Turn 1 Thread

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:14 pm

In the hubbub of Faruha's singing, and Laval and Mkuu Tendaji's smiling praises, Gracious and Vex can talk with relative subtlety if they lower their voices.

Vex is not good at small talk. He's a little anxious, perhaps a little intoxicated, and quite clearly wants something. Gracious decides to give him a helping hand.

"So, um, Vex, what's up, you know, what are you thinking? Come on, I can see it on the tip of your tounge - desire is strong in you, eh?"

"Well,” Vex begins awkwardly, “Uh. Laval said that you're a... chymist?"

"Haha! Yeah, that's right."

"You, uh, sell the chyms you make?"

"Oh, invariably, invariably."

"Well, you know. I was wondering..." Vex trails off.

"You in the market for something in particular, my friend?" Gracious smiles.

"I don't think so?” Vex responds honestly. “I mean, I don't really know what you sell. It's meant to be fun though, right?"

"Sure it is: but there's many KINDS of fun, you know."

"Oh."

"Do you want to feel up?” Gracious quizzes cheerfully, “Down? Bit sharper? Bit dimmer? Chyms can do a lot..."

Vex glances anxiously across the room at where Laval is. She is not looking his way. "Up? Sharper?"

"Do you want to think clear and high thoughts of pure reason?" Gracious offers.

Vex’s expression brightens slightly. "Yeah, that sounds pretty good."

Gracious looks, thoughtful. "... So what have you got to trade?"

Vex frowns. "Well. Uh. I've a little spare kit... I can fix up weapons...” He pauses. “What sort of things do you usually ask for?"

"So it really depends,” Gracious replies. “Money, often, but that's rubbish out here. Information's good. You could tell me a little of what your plans are, here... Or promise to help me out with something, actually..."

"What sort of something?"

"A task that will probably involve more than a little violence."

"Oh, sure." The words come easily. Only after speaking does he glance back at Laval again, looking momentarily uncertain.

"...are you all right, yeah?" Gracious asks.

"Yeah? Why wouldn't I be?"

"You just look... never mind." Gracious pauses. "I tell you what: let's see if I can get you want you want, first: I'll have to make it, that won't be easy - might need a hand getting some raw goods... If you like it, if it hits the stuff, you owe me a favour: if you really like it we can maybe arrange for you to buy a bit more."

"That... sounds really generous, actually." Vex sounds surprised, maybe even a tad suspicious.

"Look: it'll just be a sample,” Gracious reassures him. “But we're out in the middle of the desert and my supplies are dwindling; I just can't promise the sky, you know? You like the sample, you do me a favour, I get you some more, we start a relationship. Always works for me."

Vex nods. "Sure. I get it."

"Then let's drink on it."

Gracious raises a glass, and addresses the whole room. “A toast! To our kind host, to all of us as guests, to the Emperor!"

"To the Emperor!" the group responds.

"And to new friends!" the elderly Mkuu adds with a twinkling smile.

The meal begins to wind down, in all accounts a rousing success. Faruha, bolstered by the drink, tells the newcomers that they have already transformed their small village, and that she thinks them a gift of God. Everyone is in high spirits, and soon it is time for everyone to sleep.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:15 pm

[Though Laval has not yet done the deed, the making of the poison and her clear intent stains the soul. She gains 1 Corruption point (I'll edit the profile thread).

Edit: Excitedly (and perhaps problematically!), that means that Laval is mutating before the power of chaos towards the end of the dinner.

Your choice is a difficult one. Laval can turn Inside Out (the wrong choice) or between the two following:

Psuedo-Daemonhood: Laval partially ascends. It is powerful mechanically (Fear 4 but Warp Instability) but also obvious. OR

Intelligent Cyst: A growth appears on Laval's body and it is largely hostile, influencing Laval's actions. It is bad mechanically (whenever Laval fails an Interaction Skill Test, she fails by an additional 2 degrees) but subtle.

