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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Recent posts by Bromern Sal
Topic: Star Trek: The Guardian Saga
Subject: Cardassians and Dinosaur Jaws

Inorlia (a Class B Planet), North Pole | Stardate 51717.9 (09-07-2374) 09:14 hours (6 hours of air remaining) | The Guardian remains in orbit around Inorlia a Class B Planet within two light years of Koralis within the Bajor Sector, The Alpha Quadrant.

Goodhart: Stealth [16] Awareness/Notice [17]
Malton: Stealth [20] Awareness/Notice [21]
Shral: Awareness/Notice [10] Tricorder [28]
Ral: Awareness/Notice [12] Intuition [1]
Pierce: Awareness/Notice [24]

Ensign Goodhart crept deliberately from the ridge back towards his waiting companions. His every movement was calculated, drawn out into impossible lengths of time crowding the seconds it took him to lower himself to a crouch providing him with just enough of a vantage to watch the enemy troops descend into the slide.

A mere three meters away and two meters lower in proximity Ensign Ral held his position tense about the shoulders, his phaser rifle at ready. Whatever Goodhart had seen it was obvious to him that they were about to find themselves in a heap of trouble. Ensigns Pierce and Shral had also come to a contemplative stop, watching the point man’s body language, his crouched perch on the rock, and the readiness of his weapon for a signal of how to respond. Ensign Malton was the only one who didn’t heed his counterpart’s directive, creeping forward with hunched shoulders to bring himself right up to Drake’s thigh.

“What is going on? Why did we stop?” Zackery’s voice was low, but it carried well enough across the transmitters in their helmets.

(OOC: However Goodhart wishes to respond…)

The lead Cardassian was a hulking individual, and though Drake couldn’t see the man’s face through his mirrored visor, he could tell by the way the man held his hand out in front of him that he was holding the Cardassian equivalent of a tricorder in hand, most likely scanning the area ahead of them for life signs, indications of debris, or any possible threat that the planet might offer up. The Cardassian apparently called a halt over their intercom as the troop behind him settled into watchful stances. He held up his device and twisted about at the waist for a second, twice passing over the general position of the Federation personnel before lowering it again and motioning the others into activity once more. The path that they took was again down the wash, crossing to approximately thirty meters away from Goodhart’s hiding place before turning to the south once more and trudging further away. For whatever reason, the Cardassian’s sensors hadn’t picked the team up, and Goodhart’s quick eye, and decisive movement had drawn the away team into a secretive seclusion until the Cardassians had wound themselves out of sight to the south.

(OOC: assuming you continue…)

With the immediate threat averted, Ensign Goodhart once again led them out as point, crossing over that same wash, and hiking up the rather treacherous path that the Cardassian patrol had just descended. It was hot inside their suits, despite the environmental controls, and sweat poured down each man’s face without impunity. Three hours later found the team nearing a precipice beyond which sat a ravine nearly two hundred meters across, and at least three times that in depth. Nearly thirty meters ahead of them, and about ten meters down the cliff, there jutted out another precipice with a fairly smooth surface marred only by a significant number of stalagmites that gave it the impression of the lower jaw of some carnivore. The face of the cliff on the opposite side of the canyon was barren except for a couple of columns of steam rising from rifts in the stone. The trail they had been following since the encounter with the Cardassians led here, unless they’d missed something along the way, and it ended on that stony outcrop.

Ensign Shral immediately produced his tricorder, having readjusted it during their hike to its normal properties he activated the scan feature. Ensign Ral maintained a careful watch with his rifle at ready, awaiting the decision of the others as he was out of his element.

“There’s an energy signature there,” Curzon Shral pointed with his right hand while he maintained the device in his left, his rifle shouldered for the moment. The area he was pointing to was right at the lip of the lower outcropping where a number of the stalagmites were clustered. “It’s not very strong, but it is enough power to take notice, and it is constant.”

Inorlia (a Class B Planet), North Pole | Stardate 51717.9 (09-07-2374) 12:20 hours (3 hours of air remaining) | The Guardian remains in orbit around Inorlia a Class B Planet within two light years of Koralis within the Bajor Sector, The Alpha Quadrant.

Posted on 2009-04-06 at 03:55:28.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: Hopefully Vanadia can post before tomorrow...

Then I'll be able to update all three characters, but regardless I'll be at least updating the two who have posted.

Posted on 2009-04-04 at 19:19:36.

Topic: Star Trek: The Guardian Saga Q&A
Subject: Well... you did, but TsAh is a no show!

I'll have to smack him about the ears for this one. Hopefully, he'll post before tomorrow so I can post an update!

Oh, it has been confirmed. RPJ is no longer a player at the Inn, so I'll be taking over his character as an NPC.

