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778485 No. 778485 ID: d36af7

It was a dark and stormy night...
New players still being accepted, see thread 4 and discussion thread 2 for details.
http://tgchan.org/wiki/Please_do_not_Take_these_Organs
https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4587981[/spoiler]
286 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 801238 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 4, 1 = 6

Hore wonders if the honey or the wax sealing it away is more valuable. Considering the tensile strength required to keep an exponential weight of honey in a single giant cell compared to a regular bee, it could be used as a gloss or insulation to hold other liquids. Hore suggests they craft steel barrels with internal honeycomb insulation, a wood interior to prevent internal metallic poisoning, and some honey on the sides for preservation purposes.

But yes, Hore would like to lick a Honey Popsicle later.

Roll for intelligence check - can Hore figure out a means of stealing the honey faster than the barrel method? It may take more than 10 hours. Hore can easily carry a medium sized barrel of honey, but wants to carry one at a time lest she fumble something.

Perhaps a test; Hore asks for permission to use her flamethrower to heat up (but not alight) specific parts of the room, then see if the bees prioritize the hot spots or the colder ones. (She does NOT begin using her flamethrower)
>>
No. 801262 ID: d36af7

>>801238
>Hore can easily carry a medium sized barrel of honey, but wants to carry one at a time lest she fumble something.
The ground's relatively sandy and smooth, and we're talking about barrels that weigh almost 400 pounds when they're full. Absent superhuman strength, heavy equipment, or appropriate magic, the only plausible way to move such a load any significant distance is by rolling, rather than lifting and carrying.

>can Hore figure out a means of stealing the honey faster than the barrel method?
Probably not. Barrels are just about the easiest way to move liquids apart from pipelines, and constructing a pipeline, then somehow tricking the bees into depositing their honey into it, seems implausible. Even if some other superior container was at hand, you've got to consider the time and effort of transferring material from one container to the other. You're not going to figure out a technique that countless generations of experienced professionals somehow missed. At least not without better information on current best practices, and common mistakes, and more than one night to think it all over.

>It may take more than 10 hours.
Anyone who stays behind when the ship leaves, which is at the next high tide (that's not very negotiable, due to the shipping company's other contractual obligations), probably won't be paid for guarding the ship. At least not as much.

>intelligence check
>rolled 1, 4, 1 = 6
The usable space inside that stone building is probably a little under fifteen thousand cubic feet. Factoring in Decaro Vos's experience and secondhand knowledge, you might be looking at 75 sheep-sized bees, all with reusable stingers.

If you wake up a platoon-strength group of irritable knife-tailed flying idiots, in the middle of the night, by setting their house on fire, they'll probably panic. Part of that panic will result in you being repeatedly stabbed.
>>
No. 801292 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 2, 3, 3 = 8

>Hore's nose could analyze giant bee pheromones, but you've got no reliable way to synthesize an arbitrary artificial scent
What if Vos tried to hit himself with a holy mutation for a bee pheromone generation?

>particularly any sign that you eat meat
Technically, Dav wouldn't have since before the accident (although I'm not sure if Q-rations magically provide meat equivalent proteins as part of complete nutrition or if it skips further ahead, or if the nose would tell the difference either way).

Hygiene kit application and a portal jaunt back to the river as needed for washing up will be provided.

>trick bees into filling barrels
I assume that takes longer than we have? (Leave em one night, come back another). We're here to take existing stores. If we're really lucky, the last set of barrels the villagers left might still be here.
>>
No. 801361 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 5, 6 = 12

>What if Vos tried to hit himself with a holy mutation for a bee pheromone generation?
>/questdis/111550
>what if Vos tried to channel a divine mutation from Tittivila to actually be genetically compatible?

>Hygiene kit application and a portal jaunt back to the river as needed for washing up will be provided.

Okay, after we're all cleaned up it might be a good idea to slather ourselves with wax to further neutralize our smell. Then Vos will spend some time performing appropriate prayers and rituals, and will apply the flesh blessing. Roll is to make myself genetically compatible with bees.
>>
No. 801393 ID: e05fac

>>801222
No magic. Bummer. Let's find a way up then, and get down to business. Rolling to get up to house level, and stay that way.
>>
No. 801406 ID: 094652

rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13

Hore accompanies Viste.

And I'm rolling for Santova.
>>
No. 801435 ID: 2907d3

>>801393
Whoops! Thank you !
>>
No. 802077 ID: d36af7

>>801361
After the ritual, Vos has a wiry boar-bristle mane all down his spine, with swirling black and yellow stripes, and some sort of scent-glands swell under the... armpits?... of his spiked lower limbs. Remains to be seen how well this will be received.

>>801292
>since before the accident
>rolled 2, 3, 3 = 8
In the course of helping clear debris, Viste found a few scraps of orange peel. She didn't immediately recognize them as such because they lack the horrid paint-thinner smell of normal oranges. The scent in this case is actually quite pleasant, evoking fragmentary nostalgia.

>>801393
>rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13
A few close calls with the climbing, but no serious delays or injuries. Houses look surprisingly orderly inside, as if people had at least a few days to pack and prepare rather than evacuating in a mad rush. In terms of loot, there's no significant coinage, jewelry, silverware, or other obviously valuable manufactured goods readily to be found, apart from a single tiny glass phial of perfume in one of the fancier bedrooms, but there's more food left behind than you'd expect. Bread, cheese, olives, gourds, root vegetables, jars of spices, all that kind of thing. Some spices can be worth their weight in silver or more. All the little clay jars are stamped with labels, but obscure abbreviations in excessively stylized elvish script have been partially eroded in places, so gimme another roll to identify the good stuff.
>>
No. 802187 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 6, 3 = 10

Hore can smell a feast in a bottle... mmm...

She pants eagerly, waiting for the OK from the others to start grabbing bottles and breads and anything that can be eaten. She'll try to recognize scents and prioritize cost-to-weight ratio. Roll for perception check.
>>
No. 802302 ID: af6e04

>>802077
Vos slithers in a circle admiring his luxurious new hair and singing Tittivila's praise.

>>802187
>Hore wanders back toward the village at the scent of food
"Well," Vos sighs "suppose we won't need her unless bees attack. Right?"
>>
No. 802776 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 5, 3 = 10

>>802187
You're not in the room with Maru, and they're sealed containers. I doubt you can smell any of it from here.

>>802302
>"Well," Vos sighs "suppose we won't need her unless bees attack. Right?"
"Yes, but I would rather have numbers on our side in case they do.

"Hore, focus, please."

>what do
Roll for vigilance / perception / etc, take two on entering the hive, sans portal this time. Any bees or loot beyond the door?
>>
No. 802783 ID: d36af7

>>802187
A certain amount of confusion could reasonably be attributed to Hore's limited understanding of the elvish language and culinary arts, but her nose knows something deeper is wrong here. One jar is clearly labeled "dill seeds," which are NOT supposed to smell minty.
>>
No. 802786 ID: d9d76d

rolled 5, 2, 6 = 13

Maru, somewhat disappointed already by the lack of obviously, brag worthy treasure, is further perturbed by Hores sudden appearance. After some confusion, I assume both Hore and Maru+Daniel are caught up on each others respective situations. Already having determined there's no visible threats and little of interest, Maru leaves Hore to violate the jars by herself, and helps Daniel down from the trees so he can go purify or lift any curses that result from the soon to union between snakEel and giant Bee. Maru stays behind to scavenge at whatever area in the dilapidated village is furthest from the Gnoll. Rolling for tree maneuverings.
>>
No. 802799 ID: d36af7

>>802776
The interior of the hive could be summarized as a warm, waxy wine-cellar. North-south aisles a little over three feet wide, alternating with hexagonal-grid shelving. East-west passages are crawlspaces about four feet in diameter. The first few worker bees vigilantly tickle Viste and Vos with scent-sensitive antennae, but are apparently satisfied that they don't pose a threat.

There's enough room to move around in there, and the ward causes no further injury, but Viste can definitely feel it. Unpleasantly comparable to wearing a corset, or being pinned between two plates of unbreakable glass under a microscope.

