Old April 2, 2015, 02:51 AM   #121 (permalink)
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Blacken is a malevolent Minion
A violent smile crossed Blacken's face, and for a moment, it might have looked as if he would want to follow in pursuit.

But then, he exhaled, and simply shook his head.

Weighing his new throwing knife in his hand, he turned towards the others.

Well... Looks like we got ourselves to a few more good horses, friends."

If there was time enough, Blacken would - casually - stroll towards the hostages, and inspect them, perhaps even ask who they were. But not untie them.

Secrets :

Equipment
Standard set of knightly chainmail armor and weapons: Sword, shield, battleaxe.
Wristknife/Hidden Dagger
Kemite Thief's Dagger (resembling an arab Janbiya)
Black cloak with the sign of the moon and the hawk, the signs of the Kemte thieves' guild
Bow & arrows (perhaps five or six?)
Throwing Knife x1

Skills - Not sure how this is done, really.

1 Level Unarmed Combat/Brawling
(Implied) Master Knife Fighter
(Implied) Pretty able in all things Thievery


Good to know
Still a teenager.
Hates all things magical, and magicians.

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Old April 2, 2015, 03:29 AM   #122 (permalink)
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There was a game of intimidation played here. The four slavers were not best equipped or trained to deal with a group like this, and they couldn't have much to lose if they just ran now; which was exactly what two of them did.

As a warrior-sort, Marty wouldn't be able to do much to join the group in drawing first blood at this range, and he watched as they worked to deal with the slaver group. He'd have to have moved in close to get to work, and with two of their four spotted targets running away, it already looked like this would be a short fight.

Marty was surprised by one of the slavers materialising next to them, but then he realised it was Rhystlin had teleported the man.

They were cowards. Marty would be waiting ready with his shield to step in and smash Rhys' teleported bandit to the ground if she'd turn out to require assistance, but it looked like this engagement was already over.

Secrets :
Skills
  • Level 2/Veteran Bladed Weapons (Longsword)
  • Level 2/Journeyman Necromancy
Equipment
  • Longsword, alchemically somewhat-corrosive(sheathes at left hip)
  • War machete (sheathes at right hip)
  • Plain dagger (sheathes at left of waist)
  • Kite shield (stows at mid-back)
  • Medium plate-armour
Other items
  • Some travelling rations, some water flasks


Last edited by Martellus; April 2, 2015 at 03:39 AM.
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Old April 2, 2015, 04:21 AM   #123 (permalink)
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Three running for the hills, 1 about to get a lesson in diplomacy from Gorl, and the last guy...

As Cal steadied his aim the target disappeared, re-emerging next to Rhystlin. Cal didn't have many wits about him when it came to Arcana, but from the look on the slaver's face it was evident that his little impromptu journey wasn't by his doing.

Cal waited for Rhystlin to finish off the slaver, his arrow still loaded just in case although he had little doubt how this was going to end up for the slaver.

Secrets :

Equipment
-The PhoenixSword - Longsword that lost all magical properties since Kevlar's disappearance from Telath.
-Standard issue Veldar Shortbow with quiver of 9 arrows.
-1 weighted throwing dagger
-Standard issue blue veldar leather armoring beneath a tattered travellers cloak.

Skills
Level 3 bow.
Level 2 sword.
Level 1 Wilderness survival

Good to know
-Magically Inert
-Phoenix Tattoo - Glows a faint blue in times of crisis when the Phoenix calls to its children.

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Old April 4, 2015, 08:54 AM   #124 (permalink)
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Smart slavers? It seemed some of these people had more brains than their small size suggested. One, however, stuck around. Apparently he preferred to reason with a hammer. Too bad for him.

"Should have followed your friends," Gorl told him. "Now you get hammered. Too bad for you." He brought his hammer down on the man, intent on ending his slaving career for good.

Seeing that the rest had either fled or were engaging the others, he set about trying to help the captives. He found himself a bit clumsy for untying the comparatively tiny ropes, eventually deciding to try to just break them.

"You are safe now, don't worry," he told them as kindly as he could. "Let's get you out of here."
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Old April 4, 2015, 10:03 AM   #125 (permalink)

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Rhystlin, not missing a beat, charged at the confused slaver. The man reacted to the threat, but the mercenary already had the jump on him. He was on the defensive, backpedaling desperately to put some space between them! Unlike her shortsword, the bandit wielded a longer blade giving him a slight advantage in close quarters. He parried but did not counter, intent on fleeing rather than stand a fight the sorceress! (Continued)

Martellus was closeby and witnessed the short exchange. He had the option to intercept the man from the flank, or let Rhystlin handle her own. (Continued)

Blacken let the man run, which was one of his better ideas since the start of the trip. (Continued)

The slaver tried to block Gorl’s blow, but even the untrained blacksmith knew that it was a moot point. Being more than twice as large as the common human and at least four times stronger, the hammerblow came with a force akin to several wagons falling from the sky. The giant crushed the man, sword, arm, armor, and all until he was a pile of meat. (Continued)

All this while Calaban watched the scene unfolding through the tip of his drawn arrow. (Continued)

Everyone:

While Martellus and Rhystlin dealt with the remaining bandit, Gorl and Blacken were able to secure the refugees.

