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Heroica RPG - Quest#34: The Dark Secret

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You fool. You've overestimated yourself. May this be a lesson for you... if you make it out alive.

I attack again with my whip from the front row.

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Dak joins the battle with the Count as well, attacking with his dagger, from the Front Row.

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After finishing their battle with the Shadeaux Guards, Dak and Guts rush towards the sounds of another battle.

Results of Round Two of the Count Battle:

Dyric (Chain Whip) vs. Count Shadeaux - Shield (Mug)/Miss

Dyric mugs the count for 43 damage and 43 gold. Then he sees his two friends arriving on the scene.

Enemy:

heroicanpc-noctusshadeaux.jpg

Count Noctus Shadeaux

Type: ???

Level: 50

Health: 877/953

Special:
Flock of Bats
– The count summons a horde of bats to carry him away, ending the battle.

Drops: 1000 gold

Party:

dscf0014.jpg

Dyric Rone
(played by The Legonater)

Level 13 Rogue
*Lucky*

Power:
25 (17 for ranged attacks)

Health:
20/20

Gold:
479

Inventory:
Steel Fan (WP:12), Throwing Knife (WP:4, ranged, retrievable), Double Chain Whip (WP:10), Longsword (WP: 3), Loaded Die (permanent lucky-effect), Potion, Venom, Smelling Salts

Results of Round Three of the Count Battle:

>Guts (Throwing Knife) vs. Count Shadeaux - Special Damage (Flock of Bats)

Dyric (Chain Whip) vs. Count Shadeaux - Hit/Miss

Dak vs. Count Shadeaux - Critical Hit

Dak and Guts join the battle only to see the count call forth a flock of bats to lift him into the air and carry him away, ending the battle abruptly.

THE ENEMY HAS FLED!

The party gets no experience or rewards.

Party:

6843093399_d39f47706a_t.jpg

Dak Shadeaux
(played by Darth Nihilus)

Level 13 Rogue
*Immune to ?*

Power:
23 (18 for ranged attacks)

Health:
11/19

Gold:
108

Inventory:
Mockthril Knife (WP:10,
lightning-elemental
), Throwing Knife (WP:5, ranged, retrievable), Twin Longswords (WP:3), Trendy Handbag (protects from whichever bad effect that was last inflicted in battle to someone), 2 Venoms, Potion, 2 Meads, Nostrum, Bedroll, Shovel, Garlic Spray (quest item)

dscf0014.jpg

Dyric Rone
(played by The Legonater)

Level 13 Rogue
*Lucky*

Power:
25 (17 for ranged attacks)

Health:
20/20

Gold:
479

Inventory:
Steel Fan (WP:12), Throwing Knife (WP:4, ranged, retrievable), Double Chain Whip (WP:10), Longsword (WP: 3), Loaded Die (permanent lucky-effect), Potion, Venom, Smelling Salts

6800805643_71f494fd9d_t.jpg

Guts Holla
(played by Scubacarrot) *Party Leader*

Level 16 Rogue

Power:
28 (24 for ranged attacks)

Health:
22/22

Gold:
402

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

The three rogues curse as they watch the count disappear into the night sky. They have found out that he is not immortal or undead, but there is still something strange about him. Will they return to the Invision Guildhouse to give a report, or explore the park some more?

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I guess I could not use the nostrum? :sad:

"Damn. Oh well, we are not hired to kill him, anyway. Something tells me he will be back next night, and we will be right here, waiting for him."

Guts sighed, the old rogue was tired, it had been a little over 48 hours since he had last slept, and it was taking it's toll on him. With a steady hand, Guts sheathed his blade, 'Lifestealer' as was inscripted in the handle, and put away the throwing knife, which was glowing slightly, as a result of the fusion with the gem. This job was less straightforward than he had once thought, sure, the man was no vampire, so in theory they had completed the assignment, but their employer probably wants specifics. It's going to cost him extra. Guts smirked at the thought what Count Shadeaux could really be: a mage, a demon, worse? With a voice no less solid as usual, Guts said to the others:

"Got this Crossbow here. Any of you thinking about using ranged weapons in the future? "

Not waiting for an awnser, and swinging the crossbow over his shoulder for now, Guts headed to the Fountain.

