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Game: The Awakening

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Trias's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2006-08-14
Game: The Awakening

A frigid breeze permeates through the Lower Ward. A dilapidated shack appearing to be long uninhabited – standing inconspicuously among the more desolate alleys of Tinker Avenue sways gently in the wind. It’s about antipeak, and the dull, now dark haze covering the sky blocks vision of one trying to observe the opposite side of the Ring.

Now turning into Tinker Avenue appears a large bipedal. Red-orange scales, large black wings curving beyond it’s 12 foot height and completely white eyes glowing as molten steel. An unfortunate half-orc beggar happens to be standing directly in the Cornugon’s path – apparently looking for something she dropped.

She feels a colossal force on her shoulder – a heat like she’s never felt before emanates from the massive maw into her body for the short instant she is in contact. Then she is airborne - her yelp of pain and surprise stopped short when she makes contact- headfirst with an adjacent marble building ending with a sickening thud. Her world blackens as she falls unconscious, the last thing on her mind being the incredible heat on her shoulder.

The few remaining dwellers quickly scuttle away – wisely - after witnessing the Cornugon’s sudden swipe of the woman. It stands for a second where the half-orc was, and sneers – its alligator-like maw filled with teeth sharp enough to slice diamonds. It lets out a slow, menacing growl that is more fearsome than loud– much like the calm before a storm.

The Cornugon waits for a few seconds and ensures the area is completely desolate… using its innate magical abilities to confirm that nothing alive, nor dead is in the immediate vicinity – except the unfortunate, comatose woman, who may be either… although that would not matter in the least.

It casts an invisibility spell and approaches the dilapidated shack. A short time later, a swirling, ovular portal opens up in front of the shack. The invisible Cornugon steps into the portal resembling a blue-green whirlpool going in the counterclockwise direction. Then the portal disappears just as quickly as it had come into being.

“You’re late Shazz’ak’fr” goads a cold voice to the Cornugon.

“Forgive me Lieutenant, I was pressed for time and using-”

“You have wasted my time enough, don’t squander it further with your useless explanations.” The cold voice interruptes.

Shazz’ak’fr (still invisible) looks down and sneers at the man. The young man –perhaps no older than 30- has dull, dark eyes and jet black bangs that twirl along the sides of his sunken, unshaven face. The only mark of distinction on his face is a scar running diagonally from the corner of his left forehead, past the break in his eye, and down to the right side of his lips. Wearing bland studded leather and a commoner’s cloak, the unimpressive looking man could have passed for a commoner in the Hive – to the untrained eye. Shazz’ak’fr, however, could discern with his fiendish vision right past the disguise. The powerful magicks that cover the man make him glow like a candlestick in the eyes of the Cornugon.

As if suspecting the silent insolence, the man gives a simple wave of the hand, and Shazz’ak’far comes into view- his invisibility dispelled. No longer is he sneering, though, the fiend gives a reluctant half-bow/half-salute to the human. It seems almost comical, unreal that a greater fiend would humble himself so before a human. Shazz’ak’far, however, reminds himself that this is no ordinary human.

As if hearing the unspoken command, Shazz’ak’fr gives his report.

“We have found them, as well as some others who will be of assistance”

“And you are sure they are capable, Shazz’ak’fr?” the man speaks the last three syllables slowly, deliberately, taunting the fiend.

“Without question, Lieutenant” replies the Cornugon, placing a similar emphasis on the syllables of ‘lieutenant.’

“Very well then, put my machinations into motion – very soon now, we shall return to where we once were.”

Shazz’ak’fr smiles when he hears this, a genuine smile very rare among fiends… yet rare expressions are saved for rare occasions. Shazz’ak’fr looks up at the human and smiles even wider.

Trias's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2006-08-14
Game: The Awakening

Oddly enough, the Sigilian ‘sky’ is clear for the moment. Anyone who looks up from the Hive simply sees the opposite half of the ring; tiny dots of light from miniature buildings speckle the opposite corner of the city in the Lady’s Ward. The skyscape is a gentle harmony, a luminous wonder for the observer.

Events are somewhat less serene on the ground.

At the intersection of two small streets lies a ravaged tiefling. Her off-white eyes rolled to the back of her head, face contorted and frozen forever into a twisted scream of horror. A scream that went unheard until it was too late. Two Sodkiller investigators are bent over the body, clearing the tousled hair from the woman’s face, double-checking her slim, finely robed body for marks of damage. There are none.

A third investigator barks orders to a full contingent of 15 armed guards. The streets are barricaded by a second and third contingent, while a fourth investigator begins the questioning of the 8 poor sods who happened to be in the immediate vicinity of the area. A motley bunch to say the least – the roundup includes a winged half-fey, an armed hobgoblin, an odd-looking drow, twin aasimars, a tiefling, a ratlike humanoid, a barbazu, and something that appears to be made of the ground itself.

The investigator approaches the fey first, flanked by two more armed guards (who are eagerly half-wishing that a berk will try and make a run for it).

His question is simple, and to no one in particular. He asks it monotone - although there is a hint of insinuation in his voice:

“What are you doing here?”

(Cue the PCs!)

JasperDM's picture
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Joined: 2004-05-31
Game: The Awakening

The dripping lump of bodies, dirt, gravestones and plant matter towers over the other humanoids, staring down at the investigator from one busted, deflated eye in the burned head of a long dead half-orc. It gargles a wet noise at the detective, something akin to a growl, or someone drowning... sizing up the detective and his thugs, the scene for a second, fading and blending with a time before... dead girl, guards, too many guards for so small a thing as a death here... something smelled wrong, something familiar. Treachery. The fingers of his huge right hand, made of roots and clawlike shards of headstone, clench and grind, and align to spell out words... "Here lies Lady Sara Duvall of Southmoor, dead on her wedding day. May the gods love her as we did." He watches, and waits.

Cernunnos's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-16
Game: The Awakening

"Just, ah, passing by," says Aras, with poorly feigned amiability. Then, as curiosity gets the better of him, he ads, "What happened here?"

