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

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
The ex-commander shakes his head. "While I'm not surprised at your reaction, I would think you'd see the idea of preparing for anything on the field of battle. What you call treachery, I call good battle tactics," Lowenan says calmly. He sighs. "It seems you've spent too many years cloistered in a dusty room and not enough time standing toe to toe against foes. I guess with your upbringing, it isn't surprising, but if I can give you some advice Loremaster." He pauses. "You must learn to see three steps ahead of your enemies if you are to survive in this world. Keeping Arnona and Silagord out of sight to attack from rear if violence erupts was a sound battlefield tactic, but they would not have attacked you from behind unless you used your magic or Sir Tim swung the first strike."

Lowenan looks at Tim. "You are a knight of your people. You have fought on the field of battle, yes? So, you understand that good tactics are the key to victory and that when fighting against magical foes you have to be doubly prepared. Yes, we are enemies, but as a good soldier, you know how to prepare for war."

"I know how to prepare, good man, I was intentionally provocative. I expected the throne to be for your master or at least something that would rile you up. I didnt expect a mimic though. Well played. I did sit in a monastery for a long time...but that was my masters mistake, just as The Five made a mistake of your family. The laws should be guiding the justice, not be all and end all."

Akos nods at Lowenan.
"I am negotiator first, fighting doesn't come naturally to me. Rising swords didn't really give me a chance so they suffered the other side of a good negotiation."

He turns to look at Akos again. "Yes, I have this blade, but I also have my orders. I am here to keep the peace, if possible. My mentor has ordered me not to be the aggressor. We haven't taken any hostile action, but I will not hold back if you strike first. Yes, it puts me at a disadvantage, which is why I kept Arnona and Silagord out of sight." He sighs again and takes another swig of wine. "I should have warned you about the mimic up front, but I never thought that you'd go and try to sit on it. It's a mistake I don't often make and I apologize." He looks at Akos. "But, ask yourself this, if the throne wasn't an unknown factor in this room, then why wouldn't I have been sitting there? It would be a position of strength. This place wasn't built by Phelix, and I think you know that already, so there could be dangers here that even my mentor hasn't deciphered yet."

He walks over to the table and places his rapier on it. He takes a chunk of meat from one of the plates and dabs it into something in a bowl before eating it. Then he walks back to the chair and sits down. He leaves the rapier on the table. "I hope that will prove to you that I will not attack first. If I was to do so, Phelix would be very upset with me. He knows that eventually you'll come for him, and he would like to broker some sort of agreement to prevent it." He takes a deep breath. "Yet, it may not be possible to avoid more bloodshed. He has his plans and he isn't going to change them without some sort of incentive from your masters, and it is doubtful The Five will agree to anything that Musummaar can offer on Phelix's behalf. But, he wants to try to keep you from invading the enclave."

He motions to the portal. "There are things contained in that place that you should not disturb. Creatures he's brought in from the Far Realms and monsters trapped in magical circles that were placed there long before Phelix discovered its existence. Some of those ancient circles were close to failing before he arrived. Yet, he will not give up the demiplane without a fight an he knows the Wizard Council will take it from him, if they can. But, also ask yourself... would they destroy it or would they do what Phelix has done and use its power, study it? Hmm? Don't be so sure you know the answer Loremaster."
"Leaving the weapon there is dangerous for you. It could provoke some trickery from us. Thank you for your confidence. As for The Five, the failing of wizards of all stripes is their curiosity. The difference between wizards and sorcerers is that the former think first and experiment later. Waldo cannot expect peace after the explosion. Whatever he offers. And leaving him here to experiment with the portals, while knowing he cares for nothing except opening the world-ending portal to te Far Realms...we can take a message, but I don't see it happening."

Lowenan fumes but keeps his temper in check. "Yes, I admit that we use him as a guardian, but he wouldn't have left this place without fighting to the death. Phelix found it more useful to convince him that we meant him and his charge no harm." He shakes his head. "It unfortunate that the power of the portal drains the genie's life force, but Phelix refuses to give up this room or the power it has that connects it to the Ancients. We do not always agree, but I have accepted his choice and will not question him. It is not my place.
"But was it your place to question the wisdom of forbidding sorcerers in the city then?"

"You think me a traitor to my oath and my city, and if you look at it from the point of view of the city's unyielding laws over its citizens, then you are right," Lowenan says bitterly. He lowers his head and stares at the floor. "I am no longer loyal to a bunch of preening merchant lords who rule over Bluffside like it is their personal property, and who push out anyone who challenges their power. The Wizard Council is just as bad, but at least they contain their most of their machinations to the Wizard District. Still, it was the council that convinced The Five that sorcerers like my mentor have no place in Bluffside. They care not about his ethics or his interest in the Far Realms. They only see a sorcerer who threatens the status quo. If he was a wizard, they would accept him into their circle. He would have a position of importance and not be trying to live off scraps." He looks up at Akos. "They will come for you at some point, Loremaster Akos. Be prepared for their treachery if you become too powerful. They may have let you join one of their Houses, but now, you always will be subject to their rules and games. Be glad that the people of Old City have come to admire you, but be careful how popular you become. It could be a death sentence."
"I think you traitor to your oath and your city, yes. Not because you aren't right, but because you took the oath and broke it. The laws have nothing to do with it. You changed your loyalty for whatever reason, you're now the traitor. And believe me, if you didn't hide so much your power or at least studied some of the arcane lore, you'd know that opening the portal to the Far Realms is a world ending event. And that alone would bring the wrath of the Five down on him even if he was a wizard. Status quo could have been challenged from within. Now you're just another outlaw. But we're here to negotiate, not to try and open your eyes. So..."