All the most readily accessible barrels, those right by the door, seem to be empty. Vos slithers further in and checks the next row, where knocking with his ear pressed to various lids confirms many are full or nearly so. How much honey are you going to try to remove, and how are you going to maneuver heavy barrels through tight spaces? Planning to seek out the queen, the higher-value-density 'royal jelly,' or do a comprehensive survey of the interior with aura sight? Might take a while, since the walls are too thick to see through, and bees tend to accumulate a confusing melange of minor aura traces (along with all that pollen) which then soaks into the wax. That receptivity is why beeswax makes such an ideal base material for far-speech candles, and is so notoriously risky (yet tempting, due to low costs and potential to imitate the translucence of living flesh) in necrolithography.
>>
No. 802801 ID: d36af7

>>802786
Maru negotiates the vine bridges safely, and locates a slightly decrepit yet serviceable wheelbarrow.
>further perturbed by Hores sudden appearance.
The whole village is only a few hundred feet across, the scrounging group seemed to need one more person with a good sense of smell, and the beehive group seemed to need one less aggressive carnivore with the ability to abruptly set everything on fire.
>>
No. 802810 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 3, 4 = 11

>>802783
Well, Hore's not going to eat anything now that she's paranoid about the food. Still, this warrants scientific study. Something is clearly wrong about these bottles, but they'll keep. Hore grabs a few bedsheets and other clean rags, using them as padding for the bottles when she puts them in her bag. Hore decides to take everything she smelled (in case it was poisoned and she needs a cure), then prioritizes the bottles with the least amount of materials (because it stands to reason that expensive or useful spices would be found in smaller quantities in a standard jar, due to short supply). She'll have them appraised later.

>>802786
Hore is dismayed at Maru's dislike of her. Maybe Hore should talk about it on the boat. For now, Hore gives a friendly bark / wave to Maru and Daniel.

>>802801
While waiting for Maru and Daniel to come back, Hore sniffs around for anything else they might have missed, using her cyber scan in a wide area while standing on firm ground. Roll for perception check.
>>
No. 802851 ID: 3abd97

rolled 1, 3, 4 = 8

>>802799
>The first few worker bees vigilantly tickle Viste and Vos with scent-sensitive antennae
Well, while I have apparently non-hostile bees in close proximity, let's cast Detect Poison*. See if their poison is one of the ones that works on Viste or not.

>how are you going to maneuver heavy barrels through tight spaces?
Hmm. Well, google says barrels come in around 33-35 inches in height, so we should be able to roll them, though it will be a tight in the north-south part. (Well, we can roll them, if there are lids or plugs on top. It occurs to me the barrels would have been left open for the bees to fill). Bigger inconvenience is the barrels are probably several hundred pounds each if full.

Unseen Servant could be used as an assist, although the 100 pound limit means it can't lift a barrel on it's own.

We do have the advantage that Vos is a grappler, and a snake now. Maneuvering and moving though the 4'' side passages shouldn't actually impede him, and he's sort of made for manhandling thing. (And he has a block of soap if we need to squeeze past a tight corner). Once we have a straight shot at the door, anyone can probably roll one carefully out.

>How much honey are you going to try to remove
Doesn't seem like we should take more than a few barrels if we don't want to harm the hive.

>Planning to seek out the queen, the higher-value-density 'royal jelly,' or do a comprehensive survey of the interior with aura sight?
Vos' call if he wants to go through with that idea.
>>
No. 802887 ID: d36af7

>>802851
>See if their poison is one of the ones that works on Viste
It is.

>Unseen Servant
>100 pound limit
I'm using the somewhat finer-grained GURPS rules for lifting and encumbrance, under which an Unseen Servant is treated as an amorphous creature with Strength 7, so it can lift 19.6 pounds with "both hands" and carry 24.5 pounds long distances (slowly and with visible difficulty), but can exert much more force when it's simply pushing on a broad flat surface without need for lateral control. Flipping a 120-pound crate over onto it's side, for example, or (under ideal conditions) rigging crude sails onto a two- or even three-ton cargo wagon and then inching it along a smooth road.
>it can't lift a barrel on it's own.
This remains true. Being able to wedge into tight spaces and complement Vos's leverage helps quite a bit, though.
>rolled 1, 3, 4 = 8
An hour or so past midnight, after a lot of exhausting sweaty work, you've maneuvered two barrels out of the hive. Rolling them down to the seashore is comparatively easy.

When you start bringing stuff back and making ready to load it onto the ship, though, the bosun takes an experimental bite of some of the bread, then almost immediately spits it out and categorically denies permission to bring along anything you found here, claiming that it's probably cursed, they've already got adequate provisions, and no space to spare for tramp freight anyhow.
>>
No. 802891 ID: af6e04

rolled 4, 4, 1 = 9

>Planning to seek out the queen
Yes of course, I didn't mutate myself for nothing!

>or do a comprehensive survey of the interior with aura sight?
I would like to, but we are on a time crunch. Unless I can get it done in an hour or so then it might have to wait. As far as royal jelly, only if I'm pretty sure taking the larvae's food won't cause harm to the hive. Rolling to find the queen.
>>
No. 802897 ID: 3d2d5f

>something a PC has seen before
>the oranges didn't smell wrong
>poison compatible
>honey tastes terrible to a normal person
>"dill seeds," which are NOT supposed to smell minty.
>downright bizarre (though consistent) distortions of smell and taste
Viste pauses, and then casts Detect Poison* on the honey to check for metabolic compatibility.
>>
No. 802911 ID: 8bfaf0

rolled 1, 6, 2 = 9

>>802897
And Hore will help. Hopefully the bottles aren't cursed...
>>
No. 802983 ID: d36af7

>>802891
>rolled 4, 4, 1 = 9
An hour later, Vos's seahorse-like abdominal pouch (he can't remember exactly when Tittivila gave him that particular blessing, but it feels good, so the details aren't really all that important) has been pumped full of bee eggs.

>>802897
Magical analysis indicates that the honey is nontoxic. This is unsurprising. Honey actually has well-known disinfectant properties. which is why it never rots, unlike most other forms of nearly pure sugar. Viste's magic cannot yet determine whether a given is nutritious, or will simply pass through her digestive tract inert.
>>
No. 803002 ID: 3abd97

>>802983
Well inert is better than the "actively detrimental" status I imagine a lot of mirrored food would pick up.

Take a sample of honey, apply sniff test, if it passes, taste test.
>>
No. 803091 ID: d36af7

>>803002
The honey is sweet and delicious, sending a ripple of goosebumps and transient golden translucence cascading from Viste's ankles up to the top of her head. Honey is one of the foods that didn't seem to change how it tasted after the incident, so this doesn't prove much one way or another.
>>
No. 803112 ID: 3abd97

rolled 5, 4, 5 = 14

>>803091
Well I didn't react the way the bosson did, so that's saying something.

"I don't think it's cursed. I think this place was made like home."

If the village (but not the people) got reflected, they had to abandon the place because they couldn't safely eat the food anymore than Viste could eat almost anything.

If the bosson won't let us load the barrels and they're potentially no good for resale anyways, cache them somewhere near the docks, I suppose. Maybe we can pay to have them picked up on the return trip, or I can to bring them with then. I'll fill a jar's worth for personal use now if I can, though.

For more conclusive results Viste could examine the collection of jars Hore gathered >>802911 >>802810 (if Hore went and collected stuff Viste can actually eat, I think she earned a place in her good books for the first time), or she could ask Daniel or Ji to cast Detect Poison on a a bee (if the bees read as non-poisonous, that supports my theory. If they still read poisonous, it's inconclusive).

Or you know, the simplest test might be to look for books, manuscripts, anything written. See if it's backwards.

Might be a good location to build the new family holding eventually. Probably can buy or claim the area at bargain basement prices since it's worthless to anyone else right now. And being near a planer boundary might have other advantages with her powerset.

(Once I'm done trying to confirm my theory, do we have anything left to do here? Was Maru going to look for more stuff, or was Vos going to try to consecrate the hive as a shrine? ...or did seducing the Queen already do that)?
>>
No. 803219 ID: af6e04

rolled 6, 1, 4 = 11

>>802983
>pumped full of bee eggs.
Vos will respectfully promise to safely carry the queen's offspring and return when they have grown. Then he'll collect some royal jelly with which to feed them. After that he'll pray to have the hive consecrated as a shrine to Tittivila.

