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

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
OOC: Fort Save: 1D20+13 = [4]+13 = 17

Breva weathers a brief wave of nausea and then stands tall and takes a deep breath of fresh air outside. "Perhaps we should have made use of that stinking hole back inside after all," he comments wistfully. "Does anyone need a bit to eat? It seemed to help?" he asks offering rations and water to prisoner or party member alike.
"I could use some food and water if you would. I don't think they can eat right now, much less cast magic." The last is directed to Akos, "We'll just have to haul them up. Be careful of the cat familiar. It is in a bad state."
"I don't think I'm ever going to eat again!" Custodio calls out from the other end of the short corridor.

Rhilaseth looks back towards the Vanquisher cleric while tending to Silagord. He helps the young wizard get to his feet and then looks at Vinccenzo. "Your friend is turning green. I don't think he's going to be able to walk much less less climb."

"I feel awful," Silagord says once he's able to stand. He cradles his cat familiar in his arms and then shifts a bag slung over his back to his front and places the cat in the top gently. "It will be alright."

Lowenan waves off Breva's offer of food and water. "I thank you for your kindness, paladin," he says. "But more food and drink is not a good idea right now. I would have used the privy hole if I'd known it would hit me this hard. We were in there too long, it seems."

"Water," Lady Arnona pleads. With her wounds she is in a bad state. When Breva passes her his waterskin, she guzzles down several gulps before passing it back to him. The paladin helps her to her feet.

Silagord drinks as well and gives some to his cat. He seems able to stand with Rhilaseth's help.

Breva passes over the food and water. "I'm glad we didn't stay longer."
"Thank you."
The hunger and thirst hits Falen and he continues to pull out and eat rations from his pouch. He activates his everful mug one last time and drinks in all down. {Munch! Munch! Gulp!}

Scotley said:
He looks at the changing words and shakes his head. "I can't make anything of that. Does it tell any of you something useful?" He is particularly curious if Lowenan or the Sorcerer is willing to comment.
Akos is fascinated by the door, but by the time he noticed the reference he was too distracted by the moans of his companions.
"We can try and return later, right now, we need to get back into the city and report - they will be wondering what happened to us."
"Let's hope Phelix hasn't taken advantage of us being trapped here," Custodio croaks. He tries in vain to pull himself up onto his feet. "No... no good." He gasps. "Breva, I'll take some water... but no food. Ooh, no food ever again."

"It was his plan to prepare more defenses in the enclave while you were distracted here," Lowenan notes. "He will have had time to shore up the enclaves defenses and gate in more creatures from the Far Realm. I doubt he sent his Loyalists for Manifest but Musummaar might have sent out his doppelgangers to try to free that killer." He sighs. "I doubt it would be about recruiting Mani. He'd just get him out of prison and release him back out onto the streets. He has a vicious streak running down his back."

"There will be more Loyalists out on the streets," Lady Arnona adds. "And not just in Old City. They will remain hidden until ordered to attack."

"There is a plan to attack Lord Wellington," Lowenan says. "Phelix wants to either capture or kill the man. Well, all of them really. He sees William Wellington as the next weak link in their chain. That man is so obsessed with the archaeology of Sem La Vah that he often goes out into the ruins without a proper escort. Kelik and his thieves have studied the man's patterns and Loyalists will ambush him when he is at his weakest."

"How many?" Custodio manages to say as he drinks down as much water as Breva can spare.

"Two, three dozen Loyalists... all fanatics to the cause. Maggs will likely be leading them and will be relentless," Lowenan replies. "It has happened already. You can't prevent it. Phelix either has Lord Wellington or the man is lying dead out in the ruins. That was one of Phelix's plans."

"Ba- bastard."

Neurotic said:
At Lowenan's comment he turns toward the commander
"Do you really think The Five would send just anyone?! I mean, in the span of the week, we captured old city killer, found your hideout, survived three assassination attempts, survived your pet demon and right now, we are returning with you in tow."
"While I might be willing continue our debate again while waiting to be executed, I'm not in the mood for your banter right now. You have won, and we will all be beheaded or swinging from a noose within a week.

"Try to have some hope," Lady Arnona says as she gasps for air. "They may just force us out of the city. Executing guards never looks right to the people."

"For you and Rhilaseth, maybe," Lowenan says as he pulls himself upright. He pulls a potion bottle out of his belt and looks at Vinccenzo. "If I may? It's a healing potion. That damn mimic nearly crushed the life out of me."

Silagord's hand unconsciously goes to his neck.

Neurotic said:
"Sir Tim, would you please get up the rope first, you're taking enough space for four of us and you are strong enough to keep the captives under control once they are up there. Silagord, Lowenan, do you have levitation magic or some other means to make the ascent easier?"

