Chapter 2: A Wolf Walks Among Us.   Posted by Zag.Group: 0
Urvan Kron
 player, 144 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Fri 13 Jan 2023
at 18:07
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
As Urvan hears the Priests voice, the young man grows still, barely breathing, and listens intently at the words he can make out coming from within the interior.

Even Boreas stops, although how much the Apollo Hound really understand Urvan is not quite certain.

Urvan closes his eyes and calms his breathing as he was taught many years ago , making it a little easier to hear, making it easier to concentrate on what he must do.

The Priest was in conversation, but given his current excited state he doubted that the Priest would be heading back out into the streets, which meant that Urvan would need to enter the structure and prevent the lecher from reporting to his superiors.

But there was another, presumably also of the clergy, and what they might do Urvan was not certain.

Graham had unknowingly put this other Priest in danger. Erastoo would certainly put no small effort into investigating this evenings events, and now that this other man had been brought into the circle, Urvan girded himself for the practical thing to do.

If he was forced to kill one Priest, would a second be all the more damning?
Zag
 GM, 385 posts
Fri 13 Jan 2023
at 21:34
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Urvan analyzes his situation tacticly.  He hasn't poked his head up to look in the window, but just from the voices he can tell the that other priest, the one who probably lives here, is closer to the window, probably within reach of it.  Gratham sounds as if he is a few steps away, but facing the window.

Looking around, Urvan sees that here on the side of the house, he is visible from the road, but only for a short section of it.  A vined trellis separates this yard from the next and also blocks much of the view of the road.  If there were any shouts from the house, they would probably be easily heard if there were any passersby to hear them.  He does not see or hear anyone on the road at the moment.

The window he crouches below is about 4 feet off the ground.  He could climb in with ease, but he would not be ready to fight instantly.  If he dove in and rolled once, that would be quicker, but that assumes there is space to roll in and no major obstacles.  Or possibly he could start with a diving attack, which relies on his accurate placement of the individuals based on sound, but has a big advantage of surprise.  Boreas could probably jump in the window in one try, but it isn't certain, or he could be commanded to wait outside to make sure no one escapes.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:35, Fri 13 Jan.

Urvan Kron
 player, 146 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Fri 13 Jan 2023
at 23:03
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Urvan is torn.

Launching an attack on two grown men on their home ground was challenging enough, but he was faced with the prospect of trying to do it relatively quietly and without permitting either to escape.

And that's if he was truly committing to killing these men, a daunting and life changing prospect. He was not certain if even the palace guards had ever been called upon to kill anyone, and they were obviously much older.

Could he do it? Should he do it? What would Iwo say?

The older man, ever practical, would probably recognize the utility of removing them, much as one would take a piece from a chess board. A notion far easier said than done. Iwo would not have to live with the consequences, although Urvan suspected that the man had taken more than one life in his career.

And of course what of his parents? Graham was not there that day, this other man likely had not concept of what Erastoo and her servants actually did. But he was part of the same organization. Did that mean that he deserved the same fate?

There was precious little time to debate the matter.

If he waited too long, they might separate and he would need to track them both down separately, potentially in more crowded areas. Or he might be seen, or any number of complications might arise.

Here they were, both in the same room, both unawares. The time was now.

With a whispered command to Boreas to guard the exterior, Urvan takes one last steadying breath and prepares to launch himself through the window in a diving surprise attack.
Zag
 GM, 387 posts
Sat 14 Jan 2023
at 17:26
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Urvan moves away quietly, positions Boreas on the little porch surrounding the door and tells him to 'guard.'  He knows that the huge dog will not let anyone pass this point, at least, not without a lot of trouble.  The boy returns to he position under the window to hear Gratham still ranting.

"There were dozens of them, 40 or 50, at least, disgusting little vermin!  I tell you, it's one of their powers, to control rats and make them do their bidding."
Urvan Kron
 player, 148 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Sun 15 Jan 2023
at 23:56
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Kneeling beneath the window, Urvan performs the breathing routine in preparation for the attack, his first life or death struggle, knowing that if either men were to escape, it could mean his very existence.

