(IC) 1: The Rescue.   Posted by Takmarin.Group: 0
Mathorn
 player, 99 posts
 Elven Ranger
Sat 17 Jul 2021
at 14:59
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
No. Thorn didn't trust this woman, she wouldn't spend a moment longer than necessary with the hunters who were clearly aware she had caused Darcassan's injuries and, above all, she'd not be carrying this stranger's bottle. For all she knew, it might be "important to the process" in order to link her to some sort of highly suspect mystical ritual.

As soon as they were out of earshot, Thorn turned to Althaea. "You fetch these bottles, if you wish. I shall inform the others." And without giving the Eladrin time to respond, she set off in Sand's direction. If anyone could determine what this Blackweather was up to, it would be the intelligent construct.

She intercepted the mage on his way back to Vertigo. "Sand, there is a woman who claims to have a cure for the plague and perhaps the hunters' condition as well." Not wishing to prejudice his judgment, Thorn added none of her own observations or suspicions. "She's in the cave where the Drow was imprisoned."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:13, Sat 17 July.

Althaea Sylvaranth
 player, 180 posts
 Autumn Eladrin
 Enchantress
Sun 18 Jul 2021
at 01:04
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Looking at Thorn's receding figure with a scowl on my face, I turn to Victoria, "Thorn is refusing to help in this ritual you have, what will happen if I retrieve the other bottle?"

Thorn is infuriating.

Looking between Althidon and Elias, "How are you two feeling?"

Upon closer inspection, now that I was close enough to see them properly in the better light from the torches in the back of the cave, the pair appear emaciated. The skin under their eyes was a dark purple, the sleepless nights clearly starting to take their toll on the hunters. Their once strong figures were frail, their fingers thin and bony, the muscles beginning to atrophy from the lack of food and use.

We need to cure them soon or they will not live much longer. How could Thorn turn her back on them when they need her most?

If the hunters or Victoria looked closely, they could see a single tear roll down Althaea's cheek.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:43, Sun 18 July.

Takmarin
 GM, 229 posts
Sun 18 Jul 2021
at 02:49
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Victoria sighed in frustration.  We need someone of Fey descent in order for this to work and both you and Thorn were already here and would have satisfied that requirement.  Find another of Fey descent and have them carry the bottle separately.

When you return, please wait outside and do not open the curtain until I tell you to.  When I say it is okay for you to come in, you will take the lids off of the containers holding them in your other hands.  Then close your eyes and push your way through the curtain and into the room.  You will feel the bottles filling up, so make sure you have a good grip on them.  Do not put the lid back on until I tell you to and when you do, hold the lid closed tightly.  When it is safe to do so, I will tell you to open your eyes.  Do you understand my instructions?

Althaea Sylvaranth
 player, 181 posts
 Autumn Eladrin
 Enchantress
Mon 19 Jul 2021
at 02:41
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
As Victoria explains the procedure, I understand why two people are required. There were several residents of Vertigo who were of elven descent, but no real fey. I bid farewell to the hunters and Victoria, heading through the passages to locate Aleena. While we may not get along well, she is one of their companions and it would serve her best interests to help me. Once I am close enough to cast the spell, I message Sebastian to determine where I could find her.

Do you know where I can find Aleena?

I can sense the annoyance from Sebastian of hearing my voice in his head, but he gives me the information I seek. My chambers.

Once I reach Sebastian's chambers, I call out to Aleena, "Aleena, there is someone here who claims she can cure Althidon and Elias, but she requires your assistance for the ritual to work.

"You may enter."

Stepping through the curtain to Sebastian's chambers, I find Aleena splayed across the large bed, half-dressed. I have to stop myself from rolling my eyes and beckon her to get ready. "The procedure is simple. You will need a bottle such as this, we will enter the chamber once Miss Blackweather has instructed us to, albeit with our eyes closed. The bottles will start to fill, and once done, we will place the lid on the bottles and hold them on tightly. Miss Blackweather will instruct us when to open our eyes."

