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PbP - The Champions of Virtue



  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    "Listen friends!" Bolsters Bulmeer, "If Mr. Roep can demonstrate some simple knots, its not us that will be fighting, but the traps we lay to ensnare the lizard bastards who tempt to spoil and defile the water here. Once ensnared, even the oldest and physically decrepit towns person can bash them to bloody bits! The Gods wont allow such a peaceful place to be distraught by such flaccid penile looking lizards!"

    Ensare the Bastard lizard bois rally: 1d20+1 20

  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    I didn't see any kind of religious structure within the town. Was that intentional?

  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    Indeed it is. These folks have created a good old fashion secular commune. The gods are very real, and folks worship, but the reality of multiple divinities makes it a more personal thing. To see organized religion you'd have to go to a city. Out here it's a matter of practicality. A prayer whispered while hammering a nail above your door frame seems like superstition but when done with reverence is a very real and effective ward against malevolent spirits. Simple ritual magic like wards, cures, and blessings are passed down through the generations, but to find someone capable of channeling significant divine power in Poswick might take some searching.

    This next bit is going to be a few days where you all get to try and do whatever you possibly can to get this town ready. I'm not looking for one dice roll here I'm looking for long term ideas. Battle plans. What would you really do if you knew your home would soon be attacked? It done well it might look something like this if done poorly ... Either way it'll be interesting. The map could be useful here. Feel free to ask these gathered townsfolk whatever you want about the situation here.

    A few voices in the crowd begin to mull over the idea of traps, they seem intrigued, but they're gonna need more convincing than that.

  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    Axis is feeling a tad disenfranchised. His town-boat idea was roundly dismissed by the only person with any meaningful sailing experience, and the crowd has turned to discussion of battle stratagems and elaborate traps - two subjects he knows literally nothing about. He briefly considers abandoning Poswick; with his patron's blessing, he could have a new face and garb and be on the roads, unencumbered, within minutes. But, knowing just how dangerous it can be in these parts, he suspects his prospects are quite dismal whether fighting for the town or fleeing from it. He pouts as the crowd roils around him, pockets of intense conversation coalescing and dissipating about him.

    Then he has an idea. It's not a great one - not even a good one - but it is an idea. Being that he is one of maybe four individuals in the crowd (and certainly the only member of his party) who can read, he decides to search for a hall that might contain records of Poswick's history. Records, atlases, almanacs, battle poems, no missive too small or epistle too insignificant. At the very least, he might be able to pen a letter asking for assistance.

    He pulls free of the crowd, garnering several confused and disdainful glances as the sad, disheveled, and despondent man walks slowly away. He passes Big and Little Red, giving them a small nod and tight-lipped smile. Their fiery hair and befreckled faces improve his mood slightly. Perhaps the town is worth saving after all. He turns to face the rising sun, a small hope growing in his breast.

  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    "Aye, knots are a simple but useful skill. Traps are a necessary of defense, of which this town seemingly has none," As he speaks his eyes follow Axis, he thinks the soft man is sneaking away like a coward, we are another man down "But above all else, we need courage, of which this town seemingly has none. When you're really in it, when the ones you look to guidance are dead and hungry men are debating who gets to eat what part, you need the courage to stand for what's right. John Roep never ate a man, let that be known!" He pauses, realizing he's digressed. He knocks his pipe out. "Bulmeer, I owe you my life. I will help in any way I can. If it be knots, sure. If you have the sack to think we should float, then I'll float. But let it be known I was never a captain. I am no leader, nor do I intend to be. What you say goes, s'far as I'm concerned. But I think we all need to know what we're really up against? Little lizard men, alright. But what else does Chief One Eye have in store?"

  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    "You can teach the traps and the knots mr roep, i can teach the defense. After all the years ive served in the guard, i can help inspire this lot if theyre willing. Farm tools and torches are all you need against some lizard men. We will send word back to the mountain to see if we can get some dwarven guards to assist us. They are eternally in my debt for my service. What do you say?"

  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    edited July 2018
    John: You know the hardest part about making a trap is getting prey into it. Bait is what you're most familiar with, but you may need to consider other ways of limiting your opponents movements and getting them to strike where you're most prepared to deal with it. You suspect it should be easy to find men willing to pick up a shovel or hammer to lend a hand. Those unwilling to fight will be eager for an acceptable excuse, your makeshift sapper corp could sooth their bruised egos.

    A ragged older fellow approaches John with an outstretched hand. You instantly recognize the telltale scars of rope burn etched deep into his leathery palms.
    "The name's Pule, gots a ropewalk outside of town, reckon you'll be needin my help and I'm more'n glad to offer it."

    Bullmeer: You had thought to seek help from the dwarves when you first left town, but Dun Gazrak is nearly a week of hard travel to the north. If you could contrive some means of delivering a message quickly, help might arrive in time. If you'd like, we can retcon things so that you sent a letter when you were out on your recruitment drive. This seems a perfectly logical thing to do, but the timing would still be a close thing. You might have to come up with some kind of stalling tactic as you suspect One-eye's host is only a few days away, though you have no idea where they really are.
    You may be able to use the idea that help is coming to boost morale, but if you really want to seek out more help you'd have better luck closer to home. Hilde's Ferry and Greenbriar are both downstream and could be reached in a day by boat. Flotsam and Marigold are upriver and could also be reached quickly by boat. Together these towns and the former town of Shepsfield work tirelessly to sate the growing appetite of Merceria, the capital of the New Leshian Colonies.
    You know a lot about the people in town and the other nearby towns. You can just ask for more information about this kind of stuff and I'll give it to ya. If it's something trivial like some random townsperson's name, you can just make it up if you want. You know these folks.

    A small group of young men step forward and stand before Bullmeer.
    "I'm fixin to stay. After what they did last night, I won't stand for it. If you'd teach me, I'd be much obliged...sir." You recognize the young man, Ernest Halloway, a bright youth respected by the community. Behind him a small group of lads who admire Ernest's strength and honesty. You recognize his mother and father in the crowd, consoling one another, but making no move to stop their son from making this commitment.
    A few older men, cowed by this show of bravery, shuffle out of the crowd with their chests puffed out.
    You don't see the rival faction of youths present. The wilder set who despite their lack of respect and common courtesy could prove a valuable resource none the less. Nor do you see the group of ne'er-do-wells you carted into town last night.

