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Palace of the Vampire Queen

Game Master Terquem

On the Dwarven Island of Karrita Morianna the daughter of the King has been taken by an undead horde, and her whereabouts are unknown. Current Map| Level 1 Overview


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male

It had the feeling of the most peculiar kind of contrast. The sun was high and there were clouds, white and moving lazily from the west across the sky. Sea birds soared out over the water and occasionally they would fall, not dive but just fall, slowly, and skim the surface of the waves calling loudly before they beat their wings and rose again. Families were on the beach. Some of them seemed to be just sitting, watching children play in the shallows and pools, while others worked nets, or pulled boats, long narrow affairs with single short masts, up onto the sandy shore.

Above the beach, built onto a wall that was many centuries old, there were restaurants with their tables covered by brightly dyed umbrellas or awnings hung with wind chimes and colored glass balls, and between these restaurants were merchant wagons, Dwarves dressed in light billowing shirts and cotton trousers, wearing sandals, were selling crafts, snacks and goods from the wagons, and moving along the wall was a steady but not crowded flow of people, some of them elves or humans. You would expect it to be noisy, for there to be a cacophony of sounds, but it was quiet, and the calls of the birds hundreds of feet off the shore echoed through the air.

It was, for most of the people in the city, a pleasant late spring day, but for the three dozen or more Dwarves sitting at the tables of the Ocean’s Bell, the restaurant by the double side by side stairs leading down to the sandy beach from the ancient wall, it was not a pleasant day at all.

There were few who dared talk, and conversations were short and quiet but for one table where three Knights of the realm argued intently. Their voices were not loud, though occasionally one or all of them would raise their voice to try and make a point only to have hands put on tables with a shake and a protest of, “Calm yourself, we must keep ourselves calm!”

A waiter, his name is Gorolandi, moves around the tables of the restaurant filling mugs with beer, or glasses with wine, depending on the wealth of the patrons, and he turns his head when a voice from the table where the Knights sit grows too loud. He grimaces, Gorolandi does not like trouble and he exhales loudly through his nose when the voices are quiet enough that he is sure his message is heard by all.

The Dwarven men and women sitting around the Knights are all members of the Knight's retinues. They are body guards, banner carriers, groomsmen and cooks, priest, craftsmen and spies. Oh there is no secret that some of the retainers are there only to watch the others. Some have specific missions, and some are only eyes and ears. Even among the retainers of each of the Knights there is an uneasy sense of trust and suspicion. Times are lean.

It all has come down to this. The King was supposed to be receiving a report, a plan, from each of the Knights as to what they, personally, were doing to stop the increasing raids and unusual attacks by strange creatures from beyond the grave that were plaguing the south western counties of the kingdom. That is why you are here. You came as a member of your Knight’s retinue. You came because it was your duty, but you do not know what the Knight was going to say. In fact, today no one knows what any of the Knights were going to say. During the dinner, the night before, a messenger arrived and delivered some news to the king, and after that the king was rushed off to his bed with an unknown ailment. The Knights were sent away and told to stay in the capitol until they were dismissed. They were told that the King would still hear their messages, but that it would be a day, possibly two, before he was well enough to receive them. So you are here, staying in a bungalow on the beach, with a few of the other members of the Knight’s retinue, while your lord stays in a house in the city. You have not been told what the day’s assignments are. You have not been told where to go or what to do. You were only told to come to the Ocean’s Bell before noon, and wait. So you are waiting.

You look around and see faces that have what must be the same expression you try to hide. It is an expression of curiosity, worry, fear, suspicion, and excitement.

There is excitement in all of this because there is a possibility, yes a small possibility, that this may be the day you are asked to do something out of the ordinary. This might be the day you step up and volunteer to do something that everyone else is afraid to do. Though you are in the service of the Knight of the county where you live, this is not a promise. Servants come and go, and there is every reason to worry that next week, or the week after that you will be back on the farm, or in the mine, or on the fishing boats working each day to feed your family, struggling each day just to survive. But there is always possibility, there is always the chance that you will be noticed for your bravery, your skill and dedication, your humility and honor, and maybe, just maybe, if it is enough, if it is everything you have to give and more, the name your parents gave you will be forever tied to the title of Knight of the Realm, and from there you can only go up. From there, there is no sky to high.

