Chapter Three, Verse EightPrevious Threads:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=And+I+Will+Fear+No+EvilYou are Bartolomè de la Fuente, an ordained priest of the Catholic Church, though you are still young. Following the disappearance of your father, Hidalgo, you were recruited by a woman named Catarina Belmont to take his place within a secret branch of the Church, the Executors, and serve as a weapon to destroy those who would besmirch the name of your Lord.You've settled in for the night with your companions, now that you've finally arrived in Germany. You encountered an unpleasant man who tried to goad you into a fight, dropping morsels of information suggesting a connection to Catarina. You did not take his bait, and have rested in preparation for the confrontation with Kayton Abraham.Bartolomè:Wounds: 0/15 (Healthy.)Faith: Stable (+0 to Rolls, Holy Relics at 1x effectiveness.)Strength: C (3 Wounds dealt per hit, +0 to strength-related rolls.)Agility: C (1 attack per round, +0 to dexterity-related rolls.)Endurance: C (Can sustain 15 Wounds.)???: E (Unknown effect.)???: C (Unknown effect.)Traits:Gifted Skirmisher: +5 when using Thrown WeaponsButcher of Dead Apostles: +1 Wounds dealt to Dead ApostlesMissing Eye: No Penalty, but depth of vision reduced.Extra-Sensory: +2 to Combat Rolls, Can perceive Secret Options.Items:Black Key (x5): +10 to attack rolls, currently at 1x effectiveness. Can be thrown. Bonus doubled against foes with Faith ratings.Cross of Orleans: +10 to Attack Rolls, +1 to Wounds dealt, deals 1 Wound per round after hit as burn damage for two rounds. Treats Faith lower than Stable as Stable while held.Priest's Clothes and Frock: -1 Wounds taken when hit.Inventory: Catarina's cell phonePriest's Clothes and FrockBlack KeysRosaryCross of Orleans
You pull open the blinds to let in the sunlight.You are disappointed.February 13th, 1994 is an overcast and unpleasant-looking day, and you can even feel a chill in the air inside your hotel suite. You pick up the eyepatch from the stand beside your bed and affix it to your face. You can feel something sink in your chest as you do it. What an awful thing to treat as a mindless part of a morning routine. And you'll be doing it the rest of your life. The scarred tissue itches.You think you can see the beginnings of rain up in the grey clouds, and few cars are out on the roads as of now. It's a Sunday. Everyone's either off to church or staying indoors and out of the cold.Come to think of it, your family's probably at church right now. You wonder how they've been these last few months, with you and your father gone.Behind you is the mindless drone of the television. A tiny, unimpressive box is situated on the dresser against the wall, and in grainy resolution some sort of crudely-drawn cartoon is being played. You've never been one for that kind of entertainment, but your roommate can't seem to get enough of it.On the edge of her bed, Aldric is wrapped up in the blankets, sitting cross-legged and cradling a cup of coffee in her hands. She takes idle sips as unblinking eyes take in the static smudged images. She's been like that for nearly an hour now. You're starting to worry. Across the hall is Wayne, who is still going through the effort of re-dressing his wounds. He insisted that today would be the day you went after Kayton, though you can't help but think it would be prudent if he'd hold off just a little longer. Turning away from the depressing scene outside of your window, you stare at your room. You're already dressed yourself (and you've already given Aldric several changes of clothes to avoid a repeat of last night), so the question now is what to do with the rest of the morning.
>1. Get yourself some breakfast. >2. Watch cartoons/talk with Aldric.>3. Get Aldric to stop watching cartoons.>4. Go check on Wayne.>5. Call Catarina.>6. Call your mother.>7. Do something else.
>>30354905>>1. Get yourself some breakfast.Wouldn't do to move out on an empty stomach.Also, I think we can solve our eye issue. If you remember from Turkeyhandle, vampires would sometimes use familiars to replace and strengthen parts of their bodies. Now, as cool as Nrvnqsr was, I'm not saying we have to be him, but Shiki used his familiars to patch himself up in the Near Side routes - pic related. So why don't we just get a familiar and slap it over our eye hole?
>>30354905>1. Get yourself some breakfast.4. Go check on Wayne.6. Call your mother.got to go, but i'll be back in about 2 hours to participate
>>30355013Your stomach is making demands of you. You might as well get something to eat while you wait for the others. Slipping on a jacket you head for the door, glancing back at Aldric as you prepare to leave. "Did you want me to bring something back?""I'm fine," she tells you. Or, you think she said something like that. It's hard to tell whenever she tries to sip her coffee and talk at the same time. You shrug and step out the door. A few weary tourists pass by you. Their glossy eyes pay you no mind as you head the other direction.Down in the lobby a small procession is at the desk, checking in and out. You dart around them and go to a side room where they've set out a buffet for the guests. You take a glass of orange juice and a few rolls of bread, cut open and stuffed with jam. An open table waits for you, and you take it quickly, happily digging into your meal.You're only there for a few minutes before a familiar face sits down across from you."We've gotta stop meeting like this.""Good morning, Wayne."Though his face is still a little tender and bruised, Wayne's spirits are plenty high today. A thick, foul-smelling brew of coffee wafts from his cup, its pungent odor burning the hairs in your nose. He takes a big glug of the drink and sets into his meal, several sandwiches' worth of cold cuts and cheese, as well as a few rolls smeared with marmalade and butter. "Mm. Eaten a lot of hotel food over the years. This is surprisingly un-terrible." He tries to talk to you with a full mouth, sputtering out crumbs all the while.You see the cane still rests beside the table. Whatever his morale is like, his physical condition likely doesn't match.>1. Talk to Wayne about postponing confronting Kayton.>2. Talk strategy with Wayne about dealing with Kayton.>3. Ask Wayne about something else.>4. Do nothing, and eat quietly.>5. Tell Wayne about the man from last night.
