Seeking Evidence - Part 4 (Graded)

3rd of Cylus 720

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Oberan
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Posts: 840
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:32 pm
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Full time nuisance
Renown: 292
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Re: Seeking Evidence - Part 4



Oh, how enjoyed seeing confidence being wiped from the faces of those who underestimated him. That sudden onset of confusion and frustration and anger as he, the Mortalborn of Larceny, stole away their victory. Snatched it up just a moment before they could grasp it. A turning of the tides that sent Oberan soaring to the top, from where he could look down on the pitiable fools who had been so cocksure mere moments ago.

Oberan didn’t consider himself a fan of torture. Obviously, he wasn’t very fond of being the victim of such acts, but he did not take pleasure in inflicting pain simply for the sake of it. It was a means to an end, a not-so-gentle nudge towards cooperation. Yet, sometimes there was satisfaction to be found in the notion to be completely and utterly in control, the victim helpless before you. Doubly so if they had been tormenting you earlier.

Indeed, there was a bit of glee seeping into his mind as he twisted one of the old man’s arms to the point of almost-breaking. Unaccustomed to torture, it would have broken due to his inexperience if not for Recluse’s interference. One moment Oberan was twisting the arm of another, the next he felt the same action repeated onto his own. He roared in pain and surprise, immediately letting go of the Webspinner’s limb. Yet, upon examining, the Mortalborn’s arm was fine. No marks, no bruises, nothing was wrong. Aches still ebbed and pulsed, aftershocks of a greater hurt.

Just not his own.

Recluse forced his head in a position to look Oberan in the eye, cackling with satisfaction. Taunting words still left the old man’s mouth. Still at it with his tricks. The thief had overlooked whatever magic the vulture-like man possessed, a grave mistake. He could feel the tables turning against him, the equilibrium shifting once more into the Webspinner’s favor. Quickly he grabbed one of the Recluse’s fingers, hoping to regain control.

“The folder! Where is iiiiiiii-- AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!” he screamed, meaning to snap the old and withered digit, but finding the Spinner’s pain echoing through his own body. Just like he couldn’t break his own, so too he couldn’t snap Recluse’s. When the brunt of the pain subsided, Oberan was breathing heavy, and the old man laughed.

Intent of the other’s mind reached Oberan’s. He thwarted his attempts, pinning the wriggling arms to the ground, fingers away from the eyes. Unfortunately, Recluse bit his forearm instead, chomping down hard enough to draw blood. Both of them yelled, muscles tense and locked, breath catching in their lungs. He drew on Recluse’s Thrill, hoping to dull the pain, but found it circumvented his own nervous system entirely. The Webspinner’s sensations were projected directly into his mind.

More taunts, deftly tunneling under Oberan’s skin. The situation was turning dire. At this rate he wouldn’t learn anything after all. Moreover what should have been the thief torturing the Webspinner for information had devolved into a struggle to stop the old man from torturing himself, and Oberan in the process.

Fortunately, the double-edged sword that was the mind-link favored both linked equally. Finally the questions asked seemed to register, provoking unwanted thoughts in the Recluse. Images and impressions that found their way to Oberan, who started to figure out how to use the link to his advantage. More or less, anyway.

All phantom pains, arching dully in the background, suddenly vanished as the Recluse began to trash and writhe. Once more the thief attempted to pin the man, conjuring rope out of his Vault to tie his wrists together and prevent him from hurting himself any further. Or it would at least hinder him greatly in his tries.

For the second time, Oberan grabbed a finger, ready to bend it far beyond its range of motion and break it. Would the Recluse counter with his mind-link? Would he share his mind, his pain again?

The thief sure hoped he would. Starting to apply pressure, feeling the finger’s joints protest, he spoke again. “That office where the folder is kept, how do I get there?” More pressure. A repeat of the same question. Tell a person not to think of Vuda in sexy lingerie and suddenly all they could think of was Vuda in sexy lingerie. Either Oberan tried to torture the information out of the Recluse the ‘normal’ way, or the Spinner caved in and linked minds with him again, possibly sending another clue directly into Oberan’s head.

