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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:57 am 
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"Worse?" asks Sir Sparhawk. "No. You've broken what control Martel had over Aramsham's forces, and weakened those forces -"

Sephrenia throws her hands up in the air. "You've consigned thousands of people to literal starvation and self-mutilation!"

Sir Sparhawk shakes his head. "You know as well as I do that they're going to attack the Elene church at some point and we'll have to kill them."

"Killing them is bad enough!" objects Sephrenia. "But even you knights don't make them torture themselves first!"

Sir Sparhawk sighs. "Sephrenia. You know why they did it. You know why it was necessary. Please, don't take out your temper on the Terrans."

"And you!" adds Sephrenia, poking Sir Sparhawk in the stomach. "Don't tell me you approve of what they did?"

Sir Sparhawk nods. "The only thing I would have preferred, would be if they had found a way to extract Nate before the attack. Apart from that, I approve of everything the Terrans did."

Sephrenia glares at Sir Sparhawk a moment, before throwing her hands up in the air. She turns back to jab a finger in Felix' direction. "You Terrans are even worse than the Elenes! If anyone needs me, I am going to be in my room. Trying to get some sleep!"

"Her room?" asks Sir Perraine, quietly.

"I think she's just claimed your room," murmurs one of the other Knights. "Do you want to object?"

Sir Perraine shakes his head.

Sir Sparhawk puts a supportive hand on Felix' shoulder. "Well done," he says, firmly.

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:33 pm 
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As Lady Sephrania starts to walk out, a tired looking Arkady says "Nobody is making them do anything, lady. They grab the whip the way a drunkard grabs a bottle, and to exactly the same end. But like the drunk, a zealot can overdo it. Get past the numbness and the ecstasy and start to feel the pain again." He shrugs. "Some will come to their senses, sneak away, get back to their dull lives, and not have to explain to their god why they died in arms against his servants. For them, this foolishness can be their salvation. For the rest, the next two weeks may be the least of their problems."

He glances over at Piper and adds: "Would it be too much to hope you know a good tune to make people come to their senses and go home?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:25 am 
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"To be honest, I'm not particularly enthused that I did it either," Felix said, referring to the flagellation and starvation. "I recognized a threat that was volatile and imminent and took steps to mitigate it, but it still unsettles me. Most of the Terran that came here did so to escape the prospects of war. I'll do anything to make sure they don't have to be subject to it, even though they'll probably hate me if they find out I did so."

Felix sighs.

"Don't worry about Nate. I've fought alongside him long enough to know that he's pretty well unkillable. I'd be more surprised if he didn't make it out of there."

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:19 am 
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Arkady: Empathy: +5 Roll: -1 Total: +4
Sephrenia: Rapport: +2 Roll: -2 Total: 0


Sephrenia gives Arkady a glare as she stalks off, and Arkady gets the impression that there's more to her anger than is obvious. It's not that her concern over the zealots is faked - on the contrary, it's very genuine, and she really is upset about the maiming and mutilation. But she's also upset with the Terrans for some other reason - something that's more of a personal pet peeve than anything else.

But she's gone before he can say any more.

Piper considers Arkady's question. "I could sing about nostalgia," she says, "but I don't think they'd be particularly inclined to listen."

"We all have to do things in war that unsettle us," says Sir Sparhawk, grimly. "But there are some things more important than our peace of mind." He sighs, and shakes his head. "Unfortunately, Martel has oft proven equally hard to kill - I've lost count of how many times he has been left in a situation that none could survive only to reappear, months later, completely intact. I don't think I could believe he's dead without seeing the body myself."

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:18 pm 
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Felix nods.

Universal Gadget: Adhering and Tracking qualities.

"Probably a good idea to follow up on the Martel matter," Felix says. Taking off his headset, he begins modifying it. "I gave Nate a tracking device on our way out. Something he could hit Martel with just in case Martel managed to escape. Give me a little bit to make some adjustments to my headset and we'll be able to track him down if he doesn't find it and destroy it."

