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Black Tom's Whispering Cairn

Game Master Black Tom


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Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

So far, Wolfstone has been a disappointment. Even though the Emporium is bustling with activity at all hours, and everybody who is anybody shows up there from time to time, there hasn’t been an inkling of proper adventure so far.

Right now the talk of the town is the band of adventurers from the City State who have come here exploring the Stirgenest Cairn right outside the town. As any of you could have told them (but you’re certainly not going to) they aren’t going to find anything of interest In Stirgenest Cairn. Every boy or girl coming of age in Wolfstone (not an enviable situation in itself) has explored the Stirgenest Cairn at some point.

But there is another Cairn only a day’s ride away, one that also has been used for dares by young people of Wolfstone, but less frequently. Occasionally the gaping entrance to the old tomb emits an eerie, hollow sound, which have given it the nickname (among those who are privy to its location) the Whispering Cairn.

Now there is an interesting idea. If the Stirgenest Cairn holds treasures interesting enough to draw the attention of adventurers from the City State, what might be hidden in the Whispering Cairn?

Right now you are sitting around a table in one of the back rooms of the Emporium, sipping beer and pondering your options.


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 177/177; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

Valgrim looked around the Emporium. He was amazed by all the different races he saw. Nothing like this back in Thunderhold!, he thought. Humans were an interesting lot. With such short lives, I guess they deserved to enjoy themselves for as long as they could.

Looking to his companion, he took a swig from his tankard and said, "Well, Vug, it seems if we want to make our fortunes, the Cairn is the way to go. The Stirgenest may be bare now, but I hear the Whispering Cairn may hold some sweet treasures for us. What do ye say? I have some time off from me guard duty. Ye know anyone else who might be interested?"


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Vug Vang takes dozens of little sips at a drink of her own devising -- gin, cherry cordial and lager. Although the taste is bizarre, the experiment has yielded valuable results and she devours it with gusto.

"Yep, I've seen plenty of wee f-f-folks come back f-from that Stirgenest Cairn since I've been here. If there's a single interesting thing left in there, I'd be surprised. But the Whispering Cairn...who knows what's in there?" Her eyes jitter quickly between the other folks seated at the table, and then she takes another sip and stares dreamily into her drink, wonderful visions of pyrohydras and poison-spewing linnorms dancing through her head.


Male Human Cleric 14

Feres makes his way over to the table, his hands filled with another round of drinks for the group. He smiles warmly as he sets the drinks before his companions.

"I have to say, Mistress Vug, the bartender sure gave me a strange look when I asked him to make another one of your drinks - especially when I asked him to make me one, too! But you know, it sounded so interesting that I just had to try it!"

The stout young priest raises his cup. "The Dawnflower's Blessing on you all" he toasts loudly, turning to encompass all of the occupants of the room. He takes a long pull of the drink, then holds the cup before him and looks at it approvingly before turning to the elf alchemist. "Now that's a good drink!" he says appreciatively. "What did you say you called it?"


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

"You really like it? I'll have to make a note of it. F-f-frankly, I think it's a little bit nauseating, but in a particularly unusual way. I call it '#37'. If you think this is good, you should try the other thirty-six! Well, maybe not #11." Vug blanches a little bit and shudders and her cheek twitches involuntarily.

"F-f-f-father F-feres, what do you think about investigating the Whispering Cairn? There might be f-fascinating discoveries to be made in there. Imagine -- you could be f-famous if you f-f-find something interesting. Maybe they'd even name a cathedral after you!"


Male Half-Orc Bard 11

Bubba drains his ale and takes another from the ones Father Feres brought over.

"You are correct Vug, the Stirgenest Cairn was cleaned out years ago. But the Whispering Carin? That is another matter entirely. I have long been waiting for an opportunity to explore that place!"

Bubba pauses to sip his new ale.

"Its not that I was afraid to go alone..." He trails off as the chatter around him gets louder.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Vug grins crookedly. "All right! So let's take a look at the Cairn, tomorrow maybe. Do you know anyone else who might be interested? Many hands make light work, after all." She takes another sip of her dubious concoction to punctuate her point.