There were nearly two dozen women and children in varying states of oppression. Some were clearly destined for the pleasure houses while others likely sold for pretty coin. Most were farmers before the Xet invaded and took everything. All of them had weary stares and hollow expressions.

It didn’t take an expert to realize that the slavers hadn’t bothered to bring enough feed or water for their ‘cargo’. Many of the children were in the late stages of starvation, resorting to eating the hay used to pad the bottom of the wagons. Their wrists and legs were so badly bruised by the ropes that many of them had infected sores and other untreated injuries.

Calaban remained on overwatch. He could spot the retreating backs of the first two slavers fleeing from his position. A moment longer and they’d be out of range, even for him.
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Old April 4, 2015, 10:53 AM   #126 (permalink)
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Rhystlin was intent on bringing the last one down, if only to lessen the chances of this same scenario happening again. She threw a Force Bolt at the fleeing bandit's back, unwilling to get too close in case a certain companion of hers decided to send an arrow out as well.

Secrets :

Skills
• Level 1 Short sword
• Level 1 Sorcery
• Level 1 Woodworking

Lore
• Basic tracking
• Basic wildlife survival
The above was learned in the Arium Highlands only

Equipment
• 1 steel short sword
• 1 plain short bow + quiver (about 20 arrows) UNTRAINED
• 2 steel daggers:
1 on lower boot
1 on back around the tailbone area
• small utility knife sheathed at belt
• armor: leather armor with her right arm and leg reinforced with plain steel. Bracer on the left arm. Backs of gloves are reinforced with plain steel as well.

Items in a small pack:
• 1 cycles' worth of dried rations for 1 person
• 2 small flasks of water
• 1 small tent (rolled and attached to bottom of pack)
• 2 small blankets
• flint and tinder
• 1 extra set of plain clothes + cloak

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Old April 5, 2015, 08:02 AM   #127 (permalink)
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Blacken is a malevolent Minion
Blacken's face was a cold, hateful mask, as he regarded the prisoners, in their sorry state.

Once, not so long ago that the memory would not still hurt, he himself had been one of these kids, in that land, far beyond the sea.


If it looked like no immediate threat was present any longer, Blacken would head towards whatever water and supply storage the slavers had left behind, take water, and take the least dirty rags he could find, and, in utter silence, start treating the wounds of the children, as best he could.
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Old April 5, 2015, 09:46 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Rhystlin was using her Sorcery. Martellus had learned from their previous battle at Starkville. He wouldn't be getting in the way again, if he could help it. Once again, he waited to see if the slaver engaged by Rhys would need to be flanked and shield-smashed in the unlikely event that the poor doomed man got the upper hand.

The Dracon longed to be able to effectively support his friends in such a situation as this, but he was not sure how. How he would love to throw out Impotence left and right, and melt some faces with his acid! But there were the moral boundaries of those around him to consider. He wondered not for the first time what life was like for the antithesis; one who used their hands to heal and support, rather than just to harm.

Secrets :
Skills
  • Level 2/Veteran Bladed Weapons (Longsword)
  • Level 2/Journeyman Necromancy
Equipment
  • Longsword, alchemically somewhat-corrosive(sheathes at left hip)
  • War machete (sheathes at right hip)
  • Plain dagger (sheathes at left of waist)
  • Kite shield (stows at mid-back)
  • Medium plate-armour
Other items
  • Some travelling rations, some water flasks


Last edited by Martellus; April 5, 2015 at 09:48 PM.
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Old April 7, 2015, 12:13 AM   #129 (permalink)
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Happy EasterHappy Easter all

Cal allowed the retreating slavers to on their way. It would be sometime before they troubled anyone again.

The slaver engaged with Rhystlin was another story. With his arrow still loaded and ready to fire, Cal noticed Rhystlin back off ever so slightly, providing him a window.

Cal let loose the arrow, aiming for the legs, he was hoping to eliminate any chance for the slaver to retreat from the onslaught that Rhystlin seemed certain to be raining down upon him.



