Thread: [LPF] Kostry Kopec
Wednesday, 22nd February, 2012, 04:43 PM #71
The party moves to take their places among the hired security, keeping their eyes open and heads down. Katenaya moves forward, checking ranks, then takes her own place at the head of the file. She nods to a man in finely-crafted robes, who in turn looks for nods from handlers in the other segments of the expedition. When he's satisfied with whatever signals it is he needs, he moves to the right column of the gate and begins to intone something in a language long since dead. His hands etch sigils in the air, and as the chanting continues, those looking think they can actually see faintly glowing echoes of those sigils, burned briefly into the air itself.
When he draws forth an amulet from within his robes, the sigils become impossible to miss, now inscribing themselves in hotly-glowing light up both colums of the gate. The voice of the robed man grows, louder and louder, past the volume the humanoid voice should be capable of, and the runes continue to spread, in from the edges, until they meet in an explosion of light at the apex of the gate.
There is a tearing sound, oddly thin and delicate, as if someone were merely ripping a sheaf of parchment next to you. The surface of the air within the gate begins to quaver as if that over cobbles on a hot day, and the robed man's voice dies. He stumbles a bit, a young guardsman rushing to support him and move him aside.
"Move out!" Katenaya calls out to the gathered security detail. Likewise, the contractors' handler calls for movement, and the head of the wagon caravan snaps her whip. The throng, finally done milling, begins to move to the shimmering air of the gate. As bodies and wagons come into contact with the effect, they, too, quaver, then disappear.
The Zeire Gate awaits.
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Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
- Join Date
- Jun 2006
- Glen Ridge, NJ
ø Ignore InVinoVeritas
"It's beautiful..." Kanli sighs, looking at the gate. "To see the warp and weft of the fabric of reality rent asunder as if a wayward goat discovered the half-finished Loom of Existence... Surely the work of the Artistic Dissembler."
Holding his gear in both hands, he still somehow manages to have a free hand to wipe a tear away.
Defender (Lvl 8)
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Tokyo, Japan
ø Ignore perrinmiller
Tyrien, Half-elven Archeress
Thrilled with curiosity, Tyrien nods in agreement, "Yeah, Kanli. It is definitely interesting. Will it hurt, being distemplered? This is exciting! I wonder if we will see bright lights and feel like going through a tunnel at high speed."
"Ooo, they are just disappearing."
Since no one appears to be getting out weapons for the journey, the archer leaves her bow in the quiver.
Playing & DMing: PF and SWSE
Kalgor and Gragnor march through the gate quietly, trying not to draw attention to themselves.
Soon enough, it's the party's turn to step through. The heat-shimmer of the air continues even as they approach the threshhold of the effect. Some enter with excitement, some with trepidation, but each in his or her time does so.
Upon entering, there is no real sense of sudden movement. Rather, there seems a decided push against same: a super-heated wind that leaves everyone feeling as if the next step is impossible, as if taking one's foot from the ground could only ever result in being lifted bodily and thrown back in some impossibly-high arc. The hot wind presses, screaming, a moment. However long one hesitates, though, taking that next step breaks the effect.
Or, rather, the pressing wind is no longer. Stepping out the other side of the gate, however, it's impossible not to notice there's still plenty of heat on this side. Possibly more without the faux-wind of the gate's magic.
The expedition now stands exposed on the bright sands of the Zeire. The white grains have been pounded flat and even here, probably from a combination of intention and traffic. The gleam of a Venzan morning is now the much harsher glare of the hot desert sun. The air is dry and still, though your surroundings are not.
Almost immediately, staff on site begin directing the new arrivals. Representatives in the more practical, loose cotton made for dealing with the desert weather begin cataloging materials and personnel, pointing and popping off orders. Contractors move off in the direction of the mines; security hires begin falling into loose groups as they're assigned to supervisors and shifts.
Katenaya is already moving quickly between people on the scene by the time you get your bearings, and even as an official-looking (and slightly menacing) broad-shouldered soldier moves to ask you your names, she taps him on the shoulder and points him to another clump. He moves off, and she moves in.
"Home sweet, yes?" she says with a wide grin. She holds her arms out to bask a moment in the blaring sunlight, then returns to business. She leads you off the staging area and out toward the loose fabric tent village that seems to be a base camp for the local operation.
"Right, then. The former long-range patrol comes in this evening, at which point you'll ride out with fresh horses. You're in charge of keeping an eye on the various nomads. Generally, they don't have much use for us, but every once in a while, a tribe that's still bitter at losing Heth to the god of sneezes decides that having Boraga holdings might help their lot.
"The range you'll be at means you only report every few days, so we'll stock you up and send you on your way. I suggest you take a tip from us locals, and curtail your activity in the middle of the day. You won't have much support, but you do still have a schedule. Three days. By day four, if we don't hear from you, I take some folk out looking for you, since chances are you managed to get yourselves in trouble from the heat or the locals."
While the speech seems to be standard orientation material, it's clear by the end that Katenaya is laying out the framework for the 'tragic loss' of your party which will cover your travel into Heth and Kostry Kopec. Though, seemingly an old hand at this kind of thing, the lieutenant doesn't break stride as she manages to pass this information on to you surreptitiously.
