Turn 3 Thread

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:05 pm

Gracious will spend the evening finding a place to stay in Kifodini. He might try to see if Kele can spare a space. He will share some of his (less than they were...) personal food supplies and in every way try to not seem a burden.

His priority is quiet observation of the social structures in Kifodini: confirming the information that Laval gave him about who the major players are. He is interested in pursuing her plan, but isn't wedded to it. If he gets a chance to talk to Nia, he will.

At night, he'll reply to Laval: Understood. My intent is, uh, to form my own - I'll see what plan I want to - but I like yours, if I can make it work.

---

Meanwhile... what's occuring with Ari and the Imani band?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:07 pm

Kele is a little on edge around Gracious, having been chastised by bringing him to Nuru Haki. But a few choice words and affirmations of piety soon mollify her, and everyone could see that Gracious was an active member of the lynch mob. She quickly suggests that the heretic stays at her hut, with only the slightest amount of social prodding. He still has some food left, and is in every way a courteous and unproblematic guest.

By the time he has arranged a place to stay, it is very late. The lynch mobs had gone wild in the late evening, and it is now the dead of night. Still exhausted from his trials, Gracious falls to sleep almost instantly, resolving to observe the social structures of Kifodini in the morning - when everyone is awake. As he sleeps, the mind-link between him and Laval falls away, claimed by the unconsciousness of all participants.

[Gracious is no longer fatigued.]

In the morning, Gracious saunters across the town and observes its society in action. Most of the people are farmers, tending to their goat-herds and awake long before Gracious rises. Yet, unlike Imani, there is a more active marketplace, where crafts and wares are sold throughout the day. Occasionally, a small bell within the church rings, and the people flock to it. They don't fit in its tiny hall, but Nia Upendi steps outside, and leads them in song. It is a joyful occasion, with no mention of burning people or martyrdom, and, if it were not for the nonsense scripture, Gracious might have enjoyed it more.

Among the congregation is Nuru Haki, surrounded by her more militant flock. She is the first person to talk to Preacher Nia after the sermon, and, wandering a little closer, Gracious is able to listen in. They speak in friendly tones, but Nuru is being quite insistent, asking why certain passages were not emphasised more, or why the Fraternis Gospels were not sung. Unfamiliar with the false creed, Gracious cannot follow the details of the conversation, but he knows enough about the church to appreciate the underlying scandal. Here is a lay person, Nuru Haki, lecturing a priest of the Ecclesiarchy on how best to worship the False Emperor! It demonstrates an extraordinary confidence, but Nia Upendi's reaction is measured, and her underlying feelings quite inscrutable.

Asking around, Gracious quickly identifies the Mkuu of the town, Mosi Wakili. He is a large man, fattened a little by his comparative wealth, and he wears colourful clothing that flaunts his authority. He is speaking with a few other farmstead owners, and seems more interested talking about the weather than about faith. When asked about the sermon, he hedges his bets between Nuru and Nia, his answer reminiscent of a politician's. What he actually thinks is difficult to tell. Nonetheless, he seems respected enough when it comes to secular aspects of the town.

The meeting is interrupted by cries of joy as a group of individuals enter into Kifodini. Making swift inquiries, Gracious learns that the woman at their head is Mchumba Jengo, having come home after a few weeks camping outside the Makuu with her fellow devotees. She is a slight, smiling woman with long, curly hair, and it seems that her warm smile is infectious: everyone is very happy to see her. She embraces Nuru Haki, and whispers something that makes Nuru laugh into her ear. It gives Gracious a chance to move forwards and talk to Nia Upendi. What does he want to say?

Just as Gracious steps forward, he hears Laval's voice in her mind. The mind-link has not survived sleep and separation, but she does not need an immediate response, and he knows where to find her.

Gracious, could you get me three drinking cups please? I need them for this evening. I'd go to market myself but... mutations.


*****


Elsewhere, Ari has spent the night camping a few miles from Kifodini with her rowdy cult. They are getting listless again, the ecstasy of their violence wearing off, but they are still too afraid of Ari to voice any complaints. The more addicted among them sweat profusely, whilst others fornicate and drink from their own personal supplies. 

