Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What is This?

At the moment that Ibrahim stumbles across the description of the artifact in the Baskunchak as being Jewish, there is a distant shout and cry that compels the party's attention.

Philoctetes has been steadily climbing the slope away from the party, up to the church above you, and now the he has turned about and is shouting exuberantly from several hundred feet up.  He's too far away to be heard clearly, of course, but now he comes bounding down the slope.

Ibrahim may feel the need to read a bit more ~ it says in the diary that the Jewish Artifact is from the Khazar Dynasty, that ruled the area until the 11th century, when the Kaganate was broken by the Mongols.  The artifact is not named in the diary, however.  And that brings us to the last page, the text of which was described in the next post.

By then, Philoctetes has gotten close enough that he can be heard shouting, "It's there!  It's there!  I tell you it's there!  I've seen it!"

40 comments:

Kismet said...

Kismet jumps up and draws his weapon looking for it, just in case there is a threat, but acknowledges the possibility of it being a vision.

If it becomes apparent it is not in-fact a threat, "Come closer and tell us what it is!" And glances at the guard that came with.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"It's ~" The old man stops about twenty feet away and frowns. "It's a man on a horse. A little man. On a little horse. About . . ." He tries to give its size and shape with his hands. He seems to be suggesting something about the size of a breadbasket.

Enrico Guerriero said...

"A Gnome?" Enrico asks. He glances at Kismet. "Sheath your weapon, my friend, if the approaching stranger is an envoy of these Gnomes of Zurich I fear weapons will do is no good."

Alexis Smolensk said...

[it is Philoctetes approaching, Enrico]

Enrico Guerriero said...

(I was referring to the "little man on a little horse" Philoctetes described, thinking he saw someone coming. But he's probably having a vision.)

Andrej of Cumana said...

Or the little man on the horse is the Jewish artifact. A statue or idol of some kind, perhaps? The druid has seen it in the desert, in person or in a vision.



(OOC: Good news re: your breakthrough on the book Alexis. Regarding the Khazars, did anybody else read Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road? The Jewish Kagnate of the Khazars features prominently there. Ahmet has always reminded me somewhat of that book's character Amram and to a certain extent the book's vibe resembles Alexis's D&D world.)

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

"Philoctotes, you confuse us, please... you have seen what and where is it, bashta?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

Philoctetes looks perplexed. "I am sorry, dear woman," he says to Sofia. "I only know what my visions tell me. I do not know what the refer to or how it may affect others that I tell. I only know that it is there. It IS. What you have said about it being an artifact, that seems perhaps right to me."

Yuliya Romanyuk said...

This is all very exciting. So if I understand correctly, the Petrel was transported away by the Gnomes and then wound up here somehow, transported back out of the Caspian Sea? And Ramona did not find the artifact where it was supposed to be but the Gnomes may in fact have it now? Although if Philoctetes sees it then who knows...

I'm game to discuss this matter with Philoctetes further but perhaps we should make our way to the church or somewhere a bit more private and then head back to town so as not to keep the harbourmaster waiting too long, although I don't even know what we might tell him at this point.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Sofia nods to Philoctetes, "I think I understand you, bashta."

Regarding the others,

"I suspect, Yuliya, that the harbormaster is satisfied he has done his due diligence and will indulge us our investigation provided we don't make waves with those looking to recover the wreck and cargo. Retiring to the church seems a good notion if we are welcome to do so. Or we can return to Alcibiades House."

Sofia gathers her things and moves towards the church overlooking the beach.

Kismet said...

"What if, it is there." Kismet says pointing to the wreck.
What if it was found, but is literally there.
I mean if the vision inspired him to see that it was pressing and immediately important, maybe it's in the ship.
With... whatever is below.

Kismet said...

OOC: Not going to lie, it would just be something I would expect from Alexis, big nasty critter underwater in the wreck protecting an artifact powerful enough for the gnomes to want it.

AND it's in a wreck under the claim of the locals and therefore part of their salvage.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I don't want this to be a big overthinking thing, so I'm just going to reprint these two things side by side.

From Ramona's diary:

"It isn't here. We've been lied to, and undone. It is clear that this has all been part of some plot that has nothing to do with us ~ but it has damned us to hell just the same."

Stated by Philoctetes:

"It IS there."

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

As opposed to It is THERE. That's how I took it as well, when Philostoclese's vision occured right at the moment the journal was read and the artifcat was mentioned. It was as if our our gaining knowledge of the artifact triggered a vision regarding the artifact just as the island's knowledge of the wreck triggered the vision regarding us. I took the sequecne and word stress as significant.

Alexis, is Philo's ability a sage ability in action? A result of your background tables? A conveninet plot device? Something else?

Also, party mates, may I recommend that you each state you're moving with Sofia toward the church, unless you are intent upon diving the wreck again now?

Alexis Smolensk said...

[The cleric's sage abilities have a study called "divination." While Philoctetes is a self-declared druid, he must have cross-training in his background (as I just recently gave to a new assassin in the other campaign, who chose to take logistics). A sage level of ability could have the effect that Philoctetes seems to be experiencing]

I agree with Sofia. Are you done with the wreck? Can we move on? Philoctetes is showing signs of exhaustion now; three of the soldiers who have be quietly watching all this, and leaving you alone as the one that brung ya has told them to, rush to help Philoctetes as he collapses.