I stand and wait for Aleena to give me an answer.
Takmarin
 GM, 230 posts
Mon 19 Jul 2021
at 13:55
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Not even a hello or a how are you?  Just skipping the formalities I see.  I want to say it's surprising, since Fey royalty would know better on how to conduct themselves, however that remains to be confirmed with you.  Aleena smiles wickedly before continuing her expected berating.

Who is this Miss Blackweather then?  Why can't we open our eyes during the ritual?  What will the bottles be filling with and why must they be held tightly?  What if you're not strong enough to keep the bottle closed?  So many questions to be asked and I'm sure you didn't take the time to ask any of them, just following orders blindly.

Before I help, I want those answers.  Please come back to me when you have them.


With that said, Aleena turns on her stomach, revealing an ample amount of her backside, and looks back, smiling at Althaea's displeasure.
Althaea Sylvaranth
 player, 182 posts
 Autumn Eladrin
 Enchantress
Tue 20 Jul 2021
at 00:20
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
"I am not your message runner, Aleena. If you wish to know more about this procedure or Miss Blackweather, you may go ask her yourself. It is of no consequence to me if your compatriots starve to death before another cure can be found."

Without waiting to see if she believed me, I turned and strode out of the room.

Deception: 20 (1d20+5)

This message was last edited by the player at 00:28, Tue 20 July.

Takmarin
 GM, 231 posts
Tue 20 Jul 2021
at 03:05
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
As Althaea left, pushing the deep velvet curtain aside, it wasn't long before she could hear Aleena scrambling behind her, knocking a couple things over in the process of her haste.  The same curtain opened shortly after, and out came Aleena, hopping while still putting on one of her gold colored sandals.

Just wait up, will you.  I'm coming, I'm coming.  You are more mischevious than I expected Althaea, I'm impressed.  I LIKE this side of you.  Maybe we can be friends after all.  With a devilish smile, she finally caught up and was walking in tandem with Althaea.

Aleena kept quiet for the rest of the walk, which was unlike her, as she spent most of her time taunting others or putting oil on a fire.  As they got closer to the cave entrance where they knew the hunters to be, Aleena popped off for a second to grab one of the bottles from the inn. By the time she returned, Althaea was already standing patiently at the curtain, waiting for Victoria's instructions.  Aleena stood beside her, looking Althaea over for a second, seeing that the lid of her bottle was off and in her opposite hand, so she followed suit.  Aleena whispered with a sarcastic tone: Well that makes a lot more sense.  I was wondering how the bottles would fill with the caps still on.  Any other instructions I'm missing, princess?

Althaea didn't even entertain the thought of giving her an answer.

It wasn't much longer before Victoria called out to the both of them, reminding them to keep their eyes closed until she said to open them, and waited for them to enter.  Once they did, she told them to walk slowly forward, and when they got to the right spot, told them to stop.  Both Althaea and Aleena felt Victoria's hands on them, moving them slightly about to get them into the perfect positions.  Once satisfied, she walked back facing the hunters and began chanting.  It wasn't long before the room had an electric energy and buzz to it, like the calm before a storm.  The two women couldn't see anything specific, but a deep, dark purplish hue lit up the room and could be seen even through their closed eyes.  The air crackled and hummed with power; both Althaea and Aleena could feel dirt sprinkling them from the ceiling and hoped that the whole mountain wasn't coming down on top of them.

The hunters groaned in pain, but Althaea and Aleena were oblivious as to why...

Victoria watched as the blood was being pulled through and siphoned out of the hunter's pores; a mist of red slowly forming above their heads and coalescing into two amorphous pools of blood.  The process was excruciating for the hunters; both physically and mentally draining.

We're almost done.  Just a little bit longer! Victoria said, holding on to her magic with dear life, groaning in the process.

It was at that point, that Aleena screamed a blood curdling scream.

Enough! What are you doing to her? Althaea said, just as she felt the weight of her bottle growing.

She opened her eyes!  There's nothing we can do for her now; if I stop, the hunter's will die too!

She's dying!  Can I bear some of the magic for her?  There must be something we can do?!?!

If you open your eyes, you will die.  You can not bear this burden for her.  She chose to disobey the instructions and she is paying the price.

