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Game: Cross Purposes

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Wicke's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2009-04-24
Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Still writhing on the floor, Nim continues to shriek and wail until she manages to push herself up. When she lifts her head up and makes eye contact with Virash, her eyes are solid black.

In Abyssal:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
"His army rides as we speak and my soul cannot rest."

Assuming the check succeeds, secret message for Virash only:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
You might not have any idea exactly what's going on, but it's clear she's trying to tell you one thing:"Play along"

Bluff check to deliver a secret message to Virash:
I rolled 1d20+18, the result is 18, 18 = 36.
Cadence of the Planes's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

The dream was always the same.

Nighttime. The sky was gray, the buildings dark, everything was in grayscale. Sphinx briskly walked down empty streets – the pattering of rain in a thunderless storm, along with the gentle howl of the wind were the backdrop to the centerpiece – namely the high-pitched echo of his footsteps reverberating with each step like an tribal drum . The houses and manors were empty – no lights or telltale signs of life inside.

He walked faster, turning into a street corner – still searching for signs of life, to no avail. Only after a few moments of walking did he come to a horrifying realization: the sounds he thought were produced from his stride were actually a low-pitched cawing. His head snapped up briefly to shift his attention from the road ahead to the sky above. It took him a moment to wipe off the now heavy precipitation from his eyes.

He nearly fainted. Black birds littered the sky, circling above him. Crows.

The ones close to him were quite large, further away, they speckled the gray sky in what resembled a dark, swirling cloud. There was something…hungry about their motion. He loosed a cry which, too, echoed throughout the empty streets, then broke into a run. This time, his motions were desperate, as he searched for some reprieve. His footsteps splattered water onto his pants, the murky fluid soon covering the whole of his lower body. “N-No!” He shouted as the caws became louder, and he began to sprint.

The crows were descending.

The street splashed violently under his heavy footsteps, and he made his way towards a nearby manor, breathing a short-lived sigh of relief as the gate gave way, swinging open with an obscenely loud creak. He rushed past the cobbled pathway to the front door, somehow knowing it was open.

Without bothering to knock, Sphinx frantically twisted the knob and barged inside. The foyer was dark and musty, and the furniture in the expansive parlor draped in white sheets, indicating that no one had lived here for a long time. There seemed to be a light source coming from upstairs.

Sphinx didn’t have time to take in the scene much longer, as the rapid fluttering and vicious cawing to his immediate behind told him that the dark birds had come in through the door behind him. Without thinking, he dashed up the grand staircase, his breaths coming in ragged gasps – drowned out by the ever-louder cawing of crows fluttering in.

Upon reaching the second floor, he was a bit surprised to find that the light was coming from a room in the corner with very tall windows. One of the windows was wide open. The gentle lights from the city filtered inside. Surely this wasn’t the same dusky city he had just ran through? With the horde of crows giving chase, he made a final push for the lighted room, not bothering to close the door behind him as his pursuers would not afford him the opportunity.

Sphinx lunged out of the window onto the pleated roof. The elevation was steep, and his leather shoes did not offer him a firm grip on the steep surface. Looking down, he was shocked to see that he was indeed in a different town, at a much higher elevation than he had previously imagined. He teethered precariously, attempting to keep his balance.

But it was too late. The dark swarm behind him flooded out the window, surrounding him, pecking ravenously at his exposed flesh. As chunks began to be taken out, Sphinx yelped. The yelp quickly developed into a scream of pure agony as his eyes were pecked out of their bony sockets. He felt the leather of his shoes lose contact with the shingles. The last thing he remembered before waking up was plummeting into oblivion.

It was always the same.

****

Sphinx briefly experienced a similar sensation of falling, and a rapid flashback as the telepathic link with Grisev's men was abolished. After relaying the scene to Rivullera- he stiffened in fear, and started breathing heavily, wiping the emerging sweat from his furrowed brow.

[no action this round]

__________________

"Act. Do. Be." -Factol Rhys

Karsus's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Zimrazim wrote:
"Pike the guards! Why should I go rattlin' my bone-box t' them?"

The human continues to glare, and pulls some things out of his pockets, but appears to possess no more equipment belonging to the party.


Icanthas could think of at least one reason, but it was best not to give the berk ideas. Instead, she simply shrugged and said "Mephits do mephit things."
She watched as the man emptied his pockets, finding that nothing was hers, and waited for the others to claim anything that might belong to them. The human who'd accepted Grisev's string took a cloak, and when nobody else stepped up to claim anything else, Icanthas opened her mouth to speak, only to have her attention called aside by the sorceress' outburst. For a moment, it was all the tiefling could do to stare at the apparent corpse, without a clue as to what to make of her. It was an easy guess as to what the woman was referencing, they had just been informed of the approach of Demogorgon's army, after all. But it was the behavior that Icanthas found ...just bizarre. And what was that about her soul's unrest? Perhaps she was undead after all. ...Although, she had just been mimicking a corpse prior to her outburst. Maybe it was just a show for their prisoner?
When Icanthas had recovered enough of her wits to speak, she tapped the inside of the thigh of the man she held prisoner with her blade and, distractedly, said, "Get you gone," without taking her eyes from Tikal.