(The game begins with your character at the Ocean’s Bell. It is mid day. You know almost no one around you. You have no real friends here, only acquaintances. You can talk to others around you, ask them who they, “What was your name again, sir, or ma’am?”. Or ask questions about what your character may know about the city, its people, or even take a shot at guessing what the argument is about. From here the game is controlled by all of us, where it goes depends as much upon what you want to do as I have planned to happen. Good luck, and always “Play like you don’t need to win.”)


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

The next time Gorolandi approaches Rownig's table, Rownig nods and puts up two fingers. Gorolandi snorts and places two frothy new tankards on the table. Rownig inclines his head with approval, stands up, and snatches both tankards in one nimble hand. He turns, looking over the dwarven patrons at the Ocean's Bell.

He observes the young dwarf (Azram Diamond-Hammer)standing near the short wall overlooking the beach. Rownig ambles by the main table containing the three knights in heated discussion. He strains his sensative ears to pick up tidbits of conversation (Terquem: I would like to make a perception check.) Stopping to adjust his shoulder bag. After a few moments of pause, he continues over to the dwarf and holds one of the tankards out, "Me n'me is Rownig," he states in baritone voice. "I saw you yest'rday with me Lady Knight Inarossa. Are ye new to the house?"


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

Helgen, at the Ocean's Bell against his father's wishes, has his cloak's deep hood pulled up fully even though it's not particularly cold. He makes for an unusual sight at the best of times, his body always surrounded by a massive suit of translucent magical 'power armor' (anachronistic, but I lack a better way to describe it), his right cheek covered by a large glowing rune. His eyes rest firmly on the table where the three knights are arguing furtively. I wonder what my Aunt's gotten us into now. I hope she doesn't plan to beggar father to preserve her own position.

His attention is momentarily distracted as Rownig passes through his field of vision on his way over to Azram's table. Those two are in her retinue, maybe they can tell me more. Pushing his unfinished plate of shrimp and tomatoes away, he draws his cloak tighter around himself, and picking up the massive warhammer that he had rested against his table, wanders over to lean against the sea-wall near them. Though his eyes face the waves and gulls, the rest of his senses are tuned keenly on their conversation.

Perception1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12


HP 37/37, AC 18/21, CMD 13, Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7, Init +3, Per +8, Punish 1/1

The dwarf in a booth at the edge of the room is grizzled and surly (even for a dwarf). He drinks weak ale and hunches his shoulders, apparently unhappy at being where he is.

His clothing is unremarkable other than the fact that it is quite dark in color (ranging only from black to dark grey). His head is shaved and his dark beard trimmed short (an oddity to be sure). His skin is a bit ashen as if he'd recently been ill, and his eyes are oddly pale.

At his hip hangs a wicked axe with a curved handle, engraved with a large rune on the face and polished to a silver gleam.

He scowls about the room, waiting and listening.


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26


Male Dwarf Fighter (Lore Warden 2)/Cavalier(hunt master1) HP 36 / Init +3 / AC 15 / Per +6

Mazrim sits at a table not far from his lord barely sipping at his ale, spending more time scanning the crowd for anything out of the ordinary or suspicious.

perception check 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23

Spotting a bulky dwarf trying to hide his features under a heavy cloak... Hmm, someone's tryin real hard to be inconspicuous. I better keep an eye on him.


male

Rownig approaches the Dwarven priest, and introduces himself, but the Dwarf continues to peer out across the ocean waves, as if he hasn’t heard a word. Perhaps he is in deep thought about his responsibilities.

