"Kirill, what you suggest is not without merit; an ignorant or suspicious person may have targeted the Professor for violence, and the idea that one of them pushed the gargoyle still sounds more likely to me than the idea that it fell on its own, with such poor, but specific timing. However, as you said, the professor was an intelligent man, and I find it hard to believe any of those we saw would have the wherewithal to get the better of him. In either case, there would be more information that needs to be gathered.
"If there is a supernatural influence at work, hopefully the books will illuminate it. I suggest that none of us should go to the prison alone, just in case there is something dire lurking about."
"Were a local to be responsible, word will likely leak out. Inevitably, a guilty consciousnesses or an ignorant braggart will usually seek someone with whom to share news of their deed. If many were involved, word will spread even faster; conspiracies tend not to last unless all parties are firmly bound together in purpose."
"I propose we search these books for clues; we can to this tonight as the light has already faded. It is also simplest since it can be done here and now. If no supernatural threat appears from our investigation, we should then seek word in the town, asking about to see if any rumours emerge about the Professor's death. Tomorrow, perhaps we can take a field trip to the prison, and investigate the scene of our friend's last moments, as well as the seat upon which this gargoyle sat before falling. Does anyone feel we should take any differing action than this?
If no one objects, Zhan will get the key and open the chest, to examine the books within. He will cast Detect Magic, looking at the key, the lock, and the chest before opening it, and then examine each book to see if any are magic before he draws them forth.
"All excellent suggestions."
To Kirill it sounded as if Zhan has had experience taking charge of situations before, and the graverobber readily agreed with his approach to the matters at hand. When going to check on the books comes up, a thought strikes the Varisian and he looks to Kendra.
"The professor...you don't know if he ever employed any magical wards or protections on that chest do? I'd hate for us to get a nasty surprise when popping it open."
After delving into protected places before, Kirill was aware that dangerous traps can lurk where they are least expected.
"Agnar, I understand the hesitance to disturb the books, as they are but our ward. It does, however, seem reasonable to know what it is we carry. If it can help us figure out what had happened to the Professor, and why he's worried about his only daughter being here alone for a month, then I feel we are justified by our research." she explains, "As for only one person looking at a time, researching tomes for lore is an onerous task. One person will be worn and frazzled, and it would be helpful if we can all lend whatever expertise we have to speed the process." To Zhan, she suggests "I recommend we only do a cursory examination this evening. Poring over tomes all night before an excursion to ruins believed to be haunted would suggest we all be well rested and revitalized."
On a side note, for maps I saw a suggestion on another thread and was impressed. http://www.dabbleboard.com/ It's a neat, free (mostly sure it's free) program, that allows us to move ourselves on our turns. You can also import the picture of the maps into it.
Angar shakes his head "It is not reasonable we are to carry them nothing more and nothing less. Just because you all are curious about what is inside them means nothing. Lorrimor thought these books dangerous enough to bring us all here to watch them. Now you are all saying we should read them? That in itself is changing Lorrimor's last words to us. I learned a long time ago that it is best to leave things such as this alone. However nothing I say will stop you from looking up the books I will watch you as you do."
"Respectfully Agnar, I disagree. Opening the chest, at the least was in our mandate. He told us that some books were to go to a certain party, and some to others. Thus we were ordered to open the box and at least sort the books accordingly. As for reading them, the Professor did indicate that the books are dangerous yes, but what he said was they were dangerous to be caught with, not dangerous to read; there is a difference, if a subtle one. As such, they probably do represent books of dark lore, and would then be dangerous in the wrong hands. Knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but those here are those the Professor knew through his fight against the forces that would misuse such knowledge; I think he would appreciate that knowledge continuing to be used against such forces. Had they represented a danger to us, I believe he would have warned us explicitly." He stops for a moment, and then winks, "If we are all transformed into evil warlocks or slobbering gerbils, you will have my apology."
"Delia, you are right of course, I did not mean to imply we could uncover all the secrets of these many tomes in a single night. What I hoped we could uncover was the subject of the Professor's most recent study. That is a question I think it possible we can answer in a single night study.
Orlok: Zhan will go ahead and open up the box whenever you are ready/come online.
