breaching the wall

bishop flies, we play children’s card games, rocco punches a bird

[ashley]: it's not THAT hard to juggle
[ashley]: i can juggle
[shad]: of course you can 
[shad]: & you can make BALLOON animals GO TO THE FUCKING CIRCUS ASHLEY

DM: ashley | players:

bishop (shad) | rocco (charlie) | raja (dee) | talmage (emily)

the scene opens with a large man traveling alone. his journey has been long but he thinks he is headed in the right direction. he is traveling upstream, following the sound of a roaring waterfall. he notices a shadow following him & sees a large jaguar trailing behind.

continuing towards the noise, a waterfall is revealed which stretches 500 feet into the air. castle walls sit atop it.

he stretches out his wings & flies up. the moment his figure makes it over the castle, an alarm blares. he decides it’s probably better to land outside the city.

elsewhere, a cloaked figure is seeking shelter at an inn in the city of highkeep. the door opens & jingling can be heard as someone jumps, feet-first, onto the bar. she is a petite girl wearing a leotard, bells, & sporting cat ears. she has a pile of fliers in her hands & the inn goes silent.

[ashley]: and she says--
[dee]: i turn away

the girl introduces herself as lorelai from the rockfort circus & is handing out coupons for their next performance.

wandering through the city, a pink tiefling suddenly notices a huge, flying figure blocking out the sun. people are yelling, the alarm begins to blare suddenly. everyone begins to panic.

across the way is another tiefling, aqua blue, toast dropping from his mouth as he gapes up at the figure.

some guards approach the two with suspicion & begin questioning them. the aqua one insists he is on his way to arkadia university, his school. the guard doesn’t really believe them & insists they both need to follow him.

rocco: can i like telllllll my professor i'm going to be late orrrrrr can you like write me a note or

back in the inn, lorelai jumps off the table, her eyes reflecting light. she tells the hooded figure that she should leave.

lorelai: do you really want the vale coming in here and causing you a bunch of problems?

the vale is a religious organization known to cause grief to magic users everywhere.

lorelai insists the hooded figure come with her and tries to offer money in exchange. the figure declines the money, but they both run out of the inn, heading out of town, and run right into the large winged man.

raja: ... is this another performer in your circus?

they are both a little shaken by this man’s presence. he is insistent on visiting the city, but the two girls say that is NOT a good idea.

the two pink and blue tieflings introduce themselves as talmage & rocco, respectively. they are being escorted by highkeep guards for questioning.

rocco: are you really a tiefling?
talmagerocco: you're not like wearing-- *reaches out*
talmage: don't--
rocco: are you wearing makeup
talmage: no? well-- a little

the group is interrupted by an extravagant person with a top hat and a very large orc woman wearing a leotard.

gidley: oh! rocco, talmage! wonderful to see both of you - i was wondering where you'd run off to!

the guard sighs. gidley puts their arms around the two tieflings. they invite the guard to tomorrow’s performance.

[emily]: have i ever seen this person before
[ashley]: absolutely not

talmage HAS heard of the rockfort circus. they are known for performing fantastical magic-less magical feats. the vale both trusts & is awed by their trickery.

rocco: do you know my dad?
gidley: wh--
rocco: is he mad at me-- OHH NO it's cuz i-- ohhh it's cuz i-- ohhhh. don't-- i-- okay.
rocco: i DID do something really bad last weekend in the lab-- don't tell-- do you-- did he-- tell-- he knows
talmage: i think you're fine.

the group approaches the circus encampment. they notice a large man with wings & a mysterious hooded figure. just then a young man stumbles through the forest, swords strapped to his striped pants.

luci: sir, we have a situ-- a situation? the highkeep guards are going to be arriving soon
gidley: *claps his hands*
gidley: bishop, raja - make yourselves at home here.
raja: how do you know my name.
gidley: it's a little bit of a trick! i'm very good with faces.
bishop: ... have we met before.
gidley: we have not

lorelai chides gidley for letting so many misfits in at once. luci insists if we sit down & be quiet, they can handle everything.

bishop: if we explain to the guards what is going on i'm sure they will understand.
talmage: ... if they see you, they will probably want you dead? i am going to assume?
bishop: ... why.
talmage: you look like that
bishop: yes?
talmage: you're too fancy for this place.
bishop: *takes off a necklace*

a small red tiefling, domino, walks over holding a deck of cards. he asks if we want to see a magic trick. he asks us to sit inside of the caravan & play a game of go fish. he deals the hands & the group plays along as loud hooves can be heard outside. the guards are approaching. domino closes the flap on the caravan.

we can hear gidley chatting with the guards, insisting everything is fine & nothing is out of the ordinary.

raja: ... do you have any threes
talmage: ... go fish

gidley leads the guards to the caravan playing cards & introduces everyone inside to the vale guards. the main vale guard, monsignor west, doesn’t seem to think the group suspicious. the whole group of guards eventually leave.

talmage: ... do you do this for a lot of people?
gidley: look at my circus! i'm just looking out for everyone.

gidley gestures behind them. we notice the circus is full of elves, tieflings, orcs, & a cat girl. they then explain that bishop is the reason the guards are on high alert.

gidley: the vale here has numerous abilities to question whoever they choose, & they just came to find who flew over the edge
gidley: so are you from below the waters?

bishop reveals he is from beyond the cascade. the group questions What he is. he says he is an aasimar … basically a mythical creature to them.

talmage approaches bishop, sizing him up. he reaches out, touching some of bishop’s feathers. he notices that when he stands at the front of the caravan, it looks like bishop does not have wings.

