Turn 4 Thread

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:59 pm

[Yep, that's the plan. Not intending to waltz up to the front door with my mutations, at least not at first, but hopefully scope out the area.]

Laval sends a curt thought to Marina, requesting her presence. Marina, having had a pleasantly lazy day, is eager to get moving. She intercepts the group on the way out of Imani, falling in beside Laval with a comfortable ease that is definitely not reciprocated. However, as the night darkens, Laval struggles more and more with the footing, and eventually accepts Marina's hand to guide her.

Exhaustion is beginning to weigh heavily on Laval. Some part of her is still insistent that she can just never sleep again and that will be fine, but the larger part recognises that she will need to face her fears and sleep eventually. Friendly chatter with Gracious does something to lift her mood, but she is inclined to fall silent and trudge mutely, head down.

"So what's the plan?" Marina asks at one point.

Laval shrugs. "We get close enough to see what the situation is, then look for somewhere out of sight to camp. You're good at that, right?"

It isn't a plan, per se. It's stalling while she prays for more information to come her way... and while she tries to sort out the tangled mess of her emotions. But she has no desire to discuss such things with Marina.

"Sure," Marina agrees blithely, "I'm great."

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:14 pm

Exhaustion is starting to catch up with Laval: the exhaustion of her emotional turmoil, the exhaustion of not sleeping, and the exhaustion of numerous long treks. She is starting to feel unwell, and even with the assistance of Marina, it is getting to the point where rest is necessary.

[Laval has suffered 4 levels of Fatigue.]

The Villa von Klossner can be seen at a distance, not necessarily for its size, but for the empty space about it. What might have been planned to be gardens are instead the arid wastes of Swaadi, circled with a tall, spiked rail that meets for a central, iron gate. Nonetheless, the mansion, when compared to the huts of Imani or Kifodini, is huge. A stately manse, it rears up into the sky like a gothic beast, crafted from local sandstone, replete with gargoyles and decorative arches that give it a gloomy kind of splendour. From here, the group can make out patrols of private mercenaries. Without getting closer and risking detection, it's not possible to discover more about them, but it seems that locals cannot simply wander in to the Villa von Klossner.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:24 pm

Marina tenses. She has had the most curious sensation for some time now, but now she feels certain. They are being followed, and have been followed for some time. It is difficult to make out how many, but when Marina subtly glances towards the hills from which they came, she sees the flash of magnoculars, or perhaps a scope. Unbidden, the killer's blood begins to pump faster, ready for fight or flight.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:28 pm

Marina does not react subtly to threats.

"Get down," she hisses, pushing Laval firmly to the floor. Clumsy and mostly blind in the darkness, Laval is in no position to resist. Marina drops as well, in case the glint signalled imminent sniper fire, but only briefly - she is soon back on her feet, searching for cover to push her charge behind and to make use of herself in approaching the assumed enemy.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:00 am

The first Laval or Gracious have a hint that anything is wrong is when Marina leaps into action.
 
"Get down," she hisses, pushing Laval firmly to the floor. Clumsy and mostly blind in the darkness, Laval is in no position to resist. Marina drops as well, but only briefly - she is soon back on her feet, searching for cover to push her charge behind and to make use of herself. The best (and only) cover is a baobab tree: big enough for all of them, but a tricky prospect.
 
Elsewhere, a sniper fires. There is not much noise at all, but Marina curses as she twists, a las-round smacking into the grass beside her. Gracious and Laval are quickly directed to the tree, or get there of their own accord. But if there is a sniper out there, one tree can't protect them forever, and they are otherwise in the open.
 
Fuck! Gracious telepathically exclaims.
 
Marina begins bounding towards the hill from whence the group came, while Sten dithers in the open. There is another smack as a las-round strikes a target, splintering Sten's elbow into pieces and blowing off half his arm. He drops without a sound, and it is not immediately obvious whether or not he is dead. Gracious is busy panicking a bit by the tree - but when he sees Sten fall he tenses.
 
"Sten! Fuck! Fuck!"
 
Laval swears wordlessly across the link, hesitates.
 
Who the FUCK is shooting at us? Gracious demands.
 
