Turn 3 Thread

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Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:44 am

[It is Turn 3. Which Secondary Objective would you like to focus on?]

Laval saunters over to Gracious. She exchanges a few words of greeting before Gracious feels her attempts to plunder his mind. The wych is certainly becoming more aggressive with her telepathy, but Gracious is able to force the psychic tendrils from his mind before she gets particularly deep.

[I've contacted Eleanor about an Interaction.]

The way to Kifodini is long and draining for the Slaaneshi cult. They start to come down from their obscura halfway through the journey, and they are tired and pained by headaches and feet sores. These cultists are not used to athleticism or long walks, and they complain bitterly before silenced with a look from Ari. Despite their sullenness, they see Kifodini by late morning. It is a much larger settlement than Imani, and even from this distance the group can see bustling crowds and large herds of healthy goats. A small church - though much larger than any building in Imani - raises an Aquila in the centre of the village.

By the central dirt-road, three Swaad men are found hanged from an ageing baobab tree. The bodies are in a state of mild decay, and in the burning sun they smell awful. They have clearly been badly beaten (presumably before they were hanged) and their eyes, tongues and genitalia have been scooped out or hacked off. A sign, nailed to the tree, reads thusly:

Heretics and Traitors be Warned.

The cult shifts uneasily, somewhat admonished by this macabre display. Though they spare no empathy for the victims on the tree, they imagine themselves in their position, and fear their righteous punishment. 

What approach does Ari take to find soldiers? Do they enter the village - and, if so, in what manner?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:24 pm

If no soliders/military presence is in evidence, Ari will on her own get a little closer to Kifodini, wait for someone to pass by, and reveal herself to them, hoping to scare them and cause a panic - in the hope that this will bring out a military response.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:46 pm

[Oh: I would like to focus on Kifodini, I think! It seems that's about where we're at...]

Gracious packs 4 doses of the nootropic, 10 doses of Satrophine, and 2 "cult-portions" of obscura, as well as his normal sensible travelling stuff. How portable is the chym-kit? If it's reasonable portable, he'll take that - but he's packing light and leaving stuff with Sten I think.

In a seperate bag, he puts the cartons of invisible paint. How much is there - I assume it's quite bulky. He's not intending to carry this.

He then meets Laval and Vex and gives them the paint, and prepares to head off.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:08 pm

A little earlier, Laval has undertaken an aggressive probe on Gracious' mind...

"I see you don't feel the need to ask any more..." Gracious smiles sardonically.

She shrugs. "You like it rough. Would you prefer I went back to tiptoeing around the issue?"

"Ha! But there's something nice in the negotiation. No matter. I'd love to stand here and flirt or be violated or whatever it is we're calling this, but actually right now, we have a situation."

"What happened to him?"

"Kibwe... I don't know. He was dead when I arrived. I think one of the cult killed him, and I think Ari told her to. He, uh.. he'd died from bleeding..."

"For ritual purposes, or just for fun?"

"An unscheduled and unwanted amputation of his vital parts."

"Oh."

"Ha! The veil wasn't thin, but it had - what do they say - it, yes, it had, uh, ritual significance. I think that's Ari's intent with them. She's leading them to sacred murder."

Laval just looks at him.

"Which..." he shrugs. "...it's not ideal."

"That is a true statement. Removing them from here does seem like a good plan, then."

"I think we need to, uh.... they can't go on their own, I mean; we need some... let's follow."

She smiles slightly.

"But yes;" Gracious continues, "I think she still has her senses, at least; but they're barely controlled. I can talk them down... but if they turn..."

"Then let's point them at someone who isn't us."

"They're off to Kifodini, I think. "I think she said to kill soliders..."

"Well, I can't object to that, particularly..."

"No! I think the question is, what happens if there aren't any soliders to kill?"

"A mess. I'm sure we can lure some out, though."

"So let's follow on and act as gameskeepers for the hunt? I, uh, I like it."

She nods, looking slightly put out. "Not as planned, but... well, it's interesting."

"No question of getting Vex along, I assume? What's your long-term plan, there...?"

"He's up and about. Wooden leg. Long term plan is... well, he thinks he can solve it if he puts his mind to the problem. I'd prefer not to put myself in the centre of your murder cult without his protection... but I don't know how long he'll be able to walk at a stretch, so it might not be an option."

"They aren't my - but I take your - the point is they're moving now."

"Does it matter if they're a day or so ahead? They cause a bit of trouble, you show up and play the saviour?"

"...no, I see what you're saying. Fine. But we get ready to move now. I'll pack my travelling bag. Sten can stay here, look after the lab."