"I will remove temporarily any nausea you might feel just before you start the ascend. Be quick, it won't last, but you will be able to get up there much faster."
Tim looks up towards the small hole in the ceiling above. The climb won't be difficult but getting back through the hole might cause him some difficulty. He will have to be very careful and take him time. Luckily, time is no longer a risk to them or to Bluffside. He notes that their isn't any light coming from above. Would it be night time? Early evening perhaps? If time has been moving faster, it could be days later than when they entered.

Neurotic said:
With that, he returns to the study of the doors until someone that needs help with the nausea comes to the climbing

OOC: again taking 20 on each roll unless the people are fast climbers :)
Local: 1D20+11 = [12]+11 = 23
Planar: 1D0+11 = [0]+11 = 11
Arcana: 1D20+13 = [12]+13 = 25

1d0 :D :D
Planar: 1D20+11 = [1]+11 = 12 AARGH! I'm cursed
Akos has never heard of the Labyrinth of Lost Ghosts, but he's certain that the phrase on the doors must be spoken out loud for the double doors to open again. The script is obviously designed to appear to the reader in any of the languages the viewer can speak or understands. That would have allowed Phelix, the DMK, and and anyone else to enter the labyrinth easily. A portal key won't be required to get back in.

Interestingly, the script does not detect as magical if/when Akos uses detect magic to view the door, but considering the name on the door, the Loremaster isn't surprised. Aphogorin was a powerful telepathic psion who lived in the region over 1300 years ago. (The current year is 1472 BR.) He was a shapeshifter of unknown origin and was originally from another land known as Margoth-Nal, a continent far to the west beyond the Sea of Tombé — what is known by most scholars as the Fallenlands.

If Aphogorin created the labyrinth then perhaps he was a devotee of the Ancients. Or after his death (and there is no evidence that Akos has ever seen that says that Aphogorin is still alive), followers of the Ancients found the labyrinth and remolded the portal room to fit their own purposes. Regardless, the labyrinth will be a very dangerous place full of puzzles and traps.

Aphogorin was sometime known as the Oracular Man and is believed to have some sort of connection to an infamous demilich known as Acererak who built the Tomb of Horror, which is believed to be somewhere in the Red Mountains northeast of Bluffside. Depending on the source, Aphogorin was either Acererak's rival or his ally. They were not the same being.

There is some evidence that Aphogorin might also have been a cleric of Zargon. Very few scholars in the western lands of Kanpur have ever heard of Zargon but Akos has heard of the Elder Evil.
 

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JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
After making sure Mutt is somewhat alright, Tuck has a bit of food and shares a little of his own dry rations with any who want it.

"He needs carrying," the kobold states to Tim, hoping the big knight can hoist the dog up once he's made it to the surface.

Tuck continues to wait his turn to climb back up. He expects to be the last one to go, keeping an eye out below.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tim will go first, and he will be careful about getting through the hole; in fact, it occurs to him to stop, and quietly listen for a moment or two, before going through, just in case someone is up there, waiting to ambush the party.
EB7AAD54-E434-481F-A10F-104D198122D3.jpeg

If Tim doesn't hear anything, he will go up through the hole, and then turn to help Mutt up.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
After making sure Mutt is somewhat alright, Tuck has a bit of food and shares a little of his own dry rations with any who want it.
Falen produces extra rations from his special pouch as well.

Tim will go first, and he will be careful about getting through the hole; in fact, it occurs to him to stop, and quietly listen for a moment or two, before going through, just in case someone is up there, waiting to ambush the party.
Tim listens intently at the edge of the hole. He doesn't hear anything that sounds like an ambush, but it is hard to tell with so many people below him munching on rations, drinking water, and dry heaving. He does, finally, see a sliver of light that looks like it might be a lit torch. There aren't any menacing shadows.

Then, he hears what sounds like someone moaning in discomfort, and it definitely came from somewhere above him not from below.

JustinCase said:
"He needs carrying," the kobold states to Tim, hoping the big knight can hoist the dog up once he's made it to the surface.
Tellerian Hawke said:
If Tim doesn't hear anything, he will go up through the hole, and then turn to help Mutt up.
Tim risks a peak through the hole and sees a guard he doesn't recognize slumped over in a chair at the table that halfling Street Sergeant, Herleva, had been working at when he and the others entered the labyrinth. There is no sign of her. The cells where the mercenaries were locked up in stand empty and the door to the guard post stands open. The sliver of light that Tim thought was torchlight turns out to be dawn breaking over Old City.

Sensing no danger, Tim squeezes through the hole and goes over to check on the sickened man. The man is barely conscious and likely will need a healer. It does seem the time effect had made its way up into the guard post, at least. He sees that there is another guard slumped on the ground just outside the open doorway.

JustinCase said:
Tuck continues to wait his turn to climb back up. He expects to be the last one to go, keeping an eye out below.
Tim calls out to Tuck to prepare Mutt and then the big knight hauls the sickened dog up into the room. Mutt finds a corner to curl up in after pooping again in one of the other cells.

