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Shadowborn's Wounded Earth (Blue Group) (Inactive)

Game Master Shadowborn


1,251 to 1,300 of 1,903 << first < prev | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | next > last >>

Male Human (Tian stock) Monk 3

Sanctum of Mimir?! My voice filled with wonder and excitement.

That would truly be wondrous if it has been left untouched by our dwarven oppressors. This gift of knowledge shall wait until after we have fulfilled our oath to the Akaara. But I would ask you all to join with me to visit the Sanctum and Mimir willing, lay witness to the knowledge and wonder of days long forgotten. It could be the first step to returning our people to their rightful place as equals. My usual reserve momentarily gone, replaced instead with hope and determination.


"Aye, I'll join you, but first we must see to the griffon."


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1

Auric nods.
"Sure. I'm always laying witness to stuff."


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1

On the way back out of the barrow, Auric scratches the back of his neck and turns to Gendo.
"I was wondering, Gendo- and I know I might be overstepping or counting our chickens before they hatch- but do you think Master Ironhead would consider taking more students once we bring him out of the mountains? Maybe students that could work for the Hand? I've never seen anyone that could fight like you, with no weapons or armor- even a few new members of your order working for the Hand as messengers or agents among the populace could really help out."


Male Human (Tian stock) Monk 3

Turning to Jon and Auric, Thank you

Then addressing Auric, I cannot think of any reason why not, save one. The dwarves know of our order's martial capabilities. If members of the Hand were to use those skills, however circumstances may necessitate, it could cause serious problems for my brethren. Be that as it may, where once I longed to prove myself to the dwarves, that is no longer so. I now desire and swear, if it's the last thing I do, that the dwarves WILL rue the their oppression of humans. If my master will not, I will.

I pausse before continuing, But no this, while anyone is capable of learning the basic skills, it takes a good measure of time and training to learn the more advanced techniques, techniques that require both mental and physical training. It is not easy, but a worthwhile endeavor...as my master always stated, nothing of any worth or meaning is ever easy.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Feel free to continue the conversation. I'm just jumping in here to get your next leg of the journey posted.

Your group squeezes back out of the opening in the barrow to the outside world once again, making your way to where the trio of wizards had Gendo's master held captive.

You arrive at a box canyon, filled with tall evergreens. Making your way to the end of the canyon, you find the two akaara hunters settled before a small fire, feathers fluffed out against the cold. They rise to greet you. You note a difference in their demeanor almost immediately. One of the things you've noted about the birdfolk since meeting them is their direct, penetrating gaze. It's often disconcerting. However, as they make their greetings their eyes are cast down and away, avoiding direct contact.


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1
Gendo wrote:

Turning to Jon and Auric, Thank you

Then addressing Auric, I cannot think of any reason why not, save one. The dwarves know of our order's martial capabilities. If members of the Hand were to use those skills, however circumstances may necessitate, it could cause serious problems for my brethren. Be that as it may, where once I longed to prove myself to the dwarves, that is no longer so. I now desire and swear, if it's the last thing I do, that the dwarves WILL rue the their oppression of humans. If my master will not, I will.

I pausse before continuing, But no this, while anyone is capable of learning the basic skills, it takes a good measure of time and training to learn the more advanced techniques, techniques that require both mental and physical training. It is not easy, but a worthwhile endeavor...as my master always stated, nothing of any worth or meaning is ever easy.

Auric nods.

"True enough. Really, it's a thing for the future- I'm not expecting every farmer from here to Dunshale to learn your teachings in a fortnight, but I can't ignore how helpful it would be to have even a small number of people that could operate effectively with little more than the clothes on their backs. Somethin' to think about, at least."

When the party reaches the box canyon and the downcast Akaara, Auric stays quiet and leaves it to Gendo to seek the details. He exchanges a sad glance with Jon and Will.


Male Human (Tian stock) Monk 3

I pause, gathering myself for fear of hearing what is to come.
Friends, you are troubled deeply. Obviously something terrible has occurred. Please, tell us what has happened to cause such distress.

I tense up, my breath stilled, as I wait for the Akaara's words.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

One of them looks up to meet Gendo's gaze.

"Found a dwarf here inside, just as you said. His spirit does abide; he is not dead. But he suffered grievously while in this den...he may live, but...he will never hunt again. Again."


