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DM Alexander Kilcoyne's Sargavan Saga

Game Master Alexander Kilcoyne

"What is this place? Puzzles in Azlant, more magic than you see in a year in Absalom. Wheels literally within wheels. Bound demons and wax golems? The expense must have been enormous. But why? To what end?"

Jakob

Battle Map (R3, I22) | Kingdom Rules | SRD Reference | Pyramid, Level 1 | Pyramid, Level 2 |


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Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

"Yes, that's the one. Have we seen her about since we got back from the ranch? Or do we know where she lives?" Ansha asks, digging into a beltpouch and withdrawing a new silver necklace to idly toy with it.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Tebati glances around the common room to see if any of the inn's staff are in evidence. "I'm not even certain which one she is. When Tabansi spoke it earlier, it was the first time I'd heard the name." She glances at Kieran and N'bellocq to see if they know which girl they are looking for.


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

N'bellocq gives his head a little shake and a shrug of his shoulders and looks to Kieran.


Your Humble Narrator

Ansha:

Your not enough of an expert on such magic or the curse in question to be sure whether the spell could be transmitted by someone other than the caster, or in that fashion.

As Ansha continued to talk with N'bellocq, Kieran and Tebati, the merchant the others had seen her talking with upstairs came down. He walked quickly and swiftly out of the tavern with a packed bag, half-threw a pouch of coins at Bellis Mara as he made for the door and fixed Ansha with a hateful stare that was entirely undisguised.

The Elf was still unsure whether her final bluff would have the required effect.

Just your conversation and any other activities in the night. Essentially waiting for the party to turn in before the next day begins.

Kieran shrugged apologetically. He did not seem to know who Eliandra was, either. Salgarth Macini noticed the four of you across the crowded tavern common room and raised his glass with a friendly smile and a nod.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Tebati raises her eyebrows inquiringly at Ansha as her "company" exits the Maw in less than a happy state. "Unless you think there is anything to be gained by seeking out this Eliandra tonight," she tells the elf, "we will surely see her in the course of her work tomorrow. I am promised to go back to Mindra's in the morning to speak with the shamaness, and if you want to go with me, I cannot wait hours for you to make yourself presentable. Tabansi is as safe as Freehold can make him tonight; we would do well to rest while we can, as we do not know what challenges tomorrow may bring us." She laces her fingers with Kieran's on the table and smiles as she half-rises from her chair. "Are you ready to get out of your finery?"

Ready to get to the next morning and get Jakob and Qhude back in the mix.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha's gaze follows the merchant as he exits the inn. Feeling Tebati's gaze upon her, she looks at the priestess and shrugs. "Aye, I'm coming with you. See you in the morning." She shakes her head at Tebati's thinly-veiled innuendo and starts toward her room again.

Once inside her room, she makes a point of searching thoroughly for any secret doors or passages (taking 20), makes sure that there's no one hiding elsewhere in the suite and locks the door. Finally, she strips out of her clothing, crawls into bed and buries herself in the covers. That really wasn't worth the trouble, she thinks as she drifts asleep.

Also ready to move on to the next day, assuming that Ansha doesn't find any secret passages in her room.


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)

"ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz....."

Jacob sleeps the sleep of the footsore as scores of spiders crawl about his room.


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

As N'bellocq heads up the stairs he wonders if bedding Ansha could really be that bad of an experience. But then nods his head coming to the conclusion that, She is rather skinny. Needs some meat on her bones.

As he enters his room, he reassembles his watch station on the floor just inside his door. He leaves the door slightly ajar to better hear movement in the halls and settles in on his blanket.


Your Humble Narrator

Morning, 2nd of Erastus, 4711 AR

Day 3 in Freehold-

The night passed uneventfully and gave in to the dawn's fierce sunlight. The day presented a fine, cloudless sky and very little wind seemed to be blowing in the morning.

Tebati, Ansha and Jakob going to see Shamaness Ntisi at the Macini Household I believe and Qhude off to see Cruthoniax? Make sure spells are prepared, those who are not spontaneous casters.


