”Ravengro!” the coachman bellows out, the first words he’s spoken in a while, as the carriage rattles to a stop. As you emerge from the coach you blink your eyes several times as they become accustomed to the late afternoon light although the low grey clouds scudding by portend the threat of rain.
As the driver lowers your belongings to you, you look around the town square. A quaint, simple gazebo with an old hound lounging on the steps stands in the center of the square. With a nod of his head the driver climbs back up into his seat and with a flick of the reins the coach continues on its journey leaving you standing there, alone. As your eyes sweep around the square you notice several of the local passersby’s eye you with a mix of curiosity and suspicion before they look away.
As you pick up your belongings you check your pocket for the letter. Although it only reached you about a week ago its contents still bring a shock to you this day. Written in a feminine hand, by one Kendra Lorrimor, it requests your presence for the funeral and reading of the will of Professor Petros Lorrimor. As the initial shock of the Professor’s death sunk in you remembered the profound impact the man made on your life. Dropping everything you hastened to hire a coach and travel to the town of Ravengro.
Due to conditions beyond your control you have arrived in the village with little over an hour to spare before the start of internment. Now all you need to do is find the Professor’s house and offer your condolences before the start of the funeral procession.
A= Town Square
B= The Posting Poles
C= The Laughing Demon (Tavern)
D= Ravengro Town Hall
E= Temple of Pharasma
F= Ravengro Town Hall
G= Ravengro Forge
H= Jominda's Apothecary
I= Ravengro Jail
J= The Silk Purse (Moneylenders)
K= The Outward Inn (Inn)
L= The Unfurling Scroll (Magic)
M1= Councilman Vashian Hearthman House
M2= Councilwoman Mirta Straelock Residence
M3= Councilwoman Shanda Faravan House
M4= Councilman Gharen Muricar House
N= The Lorrimor Residence
O= Harrowstone Memorial
P= Road to The Restlands
Q= Gibbs Hephenus' Shack
R= Road to Harrowstone
Blinking away sleep and road dust, a man picks up his bundle from the side of the coach and blearily scans the village, looking for signs of recognition. Unfolding a mildly crumpled letter he glances at it, and peers about the town for a second time.
Carefully replacing the letter in his belt pouch, he shrugs to resettle the grey cloak he is wearing over a suit of scale armor and shoulders his bag and shield trying to signal a passerby for directions.
A donkey comes clip-clopping up the street, a woman in dark cloth and chainmail vest on its back. The woman blinks her eyes against the road dust and lifts her hat's brim to look around.
Eloise smothers a yawn behind her hand and shrugs. For now, she thinks little of Ravengro, but she is not here for sightseeing.
"Let's move it along, old boy," she says, patting her mount's neck. The donkey brays with resignation and clip-clops along.
Mathus also collected his bags along with Theodor, saying little, as he had done through most of the journey. He gave a blank faced social nod to the armoured man before ambling over to the dusty hound, allowing it to sniff at his hand... and take a surreptitious look around the square.
He suspected that others such as Theodor shared the same dark duty that bought him to Ravengro and looked for signs of local mourning or funeral preparations even as Theodor sought an approachable local.
Looking around Zindelo notices that some of the other passengers are milling about as if unsure which direction they should go in.
I wonder if they are here for the professor as well... what could the chances be?... although the professor did have many friends.
As you approach one of the locals, a woman with her child, she pushes her child behind her as she eyes you warily. The young child clutches her mother's dress as she looks at you with a mixture of awe and wonder.
The young mother gives you directions toward the Lorrimor residence and with a quick turn begins to leave, shooing her child ahead of her.
Whether she acknowledges him or not, Theodor speaks: "My thanks goodwife, may the light of Iomedae guide your steps."
Theodor turns towards the assembled on the street, considering the group of others and motions for them to lead the way that the mother indicated. Hesitating, as if to speak more, he shakes his head and begins to turn in the direction indicated.
Blast this, the Professor, what could have happened to him... hmmm.... Strange reaction that woman had, I wonder why...
Hearing the directions the woman gives the others he hastens to follow.
I guess they are here for the professor as well. I shouldn't be surprised, he was a great and generous man
Lost in the ruminations of all that Professor Lorrimor had done for him Zindelo walks behind the others, following the woman's directions.
My thanks, Mathus says gravely but instead of entering, rings a small bell by the side of the door.
