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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Sounds like it might have been Tal, or Tal's rescuer (in the long flappy robe) that just left. And that Tal was working, at whatever remove, for Jacnudei. Revenge would require lopping Jacnudei's two faces off the one set of shoulders, but that action is worthy only of Nergui. No to confrontation.

    Find a better hiding spot and wait
    and maybe find one of those robes that Tal or whoever was wearing. That would cover the ashy skin.

    No to something else. Stay on target. Focus. Stick to the plan.


    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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    • Hmmmm, again I vote for hiding and waiting, I agree with the above comments

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      • Slowly, silently, you reach a hand into your satchel. You feel around inside until you find a coil of filament. You withdraw the coil as carefully as you retrieved it and unwind it.

        The filament is made of a tiny, smooth, transluscent substance, as fine as string but not made of fibers. Tiny as it is, you have seen that this filament is strong for its weight. Some time ago, you found many spools of it in an ancient storehouse. You kept a few spools for yourself, thinking that someday it might be useful to have tiny, lightweight, hard-to-see cords. Now is one such situation.

        Still hiding in Jucandie's blind spot, you let out some slack on the filament. Then, with a flick of your wrist, you send a loop of the cord sailing through the air. It passes behind Jucandie's back, below the gaze of his rear face. He does not react - you yourself can only see if you squint, so you are confident that he has noticed nothing. The loop catches on the edge of a rolled up scroll on the shelf behind him. You give the line a little tug, and the scroll jostles in its place. You tug a little harder, and the scroll falls from the shelf and flops onto the floor. You jerk the line and pull it back into your hand.

        Jucandie ceases humming. He does not turn around, like most creatures would. Instead, he tilts his head so that his rear face is turned down at the floor where the scroll landed, and his forward face is turned up towards the ceiling.

        You suck in a silent breath and dive for the table. While Jucandie is standing up, you are crawling underneath his desk. When he finally does turn around to step over to the fallen scroll, you are tucking in your arms and legs. And when he has finished replacing the scroll and returned to his seat, you are concealed in your position.

        And there you lie in wait, still but not relaxed, for the next few hours. Jucandie hums, writes, and periodically gets up to swap one scroll for another. Staying completely motionless for so long takes real concentration on your part. You focus on your breath and keep your joints locked.

        Finally, you hear the sound of gongs resounding throughout the building. Five tones in succession play a short downward scale. Before the first tone has finished, Jucandie sets down his brush. By the end of the fifth tone, he has departed through the open door. When the door shuts, you let out a sigh of relief and let your limbs slide out from under the table. You crawl away, climb to your feet, and stretch. Then you get to work.

        With no real idea of what to look for, you pull a scroll off the shelf - the same one you had pulled down previously. It looks and feels like a high-quality rice paper. You unroll the scroll and scan it. Sure enough, it contains a long, delicately penned script written entirely in gods' tongue. You frown as you pull your mask out of your satchel and wave it over the text.

        "Four hundred twenty-eighth Dog, day one hundred and eighty nine," intones the mask. "Sher Arya hath suffered exsanguination from sixteen cuts inflicted as a result of torture by Ovidiu Arn, interrogator for the kingdom of Iosif. Sher Arya was a member of the court of Iosif for twenty-six years before being accused of treason by Ovidiu. Hateful Lies, in whose dominion is Defamation, confirms this accusation is false. It is known that Ovidiu was Sher Arya's lover. Yessyra, in whose dominion is Illicit Affairs, confirms this relationship persisted between four hundred twenty-sixth Dog, day eleven, and four hundred twenty-seventh Dog, day sixty-six. Thus do I claim the end of Sher Arya in my dominion of Death-By-Treachery, and bid Fate to regard it accordingly."

        The text goes on to elaborate, in a disturbing level of detail, the circumstances of Sher Arya's death. You decide to stop reading once it becomes apparent that the rest of the text is a long-form repeat of the summary at the start. Then you replace the scroll and draw another from the shelf.

