Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

As we play, occasionally we'll close a thread and open a new one to keep the size of threads (and relative complexity) down to a dull roar. Here's where we store the closed posts from the history of Errant Road.

Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Graybeard » November 29th, 2011, 12:25 am

Layla grimaced. "It's not good tactics to split up an attacking force," she said, "but in this case, I don't think there's a choice. We just have too many bases to cover." From the kitchen, Ace made noises of agreement as he set to work frying a rasher of bacon. (Yup, he's a keeper, Layla thought approvingly.)

She wasn't too distracted by the aroma to start planning the operation. "We still have to check out some sites," she said, "and we want to do it so that the marks don't recognize anyone who's got them staked out. I think that means Joe and Jade make sure the baby sitter isn't causing trouble; she won't recognize either of you. Rufus and Eve go to the airship terminal, for the same reason. I'll send Oskar along for protection." As if on cue, the mountainous henchman rumbled into the dining room, drawn by the cooking bacon. "And then the scary one: the surveillance on Torou has to be by Leo, Bert and Ace."

This last assignment was met by a curse from the kitchen. "Sweetheart?" Layla called, as Ace emerged shaking his hand. "Damn near burned my fingers off when I heard that," her boyfriend replied. "Unfortunately, you're right. Mrs. Torou would know me on sight. But Layla, what are you going to be doing?"

Layla's eyes narrowed as she picked up her son. "I'm going to be paying a little social call on Galina. There may be some magic to be learned and used for this one ..." Like, specifically, any defensive measure she can teach me ... and I'm still not convinced it'll be enough.
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Jack Rothwell » November 30th, 2011, 1:33 pm

"Capital idea!" Leo enthused. "It's not as if Seishi knows who we are, tracking him should be simple enough." (OOC Dun, dun, duuuuuun!/OOC)

"How come i get the dangerous assignment?" Bert fairly whined.

"Think of it as training." Leo replied. "I'll buy you a biscuit when we're done."

"We'll set off immediately." Rufus said, making his way stiffly to the door. "No disguises this time. It would be bad to be recognized as the people who were snooping around the college yesterday."

Eve breathed an audible sigh of relief; she hated that dress with the fire of a thousand suns.

"Just as long as I'm not pulled into an alley and have a tongue shove down my throat to avoid imaginary patrols, I'm game." Jade added, and tipped a wink at Joe that had the man blushing scarlet.

"I still think we should capture these people if we get the chance." Eve muttered. "Save us a fuckload of trouble if we can manage it."
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Graybeard » December 1st, 2011, 10:08 am

[OOC: OK, this is going to get complicated...]

As soon as the bacon was wolfed down, the conspirators headed off on their assorted assignments.

-----------

Oskar, Rufus and Eve had the easiest job to do. The airship terminal in Rinkaiel was not large, and Ace's description of the path to the dispatcher's office was easy to follow. Better yet, an airship was coming in from somewhere, allowing the trio to blend into the arriving crowd. A few minutes later, they were standing outside an office whose open door revealed a woman with Tsuirakuan features sitting at a desk, a cradle by her side.

"Okay, now what?" Oskar asked as they withdrew and settled into chairs in the lobby of the terminal.

-----------

Leo, Bert and Ace also had it easy, up to a point, but then things got complicated. Seishi Torou emerged from the apartment building just as they arrived at their stakeout, and boarded a carriage that had been waiting at the side of the building. "I assume we follow him?" Ace said as the carriage made a bee-line for the Seeadler district.

----------

Things did not go so smoothly at the building where the baby sitter(?) had her apartment.

The main entrance was cordoned off with the magical glow that the Tsuirakuans used instead of crime-scene tape, and several uniformed figures stood nearby. A woman wearing the uniform of the Tsuirakuan Homeland Security detachment moved to intercept Joe and Jade as soon as she saw them. "You two, move along," she said in heavily accented Veracian. "Crime scene, was attempt assault here last night, no danger, but cannot come in, so sorry." Two other uniformed figures drew slightly closer as she spoke.

----------

"I'd been worried about you!" Galina said from the door of the laboratory, clearly relieved to see her friend arrive carrying Zachary. "Is everything -- all right?"

Layla guessed that the inquiry had as much to do with Faye's, and the party's, well being as her own. "More or less," she answered. "No real changes from last night, apart from a minor bar fight." She smirked at the shocked look on her friend's face. "Don't ask. Somebody did something a little impulsive, but it worked out all right. Now, let's talk magic. There's a small favor I want to ask you ..."
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Jack Rothwell » December 2nd, 2011, 3:16 pm

OOC Finally got some free time coming up, long posts tomorrow for everyone! I'll post it in here bud./OOC
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Graybeard » December 3rd, 2011, 12:21 am

[OOC: OK, so for the part that involves only "my" characters while waiting for your opus magnus:]

As their children giggled and cooed at each other in a playpen (Layla really wished she could have had something like the magical flying horses and unicorns that hovered above it, for use in Zachary's own playpen -- the things Tsuirakuans could do with their magic), the women got down to business. "Favor?" Galina repeated. "Sure, but what can I do to help? I -- have to be a little careful, you know." She shuddered, remembering her encounter with Kitaura.