As he speaks, he scratches at his bearded chin with one hand, and glances about, not nervously, but perhaps cautiously. His body language betrays an underlying tension at odds with the nonchalance he affects. He is not yet at home in this strange city, not yet comfortable here.

Azure's picture
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Factol
Joined: 2006-05-17
Game: The Awakening

The ratling sits on the cobbles, legs crossed and eyes closed. His ears twitch slightly, but otherwise he seems oblivious to what is going on around him. There is no point in trying to ecape the armed men, for now they are wary and vigilant in their duties. Complacency is in humans' natures, however. A short wait and opportunity shall arise.

Tsuru sits in silence, meditating, but also listening to what is going on around him. Still, though he is very skilled at hiding his fear, even from himself, Tsuru cannot help but feel nervous beneath his calm facade. Normally, the smell of blood and metal coming from the Sodkillers would allow him to pinpoint each one's position on the street, but there is a stronger scent here that drowns all others. It is the smell of the grave with a strange magical taint. Tsuru had smelled it approaching, and had tried to move away, but the overpowering scent had made him oblivious to the presence of the armored humans, and so he was caught in their dragnet.

As he took a long, slow breath, Tsuru was comforted by one realization: the shambling thing that gurgled and dripped smelled of decay, of the earth, of sadness and of rage, but it did not smell of evil. That alone intrigued him.

As for the dead woman whom the armored men seemed so worked up about, she was nothing to Tsuru. Another innocent slain on the streets of the City of Doors, like so many before, and whom many more would follow. Or perhaps she had not been so innocent. Nothing was simple here, nor exactly as it seemed, the Nezumi was coming to realize after months of living on the streets of the Hive.

6 Bonus for Listen to do
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 13.
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Joined: 2006-07-21
Game: The Awakening

Watching from the veil of shadows that shroud the street, a figure steps forward. Her presence is niether startling nor adrupt, but is as emphemeral as a whispered dream. Her movements call the attention of the guards and suspects alike -not from any ostentatious display, but from the hushed poise of her passing -which stands in sharp contrast to the echo of violence and urgent hostility that haunts the area. .

Softly stepping into the illumination, she reveals herself with a subtle smile. Although her form immediately makes apparent the presence of an immortal bloodline, her exact ancestry remains mysterious.

Perhaps most noticable are the dove-white wings which grace her back, their rose-tipped ends weaving a hypnotic dance with each step. As she moves forward, the seemingly angelic wings part like a feathered-veil, revealing the form of a lithe, yet sensual female. Her perfumed skin is the hue of rich cinnamon and smells of dark wine laced with honey. Her seductive curves are covered in the palest of attempts of modesty as she is dressed in an elaborate design of thin cloth, forming an intricate weave of soft white cloth, green and purple silks, and supple ebon leather. Clasping the revealing garb are a number of polished greensteel rings, as well as a single brooch of cold iron, shaped like a blossoming rose with a single needle-thin thorn. Her delicate wrists are clasped in chased platinum, each inset with an inverted triangle of green-marbled steel.

As she walks towards the investigators, all can see she wears a pair of exquisite sable boots that reach half-way up her thighs, simultaneously revealing and concealing her long, lush legs. Matching the dark hue of her boots are her ebon-black tresses of midnight, though feathery streaks of blushed rose adorn her oiled hair. Currently, her hair is braided in an elaborate style, held together with a web of delicate threads of crystal and silverweave. Evidently a lady of fashion, her stunningly beautiful face has been painted in the current style of the more prosperous Wards, as her lips hold a wet sheen the color of rose-wine, and her eyes have been painted with silver-white liner, forming a vivid contrast with her long, dark lashes. And despite all her beauty, it is perhaps her eyes that are the most riveting -for behind the fluttering lashes are a pair of remarkable eyes, one being a sparkling pale green, resembling a polished peridot, while the other has an iris of scarlet red.

And it is these eyes which sweep the gathered crowd and then focus brightly on the interrogative investigator. With a subtle swaying to her side, she places her arm around the tall, shadow-skinned drow, and then softly glides before the guard -the likewise handsome drow in tow (and yet giving a wide berth to the grosteque shambling -thing).

As she passes the hobgoblin, she gives him a comforting smile, accompanied by a delicate movement of one of her wings -not close enough to touch, but near enough to give a whisper of a caress.

But passing these beings behind, she presents herself before the investigator seemingly in charge of their detainment, and with a soft, yet rish voice of silken honey, she speaks:

[=dark red]"Well wishing you find yourself a warm bed after a night so cold as this, and may you find all that you desire here."[/]

[=dark red]"I am Phaed'yiin, courtesan of the Silk'n'Secrets, run by the noble lady Isabel the Salicious"[/]

-and upon mentioning this name, she gives a small glance back to the Barbazu, searching for some sense of recognition. But then returning her attention to the guard, she speaks:

[=dark red]"You asked after my purpose for being in this place at this hour, and I do kindly answer -I was here to meet a client of my powerful patroness..."[/] -motioning to the drow-
[=dark red]"...who is a regular patron of my... services."[/]

This last comment she accentuates by softly waving her wings down her shapely form.

[=dark red]"Unfortunately, niether I nor my client were involved with these tragic events, and so our further presence seems to be but a waste to both of our concerns. As the Lady Isabel is not wont to have her business delayed, I am sure she, or I, would be able to find a some way to repay you for seeing us on our way."[/]

Her eyes linger on the guard, speaking openly and honsetly, for her words hold no deceit.

However, during her discussion with the investigator, Phaed'yiin attempts to view the corpse with greater detail -searching for some lingering clue as to her cause of death or personage, specifically any lingering magiks, but of course making such observations in a subtle, disguised manner.