When the man moves to comply, she will withdraw her sword from between his legs.

[Sense Motive:]
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 14, 6 = 20.
Tim4488's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

((Post to come))

Sense Motive to pick up the message.
I rolled 1d20+11, the result is 4, 11 = 15.
Zimrazim's picture
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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Karsus wrote:
When Icanthas had recovered enough of her wits to speak, she tapped the inside of the thigh of the man she held prisoner with her blade and, distractedly, said, "Get you gone," without taking her eyes from Tikal.

The unsavory fellow from the Quartered Man gives one last look toward Twilight, now in someone else's hands, and begins to head out of the building. Obviously disturbed by Tikal's wailing and doom-words, the man makes haste to be gone.

Wicke wrote:
"They come...THEY COME!"
Wicke wrote:
"His army rides as we speak and my soul cannot rest."

The group can clearly hear from below: "What the f***?!" The speaker's tone is obviously more distressed than before.

Rivullira had already been looking disturbed for some reason... but looks even more so now. The black-haired tiefling starts visibly, then flexes her fingers in a way that Nim has often seen arcane casters do when anticipating a possible fight. After a few moments, though, the branded tiefer smiles slightly, apparently amused. But it is Maltheniir's reaction that is the strongest. He actually draws his newly acquired longsword; while he doesn't actually point it at her, the bard does send a distinctly on-edge look toward the writhing sorceress.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Still writhing, Nim watches the unsavory fellow bolt. Once he's out of sight, she stops flailing, stands up, looks at the group, pointedly glances down the stairs and smirks. Continuing to wail and curse in Abyssal, she hurries over over to the spellslinger's head, picks it up and tries to bowl it down the stairs.

Head bowling check(?):
I rolled 1d20, the result is 19 = 19.
Intimidate check:
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 14, 3 = 17.
Burning Spear's picture
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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

lyei watches the head tumble by like a rotten apple bouncing softly down the stairs with some considerable accuracy of it's thrower, he sighs a little sigh, and his thoughts shortly swim away in arcane formula's, thoughts of how to use heads in his magic make his brain wrack with interest... then he shakes his head to get back to reality, keeping his head-thoughts for later...

Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

While the head rolls down the stairs, Nim starts pulling a thread of her jacket off and intoning a spell in a demonic sounding voice, yet as quietly as she can manage.

Nim is casting Ghost Sound (not bothering with spoilers because it should be pretty obvious what's going on). Ideally, the timing for it plays out like this:

Immediately - A loud, blood-curdling scream that sounds very much like the berk who just ran off. It sounds like he's being torn apart and cuts off abruptly with a gurgling sound.

In a loud enough voice to reach down the stairs, Nim says in that same demonic sounding voice but in Planar Common so there's no ambiguity: "I can smell you"

About three seconds after that - The sound of twisting and rending metal, as well as a loud crash.

Bluff check (just in case):
I rolled 1d20+18, the result is 18, 18 = 36.
Zimrazim's picture
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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Catching on, the plane-touched bard visibly relaxes, and even begins to smirk. He thinks for just a moment, then assumes what must be a dramatic stage pose, for all that the berks downstairs can't see it to appreciate it. A very different-sounding voice from his usual issues from Maltheniir's throat. Something very, very evil. Something spawned, perhaps, from the most terrifying depths of the Abyss. Something also very not mortal. A deep bass voice, full of violence and malice.

[spoiler for speakers of Abyssal]

Spoiler: Highlight to view

"HAH HAH HAH!! Ooooooh... MORTALS! Warm, delicious, steaming entrails!!"

[Aid Another -- Nim can assume a +2 bonus to both Bluff and Intimidate here]

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Upon hearing Maltheniir joining in the fun, Nim almost starts clapping in delight and dancing about. Instead, she takes control of herself, and turns towards the stairs once more, dropping into a very wicked looking stance as she does so. Then she calls out down the stairs once more in that same evil sounding voice. "And your friend tastes divine."

Edit: [ooc: oops, forgot to add the +2 bluff assist]

Intimidate (+3 Cha, +2 assist)
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 3, 5 = 8.
Bluff
I rolled 1d20+18, the result is 5, 18 = 23.
Zimrazim's picture
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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

To guess from the sounds below, Nim's ruse is working. There's a lot of "Blek!" and "Powers and proxies!" and "By all the sodding dark powers!" and the like. The group can also hear the sound of more weapons being readied, the sounds of objects falling to the floor, and the sound of wood scraping against something. Someone yells in Common:

"Don't kill us!"

Another calls out in Abyssal:

[spoiler for speakers of Abyssal]

Spoiler: Highlight to view
"Do not attack us, mighty ones, for though we are mortals, we are not weak. We would prove no pleasant entertainment for you."

[Nim's obviously got 'em unsettled, but the 'demons' are blocking the exit from the basement at the moment!]

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

A frown passes over Nim's face briefly while she considers the words coming up from down below, and she starts looking towards the rest of the party for any ideas.

"We'll have our entertainment one way or another. As well as full bellies. Your friend was a fantastic appetizer."

