Welcome to The Lost Island Quest. Last thread our hero, Alan Rodain, found a reason to desire more money, embarked on a diplomatic mission and ended up having a really bad dream. Now, he and his allies make their way towards the Firegem village.
http://pastebin.com/W5vqnRBU (Character Sheet)
You finish packing up camp the next morning quickly and silently. Rowe and yourself manage to keep some distance from each other and your minds shut as tight as your mouths. The central fire is extinguished, the tents are packed on the horses, the animals are fed and watered and you find yourselves entering the hilly region of the Island past the plains, where you notice many small caves embedded in the hillsides. Pex warns you that while most are empty or filled with nocturnal creatures, the living situation is always fluctuating and different creatures may have moved in during his absence.
Rowe, for the most part seems fairly focused on the task of leading your group through the now rockier, more treacherous terrain and keeping her eyes peeled for anything spying on you from the hills or caves. Again, the two of you are on mental silence. For how professional the two of you are trying to behave, you can't help notice she's taken a much farther forward point position than she usually does and you've quietly volunteered yourself to the job of rearguard.
>Talk to Rowe
>Talk to Gabby
>Talk to Eve
>Talk to Gilda
>Talk to Pex
>Silence is golden
You ride up alongside Eve and hear her chatting rapidly with Pex.
“Really?” she questions as he finishes some spattering of slithering dialogue.
“Oh yeah. Lightning. Acid. Ice. Different colored scales, different breath weapons, different powers.” he assures her with a hiss.
“Fire's the best one though, right?” Pex nods his head in assent. “Okay, good. Because I'd feel really silly if I found out that dragons that breathe lightning were more powerful than ones who breathe fire." Eve looks over to you and smiles. “Hey Alan. Thanks for taking me on this trip. Apparently they have a fire mage in their village who has dedicated his life to dragon worship. I am so ready to take the next step in my draconic journey.” She vibrates in anticipation.
You look over at Pex quizzically. “If they're so gung-ho on the dragon worship, why aren't they serving a dragon right now?”
Eve shrugs. “Pex says they were exiled from The Volcano many generations because their master was displeased with their work.”
“Yeah, apparently in the center of the Island there's a giant volcano! It's probably chock full of fire dragons.” After she calms down from her excitement she gets a more serious look on her face. “So, Alan. What's the plan with the kobolds?”
>Establish an alliance
>Get information on the surrounding area
>Acquire permission to mine the ruby veins
>All of the above
>Something else? (write-in)
>All of the above
On a side note i so much want to learn some illusion magic.
“Get some information on the surrounding area. Get this Ungblot to allow Seaside access to his rubies and then make an alliance with them if they're willing.”
Eve chuckles nervously. “Pretty tall order there, Alan.”
You shrug. “Well if Pex here can –”
Rowe raises her hand to halt the rest of you. (Alan, problem.)
“What's the hold up, we're almost there.” Pex utters as he pulls his pony to a rest. You ride forward to where Rowe has brought her horse back a bit and has dismounted. (Follow me.)
She calmly explains to the rest of the group to stay behind the hill you've momentarily chosen to stop at. You dismount as well and follow her in a crouched ascent up the hill that slowly shifts to the two of you crawling until you crest the grassy knoll. With your cloak's hood up and just the bare amount of peeking you require to see what Rowe spotted you're fairly confident most would not see you.
It takes you but a second to spot what caused Rowe's caution. There is a small dip of a valley between the hill you're on and the one across from you. Staked into the ground at its crown are multiple wooden crosses. Maybe twenty to thirty in all, you don't know if that's all of them in your view right now. You can make out the shapes of bodies attached to them on the sides of the crosses opposite of your position. You gulp. Crucifixions.
(Bad way to go.) Rowe thinks to you. (Don't see movement, but I can't tell how recent they are from this distance. Someone could be watching.)
(Bodies look small. Goblins? Kobolds?)
(Children?) she looks at you grimly.