Passing a table where three older dwarves, one of them is a strong Dwarf that Rownig recognizes as a standard bearer, and he thinks his name is Vuton Corsori, Rownig cathes part of a conversation...

Rownig hears:
Rownig hears Vuton say, “Well I say the Palace is a myth. It’s a story the Goblins tell to try and make everyone believe the island is cursed and the curse is upon the heads of every Dwarf who stays on the island.”
Another dwarf, sitting with Vuton, says, “I say the story is true. The King is going to ask one of the Knights to find the palace and pout an end to the walking dead for good.”

As Helgen draws near, Rownig senses his approach. The strange Dwarf is surrounded by some kind of apparition. It is magic, that much Rownig knows for certain, beyond that he does not know, but it makes the hair on his neck stand up, and he feels on edge.

Meanwhile, across the restaurant, a gentle breeze picks up and for just a moment the umbrellas flap in the gust, and the tinkle of wind chimes is heard from each direction along the wall. Hallister knows that his lord, Sir Henri, is trying to play both sides in the argument he is having. Although he cannot hear what is being said, Hallister can read Sir Henri’s body language and the signs that the Knight is trying not to take sides is obvious, but then, without any warning at all, Sir Henri places a hand on the Lady Inarossa’s shoulder, and leans to her side of the table, while with his other hand he reaches out, his palm turned upward as if pleading, toward Sir Guisse. Something has changed.

Mazrim can see the tension in Sir Guisse’s shoulders. The old Knight is angry, and when he gets angry, he doesn’t always take time to think before he speaks. Straining to hear what the argument could be about Mazrim tries to ignore the sounds of the wind and the voices of people on the beach, and the cries of sea birds in the distance. He is sure he hears something, and it is not something he wanted to know.

Mazrim hears:
"So how is this going to be. Either you are with me, or you are against me!"

Two people at the restaurant have left their tables and gone to stand close to a priest of Denarri by the wall where the stairs lead from the open air restaurant down to the beach.


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Rownig's red beard tingles as the tightly cloaked newcomer approaches. His shadowy black eyes quickly scans the dwarf. Hmm, could be listenin' and reportin' back usin' that facny magic. Taking a big gulp of his frothy ale. This is going to be an interestin' time.


Male Dwarf Fighter (Lore Warden 2)/Cavalier(hunt master1) HP 36 / Init +3 / AC 15 / Per +6

Catching a snippet of the knight's argument, Mazrim turns his attention back to his lord..Uh Oh, what did those two say to make Sir Guisse so mad?

Mazrim adjusts his seat to ensure if this meeting turns sour he won't be blocked from coming to his Lord's aid and strains to hear any further clues as to what is causing Sir Guisse's distress.


HP 37/37, AC 18/21, CMD 13, Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7, Init +3, Per +8, Punish 1/1

This ain't good.

Looking around the grizzled dwarf looks for people wearing the other lord and lady's colors.

Moving past the bar, he motions for the bartender and says "Gorolandi, gimme pitchers o' what th' lords and lady 're havin'. Quick now."

Tapping his foot impatiently, he gathers the pitchers and moves toward the other retainers.

What th' hell were their names? Ah don' remember what they said when we were all innerduced. Mazzig? Rownim? Somethin' like that.

"You two wanna gimme a hand?" He says handing them pitchers rather abruptly. "Our bosses look like they could use a refresher. Or at least a second or two t' think."


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

Hearing the commotion, Helgen turns to see the approach of the surly Hallister. His eyebrows raise significantly when he hears what he says to Rownig. (though I don't think Rownig and Mazrim are currently seated together) He turns and no longer bothering with being discreet says to them, "I hate to butt in, but I don't think it would be wise to interrupt them just now. Looks like things aren't exactly going well, and Knights tend to not like it when they are disturbed by their 'lessers'. I'm sure if they wanted drink they would call for it." He looks momentarily shocked at his own boldness. S&&!e! So much for staying out of it. He offers a hand to Rownig and Hallister, "My name is Helgen Inarossa. The lady there is my aunt. But I aint 'spposed to be here, so keep it quiet please."


