Turn 6 Thread

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Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:56 pm

[It is now Turn 6. All Secondary Objectives are available. Please use this thread for posting this turn.]

No time like the present? Laval suggests in response to Gracious, and, indeed, it is getting quite late. What's the plan, you want me to just show up at the gate or...?

The deacon smiles at the sight of Gracious, and is soon cajoled into talking about the history of the Grand Makuu. He tells Gracious that it was built at the birth of the planet's Subjugation, its final consecration ceremony marking the official beginning of Imperial dominance over the heathen world. "Not," he adds darkly, "That the primitives have forgotten their ways of sin."

This was over three hundred years ago, before the deacon was alive. However, Deacon Brauer notes that Drill Abbot Gerlinde Forst was present at the consecration ceremony, then a celebrated battle preacher who had fought tooth and nail for the subjugation of the enemy. The first and only cardinal of the Grand Makuu was Cardinal Julian Schraubstock of Juno, a fiery, pitiless servant of the Creed who first declared Holy Crusade against Swaadi and was made Imperial Governor upon the war's completion. As the cardinal became more engrossed in projects across the entire world, it became convenient for him to appoint a deacon of the cathedral to run things in his stead. The tradition of deacons having stewardship of the Makuu has survived the cardinal's death, and Alfred Brauer is the fourth deacon of its history.

The Grand Makuu have overseen the transformation of Swaadi. Deacon Brauer notes that when the War of Subjugation was fought, the Swaad were armed with technological heresies that, "for the heavy price of the user's soul", could rip through the fanatical armies of the Church. As punishment for their crimes, the Church stripped the world of technology, exorcised their academics and scientists through flame and gave the Swaad an "honest, pious life" struggling to work the fields. With their souls humbled, the Swaad were finally ready for the Missionary Galaxia, and (the deacon grudgingly admits) the fighting forces of the Swaad are some of the most pious and fanatical soldiers of the Imperial Guard.

The deacon does not speak well of those Swaad who have not dedicated their lives to the military or church. He argues that the farmers are sullen and ungrateful, and that their sickly forms betray their stained souls. He goes on at length about his treatise, cataloguing the endless minor grievances that the Swaad have raised, and been justly punished for. It takes a while for Gracious to draw him back to the subject of the Makuu, to more recent history.

"Well, Drill Abbot Gerlinda is largely retired, of course," he says, grimacing, "Though I benefit from her counsel from time to time. In truth," he leans in conspiratorially, "Less and less. Meanwhile, my duty is to the financial and material well-being of the Grand Makuu. Trying to save the souls of these savages is a thankless task. I leave Preacher Elias Hasek to it. A bright young man, if a little too feisty for his own good. One sometimes worries that he will start a riot, and then we might have a crisis on our hands. Ambition, I think," the deacon nods sagely, "I've seen young preachers like that before."

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:20 pm

Yes, I'll have Leonard talk to the mercenaries and have you brought through. And indeed he does that - his intent is for the Deacon to be broardly unaware of Laval's arrival, so for rooms to be prepared for her out of the way of the rest of the house. She is just "an associate, who it appears is in the area, and so Leonard was so very kind enough to offer... it is so very dangerous at present..."

Meanwhile, Gracious thanks the Deacon for his time. He tells him he'd like to leave in the next day or so back to the Makuu - will they send an escort for them, given the danger? Should we bring some mercenaries?

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:50 pm

The deacon smiles and nods. "I think I shall return to the Makuu in the morning. My attaches and two mercenaries of the troubled Villa von Klossner should suffice."

Gracious nods in return. If Leonard Schneider accompanies them, there heretic will have, in practice, control of the two Aventine mercenaries. However, if Gracious was tempted by the idea of assassination on the long road to the Makuu, the odds are still distressingly even. Moreover, even cold-blooded mercenaries might pause at the idea of committing Imperial Treason just for a pay check: especially as they must know their employment on Swaadi cannot last.

Leonard helps smooth over any difficulties with the servants, having the deacon set up in the spare bedroom. Gracious and Laval will have the two bedrooms of the deceased between them: the rooms of Markus and Gerhild. It is a grim business, but the servants work quickly to remove personal affects so as not to remind the new guests of recent events.

Instructed to let Laval into the Makuu, and to not cause any undue complexities with frisking or security, the wych is able to enter the mansion without any fuss. She is hurried up to the room previously belonging to Gerhild, before the deacon could have a chance to see or meet her.

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:49 pm

Meanwhile...

It is night outside the Villa von Klossner. Laval has left to enter the mansion, invited by Gracious, leaving Ari and Marina alone to nurse their wounds. Ari has not said much over the day, sitting about listlessly, whilst Marina has been up and down the nearby baobab tree, restless and impatient. Now, the two individuals - individuals who have horribly injured one another in the recent past - are left with each other to resolve their differences: or finish what they started.
 
Ari sits on a rock, impatiently jiggling her one remaining foot. Marina stares at Ari in the dark. Her goggles hide much of her expression, but her burned lips curl into a slight snarl as she watches Ari fidget. Ari’s longlas rests strapped to Marina’s back.
 
"So," Marina begins.
 
Ari turns. "What's... what's your name? I'd like to know that, before..." She shudders. "I don't know."
 
"Marina." She shrugs. "You're Ari, yeah?"
 
"Yeah."
 
"Well. Now we're introduced." The killer walks over to Ari, standing very close. “You said before that I can't kill you. What's stopping me?"
 
"I... what?" Ari looks confused. "I didn't say that."
 
"Yeah you did. Said I can't.” Marina shrugs again. "You were rambling. So. You still feel pain, huh?" She reaches out confidently to prod at Ari's burns. The pseudo-daemon winces in response, looking at Marina with eyes filled with mistrust and fear. She deliberately moves away from Marina a little.
 
Marina flexes her fingers back and razor blades slide out from their sheaths within the tips of her fingers and lock into place. "Got nothing to say, huh?"
 
"I don't..." Ari begins, "Fuck... ah... fuck off. What would we even talk about?"
 
A bright grin flashes across Marina's face. "But how you gonna make me fuck off, huh? Looks like it's just the two of us out here..."
 
Ari looks down at her leg... "Hardly fair. You... I used to be able to run so well!"
 
"Yeah,” Marina retorts, “Well you tried to kill me twice, and I only got to pay you back once."
 
"… I died twice. You... that was your fault." Ari pauses. "We're even."
 
Marina snarls. "Only one of those was my fault. Other one was all you."
 
"Wouldn't have happened without you,” Ari responds. “Couldn't stop shooting."
 
"Yeah, sorry, 'I died because I got carried away trying to kill you' ain't gonna cut it." Marina steps closer again.
 
"So, what, you're going to kill me now?" Ari asks.
 
