Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

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Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 16th, 2013, 7:21 am

As the night finally fell, the carriage drew to a halt outside Drewmount Shipping where a sizeable crowd had gathered. The dark color of the transport and the animals who pulled it blended neatly into the background as a robed figure alighted and made a stiff-legged walk around the perimeter of torches in front of the large building. He gave a wide berth to the spectators who sat under the capony of the barm-sized doors for the demonstration, his cowl tilting breifly in a nod at the Black Guard Captain as he passed, who returned the gesture.

Eli murmured sidemouth to the Priest as his side as the new arrival took a seat some distance behind the crowd.

"Aleron's here to observe. It would be best to leave him undisturbed until after the demonstration's over, he becomes... unsettled when he's interrupted."

As the last of the dignitaries took their seats the Captain took a final glance at the security arrangements. The Black Guard had posted some thirty men, not counting the officers present, which was more than enough to subdue any rebellious bodyguards if the councilmen and other potential investors were still undecided after the coming show of strength. There were a further dozen or so labourers and contractee's setting up scaffolding and targets, and the now nervous-looking blacksmith, who jiggled from one foot to another in the yard beyond, furiously puffing a ciggarette in anticipation of her work being put on display.

'She's definately not a public person.' The half-elf thought dryly.

The other officers were, for the most part, sitting in the crowd along with Commander Garald, although the big man would soon be addressing the audience instead of mingling with it. The exception to the rule, as usual, was Sergeant Myra Jianti, who'd disappeared around the back of the building with a silver-lined flask liberated from Gods-knew-where and a mutter about 'being bored rigid'. On that count Eli wasn't concerned; he knew the former bandit would come running back when the explosions started.

The middle-aged commander pushed to his feet and turned to face the crowd, who fell into an expectant silence.

"History, my friend." Eli said.

..........

Tamina and her companions had kept off the main streets since re-entering Port Lorrel. It had proven to be a wise decision. The kobold and her companions had spotted a patrol of the Black Guard already, fortunately from a long distance away. The kobold dreaded having her disguise put under scrutiny by armed men, even after nightfall the subterfuge wouldn't last if someone got close enough to peer inside the hood.

The Waterfront district was some ten minutes away. The knot of anticipation in the humanoid's stomach cranked a notch tighter.

"<Please let this be easy.>" She muttered to herself, knowing that it would almost certainly not be.

OOC Are the group going to the eisenfaust first?/OOC
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Alberich » March 16th, 2013, 11:14 am

[OOC: The Eisenfaust already came to us. I didn't write that part in detail because it wasn't interesting, but they kept eyes on where Tim was going with Eli, and told us it was the same place Tamina had overheard on the crystal. I'm assuming none are with us right now, though you can bet they're watching, and whether they get involved should depend on tactical and dramatic necessity. It wouldn't surprise me if they've arranged their own attack on the Black Guards' outer perimeter after we start trouble in the square - and set up ambushes for anyone who goes running for reinforcements, or for any reinforcements that get called by magic commo rocks. After all they know these streets well.]


"Aleron's here to observe. It would be best to leave him undisturbed until after the demonstration's over, he becomes... unsettled when he's interrupted."

Tim bit back The prophet speaks! - a couple of extended magic lessons with Aleron were enough to show anyone how short-tempered the half-elven devil-worshipper was. If Eli hadn't himself freshly slipped into the grip of that same power he'd be able to see the ferocious evil he was looking at up close. As it was he was likelier to become it.

"Up close" was the thing. Most of them didn't have a prayer of seeing what their soon-to-be ruler really was. Look at these poor dupes! The guards (okay, not that one), the councilmen, that poor fidgety craftswoman -- she needed to be at home with her husband, not at this feast of fear -- they'd be acting just the same if this organization had saints on top instead of monsters. Bishops didn't have private armies, but then again, an experiened officer with a dual role who needed to protect the heathen in order to reach them, who also just happened to be a bishop, well, he'd know what to do with an organization like this...

"History, my friend." Eli said.

