Fargrim offers the woman a quiet hug, feeling that words would be of little use to her to begin with.
"You have lost a lot." she offers when the woman calms down a little. "Here, let me make you a cup of tea. I'd love to hear about your husband and son. They sound like they were both fine men."
She is firstly and foremostly concerned with the woman and her sitution. Fargrim will make quiet inquiries about any support she has from her neighbors, and how she will survive in the days and weeks to come.
After a while she asks
"Will you be able to operate the mill yourself? Or perhaps get in one of your neighbours to help you?"
|Guisseppe "Lil Frankie" Franko|
To the halfling, the ghost-whisper muses, "I do wonder if the witch might have some insight into this town. The shunned sometimes see more and may talk more."
Frankie looks up from his hot cocoa and sammich and shakes his head side to side, mouth full of sammy he mumbles "No way 'm going to visit a witch! Witches are scary and eat kids! I'm gonna go try to play ball with some kids in town." He continues to stuff his face with Pb n J, washing it down with cocoa. You can already see the sugar rush starting in his eyes.
He changes the subject "It was great to meet Otto the farmer though and meet his nice cows. Cows sure do poop a lot, and their noses are sooo cold and wet! And they like hay. But other than that the farm seemed pretty boring, nothing fun going on there." Take 10 on Bluff for a 20 to pass secret message to anyone from the group that is sitting within earshot: Didn't find much of interest at the farm.. cept cows.
After lunch Frankie heads to find the children that may have witnessed something, he asks around where there may be other children he can play ball with or something not boring.
"That's an excellent idea, Frankie. I could use you to bribe the witch." Quentin chuckles good-naturedly.
After a long conversation the miller, drying her tears, thanks Fargrim and mentions that her neighbors have begun helping her. After taking her leave, Fargrim does meet with the neighbors, who confirm that they are pitching in, loading grain and unloading flour. "We don't stand by and let our own stay down." There's even talk of perhaps bringing in one or two of the war orphans from a nearby town, get him or her to help out in the Mill. There is some discomfort on how they'll bring that up to Misa the Miller.
Does Fargrim have any further questions for anyone about? If not, she should join the others for a quick exchange of information and more importantly, to figure out what her next angle will be.
So far, I'm reading: The children, the witch, and the prisoners?
Frankie will have much better luck with the children, so I'll visit the witch. Someone should visit the sheriff, right?
Before leaving, Fargrim tries to bring the conversation around to the millers son.
"So he wanted to become a Pathfinder? Was that why he went to meet them that night?"
-=-=-=-=-= Meeting up -=-=-=-=-=-
Back at the inn for lunch, Fargrim quietly shares what she has learned.
"The good mother seems to be just what she claims, although horribly biased against the Pathfinders. I also visited the mother of one of the dead men. She seems nice, her son - the murdered one - wanted to join the society."
"I think I will go and visit these pathfinders in jail this afternoon, and see what they have to say."
What were the choices for staying below the radar? Stealth, bluff and I think there was a third?
Disguise, I believe.
Falshin is heading to speak with the 'murderers'.
Falshin arrives outside the sheriff's office (assuming our comrades are being held there) and will knock on the door before entering. Once allowed entrance, he enters with a smile. "Dawnflowers blessing upon you. I am Falshin Korvaska, a healer of Sarenrae and would like to speak with the murderers. I seek to offer them redemption for my goddess before they are put to death for their crimes."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
|Marcus Voralius RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16|
At the inn:
"Things are even more complicated. The murder didn't take place at the farm. Someone took the body there to be found. I'm smelling a setup. We tracked the source back here to town at the slaughterhouse. Short of divination magic, good luck finding out anything in that place.
For the next day, I don't have anywhere in particular to follow leads, as I think the next step is what the diplomats find. Is it possible to spend the day basically covering our trails. Looking to see if anyone is taking interest, providing distractions, providing alibis, etc? Not sure on how flexible the mechanics are.
