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So, assuming that I made an erudite who got war weaver and maxed it out. Then, he used arcane fusion to cast celerity and celerity lesser 4 times, and then used linked to add in a few other minor buffs, like haste and what not, So basically by the second round of combat a group of 5 is each getting 4 extra move and 5 extra standard actions. (There's a psion power that lets you use personal range powers on others, and erudites treat spells as powers, so it's just a matter of time to stack everything in the eldritch tapestry to trigger later.)

If you are moving so fast that nobody gets to act for basically 5 full round actions, is that a tank? I mean, you are immune to damage in so much nobody can even act to attack you. You go basically 5 rounds before anyone else. (useful for melee characters, useless for spellcasters/psionists, because it's still "one round" and thus you can only cast/manifest so many spells.)

And second if you take 40 "dazed next round penalties" all at once, are you still dazed only one  round, or would I be well within my rights to daze said erudite for 4 minutes straight?
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It's been 2 years, and I still don't understand the point of this thread.  Are we supposed to be discussing specific "supertank" builds, as defined in the OP?  Cuz that hasn't been happening. 

Notably, the issues brought up before still haven't been addressed.  Namely, assuming that a character uses some kind of trick to become effectively immune to damage (non-bypassable regeneration + immunity to nonlethal, Delay Death + Beastland Ferocity, etc) and has immunity to all the important things that aren't hit point damage, what then?  If we assume that by investing character resources in becoming a supertank a character gives his party members a competitive edge when it comes to DPR, wouldn't a well-disciplined enemy focus fire on those higher-priority targets first, thus defeating the purpose of being a tank? 

The OP's answer seems to be "if the DM does that, he's role-playing the bad guys wrong!"  to which I counter with "So?  Some groups play combat as a tactical miniatures wargame, and that's going to be an issue." 

I propose that in addition to being nigh-unkillable, a supertank must also possess some mechanical way to take hits intended for his allies.  A "peel" ability, as described earlier.  Either he compels (natural language term, not [compulsion] effects) enemies to attack him, or he disincentivizes attacking other targets via some kind of Challenge mechanic, or has Shield Other, and so on. 

All that being said, there's a reason "You can't be a tank in D&D" is practically a meme.  It's very difficult to effectively build a character that fits the same niche as a video game tank.  You're better off distilling "tanking" down to it's essence, which is basically "get the enemy to waste it's actions", and building a character good at that.
3
The Playground / Re: Letter swap game v8
« Last post by Chemus on Today at 12:12:20 AM »
gnaws

-i
4
Soro I never played D&DO (and generally stay away from MMOs even before people hated 4e). You could post an analogous build, though, the way I did for DotA. The monster discussion is at the heart of the build (in a way that the race isn't) because without picking out what we mean by monster, a reader could say: "monsters aren't defined in game, doesn't work" or "doesn't protect you from orcs because they are humanoid which is clearly what the flaw means!" or whatever.

On topic, if your enemy fails a will save, they've already lost. Especially if they are susceptible to [Mind-Affecting] abilities. So its a moot point and you already mentioned the use limitations, but there are a ton more. Maybe you have some build I don't know about that lets a Knight 4 actually hold agro to things behind an easily destroyed mesh screen the Knight doesn't know about or have it work on typical dumb (less than 3-4 int) bruisers including mindless opponents like undead or vermin, or a ton of mooks, or ranged attackers 110 away/apart or effected enemies who get teleported away and come back for round two or ... you get the idea. Knight 4 is too limited to work and it requires more levels than a dip.

I called this the "He Hate Me" strategy, a few years back.
http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=10792.msg180739#msg180739
Aw crap Demelain, apparently had the clutch agro idea before me. But he didn't build a character that could survive large amounts of damage. Its a shame no one linked it earlier...  :( The "hate me" strategy is different to me. It's kind of like the "love me" strategy of diplomancy but repeatedly minimized instead of maximized.

I find will-save dependent effects to be not good enough since if you can reliably get an enemy to fail a willsave you can put him out of combat without even getting hurt. Tanks have to get hurt, so good agro abilities have to be better than the usual disables: no save.

From my perspective, if the PCs are actively on edge at the time, all combat should start with monsters more aware than the PCs and therefore with a surprise round. Sure, a PC can specifically build to counter this, but it helps transform a four man party into a three man party. That's why I assume PCs won't know when to buff unless they have a really good scout. Any buffs under several hours are going to get used up while the party goes deeper into the dungeon...

