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Author Topic: Blood and Bewitchment Logs  (Read 32170 times)
I am Doubt, hear me mutter!
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2010, 07:06:18 AM »

Seems you've had some fun while I was gone!
Will be interesting to see where the journal takes our friend Tarim.
And yes, the fighting seems faster, even if that might be down to most of the less pertinent details having been kindly removed in the editting (makes for a more interesting read, really).
But I have caught up with the action for now.
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2010, 12:09:29 PM »

A Note for Kaius

Having returned to his rooms in Resurrection Row after the Inquisitor's death, Kaius must settle accounts with his landlord.

Kauis, your rooms are a fairly squalid set of chambers with peeling stucco walls riddled with dry rot and old bullet-holes.  The bed is a sprawling, rusted thing, a brass skeleton with a decomposing mattress.  It was here that your Mistress, the Lady Genevieve, spent her last hours, as the zehrer within her dwindled.  There's also a small bathroom and a miniscule den and kitchen, all in a state of shabby disrepair and general decrepitude.  Still, its better than the streets, and there's a sturdy lock on the front door to deter intruders, plus a ward that the Lady carved into the wood before her death, though whether it still functions after her death you do not know.

Your rent is due; your landlord lives in the same structure, on the ground floor.


* Kaius Alexander exhales slowly.

* Kaius Alexander drops his pack heavily.

* Kaius Alexander digs through it, searching for the pouch of obeloi.  Retrieving it, Kaius proceeds downstairs, to pay the landlord

Kaius, your landlord is a near-blind, wizened human man named Croab with a taste for old books; he spends most of his time hunched over some volume or another with a flagon of his homebrewed beer.  His temper, however, is legendary, as is his penchant for crude profanity, earning him the nickname "Croab Curse-tongue."

He carries a hefty wooden cane with which he administers liberal beatings, though these have grown rather ineffectual as he slips into dotage.

"Eh, who's that?  Another of you arse-faced, gall-livered whoresons of Glut's?  Tell that shit-for-brains cocksucker to bugger himself with a rusty pike, I've paid my bleeding godsdamn protection for this month, and if he wants an obelus more he can lick my ancient balls."


Kaius Alexander - Sir, you are mistaken... once again. I have come to pay the rent.

* Kaius Alexander shakes a small pouch of obeloi

He resettles his spectacles.

"Oh it's you!  Speak up next time."  He takes ten obeloi for rent.


* Kaius Alexander inclines his head slightly to Croab

"Oh, 'fore I forget, some sassy slag left a message for you.  Redheaded twat, called herself Moira or Mary or Mae or some shit like that.  Give me a moment I'll find the bleeding thing for you."

Kaius Alexander - Oh? Hmmm.

He digs out a note from his pile of tomes and hands it to you.

The note:

Kaius Alexander,

Rumour has reached me of the impressive way you and your companions dispatched the well-known thugs calling themselves Hatchet, Locks, and Slobber.   I represent a party that would like to engage your services.  If you are interested, ask for me at the sign of the Laughing Fiend by the Butcher's Gate, across from the bounty office.

Sincerely,

Mara, Dogskull Thief Clan


* Kaius Alexander squints at the note

Kaius Alexander - Interesting.  Thank you for holding this for me, Croab. Good day to you.

"And to you.  Now fuck off and leave me in peace you ugly lout."

* Kaius Alexander smirks slightly.

Pest Control

Fatigued after his run-in with Gorethisrt, Tarim, Kaius, and the Inquisitor, Eareg returns to the hidden cave he lives in, not far from the Butcher's Gate.

Your cave is set in a rocky shelf protruding from the desert.  The entrance to the cave is undisturbed: the bushes that conceal the entrance are intact, and the door is securely locked.


* Eareg Maar takes a good look around for any unwanted eyes and then heads over to the door

* Eareg Maar pulls out an elaborate black key and turns it in the lock, opening the door

A short tunnel winds towards the central room of the cave.  To one side there's an unlit candle you placed in a naturally formed niche.  The cave is dry, with a sandy floor sloping slightly downwards.  There is a faint musky scent in the air.

* Eareg Maar closes the door and sighs.

Eareg Maar - home sweet home.

* Eareg Maar saunters on down the passage.

Further down the passage you come across a translucent substance draped across the floor in torn scraps.  It appears to be a tatter of shredded flesh and chitin.  A sudden foul stench, as of rotting flesh, emanates from the main cave round a crook in the passage.

* Eareg Maar narrows his eyes and quietly sneaks down, listening.

You hear a scrabbling sound in the central chamber.  It stops abruptly as you accidentally kick over a rock.

* Eareg Maar pulls the gun off his back and then looks around the corner.

A spray of some caustic substance hits you in the face!  You take 6 damage as the acid burns your exposed flesh.

The large central cave is sparsely furnished with a bed, table, chair, and chest.  Coiled in the far corner near a sizeable hole in the soft sandstone rock - a hole that definitely was not there the last time you were here - is a hulking, eight-limbed beast that might roughly be described as a kind of grotesque hybrid of reptile, crustacean, and camel.  Two scaly, spined humps protrude from its almost serpentine, carapace-plated bulk, set behind a hideous mandibled visage with a cluster of tiny black eyes.  The beast has powerful-looking forelimbs with prominent talons, doubtless ideal for burrowing, and a snaking tail.

You recognize this monstrosity as a Dune Horror: a menace of the waste that stalk their prey by following them underground, tracking sightlessly using the vibrations of footfalls above.  This one appears to be a female and a recent mother: a clutch of large, pale, glossy eggs are evident beneath its mottled brownish body.  It squats in a gruesome nest of scavenged entrails, innards, and bone, some of which look like they might be humanoid.


Eareg Maar - lovely... would you get your slimy carcass out of here.

It hisses at you and brandishes its scything forelimbs.

* Eareg Maar sizes her up as he utters an eldritch phrase, coaxing the barrel of his weapon to flame (+1 aim token) and a bullet bursts from the end, wreathed in a searing heat.

The bullet penetrates the hideous creature's crude head and it slumps lifelessly to the ground in a pool of greenish ichor.  This sizzles slightly, eating away at the cave-floor and ruining the nice little rug you'd put down.

* Eareg Maar walks up to it and probes it with the butt of his gun, wondering if any part of it would be sellable on the markets.

You think the eggs might be somewhat valuable, but whether they're worth an obeloi each or a small fortune, you have no idea.  As to any bits from the Dune Horror itself, you don't know.

Eareg Maar - hmm well might as well make use of these if I can.

* Eareg Maar carefully takes the eggs and places them in an old wooden crate in the corner.

Eareg Maar - as for you, you little house-wrecker.

* Eareg Maar kicks the corpse down the hole and begins to close it up.

Disarray

Tarim, the door to your room is ajar.  Scrawled on the door is a distinctive sigil in vivid purple ink: the stylized eye-pictogram.  You recognize this as the mark of the Inquisition of Marainein.

* Tarim frowns at the sight and enters his chambers.

Your chambers are dim and somewhat musty, with shuttered windows and peeling walls.  Oil lamps, currently unlit, would provide illumination.  There are three main rooms, plus a bathroom - a workroom, a bedchamber, and a study or library.

The rooms seem to be in a state of considerable disarray.  Right now you're in the workroom, which consists of a number of tables, shelves, and benches covered in reams of parchment - scattered notes, arcane formulae, and similar eldritch miscellanea.  Inchoate experiments and esoteric equipment add to the clutter.  One of the tables has been overturned, spilling papers everywhere.


* Tarim hisses a curse under his breath.

* Tarim tromps angrily at the nearest oil lamp to light it.

You light the lamp.  A soft glow fills the room.

Tarim - (muttering) This mess will take quite a while to sort out.'¦

* Tarim glances around, hoping to catch some sign of his familiar

*Fangs appears as if on command, scuttling out from beneath some papers and flitting to Tarim's shoulder on his bat-wings.

Tarim - So, they didn't get you. Not surprising, considering how sneaky you can be.

*Fangs chitters at Tarim.

Fangs - (In Hellspeak) Inquisitor bastard tried to dispel me, couldn't muster the puissance, boss.

* Tarim chuckles.

Tarim - He has been taken care of.

The demon good-naturedly nips at your neck.

Tarim - Hungry? I'll have to get you some food. But we have more important things at hand.

Fangs - Glad to hear it.  Made a bloody mess of the place.  Quelnefess will be pissed if he finds out.

Tarim - Did the Inquisitor come here alone? Did he have company?

Fangs - Alone, no help.  Ragged old fellah with a cane.  Ugly geezer.  I could do with some grub, but I think that hagman rotter will be wanting payment, or we'll be evicted.  How were the fighting pits, by the way?

Tarim - Had the unpleasant experience of seeing a waxborn.

Fangs - Oh yeah?  One of those things from the Plains?

* Tarim nods.

* Tarim takes a moment to quickly clean out some of the worst mess.

The study is lined with shelves half-filled with arcane texts of various descriptions -  mostly occult treatises and theoretical works on the nature and practice of witchcraft rather than practical grimoires.  These have been rifled through thoroughly, and some litter the floor.  You clean them up quickly.

An enormous four-poster bed dominates the bedchamber, with tatty velvet pillows.  Strange paintings leftover from previous tenants hang on the walls.  One depicts a living fleshscape with rib-like mountains and plains of veined skin; cow-sized leeches herded by small figures that look like flayed, naked humans graze on the fleshscape, leaving hideous red furrows (the caption on this painting reads "The Woundlands").  Another is a warped portrait of an eccentric looking white-haired man.  His face and neck appear to be organic, but his torso and abdomen have been eviscerated, revealing a gleaming mass of intricate clockwork viscera.  Finally there is a gloomy painting that appears to present a cave; the cavern is peopled by a swarm of hunched, hairless monkeys with crimson eyes and jaggedly toothy mouths.  This last painting has fallen from the wall, and the bed-sheets are rumpled and askew, which you put back up.


* Tarim moves to the door, inspecting the lock and the glyph.

The lock was picked.  The glyph appears to be non-functional - perhaps a scrying tool rather than an actual ward.

* Tarim examines the glyph carefully.

This glyph would have allowed to the Inquisitor to detect comings and goings through the door and see through the sigil.  Now that he's dead, it's inactive.  Theoretically it could be reactivated, but another magus would have to link to it to make it work again.

Tarim - Doesn't seem to pose any danger now.

Tarim - (would it be safe to remove it?)

You'd need some dispel witchcraft to get rid of it properly; it won't just wash off.

Tarim - I'll have to take care of it later. Got to pay the rent or I won't be living here for much longer.

* Tarim heads out of the apartment.

Your landlord is just down the street.  He's generally found in a sort of parlor to the immediate left, inside his building.

* Tarim walks to the parlor, with Fangs riding on his shoulder. He enters and looks for Quelnefess

A large, pudgy hagman male faces you, his hair bound into slimy dreadlocks.  He is coiled languorously in a bathtub of greasy-looking water, idly sluicing himself and reading a water-stained newspaper.

"Bout time, Tarim.  Heard a rumor you got nicked.  Was about to go knock on your door in case that rat of yers could tell me yer whereabouts.  Leave the bones on the counter, there, by the tap, if ye please."  He speaks with the trace of a Glatch accent, heavily inflected with slum-modulated Shambles.


Tarim - Well, it turned otu the arena's beasts of late are weaker than the audience would like it.

The hagman snorts.

* Tarim digs into his purse for 15 obeloi and places them on the counter.

it, fore you go, got a bit of a favour to ask of you," the hagman mumbles, moistening his greenish  tail.  "Bit of trouble on a room on the top floor.  Thought you might be the right type fer the job - I tink it might need a tongue o' some power, if me guess is right."

Tarim - What kind of trouble?

"There's a room upstairs seems ta be cursed, or somefin'.  Dunno why fer sure, but the last four tenants 'ave all offed themselves fer no 'pparent reason.  One hanged hisself, another used drugs, third slashed his wrists, and the fourth blew out the back o' his skull.  Still up there - no one'll go in to clean it up, too scared o' whatever made the poor bugger shoot hisself.  I don't know what be causin' this butchery, but I suspect it be some nasty hexwork o' some sort, or else some redmouthed bogger hauntin' the room.  If ye get rid o' whatever's witching the room, ye kin skip next month's rent an' the month after's.  What'd ye say?"

Tarim - I guess I could take a look - but I make no promises.  It's none on *my* problems, after all...

"When you could get to it, like - don't 'ave to be right this moment."
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2010, 02:19:23 AM »

More logs to come.

I've posted a "quest log" at the top of this page.  Obviously it's not exhaustive and shouldn't be proscriptive; it's not intended as a to-do list, but rather simply as a way of keeping track of various opportunities.  Is this a good idea?  Or is it a bit too computer-gamey?
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2010, 02:43:59 AM »

Steerpike


More logs to come.

I've posted a "quest log" at the top of this page.  Obviously it's not exhaustive and shouldn't be proscriptive; it's not intended as a to-do list, but rather simply as a way of keeping track of various opportunities.  Is this a good idea?  Or is it a bit too computer-gamey?


I like it, with the way we're going I imagine we'll have alot of opportunities to branch out and this will help us keep track of them all.
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2010, 04:58:16 AM »

We don't seem to have been introduced to the last two incomplete quests yet? I don't remember hearing about them, and a quick scan of the logs seems to suggest that I haven't just missed it.
Of course, they might be part of somebody's background.
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2010, 05:03:21 AM »

Cataclysmic Crow


We don't seem to have been introduced to the last two incomplete quests yet? I don't remember hearing about them, and a quick scan of the logs seems to suggest that I haven't just missed it.
Of course, they might be part of somebody's background.