Althaea jumped to the only action she could think of and that was to get help.  Using the hand still holding the lid to the bottle, she pointed with her index finger in the direction of the curtain covering the cavern entrance, sending a message to Sebastian:

Thorn refused to help the hunters, so I asked Aleena. Something has gone terribly wrong. Get a healer and come quick. Do not enter until you are told.

Aleena's scream was short lived, suddenly changing to a gurgling sound as Althidon's blood, once the floating mass, now surged forward into her mouth and eyes.  Choking on the blood that now filled her mouth and throat,  Aleena couldn't hold on any longer...and let her bottle go.  The bottle came crashing to the ground and shattered, leaving glass shards along the dirt covered cavern floor.  Aleena's body shook as if in a seizure, the blood forcing it's way throughout her body pushing against its sides from the inside; the sickening sound of bones cracking and ribs popping filled the air, until Aleena's body lay motionless on the floor.

Close the bottle now, quickly!

Althaea obeys, closing the bottle and holding it tightly shut.  The bottle moves a bit in her hands, but it doesn't take long, maybe thirty seconds or so, and the hum of energy finally dies down.  The purplish light fades.  The bottle stops moving.  The room, eerily quiet...

You...you can open your eyes now.
Althaea Sylvaranth
 player, 183 posts
 Autumn Eladrin
 Enchantress
Tue 20 Jul 2021
at 03:55
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
When I open my eyes, Victoria in front of me is trembling, from the exertion of the magic or from witnessing the effects on the lifeless and broken body of Aleena, I cannot be sure. Knowing there is likely little I can do for Aleena at this point, my specialty in magic not lying in the art of necromancy, I turn my attention to Althidon and Elias. Both hunters appear to be unconscious, but I notice the steady rise and fall of their chests, indicating that they still live. Almost forgetting the bottle in my hands, I notice it is filled with blood. There is something else, what appears to be long, dark wisps of seemingly burnt paper are mixed in, but it is hard to determine if that is exactly what they are. Off to my left, about three feet away, lies a sizable chunk of the ceiling about a foot in diameter, that fell during the ritual. Recalling hearing the crash of the bottle, I notice the broken pieces lying alongside the splayed corpse of Aleena.

Kneeling down near Aleena, I try in vain to find any sign of life. While we may have not gotten along well, I did not wish death upon her. Perhaps, now that I can see, I can determine what sort of magic was used in the ritual. I examined the blood-filled bottle as well as her body, but was not able to pick up anything new that I could use to answer my question.

Just as I was finishing my examination, Sebastian burst through the curtain, not heeding my warning to wait for entry.

Medicine: 6 (1d20+2)
Arcana: 12 (1d20+2)
Sand
 player, 132 posts
 Warforged
 Battle Smith artificier
Tue 20 Jul 2021
at 04:04
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Thorn came running to met the construct as he was leisurely walking back to the inverted mountain. She told him about someone working to cure what was ailing the town and even the hunter, things that had been worrying the artificer.

Someone is healing the infection? That is good news, Thorn.


But something was seriously disturbing the huntress, her small tics and shifty movements clearly visible to him.

Thorn worried, Sand can see.

Cursing his inability to convey complex thought in common, he switched to elven.

What worries you this much? If that person can really do as she says, why not give her a chance?


The taciturn huntress clamped up, tense, and Sand nodded his head.

All right, let's go see what is happening.

He started running, as fast has he could, toward the town.

Today: Sand rolled 26 using 1d20+6.  sand insight
Takmarin
 GM, 233 posts
Tue 20 Jul 2021
at 13:27
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Sebastian came crashing through the curtain, practically ripping it from the cavern walls, before sliding on his knees next to the body of Aleena.

There was no holding back as Sebastian just crumpled onto the body of Aleena, crying and sobbing hysterically.  This went on for a good minute or two, before Sebastian picked his head up, his face twisted in torment.

What...what happened here Althaea...what happened to my Aleena?

Before Althaea could speak, the once trembling Victoria, spoke up with confidence; an edge of power in her voice:

She got exactly what she deserved Sebastian.  Much like you crashing into what could have been the middle of the ritual you had no understanding of, with no care of how it would affect the others here, she thought she was untouchable, went against my instructions, and paid an appropriate price.  That is why she is dead Sebastian, because she is an half-wit like you. This couldn't have gone better if I had planned it myself. Oh wait, I DID.

