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You're a Gem (Post S25)

  • 13 Replies
  • 3113 Views
*

Wolfe

  • 0
  • Death. Honor. Hangovers.
You're a Gem (Post S25)
« on: February 09, 2018, 11:10:43 AM »
Wolfe's eyes still held a crazed, furious look to him. The Half-Orc had seemed to calm down from his insane display moments prior, but now held his newly enchanted blade in a defensive stance between the Watch and the mountain of gems that he'd scooped together again after Catriona had dumped them all out in a large circle.

"All of you fuckin' thieves can fuck on down the road to Neverwinter. If any of you take a fuckin step toward what's mine, I'll put you down."

The attempted negotiation to have Wolfe come along in the hopes of 'curing' him (so they could steal his gems!) fell on deaf ears. Now the miserly blademaster had a single murderous intent: To keep the jewels to himself, and himself alone.

*

Raithe

  • 0
  • Money. Survival. Honor...is a cute notion.
Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 11:20:45 AM »
This whole thing had gone from triumph to shitshow in record time. In Raithe's century of life, he'd seen few things like this. Wolfe's crazed expression and look told him that some kind of foul magic was at work. Over the last few weeks of working with the Watch, the normally self-interested Elf felt differently about the people he'd first considered a bunch of do-gooder rubes.

They were each good people underneath the snark, or the duty, or the awkwardness. Sometimes way, way underneath it.

In the end, they'd helped him realize that maybe, just maybe, he wasn't hard-hearted criminal he'd wanted to be after all these years. He wasn't even mad at them for helping him realize it. But he could wax poetic later about all that stuff.

Wolfe was in trouble now.

Raithe held up his hands, palms out, acknowledging Wolfe's claim on the gems and the fact that Wolfe could follow through on his words. "Wolfe, buddy. We get it. The gems are yours. Trying to take them from you was a bad idea." Raithe said, emphasizing the last words for the group's benefit.

"We don't want to steal your gems. But something is wrong here, man. You're a man of honor. You were just talking about redemption awhile ago. You even got me believing in it. Let's calm down and talk this out a little more. You and me. The others can fuck off down the road to Neverwinter." Raithe said.

*

Zimran Ibanez

Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 11:44:53 AM »
Zimran wrinkled his nose at the scene before him. Why were these people so surprised to see a half-orc going blind with rage. This is, as far as Zimran could tell, what orc blood does.

The doctor had asked the bard to restrain the half-orc, so he did, and that only appeared to have made matters worse. Thing is, Zimran figured this really wasn't his mess to be involved with. He had no claim to the gems and it wasn't as if the half-orc had displayed much measure of civility or brilliance before. Upon seeing the elf who was totally not his captor earlier take the orc's side, the bard made his own mind up on the matter.

Zimran ushered his horse away from the crazed members of these companions and looked to the remaining, less insane members, "I have no claim on these gems, I just tried to help when asked. But I see no need to further engage with some rage filled half-wit orc. If these two want to stand around like a couple of fools on a hill that's fine by me."

*

Westra Goldbrook

Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 04:48:16 PM »
The notion that Wolfe was just being his crass, selfish, orcish self was, in part, why it'd taken Westra so long to suspect anything was amiss. The situation was different now. In the Paladin's mind, she was the unofficial leader of the Watch, given that she was the only one with a commissioned position within the Flaming Fist. That meant she was, to a degree, responsible for the others. If Wolfe had tried to make off with the gems under his own steam, dismissing him as a scoundrel would have been easy. But now it was clear that he was afflicted with something, and the idea of letting him make off with the gems felt oddly akin to leaving an injured comrade behind to die on the field of battle. Westra was conflicted, and for a moment at a loss as to what to do about the situation. But then, when the others started talking about splitting up, she spoke up.

"Fine," she announced, eyeing Wolfe. "He can keep the filthy gems. But--" she said, lifting a finger towards Wolfe, sharply. "You will return to Neverwinter with us. If you are keeping that portion of the found spoils, then I want you to give Commander Cullen your permission to distribute your remaining share of the payment for our work among the rest of us. Those jewels should be all the compensation you require. Agreed?"

*

Doctor Catriona Wicker

  • "Tarnation!!"
  • 0
  • For Lantan.
Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 09:31:25 PM »
That was the most “fucks” she’d ever heard in such a short span of time.  It was almost akin to another language given her unfamiliarity with such main-lander profanity.  Quiet steps brought her back to the horse she was using prior, away from the madman whom she now felt a high degree of worry about.  In recent days she had come to believe that he was not truly one inspired by the Kara-Turan Knights of the East, but one playing at that while being actually a bully.