A scowl crosses her features "Do not assume we are going against his wishes. He asked that his daughter not be burdened with the darker side of the work, or the danger of posessing them. He entrusted them to us. Being entrusted to us, we are fit to do with them as we please, under the ONE condition, that we deliver them in whole to Liepstadt in a month." her ire abates as she explains, "I do not appreciate the implication that any of us here that had all called the Professor friend, are going AGAINST his wishes. If he did not trust us to do what is right by his intentions, he would not have entrusted the books to our care." she finishes with a huff, Father relaxing just as she does.
once again Ninja'd by Zhan, you are fast, one day too I may learn to be a master.
Agnar chuckles at Delia's scowl than says " We do not do as we are fit with them we are to take them to the parties stated in his will it is you who assume we can do more. Our care is guarding them not opening them at all."
As Delia stomps her foot, arms taut and straight at her side, she takes a breath to speak in anger. Before she gets a word out, Father sets a hand on her shoulder, patting her gently, and leans down to speak lightly in her ear. "Now, my dear, let us not say in anger what we would not speak when cooler heads prevail." The line seems to be a practiced one, but it appears to calm her. Enough so that she closes her mouth and lets only a muffled high-pitched growl of frustration escape her lips. She crosses her arms, turns away from Agnar and focuses back to the books.
I walk to work and you guys have all of the fun without me. Grr. :)
After asking Kendra about any wards that may be placed on the chest, Kirill carefully examines it while the others debate as to whether or not to open it. He will take time to both guess if the chest itself is intrinsically valuable and to see for himself if Lorrimor placed any guards upon it, magical or mundane.
Appraise:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Perception:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Edit: WOOT! Kirill is an appraising machine! I think that is even good enough to know whether or not the chest is a magic item (which I highly doubt, but you know...chests of holding exist, right?)
If the chest itself is finely made and valuable add the following: After examining the trunk Kirill perks up, ever the oppurtunist. "The will just said that the tomes needed delivering, yes? What's to happen with this?" It would after all be a fine momento to remind him of his times with the professor as well as a practical acquisition.
"My stance was as Agnar's originally... we should not broach the tomes just for mere curiousity. However, if Lorrimor met his end by the hand of something in the prison, there may be valuable clues within. That, I think, is worthy cause for their study."
Several of you huddle around the trunk as Zhan turns the key and begins to open the chest. They lid falls back onto it's hinges with a heavy 'thud,' offering you a view of its contents. It seems that the chest has been lined with lead, which would account for its weight, and five tomes rest inside it. They are...
The Manual of the Order of the Palantine Eye This is a rich purple tome bound and sealed with an ornate golden lock in the shape of a scarrab.
On Verified Madness This is a relatively thin book with an unadorned cover, though the entirety of the binding is unnaturally black.
Serving Your Hunger This one really grabs you the wrong way. It is bound in some kind of mottled skin, and etched with an image of a sickly looking fly.
The Umbral Leaves A series of scripture scrawled in blood onto black parchment. The pages are rolled together and bound with a thin strip of leather.
The last book is far less imposing, and rests on top of the others. It is a simple leather journal, with the phrase "read me now" scratched into it's cover.
Knowledge: Religion 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
"Is that zombie skin? The symbol on Serving Your Hunger is that of Urgathoa, the goddess of hunger, disease, and undeath. Most of her worshipers are Necromancers or those among the sentient undead. She is the antithesis to Pharasma."
Knowledge: Religion 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
"I don't recognize the symbol on the Umbral Leaves, but that it addresses a dark topic is assured.
Are any checks possible on The manual of the Order of the Palantine Eye or On Verified Madness to recognize the topic they concern? Any way of knowing what the Palantine Eye might be?
Zhan picks up Serving your hunger after scanning it for magic but does not yet open it.
"Kirill, is that message on the journal intended for us?"
"Only one way to find out, friend."
The Varisian shudders at the thought of zombified flesh. He had no reservations about being around the dead, that was a common occurence in his line of work, but the undead made him feel a bit upset to his stomache.
If there is anything written inside, in a language he can understand, Kirill will read it aloud.
Her eyebrow raised with an idea, Delia remarks "There is only a few reasons that I know of to line something with lead. I will see if my reasoning is founded."
Making a few gestures and muttering a small incantation "Yest Li Mag'ia Zdyes", she focuses on her surroundings, now with irises ringed in a light magenta.
