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W: “So...
1, how deep is the palace in the city; how long would it take to get there from the outskirts?
2, how long and complicated is the coronation rite?
3, what’s the Unliving Army?
4, Armistan Siblings, I am sorry for the hard life you’ve been given.”
  
Wyyca21 said:
W: “So...
1, how deep is the palace in the city; how long would it take to get there from the outskirts?
2, how long and complicated is the coronation rite?
3, what’s the Unliving Army?
4, Armistan Siblings, I am sorry for the hard life you’ve been given.”


"The palace is at the very end of the city, not only protected by the city's outer wall and whatever defenses are still active, but by an inner wall as well. I'm not entirely sure, but from the sounds of it, the entire city is still on lockdown. That means we'll likely not be able to open the inner wall because the mechanism for that is on the other side, and we'll have to reverse our way through the escape tunnel back into the palace. Not to mention any puzzles or traps we'll want to avoid on our way.

"I'll be honest, I haven't been entirely truthful of my intent, mostly because I was worried that you were perhaps government spies who would've turned me in at the first sign of my true identity. But now that you've proven that you're trustworthy, I suppose letting you know of my actual plans wouldn't hurt.

"To be clear, I could care less about the gold and riches that Fultiine holds. I have more interest in the Unliving Army, which, thanks to Riany's loose lips, I suppose I can tell you now rather than having the dramatic reveal I had planned. The Unliving Army was a plan my father enacted shortly before the war ended. They were a small cabal of 100 or so steam-powered warriors constructed around the hearts of Black Cendius Dragons, and were essentially unkillable war machines. As far as I'm aware, they were never released, but were built to be telepathically controlled by a crown, which could only be used by the true Perline High King.

"If I can get to the palace and find the ceremonial crown, flail, and the golden wrench, I only need a couple minutes for one of you to administer the coronation to me (ideally Mal'ash because it needs to be the head of a religious group, though I suppose a Paladin will suffice) which we can do simply by me speaking the words you need to, and you repeating them back to me. After the coronation, the locking enchantment would be broken, and I would be able to use the crown and use the army to challenge the presidents, restart the Perline empire, and release all its citizens from the grasp of the presidents."

In response to your last question, Holden shouts from atop the carriage. "Eh, it doesn't really matter. As long as Ridlean's alive, we have a chance to restart the brilliant empire I remember from my childhood. If he can unlock the city, release the Unliving Army, and take back our freedom, it would make everything we've suffered worth it."

As the conversation continues, multiple horse-drawn carriages merge in on the road behind the steam carriage, each helmed by two guards. To the left, Riany jumps on the auto-crossbow and fires a couple shots back at the carriages. The heavy-tipped bolts rip through the carriages and they collapse in on themselves as they move. Up ahead, the carriage barrels towards the city's portcullis, which is now closed tightly.
  
Fendrel takes a moment to look out the carriage out of curiosity, if possible, before redirecting his attention to the group.
"It must be a significant moment to undertake, historic, even, if all goes well.
And yet, there's still work to be done. Have you ever worried about the potential outcomes, good or bad, of this quest?"
  
"And yet, there's still work to be done. Have you ever worried about the potential outcomes, good or bad, of this quest?"


"Aye, indeed I have. Obviously, the greatest risk is that of death. If I perish, so does the last hopes of the empire. The presidents will achieve their goal and nobody will be able to oppose their absolute rule and abuse of power.

"Another is that of putting needless lives at risk by declaring war. My hope is that the Unliving Army will be intimidating enough that they will abdicate and give the land back rather than fight, but if it comes to it, I am ready to go to war over this. I'm sure I can find empire loyalists as well as the klowarks to fight in this battle. And, if need be, I'll take to the battlefield to defend the empire.

