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Heroica RPG - Quest#34: The Dark Secret

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heroicaquest34.jpg

Three rogues left Heroica Hall and made their way to the guildhouse of Invision, the alchemist's guild. The three were:

6843093399_d39f47706a_t.jpg

Dak Shadeaux
(played by Darth Nihilus)

Level 11½ Rogue

Power:
21 (16 for ranged attacks)

Health:
17/17

Gold:
6

Inventory:
Mockthril Knife (WP:10,
lightning-elemental
), Throwing Knife (WP:5, ranged, retrievable), Twin Longswords (WP:3), 2 Venoms, Potion, 2 Meads, Nostrum, Smelling Salts, Bedroll, Shovel

dscf0014.jpg

Dyric Rone
(played by The Legonater)

Level 12 Rogue
*Lucky*

Power:
22 (16 for ranged attacks)

Health:
19/19

Gold:
344

Inventory:
Double Chain Whip (WP: 10), Throwing Knife (WP:4, ranged, retrievable), Longsword (WP: 3), Loaded Die (permanent lucky-effect), Potion, Venom, Smelling Salts

6800805643_71f494fd9d_t.jpg

Guts Holla
(played by Scubacarrot) *Party Leader*

Level 14½ Rogue

Power:
26 (22 for ranged attacks)

Health:
20/20

Gold:
72

Inventory:
Lifestealer (WP:12,
ice-elemental
, attacks restore 3 health), Throwing Knife (WP:8, ranged,
light-elemental
, retrievable), Beholder's Eye (allows one round of battle to be replayed per quest), 2 Grand Potions, 6 Meads, 3 Nostrums, 3 Smelling Salts, Bedroll, Shovel

At the guildhouse the party was instructed to find Dr. Cula's laboratory on the second floor. Eventually they came to a door with the correct name on it.

heroicaquest34-labdoor.jpg

Inside, they met the pale doctor who was busy at work with his latest concoctions.

heroicaquest34-lab.jpg

"Velcome, velcome, my vriendth! I apprethiate that you took the time to come and help uth tholve thith little debate ve have going on vith my colleague. I vill try to make it vorth your vhile, trutht me."

The alchemist explains the situation. He and his colleague Madame Ladybug have made a wager about the true nature of Count Noctus Shadeaux, the head of the renown merchant family. Now they need the party's help in order to find out if the count is really a vampire or not.

"I am convinthed that the count ith my brethren in vampirithm, but on the other hand I have never theen him in any of the nocturnal conventhionth. Madame Ladybug thinkth he jutht hath thome thort of rare medical condithion. I have devithed a little plan to get to the bottom ov the truth. But bevore I ekthplain it, do you have any quethtionth about the thituathion?"

QM Note: Please check your statistics, I had to update some of them myself. And Darth Nihilus, I'm not sure if the picture I used for Dak is the most recent one, since the one on your signature has disappeared.

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Ooc: My stats are all good, thanks for picking me.:thumbup:

Guts looked around in awe, in the place they were. The old rogue was not easily baffled, but this did it. There were items all around that seemed useful, one way or the other, and others were very valuable, he knew that much. Having only half listened to their employer, Guts took his eyes off the items and instruments around him and turned to the vampire.

"Right, find out if he is a vampire or not, sounds straightforward enough, especially if you have a plan."

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OOC: Stats look good, except I bought a WP:5 Throwing Knife from Atramor back at the hall and have 6 Gold left. Yes, that picture is the most recent one, and I'm still trying to get my camera to work well enough to replace it. I'm not sure how it got out of my sig, I swore I didn't delete the image when I was making my sig fit the signature guidelines.

IC: Dak looked around, quite impressed with the lab, but mostly with the Mithril sitting on top of one of the contraptions. He nods towards Guts as the older man speaks, then speaks himself in quieter tones.

"This Count Shadeaux...what sort of place does he live in, and how heavily guarded is it? Depending on the competency of the guards, we shouldn't have much trouble slipping in."

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No real questions.

I loot the labratory for anything useful.

Everything seems in order.

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"This Count Shadeaux...what sort of place does he live in, and how heavily guarded is it? Depending on the competency of the guards, we shouldn't have much trouble slipping in."

heroicanpc-alphonsecula.jpg

"Oh no, I vouldn't vant you breaking an entry to Thateau de Thadeaux! The count ith thaid to go on a thtroll at the Triad Park every night. That'th the betht plathe to thpot him, thince you vill never thee him in broad daylight."

I loot the labratory for anything useful.

heroicanpc-alphonsecula.jpg

"Thir, pleathe don't touth anything. Thome ov the thingth here are ekthtremely ekthplothive."

