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Thread: "Chapter Two: Where Opportunity Knocks Once and Lightning Strikes Twice"

  1. #1
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    Post "Chapter Two: Where Opportunity Knocks Once and Lightning Strikes Twice"

    Slim refused to say more and closed his eyes for the night, leaving the adventurers of Fortune's Hand to their chatter or quiet reflections, whichsoever they chose.

    Hush busied herself trying to blow stray ashes onto the juiciest and choicest of the roasting frog legs.

    Cato tried to get past Oksana's oddly independent tail to sit on her shoulder, but it still waved the stick that had prodded Slim. Eventually he gave up and hunted for bananas. He hoped his suckered nemesis would soon fall asleep and allow him to take his usual bed among the strix's downy feathers.
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall

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    Default A duel!

    Oksana frowned as Tamsyn sat her down by the fire, with her back to the flames. Her tail trailed over the back of the slab of wood she was sitting on and it was still grasping the stick that it had poked the drow with.

    “What are you doing?” Oksana questioned her.

    Tamsyn just grinned, staying out of the tail’s reach. She clicked her tongue. “Cato! Cato, come here, you cheeky little monkey!”

    A second later a little brown ball of fur dashed across the clearing and raced up the catperson’s body. Tamsyn cuddled him a bit before putting him on the ground and handing him a stick. Cato raised the stick, tilting his head in question. Tamsyn grinned wider and turned Cato to face Oksana’s tail.

    Oksana’s jaw dropped as Cato screeched and began attacking the tail with his stick. The tail writhed and jerked, fighting back with its own stick. Tamsyn fell over backwards, rolling on the ground laughing.

    Enya snatched a frogleg off the fire and handed it to Oksana. The strix took it, munching thoughtfully as she watched her tail battle it out with her familiar.

    “You know,” Enya said carefully, “normally I prefer our people not to fight amongst themselves.” She eyes the tail and the monkey. “I’m just…not sure this counts.”

    Oksana shrugged. “Would be better to know what tail can do,” she said finally. “Cato is tough little monkey, he will be fine.”

    Enya quirked an eyebrow. “Do you intend to use your tail in battle?”

    Oksana nodded. “It can hold weapon. Why should it get free pass?”

    “Indeed,” Enya mused. She shook her head. “I will be up in time to take second watch. You will still sit with my…eloquent brother?”

    Again Oksana nodded. “No problem. Perhaps while in tree I can find bird to speak with. Would be good to ask for more information, or perhaps contact Sir Randall.”

    “You still have my note?”

    Oksana met Enya’s eyes, letting her know that she’d read the note. Not that Enya had had any doubts--the strix was notoriously nosey and delightfully unapologetic for it. “Yes.”

    Enya nodded and moved back toward Sinbad. Oksana turned her gaze to Squalk. “So, comrade, how did you enjoy your flight? Will you be joining me for future air patrols?”
    Last edited by Simoriah; 09-11-2013 at 10:54 AM.
    "Friends don't let friends mend evil altars." - UngainlyDodge
    "The goblin died as he had lived, ignorant of what was going on and generally outraged." - UngainlyDodge

  3. #3
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    Post What You Wand to Do?

    Bizbee surprised them all by emerging from his bag. He wore his usual nightly mud mask. Tiny streaks under his eyes suggested he was not quite done mourning. His tiny hand clutched the white birch wand.

    "I thought you all should know, this wand you got off the froggins has only seven charges left. So many expended uses knocks its value down to about 500 gold pieces, give or take. It may be much more valuable to you as a tool. It has the ability to turn whoever it taps invisible for the next three minutes. The activation password those bouncing brutes used is 'No See Um.' No imagination, those skin-thieves."

    He sniffled. "I'll be taking my usual beauty rest between 2 am and 6 am. If you want my best work and fullest cooperation, you'll respect my schedule." With that he disappeared back inside his home.


    OOC: It is not 2 am yet. It is 2 am in four hours.
    Last edited by UngainlyDodge; 09-11-2013 at 05:56 PM.
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Simoriah View Post
    Oksana turned her gaze to Squalk. “So, comrade, how did you enjoy your flight? Will you be joining me for future air patrols?”
    "Squalk enjoyed it very much. Next time, Squalk wants to take that magic spyglass."