Detect Magic at the books and box
Opening the book, you can quickly identify it as the personal journal of the late Petros Lorrimor. It deals with a number of his exploits, and consists mostly of notes and personal musings jotted down during the pursuit of various cases or villains. Leafing through the pages, you notice several entries have been circled in red ink. The first one reads...
Ten Years Ago...
The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers - I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivations does not place me at ease as I thought it might. Their desire to be eternal simply makes them dangerous.
Years of entries go by without another circled page, then you come across several consecutive entries, seemingly of dire import.
Two Months Ago...
It is as I had feared. The Way seeks something here in Ravengro, but what could it be?[/b]
One Month Ago...
[i]Whatever the Way seeks, I am now convinced their goal is connected to Harrowstone. In retrospect, I suppose it all makes sense - the stories they tell about the ruins in town are certainly chilling enough. It may be time to investigate the ruins, but with everyone in the village so worked up about them, I'd rather not let the others know about my curiosity. There's plenty of people here who already think I'm a demonologist or a witch or something. Ignorant fools.
Twenty Days Ago...
It is confirmed. The Way seems quite interested in something - no, strike that - someone who was held in Harrowstone. But who, specifically is the Way after? I need a list of everyone who died on the night of the fire. Everyone. The Temple of Pharasma must have such a list.
The last two entries have been written hastily. The handwriting is barely legible chicken scratch, as if the writer was in a dire hurry.
Eighteen Days Ago...
I see now just how ill-prepared I was when I set out for Harrowstone. I am lucky I returned at all. The ghosts (if they are indeed ghosts, for I did not find it prudent to investigate further) prevented me from transcribing the strange symbols I found etched along the foundation. Hopefully on my next visit I will be better-prepared. Thankfully, the necessary tools to defend against such spirits are here in Ravengro. I know that the Church of Pharasma used to store them in a false crypt in the Restlands at the intersection between the Eversleep and the Black Path. I'm not certain whether or not the current clergy even knows what their predecessors had hidden down there. If my luck holds, I should be able to slip in and out with a few borrowed items.
Seventeen Days Ago. Final Entry...
Tomorrow evening I return to the prison. It is imperative that the Way does not finish. My cautions has already cost me too much time! I'm not sure what will happen if I'm too late, but if my theory is correct, the entire town could be at risk. I don't have time to revise my will, so I leave this in the chest should the worst come to pass.
As you finish reading the journal, Kendra stands in shock, her lip quivering. "He... He was..? He never said anything about this...
Can I make a knowledge local check to see if Kirill knows anymore about any of the locations mentioned in the journal? Knowledge Local (if yes): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Apparently I should stick with Appraise. Hah!
Kirill will also search to see if Lorrimor left anything hidden in the trunk with the books. Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
As Kirill reads the journal, a chill passes over Val's skin, and his claws reflexively extend. It takes him a moment to regain control, but he remains noticably affected by Lorrimor's last entries.
"Something was in the prison. Whoever this 'Whispering Way' is, it seems like Lorrimor ran afoul of their plot. We should check the false crypt and see if any of these tools remain."
"And clearly he left these things here for us to find. He wanted us to continue his work should the worst come to pass."
"Seeing as he clearly had the funds, I am somewhat surprised that he did not arrange for himself to be raised, should he be killed in this endevour. He said that he had not time to revise his will... Of course, he was an older man, and would likely have felt his time was nearing; he may not have wanted to cost Kendra the significant portion of his estate it might have cost to have himself raised, only to have age claim him a short time later. He also respected the natural order of things, and I guess that he felt death was something he was willing to accept. That is likely why he called us; the friends he believed most likely and capable of carrying on his work."
He approaches Kendra, and grasps her shoulders on each side, "He clearly loved you a great deal Kendra. I think he did not mention this because he would not have wanted to drag you into it. I think we should respect that, and not involve you in any way that might endanger you. You are our charge even more so than these books, I believe."
Turing back to the group, "I agree with Valachi; we must investigate. We must discover all that we can about the Whispering Way. If they are Necromancers, the clerics at the Temple of Pharasma will likely know of them. We should go there, and ask as well if we can locate and take the tools mentioned to aid in tracking down this menace. If necromancers are at the heart of this, then they will be interested in helping us oppose them. Afterwards, we can look at exploring the ruins."
"The professor died 17 days ago, and that is his last entry. It is possible that the Whispering Way found what they were looking for and is already come and gone. It is of course also possible that they are within, performing some foul ritual within the prison's bowels. In either case, we will likely have to go in ourselves. Either to confront them, or to find out what they took, and so learn what they are planning and where they will go next."