Adrenaline flows, lightening limbs, and his heart rate increases dramatically, right before he takes a few steps back and launches himself up into o the window frame.

Deftly he clears the frame in a bound, using one hand on the sill to carry him forward into the room, he sees Graham for a mere instant before he slams into the man, a closed fist slamming with bone shattering force into the cartilage of the sternum.

A shock goes up Urvans arm from the impact, telling him he had made solid contact.

15:49, Today: Urvan Kron rolled 22,11,2 using 1d20+8,1d6+5,1d4.  Standard Action, Attack vs Graham, Surprise Round, Stunning Fist.

15:45, Today: Urvan Kron rolled 24 using 1d20+5.  Initiative w/ Adrenal Rush.

Holding here before first round of combat to see if Stunning Fist takes effect

Zag
 GM, 389 posts
Mon 16 Jan 2023
at 06:05
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
The hated priest draws breath for a shout when he sees Urvan, but his voice is cut off as the boy slams into his chest with full force.  Gratham remains sitting in the chair with his mouth agape and his eyes bulging, looking just like a fish.  The other priest, who was sitting on the bed, is too shocked even to move.

23:52, Today: Zag, for the NPC Gratham, rolled 8 using 1d20+4.  Fort save v. DC13

What is the extra d4 for?  Edit:  Oh, Bleeding Attack.  OK.  Probably internal bleeding, in this case.

BTW, I normally wouldn't care about a made-up name, but it's Gratham, not Graham.  I had a very good friend in high school (part of my D&D crowd, actually) named Graham.  I wouldn't want to sully his memory by association with this awful character.  (He passed away a decade or so ago.)  I had been assuming it was a typo or auto-correct, so I didn't say anything until now, but I'd prefer you have the correct name (or, at least, a different incorrect one :-) ).

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:15, Mon 16 Jan.

Urvan Kron
 player, 149 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Mon 16 Jan 2023
at 06:33
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Ah, very sorry. Will make a point to get it correct going forward.

The extra d4 is for the Bleeding Attack feat.


Urvan feels the soft tissue crunch beneath his fist, but almost unthinkingly he follows up with a blur of a combination against the seated and stunned Priest.

His right hand already occupied, the left palm smashes into the mans nose with a subtle crack, bringing the head back so that the right hand, now recovered, can follow up with another stiff jab to the now exposed throat. The boys eyes are narrowed in concentration, lips pulled back, his entire body coiled like a spring, little hisses of exertion escaping from him as he subconsciously controls his breathing.

Inwardly there is a sort of mute shock as he looks on, almost like an observer, as his body performs the motions he has practiced by rote since early boyhood, never having truly been employed until this very moment.

22:20, Today: Urvan Kron rolled 12 using 1d20+8.  Crit confirmation .

22:19, Today: Urvan Kron rolled 18,6,2,28,8,2 using 1d20+8,1d6+5,1d4,1d20+8,1d6+5,1d4.  Flurry attack vs Gratham.


Zag
 GM, 392 posts
Mon 16 Jan 2023
at 08:10
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Ricka asks,  "... we're embroiled with the Gauls?"

Whyneks nods, then shrugs, "Yes.  Well, not exactly, not yet.  But they are building forces on our northwest border, and it's just a matter of time.  The big fertile land of Epirus calls to them, I'm sure.  The Duke of Epirus, Ashander Rheam, has a good system of defenses, and a stronger army than that of the queen, but even so he'll want support from the crown if they invade in force.  If -- When that happens, that's when the Persians will likely attack from the northeast.

"If the Persians are smart, and I know that many of them are, they will try to continue to appear weak and uninterested, so that we commit more of our forces to fight the Gauls.  That is some of the reason it is so important to them to control some of the important counsellors to the queen.  Just one counsellor arguing that the Persian threat is years off could convince our leaders to send more of our troops west.  Or they might argue that money could be better invested than in defensive structures to the east.  There are a hundred ways that a traitor in the high chamber could undermine our ability to withstand them."

Whyneks sees Ricka's attention starting to drift.  "Anyway, we've got a plan that I think works.  Get in there with the cover that we have set up, but start by trying to figure out what you could give to Vinefinger to get back in his good graces.  Tell him that you were caught stealing from packages you were supposed to deliver, and the blowback also got you burned with the police.  Once you're in with him, you can learn more about the Persians and what they are trying to do.

