Actual Play!
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Author:  Crow Caller [ Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

Ghost Jaguar listens quietly as his wife tells him of all that is to transpire concerning his daughter. Unflinching the young hunter holds his wife firmly in his grasp. After departing a few soft spoken words reasussring her that it would be ok, he releases her and tells her to go.

Tears streaming down her face Laughing Bird turns and retreats down the long cold sterile corridor. Ghost Jaguar clenches his jaw, all that he can do from screaming his lament at the gods!

Staring silently, he watches as his young wife pauses at the end of the corridor and turns to look at him. Slowly he gives her one silent nod, his action reaffirming all that he had already said, "it will be ok, I will take care of it, now go". Wiping the tears from her face Laughing Bird rounds the corner and disappears.

Ghost Jaguar clenches his fists, turning, his eyes dart around the room, searching for anything he may be able to use to rescue his daughter. There on the mantle above an elaborate fire lies a cermemonial priests rod. Ghost Jaguar crosses to the fireplace and hefts the rod, it is heavy but sterdy. A madness comes across his eyes as he considerers killing those responsible for taking his daughter. Huh! Those responsiple were none less than the gods! What good would a stick be against a god? The question burned in his mind as he heard the unmistakeable sound of the High Priest Itzcoatl approaching, his robes scraping acorss the jade floors. There was something different in the sound however, a haste in his steps.

Quickly Ghost Jaguar wrapped the rod in cloth, glancing at the door to the temple courtyard, and then to the one that leads to the city, Ghost Jaguar sets off at a run. His only hope is to find this priest Camasoz and try and rescue his daughter before it is too late.

If Ghost Jaguar knows how to find this Priest Camasoz, then he'll go straight there, trying to remain inconspicuous(sp?) even hiding from patroling guards if need be.

If he doesn't know where Camasoz is, then he will track down Tlaxha (the fat slave from Ghost's backstory) and see what he knows.

Author:  Grettir [ Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Thanks for your efforts, Ian; quite a bit of new stuff here.

Itzcoatl. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

Taking his leave from the Servitors, Itzcoatl herds the priests and novices from the Courtyard of the Sun and impresses upon them to keep silent about what they have seen, as there will be an official announcement soon, but knowing what a hotbed of gossip the temple is he has little hope that his orders will be heeded.

Having dispersed the priests, he hurries to his own quarters and sends his few personal attendants away. Once he is alone, he takes out the Shoatli with a mixture of eagerness and reverence. A short, squat, not quite straight wand, carved of turquois godstone and inlaid liberally with bright divine metals, its lower end bent up to hook partially hook over the hand holding it, its upper end shaped into the back-to-back likeness of the supreme Twin Gods’ faces, one black and one green, and both horned, as usual. Here and there, glyphs are cut into the Shoatli, making little to no sense in their isolation from each other.

Itzcoatl realizes that he will need a lot of time to examine his treasure, much more than he has now. He calms his most poisonous and vicious snake with careful, almost hypnotic movements of his hands and then gingerly reaches past it, burying the Shoatli deep in the sand of its pit. Straightening out the sand to hide any traces of the disturbance, he is reminded of Ghost Jaguar – he had ordered the primitive to attend him upon his return, having intended to order him on another snake procuring mission into the junge.

Emerging again rom his private sanctum, Itzcoatl asks his attendants about the Descended slave and learns that the primitive has left only moments ago, seemingly very upset after a short visit by a beautiful young slavewoman who had seemed even more upset than himself and who had fled weeping. From this short account, Itzcoatl realizes that this must have been the female creature that had been captured together with the Descended male. This is intriguing, and the defying of his order an outrage that is not to go unpunished, but there are other, more pressing matters Itzcoatl has attend to right now.

Higgins, maybe you want Itzcoatl to follow up on the matter of the disobedient slave in person and not inform the other high priests right away, or you may want him to order one of his loyal retainers to try and seek Ghost Jaguar, or maybe something else entirely. Do you stand with your previous plans, which will keep Itzcoatl busy for hours, or do you want to abandon or modify them?

Author:  Grettir [ Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Crow Caller, Ghost Jaguar knows that Nahual is a steward of the temple, and thus most likely to be found either somewhere in or near the kitchens or food lockers. It should not be difficult to find him there.

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

Deep in throes of anger and desperation, Ghost Jaguar sets out through the temple citadel, the kitchens and the priest Camasoz his destination. He holds Itzcoatl’s arm-long ceremonial staff like a club, tightly wrapped up in one of the priest’s less conspicuous tunics to conceal it from the gazes from everybody who might question what a mere slave is doing with such a holy implement.