He stands and points at Vinccenzo. "That is what they did to my mother and when they discovered her powers did not come from texts but was innate in her soul, they used it as an excuse to execute her as a renegade! She was a good woman, but they did not care!" he rages. "Nonwizards live in fear in this city," he snaps. "I know this because I am a sorcerer in addition to being a soldier! I have had to hide my abilities or risk being branded a traitor and a renegade! I have watched good men die because I could not use my magic to save them! So, you'll forgive me if I care not what you think of me!"

I think we agreed that no one knows Akos is anything more than a cleric and half-fey. Warlock healing can be 'reach spell' + cure wounds...and with Akos bluff skill it would take high level arcanist to know the difference.

Arnona is surprised by Akos's words. It's clear as a bright summer day. She gives him a sly smile before glancing at Lowenan. "Sir, what do what to do?"

"If he feels he must converse with you instead of me, so be it. But don't promise him anything that Phelix would not offer. Neither you or I can them any such guarantee," Lowenan says more calmly. He sits down in the chair and crosses his feet. "This could be interesting, but remember what I told you about his abilities. If you sense any sort of magical guile on his part, don't hesitate."

Arnona nods and takes a step away from Tim, so she can see Akos better. "While I have some diplomatic training, I'm the youngest in my family and was not given the same opportunities as my older sister and brother. She will inherit my father's holdings and my brother is now a cleric of one of the Twelve Gods. If I hadn't joined the Regulars, I would have been forced to marry a decrepit old nobleman from Pertan. No, I wasn't going to let that happen, so I became and guard and a soldier but soon came to realize I had traded a bastard of a husband for an uncaring group of dictators."

She sheathes her blade and then crosses her arms. "Commander Wearne has taught me how to survive and that rulers and leaders don't always have the peoples best interest at heart. I realize that Phelix is not a moral man, but he is more accepting of who I, no, we are as people. Yes, he does not like betrayal, but who does." She pauses. "And I will not tell you my family name. I will not have the Sectarian," she points at Vinny. "Disgrace my family because I stand with my commander and Phelix, despite the arcane power in their soul and the horrible restrictions on sorcerers. It is archaic."

"I have no preference, as I said, it was just to rile you up to see how far we can go. I think we shall go now and report everything we learned. I think Waldo is close to finishing his ritual and he's afraid of us as he should be. You would be no more than a speed bump for us. Except obviously he could send his demon down here."
Local to recognize Arnona; Nobility to recognize Arnona: 1D20+11 = [1]+11 = 12
1D20+8 = [18]+8 = 26

She looks solemnly at Tim. "I respect your abilities knight, but you are not on the right side. Mirella has nothing against sorcerers, but the Five do. The World Goddess is simply dispassionate about the lives of mortals."


While v.3.5 doesn't have a Linguistics skill, you can roll an Intelligence check and add a +1 bonus for each language that Akos speaks (+4) to try to learn what the gestures mean and how to interpret them. The DC is 20.
Linguistics (int + number of languages): 1D20+2+4 = [16]+2+4 = 22

"I will... I do," She nods. "But please do not say my name to Oakfirst. He knows me and my family. If he learns what I have done, he will go to The Five, and they will strip my family of their titles and have them all either thrown in prison or ostracized from Bluffside. I now I can't keep you from telling him, but I'm begging you not to... they don't deserve to be punished for my choices."

Lowenan adds. "Phelix cares not for the mercenaries you've captured. They failed to capture the doppelganger, and they didn't do what they were told. There leader didn't even try to bluff you. Pathetic. The Rising Swords think they are good tacticians, but they tend to attack first and negotiate only when their backs are against the wall." He pauses "Phelix will want to get Solomon back, I think, but I know that Lord Commander Oakfirst won't release him under any circumstances. The man is too dangerous to let go, or live. He will probably not survive his first night in prison."
"We're not your enemy Lady Arnona Chittendens...but you knew you were putting them at risk by joining the sorcerers. You know the officers here have to obey a direct order. You could also come with us, young noble misguided by the powerful.

I don't want to enter 'influencing part' here so...Let's try to get to some agreement here. We will give you time to improve your defenses while we report to The Five and The Commander. But we will return, you must know that."


"The Five must give up the idea of sending you, or anyone else, into the demiplane, and in return he will agree to pay to keep the Rising Sword out of Bluffside, but he will not give up the room you are standing in nor any of his other arcane holdings in Old City. However, he no longer cares about the Growers' Tower, as the portal there was a failed experiment. Seal it up or tear it down if you wish. But, don't try to open the portal within the tower itself. That would end badly. Tearing down the tower most likely will not activate the portal.

"The other portal near the gardens could bring you or another force here, but please know that he knows you are coming and that he will be prepared to fight to the death if you do so. He has many Loyalists in Bluffside. You have not rooted them all out. He would prefer the rulers of the city to see reason and allow him to continue his work, so that he can return home t-"

"What reason would that be, good gnome? Your master killed hundreds already. And he will kill thousands if he finishes his project here."
 
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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Walking toward the group, careful not to do any sudden moves, he bows to Lowenan, turns his back to the bandits and bowing to the knight. He tries his best to use the cloak to conceal his gestures.

"We are friends. The gate is killing the genie."

