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 Viticulture of the Damned

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Mallus

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PostSubject: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:00 am

After leaving The Last Resort, the triumphant League crosses mostly-deserted Five Fathoms Market and back into the Stagger. You meander along Crook Street with your weapons either drawn or with hands-on-pommels, as it's custom, not too mention smart, to do, arriving, whole and intact, one half hour later at the Old Hidimba Place, which one day will be known as League Headquarters, or the High Temple of the Glorious Treasure or Heaven, or perhaps the Seat of the Holy See of Swine.

But today is not that day. It's still the Old Hidimba Place, even to you.

You are a bit surprised to find activity at this late hour. Well, make that 'activity' that doesn't involve a mob trying to burn the estate to the ground. Undead porters carrying several burlap sacks through the open gate. The former Petitioner Scorn directs them, under Asarlai's watchful eye.

Actually, 'shuttered eye' is more like it. The old warlock dozes on the porch, his body propped up against a chipped pillar.

"Welcome back" says Scorn almost gaily.

OOC: did you take Sancerre-in-Armand with you or leave him with Earnest Gallows?
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Rolzup

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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:18 pm

Mallus wrote:
"Welcome back" says Scorn almost gaily.

Pætros raises an eyebrow. "Am indeed feeling welcomed," he says in a doubtful tone. "Dead peoples are bringing donations, maybe? Much gold, silver, rare incense to cover stench of pig-god?"

Mallus wrote:
OOC: did you take Sancerre-in-Armand with you or leave him with Earnest Gallows?

OOC: Oh, we wouldn't let him out of our sight, surely. It's the kind of bastards we are. On a side note, want me to switch to Vox for a bit, if we're going to the Other Side? The Porcophant has preparations to make, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:06 pm

Rolzup wrote:
OOC: Oh, we wouldn't let him out of our sight, surely. It's the kind of bastards we are. On a side note, want me to switch to Vox for a bit, if we're going to the Other Side? The Porcophant has preparations to make, after all.

Sounds like a plan to me, on both counts.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:53 pm

OOC: I'm updating Vox now, and trying to figure out whether or not I want to follow the Assassin route with him.... Guess I'll do both, and look 'em over.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:05 am

Rolzup wrote:
"Dead peoples are bringing donations, maybe?"
Scorn laughs. "Unfortunately, no. These are things from my old apartment."

Quote :
Much gold, silver, rare incense to cover stench of pig-god?"
"I wish. Speaking of, when you get a moment I'd like to discuss... business with whoever is in charge of that. It's not the Dragonborn, I hope. Please tell me it's not the Dragonborn."

"I have some ideas" says the former Petitioner Scorn.

Rolzup wrote:
On a side note, want me to switch to Vox for a bit, if we're going to the Other Side? The Porcophant has preparations to make, after all.
OOC: Sure, switch to Vox while Pætros busies himself rendering holy bacon fat for the anointing.

After reassuring Scorn that Yatagan is not in charge of the League's "business plan" and depositing Armand Rum's still-unconscious body of one of manor's more comfortable and less blood stained settee's, you confer with your post-mortality expert, Mr. Cadaveris.

"Something about this whole thing smells" says the man who half-dead when he's in the best of health. "Recollection wineries are tightly regulated. Or at least they're supposed to be. Don't get the idea it's to protect you breathers, though. It's to stop the exploitation of the more free-willed dead. Had a bit of a problem with that in the past."

Vox grabs his hat and trench coat and heads for the door.

"This trouble sounds... new. I don't like new. Do you need to... sleep first?" asks Vox with the same disdain he uses for most metabolic functions, like eating and breathing.

Strangely enough, no-ones ever heard him say an unkind word about the drinking of booze.

OOC: and now Vox is yours, John.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:59 pm

"...what I don't understand is why all of you...hell, why ANYONE is taking this seriously. It's a pig, dammit. A really big pig, admittedly, but it's still a pig." Vox sighs. "Hell. At least it's not issuing commandments. I hate commandments Too many 'shalt nots', not enough 'shalts'."

"Will spend eternity wallowing in filth, little apostate half-dead man," Pætros says cheerfully as he passes by, "Is no fun way to spend afterlife."

"Beats some of the alternatives, believe me," Vox mutters in response, making a creatively obscene gesture at the Porcophant's back.

"So let me get this straight, then. Someone is doctoring Resurrection wine, to keep the spirits trapped in the living body that consumes them? And you want to confront the ones doing it? That almost sounds responsible...moral, even! Artichoke, what's become of you?