Sebastian looked up in horror at the words coming out of Victoria's mouth, completely in shock.  It was at that point that Victoria slowly pulled the drawstring of her cloak as she flipped back its hood with her other hand, and let the cloak drop to the floor in one fell motion...and Victoria's facade with it.

The creature that emerged was terrifying and beautiful at the same time.  Large wings unfurled and stretched; the tips almost reaching the sides of the cavern.  Large horns jutted from Victoria's head, where there were none before.  Her eyes were blood red and lacked pupils.  It was then, that she spoke again:



Oh and I must say, the agony on your face is most exquisite...and well deserved.  Remember me Sebastian?  You wouldn't forget the witch you betrayed so effortlessly, now would you?  You knew I would eventually find you and extract my payment.  Consider...us...even.  A wickedly devilish smile crossed the witch's face as a serpent like tongue slithered from her mouth and licked the air around it.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:40, Tue 20 July.

Althaea Sylvaranth
 player, 184 posts
 Autumn Eladrin
 Enchantress
Tue 20 Jul 2021
at 15:45
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Upon seeing the full transformation from Victoria, Althaea was shocked. And while she had noticed there was something off about the woman, this was not what she had envisioned. And while she felt for Sebastian's plight, you reap what you sow, as they say.

"Miss Blackweather, if that is truly your name, while I am grateful for your help curing the people here, I do believe it would be best for you to take your leave. Not everyone here is likely to be understanding that Aleena passed from her own actions during the ritual. They will likely be hostile and the people here need time to grieve their loss. What should have been a happy moment has turned tragic and we have much to prepare."

You will get your due, Miss Blackweather, you just are not aware yet. Aleena was mine to take down and death was not what I intended for her.
Takmarin
 GM, 234 posts
Tue 20 Jul 2021
at 18:19
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
You should be careful what you say my dear Althaea, especially when you think no one is listening.  It took a couple seconds for Althaea to realize that this piece of the conversation was happening in her head telepathically somehow, until Victoria decided to cut the link.

Looking up and addressing the room, Victoria started to circle around Althaea as she spoke.  Just because I wear a different skin, one you may not be as comfortable with, doesn't mean I've done anything but good for you people.  I have cured these hunters of their curse.  I have brought the antidote to help the people of Vertigo recover from the toxic mushrooms that plagued them.  Why would the people be mad at me, their savior?  I should be praised!  Would you lie to them and say this was my fault, when it was clearly Aleena who made the wrong decision?  After all I've done, would you not speak on my behalf?  If they will listen to anyone enchantress, it would be you, would it not?

The telepathic connection kicked in again, and Althaea was able to discern the change this time when Victoria spoke.

Have you not figured out that I am here for a more important reason, Althaea?  I'm here because of your link...and pact, with Magorian. Victoria let that sink in for a bit before continuing, knowing how delicious this moment was.

He sensed that you were in danger...that your lifeforce was at risk through this very link he has with you, and he wanted to...protect his future investment. Victoria smirked as she gently gave Althaea's stomach a pat.

However, don't expect such royal treatment in the future Althaea.  Magorian was just surprised at how callous you were with your life and his rightful heir.  After seeing you take part in a ritual you didn't understand in the slightest, a blood magic ritual no less, just solidifies how right he was.  You seem to be willing to throw your life away at any possible moment, but to prevent you from trying to renege on your end of the bargain, he wanted me to leave you with this little juicy tidbit.  Should you continue to be reckless with your life and his future child, Alaric will pay the price for your carelessness.  Is that clear enough for you Althaea?

It was at this point, that Andraste, Sand, and Thorn arrived at the mouth of the cave entrance following behind Thorin.