The guide, Polythemos, assures you that he is all right. "He is an old man, I have seen him stretched out too far once before because of his gift. He just needs sleep.

Enrico Guerriero said...

I think it is time to move on. Enrico tells the soldiers the sad fate of Hermos as reported by Philoctetes and then joins those heading toward the church, bidding Carlito to come along.

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

Agreed. Ibrahim joins those headed for the church.

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

I am, of course, taking the book and coffer with me for later study.

Nine-toes said...

Nine-toes joins the rest heading for the church.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

(OOC: So, two monks, two fighters a ranger and a bard walk into a church...)

Yuliya Romanyuk said...

Agreed on heading to the church.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Settled, you're all there at the church. Do you want to talk together or is there something else? What happens next?

Nine-toes said...

Did anyone still want to spar?

Kismet said...

I think we will hardly be sparring in the church or in front of the church. That said we can find a spot I'm certain.

Let's help get Philoctetes to somewhere to sleep, let's figure out our next steps (maybe in a different post WHILE sparring? Seems an efficient use of RL time while muddling the Game timeline a bit) and we can spar.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The soldiers are helping Philoctetes; concentrate on your next steps. If you wish to spar, explain where. There are lots of open places not directly near the church, places where you're not likely to be noticed. Syros is full of olive groves and flat, stony places where few people wander. At most, you might be witnessed by a shepherd ~ but since you'll be pulling your blows, I think your intent will be obvious to anyone.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

If we have the church to ourselves, let us talk. I think the soldiers can see to Philoctetes.

Here is what we know, and I'm trying my best to NOT acknowledge information revealed in the Constantinople post.

Our masters set out for Cumana aboard the Petrel. Here it lies off shore a Greek island.

Setting aside date discrepancies and taking the log entries at face value, the Captain made it further then Cumana navigating up the Don and then Volga River to the Caspian. She has some involvement with the Gnomes, whom we rightly fear but don't necessarily know to be working against us.

Of all that we don't know, here is what has my immediate attention: Did our masters disembark? When and Where. Ibrahim, you should read the journal with this in mind.

Alexis Smolensk said...

According to the diary, Ibrahim will determine, your masters disembarked on the 24th day of May, 1651. The captain stayed near Rosk for three days, until the 27th, taking on water and cutting some wood for some minor repairs. Then on the evening of the 27th, the Captain's ship departed.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

"Perfect. Thank you Ibrahim. We must go to Rosk, then, my friends. Do you agree?" ;-)

Alexis, today remains Wednesday, April 12, 1651, yes?

I propose a group match for our spar, and we can hash out next steps as well. Provided it doesn't get too cluttered I propose we do the combat posts where we each say one brief thing regarding our next move as we make an attack or action. I think that would seem cinematic, don't you?

Sofia and Nine Toes, being of the same class, should be on separate teams. Same for Kismet and Enrico. Then Ibrahim and Yuliya would naturally be split up. Assuming I have my levels correct I think the following would make for balanced teams. Or, I'm open to other ideas. We can choose captains and let them pick teams. Let me know your thoughts.

Nine-Toes; monk, level 2
Enrico; fighter, level 1
Ibrahim; bard, level 1

vs.

Sofia; monk, level 1
Kismet; fighter, level 1
Yuliya; ranger, level 1

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Example:

"We can find passage to Constantinople on the mainland perhaps."

Sofia flings a dagger at Nine-Toes:

to hit: 14
dmg: 3

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, you have the date correct, Sofia.

[Regarding images for sparring; I know I haven't made pretty top-down images for this party like I did for those dead people in the other campaign. I hope no one feels slighted. For this sparring I'm going to rig some simple images from other people I've created in the past ~ I will get around to creating personalized images, but just now I'm digging hard on the Bard and writing my book on the side, apart from annoyingly working a job that doesn't give me access to a computer]

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

No worries. I don't feel slighted at all.

Nine-toes said...

I'm fine with the teams as presented.

Nine-toes gives Sofia a good glaring she won't soon forget.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Sofia, in a jocular mood, cleans her fingernails with a dagger and asks Nine-Toes, "Just how many toes do you figure you'll need to adequately walk, run and jump? Would eight be sufficient? I don't want to short you, as Father Andrej always expressed his fondness for you."

;-)

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Sofia makes for the nearest "flat, stony place where few people wander.

"Come, batko, let's see how well you swing that bo stick of yours."

Alexis Smolensk said...

How far apart do you want to be?

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

I'd say far, as Sofia's mobility is a real asset. I'm sure the fighters would prefer closer, though. would teams 20' apart and teammates no more than 5' to start be acceptable for everybody?

Nine-toes said...

Nine-toes follows, smiling. He sets down his pack and draws the quarterstaff.

"This staff is called Khamsin, a magic staff given to me by my master. I would be happy to introduce you."

Alexis Smolensk said...

[I'm going to have to go finish off an errand. Should take me a couple hours]

Alexis Smolensk said...

Can anyone tell me, do Enrico and Kismet have swords? Oh well, I'll give them swords for now.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I got delayed, so I put together the first sparring post. It is up, go look.