"Well, now's a strong word." Another smile. "See, I don't like it when people cross me." She reaches out to take hold of one of Ari's wrists - not quickly, almost as if trying to provoke Ari into pulling away. Ari withdraws her arm away.
 
"Scared of me yet?" Marina asks playfully.
 
"Sure. What do you want me to do? Retaliate?"
 
Marina shrugs, grinning. "I want you to roll over and take it. But most people retaliate."
 
Ari pauses, before raising a fist. Marina tries to grab her again, more enthusiastically, as the pseudo-daemon throws out a punch. Marina catches the fist mid-air, raking the charred skin with her claws. It doesn't wound, but it hurts, and Ari's arm is now caught in Marina's grip.
 
Marina goes for Ari's power blade with her other hand, aiming to get it off her before Ari can draw it. She positions herself over Ari's body as her other hand inches to the pseudo-daemon's blade. Ari tries to struggle free, without success, and is overpowered as Marina draws the blade and activates it with a hiss of its power field.
 
"Wanna get burned again?" Marina taunts. "Claws are cleaner, maybe you'd prefer that?"
 
Ari continues to struggle, but cannot break free with her missing leg. "When I die, I'll be free,” she tells Marina. “I am here to serve. You think you know torture?"
 
“You want to die, then?" Marina cocks her head. "I can oblige."
 
Ari wriggles out of Marina's grasp, pushing herself away from Marina. But she has lost her blade, and still at the killer's mercy. She takes a step back, steadying herself against the rock, trying to keep her balance.
 
"Honestly you kinda freak me out, so if you want to just give me your neck, I can make it quick." Marina's tone is peculiarly conversational, as if discussing tea or other trivialities.
 
"I can't do that,” Ari returns, “It is not willed."
 
Marina glances down at her hands, noticing her gauntlets slightly scorched just from touching Ari. She shrugs. "Well. I might not be as good as whatever you met while dead, but if you're scared of me anyway, I reckon I'm good enough."
 
Ari laughs. Marina looks at the power blade in her hand, purses her lips, looks back to Ari. She looks at the power blade in her hand, purses her lips, looks back to Ari.
 
"Fuck it, I hate you." Marina lunges.
 
The melee is over swiftly. Missing a leg, Ari is too slow to evade the coming blade, and it buries into her chest with terrible force. Flames wash over her body from the wound, transforming scorched flesh into little crisped scabs, burning away at Ari's face and sending her tumbling to the ground. Already injured, the blow is fatal.
 
Marina shudders, finding herself peculiarly relieved despite having had every advantage. The pseudo-daemon slowly dissolves into pink salt, scattered across the arid earth by some ethereal wind.
 

[Ari has lost 18 Infamy and has perished. A post detailing her fate will follow in the near future.]

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:07 am

And so, Ari returns to the palace of the Dark Prince Slaanesh.
 
In the centuries that follow in the minds of mortals, Ari learns to forget those memories of when she was whole, and made of flesh and blood. Her rifle, once so treasured, the one link to her kin, dissolves slowly into bitter ash. She sloughs off her charred skin to reveal perfection beneath, her stump rounded off with a leg of purest silver, forged from decadence and violence. Sometimes, Ari returns to the realms of Man, to rip apart a naïve ritualist in glorious abandon or, on rare occasion, to serve a wily one in their violent debaucheries. On those occasions, her daemonic mind half-remembers the Grand Cathedral on yonder hill, and yet, it has changed so much that it may not be the same place after all.
 
But these events are rare, spaced hundreds of years apart. Ari’s days are mostly spent in the courts of the Dark Prince, gossiping and scheming with her sisters. Sometimes, she is betrayed, treated as a half-breed by preening daemonettes with their lashing tongues. Sometimes, the words barb so terribly that they form a jagged splinter that peels her flesh when removed. But over the years, it all becomes part of the Dance. Ari betrays, and is betrayed, loves and hates, tastes ecstasy and torture. As her soul is slowly lost, the distinctions begin to lose their meaning, blending and compounding in a never-ending escalation. She simply feels, and that is enough, until she must feel again.
 
And so it is, for ever and a day: the young girl from Swaadi lost, and a monster born. Such is the Price of Chaos.

*****

Gracious knocks on Laval’s door.
 
"Hello?" Laval calls, sounding a little nervous.
 
"It's me," Gracious responds. "May I?"
 
"Gracious, certainly." She answers the door wrapped in a towel, hair still wet from washing but tied back. Her face is elaborately painted with a dark ink in dramatic smoky designs which serve to partially camouflage her mutation.
 
"Well, that's a look," Gracious observes.
 
Laval smiles. "I would be dressed, but my clothes are still soaked."
 
"Good to see you... I'm glad you... you're in safe?"
 
She nods. "Come in? Or are you in a hurry?"
 
Gracious is dressed in newer clothes - a similar style to his old ones, but without the dirt and tattering of the Swaadi wilds. "No hurry." He steps inside. She closes the door, sits down on the edge of the bed. A light smile crosses his face, but his brow is slightly furrowed. "It's good, right?" He points around the room.
 
"Yeah... if still potentially haunted."
 
"Gerhild's, I think. Poor little innocent. Oh?"
 
Laval nods, shrugs. "Well we don't know where our 'ghosts' went."
 
"Ah, I thought you meant..." he trails off. "Yes."
 
"I nearly put my flak cloak back on, but I felt silly just wearing that and a towel," Laval smiles.
 
"Ha!" Gracious laughs. "Was talking to the Deacon. It does seem they're a right bunch, over there at the Makuu."
 
"Mm?"
 
"You know one of them's been alive since the Imperials took this world?"
 
Laval nods.
 
Gracious suddenly falls silent. "Ari's dead," he declares. "I felt it. A few minutes ago. Since I saw her again I could feel the bonds... and they're gone."
 
"What?" Laval winces, puts a hand to her face. "Oh, shit."
 
"She was dead the minute Marina was alone with her, I guess."
 
"Gods damn it, I should have- argh!"
 
"It's alright," Gracious tells her.
 
"Fuck." Laval sighs.
 
"But honestly, she'll probably do the same to me, given half a chance," Gracious muses. "And now there's nothing stopping her."
 
"I don't suppose she'd survive a power sword through the heart," Laval responds.
 
"No, I imagine not. How were you going to engineer that?"
 
She looks up at Gracious, raises an eyebrow. "She carries a power sword."
 
Gracious taps his head. "Ah. I see."
 
"I'm not defenceless." She sighs. "Just nearly."
 
"More so than me. One of these days I really must learn how to fight." Gracious smiles. "But it's so much easier to have people do it for me... The deacon's in his... we're leaving for the Makuu tomorrow. Mercs, some of his will accompany."
 