"Vex and I are packed. Heck, convince them to leave us some non-lethal wounds and I'll work miracles! That will get us either welcomed or lynched for sure." She grins.

"I have, uh, hitherto not been hung by the neck for non-recreational purposes. I would prefer to, uh, keep that record."

"You're into new experiences."

"Ha!"

"Come on, this is not going to be a subtle job."

"No. Fine. When shall we travel?"

She shrugs. "Any time, I suppose. Preferably a little way behind these lunatics."

"I'll meet you in an hour. Want me to pack the nootropics?"

"Hmm. Hopefully shouldn't need them, but they sure are handy if I happen to need to clash wills with a daemon."

"Just another day, eh? See you soon!"

She smiles. He runs off, a focused look on his face. 

****

The packing finished, Gracious makes his way to Laval and Vex. They are happy to travel with him, but Vex is not the ideal walking companion. Though he is swiftly picking up speed on a wooden leg lassoed to his stump, he is evidently pained by the experience, and says little. His pain renders Laval similarly quiet, and the silence of the few hour journey to Kifodini is broken up only by inane small-talk.

[The chem-kit rolls up in a bag, so can be carried reasonably easily.]

About an hour ahead of them, Ari is stalking her way towards Kifodini. The aim, of course, is to eventually be spotted, but moderation is the key. If too many people spot her, they will be taken too seriously and an entire platoon will be mustered from the Makuu. She needs one, or maybe two: few enough that a couple of soldiers will be sent to investigate, but nothing more. Stalking on cloven feet, her limbs slender and flexible, she is like a shadow through the undergrowth. Wandering just on the outskirts of the village, she spots a child. The little boy is absentmindedly plucking at the grass, looking bored. His body is thin, and Ari can see his ribs, but his face is rounded by chubby cheeks. 

She could simply reveal herself to the boy, frighten him so thoroughly that adults were forced to investigate, find her cloven tracks, and send soldiers. Yet the innocent boy represents another taboo to break, another opportunity to desecrate the lands of the Makuu. What does she do?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:53 pm

She bends down, aims very carefully and shoots the boy in the leg.

Her aim is to cause him enough pain and damage that he is likely to die from the wound; but not instantly. Instead, she will then jump out and scare him, forcing him to flee. Hopefully this will have the desired effect.

In summary: slow agonising death for the small child, please, also please send concerned parents.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:23 am

Ari puts away her longlas. Such a weapon cauterises a wound, and she needs blood. Ari draws her boltpistol. She has seen the monstrous wounds that such a gun can inflict. A large boom rings out around the outskirts of Kifodini, swiftly followed by a high-pitched, shocked wail.

The concussive force of the blast shatters the boy's leg bones and splits apart his flesh. The foot is left a mess of splintered metal and bone - the kind of wound that will infect, and kill slowly. Ari smiles as the chubby-faced child does not instantly die of shock, but he is prone on the ground for some time. Eventually, he begins dragging himself towards the village.

[Ari earns 1 Infamy and 1 Corruption Point.]

He is met halfway by a man and a woman carrying gathered herbs. They have heard the gunshot, and, though it is like no gunshot they have heard before, they are concerned. When they see the boy's injuries, the man faints on the spot. The woman simply howls, running forwards and clutching the child. Their screams are soon likely to draw the attention of more of Kifodini - probably soldiers, if any are around. What does Ari do?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:24 am

Elsewhere, Gracious, Laval and Vex hear a low boom in the near distance. Swapping ominous looks, Laval suggests that they enter at night, where their mutations can be best concealed. Does Gracious wait with them?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:14 am

Gracious strolls into town to begin meeting the local populace: because he looks unremarkable, I think he should be fine. I think this might be an appropriate time to use Serpent's Tongue?

He'll be taking to local people, finding out what's going on etc.: if any ask, he's just a pilgrim passing through: and he looks normal enough that they'll pay him no heed. He is trying not to draw attention to himself.

Meanwhile, Ari good back to the cult, and brings them a little closer so that they can lie in wait.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:14 am

Gracious makes his way into the town, shrewdly taking a circuitous route to enter from the other side of the settlement. He is not entirely sure what Ari and her people are up to, but he knows enough to reckon that he doesn't want to risk association. In his mind, he rehearses mannerisms and phrases that would endear him to the fanatical folk of Kifodini. Combining his Imani-based knowledge of Swaad customs with his experiences of mob-rule faithful, he has plenty of material with which to work with.

[Gracious has the Peer (Kifodini) (2) Talent for the rest of the Turn, and gains +20 to all Interaction Tests with Kifodini villagers. Note that this will not include soldiers or priests from the Makuu.]