Posted on 2009-04-04 at 19:16:35.

Topic: iPhone Users (or iPod Touch)
Subject: iPhone Users (or iPod Touch)

So, I'm currently in Mafia Live and Undead Live on my iPhone, and am looking to build my bloodline and family. Anyone with an iphone or iPod touch who wants to participate let me know here. The apps are five bucks US and you need to be a Vampire in Undead Live, or a Capitalist in Mafia Live to join up.

I'm not hardcore into these games, but they're fun pasttimes when I find myself bored someplace and I'm growing tired of the hardcore players stepping all over me because I'm not refreshing the app every ten minutes, so I figured I'd check with the Inn family to see who was on board.

Posted on 2009-04-04 at 04:56:40.
Edited on 2009-04-04 at 04:57:38 by Bromern Sal

Topic: Star Trek: The Guardian Saga Q&A
Subject: Grand!

If you do, and TsAh does as well, then I'll move things forward before this weekend.

Posted on 2009-03-30 at 16:50:58.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: Thanks for posting Sui!

Unfortunately, I am hoping for at least two of the three surviving players to post before making one of my own. So...we wait.

Posted on 2009-03-30 at 05:10:02.

Topic: Star Trek: The Guardian Saga Q&A
Subject: Not much to do, eh?

I think RPJ is done, but am not entirely sure. It would be a shame if he were, but as it stands that leaves TsAh and Alacrity who have yet to post. Since Alacrity is on extended leave...that leaves TsAh.

Posted on 2009-03-30 at 05:07:20.

Topic: Alacrity LOA
Subject: Checks the vacation calendar

Um...we may have a scheduling conflict. Roger, could you please verify with HR that the time is available? (The CEO usually doesn't have a clue...)

Posted on 2009-03-26 at 04:32:01.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: She rules Sendria.

Ultimately, anyway.

Posted on 2009-03-23 at 05:24:59.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: If you...

Click on the Audalis link in the site navigation and go to the maps section you can see the location of Amer'Loc as well as read up on the common knowledge of your character's homeland. The lich-queen and Amer'Loc would be common knowledge, but she hasn't mentioned any specifics concerning her organization, so Shiften wouldn't know of which organisation she's referring.

Posted on 2009-03-23 at 02:47:07.

Topic: Star Trek: The Guardian Saga Q&A
Subject: I have posted!

It is a short post, but it is a continuance, nonetheless. I look forward to everyone's contribution before the end of the week. Thanks!

Posted on 2009-03-22 at 19:59:02.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: Posted!

I have posted.

Posted on 2009-03-22 at 19:58:15.

Topic: Star Trek: The Guardian Saga
Subject: Six Hours of Air Left

Inorlia (a Class B Planet), North Pole | Stardate 51717.9 (09-07-2374) 07:06 hours | The Guardian remains in orbit around Inorlia a Class B Planet within two light years of Koralis within the Bajor Sector, The Alpha Quadrant.

(Die Rolls:
Ensign Goodhart: Awareness/Notice [16]; Hide & Evade [9]

Everyone was in agreement. They were to abandon their defensive position and make for the coordinates that Lt. Kavk had indicated before his death. There was not much else they could do. Ensign Shral’s contraption wouldn’t protect them for long, and that fighter might not be the only thing to begin a scan of the shuttle crash site. So, with Ensign Goodhart taking point, the surviving members of the away team made their way through the canyons while trying to maintain a northerly route the best they could.

Ensign Goodhart kept his phaser rifle at ready, pausing every so often when coming to a new rise, the edge of a rock column, or the mouth of a cave in order to check for possible threats. Each time he did this, he would raise his left hand in a closed fist and bring the column to a stop. Approximately fifteen feet behind him Ensign Ral followed, then Ensigns Pierce and Shral. Ensign Malton brought up the rear, checking their six for pursuit, and sometimes hanging back at a strategic point to wait for a few minutes in case they were being followed in the hopes of catching sight of possible trackers. He’d read many reports on the effectiveness of the Jem’Hadar, and he wasn’t about to put anything past them.

The enemy that they were to eventually face had modulating personal shields, and due to the drug they injected themselves with constantly, they were tireless. They were as skilled as any Starfleet personnel, as tough as a Klingon, and as cold as a Vulcan. They were outfitted better than any enemy that the Federation had ever faced short of the Borg, and with the tactical minds behind the Dominion’s movements, the Jem’Hadar were a feared fighting force. These were possibly the dominating thoughts of the away team as they marched and climbed their way closer to what was sure to be a Jem’Hadar outpost.