Their activities, though less extreme than the cannibalism of the flesh, is nonetheless shifting. When they fuck, they seem cruel and selfish, half-fighting to ensure that they get satisfaction and their lover left short-changed. Hasnaa, meanwhile, sharpens her knife and has taken to testing the blade on her own flesh. She has not washed the blood from her mouth, and it has dried, forming cracked stains of reddy-brown across her chin.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:17 pm

Gracious will try to talk to Nia about Nuru, about how she really feels about things. He is looking to be extra charming. If it seems she might respond to it, he'll also be flirtatious - he is looking to form a bond which can be later exploited, after all - but he doesn't want to give the wrong impression.

If he only gets a few moments to say something, he'll ask her if she'd like to chat and see if there is a place away from crowds to do so.

Is there any sort of market where Gracious could buy some cups? He won't steal - seems like a recipe for trouble.

---

Ari is uncertain what to do with the cult now. She will try to rouse them again - ask them each to express their desires, in some sense trying to get them to individualize themselves a little more. Any suggestions that people have that sound fun and the cult are interested in, she'll encourage them to do so - what she's not interested in is more sitting around. She's bored.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:34 pm

[Gracious fails his Charm roll, but can use an Infamy Spend to re-roll. Would you like to?]

*****

Ari has spent some time with these people, and though she has learned a healthy amount of contempt for them, she nonetheless knows how they operate. She opens with a few, vague punky sentiments that remind them that she is still Ari, before trying to rouse them more directly. Cleaving through their haze of drug obsession and lethargy, a few individuals speak up with their suggestions.

A popular suggestion is to take the obscura that Gracious made. It is an obvious desire, but Ari is bored by taking drugs all day, and wants more. One teenager, Moto, offers the suggestion of setting fire to all of Kifodini. He is a painfully thin individual, his ribs almost splintering the skin, and his fingers are constantly shifting and fiddling. His idea seems reasonably popular. Hasnaa, meanwhile, wants to kill, suggesting that they start raiding farmsteads, killing everyone before disappearing across the hills. Finally, Filimbi, a young woman with long, luscious hair and bleeding gums, suggests that they start luring children away to get them high.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:37 pm

Yes, I will re-roll. (What am I rolling on, ooi?)

Ari will go for Hasnaa's idea - suggesting that Hasnaa take a lead and choose the place and the method of killing. She says that if people don't enjoy it - they'll do something else - this is Hasnaa putting herself on the line! She is otherwise encouraging.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:59 pm

[You were rolling against 85 (she falls under Peer (Ecclesiarchy) rather than Peer (Kifodini)), and rolled an auto-fail of 97. But it is also opposed, so the Test can be harder if the opponent passes by many degrees. I'll try to include this information in future when asking about Infamy Spends.]

A friendly face after being lambasted by Nuru Haki is just what Nia Upendi needs. She looks at Gracious as if eyeing a port in a storm, and he has picked the perfect moment to talk to her. It is quite clear that she is stressed, and the odd flirtatious remark makes her laugh, and visibly relaxes her. She invites Gracious back into the church where they can talk more freely. It is a plain hall, with a simple pulpit carved from baobab wood. Its roof, like the huts, is thatched long-grass, and there are not pews but instead goat hide rugs for the congregation to sit on. Nia sits down, encouraging Gracious to do the same.

"Sometimes it is good to get away from the crowds," she admits with a smile. When she speaks, she is educated and enthusiastic, but lacks the violent temperament of her flock. Gracious is quickly able to form a bond with her.

[Gracious has begun a Seduction of Nia Upendi and has passed the first Test of the Seduction. He can Test once per day. Note that a non-Seduced character can still be manipulated into doing things, but they will be very compliant once Seduced.]

There are indeed cups to be found in the market - some carved from wood, others from local sandstone. Gracious is comparatively rich in Kifodini, and easily acquires what Laval has asked for. He sends a local boy to run it to them. When he is finished in the market, he glances up to the sound of screaming, caused by his associates...

