His sword glowing faintly, Ianez takes the long way around, alert for anything out of the ordinary.
I point out for the benefit of the DM that Ianez gets a Perception roll to spot a trap if he passes within ten feet of it. Just in case that becomes important in the near future.
|Dr. Hareton Grey|
Behind him follows a male half-elf with a chiseled physique. He is bald, with a scar over his left eye. His clothes are sensible, but well taken care of and nicer; a monk's robe along with deer-hide boots. Noticeably, his knuckles are large and disproportionate. There is something official-looking about the way he carries himself.
The dwarf coughs again. "I'm not sick. Able-bodied and can take on the likes of you, which answers yer question!" He tromps towards Ianez. "What do we have here? Someone sprang one of my traps! If anyone needs help, it's this here friend of yers."
He looks around and inspects the remains of his handiwork.
Ianez hits the tripwire and, instinctively realizing what he just did, raises his shield and twists to the side, managing to avoid part of the arrow fusillade.
"Don't worry about it, Sandru. At least they weren't poisoned." He pauses, then looks over at the dwarf. "They weren't, were they?"
Traps. What creature traps sewers? La Siréene muses, before hearing an unseen speaker utter the answer. Smiling to herself, she catches up with the injured Ianez, checking his wounds. Alright, Ianez? Then, she turns to what is revealed to be a Dwarf.
Greetings. I assume Ianez wasn't your intended prey.
For what purpose do you set traps in the sewers, master dwarf? Do you doubt that you can "take on" those who stumble upon you?
Blackacre eyes these two with some suspicion.
Sense Motive(is something up? Can they be trusted?): 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (3) + 15 = 18
The dwarf laughs an ironic chuckle. "No, they wurn't poisoned," he replies. "At least not these ones. And I wurn't nes'sarily aimin' to catch the likes of you."
"The name is Hergelund," he continues. "I'm a witch hunter. Been down here awhile in the sewers. Like a rat. Work off the grid. Have to. I'm sure you've seen what's above ground lately. Specially t'night. All hell's broke loose."
"This one in the dainty finery here is Quinn," he says, jerking a thumb at the half-elf. "He operates more officially. For the police. Do ye care that I told them that, Quinn?" He shrugs. "Eh, don't care. That's me, shrewd but reckless. It don't matter. Still a good one if ye ask me."
Hergelund hobbles up to your party and looks you up and down. "T'night might be the end of the world. Don't know if ye are good ones or not. Far as I see, can either state yer business and see if we can work together." He plants his feet and folds his stubby arms. "Or we can do the monsters werk and finish each other off!"
|Dr. Hareton Grey|
No time to talk. You talk, people die. Talk and walk... Or stay. Alone. Like a hungry wet rat in the sewer. I am not smart, but even I see your trap keeps you in, too.
Sandru turns to move towards Caromarc and beyond. Brushing past the mechanical manservant, he offers him a s wink.
"Staying alive is important enough for now; every minute's a gift." Ianez grins, the shadows under his eyes giving him a ghoulish appearance in the shadows of the sewer. "I don't hold your caution against you, Hergelund. Now, if I'd been healthier I might have spotted your tripwire."
Hunting evil, you say...not your fault if nincompoops get in way, you say...I might have had the same response had it been you asking me the question.
At any rate, we are all here because we have survived tonight's menace this far. I don't imagine you intend to stay alone in the sewers forever, so I would suggest you take Sandru's words to heart.
I will try another Sense motive check to see if I can get a read on our new mates 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (13) + 15 = 28
The half elf puts his hand on Hergelund's shoulder and says to the dwarf,"You know Short Stack.... you talk too much. We do not know who these people are and what they are up too."
Before the half-orc walks away Quinn says,"Half orc....don't go anywhere. I may need you to answer some questions."
The lithe half elf walks past the dwarf and move among the party, "Now....say you....what are you doing down here and what are your intentions. Just to warn you....I dont like when people tell me false stories.... makes my eye twitch. So do tell me... maybe you guys might entertain me in this stink hole."
The policeman, Quinn, has not said much yet, but he seems honorable too and probably more sane.
You know, my take on it was, that Sandru is not an Half-Orc, but that race is used to represent the way Sandru has been bred as an experimental subject.
My, this one is full of himself.
La Siréene chooses to answer reproachfully. "You are being rather rude. I repeat: My goal is to survive, help these individuals survive, save other survivors if possible, find out what has happened to this city and deal with what has happened to this city."
La Siréene pauses for a moment then continues a little more friendly, smiling again.
”Now, The reason we are here; Clerics of Pharasma divined this event. Divined a safe path for us. The person who told us this seemed to think it very important that we, specifically, survived this event. So we took her advice, and here we are.”
Quinn approaches La Sireene with a curious look on his face. He begins to look her over.....with detail. He grabs at something on his chest....a wooded amulet that looks like a bow and arrow.
Rolling to determine her affiliation to a diety by her appearance.
Knowledge (Religion) --> 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
For some reason, you can't quite grasp onto specifics. When you try you sense something unusual, shifting, and mutable. Sort of a nonanswer as the answer to your question.
