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Kulan: Knightfall's Crisis in Bluffside Game [IC]


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JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Tuck looks at the strangely comical scene for just one more moment, before deciding to return to the others. Staying in the shadows for a few blocks, the kobold then whispers a command to Mutt.

"Run," he instructs while climbing on the big dog's furry back, and off the two go, quickly back to the scene of the fight.

When they are almost there, Tuck dismounts and nimbly moves through the gathered crowd. He motions a fast greeting to his companions while moving towards the halfling commander Herleva straightaway.

"The Gate of Scales is unguarded," he reports, quiet enough so that the crowd would not hear it, or at least not everyone. "The Regulars seem to be in a, well, parade, led by Lord Horatius Demos Atticus, towards the Masque Arch."

The kobold is careful to leave out his personal feeling about this in his tone, except for his worries about the relocation of guards.
 

Scotley

Adventurer
Breva listens to the heretical talk with the heavy heart. He feels the call to speak in favor of his own God, but these misguided souls are likely beyond saving. He shakes his head and simply says, "While you have been blinded a true heart can see the path of real righteousness. If we can't save your soul we can at least see justice done."

Upon hearing Tuck's news he pulls his companions together. "Perhaps this," he gestures at the bodies and prisoners, "is just a distraction. I think we best make our way to this gate in some haste. I fear there is more Devilry afoot this day."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Akos gets up and dusts off after cheking everyone and turns to the crowds.
"Good citizens! Here you have a chance to see that those who might be termed villains are still beings of flesh and blood. While some..." he motions toward the priest "...may be loathsome and others..." motions toward Mambru "...are hard to understand, they are still people with their own problems and beliefs. Just like you, sir..." this time he motions in general direction of the crowd, not exactly pinpointing the man who cried "heathen!" - "...your piety does you credit, but do not be too quick to judge those less fortunate. For you know not what you might do if hungry on the street. The gods gave you plenty, you have your homes, families and food. You have The Five you can count on. Even in trying times like these when trouble rears its ugly head, you can see The Five working against the calamity." At the mention of the five he motions toward his group first only then waving it around to include the city. It is done subtly in one motion, but the idea is there. The group barely connected to The Five may now be firmly lodged in the crowds minds as the extension of them.
"Please, disperse, let us handle the miscreants and don't offer the terrorists this big a target."

OOC: diplomacy +24 and bluff +16 if you want to check the effects of the speech and subtleness of the wave :p
Perform (oratory) lacks ranks for some weird reason?!
The gathered crowd listens intently to Akos's words. While most listen with respect and a bit of awe for the growing fame of the heroes, a few continue to whisper among themselves. However, others shush them and soon all are listening with, at least, grudging respect. They all seem to weigh Akos's words of wisdom with deep thought. These are the elders and merchants of Old City, after all. Even the man who decried the 'heathens' softens his gaze but Akos can tell the man is still wary of the mercenaries.

The crowd begins to disperse in the wake of the Loremaster's short oratory. A few shake his hand and wish him and "Heroes of Old City" well. Then, Tim speaks his retort to the mercenaries...

The crowd (on average) is considered Hostile to the Rising Swords (with a -10 infamy penalty) and Indifferent to the PCs and the Regulars. Akos's Diplomacy check changes the crowd's average attitude to Indifferent to the Rising Swords prisoners and Helpful to the PCs and Regulars.

The crowd's average Sense Motive check: Gathered Crowd - Sense Motive check: 1D20+1 = [5]+1 = 6

Akos - Diplomacy and Bluff checks: 1D20+24 = [17]+24 = 41; 1D20+16 = [5]+16 = 21

Due to Akos's renown bonus of +2 the unmodified checks increase to 43 and 23, respectively. The diplomacy check is only 33 for the Rising Swords due the infamy penalty.

Tim scoffs at Narzissa, He replies to her in a loud, firm tone, so that the crowd might hear clearly as well: "If I assume too much, then so do you. I have no desire to save you. I have a desire to see justice done. And while we're on the subject of deities, my god does NOT offer salvation. He offers us the chance for a better life, by serving him. Ours is a life of sacrifice and devotion to duty. Syvatogor does not offer to save my soul, he offers me the strength to protect it myself, to earn my own way, in this world, and in the world beyond. He doesn't fill my belly like some helpless infant; he gives me the strength and will to fill it myself. And because my god offers nothing, he cannot possibly be the liar and thief you proclaim him to be. IN FACT, I would venture to say that even deities who deliver on their promises are in fact robbing their followers of their own individuality and self-determination. Such deities make their followers into weaklings. With Syvatogor, this is not so. The reward for self-sacrifice in the course of serving Syvatogor is the opportunity to sacrifice even more. That's what most people will never understand. You don't become strong by being served; you become strong by being of service."
"Then you and your god are both fools," Narzissa snaps back. "You don't want to save me. Fine. I can live with that. But don't expect me to convert to your deity or any other gods. Gods are charlatans. All of them. Yours has fooled you into submission... what you call sacrifice and devotion, and you readily admit its for nothing but you sacrificing your life for him." She shakes her head in disbelief. "You and I will never agree." She turn her back to the knight, as if to say she's done listening.

