Tom D01s01

[OOC] TheTale: Day One - Dawn
TheTale: The caravan's already moving - huge, shaggy beasts drawing colorful, ramshackle carts, their cloth canvas flecked with a morning snow. And the sun is climbing up over the strangely placid eastern sea, shining a chilly gold.
TheTale: This highway - The Grosso Via - isn't the most well maintained of routes. Last night, you passed a firepit, piled high with the charcoal remnants of shattered wagons, and bodies wrapped in burial shrouds. It was the first sign of any other travellers that the caravan has come across, since its last stop, oh those many weeks ago.
TheTale: …You're all getting used to eating beast-flesh.
TheTale: There, in the distance - a city that shines like a mirror in the morning sun. Its tall, diamond-sparkling towers are draped with curtains of flowing water. Plumes of gentle smoke waft from its chimneys. It's alive.
Eris‘ lets out a breath she’d been holding for a while. "Finally."
Linlea admittedly looks rather relieved to see something for a change, whatever this place was.
TheTale: The highway winds down a snowy hill, past jagged white rocks, like tusks of some ancient beast. Little fences have been made along the curves that descent the hill, trying to hold back the erosion that's chewed the bends into cliffs.
Charlotte: "Now that's a sight I haven't seen for a while…"
TheTale: Adya, the sunjammer - in a thick cloak of downy feathers - nods knowingly, seated next to Charlotte. "You said you've been here before?"
TheTale: Leto, the barrel-chested, thick moustached driver akes a sort of grunting noise, picks up a horn, and blows it. It's a signal of some sort - that there's a town in sight? That he's slowing down to lead the oxen along the curve? - but he's never actually explained them to anyone.
Charlotte slowly nods her head. "It's been a number of years however, so who knows if any of the places I know are still running."
TheTale: Adya smiles weakly. "Still above the snows. More than you can say about some places."
Eris: "Most places." Eris corrects, offhandedly.
TheTale: "Most places." Adya admits, looking downcast.
Linlea glances up at the others before giving a sad smile in response. "Let's hope it stays that way for a while."
Linlea: "Not covered in snow I mean."
Eris‘ glances towards Linlea briefly, before returning her eyes to the city. "Sure. Make sure you keep your boyfriend out of the way this time."
Charlotte: "…I’m not going to ask."
Linlea blinks a few times before looking off into the distance. "So what's this place called?" She gestures to Charlotte.
TheTale: "Prospero," says the doctor in the gold-coat, stirring from a nap beneath a pile of linens.
Linlea: "Ah. You been here before too, doc?"
TheTale: "Passed through," he explains.
Linlea gives a knowing nod in response.
Eris: "I assume there's… plenty to do, here?"
TheTale: "Work enough for me, at least."
Charlotte: "Almost certainly, since it's not buried in snow yet."
TheTale: Adya nods to him, and shouts back across the caravan - "BOSS! How long are we staying?"
Eris‘ nods slightly, as she stands up to stretch her legs.
TheTale: "We’re staying short." The director shouts back, from near the end of the wagon train. She walks awkwardly across the rumbling cart to come closer, then adds: "Provisions and we're heading further south. No straggling this time."
Eris: "Not a lot of confidence in this bubble holding itself together, then?"
Linlea speaks up with a hint of interest. "What's further south?"
TheTale: Director Sophia buttons her coat against the morning wind and hops, cart-to-cart, until she's over Eris. "Just don't want to have to go chasing you. We're three days behind schedule already. If all our meat freezes, we're-"
TheTale: "The highway's called the Via Via. There's a ruined city there called Sycorax, but if we can get over the mountains there, we should be free of the worst of the storms."
Eris: "Dpes
Eris: "Doesn't frozen meat store better anyway…? Well, either way."
TheTale: "Be fine if we weren't under for firewood, Eris."
TheTale: The wagon train levels out. It approaches the gates of Prospero - tall and thin, a splendid arch with portcullises like the spears of angels.
Eris: "Fair enough."
Eris: "Should be warmer within the city proper at least."
Charlotte: "One can only hope."
Linlea: "Forget the warmth. I'm looking forward to some real food. You don't get much variety besides stew and how well the meat is cooked out here."
TheTale: The caravan comes up to the gates. Leto sounds his horn with a tremendous bellow.
Linlea: "Do they use lucre out here, doc? You said you passed through."
TheTale: "In the worst, we find a money-changer, won't we?"
TheTale: The doctor shrugs, speaking distractedly - he's watching the gates with a hawkish look.
TheTale: Someone's visible through a window in the walls, running hurriedly about. There is, otherwise, no response. Leto waits a little bit and sounds an annoyed "toot-toot" .
Linlea gets to her feet before grabbing her bow and pulling down her hood. "Think they do inspections?"
Eris: "Want me to pop the gate open?"
Linlea: "I hope we don't need a dumb pass. Too many cities restrict district access nowadays."
TheTale: The Doctor smiles. "Yes."
TheTale: Sophia's arguing with Adya over something - she doesn't seem to have heard the question.
Eris‘ hops down from the wagon, leaving her hammer behind on the seat. After landing in the snow with a crunch, she rolls her shoulders a few times, then strolls up to the gate.
Eris` leans her head back, raising her voice as she declares: "I’m shoving this thing open in thirty seconds if you don't give us some kind of responce."
Linlea scratches the back of her head before glancing at the doctor with a worried expression.
TheTale: The sliding of a grate. A head in a red-plumed helmet pops out of a tiny window. "Can you do that?"
Charlotte raises an eyebrow as she watches Eris. "This should be good."
Eris: "I sure can."
TheTale: Frantic murmurings. "(Can she do that?)" "(Apparently!)" "(Well, I mean, should we make her show us…?)"
Eris‘ tilts her head back, giving the doctor a look.
TheTale: Franticer murmurings. "(Strictly speaking are we going to get in more trouble if we let someone in or if we are-)" "(Invaded.)" "(That’s… this counts as that!?)"
TheTale: "…Are you monsters, or are you humans?"
Eris: "More human than monster, in general. Foreign Travellers."
Linlea glances over the present company. The statement was correct.
TheTale: "We're opening the gate."
Eris‘ nods, climbing back up onto the wagon.
Linlea quietly pouts to herself. "And here I thought I was going to finally see her bust open something."
TheTale: …And there’s the roaring of machinery, and the elegant portcullis, looking more like something silver than iron, is slowly hauled up.
Eris: "Good odds it'll happen eventally anyway."
Charlotte: "Depends a lot on what happens, but I'm almost certain it'll happen more than once."
TheTale: Leto drives the caravan through the gates, into what was likely once a crowded market square - the circular niche in the walls is built up with platforms, full of empty stalls and little warehouses, corrals for beasts, and docks for loading carts. The director nods approvingly.
TheTale: There's a local official there to meet here, and she quickly starts handling the specifics -
TheTale: There's a sticking point, though.
Linlea: "Looks uh… kinda scarce? I can see why you wanted to pass through."
Charlotte: "It was… livelier when I was here."
TheTale: The palace-man, his hair wrapped in a blue veil, his ears heavy with jewels, nods seriously. "The north road's been snowed out," he says, turning away from Sophia for a moment.
TheTale: "So there hasn't been much going on in this corner. We had to clear out a nest of squatters a week ago, I suppose. That said-"
TheTale: Sophia gestures - "We'll be able to pay for provisions and quartering. We expect to depart tomorrow. Money's what we're best at, but we're carrying whale oil, and wine from Oberon."
TheTale: The official shakes his head. "We won't be taking anything from you. You're admitted for travel and on compassionate grounds only. We expect you to depart by nightfall."
TheTale: "Pardon?"
Eris‘ laughs.
Linlea chews at her lip before piping up in earnest curiousity. "When was the last time you let someone through the northern gate?"
TheTale: "Prospero is the city of infinite plenty. You have nothing we need."
TheTale: He turns to Linlea - "A woman arrived three weeks ago. And we had plenty of travel in the fall, of course."