Personal Gadget: Guns +4 and Night Vision. Installing temporary upgrade Tracking.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:05 am 
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"You can find Martel?" Sir Sparhawk is immediately on his feet again, ready to move. "Kalten, get Sephrenia. We are going. Now."

One of the other Knights immediately heads in the direction Sephrenia fled, and returns a moment later with her.

--------------

There isn't time to make any further preparations. Given the direction and speed of Felix' tracker, it's clear that there's barely time to catch Martel at the docks; indeed, by the time the group reaches the docks, he can be seen halfway up the ramp into a medium-sized, unassuming little ship.

The group is still some distance away. Short of using ranged weapons or finding some other way to distract him for a moment, it's almost certain that Martel can board the ship and cast off before you can get within melee range. He doesn't appear to have noticed you yet.

The docks are full of sailors and passers-by, many of whom are armed with swords, but who in general do not appear to be hostile. There are also a lot of shipping crates, some being loaded onto or from various ships.

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:03 pm 
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Spend Fate Point

Felix looks around quickly, then points.

"Isn't that the Captain that brought us over?" Felix asks. "You think you can convince him to chase after Martel's ship?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:57 am 
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"Let's go!"

Sir Sparhawk runs towards the ship - there's the small sound of a silenced shot being fires, and a bullet zings off the dock right in front of his foot.

On Martel's ship, a glassy-eyes Nate climbs up from below, already lining up for a second shot. Martel, just getting on board, abruptly stops and looks around at the approaching group. "Crossbows!" he yells.

"Nate"'s second shot missed wildly when, at the last second, his arm jerks to the side as if on it's own.

Nate is under control of a hostile, external force!

Physical damage dealt to Nate in this state will still damage Nate as usual; however, attackers can choose Consequences like "tied up" to restrain him. The mind control can be defeated, and Nate's original personality gets to try to fight to regain control; he can choose to either directly destroy the control (which might take a while) or to fight to gain momentary control over his body (forcing the Control entity to miss it's next shot)

You're in projectile weapon range of Martel, Martel's crew, and Nate. And whatever else Martel has inside that ship.

Combat time!

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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:16 pm 
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"Oh, crap," Felix says, moving into cover. "I can't say Nate and I have ever had to deal with this before..."

Calling out in English, Felix yells.

"Nate, don't let yourself be taken in! You're a fighter! We've been through thick and thin together! This isn't like you!"

Tag Nate's The Strong Defend The Weak and There's What You're Supposed To Do, And Then There's What's Right aspects to boost his next roll trying to break the magical influence on him.

Charging forward from cover to cover, Felix and Theresa make their way towards the ship they sought passage on before. At the very least he wants out of the crowd and away from potential crossfire victims and/or good samaritans that jump them thinking they're the bad guys.

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:58 pm 
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"Not again..." Arkady switches to Ukrainian, and tries to cast out the being controlling Nate. Advancing towards him as he does so, mind; he's not standing still to be shot. Tag 'I'm supposed to cast out Satan?' and 'Get Thee Behind Me' at need.

At least he doesn't need to worry about Piper in all of this...

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:28 am 
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Nathan's body continues to fire at the approaching knights and Terrans:

Nathan's body: Guns: +5 Roll: +1 Total: +6
Felix: Athletics: +1 Roll: -2 Total: -1

Felix: OOOOO O Minor consequence: No cover


Felix is forced to dive to the right to avoid Nathan's bullets, and finds himself exposed, far from any useful cover.

Nathan himself tries to fight off the controlling force and regain control of himself:

Nathan: Resolve: +3 Roll: -2 Aspects: +4 Total: +5
Controlling force: Mysteries: +1 Roll: -1 Total: +0

Controlling force (mental): OOOOX

Nathan felt the control feel that.


Meanwhile, a few of the sailors on Martel's ship have pulled out crossbows. Since Felix is exposed, they concentrate their fire on him.

Minions: Sailors, group 1: Crossbows: +3 Roll: +1 Free tag (no cover): +2 Total: +6
Felix: Athletics: +1 Roll: +1 Total: +2

Felix: OOOOO O Minor: No cover


Again, Felix manages to dive aside, avoiding the bolts.