Once the rope is lowered again, Falen takes the initiative and goes up next. The half-hobgoblin carefully makes his way to the open doorway and bends down to check on the guard in distress. The man doesn't have and wounds but he's as green as the grass in Lord Max's garden. As he peers out into the gloom of pre-dawn, he notes there are others in the street that have also succumbed to the time effect. Commoners and nobles alike. Half-a-dozen that he can see.

Down below, Tuck listens at the two other doors that lead into the entry room. He checks the door with the spiders' nest on the other side. He can clearly hear the giant vermin moving around on the other side. The creatures are being particularly loud and sound agitated. The other closed door is all quiet. That is the door that Lowenan says there is a pit trap behind.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
One by one, you all make your way up into the guard post. It takes some time to help the ex-guards up the rope but with Big Tim's strength, it gets done. Falen goes out into the street to check on the nauseated citizens of Old City that he can see. Most of them aren't as sick as the ex-guards and Custodio, but one older man needs water.

Falen calls out to Akos and the others once the Loremaster climbs up from the labyrinth.

Custodio does un-manacle Lowenan before the ex-commander is being hauled up the rope by Tim. The Vanquisher cleric waits until all the prisoners are hauled up before he too is hauled up into the guard post, as he is to nauseated to climb up the rope himself. He considers locking the guards in the cells but most of them don't have any strength to resist and he doesn't have the strength to anything else but lie down.

Tuck is the last to make the climb. Once up in the guard post, he checks on Mutt. The big dog is resting with his eyes closed in a corner.

"We're going to need more water," Custodio says as he lies down on one of the cots for the guards stationed at the post. "There is a well east of here near the Lord Mayor's estate. There are also some food vendors at the Six Tents Market in between the estate and the Dragori Embassy."
 


Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
OOC: no one in the party is sick, Vernal touch cleared that (I think), unless the effect is too strong
Vernal touch - removes dazed, nauseated, fatigued and exhausted from the living
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tim helps the collapsed guard outside the door, giving him food and water; he also asks for the guard's keys, so that he can put prisoners into the cells.

Tim speaks to Lowenan, "It would help your defense at trial if you cooperate right now. If you and the guards volunteer to stay in these cells while we ascertain what is happening, it would go a long way to keeping you from the gallows. Of course, I am not a judge, so I can't guarantee it. But I will stand up at your trial and testify truthfully about your positive behavior. What say you?"

Tim watches Lowenan and the guards, trying to read their intentions.

OOC: Sense Motive: 16
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Loremaster goes up last, letting his armor fold in on itself for easier climbing and re-deploying it immediately after.

He looks over the people strewn about and goes a little bit further on, finding a boy or three sending them with some silver to buy food for the people.

"Hurry up, lads, no dawdling and you'll be heroes, there are people depending on your speed. Now go! Go! Bring as much as you can, you'll get extra silver if you come before the sun clears the horizon."

OOC: diplomacy +24, I should think they will be helpful :D
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"I can stay with Custodio if someone else gets water and food."
"No, it's okay," Custodio is finally able to gather his strength, as Akos powerful fey healing finally removes the nausea from his innards. He is able to get to his feet. "But if you can watch the prisoners, I will help Akos tend to theses others."

OOC: no one in the party is sick, Vernal touch cleared that (I think), unless the effect is too strong
Vernal touch - removes dazed, nauseated, fatigued and exhausted from the living
OOC: Whoops! Okay, I missed your use of Vernal Touch after the Fortitude saves were rolled but before the characters climbed up the rope. Let's say there was just slight delay to the effectiveness of the touch until the characters are back up in the guard post. Did Akos help the ex-guards too?

Tim helps the collapsed guard outside the door, giving him food and water; he also asks for the guard's keys, so that he can put prisoners into the cells.
The guard is unresponsive, at first, but once Tim tips the man's head back and carefully pours water down the man's throat so he doesn't choke. The guard looks to be an Elite. He weakly grasps at the waterskin and drinks more down eagerly. He nearly empties it. The temporal effect has left him very weak. He sits up with Tim's help and squints at the half-orge knight. "It is you. When you didn't come back right away, the commanders feared the worst." He fumbles for his keys and hands them over to Tim. "Sergeant Herleva started to notice something strange at dusk that first day and she came to the barracks to report it. Commander Mildenhall sent us to investigate. The closer we got to the gate, the more everything slowed down until it felt like we were crawling through mud." The man tries to say more but his voice fails him. He gladly takes the food Tim offers.

Tim leaves the Elite guard to try to recover and takes the keys inside.

Tellerian Hawke said:
Tim speaks to Lowenan, "It would help your defense at trial if you cooperate right now. If you and the guards volunteer to stay in these cells while we ascertain what is happening, it would go a long way to keeping you from the gallows. Of course, I am not a judge, so I can't guarantee it. But I will stand up at your trial and testify truthfully about your positive behavior. What say you?"

