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 Viticulture of the Damned

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Rolzup

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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:25 pm

Mallus wrote:
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.

OOC: Clap. Clap. Clap. Meant, I assure you, in an entirely unironic fashion.

Vox moves away from the house, gaining a third dimension as he slinks, and pulls a dead pigeon from somewhere best left unquestioned. Crouching low in an alleyway, and trying to keep one eye upon the building, he begins to mutter things to the dead bird.

10 minutes later it stretches a tattered set of wings and flaps laboriously into the sky. And Vox, with a sigh, pulls his hat down low over his eyes and commences staking out.

OOC: Cast Dead Animal Messenger, and send it forth to seek Artichoke with the following message: "At Grave's End, in this realm. Watching Mr. Sere, conspirator, at large boardinghouse, unnatural horses outside. Be quick, don't get eaten by anything, dammit."
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:27 pm

You return from the Other Side an hour before sunrise. By the time the sun's first rays are being rendered into lurid streaks by the blood-red stained glass found in many of the windows on the second floor, you arrive at the place that will one day feel like home, unless an angry mob or a careless Yatagan --or some combination of the two-- first burn it to the ground.

In your possession you have: Father Pruflas, merchant, former adventurer and priest of Mammon, demon Lord-Mayor of Dis, four small sacks containing the semi-spectral grapes added to make Sancerre's vintage, the conical kettle and 5 brass canisters which made up the apparatus it was fermented in, not to mention which held the nightmarish --though oddly romantic-- apparition named Bernard, once husband to the winemaker, Mistress Terpsichore of Enkiil Isle. Also, you have two sheets of human-skin vellum bearing scribbled notes on the fermentation process.

You are, in short, exhausted. Yatagan and Pæetros secure the prisoner. Hopefully he'll be alive, sane, and uncovered by either pork far or reptile semen when you awake...

and ... several hours later you awaken to Odanais shrieking.

OOC: Steve, make an Endurance check for Odanais.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:43 pm

Pætros wakes with a start, leaping from his humble straw pallet. The spirit pig skitters away, trying to look as though it hadn't been whispering nightmares into the Porcophants ears once again. He strides from his room with a look of fury upon his face, ready to send whoever is attacking straight to hell...and then stops, recognizing Odanais' voice.

"Magic Man has impressive stamina," Pætros admits, with reluctant admiration. "Should show more wisdom in choosing bed partners, though.

"Keep voice down! We are not being impressed!"
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:11 pm

The Holy Hogfather finds young Mr. Dare sitting bolt upright in his opulent new bed. Beads of sweat drip down his fine featured face. He's blinking furiously, but doesn't seem aware of his surroundings.

For a moment Pætros believes he sees a faint spark of fire in Odanais's eyes.

From Odanais's perspective, he hasn't woken yet. It began as a strangely empowering dream about being a massive bronze-skinned figure, who awoke in a sweltering bedchamber and proceeded to piss a stream of flame into a skull-shaped chamber pot cast in gold. Then the pain began. First came the headache as Odanais realized he -- the bronze giant -- could see the whole of the room at once, as if he had eyes in the back of his head, in fact, as if he were studded with eyes like the iron rings on a mercenaries armor jack. Next came an awareness of room's heat. It wasn't sweltering, it was like the interior of a furnace.

The burning in his lungs that came not from the temperature, but from the droplets of sulfurous acid perfuming the air, merely added insult to injury. Odanais begins blinking his new-found host of eyes, in an attempt to clear this vision from them, unsure if he actually being injured.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:13 pm

Endurance check: 7 (Hehe...)


Last edited by gridley on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:13 pm

The member 'gridley' has done the following action : Dice Roller

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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:01 pm

Odanais finally manages to get his real eyes open, only to find the freakish longing face of Treasure new Pope looking in at him from his open door. He's saying something like 'am not being impressed!' in moderately broken Port-speak.

