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Subject: vestige's Return to the Mountains of Madness - 2014 Newbie Initiative (IC) rss

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Internet rage goon
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Welcome to the Return to the Mountains of Madness Newbie PBF game!

Here are some appropriate links for this game:
vestige's Return to the Mountains of Madness - 2014 Newbie Initiative (OOC)
vestige's Return to the Mountains of Madness Rules and Character Geeklist
Signup item on 2014 Newbie Initiative List

This is the IN CHARACTER Thread for a Lady Blackbird rendition of the Return to the Mountains of Madness. Please subscribe to this thread; for future ease of locating it I also recommend using a quicklink. (If you don't know what that is, just ask!)

Here are some other helpful threads that you may find useful:
Visual Guide to Basic use of the GeekRoller with examples
Play-by-forum FAQ and Reference
Tips for new users in PBF games
RPG Geek User Guide
2013 RPGG Newbie Initiative signup Geeklist
Play On Target Podcast - What's the Deal with PBF Gaming?, announced here: Play On Target Announcement
Some Tips on Having Great Play-by-Forum-Games (by your GM!)

This thread is specifically for IN CHARACTER action. Posts here should be rooted in the game world; you may make quick out-of-character comments, but please gray them out for ease of identification (to do so, surround your text by [ ooc ] and [ /ooc ], except without the spaces), and please take longer conversations to the OOC thread.

RULES FOR THE PLAY-BY-POST GAME:

1. Posting Schedule: players should check the thread a minimum of once every weekday, more if possible, and to respond within 24 hours if required by the story. (In reality, that probably means you'll be posting every couple of days.) I do understand the difficulties of posting this often, and this can be complicated by time zones, so I ask that everyone try to be courteous and patient. I will be online every day and will check and respond to anyone who has performed an action or asked a question.

2. If a player misses the posting deadline, the game will go on and that person will be skipped. If this happens in the middle of combat the PC misses their turn. If it happens during a role-playing or decision making point, then that PC is assumed to remain quiet and assent to whatever decision the other PCs have come to.

3. If a player knows they are going to be out of internet range for an extended period, they can arrange for another player to post for their PC if they feel it necessary. This is at the discretion of the two players and the GM will okay it with a word of approval from BOTH players.

4. This should go without saying in this group, but please be respectful towards your fellow players and the GM. This game is meant to be fun and I’d like to keep it that way. I know none of you really need this reminder, but it is better to have it as a general rule than not mention it.

5. Please feel free to ask me anything else that you would like to know.

(Thanks to lorddillon, from whom I shamelessly stole much of this.)
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The Mother is chasing her past, and perhaps her future. Twenty years ago, her husband and one true love left the oppressive Empire, seeking the fabled Eye of the Gods and salvation from his life. He promised to return and save his family as well...but he never did.

Then, ten years ago, her oldest child slipped away to pursue her missing father...promising to return and save her family as well. But she never did.

Now, with the children grown, it is time to make this family whole again. So the mother has hired a ranger, and his faithful dog companion, to take them to the Mountains of Madness, and beyond, in pursuit of her beloved.

However - just before reaching the gateway to the mountains, the Tavern of Falling Leaves, the motley band was captured by an Imperial patrol, imprisoned under charges of unlawfully fleeing the land. Even now, the Mother, her children, and their allies are detained in the dungeon beneath a
small guard post, while the commander of the post, Captain Hollas, contacts his superiors. It’s only a matter of time before they discover the outstanding warrants and learn that the ranger is wanted far and wide for his role in dozens of smuggling operations.

How will our heroes escape the Tower of Eyes?

What dangers lie in their path?

Will they be able to find their lost husband and father, daughter and sister?

If they do, will that husband accept his bride in the land beyond the Eye?

By the time they get there, will she want him to?
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Okay, let's get this party started! I'll be using this gray color for "out of character" info. You can write in it by enclosing your text in [ ooc ] these tags (except without the spaces) [ /ooc ] and I strongly encourage you to do so when appropriate.

Let's begin with a few questions about your current predicament:

Natasha, why is it called the Tower of Eyes?

Karst, you used to be in the Imperial army. What do you know of Captain Hollas?

Kygaine, when was the last time you were imprisoned?

Feel free to answer these in character (as if your PC were thinking through the answers) or as simple description of the situation.
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The Eyes of the Emperor are a special division of the Imperial Army. They function as secret police. They roam city streets incognito, watch the roads, monitor the borders, listen to the rumors of the small folk, hire informants. The Eyes have several administrative buildings throughout the Empire. The Tower of Eyes is one of the larger command centers. Though there are a few regular Army soldiers in the Tower of Eyes, most of those walking the halls wear the garb of peasants, merchants, and other ordinary people.
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Don Smith
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They call this a prison cell, do they? Not much of one if you ask me.