"How much sway do you have with the Aventine mercs?" Laval asks.
 
"A little. But they'll hardly risk Imperial Treason, I think. Not just this job they've got to think of, it's all the next too."
 
"Well, not yet, at least,” Laval notes, “The galaxy's a big place, there's lots of potential employers..."
 
"Mmm. Honestly, I'm not sure even I have time to turn an entire squadron of mercs against the Imperium."
 
Laval smiles. "Oh come on, there's only twelve of them, and they presumably take orders from their boss... what was her name?"
 
"Oh, I've not counted them. Don't know it."
 
"Patrick said there were twelve, give or take."
 
"Well, perhaps."
 
Laval shrugs again, adjusts the towel slightly to secure it, then flops back on the bed with a sigh. "Peril at every turn..."
 
"Honestly,” Gracious admits, “I have an in into the Makuu right here, right now."
 
"No, I'm not saying not to take it,” Laval clarifies.
 
"If you fuck with the Deacon, it's going to shit on that for me..." Gracious trails off. “But, well..."
 
"I'll leave well alone then, aside from maybe introducing myself politely."
 
Gracious nods. "If you had some way of messing him up subconsciously, I thought maybe..."
 
"I'm not that good. I got the feeling sleeping people might be easy to tinker with, but... I've never tried."
 
"You know,” Gracious remarks conversationally, “You read stories of people having hidden triggers, placed there by rogue psykers."
 
"Yeah... I'd love to be able to do that. But I'd have to experiment."
 
"And it might well mess things up. Yeah..." Gracious watches as Laval looks deep in thought. "What?"
 
"Hm? Oh, just... staring at the ceiling, really. Pretty tired..."
 
Gracious smiles. “Well, you can sleep safe here...? Ah, safe enough, anyway."
 
"Safe?" Laval laughs.
 
"Apart from the murderous ghosts, yes."
 
"Apart from that, heh. At least Marina hates me a little less now, I think. So maybe we're making progress."
 
“She's transferred it to me, I suppose."
 
"I think she's capable of hating more than one person at a time," Laval wryly observes.
 
"She is probably possessed of boundless hate, it's true..." Gracious smiles. "I am really looking forward to another night in these beds. Might be the last for a while."
 
"It feels peculiar, to be honest, after all this time... not sure I remember how to relax."
 
Gracious breaks into a smile again. "Ah, you see, I never do."
 
"Hah, fair."
 
Gracious bounds across the room and lounges in a chaise-lounge. Laval rolls over and props her chin up on her hands to watch him. "So. Reckon your new friend will be amenable to another guest?"
 
"Marina?" Gracious asks.
 
"Oh yeah, her as well, I guess. I meant me and your ticket into the Makuu tomorrow."
 
"Right! It might take some smoothing over, but I could certainly try."
 
"I'm friendly," Laval smiles.
 
"You are!” Gracious grins, “I certainly enjoy your company."

"Ooh, the Church are big into interrogation and stuff aren't they? I wonder if we could get Marina a job." Laval laughs, shaking her head.
 
"She'd fit right in, I think," Gracious jokes. "I've met some Church types. Fonder with whips and chains than many followers of the Prince!"
 
"Ha!"
 
"Which, I mean, I'm not averse to." Gracious raises his eyebrow, a flash in his eyes. "But, you know, there's a time and a place, and I can't say I've ever found churches particularly erotically charged."
 
Laval snorts with laughter. "Really? Why ever not?"
 
"Can't say. Maybe it's all the skulls. You know, I just find them quite judge-y."
 
"Ha, well. I suppose I can't disagree."
 
"Especially if one was being whipped by a naked bishop in them. Hypothetically." He keeps his face studiously neutral.
 
Laval giggles again, shaking her head. "Do they usually get naked for that sort of thing?"
 
"Well, that one wanted to. Hypothetically. Anyway, he was off his face. What an odd job that was."
 
What's a nice respectable fellow like yourself doing associating with debauched types like bishops?” Laval playfully chides. “Tsk."
 
"What must you think of me?" Gracious plays along. "Have you travelled much?"
 
Laval smiles. "Some, mostly in company. Defenceless girl like myself needs an escort, see." She grins. "Otherwise how would people know that I'm not dangerous?"
 
"How could anyone think you weren't dangerous?” Gracious objects, “I knew from the moment I met you."
 
"Drat! You saw through my clever disguise!" She sighs, her smile faltering slightly and becoming wistful.
 
"Seems a long time ago, yeah?"
 
"Yeah."
 
Gracious falls - uncharacteristically - silent for a moment. Laval watches him sleepily, smiling, seeming comfortable for once. He looks up and smiles back.
 
"Penny for your thoughts?" Laval offers.
 
"Just, you know..."
 
Smirking, she reaches out with her mind, not aggressively, to skim the surface of his. Gracious doesn't resist: he's happy, enjoying the chance to relax, nothing currently to do. He's feeling warmth - and slightly flirtatious? - towards Laval - though occasionally worries about betrayal still flit across his mind. Laval withdraws without pushing deeper, sighing happily.
 
"Content with what you see?" Gracious asks. "Such a wonder, that, I still wish... oh! Well, idle dreams."
 
"It's pleasant, feeling you feeling happy." A flicker of doubt crosses her expression, but she smooths it away quickly.
 
"And yet...?" Gracious ventures. "Ah, perhaps I shouldn't push."
 
"No, it's fine." She rolls over again, tips her head back so that she's looking at Gracious upside down. He laughs.
 
"You scare me too, you know?" Laval laughs. "Nobody's in a better place to hurt me. Yet, here I am happy. Funny."
 
"I think... maybe..." Gracious thinks. "I don't know. I feel like maybe letting yourself be vulnerable to someone might be part of letting them in."
 
Laval smiles. "Yeah."
 
"Maybe trust is about letting go,” Gracious suggests, “I don't know. It's... new."
 
"Well, I'm happy to provide something new for you."
 
"Experience, you know?"
 
"Mm."
 
"There's a reason I'm drawn to the Prince by nature. It's not all loud music and drugs..." he shrugs. "...I mean, it's a lot of that."
 
"Heh."
 
"Infinite sensation in infinite combination. It's why the Blood God is its antithesis. Very much about the one sensation, over and over."
 
"Just the same old, again and again." Laval nods. "I mean, I wouldn't have anything against the Blood God if it didn't have so much against me, but... I get you."
 
"And it's so strong!” Gracious observes, “Well, who do the Imperium think they glorify... not their skeleton on a rotting throne, that's for sure."
 
"Gosh, I sure hope nobody's listening at the door right now." Laval giggles.
 
Gracious looks pained for a second. He runs and quietly checks, but the hour is late and no one is there. He steps back into the room, closing the door quietly. "Don't do that to me! Gods..."
 