Tim watches Lowenan and the guards, trying to read their intentions.

OOC: Sense Motive: 16
"We will comply," Lowenan says. He goes into the cell that contains Mutt's poop and kicks it through the bars into the cell with the entryway into the labyrinth. Getting poo on his boots doesn't seem to bother him too much. He motions for Rhilaseth to join him. The man complies but Tim can tell he isn't happy about it.

Lady Arnona balks at the entrance to the other cell. "I will if you insist," she says to Tim. "But I would rather not. I promise I will not run or cause you any trouble."

Silagord pushes past Arnona and takes a seat on the short bench at the back of the cell with Thare on his lap. The cat rests more comfortably with ministrations from the Loremaster. The young wizard seems to be glad to be locked away or, at least, somewhere he and his familiar can rest.

"If you want this to go well for you, you better get in there and pray to the Twelve Gods for forgiveness," Custodio insists. "Your station in life doesn't shield you from the law, Lady Arnona. I promise we will provide you with healing, food, and water. But, don't expect any velvet pillows."

Loremaster goes up last, letting his armor fold in on itself for easier climbing and re-deploying it immediately after.
Tuck tries to insist that Akos go up before him, as he keeps an ear to the door with the spiders behind it. Once the two adventurers decide who will go first, they both make the climb and Tuck pulls up the rope and closes up the secret door.

Neurotic said:
He looks over the people strewn about and goes a little bit further on, finding a boy or three sending them with some silver to buy food for the people.

"Hurry up, lads, no dawdling and you'll be heroes, there are people depending on your speed. Now go! Go! Bring as much as you can, you'll get extra silver if you come before the sun clears the horizon."

OOC: diplomacy +24, I should think they will be helpful :D
Akos finds the streets outside the guard post for the Gate of Scales more deserted than it should be at this time of morning. That's probably a good thing considering the temporal effect that had been spilling out into the district.

He finds two boys peering through the gates into the Dragori Embassy. The guards that would normally be on duty aren't guarding the outside of the gate but there is a warning posted on the gate in Cliffspeak that if anyone trespasses on the grounds of the embassy, they will be dealt with violently. The boys are startled by Akos approach but agree to help once they see the Loremaster's silver. They rush off into the nearby Six Tents Market to buy food for those affected by the temporal shift.

The Loremaster sees a broadsheet posted on a nearby post that warns the people to stay away from the Gate of Scales and that citizens that live nearby should go to stay one of the inns on the other side of Old City until the Wizard Council can look into the strange magic affecting the area. All other citizens of Old City should stay away during the day and in there homes at night until the magic can be reversed. The broadsheet is marked with the personal seals of Lady Samantha Pomander, Lord Commander Oakfirst, and a magical sigil that Akos does not recognize.

Next to that official notice is another broadsheet with the current reward for the Renegade. The amount has doubled from the last one that Akos saw near Red Arch. It seems that Lowenan's warning about the planned attack on Lord William Wellington III was true. Loyalists stormed the Museum of Sem La Vah and took the member of The Five hostage. As they fought their way out of the museum, Lord Wellington was critically wounded and nearly died. The broadsheet notes that there were over three dozen Loyalists that took part in the attempted kidnapping and that some of them escaped. Lord Wellington was rushed to one of the temples in the Temple District.

The broadsheet notes several other attacks by Phelix's Loyalists (in order of when they happened):
  • The Lord Commander's personal estate near the East Gate was attacked just before midnight on the first day after the strange effect near the Gate of Scales was noticed. (This is not the old family home that Oakfirst lent to the PCs, which is near the Tribunal.) Luckily neither Oakfirst nor any of his family were home at the time but several members of the estate's staff were killed. The survivors said that there were scary cutthroats dressed all in black helping the Loyalists.
  • The Loyalists attacked the guard post at Wyndlasmere House near the Old Growers' Tower. Commander Alel Monderand and his Elites fought them off bravely. While several Loyalists were killed, several of them disappeared into Gold Park and could not be found by the Elites or the Sectarian Guard.
  • At noon, yesterday, the Loyalists and Rising Swords blatantly assaulted the Tribunal in full force! While security around the Tribunal had been heightened after the previous attacks, the battle that erupted was deadly. Over a dozen Elites, two prisoners on trial, two of the sitting magistrates, and half-a-dozen people in the gallery were all killed. It is believed that the attackers numbered fifty. Lady Pomander had been in attendance for the trials and was wounded, but she survived and is resting comfortably at her estate.
The broadsheet notes that there have been other attacks in both New City and the Undercity but no known attacks in any of the other districts of Bluffside. Security has been tightened around the estates of the Five and key military checkpoints. Patrols have been increased. The Gardens have been closed to visitors.

