|Evangline Valeria Aurora|
Kendra, choking back rage, starts to speak, but your words seem to have had an effect on the group. The back-up thugs start to scatter, grumbling.
One of them mutters "They're right, I mean if Father Grimburrow had no issues, Gibs...
The surly leader, apparently this Gibs, snarls at his troops. "You know that senile old man would do anything his (heavy sarcasm) sweet little granddaughter asked.
He turns back to the group. "We don't need you strangers messin' with this town. We know that [again sarcasm] Professor of yours was really a necromancer. If any harm comes to our town because of this, it's on your head!"
He spits on the ground in front of the group and follows his retreating troops, though you have to admit, with slightly more dignity.
The council members appologize, for their less than savory townsfolk and the procession continues.
You reach the gravesite, where an elderly man in Pharasma's vestments awaits. He speaks the words of the servioce and Pharama's blessing by rote, but with feeling. The coffin is lowered and Kendra steps forward.
"Father, I will miss you. I will never forget that you gave up your career to raise me after mother passed on. I hope I will prove worthy of your sacrifice."
She chokes back tears and steps back after droping in a clod of dirt.
Father Grimburrow says"Is there anyone else who wishes to honor this man or share a part of his life? If so, step forward and speak
|Evangline Valeria Aurora|
she waits for a moment of silence, then with a calm, polite and sincere voice
"The professor was a great man, During the first year I traveled the land I was attacked by a vampire spawn, I was about going to die, but he stepped in and saved me. After that I kept in touch with the professor and help with his studies. I even sent him some samples, I found."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
|Wood the Wizard|
|Wood the Wizard|
After the funeral, as the others disperse, Kendra turns to you "Please, come with me to our..." here her voice stumbles, as she swallows and continues"my home for luncheon and the reading of father's will. Councilman Hearthmount will arrive at 2 to present it.'
As you follow her through the town to her home, she chatters (perhps more to set herself at ease), pointing out the sites and locations of the town.
The modest home is well kept by Anya, the middle-aged servant woman some of you may remember from other visits to the Professor.
The meal is simple, as befits the solemn occasion, and you sit around after making small talk and remenicing about Professor Lorrimor until Councilman Hearthmount arrives.
The councilman is a tall, spare, self-important man of obvious military background, who nods to all of you and graps Kendra's hands in sympathy before setting down to business.
Councilman Hearthmont puulls out a sealed scroll case and shows all of you that the professor's seal is unbroken before beginning. He seems to be mildly annoyed at the need for strangesr present but makes no comment.
"I will note that this document was updated and presented to me on the first of this month." He unseals the scroll, opens it and begins.
"I, Petros Lorrimor, being of sound mind, do hereby commit to this parchment my last will and testament. Let it be known that, with the exception of the specific details below, I leave my home and personal belongings entire to my daughter Kendra. Use them or sell them as you see fit, my child.
Amongst those specific details are certain items I leave to old friends [there follows a list of ten names, including yours], I leave certain items, once intended as gifts. Kendra, those items are stored with the chest I refer to further in this document, and labeled accordingly.
Yet beyond the bequeathing of my personal effects, this document must serve other needs. I have arranged for the reading of this document to be delayed until the following principals; specific old friends, students, colleagues and benefactors, to whit: Evangline Valeria Aurora, Gkirkhan, Kurik Thurgen, Que Xuang, Vertielle Seipar, and Wood the Wizard can be in attendance, for I have more than mere inheritance to apportion. I have two final favors to ask.
To my old friends, those of you who have been able to come despite your busy schedules, I hate to impose even more upon you all, but there are few others who are capable of appreciating the true significance of what it is I have to ask. As some of you know, I have devoted many of my studies to all manner of evil, that I might know the enemy and inform those better positioned to stand against it. For knowledge of one’s enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.