I think we have only had one, or possibly two of our "sessions" today, so there is still a lot more investigating we can do.
@Marcus: Yes, remember you have three "phases" per day. So what you did in the morning does not hamper you from doing anything during the day. I might suggest that you accompany the "diplomats" perhaps, or go along on a witch hunt (ba-dum tish). Or maybe Try and mingle with the locals on your own. There is little you could do that would be bad (barring you don't decide to do things I would imagine you would find crazy).
So far I have Quentin going to find the witch, Falshin going over to meet with the sheriff, Frankie attempting to find the witnesses among the children. That leaves Arnold, Fargrim and Marcus.
"Meet with the Pathfinders? He was out on an errand! He was enamored, but he was a good boy. He would have never left me alone, at least not so soon after his father's passing" the miller replies, a tear in her eye, still sniffling after her earlier outburst.
|Marcus Voralius RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16|
"Ha! Yes, please. My family should know if I get turned into a frog," the man chuckles, "They always expected me to."
Arnold accompanies Falshin to the sheriff's, paper and quill in hand. "I, too, would be interested in meeting the accused. While I believe them to be guilty from what I have heard, I would like to hear their thoughts in this, the latest hours of their lives. The mind is always a strange thing at such a point and I hope someday to truly understand its process."
Fargrim nods to the window, and when the time is appropriate, offers her again the blessing of Desna and makes her farewell.
Starting back down the road to the town, Fargrim will detour to visit the other bereaved family.
Again she pauses outside their house, trying to get a feel for the place and the people before knocking on the door.
daily check to remain inconspicuous(bluff): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Quentin comments to Marcus as they prepare to set forth, "If Dancel was killed at the slaughterhouse, then how did the two boys 'witness' the murder on Otto's field in order to summon the sheriff? I thought it might be some cultist posing as an Iomedean inquisitor, but it sounds like there might be a conspiracy. Maybe Mother Corum is simply... not helpful to the situation."
Fargrim approaches the house where the Jorndal family lived. The front door is cracked open, but the shutters closed. It does not look like tehre is very much activity here. "Yer a little late." drawls an older lady sweeping a nearby porch. "Fancy you religious types finally finding the gumption to show yer faces here, after them folk who needed you done up and gone. Erastil have mercy, them are troubled times."
Finding directions proves a tad harder than anticipated, but they are given directions to a hut about three hours march away from the town, in a forest clearing overlooking the village. A middle aged, brown-haired woman stands in front of the hut, dumping spoiled vegetables into a trough for a drift of pseudo-wild pigs. Looking up, she waves at you "Well hello there! You lost?"
Frankie finds children playing a game of kick-ball. But will he gain their trust? After all, he is the stranger here, and children can be cruel.
How do you want to approach them Frankie?
The sheriff's office also doubles as his manorhouse. A manorhouse which is tended to by the minimum amount of footservants, meaning that it is the sheriff himself who comes to greet you at the door, a scowl on his face as he begrudgingly invites you to come on in. "Listen, I ain't got a whole lotta time for y'all folks. Been enough strangers causing trouble of late. So, y'all tell me what you want so i can get back on track?"
Is that diplomacy check your final result? Or do you want to add anything? Perhaps make a more compelling argument that "we're here to provide them with moral relief"? Does Arnold want to try and assist? Hint, hint, many hints?
|Guisseppe "Lil Frankie" Franko|
Frankie heads to hang out with the kids, because well face it.. kids are far more fun than boring adults. If only they had jobs to buy lots of cocoa... He finds them in a group, playing kickball. I LOVE kickball! He drops his pack off to the side and runs towards the group.
"Hey there! Need another player? I'll do anything, I'm so bored today!" Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17 He does what he can to plead his case, even shagging some balls kicked far out of bounds or volunteering to pitch for a while.
"Hello! We might be lost," Quentin calls to the woman, "How many huts in the woods are there near Dawnton?"