The people of Kifodini are not simply suspicious of strangers - they are downright hostile. Yet there are numerous factors in Gracious' favour. First - somewhat awkwardly - his pale skin marks him apart from Sadaka refugees, and thus they do not expect him to be another drain on their society. Secondly, Gracious opens with a traveller's prayer that endears him to these throne-fearing people. Thirdly, Gracious is just instantly likeable.

The Swaad woman who Gracious first talks to is so impressed with his displays of piety that she demands to introduce him to Nuru Haki. She explains that Nuru shares Gracious' fervour and that through her they have sent many heretics and traitors to the pyre. A few carefully placed questions suggests to Gracious that this Nuru Haki leads the lynch mobs in the troubled settlement. It is perhaps telling of the unrest in Kifodini that he is not being led to Mkuu Mosi Wakili, or the local preacher at the church, Nia Upendo. When quizzed, the woman suggests, with a smidgen of contempt, that they do not share Nuru's will. Gracious reads 'will' as 'blood-lust'. 

The woman leading Gracious seems informed about her town, and answers freely any question Gracious asks. The settlement is relatively prosperous, and has enough goats for the people currently living there. And yet, since the assault of Kind Peter on Sadaka, many refugees have been making their way to Kifodini. The woman spits that these refugees are either corrupt or lazy, and that they should all be hanged. Indeed, it seems that many are.

News has also reached Kifodini of the disappearance of the Sadaka villagers. It has confirmed the worst suspicions of the Kifodini faithful, and Sadaka-born men and women are being lynched on sight - even if they have lived in Kifodini for years. It has sent many into hiding - the hateful woman darkly remarks that some panya have fallen into some rotten cracks. 

[If you have any questions, this woman is happy to answer them.]

Gracious is led to a large hut, adorned with Aquilas and local, Ecclesiarchy-approved charms. It is gaudy, and somewhat sickening to look upon, but at the woman's insistence, Gracious heads inside. There is a small group of people there, howling and jumping about in apparent prayer, caterwauling about the Throne and the horrifying punishments that will befall the heretic and the traitor. 

They are led by a woman that Gracious presumes is Nuru Haki. She holds up her hands in a commanding gesture, and the baying group falls silent. Her dark-skin is marked by scars from cuts and burns, and her face is covered in religious tattoos from her wide forehead to below her gap-toothed grin. She steps forward.

"Kele, who is this white man you have brought me?" she looks Gracious up and down. "May the Throne burn out your sinful eyes," she welcomes him. "To be purged, or to purge?"

[Will write for Ari later, bit busy today.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:47 pm

Questions for the woman:
*What's her name?
*What's her personal situation?
*What's a timeline of events here: have the lynchings/xenophobia increased? When did Nuru Haki start preaching more?
*What do they think of Imani?

And then, later, in reply to Nuru:

"I, uh... well, I'm a pilgrim, you know, so... I suppose I want to do the righteous thing? I'm not saying I'm without sin, you know - who is, save the Emperor... - but I feel I... who needs purging right now?"


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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:19 pm

Before Gracious had entered the village, Laval had asked of him a few favours. She reminds Gracious that she would be grateful if any sick or injured villagers were pointed towards her as a medic and a herbalist. She picks out a place in the nearby fields, away from the hanged men but equidistant to the village, and informs Gracious that she will be based there. Finally, she asks if he will acquiesce to the melding of minds, so that they can communicate with one another freely. How does Gracious respond?

Back to the present, and Gracious is quizzing this talkative, intolerant woman. Her name is Kele, and she is a farmhand while raising five children. She is poor, but rarely goes hungry, and has all the basic amenities in life. When asked about Nuru Haki, she is happy to oblige.

"They had to start small," she explains, almost apologetically. "So that people like me would not think them madmen. After the yule mwovu had been banished from Sadaka, its corrupt spawn began to sneak in. At first, we thought them neighbours, friends. But they came to eat away at our cohesion, exhaust our resources and ruin us like they ruined their village. If they were not sinners, they would have died fighting."

Kele spits on the ground. The topic makes her quite angry, and Gracious can imagine how frequently and ferociously this woman has been riled up by a skilled orator. "Nuru Haki is a gift from the Throne. She saw what was happening and brought light to the blind. She always had attended the Makuu sermons, and is known even to the deacon..." she trails off, as if in awe at such a feat. 

"They had to start small, but the panya kept swarming in, gnawing away at our herds and hospitality. So Kifodini began to listen to Nuru Haki. I joined myself, and we began, and we found that the Mkuu did not mind, that the preacher did not mind. We realised that we had the grace of God behind us, and it was clear for all to see. Even if they were not so enthused," she adds darkly.