>Go up to the crucified, see if any still live
>Get Pex, see if he knows what's going on
>Sneak around and see if whoever did that is still in the area
(I'll get Pex and see what he knows about this.)
(Sounds smart. I'll keep watch.)
You skulk your way back to where your group is now waiting. Gilda is writing furiously and hiding between Gabby and Tornado. You gesture for Pex to follow you and he obeys. He's pretty stealthy, you must admit. He was planning to ambush your party a couple months ago, so it makes sense that he's skilled at it. As the two of you meet back up with Rowe and Pex finally gets a good look at the crosses, he growls low in his throat as his claws dig into the dirt.
“Hobgoblins.” he states in disgust.
“What's a hobgoblin?” you ask.
“Hardy like an orc. Clever like a goblin. Meaner than both. They're the type to do that,” he points with a claw towards the crosses. “to send a message. Over past that hill is where the main entrance to my people's village is.” Then those bodies were placed there to face it. Gruesome.
“Why would they do that to you?”
“I don't know. Last I knew the Firegem nation was on good terms with General Agus. I was out hunting a week when you captured me. It has been three turns of the moon since then. Things must have changed.” Pex looks around. “Might be a trap. My people are too crafty to risk their scales for that. Maybe the bodies have been covered in disease. Maybe poisonous snakes were left behind under rocks and in bushes.”
>Some may still be alive, approach
>Make a careful detour around the crucified
>Send someone to stealth around to look for a potential ambush (who?)
Well, you've never really competed before to see who was the stealthiest, so it would be hard to tell. With invisibility on, you are definitely better than Rowe. Of course, if you gave Rowe invisibility, she would also be just as good, she just would be unable to reapply it every four minutes. You have sixteen minutes of invisibility straight if you require.
I'll say she was able to remain undetected for a week while watching The Forest Hunter village. She's definitely got the edge on you in a forest, but you aren't in a forest right now.
Fine, if you really want me to make it obvious.
Yes, Kyra is black. Are you finally happy?
And the abilities portion of the NPC pastebin is up to date as far as what Alan knows, unless there is something specific you are talking about?
Rolled 87 + 15 (1d100 + 15)
GREAT WILL GUIDE ME!!!
Race is not about skin color, it's about half-orcs vs flying squirrels. Yeah, I should have written "species". And by abilities I mean fast running for Eve (I found Quissonce's sorcery by now).
>Brown coat. Tiny. Small, shifty.
You surge the magic in your blood to cast Invisibility on yourself to Pex's shock and begin to skulk your way around the hill to check out the surrounding rolling bumps and hillocks for hobgoblins.
It takes you two whole casts to check out the surrounding area thoroughly for ambushers, but no one seems to be watching the crosses. As you move around to the other side to where the bodies are facing you, you see that while a good portion of them are kobolds, even more are goblins. Strange, you'd assume hobgoblins and goblins would be friends based . . . on the fact that they have similar names, but apparently these hobgoblins are pretty ruthless.
You can't tell without going up the hill itself if any are left alive. The kobolds seem to have slit throats as you see red blood covering their chest area, but the goblins do not seem to have been granted that mercy. They instead possess what look like wooden boards with some words inscribed into them hanging round their necks. You can't make out the words or language from this distance.
You also spot the hole in the ground among the copse of trees behind you. It has a perfect view of the hill of crucified corpses. That must be the entrance to Firegem Village.
It takes you a moment of examining the hill for traps, but your eyes finally notice the slither through the grass. Yep, that's one big snake that was left behind as a present for anyone naive enough to approach. Well, that shouldn't be too much of an issue now that you're aware –
(Rider approaching from the east.) You instinctively hit the dirt.
(Hobgoblin?) you think to Rowe, looking around to finally see her. She moved position slightly to be in your line of sight.
(No, orc. Just one.)
(He noticed me?)
(He's heading towards the bodies. Don't think so.)