"And the final threat would be that I'm not the last royal. If it turns out that there is another royal with a higher claim to the crown than me - either of the Armeans (the emperor's family), Predjis (the head advisors), or the Kymans (the head mages) - the coronation rite won't work and the crown will wait for the person with the actual claim to the title of High King to undertake the coronation rite. I find that unlikely, as neither I nor the Armistens have heard claim of an Armean, a Predji, or a Kyman surviving the seige on Fultiine, or the aftermath. I am certain I am the only member of royal bloodline left."
  
"I suppose we should take action rather promptly (or more so diligently?), then..
Say, how dangerous do you reckon it would be for us to navigate through the city, and eventually, the palace?"
I do believe that we are under adequate hands, under the insight of you and the Armistan Siblings' prior experience,
yet, are there any likely threats to look out for during the search?"
  
Say, how dangerous do you reckon it would be for us to navigate through the city, and eventually, the palace?"
I do believe that we are under adequate hands, under the insight of you and the Armistan Siblings' prior experience,
yet, are there any likely threats to look out for during the search?"

The cannon on the top of the carriage goes off, accompanied by the whooping of a giddy Dexter. A ball of flames glides from the carriage into the gate of the city. One second, the gate is there - the next it's gone, replaced by a pile of rubble. The carriage flies through the hole, heading off into the countryside as the guards stop at the edge of the city, cutting their losses and leaving the group free. Dexter drops through a trapdoor in the roof, having left the cannon, and joins the group in the main body. Alman remains on the top, driving the carriage into the fields.

"Well, the issue with the city is that, as far as I know, it was placed under lockdown during the time of the final siege of the war. That likely means that most of the security measures were activated before the city was lost, and although some of them will have certainly stopped working, I would be willing to wager that a significant portion are still active. We will likely face Klowerks, Arcniads, Vigilexias, and various traps, not to mention a good majority of the city is impervious to entry. However, the city was always conscious about Fultinians being locked out and made most of its security measures puzzles - not easy enough to be able to solve without a guard noticing you if you were an enemy, but not hard enough to permanently stump someone and lock them out of the city. Of course, if you have the personal journal of the Perline high tinker" - Ridlean pats his satchel - "it'll be much easier to solve the puzzles, but still not a cake walk."

"I'd think with the nine of us, however, Fultiine shouldn't prove too much of a harmful experience. I expect getting there to be the hard part. Speaking of which..."

Ridlean turns around and talks to Dexter. "I need the inscription on this staff read. It's in Perlinian. Can you transcribe it for me?"

Dexter frowns. "No. None of us know Perlinian. We assumed your father taught you before you left. It was the language of the royal family, after all - not of the commoners or of the royal guard."

A look of horror slowly seeps across Ridlean's face. "So what you're saying is that none of us know how to read the only clue to the location of the city? That all of this was nothing?"

Riany sits on the floor of the carriage, pouting. "So unless we can find a Perlinian codex, we're done for. And the only codexes I know of were destroyed in the siege of the city."

The group sits there, quietly and sullenly for a good minute, before Alman knocks on the roof's trapdoor. Riany opens it, revealing him grinning from ear to ear.

"I know where to find a codex," he says, "But we'll need Ridlean to get it."

With that, the carriage slows down, turns about a quarter of the way to the right, and begins heading off towards what appears to be a ruined keep in the mountains.
  
"Thank goodness," mutters Fendrel.
  
Oh, haha, forgot this was a thing. School and stuff
Alman pulls a lever next to him and, after some whirring and ticking within the carriage, he climbs back into the cabin, the carriage apparently driving itself.

"We're heading to the Western Bastion," he says, "It's an old workshop of Ridlean's father. It's probably falling apart by now and most definitely all of the security systems are still armed, but it's the only place I know of to find a codex.

"You're going to be looking for a large tube. Inside will be an old scroll, essentially a dictionary between ancient Perlinian and common tongue. It's the only way we can decipher the staff, but it won't be easy to find. Given Perlinian was reserved for royals, it will likely be far into the bastion, heavily guarded from commoners.