What in the hell is going on here, Althaea?  Who is this and oh my god, what happened to Aleena?!?
Althaea Sylvaranth
 player, 185 posts
 Autumn Eladrin
 Enchantress
Tue 20 Jul 2021
at 23:18
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
The only response I gave to Victoria was a scowl on my face before turning to address Thorin and the rest, "Thorin, I would like you to meet the true form of Miss Blackweather. What happened here is a blood ritual used to cure the hunters of their curse. Aleena would have been fine if she had followed the instructions given to us before the ritual started. They were not overly complicated. We simply had to hold the bottles with the lid in the opposite hand to close when called upon and keep our eyes closed. Miss Blackweather can likely explain the specifics better than I, should you ask."
Andraste Giltris
 player, 147 posts
 Half-Elf Female
 Envoy of Rau
Thu 22 Jul 2021
at 02:55
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
It took some time for Rolland to calm down but eventually he did settled back on the cot and I gave him some more water. We sat their together in silence for a time before he once again got restless. With nothing to do while I waited for the others to finish their tasks, I quietly told him of my journey from Eternis to Vertigo and while he initially was engaged and asking questions his exhaustion soon got the better of him and drifted off once again into fitful slumber.

The itch began shortly after, slowly working its way deeper into my thoughts, urging me to take action. What it did not matter, just as long as I was doing something! The breathing exercises were not enough so I quietly hummed a soft tune and tried a deeper meditation technique. That did the trick, for now, a narrow victory in an ongoing war but I take what I can get. Nothing easy achieved is truly worthwhile.

A throat is cleared behind me and I turn to see Thorin standing in the door frame, beckoning for me to follow. Standing up I move to do so but he has already left the shelter and his hurrying on his shorter legs back towards the town. I am not sure what he want but given his hurry it must be important. By the time we reach the store room where Thorn had executed the prisoner Thorin is several strides ahead of me.

"What in the hell is going on here, Althaea? Who is this and oh my god, what happened to Aleena?!?" Thorin's startled voice echoes back from the room ahead.

Carefully squeezing passed his broad back I find Althaea standing in the room holding a jar of red liquid; a haughty, angry expression pinching her face. Across from her is a strange women in a revealing red dress with red eyes, large horns, a tail, and broad membranous wings folded neatly behind her shoulders. I would have thought someone in town would have mentioned a visitor like this. At their feet, slumped on the ground over the still form of Aleena, much too still, is Sebastien; his shoulders shaking and his breath coming in ragged gasps. Stepping further into the room I gently lay my hand on his trembling shoulder in a feeble offer of support and gently murmur a prayer for the departed but my eyes never leave the stranger.

Questions rage behind my lips, demanding to be asked but I refuse  for tt this time I am better served by listening. More is happening than I can begin to guess and I best get a sense of what before I risk a missed step and bring down more suffering.
Sand
 player, 133 posts
 Warforged
 Battle Smith artificier
Thu 22 Jul 2021
at 03:35
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
During the run back to Vertigo, Sand kept an eye on the elven huntress, and asked her again why she was so worried, her eyes shifting more than usual, her hands never far from her chakrams. She replied that she preferred him to see and judge by himself, causing him to redouble efforts to reach the small settlement faster, the elf keeping pace, but always a step behind him. Was it a submissive bias or an attempt to use Sand as a shield? Either way, he arrived in town faster than he had expected.

As a construct, he didnít need to breathe, and that was fortunate as he quickly moved to the cavern Thorn had indicated without pausing to catch a break, Clacker by his side, Scamp flying overhead. Thorn, he noticed, stayed behind him, barely breathing hard after the sprint they had done. Would there be battle? He didnít know and just as a precaution, he took his spear in hand, his shield seconds away from being ready.

There was a commotion in front of the cavern, Thorin looking distraught, Andraste going inside, head lowered, and some bystanders he didnít know. Using his frame, it wasnít hard to get near enough to see that Althaea was kneeling and holding a bottle with a red swirling liquid in it, a curious expression on her faceÖ was it cold fury? Beside her, Adraste had put her hand on the shoulder of a sobbing Sebastian, holding the mortal remains of  Alleena, one of the hunter they had just rescued a few days ago.

Only after this periphery sweep did he looked further in the cavern and saw the being that was Victoria. His brain engaged in a automatic triage of demons and devils, trying to figure out what was that thing.

