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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • You look Nuo up and down, trying to guess how much she weighs. She appears confused by the attention. “What are you thinking?” she asks, a little warily.

    “How to get you to the top floor.”

    “…You are not throwing me up there.”

    “No, I don’t know how you’d land. I thought I would carry you and jump.”

    “If you believed that would sound more appealing to me, you were wrong.”

    “It’s safer than starting on the first floor and going up.”

    “Have you done this before?”

    “No.”

    “…Are you giving me a choice?”

    “No.”

    Nuo tenses up as if to fight or run away, then relaxes with an exasperated sigh. The two of you walk around the wall to the rear of the building. You look towards the top, considering the distance. Nuo walks to the wall and puts her hands on it, also looking up.

    “…this is insanity,” she says, half to herself. “Why am I…” trailing off, she lets out another sigh and comes to you. “Let’s get this over with.”

    “Wait,” you stop her, suddenly realizing a problem with the plan. You pull Cleaver, Archer’s Paradox, and your quiver off your back. “You’ll need to carry these.”

    “Uh…”

    “Just hold still. Stick your arms out.”

    Nuo visibly sags when you wrap Cleaver’s sheath around her. The bow and arrows, though lighter, do not improve her stance. “Godsblood, Nergüi, you are not inspiring confidence right now.”

    “I know what I’m doing,” you interject. “This will work.”

    Despite her obvious discomfort, Nuo does not resist as you take her left arm and raise it above your head. Then, leaning down, you wrap one arm around her left knee and pull her arm around your neck and down with your other hand, bending her torso over your shoulders. Then you straighten up with Nuo’s arm and leg hanging down your front. You shift her around, adjust your posture a bit, concentrate, and soon it’s as if Nuo weighs nothing at all.

    Before either of you can question the plan any further, you take a couple steps forward and leap into the dark skies. Nuo gasps as the ground flies away from her. Then you land with a clatter on the tiles of the second floor roof tier. Both of you exhale forcefully from the impact. There is a moment’s pause, and then you carefully slide Nuo back onto her feet. She takes a breath and adjusts her hat, eyes wide. “I can’t believe we just did that,” she says.

    You are pleased, more so than you thought you would be, but you try to keep your mind on the job. “Well, we did. Give me my weapons, and then let’s get inside.”

    Nuo nods and starts unfastening your things, gently setting them down on the tiles beside her. While you wait, you edge closer to the window, squinting at the paper squares. Nuo has just started freeing herself from Cleaver when you start to hear boots stomping up wooden stairs.

    With desperate hand-signaling, you try to indicate to her that she needs to move. She watches for a moment before you crouch and start moving towards the corner of the roof, away from the window you landed in front of. With gritted teeth and a thought, you quiet the clanking from your metal armor and the weapons you are still carrying. Nuo starts moving too, but instead of going to the side she goes towards the window, dropping to one knee and then rolling onto her back right underneath it. Your sheathed sword thuds against the tiles underneath her.

    Inside, you see a dim glow rise against the paper in its frame, bouncing slightly – someone with a lantern has entered the office and is crossing the carpeting, walking slowly towards where Nuo lies. You draw one of your steel throwing knives, keeping your eyes on the light. The light stops at the window. The whole world holds its breath.

    With a soft clacking noise, the window slides open. A man pushes a paper lantern on the end of a stick out the window. You pull your arm back and prepare to throw, but Nuo is already in motion. You barely stop yourself from letting go of the knife as she sits up, grabs the man’s arm, and pulls him through the window onto the roof. The man gasps and lets go of his light. He and Nuo roll over once and then she is sitting on his chest, leaning into him, pushing both of her fists into the sides of his neck. His face quickly turns red in the fallen lantern’s glow while he weakly tries to pull at her arms. Then, after a few seconds, he goes still.

    Rising from your position, you carefully pick up the man’s light – amazingly, the paper shell didn’t catch fire – and bring it closer to Nuo and her victim.

    “It’s Wei,” you say, surprised. The clerk’s rumpled robes and ruddy complexion don’t disguise the care he took with his appearance. That mustache is very distinct. “Is he dead?”

    Nuo shakes her head. “No. He’ll wake up in a few minutes. Tch…” She looks at the open window into the dark office. “I knew we should have gone in on the first floor. This complicates matters…”

    Now what?
    • Leave, take Wei with you. There’s not enough time to search the office now – even if nobody else heard you, someone will surely notice Wei is missing before long. But Himitsu’s toady probably knows more than you could find by fishing through scrolls…
    • Stick to the plan and search the office. You could restrain and gag Wei, or just kill him while he’s out. Then you can investigate for however much time you have.
    • Abandon stealth. Assault the first floor from the stairs now, while surprise is on your side. Kill anyone standing between you and the magus and see what he knows at swordpoint.
    • Something else?
    (A description of what Nuo should do in any case is optional, but encouraged.)
    Last edited by semicasual; 08-16-2015, 03:18 PM.


    On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

    Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

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    • Stick to the plan and search the office. You could restrain and gag Wei, or just kill him while he’s out. Then you can investigate for however much time you have.

      Wei has little hostage value, but he may know something. He may even be clever enough to value his life, but let's not chance his calling for help. One of you goes through the office while the other keeps lookout (for people looking for Wei, for example). Whomever can read better searches!