Odanais feels unwell. He's feverish and he keeps seeing a faint outline of flame superimposed over objects in his field of vision. Surely someone in the League is a doctor. Or knows a doctor. Or would be willing to threaten a doctor into helping him.

At that point everyone hears Yatagan bellow, "Is it time to interrogate the prisoner yet?! If not, I'm going to make lunch. Who's for mouse pie?!"
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:32 pm

Mallus wrote:
The Holy Hogfather finds young Mr. Dare sitting bolt upright in his opulent new bed. Beads of sweat drip down his fine featured face. He's blinking furiously, but doesn't seem aware of his surroundings.

For a moment Pætros believes he sees a faint spark of fire in Odanais's eyes.

From Odanais's perspective, he hasn't woken yet. It began as a strangely empowering dream about being a massive bronze-skinned figure, who awoke in a sweltering bedchamber and proceeded to piss a stream of flame into a skull-shaped chamber pot cast in gold. Then the pain began. First came the headache as Odanais realized he -- the bronze giant -- could see the whole of the room at once, as if he had eyes in the back of his head, in fact, as if he were studded with eyes like the iron rings on a mercenaries armor jack. Next came an awareness of room's heat. It wasn't sweltering, it was like the interior of a furnace.

The burning in his lungs that came not from the temperature, but from the droplets of sulfurous acid perfuming the air, merely added insult to injury. Odanais begins blinking his new-found host of eyes, in an attempt to clear this vision from them, unsure if he actually being injured.

Mallus wrote:
Odanais finally manages to get his real eyes open, only to find the freakish longing face of Treasure new Pope looking in at him from his open door. He's saying something like 'am not being impressed!' in moderately broken Port-speak.

Odanais feels unwell. He's feverish and he keeps seeing a faint outline of flame superimposed over objects in his field of vision. Surely someone in the League is a doctor. Or knows a doctor. Or would be willing to threaten a doctor into helping him.

Odanais, believing firmly that this psychic dissonance is true and crucial to his life, gives up all resistance to it. Making himself a sweaty, feverish conduit of foreign ideas, he attempts to force himself into a powerful enough trance state that the world of the Hidimba estate fades away like smoke in the wind, leaving him to revel in his great new bronze, all-seeing, flame-pissing body. He attempts to steer himself through this other world, learning from it, searching it for secrets that he must be meant to find.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:19 pm

gridley wrote:
Making himself a sweaty, feverish conduit of foreign ideas, he attempts to force himself into a powerful enough trance state that the world of the Hidimba estate fades away like smoke in the wind, leaving him to revel in his great new bronze, all-seeing, flame-pissing body.
As Odanais wills himself to relax the pain lessens to a mild discomfort edged with disconcerting moments of euphoria. He stops shrieking. The Porcophant, in turn, closes the door.

Odanais isn't sure if his eyes are open or shut. Either way, he sees visions. Stairs of black basalt. Long tables of fused bone. Paintings in blood, statues embodying great power and depravity. Obsessionally he sees bodies; slumped, strewn, opened up like life-sized anatomical illustrations.

He tries to focus on the art.

These sights come and go until Odanais is staring at the back of his bedroom door.

[edit]

Though his vision is a little cloudy, Odanais feels refreshed, inspired, virile, and slightly crueller than he did the previous morning.

Quote :
He attempts to steer himself through this other world, learning from it, searching it for secrets that he must be meant to find.
Odanais finds he has no control in that demonic place. He's merely bearing witness, along for the ride. He instinctively conjectures he is seeing, periodically, through another beings eyes.


Last edited by Mallus on Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:40 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:34 pm

While the others slept --that is, until Odanais began screaming-- Captain Artichoke carefully examines the bound, unconscious body of the captive Father Pruflas. He finds his coin purse containing several small gems, including a small-but-exceedingly rare Aster Pearl (OOC: actually value TBD), his magical silk sack full of rolls of Hell-minted coins which he used for smiting, and a carefully-concealed pocket in his robe woven from enchanted Fae-Flax, invisible except to the greedy and magically-trained eye.

