Turn 3 Thread

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:28 am

Giving up on catching up with Laval without running into the mob, Vex seeks cover behind a hut, mentally shakes Laval down for a running commentary on what is happening. She is distracted, only long habit gets even a fraction of her thoughts projected to Vex. He can still go loud if she needs a distraction. He can still do something, maybe, must be able to do something. Can't let her die. And then she drops the link with a last unconvincing assurance, and he is helpless.

****

Laval is terrified. The only way out is through, she tries to tell herself. Don't panic, keep talking.

"Please," she begs, spreading her hands in a gesture of surrender, "Please, I'm a healer. I mean you no harm, please let me help this man. I beg you, for his sake, don't kill me!"

As she speaks, she reaches out gently with her mind, tries to smooth things over.

[Delude unfettered please. Dropping the mind-link to avoid penalties. No Infamy spend on the Disguise check but one if necessary on the Charm attempt.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:41 am

Laval reaches out with her psychic powers, but the preacher has implicit defences built up against the wych through her training in the Church. Finding Nia strong-minded and resistant to her powers, she cannot penetrate that iron-clad wall of intolerant will. 

The preacher is not moved by Laval's pleas. She draws her chainsword, and advances upon the wych, hate plastered across her face. She may be less militant than Nuru Haki, but this comparative kindness does not extend to tolerance for the mutant. Matu, standing behind Laval, draws a small blade, confused but ready to defend her preacher. He lunges with a hiss.

[Laval has used an Infamy Spend, but I'm afraid has failed nonetheless. What is her approach to combat?

For your information, the mob has made its way towards the cultists, but the sound of a chainsword may bring a number of them back in a few Rounds. The chainsword has not yet been activated, though, if you have a way of preventing it.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:56 am

Laval has few options but to continue to throw her will against that of the preacher with ever-increasing desperation. She scrambles away from the fight.

Drop the weapon, she wills frantically, Drop the weapon!

[Compel, pushing for +2 PR. That's a half action, Thought Sending is a free action.]

Almost simultaneously she throws her thoughts outwards, reaching for Vex and Gracious:

Help! A flash of imagery - the church. A desperate sense of terror.

Being seen to run will potentially mark her for death. Staying in here means death for certain. She attempts to bolt, not entirely sure of where she is going, just knowing that she cannot be in this fight.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:08 am

It has been a long time since Laval has had cause to push beyond the limits of her powers, to draw on the spirits of daemons to bolster her terrible magics. But this is a moment of crisis, and she has no choice. Her will echoes loudly in the preacher's mind, and, despite Nia's resistance, she drops the chainsword with a clatter.

The church shakes, the very earth protesting the powers that Laval has unleashed. The preacher and Matu fall, along with the traumatised citizens, but Laval remains standing. She sees directly as a long crack along the far wall opens up to reveal the madness of the warp, the veil torn nigh asunder. She sees the daemons cackling and reaching out to her, ready to seize her soul, and her shattered nerves cannot take it. She screams and begins to flee, charging from the church. On the ground, Matu swings in a maddened frenzy, driven to insanity by the sounds of daemons. 

[Laval gains 1 Corruption Point.]

Outside, to Vex's perspective, those near the church begin screaming in terror, fleeing the trembling foundations and scattering across the town. Fortunately, most of the mob is elsewhere, hacking to pieces half of the Slaaneshi cult that failed to flee. The whole thing is a damned mess, and Vex darkly ruminates that the Slaaneshis are to blame.

Laval runs. She is going in no obvious direction, but flee she must, and every thought in her mind is a scream of terror. Whether she escapes unharmed depends on the guidance of Vex and Gracious. What does Vex do?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:18 am

Vex curses her for dropping the link. How hard can it be to keep such a thing going? He sends her thoughts as fast as he can manage, firm directions without room or need for discussion or debate. He's not sure if she's receiving, but he sends nonetheless, ordering her away from the mob towards the far edge of town.

He stumbles in the same direction, as fast as his cursed stump will allow, hoping to intersect her and grab her. His first impulse is to find her.

