Stormtalker Herod - The Shipyard.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: 0
Storyteller
 GM, 32 posts
Sun 22 Dec 2019
at 23:43
Stormtalker Herod - The Shipyard
Youve been in the city for weeks.  You didnt have much money to begin with, now you have even less. Where are you staying? How have you been managing to pay/steal for food and other essential items you need? Youve gotten yourself into a bit of trouble, or more precisely, someone has gotten themselves in a bit of a trouble by singling you out, and they just dont know it yet. Why have you been avoiding this person who you could so easily physically dominate? Who is it? Why does he have a problem with you?
Stormtalker Herod (C)
 player, 9 posts
 Eclispe Caste Pirate Lord
Sat 28 Dec 2019
at 05:13
Stormtalker Herod - The Shipyard
Herod sighed as he set yet another crate down in the hold of somebody else's ship.  Another day, another few scraps of Jade, and him none the richer for it.

All the power of the gods/demon lords at his disposal and he barely had his trousers to show for it.

If he didn't know better, he'd suspect he was doing something wrong.

But he did know better.  Ships were like family, and dockworkers like those uncles you only see around the holidays.  They counted as family, even if they got rowdy or drunk at get-togethers, and family didn’t take kindly to strangers.  They knew their trade and didn't want no outsiders bungling the whole thing up.

Therefore, new guys like Herod started at the bottom and worked their way up—regardless of how much experience they “said” they had.  He knew that.  He'd even enforced it in his time.  But, it was hard to hold to tradition when you were starving to death.

Welp.  Nothing to it but to get back to work and show them he was worth twice what they were paying him.

He climbed back on deck and was about to go grab another crate when something caught his eye.  A man glaring daggers at him from 50 feet away

Ugh...him again.

In the moments between gigs and looking for gigs, Herod was scouring the lower city for lost treasure.  This meant a lot of power getting thrown around in the relative comfort of knowing that no one would be stupid enough to tread these paths.  Of course, excess of drink can bring ever new depths to stupidity, and one drunken fool saw him down there.
Not as Herod the dockworker, but Herod the Stormtalker--an emissary even the gods listened too.

Once the mess was cleaned up, and the man seen home, Herod had expected that would be the end of it…any strangeness wiped away by alcohol and sleep.  But, no such luck, the man remembered…and wouldn’t you know it?  He bought that Immaculate claptrap hook line and sinker.
He hadn’t (successfully) summoned the Order’s goons yet, but he was still trying.  Right now he watched and waited for Herod to do something Purge-worthy.  But, as of yet, Herod was still just a dockworker.  And barring catastrophe, he would stay that way.
Storyteller
 GM, 95 posts
Sat 28 Dec 2019
at 10:14
Stormtalker Herod - The Shipyard
Unfortunately for Herod, the man was a true believer, and while he wasnt sure exactly what he saw, it was enough to know it was evil.  Fortunately his drunken musings combined with the city's rather lax enforcement barring spirits/sorcery, combine with the immaculate faith's relative lack of strength compared to on the blessed isle has meant nothing much has happened.  The city is full of all sorts of strangeness and the immaculates just dont have the manpower or mandate to allow as much control over the situation as they would like.

The man, despite his beliefs, was well known and well liked among the various crews. His constant mutterings and active dislike of Herod has made getting ahead almost impossible.  The value of good morale and a happy crew are very difficult to overcome for a person, even one as skilled as Herod.  If you want to make any headway on the docks you are gonna have to deal with the man somehow.

Your delving into the lower city has been mostly a solitary experience, but you have managed to find a few trinkets that youve sold for some coin.  Youve also talked to people getting gossip on dangerous areas and areas that have been scoured over, so youve made a few acquaintances.  Youve become known as someone who can hold their own.  So its through someone who trades in lower city gossip that you are put in touch with a person who wants you to come along on a job with their crew.  who is this person that wants to hire you?
Stormtalker Herod (C)
 player, 11 posts
 Eclispe Caste Pirate Lord
Sat 28 Dec 2019
at 20:04
Stormtalker Herod - The Shipyard
The true problem with that bastard was he wasn't a problem that could be punched.  Punching him just proved the zealot's point.

Maybe he should look into that whole "demon mind-control" thing that moron was always going on about.

Bah, amusing thoughts for an idle day.  Now, he had to see a man about a dungeon.