"Will each of you accompany me in this endevour? There is likely great risk opposing the likes of these Necromancers. This is not required of anyone, but I choose to do this; for Professor Lorrimor, for his friendship and what I owe him, and because it is right."
On Verified Madness - Knowledge Religion 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
The Whispering Way - Knowledge Religion 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
It's my only Knowledge Skill at the moment - He'll be adding a few at level 2.
Sorry I missed that, Zhan. Though detecting magic on the chest when closed still wounded work, since it's lined with lead (that still blocks detect magic, right?).
"From my understanding clergy with both the want and the means to raise the dead from their slumber are rare. And if necromancers wield magics over the dead, can those they slay even be awakened from Pharasma's sleep? It may not have been worth the failure. Lorrimor was wise, I'm sure he had his reasons. Of course I'll join you in this. For Lorrimor."
Kirill was a bit nervous about nafarious plotting by necromancers, but exploring dangerous crypts was a field that the Varisian had far too much experience in and he knew the deadly traps that could hide within. He also knew how to disable and deconstruct then.
"I'm too curious; I wouldn't be able to stay away from Lorrimor's final work. And I'd like to avenge my friend. Safety in numbers right?"
Looking over the edge of the book Zhan holds, she subtly tries to hurry him to whatever may be emanating the aura.
If she finds that it is the book in its entirety she says,"Would you mind, Zhan, if I looked more carefully at this one, it has an aura of Necromantic magic, and I would likely with my studies, be able to figure out what it contains." she asks him, with the same soft eyes her father was unable to deny.
Knowledge: Arcana - Order of the Palantine Eye 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Knowledge: Arcana - On Verified Madness 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Knowledge: Arcana - The Whispering Way 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
"I think we should return the books, and only remove them periodically, for brief periods of reference. There are other spells blocked by lead, some of them are to locate things." she glances about nervously "If what the Professor had in here is useful to this 'cabal of Necromancers', they may be magically looking for it." she sweeps her palms toward the chest, as if to hurry the books being resecured.
After Zhan speaks she readdresses the situation, "I think we should follow the Professor's line of thought. We do not want to go unprepared. There was information on who died in the fire that he was seeking from the Pharasman church, as well as tools to help him at the ruins hidden in a false tomb." she states pointedly, "I think we should go after both of these before we hare off toward the prison ruins."
"I agree with all you have said, young Delia. But on that note... I do not wish to insult you, or to malign your age or your gender, but..." He looks pointedly at 'Father'. "Are you certain you wish to participate in this venture? I do not believe that I was exaggerating the risks. I have no wish to place anyone in harms way, and I respect people's right to make their own decisions, but risking your life confronting these evils is not a typical pursuit for lady of your age. I will insist, on Professor Lorrimor's behalf I believe, that Kendra remain here and not be exposed to the additional risks of leaving this house or confronting these enemies needlessly. Might you consider doing the same?"
Obviously Delia will not remain behind, but from an RP perspective, I think someone needed to raise this point.
"As for the books, any assistance you can render with them is appreciated. I have use of some magic myself, and I am also aware of this book's aura. Yes, let us see if we can determine the source."
The Whispering Way is an ancient order of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea for thousands of years - it predates several modern churches. It derives its name from the means through which it spreads its philosophies - the societies tenants are never committed to paper. Those wishing to learn its secrets must do so via the whispered words of its adherents. Naturally, this makes the specifics of their goals and beliefs difficult to ascertain, but they are known to ally themselves with numerous undead creatures, and many of its followers are undead themselves. In fact, the Way's most infamous member was non other than Tar-Baphon, also known as the Whispering Tyrant. He was a lich of terrifying might, powerful enough to slay a god, and a thousand years ago he heal much of central Avistan in thrall.
Since it seems that we're opening the books, here's a quick run-down of the contents of each of them:
On Verified Madness - This is a treatise on the Dark Tapestry and its denizens. The Dark Tapestry is the name given to the black space between the stars. It is a subject of little study, as many of those who ply its secrets find their sanity pushed beyond its limites.
Serving Your Hunger - This is a copy of the unholy text of Urgathoa. It details various rites of the religion and touches on the creation and command of the undead. The aura of magic emanates from the back of the book, which contains a few simple scrolls.
