Better a 4-5 day delay than a 2 month one, eh?
Opening Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCQmQwKEEOM
Story Thus Far: http://pastebin.com/T2juLBiB
New Backpack - (Sealed)
Repeater - Unupgraded
Sasha: Skill list
Natural Ability (Lamia) +3
Casting (Draconic+4 Roc+2 Leviathan+3 Troll+1 Elemental+1)
"Thats... a lot of people." You mutter quietly to Liama who is still counting quietly to herself.
"96 unique visible so far, and rising." She reponds, "I think they've got a barracks off on the other side."
Keel and his men slowly edge forward, rifles trained on any movement. Looking through the cavern you don't really see much activity on your side. A couple more of these tunnels, but nothing like the the other side.
"This has to be their main camp." Keel says, "No idea how they are slipping through with that monster of a ship though."
You look over to the Captain. "What's the plan?"
"You get yourself back through the portal and close it. We do what we can here."
"Thats friggin' suicide." Liama hisses.
"They've been using blood rites, right? They have to be getting it from somewhere." Keel says firmly. "We find that, stop it if possible. Make for the cove exit. Make note of the location, drag the reserves in here and take them to the anvil"
You look over to McCain, who's been quiet the entire time. "Any thoughts?" You ask, tapping him on the shoulder with your tail.
"Keel's gonna get himself killed. For a good reason but a damn fool one." your foreman says, earning him the ire of the Nitor Captain.
"And you would run?" Captain Keel snaps back.
"No, I'd just not commit more than a dozen men to gathering a portion of the relevant scouting that needs to be done. Two to four at most, rest would make sure the way to the exit stays clear, quietly. Not like we care if these bastards live."
"I'm really not comfortable with falling back here either." Liama says, fiddling with her rifle.
>Mention the plan I had last time to see what they think
"We have six rows rows of three men with rifles, plus Liama, McCain and me, there is no way to get around us other than the portal.
I shoot a fireball(or three) into the ship, the ship will burn and (hopefully) be ruined. That will distract many of them. Especially the mages who will probably be busy killing the flames. we set up two lines of three riflemen at the base of our tunnel and shoot them as they try to come down. The rest would wait behind those two lines waiting ti fire after reloading. Once a man fires, he retreats back to be replaced by someone who'd loaded while waiting. Those who come after us would need to follow us all the way back down. They have their bayonets mounted. The blood of those that die in each volley will moisten the ground further and cause it to be unbearably slippery. The phoenix men will slip if they try to come at us. They slide into our fire and bayonets. Their bodies will be as a barrier too keep incoming fire off of us.
The only problem I can think of is their mages causing a cave in on us.
At least, that's what I WANT to do. Thoughts?"
"Alternatively, Liama and I could sneak down into the water and up to the ship. When we get close, I set the rudder on fire and we dive under the ship while you guys stay hidden. McCain, you could use that to your advantage and lead a second party to find some other things out. I'm sure you'd be better at that than I would."
"We have six rows rows of three men with rifles, plus Liama, McCain and me, there is no way to get around us other than the portal. I shoot a fireball(or three) into the ship, the ship will burn and (hopefully) be ruined. That will distract many of them. Especially the mages who will probably be busy killing the flames. we set up two lines of three riflemen at the base of our tunnel and shoot them as they try to come down. The rest would wait behind those two lines waiting to fire after reloading. Once a man fires, he retreats back to be replaced by someone who'd loaded while waiting. Those who come after us would need to follow us all the way back down. They have their bayonets mounted. The blood of those that die in each volley will moisten the ground further and cause it to be unbearably slippery. The phoenix men will slip if they try to come at us. They slide into our fire and bayonets. Their bodies will be as a barrier too keep incoming fire off of us. The only problem I can think of is their mages causing a cave in on us. At least, that's what I WANT to do. Thoughts?"
You look at the assembly, the Nitor expressions are unreadable, as is Keel's. Liama seems to be considering it, though frowning as you see her mouth run through certain parts. Meanwhile McCain is trying very hard not to laugh.
