1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides.   Posted by The Herald.Group: 0
Bali Balsdottir
 A Dwarf, 6 posts
 Dwarf Warrior Who
 Channels Divine Blessings
Mon 20 Jun 2016
at 01:32
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Bali's muttering turns to a passive-aggressive reply after Reginard's insight. She looks carefully at the drawing he points to: Hum. You might be right, sire. I'm having misgivings about the whole thing, though. How could you? Her body language is all wrong, fists balled, shoulders locked, muscles tensed.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:35, Mon 20 June 2016.

Blackstone
 A Monster, 6 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Tue 21 Jun 2016
at 01:01
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Blackstone's head is on a swivel... the entire day. While normally on guard, there's quite a bit more going on in the jungle at night than on the edge of towns so by the end of the day he is exhausted. "So how much longer will we be in this retched jungle? Nothing sleeps and there are things stalking everywhere. There is no wall to put my back to, I haven't slept in two days." Blackstone snaps, his quiet stoicism has melted in the heat. He goes back to the wagon and sits with his back against the wheel. He crosses his arms over his chest and sulks as he starts to nod off.

Blackstone rolled a 6 on his sensing danger check, he is trained in sensing danger
Lothi
 An Elf, 10 posts
 Doomed Adventurer Who
 Howls at the Moon
Tue 21 Jun 2016
at 01:15
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Lothi spares a single eye to her companions' complaints and bad temper. She considers scoffing at them, but admits to herself that if would accomplish little other than a short-lived smugness, and potentially cost the expedition its uneasy harmony.

Then she suddenly sits up, eyes wide. "Damn me, the traps." She fishes through her sack for string and copper bells.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:15, Tue 21 June 2016.

The Herald
 GM, 29 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Tue 21 Jun 2016
at 14:01
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
"Pathetic." The word rumbles from darkness. None of the travelers see the source of the voice. Thundering basso voices laugh all around you, yet nary a leaf twitches. Willian struggles to keep the ox calm.

"Man-folk know better than walk here," the deep voice says. "Maybe you brave. Maybe you stupid. Maybe you both." It laughs again. You look around, trying to see of the speaker.

At last, a figure emerges from the foliage. A midnight-black gorilla strides forward on its knuckles, lip curled up in a sneer. It wears a helmet of dented bronze and matching manica, and strapped across its back is a paddle-shaped sword of volcanic glass razors. Hoots and claps serenade you from the cover of plants, but however many other apes surround you is impossible to discern.

"Maybe we eat you, eh?" the gorilla says triumphantly, raising his hands to uproarious applause from the crowd. He laughs loud and hard. "But maybe you not stupid. And dat be even worse." His face grows hard, and the crowd hums "OOooo". "Maybe this mean man-folk want build city in ape-home, send you as scout. How many pieces we send you back in so man get message? Ape-home for apes. Why you here, man-folk?"
Lothi
 An Elf, 11 posts
 Doomed Adventurer Who
 Howls at the Moon
Tue 21 Jun 2016
at 15:41
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Lothi, at the first word, twists and snaps her ramshackle shield to hand. She grabs her scimitar by its leather sheath and bolts to a ready crouch between her employer and the voice, but she does not draw the blade.

She looks back to Reginard; she expects he'll respond in great detail and at length, but she might as well start negotiations on the right foot. "Less stupid than you, ape - to think a dwarf, elf, and freak would work for a man's stinking city." She smiles hideously. "But come, step forward. See how sharp a meal I make."
Bali Balsdottir
 A Dwarf, 7 posts
 Dwarf Warrior Who
 Channels Divine Blessings
Tue 21 Jun 2016
at 22:00
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Bali stands and starts walking slowly, getting between Reginard and the gorilla with her greataxe in hand.  She cracks her neck loudly. A long, deep scar in her neck and chest is visible for a moment. Her eyes and her steel weapon and mail flash with the campfire. She does nothing but glare, an image of silent righteous fury.

Bali Balsdottir rolled 17 using 1d20.  Intimidation, 1 Might Effort (edge 2). Trained.
M 17/18, S 16/16, I 11/12

This message was last edited by the player at 03:05, Wed 22 June 2016.

