Chapter 1: Fodder!

 
Eduardo bends down to pick up the small shield from the corpse of the kobold, adding it to his equipment by strapping it over his back. We aren't going in there. It'd be the equivalent of having ants try to help a lion in a fight. And we are all close enough to exhaustion without putting ourselves in greater danger

Eduardo nods, I'm going back to the lines. If you are absolutely set on attempting to impress someone like Nymeria through action, feel free to rush off and die. I, on the other hand, know better.


Fortune

'Bah,' Fortune thinks, 'let someone else pretend to be heroes... though it would be interested to watch Nymeria tear everything apart.'

Out loud, she instead says: "I don't know exactly what the best course of action is. However, I am fairly concerned about my own safety if we go in there, and my shoulder is still killing me after the strange creature hit me. I'd imagine it'd be even worse for you who got burnt with the oil."

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 39/39 Bloodied: 19
Healing Surges Used: 2/9 (9)
Resources Used: Batter Down, action point, second wind, Furious Assault, Guardian's Defense

Conditions:


Gruunk nods satisfied as the owlbear dies. He gives Tarner a backwards glance as he finishes it off. As the other kobold goes down, the half-orc relaxes slightly. He watches the unknown human run off further inot the keep and shakes his head sadly. He moves over to Eduardo and Fortune and says, "Wardo, you need to stay close, if you want Gruunk to keep you safe. Damn flutter dragons!" He kicks the corpse of the nearest one.

The huge half-orc doesn't seem to care that he's covered in blood. He looks at Eduardo and Fortune and seems to get a thought pulling out of some long-forgotten archive in his mind...even though it's only been a few seconds. He growls and says, "You too, 4-choon. You gonna get dead. Here, take the magic juice; you too soft. I take this one...heh, I soft too!" He laughs at own his stupid joke.

"So...you want me to go kill more kobolds? Or keep you safe?" he asks both Eduardo and Fortune, fully trusting these people he just met. He seems to not quite ignore Tarner, but not speak to him directly. He then adds, "Funny human right...always good to be good." He nods seriously at his wisdom.


While you deliberate about your next course of action, Urbasano house soldiers push past you, fanning out across the front of House Macjyata. They secure the front of the house itself and the main doorway before heading inside. You’re struck by the sheer silence of their movements. Where Nymeria was a tornado of violence, these soldiers are flickering shadows. They move with a spare grace that is elegant and more than a little hard to follow by the light of mere flickering torches. On your left, the remaining Macjyata defenders move frantically to reposition forces to meet the strength of this new penetration, but that leaves their right—your left—vulnerable, creating an opening that is quickly exploited. Soon, you note Urbasano spider cavalry striding over a breach in the Macjyata lines from that direction. Mere minutes pass before the left dissolves into chaos.

By the time you’ve caught your wind and bound the worst of your wounds, Adius and Tailen are passing your position. Both have blades drawn, but with the battle in hand, neither seems unduly concerned. Indeed, as you hear the Weapons Master speak, it seems he has turned the battle into something of a teachable moment.

“Observe,” Adius says, “with the breach your sister made—“

“Nymeria is not my sister,” Tailen replies. The stubborn set of her jaw is unmistakable.

”She is your sister, and you are foolish not to make more willing use of her.”

Tailen’s reply is sharp. “We could have taken the House without that disgusting half-breed’s help. With a mere handful of House soldiers, I could have—“

“What?”
Adius asks. “Risked your life? Taken a wound?”

“I have not even fought today!”
Tailen protests.

Adius sighs and shakes his head, though somewhat fondly. “Foolishness. Do you think my blades are my only weapons? What matter if it is my sword that drew the enemy’s blood or Nymeria’s? In the end, the victory is mine because the will that animated it was mine. This sword, these slaves, your very sister’s life… they are all weapons. My weapons. You will never be a truly noble drow until you accept this facet of our culture.”