"Miss," McCain says placatingly, "The plan is... interesting, bloody minded, and does make use of what's available to us pretty well, but any gunline from that back room means we can't see what's going on here and is dependent on them trying to rush us. Not to mention these are all rifled weapons, not smoothbore, wounds will be clean. You'll prolly dam the tunnel with bodies before you get enough blood to pool. Even if you did, they're the ones using blood magic which would give them plenty to play with, if they can do that, I'm no mage. And last but not least, remember their attack on the ranch? All they gotta do is underhand a powder charge into our line."
"Good try though."
Undeterred you go with plan B, "Alternatively, Liama and I could sneak down into the water and up to the ship. When we get close, I set the rudder on fire and we dive under the ship while you guys stay hidden. McCain, you could use that to your advantage and lead a second party to find some other things out. I'm sure you'd be better at that than I would."
"That... might work a bit better. Knocking the ship out of action would be a big blow for us."
>Scout and try to torch the ship
Rolled 5, 8, 20 = 33 (3d20)
"We torch it then. Or at least render it a floating waste of space."
Liama groans a bit before handing her rifle off to one of her two soldiers. "I hate water, especially in the winter."
"McCain, I'm giving you three of my best. Find out what you can inside, I'm taking some of mine to the mouth of the cave." Keel says, "And good luck, captain."
Glaring daggers at the Nitor officer McCain slides off into the shadows with the cavalrymen in tow. Keel does the same with five of his, leaving 6 men left at the tunnel, not counting Artyom. Hurriedly you slither down into the tunnel to let him know the score, prompting him to follow you up to get a glimpse of the action.
Shedding unnecessary accoutrements, both you and Liama slip into the lukewarm waters. Even in winter, its still fairly warm along the coast of the southern continent. Little miracles.
>Give me a 1d20 stealth roll.
Related to a lesser extent:
Moving as one, you both make for the ship, timing your slithering in tandem with each other and the waves. You make it to the hull of the wooden monstrosity without incident, hazarding a glance backwards. You can see Keel's bunch creeping along the walls even from here, their only saving grace being the darkness of the cavern and the absencce of torches between them and the exit.
Looking the other way and you see that, well, McCain's group has vanished. You catch yourself before you panic, figuring if you can't see them then the Phoenix sure can't either. Making your way up the ship, you see catch sight of the invaders loading their canvassed bundles onto the ship. Even from here the scent of death assails you giving you no doubt of their contents.
Liama's made significant headway up the ship as well, and is perched above the tiller with a blackened blade in hand. You pause underneath the edge of the ship as one of the soldiers walks up to it. Still as can be you wait until he moves on, either unable or unwilling to see the yards of snake right below him. Satisfied that you're in the clear you plan your next move.
>Try to ignite the ship
>Try to get a glimpse of what else is aboard.
>other: Wait until Keel's men are out of sight, then torch it.
If we light it now, someone'll probably see them and open fire. We can't have that. Not yet. If they get spotted, then light it as a distraction.
Wait. . . All of those dead, decaying bodies, inside of the bowels of the ship? If the methane they're producing were light, the ship would fucking EXPLODE!
Yes it does. We're using Magic. Magic works like that.
Also: This is a wooden ship. They use TAR to seal the boards. Do you not realize how flammable this ship is?
Nah. Just need to get some of the inside on fire. There are port-holes to look out of, more likely than not.
Rolled 5 (1d20)
Snaking about the massive junk, you look for any inlet you find, eventually coming to what appears to be a cannon slit. Shifting the cannon in time with the rocking of the waves you manage to squeeze inside. It looks to be a cannon deck, an unoccupied one at that, above you can hear noises, but below you can just make out the creaking of the ship as she moves in port. You freeze as a phoenix person comes down, but from your vantage point among the cannons he cannot see you.
You watch the robed person walk along the battery line before a voice in phoenix calls from above, causing the person to make their way back upstairs. Left alone you resume your evalutation of the floor. Cannons and cannonballs line the thing but you don't see any powder. You DO however see a box of what looks to be flares, or rockets, or whatever the Phoenix folk call them.