The reality set in like a key manipulating a pin tumbler lock.  Negative disposition had now been replaced with troubled concern, given that real violence was a possibility.  Felled by ancient, toxic magics was not a way for Wolfe to go down, in her mind.  Maybe by a bottle, but even that, she assumed was some matter of addiction that he could get over if properly motivated…

Her hands raised up in surrender.  “I lay no claim to those gemstones either, now.”  The girl makes no further action as Westra takes the reigns of this delicate and utterly complex development.   Her hand trace along her temple to draw her platinum colored locks behind her slightly pointed ears, with a slight nervousness.

Far enough from the epicenter of the conflict, she hesitates a moment then tells Zimran“Thanks for trusting me in my request.  You were... ummm.. instrumental in our diagnosing of the malefic condition.  We know more now than we did before, which is always a good thing in these situations.  It could have manifested dangerously without warning in a more vulnerable moment.”  Catriona shrugs slightly, not seeming to know what else to add.  She was in his position once (and still commonly is) in the state of not knowing what is going on.

The doctor then casts a glance back at Nundro and the gnomebot, making sure no one else was looking to possibly spoil what the Captain was doing.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 09:33:03 PM by Doctor Catriona Wicker »

*

Wolfe

  • 0
  • Death. Honor. Hangovers.
Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 12:18:33 PM »
Raithe's attempt at negotiation didn't scratch against Wolfe's temper. After all the Elf hadn't tried to take what was his. WHAT WAS HIS. But he wasn't innocent. He had allowed them to take his gems. They had allowed them to humiliate him. Rage festered with madness in the Samurai's mind and he looked toward the rogue with distrust in his eyes.

Zimran's comments angered him, but it was Westra and her demand that drew his focus.
"Fuck you." He snarled with venom. "I'm not an idiot, as much as your new boyfriend thinks. I go to Neverwinter and Rutherford and his boys mug me for the Gems. Or just kill me. Who're they going to side with? Princess Goldbrook or some rage-filled halfwit Orc."

Keeping his blade at the ready, Wolfe made no aggressive move but remained standing by the pile of gems. "I don't owe you lot anything. I've got what I need, and it don't include you lot."

*

Raithe

  • 0
  • Money. Survival. Honor...is a cute notion.
Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2018, 12:55:52 PM »
Raithe was annoyed at the situation, but he didn't have a lot of leverage here. Wolfe was cursed and getting help for him required them to go to Neverwinter unless they could get someone to come here and do it.

Oh, and if Wolfe didn't murder said person for attempting to take the gems, which was exactly what he'd believe was happening, no matter what they told him.

The Elf took a few steps back. "All right. I'll let Westra decide how this plays out. I've got no want to end up dead, curse or not."

*

Zimran Ibanez

Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2018, 01:07:41 PM »
"Could have manifested dangeously?" Zimran asked, rolling his eyes at the Doctor's statement. She meant well and he didn't hold it against her, but so far things had only grown worse with brute it seems since he met this poor lot.

Zimran couldn't help but laugh at the orc's enraged words, "No, not an idiot, just a petulant mudblood child who wants to take his toys home with him. Why are we standing around here while this brute cries and throws himself a tantrum?"

The bard gestured to the others, ready to move on, "Seems to me like he earned his keep for you all. You all needed someone to mindlessly bash things, so you found yourselves a big dumb orc to do just that. Looks like he has fulfilled his contract. Let him drink himself to death with his pile of gems." Zimran shrugged, bored with this drama and ready to move on.

Zimran pulled his horse away slightly further and began to sing and hum a few notes. Hopefully the orc wasn't vain enough to think the song was about him. The bard was bored and already looking forward to sleeping in a warm inn.

*

Westra Goldbrook

Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018, 01:32:42 PM »
Westra stepped towards Wolfe, and though her stride was confident and forthright, her weapon was snugly stowed on her back and she did not lift her hands from her sides. She stopped a pair of feet from the half-orc (until and unless he backed away, in which case she would stay put) and stared him down with the righteous brazenness of a holy warrior. Her lips parted, but before she spoke, the others began to do so. Raithe simply withdrew from the conflict, but the bard...

Westra turned her head to slide a slow stare over to Zimran while he mouthed off. Honestly, on a normal day she was likely to have agreed with everything he said. If this wasn't the case of one of the Watch being under the influence of foul magic, there's a good chance she would have dismissed the half-orc entirely and followed Zimran's urge to move on.

But Wolfe, foul as he was, had been befouled by some curse. Westra might yet cast him out of the Watch when all was said and done, but it wouldn't be while he was lame from some ancient dwarven curse. It would never be said that Westra didn't look out for her people, not if she could help it.

Even a crass and disrespectful half-orc who treated baths like seasonal luxuries.