Inside is a stout rod made entirely of dull black metal. It's flanged head resembles a skull.

As Vox steps into the room he recognizes it immediately. It's the weapon of a Psychopomp, one of the clubs carried by the Spring-Heeled Jacks capable of knocking dead souls insensate.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:23 am

Mallus wrote:
As Vox steps into the room he recognizes it immediately. It's the weapon of a Psychopomp, one of the clubs carried by the Spring-Heeled Jacks capable of knocking dead souls insensate.

Once Vox explains what the item is, Artichoke muses aloud, "I wonder if they were using thing to knock out souls and then force them into recollection wine. If that's possible. Vox, what do you think?"

When Odanais begins to scream, Artichoke silently congratulates himself on being smart enough to have stayed behind and got some sleep while the others were busy in the Hereafter. Then he makes his way over to the arcanist's room. Making sure to put on an expression of sympathy, Artichoke enters and asks, "Bad dreams?"
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:09 pm

Vox shrugs. "Possible? Sure. But there's got to be more to it than that. It's not as simple as dropping souls into a wine press and....." He goes, if possible, a little more pale. "Hells, what a hideous thought! You are a sick bastard, Artichoke!"

****

shilsen wrote:
Making sure to put on an expression of sympathy, Artichoke enters and asks, "Bad dreams?"

"Is been doing many drugs," the Porcophant stage-whispers, "Or has caught some very nasty disease from very nasty lady. Eyes fireshot, much worse than bloodshot."
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:40 am

Artichoke leaves a now quiet, in fact, almost meditative-looking Odanais to whatever assignation he's having with the darker parts of him own psyche. He and the League turn their attention back to their prisoner, one Father Pruflas, a --far-- traveling merchant and priest to one of the Mayors of Hell.

After determining it's safe to remove his gag --a kitchen rag 'anointed' with holy renderings-- the League beings to interrogate him, or rather, he starts talking as soon as he spits out a piece of congealed fat.

"I see you haven't turned me over to the authorities -- he fixes Vox with a pointed look which emphasizes the devilish arch of his eyebrows-- so there's hope for me yet, right?". Pruflas smiles a little too broadly.

"Introductions first, yes? I'm Tiberium Pruflas, a traveling salesman and priest. I can feel that you've robbed me quite thoroughly, and I commend you for it. But I'm still worth a ransom, yes? My order might part with some coin, if you can get word to them. And perhaps I have some information you want -- something you don't trust the Bureaucracy will share with you, eh?-- well, I'm sure we can make a deal."

The priest's brow furrows a moment. "Or is your Bureaucracy man doing a little freelance work? It's not unheard of."

"So let's get on with it. Or just kill me. But if you're thinking of torturing me, say for advantage or sport, just forget about it. I was raised on Hot Gates, an island a sulfurous-stone's throw from Avernus. That's the outermost Infernal Isle. The screams of the damned were my childhood lullabies and by the age of ten I'd forgotten more about pain than you'll ever know."

"Sounds like a challenge!" says Yatagan brightly as he steps into the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:30 pm

Odanais suddenly charges into the room and grabs Pruflas by the lapels.

"Tell me who it is? Where is he?" he shouts. "The bronze man who pisses flame and thinks torture is art? The man in the palace with the black stairs, the bloody paintings, the tables of bone! Tell me who he is! Or I'll kill you!"
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:56 pm

"Who, Chax?" blurts out the startled Father Pruflas.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:04 pm

Mallus wrote:
"I see you haven't turned me over to the authorities -- he fixes Vox with a pointed look which emphasizes the devilish arch of his eyebrows-- so there's hope for me yet, right?". Pruflas smiles a little too broadly.

"Is hope for all of us, in bosom of pig!" Pætros frowns, mulling the words over. "Does not sound appealing," he admits, "But even so! Is good thing."