    Axis: The town has a library. The Mayor may have some records to consult. You've heard that in more primitive societies an oral tradition is preferred to written history. You suspect you may be able to glean something valuable from the local peasant superstitions. Where would you like to look first?

    Pokeylope on
  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    Axis' first inclination is to check the library. He finds comfort in the written word and the mothy smell of scrolls. In spite of himself, however, he feels that he may have greater success hearkening to the stories and wordlore of the Poswickian elderkin. Now, Axis considers himself a charismatic man; in fact, he was a central object of interest and intrigue in many of the more exclusive social gatherings back home. He senses, however, that his genteel demeanor and general noblesse will little endear himself to these coarser elements, these basal, filthy, dredges of human slime, these uncouth, edentulous, moronic, uncultured, dissolute bastard dumb dumbs.

    But he has an idea. He watches some of the youth running circles around the oldest, hoariest men, paying close attention to their bright faces and attire. Surreptitiously, he slips behind a building. There follows a series of odd noises: first, the pitter-patter of animal paws running along a wooden floor; then, a slew of progressively louder pops; and finally, the deafening, airy sound of a patulous fart. From behind the wall slips what appears to be a very crude mimicry of a youth. The face is stretched and wan, the limbs disproportionate and uneven, its gait unsteady and shambling.

    Axis casts Disguise Self on his person to resemble on the village youths.

    Axis is aware of his chicanery's imperfection. His only hope is that, to the glaucomatous, rheumy eyes of the village elders, he will appear near enough to their progeny so as to fool them into sharing their wisdom. Waiting until the majority of the youth have departed the area, he runs up to a circle of old, weathered men sitting around a net, sorting fish. Affecting a rather pitchy falsetto, he solicits their knowledge. Please read the following segment literally.

    "Hello, admirable grandfathers! I am...uh...Greggit Boyman...and I'm definitely your great-great-grandson and/or nephew! I was hoping that you could tell me about what this town has done in the past to defend itself from the Jeffreys - I mean, the lizard things! Also, can you tell me whether or not Big Red is single? No, that's probably too much. Just the history lesson then?"

    Deception check: Flexin' on old dudes.: 1d20+5 21

  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    Roep grins, shaking the old mans hand. "Nice to meet ya, Pule. You've got the handshake and texture of a ropes'man." He puts his hand on the shoulder and guides him along as they walk, trying to get out of earshot of the others. "I must admit to you, I don't know the first thing about trapping land dwellers. I'm a seaman, you understand. While we had fresh sea to sail, we had no trouble catching fish. But after we met the ice, we found no wild game. It was two miserable years without fresh meat, you see? Even if we knew how to trap, surely there would be nothing there. Nothing we could catch. Nothing we could eat." Roep considers himself a man of action, while he's quick on his feet he finds pre-planning difficult. "I can do things with a rope most never dreamt, but as for construction...I--well, what do you have in mind?"

  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    Bulmeer smiles at the young band of towns people infront of him, ready to learn some self defense. "Well boys, since it seems we have mostly farm tools around here and no armor, hand to hand and weaponry combat will be have to used very defensively. One mistake, and one of them lizard men will cut you right open. Shovels, hoe's, and pitchforks will be the best bet since you will want to keep your distance from the creatures. The closer you are, the more likely you'll be killed by one of those bastards. I'll show you some techniques!" Bulmeer shows the band of make shift guards some basic moves and tactics when in a dangerous situation. Hopefully they don't all die to some lizard boys in the heat of combat after some guard drills.

  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    Greggit Boyman
    "Never had no trouble of this sort. Kobolds comin down from the mountains. It aint right."
    He spits in the growing pile of fish guts near his feet.
    "The history of poswick is like..."
    The pace at which he dispatches fish slows as he attempts to answer a complex question in a way both a child and a fisherman might agree on.
    "It's like fishing. You gotta put some bait on the line or the fish won't bite, yeah? When the bait box is runnin low, and you start puttin less on the line each time you cast, the fish don't bite so much, right? Well we're the fish that don't bite. Maybe we don't grow as fat, but we ain't got no hooks in us."
    He nods to himself, satisfied that his fish analogy scans.
    "That's just Poswick mind you. Some folks would call us Leshians, but that's a hook see? That's a line we wriggled off of. We found some worms here in Poswick, found a lot of worms in fact so he made a sort of pond we could all fish in..."
    Sensing his analogy falling apart he gets flustered and accidentally ruins a fish.
    "Damnit boy, why you hound'n me about all this? Mrs. Mable ain't taught you nuthin about it?"
    A large bell above the school chimes thrice and you can see the bustling children gravitating back towards the schoolhouse.
    "Go on n bother her about it will ya?"

    Time to go to class?

    "I imagine nets still work?" Realizing this isn't exactly the revelation you sought he tries again. "Folks round here don't lack for wits or bravery, they just ain't got the will. They need someone to tell em what's what and no buts about it or they'll stand there arguing all day. I've seen it before."
    The crowd behind you is debating how to determine who should head the committee to investigate where the power to ration vital materials in times of crisis should be vested.
    "They'll figure out how to defend themselves if you can give them a reason to think they might be able to pull this off. They don't need a lesson in building traps, they need a lesson in standing up for themselves. They need a lesson in weathering the storm no matter how bad it gets. I reckon a man like you can teach em plenty."

    The town has plenty of resources and manpower at your disposal should you require it. If you're totally stumped, you can ask the crowd and endorse the idea you support. Feel free to talk about it with the rest of the group. It's going to take a village to save this village.