"Since the Great Disappearance, we now know to a surety that the people of Sadaka are cursed or evil," she affirms. "Now, we baptise with rope and fire even those with ancestry there."

She leads Gracious into Nuru Haki's prayer-hut, where the lyncher asks her demanding question and Gracious makes his reply. The heavily tattooed woman wrinkles her nose in distaste, not taken in by Gracious' flustered charm. Though someone disliking Gracious is not unique, it is rare, and when Nuru steps towards him, he cannot help but take a step back.

"You fluster because you are not certain," she declares. "And you are uncertain because you lack faith. This is bad, very bad. We can save you, white man, such that the light of the Throne shines in your heart and through your eyes, but you must join us. You must repent. Or die."

She glances to the rest of the people in the hut. They look on Gracious (and, by paranoid extension, a somewhat distraught Kele) with hostility, and violent intent. "It is time to give certainty," Nuru continues, "It is time to show faith. Mtumwa, bring the panya you have found, and give your wife my thanks."

A muscular man nods, and leaves the hut. The awkward silence is soon broken up by the sounds of screams, as a girl is dragged by the hair towards the lynch mob. 

"How shall it be done, Nuru?" one of the group asks. 

"The pyre," she responds. 

When the girl reaches the hut, she is instantly set upon with fists and boots. She is stripped, for, as Nuru notes, beasts should not wear clothing. Her hair is torn out and she is whipped down the main thoroughfare, attracting angry, baying crowds. By the time they reach the church of Kifodini, there is a pyre put together outside. A middle-aged woman in priestly garb steps out from its door, obvious concern on her face, but she does nothing to stop the murder. Instead, she steps forward beside Nuru, and begins to preach.

"Blessed are those that redeem others, for in the flames can be seen the Golden Light," she calls out, without much enthusiasm. "Damned are those who live in sin, who weaken His Imperium and give succour to His enemies."

Throughout, Gracious has been encouraged - in a somewhat intimidating fashion - to participate in the cruelties on the girl. Does he?

****

Sometime before the lynching, Ari is stalking back to her murderous followers. The village of Kifodini is in a state of alarm, the parents having brought back their dying child to the central church. Ari hears sounds of a mob forming, and fears that she will not have soldiers to kill, but after fifteen minutes or so, the sounds of angry shouts falls quiet, and no crowd has appeared. Instead, two soldiers come to investigate the scene.

Concealed by the gradient of a hill, Ari is a shadow. Even though her form might instantly attract attention, she is not seen. But she is not surrounded by her equals. Even with her precise instructions, the group is spotted by the guardsmen. Alarmed, the soldiers open fire. 

[Ari has a chance to act first before anything else happens. She is about 50m away from the soldiers, along with her group. I'd like to know Ari's main approach to this encounter.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:41 pm

Alright: Gracious will acquiesce to the melding of minds with Laval for communication, and will have agreed to refer villagers to her: once he becomes aware of the situation in Kifodini, he will relay that to her, and will not refer anyone yet.

---

I believe in fact I might suffer an Infamy penalty for not indulging this excess! Gracious will participate in the cruelties; after all, she is only one pawn on the board.

Is there any reaction in Kifodini to Ari's exploits?

---

Ari will appear from behind the soldiers, aiming to frighten them into running from her into the waiting clutches of her mob. She will aim to - using athletics/acrobatics as required - disarm the soliders so that the mob can set about them. The aim is not to lethally wound them - that is for the others to do.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:41 am

It is hard to be a shadow when sprinting, unseen whilst one's feet pounds the dry dirt. But Ari has unnatural grace now, and is well-used to avoiding the eyes of Makuu soldiery. Once she gets there, one soldier is professionally laying suppressive fire on the cult whilst the other heads back to Kifodini for backup. The latter runs directly into Ari's path. 

He doesn't scream. His face contorted with hatred, he brings up his weapon and opens fire. With an inhuman hiss, Ari cartwheels and twists, and not a single shot lands. 

The cult opens fire from on the hill, but they are pinned down and undisciplined in their shots. They waste a lot of ammunition, and make a lot of noise, but not a lot else. They are still weak, and useless.

Ari dives forward to grab the gun off her foe, but she is slightly off-balance from her antics and her foe leaps back. He attempts to scrabble away, but Ari regains her footing swiftly and grapples him backwards. The commotion draws the attention of the other soldier, but he is instantly gripped by panic and flees towards the mob. They continue to take pot shots at him, missing wildly, still fearing the consequences of leaving their cover. Cowards.