What do you choose?]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:35 pm

[I think it has to be the Cyst. They're all awkward for a social character, but I think that's the least problematic. >.<]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:49 pm

Throughout the meal, Laval is conscious of a strange heaviness and a dull pain in her stomach. For a few brief moments, she is terrified that she has somehow accidentally imbibed her poison, but reason tells her that she would be dead already. Nonetheless, she is sure that something is wrong. Within her grows something, something dark, something that reflects her true nature, despite her friendly words and mournful tears. Something within her knows what she plans, and has formed from that murderous intent.

What does Laval and Vex do as the meal dies down?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:07 pm

Fearful and uncomfortable, Laval first seeks comfort in Vex's company, but he is becoming increasingly drunk and somewhat obnoxious. She excuses herself from the meal a little early, looking for somewhere quiet in the dark where she can pray silently without disturbance, for the strength and flexibility to weather whatever change may be occurring.

Only when the noise of conversation has died down does she return, looking to sleep. She would quite like to catch Faruha alone, but recognises that this may not be possible until the morning.

Meanwhile, Vex makes conversation. Drink makes him boisterous, opinionated, and oblivious to whether he is rubbing anyone up the wrong way. Remembering bitterly his encounter with Kubwa's revolver, he asks frequently about the youths and their habits, and it is likely obvious to everyone that he is contemplating a rematch.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:26 pm

Immediately conscious of Vex's intentions, the elderly Mkuu avoids discussing details of the layabouts of the village, instead steering the conversation to other, less contentious matters. Nonetheless, Vex might figure that he knows all that he needs. Faruha notes that they never work about the place and smoke strange herbs in the night, and, in such a place as Imani, such individuals instantly stand out. Most hardworking citizens are resting at night or in their homes, whilst in the day they are in the fields or tending to their wares.

Seeing Vex is rather set on his intentions, Mkuu Tendaji attempts a more direct approach.

"Kubwa is young, and not wise like you and I, Vex," he smiles patiently, "Leave him be. I am sure that he will come around in the end." He offers his piece not as a command, but as a suggestion, and there is a slight resignation in the old man's eyes that Vex will ultimately do what he wants to do.

It is soon time for the group to settle down for the night, and though Laval does not get a chance to talk to Faruha before they sleep, there is a moment in the night where they are the only two awake. Laval is disturbed by the nagging hardness in her stomach, and, roused from slumber, wakes to see Faruha at the door, staring at the stars. Her curly, black hair rests against her slender shoulders, her frame slight but hardened by a difficult life. She doesn't notice Laval, and the young woman looks somewhat mournful, deep in thought.

[I'm heading to bed, but if your intention is to continue the Seduction, I'll accept your next post as happening today rather than tomorrow, when I'll respond to it.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:54 pm

[That is indeed my intent.]

Laval gets up quietly and goes to Faruha.

"Can't sleep?" She asks quietly. "Me neither. Want to talk about it?"

She intends to coax Faruha away from the sleepers to avoid waking them. She will listen patiently to any concerns Faruha is willing to share. If asked about her own troubles, she confesses that she feels a little ill. Though she is frightened, she attempts to make light of her worries, admitting that she's unused to goat's blood soup and suggesting hopefully that maybe it's merely an unsettled stomach.

Her true intention is to draw the conversation ever closer to the boundaries of heresy, exploiting that peculiar sense of unreality that often comes over one in the middle of the night. She speaks bitterly of the failings of the church, of the folly and the evil of extolling suffering as a virtue. Then, she speaks hopefully of the potential of humanity, of the possibility for change, for improvement, of the virtues of embracing what one is usually taught to fear. She stops just shot of mentioning the Dark Gods directly, but hints at the existence of alternate paths, alternate ways of seeing the world.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:14 am

It is not difficult to direct Faruha away from the sleepers - happy for the conversation, she has the same idea to avoid waking her father and Vex. The two women stroll into the main thoroughfare of Imani. The hour is very late, and even the disreputables of the village are long asleep. The sky is clear, displaying a tapestry of stars. The moon, bent into a crooked crescent, is yellowed and sinister.