From his vantage point, Akos cannot see any guards patrolling near the Gate of Scales. More than likely the guards have been told to stay away from the area unless assigned to the gate itself. The number of guards at the gate itself seems to be the minimum required to hold the guard post. The gate itself has been left open.

The boys are soon back with bag's filled with food. With them comes nearly a dozen citizens who had been clearing out their stalls, unwilling to work so near the 'cursed' gate. "See, we told you it was him!" One of the boys exclaims.

The citizens of Old City crowd around Loremaster Akos and begin barraging him with questions. Others praise his return and ask for his blessing. A dozen citizens soon turns into two dozen and then three.

The boys take their food to the fallen that Akos and Falen discovered around the guard post. Several citizens help them but some refuse to go near the Gate of Scales.

One food vendor pushes his way through the crowd. He yells for them to get back and then hands a basket full of fresh bread and cheese and offers it to the Loremaster. "There have been rumors that you and your fellow heroes died. Killed by the magic cursing the gate." He points back towards the way the man came. "I sent my son to the Masque Arch to tell the guards there of your return."

"What happened down there?" One woman asks as she helps a fallen man who asks for water.

The gathered crowd murmurs like a cornered animal that fears for its life. It seems in the short time Akos and the others have been gone, for them at least, wild rumors have been circulating through Old City for nearly two days. Akos thinks he hears one young man say that the Old City Killer is on the loose again.

OOC:
Since there is no real danger to Akos at the moment, let's just says you're using the Take 20 rule. So, the boys are very helpful.

However, consider the gathered crowd to be Unfriendly, as the people are pretty rattled by what has been happening in Old City while the PCs have been in the labyrinth.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
OOC: I didn't heal 'frenemies' unless they were unable to climb. If they requested it, I would, but having them semi-disabled while we're separated is a benefit. I heal them all once they are in the cells.


Akos smiles beatifically at the boys and instructs them to immediately spread the food around. He gives full silver to each of them as a reward for their efforts.

As the crowd gather he nods at those he recognizes from earlier gatherings, he positions himself so they gather in front of him and that he blocks easy access to the guardhouse.

To the food vendor he says
"Thank you, good man, it was good thinking."
Turning to the crowd and raising his voice:
"Everything you buy from this good man is on my account. But please, see to those affected by the magics first."

As the crowd reshuffles to take advantage of his offer, his armor folds back on itself leaving him exposed to attack, but also leaving the crowds to see him not as a threatening armored figure, but a man of cloth.

"Now for the tale of the battle of magics, of the hideous evil of the renegade, of the purity of faith of the heroes of The Five and bravery of the city defenders, Sectarians, Regulars and The Elite."

Entering his sing-song preaching mode and priming the crowd to hear another tale of the heroes, he attempts to sway their insecurities into determination.

"In the hidden underground, carved by the ancient magics and kept sealed from time immemorial there are secrets. Bluffside as you know it is but a latest incarnation of the great traditions that make our city so great. But at the same time, as any place built upon and built over, there are secrets. And this particular secret, found...rather stumbled upon...by the renegade holds a terrible mind-warping magics against which we fought. Once we passed through the magical defenses, the renegade tried to subvert our minds, but with the faith in our abilities, our respective gods and the confidence of The Five we fought off that assault too. Finally, we faced against the demon from hells, summoned by the sorcerer and sent against us while he made good his escape once again. As you can see, we prevailed against the demon. And the noose is tightening, the reign of terror will soon end."

Taking a deep breath, Akos shakes his head
"I already know about the attacks against The Five. It is obvious now that this 'lead' was just a trap to hold us, but you may have noticed that the attacks are getting more desperate. While you, good citizens of Bluffside are suffering in the crossfire, DO NOT let the The Loyalists frighten you or intimidate you. Keep your spirits up because ultimately, they are on the losing side. Some of you will remember a street fight couple of days ago where even foul gods couldn't help them against our combined might. And The Five are mightier still. Keep your wits about, take care of your families and the renegade will soon be only a story for your grandchildren of the times when Bluffside was reeling, but rallied and prevailed in the end. Times change and the mores may have to change. But that is the nature of time. It changes us all and no law, no society can survive without change. But Bluffside will continue. As always."

He waves the hands away from him
"Now go! And remember, you're not alone. In the darkest of times, heroes raise from the common fold, common and noble alike, those who will take the mantle and pain of resistance so The City can live! Go, and tell your families things are coming to a head. Go, and know this nightmare will be over."

Diplomacy: 1D20+24 = [9]+24 = 33
 

Scotley

Hero
Breva moves to lend aid and distribute food. He soon hears Akos' words and feels obligated to speak as well. "The loremaster has shared much wisdom. We have learned much about the enemies of the city during the last few days and well as capturing some important members of the forces arrayed against us. Our successes have forced the hand of the enemy. These latest attacks have cost them valuable agents that will be hard to replace. Bluffside will continue!"
OOC:
aid another diplomacy: 1D20+10 = [11]+10 = 21
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Tuck smiles to himself, hearing Breva and his friend Akos turn frightened citizens into brave heroes once more. Oh, the kobold is very glad to have someone like the Loremaster here in Bluffside; he himself tries to be a beacon of hope to the people, to those most desperate, but he can never use words in such a magical way.