For the time being, Ari has her own problems to deal with. The soldier thinks he is some kind of hero, and is more muscular than Ari, taking control of the wrestle and trying to clutch towards her neck. She tries to wriggle out of the grip, but he has a good hold - if not good enough to reach her neck. They grapple. 

It is a grim battle - the kind of fight that one remembers after years of conflict. Eye to hateful eye, fighting to the death, it becomes personal, and will linger of the mind. The soldier, his mouth curled back into a snarl, scratches at Ari's neck before she wriggles free, trying once more to take control. But, sensing opportunity, he backs away and opens fire at point blank range, hitting nothing but air. Ari leaps on him once again, wrestles his gun off him and throws it to the floor. She forces him backwards, up the hill, where her comrades have caught the other and are dragging him, cackling and screaming, towards her.

What happens next is not pretty. Hasnaa, somewhat dizzy from the ecstasy of battle, steps forward to take the victim Ari has brought to them. She kisses him on the lips, biting out his tongue. She continues to kiss him as he bleeds out, blood spilling over her lips and leaving her mouth a mess of blood. Seeing the slaughter, the rest of the mob cannot be contained, regardless of Ari's efforts. They fall upon their prey with whoops and cheers, stripping off his armour and ripping apart his body with their bare hands. At some point, someone has the idea to cannibalise the flesh, and in the rush of group fervour, they fall upon the corpse with dark abandon. Once done, they retreat into the shadows, evading new patrols.

[Ari suffers 1 level of Fatigue. She has completed (but can continue) the Desire to Kill Glorifying Act, and gains 2 Corruption Points and 1 Infamy.]

*****

The girl is placed upon the pyre, and set alight. She screams, struggling against her binds. Having beaten and stamped on her, Gracious watches her and does nothing. The mob around him screams in an abandon not dissimilar to that of his Slaaneshi cult, howling prayers and exaltation to the Emperor. It is only when the din has quietened that the sound of gunfire is heard in the near distance. 

Energised and fanatical, the mob can no longer be held back. They pick up any weapons they have to hand and descend on the sounds of the gunfire. They are led by Nuru Haki, and the preacher Nia Upendo is among their ranks. Gracious hears the sound of Laval's voice in his mind, asking whether anything interesting is happening. Does Gracious try to slow the mob down, or otherwise mislead them?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:50 am

He will scream in Laval's mind: MOB. FANATICS. GO LOUD. GO LOUD.

[Is the mob, in essence, the whole village?]

On the outside, meanwhile, he will act enthusiastic but clumsily. He'll shout, but generally get in the way - but also draw the attention of those in the crowd. He'll point towards the place where he last saw Laval: isn't that where the noise is coming from?

---

Meanwhile, Ari hides in the shadows of the hill. When she hears the Kifodini mob arriving, she will, as best she is able, lead her mob in retreat: the goal is to get around the side of the hill.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:53 am

Oh: Gracious will try to speak to Nia Upendo on his way too: is she as in with this fervour as the rest? He suspects not.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:35 am

More detail! the telepathic response comes. It is not clear whether it is Laval or Vex: perhaps it is both. However, it is Laval who picks up the thread and continues.

Think at us, she insists, It's fast. We can hear you. What's going on?

A jumble of information spills through Gracious' mind, but he is not a trained telepath and the articulation of thoughts is a learned skill. Laval and Vex catch glimpses of a fire-waving mob, heading towards where the gunshots were heard, that Gracious wants to delay them... something to this effect.

Are you in danger? she demands, I'm not putting myself on the line for your convenience!

[Gracious can articulate further if he wishes - I just wanted to give Eleanor something so that she can continue posting.]

It is hard to direct this mob, especially as they follow the lead of the strident Nuru Haki. But Gracious is no ordinary man. He hollers with the rest of them, enthusiastically bellowing encouragements and prayers that soon attracts him the attention of many of the crowd. Despite Nuru's attempts to direct her lynch-mob, Gracious is able to spin the narrative that the gunfire came from the other side of the settlement. The mob begins charging their way towards where Laval and Vex were based.

His job mostly done, Gracious edges back to talk with Nia Upendo, yelling encouragements to keep the crowd on the move. The preacher is walking with the crowds, but is not yelling, and her knuckles are gripped tightly around her warhammer. She is not much inclined to speak to Gracious, however. Everyone is yelling, and it is very hard to hear. Moreover, Gracious' antics in participating and directing the crowd paints him as a fanatic, and Nia seems to shy away from engaging with him.