The Umbral Leaves - These are the scriptures of Zon-Kuthon, translated into common. The translation is not perfect, but it contains what one would expect to find in a religious text, though the contents of this particular volume are rather dark. There is a detailed diagram in the back that seems to be a guide through a form of ritual mutilation.
Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye - This book is sealed with a lock, and no key to open it was included.
Upon seeing the locked Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye Kirill looks about the group, appraising their dispositions. Some likely wouldn't approve of his tools, but none would have any proof that he was involved in any wrong doing, and they seemed friendly enough. They were all friends with the late professor after all and they worked towards a mutual goal. He draws a pick from his belt pouch and holds it up questioningly, with a sly smile.
"Anyone curious about this one? I've got the key right here."
Zhan arches an eyebrow at the sight of the tool, but does not say anything to object. He mumbles an incantation and waves his hand, studying the book for a moment.
It has already been checked for enchantment, but Zhan will look again, just for good measure, concentrating for the full three rounds. It will look for any hint of enchantment, in case some sort of magic might be concealed from a cursory inspection. If there is no enchantment, he will say so. Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
"If you don't mind me asking, Mr. Innokenti, what exactly do you do? Professionally speaking?
Glaring at Father, daring him to add his agreement to Zhan's words, Delia counters, "I understand your concern, and am aware that we may face things that I would rather not experience. I am, however, a Liepstadt University tarined arcanist, taught my first year by none other than the Professor himself. The man also supplied the tuition I needed to attend the school. I would be remiss if I did not use, to the best of my abilty, the very skills and knowledge that he taught me to finish his work." she pauses, briefly "I think you will find both Father and I a valuable resource in this endeavor, and as my guardian he is here to keep me from whatever harm you fear will befall me." She stands defiantly, her chin up and her jaw set in a hard line. She looks as if she will waste no more words in the question of her willingness, nay her demands to help.
No worries about the RP reasoning, part of the fun of the character is acting like a spoiled little girl, who needs looking after.
She adds, "Besides, I do know a little something about this Whispering Way." She takes a deep breath, before taking on her best imitation her old history of magic instructor, Professor Marilwynn.
"The Whispering Way is an ancient order of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea for thousands of years - it predates several modern churches. It derives its name from the means through which it spreads its philosophies - the societies tenants are never committed to paper. Those wishing to learn its secrets must do so via the whispered words of its adherents. Naturally, this makes the specifics of their goals and beliefs difficult to ascertain, but they are known to ally themselves with numerous undead creatures, and many of its followers are undead themselves. In fact, the Way's most infamous member was none other than Tar-Baphon, also known as the Whispering Tyrant. He was a lich of terrifying might, powerful enough to slay a god, and a thousand years ago he held much of central Avistan in thrall." the whole time speaking as if looking down through spectacles, with her pointer finger raised at ear level.
"Oh, Zhan, do you mind if I take a look at the scrolls in the back of that book, when you're done with it?" she says sweetly, polar opposite to the tone she had taken when she last addressed him.
"Of course, my lady." Zhan hands her the book.
"Necromancers. The professor has had more than his fair share of encounters with their sort over his life. One of those notes on The Whispering Way in his journal goes back ten years! That's back as far as when he met me, and I'd venture before he had met most of you as well...
Zhan starts as if he just realized something and goes a bit pale. His eyes start staring off somewhere distant, and he wanders off to another part of the room to think.
After getting the book, Delia flips to the back to see if she can tell exactly what she's dealing with. Seeing the few sheets of vellum, she studies them intensely.
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24 up to a 4th lvl spell
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18 nothing
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27 up to a 7th lvl spell
"I'm a Varisian."
He answers Zhan as though his heritage was a profession, and to many people perhaps it would be, as he sets to work on the lock. Not rushed, and not sure how difficult of a job it would be, he takes his time.
If Kirill can, he'll take 20 since there is no rush.
While he works, the young rogue thinks of other 'witty' answers and instead of revising the one he had already given, he strings them together.
"I work in charity. Helping those with no ends achieve proper use of their means."
"I explore that which is already mapped."
"I'm a traveler; mostly by choice."
"I familiarize myself with recent history first hand."
Taking 20 he gets a 28, if he can't he will roll:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Oh please let Kirill take 20 and not embarrass his class.
