Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Graybeard » February 15th, 2013, 7:46 pm

As usual, Khoo had been utterly oblivious to what was going on around him, involving the staff or most anything else. He'd been staring out at the ocean, where the submarine was gingerly threading its way through the shallow-water obstacles, and ... thinking.

I probably could have gone with her, he thought. Maybe even should have. Truthfully, I'm no more comfortable with blowing real-world stuff up than she is. I'm feeling a little over my head here. These people take it so much as a matter of course. We in civilian Tsuiraku just don't think that way. Maybe it would have been better if

"...give Udo his staff back."


Tamina's words snapped him out of his reveries. These may be strangely violent people, he thought, but they are my traveling companions. They are even becoming my -- dare I say it -- friends. This doesn't sound right.

He turned toward the kobold. "Is there a problem?" he asked, his voice as neutral as he could make it, even as he started running through a mental index of spells that might be useful in yet another conflict.
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Alberich » February 15th, 2013, 11:49 pm

<"You are here to fight the Ralkin too, I take it?">

"<Indeed>," replied Jargalan. "<Been expecting you, in fact. I had a little scrap with their top two errants already, and they just desperately need killing, I mean, even for a pair of errants, they need it. They've been buying a legion of meat shields, so that enlisting these cattle is a regrettable necessity. Unless we want to alert the higher-ups, you know, but I think we can pull this one off without them. More sporting, leaves more of the city standing, too.>"

Drusia might well take it as good news that he hadn't done that already.

"<But be careful who faces the errants themselves. They've got the power to turn your pets against you, right in the middle of a fight. Even snuggly pets.>"

"If we're friends, give Udo his staff back."

"Now, take it easy there, young kobold," said Ross, having learned the right word from Eli. "We're in the middle of a war here, and a hard one, and we need all our assets where they can do the most good. As your, ah, Drusia there can tell you, I hit a lot harder with this thing than Whoozis. We have a saying -- it's hard to translate --"

He recited his improptu proverb in Elvish. "<If you find a ring of power in a pig's nose, you don't leave it there.>"

"...but anyway, the point is, he couldn't even hold on to the thing, let alone use it right. I'm a fortuneteller and I foresee hard times for us if the enemy takes this toy away from him as easily as I did. After the Ralkin are dead, I'll place it right in his hands or wherever else he prefers it, with my compliments." He hadn't deigned to look Udo in the face the whole time he was discussing him.

Udo for his part fumed in silence. For all his recent escapades, he still had some sense of self-preservation, and he guessed all the elvish gabble was about whether he'd be allowed to live or not. Talking would bring more scornful ignoring or possibly death. Impotent rage was perfect hell for Udo and was burning him up, but he figured the only one here who'd really stand up for him was Tamina, and for all her wonderful kobold powers she couldn't hurt this elf while he was shielded. In fact he might have to throw himself in front of her if she drew the wrath of an elf armed with that staff. That would be the end of him and his misery. But then would she have the sense to flee? Or would she feel compelled to try to rip the elf's spleen out and shove it in one of his ears 'til his brains gushed out the other? (The darling! - the thought made him want to hug her and tie a pretty ribbon to her tail.)

The Eisenfaust boss had stepped back further from any potential crossfire between his would-be allies. He was waiting to see who'd say and do what before offering any ideas himself.

[OOC: Jargalan's reputation is that he would kill his own mother if it would mean a promotion. But the odds are high that he's an orphan like everyone else, what with the high casualty rates in the Errant War and all, and he wouldn't get promoted for that anyway, so that the premise can't be tested. The only reason he hasn't killed any half-elven children of his own is that he doesn't have any, but if he did, he'd probably torture them for information about any half-elf friends they had, then kill them.]
Last edited by Alberich on February 16th, 2013, 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Jack Rothwell » February 16th, 2013, 6:43 am

Tamina's opinion of Ross was plumetting by the second, the bare-naked cheek of refusing to return what didn't belong to him and the obvious arrogance in the way he conducted himself had her wishing for localised meteor stike on the newcomer's forehead. Elf or not (the thought had occured to her between the weird language he addressed Drusia in and the synthetic smell coming from his hair), he didn't have the right to do things like that as far as the kobold was concerned.

It was then, between hearing the fuming of her friend by her side and hearing Mr Rothwell make a vague allusion to sticking Udo's staff where the sun didn't shine, that Tamina remembered something Leli had taught her.

'Arrogance is the pet that often turns on it's owner.'