Ghost Jaguar moves furtively, keeping to only dimy-lit passages and avoiding any of the open courtyards. It is a tortuous, circumstancial route he is taking to the kitchens, and his progress is delayed even more by him having to wait time and time again for somebody to clear a passage. The temple is such a crammed, populous place, such a far call from the solitude of the jungle! Ghost Jaguar has often moved through it on some errand and has only seldomly been questioned, but he realizes only now that moving unseen through this buzzing maze is an entirely different thing from moving unseen from tree to tree!

Crow Caller, there is not now any risk of Ghost Jaguar being stopped, but I want a Sneak check nonetheless, to learn just how unseen he actually moves through the temple, in case this is going to matter later. In these surroundings, staying unseen is not so much a matter of being silent, but rather one off picking the right way, i.e. the one that is used by the least number of people. I want you therefore to roll MA/Sneak, without any SAs applying.

And please assign scores to Ghost Jaguar’s SAs right away!

Also, I need to know if Ghost Jaguar will show himself also to others when he finally finds Camasoz, or only to the priest alone. It is likely that Camasoz is in company, so getting to him alone might require quite a long wait.

Author:  Crow Caller [ Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

Ghost Jaguar pauses, gripping the staff tightly he hugs the shadows of the dimly-lit passageway as he waits for a small party of priests to round a corner up a head.

His senses keenly honed by a life in the Jungle, had served him well over the past year and a half of his captivity. He had grown accustomed to the eb and flow of the Temple life, but now there was something different. The hushed tones of the priests were a little less hushed and a little more frantic. Still he could not quite put his finger on it, and he did not have time to contemplate such things. By now his master would surely no of his absense and there could very well be guards on the look out for him. Taking a deep breathe Ghost Jaguar stepped out of the shadows and continued his way towards the kitchen.

It took him almost an hour before he came into sight of the entrance to the kitchen, and even now a courtyard seperated him from his destination. Waiting silently in the shadow of a great arch, Ghost Jaguar saw a group of slaves heading for the kitchen, one of them seemed exceptionaly burdoned under the weight of several baskets.

Placing the staff across his back and tieing it off with the tunic, ghost Jaguar made his way to the group of slaves as quickly and inconspicuosly as possible. Reaching the group, he quickly took several of the baskets from the young slave with a warm smile, and together with the slaves he entered the kitchen.

As soon as Ghsot gets the chance he will place the baskets down and slip through one of the servants tunnels, continuing his search to find Camasoz.

Once he locates him he will wait until he is either alone, or until a situation where it would be appropriate for him to approach the priest arrives.

Sneak: 6 dice (MA) against a TN of 6:

Author:  Crow Caller [ Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Grettir who is Nahual? Did you mean Camasoz? Or am I missing something? Sorry, its been a whole lot of late nights and long days for me lately!

Author:  Grettir [ Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Crow Caller, you may have had the late nights, but it is I who has made the mistake. I did indeed mean Camasoz; Nahual is the temple warrior from whom Punchau has learned about Palaluca being sentenced and has nothing to do with Ghost Jaguar.

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

Ghost Jaguar has taken his time to make his way to the kitchens, but as he carries the basket into their cavernous depths he’s pretty certain that he has gone unnoticed and shaken off any pursuers he may have had.

Mid-day is approaching, and the kitchens are abuzz with activity, just like Ghost Jaguar had known that they would be at this time of the day. He caries the basket, filed with fresh vegetables to one of the long stone tables where the other slaves are emptying theirs, and having gotten rid of his burden slips deeper into the kitchens. He moves brisk, as if with purpose, and nobody seems to question his presence.

After a tour through the kitchens he realizes that Camasoz is not here, so he proceeds into the cellars. Passing through the dim rooms brimming with supplies, he finally comes upon the man he is looking for. Camasoz, a portly man in his forties with hair that has prematurely receded to leave him semi-bald, is in the company of a man not half his age – a young novice. The two priests are passing between waist-high clay jars, checking their contents, the novice taking notes on a list as directed by Camasoz.

Ghost Jaguar waits tucked into the dark space between the belly of two huge jars. Slaves and free labourers do pass almost constantly through the room, but Camasoz shows little sign of leaving – and neither does the young novice. As he is waiting, Ghost Jaguar notices that Camasoz is glancing intently at everybody entering the room, and that his eyes are frequently darting into its corners – with little hope of penetrating their darkness. Still, the middle-aged priest seems slightly nervous, on the lookout for something or somebody.

