Shadowfall is coming

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Log Info

  • Title: Shadowfall is coming
  • Emitter: Jinks
  • Characters: Hilal, Jarnbrost, Kirutas, Owen
  • NPCs: Horner the Dragonieri, Ted the Illothan, assorted Alexandrians and a mysterious, hooded Illothan
  • Place: Alexandria -Temple District - Sardi Road and Nore Avenue
  • Time: Jun 9, 2011
  • Summary: A troubled cleric of Althea organizes a mob to attack Illothans outside of their shrine while four adventurers unwittingly stumble into the crossfire...
-=--=--=--=--=<* Temple District - Sardi Road and Nore Avenue *>=--=--=--=--=-
	Smaller shrines and edifices can be found along the white paved walkways and paths of this area of the Temple District. Compared to the 
granduer of the south, this area is more enclosed in with tall fluted columns between twenty and thirty feet in height covering an area that 
contains much smaller businesses, vendors and locations where can be purchased holy symbols, works of art and jewelry dedicated to the gods. 
Some smaller orders have housings here as well and not all are dedicated to the principle deities of the world but more to their servants or side 
orders that seek the same aims while existing in the shadows or independant of much larger churches.
-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-- Contents --=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-
 Jinks           A gnomish fellow in fancy garb and jewelry.           0s   5m
-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--= Exits -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-
Shrine of Illotha <SI>    University District <E>   Temple District <S>
It's Kesenday, Firetide 10 03:42:13 1013. The full moon isn't up. The tide is high and rising.
Everything is half-hidden, nothing clearly seen in the dark fog. It's warm and still.

Morning is still several hours away but the moon is already out of sight, hiding behind the imposing mountain range some distance off. Warm, lazy mist hugs the ground with surprising thickness at this hour in this particular part of town -- where foot traffic isn't as high. Most of the vendor stalls have closed but the mana lamps still offer their soft glow whether they're set into the edifice of the shrines of the lesser gods and demi-gods or at the top of wonderfully crafted street poles.

The sole exception to this rule would be the Illotha's den, which seems to cultivate and double the natural shadows. Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be any activity there at the moment.

Kirutas had wandered his way down here, toward the place of the temples, having only been once before with a rather ... interesting new friend. His taloned feet clack quietly against the stones beneath as he slips down the road through the slowly lifting mists of the very early morning. Giving a pause for a few moments, the Egalrin turns his fierce, slanted eyes toward the Shrine of Illotha, head tilting faintly as he watches it's eery effect on the nearby surroundings.

One might ask what honest folk are doing out wandering the streets at all hours of the night like this, but then again what is a war golem to do? If he doesn't have a shed of his own to park his bulk inside of, he's certainly got no reason to lay down on a bed at night except to look ridiculous. So when the sun went down, and most of the activity of the locals ceased, he found a little alcove out of the way of the main street traffic, backed himself into it and just...stopped moving entirely. Safe for the faint glow of that single eye in the middle of his thrust-forward head, he stands statuesque and seemingly lifeless. For the moment.

Transients are not an uncommon thing in a big city like Alexandria. It is, however, highly uncommon for them to be armed. Well armed, that is. But this seems to be the occassion as Hilal wanders the streets. His clothing is starting to show the wear and tear of constant use. The robe that resides underneath his exquisite breastplate is starting to tear at the edges, needs patching and a good cleaning. And his facial hair, normally kept trim, is starting to grow unruly. Finding that it's time for him to find a place to rest, though, he shuffles into a back alley where he is met by the faint glow of what seems to be some kind of metallic statue.

Jarnbrost's movement is slight, but just enough that it's more than visible. At the sensation that something else has entered his alleyway, the war golem's elongated neck shifts in place, letting his head tilt towards the source. The shutters that were half closed over his single crystalline eye snap open as he studies the newcomer for several long, silent moments.

Well at least he's not reacting in a hostile manner.

Two figures walk down the street, coming into view some blocks away when they first pass under a lamp post. With the sprawling silhouettes of the grand University District buildings at their back they seem to almost float along insead of walking like normal people would. Black cloaks with cowls pulled low do little to describe the figures beneath. The mist parts, rolling up and out as they proceed, to curl and settle uneasily in the duo's wake.

Eventually, their soft footfalls can be heard, faint and unsettling... but that might just be this half-abandoned part of the town playing tricks on you.

