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I'm so tempted to ask "Quickest/Safest" again for Owls and Flood, but I only just asked before... I'm guessing it's too contextual an ask anyway
[Look Closely: 2d6+2 = 6, 2, 2 = 10]

- What is going on here? What do my senses tell me?
- Tell me about the bell - Could it hurt me? How could it help me?
- What will happen if, instead, we tried to get out of Dodge? ... or just me?

(Lucien's so fucking done right now. Thrown himself on a sword just for Ailee to swallow it anyway. Feels like the Below equivalent of having walked into an island village, and she keeps doubling down on being sacrificed to the Volcano-God.)

("Excuse me? Volcano God?"
"I bet I could take him"
"What Volcano God?"
"Take me to him I want to fight him"
"When you say Volcano God-"
"Shut your backwater inbred mouths and let me fight your volcano god!"
)
I'm fucking howling, I can't breathe from laughing so hard
Thank God Lucien is smarter than his player, I would have just done the floorboards.

Lucien steps in front of Ailee - and more importantly between Ailee and the things Ailee is mad at, for the moment - and grips the end of the walking stick lightly.

"If you're worried about a fire, the last thing I would be doing is stoking it." Not even going to look at Ailee's expression right now, imagining it is bad enough. "Look, my friend here isn't a fool, trust me, she's very smart, and wise, and powerful. And angry. I'm an idiot that got pushed into a broom cupboard. I don't want to waste her time with my embarassing ignorance. So, could you explain this to me first, treating me like the know-nothing idiot that I am, while she gets us something to eat*, maybe something good to drink**?"

*if anything here is edible
**within given definitions of 'good'

I'm all for getting out of here fast, but it sounds like this might be important in helping us pick the direction. But, you know, does Ailee really need to stand here and handle the abuse to get it? Probably not.

One of us doesn't have Pride: INFINITE on our character sheet.
First thing's first, if his hands are unbound he's going to remove the hood.

Party's over.

Talk Sense: [(5, 5)+2 = 12]

"Listen! Things just got made simple for us. It's a lot easier talking sense into a mage than a mob. They didn't lock us in with the bloody dog-thing, did they? Let's see if we can't ask why they're all scared of rats in the first place..."

Pause. Think.

Door will open outwards. Easier to break open, means we can't hide Ailee behind it when it's opened, means that the 'jam a chair under it' trick would work against us. This is a wagon, so there's also down through the wooden floor? It'd be too dark to see under there. I'd have to trust Ailee not to just run while I'm distracting them, though... I'll take those odds.

"I've got plans. The folk are mad, but they still want to talk. Absolute last resort, I think we could fight our way out of here, but I don't know how we'd get much further than the door. Do you want to do this the honest way, or chance some parlour magic?"

Moment of truth; Do we chance Ailee hiding under the floor, or is it better to keep her front and center with her hands up while we talk fast? Pretending she escaped is going to make them angrier, but it buys time since they're already angry. It'd probably be easier on Lucien to be honest, but probably safer for Ailee to hide.

I think this officially counts as certain that something's gone wrong? What's the safest way out of here, and the quickest?
Asking out of character so as not to break the flow: Any chance I could get a bit more information about what just happened, or is happening? I think I'm more confused than I'm supposed to be - I'm not even sure if I've also been put in the broom closet as well, right now.
Oh, thank God. They crossed the line first. I can relax again.

Lucien's going to watch Ailee's back and keep his eyes peeled. Sudden moves from the others, hands reaching under countertops, people trying too hard not to make sudden moves, that sort of thing.

He feels he no longer has a dog in this fight, as it were. But he will take his flask off Ailee and make a show of tucking it back into his shirt, keeping his hand near the hidden revolver. Probably won't need it. This is mostly listen and think time.

All yours, "Archmage". Have fun.
Would you believe that owl is the squab of the Underneath? It'd be a lie, but it sounds like it could be true, and if you say it with enough confidence, and bring enough salt and pepper with you...

In one of Lucien's pockets - unfortunately, his pants pockets - he has some sticks of owl jerky. That's probably what the ratter is snuffling. This thing might have teeth like sawblades, but the strips are hard as boot leather. It might still buy some time.

It's a shame, really. Anything short of doing that to the meat wouldn't be enough to disinfect- wait.

As he holds the strips out over the creature's weasel-nose; "Ailee, I think they think you're a rat. Would you please, without making any sudden movements, grab the flask from my shirt and souse yourself in it? This rude little thing doesn't like the smell of you, so it might be better to smell like something else for a bit."

Then, louder, to the bartender; "This is all going to come across as a good joke I'm sure, but if you can't bring him to heel before he starts biting, the Archmage might have to ruin it for everyone. So let's call it now, while we can all still laugh about it?"

It seems too slow to get pedantic on the difference between a mouse and a rat, if they'd care about that anyway. Let's speak softly and carry a big stick instead, if Ailee's already gone to all the trouble of showing off.

EDIT Wait. If these are catfish, and the tails have scales, does that mean they hate... ratfish?
Of course, Ailee, of course.

Something's immediately wrong about this. The bloody terrier-thing reveals itself for our entry? And it hasn't attacked the piscine locals yet? I might be about to shoot somebody's overly-excited pet that was just interrupted eating offal.

[Rolled a 7 to Look Closely - and I'll think I'll add quickly to that. Three questions, and a hard answer.]

Lucien uses the moments it wasn't going for him to scan the room quickly. Why did this thing wait for us, and not attack them instead? What's their reaction to this happening? How dangerous does the terrier really look? In short; Is this an ambush, or a misunderstanding?

He has two pockets to reach for - One has snacks in it, the other the pistol. He turns his shoulder to the terrier-thing and twitches towards one of them. If he's not sure about this, if he's about to learn something the hard way, he'd rather take the bite than make the shot. It's easier to treat a wound than raise the dead - unless the locals look just as hostile.

[Just in case my hunch is wrong; I rolled a 6+0 on Overcome.]

And if it is a bad bite... well, someone is going to have to be very sorry to him about this. Ailee, at the very least.
I'd like to hesitantly nominate my four Bonds with Ailee and Jackdaw - The train-eggineer terrifies me, and I have very good reasons to not like anything telepathic, so I'm really not sure how to get a read on Coleman yet even though I adore their concept;

Squire Bonds:
I've bailed Ailee out of trouble more times than I can count.
"Never a dull moment."

Jackdaw is always willing to listen to me, even when no one else has time - I have a very strong idea of Lucien holding one sided conversations at Jackdaw using the pauses where they try to think of what to say to answer their own questions.
"Surely they can't mean-?"
"-"
"No. You're right, of course. They would. But the real question is, is it to their advantage, or to ours?"
"-"
"Mm. Of course, never assume you have the advantage - Try to be certain, and never be certain of your certainty...
"-"
"Jackdaw, I have no idea what I'd do without you. This could have been a disaster."


And, in the true fashion of a human diplomat in a fantasy setting, I'd like to take one bond from the Elf and one from the Dwarf playbooks;

Jackdaw defeated me in a game of Scrabble and I still cannot believe it.
It wasn't even close, honestly.

Ailee is my drinking buddy.
"I'd like to let you in on a little secret to these formal events. Always ask for your glass to be topped up every three sips, make sure you always have something to nibble on with it, and nobody can tell how much you're really having. Well. For a while, anyway."
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