The Eyes had plenty of bodies roaming the halls of the tower, but not a one of them would have made the cut in Stone Vale, a place Kygaine was sadly all too familiar with. One too many "off the books" street brawls in an attempt to keep more of the profits in his pockets and out of his sponsor's instead earned him a year of hard labor in the nastiest hole of a prison the Empire had to offer.

More recent years had only the occasional visit to the local holding cells for minor scrapes and occasional "lessons" from Stafford Kepler, street-fighting sponsor extraordinaire, just to keep him in line. Six months in the clear though has Kygaine itching at being confined, even in the excuse for a jail offered by the Tower of Eyes.
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Captain Hollas was one of those people who were scared back during the Battle of the Line. You see, this was during the conquest of Bloyze, after the slaughter of Aurivan. We defected. Me and the whole of the Great Army. Declared that no more conquest was going to happen, that the Empire wouldn't pass the line where are troops stood. That we would reclaim our freedom.

The Empire sent pamphlets, warning about "penalties" for caught deserters. They were trying to scare us. Most of us wouldn't have it, of course. Or so I thought. Then, a fortnight after our declaration, the Empire came with an army. Cheap recruits, but lots of them. We could defeat them. Some even came over and joined our side. Anyhow, I digress.

The short story is, on that day during the Battle of the Line, as the Empire horde approached, we stood. No one wanted to be the first to fight. And then the Cedar company opened fire. On it's own men, and started moving towards the Empire lines. 2 more did the same - Birch and Nectar.

That started a panic. Our lines broke, some went and rejoined the Empire. Most scattered as the Empire lines continued to advance.

Except for Owl Company. We held. At the Inn, we stayed holed up for 2 hours while everyone else escaped. We got out too, but only because Elsar came with a tribe of Pegasi. To this day, I still don't know how he pulled that off. A single pegasus is hard to find - they're almost extinct - but a tribe?

Anyhow, those guys that joined us and defected back during the battle? Their leader is now a General. The privates now make up the bulk of those at rank Major and above. Judging by Hollas's scar, and the fact that he's stationed here, doing nothing, I'd say he was one of those guys.
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Very nice indeed!

The Eyes who brought you in must not have had any idea who you were, as they deposited you in a holding cell on the first level of the dungeons, which are otherwise empty. You passed a couple of guardrooms on the way in, where the guards gave you nasty looks and the plainclothes even nastier sneers, and then down an empty hallway to the cell. Rusty bars, iron lock, a distinct lack of windows, rough stone walls covered by graffiti, and the smell of way too many bodies and way too many bodily functions - the usual.

Before they shuffled off, the guards muttered something about Captain Hollas coming to judge you lot soon. The guards were much too unimportant to recognize Karst, but surely Captain Hollas will.

What do you do?
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Asha Black


*Asha moves to the door of the cell and looks out into the hallway.*

What can she see? Are any guards in sight? If so, how many?

*She walks back toward the others and then speaks, keeping her voice low.*

"Ranger Karst, I believe that we can get out of this cell easily enough."

*She motions with her head toward her youngest child.*

"As I'm sure you know, Pip is handy with his lock picks. Or Kygaine could break down the door, with a lot of noise."

*She nods to Kygaine.*

"The question is what we should do once we're in the hallway. What are your thoughts?"
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Karst makes sure he's out of sight, and the rips off his shirt, and turns it into some sort of a rope.

Ok kids. Keep calm. If someone comes in who isn't Hallas, let me know. We'll trade Hollas for our freedom. I'd have preferred to not have to choose, but it seems we're beggars he says as he twirls the rope and stands next to the dungeon room door, ready to nab Hollas as he comes in.
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Outside the cell is a long corridor with cells on either side, which were empty when you were led by them before. Light spills out from a guardroom at the far end, but the corridor is out of the guards' direct view.

Let's assume for now that it's just the three of you in the cell...or maybe that the others have been knocked out or something.

Kygaine can break the lock, no problem, but it will make a lot of noise. Unless she beats an obstacle 5 roll to do it all quiet-like.
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Asha Black

"Ranger Karst, I have doubts about your hostage plan. Suppose they decide to rush us? We could snap Captain Hollas's neck, but then we would be dead too, or worse. Or, if the plan did get us out, we would be followed by a regiment of soldiers until the first chance to recapture us."

"I think we should try to leave now, quietly if possible."

"Kygaine, come and take a look at this door. Maybe you can see a way to get it open without alerting the guards."
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Kygaine inspects the lock briefly, finding it to be plain but sturdy.

"The lock itself is not a problem, however unless we can find something to muffle the noise or I break it just right, it's going to draw some attention."

Peers down the corridor towards the room where they were relieved of their weapons before being thrown in the cell.

"We are going to need to be ready to move pretty quickly if we want to make it out of here with more than the clothes on our backs. I'm guessing we'll have a minute or two at most before they get enough bodies down here to cause us a major problem."
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Moving on to the door frame itself, Kygaine notices a few cracks in the wood securing the door.