Either way, it wouldn’t be comfortable. Not for the Recluse, and possibly not for the Mortalborn either.

word count: 796
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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Re: Seeking Evidence - Part 4

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It did not take long for the villain to realize his was a losing game. For no matter how often he outguessed his younger adversary, successfully inflicting mirrored torture back on him as he activated the link, or or sneering his defiance when the link was dropped so there would be no return flash of informative recall prompted by the thief's questions, there was never ground lost by the intruder as a result. Nor was there any actual damage inflicted upon him.

And any time the young man did guess right, administering pain, or verbal prompts, at the right time, it was a loss that could not be recovered through future victories. But as yet, there was little ground that Oberan had gained, with only a few additional details of the decor of the office in question. But Oberan could now see the hint of despair creeping into the old man's eyes along with the cringes of pain.

The brutal guessing game continued, with Oberan gaining little verbal response beyond gasped cries of "No....", which were frequently embellished to be "No more!" Yet, on occasion, there was an odd timbre to it when both words were shrieked. At these times it was as if they were not actually part of the same cry. There were even a few times that "more" came before "No". At one point the shared link revealed to the Recluse that this peculiarity had been noted. From then on he just screamed "NO, NO, NO!"

That may be a noteworthy development in itself, Oberan realized. Was "more" something beyond the basic word here? It was worth broaching over the course of the next several exchanges. The result was immediate, though not in the sense of any flood of information. It was more the Recluse's sudden resolve to bring on lethal overstepping with no further delay becoming agonizingly clear.

Flashes of intense linking were accompanied by a swiftly building headache. And not one just behind the eyes, or the back of the skull, but encompassing the entire head. When the link would flash out, Oberan would feel as if his senses were dulled almost to the point of the Naerikk gift of shadows. And when it flashed on, it was as if his brain was reaching the boiling point; his very hair melting to his skin; his eyeballs on the verge of bursting.

He could not stop it, the overstep reached beyond the total void of all senses, and for a moment Oberan felt as if something was leaking from his ears. He would regain consciousness moments later to find the recluse staring blankly at the ceiling, bloody gray foam bubbling from his ears. The old man was quite unsalvagebly dead. A few last recalls from the last moments of the link cleared in the haze of his mind as he crouched there in the tunnel on hands and knees.

He suddenly shot up to his knees. Like the last fading memory of a dream upon awakening, the image of a wooden sign with the name "Moore" on it flashed across his thoughts and tried to disappear into the archives of dream memories. It was not the entire sign....part of something over a door.....a business perhaps....
word count: 544
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Oberan
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Re: Seeking Evidence - Part 4



Oberan became increasingly aware that he was lying prone on the floor. The tiles didn’t feel cold against his skin, so he’d probably been there a while. Opening his eyes did not lift the darkness around, and for a moment, the thief’s heartrate spiked. Then he recalled the hidden underground tunnel without any torches. Relief pulled a deep sigh out of his lungs.

Another increase in stress as he remembered why and how he’d entered the tunnel. He didn’t hear anything but the noise he made himself. No footsteps distancing themselves, no gloating, no doors being opened.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Did he get away?

Scrambling onto hands and knees, a pulse resembling a headache vibrated through his skull. Definitely painful, though not as much as what he’d experienced before passing out. That damn madman had overused his sorcery to the point of self-harm, the Mortalborn recalled. It’d felt as if his head was splitting four different ways, and someone was pouring salt, lime juice, and a bucket of liquid fire into his cracked-open skull. Obviously, it’d been too much for Oberan to endure.

Shooting up to his knees, a memory flashed into view. The last piece of information he’d been able to pluck from the Recluse’s brain. A wooden sign above a door. ‘Moore’ it read. There was more etched into the sign, but nothing he could recall. Still, it was something. How many establishments and businesses with Moore in their name could there be within Etzos?

First he needed to get out of here though. Tie up the loose ends, if he still had the chance. How much time had passed since he’d lost consciousness?

He mentally reached into the Vault, searching for the Daylight Stone. Some light would help tremendously in navigating the tunnel. However, the artefact did not appear. It wasn’t in his Vault. Cursing, Oberan began running his fingers over the floor. It had to be close by. Rather immediately his fingers did collide with something. Not the egg-sized smooth stone though. This was a large and soft object. Wrapped in fabric, from the feel of it. Something lukewarm and wet close by.

