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D&D Campaigns => Eberron => In Character Discussions => Topic started by: Dray on April 13, 2008, 01:36:59 PM

Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 13, 2008, 01:36:59 PM
(OOC: Continued immediately after  12.22.2132 - Interview in Utopia (http://griznuq.com/index.php?topic=9078.last)

Temmit and Renee quickly made it back to the Library in the School District, the snow continued to fall at a steady pace, but no wind with the threat of a harder storm was forthcoming. Finding the address was easy for Renee, as she had just been there a couple weeks prior looking at the article in newspaper records. Temmit and Renee walked the shoveled paths on their way to the outer gates.

(OOC: Switching Renee to a Sorcerer/Warrior btw)

"We may not want to walk in case we run into harder weather,  are you in for a little horseback riding to Lakeshore?"

Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 13, 2008, 03:29:57 PM
Temmit made a bit of a grimmace at Renee's suggestion. It made a lot of sense, but he hadn't been paid of late, and the rental might well consume the remainder of his money. Still, he didn't actually need money for the week. He would be paid soon enough.

"Good suggestion." He answered. "Better day for a ride than a long cold walk."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 13, 2008, 05:41:57 PM
Renee noted the grimace and seemed to understand it, for when they reached “Horse for a Day”, a livery that leased horses just outside the north gate, she took him aside.

“Temmit, one moment,” she took him by the arm before they entered the small office at the end of the stable. Her face was close to his since she spoke in a whisper.

“Use the money pouch I gave you for all our expenses this night. If it wasn’t for the guild I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make the coin within it,” she said to him gently, on his nod she entered the office before he could return a rebuttal.

The boy in the office was surprised to have visitors so late on the snowy mid-weekend day, and he was more taken aback by the lovely red-headed girl. Temmit paid the boy for two horses and before they could blink an eye they were on saddles and walking off towards Lakeshore. Temmit held a hooded lantern aloft to give the horses some illumination ahead, despite the boy’s reassurance that the horses could do the route blindfolded.

The ride took almost a hand as the wind finally started to blow and the flakes became smaller and lighter.

The vacation town of Lakeshore was hidden behind the now obvious storm, but as they drew nearer the familiar roadside lanterns guided them the rest of the way in. Soon after passing a disinterested guard checkpoint, they were riding the streets between the houses that hugged coastline of Clearwater Lake.

Renee hailed a soldier standing at his post in what appeared to be the center of town. After a salute she asked, “could you direct us to Cliff Street? My Aunt is staying with friends there and we are horribly late.”

“Sure enough Miss,” he said pointing behind them. “Go back the way you came and keep following the coast line. Eventually the street raises, and the lake doesn’t, with nothing but a drop between them.”

“Hence the name,” she said.

“Exactly Miss, it’s the longest street in the town with a lot of real nice houses, but it’s pretty easy to find an address as it simply follows the coastline below,” he finished.

With polite thanks Renee turned her horse and they headed off the other direction
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 13, 2008, 06:07:14 PM
It was nice to be out on a relatively unscheduled ride and Temmit was comfortable despite the cold and the lantern that he bore. He began to formulate in his mind a contraption for holding the lantern up; something that would rest in a cup the way that a cavalry man would rest his flag or lance.

It might stand up with a hook at the top to hold the lantern aloft, allowing the rider a more comfortable experience. He should attend this perhaps during his off-time on the morrow. He thought that perhaps he should first check and see if there's already one somewhere before he went and invented something that's already been done.

Thus it was the under his contemplation the ride to Lakeshore seemed to take less than a moment (were it not for the continued need to change lantern hands) and Renee was asking some guard directions.

The meager light of the street lanterns bled off the side of the road and down the cliff. He thought that it must be lovely during a clear day. The lighted houses on their left were well light, and lovely in their own right.

Check my directions, Dray (houses really on our right?)
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 13, 2008, 11:04:20 PM
(OOC: The two of you were originally coming from the Southeast (heading Northwest) and stayed on that path as you came into town, then the guard turned you around and told you to start by heading back the way you came, and lets say that the village is in the southeast "quadrant" of the lake, one would surmise that the road would take you counterclockwise around the lake heading slowly East, then Northeast, and eventually North, therefore and hencewith the cliff would be on your left at lake's edge. Now I ask you, what developer would want to put a road between a house (that doesn't have to worry about beach erosion btw) and its spectacular view of said lake...SO....the houses would be adjacent to the cliff on your left with you two riding on the road to their right.)

It was only a bit past 6 night-hand but the storm made it feel later to both riders. Almost every other house had a family enjoying dinner and each rider had their own thoughts about the scenes that played out from each loving home. Almost 15 turns went by and the houses became more and more separated by woodland terrain until eventually they came upon the address.

A board nailed to a tree had the crude address numbers painted onto it, most likely the work of the same construction crew that had already had a new wooden frame in place on the old foundation.

“That’s interesting,” exclaimed Renee from under her snow-covered hood. “Burned down last Summer and they already have half the house rebuilt.”
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 14, 2008, 12:43:25 PM
"Mmm..." Temmit agreed. "Moreso because only half of it is rebuilt. You'd think that if it was just another re-build it would be done by now."

He digested that for a long moment. "I wonder what other shinanigens they're installing?"

...

"I also wonder if it won't be a good idea to stay in touch with young Sally to find out about later?"
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 14, 2008, 10:14:48 PM
“Or we could find out now,” and with that said Renee got off her horse, tethered the reigns to a tree branch and walked over to the house.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 15, 2008, 08:21:34 AM
Surprised, Temmit followed Renee's example and tethered his own horse.

His senses were taut as he caught up to her approaching the house. He looked about in the darkness for signs of people who might be in the area.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 16, 2008, 06:22:50 PM
Renee, with Temmit a good many paces behind her, approached the home which was nothing more than a skeleton frame of wood timber. Lacking a roof, the storm merely swirled from above and around the structure, leaving an unbroken blanket of snow.

As Temmit approached, he noted that the two adjacent homes on either side were both a good hundred feet away, and didn’t appear to be occupied as they both lacked light within. ’Summer homes perhaps’ Smokey reflected his thought.

’As long as no one from up the street decides to go into town for milk during this storm, we should be alright’, Temmit said back to him. The light from his lantern worried him though, for it may be detectable by a guard in the center of town across the lake. He was hoping the storm would conceal it.

“We shouldn’t stay too long,” he voiced.

She nodded as she stepped through where the main entrance was going to be, she pulled down her cloak hood so she could look about better.

“Seems like its going to be quite the large house,” she said as she kicked some snow aside to reveal a stone tiled floor. She turned to Temmit. “Shuffle around a bit, let’s see if we can find a concealed door in the floor slab.

As he did as asked, he heard her mutter an incantation as she cast a spell. He returned to his work, knowing it was merely a spell to detect any hidden doors.

[DETECT SECRET DOORS, pg. 220 PHB]

“I will shuffle as much snow out of the way as I can, you look where I have cleared,” he offered.

“Deal.”

He tried to work as quickly as he could, worried about the lantern he held aloft betraying their trespassing activity to the town below. A few anxious turns passed by when suddenly their luck that had carried them through the day stuck again.

“Here it is!” she exclaimed in a shouted whisper.

She and Temmit bent low and looked at the two foot square tile slab. Temmit was happy to put his lantern closer to the ground and out of view.

“Looks heavy,” she said with a smile.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 18, 2008, 02:39:57 PM
Temmit set the lantern upon the floor and wiped the perimeter of the now-obvious floor-door. He looked for a way to open it...a latch, handle, or some such.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 19, 2008, 08:27:12 AM
(OOC: Rewriting the last two posts made by Dray and Johan, due to error made by Dray)
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 19, 2008, 08:34:53 AM
Kneeling before the clearing in the snow that revealed the two-foot square stone slab, Renee reached and took hold of one of his arms.

“Hold on Temmit. My spell can detect the opening mechanism, let me just concentrate for a moment.”

After a moment, she smiled in satisfaction.

“We merely need to push in the corners of the slab to the right, starting with upper left and going clockwise. It appears this has two be done in two revolutions in order to release this slab in front of me.”
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 19, 2008, 10:13:39 AM
"An odd combination." Temmit observed. "I wonder whether it's an effect of clever masonry, or magic."

As he spoke, he manipulated the indicated slab and found...
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 19, 2008, 03:20:03 PM
...that the edge of the tile near Renee popped up an inch towards her, the hinge being on the opposite side. She put her fingers underneath and hefted its weight up and away from her, pushing the tile up and away as she extended herself over the opening.

thwang![/b]

....was the sound of the metal trigger as it released, and Renee’s eyes opened wide in surprise as the needle ejected from the trap went straight into her belly.