Approaching the box, you examine the contents. Sure enough they look like flares, they've got Phoenix script on them, and you can't really make out what it says, but the long tube and the fuse at the back gives little doubt to its purpose. Thinking to Keel and the group you're a little worried, if they have any more of these they could probably light up the cave something fierce. You jump when you feel someone come up behind you, and look to see Liama crawling her black and yellow banded tail in through your access point.
"Just flares. Haven't checked below or above yet."
Down the stairs answers your question about the gunpowder. Barrels of it sit stacked on the far end of the belowdecks along with rigging tackle and spare canvas. No bodies though, those must be further up. Checking the powder you're surprised to see UFK shipping marks stamped on the side, but looking at the dates you note that its actually rather old. They must have purchased it far prior to the tensions rising and not had a reason to fire their guns in some time. All the better for you, you suppose.
. . .Gunpowder, you say?
So, is anyone against us making a fuse leading out of one of the barrels out of the spare cloth, lighting it, and running the fuck away into the water and then swimming for our lives??
That's ONE yes.
Rolled 3, 18, 12 = 33 (3d20)
Looking over to Liama the two of you figure what's best to do at once. Breaching the barrel, you make a line of powder up through the stairwell and towards your using the dry canvas to maintain contact up the stairwell. Focusing, you will in some flame and ignite the powder which proceeds with a rapid FWHOOM as it shoots towards the barrel. Scrambling, you and Liama hurl yourself out of the ship and into the water, hitting the surface with a tremendous splash.
Diving down, the two of you sink as deep as you can, until you finally touch the floor of the cove.
>Try to move further away.
Swimming as fast as your tail can take you you head towards the surface you are greeted with a tremendous explosion. If the splintering of wood is any indication, the far side of the ship just got blown out completely. The whole cavern is a cacaphony of yelling as the frantic Phoenix soldiers try to gather their bearings. Slithering on the shore you can JUST see Keel's group at the lip of the cavern, looking back towards you as they... look as if they are patting on glass? Ducking back into the tunnel you survey the chaos. Its not long after that McCain returns... with a larger party than before.
His own group seems to have swollen in numbers, raggedly robed individuals huddling behind him and the nitor. You look at him questioningly and his gestures to one of the other tunnels at the back of the cave. "Only ones still alive. Some others were breathing but, well." He trails off. The hard looks of the three soldiers behind him saying more in their visage than he could in words.
Back towards the wreck, a group has finally rallied to tend to the striken ship, now listing heavily to one side.
>Take them through the portal
>Take them through the cove
Also give me a 1d20 roll.
I'm sorry, everyone. Sorry. So, so very sorry.
"Out through the cove for anyone who will volunteer to stay behind and find out where the hell this place is. For everyone else: through the portal."
"I think the cove's one way." McCain says, pointing to the exit.
Turning to look you see Keel hammering on either a really solid invisible wall or doing one of the most impressive bits of pantomime you've ever scene. He's selling it too, even from here you can see him mouthing something very explicit. With a sigh of finality you see him pull out a notebook and begin marking something down before turning away. Seems he's out of action for the time being.
McCain begins ushering the group down the tunnel helped by Liama, them freezing as she spoke to them, then urgency took hold as they made their way through the tunnel. You might be able to make it out without them ever knowing you were here.
"YOU!" Comes a shout from across the lagoon, and from the deck of the ship you can see figures looking this way. Framed in the fires behind him even in the darkness you can make out the wiry frame of the faux McCain pointing directly at your group. You've the presence of mind to duck as a veritable hail of fire begins coming your way. The patter as the shots hit the earth overhead.
And here you were hoping you were rid of him.
>Pausing here due to crashing super hard, if the threads alive tomorrow I'll continue but don't kill yourself trying to keep it up. Thread next week regardless.
Peaking out from your laughable cover, you catch sight of the faux McCain bellowing orders to the assembled Phoenix soldiers. From the raised poop deck of the junk there is what you can only assume is the commander of the Phoenix forces organizing the fire brigade tending to the stricken ship. Ducking the next volley of fire you turn and see a group of Phoenix soldiers making their way along the wall moving to close the distance with you.
