>Is that a TIME GEM THAT WILL LET YOU TRAVEL THROUGH TIME AND HAVE TIME RELATED SHENANIGANS!?!?!? >The mysterious Key Of Jerky, as in those stories!
> Assess the item. I.E. Are things like that common, or is it a thing out of fiction? >It's the...It's a... actually what the fcuk even is this.
The jewel looks like glass but feels almost weightless in your hand, its cold flame pulsing with a regular heartbeat. You have never seen anything like it before buy you have a sinking feeling that it might be an Elven artifact.
The tall stranger who handed it over wore a porcelain mask to hide his - or her - face, had pointed ears and a vaguely unsettling, unearthly aura to their presence. An Elf. They are rare and secretive people known to wield strange powers, the ancient and powerful movers and shakers of the world shaping the fates of the nations. Even the human emperor is considered to be lucky having acquired an elf as his adviser, yet here you are having one needing your help.
Which means you are stuck in the middle of Very Serious Business. You are involved in something political.
> Put it to safety the old-fashion way; i.e, eat it. > EAT THE DAMN EGG
What, no! That’s crazy, egg shaped things are supposed to come out of your body not go in!
>drop it and run > Don't drop the egg/gem/ovaltine, the guy will come back to you looking for it, and who know what he'd do if you can't give him it. > Return it to guards. Assuming they'd wouldn't arrest you the moment you mention you mention you are attempting to return stolen property handed to you. ...Do you know a way to get in touch with Thaddeus? >Magic glowing thing given to you by a robed stranger? NOPE, NU-UH, GOT A FAMILY TO FEED, NO TIME FOR ADVENTURE. >Well no time to boggle about this now, you've got dependents who depend on you! > More seriously. Wrap it back up you fool, shiny things attract more attention and green is an aggravating colour to the human eye.
Your first instinct is to ditch the jewel and run, but you realize that the person who gave it to you will come back for it later. And if the hooded weirdos who were chasing him realize that you have it now… well, you do not know who an elf would need to steal from but you can be certain that meeting them would not be pleasant.
Maybe you should give it to the authorities? It is a risky proposition. You might get hailed as the hero who recovered stolen elven property, or might become a convenient scapegoat for the theft. The item is obviously valuable, so there is a very real possibility of whoever you show it to just taking it for themselves and silencing you to cover their back. You do not think Thaddeus would, but what about his superiors? You simply cannot tell. If it was just you alone you might take the gamble, but you have kids to look after (including your brother) and you will not put them in harm’s way. The safest thing to do would be to run far away without telling them anything, but the thought of abandoning your sisters (and brother) breaks your heart. For now you will simply hold on to it until you can figure out something.
You clutch the small sack tightly against your chest as you scurry back home, nervously looking over your shoulder and being startled by every noise and shadow...
LATER DURING THE SAME DAY, IN THE KING’S SUMMER PALACE
“My lord, I need a word with you. There has been a breach of security…” “Ah, Sam! Good, I wanted to chat with you. Run along now children, daddy has some rulership to do.” “It’s lord marshal Samuel, my lord. You know how I am not comfortable with this level of familiarity, as I’ve informed you many, many times before. My lord.” “As many times as I’ve told you to call me Greg, no need for that stuffy my lord nonsense. You need to learn to lighten up before you get an ulcer, Sammy!” “Lord marsh-” “Can’t you relax even for one day? The war is won and people are happy to celebrate that, let them fret about the future tomorrow. Speaking of which what you thought about my speech today? I think it was pretty good!”
“It was, ahem, very optimistic. There is a lot of resentment among the resettled orc tribes, and many citizens left impoverished by the war question why we should give good land to those barbarians, Greg.” “Look, I’m not oblivious to the troubles we are facing. I can’t make memories of decades of warfare and strife go away with just a couple words and a nice party. But what’s important is sending out a message of hope! Our coffers are empty and people are poor, so someone needs to remind them that things will look up if we all just work together.” “It is a noble dream, my Greg.” “And we’re going to do our best to make it a reality! For every citizen each new day will be the best one ever! Now, tell me about that security breach and then we’ll discuss the annual royal beach vacation and how you’re not going to weasel out of coming with us this year…”
AT THE SAME TIME IN AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION...
“What do you mean you lost the gem!? Explain yourselves or I will make this the worst day ever for you!” “We were staking out the courier but got distracted by this lizard and…” “Well get it back or I’ll feed your entrails to your children! What are you standing there waiting for!?” “Ah, actually neither of has ki-”
With that things are set in motion, I hope you have enjoyed the ride thus far! The next act centers on one sergeant Mourad, officer of the imperial army who is chosen to handle a very special mission. But tell me, what is he known for?
Post by Fartsniffing Pirate on Sept 22, 2016 0:58:12 GMT
> Sergeant Mourad is known for being a good example of how a civilised Orc should behave himself in front of the superior race of man: Prostrating, on his knees, lobe on the floor, like a trampled rug with little authority.