"That is quite enough," she said, to Zimran. Whether she agreed with the man or not, he was not helping to convince Wolfe of anything except making off with the gems before the curse could be broken. "Wolfe has been cursed," she said, looking back to the orc in question. "I give you my word as a Goldbrook and as a paladin of Helm, the reason I want you to come to Neverwinter is not to be accosted, but to be seen by Ser Ironheart, a cleric of Helm. If he determines that you have not been cursed, then my business with you will be done. You can give your leave to Commander Cullen, surrendering any pay owed, and then leave and go spend the rest of your days counting your wealth in solitude.

"If you do not allow a chance for that determination to be made, I must assume that you have been cursed, and who knows how this foul magic may spread. Whether it's contained in the gems even now, ready to infect another, or whether time spend around you would cause others to succumb. The Watch - and eventually every law-keeping organization in Faerun will consider you a criminal, and you will not see a moment's rest until you are apprehended."


Westra paused, and considered her words before continuing.

"You and I often quarrel. But consider that you have never once heard me utter a falsehood. And even if I had, my word is my bond. May Helm remove me from this realm with vengeance and zeal if I am attempting to deceive you now."

((GM check Persuasion, pls.))
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 02:04:10 PM by Westra Goldbrook »

*

Doctor Catriona Wicker

  • "Tarnation!!"
  • 0
  • For Lantan.
Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018, 03:22:17 PM »
It was becoming a strange matter that Wolfe called practically every man that the Captain didn’t beat up, a boyfriend.  Catriona could barely follow now who he was talking about without her considering the context of the matter. She scratched her elbow and twitched her nose.  Allergies were acting up some due to the heightened stress.

“Yes, like within an inopportune moment.  Say during a conflict or skirmish or...-” she trailed off somewhat abruptly, realizing when the bard rolled his eyes that she was probably saying something uninteresting again.  Not uncommon for her, really.

Zimran’s decision to throw oil into the bonfire of a situation after that was surprising;  she had made an assessment that he was what most would call a merry fellow.  It wasn’t the first time she’d witnessed rank prejudice against Wolfe or half-orcs since she’s been on the Sword Coast;  that didn’t mean she understood it.  It was of course no help that the cursed blademaster was unfortunately playing into all the stereotypes…

“He’s not dumb...”  is all she could say; it came out like a reflex.  Probably a beat too late as the bard rode off from the scene proper.  Probably with less gusto than someone making a proper declaration of correction.  As someone who was subject to unavoidable, radical shifts in her own personality, she found these hasty accusations hit a bit close to home.

The Nega-Docs whispered at the edges of her mind on possible darker solutions, having an easier time to do so when Catriona was so flustered.  She did her best to ignore them, as was usual…  which became easier when Westra took prominence and presented a forceful front.  The shadowy Nega-Docs loathed the paladin for obvious reasons, as they were the very opposite of light. 

Catriona looked around at the others (who were still around) to silently gauge their reactions to what the Captain proposed to the hexed blademaster.  What other alternatives were there beyond this well reasoned stance?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 03:29:57 PM by Doctor Catriona Wicker »

*

Wolfe

  • 0
  • Death. Honor. Hangovers.
Re: You're a Gem (Post S26)
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 11:57:23 AM »
Zimran's words just spoke at Wolfe's temper, but at the moment he was focused purely on the Paladin in front of him as Raithe backed off and Cat fretted. "Fuck your God." Wolfe snarled to the earnest Paladin who had never been quite on Wolfe's right side. "Helm ain't done shit for you. He let you die in a fuckin' cave. He ain't gonna do one good thing for me. I ain't ever put my faith in Holy Men or Priests, Or Gods that don't care about the people that worship 'em.

Ain't no crime about havin rightful property. I found 'em. They're mine. You wanna try and spin a story about how it's unlawful, well, you can go ahead Princess. But you ain't the first lawman to try and bring me down."
He leveled his sword toward her, point out, grim determination clear in his face. "And you better come yourself, before I send other people to their graves."

He jutted his broad jaw toward the road. "Now, fuck off."
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 12:43:03 PM by Levinath »

*

Westra Goldbrook

Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 01:34:27 PM »
Westra watched, stone-faced, as Wolfe ranted. She did not bother repeating herself; explaining how Wolfe would never have reached the gems without the aid of the rest of the party would likely do little, she wagered, to help the situation. He was clearly not in his right mind - at least, that was the optimistic hope. Logic would serve no purpose here, unfortunately. Neither did she let the orc bait her into debates about Helm or his graces. She merely watched, and when Wolfe charged her with fucking off, she pulled her halberd from her back.

"No."

She shifted her stance, clearly squaring off to face him in combat.

"We are not leaving you here. You can come willingly, or you can come bound and thrown over the back of a horse. The choice is yours."