Reaction to linked thread:
(click to show/hide)

Detailed response to the "Hate Me" strategy since that was the far more useful reply:
(click to show/hide)

While you might have meant it to control the timing of fights, the Delicious weresheep build does that already by just uninvis'ing and, if necessary, changing form.
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The Playground / Re: Letter swap game v8
« Last post by FireInTheSky on Yesterday at 09:43:17 PM »
sawing

e -> a
6
Arhosa Ascending / Re: Cities from the Sky
« Last post by phaedrusxy on Yesterday at 06:41:48 PM »
Tomas makes a squeamish face and says in his sweetest voice "Could you please take the bag off his face so I can see that it's him and not some random hobo that wander into the wrong place at the wrong time?"
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[D&D 4E] FR: Scales of War / Re: Siege of Warcrown's Watch (Game Thread)
« Last post by Inspectre on Yesterday at 06:28:51 PM »
Galadren, outside of discretely searching for someone capable enough to return Loudwater's captain of the guard back to life, has spent the last few days enjoying his new found celebrity.  Unfortunately, his elven constitution had not proven up to the task of handling the free rounds of drinks various people had offered to him, and thus the elf had more than a tinge of green to his cheeks as he staggered into the councilman's home and found a seat in the darkest corner available.

"Can't say I've heard of them."

Galadren remarks, still wincing after Dunor had spoken up - much too loud.  When had the normally dour man gotten *so* LOUD!?
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[SWSE] Dawn of Defiance / Re: A Wretched Hive (Game Thread)
« Last post by Melblen_Cairn on Yesterday at 05:44:04 PM »
(click to show/hide)

At Silten's nod that the course is plotted, Corran turns back to the controls and sees the panel light up, "Not a moment too soon, looks like we have a few contacts dropping out of hyperspace. See you boys"

