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[PbP; ED4] Wild Barsaive Adventures
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Longes
Prince


Joined: 04 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"Unless the dinner is poisoned. All of this is strange - don't you think? That only one cup is tipped. If there was resistance - you'd expect more damage. If they got nabbed somewhere else - you'd expect none. It'd be a strange wind that selectively tips over one cup. Could be animal I suppose, or poison took longer on one guy and he tipped his cup."

Not having much investigative expertise in situations lacking dead bodies, Horus pursues his theory and starts studying the food, mostly relying on experience and taste.
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

[Awareness checks all around, highest roll is Horus with 13.]

Well the fire is out, and the remains are cold. No one was here since at least last night. The food hasn't been touched by animals, no marks on it at all. Most of the plates are sitting orderly. Doesn't smell like poisons to Horus, but you don't have any alchemical equipment with you to perform any sort of real testing [Rolled 3 on Alchemy]. Horus begins to check the outer edges all around the camps for any accidental poisons in the local plant life.

To the east end of the camp there are two large tents. Next to the tents are some sealed barrels, some with spigots. Probably more food and drink. Nothing of note in the tents, just personal items, and they haven't been sifted through like you'd expect with bandits.

Just outside the tents on the opposite side of the food is a waterproof tarp covering up all the woodcutting tools. Saws, hooks, ropes, that sort of thing. All the axes you would expect to find are missing.

There's also a stack of hay bales and a harness, but no horse to go with them.

At the far west end of the camp Horus doesn't find any sort of poison plant, but instead finds a hand print made with blood on the far side of one of the stumps at the edge of the clearing. He looks around and sees footprints for a large group heading out to the west of the camp. Perhaps ten or more namegivers, and a horse.

No apparent explanation for a single cup being tipped over.
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Longes
Prince


Joined: 04 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"Fellas, we've got blood." Horus points out everything he found to others and grabs some rope for himself. Useful thing - rope, never know when it'll come in handy. "It looks like they all left. Armed. Weird. Nothing to do but follow them I guess. Gurunk, can you take the lead? I figure you and your friend can follow trail better than I can."

If his companions want to do anything else, Horus takes the opportunity to use the table to mark the camp's location and their roads on his own map of the area. Could come in handy if they really do find an ancient ruin.
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Pixels
Knight


Joined: 14 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So the horses are gone, but not the harnesses. I assume the cart or sledge for the lumber is still there as well?

"Too many tracks for the lumberjacks alone. Mmmm. They left orderly but suddenly, and without struggle? Perhaps somebody came to them for help."
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tenngu
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Joined: 21 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Gurunk snorts at Horus and nods in the affirmative. "A group as large as this, the problem ain't tracking them, it's what happens when we find them. But I bet we can cross that bridge when we get there."
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Making your way through the forest, your eyes are fixated upon the tracks and you don't see the body until you're almost on top of it. There's a human face down in the moss and leaves. Also, a lot of blood. You're pretty sure that it's Gleem.

[Also I'm starting to keep notes on your various stats, so you'll have to start notifying me of further tweaks.]
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Longes
Prince


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"Well, shit..."
Horus knew what has to be done. Under his master's guidance he practiced the spell on animals and once on a bear victim, and it never was pleasant.

"Let's roll him over and see who this is and what happened. Maybe we'll learn enough for me to not cast Experience Death."
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You roll the body over and... yep. It's Gleem. His entire chest area is just wounds and blood, ripped totally open by jagged claws of some sort. Lots of uneven wounds. His heart and lungs are missing, but the damage there is very fine and precise, like a sharp knife was used. Other parts of him are injured, a few bruises on his arms, a broken nose, a cut on the left side of his neck. It's really the ripped open ribs and missing lungs that probably did him in though. Oddly, the amount of blood near the body isn't enough to account for wounds this severe. Like someone took the rest of the blood with them.

Markis and Gurunk'Gall, you both know that an animal might have been able to rip a person open like this. There've been no traces of such an animal in the area before, though animals do migrate from time to time. However, you've never heard of an animal that could precisely slice out the heart and lungs after the kill. There are also no teeth marks on the corpse, which seems to be a sign against it having been an animal.

Saoirse and Horus, you know that some magic rituals do require quite a bit of blood to perform, either as an ingredient or as an empowering agent. You also know that Horror Constructs can combine more than one form of animal part together to create monstrous chimeras, so a beast or beasts with claws but no fangs isn't out of the question. There's also the fact that Horrors mutilate Namegivers in front of each other to feed off of the terror that it causes.