When he has her, he scans the situation briefly again, gauging whether the pair will have time to flee the village and disappear into the scrubland without being run down, or whether they will have to hide. If the latter, he will drag Laval into a convenient house. With any luck, the occupants will be outside already. If not, with a sobbing psyker in one hand and a shock whip in the other, he is prepared to threaten or beat the locals into silence.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:37 am

Stumbling towards Laval from a relative distance, Vex reaches forth with his mind and bombards Laval with information and directions. She seems to respond, despite her fear, partially directed by Vex's commands. And yet, she is pursued. Though somewhat behind, a charging preacher pursues her with a revving chainsword, with the Matu close behind. 

Vex pauses for a moment as he sees Gracious emerge near the church. He is in a position to directly influence Laval's movements: ultimately, being able to physically guide someone will be more effective than barked, telepathic urges. What happens next is partly down to Gracious... but he just hangs back, and follows Nia from behind. It is not clear what he is up to, but Vex has more pressing matters to think about. He goes to intercept Laval, limping towards the outskirts of the town. Given Laval is pursued, it seems likely that hiding will be the only option, and he starts picking out likely places.

Aided by her agility and terror, Laval has a high stamina and swiftly outruns her pursuers. But they are not far behind, and she and Vex barely have a moment to embrace before he drags her into a nearby hut. Inside are two children, a boy and a girl, staring up at the two psykers with confusion and awe. The girl opens her mouth to scream: what does Vex do?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:40 am

"Scream and I will fucking murder your brother," he promises grimly.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:45 am

She closes her mouth as her brother starts to cry. But at least they are quiet, and the pair can stay in the hut at least for the time being. Given the chance to rest, Laval swiftly calms down after her ordeals. 

The hut is one of the smaller ones of Kifodini. There is no place to hide if anyone comes in, and only one exit: though the exterior wall is not exactly difficult to smash one's way through. Nonetheless, the situation strikes Laval and Vex as temporary. It would not take a genius to realise that a running woman cannot just disappear from view, and it will not take long before these huts are actively searched. Even if they did presume that Laval could disappear, this is someone's home, and an adult may be less easily cowed then a small child. What do they do?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:59 am

Laval clings to Vex, panting and trying to get the wheels of her mind turning again. Vex watches the children warily, reaches out to Gracious with his mind again.

Help us. The thought doesn't come easily, tinged with resentment and desperation. Please. Get them off our tail. We need an out.

"Hostages," Vex mutters. "Would they kill their own children?"

"Yes," Laval responds despairingly, "They're mad fanatics."

"Well I'm willing to take that risk if it might save your skin."

"Leave the children out of it," she begs tiredly.

But he is already grabbing the boy by the arm, awkwardly putting the shock whip away in favour of a las pistol. He keeps it pointed at the ground for now.

"Hey kid," he addresses the girl. "How old are you? You understand me? In a minute, we're all going out there, and you're going to run to Nia. We're going to take your brother with us, but you convince her to let us go, and we won't hurt him. We'll let him go once we're out of this cursed village. You think you can do that?"

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:37 pm

The girl understands and nods, terrified and entirely in the psyker's thrall. Vex grabs the boy and drags him outside, followed by an exhausted and fraught Laval.

The chants of the maddened fanatics are getting louder. Having slaughtered to their satisfaction, they are returning to their homes. They sing hymns of hell-fire, murder and vengeance, and it echoes in the pair's ears. The preacher is searching huts with Gracious, but she is in sight and not far enough away to be safe. The children stay quiet, and the psykers attempt to sneak away, away before the crowds are upon them, but Vex is too slow, too pained, too unused to his primitive appendage. The preacher looks up and runs towards them, hesitating as she sees the child in Vex's grip. 

[Are you available for a Skype Interaction?]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:00 pm

Gracious is in line of sight. Laval forges a mind-link between him, herself and Vex while she has the chance.

Do you have a plan? she asks desperately.

Vex points the las-pistol at the boy's head and calls out, trying to pitch his voice loud enough for the preacher to hear, but not loud enough to attract more distant attention over the chanting.

"Stop right there, or I kill the kid! We're leaving your damn village, and you're not going to stop us! You get the kid back when we're out!"