Once this is all taken care of, Vos will return to the ship to excitedly relate everything that happened, sparing no detail.
>>
No. 803255 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 6, 1 = 11

>Opportunity to earn favor from Davina
Hore attempts to sort out the food so Davina can eat it. An application of interdimensional physics and scent recognition might be enough to figure out what was 'reflected' as tasty for phase-shifted.
>>
No. 803286 ID: d36af7

>>803255
Apart from being mirrored, the bread is stale and in some cases moldy, but otherwise fine for Davina to eat. Jars of spices, unfortunately, seem to be mostly contaminated by a mix of mirrored and un-mirrored material. Moot point for the time being if you're leaving it all behind, per the bosun's insistence.

A week after the empty village with the bees, almost three weeks since leaving Passholdt, you've traveled a total of fifteen hundred miles up the coast, and should be well into civilized lands. I say "should be" because the next little coastal settlement you were planning to stop and spend the night at appears to be under attack by a small army of bandits.
>>
No. 803298 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 3, 5 = 13

>>803286
Hore prepares her equipment as she waits for the inevitable request from the party to charge in and save the settlement with glorified mass murder. A pity her arm is still unhealed, but she knows bandit tactics and she's fairly certain the party can take them on with guerrilla tactics.

Meanwhile, Azure has chosen to study more on medical skills this week. After two weeks without treating Pog or any other patient in some way, she's worried her skills may get rusty. Azure will request materials for building splints, salves, gauze bandages, and other such medical supplies so she can apply them more effectively on the field. If any of that is deemed too dangerous, she'll just ask for a book on intermediate emergency aid and ask the other cellmates to quiz her. Roll to determine how well she studies.

Also, Azure is considering the Gug missions, but wants to hear from Rhea.
>>
No. 803304 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 5, 1 = 8

>the next little coastal settlement you were planning to stop and spend the night at appears to be under attack by a small army of bandits
Spot check please.

How big is the village, how many bandits do we see? Do they appear land bound, or does it look they came in by sea (pirates or vikings). Are there ships they might intercept us with if we try to sail past? Seize weapons they could sink us with? What's the scale of destruction we can see? Have we been noticed yet? How wide is the river here?

tldr- insufficient information to decide on fight or flight or to plan specific tactics.
>>
No. 803350 ID: fc3fc0

>>803304
Maru squares her shoulders and prepares to disembark with a grimace on her face. She's itching for a fight, true, but she doesn't like the idea of killing people for coin. Being someone else's goon is never an appealing prospect, but cutting other people down for money is just distasteful. Not much she can do about it now though- loyalty to the crew she's signed up with takes precedence over personal feelings. She makes a comment to Davina though regarding her dissatisfaction with what they have to do.
>>
No. 803386 ID: d36af7

>>803304
>How wide is the river here?
You left the mouth of the Stoneheart River three days after leaving Passholdt, and for the subsequent seventeen days, have been traveling along the coast of a major body of saltwater which is hundreds or possibly thousands of miles wide. Sailing out of sight of land would not normally be advisable on such a small ship, but is certainly physically possible.

>How big is the village
Two or three hundred people, mostly noncombatants.
>how many bandits do we see?
Roughly a hundred infantry, thirty or forty light cavalry, one low-to-mid level magic user.
>Do they appear land bound,
Almost certainly. They're attacking from the land side, through crude fortifications, rather than the docks.
>Are there ships they might intercept us with if we try to sail past?
Not unless piddly little fishing boats overloaded with women and children are a lot faster and more dangerous than they look.
>Seize weapons they could sink us with?
Doesn't seem to be any significant artillery in action on either side.
>What's the scale of destruction we can see?
There's a thatched-roof house burning, probably from a volley of flaming arrows, and a line of people with buckets trying to put it out or at least contain it. Looks like the serious fighting is just getting started.
>Have we been noticed yet?
Viste and Yisheng Ji have had enough time to work out a routine of scouting ahead with portals in a nautical context, so probably not.
>>
No. 803390 ID: 094652

Alright, Hore's got a game plan.

The wizard is the crux of the enemy's army. One wizard can buff and command a hundred bandits, so he needs to be taken out stealthily and quickly. They shouldn't reveal their presence to the greater horde until the wizard is confirmed dead.

Many bandits tend to have a violent superstitious attitude about religion, and so they'll target churches and town halls first, both as a means of 'absolving' themselves of guilt from the religion of the people they're pillaging, and because the sheeple tend to congregate in those places with all their loot and no military-grade weapons when there's a war going on. So the team needs to hit the churches and other social areas first, defeat the bandits there before it's too late.

Finally, the cavalry. This is Hore's job. Horseback mendicant knights (aka assholes riding dicks) tend to be stronger, smarter, and faster than the average mook. In turn, their mounts are stronger, faster and stupider than them. Scare the horse with some magic tricks or a plasma bolt, and they'll panic from something they haven't been trained for. Hore can fire into their central ranks, while Viste can set up portals behind them, to drop them from the air, which should scare the ground troops with falling horses and men splattering all over the ground. If the horses aren't scared of a little green lightning, Vos can use a mutation to put the fear in the horses.

Now for tactics: Viste, Vos, and Hore will scout out the cavalry, waiting for an appropriate time to use their special moves to disable and terrorize the shock troopers. Maria, Daniel, and Ji, are to find the nearest church and start evacuating refugees to a safer area. Maru, find the wizard and do whatever to stop his magic. If anyone has a better idea, go ahead - Hore isn't sure who should go where but the primary mission objectives are clear.

Primary Mission: Kill the chain of command and send the horde fleeing
Objective A: Kill / incapacitate the wizard
Objective B: Neutralize / terrorize the cavalry / infantry.
Secondary Mission: Evacuate the majority of civilians and escape.
>>
No. 803405 ID: 3abd97

>Being someone else's goon is never an appealing prospect, but cutting other people down for money is just distasteful.
"Far more distasteful may be standing by and doing nothing as others are cut down for money. Which is what I think we are looking at."

We're outnumbered worse than 10 to 1 if we decide to intervene. The bandits are occupied, and have no apparent easy means to intercept our vessel if we choose to sail past. If we don't need to stop here, we shouldn't.

Best outcome for intervention would be identifying leadership and/or heavy hitters (like the caster), mounting a surgical strike to remove them, and hoping that causes the rest to break and retreat. But we have little assurance the others will let up on their pillaging, and any intervention places ourselves and our charges at greater risk.

>>803390
>objectives
Primary objective is to do our job and keep our merchant vessel safe. Secondary objective is to keep ourselves hale and healthy.

Or possibly swapped around, but we don't admit that in front of clients.
https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-01-28

Interceding on behalf of civilians in a fight we can avoid and don't have the power to win flat out is very far down the list of tertiary concerns.
>>
No. 803408 ID: d22dc0

>>803405
I was under the impression we needed somewhere to stop for the time being- if we can keep sailing it might be a better choice, but making land two hours down the shore isn't a sure fire way to avoid the bandit army.

>Far more distasteful may be standing by and doing nothing as others are cut down for money.

"Different outlooks I 'spose. I doubt de townsfolk are saints demselves. Arseholes killin arseholes is what I see. It's different when ya out dere, tryna scrape by in de trees. Sure, dem folks got 'orses an such, but we don't 'ave much to go on oder dan "peoeple w' swords are killin people w'out swords". Plenta times in 'istory dats been de good folk I'm sure."

If we don't have to fight, we probably shouldn't. I'm not conviced simply sailing away is a safe option though- if we get spotted, no doubt the bandits will wait for us to make landfall, and we'll be risking not only our bonus, but our lives. If we have to engage, portaling in offers us a safer retreat option and means that the bandits have other targets. Once our ship is in range of flaming arrows and magic users though, we're in deep. Worth considering that we may have a better chance to secure our cargo, and be hopefully a bit safer, if we're fighting in the town. If it comes down to a vote, Maru will side with Davina.
>>
No. 803410 ID: 3abd97

>>803408
Fair point that we need to check with the captain / bosun if we're able to simply skip this port. (If there's enough light to reach somewhere else, if we can safely sail through the night, if the crew has the endurance to keep going, if they were depending on resupplying, etc).

