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Game Master stormraven


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DM

Aerik, Ezekiel, Jak, Lyrica, and Marcus along with Eluon run/stumble, by their own unique paths, through the blood-tinged night. They converge on the quiet village from different directions. Their meager lights, like fireflies, close on the dark village. They almost sigh with relief at the seemingly untouched village. Then the oddities begin to emerge:

  • Neither Ezekiel nor Jak are greeted by the challenging barks of the guard dogs that watch the gorge entrances to the village
  • No one hears the startled clucks of the always attentive chickens
  • Chimneys that should be issuing thin wisps of smoke from banked fires instead gout ghost-like clouds of smoke
  • The homey smell of wood-smoke carries a tinge of burned flesh
  • Silence sits on the village - too much silence
  • Dotted across a few roofs, some villagers huddle and cling for protection
  • Scattered across the town - along trails, bridges, and in open doorways - familiar bodies sprawl in the dirt

A single girl's voice, tremulous and disbelieving, rises from a sob to a plaintive wail... its innocence lost to despair.

Galvanized by the cry Aerik, Marcus, and Eluon meet at the rope bridge that crosses the gorge from Aerik's hut to the upper part of the village as Lyrica sprints across the furrows her father tilled among the thinning forests on the far side. Jak and Ezekiel hear the cry echoing off the gorge walls as they move in from both up and down valley....

MAP: Dies Drear

Your icons are larger than life, for easy viewing.

As heroes, each of you gentlemen is allowed to change the fate of one villager. You may each select one name from the Hand of Fate list below. They will be spared. If you don't have anyone you care to save or wish to play the rolls dealt, you can pass your 'vote' to another player OR trade it in for a Hero Point. >:D I know, I'm a bastard.

Hand of Fate:
Balatin, Umbril
Balatin, Cassita 'Cassi'
Braun, Heather
Finiose, Aerhart
Finiose, Prudence 'Pru'
Finiose, Gavin
Finiose, Rowan
Finiose, Olivia
Guthwite, Beax
Guthwite, Anka
Guthwite, Lil' Jode
Marthuon, Elias
Marthuon, Lena
Marthuon, Constance 'Connie'
Marthuon, Onivaar
Odenbrand, Milla
Odenbrand, Selwyn
Rallo, Thom
Strom, Harmon
Strom, Delanor
Strom, Allegra
Zirk, Mara
Zirk, Lohegrin
Zirk, Nala
Zirk, Tindel
Zirk, Kindel

For Whom the Bell Tolls...:

Balatin, Sargiva 'Sara' Will: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Balatin, Umbril Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6
Balatin, Cassita 'Cassi' Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (5) + 0 = 5
Balatin, Bernal Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Balatin, Ryal Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18
Braun, Heather Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1
Braun, Eras Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Finiose, Aerhart Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
Finiose, Prudence 'Pru' Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 10
Finiose, Gavin Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
Finiose, Rowan Will: 1d20 + 0 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 0 + 2 = 7
Finiose, Olivia Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 10
Guthwite, Merl Will: 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 2 + 1 = 18
Guthwite, Jode Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
Guthwite, Beax Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (3) + 0 = 3
Guthwite, Trev Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
Guthwite, Stix Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Guthwite, Uller Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Guthwite, Hanna Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
Guthwite, Martin Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Guthwite, Anka Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6
Guthwite, Lil' Jode Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6
Howell, Mattin Will: 1d20 + 0 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 0 + 3 = 21
Howell, Marisol Will: 1d20 + 0 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 0 + 2 = 16
Howell, Eulalia Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Marthuon, Elias Will: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Marthuon, Lena Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1
Marthuon, Constance 'Connie' Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2
Marthuon, Onivaar Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (9) + 0 = 9
Marthuon, Dru Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Odenbrand, Orl Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18
Odenbrand, Milla Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 10
Odenbrand, Rose Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18
Odenbrand, Staz Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
Odenbrand, Nyssa Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18
Odenbrand, Selwyn Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 10
Rallo, Thom Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (5) + 0 = 5
Rallo, Elsbeth Will: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 + 2 = 17
Rallo, Pence Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (19) + 0 = 19
Rallo, Lyle Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
Rallo, Rilithane Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15
Rallo, Margot Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15
Rallo, Ritti 'Red' Will: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Ruske, Beatte Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Ruske, Rina Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Ruske, Renata Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16
Strom, Harmon Will: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 2 = 5
Strom, Delanor Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2
Strom, Allegra Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (8) + 0 = 8
Strom, Melodica Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (20) + 0 = 20
Wynn, Cole Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Wynn, Annika Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 11
Wynn, Bellavia 'Bell' Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Zirk, Tobar Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18
Zirk, Mara Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (8) + 0 = 8
Zirk, Lohegrin Will: 1d20 + 0 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 0 + 2 = 3
Zirk, Nala Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1
Zirk, Tindel Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2
Zirk, Kindel Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6

Chickens #1 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6
Chickens #2 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (4) + 0 = 4
Chickens #3 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (4) + 0 = 4

Dogs #1 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1
Dogs #2 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 11
Dogs #3 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (8) + 0 = 8

Goats #1 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 10
Goats #2 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
Goats #3 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13

Mules #1 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
Mules #2 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6
Mules #3 Will: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 10


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)

Lyrica runs across the village to her home. Tears streaming in her eyes, she rushes up the steps to her house and pushes open the door to see if any of her family yet live!

Dear Sarenrae, I beg of you that you keep watch over and protect everyone in my family! My dear God, please let them be safe! Please let them be safe!"

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16

Once inside, Lyrica cries out desperately. "Mama! Papa! I'm home now! I made it safely home! Where are you? I fought a Skeletor, but I'm ok. I survived the battle! Sarenrae guided me. Speak to me, anyone! Where are you all?!"

Stormy, can you indicate on the map which house is the Strom farm? Thanks.


DM

Drear Map (with family names)

Lyrica races along the gorge edge, throwing looks down at her family home for any signs of life. She tears through the upper village huts on her way to the narrow path down to the village proper. She passes the houses of the Howells, Zirks, Ruskes, and Odenbrands. Light spills from the open doorway of the Zirk home... as do the bodies of nearly the entire family. Some have fallen face down, others are curled fetally. She turns away from the sight but not before she sees Lohegrin Zirk laying on his back. His blank eyes stare up at the blood soaked moon. He won't be running the river for anyone ever again.