Linlea: "Was she sent away by nightfall too?"
TheTale: "She took patronage through the Palace - I believe house Cimer is sponsoring her."
Eris` rest her chin on a hand as she turns towards Sophia. "I guess they heard you when you siad you wanted to get out of here quickly on the approach."
Linlea turns to the others. "Honestly we’re in a bit of a bind here. Working out a deal for one person is one thing, but we're a rather large crew here. You'd have to be a pretty smooth talker to not get the boot."
TheTale: The official nods. "To be honest, the volume of you is why the Palace responded. They sent a runner to me, saying that - yes, they do want you moved along."
Eris: "Is moving along right now going to be a problem, boss?"
Linlea: "Where's Jack anyways? We're awful at negotiating."
Eris: "Maybe you are. I just want to know how much we need to care."
TheTale: The director points to Adya - "Go get Jack." - And then nods to Linlea. Adya, of course, runs off.
[OOC] Eris: -want +need
[OOC] Eris: or wait no it's works as is herp derp
TheTale: "It's a little bit of a problem." She says. "The oxen are driven bad. If we can provision up, we can probably get going, but we're taking risks."
Eris‘ nods, glancing around at what can be seen of the city, and the people residing in it.
Linlea groans. "So much for easy sailing once we got here."
Eris: "So… things are pretty fuedal around here, right?"
Eris` claps her hands on her knees before looking at the offical directly. "Who do we need to kill for you to be granted permission for a longer stay?"
Charlotte: "Is it ever smooth sailing, really?"
Linlea: "…"
TheTale: The official smiles. "It pains me to say so, but I believe you’re now speaking our language."
TheTale: "The reason the Palace is this cold-hearted is - well, we are at war."
Eris: "As luck would have it, I'm very good at destroying things. So!"
TheTale: "It's a little unorthodox, but we could likely sponsor you as a military expedition. That would justify quartering you within the walls and allow us to supply you."
Eris: "Probably easier to deal with us as a mercenary force than merchants I imagine, yeah."
Charlotte softly shakes her head in resignation. "Well, it's not the first time that some of have done this kind of work."
Linlea gives Eris a look. A look that screams 'What about a doctor, merchant and street performer says mercenary force?'
Eris: "(Every unit has a medic, someone obviously has to handle accounting, and recon. Obviously.)"
TheTale: The official paces left and right.
TheTale: "At the very least, it should buy you some time and feed for your oxen."
Eris‘ nods.
TheTale: "I’ll let the Palace know you're considering contracting for an expedition."
Eris: "Thanks."
TheTale: "They'll quarter you in the meantime. If nothing happens to develop…" He shrugs.
TheTale: "…You're better off than before, I suppose."
Linlea nods, seemingly keeping her cool so long as the official is here.
Eris: "Of course."
TheTale: "Marfan d'Eglys, by the way. Master of the gates."
Linlea smiles to the official before introducing herself. "Linlea Vestrymen."
Eris: "Eris. Sophia, Charlotte, Linlea, Leto." She gestures in turn with the names.
Charlotte: "Pleased to make your acquaintance."
TheTale: "Likewise."
TheTale: "You can have the run of the Centreville. A word of caution, however: those wrapped in yellow cloth are suffering from the dust-plague. We have had a dreadful issue with it as of late."
TheTale: "…As it's quite contagious, I would advise you to avoid contact."
Eris: "Dust-plague… guess that was what the Doctor had plans on dealing with."
Linlea shakes her head. "Afraid that's unavoidable. Our doctor wants to- yeah."
TheTale: "He can consider his plans altered, then. If he has contact with any plague patients, we certainly can't be admitting you to a palace audience."
TheTale: "I trust there's no problem, sir?" He calls to the doctor. "No. There is none." The doctor responds.
Linlea: "So for the time being we just set up camp in this empty space by the north gate, or…?"
TheTale: Marfan nods seriously. "I'll send a runner to your camp when things are arranged."
TheTale: "And -yes, that's what it's for."
Linlea nods before stretching. She glances at the others. "That's that, then. I think the director can finish this off, yeah? I kind of want to check out Centreville."
TheTale: Sophia and Marfan discuss a few things, and then Marfan heads out.
Eris: "See, negotiating is easy."
Linlea elbows Eris with a frown. "Next time ask us before signing everyone up for mercenary work, geeze! You basically put us in their palm just so we could have a place to stay!"
Eris: "I did."
Eris: "I can do it all myself if you're too scared to go back into the field, though."
Linlea crosses her arms in a huff. "I'm not scared. I'm just saying that we're not going to be as big as you were making us out to be. Doc's definitely not getting involved in this. Doubt the others are either."
Eris‘ shrugs. "Wasn’t planning on getting much help in the first place."
Eris: "If you wanna just sleep through this stop you don't have to do anything, either! It's perfectly alright."
Linlea gives a deadpan stare. "Is that when I'm supposed to go 'Oh, okay.' and just walk back to the caravan? Geeze. I'm not mooching this ride you know."
Eris‘ smiles, patting Linlea on the head. "I honestly don’t care either way."
Charlotte: "You wouldn't, no. But I'm not skipping out on helping, either."
TheTale: Under an archway, the north gate courtyard opens up into the rest of the Centreville - there seems to be a bit of a commotion.
TheTale: Soldiers in shields holding back a crowd.
Eris: "Besides,"
Eris‘ grabs her hammer and jumps off the wagon. "When was the last time you went anywhere interesting and didn’t kill someone?"
Eris: "C'mon or get left behind, things are happening." She starts heading to the disturbance.
Linlea moves forward to investigate the commotion. "If I had a simple job I'd be one of those shmucks who got hit by winter."
Charlotte picks up her scythe from where she left it, following after the other two. "Maybe a riot or something?"
Linlea: "Still. Hopping on to a side of a war we know nothing about is a bit hasty, yeah? If we make some wrong moves we could just accelerate it. Isn't that what you just said we SHOULDN'T do earlier?"
Eris: "Hmm? When did I say that?"
TheTale: There's a teeming mass of people - beggars, peasants, ruffians, trying to press at and grab Marfan, shouting about alms, mercy from the palace - He's accompanied by a trio of shoulders, sheltering him as he heads out.
Linlea frowns. "You implied it from last time."
TheTale: "On order from the palace, squatting under the gates is a security hazard. THAT IS TO SAY, we are keeping you separate from the visitors, AND we do not want a wall falling on you." His guards manage to bring him up onto a wooden platform, and it's slowly hauled up onto the archway -
Eris: "Oh. No. He just get easily distracted, and distractions lead the freyed threads, which generally tends to lead to a quicker collapse. if the focus here is on a war, however…" She rolls a small shrug.
TheTale: …Shouting down a riot isn't very useful. Once he's lifted out of the way - the crowd still reaching for his platform, trying to leap up and grab him - they disperse, some of them rushing out into the courtyard to inspect the caravan, others heading elsewhere.
TheTale: But still, a little mass of people flows past the trio.
Charlotte: "Well, at least that went non-violently. A surprise."
TheTale: As they pass through the archway, the Centreville comes into sight, and it looks like this:
Linlea: "I have a feeling finding honest work around here is going to be tough."
TheTale: Once, this street was a pleasant row of walk-up manor houses, crammed tightly against the curves of the walls. There are flowerboxes underneath the window-sills, little iron fences around their front stairs. Except… well, all the doors, it seems, have been boarded up - some painted with yellow marks, others without. And after that -
Eris: "What's dishonest about mercanary work? It's all pretty upfront and spelled out plainly." She grins.
TheTale: It looks like the city double-parked itself. There's a warren of little shacks and lean-tos and tiny tents, crowded all along the street, some of them little stalls. Fire-pits. Chicken pens. It's a mess.
TheTale: But then! Up on the second storeys of the old houses! There are walkways. Rope-bridges, little highways cut along roofs, elevators here and there, an entire second set of streets through the Centreville.
TheTale: And you can see Marfan and his retinue of soldiers leaving along those.