Some in the dispersing crowd boo and hiss at her, but they do continue to go back to their daily lives. A few youngsters gather around Akos and ask him if he can sing. Roland tries to shoo them away. "Go back to your mother's embrace. This scene is not for your eyes."

"I've s- seen a lot worse," one boys says a bit ashfacen.

"No you haven't," his older sister says as she tries to drag him away from the dead bodies on the street.

OOC: No matter what Tim says to Narzissa form now on, she refuses to speak to him at all. She will talk to Akos but not about gods or religion but not when Tim is around.

Tim looks at Mambru, then continues in the same, authoritative tone: "While it may be true that many dieties see their followers as pawns, or even cattle, it is not so with Syvatogor. He shows his compassion to us by filling us with courage, in the face of overwhelming adversity. He shows his compassion to us by allowing us to fail. Failure is an effective teacher; that which does not kill us, makes us stronger. You should grow a backbone, and stop blaming the gods for your own weakness."
"Your debate continues to stir up the crowd even though it's best for all that you don't incite them to violence," Mambru notes to Tim. "You should listen more to your friend's words," he motions to Akos with a head bob as the guards shackle his and Narzissa's arms behind their backs. "He's done a better job at making me think about my own life than you. You're blustering just makes me angrier. Either speak to me no more or cut my ear's off."

Breva listens to the heretical talk with the heavy heart. He feels the call to speak in favor of his own God, but these misguided souls are likely beyond saving. He shakes his head and simply says, "While you have been blinded a true heart can see the path of real righteousness. If we can't save your soul we can at least see justice done."
"Justice for those in power," Mambru replies. "I will not believe in anything else from The Five."

Tuck looks at the strangely comical scene for just one more moment, before deciding to return to the others. Staying in the shadows for a few blocks, the kobold then whispers a command to Mutt.

"Run," he instructs while climbing on the big dog's furry back, and off the two go, quickly back to the scene of the fight.

When they are almost there, Tuck dismounts and nimbly moves through the gathered crowd. He motions a fast greeting to his companions while moving towards the halfling commander Herleva straightaway.

"The Gate of Scales is unguarded," he reports, quiet enough so that the crowd would not hear it, or at least not everyone. "The Regulars seem to be in a, well, parade, led by Lord Horatius Demos Atticus, towards the Masque Arch."

The kobold is careful to leave out his personal feeling about this in his tone, except for his worries about the relocation of guards.
"That buffoon," Herleva says with surprise. "What is he doing out from behind a desk?" She shakes her head in dismay. "The news about the missing guards is troubling. The Gate of Scales is never left unguarded."

"Unless there is a festival," Roland notes. "And there are no festivals scheduled for Old City. All were cancelled once he started killing people," the Regular points at the unconscious form of Mani. The insane doppelganger almost looks serene laying unconscious on the the cobblestone street.

Upon hearing Tuck's news he pulls his companions together. "Perhaps this," he gestures at the bodies and prisoners, "is just a distraction. I think we best make our way to this gate in some haste. I fear there is more Devilry afoot this day."
"Any more deviltry and I'm going to need some serious time off," Vinccenzo says. The Sectarian Guard is still nursing his wounds but is ready to press on to the gate.

"We need to get these prisoners to the jail at the barracks," Roland notes. "Daithí, you and Zaquiel stay here and watch over the dead. Keep the people away from them until a wagon can be sent to pick up the bodies." He looks at Tim and the other. "We should not be carrying them through the street."

"I- I'd like to stay with Odhran," Mariana asks. "I need to think about how I'm going to tell my cousin. She's going to be crushed. Poor Serafina. I warned her that his life was dangerous, but she married him anyway. I can't really blame her..." The young regular seems to be talking to the air rather that Roland.

"Very well," Herleva replies. "But, remember you duty to the city. Don't let grief distract you."

Mariana looks down at the halfling sergeant. She takes a deep breath and then nods.

"Roland, let's get them moving!" Herleva orders. Her second in command snaps to attention and makes the three prisoners walk in unison. All three of the Rising Swords mercenaries have been chained with their hands behind their backs. They've been linked together by a firm rope. Roland walks in front of them while Herleva walks behind them. Vinccenzo walks just to the left of the prisoners.

The guards ask Tim to carry the unconscious doppelganger. Herleva asks Tuck to lead the way to the gate. It's a short march, even with the prisoners slowing them down. It is as Tuck said. The gate is completely deserted. There is no sign of a struggle. It's as if the guards simply left their posts.

"This is wrong," Roland says with concern. "It doesn't make any sense."

"Unless someone has charmed them," Vinccenzo suggests. "Or bribed them."

"Elites are normally stationed here," Herleva notes. "I could see a few succumbing to magic but not all of them. I'd hate to think Elites would accept bribes to look the other way." The halfling sergeant stares at Solomon with disgust. "What did your people do?"

The Dissenter priest just grins through his gag.

"You'd be surprised how corrupt your fellow guards are when enough coin is offered," Mambru says.

"Liar!" Roland snaps.