    At first, it seems hopeless. Clumsy, off-balanced swings. Overextended blows and atrocious footing. Drawing ranks, asking these men to fight in a line would only result in them killing one other with such clumsy buffoonery.
    Bullmeer Athletics Check: 1d20+5 21
    As you spend time with each volunteer, correcting their most deadly mistakes, you notice a crowd slowly forming around the practice grounds. Men with farm tools and pitted old swords swagger up and insinuate themselves into the situation. Families begin to gather on the hill nearby to watch fathers and sons flail about. You begin to see signs of progress as men pass around the advice given to them and slowly begin to get a clue.

    A small group of sleepy looking young men off to one side are making a mockery of the whole affair. They laugh amongst themselves in a too loud sort of way as they watch their elders scrambling in the dirt.

  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    edited July 2018
    Axis stares vacantly at the old man for several seconds before nodding in understanding. Yes, it is undeniable - the old man is a beautiful, demented moron. His words are trite nonsense, utterly bereft of any meaning. As he turns to walk away, however, he hears the schoolyard bell ring. The ring of senile old men yammer endlessly with their idiot mouths, verbally driving him in through the open door where he comes faces to face with a whole class of children, seated cross-leggedly afore a pretty woman with hair drawn back so severely that it tests the tensile strength of her scalp.

    Axis' horrific, mimetic pseudochild is poor substitute for a young one, an ersatz, deformed dummy. One of the children looks upon his twisted, stretched face, and immediately vomits. The teacher - Mrs. Mable - seems not to notice, instead scolding Axis for his tardiness and insisting that he sit for the lesson. The children nearest him shuffle and crabwalk away from warily when Axis sits.

    Scanloma on
  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Roep nods, but is overcome with an uneasiness. He is no leader, his presence is not a comfort, he lacks confidence. He briefly considers fleeing, but he couldn't do that to Bulmeer. He relights his pipe and takes a hefty swig from his drink, hoping it'll bring him the courage or at very least give him a swagger. Fake it till you make it, he thinks. "Aye, nets is easy. Tripwires and snares are easy. But we're not hunting game, old man. These are clever beings. They can think, and problem solve." He looks to the villagers. "They are a sorry bunch, soft hands. I just...don't know."

    He makes his way to the group and addresses an ADULT MAN. "Lemme see yr hands," he says, removing a coil of rope and placing it between his soft palms. He takes another, much thinner strand of rope and ties the ADULT MAN'S hands together in a prayer gesture, effectively binding his hands to the rope. He looks the MAN directly in the eyes, a wild expression crossing his face. "They're comin', ADULT MAN." He viciously jerks the rope free, absolutely shredding the MAN'S palms with rope burn. He briefly lets the OVER 18 GENTLEMAN scream and cry, before grabbing the collar of his shirt and lifting him to his feet. "Now that fuckin' hurt, no doubt. No, NO. Look at me boy. Look at me eyes." He shakes him. "Now that fuckin' hurt, but do you think it hurts more than watching yr mom and dad...OR SON AND DAUGHTER? shredded to ribbons in front of you? Do you think it hurts more than your sisters hot blood spraying in ye' eyes? Or the fire that will engulf your body when they come to burn this town to the ground?" He drops the MAN, not bothering to untie his hands "I can tell you from experience, it doesn't." He looks to the group, taking a drag of his pipe.

    "This is not going to be easy, friends. It's going to fucking hurt, it's going to be hard fought. But frankly, we don't have a choice. So weigh your options. You can stand and fight with us, or you can flee into the woods where you'll likely be caught, stitched to trees and fuckin'...dissected.

    Convincing the townsfolk to fight: 1d20+1 10

    Not gona lie, i felt pretty uncomfortable writing a lot of those sentences. Borderline 50 Shades of the extra creepy variety.

    JohnRoep on
  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Bulmeer looks on, not in shock or horror, as a retired elite dwarven guard he has seen some shit. He lets out a sigh, knowing that this demonstration can and will very likely destroy any chances of trust and hope for survival this town could have offered.

    "While Mr. Roep's demonstration may be extreme, he does pose a point." States Bulmeer to the horrified crowd. "These lizard spawn will do all of that and more, and it will be violent and traumatic. I know you are all people of peace, but Hell has kicked down the god damn door to your house" Bulmeer glares off into the woods and back at the crowd. "It's your choice how you answer, but Hell doesn't leave quietly with just a few harsh words thrown at it."

    Hell kicks down the God Damn Door: 1d20+1 9

    Cryptikoth on
  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Greggit Boyman
    Mrs. Mable takes a seat "Calm down everyone calm down. Now where did we leave off?"
    "You's was sayin how we's all ungrateful 'n you ought never to'a come here."
    She sighs "Before that?"
    "No!" Another child interrupts. "It was Professor Finley and his expedition."
    "Ah, yes! So after Finley's successful expedition, people back in Lesh were getting excited about this new continent. Now, which merchant house financed the first attempt to Settle Osatha?"
    "The Mercers?!"
    "Actually, the Barsavis financed the first disastrous attempt at colonization, the Mercers were the first to succeed in such efforts. When did they found the city of Merceria?"
    "1505" The class drones in unison.
    "And who was head of the Mercer's guild at the time?"
    "Reynald Mercer"

    The class continues in this manner for some time. If you're interested in this sort of stuff I'd be happy to write you up a bit more history.

    Class perception checks: 20#1d20-2 10 3 2 -1 -1 18 5 14 18 2 9...

    One of the students who was answering a lot of the questions right begins to cast glances in your direction. He scoots his way over until he's close enough to whisper.
    "Hey mister, what're you doin here? Mrs. Mable teaches the adult's class on the weekend."
    He seems bright, maybe bright enough to see though your flawless imitation of a human child.


    The crowd closes in as soon as your volunteer begins to holler.
    Townsfolk strength checks to restrain John: 5#1d20+1 21 12 18 2 15
    John's dexterity saving throws: 5#1d20+5 24 10 25 16 25
    They try to shove you away, but you hang on to the man's collar long enough to have your say. Eventually they pry your fingers loose and start to drag you away.