Making sure Mutt is satisfied with enough water and choice bits of food from his rations, Tuck ruffles the big dog’s fur and stands up. He will leave Mutt here and trust it will find its way back to him, or home, when it feels better.

”Where to now?” he asks his companions when they are out of earshot from the crowd.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
OOC: I didn't heal 'frenemies' unless they were unable to climb. If they requested it, I would, but having them semi-disabled while we're separated is a benefit. I heal them all once they are in the cells.
OOC: Okay, good to know. I wasn't sure.

Neurotic said:
Akos smiles beatifically at the boys and instructs them to immediately spread the food around. He gives full silver to each of them as a reward for their efforts.
The boys are giddy as they work to distribute the food to those affected by temporal shift. They are enriched by doing a good deed as much as by the Loremaster's silver.

Neurotic said:
As the crowd gather he nods at those he recognizes from earlier gatherings, he positions himself so they gather in front of him and that he blocks easy access to the guardhouse.

To the food vendor he says
"Thank you, good man, it was good thinking."
Turning to the crowd and raising his voice:
"Everything you buy from this good man is on my account. But please, see to those affected by the magics first."

As the crowd reshuffles to take advantage of his offer, his armor folds back on itself leaving him exposed to attack, but also leaving the crowds to see him not as a threatening armored figure, but a man of cloth.
The man nods in acknowledgement as he helps up a young woman who looks pale and bit green. She takes some water but she doesn't have the stomach for food. The man helps her to a stone bench at the side of the street opposite the guard post. Several others also affected by the nausea effect of labyrinth being closed and sealed also find their way to the bench with the help of the boys. An old man hit his head when he fell and is bleeding from a wound on his forehead.

"A few others at the market were also left in this state, but we managed to get most of them upright," the man says to Akos as he tends to the old man's injuries. He seems to have some skills as a healer as he gets the bleeding under control. "I mixed some crushed peppermint leaves with water and seemed to help them."

He goes into a satchel and pulls out a bundle of herbs. He crushes them up in his hands and put them in a clay mug that he fills with water. He offers it to the woman and she drinks it down. It seems to soothe her stomach. The man mixes up more peppermint water for anyone who needs it.

Neurotic said:
"Now for the tale of the battle of magics, of the hideous evil of the renegade, of the purity of faith of the heroes of The Five and bravery of the city defenders, Sectarians, Regulars and The Elite."

Entering his sing-song preaching mode and priming the crowd to hear another tale of the heroes, he attempts to sway their insecurities into determination.

"In the hidden underground, carved by the ancient magics and kept sealed from time immemorial there are secrets. Bluffside as you know it is but a latest incarnation of the great traditions that make our city so great. But at the same time, as any place built upon and built over, there are secrets. And this particular secret, found...rather stumbled upon...by the renegade holds a terrible mind-warping magics against which we fought. Once we passed through the magical defenses, the renegade tried to subvert our minds, but with the faith in our abilities, our respective gods and the confidence of The Five we fought off that assault too. Finally, we faced against the demon from hells, summoned by the sorcerer and sent against us while he made good his escape once again. As you can see, we prevailed against the demon. And the noose is tightening, the reign of terror will soon end."
The crowd gathers around Akos and listens to him. Most are keen to hear his words but many stand back from the 'cursed' gate and the guard post, unwilling to get to close. There are voices in the crowd that murmur "the renegade?" and "that damn sorcerer is responsible for this too!"

It is at this point that the guards stationed at the Masque Arch appear at the other end of the street. There are six of them and they make their way towards the crowd and Akos. The Loremaster doesn't know any of them by name, but he's seen a few of their faces over the last few days. They are Regulars, not Elites.

Neurotic said:
Taking a deep breath, Akos shakes his head
"I already know about the attacks against The Five. It is obvious now that this 'lead' was just a trap to hold us, but you may have noticed that the attacks are getting more desperate. While you, good citizens of Bluffside are suffering in the crossfire, DO NOT let the The Loyalists frighten you or intimidate you. Keep your spirits up because ultimately, they are on the losing side. Some of you will remember a street fight couple of days ago where even foul gods couldn't help them against our combined might. And The Five are mightier still. Keep your wits about, take care of your families and the renegade will soon be only a story for your grandchildren of the times when Bluffside was reeling, but rallied and prevailed in the end. Times change and the mores may have to change. But that is the nature of time. It changes us all and no law, no society can survive without change. But Bluffside will continue. As always."
Many in the crowd move in closer to hear Akos speak. Their fear of the gate isn't as strong as the rousing words of the Loremaster. The boys that he gave silvers to move to the front of the ring of people and are completely transfixed on Akos. Many of the gathered citizens of Old City are soon nodding their heads in agreement with the Loremaster's assurances.

