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#14303186 Feb 06, 2020 at 02:32 PM
89 Posts
It seemed they were getting out of the swampy part of the jungle, and things were looking up. Vot was hopefu;, for a little while, that the worst was behind them.

Naturally, his hopes were crushed in the following hours. This would not get easier for having cleared the swamp.

The duel with the cat man had been fun actually, but the encounter with the BOAR man disabused him of the notion that somehow creatures outside of the swamp would be less dangerous. That thing was madness on two legs. If it hadn't been for the protective magics left over from his duel earlier, that thing might have gored him good. It took all of them what felt like several minutes to bleed it to death.

"Hey, that magic stone flesh strengthening stuff is my new favorite thing."

Later, in the defeated boar's cave, they took refuge and Vot was finally able to break out his cookware again after so long on the boat. So it was time for Vot's Spicy Turtle Soup. He still had all his spices with him, so meal quality wouldn't be taking a hit on account of the crash. Some bay leaf, salt and pepper of course, a few vegetables from the salvage they got. some lemon and his secret spicy mix... yeahhh, Vot was gonna delight this group of killers and improve the mood a little bit.
#14303384 Feb 07, 2020 at 01:05 AM
65 Posts
A passage to the Underdark. A pathway back to a place that made sense, unlike this surface world. All these 'oceans' and 'boats' and 'sun' were beginning to get on her nerves. But no matter how inane or foreign this world was, she would never let it get the best of her. Or at the very least not let herself show it, if it came down to it.

"First priority is locating path back to Underdark and Rivvil settlement. Are naut knowing where in Underdark is leading, so may want to take Rivvil settlement if simple enough to do so." Ravillion said as she first looked to Tian'lth, followed by glances to most of the others.
#14303657 Feb 07, 2020 at 07:44 AM · Edited 10 months ago
82 Posts
"At last, back to some place that makes sense," says Zau'lann, unwillingly echosing Ravillon's thoughts. "All this scheming and petty betrayal, idiots squabbling over who gets to be the biggest idiot, amateur deals and clumsy murders... it's like being back at school."

"That said..." he raises an eyebrow. "Are all of you actally willing to head back to the Underdark? I know that's where we met you all, but I can't imagine you all inteded to stay down there... for much longer, at least. Very few do. Unless we make them, of course."
#14303686 Feb 07, 2020 at 08:46 AM
71 Posts
They were out of the swamps now, so Darsin was feeling better. They'd meet the cat people and Vot had slaughtered their chief in a fairly one-sided duel. That hadn't really gotten them much beyond safe passage through their territory. They encountered a boarman which they insisted on fighting and got rather bloodied in the process. There was talk of a cursed city; Darsin was dubious as to the veracity of such stories, but perhaps he would be pleasantly surprised. In any case, he was focusing his efforts on treating the groups wounds and ailments, and strengthening some of the warriors with his fire blessings.
#14303693 Feb 07, 2020 at 08:57 AM · Edited 10 months ago
63 Posts
"Is not stone skin," Miiq hissed, correcting Vot for what felt like the hundredth time. "Is dragon skin! Scales of protection. Miiq does not see how this is not obvious to the rest of you. Bah. Bah, I am saying!"

The little kobold shook his head in disbelief at the ignorance of his supposed comrades. He growled at Zau'lann's stupidity, in particular.

"Underdark is not yours," he said, as if speaking to an especially dim-witted child. "Much larger than White-Hairs seem to think it is, cowering behind their pretty walls. Miiq is from there, same as you. Still feel more normal than above-world. Is you who should be asking if you are wanting to return, yes? Still exiles. Still shamed."
#14303704 Feb 07, 2020 at 09:19 AM · Edited 10 months ago
Veteran DM
146 Posts
A little thoughtful, Tia'nith nodded when Ravillion looked at her though there was a hint of a lop-sided smile when Zaul'ann spoke. His description reminded her of her own opinion of the in-house politics, let alone inter-house, she had experienced. But then he was a male and would not have been privy to much of what took place.

However, this place was strange. Environmental aspects of existence aside she was not sure she would ever adapt to the way of life of the species they had encountered thus far. Suggesting that they kill all the males in the cat tribe so that a single male could control the females? She had barely been able to stay her hand. The only thing that stopped her was being unsure what was worse, that the females would allow such domination or that he sought to impose it. The differences were unsettling.

Perhaps if their exposure to the surface had developed over a longer period of time it would have been different situation. Scout, learn, plan, validate, adjust, counter, act. That was how it should be done. A return to the Underdark made some sense. She paused for a moment running through ideas and considerations that had been at the front of thoughts for a while the conversation continued until the tone of it changed.

"Enough!" Tian'ith responded irritably at Miiq's comments. "Who has the stronger society is of little doubt when you consider all the evidence Miiq. No matter how you are developing you are a rare example and even then the powerful can always be brought to an end. We have seen it too often. And when speaking of exiles you should remember that you too are an outcast. It is wise consider what you might not know rather than what you think you do before letting free with your tongue."