        This one reads: "Four hundred thirtieth Ox, day four. Min, Man, and Mun of the Yousun family, hath suffered failure of the heart following poisoning by their mother, Oyun..." The text goes on to explain how a woman murdered her daughters in what was apparently a fit of jealousy. It follows the same structure as the previous scroll. First comes a description of the manner of death, then the motivation for murder, and finally a claim of responsibility, naming other gods who could vouch for specific parts of the story along the way. Your frown deepens as you put the scroll back on the shelf.

        You turn your attention to the desk. Besides the scroll Jucandie was working on, now rolled up and set aside, there is a small stack of others in a little wooden tray. These are much smaller and shorter than those on the shelves, and seem to be made of something entirely different... something like pressed, colorless butterfly wings. You take one of the scrolls from the tray and read it.

        "Four hundred seventy-seventh Horse, day one hundred ninety-one," it begins, in a different hand than the scrolls on the shelf were written in. "We bid Jucandie, in whose dominion is Death-by-Treachery, to examine the end of Selekas, who hath died of sudden heart failure following being struck from behind with a dagger by Enedus, his brother. Consult all proper authorities for their knowledge of Selekas' passing. Then thou shalt mark Selekas' end as thy responsibility, else give it unto whosoever should bear that burden. Thus shall destiny be fulfilled - so it hath been written, so let it be done." That is the entire text. No name or further explanation is given.

        You replace the scroll on the tray, then unroll the larger scroll on the desk that Jucandie was working on. This one feels silky to the touch. The text is divided into two parts with a dividing line separating one lengthy part written along the bottom, in the same hand as the scrolls on the shelf, and one smaller part written along the top in no hand you have seen before. You wave the mask over the top part first.

        "From Fay Zenubius, spiritual adviser to the Prince and heir of Erahis, comes an invocation on behalf of the Prince - that he shall be protected from the malice of his kin, who envy his title, and that he shall in turn not be tempted to turn against his trusted advisers, whose influence he unrighteously fears. His offering is of the heart of a young goat, roasted with garlic, and a wreath of five-petal lotus blossoms."

        In turn, the longer part reads: "I hear this invocation, and grant the Prince the appropriate boons. First, that he shall not perish from any blade aimed at his back for one year. Second, that he shall not suffer from the madness of unjust fear for two years. Third, that there shall be no poison in his food for seventy-seven days. Fourth, that he shall not forget the faces of his friends for one year and thirty days. Fifth..." The test goes on at length describing blessings for this unnamed prince - some impressive, some less so. It finally concludes with "...and none of these boons will be held against Fay Zenubius, spiritual adviser to the Prince. All divinities who would challenge this decree must first seek audience with me. So it hath written - so let it be done."

        You roll up the last scroll and glance around the room, wondering what you should take.
        • Take scrolls from the shelf.
        • Take scrolls from the tray on the desk.
        • Take the other scroll on the desk and find more like it.
        • None of these.
        • Something else?


        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.

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        • Take scrolls from the tray on the desk.
          These were meant to be where they are, for action by brother 2, so placing them in the 3rd brother's office seems to be the goal....
          The scrolls on the shelf are already settled and who cares about the one on the desk? Some unknown prince in a (probably) far off land can have his boons.
          Last edited by L'het'esh; 09-16-2016, 08:39 PM.


          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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          • Take scrolls from the inbox. Surely that will be more damaging to Jucandie......
            Last edited by KFinigan; 09-17-2016, 12:02 AM. Reason: Double posted..

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            • The scrolls in the tray on the desk would seem to be what you are looking for. You pull several of them from the stack. Oddly, the stack does not appear any smaller than before. You ignore that mystery for the moment and focus on the scrolls' contents. The mask goes to work.

              The first scroll you read is the one you drew before."...to examine the end of Selekas, who hath died of a sudden heart attack..." That fits Jacnudei's description. You set Selekas' scroll aside and read another.

              "...the end of Babbling Brook, who hath died of starvation while imprisoned by..." No. Too slow and predictable. Babbling Brook goes back in the tray.

