After The Fall - a forum RPG

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MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

On seeing Nelja, Bregour’s jaw goes slack and he lowers the ear horn absent-mindedly. After a moment of sheer shock he flicks an oily-tinted magnifying glass down over his eye and peers at her anxiously. “They did it… those powerhungry fools actually did it!” he hisses to himself.

His face turns grim, he straightens and says to a strapping young man hauling a sack of coal “Goorve, make sure no one comes in.” The young man strides to the door, casually grabbing a hammer and loosening the knife at his belt casually on the way. He closes the front door carefully behind him.

Vimess shifts nervously and asks, “What seems to be the matter, Master Bregour?”

“The matter,” the dwarf responds acridly, “is that Taikasaari’s destruction was no surprise to me, but the survival of this child most definitely is!” He leans closer to Nelja, and with words dripping with bitterness, says “It is because of your master and those like him, their greed and arrogance and sheer insanity, that just cost the world thousands of lives and countless treasures!”

Bregour starts pacing around the workshop, huffing and puffing in barely constrained rage. He draws a long breath, seems to calm down, and the n yells with all his might in the direction of Taikasaari’s former location “You maniacs! You were warned! Twice! And even after you’ve destroyed yourselves you dump the problem at my doorstep! You bastards! Will I ever be rid of you!”

Everyone at the workshop tries to concentrate on their work as if their lives depended on it.

Having let off some steam, Bregour calms down visibly. He approaches the group with a tired gait, says “With any luck, child, your master is dead. Tell me what you need, and I will aid you as best I can,” and resignedly lifts the horn back to his ear.

Meanwhile, Arteschka is entering the outskirts of the city. All through the ride from Weatherfingers, vague visions, snippets of dreams, and elusive omens have been swarming inside her head, as if looking for a shape, or perhaps to show her something.

An eight-pointed star above a bleeding, V-shaped wound. The words “Twice-warned, thrice-damned”. A tiny feather twisting through the air and landing on a steel gauntlet. A disc of dull gold rolling back and forth on its tooth-shaped edge. Eyes reflecting alien constellations.

Suddenly she is roused from her reverie: a youngish man of local colouration, his workaday tunic trying to hide a fine chain shirt and a warrior’s bearing, asking her something in Islish. He thrusts a piece of parchment at her. The man switches to fluent Chatter: “Have you seen anyone with these markings?”

She has - these are the sigils the girl Nelja bore on her limbs. However, what jumps out at Arteschka even more is the intricate tattoo on the man’s neck: a star above a V-shape.

Arteschka can clearly sense a violent hatred in the man’s tone - he does not mean well for the bearer of those sigils.

What do you do?

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

Arteschka climbed off the horse upon entering the city, leading the horse by the reins. Both are slightly puzzled by the confusion between the inhabitants and the refugees.

Posted by MuadMouseSuddenly she is roused from her reverie: a youngish man of local colouration, his workaday tunic trying to hide a fine chain shirt and a warrior’s bearing, asking her something in Islish. He thrusts a piece of parchment at her. The man switches to fluent Chatter: “Have you seen anyone with these markings?”She has - these are the sigils the girl Nelja bore on her limbs. However, what jumps out at Arteschka even more is the intricate tattoo on the man’s neck: a star above a V-shape.Arteschka can clearly sense a violent hatred in the man’s tone - he does not mean well for the bearer of those sigils.

"Hmm, I've seen many people with many kinds of markings since I've left my native lands." is her answer to the young man. Arteschka grabs the parchment firmly so that the questioner would tear it apart, if he pulls it back. She memorizes the face and tattoo of the man, while studying the parchment.

"I'm not sure I did, but I might be able to help. Where can I find you, if I see someone with signs like this?" Just before he answers, Arteschka says: "May I have this?", slightly pulling at the page. "It may help me help you."