She spun away from the opening and Temmit and rolled onto her back, clenching her stomach with both hands.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 19, 2008, 06:44:13 PM
Temmit reacted slowly, not comprehending what happened.

"She's not all right." Smokey said, although he didn't seem too concerned."The spring must be inomplete as yet, and probably hit her."

"Renee?" He asked, turning the lantern upon her. "Are you hurt?"
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 19, 2008, 07:20:00 PM
(OOC: hehe, well played.)

Renee lay stretched out on the snow, her hands still grasping at where the spring had hit her on her mid-stomach.

“I am such an idiot,” she said in obvious pain. She didn't make any move to get up but instead lifted her hands away from her stomach so Temmit could see the three-inch needle that was half embedded into her abdomen. Blood from the wound trickled down her hands. Temmit could see a small pool of blood staining her heavy riding shirt around the protruding needle.

“Didn’t think this was serious enough for a trap, my mating arrogance got me good that time.” she said. “I am going to need a potion from my bag, Emma and I made some fo...” she stopped as she arched her head back and her whole body stiffened. “Damn it....it’s poisoned.”

She started to moan in pain.

thwang![/b]

Another metallic sound issued from the opening, and a click after Temmit heard something hit the trees high above to their right.

Whatever is in that pit, it isn’t done firing needles Smokey surmised.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 19, 2008, 08:20:06 PM
Temmit suddenly grasped the gravity of the situation. He grabbed the lantern as well as Renee's arm and dragged her towards the horses.

"What can we do for the poison?" He asked anxiously (having tried to contain his emotions and failing). He was clumsily trying to drag her over to the horses, where she had indicated the healing potion would be.

"Many people would suck the poison out through her...

"NOT NOW!!!"
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 19, 2008, 09:30:30 PM
The snow on the ground made dragging Renee easier than he would have hoped, and although she didn’t order him to stop, she moaned as he dragged her the distance to the horses.

“Healing potion is in my backpack,” Renee said from her prone position on the ground. Then without warning she yanked the large needle from her own stomach. Biting her lip she covered the wound with both hands, trying to stop the bleeding.

Temmit looked quickly to her rented horse and shoved both his hands in her backpack which was strapped behind the saddle. Thanking his luck, he quickly found the familiar small case which he knew held potions.

“Feels like a lead ball grew in my stomach,” she said through the pain. “But lets worry upon the wound first, the poison after.”

thwang![/b]

Temmit looked up just in time to see a small explosion of light occur high up in the trees and all at once he understood why the needles kept firing. For high up in the trees was a large lantern which was suspended by several chains from the branches of the trees around it. The glass on the lantern had been punctured by the needle and some internal mechanism set it ablaze. The alarm beacon would be seen for miles, let alone by any guard in Lakeshore.

 ’Yup, you got to appreciate the engineering behind that one’ Smokey commended.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 19, 2008, 10:31:02 PM
Temmit fumbled with the potions as quickly as his could. "We're going to have a lot more trouble, Renee." He said, his anxiety building a bit. "They seem to have a beacon up in those trees."

"What color?" He asked as he opened the case, expecting to see a variety of potions within.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 19, 2008, 11:07:58 PM
"Red," she answered. Then with quickly propped herself up with one arm, the other hand holding her wound. "Please turn away," she managed to get out, then vomited on the ground beside her.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 19, 2008, 11:20:37 PM
Temmit handed Renee a red vial and turned away, as requested. Actually, he turned upwards towards the beacon. The snow swirled in the light of it, and Temmit realized that perhaps the distance at which the beacon would be seen wouldn't be as far as he had at first feared.

"Still, it'll be far enough, I'll bet." He murmured to himself.


"Smokey, we need you to get up there and put that damed beacon out." Temmit pleaded. "Can you do that? With luck, there's a wick like a conventional lantern; you'd only need to lower it."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 19, 2008, 11:38:37 PM
Renee swallowed the potion and after a few moments stood up beside Temmit. He quickly looked at her and noted the wound appeared to be closed, although he couldn’t get a really good look at it as her clothing had covered up the entry point. Still, she looked a bit dizzy to him, and unsure on her feet.

“We should flee, there is a chance that someone has already seen the beacon and is making haste to get up here, we should be gone by the time they do,” she said in a manner that didn’t speak to negotiation.

With more strength then he would have credited her for, considering her particular condition, she climbed back into the saddle on her horse.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 20, 2008, 09:59:38 AM
"You don't have time, apparently." Smokey answered.

Temmit grumbled to himself, but hoisted her backpack back to its place on her saddle, and then pulled himself up into his own. "Lead on." He said simply.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 20, 2008, 10:58:45 AM
”Wait,” she said stopping him before he turned to his horse. “I have no idea what the after affects of this poison may be,” she said wearily. “You need to lead just in case I falter.”

With that, she reached into her belt pouch and pulled out a pinch of dried carrot. “This spell will allow you to see without our lantern,” she tried to say quickly. She then took in a breath and tried to steel her nerves against the obvious pain still coursing through her [Concentration check]. With a quick exhale she incanted the spell, the carrot absorbed by a small white light that held to her fingertips as she waved them before Temmit.

She placed her fingers to each of his temples and his vision changed. Everything in his vision went black and white and the glow of the lantern was now blinding. He quickly put it out and was amazed that he could see detail of everything in all directions for at least fifty to sixty paces. [60 feet actually, Darkvision spell on page 216 of the PHB].
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 20, 2008, 12:10:45 PM
"I assume we're simply heading back to Our Commons?" He asked. "And not by way of Lakshore, yes?"

Naturally, anyone coming along to the beacon would most likely be following the road that they had taken to get there as well.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 20, 2008, 01:17:12 PM
Renee took hold of her reigns but made no move to direct her horse.

“Yes, and we should drop the horses off at the livery at the South Gate instead of with the...” she stopped and wiped the sweat from her brow. “...instead of with that boy in the north, just in case.”

She then lowered her torso onto the horse’s back, and lay there.

Temmit raised a concerned eyebrow at her.

“Your all-powerful idiot leader is taking a rest,” she said with a small tired smile. “One bit of good news, I don’t the poisoning is going to get worse. If it was, in my experience, I would think we would have seen more dire affects bye now.”
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 20, 2008, 02:09:15 PM
Temmit wordlessly took hold of her horse's reigns and led the animal away from Lakeshore and into the woods. He went as fast as he dared to go.

His plan: ride off wide and far (and fast), taking what opportunities presented themselves to obscure their horse's tracks. He would circumnavigate Our Commons and come upon the road that led northward into the city. Hopefully, there would have been other traffic along that road to hide their own horses’ tracks, and they would be able to get into Our Commons in relative secrecy.

He would worry about where to turn the two horses in if he got that far. It might be a good idea to get someone else to turn them in at a different livery. Or to simply abandon them (this would depend upon what name Renee might have used when she rented them).

In the mean time, he strained his hearing and his eyes to try to detect any followers who might be on their trail. He continually looked behind him to see if there were any lanterns back there.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 20, 2008, 04:05:31 PM
Renee for her part remained quiet and as time wore on she didn’t appeared to suffer any further affects of the poison. She sat up on the horse after awhile and helped Temmit watch behind them. About a half hand from the scene back at Lakeshore, she spotted four lanterns very far down hill behind them. Temmit reacted by increasing the pace and taking the horses through underbrush. The horses’ complaints to the scratching thickets were drowned out in the wind of the storm and they soon lost sight of the lights behind them.

No further pursuit was spotted afterwards.

In total, it took three hands to travel around the foothills northeast of Clearwater Lake and then circumvent the capital city in a clockwise direction on the map. They finally reached, but didn’t approach, one of the frequent guard-towers of South Road, which stood a few hundred yards away with a blazing beacon lantern at its rooftop.

“We’ll want to travel parallel with the road and not get to close to the guard posts,” Renee said. It was the first time she had spoken since spotting the lanterns, she looked markedly improved.

“My apologies Temmit, that was a real stupid move I made back there,” she said. The tone of the apology was one of a soldier and not an overly emotional girl, it was a tone that Temmit could appreciate.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 20, 2008, 06:01:55 PM
"Done is done." Temmit responded stoically. "We'll write it down as experience and try to not make the same mistake in the future."