Blackstone
 A Monster, 7 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Tue 21 Jun 2016
at 23:39
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
A smile spreads across Blackstone's face, this is just the fight he needs to blow off some steam. He smoothly rises to his feet with a grace about him that you hadn't seen before. He turns slowly scanning the tree line trying to get at least a rough count of the number of potential foes. Not seeing any he gives a shrug. His eyes finally rest on the one that has stepped into the clearing, he pointedly looks him up and down, sizing up this opponent. He clenches his calloused fists, making a rippling popping noise as each knuckle is pulled tight, before raising them to just above his waist. His feet slide to shoulder width and he gives the gorilla a smirky grin.
"This guy'll be a cake walk. Sit back, this'll be over in a second."


Blackstone rolled a 13 to also intimidate, he is trained in intimidation.
He rolled a 5 to count the gorillas in the mists, and a 1 using Effort to size up the lead gorilla. He is still trained in perceiving danger if that makes any difference.


Blackstone: M 18/18, S 18/18, I 7/10.
Reginard Wrane the IV
 A Noble, 4 posts
 Noble Human Speaker
 Who Siphons Power
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 07:17
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Reginard looks over his map and pulls down slightly his reading spectacles, a hint of a frown on his face as he look for whoever is speaking. A talking gorilla... well, he had suspected that the spent energies in this place might have caused any manner of changes in the native fauna. Something like talking gorillas was not beyond the realm of possibility.

After watching his companion's initial reactions, he sighs - they were after all hired to respond to situations that had already escalated, not to de-escalate a problem. With as many gorillas around as it appeared, potentially now was not the time to test the team's martial abilities.

Addressing the leader, Reginard emotes obeisance. "We are indeed not stupid. What my esteemed colleagues mean to say, oh esteemed leader of the ape folk, is that we graciously accept this welcome into your lands. We seek only to learn more about this area and the ancient ruins of Dol'kuruk, and ask that you prove the generosity of your people in guiding us to the ruins."

OOC: Reginard will use the following skill to convince the leader to calm things down:

Fast Talk (T1) 1 Int When speaking with an intelligent creature who can understand you and isnít hostile, you convince that creature to take one reasonable action in the next round. A reasonable action must be agreed upon by the GM; it should not put the creature or its allies in obvious danger or be wildly out of character. Action.


07:11, Today: Reginard Wrane the IV rolled 15 using 1d20+1.  Persuading (T).

The Herald
 GM, 30 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 14:45
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
The gorilla haughtily assesses you in turn. At Lothi's defiance he grows amused, and nods with some approval at Bali's solemnity. Blackstone's improbable swagger appears to anger him immensely. He rolls his armored shoulder, and another gorilla swings from a tree as swiftly as a lightning bolt. GM intrusion on a 1! Gripping a strong vine in its feet, the ape flies past in a curving arc, grabbing Blackstone and tearing him from the ground. At the peak of its arch another gorilla intercepts Blackstone and proceeds to dangle him by the ankles from the branch. The dangler giggles until he is silenced by a gruff snort from the armored leader.

Reginard remains perfectly aloof and unalarmed when addressing the gorilla, as if the flying, flinging abduction were no more than a change in the wind. "So you brave and stupid. Jungle swallowed city long time ago." The leader rolls his head and a bit, but makes no further signals to the remaining gorillas. "That not place for man or ape. Jungle cats eat you, only leave us bones to suck marrow. If you lucky and dark things not eat you."

He stands upright, relaxed. "I have deal for you. We hungry. We eat your cow now, take you to old place. City will kill you. Maybe we eat rest of you afterward. Manfolk taste better when scared."

For a well-armed talking gorilla posse, that's a pretty reasonable offer compared to just killing you all right now.
Lothi
 An Elf, 12 posts
 Doomed Adventurer Who
 Howls at the Moon
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 14:50
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Lothi looks over her shoulder at Reginard and waits for his response.
Blackstone
 A Monster, 9 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Thu 23 Jun 2016
at 02:30
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Blackstone chuckles along with Giggler. He wriggles for a bit dropping his formerly white cloak to the forest floor. The thread bare clothes he wears beneath look just as patched up as he does.

"You got me, took me by surprise you did." Blackstone does a mighty sit up, and slugs Giggler in the gut. "But what goes around, comes around."


Blackstone rolled an 8 to Punch* Giggler, he is specialized in delivering medium blows. If it connects he deals 4(med)+2(fist of iron) = 6 damage. He has training in speed defense should he be dropped.

OOC:*Blackstone is not trying for any serious injuries, just establishing himself as somewhere other than the bottom of the Gorillas' social order.


Blackstone: M 18/18, S 18/18, I 7/10.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 02:30, Thu 23 June 2016.