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Qhude awakens with the dawn, rising to stretch out muscles that grew turgid while sleeping. The bounty of the previous night still sat heavy within his stomach so he did not feel the need for breakfasting. Leaving the stag's skin to cure a while longer, Qhude casts a critical eye over the boiled skull one last time for stubborn flecks of remaining flesh. Satisfied, he grips the skull loosely with the fingers of his right hand gripping through the empty eye sockets. He then moves off to the shop of Cru-tho-ni-ax, mulling the events of last night... and attempting to form the sentences that will need to be said upon his arrival at the gnome's place of business.

For clarity - Qhude is currently bereft of armor and armed only with his fists.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha rises early enough to draw another hot bath, leaving her long blond mane up in a bun to avoid getting wet. For once, she appears on-time at the location where she was supposed to meet Tebati, clad in her usual travelling outfit, a sword at her hip and her staff in hand. Well, we'll see whether my drunk friend remembers what he planned on doing last night--and if it works out for him, she thinks as she waits, keeping a watchful eye on her surroundings.

Spell list updated.


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

N'bellocq awakens upon the floor very refreshed..and bloated. The floor was no different the boat deck he slept on for years, and the Inn's blanket was particularly soft.

But in the early morning light, he leaves the Inn. Swings his bow and quiver across his back. Takes a look around on the off chance Qhude might be coming to look for him. And sets off at a brisk run.

He eventually finds himself a large lone tree on the plains. He spends the morning running around it loosing arrows into its trunk.

On the road this weekend, so its a good moment for N'bellocq to get lost.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Kieran, Night, 1st of Erastus, 4711 AR:
When the door of their room has closed behind them, Tebati does as she has wanted to do all night and slides into the arms of the well-dressed half-elf, kissing him deeply before stepping away with a smile. She undrapes the colored glass chimes from around her neck, hanging them up in the window. "Did you know," she asks, "that Bellis Mara is running a brothel out of the Lion's Maw?"

Morning, 2nd of Erastus, 4711 AR

Despite the comfort of the bed, Tebati's years of training wake her an hour before dawn, as always. Slipping from between the sheets quietly so as not to wake Kieran, she opens the window and seats herself on the floor before it, face and palms upturned to the sky, to meditate. By the time she is done, the rays of the rising sun are sliding through her glass chimes hanging in the window, painting both her and the floor with slivers of colored light.

Opening her eyes and getting to her feet, she smiles across the room at Kieran, now awake, as she dresses. With a sigh, she contemplates her armor for a moment before reluctantly taking it up and strapping it on. "I had thought not to have to wear this again until we left town," she comments, "but it seems Freehold is to be less a safe harbor than I had expected. Better to have it and not to need it than to need it and not to have it." Hanging her trident at her waist, she gives Kieran a parting kiss before heading downstairs to meet up with Jakob and Ansha.


Male Half-Elf Fighter 2nd/Rogue 2nd

Tebati, Night, 1st of Erastus, 4711 AR:
"Though she did not quite come out and say it," Kieran replies with a shrug, somewhat preoocupied with taking off his sword and dagger, "I assumed as much when she asked me for that particular favor. How did she put it? Ah, yes... Something about men being sweet on a serving girl and showing it with money, I believe." There is a thin, brief smile. "Even an apparently idyllic town such as this one has its, shall we say, darker corners, yes?"

Morning, 2nd of Erastus, 4711 AR

"There is always a tiny bit of ache in my heart when I see you putting on your clothes instead of taking them off," Kieran quips teasingly before returning her kiss when she approaches him. "Have fun! Well, so to speak..."

With Tebati gone, the half-elf lingers in bed for a while longer before finally deciding to get up, get dressed and go to the common room for a bit of breakfast. Once finished, he ponders something for a moment before moving briefly once again to his room, muttering quietly, "Better safe than sorry, I suppose." Following the priestess' example, when he leaves the inn, his sword and dagger are at their usual place, his mithral shirt is easily concealed under his tunic and his thieves' tools are, as usual, within reach.

"I wonder if Lord Talathel is still interested in sparring," he says to himself as he starts making his way towards the mage's abode.


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)

Jakob throws open the shutters to greet the new day. He does not notice the few cobwebs that remain.

Dressing rapidly following his ablutions he slides into his armor.
"First I play at Noble now at Bodyguard and Detective. I wonder what is next?"