OOC: I assume your PCs will want to look for clues. Search checks! And you can roll Sense Motive checks against Solomon and Mambru. Intimidate would also be useful against Mambru and Narzissa... less so against Solomon.
 


Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Akos looks from one to another.
"We should look into it whatever the reason. If their superior is replaced by a doppelganger, or just plain incompetent and duped into something, the guards would have to follow orders. In a moment, just to fortify myself."

He mutters a spell and instead of healing himself as indicated he attempts to charm Mambru. Only then he triggers his belt of healing closing his wounds.

Standard: charm Mambru
Move: either to face Mambru or toward the gate (depending on the save) Will DC 14

Next round:
Healing belt: 2D8 = [8, 8] = 16 uh, wow, max healing!
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth

Mambru said:
"...Your blustering just makes me angrier. Either speak to me no more or cut my ear's off." [...] "..You'd be surprised how corrupt your fellow guards are when enough coin is offered..."

Tim levels his sword at the now helpless Mambru, and rests the tip of the blade gently on his left ear.

Tim smiles, "What a novel idea. You have inspired me, thank you. You obviously know something about what has transpired here, with regard to the missing guards. Why don't you speak up, and give me a reason to forego your inspirational suggestion?"

Tim's innermost thoughts:~I'll not butcher the man's ears, but he doesn't know that. Perhaps I can make him squeal, if I don't come on TOO strong. Let's test him.~

OOC: Intimidate: 22 (w/o situational modifiers)


OOC: No matter what Mambru says, afterwards, Tim will help search for clues, albeit unsuccessfully.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"Treachery is ever more potent than a ram. We must assume the worst." But he eyes Solomon and Mambru with suspicion. What is your game he wonders to himself. He is sure they are still playing them. He pauses to look for clues.

sense motive twice and search: 1D20+6 = [20]+6 = 26
1D20+6 = [13]+6 = 19
1D20+2 = [9]+2 = 11
Breva can instantly tell that Solomon's grin and gaze are not a bluff. His eyes show no remorse for his actions or the fate of the missing guards. Breva isn't sure if the evil priest knows what happened to them, but the paladin is sure something is hidden behind those eyes.

Mambru's bluff is a poor attempt. The man has no instinct for creative lying to save his own skin or sow dissent. The mercenary's words are betrayed by his downcast eyes and a break in his voice when he says the word 'corrupt'. He has no idea what has happened to the guards and is just speculating for the sake of his own amusement.

Akos looks from one to another.
"We should look into it whatever the reason. If their superior is replaced by a doppelganger, or just plain incompetent and duped into something, the guards would have to follow orders. In a moment, just to fortify myself."

He mutters a spell and instead of healing himself as indicated he attempts to charm Mambru. Only then he triggers his belt of healing closing his wounds.

Standard: charm Mambru
Move: either to face Mambru or toward the gate (depending on the save) Will DC 14

Next round:
Healing belt: 2D8 = [8, 8] = 16 uh, wow, max healing!
The Loremaster is able to lock eyes with the mercenary. The sly magic tries to influence the man's will, but Mambru easily shrugs off the charm attempt. He shakes his head and blinks and then glares at Akos. He has sensed the Loremaster's attempt to charm him. He says nothing but he bares his teeth like a wild animal that wants to sink his fangs into flesh.

OOC: Mambru - Will Save: 1D20+2 = [19]+2 = 21 (saves)




Tim levels his sword at the now helpless Mambru, and rests the tip of the blade gently on his left ear.

Tim smiles, "What a novel idea. You have inspired me, thank you. You obviously know something about what has transpired here, with regard to the missing guards. Why don't you speak up, and give me a reason to forego your inspirational suggestion?"

Tim's innermost thoughts:~I'll not butcher the man's ears, but he doesn't know that. Perhaps I can make him squeal, if I don't come on TOO strong. Let's test him.~

OOC: Intimidate: 22 (w/o situational modifiers)


OOC: No matter what Mambru says, afterwards, Tim will help search for clues, albeit unsuccessfully.
Mambru turns his glare from Akos to Tim.

"First this one tries to invade my mind," he motions to Akos with head shake. "And when that doesn't work, you try to get me to soil myself like I'm some simpering Del Cannitha Loyalist. I am a Rising Sword. My will doesn't break so easily. I will accept the Tribunal's judgment but I'm not going to beg for my life. I have more pride than that." He shakes his head. "And I've been told enough about you to know you're not the sort to torture a foe." He looks at Tuck, who has been silent." He on the other hand would gut both me and Narzissa if we were alone with him."

Tuck glares at the man and makes a hissing sound that comes out like a growl. Mutt senses his packmate's displeasure and growls at Mambru too.

"If you want the truth about what happened here, why don't you ask him," Mambru motions to Solomon.

Solomon's evil smile turns into a grimace through his gag. He makes an obscene gesture at Mambru... with his pants.

After putting Mani down, Tim tries to help Breva search the abandoned gate but the two of them only find a handful of muddy footprints near a large puddle that crisscross the open gateway from the mornings local traffic. It also looks like a cart drove through the puddle. People have been coming and going as usual but neither of them can discern if there has been any unusual movement.

