going into, but I have not met Kigal Alivia, nor the individual Sky-Seekers or Sympathizers you will be meeting. So I can only hazard my best guess." The two of them move quickly down the corridor, which the two Freerunner guards have briefly deactivated for them. They pass several other corridors leading to caches of food, supplies, and clothing; further down, armor and weaponry; and finally to a last door at the tail end of the main corridor.

The inner vault door is sealed shut. Perian watches as Riven Shard touches the door panel and it flares with blue-green Essence. A second later comes the whirring of gears as the multiple door levels unhook and slide back in cascading order, revealing another chamber within lit by overhead Essence lamps powered by the Ama-Inu Manse.

Riven and Perian step in together. The inner vault is not much larger than Riven's office, containing carefully wrapped and marked items organized neatly into shelves and boxes. "We have artwork in this section, separated roughly into secular and Immaculate styles, and ordered by time period. A landscape may well be neutral enough; we even have here a couple pieces purportedly painted in the surface world, these ones by Lady Ledaal Catala Milena. She was in her heydey in the last two decades before the Descent. Landscapes and elemental themes were her specialty. Or Cathak Naijan, who was said to be a military strategist but spent his final days painting scenes of peace and cooperation; perhaps wishing to capture the last moments of respite before Creation shattered... we can only speculate."

"You might even consider perhaps some calligraphy scrolls? The verses of Lady Aoi are generally minimalist, elegant and poignant, with themes of devotion and beauty. Or perhaps Sumiran, who tends more toward verbose, motivational verse."

Other items Riven has stored in the inner vault are some antique items of exceptional quality, including a perfect sanxian, a flower vase, a jade mask, a calligraphy brush in its own leather case, several pieces of jewelry. Though he does not specifically show Perian to them, they are there if they interest him.

"And here..." He heaves a small sigh, and fetches his large keyring. Removing a painting in a far corner (completely devoid of dust; Riven must be very meticulous about cleaning), he reveals a safe embedded into the wall, which he chooses a small silver key to unlock. Within... are several bottles and a velvet box. "A wine selection. You may choose one of our best vintage. The '46 Burgundy, or perhaps something more exotic; an ice wine or a sweet cordial?" He keeps his face neutral, but it is likely this small cache is a collection he has meticulously put together for his own enjoyment. The box remains a mystery.

[Private to Kares Perian: Wasn't necessarily waiting, but was hoping you would post, so there wouldn't just be a brick wall of my own words :P

It can be hard to come up with items like this, so hopefully I won't have to again for a little while. Feel free to embellish on any item I mentioned here, if you would like to fact check first you can always PM me about that. I tried to be just specific enough that you could add more details to come up with a gift Perian decided on personally.

I'd like us to move on from here soon, though I'm glad you're having fun. :)
]
Kares Perian
 player, 14 posts
Thu 18 Jun 2009
at 21:02
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Perian gazes respectfully, almost reverently, at the contents of the inner vault. As Riven mentions each item, Perian observes the rare, ancient, precious treasure he is shown, and considers its possibilities.

"For Kigal Alivia, I think this may be the most suitable. Precious, useful, a reminder that it is through words that we build our futures." Perian indicates the calligraphy brush, admiring the wood's fine finish.

Selecting something suitable for the Immaculates requires more effort, as their views are even less familiar to Perian. Finally, he speaks. "Lady Aoi's work sounds the most promising for the monks. To convey an understanding of the path they follow, and hint at the revelation that freedom will bring."

"My thanks. I will do my best to convey your commitment and sacrifice to those who shall reecive this," Perian speaks softly, respectfully, when Riven reveals his cache. "The Burgundy, I think - we are in the Laborer's district, and the toil and rich memories that come with it will be almost more precious than the thing itself."