Laval laughs. "Just occurred to me, sorry."
 
"Nothing that can't be brushed off as a servant's fanciful imagination, I suppose," Gracious remarks.
 
Laval sits up, bites her lip slightly, watching Gracious. He meets her gaze. She grins.
 
“What?" Gracious smiles.
 
"Just... looking at you, all flustered there. Mm." She licks her lips.
 
He smiles. "You, ah... heh. I'm certain it's not as flustered as I could be."
 
"Oh I'm sure," Laval flirts. "Of course, I wouldn't want to upset you. Forgive me?" She smiles sweetly.
 
"Goodness, no," Gracious flirts back. "You've not done anything worth forgiving yet, I'm afraid... I think you should try harder."
 
"Are you asking me for something, Gracious? I seem to recall promising I'd make you work for it..."
 
"I can't help but notice I got you an entire fucking mansion,” Gracious points out. "Clearly not enough."
 
"Touché." Laval laughs.
 
"Fresh towels!” Gracious exclaims “A bath! And now I'm here standing like a lemon while you laugh at me; what more do you want? What do you want?"
 
Laval’s smile softens. "I should think that's obvious by now? I want you, Gracious. I want your body, and I want to pin you down and make you squirm. So why don't you get over here and take your clothes off?"
 
“I mean, I suppose, you know, with nothing better to do..." He grins widely, and the joint seduction is complete.
 
[I have been thoroughly enjoying these Interactions and it occurs to me that maybe we should have treated them like Seductions. In any case, I’m going to treat it like Gracious and Laval have both successfully Seduced one another. As both are player characters, both Gracious and Laval receive 5 Infamy each.]

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:21 pm

Come morning and the deacon is ready to depart for the Villa von Klossner. Does Gracious have any business left at the mansion? Who does he bring with him? Does he have any schemes for the road on the way to the Grand Makuu?

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:18 pm

Gracious stirs in Laval's bed and prepares himself for the walk to the Grand Makuu, smiling as the wych yawns sleepily. Soon, they are downstairs, ready to depart with the deacon and Leonard Schneider.

When Leonard sees Laval, his heart plunges as he recognises his daughter's clothes on Laval's body. He does not pass comment, but he knows that Laval has picked up on the awkwardness, and does not regret it. It is a strange thing, to meet a woman who would wear a dead woman's clothes before she was even buried in the ground, but this woman is nothing but strange: savage, inked patterns lining her face, a censer breathing dark smoke.

Other than this slight awkwardness, the stroll to the Grand Makuu goes off without a hitch. The deacon, though old and complaining about his joints, is amiable, and does not pass comment when Gracious introduces Laval as a fellow pilgrim. The soldiers and Aventine mercenaries keep to themselves, protecting the band without making conversation, and Leonard too is quiet and reserved. It is left mostly to Gracious to make conversation, but he is more than able for such a role, and the walk is saved any further awkwardness.

The Makuu la Dhahabu Kiti glowers at the heretics from atop its hill. Its walls are tall and constructed of smooth, sandstone rock, its gargoyles depicting agonised, heretical gods that have been toppled by the Imperial Regime. A heavy organ sound peels out to greet the returning deacon, and soldiers stand guard uneasily on the battlements. The portcullis shifts upwards, as the group is permitted entrance inside.

It is still mid-morning, and the grand nave is mostly empty, displaying hundreds of cold, hard pews. At the head is an altar, made from precious stones, and the coloured windows depict scenes of the despair of the subjugated Swaad. The deacon smiles, and turns to the group.

"You are to be welcomed as honoured guests," he tells them, "Perhaps some light refreshments while I review what has happened since I left?" He gestures at the two soldiers, who hasten forwards at his command. "The day room," he tells them, and the soldiers move on, expecting to be followed.

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:09 pm

Gracious follows the soliders into the day room, though he does scrutinise the situation first, aware he could be walking into a trap. For now, however, he goes alone with it, animatedly talking to Leonard about art and aesthetics, asking him his thoughts on the aesthetics of the Makuu.

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:35 pm

The group is led to the day room, the deacon noting that he will be with them in just a little while. Gracious does not perceive any deceit on the part of the elderly man. The room is a pleasant, if somewhat dark, interior room, devoid of windows but filled with ornate portraits of the saints, painted in intricate detail. The stone walls emit little heat, but a plush set of furniture helps warm the room up, coffee tables in the centre where drinks are being prepared by a Swaad servant. The group - Gracious, Leonard and Laval - take their seats, as the soldiers step outside, closing the door.

[Are you free for an Interaction?]

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:04 pm

Gracious, Laval and Leonard are left alone in the lavish day room, the door closed. "Have you been here before, Leonard?" Gracious asks.
 
Leonard Schneider reaches for a cup of coffee and sips it happily. "I've been a few times to the Makuu, yes. They are always hospitable." He smiles slightly. "And yourselves?" He glances to Laval with a little apprehension.
 
"I don't know about, uh, Laval?” Gracious replies, “... myself, never."
 
Laval takes coffee as well, sips, seeming a little withdrawn. "No... it's pleasant though... lovely paintings."
 
"Everything here is beautiful," Leonard observes, a little wistfully.
 
"Some of the themes are a little, ah, grim...” Laval remarks, “But one must credit the artists for their skill."
 
"Well, what better way to inspire piety, I suppose," Gracious suggests.
 
Leonard sighs sorrowfully, but nods his head at Gracious' remark.
 
"I find a little kindness goes a long way..." Laval sighs. The Deacon isn't himself, she tells Gracious silently as she talks. So watch your back.
 
How do you mean?
 
"I suppose that the Ecclesiarchy knows their craft," Leonard points out politely.
 
"I suppose so,” Laval acknowledges, “One mustn't question, after all." Possessed. Possibly by a... person? I've never heard of such a thing, but....
 
But it might match with what happened to the Lady...
 
Yes.
 
Could he have been possessed since the exorcism?

 
Leonard pauses at Laval’s remark, smiling slightly, but his eyes fixed on Laval's clothes. He takes another sip of the coffee, and the silence is a little awkward.
 
"How are you holding up, Leonard?" Gracious pats his hand in a vaguely friendly manner. "At least we're out of the... you know, the mansion..."
 
Laval looks at her coffee mutely. During, probably, she communicates to Gracious. It's the easiest time, for daemons at least.
 
Then aren't we in danger?
 
Were we ever not in danger? It's a different threat.

 
Leonard smiles warmly, but sadly, at Gracious’ question. "I am a little less hopeless," he admits, his face grateful, "But it is so hard, so very hard. They were my life, after all."
 
"I know, I know. So very sad,” Gracious soothes. The Deacon - or what wears him - could well be bringing the forces of the Makuu upon us... It feels more immediate.
 