Suddenly the door to the laboratory opened, and a strange creature in a long green gown entered. The rogues instinctively fiddled their weapons.

heroicaquest34-lab2.jpg

"Hmmm? I see you are trying to take an upper hand at our little wager, Alphonse", the creature said in a distincively female voice. She then turns to the heroes and sees their surprise.

heroicaquest14-madameladybug.jpg

"Hmmm, you haven't seen a U'kin before, have you? I don't blame you, since my kind rarely travels outside Dastan. As ugly as I seem to appear to you, I'll have you know that I was once considered a great beauty among my own people, hmmm."

heroicanpc-alphonsecula.jpg

"Don't bore our guetht vith anthient hithtory, dear U'lalah. Heroeth ov Heroica, meet the one vho callth herthelv Madame Ladybug. The'th a true thorn at my thide."

heroicaquest14-madameladybug.jpg

"Every rose must have thorns, hmmm, otherwise it wouldn't be a rose at all, Alphonse-darling. Have you explained your plan to these gentlemen yet, hmmm?"

heroicanpc-alphonsecula.jpg

"I wath jutht about to vhen you barged in."

So the doctor explained that the party must find Count Shadeaux at Triad Park that night, and perform an experiment on him to see if he was really a vampire.

heroicaquest34-lab3.jpg

"Thith ith a Diluted Pothion. Make the count drink it, and thee him gag hith lungth out. Vampireth and healing jutht doethn't meth, hehe."

The vampire doctor handed the Diluted Potion to Guts, and asked for the final time if the party has understood their mission.

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"Hmpf, sounds like a simpler plan than what I had in mind... Very well, we will make the Count drink this. Just curious... if he really IS a vampire, will this kill him?"

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"Just curious... if he really IS a vampire, will this kill him?"

heroicanpc-alphonsecula.jpg

"Oh no, that ith ekthactly vhy I diluted it. He vill get some thtomach crampth, at motht. Hovever, I'll leave it up to you to vigure out hov to make him drink it."

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"Very well, would the effect still work if I mixed it with wine?"

Guts takes a bottle of wine out of his pack, one of the ones he swiped from the hall.

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"Very well, would the effect still work if I mixed it with wine?"

heroicanpc-alphonsecula.jpg

"I don't thee vhy not. Are you thinking ov opening a pop-up bar in the middle ov Triad Park?"

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"No, I was thinking of something a little less flashy, like disguising ourselves as clerics of Mercutio, we already wear the colours. I'm sure there is a holy day we can find where it is vitally important wine is consumed at night, if you know what I mean."

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"This could be...more difficult than I expected. I think we should go to Triad Park before sunset, to famialarize ourselves with the area we will be using to get the Count to drink the potion."

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"This could be...more difficult than I expected. I think we should go to Triad Park before sunset, to famialarize ourselves with the area we will be using to get the Count to drink the potion."

"I agree."

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heroicanpc-alphonsecula.jpg

"Very vell. I vill leave everything in your handth for nov. Jutht know that if you vail in your tathk, you can come back here and ve vill vigure out another vay to tholve thith matter."

The party leaves the eccentric alchemists to the laboratory and head to Triad Park to familiarize themselves with the area. A stark contrast to the picturesque Hanging Gardens at Sungold Hill, Triad Park is where the lower class citizens spend what little time for leisure they have. It is located in between the Harbour, Crescent Hill and the Hovels, three of the most notorious parts of Eubric. Many questionable affairs are dealt under the shady trees and lightless corners of the park, and very few honest people dare to even enter it during the dark hours.

heroicaquest34-triadpark.jpg

The park itself contains four specific locations. At the center lies the dramatic Fountain of Three Gods, portraying the three mythical sons of Mercutio: Power, Wealth and Fame. The peculiar Stone Garden was built as a statement by some halfwitted artist. Lanterns of every color give the Luminous Passage its name. And the Grove of the Forsaken is a memorial place for the countless forgotten souls that have been engulfed by the ruthless city.

During the daytime only a few beggars approach the three rogues, otherwise they can walk around the park unbothered.

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"I say we visit the Fountain first, it's in the center of the park and we can get to any of the other locations from it. It's also right on the entry path, thus it will be a place that the Count will no doubt visit."

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As the party walked around the city, Guts was restless. His eyes were scanning the rooftops, and his hands were constantly on his weapons. The other jobs he had done for Heroica all had been in remote areas, in caves and a quarry. Here, in the city, with the many people, and no way to be wary of all, Guts felt... exposed. All it would take was for one of these beggars to carry a knife in a sleeve, or a bypasser to sting with a poison-ring. Finally they reached the park, Guts turned to the others, and said:

"Alright then, we go to the fountain."

Wary of any possible trouble they could face in the park, Guts decided to take a Smelling Salts, a Mead and a Nostrum.

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I ask the beggars if they know anything useful about the Count.