Secrets :

Equipment
-The PhoenixSword - Longsword that lost all magical properties since Kevlar's disappearance from Telath.
-Standard issue Veldar Shortbow with quiver of 8 arrows.
-1 weighted throwing dagger
-Standard issue blue veldar leather armoring beneath a tattered travellers cloak.

Skills
Level 3 bow.
Level 2 sword.
Level 1 Wilderness survival

Good to know
-Magically Inert
-Phoenix Tattoo - Glows a faint blue in times of crisis when the Phoenix calls to its children.

__________________

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Old April 10, 2015, 11:02 AM   #130 (permalink)

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Rhystlin funneled Force Essence into a sphere of concussive force. Then she hurled it at the fleeing bandit’s back! (Continued)
1 Initiate spell Vis used.

Blacken’s cold, hard face seemed to frighten the children. There were no threats here unless the rogue was afraid of old women and starving kids. When he searched the wagon, he found a few barrels of water and some dried meat. There were also some spare clothes, which Blacken used to begin treating the wounds of the children. Some of them had infections, others sores, and most were bruised and battered by abuse. The women were not faring any better. (Continued)
"Kill them with Kindness" Secret Achievement Unlocked!

Martellus let Rhystlin do all the work. Mostly because he had a moral compass and thought that maybe women wouldn’t appreciate a good face melting just cuz. (Continued)

Calaban loosed an arrow aimed for the fleeing bandit’s legs! (Continued)

Everyone:

Fleeing Bandit was not having a good time. He was promised sheep to be herded and sold for a few silvers each. Easy work. Quick cash. What could’ve gone wrong? Well for starters, he didn’t expect a giant and his crew to bash through his friends like they were peanuts. And those bleedin’ cowards ran faster than Kemites fighting for a buy-one-get-one-free-deal. So he was mostly OK to fleeing, too, hence ‘Fleeing Bandit’. Unfortunately no one ever trusted a criminal running from a crime scene.

Two things happened in quick succession. He heard the twang of bowstring followed by a loud whistling -- then he was screaming as an arrow cut through the meaty parts of his thigh. The adrenaline would’ve been enough for him to limp the rest of his escape. Then there was a flash of purple as an orb of pure Force smashed between his shoulderblades. He tumbled forward, rolling a few times, and bruising a fair share of ribs before he finally stopped, groaning.
"Double Tap" Secret Achievement Unlocked by Rhystlin & Calaban!

With the bandits neutralized or gone, Calaban and Co. were able to join Blacken where the rogue was uncharacteristically helping the women and children. They counted nearly two dozen women and children all in various stages of starvation and abuse. None of them had any blankets but were instead kept chained in the back of the wagon with only hay to sleep on. The wagon barely had any supplies either, indicating that they had no intentions of feeding the captives before reaching the next town. They all looked hollow-eyed at their saviors, too weak to even smile or revel in their newfound freedom.

Objectives:
  • ”Savior” - escort the captured refugees to the next town. This will increase your journey time to Castellian Keep by one cycle. Green rep will be awarded.
  • ”Salvage” - take what you can from the wagon and leave the slaves. This will allow you to reach Castellian Keep faster. Red rep will be awarded.
  • ”Mercy” - end their suffering. They have no Visas and they might all die anyway. Red rep will be awarded.
  • ”Charity” - split up so one group will reach Castellian Keep while the other escorts the refugees to safety. Green rep will be awarded.
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Old April 11, 2015, 09:03 AM   #131 (permalink)
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Blacken is a malevolent Minion
Blacken continued to attend the prisoners, silent, and seemingly oblivious of his companions.

For the thief-turned-knight, what to do was not a question - and it didn't even cross his mind that the other members of his small patrol could have a different opinion on the matter.

But even with that all, Blacken's face remained marble-white, and angry.

He would help these people.

And then, he would go and kill those responsible for whatever had brought the children - The children! - to this place.
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Old April 11, 2015, 10:16 AM   #132 (permalink)
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Calaban winced as Rhystlin's spell sent the slaver tumbling to the ground. He knew very little about arcana but he was quickly learning that Rhystlin seemed a very capable mage in her own right.

"Why exactly do you even carry a bow again?", The Veldar scoffed, reminded of their little training excersie oh so long ago.

Cal approached the downed slaver to retrieve his arrow. Though inbedded in the fools leg it was still a valuable commodity out here with his supply limited, and the bad guys seemingly coming out of the woodwork at every turn.

If the man was still alive, the extraction would likely be quite painful, but necessary in the long run anyways.