(OOC: Checks made, with modifiers included for net result)

Hide: 21 (i.e. blend in crowd initially until coming forward)
Spot: 20 ("hidden" observations of the group and scene)
Spellcraft: 18 (for trying to observe any latent spell-effects -specifically on the corpse)
Bluff/Hide: 21/22 (secretly trying to view/study corpse, but not appear to be)
Diplomacy: 27 (the most "obvious check" -endearing the investigators, and attempting to persuade them of her innocence -in regard to the crime that is, and into letting them -Kez & Phae- go).

0 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 13.
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 9.
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 14.
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 17.
5 Bonus for Charisma to do
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 23.
5 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 12.
Xboryn's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-16
Game: The Awakening

Walking along side Phaed'yiin his presence goes almost entirely unnoticed due to her appearance and the attention it demands.

His skin is dark storm cloud gray and he wears robes of matching color with no designs of any kind. They are the garb of a servant but he does not hold himself as one as he stands tall with a measure of regality. Almost too tall for a Drow...he is over six feet tall but his frame is thin and boney with very sharp features.

His eyes survey the area and takes note of the individuals. A look of disgust is sent in the direction of the mass lump of talking dirt.

He remains silent beside Phaed'yiin as she speaks.

fool888's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-18
Game: The Awakening

"I'm just on my way back home to visit me mum. Evelyn Soulsinger, she sings at the Bard's Regret. I was just strolling by when I saw this. What happened?"

JasperDM's picture
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Joined: 2004-05-31
Game: The Awakening

Pushing out of line if necessary, the swamp monster moves to the body, as if defying anyone to stop him, crouching down, and sniffing at the corpse. Somewhere in his primal mind, he knows someone murdered a woman, and left her to be found, and now others are being threatened with the blame. Everything else... doesn't seem to matter. Half of him wants to pull the bloody, knobby log he uses for smashing people out of the nearby alley and go hunting the killer, half wants to make sure these guards aren't under the thumb of the murderer...either way... he'll need his log. Rising, he goes to get it.

Trias's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2006-08-14
Game: The Awakening

Momentarily ignoring everyone’s words, the investigator looks at Phaed'yiin, giving her a knowing smile, and then everyone feels it – everyone except Tsuru –

-a psionic intrusion, their minds being scanned by the investigator. His mental “hands” grasping, simultaneously caressing the brains of the suspects, releasing memories and random sensations as a byproduct of the process.

The investigator is in deep concentration – meanwhile the guards flanking him stay on the ready for any issues that arise. He gives a curious look to Tsuru, and lastly, an even more curious look at the Aasimar twins.

Those two, and the Rat-Man” He points to the guards and then the suspects – “Take them to Lokaski

Looking back at Phaed'yiin, and glancing momentarily at Aras as well as Xhoo, the investigator smiles – a very, very unfriendly smile.
It is quite unfortunate that neither you, nor your client were involved in this –it is a personal pleasure of mine to incarcerate your kind. Abrubtly changing the subject, he points to the body:

One of the facto—leaders of the Dustmen was assassinated three weeks ago. Today, another one of their leaders is dead. It is not a small matter that two faction leaders are assassinated, nor is it safe for anyone involved in the assassinations themselves – the Sodkillers aside – Her Serenity would not condone actions that may well lead to a second Faction War. Tensions are running high, and we are going to end these killings before there is an escalation. We are taking no chances, as a result – no one may leave the premises of this crime until further notice from me- innocent or not.

The Barbazu snarls a low, dangerous curse, but takes no further action.

The investigator looks at the fiend, then back at Phaed'yiin – “Although you are certainly welcome to try” he smiles that horrible smile again, before slipping away towards the other investigators.

..But not before Phaed'yiin notes several things of importance:

Firstly, The dead tiefling has no spell residues on her, except for a minor enchantment on a dagger concealed in the woman’s thigh – the very same kind of minor enchantment that is apparent in every single guard’s weapons. This implies that no apparent physical, nor magical means were used for the assassination. Furthermore, the investigator was using more than simply psionics during the questioning – during his brief period of concentration – he was utilizing a “True Seeing” spell. In fact, looking once again at the investigators, it is quite likely that all of them are using that spell.

A sudden, loud order steals the attention of the remaining five – (no listen checks needed)- looking over, they see the Aasimaars as well as the Ratman now surrounded by at least eight guards. One investigator is right in front of Tsuru’s face

Disable that tattoo, before I rip it out of your flesh!” He snarls.

JasperDM's picture
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Game: The Awakening

Dolmen turns, gargling and tearing a vine from his chest. The letters of Lady Duvall's headstone flare with an angry green and red light, a fact made much more pertinent as that headstone is also the five wide, flat fingers of a very large fist. He takes one stride placing himself well in reach of the investigator and finally speaks the first comprehensible words out of him yet. "You......leave him...alone."

(Magic fang on my slam attack.)

Azure's picture
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Factol
Joined: 2006-05-17
Game: The Awakening

Tsuru doen not even open his eyes. "To disable my tatoos WOULD require ripping them from my skin. However, I have an interest in keeping my skin where it is, so the only way I would let you skin me is if I where already dead, and had little to say about the matter."

"As for the woman, I know little more than the obvious; that she is dead, with not a drop of blood spilled. Believe me or do not, the choice is yours, but all choices have consequences of their own. "

"For my part, I find honor in your goal of redressing this woman's murder. Should this Lokaski wish to speak with me more, I will converse with him, and suggest that his footsoldiers be instructed in techniqus of oral hygene."

[ooc - diplomacy roll has a -2 modifier do Tsuru's low charisma (and somewhat snide attitude) .... so it comes out as a 3! Looks like a subtle insult to the guard will blow over really well.]

0 Bonus for Diplomacy to do
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 5.
Trias's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2006-08-14
Game: The Awakening

Almost immediately, Dolmen is flanked by a the group of armed guards previously around the three suspects - weapons pointed and at the ready - the blades perhaps come just close enough to not be touching, however even a moderate breeze could cause one of the now 8 blades pointed to touch Dolmen.

Nearby, one of the contingents blocking the street moves inward.

The investigator, who happens to be Lokaski, intently stares at Dolmen (presumably communicating psionically), and the one who just spoke to Phaed'yiin casually nears the ratling.