You are very tired, yes?. Mathus looks critically over Theodor as if examining his skin colour and general well being. Best it is that we wait for the residents of the house rather than let ourselves in I think.
Tomnus nods as Mathus speaks and then chuckles a little to himself.
"Quite right. Poor miss Lorrimore is going through enough with out an intruder adding to her stress. Though I'm sure you didn't mean anything by it."
He then looks at the group by the door and extends a hand "By the way my name is Tomnus, and I was to take a job with the great professor but fate had a different plan it would seem..." Tomnus keeps his hand extended but his face grows sad and he looks a bit lost in thought now.
As the four of you are waiting for the door to be answered a fifth person arrives, a young woman dressed in dark clothes and wearing chainmail, dismounts from the donkey she was riding and after securing it's bridle to a hitching post on the street walks up to your group.
Just then the door opens to reveal a woman in her mid-twenties dressed in dark mourning clothes, her hair pulled back in a bun with a veil attached.
As you look closer you can see that her eyes are puffy and bloodshot, as if from crying.
"Hello?" she says in a hesitant voice until a flash of understanding crosses her face "Oh, you must be the friends of father I wrote to? I was beginning to think that my letters never found you." She steps back from the doorway and ushers you in "Forgive me, I'm Kendra Lorrimor, the Professor's daughter. Please come in. It wouldn't do to have you standing around my doorstep so that people could talk. They will talk all the same, but let's not give them any more reason that they should."
The young woman in black and chaimail gently thumps Tomnus against the shoulder, more a caution than an actual chastisement.
"Oy. Unless you know the lady, don't be forward, now. Not at a time like this."
She then makes a formal half-bow to Kendra Lorrimor. "We have not met yet. I am Eloise Tow. Your father... was a great inspiration to me. Thank you for taking the time to contact me, and thank you for welcoming all of us into your home."
Eloise nods at the others gathered at the door, and then goes inside.
Zindelo moves towards Kendra, "I am Zindelo Lovari. Your father was a great man. He helped me discover who I am and treated me as a son. Words can not express what I owe to him."
Leaning forward he gently takes hold of Kendra's shoulders and gives her a soft kiss on both cheeks. Before releasing her and stepping back he says, "I am truly sorry for your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to ease your pain."
Making way for the others to offer their condolences Zindelo takes note of each person wondering how the professor touched each of their lives.
Looking startled out of his thoughts, Theodor looks to Kendra and bows, "My sincere condolences, your father was an inspiration to many, myself included. My name is Theodor Rostmanov, and I frequently sought your father's guidance and advice on many matters. If there is anything I can do to help, please..."
Nodding to those remaining outside, he steps through the doorway.
Doktor Mathus Kohlheim, at your service, he offers with a little formal bow. Having lost family myself, I sympathise with your loss. Thank you for your hospitality.
Somewhat taken aback by the displays of affection Kendra manages to stammer "Th, Thank you. You are too kind." Escorting you into the sitting room, Kendra offers you some refreshments laid out upon the table"Please help yourselves. You must be hungry from your journey. I will go put a kettle on, after all we have some time before we have to meet the others at the Restlands."
After eating some of the sandwiches laid out and imbibing some tea, or any of the harder liquors, on the sideboard Kendra grabs a black lace shawl and wraps it around her shoulders "I believe it is time to go now. It wouldn't do to keep Father Grimburrow and the others waiting." so saying she lowers her veil over her face and leads you to the door.
As you follow her back through town, your procession draws stares of wonderment from the people you pass on the street. Kendra leads you through the streets to the north road leading out of town. A short distance later you come to the local cemetery, known as the Restlands. As you approach one of the gates Kendra traces a small spiral over her heart and looks for the rest of you to follow suit. Waiting at the gate are a handful of people, three men, one woman, and a teenage boy arranged around a fine walnut and bronze casket.
Kendra introduces you to the other mourners, Councilmen Vashian Hearthmount and Gharen Muricar, Zokar Elkarid, the local tavernkeeper, and his son Pevrin, and Jominda Fallenbridge, the town’s apothecary. With a look at Councilman Hearthmount Kendra announces ”These are the friends of father that we’ve been waiting for.” With a curt nod of his head in acknowledgement the councilman and the other local men position themselves around the casket while Kendra takes up position in front of the procession while Jominda and Pevrin fall in behind the casket. All eyes turn to you as Kendra explains ”Traditionally the friends of the deceased carry the body to the gravesite where the priest is waiting to conduct the funeral rites.”