Male Half-Orc Barbarian 2 (2462 XP, 2 hero points)

Although Urg had earlier been griping about the price of the ale, he was now carelessly tossing it down, dribbling it over his face and clothes. "Time was, I'd have thought of going alone." He takes a big bite of bread with suspicious blue and brown spots on it, and continues talking, spraying crumbs over anyone nearby. "But it's people like you, Friar Feres, that showed me that company can be pleasant. It's thanks to you guys that I became the..." He pauses to belch loudly. "...gentleman of refinement I am today. I'm with you."


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 177/177; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)
Vug Vang wrote:
Vug grins crookedly. "All right! So let's take a look at the Cairn, tomorrow maybe. Do you know anyone else who might be interested? Many hands make light work, after all." She takes another sip of her dubious concoction to punctuate her point.

Valgrim sighs. "Damn elf, that's what me've been sayin' for the past 2 minutes. Pay attention and stop ignorin' me!" Damn flighty elves, heads always in the skies!, thought Valgrim, but she does have a way of spicin' up me beer, so I'll tolerate her...for now.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

"I meant anyone else besides you, of course. Use your head! Hee-hee-hee!" she titters.


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Sorry to leave you hanging but still waiting for Chisora to move things along.

Shag Sholomon, one of the strangest inhabitants of the Emporium and one that looks a lot like the abominable snowman, even if he keeps his facial fur nicely braided when he's not working, passes your table, asks for a bottle at the bar and slinks upstairs to his beloved opium den.


Male Human Cleric 14
Vug Vang wrote:
"F-f-f-father F-feres, what do you think about investigating the Whispering Cairn? There might be f-fascinating discoveries to be made in there. Imagine -- you could be f-famous if you f-f-find something interesting. Maybe they'd even name a cathedral after you!"

Feres smiles at Vug Vang's words as he shakes his head. "No, Mistress Vug, I have no desire to be famous or to have a cathedral named after me," he says humbly. "But I wouldn't mind finding enough treasure to someday build a small temple with a decent infirmary to help the sick and a pantry to feed the hungry. I think that would be a worthy reason to seek adventure. So yes, count me in!"


Female Human (Alryan) Inquisitor of Calistria 1 Rogue 1

Chisora leans forward from the shadows and calmly places her now empty wine glass on the table. "I can't very well let the Friar go off with only you lot to as an escort now can I. What kind of protector would I be then," she says from within the darkness of her ever present hood and as usual it is hard to tell whether she is being serious or not.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

"How about F-father F-feres's School f-for Wayward Girls? I think you might be able to find one or two wayward girls around here looking for love and discipline. Tee-hee-hee!"

Vug Vang guzzles down the rest of her drink with a wince, then stands up, dusting her hands and smoothing out her armored leather apron (covered with chemical stains and singe marks). "Why don't we meet here an hour after dawn tomorrow? I have some brews I want to make before we set out, and I should tell Mr Moonmeadow that I'll be out for the day. Until then!" She pats Valgrim on the arm and then scuttles off eagerly.


Male Human Cleric 14

"There are many nice girls here. If they were to seek a different life, they would be more than welcome in the House of the Healing Flame," Feres responds to Vug, totally missing the implied meaning of the elf's words.

"As for tomorrow, an hour after dawn sounds fine. That will give me time for morning prayers at sunrise. Would anyone like to join me?" the jovial priest offers with a grin.


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

After finishing your prayers and whatever else you need to do in preparation, you finally set out the next day. The Cairn is just an hour's walk away, so soon enough you find yourselves standing outside a large (20 feet wide) opening.

Natural light dimly illuminates a long hallway extending north into darkness. A faint breeze brings with it sibilant whispers that sound almost like sighing breath. It must be a trick of the wind, but the effect is almost lifelike.

The walls bear horizontal bands of deceptively simple geometric patterns
at waist level. In places the bands reveal startling detail, but in others the walls look as though they have been hacked apart with weapons or eroded by the rigors of time. Flakes of ancient paint,
brilliant purple and a dull mustard hue, still cling to the walls in places, hinting at what must once have been a riot of color. A thin coat of dust coats the floor.

Just inside the darkened tomb, the hallway branches into shallow alcoves to the east and west. Here the walls bear the most significant damage. Dozens of clumsy etchings mar the beautiful ancient masonry like graffiti on a city wall.