The guard post next to the gate is empty yet hasn't been locked. The armor, weapons, and gear is neatly put away ready to be used. The post's tables and chairs are neatly arranged but there isn't any morning meals or cups of water. Everything is as it should be except that no one is on duty.

"This is either a major dereliction of duty, or something very odd is going on here," Herleva says as she walks through the deserted guard post. She looks at the duty roster for the post. "There should be at least four Elites on duty here, including a captain. Hmm, that's odd. There isn't a name for the captain who is supposed to be on duty today. While each guard isn't always named, the captain must put his name down for the record."

"That's the protocol," Roland adds.

"Someone didn't want their names recorded," Vinccenzo suggests. Once Breva and Tim are done going through everything, the Sectarian Guard goes through the gate post and along the entire gate with his keen senses. He takes his time. He finds three things of note.

First, there is a hidden cache of goods hidden under a loose flagstone near the gate. There is a box with coins, a few semiprecious gems, and some parchment. The coin are mainly coppers and silvers but there are 2 gold pieces as well. The three gems aren't likely very valuable. The parchment feels like it has been written on but there isn't any visible text. "Likely invisible ink," he says. "Or maybe magic." He hands the box to Breva for safekeeping.

Second, he makes note of the muddy prints and there are some boot scraps that look like they were made in haste. It's hard to say, as the prints aren't fresh. More than likely they were made last night in the fog. "I don't think there was a fight but something happened here, quickly."

The third thing he finds surprises everyone. There is a secret door built into the stone floor of one of the guard post's two cells. The Sectarian Guard nearly missed it. It is barely 5 feet by 5 feet. "This shouldn't be here, should it?" He asks Herleva.

"Absolutely not!" She says with anger, her face red. "It's a major security breech!"

Roland shakes his head. "Someone is going to get ostracized from the city for this one."

Vinccenzo looks at Tim, "I don't think you're going to fit through that opening. Well, not easily." The Sectarian Guard takes a torch from the wall, lights it, and drops it down the hole. He peers into the hole, carefully. "The drop is at least 30 feet straight down, and I don't see a ladder. There is a passageway down there, but it looks really tight. Tuck and Sergeant Herleva could traverse it with ease, but the rest of us are going to be scraping against walls, if we go down there. The head room looks okay."

Everyone looks towards the Rising Swords mercenaries. Mambru looks shocked. Narzissa stares impassively, at no one. Solomon is staring at his feet while cackling and coughing through his gag.

Mani starts snoring.

OOC: So, the initial passageway looks to be about 8 to 10 feet wide and the height near the hole is 25 to 30 feet. Anyone who looks down can see four stone doors that are built into the corridor's four walls. One of those doors stands open and faces north.

 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tim scoffs, jokingly, "Ok, you've twisted my arm. I will go first. I am broad-chested, but even I can fit in a 8-foot diameter hole. I'd estimate my girth, frontage-wise, as no more than five feet across. Maybe 7 feet, depending on what position I'm holding Rizvan in."

Tim grabs the rope, tests its strength with two, sharp pulls, and then lowers himself down into the unknown...
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Breva reaches into his pack and pulls out a coil of rope. "Perhaps this will make the decent easier?" He sets about securing one end of the rope to something sturdy enough to hold even Tim's weight. "Who would like to go first?"
"I don't think you should take them," Roland motions to the prisoners. "Down there." He looks at Vinccenzo. "How sure are you that these other cells are secure?"

"This is the only passageway I found," the Sectarian Guard says with a shrug. "If there are other hidden passages leading out of here, I'm not likely to find them even if I search again."

"Let me take a look," Tuck offers. The kobold urban ranger goes through the guard post in great detail. He finds some old dry rations stashed away in a hidden compartment in one of the wardrobes where extra uniforms are kept, as well as a couple of copper coins loose on the floor. He goes through the cells twice just to make sure that there aren't any other passageways and finds nothing. "I can honestly say those two other cells are secure."

"That's good enough for me," Herleva says. She opens the first cell and ushers Mambru and Narzissa inside. "But, I don't want to lock him up here," she says while staring at Solomon. "He needs to go to the barracks. Roland and I will take him there. We can handle just him."

"One of us should stay here and watch them," Roland insists. "I'll take him to the barracks. It won't take long, and I'll send backup from Riftwatch."

"I'll be fine. I can handle those two and an unconscious doppelganger."

"Actually, we should take the doppelganger with us," Vinccenzo suggests. "I don't want to let him out of our sight."

OOC: Tuck - Search Check: 1D20+15 = [11]+15 = 26

Akos frowns at the initiative.
"Why do we want to go down there? Are there tracks indicating someone recently went? I mean, it is a secret passage, not the main entrance."
"There are some strange footprints outside, but I don't know if they came into here or if they went somewhere else," Vinccenzo replies.

"Mutt and I can try to track them," Tuck says with a toothy grin. "Show me what you found."