HP 37/37, AC 18/21, CMD 13, Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7, Init +3, Per +8, Punish 1/1

"You got a better idea, mr. nephew Helgen?" Hallister says pointedly. "It's better t' ask forgiveness than permission, and I'd rather apologize fer somethin' ah did right now, than have one o them feel the need t' apologize t' each other later, ye know?"


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Seeing the flurry of action around him, Rownig steps forward to find a hand in front of him. Startled, "Rownig, I watch over lady Inarossa. Figured you be the nu'phew."

Cautiously looking at Hallister, then over to Sir Henri's uninvited hand, "I think we all can use a pitcher." His left hand instinctively slides to the hilt of his longknife.


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

"Yeah, my better idea is we wait for orders. Looks like it's two on one at this point, I'm sure the discussion will be over soon. Which knight do you serve...Vessocho if I'm not mistaken? Well, he and my aunt appear to be teaming up on that grumpy old bastard." He sweeps his hand to indicate Azram and Rownig, "These two are Inarossa retainers, I've seen them before. Which means everyone at this table is 'winning' the argument right now." He raises his eyebrows as if to say, "Aint that right?"

Turning to acknowledge Rownig he says, "Yes, I am her nephew. Though I'm beginning to think I should have listened to my father and stayed out of this. Just call me Helgen please."


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

The thunderous voice bellows,"Helgen Please is a funny name." A moment of pause before he starts to chuckle and laugh to break the tension. Gotta have humor to break tension. Well, that or a couple pitchers of ale.


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

Chuckling along with Rownig, Helgen turns back to Hallister and says, "Two pitchers ought to be just enough for four strapping dwarves such as ourselves, don'tcha think?" He snatches up Rownig's stein along with two more from a nearby empty table, and proffers them to Hallister. "Feel free to pour friend." he says with a winning grin.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23


HP 37/37, AC 18/21, CMD 13, Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7, Init +3, Per +8, Punish 1/1

The black bearded dwarf gritted his teeth.

"Idiots. This ain't 'bout protocol. It's 'bout givin' th' nobles a bit o' breathin' room b'fore one o' 'em says somethin' they can't walk away from."

Putting down the other two pitchers in front of their respective retainers, he shook his head. "You do what ye' want."

Without another word he marched across the restaurant to where Sir Henri was sitting, gave him a slight bow and waited, prepped to refill his cup.


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Still laughing at his own joke he slaps Hallister, as he walks away, and Helgen on the back, "Now were talkin'," pointing over to the Mazrim table, "come on over and join us. Don't forget a few more pitchers."

Turns toward Helgren again and continues his chortle when his sees Helgrens face, "Helgen Please."


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

Pouring himself, Rownig (and Azram if he looks interested) a drink, Helgen sighs and leans against the wall. "Dour fellow that one. Hope he doesn't make things worse." Sucking a bit of the head off the Mead? Ale? Hopefully mead? he turns back to Rownig. "So how long have ye been in m'lady's service?"


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

"Me 'hole life, I've been in service. Right there along side me entire family." Taking a long gulp of ale. Thinking about his next question. "So why ye sneakin' around behind folks back?"


Male Dwarf Fighter (Lore Warden 2)/Cavalier(hunt master1) HP 36 / Init +3 / AC 15 / Per +6

Seeing the friendly invitation, and the mead, Mazrim stands up and walks over to their table signaling the waiter on his way. Don't know these two, probably a good idea to... Investigate who the other nobles brought with em just incase

Mazrim reaches out to shake hands, Thanks for the invite. The name's Mazrim, what about you two?


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

"My father wants me to stay out of his sister's bidness. However, I reckon we ought to know what's going on. It could affect us all." He shrugs momentarily. "I suppose I never have been able to contain my curiosity all that well."