Two hours into their effort, Drake caught the muffled sound of tumbling rock and immediately brought the team to a halt, holding his fist high to keep those behind him as silent as possible. There was a small outcropping of rock up ahead that offered a bit of shelter from the direction Ensign Goodhart heard the rock fall emanating from, and about fifty meters from there, across a bit of rough terrain that sloped gently down, there emerged a patrol of Cardassian soldiers wearing their dark gray and black environmental suits, and carrying Cardassian disruptor rifles. There were eight of them, and they were currently engaged in slipping down the hillside to the ravine that separated their side of the hill from that which housed the away team. It was apparent that the Cardassians had yet to spot the Starfleet personnel (who had managed to turn their normally white suits a nice shade of the planet’s reddish earth tone while climbing about the canyons), but there wasn’t much time before this would change. From his perch, Ensign Goodhart was the only one of the team currently in jeopardy of being spotted, and the only one who had seen the patrol.

Inorlia (a Class B Planet), North Pole | Stardate 51717.9 (09-07-2374) 09:14 hours (6 hours of air remaining) | The Guardian remains in orbit around Inorlia a Class B Planet within two light years of Koralis within the Bajor Sector, The Alpha Quadrant.

Posted on 2009-03-22 at 19:57:44.

Topic: The Embodiment - A FUZIONfantasy Game
Subject: Visitations

People’s Ward | Old Pen’s Stable | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 11:55pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

“Ah,” the Lady Solan said sweetly. “The strong silent type. Adorable.”

Gliding from the shadows of the stall, the cold, beautiful woman’s silken dress flowed about her feet as though carried on the backs of invisible, restless spirits. She was elegant, desirable, and completely unconcerned with the condition of her surroundings as she made a slow circle in front of the rogue while his evening companions remained frozen, held in time by magic.

“We’ve been looking for just the right sort of individual—with just the right mix of disposition and philosophy—for some time now. There have been others who we thought would meet our rather high marks, but they proved to be unfortunate gambles. With you, however, I’m more sure than I’ve ever been before.

“You are nameless, a shadow, practically a myth if you’ll pardon the drama.” A smile turned up the corners of her supple lips; a smile that promised many things while at the same time guarding her against the insult of exactly that which it promised. “You are a champion of the poor, a robber of the rich, and a reminder to the privileged that they aren’t safe behind their stone walls and hundred-men.”

She continued her graceful and ghostly circle where the sway of her hips and the rise and fall of her bosom was accented by the cut of her gown. She was the essence of that which she had just proclaimed Shiften stood against.

“Sendria is a corrupt monarchy,” she whispered in a voice that sent shivers down the rogue’s spine. “The people of this great land deserve better. They are a good, decent people who work through their hard existence with very little in the way of thanks from the aristocracy, and it is the intention of my organization to change all of this—to make a better life for the people you champion.

“To do this, we would like to recruit you.”

The Lady Solan laughed a gentle laugh that appeared to change her entire disposition from that of a cold noblewoman to a young and vibrant young lady. “You should be flattered, really. My title, my estate, the necklace, they were all a ploy to draw you to us. We’ve already invested thousands upon thousands of bulrin in recruiting you, and we’re more than willing to offer you that necklace—which I can assure you is very real—as payment. In return we ask but one thing:

“We want you to steal the Catalyst from Amer’Loc. Without it, we will not be able to rid Sendria of their lich-queen. Without it, we will not be able to free the people of Sendria—your people—from their pitiful plight. Will you do this for us, Agent of the Shadows?”

People’s Ward | Old Pen’s Stable | The City of Davnor | Sendria | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 11:57pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

The West Ward | Westgate Guardhouse | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:54am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

"What happened? It's three men against one, and the one got away! If Madius hadn't happened to be a magic user, I would've at least had him! And you call yourself the city guard."

“You can’t expect us to act on partial information!” Witigus growled back. “We had no idea what this fellow you were after looked like—you had no idea what he looked like—so you can’t blame us for what happened here.”

The other guardsmen matched the hard stare their watch sergeant was delivering the bounty hunter, but remained quiet.

"Nobody,” Lloyd began to mark a large circle in the snow. “Is to enter here except for the mages sent by the king, alright? I'm going to speak with him now." Anger was painted on Lloyd's face.

“King’s mages?” Witigus eyed the circle and then turned his gaze upon Lloyd, but the bounty hunter was already striding away. Lloyd could barely hear the watch sergeant’s muttering, but couldn’t pick out what he’d said as he strode through the parting crowd.