Karsus's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Icanthas' grip tightened on her borrowed sword as 'Tikal' hopped up and dashed across the way, just in case. But she visibly relaxed and gave a smile when she saw what the sorceress was up to. As the act continued and Maltheniir joined in, the tiefling raised her free hand to her mouth, her head bobbing in silent laughter. After enjoying the show for a moment, she sidled up beside Alastryn. "I don't suppose you could fingerpaint us to look like a buncha' tanar'ri, couldya'?" she asked with a grin, in a low enough voice that she won't be heard by those downstairs.

Zimrazim's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Karsus wrote:
After enjoying the show for a moment, she sidled up beside Alastryn. "I don't suppose you could fingerpaint us to look like a buncha' tanar'ri, couldya'?"

By increments, Alastryn seems more and more amused. Oh, yes. She listens to Icanthas' whisper, then replies in another whisper: "...Yes. Sight only."

Alastryn catches the bard's eye, then makes two hand gestures that Icanthas recognizes. The first one: Casting. The second: Noise. The bard throws his arm up in the air, in another dramatic gesture, and intones in the same horrid Abyssal voice:

[spoiler for speakers of Abyssal]

Spoiler: Highlight to view
"Mmmmm! Sweet, sweet mortal flesh! And oh -- the fear! So tasty!"

The lip-smacking noises that emanate from the bard are disgusting and loud.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
"A fine feast! And so much MORE to come!"

Maltheniir produces an enormous belch: one more appropriate for a nalfeshnee, or some similar unspeakable thing of darkness, than a mortal being.

The noise provides excellent cover for the branded tiefling's spellcasting. Uttering the words of the spell as quietly as she can, she points at each member of the group, one at a time, concluding by raising her pointed finger in the air and making a broad circle. In an instant each person has, at least to the eye, been transformed into a horrid creature. Virash has been replaced by a large, muscular cambion, all wings, claws and jagged teeth, with a shock of wild hair on his head. Icanthas, Lyei and Josidiah have become a trio of armanites: armored centaur-like warrior-tanar'ri.

Sphinx and Alastryn have both taken on the appearance of the feathery horrors known as vrocks. Rivullira, however, now appears as an extraordinary whip-wielding beauty in a leather corset: a succubus. The look that Riv-succubus gives to Alastryn...

Nim has been transformed into a ghoulish-looking creature: a tanar'ri known as a maurezhi, known for eating corpses, and souls.

Lastly, Maltheniir seems to have become what might just be the most hideously ugly chasme that anyone in the party has ever seen. It flutters its insectile wings and gives Alastryn a dirty look. The 'vrock' grins.

However, those in the group who pay close attention notice that they lack the (generally very unpleasant) smell of a tanar'ri, nor do they actually feel wings or horns or whatnot: the illusion is entirely visual in nature.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Cadence of the Planes's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Sphinx is snapped out of his 'daze' by the illusion. He momentarily examines his body with curiosity, then focuses on the voices downstairs, attempting to channel some of his mental energy downwards, towards those whose voices emanate from the open doorway.

[Concentration check to hide display of Psionic manifestation ]
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 1, 13 = 14.
__________________

"Act. Do. Be." -Factol Rhys

Zimrazim's picture
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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

[spoiler for Sphinx]

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Sphinx can make out no fewer than eight separate minds down there. There do not seem to be any great surprises; no mighty, cackling fiends or beholders or anything else truly terrible. His overall impression is of a mix of mainly adventurer and mercenary types with a helping of 'thug' and 'cutpurse' mixed in. If he had to make a guess as to races, from the mental images and thought processes he picks up, the psion would guess mainly humans and tieflings. Mostly, they're buying into the ruse. All of them had also been told the tale of Demogorgon's army just outside the city gates, and something about the Prince of Tanar'ri having agents inside the city. One of them -- the one who had spoken in Abyssal -- is a little suspicious. There had been other prisoners upstairs, right? He is not, however, suspicious enough to risk being torn limb from limb and eaten by a tanar'ri if he's wrong.

Everyone 'hears' a slight, very high-pitched noise. It's not loud, and it doesn't go on for very long. Perhaps it's a sign of the onset of tinnitus. Unfortunate.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Upon seeing the transformations take place across the party, Nim's now-ghoulish face takes on an unsettling look of sheer delight. She does a quick twirl around on the balls of her feet and stops facing the stairs once again. When the ringing in her ears starts, a slightly confused look passes over her face, but she shakes her head and focuses her attention back down the stairs.

"I suppose that we might be able to be persuaded to look the other way. Strictly against orders, of course, but we've been in the fighting in the field for far too long and...and it's been a while since we've had anyone decent to share a meal with. Is one of you..." Nim makes a very loud smacking sound. "Is one of you an elf? We'd love to have an elf up here, to share our company."

Tim4488's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Virash grins slightly at the illusion. Not his usual style, but given his day, blowing off some steam in a ridiculous fashion sounds wonderful.

"Elves? It has been too long since I've seen an elf. Though I wouldn't mind a tiefling either, given the chance..."