Eris: "Huh."
Charlotte: "That's handy."
Linlea: "That's not how adventuring works, though. We help people and spread goodwill. We don't murder people for other people… We literally know nothing about who they're even at war with."
Eris: "I'm pretty sure that is exactly how things worked when you started out."
Linlea: "We hunt monsters and find lost pets!"
Eris: "And the fancy coins you like to stare at when you think no one's looking…?"
Linlea: "… let's just see if we can find someone to maybe trade in our lucre to."
TheTale: Asking around a little…
Eris‘ laughs to herself. "I suspect we’ll want to be on the upper section of the city for that."
TheTale: A kid: "Money - what's that? Can you eat it?" A stranded merchant: "I'd take it, if there was any hope of reaching another city. But…"
Eris‘ blinks. "Do they… not use currency here? All bartering?"
Charlotte: "How long do you want to bet until Jack throws a fit?"
TheTale: The merchant shakes his head. "It’s the city of infinite prosperity, right? Everything's… well, everything's supposed to be free, and taken care of."
Linlea: "So… what I gathered is that since winter blocked off the north road the only way out of here is through the other nation which you just declared our enemy instead of us just passing by both. In other words we're stuck and our currency is useless. Good job."
TheTale: "Except most of the old families are shut up in their houses - forever. Taking care of plague victims, or avoiding plague victims…"
TheTale: "…And then tons of refugees flooded in from miles and miles around."
TheTale: "Speaking of which, welcome to our fair city." He smiles, missing teeth.
Eris: "Interesting. On the Jack front, I expect right about now. On the caravan front, we weren't moving safely anyway. If need be, we simply smash a path through."
TheTale: He chuckles. "Gutsy, at least. Ours disbanded. Of course, that's even before winter hit."
Linlea: "You have to be gutsy to be travelling along a snow filled highway."
TheTale: "Could be desperate, too."
Linlea: "Or desperate I-"
Linlea: Yeah. "
TheTale: "Here, have a seat." The merchant pats a half-log around a table - there's a few of them, lined up along the side of the street. A little cafe, maybe? Or just a meeting plce.
TheTale: (There seems to be someone vaguely in charge, and people occasionally get drinks from him, but nothing changes hands.)
Linlea glances at Eris before shrugging and sitting down. Not like they had a better plan at the moment.
Eris‘ sits down. "We’re waiting on the palace to get back to us anyway, so, why not?"
TheTale: "Anyway. The Palace dispenses rations from its larders. And it's first-come-first-serve. Some people stay up all night for it. Sometimes people bleed for it. It's… gross."
Eris: "So… a fuedal dystopia, that's a new one. This might be fun."
Linlea sighs. "So much for a nice meal. At least we're used to it at this point."
TheTale: A skinny, crooked man leans over the shoulder of the old merchant. "Hey, what's got these ladies looking so down?" "Just came in Prospero with their caravan. Explained rations to em."
Charlotte demurely takes a seat, her scythe propped across her lap, then softly shakes her head. "So much for 'infinite' supplies… Do you know if the Pure of Heart is still open these days?"
TheTale: "Rations are for suckers." "Eh, yeah? Who's your-"
TheTale: The merchant brightens. "Ah, yeah, I remember that place. Nah, it's been closed for…"
TheTale: "Didn't somebody just move in? There was loads and loads of construction there, too."
TheTale: "Seriously?"
Linlea almost looks like she was going to say something but ends up closing her mouth.
TheTale: "Yeah, I hauled steel for her. Gave alms in some weird salted meat."
Charlotte frowns. "…It closed? It was doing well when I left it's employment a while ago, huh…"
Eris‘ glances between the men and Charlotte a few times, then gives Linlea a look while mouthing ’pure of heart'.
TheTale: "Hard to keep a Centreville restaurant open in these times. You still know how to find the place?"
Charlotte: "I wish I could say 'yes', but it's been a long time, and places change, and I'd rather not get us lost on pride."
TheTale: "Ludshack, watch my drink." "Finish your drink, got it." "Whatever. I'm showing these ladies around town."
TheTale: The skinny, crooked guy sits down in the merchant's place, and the merchant gets up and stretches.
TheTale: "…It's not really charity. I'm just bored."
Linlea: "Not complaining~!"
Eris: "It doesn't seem like there's much to do around here in the city proper, no."
Charlotte: "Not so far, at least."
TheTale: He walks a little down the ways, elbowing through little crowds, steering clear of a trio of bedraggled victims in yellow wrappings, begging with bowls.
TheTale: "Yeah. And I mean, you worry about paying back everyone who does you a favor, you go crazy, right…?"
Linlea frowns at the remark.
Linlea: "There's lots of ways to show thanks that don't involve paying someone back."
Charlotte shakes her head. "Debts should be repaid if you can help it, though."
TheTale: He passes an out-of-place marble building, three storeys tall, with a copper-domed roof. It's unweathered, and looks recent - some of the scaffolding hasn't come down yet. "That's the foreigners bureau. You see where it meets the wall?"
TheTale: "It goes straight through to the upper district."
Linlea: "I was going to say a smile is enough thanks for me, but I guess this is why they don't let me handle finances!"
Eris‘ shakes her head at Linlea.
Eris: "They have a bureau set up for foreigners, despite not generally wanting to let more in…?"
Linlea: "So if we want to go up, that’s where we go?"
TheTale: "Specific foreigners."
Charlotte: "Good thing you're not in charge of the caravan's deals, then."
TheTale: "They're… emmisaries of some kind of foreign kingdom, from across the ocean. Far east. They just call themselves the Foreign Service."
TheTale: "And, uh, you know why they're treated so differently? They're rich."
Eris‘ laughs.
Eris: "Oh, the services are here too. Good to know."
TheTale: "They built three damn snowships for the Palace and there’s apparently a fourth on the way."
Linlea: "We were flat out told at the door that they didn't need our money or inventory though."
Eris: "Services, Linlea."
TheTale: "Did you have a snowship in your pockets? Maybe a few hundred rifles?"
TheTale: "…That's the difference."
Eris: "Have things changed much since they arrived, or is this still a somewhat recent thing?"
TheTale: "Well, there's a lot more food going around these days. They're arming more soldiers than ever before."
Eris‘ mumbles to herself. "(…Though I suppose you wouldn’t really notice if they had changed drastically.)"
Eris‘ nods.
TheTale: "They’re backing the war effort to the mat, basically. Palace is very, very thankful. Not that you'll ever see any of them on the front lines."
TheTale: A wheezing laugh, ending in a hack, as the merchant walks away from the bureau.
Charlotte: "Naturally."
TheTale: "Not that you'll see me on the front lines, either. Let's keep going."
Linlea: "So what I gathered from that is that these guys have beef with the people you're at war with. Or they want easier access to the territory they're occupying?"
Eris: "Of course." Eris lazily twirly her hammer around with her fingers as they continue past.
TheTale: "Could be." The street opens up - there's a great thoroughfare branching off, heading up to a slope, in towards the tremendous gates into the upper district.
TheTale: There's a tremendous wagon there, stacked high with bodies wrapped in burial shrouds, pulled by a brass beast. Its driver is going over a ledger with a few soldiers.
TheTale: "Accounting the dead." The merchant explains, lingering a moment. But a guard gives him a pointed look, and he carries on his way.
Linlea: "Those all from the plague or…?"
Charlotte: "Brass, huh…"
TheTale: "None are, actually. Plague would be yellow shrouds… so…"
TheTale: "Could be war-dead. Or hunger." He shrugs.
Eris: "Clock work, or fiends by the by?"
TheTale: "Fiend. They creep me out, but we've got a few here and there around the city." 4
Eris: "Interesting."
Linlea: "Strange. I figured you'd bury your dead from war out on the field not haul them all the way back. Especially since you implied the important people aren't fighting."
TheTale: A sardonic smile. "No, everybody gets brought back. Up in the palace, there…"
TheTale: He points to it, over the walls - its soaring, impossible architecture. Its pouring waterfalls.
