|Tibideau Maroon LeClerc|
Tibideau wipes his final tears and smiles at Kendra. "Go for a drink? Why, I'd be honored! Thank you so much!" Hopefully there will be snacks, too!
He joins the others walking toward Kendra's house. He barges into Anton's conversation with B'yelka, making a slight bow in her direction. He clearly can't contain his excitement as he blurts out, "My lady, your talents are unrivaled and your training first class! I am honored to meet you!"
Dantrian quietly arches an eyebrow as Anton addresses B'yelka, having not been present for her introduction earlier. Morfaine? That is a name I feel like I know. But why? Curious.
Dantrian follows quietly behind the others, his cloak and pants still muddied from earlier in the morning. He remains silent unless addressed, quietly lost in his own thoughts.
B'yelka hear's Anton's compliment and turns her head to face him, her smile is honest and she says, "Thank you Goodman, you don't have to know about art to appreciate it, and it is never too late to develop an interest in it." Always pay attention to your fans, they are the ones that keep you on the stage where you belong.
When Tibideau interrupts, she laughs softly, "Thank you, I am honored to meet you. To meet you both, rather," her voice rises slightly so everyone can hear, "I am honored to meet you all."
She turns back to Anton and explains, "I was singing in Azlanti, the language of Aroden and of true Opera. In answer to your other question, no. I have never been in such a 'production' that was not scripted." She frowns slightly as if disappointed. After a pause she states, "The hidden blessing is that it seems Prefessor Lorimorr managed to acquire an excellent cast for his final chapter."
The Restlands are north of Ravengro, Kendra leads the party back into town, along the west side of the river. They pass three large well appointed houses, and the large stone temple of Pharasma, with its tall pointed steeple. She leads them over the bridge, and to the fork in the road, then turns north and crosses over the creek before stopping in front of a modest home. (Area N on the Map). She walks up the the front door, unlocks it and motions everyone to come inside. The rectangular parlor takes up most of the first floor of the house. As they come in there is a fireplace to their left, with an armchair next to it. There is a large darkwood desk at the end of the room opposite the fireplace. Opposite each other roughly in the center of both the other walls there are two long couches. There is a small 'coffee table' in between the couches and a thick Qadiran rug covering the wooden floor. The stairs up to the second floor and the entrance to the dining and kitchen area are in back-left the corner of the room, beyond the fireplace. The remainder of the space is full of tall bookshelves, and stacks of papers and books. The room smells of the fireplace and the woody scent of large amounts of paper, as well as some sort of clove-like scent.
Kendra motions for everyone to sit down on the couches and says, "I'm afraid all we have is Andoran whiskey or water. What can I get everyone?"
Tibideau's interruption is met with little more than a raised eyebrow by Anton.
Mr LeClerc didn't your mother ever tell you manners cost nothing?
Otherwise ignoring the interruption, he continues;
"I wouldn't say I lack interest in the arts m'lady, I'm very appreciative of Varisian poetry, especially that of the wandering bards. Sharing conversation and verse over the embers of a fire with a fine bottle of wine - ahhhh! There are few finer ways to spend an evening in my opinion!" he says with a grin.
Anton happily makes small talk with the rest of the group as they make their way toward the Lorrimor homestead.
As they enter he looks around and removes his hat and muddy boots, well worn from miles of walking that very morning. He looks a little comical with his long scarf dragging behind him and one of his big toes poking through a threadbare sock. He doesn't appear to be self conscious about any of this though.
In response to Kendra's question he says;
"Andoran whiskey would be excellent, Ms Lorrimor thank you. If it isn't to your taste I have a particularly good Irrisian Red if you'd prefer? Also, I hate to impose further but is there somewhere I could perhaps quickly freshen up? I've walked many good miles to be here this past morning and I'm afraid I didn't have time to stop anywhere before the funeral."
If she would prefer wine, Anton rummages in his backpack for a few moments before removing the promised bottle
|Drosil the Grey|
Drosil, having nothing of import to say on the way to the Lorrimor house, keeps to himself, walking behind the rest of the group and reflecting on the business of the morning. How different things are here...