After a few minutes, Zhan returns to the main area long enough to scoop up Professor Lorrimor's journal again, and he starts leafing through it, apparently trying to find something specific in an older section of the book.
After a couple of minutes working on the lock, Kirill withdraws his lock picks with a heavy sigh. It had been a while since a lock was tough enough to outdo him- or he was out of practice. In any case the lock was small and his picks were only of average make; he had been meaning to update to better materials, but had yet to be able to cover the costs. He puts his tools back in his belt pouch as he addresses the group.
"Sorry friends, this lock is beyond my expertise, and I'd hesitate to use my other key [-with a flick of his head he motions to the heel of his boot-] on property that doesn't belong to me."
Resigned to what she had found, she informs the others "These scrolls may help in our investigations. One will make an apparition substantial, and another will slough the flesh from a newly made walking dead. The third I can't quite make out. They are all of a divine nature though." she points out, "I have a fair chance of getting them to work, but I believe some of you are better connected to the gods."
She can UMD them with a 12 and 11 on roll, but considering there are divine casters, it would be better for them to use.
Zhan is still a bit destracted, but he hears Delia speaking.
"I can activate Ghostbane Dirge, but the other I am not familiar with. Does any other here use divine magic?"
"I suppose we should know what we can do, if we are to work together. We should know a bit about each other, at the least, so we can best make use of our strengths."
"I am an Inquisitor. I serve in the name of Iomadae. I chose this calling after I ran afoul of a Necromancer. I swore I would oppose all his ilk, and do everything in my power to force them from the shadows. The professor was key in this, for without him, the Necromancer would have had the best, or rather the worst, of me. It was after I met him that I decided to leave my old life behind, and pursue this goal for as long as I might live."
"I am a reasonably well read man, and I have many other skills. I may call upon the blessing's of Iomadae when the need arises, and wield magic in her name, but I am not a true cleric, and my talents are more esoteric than that. In battle, I use this," he draws a metal device from a holster on his thigh, "it is an alchemical device that can throw a metal bullet many times harder than a sling, and so I usually fight from a distance. Professor Lorrimor found it somewhere in his travels. I was so fascinated by it, that eventually, he gave it to me."
"Agnar, you are a warrior, I take it, and Delia, you are an archanist from what you have said, though I know not what kind. Perhaps you could shed some light on this; and, perhaps you or Father can tell us what manner of being he is? A construct?" I am presuming here that we have all had the chance to get enough glimpses of Father by now, that we have had a hint that he is not one of the common races "Kirill has given us some indication of his skill set. Valachi, Sagaar, what is it you do, by nature or by trade?"
Kendra shakes her head determinedly, closing her eyes tightly to squeeze the tears from them. "Do you really expect me to wait here, alone, in the home my father has lived in for the last fifteen years, pondering these possibilities as you investigate his murder?" She trains her gaze on Zhan, making a try at fierceness, though her quivering lip makes it a poor show. "I think not. I won't be some maiden in an ivory tower here!"
"I am not suggesting that you are some porcelain doll, nor that you are without choice in the matter. What I am saying, is that it was your father's wish to keep you out of this... this... darker side of his work, of what he did. He wished that you would remain safe, and that you would remain ignorant of the evils in the world. That is the choice being given to you, my lady. There are dark things and evil in the world that once learned about, can never be unlearned. You stand in a place where you can continue to live the normal life your father wished for you to have, something that was beyond his own reach, or destroy it, forever tossing aside that innocence and irrevocably destroying what perception you may have that people are all good and kind creatures. You can hear about the evils of the world, but it is another thing entirely to see them with your own eyes, and once you have seen them, your world will never, ever, be the same as it was. Think long and hard before you lay aside the gift you father has given you."
Diplomacy to change her opinion: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Zhan's back straightens as he speaks, and his voice takes on a more primal edge. His eyes stare into Kendra's, wide, intense, and unblinking.
"Before I encountered a Necromancer, I was a simple man, doing honest work, and believing that most others only wished to do the same. When he found me he stripped away everything I knew and revealed worlds of darkness I had never imagined could exist in a real world. Your father saved me from his clutches, but he could not heal what I had seen, or help me forget it. My whole world changed, and I can never go back. I dream of that simple life sometimes and sometimes think I would give anything to have it again. But I cannot, because I know what I know, and I cannot now do anything but what I do. Do not underestimate what your father has given you. I would encourage you to remain here, not for your physical safety, but so that when this is over, the choices of a normal life are still open to you. Please!"