Even though nobody heard, nor knew in thier minds what exactly Lokaski communicated to Dolmen, the message was all too clear.

The remaining two investigators, utterly unconcerned, near The Rat-Man and begin to concentrating in unison (making for a total of three around Tsuru).

One of the investigators touches Tsuru's tatoo, and it begins to glow:

15 Bonus for +5 for each inv to do
I rolled 1d20+15, the result is 18.
JasperDM's picture
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Game: The Awakening

Dolmen drops the piece of vine in his hands to the cobblestones, as his various skulls and heads begin to groan in some gargling tongue, their eye sockets glowing green.

Dialexis's picture
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Game: The Awakening

With only a slight stirring of her wings, Phaed'yiin watches as the scene unfolds with reserved interest. Her hands half-concealed by her rose-tipped wings, she seems content with watching the drama unfold and lazily tracing her finger on her "client's" chest.

In reality, she is avidly watching the investigators, keenly suspicious of their true nature and intent. Her scarlet eye focuses on the triad of Sodkillers surrounding the ratling, examining their concentration and manifestation of mental power.

At the same time, her seemingly simple finger-caresses are in fact, the subtle hand-gestures of Drow Sign Language, a hidden message for her paramour:

"The lives of the others mean nothing, save an opportunity, if necessary for escape. Wait, and watch -but be ready. Clearly, not all is as it seems -niether with them, nor with us. Innocence does not always equal justice."

(OOC: Paed'yiin is watching all the guards, specifically studying the three investigators. For all three to being using spells to replicate True Seeing is bizarre -an overkill of power, if not merely redundant. That said, she knows that many fiends have the powers of True Sight, and the bestial snarl and threat to "rip" out the ratling sounds too inhuman -but all too fiendish. Thus, she is watching whether they appear to being be actually "manifesting" psionic or spells, or seem to be tapping some innate ability. Likewise, she is looking for spell components or gear that would suggest otherwise, as well as just generally viewing their persons -i.e. what weapons, materials, and any presence of insignia denoting membership in Minder's Guild or Sodkiller's)

Thus: Hide check: 12 (for her hand gestures, not really hiding them, just half-concealing them, as she is disguising it as mere caresses -I quess it could be a Bluff check, but let me know if anyone sees with all the activity elsewhere)

Spot: 30

Spellcraft: 10

0 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 4.
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 19.
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 1.
Cernunnos's picture
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Game: The Awakening

Aras has been still since he last spoke, but his mind has been racing despite his physical inaction. Now he has come to a conclusion: These men, investigators, whoever they may be, will not let us go, he thinks to himself.

As steel is drawn, and levelled at the.... thing... which demands the rodent's release, Aras decides. The only way out of this is through action. The creature of the grave looks to have some power, as do the others being detained. Perhaps, if they were to work together, they could fight their way free?

But it is risky. Aras still understands little of this city, and for all he knows these "investigators" might hold a great amount of power here. Fighting them could bring all kinds of trouble.

I will not let them take me. But, I must know my opponent before I commit to battle. Any other way will lead to defeat, thinks Aras. Loathe as he is to reveal his ignorance of this place and its ways and people, he realises he must ask someone in order to find out what he needs to know. And one of the other detainees it must be.

He begins to look around at the others gathered there, trying to decide which one looks the most trustworthy, which one could be relied upon, which one, in short, to ask.

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Game: The Awakening

Catching the subtle hand motions of Phaed'yiin he does not make any visible response so as not to attract any attention from the observers.

It does seem strange though...

Spotting the hob-goblin looking at each of the people being held here; he meets his eyes and reveals red pupils and black iris'. His look is very condescending as he raises his chin a little.

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Game: The Awakening

As his eyes meet those of Drow Aras sees nothing but disdain and mindless arrogance. His gaze moves on, to the half-fey, hoping to find that elusive quality he seeks upon his countenance instead.

Dialexis's picture
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Game: The Awakening

(OOC: I'm assuming -so correct me if wrong Trias- that with a 30 spot check, I notice Aras's searching gaze -even if concentrating on the investigators. That said...)

Though her eyes have remained steadfast in watching the activities of the investigators, Phaedy'iin is disturbed by the subtle inhalation of her drow "client" and catches the exchanged glance between him and the hobgoblin.

Giving a soft flick of her wings to catch the hobgoblin's attention, she attempts to momentarily lock eyes with the mortal. His intentions seem clear to her, and her peridot eye seems to sparkle in comprehension of his contemplations.

(OOC: Sense Motive check -21 -hopefully good enough, since it is somewhat obvious).

She gives a small smile, but then shakes her head ever so gently to the side, and mouths the word:

Wait.

Only waiting moment to see if the hobgoblin understand, Phead'yiin resumes her observation of the investigators.

0 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 16.
Cernunnos's picture
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Game: The Awakening

Aras's gaze is caught partway between the Drow and the Half-Fey by the winged woman who seems to be the Drow's superior in some way.

His eyes narrow as she mouths a single syllable, and for an instant he is distrustful. Then, he remembers that most, if not all, of those present know the ways of this place a million times better than he. Although, to him, it may seem risky to delay, the risk will be just as much for the woman as he.

He responds quickly, with an all-but-imperceptable nod, before snapping his gaze away from her, and looking back at the creature surrounded by guards, waiting to see what will happen.

JasperDM's picture
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Game: The Awakening

Dolmen watches the exchange between the others, unsure of it's meaning, but thinking no one here is ready to run... he clamps down on the swelling wrath of nature inside him, and the skulls embedded in his murky frame fall back to quiescence. Looking around himself for the first time, really, he realizes these are not his swamps, or even the alleys, and he is not where he will be saved. No water to hide under, no earth to rise from, no vines and trees to build his body from. Even the stones of the road feel wrong. But even if he died, no matter. But he would die too fast. There would be enough time to kill the other innocents, and they would, once blood started flowing. For them...he would wait.