Lyrica sprints down the trail and past the village well. She does her best to ignore the faces of lost friends as she leaps over the bodies littering the paths. The Mist killed without discrimination. The bodies of townsfolk mix with the corpses of the town's dogs and fowl.

She slams open the door to her familial home and almost breathes a sigh of relief at seeing her mother's shocked look of surprise. Delanor stands at the cook-pot on the fire as she often did, her hands grip the edge of the cast-iron cauldron... they are seared black. Her head is half-turned and her lifeless eyes regard the doorway with alarm. The Mist took her where she stood, before she could do more than register surprise. Too close to the fire, her apron has begun to smolder and the smell of cooked meat causes Lyrica's stomach to turn. She looks away from the woman who gave birth to her and nursed her through every sickness, only to be greeted by the sight of her father curled in a ball on the floor by the bedroom door - a blanket clutched in his hands. It looks like he was trying to stuff the blanket into the gap beneath the door. Where he failed, someone succeeded from the other side. Bedding and blankets seal the door tightly. From the other side of the door, Lyrica hears the quiet whisper of Allegra, "Lyr, is that you?"

Lyrica, please make a Fort Save (Horror Check).


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)

Lyrica runs through the thorp with her heart racing and her stomach turning over in horror. She does everything she can to hold back the shock of it all.

"May the Everlight take care of you now, Lohegrin." She speaks softly as she turns from the horrible sight.

Moments later she goes running through the front door of her home.

She nearly breaths a half sigh of relief, but instead, her heart sinks into a painful grief.

"Noooooo!" She screams. Staring in shock, she approaches her dear mother. Tears stream down her grief stricken face as she slowly touches the face of her mother's standing corpse.

Casting her eyes away, she quickly turns and looks for her father next, only to find him curled lifeless in a ball on the bedroom floor. She rushes to his side only to find grief that one might call the dark night of the soul. Her dearest father and mentor is dead and immediately her entire world as she knew is crashing down around her. She lays her head down on her father's corpse as she sobs uncontrollably.

Fort Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14

She gently runs her hand through her fathers hair hoping, just hoping that this is all a bad dream only to realize that this is her new reality.

Allegra wrote:
"Lyr, is that you?"

My dear God, Allegra lives!

"Allegra open the door, it's me! They are dead! They are both dead! Dear god, nearly half the village is dead!"

Lyrica opens the door and embraces her older sister tightly as she begins sobbing again. "My dear sister, thank Sarenrae you are alive. Where is Mel? Is she alive?! Dear God, tell me it is so!"


Allegra hugs her sister tightly with dry-eyed grief. Her only comment is a non-sequitur in a world gone wrong in incalculable ways, "Lyr... you're wearing armor. Mama won't like that." She bursts into tears.

From the half-floored rafters above, in what passes for the family's storage loft, Melodica looks down on her sisters. She rocks back and forth, wrapped head-to-toe in a comforter. She stops rocking when she sees her father's foot outside the open door. Her voice is a hushed monotone. "I'm alive... I made it through the window in time. Hanna didn't."


Oof… with no skin in the game, I'm gonna say any other player can claim my "save" if they would like to. Marcus, Ez, or Lyrica all took serious losses to their families. If no one wants to take me up no the offer, I'll actually opt to let you pick a save for me, SR. I'd rather have a juicy, story-hook-driven connection to another townsfolk than pick up another Hero Point. I'm fine either way.

Jak sneaks past the eerily quiet Balatin house, holding his torch up in search of anyone capable of telling him what happened in town. He looks in to see if Sara or her family are okay. Every thunderous beat of his heart -- seemingly doubly-loud in the ominous quiet of the Drear -- is echoed by the hot sting of the gash in his side. Every still body on the ground quickens his pulse, ratcheting his concern for his sisters into a barely-contained panic. His feet, quiet against the unthawed ground, ache to break into a run up the switch-back path to his own house.

Mari, Eula, please be okay.

Jak is trying to make his way up to his house, but will stop if/when he finds someone able to talk, regardless of their age.


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)
Allegra wrote:
"Lyr... you're wearing armor. Mama won't like that."

Lyrica embraces Allegra and replies "She's dead now, Allegra! She's dead and she never knew what hit her. I was practicing in the armor, and I met a Skeletor. I think this old armor saved my life. Mama never approved of armor and swords, but I think she would have if she knew that it saved me. Oh my dear sister, we now live in a different place now. What in the world is happening?"

Melodica wrote:
"I'm alive... I made it through the window in time. Hanna didn't."

"Come on down, Mel. There has been a disaster. People all over the village have died. Mama and Papa are now dead and it is just the three of us Stroms left."

When Mel comes down from the loft, Lyrica embraces her younger sister and the three sisters hold each other trying to bring some comfort to each other.

"I don't know what to do. What would father have done in a situation like this? We've got to pick up the pieces and help the others. I just don't know where to start. First of all, how are both of you? Are you injured? I have some very bad wounds and under this armor I am badly hurt. Please help me take off this armor and let me look at it."

With his sisters help, Lyrica removes the armor and applies first aid to her wounds.

Healing: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

"Dearest Sarenrae, what do I do? I have never felt such painful wounds before."


When Marcus sees the druid he gestures to Eluon-- Aerik, can you help me get him across the bridge? He took a wound fighting a...a giant, floating skull... Marcus says the words as if in a trance, moving across the bridge ponderously. When the cry cuts through the night, the lumberjack snaps to his senses and faces the two with fear in his eyes.

Take him home, I'll meet you there!

He holds the lantern out in front of him and draws his axe, running with long, strong strides towards the Balatin household.


(hp 11/35, AC 18, T 13, FF 15, Initiative +3, Perception +9)

Aerik winces, his leg feeling on fire as he struggles to catch up with Marcus and Eluon at the bridge. The grizzled druid looks upon them first with relief, and then concern when he sees Eluon's ruined face.

"That mist. It was... Unnatural. It can kill, but I saw it spawn something too. Were you attacked by a Black Root as well?"

As the girl's scream pierces the eerie silence, Aeriks head jerks to the direction of the village, his eyes scanning the darkness.

Ellie?! No you fool. She is dead. You couldn't save her. You couldn't save any of them.

"We all have family that we want to check on. I know. But we should stay together and go door to door looking for survivors."

