Geometric Archipelago:Gangs of Octagon Island/Chapter 12
Chapter Twelve: Something Something Something Dark Side
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN SESSION---
<mainstreet> The door opens, and Jarn quickly slips in. The door shuts behind him.
<Jarn> "I have returned, let us forget my reason for absense"
<Jarn> "So what shall we be doing today, friends?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Huh? Oh, there you are. What the hell kept you? You missed the seance." Ascii turns to Madeline. "So...yeah. It's up to you. What do you want to do about Yolanda?"
Jarn sighs and looks off, returning to the group
<mainstreet> "I'm open to trying to bring her back. If you think it's worth it, we'll do it. I have the diamonds here," Madeline informs Ascii, holding up a bag. "I leave the decision, in this instance, to you."
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, I *do* feel guilty for Kanzel just sort of back-stabbing her like that, especially when she was one of the few Greens we probably could have considered a non-enemy. Plus, maybe she can help us. Just, ah...maybe *tactfully* avoid mentioning exactly who it was that killed her, maybe?" He takes the diamonds and begins to prepare the ritual.
Kanzel mutters "..Not my fault..."
<Capn_Ascii> "You stabbed her in the back. I'm pretty sure that counts as 'your fault'." He waves his arms and completes the ritual. A short musical tone is heard as strange runes appear over the corpse: "1-UP"
<mainstreet> Yolanda groans, and slowly starts to open her eyes. "Wha... what happened?"
Kanzel mutter again "I just meant the circumstances weren't my fault..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Shh, quiet!" He turns to address Yolanda. "Uh, hi there. How do you feel?"
<mainstreet> "Like someone... put a knife in my back..." Yolanda looks down. "Yes, I think someone put a knife in my back. So... you revived me?"
<Capn_Ascii> "You died. But now you're okay, so, everything's cool, right?"
<mainstreet> Yolanda looks around at her surroundings, and gulps, realizing where she is. "If you revived me to make me talk... you wasted a lot of diamonds, because I won't."
<mainstreet> Madeline shakes her head. "On the contrary, Mistress, I think we can reach an equitable arrangement to... work together, and bring down a common... adversary."
<mainstreet> Yolanda blinks. "And who might this be, and regardless... why do you seriously think I would help *you*?"
<mainstreet> Madeline smiles. "I was hoping you'd ask. I believe these people here can do a far better job of explaining such matters than I can, however."
<Capn_Ascii> "Look, I'll level with you. We *hate* Eralia." He cracks his k'nuckles. "We want to remove her from power, capture her, beat her severely, and then kill her in the most gruesome and horrible way imaginable. In that order."
<Brellius> "Gruesome AND horrible?"
<mainstreet> "And what makes you think I would help you?" Yolanda challenges. "She's my Leader, I'm supposed to *follow* her, not *betray* her."
<Capn_Ascii> "Because we have word from a reliable source that you don't like the way she's running things in the Green camp, and would be potentially willing to help in a theoretical deposition attempt. Especially if said attempt would pave the way for certain somebodies to advance in the Green ranks for their own benefit."
<mainstreet> Yolanda smirks. "Reliable sources? Now what would those be?"
Capn_Ascii innocently rolls his eyes. "You."
<mainstreet> Yolanda frowns for a second, then laughs. "Talking with my corpse, were you? Haha, alright. Then I'm sure you're well aware -- I'm not willing to risk my neck on such an expedition. But... with conditions, yes, I can assist you. To a certain extent."
Capn_Ascii nods. "That's all we ask. We can use all the help we can get, and we don't expect you to put yourself at risk for a bunch of roughnecks, especially with the bi--er, Eralia watching you."
<Kanzel> "What's the certain extent?"
<mainstreet> Yolanda leans towards Kanzel. "The extent is... I'm not going there myself, as I stated. I will help you get to her, but I will not be there to see it. She will undoubtedly go for *me* first. So someone is going to have to pretend to be me. I'll teach that person. But it is not a low-risk role. As I said, if she suspects me... or you... betrayed her... it will be you that is attacked first."
<Kanzel> "Sounds good."
<mainstreet> Yolanda nods. "There is... one more thing."
<mainstreet> "It will take me time to assemble a force I am certain I can trust, to assist you, and get you that far. My Squadron Leader is... not the most reliable, and I do not know where she stands. In the meantime, there is something very important that you can, and should do."
