Author Topic: STRATA- Chapter 1  (Read 80322 times)

Offline Raineh Daze

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #660 on: December 09, 2016, 09:10:59 AM »
"Oh my, it's a good thing that we didn't fall in," Akemi noted, looking at the gaping hole that had opened behind them, "That would have been quite a fall, never mind what waits for us down there."

... and Hold a Determination to Fist.
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Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #661 on: December 09, 2016, 10:43:00 AM »
Matsu says simply "Indeed." in agreement with Akemi's statement. "It's not the first such hole we've encountered, and no doubt won't be the last, either."

Then he turns to the fellow who was bowled over by their rush from the house and says "And who are you, good Sir?" as he eyes the menagerie of floating psychic blades around the man.
I don't pee messages into the snow often , but when I do , it's in Cyrillic with Fake Viagra.  Stay frosty my friends.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #662 on: December 09, 2016, 10:56:01 AM »
Given what just happened, Wystan decides it is a good idea to remain combat ready and the large array of weapons continues to float around him.  Anyone who watches closely notices two more appear suddenly.

Treading lightly (so to speak) he respons to the question.  "I am Wystan Hyde.  I don't suppose any of you are the Marlowes or know what happened to them?"  None of these people look like the Marlowes but given what just happened, (and the fact that there seems to be some sort of rat man?) anything seems possible right now.

Offline ketaro

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #663 on: December 09, 2016, 11:37:05 AM »
"Well we certainly didn't run into any such folk in there, aye." Axejack remarked with a chuckle as he sets down his safe to lean against it, finally able to take a break since entering that house.

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #664 on: December 09, 2016, 12:19:54 PM »
"From what I gathered, they weren't very nice people... It seems that they began replacing their workers with automatons, at least some of which appear to be powered by the souls, or at least minds, of former workers. We found one such automaton writing a letter over and over again addressed to the master, stating that they were planning to leave his employment.

I'm not sure what happened exactly, but we found no sign of living humans in the house. There was an aberration that had scissors as hands which I believe may have been Mr. Marlowe at one point, and it was served by many severed hands that yet lived somehow. Perhaps the Darkening converted him into this form. I do not know. We managed to destroy the creatures, with the help of the rats, who are sentient and serve some mysterious being from another dimension.
I don't pee messages into the snow often , but when I do , it's in Cyrillic with Fake Viagra.  Stay frosty my friends.

Offline Raineh Daze

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #665 on: December 09, 2016, 12:56:42 PM »
"If they aren't dead, then they must live in some alternate plane," the samurai stated, looking back over at the hole, "If that didn't fall down as well. They might have done, it seemed like everything was linked to the mansion somehow. Or was that already the Underdark?"
... and Hold a Determination to Fist.
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Offline SolEiji

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #666 on: December 09, 2016, 04:57:31 PM »
Drosselmeyer shuttered as the last vestiges of the house vanished behind him.  There were many losses, but he and his kin were finally on the fabled outside.  He had imagined it so very often from the descriptions within the books and his own tattered and frayed stolen memories.  It should be a time of great celebration.  And yet his mind was elsewhere, trying to process all that he as seen recently.

Wystan would find that while the majority of the creatures here were humanoid of a sort, the rats were just that: rats.  Mangy unhealthy looking rats with stitches and scars, but rats none the less as they slowly began disengaging from the bodies of their comrades-in-arm and began squeaking and squealing as they all boiled into a growing pile off to the side.  Save one, Drosselmeyer himself.  Also a rat without any anthromorphism, he stood out for standing on his hind legs and the jerry-rigged armor he has placed upon himself, a staff which he leans upon, an oversized and boxy helmet which covers his eyes and only reveals a single red glowing optic on its front, and his unusual size: nearly the size of a child or perhaps a halfling.  He seems shaken and dazed.

The rat swarm began to make a chorus of humanoid noises in celebration.  It was difficult to make out the individual words, but they were all elated!  It was enough to snap the rat of unusual size Drosselmeyer out of his stupor, and he slowly removed the helmet from his body placing it to his side.