Vox inches away from the Porcophant; no small feat, as he's already leaning against the wall on the opposite side of the room. He clears his throat. "These fine...people have questions for you, 'father'. If you answer them, then yes -- I'll put in a good word or to for you with the beauracracy. And you'll be lucky indeed if there's any pain greater than a papercut. Someone like you is in for an all-too-literal eternity of paperwork." Vox smiles thinly. ""Alas, it's not possible for the dead to die of boredom...no matter how much they may pray for it."

gridley wrote:
"Tell me who it is? Where is he?" he shouts. "The bronze man who pisses flame and thinks torture is art? The man in the palace with the black stairs, the bloody paintings, the tables of bone! Tell me who he is! Or I'll kill you!"

Vox recoils, nonplussed. "What the HELLS is in that wine?"

Pætros shakes his head. "Is the hell-pox. Not actually pissing fire, but am sure feels like it."
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:52 pm

Mallus wrote:
"Who, Chax?" blurts out the startled Father Pruflas.

"Who is this.... this... Chax? Tell me everything you know about him!"
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:30 pm

gridley wrote:
"Who is this.... this... Chax? Tell me everything you know about him!"
"Why Chax is a Marquis of the Infernal Isles. Lord of the Wandering Tower. Commander of... several Legions of devils. Why do you ask? Are you feeling feverish? Seeing flames? You wouldn't happen to be an artist, would you?"

Pruflas smiles sympathetically.

"I'll answer your questions in good time, young sir. But I believe your friends are first in line. Also, since I'm going to be doing a lot of talking, would it be possible for me to get a glass of water? Better, some fresh-squeezed orange juice? I have the taste of rancid fat in my mouth".

Craning his head away from the ranting man invading his personal space, Pruflas tries to address Artichoke and Vox. "What do you want to know?"
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:20 pm

OOC: here's a summary of current League business.

    Larkspur Dandy hired you to find her missing paramour, Armand Rum. The League has technically satisfied this contract and can collect at any time. Amount due: 1,000 gp.

    Lord Malcolm Dandy paid nothing for his daughter's safe return from the incident at the Made Gallery. He did, however, promise commensurate future favor(s).

    Lord Myles Lively, paid you 1000 gp --in a bank check-- for the safe return of the evil spirit-free Mask of Cybelle. Furthermore, he hired you to 'find out who hired the Petitioners to steal the Mask' for 5000 gp and then 'kill them', for the enormous sum of 50,000 gp.
.
    The League knows who hired the Petitioners. The resurrected ex-Petitioner Subtle implicated Lord Dandy's Eldadrin magician Titus. The question is 'was Titus working for someone else'? Naturally, Lord Dandy also bid for the Mask of Cybelle, losing out to Lord Lively.

    Armand Rum hired the League to retrieve his customer Armand Rum and offered a bonus if they could secure information about the new process responsible for his 'condition'. Amount due: 2,000 gp.

    Father Pruflas is bargaining with the League for his life and freedom. These negotiations are in progress.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:30 pm

gridley wrote:
Odanais suddenly charges into the room and grabs Pruflas by the lapels.

"Tell me who it is? Where is he?" he shouts. "The bronze man who pisses flame and thinks torture is art? The man in the palace with the black stairs, the bloody paintings, the tables of bone! Tell me who he is! Or I'll kill you!"

Artichoke raises an eyebrow and discreetly steps backwards, pulling up a chair and dropping into it. Sounds interesting.

Quote :
Craning his head away from the ranting man invading his personal space, Pruflas tries to address Artichoke and Vox. "What do you want to know?"

Artichoke smiles pleasantly at the man. "Tell me something, Father. Have you ever heard of someone called Sancerre?"
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:50 pm

shilsen wrote:
"Tell me something, Father. Have you ever heard of someone called Sancerre?"
"I believe I have. Tall fellow, for an elf. Quite the dresser. It was on the Other Side...". Pruflas pauses.