The parts where they were mentioned haven't been posted yet (steerpike still has some logs left to post... the slacker) tongue
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2010, 06:30:15 AM »

Ah, okay, thought this was the bulk of it as you supposedly only played two sessions while I was away?
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2010, 11:58:33 AM »

Aha, we did.  BUT those two sessions had to be split ito multiple posts to fit the character limit, and we also did an in-beteween session to wrap up the Inquisitor subplot (for now).

It takes awhile to format the logs into a readable form, otherwise there's a bunch of ugly numbers and <> and underscores and stuff floating round, not to mention long paragraphs of @roll 1d20+5 You hit! @roll1d8+2 etc.
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2010, 01:57:13 PM »

The Camp of the Jatayi

Eareg Maar - I have put together my house again and headed back for the city to have one of the eggs appraised.

Meanwhile'¦

Tarim, Gorethirst, and Kaius Alexander arrive after sunup at the Witch's Gate.  The jatayi and the graftpunk appear to be absent, as does the rifleman Eareg Maar.

The Hexwarren district is full of strange smells: copper, brimstone, ozone, sweat, must, ink.  The indescribable tang of hex-residue hangs over everything, an omnipresent perfume; it smells the way electricity might smell, a weird static scent that makes you a light-headed, exciting some occult lobe of your brain as it wafts through the charged air.  The streets bustle with an even stranger crowd than normal: grafted individuals are present in greater numbers than elsewhere in the city, and reanimated servitors trudge behind their masters carrying heaps of books or alchemical equipment.  The walls are covered with glyph graffiti, a mass of eldritch symbols painted over stone and plaster.

The main street here, which winds in a twisted zigzag westwards towards the Witch's Gate, is called Chrysalis Street - a zany convolution of stone lined with alchemists, apothecaries, augurs, graft-peddlers, tissue shops, glyph parlors, and booksellers.  To either side can be glimpsed a few of the district's more prominent landmarks: the corkscrew-shaped library-spire called the Vellum Citadel, the grey, dour façade of the Fane of Dust, and the cluster of towers that comprises the Academy of Witchcraft.

You're at the Gate; beyond are the shanties, and the jatayi camp.


Tarim - Ah, dawn. Always as unpleasant. Even in the dim of the warren.

Kaius Alexander - It seems that loathsome bird has deigned not to accompany us.  Curious.

Gorethirst - Good morning Tarim. Good morning Kais.  Mr. Carver will not be joining us yet - he is indisposed at the tissue shop.

Tarim - Shall we pursue our contract anyway?

Gorethirst - The work for the playwright?

Kaius Alexander - Ah. One moment.

* Kaius Alexander digs through his pack looking for the note.

Tarim - What else? I certainly don't recall any other contracts involving us all.

Gorethirst - Nor do I.   It should not be hard to get the bird men to leave the City. If the bird-man from the pits was any indication.

Kaius Alexander - I received an offer; apparently a Mara of the Dogskull thieves is aware of our encounter with those thugs the other day.  It seems she was impressed, and, seemingly, has offered us a job'¦ though I do not know the details.

Gorethirst - I think we should finish the job we have accepted.

Tarim - I agree.

Gorethirst - After that work is done we can pursue other offers.

Kaius Alexander - I suppose proceeding in order is most fair to our employer.

Gorethirst - Then let us visit the Jatayi.

Tarim - Now where to start? We could go and take a look at that bird camp

* Gorethirst spurs Corpsegobble in the direction of the Jatayi camp

Gorethirst - I cannot think of a better place to start.

* Kaius Alexander follows silently.

* Tarim follows along, letting Fangs fly up over the streets.

As you move towards the gate you notice a lanky ghul sauntering towards the group - the ghul gunfighter and scavenger Eareg Maar.  He jingles some coins in his purse.

Tarim - Looks like someone has made some good dealings of late.

* Eareg Maar is feeding bits of tattered flesh to the owl perched on his shoulder.

* Eareg Maar notices the group.

Eareg Maar - We have to stop running into each other.  It's bad for my health.

Gorethirst - Good morning.  I believe our encounter yesterday was only taxing on the Inquisitors health.

* Eareg Maar chuckles at the leech.

Eareg Maar - aye, so then friend what are you about today?

Tarim - Proceeding with our contract.

* Eareg Maar 's eyes narrow.

Eareg Maar - Hmm, I see.

Tarim - We're headed for the jatayi camp.

Eareg Maar - Mind if I tag along.

Kaius Alexander - Did you not sign? Perhaps I missed that.

Eareg Maar - I did not, but it is of interest to me

Tarim - Your aid is welcome anyway.

Gorethirst - I would welcome your aid comrade.

Beyond the Witch's Gate one of the three Watchdogs of Macelleria slumbers, its massive, misshapen body emitting a strong stench of formaldehyde and leather.  It snores loudly, its rancid exhalations catching everyone who passes through the tall, narrow gate.  A road winds out from the gate and out into the west, where a shimmering haze in the distance that has nothing to do with the heat marks the far eastern border of the Tallow Plains.

A rough-hewn moat filled with rusty iron stakes gapes beneath the tall stone walls of the Maggot City; clustered on the lip of these crude fortifications is one of the shanties, a ragged town of mud and daub and scrap scavenged from the wasteland and the city itself, bleeding into the bleak agricultural hinterlands beyond.

The shanty-town is small and shabby, with only a few main streets.  There looks to be a ragged cemetery, a small shrine of some kind, a tannery, and an ragged-looking bar called The Melting Candle.  Beyond this ugly scab of a town is a tattered tent-town, suburb to the suburb.  Dark shapes too big to be birds wheel about in the sky above this camp, and you can see what looked like winged figures moving about within it.  The crowds here are surprisingly large, and many seem to be drawn to the tent camp.



The camp of the jatayi is full of song and laughter, filled with Macellarians strolling from performer to performer.  Nearby two of the bird-men re-enact a mythic dual, their faces glamered with eldritch masks, ducking and wheeling round one another with exaggerated faux-ferocity; in another corner of the camp a fabler holds a crowd rapt telling some rambling tale in hushed tones.  There are perhaps a hundred or so tents all in all, leathery things held together with wood and bones.

An imposing, bald-headed human with a vest open to display a broad, powerfully muscled chest covered in hexed tattoos seems to be having a disagreement with a jatayi woman to the side of a pavilion.  He has grabbed hold of her arm and is speaking to her through a grisly grin, but she shakes her head and struggles against his grasp.


* Eareg Maar casually walks over to them.

"Come on then luv," the man says in a cruel, wheedling tone.

Eareg Maar - is there a problem here? (addressed to the woman)

The jatayi looks at you with a mixture of fear and desperation.

* Tarim stands back and observes Eareg and the two.

"No problem, bugger off you worm-faced crow," the man says.

Eareg Maar - Ah, I see.

* Eareg Maar sucker punches the man in the gut.

* Gorethirst doesn't notice the others stop and keeps going forward slowly.

The man turns towards you and laughs.  The blow clearly hasn't affected him greatly.

* Tarim sighs.

The bald man lets go of the jatayi woman and aims a blow at Eareg.

* Kaius Alexander cocks back the hammer on his revolver and points it at the man's head.

Eareg Maar - while his attention is on Eareg, the ghul motions for the woman to run.

The jatayi woman hesitates, clearly afraid and confused.

* Gorethirst finally notices the others aren't following and wheels Corpsegobble around.

Tarim - What a great idea to start a brawl.

The thuggish lout swings and misses, Eareg pulling away with considerable agility, dodging the blow.

Kaius Alexander - You are disturbing public order.  I suggest you leave.

Tarim - Then again, he might have some valuables on him...

There is a click as Kaius cocks his revolver.  The man scowls and bares his teeth.

* Kaius Alexander stares at him impassively.

Eareg Maar - Lower the weapon Kaius.  No need for bloodshed.

* Gorethirst has caught up with the group

Kaius Alexander - The decision is in his hands.

"You lot have her.  Bloody harpy."

Gorethirst - Bloodshed is not a bad thing.

* Tarim stretches out his left arm and utters a strange word. Fangs immediately darts down from the sky, landing on his forarm

Kaius Alexander - Wise decision.

The man sullenly makes to leave.

Kaius Alexander - We had better not see you again.

* Eareg Maar steps between her and him.

"You better hope you don't."

Tarim - So, what *was* that all about, anyway?

The jatayi woman shakes her head.

"He was trying to purchase... certain favours," she says, blushing.


Kaius Alexander - I assume they were not for sale.

Tarim - Strange tastes for a human.

"We sell stories, tales, songs.  Not things of that nature."

Kaius Alexander - Hm.

Eareg Maar - well not important at any rate

"Thank you for your assistance.  I fear he would have been forceful."

Kaius Alexander - Probable. With a man such as he.

"My name is Hoona.  Have you come to hear a tale?"

Kaius Alexander - Ah... hmm.

* Eareg Maar grins and whispers something in her ear.

Eareg Maar - Perhaps a tale of a certain man.

* Eareg Maar describes the scum that sold him out (identifying marks - he's a Tattered Web Guildsman and wears a very long, black braid).

Hoona thinks.  "I have seen many men come through this camp, but I may have seen this one.  He came with others wearing the same cloak, listened to some of our stories, and departed.  I am afraid I do not know where."

* Kaius Alexander looks at the others.

* Gorethirst shakes his head.

* Eareg Maar drops 5 obeloi in her hands.

Eareg Maar - Thank you anyways.

She bows.

Eareg Maar - That is most useful information.

Kaius Alexander - Learn something, Eareg?

Eareg Maar - A few things, yes.

Tarim - Would you like to share any of that knowledge with us?

Eareg Maar - At the moment no; perhaps later.

* Eareg Maar looks at Tarim.

Eareg Maar - the information was unrelated to your current task... it is of a more personal nature, relating to my wonderful visit to the pits.

Tarim - Very well.

Gorethirst - Do you know if there is a chief or this band?

Hoona addresses the leechkin.  "You seek our elders?  Why?"

Gorethirst - We have business with the Elders.

She nods.  "I understand.  For their ears, not for mine.  I can show you to their tent.  But they will not listen to your words unless you bring a gift."

Tarim - What kind of gift would they appreciate?

"You must bring the elders the flesh of the dead.  That of beasts will not do: it must be flesh-of-your-flesh, the meat of a wingless one, a sampath."

Kaius Alexander - I see.

Gorethirst - It seems we should not have let the man walk free.

* Kaius Alexander looks at Gorethirst askance

Kaius Alexander - There are easier ways of obtaining human flesh.

* Gorethirst blinks his six eyes at Kaius.

Kaius Alexander - Perhaps not as conveniently located, I will grant.

Tarim - Graveyards? Tombs?

Kaius Alexander - ooc: I'm under the impression you can buy human meat in the city'¦ as it doesn't seem to be particularly taboo.

Gorethirst - Would it not be easier to just to grab someone nearby?

Yes, the Skin Markets are a central district, and cater to all appetites.

Tarim - It's a matter of what we can get away with, or how much we're willing to pay

Kaius Alexander - I would prefer to purchase the flesh honestly. But if you wish to murder for it, that is possible.  Though I do not advocate it.

Tarim - For the gift to be courteous, it might require a fairly large amount of flesh. How many elders are there?

Gorethirst - I do not see the need to waste obeloi on something freely available.

"There are four.  It need not be overly large: one corpse quartered would be sufficient."

Eareg Maar - Well I can get us a corpse if you lot would rather not pay, though you will need to help me find it.

* Gorethirst nods in assent.

Tarim - I would rather not spend coin on this. And besides, a self-made gift has more sentimental value to it doesn't it?

* Tarim grins wickedly.

Eareg Maar - there is a certain man I have been asking around about for awhile... fortunately he was through here.

Gorethirst - Lead the way gunslinger.

Kaius Alexander - If he needs disposing of regardless of our need, I do not object.
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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2010, 04:34:01 PM »

Hmm, the encounter with Quelnefess reminded me of Isaac's encounter with Silchristchek in Perdido Street Station (yeah, had to look that up, page 32); the vodyanoi who never gets out of his dirty bathtub. ^^
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« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2010, 04:55:35 PM »

Heheh yeah, I was probably unconsciously channeling that scene, espcially considering that the hagmen are vaguely inspired by the vodyanoi.  I just love the shamelessness of it.

This is the last log for the July 20th session.  All the notes in the Quest Log should now make sense.

Vengeance

Eareg Maar - if he was through here we may ask around, someone is bound to know where he went.

* Eareg Maar heads for the tavern.

* Tarim follows along.

The tavern is a shabby, dilapidated building with boarded-up windows and crude charms over the eaves.

Inside, The Melting Candle smells of sawdust, cheap ale, and gun-smoke.  A huge imposing woman with a glass eye tends the bar, while pock-faced scavengers and shanty-townsfolk are scattered about the room, drinking and playing cards or dice.


* Gorethirst enters motioning for Corpsegobble to wait outside.

* Eareg_Maar sits at the bar and motions to the bartender.

* Kaius Alexander flips his visor up and looks around.

As Gorethirst enters the bar the woman scowls visibly, but says nothing.

The bartender looks up at Eareg.

"What can I get ye?  We don't serve the red stuff here."


Eareg Maar - Don't mind the leech.  For myself, something strong.

* Gorethirst waves off her offer of drink.

Eareg Maar - and perhaps you have information that could net you additional coin.

"Don't mind him as long as ye keep him on a short leash, if ye catch my drift.  Won't have him begging for blood, neither."

* Eareg_Maar idly taps an obeloi on the bar counter.

"What kind of information you lookin' fer?"

Eareg Maar - I'm looking for a certain man - a Tattered Web Guildsman.

"One of those bastards with the ragged capes?"

Eareg Maar - Aye.  Has a very long black braid... may have been with friends.