The palace stood within sight of everyone within the city from almost every vantage point, and Lloyd had no problem making his way through the awakening streets as he’d been there before. But what he wasn’t expecting was to meet a troop of the king’s personal guard resplendent in their polished plate armor and rich, blue tunics. The captain of the troop—holding a gemstone up to his eye as though peering through a spyglass—nearly missed Lloyd in his disguise, but after a couple of glances and then a penetrating stare, he raised his right hand and brought the company of ten soldiers to a halt a mere three paces from the gray-cloaked man’s position.

“Lloyd von Schtreider? By order of the king you are to accompany us back to the palace immediately.”

The man before him was of a powerful build with a very neatly trimmed black beard and mustaches, angular features, and narrow blue eyes. There was a thin, white scar that turned down the left corner of his mouth. The helmet that he wore bore a crest with the symbol of Ertain prominently displayed over a half-visor that covered the upper half of the man’s face. From the crest of his helmet there were three plumes of horse hair dyed blue, then white, then blue. He wore a silver sash across his chest, and carried a longsword sheathed at his side. Were these men at ceremony, they’d also be carrying heavy steel shields bearing the symbol of the king as badges of their responsibility, but this morning they were without their shields.

(OOC: assuming compliance)

Lloyd wasn’t in the mood to enjoy the grandeur of the palace of Ethryn, home to King Jarom Strongblade, Beloved of the People. He was still fuming over the improbable escape of his query. He’d had that wrapped up, them in shackles, and the money in hand…until magic intervened. So it was that he found himself entering a quiet room in one of the side halls of the palace and himself face to face with Jarom himself.

Strongblade was a tall man, regal in appearance, and of late with gray streaking his long, flowing hair. He wore his gray facial hair short and neatly trimmed, and his usually powerful and inspiring gaze was tired—filled with sorrow. He wore a lounging robe over simple clothing of muted color, and as Lloyd entered the room, Jarom was standing with his elbow on the frame of a window, peering out at the frozen gardens beyond.

While Lloyd had worked for Ethryn and Ertain before in his capacity as a bounty hunter developing a well-earned relationship, he had never had the pleasure of actually meeting the king. His was a lonely profession, and didn’t usually warrant that caliber of company, but he’d seen Jarom Strongblade from afar at public presentation, and this side of the king was not one he was familiar with.

“You are Lloyd von Schtreider, I presume,” Jarom’s voice was tight, controlled, and quiet, barely heard above the clang of the door closing, and the clanking of the honor guard’s armor.

“Yes,” the king glanced at the tall bounty hunter as he said this. “You are as the wizard described you.”

Jarom straightened, but the look on his face was momentarily unguarded as he turned from the window and there, Lloyd saw pain-filled resolve. “Please, be seated. Would you care for some hot spiced ale?”

(OOC: should Lloyd accept the offer a bell pull will be activated by the captain that accompanied him to the palace.)

“I’ve heard tell of you and your accomplishments, von Schtreider. I am counting it a blessing from Rydor that you are in my kingdom in this age, for there is foulness afoot, and I am told that you are privy to the first of the keys to unlocking this mystery.” Strongblade walked slowly to a trestle table near the fireplace and set his left hand upon a stack of papers there.

“It is a strange thing that when the diviners that serve this kingdom—this rare kingdom in which strong magic is at our disposal—performed their art in relation to this most heinous attack it was not an assassin so foul that plagued their thoughts, but you; a bounty hunter who has never acted against this kingdom.

“So, I brought together my council to deliberate the reason, and I asked the diviners to seek deeper into the more nightmarish unknown for a reason as to why I shouldn’t bring you in and charge you with the murder of my dearest friend.” The king’s steely eyes never left Lloyd’s worn face, but his tone was not harsh. Instead, it remained filled with sorrow and fatigue. “The diviners returned with but one more item for consideration, and that was that you were the beginning to the end. How? We know not. It was, however, enough to help the council and I end our deliberations and seek you out.

“The most frustrating concern in this atrocity is that even with all of this magic at my disposal, it cannot penetrate the veil enough to grant me immediate closure, but disguised though you may be; a magical artifact on loan from one of our universities was enough to alert us to your true identity.”

Jarom Brightblade lifted a piece of paper from the table with his left hand and passed it over to his right where he studied it in momentary silence for the space of a few heartbeats before looking upon his guest once more, the darkness under his eyes appearing more pronounced than before.

“I do not grant favor lightly, Lloyd von Schtreider,” he explained. “But in this time I am need of an agent to act in a manner that my soldiers cannot. I do not command, I but ask and offer a reward as is befitting your profession, and in doing so, I pass to you this writ of authority. With it, you will act in the name of the King of Ertain. It is not a light thing, and it could be as much as blessing as a detriment in the task of tracking down those that would rid me of my strengths. Should my enemies learn of your association through haphazard displays of such a writ, you may very well find yourself the target of their repulsive attacks.