Upon entering the house, he removes his cloak and hat. On hearing the offer of refreshment and Anton's request, he says, "Some whiskey would be much appreciated, Miss Lorrimor. Also, do you think it would be appropriate, now that we're away from any judgmental eyes, for me to...erm, freshen up, as well?"
"I would prefer some wine, Anton, if you're willing to open the bottle." Janos sits down on one of the couches. "Kendra, this is quiet a cozy home. I can see the Professor's studies dominated the home too." He nods towards the bookcase filled with papers.
Unlike the others, Janos seemed comfortable in his well-traveled state. His dirty, worn boots and drab, frayed cloak clash with the home's decor.
Of course. Kendra, Tibideau, anyone else like a glass? He pours the half elf a healthy figure but himself takes a tumbler of whiskey from Kendra.
Was it just you and your father living here, Kendra?he asks taking a swallow of whiskey. Mmmm, that'll keep the chill out.
|Tibideau Maroon LeClerc|
Thinking of what happened the last time he drank too much before lunchtime, Tibideau replies, "No thank you, Anton! Kendra, most gracious hostess, I'd like a glass of water with a dash of whiskey thrown in for good measure!"
Tibideau then pulls a small mirror out of the inside of his jacket and adjusts his ponytail. A slight stirring can be heard from the inside pocket. He leans in and whispers, "Shhhh." He reaches into an outside pocket, pulls out a bag of tiny fish, and puts a few into the inside pocket.
In case it wasn't clear there are several large bookcases. You feel like you're in a live-in library.
"Of course, how rude of me. Anyone who'd like to freshen up can use one of the rooms upstairs. I'll bring up a couple basins of hot water in a moment. Please, right this way." She leads whoever wants to upstairs and into one of the four bedrooms. They all have two beds, and while not particularly large are comfortable. Leaving whoever goes there she returns to the kitchen, and gets everyone's drinks. In a few minutes, she makes another trip from the kitchen upstairs with a wooden bucket full of hot water. Knocking gently on the door, she enters and fills a large porcelain basin for her guests to freshen up with.
|Drosil the Grey|
|Drosil the Grey|
"That was the point, Miss Lorrimor. I am not entirely human, and did not wish to darken this day with any conflicts between myself and the people of the town.". He smirks, reflecting on the events of the morning, "See how well it's worked so far?"
|Drosil the Grey|
"Then I will need a few extra minutes, and another pitcher of water, if you please." Once she steps out, Drosil removes his shirt and sets about removing the disguise. He does his best to remove all traces of color from his face, neck, hair and hands. When the water becomes too soiled to continue, he dumps it and refills with the fresh pitcher. Once he's all done, he gets dressed once more and steps downstairs and attempts to find Anton to finally reveal his identity.
Thank you Kendra. he says, climbing the stairs behind the nimble fellow.
Well that was certainly the most eventful funeral I've ever been to. he says by way of polite conversation. I didn't want to say anything in front of Kendra but id very much like to pay a visit to the sheriff, see how he's getting on rounding up the thugs who attacked us.
His breeches were spattered with mud and grime as always and a damp, musty smell was emanating from the greatcoat. I wonder if I can find a laundry in this town? If nit there's always that stream outside I suppose.
After washing the miles out his hair and shaving the growth from his chin, Anton contemplated changing into his best white cotton shirt, the one with only a single repaired seam. It was creased all to Hell so he thought better of it. There are three nobles downstairs, you're not going to impress anyone. At least that half-elf Janos looks like he uses his feet for walking instead of resting on cushions. He opted for a plain grey shift instead.
As he was pulling it over his head he gasped as a ghost appeared in the mirror.
Is that... Desna's Wings! Drosil! he cried. He cleared the distance between them in two great strides and took the taller man in a bear hug that lifted him from his feet.He embraced him like a man greeting his long lost brother which, in many ways, was exactly what he was doing. Its been, what six years? What are you doing here? Why didn't you tell me it was you?
|Drosil the Grey|
Drosil grunts and gasps a bit for air. "Never...seemed like...uff...the right...time." Then, as he disengages himself, smiling from ear to ear, he continues. "As to what I'm doing here? The professor is the one that placed me with my family in Magnimar. I saw him several times after I began learning from them, and was able to help him on several occastions. I was actually going to ask you the same question, but you answered it at the gravesite - I had no idea the professor was your benefactor."
