(IC) Party Animals.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 113 posts
Mon 15 May 2017
at 03:55
(IC) Party Animals
Betsy's villa is a section of another tower, adjacent to the one on which the press and gawkers are gathered. You step past the gate house onto the wide but stubby drawbridge, past a couple of guards and into a wide, circular (many if not most rooms in Sharn have a roundish shape, as it turns out) foyer, where your fellow guests are divesting themselves of their cloaks and stoles and at least a few of their clunkier defensive accoutrements.

Disarming oneself isn't required of course; lawful goodness, no. No one knows who might be able to wield what killing ability and so having some means of dissuasion or deflection is only good sense. But this is still a party, and a crowded one, and helmets, halberds and homunculi can have a way of crimping one's style.

Those without their own means of securing their stuff are offered the services of a large, low lizard, one of a train that is exiting a small door in one wall and exiting, laden with a bundle of party-goer property. Presumably there is a waiting area for this porters somewhere in the walls; a sort of lounge, perhaps.

There is an abundance of other animals, many apparently in decorative rather than functional roles: a myriad of bright birds, lounging big cats, jewelled insects. Music wafts from somewhere and you'd swear that it's a chorus of trilling amphibians.

There are three floors above you. Each nearly fills the narrow tower, but each is pierced by a wide, railinged hole, making each floor like an inverted balcony. Smells and sounds of food and drink waft down from the next level up. Above that, it sounds like dancing, or some social party game. Above that: guest quarters.

One floor down sounds like a game room. There's no opening in its ceiling (the foyer's floor) but boisterous and semi-belligerent noises can be heard. Strange odors also waft up: tobaccos and other smokables, but also odd alchemical tangs.

These levels can be reached by various means, primarily (and most safely for the intoxicated) bannistered staircases along the walls. It's not impossible to travel directly up the central shaft, but that's generally considered more daring and for those not wearing dresses.

This is still a household, but the primary living spaces are off the main column.

Hands on the second-floor railing, you can see Betsy d'Vadalis, looking very precisely put together, self-assured and in-control, her dragonmark visible on her shoulder, above the stole she's wearing. She spots you and sips the glittering red drink she's holding, while making you feel a bit like a pinned butterfly.

Wait: her hands are on the railing, so how is she holding a drink? Oh, that would be because her stole is actually a huge snake. It is holding her drink in its tail and raises it to her lips at some unseen signal.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:10, Mon 18 Sept 2017.

Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 47 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Mon 15 May 2017
at 16:16
(IC) Party Animals
'Very cool' Albers says to Tham, indicating the goblet-holding snake. 'So this is the famous Betsy. I can't wait for you to introduce us!'

Albers appreciates the sights and sounds as they climb to the 2nd floor, having managed to get a couple of drinks on the way of course. Albers bows dramatically in front of Betsy, offering to kiss her hand. 'Tham has told me so much about you, and he did not exaggerate one bit', he says obsequiously.

Albers is always a bit shy around high-ranking people, despite his confident talk, and this woman and her snake makes him feel distinctly uncomfortable. He'd much rather be sharing a drink and a kiss with a pretty waitress, but he's with Tham now and needs must.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 64 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Tue 16 May 2017
at 01:18
(IC) Party Animals
Tham nods and whispers, "Don't let the snake fool you, if you get too close it will bite." He tells Albers as they nab their first drink at the bottom of the stairs aiming to make their way up.

Tham thinks he spots one of his cousin's in the crowd beyond Betsy and the glimpse of a fellow Lyrandar distracts him long enough for Albers to make his own introduction. Realizing his friend might need someone to speak for him, he steps in beside Albers and adds, "Betsy d'Vadalis your beauty, generosity and magnanimity truly can't be matched. Once again your villa is host to one of the greatest gatherings this city has ever seen. How do you find the time to continue to host such elaborate parties? I would have thought that by now a charming young druid would have swept you off of your feet and taken you to the woods." He adds a wink at the end to drive home the entendre.