He removes his gloves and slides them into his belt before holding up his hands. "I'm an investigator. I'm looking for truth, and, from what I've gathered, there seems to be a shortage inside the borders of the town, so I came looking further afield.
"Could you use some help with the labor while we talk?"
Fargrim turns to smile at the neighbour.
"Hi there, I am Fargrim Arifind, priest of Desna. Can you tell me what happened here? Where have the Jorndal family gone?"
Arnold tries to help, but ends up losing his composure slightly. "We...um...we want to see...um...the prisoners. Could you, uh, let us, please?"
Diplomacy Aid: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
The sheriff guffaws harshly. "Sorry, but that ain't happening. Them folk know what they done ain't right and they can get their redemption right before they hang" he replies, stepping out onto the porch. "Now if you'll excuse me but I've got to make sure others don't start even more trouble. Ya'll ghouls make me sick, takin' pleasure in seein' others die. Now beat it." Expecting to be obeyed he shoos you away, but quickly is off on his way to deal with the trouble the crowds assembling for the execution bring along with them.
So that didn't go so well. What do you plan to do now?
"Well, if you wouldn't mind drawing me some water, the buckets are by the door! And you, if you could go ahead and chop me some wood from the pile, that'd be nice!" says the woman confidently, her emerald eyes sparkling mischievously, as she turns back to finishing her work. From the hut, hearing unfamiliar voices, something looking very much like a massive wild boar steps out and grunts, eyes shifting from one Pathfinder to the other.
"So what are you investigating in town? If it's about them Pathfinders I feel like you're a mite too late."
Back in town
Hi/Lo: 1d100 ⇒ 27
Rumors?: 1d8 ⇒ 1
"You seem like a cool kid. Betcha you can't play ball like we can!" says one playfully, as he kicks the ball towards Frankie before running up to try and kick it away. "Hey maybe he's one of the kids that saw Jorham get killed!" exclaims another, and soon enough Frankie is one of the most popular kids in the streets, as the local kids clearly think that he is one of the two kids from out of town that saw Jorham's murder and drove the Pathfinders away with their slings before getting the Sheriff.
Could it be that... That piece of information would be ... False? :P
In another part of town.
The older woman looks Fargrim up and down suspiciously. "They done left. So would you if one of your children done got murdered. Matharma, she couldn't stand seeing this town any longer, with the crusaders coming and going, and the regular folk just being cattle for the mighty in Nerosyan, or food for the demons of the North. And Pselt had family in Sevenarches. Musta figured it would be better for his other kids."
"Well, that seemed like a bust, but it needn't be," Arnold remarks to Falshin when the sheriff is out of earshot. "I can sneak in there easily, provided there are no locks. If there are no guards, so much the better; if there are, I can go invisible. That doesn't last long, but I could whisper to the prisoners or hand them a note. They might know more about this, think it's worth a shot?"
Fargrim sighs sadly.
"So one tragedy leads on to still others. Families uprooted, neighbors lost."
Then a sad smile crosses her face. "Still, Desna looks after those on the roads, so I will pray that they reach where they seek in safety. While I'm here, could you tell me anything more about the family, and about the man who was murdered? "
She leans closer.
"The tavern is full of rumors, and I'd prefer to hear the truth from a neighbor. No doubt my boy will be back this evening with tall tales from the local children, and I'd like to be able to put him right."
|Guisseppe "Lil Frankie" Franko|
Frankie's eyes light up as the ball heads his way "WOOO! ITS ON!" Acrobatics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24 Frankie is like the little big brother on the kickball field... owning the other children like a man among boys, but in a nice way. "Did any of you actually see those Pathfinders? Do they really look like Devils? Or are they more like just adults with swords and armor?"
Frankie asks a few questions but quickly gets the idea they don't know much? But that doesn't stop him from playing games all day. He's even got marbles, doppel, and a deck of cards if they are interested in that.
"Maybe I'll come back tomorrow to play if you guys are gonna be here?"