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Joined: 2006-08-14
Game: The Awakening

As if reading his mind - the Guards lower their weapons... slowly.

Lokaski turns back at Tsuru and has a distant look on his face, as if he's looking right through the Rat-Man.

Tsuru feels the intrusion, the uncomfortable probing in his mind of 4 unwelcome psions. Then it's gone.

Lokaski refocuses into the Rat-Man and gestures him towards the others. He and the three other investigators now surround the Aasimar.

Although the guards in the perimeter have backed into the corners of the streets, the 8 guards surrounding Dolmen have not budged.

An armed guard walks from the perimeter up to where Aras and the others are standing.

You will be released shortly. Watch yourself strangers. Because we certainly will be.

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Game: The Awakening

Relief, only mildly tempered by suspicion, floods Aras. They were to be released! Bloodshed would not be called for, and he had made the right decision in heeding the winged woman.

Now all I have to do is be patient, and that is easy for me, I who have stalked quarry for weeks through the coastal marshes of what I may mockingly call "home," before making my kill. Still, something is odd here, and I have a feeling that danger may yet rear it's head. I will stay alert.

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Game: The Awakening

In response to both the Sodkillers and Aras's glance, Phaed'yiin merely nods -a confirmation of understanding and nothing more.

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Game: The Awakening

Everyone's being let go, no one's threatening the rat anymore... Dolmen stands there and waits for the time to start killing these men, or walk off and start his hunt for the killer.

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Game: The Awakening

Kezinon gives hand signals to Phaed'yiin that are not subtle at all. Perhaps it is ego or inexperience that does not hide them but they are clear and mean something.

She understands them to mean "Good...shall we move on then?"

He makes no further actions.

Dialexis's picture
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Game: The Awakening

Sensing his impatience rising, Phaedy'iin smiles and strokes the drow's strong chin:

[=dark red]"Patience, my dear child of Arushnee, somethings are better savored than rushed..."[/]

And then turning towards Aras, she extends her second hand, [=dark red]"-would you not agree, strong-son of Magbluyiet?"[/]

[=dark red]"Come"[/], she says, languidly undulating her rose-tipped feathers, [=dark red]"if we must wait till we are released, then perhaps we might at least find some measure of pleasure, or possiblely even profit..."[/] (and at that remark she glances up to her tall patron).

And waiting to see if Aras comes closer to join their company, Phaedy'iin smiles and inclines her head ever-so slightly:

[=dark red]"Though I have already introduced myself, I do so again -amongst my Lady's circles, I am known as Phaed'yiin the 'Whitewhisper', and so you may call me if you desire." [/]

[=dark red]"What, pray tell, may we call you, and what purpose finds you here at this time?" [/]

[=dark red]"I can tell you have the look of a hunter" -she says as she waves a hand in the direction of his blades -"but I cannot discern what quarry you seek."[/]

[=dark red]"Or is it that you have lost your way, now no longer knowing what you seek, except to find a clear path, 'mist the chaos of this cosmos?"[/]

(OOC: still trying to watch the guards, despite talking to Aras -admittedly, I'm destracted now)

So...

Spot (watching guards): 15
Listen (guards): 13

And finally, Diplomacy (on Aras): 18

EDIT: I'm having some issues with the colored fonts, but I think I'm good now.

0 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 4.
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 2.
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 8.
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As the woman speaks, he walks a little closer.

"Greetings, Phaedy'iin the Whitewhisper," He says quietly, head slightly bowed, but not so much as to restrict his field of vision.

"My name is Aras. As for my purpose... I had no truly defined purpose, beyond a vague thought of exploration. You are right in assuming me somewhat lost; I am new to this city, and as yet unfamiliar with it. I had thought to simply wander it's streets and learn what I could of it.

"You are also right in thinking me a hunter, for the skills of the hunt are those that I specialise in. As to what I hunt... at one time I hunted Elves, of the sea-dwelling kind. Now, I suppose, I hunt, just as you say, for a clear path."

Aras pauses, before continuing, a shadow of a smile playing on his lips, "And what of you, madame? I have none of your insight, and so, if you are not to have me at a disadvantage, I will require you to tell me of yourself, rather than being left to guess."

As he finishes speaking, a brief flash of worry crosses Aras' mind, but he brushes it aside. This woman has proven herself through her sound advice. There is no reason not to trust her. Besides, none of what I have said could feasibly be used against me, even if she did have malignant intentions.

OOC: I'm not really too sure what you were trying to achieve with your Diplomacy roll.... either way, Aras trusts Phaedy'iin now, due to her good advice to wait, so the roll is kind of irrelevant.

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(OOC: Yes, I realize that PC's are not mechanically subject to Diplomacy checks; however, I wanted to post "mechanically" the level of social persuasion she has -i.e. I could have typed those same things, but be an obese smelly -3 Cha Ogress. Anyways, the mechanics are unnecessary in this case, just added "flavor" as in-game, its not as if we are a team -yet. That said...)

Phaed'yiin listens to Aras' responses, only occasionally glancing at the guards a few paces away. Hearing his praise, she demurely nods to such compliments, still laced with the tall drow to her side. She laughs somewhat softly as Aras asks about her identity, replying:

[=dark red]"Perhaps the excitment of drawn steel has faded your recollection -do you not recall my words to our 'fair' guards? I serve Lady Isabel the Salicious, as courtesan of the Silk'n'Secrets, an establisment committed to enabling those of great 'ambition' and 'desire'. We pride ourselves on providing all that we promise, and the price paid is always just."[/]

And with this last remark, you can see her scarlet eye glow with an inner fire, even as her lips curl into a veiled smile. The passion of her gaze seems to fade though as she glances to Lokaski, continuing:

[=dark red]"As part of my duties, I also attempt to stay abreast of news of import. You, Aras, are only one of an nigh uncountable mass who has found himself in the 'Cage'. Little remains true of what you once knew, now that you are here within the Great Wheel. Many such arrivals become lost, regardless of their previous lives. Some go mad as the precious trappings of reality seem to slip from their vainly protesting minds. However, there is still order within the chaos -especially for those who would shape it."[/]

And with that remark, she slowly fluidly reaches over to Aras' shoulder, dusting some of the Hive's grime, including a stray feather of an Executioner Raven. She smiles, taking the gray-black feather in hand:

[=dark red]"Are you with residence, Aras, or have you been drifting rather aimlessly throughout the Cage?"[/], she says as she strokes the feather with her painted nails. [=dark red]"Upon our impending release, perhaps you would like to accompany me and my client. Perhaps together, we might be able to find purpose, pleasure, and profit, both within -and without- the Cage. Or..."[/]

Phaed'yiin pauses to lift the raven's feather in her hand, and then breathes upon its shadowy shape, causing the feather to blow away, caught by the chill wind of the Hive.