"Betsy, this is Albers Josef, a dear friend. Albers, this is Betsy d'Vadalis, you must admit, she's easily the most beautiful woman in Sharn." Tham adds, laying it on thick.
GM
 GM, 118 posts
Wed 17 May 2017
at 04:06
(IC) Party Animals
"Lord Tham. Delighted. I find the time by avoiding druids who want to sweep me off my feet. It snares at least two birds with one string."

To Albers, after offering him her hand. "Charmed, I'm sure, Mr. Josef," The hand is withdrawn at a not-impolite speed, but there's none of the flushing or coquettishness Albers has become somewhat used to. "I'm told the two of you arrived on foot. Seeing the state of your clothing, I'm tempted to believe it. Impressive, if so. Though a bit of a foolish risk for an heir, wouldn't you say, my lord?

"I do hope you enjoy the party. It's a bit of a thrown-together affair, I'm afraid, but most of my invitations were accepted, as usual. Honestly, between the increased gang activity and the sleep disturbance that seems to be sweeping through, I thought this district could use a little brightening up. I mean, I'm well aware of my own reputation, but have you noticed how subdued everyone is?"

She glances around and down. It's subtle, but now that she mentions it, and as the high from your recent fight is ebbing, you can detect a slight malaise in the environment. The crowd in the foyer is clumped and milling. The game on the floor above you seems to be losing steam amid a some jeers and groans of "Not this one again!" And from the game room, comes a thump and a shout as some point of game etiquette is disputed. At least the food is good.

"If you'll excuse me, I should see what I can do to liven things up. Ta."
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 49 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Wed 17 May 2017
at 14:40
(IC) Party Animals
Albers knows exactly what to do in this situation! And needless to say, once the drinks are in him, and he's on the dancefloor with the music thumping and surrounded by women, he's completely forgotten about finding Jil. And it's not until much later, as Albers and Tham are trying to find a room for some alone time with the elf sextets they've picked up, that they accidently stumble into her.

Unfortunately she's not alone.

Albers opens the hidden basement door, hoping it's a roomy broom cupboard and whispering to the elf sisters to stay back. Inside, the participants in an awkward scene freeze.

Betsy, dressed now in a stunning blood-red gown and wearing a magical black tiara presides over a meeting of Daask drug smugglers. On the small table before them is a pouch of diamonds, two flasks of dragon blood, and a curved black dagger oozing necrotic energy. Two dead men lie on the floor, their faces contorted in agony, Betsy's two pet snakes having just finished them off. Boris Stein is in the back, looking miserable, hands wringing, terrified and out of place. A young maid holding a bottle - undoubtedly the changling Jil - has backed away to the far corner and has almost fainted from terror.

Albers glances over the frozen scene and relaxes. 'Cool - the real party's in here Tham!' He grabs Tham and pulls him in and it dawns on the two men that they've just stumbled into the middle of some serious bad news.
GM
 GM, 123 posts
Wed 17 May 2017
at 21:07
(IC) Party Animals
The room is longer and straighter than one would normally expect in Sharn, but at second glance, it appears to have been connecting walkway at one time. There's a door at the far end, forty feet away, and it, like the one you just opened seems set in newer construction, indicating a conversion from passage as wide as the bridge to a single door.

At the far end of the long table is a cadre of goblins in shiny black leathers trying to look suave and slick. Most of them look startled, but one of them, who is calmly cleaning his nails with a long dagger says "Lady," not seeming to mean it in the honorific sense "this is gettin' outta hand. You gotta to step up yer game, securitorially speaking." He turns to the others. "See, boys, this is what comes of using yer pets for all yer protection. Get the stuff and let's go. Boss'll love this story."

"No! Wait!" cries Betsy. "Stop. I can fix this. Tham, and, uh, Albers. This isn't what it looks like. Get out and forget about this."