And so, over the course of my lifetime, I have seen fit to acquire a significant collection of valuable but dangerous tomes, any one of which in the wrong circumstances could have led to an awkward legal situation. While the majority of these tomes remain safe under lock and key at the Lepidstadt University, I fear that a few I have borrowed remain in a trunk in my Ravengro home. While invaluable for my work in life, in death, I would prefer not to burden my daughter with the darker side of my profession, or worse still, the danger of possessing these tomes herself. As such, I am entrusting my chest of tomes to you, posthumously. I ask that you please deliver the collection to my colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt, who will put them to good use for the betterment of the cause.
Yet before you leave for Lepidstadt, there is the matter of another favor—please delay your journey one month and spend that period of time here in Ravengro to ensure that my daughter is safe and sound. She has no one to count on now that I am gone, and if you would aid her in setting things in order for whatever she desires over the course of this month, you would have my eternal gratitude. From my savings, I have also willed to each of you a sum of one hundred platinum coins. For safekeeping, I have left these funds with Embreth Daramid, one of my most trusted friends in Lepidstadt—she has been instructed to issue this payment upon the safe delivery of the borrowed tomes no sooner than one month after the date of the reading of this will.
I, Petros Lorrimor, hereby sign this will in Ravengro, as witnessed by Vashian Hearthmount on this first day of Calistril, in the year 4712."
A month? I really must get some clothes...
Vertielle smiles apologetically at Kendra, looking to the ominous chest I assume it is present? with some obvious trepidation.
I've seen dark tomes destroy lives and sanity, to entrust them to us is an honor and a curse.
Gkirkhan looks puzzled for a few seconds after Hearthmont finished reading. He didn't even seem hear Vertielle say that she was going to need clothes, so deep was he in thought. Consequently...
"A thousand plat? Dem, dot's a lot uv money."
he put's his foot squarely in his mouth.
Not content with just wedging it in there, he tries to see if her can fit the heel and ankle. He turns to look at the bard.
"Vell, I vouldn't mind see hyu in dot everyday. heh, or less."
Let me know if I need to tone down the flirty half-orc. I figured now would be a good time to RP his INT and WIS.
Vertielle flushes slightly, but smiles nonetheless. She spends most of her time with colleagues interested in her work, rather than her, and its a rare day she gets such a compliment- even such a crude one.
I'm okay with it.
Que follows the reading of the professor's last will and when she hears about the money she gasps.
Wow, one hundred platinum.... that's really a nice sum we have here
"So we will have to stay one month in this nice little town? I hope the rest of Ravengro's population is much friendlier then this Gibbs."
"Vell, if not, Hy know uv a few vays to make dem friendlier."
The way Gkirkhan said that, it isn't quite apparent if he means hacking off limbs or drinking them into a stupor.
As you all make your decisions, you do note a sealed and securely locked chest in the room. Along with the chest and partially hiding it are several flowered displays. One is the standard sent by the university to any former member who passes on, one is a rather restrained small bouquet, and the last is a rather ostentatious display. All have notes attached.
You also now note six packages, wrapped as if they were originally intended as Sunwrought gifts.
|Evangline Valeria Aurora|
As you all make your decisions, you do note a sealed and securely locked chest in the room. Along with the chest and partially hiding it are several flowered displays. One is the standard design sent by the university to any former member who passes on, one is rather ostentatious and the remaining are simple but attractive displays. All have notes attached.
You also now note six packages, wrapped as if they were originally intended as Sunwrought gifts.
If you examine the displays you will note the following:
The note on the ostentatious display is on gilded paper and written in one hand, as if dictated, then signed in another.
I am so, so sorry I cannot be present to comfort you on such a sad occasion. Unfortunately, and unlike your father during his tenure, I lack the time to indulge myself in such personal outside expeditions during the school term, even for such a case. Here at the University, your father will be so missed, among those of us who remember his tenure so fondly.
Perhaps if he'd never left the University, things might now be different. But then,with his odd tendency toward unnecessary field research, and his gift for attracting the wrong kind of attention and persons, perhaps not.
Anyway, please accept these small tokens, both from the university and myself in remembrance of a once-great man.
Oh, and dear Adivion has asked if I would be so kind as to include his note with my little tribute. Of course, I agreed. Such a solemn, dedicated man, and of course, his mother's blood is unimpeachable. Fortunately he seems more like her than his father. A pity about that marriage, but then, money has created quite a few jumped-up families in this regrettably modern state.