The star field ahead of you smears into the long blue tunnel of hyperspace as your ship rockets out of view. "Another fine get away. What did you guys score us from the wreckage?"
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[D&D 5e] The Brightest Light / Gloaming Star, Part 5
« Last post by Agita on Yesterday at 04:32:39 PM »
(16:06:14) [GM]: ----------
(16:06:14) [GM]: Miriana and Micah are investigating a suspected cult of the fallen stars at the Crane Knights' request.
(16:06:14) [GM]: They managed to track the poison used to kill Father Konrad to its maker and then its user, but decided then to change tacks and instead pursued a suspicious member of Father Ulf's congregation. After spying on a meeting between the dwarf and another man, Soot was sent to trail the man into the inner city while Micah and Miriana waited.
(16:06:14) [GM]: The cat reappears at the edge of Miriana's thoughts just as the sun touches the horizon, threatening the inevitable night. He reports having followed the servant without problem - first to a sequestered and out of the way domicile where he spoke to a woman, likely the vicar general, about meeting his master elsewhere later, then to said master's apartment, who left soon before Soot returned to Miriana to report.
(16:06:14) [GM]: Miriana and Micah now have the domiciles of two conspirators, who both seem to be out of house for the time being. Perhaps the time for decisive action is now, or perhaps it would pay to move carefully. How will they move next?
(16:11:22) Micah_Whiterune: "Well, seems clear enough.The cat's away, so let us pry into his home."
(16:12:13) Miriana: "Should I be worried by how readily you've taken to crime?"
(16:12:45) Micah_Whiterune: "I, am welcome in every hearth!"
(16:13:36) Miriana: "We'll soon find out, I suppose."
(16:17:48) [GM]: Both addresses are relatively close together, in absolute terms. In the inner city's labyrinthine streets, that distance is multiplied by elevation, winding streets, and deads ends. Nevertheless, with Soot's guidance the two quickly find the apartment belonging to that servant's master. It is a nice, peaceful house in the centralsection of the city, two stories off the ground, befitting a moderately wealthy church official.
(16:18:33) Micah_Whiterune: Micah takes up a nice vantage point  to keep an eye out for premature return of owners, leaving the actual criminal activity to Miriana.
(16:22:49) [GM]: The official's name is apparently Jeronim, an adopted name as Soot reported that he was a dwarf. The door is locked, naturally, and of sturdy wood, tall windows facing east now away from the setting sun. The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful, belying the nameless pressure that seems to lie over the city as a whole, as if the sinking sun were weighing down on it.
(16:23:24) Miriana: Miriana finds somewhere quiet to step through a shimmer in the air and vanish from sight, coming back to give Micah's armored shoulder a light pat. <Alright, let's see about this official, then.>
(16:24:14) Miriana: She treads quietly up to the door, privately glad that there's a little less pressure on her to put her newfound skills to use now that there's less of a time concern.
(16:28:32) [GM]: Free of worry about being seen, Miriana completes her aim quickly and quietly. The second skeleton key she tries is almost right, and a third one does the trick after she files it off a bit. The door opens to admit her into a well-furnished, wealthy home, and she hears soft footsteps. It seems the servant has not left along with his master, but he is unaware of her and going about his business.
(16:31:55) Miriana: Miriana offers Micah a wave before remembering he can't see her. She slips inside, quietly shutting the door behind her, and goes in search of her quarry.
(16:35:03) [GM]: Miriana follows the sound of footsteps to a small reading room and office, the fireplace lit in spite of the dusk's heat. She finds the tall human servant that spoke with Uther in the afternoon there, sorting through papers and books on the desk.
(16:35:03) [GM]: With a solemn, calm expression, he seems to be methodically separating documents into two piles. There is an air of finality in his actions, more like someone handling a man's last will than rote administration.
(16:41:08) Miriana: Miriana watches him curiously. What might he be doing with these? She backs out of the room quietly and goes to find something she can break as a distraction - something fragile that might have plausibly slipped off a shelf, perhaps.
(16:45:00) [GM]: Unfortunately, it seems that at least some of Micah's gruff boasts are right. Dwarves, even converted dwarves, and even possibly evil converted dwarves, apparently do not deal in frailties. Fortunately, she does find a decorative object of brass which makes a rather clarion sound on being dropped.
(16:45:00) [GM]: A curious vocalization issues from the office, followed shortly by the manservant coming out to investigate, leaving the reading room unoccupied for now.
(16:45:49) Miriana: Miriana slips around him and swiftly moves to investigate the documents, and how he might be separating them.
(16:51:10) [GM]: A quick glance at the documents is both enlightening and disconcerting. The top few sheets include graphs of the inner city, tracing some quantity or force or another across its area, what appears to be a manifesto of faith, and partially coded correspondence. The eventide symbol Margaretha showed them features in places, as do other questionable old glyphs, but most prominent is one that seems to suggest a tower upside-down.