He pulled back from the reverie. He needed to pay attention! He nodded. Yes, history, he thought. I hope he soon will be.

* * *

Udo was itching as hard as Tamina but for different reasons. Where in hell was Sensei? Okay, he'd seen him ignobly trying to pet Tamina - but to an enlightened man of this day and age, a great Sensei didn't have to be a virtuous ascetic the way they were in the older comics. He knew they might be very much the opposite or even make an art of their perversity - but not showing up in time for a fight? Well it could be another one of Sensei's strange demonstrative training techniques - like throwing him into the air on the ship or swatting him with a hat - there were mystic masters who taught pupils by whacking them with a stick - but this? Well maybe that was it...it had to be...his ability to make fantasy reality strained at this.

Jargalan, pulling up his hood, scouted ahead. The silly self-important Eisen-sheep messenger had already given them a diagram of the square and the sentry positions - not a bad defense but not extremely tight either. No doubt they expected to be watched. His own scouting was magical, to supplement the Eisenfaust diagrams with a sense of where the magic traps were in the nearby buildings, and not to get near enough for a life detection from the square. After all, the Eisenfaust's diagram of the bleachers gave them a pretty good sense of where the leaders would be, and that's where the errants would be for sure. How quickly these sheep put themselves under the direction of the wolves!

He'd have to assume they knew life detection and were smart enough to use it, so an easy cut-throat approach from behind was out of the question, and total surprise was somewhere between unlikely and impossible. These damned errants always lived on the threshold of the abbatoir, and they knew it, so they lived in constant fear, as if they were going to be slaughtered at any moment. Of course, that's exactly how things were, but it made it hard to catch one lazy.

He returned with his observations, supplementing the Eisenfaust diagram with a few strokes of his own, and ready to plan the best approach.

[OOC: And as I don't know what he's detected, please enlighten.]
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 16th, 2013, 3:00 pm

Jargalan's magical scouting painted a picture of dispell traps and detection magic at key points around the perimeter, the elf could feel the latent energy of the weapons stockpile within the large structure lined up as if in a rack. There was something else there around the meeting building as well, a flame in the ether which Jargalan recognised, Ralkin magic. The mana appeared to be pacing back and forth at the blindside of the meeting place.

.....

"Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for coming on short notice to this gathering..."

Garald's voice was tempered from decades of issuing orders to a command; it carried easily to the back row of the assembled dignitaries. Eli stole an amused glance at the blacksmith Jade as she hurredly crushed the stub of her smoke and straightened up as the military leader continued.

"The purpose of this meet is to present you a business offer on behalf of Mr Logan."

Logan, of course, being safely tucked away in his office to 'plan his campaign'. Fake assassination attempts were good for encouraging public respect, but risking a real one so close to home was an exercise in stupidity.

"...his goodwill and the protection of his men for the continued, and increased, success of your own endevours..."

Eli began to drift in and out; he heard the Commander going over the preamble to the demonstration some half dozen times earlier in the day after all, and could quote parts of it verbatum. He leaned forward as if to check his shoe, reached down, and spread his fingers parallel to the ground.

"...with the recent new addition to our arsenal, considering that crime rates have already dropped in major areas..."

He turned and tipped a wink to Tim before he pushed out and willed a small symbol into existence. A magical reach and grab later a small rodent was scurrying out of a cloud of soil and towards the doorway of the warehouse. The silka did a breif figure-eight around the legs of a well-dressed woman, who gave a yelp of surprise and drew her legs up hurredly at the escaping mammal. Eli stifled a chuckle and gave a low mutter to Tim.

"Just taking a look around. Feel free to join me."
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Alberich » March 17th, 2013, 12:06 am

Tim scowled a little and whispered. "No need for that - we're trying to get on their good side, ladies included." Couldn't be too subservient - he needed Eli's respect as well as friendship for what was to come.