*

Levinath

  • 0
  • If it works, I can break it.
Re: You're a Gem (Post S26)
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 04:27:05 PM »
The wind from the coast blew across the party as the two warriors stood at odds. The sun reflected off their armor as Westra pulled the halberd from her back. The sound of birds seemed an odd chorus to the impending battle before Westra moved closer, parrying Wolfe’s first attack. The sharp blade sent a large chip off the thick wood of her handle past the the Doctor. Westra brought the end of her weapon up just as Zimran’s insult pulled Wolfe’s eyes towards the mounted bard. The breath left the Orc’s lungs with a grunt as the heavy oak butt crushed into his abs.

Wolfe’s eyes watered as he fought for oxygen, using only his brute strength to spin the blade around his body and scrape across Westra’s magical breastplate in a shower of sparks before quickly parrying another of her blows. He bent over for a moment to catch his breath before dodging another of the paladin’s thrusts. The moment of pause caused him to kicked dirt at the paladin from the dusty road before feinting his weapon towards her upper body. As she moved the bulky halberd to parry, his foot struck Westra’s knee. The paladin’s leg crumpled under her armor’s weight, the knee hitting the ground with a heavy thump. His vision darkened as his body still struggled under the strain of fighting, his muscles and lungs burned. Oxygen still seemed unable to fill the half-orc's lungs. In the moment, nothing except the magical compulsion drove him. He would destroy her, he would protect his gems, he would kill all of these thieves! It drove him to continue when his body would have already collapsed. He raised the blade as she struggled to stand. The thin blade whistled as is dropped towards Westra’s neck.

Raithe watched at first, though as Wolfe gained the upper hand he was forced to react on instinct. Westra fell to the ground, his dagger was pulled and sent towards the mad half-orc. It flipped end over end, racing against Wolfe’s blade. The hilt struck the half orc with a sickening crack across his temple. The katana turned as he fell, the side of the blade striking Westra along her neck, leaving a thin slice of skin where her head would have been removed if not for Raithe’s quick actions.

Everything seemed to stop along the now quiet road. Wolfe lay unconscious next to the panting paladin. The soft sound of waves floated to them from the coast just to the West, the sounds of the nearby forest pervaded from the East, and afternoon was beginning to make the heat stifling as they stood. Stood in stunned silence.

*

Doctor Catriona Wicker

  • "Tarnation!!"
  • 0
  • For Lantan.
Re: You're a Gem (Post S25)
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 02:54:13 PM »
There was still that hanging notion that Catriona had not been with Westra, Wolfe and Raithe long enough to interlope at will.  There was always much she did not exactly know about how they came together and how they operated under Westra.  Doctor Wicker, like Zimran or Nundro, were mainly witnesses to the scuffle between Westra and Wolfe.

There were several instances where her instincts clawed at her resolve.  She could do something, maybe, but it was not as if her powers were stable enough to not cause irreparable harm.  The whole affair was vexing throughout and a myriad of expressions played on the youthful face of the half elf.

While it seemed to last forever, it did not.  Thank Gond.  It was likely there was a discussion on how the cursed warrior would be transported.  Catriona could contribute with repaired manacles and sophisticated rope-ties to secure him.  You don't grow up on an island nation and not learn some sailor knots.

Catriona used the strange magic frog trinket to provide goodberries to everyone.  The magical fruit could sustain someone for a whole day.  There was probably a good chance that Wolfe would bite off her fingers if she tried to feed him manually.  So she used a telekinetic trick.  Then again, maybe he was too obstinate to eat at all...  Regardless, she was generally nice about it either way.
◆◆◆
As the trip went on,  interest in the environs was a regular thing for the Doctor, who had never been this far north on The High Road.  She catalogued a random bird or two she was unfamiliar with, along with certain flora.  Often, she had to catch up with the others who would most likely fund such things dull.

When the sun set and it had come time to make camp, Catriona advised everyone that LEROY was capable of being an alarm system.  Now, of course there might be skepticism;  so she did not begrudge anyone who still wanted to do "watches.".   All the same, she set LEROY and GIZMO on opposite ends of camp, one above in the trees and one ground level.  The mechanical and clockwork entities didn't tire.  Sorry, ambushing bandits!

One thing Catriona didn't do was gag Wolfe, which she left to someone more confident to do.  The filthy language probably would go on non-stop unless someone did that, but that person wasn't her.    She would not argue against anyone who took that initiative, however.

The following day, she finished exploring this LEROY gnomebot's capabilities and let the party know what it could do in total.  Also what kind of fuel it needed.  Catriona additionally spent time reading over {The Black Spider's Notes}, looking for pertinent data now that they weren't in danger.