Male Human (Tian stock) Monk 3

MASTER!!! I yell, as I run as fast as I can into the cave, dropping to my knees at his side.

Tears in my eyes, my voice filled with relief at finding him and the grief of what he endured. I call over my shoulder to Auric and Jon, Jon, Auric, please help him. My voice cracks at the end.


Jon nods and runs off to minister to the dwarf as best he can.

CLW: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1

Auric follows, ready to assist as best he can.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

The cave is narrow, barely wider than Auric's shoulders, and extends about 15 feet into the cliff side at a descending slope, before jagging left and widening into an area about 12 feet across. The place has a smell about it that says it was once an animal den.

Lying on the floor of the cave is a dwarf, unmarked by outcast tattoos. His short-cropped hair and neatly trimmed beard are a mix of black and white so interwoven as to appear the color of steel. He is lying beneath a fur blanket, probably given him by the birdfolk. When you lift the blanket to inspect his wounds, you realize what the akaara meant. Both his arms and legs have been mutilated. He is wearing nothing but his smallclothes. His limbs are the jaundiced yellow color of an old bruise, and are twisted and bent. From the look of it, each bone from finger to shoulder, and from toe to hip, have been broken.

Amazingly, his eyes flutter open at the sound of Gendo's voice, and they focus on the young monk's face.

"Gendo? Wh-what are you doing here? Wh-where are Liandra and the others? I saw birdfolk..." His voice is weak, and he trails off here, closing his eyes and giving a groan.

Jon is amazed at his endurance. He is obviously malnourished and dehydrated, and the extent of his injuries are vast. His spell manages to do some good, but his powers cannot fully mend wounds of this magnitude.


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1

"Ba'al's breath... look at him!", Auric breathes in amazement. "Those animals just... awful."
Auric looks over the dwarf to see if there's anything to be done right now.
Heal: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
"We have to break every bone in the opposite direction!"

"Stay with him. I'll chop off some of the stronger limbs outside and we can put together a stretcher and get him out of here."


Heal: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 Good gracious, we are terrible at this..

Jon nods and stays by the dwarf's side. He pulls out a waterskin and offers the dwarf a drink, allowing him to sip lightly so as not to sicken him further.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

He accepts the drink. There are signs that the akaara have been tending him in your absence. He lies on an earthen mound, warmed by fire-heated rocks buried beneath it. Jon and Auric's training is enough to know that his limbs need to be splinted as best as possible before travel. Beyond that, they'll need to get water and eventually food into Master Heywood to keep up his strength. Jon has some herbs with him that he can use to help prevent infection. Anything else is beyond their capabilities.

William, who until now has been standing slack-jawed, staring at the carnage the wizards inflicted, moves mechanically toward the entrance. "I'll fetch some stout sticks for his limbs."


Male Human (Tian stock) Monk 3

Unlike the visible signs of distress at Master Heyward's condition, my voice coming out in carefully controlled tones.

Master Heyward, Sister Liandra remained at the monastery working to set things back in order after the attack that took you and the tome from us. I was sent to the House of Pearl to discern what had happened to you and the tome. We had the perpetrators in our grasp, but were no match for their vile magicks. We know who and where they are. Please, speak no more and rest.

Looking upward to nothing, I say in a pained voice, Mimir, guide me. Guide me to the knowledged needed to destroy Varras' toils and labors.


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1

After Heyward's had a chance to eat and drink a little, Auric sets to work trying to splint him up.
Heal: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17


Jon will assist:

Heal: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

After collecting wood and cutting strips of cloth, Jon and Auric are able to splint Heyward's limbs. Gendo and William fashion a litter. The dwarven monk is gently moved to the litter, covered with the fur, and then you carry him forth. The akaara escort you from the air, keeping watch for any dwarven patrols or other dangers. After an arduous journey, you arrive at your destination: A small stone building that appears to contain nothing but an old covered well. However, a quick shout from Gendo, echoing down the dry shaft, soon reveals there is more to it than that. Monks begin making their way up from below, using an elevator platform drawn by ropes. The Master is deftly strapped down to the litter so he can be hoisted onto the platform upright and taken down to his chambers.

The akaara take their leave. At another mention of the griffon, they note that hunting a griffon in winter would be dangerous. You have given your word and they expect you to fulfill it, but tell you to come back to them in the spring. As it stands, their stores are full and their hunter won't have to worry about coming into conflict with the beast until then.