"It is nothing, Laval," Faruha responds, but she continues nonetheless, soon opening up. She is deeply worried: worried for the state of the village, worried for her father's trip (if he does not return with that goat, Imani is in real trouble), worried about Kubwa, worried about Preacher Miriam Jung. Though the newcomers have brought her a happy few days, they have not inherently changed the fact that the village is doomed.

Laval listens to these negative portends, and finds it easy to turn the topic of conversation to how the church has failed to help Imani in its time of need. Faruha listens, but with growing confusion, perhaps even alarm. Laval senses that it is time to supplement the negativity with talk of hope, and a better way.

But when she tries, her stomach pulses, and the words do not come out. Instead, she says simply: "Imani is doomed."

Faruha, her spirits already low, cries angry tears. "Not while I am here," she declares stubbornly. Wiping at her eyes, she goes back into the Mkuu's hut.

[The second Test of the Seduction is failed. This (along with your previous success) will give modifiers to the final Seduction, and does not represent an absolute collapse the project.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:54 am

Dazed, Laval sits in the dirt. At first she is merely confused, too blindsided to know how to react to this sudden self-betrayal. Then she cries, frightened, still baffled, struck with a horror of something she does not understand. Of course, tears do not help, and in time they dry. Mute, puzzled, she returns to the hut and tries to get back to sleep.

Come morning, she puts the incident behind her, avoids Faruha and goes out early to gather more herbs. The work goes on. She has another poison to brew - this one far milder. Something to cause sickness and dizziness but no real harm, ideally that can be administered any one of a number of ways, but ingestible is sufficient.

Vex, hungover, is far less keen to wake early and get to work. Laval's methods bore him. She talks sweet lies, makes plans that she refuses to share with him, and he kicks his heels and feels useless. After he finally levers himself off the floor into wakefulness, he wanders the village, hoping to stumble across a fight. He's willing enough to work for his keep, but he can't wait for things to go down.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:05 pm

[I'm also spending 250xp on Vex to get him the first WP advance.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:11 pm

The new day comes with new possibilities, and though Laval's morning walk finds few choice herbs to assist her in her brewing, she has enough to put together something that will do the trick. She crafts the mild poison with skill, her attention to detail taking her mind off the horrors of the night before.

[Laval has crafted a mild poison that causes sickness and dizziness. When the poison is adequately crafted, someone imbibing the drug must take a Challenging (+0) Toughness Test or suffer 1 point of Fatigue per degree of failure. It can be administered in a variety of methods, but can be noticed by smell on a Challenging (+0) Awareness Test. However, Laval has passed by 5 degrees and so can enhance the drug 4 times. Each improvement can raised the difficulty of either the Toughness or Awareness Test by one.

In addition, the deadly poison is as follows. It can be administered in a variety of methods. Someone who consumes it must take a Very Hard (-30) Toughness Test or suffer 1d10 points of Toughness Damage per degree of failure. If this takes the character below half their Toughness, they are in a coma in need of serious medical attention; if the character falls to 0 Toughness, they die. The poison is hard to detect, and it therefore takes a Hard (-20) Awareness Test to do so.]