>>30355470>>2. Talk strategy with Wayne about dealing with Kayton.The old guy is probably church business, and Wayne will just get mad if we ask him to back down. Furthermore, I know he doesn't like it, but we really need to decide on whether we'll bring Aldric - and by that, I mean it would be a bad idea to not bring Aldric.
>>30355470>2. Talk strategy with Wayne about dealing with Kayton.
>>303554702, in particular, in regards to Aldric. A combat asset is an asset, but how does Wayne feel about it?We should also try to get to know Wayne better at some point, we call him a friend but really don't know too much about him, really.
>>30355496>>30355496>>30355504"Well." You pat your hands on the table, ready to do business. "I suppose there is no point in putting it off any longer. This mage of yours, Kayton. What are we doing with him? What is the plan?"Wayne nods and settles into his chair, leaning a little bit closer so he doesn't have to speak up too much. "Well, orders from up top are that I return his property. He's too high-value to get anything more than a slap on the wrist." He cracks his knuckles. "But, uh, personally? I've whomped him at every game we've played. Wouldn't mind chalking up another line to my victory tally."You don't know if you believe he's quite spry enough to pull that off right now."I was also planning on heading out around midday. Rain's supposed to pick up soon, so I doubt we'll have anyone out and about to spy on us."Fair enough, but wouldn't approaching under the cover of darkness be a better plan?"And what of Aldric?" you ask."Funny you should mention that, because I was just about to not speak her name aloud and hope you'd forget about her." Wayne's shoulders slump. "C'mon, Bart. Bringing a cat-eyed atom bomb's asking for trouble.""But we might need her help, given your, erm, physical condition," you note."Yeah, maybe they teach you different in Madrid..." he scratches the side of his head. "See, where I grew up, 'help' didn't mean 'tear your best friend limb from limb.' I kind of prefer Kayt in one piece, okay? I'm getting the distinct vibe I'm getting haggled down to four if we bring the vampire."Tactically, it's not sound. But you don't think you can fault Wayne for wanting to protect his friend, even given the circumstances. Wayne waits for you to give your own input.
>1a. Approach Kayton peacefully. No sense in unnecessary conflict.>1b. Agree with Wayne. He may need roughing up if he's going to divulge his connection to Klaus Hind.>2a. Go around midday, like Wayne suggested.>2b. Go at night. The cover of darkness will be valuable.>3a. Bring Aldric.>3b. Don't bring Aldric.>4. Ask any other questions, if you have them.
>>30355818>>1b. Agree with Wayne. He may need roughing up if he's going to divulge his connection to Klaus Hind.>>2b. Go at night. The cover of darkness will be valuable.>>3a. Bring Aldric.We can leave her out in the car if we have to, but I think it's more dangerous to leave her than to take her. And since we're taking her, it might be better to wait until she has a fuller range of her powers.Also, things never go according to plan, and Wayne, despite his bravado, is more of a liability right now than a serious contender in a fight. Which means a half-trained probably-experimental Executor is all we have, marching into the home of a high ranking magus who is currently expecting trouble.
>>30355818>1b. Agree with Wayne. He may need roughing up if he's going to divulge his connection to Klaus Hind.>2a. Go around midday, like Wayne suggested.>3a. Bring Aldric.We'll want to have Aldric somewhat nearby, and hopefully distracted by a book, or something like that. We don't want her wandering freely, or without supervision for a long period of time, it'll end badly.
>>303557941a, 2a, 3aNo sense asking for a fight it we don't have to and of we have to, then we can't afford the loss in combat ability of leaving Aldric behind and Wayne's injuries leave us at. We are a man of the cloth, so while violence shouldn't be our first answer, as an executor its one we have.
Rolled 4>>30355818 >1b. Agree with Wayne. He may need roughing up if he's going to divulge his connection to Klaus Hind. >2b. Go at night. The cover of darkness will be valuable. >3a. Bring Aldric.We really can't leave Aldric alone (though before we go we MUST MUST make sure she's fed and happy so she doesn't eat our friend).
>>30355983>>30356034Briefly, you go over the plan one more time with Wayne, adding your own input. Though he isn't the happiest about your additions, the mage consents.You'll leave about two o'clock in the afternoon, after the rain has begun. It's supposed to be cold and heavy today, which should keep most onlookers off the road. Kayton's manner is somewhat remote, so the chances of someone stumbling across your intrusion should be close to zero. You'll either force or break your way in, and reach Kayton through his defenses. He'll have no choice but to cooperate if you completely overwhelm him.And that last part shouldn't be difficult. After all, you have Aldric on your side. And despite what Wayne has said, you WILL be bringing her. You concede that it might be in your best interests to leave her outside, but disaster could strike if you leave her by herself.He's not happy about it, as he repeats several times. "But, I guess it's fair you don't put too much faith in the guy with the cane. All right, whatever. We'll do it that way."Creaky and jerky, Wayne stands up from the table, having scarfed down the last bits of breakfast. "Do whatever you're gonna do, Bart. Ahem. I have to go put some things in order. Meet up at the car at 1:30, 'kay? We'll roll then."And he hobbles away, his shoulders twitching erratically. You suppose that was something like a victory. Now you wonder what you'll do with the rest of your time.>1. Do something in the few hours you have.>2. Wait until it's time to leave.
>>30356656We don't actually know what our Demon Lord can really do. We should ask her what experience she has about magi; even if we can't pick up any insights, it can hardly hurt to get her in a good mind for the next part.