Oh.

Yeah, that made sense.

There was little use in dwelling on that before he could see though. The list of priorities hadn’t changed. He searched for a couple minutes, padding around in the dark. It almost rolled away when he found it, but a quick barrier of hands and arms prevented it from escaping.

And there was light.

Recluse stared at the ceiling with blank eyes. Unseeing before, they certainly did not see anything now either. From his ears leaked a grey-and-red sludge that made Oberan retch. He reached for his own ears, but felt nothing of the sort. It had been the Webspinner’s senses only, then. Good.

Even in death, the old man taunted him. Though his face expressed the immense pain he’d subjected himself to, there also was a grimace he’d managed to form. Oberan checked for a pulse, finding none. As expected. The skin was still warm though, so he hadn’t been out for too long.

He tore a piece form the Recluse’s robe, revealing the street clothes underneath. Normal everyday garb that contrasted quite a lot with the gaudy spiderweb pattern of the cultist robe. He wrapped it around the man’s head, trying to not touch the fluid leaking from the ears. Then, placing his hands on the corpse, he focused. It took several seconds, but finally, the dead man vanished. The puddles of sludge remained though.

Stuffing a corpse in his Vault felt wrong, but leaving obvious traces of his presence would be worse. Sure, the disappearance of the Recluse would not go unnoticed, but it might confuse the Spinners for long enough to buy Oberan time. Time to seek out this Moore place and find the folder, hopefully. And if not… well, being unable to connect the Mortalborn to the break-in and subsequent vanishing of a top member of this branch was important too. He needed to erase all traces of his identity that he might have left.

Recluse had managed to identify him as one carrying Audrae’s blood, and there had been another in the room to hear it. As unfortunate as it was, she needed to be silenced as well. He staggered to his feet, somehow expecting to feel more echoes of Recluse’s handiwork. He felt a little woozy still, but that was just about the extent of the aftereffects. The stab wound in his side protested vehemently. It’d soaked through his bandages, but did not yet stain his clothes.

Taking a few deep breaths, Oberan mentally prepared himself for what would come next. Hopefully she hadn’t managed to free herself from her bindings, making the task more difficult on the Mortalborn. At least he’d sealed the door, so she had no way of getting out of the office. Unless, of course, there was another hidden path.

No use fretting about that before he got there though. Nodding to himself, he headed back the way he came.

word count: 873
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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Re: Seeking Evidence - Part 4

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Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


OBERAN:
XP Rewards: 15

These points can NOT be used for Magic.....sorry :(

Skill-Knowledges:

  • Deception +1
  • Detection +2
  • Endurance +3
  • Intelligence +2
  • Interrogation +3
  • Navigation +2
  • Negotiation +2
  • Psychology +2
  • Torture +3

Non-Skill Knowledges:

  • Attuning: Synchronized Linking Shares Pain
  • Attuning: Synchronized Linking Also Shares Knowledge
  • Attuning: Activating and Dropping the Link to Confound Interrogation
  • NPC: Mandi: Short for "Mandibles"
  • Mandi: The Recluse's Assistant
  • NPC: The Recluse: Leader of a Webspinner Cell
  • The Recluse: A Blind Attuner
  • The Recluse: Now Deceased
  • Secret Passages in the Recluse's Facility.

Loot:

The name "Moore" as your lead on finding evidence against Sintra


Loss/Injuries:

You have been stabbed, and your Thrill ability is only going to get you so far.
Take it easy for several trials.


Renown: 10

Sadly, this is the sort of Renown a guy does not want right now.
The Recluse's spider can also have visual impressions gleaned from him. They know who you are.


Comments:

I enjoyed the Hell out of this.
Originally I was just going to have a bunch of thugs reach you from some other secret passage, just before you reached the recluse. Just another fight.
But the ideas of how the old guy could use his Attunement to defend himself came to me in a flash and were just too good to waste. :twisted:
I gave you knowledges for Attunement because they WERE things you would have learned. But they do not give you the magic itself.
If there are any skills or rewards that you think I overlooked, let me know.
word count: 273
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