After some time, the two priests have finished their round through the room and are moving on to the adjactent one, continuing to check stores. It does seem unlikely that Camasoz will halt this activity before the mid-day meal, when he will be even less alone than now.

Does Ghost Jaguar wait any longer (he's quite safely concealed)? Or does he address Camasoz? And if so, how? Or does he do something completely different?

Author:  Crow Caller [ Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

As the portly priest disappears into the other room, Ghost Jaguar allows his shoulders to slouch slightly. In the Jungle a man is free to live as a man should, to make discisions and to never have to second guess himself. But in the confines of this city... this prison, everything is twisted, and nothing is what it appears.

If the priest is nervous he may have received word that I am looking for him Ghost Jaguar thought to himself, though dismissing such a notion almost immediately. He had been too careful to have been trailed, and even if he had been, what kind of threat could a mere slave pose to a priest? No, something else has gotten the fat priest nervous he concludes. Contemplating his next move, Ghost Jaguar slips Itzcoatl's staff from his back and stashes it inside an old dusty jar. To be caught with such an artefact would be disastrous, and Ghost Jaguar can not afford to hide any longer.

Immerging from the shadows the young hunter walks purposefuly towards the next room. Entering he sees the portly priest preciding over the kitchen's inventory. Walking towards the the priest, the hunter prostrates himself on the floor, awaiting permission to rise.

Camasoz glances nervously around the room before hastily telling the slave to rise, "What is it?" he asks, the nervousness having now penertrated his voice aswell.

"I am here on behalf of Laughing Bird." Ghost Jaguar responds rising to his feet.

Camasoz's nervouses along with the other priests that Ghost Jaguar encountered earlier, has definetly alerted him that something is going on, though he is still far from knowing what. But still it does nothing to instill the young hunter with confidence. He will play this conversation close to his shest and reveal as little about himself and his relationship to Laughing Bird, Beautiful Flower, and Itzcoatl as possible. Simply posing as a slave sent by Laughing Bird to enlist the preist's aid.

Author:  Grettir [ Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

Camasoz motions Ghost Jaguar to rise, a puzzled look on his face. “Laughing Bird?”, he says, but then recognition brightens his features. “Oh, you mean that Descended slavegirl!”

He turns to the novice and instructs him to continue on his own, then he walks Ghost Jaguar away from the youth, into the room’s opposite corner. There are no traces of his previous nervousness as he speaks over his shoulder, without looking back: “So, you are this jaguar guy, then.”

It is a statement, not a question; clearly, this rotund man knows more than Ghost Jaguar had suspected. The young Descended is caught off-balance, his carefully-laid strategy overthrown, his prepared words now useless.

In the far corner of the storage room, Camasoz stops and addresses Ghost Jaguar again, this time with a genuine question: “So, tell me – what in the Celestials’ name his the girl told you that sends you here with such haste?”

Well, Crow Caller, Ghost Jaguar’s initial plans for the conversation seem untenable; what now? :twisted:
And just so you know, the young novice is from time to time throwing furtive, unobtrusive short glances through the dim storage room at Ghost Jaguar and Camasoz. He is definitely out of hearing if one keeps one’s voice even slightly down (as Camasoz does), though he has certainly heard that Camasoz addressed Ghost Jaguar as “this jaguar guy”.

Higgins (and also everybody else), I have unfortunately forgotten to answer your previous question: “Son of Heaven” is just a form of address for the Gods, as is Exalted One, or Celestial. Make up more along the same lines whenever you feel like it.

And, Hector, have you perchance missed Punchau’s Kicker scene on the previous page or are you just being busy?

Author:  higgins [ Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Grettir wrote:
Higgins, maybe you want Itzcoatl to follow up on the matter of the disobedient slave in person and not inform the other high priests right away, or you may want him to order one of his loyal retainers to try and seek Ghost Jaguar, or maybe something else entirely. Do you stand with your previous plans, which will keep Itzcoatl busy for hours, or do you want to abandon or modify them?
The matters seems too pressing at the moment to be distracted by some slave. He will send Punchau to investigate, in case Hector is interested in that arc. If Punchau is not available for that, he'll let it slide for now. What I mean by that is... I don't have any immediate plot related use for Ghost Jaguar, but I can freely help Punchau on his tracks should Hector think he'd like that for his character.

Author:  Crow Caller [ Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

"She said that you ... you could help me ... help my daughter!" With the last Ghost Jaguar's eyes flash with a little more desperation than he would have liked to have shown to another man. "Please." he concludes, there is nothing else left to say, there is nothing he can offer this man, no service, no aid. His daughter's life hangs seemingly on the generosity of this temple priest. Ghost Jaguar clenches his jaw, his gaze set into the elder man's eyes.