Gleem leaves his two young daughters as orphans, his wife having died from sickness just this past winter.
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Pixels
Knight


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Markis' hand tightens on the hilt of his mace. He stamps his feet and grinds his teeth.

"Unacceptable. Unacceptable!"

He eventually calms and glances at the body. "Unless there is lingering corruption that must be purged, leave it. Whoever, whatever caused this needs a swift death."
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Longes
Prince


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OOC: I'd like to use Half-magic to identify the use of blood magic and Horror magic in more details.
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Without more information there's not much to say about the blood magic. "Uses blood, heart, and lungs" is still quite a bit of options, particularly since you don't know how they're being used specifically. Perhaps something to do with life creation / extension / revitalization.



Moving on at Markis' urging, you keep following the tracks.

There's movement in the trees ahead. Gurunk'Gall tries to avoid making any noise while getting a look. There's a narrow entrance to a cave, almost entirely covered over with vegetation. Next to the cave entrance there are some Namegivers tied to trees: an ork, a dwarf, and two humans.

They're guarded by two ragged looking creatures that might have once been Namegivers, but no longer seem to be. Their clothes are tattered and falling off, and their skin is also tattered and falling off.

Gurunk'Gall retreats to the rest of the group to report. You're, say, 50 yards away from the cave mouth at the moment. Well out of sight of the guards.
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Last edited by Lokathor on Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Longes
Prince


Joined: 04 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OOC: Based on the description, do I recognize what they are, any weaknesses or interesting historical facts?

Horus marks the cave on his map and questions Gurunk'Gall
"You are the worldly man among us, do you recognize anything about them? Kaern sigils or national colors or the like? Clearly they are not locals."

"If you give me half an hour, I can set up a warding circle against their kind."
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

[Right, my mistake. I should have given you the info from knowledge rolls without you asking. I'll try to remember to do that in the future.]

[Knowledge: Horror Lore checks all around, highest is Gurunk'Gall with 19]

Horus, you've never seen them yourself, but you've read about them in books. You think these are "Cadavermen", and Gurunk'Gall quickly confirms your guess (he has seen them in person before). Cadavermen are a sort of undead Horror Construct. The soul is returned to the corpse, animating the body, but the process is quite imperfect compared to normal life, and only the portions of the soul that feel pain and rage connect back to the body. This means that they feel pain and rage, but anything else fails to "get through", and the pain and rage quickly consume most of their personality and drive them mad. They've got clawed hands that could easily have made those kill marks on Gleem's body. They're extremely dangerous if they do become enraged, going into a killing frenzy the likes of which even you trolls would be worried about despite the fact that the Cadavermen are only human sized. Of course, they're already dead and falling apart, and their bodies are already adapted to that. It makes them relatively tough to actually kill because you have to deal much more damage than a namegiver would normally stand up to.

Interestingly, you've heard that there's a place where there's an entire city of cadavermen (and perhaps cadaverwomen you suppose) who are ruled over by a "queen of the dead".

These two cadavermen have no banners or symbols that would identify them as being part of a particular group. They're shambling about without much purpose at the moment other than a simple back and forth sweep of the area. One of them seems to have a bashed in skull, but doesn't apparently care.

Gram is among those tied up to the trees. He has a head wound and blood running down his face. It's impossible to see from this distance if it's still actively bleeding or if his face just hasn't been cleaned off. Kentram, Mantek, and Lintak seem to be relatively uninjured. You don't see the horse.
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tenngu
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Joined: 21 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Gurunk gently tugs on his beast companion's collar to keep him close.

"I can only see just two, but more may be ahead or in the cave. They ain't too smart from what I can remember of them, and if I'm saying that they really ain't too smart. Maybe we can get the jump on them."


OOC: I guess I got lucky with that one. My perception really isn't that high. I guess it was a good thing they were just cadavermen.
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Longes
Prince


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OOC: If Horus gets time, he's going to reattune a spell matrix from Soul Armor to Life Circle of One.
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It takes four rounds, but you re-arrange your spell matrix.
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Knight


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Markis dismounts. Buttercup is a wonderful granlain but woefully untrained for combat. He pats her and whispers some quiet words in her ear before turning to the others.