[Private to GM: Choices made. Feel free to move Perian to the next location, or wrap things up here for me to do so afterwards.]
Gatekeeper
 GM, 963 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 18 Jun 2009
at 21:56
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"Very well," replies Riven smoothly, his face smoothing as to be nearly inscrutable, and closes and locks the hidden cache when Perian has made his choices. As soon as he has done so he replaces the painting in front of it, adjusting it so it hangs straight. "The selections are suitable, I believe; they are tasteful, elegant rather than overbearingly rich, and do not assume too much in terms of philosophy."

[Private to Kares Perian: The calligraphy brush is also a minor artifact, actually. It's a Silver Brush, so it can produce its own ink of any quality, consistency and color. Though you may not immediately know that IC unless you'd like to make an Int+Lore or Occult roll to check.]

After helping Perian place the gifts safely in their boxes (the scroll of Lady Aoi is tied with a ribbon and placed in a silk sheath, and the wine given a dark wooden carry box with a handle, while the calligraphy brush remains in its case) he escorts Perian to the outer corridor again, and toward the entrance of the Vault. The inner chamber locks behind them with its series of whirs and clicks.

Once they are back in his office Riven Shard pauses, considering, then extends a hand. "Good luck, Kares Perian, you carry the hope of many on your shoulders. May you bear that burden without falter, and do our cause justice. All the supplies you have required will be brought to the entrance of the Burrow."
Gatekeeper
 GM, 964 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 18 Jun 2009
at 21:59
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Leaving Riven to work out the details, Perian continues to the Barracks to meet with Volya and the scale that will be accompanying him. The central room is a roughly circular chamber from which several more tunnels branch, leading to individual units' sleeping quarters. Furniture (a few old tables, mismatched chairs, and so forth; nothing as fine as Riven prefers, though not so terrible in quality they are in disrepair) provides a place for Freerunners to lounge between missions.

At least half of them are some mongrel between wolf and human, though all are humanoid and look quite capable of fighting. Perian can count about a couple dozen in the area, some playing games of chance, others kicking a ball made of small beads wrapped in canvas around. The few who can read have the option of rooting through the bookshelves in the area as well. Most already have their own personal gear, and the more industrious among them spend their idle time checking their equipment. He recognizes Volya Mori, a large framed, grizzled wolf-woman with a scar marring her snout, her fur a pale silver-grey. She is fitting a captured jade lamellar over her body and carries a harness bearing both a spiked mace and a wickedly curved sword, both looking as if they ought to be carried in one hand.

Volya pauses in fitting her harness when she sees Perian approach, nodding sharply to acknowledge him. None of the other Freerunners so much as pause their idle activities, though a few peer curiously or flick an interested canine ear his way. They are no military organization, after all. Even their pack leader doesn't seem at all interested in interrupting what she is doing until she's gotten every last buckle fastened.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:09, Thu 18 June 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 15 posts
Fri 19 Jun 2009
at 02:52
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
[Private to GM: OOC: I rolled 1 success on identifying the brush. Probably not enough, and it doesn't really affect me in any case.

]Perian returns Volya's nod, and approaches her after a brief pause, long enough for her more canine instincts to acknowledge his right to be there. Then he matter of factly reaches for an inconveniently placed buckle and tightens it.

"Hello, Volya," he says as he assists her with her captured armor, showing deferrence for this portion of the mission, to which she is best suited. "What do you think of Free's last plan? I feel," he speaks more loudly, hoping to be overheard, "That it's got a lot of promise, if we can get things to work just right. Turning the full forces of the Earth District to our side, with their own men behind us in our bid for freedom... it is going to be glorious."

[Private to GM: Giving the troops a pep talk, and suggesting that they should do what I tell them to when we are dealing with social issues, since we're convincing the other side to ally with us, not wiping it out.]
Gatekeeper
 GM, 969 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Sat 20 Jun 2009
at 07:11
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Volya grunts a bit at the help Perian offers, but is not entirely rejecting of it, either. Tolerant may be a better word. Good enough in terms of his dealings with the Freerunners.