"Not giving the staff back? Bugger off then, don't need you." She heard herself say, successfully resisting the urge to smile. She wasn't the kind of person given to verbal abuse, but it felt good to cut loose once in a while. "Don't need some coojah-tal-" She tapped her head. "-thief who takes what doesn't belong to him, certainly don't need a coward too scared to face enemies on his own power. You're weak, don't need you."
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Alberich » February 16th, 2013, 10:12 am

Ross didn't dignify Tamina's tirade with so much as a dirty look. Far as he was concerned, the main attack on the errants should be strictly "no pets" anyway, so they didn't end up like Myra. The notion that any non-elf had a say in what a pair of peregins did - it was foreign to him. Pretty damned unlikely too.

Udo was still burning up, but now with pro-kobold passion. She always stuck by her friends! That calmed him enough that he thought to holster his now-useless pistol.

His Royal Joneslessness, High Chief of All Eisenfaust Who Happened to Be on This Beach, contiued to wait and watch. He actually had quite a lot to say, but not 'til this elf-and-Udo business was sorted out.

[OOC: Btw, Drusia was quite right to say that Jargalan "fought for" the Cimerii as opposed to being one; he's young enough that the mixing of the elf races Sarine referred to in the comic was pretty near complete by the time he was born, especially among non-noble families like his own. He's as shameless as a Rinkai about sex with humans, but as puritanical as a Cimerius about having kids with them.]
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Jack Rothwell » February 16th, 2013, 1:05 pm

OOC I'll give Dru a chance to respond before going back to the coast./OOC

"I can't believe you dragged me here." Myra murmured to the half-elf standing at her shoulder. "I don't belong at this pomp and ceremony bollocks. I was enjoying my day."

"You were face-down in your drink." Eli replied. The banditwoman had cleaned up for the occasion at least. He could have forced her to do it using the hold the Ralkin now had over her, he kept the knife close for that very purpose, but was gratified to find that, for all her beligerance, the woman had a reasonable side. The pair stood next to a podium set up in the central square of the Port dressed in the armor-plated uniform of their organisation. From where the half-elf stood he could see Sergeant Carlson keeping the thirty or so guardsmen in order, and Commander Garald keeping a flat-gazed watch from the opposite side of the place Logan would address the Port some two hours from now. Already a crowd had started to gather, Eli noted that the businessman hoping to turn politician had had the foresight to set up stalls for the poorer Brambrook merchants, ones whose businesses the man had been responsible for saving, to turn a profit from the hungry townsfolk. Physical proof of the man's 'good intentions'.

It was amazing, really, how little effort it had taken to make the scene before him a reality. Eli mused at the effect of the artifact had on those who were under it's power. A clasp of the handle and a murmured word shaped the reality of the person under it's spell, the mind bending to the 'truth' like a redirected stream. Even so, Eli suspected the aging merchant had had aspirations for a council seat even before Aleron had taken the reins of his ambition. The way he spoke of the power he'd have in the confides of his office was too genuine to be merely the effect of the Ralkin's magic.

"I still don't see why you need me."

"You're an officer and, much as it pains me to admit it, you're tough. People won't get to close to Logan with your friendly face near the podium."

"Said the pointy-eared foreigner... you think he'll get the job?"

"I'm surprised you'd care enough to ask."

"I don't. You and Aleron have my loyalty." There was the accepted lie, spoken without a bat of an eyelid. "But moneybags is just a tool for a purpose, if he gets too big he might forget who his friends are."

'Small chance of that.' "I told you. He knows who's in charge."

"We'll see." The woman gave him a sidelong glance for a moment and turned back to the arriving citizens. Eli's brow furrowed.

"What?"

"Ehh... nothing." The savage muttered.
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Browncoat » February 16th, 2013, 11:50 pm

Unlike Tamina and Udo, Angrist understood the whole conversation.
[OOC: It's in the character description]
{Bastard. Good thing I know elf.}
Angrist removed his remaining inhibitors with one hand and started unclasping his weights with the other.
{The instant that shield goes down, so will he...Drusia too if she brings it to that...I hope she doesn't}
The fact that this one killed half-elves was enough. But his insulting behavior...Angrist was willing to risk full power on this one.
{I wonder...if I threw the inhibitors on him, would it collapse the shield?}

[OOC: Angrist is spoiling to fight Jargalan by this point. I'm not completely sure there's a way around it that wouldn't break character.]
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Drusia » February 17th, 2013, 4:41 pm

"<Indeed>," replied Jargalan. "<Been expecting you, in fact. I had a little scrap with their top two errants already, and they just desperately need killing, I mean, even for a pair of errants, they need it. They've been buying a legion of meat shields, so that enlisting these cattle is a regrettable necessity. Unless we want to alert the higher-ups, you know, but I think we can pull this one off without them. More sporting, leaves more of the city standing, too.>"

E-gads. The only thing worse than this ass-hat would be involving an Elven military strike. Particularly since the out-of-practice vets and the wet-around-the-ears recruits wouldn't stand a chance against the likes of Eli or Aleron. Yes, better to keep this between Peregins. I just wish Sar was here to watch my back. Or Mit.