"There's still a moment to find the truth. They're not yet hanged." Quentin says to the woman, "The stories don't match the evidence, like how the murder was witnessed at Otto's farm, but clearly the killing was done elsewhere, likely the slaughterhouse. I was hoping a pair of eyes from outside of town might have better vision."
Quentin is happy to draw water and perform other chores.
As Falshin responds, Arnold scribbles down a note. "If you're on board, looks like we're doing this! If there're locks, you can pick 'em. If there are guards, I'll go invisible, slip our agents this note, and we get out. Should they be so lucky as to be unguarded, we can talk to them. Quickly now, before we have time to think!" And with that, he is off towards the sheriff's office, as soon as his companion is ready.
Stealth: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23
We have been sent by the Society to clear your names. It would help if you could provide us with any information you know about the murders you have been accused of. If you are in fact guilty, please tell us. Should you have any means of escape, inform us of your plans so they do not coincide with ours in an unfortunate manner. Stay strong.'
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Fargrim, could you give me a diplomacy, a bluff or any reasonable skill check to support your RP?
Outside of Town
Rumor mill: 1d8 ⇒ 5
Rumor mill: 1d8 ⇒ 1
Screw you dicebot. Look at me: I choose the rumors now, you inconsiderate RNG. :P
The woman stops what she is doing to take a good look at Quentin. "You ask a lot of questions you know that? Kinda like that dark haired fellow who arrived in town right around the same time as them Pathfinders. He sure likes to ask a lot of questions about them. At least, that's what I've been told. Never asked me anything about any Pathfinders." She shakes her head slightly as she tips the bucket back up and sets it down. "But he did ask an awful lot of questions about you, your friend there, a weird fellah that came into town looking all black and can arm wrestle like a champ and that lady with the kid. Who all arrived on the same day."
She chuckles, and turn around, motioning for Quentin and Marcus to come on in. "I'll get ya some beer, and I have some bread from this morning. And we can talk cozy. C'mon! Tell your friend that he don't need to be shy, I'm not gonna put a spell on him; it's not like I'm a witch."
Back at the game.
Most kids shake their heads, but one pipes up "I've seen the Pathfinders! They had armor, and big swords, and big helmets!""No you didn't, those were the Queens Guards! You're a liar!""Am NOT!""ARE TOO!""AM NOT!""ARE TOO!" A minor scuffle breaks out and most of the kids disperse before the adults get involved. Of the kids Frankie finds himself with noone has seen the Pathfinders really. But they do plan on playing throughout the day.
At the manor house/sheriff's office
Waiting on Falshin or Arnold to pick the lock.
Sorry it took so long, Free RPG Day kicked my ass. I never thought it would take me six hours to run a scenario.
"Well, it seems we've not been as subtle as we thought we were," Quentin pouts at the hermit woman.
"Marcus, come on, she's going to turn me into a frog inside. You might want to take notes." He chuckles and then follows the woman inside.
Fargrim continues to talk with the neighbour, trying to allay her concerns while she quietly digs for information.,
diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
|Guisseppe "Lil Frankie" Franko|
Assuming I can't go to another area to investigate, Frankie will just hang around and play with whatever kids remain until everyone else is done.
|Guisseppe "Lil Frankie" Franko|
Sure thing. I'll hunt up 'Mom'
Frankie in what can only be described as endless childhood energy (Or yet another sugar buzz) comes trotting down the street until he finds Fargrim "Hey Mom! When's lunch? I'm STARVED!"
He heads on over and starts chattering "What a fun day playing ball with the other kids and this one kid said he saw the big scary Pathfinders in armor and swords and giant helmets! But everyone else called him a big fat liar and a fight broke out. But don't worry, I'm fine! I may go play again tomorrow if that's ok?"
As he catches his breath and does his best to look cute and innocent, he turns to say hi to the woman "Oh hi there Miss, sorry. I'm Frankie! How are you today?"
Juuust to keep things moving.