You hear him first. The clopping of hard hooves becoming noticeable. You spot him, riding fast and hard down a small hillock to your right and then up the big hill with the bodies and the snake. He dismounts the scraggly, scrawny-looking horse he rides and rushes to one of the bodies. He seems to shake it for a bit, before moving on to the next. He must be checking them for something.
You don't think he's noticed the big snake.
>Call out about the snake, warn the orc
>Wait and see what happens
Diplomacy with orcs. I know that there was only that one village with the raping ogre/orc chieftan but they didn't make a good impression on us. I say let the orc fuck himself.
>Wait and see what happens
Forgot to quote... I'm this one: >>44674179
(I'm going to warn him about the snake in the grass.)
(I'm going to shoot him when he tries to kill you.)
You prep yourself. “Watch out! There's a snake!” you shout in Orcish from your lying down position. Thankfully making noise doesn't drop the invisibility spell. The orc, who had just got done checking a fifth body, swivels towards the sound of your voice and then pull out his bow. You tense. Did he spot where you are?
Suddenly the snake lunges from the where it was skulking underfoot, maybe twenty feet in length, fangs dripping with venom. As it aims for the orc's throat he quickly pulls four arrows from his quiver. One. Two. Three. Four. He sidesteps the snake as he rapidly looses arrow after arrow. By the time the snake lands back in the dirt it has been struck by all four shots, the last one piercing its head. You were smart enough to use the distraction to move your position from where you shouted. He was probably too focused on the snake to hear your quiet movements.
(. . .Fuck. He fired that bow four times in . . .) Rowe's thoughts trail off.
(Yeah, I think he's even faster than –)
(Alan, you finish that thought and I swear –)
(me. Faster than me.)
The orc has now looked up from the dead snake, still holding his bow. He looks around towards where he heard your voice. He searches for a few seconds and seems to realize you aren't standing out in the open. He slings his bow onto his back.
“Thank you, friend.” He shouts in your general direction, before turning back to checking the bodies.
>Reveal yourself to him?
>Say something? (write-in)
>Move past him? (write-in)
No, never, nope. No thank you.
“I'm just doing my civic duty as a disembodied voice.” You decide to open with a joke. You get a hearty laugh from him.
“You speak Orcish funny. Like a tree-walker.” He looks over his shoulder in your general direction, eyes glancing for you, before giving up and moving on to the next body.
(A tree-walker?)/(A tree-walker?)
(Jinx! You owe me a drink, Alan.)
(Wonderful.) You look back to the orc. “Is there a particular goblin you're looking for?” you ask him.
“Yes. One that breathes.” he tells you. “I do not believe he's here.” He moves on from the last goblin corpse to the kobold corpses.
“Who are you? Where do you come from?” He pulls a knife from his sheath and a canteen.
“I am Zar'kov. I come from the earth, the sky and the blood. But I am a tribesman of The Mountain Riders, which was what I think you meant.”
You sigh. He doesn't seem evil, but you're really missing your Dolah detector. You stand up and let the spell fade. He turns to face you, knife and canteen in hand.
You can tell even from where you stand, so far apart, he is awestruck.
“You really are a tree-walker.”
>Uh, go with it?
>Don't go with it
>Ask him something else? (write-in)
i meant because of the island. I remembeer her saying her ears would grow from the time. So the island turn mainland halfelfs in wood elfs and full elfs form the mainland in high elfs. That's what i meant to say.
You start to approach. If he's going to stab you he's a master deceiver.
"Not quite, I've only been on this land for a few months. My name is Alan Rodain. I'm a human from Seaside. A settlement to the north."
He inspects you. He goes from awe to confusion. “Human? I've never heard of that species.”
“We're not native to this place. We're from a much larger land mass farther away. I'm sorry, what's a tree-walker? Do you mean an elf?”
He looks even more confused. “What's an elf? Wait.” He holds up a hand and looks away in contemplation. “There is another word for it. Dryad?” He looks at you to see if that helps.