Grabbing his wand, dagger, and club he heads out to find breakfast, Tebati, and Ansha. Though not necessarily in that order.

Nat. Div set on skill today.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Kieran, Night, 1st of Erastus, 4711 AR:
"I am surprised that a man such as Tabansi, who is both handsome and respected, must pay for company rather than finding a woman who is willing for his own sake and not only for his coin," Tebati replies, crossing back across the room to Kieran in case the half-elf needs 'help' with any unfamiliar buttons or laces in his new clothing. "I have never been in a house of ill repute before," she confesses, smiling up at him self-consciously. "I have seen wealthy courtesans with their attendants in the streets of Nantambu and the wretched women in the doorways of the whorehouses of Bloodcove; Bellis Mara and her girls bear little resemblance to either. I would never have guessed, had it not been for Tabansi's confession."

Morning, 2nd of Erastus, 4711 AR

Leaving Kieran with a fond smile at his teasing, Tebati goes downstairs to find Jakob just settled in with a plate of breakfast. Requesting some fresh fruit if it is available, she joins him at his table with a nod, distracted by watching the faces of the female servants and wondering which might be Eliandra. She actually has little expectation that Ansha will join them on time and is subsequently surprised to see the elf descending the stairs not long after she herself had. "Good morning," she greets her arrival. "You must be eager indeed to meet the shamaness to be awake and dressed so early."


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha smiles faintly and shrugs as she joins Tebati and Jakob. "I can be prompt...when the occasion calls for it," she retorts with a wink. She looks between the two of her companions and mock-pouts, "And here I thought I was going to beat you both here."


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

"And I thought I was going to have to drag you, naked and dripping, from your bath yet again," Tebati teases. "We must all learn to deal with the disappointment. You will have to settle for having time to eat something before we leave." She offers the elf some of her fruit and takes the opportunity while pushing the bowl across the table to lean her head nearer and ask quietly, "Do you see your dark-haired Eliandra here this morning?"


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

"Well, if that's what you wanted, you only had to ask," Ansha replies, smiling coyly. Taking an apple from the offered bowl of fruit, the enchantress glances around to see whether she sees Eliandra in attendance this morning.


Your Humble Narrator

Jeggare's Caravan, Freehold Outskirts-

Jeggare's camp had stirred lazily into activity, a contrast to the discipline the caravan staff had shown while on trail. While some semblance of routine and order had been kept, it was obvious that many of the staff were to entertain themselves and enjoy the town- Jeggare himself was up at the crack of dawn as always and could be found supervising purchases. The caravan staff nodded politely to Qhude as they passed, a few making idle chatter with him. By the time Qhude began to head into the town itself, he was among a steady trickle of staff walking along the main street, as well as a traveller or two.

The Lion's Maw-

Ansha cast her eyes around but saw no sign of the serving girl Eliandra or her merchant friend. The inn was relatively quiet this early in the day- the two Dwarves that had been staying down the hall from the group were quietly breaking their fast with bread, cheese and water.

Off to Macini's or do you have other plans?

Freehold Town-

Kieran as well as the rest of you as you made your way out of the Inn could see that the market square stalls were being taken down or relocated, the ground being prepared for Archersfeast tomorrow. Kieran made his way to the dwelling of the town wizard Zesaste. It was one of the larger stone houses in the area but unlike others in the town, the walls were adorned with vines and various herbs, some far larger or smaller than would appear normal. An elegant sign by the finely crafted wooden door read-

No unscheduled appointments or housecalls.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha purses her lips as she looks around the inn. Not seeing Eliandra, she shakes her head slightly. "No, doesn't look like she's here. Doesn't matter--we can find her later."

Unless Jakob or Tebati engage in something other than eating and then going to Macini's, Ansha will refrain from indulging her chatty side until later.


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Qhude gives cursory notice to those of the caravan as he passes, mind clearly focused upon the meeting with the gnome to come.

Continue on to the Curio's unless stopped by someone.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Tebati would also prefer to be out of the inn's common room before we discuss anything germane. Ready to go to Mindra's.


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

After collecting his arrows for the last time from the trunk of the tree, N'bellock reflects how it will be harder with a moving target, but it will be as large. Hitting will not be the problem...hitting it enough before it eats someone will be. He inspects the arrows noting any that look damaged and might need to be replaced.