>>30356656>Pray for guidance (and comfort)
Rolled 13>>30356656>1. Do something in the few hours you have.Talk to Aldric about our plan. Explain things to her.>>30356705We know she is much stronger than we our, thus an asset.
>>30356656It's Sunday, go pray for a bit.Also, I would ask this once the Verse is over but I've gotta go, is it possible for us to use our faith to perform 'miracles'? Not using magic circuits or anything, but the divine energy of the lord? Not right now, but if we spec that way? Not really much info on how the church really fights, other than black keys and the like.
>>30356850I can't think of there being any precedent or reason for that to work. Certainly we could get some nifty conceptual weapons and the like from ranking high up in the church, but the closest thing to a miracle in Type-Moon is a Reality Marble, followed by a Marble Phantasm.
>>30356923On second thought, scratch that. A MP is basically the same thing as a Miracle, I guess, though. We can't use them, being human, though.
>>30356823>>30356705You gently shut the door behind you as you re-enter your room. Aldric is still wrapped up like a child in the sheets of her bed. You imagine that coffee cup is long since empty, but she keeps sipping at it as her eyes soak in the flashes of color on the television screen. Her eyes glance you way."Television is nice."And she's right back to what she was doing before. You sense this won't be a very productive atmosphere, so you step up to the television and shut it off. A sputtering yell of shock and dismay tells you that Aldric's paying attention to you now. "HEY! I was watching that.""And now you are not," you explain. "I wanted to talk to you. Do you know what we're doing today?"She looks confused. In all the time she's followed you, you wonder, has she not once picked up on what this entire trip was for? Her eyes vacantly drop down to her coffee cup. She opens her mouth, but you cut her off. "No. It has nothing to do with coffee"Aldric's mouth closes.Your back flattens against the wall, trying to find a comfortable position to assume. "We're here after a mage by the name of Kayton Abraham. What do you know about mages?""...Mage?" Her lips part and carefully form the word, pushing it out into the air with a nervous tone. Like she's unfamiliar with the term. "Whassat?""Er--" Your jaw drops. "You don't... know?"She puzzles over the word again, to no avail. "Should I?""Well, Wayne is one, for example. And you seem to have gotten rid of him just fine at the airport.""Oh." You don't think she's privy to the finer details of mages (then again, you doubt you are either) but she seems to get the gist when you compare them to Wayne. "I don't really know anything about them. My head kind of goes numb when I see food. I just follow the pictures I see. Does that help?" she asks, tilting her head to the side.
Her head goes numb, and she follows pictures in her head? No, that doesn't help at all. You rub your face, feeling the stubble growing in as you think on her baffling explanation. Those words mean nothing to you.Or wait. Don't they?You think back to the airport. In the first moment you met her. Something was different. The way she looked at you as you readied your weapons."Five..." she had whispered. And then, with only the barest motions, some... force had ripped the Black Keys out from beneath your clothes, and into her hands. That you believe you can understand. She's trying to tell you that she fights by instinct. And in some manner or another, her instinct is honed enough to key her in on the means to incapacitate her opponent. A truly remarkable skill."Very well. That is all I needed to know. You see, we're going to be chasing a mage by the name of Kayton Abraham. And you're going to be coming with us. So listen closely, I will only explain this once."You sit down on the edge of the bed, and Aldric sits up beside you, listening intently as you explain the plan....Heavy rain batters your rental vehicle's window shield. You wind down a rural road, located about thirty five minutes out of Munich. Wayne's face is practically pressed again the glass, eyes straining to see the road in this frigid downpour. You have the utmost confidence in him, but have a tight grip on the handle above your seat just in case. The snoring in the back seat tells you Aldric is handling the trip a little more easily than you."Bart, check the map!" Wayne yells all too loudly in such a cramped space. "We just passed..." he speaks some German word you don't recognize. "Where does that put us?" You scramble with the map in your hands, trying desperately to figure out what that word he said was. Based on where you were the last time Wayne asked, you're pretty sure you're at your destination."Wayne, slow down, I think--"
"We're here!" he announces only an instant before shoving his foot into the brake pedal. Your body is shunted forward, a tight seatbelt holding you painfully in place as the car hydroplanes to a stop a few hundred feet down the way. He managed to spin the car around and get into the other lane in that time, giving you the closest view at your destination.Silhouetted against the gloomy mists is what must be some medieval castle. Nestled in a clearing right on the edge of some great forest, the stone building cuts an impressive figure on this cold afternoon. Wayne cuts the engine off, and pulls the hood of his raincoat up, while Aldric loudly wakes from her nap behind you. "All right, Bart. Now comes the fun part. See that gate up there?"He points to a wrought-iron gate on the path towards the castle. That seems to be the only way in. "How we doing this?">1. Break our way in. (Requires Aldric.)>2. Find another way in and try sneaking.>3. Buzz the intercom and ask Kayton to let you in.>4a. Aldric, stay here.>4b. Aldric, come with us.
>>30357676>>1. Break our way in. (Requires Aldric.)>>4b. Aldric, come with us.Well, we don't want to let any more preparations for us. This is what he asked for, right?
>>30357676>2. Find another way in and try sneaking.>4b. Aldric, come with us.Impress on her the need to be quiet, and not draw attention to herself.
Rolled 61>>30357676>2. Find another way in and try sneaking.Rain cover is our advantage. >4c. Ask Aldric if she wants to come with us or wait here. On one hand, it's warm and dry in the car; on the other hand, she may enjoy some activity. Remember, she is a child, we must entertain her as we go about our dull grown-up duties. We don't want to leave her in the car and have her want to come and sneak out on her own later, nor do we want to dry her along and have her complaining the entire time. Also, bring an umbrella with us, tis wet.