*****

Elsewhere, Ari brings the cult over the hill to evade the promise of the Kifodini mob. Given plenty of time to organise the Slaaneshis by Gracious' efforts, Ari starts hissing commands. Despite their unruly and egotistical natures, she manages to get through to them, and they begin disengaging from the outskirts of Kifodini.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:46 pm

Ari will go back herself, and see if there are any stragglers or people left around who could be individually lured off.

Meanwhile, Gracious follows the mob. He is interested in continuing to make contact with Nia Upendo, though. He'll try to scribble a message down and pass her a bit of paper: "Listen. This awful, yes? Scared. Sorry. Help/talk?"

When he hands it her, he'll "let the mask slip" and appear scared and wary beneath it - trying to give the impression that he's a confident person but secretly terrified and looking for guidance - before collecting himself and moving away; Nia can form her own opinions.

He'll start communicating with Laval, warning them of what's coming and describing Nuru as the ringleader to watch and deal with.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:30 am

Ari sneaks back to the hill crest. There is a small crowd forming - an offshoot of the mob Gracious is with - who are investigating the corpses of the soldiers. They carry braziers and are chanting hymns to the God Emperor. The sound makes Ari feel a little nauseous. It would be difficult to take these people down quickly, or individually lure one or two off. She would have to come up with a scheme to do so.

Nia takes the note and reads it swiftly, glancing back up to Gracious' apparently terrified expression. This time, she takes notice, but Gracious moves away and allows whatever opinions she has to fester. 

The mob do not run into Laval and Vex: wherever they were before, they are not there now. Indeed, the two wyches have not 'gone loud' as Gracious suggested: instead, it seems as though they have hidden. The mob does found the remains of a minor campsite, however: that is, the embers of a fire. But there are no bodies, and the crowds are riled further. Gracious is not blamed - he took care to voice his directions from deep within the mass of people - but there is anger, and a palpable, rising blood-lust. Shouts from the other side of the town, where Ari is, start to win out, and the mob moves as one towards the corpses of the soldiers. 

If Ari is going to do something, she had better do it fast.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:18 pm

Thoughts, out of context, filter through the mind link into Gracious' brain:

This is stupid, Vex complains, What are you doing?

We have to help these people, Laval responds. 

Have to? Vex queries, Are these people psykers? They don't look like psykers to me. We don't owe them anything.

Vex, they're children. We can't not help.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:27 pm

Ari is going to disengage - this feels like it's going to go badly otherwise - and in any case her Satrophine dependency is beginning to kick in, I reckon, and right now her attentions are elsewhere. She's going to properly disengage from Kifodini.

Gracious will attempt to talk properly through the psyker channel of communication to Laval and Vex; he's feeling a little calmer... though he will follow the mob. He will get increasingly worn out - as surely some of them must? - and will fall back a little - not enough to make him stand out as at the back, though.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:39 pm

The walk across Kifodini takes time, and the chanting and hollering of the crowds must take something out of them. Without a charismatic leader at their head, such a mob would start to run out of steam. And yet, they have Nuru Haki. She screams and stamps her feet, ranting about hidden panya and the diseases and corruptions they bring. She keeps them incited all the way to the corpses of the soldiers. There, things get even more crazy.

The state of the half eaten soldier even takes Gracious aback, if only for a moment. The other, his tongue missing and having bled profusely down his chin, does not help the situation. The people are terrified. They are angry, stoked by Nuru Haki. And they are violent. It becomes a rampage. Before he can extract himself, Gracious finds himself caught up, trips, and falls to the ground. He is trampled upon in the frenzy, barely able to breathe, unable to stand. He is not strong enough to get himself to safety, and must merely weather the blows, trusting in his mesh armour to soften the impacts. Eventually, the crowd moves on and leaves him behind, half-conscious and badly bruised.

[Gracious has taken 5 levels of Fatigue and 6 Wounds.]

Dimly, Gracious is aware of the smell of burning. Hazily, he sees a man and a woman dragged out, shouted accusations blending in his addled mind. The mob falls on them like beasts, but Gracious is more interested in standing up, and limping to some kind of safety. He has learned a lesson today. Individuals like him and Nuru can direct the crowds, manipulate them and incite them. But, ultimately, the fanatical hordes cannot be fully controlled.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:51 pm

Gracious will find a tree or something to sit under in safety, and collapse, half-conscious, still trying to get hold of Laval.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:22 pm

As soon as Gracious communicates his situation, Laval responds with a flood of empathy and concern. She gives him her location, urges him to come to her if he needs healing.

[Do you want this to be an Interaction?]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:47 pm

The hour is late on the outskirts of Kifodini.  Darkness has fallen, and the mobs led by Nuru Haki, finally slated, are beginning to wind down. Communicating by thoughts to locate one another, Laval, Vex and Gracious find one another. Gracious has stopped for a breather on a tree stump. He looks badly bruised, achy, and exhausted.
 
