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Agon

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i. persuasion check

It should have been a piece of cake. The rest of the party was waiting at a table, enjoying their drinks, while Matt approached the bartender. She seemed the friendly, approachable type, if the way she was easily chatting with a customer in Elvish when the party walked in was any indicator. She didn’t seem to be an elf herself, but Matt thought maybe she was half, like him.

Despite his best efforts, he hadn’t been able to catch much of her conversation earlier. Matt learned Elvish young, and spoke it quite well, but the people here spoke in a significantly different accent – but it did seem to be all they spoke. Colbie and Matt were the only ones who knew Elvish, and since Matt was better at smooth talking, he was chosen to talk with the bartender. Everyone knew that bartenders, especially in small towns like this, knew everything that went on in town. If the assassin they were tracking came this way, she would know about it for sure.

So, Matt approached the woman, leaned casually against the counter of the bar, and called out to her with the friendliest Elvish greeting he knew. “May Corellon bless you today, friend.”

She blanched, and then turned furiously red, and threw down the blessedly empty mug she was holding. Matt startled backwards at the aggressive motion, as the metal container clattered off the counter and to the ground. Before he could say anything, she began to yell angrily. Matt could only make out about half the words because she was speaking so fast, but it stirred the other patrons into anger as well. He caught something about “criminals like you” and “get out of my bar” from her and the other shouting customers, and with a quick look back at Radio Silence, who seemed to be scrambling to pick up their belongings and leave, Matt bolted for the door.

Once the door swung shut behind Matt, his friends hot on his heels, they stopped in the middle of the street, all equally confused. “Matt, what the fuck did you say?” Wren exclaimed, seeming a little amused by the ruckus he had caused.

Dragging his nails over his scalp, Matt could only shrug. “I only said hello. I don’t know what happened.”

The door to the bar slammed open again, the bartender and a large angry looking man behind her. She began speaking in rapid fire Elvish, her accent thick and angry. “How dare you come into my bar! Members of the Black Hand have been banned for ages, if you think you can just walk in here and spout your codephrases, you’re wrong!”

Well, that cleared things up a little, at least, though he was still struggling to understand her speech. “No, no, we’re just travellers, we have no idea what you’re talking about! I was just greeting you!” Matt said defensively, putting his hands up to appease her.

Another mug flew from the bartender’s hand, this time at Matt’s head. He ducked in time and it sailed harmlessly past him, colliding with the brick of the house behind him. Colbie snickered quietly, but Matt could see Shy shifting nervously and pulling out his pouch of spell components, and Wren was already stepping forward with her sword drawn. “Criminals like you and your lot stay out of my damn bar!” The bartender retreated, hopefully for good, and left the large man she had come out with behind. He stared fiercely at Wren, but made no move in any direction, just standing in front of the door to deny them entrance.

Liz stepped forward to put her hand on Matt’s arm. “Let’s head back to the wagon. We’ll make camp outside of town tonight, and maybe Colbie can come figure out what happened in the morning.”

Matt only sighed. What had he said that made that woman think he was a member of the Zhentarim?

 


 

ii. attack roll

Matt glared at the wooden door with all his might, as if that might somehow unbreak his lockpicks. That stupid trick lock was obnoxious, and it had broken his picks for the third time. Sighing heavily, Liz took the snapped pin again and sat down to ritually mend it.

“Right, this is bollocks,” Wren declares, cracking her knuckles. Wren was going to smash this door, and once she smashed the door, she was going to smash the stupid artificer who designed his locks to break lockpicks. Hefting her greatsword and ignoring Brent’s request for her to be “patient for a little while longer, Wren”, she stepped up. With a loud cry, Wren swung her greatsword down near the doorknob, intent on smashing the lock clean off the door.

The wood of the door splintered around her sword, but the blade stopped suddenly when it hit the lock. Wren yanked back on the sword so she could bring it down for another swing, but her hands slipped off the unmoving handle and she fell hard on the ground.

“Fuck, you OK?” Colbie asked, kneeling next to her, clearly ready to check for injuries. Wren just scowled and brushed him aside.

She was going to kill that stupid, stupid artificer. She stood, and yanked her sword out of the door, with considerable effort. “I’m fine,” she said through gritted teeth. “Why don’t you have a go, Brent?”