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
ø Ignore sunshadow21
Ausk takes in the scene quietly, unsure of how to feel about being back on this part of the continent again after what has been a long journey, both physically and mentally. Listening quietly to their instructions, Ausk can't help but wonder how many other times the lieutenant has done this kind of subterfuge.
Whatever her experience with such subterfuge, Katenaya doesn't bother to discuss it. Instead, she sets about making sure the party's gear and horses are ready. By the time the previous long-range patrol arrives, Everything is prepared.
"You already have your patrol route marked on your map. I've given you rations to cover you, since there's not a lot to find out there even for folks used to hunting for their dinner," she says. She looks to the sun, a few hours from setting, and points in the opposite direction.
"On your way, then. You ought to be able to get to your first checkpoint before sunset. We'll trade in these horses when you arrive back at your rendezvous, yes? See you in a few days, then. Good luck."
With no more fanfare than that, Katenaya turns back to the mining camp, content to see the party off to their 'patrol accident' and their actual mission.
Setting out at a brisk pace toward the eastern part of their 'patrol,' the group pulls out Finia's map once they've moved outside the view of the camp. They quickly find their bearings, and spur their mounts onward.
Katenaya's advice is definitely beneficial, as even the most rugged among them find the heat of midday oppressive, and hiding from it leaves them with the energy to maintain a steady travel pace. It also provides the opportunity to divest themselves of the sand which has inevitably and uncomfortably worked its way into every place it can.
Thankfully, it's a relatively short trip out of the desert, and tiny sprouts and sprigs give way to genuinely lovely, green land. Unfortunately, the party has barely enough time to register that they've passed out of desert into fields when the slide up the moisture scale takes a sharper turn. Grass becomes muck, and the air grows thick with the smell of mold and rot as the map leads them into the famous bogs of Heth.
Despite the various warnings of danger, the only natives which choose to molest them are the insects. Thick and annoying, they search for any exposed skin. The itch of sand is quickly replaced by the itch of bug bites. Still, at least they've not been assaulted by plague-bearers or other nastiness.
And soon enough, the outline of clumped buildings rises. After days of riding through heat, then bog, the party gains a modicum of a second wind, and move quickly to town.
The town is built atop a hill; the highest area appears, from a distance at least, to be relatively organized. The party is coming to town from the bottom of the hill, however, and finds that this lower section of town is much less impressive. Or, rather, impressive in its own way.
Narrow streets wriggle and wind between a claustrophobic jumble of poorly-constructed houses. Wood, stone, and--if the unappetizing mauve of many is any indication--middenstone. Certainly the overcast sky doesn't do the mess any favors, only adding to the oppressive mood.
For that matter, the seeming lack of much of any activity in the middle of the day is positively eerie. If the town is really as crowded as the current mess would seem to indicate, you'd expect a lot more people out on the streets. However, it actually takes you several turns through the labarynthine streets before you come across a market square. The booths, however, are all but deserted. Those few people here gather nervously before a small platform.
"The call goes out for aid in Kostry Kopec's hour of need!" cries a young woman in heraldic gear. Bedraggled and without much energy, she reads from the parchment in her hand. The monotone she uses suggests that she is either ill-suited for public speaking, or has read this announcement to the point of exhaustion.
"Our good mayor asks for any able bodies who may have experience to offer themselves for hire upon the hill in investigating our recent disasters."
However tired of the announcement the herald is, the titter the word "disasters" sends through those few citizens outside is obvious.
"Interested parties may contact The Crows for more information," she finishes. Mechanically, she gestures to the left of the stage, where a young man in military kit stands nervoulsy. He jumps a bit as he catches sight of your group, and starts to cross the square, gesturing wildly for your attention, as if there was some massive crowd and you might miss him.
The citizens, following his gaze, scatter as they take note of you. The herald, duty discharged, drags herself off down one of the narrow streets, presumably to repeat the announcement elsewhere.
When the recruiter gets up to the party, "Sounds like another town is in trouble. Where is your mayor? We might as well hear the story from him."
Last edited by Satin Knights; Friday, 24th February, 2012 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Added Nightwatch
Defender (Lvl 8)
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Tokyo, Japan
ø Ignore perrinmiller
Tyrien has been glad she had the foresight to purchase the hot weather outfit, the thin material actually helping to make her more comfortable. However once reaching the humid area, she trades it for liberal use of her cantrip to chill her drinking water and keep the bugs away.OOC
Bringing up the rear of the column, the archer barely hears Kalgor's response to the town crier.
Though she is not adverse to helping people, she remarks to her companions around her in a soft voice, "I thought we were supposed to do our assignment. Won't this get in the way? Or delay us from our other thing?"
"But if they need help, I am happy to. Besides, there could be treasure involved. Excitement too."
"Of course if these disasters are the plague, I am not able to help and suggest we decline. I do not want pustules or the pox, bad for my skin complexion."
Playing & DMing: PF and SWSE
Turning to quiet the nervous little girl, "It is likely that Mayor Yrehgg will have more details about the troubles of Kostry Kopec than this lieutenant. He is the one we should deal with." Turning back to the soldier, "You could fill us in on the details you know while you lead us there, but it would be best if we got all the details from the mayor."