Edit: Suddenly noticing that Mazrim has walked over Helgen squirms anxiously even further back into his over-sized cloak. Hope this sumb*tch didn't hear what I just said. Aloud, he says "You can call me....Bombur.." pausing awkwardly, and only belatedly remembering to offer his hand.


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

"Me name's Rownig and this here is Helgen Please," busting out in another round of boisterous laughter. "I'll st...sto..stop, tomorrow he cries."


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

Having been caught in his bluff, Helgen's face turns beet red and he begins to studiously examine his boots. Denarii's bosom! Half of Karrita Morianna knows I'm here by this point. Hope this don' get back to pappy!


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Calming down a bit as his stomach is a bit knotted up from the laughter. He eventually turns his attentin to the newest member of the table, "So what has your boss up in arms today." His coal light eyes locked on Mazrim's face.


Male Dwarf Fighter (Lore Warden 2)/Cavalier(hunt master1) HP 36 / Init +3 / AC 15 / Per +6

Giving Rownig a sidelong glance "I wouldn't presume to know my LORDs business."
Mazrim suppresses a small grin. "But if I were to guess, I'd say that Lady Inarossa and Lord Vessocho were having trouble with the invaders and don't like my Lords solution."

A sudden chuckle escapes "That or they cant agree on what to order."


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise
Mazrim Deacon wrote:
"But if I were to guess, I'd say that Lady Inarossa and Lord Vessocho were having trouble with the invaders and don't like my Lords solution."

Helgen's ears perk up at that bit. "Invaders? Solution? What on Riom (Earth) are you talking about?" He is suddenly very intent on the newcomer, awaiting his answer.

PS: I think I've decided that Helgen has the equivalent of a Virginia gentleman's accent. I'll try to convey it with word choice and spelling, just in case I've failed so far it's drawly and twangy.


male

Hallister can sense the tension at the table where the three Knights are sitting. Sir Guisse, the oldest of the three, stabs gently at a plate of tomatoes, his eyes are on his plate, but even with his head tipped down, the scowl of his expression is obvious. Lady Inarrosa, just a few years younger, but appearing less aged than Sir Guisse, is resting her elbows on the table and with her hands she rubs her temples. Her eyes are closed. Sir Henri glances at Hallister, it is almost as if he does not recognize him, but then he turns his head back again, smiles and waves his hand over his glass as if to say, “Please, fill it up”.

Halister:
“It’s Hallister, isn’t it,” Sir Henri says. “Fill the glasses and then leave us. We prefer to speak in private, but thank you for taking notice of our needs.”

You fill his glass, and move around the table to fill the others. Sir Guisse gives you a cold look, but the Lady does not open her eyes. You are about to leave when Sir Henri, clears his throat, and without warning the Lady begins to speak.

“It is not a bad idea to send a few of our people into the mountains. They can visit the more remote villages, even talk to the Goblins, the more we know, the better off we will be when it comes time to decide,” she says.

“Ahem!” Sir Henri coughs. The outburst is enough to cause Lady Inarossa to open her eyes, and as she looks toward Sir Henri he is nodding his head toward you. The Lady snaps her head around to look at you, and you expect to be reprimanded, but instead the Lady gives you a warm look. Her expression is one that speaks volumes, and you know she expects you to maintain her confidence.

“He is one of your men?” Sir Guisse asks as he loudly drops his fork onto his plate.

“He is one of mine,” Sir Henri says, “and he was only trying to be helpful. Go now, Hallister, but do us this favor. Ask Rahduun the Osler to come over here, he is sitting there,” Sir Henri points across the way to the far end of the restaurant. “And then speak to Captain Valessa. Tell her to dismiss everyone, but that I want her, Kopolis, and Fosvelli to stay. Tell her to put Kopolis and Fosvelli on the wall looking east and west and to watch for the King’s banners. We want to be ready to go if the call should come. Go, do as I have said.”

A few tables away, Mazrim, Helgen, Rownig and Azram have decided to join together at a table near the edge of the restaurant.