Well, you've heard of dryads before as fairy tale forest spirits, so yeah, those are probably real things here. Wow, fairies are real things too aren't they?
(I bet they are!) Rowe agrees with you.
“I know what you mean. No, I am not a dryad.” Zar'kov shakes his head. He looks slightly miffed, but looks back up to you with a smile.
“Well, thank you for the warning, Alan.” He goes back to the bodies and begins to cut open veins on the recently deceased, letting the blood drip into his canteen. He notices your apprehensive expression with his peripheral vision and looks from you to his bloody knife and canteen before laughing. “I forgot. You are from a foreign place. You are probably unaware. My people require blood --”
“I know.” you interrupt him. He stops, his eyes going slightly wide, before finding his voice again.
“Oh, well. Then, yes. I am trying not to let this blood go to waste.” He turns back to the bodies and continues his work. As he takes the sign off of one of the goblins, you see that it has two messages. One written in Goblin, one written in Draconic. The Draconic message reads “TRAITOR” and you ask Zar'kov what the message in Goblin says.
“Traitor.” He replies.
>Say something else? (write-in)
>Leave him to his work and go meet the kobolds
>Tell him to stop mutilating the kobold corpses
“Do you know why they were traitors?”
Zar'kov shrugs. “The goblins are forced into subservience by General Agus. Ungblot is too clever for his own good. Most likely Ungblot made some deal with the goblins behind The General's back and he retaliated by killing mere messengers and traders. Disgraceful.”
You are taken aback by this. “You know who Ungblot is?” He nods his head. “Do you think he would appreciate you mutilating the corpses of his dead?”
He puts his hands up in a placating gesture. “You don't understand. I'm my tribe's blood buyer. I was coming to trade with him anyway. I'm sure he'll consider the blood I'm taking from his dead payment for returning their bodies. I'd return the goblins too, but General Agus kills orcs on sight.” He grimaces and mutters to himself. Huh, so Zar'kov here is his tribe's face man, essentially. That is convenient.
“Would you be willing to act as mediator between your tribe and our city? Our settlement wants to make trade ties with whoever is willing to work with us.”
He laughs. “This is a fortunate meeting then. My tribe is skilled at leatherworking, arrow fletching and the crafting of bows. I would be willing to . . .” he sighs out as he trails off before looking you in the eyes. “I just realized. I have no clue if your species' blood works.”
>It doesn't (lie)
>Help him carry the corpses to Firegem village
>Don't help him carry the corpses to Firegem village
>Help him carry the corpses to Firegem village
"We found out the hard way; some orcs had taken some members of our settlement and were using their blood without payment."
He's a businessman, he should be able to appreciate retaliation for the stealing of goods and services.
(Alright, he's a friendly. Swing by. We're going to help him carry the dead back to the kobolds. Ten corpses in all.)
(Okay.) Rowe responds promptly.
“It does. We found out the hard way; some orcs had taken members of our settlement and were using their blood without payment." you tell him.
He nods and looks down at the ground. “I was afraid that was the case. Thank you then, for not letting first impressions sour your opinions of a stranger. Most have not done the same.” He extends his arm and you shake hands. “I hope we enter a very long-lasting partnership.”
Your allies arrive at this moment. Gilda dismounts the quickest and rushes up to Zar'kov writing things down as she zips around him, inspecting him like a research project. He looks at her very concerned.
You try to excuse Gilda's weird behavior. “Sorry, friends of mine. We're heading to have some words with Ungblot about trading with him. We'll help you take the dead back.”
He barely registers what you said as he stares wide-eyed at Gilda. “She's a tree-walker!” Gilda looks from him to you, waiting for you to translate.
Rowe folds her arms after dismounting and replies in Orcish. “What? I thought you said tree-walkers were dryads?”
Zar'kov looks at her and studies her a bit. “That's another word for them, yes. With the pointy ears. Never sleep and move through trees as if they were air. Are you . . .?”
