Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza.   Posted by GameMaster.Group: 0
GameMaster
 GM, 200 posts
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 21:48
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
As Byron hefts the badly injured Arnold Strump onto Iskuras and mounts behind him, Aesop checks with Phule to ensure the bandit in the wagon is still secure, then the seer mounts to the driver's seat and shakes the reins. A short distance westward, the two men check on bandit #5 and discover that he's gone from unconscious to dead. "Never mind," says Phule. "He's toast." The miscreant starts back toward the wagon, then turns back when he realizes Aesop hasn't followed. The seer regards the bandit passively, then says to Phule, "Dead or not, he may mean something to one of the two survivors. Let's load him up and take him to their campsite. If it turns out to have been unnecessary, then at least the one trussed up in the wagon will get a reminder of what could become of him if he doesn't behave."
GameMaster
 GM, 201 posts
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 23:00
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Later...

Twilight has settled over the bandits' camp. The background chorus of chirping crickets and bob-whites is intermittently drowned out by the pop and hiss of the fire. As luck would have it, there are some crasom leaves in a small envelope in one of the tents. Arnold Strump accepts two leaves gratefully and begins chewing them. The remaining eight leaves go back in the envelope, and the envelope in Aesop's belt pouch.

There is a branding iron laid against a tree. The branding surface depicts an Ancient animal called a Bison, one long since consigned to extinction. Looking at the prisoners, you quickly see that neither the young boy nor the teen girl have been branded. However, the Aberrant clearly has been tortured with the branding iron touched to various body areas. His chest and back are hideously burned, as well as the bottom of each bare foot. He tries to attack anyone who comes within reach. Thankfully, the strong iron chain and manacle hold him to a six-foot radius around the deeply driven iron spike in the ground.

The boy might be six or seven. He wears garb not commonly seen in Greteland outside of Dokur and nearby villages. He cautiously reaches out to the hand Ulic proffers, once a key to his iron cage has been found and the door opened. Now, the boy sits quite close to Ulic on the ground near the fire and soberly watches Aesop preparing quite the repast from the bandits' culinary supplies. Soon there is the smell of cooking meat. An iron skillet on a thin bed of coals near the edge of the fire is frying eggs, and a remake based on a 20th-century Dutch oven holds a batch of dough soon to become bread. Aesop may roll to see how masterful his efforts are, if he wishes.

The girl is not seriously harmed ... physically. She hasn't been cut or beaten. However, her ripped shift makes it clear that she has been raped repeatedly, and she will not suffer anyone to touch her. Where the young boy watches you like a wolf sizing up some even larger predators, she is a frightened lamb.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:03, Tue 04 Apr 2017.

Aesop Donnohue
 player, 70 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 03:17
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Aesop briefly instructed Arnold on how to take the leaves, basically telling him not to swallow them or spit anything out. He was careful not to give too much. He heard of people who simply laid down and stopped breathing after overindulging in the plant. With any luck, the bandit would soon be so doped up they could amputate without him taking a heart attack or struggling.

While the others figured out logistics and otherwise went through the camp, Aesop set to cooking. He could leave the food to fry over low heat once he was needed to help restrain Arnold, or whatever he may have to do. He didn't know much about surgery, he knew some herbalism from his mother, but that was the extent of his meager medical knowledge. Overall, the idea of having to cut off a man's leg did not seem to outwardly affect him. He seemed more interested in monitoring the eggs. He decided to season them with minced thyme, because it was sweet and something spicier may offend the little one.

Who Aesop could feel watching him. Everyone seemed frightened and jumpy. Which wasn't surprising. They were just more strange men, really. "I may be needed shortly," he said, glancing up to the child. "Could I ask you to watch the food? I would ask our friend Ulic, but I'm afraid he might eat it."

He spoke with the patient tone of someone who was used to dealing with children. Meanwhile, he was trying to discern how lucid Arnold was.
GameMaster
 GM, 208 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 11:49
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
The girl's stomach grumbles at the smell of food, and she studies Aesop's every move. Her eyes go back and forth among his hands, the skillet, and his blindfold. Whenever she catches one of the PCs looking at her, she stares with a mixture of sadness, trauma, and defiance.