"<But be careful who faces the errants themselves. They've got the power to turn your pets against you. Even snuggly pets.>"

<"Understood,"> I sigh. Wouldn't that make for a perfect little nightmare. Make me wonder if - but no, Eli has gone too far. I proved that last time - even without the Necklace, he was still an Errant.

He recited his improptu proverb in Elvish. "<If you find a ring of power in a pig's nose, you don't leave it there.>"
"...but anyway, the point is, he couldn't even hold on to the thing, let alone use it right. I'm a fortuneteller and I foresee hard times for us if the enemy takes this toy away from him as easily as I did. After the Ralkin are dead, I'll place it right in his hands or wherever else he prefers it, with my compliments."


I open my mouth to protest. And then I close it again. He has a point. Instead, I say <"That isn't actually an elven proverb, you know. Not even among the Cimmerii."> I don't really expect a response. Just felt like putting that in for any elven-speaking listeners.

Speaking of linguistic issues, I turn to Tamina and speak in Kobold.

<"I not like it, but he right,"> I tell her in as close as I can manage to proper Kobold, <"If Udo lose magic-thing, Ralkin use it bad. Better asshole-Elf use for now. I make sure he give back later.">

I'd like to say more - like how when I say I'll make sure he gives it back what I mean is that I plan to murder him after the battle - but Jargalan used the word 'kobold' earlier so there's a chance, however minor, that he knows the language. I have no desire to tip my hand to him.

<"He and me fight Eli and Aleron,"> I add, <"Best chance avoid bad magic. I no like, no trust, but best option. Keep all safe.">

-- Drusia

OOC: As a native of Malacia, Drusia is Rinkai. Obviously. ^^;;
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Jack Rothwell » February 17th, 2013, 6:07 pm

"<He'd better give it back.>" Tamina replied in her own language to Drusia, then turned her regard to her other elf. "You don't take anything else, and you give it back when we're done, k?"

There was more she wanted to say, notably to Drusia about how there was no way in the fires of Na'ar that the kobold was going to allow Drusia to face off against Aleron and Eli with only a cabra-tal thief in a musty-smelling wig for company, but Angrist's growing hostility had become an immediate priority. If the monk attacked, there was no telling how much damage the unfriendly elf could cause with the highwayman's staff before he could be subdued. The elf's stolen weapon drew the kobold's thoughts to the amulet and the staff her people had taken from the Ralkin... but a moment's consideration was all it took to dismiss the idea of using them here. There was enough mana flying around.

"Angrist!" She shouted, waving a hand. "Elf's gonna help us! Don't! Please?"

She had no idea whether she'd get through to her companion or not, but she had to try. If the worst came to worst she could try to use her own magic to intercept him when he moved, but a high speed collision between two opposing spells was something she'd rather avoid.
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Browncoat » February 17th, 2013, 9:22 pm

Angrist had only a split second to react.
{There goes the element of surprise...Best let him underestimate me}
Before Jargalan could finish turning to look to see who Tamina was shouting to, Angrist flickered. One instant, he was just behind the elf, and the next he was several yards back poised as if he was about to throw a stone. His inhibitors were no longer visible, stuffed into a pocket.
"That would not be wise human."
Angrist let the stone drop from his hand and walked over next to Tamina pretending to stumble on the rocks. He raised two fingers to point at his eyes and then at Jargalan. Then Angrist shifted his hat to cover his face.
<"Honestly, what do you see in these stupid creatures?">
Behind his hat, Angrist smiled grimly.
{You'll regret learning the answer to that one. Despite your behavior, I can't bring myself to kill you...but I don't have to stop anyone else from doing it}
Outwardly calm now, Angrist jotted a quick note on his slate and passed it to Drusia.

[OOC: Under control for now, but he's really just bidding his time. The note is covered in a pm since nobody else is seeing it]
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Re: Port Lorrel- Puppet Masters

Postby Alberich » February 17th, 2013, 10:51 pm

<"That isn't actually an elven proverb, you know. Not even among the Cimmerii.">

Jargalan smirked. "<It is now.>"

From the look on his face it was impossible to tell whether he followed the conversation in Kobold. The problem was, he looked like such a buggered-by-Senilis'-goat know-it-all all the damn time anyway, how to tell when he actually did know something? Normally no one cared what this dickhead knew, which meant normally no one noticed how hard it was to tell. He'd been knocking around the world long enough that he might've picked up any number of languages and spells.

"You don't take anything else, and you give it back when we're done, k?"