    You rush over as soon as you hear the shouting and deliver your plea. (What kind of roll was that? I appreciate the creative naming, but sometimes I have no idea what you're rolling for. If that's supposed to be a persuasion check, you actually have a -1 in that. I'll try to be more specific with my dice rolling as well so you know exactly what I'm doing.) It doesn't go over well. A man you recognize as Gordon Newell, Patriarch to one of the town's oldest families, suddenly seems to have found a spine.
    "He's not right, this one. If saving Poswick means sinking to his level I'll watch it burn."
    The crowd releases John in a rough manner.
    Crowd shoving john to the ground: 1d20+2 16
    John's dex save: 1d20+5 13
    John stumbles and falls to the ground at your feet.
    "We're forming a committee to discuss the construction of static defenses." A sneer forms on his face. "Like civilized people. You're welcome to attend Bulmeer, but leave your pet in the barn with the rest of the animals."
    Some of the people you've been practicing with begin to wander over, curious what the interruption is all about.

    Pokeylope on
  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Greggit Boyman has found himself in yet another unfavorable position. Rather than risking life and limb, however, he battles sulci-effacing boredom in a child's class. He sits, head in his hand, drooling as the class recites rote historical dates of significance. As his gaze wanders mindlessly around the class, he locks eyes with a young boy with an intelligent look and a incisive demeanor beyond his years. He is looking intently at Greggit Boyman, and it skeeves the child abomination out.

    Greggit watches warily as the boy scoots closer and whispers, "Hey mister, what're you doin here? Mrs. Mable teaches the adult's class on the weekend." The boy's words send a thrill racing through him - could the boy's eyes be so keen, his magical intuition so sharp as to see through Greggit's deception? The answer, patently, is yes.

    Not wanting to draw further attention to himself, Greggit communicates telepathically with the boy.

    Bro, he begins. Don't blow this for me. Hey, you seem like a smart lad. I'm doing my best to figure out a way to help the town, but my research hasn't turned up anything. Do you know anything of the town's history? Also, it's totally normal to talk with your mind where I come from, know...don't freak out.

    Scanloma on
  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    Guess that I should also roll to persuade the kid not to freak out.

    Telepathic Persuasion: 1d20+5 19

  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    Roep doesn't bother getting back up, he just takes a drag of his pipe from the ground. "Yr fuckin' soft, I promise if you stay this soft you will fucking die." he locks eyes with a father "Your child will be fucked to death on a burning stake!" He isn't sure if his methods are the right course of action, but he can sense the town coming together...with a common hatred for him. He finally gets back up, not bothering to dust the dirt from his overcoat. "I'll be off binding rope for defense, if you don't want the deathrattle of your infant daughter to be the last sound you hear, I reckon you should join Bulmeer or I in preparing." Before he walks away, he leans down to a YOUNG CHILD. "if they demand you execute your mother, do it. They'll kill her anyway, and their methods are much more..." he pauses, then spreads his hands and wiggles them in a sort of icky jazz hands "...rapey."

    He passes by Pule, not taking note of his expression but gives him a little wink. "That should fire them up, eh? Let's get to work."

  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    Bulmeer looks on in horror at what has just taken place. Roep, covered in dirt and rambling off about rapin' and ropes, Bulmeer follows the people of the town to what appears to be some kind of organizing committee. Wondering, where the fuck Axis has gone, and if Roep wont be jailed by the end of the day. What a mess.

  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    edited August 2018

    Your fellow student's eyes grow wide with amazement when you begin to use genuine magic. He raises a finger to each temple and stares at you, face twisting in concentration as he attempts, unsuccessfully, to perform the same feat. After a tense moment he relents and releases his long held breath.
    "Shucks mister, you're in luck." He leans in conspiratorially. "This town has a secret alright, and I'm to only one what's figured it out. None of the adult's will talk about it. I'm kindof onto something big here."
    He falls back to a sitting position and transitions with an ease unbecoming of a child into what you immediately recognize as a sales pitch. "Thing is, I've never had a magic friend before. There's all sorts of stuff a magic friend could do for a kid like me."
    You know where this is going, and indicate with a subtle nod that he should continue.
    "I want you to grant me a wish! Whaddaya say? One little wish and I'll tell ya what I figured."
    "Hey!" The teacher shouts from across the room. "Don't make me come over there you two."


    Pule leads your out past the scene of last night's battle to a mossy old building near the edge of the woods. The place is three times as long as it is wide and tall to the point where it looks like something halfway between a barn and a wall. When he ushers you inside you're astonished to find that nearly every inch of space within is part of a vast network of strings and pulleys that weave their way off into the darkness of the high ceiling.
    "Mind yer step."
    Pule glides as effortlessly through the tangle of ropes as a spider would it's web. You do your best to follow and shortly find yourself in what must be his living space. There's a small fire with a large pot of something hearty simmering atop it, and a small woman with a large book in her lap. Immediately upon seeing you she springs to life, bustling about the place and tidying things up as she greets you.
    "It's so nice to meet you, don't get so much company. Come on in, come in."
    She gestures to the seat she vacated. It's stuffed and has doilies draped across the padded arms. She clearly considers this the nice chair.


    There's a bit of confusion as your practice session and the planning committee converge. Men shuffle about unsure of what to do after the interruption. Your army has barely learned the basics, but there's a few promising folks you might leave behind to run things while you help draft a defense plan.
    On the other hand, they may move slowly, but the people of Poswick should be able to handle getting some earthworks erected. What's the point of defenses without soldiers to man them?

    I just wanted to pause and make sure you really wanted to be a part of the planning committee before I took you over there. If you want to stick with the training session (or do something totally different for that matter) that's cool. Whatever appeals to you most.

    Pokeylope on
  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    Roep enters the home of Pule and upon seeing the rope labyrinth he can't help but to smile, a sincere and wide smile, no irony behind it. He looks across the spread web and feels a sense of satisfaction, something he assumes people feel when they get ASMR, something he's never heard of or really understands. The closest phrase he can associate with the swell of happiness he feels upon the intricate network of string is being turned on.

    "Please, no M'am, remain seated. I prefer to stand." He gestures back to the recently vacated seat of Pule's...wife? "This is a very beautiful home, M'am." Roep finds himself removing his hat for the first time in quite a while. Long, greasy and dirty hair falls down to his shoulders. "Pule, this is a beautiful home." He emits a sound that is a borderline giggle, realizing he's just repeating himself. This is the first time he's felt comfortable sense he was a young boy. There is a lingering dread, when is this going to go to shit, he wonders.