There are handholds for six people to carry the casket, although only four are actually needed. With the three men waiting to lift the casket at least one of you will have to ‘volunteer’ to help carry the Professor to his final resting place
Thinking to myself about the symbol she makes, isn't that the symbol of Pharasma? Knowledge: Religion 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
To the council men "Um, greetings gentlemen, I am Theodor Rostmanov, and I thank you for waiting for us. I am willing to bear the burden, or if preferred, I would be honored to follow; and if it would not offend to offer Iomedae's prayers for the fallen." The last directed at Kendra with a solemn glance.
Theodor looks to the rest of the group to gauge their response, gesturing to the last space on the casket while fishing his holy symbol of Iomedae out of his armor.
Taking a breath Zindelo prepares himself for the burden. Nodding to Kendra he addresses her softly, "It would be my honor miss"
Tracing Pharasma's sign over his heart he takes position by the fourth handhold. Nodding to the others who have already taken up position he watches Theodor remove the holy symbol from within his armor.
A holy symbol of Iomedae and offering a prayer in her name. I guess he is a cleric of The Inheritor?
"It would also be my honor miss" Tomnus says as he takes up a position opposite Theodor if Theodor carries the casket. As he gets into position he to will trace the symbol of Pharasma over his heart. Before he takes hold of the casket Tomnus will adjust the weapons on his body so they won't clank against his armor as he walks. He feels over dressed for the occasion but didn't really have time to drop anything off and didn't have any appropriate garb for a funeral.
"If it does not offend, I would offer my services," Eloise says. She glances at Kendra. "Unless you would prefer me to walk with you, Ms. Lorrimor?" Eloise wordlessly holds out a hand to Kendra. 'She looks like she could use some support, poor woman,' Eloise thinks.
The townsmen look at Eloise a little askance at her offer as Kendra gives Eloise a wan smile of thanks "No, thank you. I must lead the procession. You are welcome to join the others at the rear of the casket."
Family members traditionally lead the funeral procession to the gravesite followed by the casket and pallbearers and finally the other mourners bring up the rear.
While it is not unheard of for a woman to act as a pallbearer it is generally left to the male family members or friends of the deceased to act in that capacity.
"As you wish," Eloise says, nodding politely to Kendra.
'What fussy people,' she thinks, doing her best to ignore the townsmen. 'Oh, well. Local traditions, I suppose.'
Intelligence check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Expression solemn, Malthus falls in behind the coffin smoothly, completely familiar with the burial rites and joining the mourners.
(Knowledge Religion Take 10 = 15)
As the procession begins with Kendra stoically in the lead the only sound heard is that of your feet along the gravel path known as The Dreamwake. As the funeral march reaches a turn where the Dreamwake merges with another path the silence is shattered by Kendra's shrill shriek "Gibs Hephenus, what is the meaning of this?"
Looking up you notice an elderly man standing in the middle of the path, his arms folded across his chest. A network of white scars across his forearms indicate that he was no stranger to fighting in his youth. Behind him a group of locals, about a dozen in all, stand across the pathway, barring further entrance into the graveyard.
As the old man spits on the ground and begins to speak, you notice that about half of the mob is armed, although with a mix of farm implements (rakes, hoes, sickles, pitchforks, hammers, and the like) “That’s far enough. We been talking, and we don’t want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but he ain’t goin’ in the ground here!” the old man snarls.
Eloise walks around the coffin and the pall-bearers, affecting a very casual attitude. Casual, that is, except for the fact that her hand has dropped oh-so-coincidentally onto her swordhilt.
"Is there a problem here?" she asks as she comes to a stop beside Kendra and lifts her hat's brim an inch. "Doesn't seem the right place for this to me. Not Pharasma's holy ground."
Are these men willing to start a fight during this funeral procession?
Sense Motive check:If I can take 10 then 10+8=18; if I have to roll 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Keeping an eye on the man speaking with Kendra (and the others with the man) Zindelo prepares to step in and diffuse the situation before any blows are thrown.
Zindelo will prepare to cast enhanced diplomacy on himself and attempt to diffuse the situation, if it escalates
Damnation to them all!... still, this isn't helping.
He steps out of place from behind the coffin and moves to Theodor.
I will bear him in your place... you deal with this.