>>30357676>2. Find another way in and try sneaking.4b
>>30357800>>30357842"We'll climb over the wall," you answer Wayne. "The element of surprise can't be overlooked.""I hear ya," your comrade remarks, stepping out of the car. Immediately the cacophony of precipitation blots out most other sounds. He shuts the door again, heading back to the trunk to retrieve something. Meanwhile you twist around in your seat, looking back at Aldric while she rubs her eyes sleepily. "We're going inside now, Aldric. We're going to be a while. Would you like to come with, or would you rather wait here?""Mm..." she thinks it over with a tiny frown on her face. She decides, "I'll come with."You nod, and the both of you step outside. Luckily, the jacket atop your frock has a hood, which keeps you from being immediately soaked. The water is incredibly cold, and you wonder just how bad for you it is to be out in this. Stepping around to the back of the car, you see Wayne clumsily retrieving what appears to be a black instrument case. "What is that?!" you shout over the rainy din."Insurance!" he answers. "In case things go tits-up!"You can't begin to imagine how music will factor into this operation, but decide not to let that be a hindrance. The three of you step off the side of the road; your feet sink into rapidly growing puddles of mud as you trudge off the path and to the side of Abraham's estate. A large brick wall lines the property without a sign of wear or cracking on an inch of its surface. The walls go at least ten feet up. The trip is at least half a kilometer as you get off to the side. You stand between the wall and a thicket of dark, uninviting trees. The forest projects an aura of threat that makes your stomach roil. You don't know much about these mages; perhaps something of Kayton's is hidden out here? Some grotesque guard beast or experiment gone wrong? Either way, you wish to get over this wall.
Neither Aldric or Wayne seem to share your rush, and are standing at the foot of the construction and staring up at the top. Wayne whistles. "Looooong way up," he says. "I say we push one guy up top, and he pulls the others up and over."Aldric's lips stretch flat in a skeptical expression. "Why? That's so complicated. This is simple. I can just pick you both up and hop over.""Like you're EVER touching an inch of my body again," Wayne hisses. Aldric holds a finger up, an unkind glint in her eye as she sticks her tongue out."Gonna stop me?"Hoo boy.>1. Go with Wayne's plan. (1d100)>2. Try Aldric's idea.>3. Get these two to stop bickering. (1d100)>4. SECRET: You think you see a way up those bricks... (1d100+10)
Rolled 59 + 10>>30358443>>4. SECRET: You think you see a way up those bricks... (1d100+10)I'm loving these secret options.
Rolled 82>>30358443> Get them to stop bickering
Rolled 51 + 10>>30358443>4. SECRET: You think you see a way up those bricks... (1d100+10)
>>30358507>>30358628Pat. Pat. Your feet sink into the mud, step by step. Your eye is fixed on the wall. It's not as perfect as it seems. Indentations, minute cracks, bricks JUST out of alignment with the rest. Your eye moves frantically, catching every detail between the obscuring raindrops. It's only a guess when you begin, but at the halfway point you are certain. There's a way up this wall.As you get close, your legs bend. You leap, hands grasping out for purchase. And you find it. Your fingers sink into little imperfections that your human eye should not have perceived. Your feet slip, but correct themselves onto proper points to hold. And then you climb. Your body scrapes against the barrier and forces its way. Every inch is a struggle, and the rain makes parts you saw as viable too slick to grasp. But the journey only takes seconds.You sit confused, straddling the top of the wall. Below you, Aldric beams at your accomplishment, and Wayne is all but lost for words."JESUS, Bart. How'd you do that?"You give him a look. "Sorry. It's just surprising.""I... don't know," you admit. "I just saw a path up, and I followed it."(Trait gained! Instinct: On a successful roll of DC 15 with a d20, may perceive the optimal course of action for a task. Also provides +5 to any rolls relevant to achieving goal following a successful Instinct check.)"Now come on!" You reach down with your hand, hoping this will keep them from fighting for at least a second. "Quit howling at each other and take my hand."Wayne does as you command, and with a straining effort you pull him up to the top, and with him beside you, you both hop down to the grass on the other side of the wall. A shadow passes over the top in an instant, and Aldric lands gracefully beside you.From here you can see the side of the castle. A large wing faces you, and at its base is a florida room. The addition's refined windows grant you a glimpse at bright light from within.
>1. Head in from that way.>2. Go back around and try the front door.>3. Head the other direction and find a different way in.>4. Ask the others for their opinion.>5. Do something else.
>>30359187>>4. Ask the others for their opinion.Well, it seems as good a point of entry as any. Better, even. Which could mean it's a trap. Wayne knows this guy, so he should have some insight to share.
Rolled 61 + 10>>30359187>4. Ask the others for their opinion.Wayne's been here before, right? He should know.
>>30359172>4. Ask the others for their opinion.Wayne has been here, get his opinion, and see if Aldric's instincts notice anything odd.
>>30359187>4. Ask the others for their opinion.Do you roll instinct yourself in the background? Do we do it? how does that work?
>>30359549>>1. In that case, take the door.We took Aldric for a reason. We knew we would have to fight.
>>30359549>1. In that case, take the door.Let our darling Dead Apostle take point.