"But regardless," she continued. "A boat is a poor option when we do not know to where we will travel. We look for this access and in this case those who wish to return can do so with us. Some still have business there it seems. It is the best option so xas, that is our aim." She gave Zaul'ann a deeper, 'we need to talk' look. "For now."
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14303779 Feb 07, 2020 at 11:22 AM
Veteran DM
192 Posts
Session 4

+1050xp for full-party IC posting.
#14304377 Feb 08, 2020 at 09:53 AM
71 Posts
//This may be something to look at as I think some have had issues in the past?

https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn1/hakpak/tileset/fix-rocky-mountains-crashing

Karvon
#14304388 Feb 08, 2020 at 10:07 AM
Veteran DM
146 Posts
((Yes and no. I could add the amendments to a hak and we can try that new one, simple enough if we retain the name, but I'm uncertain it's the edge tiles personally. We've had crashes in locations where the edge tiles wouldn't have been visible. He doesn't in any way say what he has changed but edge tiles have no walkmesh and that sort of leaves it as a graphics thing, so when he starts talking about it breaking immersion I suspect we'd end up with mismatching edges to any area. We can try if it's thought worth it.

And server is up. Usual details.))
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14304389 Feb 08, 2020 at 10:12 AM
Veteran DM
192 Posts
In any case, we're not using that hak in the current mod.
#14307402 Feb 12, 2020 at 11:00 PM
84 Posts
Time was flying. It looked like yesterday Gog was at home getting ready to venture into the wilderness once more. After his last encounter with the mysterious Queen he found himself wandering in the Calim desert before arriving in Calimport where he met Yaz his new partner in crime and got his hands on the treasure map. They wanted to find the temple of flame and get their hands on the gold and artefacts hidden within...

This new group was strange but not in a bad way. The drows were strange but the others like Vot, Miiq and the priest were easier to deal with. Gog needed to find a way to break his chains and become a full member of this group. Time would tell if he would follow them "Under the Dark " or not.

In the empty city Gog fell the urge to change just like werewolves on a full moon night and all of a sudden there was Gog the badger. He probably sneaked away to dig some holes here and there before turning back into Gog the goblin.
#14307427 Feb 12, 2020 at 11:39 PM
71 Posts
The city high in the mountains was an impressive sight. At first glance it seemed deserted, but as the group began to explore, they quickly ran into assorted creatures, all of which they promptly dispatched. They came across an encampment led by a human sorceress. She claimed the city was under a curse that prevented anyone from leaving once they had arrived. She also outlined the neighboring groups inhabiting the ruins. The group she'd taken over seemed very primitive, but at least it was a safe place to camp for now Darsin thought. The group debated which area to venture into first. Darsin leaned toward the Gnoll demons, but others had differing views. He deferred to the warriors as he was mostly just supporting the battle line rather than fighting in it these days.
#14308000 Feb 13, 2020 at 10:29 AM · Edited 9 months ago
89 Posts
The city was a strange one, though they only got to see small bit of it... more if you counted the elevated but unclear view they got from atop the rocky barrier the group hopped to get here.

The first 5 minutes inside saw them interrupting a snake man's murder ritual, and the next 5 they encountered some kind of wildly mutated, oversized badger bears that bathed in some kind of magic pool that made their skin a lot tougher.

What the hell was going on here? Well, the next 5 minutes after that had them making a slight detour out of the city to discover a tribe of animal men living on the outskirts. These ones were also not immediately hostile, and were precariously led (?) by a human woman of all things. It was Vots first reaction to be surprised and then suspicious of the woman for not even batting an eye at seeing a group of drow, kobolds, and goblins. But, then he considered her situation... and it still didn't really sit right with him.

This human was pretty knowledgable. She'd have to be ruthless, nuts, or desperate (or all three) to let drow inside if she knew event he first thing about them. Skipping over what that said about Vot himself, Vot found himself wondering who would betray the other first. His bet was on the drow, knowing them, but an underdog was fun to consider.

The human seemed half village chief, half prisoner. The animalistic villagers didn't let her leave because her magic protected them. She made it clear, in private, how much she wanted out of here. So, there was desperate. One outta three at least. But, even if she could just walk out of here, she'd never survive without the protection of the villagers here.

Vot actually felt the compunction to feel sorry for her, which didn't happen often. He would clinically describe himself as an amoral sociopath, if he knew those words... which apparently he did. Must have read them from some of the more dry human books.

Anyway, once again they found themselves tenuously working with the locals for survivals sake. This time, though, Vot suspected this convenient alliance would dissolve in a more bloody fashion the moment it became, well, inconvenient.
#14308238 Feb 14, 2020 at 01:12 AM
65 Posts
A city you can't leave once you enter, or so the rivvil claimed. Ravillion was skeptic of this as surely the male or kobold would have noticed such an enchantment of that scale upon the city. Then again, the male's psyche appeared to have been taking a downturn ever since they arrived on this island and the kobold spent more time trying to think up mediocre comebacks to use on the male than he did observing. So on second thought, perhaps the rivvil's claims weren't so outlandish then.

