The Kingdom - Born on the Bayou

skullandscythe 2017-05-20 22:03:59
"Violence won't solve this, guys. Won't get these people their bodies back," Red says, gesturing towards the transformed folk. "We'll try talking first."

Red shoulders his bow and walks up to the steps of the estate. He lets a sigh out of his nose, squares his shoulders, then steps up and knocks on the door. "Narcisse Descoteaux!" Red bellows. "We'd like to come in and ask you some questions about the stone tablets!"
punkey 2017-05-21 21:16:07
"Ain't you Pops' boy?" Narcisse shouts. "Come here to kill my spawn and take the tablet for yourself?" Red hears a wet snap, like an enormous pair of jaws clamping on something, something that cracks a moment later. "Damn your ambitions, boy, and leave this place! The Mistress and the tablet have been the downfall of my family, and even though I wouldn't piss on your leg if you were on fire, I wouldn't wish these powers on anyone!"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-05-22 10:35:20
Ozzy chuckles at Martin. "I reckon e'en we can't undo it from this part alone, maybe we can find the other half with this one." Ozzy takes the tablet pieces and instead of trying to read anything in the foul stone's surface, tries to get a sense of where the rest of it is. It's basic sympathetic linking, but it's been a while since Ozzy's school days.
skullandscythe 2017-05-22 11:15:39
"I am one of Pops' boys - Renard Naepactorin," Red yells, "but I'm not here to quarrel with you and yours, and my only ambition here is to break the tablet! My own arrow shattered the one Henri ate. But word has it you've been tearing up half the swamp looking for another one, so I can't really say I've finished the job yet."
And hell, if you think this is bad old man, you haven't seen shit.
punkey 2017-05-22 11:28:39
"I got to!" Narcissist howls. "Mistress gave us power over beasts and stronger forms - but only after we transformed did she tell us that only the whole tablet lets us change back to human form!" More thrashing about inside, more things breaking. "But we can't find the Gods-damned thing! We looked everywhere, took as many as we could to find it - we were gonna change 'em all back when we found it! We even started looking on Beaulieu territory, but nothin'!"


Ozzy closes his eyes, and pulls at the half of the tablet's form - not the magic itself, but the object, looking for it's other half.

"All things are linked, of course," Ozzy's telepathy instructor said in his humorous lilt. "But items that were once whole are linked much more strongly. If you focus, you can feel the yearning for the two become whole."

(Ozzy Magic = 1d12, 1d10 = 8, 4 / Difficulty = 2d8 = 3, 6)

And feel it Ozzy does. Nothing so useful as a spot on a map, but a sense. A white house on top of a hill, a familiar guest bed, spicy chicken and clear moonshine - the Beaulieu Manor. Only place it could be.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-05-25 08:05:38
"Got it," Ozzy says. He grabs a grain sack or strips of cloth to wrap the tablet pieces. "Nobody needs to touch these more'n they have to." Addressing the entire assemblage, he stands tall and speaks over the group: "I got a line on this other piece. Me and mine are gonna go get it and we'll figger out a way t'fix the lot o' ya." Ozzy falters, looking around at the mess of manimals and realizing he has no idea how to do that, but if he didn't say something about fixing them it'd seem pretty shitty. "Right, yeah, so we're gonna do that then. We'll be back and make no mistake. And if we're not back, it's 'cos the lot o' us are dead, and we won't care no more, right? Let's go."

Only once the party's out of earshot does he tell them the tablet's at Beaulieu Manor. No need to throw fuel on this family feud.
skullandscythe 2017-05-25 16:21:46
Oblivious to Ozzy's discovery, Red has a epiphany of his own - namely, if the old rat (possibly ratman?) hasn't found it yet, it's probably on Beaulieu land somewhere. In an effort to steer the conversation away from Narcisse believing this to be true, Red decides to ask about something that bothered him.

"Why'd you change them at all, Narcisse? It doesn't seem to have helped them dig up anything useful."
punkey 2017-05-26 11:28:10
"Makes 'em easier to control!" Narcisse snaps. "Poor bastards were prey for predators like us their whole lives, I just made it official!"
skullandscythe 2017-05-29 13:46:07
Red shuts his eyes, and gives his head a little shake, his face struggling to stay neutral.

"And you say the...Mistress talked to you? In person?"
Gatac 2017-05-29 15:16:55
It might have been tactically advantageous to gather more information from Narcisse, or at least not piss him off until they were sure they had everything in hand. But screw waiting for that; Martin's angry now.