The goblin rolls his eyes. "Little late for that, lady. Delete them, or the arrangement's off."
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 66 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Thu 18 May 2017
at 13:06
(IC) Party Animals
Before the dancing:

Tham smiled at Betsy and said, "No one has ever called me wise Tham. They save that descriptor for other houses, right?"

Betsy more or less ignored the remark and continued her introductions before sending them off to the dance floor.

On the dance floor:
Tham let Albers do the talking, while he entertained three of the girls with dancing sparks of lightning, occasionally letting one slip "on accident" and giving the girls a delightful shock.

At the open door:

Tham tried to make sense of the scene that seemed to delight Albers to no end. All Tham could think was, there are a lot of people that could get hurt here...

"Betsy, what sort of nonsense have you gotten involved with here?"

OOC:
10:46, Today: Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh) rolled 23 using 1d20+5.  Initiative.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:46, Thu 18 May 2017.

Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 53 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Fri 19 May 2017
at 21:33
(IC) Party Animals
'I guess I probably shouldn't have opened the door without knocking' Albers admits sheepishly to Tham, the excitement in his trousers having considerably diminished now that the 'broom cupboard' turns out occupied. 'Girls - flee' he hisses to the sextet.

Noticing the enormous diaphanous pink silk drapy-thing hanging across the ceiling, Albers edges subtly towards the left of the room until his hands behind his back can undo the rope holding it up while distracting the room's occupants.

'Yeah - nonsense!' he backs Tham up. He sounds ridiculous because he's trying to undo a double knot behind his back. His mouth is moving with his hands - he's a terrible bluffer.

'On the other hand, we could all just share. Tham and I have three bottles of champagne from upstairs - we could have a little party?'

He spots Jil taking a kitchen knife from behind her back, staring intently at Betsy, about to do something rash. 'Don't do it! - Wait!' he signals desperately with his eyebrows, to the confusion of the goblins. He has a plan!

‘Boris – I’m disgusted you are involved in all this. Typical! Are there no depths you would not plumb?!?’ In truth Albers is totally jelous, and he desperately wishes it was he and Tham, rather than bloody Boris, who was invited to do drug deals with Betsy.

He finally undoes the knot!

‘Now Tham NOW!' He cries and leaps in the air, fist clenched as his masterful plan comes together. ‘Yes you too Jil – get them all!’

Up in the ceiling, a super thin see-through pink silk sheet with sequins floats gently down and billows over everybody. Albers turns to Tham with a look of unspeakable triumph in his eyes. Anyone watching the scene would have to admit that the silk sheet can have absolutely no practical effect whatsoever. Not for the first time, Tham is probably regretting this friendship.

22:23, Today: Albers Josef (jacktannery) rolled 20 using 1d20+6.  Initiative.
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 55 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Fri 19 May 2017
at 22:48
(IC) Party Animals
23:46, Today: Albers Josef (jacktannery) rolled 15 using 1d20+8.  Bluff
GM
 GM, 130 posts
Sat 20 May 2017
at 20:14
(IC) Party Animals
The filmy cloth is so light that it doesn't even seem to move for a moment. Everyone goggles at Albers for a moment, except for the head goblin, who rolls his eyes. In the dead silence, the soft footsteps of the elf lasses can be heard running back up the hall.

The following happens more or less all at once:
The apparent leader of the goblin group snaps at one of the others in Goblin, to grab the stuff and go.
Boris, seeing Albers's communication with Jil, moves toward her; she sees this, drops the bottle she was holding and brandishes her knife; Boris draws his sword.
The snakes retreat to the hem of Betsy's dress.
Betsy looks at Tham in desperation and hisses, "Tham, I can explain everything, but we need to get out of here, and I need those vials of... medicine."

The vials are in the middle of the table with the diamonds and the dagger. Goblins about to move on that point, but Tham has a chance to reach it first.

The cover is drifting down onto the heads of the non-goblins. It's light, but there's a lot of it.