Without waiting for an answer Arteschka suddenly rips as much as she can, in a crosswise motion to his grip, off the parchment. Hopefully ending with a rather large portion of it in her hand. "Oh, erm. I thought you nodded." Is her statement, while she starts to feel up his tattoo, examining it closely.

She also touches his side of the body where the tatto is, quite thoroughly with her breasts, breathing on his shoulder and neck. "Mhm, this is a nice painting, but it looks like it is in the skin. How do you wash it off, when you don't need it anymore?"

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

Arteschka tears the parchment in two. The man's expression hardens until she presses against him. Then he gives her a crooked grin and hands her the rest of the parchment. "Here, take the rest. I've got more back at the Fuming Flagon Inn," he murmurs in her ear while giving her buttock a firm squeeze. "You can try to rub it off all you want there tonight," he adds, extracting himself from her embrace with a wink and a bow, "just ask for Jax."

"But now, I'm afraid, I must keep doing my master's bidding," he says and pulls out a roll of parchment from within his tunic. "Come to the inn if you see those markings, won't you? There's a reward - for you, more than one!"

He turns to show the parchment to a merchant and winks over his shoulder.

Just then, a sparrow swoops over Arteschka's shoulder, flies some distance away upslope, and wheels a few times above a solid-looking stone building before landing on its roof invitingly. There is something very similar in the bird's descent to the way Nelja fell toward the sea. The bird appears to be waiting.

What do you do?

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

Leaving the young man to his work, Arteschka thinks: "Pff, young males ... so easily distracted. But, Jax, I thank you for the tangible information you've given me." She stuffs the parchment between the layers of her sleeping bag.

Posted by MuadMouseJust then, a sparrow swoops over Arteschka's shoulder, flies some distance away upslope, and wheels a few times above a solid-looking stone building before landing on its roof invitingly. There is something very similar in the bird's descent to the way Nelja fell toward the sea. The bird appears to be waiting.

Nodding to the sparrow with a feeling of gratitude she mumbles: "Showing me the way, eh? Thank you." Arteschka goes further into the city, doing her best to endure the smells and masses of people as well the sensing of that many disturbed emotions.

While making her way towards the location the sparrow has shown her, she stops to ask an elderly woman: "I'm looking for the Fuming Flagon Inn. Please tell me where it is."

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

"My, aren't you tall!" exclaims the old woman in flawless Chatter, straining her bent spine to look Arteschka with her rheumy eyes. "Not the usual sort for that place; never seen a wizard as big as you!" she chuckles warmly. "Now, dear, finding it is easy as pie - just follow the Crescent here until you come to the bridge," she says, pointing her knobby walking stick toward the center of town, "then turn toward the temple of Voitto - you can't miss the gold dome - and The Fuming Flagon will come up on your left." She fiddles with her wicker basket a bit wishing Arteschka "Good dealings!" before going about her business.

As Arteschka comes closer to where the sparrow perches, she see that the building is marked by a great brass cog. The sparrow flutters to the roof edge above the sturdy front door. A young man about Arteschka's size is leaning on the closed door, a smith's hammer hanging casually from his hand. His eyes seem to jump onto her instantly, and he stares at her with a questioning frown.

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

Inside Master Bregour's workshop a series of faint cracks and hisses ripple through Vee's frame and he slouches slightly. Vimess scrambles to steady himself, nearly toppling Vee over. Presently Vee's body settles into a tired, still stance, the noises dying out.

Bregour gives him an unconcerned glance and utters, "That was just the dweomeric tendons giving way under the breastplate. Not dangerous, just don't try to move or speak unless you want to risk falling apart. I'll fix you up soon enough." Then, to Nelja, "So what were you saying?"

Vimess whimpers slightly but is ignored by the dwarf.

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

Posted by MuadMouse...] She fiddles with her wicker basket a bit wishing Arteschka "Good dealings!" before going about her business.

"Thank you and may Maa bless you and your children." Arteschka says, before continuing on her way, fighting off every merchant with the most effective weapon she has against them. Namely, by saying: "I don't have any coins."