The morning spent he runs at a quick pace back to town. Once in the crowds, he will spend some time to find a fruit stand, a bakery, and someone selling small fig cakes.


Your Humble Narrator

The Macini Estate-

Tebati, Jakob and Ansha made their way to the estate. Greeted by a servant, they are brought to a different wing of the house and into what appears to be an old audience chamber. A slightly raised area no doubt once held high chairs for the Macini's to pass judgement on the criminals and petitioners of the town, but no such chairs were visible now. Mindra, Mitabu and Salgarth welcomed the three warmly (the latter looked tired and a little worse for wear, perhaps he drunk too heavily last night in the Maw) and the Erastil priestess Ntisi was quick to arrive afterwards. She nodded with a slight smile to Tebati and politely introduced herself to Jakob and Ansha as "Shamaness Ntisi, of Old Deadeye".

Ntisi didn't seem to question the presence of the three as she proclaimed the reason for her requested meeting, speaking quietly but with a certain weight to her words.

Mindra, Salgarth- I have come to report a theft from my church. A stash of scrolls I had held back for emergencies have been taken- they could have been missing for two weeks or more by now, as I rarely open the hidden vault in which they dwell. I have come to make the council aware of this theft and request that Zesaste search for them using divination.

Ntisi scrutinised the council member's faces as she continued, sensing something amiss.

In addition, some of the ranch workers seemed ill at ease over the past couple of days. If there is anything I can do to assist, I would like to be involved. My acolytes are well able to prepare for Archersfeast without my input.

Mindra took a deep breath and let out a small sigh.

Tebati, Jakob, Ansha- would you kindly inform the Shamaness of the situation as it stands and your investigation? I would like to be sure that you yourselves are under the same understanding as we are. If you have any questions for Ntisi, now is an opportune time to ask them. If you would like us to leave to ensure the privacy of your questions at any time, you need only ask.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cruthoniax's Curios-

Qhude found the master craftsman hard at work, his shop well lit but as usual, quite empty. His miniature forge was well heated as he hammered upon an unfinished, tempered blade.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha glances at her companions, shrugs and takes a deep breath.

"Well," Ansha starts. "You sense correctly where the ranch workers are concerned. Not long ago, a great lizard started attacking cattle and ranch-hands--in particular, the head rancher. We've been asked to deal with this lizard, an 'ankylosaurus,' as I recall, and to deal with a curse that has all of the wildlife that spies him angry at poor Tabansi. I understand there was a pilgrim of some sort who visited you not long ago? What could you tell us about him?"

The elf pauses, glances away thoughtfully and then rests her gaze upon Ntisi again. "Out of curiosity, what sorts of scrolls were stolen? Ones that might be able to remove--or bestow--a curse?"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 9


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Cruthoniax's Curios:

Qhude made his way carefully into the shop and waited for the gnome to acknowledge his presence before touching fist to chest "Good morning Cru-tho-ni-ax, I hope it finds you well?" pausing to allow him to either make safe his work or continue. Qhude raises the stag skull and places it on a nearby counter "A gift... so you might hear my words. The skin is not yet cured, or I would have brought it also"

"I come for guidance umkhandi... a task has been set before me, to fight a powerful foe that is larger, stronger and more powerful than myself. I fear that strength alone might not be enough to win the day" moving near to Cruthoniax and taking a knee so as to see eye to eye with the gnome "So I have come to you... who is smaller and weaker than most, to see if you might have something to even the balance" arm sweeping to his wall of unorthodoxy.

umkhandi - craftsman


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Tebati returns Ntisi's nod with a deeper incline of the head in deference to the older woman's status. She is content for now to let either of the other two take the role of formally speaking for the group, and her attention seems to wander as Ansha asks her questions. Sense Motive 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9 :P


Male Half-Elf Fighter 2nd/Rogue 2nd

Kieran chuckles softly to himself after reading the sign by Zesaste's door. "Ah, so much for spontaneity then," he mutters to himself as he turns to leave. "And he wonders why it is that my poor elven side is oh so neglected."