Bluff Aid Another
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 9, 3 = 12.
Bladedancer's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Josidiah smiles in spite of himself as he did not expect this turn of events. He quickly steels himself and the moment of levity passes. He readies his blade to cut down the first person that comes up the stairs that shows a hint of violence in his demeanor.

Burning Spear's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Lyei just looks around bored with how the humans seem to want to play about, but stays alert just in case..

Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Nim slavers loudly for a moment. "Tiefling! Yesssss! We must have a tiefling for dinner. We'll let you go if you... Nim slavers loudly again. If you send up an elf and a tiefling!

Nim glances around to the rest of the party and mouths: "Divide and conquer." She gives an enthusiastic nod.

Zimrazim's picture
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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Wicke wrote:
"I suppose that we might be able to be persuaded to look the other way. Strictly against orders, of course, but we've been in the fighting in the field for far too long and...and it's been a while since we've had anyone decent to share a meal with. Is one of you..." Nim makes a very loud smacking sound. "Is one of you an elf? We'd love to have an elf up here, to share our company."

'Tikal' and the others can hear an argument starting down below. Something about loot.

One of them calls up: "No, no elves."

Tim4488 wrote:
"Elves? It has been too long since I've seen an elf. Though I wouldn't mind a tiefling either, given the chance..."

Wicke wrote:
Nim slavers loudly for a moment. "Tiefling! Yesssss! We must have a tiefling for dinner. We'll let you go if you..." Nim slavers loudly again. "If you send up an elf and a tiefling!

Oh, now the group has done it. The argument going on down below grows louder, more intense. Apparently some of the cutters in the basement are perfectly willing to hand over a tiefling or two to the tanar'ri, if they can spare their own hides in the process. The group can hear steel ringing against steel, shouting, curses, until a loud voice -- the same one that had spoken in Abyssal earlier -- shouts loudly enough to be heard over all the noise. "ENOUGH! Unhende pikers!" That same voice calls up the stairs again:

[spoiler for Abyssal speakers]

Spoiler: Highlight to view
"Dread Ones, we do have some treasure that we can spare. We will give these things to you, if you will allow all of us to leave unharmed, and do not pursue us. And no tiefers for supper, either."

The speaker sounds a bit... tense.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Nim croaks loudly, then turns towards the group and in a low whisper says: "They're willing to give up their treasure, if we let them live. Somebody needs to argue with me. We need to sell this, otherwise they won't believe it."

Out of the corner of her eye, Nim notices the bodies of the guards lying on the floor and almost gasps. Gesturing wildly at them, she says in that same low whisper: "We need to get those bodies out of sight too! We're supposed to be cannibals!"

Nim directs her attention bad down the stairs and croaks again before she speaks.

"I was looking forward to supper, but Rtoezusiel will have my hide if I lose any of my troops..."

Spoiler for Zim:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Beneath the illusion, Nim is transforming back into the human guise she spends most of her time in. No need to keep up the Tikal disguise at this point.

Cadence of the Planes's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Sphinx remains in the background, letting Nim to handle the manipulation of those below, his cone of thought-reading now focusing in a cone directly in front of him, attempting to 'catch' as many in the current level as possible, his voyeuristic lust for mind-reading apparently insatiable.

[DC for save to not have thoughts read is 18: 10+ 2(power level) +4(Intelligence modifier) +2(Feats)]

__________________

"Act. Do. Be." -Factol Rhys

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Virash lets out a low, rumbling growl.

Spoiler for speakers of Abyssal:

Spoiler: Highlight to view

"The Pit can take Rtoezusiel! I'm hungry! And you know it's been weeks since I've had a nice, sulfury, crunchy tiefer...

Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Nim's eyes brighten with a ghastly smirk, and she lets loose as fierce a roar as she can manage, directed towards Virash.

In Abyssal:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
"I'll see to it myself that Rtoezusiel feasts on your sorry bones if your stomach screws up this attack, half-breed! You're no better than one of them, all soft and weak! They're offering to give us what we want, so there's no need to risk anything!"

Nim turns with a sneer and addresses the rest of the group, seeming to really get into the role she's cast for herself:

In Abyssal:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
"Does anybody else want to let their stomach do their thinking for them, or can we just get what we came here for and get to the real job elsewhere? We can feast on the spoils after the battle!"

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Icanthas' smile widens in delight as Alastryn's illusion takes effect, and she is unable to stifle a laugh at the dirty looks her branded companion was shot. She clamped her hand tighter over her mouth, hoping that if the poor sods below had heard, they might just think it'd come from Riv-succubus, once they emerge.
It looked like, for once, patience had paid off. This was going to be fun.
The gehennan left the others to play into the tanar'ri act. Her voice wasn't quite deep enough to impersonate a true fiend, and she didn't want to give them away. At Tikal's prodding, she gave a quick tap to the shoulder of the elf and githyanki, as they looked most able out of those not currently contributing to the ruse, and whispered, "Give me a hand?"
She then belts her sword and moves to the nearest corpse. Grabbing it by one of its arms, she yanks it up off the floor, slings the body over her shoulder and, as quietly as she's able, carries it off to the cell blocks where it won't be seen.

