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Master of the Fallen Fortress» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character (Complete) rss

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paz AKA Matt Lewis
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OOC thread -- PC GeekList

You've fallen on hard times before, but this time has been worse than the rest. You've got used to the dull ache of your hungry stomach, and your feet feel like lead from trudging the endless cobbled streets of Absalom, the mighty 'City at the Centre of the World'. The bustling metropolis is supposed to be a land of unbridled opportunity, but all it has meant recently is that every job or prospect you've heard about has already been taken up by someone else.

Yesterday, your luck seemed to take a turn for the better. You happened to be stood next to one of the many notice posts in the city when an announcement was nailed to it, promising a large reward for undertaking a venture suitable for hardy souls, with enquiries directed to an address in a nearby part of the city.

When you reached the address (a manor in an upmarket part of Absalom) you were met by a thin and humourless man, evidently some sort of clerk. On telling him the reason for your visit, he looked you up and down and seemed to think for a few moments before leading you to a large room within the house.

There, you were met by a gentleman who explained that he was Benkhal Palastus, a collector of historical artifacts, particularly those from Absalom's surroundings. As you were likely already aware, he informs you that the region outside Absalom is littered with military structures of would-be conquerors of the city. Although many of these are ruined, some have survived through the ages and are still standing. He has been made aware that one of the (previously impregnable) siege castles, less than a day's ride from Absalom, has recently been laid open by a minor earthquake, and he is assembling a team of suitable explorers to bring any treasures contained within back to him . Throughout this 'interview', he seemed less concerned with your own abilities, and more interested in making sure that you were not an agent for one of his rival collectors.

Finally Benkhal seemed satisfied, and informed you that a party returning with treasures from the 'fallen fortress' would be rewarded with 250gp each (with 20gp each paid up front), and that the wagon to take them there would leave from the Westgate at dawn tomorrow.

Now, you find yourself sat on an open-topped wagon drawn by two horses, with a gruff, older-looking driver with a shaggy black beard. Benches run down both sides of the wagon facing inwards; you and five other 'explorers' sit three to a bench. The morning sun rises to the rear of the wagon, and you can feel its rays starting to warm the side of your face as the wagon rumbles away from the city and through the plain.

OOC: The above is (more or less) how each of your characters came to be on a wagon heading across the plains outside of Absalom; I would have given each of you a tailored introduction, but sadly time was against me. I've assumed you all came to be on this venture separately, but I have no problem if some of your characters already know each other and were hired together.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Van is bundled up in his winter wear lazily taking turns between noodling out a tune or two on his pan flute which hangs from his neck and scratching his dog, Sliff's ears while he takes in as much of the scenery as he can.

With a smile that clearly shows how much he is enjoying the journey and the novelty of the new he turns to his fellow companions "Isn't this fun? It wasn't too long ago that I was setting out from Falcon's Hollow and here I am at the center of the world on the road to adventure!"

Van turns to the man with the misted over eyes, "Hey, what happened to your eyes? Are you blind? Yeah...you've gotta be blind with eyes like that. Well, guess we all have our hardships."

Van then starts absentmindedly playing a lively dancing song he heard in a tavern the night before. As the journey continues Van tries to figure out if he's heard anything about the place they're all headed.

OCC:Knowedge check - Bardic Knowledge means I can do the check untrained. 1d20+2 = (20) + 2 = 22
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Terevan takes in the surroundings as the wagon trundles along, studying the trees and occasionally looking out over the edge to try and spot any interesting tracks on the ground.* Only his armor shields him from the chill air. With an amused grin, he addresses Van: My my, aren't you a windy little one?

Straightening up, and still listening to hear what the seemingly blind half-blood says, Terevan taps the driver on the elbow and asks about his boss... You've worked for Benkhal a while? Seems a pleasant fellow, but never heard of him before.

*OCC: Knowledge(nature) check: Does Terevan notice anything noteworthy about the trees or ground?1d20+5 = (12) + 5 = 17
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Firrion stretches his legs and tries his best to accommodate himself to the timber seat. He looks to the horizon behind his companions and is happy to notice how the city gives place to the less constricted surrounding areas. He again stretches and starts to enjoy the rocking motions of the cart.

Well aware that these ruins won't probably be as simple an undertaking as it seems, he takes the opportunity to relax, and listens to his companions conversations.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
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As we're journeying along Van starts mixing in the spell Ghost Sound to his tunes. He's using it to create the sound of a squeaky wheel that sounds like it's working it's way off the axle to tease the driver. Let me know if a stealth, bluff, or performance check or some combination of those is needed to keep it hidden.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Ghaven stares vacantly off into space as the journey begins, but with Van's question his gaze shifts to the other half-elf before settling on the dog with a kind smile. Behind those eyes a fierce intensity shines, and you get the feeling Ghaven sees something of a different world.