With no plans in mind, the half-elf decides to simply make himself more acquainted with the town by walking its streets. With the exclusion of two brief stops, one to purchase a fresh apple and another to linger about the place where the Archersfeast is to take place, he treats himself to a rather relaxed stroll, an almost perpetual smile on his face. He does return briefly to the elven wizard's house at some point to leave a handwritten note requesting an appointment either for himself or for both Ansha and him, depending on Zesaste's preference. 'Might as well play along, I suppose,' he thinks with a soft sigh.


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)

Jakob listenes intently to Ntisi's response to Ansha's question.
Sense motive on her answer, using divination.1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11, well that was useful.

"Yes the beast has been drawn here by the curse on Tabansi. If one of the missing scrolls could do such a thing then we have a clue."


Your Humble Narrator

Mindra's Estate-

Ntisi listened with little expression wrought on her face as Ansha told of Tabansi's woe. She did inquire as to the dates of the attacks before she slowly responded.

The pilgrim arrived on the day of the third attack, which rules him out as a suspect I should surmise. The purpose of his trip into the jungle is not something I am prepared to share, but I vouch for both his character and his intentions. This is not a line of inquiry that will yield a good harvest, so do not plant rotten seeds she advised.

I bore scrolls both to remove and to cause curses and enchantments... Traditionally, churches of Erastil sometimes lay curses instead of resorting to a more brutal punishment. But not this kind of curse you have described. Besides these spells... some emergency healing is most of what I have there. All of them are quite powerful, spells beyond what I could cast unaided. I hope that Zesaste can use a divination spell to look around the town for magical scrolls- they should be rare enough that we can locate them even though the scrolls themselves are not familiar to him.

Something else occurs to Ntisi and she appeared pensive for a moment.

So Tabansi will not be able to participate in Archersfeast either... Though I imagine he, of course, has greater concerns right now. I am at your disposal, investigators, within reason. I am an Cleric of the 2nd Order* should you require my services or knowledge.

In my Golarion, this is used to denote the power of Clergy and Wizards, though they are often loathe to give this information up even among close associates. Someone of the 2nd Order can cast 2nd level spells, but the term does not carry any connotations beyond magical power; it does not naturally mean rank.

Jakob:

You generally get the feeling Ntisi is trustworthy and genuinely wants to help. It seems clear she has a personal interest in this "pilgrim" and whatever he is up to in the jungle to the north, though you don't believe it is related to the ankylosaurus or the curse.

Tebati:

Your finding it hard to get a good read on Ntisi, who controls her emotions and expressions extremely well.

Ansha:

You generally get the feeling Ntisi is trustworthy and genuinely wants to help.

Cruthoniax's Curios-

The Gnome seemed to nod eagerly and showed no reaction to Qhude's frank words as he looked the proud tribesman up and down and considered...

Qhude give me a diplomacy check to make the request. The DC has been modified in several ways but your definitely talking the Gnome's language which helps...

Zesaste's House-

The second time Kieran came to call upon the wizard, he left his note as planned. As he was walking away from the house, Zesaste's whisper came to his ear, clearly via magical means.

Do come in Kieran, the door is unlocked.

Kieran caught a whisper of movement with his keen eyes from an upstairs, curtained window as he turned back to the house.

A little outside Freehold...

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15

N'bellocq continued to practice his archery throughout the morning and was pleased with the results as his arrows found the mark time and time again. The tree was up upon a small hill and the area had good visibility over the local area- which only added to his surprise when he spotted a Zenj man who had somehow escaped his earlier notice, less than forty feet away. He was walking towards N'bellocq with casual strides, making no attempt to remain unseen and clearly not keen on being shot for sneaking up on him.

Ho there friend archer! he called in a deep voice, eyes and mouth both smiling warmly. He was of average height and build and in his early thirties. His clothes were clearly chosen to protect him from the sun's harsh heat, with a loose silk hood over his head and loose white clothing keeping his flesh covered but not overheating him. He did not appear armed and other than a few belt pouches and a travel backpack, he was carrying little.


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Cru-tho-ni-ax's Curios:

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha studies Ntisi with a jaundiced eye as her request about the pilgrim is rebuffed. After the shamaness finishes speaking, the elf smiles and politely thanks Ntisi for the offer of assistance. Just what are you shielding this 'pilgrim' from?