Will save vs. thought detection; Move Silently while moving the corpse
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 9, 4 = 13.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 2, 2 = 4.
Zimrazim's picture
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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Icanthas is able to move the bodies of the former guards out of sight. But not without making some noise. Maltheniir is quick to provide a number of loud, stomach-churning sounds as accompaniment, precisely the sort of noises a feasting tanar'ri might make.

Sphinx is able to get an impression of the bard's surface thoughts:

[spoiler for Sphinx]

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Sphinx notes how Maltheniir's mind flits quickly from one thought to another. At the moment, the bard is thoroughly enjoying himself. He'd had no idea these cutters would be so entertaining! Especially Tikal (or is it 'Nim?' No matter! A nom de guerre isn't exactly a new concept to him.) He is definitely impressed by her.

The psion also catches a darker series of thoughts in the bard's mind. Maltheniir is indeed quite worried about the presence of Demogorgon's army outside the gates. Demogorgon's army outside the gates. It's not that the Prince of Tanar'ri has anything against him personally, so far as he knows, it's the politics of the matter... Grisev is right, curse it, they probably would put him in the dead-book, eventually.

He is also a little worried about being anywhere near Alastryn for any length of time. Not as worried in the 'being torn limb from limb by orlaths dedicated to the service of Demogorgon' sense or anything, but still. It's not that he especially has anything against her personally, it's politics again...

The argument downstairs starts up again. Apparently some of them would still much rather hand over a tiefling than give up valuable treasure! Those above can hear even more clashing of steel, plus a few screams. Eventually the speaker calls upstairs again:

[spoiler for speakers of Abyssal]

Spoiler: Highlight to view
"Puissant terrors of the Abyss, we are coming upstairs. Know that if you attempt to kill or capture us, you will only taste our blades."

The group can hear the sound of what must be several people walking up the stairs. It sounds as though at least some of them are carrying a lot of stuff.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Burning Spear's picture
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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

The Gith-child moves along silently and helps shift the bodies..
He looks a little annoyed by the fact that he cannot help out in the charade they are playing, but keeps his silence because he knows the act is good...

Move Silent
I rolled 1d20, the result is 2 = 2.
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Nim gives a quick "Yes! It worked!" gesture, and motions for everybody to stand back away from the exit. Then in common, with just a touch of sarcasm in her voice, she says:

"Stand back from the doors, you mangy curs! Our mortal friends wish to give us a gift for sparing their lives. Best you respect them.

She steps away, drops into a low crouch, and leers at the stairway.

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Factol
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

The humans come upstairs first. Four of them, followed by three tieflings, despite Sphinx's earlier count of eight. The tieflings keep weapons trained on their human 'compatriots.' Apparently the three tiefers had done well for themselves during the battle below. Several of the group are injured, though most of the wounds appear to be as superficial as they are fresh. All seven are male.

All of them display varying degrees of surprise or dismay as they see just how many 'tanar'ri' are waiting for them. One of the tiefers, a muscular cutter, says something in Common. It's the same voice that had been speaking in Abyssal earlier.

"Bonus downstairs, bloods. One of the berks didn't want to play nice. He's still warm, I reckon. Couple of guards and a bint, too, though not as fresh."

The 'leader' tiefer appears to be doing a better job of keeping his cool than any of the others. He looks around the room, seeming wary rather than fearful.

All of them are carrying gear, though the humans appear to be carrying the heaviest items. Perhaps the tiefers in this group decided to use them essentially as pack mules.

[Overview of equipment these guys have:

ALL of the money is missing, barring a few stray copper and silver coins. However, anyone with a PTC certificate still has it, oddly enough.
ALL of the jewelry and gems, both magical and nonmagical, are missing. (This includes the wink brooch.) However, Nim's silvered dagger is still here.
Karsus' falchion is, indeed, missing. Perhaps oddly, her vial of perfume has also gone missing.
Aside from the above, everything else is here.
One of the tieflings, though not the leader, is actually wielding Lyei's thinblade. He probably won't be too quick to give it up, either. Would you want to disarm yourself in a room full of tanar'ri?
There is also some equipment that did not belong to any of the PCs. One of these items is a masterfully crafted version of an instrument called a hurdy-gurdy or beggar's lyre that both Icanthas and Lyei saw in the bard's possession earlier that night.]

[Also, everyone make a straight Intelligence check to notice something.]

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Lyei frantically thinks on how to get his blade back..

Int
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 10, 4 = 14.
Wicke's picture
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

In a slightly exaggerated fashion, Nim starts licking her lips and breathing heavily, while staring intently at those who have wounds. "Some...some of you are wounded. We could...treat their wounds for you. Given what's coming, they'll only...slow you down."

Almost unconsciously, she takes a halting half-step forward.

Intelligence check
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 3, 3 = 6.
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

"You, Thiefer, that blade you handle, it isssn't yoursss... now be a good boy and tell usss, where you got it, and why you lot ssseem to be ssstealing a lot...