Rolled 39 + 10>>30359549>1. In that case, take the door.YOLO
>>30359251>>30359272>>30359292"It's your call," you tell Wayne. "What are we dealing with?"Wane lifts his head up and stares down at you. "Want it straight? Already knows we're here. Guarantee it. His boundary fields are top notch. They'll be able to feel out you and Aldric and give him your precise location, and a rough idea of your appearance and abilities. Not unfair to guess he already knows your pal's a Dead Apostle.""But he won't know you're here, right?" you ask, thinking of his Circuit Breaker."Well, if he were using a lower-tier spell, he probably wouldn't," Wayne informs you. "But since the mystery doesn't work on me, there's a 'dead zone' in the field where I should be. Kayton knows me enough to recognize my presence when he feels dead zones.""Why did we come around this way at all?" Aldric asks. "Well, actually, I don't think Bart knew, but this WAS the best way to go. Once Kayton sensed us, I'm pretty sure he made a dash for his panic room. He can control the castle's defenses from there. That door there is actually the quickest way to that room from the outside. Mind ya," he adds. "That means it will be the most heavily defended, but it's our best shot at him.">1. In that case, take the door.>2. Head a different way.
>2. Head a different way.
Rolled 56>>30359880>1. In that case, take the door.
>>30359603>>30359671>>30359723Deleted and reposted the last one when I noticed a GLARING typo. Herp derp derp."Aldric," you suggest. "why don't you take the lead? If it's dangerous, we could use your help.""Of course, Bartolomè!" The vampire advances, you and Wayne keeping pace behind. You can see her shivering. You ask her if she's cold, but her head shakes beneath her hood. "Something itches. A weird feeling."Something's been irritating you as well. You suppose it's the boundary fields that Wayne talked about. The silhouette takes on color as you approach the humongous castle. Though, not much color. The stone is a drab grey, and tiling on the many roofs and turrets is a faint shade of blue. A style that is mismatched with the more modern-day additions on this wing. The building is so large that if there were a sun out today it'd be blotted out by its shape.Aldric approaches the door. "All right," she says as she lays her hand upon it. "Every stay b--"Boom.There is a flash of light and sound. An eruption so powerful that even she is pushed back from the door. You are not so lucky, and are swept off of your feet and fly backwards at high speeds. But you're stopped, all but immediately, by an invisible force holding you in place. You're caught head over heels, in pain and disoriented, but you're not dead.The force dissipates, and you collapse into the mud and grass. Wayne grabs the back of your jacket and heaves you up to your feet, letting you lean on him for balance. He doesn't seem to have been effected by the trap, and he's glaring inside with narrow eyes."Let's go inside, Bart."You're led inside, Aldric falling in behind you with an odd, but not too inhibited gait. The florida room has a high ceiling, and pleasant white decor. Several marble statues sit up against the walls in imitation of Greek art."Swanky," Wayne whispers. "He's upgraded.""The decor?" you ask."The traps."
A door on the far side leads further into the castle, but you wonder if there's anything of note in this room here.>1. Examine the room.>2. Examine the statues.>3. Move on.
>>30360228>2. Examine the statues.
>>30360228>>2. Examine the statues.
>>30360244You approach a statue on the far side of the room that seems out of place. It appears to be a recreation of Michaelangelo's David, though much smaller, a little shorter than you expect the model was. The detail, for a replica, is truly exquisite, and the connoisseur in you marvels at the work involved. You can't help but wonder if this was chiseled by hand, or by machine? Or perhaps magic? If its owner is a mage, anything could be possible. You lean in for a closer look, and admire the twitching marble.Your eye shoots wide open, and your body throws itself backwards. Just barely do you avoid the statue's hand as it grasps out at you, and you skid to a halt to Wane's back. "What the--" he turns around to see what's happening, and his face droops at the sight. "Oh. He has golems."The statue steps off of its pedestal, cracking its knuckles as it stares you down. It is joined by three more in the room that move in roughly the same manner. Two of them have you and your mage ally trapped between the two of them, while the others concentrate on Aldric.You ready your weapons.>1. Throw a Black Key at a golem. (1d100+15)>2. Make an Instinct Check. (1d20)>3. Charge and use the Cross of Orleans. (1d100+10)>4. Do something else.
Rolled 13>>30360463>2. Make an Instinct Check. (1d20)New option. Whoop!
Rolled 14>>30360463>2. Make an Instinct Check. (1d20)Though if this doesn't pan out, I think we should throw a couple Black Keys into the one in front of us, aim for the legs, than chop it up with the Cross.
Rolled 19>>30360463>>2. Make an Instinct Check. (1d20)
So is there any kind of downside to the instinct check? It looks like a free action so it seems like we would pretty much automatically do it every time. I like the idea of secret options but, I'm kind of afraid this will amount to us rolling 1d20 to check the F.A.Q. between every update.
Rolled 8, 20, 5 = 33>>30360729That's a good point. It could get tiring quick. How about you roll 3d20 for us instead to see if instinct activates?
>>30360729The Instinct Check takes the place of any action you do, and only gives you information in the short-term. So while it might give you a clue to beating your enemy, it won't tell you how to go about fighting every single one. PLUS, they get a chance to attack while you do it.And if it doesn't work out I may re-tool what it does.>>30360600Your mind opens. As the unwieldy golem moves your way, you see a rough jostling around its joints. This construct is weakest at those points, and might fall apart if you applied enough force there.But the golem is quicker than you expect. Rushing forward, its shoulder slams into your gut, and the wind is knocked from you lungs as it smashes you into a wicker chair situated near the center of the room. The furniture shatters, and you're left sprawled out amongst the splinters as it begins to rain blows on you.2/15 Wounds Taken!Wayne squares off with his opponent, dropping his instrument case and taking out his knife. The golem rushes him, and he makes two quick slashes at the golem's left arm. They scrape against the marble to no avail. The familiar responds in kind with a haymaker blow that knocks Tepes right off of his feet, and the Enforcer hits the ground.And a moment later, the arm that was cut and used to strike crumbles at the elbow where it was hit, and falls off.12/20 Wounds Taken!You glare up at the mindless thing raining blows on you.>1. Stab it with a Black Key. (1d100+15)>2. Use the Cross. (1d100+15)>3. Grapple it and gain control. (1d100)>4. Try to escape it. (1d100)
>>30360777This is a good idea, and I will take that into consideration.