The young boy is unselfconsciously laying over with the back of his head resting on Ulic's leg. Like the girl, he also watches Aesop cooking. When Aesop speaks to him, he sits up and listens. Aesop: "Could I ask you to watch the food? I would ask our friend Ulic, but I'm afraid he might eat it." The boy's eyes get big for a brief moment, then his face breaks into a grin. "Ooh-lick? He eat many, many eggs, yes?" He cranes his small head around to look up at the huge outlander warrior. "You not try anything foxy. Thel guard food, not want break your face." He seems very serious in his tone, but his eyes sparkle.
Aesop Donnohue
 player, 72 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 15:28
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Aesop laughed. "You tell 'em."

He'd been worried the kid would be too traumatized to reply. He was glad Thel was responsive, and energetic enough to threaten the big clansman... The girl seemed another matter, unfortunately.

"My name is Aesop. How about you?" he asked, hoping to distract her slightly. "Have you done much cooking? I could never convince my sisters to pick it up. They have no patience."

He shook his head disapprovingly.
GameMaster
 GM, 215 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 16:25
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
"I'm Sam. Samantha Dyber, of Slaytonthorpe". She glances at the aberrant, who's looking well, actually, it's difficult to tell who he's looking at, for there are many eyes on his head. After a few moments, she glances back at Aesop. "I want mama and papa." Tears course down her face, streaks cleaning two paths through the filth on her skin. Her hands clench and unclench repeatedly on the fabric of her shift. She watches raptly when Byron walks up to the fire, leans over, and rotates the meat on the spit. She studies his armor for a moment. When he looks up and gives her an encouraging smile, she timidly smiles back. "Will you take me to mama and papa?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:47, Wed 05 Apr 2017.

Ulic, son of Jygor
 player, 65 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 17:14
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
quote:
"You not try anything foxy. Thel guard food, not want break your face." He seems very serious in his tone, but his eyes sparkle.


The Dorn's regards Thel from the corner of his eye before nodding slowly, as if in contemplation, "Then the vittles are safe indeed," he responds without apparent mirth, "and what village does Thel, Guardian of the Banquet, hail from?  Speak of your lineage that we may know you."
Thelonius Bha'kran
 NPC, 1 post
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 17:23
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
The young boy regards the huge barbarian. "Me Thel Onius Bha'kran," he proudly proclaims, with a heavy glottal stop, hands on hips matter-of-factly. "I First Cenobite of Third Circle. Me no fear bad men."
Byron Marchant
 player, 138 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 17:50
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Byron looked down at Arnold.  More particularly, at Arnold's leg.  "You're holding up well," he informed his former opponent, not really lying but not really telling the truth either.  "We're going to have to take the leg, but I want those crasom leaves to take full effect before we do."  Byron had hoped that they'd find some alcohol at the camp to further take the edge off, but there was none to be found.  Apparently these were the rare teetotaler bandits.  That, or they'd already drunk it all.

"I'll be back in a few minutes and we'll get this done," he reassured the injured man, trying to project more confidence than he felt.  This was going to be a rough one, and he wasn't looking forward to it.  He went over to the spit and turned the meat, trying to take his mind off the upcoming operation for a minute or two.  And that's when he saw Sam.

How can people do this sort of thing?  Byron understood some crimes.  Those committed out of need, or anger.  But to abuse a girl who was little more than a child?  That sort of thing defied understanding.

"Of course, sweetheart," Byron smiled at her, approaching and kneeling down so that he didn't loom over her.  "We may not be able to take you ourselves, but we'll make sure you get back to them.  Where do you live?"
GameMaster
 GM, 217 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 18:51
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
"Slaytonthorpe, sir. Its in Winsome Valley, on Duke Marchant's land, near the river. My papa is the miller. Mama is a midwife and shrubber." Fresh tears course down her cheeks, and her delicate shoulders quiver. "They likely think me dead, now. It's been many days since I was taken."

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:03, Wed 05 Apr 2017.

Byron Marchant
 player, 139 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 19:17
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Byron started.  "Slaytonthorpe?"  He shot Aesop a surprised look.  "I know it.  Duke Marchant is my father; I've been there several times.  I mediated a dispute there between Grandel Myerson and Mikk Trenshew.  Do you know them?"