"No, wait, let me guess! You're being paid, right?" He grimaces. "No point looking a gift horse in the mouth, I suppose. I could certainly use something to get me back into the good graces of the Bureaucracy after all that crap with the Hand of Glass and Brass...."

Vox drops a hand to the pommel of his rapier, and produces a badge-shaped buckler from an improbably large pocket of his greatcoat. "Time to justify that godsdamned promotion, then."
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Mallus

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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:25 pm

Rolzup wrote:
...the Hand of Glass and Brass...."
OOC: whatever that is, it's lovely.

Do you all leave for the Other Side now?
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:01 am

OOC: should we pick this up on Friday, or do you want to do more online before then?

Let me know today, it'll help me prep!
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:47 am

OOC: I'm all for doing more on-line...although admittedly, my computer access will be pretty limited on Thursday.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:03 pm

Yeah, let's get cracking online... at least until we need to crack heads."
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:41 pm

Exhilarated by the battle with Sancerre's former band atop Twilight Hill, the League bravely presses on, at the Hour of the Wolf no less, to the realms of the dead. Or, more precisely, to the tastefully appointed cathouse that houses what most be both the Port's most heavily-trafficked portal to the Other Side and it's worst-kept occult secret.

Mistress Swiftly greats you warmly when you arrive, but the glint in Vox's harboiled eye stops her from making further small talk. It's evident what kind of business the League is about tonight. Clarissa offers a simultaneously coy and longing gaze at Mr. Odanais Dare as a professional courtesy. She can see he's already looking quite drained this evening (OOC: 1 Healing Surge remaining, is it?).

As usual, the League enter the land of the dead to the sounds of the dwarf Marcus Dorin playing his bone flute. He nods as you pass, but doesn't stop playing.

The streets of the Hereafter are busy at this hour. The majority of the dead shuffle buy in their pantomime of life, off on their pointless appointed tasks. The similarities to the living Port are striking.

Vox quickly hustles his fully-living comrades into a dry, dusty ally. The exact composition of said dust, and it's effect on mortal lung tissue is best left uncontemplated. While it's not strictly illegal for the living to play tourists on the Other Side, Vox doesn't want to take any chances. Thanks to his knowledge of this side of the Hereafter you avoid the watchful dead glass orbs of two Spring-Heeled Jacks --that is, Psychopomps in service to the Eternal Bureaucracy-- out on patrol.

A timeless amount of time later the League steps out of one of death's back alleys at the location specified by Earnest Gallows. Across the street is cafe, of sorts. A group of shades play dominoes at an outdoor table. Next to them, a man waits alone, sipping from a goblet. At this distance, only Vox notices that he's alive.

OOC: John, roll Perception or Streetwise for Vox, your choice..
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:29 pm

Mallus wrote:
She can see he's already looking quite drained this evening (OOC: 1 Healing Surge remaining, is it?).

Artichoke would have wanted the group to get a good night's sleep before going to the Other Side. After all, we had a really busy day. And it's not like Sancerre is going anywhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:26 pm

OOC: 23 Streetwise.


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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:26 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:11 am

Mallus wrote:
Clarissa offers a simultaneously coy and longing gaze at Mr. Odanais Dare as a professional courtesy. She can see he's already looking quite drained this evening (OOC: 1 Healing Surge remaining, is it?).[/i].

Odanais shudders a bit upon seeing this phantom glimmer of his departed sister, feeling greatly conflicted by her untrue nature, but manages to collect himself enough to nod her way with a charming smile. "It is good to see you again, Clarissa."

Rolzup wrote:
OOC: 23 Streetwise.

Streetwise assist: 17 (if that's any help; clearly the brief encounter with Clarissa really put him off his game)


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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:11 am

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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:55 pm

shilsen wrote:
Artichoke would have wanted the group to get a good night's sleep before going to the Other Side.
Rolzup wrote:
OOC: 23 Streetwise.
gridley wrote:
Streetwise assist: 17 (if that's any help; clearly the brief encounter with Clarissa really put him off his game)
OOC: Captain Artichoke suggests a more prudent course of action. The rest of the League ignore him and hasten to the Other Side.

Odanais whispers an observation in Vox's ear, which helps him put his grayish finger on what's been bothering him. There aren't any Jacks about. He caught sight of several near the portal at the Gossamer Pillow, but as their approached their destination, not a one.

More than one around the Pillow is a bad sign. None here is worse.

As Vox luxuriates for a minute is his own well-developed sense of paranoia, a carriage pulled by a team of charnal zombies rolls up to the cafe. A ghoul in a tailored suit emerges and takes a seat next to the living man. They shake hands.