They ploded on for a few turns in silence. "It's getting awfully close to curfew though. It might do for you to let me turn the horses in; I'll tell them that I found them riderless. You see any flaw with that plan?"
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 20, 2008, 06:45:32 PM
Renee looked at the simple time piece that was strapped to her wrist by a worn leather band.  The storm had moved on in the last half-hand, and everything was finally still.

“It’s almost half past 11. Curfew isn’t an issue for me this evening.”

“As far as the plan is concerned, that will work. I didn’t use our real identities at the North Gate livery anyway,” she said turning to him, her face very serious now that there was trouble about. “I also don’t think that kid, who I think is in the Harvesters, even recognized me.”

“But what of you? Will Shanteel be looking for your head?” she asked with an eyebrow raised.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 20, 2008, 07:13:41 PM
"Well," He answered. "The best way around that is to wear a big bruise for a few days." He looked at Renee meaningfully.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 20, 2008, 07:25:32 PM
"Athol isn't due back until tomorrow night," she said off-handedly, still make no move yet to dismount from her rent-a-horse.

"If you don't check in tonight, you will be bruised the same on the morrow as you would this eve, would you not?" she querried in the same fashion as Temmit.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 20, 2008, 08:09:23 PM
"Well, same as last night, I'm thinking that I wouldn't be too missed if I don't return at all tonight...I guess at this point there's only trouble if I return. You have any ideas of where I can rest for the night?"
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 20, 2008, 08:35:54 PM
Renee smiled at him.

"Truth be told, I wouldn't mind having the company in the dungeon this evening," she said and dismounted.

"Let's walk the rest of the way, these horses will head straight to the livery with a good spank on the rump." She began to unstrap her backpack from the horse.

"Tomorrow morning I need to wake early though," she continued talking while hefting the backpack over her shoulders. He could tell that the poison had weakened her, for she appeared weary despite her effort to speak with authority. "I think I will speak to one of the guilds contacts. See if I can get some feathers ruffled in the Lakeshore Guard. At the very least get some papers shuffled in order to mask the trail we made this evening, perhaps even divert it away from the two of us."

She held onto the horses reigns, knowing that they would want to move quickly another direction after letting them free. Her other hand played with the hole in the center of her shirt.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 20, 2008, 09:05:03 PM
"Perhaps we should report the horses as stolen?" Temmit suggested. "That would help to divert attention from us on this end. The only thing to address then would be the guard that we spoke to up in Lakeshore, and he only saw us at night, in a snow storm. We might be covered from that end anyway."

He seemed to consider himself for a while. "And don't worry: I'll awaken you early."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 20, 2008, 09:33:15 PM
“I don’t want some unknown in the Guard contingent able to come back to us for further questioning though. I do like the idea however. I will ask my contact to have a subordinate enter our false stolen report in one of the logs at the outer guard posts,” she said and then gave him a mock scowl.

“You going to sit on that broken beast all night?” she teased.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 21, 2008, 09:13:29 AM
Temmit dismounted mechanically. He certainly wouldn't have been mistaken for the best rider in any competition.

"Renee," he asked, "do we have contacts among the government or local constabulary who used to be part of Whisper? You know...before we were Whisper?"
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 21, 2008, 01:32:54 PM
“In the military we have just one other besides the Captain Athol, and it is he who I speak of,” she replied. She then spanked the horse on the rump and it trotted off towards the road.

Temmit did the same and then joined Renee in an attempt to jog through the snow, heading east and into some trees that were away from the road. After a few turns she slowed down to a walk, with a few extra running steps he caught up to her and she continued their conversation.

“We do however have some important confidantes in some key buildings throughout the city. Each individual is either a former member of TAO or the unnamed resistance group before it.” she said a little out of breath. Temmit looked west through the trees and could see that they still were parallel to South Road and still heading north to the city. Over the next rise he surmised they would see the city lights.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 22, 2008, 11:53:01 AM
"Did you just tell me that Athol has gifts?" Temmit asked.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 23, 2008, 12:19:50 PM
Renee turned her head quickly to Temmit, “Huh?”

He gave her a moment to think about the question, noting how tired she was.

’Poison took more out of her than she is letting on I think,’ said Smokey, and Temmit had to agree.

“Oh...no, that isn’t what I meant,” she said, shaking her head in an effort to clear it. She then continued to walk and Temmit followed alongside.

“Although, your misunderstanding...”

’...you mean your poor choice of words...’ Smokey interjected.

“...brings up a good point. Not all my contacts for the guild are actually whisper members. The Captain for example knows nothing of my magic or anyone else’s, thankfully”.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 23, 2008, 03:04:00 PM
"Hmmm..." Temmit mused. "I would think that there have to be members out there...one would wonder that we didn't keep track of each other year to year, you know?" He asked rhetorically.

"Given the trail of gifted, you might think that there would be an "older" guild...with graduates and outright adults at this point. A cabal of sorts. For instance, you must still know a few folks who graduated last year, and they would know someone who graduated the year before, and so forth. Names anyway."

"For all that we do here at school, I would hope that efforts don't lapse...people don't just stop working...after graduation."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 23, 2008, 10:11:51 PM
As Temmit contemplated out loud Renee didn’t interrupt, familiar with Temmit’s thought process, she let his ‘out-loud analysis’ and conjecture play itself out.

They walked a few turns and she looked over at him a few times, wondering if he was truly clueless to the obvious or whether he was being coy and now awaiting more specific answers that he so rightfully deserved.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 24, 2008, 12:50:19 PM
Blow my focus to read her emotions

Sense motive: 12 (which sucks, since I have a +10 on it!!)
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 24, 2008, 01:01:05 PM
Temmit could see the internal struggle in Renee's body language, she seemed to want to tell him something but was holding back.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 24, 2008, 04:58:38 PM
I saw that already, schmoo! Talk to me about her emotional state: Scared? Embarrassed? Ambivalent? Lusty? What?
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 24, 2008, 09:22:37 PM
OOC: Not only are you using sense motive and epending your focus, but Renee is someone who's body language is very familiar to you, as you have known her for some years. So in affect, I would think a +4 modifier would be in order, giving you a 16.

That being said, you surmise that she is hesitating in telling you some secret information NOT because she doesn't trust you (the last 24-hours is prrof positive she trusts you more than anyone), but because she may not trust something or someone else. Perhaps, you may surmise, that she isn't telling you because she may get YOU into some trouble.

All that being said, she is being
* Cautious,
* Apprehensive,
* Protective.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 24, 2008, 11:33:25 PM
Temmit glanced side-long at Renee as they walked. At length, he said, "I didn't know that so much fear welled inside of you. So much conflict."

He let that sink into her for a few steps. "Tell me, before we get into earshot of anyone. What's on your mind?"
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 25, 2008, 05:47:48 AM
Renee stopped walking and leaned on a tree. Turning to him she said, “you are very correct my friend, and I shouldn’t be in conflict. Any knowledge I impart to you I know would be held in the strictest confidence. I also know you are by no means foolish and would be respectful of the trust imparted to you with the sharing.”

Although she spoke a bit cryptically, Temmit understood the sentiment (OOC: I hope) and nodded.

She continued. “But let’s get back into the city first? I would like to be behind the stone walls of my secret bedroom with my toes warming under a few blankets.”
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 25, 2008, 08:07:38 AM
"Fair enough." Temmit conceded. He put out his hand then. "Let me take your pack though. For all your bravado, that needle did a bit more to you than you'd like to admit."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 25, 2008, 09:25:01 PM
Renee, with an appreciative but weary smile, acquiesced to his kindness.

After they walked a bit further and went up and over the hill. Renee stopped yet again and turned to talk to him. Temmit, a bit tired himself, almost sighed audibly, but instead he lifted her pack over his shoulder to better carry it.

“On second thought wait,” she said and she paused to think. Temmit looked around to be sure there wasn’t some danger nearby that she sensed and he didn’t. Verifying that wasn’t the case, he looked past her and down at the city lights which shined like stars in the darkness, and his mind wandered. He almost jumped when she spoke again.

“If we merely walk up and enter the gate at such a late hour the guards in all likelihood will get suspicious and at least order us to lower our hoods. Just giving them fake names in their records may not do,” she said. He noted that she still was a little out of breath even though they had been standing there for about a turn while she had been thinking.

“And although they may have no suspicions in relation to what occurred this evening in Lakeshore, they could still give us trouble due to our apparent age and obvious disrespect of curfew,” she said. She then wiped her brow and let out a bit of a sigh.

“And I really don’t want them knowing your identity if I can help it,” she said with concern. “Captain Athol knows of my black market activity, and I don’t want him able to add your name to the list under Kristen’s.”

Temmit made to speak but she put a finger to his lips and politely interrupted him.