Before you can hear more, Adius and his daughter disappear into House Macjyata. By that time, the overt sounds of battle have faded from within. All that is left is the quiet rush of quickened feet and the faint echo of plunder. However, with Urbasano spider cavalry approaching, you would do well to either head inside in search of plunder yourselves or head back to the relative safety of your initial assault position.

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 39/39 Bloodied: 19
Healing Surges Used: 2/9 (9)
Resources Used: Batter Down, action point, second wind, Furious Assault, Guardian's Defense

Conditions:


Gruunk just sits there antsy, ready for action. As the two high-ranking house drow move by, the half-orc snaps to attention. He knows better than to be caught loafing when Tailen is around. Being part of the House Guard (or rather assigned to duties in that area), Gruunk knows first hand her lack of tolerance for incompetence.

As she disappears into the halls, he stammers, "U-um...we move. We help. Mistress no tol-er-ate lazy slaves." You can tell this last bit has been drilled into him. Not brave enough to make a move on his own, he's looking for the approval of the rest of the group to search for stray drow and treasure.


Eduardo looks at Gruunk, shaking his head, the fighting is already done, and they won't remember you one way or the other. Let's wait until the sound of fighting from the inside has died down, and then move in to see if we can salvage anything for ourselves. The human nods.

Yes, that is the best course of action. No danger.

Tarner sees the rest of the party talking, deliberately not saying a single word to him. When Adius and Tailen pass, and everybody else starts talking about whether or not to go back into the fight, Tarner turns and runs towards the battlefield. If robots could cry, he probably would be doing so at this very moment. What, did you think they'd be nice to you? Did you think they'd treat you like anything other than a slave forced to help them? Stupid! You're a warforged! A machine! And worse than that, you're a possessed warforged! You showed off your powers right in front of them, of course they aren't going to trust you! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! he thinks as he runs. When he reaches the leader of the combat, he raises his arm in a military salute. "Slave Tarner, reporting for duty. How could I try to help in this battle? I helped get through the gate, and I am ready for more fighting." he says. Of course he's not really ready, but he does his best to act like it.

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 39/39 Bloodied: 19
Healing Surges Used: 2/9 (9)
Resources Used:

Conditions:


Gruunk watches the metal man run off to be useful and looks at him funny. He then says, "No. Um...no. No. Not safe here. Safer inside. You stay behind me. You stay behind 4-choon. You be alright. Come on Wardo...come on!"

The half-orc tries to drag the bard to his feet and "encourage" him to go inside and help. He wants to keep the same group together. It worked before, why should it not work again? And that was possibly the worst hunt he ever had been on. So if he encounters either Nurse or Tarner, he will drag them along too with a vague, "Come...come...

Tarner tries to report to the nearest drow war-leader, but the drow ignore him so completely that he may as well be invisible. His companions, however, soon lead the way through the main doorway and into House Macjyata proper.

The entryway is an abattoir. Bodies litter the ground, both drow and slave. Blood pools in thick puddles, cooling in the corners. A glance shows you that the Urbasano advance has passed straight past and down the central corridor and into the heart of the House itself. However, there are alcove-like doorways leading off to the left and right. The one to the left leads to a stairway leading up. The one to the right leads to a stairway leading down. On the left side, you note a single body--a gnome with a wand--bleeding but still clinging stubbornly to life.

Eduardo looks at the gnome dying on the left, remembering vaguely that a gnomish arcanist that looked vaguely like the bloody form on the floor seemed to have some authority (and most likely knowledge). He was shielded by the kobolds, and might have directed a part of the battle . . .

The bard moves to the gnome, sheathing his sword, and bending down next to the prone form. I see we have found a brave defender who yet lives, my faithful companions . . . quickly, he tells the wounded form, let us see to his wounds . . . such bravery deserves to be rewarded. Though . . .

He sighs, looking around, we have a hard time deciding where to go. Perhaps you could help us if we help you? We shall heal your wounds and tell you where to go to escape, if you tell us where some treasure, hidden in this manse, may lie. Eduardo looks at the halfling with honest, clear eyes. That's fair, wouldn't you say?






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