Author:  Hector [ Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

I missed it. Sorry about that.

Punchau nods. "Well then, I shall see you later," he says to Nahual before walking off in the direction of the holding cells. He doesn't have much time to act, and he needs to know how much. His mind races just as much as his heart as he walks, and he keeps his hands away from the sheathed knives that he no longer trusts himself not to use. There has to be some kind of mistake. Surely a young woman shouldn't be sacrificed for risking her own life; it makes as much sense as having a death penalty for attempted suicide. Surely the gods would never allow such a travesty if they knew what was going on here.

Author:  Grettir [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Sorry, folks, been busy. On with the show!

Higgins, as Punchau is currently elsewhere in the temple and also quite busy, he’s not available for Itzcoatl to be sent anywhere. Consequently, Itzcotal leaves the matter of Ghost Jaguar not being at hand rest for now and pursues his original plans of carrying out the Servitors’ orders. We’ll return to him in good time.

Hector, no problem that you missed Punchau’s beginning; the important thing is that you’re here now. But I suspect that you are somehow waiting for me to lay some kind of adventure before Punchau, and I need you to be clear that this is not going to happen. Punchau is in a situation, now he’s got to do something about it – you have to seize the initiative. Don’t wait for me to tell you that the jailer is the second cousin of Punchau’s best friend and heavily addicted to the drug Ochomac, something he ries to keep secret from his superiors – you make up facts like that, and by being stated they become established parts of the game setting.
(If they are too beneficial for a PC I might demand that a Drama point is spent, though.)
You will be aware that this kind of power does make it very easy for a player to achieve the PC’s goals – but you need to be aware that the PC’S goals and the player’s goals are not identical; the PC wants to succeed, the player wants to experience a thrilling/moving story, and that might well mean PC failure. The key is to use the powers over the story you, as a player, have in this kind of gaming to make the story more engaging, not just easier for your PC.

Got it? If not, there’s a discussion on approaches to this kind of gaming you might find helpful right here, most specifically in the tenth post from the top.

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

The portly priest shoots Ghost Jaguar a long an earnest look, then casts a quick glance at the distant novice before answering in subdued tones: “It’s a substantial thing to deny a God and his Servitors, but I know of a way how I can spirit your daughter away for a few days and hide her from the divine gaze.”

He hesitates for a moment, pondering, taking in the slave before him. “It is very … dangerous, though”, he continues, “ and maybe I have spoken out of turn when I made the woman hope. The chance is remote, but if I were discovered, my live would be forfeit, and the future of my children undone.”

He licks his meaty lips. “It is the future of my children, their position in the temple, I must think of above all things. Surely, you will most certainly understand that…”

His voice trails off.

Author:  Hector [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

I see. I have to be honest, this whole Stance malarkey is new to me, and may take some getting used to.

Punchau. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

Punchau continues to the holding cells and walks up to the guard on duty, a large man by the name of Qaran. They've been friends for a while, and the two occasionally talk about their work over a glass of Dalkata; a sweet alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey and certain berries that grow on the mound. After the pair exchange greetings, the two start grumbling about how they don't get paid enough for their work and what boring days they've had.

After a while, Punchau says, "Oh bollocks, I completely forgot; when's the next sacrifice after today? I've been meaning to go more often, if only to stop the priests from moaning at me."

Author:  Crow Caller [ Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

The young hunter stands straighter rising to his full height, staring into the priest's eyes he states in a calm voice. "There is no danger I would not risk to get my daughter back. If you would save her, I would do anything you ask of me."

Ghsot Jaguar's shoulders are set, his posture hard, but his eyes remain soft, and in them there is a very real sense of desperation as he considers loosing his daughter forever.

Note: Ghost Jaguar is a man of his word, however his offer does not extend to his wife doing anything, as she is free to make her own decisions, and can not be bound by his word.


Author:  Grettir [ Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

“I understand that you feel strongly about t – so would I if my daughter was threatened – but there is no need to be quite so … dramatic”, Camasoz replies. “It is nothing much I have in mind for you, your danger will be small compared to mine.”

He glances at the novice, busy among huge storage jars, before he continues in even more hushed tones: “You see, if I am discovered defying the Gods’ command, I will need allies to protect me – I need some kind of bargaining chip. But of course, you wouldn’t understand that, and you needn’t. All you need to do is this: I want you to steal an item in your master’s possession and give it to me.”

Camasoz pauses for a heartbeat, then he says: “I need you to commit to the venture before I can tell any more.”

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