Aerik moves around Eluon so he and Marcus can each get one of his arms around their shoulder.


(hp 11/35, AC 18, T 13, FF 15, Initiative +3, Perception +9)

Ignore my previous post! Lumberninja-ed!!! I'll redo


(hp 11/35, AC 18, T 13, FF 15, Initiative +3, Perception +9)

Actually, i think mine was ok up to here:
=============================================================
Aerik winces, his leg feeling on fire as he struggles to catch up with Marcus and Eluon at the bridge. The grizzled druid looks upon them first with relief, and then concern when he sees Eluon's ruined face.

"That mist. It was... Unnatural. It can kill, but I saw it spawn something too. Were you attacked by a Black Root as well?"

As the girl's scream pierces the eerie silence, Aeriks head jerks to the direction of the village, his eyes scanning the darkness.

Ellie?! No you fool. She is dead. You couldn't save her. You couldn't save any of them.
========================================================================
Then after this:
========================================================================
When Marcus sees the druid he gestures to Eluon-- Aerik, can you help me get him across the bridge? He took a wound fighting a...a giant, floating skull... Marcus says the words as if in a trance, moving across the bridge ponderously. When the cry cuts through the night, the lumberjack snaps to his senses and faces the two with fear in his eyes.

Take him home, I'll meet you there!
========================================================================
"A floating skull? Gods! Marcus! No! We should stick together!"

The lumberjack runs off, deaf to Aerik's plea.

During times like these, the pack should always stick together.

Aerik gives Eluon his shoulder, putting an arm around his waist to steady him.

"Let's go then. We are almost there."


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)

Once Lyrica bandages her own wounds from her battle, she moves to her father to see what she can do for him. She uncurls his body and gently inspects him looking to see if anything can be done for him.

Healing: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20

She then kneels down in front of her father and says a prayer to Sarenrae, "Blessed Dawnflower, hear my prayer. My father was one of your faithful servants. He was a gentle kind man who taught me to seek to know your face. If it is your will, please fill him with your light and guide him safely to the place where you would have him be. In turn, I offer to you that I will be a channel of your blessings that I may fulfill your will in this world. As the call comes, here am I, send me use me."

Lyrica gently places her hands on her father and holding him, she closes her eyes and opens herself up to the Everlight, quieting her mind to let her deity's will move in and through her.


DM

The body of Harmon Strom convulses once, rolls over, and retches... black mist vomits from his eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. It pools on the floor, seeps through the fine cracks in the floorboards, and vanishes. Farmer Strom takes a ragged, phlegmatic breath and falls unconscious, color quickly returning to his skin. But his hair, which had begun to show a light dusting of snow in the last year, is now blanch white.


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)

"My dear god, I think he's alive!" Lyrica shrieks! "Allegra, Melodica, touch him, I feel his life! I prayed to Sarenrae and I think she heard me. My dearest Sarenrae I thank you. Thank you!"

Holding her father's head in her hands, Lyrica looks to his eyes to see if they open. "Papa, can you hear me? It's me, Lyrica. Your daughters are here with you, Papa. Please come back to us! We are here with you!"

A thread of hope fills the Strom daughters' hearts as they wait in vigil, holding their father, hoping that he will return to consciousness.


Sorry gotta step back a moment in time...

Allegra wrote:
"Lyr... you're wearing armor. Mama won't like that."
Lyrica Strom wrote:
Lyrica embraces Allegra and replies "She's dead now, Allegra!"

The youngest Strom daughter snaps, "She knows that! Don't you think she knows that?!"

Melodica wrote:
"I'm alive... I made it through the window in time. Hanna didn't."
Lyrica Strom wrote:
"Come on down, Mel. There has been a disaster. People all over the village have died."

Melodica shakes her head and bundles herself up tighter in the comforter, "I'm staying here. I know people have died; I saw them do it. I was there."

Her anger is displaced when her father coughs up the black mist and seems to come back from the dead. She retreats further into the loft, eyes wide. "Gods!"


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)
Melodica wrote:
"She knows that! Don't you think she knows that?!"

Lyrica recognizes her sister's anger and let's her comment pass unchallenged.

Melodica wrote:
"I'm staying here. I know people have died; I saw them do it. I was there."

"What did you see, Mel? Who did what? This is really important, Sis. How did all of these people die?"

Melodica wrote:
Her anger is displaced when her father coughs up the black mist and seems to come back from the dead. She retreats further into the loft, eyes wide. "Gods!"

"Mel, you are my dear younger sister and I love you. Please come down and be with us. We need each other at times like this. Please don't hide away. You both give me strength in all that I do."

Lyrica patiently tries to improve her sister's attitude, bring her some comfort, and make a request that she come down and join her and her sister.

Diplomacy 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26


Marcus sprints past the animal paddock near the Howell house. The field is littered with the contorted bodies of the family's herd of mules. Perhaps a third still live and the smell of the death has those few foaming at the mouth and their eyes white with fear. Marcus presses on, running down the hill. He sees the townsfolk littering the main 'street'. He doesn't stop to see who is who but instead pivots hard to his right and lurches toward the Balatin residence, where he hopes to find his children alive.

Jak holds his torch towards the house looking for... he knows not what. But the sepulchral quiet of the town, minus the single wailing voice, fills him with dread. Judging by the torches coming across the rope bridge above him, at least some people are about. On the far side of the stilt house, Jak sees a torch approaching and very quickly makes out Marcus' bearded and care-worn face. He imagines his face looks little better. In the blazing lights of their two torches, they survey the house.

The earth amid the stilts is churned up, exposing a deep pit. The house's front door is half off its hinges. Multiple sets of deep, bloody claw marks have shredded it before tearing it free.

A bone-snapping crunch comes from the thatched roof. Jak and Marcus look up and are greeted by several pairs of expectant and fear-filled eyes... except for one. A pair of bright green eyes is filled with immeasurable rage. Sara stands on the sloping roof in a torn nightgown with blood dripping from her arms and side. She holds a woodsman's long-axe low in one hand. It drips more gore than she does. On one side of her, clinging to the roof-line, are four children - her two boys Bernal and Ryal, and Marcus' Heather and Eras. The eldest of both families, Bernal and Heather, hold gore-tinged short blades at the ready. On the other side of Sara is a large jagged hole in the thatching where she clearly chopped an exit for her family to escape onto the roof. Filling the hole is a fetid, putrefying corpse of what was once a woman dressed in a tasteful gown. The creature's long claws and cloven skull paint a vivid picture of events.

