Male Human (Varisian) Paladin of Shelyn (Warrior of the Holy Light) 3
Sorin jumps up and immediately begins looking for waves of wolves and goblins.
Perception1d20 ⇒ 4
Seeing absolutely nothing out of the ordinary he grabs his glaive and starts to head to Lisabett. He stops when he hears Raziel and turns to face west. Still not seeing anything, he'll slowly edge his way over to Lisabett, focusing to the west.
As it has been announced that the movement is in the vicinity of the westernmost wagon, the caravan's defenders turn their attention there. There is a rustle of dry grass, followed by several soft whimpers.
You see them at the edge of the flickering torchlight - nearly a dozen wolves, thin and emaciated. Though they appear desperate for food, there is nothing aggressive in their manner. Their green eyes flash at you as they watch those gathered with rapt attention.
Almar's tension lessens as he realizes the wolves don't pose a real threat:"Sad as it may be they are wolves and we are people. Let them be, they'll move to other hunting grounds if game is scarce here or they'll die. Not our problem, and sorry for waking everyone, false alarm it seems"
As if comprehending your conversation, the wolves turn from you and disappear into the night. After a time, the sentries return to their posts, and the others return to their sleep. The rest of the night passes without incident.
The next day, Sandru rouses everybody early and has the caravan underway just after dawn. It is a long, tiring day, but it is uneventful. The day after, Sandru seems continually dissatisfied with the pace of travel, but when the lights of Galduria come into view, an expression of relief comes to his face at last.
As you bring the caravan through town, you notice the streets are all but empty. Perhaps Galduria simply lacks the modest nightlife of Sandpoint. Or, perhaps something is wrong.
Seeing the lone crossbowman, and not too sure what is going on, Setomi moves over to where the others are gathered, noticing the signs that Almar tries to pass to Sandru.
I thought with a natural 20 I would notice Almar's attempt at silent communication, but if not, please just disreguard that point!
Sandru nods at Almar. "Disconcerting, no?" he whispers after a moment. "Hard to call him a foe without knowing more. What do you say? Announce that we see him, or try to sneak up and get a closer look?"
The man on the roof does not move in the least. You think he is possibly unconscious.
"Gentlemen, I believe the man on the roof may be a decoy. He does not move...at all. He is either dead or unconscious. I shall go and take a closer look"
Setomi slides into the shadows and moves towards the building, looking for a way to get to the roof.
"Seems like our cook decided for us. But I was going to say it's better to sneak on him, if he's a friend that won't really change anything but if he's an enemy announcing yourself is just giving him a clear shot at you..."
"Well-reasoned. Let him announce his intentions first...if he has any." Sandru frowns. He squints into the shadows surrounding the house.
"Where did Setomi go?" Sandru murmurs. "I cannot see her shape at all."
You carefully follow the shadow cast by the house, and move forward without a sound. On the side of the building opposite the caravan, you find a chimney constructed of haphazardly laid bricks. You imagine you could scale it without too much difficulty.
"If the wolves are in so poor a state, and they are territorial, why are we expecting that men and women with hearts and obligations will remain in an environs that cannot support them?" Lisabett wonders when the others call for a scouting party.
[ooc]Lisabett Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Lisabett's eyes pop as the slight Setomi simply wanders from the caravan in the direction of the sentry, and further that none seem to be disconcerted by her behavior. Shaking her head, Lisabett deliberately slows and allows the caravan to pass her by, remaining within range to assist with her magics should they be required.
Shalelu Andosana fingers an arrow and makes no attempt to hide it. Her eyes are upon the figure on the roof. "It will do us little good to expect anything other than trouble, Lisabett." the elf responds, standing still beside the Ulfen as the caravan ambles forward.
You are mere feet from the man, but he does not move at all. You notice that his head is resting on his arm; from below, it may have appeared that he was steadying his aim, but from here, you are sure that he is not conscious. He does not appear wounded.