              "...Rogar the Red, who hath died from being hung by the neck..." you read on to see if Rogar was strangled or had his neck snapped. It turns out he was strangled, which definitely disqualifies him. Rogar returns to the tray.

              "...Widad ibn Nima, who hath died from drowning..." You consider that one for a time, but eventually decide that if being choked to death by a rope is not good enough, then neither is drowning. Widad's is another scroll for the tray.

              "...Steady-Hand, who hath died from sudden immolation..." 'Sudden' immolation sounds promising. When it turns out that Steady-Hand was killed by some sort of fire-spewing weapon, you decide that his story is good enough. You place his scroll next to Selekas'.

              And so you sort through the seemingly endless pile of Jucandie's scrolls until you have twenty likely-sounding candidates that Jecaidun, of Death-by-Surprise, might be interested in. The rest of the tray is now disorganized and out of order, which suits your purposes. You bundle up your prize with twine and pack it away.

              Now you need to figure out how to leave. The stone sliding door is shut, and there is no obvious means of opening it. The gods and the one-eyed greeter were able to open these with a wave of their hands, but nothing happens when you try to mimic their gesture. You could break through it, but you do not want to resort to that unless you must. So instead you sharpen your senses, locking for hidden locks or secret signs - there are none. You focus and try to see beyond, looking for invisible spirits near or within the door - there are none. You try pushing on the door, knocking on the door, and barking orders at the door to no effect. Then you try all of those things again, this time more forcefully and with the weight of your Blessing behind every action.

              By now your mark is glowing. Your forehead is warm, and you can see room is much more brightly lit from you standing in it. Frustrated and running out of ideas, you try waving your hands at the door again, willing it to open, imagining it opening...

              The door opens. For a moment, you thought you saw another arm, another hand reaching out from you and lifting the door. But there is no sign of extra limbs about you now. Confused, you exit Jucandie's office and try to will the door shut the same way you opened it. The door closes.

              There is no one around to see, but even so you focus on dousing your mark. Once it goes dark, you let out a breath. Then you move on, looking for the next office. The halls somehow feel even quieter than before - it seems that many of the gods in this temple have left. You eventually find Jecaidun's office a few corridors over from Jacnudei's, encountering no one along the way.

              You listen at the door and hear no one inside. Then, confident that you will not be observed, you breathe in and ignite your mark. The door opens by your will, and you let yourself in.

              This office is just like the last two you visited - uncannily so1. Now, you need to stash the scrolls you have already taken somewhere where Jecaidun cannot find them, but Jucandie can...
              • Hide the scrolls in the tray on the desk. They will be perfectly camouflaged in the pile with the others.
              • Hide the scrolls on one of the shelves. These stacks are deeper than they look - you could pack the bundled scrolls behind some of the larger ones.
              • Hide the scrolls under the mat. If you flatten them out, you could pack them under the mat beneath the table with no sign of their presence.
              • Something else?
              1
              Either every single god's office in this temple is the same, or these brothers have more in common than they'll admit.
              Last edited by semicasual; 09-19-2016, 05:30 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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              • ((Are the scrolls disorganized as the office you just left? Basically, I'm asking if it is the exact same office. )


                I write things.

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                • Not in the tray, they may be found too soon. Does the tray look out of place with the papers under the tray? If no, under the tray.

                  If yes, under the mat.


                  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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                  • We were told the scrolls should not be found casually but turn up on a dedicated search, so under the mat seems like the best option to me.


                    Are you in the market for some Martial Arts? Perhaps some custom Artifacts for your campaign?

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                    • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                      ((Are the scrolls disorganized as the office you just left? Basically, I'm asking if it is the exact same office. )
                      No, this office's tray looks undisturbed.


                      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 inbox doesn't work for our instructions. Under the mat seems to be where you would place something you wished to be thought of stolen and therefore too obviously planted. I suggest we use the shelves....

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                        • Originally posted by KFinigan View Post
                          The inbox doesn't work for our instructions. Under the mat seems to be where you would place something you wished to be thought of stolen and therefore too obviously planted. I suggest we use the shelves....