It's dark, I can't- I don't know if-
 
It's going to be OK. Gracious tells her. Sten... I don't think he's made it. Fuck. He's not moving, he's not FUCKING moving.
 
I could check but - I'd be an easy target out there –
 
NO. The thought is clear across the link - almost pleading.
 
Marina bounds forward. She grunts as she takes a las-round to the shoulder. She had moved too slow, but it is only a parting shot, and she continues with hungry zeal. Another whips past her head, made with a more lethal aim, but she ducks under it at the last moment. She makes it to the hill, moving impressively fast as further rounds crack about her. Chancing a glance, Laval dares to dream that Marina might make it.
 
The muffled whipcracks cease for about ten seconds as Marina confidently bounds up the hill. As she nears its lip, a figure steps out - barely visible to Gracious and Laval, but to Marina a local teenage girl with dried blood on her face and tattered clothes. The figure levels her stub revolver and fires, the bullet pinging off Marina's chestplate. Marina darts to the side, circling her prey slightly before she makes the final pounce. Her assailant fires again, but it goes wide, and she draws a wickedly curved sword in grim anticipation of the fight to come. Their eyes meet: both the eyes of killers, relishing the coming bloodshed.
 
Marina leaps, her power sword crackling into life as she falls on her victim. Her foe is barely quick enough, but brings up her blade. It is cut into pieces, but it slows the attack, and the girl jumps back with something like fear. But then a las-round from the relocated sniper rings out, and catches Marina hard to the arm. She howls in pain, and the young girl jumps forward, spinning past her blade and getting her into a tenuous hold.
 
Marina quickly spins out of the hold, but when she swings to kill the girl, the teenager jumps back with childish glee. "YOU'RE DEAD!" she screams happily. "YOU'RE SO DEAD!"
 
Her taunts are quickly cut short as a las-round slams into her leg. The girl screams in pain and shock, and Marina jumps forward to capitalise on the distraction. Her sword fizzes as it buries into the teenager's chest. Her victim barely has time to let loose one last howl of agony before she is completely encased in fire, melting her skin and popping her eyes like superheated eggs.
 
A las-round whips towards the murderer, but Marina darts to the side. She cannot place the shot by noise alone, but her enemy shines in her preysense goggles, and Marina gives chase with a savage delight. She bounds out of sight from Gracious and Laval.
 
"What now?" Gracious asks.
 
I don't know, Laval responds in thought. Pray?
 
...yeah, not a bad shot... "Let me see, I do know one..."
 
"Oh Prince, hear this supplication. / Though I am not worthy. / I do not desire this death that you set before me. / Let me live another dawn. / Let me see another horizon. / Let me taste the flesh of a new world. Oh, Prince..."
 
*****
 
Elsewhere, Marina hisses as she is struck to the leg. It burns deep, and slows her as she makes her pursuit. Another smacks into her chest, hitting her bodily. For a few moments, it slows her down, but then Marina darts forward, dodging the next shot and finally closing on her prey. But it's... like something she's never seen before, or at least not often. It consumes her with terror, and she is overcome with the urge to run. She drops to the ground, fainting, but catching herself almost as soon as she hits the ground. Yet a las-round buries into her, and punches the air from her body. A lesser Heretic would be downed, but Marina has the agility of a might huntress. She darts upwards and attacks, as a shot goes wide.
 
Marina pounces. She is slowed by her injuries, terrified almost out of her mind, but there is nothing left, nothing but the hunt and the hunted and the duel that will decide which is which. She swings out with her blade, but it is a wide arc and the daemon ducks beneath. It reaches out with a powered blade of its own, but Marina is too quick, battering it away with a finely timed parry. The thing is quick, and Marina adapts, pouncing to one side whilst striking at the other. The daemon is fooled, and Marina's blade finds its mark, severing her victim's leg and sending her enemy to the ground.
 
For a moment, it seems as though the daemon is about to leap back into the fray, but it hisses with a strange, almost human sound before disappearing into a cloud of charged, pink dust. Marina blinks, backs up, whirls to see if the threat has moved, not really comprehending what has happened. It seems entirely gone, its equipment with it. Marina might think that it was never there, were it not for her own terrible injuries and the pillar of pink sand left in its place.
 