[=dark red]"Or, we can simply part ways, and you can continue drifting in the winds of ignorance and solitude."[/]

And with that said, she lingers for a moment, watching the feather disappear into the darkness beyond, and then turns her gaze upon the hobgoblin, her peridot and crimson eyes shinning like jewels in the night.

[=dark red]"Which do you desire?"[/]

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Aras gazes levelly at the woman, his expression unreadable.

"I would like to accompany you very much, Phaed'yiin the Whitewhisper." He says quietly.

"By your... client... I presume you mean him." With this last comment, Aras nods towards the Drow.

To himself, he thinks, This woman is odd, but no more so than anything else I have seen so far in this place. It is, however, a most pleasantly bewitching strangeness, and it would be well to have a companion such as her, one who is savvy with the ways of the city. And if that means I have to tolerate that Drow's damnable Elven arrogance... Well, if he becomes absolutely intolerable I can always part ways with them.

OOC:
Okay, fair play with the Diplomacy roll, then Sticking out tongue
I just wasn't sure what it was for, is all...

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Kezinon gives off a low groan like growl that makes it all too clear that he is not pleased with the recent exchange of words between his companion and the slave-kin.
Perhaps he could be useful though...

A half smile then dominates his face as he visualizes the benefits of allowing the slave race to travel along with them. His gaze locks and stares into the eyes of the Hobgoblin, considering his abilities physically and making assumptions about his mental capacity. You can tell a lot about one's ability to think by looking into their eyes.

He returns the nod to Aras and the smiles grows to its fullest.

"It would be our pleasure. Perhaps our joining will bring 'advances' to our own personal agendas..."

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Tsuru approaches the grave golum and stares with fascination and just a hint of trepidation. He looks at Dolmen for a long while, his nose twitching. Finally, he speaks.

"You...came to my defence. Even seemed willing to kill or to be destroyed in doing so, and yet know me not. There is much honor in that, and much that I do not understand. In my land the creatures of the Shadowlands are not completely without honor, but to defend the oppressed is not in their nature. You seem to me to be like unto the things that came from the Shadow to slaughter my people, and yet unlike them as well. I would hate you, if hate was not puged from me long ago, and I would fear you if my fear had not been purged as well. Your scent is of death and of decay, but also of the earth, like a fish buried in the garden to help the beans grow strong. What are you, Grave? Are you death or rebirth?"

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The beast takes another long, sucking breath, more than one might expect from one pair of lungs, even in eight feet of monster. The words that come out... sound much more intelligent than one would give the thing credit for at a glance. The rotted half-orc head begins to speak, and one hand brushes a curtain of gray moss from over one eye."I am the dolmen, the grave-stone. The gods of nature gave me life. The still, dark part of nature, the rot, the soil, the grave; they are in me. I am the angry grave. The unburied dead. The unhonored tomb. The violated's anger clothed in dirt and vine." He runs a hand across his body, plucking forth a severed, rotted arm from some long-dead human, stuffing it back into himself, much deeper. "I am the fist of the angry dead, and the weeping grave. I am the gargling scream of the wrongly executed. I am nature's hammer of balance. Like the fish you speak of, the angry dead give me power. In me they find peace, and I find them justice. I am more than death, I am the one who gives the dead their peace. I serve them, as they feed me."

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Tsuru folds his hands together and bows before Dolmen.

"Many strange things I have seen in my short time here, in the City of Doors, yet you, honorable grave Dolmen, are the strangest thus far. I knew of this place only from the legends told me by my sundered kin. When I stepped into these streets of stone I knew that karma had brought me here, though to what end I do not know."

The ratling is tatooed in white upon his grey fur. The markings are those of a white crane, the wings across his back and down his arms, the head and beak upon his head and snout. He steals a quick glace toward the others before bowing again to Dolmen.

"I am called Tsuru. In my home some called me 'Pale Crane', but I no longer have a home, for it and those I was honorbound to protect have been swollowed by the Shadow." Tsuru sinks to his knees. "I am disgraced, for I did not die in their defence, as I once swore to do."

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Dolmen nods, seemingly understanding quite well, letting the spanish moss shroud his "face" once more, and waiting for the guards to set him free. Reminding himself of his duty... he must absorb the body, and begin the hunt. Nothing else will suffice. "Die in a way that brings you peace, Tsuru, tiny ratman. So I need not devour you and seek your justice for you. I have so many dead to avenge now...my body can scarcely hold another."

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Aras locks his gaze with the dark Elf, and casts his mind back to what he knows of these people. Never had he encountered one before, but he had heard tell of them.
Most of Elven-kind saw Hobgoblins and their ilk as monstrous enemies. But, from what he had been told, the Drow saw them as some kind of "slave species."
Where most Elves thought themselves superior to the other races, the dark ones thought themselves their masters.
In Aras' mind it was, if anything, worse to considered a slave than a monster. At least as a monster, you were given respect, though only out of fear, for the most part.

After a few moments pause, the Hobgoblin replies, with a humourless smile, "Yes... Perhaps,"

Almost as an afterthought, he then adds, "And what might your name be, noble Drow?" The hint of sarcasm on the last two words could be mistaken for added emphasis... Possibly.

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He breaks the staring contest by glancing briefly over in the direction of the walking pile of rot...the smell...The sound of it speaking...