    "Iss jus....ropes." He finally mutters.

  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    Beggit Groyman pauses, considering the child's words. All right. You've piqued my interest, Axis telepathizes. Don't try and speak, you'll just make Mrs. Marbles angrier. Meet me outside the school in five minutes and we can discuss your "wish." He holds his hand up to silence the boy as he opens his mouth to protest. Instead, however, Axis casts Detect Thoughts on the boy, attempting to elucidate his secrets.

  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    Bulmeer decides to regather himself and decides to continue the training. The young lads will be torn to bits for sure if they are given any lessons on close quarters combat. Hopefully, at least this will give them a chance in battle.

    Bulmeer, acting as a drill seargant, pushes the fresh new militia until they are drenched in sweat. One man practically faints, which is understandable considering they know the long arduious days of farming, not the chaos and relentlessness of combat.

    After pushing the fresh recruits far enough, he decides to call it a day after hours of training. With enough day light left, he lets them go and assigns a group to be the night watch after they rest up from training. Once dusk comes, the beasts will surely be back and in greater numbers.

  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    You tune in to the boy's mental frequency as he waits for his chance to slip out and get up to no good.
    Alright Benny, this is your chance, don't screw it up. You gotta watch yourself. Wishes don't ever turn out no good in the stories. One wrong word and I'll become one of those alagorties Mrs Mable's always on about. Hmm...
    His thoughts shift in rapid succession as he considers his heart's desire.
    Wish for candy, all the candy. A beard! Made of gold! Big muscles. A castle, a dragon. A castle on a dragon! I want to fly. No I want magic, can I wish for wish magic? I want skin as hard as iron. I want a pet griffon. I want to be invisible, but only sometimes. I wish I was a hundred, a thousand, a hundred-thousand feet tall. I wish I was on the moon. I wish I was the moon. I wish I could smell treasu-
    The child sitting behind Benny, a pudgy little wastrel, reaches forward and slaps Benny across the back head for no discernible reason, nearly knocking him over with the shock of it. The brute stifles back his laughter and offers a comment "Who's your weird friend weirdo?"
    Benny, tears brimming in his eyes, rubs at one side of his face and tugs you towards the door.
    "I know what I want, come on."

    Oh he's gonna need a wish. He's gonna need to wish he hadn't done that! Not today Chuck. Today you learn a lesson, you're gonna be the alagorty, not me.

    "John this is my wife and eternal joy Milly, Milly-John"
    Milly returns to her seat and follows your gaze upwards.
    "Oh yes, he'd never gloat about it but he's an expert. Only place in Osatha that can make a hundred-fathom rope and that's a fact."
    "Oh, that ain't been true for some time now, and you know it."
    "Well you was the first" She offers him a kind smile and leaves it at that.

    Ropemaking is a surprisingly complex task. It involves twisting strings in such a way that, under the right amount of tension, they wind together perfectly without kinking up. Since your finished rope can only be as long as the ropewalk it was made on, rope is typically made outdoors. Pule however, seems to have contrived some sort of pulley based system and packed it all inside of this this curious shed.
    "Fact is I ain't had to make much more than clothesline since we put up the mill. Half the rollers'r prolly rusted in place by now, but I just can't bear to take it all down."

    As practice wraps up and you drag your weary old dwarf bones back through town, you notice a large line forming at the well nearest your home. Many of those standing in line are, like you, thirsty after a long sparring session. The water they pull from the well is murky, a sign that it's running low. Your mind flashes back to the previous night. Kobolds running across the field, they split into three groups. The ones you fought were trying to poison the well, the town has three wells. There's a sinking feeling in your gut as the realization that you may have the last working well in town sets.
    You see Mayor Cass near the door of your smithy. She appears to have borrowed the mercenaries you hired. She's got them hauling wheelbarrows full of old tools, broken axles, torn leathers and other such scraps up to your home and dumping them in a pile.

    Pokeylope on
  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    Axis sighs as he is pulled from the classroom. Once a powerful corporate lawyer who brokered coronations, the arbitrage of manticores and dragons, even acquisitions of entire continents of land, he now finds himself mediating a piddling schoolyard feud. Yes, you've all heard him bitch before. Yes, he will continue to do so. He is lead, hand in hand with the boy, down to the tree and small inlet of water outside of the school. The boy crouches beside the water, wiping hot, angry tears from his eyes, his head full of dark thoughts.

    Silently, Axis dispels his prior glamor and casts Disguise Self once again, this time taking the form of a tall figure, clad in glimmering plate armor and elegant, Tyrian-purple robes and hood. His face is covered by a simple mask of pure ivory with two eyeholes, black and impenetrable. He exudes elegance and power and mystery.

    BEHOLD, he telepathizes in a booming voice, drowning out the boy's thoughts of petty violence. I AM GREGOR MANMAN. NOW YOU PERCEIVE ME IN ALL OF MY GLORY. ASK OF ME WHAT YOU WILL. With a subtle gesticulation of his hand, he manipulates the air around him, causing his robes to flap and flutter majestically. The spectacle is really quite something.

    As he towers over the boy, watching as the boy's eyes fill with a strange admixture of awe, wonder, and terror, Axis' eyes flit briefly over the inlet of water. A moment later, he turns again to consider the water, noticing how the fresh, fast-flowing waters of the river eddy and swirl with the stagnant, brackish waters of the pond. He studies the trajectories of the silt and floating debris as they move in seemingly random and ineffable patterns and wonders if their stochastic movements hold some secret to the universe, something sacred and hidden. For a moment, he feels something akin to reverence. Echoes of the Immaterium, removed beyond the veil of reality. It is perhaps the first real moment of profundity in Gregor's life.

    A moment later, he turns back to the boy, feeling strangely drained. He communes telepathically again, this time in a soft whisper, almost imperceptible to the mind. Ask, boy. And then you will share your knowledge with me freely.

