Act I - The River Kingdoms

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  TimMarsh on Thu May 10, 2012 1:07 am

OOC: Chris, would it be possible to have a dot-point list of what all details we have successfully learned from the bandits. I would hate to end up over-interpreting the content of what they say, and thus imagine we know more than we really do.

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  ubiquitous on Thu May 10, 2012 5:48 am

Quality of weapons:

Old, but in good shape. Made to last rather than for show.

Quality of armour:

*Old, but in good shape. Made to last rather than for show.

Origin of supplies:

Lots of their kit used to be Oleg's.

Where their base is:

Camp at the north end of Thorn River.

How many in organisation:

Ten in number, but not the only group in the woods.

(As to these other groups, no information is given)

Who the overall leader is:

A woman named Kressle keeps Happs in check.

(What that means, not sure)

Who their rivals are:

*Nature, and animals, for the most part. These men do not have any human rivals to their knowledge.

If they have any maps of the area:

There are maps of around Thorn River, kept at the camp.

Any dangerous magical beasts in the area:

Unmagical: wolves, bears.

Magical: balls of light circling a woman wearing white

What's up with Oleg:

Offered Svetlana as a settlement to keep the bandits away

Kressle: independent, or working for someone:

She's "her own woman", although somtimes her and Happs go south for supplies, unsure where too.

(Should question Happs on this point)

Kressle: how many work for her & how well-armed are they:

*This is the 10 members of the group mentioned.

Any other settlements/trading posts:

*Not in the greenbelt, to their knowledge

How often are there travelers passing through:

*Not often do groups travel through the greenbelt

Any of the nearby kingdoms encroach on the area:

*They do not know of any.

How'd the bandits get here:

(Fleeing from the law/stuff)

How do they enlist new members:

(Sounds like they threaten people to join them when they need more men)

How do they gain influence/negotiate territories:

*The men don't really know how to answer this, as 10 people don't really 'hold' a large area. It's more that they move through it.

Edited by Chris with * to give additional details to the bullet points.

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  TimMarsh on Thu May 10, 2012 6:13 am

OOC: Nice work Isaac, that really helps break the individual details down.

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  ubiquitous on Thu May 10, 2012 6:28 am

Thormar leans in close to the man, shading him from the view of the others: "That's a fine tear-tale, but it still leaves me with some questions: if Kressle was the one that captured you, why're you serving Happs and not her? Also, I can't imagine a city-skunk like yourself is all at home in the wilds. You weren't fleeing to The Stolen Lands, no, they just happened to be on your way. There's plenty of towns in The River Kingdoms where a murder-brand matters little. I want to know why this Kressle woman - if she was treading the same blood-trail as you - is still here. What's a life of unprofitable-" he pokes the man in his ribs to make his point known "-banditry got to offer that she's still here for?"

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  Nephilim on Thu May 10, 2012 1:06 pm

"Kressle doesn't ever want to come to Oleg's, sommin' about prefering to remain out of sight to anyone who didn't need to see her." The man seems uncomfortable when you accuse his story of not being all truth. He seems really jittery and nervous, and says underhis breath: "There's gold. Kressle found it, but don't tell anyone I said that or they'll have my head. They won't tell me where it is, but they showed us all ore, and said we'd get a share of it. I was just traveling through, you have to believe me!"
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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  ubiquitous on Fri May 11, 2012 3:40 am

Thormar draws Mycroft aside: "Gold is a worthy blood-price for staying in these lands. I think he speaks truth." He pauses, weighing up the cowering bandits with a glance. "What do you propose we do with them? I'd prayed to the spirits for more fighting: much easier if all were dead but one to question and leave as wolf-bait."

He favours Mycroft with a tight smile: "I think your profession is pleasured by situations like this: you deal with them. That's the civilised thing to do, is it not?"

OOC:
If I were to put information behind Sense Motive spoiler tags, what do I use for the DC?

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  Nephilim on Fri May 11, 2012 12:39 pm

OOC:
Opposed checks have DC's set at your Diplomacy/Bluff/Intimidate/Othersocialcheck. You can take 10 on this check also.
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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  TimMarsh on Fri May 11, 2012 2:37 pm

Mycroft smiles at the grim old man. Thormar has certainly been growing on him, and never more so than when he brandishes this strategic pragmatism.

He maintains the secretive tone.
"We are in far from common circumstances, my friend, and in no position to easily maintain four prisoners. Tell me, you are more wise in the ways of the wilds than I, and you seem to have considerable experience with the men who brave said wilds... Surely if we were to do what Guntram would have us do, and honour our word, setting these men free, they will simply serve as either forewarning or reinforcement for our future foes. But, if we were to set them loose with none of their weapons for defence, and without their boots to shield them the savage southern trails, what do you suppose they'd do? Are these men of stern enough stuff, to risk braving the perils of the southern wilds in order to seek their near allies? Or would that level of vulnerability force them, at least in the short-term, to follow the trails back north, to the relative safety of the less lawless lands?"