Looking back to the Hobgoblin his smile is gone and there is only a blank stare as he considers whether or not he will answer such a question...It is difficult to believe that one of the slave species would be allowed to wear clean clothes or speak...let alone speak questions...however this is not a slave so it is only obvious that he wouldn't know better.

"You, may call me Xasskorn. " As he speaks the name his expression becomes that of satisfaction which immediately begins to deteriorate back to neutral.

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The surrounded Dolmen is… gradually forgotten by the guards as he no longer seems to pose an immediate threat. The guards seem more interested in the Aasimar twins as Lokaski ends his psionic investigation. The head investigator mumbles something unintelligible to the closest armed officer, and the Aasimar are surrounded and escorted away – apparently for further interrogations.

Lokaski once again whispers to the same armed guard (who appears to be a Lieutenant of sorts, as his gray armor contrasts with that of the other guards who wear a deep red. He also doesn’t carry a two-handed double-blade, but rather, a sheathed scimitar hangs loosely from his belt) and the officer approaches the remaining 6 – barbazu and all.

Very well, you may leave the premises – we have your names and descriptions. There is also a psionic mark that was planted in your minds such that we may locate you within the Cage, if need be.

Without a further word, he walks away and a wall of guards ‘separates’ in one side of the four way intersection – clearing the path for one to walk into the street ahead.

The barbazu wastes no time, and quickly, almost violently barges off, making sure to give the wall of guards a final sneer before disappearing into the street ahead.

It is getting dark outside.

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Dolmen grunts, looks up the slope of the city, trying, fruitlessly, to plot a course back to the Hive's alleys... he is far from his club, and has already called upon the Green Cycle today. Fortunately, sundown was when his powers replenished, but it would be a long walk back... He looks back, seeing if they would be toting off the body, or leaving it to the Collectors to do with as they saw fit... if so, he would absorb her before letting her be picked clean and dumped unceremoniously on a cart.

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Upon their official "release", and seeing the bearded devil rush off into the darkness, Phead'yiin gives a slight bow to Lokaski and the investigators, with a sardonic smile upon her lips -though her eyes are cold and humorless.

However, it is a glance that lasts for but a moment, as she quickly turns back to her "companions", motioning forward with her wings, while following in the footsteps of the barbazu:

[=dark red]"Shall we depart?"[/]

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"Very well, Xasskorn." Aras replies curtly, and then, at Phaed'yiin's question, he simply nods and prepares to depart with his new companions.

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"Excuse me, before you go..." Tsuru addresses Phead'yiin, bowing his head slightly. "The lady seems to know much about this place some call 'The Cage'. My name is Tsuru. A cage indeed the city seems to me, who had known only blue skies, green gardens, and cold clean water. Perhaps she could direct me to a public bath? I've found myself in this Ward, which seemed more ... civilized ... than most others today for the first time. I've been frequenting the place called Gymnasium, but have found precious few other baths in this City of Doors. The ones I've seen in this Ward so far have been private and want far too much jink."

Without looking up at the others, he continues. "The lady also speaks of profit. I am familiar with the use of money, though the villages of my land mostly paid their taxes in rice. Here I find myself at need to earn the 'jink' as everyone else to survive. My skills as a gardener are useless in this place, so I must follow my karma elsewhere. Indeed, karma seems to have put us all together here today..."
He lets the sentence trail off and bows.

[OOC: yes i too know I needn't roll for diplomacy when talking to PC's. Still, -2 cha mod. Tsuru is no streetwise underhiver, nor does he have any skill or desire to protray himself as such. He might come off a bit as a country bumpkin, but he's already let everybody know he's in poverty anyway... ]

0 Bonus for Diplomacy to do
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 16.
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(this has been here for a while now - would anyone like to respond to Tsuru?)

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'JasperDM' wrote:
He looks back, seeing if they would be toting off the body, or leaving it to the Collectors to do with as they saw fit... if so, he would absorb her before letting her be picked clean and dumped unceremoniously on a cart.

(So has this... Puzzled )

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As his newfound companions seem hesitant to speak, Aras steps forward, turning his steady gaze on the ratman.
"Greetings, Tsuru. Your goals seem very much alike to my own, and I share your unfamiliarity with our surroundings. It seems that we both would benefit from the company of these two, who are more familiar with this city." He says, and then, remembering himself, adds, "But, of course, I would not presume to offer their company for them; that is their decision to make! However, I feel that your presence among us could not cause harm, and your skills, whatever they may be, might aid us in some unforeseen way in the future."

As he finishes speaking, the burly Hobgoblin shifts his gaze to Phaed'yiin and "Xasskorn," awaiting their verdict.

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(OOC: Sorry for not getting back earlier -busy weekend and I am having some trouble accessing PW, but it shouldn't be a long term problem. Also, Azure, I really appreciate the Diplomacy roll for "first impressions" and all).

Phaed'yiin, though intially disturbed by Tsuru's interuption, seems to gaze off in the direction of the now-vanished Barbazu. She lets out a small sigh, and turns her gaze upon the gray-furred ratling.

She gives a small smile upon seeing Tsuru's unexpected tact and social persuasion, returning his bow with a slight, but respectful nod.