Hergelund sniffs and rubs his beard thoughtfully. "While my friend has this spat wit' yer lady friend, I have a proposition for ye," he says. "I derno if I should trust ye with this information, but see'in as things are so unpredictable, I think I got no choice."
He clasps his hands behind his back and paces back and forth. "There is a secret organization. Well, let me back up. There are many secret organizations. But the one I'm about to tell you about is what matters to us."
"It consists of high-level sorcerers. Evil group of numbskulls, but not the in-your-face kind, ye know? The kind that wear tailored suits, big rings, talk in that nice honeyed way that makes ladies swoon and keeps a chap off his guard. The kind that hide in plain sight. That kind. Real big shots, and believe me, they have the power and will to carry out much devious doings."
"Well...there is also this special...key. I had this key and they were after it. They got it from me too. Bad business that. Very bad business. The key is powerful. I don't mind telling you, it could be the thing that turns the tide of all...this." Hergelund waves his hand indicating the above-ground goings-on.
"I was so stupid and let it slip through my fingers!"
"What I propose is that you help me get it back."
As Kwanjan Quinn looks her over, La Siréene meets his eyes, confidently. It is said that a person’s eyes are the mirror of their soul, and that within their eyes one can see their true selves. Through La Siréene's eyes could be hinted, then, all the true selves inherent to the body of Original, all the manifestations of Nameless, smiling confidently back at Kwanjan Quinn.
La Siréene turns to Hergelund. That sounds like an object of interest. Moreover, this man has useful knowledge. "I'd be willing to assist."
Quinn removes himself from La Sireene's stare while saying the her,"Please forgive my suspicions. I have to keep my guard up....you know ....these sewers can have nasty things.
The half-elf then moves besides Hergelund and continues,"I do not think that this meeting happened by circumstance, but by divine planning. If what Hergelund says is true then I, Hergelund and I, are way over our heads. If your group is out to "combat" evil then let's start investigating these sorcerers. I could use some help."
Hergelund squints and sizes up the druid. He grunts in satisfaction. "A good one," he notes to himself. He turns around, hitches up his pants, and continues. ""If the rest of ye feel this way, I will say more."
"The organization maintains their headquarters in Ashcaster Lane. S'nice architecture, sum ol' library type place. Fancy. A place for them to haf drinks and keep all their occult books layin' around. Like those hellfire clubs you expect to find in places like Cheliax or Taldor. One of those."
"I know Quinn has own his thoughts on these matters, but I think we're in agreement about this. As much as we agree about anything. I haven't even told him this...sorry, Quinn...but I've already gone ahead and infiltrated the club with my own operative. Code name: S. Tian-Min, originally from the Minkai archipelago."
"The plan is you meet up with "S" at the club. She's posing as a servant. She'll debrief you and together you will find the key."
"You have the standard options at your disposal. Usual bag of tricks. You're a cop just making his rounds nothing out of the ordinary, disguise, break-in, subterfuge with some made up story, magic, etcetera. S might be able to provide you cover. What the hell, Quinn? Does a dwarf have to come up with everything? Improvise, man!"
"The other thing: I'll send Quinn along, but I'm not going with you. Too dangerous. I have scouting and errands to do in the meantime. Make sure our defenses are secure. Coming at this from the other side."
"The next step...I'll disable my traps. You make your way through the sewers to where they connect with the Gaslight Deeptrain Platform: Lamp Stop. From there, you'll emerge back into the streets near Ashcaster Lane. You'll find waiting another operative of mine, a gnome driver. It shouldn't be much of a problem to get there."
He goes into the alcove and throws a couple of blankets around. There's a brown sack heaped against the wall. "I'll give you some gold I stockpiled fer expenses. And if yer group wants to, ye can stay in my hidey-way and get some rest for the night, before heading out again. My traps'll keep us safe while you sleep."
Your party has the option of resting at this point if you would like.
"One more thing..." It seems the claustrophobia of the sewers did get to the dwarf. He won't stop talking. "Try to avoid my former apprentice, Acrietia. She's out there somewhere. The undead got her." He shudders.
"She's one of the bad ones."
The dwarf has finally run out of words. "Any questions?"
"Question; what type is ordinarily permitted into the club? It is my ability to change shape, so its relevant information." With a wink of her eye, her thin build shifts into an impressive likeness of Hergelund. then, with flair and a wave of her arm, the shape of Hergelund shifts back into the shape of La Siréene.
Disguise, +10 for Alter Self1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
As Hergelund speaks of secret organizations of "evil numbskulls," Blackacre eyes him guardedly and taps his temples. using "discern lies" ability. Assuming Hergelund is telling the truth:
Hm. Lamp Stop, eh? Too bad my flat is at a different stop, as I have a change of clothes that would be - appropriate for the occasion. Still, we may be able to pull off ...
Slick-haired and sorcerer-types... - he points to himself, the Earl, and the doctor;
Girlfriends of sorcerers... - he points to La Sireene;
...and their servants and bodyguards. - he points to Ianez, Quinn and Sandru.