[Marina gains 1 Infamy and 4 Corruption. She gains the Eye of Chaos mutation, and the Secretive Mental Disorder.]
 
*****
 
Gracious and Laval wait in tense apprehension. They hear in the distance the muffled sounds of las-rounds, and the odd swing of a powered weapon, but who has the upper hand is entirely unknown to them. The combat, however dramatic, is over the lip of the hill, and concealed in darkness and shadow.
 
... Do... do you think it's over? Gracious queries.
 
Not so very long after silence falls, Marina steps out from behind the tree just a few paces from the other two, sword still in hand though the power field is deactivated. Laval stifles a cry of surprise, whilst telepathic alarm echoes through Gracious’ mind.
 
"Done!" Marina declares, then, almost thoughtfully, "Ow." She has suffered burns all over her body, pockmarked with las-rounds to the abdomen, arm and legs. It's a miracle she's still standing at all.
 
"What happened... who...?" Gracious demands. "That girl we saw, she's... she's one of the..."
 
Marina shrugs. "Problem solved."
 
Laval winces. "Do you want... uh... let me just..."
 
Gracious is looking around, still twitching. He sees Sten's body and, slowly, walks over. Laval looks nervously between Marina and Sten. "Is he...?"
 
He kneels down and pats him sadly, in the manner of someone saying goodbye to a treasured possession. There is not much blood, for the las-round left the wound cauterised. But, when Gracious touches the body, it dissolves into ash.
 
"Didn't think he'd made it. Fuck."
 
"Oh," Laval says. "I'm sorry."
 
"Fuck. I... Idiot. Fuck. FUCK."
 
Laval shakes her head sadly, turns back to Marina, lays her hands on the woman and closes her eyes. Gracious is shaking with a cold, quiet anger. He stands up and turns, and watches as Laval... does her thing.
 
Marina cries out in pain and surprise, jerks away from Laval. "What are you-?!"
 
"Oh be quiet, for gods' sakes,” Laval retorts. “You're fine." She turns back towards Gracious, leaving Marina poking her burns in puzzlement. "You said you recognised her?"
 
"I... couldn't be sure. Let's go and... she looked like one of the... my... Ari's... who was shooting at us?"
 
Marina shrugs, looking put out. "Doesn't matter. It's gone now."
 
Gracious's eyes dart to meet Laval's, a grim expression on his face. He starts to walk up the hill to where the fighting happened.
 
It? Laval registers. Bad sign... She sighs, following close at Gracious’ heels, Marina somewhat more reluctantly behind. There is not much with which to recognise corpses. The girl has been burned to a crisp, her features destroyed. Meanwhile, after a bit of searching, Gracious and Laval find a pillar of pink salt.
 
"..." Gracious offers. "Well, uh..." Gracious picks up a bit of the salt, and gets a few tubes and a couple of scraps of indicator paper out of his chym-kit - he tries to identify the salt.
 
"Marina, what happened up here?" Laval asks. Marina does not respond.
 
"Huh," Gracious notes. "This is... weird." He begins to bag up the salt as Laval stares at him expectantly. "Look, this... I've sold this. Or something like it... It's like D-dust. But I've never - I don't know how you make it. They say you make it from daemons..."
 
"Weird,” Marina responds. Laval sighs, rubs her temples with her fingers.
 
Gracious He doesn't take long, not bothering to get every last bit, but gets some chunks of salt in a bag. "Sorry. I... shock. Just want to... not think... fuck. I'll calm down in a - fuck - I just... Sten…"
 
"It's okay,” Laval tells him. Across the mind-link, she offers comfort, sadness, warmth.
 
Thank you, Gracious responds. I... it's not like... you and Vex. But we've been together a while... He was a stupid fuck, but he didn't deserve to die in violence. Always thought he'd die twitching on the floor next to his latest chym, mad grin on his face. S'how he'd have wanted to go. Just a playing piece. But a good one.
 
It looked quick, at least.
 
Yeah. What do you think...
 
"Can we go yet?” Marina complains. “You two are fish in a barrel."
 
"Sure. Yeah. Plan time."
 
"Ugh."
 
"Just...” Laval asks. “Keep an eye out for danger, please?"
 
"Fine," Marina answers.
 
