When we last left our bold heroes Cedrick and Korynn, they were in a tight spot on the ground floor of the Vizier's tower and cornered by several guards. Deciding wisdom is the better part of valor (ie chickening out), Cedrick is going to attempt to talk his way out of the tight spot. The Guard Captain is a minor enemy hero, and on his home turf so he'll be tough to intimidate, I call it an 8 difficulty. I roll Cedrick's d12. A 9! Huzzah!
Not willing to expose himself or Korynn to any more stupid risks in this tower, Cedrick tries to talk his way out. "Listen, so we're not with the Inquisition," the Guard gave a knowing nod, "but we really were only trying to see the Vizier about a witch we found operating in the lower bazaar." As the captain started to reach for his sword, Cedrick pulled the pistol from his sash in one fluid motion, stepped forward, and held it to the man's face. He had meant to press it against the smug guard's nose, but the tip of the man's nose actually slipped inside the barrel opening. Couldn't do that again if I tried, Cedrick thought to himself.Well, that went well. Essentially, since the 9Qs encourage interpretations 'outside the box' on dice results, I decided that this should not be a strait up fight like the last two, but a battle of wills. The other guy blinked. I roll a story cube for Q6, getting a flashlight, and a 3, meaning pursuit. I need to start thinking about a worsening of the threat greater than what they knew of. And something they need to run from.
The guard looked considerably less smug staring down the length of the handgonne's barrel, the slow match hissing and spitting sparks near his left eye. "L-leave!" he stammered, and gestured to the other guard to leave. The red and black clad soldiers vanished as easily as they had appeared. Korynn crashed a gauntleted fist on the man's head and he crumpled to the ground.
On the way out of the tower, they had to be careful, taking a more circuitous route than on the way in, to avoid more patrols of the Vizier's men. at one point, something caught Cedrick's eye as they neared the side exit. He caught Korynn's elbow and pulled her into a darkened room with long tables covered in maps.
Cedrick couldn't make heads or tails of the maps, or of the symbols and wood tokens scattered about it. "What are we looking at Rynn?"
She was deep in thought, her tongue between her teeth, her brow knotted in concentration. 'It's a campaign map, but not like one I've seen before. It doesn't just show where forces are now, but where they will be in the future as well." She pointed to a series of arrows linking squares. "This shows the position of the King's army. But it shows where it will be camping each night as well. And where they will encamp outside the city when they arrive."
"Spies? In the King's advisors?"
She shook her head."I don't think so. This is too precise. Even an experienced general cannot plan a march this far in advance and hope to stick to it with any sort of consistency. Horses tire, fords become impassable, water holes dry."
"Then what? Magic?"
She looked at him hard "The witches. No wonder they can operate here in the open."
There was a clatter of metal approaching from down the hall. They were out of time. Cedrick fired his pistol down the hall, hitting nothing, but the sound and fury of the heavy gun sent guardsmen diving for cover. The pair ran. They emerged into the blistering Qalimbaq daylight, and looked about for a way to head for the edge of the city that would avoid notice of the Vizier's Guard.
Then Cedrick saw it. "Rynn, the sewer!"
She looked at him wearily. "Just once, can't we make an escape on horseback, or by dirigible, or, I don't know, leave amicably and not be chased?"I tried to keep this one short, only using Q6, but it sort of got away from me. There was just so much good revelation here! So, in the space of two 'Q's We have introduced some new, tougher opponents in the Vizier's Guard, we've tied in the existing threat of the Moon Glyph Witches, and we've uncovered a plot against the King. Towards what end does all this point? I have an idea, but who knows what twists out unlikely heroes will stumble upon next.
"Sure," he winked back, "next time I'll leave you in charge of getting us in trouble, and you can arrange our escape accommodations to match your every whim."
They pried open the cover to the sewer access, and climbed down. As the seal slammed home behind them, the sewer became very dark, but not at all quiet.
If you can't tell, I am having a blast with this. I certainly recommend Solo Nexus' The 9Qs. And Dungeon Squad for that matter as well. I think the 9Q system might be even better with a more complex RPG to mess around in, but since I already have two games going that are more work, I really did want this to just be simple and fun, and a lot more role playing than roll playing.
I am thinking of trying to illustrate these myself. Not only would that help them get traffic through what I call the 'pretty picture effect', but it would spread out the posts a bit too, which is not a bad thing, since I seem to be putting these in the scheduler at a pretty good clip. Time will tell.
Until next time.