"I had intended to speak with Zesaste later--I can certainly carry the request to him should you wish it," she says. "Are you certain that these scrolls would still be within Freehold? As for Tabansi's participation in Archersfeast, I imagine that the whole affair will be safer for his absence. Was there something that required his presence there?"


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Mindra's Estate-

DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:

Ntisi listened with little expression wrought on her face as Ansha told of Tabansi's woe. She did inquire as to the dates of the attacks before she slowly responded.

The pilgrim arrived on the day of the third attack, which rules him out as a suspect I should surmise. The purpose of his trip into the jungle is not something I am prepared to share, but I vouch for both his character and his intentions. This is not a line of inquiry that will yield a good harvest, so do not plant rotten seeds she advised.

"Not necessarily, Mother," Tebati puts in respectfully. "The beast acted in all ways like a beast in the beginning; it was not until the third day that Tabansi was suddenly singled out for its ire. If you are certain of your pilgrim's innocence, have you heard any whispers against Tabansi from your community? If it is not the outsider who is responsible, it must needs be someone within Freehold itself," she reasons.


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

N'belocq waves the man in closer as he continues to retrieve his arrows from he tree. With an equally wide smile, "Hello Friend. Come share the shade under this tree, my efforts have subdued it, allowing us to rest in peace."


Male Half-Elf Fighter 2nd/Rogue 2nd

Zesaste's House

"So it is," Kieran mutters softly as he proceeds to do as he is asked. The half-elf moves with a casual pace, his eyes darting this way and that as if trying to take in as much of his new surroundings as possible. He makes no move to walk further into the rest of the house, instead standing in wait after closing the door behind him and advancing a few steps. His stance is relaxed, hands clasped behind his back, while a faint smile can be seen on his face.

"I would think it impolite of me to simply take the liberty and start moving about your house instead of waiting for you to greet me, Lord Talathel. Unless I am invited to join you upstairs, of course," he says in an even voice, his tone as friendly as ever. "Impolite and, this being a mage's abode, perhaps more than a little foolhardy."

Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)

Mindra's Estate-

"I thank you for your candor. If you stand witness to the pilgrims good faith then that is enough for me. However he did head into the northern forest, the home of the beast, so might have seen something. Is he expected to return?"

"You mentioned Tebasini would not be competing in the fest either... Have other contenders withdrawn? On the surface it seems a great expence to use a curse of this power to fix a simple contest. But perhaps, as in other recent contests, more is involved than we know."

"Please tell us about Archersfest, what is at stake? Who are the likely winners and what place does it hold in the community?"


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha turns her head to arch an eyebrow at Jakob, apparently not having understood Ntisi's words in quite the same way. She decides, however, to let the shamaness speak for herself.


Your Humble Narrator

Macini Estate-

Ntisi nodded softly in Ansha's direction.

Yes, thank you. I am not certain the scrolls would still be in Freehold as they could no doubt be sold for more in Kalabuto or Eleder... But I would like to check nevertheless. Very little in particular required Tabansi's presence- he would have led a prize bull for the ceremony but that's about all...

The shamaness' eyes widened as she quickly grasped the implication of this.

With that curse upon him... he would likely have been gored, slain on Archersfeast itself! Perhaps whoever placed this curse wanted to attack the Erastil church, rather than Tebati himself. The beast to the north may be mere coincidence... she replied to Tebati as she made her point. I have heard no whispers against Tabansi. He is a good man and well-liked, although he is in need of a strong woman to tie him down and teach him a little responsibility outside of work hours. I agree with Tebati- this must be the work of someone in the community.

Jakob spoke next and Ntisi replied, her voice showing irritation that she had caused a misunderstanding. The Shamaness was quickly stealing the authority of the room as Mindra and Salgarth merely watched and listened.

I meant in addition to not being able to work, Jakob. The traveller will not be passing through Freehold again for quite some time- I believe he will next go to Kalabuto. Archersfeast includes some competition but it is not important enough for someone to use magic to win; it seems unlikely, at any rate. Prizes are given out sometimes but they are usually returned before the next Archersfeast and do not hold significant monetary value... Archersfeast is a celebration to bring a community together, not to gain status and material possessions.