(16:51:10) [GM]: The names Hespherus and Teide appear, as do several others, and Miriana's skim of the letters and writings suggests an entire ideology built around them. This seems damning evidence for sure, and the fire in the fireplace suggests at least one of the piles will be going in there - it certainly isn't for warmth, in this weather.
(16:51:52) [GM]: Outside the room, the servant hums pensively as he seems to pace up and down the hallway for a while, then return towards the office.
(16:53:34) Miriana: Miriana fishes a few of the more damning documents out of the pile meant for destruction - from the bottom of the stack, so as not to arouse undue suspicion - and then tucks herself into a corner with her prize to wait for a good chance to leave the office.
(16:56:17) [GM]: When the servant returns to the office, he is carrying a large knife, which he sets down on the desk when he returns to his work, shrugging. He produces another sheet, a checklist perhaps, and continues sorting. Perhaps best to be away before he takes final stock of his work.
(16:57:24) Miriana: Miriana considers the knife before backing out, very, very carefully.
(16:59:56) [GM]: She manages to make it out without further incident, closing the door behind her as quietly as she can and returning to Micah to conference.
(17:00:40) Miriana: Miriana passes Micah the papers, wandering along beside him as she explains the contents of the pile the servant was assembling to burn.
(17:01:09) Micah_Whiterune: Micah considering  the circumstances, decides to move to a more private location before looking over their loot.
(17:10:30) [GM]: Convening in a quiet corner, Micah and Mirianah look over their spoils. They seem to be an uncoded but vaguely written draft of a letter with a meticulously hand-drawn diagram attached and fragments of a manuscript. The letter is addressed to Helena the vicar-general and outlines the site and time of a "ceremony".
(17:10:30) [GM]: The site is designated as a building at the westernmost edge of the inner city with several accompanying calculations in shorthand, the time described as "the very heartbeat the sun dies" - but no date is mentioned.
(17:14:36) [GM]: The manuscript talks in a flow-of-consciousness but frighteningly coherent manner of an inverted tower or ziggurat, symbol for a parallel movement, an aberrant morality even, reaching towards an anti-heaven as the city's towers reach for the true heaven.
(17:14:36) [GM]: It speaks of hope, memory, and despair, attacks traditions and universities that hoard dangerous knowledge, and advocates for burning this information while erasing the movement's own traces. The memory of evil is taken as a ward against evil, and therefore memory must be eliminated so hope may die with it, and the fallen stars may overtake their shining cousins.
(17:17:33) Miriana: Miriana stares at the page in something resembling disgust. "This is...a vile ideology."
(17:17:45) [GM]: All of this is certainly damning heresy, and ought to justify an inquisition and to spare. But the sun must be halfway down the horizon by now - if the ceremony is today, then running to alert the Crane will certainly allow it to happen, whatever its aim. But if they were to attempt to interfere with it, they would be on their own, and if it is not today, the paladins could surely seal the deal.
(17:17:57) [GM]: What will Micah and Miriana do?
(17:20:03) Micah_Whiterune: "Hey kitty." Micah hefts the paper, "Think you can deliver this to some friends? You're a smart kitty."
(17:21:04) [GM]: Soot meows nonchalantly.
(17:26:07) Miriana: Miriana folds the papers as small as she can get them and ties them into a pouch, strapping it around Soot's neck. "You remember Margaretha, right? Take this to the Crane, and don't let anyone stop you on the way." She gives the cat a quick scratch under the chin.
(17:26:51) [GM]: Soot accepts the bundle quietly, and the scratch for good measure, and bolts off into the shadows without another vocalization.
(17:27:50) Miriana: Miriana stands up and dusts her hands off. "Well." She pauses awkwardly. "We should run."
(17:28:40) Micah_Whiterune: "I hate runnng." Micah sets off at a clanking jog,
(17:33:15) [GM]: Though the two draw stares along the way, the streets seem relatively empty, as if a premonition were hanging heavy over the city. They race against time itself, uncertainty rising every time they hit a dead end or wrong turn. At last, they come to the westernmost tower of the inner city, a solemn structure much like the others. The place is up near its top.
(17:33:15) [GM]: They arrive to an unmarked, sequestered door flanked by two stained glass windows, far above and away from the others, as if actively hiding itself. It faces due east, and as they arrive in front of it, the sun sinks below the horizon with a faint green flash like a final death scream.
(17:35:03) [GM]: The double doors are unlocked and open at a touch, showing the grim scene inside like a cruel theater.
(17:41:53) [GM]: Behind the doors is a massive, nearly empty room like a mockery of a church, two stories tall and dominated by a massive statue near its end. It depicts a seated figure in a cross-legged position, its legs ending in talons rather han feet and cradling a smoking brazier in the shape of a broken egg.