Heedless of putting her bare foot on the rotting corpse, Sara shoves the beast back through the hole. The remains clatter down inside the house. Sara buries the axehead in a roof strut to give her a firm grip and then motions for each child in turn to crawl down to her so she can lower them to Marcus and Jak waiting below.

Once the children are safe, Sara frees her axe and re-enters the house through the hole in the roof. After a minute she emerges through what remains of the front door - the wound to her side bound, a cloak thrown over her nightgown, and the axe still firmly in hand. Her rage becomes a mask of sorrow as her husband is helped down the hill by Aerik. She goes to Eluon and sags against his teetering form. It isn't clear who is supporting whom. She whispers to him through her tears, "El, I've lost our girls. I couldn't... There wasn't... I couldn't... I'm sorry."

This map updates the position of the characters and shows the houses that were slate-wiped or nearly so.

MAP: Dies Drear (Update)


Lyrica Strom wrote:
"What did you see, Mel? Who did what?"

Melodica's face goes vacant, remembering things she'd rather not. She unconsciously pulls the comforter tight, "We were out by the barn, Hanna and me. Then the moon changed and this dark fog came. At first it was just a streamer. It came over the bluff and poured down the Finiose's chimney like a snake. There was screaming from the house for a second, like the screaming of rabbits caught in a snare, and then we ran. We ran because there was a whole bank of this fog coming over the bluff. Most everyone it touched just... stopped. It was better that way. The others, well, they didn't just stop. They thrashed and clawed... It was really bad. So me and Hanna yelled and ran but folks were too slow and the fog was quick." She sniffles and runs a sleeve under her nose.

Lyrica Strom wrote:
"This is really important, Sis. How did all of these people die?"

Her words, when they come, are hollow. "They didn't die - not all of them. The fog took some." Her eyes slide to the locked and shuttered window. "It got Hanna right out there."

Lyrica Strom wrote:
"Please come down and be with us. We need each other at times like this. Please don't hide away."

Melodica looks about the room for any traces of fog. "I'll take care of Papa but I am NOT going outside till the sun shines again... if it ever does." She descends the ladder and helps put her father on the bed. She watches him carefully, all somber eyes.


Patient with people like her father was with plants, Allegra doesn't push Melodica to do more than she is able. Instead, she steps cautiously into the main room and pries her mother away from the fire, lays her down, and covers her with a tablecloth. Melodica had already witnessed enough horrors this night and her last memory of their mother shouldn't be another nightmare for the youngest Strom girl.


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)
Melodica wrote:
"They didn't die - not all of them. The fog took some." Her eyes slide to the locked and shuttered window. "It got Hanna right out there."

"Poor Hannah. I don't know anything about this black fog, but I wonder if this gives us any hope? Tomorrow I will go out and talk to others and find out what I can about it."

Melodica wrote:
"I'll take care of Papa but I am NOT going outside till the sun shines again... if it ever does."

"Thank you, Mel. That would be a big help. You don't need to go outside at all. Just stay here with Papa and keep a watchful eye on him. Let's light some extra candles as well. We'll all stay together tonight."

Lyrica with the help of Mel and Allegra puts their father into bed and with blankets and pillows, made comfortable. Lyrica then helps her older sister in the other room with her mother. She cannot help but cry with grief while they cover their mother.


"Rowan."

The thought creeps through Ezekiel's head as he makes his way back to Dies Drear. He's taken this path dozens of times, even at night collecting his plants. But never this fast, never with this urgency.

"Rowan."

Tripping over another hidden root, he somehow keeps his torch lit. Mud and dirt covers his coat, seeping into his not-quite healed wounds. He knows he needs to stop, clean them out otherwise they become infected. Yet he keeps moving.

"Rowan."

He finally arrives at the town, having ran the last few hundred yards. Winded and tired, he keeps moving into the town, heading for his cousin's house.

"Rowan."


(hp 11/35, AC 18, T 13, FF 15, Initiative +3, Perception +9)

Aerik looks at the grieving parents uncomfortably.

"I'm...sorry...For your loss. We should stick together for everyone's protection. I'll... look for survivors. And send them this way."

And what will I do when I get to Mother and Father's house? I don't think I can...

He looks at the lumberjack, trying to appear in control.

"Marcus. Please. Will you come with me?"


DM

Its a straight and relatively short path from the Low Bridge by the Assembly Hall to the Finiose house in the shadow of the gorge wall. And yet, for Ezekiel it is the longest distance he's ever ran. He stops only briefly to marvel as a soaking Elsbeth Rallo leads four of her children out from beneath the bridge - like so many trolls from legends. Except in their case, they sought safety submerged in the icy Wahika. Teeth chattering, Elsbeth gives Ezekiel a grim look and shakes her head, trying to warn him not to continue.

Ignoring her, he jogs toward the barn and stops in front of the Finiose's home. Lamps burn dimly through the windows, muted by the crimson curtains. It is a cold reality that grips his guts - the Finioses had no curtains... and certainly none that drip down the windows. It seems every pane of glass is coated in a thick patina of blood.


Aerik, I wanted to respond to the scene at the Balatin house, so I moved your question down after that.

NN_Woman wrote:

Marcus sprints past the animal paddock near the Howell house. The field is littered with the contorted bodies of the family's herd of mules. Perhaps a third still live and the smell of the death has those few foaming at the mouth and their eyes white with fear. Marcus presses on, running down the hill. He sees the townsfolk littering the main 'street'. He doesn't stop to see who is who but instead pivots hard to his right and lurches toward the Balatin residence, where he hopes to find his children alive.

Jak holds his torch towards the house looking for... he knows not what. But the sepulchral quiet of the town, minus the single wailing voice, fills him with dread. Judging by the torches coming across the rope bridge above him, at least some people are about. On the far side of the stilt house, Jak sees a torch approaching and very quickly makes out Marcus' bearded and care-worn face. He imagines his face looks little better. In the blazing lights of their two torches, they survey the house.

The earth amid the stilts is churned up, exposing a deep pit. The house's front door is half off its hinges. Multiple sets of deep, bloody claw marks have shredded it before tearing it free.