I hate her, Laval remarks. What were you asking?
 
"Do you think we can get over the fence?” Gracious asks aloud. “Or are we going to have to blag it?"
 
Ari, he responds to Laval. She... do you think...?
 
It fits, but... I don't know. Would she?
 
I haven't seen her - spoken to her - since... since we left Imani the first time.
 
"I can,” Marina notes. “... maybe after a bit of rest. Grumpy-guts here? No way. You? Don't know."
 
Maybe, Gracious finishes, mostly ignoring Marina.
 
Some part of me feels like I should be cross with you, Laval notes. But honestly I'm just glad we're both alive. Not your fault, I guess, anyway.
 
I'm glad you're OK. Gracious turns to Marina. "We'll have to try and blag it, then. Worth seeing if the mercs are church, or local. If not..."
 
"I'll grab one and ask?" Marina suggests.
 
"Marina, no," Laval firmly returns.
 
Gracious pauses awkwardly. "So I was going to suggest bribing them with drugs."
 
"They're armed,” Laval continues. “You're burned half to death, and they move in groups."
 
Marina looks blankly at the pair.
 
"Depends how professional they're feeling," Gracious notes, continuing to elaborate on his bribing plan.
 
"And then get one to come with me?" Marina asks. Laval sighs.
 
We could... Gracious thinks. We could always come seeking aid for her. "There's still your..." he gestures upwards from his mouth.
 
Laval smiles slightly, weakly. "In the dark, smoke might cover it. But it's a big might."
 
"Why doesn't Marina get a little closer at least, without taking one, tell us what she sees?" Gracious offers. "Feels like we're, uh, shooting in the dark..."
 
"Can do,” Marina confirms. “Want me to find somewhere for you two to hide first?"
 
"I think that makes sense. Laval?"
 
Laval nods.
 
"Back to fetch you shortly,” Marina stalks off, the direction suggesting an intent to circle the villa.
 
Dangerous people we surround ourselves with... Gracious remarks.
 
Yeah...
 
...So what did you see, "– When you saw my –” Dreams? Gracious - perhaps deliberately, perhaps not - moves in and out of thought and speech.
 
Sitting down in the grass to wait for Marina, Laval puts her head on her knees. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. I think dreams make more sense when you're having them.
 
I don't remember them, normally.
 
It was... odd. I can see why nobody ever recommended it to me.
 
Heh. Well, a new experience, anyway.
 
Yes, certainly that. Very... fast.
 
It was... it was good to just sit and talk of nothing and eat, actually. I haven't done that... in a while.
 
Agreement. It was good. Exhaustion rolls off her in waves, ebbing and flowing with her thoughts as if she is trying to keep it out of the link, but her concentration keeps slipping.
 
You still can't sleep? I wish... is... can I do anything?
 
Drug Marina for me? Humour. I've just got to lie down and face it, I suppose. I have to fall asleep eventually, if I get tired enough.
 
If you want, I can stay up a bit, keep watch, you know? And surely she'll sleep after her injuries.
 
I'd like that, Laval responds. I don't think she's going to betray me. She seems pretty set on this job. It's just...
 
She's a wild card.
 
It's all a game to her, you know? But her idea of fun is not mine.
 
I... it's not a million miles from my own. I get it. But I get you, too.
 
I know. Warmth. Don't let her tie you up, okay? I know you're into that, but...
 
I don't let people tie me up unless they're worth a damn, Gracious remarks.
 
Humour. Just checking. I like you in one piece.
 
Well, if you change your mind about that, you're definitely worth a damn. Heh.
 
Did I ever say I was against the idea? Laval notes.
 
It's true.
 
And I should hope so... who else knows your body like you do?
 
It's why it's appealing.
 
Gods, if I were not so tired... Amusement, an edge of satisfaction, an undercurrent of desire.
 
*****
 
Meanwhile, Marina stalks nearer to the villa. There are a few trees and patches of long grass nearer to the mansion, where some unfortunate gardener from ages past has vaguely attempted to get something to grow. There is a particular place to camp that is mostly concealed by the corner of the rails, hidden in the grass behind a baobab tree.
 