If there is time one additional sentence.
"We will not attack you first."
Bluff to conceal gestures: 1D20+16 = [8]+16 = 24


Ooc: not sure if roll was supposed to be my int to send or DMK int to understand it...
Language check (int + #languages): 1D20+2+4 = [10]+2+4 = 16
1D20+2+4 = [4]+2+4 = 10
1D20+2+4 = [9]+2+4 = 15
not great :(
If it is bluff to send message the results are 26, 20, 25
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"I know how to prepare, good man, I was intentionally provocative. I expected the throne to be for your master or at least something that would rile you up. I didnt expect a mimic though. Well played. I did sit in a monastery for a long time...but that was my masters mistake, just as The Five made a mistake of your family. The laws should be guiding the justice, not be all and end all."

Akos nods at Lowenan.
"I am negotiator first, fighting doesn't come naturally to me. Rising swords didn't really give me a chance so they suffered the other side of a good negotiation."
"Provocation is not a good idea... for either of us," Lowenan replies. "I will try not to provoke you and if you could do the same, it might help broker a real peace." He reaches for the wine but then thinks better of it. "I agree that those mercenaries are unruly dogs best kept out of Bluffside. Phelix considers them to be useful, but I've advised him not to get in so deep with them that they think themselves equal to our Loyalists. They are not."

Neurotic said:
"Leaving the weapon there is dangerous for you. It could provoke some trickery from us. Thank you for your confidence. As for The Five, the failing of wizards of all stripes is their curiosity. The difference between wizards and sorcerers is that the former think first and experiment later. Waldo cannot expect peace after the explosion. Whatever he offers. And leaving him here to experiment with the portals, while knowing he cares for nothing except opening the world-ending portal to the Far Realms...we can take a message, but I don't see it happening."
"The explosion in New City was unfortunate, but it was not planned," Lowenan counters. "Phelix did not know about the fireworks in the house next to his residence. He realizes he should have known, but the man using that house, Radko Ravenmore, went to great lengths to hide his alchemy workshop in the basement. He never sold his creations out of his home. As far as my mentor could divine, afterwards, he never sold his fireworks anywhere it New City. Radko did have a general shop out on Sordadon that sold fireworks out of a hidden storeroom. It is closed now, and he is in the wind."

He pauses. "Ravenmore was a bard, not a wizard. Thus, he was forced to flee the city or end up in chains. Any being with an innate ability with magic walks a fraying tightrope in this city. Bards are usually accepted as being relatively harmless by the council and a few of them have found wealthy patrons among the nobility, which shields them from the harshest rules of the Wizard Council, but such protections only goes so far. Plus, the common people tend to love performers."

Neurotic said:
"But was it your place to question the wisdom of forbidding sorcerers in the city then?"
"I have tried to have that conversation with the Lord Commander, several times," Lowenan replies bitterly. "It was only a debate of law not magic. If I had tried too hard to sway him and others in the Regulars, they would have become suspicious. I always used the argument that it would cost the city less to simply legalize sorcery rather than spend tons of gold and magic trying to root sorcerers out." He shakes his head. "He would not listen, and I don't blame him. Sorcerers are not well thought of by the common people and nobility alike, and if he argued for lifting the ban, he could lose his place as Lord Commander... or something even worse."

Neurotic said:
"I think you traitor to your oath and your city, yes. Not because you aren't right, but because you took the oath and broke it. The laws have nothing to do with it. You changed your loyalty for whatever reason, you're now the traitor. And believe me, if you didn't hide so much your power or at least studied some of the arcane lore, you'd know that opening the portal to the Far Realms is a world ending event. And that alone would bring the wrath of the Five down on him even if he was a wizard. Status quo could have been challenged from within. Now you're just another outlaw. But we're here to negotiate, not to try and open your eyes. So..."
Lowenan shakes his head. "The law is what it is and if forced into irons, I will have no choice to accept my punishment no matter how unjust it is to me personally. I accepted that long ago."

"We all have," Lady Arnona says. The other ex-guards nod although the young wizard, Silagord, hesitates.

"As for the Far Realm, I trust my mentor's judgment more than yours," Lowenan says. "He has studied it and its denizens all of his life." He pauses again and looks at the gnome scribe in the portal. "Phelix knows the rumors about him being an alienist, so I am not revealing too much by saying he is indeed an alienist and quite a powerful one." He looks at Akos. "But he is not the only alienist in Bluffside. There are alienist conjurers who study the Far Realm in great detail -- who knows what they've summoned and studied in the sub-cellars of House of Conjuration. They think their knowledge of wards and summoning circles are infallible. Bah! They pretend to be in control of every aspect of summoning." He shakes his head. "While Chancellor Kildorn isn't an alienist himself, he hasn't forbidden the study of the Far Realms. Such instruction isn't for neophytes, of course." He looks at the Loremaster and smiles. "Go ask him about the Far Realm, if you dare!"

(@ScottDeWar_jr)
As a members of the Sectarian Guard, Vinccenzo knows that what Lowenan is saying about conjurers studying the Far Realm is true. However, the instruction is only for the most powerful members of the House of Conjuration. To say that the classes aren't for neophytes is a bit of an understatement. A conjurer (or wizard) would have to be 12th-level (an Arcanist of the Twelfth Order) or higher to be able to learn how to summon pseudo-natural creatures safely. Anyone less powerful who tries to do so is quickly kicked out of the House, as well as Bluffside. They don't usually end up being executed, however. The Wizard Council pays The Five for any damages or loss off life that occurs outside the Wizard District.

