Alone in the Badlands.   Posted by Jeddak.Group: 0
Demetrius Esper
 player, 132 posts
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 A (C/F/I): 0/0/0
Wed 17 Mar 2021
at 20:35
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Demetrius joins Nantas in keeping watch, rifle in hand. He's grown to rather like the rifle--it had a good feel for it.
Jeddak
 GM, 131 posts
 Threat: 5
Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 01:08
Re: Alone in the Badlands
The afternoon passes with full bellies and the gradual cooling of on-coming night.  Once darkness falls there is no doubt that a large city lies in your direction of travel as its glow is unmistakable.  There are chirps and cries of small scavengers that have found the ape's nearby carcass but nothing threatening comes to feed.  However once during the night the sound of a Banth echoes away in the distance....thankfully far off in the distance.

In the morn you travel on, your steps lightened with the prospect of reaching civilization.  In short order you begin to recognize the regular walls and spires of a city rising up from the dry seabed as you draw closer.  By afternoon it becomes apparent the walls must truly be great as they seem to continually rise without sign of their base.  Various air crafts are seen to come and go once you are close enough to make them out but none pass near enough that you deem it necessary to take cover.  Less than a zode before nightfall you recognize that a major road lies off to your right with a medium amount of traffic.

Aeryn recommends a halt before full dark and confirms what all had hoped, you have indeed found the Martian city of Zodanga.  The flat, dry seabed upon which you stand offers little to block the view of the outer perimeter and the lights atop the wall compared to those of the gates below indicate just how incredibly high they are.   Demetrius could scarce imagine any such manmade barrier on his homeworld to match.  The red woman explains that these walls are made of a material called carborundum and are impossibly strong and thick.  Perhaps in days long forgotten those parapets looked out over crashing waves instead of dry dirt and yellow moss.

"Now then," she purses her lips and nods towards the enemy city of her native Helium, "we must gain entry.  Climbing the walls is folly and we've no air ship to fly in.  We might pass the guards at the gate if we can justify our purpose; either posing as slaves or perhaps even slavers...hmmm, possibly mercenaries in search of hire.  I admit that it is...difficult...to maintain such a ruse, I am no assassin practiced in altering my thoughts to hide nefarious schemes."

Shaking her head as if in disdain at the thought of assassins, she offers, "Another alternative might be the ancient sewers which all Martian cities sit atop.  They will surely be secured but we might yet find a means in."

She raises an eyebrow inviting comment or question on ideas for entry.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:47, Thu 18 Mar.

Demetrius Esper
 player, 133 posts
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Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 17:52
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Demetrius grins and turns to Nantas. "Nantas, I have not known you long, but I have a favor to ask. Would you be willing to play the part of a slave if I pretended to be a slaver? I think I could deceive the guards if given the chance."
Nantas
 player, 131 posts
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Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 18:50
Re: Alone in the Badlands
"Looks like that my destiny is having my allies selling me as a slave. My tribe did that for their own sake, and I got free, now my ally offers me the same. No, I don't want to be a slave again. Not in Zodanga. If you make a mistake they will take your properties away from you, including your green slave... We can offer ourselves as mercenaries, or try sneaking in through the ancient sewers."
Demetrius Esper
 player, 134 posts
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Fri 19 Mar 2021
at 22:08
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Demetrius nods. "Fair enough. Mercenary I could pull off as well. I want to save the sewers as a back-up option, not as our first."

He turns and eyes Ducet. "What role could you play in this deception, hm? Don't assume that you're doing any talking--leave that to me."
Jeddak
 GM, 132 posts
 Threat: 5
Mon 22 Mar 2021
at 01:55
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Ducet Cog tapped his bottom lip in thought before the light of recognition filled his eyes and he smiled, "I am familiar with all the steps of rug manufacturing including the dying of threads used in their weaving.  The minkala plant is grown in farms for the purpose of making red dye but it can also be found in the wild.  It's leaves are shaped thus," and formed his fingers in a manner which Nantas recognizes as a plant he has seen before.

"As you will not pass for a White Man of Barsoom," he motions to Demetrius, "and a Jassoomian would draw extra attention, let us apply the dye to your skin so that you may pass as a Red instead.  Many of mine own race have become mercenaries following the fall of Issus so my presence will not be exceptional, though I will need a weapon if I am to also appear to be a blade for hire."