His mind wandered at the touch, it tended to do that when deprived of coffee.

He commented to Smokey, ’Amazing how soft her fingertip is considering her legendary status with the sword. You would think her hands would be rather callous from all the training and hard work she puts in the Protectors House.’

’You need to stop fantasizing about what else she could touch and pay attention here I think’, Smokey retorted.

“... and this is where Captain Athol’s influence comes in handy, and where my sacrifices are at least somewhat rewarded,” he heard the last half of her sentence and noted a bit of sadness in her eyes.

“I know who is on shift at the East gate this evening and they in turn know me.” Temmit could hear the regret in her voice at the mention of the gate they had just passed not more than a half-hand ago, it was about 2 miles back in the northeast direction.

She must have seen his sympathy for her lack of strength, because she shrugged and replied, “Had to release the horses near the South Road so they would trot back to their livery at the South Gate, and to be honest I didn’t think it was as late as it was,” she offered by way of explanation.

“Anyway, it shouldn’t be too hard to get past these soldiers, but I will need to walk in, let them recognize me and be a little...flirtatious.” Despite the darkness, Temmit knew she would be blushing in embarrassment. “These specific guards know of the Captain’s relationship with me, it is both my shield and my disguise against them, for they think I am a loose-legged tramp with no brains.”


(OOC: FYI NOTE so I don’t have to spend two pages explaining it in dialogue. These soldiers don’t even know of Renee’s real name and therefore her reputation as the toughest kid in the Protectors. The Captain gives out an alias and only when it is absolutely necessary. So these soldiers are unaware of Renee’s fantastic and commanding reputation that she has at the Protectorate.)


Temmit immediately understood and agreed with her assertion, for the men would indeed not perceive her as a threat in that case.

“But here is the important part, when they ask you to identify yourself you will not speak, just keep your hood on and your face lowered,” she ordered and then stepped so close to him that their chests almost touched. It became obvious to Temmit that as she spoke further, she wanted to watch his eyes as she spoke. She wanted to know she could trust him not to interfere with her plans at the gate.

“I will tell them that you and I were out...playing and lost track of time, and that it is none of their business[/i] who you are. I will then hand them a couple of gold coins to further shut them up,” she held out her hand for her purse under his chin. Temmit summarily fished out of his pack and handed to her. She continued, “and other than the report of my disloyalty back to Captain Athol, the guards should smirk their stupid heads off but not trouble us any further.”

She paused a moment to see if he took it all in and accepted it, her eyes locked on his for recognition of compliance.

“Listen...” she paused and Temmit sensed a softness to her voice. He was starting to recognize when she switched from his commander, to his friend. “...my flirtation and my demeanor is an act and a disguise I have spent almost two years building.”

Temmit nodded, knowing she wasn’t finished.

“It gives them certain allowances, certain privileges to act like pigs since this part that I play, this girl is barely any better than a ShantyTown tramp,” she said and swallowed what appeared to be a pound of regret while lowering her head in shame.

“You cannot interfere even if their behavior gets lewd, it’s all part of the role I usually play to get the guild what it needs, and now I must play it to keep you safe,” she said with a compassion that he felt as much as the heat emanating off of her incredibly close body.

She seemed to catch herself a little, she took a half step back and reclaimed her commander tone, “You need to stay safe and unknown. Emma is going to need you over the next three years and I will be damned if we make a mistake here tonight that doesn’t allow that.”
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 25, 2008, 10:56:03 PM
Temmit forced himself to attend Renee's instructions closely. It was a clear and understandable plan. When she was done, he said, "I will do exactly as you tell me, if there's no other way."

He wished that there were houses and barns outside the walls that would provide shelter on a cold and snowy night.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 26, 2008, 01:04:49 PM
(OOC: Deleted an earlier post this morning full of stupidity, I was meta-gaming as the DM).

Renee looked at him and seemed a bit defeated.

"The couple of safe-houses we have for guild members are in the city, so if we are to sleep tonight it will have to be in a nearby barn. Problem is, if we don't venture through the gates now, we have to venture through them tomorrow anyway, and by then they may be looking for two students who rented horses at the South Gate," she said with a raised eyebrow.

"And since I know these guards, we can pass with fake identities in the log. If we try the gate in the day, one of the guards may recognize me and Renee Olsteel will be entered in the log."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on April 26, 2008, 07:30:44 PM
Temmit noded, ceding the point. "Let it be so." He said simply.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on April 26, 2008, 10:11:45 PM
After wanting to reach the gates of the city for what felt like all night, the final walk up to the East Gate came all too quickly for Temmit.

Renee was slow on her feet though, and it was easy to keep up with her. He was glad he carried her pack, as the girl didn’t appear to have much strength left.

As Renee and Temmit got close to the gate, three of the huge beacon lanterns on the Outer Wall, each operated by two men, swiveled and rotated to not only illuminate the path before them, but warn the four soldiers meandering under the open portcullis of their approach. As these men at the gate became alerted to their presence, the obviously bored group lit some torches of their own to better identify the two strangers who approached at such a late hour.

“Miss Prynne,” one of them exclaimed as they came within earshot. Temmit winced, not sure if he was ready for this.

“Well I’ll be damned,” the brute finished as they made it to almost underneath the archway containing the gate. Temmit reluctantly withdrew into the folds of his hood and now only could only see everyone’s feet. He realized quite suddenly his disadvantage. He wouldn’t be able to watch for hints of danger from the betrayal of the soldier’s body language, for to look at them was to also give them a look at his own face. He cursed himself for the short-sightedness.

Renee’s voice, although still strained from the events of the night, suddenly was about a half-octave higher and a tad softer.

“Evening Durgin,” she heard the feigned smile in her voice.

“Morning Hester, what puts you outside the gates so late on a cold night,” the man said, the same man who had first addressed her during their approach. His voice was oily, as if he cared not that he didn’t disguise the hunger that Temmit imagined was in the gaze upon his commander.

It was suddenly a bit amazing to Temmit that his ears could pick up the situational queue’s while his eyes were blinded to them, and he was comforted by the thought...at least a little.

“Well, my friend and I here were out....um, playing[/b] and lost track of the time,” Renee answered in a bit of a dim-witted fashion. He noted that her alternate personality[/b] wasn’t smart enough to realize that it was getting itself into trouble, considering these soldiers now knew she was ‘cheating on’ their Captain.

“Well, well, well...who do we have here that would dare mate the Captain’s woman while he was away fighting the enemy eh?!” the man said with a bit more anger than Temmit was expecting. Before he could even take a back step, Renee was on top of the situation.

“He doesn’t matter, listen Durgin...wait!” she pleaded with him, and judging by the feet that came to a halt two steps ahead of Temmit he guessed that she succeeded.

“The Captain can’t know about him, he has his friends[/i] and I have mine,” she said in a bit of a lower voice. And very clearly in Temmit’s mind’s eye he understood why she changed the octave, it was to get him to look at her as she said it.

’Even in this situation she is trying to get more information,’[/color] he said to Smokey.

’Why do you say that?’[/color] Smokey asked.

’Did you hear what she did with her voice? It was to get him to look at her, so she could see in Durgin’s eyes if their is truth in her words, truth in the Captain’s disloyalty to her. By bluffing that she knows of The Captain’s infidelity in front of a friend who may unknowingly betray him.’[/color] Temmit said to Smokey.

’You got all that from her voice? Not bad work my friend, very observant of you and genius might I add....’[/color]

’Thanks,’[/color] Temmit replied.

’If you’re right.’[/color]

While this conversation took place, Temmit managed to multi-task and pay attention to Renee’s conversation with the guard, he was proud of his non-coffee-mind in its success.

Renee was speaking, and he could tell she was up against the guard and most likely had her arms around his much higher neck in a reaching embrace, as it appeared she was standing on her toes right in front of him.

“So if you will just enter the name Nathaniel Hawthorne for my friend here and Scarlet Johansson for me, I will make it worth your while and we can be on our way,” she said in a sensual voice.

“Oh really, sure you aren’t all worn out from being with shorty here? You look a bit peaked Hester,” the oily voice said.

Temmit chanced a slight upward shift in his gaze and saw that the man’s large hands were all over Renee’s ass as he hugged her, he clenched his fists and thought he was ready to end the whole charade when Renee stopped the man instead.

“Actually, that is indeed the case Durgin, perhaps just a few coin will do this evening?” she said, sounding as weary as Temmit knew her to be. She stepped out of the man’s grasp and from his prying hands.

’...this evening? Has she slept with this...this....this “Ath-hole” too?’[/i] Smokey asked in alarm.