Posted by MuadMouse...] The sparrow flutters to the roof edge above the sturdy front door. A young man about Arteschka's size is leaning on the closed door, a smith's hammer hanging casually from his hand. His eyes seem to jump onto her instantly, and he stares at her with a questioning frown.

Using the reins, Arteschka ties the very exhausted looking horse to a post and takes the saddlecloth from its back. Placing the blanket on the ground seems like a command to the horse which lies down immediately, giving off a heavy breath. After taking the torn parchment in her hand and putting her backpack next to the horse, she walks up to the doorman.

"Hello, young blacksmith student, may I please have one or two buckets of water? Or tell me where the next trough is. Also I'd like to enter. Though I don't know the small parts of your duty guarding this door, you'd like to know that at least one person in this building wants to talk to me, as sure as this bird above your head wants to unload the refuse of his lunch."

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

"Yes, I was saying... My master is a good man!! He takes care of me and he gives me medicine so i will not disperse...."... at that moment her eyes get wide open, she lowers her gaze and looks at her hands. " I haven't taken anything for a day now, I should be dead... What's going on?" she looks at the dwrf with her shocked face.

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

“Disperse? Hmm..” Bregour mutters thoughtfully. He lifts his head and roars “Lashee!” A pale, stout woman with scarred hands rises from her lathe at the back of the room and approaches. The dwarf tells her to see to the soulforged and heads abruptly for a stairs to the basement. “And prop the big one up before it topples,” he growls, adding in a slightly gentler tone to Nelja, beckoning, “Come on, girl, I may have something that might help.”

There are numerous rooms in the basement, and the one Bregour leads Nelja to seems to be a laboratory. Simple, crude and limited when compared to what her master had at his disposal, but clearly a laboratory nonetheless - there is that certain bitter smell that is unmistakable. The dwarf opens a locked, ironbound oak cabinet and starts rummaging through its contents.

“I’m an artificer, not an alchemist,” he explains in a voice that sounds jarringly loud outside the workshop, “but I’ve picked up a thing or two in my time… Ah, there it is!” He pulls out a rune-etched tin and hands it to her. It is made of burnished metal and is just a bit bigger than her palm. “This contains Balm of Preservation,” he explains eagerly. “When applied onto something living, it will restore it to its natural state. In your case, that should be flesh. Use it if you start feeling, well, too thin. Remember, however, that whatever force it is that would disperse you is within you, and this salve can only keep it in check for hours at the most.” Bregour grimaces and adds “You can thank your precious master for that.”

His bitter frown softens, then, and his eyes look kindly on Nelja from underneath crusty brows. “Sorry, young one, you didn’t deserve that,” he admits, warmly for all his loudness. “It’s not your fault that you were made into… whatever it is you are. I hope that you will understand that your master may have given you medicine, but that it was medicine you would not need if it weren’t for his meddling.” He shakes his head apologetically. “I’m an artificer, and deal with combining existing things in new, useful ways; what has been done to you, changing living flesh into something else entirely is beyond my skill to mend.” He grasps Nelja comfortingly by the shoulders, and adds with a faint smile, “But I know someone who might know a cure.”

“There is a wizard who is wise in alchemy and the secrets of transmutation, as well as… other things.” His face grows almost grim at the thought, but brightens again as he adds “He goes by the name Jorn - or Jorn Stargaze, as some call him - and I think he knew to expect you.”

“You should go to the city of Dirai,” Bregour utters helpfully as he turns to go through a set of drawers. “There is a great temple there, the Temple of the Wind, dedicated to both Ilma and Armo. I will try to get word to Jorn, but the temple is your best bet at staying whole for the time being. They are capable healers, and know a thing or two about air.” Presently he finds what he’s looking for: a coin purse that jingles generously. He gives it to her, saying “There’s enough gold and silver there to stock up for a journey to Dirai,” and at that he starts hurrying her upstairs.