Considering Nantas the White Martian admits, "It has been many ords since I last traded in Zodanga but the resentment against Tharks was still quite strong then.  If asked you should proclaim yourself an enemy of that tribe.  It will ally many but do not be surprised if you are treated poorly by others.  Once no Green Man would have been found within the walls lest it was in shackles."  He bows his head in apology but it is no less than Nantas would expect.  In the past Zodanga had waged an relentless war against all the tribes of the Green Man and was known to destroy incubators and any offspring or eggs they held.  Even the Warhoon were said to have cheered when news spread of the Helium and Thark sacking of the city.

If you wish of follow Ducet Cog's advice on dying Demetrius' skin, Nantas make a Reason + Cunning roll to locate minkala.
Demetrius Esper
 player, 135 posts
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Mon 22 Mar 2021
at 02:00
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Demetrius agrees with Ducet's plan and asks his friend Nantas to help make it work.

Nantas, all you!
Nantas
 player, 132 posts
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Mon 22 Mar 2021
at 19:32
Re: Alone in the Badlands
[OOC: 19:29, Today: Nantas rolled 19 using 2d20 with rolls of 15,4.  Cunning 9; Reason 4.]

"Indeed I am a Tilnak: nether a Thark, not a Warhoon. If both these tribes were wiped out of Barsoom, my tribe would be able to survive and even thrive without having to send its tribesmen to slavery, to entertain the Warhoons in the arena.."

I thought the plan was to present yourselves as a group of mercenaries.  No one in shackles.  Ducet Cog is just warning that you may experience some prejudice in Zodanga.  But a Thark would have it much worse.

[OOC: rephrased]

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:32, Tue 23 Mar.

Nantas
 player, 133 posts
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Tue 23 Mar 2021
at 12:14
Re: Alone in the Badlands
[OOC: I may have misinterpreted. I understood that the plan of presenting ourselves as mercenaries would have been better if Nantas was in shackles and that the various allies kind of proposed him to reconsider this option as more likely to work for the group.
If you think I misinterpreted, I will reword the above post accordingly.]

This message was last edited by the player at 21:51, Tue 23 Mar.

Demetrius Esper
 player, 136 posts
Tue 23 Mar 2021
at 21:33
Re: Alone in the Badlands

This message was deleted by the player at 17:45, Wed 24 Mar.

Nantas
 player, 134 posts
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Tue 23 Mar 2021
at 21:51
Re: Alone in the Badlands
In reply to Demetrius Esper (msg # 56):

[OOC: done]
Jeddak
 GM, 133 posts
 Threat: 5
Wed 24 Mar 2021
at 00:05
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Ducet Cog claps his hands, pleased with the Green Man's response.

Nantas departs just as Thuria, the nearer of the 2 moons of Barsoom, is cresting the horizon.  Cluros also hangs high in the sky and the pair offer ample light for Nantas to locate minkala.   A zode has barely passed before he returns with enough of the plant for Ducet Cog to begin preparations for the dye.

You rest comfortably when not on watch and fortunately none of Barsoom's fauna choose to disturb your camp.  Just before dawn Cog wakes Demetrius and begins to apply the dye.  In short order any who encountered your group would swear that two red men were in its number and not a Jasoomian was in sight.

"This stain will begin to fade in less than a dozen padans,"<blue> Ducet Cog assures Demetrius, <blue>"assuming you scrub daily.  It should be gone in no more than twice that time."  There is comfort in knowing that it should be in place while you enter Zodanga but for Demetrius there may be some reservations with how long his skin will remain red.

In the morn you proceed into the flow of traffic upon the nearby road and are soon at the gates of Zodanga.  The guard there bay you halt and state your business in the city.
Demetrius Esper
 player, 137 posts
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Wed 24 Mar 2021
at 17:49
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Prior to this interaction, Demetrius quizzes Aeryn and Ducet on the appropriate slang and greetings and such niceties. By the time he reaches the gate, he greets the guards using a common Zodangan greeting and then adds, "Just a group of sell-swords coming through to ply our trade. Know of anyone hiring some spare arms?"
Nantas
 player, 135 posts
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Wed 24 Mar 2021
at 18:45
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Nantes maintains, as much as possible in this situation, a low profile.
Jeddak
 GM, 134 posts
 Threat: 5
Thu 25 Mar 2021
at 01:43
Re: Alone in the Badlands
The guardsmen appear board but determined to do their job; their eyes flit over your group, lingering on Nantas longer than the rest.  The padwar among them listens to Demetrius while 10 thans stand ready to address any trouble.