More quietly, he addresses the girl. "Go on to Nia. Make sure she doesn't do anything stupid, and your brother will be just fine."

Laval, get out of here. I'll follow with the kid. But Laval shakes her head no.

We're going together. she asserts.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:38 pm

The air is filled with the chants of the returning slaughterers. The mob has killed many today, and are singing hymns promising hellfire and damnation to those they have slain. They are heading towards the group, led by Matu, and are all too eager to kill again. No one here has much time before they arrive.
 
Laval and Vex square off to Nia and Gracious. Vex holds a boy, tentacles subtly writhing tight around his arm. He holds a laspistol in his other hand. Meanwhile, the sister of the hostage, a young girl, runs forward.
 
"Stop right there, or I kill the kid! We're leaving your damn village, and you're not going to stop us! You get the kid back when we're out!"
 
"Please let them go," she begs, "They say they'll hurt Mwamba if you don't."
 
"Be quiet, child," the preacher says - but not unkindly, and she does hesitate. She calls out to the psykers. "Would you be sent to your Emperor a child-killer? Leave him be."
 
Meanwhile, Gracious feels the mind-link re-establish itself between him and the wyches.
 
Do you have a plan? Laval asks desperately.
 
Gracious shakes his head, almost imperceptibly. He looks pained. No. You're screwed, I think. Unless.
 
The wyches continue to back away towards the edge of the village, dragging the child with them. "Let us leave, and neither of us need to have that on our consciences!" Vex calls.
 
You won't get away. Gracious continues. The mob is... you don't want to be fleeing from them. You won't both get away.
 
I would rather be fleeing from them than not! Laval insists.
 
The preacher advances, but she is clearly hesitating. She only keeps pace. "You shall not escape the Emperor's justice!" she shouts. "Your only hope for salvation lies in repentance!"
 
Listen, Gracious urges, What I'm saying is this: if one of you stays and fights and dies, the other is much more likely to get away. I can... help with that. But I've got nothing, otherwise.
 
That's not an option, Laval returns. Talk to her! Convince her to go along with it!
 
She's not in control, here. Gracious responds. The singing of the mob grows louder and louder. The three heretics think that they can hear the shouts of Nuru Haki among them.
 
Buy us some more fucking time to run! Laval exclaims telepathically.
 
"Stop, and repent!" Nia pleads, "Do not hurt the child!"
 
Just run for it, damn you! Vex tells Laval. He matches the preacher’s gaze. "I won't hurt him, if we get out of here alive!"
 
Gracious speaks: "Nia. The others are coming. We don't have much time."
 
Laval begins to cry again, shaking involuntarily with sobs. Vex nudges her with his shoulder, tries to push her backwards into running, still backpedalling himself.
 
I can't delay this, Gracious tells them. I... this is beyond my power. If you both fight or both flee... I can do what I can, but...
 
"You are right, Gracious," Nia says. The heretic's words fill the preacher with resolve. She hefts up her chainsword. "FOR THE EMPEROR!" She charges forth, chainsword revving.
 
At the very least, split up. You'll be torn apart if you stick together. Gracious bows his head. Laval, Vex... I'm sorry.
 
There is the quick in this world, and there is the dead. The psykers act first. Laval reaches out with telepathic power, breaking through the preacher's mind and forcing her still. But things gibber and howl at the edge of reality, the shadow of the warp casting across the souls of all nearby. Consumed by their noise, Laval collapses into a catatonic state, caught by Vex as he reaches out with a bolt of pure magic. It strikes Nia in the chest. She is completely encased in hellfire, her skin melting and her eyes popping like superheated eggs, spawning tentacles and laughing faces across her dark skin. She falls to the ground, a mutating, ashen corpse. The children flee.
 
But such power does not come without a price. A wave of unholy stench washes out with telepathic force, stunning all those nearby as Vex collapses unconscious. For a moment, Gracious thinks that he is alone - apart from the mob inbound - but Laval opens her eyes a few seconds later.
 
"Laval,” Gracious pleads. “Run. Just... if you stay, you'll die. Don't be a fucking pawn. Say goodbye to him."
 