Wanted to update everyone at once but sneaking one in at work. I'll get posts for everyone else up as soon as possible.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

"I'd ask you who would count themselves among the enemies of the church of Erastil," Ansha smiles wryly, "But I imagine that there are many who do not value the emphasis Old Deadeye places upon community and order."

"Would anyone gain directly from destabilizing Freehold? A merchants' consortium, the Freemen Brotherhood, anyone of that sort?"


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

"Who knew that Tabansi was to lead the bull?" Tebati asks. "Or has that long been his traditional role in the festival?"


Your Humble Narrator

Cruthoniax's Curios-

The excitable little craftsman took the offered gift and scurried around his shop, occasionally stopping to compare a long polearm against Qhude's powerful frame and asking him to 'give this a swing' fairly frequently.

Eventually, Cruthoniax presented Qhude with two large, intricately folded nets. The Bas'o was surprised at how dense and heavy the nets were, and the rope used in its creation seemed to be reinforced with threads of strong metal, painstakingly woven into it. The folding was no less intricate and Cruthoniax nodded sagely.

Trap this bigger and stronger foe within this net, friend Qhude, and the fight will surely favor you. Do you have some time to test it outside?

Posting from a train right now on my phone, ill be mostly out of touch until sunday


Your Humble Narrator

Zesaste's House-

Perhaps foreseeing or expecting Kieran's wariness, Zesaste was quick to greet him inside the house as he welcomed him inside. Not questioning or inquiring as to his reason for visiting, the town Wizard gave him a tour of his spacious home. The house was well organised and meticulous, clean to a fault and with everything in its proper place. In fact, the organisation of the place spoke perhaps of a deeply obsessive nature. Kieran was shown most of the home which included various oddities the Wizard proudly showed off- from magically preservedd dead husks of tiny and exotic magical beasts to items of distinctly delicate Elven craftsmanship, including a collection of beautiful cloak brooches, kept in a special wooden box and each annotated with a memory and name in Zesaste's neat script.

Zesaste made small talk as he welcomed Kieran to his home and apologised for the sign upon the wall of the house- explaining with a wry smile that the townsfolk here were spoilt for choice with the previous town Wizard, an elderly Hedge Wizard who 'pandered to everyone's most mundane of wishes and tasks'. He noted one strong wooden locked door as his private study and politely apologised for not showing Kieran his latest work as it was in 'a precarious state'. Eventually, Kieran found himself being served a cool glass of magically chilled water in Zesaste's garden- no less meticulously well stewarded by comparison to the interior. Although clearly Zesaste cultivated many useful herbs here, beds of flowers also adorned his fenced grounds, neatly ringed by pebbles and stones.


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Cruthoniax's Curios-

Qhude humors the gnome as he seeks to search out something that might be of use among his array of complicated weaponry. Often he inwardly quailed at the elaborate accoutrements that were present on some of items... though he did not give voice to his concern. However the nets were of a different class. He had seen first hand their effect when he had been the subject of similar weapons many days prior in Freehold. Qhude was not foolish enough to think that he might hold the beast that was to be hunted from moving, but to foul it's legs would be a worthy advantage gained.

Hefting the heavy nets before him, Qhude touched right fist to breast "These are well made Cru-tho-ni-ax... and I think there is time enough to see them fly." bidding the gnome to lead him forth and outside towards what he thought a worthy target. As they walked Qhude asked "Would you watch the hunt itself little one? There will be danger, and perhaps death... but it would do ill to your gift to not ask of your thoughts."


Your Humble Narrator

Outside of Freehold-

The stranger seemed amused at N'bellocq's jest and bowed politely before taking him up on the offer of shade. He rested fom the strong heat of the midday sun, speaking little at first. Eventually, the man said, casually-

From travellers heading to Kalabuto I met on the road yesterday, I heard that there was a large caravan with a lot of staff on hand that had arrived in Freehold. I thought, perhaps, that I would seek employment. I am a skilled cook and can serve well as a porter or guard, if necessary. Would you know anything about that, friend archer? he inquired.


Male Half-Elf Fighter 2nd/Rogue 2nd

"You do understand that your words -not to mention the lock- only serve to pique my curiosity? Perhaps when its state has become less... precarious," Kieran remarks when Zesaste speaks of his work.