"At long last, it is over.  We have hope..."

The others were speculating behind him.  They were wrong, or at least wrong on certain things, but Drosselmeyer had no time or focus to correct them right now.  "Excuse me for a moment, I must address my kin.  I would have words with you all again."

Off in the distance, a panicking Wittershins is fleeing with your ride.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 05:24:46 PM by SolEiji »
Mudada.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #667 on: December 09, 2016, 05:17:35 PM »
For the first time in a long time, Wystan is at a loss for words.  ".........What....." he mutters softly.

He then snaps out of it and looks down the road, his gaze following Wittershins.  "God damn it man," he says without any particular vehemence.  He then continues to mutter to himself, "Hmm, maybe he'll report that I'm dead.  That would simplify things.  And if I ever get back the story will buy me more than a few rounds."

Coming back to himself, he remembers where he is and that he no longer has a job or any ideas as to just what to do with himself.  He adjusts his gloves, making sure they are on securely, and with a snap of his fingers his clothes go from dirty and mussed to clean and pressed.  His weapons then promptly wink out of existence.

He then straightens and meets the eyes of everyone, obviously sizing them up.  Except the rats (and the rat-men, and the giant talking rat), those he just ignores for now.  "As I said, I am Wystan Hyde," he says somewhat pompously.  It is plain that he has a reputation somewhere (or at least thinks he does).  He is of medium height and thin, with short black hair and eyes of a dull grey.  He is wearing a chain shirt and has a shield but no visible weapons (though you've already seen that doesn't mean he is unarmed). 

"Whether the Marlowes changed or were in hiding, the job I was sent for is no longer valid and if they aren't already dead they'll be assumed to be.  As will I."  After a slight pause, he continues.  "And who are all of you?

Offline ketaro

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #668 on: December 09, 2016, 05:35:55 PM »
"Aye, Axejack Jackfist of the Jackfist Jack of All Trades Clan." the dwarf gave with a short nod.

Offline Raineh Daze

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #669 on: December 09, 2016, 05:49:33 PM »
"Himura Akemi," the former-paladin stated simply, looking back at the plain-seeming man. She was, herself, definitely an outlier on the appearance spectrum: though her swords spoke of her profession as a warrior from Jingu, there was just something troubling about being this close to her, and a distinct impression that colour had been drained unnaturally. That or a crazy wizard with an interest in implausible hair colours had been hiding in the depths of the mansion.
... and Hold a Determination to Fist.
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Offline SolEiji

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #670 on: December 09, 2016, 09:03:12 PM »
It should be reminded, that there are two others dragged with the group.  A bird man and a ranger-looking fellow.  They seem clearly dazed and are not responding to Wystan or much of anyone.

Drosselmeyer moved his company off to the side out of immediate earshot.  You could try listening in, but you may also need a bluff or stealth check in order not to be obvious.

"My kindred, my family, we've made it.  Please, please calm and listen.  What I speak forthwith is of great importance.  In our jubilation please do not forget that our journey continues, one step of many.  The humans who helped us are not alone; the bandits from before which slew the Baron, brought undeath to the devil, and ultimately enabled our escape.  And even now, a new face met outside here, over that way.  Look and witness his mystical armory.  These people are commonplace, and we are new and weak.  Thus, I propose we take the role of the scavenger, as our species was known for in the first place.  Though we may feel the need to exclaim and shout, once we are out there we must be subtle.  Yet, on the other hand we now have opportunity to blend in with the natural flora and fauna, to prey where we see fit. 

Look to the distance, a fleeing man.  He undoubtedly heads for civilization.  I would bid you travel that way and find shelter, comfort, and sanity.  I will see what can be gained from our present company.

Gorn.  We have had our differences, but you are still my trusted friend, and the most stable one excluding myself.  I have a favor to ask of you.  I want you to guide our kin."
he spoke, addressing a particular rat with a crude horned helm.  This was Gorn, who seemed surprised at being called forth.

"Drossel, what are you saying?  You are our leader."

"I am, but I have received a task from our lord Thoon."