As Perian speaks up about the mission they will be going to, the room gradually silences. Several gamblers put down their cards and dice. The men and women playing hacky sack lose track of their makeshift ball, which someone has just kicked into a corner. A couple of the readers look up, their books resting unattended to on their laps. The general reaction to Perian's words is favorable and interested.

Someone calls out (muffled, as he's rooting around for his ball), "Where're we deploying to?"

"Yes, no one's told us any specifics," says one of the readers, a full human with dark hair wound into beaded braids. He has what looks to be a medical or reagent satchel tucked near him on his chair. "We want this to succeed, too. Let's hope our allies-to-be will listen."

A lean girl with a notch in her wolf-ear and a short blade / plasma-tongue repeater combo at her belt shrugs. She's more of a 'quarter-beast', wolf-ears and tail. "Only the Boss's usual proclamations. Ey, but I'm like a weapon. I'll stay put if I hafta, but when it's action time I'm just point n' shoot." Someone at the gambling table makes a rather lewd snicker and the girl glares in that direction.

"Hrrmph, well, you're good at getting their attention," notes Volya with a small smirk, addressing Perian directly. "Don't worry too much. If they've not got it in their head we're on a diplomatic mission, they'll know after I'm done with 'em. You hear that boys and girls?" The pack leader raises her tone. "We're defaulting to guard, unless things get hot."

"Anything else you've got to tell us, Perian? Afterward I'll introduce you to the team."
Kares Perian
 player, 16 posts
Sat 20 Jun 2009
at 09:15
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"Right. I'll cut the talk and get to the point, now that you know this is big." Perian paces near Volya, eyes sweeping the runners, making contact. "You know, or suspect, that we're going to go talk to our contacts on this level. As many of them as we can, starting at the top."

"I could make a speech about what we're doing and how it's going to happen, but you've had enough of those. So I'll stick to the point. We've got a chance, with some new allies, to do more than hurt the Terrestrials. We can break them, have the people of Earth rise with us to take the District, then keep moving."

"There's plenty of fighting ahead, but for now what matters is backing. We need all the friends we can get, and that's our job."
Perian gestures, encompassing the freerunners nearby. "It's going to involve a lot of talking, but then we'll be on the front line to capture the temple. And that's just the beginning."

He stops speaking and falls silent for a moment, allowing his words to register, then nods in Volya's direction.

"And we'll be working together to get that far."
Gatekeeper
 GM, 980 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Sun 21 Jun 2009
at 07:29
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"Keep moving?" The first answering Freerunner is slightly skeptical, but mostly intrigued. "You mean... up to Fire District?"

"What makes you think we can convince them now?" The man with the braided hair asks with rapt curiosity. "What new allies could mean the difference between guerilla tactics and a full on rebellion?"

"Whatever, any chance to stick it to the Terrestrials is a good one!" calls out one of the gamblers.

The notch-eared wiry girl plants a hand on her hip. "Well, that sounds good, Free Speaker, as long as you're doin' the talkin' and not me." She grins cheekily.

Slowly but surely the words Perian has stated has the entire group fired up and speculating on how the situation had changed. Eventually the speculation goes in the direction of the rumors that pervade the Earth District about a mass breakout of collared Celestials. It had been since those rumors, after all, that Free had been sending them on more and more missions, stockpiling all the resources they could get... imbalancing the Peace Force and the Immaculates whenever they could manage it...

Volya's reaction is more sedate, stating with a gleam in her eye, "We, the spiritual descendants of Libera Mori, have been chosen to embark as the vanguard of this significant mission. The one our forebears have awaited for hundreds of years. A struggle that begins with words of unity and will end with freedom for all. We are on your side, Perian." Though there's not overwhelming cheers, the Freerunners still profess their agreement with this statement, and appear enthused and ready to go!