  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    Roep is still in awe at the rope set up, he nods absently "Nice to meet you, Milly-John." He finally shakes out of it and inspects one of the ropes. "This is good material. Do you think you can still work in these conditions? If the rollers are as rusted as you fear, we could run a rig outside from your roof. I'm used to making rope using a ships mast and crudely weaving multiple ropes together. They hold just fine...for the most part. But this set up looks much quicker...and we haven't much time. Tell me how to help....Captain."

  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    Bulmeer grins, as the mounds of scrap and broken or ill maintained things build up at the door. He shovels some coal into the forge, and puts on his thick and heavy leather apron and gloves. It's time to get to work, before the night closes in.

  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Benny is clearly impressed, and joins eagerly in the theatrics.
    "OH Mighty wizard" He raises his arms. "I will be a great hero some day, like Garl Gazrak! I wish I was strong and brave and clever enough to defeat any foe!" His voice loses the dramatic flair as he adds "and please don't make me like a monster or nothin."

    "Cap'n eh?" Pule walks over to a huge wheel set against one of the main pillars and gives it a cautious turn. The canopy of ropes above you trembles in response, filing the air with a dusty haze. "Right!" He shouts, tossing you his knife and pointing to an oil can on the wall. "I ain't been up there since my ears started growin hair, Pelor know's what you'll find. You give me a holler and I'll tighten the ropes, you spot where it's jamming up and fix it. See any rotten rope, cut that out too and splice er back together. Eh, you do know how to-"

    Pule pokes his head out to ask if you know how to splice rope. You know how to splice rope. In fact, you seemed eager, so I was imagining you sort of bat-manning up into the rafters as soon as you got the gist of things, but feel free to write it differently if you please.
    This is gonna be a skill challenge to see how well things turns out. Include a relevant skill check in your next post. If you get >= 10 you can describe it as a success, if not, describe how you fail. Either way complications will arise. There will be more than one check deciding the outcome here so don't describe an total failure if you flub the roll, just a complication.

    As the town's best smith you appear to have been assigned the duty of crafting whatever you can to arm the militia. Mayor Cass seems to be managing material collection, but you could certainly find ways of getting more materials if you want.

    So long as you set aside some time each day, you can craft any materials at your disposal into whatever you can think of. Let me know if you want to make stuff that's not on the list and I'll come up with a price. Right now you have 14 volunteers to arm. The town has about 150 people living here and more recruits may yet be found.

    Cost / Damage or Armor Bonus / Name

    5 / 1d4-1 / Wooden Club
    10 / 1d4 / Wooden Spear
    15 / 1d4+1 / Dagger
    20 / 1d6 / Iron Spear
    20 / 1d6 / Mace
    30 / 1d8 / Shortsword
    40 / 1d10 / Greataxe

    5 / Trap Mechanism
    10 / Boltsx20
    25 / 1d6 / Crossbow

    10 / +1 / Buckler
    15 / +2 / Wood Shield
    20 / +3 / Tower Shield
    25 / +3 / Chainmail
    50 / +4 / Plate Armor

    Materials available: 600
    Militia Members: 14

    As the forge warms up you hear muffled complaining outside your door. It takes all of her charm and the tip of one boot, but Mayor Cass manages to convince the shiftless mercenaries to take up a temporary apprenticeship of sorts in your shop. She insists the extra muscle will be needed, and she might have a point. There's much to be done.

    What sort of militia are we making? This might be more a group discussion, feel free to talk about this kind of stuff in the text chain if you have an opinion on the subject. Do you want to pick out the best recruits and arm them to the gills, or put a crossbow in the hands of every man woman and child? Something in between?

    Pokeylope on
  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    skill check in the rope home: 1d20+7 10

    Roep gives a nod, putting the knife between his teeth and grabbing the can of oil from the wall. He wraps the handle around a string looped through his belt to hold it in place, and begins shimmying up the rope net, a task similar to one he would easily complete daily while sailing a ship, but the newly shaken dust in the air gets in his eyes and nose, irritating him. He sneezes, though keeps the blade between his teeth, just slightly cutting the corners of his mouth. He blinks heavily in the dust cloud, rubbing his eyes while holding onto the rope with one hand. He finds some bad rope, dried out and frayed, and cuts it in two, putting the knife back between his teeth and binding it back together.

    "One down!" He calls back to Pule.

  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    Gregor Manman stands before the boy, robes flapping, the air heavy with static, the sound of all the birds and insects drowned out in a roaring, stupifying silence. And then, in an instant, the boy's humble, heartfelt plea drives the panache from his bones. The silence, the energy, the charisma, all drained utterly in a moment, leaving Gregor standing there looking somehow smaller. He bows his head under an unseen weight, his purple robes rumpled, his shining plate somehow less lustrous. He addresses the young lad verbally, in a voice that is laden with something like regret.

    "Such a transformation must come from within, my son." He sighs deeply, pauses, and then continues. "No magic of mine can make you so brave or clever or strong -" he considers his patron and shivers "- at least not without a heavy, unforgivable price."

    He stands defeated before the boy, an awkward silence lengthening the distance betwixt the pair. The breeze is light and cool against the late afternoon heat, but carries with it a foreboding note - perhaps the suggestion of a sudden drop in barometric pressure or the faint scent of ozone. Gregor is no fortune-teller, but he knows the signs well enough. A storm is growing, a storm that will rage through Poswick and change it fundamentally and irrevocably, if not destroying it outright. Almost as if on cue, a low peal of thunder rumbles in the distance, perhaps heralding a summer storm or heat-lightning. Though the sky is impossibly clear and the birdsong is eversweet, their beauty seems a foreboding contrast to the subtle, growing chaos, a transitory calm before the maelstrom.

    The boy, oblivious to the awkward silence as children often are, is studying a clear, pearlescent stone. Sunlight falls upon it and is refracted on the sand, bright and crisp. Gregor - or is he merely a glamored Axis? - is suddenly struck with inspiration. Clearing his throat, he speaks in a soft, hurried voice.