Hungover and somewhat grumpy, Vex wanders into the main thoroughfare of Imani. He quickly spots half a dozen of Kubwa's friends, who are giving him daggers with their eyes. Now late in the morning, the main street is largely deserted, with most villagers having gone to the fields to tend the goats, or crafting wares inside their homes. The miscreants have weapons, and one woman in particular is glaring at Vex, trying to intimidate him. They are not directly picking a fight, but if Vex was inclined, one could easily be sparked.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:36 pm

As Laval works, she recalls being approached by Twisby the night before. The strange, hulking thing had spoken in a surprising erudite (if odd) manner. They noted that they were crafting a device to help determine what, if anything, was affecting the goats. The crafting of the device requires a ritual element, and, given Laval is a wych, her presence would help in the endeavour. Moreover, Twisby asks Laval's advice for where would be a good place to conduct the ritual - they note that sometimes locals are unhappy with occultist rituals in their streets. How did Laval respond?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:31 pm

Laval contemplated denying her powers to Twisby, but did not in the end bother. She is willing to participate. She advised taking the ritual out of town into the wilderness a little, observing that the village is not actually very large and it is not difficult to find space.

****

[I'll spend the drug improvements 2 on each.]

After finishing her work with the new poison, Laval returns to the village. She runs through her plans in her mind, taking comfort as always in this small act of devotion.

The problem of the Mkuu is on hold while he is away.
To discredit Gracious in Faruha's eyes - nothing to be done for now, inconveniently.
To slay the preacher - nothing to be done for now.
To shift the blame onto Gracious - tricky, she has thought of nothing in particular, suspects she must play it by ear tonight.
To turn Faruha's heart from the Creed - needs further attention.
To sway the villagers at large - needs further attention.

These last two points, then, occupy her mind. Faruha she plans to speak to in the evening, after the woman has finished most of her chores but before Gracious' plan is set into motion. The people at large, then, to occupy the rest of the day.

As before, she will move among them, make what help of herself she can, and speak to them, getting to know them, speaking words of kindness and hope. She is bolder today, more critical of the established ways, striving to incite dissatisfaction and the desire for change.

****

Seeing their weapons, Vex hesitates to provoke the miscreants. He was up for a fist fight, but is aware that bloodshed might compromise whatever it is that Laval's trying to achieve. He has been promised combat tonight, after all. He settles for glowering back at them, unwilling to appear intimidated, but cautious nonetheless.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:18 pm

Laval's favoured position in the town is well established, and with the Mkuu out of town and Faruha largely absent, Laval has become some kind of authority. She finds the villagers sullen on the subject of the absent church, and more than a few speak confidentially on their dissatisfaction with Preacher Miriam. With her persuasions and incitements, the village is ready to see the light. If an established village authority agrees with Laval's message, or Laval performs some great act to finally establish herself as a permanent authority, an active minority will begin slowly swaying the entirety of Imani.

[Driving so many souls towards heresy earns Laval 1 Corruption Point.]

In the late afternoon, Faruha finally makes her appearance, having been somewhat sullen during the day. She approaches Laval, a little bashful, and with a smile notes that perhaps they had both had too much to drink the night before. Before Laval can formulate words of agreement, the damned pang sparks in her stomach and she speaks: "I wasn't drunk." There is an awkward silence, and the task of making things up with the young Swaad woman is made just that little bit more difficult.

Vex does not have much trouble from the miscreants: they are intimidated by tales of what happened to the last guy who tried to take Vex out, and aren't actively looking for trouble either. The two sides stare at each other, satisfying their stubbornness before getting on with their days.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:34 pm

Another moment of control lost. Baffling, frightening, a half-formed suspicion slowly growing in her mind. Laval struggles to put the unhappy thoughts aside, though something of her distress likely shows on her face. The silence drags while she regains control of herself.

"I'm sorry," she says. "I shouldn't have said such things."

She takes a minute or two to speak of more mundane things, of work and food and survival. But the tension of words unspoken is heavy in the air. She must speak. It is now or never.

"There is a better way. Please, let me show you?"

She wishes to take Faruha aside, to speak of hope and magic, and then, finally, frighteningly, of the Lord of Change. Of heresy. Of rebellion. Of freedom.

[Please spend one or both of my infamy points on key tests for +10.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:51 pm

Faruha frowns, and Laval takes a gamble, throwing caution to the winds of Chaos. She tells the Swaad woman of a way in which her people did not starve, in which they did not get sick, in which there is hope and things can change. When Faruha shakes her head and says that there are no such solutions, Laval goes even further: if those solutions seem magical, it is because they are.