Falshin's Disable Device: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
By the Sheriff's Office
Looking about and making sure noone is about, Falshin pops open the door with a maestro's finesse, before standing guard outside. Arnold steps on in, taking advantage of the many shadows inside the "manor". Guards are posted, local bumpkins that don't stand a chance to see Arnold's lithe form pass along in the darkness. It becomes child's play to get into the basement, where the jail cells are located. Inside three separate cells, a dwarf, a halfling and a gnome all sit, mostly moping except for the gnome who still seems to have enough pizzazz to crack jokes much to the annoyance of the Dwarf, who has her back turned to him. Slipping them the note is child's play, and the Dwarf, looking about without being able to spot Arnold frowns suspiciously. "What is it with all the anonymous letters? First the Sheriff, now us? Someone is playing everyone in this town for fools." "Hush now Dakota. Don't make a scene or that crazy b$$$! will really believe us to be possessed" offers the halfling, a comely looking female.
Arnold, let me know if you want to look around the manor a little more. It may require another stealth check.
Talking to the neighbor
The fortuitous arrival of Frankie visibly allays some of the woman's suspicions, as she leans on her broom to make herself cozy as she chats.
"Ain't much to tell. Dancel was... You know. Not simple but... Not sharp. Worked well enough, a reliable field hand. The Jorndals worked the fields in the spring and the fall, did some trapping in the winter and did all sorts of things in the summer. A handyman I reckon you'd call old Pselt. Matharma made some excellent jams. I don't know what to tell you, there were regular, landless common folk. They were savin' for a plot I heard; makes sense considerin' they were always workin' but never seemed to do better."
She shakes her head. "Darn shame what them Pathfinders done did. Maybe their tomb robbin' days have turned those ones crazy. Certainly didn't make them good killers. Sheriff done found a dagger where they killed Jorham. Matched one of their dagger sheaths. That was dammin' proof right there" she adds, shaking her head sadly.
Outside of Town
The hut is cool and the smell of bread still lingers in the air. "Here." She pours the two of you a mug of a dark colored beer. "I brew it like my family did back in Iobaria. Not that they brewed much beer back there. Most of it was potato spirits. Stuff will kick you like a mule. Anyway, I hope you like it."
She offers a piece of bread to each of you, as her boar-pig trots on by and settles down by the unlit fireplace.
"Like I said, fellah arrived in town around the same time as those Pathfinders. At the time they hadn't killed anyone, so someone else asking questions was just more of the same. Then folks started dying in horrible ways and they turned up guilty. He kinda stopped asking questions then. And that was fine. I mean, apart from being an outsider he was like anyone else. Whole village stopped asking questions. And most people who said it was me stopped saying that too. So that was nice, 'specially with Ms High and Mighty Iomedae in town. But now you arrived. Which isn't strange, although you folk don't seem like you're here for a hanging festival. But what is strange is that noone is really asking questions about you but him."
She snorts, pouring herself a tall mug. "Noone seems to be finding it strange, except for me. But I'm always seein' strange things I suppose. So. What brings you fine, well mannered folk to this little piece of heaven? My cured meats?" she asks with a wiggle of her eyebrows and an easy smile.
"Thank you for your hospitality, your food, and your conversation. Things have been strange to us as well, and word around town was if anyone knew about strange things, it might be you. We thought talking to someone who saw things others don't pay attention to might give more perspective on the things going on in town. Seems we were steered right."
Fargrim directs a stern glare at Frankie.
intimidate: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13 <- yes I know we can't use it on other players!
"My thanks for the cup of tea and the chat. It looks like I'll need to keep a closer eye on my boy. "
She pauses, before leaving. "Mighty clumsy of those trained killers to conveniently leave a dagger behind, wouldn't you say?"
With a wave she heads off in search of the sheriff.
Depending on whether we have time today
Sorry about my delay, folks. Today was my son's 4th birthday and so this weekend was busy with parting planning and what not. I"m back now and getting caught up!
Falshin keeps a close eye out, hoping that Arnold does not get caught...