But Durgin’s retort quelled that fear. “Come on Hester! When am I going to get a piece of that fine young pie of yours?” he said, but Temmit could hear the friendliness in his voice, the glee over the spoken word of coin. Meanwhile, the other soldiers, who must have been Durgin’s subordinates, jeered and one even clapped as they laughed over the evening’s unexpected entertainment.

Renee was a good ten paces away and had one hand on a barrel of torches, leaning on it for support.

“I think two men in my life are more than enough Durgin, when I make to replace them, one large one should be able to handle the work of two eh?” Renee answered, her ankle swaying behind another in what could only be the sensual play of a tramp in Shantytown Theater.

“You bet your sweet ass my pet, I will do things to you that this shor....” but he stopped talking. Temmit hoped for a blink of a tick that she had changed her mind and had thrown her sword through the man’s throat, assassinating him where he stood.

But Temmit quickly realized that Renee’s movement of her hand was to hold up two coins.

“Two platinum?” the man asked, obviously shocked. ’And unfortunately still alive.’[/color] Temmit said to Smokey.

’What?’[/color] asked Smokey.

’Nevermind.’[/color]

“One platinum coin for each of us, and since I know that your friends will require some compensation to also enjoy the secret, I thought I would be generous,” she said. Her voice was straining to maintain the girly high-octave, and Temmit feared she didn’t have much left for this game.

“Heh, and what’s to say that I go ahead and share, and they only end up ratting you out anyway?” Durgin said, in what had to be a scowl at his fellows.

“Because those men are as smart you...my future pet. They know that a bribe out of jail tends to return again and again,” he heard the soldiers agree in low tones.

“And everyone stays happy...you, me, shorty, the boys, and especially the Captain. Everyone wins. Now what do you say?” she asked, her voice actually cracking twice during the sentence.

There was a pause that was one tick too long for Temmit’s liking.

“What do I say?!” exclaimed Durgin and Temmit flinched, and made ready to execute his already formulated fight plan.

“I say that you are too wrecked for me this evening anyway Miss Pryn....Miss Johansson. Take this lucky bastard Nathaniel with you and be on your way.” Durgin replied with a chuckled response from the soldiers.

Renee took Temmit’s arm, and without rushing lead him past the soldiers, handing Durgin the two coins on the way. She then lead him through the East Gate and away from the scene.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 07, 2008, 07:58:46 AM
The pair traversed the snow-covered streets quietly, staying clear of the glow from street lanterns. In order to avoid the guards at the various check points, they had to cris-cross the entire city, lest they be questioned about their purpose of such a late-night journey. When they finally reached the stair to Lowtown in the Theater District another hand had almost gone bye.

Each of them took a ’Sneaky Draught’ in a nearby alley and the two slipped bye the unknowing guards and managed the portcullis beyond without much difficulty. Each of them simply lifted and held the metal gate while the other quietly passed underneath.

(OOC: When its simply two members passing through the stairwell checkpoint it isn’t such a difficult task to get through unnoticed. When the entire guild had to pass this way for the meeting (two days ago), it’s too chancy leaving it up to each child to lift the gate on their own.)

Temmit and Renee were both quiet as they passed through the underground corridors of Lowtown until finally making it to Renee’s hidden chamber in the secret corridor beyond the Quiet Room.

Without ceremony Renee opened the door and passed through. The door closed with an audible click behind Temmit just as Renee cast a light spell on the table-top lantern, she did so without hesitating on the way to her bed.

She was quiet as she took off the outer layers of clothing, which were still cold from the overnight journey. As she slipped on a night shirt over her silk undergarments she finally broke the silence they had shared since the East Gate.

She smirked as she asked, “what time did Emma need us at the Church? 9 dawn hand?” She then let out a sigh but had a slight smile on her face as she wrapped herself up in a blanket and laid down on the cot.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 07, 2008, 06:32:13 PM
Temmit searched his memory of that slight conversation that happened so long ago, amidst so many interesting conversations that he had participated in that day.

That day?!?! Was this very day! He reminded himself. Smokey laughed mirthfully.

"15 turns before 10-hand." He said at last. "That'll give you a bit more sleep."

"She owes you a quick conversation."  Smokey reminded him.

Temmit considered letting her slide on that conversation, but only for a moment. "Did you want to have that quick conversation now?" He solicited. "Or are you too far gone for it?"

He hoped that she would not put him off. She started to squirm a bit as she lay on her bed.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 07, 2008, 09:45:49 PM
"Tell you what," she started to propose as she propped her head on the flats of her hands while lying on the cot, "you lay that extra blanket on me and I will tell you anything you want to hear."

She smiled at him, the look on her face was an obvious attempt at appearing helpless, which she knew he would quickly see-through.

She giggled as she watched him look with meaning at the folded blanket on the knapsack, a blanket that was within her reach and across the room for him. Temmit raised an eyebrow at her.

In challenge, she raised an eyebrow back and asked, "what do you want to learn about first? The adult version of the Whisper guild? Or the exponentially increased attacks by the Karh'Thul these past nine months?"

She then purposely eyed the blanket again.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 08, 2008, 11:22:09 AM
With a wry grin Temmit acquiesced to Renee's foolish request. "I think the adult version of Whisper." He answered her as he spread the blanket over her. "Although increased attacks is certainly an interesting subject too."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 09, 2008, 10:54:33 AM
As Temmit sat back down on the small chair at the table, Renee flipped over and lay on her back. She pulled the blankets up to her chin and smiled in contentment.

“mmmmm, cozy warm,” she purred.

Temmit smiled, then drummed his fingers patiently while wishing he had a cup of hot coffee.

“Alright, alright,” Renee acquiesced. “You would think you would have had enough for the past two days. You sure your brain isn’t going to explode from the overload of information?” she teased.

He merely raised an eyebrow at her.

’She does have a point.’ Smokey said.

’Shush you’, he said back.

“Okay my friend,” she said with a drawn breath, indicating to him that it was a long story. As she closed her eyes he kept his own fixated on her gentle face, wanting to see every inflection of emotion and nuance come from it as she spoke every word. He didn't expect her to tell him everything she knew, but he could deduce a lot from her body language that had become so familiar to him over the past year.

“We don’t tell the children of Whisper that there is an adult version of our guild because of security reasons. Each person in our guild goes to the military at age 18, just like all children of Safe-Haven, and spends the next 6 years there.”

“This is a long time.“

“A time in which a member of our little guild can forget why they became a friend of Whisper in the first place. Not everyone in the military is a government-loving Kainite, and when the lines between a member's responsibility to friends in the military and their responsibility to their friends in the resistance become blurred, trouble can occur.”

“So it was decided decades ago that Whisper leadership would be the only member of Whisper to know about  The Warden Council of the Old Order (http://griznuq.com/index.php?topic=8541.0#post_9444) (OOC: follow the link to the bottom of the thread for more info),” she stopped her story meaningfully, waiting for him to process the importance.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 09, 2008, 03:34:55 PM
Rene's words jumbled in Temmit's mind quickly, he assembled random pieces of information and threw away unlikely thoughts only to reassemble those pieces again.

"Are you saying that the Old Order is comprised of Whisper members?" He asked. "Gifts of our kind only manifested over the last couple of centuries, or so we are told. The Old Order is ancient...much older than that; does that mean that before the gifted becam Order members, they were simply skilled warriors? Or are our gifts older than I had thought? Older than just a couple of centuries?"

"And, by the way, are you transgressing a trust in telling me this?"
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 09, 2008, 09:09:39 PM
“Yes my friend. I am violating an unwritten rule from the Warden Council in revealing their presence to you. But fear not, the leader of Whisper telling her First Lieutenant about the Council isn’t exactly punishable by death. I will just add it to the long list of disappointments Cyric has for me.”

She didn’t seem to regretful as she said it, but the idea of Cyric not liking Renee confused Temmit. For he knew of the man. Cyric was not only the leader of the ‘Warden Council of the Old Order’ but also the most faithful philanthropist on the Council of Five. So it was a surprise that Renee had misgivings about how she was considered by him. By all accounts that Temmit had heard, the man was fair and just. Just today he had learned of a profound example of Cyric’s humanitarian ways from Emma. She had told him that when her father had manipulated the Council in order to level part of ShantyTown to clear space for luxury homes to sell to the SafeHaven wealthy, Cyric, without permission of the council, redirected government funding for new low-income housing in Lakeshore for the displaced poor. So he was confused as to why a fair-minded man would find such a selfless and caring leader of Whisper in any way faulty.