Neurotic said:
He stands and points at Vinccenzo. "That is what they did to my mother and when they discovered her powers did not come from texts but was innate in her soul, they used it as an excuse to execute her as a renegade! She was a good woman, but they did not care!" he rages. "Nonwizards live in fear in this city," he snaps. "I know this because I am a sorcerer in addition to being a soldier! I have had to hide my abilities or risk being branded a traitor and a renegade! I have watched good men die because I could not use my magic to save them! So, you'll forgive me if I care not what you think of me!"
I think we agreed that no one knows Akos is anything more than a cleric and half-fey. Warlock healing can be 'reach spell' + cure wounds...and with Akos bluff skill it would take high level arcanist to know the difference.
Hmm, that's something I forgot to consider while writing my last reply... sorry about that. But, what are the chances that even if others don't know, that Phelix might have discovered who Akos patron is through divination or some other means? (Gather Information, maybe.) I'll make some DM Only checks for him and save them in my document file for Phelix. ;)

For now, lets say that Lowenan is referring to all the PCs' growing popularity with the citizens of Old City and not Akos status as a warlock. Those who become too popular are often considered a threat by some members of The Five and their allies. Right now, the PCs are in any danger of being ostracized from the city, but as they grow powerful, that might change. For now, Lady Samantha Pomander is clearly in the PCs' corner and bringing in the Old City Killer will make them valuable assets to the other members of The Five.

Neurotic said:
"I have no preference, as I said, it was just to rile you up to see how far we can go. I think we shall go now and report everything we learned. I think Waldo is close to finishing his ritual and he's afraid of us as he should be. You would be no more than a speed bump for us. Except obviously he could send his demon down here."
ooc: Local to recognize Arnona; Nobility to recognize Arnona: 1D20+11 = [1]+11 = 12
1D20+8 = [18]+8 = 26
Vinccenzo is relieve and shows a bit to see Akos is trying to accomplish the result of his fellow members of this negotiation as he suggested earlier.
"It's obvious that you are eager to be free of this place and threat we might be to you," Lowenan says calmly. "As I said, you are free to leave but don't expect it to be easy to return here, if you come to kill. And, don't expect Phelix to sit idly by while you plan to assault us here or in the enclave. We will be ready for whatever comes if diplomacy isn't an option for The Five."

Neurotic said:
She looks solemnly at Tim. "I respect your abilities knight, but you are not on the right side. Mirella has nothing against sorcerers, but the Five do. The World Goddess is simply dispassionate about the lives of mortals."
ooc: Linguistics (int + number of languages): 1D20+2+4 = [16]+2+4 = 22

"We're not your enemy Lady Arnona Chittendens...but you knew you were putting them at risk by joining the sorcerers. You know the officers here have to obey a direct order. You could also come with us, young noble misguided by the powerful.

I don't want to enter 'influencing part' here so...Let's try to get to some agreement here. We will give you time to improve your defenses while we report to The Five and The Commander. But we will return, you must know that."
Lady Arnora looks at Akos wide-eyed then turns to Lowenan. "Oh no! I said too much! He knows my family name! This is a disaster!"

"Calm yourself, Arnora," Lowenan says soothingly. "I surmised that he might be able to learn a lot about us just through conversation. He is a Loremaster, after all." He turns and glares a Akos. "But is is bad form for you to expose her family in... mixed company." He looks at Custodio, then at Vinccenzo. "These men have loyalties that go beyond your little group of heroes."

"By The Twelve!" Lady Arnora looks up at the ceiling of stars. "They are all lost! They will be arrested and ostracized from the city!"

"Then you shouldn't have betrayed Bluffside!" Custodio snaps. "But... while your family may face severe fines and dishonor for your actions, they aren't likely to face the noose or ostracization unless it can be proved they helped you in your betrayal or try to help you after you've been officially charged with treason." The Vanquisher stares at the floor. "Be glad I don't have the authority to do so. I must wait to see what the Lord Commander and The Five will decide... but I expect they will not be lenient."

"On that we agree, Mr. Vecchi," Lowenan adds. "I don't think the Loremaster truly understands the position he's put you in regarding your Oath to the city."

Custodio looks at Akos then back to Lowenan. "Oh, I think he does understand. He knows I will do my duty as an Elite." He looks at Lady Arnora. "I will make you no promises of silence. You cannot ask that of me." He sighs. "You need to realize Lady Arnora that from the moment I learned your name -- not your family name -- I would give that information to the Lord Commander. While I don't know you or your family, I'm sure the commander does know who you are. Many Regulars make the mistake of thinking that Reginald Oakfirst can't know everyone under his command, but I assure you that he'll know your name even if he's never met you personally. He would be a poor leader if he didn't know the people serving under him." He glares at Lowenan. "And Arnora is not a common name in this city, so if you want to blame someone then blame your commander for speaking yours and the wizard's name so casually." Custodio motions to Silagord, the young tower wizard.

Tensions rise slightly but Custodio has said his peace. He turns and walks out of the room without any concern that the ex-guards will attack him. He keeps his sword ready as he heads back towards the entry from the guard post.

"I see the reports on him are true," Lowenan says after the Vanquisher leaves the room. "He is a bit of a hothead."

OOC: Actually, it is Chittenden. When I wrote Chittendens in the PM, it was meant as a plural form of the surname.

Neurotic said:
"What reason would that be, good gnome? Your master killed hundreds already. And he will kill thousands if he finishes his project here."
"As Mr. Wearne has already told you, the explosion wasn't planned and if the The Five want compensation for the destruction, then we will try to find the funds," the gnome replies. "But, when lives are lost as part of good research, I can accept that. The benefit outweighs the losses." He crooks his head to try to study Akos face. "Hmm, you obviously don't think so... I will not try to convince you otherwise." He steps back from the portal and makes a motion and his face disappears from view. The portal shifts to show the fire demon again but it is held in place by a magic circle. The portal is silent on the other side.