"Vinefinger probably knows that you meet with me a bit too much, but I do not think he knows my real role.  He believes you have been working with a secret police unit working out of the temple to Themis, and that I am just your go-between.  No reason to enlighten him."
Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 49 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Tue 17 Jan 2023
at 11:41
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
"So Epirus has lots of big nice farms and the Gauls want to be in charge of them, what do the Persians want?"  It's definitely a bit of a challenge for Ricka to muster much passion for the matter of which government of greedy rich old men gets to ignore and/or bully the people of Epirus.  Nonetheless she nods, doing her level best to absorb the geopolitics update, and mostly succeeding: as long as her international-relations lessons come in occasional bite-sized nuggets, she keeps up with them just to make Whyneks happy.

The Vinefinger question, on the other hand, leaves her unsettled.  "... I think maybe you don't know Vinefinger like I do," she says.  "If I come to him empty-handed and begging, he'll just make a show of cutting my throat in front of everybody, just to make a point about loyalty.  If I'm not going back to him already -with- something he wants, he won't even listen to me."
Scarlet d'Ardelle
 player, 176 posts
 Age:14 | Barton's bastard
 "Naiada Penapolous"
Tue 17 Jan 2023
at 11:51
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Finally something Scarlet/Naiada can agree on. She nods in agreement and gets back to her feet.

"Very well then, 'cousin'. I shall go about my business now, and our dear Idalaiz will hear about your much-appreciated helpfulness."

With a curtsy she goes out, thinking about the next steps of her mission.
Zag
 GM, 394 posts
Tue 17 Jan 2023
at 16:03
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
With him flat-footed, that will crit.  I've got 37 points on him so far (bleeding doesn't stack).  He's done.

As Urvan drives a cat's paw into Gratham's throat, he can feel the trachea collapse.  The priest reaches up, weakly, one hand on his own throat and the other in a useless defensive posture, then collapses in his seat.

The other priest stares for a second in horror, then jumps up and runs out of the small room.

You have an attack of opportunity.  He's running for the front door, just trying to get away, so he's about to have a bad surprise.



Whyneks shakes his head at Ricka, "No, I didn't mean to approach him until you have something.  Go in under cover, first.  You're getting really good at disguise ..."  He makes an unusually long pause, as if this reminded him of something, "... so you should be able to keep from being recognized until you have something to go to him with.  At that point, it's up to you whether you keep up the disguise or you approach him as yourself.  Either way, if he finds out you're there, use that story of being burned by the police.  You might hint at pretending that you were working for him the whole time, but he has to think it is his idea."

The spymaster goes on to tell Ricka about the card house.  "Your contact is Aresh Comocker; she's the manager of the kitchen there and also acts as chef when the head chef is out.  She'll get you in as a scullery maid, and she'll cover for you when you are away from work.  You and she can work out some story.  If you get in over your head, she can help you get away from there, but try not to burn her.  You also can always run to our old friend Markos the Fat.  He's still in his chandlery.  Let's go with a recognition code of 'Do you have any candles that smell like a cockatrice?'  I'll let him know."  He gives Ricka more of the hair dye that he used long ago, if she wants it and sends her off.



Scarlet heads out of the palace, towards the tent city that is growing in the empty space surrounding the palace walls.  She wanders to the area she understands that the knights from Skopje are supposed to be staying.  The tents are clearly in groups, generally surrounding a collective cookfire.  She narrows her search down to three such groups, and then has to come up with a strategy for finding the right one.

Move to the Chapter 2 Part 2 thread.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:21, Wed 18 Jan.

Urvan Kron
 player, 150 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Tue 17 Jan 2023
at 16:58
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
There is a remarkably tense moment, a half second of stillness as Gratham realizes that he is dying, when Urvan recognizes what he has just done, for the beginnings of a fundamental chance to taker place in the boys mind, and that moment is interrupted by the sudden flight of the other Priest.