It looks like a succubus, but not reallyÖ thereís a mix of different type of demons here, this does not seem possible. What is that thing?

Spear almost ready to be thrown, he briefly looked at Thorn, speaking in elven.

Is that the healer you talked about? It doesnít look like itís very benevolent. It looks like a Succubus, but itís not quite that. Of course, succubus are shapechangers so it could still be oneÖ unless itís an illusory appearance?

Concentrating, he attempted to catch some sort of illusion magic on the demon.

Today: Sand rolled 10 using 1d20+6.  sand arcana.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:41, Thu 22 July.

Mathorn
 player, 100 posts
 Elven Ranger
Thu 22 Jul 2021
at 14:55
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Althaea had answered Sand's question near enough, so Thorn ignored it in favor of finding an easily-overlooked spot that still offered a clear line of sight to observe the proceedings.

The broken, bloody corpse bothered Thorn not at all, the demon did not seem actively hostile and could probably be dealt with one way or another, but the noble's display . . .

Weeping over the body of a sexual partner was unpardonably sentimental, of course, but to show such weakness publicly defied comprehension. Did these people possess no sense of self-preservation nor decorum?

This message was last edited by the player at 12:30, Fri 23 July.

Takmarin
 GM, 235 posts
Fri 23 Jul 2021
at 19:42
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Good little girl.  Althaea heard Victoria say telepathically in her head again.

Speaking out loud now, Victoria says:  Althaea, that bottle you hold is tainted with fey spirits and I need to dispose of it.  Please don't make the same mistake Aleena did and decide to not follow my instructions.

While waiting for Althaea to hand her the bottle, she addresses the rest of the room.

Your hunters are cured of their curse.  Your people will soon be cured of the toxic mushrooms that plagued you, as Thorin is in the process of distributing the antidote.  You are all welcome.  Once I have the bottle from Althaea, I will be on my way.

Victoria held her hand out, waiting...

Sebastian doesn't flinch at Andraste's touch, but doesn't seem affected it by it either.  When there are no more tears to cry, he puts his hands underneath Aleena's lifeless body, picks her up, showing strength unbecoming of his thinner frame.  Thorin tries to put a hand on Sebastian's shoulder, but Sebastian turns and pushes past Thorin, as if he is not even there.  As Sebastian steps out of the cavern, his eyes catch someone standing partially in a niche of one of the nearby cavern walls, a place he has squeezed into many times as well to stay out of sight.  When the flickering light catches the spot and he sees that it is Thorn standing there, he stares daggers at her as he walks down and out of the main cavern's entrance.

Thorin watched as Sebastian left the cave, his head down, looking defeated.  He looks back at Althaea, the scene, the demon...and just walks out of the cavern, without saying a word.

What, no applause?  No thank you?

Don't bother mourning the dead.  This one died of her own stupidity.  The fault is hers and hers alone. The BOTTLE, Althaea.
Victoria said, growing impatient.
Althaea Sylvaranth
 player, 186 posts
 Autumn Eladrin
 Enchantress
Sat 24 Jul 2021
at 02:31
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Someone's a little touchy.

As I hand over the bottle, I say, "You only needed to ask once. You did not give me an opportunity to hand the bottle over before demanding the second time. Thank you for your assistance and I bid you farewell." I say in my head, with zero regard for whether she hears me or not, Hopefully, our paths will not have a need to cross again.
Sand
 player, 134 posts
 Warforged
 Battle Smith artificier
Sun 25 Jul 2021
at 18:05
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Sand listened to and watched the complex interplay between the not-succubus, Sebastian, Thorinn and mostly Althaea. The elf gave the blood bottle to the creature, that was gloating about having saved the hunter, saved the village from the mushroom curse, and telling everyone how Aleena had died from her own stupidity.

While there might have been some truth to all that gloating, something was worrying in all this situation and the warforged struggled with its memory to put the finger on what was disturbing him. Thorin turned around and left without a word. Sebastian took the body of Aleena and roughly got out, tears still flowing from his eyes. Seeing the body of the woman they had saved triggered something in the big construct's mind and he decided to stop the grieving man, speaking to him in elven.

