Remembering Bitsa's prestidigitation with the mirror as he steps out of the gate, Aonghasan clasps both hands to his staff, driving it to the ground dramatically while throwing his hair forward with a flourish. At the same time, he drops the polished brass into his right sleeve with his left hand.
Aonghasan throws his hair back and begins to chant incantations in the Eldritch Trill while drawing a circle on the ground before him with his staff.
['Nasan spends 1 Wz to cast Know Your Foe on one of the hallooing trolls nearby: 6 + 6 [DARO] + 5 + 1 + 20 = 38]
His eyes dilate and turn black as jet as he sweeps his gaze laterally across the area outside the gate, resting momentarily on one of the hulking giants nearby: «Bare your secrets to me,» he warbles in a hideous, inhuman tongue.
Post by monstermike on Mar 31, 2011 12:38:08 GMT -5
Aonghasan steps out of the fortress and begins to do his thing. The horrible sound of the discordant alien language causes many of the nearby goblins and orcs to cover their mud-filled ears with their hands for added protection. The spell reveals that the trolls are formidable adversaries indeed.
(The cave trolls have a 108 MR normally or 138 if armed with a capstan bar. Their horny hide absorbs the first six hits of damage.)
As he is casting the spell, the puzzled Donald halts the wagon before the line of bellowing trolls. The orcs and goblins move to surround the wagon with weapons drawn. The Donald stands and shouts "What in the name of holy real estate is going on here?!" But his words are drowned out by the hooting of the trolls.
Meanwhile, Effington and Herman Jr. arrive at the portico. Effington approaches Hrruuukkk Ptui and begins to shout and gesture toward 'Nasan. The Goblin Overlord, his hands still over his ears shakes his head to indicate that he cannot hear. He makes eye contact with the six orcs still in the portico and mouths "Sieze him." The orcs begin to move toward Effington, but the two Effing ogres step in front and block their progress. Briefly, the six orcs and the two ogres lock eyes in a staredown, but neither side makes a move.
As these events unfold, Seagal and the two orcs finally exit the decline shaft. Even from the elevated platform on the third level of the fortress, they can hear the commotion outside. "d**n! Come on!" Seagal shouts to the two guards and they begin to run toward the stairs.
[GM Comment: I'll hold off on bookkeeping until the end of the full turn.]
Catching a glimpse of Effington out of the corner of his eye, Aonghasan does a brief double-take as his eyes narrow with a glimmer of recognition. He considers his contingency plans, but knows that there's something to accomplish here before he can deal with the dark elf.
Pirouetting on the point of his staff, he faces the Donald's cart and gives out a blasphemous croak in the Eldritch Trill.
[Cast TTYF (level 1) on the Donald: 4 + 2 + 20 = 26]
The Donald feels his body heave from within and he lets out a high-pitched belch, coating the inside of his mouth and wetting his lips with a mealy black oil that dribbles forth.
Post by monstermike on Mar 31, 2011 15:52:55 GMT -5
Seagal and the two orc guards accompanying him enter the crowded portico. Effington is standing there, flanked by the Effing ogres. They are facing six other orc guards in a standoff. Near the gate, Hrruuukkk Ptui is simultaneously trying to watch Effington and the events unfolding outside. The din from the trolls is tremendous.
Seagal walks up behind Effington and claps a hand on the elf's shoulder, startling him. The security chief shouts into Effington's ear, "WE NEED TO QUESTION YOU! ARE YOU WILLING TO COOPERATE?" Effington nods his agreement and Seagal waves the orc guards off. The elf signals the ogres to stand down as well, and Effington and Seagal walk to the gate next to Hrruuukkk Ptui.
There is a brief instant of eye contact and mutual recognition between Effington and Aonghasan. "You!" Effington hisses, though no one hears him. They all see the Donald double over in the wagon, black bile issuing from his mouth. Effington recognizes Narshnaga's spellcraft in this particular manifestation of the harming spell.
Recognizing the need to act quickly, Effington takes a few steps through the gate and out into the driving rain. He casts the sleep spell at Aonghasan, and the lanky loremaster slowly crumples into the soft mud.