The party is taken down below where you find a small and spartan complex carved from an existing cavern complex and turned into the living quarters and training areas of the order. Sister Liandra, the senior member now in charge, has you fed and given rooms to rest for the evening. She says she will send word to the House of the Pearl and request Amara to come and tend to Master Heyward.


Jon seems somewhat uncomfortable with life in the caves, accustomed as he is to green and growing things. He becomes withdrawn and often wanders, walking aimlessly through the complex, looking for signs of natural life.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

The sections worked and fashioned for the monks hold little for Jon, but the cavern where you first enter holds a pool. It appears to be fed by an underground stream and provides the water supply for the monastery. Blind albino fish can be seen swimming lazily about the pool.


Jon will spend his time by the pool, then, watching the fish and studying the ripples in the water.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Your stay at the monastery is uneventful. The monks ensure your needs are met with acceptable, if not lavish, accommodations. The following morning Sister Liandra, a tall, lithe woman with short-cropped auburn hair, thanks each of you personally for your return of their Master. She says that if the Order of the Threefold Path can be of any assistance to you in the future, you need but ask and they will do what they can for you. Gendo is informed of the duties he'll need to take on with the shift in hierarchy, as Liandra is now acting Abbess while Heyward convalesces.

With no immediate dangers at hand, Gendo stays here to assist with the order while Auric and Jon return to Three Oaks to sit out the winter. It proves to be a harsh one. Snow falls deep and heavy over the course of the next three months, piling high around the village buildings, cocooning the inhabitants and enforcing its own peace by keeping them both insulated and trapped. There is little to be done but while away the time until Spring arrives and the snows finally melt away.

Here ends Chapter 1. Go ahead and level your characters.


Is my shop intact? Any damage owing to dwarven retribution or neglect?

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

No, it seems fine, as does the rest of the town. As a matter of fact, you find you've got a squatter. A local lass named Lizzie Dorn apparently took it upon herself to keep the shop going while you were gone.

"'Lo Jon," she beams as you stop in the doorway, startled. "'Bout time you were back. Was afraid you'd gone and died somewhere in the wilds, I was." She continues to smile as she grinds some herbs in your mortar and pestle, pausing to scratch her freckled nose.


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1

Auric returns to work in Azryn's shop, keeping an eye out for word from the House of the Pearl and Gendo... and possible attention from the Jarl over that missing patrol.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Azryn is glad to see you once again. You can tell because he gives you a scathing lecture about being gone and leaving all the work to him, not that there's much during this season except for the occasional shoeing of a horse or mending of a pot or tea kettle. Then he proceeds to heap a bunch of busy work on you. About an hour after you've returned, as he has you filling the charcoal bin, he broaches the subject of his other apprentice, Gildin.

"Lad's gone, Auric. Not sure where, but he up and vanished not long after you left. I'm hoping he's just laying low and not in actual trouble, but I haven't heard a word about him out of anyone. I was afraid it was the same with you."


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1

"Damn, that's too bad. I just ran off to see if I could track down any o' those skeletons that attacked during the footrace. And of course got lost in the hills... reckon I got lucky to find the way back before it really got bad out there."

Auric dusts off his hands, the charcoal bin full once more. He doesn't like lying to Azryn if he can help it, so he's got to rely on half-truths and omissions to keep him satisfied enough to not ask too many questions.
"I hope Ba'al's looking after him, wherever he is. Anything else happen while I was bumbling around in the wild?"


Jon nods at the girl and proceeds to act like nothing has happened. "Found a spot of mushrooms in a grotto. Turns out to be entirely the wrong sort of mushrooms to eat. Took a while to get me head straight on again." He grins at the girl and begins organizing the herbs and checking the plants for health.

Still pondering my feat choice. Leaning toward Brew Potion, but could I flavor-text it to teas instead of potions? Easier to hide from prying eyes if it looks like an herbal tea.. And it keeps with his plant theme.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Auric: "Aye, lad. My folk have been scurrying around like angry ants after someone's kicked over their hill. Word around town is that there was some clash with the rebels up in the hills. There's at least one patrol missing, and that's got the Thane in a lather. Last thing she wants is a loss to report to the Jarl."

"Had some folk come in from out west around the same time. Inquisition, by the look of 'em. One cleric with an inquisitor bodyguard, along with a pack of human thralls in tow. Not sure why they were here, but they breezed in and out quick enough, so it's likely they were just stopping in on their way to business elsewhere."