Meanwhile, outside the front door, the man keeping guard looks at Arteschka with some disbelief. He shrugs and raps the door twice, then once.

“Be careful whom you trust,” Bregour blares with all his initial gruffness as he and Nelja reach the ground floor where most of the workers are busy hauling Vee’s considerable mass into a backroom. Just then a knocking comes from the front door, and the dwarf turns to look through a big octangular lens. A little incredulously he mutters, “And here, I suppose comes someone you can.”

A mighty “Let her in!” sounds through the thick door to the street outside. The young man shrugs and opens the door for Arteschka, looking suspiciously at the sparrow above him while he’s at it. Within, Arteschka sees a large workshop in the center of which stands Nelja and an aproned old dwarf who’s beckoning the blackorc to enter. “Come in,” shouts the dwarf in Chatter and lifts an ear trumpet to his head, “you’re expected!”

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

Before entering, Arteschka touches the young man's arm gently, points at the horse and says: "Please, the water."

Inside the workshop she steps in front of Nelja, ignoring most of the other people. With a concerned look she says: "You should leave this area.", handing Nelja both pieces of the parchment. "I will accompany you, if you wish." Looking at Nelja's dress, she adds: "... and get you some supplies and clothing for travelling."

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

Nelja is taking in all the information she is given by the kind man. She frowns a bit when he talks about her master but for the first time logic in her mind sets in. Without the "medicines" it seems she can think clearly. When Arteschka comes in she smiles and immediately is surprised by her worrying.

"Yes I should leave for.. eh.. Dirai and look for an alchemist... Stargaze. It 's a matter of life a death, how do you know it?" When she finishes her sentence she looks in her hands and puts together the two pieces of the parchment.

"That's the runes I have.. What about them?" she looks at Arteschka confused.

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

Watching the workers and the elderly dwarf, she starts taking a deep breath. But Arteschka's gaze shifts suddenly into what might be interpreted as nausea. Coughing she exclaims: "Oh de*cough*r Tauti! Do you *cough*pen the door only for the *cough*xpected? I hope none *cough*f you sleeps in here."

After her breathing has calmed, she points to the parchment. "A young man in a tunic and a ... um. I don't know the word in trade tongue. Our young males use one to prove their painlessness for the first time. Anyway, he showed me this picture and was eager to get his hands on ... well basically on one with those runes."

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

The door guard gave Arteschka another shrug and grabbed a water bucket for the horse. Meanwhile, Bregour followed the discussion with mounting impatience.

On hearing about the young man looking for someone with Nelja's markings Bregour purses his lips and starts shooing Nelja and Arteschka out. "Well, you'd best hurry then, if there's someone on your tail already," he says, "and the blackorc is right, the air outside is much, much fresher and healthier! Good travels! I'll look after the soulforged!" His frown deepens by the second.

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

"But.. But... we will leave Vee here?? But.. But... What do I buy with these? " Nelja follows Arteschka out the workshop waving around the purse that Bregour so generously gave her. In her other hand she holds on to the tin with the wondrous balm, she holds it next to her heart.

Once they are out on the street Nelja immediately turns back to the workshop, looks Bregour directly in his eyes... "Thank you for everything." says and she rushes behind Arteschka to their way.

"I need things" she says to her.

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

"Yes. First of all a place to hide until I got the rest for you." While untieing the horse and thanking the doorman for the water, Arteschka looks at the surrounding slopes. She rolls the saddlecloth together and hands it upright to Nelja. "Here, carry this like that. It might cover your markings a bit." Reaching for the parchment and the purse, she says: "And please, give me these."

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

“Goorve, stop playing with that nag and get back to work,” Bregour shouts at the young man tending to Arteschka’s mount, “that coal isn’t going to haul itself!” Goorve gives another unconcerned shrug and walks inside. “Best of luck,” the dwarf calls out to Nelja and Arteschka before slamming the door shut and bolting it.