He gets a sorrowful look in his eyes, thinking, It's a shame you weren't able to meet him...and, too, that I never will again. Then he shakes himself out of it and says, "Ah, but it's good to see you again."
As Dantrian enters he sheds his muddied cloak and offers his pants and boots a passing glance before shrugging and continuing into the parlor. He turns to Kendra, "Just water for me, thank you." He appears then as if he were about to ask a question, but it's cut off prematurely as he takes in the many shelves of books. Whatever weariness he carried in his shoulders suddenly falls away as he begins scanning over the books in the nearest set of shelves.
Andoran whiskey? All those rowdy louts do is drink and play holier-than-thou. Irrisan wine? I hear the ground there can grow nothing but tiny grapes.. "Just water for me.". B'yelka's smile is bare, as if her mind is elsewhere.
As she watches Dantrian get lost in the books her smile warms, He looks older, but really hasn't changed.
With the offer to freshen up B'yelka says, [b]"A chance to look human again would be appreciated, thank you." She follows Kendra up stairs and takes her time fixing her hair, washing her face and gown. Once she has herself back in order she makes her way back to the parlor.
I would say the same, friend. he claps Drosil on the shoulder. I can't believe the Professor had been caring for you all those years... Why did he never come to visit me at the orphanage? All I had was a single gold piece every year to pay for my upkeep, wrapped in a cloth embroidered 'L'
He shakes the thought from his mind and instead leads his ashen-skinned friend back downstairs.
What have you been doing all these years? I want to catch up properly over a bottle or two but I dont think we should impose on our host more than we need to, she did bury her father today after all. Ha! The way you clocked that thug, I should have known it was you!
Janos sits in the parlor, sipping the wine as the others go off to clean up. The ranger seems perfectly content to stay in his dirty traveling clothes. Or perhaps he doesn't even realize the issue.
"Master LeClerc, now that most of the others are gone, perhaps I can ask you about your talents. My mentor or Nauczycielka, as she prefers the old term, is a hedge witch, and I know a Hex when I see one. Where did you learn such things? I was never the student Alicia wanted. Potion-making is dreadfully boring stuff for me."
|Drosil the Grey|
"Well, to be accurate, he didn't take care of me - my adoptive family did. However, after you left, he began to make requests of me, to use my skills at burglary, when going through "proper" channels would take too long, or had failed altogether."
Drosil thinks for a moment, "In fact, I'm beginning to think that I was placed with that family just so that I would receive the training I needed to do those things for him. If I had been placed in the orphanage...well, I might have turned out like you." Drosil looks horror stricken, then ducks playfully, anticipating Anton's response.
|Tibideau Maroon LeClerc|
Tibideau puts his mirror away and proceeds to use the water and whiskey provided by Kendra to scratch some of the mud off his coat. Now that the diva is out of the room, I can be a bit lazy about keeping up appearances! At least, I can in front of this half-elf and this bookworm. He flashes a huge smile at Janos, but is sure to keep his distance. He's so handsome! But mother would frown if she knew I was having such thoughts about a half-elf of questionable origin.
"My dearest Frederique is like myself, a noble witch who felt the call to leave her family and pursue these strange arts. She lives in the center of Oppara, and many fear her. I can say I'm more afraid of stirges than I am any humanoid. I miss her dearly. I haven't been without her for over five years. But I would not have been lead to her without the assistance of Bonbon." He pulls a ridiculously cute and tiny turtle out from the inside of his coat. The turtle is sound asleep. "He only wakes up for snacktime and to assist me in my witchcraft. I envy his lot in life!"
"Even if potion-making wasn't your thing, I'm sure you were able to impress this Alicia in other ways! Clearly you have some skills in battle! How did you come to meet her?"
"A very different sort of master with very different training, I bet. Alicia and I live out in the swamp, where she can brew potions to heal the villages in the area. I used to despise it when I was younger, but to be honest it has become home now. Towns such as this seem unusual now."