Diplomacy
I rolled 1d20+10, the result is 20, 10 = 30.
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Icanthas finished stowing away the corpses and closed the door to the cell block, cutting off any view of them, just in time to hear the other group of former prisoners ascending the stairs. She drew her borrowed sword again and moved to a position where she would be of use, should a fight break out. When they all appeared, she made a show of sneering at the one nearest her, and brandishing her blade threateningly as she'd seen armanites do on past battlefields (from a distance, of course), as she shifted herself into a more advantageous striking position, her feet set into her preferred stance.
She looked over the armloads of loot the other group carried, taking note of her belongings as she spotted them. Fortunately, most of it seemed to be there. She didn't see her perfume, but that didn't matter; it wouldn't be difficult to acquire another bottle of something. Well, with no jink it would be, but it wasn't important. Her torc and ring were missing as well, and though it angered her, it seemed only a slight irritant compared to the fact that none of these men had brought out her mother's sword. Her jaw clenched shut, the grip on her hilt tightened enough that her knuckles went white (or rather, as white as her complexion would allow), and leveled a glare at the nearest tributary. She raised the tip of her blade to point at the man's throat and growled, "That'd best not be all you've found."

[Intelligence check]
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 6, 4 = 10.
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Wicke wrote:
In a slightly exaggerated fashion, Nim starts licking her lips and breathing heavily, while staring intently at those who have wounds. "Some...some of you are wounded. We could...treat their wounds for you. Given what's coming, they'll only...slow you down."

"That won't be necessary." The tiefling 'leader' is very quick to respond. If he's nervous, he's hiding it well. "Go on, cutters," he addresses the human and tiefling group, "put down all that. Gently, now. Don't break anything valuable, aye?"

Burning Spear wrote:
"You, Thiefer, that blade you handle, it isssn't yoursss... now be a good boy and tell usss, where you got it, and why you lot ssseem to be ssstealing a lot...

The thinblade-wielding tiefling is obviously offended at being called a 'thiefer,' but does listen to what the 'armanite' is saying. It wouldn't do to argue with a room full of tanar'ri. He seems surprised by Lyei's interest in the blade. "It was downstairs, blood. It's a fine-lookin' spike. I wouldn't call it 'stealing,' aye? We wouldn't want this swag to go to waste, right?"

Karsus wrote:
Her torc and ring were missing as well, and though it angered her, it seemed only a slight irritant compared to the fact that none of these men had brought out her mother's sword. Her jaw clenched shut, the grip on her hilt tightened enough that her knuckles went white (or rather, as white as her complexion would allow), and leveled a glare at the nearest tributary. She raised the tip of her blade to point at the man's throat and growled, "That'd best not be all you've found."

The human blanches visibly. "That's it, I piking swear it! You think I'd be barmy enough to hold back swag from a tanar'ri?"

[Spoiler for anyone who rolled at least 10 on an Intelligence check]

Spoiler: Highlight to view
There were definitely more than eight sets of manacles on the first floor of the building. The implication is that these eight might be stragglers, and other prisoners have already escaped.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Zimrazim wrote:
The thinblade-wielding tiefling is obviously offended at being called a 'thiefer,' but does listen to what the 'armanite' is saying. It wouldn't do to argue with a room full of tanar'ri. He seems surprised by Lyei's interest in the blade. "It was downstairs, blood. It's a fine-lookin' spike. I wouldn't call it 'stealing,' aye? We wouldn't want this swag to go to waste, right?"

Nim narrows her eyes at the tiefling and cocks her head slightly towards him and the sword he's holding. Then, in a mildly mocking tone:

"Seems to be a fine blade, aye.

She turns and looks over to Lyei, making eye contact for a moment. When she does, she can see how important getting that blade back is to him. So she straightens up and turns back:

"Let's be fair about this. His weapon for yours. That way, you both get what you want. And if you look carefully at his sword, I think he'll be getting the worse end of the deal in the exchange. But my underling here needs to be rebuked for talking out of turn."

She starts picking her teeth.

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

[Whoo! I finally made a check! ]

Icanthas frowned and lowered her sword, snarling a curse as she did --though it took some effort to do so in Abyssal, rather than 'loth as she very nearly did. She looked longingly to the stairs, hoping this group would hurry and leave so she could descend and check for herself if her sword remained below, without ruining the deception by letting them watch an "armanite" easily stroll down the stairway.
After only a few seconds had passed, a thought occurred to her: this couldn't be all the prisoners that'd been held here, could it? There was room for more on this level, and why would as many of the cells above be filled if there was space remaining down here? She turned back to face the human she'd menaced the moment before, with eyes narrowed. "That friend of yours who came up a moment ago... he wasn't the only one to part ways with you lot already, was he? Were there more, who've already left?"

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Sphinx's gaze remained fixed on the new arrivals at the stairwell, the tiefling leader had particularly piqued his interest. His focus of thought-detection also stayed with the new arrivals.

The tan'aari were a chaotic race, and groups like the one they were impersonating were held together by fear. If no one seemed to be subordinate, it might arouse suspicion, thus Sphinx remained silent, allowing the others to glean information verbally, while he gleaned it telepathically.

[Intelligence]
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 1, 4 = 5.
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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

The mix of humans and tieflings begin to set down the 'acquired' loot.

Wicke wrote:
"Seems to be a fine blade, aye.