"All hail Thoon!" erupted cheers among the crowd.  Drosselmeyer kept a neutral expression.  "Yes, I am called to follow up on an important task.  I am mentally stable, it would make sense that I was chosen to travel.  I do not know exactly how long I must be away, but I need to discover something.  I will return, I must.  But I cannot be in two places.  Gorn, I want you to keep our kin safe until I return.  This place, this crater, our former home... it will be a meeting ground.  And I will discover the closest cities around here.  I will find you."

"Brother Drossel... I will do my best.  T-thank you." Gorn bowed his head.  Drosselmeyer nodded and turned.  "You shall depart soon, I will gather details from the others now."

Assuming no one has interfered, Drosselmeyer will return to the conversation the others are having in short order.
Mudada.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #671 on: December 09, 2016, 09:27:55 PM »
Hearing that the rat man is addressing the rats, Wystan feels a growing need to learn just what has happened here and attempts to listen in without being obvious about it.

(click to show/hide)

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #672 on: December 09, 2016, 09:28:46 PM »


The man who had first spoken to Wystan wears a bird-like mask, and has a small black bag in one hand, and various... instruments hanging from his belt. He says "I am Mattsu Gattama, a Psychic Surgeon in the service of the Glorious Empress Jingu."

As he speaks however, he keeps his voice somewhat low and cranes his head towards the assembled rat hoard nearby, listening intently to their squeaks... Although the mask may help somewhat, it is fairly obvious that he is trying to eavesdrop on their conversation.
I don't pee messages into the snow often , but when I do , it's in Cyrillic with Fake Viagra.  Stay frosty my friends.

Offline ketaro

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #673 on: December 09, 2016, 10:32:16 PM »
Axejack shrugs off any thought of bothering to eavesdrop on a menagerie of rats but turns his attention to Drossel as he finishes and walks back towards them.

"I remember you saying some of your things were in here, aye?" the dwarf motions at the safe. "That mean ya got the keys too? Saves some trouble."

Offline Psysama

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #674 on: December 20, 2016, 09:22:12 PM »
Magana, after cleaning her teeth, caught up with the rest of the group. What's with the hole?  Where are we going?  Is there anybod...err anything to eat?  Magana then began eying everyone around with a wolfish grin on her face.
My second son is born!

Offline SolEiji

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #675 on: December 30, 2016, 05:44:52 PM »
Drosselmeyer waddled back, eyes looking past everyone with a thousand yard gaze and mind deep in thought.  "Not a key, the combination.  I remember it, because it is my combination." he muttered, taking a look at the safe and beginning the process of unlocking it.

"Baron Manus Marlowe is dead.  I know this, for I was the one who consumed him.  It is what I first awakened to in realization of what was occurring, and the mere bestial need to feed fading for a much more ravenous hunger for knowledge.  Through the baron's manipulations and arcane sciences me and my kin were able to consume some element of... humanity... from the baron's distorted corpse.  As heir to his knowledge I recall why.  It was only natural that in order to save his wife's arm, he would have to learn the art of reconnecting and regrowing nerves."

Click.  The safe opened, and opened into a suspicious and unnatural black void which the rat dipped into and began drawing items forth.  "And so it was that mere test rats were able to take his own nerve cultures and make them our own.  At least, that's how I remember it.  The memory is incomplete at best, and temporary.  Everyone's minds are fading.  New food is needed if we plan to be anything more than animals.  It is terrifying.  And for some reason, I have resisted the degradation.  Some of my brothers are already beasts again.

It is for that reason I request you turn a blind eye.  Let my kin depart for another place in peace.  They will find some niche in the world, I am certain."


You have obtained LOOT!  (Loot forthcoming, running to work.)  In addition to the treasures within, you have an extradimensional safe.  Treat it as a particularly heavy and unwieldy Bag of Holding I.  No good for just walking around with, but not bad if you have some place to store it.
Mudada.

Offline ketaro

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #676 on: December 30, 2016, 06:57:00 PM »
"I've really little reason can see to keep ya. No doubt any who succumb to ye folk deserve it either by nature or ineptitude. Just be wary of the weak ones; when enough disappear too close together it tends to provoke the strong ones to investigate, aye. Hero types, yanno..." he rambled. Clearing his throat with a few grunts, the dwarf turned back on topic. "Thank ye for gettin' us outta there well enough."