"I'm sorry for your loss," Laval offers. He or she presumably doesn't know that we know.
 
Oh what a tangled web.

 
Leonard nods slightly in recognition of Laval's words, but more warmly reaches out and tightly clasps Gracious' hand. A few moments of silence linger before he lets go. "Would you like a drink, Gracious?" he asks, reaching for the coffee pot.
 
"Yes, do, thank you."
 
In their position, Laval remarks. I would try to use us before disposing of us.
 
You're right, of course.

 
Leonard pours the drink, handing it to Gracious before sipping once more at his own. He turns to Laval, a little chastened by her condolences. "What interesting patterns across your face," he observes politely. "Where is it that you are from?"
 
"Anatess, originally. But I spent a portion of my childhood on Rund, and learned many things there. The patterns were taught me by the family who took me in."
 
Leonard nods, seeming interested. "I don't know Anatess, but I have heard of Rund. If you don't mind me saying, it is a somewhat odd place to be adopted...?"
 
Laval smiles shyly. "I... yes. My mother's family. She was very keen for me to remember her roots, though my grandparents were long since gone..."
 
"You grew up on Juno, Leonard?" Gracious asks.
 
Laval glances to the door a little nervously. It bangs open a second later. Standing there is Lieutenant Mwenye of the Makuu's Imperial Guard, surrounded by thirty of his fighting men. They do not seem interested in talking, and raise up their weapons to kill.
 
Laval acts first, diving for cover behind the furniture. The Lieutenant, chainsword in hand, rushes at Gracious and brings the weapon down, overhead, in a furious attack. The heretic hisses and tries to jump out of the way, but the chair arm slows him down and a nasty blow tears down his side, eliciting a cry of pain.
 
Desperately, Gracious appeals to the better natures of the soldiers, and they almost stop in their violence. But the order has been given, Gracious is the enemy, and the man who ordered them maintains an iron discipline. They lift up their weapons, filing in, but there is not enough room for them to bring all their numbers to bear.
 
[Their magnitude is halved for the purposes of them attacking]
 
A few jump forwards, clubbing Gracious and Leonard with the butts of their guns. Leonard shrieks in pain, not yet able to get to his feet. The shooting begins at Laval, laser fire piercing the cover, but protecting the individual behind.
 
"STAND DOWN!" the lieutenant suddenly yells, ordering his men. As he does so, the world seems to shift, the temperature plummeting as hoarfrost creeps across the corners of the room. The air vibrates with images of cackling daemons and the kaleidoscopic taint of the warp is rendered visible. The men, though some of them scatter, are numerous enough to hold steady, but the lieutenant freezes up in terror. Gracious breaks off from the men, reaching Leonard who has risen to his feet and drawn his sword.
 
The men pause for a moment, and for a second it seems like the violence has ended. But then, someone yells "WYCH!" and the shooting begins anew. The lieutenant, deemed contaminated, is shot and wounded badly, whilst Gracious and Leonard fight back to back, dodging and parrying the butts of weapons. The fire continues on the sofa where Laval hides, some finding their mark and causing her to cry out in pain.
 
"Help! The wych is back!" Laval cries out from behind the sofa, gritting her teeth through the pain. The fear in her voice makes even Gracious pause for a moment, before he realises what an obvious lie it is from his own perspective. The deceit is aided by one of the soldiers, who helpfully yells "It's behind us!"
 
The Lieutenant is still frozen as Gracious and Leonard get to a defensible corner, holding their ground. Though many of the soldiers look around in confusion, others keep fighting, and one lands a heavy blow with the butt of his rifle against Leonard's head. The sofa continues to be pin-cushioned, and a lucky shot lands deeply on Laval's flesh.
 
Do you have a plan? Gracious asks desperately. I have part of one.
 
No, lying at random and hoping Marina saves us.
 
Is she nearby?

 
Laval sends a thought of affirmation.
 
Alright, Gracious registers. Do you want me to toss you a satrophine? That's my plan, that and running.
 
Through the crowd?
There is doubt, but desperate agreement in Laval’s mind. Warp ghosts fill the air, howling and cackling madly in the faces of local Swaad. They whisper of the subjugation, and the foundations of bodies that build up these terrible walls. Gracious begins edging to the door, pushing past those trying to kill him.
 
Almost as soon as Gracious reaches the door, Marina has bounded through. Her claws are outstretched and power blade unleashed, and she is causing chaos with her passage. The soldiers, through some madness of the warp, or deep paranoia upon their minds, are shooting one another, many falling while others quietly step back and shoot themselves. It is nightmarish, and the soldiers begin to flee, leaving their lieutenant frozen in terror in the room.
 
Thinking quickly, Gracious throws Marina and Laval a vial containing a pill of satrophine. Marina throws it back with a glare of distrust, but Laval downs it with a look of resignation. They begin to flee, leaving the lieutenant in the room. Their muscles expand, their heart pumping fast. They join the fleeing guardsmen, but the corridors are too thin and they are slowed by the horde, allowing for their enemies to mass in the nave. When they reach there, they will not have too far to run, but the last leg will be fraught with danger.
 
"And lo, the Emperor did appear to the Faithful!" they hear the deacon shouting from ahead of them, "To give them Courage in the face of Chaos!"
 
"To ground?” Marina suggests. “Easier to hide in here than out there. Find a storeroom?"
 
Gracious nods.
 
"Get on that," Laval recommends. "I have rope, I'll toss an end out a window, hope nobody sees we didn't leave?"
 
"Alright." Gracious nods. "Let's split up, use the mind-link to coordinate?"
 
"I don't want to leave you alone," Laval notes.
 
"I'll go with!" Marina offers.
 
"No," the wych responds firmly. She has already started pulling rope out of her bag, looking about for somewhere to leave it.
 
"Leonard'll be with me. Find me if you can!" Gracious flees.
 
Laval shakes her head but doesn't argue as she goes to her own task. Keep me updated?
 
The group splits just as the running soldiers begin to rally in the face of the deacon's charisma. They are quick enough to escape before the soldiers realise what is going on, but they hear the deacon's words echoing down the corridors. He tells his guests to come talk to him, that he willing to let them speak their piece, as requested. The group continues to split, not heeding the deacon's words.
 
[All told, Gracious has suffered 10 Wounds and is on 3 Wounds. He has made an Infamy Spend. Leonard has suffered 6 Wounds and is on 0 Wounds.]
 
Gracious and Leonard hide, but Gracious cannot help but notice that Leonard is slowing him down. They dive from place to place, avoiding desperate patrols trying to track them down, and Leonard is almost caught on more than a couple of occasions. As things are going, they will be found due to the noble tailor. What does Gracious do?