So very sorry for your lost, please allow Aleena's soul some solace. This is appropriate.


Without waiting, he picked up his half reconstructed jade symbol and started a quick prayer for the dead in archaic elven, something very ancient, the words hard to understand but soothing. He finished the prayer by touching his jade symbol on Aleena's brow.

Go in peace to your new life, Aleena.

Letting the impatient half-elf go, Sand looked at his symbol, wondering, once again, why he acted that way. The prayer had popped in his mind, seemed very familiar as he was saying it, but he could not remember when or where he would have learned it. Another mystery to be solved... eventually.

Turning back to Althaea, he finally caught what had been eluding him earlier.

The non-succubus demon has done great things for this town, but what's the price? Did it ask for one? Demons never work for free.

Sand insight roll on Victoria, 15
Takmarin
 GM, 236 posts
Mon 26 Jul 2021
at 13:35
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Sebastian, with tears still trickling down his face, looked at the warforged but gave no expression, other than a slight nod when Sand lifted the jade symbol from Aleena's brow, before continuing to walk out the main hallway with Aleena's limp body.

Victoria, bottle in hand, smiled at Althaea as she sauntered past the group, having to tighten her wings against her back in order to clear the  cavern doorway.  As she walked down the main hallway, you could see various citizens, frightened and scared by the creature's appearance, clinging closely to the cavern wall in order to stay out of her way.

At the same time, a guard came running down the hallway with purpose, and upon seeing the creature, also moved to the side of the cavern with his hand on the hilt of his sword, before scurrying past and catching Thorin right before he entered his personal room/cavern niche.  Thorin turned, somber and depressed, as the guard addressed him, slightly out of breath.

Thorin, sir.  Sorry to bother sir, but we have two um..peop....well creatures at the gate.  One, uh...looks like that mechanical creature, uh..Sand, and the other is...well it's a giant turtle sir.  Nothing like I've ever seen before.  What should I do sir?

I'll be there in a moment, Seth.  Just tell them to please hold on.
Althaea Sylvaranth
 player, 187 posts
 Autumn Eladrin
 Enchantress
Tue 27 Jul 2021
at 04:57
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Overhearing Seth, I started to make my way toward the gate, careful not to overtake Victoria in my haste to arrive on the scene. Even the thought of more newcomers could not completely overtake the words from Victoria, that she came because Magorian could somehow sense that I was in danger. The threat to Alaric's safety, though, was something I could not ignore. I would have to be much more careful moving forward.

Research would have to be done, of course, for a way to break Magorian's link to my body. I need to find a way to act, even if doing so is reckless, without him knowing. The very war he mentioned could put me in grave danger, thus endangering Alaric further. I put these thoughts from the forefront for now, but this would not be the last time I pondered over them. It was time to meet the new arrivals of Vertigo.
Andraste Giltris
 player, 148 posts
 Half-Elf Female
 Envoy of Rau
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 00:01
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Standing aside to allow, "Victoria," to pass is difficult. This...creature...just killed a young women and is laughing about it! Why is no one stopping her! STOP...A lot has happened here that I do not understand and taking action now will likely only make things worse. My breath is coming too fast, my fingers are tingling, and my heart is pounding in my ears; why is this so hard!

A short figure, with a carefully braided beard moves at the corner of my vision, turning away towards the door. Thorin. For a moment, it is another more familiar, cherished presence; one I would give my life before disappointing. I force myself to take a deep breath and than another...and another.

Familiar words reach my ears and I look over to see Sand murmuring a soft prayer over Aleena, his pet rock clutched in his hand. Where did he learn that, did I say that prayer during the funeral for the drow? It seems he has continued his meticulous repair of the rock, its shape looks familiar but it is not quite right. The thunder of my heart fades as reason takes a hold once more; unfortunately, while the words have helped centre me, they do not offer Sebastien any comfort. Maybe they will later when the emotional wounds are not so fresh.

