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Dungeon of Bad Ends (Homebrew System)

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA


Long ago, a great temple was raised to honor Carielle, a goddess of justice and beauty. Priests, mages, and mechanists worked together to creat a holy place that would not merely serve as a testament to their deity, but which would serve as a conduit for her divine power into the world. As her power reached the surrounding lands, the weary found new delight in the world around them, which sustained and invigorated them; the oppressed found new strength and solidarity, to overthrow the corrupt who would exploit them. And as many people recognized this as Carielle's influence, many became her devotees. New worshippers flocked to the temple, and built a grand city around it, using the same mechanisms and sacred architecture that had been used in the temple. And so, Carielle's influence spread like no other god's before, reshaping entire civilizations and ushering in a new golden age. Things were never perfect, but for a century, the world grew fairer and kinder with each passing year.

And then, some four hundred years ago, Carielle seemed to vanish. Her priests could no longer feel her guidance or draw on her power, and the holy city ceased to to spread her influence across the land. Some said she had decided her work was done; others, that for all her accomplishments she had grown frustrated with those evils that stubbornly lingered in the world. Some proposed that Carielle had become horrified at how her power had stripped people of their free will, and many the tale that the goddess had fallen in love, and chosen to live out her life as a mortal. Then, of course, there was the notion that Carielle had turned her attention to some evil beyond the scope of mortals, and lost--or at least, that victory had cost her her life, or all of her power. But whatever the reason, the godess' influence on the world abruptly ceased, and although a century of progress did not collapse overnight, little by little corruption and cruelty began to flourish again. Still, even without the godess influencing the people directly, her lessons and legacy were not easily erased, and the world never became as miserable as it had been before Carielle.

Not until about fifty years ago, when the holy city--all but abandoned at this point--was overrun by devotees of Athaniel, an primordial deity of madness and desire. Sacrificing Carielle's priests at the altars meant to honor her, they corrupted the power of the holy city to spread the profane power of their of their dark god. His taint spreads into the minds of men and beasts, enkindling madness and weakening their resolve against their darkest impulses. It seeps into the land itself, blighting forests and withering crops. Some feel the call of Athaniel, and abandon their lives to enter the city and join his service. Sometimes, armed raiding parties emerge from the city, accompanied by corrupted beasts, undead abominations, or things more unthinkable still, to claim food, captives, and corpses from the nearest settlements.

A call has gone out for heroes, willing to enter the holy city, seek out the corrupted altars, and purify them--weakening Athaniel's influence on the world and clearing a path the the great temple, where perhaps the madness can be stopped once and for all. For fifty years, it has been all that we could do to slow the advance of Athaniel's corruption, but perhaps you will be the ones to turn the tides against the dark god.


Silvergate was the largest settlement left near the holy city. That wasn't saying much. Scarcely a hundred people lived in the town proper, with another hundred and fifty scattered across the surrounding farm lands. There were crumbling walls around the town, scarcely eight feet high, which appeared to have been repaired in many places with cobblestones pried from the streets. Still, the armed men standing at the gates were dutifully on-guard. Merchants' wares were inspected, weapons were taken for safekeeping, and newcomers were directed to the mayor's mansion. It could only be called a mansion in that it was bigger than any other humble building in Silvergate, and even then not by much. But there was space enough that the mayor had begun running an inn out of his home; the only place to rent lodgings in town, although the brothel down the street did offer its patrons beds.

The mayor was also responsible for coordinating the efforts to cleanse the holy city, and kept numerous maps and charts to aid would-be heroes in their efforts. It wasn't clear how much they would help; there were rumors that around the corrupted altars, in the heart of Athaniel's influence, the world twisted and rearranged itself. The city depicted on the maps may not have been what awaited the heroes who sought to cleanse it.
 

Sync

Corporate Drone
Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Location
Australia
The young woman grumbled softly to herself as she made her way into town…or what was left of the town. The town was still larger than the village she’d been born in, several weeks’ travel to the south by foot. Her village had comprised not more than about fifty or sixty people of varying ages, and it had not been spared the influence of Anthaniel (oh how she didn’t care for the name – so very similar to the name of her father, whom she also disliked intensely). Like Silvergate, her home village of Steadwell was surrounded by faming lands of both animals and produce, and had felt the occasional sting of the devotees of Athaniel as they roamed the lands looking for sacrifices to their dark god. Sometimes they accepted offerings of food and animals; other times they took people. That was what she’d seen, at least.

Cassandra knew the stories, too, of the legend of the goddess Carielle, and what had supposedly happened before the rise of Athaniel. There were plenty of stories. And rumours. It was hard to place a lot of value on stories and rumours, because most of them could not be substantiated; most of them tended to begin and end with “Someone told me that the person two farms away from them… …or so I’ve heard” and that wasn’t very reliable. The stories and rumours all seemed to agree that whoever it was that had been taken wasn’t seen or heard from again, and that wasn’t encouraging.

She was a pretty young woman, was Cassandra: standing at only a few inches taller that five feet, she was slender and lithe, lean and toned, her dark brown hair tied back into a short pony tail that ended at her shoulders; she wore a woollen cloak over her shoulders to keep both sun and rain out, and often had the hood drawn, although not right now – the hood was thrown back, revealing a slightly-round face, small-ish nose, inviting lips, and pale blue eyes that scanned everything around her. Her attire – armour, if you wanted to call it that – was little more than reinforced clothing, consisting mainly of armoured corset and joined armoured skirt, some protections for the upper arms and shoulders, leather forearm guards and thigh-high boots; there were any number of small pockets and belts and sheathes on the attire for stowing blades and tools, and most of these locations had been filled even before she approached the city of Silvergate. She’d only seen nineteen winters, but she was a long way from innocent. It was easy to pick up the life of an urchin when villages kept outliving their usefulness. She’d been moving around for the last four or five years, at least, making a living by stealing for herself when she had to, and stealing for others when they gave her a job.

She was grumbling because she’d been unable to convince the guards at the gate that she wouldn’t be much of a heroine if she couldn’t keep her short sword when answering the call that had been put out. She’d argued, of course, and politely at that, and the guards had been adamant; she probably could have snuck into the town in any number of ways when night fell – the walls were crumbling and providing so many means of entry to an experienced thief such as herself – but she hadn’t felt the urge to incur the ire of the city just yet by trying it. So she’d handed over her sword – keeping the small dagger in the back of her belt safe and secure and hidden as she’d done so – and gone on her way into the city. She needed to find the Mayor and make sure she had provisions for the task ahead – trying to cleanse the once-Holy City of the influence of Athaniel.

Was she a devotee of any deity? Not really. She had been, when she was much younger, she when circumstances had arisen that saw her leave her village and start to make her own way in the world, she’d left the gods behind as well; it was mostly her skills that saw her through these days. Was she a hero of any kind? Maybe, maybe not – time would tell. She was certainly game to try, if for no other reason than to stop the incursions of the followers of Athaniel. She was also interested in finding a trinket or two, something she could sell for a good price.

Finding the Mayor didn’t sound overly difficult – head for the only Inn in town. Finding provisions might be a little harder; it would all depend on what was available at the stalls of those few merchants who worked the town.

Finding companions who might accompany her so she wasn’t going alone…? That could be tricky.
 

Rosina

Masked Optimist
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Location
Washington
Heavy boots thumped on the wooden floors of the mayor's mansion, cracking noisily as if they were doing so purposely. A young adult female who is a little on the tall side, around 5'7", paced deliberately beside one of the many tables strewn with maps and charts of the Holy City, with her right hand at her side and her left on her hip. She had long brilliant red hair that was slightly curled and flowed down all the way to to her plump ass and danced leisurely behind her as she moved. This was perhaps her most distinguished feature and made clear to any who lived in the villages under the shadow of the fallen Holy City and the influence of Athaniel, that she was Red: a girl who already had amassed a decent renown and respect for her efforts in the past to defend against corruption. Red had fair white skin that contrasted with her bright hair and bold blue eyes, which seemed to give her a commanding presence even among men and provided her with an unquestionable beauty. Light freckling on her nose and upper cheeks distinguished itself from her otherwise blemish free visage and resulted in her looking youthful. Her build resembled an hourglass with maturing breasts and thick hips on either side of her relatively thin waist.

She was wearing the type of flamboyant outfit you could only expect from an adventurer, a mix between a whore and a warrior, but confident enough to prove that she was neither: A cloth red miniskirt that seemed to be scaled with leather stripes adorned her waist and showed off her milky-white skin and luscious thighs, and a bright, cherry buckler hung from her left hip with her hand atop it; a short-sleeved blouse, that matched her skirt, frilled an inch or two past her waist; boots that were a similar red climbed far up her calves, probably the most defended part of her body; and panties that were a cute pink and grasped tightly onto her pussy showed a noticeable cameltoe whenever someone took an easy glance beneath her skirt.

Red was known amongst locals terrorized by Athaniel as a symbol of hope for taking up blade, shield, and skirt to fight against the corruption at ages as young as fourteen years old; however, it was clear by her voluptuous body that she was no longer a child. It is said that Red is a true heroine, right out of a fairy tale, and with the undying will to match those claims, and that her beauty inspires those around her. Although whether she had garnered this renown for her actual merit in the combat of corruption--or simply because of her provocative apparel, sultry figure, and commanding presence--had yet to be tested on a grand scale like it would be now that she was finally joining the siege against the Holy City itself.

Taking a brief intermission in her pacing the girl peered down at the maps and charts with her bold blue eyes and let out a thought,
"They say that the corruption is so powerful that chaos bends the world around it... That it rearranges the city with every passing moment. Surely that can't be true though!" A moment after her words she went back to pacing beside the table inquisitively.
 

Sync

Corporate Drone
Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Location
Australia
Getting to the Inn didn’t take a lot of time, at least. There weren’t that many buildings one might still refer to as habitable in Silvergate to begin with, and the Mayor’s house – and the Inn by extension – was one of those buildings. The Inn was also, funnily enough, the largest building still useable in the town. Cassie was by no means surprised to discover that the Mayor had claimed the largest building in town for himself – and his sort-of profitable side-business of running the local Inn. She supposed it was necessary, given Silvergate was the last city on the way to the now-overrun Holy City.

The door was open, and as she stepped through the doorway she could see, pacing back and forth in front of a large table, a woman possibly a similar age to herself but otherwise rather different – bright red hair, a fuller figure, red armour (didn’t seem to be a lot more than outrageously-flamboyant clothing, if Cassie was honest with herself about it) to match the hair. She shrugged her shoulders slightly and began to move towards the table – it seemed, from the comment she’d just heard, that the woman was planning on going into the Holy City…just as she was. She wondered what the woman’s motivations were.

“The city keeps changing its own layout?” she repeated as she drew nearer the table. She paused to look over the maps; they looked to be quite complete and accurate as they’d been drawn, but… “If that’s true, then these maps are going to be rather useless.”

She tilted her head slightly as she looked at the red-haired woman. “You’re planning on going into the Holy City as well, then?”
 

Rosina

Masked Optimist
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Location
Washington
Red halted her pacing and pivoted to face the approaching voice in one quick motion leaving her hair to settle like a curtain of silk at her backside. She swiftly gave a warm smile to the woman as she observed her, bright-eyed. Red's gaze followed the woman as she approached and danced from her cute face, to her thigh-high boots, to her dark brown ponytail, and everywhere in-between before finally settling on the stranger's face and rekindling a welcoming smile.
"That's just a rumor that I have heard passed around a lot recently." The girl let out dismissively, "It's surely just some superstitious claim that was started by someone afeared out of their mind..."

Red would lock eyes with the woman, as she looked up at her, and stare into them with her own bold blue eyes before letting out a confident,
"Yes, It's time to drive back the corruption that plagues these lands!" With a casual step Red would close the distance between herself and the woman, looking down at her slightly to maintain eye-contact, before holding out an open hand towards the woman whilst speaking in a friendly tone,
"My name is Scarlett Rose, but everyone seems to like to just call me Red on account of my hair," as she says this her spare hand runs over her ear pushing back any stray locks that drifted onto her soft countenance.
 

Sync

Corporate Drone
Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Location
Australia
The more-than-casual look at her by the red-haired woman did not go unnoticed by Cassie. She didn’t flinch, though, instead standing in a relaxed manner, as if such appraisals were common (they were not as uncommon as she’d have liked), and she cocked an eyebrow slightly as the other woman finally met her gaze. She returned the smile with a warm but faint smile of her own and reached out to take the offered hand; her own grip wasn’t weak, but the other woman’s grasp was stronger than her own.

“Cassie”, she replied simply as the handshake was released. She allowed her gaze to roam over the red-haired woman’s form for a moment, studying her once more, noting the lush lines and curves and wondering just how much protection the woman’s attired would provide when they started fighting. She gave a small smirk, then slowly turned and leaned forward slightly, her hands resting on the table as her pert backside was pushed back just a fraction.

“I’ve heard a few stories and rumours as well,” she agreed quietly. “Most of them don’t end well. Of course, they’re just rumours; there’s little evidence to give them weight.” She let her right hand slide forward, her forefinger tracing lazily over the contours of the maps.

“I’m more concerned by the rumour that the lands of the Holy City change shape. That will cause problems.” She turned her head slightly to look at Red. “Just as well I’m a half-decent scout, then.”
 

Davian_Veq

Star
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
In a rickety wooden cart, with a vigilant guard to either side of her, Kerrish sat. the stout dwarven woman glowered silently, staring down at her manacled hands, still furious at herself - for getting caught. The guards raided the slums and destroyed seven homes in the process? No-one cares. But if some poncy elf noble loses their precious earring, everyone's on the lookout - even the people who'd just lost their homes. The bumps on the dilapidated road were barely noticed, and she grimaced as the watchmen (from one of the larger plains cities) talked over her head.

"What in the Seven Hells is this whole 'Work Release' program? Thieving scum like this should just be left to rot if it were up to me..." Hook-nose grumbled, shifting slowly from side to side after the long cart ride.

Long-neck simply sighed, closing her eyes exasperatedly. "You know as well as I do that what the Regent say, goes. I expect he's just trying to ship as many people out of the way of his whole 'Golden Vision', and this place - well, it's not like most of them will be making their way back, you know?"

The cart finally rumbled to a stop on the sparse cobbles, and Kerrish was pushed none-too-gently out of her seat.

"Right. Criminal, under the authority of the Lord Regent of Lowlish City, you are hereby released into the Work Release Program of the formerly Holy City. You are to remain here, delving and following the commands of the mayor for a period of at least two years, at which point you will be free to go about your business. However," (Here the guard's voice takes on a more quiet and menacing tone) "Should we ever find you in our city again, we'll make sure it's the hangman's noose and a pauper's grave for sure."

Kerrish fingered the collar, inscribed with sigils and magical runes, and looked away. One of the guards walked with her into the mayor's house, and quickly handed over the control rune to the closest person who looked like they knew what they were doing. They then fled with alacrity, disappearing into the sunset - unwilling to spend any time near the cursed city if they could help it.
 

Rosina

Masked Optimist
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Location
Washington
"Well it's a pleasure to meet you Cassie!"
Scarlett maintained eye contact with the woman even as her eyes moved to look over the girl's features; however, as Cassie shifted her focus back to the table Scarlett did the same. She took a step backwards away from Cassie and the table in order to get a new perspective on the maps that she had been studying for at least an hour prior to the arrival of her newfound acquaintance.

"Most of the rumors that you hear are true..." Scarlett spoke in a grim tone that seemed adverse to her otherwise cheerful disposition, "The corruption changes in unexpected ways every time I've faced it." She then quickly smiles with a confidence in an attempt to readjust the tone of the conversation. As she spoke again her voice was much lighter and her gaze followed Cassie's finger as it glided across the map,
"But: the idea that the entire Holy City itself changes shape sounds ridiculous!" Scarlett's eyes trailed up Cassie's arm and back to her face as she made eye contact once again with a warm smile.
"That's great; If this rumor does turn out to be true you would be a good person to keep around." She lets out playfully.

As the cart outside came to a stop Scarlett turned to face the commotion and pressed her ass back against the table, her brilliant hair spilling over the maps and charts near her, placing both her hands flat atop the table and leaning back against it as she watched the events transpiring through the open door. Her bold blue eyes witnessed the Dwarf being dragged out of a cart and berated by a couple of guards before being escorted into the mayor's house; yet, it wasn't until she witnessed the guard passing off a control rune that her eyes locked on the Dwarf's collar and she thought aloud,
"So it is true... Criminals are being sent to fight off the corruption now."
 
OP
Morathor

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
"Would you rather we turned them away?" said the man who had accepted the rune. Prior to this, he hadn't spoken in the entire time Scarlett had been in the manor, although she may have seen him wandering about the place--provided the maps did not hold her undivided attention. He was short, and of a stocky build, which created some very unsettling proportions when combined with his hunger-panged physique. He wore a simple tunic and breeches that had faded from whatever color they had originally been to a dull beige--save where they were patched with a cloth of some different hue. Off-whites, dull blue, darker browns, it seemed as though his garb had been patched with whatever was on hand, without much of an eye to aesthetics.

He stared at Kerrish for some time, his dark eyes inscrutable in the shadow of a heavy brow. Finally he sighed and shook his head. "I don't know what to do with you. Normally I'd turn you over to Everic, but he's gone. Dead, most likely. Might be for the best, actually, but I still don't know what to do with you. Should I turn you over to the brothel? Seems to be the best case scenario for you work release types anyway."

Without waiting for an answer, the man tucked the rune in his pocket and turned his attention to Cassie and Scarlett. "They're not rumors, by the way. About the city changing. But then, I can't say that they're truth, either. That city messes with your head, even this far away. Can you feel it yet?" He reached up to tap his temple, then shook his head. "It's worse if you go in, at least, I would expect so. That's what they've told me, everyone who made it out alive. And everyone stupid enough to go back in, and lucky enough to make it out a second time, says that the streets and buildings are different every time."
 

Sync

Corporate Drone
Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Location
Australia
The rogue just snorted softly at Red’s suggestion that she just might be worth keeping around; but she stopped paying attention at that point. A new arrival had appeared by cart – dumped would probably be more accurate, though, given that the dwarven woman was escorted in by a pair of guards, who handed over a rune to a man who might once have been fat, and then left by said guards to whatever fate was in store for her. The dwarf was clearly a criminal of some kind, although Cassie didn’t recognise the collar; the shackles, though, accompanied by the words of both Red and the man she presumed was the Mayor, said all Cassie needed to know.

“So maybe the city doesn’t actually change at all,” she suggested from where she stood at the table. She hadn’t bothered to move at all, instead simply turning around so she could watch the new arrival. She jerked a thumb over her shoulder at the maps laid out on the table behind her. “If the corruption just makes you think the cityscape has changed, then that’s enough. For all we know, then, these maps could be completely accurate, and everyone just thinks they’re wrong, or they’ve gone through enough to doubt. Reality always looks different than the map, especially if you’ve been through a lot of stress.”

The slender rogue paused, then shrugged her shoulders. “As for the new arrival…you say she’s a criminal, sent here to work off her debt? Send her into the Holy City with us, then. If she survives, her debt is paid; if she doesn’t come back, she’s not your problem.” She gave a small smirk. “Just a thought.”
 

Rosina

Masked Optimist
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Location
Washington
"Of course not!" Scarlett retorted and jumped to her feet, obviously offended by the implications of the man's question. Although she quickly composed herself and leaned back against the table, more guarded than she was prior and with her arms at her side. She then spoke in a soft tone,
"Fighting to cleanse the corruption of the Holy City is the best way I can imagine for them to redeem themselves... I just worry that we are doing little more to help them than handing them a taut noose." The moment after her last sentence left her mouth Scarlett's eyes shot down to the Dwarf and her voice lit up with haste, "But I'm sure you will be fine! You look very strong!" before she let out a flustered giggle and gave the Dwarf a warm smile, hoping that she didn't just scare a potential fighteress to the brothel.

After pulling her eyes from the Dwarf and sending them back towards the man she examined him curiously. Usually her reputation preceded her, at least among people asking for help, and she would be approached by the head or mayor of whatever settlement she arrived in almost immediately; however, this man was willing to wait around for an hour before introducing himself with a pointed question against her character.

Scarlett listened closely as the man spoke of the reports from people who survived their assaults on the Holy City and nodded as he spoke of the way that Athaniel's influence drove people to madness; she could not feel the presence of his madness personally from this far but she was more than familiar enough with the corruption to know how devastating it could be to one's psyche. The girl nodded again as she heard Cassie's proposal,
"That sounds about right, the city doesn't actually need to change as long as your perception of it does." When the Rogue then suggested having the Dwarf accompany them Scarlett chimed in,
"Yeah, that sounds like a great idea!"
 
OP
Morathor

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
"Well. It sounds like the two of you are eager to get started." The mayor's voice showed no such enthusiasm. "Everic--that is, Sir Everic, captain of the guard, he leads a couple of expeditions a year into the city. And I'd usually ask, uh, freelancers, like yourselves, to wait for one of those and go with him. And of course, he takes the prisoners along," he gestured with the control rune, "for as long as they're still useful. But he took his last expedition a week and a half ago, almost a month ahead of schedule, and nobody who went with him has come back. Half the guard refuses to believe he's dead, so I can't even replace him. I guess all this to say, do whatever you want."

The man shoved the rune into Scarlett's hand, but pulled it back before she could close her fingers around it. "No, actually, do me a favor. If you do go in there, and you bring back Everic--dead or alive, or even just proof he's alive or dead, I'll give you all two weeks lodging for free."

~~~

Even those who couldn't feel the city's power from Silvergate would be hard pressed not to notice it as they drew closer to the outer walls. It was, not quite words, but still a whisper inside their heads. The sun was sinking as they approached the outer gate, staining the sky in sullen streaks of orange and red. The city was a sharp black silhouette against the sunset. It was built on a hill--a defensible position which also elevated the grand temple at the heart of the city high above those looking on from the outside. Its spires rose high in the sky.

Entry into the city was not through a pair of iron gates, but through a small, single-room structure built into the wall. The massive double doors were heavy, but yielded to the heroes with some effort; the room beyond was illuminated only by the light of the sunset pouring in through the door. There were half a dozen sconces for torches along the walls, but they were all empty. At a glance, the room was unoccupied, with the broken, rotting remnants of furniture shoved into the corners. The walls and ceiling were overgrown with vines. On the far side of the room lay a single door, small but sturdy-looking.

Welcome to the first dungeon scene! Currently, you are not in combat. As a reminder, each character has the option to search the room, rolling +Will, which may reveal hidden objects like traps, treasure, or secret passageways. Each character also has the option to interact with each object in the room once per scene; describe what you want to do and maybe make an appropriate roll--if you can't think of one, I may suggest one.

Cassandra also has a talent that lets her scout ahead; however in this case you will need to unlock the door on the far side of the room before you can attempt that.
 

Rosina

Masked Optimist
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Location
Washington
"If we find any evidence of Everic's fate we will bring it back with us, and if we do find him alive we will escort him home; I promise!" Scarlett proclaimed steadfastly before taking the Dwarf's rune and sliding it into a pocket on her blouse that was promiscuously close to her crotch.

~~~

"So this is it... The Holy City." Scarlett let out softly as she looked up at the ominous blackness of the city looming over them and piercing deeply into the open sky. She imagined how this place was once a beacon of hope, how people felt safe and happy under the shadow of it's influence; yet, now it was the heart of all madness in the world. Upon coming to the massive double doors the girl pressed herself against one and slowly shoved it inward before slipping inside and scanning her surroundings with a quick gaze.

Once Scarlett was satisfied that the room wasn't immediately dangerous she would swiftly turn to Cassie and place both of her hands gently on each of the woman's shoulders respectively. Scarlett then would step in closer until her milky-white countenance was inches away from Cassie's, as if she was going in for a kiss; Her bold blue eyes would stare confidently into Cassie's own before she spoke in a bold manner,
"Together, you and I will cleanse this place of Athaniel's corruption!" before giving her a confident smile with her sweet red lips [Inspiring Beauty]. After a short moment longer of sharing this closeness Scarlett would break away from Cassie and approach the Dwarf under similar circumstance: crouching down so they are at eye level; placing two hands gently on her shoulders; moving in so close that they were nearly touching; staring deep into her eyes; boldly reciting,
"Together, you and I will cleanse this place of Athaniel's corruption!"; and smiling confidently for a moment before breaking away [Inspiring Beauty].

After those intimate moments with her allies Scarlett would turn back to the rotting room as if nothing were out of the ordinary and search for anything of interest [roll +will = 16].

Special Action: Inspiring Beauty -- Give an ally inspiration. You may use this in or out of combat, but in combat you may only use it once per turn. You may only use Inspiring Beauty twice per scene and not while Easily Embarrassed.
 
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Sync

Corporate Drone
Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Location
Australia
The decision was made with the prisoner: take her along. Apparently there was a precedent – the former, now missing, captain of the guard did the same, so taking prisoners into the City was almost expected, and was certainly acceptable. Red had the control rune for the criminal’s collar – did they even know the dwarf’s name, yet? – and that was just fine by the rogue. And they now had an additional task while scouring the Holy City: find evidence of the fate of Sir Everic – whoever that was – or find Sir Everic himself. Just wonderful. It was going to be hard enough trying to find a way to end the corruption without having to try and find one missing man as well.

“Whose brilliant idea was it to go in at sunset?” Cassie mumbled idly to herself as they drew nearer the ruins of the once-great Holy City. Is was bad enough that the place was corrupted and likely filled with corrupted beings, but going in at sunset just made the place feel…worse. The reddening skies above the dark silhouette just made the place more ominous than it already was, and then there was that nagging, itching sensation in the back of her skull that felt like a voice in her head that seemed to grow slowly in annoyance as they drew closer to the ruins.

The room they’d be using to actually enter the city proper was less than inspiring, though: dull, dim, old and worn, very little useful in it; the only two things that was impressive about the room were the heavy double doors they used to enter, and the smaller, sturdy door they’d use to enter the ruins proper. The rogue passingly thought that she could have done without Red getting so close to her and almost reciting a prayer in her face, but the warrior’s face was lovely, those eyes inspiring, those lips inviting…

“Y-you search the room, Red,” Cassie suggested in a matter-of-fact manner, as she pulled herself together from being so close to those kissable plump lips. “I’ll get the door. It’s been locked for a reason, I’ll bet – to keep the corruption inside these walls. It might be a good idea to lock it behind us when we leave, to make sure that the corruption remains inside; either we succeed, in which case we can unlock the door on our way out, or we…don't.” She didn’t really want to think about the latter, but she made her way to the door anyway, knelt before it, pulled a couple of picks from a slot in her left forearm bracer, and got to work on the lock…

Mechanics
STR -1 / AGIL +3 / WIL +1
Roll + Agility to open the lock with advantage, total 11 (random number generators and I typically don't get along. >.> )
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Louella had followed the group through the town, with no small amount of prodding from the local townsfolk, who saw her as a bit of menace to the community with her tendency to start bar brawls. She came in behind the party, making sure to whistle once she thought she was within bowshot, just to make sure they knew she wasn’t trying to be stealthy.

Once in the room, she glanced around, eyes falling upon the door, waiting for the person knelt before it to finish before hefting her hammer, seeing this as a chance to prove herself to the group. “If you’re having trouble with the door, we could always try a less subtle approach.” She said, as if looking for agreement.
 
OP
Morathor

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Carefully searching the room, Scarlett discovered a hidden mechanism linking the two doors. Although much of its workings were embedded in the walls, and the light was dim, she was able to determine that its primary function was to shut the double doors they had come through--and quite forcibly--if the single door leading into the city was breached, or perhaps even if it was tampered with. It seemed that if they wanted to go further in, they would have to risk their escape route being cut off. But then, there didn't seem to be any alternative, aside from retreating now and abandoning their quest. Perhaps once they made their way into the city, they would be able to find a different exit. Or perhaps purifying the first altar would somehow change this room, or at least their perception of it, and open up new possibilities. Either way, the decision was made to press on.

Although Cassie had picked tougher locks than this, her eyes were strained from the dim light and her nerves made her fingers unsteady. As she fumbled with the lock, the heavy double doors slammed shut with an terrible clang that shook the whole room. The adventurers should have been plunged into absolute darkness, but instead their surroundings were still somewhat illuminated, as the vines clinging to the walls and ceiling glowed faintly in the dark. Within a second or two of the door closing, the women in the room felt something like dust settling on their face and hair--pollen, shaken loose from the plants. Wherever it touched, they felt a momentary chill, a sudden shudder working its way down each of their spines. And then, almost immediately, the cold faded and their skin flushed with a faint heat.

For Kerrish and Louella, that was the worst of it; a brief chill, followed by mild warmth. It was perhaps not even that unpleasant. Scarlett, on the other hand, had every inch of her exposed skin--of which there was a lot--coated in the toxic pollen, and both the chill and the subsequent heat hit her harder than the others, leaving her notably drowsy in their wake. However, it was Cassie who perhaps took the worst of it. Less prepared than the others, or perhaps simply less adept at holding her breath, she caught a lungful of the pollen, and its effects raged through her whole body. By the time the worst of it had passed, Cassie was notably woozy.

--Scarlett's search of 16 was high enough to locate the trap, but Cassie's lockpicking roll of 11 was not high enough to unlock the door.
--The trap (vines) rolled 11 against everyone's Strength defense. Kerrish and Louella are unaffected; Scarlett and Cassie each take 1 Will damage.
--So far only Cassie has interacted with the door in this scene; Scarlett, Louella, and Kerrish may each make their own attempt to get it open. You can roll +Agility to try pick the lock, but you have disadvantage on the roll unless you have an ability like Cassie's that says otherwise. You can roll +Strength to break the door down. If you would like to try something else, let me know.
--Nobody has interacted with the vines, or the double doors leading back out; if you have an idea for those, let me know what it is.
--If you all would like to start a new scene so you can retry your once-per-scene abilities, you may do so. Keep in mind that there may be recurring effects that trigger with a new scene, and also the chance of enemies finding you and starting combat.
 

Rosina

Masked Optimist
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Location
Washington
"You got it Cassie!" Scarlett chimed as she began to explore the remnants of the small, rotted room surrounding her.
"Yeah, locking up behind us is probably a good idea, although I doubt that locking a door is going to do much to slow down the corruption." The girl responded as she searched before coming to the hidden mechanism and crouching down to examine it,
"Oh, I found something. It looks like it -- Wait don't tou...!" Scarlett let out frantically as the heavy doors behind her crashed closed and kicked up a cloud of rancid dust over the room.

Scarlett had time to hold her breath as she saw this coming a second before it actually happened, but she had no clue that the dust would have any effect other than some coughing and dirty clothing. As the 'dust' settled on her milky-white complexion, brilliant red hair, and skimpy clothing the girl shuddered visibly from the powerful sensation running through her body and her bold blue eyes widened in surprise. Slowly her eyes drooped closed and she let out a soft, halted yawn before her eyes shot back open and she surged up to her feet passionately wiping the dust off her bare skin and beating it off her clothing [-1 Will].

Once the girl was satisfied she looked back at the newest arrival, and the large hammer the woman was hefting around with her, and said with a cough,
"Your turn! G-Get us out of here the fast way." before raising her cherry buckler over her head with her left hand, in an attempt to keep any more dust from settling on her: wondering just how bad staying in proximity with this unknown substance for a long period of time might be.

After taking a quick moment to compose herself Scarlett would then unsheathe her shiny, brutish backsword with her right hand and attempt to take a chunk out of the nearest illuminated vine, both for curiosity and potentially for use as a makeshift torch.

Will: +1/+(2)
 
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Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Louella nodded as she was given the all clear, stepping back a few steps before charging at the door and swinging her heavy warhammer at it, using the spike on the back to hopefully drive it though the wood and, if it didn’t break, pry it apart. (Second Roll was unintentional)
It was a mighty blow, and as her hammer sailed through the air, she was sure the door couldn’t stand the assault... but confidence had never been problem. It was getting reality to agree that was tricky.
 

Sync

Corporate Drone
Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Location
Australia
The lock was proving difficult to get through, and it shouldn’t have been. Although maybe it just plain WAS difficult to pick…who knew how this lock had been designed? Cassie was focussed on the lock…Red’s warning reached her ears too late, and the rogue found herself engulfed in a cloud of fine pollen-like powder – it covered her clothes, her skin, and the surprised intake of breath that accompanied the trap springing round her ensured it got into her lungs…

She coughed several times, hard, as the cloud faded, and she was only aware of the flush of heat through her frame as she rocked and swayed and put her left hand on the ground to avoid toppling over, her right hand clenching into a fist in front of her mouth as she continued to alternately cough and suck in air as she fought the wave of fatigue and nausea that threatened to overwhelm her.

“Damned…rookie *cough* mistake…* she muttered quietly under her breath as she found herself moving to lean against the door frame. “You always *cough* check for…for traps…”

Mechanics
STR -1 / AGIL +3 / WIL +0
Action: take a few moments to pull herself together - no other action will be taken this turn other than coughing and resting
 
OP
Morathor

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Louella brought her hammer down on the door with a loud crash. The wood splintered under her mighty blow, and the sullen light of sunset once again poured into the room. However, neither lock nor hinges gave way, and the door still blocked their path.

Meanwhile, Scarlett's attempts to gather the vines, though cautious, shook loose another cloud of pollen. It did not fill the room as the one before had, but it was quite enough to engulf the heroine. Despite her best efforts to cover herself with her buckler, a generous amount of the toxic dust found its way onto Scarlett's fair skin, bringing with it a familiar icy chill, before the almost relaxing warmth returned in force.

--The trap rolled 20 against Scarlett's Strength defense. She takes 1 Will damage. This is not an area effect so no one else takes damage.
--The vines that Scarlett cut down have had most of their pollen shaken off and can be used as a light source without any further risk. Good idea!
--Louella's roll of 12 does not break down the door, but it does damage it, lowering the target number to break it, if someone else would like to make an attempt.
--Currently, Scarlett and Kerrish have not attempted to interact with the door and may each try their hand at getting it open.
--With that said, Davian_Veq has not had a lot of free time to post lately, and doesn't seem sure when they're next going to get a chance. To be clear, we're not at a point where I'm asking them to leave or anything like that. However, if it comes to the point where all the other players have exhausted their options in this scene, and Davian still hasn't had a chance to post for Kerrish, I'm going to roll for her to try and break down the door (if Scarlett doesn't get it open first).
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Louella stood, looking as if the door had offered a personal affront to her before giving it a kick and walking off. She relatively short at five feet even, to the point that most suspected her red-haired mother to have lain with a dwarf to produce her. She stomped over to the others, button nose crinkled in anger as she glared back at the door. Seems she could hold a grudge with anything. She crossed her bare arms, covered in thin white scars from her history of brawling, and set her hammer beside her. She looked around, the short, slightly stocky woman wondering what the rest thought of her.
 

Rosina

Masked Optimist
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Location
Washington
Scarlett grits her teeth in annoyance as another layer of toxic dust fell on her right after she cleaned herself from the first wave. This time she was all too aware of the incoming chill, the warmth that followed, and the drowsiness that those sensations resulted in so they did not take her by surprise. The girl shivered slightly as the dust forced it's effects on her but she did not allow the drowsiness to have any noticeable effect. She then aggressively yanked the vines she had carved out of the wall into a pocket on the right thigh of her skirt, keeping them mostly revealed so that they could light the area around her like a lantern [Will -1].

With a sigh, Scarlett set to cleaning herself all over again: she swiftly wiped the dust off of her bare skin and the top of her buckler and forcefully beat it out of her clothing and hair. When she was contented with the lack of dust once again the girl would back away from the wall, and anything else that looked like it could send more toxic dust all over her, before turning towards the door. Her bold blue eyes would widen in surprise to see it still standing, although fractured, even after taking the crashing blow of a war-hammer.

Despite knowing that she wouldn't have any more luck opening the door than a rogue with the proper tools and a woman with a war-hammer Scarlett was more than ready to get out of this room and out of the risk of more toxic dust attacks. So with a deep breath she would stride fiercely towards the door, her brilliant red hair flowing behind her, and slam the heel of her right boot against the wood of the door right next to the lock [Roll +Strength = 2].

Will: 0/+(2)
 
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Sync

Corporate Drone
Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Location
Australia
The rogue manages to get out of the way was the warrior steps up and swings the warhammer in a wide arc towards it. The crashing blow was telling, but clearly not enough, and the rogue frowned slightly at the toughness of the door – clearly it was designed to keep the corruption in as much as keep people out, but surely it wasn’t supposed to be this difficult..?

As Red stepped up, Cassie pulled herself to her feet. “I’m going to check the double doors…see how trapped we really are…” she mumbled as Red’s heavy boot thudded into the single door, and she moved over to the double doors with the intent to try and work out the mechanism that kept the double doors closed.

And why wasn’t that warm flush going away?

Mechanics
STR -1 / AGIL +3 / WIL +0
Action: search double doors for mechanisms and traps - Roll +0 = 8
 
OP
Morathor

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Scarlett's kick shook the door slightly, but as expected did nothing to budge it. Meanwhile, as Cassie examined the double doors they had entered through, she found very little of the mechanism that held it close accessible from this angle. Most of it seemed to be on the outside of the door, or embedded in the walls. It might have been possible to break them down, but if anything that would require more brute force than breaking through the single door leading deeper into the city.
 

Davian_Veq

Star
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Kerrish, who had stayed quite quiet and sullen throughout the whole thing, suddenly decided to step up. Her fortune at not being caught fully in that dust-trap notwithstanding, she wouldn’t get anything done by simply sulking in a corner at her conscription.

Glancing over the door, watching those taller than her smash at it to some slight success and where it had been shattered already, she eyed the hinges, lock, and puts a careful boot into the wooden surface.
 
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