TheTale: "There's something called the Fount of Wishes. The water of life. Right?"
TheTale: "Brings the dead back to life."
Charlotte: "Everybody? Even the plague victims?"
TheTale: "Everybody. And that's why they bring everybody back. I mean…"
Charlotte: "So… a Cup of Wishes on the grand scale…"
Linlea: "Speaking of, do you sell that out here?"
TheTale: "Don't count on it, you know? They don't… talk about the back-log, but…"
Eris: "Ha ha ha, an undying fuedal dystopia, using fiends as beasts of burden." Eris gives Linlea. "There's no way this wasn't the right pick."
[OOC] Eris: + a grin
Linlea: "… er. Provide?"
Linlea: "Still getting used to this whole no currency thing."
TheTale: "Don't think so. But I mean, I wouldn't know. Hard enough getting my hands on medicine."
Linlea: "I foresee trouble in our future if they are going to be stingy with the candy."
TheTale: He shrugs weakly, ambling further down the street. "Anyway, everyone comes back to life… eventually. Pauper and prince alike. But - well, people are dying faster than they bring them back."
TheTale: "So they make choices. Some people jump the queue."
Linlea: "So basically make yourself useful or you literally don't have life insurance."
Charlotte: "How long does it take for them to revive someone? How many can they do in a day?"
Eris: "He just said he doesn't know that much about it, guys."
Eris: "That's probably a question for the palace."
Charlotte: "True."
Linlea: "I'm not asking questions about the fountain!"
TheTale: "There's a Court in charge of it. People can go in, argue their case, say that they're useful, or good, or… something."
TheTale: "And then they bump you up, if the judge rules in favor."
Linlea: "… so we need to do that BEFORE we die."
Linlea: "We should do that."
Charlotte: "Unless you can do that while you're dead, somehow."
TheTale: "Well, I mean. You get someone to speak for you."
TheTale: "…And if no one comes in to speak for you, I guess you're not that important…?"
TheTale: "That's the logic."
Linlea: "Guess we really can't screw up our first job then, huh?"
Charlotte: "Maybe being mercenaries will be good for that, yes. In the off-chance it's needed."
TheTale: There's a tiny pathway through some shacks, back to the storefront behind it - a tiny clearing in front of it.
Linlea: "I more mean that nobody is going to bump a group of mercenaries that failed the only job they were given up in the queue."
Eris: "Don't worry," Eris taps Linlea on the shoulder once with her hammer before returning to twirling it. "I'll make some someone tells them you're a nice, caring, loving person deserving of life, or some such, when you die before we leave. Well, unless we're in a hurry."
TheTale: A pink-and-white, lace-fringed awning. The sign, with a winged flourish, declares itself "The Pure of Heart" .
Linlea: "… can't you just do that yourself?"
Charlotte: "Can you really see her taking the time to do that instead of busting in more heads?"
Eris: "Hmm. Well, judging from how I've been acting for the past few hours thta doesn't seem terribly in character… but perhaps!"
Eris: "Although the proper come back to that was, of course, 'why are you assuming i'll die?!', but regardless!"
Eris‘ slips inside the cafe after pushing the door open.
Linlea: "Have you seen what I can do? I literally shave off my own health to do more damage. If I’m using that on something that isn't super important it's going to add up fast."
Charlotte takes a look around as they step inside, mentally cataloguing any changes….
TheTale: The merchant nods to Eris as they head in - "Anyway. See you. Best of luck in this crazy place."
Linlea nods to the merchant. "Thanks."
Charlotte: "And the same to you, good sir."
Eris‘ shouts back over her shoulder. "Take care!"
Linlea: "Not exactly what I had in mind when I heard ’Pure of Heart'."
Eris: "You can probably brace yourself for animal ears all the same, I suspect."
Linlea: "Think a sproutling is in here?"
TheTale: The cafe… well, it's been kept clean. The booths have been rearranged a little. There's a big landscape painting over one wall that seems new - the frame's a little thick - and display cases in the front windows full of preserved-for-display versions of its various desserts.
Eris: "Hmm. Possibly, although that would be a bit… on the nose."
Linlea: "A name like that screams a sproutling customer or mascot."
TheTale: The lights aren't on in front, but there's one in the back - and a voice calls out:
Eris: "Well, not that this cafe existing at all isn't in the first place.”
TheTale: "Nope! No sproutlings."
TheTale: "Hold on a sec, I'll be right out."
Eris: “Of course!”
Charlotte: "There wasn't any sproutlings before, either."
TheTale: A little bit of rummaging, and the cafe's owner arrives - short black hair, a pretty filled out frame, an apron dress, and a devil-may-care smile. "Alice Zarin. I'm the new management. Good to see you guys."
TheTale: "Let's get down to brass tacks."
Linlea glances at Charlotte before quietly sighing to herself.
Eris: “Hello.”
TheTale: Alice thumps the wall in a certain way, and steel shutters drop down over the windows.
TheTale: A vault door slams shut over the little glass one.
Linlea: "Why are you talking like that?"
TheTale: The painting on the far wall flips around, revealing a light-up map of the world. There's a little flashing ping on it.
Charlotte: "So that's what the steel was used in."
TheTale: All the display cases rotate, spinning down into the floor, revealing a bevy of weapons.
TheTale: Alice takes a seat on the booth, swings her feet up onto the table, and grins.
Eris: "I'll admit,"
Charlotte: "I see you also thought the name was serendipitous."
Eris: "Less cat ears and more swords than I was initially expecting."
Eris: "Not that that's a bad thing, mind."
TheTale: She cleans out her ear. "Yeah, I don't really do the maid thing."
TheTale: "So, you guys came in with the caravan, right?"
Eris: "Mmhm."
Linlea chews on her lip before shaking her head. "Uh, yeah. Us and a few others."
Charlotte: "Place has certainly changed since I worked here."
TheTale: "Welcome to hell, baby. I was half-hoping you guys were gonna steer clear of this one, but…" She shrugs.
TheTale: "…Well, the city culture doesn't really support thank-you-for-your-service-master, right…?"
Eris: "Sophia intends to be gone in a day or two, at least."
Linlea: "There's a plague going on. I don't think the doc knows what steer clear means."
TheTale: "The doc can go fuck himself."
Charlotte: "True, hard to overcharge for refreshments if there's no money to change hands…"
TheTale: "Exactly, right? And the fancy food supplies hasn't really… happened."
TheTale: "I mean, no skin off my back. We have a base of operations. My casa is your casa."
Linlea can't help but laugh. "Appearances can change, but some things never do, huh?"
TheTale: "Soo…." She pulls herself upright and walks over to her map.
TheTale: "Let's get you guys a primer."
Eris‘ sets her hammer down, before taking a seat at a nearby booth.
TheTale: "You guys tried to pure heart anything around here yet?"
Linlea takes a seat. "Have I ever?"
Eris: "Wait…"
Charlotte: "We only just rolled in, so no, not really."
Eris` stares at Alice in something not unlike horror as something clicks. "Ugh. I’m one of them now, aren't I?"
TheTale: "Oh, what, sorry, nobody told you?" Alice shrugs. "Well, guess it's up to me."
TheTale: "Those with pure hearts can to a whole fucking new world."
TheTale: "Welcome to the club, baby."
TheTale: "…Can go to."
Linlea: "Or at least that's how it should be."
TheTale: "Damn, I guess that's why we leave it to the sproutlings, right?"
Eris: "No, no, I really should have expected this." She pinches the bridge of her nose. "Oh well. I suppose I can still rub it in their faces if I get the job done right on the first go."
TheTale: "Hey, we make it out of this one alive, you can rub anything on me you want."
Eris: "Hmhm, so noted."
Linlea: "Given the bad situation why did you choose to set up shop? The director wants to just keep going south."
Eris: "You're…" She tilts her head. "What's got you so worried, then?"
Charlotte carefully props her scythe against the wall. "Do you at least have tea or something around here? I could serve some while we talk."