What do you think? If this key will allow us to end the madness on the surface, it may be worth it. And Sandru, I can not be certain, but I believe this dwarf is telling us the truth.
The monk says to the group,"The dwarf is saying the truth. He may be a paranoid talker but he is one of my loyal friends."
"If we are to join forces then proper introductions are in order. I am Kwanjan Quinn. MY friends call me Quinn and as you can see from my appearance....I am a monk with special abilities." The monk slightly raises his bow and taps one of his quivers.
" I'm usually stationed at police HQ station number 6. The local call us the 'Swamplights' because most investigations involve soul-dreary searches for missing persons, prostitutes, pickpockets, bodies floating along the river, and sometimes some zombies and ghouls. I am really good at my work so I was assigned to the Blackditch District/Special Investigations, which deals with cases of a more occult/paranormal nature."
"Now we have this 'Hellfire' club to deal with. My inituition tells me the two are related. Been trying to get in there for a while but look at me....I stand out like a sore thumb. Maybe with your help I can finally get in there and bust them in the act."
Quinn looks at the group and thier recent wounds,"Looks like you guys have seen some action recently. Hergelund is right. You guys can rest here and recup. I give you my word....wwe are not the bad guys. We are trying to preserve the good and stop those monsters."
Ianez, who has been listening quietly up to that point and nodding at Hergelund's offer, picks that moment to go into a long stretch of wet coughing that leaves him doubled over and gasping for air. "Your pardon, all. Master Hergelund, do you by chance have any way of curing the Black Breath in its injected form? I was bitten by one of the zombies--" His face briefly shows an expression of terrible pain, then relaxes back to his rather flat affect. "--and am feeling the effects of it. Though it has not affected me as quickly as it did...some...others." The archaeologist turns away, face buried in one hand.
My voice is slow, my ideas do not come out easily... Not like theirs. Ianez mister... I was thinking silly things. This zombie-dust thing is part of you. Maybe power like the nurse power can destroy it. Even inside you. Neh?
Caromarc think on this thing, please.
|Earl J V Caromarc|
"I believe sir that your companions have found a pair of policemen in the sewers. The dwarven policeman suggests there is a secret society that has a key that can be used to some good effect. The club is of well-dressed, well-educated, well-off but evil sorcerers and is established in Ashcaster Lane."
"It has been suggested that this group rest and then later infiltrate the club so as to regain the key. The group has agreed, but the dwarf will go his own way."
"The dwarf also indicates that a confederate of his may have been affected by the recent events and now be wandering around here, hostile and undead."
"Master Sandru just suggested a potential cure for master Ianez, using power similar to that used by the nurse. He requested you consider the matter at more length."
"Additionally, sir, you asked me to remind you at this time that you should record any evidence you saw in the patients indicating possible supernatural influence. I took the liberty of not reminding you given that you were deep in study and do not have your writing kit."
|Earl J V Caromarc|
"Oh - thank you. Wait - Ashcaster lane... Ashcaster lane..."
Does any of this sound familiar to gossip-loving Caromarc? Knowledge: Local 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26. Knowledge: Nobility1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22. Knowledge: Arcana 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (10) + 15 = 25
Knowledge: Local 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25,
Knowledge: Nobility 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
"Introductions," La Siréene aknowledges with her smile, her eyes apparently glowing, as they are wont to do. "Name's La Siréene Dorée." She pats Hareton on the shoulder. ”This is Doctor Hareton Grey. "
La Siréene draws a finger over the open wounds around her neck."Rest is in order. If the Black Breath truly is a disease, I will be able to identify it once we have rested. "
She turns to her Hareton."Hareton? Do you possess the abilities Lesser Restoration, or Remove Disease? If so, they would be a great help, friend."
The Salon is one of several rumored secret organizations in the city that is based on ritual magic. They represent an odd worldview; while they practice theurgy and spiritual development, they're also renowned for their hand in profane necromancy and organized crime. Also odd...it is composed mainly of sorcerers. Because of the academic nature of their interests, it is joked that they are "wannabe wizards". People who make this joke usually disappear and are never heard from again.
Besides necromancy, they practice scrying, geomancy, altered states, and other arcane dabblings. Their texts and missives are written in code.
The order is hierarchical with initiation rites. They consider the salon a "temple" of ancient Osirion magic. There are three levels: Practicus, Adeptus, and Magister; there is also a secret fourth level: Apotheosis.
The original 3 founders of the order are long deceased. While most of the members are sorcerers, it is rumored that the current head of the organization is in fact not a sorcerer, but actually a witch. Rifts and dissent are common. They all try to outdo each other, but rivalries are kept within the order and not spilled into the outside world. Membership is thought to include actresses, revolutionaries, writers, and financiers, among others.
Much of the foregoing is thought to be simply pretension and style. The Salon is closer to a social club for fops and charlatans, sorcerers who are wealthy, lazy, oversexed, and indulgent, who due to their innate magic abilities have never had to apply themselves or work very hard at their craft. Where the vain sit around and drink expensive scotch. They've let the organization rot with their decadence. Nevertheless, they are still very dangerous, powerful people.