Turn 3 Thread

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

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

Gracious makes his way towards the remains of the battlefield. He has spotted Laval. She is bent over what seems to be a dead woman. Upon seeing Gracious, she rises to her feet. All around them both are the dead and the dying. Under the harsh sun, the stench of blood, burning and putrefaction stings the air. The buzz of insects feeding distracts the mind, and the remains of Vex, torn in two, is a sombre reminder of the bad blood between the two heretics.
 
"...Laval," Gracious begins.
 
"I don't hate you." Laval’s voice is flat, drained of emotion. "Help me?"
 
"...sure." Gracious pauses. “We've got a problem, probably."
 
"Soldiers will be coming," Laval acknowledges.
 
"Maybe. I drugged up two runners, sent them off... but yeah."
 
"I have a poison for the tithe."
 
"The townspeople are... I wouldn't say they're on side. But they hate the Makuu, now. I've given them their pride back."
 
Laval nods once.
 
"I've asked them to get the tithe together,” Gracious adds, “But I think we should have contingency plans. The paint: it's explosive."
 
"I'm done with it. You can use the circle if you want. But I want them to take the tithe."
 
"Then we need to think about to do with the villagers."
 
"They defeated the heretics. What needs doing?"
 
Gracious is notably... clipped in his tone; he is not affecting his normal mannerisms. "The soliders will be suspicious. They'll ask questions. They'll torture."
 
Laval closes her eyes, looks incredibly tired for a moment before setting her blank expression back in place. "Yes. You're right."
 
"...do you want a... no,” Gracious frowns.
 
"I...” Laval begins, “Have no more miracles up my sleeves. I'm sorry."
 
"We need to get the villagers out of the way, I think. And I'm going to set the remainder of the paint down under where I think they'll stand. We can ignite it if it looks like combat is coming. If I give you the nootropic, can you provide any support?"
 
"I... maybe? I will try. Mind where you stand if you are lighting fires though. The circle is big."
 
"Where does it go round?" Gracious asks.
 
"Kifodini."
 
"And you need it to poison the tithe?"
 
"No, I've used it. It's all yours. I just need to get the poison into the food, the food into the Makuu."
 
"I mean, what's the circle for? I thought you were going to use it to poison...?"
 
"I did,” Laval responds. “I made a poison." She pauses. "... I ... I'm sorry, I'm not..."
 
"Oh... oh Laval."
 
"I'm sorry."
 
"No, I..."
 
Laval looks as though she is about to cry, then straightens, puts the blank mask of an expression back in place. "We don't have time to talk about our feelings."
 
"...no."
 
"I have a poison. A liquid that can be applied to food. It is madness and anguish. It will wreak havoc with morale and make our ultimate work easier."
 
Gracious smiles. "Excellent! I suggest I find those in the village who can best set out a dishonest face. The Mkuu looks the type. He can explain what's occurred - minus, I think, the daemon... - they can examine... yes... and then, well, hopefuly they'll take the tithe." He reaches out. "Give me the poison."
 
She nods, reaches into her bag, then hesitates. "... may I?"
 
"Apply it?"
 
"No… read you... I just betrayed a dying woman. I am finding trust a little difficult right now."
 
"- Or... ah. … Who did you...?"
 
She glances at the corpse beside her feet. "Mfanya."
 
"Fine,” Gracious accepts. “But not far: stop when I push."
 
Laval nods, and reaches out with a hand. At first, it is more mechanical than Gracious has experienced. The feeling lacks that intuitive enveloping of minds that Gracious has learned to find normal, the tentacled will replaced with a razor-blade precision. But once within his mind, something in Laval acts on reflex, and that headache inducing blade softens and spreads across Gracious' soul.
 
His name is Gracious Obscura. He is in a good state of physical health, and though his mind is disordered, it is no worse than Laval has ever seen it. With her telepathic power, Laval for a moment experiences Gracious' current mood. He is primarily angry - it is a cold anger. It is tinged with sadness.
 