"If the villain has captured others than our friends, they may not have half an hour. I would rather go on the offense, with whatever blessings that do not take so long to cast."
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh, sorry, yes.

You can reattune safely with 10 minutes, or you can reattune on the fly with 1 strain per test until you make it.

Normally you wouldn't know ahead of time how long it will take to reattune on the fly, but for unknown cosmic reasons you know that it'd take 4 rounds this time (and thus deal 4 strain).

Your pick.
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Longes
Prince


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"You are right, I didn't realise someone was still alive. Man, this is going to hurt..."

Horus strains, forcibly tearing his pattern and reweaving it around a Life Circle of One spell.

"Once we get as close as we can, I'll make a warding circle. Rush into it and stay inside. I'll make another, smaller circle which should separate them and allow us fight one cadaverman at a time."


OOC: Current spell matrices:
  • Standard (Spirit Dart)
  • Standard (Etheral Darkness)
  • Standard (Life Circle of One)
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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    So I guess you all rush them and try to make a Life Circle of One?

    Or is there any additional planning to do?
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    Longes
    Prince


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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I suggest we sneak up, set a circle and then throw rocks at them. Unless someone has better tactical ideas.
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    Pixels
    Knight


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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    (I'm hoping that Saoirse will drop Air Armor on the party before we move in. One added thread drops Air Armor on the entire party except the animal companion, who can't benefit unless they're wearing adorable kitty clothes. Then we go, and a Life Circle or three hopefully makes it so we can handle them one at a time or plink with _____ Darts while the muscle twiddles its thumbs.)
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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Alternative: as a bonus thread you can increase the Air Armor duration to (Rank+5) Minutes and then cast it once per person but not have to worry about fiddly small durations.

    Life Circle Of One is a 4y radius, and a hex is 2y wide, so on a hex grid (Earthdawn uses hexes for tactical combat) you'd get one hex at the center and then all the hexes directly touching it within the circle. With a range of Touch I guess you can center it on either your hex or on any adjacent hex.

    Eitan said that they had a wild weekend but would try to check in and post soon so we'll give them a chance to catch up.

    You trolls might want to buy some javelins or crossbows or something Cool
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    Eitan
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    PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    OOC: Yea, sorry guys, while my posts on the weekend do slow down, they completely stopped this weekend since it was my birthday. So, I'm going to go with the Bonus thread for increased duration on Air Armor and have Earth Darts prepared in the other Spell Matrix.

    Saoirse nods grimly as she prepares several patterns one after another, breathing deeply with each one and exhaling the air out around her companions. "Lets save our friends."
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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Saoirse casts Air Armor on all four party members while you're all at a very safe distance. Horus creeps close to the cave entrance, close enough for him to sense the Cadavermen's patterns with his Spirit Dart spell. Gurunk'Gall (normally the stealthiest) sticks close to Horus while Markis sticks close to Saoirse farther back. Gurunk'Gall steps directly on a small rose bush and lets out an involuntary yelp as the thorns dig into the side of his leg. Vistaru keeps close but is having none of these noise-making shenanigans and glides along without a sound. The Cadavermen look around with their patrols, but see nothing that interests them as this all happens.

    Horus concentrates on the pattern of the spell matrix, selecting the right bits of mana to complete its shape. With a slight sound as if from a waterphone, and a slight smell as if from a smouldering fire, a thin black rune circle etches itself into the ground near Horus's feet. This, the Cadavermen finally notice. They turn to face you, and some classic battle music begins to play in a very non-diegetic way!

    [We will use the "slightly hard mode" rules (compared to 3.Tome) and have everyone pick their actions for the whole round ahead of time, then I'll roll initiative and run the whole round. Be sure to mention any Combat Options that you want to use during the round. Earthdawn is squarely based on DnD 1e and this actually is the intended way to play the game. If an action becomes invalidated before your turn I'll have you take some sort of other "default" action according to good judgement, but at +2 difficulty number (this was a rule in 3e, 4e doesn't even mention what happens if your action is invalidated). There's also Reserved Actions and Delayed actions which we can get into if it's needed.]

    [Battle Map Picture. Folks that want can be added to the Roll20 campaign deal and then check the map in detail, but people reading will want some pictures they can look at later anyway so we'll still post pictures here too.]

    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

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    Last edited by Lokathor on Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:46 pm; edited 2 times in total
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