Laval grabs Vex by the shoulders and starts trying to drag him. The only response is a wave of animosity through the mind-link.
 
The wyches flee, but Laval is slowed down by the weight of Vex and the mob are too numerous. Though Vex wakes up halfway through the chase, it is only in time to realise how escape will not be possible. The crowds close around them, the psykers stop, and Gracious realises that they intend to fight.
 
Laval, Gracious demands. What is your plan? Are you resigned to die?
 
Kill as many as I can, comes the grim reply.
 
Ha. Then - uh - you really were just a pawn, all along. I'll miss you.
 
I hate you, Laval replies.
 
Gracious pauses. Shame. I don't feel the same.
 
And then battle is joined.
 
Vex screams as he channels unholy power, clenching his fists and bringing forth a terrible, black rain from his fingertips and extended tentacles. Fanatics are caught and ripped to shreds, killing and maiming and incapacitating as the very earth is ripped apart by the energies. Guns fail, spectral gales whip forth and cast people a metre into the air, the earth protests and knocks people down, and the cackling of daemons on the edge of reality split open the sanities of the living. Laval collapses, overcome by the power, but Vex keeps up his torrent of destruction, even as he is swarmed upon by the enemy. They kick and bite him, swing sticks and braziers at him, battering him half to pieces as his carapace is dented and his ribs broken. They fall on the unconscious Laval, a glow of light flashing as they rebound away, but fall upon her again and begin kicking her in the lungs. But despite the power of the mob, despite the strength of their numbers, Vex wields the very magic of the Changer of Ways. The crowds, half-crazed, dozens dead, begin to flee, leaving only a few behind.
 
One of them is Nuru Haki. She has acquired a great eviscerator, and she charges towards Vex with a roar of hatred. Stunned by the pain of his injuries, he is not in a position to defend himself. She swings, and cleaves him from gullet to groin. His internal organs spill out onto the floor, and blood gushes from the terrible wound. Just as he falls, Gracious shoots. It strikes Nuru to the head, cracking her forehead forwards, but she is very much alive. Laval opens her eyes just as Vex hits the floor. A moment later, and Nuru throws herself onto her eviscerator, her body spinning about it as it is rended to bloody gobbets.
 
There is a silence. And then, something starts emerging from the blood. Its body is a deep gore-red, topped with a bestial, snarling face, burning pupil-less eyes, and horned elongated craniums that seem reminiscent of great war-helms. It wields a dreaded Hellblade, great two-handed weapons said to be as sharp as Khorne’s hatred. From the remains of Nuru stands a Bloodletter.
 
"LAVAL!" Gracious screams. "CAN YOU STAND?"
 

Laval picks herself up just as the bloodletter strikes at her. She is too slow, but the glow of her refractor field sparks slightly, and takes the killing blow. Her expression is blank, stunned, as if whatever is going on inside her head has not yet made connection with her facial muscles. And then she turns and bolts. The daemon swings at her, but she is too quick, as Gracious runs the opposite direction. It gives pursuit, but it is too slow and its time in the world too short. It screams in inhuman rage before disappearing as swiftly as it came.

[Vex is deceased. Laval gains 4 Corruption Points.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:51 am

Laval runs until her legs give way beneath her. It is, all told, not very long. The weight of everything that has just happened catches up with her and steals the strength from her limbs.

She cannot stop seeing it in her mind. His death. Grief breaks over her like a wave. She is silent, but she screams. A mental thing, more anguish than sound. She does not mean to broadcast it, but she cannot help herself. It is as if she is a child again, unable to control her own powers. She screams like an animal, flinging her grief into the Warp as if she could get rid of it that way, on and on until eventually her energy is spent.

She curls up in the dust.

It's not healthy. The voice of her tutor, Sajin, echoes loudly in her memory. When one of you dies, it will tear the other apart.

It is tearing her apart.

She should be crying. Where are her tears? Her body feels like a shell. A fragile, inanimate thing that has no bearing on the reality of who she is, that does not listen to her any more. It is filled with pain, but the pain is nothing beside the grief. She should be crying. But her body just pants and shakes and forms no tears. Maybe she has used them all up already.

