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 Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward

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Ezythyr Coalthane

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:27 am

Ezythyr nods toward Baldur's Gate. "I think it best we continue on our way. I won't argue if'n you wanna see the trainin', but my vote is to keep to our job."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:35 pm

Cordial's hesitation is clear, despite the smile she seems to have forced onto her face.

"I don't want to be the reason we fall behind, and I'm sure the longer we take, the farther afield Krusk may have gotten, but..." she pauses, to gauge the reactions of the others, glancing at each of them in turn, she feels even more unsure. Flora and fauna are so much easier to read than other people (OOC: I never know what word to use, but "people" doesn't seem to fit, exactly). Cordial rushes to finish her thoughts, with a slightly perceptible gulp as her eyes linger on Ezythyr. Of all her companions, she finds Ezythyr the most difficult to interpret. "It's just that I rarely find gathering additional clues to be a poor use of time..."

She trails off and turns to look in the direction of the training area.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:56 pm

"I'm with Cordial, let's check out this training field. Can't come back and do it later."
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Ezythyr Coalthane

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:17 pm

Ezythyr shrugs. "I'll swing me vote toward the trainin', then. Shall we go?" And he heads off toward the militia.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:09 am

The party follows the oft-trodden road into the Wood of Sharp Teeth, which despite its name appears to be a calm and peaceful forest. Small creatures wander in the brush around you, and above you birds continue to fly about, chirping happily. The trees are lush and green, leaves and branches dancing gently in the morning breeze. It is a rare thing in these wild days to truly experience nature in such a serene way.

This is made especially clear to you as the party arrives at a clearing in the wood, where the dirt path appears to end and opens to an odd yet also peaceful scene. A grassy sprawl appears before you, about three hundred feet in length and width, and you witness what you had come to expect from the loud roaring heard in Scornubel:

A large, green, winged beast lies still in the field, smoke rising from its nostrils. It appears to be at rest, as the ground around it is littered with the bodies of militia soldiers, all lying motionless save for one. Directly behind the green beast, one militia soldier crawls slowly toward a poleaxe on the ground. The massive beast does not appear to have taken notice.

Before you can fully assess the carnage here, a voice booms out to the right of you.

"If you're dead, stay down! NO CHEATING!!!"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:34 am

You all look to your right, and about ten feet away from the dirt path stands a tall, humanoid male, with light blue skin. The glowing lines and patterns across his face and exposed arms appear to be pulsing with white light. He holds a shiny, silver staff, which he loudly tapped against the ground. His white hair stood tall and waved wildly at the top of his head, seemingly reacting to the tone of his voice as he continued to yell out to the battlefield.


Humanoid male: "YOU! Behind the dragon! NO CHEATING, STAY DOWN, YOU'RE DONE!"

The militia soldier drops to his belly and lays prone. "Sorry, sir!"

The odd-looking man raises his hand to his face, frustrated. "If these fools don't work together, they're never going to be proper defenders... Krusk would not be pleased in the slightest." He lowers his hand, and notices the four of you watching him and looking out at the field. He takes a breath before addressing you. "I suppose you all came for a bit of a show, but all you're in time for is the curtain call of a rather disappointing performance."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:52 pm

"I don't suppose yer the archmage, eh?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:36 pm


Blue-skinned sentient: ”The ‘archmage’ in residence, I suppose, Master Dwarf. <bows to you and the party> I am Mar’i Olopiz, and these bodies scattered around the green dragon are–for better or worse–Scornubel's finest fighting men and women.”

As Mar’i points out to the field, you see a few of the bodies raise an arm and wave. He quickly slams the end of his silver staff into the ground and causes a minor tremor, yelling out ”NO MOVEMENT, until I say so!”

The archmage looks back to you, Ezythyr, and the rest of the party. ”How can I be of service to you on this otherwise fine day?”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:56 pm

Ezythyr grips his axe and eyes the dragon. "A go at the exercise, p'raps?"