Jon: "Hope you don't mind me steppin' in like this," says Lizzie. "I stopped by for somethin' for me mum's cough. You weren't here, so I was just goin' ta help meself and leave you a note. It's the usual stuff you give her. Then while I was here Old Aubrey's wife came by looking for some balm for his corns. So I helped her out. Figured I might as well keep the place goin' while you were out."

I'm fine with the tea idea. There's really no hard and fast rule on what a potion is supposed to look like anyway.

Gendo: Amara arrives two days later, and stays for about a week. In the end, she's able to heal some portion of the damage done to Master Heyward's limbs. However, some of it is beyond her ability to repair. He is able to move about, but needs crutches for full mobility. His once mighty arms are now feeble, his fingers gnarled as if by old age.


"Aye, it's not a problem, lass. My mum taught me when I was a kid. It'll be good to teach another. Might give me the chance to go further afield for herbs in the future. So, are you up apprenticing?"

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

"For certain. Most of the things you have in here I only know how to use if I'm putting it in a stew for flavor, 'cept for the things my mum uses for illnesses, and Old Aubrey's balm, 'cause you had it labeled. Stuff smells foul, it does. Don't know how his wife stands to sleep in the same room."


"Aye, girl. It's best not to think of things like that. Brings up bad imagery... Alright, let's start with the basics. This is Beornroot. It's not useful in itself, but combined with other herbs it makes them more effective..." Jon begins the long task of passing on his herbal knowledge to Lizzie.


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1
"Azryn wrote:

"Aye, lad. My folk have been scurrying around like angry ants after someone's kicked over their hill. Word around town is that there was some clash with the rebels up in the hills. There's at least one patrol missing, and that's got the Thane in a lather. Last thing she wants is a loss to report to the Jarl."

"Had some folk come in from out west around the same time. Inquisition, by the look of 'em. One cleric with an inquisitor bodyguard, along with a pack of human thralls in tow. Not sure why they were here, but they breezed in and out quick enough, so it's likely they were just stopping in on their way to business elsewhere."

Auric listens intently, doing his best to keep his face blank while he goes about his busywork in the shop.

"Foul news for someone if the Inquisition's involved. What do you think the Thane will do, given this lost patrol?"

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Azryn shrugs. "With the turn in the weather, there may not be much she can do. They're trained soldiers, but losses happen. Lots of ugly up in the mountains. Ye ever hear of the Scrapiron Six? No? They were originally the Scrapiron Sixty, a heavy infantry brigade from one of the northernmost Jarldoms. They were ambushed by giants and only their commander and six others survived. They made it their business to stick together, against orders from their Jarl to integrate into another unit. They began launching missions into the mountains to track and kill any giant they found. Did a pretty good job of it for about six years. Then they went out late in the season and an early blizzard hit. Ye could see naught but white for three whole days. The Scrapiron Six never made it home. There's tales that they froze to death, but when the spring thaw came they just got up and kept on killin'. Naught but hearsay though."

Azryn takes a heated ingot from the fire and lays it on the anvil. His hammer punctuates his words. The glow of the metal lighting his face eerily.

"Anyway, the patrol will come back or it won't. If it don't, they'll find the bodies, or they won't. If nothing turns up though, it might look bad on the Thane. Hear the leader of that patrol is a big name back in the Jarl's stronghold."

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

William takes time to stop by and visit Jon and Auric, saying that he's leaving town. He's had word from friends of his father that he's needed home. He doesn't elaborate, but you get the feeling his father might be ill or in some sort of trouble. He thanks you both for the companionship and aid over the past several weeks, and wishes you well.


Jon will take the time to give William a handful of goodberries for the journey, as well as his promise to come should William need help.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
Kalaya has recently arrived at the House of the Pearl to consult with the clergy there concerning a most novel event. To her eyes, the sky is like a well-traveled countryside; it is familiar and a comforting beauty to explore. However, she recently discovered that she did not know it as well as she thought. Like a stranger in the household, a new star has appeared in the night sky, a glittering interloper amongst old friends.

Upon arriving at the old mill in the woods, you found that Amara, the ranking sister at the temple, is already aware of the event. You are introduced to Oroupah, a young woman from outside the Marches, who has been traveling eastward towards the star, like a ship being guided by a beacon. She was traveling with a group of adventurers until arriving here, where she's been studying this new heavenly body with Amara and her acolytes, Lessa and Martin.