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    Default Who's a pretty boy den?

    Finally, Oksana finished off her frogleg and turned to the duel going on behind her. “Enough, you both!” (OOC: will save to make tail stop fighting d20:16 + 8 = 24 fail). She sighed and snatched her tail, holding its squirming length as it tried to get one last whack at the monkey chattering behind him. Cato obviously considered himself the winner, if the satisfaction humming through their connection was any indication.

    She faced her comrades and gestured at a tree just beyond their campfire. “I will return shortly. I think I heard parrot earlier. He would make good messenger.” She considered that for a moment and then raided the bag of holding, withdrawing the pack of trail mix they’d taken from the goblin.

    She strode to a nearby tree and climbed up. Oksana put down trail mix and waited for the feathered friend she’d thought she heard earlier. After just a few minutes, a green parrot with yellow wingtips snacked his way along the trail of nuts and berries. He cocked his head curiously at the strix and tapped the branch twice with his foot. He squawked, "Got any more?"

    “For my brave, colorful messenger, I have lots more,” Oksana responded in parrot (OOC: cast Talk to Animal)

    The parrot bobbed his head enthusiastically and cheeped "Yes, that is me! What does a messenger do?"

    “A messenger takes this little note I have here and delivers it to the centaur knight by the name of Sir Randall. And he is not in the least bit concerned about the centaur's pet hawk who is a Lady in name and in deed.”

    "What is a centaur? But I am faster than any hawk!" He preened his feathers nonchalantly.

    Oksana described Sir Randall.

    "Oh, the ruined horse stuck to the no legs man! The one wearing all the shiny! Arawak knows him! What is a message?"

    Oksana held up the note Enya had given her.

    "Put it on me, put it on me, put it on me!" He held out his leg, and opened his beak for more snacks.

    Once the message was on his leg, he admired it. In common he squawked, "Who's a pretty boy den?"

    In Common Oksana cooed, “You're a pretty boy.” She gave him the rest of the trail mix.

    "Arawak!" He flapped in delight and gobbled up any remaining morsels. Oksana petted him a moment and leapt out of the tree to rejoin her comrades. She smiled as she neared the fire and heard the beginning of a promising campfire story…
    "Friends don't let friends mend evil altars." - UngainlyDodge
    "The goblin died as he had lived, ignorant of what was going on and generally outraged." - UngainlyDodge

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    Default Squalk

    "Squalk knows a story. A story from my homeland about a man named Yasumichi.

    "The foxes which infested the house and grounds of Yasumichi's old mansion were always making mischief, but since they never really did any harm, Yasumichi let the matter pass. They got naughtier and naughtier as the years went by, until one day he angrily decided that enough was enough. Those foxes would have to go.

    He announced a grand fox hunt to his household, for the next day. The servants were to bring bows and arrows, sticks, or whatever weapons they could devise, and flush out every last one. They would surround the house, and men would be posted not only on the garden wall but on the roof as well, and even in the space between the ceiling of the rooms and the roof. Every fox that showed itself would be killed.

    Near dawn on the fateful day Yasumichi had a dream. A white-haired old man, looking rather like an aged menial, was kneeling under the tangerine tree in the garden, bowing respectfully to him.

    "Who are you?" asked Yasumichi.

    "Someone who has lived here in the mansion for many years, sir," the old man answered nervously. "My father lived here before me, sire, and by now I have many children and grandchildren. They get into a lot of mischief, I'm afraid, and I'm always after them to stop, but they never listen. And now, sir, you're understandably fed up with us. I gather that you're going to kill us all. But I just want you to know, sir, how sorry I am that this is our last night of life. Won't you pardon us, one more time? If we ever make trouble again, then of course you must act as you think best. But the young ones, sir -- I'm sure they'll understand when I explain to them why you're so upset. We'll do everything we can to protect you from now on, if only you'll forgive us, and we'll be sure to let you know when anything good is going to happen!"

    The old man bowed again and Yasumichi awoke. When the sky had lightened, he got up and looked outside. Under the tangerine tree sat a hairless old fox which, and the sight of him, slunk under the house.

