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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The sky is dark and grey. Tiny drops of thick rain hit the dark brown soil and turn into an ugly pulp. Feet quickly sink an inch or two into the mud, and a sharp, cold wind tries his best to hurt eyes and skin.

Disoriented for a short moment, Ian, Blackthornes, the Masked Gnoll, Ophelia, Saath and Naruk find themselves in the remains of what must have been a mighty fortress thousands of years ago. The highest walls - built from strong, dark red stones - are no more than a yard high nowadays. Those who look beyond them see the boundaries of a city no more than fifteen yards away.

While the surrounding landscape has countless hills, most of them surrounded by thick mist, the city itself lies on flat ground. There are no outstanding buildings, indeed the existing buildings appear tattered, many of them short before breaking down. Shadowy figures appear here and there, but either the city has few inhabitants, or they are well hidden.

One possible reason is obvious: A group of four vrocks circles above the city, about hundred yards above the ground, probably searching for prey.

Those who look down on the ground notice that there is a soft blue shimmering emanates through the soil that covers the ground - a five-yard circle with the group in its exact center.
Some of the ruin's walls show a few ornaments and statues crafted into them (or what is left of it). To their right, the group sees three gargoyles placed on the top of a wall ruin - probably long after the fortress was destroyed. The gargoyle in the center appears strangely alive; it is an ugly statue, its large wings unfolded and touching the two gargoyles at its side.
To their left, the statue of a marilith glares at them, six stone swords drawn as if ready to kill.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: Everyone who played in Part I of this game and made it into this thread Eye-wink receives a full 10.000 XP for everything they experienced.]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian, his rapier drawn, takes a quick look around.
"I'm pretty sure this glow is a result of the portal we used, but we need to move a soon as possible. Those Vrocks would have to be blind not to notice this."

Ian, waiting for the others to get their bearings, walks over to examine the maralith statue. In specific, he's checking to make sure that it was obviously made, and not an actual petrified fiend.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

MG fights back that sick feeking he gets evertime he travels through portals, and takes a moment to survey his situation...

"those sure are some ugly birds up there, not quite as ugly as some birds i've seen, but I think it's safe to say those are ugly birds."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Seeing no immediate danger, Saath steadies himself and lets his weapon disappear. He then reaches into his bag and pulls out a big, green gem.

'Now where is, or rather, was that piking tower?' Saath says after quickly looking around.
Taking some more time now, he looks around with the gem over his right eye.

[OOC: Looking through the Gem of Seeing Smiling ]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The view displaying to Saath is irritating at best: Instead of clearing his view, Saath sees nothing but thick grey mist through the gem of seeing.

Even with his left eye, though, he can see no tower - either there is none, or it is hidden in the mists on one of the surrounding hills.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Saath, who do you see?" Ian asks.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

'Well, it's the darndest thing,' Saath replies, 'I can see through any illusion with this, but either this thing doesn't work here or the city we see there is an illusion. All the gem shows me is thick, grey mist.'

'I'll check if this thing can tell me anything about those statues,' he says while approaching Ian and the marilith statue.

[OOC: Is the visibility through the gem 0 feet or can I see my own hands?]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes sheaths his weapon, and looks at MG*
"Those look more like fiends then birds to my eyes. I myself dont trust the look of those gargoyles."
*He moves about five feet towards the gargoyles, but will stop and turn to mg first.*
" MG, lets go have a look at them together. If you dont mind coming along that is. Walking from the group alone in the abyss doesn't seem like a good plan to me."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"You are right not to trust in looks, Elvin-kin. Especially here." The middle gargoyle speaks with a voice that sounds like sharp claws raking across a gravestone. "Illusions abound in demonholme, but DEATH is all too real."

His lips part to show rows of razor-sharp fangs. "You need not fear the buzzards overhead, so long as I am here. They fear my anger should they steal away my prey. They will wait for their carrion."

The hideous creature lowers his voice to a strange, unearthly whisper. "You need not fear ME either bloods, though I cannot reveal to thee the reason as of yet."

[ooc diplomacy check]

1 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 13.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes, alittle taken aback*
"What in the hells? It is living. I had a feeling it was. And what is it that you speak of? I am no elf kin, i am more man then anything else. I doubt that I can trust you, for I do not know you or your origins. It is not for your kind that I fear you, it is your words that I feel fell."

12 Bonus for sense motive to do
I rolled 1d20+12, the result is 28.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian smiles and looks like hes about to say something before being interrupted by Blackthornes. "I believe he was talking to me, actually. If there is even a drop of elf blood in you, I feel ashamed of a full half of my ancestry."

Ian turns toward the Gargoyle thing, and resumes his smile. "Fantastic disguise, I must say. I actually figured that contacting the locals would be a bit more difficult. My name is Ian Shadowknife, and yours?"