"You know, Narcisse," Martin says, "I try to see the best in people. I really do. But you're a loathsome, odious, irredeemable shitstain. You and your family fell into Asenath's temptation, not for riches or insight or even the transformation itself. You only wanted power, raw power, to lord it over others. You didn't even care to advance yourselves, all you wanted to do was stomp on everyone else, twist them and curse them and abuse them. The only happiness you knew was pushing better people into the muck and kicking them while they were down."

He growls.

"You've seen what I can do," he adds. "If your sick sham of a life means anything to you, you had better start running, and you don't stop running until you're on a ship sailing far away from the Kingdom. You've got a head start of however long my friends can hold me back."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-05-29 18:58:45
Ozzy turns as he picks up the tail end of the exchange, but the tail end is enough for him. The big man moves behind Martin. His eyes burn, daring anyone else to try to hold Martin back.

"Make it quick, we got shit to do."
skullandscythe 2017-05-29 20:58:01
Red blinks, turns to Martin as what the angry man-imal just said sinks in.

Then he runs off the porch as fast as he can. Because he knows Narcisse ain't gonna take that lying down, and he doesn't want to be standing in front of that door when it bursts open.
punkey 2017-05-30 12:37:22
Red doesn't know how right he is. There's a dangerous pause after Martin's furious boast, then a low chuckle sounds from deep within - no, now you can tell it's from underneath the mansion.
"Is that so, little pussy cat?" Narcisse says, and the chuckle starts to transform into laughter. A loud crack sounds from inside the foyer, and a chunk of floorboard shatters one of the front windows as it flies through the air. "Well, if I am such a heinous individual as you say, who would I be if I didn't rise to the occasion?"

A ripple of shattering wood tears down the foyer floor and out the front doors to the porch - the fissure at least twenty feet long, and rising up in a ridge. A final peak bulges and tears at the front porch between the columns, and with a final burst of wood, dirt and debris, the head of the largest crocodile anyone - Red included - has ever seen pushes through to the surface. The scaled ridged back of the beast shoves through the floor behind it, revealing a thick trunk nearly as wide as Ozzy is tall, and extending back into the foyer and still back underground, the hind legs just poking through and the tail still hidden from view. But still, the face is not quite beastial - the normal dead yellow eyes are a human blue, and the faint remains of human features can be seen, cheekbones and nostrils, fingers and shoulders. This is definitely Narcisse Descoteaux, but not as anyone here remembers him.

Narcisse snorts at Martin, the salty force blowing his whiskers and ears back. "Say that to my face, boy."
Gatac 2017-05-30 12:51:54
Martin growls right back at Narcisse in what is either raw conviction or severe loss of self-preservation instinct.

"I would," Martin says, "if I could tell it from your cloaca."

Still, no need to make this a fair fight. Martin tenses to dodge Narcisse's first strike, however it might come. If they can disperse and attack from multiple sides, they might be able to tire him out and gain the upper hand that way. And if they don't...well, running away in many different directions would be the smart thing to do.
punkey 2017-06-15 21:08:16
(Narcisse's Roll: 2d8 vs. 2d8 = 7 v. 2)

Narcisse chuckles. Then he laughs. Then he full-on bellows with mirth, crocodile saliva flecking Martin's whiskers.
"You're funny, boy," Narcisse says. "You got a fuzzy pair on ye', I can tell - remind me of my boys, you do. Well, the ones that ain't dead." His glare hardens. "Now, fuck right off." The grin returns, but with an edge this time. "Thank yeeew very much."
CrazyIvan 2017-06-19 01:14:19
Ana steps forward, a gentle hand resting on Martin's shoulder.

"Herpetological insults notwithstanding, rare enough are the opportunities these days to go without killing. Perhaps it is time to savor that chance."
Gatac 2017-06-19 10:59:39
Martin growls and bristles at the touch, but he turns his eyes to the scared civilians nearby. He knows Narcisse needs to be defeated somehow, and he's rearing to go even as everything north of his neck screams that this is A Really Bad Idea. It's not even pride, he tells himself: they were on a roll, they did the legit hero thing, and now? Just turn tail and run?

But Anata's right. Goddamn her, but she's right.

"...I'm sorry," he says to the frightened people. "I'm..."

No more words. He just slowly turns and walks away.
skullandscythe 2017-06-19 23:20:02
Red, who was holding his bow at the ready with an arrow on the string, sighs in relief and relaxes.

"Time to go," he says, more to himself than the rest. They probably wanted to book it before he knocked on Narcisse's door.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-06-22 09:24:16
"Don't worry," Ozzy consoles Martin as they leave. "We'll figure out a way to reverse wot Asenath's done, and then I reckon Narcisse'll be a lot easier to eat."