She climbs up the tree with ease, perches herself in the undergrowth and watches the villa. There are regular patrols, and Marina studies them for a while, determining their movements. They are uniform, and Marina knows enough of war to start piecing together their instructions. Though their orders might change, it is unlikely, and Marina is confident she knows where patrols will vaguely be at any given time.
 
[Those benefitting from this information are at +20 to Stealth Tests to get inside the Villa von Klossner.
 

All told, Marina is at 1 Wound. She has used all her Infamy Spends.]

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:06 am

After finishing her observation, Marina slips back down and goes to fetch the blind idiots that she's somehow ended up responsible for. She leads Laval and Gracious to her chosen hiding spot and gives them strict instructions to stay low, keep quiet and not do anything dumb. A little reluctantly, still fired up with adrenaline, she submits to first aid from Laval before leaving them to it.

Gracious has raised queries about the nature and allegiances of the mercenaries, so Marina would like to get a closer look at them - are they locals? Do they bear any insignias? More importantly, what are they armed with? She acknowledges sadly that stealing one from the back of a patrol is probably impractical, but she hopes to get close enough to get a good idea of their load-out. She is also interested in the villa itself - potential entrance points and any other defences it might have.

Meanwhile, if Gracious is willing to keep watch as he suggested, Laval lies down and tries once again to find sleep. Exhaustion is a powerful pull towards unconsciousness, but fear is strong too. And, once she lets go of the mind-link, loneliness sets in, and grief. Almost unconsciously, she edges closer to Gracious, seeking the comfort of physical contact, and prays that Marina does nothing to cause more stress. Maybe if she can just stay still and quiet for a little while, she can sleep...

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:26 am

Laval tends to Marina's many injuries with a tired but steady hand. The adrenaline starting to wear off, Marina finds the pain increasingly intense, but the soothing balms help and she does feel a little better.

[Marina has recovered 5 Wounds, and so is on 6 Wounds.]

From her spot on the tree, Marina was able to learn much of this information. In the darkness and through her preysense goggles, it is not possible to determine the ethnicity of the mercenaries. Taking off her goggles, their faces are just shrouded in blackness, despite the stablights attached to their guns.

Those guns, meanwhile, look like lasguns to the untrained eye. However, Marina has experience and knowledge of the ways of war, and notices the bulky backpacks that are connected by power cable to the weapons. These are hellguns: las-weapons with much more stopping power than the average lasgun. It marks the mercenaries as dangerous. They also wear light carapace (though few are wearing their helmets on patrol) and carry chainblades on their hips. By the way they murmur into the air, Marina assumes that they have micro-beads as well.

The villa itself, were it not for its guards, is almost laughably accessible. It is festooned with ancient windows, many of which are left open throughout the warm night. The walls, if one wanted to enter from the second story, are weathered and grooved by the elements, whilst gargoyles and decorative architectural features afford easy handholds and footholds. Making her way around the mansion's entire perimeter, Marina satisfies herself that there are no armaments or obvious defences on the building itself.

[Climbing the walls of the Villa von Klossner is Easy (+30).]

Laval is fortunate to have Marina disappear for some time, and when she settles down in the long grass, it is as if she is resting her head on downy feathers. Now she has let her body rest, it is as exhaustion washes over her like a wave, lulling her into the darkness and peace of unconsciousness. Does she sleep?

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:27 pm

Well-equipped, probably well-trained... the temptation to go after a mercenary is strong. Only the impracticality keeps her from trying it. No way she'd get an armoured person over the fence and drag them far enough that their allies wouldn't hear their screams.

She could report back to Laval. She could. But why would she? Pain, she thinks to herself. I'm hurt. But she's also hungry, and there's never enough to eat in the wilds. She could keep scouting, and maybe find herself something better in the process.

She waits for the right time, then decides to go for it. Maybe she can get in.

*****

If Gracious is true to his word and keeps watch over her, the comfort of his presence lets the fear ebb enough that Laval is finally able to sleep.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:21 pm

[To clarify, is Marina hunting mercs or food inside the villa? If she cannot separate one merc from a patrol, does she abandon her hunt or try and take on larger numbers?]