The guards stay at the back of the crowd and do not interrupt Akos' story.

Neurotic said:
He waves the hands away from him
"Now go! And remember, you're not alone. In the darkest of times, heroes raise from the common fold, common and noble alike, those who will take the mantle and pain of resistance so The City can live! Go, and tell your families things are coming to a head. Go, and know this nightmare will be over."

Diplomacy: 1D20+24 = [9]+24 = 33
The gathered crowd cheers and many praise the Heroes of Old City. Others call them the Exemplars of Bluffside. As they gather around Akos to ask for his blessing...

Breva moves to lend aid and distribute food. He soon hears Akos' words and feels obligated to speak as well. "The loremaster has shared much wisdom. We have learned much about the enemies of the city during the last few days and well as capturing some important members of the forces arrayed against us. Our successes have forced the hand of the enemy. These latest attacks have cost them valuable agents that will be hard to replace. Bluffside will continue!"
OOC:
aid another diplomacy: 1D20+10 = [11]+10 = 21
Breva's words rouse a few more spirits, especially those watching from the fringes... those unwilling to go near the gate, despite Akos' tale and rousing speech. His words seem to have more effect on the guards who respect him and his god. The Purifier is a popular deity among the Regulars.

As the people crowd in around Akos, the guards come up to Breva. "We are glad to see that are still alive, Sir Breva." The Lord Commander had feared the worst and he was unwilling to send any of us down into that place without more information from the Wizard Council. The head of the House of Divinations cast several spells to try to figure out what was happening here, but she was unsuccessful." He looks towards Akos who is being treated like a holy man by the citizens of Old City. "You think he'll be alright?"

"I don't think we have to worry about him," Custodio says. The Vanquisher cleric walks out of the door of the guard post into the street. The nausea has left him completely. "They love him." He pauses. "Almost too much... but better that the rage of the mob."

As Custodio tells the guard captain (who calls himself "Bertram Pare") the less glamourous version of what Akos told the crowd, several citizens gather around Breva and ask for the blessing of the Purifier. Some offer to go to the Temple District and make offerings to the Purifier. "Although that will have to wait until Martial Law is lifted in the district. It was put in place last night," a young man says to Breva. "Lord Varian wishes to try to keep a firm control on Old City. These damn Loyalists have been attacking in broad daylight! So brazen!"

"Akos mentioned attacks on The Five?" Custodio asks motioning to the Loremaster. He heard Akos' speech.

"Here," Bertram pulls a broadsheet out of his belt and hands it to Custodio. "I figured you'd want to see this right away." He motions for Breva to take a look as well.

"This is outrageous!" Custodio snaps in anger. "The Loyalists have done all this while we've been in that damn labyrinth! I swear I'm going to gut Waldo the instant we catch him!"

"This renegade seems to have an infinite number of sycophants willing to die for him," the guard captain adds. "The Rising Swords helped in the attack on the Tribunal too. Of the magistrates that were killed, two of them have been raised from the dead but the other man's soul was unwilling... or lost."

Tuck smiles to himself, hearing Breva and his friend Akos turn frightened citizens into brave heroes once more. Oh, the kobold is very glad to have someone like the Loremaster here in Bluffside; he himself tries to be a beacon of hope to the people, to those most desperate, but he can never use words in such a magical way.
Captain Pare pauses to look at Tuck before turning to speak to Breva and Custodio. "They also attacked several guard posts in New City but were badly beaten by the Elites and Regulars arrayed throughout the district. But, the fighting was bloody. Their attacks in the Undercity were even more vicious. They seem to be going after anyone allied with you, that you've been in contact with, or that are your kin."

He pauses again and motions for Breva to come in closer. He whispers so the citizens can't hear. "The Rising Swords even attacked the Castle of Purification just last night. That is where Lord Wellington is recovering. While they didn't even come close to getting into the temple, the fight lasted nearly an hour. We didn't have any extra guards to send to help the Purifiers. We are beyond stretched to the limit." The captain motions to his team of Regulars. "We are responsible for not only the Masque Arch, but also the Actors' Gate. I've left two others to stand guard at both, but we have to get back right away."

JustinCase said:
Making sure Mutt is satisfied with enough water and choice bits of food from his rations, Tuck ruffles the big dog’s fur and stands up. He will leave Mutt here and trust it will find its way back to him, or home, when it feels better.

”Where to now?” he asks his companions when they are out of earshot from the crowd.
"You better go see Lord Commander Oakfirst," Captain Pare suggests. "I don't have anyone to spare to go tell him of your return. He is probably at the barracks or in the Palace. With both Lady Pomander and Lord Wellington recovering, it has fallen to Lord Blander and Lord Varian to run the day to day operations of the city. Lord Varian is now officially the Lord Mayor of the city. The confirmation process was expediated to try to show stability to the people. They haven't named a replacement for Lord Hollingsworth yet, but I expect that will happen very soon."