talmage: what's this made of?
gidley: the caravan? wood, leather, cotton--
talmage: why does he look different when i step inside?
gidley: i don't know what you're talking about :)
talmage: that's fun, okay. hm.

gidley offers that we work for the circus for a night.

rocco: but then the sun was GONE like you know when someone really tall stands in front of--
bishop: no.
talmage: i have heard this story. three times now

we find out gidley’s grandfather is one of the viscounts of the vale, so their name carries some weight & they can get away with things.

raja finally drops her hood, revealing she is a deep purple dragonborn.

we hesitantly agree to perform for one night.

gidley: this IS all your fault, by the way
bishoprocco: that WAS you!
bishop: i thought we established this.
rocco: nobody was answering my question
talmage: please. don't tell the story again

everyone pitches the tent & we mingle with the circus workers. rocco talks with breck, the cowboy lion tamer.

breck: the guy with the cards, the little demon boy - that's domino
rocco: oh, he's like me!
breck: yeah, like you.
rocco: i'm not a demon
breck: oh, he is.

genevieve is lifting things. wyn, the clown, is cooking. luci is spinning knives on his fingers. he cuts himself, dropping the knife.

[emily]: how many times does he cut himself in the span of five minutes
[ashley]: do you just watch for five minutes???
[emily]: ... yeah ...

bishop helps assemble stands & chairs.

raja: you said you were attending a school
talmage: ... was
raja: was.
raja: may i ask--
talmage: *walks away*
[emily]: i am going to approach the clown

talmage approaches wyn & asks if they need help with dishes. they hand talmage an empty bowl.

lorelai: he doesn't talk, just so you know. so it doesn't get weird

while building chairs, bishop casts [light] so he can see better. everyone goes silent.

gidley: ohhh my goodness, what a miracle! *slaps him repeatedly* turn it off turn it off turn it off

gidley explains to bishop that magic here is forbidden. if anyone is caught doing magic, they are killed. gidley explains that monsignor west’s job is to hunt down people with magical abilities. he insists that bishop casting magic could get them all killed. magical items are also forbidden.

it is NOT common knowledge that elves & tieflings are born with innate magic. people are wary of them, but do not know much about them since there are so few around.

the group settles in for the night. raja has a hard time sleeping on the ground with her horns.

rocco: where did you go to school
talmagerocco: are there lots of tieflings there?
talmage: just a few
rocco: it's really lonely at my school & there's like not a lot of tieflings i was thinking i could transfer--
talmage: what do you go to school for?

rocco explains that his father sent him to a religious school where he’s supposed to be studying to become a monk, but he’s more interested in learning engineering in his spare time outside of school. he pulls out a tiny, shitty roomba. it stutters & crawls a bit before falling over.

talmage: what do you call that?
rocco: i haven't come up with a name for it yet ...
talmage: what does it do?
rocco: it picks up all of the socks on my floor
rocco: BUT it's not strong enough to pick up my socks yet
[shad]: so NOTHING you're saying it does NOTHING
talmage: a little ... bigger
rocco: should i make it bigger?
talmage: bigger, yes.
rocco: *whispering* bigger

the group notices a few birds have landed on top of the tent. after a moment, one of them jumps off the edge & transforms into a humanoid shape. the figure begins walking away from the caravan. the other bird walks down the tent & starts unzipping it. a humanoid eye peers in, before backing away & leaving.

bishop unzips the tent & sees two big, black griffon-like birds & a black, misty bear-shaped creature. they all turn to look at him, their eyes red.

raja draws her rapier & asks the creatures to identify themselves. rocco starts screaming for help & punches one of the birds. he pulls his hand away & it’s whispey & black. talmage inspects the ooze & it looks like the birds were created or stitched together. he whacks at the first bird with his quarterstaff & it splits in half, turning into black ooze. talmage & rocco exchange concerned looks.

the other bird pecks at bishop & the bear tries to attack talmage. bishop takes out one of the bears legs.

the neighboring tent flaps open up, and luci & lorelai step out. this seems to be a normal occurrence for them. luci throws a knife at the bear, complaining we woke him up.

[emily]: talmage is gonna take his quarterstaff & stab at the bear
[dee]: is that how you use a quarterstaff?
[emily]: no but i'm gonna do it

the monsters are all killed. luci explains that this happens a lot.

luci: it's fine. they're weird jelly monsters. go back to bed

bishop uses [divine sense] to try to detect more. the creatures were undead & there are no more in the area. luci retrieves a shovel & begins burying the animal bones. we ask if the circus is cursed – curses aren’t real, they inform us. luci rubs bishop the wrong way, and he knows luci’s hiding something. rather suddenly, wyn is there with bandages for rocco.

talmage asks luci what other creatures they’ve encountered. luci explains there were various other animals. the location doesn’t matter, but the creatures always find the caravan. it’d been happening for a few years.

bishop hides in the corner & heals himself. they all go to bed.

the circus has breakfast the next morning. we all discuss what our acts could be. raja & bishop decide to put on an exaggerated hero vs. villain performance. rocco wants to perform acrobatics with genevieve and lorelai. talmage can … juggle?

[ashley]: it's not THAT hard to juggle
[ashley]: i can juggle
[shad]: of course you can 
[shad]: & you can make BALLOON animals GO TO THE FUCKING CIRCUS ASHLEY

rocco suggests juggling something on fire. rocco wonders if it’s a good idea that talmage is wearing loose flammable clothes while juggling fire. wyn is suddenly here with a trunk full of bowling pins & pulls out a match.

[shad]: i don't like that the clown has immediate access to fire
[ashley]: it did everything in front of you so you could see it!
[emily]: the issue is not where the fire came from the issue is where the CLOWN came from

everyone practices their acts for that night’s performance.

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