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I guess I could not use the nostrum? :sad:

QM Note Sorry, I totally missed that you used them! Well, better to save you the items, since the battle would've been nigh impossible to win. Or would you rather try again with the effects in place?

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QM Note Sorry, I totally missed that you used them! Well, better to save you the items, since the battle would've been nigh impossible to win. Or would you rather try again with the effects in place?

Well, I did it mostly for the fact to know if he was a demon, which could be a possiblity, since the throwing knife is diamond infused, but if you can say right here that he is not, we leave it as is. :wink:

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Well, I did it mostly for the fact to know if he was a demon, which could be a possiblity, since the throwing knife is diamond infused, but if you can say right here that he is not, we leave it as is. :wink:

QM Note: I can't say that, sorry. :tongue:

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"Got this Crossbow here. Any of you thinking about using ranged weapons in the future? "

It could be useful. It doesn't hurt to maximize output. It'd be better than this stupid fan. Talk about damaging reputation.

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It could be useful. It doesn't hurt to maximize output. It'd be better than this stupid fan. Talk about damaging reputation.

Ooc: Oh well. :sad:

"Stop complaining, Rone, it is made of steel, it is nothing but a glorified knife. Like your 'reputation' is nothing more but your glorified ego."

Guts took the crossbow in his hand. It was quite heavy, made of darksteel. Darksteel. Guts could not tell if it was real Strivvian darksteel, or an imitation at first glance, and he was not about to waste time to try and find out. Real Darksteel was from Strivvi, his birthplace, forged by the mage-blacksmiths. It made Guts smirk, thinking of... home? Guts throws the heavy weapon to Dyric, making the younger rogue recatch his balance.

"Take it, it seems powerful enough to shoot someone's leg off at the knee, bet you can have some fun with it."

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"Stop complaining, Rone, it is made of steel, it is nothing but a glorified knife. Like your 'reputation' is nothing more but your glorified ego."

'Glorified ego'? You mistake me for some newcomer who's never seen action. The reputation I speak of has nothing to do with ego. It has everything to do with revenge and reconciliation. It would take too long to explain.

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'Glorified ego'? You mistake me for some newcomer who's never seen action. The reputation I speak of has nothing to do with ego. It has everything to do with revenge and reconciliation. It would take too long to explain.

"Let me tell you something, boy. I have been doing this for a whole lot longer than you have, unless you are hiding the wrinkles of an old man under that babyface. Now, if I haven't heard of you, that means you have not GOT a reputation, got it? Let me guess, rich family, got slaughtered by bandits, maybe the rest of the village too? Now you are after the ones that did this, out for revenge, sound familiar? Let me give you a hint: If the people, or whatever it was that turned you into the heap of arrogant, entitled brat are even running for you, the last thing you would want is a reputation. The quickest kill is the one that is not seen coming, or some bullcrap like that. Now move out."

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"Let me tell you something, boy. I have been doing this for a whole lot longer than you have, unless you are hiding the wrinkles of an old man under that babyface. Now, if I haven't heard of you, that means you have not GOT a reputation, got it? Let me guess, rich family, got slaughtered by bandits, maybe the rest of the village too? Now you are after the ones that did this, out for revenge, sound familiar? Let me give you a hint: If the people, or whatever it was that turned you into the heap of arrogant, entitled brat are even running for you, the last thing you would want is a reputation. The quickest kill is the one that is not seen coming, or some bullcrap like that. Now move out."

Like I said, it would take to long to explain. And frankly, I don't feel like saying anything to some self-centered jerk who only has time to criticize his team.

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QM Note: Ooh, drama! I love it! :grin:

Party:

6843093399_d39f47706a_t.jpg

Dak Shadeaux
(played by Darth Nihilus)

Level 13 Rogue
*Immune to ?*

Power:
23 (18 for ranged attacks)

Health:
11/19

Gold:
108

Inventory:
Mockthril Knife (WP:10,
lightning-elemental
), Throwing Knife (WP:5, ranged, retrievable), Twin Longswords (WP:3), Trendy Handbag (protects from whichever bad effect that was last inflicted in battle to someone), 2 Venoms, Potion, 2 Meads, Nostrum, Bedroll, Shovel, Garlic Spray (quest item)

dscf0014.jpg

Dyric Rone
(played by The Legonater)

Level 13 Rogue
*Lucky*

Power:
25 (17 for ranged attacks)