12:04, Today: GM, for the NPC Betsy d'Vadalis, rolled 7 using 1d20+3.  Initiative.
12:03, Today: GM, for the NPC Shivthugs, rolled 13 using 1d20+5.  Initiative.

Goblins: at far end of room, some preparing to move to middle.
Jil: At far end of room, holding kitchen knife.
Boris: advancing on Jil.
Betsy: at near end of room.
Tham: near doorway.
Albers: near doorway.
Constrictors: next to Betsy.
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 72 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Wed 24 May 2017
at 15:57
(IC) Party Animals
Tham wastes little time (ironic, right ;)) drawing his daggers he summons a galeforce of wind that is centered on the far side of the room in the very middle of all of the goblin thugs. He has little doubt this will occupy them for the time being and even the odds.

Two of the goblins seem to be able to jump out of the way, but there is now a vortex of howling winds blocking their path to their leader.

Boris had to decide if he wanted to keep advancing on Jil or turn and face the new threats in the room. What Tham didn't consider is that it blocked Jil's path to the center of the room as well. He would have to decide quickly whether he'd push the winds so that they buffeted Boris as well now that Jil was in there path.

"Albers, get the vials and that dagger! Betsy, it's time to start talking."
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 57 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Thu 25 May 2017
at 07:23
(IC) Party Animals
'Explanations - fast! - or your precious dragonblood goes smashedy-smash!' Albers explains, with a cheeky grin. He grabs a vial from the table, and pretends to drop it onto the floor, catching it just in time. 'Oops! So delicate and easily breakable!''

He's about to grab the second vial and knife when he spots Boris advancing on Jil. 'Drop the weapon Boris. She's with me. Jil, honey, get over here now.' Some of his words are lost in Tham's localised storm, but they get the general idea. Both are trapped on the other side of it.

'I have you marked Boris' Albers growls, putting two fingers to his eyes and then pointing them to Boris threateningly - a cool move he remembers from a rough party last year. But in truth, as long as Tham's storm rages the bodyguards are out of action but Jil isn't safe.

'Tham', he whispers urgently, hoping Betsy and the leader don't notice. Fat chance - they've been noticing his odd hand-signals to Boris with some surprise. 'You need to move the storm, at least long enough for me to pass and save Jil. Boris is going to kill her.'

This message was last edited by the player at 07:23, Thu 25 May 2017.

Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 76 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Fri 26 May 2017
at 00:09
(IC) Party Animals
Tham looked at Tham and acted quickly, throwing his hand forward and moving the tempest of winds, he knocks Boris into Jil leaving them both prone and slightly discombobulated and then he slashes his dagger forward and the tempest disappears.

"How does that work for you Albers?"

OOC: I'll go ahead and use my AP to take the extra move action to knock Boris and Jil prone and over if that's ok with you all :)
GM
 GM, 139 posts
Fri 26 May 2017
at 06:14
(IC) Party Animals
Boris recovers quickly from being knocked over. He grabs Jil's arm and hauls her to her feet. "Stay away from me, Josef!" he yells at Albers. He shoves the changeling at the architect and slices some of the drapery out of his way to reach the far door. "I don't want to be near you when Anni's killers find you!" He yanks open the door and plunges through it.

As the door slams behind him, you hear Betsy making gasping sounds. From across the room, she's reaching out desperately for the vials in the tiefling's hands. He dragonmark stands out lividly on her clammy skin. Then she passes out.

The moment she does, the narrow room is filled with a rasping and creaking noise that Albers recognized as masonry and structural members under stress. Something is compressing the room. A section of wall crumbles revealing smooth green scales the size of skillets covering a muscular coil that must be as big around as the trunk of an oak. A gigantic, magebred constrictor, is coiled around the room and, with Betsy's unconsciousness, has gone out of control.