"But of course," he said, in tones as smooth as gourmet mustard. He was all sweet innocence with no depth of sincerity, nor any hint that he cared whether she thought he had any depth of sincerity. A little piece of him wanted to try the full seductive arts on this feisty little furling, take her roughly from behind, and leave her dripping and gasping for more while he walked away with a show of contempt...but that could not be. Business before pleasure. And from what Gabriel had said about her capabilities, no, she had too much magic to be worth the risk. Better leave her to Drusia and whatever girlkink she cared to indulge in.

Udo was enraged -- he'd been following all the foreign speech without understanding more than a word or two, but it was pretty obvious that Shitbag the Elf was going to keep his staff and no one was going to do anything about it. He really wanted to whirl on his heel and stomp away...but no. Tamina was staying. Pistol, rocks, or bare hands, he wasn't leaving the kobold to fight alone beside scum like this. Okay, so she wouldn't be alone, and if he really thought about it he'd see that everyone else present was better equipped to help keep her alive than he was. But he didn't really think about it. And even if he had, it wouldn't've mattered - if she was going into battle, he was going to be right there, if he had to use his teeth!

Sensei's display of inhuman speed made Udo grin. So did his air of obvious anger, such as Udo hadn't seen even in the kobold village. Yeah, watch for it, you elven ass pirate. Your turn's coming.

Jargalan was outwardly unruffled but he made a note that Angrist had done some kind of unfamiliar magic right behind him, though Angrist had taken care he should not see what it was. (His magical senses had never gone down; he was too concerned about Ralkin spying to let that happen. Plus his situational awareness was something extreme - as was typical for rangers, who so often relied on it to keep them alive.) One thing was for sure - his shield wasn't going all the way down as long as he was among these worms.

The Man Who Was Not Jones nodded. "Okay, that's sorted out, so we're all in," he said. "Now as it happens we have got some information about these fellows you're interested in."

He didn't have near as much information as he wanted to have, but at least now he understood why. Of course Logan's high-speed recruiting effort had driven the Eisenfaust to a high-speed infiltration effort. But the infiltrators who made it in had all stopped reporting or brought back very bland reports. But Jargalan had told Carlos about the knife, and Udo had told Smitty about the altar, and their tales had matched up too well with other things the Eisenfaust had seen -- too clearly, this Ralkin magic was being used to turn the loyalty of every agent through subtle suggestions. Luckily these infiltrators had not been well informed about their masters; they might be useless as tools now, but at least they wouldn't be effective double agents. It never occurred to him that the problem might be, not Ralkin magic, but the lousy pay scale he'd offered these particular infiltrators, or the intensive training schedule that left them little time to report just yet. Learning that your enemies had magic that could take over your followers' minds and change their loyalty -- well, it instilled a kind of paranoia even after a lifetime of corruption, infighting, and "doing business the Port Lorrel way."

"Up until a couple days ago," he began in a deliberate tone that would irritate the impatient, "these Black Guards were using mansion which was over by the docks, as their headquarters. This was being occupied by their man Logan, a local merchant of some fame and prosperity, who seems to be the front man and deep pockets for their operation. But this place rather suddenly caught fire not so long ago, even though there's no unpaid rent on it, which is usually the way to make a place very flammable. So pretty much everyone's moved away from there, and a lot of heavy luggage has gone too, and sad to report they were a little careful about not using local labor to move the stuff around.

"But it just so happens we have got some information regarding the Veracian mission in Port Lorrel." Doubtless from Jones, but there was no need to tell them that. "It seems one of these Veracian priests has been serving as the Veracian ambassador to the Black Guards. And we have not chosen to make any noise about this with the Abbot who runs the mission. And it seems this priest goes out every afternoon to visit with these fellows, and he makes a habit of meeting up with this Captain Eli Haverum you're all so keen to meet. And then these two go off together to a private location, which we conjecture is connected with this Aleron and this magic altar. They got dispel traps and they got observers, but you can't operate in town without being seen.

"Now that we know about this mind control magic you've been telling us about, which kind of fits what we've been seeing around town, what they're hoping to accomplish is pretty obvious, to start infiltrating the Veracian Church from here, as a major step up in their expansionary type plans. But that also gives us a lead on where their headquarters actually is. If you want to find this Eli and this Aleron, and chop the head off the shnooks while we go after the body, all you gotta do is wait 'til tonight and Follow That Priest."

[OOC: I kept this a bit vague because I don't know much about how Jack's picturing the Ralkin HQ setup and their security arrangements, and Graybeard knows more than I do about the Eisenfaust and their assets. Now that I've introduced Jargalan to the group it's all one to me how we get to a dramatic and violent confrontation. Just so long as we do.]

[OOC2: I added a post to the OOC magic thread here since we may have more barriers and blasts in the upcoming scenes.]
Last edited by Alberich on February 19th, 2013, 1:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
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