"Eager, aren't ye? Tryin' t'prove somethin'?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:57 pm


Mar’i: ”I appreciate your bravery, truly. However, the... ‘exercise’ that I conduct for the Scornubel Irregulars here is official business, paid for and sponsored by the merchants’ guild. Using my unique access to extraplanar energies, I summon clones of any beast or armed force, and bind them to this space, for the purposes of combat training and bestial education. It's been mostly effective in ensuring that the soldiers are prepared to defend the city against any threat, and protects the guild's sizeable investments in town. So it looks real, feels mostly real–ask any of these men or women later–but it's not a real green dragon over there. Can't let anybody just fight wild creatures on a whim, without official permission from the guild.

<strokes his chin slowly> Unless...”
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downwarddawn

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:15 pm

Cordial has been eyeing the dragon-clone eagerly while she listens to the archmage's introductions. As she hears him seemingly coming around to the idea of allowing them to take part in the exercise, she hopes she can hide her excitement. This could be an opportunity to learn more about when and why Krusk was last here, plus she was unspeakably intrigued by the idea of interacting with this dragon, or pseudo-dragon, as the case may be.

"Unless...?" she begins, and pauses, adding a questioning intonation to the end of the word.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:43 pm


Mar’i: <responds to Cordial> ”I could be convinced to allow an ‘external resource’ to demonstrate proper dragon combat tactics. Truth be told, I'd be super grateful to anyone that could show this lot that the mission is more important than the glory; I was tasked by Krusk to train defenders, not heroes.

“Of course, this was a force of ten proficient ranged and melee combatants here, that just got their hinds wrecked by a young green dragon. Which of you four has had previous experience with dragons, or is an actual dragonslayer?”
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Ezythyr Coalthane

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:33 pm

"Uhh..." Ezythyr quickly rummages through his pack and pulls out a large iridescent scale. "Me granddad gave me this. Said it was from a dragon he killed. He tol' me the story lots o' times. I've got it memorized. So I guess I've got dragon slayin' in me blood."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:12 am

[Ezythyr, this evidence you're presenting to the archmage Mar'i Olopiz warrants a Persuasion check, please roll your d20 + 5 at this time. - DM]
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:33 am

Persuasion +5
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:33 am

The member 'Ezythyr Coalthane' has done the following action : Dices roll


'd20' : 10

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downwarddawn

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:41 am

Feeling confident that Ezythyr will be able to convince the archmage to allow them to participate, Cordial continues to gaze at the dragon. She feels herself drawn to it, and resists walking towards it (for now), attempting to determine what she can from a distance. Is it fully corporeal? What are its weaknesses? She pulls from her experience and knowledge of magic and beasts.

(Arcana +2, Animal Handling +4)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:41 am

The member 'downwarddawn' has done the following action : Dices roll


'd20' : 5, 4

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:13 pm

[Ezythyr, your Persuasion roll of 10 + 5 is successful. - DM]


Mar’i: <examines scale> “While I'd prefer more hands-on experience for the work... I can already tell that you have a better sense of teamwork and the ‘bigger picture’... I think you'll do just fine.”

He whispers to you, Ezythyr. “For what it's worth, this looks a lot like a faerie dragon scale, and frankly, you could fit fifty of those inside the belly of this green dragon... But just remember the most of the fundamentals you learned from your grandfather, most of that will still apply here.” Mar’i slaps you on the back, maybe a little closer to your buttocks than you'd prefer.

Looking out to the field and to the resting dragon, the archmage-in-residence calls out to the Scornubel soldiers. “OK, get up! Clear the field and assemble before me!”

The soldiers–all ten of them, mumbling to themselves and each other, appearing rather dejected–approach the party and the archmage on the sidelines and line up, weapons at their sides. The dragon remains at rest.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:35 pm

[Cordial, your Arcana check of 2 + 5 isn't quite enough to detect anything additional, but your Animal Handling check of 4 + 4 should be enough to learn a bit more. - DM]

Cordial, you can feel powerful arcane energies radiating from the entire field; it definitely takes a large amount of energy and channeling to maintain control over this training ground, and there aren't a lot of casters in existence that are capable of this... at least, on this plane of existence.