Akos watches as Tuck and the Sectarian Guard go out near the shallow puddle where the footprints are and the kobold looks for any signs as where the suspicious prints went. Tuck goes over the area numerous times while Mutt stands guard near the puddle. He growls at any curious citizens passing through the unguarded gate. The locals seem to think Tuck and the others are the guards on duty, but when the urban ranger questions them about whether or not they've 'noticed any guards not where they should be', they become concerned that there is a crisis brewing.

"I haven't seen anything odd, at all," one elderly woman says. "I've been at the Sublime Bazaar. Oh dear! What has happened?"

Mutt comes right up to the old noblewoman and sits down in front of her in hope of getting some attention.

"Careful, he's fierce," Tuck says to her.

"Easy now, matron," Vinccenzo tries to sooth her worries while patting Mutt on the head. "It's nothing for you to worry about."

"Oh dear, oh dear," she says again. She seems to be on the verge of tears.

Tuck simply shrugs and follows a few of the footprints towards the guard post. Near the entrance, he stops. He retraces the prints and they seem to go in another direction. He shakes his head in frustration. "It's no good. I just can't tell where they went. It seems like they rushed back into the guard post, but these markings seem to say they ran off north. I can ask around, but it will take time."

More citizens are soon streaming through the open gate. The locals who had been hiding from the battle are now back out on the streets. Tuck and Vinccenzo try in vain to keep people from trampling over the prints but soon there are just too many people coming and gonig from the two wards.

"Damn! Too many feet!" Tuck says in frustration.

Roland comes out of the post to make sure that the citizens flow back a forth through the gate in a somewhat organized fashion. He is soon shouting for people going north to stay on the right and those going south to stay on the left. He stops a foreign merchant without any documentation and tells him that he needs to go to the Tribunal to get a writ to sell goods in Old City.

Tuck and Vinccenzo retreat into the guard post with the old matron in tow. She is completely beside herself with worry that guards are deserting the city or being killed in the night or that the fog whisked them away to another world...

Vinccenzo tries in vain to calm her down.

OOC: Tuck - Urban Tracking (Gather Information Check): 1D20+15 = [10]+15 = 25

Tim scoffs, jokingly, "Ok, you've twisted my arm. I will go first. I am broad-chested, but even I can fit in a 8-foot diameter hole. I'd estimate my girth, frontage-wise, as no more than five feet across. Maybe 7 feet, depending on what position I'm holding Rizvan in."

Tim grabs the rope, tests its strength with two, sharp pulls, and then lowers himself down into the unknown...
Just before Tim descends into the hole, Tuck comes up to him. "I don't think they went that way, but I can't say for certain." He looks back at the wailing woman. "But it's safer that dealing with that," he says in a low tone. The kobold urban ranger helps secure the rope with Breva as Tim disappears underground.

"What about the doppel-?" Vinccenzo begins to ask.

"Go! We'll stuff him in a wardrobe if we have to... he's quite harmless tied up, gagged, and unconscious," Herleva insists. She's also put Solomon into the other cell, as soon there are a barrage of concerns and requests from the local citizens to the 'guards on duty'. She begins to tend to the old matron by offering her some tea.

Once Tim is down, Tuck grabs the rope and easily climbs down into the darkness. Mutt doesn't wait to be lowered. He pokes his head into the opening and barks. He half falls, half jumps down to his pack mate. The big dog lands awkwardly on top of Tuck!

"Oof!"

Breva is soon climbing down the rope leaving Akos and Vinccenzo as the last to descend. The Sectarian Guard looks at the rope and then at Akos. "After... you?"

OOC: Mutt - Jump check: 1D20+11 = [2]+11 = 13 | No damage to Mutt but Tuck takes 1D6 = [1] = 1 nonlethal damage.
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Falen Arrives at the Gate of Scales:
Falen passes through several inner gates until he comes to an area with a large building in the center of the ward. It apepars to be some sort of theater or gladiatorial arena, but he feels its probably the former. The lone guard at what he learned is called Little Arch informed Falen that it would be quickest to go through the Overgrown Gateway, then through the Gate of Scales, then through the Iron Gate to get to Regulars Ward.

"If you need to see Lord Commander Oakfirst," the guard had said. "You really should go to the barracks first and make a formal request. He's likely at the Tribunal in the Sublime Ward but I wouldn't bother him there unless its urgent."

Falen leaves the large 'theater' behind and by the time he reaches the Gate of Scales, the number of people on the streets has almost tripled. He hears rumors that 'murderer on the loose has been caught' and 'a new group of heroes fought a band of invaders' and 'there are doppelgangers on the loose in Old City'. The throng half pushes, and half pulls him into a line being ushered through the gate by a single guard. The man seems to be on duty by himself, which seems odd.

As Falen nears the guard, the man singles him out. "You there! Are you a visitor to Bluffside? What's your business in Old City?"

A young nobleman tries to get the guard's attention. He calls the guard Mr. Roland and starts going into a long speech about local etiquette and lost wages. The guard rolls his eyes and tries not to smirk. He seems overworked and a bit bedraggled. He looks back towards Falen and smiles. "Never mind, just report in to the Palace if you have an official business with The Five. If you need a merchant's license, go to-"

The nobleman steps in front of Mr. Roland and begins to berate the man. "You will not ignore me!"