In a moment, the room will be in ruins and you'll either be in the open air, or caught in a constrictor's grasp. There are two doors out, and one unconscious woman, as well as a bag of diamonds, a dagger and the remaining vial of dragon's blood.
GM
 GM, 139 posts
Fri 26 May 2017
at 06:14
(IC) Party Animals
Boris recovers quickly from being knocked over. He grabs Jil's arm and hauls her to her feet. "Stay away from me, Josef!" he yells at Albers. He shoves the changeling at the architect and slices some of the drapery out of his way to reach the far door. "I don't want to be near you when Anni's killers find you!" He yanks open the door and plunges through it.

As the door slams behind him, you hear Betsy making gasping sounds. From across the room, she's reaching out desperately for the vials in the tiefling's hands. He dragonmark stands out lividly on her clammy skin. Then she passes out.

The moment she does, the narrow room is filled with a rasping and creaking noise that Albers recognized as masonry and structural members under stress. Something is compressing the room. A section of wall crumbles revealing smooth green scales the size of skillets covering a muscular coil that must be as big around as the trunk of an oak. A gigantic, magebred constrictor, is coiled around the room and, with Betsy's unconsciousness, has gone out of control.

In a moment, the room will be in ruins and you'll either be in the open air, or caught in a constrictor's grasp. There are two doors out, and one unconscious woman, as well as a bag of diamonds, a dagger and the remaining vial of dragon's blood.
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 58 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Sat 27 May 2017
at 22:05
(IC) Party Animals
Albers wants nothing more than to run after DAMNED Boris - but he can't leave Tham here with Daask and the giant boa!

He lets go of Jil and grabs Betsy, but then Jil tries to run away (not good!) so he drops Betsy and grabs Jil. 'Oh buggery - too many women!' he cries, a novel feeling. 'Jil, we are here to save you. Help me with Betsy - we need to drag her out of the room'.

Tham, he hopes, will manage to grab the diamonds, dagger and dragonblood before Daask, while keeping the gang occupied with sorcerous storm magic. And with any luck, the boa would constrict the room extremely slowly.

Dragging Betsy without touching her pet snake tuns out to take slower then expected. This was never going to work - something was going to give.
GM
 GM, 142 posts
Sun 28 May 2017
at 20:23
(IC) Party Animals
In reply to Albers Josef (jacktannery) (msg # 15):

Jil finally seems to snap out of it, and makes Betsy's safety paramount, rushing to her lady's aid. "She's gone too long without a dose!" she cries over the sound of disintegrating architecture. "The power it gave her mark is fading quickly." You can see that her smaller constrictors, too, are reverting to a more untrained state, but fortunately this just means that they're trying to find a way out. The door you entered pops partway free of its hinges under the stress and the snakes flee through the gap.

The remaining goblin moves among his fallen fellow gang members, taking their knives off them. "Hey, waste not. We'll add this to the lady's tab. No hard feelings, eh? Anyway, we're the least of each other's problems right now, knowhatamean?" A chunk of masonry pops off the wall near him missing him by inches, and he makes tactical use of this to re-position and get moving toward the door.

You make it into the hall with the surviving members of this drug-deal-gone-wrong in the hall, you hear the hallway behind you ripped away and what sounds like a long, muscular body swallowing some bodies before slithering away. But there is more chaos inside the mansion. Screams and yells can be heard from party area, and not all of these are from humanoid throats. One of the elven women from earlier comes tearing down the hall past you in terror, her face blotched with welts and her eyes swollen shut, with a barrage of thumb-sized honeybees in pursuit. She'd been wearing a particularly sweet floral scent, Albers recalls.

"Look, none of this is on Daask, you got that?" says the goblin. "'Use only as directed,' we told the lady." Betsy is in no condition to dispute this.

"We have to get to her room," says Jil, "We need to make her comfortable, and administer the dragon's blood. Quick, upstairs!"

"Pretty risky, doll," sneers the goblin. "There's a shaman Daask with rituals to handle this. Couple'a towers over... and down, natch."