Once outside in the garden, the half-elf takes a sip as he looks at the herbs and flowers all around him, his elven blood tugging at his mind at this demonstration of natural beauty, albeit beauty meticulously arranged by elven hand. "May I ask what happened to your predecessor? Although I suspect that time simply caught up with him, what with his being human and all."


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

N'bellocq smiles, "You are a very lucky man to have found me out here. I am with such a caravan. And our cook took quite a fright on our way here. Having someone to help, who could perhaps make meals more in line with the tastes of the archers of the caravan could really be appreciated. I could take you to meet the boss. I was just about to head that way. Maybe you can make a test meal to prove your worth to the caravan."


Your Humble Narrator

Macini Estate-

Ntisi answered Tebati and Ansha's questions quietly.

We have a strong community here- I am not naiive enough to believe that Deadeye's faith is universal here in the town, but it is strong and has no enemies that have publicly declared themselves... Tebati, it has been the Head Rancher's role for decades. It would have been common knowledge.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Outside Cruthoniax's Curios-

Cruthoniax set up various large targets a short distance from his house and despite Qhude's lack of familiarity with the strange net, he found that with Cruthoniax's constant advice, tips and pointers he was able to quite frequently hit the mark. Unfortunately, focusing on the Gnome's insistent voice was not only mildly irritating but it also marred his concentration and awareness. Qhude made his request, realising that he would need the craftsman nearby to him during the battle to maximise his chance of landing the net effectively- and the Gnome was delighted to agree, eager to see his two nets against a truly worthy foe.

Qhude- mechanically the meshed net counts as a large sized net without the -2 penalty to hit for using a weapon larger than you. Thus it can trap up to huge sized opponents. Finally, it has a range of twenty feet. You are treated as proficient with it (thus avoiding non-proficiency penalties) for as long as Cruthoniax is shouting his advice to you, but for the duration of this and one round after he stops, you take a -1 penalty to both AC and Will Saves.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zesaste's Home-

The town wizard gave a non-committal shrug and agreed with Kieran's statement- Perhaps...

In answer to Kieran's query, Zesaste nodded in confirmation.

I believe he had hoped to find a magical means to extend his life beyond his years during his seventies, but simply lacked the power or intellect to do so. Perhaps he would have sought an infernal contract if he was so inclined, but he was a kind man. I'm sure he was judged fairly.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Outside of Freehold-

The stranger seemed delighted, the handsome Zenj man nodding in gratitude.

A test meal? Oh yes indeed my friend. I am indebted to you for providing me with such an opportunity and would be delighted to assist your cook; if you would speak to the caravan master on my behalf I shall provide an evening meal for a dozen or so, for him and his men's perusal after I find ingredients today. A fright you say? Tell me more if you would oblige me- and what do you know of the caravan's destination? I heard on the road that it is rumoured to be headed for the Bandu hills north-east of here, is it so? You are a guard for this journey then? Does the master pay well?


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Outside Cruthoniax's Curios-

After the gnome's gift has been coupled to his driving commentary, Qhude begins to question whether he has gotten the worst of the deal... but he reminds himself that he will need all the advantage he can muster if his umkhaya were to best the beast.

At Cruthoniax's agreement to accompany then Qhude gives a nod of acceptance... though cautions "As you wish... though I would see you ride a horse or pony Cru-tho-ni-ax. The beast is swift, swift enough to run you down if you forced it's gaze upon you."

Assuming that the demonstration is complete, Qhude takes his leave "I must prepare for the hunt... I will see you here again once I am joined by the others" and makes to return to the caravan of Jeggare with his heavily weaved nets in tow.

Heh - stacking more penalties onto AC and Will Saves, that'll never backfire :P
If Cruthoniax lets Qhude depart for the camp, I'll follow up with a preparation montage and be ready to sync back up to the others when their investigations are complete.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Macini Estate-

Tebati shakes her head as she looks at Ansha and Jakob. "Then we are no closer to finding Tabansi's enemy. Slaying the lizard will do no more than delay his fate; even if we find a way to remove the curse, there is nothing to stop the culprit from renewing it, or doing him some other harm, after we have left Freehold. Without uncovering the one who wishes him ill, we can do little to protect him."

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