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Story One: Gathering Forces
IRL Date: September 25th, 2006
It began, as many things do, in a bar. Brand had come here laying low; the Iron Knot was a known mercenary hangout, and he thought perhaps that he could find work here. Vox, by contrast, was meeting with mercenaries, with whom he was going to continue his war on those who destroyed his house. Ellalore learned that someone might have information about the pursuit of her, and came to investigate, while Aja was present to meet with a thaumaturge that might be able to help her with her curse. Finally, Baramoth was looking for a job, and had an interested client.
Right from the top, there was suspicion. While Aja hid in a corner and scanned the room, Baramoth noticed Ellalore and struck up a conversation (and then struck out). The others simply waited, increasingly impatiently. The tedium was broken when a young messanger boy entered the bar, and proceeded to drop off messages for each of the five; all were bemused, not the least of which Aja, who had thought herself well-concealed. The messages were wrapped scrolls, sealed with red ink portraying crossed chains and simply read "Why did you come here?"
Ellalore's reaction was the quickest - she made for the front door, only to hear soldiers' boots coming down the street. Then she made for the back door. While she paused at the bar, deciding what to do, the door burst open, and eight men entered, along with two reddish-purple lizard-dogs, which the leader was holding on a leash. Baramoth promptly called on his Mental Invisibility Technique, only to have it fail horribly ((so horribly. 4 successes with bonus dice and everything. Everyone saw him.)). The leader barked out, "Find the one we seek!", to which the dogs howled, and everyone in the bar started glowing faint white - except for the players, who were glowing gold. A few of the more occultish fellows had just enough time to seriously wonder why, if there were dogs that could spot that sort of thing, the Wyld Hunt didn't use them and they had never seen them before, and then the leader yelled "They have allies! Get them all!"
There followed a rather chaotic fifteen seconds, as the players demonstrated rather handily why a troupe of mortals should not attack a group of Solars. Ever. High points included two seperate players Leaping Dodging around the room, arrows and firedust flying every which way, and Baramoth bravely defending a tavern maiden from one of the beasts before slicing through the leader of the patrols. Ellalore even offered a bounty to any mercenary in the bar who would attack the patrol, which got her some assistance. In the end, all but two of the patrollers were dead - Stephen incapacitated one, and the leader, believed dead when Baramoth smashed him through a wall, turned out to be missing -- and the bartender was sliced through with the wound that should have been his!
The party gathered, no one knowing which of them had been the target, and each wanting to get to the bottom of this - and quickly...
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
ST: The courier boy peers at your table worriedly. "Uh... miss?" Finally spotting you, he holds out the scroll."
Aja's Player: Hang on. I got eight successes on my Stealth! Even with bonuses, what sort of courier boy can beat that??
ST: Yep, it seems a little suspicious to you.
Aja's Player: And you're not going to answer, are you?
ST: Hell, no.