    "I know that I have not honored my promise, but I am afraid that our time - yours, mine - is limited. I must go and see a friend of mine, but if you will accompany me, I would leave to hear of your hero, Mr. Gazrak." Realizing that his offer lacks any real incentive, Gregor quickly adds. "I mean, that way I can familiarize myself with him, maybe give you some pointers."

    Convincing a little boy to take a walk (persuasion).: 1d20+5 19

    With the boy in tow, Gregor hurries off at a brisk pace, desperate to find Bulmeer. The clear stone, discarded, lies in the surf, bobbing gently in the river's currents. Pellucid, it glitters brilliantly in the sunlight for a moment before sinking beneath the waters.

  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    John: You continue darting about the rafters, knocking the rust off pulleys and splicing old ropes where they've stretched themselves to ruin. "Alright!" Pule shouts up at you "Lets give it a shot!" He turns the wheel hard and you hear hundreds of ropes around you stretching taut. Out of the corner of your eye you see the massive lead counterweight slowly rising up into the loft. A sharp crack rings out, a sound you instantly register as a snapping rope.
    Dexterity Saving Throw VS Pulley Whip: 1d20+5 15
    You manage to duck out of the way as a jammed pulley is torn from the wall and whips through the space where your head was moments before.

    One of the ropes has broken! You have a split second to react. It's going to start threading it's way back through the pulleys and you don't know where it will stop. It could unstring half the canopy and bring the counterweight crashing down if you don't do something. The number to hit for this one is 12.

    "Whuddaya mean? I thought that's what wizards did, go round makin people heroes and teaching folks lessons'n stuff."
    He's clearly dissapointed, but still hopeful enough to follow you into town.
    "Can you at least make me strong enough to beat the snot out of Chuck?"
    He begins to recount the tale of Garl Gazrak, apparently this Garl fellow is part of some provincial folk legend. Benny becomes more enthused as the telling winds on.
    "Garl weren't never afraid of nothin though. When the devils came, he stood in the gap and fought for a week straight while his people fled. When the champions got caught up by the lord of the seven hells, Garl just laughed. A lot of boys think Lysander is the best one, but Garl would whoop his butt. He fought dragons and ogres and demons and giants and-"
    His loose re-telling of the legend begins to turn into a list of things Garl has vanquished. You round the corner and come within sight of Bulmeer's smithy, plumes of smoke now drift from the lively forge. There's a sizable crowd around the well.

    Pokeylope on
  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    Roep hears the distinct sound of snapping rope and feels the displaced pulley buzz past his head, he quickly sees the tail end of the frayed rope falling away from him and he leaps to catch it...

    Skill check in the rope home pt ii: 1d20+7 19

    He snags the end with ease, twirling it around his hand twice before catching on to another piece of the rope web he's been climbing on. The broken rope tightens in his hand, though his skin is too calloused for it to bother him.

    "Fuckin' hell, Cap'n. That pulley could have totally bunged my head up." He climbs back up the webbing to find the other half of the snapped rope and begins repairing it.

    His heart is pounding. He feels like he's back on a sailing vessel, it makes him feel equal parts alive and uneasy. He thinks of the loud, explosive pop of frozen wood, the creak and crackle of a hull being strangled by shifting ice. He thinks that if he really looks hard enough, he could see the steam of his breath even in the warmth of Pule's home.

  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    Bulmeer crafts and hammers and pours sweat into the forge as he prepares as much fine weaponry as he can. He chruns out 14 iron spears (280 material) for his freshly trained militia recruits, ten clubs for some promising non militia members (50 material) and his grand finale is the great ballista! (10 trap mechanisms or 50 material) and the rest for munitions for the ballista (220 material for ammunition/bolts?)

    Bulmeer outfits the militia and orders the ballista to be set up on the high ground (i dont know if there is a hill somewhere surrounding the town overlooking things but if so thats where the ballista goes)

  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Gregor Manman pushes through the crowd, drawing strange glances as he makes his way to the door of the forge. The townfolk cannot hide their suspicious, aspersive glances as they gawk openly at his flowing, regal robes and plate armor. Man, assuredly some of them think, town has sure been attracting some weirdos lately. May I should buy a boat...or make my house into one.

    Finally, Gregor reaches the door, pushing his way inside.

    "Bulmeer!" he cries, voice quivering in excitement and desperation as he quietly shushes the blathering youth who is still somehow listing Gazrak's many vainglorious victories. "I have an idea!" His earnest, plaintive cries are met with a quizzical, if kindhearted, look from the dwarf.

    "'s me, Gregix Upon Manpose. I mean, Axgor Manpon. I mean, Axis. Pretending to be Gregor. Pretending to actually not pretendually have an idea without pretense or pretension, my prehensile pensive pensioner." The words are nonsense, which if anything confirms that the strangely armored, imposing figure is merely the bumbling lawyer. "I need a giant telescope!"

    The final sentence is nearly shouted with panache, the words echoing dully off of the forge and smithy.

    Scanloma on
  • PokeylopePokeylope Registered User regular
    The forge is sweltering hot. Beside Axis stands a wide-eyed child, watching with fascination as instruments of war are crafted.
    The highest place in town is actually atop the inn. There's a slight rise south of town near the old mine where you could hide some artillery, but it would be exposed out there unless you take precautions to keep it either safe or hidden.
    Crafting a dozen or so ballista bolts wouldn't take much material. Lets say you have 200 left for now.

    John: "Sorry mate, almost ready here." He locks his wheel in place and practically prances across the barn in his excitement. "It's about to get loud." He throws a switch and the ropes around you burst into motion, twisting and weaving their way through the network of rattling pulleys. Pule fusses with some tensioning wheels and checks to make sure the jig is moving properly. He steps over to the huge wooden spool everything feeds into and for the first time in years begins to roll out a thick strand of fresh rope. His gleeful chuckling can only just be heard beneath the racket of whirling strings and clattering pulleys.

    You've fixed the old ropery! +100 xp and all the rope you could ever need.