Regards, my dear,
PS: I do hope you do intend to take advantage of a full year of mourning in your home in that quaint little village. I'm certain that many of the locals are quite willing to assist you in your time of grief. But, knowing your father, I'm sure he taught you not to impose upon the busy lives of others. Still, if you need assistance, I would be quite happy to send you a few servants.
The postscript is written in the same hand as the signature.
The note on the university's wreath is written in the same hand as the body of the ostentatious note.
To the family of the late Professor Lorrimor,
Allow us at the University of Lepidstadt to present our sincerest condolences in regards to your recent loss.
Signed this day 1 Pharast 4712 by
Sebastian Moran, clerk for the University of Lepidstadt
Dr. Montagnie Crowl, Professor of Antiquities
On a simple bouquet of dark flowers is a note in a rather formal hand:
Allow me to present to you my warmest regards and deepest regrets upon the death of your father. Petros was a man of great insight, with a keen and inquiring mind. It was perhaps inevitable that it would be his curiosity that brought him low, for his questing ways led him to dark places, and what he lacked in prudence he more than compensated for in courage. Regardless, I shall remember him fondly as one who was almost a peer; as a man of intelligence, tempered but lightly by good sense.
My thoughts are with you, my dear. I trust the path you choose to tread in life shall be a safer one than that of your late father – indeed, I would insist upon it.
I may, from time to time, check on your well being and general welfare. Please accept this as payment of a debt that a tragic circumstance has imposed upon me.
Also, should you ever find yourself in need of a change of scenery, I would be most happy to welcome you to Caliphas.
With the greatest of respect,
Oddly, this note seems to have been resealed, the second time with the university seal.
On the table next to the others is a final, fairly simple but tasteful bouquet with an equally simple note:
My dear you must be so lost right now. If I can help in any way, please let me know. Your father's passing is a great loss to us all. He will be missed.
PS: If need be, come to Lepidstadt and stay with me. My home is always open to you.
This note is open and slightly tear-stained, with the beginning of a reply declining the kind offer sitting next to it.
Kendra sees the councliman to the door then returns.
"I believe these are the items my father referred to."
She hands each of you a package with your name and a short note, some serious, some reflecting the Professor's bursts of humor.
To Evangline Valeria Aurora: enclosed is a masterwork cold iron cestus, the leather died a pale pink and trimmed with red and cherry blossom petals. [the note reads: Try keeping your hands warm with these.]
To Gkirkhan: enclosed is a masterwork warhammer with a hat engraved on either business end and the sides decorated with flagons. [the note reads: Now you'll never be without a hat.]
To Kurik Thurgen: enclosed is masterwork studded leather armor in your clan colors. [the note reads: The best defense is - often neglected. I hope this covers your needs.]
To Que Xuang: enclosed is a masterwork wakizashi in a fine scabbard, of elegant yet simple design. [the note reads: May this blade serve you well.]
To Vertielle Seipar: enclosed is a masterwork 'corset'-style studded leather armor, the design incorporating the symbols of all four of your chosen deities. [the note reads: I hope the pattern is suitable.]
To Wood the Wizard: enclosed is a wand labeled protection from evil (33 charges remain) in a leather carrying scabbard. [the note reads: This has aided me on quite a few adventures. May it do the same for you.]
Gkirkhan reads the note, once, twice, then once more. His eyes mist up and he starts to shake, then he chuckles, and finally he bursts into a roaring laugh that goes on for minutes. He finally seems to regain some self-control (not that he had alot to begin with).
"Hehehehe! Ah, Mizz Kendra, hyu had a goot poppa. Hy know it's sad dot he iz gone, bot he still can make us laff und be glad ve knew hem."
Gkikhan hefts the hammer, admiring the engravings.
"Jah, hyur poppa vas a schmott guy. Hy vill be sure to put dis to goot use."
If this moment is any indication, Gkirkhan will probably be grinning like a maniac while admiring the late Professor's gift the rest of the evening, or at lest until he spies Vertielle's gift.