Health:
20/20

Gold:
479

Inventory:
Steel Fan (WP:12), Throwing Knife (WP:4, ranged, retrievable), Double Chain Whip (WP:10), Longsword (WP: 3), Darksteel Crossbow (WP:8, blinded-effect, unsuitable), Loaded Die (permanent lucky-effect), Potion, Venom, Smelling Salts

6800805643_71f494fd9d_t.jpg

Guts Holla
(played by Scubacarrot) *Party Leader*

Level 16 Rogue

Power:
28 (24 for ranged attacks)

Health:
22/22

Gold:
402

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, Smelling Salts, Bedroll, Shovel, Diluted Potion (quest item)

The three bickering rogues made their way back to the Fountain of Three Gods. Their argument ceased when they saw a crowd of orcs and other greenskins gathered at the dark square. One orc with an ornamental feathered headband was standing on a box, addressing the crowd with a fervent voice. The rogues saw it best to just stay in the back and listen.

heroicaquest34-orcrebels.jpg

"-- and this has to stop! Too many of our brothers and sisters are suffering slavery and torture for crimes their ancestors committed, and even us who are free have to endure ridicule and oppression on a daily basis. We have tried the path of negotiation, we have pleaded for compassion, we have prayed for a salvation. The change is just too slow; we have to take matters in our own hands!"

"Yeah!!!" the crowd cheered.

"I am calling out to all of you who consider Eubric your home; do not tolerate discrimination any longer. What your greatgrandfathers did in Ennon 250 years ago is not your fault, and you should not burden yourself with shame. Our kind has been punished enough, but some people will not stop until they see every orcish person either dead or on a ship back to Baltarok. But this is our home too! We were born and raised here, we have our family and our jobs here, and we have a right to live here in peace just as much as any human, elf, dwarf or wereperson!"

"YEAHH!!!!" the crowd roared so that the entire park echoed.

"Spread the word everywhere: a new age will begin for the green-skinned Eubricans. No orc, goblin, hobgoblin, ogre, gremlin or troll must live in fear anymore! We will take our place within this city! We will be slaves no more! We will take back the respect that belongs to us! We are orcish, for Tarok's sake!!!"

The orcs and their kindred howled to the night sky. Then they began to stomp their feet and chant a name.

"KU-KUL-KAN!!! KU-KUL-KAN!!! KU-KUL-KAN!!!" The speaker spread his hands, taking in the admiration.

The three rogues felt a chill running down their spines.

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Leaning against a tree, Guts spoke softly, but hearable, his hands off his weapons:

"Before you go on a bloodthirsty rampage, consider what happened 200 years ago, and consider all the innocent people that have caused you no harm. One of my best... 'friends?' is an Orc. His name is Knifk, and is with Heroica, he is respected greatly. I have also heard of another Orc that is highly respected among Heroica's ranks, the paladin Cronk. Before you do something... stupid, consider that these Orcs rised to prominence without resorting to the destruction of innocents. If you want a place in the city, plead to the Houses for an Embassy for your people, hell, I will make sure Heroica will support it. But. If you plan on taking your place by force, you will have to go through me first."

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The crowd of nearly fifty orcs, goblins and other greenskins turn to look at the rogue in disbelief. Some mutter, others growl and reach out for their weapons, but their leader demands silence. He then steps down from the box and walks through the crowd to the rogues. He stares down at Guts.

"I commend your bravado, hero, but in a matter that does not concern you, the wisest road is the one of silence. It is obvious from your words that you do not understand the situation we are in. There are orcs that have risen in ranks within Heroica, I know that well, but outside your noble organization, can you name even one orcish person in any position of power within this city? There are none. We are not operating another invasion here, nor are we planning to repeat the mistakes of our forefathers. We are here because we believe that the Freeport of Eubric should live up to its name and enable freedom to all of its citizens."

"Kukulkan!" some voices from the crowd shouted. "Tell them how it is!"

"You don't think I have not knocked on every door of every house in any power here in Eubric? I have discussed the matter with every leader this city has had for the past ten years. I have had countless doors slammed to my face. I have been threatened with every weapon imaginable. I have heard many pretty words too, but words are meaningless without actions. Some houses have released their slaves, but too many have not. The fight for freedom continues, and soon comes the day when every citizen of Eubric must decide which side they are on. Now, are you absolutely certain you want to continue this discussion with my brethren listening? I assure you, they are not nearly as diplomatic as I am."