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
"Thank you," Quentin says, taking a long drink and listening. "As Marcus says, I figured anybody the town called a witch was probably smarter, wiser, more perceptive, or all three than anyone in town."
"We received an anonymous letter suggesting that we come to the Pathfinder's aid, oddly, written in the same hand-writing as the anonymous letter that suggested there was an interesting archaeological find on one of the farms." Quentin wrinkles his nose, "Fishy that. Can you tell me more about the man asking about us?"
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Stealth: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (11) + 14 = 25
Arnold looks around for anything that could be important elsewhere in the manor, or at least a place with fewer guards. Unable to discern a particularly useful location, the wayang lets his feet take him where they will.
|Guisseppe "Lil Frankie" Franko|
Frankie looks up at 'Mom' as she gives him the unwarranted tongue lashing "But MA! I didn't start any fights! I just watched! Trevor got his shirt torn, his Mom was real mad! And Chris got poked in the eye I think, or maybe he was just crying. I knew it wouldn't be fair for me to win at kickball AND a fight in the same day. They might get jealous!"
He smirks and winks at woman as he gets dragged off to lunch.
Out on the farm
"Witch. Pah. They think anyone with Iobarian blood in them and a little arcane power is a witch" she says, rolling her eyes."Anyway, that man was definitely Chelish. Had a little soul patch on his lower lip, and dark hair. I think he's either forgotten how to use a comb or never wanted to use one."
In the Sheriff's Office
Arnold is swift with his feet and none of the guards even notices he is there. He manages to find his way to the Sheriff's Office, where a document catches his eye. A letter, informing the Sheriff that the people responsible for the murder were the Pathfinders. Signed only "A Concerned Citizen".
So that's it for the afternoon phase. You should meet up and share your information and then tell me what you plan on doing in the evening phase. I'm sure that you can start teasing out some things about the facts of this case, perhaps even moreso if you come together.
Fargrim heads back to the inn to arrange for dinner - in a quiet corner of the building.
As other travellers arrive, she occasionally invites one or two to join her table to help educate Frankie about 'other places and peoples'.
Quietly she updates the team on her own findings (all of them above, but rather than type out everything, I'll summarize them)
"So the Mother seems genuine, but irrational in her hatred of pathfinders. I also visited with the families and neighbours of the murdered folk. One of them wanted to be a pathfinder himself. The second family had moved out of town. Nothing especially remarkable, although the neighbour mentioned that a dagger exactly fitting one of the pathfinders sheaths was found near the murder site."
More loudly she says "And then Frankie 'Didn't' get into a fight. Which is how he managed to rip his tunic. Again. Maybe some of you folk might want to tell him what will happen to him if he keeps getting 'caught up in other peoples fights'. He doesn't seem to listen to me."
She keeps her eyes out for anyone paying too much attention to the disparate group of travellers.
"No matter where we go in the world, there is always more chels making trouble. Why should we expect any different here." Marcus spits on the floor before thinking about that it wasn't his floor. "You were helpful. We'd better get back to town before dark."
Back in town...
"Anyone spotted a chellish man? Seems one has been around since the murders started, and he was asking a lot of questions."
"About Pathfinders, specifically, and us," Quentin adds to Marcus' comment in a hushed voice.
Arnold listens intently to the information the others have gathered before giving his own briefing. "The three Pathfinders are safe and sound, relatively. Separate cells in the sheriff's manor, heavily guarded but the competence of said guards is questionable. I think they're just townspeople in reserve in case someone gets jailed.
Anyway, I got a note to them, though they won't really be able to respond. The real gem, though, is that we found an anonymous letter to the sheriff. It was framing the Pathfinders. It seemed a lot like the one telling the Society about the dig site. There's something there, but I don't think it'll sway the people entirely. How much longer do we have until the execution?"
|Marcus Voralius RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16|
"What?" asks Fargrim of Marcus "Is a Soul patch?"
She then turns to Arnold. "Did you get a chance to speak with them at all? What did they say? We don't know for sure that they are even innocent yet.."