Three of them exchange gentle banter, while Azram remains oddly quiet. Finally, when there is a lull in the conversation, Azram looks out across the tables and asks, his voice seems distant and thoughtful, as if he is asking himself more than anyone else.

“Is there really a Vampire Queen?”

The question is heard by others sitting close by, and all around you people stop talking. Some take deep drinks from mugs of beer, ale, and mead, or sip long and loud on cups of dark aromatic tea. Around the four of you there are Dwarves of different ages, some are young, and some are old, but not a one of them is willing to answer the question.
The afternoon winds are picking up, and the sound of wind chimes and fabrics flapping seems to grow louder.

Suddenly everything becomes very quiet, and very still. There is an odd feeling in the air. From across the way, the waiter, Gorolandi, comes rushing toward your table. You don’t understand why he is headed your way, but he continues past you, and as he does he raises his voice to say, “You’ve been told to keep away from here old man.”

You all turn in your chairs to see an ancient Dwarven man as he is just reaching the top of the stairs. He leans heavily on a thick walking stick carved with the images of ghosts and wild animal spirits. His body is frail and his face is deeply wrinkled, tanned from the sun, and spotted with the dark marks of extreme old age. His hair, what little he has, is white and thin and extends out from underneath a grey canvas hat with no brim. The hat is conical, but does not end in a point, but is blunt, and folded over with the top hanging down the left side of the old Dwarf’s head. The old Dwarf’s beard is a contrast to his hair, not in color, for it is as stark white as the clouds in the sky, but unlike his hair, which is merely a few wisps and strands, his beard is full, cut short and gives the appearance that the old Dwarf’s face is resting in a large bowl. The most striking thing about this ancestor is his eyes. His eyes are open, but they are only orbs of milky white. His pupils are covered in a thick film of age or disease, it is hard to tell, but the fact that he is blind is unmistakable.

“Go away,” Gorolandi says, “or I’ll call the city watch out on you again.”

The old Dwarf thrusts out his bony hand and stops Gorolandi in his tracks with some kind of magic. Then tipping his head back ever so slightly the old Dwarf speaks, his voice warbles and his words rattle from his mouth like the sound of pebbles spilling upon a rock, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. She would raise the one whom the Helmsman loves. But the three argue over the weight of the wealth they imagine would be theirs. Among you are the eyes that seek, and the hearts that will know the fear of those who would oppose Karuk. Seek the water that must rise before it falls and the door to the Palace will reveal itself to you.” All the while the old Dwarf speaks the wind is still, and the air seems cold.

Everyone around you stares at the old Dwarf, and an uncomfortable silence fills the air.

Finally, Lady Inarossa rises from her chair in a rush. The sound of the chair scraping across the stones of the floor breaks the silence. She rushes across the restaurant, weaving quickly, but gracefully, through the cluster of the tables. Just as she passes you by she can be heard to say, “Here now, Grandfather she uses the word “grandfather” in the way any Dwarf would when addressing an elder, it is clear that he is actually not her grandfather do not trouble us with the worries of your mind.” She waves toward a table where two of her retainers (not you) are sitting. “Come, Alovin and Hooslin, take this ancestor to the beach and someone bring him some fish and wedges (fried spiced potatoes).

Gorolandi then takes a step, and he shakes his head as if he has forgotten what it was he was doing or saying.

Around you the various Dwarves of the houses of the three Knights begin to whisper, some get up out of their seats, and others draw their cloaks close in about them.

To Azram - I will take over Azram as an NPC for now. If the player does not send me a pm, or post something in the discussion thread, before Monday, then the character will become a permanent NPC and the player will need to create a new character if they wish to participate in the game.


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Looking at Mazrim and nodding slowly, "Can't go wrong with Shrimp and tomatoes, 'specially good with some 'taters too,"pausing to make sure Mazrim is engaged, "then again, yer boss is probably overreachin'."

Looking at the dwarves at the table to see their reactions, "Me own hunch is it has to deal with the Palace and if the curse of the walkin' dead is true, or not." With a smirk, Rownig raises his eyebrow.