“There is one more thing you should know before accepting, or denying, this charge, and that is that my dear friend Painceit Urolin passed on to the Halls of Jusarin early this morning, and in the wake of his death, I am told that two more of my trusted friends and strong supporters—Lords Rakad Inibromez and Arrai Daphassan (both of whom I have relied upon in the past to help deal with transgressions against the kingdom)—have been found dead in their homes as well. Lord Inibromez was murdered in his bed, but Lord Daphassan had the opportunity to fight, and as accomplished a swordsman as he was, it was apparently not enough.

“Again, attempts to use magic to help put this evil to rest have failed, and my council is telling me that despite all odds, it is as though the magic of wizards and the power of the gods are being blocked whenever we seek insight into these attacks.”

Stepping forward, Jarom offered Lloyd the writ. “The reward for putting an end to this and bringing those who would attack Ertain’s greatest champions to justice will be equal to the effort. You shall have land, estates, and the title of count as well as a sum of one hundred and fifty thousand royals to pad your coffers with. Do you accept this charge Lloyd von Schtreider? Will you help protect this kingdom?”

The Palace District | The King’s Palace | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 24th, Viladay, 452ER, 7:32am | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered

The Temple of Rydor | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 10:26am | Abnormally Warm

“The alchemists must continue their work, that is clear.” Caterina said softly. “We must know the nature of the poison in order to divine the intent of the sender. As for the message, the capability to block a god’s will is worrisome, to say the least. Is there a discreet way to inquire among your peers at other temples to determine if this phenomenon was isolated? Would any of our own learned cleric know what it would take to do such a thing as this?

“As for myself, I think I shall hunt a little further afield. Could you send a runner to the town home of Andre Magnotta? If he is in residence, I’d like to request his hospitality for an evening. He may have news of the world that may not have come to my attention. Until then, I shall attend the noontide service.”

“It shall be as you require, Lady,” Fetrese acquiesced with a slight bow. “The acolyte previously assigned you shall continue to serve you for as long as you require it. I shall personally see to it that she delivers the message to Master Magnotta. As for the poison, we will deliver news of its deconstruction as soon as it is delivered us. You are, of course, always welcome at any service—do you require robes, slippers? No? Then we shall leave you in your prayer and look for your face among the faithful.”

The leader of the Drannon sect bowed his way out into the hall once more, Hiterung gracefully following suite. Once they were in the hall, Caterina overheard them instructing Jenora in her new duties, and when the hall fell silent, the paladin could only assume the acolyte had already set about her task.

A couple of hours spent seeking revelation through prayer led to Caterina making her way to the Great Hall in time for noontide service. The temple of Rydor’s architecture was strong and bold with riveted pillars rising up to elegant archways overhead dissecting the whitewashed ceiling into panels upon which murals had been painted by some long revered artist depicting the god Rydor in his most notable tasks. It was a room of stark color befitting the order bent on justice. White was prominent everywhere, offset by the occasion for a dark, polished wood that drew the eye to key places throughout the chamber. This was the place for daily worship, and between services, judges held court from their judicial seats behind the pulpit. Along the wall alcoves were set over which marble representations of women holding the Scales of Justice stood blindfolded, and within which guardsmen in shimmering steel plate mail stood with ransuers bearing the banner of Rydor, their faces masked by the ornate helms upon their heads.

As Caterina entered there was a hushed whisper that spread through the gathered laymen. The populace of the back pews turned about in their seats so as to get a better view of the Blessed Right Hand of Rydor in her fit armor, and like a wave, the motion carried throughout the crowd until even the clergymen about the pulpit were stalled in their duties of lighting the many, many candles upon their tiered platforms to catch sight of the heroine. It would seem that even the sun’s light followed her, reflecting splendidly from her armor in glittering motes of dancing light as she made her way towards the front in perfect ceremony.

Manderese Fetrese, Master of the Iron Tomb, flowed from where he was standing in conversation near the pulpit with Galdecus and Hiterung to greet her at the foot of the ornate pulpit. As was custom, there he offered up another blessing from Rydor upon His servant while Caterina knelt in serene subjugation to her deity. When the pomp and protocol was achieved, the knight retired to stand near the pulpit as a major figure representing the God of the Just, and it was there that she stood in regal attention until the sermon was over.

It was a long and difficult separation from the laymen that gathered about her after His Grace, Manderese Fetrese, closed his admonishments to the congregation concerning breaking their covenants with Rydor even in the hardest of times, but it was eventual. Emerging into the grand corridor outside of the Great Hall, Caterina was met by the proud and beautiful upturned face of Jenora.