TheTale: "Oh, yeah, I do-" Alice says. "-Pot's in the back if you want to put it on, should have a tin of decent stuff somewhere."
TheTale: (Her first instinct is to go make it herself, but she lets Charlotte handle it.)
TheTale: "There's… something underground. It's called D2."
TheTale: "As far as we can tell, it's something like an anti-Pure Heart defense system, or something. It wakes up and responds to us…trying to alter fate, especially by reshaping."
TheTale: "And I think it's draining all the kP."
TheTale: "…Like, every single story? The power's going right to it."
Charlotte leaves the door to the back wide open so she can listen as she bustles around the kitchen in the back, starting up the pot before looking for the actual tins. At least the kitchen and pantry hasn't really changed.
Linlea: "So… what you're saying is if we go south we're still screwed?"
TheTale: Yeah - there's a black tea, or some peppermint.
Linlea: "How do you know the range is that big?"
TheTale: "Range might not be that big. But, I mean…"
TheTale: "…Hmm…"
TheTale: "…Well, if a pure heart tries to go off the map alone, we suffocate, right?"
TheTale: "…But a caravan, that's like a story."
Eris‘ laughs into her hand.
Linlea: "That explains the ’why did you stop moving' part at least."
TheTale: "So, I guess, in a pinch, if you can bring your troupe all the way down the road, there's your escape route."
Linlea: "I almost forgot that was a thing. It's been a while."
TheTale: "Yeah. So, worst case scenario, you guys can get us out." She smiles.
TheTale: "Gonna rest a little easier, then."
Linlea: "Jack is pretty reliable on that front."
Charlotte gets out the peppermint while waiting for it to boil. It's the season for it, right? "So at least we have the back-up plan if everything goes to hell in a handbasket."
TheTale: "Jack's with you? Nice."
Eris: "Hmm… an anti-pure heart defense system though… I don't think anyone's ever mentioned anything quite like that before."
Linlea: "When is Jack NOT around? I mean, seriously."
Charlotte: "I don't think she's going to like this supply system, though."
TheTale: "Oh yeah, about supply."
Eris: "Well, other than " plenty of shiny objects on the sidewalks. "
TheTale: "As far as I can tell, it all comes from the top. Due to winter, there's no new shipments arriving, and barely anything being made. It's all from somebody's stores."
TheTale: "So… they only give it to you if they think you'll use it for something useful."
TheTale: Alice walks over a bit, and pulls down a pull-chart.
Eris: "The vagrent we were speaking with earlier implied something of the sort."
Charlotte: "Apparently there's some kind of revival system and I'm somehow doubting we can rely on waking up in our beds the next day?"
TheTale: She indicates the societies an their ranking - "The Services have the most, if you felt like selling your soul. Then the Palace has - yeah, lemme get to that - a little less, and there's a fiend research institute that can still give out a little, and the monastery - monks, right? philanthropists? - are kind of bottom of the barrel."
TheTale: "Now, the worse straits a society is in, the less they'll feel like opening their coffers. But when they're feeling good, they get generous."
Linlea: "It seems like we're getting close and personal with the palace. Or at least trying to break a deal."
TheTale: "Which also means that the Service thinks they're winning, the Palace thinks it's doing okay, and the Institute and the Monastery are on comparative death-watch."
TheTale: "They deal honest, at least."
TheTale: "Yeah. Uh, when you die, you've got… two options."
Eris: "This place is all kinds of different from the typical world bubbles that tend to pop up."
Eris: "I can only think of one other time we've passed by somewhere where the services were making any real headway."
TheTale: "Still running by the rule of eight, though. There are similarities."
Linlea: "How's the magic situation on this end, by the way? Things have been getting weirder and weirder every time a story crops up."
TheTale: "Anyway, death. You can stay in your body and hope to get some water-of-life. Or, well, get revival magic."
TheTale: "Haven't seen any spirits or gems. Just using the tricks I brought with me."
TheTale: "Anyway, the other option is… you can sort of cast yourself into something else, make that into your body."
Linlea chews at her lip. "… so probably locked away somewhere again. If there was none at all this place would probably be whiter."
TheTale: "That's… apparently, the other people in this world - like, the monsters? That's what they do when tey die."
TheTale: "Which means that if you do that, people think you're a monster."
Eris: "What a curious place!"
TheTale: "You… kind of have to decide quick, too. I mean, not like, split-second quick."
Charlotte brings out four cups and a pot of steaming peppermint tea, pouring for each of them. "That sounds unpleasant. And I think we'd all prefer to keep our current bodies."
Linlea: "Not going to lie, the whole not exploding into bones thing is a bit jarring."
Eris‘ mouths ’thank you' to Charlotte before gently bringing her cup to her lips.
TheTale: "I know, right?" She wraps her hand around the tea, sniffing of it, smiling at Charlotte.
TheTale: "Thanks, doll. Anyway."
Linlea takes her cup of tea.
TheTale: "But when I kept thinking after my first death, D2 came looking for me."
TheTale: "I mean, cards on the table? I have a grudge. I want that thing destroyed."
Eris: "Mmm. Well, I wasn't planning on having either of those options available to me when I decided to take care of things in this world, anyway, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue, I think."
Charlotte nods, taking a seat herself, smiling after sipping her own. It's well-done, properly steeped tea. "Sounds like resurrection magics would be a good thing to grab quickly."
Linlea nods in agreement. "I can't really argue that this isn't right. That sort of technology just screams services to me though. Do you think they finally found a way to contain the pure hearts not working for them?"
TheTale: Alice nods. "I'd breathe easier with a rez around, that's for sure."
TheTale: "Dunno. Might be worth 'asking' them, though."
Linlea: "Like they're upfront about anything."
Eris: "They usually are, actually."
TheTale: "Oh, sorry, hold on-"
Eris: "If you're meta-aware."
TheTale: Alice says "I mean-" and then she puts heavy, heavy airquotes - "ASK-ING" - "them."
TheTale: "Save a horse, punch a service, baby."
Linlea nods.
Eris: "She's implying violence, by the by." Out of the corner of her mouth, towards Linlea.
Linlea: "… I don't consider monsters or services people. It's okay!"
Eris: "Wow!"
Eris‘ laughs so hard she has to put down her tea cup.
Linlea scrunches up her face. "… what?"
Eris: "Well, I mean."
Eris: "You’re read up on the origins of the services, right…?"
Linlea: "Nope! I just know they're assholes."
Eris: "They're a lot more 'people' than you are." Eris smiles.
Eris: "…But anyway!"
Linlea claps her hands together. "Right. I was going to ask. Have you seen anyone else around here?"
Charlotte: "So what's up with this war that's going on, by the way? After Linlela's question."
TheTale: "Uh, Khaleesi's in the area, but we haven't actually met up."
Eris: "Khalessi…?"
TheTale: Alice does her best impression: "My dragons!"
Eris: "Oh. Oh."
Eris: "Her. Delightful!"
Charlotte: "…Linlea, Eris. Both of you, no flirting with her."
Linlea nods back. "I was kind of assuming she was the lone woman who came through the north gate and winter on foot."
Linlea: "That got sponsored."
TheTale: "Oh, no, you're talking to her."
Linlea: "Showed up three weeks ago?"
Linlea: "Oh!"
Eris: "I cannot imagine flirting with her would help solve terribly many problems."
TheTale: "Anyway, I told her to be cool this time. So, she should be cool."
Linlea: "We have more than one caravan you know. It's not like you would have been stuck with the doctor."
Charlotte: "The real question is if she'll listen, but…"
Linlea: "Taking that trek on foot sounds reckless even for you."
[OOC] Linlea: Buggy? I don't know what to call it.
[OOC] TheTale: Wagon? Cart?
Eris: "(But, you know, no promises on the off chance it might.)"
TheTale: "Hmm, did I forget a question…" Alice curls her lip.
TheTale: "Oh, yeah - the war!"
TheTale: "So, the humans and the monsters here have been fighting hot and cold for decades."