  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    Roep climbs down from the web and slaps Pule on the shoulder. "We've done it, old timer." He lights his pipe and takes a puff. "I think we've earned a drink, eh?" He sits down and uncorks the bottle he took from the inn that morning, taking a long, painful drag of it before offering it to Pule. "This process seems pretty automated, eh? I'm going to start hauling some of the rope back to town to start planning some defense, maybe burn some soft hands, could you keep at it while I'm gone? The more rope, the better." He begins coiling the rope in large, heavy circles and draping them over his body. Before long, he looks like a sloppy Michelin man. "I will return shortly, after I drop this off I want to check in on Bulmeer." Pipe still burning in his mouth, he begins walking back to the town to meet the others.

  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    As his words echo into silence, Axis realizes that Bulmeer has yet to move or speak. He drops his glamor, once again the lanky lawyer with his shabby, damaged pants and detritus-smeared overcoat.

    "Here, let me show you, my good man! I need something silver, something that can catalyze the spell. Oh, there must be something here!" The man speaks in rapid, staccato bursts, a thing possessed. He rummages through the left over scrap with a rabid fervor, finally removing a small, round silvered mirror. "Yes, yes, eureka! Now, I was once told that silver - specifically the relatively pure silver ores of the Tiste Andii, if you can find them - but let's be honest, any silver will do - but yes, that silver is a potent magical catalyst. A famed sorcerer from van Vaeyre revealed as much to after his six or seventh glass of the Calamazan pink - that notorious black liquor - lord knows why they call it pink."

    Axis' speech is pressured and essentially decayed into flight of idea, but there does seem to be a unifying thought underlying his frantic message.

    "At any rate, he said that the silver conducts the magical energies, and may focus and concentrate them. All of the van Vaeyreans imbed a silver nail into their staves to exploit this process, what they call 'argentum-facilitated uniradial arcane monopole emission.' Here, boy, hold this for me and come stand here - uh, no, a tad to the left, perfect, there, there!" He hands the mirror to the young boy and positions him to one end of the forge. "Now, my thought is that, should we be able to find enough silver-impregnated material, we might fabricate a sort of device by which I can strike out at our foes from a great distance. Like, some sort of magical ballista. Watch now!"

    Before Bulmeer or the boy can react or object, Axis turns and gesticulates violently at the mirror, a harsh arcane cant on his lips. HOPE WE HIT THE MIRROR: 1d20+5 12

    A beam of purple-blue-black emanates from his fingers. In it, one can make out numerous puncta of light that appear to be stars and swirling nebulae, the terrible, beautiful secrets of the universe manifested in a ray of pure energy. Axis is careless, frantic, and poorly practiced, and his shot veers slightly off, striking the mirror at its corner rather than its center. There is an enormous cracking noise, like that of an earthquake or thunder, and then a second beam explodes from the mirror, much larger and more brilliant than when initially cast. It explodes through the roof of the forge directly over Axis, sending fragments of wood and tiling raining down on Axis' head. The boy is sent flying, landing in a pile of soft, cushiony metal scrap.

    Axis is ecstatic. "IT WORKS! By Gghyrrāgch, Dread unto those who hearken His Name, it works!" He grabs Bulmeer by both of his stout shoulders and shakes him.

    "We must find whatever manner of silvered materials we can! If we install such a device from an elevation, we could strike down on our assailants from afar!"

    It is at this moment that Axis finally notices the large structure in the midst of the forge. After a moment of puzzled consideration, he finally discerns the nature of the enormous ballista. His face turns red with embarrassment. " seems that you already had a similar idea." He appears visibly deflated, the proverbial wind stolen from his metaphorical sails.

    His shoulders sagging, he turns to leave the forge, walking directly into a rope-laden John Roep, knocking Axis off of his feet.

    Scanloma on
  • JohnRoepJohnRoep Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Roep made his way to the forge half blind, a large coil of rope stretched from his shoulders up to his eyes, and thus wasn't surprised to have walked into something...again. Hearing the dandy lawyer's cry as he hit the floor did catch his attention enough to make him bend at the waist enough to peer over the ropes to see what he had bumped into this time. "Oh, you're still alive are ya?" He chuckles, in good spirits from the stiff drink and the virtually endless supply of rope at his disposable. He bends further down so the large coil on the top half of his body can shimmy off, dropping it on top of Axis. "You should be more careful. Do me a favor and carry this, I'm walking blind out there."

    He looks over to Bulmeer, his body still draped in three large coils of rope, and smiles. "Bulmeer, my friend. We. Have. Rope! I saw the ballista! The bastards won't know what him 'em!"

    JohnRoep on
  • CryptikothCryptikoth Registered User regular
    "Right boy'o! I think the senility took hold for a moment, i thought i was back in te mountains! Lets hammer the bastards!" Bulmeer, not knowing what is happening, springs into action. A bit confused, he mounts the ballista that has magically been assembled without his recollection.

  • ScanlomaScanloma Registered User regular
    Axis stumbles and struggles under the heavy ropes. With distaste on his pale face, he mutters, "These ropes smell of hemp and sweat, most unappealing."

    Bulmeer wears a confused but pleasant smile on his face, having apparently had a small stroke during the assembly of the massive ballista. Axis smiles sadly and shakes his head; high cholesterol has been wreaking absolute havoc on the dwarven population, with the incidence of myocardial and cerebrovascular ischemia roughly triple that of a man. He shrugs; perhaps the flow of time in Poswick is convoluted.

    Once again, a low peal of thunder rumbles in the distance. The evening sky is still clear but there are a suggestion of clouds at its periphery. Axis is filled with foreboding.

    "Excuse me, Bulmeer, Mr. Roep...but I believe an attack on Poswick is drawing near. Call it intuition, but I don't think we have much longer to prepare. Do we have any thoughts on where to mount the ballista? How to defend it? Or how we might escape, should the town fall?"

    There is a pause, with the rope-laden Roep scuffing his feet uncomfortably and the senile dwarf looking blissfully unaware with his beautiful idiot eyes. Clearly, there had been no thought on the matter.

    I'm just teasing you, Nick - I don't actually think Bulmeer is senile or having a stroke. Just making light of the difficulty in conveying the passage of time in these posts.

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