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:28 pm

Gracious tells Leonard to split up and make a break for it. He gives him another dose of satrophine, and tells him to try and climb out of the window and away. He embraces him, tells him he's very sorry, and "he's almost definitely sure better times are coming, one way or another".

---

This might be a good time to discuss the coming of The End Is The Beginning Is The End, or "Titebite" (as I've named him).

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:10 pm

As Gracious hides, Leonard makes a break for it, afraid but emboldened and inspired by Gracious' parting words. He is afraid, and injured, and grieving, but the immediacy of the situation excites him, and come what may, Leonard is ready for what must happen. "Just in case, my friend... goodbye. You will never know how grateful I am to you, to give me a modicum of your strength in these trying times. Thank you."

Leonard climbs out of the window, trying not to look down. The sandstone walls of the Makuu are weathered and littered with gargoyles and decorative arches, and a confident climber might look at the prospect with enthusiasm. There is a strength in Leonard's arms, the muscles straining outwards from the thin limbs by the ungodly power of Gracious' satrophine. He can do this. It's definitely do-able.

Leonard begins to climb.

[Given Titebite might assist in this, I'm going to pause here and generate his profile.]

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:06 pm

The End is the Beginning is the End, known as Titebite to Gracious, watches from a distance as a lone figure, thin and weak, begins climbing down the walls of the Grand Makuu. He watches with contempt as the small figure begins scaling down, or perhaps it is just contempt for the cathedral, the prize that his warband has tasked Gracious Obscura to destroy, one way or the other. Titebite is here to make sure Obscura does the job. After all, the heretic has a mixed reputation for faithfulness to a contract.

Does Titebite assist Leonard in some way? What does Titebite look like?

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:15 pm

Titebite had arrived a day before, driven by a fellow member of his warband "The Weapon Is The War", to a safe distance from the Makuu and the surrounding villages, before his fellow drove off. He has since made his way towards the Makuu, tasked with tracking down the location of his friend Twisby and the Slaaneshi mercenary known as "Gracious" they had hired to support him in bringing down the Makuu.

He is a large man, perhaps 6' 4'', perhaps a little more. He is built solidly - not altogether well-muscled, but not altogether plain overweight. In a previous life - long, long ago - he had been a bouncer; it shows. He has hair cut short in a crewcut, bright ginger, and his face is pitted with old scars, and is screwed up into a near-permanent scowl.

He watched the figure and moves closer. Whoever this person is, if they can be captured, they might provide him the intelligence he requires - perhaps they might even know where Gracious or Twisby were, although praise the gods that would be a lucky coincidence.

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:15 pm

[To clarify: if Leonard looks in difficulty, Titebite will move in to assist/catch him as required - but for now he watches.]

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:22 pm

Leonard begins to sweat as he makes his way down the walls of the Makuu. It is distinctly terrifying, and he is shaking like a leaf, his hands sweaty and slipping on the sandstone holds. Such a long climb would be impossible for the tailor without Gracious' little blue pill. Leonard has no choice but to trust in his unnatural strength, the iron grip of his fingers and the powerful movements of his pulsing legs. He climbs, with no other option, and though he is afraid, and fatigued, he gains in confidence, making his way down at an impressive pace. Before he knows it, his feet have touched the ground, and though his knees are shaking terribly, he has made it. He breathes, and turns around to see a huge figure standing over him.

"Ah."

Titebite stares back at him. They should make their way from the Makuu swiftly, if they are not to be spotted by lookouts on the walls.

[Leonard has gained 1 level of Fatigue.]

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:25 pm

[YASSSS LEONARD]

Titebite bundles up Leonard and moves swiftly away from the Makuu, looking for a nearby place to hide. If Leonard starts bleating about the Villa - and he may well - Titebite will look for places to hide which are near there.

When they find a place that is secure-ish, Titebite will sit him down and begin to question him. Who is he? What was he doing? Has he seen someone called Twisby, who Titebite will describe? Has he met someone called "Gracious" (who Titebite has not met before, but it's a distinctive name)? What's going on?

It won't be violent interrogation - at first - it will merely just be very insistent.

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:33 pm

Leonard is easily bundled, and at some point Titebite sits him down and begins his interrogation. It doesn't get violent: though Leonard is loyal to Gracious, Titebite is an extremely intimidating man. Leonard soon tells Titebite everything that the warrior wants to know. 

Meanwhile, Gracious finds himself in a meditation room, a small space for prayer adorned with symbols of the Aquila. It's not the most ideal location, and he occasionally hears soldiers rushing by, but he is safe for now. What is Gracious' plan going forwards?

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:50 pm

Titebite is confused at the lack of Twisby in Leonard's story. He fears the worst - but probably not betrayal? One cannot rule it out, however. He instructs Leonard to bring him back to the Villa. There, Leonard might be able to contact the Makuu directly - and talk to someone who can explain why he was attacked. Meanwhile, Titebite will look at possible avenues of rescue for Gracious - and these others who he was with, that Leonard says were strangers: possibly from a rival warband?

[So my goal is to "spread corruption in the Makuu" - which I'm not sure Titebite can do directly - but he is aware of this goal, of course; so I'd like him to make a strategic assessment when at the Villa - with its resources if not in his control, probably intimidate-able into being so, especially if he identifies himself as a friend of Gracious... - what can he do on a practical level? Does he have any means, for instance, of broadcasting a signal into the villa or bombarding it with a live message, in aid of sapping morale?)

---

Gracious's plan is:
*Remain in occasional contact with Laval, although it's possible the enemy (who clearly have psyker-like abilities at their disposal) could track that - so he'll be circumspect about exact position.
*Work out where he is in the Makuu and where things like exits, main rooms are.
*If he can get access to someone in the leadership of the villa who has not already been suborned by the forces controlling the Deacon, he'd like to bring them under his influence himself.
*In this room, while he's waiting for a safe moment to pass, he'll inscribe symbols of Chaos, especially Slaanesh, on the backs of the Aquila, subtly making them into icons of blasphemy - the idea being that this is one way in which corruption can be fostered here.

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:26 pm

When Leonard returns to the Villa with Titebite in tow, the Aventine mercenaries do little more than raise an eyebrow. Leonard is somewhat frightened of this large man, who claims to know Gracious but does not say much about whether Gracious is actually a friend. And yet, the man seems interested in helping Gracious, and Leonard has little choice but to do as he says. After all, the axe he wields is almost the size of Leonard himself. 

Leonard notes that the Klossner household does have a vox, but it is ancient and no one has used it for generations. Indeed, no one knows how. He thinks that the Makuu has a dedicated vox operator, and busies himself trying to find their frequency while Titebite looks at the device. It is dusty, having been left, ill-kept, in the attic, and if it was once of good craftsmanship, it is now decidedly poor. But Titebite has experience of these devices, and settles down to trying to fix it. He dusts it, cleans it, replaces some of the rusted parts with strands of wire he takes from a light fitting. He tunes the thing, soothing it with a prayer of the warp, infusing it with a new, corrupted life. By the time he is finished, it looks almost as good as new, and can easily transmit to the Grand Makuu. 