She is empty. A part of her is missing, torn away, and she does not know what to do with the wound. She is so alone. Homesickness, painfully strong, adds its voice to the chorus of grief. Not every Lightbringer is a telepath. But enough are that, had she screamed like that at home, some friendly mind would have reached out to comfort her. But they kill their wyches here. There is noone.

She should be crying. She lies in the dust and pants, and shakes, and fails to process what has happened. The voice of pain becomes more insistent. Adrenaline fades and agony makes itself known. When it becomes too much to tolerate, she heals herself. Cautiously, nervously, the horrors of the warp fresh in her mind, she spends her power sparingly. But - after the initial grinding agony - it is enough to dull the pain. And that is enough. She could do more, she supposes. If she sat up, took stock of herself. It does not seem worth it.

How can she live like this? How does anyone live like this? How can she not? She has responsibilities, commitments. There are things to be done, even now. But the small voice of reason cannot break through the barrier of horror, cannot turn her thoughts from what has happened. His death. She sees it over and over again.

It's my fault, she thinks, to herself and herself alone. You tried to stop me. I should have known better. Guilt becomes another note in the symphony of misery. She does not want to wallow in her unhappiness. But she is shattered, mind and body, and there is a hole in her soul where Vex should be.

She lies in the dust. Where are the tears?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:48 am

A telepathic scream echoes in the minds of the unprotected Kifodini townspeople. It echoes across the void, but it cannot reach Vex, for his soul has already been claimed by the the Grand Manipulator. Perhaps the thought helps to calm Laval. The Mark that branded Vex's shattered body should protect Vex's journey through the Immaterium. Perhaps he is, at this very moment, wandering through the Crystal Labyrinth, making his way to the Impossible Fortress. Perhaps now, finally free of the hated Imperium, he can find satisfaction.

Or, perhaps, he is simply dead. In some ways, that might be better. Vex had struggled for so long, and suffered so much. Oblivion sounds almost peaceful.

Even from her position on the floor, Laval can see the panicked town of Kifodini across the plains. Gracious has headed back to the settlement, no doubt to capitalise off the chaos that Vex's sacrifice has bought. The ritual of the disordered betrayal is in crisis. Laval's face is known to the terrified fanatics, and to enter the town again sounds very much like suicide. And yet, the tithe must be spoiled. Laval must find a way, and magic can always provide.

She breathes, and realises what Vex did, shortly before he died. In one day, Kifodini has been attacked by rampaging cultists, and devastated by two powerful wyches. It has been left leaderless, and defenceless. A military response is the only logical outcome. The soldiers of the Makuu must be on their way already, to reimpose order and guard against further attacks. Most likely, they will collect the tithe of food while they are here. She must act swiftly. Time and fate is often cruel in this way.

What does Laval do?

[A few corrections and bits of information: Laval actually gained 5 Corruption Points. Furthermore, I had to use all her Infamy Spends in order to compel Nuru Haki to a messy end, and to dodge a Hellblade of a Bloodletter. I didn't tell you about the latter, but I hope you agree it was a no-brainer: those things kill with one swing, and Laval was badly injured.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:22 pm

[Yup. Seems totally legit. If she has the xp (you mentioned that the totals were not up to date) then I'd like to buy Intimidate. Also, how many wounds do I heal with Unnatural Healing (fettered)?]

Laval picks herself up. If her traitor body is not going to let her cry as she wants to, then she may as well work. She is still reeling, still hurting, still numb. (How can she feel so numb and so pained at the same time?) But that cold part of her that she sometimes hates finally makes itself known again. The wheels start turning.

Not quite sure yet what the plan is, she begins walking back towards the village.

She could abandon the ritual. She has the mundane poison. She could fall back to plan B. But Vex did his part. He spoke the words, guided her hands as she painted the ritual circle. It seems like a betrayal not to do her part. All she had to do was find the sacrifice. There is no time to use any of her previously laid plans. Would it be enough to trick someone into drinking poison, she wonders? She might be able to manage that. And there is plenty of mental anguish to go around now.