Sometime before the screaming, Ari is watching as Hasnaa takes the lead over the cult. They have crept to the side of a hill, watching the goats and the dozen or so workers that are tending to them. In Kifodini, work falls to those of all ages, and there is a mix of elderly, young and middle-aged among them. The cult eyes both the farmers and the goats, and the word passes around that one goat will be stolen to feast upon in the eve.

They have done a good job in getting close to the villagers without being spotted, but they can go no further without stepping directly into the open. Hasnaa lets out a bloodcurdling, high-pitched warcry and the cult charges down the hill. Hasnaa has not opted for stealth, or cunning, but simply exquisite, terrifying slaughter. They are halfway there before the farmers spot them. A couple run, screaming for help. The others, some of them fanatics of Nuru Haki's cult, heft up their tools and prepare to fight. 

Ari looses her powerblade, ramming it through the eye of a burly man and killing him instantly. Around her, battle is joined, the Slaaneshis screaming and caterwauling in terrifying curdles of noise. It is a glorious massacre. The cultists fall upon the farmers with glee, hacking them to pieces with knives and continuing to stab them long after they are dead. Mauji, getting carried away with desecrating a corpse, is stabbed to the back of the head and killed, but he is the only fatality. The remaining farmer flees towards the town, joining the others that fled early, and Hasnaa quickly shouts for the bodies to be taken and a goat or two as well. But the cultists aren't listening to her. They delight in their slaughter, peeling off skin, smothering their bodies with gore and laughing around the dismembered legs of children. If they don't move soon, the entire town will be on them. What does Ari do?

[Ari gains 1 Infamy.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:52 pm

Gracious! Laval flings her mind out to Gracious, Your cultists are in my way! They are causing a problem.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:00 am

[Sounds like Tertiary Objective o'clock!]

---

Gracious responds: "Nothing I can do. Give them the drugs? If that doesn't work... treat them as a threat and respond as you like. Including Ari, fucking idiot. What are they doing? Do you need assistance?

Oh, I trust you got your cups?"

[Would he have sent a boy? Aren't they horribly mutated? Thought he'd have to deliver ]

[I'm unsure from your description where the conversation with Nia was left - can you remind me how Seduction works?]

---

Ari runs off, pulling Hasnaa with her, letting others follow or not as they wish. She wants out of here. If she bumps into Laval, she will be aggressive and uncooperative, and will engage in violence if threatened or angered.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:11 am

Gracious tries to respond, but the mind-link has been severed by sleep and his thoughts go nowhere. Even wyches, it seems, have limitations.

[I didn't want to hold Eleanor up, so I made it so that Gracious sent a boy looking for a quick tip. It didn't cause any problems. 

Gracious can have continued the conversation with Nia before he went to get the cups. The basics of Seduction is as follows. Every day, you can attempt a Seduction Test. Each Test should represent an escalation of betrayal or heresy. This is an Interaction Test, opposed as normal. However, for every prior success, the Seducer is at +10, but also at -10 for every prior failure. The nth Test determines whether or not the Seduction is a success, when n equals the Willpower Bonus of the target. A successful Seduction nets 4 Infamy.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:35 am

He will talk with Nia about her life: what she has done, how she ended up here. He'll listen out for any details that he can use to manipulate or seduce her in the coming days - other weaknesses and threads to pull.

He'll ask her what she thinks of Nuru criticizing her preaching.

Does she seems receptive/attracted to Gracious at all? How does she respond to flirtation?

---

[OH WELL GUESS I CAN'T REPLY TO ELEANOR]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:44 am

Nia smiles at the attention she is being given by Gracious. She seems unused to people taking an interest in her personal life, and gives back freely. Nia was born in Kifodini, but always had ambitions to be a preacher. She shyly brags that to become a preacher is a great rarity among the native Swaad: typically, the priesthood are made up of white men and women from Juno. Her parents, not wishing to crush her dreams, but mindful of the practicalities, raised her to be a scribe. They sent her to the wise old woman in town (now deceased), who was learned in reading and writing, and hope that Nia would learn as well. And learn she did. She became the scribe to the now deceased, Preacher Brunhilde, and served her well. She studied the creed with diligence, and with Brunhilde's influence was welcomed into the fold, and sent back to her native Kifodini.