[Private to Kares Perian: Well now that you've riled them up (7 sux, then 6 sux after they're looking at you favorably, is not bad at all with this group)... I won't say you've created an Intimacy just yet, but this scene definitely counts towards creating one.

I rolled for the +2 HS, thanks for reminding. Though the difference is still subtle, I'll portray their feelings about Perian as slightly more favorable than I originally intended.

After any further clarifications you may have (if any), Volya will give you a rundown of the group, so Perian can at least know what skills the scale assigned to him has. Though I may not make up *every* one of the 30-odd names. Then... I'll move Perian and the Freerunners (sounds like a band name) toward their next point.
]

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:41, Sun 21 June 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 17 posts
Sun 21 Jun 2009
at 08:16
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"Good," Perian nodded, then speaks to Volya. "So, mind introducing the people who are going to help me keep my skin outside my guts, or are they all called 'hey, you'?" As rumbles, part amusement, part annoyed, begin to build among the freerunners, he concludes, loudly. "I hope not, or I'm going to be called 'dead meat' before I can open my fool mouth again."

Amusement wins.

"For the whys and wherefores... you've heard that a group of Celestials broke out recently, all together. Well, they've cobbled up a way to take over the Gatekeepers, it seems. Except they need our help to do it - and once Earth is free, why stop there?"

[Private to GM: Incidentally, and not required, my Hearthstone gives me +2 dice on Presence and Performance rolls, which may have applied to the earlier attempts. Since they worked, there's no issue.

This post is mostly to provide a pause between moving things along.

No need for all the names, though Perian will be doing his best IC to know them and to be part of the group (as evidenced by his joke in this post).
]
Gatekeeper
 GM, 984 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 22 Jun 2009
at 15:09
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Perian's self-deprecating humor goes down well enough. At least it shows him to be at least somewhat humble, as the Freerunners are not as likely to show respect for authority purely on a person's level of power or influence. Free himself is the type to insist that respect be earned -- whether in combat or through deed.

Satisfied that the 'why' has had some sort of confirmation, the Freerunners' speculating dies down to a low buzz as Volya gets the attention of the group again. "All right, pack. Let's form up and get ready." She stalks over to one of the doors branching into individual barracks and pounds on it, hollering, "Time to get moving! Anyone still snoozing in here's gonna be left behind!!" Almost immediately there's a couple yells from within.

Clearing her throat, the older wolf-woman smirks a bit and continues as the stragglers arrive, bleary-eyed. "Here's the rundown of our team, Perian. There should be thirty-two, not including you and me. Twenty serve as our main force of physical combatants. About half of those are heavy hitting fighters who supplement melee proficiency with thrown grenades, boulders, heavy pieces of wall, what have you. The others are medium-weights who are versatile with both melee and ranged weapons of their choice."

"Then we have twelve specialists which can be described as the following: five of our best snipers, also skilled with stealth and infiltration; five engineers and demolitionists, who are our best bet operating and fixing machinery... or blowing it up. Last but not least we have two thaumaturgists, one who's primarily a doctor and alchemist, the other who's more of a mystic, I suppose. Warding, sensing, that sort of thing."
Gatekeeper
 GM, 985 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 22 Jun 2009
at 15:15
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
The Freerunners introduce themselves, in turn. Each of the subgroups, it seems, has an individual generally considered to be their senior. Age is a large factor in this, but so is seniority within the Freerunners, so at times there will be discrepancies in age between these subtle levels of hierarchy.

Haze Agomir is the leader of the strong-men. He is a burly human with a ruddy complexion and hair the color of rust. It's said he is descended from a line of individuals with fire-elemental in their blood, and was once a blacksmith.

The medium-weight fighters are led by the notch-eared quarter-beast girl whom everyone seems to call Pixie. Despite looking more like a lightweight, and young for a leadership position, she seems to have a reputation of being quite ruthless in combat.