(17:41:53) [GM]: One pair of arms is raised above the egg, as if presenting it to the world, and a second (third?) pair above that, its hands stretched unnaturally into an upside-down praying position. Its face is obscured by a veil, but the dusk-symbol brands its forehead prominently.
(17:41:53) [GM]: Smaller statues depicting gaunt robed individuals in the same anti-praying position line the walls like a corridor leading to the mad idol, and draw attention to the figures draped over it -
(17:44:39) [GM]: In front of the idol's leg, a dwarf - Jeronim the church official - lies motionlessly with a golden axe buries in his forehead, smiling through his beard. An unknown figure, a knight in bright chain mail, hangs dead from chains around the idol's neck, armor stained with blood.
(17:44:39) [GM]: And inside the egg-brazier, there is cowering the vicar-general's form, mercifully obscured by shadows, as a dark-skinned gremlin covered in glowing spines seemingly climbs out of the body, cackling with a voice like burning wood.
(17:46:43) Micah_Whiterune: "Just how the  heck did they get this done unnoticed?"
(17:49:58) [GM]: Micah's voice echoes through the hall, and the devil turns its head to face the two newcomers, with the dying light at their backs. "Hear and fear," it announces with that cracking voice. "I am Spent Cinder Teide. Such is my name." It spreads its wings, spines glowing like coals against its dark skin. "Are you Helena's servants, then?"
(17:50:53) Micah_Whiterune: Micah hefts his shield, "Servant of the Flame Below. You won't get away with this!"
(17:53:27) Miriana: Miriana brandishes her wand at eye level. "Enjoy your stay while you can, Spent Cinder Teide. I've a feeling it won't last long."
(17:55:44) [GM]: Teide answers with a laugh that echoes through the hall and hops up to the mad idol's shoulders with a beat of its wings. "Alas. My flames have died, and scorched earth burns not. I fear no flames, and fire fears me. Behold!" The devil hisses, and sparks erupt from the extinguished brazier. As if fleeing Teide, they fly through the air and erupt into smokeless phantom flames, blanketing walls and statues.
(18:08:09) Miriana: Miriana sprints forward to hide behind one of the praying, burning statues - why is it always fire - before stabbing out at the devil with her wand, a lance of her own magic streaking at the creature.
(18:14:13) [GM]: The devil hisses as the bolt hits its hide and takes flight, darting forward like a hunting falcon until Miriana can almost see its eyes - dark lumps of ash without a speck of light in them. It convulses, and its long tail whips backward and forward, loosing a volley of faintly glowing spines in her direction.
(18:16:19) [GM]: Long bone-needles puncture her clothes and stab into her flesh, accompanied by a searing sensation like red-hot swords stabbing her body.
(18:22:37) Micah_Whiterune: Micah clomps forward, to smack Miriana with a handful of healing power "Lifebringer. Preserver. Lend me the flame of  life"
(18:26:51) Miriana: Miriana sags in relief, tugging one of the needles out with a yelp.
(18:28:16) [GM]: Cackling loudly, Spent Cinder Teide looses another volley of spines just as Micah is preoccupied with tending to Miriana, and uses the momentum to turn in midair and dart backwards behind the mad idol's head.
(18:32:16) Miriana: The dancing firelight quivers oddly as Miriana emerges from around the statue, free hand lifted in the invocation of her curse. "There are stars that still burn brighter than you, little imp," she promises, before letting loose another blast of magic from behind Micah.
(18:36:26) [GM]: The devil laughs as it ducks behind the mad idol's head and Miriana's blast goes wide, hitting the ceiling behind. "Alas, light is slower than it thinks!" Like a shadow over water, Teide once again springs out from behind the statue and arrests its movement in midair, the jolt sending a shower of spines down on Miriana and Micah.
(18:39:19) Micah_Whiterune: Micah swats the spines aside, then thrusts his hammer forward, "But the hammer of the forge strikes surely, faster than the metal upon it can feel!"
(18:39:54) Micah_Whiterune: Then he rushes forward towards the statue.
(18:45:17) [GM]: Teide tracks the running dwarf with its ash-black eyes - and is taken by surprise by the forge's hammer manifesting squarely on its head. An enraged hiss issues, then Micah finds burning spines raining on him, moments before the black shadow flies past and takes refuge behind the statue once more. "And yet, darkness is always there first!" The mockery in its tone, however, has given way to anger.
(18:48:47) Miriana: Miriana tracks Teide through the flames, squinting down the length of her wand and aiming just ahead of the devil as it soars away from Mya's hammer.
(18:54:02) [GM]: A flower of crimson flame blossoms on Spent Cinder Teide's face, and it screeches unearthily to echo through the hall. Leaping away from the mad idol, away from Micah, away from the hammer, it dives into the flames blanketing the walls. As it lands on one of the statues on the room's side, its tail whips around the praying man's neck and looses a shower of spines onto Miriana!