Layla nodded. "I'm certainly not going to ask you to do anything that could get you in trouble. I wonder, though: is there any magic the Tsuirakuans use as a defense against magical eavesdropping or snooping or detection that you could teach me? I want to make sure we're not detected as we -- do what has to be done." Not to mention that it could come in handy in my "day job."

Galina waved a hand dismissively. "Psh. Is that all? Sure, that's easy to do. In fact, an anti-scrying spell is one of the first bits of magic upper-crust children in Tsuirakushiti learn once they're becoming capable of magic. It's a defense against getting kidnapped or worse. A lot of work has gone into developing a spell that's easy for kids to learn and use, and as far as we know, unbreakable -- what?"

Layla's face had cracked a broad, impish smile. "And let me guess. You all get really good at using that one just about the time you discover the joys of underage drinking, right?"

Galina laughed. "I neither confirm nor deny. Now here, just watch as I summon the magic, your detection skills are up to that. We'll have you using a Cloaking spell, as we call it, in no time." The lesson began.
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Jack Rothwell » December 3rd, 2011, 12:26 pm

"Ok, now what?"

"We wait." Rufus replied promptly. "Sooner or later yon lady'll move to an area, the bathroom say, where we can have a little conversation with her. Eve or I will convince her to come quietly, and we leave."

"You're thinking of using the kid as leverage?"

"Its cruel." Rufus admitted. "But no different than what Seishi and company are doing, in my estimation."

"More waiting." Eve grumbled. "Just what I was hoping for."

............................

"I assume we follow him?"

Leo face was a picture at the sight of Seishi; one drawn by an artist with a peculiar sense of humor.

"Ahh... shit." He intoned. "THAT'S what Seishi looks like."

"What's up boss?"

"I know him. Ran into him before at the Mead and Drum, Bert." Leo replied. "More importantly, he knows me, and if he spots me the jigs up." The older man shook his head and clapped a hand on Bert's shoulder. "You and Ace'll have to keep an eye on him. I'll have to... I don't know... keep an eye on you from much further away."

The mercenary pulled his hat down harder and started making in the opposite direction of the carriage.

"Well, what are you waiting for? Get after him!"

"But I'm not ready..." Bert began.

"Balls to that! Consider this your first exam! Get going!"


OOC Stuck on a way for Jade to respond, I'll have a think and try to add something later./OOC
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Graybeard » December 3rd, 2011, 11:14 pm

Unexpectedly, Oskar rose to Eve's bait; he may have looked like the typical Big Dumb Guy, but appearances were deceiving.

"Like he says, we wait," he rumbled back. "Ace says this place is full of security people. Nothing we can do here, now. We see where she goes next." He subsided back into his chair, looking himself like an airship coming in to berth, and resumed waiting, with the practiced indifference of a man who had done a lot of it. [OOC: A very belated retcon here, as we have learned something about the Errant World time line that made something in Oskar's speech incorrect. It doesn't affect subsequent developments at all, though.]

--------------

Ace didn't like the idea of spreading their already limited forces, but Leo had a point: having Torou notice that he was being tailed by someone he recognized would not end well. "See if you can flag a cab or something," he said, setting their own carriage into motion after the one carrying the Tsuirakuan.

Torou didn't seem to be making any particular effort to cover his tracks. That was good; it meant the unfortunate incident with his babysitter(?) wasn't yet known to him or his wife. A few minutes more, and the cab pulled up in front of the maritime college. Torou dismounted and entered, and the cab turned around, heading back for Tsuiraku-town.

"Seems easy enough so far," Ace muttered to Jade. "But now what?"

-------------

"You were right, that was surprisingly easy," Layla told her friend. The magic lesson had gone quickly -- surprisingly quickly, Galina thought -- and Layla was now encased in a nearly invisible film of magic.

"You're a really fast learner," the instructor said. "I'm impressed. You can probably protect yourself now from scrying even by an arch-mage. This spell is so robust, even the Homeland Security people supposedly don't know how to crack it." She smiled. "Don't tell anyone I said that. Two things, though. First, the cloaking defeats scrying, but within line of sight, it's easy for the cloaking itself to be detected magically, and it tells anyone with detection magic that the person using it is trying to hide something, maybe themselves."

"Oh." Abashed, Layla let the spell lapse. She got the message: use this thing only when necessary, and in a place like Tsuiraku-town, where everybody seemed to have magical sensitivity, it would be best to do without it. "What's the other thing?"