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Party:

6843093399_d39f47706a_t.jpg

Dak Shadeaux
(played by Darth Nihilus)

Level 11½ Rogue

Power:
21 (16 for ranged attacks)

Health:
17/17

Gold:
6

Inventory:
Mockthril Knife (WP:10,
lightning-elemental
), Throwing Knife (WP:5, ranged, retrievable), Twin Longswords (WP:3), 2 Venoms, Potion, 2 Meads, Nostrum, Smelling Salts, Bedroll, Shovel

dscf0014.jpg

Dyric Rone
(played by The Legonater)

Level 12 Rogue
*Lucky*

Power:
22 (16 for ranged attacks)

Health:
19/19

Gold:
344

Inventory:
Double Chain Whip (WP: 10), Throwing Knife (WP:4, ranged, retrievable), Longsword (WP: 3), Loaded Die (permanent lucky-effect), Potion, Venom, Smelling Salts

6800805643_71f494fd9d_t.jpg

Guts Holla
(played by Scubacarrot) *Party Leader*

Level 14½ Rogue
*Encouraged*
*Hastened*
*Lucky*

Power:
26
52
(
22
44
for ranged attacks)

Health:
20/20

Gold:
72

Inventory:
Lifestealer (WP:12,
ice-elemental
, attacks restore 3 health), Throwing Knife (WP:8, ranged,
light-elemental
, retrievable), Beholder's Eye (allows one round of battle to be replayed per quest), 2 Grand Potions, 5 Meads, 2 Nostrums, 2 Smelling Salts, Bedroll, Shovel, Diluted Potion (quest item)

I ask the beggars if they know anything useful about the Count.

The beggars just mumble something incomprehensible and leave to find someone else to bother.

Is the party ready to wait for nightfall?

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I guess we can't visit the locations during the day then? If so, I am ready

"I suggest you prepare, who knows what we will find here at night. So far, it's pretty quiet, but it is known to be the place of dealing for all kinds of thugs."

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I guess we can't visit the locations during the day then? If so, I am ready

OoC: You already did. There was nothing to be found.

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The night came, and with it the Triad Park changed from moderately discomforting to downright creepy. The three rogues stood at the Fountain of Three Gods, pondering on their next move, when a caped man approached the fountain with a bouquet of flowers.

heroicaquest34-donny.jpg

"Alright, this was where we agreed to meet. I hope I'm not late..." the man mumbled by himself, seemingly nervous. "Gosh, I hope she's as beautiful as she described in that Z-mail. Damn my nerves, never been on a blind date before..."

The man kept some distance to the three rogues, making sure they saw the handle of a knife in his belt so that they wouldn't attempt anything funny with him.

"Yoohoo... Are you Wolf_Cub666...?" asked a drawling voice from the other side of the pond.

heroicaquest34-donnychesterine.jpg

The rogues watched as a female mage in pink ran towards the brutish man with the flowers.

"It's me... LovelornEnchantress179... I can't believe you are actually here...!"

The man flinched and threw the bouquet to the ground.

"Yeesh! Just my luck... I'm outta here!"

"Wolf_Cub666, where are you going...?" the woman hollered, picking up the flowers and dashing after the man. "Please marry me...!!!"

heroicaquest34-donnychesterine2.jpg

The three rogues were alone again. Only the quiet gurgle of the fountain and the chirping of crickets in the bushes could be heard.

heroicaquest34-fountainofthreegods.jpg

Where will the party move next: Stone Garden, Luminous Passage or Grove of the Forsaken?

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"Uhh, what the hell was that about? Anyway, let's head to the Grove of the Forgotten."

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"Damn Z-mail dating.... :hmpf_bad: Say, didn't that guy look a bit like Dozenhands, the wanted burglar? Ah, what the hell, let's let some other poor bastard try to catch him, we've got enough to do. Grove of the Forgotten sounds good to me too."

Dak nervously strokes the handle of his knife. Feeling the crackling lightning energy against his palm is comforting, in a way.

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The party made its way to the Grove of the Forsaken, which was situated in a secluded glade in the middle of the woods. They found someone reading through the memorial tombstones while being guarded by two heavily-armed soldiers.

heroicaquest34-countshadeaux1.jpg

What will the party do?

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"Err, Forgotten, Forsaken, almost the same, anyway, guys, hoods up, I've got a plan."

Guts takes the half-full bottle of wine, and quickly mixes it with the Diluted Potion, he then fiddles a bit with his headwraps, so his mouth becomes visible. His companions can see that there is a scar running from over his nose to his chin, and that the skin is an unhealthy, greyish colour. Guts smirks, and then approaches the cloaked men, scrapes his throat and simply says:

"Excuse me, Count Shadeaux, I assume? May I have a word with you?"

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