If it's simply a matter of needing to stop for supplies or fresh water- condense water should be working pretty much optimally at sea, and we can reach land with portals in other locations, even without a port or natural harbor.
>>
No. 803413 ID: af6e04

Vos is going to go help stop these bandits no matter who goes with him. Anybody who agrees to help will be rewarded with many eelman hugs and nuzzles.
>>
No. 803419 ID: 3abd97

>>803413
"I seem to remember us making promises that run counter to that Vos."
>>770175
>>778583

"I will not open a portal just for you to get yourself killed.

"We engage with a viable plan or not at all. No running off alone."
>>
No. 803437 ID: af6e04

>>803419
Vos sighs as he's reminded of the promise he made to Davina and vice versa. "Suppose you have me by the tail this time. But there must be something we can do to help?"

Vos points out that despite their vastly superior arms, the bandits are still outnumbered. Maybe if the leader is killed then the attack will be called off. Perhaps we could persuade the bandit leader into a duel?
>>
No. 803471 ID: 74621b

>>803386
>bandits would have difficulty engaging us
>they only have a single wizard
>facing down their army is impossible
>>803437
>persuade the bandit leader into a duel?

Yisheng Ji notes that we are mercenaries, not heroes or saints, and are not beholden to sacrifice ourselves against overwhelming odds in the name of justice. Furthermore, drawing attention to ourselves is likely to be actively detrimental to our current mission (for which we are being paid). However, that doesn't mean it is outside of our capacity to help. Though, we lack the firepower to fight an entire army, it is certainly within our means to assassinate their wizard and thus de-power the bandit army to mundane status for another, stronger and more righteous group to more easily clean up in the future.

If someone (perhaps Viste, as the most mobile) is willing to perform a swift surprise attack on the wizard when we enter a close enough range, Yisheng Ji will expend a Sanctuary spell to act as a temporary shield until you make contact. It will disperse very quickly (and immediately upon attacking, if it hasn't already expired by that time), so you will be on your own for the return trip. However, when you return, Yisheng Ji will do what he can to heal whatever injuries you sustain. Make sure not to step back on the deck before that happens though, or your injuries will lose us our bonus.

It is a shame we cannot wipe them out as we are now, but at the very least, future loss of innocent life will be reduced if we succeed.
>>
No. 803482 ID: d36af7

>>803410
Bosun says there's no strict requirement to stop here, or really anywhere, except for mail delivery and the main destination at Overmire. Can't safely sail through the night, but it's simple enough to anchor the ship and wait for morning. Main benefits of frequent overnight shore leave is supplementing the hardtack and salted meat with fresh fruits and vegetables, which is for health and morale rather than an immediate necessity of survival.
>>
No. 803493 ID: 3abd97

>>803437
Now that we've convinced Vos not to run off solo, at least, we have two options.

Option 1 is to sail past at a safe distance and put down anchor at sea.

Option 2 would be intervention.

A surgical strike via portal on the bandit leadership and/or caster might throw them into disarray. Viste for surprise attack and transport, Maria and Hore if we want flashy pyrotechnics to try and scare the others. Portaling Maru among the defenders to buff them with battle hymn might be a good force multiplier, but splitting up is another risk / complication. Disengaging after the portal hit strikes me as maybe the trickiest part. We can be pursued through portals by infantry.

If the bandits had any important infrastructure or vehicles Ji might be able to do an aerial bombing run with greekfire with impunity. Or he could place a Least Geometric Atrocity in front of the city walls to make life hard on bandits (although I suspect casting range and/or time will make this unfeasible). Using sanctuary for lite invulnerability on an assassination run is clever (unless portal slashes count as an attack to the spell's logic).

I'm pretty sure options: "take the army on head on", or "assist the bandits" are off the table.

Current vote is Davina and Maru leaning against intervention, Vos Hore and Ji for? Baring anyone flipping on specific proposed plans or the Agate voting block setting it. And no one has seen fit to give the millipede a vote, and Davina's not about to try an claim and extra ballot for Viste.
>>
No. 803502 ID: 094652

Hore feels that their talents are wasted when there's a town to counter-pillage and civilians to save, but they're not ready to take on the entire bandit army at a singe time, so if Davina and the others can't find a way to break the chain of command or even save a few civilians, then they should just focus on the lifeboats and escort the currently fleeing civilians to safer shores.

So if they have a stealth plan, then do it, if not, then focus on the boats.
>>
No. 803503 ID: af6e04

>>803493
>Disengaging after the portal hit strikes me as maybe the trickiest part. We can be pursued through portals by infantry.
Viste could portal out into the water, where Vos would be waiting to quickly swim her back to shore. Added bonus would be that pursuing bandits would end up far away from the main force, surprised and floundering. Warding is a possibility though if they have a caster. Wonder if Vos would be able to detect it from a long distance with aura sight?
>>
No. 803504 ID: af6e04

>quickly swim her back to shore
Or to the ship, rather
>>
No. 803509 ID: 3abd97

>>803502
Evacuating civilians is a problem solved by logistics, supplies, and large scale transport capacity. We don't have those. We have a single merchant ship with whose carrying capacity is already spoken for.

>>803503
Escape portaling into water would make us hard to pursue, yeah. Hard part from there is getting back on the ship. (I guess we could bring along a teak shield to set up as a lily pad). Makes evacuating any of our own wounded harder if any of us get hurt, though.

And yes, it's pretty necessary to have Vos and Maria try to check for wards before we send a strike team. (Also important to check where our target is. If the bandit chief and/or the caster is say, standing right in the middle of a large infantry formation, for example, I don't see how we hit them without being stabbed from every direction right after).
>>
No. 803513 ID: 74621b

>>803493
>aerial bombing run with greekfire
Not much of a bombing run with only two flasks. And as we've seen on two previous occasions, greekfire does negligible damage to enemies. It's really only useful for destroying items that are already lumped into a convenient heap. If there were a dry wooden storeroom somewhere, maybe greekfire could ruin some supplies, but that's the limit. Think of them as "faster flint and tinder", not grenades.

>place a Least Geometric Atrocity in front of the city walls to make life hard on bandits
>I suspect casting range and/or time will make this unfeasible
That, and if by some chance the bandits are actually defeated, it would make life hard on whoever comes afterward. Not much point to reclaiming salted earth.

Yisheng Ji is willing to be the person going out to take on the wizard if Viste does not, as he is the next most mobile. He is rather less confident about his ability to perform a clean hit, however, as he has no life-threatening abilities. He'll go fetch a knife and sheath it in his belt before standing by the railing of the ship at the ready, raising his eyebrows meaningfully towards Davina as he does so.
>>
No. 803515 ID: af6e04

>Makes evacuating any of our own wounded harder if any of us get hurt, though.
Vos will have his healing abilities on standby. We could even have Ji out there, standing on top of a floating leaf or something.
>>
No. 803522 ID: 3abd97

>>803513
Fair analysis on the greekfire, we don't have a good target for it. (I want the option to firebomb a hostile pirate ship or such in the future, anyways).

As I understand it, LGA only lasts a day unless specifically reinforced, which makes it viable as a temporary ground-denial tactic rather than salted earth. (Bigger problem is getting into position to cast it, I think).

>Ji's bit at the end there
Davina bristles and flickers for a moment, then shakes her head.

"No, if we're doing this, Viste is the correct choice."

>planning
Okay so far:

* Viste portals to bandit caster (not directly from the ship), buffed with mage armor and sanctuary
* Vos as backup, also mage armor, carrying a teak shield (strapped to back?) (I like a strike team better than going in solo if there's any resistance or anything goes wrong).
* Assassinate
* Portal to ocean- projectiles won't traverse portal effectively, and pursuers will be at a big disadvantage to Vos in the water.
* Use shield as a lily pad to portal to ship (we're pouring some water over the deck if we do this, but a ship should be built to handle that).