"No! I need to stay with her!" cries Jil, but then she flicks up a stony visage, perhaps adopted from a goliath or gargoyle. It's nigh-unreadable.

"Soocher self," shrugs the goblin. Then he underhands a knife past Jil's ear, skewering the bird-of-paradise that was about to drive its beak and talons into her neck.


Location: Curving hallway near outside wall of Betsy's mansion.
Present: Tham, Albers, Jil, goblin ganger, Betsy (unconsious).
Situation: Magebred animals in a state of panic, party-goers under assault.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 22:16, Mon 18 Sept 2017.

Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 65 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Wed 31 May 2017
at 10:50
(IC) Party Animals
Betsy moans, shudders, and a trickle of blood dribbles from her mouth. Jil looks horrified - 'oh gosh, she's worse than I realised'.

The Daask shaman is the only choice. Albers and Tham look at each other and come to an unspoken agreement: they would fight their way out of here and bring Betsy to the Daask tower.

The goblin and Jil pick up Betsy as Tham and Albers try to clear them a path towards the front door. But the rampaging magebred animals are too much, and the group are forced to turn back.

'There's another way - a secret passage through the basement' Jil reveals. There are more magebred animals running wild there too - but at least these ones are possible to fight.
GM
 GM, 144 posts
Thu 1 Jun 2017
at 18:06
(IC) Party Animals
The group reaches the basement relatively unscathed, thanks to excessively elaborate clothing, sorcerous blasts, and well-placed shiv tosses.

The mansion widens somewhat as you enter the basement levels, as the tower is wider lower down. The "secret passage" turns out to be a network of side tunnels and auxiliary rooms that normally house many of the smaller service animals, most of which have fled in the confusion. Cages and hutches cover one wall, all of them open and empty. As you enter, you see a monkey in a ballerina tutu opening the last cage in the row, releasing a clutch of canaries. The monkey screeches and runs off.

The smell is rich, but not actually that bad; the House of Handling knows its business, and have ritually and architecturally equipped this area to deal with waste. There are regularly spaced drains and you notice at least one pushbroom doing some sweeping with no visible means of support.

One of the drains is working overtime to handle a large flow of slightly dirty water from one of the outer rooms. "Uh-oh," Jil says. "The exit you want is through there."

Splashing ahead, one can see a wide room with a door at one end, and a large pool taking up the entire room except for a narrow ledge around the outside. The pool is overflowing due to some malfunction, and you can see now that the water is tinged with blood, and contains some shreds of flesh. An all-too-human-looking disembodied eyeball floats past you. Several dorsal fins pierce the surface, circling.

"There's another way," says Jil, "Back the other way. But it leads out the other side of the tower."

"But yer a Lyrander, aincha?" says the goblin, who has asked to be called Brunok, "Cantcha just make us so we can run across that surface before those fish know what's what?"
Tham d'Lyrandar (jkeogh)
 player, 85 posts
 Half-elf
 Dragonmarked sorcerer.
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 03:34
(IC) Party Animals
Tham had been wrapped up in trying to figure out what was so special about this dagger that he almost missed the floating eyeball.

He shoved the dragon's blood vial at Albers and said, "You hold on to this. I don't need the temptation. I'm keeping the dagger and the diamonds though. I'll share them with you assuming we get out of here." He gives his friend a knowing wink.

"Umm, yeah, so I'm sure there are some Lyrandar's who can just naturally walk on water, but me not so much. I can summon lightning and electrify anything in the water but there's no guarantee that those things aren't bred specifically to resist electricity. I say we go the other way. What do you think Albers?"
Albers Josef (jacktannery)
 player, 67 posts
 Tiefling
 Paladin, revolutionary.
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 10:04
(IC) Party Animals
'Well, if you don't want to walk on water magicly, we could attract those sharks across the here and you could electrify them for just long enough to walk over them to the other side - it'll be almost like your walking in water', says Albers.

'Look for a lever on the other side to lower the water. I'll wait here with Betsy and Jil'.