Walking toward the group, careful not to do any sudden moves, he bows to Lowenan, turns his back to the bandits and bowing to the knight. He tries his best to use the cloak to conceal his gestures.

"We are friends. The gate is killing the genie."

If there is time one additional sentence.
"We will not attack you first."

ooc: Bluff to conceal gestures: 1D20+16 = [8]+16 = 24
Akos watches out of the corner of his eye for some sort of reaction from Lowenan but the ex-commander is too busy trying to reassure Lady Arnora 'that all is not lost'. The other ex-guards have their eyes on Big Tim... waiting for him to exit the room with the Loremaster. Akos thinks he might have gotten some of the gestures right, but he can't be certain. If the knight understands him, he doesn't show it on his face.

OOC:
Neurotic said:
Ooc: not sure if roll was supposed to be my int to send or DMK int to understand it...
Language check (int + #languages): 1D20+2+4 = [10]+2+4 = 16
1D20+2+4 = [4]+2+4 = 10
1D20+2+4 = [9]+2+4 = 15
not great :(
If it is bluff to send message the results are 26, 20, 25
OOC: The Intelligence check is for successful picking the right signs to convey your message to the DMK. So, you succeed for the first and third sentences but not the second one. He doesn't understand that set of signs at all; its gibberish to him.
I noted in our PM conversation that the DC was only going to be 15, not 18, so Akos does succeed to get his point across to the DMK for the first and third sentences but at the bare minimum. So he understands that you don't want him as an enemy and that you don't want to fight him.
You can roll a Diplomacy check to go along with those two sets of signs but there is a -4 circumstance penalty to the roll for the failed second set and that it is hard to get your meaning across to the knight while trying to Bluff the guards at the same time.

You'd only have to worry about the Bluff check to keep Lowenan and the other ex-guards from noticing that Akos is trying to communicate with the DMK clandestinely. It's not like you're trying to bluff the DMK.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Akos stops his measured exit and turns back.

"My lady, it wasn't my intent to cause you distress. The only way to remain anonimous here was to wear full face helm and not behave like a noble. You nobles are too small in number that someone wouldn't recognize you. Young are impetuous, incautious. You can still come with us. You followed your commander even when his betrayal was obvious. But now that he admitted to be a sorcerer why not save yourself and your family? Punishment is inevitable, every school in life costs. Everyone needs to be able to make his own choice. But society also needs rules of conduct. Breaking those brings consequences. You can now choose your path, each one with its own set of consequences. You heard your commander, he accepted his death when he betrayed the city. Are you ready? Once we leave, there is no coming back."

He turns back toward the exit and slowly walks out.
"I'm sorry we couldn't decide anything here, we're just not empowered to speak for the Five."

Bowing once more at the very exit, he looks guardian knight in the eyes, trying to read if his gestures were understood before going finally out in a stately manner. Slow enought to give the girl a chance to think it through.

"I hope I didnt just sentenced her to death. Phelix doesn't like betrayals" he thinks hoping against hope she will come after them and not with weapons in hand and that they will be able to protect her.
 


ScottDeWar_jr

second birthdate : 15 Dec 2011
Vinccenzo gives a flourising, respectful bow to the noblewoman and gives a single nod of his head, a non-commital act that only acknowledges, he too, is leaving. he hurries to catch Ackos, "Loemaster, I will need to report this to my commander as I am sure you would expect. I will do so after we all give our report to the 5."
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Tuck hears the others leave the large room, and he knows he has to act. Where he was indecisive before, he impulsively decides to draw his companions' attention to his place in the barracks, and hopefully to remove the cat from the room as well.

The kobold whistles sharply - not an easy thing to do with his scaly lips, but it's obvious he has taught himself eventually - and Mutt comes barging into the barracks, wagging its tail.

Until the dog spots the cat. Mutt freezes and starts growling deeply.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Akos stops his measured exit and turns back.

"My lady, it wasn't my intent to cause you distress. The only way to remain anonymous here was to wear full face helm and not behave like a noble. You nobles are too small in number that someone wouldn't recognize you. Young are impetuous, incautious. You can still come with us. You followed your commander even when his betrayal was obvious. But now that he admitted to be a sorcerer why not save yourself and your family? Punishment is inevitable, every school in life costs. Everyone needs to be able to make his own choice. But society also needs rules of conduct. Breaking those brings consequences. You can now choose your path, each one with its own set of consequences. You heard your commander, he accepted his death when he betrayed the city. Are you ready? Once we leave, there is no coming back."
"While I am loathe to lose your skills, Arnona," Lowenan says. "Perhaps you should consider the Loremaster's offer. Of all of us, you have the most to lose. I will not consider it a betrayal if you choose your family over me, over us."

"But Phelix will," Lady Arnona replies. "He will send his Loyalists for me and my family... you know that."

"Your heart has never truly been in this endeavor, my dear," Lowenan says. "And, I may be able to convince Phelix that you wouldn't be as useful in the conflict to come as I, personally, know you would be to our side. It wouldn't be a lie. Your heart is with your kin more than us, and if you stay, you will have to harden it to their suffering."

The young noblewoman seems torn as what to do.

Neurotic said:
He turns back toward the exit and slowly walks out.
"I'm sorry we couldn't decide anything here, we're just not empowered to speak for the Five."