"I was not ignoring you, my lord," he guard replies. "I was just giving some advice to this visitor to our fine city."

"He can wait!" The nobleman looks at Falen with disdain.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Vinccenzo said:
"What about the doppel-?" Vinccenzo begins to ask.

Herleva said:
"Go! We'll stuff him in a wardrobe if we have to... he's quite harmless tied up, gagged, and unconscious," Herleva insists.

Tim pauses at the edge, before actually beginning his descent.

Tim says, "No, you CAN'T handle him. Even bound and gagged he can still work his magicks. Vinccenzo, you're with me. Where is the nearest actual prison? I don't mean the one or two courtesy cells in every guard post. I mean the actual main facility. You and I will take Mani there with haste, and see to it that he's properly imprisoned. The rest of you, secure the area, and await our return! We shan't be but a few minutes."

~She sure did seem anxious to get a hold of Mani and shoo us away. Something doesn't sit right about her. I'll need to watch her more closely from here on out.~

OOC: If Vinccenzo agrees, Tim will sling Mani over his shoulder, and tell Vinccenzo to set a running pace, and that he will keep up with him. They will both then high-tail it to the prison.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Tim pauses at the edge, before actually beginning his descent.

Tim says, "No, you CAN'T handle him. Even bound and gagged he can still work his magicks. Vinccenzo, you're with me. Where is the nearest actual prison? I don't mean the one or two courtesy cells in every guard post. I mean the actual main facility. You and I will take Mani there with haste, and see to it that he's properly imprisoned. The rest of you, secure the area, and await our return! We shan't be but a few minutes."

~She sure did seem anxious to get a hold of Mani and shoo us away. Something doesn't sit right about her. I'll need to watch her more closely from here on out.~

OOC: If Vinccenzo agrees, Tim will sling Mani over his shoulder, and tell Vinccenzo to set a running pace, and that he will keep up with him. They will both then high-tail it to the prison.
"I'm with you," Vinccenzo agrees. "Let's go!"

The two of them quickly exit the guard post. Tim's sudden appearance on the street causes many of the stodgier citizens to step back or gasp in astonishment. It seems some people will never quite get used to Tim's presence in Bluffside. Others, however, gasp with excitement and the passing crowds begin murmuring "it's him!" and "one of the heroes is on guard duty" and "what is that he's carrying?"

It is impossible for Falen not to notice the big knight and the doppelganger he is carrying slung over his shoulder. It isn't something that a person sees every day, in any city. He watches as the big man and his companion -- a local guard by the looks of it, although his uniform isn't like that of the Regulars he's met -- take off towards the north.

Tim and Vinccenzo are soon leaving the others and the crowds around the Gate of Scales behind. The citizens thin out once the duo reach the intersection where the northwestern wall of the Hollingsworth Estate meets the southeastern walls of the Pomander Estate. Both estates are heavily guarded and the guards watching over the deceased Lord Mayor's home react strongly to Tim's rushing through the street between the estate and the Southeast Tower of the Palace of Bluffside. While they are quick enough to stop him and Vinccenzo, they rush after the duo as they pass through the tight corridor between the two sets of walls.

Vinccenzo shouts out to them his and Tim's names and motions for them to follow. The guards do that anyway, not taking the Sectarian Guard's word as the truth. Once the duo reaches the tall fortified building known as Riftwatch, the trailing guards are lagging behind. Just beyond the enhanced guard post is the inner gate known as Iron Gate. The massive gateway is quite impressive and lives up to its name. The gate's huge wooden gate is reinforced with iron bands and is lifted by a complex system of weights and counterweights that hangs over the the high wall of Old City Rift.

"Halt!" A guard yells at Tim and Vinccenzo as they rush towards her and the other Elites stationed just outside of Riftwatch in front of Iron Gate. "You must stop and show me your credentials if you wish to pass through the Iron Gate!"

"We have a prisoner to be taken to the barracks," Vinccenzo says. "This doppelganger is the Old City Killer. We caught him last night in the fog. He needs to be secured quickly, as another crisis is looming. While transporting him through the district, we were set upon by members of the Rising Swords. We defeated them with the help of Sergeant Herleva and her fine patrol of Regulars, although, sadly, one of the guards who had been helping us escort the prisoner was killed."

"That's... a lot of information," the guard, obviously an important figure among the Elites, holds up her hand to signal to her Elites to stand down. A few had drawn their blades or trained their crossbows on Tim. She walks forward and looks at the doppelganger slumped over Tim's shoulder. "So, the rumors circulating on the streets are true. There is a doppelganger." She looks at Vinccenzo. "Your with the Sectarians, correct? How did you get involved in this capture?"

"That would take a long time to explain," Vinccenzo replies. "We really don't have that kind of time. There is more trouble at the Gate of-"

"Stop! You there with the dead body!" The estate guards finally catch up with Tim and Vinccenzo. "What is the meaning of this death and whoy have you disturbed the peace of our great Lord Mayor's final repose."