Reginard Wrane the IV
 A Noble, 5 posts
 Noble Human Speaker
 Who Siphons Power
Fri 24 Jun 2016
at 15:38
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Reginard's eyebrow raises slightly at the ape's suggestion. "Eat that cow? I suppose you could, but that is not any old cow - it is a rare breed of Poisonous Death Heifer that my manservant obtained for our journey precisely to avoid such a predicament. I understand that any who ate its flesh or milk would instantly be as weakened as a babe, before dying a terrible, painfully explosive death. We will gladly take you up on your most kind offer of guiding us to the city, but it would be best that we take the Heifer with us so that none of your people can be accidentally harmed."

OOC: Reginard will use the following ability on the leader (using 3 Int edge):
Grand Deception (T3) 3 Int You convince an intelligent creature that can understand you and isnít hostile of something that is wildly and obviously untrue. Action.


A almost imperceptible sigh escapes Reginard as Blackstone slugs the ape. Subtle, Blackstone was not.
The Herald
 GM, 34 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Mon 27 Jun 2016
at 13:56
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Blackstone lashes himself upward and delivers a solid, crunching blow to his captor's hands. He feels the familiar sensation of fracturing bone, and his assailant drops him, hooting in pain and shaking his now-broken hand. Blackstone hits the ground with his back, taking 3 Might damage. Nothing emerges to recapture him, but the unseen crowd quiets, save for the injured gorilla.

The armored gorilla seems vaguely annoyed at the plummeting Blackstone, but his eyes grow wider at Reginard's words. "You mad, to bring death cow!" He lifts his arms and makes a flipping gesture with his hands. You marvel at his height. "I knew smell of tainted blood. Taint will be cleansed."

A squad of apes, smaller than gorillas but also wielding the macuahuitl, fly from the trees and descend on the ox without mercy. GM intrusion for the 1 on the bluff! Willian is thrown aside during the assault. He scrambles to his feet, startled but unharmed. Your ox scarcely bellows once before it is lost in a spattering storm of blood and chipped beef.  With horrible swiftness, the poor creature is hacked apart entirely.

"We use meat for traps. Not risk ape-brothers mistake it for good food." He appraises your cart. "We still hungry. So we eat what you got, or we eat you. Deal?"

You count the leader, the injured gorilla, perhaps 7 apes, and whatever myriad simian army still hides in the darkness. Without the ox, you'll barely be able to move the cart at all.
Reginard Wrane the IV
 A Noble, 8 posts
 Noble Human Speaker
 Who Siphons Power
Mon 27 Jun 2016
at 17:19
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Reginard is not used to being stood up to by anyone, and much less used to being unsuccessful in his ability to obfuscate. However, there were extenuating circumstances: it was a gorilla, after all.

Reginard draws himself up to his full height - he is quite tall when he isn't looking so bookish - and stares haughtily at the lead gorilla. Maybe a mixture of truth and misdirection would be more appropriate against their ape-like protagonists.

"Sir, you have killed our pack animal; why must you push for something we cannot give? You now have enough meat to catch many weeks' worth of food. Furthermore, you all appear very well fed - I dare say you are not hungry at all! The time for time-wasting is through; you will let us pass at once and provide the guide as promised."

"I'll be pulling the cart then, will I, sire?" asks Willian dryly.

OOC: Having inexplicably(!) failed, Reginard will try harder. He uses the following skill to convince the leader to let them go (3 Int edge):
Grand Deception (T3) 3 Int You convince an intelligent creature that can understand you and isnít hostile of something that is wildly and obviously untrue. Action.


17:06, Today: Reginard Wrane the IV rolled 11 using 1d20+1.  Grand Deception (T).
Blackstone
 A Monster, 13 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 17:09
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Blackstone hits the ground arms first turning the straight drop into a roll. After a little tumble he surges upward and onto his feet. His movements are now fluid and unpredictable, as he flows past Reginard he hisses quietly, "The time for pretty words has passed. These jungle thugs, like the human variety on the streets, will listen only to strength. We must put ourselves at the top of this food chain."

Blackstone moves to engage the leader.

Blackstone: rolled a 9 on his speed defense with training to avoid fall damage.

OOC: Blackstone has activated his Moving Like Water ability (3 Sp). For the next minute the difficulty of his speed defense checks and his attacks have decreased by one step. He has speed edge 2, and spends 1 point from his speed pool.