So that meant they needed to solve this issue and the best option was to trick these other factions into murdering each other. A promise here, a promise there, and soon enough the factions /they/ wanted to aid would conquer the city and end whatever curse kept them all in this city. Or maybe they would end up killing everyone, but that all depended on how negotiations went. Yes, overall this plan appealed to her as it this was what being a Drow Matron was all about. Dealings, planning, backstabbing foes, breaking useless alliances, and more.
#14308283 Feb 14, 2020 at 02:14 AM
82 Posts
"... so," said Zau'lann, breaking a seemingly thoughtful silence. "Diplomacy and power-brokerage. In a ruined city where all the sentient creatures are trying to kill one another. This should be a feat. Any idea where we start? The gnolls? The dragon, gods forbid?"

"I hope they all speak common," he added, after a thought. "If not, we'd maybe have to find some sort of, oh, I don't know, some sort of amulet that might hypothetically allow us to speak other languages. No idea where we might have found one of those..."
#14308328 Feb 14, 2020 at 03:08 AM · Edited 9 months ago
Veteran DM
146 Posts
"In hindsight it may seem foolish Balearn," Tian'ith responded in a calm manner but with a wave of her hand to indicate he should drop the matter, "but from the intelligence we had at the time it seemed wisest. Destroying a fallback position would have burned a bridge we thought we might need to use again, and we did not know we could not return."

From the descriptions of this Mahlindra the city was as rife with antagonistic factions as any in her experience. Gnolls to the north-west of the city and therefore probably closest to their refuge-of-sorts. A dragon and its servants in the north-east, and seemingly in control of an exit. These yuan-ti people in the south-east but also underground? She wasn't sure how to interpret the later as they had not yet discovered any place that would be described in such a fashion by even a surfacer. Then reference to a place in the east of the city where none went inhabited by undead.

The one consistency had been the incomplete and downright vague nature of the information, which rang alarm bells with Tian'ith. Mahlindra had described the motley crew of creatures around her as the weakest, and she could believe that from her own assessment of them. Only one had seemed to carry himself as any kind of warrior and all possessed a kind of mindless devotion. Yet none of these other factions had overrun them because of the rivvil's magic? If she were that powerful the concept of Mahlindra staying there as any kind of captive seemed unlikely to Tian'ith, it was far more likely that she stayed with them as allies of convenience.

What she did not understand was why the woman had not simply assumed control. Perhaps it was the fact that her gender did not seem to have realised their own power within surface races, something she made a note to speak to Vot about, but perhaps it was a ruse to confuse the other factions into underestimating them. While she too could play a game of allies of convenience, her whole culture revolved around the concept, that was not a mistake Tian'ith was about to make.

"As for where should we start?" The drow continued with an expression that indicated rapid thought but her tone was one of stating the obvious. "Our primary objective is obtaining a way out of this place and investigating how to achieve it, which will require us to be able to roam where we wish within this city unchallenged." Tian'ith looked to the north-east. "We may also need to negotiate with this dragon who is almost certainly the most powerful individual here. Hence we need to appear a force to be reckoned with or be ignored."

"As I doubt we will be allowed to remain above involvement in the factional struggle within the city then that is likely to require demonstration." Tian'ith looked at Ravillion. "We reach for our own experience and that leads me to believe it best achieved by removing at least one of the factions within the city. As such an act will certainly change any balance in the city my questions are two-fold."

"Do we seek to bargain with the only faction who can reportedly offer a way out before or after we do that?" Tian'ith looked at Miiq then Zaul'ann. "And is this ... magic causing the inability to leave something we should test or at least investigate before we decide?"
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14308369 Feb 14, 2020 at 03:54 AM
63 Posts
There was a dragon here.

Miiq should have known. He had felt in his bones that this city was a place of power, and what surer herald was there of a dragon's presence? A real dragon, mind you - not some slithering wyvern or insipid multi-headed dragon, but a dragon.

He had no been in the presence of such a creature since his failed rebellion. Since his awakening. Since his defeat.

This time, it would be different.

"Was two ways out, witch-lady said," he hissed, distractedly, in response to Tian'ith's question. "Dragon, and gnolls. Demon-gnolls. We want prove we are power? Prove we are to be respected? Maybe we see how well they bleed."
#14308591 Feb 14, 2020 at 10:58 AM
Veteran DM
192 Posts
Session 6

+1200xp for full-party IC posting this week.
#14309218 Feb 15, 2020 at 09:30 AM
Veteran DM
146 Posts
((Server is up early, usual details.

As a note I will not be around next week, 22nd Feb but can host as usual.))
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14309420 Feb 15, 2020 at 02:29 PM
Veteran DM
192 Posts
Next session will be February 29.