Effington turns back to Hrruuukkk Ptui and grabs the Goblin Overlord by his harness and pulls him so that his hairy ear is inches away from Effington's mouth. "SHUT THOSE TROLLS UP!" Reluctantly, the Overlord nods and begins to wave his arms above his head. One by one as they see the signal, the trolls cease roaring. Finally, only one troll is still shouting and one of his companions pokes him hard in the stomach with a capstan bar to stop his noise.
As the echoes die away, there is a period of confused activity. Orcs and goblins begin to dig mud out of their ears with grubby fingernails. Hrruuukkk Ptui commands the trolls to allow the ogres unload the wagon. One lifts the badly wounded Donald out of the wagon seat and carries him to the fortress. The other three carry the bound dwarves like sacks under their arms. Seagal orders the orcs to return to their posts, with a detail to return the horses and wagon to the small carriagehouse attached to the north side of the fortress. Two more orcs carry 'Nasan's inert form back into the portico. Effington walks outside to inspect the three dead orcs lying on the ground. He smirks when he sees the same signs of Narshnaga's harm spell. Hrruuukkk Ptui commands the goblins and trolls back inside to wait further orders in the main work area.
As order begins to form once again from the preceding chaos, Seagal takes charge. "Effington, you are nominally under arrest until we can get this cleared up. We have some operational details to attend to, and then I suggest we hold a court of inquiry. Please return to your quarters and we will send for you in a little while." Effington nods his acquiescence and returns to the fortress.
[Bookkeeping: 'Nasan takes 18 AP WIZ and burns 2 WIZ. He will regain WIZ while he sleeps at the normal rate. He should wake up sometime during the 18:50-19:00 turn. Uses 2 staff shots.]
Game time 4/4 18:00
[GM comment: I suppose you can post what you are dreaming for your next move. Rather than go turn by turn, I think I will just describe the events over the next hour or so in one long post. You'll be ahead of the others in time again so we may want to be careful in case they interrupt the party sometime during the next hour.]
Sure that the hootenanny he started would keep the garrison locking horns against each other long enough to for him to buttress the illusion of a coup, Aonghasan makes the most bone-headed mistake he could have made: turning his back on a dark wizard.
As he swivels back around in an elegant arc after striking at the Donald with his last curse, still simulating a magnificent ritual to contain the supposed Chaos Gremlins, he begins to mouth another verse in the Elder Tongue.
But suddenly his speech is slow and the words shhhlur together, his arms are dead, and his feet lose contact with the earth below. A wall of mud shmashes into his face.
In an instant, his body succumbs to the spell as if to ten shots of gin. "Tenfold for Gin"-- where did I hear that befo-- and the frantic buzzing energy goes out.
Post by monstermike on Apr 1, 2011 13:51:41 GMT -5
[During Aonghasan's dream sequence in Intermission]
Effington walks back into the fortress and trudges up the stairs to his quarters, followed by his ogre bodyguards. He slumps into his hammock and thinks... What is he doing here? Why has he come back to torment me?
He ponders further the testimony of Herman Jr. Clearly, he's trying to set me up. He compelled the orc guard to sound the alarm and shout that ridiculous accusation. The attacks against the orcs outside and the Donald were obviously his. But why?
Still puzzling, Effington rises from the hammock and walks over to his desk. He opens the rosewood box and delicately plucks the shriveled tongue out of it with a silk handkerchief. Wrapping the cloth around the disgusting object, he slips it into a pocket. I don't think this court of inquiry is going to be a problem, but it wouldn't hurt to have the highest possible power of persuasion if things go badly.
With a sigh, he slumps back into his hammock and waits to be summoned to his one best chance to clear his name.
Post by monstermike on Apr 1, 2011 14:14:04 GMT -5
[During Aonghasan's dream sequence in Intermission]
The ogre from the wagon carries the Donald's shivering body into the portico. He walks through the south guardroom and up one flight of stairs into the Donald's quarters. He lays the Donald out on his bed, oily black bile still staining his chin and cloak. The Donald is only semi-conscious, and obviously in great pain. His errand complete, he returns to the portico which is still a scene of great activity. Hrruuukkk Ptui and Seagal are busy shouting commands and trying to restore the operation to a sense of order before Salazar returns.