A bone-snapping crunch comes from the thatched roof. Jak and Marcus look up and are greeted by several pairs of expectant and fear-filled eyes... except for one. A pair of bright green eyes is filled with immeasurable rage. Sara stands on the sloping roof in a torn nightgown with blood dripping from her arms and side. She holds a woodsman's long-axe low in one hand. It drips more gore than she does. On one side of her, clinging to the roof-line, are four children - her two boys Bernal and Ryal, and Marcus' Heather and Eras. The eldest of both families, Bernal and Heather, hold gore-tinged short blades at the ready. On the other side of Sara is a large jagged hole in the thatching where she clearly chopped an exit for her family to escape onto the roof. Filling the hole is a fetid, putrefying corpse of...

Initial relief at seeing his children alive and well is quickly replaced by horror as Marcus overhears Sara. The grim realization fells Marcus like an adamantine axe taken to a young oak. If Eluon had been here, his girls would yet live.

The axe slides from his grip, striking the ground with a soft thud as the lumberjack collapses to his knees. He looks ahead, unseeing: My fault...it's all my fault. You should have left me under that tree...

Grief gives way to anger as Marcus punches the hard-packed earth over and over, knuckles torn and bleeding. Ultimately, he collapses, sobbing. After a long moment, the druid lays a hand on the big man's shoulder:

Aerik Wynn wrote:


He looks at the lumberjack, trying to appear in control.

"Marcus. Please. Will you come with me?"

When Marcus raises his tear-lined face, he nods slowly. He walks over to his children and holds them both in a long, wordless embrace.

He then agonizingly approaches the Balatins like a man walking to the gallows. Marcus can't bring himself to look into Sara's eyes as he speaks, barely above a whisper:

Eluon...he saved my life. I told 'im to run home, but he wouldn't. It's my fault. All my fault. I owe you...everything. I know you can't forgive me, but as long as I live, I will try to repay you, though I know I never can.

Marcus moves mechanically, picking up his axe and standing next to Aerik without another word.


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)

After letting her tears flow and trying to come to grips with her mother's death, Lyrica sits down with Allegra and speaks to her in the living room where Melodica cannot hear their conversation.

"Allegra, I have to tell you something. This evening, before the dark mist enveloped our town, I was meditating to the Everlight and she came and spoke me personally. I saw a holy fire that burned into a blinding light. It was both excruciating and empowering at the same time and when the glare faded, I could see a beautiful woman with golden hair that flowed like fire. She then spoke to me in a soft but powerful voice and said. “Few will rise, many will fall. Prove yourself worthy.” The next thing I knew, flames flashed and she disappeared in a blinding light."

Looking at her intensely, Lyrica continues speaking, " Allegra, I am convinced that it was Sarenrae herself. I think she has called me to her service. Somehow I am to be a channel of her will and be one of her servants. I think in her need she wants me to help. Now listen to this. Later this evening, when I fought the skeleton of undeath, I nearly died. However in my desperate need, I reached within and called upon Sarenrae herself and she infused me with a great fire and with our father's scimitar, I was able to smite down the fiend like I was a cutting down a simple corn stalk. My dear Allegra, I don't know what is happening in Dies Drear, but I know that somehow I am here to help the others in some way. I think I am here for some greater purpose! I think I am to be a paladin!"


DM

Leaving the Balatins to their grief and to guard any survivors, Aerik and Marcus head toward the center of town. They pass the Odenbrand house and find them grieving over a lost mother and son. The mist had been selective in choosing its victims as they sat at late supper. As gently as possible, the Ranger suggests they meet the others near the Balatin house.

Aerik steels himself as they approach the next huts - those belonging to the Guthwites and the Wynns. Of the ten Guthwites living this morning, only four are left to weep over their dead. Of the Wynns... their home is silent. Aerik finds the strength to push open the door. Trepidation turns to relief as he sees his father and his sister, Bell, very much alive. But their faces contain no joy, only a shocked look of loss that reminds him uncomfortably of the day Ellie died. The chair by the fire stands empty. Aerik's mother's knitting project sits haphazardly on the floor next to it, as if dropped. The ball of yarn plays out across the floor.


Rowan

Ezekiel had seen blood in his life. Quite abit truth be told. He knew it on sight, could tell by smell, knew how to clean it out of clothes and how to make it clot. Even the way it dripped over the edge of a table.

This did little in his denial of what he saw.

Rowan

He runs to the door, Elsbeth's warning completely forgotten now. Only one thing mattered at this point, one thing that lay just beyond the wooden barrier. Desperation drove him to keep pushing forward, fear stronger than any he had ever felt.

Rowan

Coming to the door, he more shoves than opens, a splintering sound heard as the door swings wide. He scans the room, afraid of what he might find but needing to know...


DM

Worse than any fever-dream found at the bottom of an absynthe-spiked bottle...
Worse than any black abbatoir Ezekiel could imagine...
Worse than any surgical theatre dedicated to a god of slaughter...

...is the sight that greets the Apothecary when he opens the door. Wall to wall and floor to thatch-covered rafters, the Finiose house has been painted red. His mind nearly unhinged allowing him to note clinically:
Deep red - mostly arterial blood.

The home has been redecorated in a mixed media palette of blood, entrails, and organ chunks. Nothing remains to identify the family members or even identify the victims as once having been human. Sitting on the floor in the midst of this unthinkable slaughterhouse, painted as red as the room, are two shivering women curled around and clutching one another - in profound horror and deep shock. The only thing in the room not stained crimson are their eyes. The whites and colors shine brightly. And it is by those familiar eyes that Ezekiel recognizes the only survivors - Rowan and Olivia. As for Uncle Aer, Aunt Pru, and even Cousin Gavin... the Bonesetter can only shiver.

Need a Fort Save for a Horror Check, please.


Allegra's eyes never stray far from the tablecloth-shrouded corpse in the kitchen even as she listens to Lyrica speak. Patient as her father, she chooses her words carefully. "You should speak with Papa, if he wakes. He knows more of godly matters than any of us... But I think Sarenrae, or her Avatar, has spoken truly. Many have fallen this night. Only you can decide if you will rise. And only Sarenrae will judge if you have proven your worth." With regret, Allegra takes on the mantle of her mother, the stern motivator, "If you are to be a Paladin than be a Paladin. Ours isn't the only family grieving or in need. Evil may still stalk the village and Papa doesn't need three or even two nursemaids. Sarenrae bade you prove your worth, I think you should do it."