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:37 pm

[Food. If she spots a merc on their own she would be extremely tempted, but her plan is to resist said temptation and find herself lunch. Also maybe tactically useful information, but, y'know, lunch. She is a simple creature.]

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:53 pm

Marina pounces at the gate, scaling it with speed. But it is hard work, and with her injuries and heavy armour, it is tiring. She flinches as the spikes scrape across her armour, but she is unhurt and is quiet enough to avoid detection as she drops, catlike, inside the villa's grounds.

[Marina has suffered 1 level of Fatigue.]

From there, she bides her time, still crouched down on all fours like a feline beast. She waits until she sees the pair of mercenaries making their scheduled patrol, and darts forward, knowing that she has a gap before the next patrol comes. She glides through the grounds like a breeze, unseen and unheard, pressing against the sandstone wall of the building. She sniffs, and her hairs stand up at the back of her neck. Something smells like purest terror within the mansion, on the upstairs, mingled with the stench of blood, sweat and vomit. It almost puts her off her meal, but a pang of hunger returns to her, and she slyly makes her way inside.

She listens. There do not seem to be any mercenaries within the villa - at least, she cannot hear anyone stomping around in heavy armour. There are lighter footsteps, and the cluttering sound of silver trays and cutlery, and Marina supposes that there are servants making their rounds as dawn begins to break. She slips closer to the door, barely registering the exquisite tea-room she has intruded into. Archaic tea cups sit undisturbed among ivory sugar-pots, silver tongs waiting impeccably for their master's attention. The door opens with a slight creak, and Marina watches as a Swaad woman, dressed in black and white servant's garb, walks past her with an empty silver tray. Marina looks the way she came, just in time to see a large chamber-hall door closing on the other side of an entrance hall. Within, a breakfast banquet is laid out: fresh meat, fruit and delicacies displayed alongside fine wines and cool, sparkling water. 

Her stomach rumbling, Marina darts across the entrance hall. It is a stately entrance, a large, mahogany front door leading to a meticulously carved staircase and mezzanine. The household is mostly still asleep, and Marina slips open the door to the banquet and stealths inside. She looks up as a servant drops a set of cutlery with a clatter, the Swaad man's eyes open with shock and fear. With a spring leap, Marina pounces upon him, one hand over his mouth. After a bit of struggling, she has him to the floor, an unfortunate witness to her trespass, but taken down without a sound. What does Marina do next?

*****

Meanwhile, Laval allows the exhaustion to crash over her and take her away to the oblivion of sleep. Most mortals would be too tired to even dream, but wyches do not have this luxury. She dreams of a screaming, teenage girl, her leg being fed to her in bloody gibbets, watched over by monsters with shadows much longer than their forms. It is terrifying, but it is just a dream, and when Laval wakes, she is finally rested.

[Laval recovers her Fatigue loss.]

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:21 pm

Breakfast! Shame about this guy. She contemplates killing him, but she doesn't need long. He can live. She chokes him unconscious, then hurries about her business - which is to say breakfast. Marina stuffs her face and pockets, heedless of decorum or sane combinations of food items. She drinks her fill of water, eats as fast as she can whilst she shoves spare into her clothes wherever it will fit. She is conscious that she has little time now that servants are awake, plans to grab as much as she can and make good her escape the same way she came in.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:00 pm

Marina eats happily, finally able to gorge herself on a full meal. She happily stuffs pastries alongside thin meats and wine, the strange combination creating a rich, if odd, palette inside her mouth. Eating well puts her at ease, and gives her newfound strength with which to start the day.

[Marina recovers her Fatigue and is at +5 WP for today.]

Having stuffed her mouth full of food and her pockets with more, Marina makes good her escape. She leaves the unconscious servant and the untidy table of half-gorged food, back into the tea-room and out before anyone else notices. Waiting for a scheduled patrol, she ghosts across the grounds and hoists herself over the fence. It is easier now she has a full meal in her, and she hops over before escaping the villa, her plunder complete.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:48 pm

Taking a slightly roundabout route in case any unseen observer happened to see her leave, Marina returns to her idiots. She's starting to feel a certain fondness for them. It happens whenever she has victims to look after. No, she reminds herself, these aren't victims. These are her sort-of-boss and her ally. Maybe Gracious could be a victim? But that doesn't really sound like helping.