He motions for his guards to head back to their posts. "I cannot wait any longer. When you see the Lord Commander, please tell him I need more Regulars. I'll even take green recruits at this point. We haven't slept for over a day."

Tuck can see that the guard captain looks like he is ready to fall over, as are his Regulars. The three men and two woman look ragged and they are on edge. If the rest of the Regulars and Elites are in this state, the city could be on the verge of outright chaos. Hearing about attacks in the Undercity is troubling and Tuck wonders how the kobolds down there are doing. Of course, it would be stupid for the Loyalists to brazenly attack Tuck's people but these fanatics don't seem to care about dying for Waldo.

"Thank you, captain," Custodio says. "We will go see the Lord Commander right away." The Vanquisher cleric goes back into the guard post to collect the others. "It seems the Loyalists and Rising Swords have attacked more than one member of The Five." He shows the broadsheet to Tim and Vinccenzo.

He goes to the cells and glares at Lowenan. "You didn't tell us everything, it seems!"

"I told you want I know," Lowenan replies calmly. "Phelix doesn't share all his plans with those that he deems expendable. And I did not know I was expendable to him."

"I don't believe you," Custodio snaps. "If I had my way, I'd kill you right here."

"You need to listen to me," Lowenan says. "Phelix is very dangerous man with many allies. He has promised these allies a place in Bluffside once he's conquered it. That is his goal, right now. He will do anything to achieve it, as it will allow him to have a power base to plan to return to Sharn and become the head of the Del Cannitha Family. He wants to rule over that city too." He pauses. "Yes, I admit that peace was probably never truly on his mind. He only respects power." He turns to look at Tim. "He can sense you and your allies growing power, and he is determined to stop you all, especially the Loremaster." He turns back to Custodio. "You say that he has implemented other plans that I didn't know. That doesn't surprise me. Why does it continue to surprise you?"

He sighs and shakes his head. "I would say you should all flee the city, but I know you will never do that, so, I will simply say to you... trust no one. He has many vipers among the Regulars and Elites, as well as among the nobility. And, no, I don't know their names. Meetings were always cloaked in magic and shadow. There are a few that I suspect, but I am not sure. Phelix keeps that information for himself. Well... maybe the gnome knows."
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
If the crowd dispersed or is at least clearing out and Akos could hear the part of not sleeping
"Captain, Guards, if you allow me, I can refresh you, we cannot have our best falling aslwep on duty. It will not replace real sleep, but it will hold you for a time. No side effects that I know of. "
OOC: this is ofcourse Vernal touch (this is the first time these condition play such a big role in the campaign, cool power for that)
--- elsewhere ---
He helped those worst affected and (assuming the street healer didn't) healed the man with the bloody head.

The rest of the spells go into wounded allies, leaving only one spell in case we're attacked again.

"We should take the prisoners with us." he suggests to the group "they are too dangerous to be left alone and the guards cannot be spared to guard them. I'd also mask them, no sense in someone recognizing them and potentially endangering their families."
 
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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Thinking some more, he asks
"I know Lowenan broke the law, his oath and he is a sorcerer, but he and the company raise some good points. That tower wizard, Silagord, he had nothing to fear from being a sorcerer, he is a wizard, and yet, he chose to join the other side. Shouldn't we raise the awareness of the dissatisfaction with the current situation with The Five? Does anyone know history of this sorcerer dislike in Bluffside?"

Just a reminder, Akos is not known as a warlock, just a fey priest :)
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
While standing next to Akos, in the presence of the crowd, after his rousing speech, Tim makes a joke, to reinforce the abilities of the heroes: "Look at this. My good silk shirt is ruined from the scorch marks made by the demon's flames. I don't suppose any one of you fine people know of a good tailor?"

Later, with Custodio in the guard post, talking to Lowenan:

Tim ponders what Lowenan and Akos have discussed: "I wonder if we're approaching this the wrong way? Who are these people, the collective known as the Del Cannitha family? Where are they? What is known of them? I plan to research them, once I get back to Oakfirst Manor. I noticed several books on royalty and nobility in the library. But if anyone here knows anything, then perhaps we should consider robbing Waldo of his power base; what if we could turn the Del Cannitha family against him? Or, if they are of a similar disposition to him, what if we could arrest the lot of them, and seize their lands and wealth? I know that's probably a tall order, but not so much with the power of The Five behind us. Just a wild thought, but one that might have value, eventually."
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"My understanding is that he is a pariah of the family. I could have gotten that wrong, ofcourse, but that's how I think it is."
Akos thinks for a moment
"If they want him captured or killed we might have some extra support from them, but don't count on The Five having enough influence in far away city to have the whole noble family arrested."
 


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