“Master Magnotta will be pleased to see you whenever you would deign to grace his household with your presence, My Lady D’Oro,” Jenora affected the perfect poise as she reported her success, though her eyes still showed none of the awe, or reverence towards Caterina that those passing her even then in the corridor showed.

(OOC: fast forwarding to the arrival at Master Magnotta’s estate…feel free to back post anything you’d like to include being taken care of in the interim: conversation starters, tasks attended to, etc. and I’ll back post as necessary.)

The Temple of Rydor | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 1:45pm | Abnormally Warm

The Commerce District | Andre Magnotta’s Estate | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 5:30pm | Abnormally Warm

Water drizzled from the melting icicles clinging to the eves of the buildings. It ate into the drifts of snow mining out long canals through their interiors before pooling into the street beneath Rico’s shod hooves. Should the warmth continue it would be certain to cause problems for the spring planting season as too early a thaw meant that the seeds sprouted early, and then when the inevitable frost returned, they would be lost. Offerings to Kith-Jora could be seen everywhere; on window sills, about fountains and statues throughout the city, and even in small, makeshift shrines tucked into the architecture away from the trampling feet of those about their business.

Having made her way through a good portion of the city with Jenora following on a dainty little dunn at the behest of Fetrese, Caterina had witnessed the clergy of the nature goddess lifting their voices to the sky as well as calming the general populace against the stresses of a potentially failed crop, and had felt the tension in the air as she passed vendors of produce who were still hawking their withered wares—the last of the winter stores. The Commerce District was filled with those who felt the oppression of unnatural changes in the seasons where the richer wards were more want to celebrate the warmer weather by holding garden parties and frolicking in the patrolled countryside.

Andre Magnotta’s estate was well positioned within easy proximity of his storage facilities, but far enough away to keep business at bay while he was at home. The outer wall was a pink-hued stone with rising crests every twenty feet, or so, bearing open basins of oil lit in the waning hours of daylight to glow against the darkening sky a brilliant blue-gold. The front gate was guarded by four men wearing studded leather armor, gray wool cloaks, and conical helmets with face guards. The men were armed with longswords, daggers, and light crossbows, but their demeanor was relaxed as the paladin and her newly appointed squire approached.

“Lady Aguila D’Oro,” the heaviest set of them stepped forward and grinned broadly through his wiry black beard. He was approximately the same height as Caterina and built like a bear with the face of a Khord despite being of human heritage. His black hair was shot through with gray now, but Caterina could remember a time when it had been as dark as midnight, and the lines on his face had not been so deep. He was named Usachar Usar, and he had been Andre’s Master of the Gate for as long as Caterina could remember. In happier times, when her father had visited Master Magnotta for the purpose of maintaining a business relationship, Usachar had allowed the very young, very unladylike, Caterina to hang about the gatehouse while the guards there played at their dice games.

“It’s been a long bit o’ time now, hasn’t it, my lady?” Usachar reached for Rico’s bridle as he would any other horse, only to make a hasty retreat when Rico snapped at him. “Heh! One of your famous breeds no doubt. Well, there’s naught but respect bein’ given from me, big fella. Nothin’ but respect.

“My lady,” he grinned at Caterina once more. “My master awaits you in the main house. Been a bit like a blizzard about here ever since that young thing came knockin’ to let us know you’d be gracin’ these halls once again. A bit of a blizzard to be sure, but its calmed down—eye o’ the storm-like—for close to half a turn now.

“Need I direct you to the stables—I thought not.” The large man chuckled in his gruff way as he stepped to the side allowing Rico to step lively through the gate.

The compound was much smaller than Caterina remembered. The passage of time seemed to make all things smaller. At the stables she was met by a new face, a young man with a bit of charm behind his handsome features and a lop-sided smile that reminded the paladin of Zin on the rare instances when he’d outright grin. The hostler’s name was Ebrai Nilubeth, and as it turned out Denaz, the old hostler, had retired leaving the duties to his nephew. Ebrai was polite, but it was quite apparent that he was smitten by both of the women standing before him, and he stumbled over his feet as much as his words as he rushed to tend to the animals so they could be about their business.

With Jenora following a respectful distance behind, Caterina entered the main structure and was struck almost instantly by the warmth, the scent of exotic cinnamon, and a very large, very cheerful, Andre Magnotta.

Andre was taller than Caterina by nearly a head. His shoulders were broad, but over the years his wealth had allowed him to develop an even larger middle. As he stepped forward, arms stretched wide, he was at least two and a half times the width of the paladin in her full armor! He wore his thinning black hair slicked back upon his head, long, and in a pony tail that was tied off by a thick band of green dyed leather caught by a gold disk clasp marked by intricate scrollwork. His face was like leather, lined and cracked by the weather, and his eyebrows were practically bursting from his brow. He wore his facial hair to match his brows, and added beads and baubles to the mix just to give himself a little more of an exotic flavor. The robes he wore were bright green and yellow with peacock embroidery covering the gold undershirt and huge, gold-plated discs draped about his neck on fine gold chains.