Around the pair Craftsman’s Lane goes by its business as usual. The sounds of purposeful, everyday industry carries from the street’s many workshops, belong they to carpenters, tailors, smiths - any field of artisanship one could hope for.

Crowds have formed on the shore, watching the city guard’s attempts at pacifying the squabbling boats. crammed into the cove. The matter is far from being resolved, but Covers are well known for their interest in rough-and-tumble entertainments, and especially the gambling involved.

It is rare to see Crescent Street so empty. The sellers at the stalls and shops seem to be enjoying this calm before the storm of shopping they know will come shortly. For the time being they have little to do except update their billboards with raised prices.

The many inns and hostels between Crescent Street and the shore are bustling, however, as they prepare to house the incoming refugees. They’re scrambling to make the most of this brief lull.

The rest of the city seems to be holding its breath, waiting to see what opportunities and threats the refugees and their unsettling news will present.

What do you do?

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

"There you go!" Nelja says and gives the purse of coins to her new friend.

As she strugles to keep in place the saddlecloth and keep up with the long stride of Artescka "It seems like we are on a mission... I KNOW! I KNOW!"

She takes a deep breath and starts reciting like a school girl knowing her lesson all too well.

"There are many kinds of opperations, subjects like Nelja specialize in Strikes, Stealth, Tactical Engagement and Suiside missions. Masters give orders, subjects obey Masters. I don't have one... but this is still stealth mission, right?" she takes a deep breath and continues " In Stealth missions subjects need to fullfill objectives while remaining unnoticed. It is prohibited to reveil any information about the mission, the masters or the subjects. Engage in combat only if it is utterly necessary." and she suddenly stops talking. She looks at Arteschka with her big eyes as they walk as if she wanted a pat in the head... she was, after all, excellent....

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

After stuffing the purse in the backpack and the parchment in the sleeping bag, she turns towards the Brazen Cog and mumbles a prayer for all the people inside.

Her backpack on her shoulders, dragging the horse via the reins and waving Nelja to follow, Arteschka starts walking towards the closest flank of the city. Making their way between houses and over streets, she clearly heads for an area outside of Greenwater Cove.

Posted by Ioanna"There are many kinds of opperations, subjects like Nelja specialize in Strikes, Stealth, Tactical Engagement and Suicide missions. Masters give orders, subjects obey Masters. I don't have one... but this is still stealth mission, right?" she takes a deep breath and continues " In Stealth missions subjects need to fullfill objectives while remaining unnoticed. It is prohibited to reveal any information about the mission, the masters or the subjects. Engage in combat only if it is utterly necessary." and she suddenly stops talking.

The look Nelja receives is very far from a pat on the head. It resembles concern, mixed with something else. Steadying her face, Arteschka speaks with a warm and yet teacher-like voice to Nelja. "Live by what you have learned. Not by what you got teachered. ... and don't limit yourself by either of it ... or by any of what I've just said to you ... *mumble, mumble*."

All the while Arteschka keeps looking around, as if she'd be interested in the situation in the harbor or the shops.

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

The sidestreets and alleys upslope of Craftsman's lane are littered with barrels, crates, and piles of various solid byproducts. Small weeds grow in every corner, their spread held back by rat-harassed goats. There are few people around; only a few scavengers and the trash-hauling apprentices sho supply them. This makes it easier for Arteschka and Nelja to notice the men following them.

One young man looks suspicious walking up the street to your right: fit and broad-shouldered, but too clean to be a craftsman. Both Nelja and Arteschka can sense him observing them, despite his efforts to seem innocuous. Another man walks a few dozen meters behind them, following their every move. Arteschka recognizes him as the man looking for Nelja.

What do you do?

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

Without stopping Arteschka says to Nelja: "*grumble* I thought we could least find a place, where you can hide and Brownhoof can rest before they'd find you." Nodding ahead, she adds quietly: "This passage over there, between the crates. Go quicker so that you pass through there before me. But don't run and wait for me ... and look for a stick or some stones."

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax