Post by dtspurrier on Aug 24, 2015 14:07:58 GMT -6
Caltaran looks to both women and says "due to the importance of the mission we can use all the help we can get. We need bravery, support, and skill to succeed in this mission. As far as I concerned if both of you want to use your best abilities to help out then you are both hired. Now both of you please gather your adventuring gear, say any prayers you need to do and then meet me at the bronze unicorn for dinner to discuss the details. "
Caltaran then finds Marcel and waits for a break in the training action to step in.
Post by Ronny Serio on Aug 24, 2015 14:46:21 GMT -6
Marcel laughed at the good-natured efforts to take him down, but he was tired from his training and not really in a mood for nonsense. He spun himself around as he jogged, took two steps backward and dropped down flat on his back. Hopefully squashing this fellow would deter any future efforts at hindering him.
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 25, 2015 9:54:08 GMT -6
Day 13, turn 1 for Ramon:
Ramon had taken the healing and slept well in the familiarity and relative comfort of the infirmary. His sleep was interrupted only by peaceful dreams, reflecting on the beauty of nature he had seen on his trip, and the camaraderie with friends, and none of the darkness of his recent quest. It ended, though, with one word pressed in his mind so forcefully that it woke him up.
What was that? A sign? But to gather what?
As Ramon rose and moved about the temple, he found at least half the clergy were dressed in leather armor and carrying weapons -- a sign of the times, perhaps. Those who favored the teachings of Rao still stuck to their white(-ish) robes.
"Ramon," Subdeacon Gutxi said. Instead of gruffly barking Ramon's name, the old man now addressed him respectfully. "When it is convenient for you, you are to report to the Library of Delleb in the Business Quarter."
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 25, 2015 11:27:02 GMT -6
Day 10/Turns 8 for Marcel:
Marcel had dropped hard on the guy and caused a light injury ((1 pt of dmg)). The mood of Marcel's watchers soured some and they kept their distance as Marcel finished his laps.
"Not bad," Peio said when he was done. "You took control of the situation, but a paladin would have to worry about how others reacted to that. Let's lighten the mood again. One more lap, but this time carrying me on your back. You never know when you're going to be chased out of a dragon's lair with a damsel in distress over your shoulder, and you're going to need to be able to keep moving despite heavy encumbrance."
Marcel got some mocking jests thrown his way as he rounded past the castle again -- more subdued than before, but none overly mean-spirited either.
"So now you've escaped the dragon's lair, but a horde of goblins are blocking the exit tunnel," Peio hopped off and tossed Marcel a shield. "That will represent the fair maiden now. I'll be the goblins coming at you one at a time. Draw your sword and come at me -- flat of the blade still, please -- but now you're protecting your shield from getting hit instead of using it to defend hits."
As they sparred this time, Marcel managed two flat-of-the-blade hits on Peio, but for every three times Peio struck his shield. "Your maiden is dying on you, Marcel! Do something!"
((Encounter reaction: 49+15, to hit Marcel's shield: 15, 15, 15, to hit Peio: 7, 17, 12))
Ramon was happy to return to that library and its remarkable librarian. He looked forward to a long day spent studying the wonders of the faith. Or some such. And in between he could reflect on the meaning of the message from his dreams.
As he walked to the Business Quarter he thought about what the gods might want him to "GATHER."
Post by Ronny Serio on Aug 26, 2015 13:52:44 GMT -6
Back on day one of his training, Marcel tossed his shield behind him, interposing himself between the damsel and her attacker. He then rushed forward with a war cry, intent on attacking the danger head on instead of playing defense.
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 26, 2015 14:02:32 GMT -6
Day 10/Turns 8a for Marcel:
At that war cry, even Peio Elizondo took a step back. "Haha, interesting strategy! Putting distance between yourself and the damsel, in the hopes that you can keep me focused on a frontal assault and not try to circle you and come at the damsel again. A dangerous strategy to employ outdoors like this, but in a narrow corridor, it would likely have saved her life.
"Well!" Peio said, as he drew back and put down his sword. "Let us call this first day of your training over. Now, you have never ridden a horse before? Then tomorrow morning we'll begin here with the basics of riding, and then try to get into mounted combat in the afternoon. Get plenty of rest, Marcel!"
Post by dtspurrier on Aug 26, 2015 14:52:55 GMT -6
Not wanting to take too much of the paladin's time caltaran waits for a break in the action. He finds them training in mounted combat and the training seemed vigourus. Seeing a quick break caltaran steps forward and calls over the the paladin. He asks the paladin permission to speak with Marcel which is granted.
after getting permission Caltaran approaches marcel and says "first congratulations in your training. You are one of the few that get the opportunity to become a paladin and I hope it will go well. I have completed my training and I am now a curate. Anyway the church has ordered me to go back to the haunted magic academy which was the dungeon you were last at and investigate and stop the cult. I have been assigned semer and was tasked to recruit you and joaquim. I am not sure how long you have left for training but would you be interesting in this job?"
Last Edit: Aug 26, 2015 14:54:47 GMT -6 by dtspurrier
Post by Ronny Serio on Aug 26, 2015 16:26:00 GMT -6
"Well, doesn't seem I'm cut out for the Paladin business," Marcel said. "But, I'm learning a good deal about fighting, so I'll wrack up the whole experience as worth my while. And my coin. I've never had any proper training. Just learned by brawling and growing up having to fight for survival. This is good stuff for me to know. Real good. If I'd had this experience before we went in that dungeon last time, things might have gone better for us. To leave now, when I'm just getting started... it just wouldn't feel right."
"And Joaquim and Ximo are neck deep in some spell research or something. Don't ask me about the details; I don't understand a lick of it. But I doubt they can lend you their aid just this moment either. I can't speak for them, but if you wait a few days before heading back in, I'd be happy to be at your back. I'd love another shot at whatever is down there."
Post by dtspurrier on Aug 27, 2015 22:55:51 GMT -6
Caltaran shakes Marcel hand and says " good luck with ur training. Personally the church is making this mission asap. However since there is a paladin in training ( caltaran says with a wink) and both magicusers are training I would rather be at full force versus going in there with newbies. Let me speak to my superiors for the delay and then let's meet at the bronze unicorn inn for dinner the last day of your training and then hit the dungeon that next day. "
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 28, 2015 12:40:51 GMT -6
Day 11/Turn 9 for Caltaran:
Caltaran spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening trying to appeal the decision to launch the expedition tomorrow higher and higher in the church hierarchy. In fact, he made it all the way back up to High Priest Marion Lefurgy. Lefurgy listened carefully to Caltaran's reasonings, and Caltaran had every hope that Lefurgy's peaceful leanings would steer him towards the delay.
However, Caltaran was left half-disappointed by his answer. "Yes, we must balance the need to act with readiness to act," the high priest said at last. "You may have one additional day to recruit. We will expect you to mount your expedition, then, on the 15th of this month, this upcoming Starday, in two days time."
Post by dtspurrier on Aug 28, 2015 14:48:27 GMT -6
Caltaran thanks the high priest for the next days extension and heads to the bronze unicorn to meet with Semer. If the dinner bell is not for a little while then caltaran will check in at the silver consortium.
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 5, 2015 8:19:45 GMT -6
Day 11/Turn 1 for Marcel:
It seemed day 2 of his training was supposed to be all about mounted combat, but since Marcel had never been on a horse before, Peio patiently led him through basic training. That morning, Marcel learned how to put on a saddle and bridle, how to mount up, and how to ride through a walk, trot, and canter. Marcel learned some things about balance that he might have intuited in the past, but never formally learned. Marcel learned that his "starter horse" was a palfrey, but that he would be riding a larger, heavier horse called a charger later that day (both horses borrowed from the castle stables next door).
After a lunch that was barely more than snacking on vegetables (if this is how paladins eat...), their training launched into mounted combat. Peio was apparently less sure of Marcel's ability to stick to the flat of the blade while doing unfamiliar balancing, so they switched to wooden swords.
Marcel seemed born to mounted combat. He never seemed to miss, and more often than not delivered palpable hits. He was still struggling to defend himself from horseback, though, as Peio gave as well as he got. "You cannot rely on agility and dodging while mounted!" Marcel was scolded. "Stop relying on your horse to move you and put more effort into parrying."
After a late afternoon break, Peio asked, "Ever been to a joust? Would you like to try it?"
((Marcel's to hit: 18, 16, 11; to hit Marcel: 20, 19, 11))
Post by Ronny Serio on Sept 14, 2015 11:25:17 GMT -6
"I have," Marcel said. "On Fest weeks in the Free City there was always a big to-do outside the walls. Feasting, jousting, all other sorts of entertainments. Though, if I'm being honest, Joaquim and I spent more time looking for food we could filch or unattended valuables than in the watching the sport."
Marcel paused a moment, looking back fondly on their youthful indiscretions. "I'd be happy to give it a go myself. Don't know how often such skills will come in handy, but you never know. Might as well try it while I have an opportunity."
Last Edit: Sept 14, 2015 14:03:33 GMT -6 by Ronny Serio
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 15, 2015 12:41:07 GMT -6
Day 13, turn 2 for Clybe:
Clybe had only half-seriously imagined the pomp and ceremony, the cheers, the festivities that should have been thrown on his triumphant return to the Temple of the Heavenly Virtues. Instead, the only change was the somber addition of statues outside the temple entrance -- frightened visages and defensive postures, frozen for all time it seemed, surrounded by a small fence.
Inside, it seemed business as usual and Clybe was only noticed with "oh, you're back," expressions. Even when he found Father Danilo and began to report what had happened, Danilo only nodded and said, "Yes, yes, Father Ramon has already been back to report this." Ramon! Of course, no wonder he had been in such a hurry to be the first one back! Stealing Clybe's thunder yet again...
At least the huge donation to the church re-earned Danilo's fickle appreciation. "Bless you, Clybe! We may need every silver piece in the trying times still ahead of us. Now -- what's this? Someone suffering from a curse? Unable to enter the city? This sounds like a task for one of the prefects. Let us see who can accompany you..."
They searched the temple together, asking around, and found that Prefect Juliana Fabron, the head librarian, happened to have the exact prayer they needed prepared.
"Take me to this unfortunate man," Prefect Fabron said.
Clybe wondered whether Ramon had told them that he had decided to essentially become a mercenary and what the Order thought about THAT, but that could wait until later.
"I have a couple of important questions to ask you later, Father, but for now I will take Fabron to this possibly cursed man," said Clybe, then he led Fabron back to where Guarin was waiting with Axen and that Harvester fellow. Along the way, he gave Fabron a brief outline of the situation, making it clear that it was possible that Guarin was in fact not cursed at all, but if he were, there were several men who may be similarly cursed near Avella.
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 16, 2015 10:02:46 GMT -6
Day 11/Turn 2 for Marcel:
Marcel and Peio returned to the stable, where they were mounted onto larger warhorses and given lances. There was a list for their use out in the open yard of the bailey.
On the first pass, Marcel aimed for the top center of Peio's shield, while he held his own shield steady in the seat. Peio kept his shield low, while aiming for the upper right corner of Marcel's shield. Peio scored a glancing blow, while Marcel unhorsed Peio in their first pass!
They tried again, once Peio was back on his horse. This time, Marcel aimed for where Peio had aimed, while leaning right in the saddle. Peio kept his shield high this time, while aimed at the center of Marcel's shield. They both delivered glancing blows.
Finally, on a third pass, Marcel missed the shield and aimed for the helmet, while holding his shield high. Peio aimed for the middle of the shield again, while keeping his shield high. Peio was unhorsed again! But Marcel had left himself open to injury and took a heavy bruising through his armor.
"Peio tossed his helmet to the ground, and Marcel could see the paladin was winded, but smiling. "Marcel, you are a natural at jousting! As I'm sure you could tell, a lot of it has to do with how you hold your shield. Couch it not too high or too low. Going for a helm strike on that last pass was chancy, as there was a better chance of missing me altogether, but your instincts paid off there. In fact, I doubt there is more I can teach you today! Go inside and tell the clerics in the infirmary you were injured during training; they will heal you, free of charge. Then I will see you here again tomorrow, for practice against multiple opponents."
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 16, 2015 10:23:52 GMT -6
Day 13, Turn 6 for Ramon:
Ramon returned to the Inner Bailey and found out that a) Clybe had already been here and left with Prefect Fabron, to try to remove the curse on Guarin (and meant that everyone must have made it back to the city safely), and b) that Koldo was here and waiting to see him.
Koldo was kneeling in front of a pew, praying, but stopped when he noticed Ramon was back. "Ramon, I came to see if I learned anything at the castle that you didn't already know. The attack on the temple seemed to have been timed to occur right before the Viscount was to meet with lords from all over the Viscounty. Apparently, that meeting ran short and lords left unhappy afterwards.
"I'm ready to come work for you and the Harvester's Heroes anytime you need me. I'm going to be using my share of the treasure to keep a permanent suite at the Red Dona Inn, in the Business Quarter, so that's where you'll be able to find me."
Ramon still had much to discuss with the returned Harvester's Heroes, but he still had his training to do, and that meant finding Prefect Alamilla. It seemed the wrong time to confront him about the "repent" message, so Ramon put that off.
"I understand you are ready for Heironeous' challenge," Alamilla said. "Heironeous, as you know, demands courage from his clerics. We have a test for that. Come with me..."
The two clerics took a concealed staircase into the catacombs beneath the temple. "Good news, by the way," Gaizka Alamilla explained as they moved through the catacombs. "We succeeded in starving out the kobolds trapped down here. The little blighters won't be any trouble to anyone now."
They reached a small tunnel, little more than 7' in diameter. Though the main tunnel was lit by torches, this side tunnel seemed unnaturally dark.
"Something awaits you down that tunnel," Gaizka said. "You must go down that tunnel and face it, trusting only in Heironeous to protect you. Is that understood? Only your faith alone will shield you."
As Ramon entered the tunnel, his eyes adjusted to the dark. Moments later, he saw it floating towards him -- some sort of spectral wraith!
Post by Ronny Serio on Sept 17, 2015 22:14:27 GMT -6
Marcel found himself taken with the camaraderie that seemed to come along with combat training. He understood why Trazen had found himself at home in the military. This sort of brotherhood was not something you found in the Free City slums. Marcel had Joaquim, of course, and a few others they were close with, like Trazen, but that was family. What he was experiencing now, and what he saw in the other soldiers going about their business in the Bailey, was something different. Perhaps he could foster the same atmosphere in his Investigator's Guild.
After being healed, Marcel returned to the Bronze Unicorn, eager to eat a very large dinner and then sleep the deep sleep of the physically exhausted.
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 18, 2015 11:40:43 GMT -6
Day 12/Turn 1 for Marcel:
Marcel did spend time in the evenings at the Bronze Unicorn, at least long enough to know that Joaquim, Ximo, and Caltaran were all alive and well, before crashing. Who knew becoming a better fighter would be so much work?
The next day, Peio had a group of 16 volunteers from the Church's Army present to help with their training exercises. In the bailey, Marcel was taught how to form up men into a wedge formation, single line defense, a weak center, and a strong right flank. There was much Marcel took away from this, but also much that was expected from him. Peio gave little instruction, but only corrected Marcel when he was wrong.
"You're going to be a hero to these men," Peio told Marcel with all seriousness. "You'll have to lead them like a hero."
Marcel also learned more of the camaraderie long denied him, how these men-at-arms say themselves as a band of brothers. They all seemed to know each other by name...Calista, Fabricio, Ibai... Marcel knew none of them until now.
A messenger came and told Fabricio something and he turned to the others and shouted, "I'm a father!" Everyone was around him in a moment, slapping him on the back and congratulating him.
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 18, 2015 22:35:11 GMT -6
Day 13, turn 7 for Ramon:
Ramon came around sometime later, realizing he had blacked out when the ghost-like thing touched him. He was in the cloisters area of the temple, back upstairs, with Prefect Alamilla standing over him.
"Don't feel too badly for having failed, Ramon," Gaizka said. "Up to this point, we have trained you on how to call on the gods to help you take action. Here, the test was to show the courage to take no action at all. Would you chance it again? Could you face that foe in the catacombs -- without flinching?"
Ramon agreed to try it. They went down the same staircase to the catacombs, and that same tunnel. Ramon went in alone -- and this time stood stock-still as the ghost approached him. It drew closer and closer, reaching out to touch him --
and then disappeared.
"Very good," Gaizka said from behind him. "Come back upstairs with me now."
They went to the chapel of Heironeous together. "We shall pray together," Gaizka said. "There is much that is a mystery to me in the city of Verbobonc lately, not least of which has been the meteoric ascension of you and Caltaran. Perhaps, today, the gods will grant us some special insights.
"But, before we do," Gaizka said while kneeling in the shrine, "what do you think you have learned from your training so far?"
"The main thing I have learned is that I have much to learn. My own failings as a man and a cleric are more apparent to me now than they were before," Ramon answered Gaizka.
He adjusted his clerical robes briefly then continued, "It has been enlightening to spend some time with those devoted to other aspects of our Church. In my adventuring I found cause to call upon Delleb and Heironeous. Will I receive more instruction in the teachings of Rao before this training is complete?"
Post by Ronny Serio on Sept 21, 2015 11:17:10 GMT -6
Marcel joined in with the others, offering Fabricio his hearty congratulations. This, this right here was what Marcel had been looking for when he'd spent those long months convincing Joaquim to flee the Free City and come to Verbobonc. He hadn't known it at the time. He'd just wanted a life where he could sleep through the night soundly, instead of worrying that every creek or scrape coming from outside might mean trouble.
But once you had that safety, when your most immediate and basic needs were met, that afforded you the chance at these new happinesses. Brothers in arms, friends and peers, and maybe, one day, a family of his own. Not things he'd ever thought of in the context of his own life, but now... Now he wanted them very badly.
Post by scottenkainen on Sept 21, 2015 13:00:29 GMT -6
Day 13, turn 8 for Ramon:
"Ah, interesting!" Prefect Gaizka Alamilla said. "The peaceful calmness of Rao is the linchpin of our temple, though less experienced clerics seldom realize that. Often these insights are actually the gods telling us which way to go next, so we will listen and guide you to Rao next. Wait in the shrine to Rao until someone comes for you."
Ramon was made to wait for a long time, so much so that he was sure that this was a test of his patience. Finally, one of the high priests of the Temple came for him! "Walk with me, Ramon Orfino," the old man said.
They left the shrine, walked through the temple, and emerged into the garden behind the temple, right at dusk. The old man, clad only in white robes, sat down on the grass in front of a bench, and slowly crossed his legs. "Sit down and remain calm. Do as I do," the old man said, and he sat there, motionless.
With his patience already tested, this seemed to be a test of concentration. Ramon sat down in front of the old man and tried to remain still. Being outdoors had been deliberate, as there were plenty more distracting noises out here, as well as nighttime insects to not pay attention to. A pesky fly was bothering Ramon within the first 10 minutes, continually buzzing around him and refusing to leave him alone. And after another 10 minutes, Ramon noticed he was itchy on his side. The old priest was not swatting at flies or scratching itches...