Titebite pauses, satisfied with his work. He thinks on what can be done next, searching his mind for memory of sieges. With armies and weaponry he could do much, but he is not used to the more subtle methods of siegecraft, and any attempt to demoralise the Makuu would have to come from his own initiative. There are the mercenaries here, if he could intimidate Leonard into using them, but from what he knows of the Makuu, these professional men and women would be greatly outnumbered. Nonetheless, perhaps a strategically applied force harrying the enemy, or cutting off their supplies, could help weaken morale.

Leonard thinks through his options. He is afraid, but has no means of helping Gracious directly. Perhaps if this Titebite gets the vox working, Leonard will be able to petition the Makuu directly for his good friend's release. Of course, the hulking man might have other plans - perhaps Leonard should set the guards on him. Leonard bites his lip, and decides to wait and see.

***** 

Meanwhile, Gracious is etching the symbol of the Dark Prince on Aquilas with his sword. He knows the symbol, but it is difficult work with a full sword, and he winces as he cuts his hand rather badly. He smears the marks with blood, hoping to make an opportunity out of a hiccup, and finishes the job before examining the wound more. It isn't so bad, but Gracious has already lost quite a lot of blood, and is starting to feel a little woozy. This certainly hasn't helped.

[Gracious has lost 1 Wound and is now at 2 Wounds.]

The heretic thinks through his options. He can certainly reach out to Laval, but ideally he would get his bearings in this place and find someone of interest. However, patrols are still roaming, looking for them, and it may be some time before they accept Laval's deceit of the rope. He can try slipping past them, but it will require him to once again practice his skills at stealth. Alternatively, he could try to talk his way through, but that has heavy risks of its own, and Gracious does not know how tight a hold his enemy has over the Makuu soldiery. Another option, perhaps, is to craft a drug. He has heard tales of D-Dust granting individuals the ability to phase through walls, and there is a packet of purple-pink salt burning a hole in his pocket. He thinks it through. What is his strategy for making his way around the Makuu, to both work out its layout and find individuals of interest?

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:47 pm

Titebite explains to Leonard a plan.

Leonard will contact the Makuu, demanding an explanation for what occurred and describing his escape. He will for the moment leave the fate of Gracious ambiguous - he will refer to his friend who he was separated from in the fighting. Leonard believe they must really have been after Laval - who was clearly strange and suspicious - and not after Gracious. He will also express his personal suspicion of the Deacon, and explain to whoever is on the other end of the Deacon's strange set of actions.

If the Makuu double down on their actions or justify them, Leonard will make clear that he feels personally aggrieved by their actions, and regards them as having broken Imperial Law etc.: even on a Shrine World, the Ecclesiarchy surely doesn't have the legal authority to attack citizens at will? If they still won't back down, that is the causus belli Titebite seeks, and he will seek to persuade Leonard to use the mercenaries as a harrying force - cutting supplies - against the Makuu, regarding them as having been "turned".

---

Gracious meanwhile considers his options. He is quite badly wounded, and is worried that - if things go wrong - he could easily be felled to a stray bullet. Are there any medicinal solutions he could quickly prepare that promote speedy healing?

On the matter of moving about: he will try to sneak around a little and listen in to some of the guard's chatter. The ones he saw before seemed dominated somehow - the question is are they all like that? He'd certainly like to try and persuade some people this is all a big misunderstanding before taking any D-Dust... although that's not a terrible back-up plan. If he can find a group of guards who seem like they might be a likely prospect and are relatively few in a number, he'll reveal himself to them and try to explain himself - but he does rather want to try and heal a bit first.

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:51 pm

Titebite activates the vox and passes it over to Leonard, who nervously takes the receiver and waits for a response. The plan, it seems, is to Gracious' favour, so the tailor is happy to go along with it for now. 

A somewhat startled operator answers on the other end, a Swaad soldier by the name of Corporal Kazi. Leonard does as he is instructed by Titebite, and gets rather into the role. It helps him to focus on the moment, to put his mind from the losses in his family and the aching pain in his head. And he feels such devotion to Gracious that he finds himself adopting quite a forceful tone.

The corporal seems somewhat taken aback by the power of Leonard's personality, and automatically apologises for what has gone on. He offers to speak to his commander, Lieutenant Mwenye, but soon finds that the lieutenant is unavailable and dithers somewhat. When Leonard mentions the suspicious behaviour of the deacon, however, the corporal is less convinced.

"I understand that you are upset," he tells Leonard, "But the deacon has sanction to pronounce any citizen of Swaad a traitor."

"You don't understand," Leonard responds passionately. "Deacon Brauer, he was recently at the Villa von Klossner, he -"

"- I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop you, sir," the corporal responds. "I understand that -"

"Listen to me!" Leonard commands. To his surprise, the corporal falls silent. "Deacon Brauer performed exorcism of Lady Klossner, do you know that? Do you know," Leonard continues, choking back a tear, "That she died, and the deacon was thrown back against the room by some infernal power? That he had no reason to despise Gracious or myself, or to send the soldiers of the Makuu upon us?"

The corporal is silent for a while before responding. Leonard fills the silence. "Please, Corporal Kazi, please. My life is in tatters. This beast, this thing, has destroyed everything I ever held dear. Do not let this daemon destroy you too."

Another silence follows.

"We are betrayed," the corporal responds with a desperate hiss. He sounds quite unhinged. "Help us."

Leonard turns to Titebite with surprise, unsure of how to respond. Titebite considers the situation carefully. He is no legal scholar, but he can believe that in the Imperium of Man, a deacon can pronounce a citizen traitor at will. Of course, a deacon must be careful in who he accuses, but it is plausible that they have no legal case. Moreover, Titebite knows too well how quickly the rule of law collapses in a time of war. But this Corporal Kazi seems affected by some power, and there is opportunity if Leonard proceeds carefully. What is the next step?

*****

Gracious thinks. He knows his best chance of medical recovery: Laval. He has seen Laval perform miracles, healing wounds with little more than thought. Gracious could try his hand at some first-aid himself, but it is not a skill he knows and he is badly wounded. Even if he could find a medical kit, he would have no guarantees of closing up this jagged cut in his side.

There are no drugs that he could prepare for which he has the ingredients. On one memorable occasion, he did craft some amiably named 'sweetmeats', and saw the user's flesh knit back together before his eyes. But that was crafted with the progenoid glands of a Space Marine, and Gracious is very unlikely to be able to find some of those. He could probably cook something up that'd make his tougher - the satrophine has deadened what otherwise would be terrible pain - but that is not a perfect solution. Laval, in such a situation, might try ritual: and if Gracious is willing, he does have a couple of ideas...