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  KatherineRaelin on Sat May 12, 2012 7:37 pm

Nal'em will quietly relieve the bandits of any coin they have on their person.
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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  ubiquitous on Mon May 14, 2012 5:59 am

Thormar watches the bandits for a moment, one hand holding the bow, the other reaching up to slowly rub his chin in thought.

"Look at them, cowards all. Too weak to have loyalty. If you said that only one could go free,
they would tear friend-flesh and crack brother-bone for that prize. A pack of hungry wolves would
be safer to travel with than they. Set them free, and they will flee north, cringing and crying and
begging all the road-stretch. But once they find someone weaker than they - a stray out-farm or such -
they will ravage the farmer, his lands, his wife, and his animals. Then, pillage-proud, they will strike
again, and again, until someone else who's stronger than they puts them down. If not us, then who?"


DC7 Perception:

Thormar is still gripping his bow, and the hand holding it is clenched bone-white and shaking visibly.

He steps closer to Mycroft, until he is standing directly beside the tall man, and murmurs quietly to him.

Mycroft, or DC36 Perception to overhear:


"This will sound barbaric, but I don't understand what's civilised about letting men like them roam free. In the coming days, Happs will be missed. We can't just leave Oleg's post undefended, as this Kressle slag will want to strike. So we stay here for, say, a week - some of them could use the rest. In that time, we'll send out groups to scout to see how the land lays, and what other threats there could be at hand. I and - if you agree - you, will march the bandits off to be released, while keeping one to help us find their camp."


A grim smile spreads across Thormar's face, as he outlines something to Mycroft.

Mycroft, or DC36 Perception to overhear (only need one roll for them both, as same conversation, I figured):


"When we're deep in the woods, we hobble them enough so they can't walk too well, and set them loose. They'll be wolf-bait before the night is out. And if'n any is so forest-cunning and spirit-smiled to survive, he'll come out the other side looking like such a cruel horseson cur, that no-one'll trust him inside the length of their pitchfork. A man like that is a wolf to be kept at bay with fire, steel, and a swift kick. A coward is more dangerous: he'll beg and cry and plead his way inside your sword-swing and carve an eye on your stomach so that your guts can wink at the sky."


"I'll take nature's justice over man's justice any and all days," he says aloud, watching Mycroft for his reaction.

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  TimMarsh on Mon May 14, 2012 12:44 pm

DC Perception: 4 + 6 = 10

As Thormar speaks, Mycroft's eyes dart towards a cluster of their companions, glancing at Jenna as she stares at the stable doors. His demeanour shifts into a comfortable, almost sinister smirk as Thormar concludes his points, the cynical logic seeming to touch something almost-forgotten inside of Mycroft. He turns his front to Thormar and places his hand on the old man's shoulder, but does not elevate his voice above the hushed tones they've been sharing.

For Thormar, or DC 40 Perception to overhear:
DC Perform - Oration: 8 + 6 = 14

"'Neither gods nor beasts know the justice of men, they know only loyalties enforced through sheer might. The justice men speak of is a theatre on a stage, performed for restless crowds so they may sleep well at night.' I have never been much for such grim poetry, but I grasp its meaning now better than I had before. I have spent my days championing the rule of law, and we are trained to speak of justice as if it is written into the fabric of all things. But justice is born of high walls, paid men, and a collective will to be fair to one's neighbour, out here in the wilds the justice of a city is reduced to a bed-tale we may whisper to Jenna or Guntram, so that when they lay their heads down they may dream of a kinder world..."


Following a resolute nod, he looks Thormar in the eyes, returning his thoughts to the material matters at hand.

For Thormar, or DC 40 Perception to overhear (same as above):
"You are right, my friend, in these lands the value of justice does not extend beyond a man's belief in it. Guntram, and perhaps my Jenna, perhaps others too, will call for fair and promised treatment of our captives. The illusion of such a course of action will be important to them, so the task falls on you and I to see to it that these men, be it for poor character or lack of restraint, never prey on anyone again. We will hold Happs as our ongoing prisoner, for now, as if there are deals to be cut or information yet to be extracted he will be of the greatest value. The others, we shall keep bound and blindfolded, and you and I will take them North for 'release', where we will claim that we must release them separately, lest they be emboldened by each other's presence. I must confess, there is something enticing to your suggestion of hobbling them and leaving them to the whims of the forest, but there is only one likely endpoint of doing so. The barrister in me would be remiss no to suggest we simply show them a mercifully quick death, and let the wolves have a somewhat easier meal on this occasion."