Piebald Rat was a beastman (he claims he's a normal man...no one believes him) generally covered in rags and shreds.  His business, ostensibly, was scrap.  Old pots, broken plows, junk--all vanished into his robes and ingots of metal were returned to smiths of Chiaroscuro.  It didn't explain the money Rat always had to throw around, but it looked legitimate enough at first glance.

As long as you didn't ask uncomfortable questions, everyone was happy.

...except for Herod.  Herod was getting mighty uncomfortable with this "man" and endless favors.
Storyteller
 GM, 102 posts
Sun 29 Dec 2019
at 07:09
Stormtalker Herod - The Shipyard
Piebald Rat, as he is known, waves you to follow him inside a broken, abandoned building.  Its dark except for a lantern on a table, casting shadows across the room.  There are 3 chairs around the table, and the Rat sits down at one.  The second is occupied by an old man, with horrific scars on those parts that arent covered by his scraggly grey hair and beard.  Behind him are a group of men in various states of leaning against the walls.  The third chair is kicked out for you to sit in.

The old man introduces himself, What is his name? What have you heard about him? and tells you some general details about the job.  Hes managed to get his hands on method by which a sealed tomb can be opened.  Its deep in the undercity and he needs a replacement man who can hold his own against whatever dangers may be down there.  The Rat has mentioned that you have returned more than half a dozen times with trinkets to sell and are no worse for wear.  Thats more than most can say who brave the tunnels.

After the some brief conversation, The Rat demands his payment for the introduction.  The man nods, pulls out a bag and tosses it over to him.  He hurriedly opens the bag, depositing items inside of his filthy rags somewhere.  "Yes! Yes! This will do, this will do!" He mutters to himself before closing the bag and leaving you alone with the man.

Assuming you are interested in joining the crew, the conversation continues as follows.

He asks you some questions about where youve been in the undercity.  Probing about how you managed to deal with this situation, or that danger.  It is quickly clear that he has a vast knowledge of delving the city.  He tells you that he was willing to pay The Rat for the introduction, but that before they put their trust in you that they need to be sure you are worth it.  He tells you that there is a test they would like you to complete to prove to their satisfaction that you have what they are looking for.  Where do they take you? What test do they have for you? How do you overcome it?
Stormtalker Herod (C)
 player, 14 posts
 Eclispe Caste Pirate Lord
Sun 12 Jan 2020
at 02:30
Stormtalker Herod - The Shipyard
The man introduces himself as Rashid.

"Rashid 'the Face'?" Herod blurts out.

The heavily scarred man's smile grows a bit more rigid.

Herod winces.  Unlike Rashid the Horsethief or Rashid the Wifebeater, Rashid the Face hadn't earned his name—he'd fallen into it.  Rumor had it that his scarring was caused by the same fire that burned his wife and daughter alive.  Or possibly it was an encounter with a Salamander in the desert (and yes, they mean the big fire-breathing kind).  Whatever the reason, this particular Rashid did NOT care to be reminded of the incident that earned him his street moniker.

Rashid the...Broker moved money for a number of people in high places, including several ranking government types.  So just whose payroll he's on right now was probably a very interesting  question.

Hopefully Herod would get a chance to ask those questions—provided he didn't just blow the job interview.

"Well, I was going to hire you outright for this job, Master Herod, but...perhaps a trial is in order."

...well, he probably deserved that.

_oOo_

Alhatin ran a good fighting pit.  The brokers were clean, the clientele only cheated mildly, and the participants usually lived to fight another day.  Sure things could get bloody from time to time, but death was expensive and a well-cared-for fighter could have months of entertainment in them.

Case and point, “Mahmoud the Giant” had been on a winning streak for weeks now.  Despite multiple bruisings, a stab wound or two, and nearly getting choked to death on one notable occasion, the big man kept fighting and winning.  Alhatin kept several excellent healers on staff and so yesterday’s grievous neck-wound was today’s cool scar.

None of this made Herod feel any better as the big man’s fist barreled toward him like a shogunate cannonball.

”Yikes!”

Herod ducked underneath the fist and spun out of the way of the rest of him.  Mahmoud kept going several steps further than he expected before catching his balance.