    The perplexed Yasumichi gave up his fox hunt. There was no more troublesome mischief, and every happy event around the house was announced by a fox's sharp bark."

  7. #7
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    Default The Silverhand [ENYA]

    Enya’s mouth curved into a smile as she lifted her brows at the birdman. “Naughty foxes, huh?”

    Squalk didn’t offer comment, but she could’ve sworn his feathers tinged pink. Reclined like a princess in her catbed, Tam poured herself another, mostly, white Russian, nibbling on frog legs off of an elegant twig. “I say, he should’ve eaten them. There’s good meat to be had on foxes.” She smiled mischievously. “Especially the naughty ones.”

    It was Enya’s turn to blush furiously as Oksana slapped Squalk on the back, letting out a cackle. The strix snatched up another frog from the fire. “Come, Fearless Leader!” She waved with a flailing webbed leg. “You give story, yes?”

    Tam cavorted around her bed, arms failing. “Oh! Tell me about Guy! Tell me about Guy!”

    Enya’s brows lifted as she plucked a bottle of linnorum mead at her bag. “You wish to hear more of my father?”

    The catfolk clasped her fingers under her chin and batted her eyelashes. “What a man.”

    “Aye,” Enya nodded, “Agot thought so.”

    Oksana’s tail peeled through the air, twig poised to strike and Enya reached out and caught it before it could make contact with her snout. Craning her head, she narrowed her eyes on the serpent caught in a vise grip. “I am not a monkey.” The appendage went taut as if it found itself in unexpected circumstances. She squeezed—not enough to hurt Oksana, but enough to get her point across. “Are we clear?” The tail went limp. Playing dead. She rolled her eyes and released it. “You probably learned that from Sinbad.”

    “Story! Story!” Tam clapped. “Story!”

    Enya dropped back against the grass and folded her arms beneath her head, “You wish to know of my father. Hmm…well, unlike Agot, Guy never knew his people. He was born in a Taldan brothel as Guy La Vie. My father was never sure of which one of the women might have been his mother. He had suspicions about the Madame who ran the ratty leaning little building, known at that time as La Vie, but it was never confirmed. It seemed that he was raised collectively amongst the whores who worked for her. My father was born a rogue and bastard.

    Enya couldn’t help but smile at the image of her father. “Even as a child, he used to say, 'Nothing is ever locked.' There wasn’t a door he couldn’t unlock, a set of binds he could not free himself with…and everyone in Taldan knew better than to challenge that easy smile to a game of cards. I don’t know much of his life before Agot, but I do know that by the time my mother started hunting him, he was Guy the Silverhand.”

    Enya pulled a simple silver piece from her belt and held up the shiny coin. “He was given the name because of his signature. If you were killed by the Silverhand, the world would know it by the silver pieces he left over your eyes. By the time, Agot caught up with him in Markarth, he was a notorious legend—more rumor and hearsay than anything because no one had ever actually seen him. Well, no one had seen him and lived.”

    She tossed the coin and caught it. “A notorious highway man wanted in three different countries. Perfect material for a swellsword trying to make her name, yes? My mother never said as much, but I believe when she stomped into the jungle to avenge Hircine and found only Guy and his rakish charm, she was surprised. Why else would she not have cut him down where he stood?”

    “That surprise didn’t last long—for my father was the bravest of all men and stole not one kiss, but two!” Enya peeled off the forest floor and sat, her mouth widening in predatory delight. “And only then, was there a fight. It was glorious. My mother swung and the Silverhand braced with daggers! Centaur silver daggers he’d stolen from an Ulfen warlord--the very warlord who had paid Agot to bring Guy to justice! Agot would swing, Guy would counter. It is said that for a long while all that as heard in the forest was the clamber of steel on steel and my father’s laughter. “ Her teeth flashed in a lovely crescent. “Joy—it came easily to him.”

    “My mother was fast, but father was much faster. He knocked her blades from her hand and pinned her to the tree. Agot struggled something vicious. She was Agot! Mightiest of Floki’s daughters and here she’d been bested by a smiling idiot! She snapped and snarled at my father, but could not free herself. After all, my mother was a warrior not a rogue—and no man had ever been foolish enough to pin her…anywhere. And do you know what my father did?”