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  KatherineRaelin on Mon May 14, 2012 11:57 pm

"Why don't we just gut them right here and hang them from the battlements? That should prove a fair message to any who wish to trouble the old man and his wife."

Nal'em slid a dagger from its sheath and inspected it, a coy smile dancing at the corners of her mouth.
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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  ubiquitous on Tue May 15, 2012 5:15 am

Thormar turns to look at Nal'em, sharp eyes studying her to try and figure out how much she's heard.

Sense Motive: 1d20+3 = 15+3 = 18

Stepping back from Mycroft, he stands at a distance to engage them both, then continues his venting aloud:

Diplomacy: 1d20+9 = 13+9 = 22

"No, a quick death makes cowards of all. When the battle-blood runs hot in your veins, then any death is a worthy death. A cold-blood death is for cattle, not men. Men, will-weak as they may be, deserve a chance to stare death in the face before it takes them. Whether that death is a wolf's slavering jaws, the bone-scraping knife of hunger, or the numbing pain of freezing cold, it does not matter. What matters is the struggle, the anger, the opportunity to go roaring into the eternal battle.

When I say Nature's Judgement, I mean a judgement of individual strength. Man's Laws are a collective strength protecting individual weakness. From what I have seen of civilisation, it promotes weakness because it is stable. If all men are weak, and the only strength comes from being united, only then does Man's Law prevail.

Choral the Conquerer was just one man, but he was from Iobaria, where Man's Laws are but a fire-tale to be laughed at. It is little wonder Issia knelt in the muck for him so quickly."


He cracks a wry smirk, the laugh lines in his weathered face crinkling: "A man once said to me: 'Only reason your country should be on its knees is if it's made up entirely of priests and whores, and then you're well-screwed anyhow.'"

His face flattens again, the mirth fading from his eyes: "I'm going for a walk: I and my bow are hungry. Perhaps we'll both find some rabbits." He stalks over to the house, plucks the arrows from the ground there, and heads towards the gate.

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  KatherineRaelin on Tue May 15, 2012 7:59 am

OOC:
Spoiler:
There was no way I was going to beat that roll, so Nal'em has no idea what Thormar and Mycroft were talking about. And if I don't make the roll, I don't read the spoilers. Also, how do you guys change the titles for the hidden text? Just so that I'm not lame.

Nal'em watches Thormar depart, her smile turning into a frown. Then, more to herself than anyone present, "There are ways to make them live for days.... entrails hanging from their bodies. Flaying is another option....."

She looks wistfully at her dagger before re-sheathing it.

Moving behind one of the captives, she grabs his wrist and looks at his fingers.

"If you want to know the depth of a man, start with the fingers. Flay them and treat them with vinegar and salt. They'll answer your questions, and you can keep them alive for a long time." Her expression transforms into one of cold contemplation.

Sense motive: DC6 or Bluff: DC3
Spoiler:
She is not joking. She is not trying to scare anyone. This is blunt honesty.
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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  ubiquitous on Tue May 15, 2012 8:08 am

OOC for Nal'em:


You write it like [spoiler=YourTextHere] for the opening tag. And yeah, we both crit our stealth rolls. Hilarious.


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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  Nephilim on Wed May 16, 2012 4:34 pm

Guntram, who has been keeping the owners of the trading post inside, leaves the main building, and with long strides, he admires the prisoners that his fellows have caught in their trap. Back, and forth, he looks into each and every one of their eyes, as if he is looking for something.

After this, he turns, and addresses the group of interrogators, making sure to allow his words to be heard by free, and prisoner alike.

Diplomacy 16+1=17

"It has been a fine morning, my friends. We have apprehended these unlawful, and rebellious men without soiling our new home with dark stains of their red, and so shall this land be made safe by our hand. Our charter speaks of men such as this, that the punishment for unrepentant banditry be execution by sword or rope. It would be against my honour to not allow this group, as unruly and troublesome as they may, a second chance at returning to a civilised life. It would also be against my honour to ignore the advice of my comrades. Tell me, for you have listened to their tales, and you have heard their cause. What judgement does the Eye of the Sword give to these men? "

Guntram awaits your reaction, his hand on the hilt of his sword.
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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  TimMarsh on Thu May 17, 2012 3:32 am

Mycroft approaches Guntram, feigning a somewhat sheepish expression on his face, tossing a glance towards his now attentive daughter.

"I fear, dear Guntram, that for my part I have placed myself in a difficult position on this matter. I was the first among us here to sign my compliance with the conditions of our charter, unrepentant bandits must be put to death, yet when I confronted these men, I claimed on my honour that they would be set free so long as they volunteered whatever information we wished in order to strike against their compatriots further South. And indeed, it appears that they have been highly compliant, however..."