Galvanized into action, Allegra gets up and looks on her mother no more. She goes to the bedroom, "Mel, you are in charge of Papa. I'll be about the village trying to help. if he takes a turn - come find me." Without waiting for a response, she throws on an apron, slides a dagger into her pocket, and heads out into the night.


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)

Lyrica looks to her older sister with tears in her eyes. "Allegra, thank you for listening and giving me your support! I will talk to Papa about this when he wakes up, but thank you again. I'm not sure Mama would have let me go, but you are the best older sister in the world!"

Lyrica gives her older sister a heartfelt embrace and says, "Ok Sis. Let's go out together. It's too dangerous for us to go out alone in the dark. I'll grab my scimitar, but maybe I'll leave my armor here. You are right though, the people will need our help."

Coming back in to see Melodica, she asks, "Mel will you be ok on your own for a little while with Papa? Just be sure to wipe his face down with a wet cloth. We'll be back later."

With her scimitar strapped to her back, Lyrica joins her sister and follows her outside, looking around for people to talk with, and ways to be of help.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8


Taking in the scene before him, Ezekiel slowly steps into the room. Feeling his foot hit something, he looks down for a moment. Realizing what it was, he wished he hadn't.

Rowan

He forces his gaze back to Rowan and Olivia. He slowly makes himself over to them, afraid his legs might give out on him if he hurries. Arriving next to them, he kneels down beside them. "By the gods, what has happened here?"

Fort Save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23


Rowan fails to recognize the Apothecary at first. It's almost as if she takes his question to be one from her very own mind; Perhaps it is. She casts her eyes across the gore-strewn room. "This is the Reckoning... for my misdeeds, for my wrongs. And they have all paid the price."

After a moment, she truly sees her old flame. "Ezekiel? Of course. We must get Olivia from here. This Hell is no place for an innocent girl." She staggers to her feet abruptly and drags her shocked daughter with her. Rowan push/carries the dazed girl through the door. When Ezekiel clears the house, Rowan pushes the girl into his arms. "Keep her safe. There is something I must do."

Coated in blood and staggering like a drunk, Rowan makes her way to the river's edge and wades into the freezing stream. Manically, she throws water over herself and scrubs viciously to wash off the gore. The dark stream runs red for a time then clear... and still she scrubs. She dunks and scrubs her hands and arms many, many times. Between each dunking she looks them over. Her hands are pale and clean.

"The blood must come out!" She plunges her arms in the icy water yet again and scours them furiously.


"Thank the gods!" Jak mutters when he sees Sara and the children, setting his quarterstaff and torch aside to help with the children.

He tries to give Sara and Eluon a few moments, giving the two boys with bloody blades a nod that is full of what he hopes is confidence. Despite it, anxiety and fear rule him, and he turns back to Sara. He interrupts, placing a thankful hand on her shoulder. "Sara, you're alive." He knew it was a dumb thing to say, but it gets washed away as questions pile up so fast that Jak can hardly get them out one at a time. "What happened? What was that thing? Have you heard from Mary or Eula? Da?" He loses his control over his feet, and he begins walking towards his Da's home even as he waits for the answers, picking up his torch and quarterstaff on the way.


NN_Woman wrote:

Rowan fails to recognize the Apothecary at first. It's almost as if she takes his question to be one from her very own mind; Perhaps it is. She casts her eyes across the gore-strewn room. "This is the Reckoning... for my misdeeds, for my wrongs. And they have all paid the price."

After a moment, she truly sees her old flame. "Ezekiel? Of course. We must get Olivia from here. This Hell is no place for an innocent girl." She staggers to her feet abruptly and drags her shocked daughter with her. Rowan push/carries the dazed girl through the door. When Ezekiel clears the house, Rowan pushes the girl into his arms. "Keep her safe. There is something I must do."

Coated in blood and staggering like a drunk, Rowan makes her way to the river's edge and wades into the freezing stream. Manically, she throws water over herself and scrubs viciously to wash off the gore. The dark stream runs red for a time then clear... and still she scrubs. She dunks and scrubs her hands and arms many, many times. Between each dunking she looks them over. Her hands are pale and clean.

"The blood must come out!" She plunges her arms in the icy water yet again and scours them furiously.

Ezekiel leads Olivia along, holding her hand tightly to his as the two of them follow Rowan to the river. "Don't worry, Olivia, everything will...well, it'll be all right." The words are hollow, he knows it, and knows that Olivia knows it. But he speaks them anyway.

As Rowan works on her own arms, Ezekiel helps Olivia clean the blood off as well. Olivia's and himself cleaned off, he watches as Rowan keeps scrubbing. Finally not able to take it, he moves over to her to embrace her. "They're clean, Rowan, your hands are clean. Please stop it, for Olivia you have to remain calm!"


(hp 11/35, AC 18, T 13, FF 15, Initiative +3, Perception +9)
stormraven wrote:

Leaving the Balatins to their grief and to guard any survivors, Aerik and Marcus head toward the center of town. They pass the Odenbrand house and find them grieving over a lost mother and son. The mist had been selective in choosing its victims as they sat at late supper. As gently as possible, the Ranger suggests they meet the others near the Balatin house.

Aerik steels himself as they approach the next huts - those belonging to the Guthwites and the Wynns. Of the ten Guthwites living this morning, only four are left to weep over their dead. Of the Wynns... their home is silent. Aerik finds the strength to push open the door. Trepidation turns to relief as he sees his father and his sister, Bell, very much alive. But their faces contain no joy, only a shocked look of loss that reminds him uncomfortably of the day Ellie died. The chair by the fire stands empty. Aerik's mother's knitting project sits haphazardly on the floor next to it, as if dropped. The ball of yarn plays out across the floor.

Aerik's courage almost leaves him a half dozen times as he slowly walks to the door of his childhood home.

I can't do it. I can't look inside this house. And see their lifeless eyes.

He reaches for the doorhandle and staggers, his head swimming, as Marcus steadies him without a word. His hand trembling, he opens the door and sees his family. They are alive and appear to be as stunned at his survival as he is at theirs. He throws his shield to the ground and rushes into the house.

"Father! Bell! I... I thought I had... lost you..."