Kirutas would almost continue onward, but halts abruptly within the shadows of the buildings himself as he peripheral vision catches the two cloaked figures, his eagle-like eyes picking their forms out through the dim approaching dawn's light. His gaze tracks them as they draw nearer on the other side of the street, closer and closer... He himself doesn't move, but merely watches and observe them closely for the moment. Whoever they are, they seem pretty creepy.

Jarnbrost's head shifts in place then, swinging on that neck with a faint whirr of gears. Swinging his glance away from the man who stepped into his chosen alley for the night, and towards the two robed figures that he can see moving in the street beyond. Perhaps for less suspicious reasons than anyone else's motivations, he observes out of simple curiosity for the moment. Things were quiet up until now...and now it looks like quite a bit is happening in short order.

They continue in their approach. Two figures clad entirely in black, their arms hidden beneath heavy cloaks and their heads bowed and hidden under their hoods. It isn't the most inspiring of pictures and the fact that the Illothan shrine is there -- just waiting and still -- doesn't help matters at all. Still, they walk openly and don't offer any obvious indication of nefarious intent.

As they draw closer there's a sensation of the block coming alive. Shutters swing slowly open on buildings with a quiet creaking, quiet alleyways issue the sounds of shuffling footsteps, and heavier boot steps near from around another corner. The tension is almost palpable -- almost as thick as the fog on the ground.

Hilal is startled by the war golem and it's actions. It's not the first one he's ever seen, but it's still a particularly strange sight. But then it's attention turns away from him, clearly making it non-threatening. Now those figures in black, however, they are clearly something strange and probably something to be feared. He turns to watch them move along with the war golem and as they get closer, Hilal instinctively takes a couple of steps backwards. His muscles tense as he readies for the fight without realizing that he has accidentally brought himself closer to the War Golem.

Keeping his nerves, the Egalrin remains stealthed in the shadows, just a short distance away from the alleyway containing the tense Veyshan and the War Golem, unaware of their presence for the time being. His eyes swivel here and there at the sounds all around, feeling a little exposed out in the streets.. But he feels he's alright as long as he doesn't move around much.. He was mostly dark colored, himself. Ever-so-slowly he kneels down, one hand reaching to settle on his slung bow, waiting.. Watching.. Getting a little tense himself as the sounds of all those feet grow nearer and louder.

Jarnbrost isn't exactly out in the middle of the street watching all of this, but it's not like he'd be able to really hide himself either for that matter if it came down to it. As such, he keeps watching, his head tilting this way and that, and upwards to take in the sound of shutters opening and other sorts of activity. Openly puzzled by this, the War Golem can't help but wonder if this is some local custom of some sort or another. At the sound of other footsteps, his gaze shifts that way then, turning with a soft whirr of parts within his mechanical body.

The cloaks slow. One has a slight lead and its hood cocks to one side curiously. The tension doesn't abat when he reaches up -- yes, he -- and pulls back the cowl deliberately. The youth is a thin and spidery thing, scraggly facial hair dotting his gaunt features around a wide mouth half-open in puzzlement. The other figure remains hidden under the cloak, deathly still as it waits.

The boots aren't the first to step into view; a halfling crawls from an open window and sits on its frame to leer at the pair while it toys with a dagger. Two dwarves exit from an alley opposite the war golem and Veyshanti, armed with clubs that they pat into an open palm threateningly. A half dozen humans step out from buildings, behind carts, and other sideways. Finally, the echoing boots arrive worn by one last human fellow, dressed smartly in a light blue doublet with silver trim. He wears one steel pauldron tooled to look like a curled wyrm and holds a golden disc in a white-knuckled grip.

"Children of the Masquerade," he begins, his voice a low growl full of accusation.

The hidden Egalrin... Remains hidden, and unmoving. Especially now, as the influx of bodies into the street change the dynamics of the situation at hand. His gaze flicks between each person individually, listening in and watching with uncertainty. To him, it looked like the two black cloaked men were about to get gang-beat, but then... Hard to tell if they were or were not the sort to deserve it..

Jarnbrost's head is practically on a pivot by this point. There's so much going on all around him, and the poor golem only has one eye to look at it all with! Finally, the first hint of movement in his big frame follows. A shift of large pistons and gears and one large clawed foot raises from the ground, to thud down a few feet away as he turns to move fully face this...confrontation that seems to be taking place. He's got no idea who's involved with doing what, or if he should even care, but the basic fighter's instinct...or perhaps programming in his case, demands that he not turn his back to it in any way shape or form, as that could be hazardous to one's own health.

Owen has arrived.