The lead sniper/infiltrator is a dark-haired female human, Sparrow, with her hair in a long braid with a sharp blade tied to the end. She carries a longbow of perfect ebony and is completely mute, though she understands Low Realm and her group is proficient in the Freerunners' sign language.

Chief among the engineers is a wolfman named Gustav, whose grey-brown fur seems perpetually stained in soot. He is a heavy artillery user, one of two who own a shoulder mounted cannon. He is assisted by a young man nicknamed 'Spark', a precocious young quarter-beast considered to be a demolitions genius.

The human with tanned skin and dark brown hair in braids is the doctor-thaumaturge, named Ashen Feather. A man of deep thought and intellect, Feather tends to lend a calming influence to the versatile and sometimes volatile team.

Lastly the mystic-thaumaturge, Surisa Mori, is a pale-furred wolf woman who is Volya's own daughter. She confirms she is adept in the arts of Enchantment, Geomancy and Warding.

"And there you have it," Volya concludes, a little weary of standing around and chatting by now. "Riven Shard ought to have our gear ready by now. So we'll head out to North Sector 1 shortly. If that's all right with you." She does not quite defer to Perian, but considers his opinion as high in precedence.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:17, Mon 22 June 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 18 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2009
at 19:22
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"An excellent team, one I'm glad to have at my back," Perian states, then nods at Volya's words. "No reason to stay here any longere than we need to. While we don't exactly have a deadline, too many delays can only hurt."

Matching his pace to Volya's, Perian sets forth to collect the gear he requested, then leave the relative safety of the Manse to take part in what will follow.

"Have you heard anything more about the various groups I'm meeting with?" he asks Volya, "I'm already fairly up to date, but that just means there hasn't been any really bad news."

[Private to GM: OOC: Heading off. No need to provide more details about the groups, or it could happen over the course of the trip.]
Gatekeeper
 GM, 991 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 22 Jun 2009
at 20:57
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
"I wouldn't know much more than you already do," Volya says with a shrug. She gives her heavy weapons one last check before she and Perian move out, followed by the thirty-two that would accompany them. They stop at what seems to be a ready room / lobby nearby their exit, where kits of equipment, survival gear and preserved food are being distributed by a pair of Freerunners working for Riven. Perian's has been set aside from the others, containing the additional items he asked for.

"We were in North Sector 1 recently, for the assault on the Temple of Air. I do think we've a chance with that sector. The fact we succeeded there at all, considering the odds that were against us, tells me is that there's people out there that want a change."

"Kigal Alivia of the Peace Force is about as good a start as any. I might remember her when I see her."

The method of entry into North Sector 1, Volya explains, will require the force to split up into smaller groups of four or five, in order to ease the difficulty of evading patrols and arousing suspicion. Some will go on foot (Sparrow's team can do this with relative ease as they are accustomed to moving in hiding) while others will go in old gliding chariots disguised as shipping vehicles (due to the prohibition of animals outside certain city limits, transportation outside is usually on foot or with refurbished magitech). Their connections within the City of Pasiap's Resolve will do the rest and they can regroup within.

[Private to Kares Perian: Again I'm going to speed ahead a bit by assuming the whole mess of entering the city has been plotted well enough ahead of time, and practiced to a point it'll go pretty smoothly. so I'll continue with the new thread by tomorrow.]
Gatekeeper
 GM, 1004 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 25 Jun 2009
at 03:35
Re: Floor B23 - District of Earth, Freerunner Territory
Perian ends up on one of the two disguised transport caravans, lacking the stealth to keep up with Sparrow, Pixie and other more fleet footed, stealthy Freerunners. Volya goes with him personally as does two of the strong-men, a driver and a lookout with a bow. The driver, one of the human engineers, inserts a hearthstone into the ignition socket and settles in to drive the old machine. It lifts off, departing from Ama-Inu's Burrow.



OOC: just a final piece to cap off this scene. Will continue in Floor B25 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, North Sector 1.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:46, Thu 25 June 2009.