Rownig's entire comment about what to eat and the Palace should take place before the entry of the old blind dwarf. I wrote this entire conversation before reading the GM's passage.


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

As Lady Inarossa rushes towards the old blind elder dwarf, Rownig leaps to his feet. A look of concern on his face, eyes darting around the room for any danger. His senses on alert.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8


HP 37/37, AC 18/21, CMD 13, Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7, Init +3, Per +8, Punish 1/1

As Lady Inarossa smiles at him unexpectedly, Hallister swallows, a bit unsure of what to do, a crimson flush creeping up around his pale eyes. Pouring her glass quickly he listens to Sir Henri's commands and nods.

"Aye, M'lord." He says. Bowing slightly to the other two nobles he says "M'lord, M'lady." hoping he didn't sound too uncomfortable, and backed away from the table a step before turning like a soldier and making his retreat.

Setting the pitcher down on the table with the other retainers, he began to make his way to Rahduun the Osler when the old man interrupted.

Hearing the words spoken, Hallister stopped cold.

The one whom the Helmsman loves? No. It ain't possible...

Looking back to the noble's table as Lady Inarossa made her way to speak to the elderly dwarf, he took a few steps toward Sir Henri and said quietly "M'lord, this could be very important."

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Cleric 1

Azram, sitting back, taking in what he has been hearing, shrugs, leaing his trance. im sorry, what were ya sayin' rowing? internets been down for a while, sorry

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Cleric 1

What have i been doing here? my mind went blank, i think i asked a question about something,... i need a drink Aye


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Hearing Azram's voice, Rownig turns to the priest. Thinking to himself this guy's was probably communing with Dennari. Lot's of funny magic around this place. Interesting. He shivers. "Drink the mead and get ye wits about ya. Then tell us what ye know about walkin dead." Sliding over a new tankard to Azram.


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

Spellcraft to indentify the old man's spell1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20

Helgen takes in the scene with obvious interest. First listening to Azrim's comment, and then the old man. Vampire Queen...isn't that some old children's tale? When his aunt passes by their table he flinches visibly but makes no other move to conceal himself. After everyone begins to clear out he turns to the others in the small group. "What in tarnation was that all about? Can't say as I've ever heard of 'the Helmsman'. The rest sounds like undeath and tides to me though."


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Taking a deep breath Rownig grumbles,"Lots of strange chatter going on right now," pointing to Azram, "Vampire Queen and," gesturing toward the beach "Helmsman and Karuk." Shaking his head mumbling a prayer to Yillise under his breath.

"Of course the ole goblins stories 'bout a cursed Palace where the walkin' dead roam free. It's 'nough to make a dwarf's beard tingle." Looking seriously at all three companions when he speaks. Not really sure what these companions believe, or not believe. Heck, not sure myself

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Cleric 1

the vamprire queen? Not familiar with that tale


Male Dwarf Fighter (Lore Warden 2)/Cavalier(hunt master1) HP 36 / Init +3 / AC 15 / Per +6

"Can't say I've heard anything about a vampire let alone a queen or any other undead. Either ways it's unnatural and unnatural can't bode well for anyone involved."
Taking a quick look at Sir Guises before turning back to everyone else. "Maybe someone should go and talk to that elder and see if there is anything to his speech or if its just the ranting of an old man."


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3
Azram Diamond-Hammer wrote:
the vamprire queen? Not familiar with that tale

A hearty laugh, "Ye don't know 'bout the Vampire Queen? Does ye Order teach ye about anything?" Scrunching his face, as he shrugs.

Turning his head left to face Mazrim, "whatcha do for your Lord?" he asks curiously. Dodging the comment about sending someone to the old dwarf. Me Lady directed him to the beach with other House members, clearly she did not want me putting my big nose into the heap.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Cleric 1

We learn plenty In our order, just not old children's stories
He looks upon the two men, and wonders how did i end up stuck here again?