Hilal tilts his head slightly. And there's only one thing he can think to do, so he whispers. "Sir Golem..." He says to Jarnbrost behind him, as quietly as he can. "Who are the good guys here?"

Jarnbrost isn't exactly sure what the definition of 'good guy' would be in a situation like this anyway. His exposure to 'good guys' is somewhat limited at this point as well. Nonetheless, he can at least get the gist of the question being asked of him so that he can formulate the proper response.

"Unknown." Come the curt reply.

The two cloaks stand, quiet and accused as the half-score crawl into view. The young man pushes a gloved hand through his greasy hair and makes a conscious effort to keep his mouth closed while he's scowling across the way. Something seems to snap him out of the puzzled stare and he clears his throat before speaking. "Whatever you people have in mind... it has no place here. We are citizens of Alexandria and are protected by her law--"

"Shut your filthy, lying mouth you whore son bastard cultist!" Compared to the quiet, composed response from he young man, the angered shout is startling. The boots -- apparently the leader of the group -- bristles and fidgets with the golden disc, barely restraining himself. "Your shrine has no place within these walls. Your lying bitch of a goddess and you fools and granted no protection under any sane law!"

"Nnngh, you early rising bitch. Why do you have to go out now?" Owen complains groggily, still dressed in his pajamas, bathrobe, and sandals. His lionheart hound, Bixby, is leading the way, pulling firmly on the leash the priest has her on. Spotting the angry mob, he sighs and heads over that way, "What's going on here?" He asks authoratively. As authoratively as one can dressed in wool pj's with a butt flap.

"This altercation would appear to be of a religious sort." Jarnbrost concludes aloud. He's not shouting it, but he's not exactly speaking in a hush hush tone either, the golem having no concept of the idea that religion can sometimes be a touchy subject to discuss/debate. "It would appear the group of citizens do not approve of the deity they believe these two cloaked flesh and bloods follow."

And there you have it, as the golem sees it.

Kirutas exhales through his beak quietly, soon rising, as more and more people come out from their domiciles or from hiding as the Veyshan and Golem do. The tall lithe Egalrin clacks his talons lightly over the road as he makes the short distance to approach from behind those two, stopping short and giving a glance toward the familiar priest. "Trouble is brewing, Priest. If you are as skilled as I saw you in the mines at talking wisdom into people, please do so now," he bids Owen in particular, and the hint in his voice clearly states he's glad for at least a somewhat familiar face.

"The black gods are here!" Shouts the man, turning to address Owen and any others who will listen. He points at the two black-clad figures with the hand holding the golden, palm-sized emblem. "Heth, pawn of the Death Dragon came into my home like a rot, consumed it and drove all goodly men of Dragonier to untimely graves or sent them running, running for years before Alexandria returned! Now the Masquerade is here. Festering. Spreading its claws while you pretend you can live in peace with Her minions."

"We have done nothing against your laws. We are protected." Reiterates the awkward young man as he lifts his hands out at his side in a mild shrug. Many of the mob shirk back or make symbols of warding at even that simple movement. One of the dwarves spits, the halfling continues to twirl its dagger. They seem on the verge of surging forward and tearing the cultists limb from limb.

Jarnbrost is listening, of course, as the man shouts out his words. Whether or not the golem is actually -moved- by them really isn't all that clear...and is probably unlikely given the way he just stands there and continues to stare blankly. His gaze filters from the two figures that are the focus of the crowd's attentions, then back to the crowd itself. "Perhaps I am about to witness something I used to hear my owner refer to as a 'lynching'. They were somewhat common on the frontiers..."

Owen sighs, pulling his wooden holy symbol pendant from under his PJs to press it to his lips and whisper a short prayer to himself before he addressed the mob, "Stay your hand, gentlefolk! Are we civilized folk, or a slavering horde of savages?" The priest stepss out between the cultists and the crowd, holding his free hand out. "I am familiar with the degraded cult of Heth and their crimes. But these men, foolish as they may be, have the right to live unmolested as you and I. As the holy texts of Heaven's King and Queen state...You shall know them by their acts. And until they make the mistake of violating the laws of Alexandria and those of the Holy Pantheon, they are not to be touched." He turns his attention to the two cultists, narrowing his eyes, "But you will be watched. Choose your path carefully, Hethies, lest your flesh be as endangered as your immortal souls."

GAME: Owen casts Guidance. GAME: Owen rolls Diplomacy+1: (19)+10+1: 30

Hilal frowns at the turn of events as a man in pajamas tries to talk down a bunch of armed men. It's pretty clear that he doesn't think things will go well as he unslings his shield and prepares it on his left arm while his right hand rests on the hilt of his longsword. "I see...Maybe they are simply in need of a good sword-rat."