He snorts. "And as to impressing Alicia, I doubt it. I don't think she has an 'impressed' bone in her body. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for her taking me in and helping train me. Despite my inability to learn Witchcraft, we work well together. But Nauczycielka can be...prickly." He smiles at the last bit, knowing the glare he would get if she heard that comment. Not that she would disagree however.
Janos sits back for a moment, considering his words. "Alicia took me in after my mother died. It was her dying wish, Alicia says. Like I said, I'm very grateful because I otherwise might be dead. There certainly wasn't anyone else willing to take me."
"Is House LeClerc a large house in Oppara? Forgive me if I don't knnow much. Noble houses was not required learning for me."
B'yelka comes back downstairs, hair brushed but left open and draped over her shoulders. When she comes into the study, she surveys the room and without a word takes a seat. Her posture is straight and she seems delicately poised on the edge of her chair. Without a word she listens to each of the others in the room, Who are these people that Professor Lorimorr collected, and why did he put us in his will?
Seeing Kendra she asks bluntly, "Why did your father collect such an ensemble for his final act?" Her eyes are intense as if pushing Kendra for an answer. It seems odd that he would put us into his will as some of us are mere acquaintances. I would not speak for us all, but I for one am anxious to find out why we are really here. It seems you would be more than capable of handling his affairs." Her eyebrow raises expectantly while waiting for Kendra's response.
Dantrian remains largely oblivious to the conversation going on around him as he runs his fingertips over the spines of several books. He finds one book, its blue leather cover cracking audibly as he opens it. A few moments of hasty page turning and he slides it back into its space on the shelf muttering, "Pfah. Naught but tides and tidal forces. Not a help whatsoever."
He continues scanning through the books, his eyes shining and intent as they bounce from one spine to the next.
|Tibideau Maroon LeClerc|
Smirking, Tibideau replies to Janos, "I'm trying to picture Frederique in a swamp! I think she'd prefer a hot bathhouse. I myself don't like to be too far from the city. It is nice and quiet in the countryside though. What's with prickly mentors? It's like they think the meaner they are, the better their pupils will be!"
"How gracious of her to be there for you after your mother's passing! Though would her feathers be ruffled at the thought of being called gracious?" Tibideau says with a wink. "Though your beginnings were meagre, may your endings be more glorious!" he toasts, sipping his water and whiskey. Common folk aren't so bad after all! Mother must be crazy.
"My house is not as grand as it once was. My predecessors were mostly senators, as is my father, but we dabble in the production of luxury household items. We have lost some of our grandeur since the deaths of my three older brothers. My mother has been under a cloud ever since, and my sister's beauty has begun to fade much earlier than I expected. I won't speak ill of my father, but I can say he has changed, also." As Tibideau finishes speaking, an expression of malice and anguish spreads across his face for a brief moment.
"I am as curious as you my dear." Kendra says to B'Yelka. "Councilman Hearthmount should be here any minute in his role as solicitor." As if on cue, there is a knocking on the door. "That must be him now. Excuse me." She says, going over to the door to open it. Standing there is the heavy-set councilman, in his hand is a large scroll, sealed at both ends with wax. She motions him inside.
"Lets get this over with, shall we?" The councilman asks the assembled group. His expression clearly says what he thinks of having so many strangers involved in what he must consider a local affair but he voices no complaint. He goes over to stand behind the desk, and once everyone is assembled cracks open the wax seal and unfurls the scroll. As he does so an iron key clatters down onto the desk.
Undaunted by the key, the councilman begins to read, "“I, Petros Lorrimor, being of sound mind, do hereby commit to this parchment my last will and testament. Let it be known that, with the exception of the specific details below, I leave my home and personal belongings entire to my daughter Kendra. Use them or sell them as you see fit, my child.
Yet beyond the bequeathing of my personal effects, this document must serve other needs. I have arranged for the reading of this document to be delayed until all principals can be in attendance, for I have more than mere inheritance to apportion. I have two final favors to ask.
To my old friends, I hate to impose upon you all, but there are few others who are capable of appreciating the true significance of what it is I have to ask. As some of you know, I have devoted many of my studies to all manner of evil, that I might know the enemy and inform those better positioned to stand against it. For knowledge of one’s enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.