"Oh, that bugger.  Lucretius Nhamorg.  Comes in here all the time with his damned scavenger friends, bragging about this find or that duel or whatnot."

* Tarim is standing next to Eareg, leaning on the counter and listening keenly.

Eareg Maar - He caused certain... troubles for me.  I wish to... settle the score.

"That right?  What'd he do to you?"

Eareg Maar - what he did is unimportant... merely that it cannot go unanswered.  Do you know where he might be?

"I might.  But I won't be selling a man to the Hells without cause for a couple o' coins."

Eareg Maar - he sent me to the pits because I wouldn't let him relieve me of a find I got out on the wastes.

"Ah.  Figures he'd do something like that.  Fancy sod like that one, spends most of his time in Velveteen Circus, wenching and drinking himself into a stupor."

Eareg Maar - a profession fitting for one of his calibre, I am sure.

"He and his lot, figure they'd be in one of the cheaper places.  Two-bit scavenger like him couldn't afford the real courtesans.  Heard them talking about some place once... something with red in the name."

Tarim - Sounds like he could make an easy target, if caught drunk.

* Eareg_Maar casually places twenty obeloi on the bar.

Her good eye widens.

Eareg Maar - You can see this information is very valuable to me.  Much obliged barkeep.

"Thank ye kindly, sir.  Just don't be tellin' anyone I told ye where he might be.  Got enough trouble in this place as it is."

Eareg Maar - Nobody will ever know.  This is between me and him, nobody else.

"Reckon that's how it should be.  Good luck to ye.  if I don't see the little punk in here later I'll know the Fates smiled on ye."

Kaius Alexander - ooc: Ghostman, can Tarim's glamer work on another person, or only himself?

Tarim - ooc: No it's self only.

Kaius Alexander - ooc: Hmm..

Eareg Maar - Now before I go might I get that stiff drink.

She serves you up an eye-watering homebrew.  "On the house."

* Eareg Maar downs the drink and nods.

Eareg Maar - ok friends, shall we pay a man a visit?

* Kaius Alexander nods.

Tarim - Do you have idea of how dangerous is he?

Eareg Maar - in combat, not very... his skill is in swindling and doubletalk, but his friends could be potentially dangerous.

Tarim - If we catch him alone it should be easy hit then.

* Gorethirst nods his agreement and walks out of the bar to mount Corpsegobble.

Some of the shanty-town children were laughing and tickling the beast's underbelly while it groaned with pleasure.

Tarim - I think we should avoid going in guns blazing then.

* Gorethirst gently waves the children away from the maggot and mounts up.

* Tarim exits the tavern.

Corpsegobble wheezes happily.  The children disperse; they go to bother the gigantic corpse-fashioned dog at the Witch's Gate.

Eareg Maar - Hmm, perhaps we should try the circus.  The comment about red in the name has me thinking, but I can't recall what.

* Eareg Maar leads the group off to Velveteen Circus.

Eareg Maar - this is certainly closer than I've been to him before... he's a scavenger and we're hard to track down.

You head back through the Witch's Gate and into Hexwarren, then turn south towards Pulsetown and Velveteen Circus, on the border of the Court-of-Blood in the Skin Markets.

Kaius Alexander - How do you plan to dispose of the man, Eareg? Will you challenge him to duel?  Or will we ensure he has no chance to survive?

Eareg Maar - He lacks the honor for me to do so.  I'll simply do what I did last time and introduce some lead to his torso... but this time I'll make sure he doesn't get up again.

The pleasure district of Velveteen Circus is a colourful neighbourhood marked by gaudy paper lanterns and an abundance of teahouses, bars, and brothels catering to every conceivable class, race, and peccadillo.  Augmented streetwalkers brazenly strut up and down the twisted streets, displaying an abundance of erotic grafts and costumes, a kaleidoscope of mismatched flesh and fetish gear.  The streets radiate out from the central Circus itself.

Tarim - Plenty of flesh around here, if you get what I mean.

Eareg, you think there's a place on Ganglion Avenue warmbodies flock to.  You can't quite remember the name.

Eareg Maar - I think I recall a place now, been awhile since I was here.

* Eareg Maar heads towards Ganglion Avenue.

Ganglion Avenue is a twisted street with many courtyards and pleasure-houses: The Green Lotus, Pallid Pleasure, Crimson Joy, The Ensqualmed Cockatrice'¦

* Tarim is walking along casually, while Fangs is chittering excitedly, singing obscene songs and making rude comments on the hookers they pass.

Eareg Maar - Crimson Joy, hmm.

A red lamp illumines the door to this seedy-looking establishment, a tottering four-storey pleasure house wedged between a shadowmilk café and a dark-windowed tavern, The Ensqualmed Cockatrice.

A voluptuous prostitute lingers outside the door smoking  a cigarette.  Dull, scratchy music emanates from within.


* Eareg Maar walks over to the prostitute and asks her about the man he's looking for

The buxom woman turns to you.  She has some sort of worm tattoo on her exposed left breast, coiled around a pierced nipple.

"Lucretius?  Think he's in there with his greyface friend.  Why you want to know?"


* Gorethirst walks through the door into the pleasure house.

* Eareg Maar hands the hooker five coins and walks in.

* Kaius Alexander follows the others inside.

"Thank you darling."  She puts a hand on your chest.  "If you want some company later, I don't mind your type."

* Tarim follows in. Fangs makes a naughty gesture at the hooker

Inside, a mechanical music-box produces a blaring, wordless tune to which diaphanously clad women gyrate and cavort in cages hung from the ceiling.  Patrons seated about the periphery drink from jewel-encrusted goblets and watch the dancers' exertions, while other girls employed by the brothel attempt their seductions or haggle over prices.

Lucretius - a human with a stubbly beard, a long black braid, and a duelling flintlock strapped to his waist  - sits in a corner and watches one of the dancers, a glazed expression on his face.  He wears the ragged cape of a Forsaken Guildsman and a studded leather vest, beneath which you can glimpse the edge of a poultice applied to his upper torso.  His left hand is sheathed in a distinctive gauntlet of some kind, an armoured glove of strange, reddish metal.

A sharp-nosed ghul also wearing the cape of a member of the House of the Tattered Web sits beside him.


Kaius Alexander - Well, how do you wish to approach this?

Eareg Maar - Hmm.  It's too public here.

Kaius Alexander - How will he react when he sees you?

Eareg Maar - Who knows.

Tarim - Starting a fight in here might not be a good idea, unless we can end it very quickly

A slender, willowy girl who can't be far out of her adolescence approaches Kaius and strokes his armour.

"Why don't you take that of and stay awhile?"  She asks the Insomnolent Guard.


* Kaius Alexander looks down, face obscured by his helm.

Kaius Alexander - I cannot, Lady. My armour protects me, and thus protects my task.

"What task would that be?" the prostitute pouts at Kaius.

Kaius Alexander - '¦I regret to say, I do not know.

She begins running her hands over the curves and angles of his armour.  "Oh, do you need some ordering about?  I could do that."

* Tarim glances at Kaius.

Kaius Alexander - Unfortunatly, I do not believe now is the proper time. Perhaps on another day.

"Until then."  She blows a kiss and melts back into the crowd.

* Kaius Alexander feels the orb weigh heavily on the thong about his neck.

Gorethirst - I say we down him quickly.

* Eareg Maar pulls up a table where he can watch his target without being noticed

Eareg Maar - Patience can be useful, leech.

* Tarim sits down ,placing himself so that he provides some cover for Eareg

Gorethirst - He is a means to an end. His flesh is a gift we need. Although his companion would work equally well.

Lucretius and his friend order something, and a minute later a glass decanter of yellow liquid - madwine - is placed on their table.

Eareg Maar - ooc: madwine?

* Gorethirst idly scratches his chest dripping blood everywhere.

hallucinogenic wine which, if imbibed in small quantities, is very pleasant and potent, but if consumed too liberally drives the drinkers permanently insane.

Eareg Maar - He is a means to several ends... none of them are getting back into the pits though.

Gorethirst - Perhaps we can try the same gambit as with the Inquisitor. One of us gets him to exit the building and the others kill him as he leaves.

Lucretius is way too drunk to notice Eareg.

* Eareg Maar continues to wait.

Tarim - If only there was some way for us to spike his drink...

Eareg Maar - Nay, I want him to know exactly what is happening while the life ebbs from his body

Tarim - Let us wait, then.

Lucretius and his grave-spawn companion consume the rest of the madwine - this is quite a feat, especially considering the time of day - and stagger out just as the shadows are growing long.

* Eareg Maar motions to the group and follows them out.

They look quite addled.  The ghul keeps talking about snakes, for some reason.  Lucretius is barking like a dog.  Clearly the madwine has touched them to some degree.

Tarim - Hmm, it's getting dark. I like that.

* Gorethirst follows Eareg outside and mounts up.

* Tarim follows discreetly.

The pair of Guildsmen stagger down Ganglion Alley.  They appear to be heading east, towards Slimesquallor and the Skin Markets.

Gorethirst - I do not think following them into the Slimesquallor will be a good idea. Hagmen will surely try and start a conflict with me.

Tarim - *to Eareg* I could make un unseen to their eyes, so there would be no danger of them recognizing you.

Kaius Alexander - Then shall we do this quickly?

A ghul prostitute has attracted the attention of the grave-spawn Guildsman.  They've stopped while the two talk.

Tarim - And you could take them by surprise.

Eareg Maar - Very well.  Work your magick.

* Tarim approaches Eareg, touches his shoulder while chanting incomprehensible words and gesturing with his other hand.  Shadows descend on Eareg, engulf him, and he suddenly disappears.

While Tarim hexes Eareg, the ghul follows the streetwalker into the alleyway.  Lucretius leans against the wall, waiting for his companion.

Alright, Eareg, you're effectively invisible.  As per usual doing anything violent breaks the glamer.


* Eareg Maar whispers to the others, try to get him down another alley... perhaps offer him a job.

Eareg Maar - I want him dead but I don't want back in the pits.

Kaius Alexander - Hah? In his state? Why don't I just slide my sword through his ribs?

Eareg Maar - I would suggest against that.

* Kaius Alexander shrugs.

* Gorethirst rides up to the alley the ghul went into, then looks towards Lucretius.

Gorethirst - Did your companion go down this alley?

* Tarim follows the leechkin.

The scavenger fiddles with the strange, red gauntlet, frowning.  He giggles.

"Hmm?"  He looks towards the leechkin.  "You're all squiggly."

* Gorethirst looks to Tarim.

"Squiggly wiggly squirmy wormy firmy."

* Eareg Maar shrugs invisibly.

Eareg Maar - this should sober him up.

* Tarim doesn't say anything, but Fangs giggles.

* Kaius Alexander doubts that.

* Eareg Maar walks over and places an invisible arm on his shoulder before letting the glamer drop.

Eareg Maar - Hello... Friend.

"Ah!  Hello - "  The man's face goes whiter than his ghul friend's.

Eareg Maar - Lets not make a big scene.

"You're, you're, you're'¦"

* Tarim quietly gets in to a position to fling spells from a safe distance.

* Gorethirst circles round, blocking the view from the street of of Eareg and Lucretius.

"Ghost!  Bogger!  Umbra!"

* Eareg Maar leads him along towards another alley.

"S-s-supposed to be d-d-dead!  Wormfood!"

Eareg Maar - Oh don't worry about that... the worms are still going to feed well

Gorethirst - I believe as a ghul he qualifies as dead.

* Tarim nods sagely

He looks like he's about to vomit.  "Look, look, I'm s-sorry."

Kaius Alexander - And so are we. But this cannot be avoided.

* Eareg Maar walks down the alley.

The alley the ghul went down?  This could get graphic'¦

Eareg Maar - ooc: no another.

Ah good, didn't really want to describe that.[/i]

"I was s-scared, wasn't thinking.  I'm s-s-such a fool."

Eareg Maar - you see friend much as I'd like to I'm obliged to not let you just walk off.

* Kaius Alexander sighs heavily.

"You, you don't want to do anything rash now.  I've got f-f-friends in high - "

Eareg Maar - Oh but I do.

* Eareg Maar pushes him onto the ground.

* Tarim walks along, keeping his eyes on the two.

The scavenger pukes noisily on the ground as he hits the stones.

Eareg Maar - Besides, friend... we require the use of your body.  The birdmen elders won't just talk to us... they are so... very hungry.

The thief whips out his duelling pistol in a surprisingly smooth motion and discharges it.

Tarim - Not much of a fight, indeed.

* Kaius Alexander starts drawing his sword as the scavenger fires his pistol.

The shot grazes Eareg's temple.  Fortunately, it's a wheellock, not a revolver, so it'll take awhile for Lucretius to reload.

* Eareg Maar grunts a bit and then straightens, not giving him the pleasure

* Eareg Maar lowers his gun and fires.  His bullet strikes the scavenger in the chest and Lucretius vomits again - blood this time.  The bullet must've punctured a lung.  He's still alive - probably the liquor is keeping him conscious.

Eareg Maar - Leech, you know what I said about nobody deserving a death from your suckers?  I lied.

* Eareg Maar grins at Gorethirst.

At this moment, the ghul Tattered Web walks into the alleyway, zipping up his fly'¦

Eareg Maar - Thirsty?

Gorethirst - It is about time I can feast.

"What the - Lucretius?"  The ghul stammers.  He begins fumbling for the sword at his belt.  Tarim and Kaius are closest to him.

* Gorethirst dismounts and moves towards Lucretius.

* Kaius Alexander turns, bringing his sword to bear on the ghul.

* Tarim takes a few steps back, chanting and gesturing. He unleashes a black crackling ray at the grave-spawn.  The ghul is ennervated.  He seems to crumple slightly.