A clump of soiled cloth about the size of a halfling rests in the rounded terminus of the western alcove. Outside, the wind picks up, and a chorus of almost human sounds rises from the darkened hall.


Male Half-Orc Barbarian 2 (2462 XP, 2 hero points)

"I'll take the lead."

Urg, approaches the cloth, suspecting it might be concealing something alive. When the cloth is within reach, assuming that nothing has moved by then, Urg lightly touches the clump of cloth with the flat of his axe.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Before entering the cairn, Vug Vang pauses for a moment, smoothing her apron and taking down her pack.

"Wait just a moment -- I think I'll take a draught of Cat's Breath tonic before getting down to business."

She rummages around for a few seconds before finding the vial she's looking for. She uncorks it and swigs it down in a single pull.

Suddenly her limbs jerk and twitch and her eyes roll back in her head as she makes a noise like "urglglglghgh". A light dusting of coarse fur begins to grow from her pale skin and her head practically vibrates as she mutters "thatsgoodthatsgoodthatsgoodthatsgoodthatsgood".

Suddenly she jerks back to attention, replaces the vial in her pack and looks from one person to another at breakneck speed. "AllrightsoIamreadytogoletsgoalready," she cheerfully suggests, speaking so rapidly that her words run together.

She drinks her Dexterity mutagen, which gives her +2 natural armor bonus to AC, +4 Dex, and -2 Wis. It lasts for 10 minutes.

Upon entering the cairn, she zips from alcove to alcove, looking at all the carvings and the scrap of cloth.
How old does the cloth look? What sort of crude engravings are they?


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 177/177; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

Valgrim follows next after Urg. "Be careful all, we are exploring a tomb after all. Sometimes the dead have a way of coming back. Trust me, I know." Valgrim looks for tracks in thee dust to see if anyone or thing has disturbed this site recently.

Survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21 (add +2 if they are undead tracks)


Male Half-Orc Barbarian 2 (2462 XP, 2 hero points)
Valgrim Twin-Axe wrote:
"Be careful all, we are exploring a tomb after all. Sometimes the dead have a way of coming back. Trust me, I know."

Urg's attention, which he had tried to focus on the cloth, was distracted. Urg had faced undead before, and far worse things, without a bit of fear. So far, Urg had discovered only one thing that frightened him, and that was Vug Vang's concoctions.

If there is anyone / anything hiding, I want to know...

Perception check = 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

There are some fairly recent wolf tracks, but no discernible tracks from any two-legged creatures. The cloth looks like it's been here a year or more.

Bubluka can make a knowledge (local) check (DC 12):

Spoiler:
You remember that a young girl disappeared six years ago after spending the night at the Cairn as a dare.


Male Half-Orc Bard 11

Bublaka carefully studies the markings on the walls when the party enters the hallway.

Knowldege (local): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 177/177; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

"Wolves may have made this tomb their den, so keep an eye out." Valgrim takes out his sling and loads it with a stone.


Female Human (Alryan) Inquisitor of Calistria 1 Rogue 1

Chisora hangs back as the others enter, drawing both her whip and the small staff she carries strapped to her back. Giving the pile of rags a brief glance, she takes up position at the rear, keeping a careful eye out for anything that might follow them in.

Perception Check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17


Male Human Cleric 14

Feres looks about the entrance hallway in wonder. "I wonder what these patterns and etchings on the walls mean?" he asks aloud of no one in particular.

Knowledge (arcana) for any ancient mysteries or arcane symbols: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Knowledge (religion) for any mythic history or holy symbols: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24

"And why do you think it makes that whispering noise?" he asks.


Female Human (Alryan) Inquisitor of Calistria 1 Rogue 1
Friar Feres wrote:
"And why do you think it makes that whispering noise?" he asks.

"It is nothing but the wind causing superstitious men to invent ghost stories. There may well be danger in here, but I believe it to be nothing more than something simple like the wolves Valgrim said are around"


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

The decorative bands on the walls are just that, not carrying any arcane meaning. On a closer inspection you notices a number of thin hollow tubes that seem to be the source of the whispering noises.

You also notice a faint flickering green light coming from farther inside the corridor.

If you're going to go deeper into the hall I want to know about your lighting arrangements and marching order.