Rolled 76 + 15>>30360909>2. Use the Cross. (1d100+15)Pulverize its joints.
Rolled 17 + 15>>30360909>2. Use the Cross. (1d100+15)
Rolled 9 + 15>>30360909>>2. Use the Cross. (1d100+15)
>>30360949The golem raises its arms, meeting both hands together for a hammer blow to crush your skull. Your eye squints at it."Not that I wish to be called a vandal, but..."A single bite. A flash of steel snaps out from beneath your cloak. A fiery brand sweeps from one elbow to another, and shatters them both effortlessly. The fall, and slam against your chest, but you ignore the discomfort long enough to pull the blade back and slash it downward.The Cross of Orleans bisects the golem's skull. Brains constructed of minerals erupt from its stone skull, and fill the air with dust and powdered gore. All the life departs the golem, and it slumps above you. You cast it off and get back to your feet to check on your comrades.It seems you were the last to finish. Wayne stands over a torso fully divorced from its limbs, and Aldric dusts what few pebbles remain of her quarry off of her hoodie. For a first line of defense, this was rather disappointing.And then there is a click. The door to your right, the one that leads further into the castle, opens. And a voice, deep and bass, commands you. "Come inside."You share a glance with Wayne, and he confirms your suspicions with a nod. Kayton Abraham.>1. Say something back to Kayton.>2. Enter.>3. Enter, but have someone else take the lead.>4. Do something else.
>>30361247Check the surroundings for alternative paths, any hidden entrances, any traps along that direction.And when we enter, have Aldric take point.
Rolled 65 + 15>>30361247>3. Enter, but have someone else take the lead.Have Wayne lead, Bart second, and Aldric last. Since we are approaching Kayton, it would be best if Wayne, the guy who knows him, is seen as the "leader". In the event where he's hostile and throws magic, he is a mage after all, Wayne will be able to handle it. Aldric is super powerful as well, but not magic immune, keep her in the back in case of flanks.
>>30359172>Trait gained! Instinct: On a successful roll of DC 15 with a d20, may perceive the optimal course of action for a task. Also provides +5 to any rolls relevant to achieving goal following a successful Instinct checkThis is why you're awesome, Beatta! You don't just give us secret options, you give us permanent, tangible benefits for following through on them once in a while. (though I have to wonder why use a d20 for that when we tend towards D%)Also, bonus points for having Bartolome shoot Wayne a glare for blasphemy. Nice touch, that!>>30361247>3. Enter, but have someone else take the lead.As >>30361346 suggests. Anti-Mage goes first, followed by The Support, with the Muscle to back us up.>1. Say something back to Kayton.Is there a particularly good Priestly greeting or customary Catholic thing to do when entering a dwelling. "Speak Friend, and Enter" or the like, from a Catholic tradition? it would be most fitting, both with abrtolome''s IC motivations AND for a strategically advantageous way tos et the tone
>>30361346You gesture to the door, for Wayne to take point. This is his mission, after all. He grins at you before stooping down to pick up his instrument case. He hobbles through the door and lets you fall into line behind him. Aldric comes up behind you, guarding the rear from any more unpleasant surprises.Through the florida room lies a hall you more readily accept as part of a castle. A grand, exquisitely-decorated hall greets your eye. Beautiful tapestries and rugs hang from the walls, a beautiful and rich shade of off-white. At about eye level, the patterned white walls are separated by marbling and shifts into wood paneling, shiny and immaculate. You can't even imagine the beautiful forest that was annihilated to make these lacquered planks. The place seems perfect to echo sound, as that booming voice speaks to you as you enter the hall."Welcome to my humble home," it speaks. The voice's English is excellent. In fact, you suspect that's a Received Pronunciation accent. "I've been expecting visitors for some time now. Although, I am somewhat surprised that they sent you, Tepes. I thought you'd have died pursuing Hind.""Yeah, well, I guess I'm just full of surprises," Wayne snarks back at the voice. He walks straight on down the hall, not stopping at any of the large doors you pass. He holds up a hand and stops you at a circular staircase, and points up it. He begins to ascend, and tucks his cane under one arm as he fuddles around for something in his pocket. "If you know about my last assignment, then I guess you already know why we're here, right Kayt?" Wayne retrieves the small ball from his pocket, brandishing it towards no one in particular."Naturally. The Association couldn't stand to lose the Orb of Avalon, so they demanded you return what is mine. But only you realized..."