His crossbow is fitted with a bolt, and the winch is drawn back. The slightest provocation could cause the weapon to fire.
A shadow appears above the figure and reaches carefully over him. With deft fingers, Setomi releases the tension in the crossbow and retrieves the bolt. She makes a quick hand signal to those below, and lightly shakes the still figure.
"Ah!" The man springs up in surprise, fumbling for his crossbow. The weapon slides down the slanted roof, away from his grip and down onto the top of the storm drain. The man looks up at Setomi fearfully. "Don't!" he cries out.
"It was when they found the women. Three women found dead. Brothel girls, but nice girls." The man pushes himself up to sitting. "And the same night, the north and south watchtowers just vanished. Along with the barracks. They were full of guards. People we all knew, just vanished. Been quiet since then. We've been watching the road in shifts." A confused look comes to the man's face. He glances down at the caravan, then back up at Setomi. "And you? You're with a caravan? You don't look Varisian. You look like..." His fearful voice trails off.
The rest of you on the ground can hear the conversation with a DC 18 Perception check. It's clear to everybody (whether they make the check or not) that the man is awake and talking to Setomi.
"Yes I am with the caravan. The cook, in fact. Why do we not go down and talk to Sandru, he is the leader of our caravan." Setomi smile and lightly jumps down from the perch on the roof and makes her way over to the rest of the party and informs them what the man told her.
"He seemed sort of disturbed by my Tien-looks. I do not know why."
Almar's look gains a grim undertone as he overhears the exchange between Setomi and the man:"I heard that. And I think I know exactly what happened here... Hey, fellow! Come down here so we can talk. We are not with the fiend who assaulted you, we are here to hunt him down"
Male Human (Varisian) Paladin of Shelyn (Warrior of the Holy Light) 3
Perception1d20 ⇒ 11
Sorin clucks his tongue realizing that somethings already happening and he's missed it. He can't make out what Setomi says but Almar's response puts him ill at ease. He looks at Mother Koya and then at the sky.
It is said that Lady Desna and Lady Shelyn are friends; do they both plan to test me during this trek?
The man climbs back into his window from the roof, retrieving his crossbow as he does so. Soon after, he unlocks the front door of the house and comes out, carefully locking it again behind him. Cautiously, he approaches.
The man has flecks of grey in his hair and beard, and the deeply worried look he bears makes you wonder if most of it is recent. Someelief comes to his weathered face as he sees Sandru.
"I know I've seen you here before."
Sandru smiles and replies.
"Yes. I have passed through many times. But do I know you?"
"Deni is my name." The man's eyes have a brightness to them. The discomfort he felt a moment ago seems to have gone away. "We talked at length in the Limping Boar some years past."
"Of course." Sandru replies, not seeming to recall.
Deni turns to Almar. "What happened here? I can't say, really. Like I told your...your cook: three girls come up dead, and the watchtowers disappear, guards and all. Now the first thing is hard to swallow, but the other bit? What kind of sorcery moves whole buildings away in the blink of an eye?"
Almar strokes his chin, thoughtfully:"I can't say I know of any. But the man I'm hunting, the one with the black robes... he's some sort of magician... I've seen him rip the souls out of more than twenty able bodied men. I won't put past him making an edifice disappear out of thin air"
Deni's face drains to nearly white. "Black robes? That's the man they speak of! At least as far as I've heard. He walked into town all on his own, maybe a week ago. Went straight for the brothel. I didn't see him come in. Nobody saw him leave, that I've talked to. It's just, the girls were dead and he was the one who had gone. Him and the sentries, but not a one of our men at arms would have done a thing like that. Couldn't have done a thing like...well, any of this..." He looks up at Almar, his eyes wild. "What's that about ripping up souls? Who is this...monster? Will he come back?"