He was reluctant to make a silka -- when the crisis came, if it ever did, he was going to need all his courage -- but it was more important to stay close to Eli, and a galdy would not be right for this mission. So he did a subtle finger trace of his own, and soon a second cute little mouse-thing was scuttling around and looking for signs of trouble. The thrill of the Ralkin power was getting too familiar, as perhaps the act of lust did for those who performed it often. It would be hard to give up. And would he really have to? These spies would be so useful in the right hands. Yes, you will really have to.

* * *

With deft pen-strokes Jargalan added the dispel and detection points. "So," he said, "it's a pretty competent defense. They're expecting us, plus the gun girl, and they know what I and you and you can do." His nods took in Drusia and Tamina. "That includes the teleports, so they'll be ready for your normal attack. There's no question of sneaking into the square, or zapping in and taking them all on at once. The one thing they don't know about is about Mr. Hurricane, here." Khoo, obviously. "Well, or whatshisname, I suppose, but he can't be bothered to be here, and we shouldn't delay."

This stung Udo a little and he wanted to spring to Sensei's defense, but the words died in his throat. Was Sensei really holding to the Way of the Warrior? Or worse, had something happened to him? What if the enemy had captured him? Well, never fear - he won't talk! He couldn't propose a rescue right now -- they had other business and the time was ripe -- but no matter what happened he wouldn't leave town without trying to find his Master of Craft. And he didn't think Tamina would either, not after what Sensei had done to help save her village.

"So, anyway, here's what I propose. They're all in a crowd, and they're relying on hung lanterns for their light. Whatever these stacks of magic weapons are, they're being used by ordinary humans who aren't mages themselves and they need light to see. Now I assume we can all do darksight?" -- a subtle reader of the cues would gather that he didn't care a damn whether Udo could or not; Tamina and Drusia would be quite sufficient. "So what I say is, you find a way to give them the biggest most sudden blast of wind you can -- build it up and unleash it all at once if you can so they have no time to detect and counter. Enough to blow the lamps off. I suggest this angle." He drew an arrow. "If you need an extra edge I can add something to your winds - I have a little experience with that - but I prefer to save power if you can cover that part alone. Too bad we don't have some choke smoke or a warehouse full of pepper to blow in their faces...well, work with what we have. Street dirt'll choke 'em a little anyway.

"Now if we do that, the errants will get up a magic light soon enough, and whatever thing they've summoned up in the warehouse will come busting out and it can probably see in the dark anyway. But the confusion should give us time to take advantage. We follow up right behind the wind. You" -- he indicated Tamina -- "use that speed of yours, you, Drusia, do what you do best. Focus on their magic weaponmen first, then their guards and their monster. The errants themselves will be shielded but if we can take their helpers out, we can turn it into a duel with just those two. And that duel, working together, we can win. I've told you already how they summon monsters continually while hiding behind their shields, but they had trouble against me alone when I was unarmed, and I'm not alone or unarmed now.

"What say?"
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Drusia » March 17th, 2013, 10:33 am

OOC: Psst - you forgot the link to the new thread in the old thread. I think others may be waiting for that. I was until I decided to check the main page and make sure.
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Drusia » March 17th, 2013, 10:42 am

"What say?"

I'd prefer a strike on Eli and Aleron directly. I'm pretty sure I could kill one of them outright. Preferably Aleron. However, I do see the issue - that would leave Eli and the minions alive and warned. I could get out, but everyone else would be running head-long into a blood bath.

On the other hand, I could just assassinate Aleron and we could call it a night. That alone would likely delay their efforts. But somehow I don't think that plan would be very popular with the others.

"While I'm capable of dueling, it isn't my favorite technique," I say instead. "But, if you want dead weapon men, I can give you dead weapon men." I don't much like the idea of giving Eli and Aleron time to defend themselves, but if we rob them of their minions now, perhaps they will be easier to take on individually later? That's clearly the hope - I'm not sure it'll pan out that way. But, team effort and all that.

Once again, I find myself missing Mit. I could have relied on her to take out Eli while I eliminated Aleron. Or vice versa. I miss having someone I can rely on like that in battle, to know my style and be that missing component. Ah well, no use crying over dead loves.