[=dark red]"Yes, a bath? Indeed, I know of quite a few, but of course, I prefer my Lady Isabel's, as they are indeed a place of much 'business'. Of course, the Salicious does not allow vagrants or those unwilling to pay -mind you, despite what the Titan may speak, there are other things of value besides 'jink' -some things of far greater and more... lasting value. My Lady is wise and understands this, and so those without coin might still find a way to pay for her exquisite services."[/]

The winged courtesan pauses, pursing her lips and looks over the ratling, examining his unique markings and white robes. After a moment of thought, her blood and gemstone colored eyes meet the ebon eyes of Tsuru, and her smile unviels, and breathes a soft, almost sardonic, laugh:

[=dark red]"Karma? Indeed... We may all indeed dance to puppet-strings, but this night finds you not without a part to play. Whether by Fortune or Fate, it just so happens that my Matron's house of pleasure has a garden of rare blossomed boughs and rare orchids and herbs. The Lady Isabel has been of the practice to hire a skilled gardener to tend this Garden of Languid Delights. And while, I do not know if she is seeking such a gardener now, perhaps you might find approval in her sight -as you have found in mine."[/]

And with a sinuous smile upon her red wine-painted lips, she reaches to her thorned-rose brooch of iron, causing its cold metal to sing a slight echo as her painted nails caress its edges:

[=dark red]"Tsuru, you may call me Lady Phaed'yiin. And this is my client-"[/], she says turning to the tall drow, [=dark red]"-who is known as Xasskorn. And of course, it seems that Aras-"[/] she pauses to gently stroke the hobgoblin's muscled chest, [=dark red]"-has already chosen to speak to you."[/]

Once again giving an appraising look and a slight nod, she smiles, [=dark red]"You are welcome to join us, Tsuru. But let us no longer delay -for in the darkness, one may find that a multitude of sins may be hidden."[/]

And with that, she smoothly glides her arm around the drow's and turns to leave.

As she does so, she gives one last backwards glance to the (presumably) following ratling:

[=dark red]"One last thing, Tsuru -I like your sense of fashion..."[/]

(OOC: two skill checks made during the discussion.

Knowledge (the planes): 16 (checking to see if Phaedy'iin knows anything about Nezumi/Rokugan)
Diplomacy: 17 (Obvious)

0 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 7.
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He gives Tsuru a good hard look as he considers. He is clean and does not smell of rotten muck. As well he seems intelligent...Very well, he will not protest the idea.

Xasskorn takes the arm of Phaed'yiin and turns with her to leave. Offering no words to Tsuru or Aras however some hand motions are noticeable.

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Aras starts slightly at Phaed'yiin's touch, and then, as she and Xasskorn begin to leave, he gives Tsuru a glance and a nod before following.

Though he is unfamiliar with the concept of prostitution as such, Aras is no dullard, and from the winged woman's words he has begun to form an idea of what her profession must be.
The thought does not repulse him, seeming, in his mind, to simply bring out into the open something which had unofficially occured in the society he hails from - gifts of goods or services, given to the female responsible for recently administered sexual favours, were commonplace amongst his tribe.

Aras has never seen the likes of Tsuru before, or even heard of any race of rodent-folk. However, the rat-man seems honest and genuine, enough for the Hobgoblin to be at ease in his company.

As he walks he mulls over the recent events, pondering particularly on whether Phaed'yiin's odd behaviour might perhaps be some form of ritualised offer of her services, and whether his response, or lack thereof, has thus far been in line with whatever ettiquette there may be for this situation.

(OOC: I'd really love to do something to try and involve Dolmen with the rest of us, but I can't think of anything that would be "in character," seeing as while Aras is fairly accepting of others aproaching him, he's not so outgoing himself, and remembers none of his previous contact with Dolmen. Thoughts, anyone?)

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The dead Dustman’s body gathers… dust on the street. Ironically, no Dustmen are here to claim the corpse. It seems that the Sodkillers will thoroughly investigate the matter before the Dusties have any claim over the corpse.

As the motely gathering speaks among themselves and ponders their next move, an invisible AURA haunts above. Sinister and powerful – even the True Seeing of the investigators cannot detect one such as it. It looks down now, right above Aras’s skull. It could kill the ranger right now if it wished… but something else captures its attention – It sees the essence of the ‘dead’ tielfling girl rising from the body.

Yes. Driven by a maddening, insatiable hunger for that very essence the figure ‘floats’ towards it. The girl’s essence doesn’t seem to notice at first – eyes closed – she seeks the True Death – the final rest as all true Dustmen would.

But something is wrong. Something is horribly wrong…

The shrieking of a soul reverberates across the planes, shaking any other essences floating about to their hypothetical core. The AURA absorbs her poor soul, satisfying it’s own for a time. It takes time to savor the trapped soul inside of it, one among many shrieking, tortured souls within.

Lokaksi, the most advanced Psion, raises his head- as if he just heard something disturbing.

Deep inside the motely gathering’s souls, there is a fallout from the recent devouring. None of them knows for sure what it is, but all of them – whether they be good, evil, or neither - feel that something wrong has just occurred. Something that is an abomination – a disruption of the natural harmony of all things. But the moment is fleeting, lasting only a few fractions of a seconds, before it is gone and forgotten with the present.

One of the investigators who is not Lokaksi – the very first one who talked to them – glances up at Dolmen, still standing there looking at the body.

Off with you – unless, of course, you would like to join this one.

(OCC: Bluff Check)


The AURA takes a glance back at Dolmen, in wicked anticipation… but then something catches its attention – right towards the street where the Sodkiller barricade has opened for the motely gathering to pass. The AURA is no longer where they are.

4 Bonus for Bluff to do
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 19.
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The mound of decay grunts, and seeing as no one has seen fit to speak to him beyond the guards, and the ratman, who is now otherwise engaged, begins to move off, when he stops, as if listening intently, something feeling...wrong. Something tainted, like his prey. He shrugs it off, as he cannot track it...yet. The day will come, however, when he will once again grasp the power necessary to hunt evil again.

Gurgling, he pulls himself up to his full height and walks, when he stops by Aras, lowering his half-rotted face to eye level. On a breathy wind, with the scent of freshly tilled earth and swamp muck, he speaks. "You...need to be... more careful... alley-sleeper." With that statement, and nothing more, he raises back up to begin his long trek back to the Hive...

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Aras stops walking at the grave creature's cryptic comment, a perplexed look crossing his usually unreadable features.

"Wait!" He calls out as Dolmen begins to leave, "What do you mean by that? Careful about what? And... 'alley-sleeper'.... what is that supposed to mean? What... who are you?"

Ever since he saw this being here, Aras has felt something nagging in the back of his mind, some dim form of half-reccolection; intangible memories trying to surface.

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