"Calm yourself, Captain Emenheiser," the female Elite says. "These are the heroes that caught the Old City Killer."

"That's just a rumor... wait, what is that!?" The older guard exclaims. He is winded. The man is obviously out of shape.

"A doppelganger, obviously."

"I- I can hardly believe it," Captain Emenheisier says with his mouth agape. "Wait! Why is it still alive?"

"We managed to capture him and thought Lord Commander Oakfirst or The Five would want to question the prisoner since it has information on the renegade sorcerer and the man's plans," Vinccenzo replies to the captain.

"The Lord Commander is at the Tribunal right now," the female guard says. "You can leave it here at Riftwatch. While I can open the gate so you can pass through to the Barracks Ward, it will take time. It isn't a simple process, as Iron Gate rarely is opened except for special ceremonies. Still, it's probably best to lock that thing in the Prison Tower. Our cells are quite full right now. There was a lot of mischief last night. The fog emboldened several thieves and other scoundrels. I've got at least four members of the Sabres locked up right now."

"Pfft! Just kill it and be done with the matter. Clerics can question the corpse." Captain Emenheisier motions to his men to take the doppelganger.

"I am Lady Christean Launceleyn, Second Captain of the Riftwatch," the female Elite moves to position herself in between Tim and Captain Emenheisier and his men. "The Lord Mayor's Honor Guard has no jurisdiction here at Riftwatch or on the streets of Old City. You are not a Palace Guard anymore Emenheisier. You lost that position years ago and why the Lord Mayor took you on is enigmatic. Perhaps he felt sorry for you, eh? And now he's been murdered on your watch."

"I- I wasn't on duty that night! That was Lord Commander Beaurepaire's failing and he's lost his sash and tabard for it. I will take his place."

"Doubtful."

"By the gods, so much posturing," Vinccenzo says. He shakes his head. "We don't have time for this... just open the gate. We have to get back to the Gate of Scales as quickly as possible."

"Why? What else has happened?"
 
Last edited:

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tim replies, "Guards are missing from their posts, either because of foul play, or because of bribery and/or betrayal, we don't know which. And we discovered a secret passage beneath the guard tower, which might explain how Whats-His-Face's men are able to travel without being seen. Need we say more?"
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Akos is still not happy with the prospect of going down into the tunnels. With unknown rat-people in the underground, thieves guild that surely goes through the tunnels occasionally and now potentially foul sorcerers minions...and all of them knowing the underground better than the heroes...he really doesn't like it.

With Tim rushing out, he shakes his head. His skills could help unlock the doors that would otherwise remain closed...but he has no intention of rushing through the city yet again. He instead takes time to calm the irrate nobleman and motions to the man the guard singled out for help.

"Hello, stranger, maybe I can help with the instructions while our good guard is busy. What are you looking for?" As an afterthought he adds
"And do you have the papers to move through the city unhindered? We are in special situation, as you may have heard."


@Aust Thale a man in silvery armor that retreats into his long robes even as he speaks is motioning to Falen to approach
 

Aust Thale

Explorer
Akos is still not happy with the prospect of going down into the tunnels. With unknown rat-people in the underground, thieves guild that surely goes through the tunnels occasionally and now potentially foul sorcerers minions...and all of them knowing the underground better than the heroes...he really doesn't like it.

With Tim rushing out, he shakes his head. His skills could help unlock the doors that would otherwise remain closed...but he has no intention of rushing through the city yet again. He instead takes time to calm the irrate nobleman and motions to the man the guard singled out for help.

"Hello, stranger, maybe I can help with the instructions while our good guard is busy. What are you looking for?" As an afterthought he adds
"And do you have the papers to move through the city unhindered? We are in special situation, as you may have heard."


@Aust Thale a man in silvery armor that retreats into his long robes even as he speaks is motioning to Falen to approach
Falen:
Mildly amused by the young nobleman accosting Roland the Guard, he does not respond to either, but responds to the fellow in the flowing robes engaging him in more civil conversation. He realizes that he did not leave the Consulate with such papers and permissions. He was unfocused on it, as he was more concerned about the page trying to shadow him and what it would take to ditch the young lad. Not wise. He had not changed his visage on this stroll through the city. Perhaps he should have. He would endeavor to not be a cloudy in his judgment in this place in the future. It was most unwise.

"I must have forgotten mine. I was endeavoring to reach Commander Oakfirst. Might you be able to assist me in that regard? It's rather important. I find myself perplexed with this city's inhabitants and their...anxiety."

Falen is more interested in directions at the moment. Or a map. That would do nicely.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"Commander Oakfirst? High aim for a stranger. Unfortunately, we will not see him before we're summoned. Could be soon, but I have no way of ensuring it. I believe he can be found at The Tribunal...but without some form of papers or escort I doubt he would see you.

I am Loremaster Akos here with the special group of Sectarian, Elite and Regular guard. Maybe if you introduce yourself and state your business we can sort something out, hmmm?"
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
TIM & VINCCENZO AT THE IRON GATE:
Tim replies, "Guards are missing from their posts, either because of foul play, or because of bribery and/or betrayal, we don't know which. And we discovered a secret passage beneath the guard tower, which might explain how Whats-His-Face's men are able to travel without being seen. Need we say more?"
Captain Launceleyn listens intently while Captain Emenheisier seems stunned in silence. His men sheath their weapons and urge him to let the Elites of Riftwatch to handle the situation.