"Panthans are you?" he asks, using the Barsoomian term for mercenaries, "Like as not you may find employment in the city," his eyes travel to Aeryn in a lewd manner, "of one manner or another.  But," he motions to Nantas, "there is a tax to enter the city. A tanpi each but two for the green man."

You did not see any exchange of money in the previous entrants ahead of you and you suspect these men of corruption, using Nantas' presence to try to shake you down for coin.
Demetrius Esper
 player, 138 posts
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 A (C/F/I): 0/0/0
Fri 26 Mar 2021
at 16:22
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Demetrius smiles broadly. "Ah, I see, I see. A reasonable tax. Here's the challenge: we are headed into the city to make money, because we lack it altogether now. In honor of your excellence in duty, we would be happy to return in only one day to pay double the tax--two tanpi per person and four for my compatriot here. We will find you, very specifically, and ensure that you get credit for this matter." He makes a sign of respect that the guards would recognize, again following Ducet's instructions.
Jeddak
 GM, 135 posts
 Threat: 5
Sun 28 Mar 2021
at 04:19
Re: Alone in the Badlands
The padwar and his men burst into laughter.  Demetrius feels his anger rise at the wonton display of corruption, he knows they play with him and have no honor.  But before he can do anything rash, Aeryn speaks up.

"It seems that the good padwar doubts our word or perhaps our skills," she  smirks, "Wondering if we might be able to obtain work.  Perhaps a demonstration of skill would convince him that we will easily gain employment to earn the coin to pay for our entrance."

"To first touch?" Ducet Cog suggests.

The red woman nods in appreciation of the white martian's suggestion, then looks to the padwar and smiles.

The padwar frowns and begins to object but suddenly realizes that his men and other entrants awaiting admittance into Zodanga are watching him.  Suddenly in the spotlight he hesitates...and then realizes it is a sign of cowardice.   Recognition comes and he knows his decision is made for him.

"Very well," his eyes narrow, "but if you are truly skilled then you must be able to dispatch multiple opponents.  Each of you, correct?  You and the Green Man, 5 each should be no challenge for GREAT swordsmen."

The padwar is backed into a corner but you have a potential way in if you can get the first touch on each of his men.  If you agree, you each can describe your setup for the match and make your attack(s).  You will EACH face 1 mob of 5 minions in personal combat.  If you are able to score damage on them without taking any in return you will defeat them and earn entrance into Zodanga.

Attacking is a D1 challenge.  If your attack succeeds (after I roll for minion defense) you may defeat an extra minion for each Momentum spent.

Remember you may add Threat to earn extra dice for your actions.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:58, Fri 02 Apr.

Nantas
 player, 136 posts
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Sun 28 Mar 2021
at 12:20
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Nantas doesn't say a word and maintains his low profile, but unsheathe his two sabres and hands his rifle to Ducet Cog.
Demetrius Esper
 player, 140 posts
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Mon 29 Mar 2021
at 15:00
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Demetrius grins. He also hands Ducet his gun and pulls out his sword. "Never said that sword was my best tool, good man," he quips. "But it'll do."

He takes a ready position with his sword. "Let's do this!"
Jeddak
 GM, 138 posts
 Threat: 5
Mon 29 Mar 2021
at 15:56
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Feel free to describe the scene.  Do you move to the side of the road or clear a space right there in the way of all traffic?  Do the guards surround you or do you face them as a group.  Each of you will fight your own battle here so you don't necessarily have to coordinate.

This is an opportunity for you to "show off", hopefully a fun one.

I'll roll defense for the minion hit after your initial attack.  Then you'll know how much Momentum you have to play with.

Feel free to review the Momentum spends in References thread.  There are other things you could spend on besides taking out an extra minion.

Post when you're ready.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:59, Mon 29 Mar.

Demetrius Esper
 player, 142 posts
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 A (C/F/I): 0/0/0
Mon 29 Mar 2021
at 17:56
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Demetrius waits until the five men in front of him begin to move. He springs into the air and lands cleanly on the shoulder of one of the men, tapping him with his sword. He then springs down and starts prodding at several of the other men...

Attack yields 5 successes!! Results in 4 damage and 1 Harm from the sword's Effect. That effectively takes down the men, see below.