<mainstreet> "First... some background. Do you understand the current clerical situation in this part of the city?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Not at all. Go on."
<mainstreet> "Madame Khellian," Yolanda explains sarcastically, "has acquired a contract... with some... darker forces among the divine. Basically, certain individuals are being requested to perform acts of war, as clerics. This is incredibly stupid for several reasons."
<mainstreet> "First off, it ramps the aggression level insanely. Any acts of kindness normal clerics can perform for the others... is easily erased. Also... we do not have the funding... to heal *and* inflict... so *we* no longer have the benefit of healing either."
<mainstreet> "I don't believe that things will easily change, even if my Leader is... removed. The Team will be weak, and unlikely to be able to make these changes. What I want is for this to change, *before* we try anything. I will not commit people to an operation with limited chance of survival. Healing will help. We need that. So that is your task: Find the clerics responsible for such a change, and... do *something*... to change the situation."
<mainstreet> Madeline rubs her forehead. "That is actually... a very good idea. That, in itself, would make things so much better, for the entire city."
<Capn_Ascii> "Okay, so. Find the Dark Clerics, and kick their asses. How many are we talking here? And on which side?"
<mainstreet> "The evil clerics are technically allied with the Green Team... but as I'm sure you're aware, deals with such beings... tend to erode in a specific way, over time... as to how many, I do not know... I only know that they were brought in by Eralia, over my objections, as well as that of Mistress Ariana. I believe that they are clerics of Hextor, but I am not certain. I recommend you start at the Temple itself -- it is free to evil religions as well as good."
<mainstreet> Madeline snorts. "I wouldn't say 'free', but yes."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, I was curious about that. Why open the temple to clerics of opposing alignments? It seems like that would be a good way to start a flame war."
<Capn_Ascii> "You know, with like...flame spells."
<mainstreet> Madeline glares at Ascii. "They play by the rules, or they get kicked out. And then they're basically not allowed in the city for any length of time at all. We know what we're doing."
<Capn_Ascii> "I was just curious as to the logic. Is it a profit thing, or what? Ah, nevermind."
<mainstreet> "Yes, it is. More organizations means more usage means more money."
<mainstreet> "So are you going to do it?" Yolanda asks.
<Capn_Ascii> "I suppose. It's certainly a plan, and I agree that having a bunch of warmongering clerics running around is only going to make it harder to stabilize the city again."
<mainstreet> Yolanda nods. "Madame Rose, if I may, I will make preparations... from my house. ...hey, where's my house key? Did any of you happen to... find it?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, uh...you mean this?" Ascii holds out the key, trying his best to not look guilty.
<mainstreet> Yolanda nods. "Yes, that is it. And... when you're done... hmmm... when you found me, did my body appear to have been moved?"
<mainstreet> "Well, if it hadn't... I was going to say that good, you already know where my house is, so I'll be easy to find..."
<mainstreet> "As it is... Can I have a paper and pen? I'll write down my address."
<mainstreet> Yolanda scribbles something down quickly and hands it back to Ascii. "Don't bother coming if your task isn't complete. I won't let you in. And yes, I will know."
<mainstreet> "If I may take my leave of you..." Yolanda hesitates, hand out towards Madeline. Madeline nods. "I will have you escorted out. Of course, you will be blindfolded as you leave," she informs her, motioning at the door guard, who does indeed produce a blindfold.
<Capn_Ascii> "Sheesh. Alright, alright, I get the message. How exactly are we supposed to do this, though? Kill them?"
<mainstreet> "That's up to you. Kill them, convince them to drop their contract, convert them to healing neutral or good, find some way to get them to leave... the possibilites are wide open."
<mainstreet> Yolanda accepts the blindfold and the guard starts walking her out. Another guard enters the room behind them as they leave.
<Brellius> "I suspect we'll end up killing them. It's worked for us so far."
<mainstreet> Madeline frowns. "While that will technically solve the problem, I would prefer that whatever you did, you did it in such a manner that does not make the Temple seem like a risky place to be. Is that clear?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, absolutely."
<Capn_Ascii> "We're not going to go comitting acts of violence in a temple anyway. ARE we guys?" He glares at the others.
<Brellius> "If you say so..."
<mainstreet> "You will find that the portal will take you back to the Temple," Madeline comments. "Is there anything else the Crowd can assist with, before you head out?"
<Kanzel> "If you don't have a ring of invisibility lying around then I don't need anything."