 


 

iii. perception

It had been a little stupid to split form the group, but he was only in the next room over! Even Brent, the biggest proponent of never splitting the party, had agreed with little fuss – though he had handed Colbie a few healing potions “just in case” and made him agree to check in every ten minutes. Sheesh, you get yourself and your squishy wizard friend lost in town once and suddenly you’re never trusted alone again.

Besides, these scrolls were awesome! He’s sure Shy would like a couple of the more boring ones, so he puts those aside for him. Most of it is poetry and some old ballads, and a couple of them tell stories about the famous adventurer Noble Kale. What more could a bard ask for!

Colbie was pouring over the scroll about Noble Kale’s death when, all of a sudden, the wall next to him burst, a large robot flying through the wreckage and landing unconscious in the corner. Slowly, Colbie rolled up the scroll and gingerly stepped over to peer through the hole. Radio Silence was in the thick of what looked to be a serious fight. Wren was hacking at the legs of a robot three times her size while Shy and his summoned fire elemental took on some smaller models, Brent and Matt were tag-teaming a halfling wielding a large crossbow, Liz was… Liz was unconscious and Colbie should probably get into this fight that he’s missing huh? Gingerly climbing through the hole in the wall, Colbie pulled out his guitotter and got to work.

 


 

iv. intelligence check

Shy dodged a fire bolt and blasted back a magic missile, knocking the wizard’s apprentice down and out of the fight. Looking wildly around, Shy spotted a fallen column and dove behind it for cover, keeping out of sight from the wizard.

Popping back up occasionally to shoot off fire bolts or magic missiles, Shy kept away from the fight, though earth elemental he was commanding was right in the middle, smashing at the wizard. He was pretty sure that the wizard was keeping some powerful spells in reserve, because he hadn’t pulled out any of his really big guns. Shy was waiting, listening carefully to see if he could hear the sound of him casting. Powerful magic often required long incantations or complex hand symbols.

While he heard everyone cry out in pain (a fireball, he noted), he also heard the wizard wind up a long chant. Shy vaulted over his cover to get a better look at what the wizard was doing. When he pulled out a handful of clay spheres, Shy blanched. Feeblemind? Oh no. This was bad.

Just as the wizard’s incantation was concluding, Shy quickly made the symbol required to stop the casting. It would be tricky – the hardest counterspell he’d ever done, in fact – but he had to try. Shy released the arcane energy and blasted the wizard.

He didn’t even stagger, and the feeblemind was finished. Brent cried out in pain, and Shy dropped to his knees. Oh fuck.

 


 

v. Intelligence save

Staggered from the fireball, Brent winced as the wizard’s shield guardian’s fist came down hard on his shield. Better his shield then Colbie’s face, anyways. In thanks for the save, Colbie patted Brent on the shoulder, injecting some healing energy with the touch, and then darted away.

Swinging his longsword back at the construct, Brent only distantly heard the wizard start casting another spell. He saw Shy leap into the fray, and made to position himself between his small gnome friend and the large guardian. Shy wouldn’t survive a single blow from this thing, especially given how fatigued the whole party is.

“Now would be a good time for some healing, Liz!” Brent called out over his shoulder, locking eyes with the cleric who was currently flying high and calling down holy fire on her enemies. She started to say something back, but Brent’s brain caught fire and -

 


 

+ i. attack roll

Matt was down, Wren was blindly throwing herself against the wizard’s shield guardian in anger, Colbie and Shy were taking cover amongst the wreckage of the room, and Brent was… well… Brent was not OK. He seemed staggered and confused, but Liz wasn't yet sure was the affliction was. From her view in the air, she could see the whole grim field of combat. The wizard had teleported away right after hitting Brent with whatever it had been, leaving his shield guardian behind. Everyone was tired and injured, and even with the wizard gone, that guardian's ability to regenerate was troublesome. This was going pretty poorly.

Well, there was only one thing for it, she supposed.

A burst of pure white brilliance shot from Liz’s extended fingers as the power of her God surged forth. Slamming against the shield guardian, the bolt of radiance engulfed the construct, and blew its limbs from its torso. Liz could hear Colbie cheering in appreciation over the sound of her blood pounding in her ears. Slowly she floated to the ground, panting. She was tired, but her party needed her. Wren clapped his hand on her shoulder. “That was a good one,” she said appreciatively. “Never seen you cast such a powerful spell before.”

Liz smiled softly at the tiefling. “All in a day’s work.”