Guts saw fifty pairs of flame-red eyes glaring at him.

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"You misunderstand me. If you think I think slavery is acceptable, you are severely mistaken. Let me tell you a little story, if you have the time. To show you my goodwill, I will lay down my weapons."

Guts takes Lifestealer out of it's sheath, and his throwing knife from the leather strap on his chest, and lays both down in front of him. He then continues:

"I was not aware slavery is still so widespread in Eubric, I have been here for a couple of months, but was not aware of this fact. I can't say fighting slavery is my priority here, but I have experience with the issue. You see, I am born in a city called Strivvi. Down to the South of Eubric. As you probably now, it is a hub, for slavers and pirates, especially now it is in chaos because of the struggle for power there, the Two Sons are fighting their own private war in the streets, and slavers are doing business in the alleys. When I was young, I can't have been older than eleven, or twelve, I left Strivvi in a caravan, out to the desert. Somewhere along the journey, our caravan was attacked. It was a bunch of slavers, a mix of Orcs, Dwarves and Humans, that attacked us. A stray arrow shot the man I respected the most, the closest thing I ever had to a father. A man that was called Holla. Most of us were taken hostage, and lead to their camp, a forced march through the desert for three days, with only a tiny sip of water each every night. At their camp, they chained us up. The women... were taken to the other side of the camp, and I still hear the screams in my sleep. There did not seem any purpose for us to be there, looking back, I think they were trying to break us... I could not take it, I chewed through the leather straps that tied me down, and I escaped. I still can't understand how I made it back to the city, but I did, more dead than alive, but I was alive. Many of my caravan was not, some died in the attack, more in the march, and I later learned they killed another ten, just because I managed to escape."

Guts paused, he was visibly agitated telling this tale, and took a deep breath before continuing.

"Don't say this matter does not concern me. Slavers and slavekeepers must be punished, I am behind you a hundred percent for that one. But there are other ways, that don't involve useless bloodshed. What I am trying to tell you, is not that I think your cause is not worthwile, but that I am offering you my support, and that of any I can find, I am not without resources, or allies. On the solemn condition that there will be no violence, not like this, no blood of innocents must be spilled."

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"Don't say this matter does not concern me. Slavers and slavekeepers must be punished, I am behind you a hundred percent for that one. But there are other ways, that don't involve useless bloodshed. What I am trying to tell you, is not that I think your cause is not worthwile, but that I am offering you my support, and that of any I can find, I am not without resources, or allies. On the solemn condition that there will be no violence, not like this, no blood of innocents must be spilled."

The crowd of greenskins had began to scatter during Guts' story, until only Kukulkan and a few others remained to hear him out. After the rogue had finished, Kukulkan shook his head.

"Your ignorance pains me. You see a crowd of orcs and immediately think we are going to burn this city to the ground. This is our home, we are not foreign invaders like our ancestors were. More blood will be spilled before freedom can be achieved, make no mistake about that, but I will do my everything that it will not be the blood of the innocent. Don't you see? That is exactly what we are trying to achieve here. Our generation is innocent, yet we are still being punished."

The orc looked away from the rogues, sighing deeply.

"You don't see it. I can tell it from your words and attitude. You think of yourself as a hero opposing violence, yet there is blood on your own blade. If the freedom of my kind could be achieved without bloodshed, it would've already happened. Gods know I have tried... Take care now, champion. And remember: a day will come when you have to choose."

Kukulkan and the rest of the orcs disappeared into the surrounding darkness. Nobody else was present at the fountain.

What will the rogues do now?

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While the Orcs walked away, Guts said under his breath.

"The blood of the innocents will never stain my steel, Pseudos hear me."

Without saying a word to his party members, Guts headed to the Stone Garden.

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QM Note: And now, let us return to our usual programme: Wacky Hijinks!

In the Stone Garden, the rogues could hear another kind of ruckus: drunken singing.

"Helvetia's my bitch,

Helvetia's my bitch,

Helvetia's a dirty ol' bitch

Helvetia's my bitch!"

heroicaquest34-drunkenvikings.jpg

Two very noisy, very drunk and very heavily armed vikings were hollering blasphemous chants.

"Wartan is a sissy

Wartan is a..."