In the top level of the mill tower is a great mobile of brass, arms filled with globes of stone, glass, and metal, revolving at varying rates around a great golden sun in the center. The sun is perforated with holes, and when magical light is cast within it, they project a star field on the walls of the room. Oroupah spends her daylight waking hours here, fascinated by the device.

Thus far all Amara can say is that this new star is an omen of great portent. For good or ill remains to be seen.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Liam:
With winter getting a head start on snowbinding the region, you've set up camp at the Huntsman's Rest, a large inn at the center of the village of Three Oaks. Its proprietor is one Ouryn Dunmont, a profoundly pear-shaped individual with a balding head, thick mustache, and a kindly demeanor. For a basket of smoked fish and your tales to wile away the winter hours at the fireside, you've got free room and board here through the season.

You had hoped to arrive in time for the High Harvest festival a couple of weeks ago, but the fishing was bad and you stayed overlong to ensure you had a full load to bring into town. Apparently you missed a bit of excitement, as there are tales of the dead stalking the nearby woods and harrying folk that were engaged in the annual foot race.

Likewise, you were out on an errand for Ouryn when a group of interesting travelers came through. Apparently a group working for the Inquisition, judging from the dwarven cleric and his bodyguard that led them. They too disappeared before you could get a good tale out of them. It looks like you may have to spin your old favorites once again without new stock to add to the collection.


Male Human Bard 4, hp 29/29

Shadowborn:
No matter! Sniffing a story in there somewhere that can no doubt subtly highlight the perfidy of the Inquisition, I'll start asking round as to whether anyone can remember anything about the actions or conversations of the dwarf's party. I'll start with Ouryn, given that I've wintered here before. After an incident involving dwarven whiskey some years before, I respect and like Ouryn, and never drink too much in his establishment anymore - nor do I make any efforts to get too friendly with any of his female staff.

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

Edit: Liam's local knowledge is actually +8, not +7. Oops.


Male Half-elf Paladin 4/Champion Tier 1
Shadowborn wrote:

Azryn shrugs. "With the turn in the weather, there may not be much she can do. They're trained soldiers, but losses happen. Lots of ugly up in the mountains. Ye ever hear of the Scrapiron Six? No? They were originally the Scrapiron Sixty, a heavy infantry brigade from one of the northernmost Jarldoms. They were ambushed by giants and only their commander and six others survived. They made it their business to stick together, against orders from their Jarl to integrate into another unit. They began launching missions into the mountains to track and kill any giant they found. Did a pretty good job of it for about six years. Then they went out late in the season and an early blizzard hit. Ye could see naught but white for three whole days. The Scrapiron Six never made it home. There's tales that they froze to death, but when the spring thaw came they just got up and kept on killin'. Naught but hearsay though."

Azryn takes a heated ingot from the fire and lays it on the anvil. His hammer punctuates his words. The glow of the metal lighting his face eerily.

"Anyway, the patrol will come back or it won't. If it don't, they'll find the bodies, or they won't. If nothing turns up though, it might look bad on the Thane. Hear the leader of that patrol is a big name back in the Jarl's stronghold."

"Makes sense. Even if their reach has spread to the surface, winter bows to neither dwarf nor man. Suppose all we can do is pray the Thane doesn't decide to blame us for whatever mess her Named Man got himself into."


Female Human Witch (Stars)/ 1st Tier Archmage

Shadowborn:

Kalaya walked into the sky room, as it was called, stopping as she took in the intricate display of heavenly bodies across the room's ceiling and walls.

She could feel the importance of the new star, feel the push of her patron to see a powerful event come to pass, though what part she would play was still a mystery. Even Whisperwing had little idea how this new star could have come about or what its appearance signified, yet she felt in her soul that she would soon find out.

"Beautiful isn't it?" she spoke finally, making Oroupah aware of her presence.

"The craftsmanship to make it is beyond anything I've seen before."


Male Human (Tian stock) Monk 3

My apologies for the delay. I've leveled up Gendo, everything except hit points: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7. I took the feat Boar Style.