"It's no longer yours to receive." Wayne ends Kayton's sentence without a hint of humor. The stairs are tall, and go on for quite some time. Your legs are beginning to tire; you can't even fathom how Wayne is still on the move."Please, do forgive the traps," Kayton announces, seemingly to you and Aldric more than Wayne. "When I realized it was you, I mobilized my... extensive home security measures.""How many golems are you up to now, anyway?""Not counting the ones you just pulverized, I believe I'm up to somewhere around the number of two hundred and sixty seven."Wayne whistles, impressed. "You need a new hobby. One that can't kick my ass.""I should give you the same advice," Kayton retorts, his booming tones shaking the walls around you. "I assumed you weren't here just to hand the Orb over when I noticed your friends. An Executor, and a... Brunestud. Strange bedfellows, and not the kind you bring to peaceful negotiations.""If a negotiation goes by without some bloodshed, it wasn't worth the time.""Heh. Indeed. Enough chit-chat, Wayne. I'll get to work on refreshments. In the meantime, see how your friends do against my newest creations. Good luck."The voice ends with an earnest gesture, leaving only the off-putting sounds of your own footsteps. You hear Wayne giggling to himself. "Kooky bastard... gonna slap you right across your smug prick face."You reach the top of the stairs. On the platform you stand in front of a marvelous door, embossed with gemstones and beautiful mosaics. You get the impression Wayne is considering having Aldric demolish it by the sick look he gives the work of art. Instead, he slams the end of his cane back down to the floor and approaches it."Up ahead's the ballroom," he declares. He presses against the doors and opens them wide."Hope you don't mind dancing."
The sight is breathtaking and horrifying all at once. The room, first of all, is gorgeous. It looks like the ones out of Disney movies you watched with your little sisters in your youth. Chandeliers sprinkle little dapplings of light on every corner of a smooth and inviting dance floor. One side of the room is dominated by windows stretching fifty feet high, granting a glorious view of the estate and the forest beyond, albeit a view shrouded by rain today. The pattering of the downpour is your orchestra as Wayne leads you and Aldric out. The horror comes from what awaits you on the dance floor. Golems. More golems than you can count. Of the marble variety there must be over a hundred, without question, scattered about the grand place. Near-perfect mockeries of the greatest sculptors' work stands ready to be defiled, and to do the same to you. But they are not alone. Above them on a second viewing floor stand stalwart knights, full-plate Gothic armor imbued with all the vitality and violence of the soldiers that would have worn them. Heavy flails and thick, imposing zweihanders rest in the hands, ready to cleave into intruders.And then there are the exotic varieties. Seven great spheres, large enough to fit five men within their volume dot the battlefield. Their surfaces are of a blue, nacre-like substance, and though they are motionless, you feel a great killing intent from them.But there is one more. In the back stands a singular golem unlike the others. Its body is not of metal or pearl, but of the earth itself. A beast of rock stands at the rear of the army arrayed before you. Its eyes are red, molten liquid sloshing within its form, blazing blood keeping it in motion. The air around it is distorted from heat, and it growls at you in a voice like the scraping of tectonic plates.
Your breath catches.Your Faith is now Shaken.The company of golems stands between you and your goal. Two great double doors on the far side of the ballroom, up a flight of stairs, presumably leads to where Kayton Abraham has shielded himself.>1. You shall fight your way through.>2. Ask Wayne if there is any way to avoid this fight.>3. Ask Aldric if she thinks she could distract them while you and Wayne slip past.>4. Do something else.
>>30362358>2. Ask Wayne if there is any way to avoid this fight.I'd really rather not fight this many. Is there any music playing? Would playing music get the golems back to dancing? Are there alternate routes, paths that aren't covered in golems, anything like that?
>>30362358Take a look around, but there is no way he'll let us around instead of through. Ask for opinions; we'll probably be relying heavily on Aldric for this part, but that's half the reason we brought her, so I would really like to hear something confident from her.
>>30362406>>30362477Faint music begins to play. The strings lightly tremble through speakers that you cannot see, and project a beautiful melody into the ballroom. Beethoven's 4th, if you're hearing it right.You chide yourself for paying more attention to the music than the danger at hand. The multitude gathered here is too great for you to handle. You scour the room for signs of a path you could take around your foes.That balcony level above you seems promising. There are several dozen armored golems there, but that's still fewer than what's on the ground floor. You might be able to fight your way through to a door and on through. If there is a door up there, that is. You cannot see from down here. And that doesn't settle how you'd get there, either. You might be able to find a way up, but Wayne isn't so lucky. And you doubt your chances against Kayton without him.You sigh, and feel your chest tremble as you do so. "Aldric. If you were to fight these things, do you think you would win?""Fight?" she asks. "Um... maybe. If they're not friends, then I could probably fight them. But they don't smell like food. It doesn't seem very fun.""I know it might not be fun, but could you do it?"Aldric slowly nods her head, slower than you would've liked. "...Yeah. I could do that."You ask counsel of your friend as well. "Any input, Wayne? If we can avoid this fight, I'd like to.""What?" he asks, bewildered. "You're telling me you DON'T like getting swamped under the undulating bodies of a hundred murderous familiars? There goes your birthday present...""This is serious, Wayne.""I know, I know. Honestly? I can think of one way, but I don't think you'll like it.""Try me," you insist."He's a magus. He's got power and skill above anybody else around, and he knows it. Play to his pride. Call him out, mano-a-mano. He won't turn you down if you offer to duel him."
>>30362358>2. Ask Wayne if there is any way to avoid this fight.Yeah, I don't wanna face this one. Why can't there be NICE wizards who offer candy if we're polite, instead?>>30362406>Is there any music playing? Would playing music get the golems back to dancing? Are there alternate routes, paths that aren't covered in golems, anything like that?I feel tempted to break out into a jaunty hymn in the hopes of restoring faith and get the Golems a-dancing, but it's a futile attempt.Remember, if we must fight, fight with the Cross of Orleans. FAITH STRONK.
The beautiful melody continues to play its duet with the rain battering the roof above. Tentatively you ask, "Why was I not going to like this option?""He'll fucking DESTROY you," Wayne belts out. "He's an Average One, the kinda magus people in my world dream to be--KILL to be. You've... got a sword and a badass eyepatch. You can't take him, Bart. You'll lose."Your shoulders slump as you observe the horde. You take a deep breath, and steady your racing heart. You offer up a prayer to God to grant you strength and clarity of mind, and you answer...>1. "That remains to be seen. I shall challenge him.">2. "Aldric, gather the golems and get their attention. Wayne and I will make a break for Abraham.">3. "I will not be daunted by these few. We'll cut them all down."