Mathus ducks slightly easing his shoulders where he can straighten and take the weight if Theodor wishes to transfer his burden.
A few words now could help later.
You interfere with holy rites villages and are in opposition of the Lady of Graves... stop this senseless anger and go home
Aiding anothers chance here
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Sliding out of Mathus' way, Theodor steps aside and forward some.
"Gentlemen, ladies," he calmly begins to address the crowd in their way, "there is no need for violence or weapons this day. This woman is here to honor her father and lay him to rest, we are here to honor a friend and mentor to many of us. You must all know how hard it is to lose a parent, a loved one, a teacher, a friend. Let us pass in peace this day, please."
accepting the 'aid another from Mathus' Diplomacy 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 6 + 2 = 17
Looks like this crowd is ready pounce at the slightest provocation. Casting a spell could just be the match to their oil and Eloise does not seem to be helping the situation. No way I can hide my spell casting. Maybe I should let the situation play out. Maybe Kendra can handle it on her own, she knows these people.
Zindelo braces himself as he sees Theodor step forward and address the crowd. To his relief he sees Theodor speak to the group in a much calmer tone than Eloise. He seems to be appealing to their compassion.
I hope they listen to Theodor, if only I could help the situation.... I just hope this gets resolved quick, this coffin is getting heavier. Not sure how much longer I can last. Suddenly a smirk crosses his face, leaving as quickly as it arrived.
Zindelo, standing still and struggling with the burden he is carrying, calls out to Eloise. "Miss Eloise, if you would be so kind. I could use some assistance. I fear my arms are about to fall off under this weight. I think I took on more than I am capable of." Wiping his brow on his sleeve Zindelo hopes that Eloise helps him, both the remove her from provoking the crowd and also to help with the weight of the coffin.
As Eloise steps in front of the crowd, Gibs looks over at the defiant woman, spits on the ground and begins to say something when Theodor makes his plea.
After Theodor's speech the crowd seems hesitant, perhaps wondering what they are doing there. Half of the crowd seems ready to return home while the other half, the armed ones, seem unsure of what to do next.
Kendra's initial bewilderment turns to outrage as the intent of the mob sinks in "What are you talking about?” she lashes out. “I arranged it with Father Grimburrow. He’s waiting for us! The grave’s already been...”
Gibs perhaps sensing the shift in the mood continues his tirade, trying to bolster the courage of those with him "“You don’t get it, woman. We won’t have a necromancer buried in the same place as our kin. I suggest you move out while you still can. Folks are pretty upset about this right now.”
Keep going, you're almost there.
As Eloise helps relieve Zindelo from his strain he reaches into his bag and takes out his harrow cards.
"The Professor is no necromancer. I have worked with him closely for many years so I know of what I speak." Holding up the harrow deck for all to see, "I have read the cards at today's first light and they have shown that Pharasma has already accepted the Professor. Who among you would go against The Lady of Graves?"
Aid another for Theodor - Diplomacy Check 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Tomnus speaks quietly and suggests to his fellow paulbarrors that they put down the professor before someone drops him. Once thats done Tomnus will step foreward and speak.
"Kind sir you must be mistaken. From what I know of the professor he has spent his life dedicated to ridding this land of those who practice such arts. Now please move aside so that we can let this brave mans soul rest and stop causing pain to his beautiful daughter."
Diplomacy:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
The crowd seems to ignore Zindelo's words as Gibs' seem to resonate among them only too clearly. Oddly enough it is Tomnus' plea, and the grief plainly written across Kendra's face, that causes the mob to disperse.
seeing his support dwindle away, Gibs shoots one last venomous glance toward the procession, Eloise in particular, before skulking away with the rest of the locals.
The rest of the funeral procession looks at you with newfound respect that you were able to disperse the crowd without it degenerating into violence. +1 Trust point
Placing her hand on Tomnus' shoulder, Kendra whispers a brief "Thank you" before regaining her composure and leading the procession back on it's way.
"Well done, yes," Eloise says to Tomnus, giving him a small nod of respect.
Her dark eyes follow Gibs and narrow. 'Spit at me, would you? Give me dirty looks? That's all fine and dandy, but slandering the Professor when he's too dead to defend himself? That's a different kettle of fish. I'll be watching out for you, cully.'
Mathus gives Theodor a nod and then prepares to slide his shoulder out from under the coffin and allow Theodor to retake his place.