* Kaius leaps forward soundlessly, sword extended, and runs the ghul through.  The creature grunts in pain as the blade slides into his gray flesh.

*Gorethirst pins the bleeding human thief and break one of his arms.  He screams shrilly and begins blubbering for mercy.  He drains the scavenger's warm blood.  Lucretius begins to visibly pale.

* Kaius Alexander winces slightly at the shriek.

* Gorethirst ignores his cries and begins to drain his blood.

The ghul twists on the end of Kaius' blade, wrenching himself free and grabbing for his own sword.  He rips it from the scabbard and attacks feebly.

*Fangs watches Gorethirst with interest, licking it's lips with it's narrow, black tongue.

Despite his drunkenness and the power of Tarim's hex, the ghul seems to have some skill yet.  He lunges at Kaius, who has left himself open during his own attack.  Though his attack was deft the Unsleeping warrior's thick armour protects him.

* Eareg Maar gestures with his hands and a greenish orb flicks from his fingertips towards the ghul, but the ghul twists and avoids the attack.  The acidic hex melts one of the faces carved into the stones of the street.

* Tarim equips himself with a Flaesh Melter, a slimy device that looks like a cross between a reptilian egg and some clockwork wonder. He takes aim and lets fly at the ghul.  The flesh-melter sears the grave-spawn's exposed flesh.

The ghul weakly parries a sword-swipe from Kaius.  He is putting up an impressive fight for a bleeding, drunken wretch halfway to drug-induced insanity from madwine.

*Gorethirst continues to suck the scavenger dry. He is slipping into unconsciousness now...

The ghul seems to have had enough of this fight.  He turns to run.

*Kaius' blade catches the grave-spawn as he twists aside, slashing his torso.  The ghul is nearly felled by your blow.  He staggers along the street, weakly moaning for help, holding his own intestines in.

You hear a feminine shriek; it appears a streetwalker has seen him'¦

* Eareg Maar moves to the corner aims and lets a bullet fly, putting the ghul out of his misery.  His croaking pleas end.

* Tarim lets Fangs loose. The demon leaps at the freshly dead ghul and buries it's canines on his skin, sucking blood eagerly

* Eareg Maar ducks back around the corner

* Tarim moves out to see who made the shriek

The ghul streetwalker he frequented before is shrieking and running away.

* Eareg Maar grabs Tarim.

Eareg Maar - She didn't see us

Tarim - The whore saw him die.

Eareg Maar - Let her go.

Tarim - Alright.  If she's wise she'll keep her mouth shut, anyway.

Meanwhile, Gorethirst is finishing up Lucretius.

Kaius Alexander - Must you drink while they are still alive, leech? Frankly, it is quite disgusting.

Gorethirst - I do not bemoan your diet human. I thank you for giving me the same respect.

The leechkin's normally gaunt, lean frame is now swollen heavily; he has an enormous pot belly.

Tarim - The man still lives?

He twitches; in a moment he will be gone.

Tarim - Let Eareg finish him then.  He ought to have the pleasure

Eareg Maar - I've had my pleasure; the leech can have his, and you can have the body.

* Tarim nods.

* Gorethirst finishes draining Lucretius dry.

Lucretius pales and is no more.

Tarim - We have another body now, too.  Might use well use them both.

* Kaius Alexander turns away from the corpse.

The group loot the corpses of the two Robber Guildsmen.  Apart from their sodden, tattered cloaks, they also had a copper key each, nintey four obeloi between them, a copper ring, a masterwork wheellock duelling pistol, fourteen bullets and blackpowder, a map to a place called "The Fortress of the Umbral Overlord" that appears to be on the border of Etiolation, and Lucretius' weird, spiked gauntlet, which Eareg identifies as having a vampiric hex on it: the gauntlet can drain the essence of its enemies but must feed once per day, sapping its wearer of energy if insatiate.
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« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2010, 11:01:01 PM »

One day earlier, Mr. Carver leaves the group at the Hollow Skull Playhouse...

The Emporium of Metamorphoses

* Mr. Carver heads to the clinic in Resurrection Row.

The clinic is a run-down, two storey building with a crowd of huddled patients in line outside.  A spectre-plague victim, already fading into translucency, staggers next to a woman with eerily mobile, pulsating tumours squirming beneath her flesh.

* Mr. Carver walks to the door, ignoring the line outside.

Inside, one of the physicians - an ex-chirurgeon from Moroi called Doctor Gristle - stands with a coat drenched in miscellaneous stains, a hacksaw in one hand and an amputated limb in another.  The small clinic is overcrowded and cluttered with medical equipment, dirty sheets, and rusting beds.  A rickety stairway leads to the rooms on the second floor, while a locked door leads to a quarantine room.  Your room is on the top floor.

"Carver, I could use a hand here," Gristle growls from behind his mask.  He gestures at you with the amputated limb.


Mr. Carver - What are you dealing with, Gristle?

* Mr. Carver walks over to him.

"This one had some kind of flesh-eating nastiness gnawing away at his limbs.  Had to abrade the dead tissue.  But most have this lot have been waiting for hours.  Poxes, agues, the usual crop of venereal diseases.  I could use some help clearing them away while I deal with this poor sod."

Mr. Carver - They will have to wait a little longer... You have no idea what I have been through today.

"Hmph.  Doubt it can beat two eyeblight victims and the worst case of Rune-Rash you've ever seen."

Mr. Carver - Don't worry my dear colleague, they can't all be dead by the time I get back...

"Please, go ahead."  He rolls his eyes with obvious sarcasm and looks back to his patient.

* Mr. Carver turns the back on the doctor and walks up the stairs to his room.

Your room is a cramped loft with a rickety bed, a desk, a dresser, and a small chest.  The window (which has one pane broken) overlooks a dirty little alley behind the clinic, where thrum junkies tend to loiter.

*Mr. Carver goes through his belongings in the room, making sure nothing has been taken while he was away.

Everything looks in its place, untouched.  Almost surprising that no one's bothered to break in while Gristle's back was turned'¦

Mr. Carver - Hmph.

* Mr. Carver opens the window to let some fresh air in, and sits down on the bed for a few minutes to clear his head.

There's also a painfully ill-equipped laboratory near your room that you've used in the past to mix up various compounds.  Gristle uses it to make his medicines.

* Mr. Carver walks into the laboratory to see if he has anything useful in store.

Plenty of potential toxins and ingredients for poisons - even some old demon-bile.

* Mr. Carver hangs his hat on his chair, puts away his optics and sits down and flexes his fingers. He then attempts to extract venom from some of his ingredients (venom token gathering).  He squeezes imp-bladders to produce gall, grinds ebonroot, and refines the sap of a bloodwood tree in an alembic.  The result: some unpleasant ingredients indeed.

* Mr. Carver takes two dusty vials from a drawer. He takes the refined bloodwood sap and mixes it with grey lichen spores in a long and tiresome process to make a nerve toxin.  The mixture bubbles and seethes, then turns the appropriate pinkish tint.

* Mr. Carver then takes the ground ebonroot and slowly heats it in an aqueous solution of demon-bile to make a weak paralyzing agent.  The mixture gives off a sulphurous stench.  When the bubbles pop, they seem to cackle with some numinous malignity.  The poison turns the correct blackish-red.

* Mr. Carver finds a small case with room for three vials and straps it to his belt with the two vials inserted. He brings along an empty vial as well.

* Mr. Carver puts his hat back on and walks down to Dr Gristle, having replaced his dark coat with a dirty white medical coat.

Dr. Gristle has finished with the previous patient and is now examining some wretched adolescent thug whose graft has turned bad and festered.  He looks up briefly, then turns back to cleaning the infected graft.

"Off again, Carver?"


Mr. Carver - I'll give you a hand with one or two, and then I'm off again, yes... Did your previous victim survive his sudden loss of limb and encounter with malevolent disease?

"I'll forget about that overdue rent you owe me, then.  And yeah, he lived... cauterized the wound and sent him off.  No spare beds."

Mr. Carver - Poor bugger. Now, who's next?

A woman who looks like death warmed over shambles over to you and begins a long, tedious complaint about her joints...  You get to work treating a handful of patients variously feverish, malnourished, and genuinely diseased, dosing out what few medicines the clinic can afford.  Soon the hours slip by, and night descends.

You finish sewing up a stab-wound some thug suffered in a Thief Clan skirmish.  He sports a dog skull tattoo on his left shoulder.  You recognize this as the sigil of the Dog Skull Thief Clan.

The Dog Skull Thief Clan are one of the major criminal groups in the Row, and they're currently caught in a three-way turf war.  Almost every night some rooftop battle or catacomb brawl brings in a few casualties.  Their main base of operations is the Laughing Fiend tavern, by the Butcher's Gate.


*Mr. Carver I heads out into the night, towards Hexwarren, as soon as darkness descends.

You slip out into the Row.  Distant gun-shots and curses echo through the night.

Mr. Carver - "Another night in the Row."

night, Hexwarren is lit up with alchemical lights.  Servitors and ghilan walk the streets in greater numbers than the quick.  Tissue shops and glyph parlors are open for business all along Chrysalis Street, and the bell of the Fane of Dust calls its adherents to worship.

You head to the Emporium of Metamorphoses, a tissue shop run by one Needlefingers Welterwort.  You've had work done on you by him before.


* Mr. Carver opens the door to the Emporium.

One wall of the tissue shop is wallpapered with sigils and glyphs, each drawn meticulously on scraps of paper.  Another is taken up with a glass container like a gruesome parody of a jeweler's display case.  Beneath the glass are a few of the shop's wares, delicately mummified: a scaly hand on a velvet cushion, a pair of yellow eyes in a small box, a selection of severed fingertips with long, black claws.  A third wall is lined with shelves containing large glass jars of murky liquid with dark shapes suspended within.  A thin, gaunt-faced man in a suit of patchwork leather flits daintily about the room, his steps mincing and effeminate.  He turns to you and clasps his hands unctuously.

"Welcome back to my Emporium of Metamorphoses, Mister Carver."  He cocks his head, an almost avian gesture, and looks you up and down.  "Looking for a new augmentation?"


* Mr. Carver smiles.

Mr. Carver - If I can find one to my taste, Mr. Welterwort.  And one I can afford I might add.

"You know, I've bee looking for an individual to handle a certain delicate matter.  You might very well qualify -  if you performed this little favour for me, there'd be a free graft in it for you, and a discount on all of my wares.  What do you say?"

Mr. Carver - Ah, you can hardly say no to a discount now can you? What do you require of me, Mr. Weltermort?

"If you don't mind, perhaps we might discuss the matter privately?  Just through here, in my workshop..." He snaps his fingers and jerks his head, and a figure that you'd taken to be a mannequin in a shadowy corner twitches to life, revealing itself to be a reanimated corpse garbed in old, shabby-genteel clothes, and heads towards the door to lock up the shop.

He beckons that you follow him.


* Mr. Carver nods his head and follows.

The inside of the workshop itself has an acrid, chemical smell.

Slab-like tables and workbenches are crowded with alchemical apparatus.  Various tools litter the laboratory, which resembles a hybrid of operating room and tailor's workshop.  A padded leather chair with built-in restraints stands in the corner.  The walls are covered in a chaotic mass of anatomical sketches, many of them of strange beasts and half-human chimerae.

"Just through here, if you will," Needlefingers says apologetically, unlocking a massive iron door with a huge, ornate key.

Inside you find yourself in a long hall aglow with eerie amber light.  A dozen large vats like gigantic pickling jars line the hall; about half of these are full of some foul-smelling yellowish liquid that glistens sickeningly beneath the lights.  In these jars are suspended a variety of bizarre creatures, all of which are either dead or sleeping.


* Mr. Carver runs his hand appreciatively over some of the drawings as he follows.

A muscular thing that might once have been a man or even a lilix bobs in one: two extra arms emerge from his torso, the hands of his top pair have been replaced with enormous crab claws, and a massive scorpion's tail emerges from behind his back.  In another is a woman whose hairless head is crowned with a nest of twisted horns; her limbs appear to be those of an ungulate, and two additional pairs of breasts have been sewn down her front.  In a third is an animal, an unlikely hybrid of what might have been a hyena, a bat, and a giant snake.  All of them are covered in eldritch glyphs.

One of the empty vats looks badly damaged, its glass cracked and jagged.

"Here is my little, ah, gallery," Needlefingers says, rubbing his palms together.  "What do you think?"


Mr. Carver - Quite a collection, I must say.  People who owed you a debt? (Jesting, gesturing at the lilix and human).

"Oh, picked up by various means."  He chuckles.  "For all their ridiculous fees, the Splicing Consortium do provide certain very valuable services.'

Mr. Carver - Yes, the... animal can hardly have been a debtor; or you're even better than I thought

'As you may have noticed, however, one of my little, erm, projects has, as it were, absconded."  He gestures to the broken vat.

Mr. Carver - Ah yes, I noticed that.

"A most vexatious little vixen, the naughty thing!"  He titters.  "She was a special commission for a particular client of mine.  He wanted a combination of concubine and bodyguard: a constant companion, ideal both for protection and pleasure.  I called her the Houri.  Unfortunately, as I was reanimating her, something went a little wrong -  a hiccup in the cathexis-generator overloaded her numina matrix and she woke up too soon.  The failure caused the Houri to become exceedingly agitated, thrashing about in her tank.  I had made her too strong: she broke the glass and, bewildered and no doubt frightened out of her wits, bolted for the exit, hissing at me as she went.

'I'm lucky she didn't kill me where I stood; perhaps she hadn't discovered how to use her weaponry yet.  But I fear she will kill soon, if given any reason to."


Mr. Carver - Weaponry?

"Various venom-glands implanted discretely in her body.  She can spit poison like an adder, and her nails can secrete a euphoric compound.  If I'd had the time to finish her she could modulate these substances to cause either intense pleasure or paralytic ecstasy."