"We should be going. Now." McCain says unholstering his pistol.
Taking stock of what you've got, you're sitting on nine nitor cavalrymen, Liama and the shadows, McCain, and Artyom in terms of combat capable individials. Surprisingly the Nitor look to McCain for orders.
"Captain called you captian. You're deputized." One of them says as they take up a line along the incline.
Groaning McCain turns to you, "Miss, we need that portal open as soon as possible."
"What about them?" You shout over the firefight.
"We push them back here, fighting retreat through the gateway, best we can."
>Pull everyone back to the portal room
>Have the combatants hold here for now, try to get the portal open.
>Try to drive the first group back
Wordlessly you agree with McCain, falling back from the line as the shots echo down the tunnel. The Nitor and the shadows answering the enfilade with their own rifles. Near the gateway, you catch Liama giving a hasty speech to the assembled prisoners. She turns to you. "Gesture, they'll follow your lead. The portal has them leery, more than a few of their friends were used to make it." She says grimly. With that, she shoulders her rifle and heads to join the gunline.
With that you turn to Artyom who is regarding the group curiously. "Get through the portal, let Veles and the others know whats going on. We'll have visitors." With that your shake yourself, trying to clear the adrenaline from your system as you focus on the gate. The huddled masses cower again as the gateway opens and Artyom charges through. Looking back gesture with your head as they start to hesitantly make their way through.
Its slow going, between their hesitance and small size of the portal they've been taking it one at a time. Worried and frantic you gesture for them to go faster. As if sensing your desperation they try to pick up the pace. Your worry grows as the gunfight grows nearer.
Only five remain when Liama comes barreling back into the room. "Lines broken, we need to be out of here yesterday. Everyone's falling back."
Unceremoniously she begins hurling the remaining few through bodily as you struggle to keep the gate open. Something's fighting it, but you're not sure what. Once her shadows are through the Nitor and McCain follow, falling back into what you had originally wanted to use as the gun line. The distant crump of the powder charges confirming your fears. Liama helps the Nitor usher their wounded through before returning to the line, the roar of her massive rifle echoing through the cavern.
During a lull in the fighting McCain starts pulling the Nitor off the line, ushering them through until it is just you, Liama and himself.
Rolled 3, 19 = 22 (2d20)
Letting the other lamia through your interrupted by a violent blast echoing back into the tunnel as the Phoenix begin to use their powder charges.
"Get through now." He shouts.
"What about you?"
"NOW. GET THE DAMNED GATE CLOSED."
>Do as he says.
You don't have time for this argument and you hook yourself around the protesting elf as he draws his blade and pistol, bodily yanking him with you, hoping against hope you're able to keep it open long enough. Ignoring his protests you shove yourself through the portal landing on the other side heavily as you crash down on the stone of the gateway room.
From the floor you see Veles holding the gateway open and you shout for him to cut the tie. The through the gateway you see the muzzle flash of a rifle before it promptly winks out going dark. Immediately Veles starts inscribing runes against the back wall of that particular gateway. Staring at the inscription makes your mind buzz and then in an instant they flash out, the gateway crumbling into dust.
"They will just find other of the gateways." Veles says gesturing to the others. "A shame about your other men." He adds, looking at the nitor.
"Not without blood they aren't." Liama says as you try and catch your breath and extract your livid foreman from your coils.
"Others are fine." you pant, "Made it through the cove. Just couldn't get back in."
The room is more than a little crowded, with the surviving prisoners having been shepherded up to the second tier of the room, them huddling as they look upon three Lamia. If you remember right the Empire demonize your kind. The massive bulk that is Veles is probably not helping.
One of the nine remaining nitor five look to be injured, one severely. Two of the able bodied ones are performing triage on the wounded.
McCain is huffily discussing something with Liama and her two men..
Artyom is standing in the middle of the room, somewhat at a loss of what to do.
Still taking it slow, we'd hit page 10 on my end. Might have been wrong though, my connection is notoriously with real time updates.
That and I figured 2 hours was long enough.