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Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:58 pm
by Klasa
Ravillion idly toyed with the cloak emblem she had discovered. Did it belong to their target, the King? If so, why would his clothing be in such disarray and found in such a place? Or was it belonging to one of his servants? Or was it even just not affiliated with him at all? So many questions, yet the method of answering them was simple at least.

The real question on her mind though was that of the Derro. Their demands were growing stronger and bolder, but yet she had yet to see any evidence that her promised compensation was being worked on. She would have her revenge and she will be restored. And if the Derro do not keep their end, then they will become part of the former.

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:06 pm
by smartalec
It's clear that striding theough filth, ducking through narrow passages and battling an Otyugh hasn't put Zau'lann in the best of moods. Tian'ith's words seem to mollify him a little, and the smell from whatever Vot spends his time cooking has his stomach rumbling, but Miiq's interjection has him stare at the kobold, both annoyed and astonished. We weren't talking to you! his eyes said... but his words were choked down. Instead, he adds, none too cheerfully, "Failure is preferable to capture. But let us have no illusions here. If we begin the task and something goes wrong, we are likely dead; little chance of flight from inside a human fortress. I say to you, kobold, keep your snout on the prize and don't let up."

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:02 pm
by Lazybones
Session 16

Full-posting bonus.

+600xp for Rogha, Zau'lann, Vot, and Tian'ith
+900xp for Darsin
+1200xp for Miiq

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:03 pm
by Vanya Mia
((Server is up.))

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:34 am
by Ayram
Well, the stealing the baron worked out reasonably well. Turned a bit quick and dirty, but it all went fine. Vot had to carry his dead weight all the way back to the Derro of course, which had been a pain. And when they got back, the Derro hold was on it's last legs, literally falling apart. So he hadn't had time to make a dish. And that made him cranky.

It was a good thing they were going to kill something right away, he supposed. A roper. He normally didn't tangle with those things... heh, tangle... but he didn't foresee this one being any trouble unless it was getting juiced from that toxic sludge like the spitting lizards had been.

Hmm, he was starting to wonder, did roper taste good?

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:24 am
by Klasa
Paranoia, whispers of secrets and betrayals, and more. Yes, Ravillion could tell that things were approaching their end for the group under the Derro. They already held their new hold, an enemy of theirs was completely defeated and routed, and now the Derro held the leader of the source of their troubles. Yes, soon her time under them would be finished and they would give her what she sought. Yes, soon she would be whole again, and soon she would have her revenge on those who wronged her.

But that would come later. First was the matter of their current assignment, creating a new path to the surface, as they seemed to lose theirs every time they came back. But it mattered not, all they had to do was defeat a mere Roper, and such a creature was obviously beneath them now.

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:18 am
by Mirgalen
And so they went back to the surface. Entered a fortress from below. Killed some guards and servants. Even Rogha after being knocked down managed to join the fight and help kill a couple of guards with her bulky hammer. The Baron was no match for them and he was taken down under. The placed was left as is it had been attacked by bugs of some kind. Perhaps a clever trick but would that work?
Down below toxic water level was rising and soon the village would be submerged. Everybody had to relocate to the former duergar stronghold. The "Magnificiennt Seven" decided to do a bit of scavenging before leaving something they or at least Rogha did not have time to do inside the human fortress.
Soon they would have to go find another route to the surface and for that they would have to dispose of a roper. From what she remembered, that creature was hard to kill but it could speak so perhaps it could be persuaded to go away.

"That roper thing is quite tough. We could tell it to go elsewhere. I think it does not like fire that much."

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:50 am
by Shadani
Miiq remembered the Roper. Before, when he had been far weaker than he was now, the creature had nearly claimed his life. Vengeance upon it had not previously been high among his priorities - it was merely a beast, after all, and therefore unworthy of a dragon's attention - but the prospect nevertheless enthused him now, even if it was only to be a stepping stone towards a greater victory.

"It burns, then?" Miiq gave a snort; tiny tongues of flame emerged from his nostrils. "Good. I have much fire to share with it."

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:07 am
by smartalec
"Fire, is it?" Zau'lann looked from Rogha to Mii'q. "Strange to think of a rock-like thing fearing fire... but if it is as you say, I think we can deliver fire, xas."