There you are. Laval thought-sends.
 
Gracious looks up, weakly. He nods.
 
Do you need help?
 
“Yeah.”
 
Let me see.
 
She kneels beside him to examine him for serious injuries.
 
“It's not... too bad,” Gracious remarks, “Just... eh... fucking knackered.”
 
Laval gingerly removes Gracious' mesh vest and undershirt. He is badly bruised, but the armour has taken the worst of it, and just undoing the armour allows Gracious to breathe a little easier. She holds ice to the wounds, rubbing in a herb compound that helps the bruising go down. Gracious sits up.
 
[Gracious is fully healed, but still fatigued.]
 
"Right. Fuck. Well, I've never liked mobs I wasn't at the front of, at that wasn't any different. How much of my squawking did you get about what was going on?"
 
"Very little,” Eleanor admits, “How hard is it to think at me?"
 
"I was?" Gracious objects. "Gave you a description of the ringleader and all?"
 
"Yes,” Laval accepts, “Do you have a plan to deal with her yet?"
 
"There's another - a priest in the town. She's clearly not happy with all this; might be a route in."
 
Laval nods. "Nia Upendo."
 
"You met her?" Gracious asks.
 
“No, I've just been appraising myself of the situation." Laval pauses. "Turn the mob against Nuru and Nia will be able to pull things back to sanity round here."
 
"Did you talk to someone?" Gracious presses, "Or..." He taps his head.
 
"A bit of both,” Laval shrugs, "Oh, not from you yet though."
 
"Well, I could barely stop you," Gracious admits. “Fuck. Ugh.Just got swept up into danger with no way out. Fucking Ari."
 
"Gosh, did getting stepped on temporarily grant you a more realistic appraisal of your own capabilities?" Laval chides.
 
“Gods, you're pissed at me?” Gracious exclaims. “Why? You're fine."
 
"Of course I'm pissed! Near as I can tell you tried to set a lynch mob on me."
 
"What?" Gracious frowns.
 
“You wanted a distraction for your out-of-control murder cult, no?" Laval complains, "And before you start with 'they're not my murder cult' like hell they're not."
 
"Sure, I figured you could set some stuff on fire with your mind, give them something to get excited about, and be off,” Gracious tells her. “The murder cult would just have been messy."
 
"I can't set things on fire with my mind, Gracious."
 
"Whatever it is Vex does, you know."
 
Laval looks at Vex. He shrugs. She sighs. "I'm not a pawn in your games, Gracious. Maybe most people you meet are happy to take orders from you without explanation…"
 
"Gods,” Gracious responds, “No, but I thought you could..."
 
"… But I don't know what hold you think you have over me that would make me risk my life for your convenience.”
 
"I thought I was serving both our goals," Gracious explains. "Open war between Imani and Kifodini's no good. I assumed you'd get away before they got there whatever.”
 
Laval sighs. "Well can't you keep your cult in line?"
 
"No, I can't. Not since that fucker got them all hyped up on murder."
 
"Vex has one leg and I'm a fucking telepath. We're not great at making fast getaways."
 
"Yeah. No. Sorry."
 
Laval pauses for a moment. "... me too. I'm glad you're alive."
 
"I made the wrong fucking call, OK?"
 
Laval nods. "Alright. I'm sorry."
 
"Yeah... but I knew you'd be fine." He smiles. "You aren't a pawn. You don't get taken that easily. Just glad you did get away..."
 
"Listen, if I thought you actually needed me to save your sorry life, I would risk myself,” Laval assures him, “Okay? But not just to make things smoother for your cult."
 
"It was my life I was worried for, I'll be honest. I don't care for my cult - at all. Fuck 'em. But I thought they were going to tear me apart."
 
Laval sighs. "We need to practice telepathy, then. I can barely catch one thought in three that you send me. I tried to ask if you were in danger and got something about directions..."
 
"Sure."
 
"If it helps, I've got the outline of a plan for taking this Nuru down..."
 
"Go for it."
 
"We frame her for heresy. Everyone hates a hypocrite. Turn the mobs on her."
 
"Yes, sensible," Gracious nods. "Matches with my next suggestion."
 
"We're going to need more than rumours - plant heretical symbols, spin some really convincing lies…"
 
"But who do you know who's a good liar? You see, plan failed at first hurdle."
 
"Pfft." Laval shakes her head.
 
Gracious grins, some of his normal energy returning. "If we can get Kifodini to believe that the Makuu is corrupt, maybe we can get them even to turn on that. Do you think Nuru is on the level?"
 