Diplomacy: Roll = 6 + 16 = 22

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"For the time being, call me 'Master', that would be safest for thee." the creature replies. "And keep thy distance from the 'locals', for though I have convinced most to fear me, it is only fear that keeps them in line, and they'd snitch you from behind my back if they thought they could get away with it."

[ooc - joyblood should be final word, but Blackthornes' sense motive was steller, so I'd say he notices something strange about the way the Fiend is speaking; "Bloods" "Demonholme" he's using planar cant with an odd accent]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes sneers at ian, and laughs to himself.*
" I would not be affended by the comment if I was of elvish decent. Besides, I know from experience that half elves make terrible cutthroats. If I were you I would praise your race for producing me."
*Blackthornes looks back up at the gagoyle thinggie*
"Wait, were you refering to me or Ian when you made that remark. Master? why would we call you master. I haven't ever called anyone a title besides their name, not even when I was a pirate did I serve a captain. Why should I bow down to you? But, you know of these townsfolk do you? what can you tell us of them?"

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"I can tell you that if you value your life and/or soul intact you should be wary in the extreme, cutter." The fiend replies, "Did you not know this of demons? I took thee for planewalkers, bloods, but if berks ye be, then harken. Do not turn your backs on them." His voice was a harsh whisper again. "Power is all they fear, hate is all they love, and fear and hate are all they know."

"As to why you should call me 'Master'," The fiend straightened up and spoke loudly, casting a glance up at the circling Vrocks, "Because if you do not I shall destroy you, and your dessicated corpses will call me master all the same, though with the dry voices of the dead."

[Bluff check (directed at the Vrock)]

4 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 13.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The Masked Gnoll stands straight up and sticks his chest out out as far as he can, hands still holding his massive flindbars sit on his hips...

"Before I decide if I have to break you or not I just have one question....Are you a good fiend or a bad fiend?"

He seems a bit more confident this time than when he asked Saath.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: I agree here. Smiling ]

Looking at the fiend, Blackthornes has a feeling that something's not quite in place. The fiend appears like a typical, horrid nabassu tanar'ri - Blackthornes has met the one or other in Sigil already. Yet, the way he speaks, the way he moves, appears somehow - nabassu-unlike.

Checking the marilith statue for a short moment, Ian finds that this could either be a finely crafted statue, or actually a petrified fiend - it's impossible to say.

Saath, looking through the gem, realizes that he sees nothing but mist through the magical item - it is as if its powers were completely reversed, blinding the wearer rather than clearing his views.

As they speak, the vrocks slowly come closer, while keeping their height and their circling. One of them lets out a loud screech; a second later all the vrocks cry out in ear-hurting screeches as they approach the group.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Quote:
"I can tell you that if you value your life and/or soul intact you should be wary in the extreme, cutter." The fiend replies, "Did you not know this of demons? I took thee for planewalkers, bloods, but if berks ye be, then harken. Do not turn your backs on them."

Ian casually shugs. "Don't mind him, Master. Blackthornes is a clueless who thinks himself a cutter. And..." Ian cocks his head as he hears the Vrock screech. He turns to watch them approach. "Hmmmmm."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[ooc - sorry for the double post, but looking at my roll, i should not have even bothered]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The Nabassu grits his fangs and whispers "Fenrir's teeth." to himself. He then laughs a hardy, evil laugh. Looking at the approaching Vrocks, he loudly proclaims, "Ah, excellent, here is your chace to prove your worth, mortals. Bring down one of those feathered weaklings, and you may serve me. Otherwise, zombies I shall make of thee." He pauses for a moment and cocks his head as if thinking. He says to himself (but loudly enough to be heard by the approaching Vrocks), "The Blood-war recruiters will be around again soon, perhaps if I give them four fliers that will satisfy them for awhile."

4 Bonus for Bluff to do
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 6.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian looks at the vrocks, then at the Master, and then at the Vrocks again. "I see." He says. "I've already had enough trouble today from taking Tan'ari at face value, and as entertaining as your employment offer is, I'm going to have to say I'll pass. We're already on assignmnet. Two, if you count this little detour."

He turns toward the party. "Company, lets move out."

he turns back toward the master. "Feel free to oppose us if you wish, but we have already crossed paths with an Illithid and a fiend this day, both made the mistake of considering us mere flys against them, and yet both fell before us. Don't make their mistake."

With that, Ian starts walking deeper into the city. "Oh, and by the way group. Theres probably something capable of petrification around here. Keep watch."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

'Ah, pike it,' Saath says while putting the gem back in his bag.

'Aw, pike it!' He says, noticing the approaching Vrocks. His blade immediately returns and Saath focusses on it to make it grow.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"But Ian...we don't know if he's a ggod fiend or a bda fiend! These things are important! I can't just leave a good fiend alone here in this awful place, and I can't leave a bad fiend without breaking him.....do you get my drift?"