Sergeant Mourad is known as being skilled in any sort of martial arts, even the obscure ones like spider crocheting (as in using actual spiders as the thread to an elaborate, crawling, and very itchy fabric), mask lobbing, and yoga posing.
A FEW DAYS LATER AT THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE IMPERIAL CITY, IN A TEMPORARY MILITARY CAMP
“You called for me, sir?” “Excellent, I was waiting for you sergeant. Take a seat.” “Tell me, you must have been wondering about the real purpose of this excursion?” “I have to admit that the thought crossed my mind, sir. The lord high marshal personally taking a single company for ‘field training’ is… irregular. The official explanation of testing out new arms and tactics is suspect, because normally that would fall under the jurisdiction of the Academy and thus the prime minister and the office of Internal Affairs. The common wisdom is that you are trying to avoid the royal annual beach jamboree, sir. Again.” “Clever as usual, sergeant! Not that I would expect any less from you. No, the real reason we are here is Blake Barager.”
“The one called the Bandit Lord, sir?” “Bah, a common thug nothing more! You know of him, sergeant?” “Yes, sir. The list of his crimes is long and heavy - making fool of the imperial authority, brazen display of disrespect towards the church, and so on. Yet some misguided individuals see him as a folk hero fighting against tyranny as a champion of the downtrodden, sir.” “It is true that he possesses a certain kind of low cunning, playing the public image with made up legends like those. His popularity and stealthiness made capturing him more trouble than it’s worth - until now. There has been a recent… development at the capital which necessitates bringing him finally to justice.”
“I have a special assignment for you, Mourad. We have intel that Blake is hiding in an abandoned mine in these hills, laying low after a high profile robbery committed in the capital just a few days ago. I want you to take a small group of men and apprehend him - but there is a stipulation to that. For the sake of national security no one else is allowed to know that we have him in our custody, understood?” “Yes sir, I will not let you down sir!” “Excellent, I knew I could trust your discretion. Naturally everything will be done off the books, but you will have my personal gratitude and may ask for a favor if you succeed in this task. I have already hand picked your squad, you will find them waiting at your lodgings. Ask them to fill you in on the details.” “Thank you sir, I will start immediately sir!”
“Good, good… You know sergeant, you have always been my favorite. Strong, competent...” “Thank you for your confidence in me, sir!” “...You are special to me, Joe.” “...” “...” “...” “...” “Uh, I’m just gonna go now, sir.”
You are now sergeant Joe Mourad, and you think you just received a fast track ticket to being promoted to a captain, a lifelong dream of yours. Your hands tremble from the excitement and you take a deep breath to steady your racing heart. Even the balmy evening breeze blowing over you fails to soothe your nerves skittering with the sudden possibilities opening up ahead of you. As you march down the winding path towards the crew tents you focus yourself by taking stock of what people say about you, to remind you how you have arrived to this point in your life.
> Sergeant Mourad has been made famous by his habit of always eating a nice gobblebird stew after each successful mission. > Birds
For starters it is true you have fondness for avians, especially on your plate. You might start raising some after your retirement one day.
> Sergeant Mourad is known for being a good example of how a civilised Hyena should behave himself in front of the superior race of man: Prostrating, on his knees, lobe on the floor, like a trampled rug with little authority.
You are a dutiful soldier of the imperial army, raising through the ranks despite of your lowly birth thanks to your skill and dedication... and a little help from your friends, granted. Some think that you are a traitor to your people for serving the conquering mankind, but they are fools - there is no shame in joining the winning team. Of course that means kowtowing to your superiors every now and then, but that holds true to any field of life. Whether you bow down to a gnoll tribal chief or a human general makes little difference to you.
>Or because he genocided a whole country. Who knows. > Sergeant Mourad Is known wide and far for the day his pants fell down during an epic battle. with everyone stopped fighting to laugh at him, the enemy was made easy targets for the archers. >Sergeant Mourad is know for his absurd ability to apply table manners to combat. >Sergeant Mourad is known far across the land for his incredible sense of humor. Incredibly lacking, that is, truly a legendarily joyless sourpuss.
Your success has bred jealousy, and several absurd stories about your past exploits circulate among your peers which you deign to even acknowledge. In similar vein some people think that you are a single-minded and mirthless officer with no sense of humor, which simply is not true. You get the jokes but never laugh at them because you have not yet heard any that are funny to you.
>Sergeant Mourad is known for his brutality and his compassion. A rare combination in a non-commissioned officer! >Sergeant Mourad is know to be like a father to his men. He plays baseball with them, and tells them bad puns. >Sergeant Mourad is known as being skilled in any sort of martial arts, even the obscure ones like spider crocheting (as in using actual spiders as the thread to an elaborate, crawling, and very itchy fabric), mask lobbing, and yoga posing.