Charlotte: "Are we talking 'mindless' EXP balloon monsters, or ones that think they're people monsters?"
Linlea: "Fiend engine? Festvallum? Demon lord tries to take over humanity? What are we talking here?"
Charlotte: "Because I didn't pay that much attention to the war last time I was here. It might have been a lull, too."
Eris: "She was very obviously still going to elaborate a bit more." Eris shakes her head.
TheTale: "Closer to human than any monsters you or I have ever seen."
Linlea: "Yes, but I'm impatient." She grins to Eris.
TheTale: "Like, you know. Captain Puffin."
TheTale: "Humans. Big, tough, scary humans that jump from body to body and, culturally, want to eat us."
Linlea: "Ooooh. Oh! Do we have cannon travel out here? It's been ages."
Eris: "Hee. People in the caravan still talk about him." Eris glances at her cup, then over towards Charlotte. "Seconds?"
Charlotte smiles and nods, pouring another cup from the pot for Eris. "It's that 'wants to eat' us point that sticks out at me."
TheTale: "Nope. Though if you get a chance to set it up, please do. Uh…"
TheTale: "Apparently, it's Prospero's fault this time, though. They fucked up the monster princess something bad. She's nameless and leaking winter."
Eris: "Gross."
Charlotte: "…Does that mean there's a Name Eater around? Because suddenly I'm glad I don't have a surname listed."
Eris: "Alice Zarin, so… I'd imagine not."
Linlea: "The name eater is gone."
Charlotte: "Point taken."
TheTale: "Yeah, uh."
TheTale: "Sorry about that one, by the way."
Linlea: "Oh. Are we apologizing for things now?"
Eris: "You used to have a habit of doing so, at least."
Charlotte blinks, slowly nodding. "Any idea how she lost her name, then? Because leaking winter is a terrible thing to inflict on someone."
Eris: "Your boyfriend seems to have been rubbing off on you, however."
Linlea: "Until recently there was a Luna ability that could steal names wasn't there?"
Linlea: "It's not just the name eater."
Charlotte: "Right, we had someone who did that last time."
Eris: "The 'leaking winter' bit is a bit curious though, yes."
TheTale: Alice frowns. "They don't talk about it much around here."
TheTale: "I mean, I guess the monsters would know. They're pretty pissed about it."
Charlotte: "So we just need to talk to the people who want to eat us, great."
Linlea: "I wonder if I can fool one into thinking I'm a monster because I have pointy ears?" A small chuckle.
Eris‘ sets her cup down, air qoutes appriopriatly for Charlotte.
TheTale: "I saw some falling stars down south."
TheTale: "So, we should have some backup there."
Charlotte: "I could call myself a ’reaper' or a 'shinigami' or something and maybe it'd fly."
Eris: "This world seems a bit complicated from a presentation standpoint."
Linlea: "Not saying I don't plan to help you out with the whole D2 thing, but… getting some sort of deal going with the palace is going to take priority. We can't do much without provisions."
Linlea: "Unless you have enough stock for everyone."
TheTale: "I don't."
TheTale: "And yeah, you gotta look after yourself."
Eris: "Well. Thank you very much for the information, and the tea."
TheTale: "N.P."
TheTale: "You ever need a staging area, feel free to use it. This thing can withstand a bomb blast."
Charlotte: "It certainly looks the part."
TheTale: Alice smiles proudly.
Linlea: "Why Alice Zarin by the way?"
Eris: "Color joke."
Eris‘ smiles.
TheTale: "Color joke."
Linlea blinks a few times before laughing. "Themes are important, huh?"
TheTale: "You know it."
TheTale: Alice gets up and thumps the wall again, converting the place back to regular-café-mode.
TheTale: "Come back anytime."
Eris: "Of course. Let us know if you need any help related to not-an-obvious-sidetracked-distraction things."
Linlea: "Sure thing. You need any help with anything just give me a holler. Got the feeling we’ve got to work together this time around, yeah?"
Eris‘ finishes off her tea.
Charlotte drinks the last of her cup, nodding before getting up. "I’ll be sure to recommend it to anyone of like mind, too."
TheTale: She nods to Charlotte. "Yeah, I'd like to get the rest of the gang together." [!]
TheTale: "Oh, that's… that's just because what I just said is something on the dance-card, so there's EXP sitting in it."
TheTale: "You know."
Eris: "Hm?"
Linlea: "Oh wow. Can I do that too?"
TheTale: "Hmm… well, it's not like, picking what's rewarded and not, it's more like a reminder."
TheTale: "But sure, try it."
Eris‘ watches Linlea expectedly.
Charlotte: "Oh, I think I get which one, yes."
Linlea scrunches up her face before shaking her head. She looks queasy. "… actually, I think I’m good. That's a bit too shade for me still."
Eris‘ laughs.
Charlotte: "Come to the dark side, we have cookies." A blink. "Do you have cookies here?"
Eris: "Mm… where is this ’dance card', by the by?"
TheTale: "Well, I mean… I've got flour, milk and eggs."
TheTale: "I'll whip up some cookies for next time you're here."
Charlotte softly giggles. "That sounds like a plan."
Eris: "Oh, nevermind. I just figured it out."
Eris: "This new sense is very strange."
TheTale: "Yeah. But I mean, you're Wisp, right?"
Charlotte: "New world, different rules."
TheTale: "No need to rely on it. Just trust your gut."
Eris: "Mmhm. Speaking of which, I believe the Palace running should be arriving back with good news… shortly."
Eris: "Er, runner."
Linlea: "Which obviously means we have to return to our caravan."
Eris: "That is what I was implying since we seem to have covered all the bases here, yes."
Eris‘ stands up from the booth, giving Alice a nod before sweeping up her hammer and heading out.
Charlotte gives Alice a curtsey before taking her scythe. "Until next time, then."
TheTale: "See you."
TheTale: "…Good luck, too."
Eris: Over her shoulder: "Same to you as well."
Linlea awkwardly reaches into her bag and places a brass ring on the table. "… Sorry. Looking forward to working with you. Still a bit weirded out about a lot of this." She turns to follow after the others.
TheTale: The streets of the Centreville.
Linlea: "Right. Down the slope and back to the caravan."
Eris: "It wasn’t a terribly complex path here, no."
TheTale: Adya meets you halfway along the street, near the turnoff into the palace quarter -
TheTale: "Oh! There you guys are. We got word from the Palace that they'll meet us."
TheTale: The earth shudders.
Eris: "But of course."
TheTale: In the distance, cannons blaze.
Linlea spins around trying to pinpoint the source. "… under attack?"
Eris: "Delightful! We'll be able to prove our worth quickly, then."
Linlea: "I can't really argue that doing something before the meeting would be in our favor."
TheTale: Over the south gate, a tremendous giant - skin the color of deep bronze, wrapped in white cloth, a false eye painted on his brow. His arms are covered in fur, and his fingers end in long claws.
Eris: "Oh, heaven no. If we did that we couldn't be certain they'd see it. And it would be rude to keep them waiting. To our esco - hmm. Actually I suppose the caravan is in danger if we don't. I suppose you win this time."
TheTale: …The Yhe Holmat Knight, Merco. He steps through the walls. He tramples houses. He wades through a canal.
Eris: "Make sure the escort doesn't get squashed while we deal with this, Ayda."
Eris‘ dashes towards the giant.
Linlea trods after Eris. "Of course I win. The thing is massive! We can’t let it reach the others whether this town supports us or not."
Charlotte: "…That's a big one."
TheTale: You meet him on the front steps of the Fiend Institute - he's ripping his way through the top-floor walkways. He turns away from gazing into a window down at you.
Eris: "I'm going to have to ask you to stop, now."
Linlea catches her breath before waving to the ogre. "Hiya!"
TheTale: "Pathetic little runts, I-" He wipes his hands off, and - A snort.
TheTale: "Oh, human knights? Haven't seen you lot before."
TheTale: "Sure you shouldn't be running?"