“Lady Aguila D’Oro!” He bellowed in his jovial, deep voice. “I am both honored and distraught by your arrival. Had I been given notice, I would have prepared such the feast as to impress even those drunken sods living large at the House of Alanus, but as it stands I have a mere five course indulgence consisting of braised duck, imported brandy, and what vegetables the winter stores can spare.

“Come! Come! Let us not tarry here when there is much comfort to be had lounging within the cushions of the dining hall.” Andre bellowed his laughter, carrying it deep from within his chest before trumpeting it to the brown rafters of the ceiling.

After the greeting, the fat merchant opened the doors to his inner sanctum (which just happened to be his dining hall). The low rafters were draped with brightly-colored swaths of cloth, and twenty brass cage lamps dangling from the thick brass chains cast warm light in patterns across the floors and walls. Long benches were set strategically about the room to provide lounging positions ideal for conversation and visual access to the center floor, where Andre offered entertainment by hiring dancers, singers, and other performers. Caterina was sure she’d receive such a treat if he could have rounded one or two up in the short notice she’d given him.

As she and Jenora entered, Caterina was greeted by a chubby little girl wearing a bright red dress embroidered with many different kinds of flowers. The adolescent offered up a shy curtsey before turning and sprinting across the floor to where Andre’s wife, Tara, stood waiting her husband’s whim. Tara stood a full head shorter than Caterina, and though she had aged a great deal over the years, she still held about her a composed beauty. On this night her graying hair was done up in an elegant bun, allowing the exotic gold earrings she wore to show off brightly in the lamp light. Her gown was cut very low, and pressed tight against her breasts causing them to appear practically non-existent. The gown was multi-layered with greens and golds to match her husband’s robes. She was a slight woman of a build that better matched Jenora’s than Caterina’s, and when she saw the paladin, her full lips turned up in a genuine smile.

“My youngest!” Andre grinned. “She is named Orinu—it is Gilskalo for Bright Sun, or so I am told by the translator I hired when we were last traveling the Antarian Reach. It was there that I opened my latest trade post—Dun Kav’r might be the toughest city I’ve yet to see!”

The merchant brought Caterina around to one of the benches near the center and motioned for her to sit. “And you remember my wife, Tara. My boys, Salussan, Rusosal, and Araskad will be disappointed that they missed you as they are off minding their father’s business—there business before long!”

Once Caterina was situation, and Jenora was standing faithfully by, Andre positioned himself comfortably on an extra wide bench, lounging among the many pillows placed there, while Tara seated herself at his feat and picked up her embroidery once more. Orinu plopped down at her mother’s side and stared wide-eyed at the paladin.

Andre was a master of small talk, but he was also a master negotiator and each and every conversation was like a game of chess to him. So, he kept their topics light all throughout dinner, and it wasn’t until the desert (a glazed pudding sprinkled with chocolate shavings from a place he claimed was far to the south of Antaron) that he allowed the conversation to turn to business.

“So, my lady Aguila D’Oro,” he began in his loud voice while he tumbled what remained of his wine about in his crystal, Khord-made goblet. “I have heard that there was an attack at your estate, and that poor Ethain now walks in Rydor’s Just Light. How is it that this humble servant of Alanus can be of assistance?”

The Commerce District | Andre Magnotta’s Estate | The Empire of Drannon | The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 8:00pm | Abnormally Warm

Posted on 2009-03-22 at 19:36:30.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: Thanks!

I appreciate the sentiment, and the dedication. I've almost finished this round of update posts, and am hoping to have them posted by tomorrow. After that I hope to be back on the once a week posting schedule again.

Posted on 2009-03-22 at 05:29:26.

Topic: Voyages of Rocinante - Serenity/Firefly RPG
Subject: A way off this rock...wait! What you talkin' 'bout Asher?!

Wyatt had felt the need to interfere in local affairs only so far as to get things back on track so as to get his boat off that mudball and back into the Black where it was relatively safe. As Asher and Sam bore down on the ruffians in the hall, the captain was reminded of more than one instance in Browncoat barracks during the last few months of the war. Everyone's tempers were on short fuses then, and people that were prone to be partial towwards one another more often than not found themselves throwing down over such trivial things. Having been through the losses he'd endured, Wyatt Sung had been of the mind to pull apart more than one such disturbance while calmly slapping some sense into the offenders. To him, this little scuffle wasn't much more than an annoyance by way of comparison, by annouances often turned into unfortunate delays if allowed to go unchecked, and with the Alliance sure to come knocking soon, the captain was all too eager to put distance between them that he cared for and trouble.