A conversation starts, but you can't make out the words.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:04 am

"Stay here," Vox says absently, stowing his shield once more. "I'm going to see what I can learn."

He takes a deep breath and then slowly flattens out, skin and clothing swiftly darkening to lightless black. Now quite literally a shadow of his former self, he moves across the street, slithering from shadow to shadow as he goes, until he is close enough to hear the conversation.

OOC: Using Lurking Shadow....
Requirement: You must be in dim light or darkness.
Effect: You become invisible and silent until the end of your next turn, until you move more than 2 squares on your turn, or until you enter a square of bright light. If a creature tries to enter your space before the effect ends, you can either shift 1 square as a free action or remain where you are. If you remain where you are, the effect ends.
Sustain Minor: The effect persists.


Stealth Check: 35. Perception, if needed, is 19.


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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:04 am

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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:11 am

Vox overhears the following:

"My apologies, Mr. Boon, but I'm afraid I don't have your order ready. There's been an unfortunate delay from one of our suppliers. The one who provides our very special grapes. The good news is the merchant arrived a today, a short time ago, in fact. You can pick your case up tomorrow" says the well-dressed ghoul.

That strikes Vox as odds. As far as he knows, the only 'grapes' used in Recollection Wine walk on two legs and grow in miserable bunches called 'families'.

"There's nothing you can do?" says the living man.

"I'm afraid not, sir" replies the ghoul.

"Then tomorrow it is. No matter. I hear old Gallows all but put himself out of business with his latest batch. Rumor has it he got that old elven vigilante Sancerre stuck in some poor sod's body. I tell you he's done for. Even without your vin extraordinaire... of course I still want the case. Can't be too sure. Why in no time it'll be Malachi Boon on top and everyone else, especially Earnest Gallows, fightin' for the scraps."

"Very good, Mr. Boon".

The living man stands and makes ready to go, somewhat anxiously looking around, in a way not uncommon among breathers on the Other Side far from the known portal home. The shades at the next table continue their silent game of Dominoes. The ghoul steps back into his carriage and it begins to trundle away down a street that leads to the edge of the Hereafter.

Pips, thinks Vox absently. The name of the cafe is Pips.


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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:47 pm

OOC: This seems an opportune time to, you'll pardon the inevitable pun, shadow the living fellow. A skill challenge, or a series of rolls from Vox alone?
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:50 pm

Rolzup wrote:
OOC: This seems an opportune time to, you'll pardon the inevitable pun, shadow the living fellow. A skill challenge, or a series of rolls from Vox alone?
It's a skill check or two for Vox, a Skill Challenge if he brings his stealth-challenged comrades along.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:10 pm

OOC: Oh lord....

Vox throws a glance back at the others. They're smart enough to figure out what I'm doing, he thinks, with mad optimism. And surely they'll stay out of trouble while I'm about this, he continues, taking leave of his senses entirely.

Pausing for a brief moment to wonder why the Pips had a sign posted banning the playing of Whist, under penalty of something terribly unpleasant, he follows smoothly and silently behind his unsuspecting quarry....

OOC: Stealth of 26, plus being Invisible and all.


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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:10 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:20 pm

Leaving his comrades to their own, possibly self-injurious devices, Vox tails the carriage containing the smartly-dressed ghoul. It rolls slowly along Grave's End, the long straight avenue just south of the Ossuary Flow which leads to the outskirts of the Port, which eventually becomes Hearth Road, leading to several large villages in the Clutch.

Or rather, the street would be called Grave's End, if this were the mortal world. Here it's nameless, and it leads out into the Dust, the empty ash-covered plain that corresponds to the Middling Lands, dotted with small ghostly settlements full of, at least in the case of the towns of Forge and Ocelot, sound and fury.

The carriage travels a few blocks, stopping in front of a large boarding house with several outbuildings. A wagon made of something resembling dark, glossy wood, sits out front. It's hitched to a pair of black stallions with literal fire in their eyes. The zombies give the horses a wide berth, pulling the carriage into one of the outbuilding after the ghoul disembarks.

An elderly woman emerges boarding house's front door. Vox blinks a few times as he recognizes her: Mrs. Oden, the possibly senile ghost whose son works at the Gossamer Pillow. She is carrying a tray full of pies.

"Good day, Mr. Sere. Care for a slice of pie? Not right this minute, mind you, they still need to cool. You think Mistress Cori would like some? I know she loves my red berry...".

No one notices Vox. But he notices something, a scent hot and sharp and most definitely not pie-like. More like a strong cheese left in the sun next to a corpse.

Magic. A great deal of it. Emanating from the house.


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