"In her kinder moments my mother called these eyes a curse visited upon my father. But I see well enough, at least nearby. And whichever of the gods burdened me with these graced me with other gifts. So I do not complain. Even at these jolts!

"In any case, it seems we make this journey together. My name is Ghaven, and the streets of Absalom are my home. You all seem to have rather more colorful lives, and I look forward to hearing your tales."


*OCC: Knowledge(history) check about the towers (and specifically the one we approach)Ghaven - History 1d20+5 = (11) + 5 = 16
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  • Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:51 pm
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
OOC:
Information about the towers: Absalom has been a valuable target for ambitious warlords for over 4000 years, and has been under siege for long periods of that time. The siege castles are the most prominent remnants of these battles, although most have crumbled into ruins or been thoroughly picked over by now. Relatively few of the fortifications are still undisturbed, most of these being magically protected in some way.

You seem to be heading in the directions of one of these towers, said to be a tall spire of smooth black stone with no windows or doors; the origins of this tower are not known to you.

Information about the land: nothing of major note, other than the low quality of the earth (possibly as a result of the centuries of warfare).


After an hour or so of travel, the back-left wheel of the cart starts to emit a rhythmic squeak. As soon as he notices, the wagon driver halts the cart, and climbs down. "Blast, not again; I thought I'd fixed that last week! You two," (He points at Firrion and Terevan while saying this) "can you get down here and take the weight of this corner of the cart, while I check the wheel? Otherwise, this trip'll be over pretty quickly. The rest of you will need to get out too."
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Van is extremely interested in what's going on and asks the wagon master about each step of the repair as it's being taken care of. He's very willing to offer any assistance he can and offers several times.

OOC: Van's strength is 8, so I doubt he'll be successful at doing much, but he'll try to do anything he's asked.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Firrion gets pulled from his dream like state by the wagon driver's call for help. happy to have something to do, he gets down and goes to a side of the cart placing himself in position to prop it.

He looks in amusement to his fellow 'prop' on the other side of the cart, unsure if such a flimsy fellow will be able to hold it... 'Just tell me if you need a hand on your side...' he jokes.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Ghaven leans heavily on his staff as he descends but requires no other assistance. He peers at the wheel through his clouded eyes and murmurs some words of magic. "Good sir, perhaps that may have helped?"


OOC: Ghaven casts mending on the wheel in case it is the bolt or something else small that was broken. (It only works if the object is less than 1 lb.)
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Na-Hirm stands away from the cart, wordlessly watching the team effort to mend the wheel for a moment and then peering around the countryside, curiously.

OOC Na-Hirm has perception of +4. Anything on the horizon/ in the trees/ down the road?
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Terevan reaches past Van and takes hold of that side of the cart, bracing it. No sense scuffing up those hands, eh bard? We might need you to play a tune later while we do all the work again. - But his honest smile and chuckle let Van see he isn't being sour about it and really is just making light of the setback.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
While Firron and Terevan lift the corner of the wagon (and Van offers 'helpful' advice), the driver (Garath) pushes wooden blocks underneath to support it, then disappears underneath with tools in hand.

After a few minutes of tapping, pulling, and turning the axle, coupled with a fair few expletives, Garath emerges from under the cart. "You can save your magic; I'll be damned if I can see anything wrong wi' it. It must've just been running itself in. Come on, everyone back in; we've still got a couple of hours ride before we get where we're goin'."

OOC: Na-Hirm perception: 1d20+4 = (6) + 4 = 10

As Na-Hirm looks around, swirling winds whip the dust up from the blasted plains and sting his eyes. The only movement he sees is of the hardy grasses fluttering, and there are no sounds other than his companions working on the cart, and the howling wind.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Now Terevan might not be a shining beacon of wits, but he is a curious sort. Nudging Garath again as he climbs back up to the bench, he asks, "Benkhal, your boss - he sends lots of hired help out to these towers since the ground started shaking? You bring many of them back in one piece?"

OOC: No sense bullying him, it's still a bit of a ride... I'd like to Sense Motive as he answers, even with my handicap. Motive 1d20-1 = (13) - 1 = 12
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Firrion wiped his hands on his clothes, to remove the dust that was below the cart. He look to the horizon just in time to catch the sand thrown by the wind straight onto the face, involuntarily putting his arm before his eyes to protect himself.

This harsh land reminded him of his home, and it was with a deep sigh that he climbed aboard the wagon again.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Van starts playing a song in rhythm to the horses clopping slowly increasing the tempo to see if he can spur on the beasts to a faster pace without them realizing or feeling that they're working harder.