Mr. Carver - Ah, I better stay clear of those then. Can you perhaps provide a more thorough description? I reckon you want me to track your runaway creation down.

"Nothing gets by you, Mr. Carver.  I do, indeed, want you to, ahem, return her.  Preferably alive.  If you must kill her, I would beg that you do so in a manner that leaves her body intact, so that I can revive her with a minimum of reconstruction.

"Physically, she resembles a young woman, quite comely and slight.  Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by her appearance: she is strong, agile, highly capable."


Mr. Carver - Ah yes, I remember; the sensual bodyguard design. Continue.

"Reanimation is meant to be slow and gentle - a gradual process of acclimation.  The Houri was not provided this benefit.  She will be terrified, angry, confused - and extremely dangerous.  Fortunately, as with all my choicest creations, I implanted a simple tracking device in her body, a warded gemstone disguised as an earring.  The gem's sister-stone will glow with increasing intensity if brought near the Houri.

"Additional description: she is hairless, naked (unless she has clothed herself), covered in discretely drawn glyphs."


Mr. Carver - And this highly agitated killing machine, did you have any ideas as to how I should get her back here without any physical damage?  I don't suppose you installed anything else useful besides that earring of hers' (smirks).

"Well, I leave that to you, Mr. Carver.  I heard that you are most proficient with poisons yourself.  While immune to her own brew, she is quite susceptible to other venoms."

Mr. Carver - Ah, yes, but the venom does have to enter her blood somehow.

"Perhaps some contact-based paralytic agent would be in order?  Or a tranquilizer?  I suggest you try Murrain Square for such things."

Mr. Carver - Yes, what you can't make you can buy.  I will be back with your little creation in a while then. Did you have that earring?

"Yes, here it is."  He hands you a small red gemstone that flickers with a dull light.  'In return for tracking down and returning the Houri to my possession I would gift you with a graft of your choice - any augmentation worth up to four thousand obeloi.  In addition, I'd provide a twenty-five percent discount on any future purchases."

Mr. Carver - A very generous offer, Mr. Weltermort. I will return shortly, I promise, with your creation in pristine condition.

"Excellent!  That's what I like to hear!  I eagerly await your return."

* Mr. Carver walks slowly towards Murrain Square. I reckon I know some poison dealers.

The gemstone flickers briefly.  You are now outside in Chrysalis Street.  The air hums with numina, clockwork.  There's a slight brimstone scent.  Murrain Square is a prominent landmark - easily found.  A small, gloomy quadrangle, Murrain Square is dominated by a central well.

Around the periphery are a number of alchemist's stalls, many of them featuring a prominently displayed skull symbol -  poison-sellers.  Others deal in stranger wares: one hunchbacked ghul woman hawks mummified hands and fingers, reptile scales, mandrake roots, vials of bile, necklaces of infant's teeth like morbid pearls, and similar trinkets, advertised as cures from everything from gout to dementia.  Another merchant, a whiskered hagman male who cools himself periodically with a bucket of muddy water drawn from the well, sells everything from ceremonial bone knives to shrunken sloth-heads to poppets of herbs and leather, elements of hagman Vodun, the quasi-religious witchcraft of the amphibious swampfolk.

You know a poison-seller by the name of Mottleface with a stall in one corner.  He's greasy-looking alchemist, his hands and face badly scarred and pockmarked from old burns; the right side of his face is an angry pink ruin of mutilated flesh, his eyelids burnt off, a patch of bone gleaming from his cheek.   Nonetheless the man seems jovial enough, limping about his stall with vigour and hawking his wares with a gruesome grin.


* Mr. Carver walks towards Mottleface's stall.

Mr. Carver - Ah, Mottleface my old friend! I seem to require your services today

"Indeed?  Some blighter need to be black-tongued?  What can I get you?"

Mr. Carver - A paralytic agent. Enough to take down an able-bodied person and keep him or her down for a decent amount of time.

"Ah.  Got a few potential agents here."  He holds up a small purplish vial.

"This one I'll give ye for seventy five obeloi.  No initial effect, but about a minute later they'll keel right over for a long kip."  It looks to be oil gathered from the spines of a carnivorous catcus in the waste.  Its quite potent and does indeed induce sleep after a minute or so, for some time, depending on the size of the creature.  It's definitely not instant, though.


Mr. Carver - Anything... faster, perhaps?

He holds up a different vial, this one yellowish, like plasma.  "This relaxes the muscles very quickly.  Scorpion venom.  Bit more expensive though - two hundred obeloi."

Mr. Carver - And how long will it last?  Also, how are these poisons applied?

"Uh, bout two hours or so, depending on how big the bastard is.  These you'˜d have to coat a blade with."

"Then there's this - got to be ingested though."  He holds up a bag.  "More effective and harder to shrug off, but it won't work if ye just coat yer blade with it.  Gotta be eaten.  Two hundred fifty bones for that."


Mr. Carver - For the bag? How many doses does it contain?

"Depends on the beast, but to knock out a full-grown human?  Bout three doses."

Mr. Carver - Any contact poisons in this stall of yours?

"Got a few contact poisons... some stuff got off a leechkin shaman awhile back, harvested from gods-know-what in the swamps."

Mr. Carver - I am not sure the recipient is in the mood for swallowing my prescribed medicine, so a contact poison is probably preferable.

"Dunno what I'd sell the contact for.  Hundred and fifty?  Supposed to knock 'em out pretty quick, not sure how easy it is to shake off, though."  The poison is probably harvested from one of the swamp-demons - possibly from one of their more esoteric organs.  From what you've heard many of them enjoy devouring their prey alive.

"Got another, demon-bile mixed with some hagman stuff.  VERY nasty, VERY expensive.  Bout a thousand bleeding obeloi a dose.  Perhaps a bit out of yer league, eh?"


Mr. Carver - Ah, yes, that I will save for when I'm appointed to be the heir of a dead merchant prince...

"Hmm, one more," Mottleface says, frowning.  "Ground ebonroot and paste from a Screamwood lotus."

Mr. Carver - How much for one dose of whatever is in that bag of yours?  The ingested things.  Anything cheap to keep the victim down after the initial knock-out?  And please tell me more about your Screamwood lotus concoction.

"Hmm, got some dust here that might do the trick, for twenty bones.  And yeah, sorry, that's fer three doses - don't sell it fer any less, generally.  But fer a loyal customer, I'd part with it fer a hundred fer a single dose.  As for the Screamwood stuf, that one's expnesive too, but not as bad as the demon-bile.  Five hundred bones, and guaranteed effect.  I'd knock fifty off the price fer you, even, but any less and its just not profitable."

Mr. Carver - Give me a dose of the leechkin contact poison and one dose of the expensive dust.   Two-hundred fifty in total, yes?

"It's a deal, sir.  Always a pleasure doing business with such a gentleman."


* Mr. Carver digs into a concealed purse for the necessary coins and hands them to the disfigured man

He smiles again - an awful sight - and pockets the coins gleefully, then hands you the poisons.  As he does so, the tracking-stone blips suddenly bright, then fades almsot just as quickly.

Mr. Carver - The same to you. Hope your poisons are as good as ever.

*Mr. Carver quickly looks up, scanning the Square.

You don't see any sensuous nude servitor girls running around.  In fact, the square's very quiet.  The stone is starting to glow again, though.  Its getting quite bright.

*Mr. Carver I quickly finishes the deal and pocket the two poisons. The contact poison he puts in the aforementioned vial casing.

Mr. Carver - Ah, gleet.

* Mr. Carver tips my hat at Mottleface.

The stone is now very bright.  No one around - not even a hooded figure - who might match the Houri's description.

Mr. Carver - Again, pleasure doing business with you.

Mottleface winks at you with his good eye.

*Mr. Carver runs to the center of the square.

The stone brightens, then fades.

* Mr. Carver looks up and around.

There's no one around; the square is almost deserted.  A couple of Tattered Web Guildsmen have entered at the far side, but both look very male.  The stone continues to fade and dim again.

Mr. Carver - Hmm, I'm certain this is not good for my nerves.

Mr. Carver - ooc: Knowledge: local about tunnels and the like.

Mr. Carver - !roll 1d20+8
<isobot> Mr. Carver: [23]

There are tunnels pretty much all over the city, and the ones in Hexwarren are particularly extensive.  They're called the Oppidan Entrails - also colloquially known as the Belly.  Adjacent to them are the Sorestone Tunnels beneath Worm-Hive, and the Bonesnarl beneath Pulsetown.

*Mr. Carver tries putting the stone nearer to the ground, to see if the glow is stronger.

The gem gets a bit brighter for a moment, then continues to dim.

Mr. Carver - Always the tunnels... Well, might as well start somewhere.

*Mr. Carver looks for the nearest manhole/entrance.
Logged


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« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2010, 01:35:17 AM »

Tunnels and Terrors

There are tunnel entrances scattered throughout the district.  The nearest is near the Vellum Citadel, which is just a block away.

*Mr. Carver gets out a pair of disposable gloves (something to apply the poison to) from the lab-coat and moves to the entrance.

You find the entrance easily, a squarish grate set in am back-street in the shadow of the towering library-spire.

* Mr. Carver forces the grate open and climbs down.

The crude stone handholds lead down a circular tunnel into some kind of rough antechamber with a vaulted ceiling swathed in cobwebs.  The walls are lined with niches piled with skulls, some of them carven with names, numbers, or glyphs.  Three arched stone doorways lead from this room down dim, narrow passageways.

The tracking-stone is dim, but brighter than when you were above ground.


* Mr. Carver snaps a set of disposable gloves on his right hand as he lands, and looks about.

There are occasional grates above that provide limited illumination.  Otherwise, there's no light to speak of.

Mr. Carver - gleetin' darkness...

There are old torch brackets and braziers sometimes, but those nearby at least are unlit.

*Mr. Carver approaches one and pull down the torch and light it.

The torch casts spidery shadows.  Each archway has a short corridor beyond.  The one to the right has some steps leading downwards.

*Mr. Carver, guided by the light of the tracking-stone and the torch, follows the right corridor.

A few steps lead down to a desecrated crypt here.  Someone has removed the occupants of the sarcophagi and posed them in sexual positions, creating an obscene, macabre tableau.  There are two exits, apart from the doorway you entered through.  One is a stone door marked by prybars and claw-marks, shut fast; the other might once have had a door but is now empty.

The tracking-stone is brighter here.


* Mr. Carver walks down the unbarred corridor, praying to whatever god comes to mind that this is the right way.

There's a fork in the path.  It's difficult to gauge which is better, based on the tracking-stone.

Mr. Carver - Given a choice, I'll take the one without claw-marks'¦

You head down the left-hand path and nearby collide with a dark-skinned leechkin.  You recognize the creature that slew the waxborn back in the pits - it called itself Gorethirst.

* Gorethirst stumbles a bit, dripping blood from its manacles everywhere.

Mr. Carver - You??  Fancy stumbling into you here of all places...

Gorethirst - This place is my home.

Mr. Carver - Well, small world, smaller city I guess.

Gorethirst - I wonder what brings you into the catacombs this night?

Mr. Carver - Ah, yes, I don't suppose you have seen a nude hairless girl coming by? And no, it is not what you think.

* Gorethirst slowly blinks his six eyes at Mr Carver.

Gorethirst - I have not seen a nude female human.

Mr. Carver - Ah, yes, you're not missing much. Humans are not terribly interesting.  But I have been hired to find this specimen.

Gorethirst - Of that we can concur.  Do you require aid comrade?

Mr. Carver - I don't suppose you can help me? I know you can be quite... useful.

Gorethirst - I am always willing to help a comrade of the pits. Lead the way.

*Gorethirst uses its Bloodscent ability to see if anything living is nearby or has recently passed by.

Mr. Carver - Actually, this (dangling the jewel from a finger) should lead the way.  But I'm thinking we should head in this direction for now.

There's nothing living that's passed through recently, other than Carver himself.  There's a faint death-smell down the other passage, though, but not a quick-blooded creature.

Gorethirst - I do not smell anything living from the other direction. Only the smell of death.

Mr. Carver - Oh, and by the way lee... Gorethirst was it? ... we are not supposed to harm a hair, metaphorically, on her head. But if you can hold her down or distract her while I administer some things I would be most grateful.

Gorethirst - As you say.

Mr. Carver - Thank you for understanding.  I'm sure I can repay you in some way afterwards.  Now, let's get on with the business at hand.

At the end of the corridor is another small crypt. Some strange nigromantic ritual must once have been carried out here, based on the black candles and sigils drawn in old blood that cover the floor.  There's a burnt black stain on the ground in the middle of a concatenation of symbols.  The ritual's exact purpose, however, is not immediately obvious.  Apart from the candles and glyphs, this chamber is almost bereft of decoration, with but a few gnawed and broken bones littering the floor.

There are two other exits: one to the left, the other staright ahead, plunging down a second staircase, deeper into the catacombs' sepulchral depths.


Mr. Carver - Not too comfortable with this. Try not to step on anything.

*Mr. Carver makes his way clockwise along the edge of the room, frequently checking the tracking-stone.

There seems to be a slight glow in the tracking-stone near the lefthand passage, a brief flicker of light.

*Mr. Carver takes a glance down the corridor, extinguishing his torch.

Gorethirst - I agree, eldritch workings are of no business to me.

You do see a slight movement at the end of the next corridor, past an arched doorway.  A pair of greenish eyes gleam in the darkness.

* Mr. Carver gestures at Gorethirst to stay put and tries to slink forward stealthily.

"I hear you there, you bumbling oaf!"  It's a male voice that answers.

Mr. Carver - "Who's there?"

* Gorethirst moves forward a bit, placing himself to the side and slightly ahead of Mr. Carver.