<mainstreet> "I don't."
<Capn_Ascii> "Is there anything else you can tell us about the clerics that would help us?"
<mainstreet> "I can tell you that Hextor's clerics have a very strict hierarchy. If it is just them... then a persuasive method... would only require the leadership."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, but how do you persuade clerics to stop worshipping a god that could blow them away if he gets mad?"
<mainstreet> Madeline shrugs. "Clerics do change religions... not often, but it does happen. I was thinking more along the lines of 'leaving', however."
<Capn_Ascii> "How do we do that? You said yourself that they have every right to be here as long as they pay up."
<mainstreet> Madeline laughs. "Indeed. They do have every right to be there... *if* their payments are made. But as I said, there's always *persuasion*."
<Capn_Ascii> "...yeah. How's the best way to identify them? Is there anyone in the temple who would know?"
<mainstreet> "That sounds like a question that my brother should be answering."
<Capn_Ascii> "That works. We'll talk to him when we get back."
<mainstreet> "Alright. So, anything else?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Not that I can think of. Just make sure you're ready to move by the time we go back to talk to Yolanda and we should be set."
<mainstreet> "We'll be ready. Just call me. Yolanda will know how."
<Capn_Ascii> "In that case, we shall take our leave." Ascii bows.
<mainstreet> The door opens.
Capn_Ascii takes his leave.
Kanzel follows Ascii
Brellius tags along
<mainstreet> The door leading to the portal opens. You all follow inside that room, and go through the portal.
<mainstreet> You all arrive in Recordkeeping, safe and sound.
<mainstreet> The first thing Brellius notices is that he's fairly obviously deaf.
<mainstreet> Ascii isn't totally deaf, but not much better.
<mainstreet> Jarn and Kanzel, however, hear a distinct *pop* sound.
<mainstreet> Brian is sitting at his desk, apparently also oblivious to the sound.
Kanzel looks for the source of the sound.
<mainstreet> Kanzel: It seems to have come from... the portal behind you. Uh-oh.
<mainstreet> Fortunately, the portal doesn't seem to be doing anything else... but you can't *see* it anymore, either. It's just a blank wall.
Kanzel motions for everyone to be quiet and sneaky.
Kanzel tries to sneak past Brian
<mainstreet> Kanzel successfully sneaks past Brian. Not sure what she's trying to accomplish, given the rest of the party is in plain sight, however.
Kanzel walks around in front of his desk, appearing as if from no where. "Hi there."
<mainstreet> Brian blinks. "Uh, hi again. Can I help you, miss?"
<Kanzel> "Do you know of any clerics in here practicing hexa... something?"
<mainstreet> Brian blinks. "Do you have an intelligent question to ask me?"
<Kanzel> "The portal made a popping noise. any idea why?"
<Capn_Ascii> "It did?"
<mainstreet> Brian looks over at the portal. He frowns, gets up, and taps the wall. "Crap. This thing broke again." He sighs. "It usually breaks every few months or so. Eh, sis will have someone fix it before I have to make another transfer. Not a huge concern for me. Of course, you people won't be able to use it to see her again."
<Brellius> "Huh? Did someone say something?"
<Jarn> "I believe I heard it pop too."
<mainstreet> "I didn't, but it seems busted, so I believe that it popped... and broke," Brian comments. He shrugs, and returns to his seat. "Anything else?"
Kanzel gestures towards Ascii "He can probably explain it better than I can."
Capn_Ascii leans in and whispers. "We, ah...we're looking for the evil clerics."
<mainstreet> Brian rolls his eyes. "At any given time, I would guess that... oh, one-third, of the clerics here, are evil. It's not like they operate in secret... well, usually."
<Capn_Ascii> "I mean the ones your sister mentioned. The ones who are working with Eralia to stir up sh*t around here."
<mainstreet> Brian raises an eyebrow. "I have no idea what sis discussed with you. And I try to stay out of gang politics. I just run this place. And I'm not sure I should be sharing client information unnecessarily regardless. You can always go ask around."
Kanzel mutters "Hextor. That's the word I was trying to think of before. Do you know any clerics who follow Hextor?"
<mainstreet> "Sure. There are plenty in this Temple. What do you want to know, specifically? I can provide specifics. Just not general, undirected questions."
<Capn_Ascii> "Okay...we're looking for contact information for any clerics who worship Hextor who are also known to have ties to the Green crew. Can you help us or not?"