He smiled, although inside he was roiling.  These men were abducting his people?  Before it had simply been wrong.  Now it was personal.  "We're going to make sure you get back to your parents, safe and sound."  He reached out and patted her reassuringly on the shoulder.  "I'm a Marchant--it's my duty to protect you."

"But right now I need to go care for this other man."  He pointed to Arnold.  "He's promised to tell us all about the others who have been taken, but I need to make sure he stays alive to do that."  He stood, turned, then turned back.  "You might want to look away."

Byron moved over to where Arnold was lying.  The brand was glowing hot in the coals.  "All right, Arnold," he told the injured man.  "We're going to do this.  Even with the Crasom, it's not going to feel great.  Ulic, and," at this point he noticed Hrundar.  Who is this?  Apparently they weren't the only ones looking for the slavers.  "You.  Would you please hold him still while I work?"

Once Arnold was restrained, Byron took a deep breath, said a prayer, and began cutting . . .



*Grandel Myerson is Slaytonthorpe's miller.  *Mikk Trenshew is Marchant tenant responsible for the farming of a great deal of the arable land in and around Slaytonthorpe.
Aesop Donnohue
 player, 73 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 19:52
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Aesop pulled a funny face, picking up on Byron's anger. Not really a grimace, but maybe he was trying to hide one. The fire light flickered and reflected off the sleek surface of his mask, lending it a sort of hypnotic quality. He gave his friend a half-nod for parting, then reached to fussily readjust the meat, reverting back to his calm demeanour.

He looked unconcerned by the amputation a few meters away. He stayed crouched by the fire and whistled a tune to occupy himself, focusing on nothing else. His head bobbed up to the Aberrant. He wondered if they would be able to feed him too. Some had... problems in the brain department. And that fellow did not seem friendly, he probably associated anyone coming near with pain. Something to worry about later.
GameMaster
 GM, 220 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 20:20
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
quote:
I mediated a dispute there between Grandel Myerson and Mikk Trenshew.  Do you know them?"


The girl's eyes widen. "Grandel? That's my papa! Uh, well actually my stepfather. He and mama married when I was two. You know him?" she asks, all thirteen years' naivete coming to the fore.
Ulic, son of Jygor
 player, 66 posts
Thu 6 Apr 2017
at 03:37
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
The clansman moved to  Arnold's side, glowering darkly at the slaver regardless of the prospect he might help to locate Ulic's sister.  Pushing the man to lay back upon the ground, the Dorn took hold of the wounded thigh and calf, leaving a wide space for Byron to strike.

"I had seen this done before," he nodded, "Make the blow powerful and swift; no more than 2 strokes.  Once the flame has been applied he will live or die in a day or two as his strength allows.  Easy."  He shrugs in a "whatever-shall-be-shall-be" manner.
GameMaster
 GM, 222 posts
Thu 6 Apr 2017
at 17:39
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Arnie's pupils are dilated, his breathing slow but not shallow. The crasom leaves have taken effect, numbing him somewhat both physically and mentally. Even so, it cannot completely allay his anxiety. Nevertheless, he does not struggle as Ulic takes hold of the mangled limb and Hrundar holds down his shoulders.

Without being asked, Samantha straddles the foot of his uninjured leg and sits on his shin, immobilizing that limb. Byron glances at her, then at Thel, concerned. The girl says, "I've seen people tortured almost every day since they took me. I can handle this."

Aesop slides a piece of rounded firewood beneath the area of the leg where Byron will strike, a backstop to catch Byron's blade and to prevent the mangled leg from being crushed into the ground by the blow. Then the seer withdraws, drawing Thel to the other side of the fire where he is cooking. The incongruity of the aromas of a meal being prepared juxtaposed with the coming screams and scent of blood are not lost on the seer, but mutual needs make strange bedfellows.

Byron must get at least a Width-2 set on two consecutive rolls, or a single Width-3 set to sever. He succeeds on the first blow (+1D bonus for immobilized target) → {1,1,1}:

quote:
07:22, Today: GameMaster, on behalf of Byron Marchant, rolled 31 using 8d10 with rolls of 10, 7, 5, 4, 2, 1, 1 & 1.