That was inspired good sir. On an unrelated note, you would not believe how hard it is to keep myself from typing in Gkirkhan's accent while writing posts for this game.
The chest doesn't look that ominous. It's relatively small, made of burnished oak and bound in iron. Once opened, the chest is found to contain five books. The first is the newest, and comes with an attached note: "Read me now!" it declares in familiar handwriting.
Four other tomes are removed: the first, a jet black book, "On Verified Madness," the second "Serving Your Hunger", the third "The Umbral Leaves."
The last is untitled, bound in rich purple satin, with a jeweled scarab affixed in the center, both as a lock and an identifying symbol, it would seem, as the book is unable to be opened. This one also has a note affixed. "Please deliver this tome to Justice Embreth Daramind of Lepidstadt, and do so with the utmost discretion." An address, presumably hers, follows.
One more item is to be found within the chest. A small, intricately carved and painted box with a close-fitting lid and wrapped in an old Varisian-style scarf sits next to the first book. Opening it reveals an old, well-worn Harrow deck. It, too has a note. "If my fears are correct, this may prove a help...or a hindrance. Still, take it and use it as you see fit. Kendra, my dear, remember the game your grandmother used to play? Please, one last time, indulge me."
Kendra blinks in surprise, then picks up the deck and begins to shuffle it, almost absentmindedly. “Hm. It's been so long. Let's see if I remember.” She seems lost in thought, then nods and sets the deck on the table. “Please, each of you shuffle the deck and cut some cards from it then set them on the table in front of you.” After you do, she takes the top card from each cut and sets it on the table in front of her, face down. She then gathers up the rest and reshuffles. “Now, each of you, draw one card.”
Before checking your cards, she flips over the ones in front of her, and smiles in relief. "Good, one from each suit. It worked!"
The cards in front of her are: The Crows, The Eclipse, The Hidden Truth, The Marriage, The Survivor, and The Uprising.
@group: each of you roll 1d6 and 1d8 please. If any of you roll the exact same numbers for both, roll a d20, lowest number rolls again until everyone has a different number/card.
For the tomes; appropriate rolls would be KN religion, history, local.
Vertielle runs a hand over the fabric, a lump in her throat and tears in her eyes. She quickly wraps the present again, now smiling slightly.
One look at Gkirkhan, grinning like a maniac, is enough to bring a musical chuckle to her lips.
1d6 ⇒ 51d8 ⇒ 3
religion 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
history 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
local 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
detect magic on the tomes and deck.
Que takes the wakizashi from Kendra, making a deep bow like her father showed her it is done in far away Tian Xia. She draws the blade some inches out of the scabbard, careful to not unsheath it combletely.
"One doesn't draw such a sword in presence of friends She examines the handiwork for some time, admiring its simple elegance. This one is wonderfull, the professor seems to knew me well.
Que Xuang follows the Harrowing with curiosity and interest, drawing her card as she is told to do so.
1d8 ⇒ 71d6 ⇒ 2
|Wood the Wizard|
|Evangline Valeria Aurora|
@Vertielle: none of the tomes seem magical, but the deck does reflect divination magic. You briefly see Pharasma's symbol glow on the backs of the cards, then fade away.
Of the tomes, Vertielle, Wood, and Evangeline recognize three of them.
"On Verified Madness" is a treatise on something called The Dark Tapestry, and contains observations, theories and disturbing art work of otherworldly monsters.
"Serving your Hunger" is a copy of one of the unholy books of the goddess Urgathoa, and as you examine it you notice it contains notes and observations from the Professor written in the margins.
"The Umbral Leaves" is a common-tongue translation of the unholy book of Zon-Kuthon.
Wood you think you recognize the symbol on the purple book as being that of a secret society called The Order of the Palatine Eye.
The last book, or rather the one you removed first, is the Professor's diary.
As you examine the Professor's diary, you see some entries are circled in red.
16 Gozren, 4701 – The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers, I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivation does not place me at easy, as I thought it might. Their desire to live eternal simply makes them more dangerous.