She sighs. "Those were the good days," she says, smiling sadly. "Kifodini was temperate and wise. I was sent to enthuse them." She shakes her head. "To think on it, and look at the town now. Sometimes I think it has lost its mind."

She pauses when Gracious asks her about Nuru. "In truth, perhaps I fear her," she admits, "If I do not work through her, then all my work here shall be for naught." She considers her words. "Nuru is a product of this war. She thinks that we must all be soldiers, and tries to make killers out of farmers. But we are not warriors. We are farmers. And, if we pretend, then all we shall do is starve."

Nia is very receptive to Gracious' charms, and speaks freely, but is nonetheless somewhat inscrutable. She sometimes boasts, but blushes when they are acknowledged and encouraged. If she can be taken at face-value, then she has genuine concern for Kifodini and Nuru Haki's influence. She thinks that Nuru is dangerous, and that the people will ultimately be the ones who suffer. Moreover, Gracious knows enough about seduction to know that she is attracted to him. She greedily absorbs his attention and praise, seemingly unused to it, but nonetheless is kind and attentive to him as well.

"I'm afraid I must return to my duties," she smiles apologetically, "But I should like to talk to you again, perhaps soon?"

*****

Later, in the midst of chaos and a mob forming, that happy hour of conversation and flirting is just a memory. Gracious winces as he hears Laval's voice suddenly echo in his mind.

Help! A flash of imagery - the church. A desperate sense of terror. What does Gracious do?

*****

Elsewhere, Ari and Hasnaa extract themselves from the cult and the butchery. A mob is forming to kill them all, but the decadents barely notice, transfixed by the blood of their victims and the savagery of their behaviour. The pair do not find themselves blocked by anyone, and soon make it to a place of relative safety.

A few members of the cult snap back to reality before it is too late. A crowd of baying fanatics wake them from their slumbers, and they run before they are enveloped whole. And yet, a good proportion of them either do not realise before it is too late, or decide to fight. What happens next is a brutal reflection of the cultists' savagery. They are beaten to the floor, surrounded by angry men and women. Their clothes are set alight by braziers, and they are set upon by fists and sticks and boots. Nuru Haki chants hymns of hate, and, completely surrounded, none of those who stayed behind survive. The rest have run, pursued some way by the mob, but they evade further danger and are left to lick their wounds.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:21 am

Gracious tells Nia he will see her again soon, and gives a charming smile.

---

Which church do you mean - the one in Kifodini? Gracious will go over. (Is this the same mob that's killing the Slaanesh cult? I get confused because of all the mobs - and the shifting timelines.)

---

When Ari and Hasnaa get to a place of safety, something of the absurdity of all of this hits Ari, and she starts laughing in half-hysterics. In some sense, her and Hasnaa are still young - despite all that she's done, some child-like laughter seeps through. Hasnaa may or may not respond in kind.

Eventually, though, the enormity of what has happened seeps in. They slowly make their way back to Imani - if they have to sleep on the way, they sleep quietly, probably next to one another for warmth - a brief moment of tranquility in lives of madness.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:28 am

Gracious returns to the church in Kifodini. The horde of religious fanatics have by this time mostly passed on to murder the Slaaneshis, but when Gracious reaches the church, there are still some individuals screaming in terror. The church itself trembles in response to some terrible, magical power, whilst Laval sprints out of its doors, consumed by fear. Soon after, she is pursued by a furious Nia Upendi, chainsword in hand and revving dangerously. Another fanatic sprints behind her, a knife raised. Does Gracious interact with the encounter?