Arnie passes out. An hour later, he is still alive though unconscious, and Hrundar loosens the tourniquet briefly so his upper leg gets good blood flow. Arnie succeeded in his Vigor test to survive:

quote:
07:24, Today: GameMaster rolled 27 using 4d10 with rolls of 8, 8, 7 & 4.
{8,8}


Arnie emits one long, anguished scream then passes out.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:27, Thu 06 Apr 2017.

Byron Marchant
 player, 142 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 03:25
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
"Well, we've done what we can."  Byron sat back on a log, contemplating the unconscious Arnold.  He was suddenly exhausted; it had been a long day.  "Hopefully he'll come to sooner rather than later."  The side of his mouth quirked downward.  "And not die on us.  We need his information"

"So Grandal's your pa, is he?"  Byron gave Samantha a tired smile.  "He'd be proud of you, helping out like that.  Thanks Sam."

"Thanks for your help too, mici," he grinned at Aesop.  "We're not a bad team, are we?"  He shifted his gaze to Ulic.  "And Ulic, I couldn't ask for a better blademate.  Maybe we'll share roast dew buck around a roaring fire up in the mountains someday."

"But right now, we need to have a Nadoir meeting."  Byron went on, addressing the whole group.  "We have a lot of things on our plate.  We need to get Sam back to her family.  We need to track down the main group of kidnappers.  And assuming we find out more information about this mysterious caravan we need to head down to Bluefalls."

"The question is in which order we should accomplish those tasks.  I think we need to take Sam back to her parents first, but that is something that just one of us could accomplish alone, I would think."

"And what do you all make of this letter?"  He queried, holding the document up for inspection.  "Looks like this is the 'southwest trap.'  That means there are more.  And it might mean that this Klim fellow is to the northeast."  Byron pursed his lips as he reread the missive.  "I wonder what happened in Dilgal?  So many questions."
Ulic, son of Jygor
 player, 67 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 04:03
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
"Then let us ask those who posses the answers.  Mumble to the Omnipotent One you revere that they answer, for my wrath will only keep so long", the Dorn replied coldly as he moved to the prisoners.

"Are you Heinich?" he asked the one who had seemed to worry his fellow bandits during previous questioning.  Regardless the man's reply he will look to Aesop to confirm.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:15, Fri 07 Apr 2017.

Heinich Klum
 NPC, 1 post
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 13:09
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza


"Yes. I'm Heinich Klum," the man answers Byron, a scowl on his face. "You won't stop this, you know," he says, glancing around the camp, indicating the cage, the chains, the young former prisoners. "Me and my boys are low-hanging fruit. Relatively easy pickings. That's not the case for the ones who run these slaving operations. They're wealthy, well-connected, and utterly ruthless. They'll swat your band like a pesky insect, and think about as much about it."

He regards the unconscious Arnold Strump. "It's no mercy you gave this one by saving his life. Once he gets over the shock and realizes you killed his brother," he says, obviously indicating one of the dead bandits must be Arnold's sibling, "he'll curse you to Phrelg and back!"
Ulic, son of Jygor
 player, 68 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 15:11
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
"Easy pickings indeed," the Dorn grabs Heinich  by his collar, hauling him easily to his feet and dragging him to just outside the reach of the poor, enraged Abomination.  He holds the man with an iron grip on the back of his neck, forcing him to face the creature he and his men had so clearly tortured.  Assuming the creature is still hostile, the sight of its burned and disformed face and gnashing teeth should fill Heinich's vision.

"Mercy you say?  And what would you know of that?  You are poor in its practice, think you deserving of its blessing?  None of you do I deem worthy of mercy.  You breaths are numbered by your usefulness now...much the same as those you have forced into bondage.  But though I have no mercy to give yet I have my honor, you may buy your breaths with information."

"Thelis.  Kilm.  The Sandbar.  Speak.  Now."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:55, Fri 07 Apr 2017.

Aesop Donnohue
 player, 76 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 15:39
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Aesop took it upon himself to dole the food out for the children. He smiled at Byron, pleased with himself, but unfortunately could not offer any insight as to the letter. He could read the energies behind it, but as for the actual words... Not so much. "And we need to bring Thel back to Do-Kur," he added, assuming the kid was from around thereabouts.