Considerations:

* Maria and/or Vos need to check if the attack site is warded
* We need to check where our target is / bandit distribution before we attack. Enemy formation may make current plan non-viable.
* Are we taking anyone else? (Obviously there's a trade off of firepower versus how quickly the group can pass through a portal). Are we doing anything else at the same time?
>>
No. 803536 ID: af6e04

>>803522
Vos thinks this plan is good, but he's not confident in his ward detecting skills from this far away. Might be better to stealthily go ashore first to perform a better survey with aura sight. Also might be worthwhile to inform the villagers of our intentions.
>>
No. 803546 ID: 3abd97

>>803536
We want a shore-side staging area to initiate the attack from (so we don't leave an open portal to the ship) in the ambush, which would allow a closer ward check.

It occurs to me we then have 3 retreat options as necessary: (1) step back through the original portal, (2) open new portal somewhere on land or (3) portal to open water, and then in all three cases hold it till it closes then portal to the ship.

>coordinate with the town
Unless we plan to aid their defense directly (Maru using battle-hymn, or Daniel casting bless to buff defenders?) I think that complicates more than it helps.
>>
No. 803552 ID: fc3fc0

Maru is gonna stay put on the boat- she'd likely make things worse if she went down with Vos and "Viste". Hore seems eager for the fight though, and it might help to have 3 people down there with you. We're assuming you can just portal in, do a bit of stabbing and portal out but wizards are tricky business. We can't assume the caster is going to be a pushover just because you have the advantage of surprise. Prepare yourself mentally at least for an actual fight.

Can Maru give everyone a pep talk, and apply a dose of bardic inspiration to each person on the away team? She should have enough if only 2-3 of them are going, but I wasn't sure how long it lasted
>>
No. 803554 ID: d36af7

>>803513
>no life-threatening abilities
Pressure point techniques can temporarily paralyze a limb; lacking a functional hand to perform necessary gestures impairs the ability to cast many spells. While they're distracted wondering how you did that, and by watching a miscast spell backfire, shove something sharp into their unarmored neck, or maybe a kidney, with surgical precision.
>>
No. 803556 ID: d36af7

>>803552
Maru's inspired rage applies equally to all allies in earshot, no matter how many that is, for a flat rate of 1 breath per 6 seconds in combat. It's a song you sing during the battle, not rationed out beforehand. If you're planning tricky stuff with the bandit's rear area or command structure, best place to put Maru might be among the town's defenders, rallying a big distracting counterattack. Heroic fury doesn't necessarily mix well with disciplined hit-and-fade tactics.
>>
No. 803559 ID: d22dc0

>>803556
Gottcha, I misunderstood the nature of the ability; I was under the impression it worked like a 5e bard ability that either gave people extra dice on rolls or let them re-roll certain die. I thought it was a completely separate ability from her the song of rage aspect of her guitar.

I agree though, it seems counter intuitive to send the person who makes everyone angry and bloodlust and want to fight and kill more into the bandit army slaughtering civilians. Maru also doesn't want to go in and summon her ax, but that's mainly because she uses it when she bears malice towards someone, and wants to cause them pain or kill them. She doesn't want to kill the bandits, and thusly doesn't want to go down and use her ax. She doesn't have any knuckle dusters or anything like that for unarmed combat though, so she's not gonna do much good down on shore for the goals the team wants to accomplish.
>>
No. 803560 ID: d36af7

>>803559
All allies in earshot. It won't affect the bandits, just make the defenders more willing and able to fight back.
>>
No. 803578 ID: 3d2d5f

>>803556
Considering morale and being less battle hardened than the bandits (even if the No Civilian Elves trope is potentially in effect, depending on the makeup of the village) is likely one of the defender's big disadvantages, this seems like a good idea to me.

Possibly drop Hore and Maria in town too, for the shock and awe effect of pyrotechnics coming over the wall?

Unexpectedly strong resistance with unexpected firepower followed by a surprise attack from the rear by alien looking creatures with strange magic (Viste already has been mistaken for a bound demon, Vos is pretty wild looking, and I bet the shimmering planes of force effect of the mage armor only exacerbates things) is probably our best bet for someone deciding "this is not the easy target we expected / this is not the opposition we planned for" and sounding a retreat. Or for bandit forces breaking in a panic.

If we score a psychological victory or break enemy morale we potentially score a win. I think we'll be forced to withdraw if we don't though. As Ji said, we can hurt the bandits, but we lack the power to win a straight up fight versus an army.
>>
No. 803651 ID: 67456a

Maria is mostly good for melting down individual enemies, and Daniel can probably heal people (while also keeping his AC up with Coat of Many Stars).

I'll leave the tactics up to everyone else, I'm terrible at that sort of thing.
>>
No. 804828 ID: d36af7

Viste steps out of a portal behind the bandit leader, on top of a roughly elephant-sized boulder where he's looking over the battlefield, and sticks her sword through his back. Misses his spine by about the width of three fingers. She can feel the blade as it punctures through a heavy leather coat, the muscles below his right shoulderblade, scrapes between ribs, the frothy pink meringue of a lung, more ribs, pectoral muscle, two more layers of armor-weight leather, and finally emerges to open air on the other side. A surge of triumphant pride sets the blade flickering out of phase as she slashes up and to the left, so his heart and spinal cord only get a ghostly tickle instead of being cleaved in half, but even so, that's not the sort of wound normal people just walk away from. The motion carries through to flick his blood across the crowd of his followers.

Apparently this bandit leader is not a normal person. He turns to face her, and his expression is pure rage, without a trace of confusion or fear, even when he tries to speak and nothing but gurgling red foam comes out. Apart from the hole through his chest, he's got a mark on his forehead, like somebody carved a complicated symbol with a dull knife and then kept trying to re-do it for weeks until it got infected, His left sideburn and about two-thirds of his right jaw are clean shaven, while the rest is a scraggly mess of two-inch-long unkempt beard. His coat is dark mottled orange, which might make decent camouflage and light armor for scouts or couriers in certain rocky deserts, or autumnal woodlands, but against a backdrop of gloriously verdant cropland and dark grey stone it clashes. His eyes are pure cobalt-glass blue, without whites or pupils. He's got a sword of his own, a bronze scimitar with five jangling rings along the back edge and strange crooked protrusions from the handguard. He's holding the blade low, almost horizontal, and slipping his left hand into a coat pocket.
>>
No. 804856 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 6, 3 = 10

>>804828
Slithering in after Viste, Vos will attempt to grapple the bandit leader when he sees things haven't gone entirely according to plan.
>>
No. 804866 ID: d36af7

>>804856
Upon emerging from the portal, Vos is stunned for a few crucial seconds by the aura-sight equivalent of crashing into a cartload of manure.
>>
No. 804875 ID: 3abd97

rolled 5, 6, 1 = 12

So. Physically tough enough and/or magically reinforced enough to fight on through what would normally be a fatal injury. Current inability to speak is good- casting often has a spoken component, and it prevents him from speaking orders. Possible enchanted weapon- rings on the back edge couldn't serve much other practical purpose.

He'll likely pursue if we tried to disengage, and we're committed at this point. If he refuses to die properly I suppose we take him to pieces until he can't fight back, or until we can destroy what's reinforcing him (rune on the forehead?).

If he's a construct, or artificially augmented, or an undead, Tittivila's blessing might be harmful to what's keeping him together once Vos gets a grip on him.

>what do
>slipping his left hand into a coat pocket
Well, if he thinks whatever is in his pocket is worth having in the middle of a fight, it's probably worth trying to deny him it.

Let's try and disable, main, or otherwise injure his left arm. (If we're facing reach other, and Viste is left handed while he's holding his sword right handed, his left side is the hardest for him to guard until he pivots to put his off hand behind him. Which he might not immediately do if he's trying to bring a weapon or tool to bear from the left).
>>
No. 804881 ID: fc3fc0

rolled 2, 6, 4 = 12

Stepping out from one of the portals Viste chained together to drop everyone off, Maru goes along with her part of the plan, rally the towns defenders for a big counter attack, hopefully ensuring that it takes some pressure off Davina Hore and Vos if they get surrounded.

Rolling to make it to the defenders, convince them I'm on their side, and doll a breath of inspired song to unify their forces and make a push against the attackers.
>>
No. 804884 ID: f51003

rolled 6, 5, 2 = 13

>>804866
Not sure if I'm stunned for this whole round. I'll post an action just in case.