OCC: Performance check = 1d20+9 = (13) + 9 = 22
I'm not trying to get them to run or trot, simply to walk faster while feeling more at ease in doing so.
And just in case, Handle Animal check = 1d20+9 = (2) + 9 = 11
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Last of all Na-Hirm hops back on the cart, but does not turn to the other travellers. Na-Hirm remains fascinated with the naural surroundings, eyes darting about the scenery.


OOC Na-Hirm continues to scan the country side and the road- oddly curious about it all, taking ten (+4) on perception in case anything dangerous comes up
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Garath sets the cart moving again, and looks over his shoulder to talk to Terevan. "Not really; most of these places were cleared out years ago. I can't remember the last time he organised something like this; he's usually happy for his treasures to come to him. Most of the time he has me fetching the latest stuff he's expecting when it comes in on the barges at Diobel; there's not as many tax collectors or guards there than there are in Absalom, y'see."

OOC: He appears to be speaking honestly about his lot in life.

As the journey continues, the horses seem to speed up slightly... then again, it could just be your imagination; it's easy to lose track of time in this barren plain. Your surroundings remain quiet; only the odd knee-high ruined building or low mound of earth with head-sized stones piled on top breaks the monotony.

After a while, Garath breaks his silence, while keeping his eyes fixed on the ground ahead of the horses. "We should be there in about an hour. I'll stop the cart in the shelter of a ruined building about half a mile away; you'll have to walk the rest of the way. I'll wait for you there, unless trouble finds me or you're not back an hour before dusk. Then you'll have to make your own way home."
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Terevan starts checking over his gear - testing the thongs of leather holding scabbard to belt, the oversized daggers in a slung bandoleer, and cinching the ties on his pack.
"I don't know about you all, but I'll happy to get my feet back on some solid ground!" he says to the others, and then to Gareth, "Nothing against your driving, 'course."
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Ghaven's left hand fingers his pendant nervously, but his voice is steady. "May the gods' light shine on us all during this expedition, especially you, my fine driver. Be safe while you await us."
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
As soon as the wagon is fully stopped and everyone has grabbed their gear to head off down the road Van tells Sliff to stay with Ghaven and then hurries on to scout ahead.

OCC: Animal check = 1d20+9 = (11) + 9 = 20 to have Sliff guard Ghaven against any threats. Stealth check = 1d20+9 = (15) + 9 = 24 to keep silent and hidden about one hundred fifty yards ahead - close enough that they can hear a warning, but not so close that whatever I find hears them before I've spotted the danger.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Following the announcement, Firrion started to check that his gear was all in place, and that his weapons were at hand. He was certain they would come in handy, probably not long after they started walking towards the tower.

After a quick and mumbled prayer, he said to no one in particular 'Let's see what fibre are we made of...'.

He then gave a tap on the bard's shoulder 'How about something cheerie to get us going eh?'
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Van makes up a jaunty tune while waiting for the journey to end dubbing it "The Backpack Song." Not being a poet the lyrics he sings for it are just saying the word "backpack" over and over again with a slight hispanic accent.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
After about another hour's travel, accompanied by the soothing melodies of 'the Backpack Song', Garath steers the wagon into the lee of a small, partially collapsed building, which itself appears to be cobbled together from bits of older ruins. "Right, this is where I leave you. As you've maybe guessed, that's where you're supposed to be going," he says, gesturing to a structure half a mile to the west. "Good luck to you, I hope you all make it back in one piece."

As the rest of the party checks their gear and hauls packs on to their backs, Van slips off quickly towards the tower. He stays low to the ground, moving swiftly and near-silently between boulders and bits of debris.

From the wagon, it is difficult to discern too much about the tower, but as you get closer, details become apparent:

The so-called 'Fallen Fortress' rises out of the churned earth of the Cairnlands. No doors or windows mar the otherwise smooth expanse of the siege castle’s walls. The tower is quatrefoil in plan; its eastern wing has largely collapsed, exposing the interior floors to the open air. Only the topmost level seems whole, though its eastern portion hangs precariously over the mountain of rubble left by the collapse. At ground level, the rubble frames a gaping hole in the side of the building that provides access to the tower’s darkened interior. You estimate the whole structure to be about 80 feet tall.

OOC: I'm assuming you're all moving towards the tower at a normal walking pace, with Van approx. 150 feet ahead. Feel free to indicate what you are doing, if that isn't the case.
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Re: Paz's MotFF PbP - In character
Ghaven strides forward at a normal pace, but he leans heavily upon his staff. "May I ask what you see ahead? I expect the siege tower lies near, but I am afraid my vision is poor."

OOC: Ghaven can only see 30 feet ahead and so will often be asking for someone to narrate for him. Of course it's going to get tedious if someone actually has to write this out, so I'll leave the questions in the background for the most part.
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