      (if Nuo had hid, we could have waited awhile and done this at out leisure. However, balance that against the chance of Wei seeing something, and skip the debate.)
      Last edited by L'het'esh; 08-15-2015, 01:11 AM.


      Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
      An Exalt is never unarmed.

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      • ((I forget. Who is Wei? The guy from the wagon? ))


        I write things.

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        • >Hogtie and gag him, then search.


          "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

          "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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          • Tie and gag him, drag him inside, search him and the room. One of us should stay outside to watch for more witnesses... I guess if Nuo knows more about searching papers without leaving a trace, we can stand guard. Afterwards we can try to question Wei.


            I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
            Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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            • If I understand correctly, our blessings make us an excellent lookout. Have Nuo search quickly and efficiently. Then leave. Probably with Wei. If he turns out to know nothing, we can always have him turn up somewhere reeking of alcohol.

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              • Wei is the fellow who hired us, a steward of sorts. The driver was Li.


                Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
                An Exalt is never unarmed.

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                • Question Wei and see if he knows anything. Afterwards tie and gag him.


                  I write things.

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                  • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                    Question Wei and see if he knows anything. Afterwards tie and gag him.
                    He's out cold. Do you want to sit out here until he wakes up?


                    On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                    Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                    Comment


                    • No, let's not.


                      I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                      Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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                      • Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                        He's out cold. Do you want to sit out here until he wakes up?

                        Opps. Never mind. I need to reread the post before commenting.


                        I write things.

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                        • “We’ve got to be fast,” you say softly, offering the lantern towards Nuo. “Go through the desk, quick. Grab anything that looks important, and we’ll get out of here.”

                          Nuo frees herself of Cleaver, trading the sword for the lantern. She waves the light over the unconscious clerk. “What about him?”

                          “We’ll take him with us.” Nuo nods and moves away while you rearm yourself. You draw Lefty and start slicing up Wei’s robe, cutting free strips of expensive fabric. One strip ties his legs together, then you roll him over and bind up his wrists. Wei starts to squirm as you roll him over again. Before he can fully come to, you pry open his mouth and stuff a wad of cloth into it.

                          The shock is enough to stir him into wakefulness. Wei starts jerking this way and that, trying to talk around the gag. You grab him by the neck to hold him still and growl at him. “Give it up. If you make any noise, I’m throwing you off the roof.” He seems to get the point.

                          You look back over at the window to see how Nuo is doing. The lantern, now sitting on the desk, silhouettes her figure. She has gathered a small pile of scrolls on the desk plus one in her hands, but she’s looking at you, not the scrolls. When she sees you watching, she turns away and sets her scroll down with the others. A small black bag comes out of her pocket, a few documents vanish inside. When she’s finished, she douses the lantern, silently slips over to the window, hops outside, and slides the panel shut behind her.

                          “What did you find?” you whisper as she moves to your side.

                          “A day planner, some history about One Thousand Horses’ fortress, and a few other things we can read later,” Nuo whispers back. She points to Wei. “What about him? How do we get him down?”

                          You suck air through your teeth, thinking. “…In steps. I’ll drop down to first floor, you roll him off…“ At this, Wei gives a muffled yelp and starts squirming again. You gently punch him in the head. “-I’ll catch him, then you drop down. I’ll carry him and we both hop the back wall. Got it?”

                          Nuo says something, but your attention is drawn away by a commotion from below. You circle around the roof to look down on the yard.

                          A small mob has assembled in the street below – a group of twenty or so toughs, men and women, carrying torches and some cheap weapons1. The guards have barred the gates against the crowd and they are anxiously milling around the walls as if they expect people to start climbing over them. “Bring out the magus!” comes a shout from the rabble. “Burn the sorcerer!” “Murderer!” “We want Himitsu!” They’re not trying to beat down the gates yet, but you sense that it wouldn’t take much to set them off.

                          What do you do?
                          • Leave now. The mob makes for a good distraction, so slipping away unseen should be easy.
                          • Go over the office again. The guards’ attention is definitely elsewhere now, and maybe you can find something Nuo missed on the first pass.
                          • Move on to the first floor. You’re not leaving until you know, one way or another, whether the magus tried to kill you, and there’s one sure way to do that…
                          • Shoot an arrow into the crowd. If they think they’re being attacked, they’ll probably frenzy. What will happen after that is hard to predict, but you’re right at home in the middle of chaotic battles, so it’ll probably be favorable to you.
                          • Something else?
                          1
                          You know that law and order has broken down in a place when everyone is out with their wood-axes in hand.
                          Last edited by semicasual; 08-18-2015, 09:41 AM.


                          On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                          Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                          Comment


                          • The mob is probably sent by a political adversary, how else would thry know Himetsu is to blame? Plus, a real mob would number 50-100 or more.
                            Leave now.


                            Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
                            An Exalt is never unarmed.

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                            • Leave the building, but come after stashing the stolen goods back to observe the mob. Leave Nuo with Wei.


                              I write things.

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                              • While I wait for more votes on post #372, here's some more fine work from K.S. Brenowitz. I'll be adding these pieces to posts #174 and 216, respectively.
                                Last edited by semicasual; 08-18-2015, 02:39 PM.


                                On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                                Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                                Comment

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