Bowing once more at the very exit, he looks guardian knight in the eyes, trying to read if his gestures were understood before going finally out in a stately manner. Slow enough to give the girl a chance to think it through.

"I hope I didn't just sentenced her to death. Phelix doesn't like betrayals" he thinks hoping against hope she will come after them and not with weapons in hand and that they will be able to protect her.
Tim, who has said nothing additional up to this point, nods at the guards, tipping his hat, with an almost imperceptible grin, as he moves to follow Akos.
Lowenan says nothing to Akos as the Loremaster exits the room. But before Tim leaves the room, he motions to the big knight. "Sir Tim, I would have you take charge of Lady Arnona," he says.

"Lowenan, this is not a good idea," the young noblewoman replies.

"If you were going to stay, you would not have hesitated," Lowenan replies. "Now go, and take Silagord with you. The boy is literally shaking in his boots."

"You- you're letting me leave?" Silagord says to Lowenan. "You didn't give Harald that option... why?"

"Harald didn't give me an option. You know that. Besides, the situation has changed, and I do not want more blood today," the ex-commander says firmly. "Go... and take that damn cat of yours with you. He smells like mothballs and moldy bread."

The tower wizard is shocked by the ex-commander's words. His hands drop to his side and looks gloomily down at the floor. He walks out of the room with a glance back towards Lady Arnona and Lowenan. Once out in the hall, he reluctantly surrenders his spell component pouch and dagger to Vinccenzo. Yet, there is a sense of relief in the young man's eyes.

Vinccenzo gives a flourishing, respectful bow to the noblewoman and gives a single nod of his head, a non-committal act that only acknowledges, he too, is leaving. he hurries to catch Akos, "Loremaster, I will need to report this to my commander as I am sure you would expect. I will do so after we all give our report to the 5."
Silagord asks the Sectarian Guard's permission to get his familiar and other possessions from the barracks.

Tuck hears the others leave the large room, and he knows he has to act. Where he was indecisive before, he impulsively decides to draw his companions' attention to his place in the barracks, and hopefully to remove the cat from the room as well.

The kobold whistles sharply - not an easy thing to do with his scaly lips, but it's obvious he has taught himself eventually - and Mutt comes barging into the barracks, wagging its tail.

Until the dog spots the cat. Mutt freezes and starts growling deeply.
The cat is startled by Tuck's whistle. It is quickly on its feet and hissing at the kobold. It jumps on the chest and raises its back in a threatening manner. When Mutt enters the room, the cat's bravado quickly disappears. It meows loudly in fear and soon the two are in a chase around the room with in a scene out of a bard's comedic tale.

"What the-?" Custodio says out in the corridor.

"Thare!" Silagord calls out in desperation. "No, don't hurt her! Please, I beg you!" The young wizard tries to move towards the barracks but Breva blocks his way.

In the room, Mutt corners the cat and bares his teeth. Thare meows desperately for its master. She tries to climb up the stone walls of the room without any success, as the stone wall is too smooth. She is seconds from being Mutt's snack.

"It seems your kobold friend doesn't understand diplomacy!" Lowenan snaps in anger. "Here we are speaking in good faith, and he's having his dog attack Silagord's cat! You have no honor!"

The ex-commander gets up out of his chair and signals his men to draw their weapons and makes a quick sign to the knight. Blades flash out of scabbards, but the Deaf-Mute Knight doesn't move to attack. He has been watching Akos try to use sign language gestures with a bit of bemusement. When the ex-guards draw their blade, he grips his weapon tighter and tries to figure out what is happening. He looks confused and concerned.

"Musummaar! Prepare to send the creature through the portal! Diplomacy be damned!"

"That is not what Phelix wants," Musummaar replies from somewhere on the other side of the portal. "You are there to keep the peace."

"SHUT UP!" Lowenan says. "They have drawn first blood, and I will end them! Send... the... creature. NOW!"

"Very well," the gnome replies.

"Commander, please calm down," Lady Arnona pleads. "Do not throw away all our lives! You don't even like his damn cat!"

"It is a matter of honor, Arnona! They broke the peace!" he snaps at her. "You are either with us or against us! Choose a side or get out of the way!"

Lady Arnona stands hesitantly in between the ex-commander and the open doorway.

OOC: Time to roll initiative. @Neurotic, did Akos actually have the unseen servant take the rapier from the table and drop it in Lowenan's lap earlier as a sign of good faith, or is it still on the table?

The PCs have one chance to diffuse the situation.

At this point, however, combat has officially begun, so any Diplomacy or Intimidate checks are made with the standard penalties for trying to use them in combat. The 'fire demon' will arrive through the portal on its initiative count in round two. Once it is in the room, there is no chance at stopping the fight with diplomacy.
 
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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
OOC: I'll try diplomacy, it is hardly an attack if two animals start a ruccus. Please don't post an attack until i put up a post

Unseen servant spells says Akos has to tell the servant what to do. I assume it takes a verbal command which i couldn't do in the discussion.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
OOC: I'll try diplomacy, it is hardly an attack if two animals start a ruccus. Please don't post an attack until i put up a post

Unseen servant spells says Akos has to tell the servant what to do. I assume it takes a verbal command which i couldn't do in the discussion.
OOC: Well, I'm headed to bed. So, you have time to write your post exactly how you want.

But, I still want an initiative roll for Akos and the other PCs. Note that your Diplomacy check for the DMK will keep him from attacking this round unless someone attacks him. Also, Arnora won't attack the PCs in round one, as she doesn't want the situation to end violently.