"That priest. I know him. He is a good man. Do not let harm fall upon him," The Egalrin ranger finally addresses Hilal and Jarn directly with his voice and words, notching an arrow in preparedness but not yet lifting his bow or drawing it in aggression. He awaits the mob's response to Owen's attempt to quell them, but has a feeling it might not go over too well...

"Oh, uh. Well. Thank you for that." The young man seems puzzled again, this time by Owen's interjection. He scratches at his scruff. He turns to glance back at his statue-like companion and then adds, "You're confused, though. We, uh, worship Illotha. Not Heth. He was just saying that to make a point through simile... or was that metaphor...? Analogy...?" Not really the imposing, evil bastard of a murderer you might expect. Just another awkward young man trying to find his way.

The mob seems to lose a bit of its steam, glancing as they are between one another and shuffling their feet. Owen makes a bit of sense after all. A few start to slink back, glancing nervously.

"No! You cannot ignore this problem! Do you wait for your child to die?" The dragonieri in his light blue doublet grabs at one of the dwarves and glares down at him. "Do you wait for the government of your city to be so completely consumed by corruption that the Charnese seek alliance? Do you oust Althea's clerics to make a home for Taara!?" His eyes are watering, passionate and terrified at these possibilities.

"Uncertain." Jarnbrost states after a moment. "I do not know where I would fit into this, as I do not follow these deities..." His head tilts towards the Egalrin, then back to the mob. "Perhaps it is moot, it would appear the anger of the crowd has abated."

A pause as the one man continues his ranting, and the War Golem amends his assessment of the situation. "Most of the angry crowd has settled."

"Calm yourself, brother. You have suffered as few have, but your pain blinds you. One does not cut off a wounded hand on the fear that it might become gangrenous, nor cut the the throat of the stranger at the crossroads on fear that he might be a bandit. We cannot survive as godly men should we strike down those for what they -might- do." Owen replies, doing his best to sound wise beyond his years without condesending. He then turns his attention to the two cultists, his tone taking on a firmer timbre, "Illothans engenders just as little love in me as Hethites. I am a man of peace, but I cannot speak to these folk. I would suggest you conclude any legitimate business you have out on the streets and return to your homes while you still can."

Kirutas just shakes his head at the Golem's reply, exhaling aloud, and stepping forth slowly.. Maybe even weaving between a couple of the assembled people until he stands nearer to Owen, straightening to his full height and his undrawn bow is held by one hand laxly at his side. "You kept us safe before, priest, I will keep you safe in repayment..." He murmurs to Owen low enough not to distract him, but hopefully heard as he stand guard, wings tucked tight behind his back as he's appears relaxed by is quite the contrary just now.

Hilal knows nothing of religions or the interplay between them. But he has a solid order from the birdman, so he steps forward out of his alley. Even as shabby as he is, he is still a big man. A big man sliding a sword from it's sheath as he gets between the mob and the PJ'd priest. "Hello, sir." He says in polite greeting. "I am Hilal the Sword-Rat. Sir Egalrin has told me to keep you safe."

The young man nods shallowly, understanding well how close things had come to violence, and how unstable the dragonieri still seems. He reaches up and takes his hood in both hands, flipping the cowl back into place and then shrugging his cloak closed before him. He mutters a quiet prayer that's lost to the sounds of the dispersing crowd. The short distance to the shrine's entrance unblocked, he and his companion quickly disappear into those deepest of shadows.

The other man -- the survivor -- looks crushed. His age has gone from instilling a powerful dignity to become a crushing weight of tortured memories and conflict. "There will come a day in your futures where you regret this choice as you have never regretted anything before. Perhaps it will be soon; Shadowfall comes before month's end." He shakes his head and turns to take his leave without further comment.

Jarnbrost's crystal eye whirrs as it turns a few times, like a lens twisting to focus on the turned back of the man as he walks off. For a long moment the war golem says nothing, turning the events over in his head before he finally speaks what is on his mechanical mind. "Religious pursuits appear...complicated." He voices the last word as if not sure if it's the correct one to use, but in the end satisfied that it will do.

"Anything of consequence usually is, friend golem." Owen replies to Jarnbrost, then claps Hilal on the shoulder, "My thanks, but your sword does not appear to be necessary...for now." He glances over to Bixby, who's leash he let go in case things turned sour....and she's squatting on the stoop of the the Illothan shrine. "Good girl."