Tenatively, the ogre approaches Seagal. "Donald sick." he tells the security chief. "I know," Seagal replies, "But Effington is the only one here with any healing arts. And with the accusations standing against the two of them, I don't completely trust them alone together. They may try to get their stories straight, or Effington may attempt to kill him to eliminate a witness. Why don't you go up and sit with him for now, and I'll send a goblin down to quarters to get that girl dwarf that nurses the injured miners to come up."
The ogre nods his agreement and returns to the Donald's chamber. Too huge to sit in any of the human scale chairs, the ogre slumps near the wall and watches the Donald's suffering.
Seagal yells at one of the goblins standing in the main work area. "Run down to quarters and fetch Dwarla. We need her to tend to the Donald." The goblin salutes and heads for the stairs leading up to the elevated platform.
Post by monstermike on Apr 1, 2011 14:38:27 GMT -5
Hrruuukkk Ptui and Seagal confer briefly as the goblins, orcs, and trolls stream back into the fortress. Seagal says, "How come you didn't post any guards at noon? I went down to the mines and there wasn't a goblin in sight. Did you give them all the day off?"
The Goblin Overlord shakes his head. "No, I posted the same complement as always. I even went down there at the start of the shift to make sure there was no confusion. Are you saying there were no guards down there?" He looks dumbfounded.
Seagal: "Not a one. The dwarves said they didn't show up."
Hrruuukkk Ptui: "Then they are lying. We had a full complement down there at noon. Something's going on down there."
Seagal: "Well, if the dwarves scragged 'em all, they covered it up well. The gold ore and coal kept coming all day without a break. Look, we'll figure it out soon enough. But for right now, can we get a skeleton crew of guards down there so we can get this place up and running again?"
Hrruuukkk Ptui nods and walks over to the group of goblins standing in the main work area. "Boys, the guards on this shift are gone. We don't know what happened. So until further notice, we're going to have to make do with less." The Overlord picks out four commanders and eight guards. "You head down to the mines for the rest of this shift. Two commanders and four guards on each level. Get them dwarves back to work once the wagons start running again. The rest of you can go back to your quarters and get your rest. You'll go on at midnight as usual."
There are some groans from the goblins, but they disperse and begin to head back to the mines.
Post by monstermike on Apr 2, 2011 11:08:44 GMT -5
Two orc guards carry Aonghasan's limp and mud-splattered form into the portico - "Where do you want us to put this?" they ask Seagal. "Just dump him in the north guardroom and keep an eye on him there. Send a messenger to me when he comes to." the security chief replies.
The orc guards nod and carry the slumbering body into the north guardroom. The orc in the lead begins to steer for one of the cots, but the other one says, "No, the floor is good enough for him. They unceremoniously dump Aonghasan onto a pile of dirty straw in one corner of the guardroom and return to their posts.
While he sleeps, guards trickle back in from their errands. Six guards and an orc commander resume their posts within the room, with only occasional glances at the unconscious elf in the corner.
Post by monstermike on Apr 2, 2011 11:14:09 GMT -5
Seagal, still occupied with numerous questions and orders in the portico sees the three ogres approach, their arms loaded with trussed dwarf prisoners. "What we do these?" one asks Seagal. Seagal sighs heavily. Can no one think for themselves? "We can't fit them with collars just yet. That will have to wait. Keep 'em tied up and put them in the south guardroom. We'll deal with them later."
The ogres do as they are bid, then lumber back to their quarters in the mines.
Post by monstermike on Apr 2, 2011 11:24:29 GMT -5
Seagal looks out the front gate into the driving rain. Three orc bodies still lay on the ground, their guts putrefying. He thinks back to his run down to the mines. The guard at the gong near the top of the decline shaft was just the same. He had a crossbow bolt sticking out of him too, but his body had quickly rotted to black sludge.
He considers ordering some guards to form a burial detail, but decides against it in case examination of their bodies is called for in the inquiry.
Seagal turns on his heel and walks back through the antechamber and into the main work area. The smelting furnace is still making the room uncomfortably hot and the trolls still standing there are sweating profusely. "All right you lot, we need to get this operation back up and running. All of you that were working this shift, go back to your duties. We need those carts up and running again! The rest of you return to your quarters. You'll start your shift at midnight as usual."