Galina's merry face got serious. "This is very important. Never, never, never use this spell if you're under an Invisibility spell, or on someone who is. There's an auto-catalyzed thaumatic reaction between the two, and there's a serious risk that there'll be an explosion equivalent to a ton of explosives or more ... and you'll be right at the center of it."
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Jack Rothwell » December 7th, 2011, 6:33 am

OOC Did you mean Leo had a point? Rufus is in the airport with Eve and Oskar. Bert's with Ace as well, Jade's with Joe at the apartment./OOC

"Ehh." Eve breathed noisily and parked herself into a chair next to Oskar and Rufus, an expression on her face remarkably similar to an impatient ten year old.

........

"Seems easy enough so far, but now what?"

"Just wait for him to come out again, right?" Bert replied, uncertainly. "It's his wife our associates are after. I don't think we could do much to Seishi if he decided to fry us alive with lightning bolts or something. Ahh well..." He said, trying and failing to sound nonchalant. "Leo'll keep an eye on us. Yeah sure he will." Out the corner of the mercenaries eye he saw Leo disappearing out of sight.

.........

Jade frowned at the security blocking her and Joe's way into the apartment complex and tried to formulate some excuse to get them past. Unlike Leo and Eve, conning people into believing the sky was green was far from a specialty of hers. She ran through the possible gambits she could make; bursting into tears and telling them she needed to see her mother was one, pretending Joe was her pimp and trying to lure the guards into the alley wouldn't work with their commanding officer behind them...

'Pull out a knife and start stabbing?'

Not exactly the most subtle option, besides the attention it would attract it might give the babysitter a chance to get away.

'What else then? Climb up?'

She grabbed Joe's arm and led him around the corner and out of sight.

"I'm stumped." She admitted. "Can you climb up... or..."

And then an idea presented itself that was wickedly simple and deliciously devious. She grinned, and pulled out the book of matches she used to light her cigarettes.

"There's a lot of dry materials back here." She commented. "All this garbage the residents throw out. A fire hazard waiting to happen if I'm any judge."
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Graybeard » December 8th, 2011, 9:54 am

Hmmm ... wonder if we could find a way to weaponize that, Layla thought as she digested Galina's warning about the Cloaking spell. Presumably the dangerous interaction worked the other way around too; casting an Invisibility spell while Cloaked could cause a big bang. A hands-off assassination technique for Tsuirakuan mages? Surreptitiously cast the Cloaking on some mark, then wait for them to blow themselves up at a safe distance? Of course, it would require magical aptitude on the part of the Wraith who used it, and as yet, she was the only Wraith to have developed that. On the other hand, if she understood her mother correctly, the main reason for bringing her here was that the brain trust thought that any Wraith had incipient magical talent; it was what made them able to hide and climb and shoot preternaturally straight. So maybe there was something to the idea. Anyway, it was worth thinking about.

Speaking of Mom... "Thanks," she smiled at Galina. "I owe you one. Now I've got to go deal with our -- problem. I may not be around here much for a few days. Sorry."

"Not to worry," Galina smiled back. "I have a couple of new students, and they're ... amusing. Go do what you have to do, and I'll watch your son for the day. Aww ... look at that." Galina's daughter Oxana had crawled over to Zachary, and managed to plant a big, sloppy, wet kiss on his cheek. The little boy's smile was like the rising sun ... "I think they're in love."

------------

Surrounded by a shimmer of magic, the girl at the apartment complex emerged, heading for school (the same one Jin-Liu had attended, although neither they nor the watchers knew that). She exchanged a few words in Tsuirakuan with the security forces, then headed off, one falling into place beside her.

------------

And at about the same time, Mrs. Torou emerged from her office, heading toward a private space in the terminal to feed her own baby.
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Re: Temple of the Divine Dwarf, part 2

Postby Jack Rothwell » December 9th, 2011, 3:25 pm

OOC I can retcon this if Mrs Torou isn't going to the ladies./OOC

"Bingo!" Eve exclaimed merrily as the young mother made her way to the ladies facilities in order to give her child a drink. The young mercenary all but leaped to her feet in anticipation of the immanent hostage taking, Rufus raised a cautionary hand.

"Focus." He said simply.

Eve nodded, and followed Mrs Torou into the bathroom. The plan was simple enough; she'd grab the woman by the hair, put a knife to her throat, and tell her to co-operate unless she wanted her child snatched instead. It was despicable, ruthless and unfair... everything worthy of what she'd learned from her surrogate father. Rufus himself merely kept an eye on the door which closed behind her, murmuring side-mouth to Oskar as he did,

"Thirty seconds wait, no more. If they don't come out. We go in, and never mind the social taboo's."

...............

Jade watched the baby-sitter pass and sighed a noise which sounded like relief. At least they knew where their mark was and what direction she was heading in. Now it was just a question of keeping an eye on her, although she felt a moment's disappointment that arson wasn't to be among the activities they engaged in today. The thought of putting the scare into the Tsuirakuans had been appealing.

"Maybe we should snatch her anyway." Jade said to Joe, as they began their surreptitious pursuit. "We come find out what she knows, and if its nothing we could keep her out the way until this mess is resolved, what do you think?"
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