Faruha seems absolutely horrified. She takes a step back, and is only Laval's kindness and earnestness that keeps her listening, keeps her from telling the others, keeps her from revealing Laval as a wych-sympathiser. There is nothing left to do, but to go the final distance, to speak of the Lord of Change.

"Tzeentch." Faruha repeats the word, trying it for the first time. She giggles slightly, as if she were a youngster trying out a swear. The very word changes her. But after a second, her expression of fear returns. She is so deathly afraid: of the church, of Preacher Miriam, of everything. She will not expose Laval's secret, and agrees to talk to her again, but needs time to process this barrage of information.

[Laval has made one Infamy Spend. She has succeeded at the third Seduction Test, but one more is required: the final Test, that shall take place tomorrow.]

Afterwards, it is time for Twisby's ritual. They and Laval make their way to the Swaadi wilds, over the low hills across the arid plains. Though some of the goats stray as far as these hills, Imani is not visible from the shallow valley, and the two heretics get to work.

Twisby produces a pendant of Slaanesh from one of their pockets, and reverently places it in a ritual pattern made up of torn up pages of unholy tomes. They arrange the pattern such that it resembles a splayed corpse, meticulously correcting for obscure anatomical details before their final satisfaction. Even at this point, a strange wind is beginning to form around the hills, and Laval pulls her cloak closer around her as Twisby begins to chant. Twisted words of a twisted mind spill out, extolling unreality to spill into reality and the realms to meld, and Laval lends her psychic power to the goal. Power coalesces, the veil begins to shift, and then...

Nothing.

The gods from beyond the veil mock the pair with their silence. Laval sighs, a little relieved, whilst Twisby looks around as if searching for some hidden detail. At least...

Twisby begins to convulse. Their hunched body contorts as they begin to scream, and then laugh, and then cackle, and then fall into absolute hysterics. Their body swells grossly, reams of fat and muscle gathering around their torso and limbs. To think that two mortals could try to play like gods. It is simply hilarious. And then, Twisby falls silent. Laval takes a step back, and warpflames begin to coalesce around Twisby's hands and eyes.

[Laval gains 5 Corruption Points and is frozen with terror. Fortunately, she snaps out of it before Twisby acts, but she is at -10 to all Tests in this Encounter.]

What does Laval do?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:08 am

Laval almost flees in terror. Fear has been a constant companion of late. But the iron voice of her faith tells her No.

Mutation. Warp. Change.
These are not things to run blindly from.

But they are things to be cautious of. She manifests, unfettered, casting her mind across the warp to Vex to form a Mind Link, to spill her fear, her half-formed thoughts on the situation into his thoughts, to request that he come to her.

She maintains her distance, ready to defend herself if the new Twisby turns out to be hostile, but still amenable to discussion if it is still itself.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:17 am

Laval reaches out to Vex and calls for aid. Nearby, but perhaps not close enough, Vex begins to run, intuitively knowing where to go to find his companion. 

The new Twisby turns towards Laval with a leering smile, warpflames collecting at the back of its mouth. It hefts up its power axe, its head sparkling into crackling life, as fires spill from its grin towards Laval. The flames barely miss her head, burnishing the ends of her hairs.

[Laval is in a combat situation: this thing is hostile. What is her approach to the combat?]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:37 am

Well, this has gone terribly wrong. There is no time to curse this betrayal - or accident - or wonder which it is. Maybe her first instincts were right after all.