* Mr. Carver nods at Gorethirst.

* Mr. Carver lights his torch again, his cover clearly blown.

A tall, slender man, somewhat gaunt-cheeked but still sensuously handsome, cleans his nails with a long knife here, seated nonchalantly on the edge of a sarcophagus.  He is dressed in the ragged remnants of finery - dirtied lace, torn velvets, muddied stockings and boots, tarnished rings, a tattered frock coat.  His hair is very long and is his most striking feature (save perhaps for his gleaming green eyes, which seem to glow softly in the gloom).  It is jet black save for a vivid white streak, and so long and lustrous as to seem almost womanish.

His otherwise well-sculpted features are marred by several long, deep scratch-marks on his face that look very recent.

The man looks the pair of you up and down, scrutinizing you.  Evidently what he sees displeases him, for he grimaces in distaste.

"You may call me Quentin," he says, sounding enormously bored.  "I suppose.  What is it you want?"

There's one other exit to this chamber, to the left.

Mr. Carver - Mr. Carver is my name. We are looking for a woman who has sequestered herself in these tunnels.

* Gorethirst nods towards Quentin.

"Indeed?  What manner of woman?"  There is a strangely hungry gleam in his greenish eyes.  He ignores the leechkin contemptuously.

Mr. Carver - Hairless. Naked. Reanimated. Angry

"That termagant?  Yes, I have had the displeasure," he says, his voice dripping with scorn.  "I saw the little trollop not far from this very chamber.  Ensorcelled by her charms, I followed the temptress further into these disgusting catacombs and attempted to woo her with coaxing endearments and gentle caresses.  The harpy spat and hissed like an angry she-cat and clawed at my face, disfiguring my features."  He is almost shaking with rage.  "Why do you seek this creature?  You will find her untameable, I assure you."

Mr. Carver - Oh yes, forgot about the poison. And I am sure you are quite the charmer. We have been sent to return her to her rightful owner. Any directions would be appreciated.

"In that case, I suggest you go back the way you came and descend the stairs in the room beyond.  I followed her to a large hall; there she scratched at me.  I believe she fled down a passage to the east, but my sense of direction is abysmal in these festering depths."

Mr. Carver - "Many thanks. We will leave you to yourself then. There is an exit back that way (I give him some directions).

Gorethirst, Quentin is not a living human, despite appearances otherwise - at least, he doesn't smell like he's a living human.  This room has a faint scent of blood, but it is difficult to determine a direction.  The far exit has no smell, however.

* Mr. Carver follows Gorethirst.

Quentin returns to his ablutions, waving a hand in your direction.

Gorethirst - That creature was not what he seemed. He was no warmblood. However he was correct the scent, it leads down the stairs.

Mr. Carver - I have found that it is better to not ask too many questions when faced with things with glowing eyes.

Gorethirst - You are a wise man Mr Carver.

Mr. Carver - Thank you, Mr. Gorethirst. Always nice with some polite company. Now, let's put some distance between us and the strange half-man.

*Mr. Carver goes down the stairs as directed by Quentin.

You enter a large hall whose walls are stacked high with niches or shelves, each containing an individual skeleton.  The lower corpses have been thoroughly disturbed, stolen, mutilated, and otherwise defiled, but many of the topmost bodies remain intact.  Two exits are evident, one at the end of the hall, the other to the left.

* Mr. Carver makes his way briskly directly across the room

The tracking-stone glows warmly, though not quite as brightly as it did in Murrain Square.

* Mr. Carver pauses only to check his earring

It looks stronger towards the lefthand exit.  Gorethirst, you do smell something that way'¦

* Gorethirst motions towards the left

* Mr. Carver makes a swift turn on his heel and walks down the left passageway.

You hear a chittering sound down the tunnel, growing louder.  Gorethirst, something - actually, a lot of somethings - are headed this way.

Mr. Carver - (stone getting brighter?)

A little bit; not enormously.

Mr. Carver - (I look to my companion) This is not good, is it?

A swarm of pallid, hairless bodies churns towards you, half-filling the tunnel: a pack of vicious piranha rats, voracious flesh-eating rodents with toothy maws and tiny red eyes.  They squeal with unstoppable hunger as they approach.

Gorethirst - This is not good at all.

Mr. Carver - Gleet...

The rats are soon upon you.  They clamber up your legs and begin gnashing their razor teeth on your bodies!

*Gorethirst shake off the rats and howls with blood-curdling fury from its palm-mouths!

* Mr. Carver, panicked, swings the torch to try and clear a path.

One of the rats grabs hold of Mr. Carver's vestigial arm and sunk its teeth into his flesh.

*Gorethirst's swipe cuts a rat in two.  Several other rats, frenzied by the blood, descend on the remains of their companion.

* Mr. Carver continues to ineffectually swing his torch, but the rats are too frenzied to care.

The smell of blood has made Gorethirst hungry!  The pirahna rats squeak as he butchers more of their number. Mr. Carver's flame seems to be annoying the rats.  They scurry away from him.

*Gorethirst snarls.  With a mighty flurry of blows he kills rats left and right.

The swarm, frenzied at the sight and smell of so much blood, scamper from the leechkin's body and descend on their fellows.  In the feeding frenzy that follows, only a single rat survives.  Bloated beyond belief, it staggers towards the adventruers, feebly gnashing its jaws.  Blood gushes from the rodent as Mr. Carver impales the solitary straggler on his blade.

Mr. Carver - Finally... Well, one for me, 99 for you. It seems you were an even bigger help than I thought, my friend. I thank you profoundly.

* Gorethirst pants dripping blood and the rage fades from his yellow eyes.

Gorethirst - You are welcome comrade. I have not had such in exhilarating fight in some time.

Beyond, the passage continues to another fork.  The glow of the tracking-stone is stronger towards the right.  It is getting quite bright now.

* Mr. Carver wipes his knife and continues on

* Mr. Carver extinguishes his torch and move carefully forward (move silently).

Strangely coloured slime drips from a crack in the ceiling here, trickling down the wall in a steady stream.  Where the liquid touches the stone eyes have sprouted like weird fungi, blinking and roving to and fro, formed by whatever eldritch runoff feeds the leak.  It terminates in a hexagonal chamber of some kind.  Gorethirst, there's blood in the room beyond, but its not warm.  Its sort of alien-smelling: more like an insect than a human.

The tracking-stone is now flickering steadily.


Mr. Carver - I think we are getting closer, Gorethirst

*Mr. Carver slips on his glove again and ready the poison.

Mr. Carver - Just to warn you, she can spit poison and her nails are dangerous as well. Don't get slashed.

There's a tiny bit of light in the room up ahead, from a high grate in the ceiling.

Mr. Carver - Also, you should probably go in front. Distraction and all that.

* Gorethirst steps to the front

Gorethirst - It smells of insects in here. Not of humans.

Mr. Carver - Just stay clear of her and keep her attention on yourself and I will subdue her.

* Gorethirst nods his assent

Inside the chamber is a cestoid corpse.  The creature has been torn apart, its limbs ripped off one by one, almost delicately, its segmented body torn and savaged, discoloured round the wounds.  Its inhuman organs gush in a glistening torrent from its eviscerated body, and the creature's blackish blood is everywhere.

Small, almost child-like footprints in the cestoid's dark blood lead away from the corpse down the tunnel opposite the entrance.


Mr. Carver - Oh, one of those. Let me just get a closer look.

The body has been mauled and worried at; half-eaten.  Something very strong, as strong as a large animal, did this damage.  Overpowering a cestoid is no easy task.

Gorethirst - Be careful. Many of the city cestoids are trained gladiators like myself.

Mr. Carver - Thanks. I'll keep an eye out.

Gorethirst - If something did that to the cestoid, it is best to be very cautious.

Mr. Carver - ooc: claw marks like on Quentin?  Poison?

Yes, the claw-marks are similar.  There's a discolouration round the wounds, as well,
probably from poison.  It's a tossup whether it died from trauma or venom, though.


Mr. Carver - This is her. She may be small" (gestures at the footprints) but she is strong.

* Mr. Carver stands up.

Gorethirst - Let us follow quickly then.

Gorethirst, you smell something coming down the tunnel.  The tracking-stone, however, glows no brighter.

Mr. Carver - Let's be on our way before the crows of these tunnels come to collect their ill-gotten rewards.

Gorethirst - Something comes our way.  Hide yourself if possible.

Mr. Carver - "Her?"

Another leechkin stares at you from down the tunnel with six luminous yellow eyes.  It is emaciated, little more than a skeleton, its greenish skin hanging off its frame in loose flaps.  The creature staggers towards you, palm-mouths upturned.

* Mr. Carver runs to stand flush against the wall, dagger in hand, torch quickly extinguished again.

"Blood," the creature moans in the eerie double-tone of the leechkin.  "I thirst; pity, pity for Scabgnaw!  Give it a lick of your hot red juices?"  It whines and whimpers, shambling closer.  One of its eyes is sightless, rent with a jagged scar.

Gorethirst - Ah brother, let me help you.

* Gorethirst moves forward and awkwardly drips blood from the Manacles onto Scabgnaw's palm-mouths.

Scabgnaw sighs with pleasure as the blood enters its mouths.

"Ah, thank you, sibling! Your jewellery is... nourishing."


Gorethirst - Have you seen a small female human nearby brother?  Her blood would not smell... normal.

"The lady-of-slime?  The fanged mistress, yes, yes, she-with-the-black-nails?  Scabgnaw has seen her; her blood smells of vodun and ichor.  Scabgnaw will lead you to her - for another drop of the hot red juices."  The leechkin's palm-mouths pant and salivate, still wet and red from their meal.

* Gorethirst drips more blood into his palm-mouths.

Gorethirst - Lead on brother.

"AAAAHHHHHHH."  The leechkin turns, satiated for now, and heads down the tunnel.

* Mr. Carver steps out into plain sight.

The leechkin nods at Mr. Carver in greeting but says nothing.

* Mr. Carver nods at Scabgnaw.

The leechkin leads Gorethirst and Mr. Carver down a series of tunnels, twisting and turning deeper into the earth.  The footprints are visible for a short distance and then fade.

"She is near here," it says at last, crooning.  It gestures to the chamber beyond.


Gorethirst - You have my thanks brother, stay free from thirst.

* Gorethirst advances towards the chamber beyond.

* Mr. Carver sheathes his glyph-covered knife and opens the small button on his vial case

"In those crypts, somewhere.  She has fed recently.  I will wait for you, yes, sibling?"

Gorethirst - Yes.
Logged


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« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2010, 01:36:05 AM »

The Houri and the Eidolon

Mr. Carver - "Lead the way Gorethirst"

The tracking-stone is glowing blindingly bright.  You should probably hide it or it'll betray your approach.

*Mr. Carver smiles and pockets the gem.

Gorethirst, an odd smell permeates these chambers.  There is warm blood, but death as well, and something... other.  It smells of hexwork, of witchery.

You come to the entrance to a tomb, long since desecrated and stripped of valuables.  Skeletal remains are strewn in disarray about the floor, and the sarcophagi have been unceremoniously wrenched open and despoiled.  Crouched in the middle of this macabre tableau is the Houri, squatting on her heels and staring into the darkness.

The Houri herself is a nubile waif, a beautiful child-woman pieced meticulously together from corpse-parts: unlike the roughly-stitched seams of most servitors the Houri's stitches are delicate and even, running round her sculpted thighs, breasts, and back in such a way that they become intensely eroticized.  Her hairless skin is so pale as to be translucent, her veins and arteries subtly visible beneath; small, delicately drawn characters embroider her stitched flesh, providing her corpse-body with the numina it needs to remain fully animate.  Despite the filth, blood, and residual slime from the spawning-vat that slathers her limbs she still exudes a palpable aura of sensuality - and deadliness.  Her nails are long, black talons, her mouth filled with serpentine fangs, her eyes overlarge and inky black.


* Mr. Carver moves around her, staying close to the wall, stealthy and concealed by shadows.

When the Houri sees Gorethirst, she hisses and bares her claws, snarling.

* Gorethirst yowls in return from his double palm-mouths

She does not immediately attack, but hunkers down on her slender haunches.  She looks from side to side, breathing heavily.  You have her quite cornered - there are no other exits.  Mr. Carver is concealed behind a pillar, not far from the Houri.

She hums slightly and adopts what is unmistakably a coquettish posture.  Since Gorethirst is genderless, it is unaffected.  The hum resonates in Mr. Carver, who feels hesitant to physically harm her - though not to drug her.


* Mr. Carver applies the toxin to his glove.

* Mr. Carver sneaks closer and closer.

You're right behind the Houri, who is captivated by the leechkin.

* Mr. Carver stands with hand outstretched, ready to touch the Houri.

It looks like she's ready to pounce!

*Mr. Carver reaches out and grasp the Houri by the arm as Gorethirst perpares to barrel into her.  She shrieks as he touches her and flails.

*Gorethirst charges forward.  The Houri slashes at him with her talons!  The leechkin shrugs off her poison and overpowers her, pushing her back against the wall.

She flails and attacks Gorethirst, swiping with her claws and biting with her serpentine teeth, drawing blood.

Mr. Carver - Arh, told you not to get slashed.

Gorethirst - Avoiding her blows is easier said than done comrade.

Mr. Carver - well, you are standing awfully close to them. I'm pretty certain that doesn't help.

Gorethirst - No real harm done yet.

*Mr. Carver attempt to disorient her by throwing his coat over her.

She swats the coat aside angrily'¦

Mr. Carver - Hmm, well, that didn't do much good.

...and then slumps to the ground, paralyzed, as the contact poison kicks in.

Mr. Carver - Or did it?  Actually, I'm pretty sure that was the poison.  My dear associate, do you have any rope on hand perchance?