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:46 pm

Titebite takes the microphone: "May I ask you to repeat that, sir: I am advising Mr. Schneider on his security here. Do you request active assistance against the threat?"

Leonard takes the lead and repeats the questions forcefully, asking the corporal to say more.

Essentially, if the corporal can say enough that it becomes clear that the Makuu is under threat - or even if he doesn't, really - that is enough for Leonard to actively believe - even as a loyal Imperial, which he would... probably... still regard himself as, even as his soul is seduced, to take action against the Makuu - and give his full support to Titebite's efforts.

Titebite will try to extract as much information as possible from the corporal, although it seems he is in a situation of much distress and possibly mad: he will try to keep him talking, at least.

The plan now is to begin harrying the supply lines of the Makuu, as instructed - and possibly to try and draw out their forces from the Makuu against the villa. Titebite is more confident of fighting from this position than against the enemy in the walls - and it should make the situation safer for those inside.

---

Gracious, meanwhile, contacts Laval: Where are you? I need your medical help, can you... We may be being listened to...

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:40 pm

"Who is that there?" the corporal demands, seeming spooked, "Who else is there?"

Leonard leans forward, "As Mr... as he said, he is my head of security. Now tell me, Corporal Kazi. Are you under attack?"

"They've all gone insane," comes the hissed response, "I see the way they look at me. They're going to kill me, I know it. The betrayal is coming. The daemon must be here!"

Leonard looks up to Titebite with obvious concern. The warrior stares steadily back at him, considering his options. Corporal Kazi is most likely unhinged, but if his condition is representative of the Makuu soldiery, then that represents opportunity for attack. He directs Leonard to keep the corporal talking with a curt gesture of his hand. 

Leonard does as he is told, his heart full of fear. If the Makuu's soldiery is daemonically possessed, then the deacon might have first come to the Villa von Klossner as a servant of the darker powers. But then... that would mean Leonard made a daemon a steward of his lover's soul. He chokes in fear, his mind unravelling at the thought. 

[Leonard is at -10 to all Tests for the remainder of the encounter. He also has suffered a Disorder. I was thinking that he might tend to freeze up when there are painful reminders of his grief?]

He is deep in shock, but Gracious needs him, and his voice runs on autopilot. Leonard tells the corporal to keep talking, to tell him the state of the Makuu, likely movements of the enemy within the cathedral. At Titebite's instructions, he begins asking more tactical information. It seems that the forces of the Great Enemy has been assailing the Grand Makuu for some time. The autocannon turrets are disabled, their machine spirits unreachable. The lieutenant is corrupted by wychcraft. Suicide in the cathedral, especially among those with easy access to weapons, is rife. Soldiers have been murdered by one another, and the chain of command is breaking down.

Titebite thinks through his strategy of war. The Makuu has sent forth a squad to Kifodini for a new batch of food, and the mercenaries of the Makuu are a fine match for such numbers making routine rounds. Moreover, his experience of the Imperial Church is that a direct accusation of heresy can often inspire them to overreact. He turns to the small man, Leonard Schneider, and tells him that the military forces of the Villa von Klossner are required. Leonard, overwhelmed by all that is going on, nods.

"We must go to Kifodini, then."

****

Leonard shakes in fear as they trek in the direction of the path between the Makuu and Kifodini. Fiametta Agosti took more than a little persuading to use her personnel against forces of the Makuu - in the end, it took Titebite's direct, forceful command to convince her of the threat the church poses. Leonard doesn't feel as though the situation is under his control, and was half-tempted to stay behind with his bed-ridden son: but ultimately, Gracious is his friend, and he felt honour-bound to help. And so, he is here, having left two mercenaries behind to guard the villa while the remaining ten trek open country to intercept a supply run. 

"There," Titebite announces, pointing in the direction of a small cloud of dust in the distance. To Leonard's eyes, it is nothing, but Agosti agrees and begins positioning her men on either side of the road. The mercenaries have chosen a place with long grass, where they lie prone with their rifles ready. Agosti advises Leonard to hang back, and he is happy to agree. He is here, but ultimately it is best to leave things to the professionals. Titebite, meanwhile, has decided to stand in the middle of the road. He assures Agosti that when he strikes, they will not expect his swing. Agosti thinks he is "pazzo", but ultimately has no objection to such a distraction.

Titebite hefts his great weapon as the soldiers approach him. They seem wary of him, especially with his weapon drawn, but given he is not rushing at them, they do not instantly fire. And, after all, he is only one man. 

"Hail, stranger," one of them remarks, a wiry looking woman with sergeant's stripes. "What's your business on this road?" She is about ten paces away. Titebite needs nine. He says nothing.

"Did you not hear me, stranger?" the woman demands, getting aggravated. She looks unwell, her face tired and drawn, her eyes bloodshot. All the soldiers look jumpy, and Titebite wonders if Corporal Kazi is representative of them after all. In any case, the sergeant steps forward, drawing her chainsword in an attempt to intimidate Titebite to respond. He looks up at her, and attacks.

"Fuoco a volontá!" Agosti yells, and the mercs beginning opening fire as Titebite advances on the sergeant. Five soldiers surrounding the sergeant drop dead in a flurry of hellfire, and Titebite dives on the woman, swinging his axe in one, great sweep. She staggers at the hit, but remains standing, and yells for her men to return fire. To their credit, the soldiers respond quickly and efficiently. Las-rounds fly back into the undergrowth, and mercenaries yell out death-screams in the fatal exchange. 

The sergeant sweeps her chainsword towards Titebite, but he bats it aside with the flat of his axe as the rest of the Makuu forces are pierced to the ground. Her next strike is more accurate, but it is smashed aside once more as Titebite brings his weapon back to cut her in half. She reverses the weapon just in time, and sparks fly as the chainsword teeth clash against the metal hilt. They struggle for a few moments, before the sergeant breaks off and sweeps out with her blade, cutting across Titebite's chest plate and drawing a line of blood. With a roar, he swings back at her with a mighty blow, taking a sizeable chunk out of the sergeant and throwing her to the ground. She shrieks in pain, clutching the oozing wound, as the mercenaries gather around her, guns pointed. The sergeant does not seem intimidated, but Titebite has control: does he allow her to rise again, to finish the fight, or does he have other plans?

[Titebite has suffered 4 Wounds and so is on 6 Wounds.]

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:43 pm

Meanwhile, Gracious receives his reply: Medical help might be awkward. How bad is it? I don't know of a way of listening in, but... anything's possible. Why do you think we are overheard?

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Re: Turn 6 Thread

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