He looked at Tianith, nodding reassuringly, and saw yet more suspicion there. The awareness of a potential trap, an impending betrayal from Alzari and her ilk. That streak of paranoia that'd grown over the last few years. Ah, mrimm, you learned this lesson a little too well, didn't you...?

***

"... so you see," said Zau'lann, holding up a Matron piece to express his point, "this has little to do with us."

She gave him a quizzical, annoyed glance, as he interrupted her thoughts. But, she didn't tell him to be silent. There was something about Sava, with its pieces of matrons, warriors, slaves, that naturally prompted political discussion. The first game - he'd won, but for illustrative purposes - had naturally led to another, started from scratch. Her brow had knitted as she realised there was a level of strategy to the game that she'd been unaware of, and seemingly, so had everyone else she'd played against. The analogy to their own situation was easy to make. He took a swig of wine and continued.

"Not about us at all. This, two obvious people meeting in an inn room in the city, exchanging verbal reports... this isn't really how things are done. Magical messages, letters in hidden, poisonous inks - yes. Not like this at all."

The look on her face had said it all. "What do you mean? What are we doing, then?" Always the blunt question... coming from someone who always seemed to mean exactly what she said. Her lack of guile was refreshing, at least.

"Who knows?" He shrugged. "Attract attention... conceal that something else is going on, possibly, or give the impression that something is going on when it isn't... intimidate a rival House with a show of co-operation... but for us, well. it's not too hard to see. I've a superior in the House Library who likely thinks I'm after his job, and you, well... I can imagine why a Matron would want to give a young, rebellious daughter making connections in the military something else to do." He indicated one of her soldier pieces, that was even now menacing his holdings.

He could see it in her face, like everything else. A slight indignance at being called 'rebellious'... but a grudging acceptance. Followed by - yes, he'd hoped to see it - some dawning realisations, and a reframing of times with her family in her head, seeing things through this new lens. Yes, he had a sense he'd guessed right.

She had several moments of intense thought... and a sag of her shoulders, as she dwelled on how needless the loss was. From just a few days in her company, Zau'lann could see that Tian'ith had no designs on making any kind of stand against her family, other than on her conventional role. It was written all over her face, like everything else! But no Matron worth her salt would take that at face value... any one that did would be dead sooner than later. It was unfair. Of course it was. But it was also life.

He gave her another little shrug, nodding, breaking into her thoughts. "I'm sorry."

Re: Assault on Aldera Campaign

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:10 pm
by Vanya Mia
“You see, I have not forgotten my promises. Wealth, power, and freedom.” The words had rolled around and around Tian’ith’s head since they had been spoken, they were all too familiar in form. “When we finally finish our relationship, you will leave here as a force to be reckoned with. But first... first the surfacers must be brought to account.”

She looked at Zau'lann as he spoke and recognised the nod for what it was as she connected with his gaze. There it was, as she extended the wordless exchange, the lifting of a brow that moved his expression into one of challenging query.

***

The realisation of potential for betrayal, for treachery, and even the acknowledgement that they might be simply unwitting pawns in a game of distraction, was an epiphany. Suddenly things that had confused her made sense. Tian’ith had not understood the removal of her experience from the field at a time when plans to move against House Miridenath were in play. Bringing her into the inner circle had not been to develop her in case of further unexpected changes in dynastic order, it had been a way of removing options on any play of her own.

Her understanding of infiltration and tactical approach was of no consequence in these meetings, it was now obvious that the only thing that mattered was her use in diverting attention. Her unquestioning loyalty had been her downfall but now chance pieces of information and exchanges of glances between her mother and elder sisters could be viewed in a new light. A multitude of connections were made as the memories flashed through her head.

"I'm sorry." His words cut into her reverie and she turned a keen gaze towards him.

“If this is true then I know naught of it. As that is so then we are a distraction.” She gave a grim smile as his own acknowledged her words. “But there is no point in a distraction that goes unnoticed. I am sure you realise there is a tactical term for such a distraction.” She lifted her soldier piece that was threatening his holdings on the board and moved it into a position that would assure its destruction but open the way for a potential final move.

***

Tian’ith gave Zau’lann a grim smile and drew a breath before speaking softly to the group.

“Remember they are building an army that does not include us, and we are an opening move in a greater war for them. I am familiar with such tactical move and it is often given a name.” She glanced around her and spoke as she began to move forward into the dark.

“The term is ’sacrificial’.”