Martel himself yells at and bullies several of the other sailors; he seems to be trying to get their boat moving, and away from the docks. He also yells something at Nate; whatever it is, Nate ignores Martel entirely.

Arkady's movement towards the ship is largely unopposed - everyone on the ship who is shooting concentrating their fire on Nate. He calls out, trying to help shake Nate loose of the control of whatever has him in its grasp:

Arkady: Mysteries: +4 Roll: -1 Tags (one is enough): +2 Total: +5
Controlling force: Mysteries: +1 Roll: -3 Total: -2

Controlling force: OOOOX Minor: Shaken


Nate stops for a moment, blinks - and then the control clamps down on his body again. But it's moving Nate more cautiously now. It doesn't quite know what happened, or why, but it doesn't like it and it's a little more worried this time.

Arkady has, in the meantime, covered about a third of the distance to the ship.

Sir Sparhawk runs along next to him, drawing his sword and throwing it at the crossbowmen...

Sparhawk: Weapons: +5 Roll: -4 (ouch) Total: +1
Crossbowmen: Athletics: +3 Roll: +1 Total: +4


...but the crossbowmen dive aside and he misses, his sword embedding itself in the mast of the ship. The other knights with him draw their swords as they charge, but don't make the mistake of throwing their only weapon.

In the chaos of the battle, it's hard to notice where Talen, Sephrenia and Piper have gone, and it's harder to hear the mystic Styric phrases that Sephrenia mutters. Interestingly, it is not hard to hear the quiet pipe tune from Piper, even over the noises and chaos of the battle...

Sephrenia & Piper, Mysteries: Totals: +4 and +7
Controlling Force, Mysteries: Totals: +1 and +2

Controlling Force: OOXOX Minor: Shaken Moderate: Shaken off


The force controlling Nate's actions is shaken to the core again, and, realising that it has only seconds of control remaining to it, it propels Nate's legs, stumbling to the edge of the boat and leaping for the hard dock - or trying to leap for the hard dock. Instead of succeeding, Nate finds himself tripping on the boat's railing and falling into the water below...

...and between the weakened control and the shock of the cold water, Nate finds himself once more in full control of his own body.

Felix: OOOOO O Minor: No cover Two turns' movement away from the ship
Nate: OOOOO O In the water right next to the ship. Has a Minor Consequence due to previous usage of Death Defiance
Arkady: OOOOO Two turns' movement away from the ship
Sir Sparhawk: OOOOO O Two turns' movement from the ship, no sword
Other knights: OOOOO Two turns' movement from the ship

Martel: OOOOO O On the ship, getting it moving as fast as he can. Presumably also has a Minor Consequence, though it's not obvious to the naked eye.
Crossbow sailors: OOO On the ship, firing
Other sailors: OOO Helping Martel get the ship moving as fast as they can

Everyone else is uninjured (so far), and taking cover.
Bystanders: By and large, getting out of there as fast as they can. There's very little screaming, because people are saving their breath for running.
Friendly ship captain: Looks like he thinks the bystanders had the right idea. He's raising his gangplank and clearly preparing to Get Out Of There before he gets dragged into this whole mess.


Last edited by CCC on Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:13 am 
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Nate's back, and he's pissed. He also still has a pistol in his hand.

"Give me some covering fire! I'll see if I can distract those crossbowmen!"

Nate makes a grab for the side of the boat, attempting to swarm up to the rail, despite his bruised ribs.

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:22 am 
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"Got ya covered!" Felix yells as he lays down suppressing fire, doing his best to disrupt the enemy formation and nail a couple of them.

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Arkady does not know if the controlling force is actually gone, so he continues the exorcism. Besides, if any other such forces are present, they won't be happy either. He continues to advance, taking advantage of the time it takes to reload crossbows (and the presence of more obviously martial targets).
At need, tag the same two traits.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:40 am 
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Roger dove for cover as soon as Nate appeared and opened fire. Not wanting to risk hitting Nate, he's been firing at the crossbowman. (Assuming I have a gun. I have a gun, right?)

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