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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:10 am

[Vex loses 14 Infamy. However, Vex gains 2 Infamy and 11 Corruption Points. Laval gains 1 Infamy and 4 Corruption Points. I've edited the profiles.

As a result, both Vex and Laval mutate. Vex gains tentacles that replace his left hand fingers (+10 to Grapple Tests), and cannot choose otherwise due to having gained a mutation as per a 'Failure'. Laval has the following choices:

Warp-Touched: Having been touched by chaos, Laval develops a mental disorder.
Warpsight: Laval sees the souls of mortals and the gathering warp-beasts that coil about them, rather than traditional sight. She gains +10 to all Awareness Tests, but -10 to all Scrutiny Tests as she can no longer see facial expressions.
Wreathed in Chaos: The warp so infuses Laval that it leaks from her very pores and coils from her eyes, nose and mouth. She gains +10 to all Interaction Tests with Disciples of Chaos, and +10 to Intimidation towards everyone else.
Re-Roll: Another roll on the table, with a new set of options (though the second result stands).

What do you choose?]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:18 am

[Second set of options (that don't have to stand):

Slayer Limb: One of Laval's weapons fuses with one of her arms.
Strange Voice: Laval occasionally has a deep intimidating voice, or else has a comical, weedy voice that makes no one take her seriously.
Additional Limb: Laval grows an additional limb.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:27 am

Vex opens his eyes, bringing his hand up to wipe the sweat from his eyes. The fingers have transformed into fleshy tendrils, and he looks at them with the mildly confused daze of someone who has almost died and perhaps still thinks he has. Laval almost chokes with relief. The mutation is problematic, but it is at present only a secondary concern. 

[Vex heals 5 Wounds, and so is at 5 Wounds.]

Laval glances over to the village of Imani, the village she has saved. In the chaos and confusion of her own battle, she has failed to see the chaos that has erupted in the village. Almost half of the villages are dead. Dozens of them look like they have rotted from the inside, or flies have erupted out from bloated stomachs. Faruha looks shocked, but is alive, and the remaining crowds look either to Gracious (standing in their centre) or in the direction of Laval on the hill. There is no sign of Preacher Miriam.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:50 am

[Heck, I choose Wreathed In Chaos. It's way too cool not to choose, problematic or no.]

Laval stands. Fear and pain ebb, temporarily displaced by relief and amazement. Some deep, reckless part of her sings with exultation at the thrill of having been so close to so much warp energy and lived.

And then there is anger. Did she walk into a trap? Was this the plan all along? There is Gracious. Her eyes narrow.

Behind her, Vex sits up. Memory floods back, and he begins to laugh. To feel the gaze of a god? Of the Changer of Ways, above all others? To channel so much power, to ride the tides of the warp itself? It is a blessing beyond imagining. A terrible, searing blessing. Its absence leaves a hole in his soul. And he cannot help but laugh.

Laval walks down from the hill, towards the crowd. Every movement is an effort not to succumb to the pain of her burns, but her will is strong and she holds her head high.

"Gracious," she snarls, "Have you betrayed me?"

She does not wait for an answer, flexing her mind and pushing her thoughts towards his as soon as she is close enough. No subtlety now, she is too raw in body and mind for that.

[Aiming to manifest Mind Probe unfettered on Gracious. Going as deep as I can. Particularly looking for whether he intended the encounter with Twisby to end badly for Laval, or whether he is otherwise betraying her.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:05 am

Laval approaches the village just as Gracious is on his way to her, whistling happily as he goes. Behind him is a state of horrifying devastation. Faruha and him have got the living out of the way to the other side of the village, plying them with herbal tea, and though they look fearful, they are calmer. The dead, however, have not died well. Large, buzzing flies hover around the burst bellies that they have gestated from. Entire rolls of black, rotten skin has sloughed off some unfortunates to collect in disgusting, fatty piles. The place stinks of disease and death. Imani has been dealt a terrible blow this day, but the remnants look to Laval and Gracious.

Gracious smiles at Laval, but Laval reaches out with her thoughts to probe his mind. He frowns slightly, and Laval feels a reflexive resistance to her powers, a wall against her thoughts. Undeterred, she reaches forth again, but Gracious first has the chance to respond.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:12 am

He doesn't. He maintains his smile, and this time, when Laval reaches forth, she finds no resistance. 

The man before you is named Gracious Obscura, and he is in a cheerful mood, uninjured and relaxed. Pushing deeper, Laval finds that the actions of Twisby were not planned, and certainly not Gracious' design. However, perhaps disturbingly, there is the thought that it would have been neater had Laval and Vex been killed, even if that was never Gracious' goal. Corruption clings to the heretic, an illusion of normalcy stripped bare by Laval's psychic power. 