She turns and looks over to Lyei, making eye contact for a moment. When she does, she can see how important getting that blade back is to him. So she straightens up and turns back:

"Let's be fair about this. His weapon for yours. That way, you both get what you want. And if you look carefully at his sword, I think he'll be getting the worse end of the deal in the exchange. But my underling here needs to be rebuked for talking out of turn."

The thinblade-wielding tiefer is understandably hesitant. "I don't--"

"Do it, cutter." The apparently-in-charge tiefling is curt.

The other tiefling sends the 'leader' a sidelong look, then shifts the thinblade in his hand in such a way that Lyei would be able to grasp it by the hilt easily if he likes. He is very disinclined to release it, however, unless the 'armanite' is similarly inclined to let go of his own weapon.

Karsus wrote:
She turned back to face the human she'd menaced the moment before, with eyes narrowed. "That friend of yours who came up a moment ago... he wasn't the only one to part ways with you lot already, was he? Were there more, who've already left?"

The man seems surprised by the question. "Aye, several. If you want 'em for your supper, I won't get in your way."

[spoiler for Sphinx]

Spoiler: Highlight to view
The 'leader' tiefling wants to get out of this situation in one piece. He's feeling an acute dislike of the humans in his 'group' at the moment, not least because they have so ably reinforced every belief he ever had about other races having it in for the plane-touched. [Sphinx notices that the recent fight downstairs has this tiefling sufficiently off balance that he's probably missing small but important details about the current situation, effectively reinforcing their ruse.] If the humans get eaten, he hardly minds, but he's keen to get out of Curst and has no interest in being dragooned into Demogorgon's army. If the fiends want him so badly for the Blood War, they can sodding well pay him for it. He is also determined not to end up as some tanar'ri's meal.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

"Happen to know where they're run off to?" Icanthas continues her interrogation.

She'll follow up his response with, "Now tell me what they look like, and I'll leave you be."

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Karsus wrote:
"Happen to know where they're run off to?" Icanthas continues her interrogation.

She'll follow up his response with, "Now tell me what they look like, and I'll leave you be."

The human shakes his head. "I'd be wanting a portal out of Curst, if I was them." He describes what he can recall of the other prisoners -- mostly humans and tieflings, and mostly but not entirely male. Icanthas and the others should be able to recognize them by description, should they happen upon any of them.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Zimrazim wrote:
The thinblade-wielding tiefer is understandably hesitant. "I don't--"

"Do it, cutter." The apparently-in-charge tiefling is curt.

The other tiefling sends the 'leader' a sidelong look, then shifts the thinblade in his hand in such a way that Lyei would be able to grasp it by the hilt easily if he likes. He is very disinclined to release it, however, unless the 'armanite' is similarly inclined to let go of his own weapon.
"

The 'Ármanite' swaps hold of his weapon to hold it by the blade, then reaches it out to the hesitant cutter...and grabs the thinblade...hisses a bit, then makes the exchange...starting to sniff the thin weapon, as if it has scent on it..

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

[DM rules that since the tiefling isn't touching Lyei but rather the weapon, he's not at the 'interacting with the illusion' stage yet.]

Fortunately, the exchange of weapons proceeds without incident. "Time to take our leave, cutters." Never taking his hand off his own blade, or his gaze away from the supposed tanar'ri, the (impromptu?) leader backs away carefully, leaving the building. The others follow behind.

It's not long before Rivullira, Maltheniir, and Alastryn start looking through the heaps of loot, with varying results. The cleric is able to locate a scabbarded sword as well as what looks like more mundane equipment, but spends several minutes looking through the gear, as if looking for something...

"It's not here," she says, obviously frustrated.

"Time to dismiss this, I think..." the branded tiefling remarks, raising the middle and index fingers of one hand.

[Nim has just enough time to change shape before Alastryn dismisses the illusion, if she wants to. Alternately, if someone wants to remain a tanar'ri for a bit longer, they can speak up...]

The bard hardly seems able to restrain himself from examining the hurdy-gurdy. He manages to keep himself in check until such time as the other group should be well out of earshot: it is a loud instrument.

Only after he's satisfied as to the instrument's condition does the bard begin to examine the rest of his own gear. As he does so, he looks over his shoulder at Nim.

"That was a very good peel. Have you ever considered the Blood War as a line of work, Tikal? I'm sure any of the major players would be happy to have you."

The black-haired tiefling examines her own gear, seeming distinctly displeased once it appears that either one or several things are absent. The others do notice a pair of gem-adorned ebony wands and a dagger that appears ordinary, but which Alastryn examines with care.

Rivullira calls the attention of the others. "Do you all realize what happened here? Do you realize who that... man was?" The cleric says the word with obvious distaste, as if she'd rather use 'monster' or some similar word instead. "The one who 'rescued' us?"

Once again, both Virash and Lyei feel a little twinge inside their minds. The magical compulsion is not strong yet, but it is a little stronger than before.

__________________

BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Nim smiles shyly at Maltheniir's suggestion. "Oh, I'm sure my little tricks wouldn't get very far. They'd see through me right quick! Besides, without this fantastic illusion and that amazing voice of yours...how'd you do that anyway?"