And so, over the course of my lifetime, I have seen fit to acquire a significant collection of valuable but dangerous tomes, any one of which in the wrong circumstances could have led to an awkward legal situation. While the majority of these tomes remain safe under lock and key at the Lepidstadt University, I fear that a few I have borrowed remain in a trunk in my Ravengro home. While invaluable for my work in life, in death, I would prefer not to burden my daughter with the darker side of my profession, or worse still, the danger of possessing these tomes herself. As such, I am entrusting my chest of tomes to you, posthumously. I ask that you please deliver the collection to my colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt, who will put them to good use for the betterment of the cause.
Yet before you leave for Lepidstadt, there is the matter of another favor—please delay your journey one month and spend that period of time here in Ravengro to ensure that my daughter is safe and sound. She has no one to count on now that I am gone, and if you would aid her in setting things in order for whatever she desires over the course of this month, you would have my eternal gratitude. From my savings, I have also willed to each of you a sum of one hundred platinum coins. For safekeeping, I have left these funds with Embreth Daramid, one of my most trusted friends in Lepidstadt—she has been instructed to issue this payment upon the safe delivery of the borrowed tomes no sooner than one month after the date of the reading of this will.
I, Petros Lorrimor, hereby sign this will in Ravengro on this first day of Arodus, in the year 4712.”
Rolling the scroll up and setting it on the desk, he turns to Kendra and asks, "Will that be all?" She shakes her head, and giving a short bow to all present the Councilman says, "Well then I must be going. Good evening to you all." He lets himself out of the house, shutting the door behind him.
Anton leads Drosil downstairs, still laughing at a remembered incident from their childhood. They enter the parlour just as the knock comes at the door.
After the will is read he casts his gaze around the room. The professor has assembled a very capable group just to deliver some books. There is more to this than meets the eye.
Kendra, even after he passed he was thinking of you. Are you alright?
Janos is shocked by the appearance of Anton with someone else. Is that...Is that Drosil? What happened? There is no time to ask as the Councilman comes in and begins the proceedings.
As he reads the will, Janos is intrigued. What tomes could be of such value and danger? And 100 platinum?! That sum would allow him to do basically anything he wanted the rest of his life! What on earth were you up to old man?
I suppose there's no reason not to honor his request. I should send word to Nauczyceilka though. I wonder if she would worry.
|Tibideau Maroon LeClerc|
Dantrian clears his throat, breaking the heavy silence filling the room in the wake of the Councilman's departure. "The good professor anticipated his death to a remarkable degree. I doubt he would worry so for your safety, Kendra, if he had not been actively opposed in his pursuits. Perhaps these dark tomes he would have us return to Leipstadt might contain some indications as to who or what caused him to so fear for your wellbeing. Regardless, I am at your disposal as your father wished."
This may also give me time to search through Petros' library. If Petros himself can't help with my condition, then surely his books are my next best hope.
B'yelka sighs. Her face is somber, and her eyes are looking inward.
Forbidden tomes? Protecting his daughter? It is obvious he has enemies here. I can help with that, let people understand that they have nothing to fear from this woman.
Kendra, does your father have record of his works? I think the best way to make Ravengro accept his works is to show the good they did.
Nestling back into her chair, B'yelka gets ready for a long month of boredom.
Kendra turns to Anton and says, "Yes, I'll be okay. Though this is tough for me, it has been three months since his passing. I fear it is time I must move on." Turning to B'yelka she says, "I'm not sure. I can search through his things over the next few days and see if I can find anything. In the meantime, let me go and fetch the chest mentioned in the will." Kendra goes upstairs and returns after a short time bearing a small oak and iron chest. She sets it on the desk and says, "Why don't one of you open it? Such things make me nervous."
|Drosil the Grey|
"Not that I mind the offer of Miss Lorrimor's hospitality for the next month, but am I understanding this correctly? We are to stay here to protect her against "all manner of evil" that wants nothing more than to get their hands on some chest full of books that the professor then wants us to escort to Lepidstadt University?"
Drosil shakes his head incredulously. Not that I begrudge the professor this service, but this is all a bit sudden...