Pushing deeper still, echoes of recent memories flicker in Laval's mind. She sees how Gracious is corrupting Kibwa, plying the miscreant with obscura to bend the young man to the heretic's will. She sees Gracious putting together a nootropic for Vex, gleefully crafting it to leave Vex as susceptible as possible on the comedown. She sees how Preacher Miriam used the turn of Twisby to break the village into worship of Nurgle, revealing a three-ringed pendant, and that she very nearly succeeded if not for Gracious' speeches. She sees the Preacher turn villagers into rotten meat, driving her sword through others as they exploded into pus and gore. She sees how the Preacher is torn apart by the townsfolk, at heavy cost, while Gracious watches from the sidelines. She sees that Gracious shares approximately the same prestige as herself before the cults and the gods. 

She pushes further still, but as things get more and more personal, Gracious may yet resist. Unless she chooses to stop there?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:24 am

Regardless of her decision, Gracious suddenly begins to feel uncomfortable and exerts his will again. Still weakened from her fight against the daemons of Change, Laval's mind is thrust out from the heretic and they are left, awkwardly staring at one another.

[Are you free for an Interaction?]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:56 pm

Gracious and Laval stare at each other, enjoying an awkward silence. On the hill, Vex slowly picks himself up, whilst in the village, nervous individuals drink herbal tea and try to ignore the bloody, pus-laden horror show of the main thoroughfare.

As Gracious rebuffs her from his mind, Laval relaxes. Relief spreads visibly across her face, followed by pain and exhaustion.

"Thank you," she manages.

"...I am a creature of lies and corruption, yeah, but I don't exactly hide that; and I have my specific methods. ...and they aren't... whatever this is. What happened?"

"Your fr- Twisby.... mutated." She gestures back vaguely toward the hill where Vex is pulling himself together. "Attacked us."

"...by intent?"

"Didn't have time to check."

"Like, uh, you know, I don't understand these things at all. Twisby's dead, then?"

Dead? She is not certain. Near enough, she supposes. "Or.. gone?"

"Did you see what happened in the village?" Gracious asks. She nods.

"Yes. Thank you. For saving them."

"Ha! Are they not what we're here for, in any case? And I was hardly going to let despair claim them..."

"Still."

"There's a lot of work to be done, yeah, um, a lot of dead- lots of rotten - it's bad, you know, it's bad. I've got Sten trying to keep the survivors calm..."

"Yes. We shou-" As she tries to look around, she flinches in pain, staggers momentarily, losing her train of thought. "... we should clean up."

"...you, don't, uh, you don't look peachy yourself..."

"Burned. I'll live."

"And what of your friend? Wych too, is he? Didn't hurt himself too much?"

Laval looks round. Vex has dusted himself off and appears to be studying his left hand in fascination, flexing fingers that no longer look quite like fingers.

"Ah... the blessings of the gods upon him..." Gracious comments. After a moment's pause, trying herself to parse exactly what happened, she responds.

"He lives too, by the grace of the gods."

"You saw, in my mind, the drug he asked me for?"

She nods. "You intend to take advantage of him." There's only the faintest disapproval in her voice, if that. Mostly she sounds tired.

"Obviously, obviously, but that's a reflex."

"Of course."

"Perhaps you should think about why he asked for it in the first place... unless you already know?"

She knows, of course. But she is too exhausted, too hurt for this verbal fencing.

"I feel like we have other imminent concerns."

"Yes; but I've done all I can already. Really, really, I'm just idly chatting while you pick yourselves up... If you're ready, let's go."

"Certainly."

"In the short term, let's try and make these people feel safe again. United, undivided... they beat that thing. Teach people to have faith in themselves, rather than the Corpse God... it's amazing what else they can have faith in."

"Can we agree to share?" She glances back at Vex, flinching again at the motion.

"I find hope and change rather walks hand in hand with a good time for all. Often, anyway. ...I don't suppose you picked my pendent up from... probably not. Yes."

She smiles at the affirmation, then shakes her head. "The remains are up there on the hill, if anything survived Vex..."

"Perhaps I'll walk up and pay my last respects. They were a good egg, I think."

"Be my guest."

As Gracious sets off up the hill, Laval looks to Vex.

"Vex," she calls, voice cracking painfully as she tries to raise it, "Get down here."