As she walks, she casts her mind towards Gracious. There are things she wants to say to him, but she is numb, cannot formulate the thoughts. Only the part of her that plans is still functional.

Soldiers are coming, she tells him, the thought flat and without affect. They will want the tithe. Help me make it ready.

As an afterthought she adds: Get line of sight to me and I will link us.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:36 pm

[The XP is now up-to-date and I've given Laval Intimidate. See also the new thread for Generating a Replacement Character.]

As Laval walks, she feels pain where her magics have failed to reach. Her heart was not in the glorious change of her body from broken to whole, and the warp has reflected that with a cruel spirit.

[Laval heals 4 Wounds and is therefore on 3 Wounds. Note that she can also attempt Medicae on herself should she choose.]

The town, even seen from some distance, is clearly in turmoil. Fear has turned to anger and self-loathing, and the yells of cowards and accusers echo over the plains. Many are dead, more still are injured, and without religious guidance, the Mkuu does not seem to be keeping order. Laval sends her telepathic message as she makes her way towards the chaos.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:43 pm

[Yeah, I have not actually come to any sort of decision regarding replacement characters yet.]

Anger is not good. Fear she can work with, anger is dangerous. All she needs is access to the wounded and dying. But she will need Gracious. She pauses at a safe distance to watch and see if he makes himself visible. As she waits, she supposes that she may as well address the demands of her body, looks herself over for anything she can treat here and now.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:52 pm

Laval tends to her injuries, wincing from the pain of her myriad cuts and bruises. No one blow is responsible for her heavily injured state, but many, the attacks of many small men and women who would not dare fight her alone. Nonetheless, Laval is glad that she suffered most of the wounds whilst unconscious. Patching herself up, she finds that no particular injury is serious. Now that she has had time to get her breath back, apply salve to cuts and soothing ointments to bruises, she is bloodied but ready to get back into the fight.

[Laval heals 7 Wounds and so is fully healed.]

She looks up at Kifodini, waiting for Gracious.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:36 pm

She continues to wait, listening to the crowds. Having the time to train her ear on voices, she hears them quiet, still braying, but quietening, as another voice strides confidently through their midst. It is the voice of Gracious Obscura. Though Laval cannot make out any particular words, it is evident that he is swaying the masses, twitching his fingers over puppet-strings that begin to circle and restrain the mob. Whether or not he intends to come and see Laval after, it is clear that he considers his current activity more important - or, if Laval is feeling charitable - perhaps more time-sensitive. Either way, the charismatic heretic is not forthcoming. Does Laval wait?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:18 pm

Everything is time-sensitive. And deliberately or not, he is already mostly doing what she wants. While he is speaking, people will be distracted, and she may have time to do what she must.

She waits briefly until most people who are going to answer Gracious' call have done so, then approaches the scene of the carnage that she and Vex wreaked, praying silently for her luck to hold so that she may pick unmolested over the wounded and dying. Wreathed in the gift of the warp, expression bleak, she hopes that any stragglers will not find the courage to assault her.

She is looking for someone who can be saved and who is afraid enough of death to overcome their loathing of her and accept treatment from her hands. Cold hatred runs through her, but it is muted beneath the haze of numb necessity, and does not sway her from her course.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:41 pm

In their cowardice, many of the dying were left behind by the fanatics. All that are left are those that have no hope, the rest having been able to plead for their friend to carry them, or having limped away themselves. Mbu-bugs are beginning to gather, buzzing dangerously as they suckle on the drying blood of the deceased. The smell is awful, the harsh sun exacerbating the smell of iron and the beginnings of putrefaction.

Laval searches for what she needs. She pauses at the sight of a young woman, rather beautiful but for the hellfire burns that have turned her neck and upper torso into a scaly mass of blood. The woman is struggling to breathe, and can only look at Laval with panic as she approaches. The wych bends down beside her. She asks the woman if she wants to live. Whether she is ready for death. Slowly but surely, the woman reaches for her knife, to attack Laval and avenge her own demise. The fear of death does not sway her hatred, but, perhaps, if she hated less, the fear would triumph.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:56 pm

Miserable, Laval shies from this bloody work. But her misery is not in control here. There is work to be done. She reaches out with her mind cautiously to smooth her efforts. [Delude, Fettered.]