Ari and Hasnaa begin making their way back to Imani. The remnants of their erstwhile friends are behind them in the near distance, but the pair do not think much of them, and do not deign to turn back towards them. Hasnaa laughs back, still covered in fresh and dried blood. On a sudden impulse, she leaps forward for a kiss - hopefully not one in which she will bite out Ari's tongue. What does Ari do?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:32 am

Gracious will run after Nia, and see where this goes. He will look around for any sign of Vex, too.

---

Ari pulls back for a moment... and then leans in. They kiss - Ari doesn't do so aggressively; it would almost be sweet if she wasn't a pseudo-daemon and Hasnaa wasn't covered in blood.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:39 am

[I'm deliberately not have sex occur - as opposed to light romance! - with Husnaa and Ari because they are explicitly underage (although also lots of horrific murder, but we can deal). I'd appreciate keeping to that?]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:42 am

Gracious runs after Nia, but he is not particularly athletic and cannot muster the stamina for the chase. He falls behind, but can see that Laval is pulling away from her pursuers, darting between huts and eventually going out of sight. Panting for breath, Gracious jogs after the preacher, and finds her looking around in confusion. There is no sign of Laval or Vex.

*****

Hasnaa begins aggressively, as if expecting Ari would do the same, but eventually softens, enjoying the kiss for what it is. Ari wonders if it is strange experience for Hasnaa: after all, her tongue is long and forked now. Then again, perhaps kissing a woman is new for Ari as well.

The kiss ends, and Hasnaa looks away with a sudden shyness that is not quite convincing from a bloodied maniac. She nods with an awkward professionalism before continuing to trek down the road to Imani.

[Agreed.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:55 am

He asks Nia what's wrong, why she was running - he acts concerned and confused.

---

Nothing else to do with Ari for now, until they return to Imani.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:01 am

The preacher turns to face him. Her face is almost unrecognisable from the shy, kind features of Nia talking to Gracious in the church. It is contorted by hate, chiselled into a permanent snarl. She is agitated, and continuously revs her chainsword as she paces up and down.

"There is a mutant wych in my town," she declares. "She was just here, but now she is gone. Damn her to hell!" she adds earnestly. 

"I didn't know what she was," a young man next to her explains, "She said she was a herbalist, and I knew that Mafut was dying, and..."

"It is fine," the preacher snaps, before calming. She smiles slightly. "Your faith is not in doubt, Matu."

She looks around. "The mutant must have hid in one of the huts. We will find her. Matu, go and find others. The wych is not to be underestimated: its filthy magics found its way within my mind."

Help us. Gracious hears Laval's voice in his head, tinged with resentment and desperation. Please. Get them off our tail. We need an out.

Nia smiles again as she glances at Gracious. This time it is warmer, less cruel. "Have you hunted wyches before?" she asks shyly.

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:05 pm

He replies to Nia: "no... I've, uh, I've seen them before, I even met one of the ones, who, you know, the Emperor's sanctioned their souls, so that they're... why's there one here? Can I help you find her?"

He will ask Laval for her position. If Laval gives it, he will subtly try to direct the search to give her time to get away, but he will prioritize seeming keen and willing in front of Nia if that's a concern.

If Laval doesn't give her position, he'll just help Nia to search, and actually help - if Laval wants assistance, she has to give trust...

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:44 pm

Unfortunately, the mind-link has not been established between Gracious and Laval, and Gracious is unable to contact her. Instead, he is forced to guesstimate where they might plausibly be hiding: from the time they were running and the layout of the village. But reading maps and plotting routes was never interesting for Gracious, and he was some way behind. He vaguely tries to direct Nia in certain directions, but he cannot be sure as to whether he is helping or hindering.

"There she is!" Nia shouts. Gracious glances up to see Laval and Vex a short distance away, stalking between the huts. The preacher pursues, but hesitates when she sees Vex holding a small boy by the arm. A little girl, presumably his brother, runs towards Nia. 

[Are you free for an Interaction?]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:41 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.