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes outbursts*
"Damn fiends and half-elves alike. I dont wish to be called a cutter or berk or any of your damned words...I am not a planewalker, I am a simple rogue. I will not refer to some fiend as my master, if that is what you actually are, and I will not listen to your incesent babble Shadowknife. My life experiences hold just as much wisdom as yours, regardless of wether or not they happened on that blasted ring. I agree that we must take cover from these fiends overhead, but I would prefer that you didn't undermind me at every blasted comment I make...."
*He cools off a bit.*
"Perhaps the masked gnoll is right, this "fiend" asit appears may not be a real threat to us... it seems to me that it is not what it appears to be."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian completly ignores Blackthorne's tantrum and says. "Shhhhhhh, the adults are talking."

"Anyway, Masked Gnoll, I do get your drift. But if he attacks us, he would almost certainly be a bad fiend, correct?"
Ian completely ignores the Vrock's approach.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Saath walks over to Ian while still keeping an eye out for the Vrocks and the friendly Nabassu.
'Blackthornes was it?' He says while passing Blackthornes, trying to be friendly. 'He enjoys seeing you throw a fit like that. You shouldn't indulge him, aye?'

When he gets near Ian Saath lowers his voice: 'Hey, Ian. I enjoy watching him blow his brain-box as much as you do, but maybe you shouldn't yank his chain too much. We wouldn't want him turning stag once we get through that portal, aye?' Then in a normal volume: 'So, where are we headed, fearless leader?'

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Thor's boars! Didn't I just warn you not to turn your backs on demons? Watch your heads, cutters! Those aren't goldfinches up there you know."

With that the Nabassu disappears

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes calms considerably at Saath's words*
"Well, I really think Masked Gnoll is right. At any rate Ian, we should not turn or backs on the nabassu or the Vrocks. And considerably, I think your deduction on this winged fiend on the wall is false. He knows more about the area then we do. Perhaps we should call a termporary pact? He could help us considerably against the vrocks and anything else around here. Besides, he doesn't feel all that threatening to me."

17 Bonus for Diplomacy to do
I rolled 1d20+17, the result is 35.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Oh, I didn't say he couldn't be an ally. I just called his bluff. And I haven't forgotten about the Vrocks."

OOC: Ian experimentally lifts the Maralith statue an inch, just to make sure it isn't attached to the floor. If it looks like the Vrocks are within range and about to attack, Ian with throw it at the nearest Vrock.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The Fiend becomes visible once again, this time standing on the ground beside Blackthornes.

"Shall it be an...alliance then? Demons respect only power, and to dismiss my threats out of hand so, I suppose thee have no small amount of power thyselves, yes?" Turning specifically to Blackthones, the Nabassu speaks in a hushed tone. "Know too, that I greatly respect any man that will call none other 'Master', but all names are in a sense titles, are they not? Call me whatever you wish, then. If we earn each other's trust I may tell thee what I call myself, but not here...and not now." He shoots a glance once again at the approaching Vrocks.

"As to your question masked one, trust only that those buzzards overhead are in fact very BAD fiends." He points at the Vrocks with an outstreched arm. His other hand rests along the inside of his elbow, almost as if he were loading an invisible bow...

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes looks to the fiend with greater hope.*
"well, there we have it. I think a temporary alliance would benefit us all. Perhaps it will not only be temporary. By chance have you seen any other fiends besides these buzzards, friend?"

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Oh, yes. Demons abound in this city of ruins. Of course, prying information from such hateful, spiteful creatures is no easy task, but a little fear goes a long way with some. Mortals such as thyselves may find it nigh impossible to deal with them, for demons tend to hate mortals even more than they hate each other (and that's saying something!) So, I will be thy liaison, but call me something other than 'Friend', for that word is rather...foreign and conspicuous here no doubt. "

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*blackthornes thinks for a minute*
"Hmm, I really can't think of a name to give you. I will simply call you rex. Does rex work for you?"

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Rex...Olympian for 'king' if I am not mistaken. Yes, that will do quite nicely, and keep up proper apearances, I might add. Now, what is it that brings thee to this place? What seekest thou? I will help thee find it and then name mine own price in return."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"We are here looking for a tower. One in specific that has something in it we want. Due to client confidentiality, we can't tell you any more then that, for now. If such a situation arises that you need to know more, I'll tell you."
"As for price, I can promise you a fair deal in gems for your services as a guide to our destination, to be payed on completion of the task. Exactly what you get is directly linked to how helpful you are."
Ian smiles, still keeping an eye on the Vrocks. "I'm sure you can agree this is a fair deal?"