Zhan's voice is a soft and hollow rasp by the time he finishes. His eyes are still wide, and now glisten with emotion.
Delia would like to help Zhan in convincing Kendra to stay, but after her own little fit demanding she go, she worries more that Kendra will remember that it worked for Delia. Instead she stays out of it by busying herself with the books, and tries to avoid being a hypocrite.
She catches Father giving her a look indicating that he knows why she's avoiding the conversation. She just gives him a quick glare and avoids his gaze.
Kirill agrees with Zhan; Professor Lorrimor wouldn't want his daughter risking anything, let alone her life, pursuing his last works, otherwise he wouldn't have kept them secret. He opts to aid the inquisitor's urgings for her to remain safely behind on their venture, albeit in his own, round about way.
"Come now, Zhan. It is her life to live. If she wants to risk her neck with the same goal as we, who are we to stop her. Kendra, you will be a welcome addition to the team. But you will need more than armor and a blade if necromancers are about; they know spells which can not only flay the skin from a living man, but rend their souls from the bodies. Perhaps some spiritual wards, I hear they sometimes work. And if there are crypts involved, there will certainly be deadly traps even more merciless than their creators- I once encountered a trap that poked you with a needle upon opening a door. Just a little prick, however the poison would paralyze a horse, let alone a human, and they would waste away, unable to even blink whilst they die of starvation and thirst. So some antitoxin as well. But we cannot account for everything, so you'd best pack us a healing kit, eh? Oh, and a poison pill, now that I think of it. It is better to off oneself than to let yourself fall wholly in the hands of such vile arcanists. But, strength in numbers. When do we leave?"
Kirill will attempt to "aid" Zhan's attempt to convince Kendra to stay behind by pretending to welcome her along, but frighten her of the likely wildly exaggerated dangers that probably don't lay ahead. If that is applicable for the aid another action, would you prefer I roll a Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate; I can see the above being any of those.
In this case, I think it would be fair to allow a Bluff check in an attempt to aid another. Success grants +2 to Zhan's roll. Unfortunately, it's DC 20 to get her to willingly stay put, at least quietly.
"I suppose you're right," Kendra agrees, biting her lip. She paces nervously for a moment before sitting back down. She offers a quiet chuckle as she continues. "I mean look at me - I'm no good with a blade, and I've never worn armor in my life! No, you're right." She sighs heavily as she waves her hand casually, and she is entirely unphased as this act brings her glass floating gently to her hand. She finishes off her drink before setting it down and throwing her arms up into the air. "I mean how's a girl like me to protect herself?" She does her best to conceal a smug smile, but the mix of indignation and determination on her face is clear.
Zhan looks ascanse at Kirill, not sure if he helped the argument or not, "I for one do not think you any less capable of defending yourself, or contributing to the effort less that anyone else here. I believe that no matter what how much he would have sheltered you from those evils, any child of Petros Lorrimor would have been prepared an be capable of defending him or herself from them. He would not have allowed it to be any other way. What I believe is that your father wanted you to stay away from this darker aspect of life, and live free of the burden of knowing such things as you would learn by coming with us. I am not trying to goad you into staying, manipulate you, or make you feel guilty. I only believe that he wanted better for you. If you choose to come, I believe that you will be a great asset, I only pray that you do not come, so you might have a better life."
Zhan casts a glance at Sagaar, and a Delia. Even with his brief time knowing them, Zhan has seen indications that each of these has seen tragedy already, and know the kind of life altering experiences he is referring to.
"I am little more than a woodsman, really... though I can hold my own in a fight. I'm an orphan... the city streets were my foster parents, but we didn't get along. As soon as I could, I got away, and in the forests I found my true home."
Val hesitates a few moments, looking shy. "I, umm... well, Lorrimor was able to figure out some things of my heritage. Its hard to explain, 'cus I'm still coming to grasps with it, but I think one of my parents had were-blood. Don't be alarmed! I'm not going to eat your hearts at the next full moon... but, I can tap into that nature sometimes. I'm still working on it, really."
"Either way, I'm in to finish what Lorrimor started. If these Whispering Way bastards killed him, they will get their due in return. If they've set some terrible doom upon us, we have to stop them!"