She sneaks up to the makeshift campsite, dumps crushed pastries on top of Laval, who does not wake. If Gracious asks, she will grudgingly give up some of her stolen bounty to him as well. Then, anticipating sunlight, she flops down to snooze. If there was something else she was meant to be doing, she does not recall. And if her sort-of-boss is still asleep, surely Marina can sleep too.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:53 pm

Laval by this time is fast asleep, Gracious watching over her a little sleepily. Marina settles down to enjoy a post-feed nap. The dawn breaks, casting a warm glow over her forehead, and she easily slips into a pleasant sleep.

What do the pair do when they awake?

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:13 pm

Laval wakes to find the fog in her mind has lifted. There is a brief, pleasant moment after the terror of dreaming fades but before the worries of the waking world set in. And then she notices that someone has put pastries on her while she sleeps. Confusion reigns for a moment, then she sits up and the wheels of thought start turning. She eats - whatever the implications of the stolen food, refusing to do enjoy it would not help. She may as well take this small pleasure. She reaches out instinctively for Vex's mind. But he is not there. Grief hits her like a wall. But she is stronger than that, and she does not cry, nor try to hide in sleep again.

She has run up against the unknown. In her misery and exhaustion, she laid no plans for herself to follow once she got here. But here she is. Still alive. She thinks over her briefing on the villa and its inhabitants. The Von Klossners are of no inherent interest to her, but the ties to the Deacon... Perhaps it is time to ditch subtlety and go on the offensive. It's what Vex always recommended. She has a monster as a tool - the thought sparks a thread of nervousness as she glances at the killer to make sure she is still sleeping - perhaps it is time to use her. Whatever antics Marina pulled to obtain these pastries, it surely can't have gone unnoticed.

Laval nudges Marina awake, a little jealous of how easily and comfortably the other woman transitions from sleep to wake and vice versa. Quietly, she quizzes Marina on what she found out in the night. To Laval's irritation, Marina is mute, smug, defiant, self-satisfied. So Laval forces her way into Marina's mind in search of the information. She does not get far before Marina's claws click out, her smile transmuting into a flat, threatening gaze - and her eyes, her eyes have changed, a wyrdling light glimmering behind them. Laval retreats from her mind in a hurry, the whole silent stand-off taking only a handful of seconds.

When Marina relaxes and looks away, Laval puts her head in her hands. Why does she have to be so difficult?

[Realise I haven't actually done anything. Still thinking. Just leaving this here in case it's relevant to Gracious or anything, will post again when I have actual actions to take.]

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:22 pm

[Noted, no problem.]

Gracious excuses himself shortly after Laval wakes, wanting to take a sociable approach to getting inside the villa. Unlike Marina, he simply begins walking up towards the central gate, hoping to talk his way past the guards. Laval and he part amiably, and wish each other well. Watching him go, Laval returns to her scheming.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:43 pm

"Fine," Laval concedes eventually. "If you won't tell me anything, do you have a plan?"

Marina thinks about this. "What are we even here for?" she asks.

Laval sighs. "Someone in there - probably the Lady Klossner - has information I need about the Makuu's leaders. Information I can use to get at the Deacon and his cronies. That's the end game here."

"So you don't actually care about anyone in there?"

"Only Gracious."

"I'm good at getting information from people," Marina remarks.

Laval resists the urge to put her head back in her hands. "Well," she concludes. "You'd better start doing your thing, then. Remember that people going missing will probably raise the alarm. And don't get killed."

So Marina starts doing her thing. Daylight isn't as good as night-time, but apparently she needs to get on with it. Pulling her cloak around her, she shimmies up the tree again to have a look at the guards and see if their routine is different during daylight hours.

Then, if she estimates it's plausible, it's time to get over the fence again and sneak in.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:39 pm

Happy to unleashed, Marina scales the tree and watches the mercenaries for a time. Now that it is daylight, she can see that they are foreigners to this world. Marina is well-travelled across the galaxy, and she recognises their olive skin as native to Aventine, a pleasant, oceanic agri-world safe in the bosom of Askellon. Meanwhile, Marina can see that their routine has not changed. Indeed, they look rather relaxed, given there is a war on. Presumably, the place has not been attacked for some time, if ever.