She runs, towards the village, towards Vex. She fumbles her laspistol free of its holster, but dare not pause long enough to fire it. She runs, and she prays, the desperate plea for luck jumbled in with all the other thoughts as she projects everything that runs through her head frantically at Vex, hoping that he will be able to decipher the situation from her continuous stream of experience.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:48 am

Laval steps backwards to flee, but the stream of fire continues to spill from the monster's mouth. They envelop her body and burn terribly, cooking her within her armour, charring the flesh and stealing the air from her lungs. Gasping, she can barely run, and almost vomiting from the smell of her own skin crisping, she cannot get away fast enough. The Twisby-thing charges towards her, swinging its great axe in an arc of death, and Laval only just evades its fatal swing as her breath returns to her. She turns, and runs, running like she's never running before as fires whip past her head. The monster waddles after her, but it is slow, and Laval quickly outruns her pursuer. She meets Vex halfway, horribly injured, panting, and deathly afraid. Concerned villagers look up from their work, wondering what is going on.

[Laval is at -1 Wounds, but is alive. She meets Vex 60m from the village of Imani, the Twisby-thing in slow pursuit after her.]

What do Laval and Vex do next?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:02 am

"Help!" she gasps, not sure who she is calling to. Vex is the only one she can trust, and her voice already echoes in his mind.

Furious, raring for a fight, Vex interposes himself between Laval and the monster.

[Vex uses Doombolt as his weapon of choice, manifesting unfettered by default and pushing if things go really badly. He tries to maintain his distance and avoid closing. He is also armed with a neural whip.

Laval continues to fall back, staying well out of the range of the fire if she possibly can, but supporting Vex with fire from her laspistol if she has a chance to do so at minimal risk to herself.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:16 am

[Just a reminder that Vex will out himself as a wych to Imani: is this acceptable (or perhaps even desirable?)]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:18 am

[Not sure if desirable, definitely acceptable. Laval may or may not be pissed later, Vex gives zero shits right now.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:47 am

The battle is as desperate as it is heroic. The monstrous Twisby-thing advances up the hill, picking up speed, and, in his moment of fury, Vex unleashes the power of Chaos, stepping back from his target. Arcs of eldritch energy burst from his fingertips and eyes, black bolts of doom assailing the monster and ravaging into pieces. But still it advances, its very essence being stripped away by the rages of hellfire. Occasionally, Laval whips it with the crack of a laspistol, but its terrible form is nigh impervious to conventional weaponry, and this battle is to be won or lost on the heroics of Vex alone. 

The monster is almost vanquished, the daemon almost banished. But then, Vex reels as if struck by a crack of doom. For the smallest of moments, a fraction of the the Great Deceiver's plots includes Vex as a regicide pawn. For the smallest of moments, Vex feels the eyes of a god upon him.

It nearly destroys his soul. Something vast, something terrible, attempts to claw its way in, but with a fantastical feat of willpower, Vex drives it off. He has to protect Laval - he has to stop this monstrous Twisby-thing from unleashing its fires on his companion again. The outpouring of his powers is nigh continuous, blackening his soul and rendering the enemy to ash and fire. It is done.

And then, two cackling blue daemons emerge from the flames, and the fires begin anew. Vex blasts one apart, but the fires consume him, and he falls, screaming, burning... dying.

What happens next is a blur in Laval's mind. Her pistol empty, she charges forward to brave the beast's claws. Distracted by the woman directly before it, the daemon resorts to its claws rather than its warpflames, and Laval has time to reload her pistol before blasting the spirit to pieces. 

The battle is over, but Vex is not moving, and it seems that the cost has been devastatingly high.

[Vex has died, and must burn 1d10+8 Infamy if he wants to survive. He resisted a Grand Possession, and has suffered 16 (temporary) Toughness Damage. Moreover, he forever adds 10 to all rolls on the Psychic Phenomena Table, as his soul is now a direct conduit to the warp.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:53 am

[Will burn Infamy, that is way too cool not to play with!]

Laval runs to Vex, sobs over him, screams out her pain and his pain into the warp, her mind still frantically searching for his. Her burned fingers fumble for her medi-kit, learned skills taking over where reason fails, hoping against hope, praying for a miracle.

Jewelcast

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

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