She hadn’t spoken for a bit while he was lost in the thoughts on the issue. So he marked it as a future question but after a few more ticks, he cleared his throat to startle her, in case she had fallen asleep. She hadn’t, but had seemed to be thinking on how to reply to his questions. Still laying on her back under the warm blankets, she seemed a bit hesitant to restart, and he soon discovered why.

“Okay….this is really hard to simply summarize since first and foremost, I don’t know all the answers myself,” her eyes remained closed as she spoke, but her brow was cross. “Secondly, there is more political foolishness going on not only in the Council but everywhere else in the world then I understand. So I beg patience.”

“Perhaps the easiest way is to answer your questions directly,” she said. “I think your first one was, ‘is the Old Order comprised of Whisper Members?” she questioned more than stated.

Temmit gave a quick “yes”.

“The Old Order is an entity unto itself, however, it has been a safe-house for the Whisper Members for the past fifty or so years. Because of this, the Warden Council of the Old Ord…let’s just call them the Council…has become so involved[/b] with Whisper members plight that it has picked up its mantle and cause and made it its own,” she said then paused for a moment.

“Of the few hundred members of the Council in Shadow Keep, only a few dozen are actually gifted[/b] adults who were once[/i] children in our Whisper guild. I am to understand that the remaining members of the Council are all very aware of these sorcerers, wizards, clerics, mindbenders and what have you, are amongst them. Unlike the rest of our world, the Order embraces them and their talents as a hope for the future and not its ultimate doom like that bastard Fresenius does,” she finished, then looked up at him.

“So yes, to simplify, it is as you stated, the Old Order was technically a group of warriors who, half a century ago, started to adopt the Whisper Members and now keeps them safe,” she said and then upon seeing his nod closed her eyes again.

“The point I am trying to impress on you is the fact that the Old Order in a very short time has transformed into the ‘real resistance‘ group of Safe-Haven. Those gifted Council members don’t consider themselves any longer as Whisper per se, and this is why the members of Whisper are not to know about the Old Order. We…you, me and this guild we lead, are considering a holding pen. We are nothing but a group of gifted children to them. Children who may one day aspire to join their ranks[/i] if we prove ourselves worthy,’ she said with a hint of disdain.

“The Warden Council of the Old Order has multiple cells throughout the kingdom, almost one in every village and town. Each one safeguards gifted members, works against the government in semi-coordinated tactical operations, participates in decisions made by the guild overall, and is in line with communication. Whisper however? We are treated like the red-headed stepchild, one that isn’t trusted and told to remain ignorant as we sit at the very feet of the evil master.”

Although she was now speaking in a whisper, Temmit saw the emotion on her face behind the words was a pent up anger for what apparently was the injustice she was intimating.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 09, 2008, 09:13:17 PM
JOHAN

It may seem to you and any other Eberron player reading the threads between Temmit and Renee that I am dumping a HUGE amount of info on you. In fact, I am a bit, but only because its a convenient threads to do so from an NPC (Renee) who knows quite a bit.

Note this though. I am only setting the table, the seven courses that will be the campaign should keep all of your minds turning for quite some time.

So although it may seem you are getting a lot of information in a short time, in comparison to everything behind the scenes you aren't getting? You are starving.

=)
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 09, 2008, 10:56:04 PM
Blah, blah, blah...

when are we at a table and rolling dice?
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 09, 2008, 11:07:44 PM
"I hear your anger." Temmit ventured. "But as this is new to me, I can't say that I share it as yet. I mean, there are members among Whisper who I trust with everything that I am, and then there are others who I do not." He hung his head a bit then, having to speak of his own inner person.

"I don't trust easily anyway." He said quietly. "So perhaps my own suspicious mind can empathize with the notion that they can't let us all know about them. As you yourself mentioned, a half dozen years amongst the government military can make one ponder one's alliances. And then there's the accidental slips that one or another kid might make during their military career. Better safe than sorry."

He scoffed a bit too. "Even what you and I do with our candidate interviews is little more than determining (beyond whether there's a gift to be had) a candidate's worthiness."

He looked up then, aware of how much he had been saying...thinking out loud.

"I'm sorry. Please continue."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 14, 2008, 06:52:08 PM
You out there, Charlie?
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 14, 2008, 09:48:10 PM
(OOC: Sorry about the wait....)

“No, I am the one who should apologize,” she said with a sigh. “I don’t mean to be so emotional or angry about the Warden Council. They are good people to be sure, and I will indeed aspire to join their ranks when done with my six years.” She talked with her hands as she lie on the bed.

“I just get frustrated that in these dangerous times that we…that I can’t be trusted more,” she finished.

“There have been more Karh’Thul attacks in the past six months than in all of the last six years,” she announced, and looked up at him.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 15, 2008, 07:20:58 PM
"Uhh....I, uhh...pssspthh..." Temmit stammered as he tried to follow Renee's conversational path.

"She's saying that she'd like to be trusted enough to be inducted into the Council earlier, rather than at the end of her six-year tenure in the military." Smokey provided helpfully. "Putz."

"You just have to go there, don't you?" Temmit scolded.

"That's interesting." Temmit mused aloud. "I wonder if they're all from the same quarter? What happened in that time that might have percipitated these attacks? Are they different from previous attacks (other than frequency)? Are there more in each attack? Do they attack with coordination? Planning? Tactics? Are they different at all? Are we losing soldiers? How are they crossing the Holy Light? Are torches going out? Are they being put out? Is there inside betrayal? Why? Are they suddenly better at crossing the flame? Can they put it out from their side? If so, why not just put them all out and attack in force, like in the play?"

"Open your eyes."

Temmit did as Smokey told him to, and found that he was standing in a corner in the small bedroom with his eyes closed, generating a multitude of questions regarding the emboldened Karh'Thul attacks.

He stared into the corner still, recalling another conversation that he shared with Renee only yesterday; "So that's what you meant when you said we could go and kill one at any time." He turned slowly...
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 16, 2008, 08:58:36 PM
Kill one at any time?[/i] ..No, no, that isn’t what I meant. That’s an entirely different situation that may have even stranger implications,” she said sleepily. She had closed her eyes during Temmit’s rant and looked to be quite cozy under the two blankets.

“But first things first, we will get back to that,” she said. Now that she was warm, comfortable, and safe, her spirit seemed uplifted to Temmit. She seemed ready to talk, and perhaps, Temmit hoped, for a good deal of time despite the length of the day the two of them had endured.

She took a big breath, a familiar mannerism that spoke volumes to Temmit. He sat back down at the table, ready for the long diatribe.

“The attacks have been more frequent around the entire Outer Rim, but what really has the Outer-Rim Defense worried is that the watch dogs are now failing as a first line of defense and warning.”

“As you know, the trained war-dogs are leashed every 100 feet along the perimeter. This is because our Armed Forces simply doesn’t have enough soldiers to properly cover the 315-mile border. (OOC: One dog every 100 feet covers the entire border, this takes 16587 dogs). Anytime a Karh’Thul breaches the barrier it is the dogs duty to bark like crazy, and attack the Karh’Thul if able. Usually the soldiers assigned for the section can be at the breech location within turns, and then pursue the demon.”

“For almost two hundred years this has worked with measured success.”

“Until about six months ago. Now the dogs have stopped barking because somehow the Karh’Thul slip bye undetected, and no is yet sure why.”

“Perhaps they are using their black sorcery?” Temmit asked.

“I thought that as well, but why now? Why haven’t they used magic against us these past two thousand years? Except for the legend surrounding the Battle of Millenguarde, and within the very earliest of Kaine Scripture, there is no documented cases of the demons using magic,” she replied.

“I tried to submit my concern through my contact with the Warden Council and received only the reply, ’We are looking into the matter’[/i]” she scowled.

“But I digress," she said, and the continued.

“What’s far worse about these frequent breeches is that the demons are getting quite far into the kingdom and instead of killing citizens at random, they are only slaying those out in the Wild-Lands who happen to be unfortunate enough to cross their path. The demons uncharacteristically pass by farms and small villages of families so they can continue on,” she said solemnly.

“Continue on to what? To who?” Temmit asked.

“Continue on, so they can hunt[/i] their specific targets,” she replied, her eyes opening and locking onto his.

“Like who?” he asked, but as he did, he knew the answer and his heart sank.

She paused, her eyes not moving away from his, they didn’t even blink.

“Us.”[/i]
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 17, 2008, 08:06:26 AM
Temmit's mind did two things: On one level is stopped entirely. The small frieghtened child who had his life shattered by a demon froze in place, that single, small word reverberating back and forth: US...US...US....