"I'd like to help you. But what are your terms?"
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:08 pm

Mallus wrote:
shilsen wrote:
"Tell me something, Father. Have you ever heard of someone called Sancerre?"
"I believe I have. Tall fellow, for an elf. Quite the dresser. It was on the Other Side...". Pruflas pauses.

"I'd like to help you. But what are your terms?"

"Well," Vox says smoothly, "That's the question, isn't it? You can walk away from all of this, for one thing, with all of your limbs intact. I can turn a blind eye for a moment or two, and you can avoid any long conversations with the Necroaccountants...."

He produces a coin, and beings to walk it across his knuckles as he continues to speak. "And we can always give you a bit of money," Vox carefully avoids looking anywhere near Artichoke, "As I would assume that your religion requires, no?"

The coin leaps into the air, seemingly of its own accord, and spins for a moment before Vox makes it vanish again.

"But at this point, frankly? I really don't see as you have a great deal of choice. These people are entirely mad," he says, an edge of honest terror in his voice, "And they just don't think like rational men. Except perhaps for Captain here, and greed is the only direction that his moral compass points."
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:23 pm

Father Pruflas considers his position for a minute or so. He then says "I brought Sancerre to Cori's winery. She and I are partners, you see. Friends, even. To the extent we're capable of friendship."

"It was another test of the process. To see if she could manage a, forgive the pun, potent spirit. Sancerre was fairly well known on the Other Side. But he'd been out-of-circulation for years. He must have wound up in some... collector's cellar. Anyway, he got out and our paths crossed. The elf never knew what hit him".

He sighs.

"I debated just asking him to participate in our experiment. But that way he could have said 'no'".

Pruflas looks around at the assembled League members.

"I want to buy my freedom. I offer in return, the secrets of the wine. You already have some of the notes and the fermentation vessels. I guess you could work out where to find another Blood Amniote --to this day I don't see what Terpsichore saw in him. But you'd still need the additive. Those special grapes. Really, they are a puzzlement. I'm fortunate to have stumbled across them in my travels. Sometimes I wonder if they were planted for a reason."

OOC: you may roll dice, if you'd like. Or we can do this wholly old-school.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:08 am

Mallus wrote:


"I want to buy my freedom. I offer in return, the secrets of the wine. You already have some of the notes and the fermentation vessels. I guess you could work out where to find another Blood Amniote --to this day I don't see what Terpsichore saw in him. But you'd still need the additive. Those special grapes. Really, they are a puzzlement. I'm fortunate to have stumbled across them in my travels. Sometimes I wonder if they were planted for a reason."

"All things happen for reason," Pætros observes piously. "Is not always good reason, though. But, as delicious bacon come from filthy beast in sty, great things sometime come from evil beginnings. Glorious Treasure of Heavens can make right. Ghost wine be very good sacement. Is red? Or white? Red is going best with pork, yes?"

"On that note," Vox says with a shudder, "I'm taking my leave. The less that I hear about whatever deal you make, the better off we all are. I've got a report to file, investigations to make, and hard liquor to abuse." He stands, bows, and vanishes. A moment later, the sound of clatter and curses can be heard through the door, and Vox mourns his dramatic exit.
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PostSubject: Re: Viticulture of the Damned   Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:46 pm

Rolzup wrote:
"Is not always good reason, though.
"The reason is usually profit. Profit's good" says Father Pruflas. "Revenge is popular, too" he adds.

Quote :
Ghost wine be very good sacrament.
"I'm all for being your sacrament" shouts Sancerre from the adjacent room. "So long as I'm in a bottle of normal ghost wine".

Quote :
Red is going best with pork, yes?"
"It's white with pork" says Sancerre. "Philistines" he mutters not-quite-under his spectral breath.

Quote :
I've got a report to file, investigations to make, and hard liquor to abuse."
OOC: how complete is Vox's report? Give me the gist of it. Does it leave anything out?
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