Blackstone: M 18/18, S 17/18, I 7/10.
The Herald
 GM, 37 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 21:10
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
The armored gorilla stares, dumbfounded that you would be so unaffected by their rapid display of force. Shortly after Reginard finishes, he laughs heartily, slapping his chest with fierce amusement. "You funny man! Maybe not eat you!" he guffaws between breaths. He can scarcely catch his composure.

-----

The leader is distracted by the successful deception. The ourang-outangs are still flaying the dying ox. At least one gorilla is still visible with his broken hand; its partner has returned to the shadows, and you do not know how many other apes hide in total. Blackstone is moving aggressively to begin a fight and has an Asset on an attack roll against the armored leader.

This is not to say that combat has begun; Reginard's second attempt at negotiation is successful. You haven't cowered or flinched at any threats, and Reginard is right that they simply seem to be goading you into surrendering your cart.

This is a strong opening if you are going to enter combat, but I'm listing these details since Blackstone is starting the aggression, not because you have to start fighting.

Lothi
 An Elf, 15 posts
 Doomed Adventurer Who
 Howls at the Moon
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 21:30
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Lothi snaps a hand out to catch Blackstone's wrist, but misses; a thought is spared to record that Blackstone can move thus.

She instead hisses, "Blackstone! This isn't a street brawl!"

This message was last edited by the player at 21:30, Tue 28 June 2016.

Bali Balsdottir
 A Dwarf, 12 posts
 Dwarf Warrior Who
 Channels Divine Blessings
Wed 29 Jun 2016
at 17:31
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
The dwarf walks slowly up to Blackstone, and puts her open palm on Blackstone's belt on his side. Sighing, she murmurs Blackstone... Baraz zakurrat bundu ai-menŻ.

Does anyone else speak dwarven?
Blackstone
 A Monster, 16 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Sat 2 Jul 2016
at 15:52
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Blackstone pauses and looks down at Bali, their height differences drastic. With a sigh he says, "You're probably right. But I still owe the one on the vine one before we're even."
Although no longer taking aggressive actions, Blackstone continues to shift his feet and sway with the breeze.


Blackstone is maintaining Move like Water.

Blackstone: M 18/18, S 17/18, I 7/10.

This message was last updated by the player at 15:54, Sat 02 July 2016.

The Herald
 GM, 39 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Tue 5 Jul 2016
at 22:13
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
"Work up appetite, then, before we eat you." The leader hoots something in the ape-tongue, and the ourang-outang regiment ceases its bloody task. They cautiously drag the carcass into the brush, and you see nothing more of them for some time. Two gorillas, one with a broken hand, descend to join their leader. The armored one knuckle-walks to the cart and takes a seat as if entering a palanquin. He claps, and the two bodyguards walk over to lift it. While walking past, the uninjured one attempts to punch Blackstone in the arm, only to smash his fist into a tree as Blackstone sidesteps the blow. With an angry flare of the nostrils, the gorilla lets Blackstone know he has made an enemy this day.

"General A'kum commands you, lift!" the armored gorilla bellows, obviously for your benefit rather than the other gorillas. The burly pair hoists the wagon onto their shoulders (which causes the broken-handed one obvious severe pain). A gaggle of macuahuitl-wielding ourang-outangs clamor from the underbrush and begin hacking a path through the undergrowth so that the cart may pass.

It is at this moment that you realize that it is still early in the night, and that the gorilla appears to be planning to march by moonlight. "We keep good time! HA!" A'kum laughs and laughs, and grabs a giant handful of fruits from the cart.

-----

The gorillas haul the cart, which takes some of the effort out of your hike. They take no time to rest, and A'kum seems to derive a great deal of enjoyment from prodding his servants to continue marching. The air in the jungle at night is still thick, and the heat of the day is well-trapped in the humidity. After a full day's hike, keeping up with the simian army is hellish.

Marching through the night without getting fatigued is a Level 4 Might challenge. Failure results in exhaustion, which will be similar to Impaired (+1 cost to Effort, no minor effects on rolls of 19).

At least the gorillas seem to be making good on their word. In the scraps of moonlight you can catch, you can confirm that the direction corresponds to your original course. A'kum stays up all night, shouting commands to his subordinates, and occasionally tosses bits of food from the cart to the rest of you during the march. Willian is breathing heavily, but remains resolute in his marching.
Lothi
 An Elf, 18 posts
 Doomed Adventurer Who
 Howls at the Moon
Tue 5 Jul 2016
at 22:50
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Lothi knows what it is to be exhausted in the wilderness, and carefully paces herself to avoid it. She simultaneously trades barbs with A'kum, proving that her defiance and wit doesn't diminish with exertion. Over the course of the night, it becomes progressively friendlier; not so much that either wouldn't kill the other if the wind turned, but enough that they would hate to do it. Pethi seems more comfortable with the apes than with the rest of the venture.