"Mm, that's a dangerous line,” Laval muses. “Nuru? I'm guessing redemptionist, but she could be a provocateur. Haven't made up my mind yet."
 
"It is dangerous;” Gracious agrees, “Something to build on."
 
"I thought you could put your little coterie of murderers to good use once you've done a little groundwork,” Laval suggests. “Have them take out someone else popular with the mob - maybe Mchumba Jengo - and lay them out ritual-wise in Nuru's place, frame her."
 
"You're making assumptions about their basic fucking competence.” He pauses. "Not sure I met Mchumba."
 
"I've seen Ari work, she's quick and lethal, if an idiot."
 
"Oh, Ari I trust, and can at least talk to."
 
"Mchumba's one of the fanatics,” Laval explains “She's well-liked, good target for raising hell."
 
"You have been busy."
 
"Yeah, well. This is not what I came here for." She sighs.
 
"Can you still run your original plan?"
 
"Yes, if this doesn't blow sky-high too soon. Other names I picked up are Kele and Mtumwa, but I thnk Mchumba is the best bet. Kele's a recruiter, Mtumwa's a thug, both in with the mob. Nuru gets her food direct from Mkuu Mosi Wakili. Poison that with something to sap the will and... well, I might be able to force her to put her foot in her mouth at a key moment."
 
"Alright. I feel like I should head into the village, then, spend some time getting a feel for things. I slipped a note to Nia in the mob," Gracious adds. "Said I was afraid of it all."
 
Laval nods thoughtfully.
 
"...not really a lie, even," Gracious notes. "Unfortunately, there's still my fucking incompetents." He gestures outwards to the plains.
 
"I find myself pretty short of sympathy." Laval shakes her head, forces a slight smile. "But I suppose you've made them both of our problems now."
 
"Feel free to kill them if you see them," Gracious offers. "If need be, anyway. Not sure that includes Ari. See how she is." He shakes his head. "Feral fucks."
 
"How did you not foresee this?" Laval softens the complaint with a smile. "You introduce thugs to Slaanesh, and soon we're all up to our eyeballs in mutilated corpses."
 
"Normally they just do it to each other. Burns out easily enough. Or it takes longer."
 
"Well. I don't have any ideas for dealing with them yet. Other than tip some soldiers off and let them go at each other... which seems hazardous to our health."
 
Gracious tosses her a wrapped bundle. Inside are needles and vials of liquids. "If you meet them, that's an obscura dose for the lot."
 
"Ah. Cunning. Thank you."
 
"Problems that can be solved with drugs or lying: my sort of thing." He pauses for a moment, in thought. "When I was younger, I had a cat, her name was Princess, and she was a ruthless murderer. Used to climb and jump across roofs and parapets. One day I saw her try to jump further than normal, across to the high balcony; she fell, hit half the roofs on the way down. Survived, though. Licked her wounds something precious for days afterwards, bless."
 
There is a brief silence, before Gracious ends it. "Anyway, that's me right now. But, uh, eh, no time to lick wounds."
 
Laval nods. "We're all overreaching ourselves a bit, I think. Gods, Gracious. What a fucking mess."
 
"The gods are a fucking mess!" Gracious grins.
 
"Hah."
 
"That's what we signed up for, right," Gracious adds.
 
"I suppose."
 
"I'll see you around: talk tonight?" He taps his head. "I'll be in bed, we can practice quick response?"
 
Laval nods. "Good plan. I've not got much more to do before turning in. I might bounce some ideas off you if I haven't solved my problems myself by then."
 
"Feel, uh, free." Gracious looks at Vex, who states back blankly. "Hey, Vex. You, uh, you alright there? Sorry to bother you with the affairs of lesser mortals, eh."
 
"Yeah? I'm fine. You jerks are the ones with the fancy plans. I just try to keep up." Vex shrugs.
 
"Sure. Well..." Gracious picks himself up off the ground, dusts himself down, and slopes off without another word, carrying his travelling case on his back. He is still limping, and moving slowly, but step by step his strength is returning to him. Nonetheless, it is probably time to lie down for a little bit.

[Just to note, Gracious removes Fatigue at a rate of 1 per hour of rest. If he sleeps for 6 hours or more, he recovers all Fatigue.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:49 pm

Overnight, before sleeping, Laval makes some attempt to communicate with Gracious, just swapping small talk and giving the chymist a chance to practice formulating his thoughts clearly. Vex remains quiet.

Listen, she mentions at one point, The scheme I gave you - it's your business to make it work, or not, as you please. Let me know when you need me and I'll help, but this isn't my game to run.

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