<mainstreet> "That's not really the kind of information I would have... I can give you information on who their leaders here are, I suppose."
<Capn_Ascii> "That would be great."
<mainstreet> Brian gets up and walks back into the stacks of files behind him.
<mainstreet> A few minutes later, he walks back. "Okay... I've found some stuff. The main shrine for Hextor in here right now is being purchased by Knight Horrible Verpad... I can't quite pronounce the last name... looks Elvish. Anywho, there's also a couple of major spaces purchased by a pair of brothers, John and Jim Borketh. Rank isn't listed here," Brian sits down and pulls out a piece of paper, writing some stuff down. "Take this... it'll have room numbers for these places for you. You can peruse them at your leisure. Understand that this information is not reaching you through me."
<Capn_Ascii> "What information?" He grins.
<mainstreet> Brian nods. "Exactly," he comments, tossing the sheet into the wastebasket and not sparing it another glance as he walks back to return the folder.
Kanzel grabs it.
<mainstreet> A minute or so later, Brian returns and sits at his desk. "Anything else?"
<Capn_Ascii> "No, I think that'll do for now. Er, not that you've done anything for us at all, mind."
<mainstreet> "I don't do things for random people, right. I think you should leave this office now."
<Capn_Ascii> "Okay, okay, sheesh. C'mon guys, let's go find some grub and then do some follow-up-ing."
<Brellius> "Grub is always good."
<mainstreet> As you meander your way through the temple, you do notice a small sign that says "FOOD" posted on a door.
Jarn chuckles, "I think I'll pass eating food around here for right now."
<Capn_Ascii> "Why's that?" Ascii opens the door.
<Kanzel> "You haven't had anything to eat since yesterday. You sure?"
<Jarn> "I'm sure, I can survive."
<mainstreet> You find a bustling cafeteria. Many people are preparing, and eating, various foods. Walking up to the counter, it looks like a traditional breakfast setup. Yum!
<mainstreet> A sign behind the counter says "BREAKFAST PLATE -- ANYTHING AVAILABLE -- 3 SILVER"
Kanzel gets food, hands over three silver, and eats it.
Capn_Ascii looks to see what's available.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You see various meats, breads, eggs, and fruits... looks like your usual breakfast fare. Yup, there's even a small pot of what looks like maple syrup, if you want.
Capn_Ascii loads up a plate with more or less everything on it, and covers the whole shebang with syrup before paying, sitting down, and scarfing. And then hiccupping, because that's what you get when you eat like he does.
<mainstreet> Kanzel: The food settles in very well for you. In fact, you don't really even realize you've eaten.
Brellius pays the silver, grabs a piece of everything vaguely meat-like, and chows down
<mainstreet> Ascii: You hiccup... and burp... a lot. In fact, it takes a few minutes for you to *stop*. A few people give you funny looks.
<mainstreet> Brellius: Yum yum
<Capn_Ascii> "Urgh." *hic*
Capn_Ascii leads the gang out of the cafeteria, still emitting an interesting variety of gastro-intestinal noises. "Alright, let's see...we may as well start with Verpad; if he's buying the main Hextor shrine, he probably knows all about Hetor worship in the area."
Capn_Ascii leads the way to take a look at this shrine.
<mainstreet> You wind up and down several strange corridors, left and right... forward and back... Hey, wasn't that that T-Rex you fought last campaign?... further along the corridor... a few more twists... and eventually... you find yourselves in a fairly large room, clearly dedicated as a shrine to the evil god Hextor. The gloomy air in the place feels oppressive.
Jarn keeps an image of that T-Rex in his head, for later mocking
<mainstreet> A few clerics are kneeling in front of the main altar. No one notices your entry.
<Capn_Ascii> "Alright. Kanzel, think you can snoop around a bit without getting caught?"
Kanzel nods and disappears into the darkness sneaking around looking for anything useful.
<mainstreet> Kanzel walks sneakily around the shrine, and finds several items of interest: The altar itself, and several things contained on it that can't easily be seen from the shadows. Also a large book behind the altar, and a few drawers embedded into the walls.
Kanzel, keeping an eye on the people praying, peeks into the drawers.
<mainstreet> Kanzel: The first drawer you come to is locked. You try the others... one is not locked, but is empty. The other two... locked.
Kanzel turns and make sure the prayers haven't moved before picking the lock on the first drawer.
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---