May Tittivila soothe this man's damaged soul, Vos will go for the grapple again. If Viste can't finish him with the next strike, it might be wise to pull him through a portal to finish the job on the other side.
>>
No. 804911 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 2, 1 = 6

Hore quickly scans the battlefield for a sniper, aims while everyone is distracted by the Bandit Leader and Viste, and fires her new sniper plasma round! As the bandits quickly turn in her direction, Hore uses her terrifying presence and a frightening Gnoll laugh, demanding the bandits run lest she @#$% their corpses and bury the living in pools of ... well, she's out of scorpions. Guess she'll have to make do with the crate of week-starved poison-drugged rats! Oh, they've finally reached the tipping point where they alternate between bashing their heads to dull the pain and eating the pregnant rats, fetuses and all!!!

Hore will stick close to Vos as she snipes out archers. The bandits stupid enough to charge in get a cone attack followed by Hore's expertise in close-quarters crowd control.
>>
No. 804942 ID: d36af7

>>804881
There's a watchtower with an iron bell that's clearly audible everywhere in town. It was already ringing, of course, just in case anyone was still asleep in hed who might have otherwise been able to contribute to the defense, but Maru takes over for some junior monk and adds a more complex rhythm to the tintinnabulation.
>>804911
Hore, meanwhile, is up on the wall, setting fire to anyone on the attacking side who looks like a squad leader or siege engineer.

>>804875
Viste's sword cuts into the bandit leader's left upper arm, drawing more blood, but not quite deep enough to sever muscles around the shoulder joint and stop him from lifting the arm. He counterattacks, lunging between her and the portal she arrived through, then a series of broad sweeping slashes, forcing her to retreat onto the precariously sloped edge of the boulder, but she simply opens a new portal positioned to outflank him. He can't quite pivot around fast enough to face her, but flips the scimitar into a reversed grip to deflect a second backstab.
>>804884
Following Viste's cue, Vos grabs the bandit leader's left arm, attempting to twist it around into some less useful and/or more painful position, with limited success. The possessed man flicks his thumb to remove the cork from a shot-glass-sized bottle and moves it, inch by inch, closer to his lips.

Viste simultaneously goes on the offensive, but he deflects every serious attack, sees right through the subtlest feints, even manages a riposte to test her own defenses... all while distracted by trying to handle that potion, partly immobilized by a grappler, AND mortally wounded. You're not sure you can take this guy.
>>
No. 804956 ID: 3abd97

rolled 2, 6, 6 = 14

>You're not sure you can take this guy.
No, I'm not. But I'm also pretty sure that means we can't disengage unless he lets us. Plan "portal to the ocean" might work, assuming he can't walk on water, or fly.

>a shot-glass-sized bottle and moves it, inch by inch, closer to his lips
Then we have a few seconds before it gets there, and Vos is already in touch range with a grapple.

"Bless his hand."

Call it Tittivila's judgement. If he's truly irredeemable, or if he's using necromancy or some other foul art to reinforce his body (and resist change) the blessing will harm him. If he can change? It's his chance at redemption- to adapt or die. To be other than the bandit he has been, or to die fighting to cling to the past.

On our more practical level all we need is for him to fumble, drop or spill the potion. Less than a radical reconstruction of his hand (or arm) could accomplish that. A radical reconstruction (flipper, hoof) surely will.

Another possible tactic might be to open a portal to Hore for a fire-cone attack. The bandit boss can't dodge an AOE attack while grappled, Vos' mage armor should shield him from the worst of it, and if the potion-bottle shatters from the heat, or the potion is boiled off, it's no good to the boss.

Roll for continued swordplay.
>>
No. 804967 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 5, 5 = 11

>>804911
>>804942
Hore is doing fairly well with one arm, burying her axe in an enemy, followed by a cone of plasma or a sniper shot at an enemy in the back row, then drawing her axe or a dropped weapon and continuing again. But her arm is getting tired, and the frequent plasma blasts are generating more heat than the cooldown can compensate for. When was the last time she ever fought in a war with one hand tied? Oh that's right, never.

Hore shouts to the nearby town guards to rally around her, and switches to sniper mode. Viste and the others had better finish this fight soon, or she'll abandon her position and attempt to escort them out of the combat zone. She could shoot the Bandit Leader, but given all the magic and enchantments and buffs he stuffed into himself, Hore is fairly certain the bolt would be absorbed or reflect back at her or curve around into Vos' head or turn those baby bees into boot squash. Hore will fire at the Bandit Leader if Vos or Viste yells at her to take the damn shot.
>>
No. 804973 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 5, 3 = 9

>>804956
>"Bless his hand."

Vos nods and performs the flesh blessing. Roll is to channel a flood of uncontrolled divine mutagenic energy through this bandit leader's hand, allowing Tittivila's judgement to flow freely.
>>
No. 805112 ID: d36af7

>>804956
Blades lock together, and he's just about to use those hilt-barbs to twist Viste's sword out of her hand...
>>804973
...when his left arm melts into a club-ended tentacle, with a pocket of skin fully enclosing the potion vial. Vos lets go, and the bandit leader obligingly punches himself in the face.
>>
No. 805118 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 2, 5 = 8

Hore is far from exhausted but she's still losing steam as her stamina depletes and her pistol overheats. She resorts to her throwing knives to give herself time to recuperate.

Roll to determine how well she is currently doing, now that she's on the defensive.
>>
No. 805168 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13

>>/questdis/112024
>Well, he just punched himself in the face. Can you stab him now?
Indeed.

Viste will exploit her foe's temporary disadvantage to escape from lock and score what additional damage she can.
>>
No. 805170 ID: af6e04

rolled 2, 3, 6 = 11

No more screwing around. Vos will pick his spear back up and run it through the bandit leader's side while he's engaged with Viste.
>>
No. 805232 ID: d36af7

>>805118
The bandits were expecting a relatively easy victory. Now that they're facing unexpected ferocity from the town guards, and sniper fire, and their leader's distracted by a duel, morale is starting to crumble.

A sixteen-year-old girl flies up onto the wall. She's got a row of tiny red dragon scales down the bridge of her nose, a softball-sized glob of smoldering purple goo floating over her left hand, and a slinky black dress that seems completely inappropriate for battlefield conditions right up until one of Hore's thrown knives bounces off it without leaving a mark.

>>805168
His head's recoiling from the punch, and that reversed grip would make it difficult to parry high-angle attacks even if his blade wasn't so far out of line as it is at the moment. Viste sees, and seizes, what seems like the best opening she's gotten since the fight started: a thrust to the throat that might very well take the bandit leader's head clean off.
>rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13
He catches the blade with the fused lump of his off-hand. The tip penetrates tumorous flesh to strike glass inside. An oversized blister tears open, the potion vial pops out, lands in his mouth. Tentacle-arm tightens around the sword, wrenching it out of her hand. He kicks her in the stomach, hard enough to knock her back to the edge of the platform furthest from those three existing portals, while pivoting to face Vos.

>>805170
And not a moment too soon. He half-dodges the spear aimed at his own gut, catching it between the two layers of the front of his coat, then coughs, spits out a now-empty potion vial along with quite a lot of frothy blood, and croaks "We had a deal, eel-man. Or are you not from around here?"
>>
No. 805248 ID: af6e04

rolled 2, 2, 3 = 7

>>805232
Vos will immediately and viciously bull rush the bandit leader with intent to tackle him off the boulder on which the three are fighting.

Vos will try to land in such a way as to not squish his bee children.
>>
No. 805296 ID: d22dc0

rolled 2, 3, 3 = 8

>>804942
Maru has been doing her best to observe the chaos as she rallys the people from her place in the bell tower, but after about 30 seconds she can't sit by while everyone endangers themselves.

She Davina and Vos seem to be in deep shit with the bandit leader, but if whoever this chick with the black night gown and the force field has magic, that's a serious threat to our livelihood. Maru makes the call, and goes to try to neutralize the caster. If the wall is tall enough that a fall looks like it may leave her unable to move afterwards, she's going to try to run full speed at the girl and try to tackle her.