He goes to her, supports her as she finally gives herself permission to lean on him. The two walk towards the villagers, towards Faruha, to offer comfort, to seek comfort.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:22 pm

The injured pair limp past the scenes of horror, and though Laval's mind is too exhausted to consider the medical risks posed by the devastation, her third eye sees all too clearly the existential threat posed by supernatural disease. 

Faruha comes to greet them both, and, seeing that Laval is badly injured, takes over from the stumbling Vex to get her to a chair. The villagers flock nervously about the pair, for they know that their lives have been saved by the two heretics. But they soon recoil in disgust and fear. Vex's fleshy finger-tentacles are a clear sign of mutation, and some villagers whisper that he unleashed dark magics on the top of the hill. Meanwhile, dark energies spool from Laval's eyes and pores, wreathed in chaos and the promise of damnation. But Faruha shakes her finger at them.

"Why do you recoil?" she demands. "These two saved your lives, and you treat them this way!"

The matter is not settled, but the people of Imani are tired and have no stomach to fight another wych at this time. Their faith is badly shattered, for the only preacher in the village has turned out to be an arch-traitor, and they barely know what to think. Faruha sits down beside Laval, biting her lip. Laval can see that the lip is already bleeding, from where Faruha has bitten it too hard.

"Gracious gave us the strength to destroy the preacher," Faruha tells her. "And you and Vex gave your strength to save us all. I don't know what to believe, what to think on all these terrible things, what to think of the way your bodies have shifted and changed... but I know that in our hour of need, the Church betrayed us." 

"Tell me more of Tzeentch, Laval, if you have the strength. Tell me how there can be hope, when so much has been lost, and so little is left."

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:13 pm

And so she speaks. Not just to Faruha, but to everyone who will listen. But most of all, to Faruha.

"Tzeentch is change. Tzeentch is the mutability of fate. Tzeentch is the will to raise ourselves up.

"The Creed teaches fear and stagnation. The Creed imprisoned you in poverty, taught you despair and left you vulnerable to the forces of Disease and Despair. The Creed sucked your village dry and abandoned you! But you are not powerless. You are not alone!

"The Architect of Fate sees all things. And to those who follow the path, He grants power. He granted us the strength to overcome the monster. He saved us from death! Where there is life, there is hope. Nothing is set in stone. Everything may change. Even now, when all seems lost, we have the will, the strength to make ourselves anew."

[I'd like to spend another Infamy point for +10, please.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:52 pm

[Laval uses her final Infamy spend for this week.]

Faruha nods, and Laval can see that her words have moved the young, Swaad woman. There are few murmurs among the crowd: murmurs of agreement from those Laval has spoken to the day before, but also murmurs of discontent from those more stubborn in their loyalties to the church. Faruha stands, and addresses them all.

"What Laval says is true. The Makuu, with all its power and influence, is so close, but has left us to sicken and die. The one preacher that the Church has sent us was a monster, and so many of our friends and family have been killed by her evil ways. Imani has been dying for many months, my friends, and we need a change."

She swallows, finding her strength. "We have been taught from the cradle that magic is wrong, that magic is evil. But were it not for Vex's magic, we would all be dead. Is it wrong that we are alive? Is it evil that we might still breathe, and eat, and have water?"

"Our new friends are not alone. They have the protection of Tzeentch, a spirit who cares, and intervenes in the lives of Man. Tzeentch will not leave us to despair. Tzeentch will not leave us to die."

Her words are bolstered by your own, and, being the only authority still in the village of Imani, she is listened to. The villagers that remain embrace the power of change - of Chaos - and renounce their ties to the corpse on a prince's throne.

Yet the corruption is not absolute. An old woman stands, clutching at a wooden Aquila around her neck. 

"This talk will damn us all!" she screams. "You, Faruha, are a heretic! Traitor!"

The woman who was glowering at Vex just half a day ago rolls her eyes, looking bored. She pulls a gun and aims it at the old lady's head. There is time to intervene, but now is a critical point for Imani and the slightest of actions at this moment will guide the specific form that the village's heresy will take. Are the unrepentant faithful of the Emperor to survive? 

[Laval has completed her Seduction of Faruha. She gains 4 Infamy (and thus now has one extra Infamy Spend for the week).]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:11 pm

Laval wants to intervene. There has been too much death here already, and she wants to foster hope, not further loss... But they are at war, and she has a mission, and these people must be her tools against the forces of the Imperium.

She does nothing.

"Every death is a tragedy," she declares when the deed is done, "But we must stand united in this. The Church will despise us for rejecting their lies, and we must stand strong. We will overcome!"