4 Abadius, 4711 – It is as I had feared. The Way is interested in something here in Ravengro. But what could it be?
16 Calistril, 4712 – Whatever it is that the Way seeks, I am now convinced that their goal is connected to Harrowstone. In retrospect I suppose it all make sense—the stories they tell about the ruins are certainly chilling enough. It may be time to investigate the ruins, but with everyone in town on edge about them still, I'd rather not let the others know about my curiosity, there are plenty of folks hereabouts who already think I'm a demonologist or a witch or something.
20 Calistril, 4712 – 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 the night of the fire... everyone. The Temple of Pharasma must have such a list.
22 Calistril, 4712 – I see now how ill prepared I was when I last set out for Harrowstone. I am lucky to have returned at all. The ghosts, if indeed they were ghosts (for I did not find it prudent to investigate futher) prevented me from transcribing the strange symbols I found etched along the foundation—hopefully on my next visit I will be more prepared. Thankfully, the necessary tools to defend against spirits are already 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 Eversleep and the Black Path. I am not certain if the current clergy even know of what their predecessors have hidden down below. If my luck holds, I should be able to slip in and out with a few borrowed items.
24 Calistril, 4712 – Tomorrow evening I return to the prison. It is imperative that the Way does not finish. My caution has already cost my too much time. I am not sure what will happen if I am too late, but if my theory is right, the entire town could be at risk. I don’t have time to update my will, so I'll leave this in the chest where it will be sure to be found... should the worst come to pass. I'll leave the deck as well. If I'm right, may Pharasma, Lady of Fate and Prophesy, guide those who follow.
The last entry, while unmarked, is written in a hurried hand.
25 Calistril, 4712 – I am a fool. I should have realized the date. Of course it would be tonight. Zokar's youngest just came running back from Harrowstone, saying he'd seen something up there. He'd been up there for the traditional dare all the boys of Ravengro face. I gave him the stone I'd retrieved during my dare and sent him home.
"If this is a Fate deck, the cards chosen will aid you in whatever task you are fated to face. Supposdly you can call upon the 'power of the card' and it will grant you a benefit of some kind and return to the deck. You can't draw a new card until the one you first drew has been used. What cards do we have, anyway?"
The original draw, from the cuts, does include all six suits. The cards she turns over are: from the suit of Hammers: The Uprising, from the suit of Keys: The Crows, from the suit of Shields: The Survivor, from the suit of Books: The Hidden Truth, from the suit of Stars: The Eclipse, and from the suit of Crowns: The Marriage.
As for your individual cards; Evangeline has drawn The Inquisitor (from the suit of Books), Gkirkhan has drawn The Twin (from the suit of Crowns), Kurik has drawn [rather ironicly] The Brass Dwarf (from the suit of Shields), and Vertielle and Wood have both drawn from the suit of Stars; Vertielle drew The Publican and Wood, The Queen Mother.
@group: make a note of which card you have, and who will keep the deck.
Certainly, the deck holds a magic all its own, but hark to this, writ by our dear friend's hand- Dark things are afoot here, and we ought learn more of them, she says in nary a whisper, opening "Serving Your Hunger" to whichever page the tome easily folds, hoping to glean foresight from a frequented page.
I'll serendipitously cast message on party members at my convenience, whispering We should take these dark matters far from this house.
Gkirkhan folds his hands in front of his face as he leans forward in his seat. When he speaks his voice is low and dark.
"Dark tings indeed. Hy tink de Professor deed not die in un ak-si-dent like ve thought. Dey vill probably keep hiding in de dark until dey tinks dey ken keel us."
His hat covers his face in shadow and the tell-tale red lights of a being with darkvision appear. He smiles, but this one doesn't have any of the mirth and good humor from before.
"But dot's hokay. I ken see dem in de dark. Und dey vill find out dere are tings much, much scarier den dem."
|Wood the Wizard|
At Gkirkhan's words, Kendra shudders.
"I don't...want to believe that.Perhaps we are just jumping at shadows. Please, do look into this, not just for Father, but for me as well."
She pauses, looking down at the Professor's diary.
