The Kingdom - Born on the Bayou

CrazyIvan 2017-08-21 01:19:08
Ana stands quietly to one side, eying the exchange between Martin, Red, and their erstwhile host, her posture relaxed, but to those who know what they're looking at, also remarkably unencumbered.

Up and under the ribs when he stands - straight line to the heart, a swift enough death, the wound easily hidden beneath a vest or coat, well-suited to an open casket funeral.
punkey 2017-08-21 21:38:18
(Lucius Notice: 2d8 v. 1d6 = 4 v. 1)

Lucius gives Ana the side eye - then a slight nod and a shuffle to his left to cover her flank.

(Red Persuade: 2d12 v. 2d8 = 12 v. 8)

Pops grunts, then looks to Beau.
"It's Red, Pops," Beau says. "He's family." He gives Red a look that slowly evolves into a smirk. "Thinks too much of himself most of the time, but family."
Pops looks back to Red. "You always been a liar and a cheat, but you always told the truth. And even though your friends need a few lessons in manners, you did set them straight. I overstepped in saying you weren't family, and I apologize." He tilts his head. "You say destroying the other half will set Narcisse back to right? And all his boys are gone? Then that's enough for me." He lumbers to his feet. "Well, come on and let's get this over with."
skullandscythe 2017-08-22 10:22:57
Red manages to not flinch at Pops' line about truth, but otherwise manages a small, shaky smile to both Pops and Beau. "Thank you," he says softly, then tries to set his shoulders straight and take a deep breath that doesn't rattle.

"Yes, the quicker the better."
Gatac 2017-09-04 12:46:09
Martin stands aside as Pops leads Red away, then sighs from relief and falls in at the rear. Good thing somebody managed to talk some sense into the old man - but he'll have to work out this thing with Red afterwards, feels like he stepped over a line back there...
punkey 2017-09-15 13:36:39
Pops leads the group into the house, with Beau walking right next to Red and the rest of the team following behind.
“What’s goin’ on?” Ma bellows from one side of the house.
“Nothin’, don’t you worry,” Pops replies.
“Certainly sounds like somethin -” Ma says as she stomps towards you, stopping cold as she sees you all. “Well, aren’t you all a sight - and a smell too.” She wrinkles her nose. “You let them track all this in here -”
“For Gods’ sake, just let me handle my business,” Pops complains.
“And what business might that be?” Ma says. Pops remains silent. “Well, if it’s so important that you’re letting them make a mess -”
“Fine, let’s just let everyone have a look, then,” Pops says, and keeps walking.

He leads you all to one of the guest bedrooms and pulls a key out of his pocket. The door is quickly unlocked and opened, to reveal a completely empty room. Pops pulls a big knife off his belt, takes a knee, and pops up a floorboard to reveal a fabric-wrapped bundle.
“Pops Beaulieu, you have some explaining to do,” Ma says with a scowl.
“I did it for us, Ma,” Pops says as he unwraps the bundle to reveal the still dirt-crusted half a tablet, covered in runes and sigils. “To put a stop to things once and for all.”
Gatac 2017-09-18 13:06:25
"If I may," Martin says, gently reaching out to put a hand on the tablet.

He can barely sense the corruption - it's like it is intentionally masking itself. He feels it recess and hide as his paw touches it, but it still makes his fur stand on end. Whatever is in there, it's powerful enough to think for itself, even in this diminished form. Whatever's in there was not in any of the books he's read - but it's powerful, and evil.

Martin gasps and withdraws his hand. "Datehl walk with us," he breathes. "Asenath's evil seeps from this stone. We must see it destroyed at once!"
skullandscythe 2017-09-19 08:41:35
"Don't need to tell me twice," Red growls as he draws and nocks an arrow. He aims for what he perceives is a weak point in the stone, draws back as far as he can, and shoots. And keeps shooting until it breaks.
punkey 2017-09-24 14:18:07
(Red Shoot: 2d10 v. 2d8 toughness = 8 v. 6)

It only takes one - which is itself somewhat remarkable - knocking the tablet from Pop's hand and splitting it into three pieces, which break into several more when they hit the ground. No colored smoke or unearthly screeching, just a bit of dust.
CrazyIvan 2017-09-27 16:59:54
Ana frowns. "Does that strike anyone else as having been...remarkably easy?"
Gatac 2017-09-28 14:04:43
Martin eyes the tablet fragments.