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:32 pm

The stub revolver fires, striking the old woman in the back of the head. She crumples, her wizened hands clutching at the floor as she attempts and fails to pick herself up. The shooter stands up, methodically makes her way through the shocked crowds, and empties the rest of the magazine into the woman's elderly body. 

[Laval and Vex gain 1 Corruption Point each. Bear in mind this means that Laval can now re-roll Tests, and add 1 Degree of Success to Tests.]

There is a shocked silence as the shooter shrugs, and makes her way back to her seat. No one speaks out, and the message is clear. A new order has come to Imani, and those who challenge it will die.

It is rather late: the sun is setting red across the sky. Does Laval has any business before sleep, and waking up to a new Imani?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:44 pm

Laval and Vex return to Faruha's home, leaning on each other for support. Though she wants dearly to sleep, Laval knows that she must not, not yet. She delves deeply into her medi-kit for supplies to soothe her burns and Vex's, to shield the raw tissue from infection. Only when she has done everything she can for the pair's wounds does she allow herself to sleep.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:58 pm

There is not much Laval can do with Vex until her last pass at trying to salve his burns has been given time to do its work. However, she checks to ensure that the salves are properly applied, before turning to ease her own pain. The slightest touch of the burns feels like her skin is being charred anew, and she grits her teeth from the pain as she gets to work. Despite the agony, despite having to perform the treatment on herself - always a difficult prospect - she does an impressive job, and by the time she is finished, she feels much better.

[Laval heals herself for 7 Wounds, and so is at 6 Wounds.]

The two rest, injured, tired but alive. They rest with the remnants of Imani. Darkness falls over the village at its people. Its inhabitants have uneasy dreams of grinning, crescent moons and shifting faces. When they shift in their bedrolls, they hear whispers of things that could be, and truths that cannot be unheard. 

In the morning, the smell from the main thoroughfare is becoming intolerable. Though no one particularly wants to approach it, a few have covered themselves best they can and are sweeping the remains away to a pyre. Its probably the best way of doing things with the limited resources available, but the flames only serve to intensify the stench of blood, vomit and excrement.

Faruha, pinching her nose, rouses Laval from her rest, gently taking care not to touch her wounds. She is smiling, despite the foul smell, and tells Laval that many of the goats seem to be in the throes of labour. 

"I didn't even know they were pregnant!" she smiles.

Laval smiles back, but there is a niggling doubt in the back of her mind. Perhaps this is the boon of Tzeentch... but perhaps it is something else. If indeed there was a curse on this village from Preacher Miriam, her death could have but a train of events in motion that will be hard to control.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:09 pm

Laval hopes for the best but prepares for the worst, donning flak cloak and asking Vex to attend her as she goes with Faruha. He puts his armour back on reluctantly, grimacing with the pain of the burns, and follows willingly at their heels.

Laval spares a few words for the pyre-builders, thanking them gently for their foresight and their effort, checking them over briefly to ensure that nobody is exposing open wounds to the rotting bodies.

Then it is on to the fields, and whatever fresh horrors await.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:27 pm

There are a few villagers who in their haste have not taken proper precautions, and Laval pauses to treat their wounds to avoid infection. She works swiftly and efficiently, and the risk to those individuals is no greater than assailing any Imani villager at this time.

Many more of the villagers are at work in the goat fields, forced to by the advent of so many births. All of them are practised farmhands, but they are nonetheless glad to have the support of a trained medic for what can often be a tricky procedure. Laval looks on the goats with her third eye. 

From death comes life anew.

Something is horribly wrong. The generosity of those who had to die is great indeed. Mutated, half-formed things wriggle and stir, collections of pus and death given the chance to subsist despite the odds. There is little that can be done at this time. The goats begin to give birth.

What comes from their stomachs are horrible, half-formed monsters. They are not dangerous, but horrifying to look upon, bloated, foetus things with the occasional human limb or appendage. They bleat happily, full of dark meat, fingers flexing from their hooves, the occasional eye replaced with a human's, some of their legs ending in fully formed feet or messy tendrils. The villagers cry out in a great panic, many fleeing the scene, for the female goats seem pregnant again, and it is only a matter of time before they are to birth once more. The flock has grown in number, and perhaps the goat-human-things can even be fed upon, but at what cost to the people of Imani?

[Laval is fearful and at -10 to all Tests until the end of the encounter. Vex keeps his nerve.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:58 pm

Laval gawks, horrified. Vex is bolder, steps forward and kneels down to examine the twisted creatures more closely. He reaches forwards to touch one, startles at seeing his own tentacles, laughs. He puzzles over the creatures, trying to decide if they are intelligent or goat-like and, perhaps more importantly, whether they are things of Plague, of Change, or merely of the incomprehensible eddies of Chaos at large.