Offline SolEiji

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #677 on: January 10, 2017, 09:52:22 AM »
Click.  Thou has obtained LOOT!

Quote from: LOOT
This is after Drosselmeyer removes a few items he claims are his.  If you wish to dispute, you can take it up with him.  It doesn't appear to be very much.

17,000 gp in various material goods (4250 gp each, or 3400 gp if you share with the newcomer Wystan).

Scroll of Regeneration

5x Potions of Cure Light Wounds

Potion of Remove Disease

An Unmarked Potion, requires identification.    It's clear, bubbly, and smells vaguely of apple and an sweet but artifical chemical.

4x Vials of Quintessence, enough to coat a Tiny object.  There is not enough quintessence here to give the doctor any problem.

A pack of two mysterious pills, requires identification.  It's pale blue and purple, and radiates strong psychoportation.

A small black box.  Within is a still fresh, still pale and pupilless set of eyes.  They twitch with the remains of their muscles glancing this way and that.  This item needs identification, or someone to test it out.  The eyes can also be identified with a Knowledge Dungeoneering check.

A Note in a Bottle.  It came up with a lot of half written and scribbled out letters, all which seem to be letters of apology to Lady Marlowe, never finished.

An ioun torch and an ioun shade, a matching pair!

Sovereign Glue (only 1 ounce remains).

Some dice, carved from bone.  They aren't magical or anything, they might have been a lucky charm.

A Belt of HealingMIC.

Some high grade magicite.  Keep it with you, a proper craftsman can upgrade you a free +1 weapon.

A Blood Pin Hilt not connected to anything.

A Nighthide Cape, otherwise not magical.  It has one hell of a collar though.

Eyes of the Dwarf.

6x Masterwork Knives, each shaped a bit different and apparently specialized for medical tasks.

A stone knife, which has the Accursed Mark on it.  It requires identification.

A map which seems to no known location you know.  It has a city on it, and some... undefined blobs marked with nonsense scribbles and waves.

And a lifetime supply of finger bones.  Why are through so many bones in this vault?

At long last, the safe is expended.  As the party goes along looking through their newfound loot, Drosselmeyer will move near Wystan.

"Human.  I heard you were looking for the Marlowes.  Know that while the Baron is dead I am uncertain of the fate of the female.  The Lady took her leave into the shroud, I know not where.  I figure that may be of some use to you.

....as for me, I will need to prepare for a journey of my own.  I have a task to perform."
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 10:03:32 AM by SolEiji »
Mudada.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #678 on: January 10, 2017, 10:39:35 AM »
Wystan looks at the items that have been removed from the safe and reaches out to examine one, then pulls back.  He doesn't know just how he fits into this group yet, best not to rile anyone up.

As Drosselmeyer approaches, Wystan turns to give him all of his attention.  He's still not sure just want this rat-man is....

Loud enough for everyone to hear him, he says, "I was sent to find them and collect what was owed, but there is nothing here to collect even if the Baroness is still alive somewhere.  Thank you for telling me."  He pauses, thinking.  He was paid to do a job, and his reputation is important.  His job did not involve these.....rats.

"I will let you and your...kin depart.  I would avoid Rubicon, anything unusual will be assumed to be of the shroud and you are very unusual.  Many would jump at the chance to kill you and take what treasure you might have."

He then addresses everyone else, straightening his gloves with what you've seen to be obvious habit.  "If any of you have a way to send a message across vast distances I should let my employer know that the Marlowes will not be paying their bills.  I would appreciate any assistance.  Also, where are you headed next?"  With a slight smirk, finally regaining his composure (for the most part), he adds, "It seems I no longer have a ride."

Offline SolEiji

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Re: STRATA- Chapter 1
« Reply #679 on: January 10, 2017, 08:09:57 PM »
"If it is a message you wish to have sent, why not employ that curious bottle."
Mudada.