"The Bastion itself will be on lockdown, as any other Perlinian stronghold following the fall of Fultiine. However, it will let anyone of royal blood - including Ridlean - in. He's our ticket in. Once you get in, look around and find the scroll - and don't dawdle, because we have no clue what creatures or things could be in there, in the decades since the fall.

"We unfortunately won't be able to join you. The government will be looking for this carriage, and parking it outside will be a red flag to them. We'll have to drop you five off and come back for you later. We'll meet you outside in the morning."

The carriage halts by itself and outside the windows the rising moon illuminates a large, imposing tower built into the cliff face, made of a charred marble. Long segments of it are destroyed or crumbled, and the only discernible entrance is a slight rectangular inset into the wall, Alman opens a door and ushers you out of the carriage, before quickly shutting the cabin back up.

"Good Luck and Godspeed," he says, before the carriage begins to sputter and picks up speed, heading to the east. In the distance, you can see imperial carriages cresting the hills and heading towards the new distraction of the carriage. In the dark night, none of them can see you by the bastion.

Ridlean walks up to the inset rectangle and begins inspecting it. He places his hand on it and immediately recoils, cradling his hand. A bloody hand print is left on the wall where he touched it, and you notice the skin on his hand is now torn, blood freely dripping onto the ground. The hand-print sits for a second, then two, before being seemingly absorbed into the stone. A grinding sound shakes the tower as the inset panel begins to slide away, revealing the dark, dank interior of the bastion. Ridlean grimaces as he bandages his hands and looks up to you. He shrugs.

"Well? After you..."
  
It’s fine. Busy busy is not great for recreational things.

Wyyca kicks up some dirt, attempting to cover up the blood nicely, before heading in.
W: “I feel like that thing could have worked with a needle, rather than ripping your skin off.
..Maybe a knife thing. Either way, still pretty overkill to do that.”
  
"Could the amount of blood specific for the door's activation?" says Fendrel as he begins to follow Wyyca through the opening, "either way, it's rather gruesome."

With a brief rustle, Fendrel checks his collection of vials.
"Would you like a potion, Ridlean?"
  
< No response from Mal'ash or Nokk, they have been reverted to NPC mode. >
< I swear I need this thread tattooed on me so I don't forget about it >

Ridlean denies the potion. "I'm sure you'll need it more," he says, "besides, it's not even my good hand. I'll suffice with bandages for now."

He follows the party through the doorway into the bastion. Inside, you are greeted by skeletons clawing at where the door used to be, piling up in the corridor. Ridlean gingerly kicks the skeletons out of the way and grimaces.

"Poor souls. Must've been inside when the lockdown command was issued. Without a high tinker to release them, they were stuck inside. Terrible way to go, locked in a workshop with limited supplies and rations...."

He blindly stumbles in a dark corner of the room, brushing cobwebs out of the way before finding a lever. He pulls on it, and there's the sound of a gas escaping a chamber and a clicking noise. After one or two clicks, there's the sound of burning and the chamber fills with the smell of charred embers as the gas ignites itself and the torches in the room are automatically lit. The gas also sets fire to a portrait on the wall which falls to the ground and curls in upon itself. Ridlean stomps it out and you get a glimpse of it from its charred edges, a picture of a man who suspiciously looks exactly like Ridlean, with the caption "Ridlean Yesheo, High Tinker".

"My father, Ridlean Sr.," he says, "we always had a striking resemblance."

A sharper, clicking and whirring noise echos down the hall in front of you, and a singular, mechanical spider-looking creature steps out from the shadows. Ridlean unsheaths his sword and whispers quietly.

"An Archniad. Clockwork spider. Looks like Alman was right about the security systems being active. Their vision is based around movement, so as long as you're still, it can't see you. We can either wait for it to pass, or try to destroy it, as they're not that difficult to fight.

"If we leave it alive, the security system won't know we're here, but we'll have to sneak around and be careful. If we get caught at a later time, we likely won't be prepared to fight. If we destroy it now, however, we can form ranks and fight our way deeper into the bastion, somewhat prepared, though the security will be on full alert. The security system also has a high likelihood of being broken after all these years, so it won't hit us with the full force of Pelinian war tech. Any ideas?"