Eris: "We were!"
Charlotte: "You know, trampling your way into a city is rather rude."
Eris: "We simply stopped when we arrive near your location."
Linlea: "Hence why I was out of breath and everything!"
Eris: "And again - I'm going to have to ask you to stop. I'll be ever so angry if you happen to destroy our caravan."
Linlea: "Yeah. We're just passing through but you decided to come in at the wrong time, buster!"
TheTale: "Your caravan, you…" He kneels down.
TheTale: "…You're not involved, and I don't have time for you. But if you want to give battle…"
TheTale: A bone-shaking roar.
TheTale: "I'll give it!"
Linlea: "You MADE us involved!"
Charlotte: "I'm not sure getting killed right after we arrive would be in our best interests, though."
TheTale: Battle order: Merco [F]:0 Charlotte [F]:1 Linlea [B]:2 Eris [F]:4
TheTale: Status for Merco : [<span style="color: #008000;">====================</span>]
Linlea: "If he reaches the palace we aren't getting our meeting, so!"
Linlea: "This jerk is stopping us from resupplying and heading south!"
TheTale: Merco slams his palm down, slapping a five-fingered groove into the street. The crowd is howling in terror, trying to get as far away from him as possible.
Eris: "Well I'm really more concerned with this proximity to our wagons regardless, but all those other things are valid points as well yes."
TheTale rolled 2d100 and got 83, 12 ( Total: 95 ) for 80 apiece Charlotte Eris
TheTale rolled d8+108 and got 6 ( Total: 114.0 )
TheTale: Smashing for 114 physical damage and leaving her dizzy - [Lame - Quicks and reactions at -30% potency (3)]
Eris‘ grunts slightly as she catches the giant’s fist with her hand and is punched into the ground somewhat. "Hmmm."
Eris: "I don't like that."
TheTale: He clenches his fist, and his nails start spinning like drills. [Line Ripping next turn for a column attack.] And he flashes his vicious teeth. "I'll be your opponent." [Executing vs. Techniques!]
TheTale: Battle order: Charlotte [F]:0 Linlea [B]:1 Eris [F]:3 Merco [F]:39
TheTale: Status for Merco : [<span style="color: #008000;">====================</span>]
TheTale: Charlotte!
TheTale: A squadron of soldiers fire at Merco from a nearby rooftop. He slams his elbow down into them, and they scatter.
Charlotte hops back, her shadow rippling, waiting just in case. "This is a rather rude welcome." [Recover, CT15]
TheTale: Battle order: Linlea [B]:0 Eris [F]:2 Charlotte [F]:14 Merco [F]:38
TheTale: Linlea!
Eris: "I imagine he's thinking much the same thing."
Charlotte: "True."
Eris: "Or rather, will be in a moment or three."
Linlea nocks an arrow before firing true. Hopefully. [Attack - 60D | Heedless +30%]
Linlea rolled 1d100 and got 79 ( Total: 79 )
TheTale: It strikes him in the chest!
Linlea rolled d12*1.3+140*1.3 and got 5 ( Total: 188.5 )
[OOC] TheTale: 188]! Eris!
TheTale: Linlea has Transgressed (1).
Eris: "So, giant!"
TheTale: "So, tiny!"
Eris: "You're some kind of… knight, correct?"
Eris: "With a code of honor and the like?"
TheTale: "I got more honor in my finger-bone then there is in this whole city." He snorts.
Eris: "Excellent! What, praytell, does this trangression you've levied upon my… companion entail?"
Eris‘ glows slightly as she absorbs the lazy damage.
TheTale: "Means she better run."
[OOC] TheTale: Merco has her marked for a large amount of bonus damage.
Eris` rocks her head from side to side, stepping slightly in front of Linlea. "So noted." [Bodyguard] [40D]
Eris: "Do your worst!"
TheTale: Charlotte!
Charlotte shakes her head in amusement at Eris, her shadow waiting, Recover primed for when an ally falls into SoS. [35D]
[OOC] Charlotte: [SHP: 80] HP: 550/550, MP: 490/550, SoS: 137
TheTale: Merco crunches up his fist and slams it down directly onto Eris. [Heavy Strike]
TheTale rolled 1d100 and got 14 ( Total: 14 ) for C80
TheTale rolled d8+140 and got 1 ( Total: 141.0 )
TheTale: Smashing for 141 physical damage - call health loss!
[OOC] Eris: before lazy damage or after…?
[OOC] Eris: empty stance is weird
[OOC] TheTale: Before please
[OOC] Eris: 111
TheTale: And then Merco opens his claws, and his nails shoot forward on burning chains, snaking for Linlea!
Linlea glances at Eris.
TheTale rolled 1d10*2+111*2 and got 6 ( Total: 234.0 ) for Line Ripping
Eris` slaps the nails way slightly, making them only glance Linlea for half that dmaage, and making Merco take the other half.
TheTale: For 234 physical damage!
TheTale: Reread bodyguard: Eris takes half, Merco takes the other half.
Eris: Ah, yes.
TheTale: Anyway, Merco snarls as he suffers [117] damage.
[OOC] Eris: 117 Each]!
TheTale: Merco’s grumbling and sucking on his fingers. [Executing vs. Magic.]
TheTale: Battle order: Eris [F]:0 Charlotte [F]:7 Linlea [B]:18 Merco [F]:36
TheTale: Status for Merco : [<span style="color: #008000;">=================== </span>]
TheTale: Eris!
Eris: "By the by, Miss Charlotte."
Linlea: "He's kind of sturdy, huh?"
Eris: "Do remember to follow up."
Linlea: "Think we can handle this Eris?"
Charlotte: "Yes, of course…. That's still a lot of health."
Linlea: "I only hit him once. If we're more offensive we've got this."
Eris‘ rolls her shoulders once, before picking up her hammer and lunging for Merco. [Kingpin - How Tough Is He?]
[OOC] TheTale: The great knight of Yhe Holmat - He’s Super!
Eris‘ flashes a bit of a manic grin as her hands begin to glow brightly.
Eris` rolled d100 and got 60 ( Total: 60 ) for 80
TheTale: SLAM!
Eris` rolled d12+320,120% and got 7 ( Total: 392.4 ) for double luck
[OOC] Eris: 51D
Eris: "Aaaand assist!"
[OOC] TheTale: Quicken an ally!
TheTale: Merco stumbles back, spitting a ragged breath at the force of the blow.
TheTale: "H…h…HUH!"
[OOC] Eris: OH ahaha I misread that! 60D rather
[OOC] TheTale: Oh I think self is a valid target too
[OOC] TheTale: So it can be 51D
Linlea nocks back multiple arrows before firing a hail of them at Merco! [Forward Artillery - Assist]
[OOC] Eris: in that case I’ll take it yeah
Linlea rolled 1d100 and got 94 ( Total: 94 ) for 80
[OOC] Linlea: Two luck!
[OOC] Linlea: Or can I only do one for acc
[OOC] Linlea: I can't remember
[OOC] TheTale: Nope, you can spend as many as you'd like on rolls.
TheTale: Merco waves his hands frantically, batting away arrows, until a cluster of them hit home. It's a hit!
Linlea rolled d12+140 and got 2 ( Total: 142.0 )
Eris‘ pauses in midair as her hammer connects with the giant, then gracefully backflips before landing near the other foreigners. "Hunting big game…"
Eris: "Is my specialty!"
TheTale: He snarls angrily. [Merco’s power is boosted vs. Linlea now, next turn!]
[OOC] TheTale: 142]!
TheTale: Battle order: Charlotte [F]:0 Linlea [B]:11 Merco [F]:29 Eris [F]:44
TheTale: Status for Merco : [<span style="color: #008000;">================= </span>]
TheTale: Charlotte!
Eris: "You're free to turn back around of course, we've other plans for the day that don't involve picking fights with people we don't know."
Charlotte dashes right after Eris, slashing her scythe along the same spot that Eris hit! [Follow Through, 60D]
Charlotte rolled 1d100 and got 61 ( Total: 61 ) for 85
TheTale: Slash! Merco drops to a knee.