Pethi rolled an 8 on keeping pace with 2 levels of Effort,spending 4 Might points to do so.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:52, Tue 05 July 2016.

Bali Balsdottir
 A Dwarf, 13 posts
 Dwarf Warrior Who
 Channels Divine Blessings
Tue 5 Jul 2016
at 23:02
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
A dwarf who can walk unhindered with full armor will not suffer just because some apes want to stroll through the jungle at night. In fact, their machete'ing is most helpful. Bali even dares hanging from below the cart for a while, unbeknownst to A'kum, to make the two carrier gorillas sweat a bit more. They deserve it.

Hey, nobody said the low gods demanded pious sanctimoniousness all the time.
Bali rolled a 15 for marching, using 1 level of Might effort
M 16/18, S 16/16, I 11/12

Blackstone
 A Monster, 19 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Thu 7 Jul 2016
at 01:27
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Blackstone continues to keep up with the cart even though he's breathing hard by the time everyone arrives. Considering himself even with Giggler and friend, he tries to make polite conversation. Seeing how the conversation consists mostly monosyllabic responses and awkward pauses, it's hard to tell if anything has actually changed between the brutes.



Blackstone rolled an 8 on his endurance check, using effort 1, and endurance training means he passes. He has edge 2 on might checks so he loses 1 from his pool.

Blackstone rolled a 16 for polite conversation, he has a penalty to pleasant interactions.


Blackstone: M 17/18, S 17/18, I 7/10
Reginard Wrane the IV
 A Noble, 11 posts
 Noble Human Speaker
 Who Siphons Power
Thu 7 Jul 2016
at 06:39
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Initially, Reginard takes a defensive stance as Blackstone seems likely to stir up trouble with the apes. However, he relaxes slightly once the others intervene, a hint of relief flashing briefly across his refined features.

08:32, Today: Reginard Wrane the IV rolled 18 using 1d20.  Marching 1 effort.

Reginard's preparations for this trip included significant cardiovascular training. This pays off in spades, as he is quite capable of holding his own in the forced march.

He spend the time plying the lead ape for any further information on the ruin towards which they are headed - key locations, strange sensations, areas where traps or dangerous creatures inhabit etc.

08:37, Today: Reginard Wrane the IV rolled 20 using 1d20+1.  What do apes know? 2 effort plus Willian.

OOC: I should roll on my mobile phone more often!
The Herald
 GM, 41 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Thu 7 Jul 2016
at 15:14
1.0 - Red Sands and Dark Tides
Throughout the night, you make swift progress through the foliage. A'kum never stops insulting your appearance and your objectives, but is plainly starved for conversation. As much as he talks about eating you, it is plain that he is eager to showcase his speech as much as his ferocious strength. His servants display obvious disdain for his arrogant manner when Blackstone attempts to speak with them, but what few intimations of objection they make are met with lashings from A'kum (both figuratively and literally).

Your combined endurance impresses the apes. Lothi moves with the confidence of one familiar with hardship. Bali mocks the servants by adding her weight to the cart, then compounds the insult by carrying Willian across her back when he collapses during the march, thus proving herself capable of matching their inhuman endurance. That Reginard completes the night's march without complaint is perhaps the greatest surprise to primates.

A'kum answers his questions grandiloquently, clearly trying to bluff over his own ignorance, but what passes for subtlety among apes wouldn't fool a small child. He weaves a fearsome image of the lost city as a place full of man-eating shadows and eternal curses. His tall tales are amusing, but the real information that Reginard's line of questions draws out are the landmarks and tips for navigating to and from the place. Your clear-cut path is not hard to retrace, but he does provide substantial information about the surrounding area. You all now have an Asset for navigational tasks in the jungle.

As the sun rises, the hacking from the ouran-outang regiment grows sloppy and weary. The bickering chatter among them faded into weary resignation an hour ago. At last, you reach a stone outcropping amidst the trees, a dark slab of basalt jutting like a bad tooth from the earth. "Dead God's Finger points the way." A'kum holds up his stout finger in emulation of the rock.

You all gain 2 XP for completing the first stage of your adventure.