The carriage of now free slaves on the otherhand provided a not so simple obstacle. Clearly, the roads were not safe enough to entrust this group to make it back to the nearest settlement on their own. Such a decision would almost certainly result in this little scuffle being all for naught.

Even Blacken who had a bit of a reputation for being a little self-serving thus far seemed to recognize these people needed help.

Cal thought for a moment that perhaps the group could split up, surely Marty and Blacken could escort the slaves to safety and then regroup with the other at Castellian. The idea seemed like a terrible one at first and mulling it over Cal was still not crazy about it at all. No, there is strength in the talents of this group as a whole, to split up would be a very needless risk

It seemed there was only one viable option left in front of them,

"It would seem our good deed requires us to see it through to completion. We cant leave them alone to fend for themselves. I believe it's best if the group sticks together, we have run into trouble every step of the way, and it seems we are proving to be very formidable as a group. I am not sure what awaits us at the next town, or at Castellian for that matter, but I am fairly certain we stand a better chance if we face it as a whole."

Cal was fairly certain that Blacken was onboard, so he looked to the others to see what they thought.
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Old April 11, 2015, 12:19 PM   #133 (permalink)
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Had it made sense to respond to the scoff, Rhys may have said "because I can only cast three spells and it makes sense not to exhaust myself", or "I plan to practice and actually be able to use it one day." But she got the feeling the passing scoff was a rhetorical one, and instead she turned her attention to their surroundings, hoping to see if anything else needed tending to. She trusted Calaban to deal with the downed slaver, if he had even survived that little one-two.

She glanced over at Blacken assisting the slaves and at once began to rethink her initial impression of the boy. As selfish as he had seemed to be for the duration of their trip, his uncharacteristic kindness towards the people in need taught Rhystlin not to judge so quickly. Instead, she determined that there was more to him than she had given him credit for. Perhaps he, in fact, had experienced something similar and identified with the poor souls.

She turned her thoughts to the situation on a whole, recognizing that there was an immediate need to decide how to get the freed people back to safety - if there was truly such a thing this far beyond the surviving cities. It was not a question, to her, of whether to bring them to safety or leave them here. Rather, it was a question of what was the best way to get them to where they needed to be.

After a moment of contemplating Calaban's words, the half elf nodded her head. "I agree. Had there been fewer of us, we might have even perished by now. To split up would be difficult, especially if one of our groups must also be held accountable for the people here."

The freed folk would present a new challenge to anyone who chose to transport them, given they were extra bodies to protect that could not protect themselves. The group with Blacken would likely need to be the larger one as well, given that the rogue seemed unaccustomed to combat. It was better to ensure they all remained alive by doing what they had always done - sticking together.
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Old April 11, 2015, 06:39 PM   #134 (permalink)
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Okay, Rhys took care of that fleeing one; and no surprise. "Kind of... heh... kind of starting to feel unnecessary..." Marty shrugged. But he was honestly happy that they were doing well! It was fine. Oh gods, am I useless? No, no. Fine.

Blacken also impressed Martellus in providing aid to the victims of the defeated slavers with such determination. Marty considered that he may have misjudged in his opinion of the boy seeming just a slobbish crook; he possessed more depth than that clearly.

Calaban assuredly spoke sense. They couldn't exactly leave the freed slaves and expect them to survive, and they couldn't split up their group either. Bringing along the escapees and staying together was their best option. "You're correct of course, Calaban. It does look like it's our best choice to stick together as we take these refugees somewhere safer." An important question remained, though. "Where is the nearest suitable town that we can take them?"

Next, Marty approached Blacken and looked over the people previously imprisoned, trying to discern their condition. "We plan to get these people somewhere safer." He hoped they would not be too debilitated for the travel ahead. "How can I help tend them?"

Last edited by Martellus; April 11, 2015 at 06:43 PM.
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Old April 11, 2015, 09:21 PM   #135 (permalink)

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Deciding to regroup and escort the starving refugees was a nice thought. But in practice, it posed several challenges.

Having served in the legions, Calaban understood that a wagon carrying supplies and people tended to move very slow. Then they had to take into consideration the women and children aboard. Some were feverish as Blacken and Martellus discovered. Several more had infected wounds that would grow even worse if not treated. The refugees were also having a very difficult time eating and drinking water. This was a very serious side effect of starvation. Not that the mercenaries had much to share to begin with.

According to their maps, the closest towns were Rosewood to the southwest or Vale to the southeast. All indications showed that Rosewood was the smaller of the two with Vale being a port township. This would take them two brightenings, likely three, but they wouldn't have enough rations for themselves and a dozen refugees. Not to mention that the shortest route would lead them through the infamous Circle hidden inside the Stonevale Forest.
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