Almar's stoic composure cracks for a second and a look of sadness, and maybe anguish can be seen passing in his eyes, then literally in the blink of an eye he's back at normal:"I don't know, he never came back untill now, he seems to be moving towards something, but I don't know what. That said you could do worse than shoot him on sight if you're sure he's coming back, he's well past the benefit of the doubt, as you said, he's a monster, pure and simple"
"So you've been following him?" Deni takes a step back. He eyes Almar reluctantly. "Bounty hunter, or are you some kind of law?"
Sandru interjects in Varisian.
"Almar is nobody for you to fear, friend. I would like for us to be able to help you, but the road has been tiring. We'll make for the inn, if you don't mind. Perhaps we can speak tomorrow."
Deni nods. "Right up that way." He points towards a nearby building. The sign in front of it sways in the light breeze. "The Tattered Scarf has been locking up at dusk in recent days, but I know the innkeep is still in there. A good word from me and you're in, surely. Desna knows she'll appreciate the business."
The man turns and starts moving towards the door of the inn.
Perception DC 15:
Frightened faces watch you from nearby windows as you move through the streets of Galduria.
You arrive at the door of the inn. Deni looks back at you. "How many mean to get a bed tonight?"
Lisabett Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22 I can hear the COLORS!!
Lisabett notes the concern on the faces of the citizens, and considers her position carefully for a few moments, remaining quiet. "I will remain with the wagons, and the animals," Lisabett adds after a moment. She spares a glance for Sandru and manages a faint smile. "I prefer the elements in the summer months."
Setomi will inquire about restocking the food wagon, if possible with the inn keeper. She will also bring out a meal for Sandru and Lisabett and sit with them while they eat. She is kinda interested in the giant norsewoman....but will not actually come out and say it..being somewhat shy and such..
"The cost of the inn will be covered by me." Ameiko insists. She will pay room and board for anybody taking a room, and will put up the funds to reprovision the caravan.
Ameiko raises an eyebrow at Setomi. "Your skills are a great surprise to me, Setomi. You have been keeping them secret for a long time."
Almar, Sandru and Lisabett can alternate watches with the caravan. There is a designated area for traveling caravans, and though it is not particularly well guarded, you get through the night without incident. However, all five of you (both those with the caravan and those inside the inn) experience a vivid, shared dream.
You stand on a craggy outcropping, overlooking a misty landscape. Three stony towers are visible in the distance. You hear only a single sound: a rhythmic banging of wooden blocks, increasing in tempo and coming to a climactic finish. The mist spreads, revealing a castle on a rocky hillside. You snap awake.
Slight retcon, as the night has already passed, but I don't want to stymie the roleplaying opportunity.
"Yes." Ameiko replies, her eyes downcast. "I wish there was as much to know about mine. But perhaps there is...I just have yet to discover it. At any rate, I am tired. Goodnight, Setomi."
A mist hangs in the streets of Galduria this morning. Though not as thick as the one you dreamed of, it is still a rather strange sight for this time of year in Varisia.
"We're loading and unloading supplies and are like to spend one more night here." Sandru's voice is among the first to greet your ears today. "I'd like to be underway tomorrow morning unless we have good reason not to be. Run your errands and investigate your hunches. We'll talk this evening."
Galduria at a glance:
Galduria is a town of about 1,400. Though it is similar in size to Sandpoint, it has considerably less in the way of arts, culture and nightlife. Most of the residents are farmers and artisans. There seems to be only a single inn, The Tattered Scarf, though it is sizable; there is also a small tavern called The Unturned Stone, though it does not let rooms. The Sweet Embrace is the name of the brothel where the murders were committed.
The Iron Horseshoe is the local smithy, and though its specialty lies closer to its namesake, it has a few weapons and armor pieces for sale. Hareb's General Goods has just about everything else.
Almar almost jumps out of his bedroll:"Just a dream... again. But with all these desnan people here a dream is not really "just a dream" I fear. Maybe we should check the place where these towers stood..."
Almar quickly arms himself and goes to search for Sandru to see if he can leave the caravan to investigate the towers site.