"Missing guards from the Gate of Scales... if I'm understanding you right," she muses. "That is quite concerning indeed." She motions to another Elite. "Soldier, go tell Lieutenant Covington that I have a job for him. He's to put together a detachment and go reinforce the Gate of Scales. There are Regulars there who need support. Make sure Castellana goes with him. He's going to need her keen senses and magical abilities."

"Yes ma'am," the Elite reacts with a salute. It seems the Elites of Riftwatch are no nonsense guardians of Old City.

"Now, let's get that gate open," she adds. "OPEN THE IRON GATE!"

Her voice resounds high into the air. The force of her shout goes beyond that of normal vibrato. There is magical enhancement in her voice. It pitches high in the air for all to hear. Tim would not be surprised if Oakfirst himself heard her word all the way at the Tribunal.

"There's no turning back now," she says in her normal voice.

A flurry of activity on the inner walls above Riftwatch and the Iron Gate can be seen and heard by the half-ogre knight and the Sectarian Guard. The men and woman working to get the gate open are like ants crawling along the framework of the closed gate. Tim hears what sounds like gears in a huge mechanical monster beginning to move. The only sound that he's heard similar to it, on this world, are the great steam-powered lifts of the Undercity that allow citizens to move up and down from there to the streets of New City. The sound is also eerily similar to the Great Ironworks Clock of the Imperial City of Kluanburgh in the Ailaithan Empire (on his home world), which he heard once while part of a Vrocian diplomatic mission.

"I've heard the story of this gate, but I've never seen it operate," Vinccenzo notes to Tim.

From the Old City Rift rises what looks like a massive animated statue... or at least it's arms, torso, and head. It looks like a giant made of ceramics, iron, and wood. It reaches out towards the gate and undoes a latch on the top of the gate's tower. The guards on duty seem to working to steady lines of taught rope and portions of the wall that appear to be weaker than the rest of the edifice. The giant construct grabs a handle and lifts it up into the air. The process is noisy and crumbles a very small section of the upper wall but the process isn't truly destructive. It does kick up dust into the air. The Elites helping to work the complex mechanism cheer in triumph as the construct pulls the gate to itself and merges it to its torso. Then it disappears back down into the rift.

"Steam gnomes," Captain Launceleyn says after the noise dies down. "They're never subtle about the thing they build."

"Yes, but it works, and I must say it is impressive to behold," Vinccenzo replies.

Tim notes that the parts of the walls that crumbled weren't weight bearing but the process seems... excessive. The Riftwatch Elites work quickly to clean up the area and check the integrity of the, now, open gateway. They move to shore up any major cracks or fallen stonework. Tim notes that several of the Elites are dwarves and gnomes. Tim also understands why there are no other buildings near Riftwatch except for the sturdy walls protecting the gateway and rift, as well as Pomander Estate.

"Let's get your prisoner to the barracks," Captain Launceleyn says as she heads towards the open gateway. "Try not to let the gawking citizens on the other side of gate rattle you."

Vinccenzo follows the Elite captain through the fading haze of the aftermath of the Iron Gate's open. Tim can't help but follow. Once on the other side, it is as Captain Launceleyn says. The people of the Barracks Ward have gathered around on the other side of the Iron Gate. There are nobles, shopkeepers, and peasants mixed alongside Regulars and Elites.

Standing closer to the impressive gate is an imposing elder dwarf with stern look of his face. His arms are crossed and he looks one step below irate. He glares daggers at Captain Launceleyn who doesn't wither under his eyes.

"It was required," she says plainly.

"You better hope so or I'm going to personally call for your banishment from the city," the dwarf replies. "Iron Gate is never to be opened unless The Five all agree. You know that!"

"That's not even possible right now," she says. "There are only four of them and-"

"That is not the point!"

"Commander Mildenhall, the morning rumors that the Old City Killer was caught and is a doppelganger are true!" She motions for Tim to step forward. "And there is more. The Gate of Scales was left unguarded this morning while the killer's captors were transporting the prisoner through the city's streets. The guards that were supposed to be on duty there have vanished. I'm sending Lieutenant Akia Covington and Miss Castellana to investigate."

"And, we were set upon by members of the Rising Swords," Vinccenzo adds. "They admitted who they were as they attacked us while trying to take the doppelganger. The Renegade is responsible for all this trouble."

The old dwarf bows his head and muses internal for nearly a minute. "Del Cannitha," he finally says. "That bastard again. First the fires and explosion in New City and now this..." He sighs and shakes his head before raising his eyes towards Big Tim. "I assume you haven't captured him yet, Sir Valencia? Yes, I know who you are. You're quickly becoming a local celebutante here in Old City... whether you wish it or not. Regardless, Lord Commander Oakfirst has told me and the other commanders of your group and your mission to bring the Renegade to justice."
 

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