Mycroft turns on his heel, facing away at a right angle from Guntram and the prisoners, his head down and his eyes closed as he continues with a heavier tone.

"...The barrister in me knows that willingness to defect information is a poor measure of a man's repentance. The defining trait of the life-long criminal is opportunism, with no temperance of loyalty or compassion. The compliance of our captives could be argued as a sign of lawful observance, but could just as easily, if not more so, be taken as a sign of deeply ignoble character, and a willingness to forsake any standard for selfish ends. As it stands, we simply do not know which it is. For that matter, we do not yet know if any of their information is, in fact, truthful."

He opens his eyes, and turns back, addressing them frankly once again.

"Under more ideal circumstances, we would have the resources to hold all four of them, and rely on later verification of their information to give us some sign as to whether or not they are truly willing to defect against these clans of bandits, at least... But we are not in any good position to hold more than one of them as our captive when we start to advance South. I suggest that we afford our captives a final chance to speak on their own behalf, and then for each of them we must decide, as a group, democratically, whether we feel they can be trusted to abandon the bandit lifestyle if released. Based on this, we can hold the most advantageous captive, set loose any who convince us of their repentance, and put to the sword those who would simply pose too great an ongoing risk to the people of these lands."

Mycroft turns to address the captives, specifically.
DC Bluff: 16 + 10 = 26

"On my honour, they have already met the conditions that I promised them for freedom, so as much as I may not trust some of them to give up their lives of crime, I shall cast my vote immediately in favour of release for all." He turns back towards Guntram and the others. "Thormar and I have already discussed the logistics of what precautions must be taken in the event of release, to ensure that the released parties will seek the safety of the Northern environs, rather than seeking to warn or rejoin the camps to the South. So when the deed must come to pass, Thormar and I will ride North to release any captives deemed worthy of it while the rest of you begin the scouting to the South. This is, of course, provided one of you is willing to carry my daughter with you on one of your horses, as I will require the horse that she and I share."

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  Dunnotaur on Thu May 17, 2012 6:58 am

Aeldeth had kept quiet and out of the action up to this point, but she had weighed the opinions and decided this was as good a time as any to weigh in.

"I have to agree with Mycroft. I do not trust many of these people, but I think releasing them is the correct option." she paused for a second and then continued "There is also something to be said for having the word spread that we aren't a group to be taken lightly, that we have skills and knowledge available to us that is a force to be reckoned with for any who choose to confront us"

With that she retreated back into her own thoughts and observations, and waited to see what the rest of the group had to say.

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  Nephilim on Thu May 17, 2012 1:21 pm

Guntram returns a glance at you all, as each member in turn puts forth their opinion on the captives, which culminates in a smile from the young man. "Mycroft, and Aeldeth you speak words of truth into my ears, and it elates me that I have company with wisdom worth adhering to. The sun has but peered over the northern hills, so there is much to do. Thormar, you shall accompany Mycroft northward along the road for ten miles. After which, you shall pass judgement upon these men, giving them the decision to repent, and head northwards to civilization, or give them a quick and just death, so the may be judged by the Lady of Graves. Aeldeth, Gerald, and Fabian if he is up to it shall explore southwards, and by the skills provided by Alexander, we shall follow the tracks of Happs and his cohort, to hopefully find their camp at the mouth of Thorn River."

Alexander, who has been watching silently, chirps in and says "It shall be simple, their tracks are easier to see than their arrogance, and that says something."

"Well said!" Guntram chuckles, and turns to you Mycroft, putting his hand on your shoulder. "I almost feel as if Jenna should travel with us, my fellow. While another pair of arms may be of assistance with letting these men go, I cannot help but feel that exploring southwards may be of less confrontation, and I cannot help but to think that the skills of a sorceress may be useful in identifying anything we may find south of the post."



OOC: Now my fellow members - Where will you go? Will you travel north, to take the prisoners to their drop off point, or south, with Guntram to explore the Greenbelt? If you could add simply an OOC: North or OOC: South at the top of your post it'd be much appreciated.
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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  ubiquitous on Fri May 18, 2012 3:20 am

OOC: NORTH

Thormar, his stalking steps halted by Guntram's speech, listens by the gate. Once the speeches are over, he shoulders his bow and walks over to the stables. His plan is to saddle Treacle, and ride her northwards, with two of the bandits walking in front of him - their bindings tied to the horse - so he can watch them and make sure they don't get free until Mycroft and he decide they should.

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Re: Act I - The River Kingdoms

Post  KatherineRaelin on Tue May 22, 2012 1:49 am

OOC: With those not going North.
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