Of course that's when Willow had the good grace to show up, and Wyatt was spared fromhaving to cuff some locals about the ears. Instead, he watched, amused, as her very presence set the stage for proper behavior once more. Before he'd even had time to return to his post at the wall business was underway and he found himself faced with new decisions.

Here was Bridgette playing all coy about having just offered Sam the chance at some big damn payoff while her husband was offering them the opportunity for practically the same. One was planetside and the other was running a blockade. There was more to weigh, but one glance at Willow made up his mind, and then Asher had to go volunteer to get shot at.

"you aim t' sit by planetside and make sure these folk you just met don't get a raw deal, is that it Kid?" Wyatt's voice was set to even keel. "Think it'll be easy? You might have to deal with Alliance, explain them that are recently made dead by our hands, maybe even hold off some before we're back to pick you up. You up for that, Asher? Truly?"

(OOC: assuming an affirmative.)

As much as Wyatt hated the idea, he never argued against one of his crew maknt their own way provided he knew they'd thought it through. So, he met the Kid's gaze for a moment longer in serene silence before turning his attention back to JW. "Rocinante leaves as soon as she's loaded. We'll take your fare provided they abide my rules."

Posted on 2009-03-20 at 05:08:33.

Topic: Star Trek: The Guardian Saga Q&A
Subject: Unexpected delays.

Sorry for the delays in my posting. I will hopefully find the time to get things moving again shortly.

Posted on 2009-03-19 at 04:43:08.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: You aren't!

Wow! Tough times. I'm glad you weren't among the casualties. I wish I could say that I was just waiting on you, Cathy. Then I wouldn't feel like such a lazy butt. Truth be known, I've had a double-whammy explosion of my own that I've been dealing with which has left me lackluster in the gaming area. So, my apologies are extended to the players of this game for my delays. Hopefully I'll find the muse again soon. Either way, I won't wait too long. I don't want the excitement to die off.

Posted on 2009-03-19 at 04:41:05.

Topic: Voyages of the Rocinante - Firefly RPG QnA
Subject: Nothing?

There's a lot o' fixin' needs doin' about Rocinante. I believe that were you to look close-like at what's lyin' 'bout that junk yard ya might even find some parts t' give our mule a little extra kick, if'n ya catch my drift (pardon me fer bein' the muse, Mr. GM).

I'd say that ol' Wolf has more freedoms t' be about his business o' fixin' up our ship than the rest o' us have of interactin' with him right now.

For my part, I apologize right perty-like fer not postin' o' yet. I was hopin' t' see sum'in from Rob by now. Seeing how he's still not present, I'll be posting as soon as I've the time so the games all ready t' burn atmo once Roger an' Cathy return.

Posted on 2009-03-19 at 04:34:28.

Topic: completely off topic
Subject: Fun!

Looks cool. If I were the least bit interested in baseball I'd be thrilled. As it is, I'm stoked.

Posted on 2009-03-17 at 23:56:03.

Topic: Raven's gone (for only a while)
Subject: A Coup?

I stand firmly between Olan and any would-be usurpers. At nearly three hundred pounds (give or take a couple) and very determined, I don't expect much to get by.

Besides, I happen to know Olan is highly proficient in three forms of swordsmanship, and I personally gifted him with a vorpal blade for Christmas this past year. And seeing how he's a nineteenth level...everything (and a twenty-fifth level the rest of the classes, I don't see much that gets by me not being devoured by his AWESOME POWER.

Posted on 2009-03-17 at 05:19:43.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: Posts--or lack thereof


Posted on 2009-03-15 at 06:33:14.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: Oh?

Who said I haven't? Feel free to picture the evil grin here.

Posted on 2009-03-10 at 23:39:26.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: Oh, I knew.

Tease away. I read your comments fully realizing you two were teasing. I just like barbing you further. I can't just let comments like that go without pointing out things that make players squirm a bit more. It wouldn't be ethical as a GM.

Posted on 2009-03-10 at 04:26:21.

Topic: The Embodiment Q&A
Subject: I'm playing the world's tiniest violin for you blokes.

Point in fact, Sui: she's wearing an evening gown, not a night gown. And, I had the set up planned from the beginning. Just because we aren't playing 'Punk doesn't mean I won't be devious.

Gboy: you saw the die rolls. You could have had him, but you didn't deal enough damage to penetrate the armor. So sorry but the game is now...afoot.

Posted on 2009-03-10 at 01:12:14.


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