Your eyes meet with the young green dragon's, as it turns its head towards you, and you can sense... nothing. You are unable to feel any connection or spirit from this fearsome beast. This is unusual to you, because you were taught that all creatures–sentient, feral, vicious, whatever–have a spirit that can be touched. Even the largest, most fearsome of beasts in the world bear a soul, that which drives their existence, their being.

This young green dragon appears real, smells of sulfur and swamp, is currently quiet though its grumbling can be felt in the ground beneath you... But it isn't real. Mar’i had previously indicated that he creates clones in this training space, but with powerful magicks, you realize that he has created everything from pure energy alone. Non-magic users could never tell the difference. You may be able to exploit this later, should you have need to do so.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:08 pm

Cordial feels unnerved by her inability to connect with the beast. Rationally, she knows that a creature created of magical energy could not interact with her the way a living animal could, but it looks so real that her senses would not be convinced. She steps toward the dragon before she has even decided to do so. Still looking into the dragon's eyes, she asks, "may... I... touch it?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:02 pm

Before you can lay a hand on the green dragon's side, Mar’i motions to you, Cordial, and the rest of the group to come over and stand beside him, as he addresses the militia men and women.


Mar’i: ”So... that was... absolutely not what we talked about last month. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork! You let down your masters, your families, your city, every time you try to stand alone instead of fight as a unit, as a group, supporting each other!”

One of the soldiers raises their hand, and the archmage points to them.


Militia man: "Um, sir, we're plenty prepared for raiders, invaders, that sort of threat against Scornubel... I'm not sure that we really need to know how to beat a dragon...”


Mar’i: ”NOT THE BLOODY POINT!!!... Happily, these seasoned group of sellswords has arrived, to show you exactly how a proper team can repel any hostile force. Sit your heroic asses on the bench, and take notes as these adventurers show you the power of collaboration and synergy!”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:16 pm

Cordial continues to the dragon's side. Without having looked away from the beast's eyes, she hasn't seen Mar'i motion for her to join the group next to him. She reaches the dragon with her hand outstretched, her unwavering eye contact intended to signal that she approaches without fear and on the footing of equals.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:38 pm

[Intriguing. - DM]


Militia man: ”Um, archmage, is she supposed to be standing that close to the dragon, sir?”


Mar’i: <looks over to see Cordial approaching dragon, shocked> ”Yeeesssss... It's fine, she's just assessing the quality of the dragon's scales... yes, that's it, very important to size up your quarry, gather as much information as possible and communicate to your squad... Teamwork!”

Cordial, you hear a voice in your head as the dragon meets your gaze again. ”Hi, uh, druid? It's me, Mar’i, I'm the dragon too... sort of. Well, I'm using a lot of energy to manifest this, for the training. You're not supposed to be this close, but maybe you can help me out. Can you say something about the dragon's scales, kinda feed them the idea that you're a dragon expert?”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward   Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:55 pm

Ezythyr is stunned that the scale was not that of a true dragon. He stared into the glimmering colors reflecting off the heirloom. He'd always dreamed his grandfather had defeated a great beast, a monumental monster wreathed in flames. He sighed deeply.

A smoky blue hand pats his shoulder. A hand only he can see. "Don't let yon wizard pansy get ye down, lad. I've spoken with yer gran'dad. This beast was mighty. A deep violet with a breath that left 'im reeling. Dinnae think the size o' the beast is all that matters. And dinnae forget that yer gran'dad beat 'im single handedly! Tha's no small feat fer any dragon beastie!"

For once, Ezythyr didn't mind the heavy brogue of his uncle's voice. He nodded, and placed the scale reverentially back into the back. He'd always planned on doing something with it one day, and the trickle of an idea came into being. But first...there was another dragon to slay.

Ezythyr slowly drew his axe, Arbuckler, letting his mind focus on his spells, his body took a stance that screamed he was ready for battle. As his determination hardened, red runes ignited along the blade, and mixed with the green and blue flames of his magic, creating a haze of scintillating power.

"I'm ready." Was all he said.
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Chapter 3: Stabbin' Westward
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