                          I agree with the shelves. Also, since things seem to be winding down at the office, the god may come back to sleep on his mat. He may be sensitive enough to notice the scrolls under his bed.


                          I write things.

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                          • You take the tray of scrolls off the desk, then kneel down and carefully lift the desk off the floor. Taking note of the indentations in the mat where the legs once rested, you set it down again a few feet closer to the back wall. Then you roll back the mat and pull Jucandie's scrolls from your satchel. At first you think simply to squash the whole bundle, but you quickly realize that could leave a visible lump beneath the mat. Besides, this strange paper feels brittle, and might not survive being folded and crushed. So instead, you untie the bundle, unroll each sheet, and lay them side by side, flat against the stone floor. Then you roll the mat back over them, leaving no visible sign of their presence. After you move the desk back and replace the tray, the room looks as if you had never touched anything.

                            With Jucandie's scrolls hidden, the only thing left to do is to steal orders from Jecaidun that suggest both betrayal and a lingering death. As before, you start pulling scrolls from the tray on the desk and read them with your mask, one at a time.


                            "Four hundred seventy-seventh Horse, day one hundred ninety-one," it reads. "We bid Jecaidun, in whose dominion is Death-by-Surprise, to examine the end of Ren Luka, who hath died from being struck by lightning..." No, not that one.

                            "...examine the end of Mahlah, who hath died of sickness borne on oysters prepared by his own hand..." That is a lingering death, but no betrayal was involved. You pass on to the next scroll.

                            "...end of Hana Hanae, who hath died from blood loss after being struck by a stray arrow launched by her sister..." That sounds better. You set Hana's scroll aside.

                            "...Othmar, who hath died from a broken neck, which was caused by falling down the stairs of his home..." You nearly discard that one, but a more careful read shows you that Othmar had a habit of sleepwalking, that the stairs were normally gated off specifically to prevent somnambulant accidents, and that Othmar's wife had not shut the gate that night. An interesting story1 of betrayal, but not lingering death.

                            "...Ghaji, who hath died from starvation and lack of water, after being locked into the cellar of his friend and neighbor, Nafisa..." You take Ghaji's scroll to keep.

                            The sorting takes much longer this time. Most of the scrolls Jecaidun has lack one or both of the qualities you are looking for. But with time and patience, you find twenty scrolls that will meet Jacnudei's demands. You try to put back the rest in the tray in roughly the same order you found them. When you have finished, you bundle up your take and prepare to leave. But something stops you - a a twinge of paranoia that stops you from simply opening the door and walking out. Instead you put your ear to the door and listen.

                            Your instincts were right. You hear footsteps in the hallway, accompanied by a jingling noise. Slowly but surely, the steps come closer until you guess they are right outside the door. Then they pause.

                            What now?
                            • Hide again. Bolt under the table.
                            • Prepare to escape. Move to one side of the door and wait. If the door opens, wait for whoever is on the other side to step through and then bolt out behind them.
                            • Prepare ambush. Move to one side of the door and wait. If the door opens, grab whoever is on the other side, drag them in, and beat them unconscious.
                            • Act like you belong. Open the door and walk out like nothing unusual is happening.
                            • Something else?

                            1
                            There's something fascinating about the last moments of someone's life... for some people, anyway. You almost wish you had time to read more of these.



                            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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                            • Prepare to escape. Move to one side of the door and wait. If the door opens, wait for whoever is on the other side to step through and then SNEAK out behind them. They are not expecting anybody in the office after hours, if they are entering at all. (Of course they are entering. It's a web-quest.) The can always be attacked, if necessary....


                              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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                              • Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                                [COLOR=#222222][FONT=arial] [COLOR=#222222][*]Prepare to escape. Move to one side of the door and wait. If the door opens, wait for whoever is on the other side to step through and then bolt out behind them.
                                We managed to slip into the other god's office on the back of someone going out WHILE said god was sitting at the table. This should be a piece of cake.


                                Are you in the market for some Martial Arts? Perhaps some custom Artifacts for your campaign?

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