If the wall looks like a reasonable distance to fall, say 20 feet or less, Maru is going to try to tackle this girl off the wall.
>>
No. 805378 ID: d36af7

>>805248
The Knight of Tittivila pushes off with his tail like a coil spring, chitinous claw pinching the bandit's sword aside. It cuts into the joint, but that's nothing a bit of healing goo won't fix. The two of them fall together through the portal by which Viste initially arrived, then out of a tall tree, after which Vos rides the bandit leader like a toboggan, head-first down a rocky slope toward the beachside staging area. They come to a stop surrounded by Yisheng Ji, the Agate siblings, and half a dozen halberd-wielding guardsmen from the town (acting as liaisons).

The bandit leader is, amazingly, still alive, conscious, even manages to squirm out from under Vos and stand up on his own, but is looking much worse for wear. He shakily spreads his hands in a nonthreatening manner, but still has the sword's hilt hooked over one thumb.
>>
No. 805380 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 3, 4 = 8

Realizing that Maru is just twenty feet away from air-assassinating the dragon girl, Hore opts for a distraction. Hore aims her plasma pistol at the bandit leader, looks at the girl, and says with a gnollish grin:

"You had better surrender now. Because when I'm done with him, he will beg me to kill you, for fear of how far I can defile YOU."

Hore aimed for center mass... but as the dragon girl charges, Hore fired without looking, requiring a bolt of green more than a direct hit (hoping to get the attention of the gang), and shifts her target to the dragon girl, grabbing her axe and chopping the girl in the lower torso just as Maru connects.
>>
No. 805400 ID: 258faf

rolled 5, 5, 6 = 16

Vos will quickly snatch the bandit's sword away and pat him down for anymore weapons. I assume getting back up to the portal is unlikely, but can Vos see Viste from here?
>>
No. 805415 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 5, 4, 6 = 15

So I can I assume the bandit chief dropped my sword somewhere in that tackle and fall and an Invisible Maid has returned it to my side?

>He shakily spreads his hands in a nonthreatening manner, but still has the sword's hilt hooked over one thumb.
Viste arrives on scene, portalling through portals.

"If you would yield, surrender your weapon."

Stay on high alert, here. As long as this man is armed, and even when he isn't, he remains dangerous.
>>
No. 805524 ID: d36af7

>>805296
Belltower is near the center of town, not attached to the wall. Which path is Maru taking on her way to assist Hore: back-tracing the portals through which they initially deployed, jumping between rooftops, or the slow safe way down at street level?

>>805415
Viste falls off the boulder into a mob of dozens of angry bandits armed with spears and axes. Her sword hasn't returned just yet.

>>805400
>rolled 5, 5, 6 = 16
Vos retrieves his spear and both swords from the surrendering bandit leader, sets them aside, and spends a minute or so thoroughly searching the man without locating any items of interest. He's pretty sure that if there were weapons or other dangerous surprises hidden in that voluminous long-sleeved coat, he would've found them.

The spear's still where he left it, in plain sight out on the sand, but, despite all the witnesses, and clear illumination provided by the Agate siblings amid the fading pink-orange glory of sunset, nobody's quite sure where either of those two swords went.
>>
No. 805554 ID: fc3fc0

rolled 2, 1, 4 = 7

>>805524
Ah, thanks for the clarification, I thought they were attached. In that case, given that the portals likely decayed before Maru decided to leave the bell tower, Maru will change tactics. She'll yell out to Hore, assuming she can see the surrender of the bandit leader and davinas tumble into a pile of armed bandits before she leaves the bell tower.

"OY! LOOKS LIKE WE GOT WAT WE CAME FOR, TIME TO BUG OUT. IF WE GET SEPERATED, HEAD FROUGH DE SWAMPS TOWARDS BADON AND FIND AFHUR."

The second sentence is a bluff, made with the hope of misleading or confusing any of the numerous foes within earshot, but notably the mage. Hopefully Hore realizes she's not actually implying that they backtrack on land to meet up with someone they've never referenced or mentioned before.

After that, she'll rush to Davinas aid, and from about 40 feet away, use her pen knife to score herself, summon her ax, and cast compel hostility on one of the bandits threatening Viste
" 'EY EEL-FUCKERS, I 'OPE YA 'AD FUN PLAYIN WIF MY PET DEMON, CAUSE ITS DE LAST FING YA EVER GONNA GET TO DO."
>>
No. 805557 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 5, 6 = 15

>>805554
Hore's been in enough raids to know that open communication is usually cream-filled with blatant lies because soldiers are conditioned to believe superior officers, even if those officers happen to be on the opposing side. Makes playing both sides easier when there's little to no chance of the infantry realizing they're just pieces of meat for the generals to fry and feed each other. So, the time has come to retreat. Good. Hore can't fight three minutes longer without risking her fingers - and consequently, her life.

Still, this girl seems familiar. Hore has never seen her before. But she has heard stories. As the heiress to a grand fortune, Azure trusts less than a dozen people, Hore most of all. But there was one who came in at a close second.

Hore begins a conversation with the dragon girl as she retreats, ordering the town guard to fall back with her:

"And so the die is cast, two unrepentant sinners cast on different flags with no cause but the ones we whim to follow. You know - excuse me for a moment. VOS! TAKE OFF HIS COAT, IT MIGHT HAVE NINJA GAS SPELL-WEAVED INSIDE OR SOMETHING!!! Right. You know, a little birdie told me a story about a friend she made, someone who I could trust if we ever met: the step-daughter of a legendary bandit king, an aspiring elementalist who dreamt of becoming a dragoness made of pure aether. You wouldn't happen to know the one about the parrot harpy and the pig-faced orc, would you?"
>>
No. 805581 ID: 13d7b7

rolled 1, 1, 6 = 8

>>805524
He must think Vos is an idiot. Unless the sword grew legs and walked away, the bandit obviously figured out some way to retrieve it.

Normally the eel-man would play this silly game, but Davina hasn't yet returned and something must have gone wrong. "I do not have time for hide and seek. Please give me your sword, or I will invoke wrath of Tittivila once again."
>>
No. 805589 ID: 74621b

rolled 4, 1, 4 = 9

>>805378
>>805524
>>805581
Oh, I get to do something. While the bandit chief is being pinned by Vos, Yisheng Ji will seize control of his skeleton and force his joints to dislocate themselves so he doesn't go anywhere for the time being.

Then, Yisheng Ji will enshroud himself with divine sanctuary and dart out over the battlefield to locate Viste. Or perhaps more accurately, he'll look for the two very large and noisy individuals who are accompanying Viste and then scan their locales.
>>
No. 805677 ID: d36af7

>>805554
Maru Red leads a wedge formation of town guards and militia, cutting into the heart of the invading army toward Viste's last known position. Enough of the bandits are dead, maimed, or fleeing that they've lost overall cohesion, but there are still some pockets of resistance.

>>805557
Such as that sorceress, who nails Hore in the upper back with a glob of boiling acid (turning away from your nearest opponent to talk to someone else presents certain dangers) and spouts a witticism hinging on the word "scald."
>>
No. 805681 ID: d22dc0

rolled 5, 6, 1 = 12

>>805677
It seemed to me that Hore had her eyes trained on the dragon girl the whole time, and was charging in for melee attacks with her ax either before during or after her little speech implying a connection to Azure.

Maru, leading the towns defenders focuses on trying to encircle the bandits attacking Davina to hopefully giver her a chance to get her sword
>>
No. 805718 ID: 3abd97

rolled 3, 2, 2 = 7

>Viste falls off the boulder into a mob of dozens of angry bandits armed with spears and axes. Her sword hasn't returned just yet.
Draw a dagger, and attempt to portal out of trouble. Fleeing until she gets her sword back or reunites with allies (Maru's wedge, perhaps) is a more attractive option than trying to hold her ground against multiple opponents with superior reach.

Let's not head atop the wall, or back to the staging area. Opening a direct route for enemy combatants to either of those locations seems like a bad idea.
>>
No. 805724 ID: 270a5c

rolled 4, 2, 4 = 10

This is going to be costly.