But the frozen child was sequestered away, while another level began analyzing the likelihood that it was indeed gifted that the Karh'Thul were hunting, and there was one glaring peice of information that prevented him from drawing that specific conclusion, and his mouth had hold of it at the same time that his head did: "Are all of the victims in the last months gifted?" He asked.

Even as his did that, he was still putting together the various plan points that the leadership (and this did indeed speak of leadership, control, and tactics) of the demons would have to consider for such an endeavor.

To get past the dogs, they either needed to appear as friends, or be undetectable.

They would also have to be able to detect that a person was gifted; they would need to distinguish between gifted and non-gifted.

They would further have to be under the control of a great power, to ensure that the Karh'Thuls' legendary and ravenous appetite was assuaged. Perhaps they were being controlled from a distance?

The suspicious nature of his mind also formulated a conspiracy. Who wanted the gifted erradicated? Who would be able to afford the Karh'Thul passage beyond the dogs in order to hunt the unwanted? Who would have even told the Karh'Thul that there were gifted here in the first place?  Who was such a vile and self-serving miscreant that they might be tempted to make deals with the ancient enemy for this purpose?

...

Fresenius Keepsake.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 17, 2008, 12:36:42 PM
Quote from: Johan

"Are all of the victims in the last months gifted?" He asked.


“I believe so,” she replied to his question, to which Temmit gave her a confused look at her unsure answer.

“Well, it gets very complicated, see if you can follow all my reasoning behind my investigation along with the political elements that complicate and inevitably explain at least part of the problem,“ she said and he nodded in acceptance of the challenge.

“First, I first discovered that the increased attacks were happening through a couple of sources, and not just the ones you might expect. It wasn’t the government-controlled[/i] papers, as they have been very quiet about the issue, or at least ordered not to dramatize the increased frequency of deaths. Nor was it the Warden Council at first either, at least not directly, as they only spoon-feed me information.”

“No, my first clue came from Emma, who has always kept a watchful eye on church records, including those at the mortuary. She discovered an unprecedented amount of dead men and women suddenly coming from Shadow Keep about five months ago. Alarming, but something that at first didn’t concern me beyond the sorrow I felt for our comrades.”

“Then, in late summer, the contact at the Council who sometimes conveys orders to me, asked if Whisper had been involved in any altercations with the Karh’Thul during the school break. Since school hadn’t started yet and I was out of contact with many outside the city, I told them I was unsure. So she asked me to find out and report back.”

“So I spent the last few weeks of the summer visiting all the Whisper Members who either live in the far-reaches of the kingdom, or, who had hunted and wandered out there during school break,” she said and smiled at him knowingly.

“Ah hah,” Temmit exclaimed. “That explains your real reason for visiting me out at my parents house.”

“Yes,” she said smiling at him.

“Continue,” he said, not wanting to get distracted with the memories of her visit. (OOC:  Renee visits Temmit in a thread called “08.30.2132 - The Return Home” which may be a Temmit-oriented thread in the near future).

“You were my first stop, I then went to see about a dozen others who live or play on the fringes and you won’t believe their responses,” she said and closed her eyes. He sensed that she didn’t want to see his emotional reaction to what she was to foreclose, lest she have to relive what obviously was shocking to her at the time.

“Of the dozen Whisper members out in the Wildlands, seven had been attacked, some of them repeatedly attacked over the course of the summer months,” she whispered, her voice cracking.

“But…but…but no one in Whisper died this summer(?)” Temmit stated, almost questioning her facts.

“That’s because we were very fortunate that only the very talented of our members were attacked, and I think its because these members were isolated in the Wildlands without other citizens of Safe-Haven around to witness the attacks. Our guard trio (David Cross, John Tilverton, Mark Garstell) for instance,“ and she opened her eyes to look at him, “they killed sixteen of them…sixteen! They were having such a good time that they didn’t want to come back to school,” she half-smiled at him, Temmit didn’t find the thought amusing at all however.

“River and Kristen were forced to dispatch four Karh’Thul while on a camping trip. River, while alone, had encountered and destroyed two outside Southaven. So, having been in battle with them twice already, he decided to hunt for the rest of the summer and killed a dozen more. Even Jared and Xavier, visiting Jared’s Dad in Southaven dispatched two of them,” she said, raising Temmit’s brow once more.

“And although I am proud of my guild mates, at first I was amazed that no one was killed when so many of the Warden Council had been. It didn’t make any sense, again at least at first,” she said, but before Temmit asked his next question she interrupted him unknowingly.

(OOC: I know this may (on first read) confuse you too Johan, as the Karh’Thul demons have been portrayed by me as pretty beefy demons to tangle with, and they are. But there are members of whisper who are pretty powerful (gestalt) characters in their own right, and they fight well, especially in groups. That and the remaining part of Renee’s diatribe will bring this mystery to light, stay with me dude…..)

“But I get ahead of myself, back to my point,” she said. “I reported the numbers to my contact at the Council. And although I didn’t received any information in reciprocation for me efforts, at least I then knew something serious was occurring,” she said with a scowl.

“As the Fall months went bye we (the Whisper members) were thankfully all back in school, but I was of course still very concerned about the Council and wanted to know was going on. And the death toll was still continuing. So I, well, I began to ply the Captain for information,”  she said, her face getting a bit flush in embarrassment as she looked at her hands.

“That’s when I discovered the ironic truth behind the Warden Council’s problems. The Captain revealed to me that the Outer-Rim Defense had been having such a problem trying to find the undetectable Karh’Thul in those first few weeks of early summer, that they went to the government, or specifically, to the Council of Five for help. Fresenius’ suggestion? Well, he had acknowledged that the Warden Council seemed to be far more talented at tracking the demons since they were encountering them far more frequently. So he, along with his two other lackies on the Council of Five, voted that the members of the Warden Council must take lead of the O.R.D. patrols.”

“You may well conclude on what happened to the gifted members of the Warden Council, Temmit, when they suddenly found themselves forced to fight alongside soldiers of Outer-Rim Defense five months ago.”


Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 17, 2008, 12:39:21 PM
(OOC: That was probably one of the toughest posts I have ever had to write. Sorry if it gets a bit convoluted, as I am not yet used to balancing all that I know as a DM with the limited amount of knowledge known by a well-informed guild leader. It was indeed a balancing act and very hard to define. Please read it a couple times if it is confusing and email me any OCD questions if you need help before replying.)

(OOPS! And I just noticed that this additional OCD reply just put us on the next page, don't miss the LONG post I just made at the end of page 7)
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 18, 2008, 04:37:41 PM
Temmit's theory firmed a little more in his mind as he listened to Renee.

"So if I have this straight," he echoed. "The Rim Patrol, having trouble defending against the Karh'Thul, look to the Council of Five for help. Fresenius dictates the the Wardens assist, due to their known aptitude in doing so (if not, ostensibly, due to their known aptitiude with their gifts...ostensibly)."

"However, now that the Wardens have to work so closely to the Rim Patrol, they naturally can't use their Gifts properly. This in turn leads to dead Wardens."

"Is that about right?" He looked to her for confirmation.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 18, 2008, 05:41:20 PM
“That’s exactly right,” she said with a sigh.

“But how the Warden Council solves the disaster of having their hands tied isn’t one I think Whisper can help solve. So the question still remains...why are the Karh’Thul now hunting the gifted? And how?” she asked rhetorically.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 18, 2008, 09:06:13 PM
"Well," Temmit responded. "I do have a half-baked theory, borne of nothing more than our conversation here this evening."

He closed his eyes, as he was wont to do when he was combing through a mystery. "I'll ask you to let me ramble, please, while this notion becomes more fully baked."

"I had been thinking that there were a few needs that the demons would require as they began their hunt for We the Gifted. Some way to get past the dogs...either by stealth or by convincing the dogs that they weren't Karh'Thul. That issue is less bothersome to me than this other though."

He leaned his head and neck back over the back of the chair, staring through his eyelids to the ceiling.

"Let's assume that the Karh'Thul are in fact hunting Gifted people. They would need a way to identify those people. Suppose that an enemy knew who we were, and fed that information to the leadership of the Karh'Thul (I submit that there is real leadership to the foullings, since nothing less than intelligent leadership would be able to force them to curb their ravenous but indiscriminate hunger for human flesh)."

"This scenario would look like this:"

He held up his right thumb, indicating a count of bullets for his rationale. "Someone of power is aware of the existence of gifted humans, and considers them an abomination to be eradicated."