He nodded to Ulic when prompted, indicating the name was correct, then regarded Heinich with a decidedly bored expression. This man must be stupid. It wasn't mercy that saved Arnold. His only saving grace was information.

That was demonstrated quite clearly by Ulic. Aesop's face turned steadily to follow the pair, like a cat tracking a mouse.
Ulic, son of Jygor
 player, 74 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 21:28
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
The clansman stretches his arm forward...one inch...two.  The mishappen Abomination's filthy nails begin to dig into Heinich's cheeks.

"Should you mistake that my patience is greater than my mercy," Ulic rumbled, "you would do well to reconsider."
Byron Marchant
 player, 145 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 22:02
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
Byron sat back and soberly considered the situation as Ulic almost spat words at him and moved to question the bandit leader.  The young lancer was none too comfortable with Ulic's aggressiveness, but he also realized that the clansman had a right to be angry.  His sister had been taken, very possibly raped, and this man might have information concerning her whereabouts.

Suddenly the niceties of civilized society seemed inadequate to the purpose.

Byron took a piece of trimint and popped it into his mouth, chewing thoughtfully as this Heinich raged against his situation and growled his empty threats.  But those threats were not without interest.  Wealthy, well-connected people?  He sat forward.  That was new.  Could these slavers not just be outlanders, or criminals, but controlled by members of society?

His eyes hardened.  He could understand desperate people doing desperate things, but the nobility?  For money?  That was unforgiveable.

*trimint is a gum-like substance made by combining the sap of three different tree species.
Heinich Klum
 NPC, 2 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 22:03
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza


The muscles in Heinich's neck bulge but he can't resist the inexorable force that Ulic applies. Suddenly the aberrant's filthy fingers dig a furrow across his check. He grits his teeth and grunts.

But when the huge barbarian twists the man's neck, turning his head to the side, and offers to the Aberrant, "Perhaps a juicy eyeball?", Heinich cracks. "All right! Stop! Stop!! I'll cooperate!" He collapses back onto his rump when Ulic allows it, grunting at the pain in his hands that are tied behind his back. His right leg is manacled via iron chain to one of the wooden benches around the fire.

"Thelis Fell-Arm is one nasty son of a bitch. He answers for the Tag Teams from Valrigont to Bluefalls. I don't know how many tag teams there are, for sure. Within fifty miles of Valrigont in any direction, there's usually three or five groups operating at any time. And you have to understand," he says, craning his neck to look up at Ulic, "it's not as if Klim makes himself easy to find. I've never got an order from him face-to-face. It's always by letter delivered by courier, or else by way of a drone. But he's unforgiving of mistakes. I know that. Me and my boys replaced a tag team two months ago that'd been in place for five years. They bungled a grab. Two of 'em got subdued and turned in to the Archon. Next thing I hear, the rest of that team is dead all eight of them."

He glances around, eyes lighting on the food. "We're supposed to meet Klim at a spot I know on the Khorne. It's a big sandbar on the western shore, maybe twenty miles north of Valrigont. But you force me to lead you there, we'll all die. Trust me."
GameMaster
 GM, 229 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 22:10
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
I'm about to start Chapter Three. Please post there.

Chapter Two closing, XP coming...
GameMaster
 GM, 231 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 22:28
Chapter Two: March 04, 4632; Valrigont - Four Squares Plaza
XP has been awarded for Chapter 2 (Mar 25th to April 07th, 2017).

Party story award for defeating Soleman's Well kidnappers: 1 XP to each PC.
Party award for making IC posts: 1 XP to each PC.
Party award for superb characterization on the Chapter 2 IC thread: 1 XP to each PC.
Ulic's successful intimidation of Heinich Klum: 1 XP to Ulic.
Aesop's discovery of some psionic devotions: 1 XP to Aesop.
Hrundar aiding the party in the battle: 1 XP to Hrundar.
Byron, for his very first leg-chopping (but hopefully not his last): 1 XP to Byron.

So, that's a total of 4 XP each for Ulic, Aesop, Hrundar and Byron. XP for the battle has already been given.

Your XP Reserve and Lifetime XP Earned have been updated.

Congratulations on terrific Ch. 2 posts, Todd, Mike, Andy, and Brianna!

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:29, Fri 07 Apr 2017.