"Hey look, Karl! We've got company!" said the other viking when he spotted the three approaching rogues.

"Ho, more sissies coming this way! Alert a national sissy warning! Broohahaha!!!" The viking called Karl toppled over with incessant laughter.

"Don't mind Karl there, my friends! We won't call you sissy if you give us some more mead. We're almost running out, you see."

"Jarl! Alert a national mead warning! Mwahahaha!!!"

The other viking laughed as well, but suddenly lifted his club with a dangerous gleam in his eyes.

"On the other hand, if you don't have any mead, we'll just have to drink your blood instead. Which will it be?"

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"I have Mead..."

Guts said as he drank one, along with a nostrum and smelling salts.

"But not for you."

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The Viking called Jarl smashes his club against the ground.

"So be it! Let us bathe in your blood!"

"Thorric is a sonofawhore, la-la la-la lah!"

PREPARE FOR BATTLE!

Enemies:

Drunken Viking Jarl

Type: Humanoid

Level: 9

Health: 159/159

Special I:
Drink Mead
– The Viking consumes his last mead to double his level for the remainder of the battle.

Special II:
Blasphemy
– The irritated gods throw 1 to 6 lightning bolts into the battle field that randomly hit both the Vikings and their opponents for 10 lightning-elemental damage each, regardless of row. Used after the mead has been drank.

Drops: 30 gold, Mead (if not consumed)

Drunken Viking Karl

Type: Humanoid

Level: 9

Health: 159/159

Special I:
Drink Mead
– The Viking consumes his last mead to double his level for the remainder of the battle.

Special II:
Blasphemy
– The irritated gods throw 1 to 6 lightning bolts into the battle field that randomly hit both the Vikings and their opponents for 10 lightning-elemental damage each, regardless of row. Used after the mead has been drank.

Drops: 30 gold, Mead (if not consumed)

Party:

6843093399_d39f47706a_t.jpg

Dak Shadeaux
(played by Darth Nihilus)

Level 13 Rogue
*Immune to ?*

Power:
23 (18 for ranged attacks)

Health:
11/19

Gold:
108

Inventory:
Mockthril Knife (WP:10,
lightning-elemental
), Throwing Knife (WP:5, ranged, retrievable), Twin Longswords (WP:3), Trendy Handbag (protects from whichever bad effect that was last inflicted in battle to someone), 2 Venoms, Potion, 2 Meads, Nostrum, Bedroll, Shovel, Garlic Spray (quest item)

dscf0014.jpg

Dyric Rone
(played by The Legonater)

Level 13 Rogue
*Lucky*

Power:
25 (17 for ranged attacks)

Health:
20/20

Gold:
479

Inventory:
Steel Fan (WP:12), Throwing Knife (WP:4, ranged, retrievable), Double Chain Whip (WP:10), Longsword (WP: 3), Darksteel Crossbow (WP:8, blinded-effect, unsuitable), Loaded Die (permanent lucky-effect), Potion, Venom, Smelling Salts

6800805643_71f494fd9d_t.jpg

Guts Holla
(played by Scubacarrot) *Party Leader*

Level 16 Rogue
*Encouraged*
*Hastened*
*Lucky*

Power:
28
56
(
24
48
for ranged attacks)

Health:
22/22

Gold:
402

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, 4 Meads, Nostrum, Bedroll, Shovel, Diluted Potion (quest item)

Party Leader, choose the order of action.

All of you, choose your target and the row you want to fight in. Also mention if you want to flee or if you want to use an item instead of attacking.

Any enemy not targeted will get a Free Hit on the party after everyone have acted.

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can the others maybe prepare for battle?

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can the others maybe prepare for battle?

QM Note: No. Why would the bloodthirsty Vikings wait for them, anyway?

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Alrighty.

Guts attacks both Vikings from the front row.

Battle order:

Guts

Guts

Dyric

Dak

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"Ah, dammit." Dak had watched the entire proceedings with the Orcs in silence, taking note of Guts' story. At this point, whatever disease had taken hold of him had somehow creeped into the edges of his consiousness, whispering evil thoughts into his head. He pushed them away as best he could, but he still was a bit paranoid. "Poor, drunk bastards, they don't know what they're getting into. Let's end this quickly, for their sake if not for ours." Dak unsheaths his Mockthril Knife, and attacks Karl, from the front row.

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