Upon seeing the aforementioned chest and hearing Kendra's request, he steps forward. "Before we open it, if it is as precious as the professor made it out to be, it's possible he has protected it somehow..."
Perception (traps): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
"I don't know about all manner of evil. It didn't seem like that dire a task. When he spoke of evil, he meant his various studies." Janos looks around the group and then at Drosil. "Um, perhaps it's not polite, but...Dorsil, what happened to you?"
|Drosil the Grey|
Drosil nods to Janos, "I apologize to all of you for my earlier subterfuge - I was attempting to avoid the same unpleasantness that beset us earlier on the way to the gravesite, and thus disguised myself as human as best I could. I am kayal, more commonly known as a fetchling."
He looks to Kendra, "Miss Lorrimor, if you would give me the key, I do not think we're in any danger from the chest."
|Tibideau Maroon LeClerc|
After his excitement over the thought of endless lunches subsides, Tibideau frowns thoughtfully. "Forgive me, Kendra, but I'm not sure I understand why we can't leave to take the books to the university now. What affairs could you possibly have to settle that require a group of assistants like us? And what guarantee did your father have that we would need at least a month here to settle them?"
"Because if we did that, then we would have our reward and no incentive to help his daughter settle things, would we? Petros was smart and a bit of a schemer at times. Not to say he didn't trust us, but he know each of us might be pulled away for something greater."
Janos considers Drosil for a long moment, then says "Well, I guess if the town has to contend with seeing you, then they might forget about me." He pulls off the leather band covering his half-elven ears. "I'm not quite human myself, though my mother was."
Drosil the key is on the desk, next to the chest.
"I do so hope you all will stay. I will of course have you here and feed you, free of cost. I will need a couple of weeks to decide whether I want to stay here or sell the house, and to sort through all these things." Kendra says to the group. "The key is just there Drosil, why don't you open the chest? I'm sure we're all dying to see what's inside." She points to the key next to the chest.
|Drosil the Grey|
"Your offer of hospitality is very generous, Miss Lorrimor. I, for one, will accept it - thank you. Now, as to the contents of this chest..."
Drosil takes the key from the desk, inserts it into the lock, and turns it. Hearing a soft click, he lifts the lid to find...
Inside are four tomes of varying size and composition. The top one is a jet black hardcover, even the pages are black. The title On Verified Madness is scribbled across the front in silvery ink. The next is a squat thick red leather tome with a symbol that looks like a skull mixed with a fly on the front, the title Serving Your Hunger is printed in neat black cursive across the top. The third book is written on what you fear is humanoid skin, in blood. It's entitled The Umbral Leaves. The final book is bound in rich purple leather. There is a large brass scarab with one eye holding the book closed in the center of the cover. The edges of the book are rimmed in polished steel and there is a small triangular key hole. The first three books contain notes that instruct they be delivered to Montagnie Crowl, a professor of antiquities at Lepidstadt University. The metal bound book says it should be delivered to Embreth Daramid, a judge at the Lepidstadt Courthouse. It asks that the book be delivered discreetly and gives his home address in order that the delivery can be made there.
Janos picks up one of the book, looking at it's cover. "He wasn't kidding when he said these were dangerous. Evil is more like it. I wonder why that one goes to a judge instead of the university."
Oh? What treasures might these be?!
Dantrian watches silently despite the eagerness shining in his eyes as Drosil opens the chest. Without any prompting, he takes On Verified Madness into his hands and gently opens it up, his eyes dancing across the early pages as he scans through the book.
|Tibideau Maroon LeClerc|
Always a fan of purple leather, Tibideau is immediately drawn to the tome piped in steel. He snatches it up and analyzes the scarab and keyhole. "Kendra, do you know of any trinkets your father possessed that might fit into this keyhole?"
"I'm afraid not, I've never seen that book before. It must be dangerous for someone to make it so hard to open."
Okay, it's around 2 in the afternoon. You've still got 4 or 5 hours of daylight if you guys want to do anything. From this point the adventure is pretty open ended. Just tell me what you want to do and we'll go from there.
More info about each building in the campaign info tab. If you wanna know about something not labeled there, you'll have to go check it out.