(18:58:00) Micah_Whiterune: Micah gives the fiend a smirk as he raises his hammer high, the spiritual copy of the weapon flying towards the fiend... "As the primordial flame beats against the darkness. LIGHT COMES FORTH!"...and a burst of warm red light erupts from his shield to lash at the creature.
(19:01:18) [GM]: The unearthly screech repeats and echoes from all directions as Teide is momentarily blinded. Miriana sees her chance!
(19:01:45) Miriana: "Light comes forth indeed," murmurs Miriana, deep in concentration as she aims her own invocation of destructive energy right at the heart of that warm red light.
(19:05:14) [GM]: The peony star's own aggressive red flame sprouts over Teide's heart with one last scream, then light is replaced by darkness. The devil's body scatters to ashes, crumbling around the hole in its chest, and with the death of their taskmaster, the flames are free to gutter and die as well.
(19:05:54) [GM]: Silence, cold, and darkness embrace the room, the only hint of light coming from the moon, risen as if to take up the sun's burden.
(19:06:32) Micah_Whiterune: "You know, the most humilitating thing, Teide. A dog once gave us a better fight."
(19:06:58) Miriana: Miriana stays still with her wand outstretched, panting a little bit, before lowering it when no further flames erupt.
(19:09:51) Miriana: "I suppose the paladins weren't needed after all..." She walks forward curiously to peer into the brazier at what might remain of the vicar-general.
(19:10:35) Micah_Whiterune: Micah meanwhile  grins as he studies the statues and bodies in detail.
(19:16:26) [GM]: None of the bodies are a pleasant sight - Jeronim, going out with a smile, has a pickaxe buried halfway in his brow which Micah recognizes to be of exquisite dwarven make. The vicar-general seemingly went out of this world willingly as well, but spent her last moments cowered in a smoldering brazier, with the devil Teide rising out of her back. The less said of the corpse, the better.
(19:18:21) [GM]: The knight chained to the mad idol's neck seems to have been an unwilling sacrifice - he hangs upside down, exsanguinated from the neck. His armor and a rosary about his neck are still on, and a crest above the chest identifies him as a Knight of the Crane.
(19:18:52) Micah_Whiterune: "I hope the Knights brought a funeral detail. This is a few too many humans for me to handle on my own."
(19:19:15) Miriana: "They'll be armored for war, most like."
(19:21:15) [GM]: Indeed, company soon appears. Heralded by the glow of torches and the sound of racing armored footsteps, a contingent of guards arrive along with a small troop of Crane Knights headed by Margaretha, after a wait that felt both interminable and short, alone in the dark with the cult's grisly work.
(19:24:36) [GM]: ----------
10
[D&D 5e] The Brightest Light / Gloaming Star, Part 4
« Last post by Agita on Yesterday at 04:32:20 PM »
(16:13:43) [GM]: ----------
(16:13:43) [GM]: Miriana and Micah are investigating a suspected cult of the fallen stars at the Crane Knights' request.
(16:13:43) [GM]: After investigating the house of the murdered Father Konrad, they managed to track the poison to its maker, the apothecary Tivadar Mehltal.
(16:13:43) [GM]: With some friendly encouragement, Mehltal pointed them to one Hristina Balan, caretaker at the apple orchard of Frederic Menheim outside the city walls. He described her as a well connected repeat customer, who ordered the poison for purposes unknown to him.
(16:13:43) [GM]: Come the new day, overcast but oppressively hot and windless, Micah and Miriana have a testimony. But what will they do with it?
(16:19:30) Micah_Whiterune: All else  exhausted, Micah opts to look up this Hristina, starting with checking out the rumors on her.
(16:23:17) Miriana: Miriana follows along to make sure Micah's direct approach doesn't get the pair of them into hot water. Asking the wrong people for rumors on a poisoner is bound to end poorly.
(16:31:57) [GM]: Outside the city walls, the orchard in question is part of its own little outskirt, a picture of beauty more like the elven district than the busy streets of most of Ostend. There, Hristina Balan is known as a respectable and hardworking person who does her job well.
(16:31:57) [GM]: A small handful of peasants, though, intimate between furtive glances over the shoulder, that her acquaintances, if not she herself, are to be feared. She performs her trade entirely legitimately, but also earns money on the side through nebulous means, and is part of an entire network of people who have been systematically hiring on at the orchards.
(16:31:57) [GM]: Perhaps predictably, druids of the surroundings regard them less than fondly, when aware of them.
(16:36:03) Micah_Whiterune: "Hmm, no mysterious disappearances. Think we should hit up the druids next to see where she might have been using this poison?"
(16:37:47) Miriana: "They'd probably have some information," Miriana agrees.
(16:44:28) [GM]: The house and orchard of Alter Blumstein is a bit removed, but not unreasonably far away. The door is answered by the same thin man, long hair tied to one side and beard as before, dressed in a simple, fine robe. He immediately recognizes his two guests, bushy eyebrows shooting up questioningly. "Hmm?"
(16:45:59) Micah_Whiterune: "Good day, Alter." Micah gives the man a polite nod, "We're doing some investigating this time around, are you free to help?"