She crouches down, out of reach of the knife but close enough to speak to the woman. Humanity and empathy are the antidote to hatred. She draws on the well of misery within herself, forces herself to let it show.

"I never wanted this," she says quietly. "I just wanted to live. Just wanted him to live. I... I loved him. I'm so sorry. I didn't want to die. I didn't want anyone to die. Why have they left you? Let me help you..."

If her plea is ineffective, she moves on, searches for another. If the woman lets her, she does what she can to ease her breathing, gives her something for the pain - not aiming to restore function, but to grant hope. If she cannot do that, the next step is pointless.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:08 am

Laval reaches past the fear and hate in the woman's mind and spreads her psyche like tentacles, massaging away the distrust and rendering the victim compliant. She leans inward, avoiding the reach of the knife, and says her piece. The dying woman listens. Tears well at the side of her eyes: not for Laval's sake, but out of own fear and desperation. She drops the knife, and nods.

Forcing herself to smile at the woman, Laval leans into her medicine bag and begins applying burn salve to the wounds. It helps ease the pain, cooling what must feel like constant, burning agony, and loosens the scabs so that they do not put pressure on the woman's breathing. She is still badly injured, but she is not a lost cause, and she winces in reflexive thanks.

"I am Mfanya," she manages, wheezing slightly. "... You?"

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:45 am

"Laval. My name's Laval."

Hope instilled. The betrayal of fresh hope after despair always burns hot. This will not be an elegant or protracted betrayal, but the whole situation is about as disordered as they come. And Mfanya's mind should contain plenty of anguish and confusion.

"The burns wrap around," she observes. "I need to roll you over to treat them. This will hurt."

On the woman's back, where she cannot see the suspicious motions, she will paint the Mark of the Nine Angles. She contemplates getting out the ink, but her hands are already greasy with salve, so she paints with that. It is not terribly visible, but Tzeentch will see it.

And then the final step. She retrieves the deadly poison from her medicine bag, presses the vial into Mfanya's hand, loosens the stopper for her.

"Drink," she urges. "It's medicine. I believe you will live."

It's on the line between trickery and outright murder. She prays that it is good enough. She prays that the work Vex already did to set up the ritual is good enough. She prays that the poison is strong enough.

If Mfanya drinks, then there is one last thing to do - to drive the betrayal home for maximum anguish. She will not have long before the toxin takes effect, but it is important that the victim understands as her consciousness fades that she is betrayed.

"You would have lived," she corrects herself softly, "Had you not trusted foolishly. Lord Tzeentch, hear my prayer. Accept this soul in sacrifice. I beg of you, let this be enough."

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:13 am

If things had gone differently, Laval would have taken her time. She would have spun this woman in a web of confusion and betrayal, made Mfanya isolate herself by accident from everyone she ever loved. This is not the complex plot that, had Fate been kinder, she would have offered to Tzeentch. And yet, what is Tzeentch if not Fate? Desperation, betrayal, despair... these are what she plans to instil. She offers the woman the poison as medicine, and she accepts it greedily.

The deadly poison ingested by the dying woman begins to do its work. She begins foaming at the mouth, eyes widened as she vainly paws at Laval's hands. She begins convulsing. It goes on for ten, long minutes. The toxin hasn't quite been enough to kill her outright, but with her injuries it will indeed bring about her end. Laval simply watches as the victim slowly, tortuously, dies. She says the words of power, and closes her eyes. 

There is a terrible silence. A soft wind carries over the littered plains of Swaadi. Mfanya makes a final, death rattle. A thin blue wisp trails from her mouth and towards the tithe-poison at Laval's side. She died slowly. Betrayal. Agony. Hopelessness. 

This is what the poison brings.

[Laval gains 5 Corruption Points.]

Laval looks up to see Gracious approaching, looking pleased with himself. She wonders why he is here, before remembering that Laval invited him. She picks herself up to her feet. Inevitably, her eyes pass over the torn body of Vex Carrion. She is so alone.

[Are you free for an Interaction?]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

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