[Gracious gains 1 Corruption Point.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:41 pm

When Gracious gets back to Kifodini, he finds it in turmoil. Fear has turned to anger, and the shouts of cowards and accusers (often the same people) echo off the huts. Many are dead, more still are injured, and, without religious guidance, the Mkuu is failing to keep order. He holds up his hands, urging people to be calm, but his voice does not travel far and he is not being listened to. It is chaos, but in chaos there is opportunity.

A telepathic scream rings out across the town, stunning everyone briefly into a silence before the panic begins anew. Gracious recognises it as the mourning howl of Laval, and shudders at the telepathic power she must be channelling. He has seen what Vex could do, and, though the wych is dead, it is hard not to be wary of the other. They didn't exactly part ways on the happiest of terms.

And yet, she seems to be contacting him. Words reverbrate in his mind, and they don't seem angry: instead, emotionless, numb.

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

Get line of sight to me and I will link us.

Gracious knows which way Laval left, and presumably that is where she will come from. He has had some time to act in Kifodini in Laval's absence, and can probably afford to pop out for a moment or two: if he wants to, that is.

[Feel free to detail what you did in the immediate aftermath of the battle, before you were contacted by Laval.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:10 pm

Gracious begins to take charge in the manner that come easily to him, acting as a demagogue to the panicking and angry villagers. I would like to use my Inspire Wrath talent to pass on his Hatred of the Ecclesiarchy onto them. His line is that what has happened represents a failure of the church to keep them safe - their messengers have proven weak and unable to deal with threats. While the faith of Kifodini is not in question, surely the faith of the Ecclesiarchy must be? He bundles Nuru into this - while she was a layperson, she spoke with authority on doctrine, everyone saw this! This is his golden opportunity, he sees, to turn the people of Kifodini away from the Makuu.

I will wait and hear how this has gone, before I decide about Laval?

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:26 pm

[We will treat this as a Social Conflict against a Crowd, as detailed in the Tome of Excess. The basics are as follows.

The crowd has a Collective Willpower of 50, on account of their size. Because of their fear and anger, they are Antagonistic, imposing -10 on Tests. Each Round of the Conflict, Gracious bids Infamy from 0 to 57 (his Infamy level). He then delivers a short speech of dialogue. I will determine whether or not this is likely to please or anger the crowd. If the former, then you get +20, if the latter, -20. You then make the appropriate Interaction Test, probably Charm, Command or Deceive. If you succeed, the crowd loses 1d5+infamy bid Willpower. If you fail, then Gracious loses 1d5+infamy bid Willpower. If the crowd is taken to 0 Willpower or less, the Conflict is a success; if Gracious is taken to 0 Willpower or less, the Conflict has failed and the crowd turns hostile. If you ever roll a natural 100, the crowd turns hostile.

For determining your approach, certain Talents have certain effects (you have all of the following, and I have modified the above to reflect some passive Talents):

Air of Authority: +10 when using Command.
Demagogue: Causes 1d10 rather than 1d5 Willpower damage on a success if Charm or Intimidate is used.
Mimic: Causes 1d10 rather than 1d5 Willpower damage on a success if Gracious uses Mimic to ridicule anyone.
Peer: Gains +20 to Infamy Reserve.
Unremarkable: +20 when using Deceive if you choose to use it, but if you do, your Infamy Reserve halves. Decide at the start of the Conflict.

To begin the social encounter, I want lines of dialogue. What you have written sounds like a good description of what you want to cover, but if possible I'd like an extract. You also need to tell me how much Infamy you are bidding on the first Round.

Finally, engaging in this Social Conflict means that Gracious is temporarily ignoring Laval. This requires too much time and energy on his part, and Laval contacts him too soon.]

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Re: Turn 3 Thread

Post by wren on Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:35 pm

"People of Kifodini. Listen; I salute your piety, it... it's been such an inspiration to me! What's happened is awful, yeah, it, uh, it's not your fault. Your faith is powerful... the real problem is the faith of those that have led you! The priesthood, those who have attempted to speak from the books of the faith, look what has happened to them - cast down! Only your pure faith, untrammeled by, uh... you have the power! You don't need priests telling you what doctrine is: look in your hearts!"


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