In fact you consider yourself to be an approachable person. You treat people under your command fairly - you demand a lot from them, but only to help them reach their hidden potential, always encouraging them and standing up for them without hesitation when needed. Sure, some people might be intimidated by your stern expression, but once they get to know you they realize that under your hard exterior lies an affable and polite finely tuned war machine. You know how to kill someone with just a spoon or a strip of cloth, and do not think that is weird in any way. Some people collect stamps or butterflies, you collect different ways to end your fellow man, a hobby that conveniently happens to overlap your job description. Talk about synergy!
You clear the corner of your tent and are surprised by angry voices. What is going on in here?
The amphibian is STEARNS, an expert at stealthy infiltration and annoyance. The humanoid munchkin is NERTZ, paralegal liaison and one of the most deadly Tactical Critics in the army! You are honored to have such a valuable asset on your team. The tall, tawny feline is D: RELLOT, sous-chef extraordinaire. Your foes will be frapped and fricaseed.
>This is your Mission Squad. > Oh god.....these are the people you'll be working with aren't they? >It's finally happened. You're the hard-nosed ladder climber saddled with a ragtag-band-of-misfits each with their own array of eclectic personality quirks and specialties.
Just like in the adventure stories you used to read!
> What seems to be the problem fellas? >emo frog is getting lectured on why it is proper to wear pants. >The frog is unjustly denied of mission critical equipment for their next assignment > If I hear anymore racial epithets from either of you, I'm booking you.
“Stand down! What is the problem here?”
“Sergeant! This creature, pants wearing he refuses!”
“I’m a frog you dolt, whatever for I need pants? Besides they chafe.”
“Furthermore! Illegal substances he in possession of is! With my own eyes I this confirmed.”
“So what, who doesn’t? They help me to focus, take the edge off you know? Don’t be such a big baby!”
“A child I am not! For my people fully grown I am.”
“Calm down everyone! I realize that this is a multicultural task group, but under my command we will adhere to the military regulations. There will be no racial discrimination, you will wear proper uniform, and furthermore you will speak only when spoken to and call me sir when you do, and-”
“Actually we’re more like… private contractors, and an army guy like you being in charge is mostly coincidental. So let’s dispense with the formalities and get on with the business, hmm?”
“I will not be addressed in such tone by a mercenary like you! As your commanding officer-”
“Oh, that’s how it’s gonna be? You’re going to pull rank on me, sergeant? You know, during the war I held the rank of captain. Is that how you want this to play out, sergeant?”
Looks like introductions are in order:
Getting to know each other calms down the tensions a bit, and Linnea updates you on the details. Two days ago a priceless artifact was stolen from the Imperial treasury with the notorious bandit chief Blake Barager being the prime suspect. An informant revealed to you that he currently hides in the tunnel complexes of St. Tellor mine a little ways westward from the capital by the side of the mountain Stearn. The number of men inside and the resources available to them are unknown, but the informant resides within and could provide assistance if you make contact. It is of vital importance that Blake be captured alive and the artifact recovered, but the fate of his associates is left up to you. Rescuing the informant would be a nice gesture but by no means necessary.
The mine became depleted decades ago and has been abandoned ever since, making it unstable and prone to harbor all kinds of unwanted wildlife so caution is advised. The troops camping in front of the mine prevent Blake from coming out letting you work in peace. Still, the task should be completed within a few days to avoid inconvenient political repercussions.
As Linnea speaks your uneasiness grows. Her voice is a warm baritone rumble and she is tall and strong, making her very feminine - you do not think she would hesitate to usurp command from you whenever she feels like it, especially since she does not seem to take you seriously at all. If she is such a capable leader then why are you here? Are you supposed to keep an eye on her? Or she on you? For the time being she seems content to play along, but you have no idea how long that will last. This whole mission has started to stink suspiciously, and you need to play your cards right to come out ahead of this mess.
After the briefing is over there is a question how to proceed from here.
“The lead I will take. An extensive thesis on mining procedures I have written, thus the most qualified me making.”
“Hah, you wouldn’t know a drain from a ditch! You’d just lead us into an ambush with all your useless book learning. We need someone clever and savvy to lead, like me!”
“Ridiculous nonsense! No idea of structural integrity calculations you have!”
“Well well well, sergeant… want me to solve this for you, hmm?”
Why exactly was Euphrasia exiled from the dwarf regions? Was it because she dared reveal her people's secrets in her treatise on mining? What did she stand to gain by such an action?
Anyway, clearly the dwarf should be the one theoretically assessing the tactical situation & drawing up the mission plan, but Stearns should be scouting and revising the plan based on actual on-the-ground (or in this case, in-the-tunnel) observations.
Notice that Linnea said she held the rank of captain. Past tense. What rank is she now? Nothing, First Class. She should hush up and support the nominal Commanding Officer; she knows this full well, and is just taunting you .. quite possibly because she thinks you're cute. FEMALES! They always have one thing on their mind. Look forward with some dread at having to fend off her "friendly paws" during the course of this mission.