Rowe scoffs, before pulling down her own hood, showing her ears. “Only half. But yes, we call dryads or tree-walkers, elves.”
Zar'kov makes an excited gasp and points at himself. “I'm part tree-walker too. What's your other half?”
“Human, like me.” you answer for him.
“Translate please!” Gilda pleads in common as Pex, Gabby and Eve begin hauling the dead bodies onto your horses. Pex also brings along a goblin corpse to 'feed the pets' as he says.
Rowe says something to Gilda in Elvish. Gilda responds. Zar'kov makes another happy gasp and says something in Elvish himself. Rowe lifts her hands and says one last thing before walking away, leaving Zar'kov and Gilda to mutually interrogate each other in a language you don't understand about every tiny little detail about how the other lives.
Your crew moves the small distance it takes for you to make it to the cave entrance to Firegem village. Almost immediately as you approach, multiple kobolds come out from where they were hiding in the trees to greet you. Seems like they have some gut feelings you're an alright bunch of folks from what they saw and tell you the Emperor is waiting to see you all. You are escorted past the traps and the giant rats and scorpions guarding the entryway. Your party is soon walking down a dark tunnel that is only illuminated by a Dancing Light spell of Eve's.
Gilda and Zar'kov do not stop talking in Elvish the entire way. At one point in their conversation Gilda goes to her journal and says something that makes Zar'kov recoil. She looks up like she fucked up somehow. Zar'kov starts talking really rapidly and Gilda waves her hands as if she was apologizing for some slight. Both seem to look very apologetic and embarrassed by that little exchange.
(What'd she say?)
('I can't believe I'm talking to an adult male orc that isn't threatening to rape me every few moments.')
You finally make it to the entryway of a large natural cavern. It has torches lit inside of it, most likely intended expressly for your visit. As you all step in you notice the large, lavish, bear rug in the middle of the room and tapestries depicting dragons destroying armies of humanoid creatures lining the walls. Four well-armed palace guards in actual metal armor stand at attention at the bottom of a rough-hewn, stone dais. Six, much more relaxed ones sit at a large, circular wooden table off to the side playing cards.
At the top of the dais is a rather well-crafted throne, most likely worth thousands of gold. Upon it sits a kobold dressed in silks and a comically-sized ruffled collar. He is flanked by a kobold wearing red robes whose head looks very dragon-like. The throne is surrounded by fifteen scantily-clad female kobolds, one of which sits in the Emperor's lap. That's three more than were reported in Blackburn's documents.
Ungblot snaps his claws and the one sitting in his lap gets up and retreats behind the throne. He stands up, smoothing out his finely-woven clothing. He spreads his arms wide and regales you in the most musical tones you could imagine a series of hisses and squeaks to sound.
“Hello esteemed guests and visitors. What can I, Emperor Ungblot, the Mightily Witted, leader of the Firegem Nation, do, for you?” He gives a slight bow of the head.
Eve's eyes are the size of dinner plates.
“This guy. Is fucking awesome!”
>End of Thread
I will most likely run this next time on either Wednesday or Friday. https://twitter.com/TrickQM
W-w-why, anon, who is this 'zharkov' you speak of. That would be a very stereotypical Russian name. Are you speaking about Zar'kov, t-t-the totally original orc name I c-c-came up with because I'm c-c-c-creative?
If so, then yeah, you're bout to receive big moneys. Unless you somehow fuck it all up by getting Gilda AND Zar'kov killed.
Well, according to the voices (the voices) everyone (EVERYONE!)
Who first, though?
Everyone at once would definitely be very hard to achieve. But, y'know . . .
Maybe you should check out that book on sex magic?
Well, Alan chose Rowe over Gabby in a hypothetical situation. And as we all know, that means fuck-all when you're seven drinks in and that elf who could totally be a dude starts giving you the fuck-me eyes.
I will say, although you've been playing Alan pretty pure, he's probably wondered if he could pull off the touch of destiny with his penis. I mean, you'd have to at least wonder, right?