Marina supposes that she better make it fast before the mansion is alerted to intruders by the unconscious man she left in the banquet hall. She deftly clambers over the railings and makes her approach. Though it is touch-and-go for a time - a patrol is delayed slightly by their ambling gait, and almost spots her - Marina makes her way back into the tea-room. Awkwardly, she sees that it is set up, as if it is about to be in immediate use. What does she do?

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:25 pm

She listens at the door briefly, wondering if she can make it into the next room and from there further into the villa before anyone arrives. This is a mad idea, and she is thrilled to be doing this crazy thing.

If sound from the other room indicates that she cannot go that way, back out the window and in through another one seems like the best bet.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:06 pm

"What do you mean, already eaten?" Marina hears. The voice is adult, male and aristocratic, and sounds particularly annoyed. The sounds are coming from the entrance hall. Marina remembers from her last visit that the entrance hall is to her right - with no door between them - but that there is a door opposite the corridor. She could make it, if she's quick, the distraction continues, and she's quiet.

"I-I mean, it-it's gone..." a stuttering male voice returns. This one has the heavy accent of a Swaad, and sounds extremely afraid. The pair seem interrupted by the noise of footfalls coming from up the stairs.

"Who the devil are you?" the aristocratic voice demands. Marina takes this as her cue to move - presumably, everyone is looking up at the stairs. She slips through the door and ghosts across the corridor, swiftly opening the door and closing it behind her. No one notices her as she moves, and she grins in delighted victory. She looks around.

Marina seems to be in some kind of workshop. It isn't a huge room, and the purpose of it is quite unfathomable to the killer. She would guess that the strange machines are there to make clothes, for there are needles and scraps of colourful fabric strewn about by some messy creative soul. A few pieces of outrageously strange and noble design are displayed: a long dress that seems to shine with the power of a thousand suns, and shifts in colour depending on the way you look at it, topped with a gaudy flower lace that tracks the contours of the body.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:18 pm

Marina starts suddenly as she sees, for a few seconds, two ghostly figures in the room with her. One is the ethereal form of a young, attractive man with noble features, deftly sewing up the wounds of another with shadowy needles. The other is the ghost of a heavily armoured man, blood pouring from a terrible wound across his torso, receiving medical treatment. The young man, satisfied with his progress, steps away. He glances up suddenly and locks eyes with Marina, before the pair disappear entirely. It is deeply unsettling, but Marina keeps her cool.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:53 pm

Well, the places where nobles live sure are weird. Oh well.

This room doesn't appear to offer any particular opportunities, save a chance to hide and contemplate her next move. She listens at the door, hoping to pick up a hint of what is going to happen next in the household that might inform her next moves.

She also scans the room briefly for any more secure hiding spots - it's always worth having a few ideas memorised in case of needing to hide in a hurry.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:01 pm

There is movement around the house as the noble family wakes. Servants scurry about, but Marina cannot make out specifically what they are up to. Nobles need to eat just like everyone else, though? Following that thought, Marina supposes that they will either begin making their way to the banquet hall, or, due to her own thefts, relocate somewhere else. The tearoom would not be a bad bet as an alternative location.

The kitchen seems to be down the corridor away from the entrance hall, and there is almost constant activity as the servants try to salvage breakfast. Once the nobles come for food, downstairs seems like the wrong place to be, whilst the upstairs might be mostly abandoned. Marina might try to go on foot, or else use one of the windows in the workshop and try and scale the external walls. She thinks on her options. There are plenty of hiding spots here behind arcane, clothes-making machinery, along with store cupboards where materials are kept.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:35 pm

Marina notes the room as a useful one to come back to, then moves on. She chooses to go via the interior of the house, reasoning that if she is caught there, it is likely to be by a servant, and she may have a chance to react - whereas if she is spotted climbing, it will be by a mercenary with a gun.

She proceeds cautiously, listening for danger and flitting from cover to cover where possible. Her objective is still mainly to explore, to get to know the terrain. Upstairs is particularly intriguing given what she smelled earlier - secrets, perhaps? That's what secrets usually smell like when she's prying them out of people, anyway.

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Re: Turn 4 Thread

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