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Rownig looks around at the three dwarves sitting at the table, then over to the Lords table, noticing Hallister whispering to his Lord. Hmmm, need to keep an eye on that one, seems to like his secrets.

The sweetness of fried shrimp waffles around the air, his stomach rumbles loudly with excitement. "Gorolandi sir!" raising his voice higher, "5 platers of shrimp, tomatoes and 'taters for our table, and yer heartiest mead."Wondering if Hallister will be eating that extra plate of food.

Smiling to everyone around, gesturing around, "No need to wait and chat on an empty stomach."

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Cleric 1

Agreed, might as well stuff ourselves untill we recieve orders


Male Dwarf Fighter (Lore Warden 2)/Cavalier(hunt master1) HP 36 / Init +3 / AC 15 / Per +6

Looking back and forth between Rownig and Azram. "Okay, you can all sit here and eat, I'm going to go talk to that man."
Mazrim turns and starts heading toward the beach after the old man.


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

"I've had enough to eat for now. I'ma join you if that's ok? After we speak with the old man, perhaps we should talk to that surly fellow. Goin' from his reaction I reckon he knows summat about this bidness as well." He points over in Hallister's direction.

No point in trying to hide now, too many people have seen me. If Pappy wants to find out I was here, he will. Helgen stands up and pulls back the hood of his cloak, before shrugging out of it. He folds it once, then rolls it up and straps it to his belt in the hollow of his lower back. A thick diagonal belt running from his right shoulder, across his chest and back around his left hip is used to secure the giant hammer to his back. Its long-shafted handle juts above his right shoulder like an empty flag pole.

Now that he is fully revealed his strangeness is doubly confirmed. The glimpses of the translucent shell around him did not fully prepare you for the sight you see now. Floating suspended inside the apparition is a pitifully small dwarf, barely making three and a half feet. His left leg is twisted and malformed, ending in a club foot. The glass-like magical armor appears to add over a foot to his height. Oblivious to the people suddenly looking at him, he hurries off in the same direction as Mazrim.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Cleric 1

Ah Helgen is right. Ill go talk to the "surly" fellow


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Popping five more fat fried shrimp in my mouth, and stabbing at several tomatoes and 'taters with his fork. Can't be the last dwarf to the blasted party, I'm supppose to keep an eye on 'im, better follow now Standing and shoving the full fork in my mouth, then taking a big dwarven gulp of my mead draining the tankard. "Guys wait'cha up, me legs are short." Although I move surprisingly quick for a dwarf.


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Chasing behind the three other dwarves, That is one big dwarf, I've 'eard about strange magic. Little legs pumping faster.


Male Dwarf Fighter (Lore Warden 2)/Cavalier(hunt master1) HP 36 / Init +3 / AC 15 / Per +6

Trying not to look too hard at Helgen. What in the nine hells? Mazrim turns back to the rest and waits for them to catch up before continuing towards the lake. So all these dwarves needed was someone to follow eh?
"Well come on this isn't gonna figure out itself."


HP 13 | THP 11 | AC 15 | T 11 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | F +1 | R +1 | W +1 | Init +3 | Per +3/+4 v Surprise

It's the ocean, we're on the coast of an island.

"Agreed." Helgen scans the beach for the two retainers and the old man. If he spots them he will head over to chat with them.

Perception 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17

We also kinda need to wait for Terq to post some info. Responses to earlier knowledge checks, and my spellcraft roll. Also Hallister is tied up talking to the NPCs until they respond.


M Dwarf Rogue 4, Init 5(7), P9(10traps), HP 30/30, AC 15(16), 13 T, 10 FF, Save F: 3(5 pos/sp), R: 7, W: 3

Catching up to the other dwarves, the sand squishing underneath his leather boots. Rownig looks around the beach for the blind, older dwarf and the House Inarossa retinue.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22

The knowledge checks are up on the discussion board, but we should probably wait for Hallister's next action.

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