Two trolls return to their station at the bellows. The other eighteen trolls head back to the top winch, the bottom winch, or their quarters.
Post by monstermike on Apr 20, 2011 9:29:02 GMT -5
Seagal and the Goblin Overlord head up the stairs. They enter the dining room on the third level and wearily take seats at the long mahogany table. "Let's try to piece together what just happened," Seagal says, "But we can at least eat while we do it." Hrruuukkk Ptui nods his agreement and touches the bell. A moment later, a sous-chef from the kitchen below comes up and takes their orders for dinner.
The security chief and the Goblin Overlord spend the next twenty minutes describing their view of events to one another. Dinner arrives during their conversation, and they make plans on who to interrogate and how to run the inquiry.
Seagal, between mouthfuls, says "There's going to be a lot of testimony to record and evidence to summarize. Why don't we ask Roz to act as our recorder?" Hrruuukkk Ptui nods his agreement and steps over to the door leading into the north tower. He asks a guard to fetch the CFO of the operation from her quarters.
When he returns to the table, the Goblin Overlord says "Clearly, we've had two different views of events. I think the goal here should be to first establish a timeline of events based on evidence and testimony, then make the best determination we can about Effington's guilt. If we can't reach a decision, we can just hold him until Salazar returns. Finally, we've got to decide what to do with Salazar's friend. We've got at least five dead orc guards, an entire shift of missing or dead goblin guards, the Donald is badly hurt, and we lost over an hour's production because of this. Salazar will not be pleased."
Seagal nods. "I'm not convinced of Effington's guilt, or this stranger's good intentions. But let's leave that aside for now. We'll do the interviews in here, one at a time. We'll talk with Che, the two orc guards from the south tower, that fellow that rang the alarm, Effington, our mysterious prisoner when he wakes up, and document our own testimony. With any luck, we can be finished before Salazar gets back."
[GM comment: I'll try to create a summary of events in the context of this thread - it's going to take me a while though, and chances are fairly good that they will never make it to the end before all heck breaks loose again.]
Post by monstermike on Apr 25, 2011 15:18:21 GMT -5
A few minutes later, Roz comes slithering into the room, her habitual scowl seated firmly on her ugly face. "Need me to take notes, do ya? I s'pose you think that's women's work, huh? Well, let me tell you a thing or two, mister..."
"Thank you, Roz." says Seagal smoothly, cutting her off. He turns again to the orc guard who delivered her. "Bring us Che Guevara, Herman Jr. and the two guards from the third level of the south tower. Bring Che in first, and let the others wait outside." The guard salutes and runs off again.
Aonghasan awakes with a start. He is lying on a pile of filthy straw in what appears to be a guardroom. With his eyes half-shut and still feigning sleep, he counts five uruk guards and a captain. There are weapon racks along the wall with crude swords, bows, and quivers of arrows. He spies his crossbow and his staff in the opposite corner of the room. There is a door near him. The door opens and another orc guard walks in from the portico, dripping with wet. "Still coming down hard out there, and just about dark," he says to the other guards in the room.
His head still reeling from the sleep spell, Aonghasan takes a moment to get his bearings. North guardroom he thinks. Looking across the room, he sees another door leading to the north tower and a set of steps leading up to the second level. He smells the aromas of good cooking coming through an open archway in the west wall and faintly hear the sounds of someone working at a cutting board.
Focusing his attention on himself for a moment, the loremaster tries to judge his own state of health. His shoulder still twinges from where the uruk arrow struck him, but the arrow seems to have been removed. Nothing else appears to be injured, and his hands and feet are unbound.
[Bookkeeping: 'Nasan regains 12 WIZ during his enchanted sleep.]
Game time 4/4 19:00
You're a bit ahead of the others, so post when you are ready, GT.
Post by monstermike on May 6, 2011 14:09:42 GMT -5
In the guardroom, the orcs stand watching the rain. The captain turns to one of the guards, "Why don't you check on Sleeping Beauty over there and see if he's awake yet." The guard grunts and strolls over to where Aonghasan lies. Without warning, he delivers a swift kick to the ribs of the supine elf.