The druid embraces his sister in a strong bear hug, tears streaming down his face. Then, realization hits him.

"Where is mother? Where is she? What happened?"


DM

Aerik - your mother isn't there.


stormraven wrote:
Aerik - your mother isn't there.

my bad. misread your post. edited. ;)


DM
Jak Howell wrote:
"Sara, you're alive." He knew it was a dumb thing to say, but it gets washed away as questions pile up so fast that Jak can hardly get them out one at a time. "What happened? What was that thing? Have you heard from Mary or Eula? Da?"

Sara can only manage to shake her head not trusting herself to speak.

Jak Howell wrote:
He loses his control over his feet, and he begins walking towards his Da's home even as he waits for the answers, picking up his torch and quarterstaff on the way.

What starts as a walk quickly turns into a sprint as Jak sees the bodies, strewn like cord wood, about the streets, alleys, and houses. He races up the hill to his family home. The Zirk bodies greet him as he crests the rise along with the sight of a dozen dead mules in the family paddock - contorted in unnatural positions. Standing over the dead, and setting about the grim task of carrying the Zirks back to their porch are the Ruskes and Howells. It seems at least these two families have been spared.

Mattin's relief is palpable as he sees his son alive even as he laboriously drags the body of Lohegrin Zirk out of the path. Jak suspects the old man imagined dragging another young man's body altogether. Jak's sisters are less circumspect in their happiness. They rush and hold him, patting his face, making sure he is real and unharmed.

Mattin smiles at the closeness of his children, "It was a black fog, son. Most of it poured into the gorge - thick as soup. The little that remained... well, you can see what it did. How's everyone below?" It is an oblique question. Mattin wants to know the fate of Sara and her family quietly without alarming either Marisol or Eulalia. Jak had always marveled at his father's cool head. The girls, for their part, know their father well and the intent of the question. So they all play a game of Liar's Dice - each one listening for the answer while schooling their expressions to neutrality, preparing to be stoic and strong for the others in the face of possible tragedy.


Ezekiel Druiminn wrote:
Rowan wrote:
"The blood must come out!"
As Rowan works on her own arms, Ezekiel helps Olivia clean the blood off as well. Olivia's and himself cleaned off, he watches as Rowan keeps scrubbing. Finally not able to take it, he moves over to her to embrace her. "They're clean, Rowan, your hands are clean. Please stop it, for Olivia you have to remain calm!"

Her body as frozen by the Wahika as her emotions are frosted over by the horror at the Finiose hut, Rowan stiffens and shivers in Ezekiel's arms. Hip deep in the stream with her one-time lover, something in Ezekiel's appeal gets through to her, perhaps it is her duty to her daughter. Her cold lips touch his ear sharing words meant only for him. "My hands will never be clean, Ezekiel. My wrongs go too deep - pain and blood. I have wronged you, and Gav, and dear Pru and Aerhart, and even Olivia. I'm so very sorry. You don't know."

She gently pushes free from his embrace and stumbles up to the shore in her sodden dress, her voice is more her again, "I'm sorry, 'Livi. I went to pieces there, for a moment. I should have handled it better. I'm fine. You'll be fine. Your uncle and I will see to that."

Standing in the freezing river, the Apothecary realises that as much as he has been imprisoned by his love for this woman for twenty years, she has been equally trapped - in a cage woven of guilt for the choice she made those long years ago.


DM
Aerik Wynn wrote:

"Father! Bell! I... I thought I had... lost you..."

The druid embraces his sister in a strong bear hug, tears streaming down his face. Then, realization hits him.

"Where is mother? Where is she? What happened?"

Bell clutches him tightly and sobs uncontrollably. At Ellie's death, in his unguarded moments, Aerik's father had looked stricken. Now, he looks broken. Cole Wynn does something the Druid has never seen in all his years, he stammers, "I... I... tried to hold it back, son. The mist, it came under the door. I shoved it back but it just kept coming." He looks at his hands like they are something useless, "It went right past me and took your Ma in her chair. She looked so surprised and then she... she melted into the mist. I couldn't stop it from leaving. I tried. I scooped it up but ya can't stop sand from running. Who can stop a God-cursed fog?!?!"

OK, guys, feel free to get in your last reactions or actions and then I'll do a little narrative update and a tiny bit of fast-forwarding. Thanks for playing along on this dose of heavy RP, I hope it wasn't too over the top for you.


Jak squeezes his younger sisters protectively, "Gods be good! I was worried that…" He lets the thought die, not wanting to put words to it as he watches his da drag the young man's body. Jak dips his head at the mention of the black fog. His dad's cool demeanor is infectious, though, and Jak's tone normalizes a bit as he helps lift Lohegrin's body to help his da. "Yah, I saw it, too." He shakes off the mental image of the eel tumbling out of the old, dead fisherman's crushed head. "I was down by the Tum---" He avoids looking at his younger sister and changes what he was about to say, "… by the river. That black mist came rushing down past me, and all manner of 'not right' happened." He leans in close, lowering his voice so it won't carry over to where his sisters wait, "You remember Old Man Ruske? Went fishing and never came back? Damn me if he didn't stand up outta the river and try to gut me with his rusty gaff!"

Stormraven wrote:
"How's everyone below?"

"Grim down there… worse than up here, looks like. Saw Marcus down by Sara's. Those two and Eluon looked alright, if banged up." There's a long pause as Jak struggles with the idea of delivering Sara's bad news. He settles with a cryptic answer, something he hopes his father can understand, "Sara looks real shaken up… she and Eluon might have some real hard days ahead."

Bluff DC 15: Secret message to his da - "there was death in Sara's family, and it wasn't Sara or Eluon." A sense motive versus this roll will let the sisters catch the meaning. 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15


DM

Upon mention of old Sloane, Mattin stares at his son for a moment before he continues to lug the boy's body. "Black days, Jak. We'll need to speak with the town council about that."

The merchant's face is a riot of changing emotions at Jak's hint of Sara's loss. Putting aside grief and worry for his grand-children he says, "We'll head down there directly, after we're done here. Break out whatever blades we have. Nobody goes it alone or unprepared."

Marisol, almost as canny a merchant as her father and a fair match for her brother, stiffens at the news but says nothing, returning quickly to her tasks. The youngest Howell misses the conversation, trying to console Tobar Zirk.