Urvan swivels reflexively to find the man already rushing past him, and in a flash he uses his momentum to bring up a knee in a close range thrust, impacting with a loud thud, as the strike connects just below the sternum angled towards the lungs

08:54, Today: Urvan Kron rolled 10 using 1d20+8.  Critical Confirmation.

08:54, Today: Urvan Kron rolled 28,11,2 using 1d20+8,1d6+5,1d4.  Attack of opportunity.

Ricka Bellsmith
 player, 51 posts
 Riffraff, street rat
 I don't buy that
Wed 18 Jan 2023
at 00:32
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Ricka gladly accepts the hair dye, looking happily forward to another interval of being a mouse-brown brunette.  "What are you going to tell Bishop Trismegistus about why your nephew's daughter is suddenly vanished?  Or do I just disappear and let him wonder?"
Zag
 GM, 398 posts
Wed 18 Jan 2023
at 05:04
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Whyneks shrugs.  "Don't worry about Trismegistus, I'll let him know.  Remember that you are supposed to be fleeing because you stole from a package delivery and you've been burned with the police that you were snitching to.  I don't know that Vinefinger gets any news from inside the messenger system, but probably.  And I don't know if he's been keeping tabs on you, but probably.  You have to assume that he does; always assume your enemies have more intelligence and more information, and you won't be surprised."

Move to the Chapter 2 Part 2 thread.

I edited this because it was really terrible advice from Whyneks originally.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:17, Wed 18 Jan.

Zag
 GM, 399 posts
Wed 18 Jan 2023
at 05:09
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
The priest barely manages to turn enough to avoid the worst of Urvan's devastating knee to the abdomen.  He stumbles past, running for the front door.  When he opens it, he let's out a girlish squeak and pulls back into the room, slamming the door.

Let's finish this fight in this thread, then I'll make another.

He is now 15 feet away in a direct line, so you can charge if you want to.   https://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamem...g/Combat/#TOC-Charge
I predict it won't go well for him.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:24, Wed 18 Jan.

Urvan Kron
 player, 151 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Wed 18 Jan 2023
at 07:43
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Urvan, hot on the Priests heels, I'd there when the man turns around, charging across the chamber.

The young man collides with the man, a shoulder check to the center mass, the sound of meat and bone colliding filling the space.

22:25, Today: Urvan Kron rolled 29,8,2 using 1d20+10,1d6+5,1d4.  Charge Attack.
Zag
 GM, 403 posts
Wed 18 Jan 2023
at 23:10
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
The priest looks grim, but he makes a brave show of it.  He seems feeble, but he makes a pretty good swing that catches Urvan in the temple.  The boy realizes that he probably would have avoided it if he hadn't charged in, but it's not a serious injury.

16:35, Today: Zag rolled 16,3 using d20+2,d4.
I thought, "It hits!  Oh, no it doesn't, because of Adrenaline Surge.  Oh, wait, it does, because of charge attack."

Urvan Kron
 player, 152 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Thu 19 Jan 2023
at 17:58
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Urvan feels the impact as a sort of dull thud, but the adrenaline is still surging, if waning, and he continues his ferocious assault.

Another fast series of jabs to the face and body, followed by a hook as he tried to lay the unfortunate witness low.

09:55, Today: Urvan Kron rolled 15,8,4,13,9,2 using 1d20+8,1d6+5,1d4,1d20+8,1d6+5,1d4.  Flurry attack vs Priest.
Zag
 GM, 406 posts
Thu 19 Jan 2023
at 18:08
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
With the first blow, the priest staggers back against the door and seems to be collapsing.  The second blow drives the air from his lungs, and he falls, having already taken his last breath.

Urvan peeks out the window and sees the small road still empty.
Urvan Kron
 player, 153 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Thu 19 Jan 2023
at 18:15
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Urvan starts to tremble slightly as the adrenaline runs it's course, he feels cold and vaguely nauseous as he sways on his feet, puts a few fingers gingerly to the place he was struck and looks around.

Two grown men lay dead or dying, his knuckles ache, and his mind is flooded with the implications. He is a killer, a murderer, and yet in the case of Gratham, he cannot help but feel that some measure of justice has been done, for the girl, for the family, for the other victims the man may have claimed over the course of his life and career.