@JustinCase, I want you to roll a Handle Animal check to keep Mutt from trying to eat the cat familiar (assuming Mutt beats both Tuck and the cat's initiative rolls). The DC is 10. You and I have already established that Mutt is not a fan of cats and it has gotten him into trouble before.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
As Lowenan loses his cool and proves he actualy hoped for combat, just was under orders - Akos considers his options. While they probably could win here, it would be a hard fight. And with the demon incoming, with mimic in the room, it could quickly become deadly. And he himself could risk calming emotions here...but who knows if that wouldn't disable his group? In the end, he concludes he needs to stop this in its tracks.

Drawing upon supernatural charm of his fey patron he strikes his staff into the stone tiles.
"No! Stop this! This has nothing to do with honor or the lack thereof, just two animals going after their natures. Tuck! Control your dog! Tim, don't kill anyone!

Lowenan, you gave your word we can leave and the dog attacking the cat is not a provocation, but an accident. You knew Tuck and Mutt are here somewhere and we didn't know about the cat! Stop your men, there is no treachery from our side. Don't force Arnona and Siagords decision."


He motions quickly toward the knight guarding the genie, but his motions are semi-invisible behind Tims bulk and Rizvan.

"Arnona, Silagord, don't attack or cast! Custodio, Breva, Vincenco, everyone! don't attack them if they don't attack first. We're not the enemies here. Lowenan, peace! Your master needs time and a message passed to The Five.

And Musummaar, you don't haveto send that demon. Doing so is an irrevocable act of aggression against Bluffside. You just said itbis not something Phoenix woold want."


 
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JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
"Stop!" Tuck orders Mutt to quit assaulting the cat.

"You were supposed to chase it off, not catch it," he mutters warily, coming forward to hold the dog by its fur. Not that the little kobold stands any chance of holding back the large canine, but hopefully his touch will calm the animal.

OOC:
But, I still want an initiative roll for Akos and the other PCs.

Tuck initiative: 1D20+4 = [3]+4 = 7
(If on its own initiative) Initiative Mutt: 1D20+3 = [11]+3 = 14

@JustinCase, I want you to roll a Handle Animal check to keep Mutt from trying to eat the cat familiar (assuming Mutt beats both Tuck and the cat's initiative rolls). The DC is 10. You and I have already established that Mutt is not a fan of cats and it has gotten him into trouble before.
Handle Animal: 1D20+1 = [11]+1 = 12
Whew! :)
 


Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
OOC: Wasn't there a conclusion that Mutt goes with Tuck, not on his own?
OOC: There was a couple of times that I rolled initiative for @JustinCase when he was busy and I had them use the same initiative. But for the fight with the gargoyle golem, I think they had different initiatives. I'll leave it up to JustinCase to decide if he wants Mutt to act on the same initiative as Tuck. I've already noted that I'm going to let him have Tuck stop Mutt from attacking (ruled as a one-time immediate action), so it really doesn't matter. The cat isn't going to get eaten.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Round One Begins (Maybe?)
Lowenan moves to the table and picks up his rapier. He unsheathes his blade and drops the sheath on the table. He turns to look at Tim backing out of the room. "I will not stand by while you friends dishonor my soldiers," the ex-commander says. "Your kobold friend is poor company, knight."

"Send the fire demon through the portal," Musummaar yells at someone from the other side of the portal. "Quickly now! And don't set off any of those wards! We don't need an energy backlash!"

The portal shifts and the image of the alien creature begins to get larger, as if the portal is moving towards the fire demon. There is a roar from the other side of the portal.

"No! Lowenan! Musummaar, don't do this!" Lady Arnona pleads. "You know that thing is too dangerous! I don't care what Phelix told you, he won't be able to control it once its here! You said it was a gambit, nothing more!"

Musummaar says nothing and Lowenan glares at her. He motions for his men to attack. "If you will not fight with us, then I suggest you stay out of the way, Arnona. I doubt even the Loremaster can hold back my blade now."

Custodio curses loudly. "I knew we couldn't trust him!" He quickly moves back into the room and sets himself next to Tim to watch the big knight's back. "I keep this one off of you!" He says to Tim motioning to the man against the southern wall.

The knight tries to see if Akos is still trying to communicate with him with sign language. He is puzzled by the conflicting visuals around the room. Lowenan and the others seem poised to attack, except for the one he knows is named Arnona. She seems to be pleading for Lowenan to stop. Could the lore-wizard have enchanted her without him knowing Akos had done so? He keeps his blade ready but does not advance. Only the man decked out in the regalia of the Regulars seems eager to fight. The tall man doesn't look like he's going to charge.

The mimic begins gnashing its teeth. It moves awkwardly out of the niche and clumps towards the magic circle with the genie. It plops itself down next to her and seems content to stand guard over the elemental being.

OOC:
Lowenan moves to the table and picks up his blade and then unsheathes it. That is a 5-ft. step and two move actions. Dropping the sheath is a free action. Musummaar sets in motion the portal opening to send the creature through to the temple room.

Custodio moves into the room and stands back to back with Tim. The DMK readies an action.

The mimic double moves to be right next to magic circle.
 