* Gorethirst reaches into his pack and pulls out a long length of silk rope.

* Mr. Carver finds the pouch of poison powder.

Gorethirst - More than we could ever need comrade.

Mr. Carver - Ah good. It seems I have left mine at home.  You really shouldn't venture anywhere without a sizeable amount of rope.

* Gorethirst hands Mr Carver a coil of silken rope.

Gorethirst - More wise words.

* Mr. Carver kneels before the twitching creature and carefully opens her mouth and pours the powder into it

She struggles and spits even as her limbs go rigid but swallows the powder.

* Mr. Carver then pours a bit of water and massages her throat to make her swallow

* Mr. Carver , although not very good with rope, tries to tie her up as an extra precaution

Without warning a figure detaches itself from the shadows, quite suddenly appearing in the room with you.  It is Quentin - the creature you encountered before, in his ragged frock coat.

"I see you have been, ahem, successful," he says, eyeing the tied-up Houri.


Mr. Carver - It would seem that way, Quentin. Thought you had abandoned your little flirt with our friend here.

* Mr. Carver hides his dagger behind his back.

* Gorethirst warily sizes up Quentin.

"Indeed.  Might I beg a small payment for my assistance earlier?  I find myself rather strapped for funds at the moment."  He draws nearer, predatory and sure-footed, swift of movement.

Mr. Carver - Sure, here.

*Mr. Carver throws twenty-five bone obeloi on the floor.

Mr. Carver - That should cover it.

The man - or whatever he is - is lean but powerful.  He moves with astonishing grace.

"Ah, thank you."  He scoops up the coins and deposits them in his purse.


Mr. Carver - Now let us be.

Gorethirst - Leave us corpse.

"I wonder if you might indulge me just a little further," he says silkily.  The claw-marks on his face glisten.

Mr. Carver - I'm not sure we would, we have paid our debt.  Now go back and leave us alone, Mr. Quentin.

"That... bitch'¦ has wronged me.  She is helpless and will remain so for some time.  Perhaps you might, ah, leave us alone together, for a short while?  It would be nothing.  She would not even remember."

Idly, he strokes his own hair, fingering the white streak.


Mr. Carver - I'm afraid you're out of luck there.

Gorethirst - You would harm her. Our task is to return her without harm.

He smiles wickedly.  "Oh no.  I would be most gentle."

Mr. Carver - I'm afraid we can't really take you on your word, creature.

I would even pay for the privilege.  Come, we are all reasonable men.

Mr. Carver - Ah, the issue is we are also gentlemen. Well, as gentlemanly as anyone can be in this city. So we'd be very glad if you just turned around and walked away.

"If that is how you feel, cur, then I am left with no choice."  He suddenly holds two pistols in his hands - masterwork duelling wheellocks.  He aims them at the pair of you.

* Gorethirst slowly blinks its yellow eyes.

"Leave this place and I will spare your miserable lives.  You can have the whore back when I am done with her."

Gorethirst - I would advise against that course of action.

"Oh would you, you hideous wretch?  Well, I would not advise that you test yourself against me."

Mr. Carver - No such luck.

*Mr. Carver flings a dagger at him and dive for cover)

Gorethirst - You are a creature of deception if the face you wear is any indication.

Quentin dodges aside with startling speed.  The dagger clatters harmlessly against the wall.  In an instant the incubus discharges his weapons.  Gorethirst is barely scratched by the bullet, and Mr. Carver's armour protects him from the worst of it.

Quentin holsters his pistols and draw a blade from a sheathe at his waist.


*Gorethirst catches Quentin off guard, and the creature hisses in pain as the leechkin's greataxe hews open his chest!  He's still standing - no mortal man, this one.

Gorethirst - Begone creature, before I destroy you!

"Foolish leech!  I will have my vengeance on that trollop yet, after I deal with you!"

* Mr. Carver moves to flank the grave-spawn.

The eidolon is locked in combat with Gorethirst and seems to be ignoring the stealthy Mr. Carver.

*Mr. Carver slashes, but Quentin seems to anticipate the blow and again darts out of range with preternatural speed.

The grave-spawn bleeds sluggishly.  With amazing celerity he darts out, hacking at Gorethirst and wounding the leechkin.

*Gorethirst hacks with his axe and severs the grave-spawn's right arm at the elbow.  Miraculously, the horror remains defiantly alive (or what passes for life in his case).  His blood oozes slowly from the severed stump.

Gorethirst - You are doomed, creature.

The eidolon locks his gaze with the leechkin in a contest of wills.  His enormous green eyes look into Gorethirst's, dominating the leechkin.

Gorethirst is charmed; it would lay down its life for this creature, though it would not necessarily attack Carver.

*Gorethirst backs off, circling around, 20ft.  It also sheathes his greataxe.

The eidolon turns to Mr. Carver.  He looks incredibly smug.  His blade gleams wetly with the leechkin's blood.

*Mr. Carver, nearly despairing as the leechkin backs off, charges recklessly forwards and plunges the Agony Knife into the Eidolon's withered heart.  The incubus twists and shrieks.  Its glamer fails in its final moments, revealing it as a hideous wraith, a malformed old man mottled with age-spots and growths.

As Mr. Carver plucks his knife from Quentin the creature falls to the ground and collapses into a pile of dust and empty clothes.

* Gorethirst slowly comes too

Gorethirst - I... My... I do not know what came over me comrade.

Mr. Carver - I was afraid that was a lost battle...

Scabgnaw lumbers in.

Scabgnaw heard some commotion."


Gorethirst - Indeed brother, my companion killed a fell creature. Dead but disguised as a warmblood.

Mr. Carver - Also, I was afraid for a minute you were going to take a swing at me, Gorethirst. You seemed slightly dazed...

Gorethirst - It was... strange. Suddenly the creature was more important than anything.

Mr. Carver - Gleetin' hexes...

At the sight of all the blood on Gorethirst and from Quentin Scabgnaw seems oddly affected.

Gorethirst - Even my thirst was a distant yearning. I have never encountered something like that before.

Mr. Carver - Mr. Carver - Now, we better get that Houri-girl back quick before the poison wears off.

* Gorethirst gathers up Quentin's effects, weapons and clothes, and stuffs them into his bag.

Quentin's stuff includes: a longsword, two masterwork wheellock duelling Pistols, a signet Ring, and twenty-five obeloi.

Mr. Carver - Your friend is staring at us.

Suddenly the leechkin vagrant presents itself to Gorethirst.  A strange, pale sack, like a bubo, has swollen on the creature's flesh.

"Sibling, couple with me."


Mr. Carver - I have had about enough of strange creatures trying to couple with each other for one day...

Gorethirst - Ah... I do not believe now is an appropriate time.

Scabgnaw seems disappointed, but withdraws itself.

* Mr. Carver drapes his coat over the naked Houri.

* Mr. Carver bundles her up and swings her across his back.  She is shockingly light.

Mr. Carver - Hey, that's my money!

* Mr. Carver walks to the leechkin and picks up the 25 bones

Gorethirst - Take your coin.

Eager to please, Scabgnaw offers to help you find a way out (no strings attached, it swears).

Mr. Carver - Lead the way.

Scabgnaw leads you through the maze of catacombs, past grave-spawn hovels, cestoid nests, and markers of skinchanger territory and back to the surface.  You can easily retrace your steps from here to the Emporium of Metamorphoses.

Mr. Carver - Thank you, Scabgnaw. That was some welcome help.

The leechkin nods and shambles back into the catacombs, babbling to itself quietly.

*Mr. Carver returns Mr. Welterwort with his escaped creation

Needlefingers Welterwort is delighted when he sees you have returned the Houri quite intact.

"Ah, perfect!  And so speedily, too... come, now help me get her back in her vat..."  He nods to the leechkin.  "A pleasure to meet you, my good leech."


*Mr. Carver retrieves his coat and carries her to the vat.

"And now, the matter of your payment.  What manner of augmentation would please you best?"

Possible Grafts:

Chitin Plates: Scavenged from the corpse of some monstrous insect, these plates are fused into your flesh, giving you a rigid exoskeleton.  This provides a +2 Passive Defence Bonus without a check penalty, similar to a buckler; this stacks with a shield.

Squamous Skin: Your fragile skin is replaced with a thick layer of scales or other resilient hide.  This provides 1d2/magic Damage Reduction and has no check penalty; this stacks with armour.

Fangs: Wrenched from the mouth of a dog, big cat, crocodile, or some toothy abomination, these fangs replace your regular teeth.  You gain a 1d6 Bite attack as a natural attack.

Clawed Hand: One of your hands is replaced with that of a clawed beast of some description,.  This provides you with a single natural 1d6 Claw attack.

Antitoxin Gland: Drawn from the innards of some venomous creature, this small organ can be discretely implanted and hooked up to the bloodstream.  It provides a +3 bonus to Fortitude saves versus poisons.

Tentacle: Harvested from one of the many aqueous horrors of the Sallow Seas or the Fevered Ocean or else culled from something even stranger, the tentacle graft counts as a natural attack (Tentacle Slap) that deals 1d3 damage or can be used as a prehensile extra limb to wield weapons or use shields, though normal penalties apply to multi-weapon fighting.

Barbed Tail: This graft is a long, sinuous tail tipped with a barb.  Prehensile, the tail grants you a natural 1d4 Sting attack (no Strength bonus) and can additionally be used to hold spare weapons or other items instead, though you cannot wield weapons or use shields with the tail.  Those stung by the tail must make a Fortitude save (DC 13) or take 1d3 temporary Constitution damage from poison; however, this venom can only be used once per day.

Demoniac Tendril: This graft allows you to make grapple or disarm attacks with a reach of 15 feet. Attempts to grapple or disarm with your tendril do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Otherwise, they are handled normally.  The tendril can also secrete a venom: those hit with a touch attack must make a Fortitude save (DC 13) or take 1d3 temporary Dexterity damage from poison; however, this venom can only be used once per day.

Mandibles: These chelicerae were culled from a monstrous arachnid.  You gain the liquid diet restriction (as in the lilix racial traits) but also the ability to articulate in Spiderchatter, though you must devote the skill points to learn the language.  You also gain a 1d4 Bite attack that can deliver a dose of poison once per day - those hit with the attack must make a Fortitude save (DC 13) or take 1d3 temporary Strength damage (initial and secondary).

Mantid Eyes: These bulbous, red, compound eyes endow the grafted creature with the sight of a mantid.  You gain 30 ft. Darkvision and a +2 competence bonus to any Craft (Clockwork) checks.  For the first day after being grafted you suffer a -1 penalty to all checks and saves due to disorientation.

Jatayi Eyes: These yellow, avian eyes endow the grafted creature with the sight of a jatayi.  They are quite rare, since few jatayi linger in the fetid skies of this Cadaverous Earth.  You gain Low Light Vision (x4) and can now perceive magnetic fields.

Ghul Eyes: These slitted, almost reptillian-looking eyes are actually those of a grave-spawn.  They endow the user with 60 ft. Darkvision, and a +4 competence bonus to Disguise checks if impersonating a ghul.  However, you are also dazzled while in bright sunlight.

Brawn: These enormous slabs of grafted muscle make you far stronger, giving you a physique only athletes and veteran warriors might possess.  You gain +2 Strength.

Thrum Gland: This small, sallow organ is implanted near the liver.  It synthesizes and secretes one dose of the drug called thrum a day.  Thrum (which is usually snorted or injected straight into the bloodstream) gives the user 20% concealment as their flesh begins to vibrate and additionally endows them with +2 Dexterity for one hour after use.  However, after the dose wears off, you are Shaken (-2 to saves, checks, and attack rolls) for another hour.  Those with an implanted thrum gland automatically become addicted to the drug as well and must use it daily or suffer 1d3 dexterity damage unless they make a DC 10 Fortitude save; unlike other users they cannot kick this addiction (without having their grafted gland removed).

Extra Limb: Wrenched from the socket of one of the more humanoid denizens of the Cadaverous Earth, this extra limb is a must for any fleshy looking to multitask. The limb counts as an extra off hand. To wield more than two weapons at once with reduced penalties, take the multiweapon fighting feat.

Weapon Graft: While most grafts are living tissue attached to another living body, a weapon graft is exactly what the name suggests: a normal, masterwork, or magic melee weapon grafted onto a hand. The weapon actually becomes a natural weapon, though its other properties are unchanged. The grafted creature receives a +1 bonus on all attack and damage rolls with the weapon, as long as it is proficient with the weapon. However, it cannot use the hand with the graft for anything but combat.  This particular graft includes an additional arm.

Webbed Digits: A thin stretch of flesh is grafted between the digits on your fingers and toes, improving your ability to manoeuvre in the water.  This graft gives you a +10 competence bonus to Swim checks.

Extra Eye: This additional eye is fully functional, endowing the grafted creature with a +4 competence bonus to Spot and Search checks.

Chameleonic Skin: Treated with glamers and hexes of various sorts, this grafted skin changes colours like a chameleon.  It gives its user a competence bonus on Hide checks ranging from +1 (if they are fully clothed, with minimal skin exposed) up to +10 (if they are effectively nude).

Snout: This canine muzzle gives the grafted creature the Scent ability and a 1d3 Bite attack.


*Mr. Carver selects the Demonic Tendril graft.

Then let us proceed.  This will take several hours'¦"  The fleshcrafter gestures to the chair in his workshop and Mr. Carver eagerly obliges him.
Logged


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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2010, 05:30:54 PM »

Back with Tarim, Eareg Maar, Kaius Alexander, and Gorethirst...

Death and Shopping

You stand over the corpse of Lucretius Nhamorg, slain by the leechkin pit-fighter Gorethirst.  The eviscerated remains of his companion lie nearby in a spreading pool of crimson.  A streetwalker who glimpsed the latter Tattered Web Guildsman has fled into the depths of Velveteen Circus.