"This place is my home. This town,it's people, even poor Gibs, are family, friends, associates. Father seemed to fear they were all in danger. I *will* stand by them. I will not leave, I will not flee, until this is resolved. Please, stay with me here and help. There is room and I'll feel better with company. You have my permission to use anything here that might help resolve this. The Temple will have records you might be able to access. You can also check at the Town Hall or The Unfurling Scroll, our local school."
Here she pauses, closing her eyes briefly, seeming to draw strength from somewhere. When she speaks again, she reminds you strongly of her father.
"I'm afraid it may not be easy. Unfortunately, even the more open-minded of the townsfolk here take time to warm up to strangers. Still, if father was right about something evil threatening this town..."
Here she smiles at Gkirkhan.
"Please remember, they're scared and don't know why. It seems to be a common thing for any sentient to blame outsiders for their troubles, even when they know different. Keep that in mind when you're dealing with them. They'll come around. Even Father Grimburrow is...getting less open-minded lately. Take care."
Kendra, where did the professor keep his other notes? He has undoubtedly done much research before us.
Vertielle searches the Professors study for any additional information, tearing her gaze away- with significant effort- from the translated holy texts.
Perception taking 20 for 25 and detect magic.
Afterward, she adjourns to his personal library, spending the rest of the evening studying possible glyphs the professor might have noticed, in the hope to recognize them on sight; composing notes in a spiky, elegant hand in the ancient language of scholars, Jitska.
KnArcana 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
@Vertielle: Detect magic shows nothing, which strikes you as odd. You know the professor had items he used in his research, and his diary mentions items usable against spirits. None of that seems to be here.
@group: specify what your'e researching; right now you have two major topics, Harrowstone and the Whispering Way.
|Evangline Valeria Aurora|
Glyphs. Any arcane glyphs I can copy, I will.
Evangeline- If you go to Pharasma's temple, Vertielle suggests you retrieve the list of dead at the prison and ask after tools they can provide to combat undead, but cautions you against mentioning the professors own liberties with their hidden supplies.
"Hokay, I promise not to do enyting stupid. Hy ken understands, dey is scared."
Gkirkhan looks Around at the others in the room.
"Hy don't knowz about hyuz, bot I don't tink Hy em gonna be much help vit dis schmott guy stuff. Hy vill be at de tavern if enyone needs to find me."
Und mehbe Hy ken find out some more about dis Harrowstone place.
If no one stops him he heads out to the tavern and sits and listens for an opportunity to wedge himself into a conversation, and buying a round of drinks if they are drinking.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Oh boy, this is going to get interesting...
|Evangline Valeria Aurora|
The dead prisoners to get on that trail of research requires that either
A) Get a DC 25 History or
B) The undead have attacked.
Can't research about it unless we as characters know it needs researching.
Oh boy, I can see problems with the half-orc.
Maybe Eva should be the diplomat (+10)
and hopefully the DM give you a bonus for buying everyone a round of booze.
@Gkirkhan: After buying a round of drinks for everyone (even those huddled at the opposite coner of the tavern) and making a few passes (that elf didn't *look* like a guy), one seemingly drunken fellow buys you a drink, then challenges you to do what everyone else in town has done and spend a night on the grounds of Harrowstone. For some reason, especially if you drink all of that odd-tasting ale, that sounds like a good idea to you. It might help prove your courage and impress these nice folks. After all, when you leave, they're all smiling and laughing. You do have a choice as to going up to the prison or not, though. ;-)[edit: give me a fort save as well]
@Vertielle: the few partial symbols in the notes on the Professor's desk seem to be referring to spirit binding, but it's a very old usage.
@Evangeline: Yep, for *specific* prisoners you need a 25. However, from the notes in his diary you do know the Professor wanted to see a list of all the Harrowsone dead, guards or prisoners. It's about 3PM.
assuming I don't find the list he made in his study, I (in character) want access to all the same information he had- list of dead included, which he mentioned Pharasma's clergy may possess.
Vertielle, holding several sheets of transcribed notes on the archaic symbols, asks if any of her research overlaps or reinforces Wood's own knowledge of the place, which he mentioned earlier in passing.