Charlotte rolled 1d12+175 and got 10 ( Total: 185.0 )
[OOC] TheTale: 185]!
TheTale: Battle order: Linlea [B]:0 Merco [F]:18 Eris [F]:33 Charlotte [F]:49
TheTale: Status for Merco : [<span style="color: #008000;">================ </span>]
TheTale: Linlea!
Linlea: "Should I keep at it? I think he's coming for me."
Charlotte: "I really don't think he likes you, no."
Eris: "I don't see why not."
Linlea: "Also geeze. You'd think the city would have gotten involved by now."
Eris: "They are."
Eris: "They're just not terribly strong."
Linlea: "They would have lost a long time ago if that's all they can do!"
Linlea: "Decade long war, remember?"
Eris: "Slow responce time from the heroes…?" Eris shrugs.
TheTale: …Actually, that's weird. I mean, you can see a platoon of knights approaching from the distance…
Linlea nocks back another arrow before firing it at Merco. [Attack - Overload | 60D]
TheTale: But there's a strange, stone monolith bursting up before them, stopping them from getting closer, holding them in place.
Linlea rolled 1d100 and got 21 ( Total: 21 ) for 80
TheTale: …But no one seems to see them…?
TheTale: …Weird…
TheTale: …Anyway!
TheTale: It's a hit!
Charlotte: "Some cavalry."
Eris: "…Oh, that's what you mean."
Eris: "How odd."
Eris: "Are the monoliths yours, Sir Knight?"
Linlea rolled d12*1.5+140*1.5 and got 2 ( Total: 213.0 ) for 2 Luck since why not
Linlea: "Want to hop in on that, Char?"
Eris: "Of course she does!"
TheTale: "Monoliths…?" He turns over his shoulder.
TheTale: "What are you taking about?"
[OOC] TheTale: 213]!
Eris: "The large things preventing the humans from reaching us…? Well, it's alright if you don't know what they are."
TheTale: "Some kind of trick?" Merco snorts. "I'm not falling for it."
Charlotte lashes out with her shadow, following up again! [SA - Shadow Slash]
Charlotte rolled 1d100 and got 60 ( Total: 60 ) for 85
TheTale: It's a hit!
Linlea: "Maybe that's a feature of D2?"
Charlotte rolled 1d12+135 and got 11 ( Total: 146.0 )
Linlea: "When we fight nobody can interfere?"
[OOC] TheTale: 146]!
Eris: "Ah. no. I think it's a matter of perception, Sir Knight. Pay it no mind."
Charlotte: "That sounds like another reason to off D2."
TheTale: Merco whirls around - [Ticked at Charlotte, too!]
Charlotte: "I don't think he likes assists."
TheTale: "Assists… hate em! That's what I wanna say."
Eris: "I wouldn't either, if I was being hit by them."
TheTale: "But listen up. You know, this war's been going back and forth, back and forth, for ages. And then…"
TheTale: "I mean, why not just end it? Why not just solve this whole stupid thing in one fell swoop, bring the princess back?"
TheTale: …A strange, radiant energy…
TheTale: Merco slams his fists together.
Charlotte: "It might help if we knew what happened to her!"
Eris: "Would destroying the palace bring the Princess back, then…?"
Linlea: "More importantly where the hell is CRIMSON?"
Linlea: They're literally half a block away. "
Eris: "Watching her store, I imagine. It's not like we're moving, so she doesn't need to care yet."
TheTale: "Huh? Of course it's gonna bring the Princess back."
TheTale: "That's where her heart is, or whatever. I mean…"
Eris: "Her heart…? I was under the impression it was her name which was stolen, not her heart."
TheTale: "I, Merco, the Knight of Yhe Holmat…"
TheTale: "Name, heart, whatever! I'll end the winter! I'll smash humanity! RAAAAAAAAAAURGH!"
Eris: "It seems to me,"
TheTale: …He starts shining a brilliant, fatal fire-orange. [Shining in <span style="color: #ff8000;">Salamander</span>.]
Eris: "That if you stroll up to the palace, as angry as you are…"
TheTale: …And he inhales sharply. [Fire Breath in CT25!]
Eris: "You might, mm, cause a bit more damage than you intent to…"
Charlotte: "…I'm not Undine, sorry."
TheTale: Battle order: Eris [F]:0 Merco [F]:10 Charlotte [F]:16 Linlea [B]:27
TheTale: Status for Merco : [<span style="color: #008000;">=============== </span>]
Eris: "And accidently destroy her name…? It might be best to cool your head off, Sir Merco."
TheTale: "Pr…probably easier to put it back together than to leave it in human hands, anyway…!"
Eris: "Assuming you could find very last, very small, smashed peice, of course."
Charlotte: "I don't think a priceless name is something you can just glue back together."
TheTale: "T….t…..t….tch."
[OOC] TheTale: Shine's Broken.
TheTale: Merco snorts.
TheTale: "Okay, so…"
TheTale: "…You're humans and all…"
Linlea: "Look. We don't ACTUALLY want to kill you. But you're seriously impeding on our own agenda. You definitely came in here at the wrong time."
TheTale: "…But I guess you have a point."
Eris: "Well, we're not humans from here. So it's easier for us to have a point."
TheTale: "Yeah. Yeah. Okay, NEXT time I'll bring Ykare, I'LL handle the defenses, she'll go in and get the heart."
TheTale: "Should I be thanking you…?" Merco looks thoughtful.
Eris: "Delightful. Does that mean I can abort my plan to hit you in the face a second time, for now?"
Charlotte: "And Y'kare is…?"
Charlotte: "Oh, no apostrophe, sorry."
TheTale: "If I'm the best of Yhe Holmat, she's the best of Ark Mein, so…" Merco suddenly looks really surprised. "What is it with humans that makes you wanna spill your life story, anyway?"
TheTale: "I'm outta here."
Linlea rubs her forehead. "… why am I always stuck with the shadiest of comrades."
TheTale: …Merco departs, leaving a trail of wreckage in his wake.
Eris: "It's a side effect of the pure of heart, sorry." She actually looks apologetic!
Charlotte: "I think that's the Privilege of a Pure Heart."
TheTale: And I mean…
TheTale: For a moment you could ignore it, right? The thrill of battle. And kind of a silly giant. But…
TheTale: …A lot of people just died.
Charlotte: "…That guy is a walking disaster."
Linlea: "Boy. Sure glad there's a revival fountain right up that ramp!"
TheTale: But they'll be accounted for. Gathered up. Filed carefully away.
TheTale: Looked after, eventually, by the Palazza Vita, the Palace of Life.
Eris: "He certainly was."
TheTale: And in its shadow, the warrens of the Centreville will rebuild, and fester, and teem with a life-in-waiting.
Eris: "Pass me that healing shadow ball thing, by the way. I think the fight's over."
Eris: "Or whatever it is you do, I wasn't really paying attention when you set the magic up."
Linlea: "Thanks for that block by the way."
[OOC] TheTale: Prologue ~ A Stranger Rolls In - COMPLETE
Charlotte laughs, her own shadow reaching over and tapping Eris's, somehow making it hurt less.
Charlotte rolled 1d12+162 and got 9 ( Total: 171.0 )
[OOC] TheTale: +10 EXP.
Eris: "Anyway, we should check on the caravan. It looks like the natives have this under control now."
Charlotte: "For certain definitions of 'under control'."
Eris‘ slides down the side of the busted walkway, back towards the wagons.
Linlea readies her things before heading down the slope!
Eris: "I was using one of the applicable ones, yes."
TheTale: The caravan’s together.
Linlea: "There's no way the entire city didn't see us doing that, though!'
Charlotte rests her scythe against her shoulder as she heads back with them.
Linlea: "We're bound to be in good graces with the palace now."
Eris: "One can hope."
Charlotte raps against the side of a wooden building. "Yes."
TheTale: Yeah! I mean… here's hoping.

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