Marisol SM: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Eulalia SM: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (5) + 0 = 5


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)

"Come on, Allegra, let's go and see how Mr. and Mrs. Wynn are doing. I cannot tell if any of them are at home."

Lyrica walks up to the front steps of their neighbor's, the Wynn family residence, and knocks on the door and waits for a reply.

"Mister and Mrs. Wynn, It's me Lyrica Strom. My sister and I are here. Are you ok? Mr. and Mrs. Wynn, are you there?!"

Dear Sarenrae, what is taking them so long? I do hope they are ok!


(hp 11/35, AC 18, T 13, FF 15, Initiative +3, Perception +9)
stormraven wrote:
Aerik Wynn wrote:

"Father! Bell! I... I thought I had... lost you..."

The druid embraces his sister in a strong bear hug, tears streaming down his face. Then, realization hits him.

"Where is mother? Where is she? What happened?"

Bell clutches him tightly and sobs uncontrollably. At Ellie's death, in his unguarded moments, Aerik's father had looked stricken. Now, he looks broken. Cole Wynn does something the Druid has never seen in all his years, he stammers, "I... I... tried to hold it back, son. The mist, it came under the door. I shoved it back but it just kept coming." He looks at his hands like they are something useless, "It went right past me and took your Ma in her chair. She looked so surprised and then she... she melted into the mist. I couldn't stop it from leaving. I tried. I scooped it up but ya can't stop sand from running. Who can stop a God-cursed fog?!?!"

OK, guys, feel free to get in your last reactions or actions and then I'll do a little narrative update and a tiny bit of fast-forwarding. Thanks for playing along on this dose of heavy RP, I hope it wasn't too over the top for you.

Aerik wipes the back of his hand across his eyes as his expression hardens.

"It's not your fault. I'll find a way to get her back. I swear it. But first, we're going to take you to Eluon's place. The survivors are gathering there."

Lyrica Strom wrote:

"Come on, Allegra, let's go and see how Mr. and Mrs. Wynn are doing. I cannot tell if any of them are at home."

Lyrica walks up to the front steps of their neighbor's, the Wynn family residence, and knocks on the door and waits for a reply.

"Mister and Mrs. Wynn, It's me Lyrica Strom. My sister and I are here. Are you ok? Mr. and Mrs. Wynn, are you there?!"

Dear Sarenrae, what is taking them so long? I do hope they are ok!

The door opens with Aerik and Marcus leading the stunned Cole and Bell out of the house. Aerik responds tersely:

"We are unharmed. Mother was taken by the fog. After we help the rest of the survivors, I mean to bring her back."


Marcus puts an arm around Lyrica, then steps back and nods with a wan smile, observing the wounds on the young warrior.

Lyrica, it's good to see you alive. Aerik's right, though, we should move--no telling what other foul spawn still lurk hereabouts.


NN_Woman wrote:

Her body as frozen by the Wahika as her emotions are frosted over by the horror at the Finiose hut, Rowan stiffens and shivers in Ezekiel's arms. Hip deep in the stream with her one-time lover, something in Ezekiel's appeal gets through to her, perhaps it is her duty to her daughter. Her cold lips touch his ear sharing words meant only for him. "My hands will never be clean, Ezekiel. My wrongs go too deep - pain and blood. I have wronged you, and Gav, and dear Pru and Aerhart, and even Olivia. I'm so very sorry. You don't know."

She gently pushes free from his embrace and stumbles up to the shore in her sodden dress, her voice is more her again, "I'm sorry, 'Livi. I went to pieces there, for a moment. I should have handled it better. I'm fine. You'll be fine. Your uncle and I will see to that."

Standing in the freezing river, the Apothecary realises that as much as he has been imprisoned by his love for this woman for twenty years, she has been equally trapped - in a cage woven of guilt for the choice she made those long years ago.

Old memories start to surface, memories that bring a moment of pleasure to Ezekiel. A moment he reluctantly shoves aside, the immediate concerns more pressing. "We should how the rest of the town fares. I may be able to help some of the others. I recall seeing Elsbeth on my way in, with her children under the bridge. Let's see how they're doing after..." He just lets the words hang as he starts to move.


(hp 38/38, AC 17, T 11, FF 11, Initiative +1, Perception +5, Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +10)
Aerik Wynn wrote:
"We are unharmed. Mother was taken by the fog. After we help the rest of the survivors, I mean to bring her back."

"Taken?" Lyrica replies, "I had no idea that the fog could do that! Melodica mentioned that it took Hannah Guthwhite, but I did not really understand how. Do you really think there is any hope in being able to return them?"

Marcus Braun wrote:
"Lyrica, it's good to see you alive. Aerik's right, though, we should move--no telling what other foul spawn still lurk hereabouts.'

"Thank you, Marcus. It is good to see you as well!" Lyrica embraces the young man and she cannot hold back a few tears. "Oh, Marcus, Mama is dead and Papa may yet live, but he has not regained consciousness yet. Melodica is keeping a watchful eye on him, and we are trying to remain hopeful. Please tell me, how is your family? Are Heather and Eras safe? You look like you've received some wounds as well. Did you encounter a creature of undeath?"


Jak nods at his father's instruction even as he realizes Mari had picked up on his subtle message. "Once we're done here, I'll go grab my kit."

I'll assume Jak takes the time to get his armor and weapons on him. He'll go armed/armored pretty much everywhere for the foreseeable future.


DM

Ezekiel escorts Rowan and Livi towards and across the Low Bridge. It seems some survivors - chief among them the Rallo family - are gathering at the Assembly Hall. Blankets are quickly gathered and a fire is kindled to warm up those who have taken a dunk in the frigid Wahika. Seeing no pressing need for his skills here - shock is something only time can cure - Ezekiel heads back out into the night drawn by the torches he can see weaving through the buildings along the far bank.


DM

By turns, all of the heroes find themselves near the well, hard by the Wynn home. The hushed conversations along the porch are cut short by the ring of goat bells and the fearful bleating of the goats in the paddock behind the home. Of all the livestock in town, the goats had seemed to fair the best... until now. A predator moves among them.

Initiative, gents.

MAP: What's Got Yur Goat?

A's HPs: 7|14
E's HPs: 7|10
J's HPs: 7|10
L's HPs: 5|15
M's HPs: 14|14

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