"Perhaps it was," he says. "But if breaking the tablet really reversed the horrors that were perpetrated through its use, as it was supposed to, then all we need is to go find one of its victims and check on their condition. And, once assured that its power is gone for good, we can...finish up our business here."
CrazyIvan 2017-09-28 18:59:34
"That it worked is less interesting to me than why it worked."

Ana crouched down, looking at the dusty remains of the tablet, but being rather careful not to touch it.

"When a foe's capabilities change, it means the circumstances of the battle have changed." She looked up at Red. "For example, this tablet was given up willingly..."
skullandscythe 2017-10-02 11:57:02
Red raises a quizzical eyebrow, then shrugs. Whatever Ana is trying to tell him, he'll have to ask her to elaborate later.

"Either way, Martin's got a point," Red says, bending down to scoop up the tablet fragments into a bag - he's careful not to touch it with his own flesh. "We need to do the rounds, get all the victims sorted and back where they belong."
Gatac 2017-11-29 14:00:18
And to the rounds they go. Both to investigate the aftermath of the tablet's destruction and to get away from the intense feelings of awkwardness, the party ventures forth back towards the Descoteaux manor. Ten minutes of awkward silence surround Martin on the way back from whence they came. There's a tiredness deep in his bones; it is difficult to stand against a foe like Asenath who subverts and corrupts, leaving no safe retreat in her wake, no place where one can truly relax. And the scale of it! Moments like these, Martin wonders if the few of them can truly make a dent in Asenath's plan, and in the face of such doubt, even the victories they have already won start feeling more distant and strange.

"Say, Q," Martin suddenly speaks up as they trod along the way. "Suppose we find Narcisse still in his beastly shape. Can you think of anything we could do to overwhelm him?"
"Drop the house on him," Q replies, flitting along next to Martin.
Martin considers that. "That does not seem easy to accomplish," he says. "Unless one of us is concealing a barrel of blackpowder and a degree of mastery in its use."
"Ozzy throws fireballs," Q points out.
"My intention is not to impugn on Sir Oswald's magicks," Martin says. "But he is one man with two hands. He could certainly quite easily burn the building down given enough time, but it appears to me that to collapse it quickly enough to matter will require precise demolition at a myriad different points of the house."
"Probably, I mean, look," Q says, "if he's still a big crocodile thing, my professional recommendation is we run like hell and get the villagers to gang up on him."
Martin narrows his eyes. "Your professional recommendation is to yield the battle to the people we are trying to help?" he asks.
"We let them distract him while we move in for the kill," Q replies. "He's a big fucker, and I'd rather not end up an amuse-bouché."
"I would be more sanguine about that idea if we had the first idea of how to administer the killing blow," Martin says, his whiskers twitching. "We are outscaled by Narcisse - no pun intended. His size makes him more fitting a target for siege engines than sword or bow." He shrugs. "Either that, or get into his mouth in one piece and work the softer tissues inside. I'm hardly an expert in reptile anatomy but I should think it's an easier path to the major blood vessels there than trying to penetrate the scales outside, the difficulty of surviving the trip past his jaws nonewithstanding."
"Maybe if you leap in headfirst," Q replies.
"Datehl walk with me, but I cannot entirely dismiss the thought," Martin says. "This transformation business seems to have done quite the number on my self-preservation instincts."
"No, that hasn't changed much," Lucius says from just ahead of Martin.
"Where would you strike, then?" Martin asks Lucius. "I should hope you know the spot; we can work backwards from there to a better plan than my playing the entree."
"Underneath," Lucius says. "Belly on big lizards is always the soft spot."
"Hm," Martin opines. Gears are churning, but nothing's coming out quite yet.
CrazyIvan 2018-01-03 19:27:44
Ana walks, her expression still thoughtful - the question of just how easily the one tablet was shattered weighing on her mind. Was it an element of the character of the man who held it? That he had given it willingly? Had some critical threshold been crossed, and the power of the tablets was weakening? Or perhaps each individual stone had it's own strength, and this one was merely weak - like links in a poorly forged chain.

She wished she knew the stones better. And at the same time, she realized just how much she missed the most difficult part of her day being how to figure out how to stab an arrogant nobleman where he would be unable to grip his sword, but in time make a full recovery. Or how to make such a stab instantly fatal, if that was the commission.

"The eyes."