"Are we ready then?" I ask. I draw my durus but don't charge it yet. Better for my teeth and a stealthy approach.

-- Drusia
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Browncoat » March 17th, 2013, 10:50 am

As the group discussed their plan, a shadow was bounding across the rooftops toward the gathering. To his embarrassment, Angrist had lost track of time while reading in the library and hadn't noticed the hours slip past until night fell. After finding the camp deserted, he hurried back into town.
{If Tamina and the elves are risking a trip into town, something big must be up.... Should see if I can get a good look}
Angrist paused and allowed his mind to expand.The lattice of ambient magic gradually formed a picture in his mind.
{Son of a goat! That's a lot of people and a lot of magic. But almost all of it is passive. What in the world is going on over there?}
He redoubled his pace.

[OOC: Angrist isn't using magic to speed himself up, yet. He's got his weights on, but whether he'll remove them before any fighting/explosions remains to be seen]
They kicked me out of the asylum. I miss the jello.
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Alberich » March 17th, 2013, 11:27 am

"Are we ready then?"

Jargalan was totally ready, and showed his teeth to show he was. A blast of wind in the light, then a storm of death in the dark!

Udo nodded his own readiness, addressing the nod to Drusia rather than Jargalan. What he could do with his ordinary guns he didn't know - but he was going to be there, and something would come up, and whatever it was he would do it and keep doing it 'til the enemy was out of enemy or the world was out of Udo.
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 17th, 2013, 12:30 pm

Tamina followed Jargalan's plan well-enough although a detail or two caught her attention and drew her to pondering.

"Gonna be dangerous." She said gravely. "A crowd of people... non-fighter people?" The question in her eyes was answered with a nod from the elf. "Could get hurt or killed in the ambush, could be bad, very bad for them. Be better not to alert the soldier men at all. You sure Aleron's there? Coz if we can get to him first the rest might not matter. Kill him, break the artfact, something else, skeesha*!"


*- a successful/profitable venture
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters (part 2)

Postby Alberich » March 17th, 2013, 12:46 pm

"Yes, it's going to be dangerous, it's going to hurt a lot of people, and it can't be helped," said Jargalan. "The way he lives there is simply no way we can attack him without his guards knowing about it.

"This, right now, is our one chance to attack him when he isn't holed up in a fortress somewhere, and we need to move fast before he gets holed up again. Anyway, they're a bunch of politicians, and if we don't stop this little demonstration, they're going to loosen up their purse strings and make Aleron even richer and more powerful! We won't kill them on purpose, but if they're getting involved in this kind of politics - those are the risks they take. And if he escapes...then he'll have a harder time hiring replacements no matter how much money he has. They'll be scared. So we can track him to his lair, and have to kill a lot fewer people on the way. And if he doesn't escape, then the killing ends here."

Jargalan didn't actually care how many of these cattle he slaughtered, but he'd picked up on some of the chemistry between Drusia and this cute furry thing, and it would be a much simpler operation if she stayed in agreement with him and they got moving fast. Besides, what he was saying was true. It would be different if Aleron were personally weak -- then they could slice him out of the picture with a razor -- but he was very much the opposite, so they had to kick a hole in it. You just couldn't rely on a plan that required a quick takedown for Aleron. Especially not if he had access to the magic that'd made Gabriel so hard to kill. Maybe he'd better point that out.

"On the fighting side, his shields are strong and we can't batter them down very fast. Believe me, I've tried. So the question is, while we're attacking him, are we going to have to deal just with him and Eli, or are we going to have all these other fellows blazing away at us with his brand new magic weapons? He's got way too much personal power for us to take him down fast. Did you find Gabriel hard to kill? He'll be worse. So we need to get rid of his helpers so we can put the odds on our side and take him down slow. Let's go do it!"

[OOC: btw, when Jargalan used the word "duel" before he was not using it in the technical/upper-class sense; he's not from one of the Great Houses and often ignores aristocratic niceties.]
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