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The Nabassu smiles a wide, toothy grin. "A tower, with something in it. Try being a little more vague, I .... "

The grin fades, " ... Wait, an INTACT tower? One that looks plucked directly from the City of Doors?"

The fiend looks more serious now.

"If it is indeed this tower thou seek, then I will gladly lead on."

"As for payment, while I freely admit that I have a fondness for gemstones, and will not refuse them if offered, I have a much more specific price in mind." He leans in close to Ian, his breath smells of dirt from a ripe grave. He whispers so quietly that even the rest of the party has trouble hearing him.

"By Hel, get me OUT of here!"

4 Bonus for Diplomacy to do
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 20.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The vrocks come closer until they circle right above the group. A few seconds later, they stop their screeching, silently circling above with prying eyes...

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Deal." Ian whispers back, with an odd little smile on his face.

He looks up and sees the vrocks. "Pike this. Who is for getting these bird-brains out of the way now, before they make themselves a nuisance at the most inconvenient time possible?"

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

As if they took Ian's threat serious, the vrocks suddenly rush up high into the sky, then towards the city, where they go down and disappear from sight.

Naruk follows their path with a serious expression. "I assume they already have a plan to become a nuisance..."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Then time is of the essence. Rex, lead the way. Blackthornes, switch to a ranged weapon if you have one, and keep an eye on the sky for us. Masked Gnoll, be prepared to defend the party from any trouble on the ground. I doubt the vrocks are the only thing we will run into. Whenever possible, I'll scout ahead and try to direct the party away from avoidable threats. Anyone have a problem with this plan?" Ian asks.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes will pull out his crossbow.*
"m alright with that plan. Haven't used this thing sense I was back on Toril. Hope it still works."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The Nabassu watches the Vrocks go.

"Well, though 'tis still somewhat disconcerting that we may see them again, I for one am glad that those foul fowl did not prove to be a more immediate threat. A brief reprive from danger is the best one can ever hope for in this nameless ruin of a city." The fiend looks around for any more lurking dangers. "Come, the tower thou seekest sits upon a mountain wreathed in mist, or so the rumors tell. I do believe I identified the hill on which it must stand, but dared not approach alone, so we can discover together if my hunch was right."

'Rex' leads on, but seems on edge, as if expecting danger behind every pile of rubble.

12 Bonus for Listen to do
I rolled 1d20+12, the result is 17.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: @Azure: Little correction, the tower is not in the city's center, but a bit behind the city.]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

As Azure listens closely, he hears a panicked scream from somewhere in the city - most probably, a short scream of death. It's far enough away to be heard only by those closely listening.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Heading towards the city, the group reaches the first tattered buildings quickly. It seems as if the city is dead - or at least in its death struggle. Not even vermin lives in the city's streets.

All who enter the city have a sudden feeling of danger, of being observed - as prey.

The group walks through the city in silence for an entire minute, before they reach a crossing. The path leads in all four directions here, but a disgusting and horrific sight waits for the group at the left street: A pile of dead bodies, naked and shaved, thrown one upon the other like garbage. Long white worms crawl all over the bodies, yet not a single one can be seen anywhere on the street. The smell is foul and revoltingly sweet, sending cramps into everyone's belly.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian silently motions for the party to stay still, before sneaking ahead about 30 ft or so in each direction, only going farther away if he sees something interesting.

OOC:
Hide: roll 11 + 34 = 45
Move silently : Roll 14 + 25 = 39
Spot: roll: 9 + 11 = 20

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

While the streets - if the muddy paths are worth being called so - are wide and open, the smashed, tattered and ruined buildings and their shadows grant him a wide variety of possibilities to hide.

Slipping from hiding place to hiding place, Ian inspects street after street, until he passes the pile of bodies and goes down the street to the left. About twenty feet down the street, he finds a little dog cowered in a building's corner. The animal - a dirty and wet puppy with large, round eyes of light blue color and long fur with black and white spots - watches him fearfully, retreating even more into its dirty corner.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian takes note of the dog, and sneaks back to the intersection.

(assuming he reaches it without event)

"Seems to be clear, almost. On the left there is what appears to be a dog. Seems odd that any sort of mundane animal could survive here. Proceed with caution."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: Ian returns without trouble]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

As Ian speaks of the dog, a squeeking sound can be heard from where the Masked Gnoll stands. All of a sudden, something jumps out of his napsack. A small creature - a bit less than a yard long and maybe a foot tall, wedge-shaped and with short legs - runs over the street, quickly disappearing in the shadows of a nearby building before anyone can react. It all happened so quick and unexpectedly that noone realized what kind of creature this was.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"MS.DAISY!!! COME BACK!!! WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT STAYING WITH ME!!!"

MG chases the creature into the building to catch catch it again. as soon as he sees it he'll cast speak with animals.

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