The emotion in Gracious is something new, and Laval delves deeper. She uncovers his surface thoughts, his immediate fear and concerns. If he is lying about how he intends to use the poison, his deceit is exposed to her, along with any other conscious lies. His soul is stained and Laval can feel the wriggling of an invisible limb, but the corruption is not yet absolute.
 
He is not lying about how he intends to use the poison: he intends to put in on the tithe. He is afraid about the soldiers of the Makuu: afraid of the potential for violence, afraid of the potential for his work to be undone. His mind also lingers on Ari and the Slaaneshi cult, concerns drifting about where they might have gone.
 
Laval withdraws abruptly, gasping as if suddenly short of air. She hugs her arms tight to her torso, shuddering.
 
"Done?" Gracious asks.
 
She nods. "Thank you. I... should not have asked." She withdraws the container from her bag. It is painted with an arcane sigil and contains a clear, colourless liquid. Gracious reaches out with a hand, and the poison is carefully exchanged. He puts it away in the case he carries on his back, in which his chym-kit lies.
 
He withdraws a dose of the nootropic, and passes it over. "Did you use the obscura?"
 
"No."
 
"May I? While I'm here, I mean."
 
"Have it back? Yes." Laval nods, digs around in her bag and counts out the doses.
 
"Thank you. Get in sight of the main square, in case I need you? There should be no shortage of places to hide."
 
"Would you like me to link our minds?" Laval suggests.
 
"Sure." Gracious smiles slightly as he feels Laval’s presence enter into his conscious mind. "I'll see you later. Laval, I..." He struggles with the words. "I'm sorry. I... actually am. I can't say I like the feeling."
 
She nods. "Thank you. For trying to save me."

Gracious shrugs. "See you later." He walks off, back towards the centre of town.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:23 pm

Laval pauses a moment to collect herself, push her grief back down beneath the steel of her will. The mind link is unwelcome right now, a painful reminder of what she has lost. But it is necessary. She holds the connection open in case it is needed, and no more than that.

She walks away from the corpses without a second thought for those empty shells. The still-living, her mind lingers on. A part of her wants to take the time to, even if she cannot help them, give them mercy. But she has no time. And a far larger part of her despises them, wishes all the pain in the world upon them for what they did to Vex. She leaves them to their deaths.

She follows Gracious into the town, but not directly. She cuts sideways between the huts, hoping to avoid the crowds that Gracious is corralling, looking for a vantage point as Gracious suggests where she can see the main square, but has cover to hide. Her wits have deserted her, refusing to provide any solutions to the current problem. Trusting Gracious is a terrifying thing, but she must continue to put herself in his hands, hope that his plan will work.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:24 pm

Gracious soon rekindles the attention of the crowds, and it is not difficult for Laval to slip around the huts to avoid the attention of fanatics. Laval can hear Gracious telling the mob to take up residences on the outskirts of the town - away from where the soldiers will be - which serves the wych's purposes just fine. She selects an abandoned hut in which she can wait, listening to the hustle and bustle of the people of Kifodini. To pass the time, Laval thinks over the plan. Gracious is to direct the settlement to keep its head down and avoid collaborating with the soldiers. Meanwhile, the Mkuu and other liars will entreat with the guardsmen and paint them a story of heretics being driven off. They will cooperate, but try to impart the idea that the soldiers are no longer required. Then, the soldiers should ask for the tithe, leave, and all shall be well.

In theory.

It is a couple of hours before the drum beat of incoming soldiers begins carrying on the evening air. They sing hymns as they approach, and, spying a glance of them, Laval feels the stirrings of fear. The soldiers are resplendent in their polished armour, littered with pages of scripture nailed into their chest and shoulder plates. They march in perfect formation, their lieutenant proudly leading from the front, parading directly into Kifodini and up to the local church. The officer, a lean, slightly-hungry looking man, steps forward.

"Where is Preacher Nia Upendi?" he shouts. "Where is the preacher?"

The Mkuu hurries forward with a few others, flanked at the side by Gracious. Does Laval intervene, or does she allow things to continue as planned?

[Turn 3 is over. Laval gains 3 Infamy, having completed her Tertiary Objective (she helped murder some people Gracious was using).]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

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