"Thorin, sir. Sorry to both-" I can barely hear the words from out in the corridor so I focus and hold my breath a moment to hear them better. "- creatures at the ga---like that mechanical creature---giant turtle---" Mechanical creature? A giant turtle? It seems the surprises just keep coming, and I hurry out the room heading towards the main gate.
Sand
 player, 135 posts
 Warforged
 Battle Smith artificier
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 01:49
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Sand looked at the demon while she was passing beside him and felt a twitch in his arm, his hidden blade unconsciously coming out its secret compartment. Quickly concentrating on the wood and metal acting as muscles for him, he returned the weapon back in it's place.

What going on? Why is the non-succubus demon invoking such reactions? Let's hope nobody saw that.

The gloating hell denizen took flight as soon as it was outside and the warforged slumped his shoulders, in a imaginary sigh. He was preparing to go back to his loot that he had left in front of the cavern, under Clacker's watch when a human guard came to Thorin and detailed the arrival of two new persons at the gate. Shrugging, as this was not really his concern, he turned back when the man said something that had the unexpected effect of rubbing Sand the wrong way. Purple eyes blazing, he turned to him. He hesitated a moment, unsure if he would understand elven, and, shaking his head, he resorted to common, as he approached the man, using his size to overwhelm the smaller human.

Sand is sentient being, not mechanical creature. Sand does not appreciate being called like that. Would man like if Sand called him meatbag? Don't call Sand mechanical creature. Sand is Sand.

Letting an articulation voluntarily grind in a loud metal on metal screech as a show of displeasure, the big warforged stormed out of the cave. As far as he could recall, that was his first angry outburst since he had been freed from the ice and it felt... weird. Had the demon affected him that much? He would need to ponder on his reaction. But the man deserved the outburst... mechanical creature... that was insulting!

But the most important news was that there was another like him at the gate! As he was going towards it, he would not wait after the grieving Thorin to learn more. Mentally probed by his master, Scamp left its perch on top of Clacker and took flight, to go over the gate and give Sand a first look at the newcomers.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:53, Wed 28 July.

Mathorn
 player, 101 posts
 Elven Ranger
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 03:10
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
Thorn observed impassively as the demon departed the cavern and, she sincerely hoped, the settlement. No good could come of having a potent creature of unknown motivation lurking about.

Sebastian passed her, casting what he intended to be an intimidating glare in her direction. Instinctively, abject meekness replaced her accustomed submissiveness. Despite moving only slightly, Thorn made herself seem smaller - almost less substantial, as if she did not occupy as much space as she should.

Under normal circumstances, the male's displeasure would not concern her overmuch. However, here he held every advantage, and his lapse in control was enough to make her wonder if he were in full command of his faculties. In her experience, once nobles began to deteriorate mentally they became incredibly dangerous, even if they had not been especially so previously. Power should never be combined with unpredictability.

Still tucked away in the niche, she listened as Sand murmured an unfamiliar prayer for the dead in elven, and a guard informed Thorin of two new arrivals. The fact that they appeared outside the gates made them less suspicious sight unseen than the Blackweather demon, but she would still prefer to inspect them personally. Besides, another construct and a giant turtle? Despite herself, Thorn was . . . intrigued.

She prepared to ghost after Althaea and Giltris when Sand's outburst gave her pause. So, he had a temper. She made a mental note of the information, and of the fact that she should refer to him only by name. But for the first time, Thorn also wondered how old Sand was. Not physically - his archaic form of elven and the rust on his towering form suggested that he had been crafted centuries, maybe even millennia past - but emotionally he seemed naive. Only very young children expected to be judged on who, rather than what, they were. The wise accepted it and learned to make use of others' assumptions. That Sand had not realized this despite his obvious intelligence was revealing.

Still, she had no time to consider it further; she did not wish to miss whatever was transpiring at the gates.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:28, Wed 28 July.

Takmarin
 GM, 239 posts
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 14:11
Re: (IC) 1:  The Rescue
The guard stood there in shock as the large mechanical cr....Sand, said in a booming voice that he was not a mechanical creature, yet stormed off after some strange metal on metal screeching.  How could he know?  He's never met a creature such as Sand before.  He also had both a mechanical spider beetle thing and an owl too; they were both metal.  He just assumed it was a machine creating more machines.  Well, from now on, he'll just have to keep his mouth shut around the...well Sand.