BATTLE MAP:
_______ _______
|_|_|_|A|_|_|_| 
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
|R|_|_|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|W|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|F|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|M|_|_|_|
       N
R=Ridlean
W=Wyyca
M=Mal'ash
F=Fendrel
N=Nokk
A=Archniad
  
> sorry, thought this was no longer a thing

"I have an idea," says Mal'ash, who isn't very good at the whole 'stealth' thing, "CHAAAARGE"

He pushes past everyone in front of him readies his broadsword, headed towards the big spooder.

> Quick question, is it too late to change the class to a barbarian?
  
W: “...I was hoping we could discuss first, but I guess this works too? (Still, could have waited...)”
Wyyca draws her rifle(if not already drawn) and fires at the mech-spider.
(If the rifle is already drawn, she’s moving a bit to the left first as to decrease the chance of hitting Mal’ash...if that’s a thing.)
  
"Bummer, I had an illusion spell that I've wanted to practice."
If he didn't get trampled by Mal'ash's charge, Fendrel draws his crossbow.
  
"I have an idea," says Mal'ash, who isn't very good at the whole 'stealth' thing, "CHAAAARGE"


Combat Roll : 1d20 (1) + Level (1) - Enemy Combat Modifier (2) = 0

You trip and fall.

Wyyca21 said:
Wyyca draws her rifle(if not already drawn) and fires at the mech-spider


Combat Roll : 1d20 (20) + Level (1) - Enemy Combat Modifier (2) = 18
Critical Hit!

Damage: Base Damage (4) + Cognition Modifier (2) = 6 * Critical Hit Modifier (2) = 12

The bolt of energy cleanly slices through the mechanical spider's body, and it clicks before sliding in half, cut through the middle.

Down the hall, a screeching noise emanates from deep within the bastion, and the sound of machinery jumping to life clanks behind the walls as machines neglected for a quarter century grind and churn. Ridlean looks back at you.

"Well, looks like we're fighting our way through. The bastion is equipped with Zurdan Assemblers, so it's got an unlimited amount of defenses to throw at us, any we destroy will be replaced automagically after a short time. We'll have to fight our way to the central control room and disable the security from there"

With that, he beckons you into the hallway. Following him, you enter a large rotunda with an odd-looking tree in the middle, with purplish-blue bulbs growing off of it. Two more Archniads sit within it, on either side of the tree. There are two exits to the room, on either side. Both Archniads immediately begin skittering towards you as you enter the room.


_____________________
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|A|_|
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 _|_|_|_|T|T|_|_|_|_
 _|_|_|_|T|T|_|_|_|_
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|A|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|_|R|M|_|_|_|_|
        |W|F|        
R=Ridlean
M=Mal'ash
W=Wyyca
F = Fendrel
A = Archnicad
T = Strange Tree
  
> How tf did i crit fail that /s
  
> oh, btw, does i has abilities
  
> oh, btw, does i has abilities

I missed your earlier question, but it depends.

If you do want to switch to Mercenary (which I normally wouldn't allow, but seeing as this is a game literally none of you have played before, I'll allow it), you don't have any special abilities besides your Adrenaline capability, which triggers below a certain health value, and the ability to take one extra trait or ability for your character.

As a War-Dominion Paladin, however, you have access to Pray, Invoke and Perform Miracles. You have unlimited usage of your Incantation (which you can use to either cause a target to frenzy, potentially dealing damage to one of their allies instead of you, or heal a team mate), a randomized amount of Prayers per day (unluckily, you only have one usage today), which includes the ability to summon a weapon, raise your party's attack, or lower an enemy's defense, among others, and one Miracle per day (which either allows you to temporarily ignore death for a period of time, or deal an absurd amount of damage for a very short time interval)

Also, your chosen ability, Rage, which doubles your damage output and halves your damage input for a short amount of time. You get two usages of that per day.
  
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