>>30363066>1. "That remains to be seen. I shall challenge him."And then we cheat, screw the idea of a fair duel. Tell Wayne to stab him in the back when he isn't looking.
>>30363066Yeah, I have no idea. If we have to fight through all those familiars, we'll just get worn down. Maybe we should try to talk to him and try to launch a surprise attack. On the other hand, he really will kick our ass and it won't look cool at all.
>>30363153We're still a priest. Cheating isn't exactly our style. Plus, our faith is Shaken. Given that a priest is defined by their faith, this is a Bad Idea.>>30363066>>2. "Aldric, gather the golems and get their attention. Wayne and I will make a break for Abraham."This seems like the most sensible option, given that a one-on-one duel sounds suicidal without cheating, and Bartolome is not Wayne (*read: not underhanded and willing to resort to all manner of dirty tricks)Here's hoping we don't lose another body part.
>>30363066Call out Keaton. Threaten to wreck this precious artifact if he doesn't stop this. Build the value of the macGuffin in his mind. "I thought a Great Magus valued items of power. What kind of Magus would disregard such a relic? For that matter, what kind of powerful wizard is so base to not confront guest in his own place of power? Sounds cowardly to me."Then, if he takes the bait "I am but a man of God. This is a heretical object not part of the Faith. To ruin it would be to do the lord's work! But I owe this Wayne fellow a favor, and the Lord looks kindly on those who uphold their oaths. Shall we drop this pretense and merely get down to business?"
>>30363536I dunno man. Your phrasing sounds off. And by off I mean you shot in the wrong direction.
>>30363153"That remains to be seen. I shall challenge him." You tell Wayne, resolute. The Cross of Orleans is warm in your hands, and something swells within you as the words are spoken aloud. Your companion gives you a worried stare, but you brush him off with a wink. "You'll have my back if things go south. I trust you."Wayne grins.You step toward, closer to the mass of bodies, and at the top of your voice you call out: "Kayton Abraham! I call you out!" You arms spread, and gesture at the host before you. "Are we not men? We do not need these weapons to fight our battles for us, is this not true? Come and face me, as a true man should! I challenge you!"The golems are suddenly still. Their bodies move as one, and rigidly step aside. A path forms among them, leading to the doors at the top of the steps, which swing open, inviting you further in. Kayton's voice calls out to you with a simple command. "The Dead Apostle remains where she is."She nods when you look to her, and you nod back. With Wayne in tow, you step through the throng. They let you pass without fuss, though their imposing figures on every side leaves you feeling exposed. You ascend the stairs and step into a new hallway."The last door on the left," you are told. Wayne takes the lead, and you go with him. Kayton is no longer speaking. After half a minute, Wayne stops at the last door. "This is it," he tells you. Turning the knob, you step inside Kayton's private hall.It is a study, lines from floor to ceiling with thousands of shelves, brimming with tens of thousands of tomes. Ladders rest against various spots among the maze of shelves. The room is gigantic. You suspect it's larger than Klaus Hind's own throne room. A presence draws you past the books, and into the center. A hall, lined by columns, splits the study in half. And in this hall stands the man you know to be Kayton Abraham.
He is tall, about your height. His black skin is flawless, and his face handsome and well-defined. Sharp eyes scan every inch of your body as you approach, and the dreadlocks on his head are drawn back in a ponytail. He is dressed in anachronistic dress, a sand colored Renaissance-era doublet with a quilted pattern, and matching trousers. In his hands he holds a staff, silver in make with a large gem on the end, and on his fingers are many rings. He smiles at you."Yes. Now that I've gotten a better look at you..." You step into the hall opposite him, flanked on either side by the knowledge of entire civilizations. Wayne stands beside a column and watches as your opponent sizes you up. "You are EXACTLY the one who was foretold. I am blessed on this day, holy father. Praise be." He slams his cane to the ground. "Now then."Something shifts. To your left and right, between you and the columns, something rises. Steel walls seem to grow from the very ground, and stretch up to the ceiling, wholly separating you from the shelves of the study, and more importantly, Wayne. You can hear his cries of protest, muffled on the other side of the walls. Instinct demands reaction, and your legs sink into a battle-ready stance. The Cross of Orleans blisters your hands as you grip it as tightly as you can. Kayton smiles and takes a step backward."This is better. The Ancestor is on the other side of my golems, and a physical barrier cannot be circumvented by Wayne's Circuit Breaker. That should give me plenty of time to satisfy my curiosity..."Distant sound; only faintly can your attuned ears pick up the height of Beethoven's 4th as Kayton raises his rod and points it at you. Glyphs begin to pop from its gem, and circle around him."En garde."
And that, I'm afraid, is where I'll have to call it a night. Thank you all so much for playing, and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, follow me on Twitter @Frolloswagendir for updates about the Quest, and let me know there or here what you liked and what can be improved!Next thread time will most likely be this weekend, but that's subject to change.
>>30364044As always, you pick the worst time to stop. Looking forward to it.Also that familiar thing would probably be really important to look into at some point if we get home in mostly one piece.
>>30364099You mean, the best time! It's like a classic Movie Serial - Will our heroes escape? How will Bartolome survive against the potent Keaton? Tune in next week for another exciting episode!>>30364017Thanks again, Beatta! This was awesome! I'm half expecting a boss battle with Idris Elba. Fucking sweet!