Female Human (Alryan) Inquisitor of Calistria 1 Rogue 1

Chisora snorts when everyone can see the holes making the noise. "See, I told you. Superstitious Tales."

Chisora will bring up the rear. If need be she can cast light on her Hanbo.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Dot. For some reason it's not giving me a Dot with my Alias. Never had that problem before... :/


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 177/177; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

Second behind Urg, sling in hand. No light source, dwarves have darkvision


Male Half-Orc Bard 11

Bubba will take 3rd in the mrching order He has darkvision but can cast dancing lights if need be.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Vug Vang lights up a torch. She turns it this way and that, quietly cooing at the enthralling flame, until she blinks a few times and her mind comes back to the matter at hand.

She's eager to be near the front of the party, curious to see everything there is to see.

We don't have to go single file, do we? How wide is the passage?


Male Human Cleric 14

Feres casts Light on his shield and joins Chisora near the rear of the party, scimitar in hand.


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

The passage is 20 feet wide so double file wouldn't be a problem.

You advance carefully towards the flickering light, only to find that the hallway branches out to the left and right.

The western hall extends perhaps forty feet, ending at a small marble platform raised about six inches off the floor. A strange, shattered arcane apparatus rests upon this platform, its curved ovular frame giving the appearance of a noble’s dressing mirror. Only a third of this frame remains. An unusual arcane glyph about the size of a man’s head has been delicately carved into the baseplate of the support platform.

Fifteen feet down the east passage, a huge pile of collapsed rubble blocks the alcove from top to bottom. It looks like it would
take weeks to tunnel through the densely packed debris.

As you reach the intersection, roll for initiative as four hungry wolves come bounding out of the darkness ahead.

I hope to be able to pull this off without a battlemap, but we'll see how it goes.


Male Human Cleric 14

I could put together a quick map with Google Docs if you would like.


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge
Friar Feres wrote:
I could put together a quick map with Google Docs if you would like.

That would be nice. Assuming that your leading characters stand in the middle of the intersection the wolves start their turn 30 feet away.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

init: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 177/177; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18


Male Half-Orc Bard 11

Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3


Male Human Cleric 14

Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 6

Wolf Attack Map


Female Human (Alryan) Inquisitor of Calistria 1 Rogue 1

Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22


Male Half-Orc Barbarian 2 (2462 XP, 2 hero points)

Initiative = 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

The wolves go on 20, so Vug, Urg and Chisora can act, in no particular order. Then it's the wolves.

Three of them look mangy and starved but the last one (third from the left) doesn't look hungry at all.


Female Human (Alryan) Inquisitor of Calistria 1 Rogue 1

Chisora moves forwardand lashes out at the closest wolf with her Scorpion Whip.

Move to L4
Attack Wolf in L2 with Scorpion Whip: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Vug draws an explosive flask from her pouch and hurls it at the healthy-looking wolf.

"HA HA!! EAT SOME FLAMES, YOU MANGY CURS!!" she shrieks, a little too enthusiastically.

touch atk: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26, confirm critical 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
dmg: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4 to the main target (no save), 4 splash damage to adjacent wolves (Ref DC 13 for 1/2 dmg)


Male Half-Orc Barbarian 2 (2462 XP, 2 hero points)

Urg walks up to the nearest uninjured wolf and attacks.

Attack = 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Damage = 1d12 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Vug throws a bomb, hitting the large wolf squarely. causing it to flinch. Chisora lashes one of the wolves and Urg steps up and fells one with a single blow.

Then the wolves retaliate. One of them nearly takes a chunk out of URg, while the two remaining have at Chisora.

It would be easier to adjudicate if she had an AC listed.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15
Black Tom wrote:
Vug throws a bomb, hitting the large wolf squarely. causing it to flinch.

don't forget the splash damage on the neighbouring wolves


Male Human Cleric 14

Invoking Sarenrae's name, Feres casts Guidance on himself and then steps forward (to square K4) to aid Chisora.


Male Half-Orc Bard 11

Bubba begins a loud speech about the history of the cairns and how only the bravest of adventurers are willing to enter the Whispering Cairn in search of its mysteries, then moves up behind Urg.

Inspire Courage +1

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