When the illusion finally drops, rather than Tikal standing there, instead there's a short, unimpressive looking blonde woman standing in Tikal's now slightly oversized dress.

"Ooh! My dagger! My bottles!" Nim leans down and starts picking through the pile for her stuff.

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Any stuff in there that Lyei recognizes as his?

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

As soon as the group from below was away, Icanthas crouched beside the heap of gear, set aside her sword and grabbed up a worn sack, and started picking through for her possessions, wasting little time in shoving them into the bag. A bedroll, a waterskin, an empty flask, a length of rope, a brick of soap, a ball of twine... a moment sifting through all the clothing in the pile revealed her cloak. She picked up a polished, yet notched and gouged wooden box, opened it to reveal a number of rags, wire brushes, strips of leather, and opaque jars and, satisfied that its contents remained in place, stowed it in the bag as well. Half a dozen small glass vials chased with silvery decor followed, as well as several packets of dried traveling food--but wait, this one wasn't hers. She dropped it back into the pile and retrieved the rest that seemed familiar to her. She snatched up a belt pouch and checked its contents, scowling at the expected discovery that all her jink was gone. But at least the other items remained in the pouch. She tossed that into the sack too, then brushed aside more gear until finding the small oddities that served as gate keys and tucked them in as well, before pulling tight the bag's drawstring and tying it off. She reached for a scabbard, drawing the weapon from it and inspecting the long and wide-bladed, weighted punching dagger that was revealed: a Gehennan lancet of remarkable quality. She slid the blade back into its sheathe and set it atop her filled bag, along with a pair of vambraces and a couple long strips of leather, all of the same reddish material after producing them from the pile.
She rose to her feet then, and yanked off the shirt of chainmail she'd taken from a fallen guard, inadvertently disheveling her small top and mussing up her hair. She passively pulled the garment back into place and quickly ran her fingers through her her hair, pushing her bangs out of her eyes before bending over the heap again and pulling from it a ruddy, leather scaled cuirass, and a pair of cuisses and faulds of matching leather, and started strapping each into place.
As she suited up, she gave a sidelong glance to Tikal, unexpectedly spotting a different woman in the sorceress's place. One brow raised, but she gave no further reaction. It wasn't such an unusual thing; they had all appeared to be tanar'ri just a few moments ago, after all. She noted displeased looks on the face of more than one of her companions, and guessed that some of their belongings were unaccounted for as well.
Once the armor pieces were strapped on, she wrapped the long leather strips around her cannons. Not caring to waste the time to indulge Rivullira's questions while the other former prisoners furthered their lead, she ignored the priestess, straightening again and starting to buckle on her bracers as she addressed the group with her own concern. "I'm guessing some of you're missing things 's well? I'm goin' to try an' find the other jailbirds who left before us, while you 'stringers' " --giving a quick look to the pair who'd accepted Grisev's ensorcelled strings-- "are off on your rides, to make sure they didn't grab anything. Tell me what all you're missing, and I'll pick 'em up if I find 'em."

[So, how many other prisoners were there?]

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Sphinx non-chalantly addresses the group, speaking for the first time since the incident with Grisev:

G'luck taggin' yer belon'ings bashahs. Donnae worry 'bout me - I done made it a personal policy o' mine tae not bring noftin tae valuable when I 'aunt Curst. He frowns distastefully, then adds: Cept course, a healthy amount o' jink fer bribin th' guards an' potential bobbahs.

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

After picking over the pile some more, Nim shrieks in delight. "My apples! I thought for sure those leatherheads would've made off with them! Pure Arborean, y'know!" She holds one up proudly, but it doesn't look particularly appealing, let alone Arborean.

Her pack seems to be stuffed full of clothing when she opens it up. Then she mutters some quiet words over her pack, cursing each time she says something, then sighs loudly. "Cleared out all the treasure right good, it seems. Still, the rest of my stuff is here, so it isn't a total loss!"

As she hefts her pack onto her back, Nim glances back at the cords wrapped around the wrists of Lyei and Virash. "How are you two holding up? I can't imagine those things are all that comfortable to wear.

Without giving them a chance to answer, she turns towards Rivullira. "And what was it you were saying about Grively Grue? I have no idea who that berk is or why those guys with him seemed to be afraid of the guy. I take it he's some kind of big shot, Big Scary Guy or something." Nim raises her arms above her head, curls her hands into claws and makes a snarling face.

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Re: Game: Cross Purposes

Virash sighs when he realizes that the necklace is not here, then recovers his PTC certificate. He grabs his axes, testing their weight quickly to make sure they were still in good shape. The ranger takes the time to redon his chain shirt, slinging his longbow over his shoulder and placing the handaxes at his sides again. "That... is much, much better."

Next he redons his cloak, then the gloves, a slightly spring in his step appearing as he does so. The human grins as he realizes that his bag of holding is still there, grinning wider once he figures out that most of its contents are still intact. "All things considered, that could have gone much worse." He turns to face "Tikal" again, visibly more comfortable with his belongings returned to him. "The cord is starting to tug a bit, truth be told... I best be on my way soon. Though I would certainly appreciate anyone who wants to help me out."

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