The urge to eat rears up amid it all, sharp and urgent, and that seems to prod him into action. What's done was done, and he would undoubtedly think about it later, perhaps for the rest of his life.

Urvan takes a moment to return to Gratham, dead where he sat unable to stand with his lungs collapsed, and Urvan quickly searches him as Iwo would want. He only spares a minute, as he wants to be away before anyone else happens along.

Once that's done, he climbs back out the window and calls softly to Boreas, eager to make his way back out and away, and to eventually find something to eat.
Zag
 GM, 408 posts
Thu 19 Jan 2023
at 20:46
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
As Urvan checks the man's body, he notices that there is blood all over his own hand from nose explosion he caused earlier.  He looks down, and there is a noticeable amount of blood on his own tunic.

Gratham has a large leather pouch, similar to the mail pouches that the acolytes of Hermes wear as they are carrying messages through the city.  Opening it, he finds some smallclothes, a coin pouch with 27 gold and 13 silver pieces, and a letter which had a wax seal but the seal is already broken.  The letter says

quote:
The page boy with the huge dog -- Urvan -- has claimed to be the son of Count Brogovan of Tamecia.  You are to travel to Tamecia and confirm or deny this story.  Possibly the Count is on his way to the games, so you should make sure you do not pass each other on the road.

 E


Urvan feels he is about to faint with fatigue and hunger.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:47, Thu 19 Jan.

Urvan Kron
 player, 154 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Thu 19 Jan 2023
at 22:05
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Urvan reads the letter once, then again hastily.

Had this all been for nothing? Had he killed the Priest to protect a secret that the enemy already knew?

No, no upon the second reading they knew his name, they knew of him, and his story, but it seemed that they potentially did not know much more. Hopefully, he thought, that might be the case.

He took the coin and the letter, folding it carefully, and left out the window, giving a very low whistle for Boreas to join him.

With some more coin in his pocket, he would seek out some food, but not here, not nearby. Someplace else.

He had to endure a few more minutes, find a place to wash, and then he could sate himself.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:23, Thu 19 Jan.

Zag
 GM, 409 posts
Fri 20 Jan 2023
at 00:46
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Just as Urvan is joined by Boreas, he hears a noise on his left.  The doors of the temple opened, and now people are coming out.  They are still 2 blocks away, and the trellis with flowering vines block the way, so there's no chance they can see him, yet.

Urvan can't believe how weak his limbs are.  He feels as if he will collapse any second.  He thinks of the stew that he ate while he sat with that beautiful girl.  Earlier, he couldn't get her off his mind, now he can't think of anything but the stew.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:26, Sun 22 Jan.

Urvan Kron
 player, 155 posts
 Age:10 | Big For His Age
 Page Boy
Sun 22 Jan 2023
at 05:46
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Urvan looks warily to the crowd, guessing that he is escaping the grisly scene in just the last moment.

Weary and a little light headed from the fatigue, Urvan moves off, wondering where he might find some water or hanging laundry to try to clean himself up before he could find something to eat.
Zag
 GM, 415 posts
Sun 22 Jan 2023
at 13:58
Chapter 2:  A Wolf Walks Among Us
Well, I was hoping for a little more about how you would leave the area without being noticed, but the reality is that  having you be noticed by the crowd does not produce any interesting narrative that doesn't back us into a terrible corner.

Keeping the flowered trellis between himself and the growing crowd, Urvan moves away from the road.  Behind the house, he and Boreas hop a low fence that is just decorative, not functional.  He sees that the land dips down into a small culvert before emerging in the back of some large, flat building.  Pushing his way through briars to the bottom of the culvert, he finds a small, silty stream slipping along on top of a layer of dark mud.  Almost mad with hunger, he copies Boreas and drinks directly from the dirty water, gaining a little temporary relief.

Figuring that mud is better than blood, he splashes the water on his shirt and trousers, making dark smears which look a little less like he has just killed an innocent man.  Boy and dog leap over the stream at a narrow point where they only get their feet muddy, and climb up to find that the building is the back side of the largest inn, called Ten Forward, which he recognizes by its distinctive architecture.

Moving to your separate thread.