Hore quickly throws herself into melee range, flailing the axe around. But she is charging her plasma pistol. At the right time, she'll open her hand and fire, regardless of the damage to the axe.
>>
No. 805987 ID: d36af7

>>805581
>Unless the sword grew legs and walked away
He claims it did just that, for it was a type of earthbound demon called 'raktavarna' which can disguise itself as a bejeweled weapon or art object (in order to infiltrate treasure hoards), secrete memory-stealing poison, and share it's senses with a distant master. The bandit leader also glibly explains that the sword's departure is a sign his patron has disavowed and forsaken him, presumably due to this pathetic failure at what should have been an easy task, and as such he'd be willing to share what he knows of that former patron's active schemes and potential weaknesses - in exchange for leniency, or other appropriate considerations, that is.

>>805718
Vos casts the spell successfully, and the bandit leader looks quizzically down at his own right hand as it reaches over to grip his relatively unchanged left upper arm. His solid blue eyes go wide, and after the left shoulder audibly pops out of it's socket he screams, briefly, through clenched teeth. As his rubbery left arm reaches over to repeat the process, he mutters "no, no, no..." and grimaces in anticipation, but doesn't scream a second time. He remains stiffly upright like a soldier at attention until both hands reach down toward his right hip, at which point he falls to his knees on the sand, with a faint smell of burning hair. "What the fuck! Can't you people even afford proper manacles?" Then he licks his upper lip, wiping away a bit of snot or blood that was dripping from his nose.

Maria Agate sanctimoniously points out that suffering of the flesh purifies the soul, which the bandit leader rebuts with an assertion that he likes his soul just fine the way it is, same way he prefers beer you can actually taste over distilled spirits strong enough to strip paint. She offers to pop his shoulders back in and provide some magical healing after he submits to being tied up with ropes, and he agrees.

>>805724
Hore jumps off the town wall, scrambles up the side of a barn-sized head of cabbage, and runs along falling stalks of wheat as thick as redwood trees in pursuit of the sorceress, forcing her to retreat and make full use of the evasive options inherent in effortless aerial mobility, even scoring a few glancing hits. Eventually the chase leads into a dark loamy-walled tunnel (something as the back of Hore's mind wonders where all these giant plants are coming from, and what just happened to the sky) where the sorceress seems to be exhausted and cornered, when suddenly a thick wall of some fungal material snaps shut between them like jaws. Applying plasma to the fungus produces noxious smoke and rapid regrowth rather than any immediately useful result.

>>805718
Viste draws her (clean and freshly polished) sword along with a main-gauche, flips back up onto her feet, and prepares to defend against an army... which has mysteriously vanished. How convenient. The elephant-sized boulder is still there at her back, but now it's in the center of an equilateral triangle of massive ancient trees whose roots form six archways wide enough for wagons. Sunlight is streaming straight down through a canopy of leaves (wasn't it late evening a moment ago?) about 150' overhead.

>>805681
Maru Red cleaves one of the bandits in half at the waist, producing an earthshaking power chord, then steps over his body onto a rope bridge and meets Hore Wutashi coming the other way. Both handrails of the bridge have some sort of yellowish-gray gourds hanging off as if they grew there, each gourd carved with a single letter in High Draconic.

>>805589
>dart out over the battlefield to locate Viste
Yisheng Ji glides in and perches on one support rope/vine/handrail of the bridge (Maru's right, Hore's left). Viste is 60' directly below him, and the other side of the bridge is on fire.
>>
No. 806035 ID: af6e04

rolled 4, 6, 6 = 16

>>805987
>a type of earthbound demon called 'raktavarna'
Sounds plausible. Vos would like to hear more about this 'raktavarna', as well as the deal the bandit mentioned after things settle down.

>Vos casts the spell successfully
I know it's probably a typo but for the record Ji is the one who forced the guy to pull apart his own skeleton!

>Tied up now
Vos will tell Maria and Daniel to keep a close eye on the bandit leader, then he'll rush back into the battlefield which is apparently looking a little more edible than he recalls. Roll is to reunite with his friends.
>>
No. 806037 ID: d36af7

>>806035
>probably a typo
Yes. I have had less and lower-quality food than I would prefer, this past week or so. Probably related.
>Roll is to reunite with his friends.
>rolled 4, 6, 6 = 16
Even taking into account the fact that it's some sort of non-Euclidean nightmare vortex, Decaro Vos manages to get himself hopelessly lost in those new woods with remarkable speed and efficiency. Two hours later, the first sapient creature he encounters is a sixteen-year-old girl with a slinky black dress, a row of red scales down the bridge of her nose, and fresh scars and welts all along her forearms. She seems immensely relieved, and greets him as a long-lost ally.
>>
No. 806058 ID: c77c2a

rolled 6, 4, 2 = 12

Maru, upon seeing the magical fungus land sprout around them, is worried.
"Shite. Dat bint probly cast some sort a spell to keep us seperated while she and co get out of 'ere"
Upon conferring with Hore that the grill woman cannot blast them out, and that it didn't look as though the dragon lady was responsible, she is more delighted than ever before to see Ju. Exclamations of joy, a quick sharing of her take on the situation, and the reuniting of everyone makes this situation sufficiently more tolerable. She calls out to Davina and tries to get everyone in the same place, most likely through portals
>>
No. 806070 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11

Hore mutters under her breath. The sorceress has field advantage. If she grew this thing, then she could easily snipe Hore. She hopes she can talk to the sorceress later, but for now it is time to leave.

Hore heads for the exit, moving abnormally for fear of cheap shots from behind again, looking for traps and noting any scientific anomalies. This strange plant phenomenon around her is worth a small study.

Roll for perception check.
>>
No. 806148 ID: 4fbc13

rolled 1, 4, 2 = 7

>>806037
Vos greets the dragon girl with the same warmness, giving his name and offering to heal her arms with healing goo. He asks what happened to her, how she got here, and if she's seen his companions.
>>
No. 807002 ID: d36af7

>>806070
>perception check
>rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11
Everything smells like a compost heap or freshly-plowed field, only more so. No birdsong, nor old tracks, nor small animal smells, almost like the whole place was created from nothing moments earlier. If the sorceress did this, she'd have to be capable of at least 5th or 6th circle magic, despite showing no sign of anything above 3rd in the actual battle. There's no clouds or blue sky up above the canopy of leaves, just dazzling golden glare. The six ground-level archways and two bridge passages aren't as well lit, so it's hard to see anything more than a few feet inside without another light source, or angling some big mirror to redirect sunlight, or simply walking in there and waiting for your eyes to adjust.

>>806148
She graciously accepts the healing, and offers to use some magic of her own to thoroughly explain everything she can remember about the excitement of the past few days, in less than ten seconds from an outside perspective. Only catch is, the spell requires kissing. With, y'know, tongues.

>rolled 1, 4, 2 = 7
Vos has never heard of a spell which works like that, and he has heard pf http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/demon/succubus Nonetheless, she seems sincere, and only faintly evil.
>>
No. 807070 ID: af6e04

rolled 1, 2, 5 = 8

>>807002
>succubus?
>With, y'know, tongues.
Pfff a smooth seductress! Vos says he is willing to try the spell. (assuming aura sight isn't raising any bright red flags) He points out his lack of a tongue though. Vos also points out that the dragon girl has not told him her name yet.
>>
No. 807073 ID: 80c7c1

>>807070
Don't forget the alien style second jaw down there. Makes for a hell of a surprise when playing tonsil jockey
>>
No. 807087 ID: 3abd97

Viste will take advantage of this (momentary?) lull in hostilities and disappearance of her enemies to reapply the cantrip on her sword.

>[Maru] calls out to Davina and tries to get everyone in the same place, most likely through portals
>There's no clouds or blue sky up above the canopy of leaves, just dazzling golden glare.
If the bridge above isn't hidden from sight by the glare of the sky, she'll accommodate by opening a portal from the ground to bridge.

>the other side of the bridge is on fire
The handrail (vinerail?) directly across from Ji, or one of the ends, behind Hore or Maru?
>>
No. 807151 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 3, 2 = 10

Hore is absentminded again. She's busy studying the local flora out of curiousity. Roll to determine if she discovers anything useful.
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