(16:46:35) Miriana: "It's very good to see you again, Alter," Miriana says. "One of these days, I promise, we'll just be paying a social call."
(16:48:36) [GM]: "Hmm. To the extent I can. Please, come in." Alter lets the two inside and a servant in similar robes, hair worn long also but too young for the same sort of beard, offers wine to the visitors.
(16:48:48) [GM]: "What is the issue, then?"
(16:50:02) Micah_Whiterune: Micah shuffles in amiably,  opting for the direct approach as always, "What do you know about a Hristina Balan?"
(16:52:07) Miriana: Miriana accepts the proffered wine, sipping at it slowly.
(16:52:46) Micah_Whiterune: He then doesn't wait before taking a large sip of the wine, checking out the druid's taste in alcohol.
(16:53:38) [GM]: "Hmm." Alter strokes his beard, eyebrows furrowed. "Caretaker for... what was his name, Frederic. Silk hiding steel. Rusty, dirt-smeared steel. I've tried and failed to convince the man to kick her out, but she and her friends are like a burr."
(16:54:30) Micah_Whiterune: "Friends?"
(16:57:30) [GM]: "There's a surprising number of new hires around this area who all just so happen to know each other. One of them even managed to fool my staff into letting him in. He had a disagreement with the plants and quit." The old man smiles conspirationally.
(16:58:22) Miriana: Miriana rolls the name Frederic over in her thoughts. "And she's caring for an older man? Who is this Frederic?"
(17:05:39) [GM]: "Hmm. Her employer. The same age as I and twice as wide. Somehow, he manages to be both a trusting fellow and a worrywart. I don't have the heart to be any more insistent with him." Alter deeply contemplates the wine in his cup. "May I ask what has your interest? Not that she doesn't deserve it."
(17:07:56) Miriana: Miriana ponders that question for a moment. "We've discovered that she's been purchasing poisons regularly from an apothecary who deals in the stuff on the side. And we suspect strongly that it's connected with a death that we're looking into."
(17:10:19) [GM]: Alter nods and strokes his beard, frowning. "Hmm. I am unsurprised," he says conservatively.
(17:15:02) Miriana: Miriana raises her eyebrows fractionally, filling the lull in the conversation with another sip of her drink.
(17:28:41) [GM]: Alter remains silent, allowing the silence to extend. It is broken first by a dog, a fairly large wolfdog presumably belonging to Alter sticking its head into the guest room and sniffing the newcomers with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion.
(17:32:06) Micah_Whiterune: "Unsurprised? Have there been mysterious deaths?"
(17:32:45) Miriana: Miriana smiles and extends her hand to the dog.
(17:38:27) [GM]: The dog sniffs Miriana's outstretched hand carefully, and then licks. Alter, meanwhile, strokes his beard again. "Not as such, that I know of. But it fits what I know of her little group."
(17:42:01) Miriana: "Clearly, they have their fingers in a great many people's businesses, yourself included." Miriana gently scratches the dog. "This might be a good opportunity to take a little revenge by sharing some of that knowledge so that we can proceed to be a thorn in her side." The corners of her mouth quirk upward.
(17:52:28) [GM]: "Hmm."
(17:52:28) [GM]: Alter frowns, but speaks. "They came out of the poorer quarters and want a piece of the fruit prosuction, among other things. I am not privy to their operations, but I assume they embezzle money where they're employed, and cover for each other and their associates in other parts of the city, and vice versa. I have heard of people being savagely beaten in alleys, but nothing can be proven beyond the work of ruffians."
(17:54:49) Micah_Whiterune: "Suspicious, but  I suppose poison users would be hard to identify. No rivals mysteriously vanishing?"
(17:57:38) [GM]: "I imagine tactics like that would be used sparingly. I wouldn't be surprised if I just hadn't heard of someone complaining about their number because they quietly expired, though."
(18:00:06) Micah_Whiterune: "Makes sense. And if they have a guild of some sort, anyone asking questions would go away, one way or another"
(18:01:46) Miriana: Miriana drums her fingers lightly on the dog's head and sends a thought to Micah. <Like us, if we go blowing up the door and demanding to know who hired them.>
(18:05:02) Micah_Whiterune: "Which leaves us out of safe places to stick our nose into." Micah toys with his beard as he considers, "We'd need to find the next step up covertly, or a different angle."
(18:12:49) Miriana: Miriana mulls it over. <Let's speak with Father Ulf again. He's had some time to inquire among the congregation, he might be able to hint at why Konrad needed to die.>
(18:14:10) Micah_Whiterune: <Fair enough. > Micah finishes off the wine , "Thanks for the assistance, Alter. I think we're going to be looking out for how to get the bottom of this without singing our bottoms."
(18:14:53) [GM]: Alter nods. "Hmm. Wise. I wish you luck."
(18:16:13) Micah_Whiterune: "Thanks, and Mya's blessings to your endeavors."
(18:20:25) [GM]: It is afternoon by the time Miriana and Micah return to speak with Ulf Starkheim. They find him at the altar of his squat church, preparing for the mass at sundown. He nods gruffly at the duo as they approach him. "Light with you. How go things?"
(18:22:55) Micah_Whiterune: "Found the likely poisoners, but they sound more like organized crime doing it for pay and lack any motive of their own." Micah outlines their discoveries to date, though also mentioning the promise not to go after the alchemist directly.