"The frame itself might be able to be done more quietly, notice the damage here and here. However, quiet requires time, which given the likelihood that this Hollas is going to recognize Karst...."
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As if to accentuate Kygaine's words, a door slams down the hall, and the hum of voices drifts toward you.

Asha, Karst just called you a "kid". How did that make you feel?

Kygaine, the first time you ever smashed a door was just after your father left. Why was that?

By the way, I said that it was an obstacle 5 to break the door quietly...but if you come up with a clever plan to muffle the noise or do it well, that difficulty would be smaller - sorry, should have specified that before.
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So. You break down the door. Then, hope that no one hears you. Then, hope that there isn't a guard on duty. Then, hope that the guy watching the perimeter doesn't notice a group of non military agents rushing outside. They'll send a patrol either way. But my way, we'll at least get outside before that happens. Besides, we're unarmed. Karst points out.

Then, hearing the voices in the hall, I'd say 30 seconds 'till they come. If you can break down the door and get out of here before then, I'll agree to your plan. he says, resuming his position on one side of the door.
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Asha Black

*If Asha heard Karst, she shows no sign of it.*

"Kargaine, go ahead and try the door, quietly if you can. I will give you a hand. Perhaps we can rock it back and forth and put stress on the hinges and the lock. And when you're ready to make a big push, give me a nod."

If Kargaine makes a roll to open the door, Asha will contribute 3 of her dice pool to help.
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"Hmm, that might just work. You get in position down lower and I'll..."

Kygaine glances back at the cots set up against the back wall. Sloppy, sloppy, he thought. Stepping to the nearest cot and removing the blanket he quickly rolls it up.

"I'll loop this around the far bar over here, while getting my weight higher up on the other side. With you down low we should be able to get a quick rocking motion and try and leverage this thing out of the wall.

Traits used: keen, insightful
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Not exactly like the first door though. That one had been rage, pure and simple. His father gone, Kygaine had been a bit, well, rebellious.

Looking back he hadn't even really liked the girl, but even then he had a budding rivalry with Tarik Grayton, merchant's son and all around boor. If Tarik wanted her, Kygaine wanted her too.

He was mildly embarrassed when after smashing down the door he'd found Sylva in the arms of his good friend Horris instead. Rage dissipated, he'd slunk out and they had shared a good laugh over ale the next day.

That was the day he got his first inkling that he might have some talent in the physical arena. A prowess that would be developed greatly in future years.
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"Ready mother? On three."

Kygaine quickly wraps the blanket around the bar and positions himself won't his shoulder wedged into the door where it meets the frame.

4 dice plus 2 from personal pool plus 1 from Asha, 7 total.


"One, two, three!"

7d6c[4] = (3, 2, 1, 6, 2, 1, 3) = 1
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With a loud crack, loud enough to be heard two blocks away, the door pops out of the frame. Voices raise in alarm down the hall.

"Curse the Eyes, well that stuffs that, we have to move now."
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Well, now that you've messed up, yes, we kind of do. Nice going. Karst says, as he quickly glances out the door to see if anyone is there.
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Asha Black

*Asha steps into the hallway.*

What does she see?

"Kygaine, maybe you can pick up the door and use it as both a shield and a battering ram. Slam the guards into a wall as they rush us."

"I will try to seal the far door."

*Asha extends her arm and points a finger toward the far door that leads to the rest of the building. She speaks words in a language that no one else present recognizes, but it sounds somewhat like the speech of the Elves.*

Asha is trying to cast a spell that will quickly cause a thick layer of ice to form over the door. She will use the Master Sorcerer trait and the tags Spellcaster, Channeling, and Stormblood. I will add pool dice after I know the difficulty level.
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The crack is indeed loud enough to set your ears ringing. The voices from guardrooms raise in shouts and then immediately quiet down, into an ominous silence.

Beyond the broken door is a long corridor with more cells - all apparently empty - punctuated by just a couple of pools of faint light, spilling out of gratings in the ceiling, each at least 10 feet above.

Then, as Asha prepares her spell, the sound of screeching metal and booted feet rings out from the room beyond....

Karst, what happened the last time somebody disobeyed a direct order from you?

Asha's spell sounds straightforward enough, so let's go with difficulty 3.
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The last time someone disobeyed a direct order was during the battle of the lines. As Owl company stayed the line, I ordered the other regiments to turn and fight. Some did. Most didn't. Not sure what exactly happened to them, but some died. Most survived though, as Owl company took losses for them, standing up to the horde of recruits.
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Asha's ice spell will get the following dice: 1 (default) + 1 (Master Sorcery trait) + 3 (Spellcaster, Channeling, and Stormblood tags) + 3 (personal dice pool) = 8 total dice.

8d6c[4] = (5, 2, 5, 1, 5, 6, 1, 1) = 4
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  • Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:19 pm
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