13:39, Today: Demetrius Esper rolled 1 using 1d6 with rolls of 1.  Sorry, one more die for Momentum.
13:39, Today: Demetrius Esper rolled 2,5,3,4 using 1d6,1d6,1d6,1d6 with rolls of 2,5,3,4.  Normal sword damage + 3 Momentum.
13:52, Mon 29 Mar: Demetrius Esper rolled 1,10,3 using 1d20,1d20,1d20 with rolls of 1,10,3.  Attack w/1 Momentum, 13/6


18:38, Today: Jeddak rolled 30 using 2d20 with rolls of 14,16.  Minion Defend 9/4-.
- 0 successes.

Demetrius you hit and generate 4 momentum and may roll damage vs the minion you struck (initially).  2d6 for a sword + any extra the talent you use might offer

Feel free to play-up how you defeat the members of the group you face

This message was last edited by the player at 17:41, Wed 31 Mar.

Nantas
 player, 140 posts
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Mon 29 Mar 2021
at 22:19
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Nantas at first isn't at the top of his form for sure, but he hangs on and tries harder. You can see from his face that he's not happy with his performance.
Noticing that his opponents, maybe lazy, maybe out of practice, maybe just scared by the mighty size of the Green Men, are reacting poorly to his demonstration attack, Nantas keeps going and, after touching (without much precision, to be hones) his first opponent, he rolls and surprises the second, twists on his lower legs and touches the third, behind him, springs into a somersault and touches the fourth and fifth opponents at the same time, using his twin blades.
Finally, Nantas goes back to his previous, low profile attitude, after putting his sabres in their sheaths and shaking his head, showing his disappointment for what he seems to consider a poor show... that anyway made him touch with his blades five opponents without them even being able to raise a finger against him!

[OOC: 23:15, Today: Nantas rolled 35 using 2d20 with rolls of 20,15.  Cunning 9; Daring 9.
23:15, Today: Nantas rolled 19 using 2d20 with rolls of 6,13.  Cunning 9; Daring 9, +2 Threat.]


18:42, Today: Jeddak rolled 36 using 2d20 with rolls of 19,17.  Minion Defend 9/4-
- 0 successes....again

It would be nice to see you guys just sweat.  Nothing big, just sweat it a little :P

Nantas you hit your target minion, roll your damage (2d6 for a blade).  Your extra 3 successes become Momentum.  Your 4 Armed for War talent also causes you to generate an extra Momentum in situations like this.

Just like Demetrius, you also have 4 Momentum to spend.  Assuming you roll at least 1 damage and dispatch your initial target I assume you'll want to spend all 4 Momentum to take out the remaining guards, correct?

Again, feel free to describe how you expertly earn 1st touch on all of your opponents.

EDIT: Oh and instead of inflicting a Complication on you for the 20 you rolled I'm going to add 2 more points of Threat to my pool.


[EDIT OOC: 20:24, Today: Nantas rolled 9 using 2d6 with rolls of 3,6.  damage
Nantes carefully avoids hurting too much any single opponent (let alone killing them or maiming them), but will use the extra momentum for touching all five opponents.
To be honest, the first roll (20, 15) made me sweat quite a bit... anyway, I edited the text in this post as you suggested.]

This message was last edited by the player at 20:10, Wed 31 Mar.

Demetrius Esper
 player, 143 posts
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Wed 31 Mar 2021
at 17:43
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Demetrius's clear first blow upon the shoulders of the first guard leads to a display of unearthly strength, as Demetrius pushes one into the other and tags that fellow, followed by a backflip and tags on two of the remaining men. He then faces the last fellow squarely and cracks this fellow aside his head with the blade, which leaves the man cut and humiliated.

Demetrius stands back and eyes the leader of the guards. "I think that makes my point. As I say, we will return with the money as promised, once we are able to get our down payment on our next job."

He nods to Aeryn and Ducet Cog and begins to brush past these men, unless they be bold enough to challenge him...
Nantas
 player, 141 posts
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Wed 31 Mar 2021
at 20:11
Re: Alone in the Badlands
Nantas follows, quietly.
Jeddak
 GM, 140 posts
 Threat: 5
Fri 2 Apr 2021
at 02:07
Re: Alone in the Badlands
The padwar blinks twice as his men are immediately eliminated.  He opens his mouth, as if to object, but closes it nearly as fast when Demetrius and Nantas march past.  Aeryn and Ducet Cog follow on the thoats, neither favoring the dumbstruck padwar with even a small glance.  Behind you there are cheers from other travelers who also witnessed your duel but not a word of protest from the guards themselves...

To be continued in new thread Zodanga