(18:29:09) [GM]: "Colluding to murder a priest, just for money? Unbelievable. Not that he was innocent." Ulf shakes his head. "I've managed to get some of Konrad's old congregation to visit me for the time being. Among them, there's a man called Uther Stonehead who apparently talked very much with the late Father. He's been meek and quiet in masses, but..."
(18:30:15) Miriana: "But something's still troubling about him?"
(18:31:39) [GM]: "Yes."
(18:35:56) [GM]: "I talked to him after mass the other day. It's the same feeling as with Konrad."
(18:36:46) Micah_Whiterune: "So they might be deviant in the same way?"
(18:37:52) [GM]: "Yes. Didn't seem as shocked as most of the congregation, either."
(18:39:46) Micah_Whiterune: "So there is more than just the one heretic, and  from the sound of it, likely a full blown hidden cult. With only one man as a lead."
(18:40:20) [GM]: "You think so?"
(18:42:29) Micah_Whiterune: "Unless he is exceptionally wealthy, he wouldn't have been able to pay for such a poisoning, the poison itself is fairly costly even before the markup and middlemen for engaging a criminal guild to do it for them. And if the Father died in a way that he knew of, then he may have had second thoughts about his deviation or failed in some way."
(18:45:05) [GM]: "Rosa's, Ivan's and my assumption has been they might have caught wind of him being investigated and decided to amputate. Perhaps they feared he might break?"
(18:47:00) Miriana: "It certainly seems more likely than a pious member of the congregation suspecting heresy and paying a hired killer to murder a priest."
(18:48:29) Micah_Whiterune: "Then investigating this man would require stealth and discretion." Micah looks at his armor in dismay. "This sounds like a job for a cat, not a man."
(18:50:19) Miriana: "A cat who knows where to start looking." Miriana considers. "Your intuition has been good so far, Father. Perhaps we should make inquiries into our friend Uther."
(18:51:00) [GM]: "Hmph. A dwarf's intuition is always good."
(18:51:28) Micah_Whiterune: "Indeed."
(18:51:43) Miriana: "What can you tell us about the man?"
(18:55:43) [GM]: "Not very much. A stoneworker, with an interest in strange things and too much curiosity. Might be how Konrad hooked him. He lives near Konrad's church, and I hear he'd fallen on hard times. a while ago."
(18:58:07) Micah_Whiterune: "So he definitely couldn't have paid for the poison. Nor the delivery."
(18:58:34) Miriana: "Not unless he had backing."
(18:58:50) [GM]: "Yes. But he could have been a middleman."
(19:00:59) Micah_Whiterune: "But has he been seen dealing with suspicious persons or places?"
(19:01:11) Miriana: "Father Konrad, for one."
(19:08:53) Miriana_ [~androirc@Rizon-B1FEA6B1.sub-174-193-154.myvzw.com] entered the room.
(19:11:07) Miriana_: "We'll follow him around and see what he gets up to. If it's something suspicious, we'll be close by to investigate."
(19:14:24) [GM]: "Take care, then."
(19:17:31) Micah_Whiterune: "With the utmost care."
(19:21:21) [GM]: Fortune favors Micah and Miriana this evening, as they arrive where Ulf told them Uther lives right in time to see the dwarf leave his domicile after looking left and right. At Miriana's behest, Soot follows.
(19:27:09) [GM]: The black cat stalks the black sheep through the streets as the sun sinks slowly, until he stops at a lively square dominated by a decorative fountain, at the border between the dwarven quarter and the neighboring. There, he waits.
(19:28:22) [GM]: After some waiting time, he is approached by a tall human man, dressed to befit someone living in the inner city, or a servant thereof. They talk, but Soot can't make out the words from where he is.
(19:30:18) Miriana_: Miriana frowns in her trance and urges Soot to sneak a little closer if he can.
(19:34:19) [GM]: Soot approaches into earshot in the middle of a sentence. The two seem to be speaking generally about Father Konrad's death and how safe Uther feels, given anonymity by the multitude of people milling about and the burble of the fountain. The well-dressed gentleman seems mildly exasperated and less worried than Uther is, while Uther urges him for extra resources, or means of self-defense, for peace of mind.
(19:38:00) [GM]: Begrudgingly, the better-dressed man hands Uther four painted clay tokens, for which the dwarf thanks him profusely.
(19:38:27) Miriana_: Intriguing. Miriana studies the inner city gentleman through her familiar's eyes. What might these tokens be?
(19:50:01) Miriana_: <Follow that gentleman when he leaves.>
(19:52:19) [GM]: Soot offers no mental answer, but when the two part, begins following after the human.
(19:53:31) [GM]: As perhaps expected, he heads towards the inner city after stopping to buy bread and produce.
(20:00:33) Miriana_ left the room (quit: Quit: AndroIRC - Android IRC Client ( http://www.androirc.com )).
(20:04:02) Miriana: Miriana lets the cat wander to the end of her contact range before breaking off contact. She takes a moment to reorient herself.
(20:04:59) [GM]: Miriana and Micah stop outside the moat as Soot stalks off into the inner city, to find whatever may be found, leaving them alone to face the approaching dusk.
(20:05:18) [GM]: ----------
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