    “No?” Tam’s eyes widened and she slapped Oksana’s tail second before it could strike. “What did he say?”

    The tail recoiled and attacked the strix instead. Enya ducked an angry wing, meeting Tam’s eyes. “He kissed her. Senseless. He kissed her so much she could not breathe. I am not sure why my mother allowed it. Agot was never…” She frowned. “Romantic, but she allowed Guy to steal her breath and her body. But nothing else. I am told that they never uttered a word to one another. Touching and kissing—but never speaking.” She titled her head, familiar confusion blanketing her mind. “And when, she woke—he was gone. Save for the silver pieces he’d left on the rogue he’d killed….and Hircine.”

    Tam frowned. “But I thought—“

    “The bandit had killed Hircine?” Enya nodded. “As did Agot. So when she rose alone with nothing but the truth, Guy the Silverhand became much more than a bounty. The men who had attacked her bore the mark of a black fox—she touched the back of her neck—they had belonged to Guy. While Agot had been tracking him, Guy had been tracking her. Why did he not kill her?” Enya shrugged, even as she smiled wistfully.

    “Perhaps, for the same reason she had not killed him when given the chance. It did not matter. Once she realized his treachery, Guy became the enemy. He had taken her bear and her body without a shred of honor. Agot the Bloody vowed to hunt and kill him. It would be three years before she would see the Silverhand again, but this time, when she caught up with him…she was no longer the fresh-faced lass just barely able to swing her sword. This time, when she met the Silverhand, she meant blood.”
    Last edited by SlickCiggy; 09-11-2013 at 10:19 PM. Reason: spacing
    "Flowers for the widows."

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    Exclamation THIS SPACE RESERVED!

    OOC: Anyone doing watches can PM or gmail me stuff to post here. Anyone who wants to add a story, ditto.

    My next post, as I said, will wake you and move you to the next encounter.
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall

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    Post This Plan's a Bit Foggy

    After uninterrupted sleep and vigils, Fortune's Hand and their manacled drow companion awoke to a peaceful but overcast early morning sky.

    They ate leftovers for breakfast without speaking much. Their minds were on the Wanted wizard, the Hermit, whom Slim had just revealed to be MacGuffin's persona non grata old mentor. They knew so little about him, except that Slim insisted that he was easily flattered by females, powerful enough to be dangerous, and must be taken by surprise.

    Tamsyn doused the ashes of their small campfire with conjured water.

    Squalk took his post beside the cuffed drow, the manacle key dangling from the tengu's neck on the cord Enya had given him.

    Slim's dark red dress was now rather rumpled, but Enya surprised him by touching up his make-up for him and fluffing his white hair and the forelock over his brow. Charlotte would look presentable enough for her old acquaintance.

    Onward the heroes made their way through the subdued jungle for about an hour.

    At last they beheld a copse of trees that seemed more shadowy than the rest of the landscape. Some kind of black fog billowed between the tree trunks.

    "We'll have to go through there," Slim announced, "and it's best if we hold hands. Even those who can see in the dark will be unable to see in there. But we will get past that layer of smoke within about twenty feet. And there's no harm in breathing it in." The drow turned his back to Squalk. "I'll need you to uncuff me now."

    To them all he said, "Will you still follow my plan? Allow me and Squalk to enter his dwelling alone first, then make your way past the wards and join us discreetly inside, to take the mage by surprise and greater numbers?"
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall

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    Default Ninja vanish!

    Oksana's mind whirred as she thought through Slim's plan. Trusting an evil drow just smacked of a bad idea, but what else could they do? Cato sneezed and suddenly Oksana had an idea. She turned to Enya. "Cato and I have empathic link. Perhaps I camouflage and go with Slim and Squalk, staying a bit behind. Cato stay with you and if there is trouble I will alert Cato and Cato will warn you." She turned to Tamsyn. "You will hold wand of invisibility? If our comrades need to follow and maintain surprise, you can make them invisible, yes?"
    Last edited by Simoriah; 09-12-2013 at 11:54 AM.
    "Friends don't let friends mend evil altars." - UngainlyDodge
    "The goblin died as he had lived, ignorant of what was going on and generally outraged." - UngainlyDodge

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