Herod turn up to Rashid’s box in the audience, ”Is this all really necessary? ” he asked, dodging another of Mahmouds attacks, ”I mean, I get the whole testing thing…but a fight?  Bully boys are an obol an eight-pack.  I thought wanted me for more than my musculature!”

Rashid grins and gestures back to Mahmoud, his message clear.  Defeat the giant, or no job.

”ugh…fine

Herod turns back to Mahmoud and raises his fists.  They want a fight, he’ll give them a fight.

”Alright, you oversized ass, let’s get one thing clear.  I am The Stormtalker!  Breaker of bones and wrecker of warriors!  My hands are the claws of a tiger and my might is that of the great crocodile!  Your might means nothing to me!”

He winked at the big man.

…and Mahmoud chuckled deeply, hammily, ”Big words from a small man!  Men have come into my ring, night after night, boasting the strength of lions, of eagles, even the great bull!  And none have broken me!  So come!  Call upon your crocodile.  I shall break like I broke all the rest!

And “the fight” was on in earnest.

Mahmoud was in fact as strong as he looked, but Herod was slippery as a snake.  So it was hard to gauge true advantage.  But the fight was certainly…a bombastic one.  Gradiose grapples and counter-grapples, flying leaps from the edge of the ring, even a broken chair or two.  But it was all in good fun.

Good painful fun.

Until finally Mahmoud finally got his arms around Herod and brought the smaller man down.

One…two…thre…

But wait!  In a stunning reversal Herod slipped through the Giant’s grasp and got his hands around Mahmoud’s leg.  A reverse pin!

One…two…

No! Mahmoud would not be defeated by this upstart!  With a tremendous heave Herod was sent flying from his position of dominance.  The Stormtalker got shakily to his feet.  Both participants looked winded, ready to fall…but neither would give up.  The two titans of the ring surged forward for one last confrontation.

In a flurry of limbs and sweat, the two met in grapple one last time.  And despite Mahmoud’s strength, Herod found himself pinning the larger man to the ground.

But no! Somehow Mahmoud turned the tables once again.

One…two…three!  Mahmoud Reigns Supreme!!!

The crowd went wild!  Mahmoud stood, his arms wide and accepted their adoration.  But, after a moment, he reached down and pulled Herod to his feet.

A worthy opponent.  The Crowd cheered all the more.

It was only after the crowds had left, and their garbage remained that Herod caught up with Rashid.

”You threw the fight.” the scarred man accused lightly.

”Of course,” Herod replied, ”A thug isn’t worth much.  But a champion is almost priceless…especially one that just barely wins.  Far be it from me to rob the Ring of such a treasure.”

Rashid stared at the Stormtalker a long moment, “You are very lucky I had money on Mahmoud.  Go, get some rest.  Tomorrow the real job begins…
Storyteller
 GM, 183 posts
Sun 19 Jan 2020
at 03:51
Stormtalker Herod - The Shipyard
Gain 1 Exp

Your display in the pits was effective at both proving your value to Rashid, as well as keeping you unremarkable.  Nobody remembers the loser for long.

The next evening you find yourself at the location a few minutes early.  The other members of the crew begin wandering in, and before long everyone is present.  Rashid takes a minute to go over the plan.

"Those artifacts arent going to liberate themselves.  They also are not going to go easy, so listen up..."  Rashid managed to get some notes detailing the layout of "The Glade".  The Glade is a particular area where the Wyld has been leaking through for years.  It used to be a powerful Manse belonging to a demon of the first age.  It has since been home to mutants.  It has been dubbed "The Glade" because it is an area of isolated area of lush forests, always ripe fruits, and gentle rains.  "Do not let this fool ya.  Mutants roam and do not take kindly to outsiders.  This is very important so listen up.  Do not eat the fruit or drink the water."

Is there anything you want to do/prepare before you all head off?

You all follow Rashid into the tunnels of the old city, it takes a couple of hours and quite a bit of using side tunnels and backtracking.  This is to avoid various any potential conflicts with the denizens of the undercity.  It is clear that Rashid has a firm grasp on the nuances and interplay of the goings on down here.

Eventually you find yourself at a mound of rubble. "Well boys, get to digging." Rashid sets up some alarms around the perimeter of where you will all be working as well as in the tunnel you all came from.  Satisfied with his work, he leans against a far wall and lowers the brim of his hat, content to let you all at it.

Is there anything you would like to do during this time that the rubble is being moved?