[Would also like to buy Logic for Vex, will update sheet.]


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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:36 pm

The goat-things seem benign and animalistic, and act in almost all respects like normal goats. Where they act differently to goats is when they experiment with their human appendages, bleating with undisguised pleasure. It is not clear to Vex whether these are the product of any particular deity, but Laval's psyniscience suggests that these are born from death and the Lord of Plagues.

From death comes life anew.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:54 pm

"They seem like goats to me," Vex admits, "Only weird."
Laval shakes her head grimly. "We can't eat this. It's Plaguestuff. No telling what sickness might come of it."
"But what can we eat, then?"
"We'll find a way," she promises, mind already racing. She casts her mind to Gracious: a simple, fettered thought sending: You should see this - the goats.

She shakes her head.
"We're done here. This is no good. There is food elsewhere."

But where? The other tithe villages might trade for a little, but they do not have enough either. The Klossner family, perhaps? Or is there wildlife, could the people learn to hunt? Or... if these sick death-things can exist, perhaps the servants of Tzeentch could be entreated to provide manna from the warp. Too many questions and not enough answers. Perhaps Faruha will be able to give some insight into the more local queries - the wildlife, the travel time between villages, any other ideas.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:33 pm

When Laval reaches out with her mind, she finds Gracious among the crowds of villagers gaping on. There are hushed tones among the inhabitants of Imani, talk that they still live in the shadow of Preacher Miriam and her God of Death. Their fear threatens their devotion to Tzeentch, and Laval frowns as she realises she is out of her wheelhouse. This needs more than pretty words: it needs authority and a commanding presence.

Faruha is within easy reach, and though she is afraid, her senses are sound. Her answers are dispiriting. There is little wildlife in the wilds of Swaadi, otherwise they would have shifted to hunting long ago. Though the journey between villages is merely half a day, they have little food to spare: Sadaka is already producing dozens of refugees fleeing starvation, and Kifodini is beginning to lynch those poor unfortunates to avoid having to feed them. 

"We did not expect these births," she ventures hopefully. "We do not need them to survive, and can throw these new kids on the pyres. You can entreat to our new Lord Tzeentch, yes? You can reverse this curse?"

[More knowledge about curses will require Scholastic Lore (Occult).]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:49 pm

Laval nods confidently. She must. Let the plates stop spinning, and they all come crashing down.

"These kids are touched by plague, they are not safe to eat."

She looks to Vex and he returns the glance. Though they are accustomed to sharing thoughts, they need no psychic help to read each other's minds this time. Both recall too readily the results of the last ritual. But of the pair, Vex knows more of rituals, if only a little, and for once it is Laval who waits for his judgement.

"We can do it," he asserts. "We are blessed."

He frowns, thinking on it. "The pyre would be a good focus, I think. Warp fire consuming the remnants of decay... it's a good image. And sacrifice, of course, would help..."

He contemplates, wondering what else they might do to improve their chances of breaking whatever curse holds this place.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:19 pm

Vex contemplates, but daemoncraft does not quite apply to the reversal of curses, and he falls short of a perfect solution. What the pair need is knowledge, and if that cannot come from within, an alternative way forwards is to call upon a spirit to provide that knowledge. 

It is a risky proposition. The intentional summoning of the cackling spellfiend is dangerous, and Vex does not know the full details of the ritual. Moreover, the daemon once summoned must be controlled, and even if it is forced to provide occultist knowledge, the chances are that it will give details of yet another ritual to be performed.

The ritual to summon a Tzeentchian spirit must take place in a location desolated by fire and magic: instantly provided by the location where the Twisby-thing was destroyed. An inscribed summoning circle, marked out with symbols to the Changer of Ways, must be laid out, whilst enchanted braziers spewing multi-coloured smoke and flame should be arrayed at random points around the circle. They should also surround an adult human branded with arcane runes, that will be reduced to ashes and flame at the culmination of the ritual.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:20 pm

Gracious approaches the pair. He too is interested in Vex's opinion as to what can be done.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:48 pm

"Sacrifice." Laval is unhappy. Another difficult requirement to meet. "Is it necessary?"

"At least one."

Though she does not like it, Laval suspects that this task may be one that Gracious would do better at. When she looks round to pick him out of the crowd, she finds him already approaching.

[Off to bed now, plan to organise chatter with wren tomorrow.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

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