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Aust Thale

Explorer
Falen:
Observing the room and assessing the deteriorating state of affairs, he evaluates in a moment a series of options. His mind works in that manner, assessing options and eliminating the least tenable outcomes. However, sometimes despite best efforts, clarity doesn't proceed from the act of assessment & elimination. He is listening to the conversation and observing the room, the portal, the magic circle, and the like. He is is not completely comfortable in open combat, especially with his magicked knife spent for the day versus the gargoyle. He much prefers stealth and un-ceremonial flank and rear attacks. However, in this situation, he is much less vexed by the room's combatants (after all, Tim and Breva, among others, appear to be very capable combatants) than he is the portal and the demon coming through it. The discussion of Phelix vs. the Five and these portal experiments reach deeply to tempt Falen's insatiable inquisitiveness. Other worlds? Splendidly amazing! Falen already knew enough about the Five to be sufficiently unimpressed by their mystique. However, this game of joust with joining his rabble or face this demon was supremely reckless. And allowing this intemperate Loweran fellow to lead this charge makes this offer to join them disingenuous. Falen scans the mimic...is it a shapechanger, a familiar, or a charmed aberration? It clearly is there, along with the deaf knight, to guard the trapped genie. He focuses on the genie for a moment. The caster of the magic circle that entraps the genie must be in the room; magic as powerful as the genie's would require one's presence. Why bind a genie when they have a demon on the other side of the portal?
He realizes it nearly as soon as he contemplates it. And...

...He instantly regrets what he does next, as it dramatically could up the ante for him. Nevertheless, the demon must be kept to the other side. Everyone else in the room be damned; perhaps outside of the room as well. It's a guess, not out of character from his typical decision trees, but not routine either. So much at stake. He says a quick prayer to Tyche for luck.

In the Old Tongue, he shouts toward the trapped Genie, and then toward Arnona, the Mimic and perhaps the Deaf Knight as well, hoping one of them understands the language.

"Genie, you are being abused. I intend to do everything I can to stop it. Help with all your might if you can.
Arnona, you are noble and righteous, and I find myself taken by your righteousness, but holding the genie trapped to power this portal, not to mention this other creature, is wrong and reckless and dangerous. You know this is wrong. You must stop this madness."


It is less an attempt at diplomacy than an attempt to gather the attention of those in the room who might understand the language.


To his party members closest and quietly: "Akos, Tim. I believe Arnona is powering the portal by trapping the genie. If they draw first blood, we must seal the portal off. Do you understand? "

And he thinks to himself, "I hope that I am not wrong." And he closes his eyes.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Falen:
Observing the room and assessing the deteriorating state of affairs, he evaluates in a moment a series of options. His mind works in that manner, assessing options and eliminating the least tenable outcomes. However, sometimes despite best efforts, clarity doesn't proceed from the act of assessment & elimination. He is listening to the conversation and observing the room, the portal, the magic circle, and the like. He is is not completely comfortable in open combat, especially with his magicked knife spent for the day versus the gargoyle. He much prefers stealth and un-ceremonial flank and rear attacks. However, in this situation, he is much less vexed by the room's combatants (after all, Tim and Breva, among others, appear to be very capable combatants) than he is the portal and the demon coming through it. The discussion of Phelix vs. the Five and these portal experiments reach deeply to tempt Falen's insatiable inquisitiveness. Other worlds? Splendidly amazing! Falen already knew enough about the Five to be sufficiently unimpressed by their mystique. However, this game of joust with joining his rabble or face this demon was supremely reckless. And allowing this intemperate Loweran fellow to lead this charge makes this offer to join them disingenuous. Falen scans the mimic...is it a shapechanger, a familiar, or a charmed aberration? It clearly is there, along with the deaf knight, to guard the trapped genie. He focuses on the genie for a moment. The caster of the magic circle that entraps the genie must be in the room; magic as powerful as the genie's would require one's presence. Why bind a genie when they have a demon on the other side of the portal?
He realizes it nearly as soon as he contemplates it. And...

...He instantly regrets what he does next, as it dramatically could up the ante for him. Nevertheless, the demon must be kept to the other side. Everyone else in the room be damned; perhaps outside of the room as well. It's a guess, not out of character from his typical decision trees, but not routine either. So much at stake. He says a quick prayer to Tyche for luck.

In the Old Tongue, he shouts toward the trapped Genie, and then toward Arnona, the Mimic and perhaps the Deaf Knight as well, hoping one of them understands the language.

"Genie, you are being abused. I intend to do everything I can to stop it. Help with all your might if you can.
Arnona, you are noble and righteous, and I find myself taken by your righteousness, but holding the genie trapped to power this portal, not to mention this other creature, is wrong and reckless and dangerous. You know this is wrong. You must stop this madness."


ooc: It is less an attempt at diplomacy than an attempt to gather the attention of those in the room who might understand the language.
The genie doesn't respond to Falen's words. It doesn't even move. It just hangs in midair... it's almost like the elemental being is frozen in a block of ice but without any ice encasing it.

The Deaf-Mute Knight makes a sign that only Akos and Lowenan can interpret.
"He knows I can't hear him, right?"

Lady Arnona turns to look at Falen when she here's her name. She doesn't seem to understand anything else he just said. "I have no idea what you just said, but it would be good if you stop shouting! You're going to make this situation worse with your blustering!"

Lowenan and the other ex-guards don't seem to understand what Falen is saying either. Lowenan seems bemused by Falen's outburst. He shakes his head. He keeps one eye on Tim as he speaks to Akos. "Loremaster, is this some sort of play to get us to drop our guard? I will not stand for false antics."

Aust Thale said:
To his party members closest and quietly: "Akos, Tim. I believe Arnona is powering the portal by trapping the genie. If they draw first blood, we must seal the portal off. Do you understand? "

And he thinks to himself, "I hope that I am not wrong." And he closes his eyes.
Custodio looks at Falen with a raised eyebrow and then says to Tim. "What did he just say? Does he know something we don't?"
 

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