His long index finger rose to stand proudly next to his thumb. "Said powerful person finds himself with a method for identifying the gifted. However, there are so many, and they are so deeply entrenched into the machinations of Safe Haven, they can't simply be identified and imprisoned. Firstly, to identify them would be to incite them. Second, it would tip their hand that they themselves were using magic, and that simply wouldn't do."

"So how do we deal with this?" His middle finger arose. "Well, we make a pact with the ancient enemy." His voice lowered as he role-played an hypothetical meeting. "You can send your demons across the Holy Flame, but only for the hunting of these sorts of folks (there is either a list of names or a magical method of detection)".

"This is viewed as a win-win. You see, the Karh'Thul finally get freed to do what they want to do: eat humans. By limiting their menu, then our powerful antagonist gets to destroy the Gifted, AND protect the ungifted." His ring finger popped up.

"Now let's backtrack a little, and guess about how Karh'Thul get past the dogs unnoticed: to this I suggest 'who says that they are'?"

His small finger arose, baring his now-open palm. "All we have are the Boarder Patrol saying that these demons are coming through undetected. Actually, all we have are suspect people in power who say that the Boarder Patrol is saying that the demons are getting past the dogs undetected. Who's to say that the dogs aren't barking, and the Boarder Patrol (perhaps only a few) are ignoring it? Who's to say that these Karh'Thul don't have granted passage? In fact, who’s to say that some section of the boarder is intentionally left unguarded entirely? If we accept the hypotheses that we've posited here, then this is as possible as anything.

"BUT, this creates another issue for our hypothetical villain: the Wardens (mixed with Gifted as they are) are good enough to defeat the Karh'Thul. What to do about this? Well, in a stroke of wicked genius, he pairs the Wardens up with his own insufficient Boarder Patrol, effectively hamstringing the Wardens, and making them easier to kill."

He pulled his head back to upright and looked at Renee in her bed as he completed his theory. “It’s not fully congealed, actually.” He apologized. “But it is a rather neat little supposition.”
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 18, 2008, 09:32:38 PM
Renee looked at Temmit in both appreciation and dread, the combination creating a look on her face that was new and noteworthy for his ‘Renee Body Language Catalog’[/i].

’The pictures in the catalog are great!’ Smokey teased.

’Get out of my head,' he replied.

“Your supposition is convincingly frightening lieutenant,” she said. She then stood up and out of bed, casting aside the blankets.

Temmit immediately recognized that he had roused the commander in her. ’Excellent, I won’t have to fight off sleep tonight,’ Temmit said to Smokey with a only the slightest hint of guilt.

’When she falls asleep in the church tomorrow, don’t blame me,’ Smokey exclaimed.

’Noted,” Temmit replied simply.

Renee, now pacing a bit back and forth behind Temmit in the small room, spoke after walking the granite floor many paces in her bare feet.

“I am to assume from your baking that you believe the betraying element to be within our government structure. That in order to get perhaps a company of the Outer Rim Defense to ignore the passing Karh’Thul, the villains would have to be men in higher positions?” she asked and he recognized it as a leading question.

Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 18, 2008, 10:49:46 PM
"Naturally." Temmit replied evenly. "Didn't you yourself provide a name of who's idea it was to pair the Wardens with the Rim Patrol? What name was that?"

Temmit knew quite well that the name was the same on that he himself had targeted in his first thoughts: Fresenius Keepsake. He was sure that this piece would make as much sense to Renee as it did to Temmit. Who else disliked the Gifted so much? How else cared so little for anything but his own power?
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 18, 2008, 11:14:58 PM
Renee who had continued to pace now stopped behind him, putting a hand on his shoulder. She didn’t want to speak his name for some reason, for she said, “not only does he control the government due to the weak will of the Council of Five, but the Church he leads grows stronger each day.”

She paused a moment, then walked purposely around the small table and sat opposite of him. Her hands were visibly shaking and she wrestled her fingers together to stop their betrayal of her frayed nerves.

She leaned in towards him and said with her lower lip quivering, “but to get back to your reasoning.”

“In order to successfully pull off that level of deception, an entire Third Reich within the armed forces would need to be formed. An arm either above the law or unseen by it, one that according to your supposition is not only aware of us, but is indeed operating  to destroy us. One that could be led by High Priest Fresenius Keepsake, the Kingdom’s most sacred and noble of Protectors, the very Voice of God[/i]” she said, her face becoming hot with rage.

Temmit now understood that Renee was accepting his supposition as an already surmised belief she didn’t want to face as truth. He watched as a lone tear escaped from her eyes, spawned by the anger against the injustice of it all.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 19, 2008, 09:19:53 AM
For years Renee had been an interesting study for Temmit. She was always rock solid under pressure. But sometimes, like now, when Temmit was on a theoretical fishing expedition, she got worked up in the absence of proof or data.

Temmit had to admit that this theory of his made a lot of sense, and it could be tied up rather neatly, but she was owning it emotionally without evidence.

"Renee," he said. "We don't have any evidence, only theory. For all we know the Karh'Thul learned how to fly above the dogs, thus avoiding them, and they gain more energy from eating the Gifted. Could be that Fresenius knows nothing of the Gifted in the Wardens, and legitimately suggested their partnering with the Boarder Patrol. That would make sense. We need evidence." He looked at her meaningfully, hoping that she would come back from the edge that he had pushed her out onto.

"And we need rest too." He added. "Let's mull this over and sleep on it. Perhaps other options will present themselves in the morning."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 19, 2008, 09:55:47 AM
Renee was taken off guard by her friend's backpedaling on the issue, and as she wiped the tear from her face, she glared at him. Temmit saw (in her eyes) that she had noted his judgment of her emotional state, and now she looked angry with him.

"Emma told me a week ago that The House of Kaine Elite Guard[/i] quietly added five Judges to its ranks eight months ago," she said.

"This after the House had only three Judges for the past two hundred years[/i]. That piece fits quite handily in the puzzle that is your supposition. For the Judges, and their subordinates, within that Elite Guard command the Outer-Rim Defense companies assigned to the Holy Flame barrier itself."

"You sure you want to get some sleep? Or can you put up with my petty girly nerves a bit longer?!" she almost shouted.

(OOC: This is one of those typical male "what did I do?!" moments)
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 19, 2008, 11:11:08 AM
Temmit took in this additonal piece of information and fitted it into his theory. "That does seem to track with the greater thinking of mine." He admitted. "And why do it so quietly if not for this very purpose. Still, I'd be happier with hard evidence."

He mulled this a moment, purposefully ignoring her enflamed emotions. "Truth to tell though, I'm not likely to get any real sleep anyway...I rarely do (just cat naps, really). I do think that you should get some though; you have been poisoned, after all."

"One other thing, you can't be too angry with me for not reaching the same conclusions that you reach, when you have more actual information than me. I'm working on supposition, mostly."

"Interesting that so many new judges are added at about the same time that the attacks escalated." His theory became a bit more concrete.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 19, 2008, 12:50:04 PM
"You are right," she began a bit softer, "I do indeed have more information than you, or anyone else in the guild. Until recently however, I thought it was in your bests interest to not have any knowledge of all this. But as the past weeks have gone bye I haven't seen any changes in the downward spiral that may be our fate, and I am starting to think differently."

She got up from the table and gave stepped beside him to give him a strong grip of assurance on his shoulder. "My apology Temmit."

She walked over to the bed and lay back down, pulling one blanket over her without much fuss.

"I am wondering if we should just tell everyone in Whisper all of the facts as we know them. If we are rapidly approaching a day where we will be hunted by the entire world, it may be the last gracious thing one does for them in this God-forsaken Kingdom."
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Johan on May 19, 2008, 03:36:28 PM
"That's another thought that we should sleep on." He chuckled a bit then. "That you should sleep on." He amended.

"My first thought is not to do that though. I think that breaking us up into smaller teams, as you mentioned earlier, is a good idea, and tell only the leaders what's going on. The younger kids should be allowed to be kids. That's one of those things that every kid should have." He was a little melancholy as he finished. "When we have solid evidence, perhaps we will have a different thought. In the meantime, I think that you should discuss this theory with your Warden contact. They may or may not have thought about this yet.
Title: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
Post by: Dray on May 23, 2008, 06:01:26 PM
She smiled back at him, agreeing with her eyes, which then closed.

He awaited for another reply but soon realized that he wasn't going to get one. The day had finally caught up to her.

He listened in envy as her breathing became calm and even and wondered, as he often did, what it must be like to sleep without fear.

TO BE CONTINUED in 12.23.2132 - Interview in Church (http://griznuq.com/index.php?topic=9515.last)