* Eareg Maar leans down next to Lucretius' corpse and pats it on the shoulder.

Eareg Maar - Shouldn't have broken the unwritten rule, brother.

Kaius Alexander - Leech, get your maggot to clean the other one up, and let us leave before anyone else notices our... activities.

Tarim - We better conceal him for carrying around.

* Eareg Maar pulls out a tarp.

* Gorethirst hefts Lucretius drained corpse onto his shoulder.

* Eareg Maar begins to wrap the body up.

Tarim - At least so that his guildmates won't recognize him.

Gorethirst - Should we bring both corpses?

Eareg Maar - We'll need some rope to hold the tarp closed however.  Just let your beast feed on it.

* Gorethirst retrives a coil of silken rope and passes it to Eareg.

* Eareg Maar ties the "package" up.

Gorethirst - As you wish.

* Tarim whistles, calling Fangs back to him.

* Gorethirst directs Corpsegobble to clean up the ghul corpse.

* Kaius Alexander wipes off his sword and sheathes it.

*Fangs flutters to Tarim's shoulder.

*Corpsegobble devours the dead ghul with relish.

* Eareg Maar scratches his owls head idly.

* Tarim kicks any inedible remains to the corner of the street.

* Kaius Alexander idly hefts Lucretius' dueling pistol

* Gorethirst mounts up

Eareg Maar - Well, lets get this thing loaded up onto your beast.  It'll look less suspicious than one of us carrying it around.

Kaius Alexander - If nobody minds, I think I shall be keeping this. It looks to have a greater range than my revolver.

Tarim - Shall we stop by at a market on our way? We've accumulated enough things to sell for a good profit I think

* Eareg Maar finishes hefting the bundle onto Corpsegobble's back

Eareg Maar - Lead on.

You head from Velveteen Circus to the Bazaars, skirting the central Skin Markets.  The Bazaars churn with constant activity.  Though there are no distinct wards within the marketplace there are rough burgs or neighbourhoods that seem to specialize in different sorts of goods.  Further north towards the city walls the smokestacks of the factory district, Smoulderward, billow their sallow effluvia into the mottled sky.  Several Guildhalls of the major Robber Guilds are evident nearby.

Eareg Maar - We need to find someone who would be interested in a magical weapon.

You see several possible candidates.  There's a gunsmith called Cog and Bullet down one street.  At the corner there's a large pawn shop called Detritus!  Finally there's a blade-seller in a small stall.

Kaius Alexander - A concern: we must be careful in selling this gauntlet. If it is a well known item of this Lucretius, it would be easy to trace back to us.

Eareg Maar - Unlikely: I did not know he had it, and I knew him somewhat well.

Gorethirst - Perhaps it is a new find from the wastes?

Eareg Maar - I think it was a recent find of his.

Tarim - The pawn shop seems large enough to afford paying a good price.

Kaius Alexander - If you can be sure that his Guild does not know of it, then by all means, proceed.

Gorethirst - I have two pistols to sell, perhaps the gunsmith would be best?

Tarim - We don't have to sell everything in one shop.

Eareg Maar - Certainly not.

In addition to these merchants there are Guild dealers, but you have to be a faction member to use them.

* Eareg Maar motions to gorethirst

Eareg Maar - Me and the leech will sell his arms, I know of a good place.

* Eareg Maar points off to Cog and Bullet.

The interior of this shop is festooned with intricate clockwork firearms of every description: rifles, duelling pistols, pocket firearms, and even organ guns and gear-driven cannons with rotating barrels.  Bandoliers and boxes of bullets fill the shelves.  A tall mantid with mottled green-brown flesh and membranous wings full of bullet-holes appears to be the proprietor, surveying the shop with bulging compound eyes.  One of his human-arms (as opposed to his scything insectile blade-arms) has been replaced with a whirring construction of tiny gears and copper conduits.

* Eareg Maar nods to the shopkeep.

Eareg Maar - Hello there.

The mantid says "Hello" in an odd, clicking accent.  "I'm Nezarr.  What can I do for you, sir?"

Eareg Maar - we have several pistols we wish to sell.

* Gorethirst moves towards the counter and takes out two Masterwork Duelling Wheellock Pistols and a longsword.

The mantid picks up the duelling pistols.  "Skein make," he says, admiringly.  "I'll give you three hundred for the brace.  The blade I have no interest in."

* Eareg Maar looks to Gorethirst.

Tarim - We'll sell it elsewhere then.

* Gorethirst nods in assent.

Eareg Maar - 300 bones is fine.

He hands them over and takes the guns.

Eareg Maar - Also, I am looking for specialty ammunition for my rifle."

"Indeed?  What sort of ammunition?"

Eareg Maar - Something with a bit more kick than normal bullets.

"Rune-etched?  Hollow-tip?  Hexed?"

Eareg Maar - Rune-etched or hexed would be preferable.

"I can sell you rune-etched for two obeloi apiece, but you must be a capable witch to utilize them fully."

Eareg Maar - That I am.

Kaius Alexander - I am going to seek out a seller in blades. I will return shortly. Deal with the gauntlet however you care to.

* Eareg Maar nods to Kaius.

* Kaius Alexander exits the store, carrying the rapier and the longsword.

* Tarim follows after Kaius, seeing as he has little interest in firearms.

Eareg Maar - How much for the hexed?

"I sell the hexed in boxes of ten, for two hundred obeloi each.  I've got freezing bullets, fester-shells, and inferno-rounds."

* Eareg Maar pulls 200 bones out of a hidden pouch and stacks them up on the counter.

Eareg Maar - I'll take a box of the festering ones.

The mantid Nezarr gets out a box of bullets and gives them to Eareg.  The bullets are carved with sickly greenish glyphs.

* Eareg Maar picks up the box gingerly before sliding it into an inner coat pocket.

* Eareg Maar nods and heads out of the store to find Kaius and Tarim.

* Kaius Alexander approaches the stall of the blade vendor he noticed earlier.

The blade-vendor is a wiry human woman with an eye-patch and powerful arms.  She displays a range of switch-blades, knives, daggers, short blades, and a few longer swords such as scimitars in her stall.

Tarim - Looks like she knows how to use the blades she deals in.

Kaius Alexander - I wish to part with these.

* Kaius Alexander puts down the longsword, and pops the blade out of the rapier cane before putting it down as well.

"I'll take the longsword for five obeloi.  Nice rapier - how much do you want for it?"

* Tarim glances at Kaius

Tarim - You know blades better than I do

Kaius Alexander - As you can no doubt see, this is a blade of high quality.  The concealment adds to the effectiveness considerably.

* Kaius Alexander pauses to think.

Kaius Alexander - Two hundred and eighty.

"Indeed.  A blade I'd need to find a buyer for.  How many folks do you think would go for a fancy bit of kit like that when they can get something on the cheap?  One hundred and fifty I'll give you for it."

Tarim - *whispers to Kaius* Keep on haggling a bit more

Kaius Alexander - Many would find interest in the utility. Two hundred and twenty.

"A hundred and eighty and not a bone more, and you got yourself a deal."

Kaius Alexander - Hmmm.  Very well, you have a deal.

* Tarim nods

The woman spits in her hand and offers it to Kaius.

* Kaius Alexander shakes firmly.

You make the transaction.

* Kaius Alexander counts the obeloi and parts with a slight nod.

*The group heads to Detritus!

The sprawling pawn-shop and curio dealer is filled with odd artefacts, many of them quite inscrutable.  One shelf is entirely occupied by pickled cestoid larvae; another is filled with old books with Hellspeak characters along the spines.  An entire wall of the octagonal chamber is dedicated to swords of every type, make, and description, from the long, curved blades favoured by the swordsmen of Skein to Marainein scimitars of damascened steel to the wickedly serrated weapons of the lilix, and others less easily recognized: one sword is far too large to be wielded by human hands and seems to be made of black bone rather than metal.  There's a suit of lacquered armour and a pair of mechanical boots and an anatomical chart of a vivisected xsur, a three-eyed skull and a painting of a creature half-woman, half-crab, and a fist-sized bloodstone that mutters and pulses with queasy light.

The owner and shopkeeper of this mismatched collection is an enormously muscled ghul dressed in velvet finery.  His hair has been teased into a series of small spikes so that his huge, round head resembles a mace, and his arms are heavily tattooed.  He fixes everyone who enters the shop with an uncannily wide, sharp-toothed grin; his rather rambunctious, flamboyant exterior is moderated by a pair of delicate spectacles perched on his nose, such as a near-sighted gentleman might wear while delicately perusing a book of poetry.


* Tarim eyes the pulsating bloodstone with some interest.

* Gorethirst goes to examine the giant bone sword.

* Eareg Maar shakes his head and approaches the shopkeep

The shopkeep grins at Eareg and extends a massive, many-ringed hand.

* Kaius Alexander stands by the door, idly checking over his own equipment

"Name's Lorgiss.  Can I be of assistance?"

* Eareg Maar takes the proferred hand in a friendly grip

Eareg Maar - yes I have something that needs selling.

* Eareg Maar takes out the gauntlet gingerly.

The ghul's eyebrow goes up.

Eareg Maar - A vampiric gauntlet.

"Interesting piece you've got there.  Where'd you come by it?"

Eareg Maar - A friend of mine passed, it was willed to me but I have no use for it.

"I see.  How's it work?"

Meanwhile, the pulsing gemstone hisses at Tarim and mutters in Hellspeak. It sounds as if its cursing.


* Tarim scratches his chin idly.

Tarim - Looks like a bound devil or some other spirit...

*Fangs concurs.

Tarim - ...probably too much trouble to try and dominate it.

* Tarim turns back to observe Eareg

Eareg Maar - It drains a persons life-force upon contact, though it requires regular drainings so if it doesn't get one it drains it from the wearer.  Nasty little piece, but very powerful.

"A boon and a curse in one, eh?  What were you looking to get for it?"

Eareg Maar - Perhaps 2500 bones for such an exquisitely crafted and obviously eldritch gifted item.

 Lorgiss chuckles.  "Quite a price for something that'll drain you dry if you don't take care of it.  Remember, I have to sell this thing.  I have to make a profit.  I'll give you, let's say, seven hundred and fifty.  That way I still make something off it.  You have to see my side of the bargain, here."

Eareg Maar - Certainly, but such a price would be a disservice to my late friend, perhaps 1500.

"You drive a hard bargain.  One thousand bones, and I tell you what, I'll throw in something to trade."

Eareg Maar - What sort of something?

The huge sword Gorethirst inspects is carved with glyphs.  It looks to be made or ur-bone, like your manacles, Gorethirst.

* Gorethirst wanders over to Lorgiss.

* Kaius Alexander glances at the mechanical boots from across the room.

The boots are odd, to say the least.  They look almost like they once belonged to a full suit of armor or something similar, techno-eldritch in nature.

"How about a sword from the rack?  Anything but the big one there.  Or maybe a pair of warded gauntlets?  Or, here's something."  He pulls out a mummified hand from behind the counter.  "Very useful, used to belong to a master-thief; it'll pick locks for you if you give it the right command word."


Gorethirst - Why not the big one?

Eareg Maar - I assume you know that word.

* Kaius Alexander lifts his visor to get a better look

"Ha.  That's the blade of the giant warlord Magroth.  Wouldn't part for that for less than ten thousand.  "Plus it makes a nice display piece, attracts customers."

Gorethirst - Is it hexed?

"Aye.  It'll cut through armor like butter."

* Tarim examines the hand.

The hand has tattooed glyphs on its back.

* Eareg Maar examines the hand.

Its definitely got some kind of witchery on it; without the command word it'd be useless, though.

Lorgiss nods.  "I can give you a demonstration, if you hold on."


Eareg Maar - Certainly.

Tarim - It's certainly hexed. But whether it's as good at lockpicking as claimed, I can't tell.

He goes to fetch a small chest from under the counter.  The lock is some intricate thing of clockwork.  He also puts an array of thieves' tools on the counter in front of the hand.  He bends low and whispers some arcane syllable, and the severed hand twitches to life.  It intuitively seeks out the lockpicks, walking on its fingers and pulling itself forward.  Then, once it reaches the chest, it raises itself dextrously up and begins fiddling with the lock.  A moment later the lock clicks and the chest opens.

Eareg Maar - Very well... for the gauntlet a thousand bones, that thing... and the thieves tool.

* Eareg Maar grins with the last part

Lorgiss grins back.  "You drive a damn hard bargain, my fellow wormy!  It's a deal."

Tarim - Which one of us gets the hand then?

* Eareg Maar places the gauntlet on the counter.

* Eareg Maar picks up the hand (the Burglar's Paw) and the tools

Eareg Maar - I'll take it for now, and you all can split the bones amongst you.

Tarim - Alright.

Lorgiss tells you the command word, - the Hextongue word for "finagle," in the imperative mood.

* Gorethirst blinks slowly.

Gorethirst - Do you have anything else made of black bone?

"Anything else made of ur-bone... hmm.  Got an amulet carved out of the stuff off a scavenger from Skein.  Its got some sort of mild protective ward on it."

Gorethirst - Ah just a trinket then. Nevermind.

* Gorethirst waves Lorgiss away.

* Gorethirst leaves the store to make sure Corpsegobble hasn't somehow managed to eat the corpse strapped to its back.

*Corpsegobble, having recently fed, is quite content.

* Tarim pockets his share of the obeloi and leaves the pawn shop.

* Eareg Maar nods to the shopkeep

Eareg Maar - Good dealing with you.

"And you.  Think of me if you pick anything else like that up."


Eareg Maar - I will.

* Eareg Maar heads out after Gorethirst.
Logged


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