During the course of the winter, I tend to my duties and assist with Master Heywards care as time permits. I spend a good deal of time in meditation and doing research on trying to find the location of which Varras mentioned. I spend the rest of my time, checking in on my new found companions and becoming a practitioner of a more aggressive style of unarmed combat inspired by the Boar, channeling my rage at Varras into learning the style.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Kalaya:
Oroupah turns, tossing her lustrous black hair over a shoulder and gracs you with a smile.

"It is cunning work, indeed. Amara says it was built by gnome craftsman, designed specifically to use the gears that once turned the millstone. I don't understand exactly how it works, but it is pleasing. I can feel the stars above even during the day, but to see them like this...I feel like a child with a new toy." She gives a sigh, and walks toward you and the stairs.

"If you're up and around, it means it will be time for me to feed Mesira. It should be Marten's turn, but he finagled me into doing it by giving my llama a good brushing," she says. You recall Amara mentioning something about a woman prisoner, currently confined to the basement of the building.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Liam:
The dwarfs' party garnered little attention, apparently. Most of the village was focused on the increased activity of the dwarven soldiers, apparently roused to root out some rebel activity nearby. Word is one of the patrols is unaccounted for, and with the heavy snowfall, the search for them has been given up.

Ouryn, on the other hand, seems quite confident that you're looking for a story in the wrong place. He waited on the two dwarves and their companions. To hear him tell it, they were simply running an errand on behalf of the clergy in Dunshale, the next village over. He gave them directions and they went on their way with nary a glance around the place. You may make a Sense Motive check if you choose.


Male Human Bard 4, hp 29/29

Shadowborn:
Using Oratory bonus for Sense Motive a la Versatile Performance.
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19


Female Human Witch (Stars)/ 1st Tier Archmage

Shadowborn:
"Is she dangerous?"Kalaya asks stepping into the room and clearing space for Ouroupah to pass.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Liam:
You get the feeling Ouryn is a little too nonchalant about their visit. It gets you to wondering why he knows so much about who they were and what they were doing here. Also, you're not certain, but you get the feeling that the innkeeper is involved with the Hand of Jorin. They tend to operate in loosely knit cells though, so often members and sympathizers don't know of one another even if they're neighbors.

Kalaya:
"She can be very dangerous, under the right conditions," Oroupah replies. "She's also quite mad." She motions for you to follow her downstairs. The great millstone on the bottom level doubles as a fire pit, where she fixes some porridge. Before heading downstairs, she heads outside, down the shoveled lane leading to the temple's midden, which is placed at quite an inconvenient distance from the building. After a minute, she returns carrying a small sack. She opens it and gives you a peak. In the bottom are a pile of small bones, apparently from the chicken you all dined on for dinner last night.

"You have to see this to believe it," she says. "Better bring your staff along, just in case."

You head downstairs to the basement, where a thin figure with wild hair sits against the wall. A pair of large, heavy, leather gloves, like those belonging to a smith or laborer, have been placed on her hands and tied in place. A leather collar attaches to a chain affixed to the wall, an obviously recent fixture.

As you descend the stairs, Oroupah tosses the bag to the floor below. A moment later, the bag moves. Then it rises from the floor, sliding off the now whole, though headless, chicken skeleton which jerkily slips free and begins to wobble around the room. The woman raises her head, revealing bright eyes in a sharp angular face. Her gaze falls on the tiny skeleton and she begins to coo with delight. Oroupah turns to you, eyebrow raised.

Qadira

Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey

Interim: Midwinter's Night

The winter has proven as harsh as some predicted. Heavy snows blanket the valley and Three Oaks is cloaked under a great layer of white. The productivity of the settlement is at a standstill, as folk make themselves comfortable in their homes and while away the hours and days as best they can.

This changes as midwinter approaches. Folk begin to work at shoveling snow, making paths that lead from house to house, and then cooperate on making larger lanes that lead to the village meeting hall. Here the Midwinter Festival will be held, marking the longest night of the year. Folk come together to celebrate, raise their spirits, and bolster themselves in order to ride out the rest of the season, as the nights grow steadily shorter and the promise of Spring comes ever closer. It is a time of levity despite the darkness, beer and wines that have been fermenting all year are poured, and gifts are exchanged.

The folk from the House of the Pearl will be strapping on their snowshoes and journeying in to town to observe the holiday. Likewise, Master Heyward encourages Gendo to go and be with his friends. Ouryn Dunmont has casks and barrels in his cellars that will be brought up to line the walls of the meeting hall for the occasion.

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